The first seven years of life / Pleasure and delight

There is one thing that must be thoroughly and fully recognized for this age of the child’s life (Steiner talks here about the first seven years). It is that the physical body creates its own scale of measurement for what is beneficial to it. This it does by the proper development of craving and desire. Generally speaking, we may say that the healthy physical body desires what is good for it. In the growing human being, so long as it is the physical body that is important, we should pay the closest attention to what the healthy craving, desire and delight require. Pleasure and delight are the forces which most rightly quicken and call forth the physical forms of the organs.

In this matter it is all too easy to do harm by failing to bring the child into a right relationship, physically, with his environment. Especially may this happen in regard to his instincts for food. The child may be overfed with things that completely make him lose his healthy instinct for food, whereas by giving him the right nourishment the instinct can be so preserved that he always wants what is wholesome for him under the circumstances, even to a glass of water, and turns just as surely from what would do him harm. Anthroposophical Science, when called upon to build up an art of education, will be able to indicate all these things in detail, even specifying particular forms of food and nourishment. For Anthroposophy is realism, it is no grey theory; it is a thing for life itself.

Thus the joy of the child, in and with his environment, must be reckoned among the forces that build and mould the physical organs. Teachers he needs with happy look and manner, and above all with an honest unaffected love. A love which as it were streams through the physical environment of the child with warmth may literally be said to ‘hatch out’ the forms of the physical organs.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy

Translated by George and Mary Adams

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See also:

https://rudolfsteinerquotes.wordpress.com/2018/04/09/fragments-from-the-education-of-the-child-in-the-light-of-anthroposophy-1-of-3/

https://rudolfsteinerquotes.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/fragments-from-the-education-of-the-child-in-the-light-of-anthroposophy-2-of-3/

https://rudolfsteinerquotes.wordpress.com/2018/04/11/fragments-from-the-education-of-the-child-in-the-light-of-anthroposophy-3-end/

Previously posted on October 4, 2020

Evil feelings

Wherever the opportunity is given for definite beings, then they are always there. If a person sends out wrong, evil feelings, these live around him and attract beings which are there waiting, just as some physical being waits for food. I once compared this with the fact that there are no flies in a clean room; if there are all sorts of food-remains in the room, then there are flies. So it is with the super-sensible beings: one need only provide them with the means of nourishment.

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

Previoously posted on July 21, 2019

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Insecurity is necessary to become independent

Animals cannot stand the human way of life. Even as regards nourishment, they have a certain security. If a cow goes over a meadow, she knows exactly what plants are good for her. Man has that no more. He needs insecurity in order to come to freedom of choice. The present insecurity is necessary to reach security at a higher stage. Man adapts himself to higher stages. Thus his becoming insecure is the guarantee that he becomes independent. To have remained secure denotes something that has not advanced to the point where the ego can work in the individual being. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – The Animal Soul – Leipzig, 16th March, 1907

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

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Uplifting fact

Where the spiritual world is concerned the first essential is that we should develop thoughts about it. And even if it seems as though the dead were remote, while present life is near and close at hand, the very fact that we have such thoughts as have been described today, that we let our mind dwell on things seemingly remote from external life — this very fact uplifts and develops the soul, imparts to it spiritual force and spiritual nourishment.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremberg, 10th February 1918

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on April 10, 2019

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Although Anthroposophy is still scorned today, it will not always be so

People will gradually long more and more for great spiritual truths. Although Anthroposophy is still scorned today, it will not always be so. It will spread, and overcome all its external opponents, and everything else still opposing it, and anthroposophists will not be satisfied by merely preaching universal love. It will be understood that one cannot acquire Anthroposophy in one day, any more than a person can take sufficient nourishment in one day to last the whole of his life. Anthroposophy has to be acquired to an ever increasing extent. 

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

Translated by M. Cotterell

Previously posted on October 9, 2018

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