If we were always only to encounter what we wish for ourselves, such a life would make us weaklings

The whole feeling and attitude of soul that must emerge from a true understanding of karma, is one which makes us realise when, perhaps some misfortune befalls us as consequence of an earlier weakness in the life of soul — that if this misfortune had not come about, the weakness would have persisted. Looking into the depths of our soul, we must realise: It is good and right that this misfortune has come upon me, because it has enabled a weakness to be eliminated. […] That man alone faces misfortune aright who says to himself: ‘If it has occurred because of an earlier weakness, it is to be welcomed, for it will make me conscious of the weakness (which expressed itself perhaps in some definite failing); I will now eradicate the weakness, I will be strong again.’ […] In a case, on the other hand, where a misfortune befalls one as the first step in karma, the right attitude is to say to oneself: If we were always only to encounter what we wish for ourselves, such a life would make us out and out weaklings! One or two earthly lives might continue to be comfortable and easy through the fact that only that would befall us that we desired for ourselves — but in the third or fourth life a kind of paralysis of soul and spirit would supervene, and no effort to overcome obstacles would arise in us. For, after all, obstacles would not be there for us to overcome unless the unhoped-for, the undesired came upon us.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 224 – The Forming of Destiny in Sleeping and Waking – Bern, April 6, 1923

Previously posted on March 30, 2014

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One cannot have knowledge of such matters

Many people find it difficult to say: there is a region that one might experience if certain ideas would be investigated and gone deeper into. It is much easier for these people to say: that is an area of which no one knows anything – because they themselves know nothing about it yet. Not knowing about something oneself does not prove that it does not exist – yet that is a conclusion that is curiously often drawn.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 072 – Freiheit Unsterblichkeit Soziales Leben – Basel, 19th October 1917  (page 69-70)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on January 22, 2015

All possible objections against Anthroposophy can be found in my own books

The opponents of Anthroposophy increase with every month. Yet they are unable to find a foothold. For, since Anthroposophy always agrees with them, but they refuse to agree with Anthroposophy, they cannot attack very well what the Anthroposophist says. And for this reason they attack his personality: defame it, tell lies about it. Unfortunately, polemics tend more and more towards such a form. This must be envisaged by those standing on anthroposophical ground.

You must consider that a very odd assortment of antagonistic books exists now-a-days. Many of their authors, who have read anthroposophical literature, may have found out that I myself, in certain passages of my own books, mention all the objections that could be raised. I engage in polemics against myself, in order to show how that which I affirm could be blotted out. Hence all possible objections against Anthroposophy can be found in my own books. Consequently, many of my opponents busy themselves with copying the arguments which I myself, in my own books, have cited against Anthroposophy. They then distribute these writings to others in order to attack Anthroposophy. Thus you can find hostile writings plagiarizing my own books and simply copying my words when I say: this or that objection could be raised. The fact that the anthroposophist himself has to point out all the arguments that can be advanced against him makes his opponents’ task rather easy.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture IV – Kristiania, 19th May 1923

Previously posted on April 25, 2014

Translated by Erna McArthur

steiner

If we were always only to encounter what we wish for ourselves, such a life would make us out and out weaklings

The whole feeling and attitude of soul that must emerge from a true understanding of karma, is one which makes us realise when, perhaps some misfortune befalls us as consequence of an earlier weakness in the life of soul — that if this misfortune had not come about, the weakness would have persisted. Looking into the depths of our soul, we must realise: It is good and right that this misfortune has come upon me, because it has enabled a weakness to be eliminated. […]

That man alone faces misfortune aright who says to himself: ‘If it has occurred because of an earlier weakness, it is to be welcomed, for it will make me conscious of the weakness (which expressed itself perhaps in some definite failing); I will now eradicate the weakness, I will be strong again.’ […]

In a case, on the other hand, where a misfortune befalls one as the first step in karma, the right attitude is to say to oneself: If we were always only to encounter what we wish for ourselves, such a life would make us out and out weaklings! One or two earthly lives might continue to be comfortable and easy through the fact that only that would befall us that we desired for ourselves — but in the third or fourth life a kind of paralysis of soul and spirit would supervene, and no effort to overcome obstacles would arise in us. For, after all, obstacles would not be there for us to overcome unless the unhoped-for, the undesired came upon us.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 224 – The Forming of Destiny in Sleeping and Waking – Bern, April 6, 1923

Previously posted on March 30, 2014

weakling-t-shirt

All possible objections against Anthroposophy can be found in my own books

The opponents of Anthroposophy increase with every month. Yet they are unable to find a foothold. For, since Anthroposophy always agrees with them, but they refuse to agree with Anthroposophy, they cannot attack very well what the Anthroposophist says. And for this reason they attack his personality: defame it, tell lies about it. Unfortunately, polemics tend more and more towards such a form. This must be envisaged by those standing on anthroposophical ground.

You must consider that a very odd assortment of antagonistic books exists now-a-days. Many of their authors, who have read anthroposophical literature, may have found out that I myself, in certain passages of my own books, mention all the objections that could be raised. I engage in polemics against myself, in order to show how that which I affirm could be blotted out. Hence all possible objections against Anthroposophy can be found in my own books. Consequently, many of my opponents busy themselves with copying the arguments which I myself, in my own books, have cited against Anthroposophy. They then distribute these writings to others in order to attack Anthroposophy. Thus you can find hostile writings plagiarizing my own books and simply copying my words when I say: this or that objection could be raised. The fact that the anthroposophist himself has to point out all the arguments that can be advanced against him makes his opponents’ task rather easy.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture IV – Kristiania, 19th May 1923

Translated by  Erna McArthur

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