The Importance of Education for the Human Being

When you consider the whole human lifespan, not only what is comfortable, not just childhood, to obtain basic pedagogical rules, pedagogical impulses, it becomes clear for the first time what a vitally important role education and upbringing have in the life of a human being. One realises, how often happiness or misfortune in terms of mental, psychological and physical wellbeing are related to education and upbringing. When you see how the doctor, when treating people in old age, without knowing, needs to correct upbringing mistakes and that he often fails to address the problems he encounters, because they are too firmly anchored in the human being. When you see how a child lives with its feelings into what it experiences and how this has physical consequences, when you realise how the interchanging between the physical and the psychical occurs, you come to deeply respect, to evaluate in the right way the importance of the methodology of learning.  You begin to understand what the existential conditions for educating should be, merely according to the nature of the human being himself.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 308 – Die Methodik des Lehrens und die Lebensbedingungen des Erziehens – Stuttgart, April 8, 1924 (page 16)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Prayer in childhood and the power to bless in old age

Whatever concerns our feelings always comes back in some form or other. You will probably remember the typical instance I have often given. If we teach a child to pray — if, that is, we teach him to develop a prayerful mood and feeling, the effect of it will swing back into his life after  many years. It swings back in the interval, but then swings out again further, and only later, after a very long time, does the feeling of prayer come back and manifest in a mood of blessing.
As I have often said: No-one will be able in old age to bestow blessing upon others, merely from his presence, from the imponderable elements in his nature, if in childhood he has not learned to pray. Prayer turns into the power to bless. That is how things come back in life. And it is becoming imperative that men should understand these things.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mission of Michael. The Revelation of the Intrinsic Secret of the Human Being: Elemental Beings and Human Destinies – Dornach, December 6, 1919

One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time

But just as there are definite stages in the evolution of the individual human being, just as the nature of his powers and faculties differs in childhood, middle life and old age, so too are the powers and faculties possessed by humanity in general constantly changing in the course of evolution. Not to take account of the fact that the character of humanity is different in the 20th century from what it was in the 15th century, let alone before and at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, is to sleep through the process of world-evolution. One of the greatest defects, one of the principal sources of aberration and confusion in our time, is its failure to pay heed to this, as well as the prevalent notion that it is possible to speak of man or of humanity in terms of abstract generalisations, that there is no need to regard humanity as being involved in a continuous process of evolution.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 –The Work of the Angels In Man’s Astral Body – Zurich, 9th October, 1918

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