The logic of opponents

All kinds of people wanted their children to attend Waldorf School, anthroposophists and non-anthroposophists. Very strange opinions were held. Naturally enough parents are fondest of their own children and of course want to send them to an excellent school. To give one example, we have had the following experience. There are many opponents whose opposition is based on scientific grounds; and they know that anthroposophy is so much foolish, unscientific rubbish. 

Nevertheless they send their children to the Waldorf School. They even discover that the Waldorf School suits their children admirably. Recently two such people visited the Waldorf School and said — But this Waldorf School is really good, we notice this in our children; but what a pity that it is based on anthroposophy. Now the Waldorf School would not be there at all if anthroposophy were not there. So, you see, the judgment of many people amounts to this: It is as if one would say: That is an excellent dancer; the only pity is that he must stand on two legs. Such is the logic of opponents.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 310 – HUMAN VALUES IN EDUCATION X. The Relation of the Art of Teaching to the Anthroposophical Movement – Arnheim, 24 July 1924

Translated by Vera Compton-Burnett



About discussion with opponents

If we try to be ‘scientific’ in the ordinary sense of the word — as, unfortunately, many of our members have tried to be — then we are presuming, so to speak, that it is possible to enter into discussion with them. But now take the lectures that have been given here (about reincarnation and karma), or the lectures at Prague, or the single lectures at Stuttgart — can you believe for a single moment that there can be any question of entering into discussion with our opponents on these matters? It goes without saying: we can enter into no discussion with our opponents when we speak of these things. How, for example, should we discuss with any representative of the civilisation of today the statement, for example, that the soul of Muavija appeared again in the soul of Woodrow Wilson?  

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume II: Lecture II – Dornach, 12th April 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond 


Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924)

Previously posted on April 15, 2018

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


Hidden spiritual causes (1 of 2)

All mere dreaming and imagining about the supersensible brings only confusion for they are incapable of satisfying the opponents. The latter are right when they say that such general references to supersensible beings are not an aid to the understanding of the facts. These opponents, it is true, may say the same thing about the definite indications of spiritual science. In this case, however, it can be shown how the effects of hidden spiritual causes appear in outer life. 

The following can be maintained: Suppose that what spiritual research has established by means of observation is true, namely, that man after death has passed through a period of purification and that he has experienced psychically during that time how a definite act, which has been performed in a previous life, is a hindrance to further evolution. While he was experiencing this, the impulse developed in him to rectify the consequences of this act. He brings this impulse with him into a new life, and it then forms the trait of character that places him in a position where this rectification is possible. Consider the totality of such impulses, and you have a reason for the destined environment in which a person is born.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: III: SLEEP AND DEATH

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.


Opponents become appreciators

You can already find out whether the objections (to spiritual science) are justified or unjustified if you put the question: does the person concerned know anything generally about that which spiritual research intends? Does he know anything about the serious fights, about the overcoming and deliverance from the sufferings that one has to experience? […]

One can experience something peculiar: then those who approach the results of spiritual research seriously are no more opponents. Maybe in no other area than in that of spiritual research you can say rightly, opponents are strictly speaking only those who do not know the matter. On the field where one knows it are no more opponents. The opponents become appreciators if they get to know the matter.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 69a – Errors of Spiritual Research – Part 2 – Stuttgart, 19 February 1913