Do not think too much

The first ground rule for the study of man is that one does not have to think too much. That will seem strange at first, but you will soon understand what I mean. By thinking about something a man does obviously not learn particularly much about anything. If he only broods on what he saw, he will as a rule not make much sense of it.

Thus If one wants to learn about the world, one should not expect too much from thinking; It is not so important to think about something. When one needs to consider the facts, one must of course do that. But one must not consider this to be the main purpose. It does not bring any knowledge to brood on things afterwards. One has to look at other things, compare them and find the coherences. The more one looks for the coherences, the more one becomes aware of nature. Those who only think about nature find nothing more there than what they already knew.

If someone is a materialist, then he also talks about nature in a materialistic way, because that is how he stands in the world. He discovers nothing new. If someone talks about nature in an idealistic way, he does that because he already is an idealist. One can always find that by thinking, people find only what they already knew beforehand. Proper thinking arises only when one is led by the facts.


Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Über Gesundheit und Krankheit – Dornach, January 10, 1923 (page 237)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

 Previously posted on February 23, 2018

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About the theory of relativity

I would have to go into many things were I to explain in detail what I have put forward simply as facts. It is time such things were discussed, for clear ideas corresponding to facts are needed. Otherwise it is not possible to refute such brilliant nonsense as, for example, the theory of relativity which has made Einstein a figure of renown.  

The theory of relativity seems so self-evident: for example, when a cannon is fired at a distance the sound is heard after a certain interval; if one moves nearer to the cannon the sound is heard sooner. Now, according to the theory of relativity if one moved with the speed of sound one would not hear it for one would go with it. If one went even faster than the sound, then one would hear something which is fired later, before one would hear what was fired earlier. 

This idea is generally accepted today but it has no relation whatever to reality. To go as fast as sound would mean to be sound and to hear none. These quite distorted ideas exist today as the theory of relativity and enjoy the greatest respect.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 176 – The Karma of Materialism: Lecture 2 – Berlin, August 7, 1917

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Albert Einstein

The reason anthroposophy is considered heresy

The real reason anthroposophy is considered heresy is that those who are engaged in so-called science do not think and cannot understand anthroposophy. This is an aspect of our entire civilization. It is possible today to be a great scientist or scholar without being able really to think. In the future, one must truly cultivate honesty, an honesty that takes into account all the facts, not only those that conveniently fit one’s pet theory, thus throwing sand in the eyes of the public.

The hatred of anthroposophy is based in large part on anthroposophy’s honesty, something people don’t want to grant it. If people had a keener sense for truth, they would often stop writing after the first sentence. Since all their arguments against anthroposophy would collapse, however, if anthroposophy were properly studied, they invent all kinds of fabrications concerning it. People inventing fabrications about anthroposophy don’t care about truth, and once they start telling lies, they go further. The serious defamations of anthroposophy thus arise. What is the result? A person who cannot see through all this believes that anthroposophists engage in devilry. Such a person cannot see through this, because he naturally believes the authorities, who do not speak the truth. Anthroposophy suffers most of all from these lies that are circulated about it, whereas its one aim is to focus on the facts and be a real science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness II: Lecture II: The Brain and Thinking – Dornach, January 5, 1923

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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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Facts may be experienced but they cannot be proved

Sleep has often been celled the younger brother of death. This simile illustrates the path pursued by the human spirit more perfectly than might be supposed, if it is only viewed superficially, for it give an idea of the way in which the various incarnations through which the human spirit passes are connected together.

In my articles on “Reincarnation and Karma from the standpoint of Modern Natural Science” (contained in the magazine “Lucifer Gnosis”, — number 5 and 6) it was shown that when the present natural scientific method of thinking is carefully followed to its conclusion it leads to the ancient teaching of the evolution of the eternal human spirit through many lives. From this knowledge the question necessarily arises: How are these many lives connected one with another? In what sense is the life of a human being the effect of his former lives and how does it become the cause for later embodiments?

In this respect the phenomenon of sleep affords an illustration of the connection existing between cause and effect. It is possible that many who think themselves great scientist will find the following explanations quite “unscientific.” This is comprehensible, for one who has no experience of the super sensible realms, and who at the same time has not be necessary reserve and modesty to admit that he can still learn something, is bound to make this objection. 

He should not say that the things here brought forward are “contrary to reason,” and that they cannot be proved by the intellect. The intellect can do nothing more than combine and systematize facts. Facts may be experienced but they cannot be proved by the intellect. A person cannot prove the existence of a whale by means of the intellect; he must either see one for himself, or accept the description given by those who have seen one. This is the case too with super-sensible facts. If a person is not sufficiently advanced to see them for himself, he must accept the description given by others. I can assure you the super-sensible facts I am about to describe are, to those whose higher senses are opened, just as “real” as a whale.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 60 – The Secrets of Sleep – Berlin, November 24, 1910

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