The relationship between the upbringing of the child and health later in life

For the reasons mentioned, I would like to call the education of the child until the change of teeth “formative education,” because everything is directed toward forming the child’s body, soul, and spirit for all of earthly life. One only has to look carefully at this process of formation. I have quoted the example of an angry father. In the gesture of a passionate temperament, the child perceives inherent moral or immoral qualities. These affect the child so that they enter the physical constitution. It may happen that a fifty-year-old person begins to develop cataracts in the eyes and needs an operation. 

These things are accepted and seen only from the present medical perspective. It looks as if there is a cataract, and this is the way to treat it, and there the matter ends; the preceding course of life is not considered. If one were ready to do that, it would be found that a cataract can often be traced back to the inner shocks experienced by the young child of an angry father.In such cases, what is at work in the moral and religious sphere of the environment spreads its influence into the bodily realm, right down to the vascular system, eventually leading to health or illness. 

This often surfaces only later in life, and the doctor then makes a diagnosis based on current circumstances. In reality, we are led back to the fact that, for example, gout or rheumatism at the age of fifty or sixty can be linked to an attitude of carelessness, untidiness, or disharmony that ruled the environment of such a patient during childhood. These circumstances were absorbed by the child and entered the organic sphere.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 394a – WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY II – XII. Educational Issues II – London, 30 August 1924


Full Moon of Aquarius – Art of Carol Herzer


Weakness of will

Since people have been for a long time without any true fundamental principles of education, there are many persons in the world now who did not pass through their youth in the right way. If humanity does not determine to direct what is most important of all, the education of youth, according to Spiritual Science, a race will arise with ever weaker wills — and this not in a merely external sense. This takes a deep hold of the life of the human being. Ask a number of people how they came into their present occupations. You may be sure that most of them will answer: ‘Well, we don’t know; we have in some way been pushed into this situation.’ This feeling that one has been pushed into something, has been driven into it, this feeling of discontent, is also a sign of weakness of will.

Now, when this weakness of will is brought about in the manner described, still other results follow from this for the human soul, especially when the weakness of will is evoked in such a way that states of anxiety, of fear, of despair are produced at a youthful age. It will be increasingly necessary for human beings to have a fundamental understanding of the higher laws in order to overcome states of despair, for it is precisely despair which is to be expected when we do not proceed in accordance with knowledge of the spirit.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – ESOTERIC CHRISTIANITY AND THE MISSION OF CHRISTIAN ROSENKREUTZ – VI. Jeshu ben Pandira II – Leipzig, 5 November 1911


Parcival door Liane Collot d’Herbois

The teachings of Anthroposophy are accessible to everyone

It is undoubtedly highly desirable that, for example, the teachings of reincarnation and karma, of the “higher worlds” and so on become widely known. But these teachings can only be seen in the right light if illuminated by inner thinking activity. It should by no means be believed that there are people who, due to poor education, would not be suitable for such thought activity. All sensible thinking and feeling people are capable of this. Only a little effort is needed, and one could indeed teach the rudiments of anthroposophy to those who have not even learned to read and write.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 034 – GRUNDLEGENDE AUFSÄTZE ZUR ANTHROPOSOPHIE UND BERICHTE aus den Zeitschriften «Luzifer» und «Lucifer – Gnosis» – October 1905 (page 401-402)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Painting by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Education / Self-education

Essentially, there is no education other than self- education, whatever the level may be. […] Every education is self-education, and as teachers we can only provide the environment for children’s self-education. We have to provide the most favourable conditions where, through our agency, children can educate themselves according to their own destinies.

Rudolf Steiner: The Child’s Changing Consciousness

Source: Essentials of Waldorf Early Childhood Education – Susan Howard

German source of this quote: GA 306 – page 131


Previously posted on 2 October 2018

We will not reach our goal with beautiful slogans

It is true that there are often wonderful ground principles mentioned regarding pedagogy. For example, it is rightly said: Yes, in education there are such principles as “one should not cram things into the children from outside; one should let that what one wants them to acquire come out of their own talents and capabilities.” Very true, an excellent basic rule – but abstract and theoretical. And thus we see that by far the majority of our practical life is based on abstractions, is born out of theoretical programs. Because what one really needs in order to be able to draw forth from the individuality that which the child needs to develop, is true knowledge of the human being. Human insight which enters into the depths of the being of man. However such knowledge the science available to modern civilization, despite her great triumphs, does not have.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam, 28 February 1921 (p. 51)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


Previously posted on 30 september 2018