A sharp two-edged sword (1 of 2) 

We have said repeatedly that our epoch will end, when the seventh age has passed away, by the War of All against All, but this war must really be pictured quite differently from the way we have been accustomed to think of war. We must bear in mind the foundation, the real cause of this war. This foundation or cause is the increase of egoism, of self-seeking and selfishness on the part of man. And we have now progressed so far in our considerations that we have seen what a sharp two-edged sword this “I” of man is. He who does not fully realize that this “I” is a two-edged sword will scarcely be able to grasp the entire meaning of the evolution of humanity and the world. On the one hand this “I” is the cause that man hardens within himself, and that he desires to draw into the service of his “I” his inner capacities and all the other objects at his disposal. This “I” is the cause of man’s directing all his wishes to the satisfaction of this “I” as such. Its striving to draw to itself as its own possession a part of the earth which belongs to all, to drive away all the other Egos from its realm, to fight them, to be at war with them, is one side of the “I.” 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 104 – The Apocalypse of St. John: Lecture VIII – Nuremberg, 25th June 1908

Translated by M. Cotterell

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Previously posted on 12 November 2018

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One faculty being acquired at the expense of another

Evolution consists in one faculty being acquired at the expense of another, and thus as the epochs took their course, the faculty which man once possessed of understanding the spiritual world became less and less. Our clear reasoning and cognitional faculties, our present logical thinking which we regard as the most important feature of modern culture — these did not exist in those early times. They had to be developed by man in the epoch to which we now belong, at the expense of the old clairvoyant consciousness. Clairvoyant consciousness will have to be cultivated again in the future evolution of mankind, but in a different way. It has to be added to the purely physical consciousness that is bound up with the faculty of intellectual logic. A rising and a falling can be traced in the evolution of human consciousness and we see therein a deep purpose in man’s development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 60 – Zarathustra – Berlin, 19th January 1911

Translated by Walter F. Knox

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Previously posted on June 20, 2018

Knowledge/World evolution/Ennoblement of humanity

All knowledge pursued merely for the enrichment of personal learning and the accumulation of personal treasure leads you away from the path; but all knowledge pursued for growth to ripeness within the process of human ennoblement and cosmic development brings you a step forward.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – KNOWLEDGE OF HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT – I. How is Knowledge Of The Higher Worlds Attained?

Translated by George Metaxa, with revisions by Henry B. Monges

Previously posted on July 2, 2016

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Spiritual scientific insights / Practice of everyday life

The quest for insight only for the sake of gaining insight would be egotistical. Whoever searches for cognizance in order to acquire vision of higher worlds is acting selfishly. But he who wants to apply this insight directly in the practice of everyday life is working on the continuation of the evolution of future mankind. It is very important to learn how to transform spiritual scientific insights ever more energetically into practical deed.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Die Theosophie des Rosenkreuzers – München, 5 juni 1907 (page 150)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 12, 2015

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The present catastrophe is but the beginning

The fact that — to use a colloquialism — people in the future are not going to get much fun out of developments on the physical plane will bring home to them that further evolution must proceed from spiritual forces.

This can be understood only by surveying a lengthy period of evolution and applying what is discovered to experiences that will become more and more general in the future. The trend of forces that will manifest in the well-nigh rhythmical onset of war and destruction — processes of which the present catastrophe is but the beginning — will become only too evident. It is childish to believe that anything connected with this war can bring about a permanent era of peace for humanity on the physical plane. That will not be so. What must come about on the earth is spiritual development

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 – Influences of Lucifer/Ahriman: Lecture Three – Bern, 4th November, 1919

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on June 18, 2016