Sugar

When the soul undergoes development, it then experiences all the sugar it takes into its body, or already has within it, as something giving it inner firmness, supporting it inwardly, permeating it to a certain extent with a sort of natural sense of selfhood. And in this respect a sort of eulogy might even be pronounced on sugar. In passing through a soul development a person may even often notice that he needs to take sugar, because the psychic development inevitably tends to make him become more and more selfless. Through an orderly anthroposophical development the soul of itself becomes more selfless. […] 

It might be said that, through eating sugar, a sort of blameless ego-sense is produced, forming a counterpoise to the necessary selflessness in the spiritual realm of morals. Otherwise there might all too easily be the temptation not only to become selfless, but also dreamy and fantastic, to lose the healthy capacity for judging earthly conditions. An addition of sugar to the food gives the power, in spite of the ascent into the spiritual world, to stand firmly on the earth with both feet, and to cultivate a healthy estimate of earthly things. [ …] 

On the whole, we may say the consumption of sugar intensifies physically the character of the human personality. We may be so certain of this that we may even say that it is easier for those who take sugar to imprint the character of their personality upon their physical body than for those who do not; but it stands to reason that this must be kept within healthy limits.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – Effects of Occult Development: Lecture II – The Hague – March 21, 1913

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Honey

As we grow older, honey has an extremely favourable effect upon us. With children, it is milk that has a similar effect; honey helps us to build our bodies and is thus strongly to be recommended for people who are growing old. It is an exceedingly wholesome food; only one must not eat too much of it! If one eats too much of it, using it not merely as a condiment, one can make the formative forces too strongly active. The form may then get too rigid, and one may develop all kinds of illnesses. A healthy man feels just how much honey should take. Honey is particularly good for older people because it gives the body the right firmness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 351 – Nine Lectures on Bees: Lecture II – Dornach, November 26, 1923

Translated by Marna Pease & Carl Alexander Mier

Previously posted on June 15, 2015

The six basic exercises – 1. Control of the direction of thought

In a factual training certain qualities are mentioned that the student who wishes to find his way into the higher worlds should acquire through practice. These are, above all, control of the soul over its train of thought, over its will, and its feelings. The way in which this control is to be acquired through practice has a twofold purpose. On the one hand, the soul is to be imbued with firmness, certainty, and equilibrium to such a degree that it preserves these qualities, although from its being a second ego is born. On the other hand, this second ego is to be furnished with strength and inner consistency of character.

What is necessary for the thinking of man in spiritual training is, above all, objectivity. In the physical-sensory world, life is the human ego’s great teacher of objectivity. Were the soul to let thoughts wander about aimlessly, it would be immediately compelled to let itself be corrected by life if it did not wish to come into conflict with it. The soul must think according to the course of the facts of life. If now the human being turns his attention away from the physical-sensory world, he lacks the compulsory correction of the latter. If his thinking is then unable to be its own corrective, it must become irrational. Therefore the thinking of the student of the spiritual must be trained in such a manner that it is able to give to itself direction and goal. Thinking must be its own instructor in inner firmness and the capacity to hold the attention strictly to one object. For this reason, suitable “thought exercises” are not to be undertaken with unfamiliar and complicated objects, but with those that are simple and familiar. Anyone who is able for months at a time to concentrate his thoughts daily at least for five minutes upon an ordinary object (for example a needle, a pencil, or any other simple object), and during this time to exclude all thoughts that have no bearing on the subject, has achieved a great deal in this regard. (We may contemplate a new object daily, or the same one for several days.) Also, the one who considers himself a thinker as a result of scientific training should not disdain to prepare himself for spiritual training in this manner. For if for a certain length of time we fasten our thoughts upon an object that is well known to us, we can be sure that we think in conformity with facts. If we ask ourselves what a pencil is composed of, how its materials are prepared, how they are brought together afterward, when pencils were invented, and so forth, we then conform our thoughts more to reality than if we reflect upon the origin of man, or upon the nature of life. Through simple thought exercises we acquire greater ability for factual thinking concerning the Saturn, Sun, and Moon evolutions than through complicated and learned ideas. For in the first place it is not at all a question of thinking about this or that, but of thinking factually by means of inner force. If we have schooled ourselves in regard to factuality by a physical-sensory process, easily surveyed, then thought becomes accustomed to function in accordance with facts even though it does not feel itself controlled by the physical world of the senses and its laws, and we rid ourselves of the habit of letting our thoughts wander without relation to facts.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – V: Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation. (Part 2)

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

Previously posted on June 15, 2017

One of the most shameful errors

What must above all become strong and forceful are the soul experiences we can call the eminently moral ones. These imprint themselves as soul dispositions in firmness of character and inner resolute calm. Inner courage and firmness of character must most especially be developed, for through weakness of character we cripple the whole life of soul, which would then come powerless into the elemental world; this we must avoid if we hope to have a true and correct experience there. No one who is really earnest about gaining knowledge in the higher worlds will therefore fail to give weight to the strengthening of the moral forces among all the other forces that help the soul enter those worlds. One of the most shameful errors is foisted on humanity when someone takes it on himself to say that clairvoyance should be acquired without paying attention to strengthening the moral life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 147 – Secrets of the Threshold – Lecture III – Munich, 26 August 1913

Previously posted on February 14, 2014

Translated by Ruth Pusch

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The six basic exercises – 1. Control of the direction of thought

In a factual training certain qualities are mentioned that the student who wishes to find his way into the higher worlds should acquire through practice. These are, above all, control of the soul over its train of thought, over its will, and its feelings. The way in which this control is to be acquired through practice has a twofold purpose. On the one hand, the soul is to be imbued with firmness, certainty, and equilibrium to such a degree that it preserves these qualities, although from its being a second ego is born. On the other hand, this second ego is to be furnished with strength and inner consistency of character.

What is necessary for the thinking of man in spiritual training is, above all, objectivity. In the physical-sensory world, life is the human ego’s great teacher of objectivity. Were the soul to let thoughts wander about aimlessly, it would be immediately compelled to let itself be corrected by life if it did not wish to come into conflict with it. The soul must think according to the course of the facts of life. If now the human being turns his attention away from the physical-sensory world, he lacks the compulsory correction of the latter. If his thinking is then unable to be its own corrective, it must become irrational. Therefore the thinking of the student of the spiritual must be trained in such a manner that it is able to give to itself direction and goal. Thinking must be its own instructor in inner firmness and the capacity to hold the attention strictly to one object. For this reason, suitable “thought exercises” are not to be undertaken with unfamiliar and complicated objects, but with those that are simple and familiar. Anyone who is able for months at a time to concentrate his thoughts daily at least for five minutes upon an ordinary object (for example a needle, a pencil, or any other simple object), and during this time to exclude all thoughts that have no bearing on the subject, has achieved a great deal in this regard. (We may contemplate a new object daily, or the same one for several days.) Also, the one who considers himself a thinker as a result of scientific training should not disdain to prepare himself for spiritual training in this manner. For if for a certain length of time we fasten our thoughts upon an object that is well known to us, we can be sure that we think in conformity with facts. If we ask ourselves what a pencil is composed of, how its materials are prepared, how they are brought together afterward, when pencils were invented, and so forth, we then conform our thoughts more to reality than if we reflect upon the origin of man, or upon the nature of life. Through simple thought exercises we acquire greater ability for factual thinking concerning the Saturn, Sun, and Moon evolutions than through complicated and learned ideas. For in the first place it is not at all a question of thinking about this or that, but of thinking factually by means of inner force. If we have schooled ourselves in regard to factuality by a physical-sensory process, easily surveyed, then thought becomes accustomed to function in accordance with facts even though it does not feel itself controlled by the physical world of the senses and its laws, and we rid ourselves of the habit of letting our thoughts wander without relation to facts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – V: Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation. (Part 2) 

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

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