The characteristic stamp of the modern anthroposophist (part 1 of 6)

Between what everyday life with its cares and anxieties brings to man and what he receives in the domain of Anthroposophy yawns a deep abyss.

It may be said that for most men of the present age there is almost no harmony between their convictions and what they do and think in their outer, everyday life. If some concrete question is raised in public and dealt with in the light of Spiritual Science or Anthroposophy, it will at once be evident that the interest which was still there in the case of general questions of religion and the like, no longer exists when it comes to matters of a really concrete kind. 

It cannot of course be expected that Anthroposophy will at once make its way into life, that everyone will immediately bring it to expression in whatever he is doing. But the world must be made to realise that it is the mission of Spiritual Science to introduce into life, to incorporate in life, everything that will emanate from a soul who has become convinced of the truth of the ideas of reincarnation and karma. And so the characteristic stamp of the modern anthroposophist may be said to be that he is on the way to acquiring a firmly based, inner conviction of the validity of the idea of reincarnation and karma. All the rest will then follow of itself.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 135 – REINCARNATION AND KARMA THEIR SIGNIFICANCE IN MODERN CULTURE 4. Examples of the working of karma between two incarnations – Stuttgart, 21 February 1912 

Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer, by D.S. Osmond, C. Davy and S. and E. F. Derry.

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The Shadow Side of our Personal Convictions

The shadow side of personal conviction is wilfulness, pride in our thoughts. As good as it is to advocate one’s own opinion without reservation, from another point of view, it is necessary to assert the ideas of one’s fellow human beings as entirely as well. And how little does this fit the character of those who hold fast to their conviction! They often show intolerance in their feeling and thinking, which makes it impossible for them to engage in the opinions of others. 

Sure: they will almost always advocate the importance of tolerance. But in practice, they can hardly manage it because it is not a question of recognising a principle but living it. One must make it one’s own through practice. One should get used to inward tolerance, tolerance of thought, through strict self-discipline. And if you manage it in the smallest instances, it will eventually become a fundamental characteristic for your entire life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – LUCIFER- GNOSIS 1903-1908 GRUNDLEGENDE AUFSÄTZE ZUR ANTHROPOSOPHIE UND BERICHTE – april 1904 (page 453)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on February 2, 2020

The Shadow Side of our Personal Convictions

The shadow side of personal conviction is wilfulness, pride in our thoughts. As good as it is to advocate one’s own opinion without reservation, from another point of view, it is necessary to assert the ideas of one’s fellow human beings as entirely as well. And how little does this fit the character of those who hold fast to their conviction! They often show intolerance in their feeling and thinking, which makes it impossible for them to engage in the opinions of others.

Sure: they will almost always advocate the importance of tolerance. But in practice, they can hardly manage it because it is not a question of recognising a principle but living it. One must make it one’s own through practice. One should get used to inward tolerance, tolerance of thought, through strict self-discipline. And if you manage it in the smallest instances, it will eventually become a fundamental characteristic for your entire life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – LUCIFER- GNOSIS 1903-1908 GRUNDLEGENDE AUFSÄTZE ZUR ANTHROPOSOPHIE UND BERICHTE – april 1904 (bladzijde 453)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger