All stages of life bring gifts to man

Nowadays we pay very little attention to the fact that throughout life a constant process of ripening goes on. Inwardly honest men, such as Goethe, feel this. Even in his latest years Goethe was still eager to learn. His inward growth continued; he felt he had not finished with the task of becoming a man. And in looking back on his youth and prime he saw in all that had come to him then a preparation for the experiences brought by old age. Nowadays people very seldom think in that way — least of all when taking account of man as a social being. Everyone, as soon as he is twenty, wants to belong to some corporate body and — in the favourite phrase — to exercise his democratic judgment! It never occurs to anyone that there are things in life worth waiting for, because increasing ripeness comes with the years. Men today have no idea of that!

That is one thing we must learn, my dear friends — that all stages of life — and not only the first two or three decades of youth — bring gifts to man.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 193 – INNER ASPECT OF THE SOCIAL QUESTION: Lecture I – Zurich, 4 February 1919

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Only through Grace

We must never believe that we can acquire any conception of clairvoyant knowledge except by creating a suitable frame of mind through which we may receive what may be offered to us as revelation or illumination, so that we can never expect anything to come to us except from the grace which approaches and brings gifts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 132 –  Inner Realities of Evolution – The Inner Aspect of the Sun-Embodiment of the Earth – Lecture 2 – Berlin, 21st November, 1911

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