Thoughts as real as deeds

The materialist believes that he hurts a man when he throws a stone at him, on the other hand he believes that a hate thought he cherishes towards his fellow man, does not hurt. But who really knows the world, knows that much, much stronger effects are caused by a hatred thought than ever can be caused by a thrown stone.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – The Theosophy of the Rosicrusian – Munich, May 30, 1907

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Previously posted on April 21, 2014

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Fertile thoughts

It is not a matter of theories, but of the ways of thinking. The true practitioner is not concerned about anybody’s thoughts, but about the effects of the thoughts. That is the point. It does not matter so much whether one is an idealist or not, but it is significant for life that one has fertile thoughts which are active in such a way that life prospers and progresses. It is important to bear in mind that spiritual science, even in this direction, has nothing to do with dogma or any belief.

Anyone may espouse the most spiritual theories. It is not this which is important, but rather the fact that these thoughts are fertile if he introduces them in life. If one says that he is not a materialist, that he believes in the vital force, even in the spirit, but proceeds in the question of nutrition always as if the human being is a retort, his worldview cannot become fertile. Spiritual science has something to say about these concrete questions only if it itself is able to illuminate the details, and it is able to do so concerning the issues of nutrition and of health.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – Issues of Nutrition in the Light of Spiritual Science – Berlin, 17th December 1908

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Painting by David Newbatt

Compensation of karmic causes

As I have several times pointed out, the great karmic laws can be here only briefly referred to, so that your interest in this almost infinite domain shall be stirred. If you reflect upon all that has been said within the last days, you will no longer be astonished at the idea that man is urged to seek in the external world for compensating effects of karmic causes which he himself has incorporated within his organism. He may, for instance, be driven to a place where he will encounter an infection which will offer him the compensation sought for, or he may even be driven by this need for compensation to what might be termed a ‘fatal accident.’

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 120 – MANIFESTATIONS OF KARMA – 9. Karmic Effects Of Our Experiences As Men and Women. Death and Birth In Relationship to Karma – Hamburg, 26 May 1910

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On play during childhood and its effects in later life

When one understands how the child plays in the first years of its life, approximately up to the age of five and wants to develop the child’s individuality and character, one will provide the opportunity to enjoy play. Play prepares something that will find expression much later in the child’s life, for one must learn to understand human life in its totality. The botanist studies the plant in its entirety. What passes for ‘psychology’ nowadays only looks at the moment. 

At the age of twenty-five, twenty-seven, or a little earlier, a human being has to deal with life’s experiences, must be able to handle life and become a purposeful individual. Thus, observing a person in their twenties, one can recognise how a child’s ability to play approximately between birth and the fifth year culminates in becoming a practical person in his twenties who can handle life purposefully. 

We develop the root of what will later emerge as a flower at an early age. This understanding comes from the inner knowledge provided by Anthroposophy that penetrates authentic human nature. Therefore, we need to learn to observe the whole human being. In a sense, if we want to be teachers or educators, we must feel that we have to carry responsibility for the entire human being.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 297 – ANTHROPOSOPHIE UND PÄDAGOGISCHE KUNST – Ölten, December 29, 1920 (page 261-262)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Kamaloka – The positive develops out of the negative (2 of 3)

If you have lived here between birth and death with many hundreds of men, these men have experienced something through you. But here in physical life you cannot feel that which those others felt and experienced through you, you only experience what they make you go through. After death this is reversed, and it is essential that we should experience everything in this review which others have suffered through us. Thus we undergo the effects of the last earth existence, and the task of these years really lies in our experiencing them.

Now, while we are undergoing these effects, the experience is transformed in us into forces, and it happens in the following manner: Suppose I have offended a man, who has thereby suffered bitterly. During Kamaloka I now experience this bitterness myself. I go through it as my own experience. And while I now experience it, it makes good in me the force which must work as opposition; that is, while I undergo this bitterness, I create in myself the force to wipe away from the world this bitterness.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: LECTURE 2: ON THE FORMING OF DESTINY – Berlin, 18th November, 1915

Translated by Harry Collison