Terror-inspiring astral world

For the inexperienced, the astral world is a big jumble. He can experience all kinds of animal figures coming towards him, as well as frightening human figures and the like. There are people who tell of such experiences. They are really in a very deplorable state. Through illness the astral world becomes visible in an irregular manner. If one begins to meditate and seriously train oneself clairvoyance, develops in the right way and then one knows what to expect in the astral world.

When people enter the astral world because of a diseased brain or something similarly unusual terrible figures are seen to be coming towards them and throwing themselves upon them. These figures are in reality their own passions emanating from themselves and showing their own mirror images in the astral world. Because in the astral world everything is reversed and they cannot read the astral images everything rushes toward them. Everything appears in images in the astral world. Erupting anger for example may appear as a picture of a tiger, attacking them. So it is with all these wild figures. Because every desire, every passion becomes a demon. However, the untrained man does not know how to interpret this and assumes the perception to be fantasized imaginations which it certainly isn’t. It is an image, a mirror.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – Kosmogonie – Leipzig, June 29, 1906 (page 135)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 10, 2016

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Clairvoyance/Dangers

No psychical trouble arises in true initiation, but the premature and sudden flashing-up of the astral world may give rise to insanity. In clairvoyance, man is liberated from his physical body. Hence the dangers that may threaten the mind and brain of one who attempts this kind of training without being absolutely balanced.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture IX: The Astral World – Paris, 2nd June 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on March 21, 2015

We look back to a past when man was clairvoyant, and to a future when this will again be the case

The cognitive faculty of mankind has developed gradually. Attention has repeatedly been drawn to the fact that in the Atlantean epoch a large proportion of humanity was clairvoyant and able to gaze into the spiritual worlds, and that certain remnants of this old clairvoyance were still present in post-Atlantean times. After the Atlantean epoch, in the periods of the civilizations of ancient India, Persia, Egypt and Chaldea — even as late as the Graeco-Latin age — there were numbers of human beings, many more than modern man would ever imagine, who possessed the heritage of this old clairvoyance; the astral plane was open to them and they could see into the hidden depths of existence.

But humanity was to advance to a form of knowledge acquired through the outer senses and through the spiritual faculties connected with the senses. Man was gradually to emerge altogether from the spiritual world and to engage in pure sense-observation, in intellectual, logical thinking. By degrees he was to make his way to non-clairvoyant cognition, because he must pass through this stage in order to regain clairvoyant knowledge in the future. But such knowledge will then be united with the fruits of cognition based upon the senses and the intellect.

At the present time we are living in an intermediate period. We look back to a past when man was clairvoyant, and to a future when this will again be the case. In our present age the majority of human beings are dependent upon what they perceive with their senses and grasp with their intellect.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 114 – The Gospel of St. Luke – Lecture Two – Basel, September 16, 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on January 14, 2015

A thousand times better

It is a thousand times better to have grasped the ideas of Spiritual Science with thought first of all, and then — sooner or later, each according to his karma — to be able oneself to ascend into the spiritual worlds; a thousand times better than to have ‘seen’ straight-away and not to have grasped with thought the knowledge that is imparted in the Movement known as the Anthroposophical. A thousand times better it is indeed, to know spiritual science and to see nothing as yet, than to see something and not be able to penetrate it with thought, for that is how unreliability is introduced.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 117 – The Tasks and Aims of Spiritual Science – Stuttgart, November 13, 1909

Illogical thinking is extraordinarily widespread

There is an extraordinary amount of wrong thinking in our day. One can suffer the pains of martyrdom from the terribly illogical life of the world. Anyone who has acquired a certain clairvoyance does not simply feel that one thing is correct and another incorrect, but he suffers actual pain when confronted by illogical thinking, and a sense of well-being in connection with clear, transparent thinking. This signifies that he has acquired a feeling for such things, and this enables him to make decisions. And this brings far truer differentiations when one has actually reached this stage. It gives a far truer discrimination between truth and untruth. This seems incredible, but it is true. When something erroneous is said in the presence of a clairvoyant person, the pain which rises in him shows him that this is illogical, erroneous. Illogical thinking is extraordinarily widespread; at no time has illogical thinking been so widespread as precisely in our time, in spite of the fact that people pride themselves so much on their logical thinking.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on March 9, 2015