And you will have knowledge of what is true, and that will make you free (John 8:32)

Spiritual science shows how everything of a material nature is a revelation of the spirit and how in a way unknown to man spiritual influences are themselves diffused within him. […]

When we turn our eye to a beautiful, pure and noble thing, a concept is aroused in us; when we turn our eye to a sordid, ignoble thing then a different concept is aroused. Now when a concept is called forth in the soul through outer impressions there slip into man at the same time these Saturn spirits — the good and the bad. And through all that man by his mere sympathies and antipathies unfolds around himself as environment, as what he hears and sees and smells, he exposes himself to the insinuations of the one or other order of the Saturn-spirits. […]

So you see how we must picture man to ourselves as quite a complicated being, as an associate of many kinds of worlds, many kinds of beings. One who advances on the path of occult development to ever higher stages of knowledge learns to know these beings in their special nature and thereby becomes independent of them, he is able to view them from an independent standpoint. To take into oneself the truth concerning higher worlds means to become really free, really mature, for we are then aware of the activities and impulses which pulse and flow through our life. Learning to know one’s way means at the same time to become free and independent.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture I – Berlin, 6th January, 1908

Previously posted on July 6, 2019

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Insecurity is necessary to become independent

Animals cannot stand the human way of life. Even as regards nourishment, they have a certain security. If a cow goes over a meadow, she knows exactly what plants are good for her. Man has that no more. He needs insecurity in order to come to freedom of choice. The present insecurity is necessary to reach security at a higher stage. Man adapts himself to higher stages. Thus his becoming insecure is the guarantee that he becomes independent. To have remained secure denotes something that has not advanced to the point where the ego can work in the individual being. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – The Animal Soul – Leipzig, 16th March, 1907

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

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Energy and matter

The materialist who believes in the teachings of materialism, who believes in the doctrine of “energy and matter”, is not the worst, but he who is dependent on energy and matter. For example the person who can only live in this place in the winter, in summer only in that place, making himself totally dependent on the material environment so as not to become neurasthenic. That is why the main point is not merely that one does not believe in the doctrine of matter and energy, but the point is that we make ourselves independent of materiality. What kind of life is it, if one can only live in a big city in winter, in the summer only in the country? For such people praying does not help and faith does not help either because he is a materialist, dependent on “energy and matter”.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – Die Mission der neuen Geistesoffenbarung – St. Gallen, 26 februari 1911 – (p 108)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 17th September 2013

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Rudolf Steiner and Marie von Sivers