Vague and general phrases cannot provide the basis for a genuine art of education

Vague and general phrases — ‘the harmonious development of all the powers and talents in the child,’ and so forth — cannot provide the basis for a genuine art of education. Such an art of education can only be built up on a real knowledge of the human being. Not that these phrases are incorrect, but that at bottom they are as useless as it would be to say of a machine that all its parts must be brought harmoniously into action. To work a machine you must approach it, not with phrases and truisms, but with real and detailed knowledge. So for the art of education it is a knowledge of the members of man’s being and of their several development which is important. We must know on what part of the human being we have especially to work at a certain age, and how we can work upon it in the proper way.

There is of course no doubt that a truly realistic art of education, such as is here indicated, will only slowly make its way. This lies, indeed, in the whole mentality of our age, which will long continue to regard the facts of the spiritual world as the vapourings of an imagination run wild, while it takes vague and altogether unreal phrases for the result of a realistic way of thinking. Here, however, we shall unreservedly describe what will in time to come be a matter of common knowledge, though many to-day may still regard it as a figment of the mind.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy

Translated by George and Mary Adams

Previously posted on January 13, 2015

51nqjmY69PL._SX330_BO1,204,203,200_

Advertisement

Imaginative perception

To discover the true significance of thinking, to find the real truth — that thinking has cosmic significance — it is necessary to progress to imaginative perception, as described in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. Stripping our thinking of the abstract nature we consciously associate with it, and entering into that ocean of weaving thoughts, we encounter the necessity to have not only the abstract thoughts in there that we have as citizens of the earth but to conceive images in it. For everything is created from images. 

Images are the true or origins of things; images are behind everything around us; and it is into these images we enter when we immerse ourselves in the ocean of weaving thoughts. Those are the images Plato spoke of; they are the images all who have spoken of spiritual primary causes had in mind, the images Goethe had in mind with his archetypal plant. These images are to be found in imaginative thinking. This imaginative thinking is a reality and we become immersed in it when we enter the billowing world of thoughts that move with the stream of time.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations: Lecture 14: The Cosmic Significance of Our Sensory Perceptions – Our Thinking, Feeling and Will Activity – Berlin, July 6, 1915

rudolfsteinerlecture2011_11-2013_08_19-08_19_05-utc-1

By David Newbatt

After death/Imagination

At the moment when we die, the thought becomes what it should not become in the ordinary consciousness; the thought then becomes Imagination. This Imagination, which in occult development is striven for with all one’s effort, occurs when the human being passes through death. All his thoughts become pictures; the human being then lives entirely in pictures.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 205 – Therapeutic Insights: Lecture V – Dornach, July 3, 1921

Translated by Alice Wulsin & Gerald Karnow

Kiersch_Wichmann_Eugenie_von_Bredow

Previously posted on August 8, 2017

Healthy and properly thinking is necessary for higher knowledge

In order to know how to relate these pictures (of the spiritual world) to the spiritual reality they represent, we have to apply to them the exact thought processes we have acquired as modern human beings. We really have to think within this world of pictures in the very way we have learnt to think in the ordinary physical world. Every thoughtless glance is damaging to modern initiation. All the healthy ways of thinking we have developed as modern human beings must be brought to bear on higher knowledge. Just as we can find our way about the ordinary physical world if we can think properly, so can we only find our way about in the world of the spirit — which we enter through modern initiation — if we are able to penetrate with the thinking we have gained here in the physical world into all the knowledge we attain through Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 210 – Old and New Methods of Initiation: Lecture 7 – Dornach, 12th February 1922

Translated by Johanna Collis

Previously posted on august 7, 2017

We must always bear in mind that we should not imagine men living on in the spiritual world as they last were, when here

We must always bear in mind that we should not imagine men living on in the spiritual world as they last were, when here. The trivial ideas that people hold, as, for instance, that those who die as children continue to live on as children, are naturally incorrect. The imagination may picture the dead as we last saw them here, but that is not their true form; it is rather the expression of it. A child may die, but the human entity incarnated in the child may be a highly evolved soul, and continue its life after death as a highly evolved soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 20th November 1915

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on June 10, 2017