The gods of hindrance

Imagine that you have a car to push. You develop your strength by pushing it. If heavy ballast is put into the car it will be heavier to push, but you would develop greater strength. Suppose the Godhead had let the world’s evolution remain as it was, up to the time just after the Jupiter evolution, men could have certainly developed very well; but humanity could have become still stronger if hindrance had been in its way. For the good of humanity, certain Mights or Spirits of Motion had to receive adverse commands. These were not evil at first, one need not consider them as evil Powers, one might even say they sacrificed themselves by putting obstacles into the way of development. Therefore, these Mights may be called the gods of hindrance, of impediment, in the widest sense of the word. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 110 – The Spiritual Hierarchies: Lecture 10 – Düsseldorf, 18th April 1909

Translated by Harry Collison


Fairy – Art of Carol Herzer

Previously posted on 14 December 2018


The significance and justification of obstacles and hindrances

Any action of man that hurts another being or creature or the world in general, hinders the doer in his development. This is what the pilgrimage of life means, that the primary force of the soul, as it goes from incarnation to incarnation, is set for further development. And this development progresses in such a fashion that man as it were is always putting obstacles in his own path. If this primary force were the only thing that were active — it is this very force that is to bring the soul back to the spiritual — man would need only a very short time on earth. But in that case the whole of earth evolution would have taken an entirely different course; it would also have failed to achieve its purpose. 

You must not think that man would be better off if he put no obstacles in his own way. It is only by setting himself these handicaps that he grows strong and acquires experience, for it is the very eradicating and overcoming of these hindrances that will make him the strong being he must become by the end of earth evolution. It is thoroughly in keeping with earth evolution that he puts stones in his own path. If he did not have to muster the strength to remove these obstacles he would not acquire this strength at all. Then the world would be the poorer. 

We must altogether disregard the good and evil connected with these hindrances and look solely at the wisdom of the world that intended, right from the beginning, that man should have the possibility of setting himself hindrances in earthly evolution so that in removing them he could acquire strength for later. We could even say that the wise guidance of the world allowed man to become evil and gave him the possibility of doing harm, so that in repairing the harm and overcoming the evil he can become stronger in the course of karmic development than he would have become had he reached his goal without effort. This is how we should understand the significance and justification of obstacles and hindrances.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Being of Man and His Future Evolution – Illness and karma – Berlin, 26th January 1909

Translated by Pauline Wehrle


Tara of the flowers – Art of Carol Herzer

Previously posted on 12 december 2018

Hindrances to our development

What a human being experiences in the physical body is of value to him because he evolves to higher and higher stages as the result of what he achieves on earth. That is the essential point. On the other hand, between birth and death there are many inducements for individuals to create hindrances to their development, for example, everything that we do to injure our fellowmen. Every time when, at the cost of our fellowmen, we provide satisfaction for our own aims or embark for self-seeking reasons on a project that in some way affects the world, we create a hindrance to our development: Suppose we give someone a box on the ear. The physical and moral pain connected with it is a hindrance to our development. This hindrance would cling to us for all our subsequent lives in future epochs if we did not expunge it from the world. During the kamaloka period an impetus is given to a man to get rid of these hindrances to his development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 109 – Rosicrucian Esotericism: Lecture IV: Man Between Death and Rebirth – Budapest, 6th June 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond


Previously posted on 9 december 2018


We are living in the fifth post-Atlantean period (1413-3573). In our fifth post-Atlantean period men will add the great teachings of Karma to the other teachings, they will learn to understand their karma. […] 

They will learn to grasp the idea: “I am placed on earth through birth; my destiny is on earth; I experience joy and sorrow; I must understand that what I experience as joy and sorrow does not approach me in vain, that it is my Karma, and that it comes to me because it is my Karma, my great educator. I look upon that which was before my birth, which placed me in this incarnation, because this, my destiny, is necessary for my further development.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – The Three Paths of the Soul to Christ – Lecture II: The Path of Initiation – Stockholm, 17th April 1912

Translated by Norman MacBeth


Power-Inner Eye Chakras – Art of Carol Herzer

Previously posted on 5 December 2018

Verdicts and opinions without any special development

Have you ever observed how constantly one hears people say, when some new fact of knowledge is brought forward: “This is how I look at it! This is my point of view!” And they say this so easily, without having undergone any special development of mind or soul. 

It is indeed quite generally accepted that everyone has a right to pronounce his verdict, speaking from the point of view of wherever he stands at the moment. And people are even deeply offended and grow quite angry if one ventures to suggest that there is a kind of knowledge for the attainment of which it is necessary to undergo inner development. 

I said just now that when in the last third of the 19th century the possibility began to arise for men to seek initiation in the modern way, enemy powers were already in action. As you see, they wanted to carry the principle of equality even into the realm of mind and spirit, so that there too all human beings shall be regarded as on the same level. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 214 – MANS LIFE ON EARTH AND IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLDS – Lecture III – Man’s Life in Sleep and After Death – London, 30 August 1922

Translated from the German by George and Mary Adams

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