No one can be taught how to make people well, without at the same time learning how to make people ill

So one sees how the physical is a result of what preceded it spiritually and how in particular circumstances people have it in their power, through knowledge of certain relationships, to connect the physical with its spiritual origin. For example, if one knows how a particular illness is connected with particular feelings and emotions, he knows that by calling up these feelings he can also call up the illness. The black magician can make use of this knowledge to destroy the people. The deep occult truths can therefore not be taught to everyone without due consideration, for it would immediately bring about a sharp demarcation between good and evil. This is the danger inherent in the spreading of occult teachings, for no-one can be taught how to make people well, without at the same time learning how to make people ill. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 93a – THE FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM – Lecture XXIX – Berlin, 3rd November 1905


Drawing by Marcin Rutkowski

Sound judgment

How often human beings do not see in an unconfused way what exists, but rather what they crave to see! In how many cases do men believe something, not because they have discerned it, but because it is acceptable to them to believe! Or what errors arise because one does not go to the bottom of a thing, but forms a hasty judgment! All these reasons for deception in ordinary life might be multiplied indefinitely. What tricks are played upon sound judgment by partisan feeling, passion, and so forth. If such errors of judgment in ordinary life are disturbing and often disastrous, they are the greatest conceivable danger to the wholesomeness of the supersensible experience. No general rule can be given to the student for his guidance in the higher worlds, beyond the advice to do everything possible for his healthy power of discernment and for his sound, independent judgment.  

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 12 – The Stages of Higher Knowledge – Chapter 4: Inspiration and Intuition

Translated by by Lisa Monges and Floyd McKnight

Previously posted on March 4, 2018


Illusion /Reality / Danger

I would like today to draw your attention to the fact that on the border between the sensuous-visible world and the invisible-extrasensory world, indeed, a certain danger lies in wait for the human being, and that someone who wants to become an initiate has to overcome this danger at first. It consists in the fact that it is exceptionally difficult to distinguish illusion from reality, dreams from reality, vision from the real view at the border of the physical and the supraphysical worlds. In this area, it is very easy to confuse own fantastic things of the soul with the objective reality. One needs different qualities that are explained in the following: keeping cool, retaining certainty of the soul, courage, perseverance and energy at the border. If the human being lost the clearness about that which is appearance and what is reality at this border, he would have lost his mind, then he would be a fool instead of an initiate.

Nowadays an immense greed, a true fury exists with most people indeed, if they hear of such matters to behold something of the higher worlds. However, with most human beings the perseverance and the will and above all the strength to overcome everything that must remove the indicated dangers do not exist. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Knowledge of Soul and Spirit: Lecture IV: Initiation – Berlin, 28 November 1907


To understand the nature of love — that is to be a true Christian.

A man who knows that love is there for the paying of debts and brings no profit for the future, is a true Christian. To understand the nature of love — that is to be a Christian! Anthroposophy alone, Spiritual Science alone, with its teachings of Karma and reincarnation, can make us into great egoists unless the impulse of love, the Christ Impulse, is added; only so can we acquire the power to overcome the egoism that may be generated by Spiritual Science.   

The balance is established by an understanding of the Christ Impulse. Spiritual Science is given to the world today because it is a necessity for humanity; but in it lies the great danger that — if it is cultivated without the Christ Impulse, without the Impulse of love — men will only increase their egoism, will actually breed egoism that lasts even beyond death. From this the conclusion must not be drawn that we should not cultivate Spiritual Science; rather we must learn to realise that understanding of the essential nature of love is an integral part of it.

Source: Rudolf steiner – GA 143 – Love and Its Meaning in the World – Zurich, 17th December, 1912

Translated by D. S. O. and E. F. and S. Derry

heart of Jesus Christ

Rudolf Steiner on Vaccines

What about the smallpox vaccine? This is a peculiar case. You see, if you vaccinate someone who is an anthroposophist and has been anthroposophically trained, it does no harm. (alternative: You see, if you vaccinate someone who is an anthroposophist, or bring someone up anthroposophically, it does no harm.) It only harms those who grow up with predominantly materialistic thoughts. In this case, vaccination becomes a kind of Ahrimanic force; the person is no longer able to lift himself or herself out of certain materialistic feelings. And this is actually what is so dangerous about the smallpox vaccination, that human beings are literally permeated (durchkleidet) by a phantom (entity). The person has a phantom which prevents him/her from getting rid of soul entities out of the physical organism, as is possible in normal consciousness. He or she becomes constitutionally materialistic, and can no longer raise himself up to the spiritual. That is the danger of vaccination. Of course, it will always be about statistics, which will guide the issue. The question is precisely in these issues, whether statistics should have such a high value (importance) attached to them.

With smallpox vaccination, it is very strongly about something psychological. It cannot be ruled out that the belief that vaccination helps plays an incalculably large role. If humans were to replace this belief with something else, if people were brought up (educated) in a natural way, so that they could be influenced (impressed) by something else other than by vaccinating them, for example, if they were brought closer to the spiritual, it would be entirely possible to counter the unconscious intrusion (thought) – ‘we have smallpox epidemic!’ – what would work equally well is principally to consider how we would have to strengthen human beings against such influences – in full consciousness of this: ‘Here is a spirit entity, albeit an unwanted (spurious) spirit, against which I must maintain my own being!’ (… gegen das ich mich aufrechthalten muss!)

English translation by Christine Howard of an excerpt on small pox vaccination from: Rudolf Steiner, Physiologisch-Therapeutisches auf Grundlage der Geisteswissenschaft (Rudolf Steiner Verlag, 1989), 287-88