The last months in the life of Rudolf Steiner (2 of 2)

On March 20, 1925 (ten days before his death) Steiner wrote to Marie:

My health is improving, only slowly. I hope that in time, I will be able to work on the building model (design for the second Goetheanum) in order to avoid delays.

On March 27, 1925 (three days before his death) Steiner wrote to J.C. Träxler, a tradesman who had taken the brother and sister of Steiner into his own house in Horn.

Dear Mr Träxler,

I was saddened to hear of my sister’s eye condition. (She had an eye disease and, around 1925, became completely blind). Unfortunately, I am so sick myself that I cannot think of visiting her, but I would not want my sister to become worried by the news of my illness. I am so very grateful to you, honourable Mr. Träxler, for taking such loving care of my brother and sister. I think that Mrs Barth, who I know well, was a good choice. (She was a distant relative who cared for Steiner’s brother and sister until the autumn of 1926).

Will you give the good woman my cordial greetings? Mrs. Barth’s fee will, as usual, be settled on my behalf by my friend Count Polzer. I must leave it to our friend, Dr. Glass, to decide whether an examination of the left eye will be necessary. He will write me with his opinion, once he has been to Horn. I will also write to him.

Thanks again,

Yours sincerely,

Rudolf Steiner

Source (German): GA 262 (letter 235, page 458) en GA 39 (letter 651, page 482)

Anonymous translator

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Rudolf Steiner monument in Schweizergarten, a park in Vienna

Previously posted on March 30, 2018

Illnesses calmly borne often appear in the next life as great physical beauty

No one who shudders at the unpleasantness of pain, who is unwilling to bear pain can create in himself the foundations for wisdom; indeed when we look deeper, we cannot really bemoan illnesses, for regarded from a higher standpoint, from the standpoint of Eternity, they take on a very different aspect. Illnesses calmly borne often appear in the next life as great physical beauty; great physical beauty in a human being is acquired at the cost of illnesses in the preceding life. Such is the connection between impairment of the body through illness, particularly also through external circumstances, and beauty.

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

Translated by M. Cotterell and D.S. Osmond

Previously posted on September 1, 2015

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Blind faith in authority

We live in an age of the most careless thinking and at the same time it is an age of the blindest trust in authority. People live to-day entirely under the impression that they must believe in, they must recognise authority, that they must have the sanction of outside powers. They desire a warrant for this or that. For the most part men do not consider to-day that it is an individual concern, that they will eventually have to take up the matter for themselves! So, they go to whom ‘right and law is bequeathed like a hereditary sickness’ and accept conclusions without weighing how those conclusions were reached; for they consider it right to accept authority blindly.

A man is ill — he takes not the least trouble to learn the simplest thing about the illness. Why should he? We have recognised and certified physicians whose business it is to look after our bodies; we need not trouble in the least about them!

If information on any subject be desired, people go to those who ought to know, to the theologian, to the philosopher, to this one or to that.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 165 – ON THE DUTY OF CLEAR, SOUND THINKING – Dornach, 1st January 1916

Previously posted on April 4, 2020

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The power of the fairy tales

Materialists say myths and fairy tales originated in the childhood stage of the human race. But in its childhood, humanity was taught by the gods. In the process of our evolution, myths and fairy tales are gradually lost, but children should not grow up without them. It makes a tremendous difference whether or not children are allowed to grow up with fairy tales. The power of the fairy tale images, which give wings to the soul, becomes apparent only at a later age.

Growing up without fairy tales leads later to boredom, to world-weariness. Indeed, it can even cause physical symptoms — fairy tales can help to prevent illnesses. The qualities that seep into our soul from fairy tales later emerge as a zest for life, enthusiasm for being alive, and an ability to cope with life, all of which can be seen even in old age. Children have to experience the power of the content of fairy tales while they are young and can still do so. People who cannot live with ideas that have no reality on the physical plane will be dead to the spiritual world. Philosophies based only on the material world are the death of our soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: LECTURE SIX: FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE – Prague, April 17, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on March 23, 2020

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Too much sleep

If we decided to sleep more, as some retired people do, we would sleep too much. Of course, that is no objection to sleeping a lot. Since intellectual work takes a lot out of our physical organization, people doing that kind of work need much sleep. But if we sleep too much, we have too many new life forces and these then begin to proliferate; the human being then abounds with life forces. This surplus of life forces leads to illness. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 –  Presence of the dead: LECTURE SIX: FAITH AND KNOWLEDGE – Prague, April 17, 1914

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