Our value to the world

When we refer to the will, we are dealing with that which makes us of value to the world, which so places us in the world that we not only live a life of knowledge and a life of feeling within ourselves, but are able to re-act upon the world. What a human being wills, and what flows from his will into his actions, constitutes his value to the world. 

Thus we may say that in referring to the realm of will we are dealing with that element which shows that man is a part of the world and it is our inner life which thus flows out into the world and forms part of it. Whether they are the emotions and passions of criminal natures hostile to social life that flow into the will and thence become part of the world to the world’s detriment, or whether they are the high, pure ideals which the idealist draws down from his contact with the spiritual ordering of the world and allows to flow into his actions, allows to flow perhaps only into his words which act upon human beings, stimulating them or revealing the worth of man — in either case we are always dealing with what lies in the realm of will, with what gives to man his value. 

So that all the wealth which man can really possess as a soul-being, is expressed, when we mention these four realms: Perceptions, Thought, Feeling and Will.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 153 – The Inner Nature of Man and Life Between Death and Rebirth: Lecture 1 – Vienna, 9th April, 1914

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Falsehood / Facts

We would not have had to go through the whole terrible campaign of falsehood that has travelled through the world over the last five years –  as the ultimate consequence of something that has long been prepared – if people had learned to focus on the language of facts to a certain extent, and not on the language of emotions – wherein the nationalists are the most terrible stokers of such emotions. On the one hand, it is absolutely necessary today that we also learn to take into our own thinking what is not in ourselves. On the other hand, there is the aversion to this truthfulness, which seeks its guideline in the facts. Only those can ascend into a knowledge of the higher worlds, who strictly adhere to the external world of facts.

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Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 197 – Gegensätze in der Menschheitsentwickelung / West und Ost, Materialismus und Mystik, Wissen und Glauben – Stuttgart, March 5, 1920 (page 18-19)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Humanity is unaware of the influence of its emotions on the environment

It is not for nothing, not futile that the anthroposophical movement has reminded people of the invisible worlds, of which they are a part, on which they always exert influence. A person can’t utter one single word, can’t have a thought, without their feelings influencing the environment. In the same manner that our actions cause an effect in space, so do our emotions; they travel through space and influence people and the entire astral world.

Under ordinary circumstances, the human being is not aware that a stream of action goes out from him, that he is a cause whose effects can influence the environment. He is not aware that this can also cause harm, that he sends streams of sympathy and antipathy, of passions and desires into the world, which can work on other people in a very harmful way. He is unaware of what he is bringing about with his emotional life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, October 28, 1903 (bladzijde 27)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on April 17, 2020

Humanity is unaware of the influence of its emotions on the environment

It is not for nothing, not futile that the anthroposophical movement has reminded people of the invisible worlds, of which they are a part, on which they always exert influence. A person can’t utter one single word, can’t have a thought, without their feelings influencing the environment. In the same manner that our actions cause an effect in space, so do our emotions; they travel through space and influence people and the entire astral world.

Under ordinary circumstances, the human being is not aware that a stream of action goes out from him, that he is a cause whose effects can influence the environment. He is not aware that this can also cause harm, that he sends streams of sympathy and antipathy, of passions and desires into the world, which can work on other people in a very harmful way. He is unaware of what he is bringing about with his emotional life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, October 28, 1903 (page 27)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

The principle “I believe” has to be replaced with “I believe what I know.”

Truly spiritual thoughts nourish our soul and maintain it. It would be the death of our soul if it always had to live in thoughts taken only from the physical world. In earlier times, religious beliefs were such spiritual thoughts human souls need. That phase of our development has been completed, and we live now in a time when we on earth will gradually lose the ability to take in what speaks only to our emotions, our faith. 

We can still preserve this faith for a time, galvanizing it, so to speak, but we cannot keep it for the future. The principle “I believe” has to be replaced with “I believe what I know.” People will begin to feel that this new principle must be applied. Otherwise we deny ourselves any possibility of knowing something about the life between death and a new birth. Then we would return to pitiful conditions in our next incarnation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: LECTURE SIX: FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE – Prague, April 17, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim