New religions will no longer arise  

Anthroposophy knows full well that she can never be a religion, because she recognises the actual course of development in time; she knows that just as little as one can become a child again at the age of 60, just as little humanity can develop religions in the present era and in future times. Forming religions belonged to other times. New religions will no longer arise.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 – Freiheit Unsterblichkeit Soziales Leben – Basel, 19th October 1917  (page 89)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on June 9, 2018

 

Wishes and desires after death (3 of 3)

Such a point of view is possible only as long as one does not consider the fact that all wishes and desires, which after death are seized by the “consuming fire,” in a higher sense represent not beneficial but destroying forces in life. By means of such destructive forces, the ego tightens the bond with the sense world more strongly than is necessary in order to absorb from this very sense world what is beneficial to it. This sense world is a manifestation of the spirit hidden behind it. The ego would never be able to enjoy the spirit in the form in which it is able to manifest through bodily senses alone, did it not want to use these senses for the enjoyment of the spiritual within the sense world. Yet the ego deprives itself of the true spiritual reality in the world to the degree that it desires the sense world without the spirit. If the enjoyment of the senses, as an expression of the spirit, signifies an elevation and development of the ego, then an enjoyment that is not an expression of the spirit signifies the impoverishing, the desolation of the ego. If a desire of this kind is satisfied in the sense world, its desolating effect upon the ego nevertheless remains. Before death, however, this destructive effect upon the ego is not apparent. Therefore the satisfaction of such desires can produce similar desires during life, and man is not at all aware that he is enveloping himself, through himself, in a “consuming fire.” 

After death, what has surrounded him in life becomes visible, and by becoming visible it appears in its healing, beneficial consequences. A person who loves another is certainly not attracted only to that in him which can be experienced through the physical organs. But only of what can thus be experienced may it be said that it is withdrawn from perception at death; just that part of the loved one then becomes visible for the perception of which the physical organs were only the means. Moreover, the only thing that then hinders that part from becoming completely visible is the presence of the desire that can only be satisfied through physical organs. If this desire were not extirpated, the conscious perception of the beloved person could not arise after death. Considered in this way, the picture of frightfulness and despair that might arise in the human being concerning the events after death, as depicted by supersensible knowledge, must change into one of deep satisfaction and consolation.

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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An inner push is needed

An inner push is needed, as it were, so that modern man may set out along this spiritual path. And this inner push — recently I spoke of it as a real awakening — is a development which many people prefer to avoid. The opposition of modern people to Anthroposophy is really due to the fact that they have not experienced this push, this jerk, within their soul. It is uncomfortable to experience it. For it casts us, as it were, into the vortex of cosmic development. People would much rather remain quiet, with their rigid sharply outlined thoughts that only turn to lifeless thing which are not on the defensive, when the world is to be grasped, whereas everything that is alive defends itself, moves and tries to slip out of our thoughts, when we try to grasp it with lifeless concepts. Modern people do not like this. They feel it. They cloak it in all manner of other things and become quite furious when they hear that a certain direction, coming from many different spheres of life, calls for an entirely different way of grasping the world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 121 – KNOWLEDGE PERVADED WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF LOVE – Dornach, February 18, 1923

Translated by Sabine H. Seiler

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Karma-Moral-Egoism (1 of 5)

The objection is frequently made that anthroposophy does not really work its way into the realm of morality. In fact it is said that through certain of its teachings it in some respects not only does not counter egotism but furthers it. Those who are of this opinion share the following thoughts. They say that anthroposophy demonstrates how the human being develops his existence from life to life and that the main point is that even if he suffers defeats he has the possibility of striving ever higher, employing in a subsequent life the results of what he has learned in a given life as in a kind of “school.” He who immerses himself completely in this belief in human perfectibility will strive to render his “I” ever more pure, to make it as rich as possible, so that he may ascend ever higher and higher.

This, so these people say, is after all really an egotistic striving. For we anthroposophist, they say, seek to attract teachings and forces from the spiritual world in order to elevate our “I” to ever greater heights. This is therefore an egotistic basis for human action. These people maintain further that we anthroposophists are convinced that we prepare a bad karma for ourselves through imperfect actions. Thus in order not to do so the anthroposophist will avoid doing this or that which he would otherwise have done. He therefore refrains from the action for fear of karma. For the same reason he would probably also do this or that which he otherwise would not have done, and this too would be but one more quite egotistic motivation for an action. There are a number of people who say that the teachings of karma and reincarnation as well as the rest of the striving for perfection which originates in anthroposophy leads people to work spiritually for a refined form of higher egotism. 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – The Significance of Spiritual Research For Moral Action – Bieleveld, 6 March 1911

Translated by Alan P. Cottrell, Ph.D.

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Previously posted on April 21, 2018

Whatever we have received of spiritual truth is fruitful after death, no matter if we have beheld these truths ourselves or not

As regards mankind in general perception of the spiritual world is of higher worth than non-perception. For one who is able to look into the spiritual world has intercourse with that world, he can teach not only men, but others, spiritual beings, and so further their development. Clairvoyant consciousness has therefore a quite special value, but for individuals knowledge only has value; and in respect of individual worth the clairvoyant does not differ from anyone else who only receives communications, and is himself unable to look into the spiritual world in any particular incarnation. Whatever we have received of spiritual truth is fruitful after death, no matter if we have beheld these truths ourselves or not.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 124 – The Gospel According to St. Mark – The Ego – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 17th October 1910

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Previously posted on April 19, 2018