Exercises / Health

In our present cycle of humanity, occult training may not go so far as to lead to the injury of the physical body — still there is, however, a degree of occult development which leads to the possibility that the physical body and the etheric body may draw to themselves inwardly destructive forces; [….] but every true occult development provides the remedies at the same time, and these remedies are given in that which you find described in my book, Occult Science, as the six auxiliary occult exercises: Concentration of thought; that is, strenuous exertion of thought, the concentrated gathering together of thoughts; the development of a certain Initiative of Will; a certain Equilibrium of joy and sorrow, a certain Positivity in relation to the world, a certain Impartiality. (Steiner does not mention the sixth exercise here, but it is called Harmony, the balanced combination of the exercises.)

The student who endeavours to develop these qualities in his soul parallel with his occult development, on the one hand certainly produces in himself a sort of effort to break the physical and etheric bodies to pieces, that is, under the influence of occult development to take in the seed of death; but to the same extent that this develops it is annulled, so that it is never really active when a person develops the qualities mentioned, or when through his moral development he already possesses the qualities equivalent to these six. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – THE EFFECT OF OCCULT DEVELOPMENT UPON THE SELF AND THE SHEATHS OF MAN: Lecture X – The Hague, 29 March 1913


Changing interests

We must keep in mind that we become different from other men through our occult development. Our interests change, and one often hears esoterics complain that they’ve lost interest in many things that used to interest them, and that they feel a inner boredom and emptiness. This is a quite normal state that soon passes. And the emptiness of their soul will soon be filed with interests that’ll replace the other ones a thousandfold. Nevertheless, we should not give up our connection with other men and the interests that filled us previously, and above all things we shouldn’t demand that people must change their circle of interests.

Source Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Oslo, June 20, 1910

Previously posted on November 17, 2019

Dangers of Occult Development

When a pupil becomes clairvoyant, the passions that emanate from people, look to him like a tableau, from which centre they radiate. Mirrored passions appear as animals assaulting him. Man sees the lower passions around him as all kinds of wild animals, such as mice, rats and the like. If the student, not having learned this, experiences for the first time his own passions as mice and rats rushing at him, then pathological conditions such as paranoia might easily occur.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 101 – Mythen und Sagen Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole – Cologne, December 27, 1907 (page 224)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on October 15, 2015

No occult school sees in its teaching and requirements anything like a moral law valid for all mankind

Yesterday we concluded by outlining the three methods of occult development: the Eastern, the Christian and the Rosicrucian. Today we will begin by going more closely into the details which distinguish these three paths. But first I should say that no occult school sees in its teaching and requirements anything like a moral law valid for all mankind. The requirements apply only to those who deliberately choose to devote themselves to a particular occult training. You can, for instance, be a very good Christian and fulfil everything that the Christian religion prescribes for the laity without undergoing a Christian occult training. It goes without saying that you can be a good man and come to a form of the higher life without any occult training.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture XIII: Oriental and Christian Training – Stuttgart, 3rd September 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on August 25, 2015