The reality of the spiritual world was to me as certain as that of the physical

The reality of the spiritual world was to me as certain as that of the physical. I felt the need, however, for a sort of justification for this assumption. I wished to be able to say to myself that the experience of the spiritual world is just as little an illusion as is that of the physical world. With regard to geometry I said to myself: “Here one is permitted to know something which the mind alone, through its own power, experiences.” In this feeling I found the justification for the spiritual world that I experienced, even as, so to speak, for the physical. And in this way I talked about this. I had two conceptions which were naturally undefined, but which played a great role in my mental life even before my eighth year. I distinguished things as those “which are seen” and those “which are not seen.”

I am relating these matters quite frankly, in spite of the fact that those persons who are seeking for evidence to prove that anthroposophy is fantastic will, perhaps, draw the conclusion from this that even as a child I was marked by a gift for the fantastic: no wonder, then, that a fantastic philosophy should also have evolved within me.

But it is just because I know how little I have followed my own inclinations in forming conceptions of a spiritual world – having on the contrary followed only the inner necessity of things – that I myself can look back quite objectively upon the childlike unaided manner in which I confirmed for myself by means of geometry the feeling that I must speak of a world “which is not seen.”

Only I must also say that I loved to live in that world. For I should have been forced to feel the physical world as a sort of spiritual darkness around me had it not received light from that side.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of My Life – Chapter I

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Previously posted  on August 8, 2018

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Christianity is an outlook which sees in everything a revelation of the Divine  

Christianity is an outlook which sees in everything a revelation of the Divine. Everything material becomes an illusion unless we look on it as an expression of the Divine. If we disown the external world, we are disowning the Divine; if we reject the material realm, in which God has revealed himself, we are rejecting the Divine. The important thing is not to gaze into ourselves, but to seek to know the Great Self which shines down into us. […]
Really to go out of yourself is to renounce yourself. […] In the early days of Theosophy the gravest mistake was made when people were told to look away from the external world and to gaze into themselves. That is a great illusion, for then we find only the lower self, which imagines itself to be divine but is not so at all. We must come out of ourselves if we are to know the Divine. “Know thyself” means also “Overcome thyself”.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture XIV: Rosicrucian Training – The Interior of the Earth – Earthquakes and Volcanoes – Stuttgart, 4th September 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

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Previously posted on June 12, 2018

Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

In human beings who perish as a result of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions one notices, during their next incarnation, inner qualities which are quite different. They bring from birth great spiritual pre-dispositions because, through their death, they were brought in touch with forces which showed them the true nature of reality and the illusion of material life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner  – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture XVI: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Human Will – Paris, 12th June 1906

Translated by René Querido

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Previously posted on May 13, 2018

To find everything in the world comprehensible merely indicates superficiality

A man who finds everything comprehensible may, of course, see no need to know anything of more deeply lying causes. But to find everything in the world comprehensible is a sign of illusion and merely indicates superficiality. In point of fact the vast majority of things in the world are incomprehensible to the ordinary consciousness. To be able to stand in wonder before so much that is incomprehensible in everyday life — that is really the beginning of a true striving for knowledge.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships, Volume II: Lecture V – Dornach, 27th April 1924

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

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Previously posted on April 18, 2018

Whatever meets our sense-perception is but a kind of illusory picture

We must not imagine that the reflection of the Universe which we see when we speak so the starry world from the earthly point of view, is also the view presented to our super-sensible perception between death and rebirth. That which appears simply externally to us here on Earth as the starry world, then reveals itself in its nature, in its Spiritual being. We have then to do with the inner aspect of what, while we are on Earth, simply reveals its external aspect. Indeed we must admit that both when we look down on to the Earth as will as when we look up to the Cosmos, in so far as we are dealing with a sense impression we always have a sort of illusion before us; and we only come to the truth when we can penetrate to those Beings who lie at the bottom of this illusion, with their various degrees of Cosmic self-consciousness.

Whether man looks up or down, I must therefore call it illusion; the truth, the Being , lies behind this illusion.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 203 – The Responsibility of Man for World Evolution/ The Real Being of Man/The Balance between Lucifer and Ahriman – Dornach, 29th January 1921

Previously posted on March 23, 2019

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