An undeveloped brain may at times conceal great spiritual faculties

We may meet a person who seems to be very stupid, but who has brought with himself a concealed higher life that needs only to be brought out. Most human beings these days are much further than it seems, and more people would know about this if the materialism of our conditions and of our time would not drive them back into the inner life of the soul. A large percentage of today’s human beings was previously much further advanced. Whether that which is within them will come forth depends on many factors. But it is possible to give some help. Suppose you have before you a person who was highly developed in his earlier incarnation, but now has an undeveloped brain. An undeveloped brain may at times conceal great spiritual faculties. But if he can be taught the usual everyday abilities, it may happen that the inner spirituality also comes forth.

Another important factor is the environment in which a person lives. The human being is a mirror-image of his surroundings in a most significant way. Suppose that a person is a highly developed personality, but lives in surroundings that awaken and develop certain prejudices with such a strong effect that the higher talents cannot come forth. Unless such a person finds someone who can draw out these abilities, they will remain hidden.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Esoteric Development: Lecture I: Inner Development – Berlin, 7th December 1905

Translated by Gertrude Teutsch

Rudolf-Steiner-Poster

Painting by Lutz Baar

Previously posted  on July 4, 2018

The entrance into the spiritual world, how long would it take?

The entrance into the spiritual world will definitely be achieved by those who tread the path I have characterized. When? One of the most outstanding participants in the theosophical movement, Subba Row, who died some time ago, has spoken fittingly about this. Replying to the question of how long it would take, he said, “Seven years, perhaps also seven times seven years, perhaps even seven incarnations, perhaps only seven hours.” It all depends on what the human being brings with himself into life. We may meet a person who seems to be very stupid, but who has brought with himself a concealed higher life that needs only to be brought out. Most human beings these days are much further than it seems, and more people would know about this if the materialism of our conditions and of our time would not drive them back into the inner life of the soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Esoteric Development: Lecture I – Berlin, 7th December 1905

Translated by Gertrude Teutsch

T Subba Row

SUBBA ROW (1856-1890)

Previously  posted on July 3, 2018

If a person does not acquire the ability to look behind the facade so to speak, he will not at all be able to understand anything about the forces that direct and guide life

One never learns to know people from a world view that is merely outwardly oriented. Once an viewpoint that is clouded by materialism orientates itself only on the outer appearance of a person, once the human being does not know what hides behind this physical corporality, and he thereby does not get the opportunity to look behind the scenes so to speak, he is not at all capable, really unable, to understand something about the forces that guide and direct life. That is precisely the task of spiritual knowledge. It has to be admitted that this task is not currently fulfilled in the right measure. [….]

However, that is not what really matters, what is important is that which becomes possible through spiritual insight. It can be something that not only teaches us, but provides powerful schooling for our inner soul forces as well. That is what can best be brought about through spiritual knowledge, when we look at the spiritual worldview from out of the perspective of what can be developed through it.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 054 – Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie – Hamburg, 2nd March 1908 (page 91-92)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

rudolf-steiner-ga-54-die-weltraetsel-und-die-anthr

Previously posted on June 21, 2018

The real spirit  

When do we speak legitimately of the spirit? When do we speak truly of the spirit? We speak truly of the spirit, we are justified in speaking of the spirit, only when we mean the spirit as creator of the material. The worst kind of talk about the spirit — even though this talk is often looked upon today as very beautiful — is that which treats the spirit as though it dwelt in Utopia, as if this spirit should not be touched at all by the material. No; when we speak of the spirit, we must mean the spirit that has the power to plunge down directly into the material.

And when we speak of spiritual science, this must he conceived not only as merely rising above nature, but as being at the same time valid natural science. When we speak of the spirit, we must mean the spirit with which the human being can so unite himself as to enable this spirit, through man’s mediation, to weave itself even into the social life. A spirit of which one speaks only in the drawing room, which one would like to please by goodness and brotherly love, but a spirit that has no intention of immersing itself in our everyday life — such a spirit is not the true spirit, but a human abstraction; and worship of such a spirit is not worship of the real spirit, but is precisely the final emanation of materialism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mysteries of Light, of Space, and of the Earth: Lecture I: The Dualism in the Life of the Present Time – Dornach, December 12, 1919

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

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PAINTING BY GARY SAMDALIRI

Previously posted on June 11, 2018

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

influspirbeings_covs

Previously posted on July 23, 2018