Anger: we can call it the teacher of love

For the spiritual scientist, anger is also the harbinger of something quite different. Life shows us that a person who is unable to flare up with anger at injustice or folly will never develop true kindness and love. Equally, a person who educates himself through noble anger will have a heart abounding in love, and through love he will do good. Love and kindness are the obverse of noble anger. Anger that is overcome and purified will be transformed into the love that is its counterpart. A loving hand is seldom one that has never been clenched in response to injustice or folly. Anger and love are complementary.

Transmuted anger is love in action. That is what we learn from reality. Anger in moderation has the mission of leading human beings to love; we can call it the teacher of love.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul Paths of Experience Vol. 1 – Lecture 2: The Mission of Anger – Munich, 5th December 1909

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on February 3, 2018

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Tolerance

To be tolerant means in the sense of Spiritual Science something quite different from what one understands usually about it. It means also to respect the freedom of thought in others. To push others away from their place is an insult, but if one does the same thing in thought nobody would say this is an injustice. We talk a lot about “regard for the other’s opinion,” but are not really willing to apply this principle ourselves.

The “Word” today has almost no meaning, one hears it and one has heard nothing. One has to learn to listen with one’s soul, to get hold of the most intimate things with our soul. What later manifests itself in physical life is always present in the spirit first. So we must suppress our opinion and really listen completely to the other, not only listen to the word but even to the feeling. Even then, if in us a feeling will stir that it is wrong what the other one says, it is much more powerful to be able to listen as long as the other one talks than to jump into their speech. This listening creates a completely different understanding — you feel as if the soul of the other starts to warm you through, to shine through you, if you confront “her” in this manner with absolute tolerance.

We shall not only grant the freedom of person but complete freedom. We shall even treasure the freedom of the other’s opinion. This stands only as an example for many things. If one cuts off someone’s speech one does something similar to kicking the other from the point of view of the spiritual world. If one brings oneself as far as to understand that it is much more destructive to cut somebody off than to give them a kick, only then one comes as far as to understand mutual help or community right into one’s soul. Then it becomes a reality.

Bron: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Brotherhood and the Fight for Survival – Berlin, November 23nd, 1905

Translated by Manfred Maier & Nicholas Stanton

Previously posted on June 6, 2016

Parents/Children/Karma

The human being is led to a specific set of parents, but not only because he himself is attracted to those people.  High exalted beings are also involved and working on this, because at the current stage of development they have taken this task upon themselves to order karmic relationships in a way as to be true and just. So, if occasionally the parents apparently appear not to belong with the children, or it seems to be so for the children, we need not look for an error or injustice behind this seeming contradiction. For in this might often be found the good, in that a human being might have to find his way under the most complicated circumstances and among the strangest relationships, to learn from this.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – Breslau (Wroclaw), December 2, 1908 (page 61)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 29, 2016

Parents/Children/Karma

The human being is led to a specific set of parents, but not only because he himself is attracted to those people.  High exalted beings are also involved and working on this, because at the current stage of development they have taken this task upon themselves to order karmic relationships in a way as to be true and just. So, if occasionally the parents apparently appear not to belong with the children, or it seems to be so for the children, we need not look for an error or injustice behind this seeming contradiction. For in this might often be found the good, in that a human being might have to find his way under the most complicated circumstances and among the strangest relationships, to learn from this.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – Breslau (Wroclaw), December 2, 1908 (page 61)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Tolerance

To be tolerant means in the sense of Spiritual Science something quite different from what one understands usually about it. It means also to respect the freedom of thought in others. To push others away from their place is an insult, but if one does the same thing in thought nobody would say this is an injustice. We talk a lot about “regard for the other’s opinion,” but are not really willing to apply this principle ourselves.

The “Word” today has almost no meaning, one hears it and one has heard nothing. One has to learn to listen with one’s soul, to get hold of the most intimate things with our soul. What later manifests itself in physical life is always present in the spirit first. So we must suppress our opinion and really listen completely to the other, not only listen to the word but even to the feeling. Even then, if in us a feeling will stir that it is wrong what the other one says, it is much more powerful to be able to listen as long as the other one talks than to jump into their speech. This listening creates a completely different understanding — you feel as if the soul of the other starts to warm you through, to shine through you, if you confront “her” in this manner with absolute tolerance.

We shall not only grant the freedom of person but complete freedom. We shall even treasure the freedom of the other’s opinion. This stands only as an example for many things. If one cuts off someone’s speech one does something similar to kicking the other from the point of view of the spiritual world. If one brings oneself as far as to understand that it is much more destructive to cut somebody off than to give them a kick, only then one comes as far as to understand mutual help or community right into one’s soul. Then it becomes a reality.

Bron: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Brotherhood and the Fight for Survival Berlin, November 23nd, 1905

Translated by Manfred Maier & Nicholas Stanton

Previously posted on 10 February 10, 2014