It is the effort which counts (2 of 2)

Even if it were to be the case that everything we have taken up was wrong and the only thing we have done is to make an effort, this means we shall have developed the eye of the soul so that we are now able to see what it there in the spiritual world.

Now the situation is that the teachings of the different religious teachers are in no way completely wrong. It is rather that the truth concerning the supersensible world has been presented from different points of view and only appears to be contradictory. The one must be taken to complement the other. What is essential is that all these religious systems have something in common, and this is that they all provide the human soul with concepts the soul uses to make itself strong to enter the spiritual world, so that the soul is raised from death in its spiritual depths. 

Individual religious teachers give to the souls what those souls are capable of receiving, depending on the conditions given in individual races — I would say depending on climatic conditions of the country and on the time when such teachers come forth. They all have in common that they give power and strength to the souls of men. We may also say they make them radiant within so that the souls may be real not only in the physical world but also in the spiritual world. Food to strengthen the soul is the universal truth that has been given to men in all religious systems, depending on the given situation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations: Lecture 6: Spiritual Perception Essential at the Present Time – Berlin, January 26, 1915

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It is the effort which counts (1 of 2)

People find it very easy to say: When I get you to tell me of the supersensible worlds how can I know that all these ideas are really correct?’ Let us imagine someone was spreading ideas about the supersensible worlds, ideas accepted by a number of people, and these were in fact wrong, or one-sided, or did not turn out to be correct in the sense we speak of things being correct in the outer physical world. In such a case it would still have been better for people to have taken up the wrong ideas than to have taken up no ideas at all concerning the supersensible world. Why? It would have been better because the soul has to make an effort in accepting any kind of idea about the supersensible world. You may take up correct ideas or incorrect ideas but you have to make an effort, and it is this effort which counts in the spiritual world when we go through the gate of death. It is this effort that will benefit us after death or, indeed, benefits us altogether when we enter into the spiritual world.

Let us assume we had made our own what is a completely wrong view of the spiritual world. By taking it up we have developed our soul forces just as a gymnast develops his limbs. And whatever we have developed will be ours and we carry it with us into the spiritual world. By taking it with us into the spiritual world we then have something there that is similar to our having eyes here on earth. We shall no longer be blind in the spiritual world. Even if it were to be the case that everything we have taken up was wrong and the only thing we have done is to make an effort, this means we shall have developed the eye of the soul so that we are now able to see what is there in the spiritual world.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations: Lecture 6: Spiritual Perception Essential at the Present Time – Berlin, January 26, 1915

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