Our value to the world

Our value for the world must be seen to lie wholly in acts of love, not in what is done for the sake of self-perfecting. Let us be under no illusion about this. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Love and Its Meaning in the World – Zurich, 17th December, 1912

Translated by D. S. O. and E. F. and S. Derry 

Previously posted on December 6, 2016

The materialistic ideal: a paradise on earth

Many say they believe in the world of the spirit, but with many of them this is mere words, nothing but hot air. In their innermost hearts, in their feelings and unconscious impulses, lives something different — the inclination to think materialistically. However much people may pretend to themselves that they believe in something else, in reality they believe only in the physical world. And since they do not believe in anything more than just the physical world around them, the only ideal they can possibly have is to arrange things in the physical world in such a way that it becomes a paradise; otherwise the whole world would make no sense to them. Until materialists are prepared to say that the world makes no sense at all, they can only live in the illusion that, however imperfect this physical world may be, it will be possible to create conditions that will put an end to imperfection and let perfection take its place.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness : Lecture 3: The Search for a Perfect World – Dornach, 1 October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Previously posted on August 20, 2015

Without karma, no progress would be possible

With every error, every lie, every illusion, we cast an obstacle in the way of progress. We should fall back in our progress to exactly the same extent to which we had cast obstacles in our path through sin and error, if we were not in a position to rectify them; in other words, we could not reach man’s true goal. It would be impossible to attain this goal if the counter-forces, the forces of karma, were not in operation.

Suppose that in some life you commit a wrong. If this wrong were to become firmly fixed in your life it would mean nothing less than that you would lose the step forward which you would have taken had you not committed the wrong; with every wrong, a step would be lost — enough steps to correspond exactly with the wrongs committed. If the possibility of surmounting error had not been given, man must ultimately have been submerged by it. But the blessing of karma was bestowed. What does this blessing mean for man? Is karma something at which to shudder, something to dread? No, indeed! Karma is a power for which man should be thankful. For karma says to us: If you have committed a wrong, remember that “God is not mocked; whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap”. An error demands that you shall right it; then, having expunged it from your karma you can again take a step forward!

Without karma, no progress would be possible. Karma is a blessing that has been vouchsafed to us, inasmuch as it obliges us to rectify every error, to re-achieve the steps that thrust us back.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers – Berlin, 22nd  March 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on June 3, 2016

Spiritual Perfecting and Deeds of Love

Spiritual perfecting will be for earthly man the goal most worthy of aspiration — (this is described at the beginning of my second Mystery Play, The Soul’s Probation) — but nobody who understands what deeds of love truly are will say that his own striving for perfection is selfless. Striving for perfection imparts strength to our being and to our personality. But our value for the world must be seen to lie wholly in deeds of love, not in deeds done for the sake of self-perfecting. Let us be under no illusion about this.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Love and Its Meaning in the World – Zurich, 17th December, 1912

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond &  E.A. Frommer & S. Derry

Antipathy and karma (2 of 4) – People go through the world with far more hatred than they think

Then, in the next earthly life, out of the hatred is born what comes to us from the outer world as pain, distress, unhappiness caused from outside — in a word, the opposite of joy. You will reply: we experience so much of suffering and pain; is it all really due to hatred — greater or lesser hatred — in our preceding life? “I cannot possibly imagine,” man will be prone to say, “that I was such a bad lot, that I must experience so much sorrow because I hated so much.”

Well, if you want to think open-mindedly of these things, you must be aware how great is the illusion which lulls you to sleep (and to which you therefore readily give yourself up) at this point. You suggest-away from your conscious mind the antipathies you are feeling against others. People go through the world with far more hatred than they think — far more antipathy, at least. It is a fact of life: hatred gives satisfaction to the soul, and for this reason, as a rule, it is not at first experienced in consciousness. It is eclipsed by the satisfaction it gives. But when it returns as pain and suffering that comes to us from outside, it is no longer so; we notice the suffering quickly enough.

To be continued


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I: Lecture IV – Dornach, 24th February 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on September 14, 2016