The dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean cultural period

At present the dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean cultural period already proclaims itself. For what is to arise in human evolution at a certain time begins to ripen in the preceding age. What is already able to show its beginnings at present is the discovery of the link that unites the two impulses in the human breast: material culture and life in the world of the spirit. For this purpose it is necessary that the results of spiritual perception are comprehended, and also that the manifestations of the spirit are recognized in the observations and experiences of the sense world. The sixth cultural epoch will bring the harmony between these two impulses to complete development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: IV: The evolution of the cosmos and man (part 7)

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

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Left Steiner, Middle Marie von Sivers, Right unknown

Previously posted on July 6, 2018

About truths and opinions (4 of 5)

These most trivial of all truths, the arithmetical, geometrical, are found inwardly, and yet people do not dispute about them. They are in absolute agreement about them because man is far enough advanced to grasp them. Agreement of opinion prevails only as long as pure truth is not clouded by passions, sympathy and antipathy. A time will come, though it is still far distant, when mankind will be laid hold of increasingly by the knowledge of the inner world of truth. Then in spite of all individualism, in spite of truth being found by everyone for himself inwardly, harmony will prevail.  

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908

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 Previously posted on July 25, 2018

The characteristic stamp of the modern anthroposophist (part 1 of 6)

Between what everyday life with its cares and anxieties brings to man and what he receives in the domain of Anthroposophy yawns a deep abyss.

It may be said that for most men of the present age there is almost no harmony between their convictions and what they do and think in their outer, everyday life. If some concrete question is raised in public and dealt with in the light of Spiritual Science or Anthroposophy, it will at once be evident that the interest which was still there in the case of general questions of religion and the like, no longer exists when it comes to matters of a really concrete kind. 

It cannot of course be expected that Anthroposophy will at once make its way into life, that everyone will immediately bring it to expression in whatever he is doing. But the world must be made to realise that it is the mission of Spiritual Science to introduce into life, to incorporate in life, everything that will emanate from a soul who has become convinced of the truth of the ideas of reincarnation and karma. And so the characteristic stamp of the modern anthroposophist may be said to be that he is on the way to acquiring a firmly based, inner conviction of the validity of the idea of reincarnation and karma. All the rest will then follow of itself.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 135 – REINCARNATION AND KARMA THEIR SIGNIFICANCE IN MODERN CULTURE 4. Examples of the working of karma between two incarnations – Stuttgart, 21 February 1912 

Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer, by D.S. Osmond, C. Davy and S. and E. F. Derry.

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Spiritual development and environment

Something may here be said concerning the environment in which this training should be undertaken, for this is not without some importance. And yet the case differs for almost every person. Anyone practicing in an environment filled only with self-seeking interests, as for example, the modern struggle for existence, must be conscious of the fact that these interests are not without their effect on the development of his spiritual organs. It is true that the inner laws of these organs are so powerful that this influence cannot be fatally injurious. Just as a lily can never grow into a thistle, however inappropriate its environment, so, too, the eye of the soul can never grow to anything but its destined shape even though it be subjected to the self-seeking interests of modern cities. 

But under all circumstances it is well if the student seeks, now and again, his environment in the restful peace, the inner dignity and sweetness of nature. Especially fortunate is the student who can carry out his esoteric training surrounded by the green world of plants, or among the sunny hills, where nature weaves her web of sweet simplicity. This environment develops the inner organs in a harmony which can never ensue in a modern city.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds And Its Attainment – IV. Some Practical Aspects

Translated by George Metaxa

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Descent  and Ascent

Just as it is true that humanity had to descend from a spiritual past, into materialism, so it is also true that it must rise again to spirituality. A spiritual world-conception alone can produce something that gives rise to harmony, peace and love. Even in this sphere, spiritual science can be of practical help in the highest possible way. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture VIII: Supplementary Thoughts on the Law of Reincarnation and Karma – Kassel, 23rd June 1907

Previously posted on March 19, 2017