Everything that arises is the result of actions fulfilled by spiritual Beings

[…] a mystery that obtuse men (the sort of men whom we can really designate as obtuse) think to cope with so easily by saying: “Well, the human being simply arises! In the course of the generations, it so happened that human bodies develop spontaneously within the bodies of mothers. This is quite spontaneous.” Indeed, the arguments adopted by such people can be grasped … but let me show you, with the aid of a comparison, how clever they really are!

For instance, you may take for granted that here in Munich there are certain Beings able to perceive many things, but unable to perceive man, and thus unable to see his activities. It is quite possible, to imagine this! But those Beings who cannot see man, nor his activities, may, for instance, be able to see — a clock. They would, therefore, know that there are clocks and also how they are made. 

They would not, however, see the man who makes the clock; they would only see how a clock arises from its single parts. They would perhaps see the different kinds of pincers taking hold of the clock’s parts, but they would see them gripping, as it were, out of the air. What a conception would these Beings have of a clock? They would not say: “In Munich there are clock-makers”, but they would say: “Clock-makers do not exist; the clocks arise spontaneously, of their own accord, for we can see how they form themselves.” 

This is the manner of thinking adopted by people who take for granted that things that gradually develop in a physical way must arise quite spontaneously! However, everything that arises is the result of actions fulfilled by spiritual Beings belonging to the higher Hierarchies. Indeed, the human being does not arise spontaneously, merely through the interchanging influence of father and mother and through what develops within the mother’s body, but the whole cosmos participates in his development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 174a – The Weaving and Living Activity of the Human Etheric Bodies – Munich, 20th March, 1916 (Stenographic notes unrevised by the lecturer.)

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One cannot extract thoughts out of a world devoid of thoughts

The first thing that should be present in someone who wants to develop truly practical thinking is faith and confidence in the reality, the reality of thoughts. What does that mean? From a glass in which there is no water, one cannot pour water. And in a world, in which there are no thoughts, one cannot find any thoughts. It is most absurd to believe that the sum of our thoughts is present only in us. If someone dismantles a clock and discovers the laws out of which it was built by thinking, then he must assume that the clockmaker put the parts of the clock together according to these laws. No one should believe that one can design and form a world that was not designed and formed out of thoughts. Everything we discover about nature and natural events consists of nothing else but what first must have been laid into it before. There are no thoughts in our souls, which were not out there in the world beforehand.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 057 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, February 11, 1909  (page 251)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on December 18, 2014

One cannot extract thoughts out of a world devoid of thoughts

The first thing that should be present in someone who wants to develop truly practical thinking is faith and confidence in the reality, the reality of thoughts. What does that mean? From a glass in which there is no water, one cannot pour water. And in a world, in which there are no thoughts, one cannot find any thoughts. It is most absurd to believe that the sum of our thoughts is present only in us. If someone dismantles a clock and discovers the laws out of which it was built by thinking, then he must assume that the clockmaker put the parts of the clock together according to these laws. No one should believe that one can design and form a world that was not designed and formed out of thoughts. Everything we discover about nature and natural events consists of nothing else but what first must have been laid into it before. There are no thoughts in our souls, which were not out there in the world beforehand.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 057 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, 11 February 1909  (p 251)

Translated by Nesta Carsten

Previously posted on September 18, 2013

glass of water

From a world, in which no thoughts are, one cannot extract any thoughts  

The first thing that must be present in someone who wants to develop truly practical thinking is faith and confidence in the reality, in the actuality of the thoughts. What does that mean? From a glass in which there is no water, one cannot get water. And from a world in which no thoughts are one cannot get thoughts. It is totally absurd to believe that the whole sum of our thoughts and images is present only in ourselves. When someone dismantles a clock and contemplates on the laws according to which the clock was built, then he must assume that the clockmaker assembled the parts of the clock according to these laws. No one should believe that one can derive thoughts from a world that is not designed and formed according to thoughts. Everything we discover about nature and natural events is exactly that which was first laid into nature and natural events. There is no thought within our soul that did not at first exist somewhere in the outer world.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, 11 February 1909 (page 251)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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One cannot extract thoughts out of a world devoid of thoughts

The first thing that should be present in someone who wants to develop truly practical thinking is faith and confidence in the reality, the reality of thoughts. What does that mean? From a glass in which there is no water, one cannot pour water. And in a world, in which there are no thoughts, one cannot find any thoughts. It is most absurd to believe that the sum of our thoughts is present only in us. If someone dismantles a clock and discovers the laws out of which it was built by thinking, then he must assume that the clockmaker put the parts of the clock together according to these laws. No one should believe that one can design and from a world that was not designed and formed out of thoughts. Everything we discover about nature and natural events consists of nothing else but what first must have been laid into it before. There are no thoughts in our souls, which were not out there in the world beforehand.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 057 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin 11 February 1909  (p 251)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger