Thoughts and health  

Correct ideas have a healing effect on man, and wrong ideas make him sick. One can find a wrong idea behind every disease, if one traces it back. Mankind in general is responsible for this and not individuals. Interest also has a destructive effect when people run from one sensation to the other and always want to be amused. That makes people sick. It’s also a hindrance to progress to have a personal interest in higher knowledge. Men become scleroticized thereby.

A man must not become indifferent to his surroundings. He must retain his feeling and sympathy for his surroundings. Some say that sympathy can also come from egotism. That may be the case. Many kinds of sympathy only arise because one doesn’t want to see other people suffer. That’s even a good thing. It’s better for a man to help someone out of egotistical sympathy than not to help him at all. But we must learn to develop a sympathy that stands above egoism, that helps neighbors because it’s one’s duty to help them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Esoteric Lesson – Berlin, 15th May, 1908


Previously posted on May 21, 2018


Suppose a man is lying in the road with a broken leg. If fourteen people stand around him pityingly but not one of them is able to help, the whole fourteen together are of less importance than a fifteenth who comes, perhaps, without any sentimentality at all, but is able to and actually does deal with the broken leg.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian: 1 – The New Form of Wisdom – Munich, 22nd May 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D.S. Osmond

Previously posted on June 16, 2016

illustration of Man with a broken leg


When a person sets about spiritual science, he encounters an inevitable discord. You have to picture this dissension clearly. Many people who come to Anthroposophy are of two kinds. One kind says: I want to help; I want to be a valuable member of the community – and they understand this to mean that the Anthroposophical Movement will give them the means to start doing this tomorrow. 

The others may only be under the illusion that they want to help. In reality, they only want to satisfy their curiosity, to experience something sensational. Both groups will not become the right members in the Anthroposophical Society. Those who want to help right away do not consider that one must first learn to help. They must be told: You must have the patience to develop your strengths and abilities, to become a mature helper of your fellow human beings. […] 

However, the others, who only want to satisfy their curiosity, must realise that they must regard all the opportunities and skills they received only as the means to become valuable members of the entire human development. […] One must combine both patience and the will to work in oneself.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Ursprungsimpulse der Geisteswissenschaft – Berlijn, October 8, 1906 (page 89-90)

Trranslated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Portraits of Rudolf Steiner 0016

Karma and help

Someone might come along and say: It is quite right that things should have gone wrong with that person, for this is the retribution for what he did during his past incarnation. It is very reasonable that things should have taken this course, because his Karma demands it. People who say this do not understand Karma, for to understand Karma we must know that another person’s Karma does not concern us at all! The fulfillment of Karma will come of its own accord; our only task is to help him! We must, however, draw in everything which might bring about a favourable change in his Karma. To know and to feel this forms part of a deep understanding of Karma and its laws.

Source- Rudolf Steiner – GA unknown – Morality and Karma – Nuremberg, November 12th, 1910


Previously posted on November 25, 2017

The spiritual world helps us

The spiritual beings who apart from ourselves inhabit the spiritual world look with satisfaction and approval upon our thoughts about their world. They can help us only if we think about them; and although we may not have attained to clairvoyant vision into the spiritual world, if we know about these spiritual beings they can help us. In return for our study of spiritual science help comes to us from the spiritual world. It is not merely the things we learn, the knowledge we acquire, it is the beings of the higher Hierarchies themselves who help us when we know about them. 

[…] The spiritual world helps us. We have need of it, we must know about it, and unite ourselves with it through conscious understanding. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – How Can the Destitution of Soul in Modern Times Be Overcome? – Zurich, October 10th, 1916


Previously posted on July 15, 2017