The abolition of the spirit

The steps taken by the Church Fathers towards the abolition of the spirit were carried a stage further by Marx and Engels in their comprehensive attempt to abolish the soul. According to the materialistic theory of history spiritual impulses are of no account, the driving forces of history are material forces or economic factors — the struggle for material wellbeing. What appertains to the soul is simply a superstructure on the solid foundation of material processes. It is important to recognize the genuine catholicity of Marx and Engels and to note in these aspirations of the nineteenth century the true consequence of the abolition of the spirit. […]

It will not be long before decrees are promulgated in several States declaring that those who take seriously the existence of the soul are not of sound mind, and only those will be regarded of sound mind who recognize the “truth”, namely that thinking, feeling and willing are the necessary by-products of certain physiological processes.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha: Lecture 1 – Berlin, 27th March 1917

Translated by A. H. Parker

Previously posted on November 21, 2014

People will accept obvious nonsense

Today people are satisfied with many things because certain incorrect theories have made the illusions far greater than they really need be. I have often quoted a characteristic example. Children in their 12th, 13th, and 14th years are told that lightning comes from friction in the clouds and it is admitted at the same time that the clouds are wet. Of course they are; but then when it is a matter of producing the electric spark which is the earthly replica of the lightning, it is found necessary to keep the electrical apparatus and everything belonging to it perfectly dry in order that no water of any kind is present; so that it comes to this — the only thing that is present when the lightning originates, is removed and yet the lightning is the same phenomena as the electric spark! Children and grown up people are quite satisfied to be lulled to sleep with all kinds of hypotheses of this kind. There are innumerable examples of the same kind where people will accept obvious nonsense simply on authority and yet in our days there is much talk of the laying aside of all authority — people say that they are no longer credulous of’ authority. Yet as a matter of fact if they had been so credulous it would have been quite impossible for the Marxian-Socialistic world conception to arise in our epoch, for it is far more credulous of authority even than ancient Catholicism!

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – The Necessity for New Ways of Spiritual Knowledge – Lecture 2 – Stuttgart, September 28, 1919

Previously posted on February 28, 2014

brown-smile

The abolition of the spirit

The steps taken by the Church Fathers towards the abolition of the spirit were carried a stage further by Marx and Engels in their comprehensive attempt to abolish the soul. According to the materialistic theory of history spiritual impulses are of no account, the driving forces of history are material forces or economic factors — the struggle for material wellbeing. What appertains to the soul is simply a superstructure on the solid foundation of material processes. It is important to recognize the genuine catholicity of Marx and Engels and to note in these aspirations of the nineteenth century the true consequence of the abolition of the spirit. […] It will not be long before decrees are promulgated in several States declaring that those who take seriously the existence of the soul are not of sound mind, and only those will be regarded of sound mind who recognize the “truth”, namely that thinking, feeling and willing are the necessary by-products of certain physiological processes.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha: Lecture 1 – Berlin, 27th March 1917

260px-Marx_and_Engels

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels