Incorrect criticism

Something that especially harms esoteric development is the untested, superficial and therefore objectively incorrect criticism that we often direct at people. I’m not saying that criticizing is wrong, but it should always be directed to facts and not at people whom one doesn’t happen to like.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Part II – Muenchen, 26th February 1912


Previously posted on November 26, 2017

Friendships in Devachan

It is incorrect to say that man is asleep in Devachan; incorrect that he is concerned only with himself, or that relationships begun on Earth are not continued there. On the contrary, a friendship truly founded on spiritual affinity continues with great intensity. The circumstances of physical life on Earth bring about real experiences there. The inwardness of friendship brings nourishment to the communion of spirits in Devachan and enriches it with new patterns; it is precisely this which feeds the soul there. Again, an elevated aesthetic enjoyment of nature is nourishment for the life of the soul in Devachan.

All this is what human beings live on in Devachan. Friendships are as it were the environment with which a man surrounds himself there. Physical conditions all too often cut across these relationships on Earth. In Devachan the way in which two friends are together depends only on the intensity of their friendship. To form such relationships on Earth provides experiences for life in Devachan.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: LECTURE FOUR: DEVACHAN – Stuttgart, 25th August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

The best remedy against a tormenting astral being

Lucifer and Ahriman are at their most harmful when they are not seen, when they remain invisible. Let us suppose that somebody is tormented by ahrimanic forces; what would be the best remedy? The best remedy would be for him to have some kind of picture made of Ahriman which he could place in his room. The best remedy against an astral being which torments one, is to place it before oneself in a physical form.

It is incorrect to suppose that if we have Ahriman before us we will be persecuted by him; the contrary is true. Things must be made visible. But we must not let the matter get on our nerves; we must not develop a condition in which, if we happen to pass by the picture of Ahriman and look at it unconsciously, we then carry the image within ourselves. For this image will then be invisible inside us, thus making us nervous or excited.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 275 – Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom: Lecture Three: IMPULSES OF TRANSFORMATION FOR MAN’S ARTISTIC EVOLUTION II – Dornach, 30th December 1914

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Illogical thinking is extraordinarily widespread

There is an extraordinary amount of wrong thinking in our day. One can suffer the pains of martyrdom from the terribly illogical life of the world. Anyone who has acquired a certain clairvoyance does not simply feel that one thing is correct and another incorrect, but he suffers actual pain when confronted by illogical thinking, and a sense of well-being in connection with clear, transparent thinking. This signifies that he has acquired a feeling for such things, and this enables him to make decisions. And this brings far truer differentiations when one has actually reached this stage. It gives a far truer discrimination between truth and untruth. This seems incredible, but it is true. When something erroneous is said in the presence of a clairvoyant person, the pain which rises in him shows him that this is illogical, erroneous. Illogical thinking is extraordinarily widespread; at no time has illogical thinking been so widespread as precisely in our time, in spite of the fact that people pride themselves so much on their logical thinking.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Previously posted on 11 december 2013


One-sided truths

To say something that is incorrect is not the worst thing that can happen, for the world itself will soon put one right about it; but it is really serious to regard a one-sided truth as the absolute truth and to persist in so regarding it. […] It is always essential to look at truths not only from the one side but also from the other. The fault of most philosophers is not that they say what is false — in many cases their assertions cannot be refuted because they do state truths — but that they make statements which are due to things having been viewed from one side only. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 119 – Macrocosm and Microcosm – Lecture 6 – Experiences of Initiation in the Northern Mysteries – Vienna, 26th March 1910