About truths and opinions (2 of 5)

The idea floats before quite a number that a time must come when there are as many religions and truths as persons.This will not be the course of human evolution. It would take this course if men were to continue to follow the impulse coming today from materialism. That would lead to disharmony, to the splitting of humanity into separate individuals. Mankind, however, will only not take this course if such a spiritual movement as Spiritual Science is accepted. What will enter then? The great truth, the great law, will be realized that the most individual truths, those that are found in the most inward way, are at the same time those that hold good for all.

To be continued

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

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Previously posted on July 23, 2018

 

About truths and opinions (1 of 5)

Humanity has now descended to the point where not only manners and customs are individual but even opinions and faiths as well. There are people among us already who look on it as a lofty ideal for everyone to have his own religion. The idea floats before quite a number that a time must come when there are as many religions and truths as persons.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st Jun1908

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Previously posted on July 22, 2018

Megalomania

Certain instincts and needs of our innermost being in particular mislead us into deceiving ourselves about our own being. Take the case of a person who is terribly vain, who suffers from a form of megalomania. Such people are by no means few in number.

[…] Vanity and megalomania exist in many souls who have not the very slightest inkling that it is so.

Megalomania gives rise to many wishes …[..] — these wishes do not become conscious, they remain wholly in the depths. Such a person may wish to exercise a controlling influence upon someone else, but because he would have to admit that this desire for control over the other is born of vanity and megalomania, he will not admit it.

[,,,] such a person never gets to the point of saying to himself: ‘What I have in me, producing the desire for action, is really vanity, megalomania.’

[…] In connection with a series of actions, a man once said to me that he had done them out of an iron sense of duty, out of infinite devotion to the cause he represented. I was bound to say to him in reply: “The opinion you have about the motives of your procedure and of your actions is no criterion whatever. Only reality is the criterion, not the opinion one may have. The reality shows that the impulse, the urge to these actions was to gain influence in a certain direction.” I said to the man quite baldly: “Although you believe that you are acting out of an iron sense of duty, you are really acting under the impulse to acquire influence and you misinterpret this way of acting as being selfless, done purely out of a sense of duty. You are not acting out of this motive but because it pleases you to act so, because it brings you certain pleasure – again, therefore, out of a certain inner impulse.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death: Lecture 1 – Dornach, February 5, 1915

See also: Apparent motives and real motives

Bust by David Dozier

Opinions and truth

In our age special stress is laid upon this ego or ‘I’ in the direction of thought. One hears nothing more often said than — this is my standpoint, I think this or that — as though the opinion of this or that person had any significance compared with the truth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – The Effect of Occult Development Upon the Self and the Sheaths of Man – Lecture 10 – The Hague, 29th March 1913

Previously posted on January 26, 2015

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Borstbeeld door David Dozier

Fanaticism is the worst thing in the world

Fanaticism is the worst thing in the world, particularly in education, — a fanaticism which makes a man press on in one direction and push ahead regardless of anything but his one aim, reduced to precise slogans.

But if one looks at the world, without prejudice one will concede: views and opinions are but views and opinions. If I have a tree here and photograph it, I have one view of it; the view from here has a definite form; but the view is different from here, and again different from over there; so that you might think it was not the same tree if you only had the pictures to go by. In the same way there are points of view in the world, there are outlooks. Each one only regards one aspect of things. If you know that things must be looked upon from the most manifold standpoints you avoid fanaticism and dwell in many-sidedness, in a universality.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 305 – Spiritual Ground of Education: Lecture IX: The Teachers of the Waldorf School – 25th August, 1922 | Oxford

Translated by Daphne Harwood

Previously posted on February 12, 2018

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