For the truly practical person it is not important what the contents of the thoughts are, but the activity they bring about

It is not the theories that have significance, but the habits of thought. For the truly practical person it is not important what the contents of the thoughts are, but the activity they bring about. That is what it is all about. It does not matter whether someone is an idealist, but what is important in life is that one’s thoughts are fruitful, that they stimulate life and bring progress. It must be kept in mind that Spiritual Science does not want to have any part in one or the other dogma or belief system. It is of no importance that someone has many spiritual theories, but that these ideas are fruitful when applied to life. When someone declares that they are not materialistic and believe in the force of life, even in the spirit, but at the same time treats the human being like a gigantic test tube when considering nutritional matters, his worldview cannot bear fruit. Spiritual Science can only bring adequate answers to concrete questions when it is able to penetrate the details – and it is indeed able to shed light on nutritional as well as health issues.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, 17 December 1908 (p. 172-173)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously  posted on September 13, 2018

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Whatever we have received of spiritual truth is fruitful after death, no matter if we have beheld these truths ourselves or not

As regards mankind in general perception of the spiritual world is of higher worth than non-perception. For one who is able to look into the spiritual world has intercourse with that world, he can teach not only men, but others, spiritual beings, and so further their development. Clairvoyant consciousness has therefore a quite special value, but for individuals knowledge only has value; and in respect of individual worth the clairvoyant does not differ from anyone else who only receives communications, and is himself unable to look into the spiritual world in any particular incarnation. Whatever we have received of spiritual truth is fruitful after death, no matter if we have beheld these truths ourselves or not.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 124 – The Gospel According to St. Mark – The Ego – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 17th October 1910

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Previously posted on April 19, 2018

Superficial Mysticism

In many circles where there is a striving toward mysticism, people feel particularly highly advanced; but it is a mysticism that leads to superficiality of the soul. With this superficiality, one does not penetrate the eternal mysteries of life. It only penetrates when one has the patience to awaken the slumbering forces of the soul or at least to let one’s thinking penetrate what the slumbering soul forces may find from stage to stage.

The superficiality of the heart must be conquered. Victory over superficial mysticism can develop the ability to discover the powers of the soul, which lead in the right way from the temporary to the eternal, to the imperishable. That is what is genuinely able to work fruitfully in the most different areas of contemporary life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 77b – Kunst und Anthroposophie/Der Goetheanum -Impuls – Dornach, August 21, 1921 (page 24-25)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on December 21, 2019

For the truly practical person it is not important what the contents of the thoughts are, but the activity they bring about

It is not the theories that has significance, but the habits of thought. For the truly practical person it is not important what the contents of the thoughts are, but the activity they bring about. That is what it is all about. It does not matter whether someone is an idealist, but what is important in life is that one’s thoughts are fruitful, that they stimulate life and bring progress. It must be kept in mind that Spiritual Science does not want to have any part in one or the other dogma or belief system. It is of no importance that someone has many spiritual theories, but that these ideas are fruitful when applied to life. When someone declares that they are not materialistic and believe in the force of life, even in the spirit, but at the same time treat the human being like a gigantic test tube when considering nutritional matters, his worldview cannot bear fruit. Spiritual Science can only bring adequate answers to concrete questions when it is able to penetrate the details – and it is indeed able to shed light on nutritional as well as health issues.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – Wo und wie findet man den Geist? – Berlin, 17 December 1908 (p. 172-173)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 4, 2016

Squabbles over differences of opinion

Nowadays people often squabble over opinions. But that cannot continue, simply because it is necessary that everyone has their own opinion.
When a tree is photographed from different sides, it is still the same tree, but the descriptions will be quite different; thus, every person can have his own opinion – depending on the position he places himself.
The wise man will no longer fight over opinions. He will however, find some opinions healthy, and others unhealthy. But people no longer need to fight about opinions that differ from their own. It’s like looking at different pictures and then noticing: those pictures are quite unalike, these are good, and those others have failed.
It can at most be interesting how a man comes to his opinion: whether an opinion is formed out of wisdom, or foolishness, whether an opinion is commonplace and infertile or noble and fruitful for humanity – that is of interest.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 337b – Soziale Ideen/Soziale Wirklichkeit/Soziale Praxis – Dornach, 16 August 1920 (page 62-63)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger