Who did it is of less importance

In the Middle Ages it would have been impossible to say who had built many of the cathedrals or painted many of the pictures. […]

It is only in our epoch of civilization that people have begun to attach such value to the human name; in earlier epochs, more spiritual than our own, the individual name was of less importance. Spirituality in those days was directed to reality; whereas our epoch adheres to the delusion of thinking that what is a mere concern of the moment should be preserved. […]

Nobody knows who wrote the work entitled Theologica Deutsch. On the outside there are only the words: The man from Frankfurt. He, therefore, was one who took care that his very name should be unknown. He worked in such a way that he merely added something to the world without asking for honour or for the preservation of his name.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 93 – The Work of Secret Societies in the World – Berlin, December 23, 1904

Translated by John M. Wood

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A moment of supreme importance

I have told you that the Event of the Mystery of Golgotha was a moment of supreme importance for the evolution of the world. The Christ appeared in the realm into which man enters after death, where Ahriman’s influence was even mightier than in the world around man here on earth between birth and death. In the realm of existence between death and rebirth, Ahriman’s influences worked upon man with terrible, overwhelming power.

And if nothing else had taken place, utter darkness would gradually have closed in upon man in the ‘realm of Shades’ — as it was correctly designated by the ancient Greeks. A condition of complete isolation, leading to the intensification of egoism would have set in between death and rebirth; man would have been born into his new life as a gross and overweening egotist. Hence it is more than a figure of speech to say that after the Event of Golgotha, at the moment when the Blood flowed from the wounds, the Christ appeared in yonder world, in the realm of the Shades, and cast Ahriman into fetters. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers: Mephistopheles and Earthquakes – Berlin, 1st January 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

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Previously posted on December 15, 2017

Supreme importance of Earth life

Between death and a new birth — and this begins immediately or soon after death — the dead has contact and can make links only with those human souls, whether still-living on Earth or in the spiritual world, with whom he has already had karmic connection on Earth, in the last or in an earlier incarnation. […] 

With these he grows more and more closely acquainted. You must not imagine that their number is small, for individual human beings have already passed through many Earth lives. In every Earth life a whole host of karmic connections has been made and of these is spun the web which then, in the spiritual world, extends over all the souls whom the dead has known in life; only those with whom acquaintance has never been made remain outside the circle.

This indicates a truth which should be emphasised, namely, the supreme importance of the Earth life for the individual human being. If there had been no Earth life we should be unable to form links with human souls in the spiritual world. The links are made karmically on Earth and then continue between death and a new birth. Those who are able to see into that world perceive how the dead gradually makes more and more links — all of which are the outcome of karmic connections formed on Earth,

Just as concerning the first kingdom with which the dead comes into contact — the animal kingdom — we can say that everything the dead does, even when he simply moves, causes either pleasure or pain in his environment, so we can say concerning everything experienced in the human realm in yonder world that the dead is in much more intimate connection with human beings in the domain of soul-life. When the dead becomes acquainted with a soul, he gets to know this soul as if he himself were within it. After death knowledge of another soul is as intimate as knowledge here on Earth of our own finger, head or ear — we feel ourselves within the other soul. The connection is much more intimate than it can ever be on Earth. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nüremberg, February 10, 1918

Translated by D.S. Osmond

My lot has put me in the wrong place

How often people are inclined to say, “My lot has put me in the wrong place. I am,” let us say, “a postal clerk. If I were put in a different place, I could give people high ideas, great teaching,” and so on. The mistake which these people make is that they do not enter into the significant aspect of their occupation. If you see in me something of importance because I can talk to the people here, then you do not see the importance of your own life and work. If the mail-carriers did not carry the mail, the whole postal traffic would stop, and much work already achieved by others would be in vain. Hence everyone in his place is of exceeding importance for the whole, and none is higher than the other.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Esoteric Development: Lecture I – Berlin, 7th December 1905

Translated by Gertrude Teutsch

Previously posted on February 19, 2015

Equal importance

We must realise that from a certain point of view the smallest and the greatest achievement of which we are capable are of equal importance for the whole. Life is a mosaic, composed of tiny pieces of stone. The man who places one little piece into the mosaic is not less important than the man who thought out the plan of the mosaic.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – The Sermon on the Mount and the Return of Christ – Düsseldorf, February 20, 1910

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond