Illusions and Aberrations 

It is a characteristic feature of the victims of illusions and aberrations, that they develop an overwhelming faith in their erroneous ideas. There is nothing more difficult than trying to convince them – it need not even be hallucinations but only simple delusional, paradoxical ideas – that these thoughts are not valid. For instance when someone is convinced through his illness that he is being persecuted, it is impossible to convince him with sound reasoning that it is not true. Such a person can produce the most intriguing logical thought constructions to prove how real his delusional reasoning is. The human being can become obsessed with his delusions and firmly believe in the objective reality thereof.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 62 – Ergebnisse der Geistesforschung – Berlin, 21 November 1912 (p. 127-128)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted  on 17 september 2018

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What they call knowledge is, in effect, an act of faith

During the course of centuries mankind has become inured to a scientific outlook that is related to the phenomenal world and has come to accept the findings of astronomy, botany, zoology and medicine, for example, in the form in which they are presented in recognized schools or centres of learning. A chemist, for example, undertakes a piece of research in his laboratory. People have not the slightest understanding of the technique involved. The work is acclaimed and they unhesitatingly declare: “Here is truth, here is knowledge that makes no appeal to faith.” But what they call knowledge is, in effect, an act of faith.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 243 – True/False Paths: Lecture Eleven: What is the Position in Respect of Spiritual Investigation and the Understanding of Spiritual Investigation? – Torquai, August 22, 1924

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How can I accept in good faith what these researchers say?

If someone asks, “How can I accept in good faith what these researchers say since I am unable to perceive the spiritual world myself?”, then this is completely unfounded. For it is entirely possible merely by reflecting on what is given, to attain the certain conviction that what is communicated is true, and if anyone is unable to form this conviction through reflection, it is not because it is impossible to believe something one cannot see, but solely because his reflection has not been sufficiently thorough, comprehensive and unprejudiced. In order to gain clarity in regard to this point we must realize that human thinking, when it arouses itself with inner energy, is able to comprehend more than is usually presumed. For in thought itself an inner entity is already present that is connected with the supersensible world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science–V–Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation (part 3)

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges

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Previously posted on April 13, 2018

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

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My kingdom is not of this world

Christ makes His presence felt in such a way that we know clearly that He will now expect more of His human children than in centuries gone by. Till now the Gospels have spoken an inner language to man. They had to lay hold of the soul-men should, therefore, be satisfied with faith alone and had not to progress to knowledge. That time is now over, it lies behind us. Christ has something different in view for His human children. His present purpose is that the kingdom to which He referred when He said: ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ should really draw into that part of the human being which is not of this world but which is of another world. In each one of us there is a part which is not of this world. That part of man which is not of this world must seek with intensity that kingdom of which Christ spoke, of which He said, that it was not of this world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses: LECTURE 1: MATERIALISM AND SPIRITUALITY – Berlin, 6th February, 1917

Translated by Harry Collison

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Previously posted on  October 27, 2017