Every form of life is spiritual

You will understand the physical world, only if you learn to know the spiritual world. Spiritual science is not meant for cranks, but for the most practical of the practical! Every form of life is spiritual. Even as ice is condensed water, so matter is condensed spirit. Mineral, plant, animal, or man — each is a condensed form of the spirit.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture I – Kassel, 16th June 1907 

Previously posted on September 20, 2016 

Anthroposophy does not only want to impart knowledge; it seeks to awaken life

One might compare theoretical anthroposophy to a photograph. If you are very anxious to learn to know someone you have once met, or with whom you have been brought into touch through something or other, you would not want to be offered a photograph. You may find pleasure in the photograph; but it cannot kindle the warmth of your feeling life, for the man’s living presence does not confront you.

Theoretical Anthroposophy is a photograph of what Anthroposophy intends to be. It intends to be a living presence; it really wants to use words, concepts and ideas in order that something living may shine down from the spiritual world into the physical. Anthroposophy does not only want to impart knowledge; it seeks to awaken life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 234 – Anthroposophy, An Introduction: Lecture VI: RESPIRATION, WARMTH AND THE EGO – Dornach, 3rd February, 1924

Translated by Vera Compton-Burnett

If I give a child moral precepts I make morality distasteful, disgusting, to him

This is of enormous importance in its application to moral education: if we give the child definite precepts in conceptual form, we oblige him to come to morality in the form of ideas, and then antipathy arises; man’s inner organism sets itself against abstract moral precepts or commandments, it opposes them. But I can encourage the child to form his own moral sentiments direct from life, from feeling, from example and subsequently lead him on to the breaking down, to the catabolic stage, and get him to formulate moral principles as a free autonomous being.

In this case I am helping him to an activity which benefits his entire being. Thus, if I give a child moral precepts I make morality distasteful, disgusting, to him, and this fact plays an important part in modern social life. You have no idea how much disgust human beings have felt for some of the most beautiful, the noblest, the mast majestic of man’s moral impulses because they have been presented to them in the form of precepts, in the form of intellectual ideas.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 305 – Spiritual Ground of Education: Lecture IX: The Teachers of the Waldorf School – Oxford, 25th August 1922