Self-knowledge and world knowledge

One can never reach true self-knowledge without having come to a knowledge of the world. To brood over our inner self will not lead to self-knowledge. What prepares the self for self-knowledge is world knowledge. In turn, one cannot come to a world knowledge without having first delved into his own self. Knowledge of the world is impossible without self-knowledge.

The two statements may seem contradictory, but it is a lively and fruitful contradiction: we cannot come to a knowledge of the world without self-knowledge, neither can we attain self-knowledge without a knowledge of the world. It is like the beating of a pendulum which must swing back and forth. So must man constantly search for the pendulum that beats, now between self-experience and world experience, and now between world experience and self-experience. This inner activity will bring about a strengthening of the soul. It is today a soul necessity and will be more so in the future.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen – Stuttgart, 1 May 1919 (page 71)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on July 31, 2017

Opinions

It is taken for granted that anyone may express his opinion concerning all kinds of things which belong to a conception of the world, or life-conception. Everybody has his own point of view. Again and again we find that careful study, entailing the application of all means available to an inner activity, in order to investigate and know at least something of the world, counts for nothing in the present day. Instead, it is taken for granted that the standpoint of one who has toiled and worked in order, to venture to say at least a few things concerning the secrets of the universe is equivalent to the standpoint of one who has simply made up his mind to have an opinion!

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Reflections of Consciousness, Super-consciousness and Sub-consciousness – Munich, February 25, 1912

Previously posted on April 3, 2015

Inner Activity of Soul

These days the people who might perhaps have the urge to experience something of the  supersensible out of some indeterminable instinct, prefer to acquire the ability to see into spiritual worlds through a mystical laying on of hands or something in that line. After all, a lot of people believe that it works this way. But it does not. What opens the spiritual world for us is strenuous inner activity of the soul.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 –Freiheit/Unsterblichkeit/ Soziales Leben – Bern, 18th October 1917 (page 29)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on December 19, 2014

Opinions

It is taken for granted that anyone may express his opinion concerning all kinds of things which belong to a conception of the world, or life-conception. Everybody has his own point of view. Again and again we find that careful study, entailing the application of all means available to an inner activity, in order to investigate and know at least something of the world, counts for nothing in the present day. Instead, it is taken for granted that the standpoint of one who has toiled and worked in order, to venture to say at least a few things concerning the secrets of the universe is equivalent to the standpoint of one who has simply made up his mind to have an opinion!

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Reflections of Consciousness, Super-consciousness and Sub-consciousnessMunich, February 25, 1912

Previously posted on January 7, 2014

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Opinions

It is taken for granted that anyone may express his opinion concerning all kinds of things which belong to a conception of the world, or life-conception. Everybody has his own point of view. Again and again we find that careful study, entailing the application of all means available to an inner activity, in order to investigate and know at least something of the world, counts for nothing in the present day. Instead, it is taken for granted that the standpoint of one who has toiled and worked in order, to venture to say at least a few things concerning the secrets of the universe is equivalent to the standpoint of one who has simply made up his mind to have an opinion!

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Reflections of Consciousness, Super-consciousness and Sub-consciousnessMunich, February 25, 1912