Objective reality

We will never be able to discover the facts of the spiritual world unless we develop an attitude that acknowledges the facts of the physical world. The right way of experiencing the spiritual world must be developed here in the physical world. That is why we have been placed in the physical world: it is our task here to seek for ideas that are in harmony with objective reality, so that we acquire this ability and so that it becomes a habit we can carry with us into the spiritual world.

But today so many people base their assertions on nothing but emotion and are not in the least interested in whether they agree with objective reality. This is precisely the opposite of the direction in which humanity must move if it is to progress. And, especially in our materialistic age, the notion of thinking in accordance with reality has been so frightfully distorted by the influences we have been describing; thinking that is in accord with reality has become a rarity. And an honest attempt to think in accordance with reality today collides with all the contemporary thinking that is at variance with reality. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 170 – Riddle of Humanity: Lecture Thirteen: Dornach, 28 August 1916

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Conscious and subconscious soul life

There are many subconscious experiences in the human soul. There are depths of the human soul life that do not become concepts, mental pictures, acts of volition, at least not conscious ones, but only in the character of the human soul life. There is a subconscious soul life; and everything is there that can be in the conscious soul life. However, emotions, passions, sympathies and antipathies which we feel in the usual life consciously can also be in the subconscious regions, they are not perceived in it, but have an effect in the soul like a natural force, — save that they are mental and not physical. There is a whole region of the subconscious soul life.

The human being asserts, believes, and means many things not because he is completely aware of their premises; but he believes and means them from the subconscious soul life because unconscious emotions, inclinations urge him. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 63 – Spiritual Science as a Treasure for Life: Lecture II: Theosophy and Antisophy – Berlin, 6 November 1913

Portrait Steiner by Sunny West

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Thinking in accordance with reality

Unless we acquire the faculty for the perception of truth in this physical world we shall never be able to unfold it in regard to the spiritual world. The capacity to find our true bearings in the spiritual world must be developed here in the physical world.
It is for this purpose that we are placed in the physical world, where it behoves us to seek agreement between idea and objective reality, in such a way that this may become natural to us, may become a habit and a faculty which we then carry with us into the spiritual world.
But in these days there are so many who make statements with utter disregard of their conformity with objective fact, simply out of their feelings and emotions! This tendency is the very reverse of what is needed for the onward progress of humanity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 170 – Memory and Habit: III – Dornach, 28th August 1916

Previously posted on June 23, 2018

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Emotions are far more intensely connected with man than ordinary thinking

Our conceptual life is not continued in our dreams, except when our concepts are associated with intense emotions. It is the emotions that manifest in dream pictures. […]  Nothing occurs in dreams that is not connected with emotions. […] It is the emotions which bring us the dream concepts. This is due to the fact that the emotions are far more intimately connected with man’s real being than is the life of thought. We carry them over into sleep. In other words, they are a soul element that remains united with us even during sleep. In contrast with ordinary concepts, the emotions accompany us into sleep; they are far more closely, more intensely, connected with the human individuality than is ordinary thinking, when it is not pervaded by emotion.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz: Lecture 1 – Leipzig, 4th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

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Previously posted on March 22, 2018

Emotions/Dream concepts/Thoughts

It is the emotions which bring us the dream concepts. This is due to the fact that the emotions are far more intimately connected with man’s real being than is the life of thought. We carry them over into sleep. In other words, they are a soul element that remains united with us even during sleep. In contrast with ordinary concepts, the emotions accompany us into sleep; they are far more closely, more intensely, connected with the human individuality than is ordinary thinking, when it is not pervaded by emotion.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz: Lecture 1 – Leipzig, 4th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

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Previously posted on August 20, 2017