You can imagine what a difficult situation one is in, as representative of spiritual science

You can imagine what a difficult situation one is in as representative of spiritual science: One not only has the representatives of the religions against one, but also the whole philosophical world and their followers as well. Every Tom Dick or Harry then comes and says: Well, you claim this or that about the spiritual world; but after all, Kant has already proven – so they say – that nothing can be known about it! – This is actually the most generalizing objection that one can make. Someone can say: I do not want to hear anything that Steiner says, because Kant has already proven that nothing can be known about the Spiritual world.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 353 – Die Geschichte der Menschheit und die Weltanschauungen der Kulturvölker – Dornach, May 14, 1924 (page 240)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on May 28, 2018

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The Lord’s Prayer

Prayers that are not of merely transient effect, but which possess the soul and rejoice the heart for thousands of years, are the fruit of deepest wisdom. Such a prayer could never have arisen through an arbitrary collocation of beautiful or sublime words. It is only because these words have been drawn from the deep well of wisdom that they possess the power to influence the soul of man for thousands of years.

To maintain that the simple-minded have no understanding of this wisdom is not a valid objection. They have no need of understanding, for the power of the Lord’s Prayer stems from this wisdom and is effective even when there is no understanding of the wisdom content.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – The Structure of the Lord’s Prayer – Karlsruhe, 4th February, 1907

Translated by A. H. Parker

Our Father in heaven,

hallowed be your name,

your kingdom come,

your will be done,

on earth as in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

Forgive us our sins

as we forgive those who sin against us.

Save us from the time of trial

and deliver us from evil.

            For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours

now and for ever. Amen.

Previously posted on June 8, 2016

Karma-Moral-Egoism (1 of 5)

The objection is frequently made that anthroposophy does not really work its way into the realm of morality. In fact it is said that through certain of its teachings it in some respects not only does not counter egotism but furthers it. Those who are of this opinion share the following thoughts. They say that anthroposophy demonstrates how the human being develops his existence from life to life and that the main point is that even if he suffers defeats he has the possibility of striving ever higher, employing in a subsequent life the results of what he has learned in a given life as in a kind of “school.” He who immerses himself completely in this belief in human perfectibility will strive to render his “I” ever more pure, to make it as rich as possible, so that he may ascend ever higher and higher. This, so these people say, is after all really an egotistic striving. For we anthroposophist, they say, seek to attract teachings and forces from the spiritual world in order to elevate our “I” to ever greater heights. This is therefore an egotistic basis for human action.

These people maintain further that we anthroposophists are convinced that we prepare a bad karma for ourselves through imperfect actions. Thus in order not to do so the anthroposophist will avoid doing this or that which he would otherwise have done. He therefore refrains from the action for fear of karma. For the same reason he would probably also do this or that which he otherwise would not have done, and this too would be but one more quite egotistic motivation for an action. There are a number of people who say that the teachings of karma and reincarnation as well as the rest of the striving for perfection which originates in anthroposophy leads people to work spiritually for a refined form of higher egotism.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – The Significance of Spiritual Research For Moral Action – Bieleveld, 6 March 1911

Translated by Alan P. Cottrell, Ph.D.

Previously posted on December 27, 2015