Hidden spiritual causes (1 of 2)

All mere dreaming and imagining about the supersensible brings only confusion for they are incapable of satisfying the opponents. The latter are right when they say that such general references to supersensible beings are not an aid to the understanding of the facts. These opponents, it is true, may say the same thing about the definite indications of spiritual science. In this case, however, it can be shown how the effects of hidden spiritual causes appear in outer life. 

The following can be maintained: Suppose that what spiritual research has established by means of observation is true, namely, that man after death has passed through a period of purification and that he has experienced psychically during that time how a definite act, which has been performed in a previous life, is a hindrance to further evolution. While he was experiencing this, the impulse developed in him to rectify the consequences of this act. He brings this impulse with him into a new life, and it then forms the trait of character that places him in a position where this rectification is possible. Consider the totality of such impulses, and you have a reason for the destined environment in which a person is born.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: III: SLEEP AND DEATH

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

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This is what causes endless confusion and chaos

Humanity has lost all aptitude for speaking thus concretely of the relation of the Spiritual to the Physical, would prefer that everything should be painted the same colour, if I may put it so. Men like best of all to devise theories according to which human beings the Earth over can find equal material happiness. The socialist of today insists that certain ideas are right and proper for the life of man — right for England, for America, for Russia, for Asia; he thinks that if one and all arranged their national affairs according to socialist principles, the happiness which is the dream of modern man would come to the Earth of itself. 

All these ideas are abstract, unreal. Ignorance of the fact that something quite specific arises in one region of the Earth out of a particular people, something quite different in another region out of another people, the inability to understand the great difference between the West and the East — this is what causes endless confusion and chaos. For only when a man is able to build a bridge from his soul to the objective realities, can he co-operate fruitfully in shaping earthly existence. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – Behind the Scenes of External Happenings – Zurich, 13th November 1917

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on March 13, 2017

One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time

Just as there are definite stages in the evolution of the individual human being, just as the nature of his powers and faculties differs in childhood, middle life and old age, so too are the powers and faculties possessed by humanity in general constantly changing in the course of evolution. Not to take account of the fact that the character of humanity is different in the 20th century from what it was in the 15th century, let alone before and at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, is to sleep through the process of world-evolution. One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time, is its failure to pay heed to this, as well as the prevalent notion that it is possible to speak of man or of humanity in terms of abstract generalisations, that there is no need to regard humanity as being involved in a continuous process of evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 –The Work of the Angels In Man’s Astral Body – Zurich, 9th October, 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on January 17, 2018

Present-day intellectualism is in an upper layer of reality and does not go down into the depths of being

Human thinking, the present intellect, lies in a stratum of being where it does not reach down to realities. One can therefore prove something quite strictly, and also prove its opposite. It is possible today to prove spiritualism on the one hand and materialism on the other. And people may fight against each other from equally good standpoints because present-day intellectualism is in an upper layer of reality and does not go down into the depths of being.

And it is the same with party opinions. A man who does not look deeper but simply lets himself be accepted into a certain party-circle — by reason of his education, heredity, circumstances of life and State — quite honestly believes — or so he thinks — in the possibility of proving the tenets of the party into which he has slipped, as he says. And then — then he fights against someone else who has slipped into another party! And the one is just as right as the other. This calls forth chaos and confusion over mankind that will gradually become greater and greater unless men see through it.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 – The Ahrimanic Deception – Zurich, October 27, 1919

Translated by M. Cotterell/Revised by William Riggens

Previously posted on July 25, 2017

One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time

Just as there are definite stages in the evolution of the individual human being, just as the nature of his powers and faculties differs in childhood, middle life and old age, so too are the powers and faculties possessed by humanity in general constantly changing in the course of evolution. Not to take account of the fact that the character of humanity is different in the 20th century from what it was in the 15th century, let alone before and at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, is to sleep through the process of world-evolution. One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time, is its failure to pay heed to this, as well as the prevalent notion that it is possible to speak of man or of humanity in terms of abstract generalisations, that there is no need to regard humanity as being involved in a continuous process of evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 –The Work of the Angels In Man’s Astral Body – Zurich, 9th October, 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on October 1, 2014