Dangers connected with the ascent into higher worlds

So much is found in books dealing with these matters concerning the dangers connected with the ascent into higher worlds. The descriptions sometimes given of these dangers may well make timid souls shudder at the prospect of this higher life. Yet the fact is that dangers only arise when the necessary precautions are neglected. If all the measures counseled by true esoteric science are adopted, the ascent will indeed ensue through experiences surpassing in power and magnitude everything the boldest flights of sense-bound fantasy can picture; and yet there can be no question of injury to health or life. 

The student meets with horrible powers threatening life at every turn and from every side. It will even be possible for him to make use of certain forces and beings existing beyond physical perception, and the temptation is great to control these forces for the furtherance of personal and forbidden interests, or to employ them wrongly out of a deficient knowledge of the higher worlds.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds – VIII – The Splitting of the Human Personality during Spiritual Training

Translated by George Metaxa / Revisions by Henry B. Monges

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Dangers of Occult Development

When a pupil becomes clairvoyant, the passions that emanate from people, look to him like a tableau, from which centre they radiate. Mirrored passions appear as animals assaulting him. Man sees the lower passions around him as all kinds of wild animals, such as mice, rats and the like. If the student, not having learned this, experiences for the first time his own passions as mice and rats rushing at him, then pathological conditions such as paranoia might easily occur.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 101 – Mythen und Sagen Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole – Cologne, December 27, 1907 (page 224)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on October 15, 2015

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

Without materialism man could not have become free

At the primeval time of his development man had not only the two states he now has, of sleeping and waking and between these a chaotic dreamy state; there was then a, third state, in which reality was present. This was not merely a state of dreaming, for in it man was able, although his consciousness was damped down, to see pictures and to learn by them, for these pictures were true to spiritual reality.

Now, as we know, in order that man should develop the full Earth-consciousness, this method of perception had to be withdrawn. If it had persisted, man would never have gained his freedom, he could not have become free if he had not been subjected to all the dangers, arguments and temptations of materialism; but he has to find his way back again to the Spiritual world, and must now be able to grasp it in full Earth consciousness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses – Lecture 2 – The Metamorphoses of the Soul-Forces – Berlin, 13th February 1917

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on April 10, 2016

Without materialism man could not have become free

At the primeval time of his development man had not only the two states he now has, of sleeping and waking and between these a chaotic dreamy state; there was then a, third state, in which reality was present. This was not merely a state of dreaming, for in it man was able, although his consciousness was damped down, to see pictures and to learn by them, for these pictures were true to spiritual reality.

Now, as we know, in order that man should develop the full Earth-consciousness, this method of perception had to be withdrawn. If it had persisted, man would never have gained his freedom, he could not have become free if he had not been subjected to all the dangers, arguments and temptations of materialism; but he has to find his way back again to the Spiritual world, and must now be able to grasp it in full Earth consciousness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses – Lecture 2 – The Metamorphoses of the Soul-Forces – Berlin, 13th February 1917

Translated by Harry Collison