All human evil comes from what we call egotism

Eventually all human evil springs from what we call selfishness. From the smallest human faults to the most immense crimes, when considering what we can designate as human imperfection and human wickedness, whether it seemingly originates from the soul or more from out of the bodily nature, the common basic characterization will be egotism. We find the actual meaning of evil in concurrence with human selfishness; and all striving to rise above imperfections and evil can be seen as commitment to fight against what we call selfishness. There has been much contemplation on this or that ethical principle, about these or other moral foundations; exactly this diving deeper into ethical principles and into moral foundations shows that selfishness is the common basis of all human evil. And so one can say: man works himself out of evil here in the physical world, inasmuch as he overcomes egotism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 063 – Geisteswissenschaft als Lebensgut – Berlin, 15th January 1914 (page 240-241)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 25 Febuary 2015

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Transformation

Here on earth it may be all the same for one if one is perfect or not, but that is not so in the life between death and rebirth. There irresistible forces compel one to transform imperfection into perfection. One realizes that in many cases this can only be achieved at the cost of pain and suffering, and one knows that to achieve perfection one must accept the pain and pleasures of a life on earth. And one then goes full steam into a new incarnation.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 150 – Die Welt des Geistes und ihr Hereinragen in das physische Dasein – Stockholm, 10 June 1913 (page 85)

This English translation has been copied from the book: How the Spiritual World Projects into Physical Existence – The Influence of the Dead (page 65) – Published by Rudolf Steiner Press

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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

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Previously posted on June 4, 2014

At the end of the day, all human evil comes from what we call egotism

Eventually all human evil springs from what we call selfishness. From the smallest human faults to the most immense crimes, when considering what we can designate as human imperfection and human wickedness, whether it seemingly originates from the soul or more from out of the bodily nature, the common basic characterization will be egotism. We find the actual meaning of evil in concurrence with human selfishness; and all striving to rise above imperfections and evil can be seen as commitment to fight against what we call selfishness. There has been much contemplation on this or that ethical principle, about these or other moral foundations; exactly this diving deeper into ethical principles and into moral foundations shows that selfishness is the common basis of all human evil. And so one can say: man works himself out of evil here in the physical world, inasmuch as he overcomes egotism.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 063 – Geisteswissenschaft als Lebensgut – Berlin, 15th January 1914 (page 240-241)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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