Egoistic love must also exist

Where the cause of love lies not in the one who loves but in the object of love, this form and kind of love in the sense world is absolute proof against every luciferic influence. But now if you observe human life, you will soon see that another kind of love is playing its part, in which a person loves because he himself has certain qualities that feel satisfied, or charmed, or delighted, when he can love this or that other being. Here he loves for his own sake; he loves because his disposition is thus or so, and this particular disposition finds its satisfaction in loving someone else.

This love, which one can call egoistic love, must also exist. It really has to be present in mankind. Everything we can love in the spiritual world, all the spiritual facts, everything that love can cause to live in us as a longing for and an impulse upwards into the spiritual world, to comprehend the beings of the spiritual world, to perceive the spiritual world: all this springs naturally from a sentient love for that world. This love for the spiritual, however, must — not may but must — come about necessarily for our own sake. We are beings whose roots are in the spiritual world. It is our duty to make ourselves as perfect as we can. For our own sake we must love the spiritual world in order to draw as many forces as possible out of it into our own being. In spiritual love a personal, individual element — we can call it egoistic — is fully justified, for it detaches man from the sense world; it leads him upwards into the spiritual world; it leads him on to fulfill the necessary duty of continually bringing himself further and further towards perfection.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 147 – Secrets of the Threshold – Lecture 2 – Munich, 25th August 1913

Translated by Ruth Pusch

Previously posted on april 9, 2020


Egoism / Poverty / Misery (11 of 11)

Whatever you have studied in the external life, study the laws of the human living together equally busily! If, however, human beings live together, not only bodies, but also souls, minds live together. Hence, only spiritual science can be the basis of any social worldview. Thus, we see that, indeed, the deepening of the mind can enable us to assist from our low posts within our sphere in the big social progress. For this progress is not achieved by an abstract rule, but it is a sum of that which the single soul does. Only a worldview like spiritual science approaches the single soul in such a way that it really raises this soul above it. 

If our social misery has its reason in the personal self-interest, in the position in our social orders, then only a worldview can help which raises the ego out of the personal self-interest. As peculiar as it appears, food originates not only from our work; food originates also from the spiritual-scientific deepening instead of need, grief, and misery. Spiritual science is a means to give the human being food and prosperity, in the true sense of the word.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908

Portraits of Rudolf Steiner 0018

Egoism / Poverty / Misery (10 of 11)

We must understand that the impulses of spiritual science could never be given to the human development up to now. In this respect, it is a new spiritual movement, and it will have the strength to work on the innermost soul because it penetrates into the innermost world. Only a worldview that penetrates the core and fetches truth there can show us the true face of the world. It is never right that we can become bad by true knowledge if we see the true face of the world. Nevertheless, it is true that the bad in the human being can come only from mistake and error. Hence, spiritual science bases because of its knowledge of the human nature on the fact that it will achieve that with which just the noble Owen deceived himself so much.

He says, it is necessary that the human beings are enlightened first so that moral is improved. — Spiritual science, however, says, it is not sufficient to emphasise this principle, but the means must be given by which the soul can be improved. If a spiritual worldview improves and strengthens the souls, the conditions and external relations will follow because they are always reflections of that which the human beings think. The human beings are not determined by conditions, but the human beings make these conditions, as far as the conditions are social. If the human being suffers from conditions, he suffers in truth from that which his fellow men bring on him. Any misery that has come with the industrial development came only from the fact that the human beings did not bother to apply the same strength of mind, which they had applied to the beneficial external progress, to the improvement of the destinies of those persons who are needed for the transformation of this progress.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908


Egoism / Poverty / Misery (9 of 11)

Anyone may now say: this is a nice little test of the social question; this is rather cute! Have we not always preached this, the one may say, that the human beings are selfish, and that one must count on their egoism? Now there comes the spiritual worldview and says that this can change. — Indeed, one has always preached that this could not be different and one was very proud of it and said, someone is a true practitioner who counts on the human egoism. 

Indeed, but here the thinking of the people does not turn the tables. For those who blame everything for conditions, for facilities must admit that at least — because just the conditions were in such a way as they have developed up to now — that also this desire and impulse came into the human being. However, there the thinking becomes too short. For, otherwise, they would have to say, yes, quite different surroundings are created at any rate, if the idea becomes established that it is indecent to found everything on personal self-interest. 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908


Egoism / Poverty / Misery (8 of 11)

This principle has to penetrate every single human life to make the personally acquired independent from that which one works for the community. How does it assert itself?

There is only one possibility to assert itself, which will seem rather impractical to the so-called practitioner. There must be reasons why the human being works; nevertheless, namely rather diligently and devotedly if no longer the self-interest is the impulse of his work. Somebody does not create anything real concerning the social life in truth, who takes out a patent of any achievement and shows this way that he regards the self-interest as significant in life.

However, somebody works really for life who is led by his forces to right achievements merely by love, by love to the whole humanity, which he gives his work with pleasure and willing. Thus, the impulse of work must be in anything else than in remuneration. This is the solution of the social question: separation of remuneration from work. For this is a worldview which aims at the spirit to wake such impulses in the human being that he does no longer say: if my income is secure, I can be lazy. — A spiritual worldview can only achieve that he does not say this. Any materialism solely leads to its opposite in the long run.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Spiritual Science and the Social Question – Hamburg, March 2, 1908


1892 by Otto Fröhlich