Genuine concern for others

Only a genuine concern of each man for his neighbour can bring salvation to mankind in the future — I mean to his community life. The characteristic feature of the epoch of the Consciousness Soul is man’s isolation. That he is inwardly isolated from his neighbour is the consequence of individuality, of the development of personality. But this separative tendency must have a reciprocal pole and this counterpole must consist in the cultivation of an active concern of every man for his neighbour.

This awakening of an active concern for others must be developed ever more consciously in the epoch of the Consciousness Soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 185 – FROM SYMPTOM TO REALITY IN MODERN HISTORY – Lecture IV: The Historical Significance of the Scientific Mode of Thinking – Dornach, October 25, 1918

Translated by A. H. Parker

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A moment of supreme importance

I have told you that the Event of the Mystery of Golgotha was a moment of supreme importance for the evolution of the world. The Christ appeared in the realm into which man enters after death, where Ahriman’s influence was even mightier than in the world around man here on earth between birth and death. In the realm of existence between death and rebirth, Ahriman’s influences worked upon man with terrible, overwhelming power.

And if nothing else had taken place, utter darkness would gradually have closed in upon man in the ‘realm of Shades’ — as it was correctly designated by the ancient Greeks. A condition of complete isolation, leading to the intensification of egoism would have set in between death and rebirth; man would have been born into his new life as a gross and overweening egotist. Hence it is more than a figure of speech to say that after the Event of Golgotha, at the moment when the Blood flowed from the wounds, the Christ appeared in yonder world, in the realm of the Shades, and cast Ahriman into fetters. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Deed of Christ and the Opposing Spiritual Powers: Mephistopheles and Earthquakes – Berlin, 1st January 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

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Previously posted on December 15, 2017

Ahriman

During earth life the power of Ahriman leads to the consideration of physical-sensory existence as the only one, thus barring all outlook into the spiritual world. In the spiritual world this power leads the human being to complete isolation, to concentration of all interests only upon himself. Human beings who at death are in the power of Ahriman are reborn as egotists.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: the Evolution of the Cosmos and Man: Part 7

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

Ahriman (Wikipedia)

Rudolf Steiner, who founded the esoteric spiritual movement anthroposophy, used the concept of Ahriman to name one of two extreme forces which pull humanity away from the centering influence of Christ. Steiner associated Ahriman, the lower spirit, with materialism, science, hereditary, objectivity and soul-hardening. He thought that contemporary Christianity was subject to Ahrimanic influence, since it tended towards materialistic interpretations. Steiner predicted that Ahriman, as a supersensible Being, would incarnate into a human form, ‘some little time after our present earthly existence, in fact in the third post-Christian millennium’.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angra_Mainyu

Previously posted on March 28, 2017

Ahriman

During earth life the power of Ahriman leads to the consideration of physical-sensory existence as the only one, thus barring all outlook into the spiritual world. In the spiritual world this power leads the human being to complete isolation, to concentration of all interests only upon himself. Human beings who at death are in the power of Ahriman are reborn as egotists.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: IV: The Evolution of the Cosmos and Man: Part 7

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

Ahriman (Wikipedia)

Rudolf Steiner, who founded the esoteric spiritual movement anthroposophy, used the concept of Ahriman to name one of two extreme forces which pull humanity away from the centering influence of Christ. Steiner associated Ahriman, the lower spirit, with materialism, science, hereditary, objectivity and soul-hardening. He thought that contemporary Christianity was subject to Ahrimanic influence, since it tended towards materialistic interpretations. Steiner predicted that Ahriman, as a supersensible Being, would incarnate into a human form, ‘some little time after our present earthly existence, in fact in the third post-Christian millennium’.

Interest and understanding instead of criticism

Only a genuine concern of each man for his neighbour can bring salvation to mankind in the future — I mean to his community life. The characteristic feature of the epoch of the Consciousness Soul is man’s isolation. That he is inwardly isolated from his neighbour is the consequence of individuality, of the development of personality. But this separative tendency must have a reciprocal pole and this counterpole must consist in the cultivation of an active concern of every man for his neighbour.

This awakening of an active concern for others must be developed ever more consciously in the epoch of the Consciousness Soul. Amongst the fundamental impulses indicated in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. How is it achieved? you will find mentioned the impulse which, when applied to social life, aims at enhancing understanding for others. You will find frequent mention of ‘positiveness,’ the need to develop a positive attitude. The majority of men today will certainly have to foreswear their present ways if they wish to develop this positive attitude, for at the moment they have not the slightest notion what it means. When they perceive something in their neighbour which displeases them — I do not mean something to which they have given careful consideration, but something which from a superficial angle meets with their disapproval — they immediately begin to criticize, without attempting to put themselves in their neighbour’s skin. It is highly anti-social from the point of view of the future evolution of mankind — this may perhaps seem paradoxical, but it is none the less true — to harbour these tendencies and to approach one’s neighbour with undisguised sympathy or antipathy. On the other hand the finest and most important social attribute in the future will be the development of a scientific objective understanding of the shortcomings of others, when we are more interested in their shortcomings than in our concern to criticize them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 185 – From Symptom to Reality in Modern History – Lecture IV – Dornach, 25th October 1918

Translated by A.H. Parker

Previously posted on March 7, 2014

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