The six basic exercises – 5. Unbiased receptivity in our attitude toward life

Thought linked with will undergoes a certain maturing if we permit ourselves never to be robbed by previous experiences of the unbiased receptivity for new experiences. For the student of the spiritual the following thought should entirely lose its meaning, “I have never heard that, I do not believe that.” It should be his aim, during specific periods of time, to learn something new on every occasion from everything and everybody. From every breath of air, from every leaf, from the babbling of children one can learn something if one is prepared to bring to one’s aid a certain point of view that one has not made use of up to the present. It will, however, be easily possible in regard to such an ability to go wide of the mark. One should not in any way disregard, at any particular stage of life, one’s previous experiences. One should judge what one experiences in the present by one’s experiences of the past. This is placed upon one scale of the balance; upon the other, however, must be placed the inclination of the student continually to experience the new. Above all, there must be faith in the possibility that new experiences may contradict the old.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – V: Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation. (Part 2)

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges

Previously posted on November 26, 2014

The six basic exercises – 5. Impartiality in our attitude toward life

Thought linked with will undergoes a certain maturing if we permit ourselves never to be robbed by previous experiences of the unbiased receptivity for new experiences. For the student of the spiritual the following thought should entirely lose its meaning, “I have never heard that, I do not believe that.” It should be his aim, during specific periods of time, to learn something new on every occasion from everything and everybody. From every breath of air, from every leaf, from the babbling of children one can learn something if one is prepared to bring to one’s aid a certain point of view that one has not made use of up to the present. It will, however, be easily possible in regard to such an ability to go wide of the mark. One should not in any way disregard, at any particular stage of life, one’s previous experiences. One should judge what one experiences in the present by one’s experiences of the past. This is placed upon one scale of the balance; upon the other, however, must be placed the inclination of the student continually to experience the new. Above all, there must be faith in the possibility that new experiences may contradict the old.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – V: Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation. (Part 2)

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges

Previously posted on November 26, 2014

Heretics, Fools and Dreamers

Nowadays heretics are not dealt with the way they used to be. They no longer end up being burned at the stake, but are looked at instead as fools and dreamers whose words are only the product of a capricious imagination. They are ridiculed, and from their high court of scientific judgement they are told that what they have to say cannot be harmonised with genuine science. But the people who do all this are not aware that true, genuine science is precisely what demands this truth.

And now we can cite hundreds and hundreds of such truths that would show us how spiritual science can illuminate life by showing there is an immortal core in human beings that passes through death into the spiritual worlds; when it has fulfilled its mission there it returns to physical existence to gather new experiences that are then carried up through death into spiritual worlds.

We would see how the bonds established from one person to another, from soul to soul in all areas of life, those attractions of the heart that pass from soul to soul and from which there is otherwise no explanation, can be explained by the fact that they were formed through relationships in former lives. We would also see that the inner spiritual bonds we form today also do not come to an end when death moves over the face of our earthly existence. Instead, what moves from soul to soul as a bond of life is as immortal as the human soul itself; it continues to live with the soul as the latter passes through the spiritual world, and it will come to life  again in other future earthly relationships and new incarnations. It is only a question of evolution until people will remember their earlier earthly experiences and what they lived through in former earth lives and conditions of existence.

Source(German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 272 – Faust, der strebende Mensch – Strasbourg , 2 January 1910 (page 19-20)

This English translation has been copied from the book: GA 272 -Anthroposophy in the Light of Goethe’s Faust – Writings and lectures from mid 1880s to 1916

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The six basic exercises – 5. Unbiased receptivity in our attitude toward life  

Thought linked with will undergoes a certain maturing if we permit ourselves never to be robbed by previous experiences of the unbiased receptivity for new experiences. For the student of the spiritual the following thought should entirely lose its meaning, “I have never heard that, I do not believe that.” It should be his aim, during specific periods of time, to learn something new on every occasion from everything and everybody. From every breath of air, from every leaf, from the babbling of children one can learn something if one is prepared to bring to one’s aid a certain point of view that one has not made use of up to the present. It will, however, be easily possible in regard to such an ability to go wide of the mark. One should not in any way disregard, at any particular stage of life, one’s previous experiences. One should judge what one experiences in the present by one’s experiences of the past. This is placed upon one scale of the balance; upon the other, however, must be placed the inclination of the student continually to experience the new. Above all, there must be faith in the possibility that new experiences may contradict the old.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – V: Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation. (Part 2)

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges

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