About truths and opinions (2 of 5)

The idea floats before quite a number that a time must come when there are as many religions and truths as persons.This will not be the course of human evolution. It would take this course if men were to continue to follow the impulse coming today from materialism. That would lead to disharmony, to the splitting of humanity into separate individuals. Mankind, however, will only not take this course if such a spiritual movement as Spiritual Science is accepted. What will enter then? The great truth, the great law, will be realized that the most individual truths, those that are found in the most inward way, are at the same time those that hold good for all.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908

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Previously posted on July 23, 2018

 

Why comprehension for the spiritual world was to be darkened?

How did it come about that man has now lost the understanding for the spiritual life which lies at the foundation of all physical existence? Why had this to occur?

Let us turn our gaze to our immediate surroundings. Were you able to compare man’s present environment with that which once surrounded him at every step, you would find that at that time (Steiner is referring to the culture period from about 3000 to 500 BC) man only possessed the most necessary means of subsistence; but he had, on the other hand, more comprehension for spiritual things. This comprehension for the spiritual world had to withdraw in order to give man the possibility to acquire his present dominion over the earth. Every technical and industrial progress of the present time could only be achieved through a world-conception which had become materialistic, through the fact that the spirit, the super-sensible world, withdrew. At the cost of spiritual contemplation man gained, in the course of the last centuries, his rule over the physical world. It is a primordial, eternal law of humanity that capacities acquired in one sphere, can only be gained by the withdrawal of others upon another sphere. For instance, man could never have called into life the possibilities of travel and communication had other capacities not withdrawn. The sense for spiritual things had to withdraw, in order that everything which now surrounds us might arise. All that once filled the human soul had to withdraw, to render possible the conquest of the physical world.

Thus we see that around the 16th century men lost the vision of the spiritual world, and we see how the materialistic conception took hold of humanity. Those who believe that they themselves do not live in the very midst of such materialism are greatly mistaken.

It is not the task of spiritual science to deny or renounce things; it does not intend to criticise the bad world of to-day; but it wishes to indicate the necessity of man’s descent into matter. The great horizon of spiritual life had to withdraw from humanity while this descent took place, and this explains why man lost the old way of comprehending spiritual things. The truths exist in their old, earlier forms. Spiritual science can show how those truths can be rendered accessible to modern men. This is its chief aim. Consequently anthroposophy is merely the instrument whereby the deepest truths can be rendered accessible to the modern human spirit, in order that they may be grasped in their full depth.

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

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Previously posted on May 6, 2018

Materialism and Spiritualism 

We see to-day the most violent conflict between Materialism and Spiritualism. This conflict simply rests on the fact that human beings simply will not see what deep foundations this utterance has: — The truth always lies midway between two directly opposite associations.

My dear friends, is it true that God is within us? Is it true then that we are in God? It is true that we are in God. These two assertions are direct opposites. Both are true. God is in us, and we are in God; but the two assertions are polar opposites. The real truth, the whole truth lies between the two. The nature of all the conflict of ideas in the world rests on this — that human beings always tend to a one-sidedness, which is true, but only a one-sided truth; whereas the real truth lies between two opposite assertions. We must know both in order to get at the reality. 

For instance, to-day, in the present state of the evolution of the world, one must have the most earnest will to learn all we can of material existence above all, and not propagate the desire of those people who say: “We will only occupy ourselves with the Spirit: we do not want to know Matter.” To learn as much as possible of Matter is one side of human cognition, one thing for which the Will of man, must strive. On the other hand one must learn to know the Spirit, because between those two, lies what we are, and ought really to strive for. Both are wrong. — those who say the world is only Matter and those who say the world is only Spirit are wrong.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 203 – Social life: Lecture 1 – Dornach, January 21, 1921

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Immune to develop spiritual life

I have pointed out that while human bodies will develop in such a way that certain spiritualities can find room in them, the materialistic bent, which will spread more and more under the guidance of the spirits of darkness, will work against this and combat it by physical means. 

I have told you that the spirits of darkness are going to inspire their human hosts, in whom they will be dwelling, to find a vaccine that will drive all inclination towards spirituality out of people’s souls when they are still very young, and this will happen in a roundabout way through the living body.

Today, bodies are vaccinated against one thing and another; in future, children will be vaccinated with a substance which it will certainly be possible to produce, and this will make them immune, so that they do not develop foolish inclinations connected with spiritual life — ‘foolish’ here, of course, in the eyes of materialists.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 –  Fall of the spirits of darkness – LECTURE 13: The Fallen Spirits’ Influence in the World – Dornach, 27 October 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

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Human beings will be immunised against any predisposition for spiritual ideas

The age of materialism is striving, through the work of certain circles, to paralyse, to eliminate all spiritual development in mankind, to bring human beings to a point where simply by temperament and character they reject everything that is spiritual and regard it as folly.

This trend — and it is already perceptible in some individuals today — will intensify. People will actually long for the time when the Spiritual is universally deemed to be insanity, craziness! Attempts will be made to achieve this end by inoculations; just as viruses have been discovered as means of protection against illnesses, so certain inoculations will be used to influence the human body in such a way that it provides no place for the spiritual proclivities of the soul. Human beings will be immunised against any predisposition for spiritual ideas … such, at least, will be the endeavour. They will try by inoculation to bring it about that even in childhood, human beings lose the urge towards the spiritual life. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – Behind the scenes: Lecture 1 – Zurich, November 6, 1917

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