Everything that a man thinks and feels has its effects in the outer world

It is so often said in everyday life: Thoughts are duty-free! — meaning that we can think what we like and nobody in the external world will be affected. This is one important point where a man who has really grasped spiritual impulses is at variance with the materialistic thinker.

The materialist agrees that injury is caused if he throws a stone at a man, but he thinks that a thought of hatred which he may harbour against a fellow-creature, does not hurt him. Those however who have real knowledge of the world know that far, far stronger effects proceed from a thought filled with hatred than can ever be caused by a stone. Everything that a man thinks and feels has its effects in the outer world and the seer can follow with great precision the effect of a loving thought that goes out to another man, and the very different effect that is produced by a thought filled with hatred. When you send out a loving thought to someone the seer perceives a form of light shaped like a sort of flower-calyx, playing around his etheric and astral bodies, thereby contributing something to his vitality and happiness. On the other hand a thought of hatred bores its way into the etheric and astral bodies like a wounding arrow.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian: VI: The Law of Destiny
– Munich, 30th May 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D.S. Osmond

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Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be sent to them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 -Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart, September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 30, 2015

Musicality

There are people who easily identify with another individual, who relate to what the other is experiencing. They can usually also sympathize with any animal, with each beetle, with each sparrow, and be happy with whatever happens around them, or be sad together with the people they encounter who are sad. Notice how often it arises in life especially at a certain age, that a young person can be elated one moment and suddenly the next moment be intensely and extremely miserable. Some people will then say this is senseless, that it is neither here nor there! These two sorts of people exist. Of course, these qualities will be developed to a greater or lesser extent in particular cases, it may not at all be so strongly present, but the tendency will nonetheless be there.

Now the spiritual researcher considers such manifestations in the world and then comes to the following conclusion: Musical people are the ones who in a previous life found it easy to make the transition from happiness to sorrow … from sorrow to happiness, who went along easily with everything. This quality metamorphoses into the ability to be inwardly mobile and the aptitude in the inner life for rhythmic variation that generates the musical soul. By contrast, human beings who passed life by obtusely in a former life will not be musical in the next life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 169 – Weltwesen und Ichheit – Berlin, July 18, 1916 (page 154-155)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 26, 2016

Happiness and joy are acts of grace 

Happiness and joy are acts of grace. A man who imagines that the happiness and joy in his karma indicate a desire on the part of the gods to single him out and place him above the others will achieve just the opposite. We must never imagine that happiness is allotted to us as a mark of favour or distinction but rather as a reason for feeling that we have been recipients of the grace outpoured by the divine spiritual beings. It is this realisation of grace which makes progress possible; the other attitude would throw us back in our development. Nobody should ever believe that joy comes to him because of special karmic privileges; he should far rather believe that it comes to him because he has no privileges.

Joy and happiness should move us to deeds of compassion and mercy, which we shall perform more effectively than if we are suffering the pangs of sorrow. What brings us forward is the realisation that we must make ourselves worthy of grace. There is no justification for the very prevalent view that one whose life abounds in happiness has deserved it. This is the very attitude that must be avoided. Please take this as an indication so that no misunderstanding may arise.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – IV – INTIMATE WORKINGS OF KARMA – Vienna, 9th February 1912

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on November 12, 2015