Suppose you experience something that affects you very deeply (2 of 3)

Now let us go back to the event that makes a strong impression on our life of feeling. Suppose the event happens between the change of teeth and puberty. A very remarkable thing then takes place, which in these days of crude observation is not generally noticed. The impression made upon your feeling is there, and then gradually the vibrations of it die away in your consciousness. But something takes place in the objective world quite apart from what is in your consciousness, quite apart from any share your life of soul has in it. And this process that goes on in the objective world may be compared with the setting up of a vibratory motion. It vibrates out into the world. And the remarkable thing is that it does not go out and out endlessly into the infinite, but when it has spread itself out for a sufficient distance — when its elasticity is, so to speak, used up — it swings back and makes its appearance in the next seven-year period as an impulse that works upon your life of soul from outside. I will not say that such an event always comes back seven years later, for the lapse of time depends on the whole form and character of the individual life, but it falls into the course of the next seven-year period, although very often entirely without your notice.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – ELEMENTAL BEINGS AND HUMAN DESTINIES – Dornach, December 6, 1919

Translation revised by Charles Davy

Previously posted on May 2, 2020


I must say that I understand Kant, because otherwise others may say that I am stupid

Today there is still a peculiar worship of all that has been printed. The only reason I have been able to read Kant, was that his books have been edited by the “Universalbibliothek”  –  because otherwise, I would never have been able to  afford his books; but the books were cheap, despite the fact that they are so thick– and since then, the devil is actually loose around Kant, because nowadays everyone is able to read him. That is, they read the first page, but they do not understand what they read. They think: ”I must pretend to understand Kant because otherwise, people will say that I am stupid.”

Then they hear that Kant is “the Emperor of literary Germany”; and they think: ”By golly, now we know what’s going on, that means we are also clever, intelligent people! –” Most of them admit to themselves: ” Yes, I must give the impression that I understand Kant, because people will say that I am stupid when I do not understand Kant”. In reality, people do not understand him. Only, they do not want to admit it; they say to themselves: ”I must understand Kant, because he is very clever. I understand something very intelligent, if I understand Kant! In this way, I make a good impression on people.”

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 353 – Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker – Dornach, May 14, 1924 (page 244-245)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on June 1, 2018