Morality and Intellectuality

Whereas in the present fifth epoch, intellectuality can remain unimpaired even if no pleasure is taken in moral actions, in the sixth epoch, it will be quite different.

In the sixth epoch, that is, from about the third millennium onwards, immorality will have a paralysing effect upon intellectuality.

The mental powers of a man who is intellectual and at the same time immoral will definitely deteriorate and this condition will become more and more pronounced in the future evolution of humanity.

A man who has no morals will therefore have no intellectual power for this will depend entirely upon moral actions, and in the seventh epoch, cleverness without morality will be non-existent.

Source: Rudolf Steiner: GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan – 21st September, 1911

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

See also:

Cultural epochs (1 of 3) – The essential characteristic of our present fifth epoch is the development of intellect

Cultural epochs (2 of 3) – The essential characteristic of the following epoch will be aesthetic pleasure in the good, aesthetic displeasure in the evil

Cultural epochs (3 – End) – In the seventh epoch, cleverness without morality will be non-existent


Inner Eye 2 – Art of Carol Herzer


Morality: a prerequisite to clairvoyance

The best way to awaken our clairvoyant forces is to ensure that as much effort is spent on the development of our morality as it is on achieving clairvoyance. It cannot be emphasised enough that building up a moral character is key to the proper unfolding of clairvoyant faculties. 

[…] We can observe that people who develop clairvoyant faculties but neglect to refine their moral attributes will display bad habits of character they never, or hardly ever, possessed. Many, for instance, will become great liars, as they start developing their clairvoyance.

It is particularly dangerous for the character of a human being when the faculty of spiritual hearing unfolds: clairvoyance is less dangerous than what we might call clairaudience, or spiritual hearing.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Erfahrungen des Übersinnlichen / Die drei Wege der Seele zu Christus – Zürich, 15 January 1912 (page 49)

Anonymous translator


Previously posted on 2 December 2015

Buddha and Christ

The powers and forces which draw man upwards again to the spiritual world fall into two categories: those which draw him upwards on the path of Wisdom, and those which draw him upwards on the path of Morality. The forces to which intellectual progress is mainly due all proceed from the impulse given by a great Individuality of the fourth post-Atlantean epoch who is known to you all, namely Gautama Buddha. It is a remarkable discovery of spiritual investigation that the most penetrating, most significant, thoughts conceived in our present epoch have proceeded from Gautama Buddha.

The second impulse which, in addition to that of Buddha, continues to work in the evolution of humanity is the Christ Impulse and is connected with the future ascent of humanity to Morality. Although Buddha’s teaching is in a particular sense moral teaching, the Christ Impulse is not teaching but actual power which works as such and to an increasing degree imbues mankind with moral strength.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Buddha and Christ – The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan, 21st September 1911

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond 1_Z1CaguE4yXe_dABfoX0qLA

Previously  posted on 26 August, 2018

Not only is morality advanced by good habits, but also health

In considering karma and disease, both of the individual and whole populations, we have seen that what has been prepared during earlier times spiritually asserts itself later in physical life. Therefore, if we ensure that humanity has good education and habits, we will promote health too! Not only is the moral element promoted by good habits, but also health, since bad habits create disease in the next incarnation. Nervousness, one of the most typical illnesses today, results from a particular state of mind in an earlier life. It would never have occurred if the materialistic worldview with its habits of thought had not become so prevalent. Should this mindset persist, it would devastate public health and drive humankind to madness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Stuttgart, March 14, 1906 (page 255)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger 


Human nature was fundamentally good

In the last lecture we found that moral impulses are fundamental in human nature. From the facts adduced, we tried to prove that a foundation of morality and goodness lies at the bottom of the human soul, and that really it has only been in the course of evolution, in man’s passage from incarnation to incarnation, that he has diverged from the original instinctive good foundation and that thereby what is evil, wrong and immoral has come into humanity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – The Spiritual Foundation of Morality: III – Norrkoping, 30th May, 1912

Translated by M. Cotterell

Previously posted on October 6, 2018