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


Social Reform

Whosoever can see into the spiritual world, sees the connections that lie at the basis of earthly life. He sees the people, how they live together: some in most profound misery, poor and downtrodden through hardship and labour, others relishing in abundance, enjoying this and that.

One can easily imagine how that would have to change if one only takes the physical aspect into account. That is what most people do, who feel themselves called to initiate social reform. They are not in the same position as a successfully operated blind person, who suddenly sees the world around him in full colour, because otherwise, they would all become aware that behind the physical manifestations there are multiple and various beings.

If they try to achieve their well-intentioned reform plans but take no account of the spiritual beings behind the earthly, then things would be much worse than it ever was before within fifty years. All contemporary social ideals would run counter to the soul world in the most grotesque way if the soul world, that is to say, the human passions, appetites and desires would not at the same time change.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Ursprungsimpulse der Geisteswissenschaft – Berlin, October 1, 1906 (page 83)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on January 6, 2016

Terror-inspiring astral world

For the inexperienced, the astral world is a big jumble. He can experience all kinds of animal figures coming towards him, as well as frightening human figures and the like. There are people who tell of such experiences. They are really in a very deplorable state. Through illness the astral world becomes visible in an irregular manner. If one begins to meditate and seriously train oneself clairvoyance, develops in the right way and then one knows what to expect in the astral world.

When people enter the astral world because of a diseased brain or something similarly unusual terrible figures are seen to be coming towards them and throwing themselves upon them. These figures are in reality their own passions emanating from themselves and showing their own mirror images in the astral world. Because in the astral world everything is reversed and they cannot read the astral images everything rushes toward them. Everything appears in images in the astral world. Erupting anger for example may appear as a picture of a tiger, attacking them. So it is with all these wild figures. Because every desire, every passion becomes a demon. However, the untrained man does not know how to interpret this and assumes the perception to be fantasized imaginations which it certainly isn’t. It is an image, a mirror.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – Kosmogonie – Leipzig, June 29, 1906 (page 135)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 10, 2016

It would be sheer boundless arrogance for man to suppose that he has attained in the slightest degree to the wisdom inherent in the formation of the external physical body

Consider our physical body; we look on it as having been formed out of the spiritual world in the primordial past as a dwelling for the human soul. Only a materialistic mind could believe that this human body had not been born originally from the spirit. Seen merely from an external point of view, the physical body must appear a miracle of perfection. What do all our intellectual ability and technical skill amount to, compared with the wisdom manifest in the structure of the human heart? Or take the engineering technique that goes into the building of bridges, and so forth — what is it compared with the construction of the human thigh-bone, with its wonderful crisscross of support members, as seen through the microscope.

It would be sheer boundless arrogance for man to suppose that he has attained in the slightest degree to the wisdom inherent in the formation of the external physical body. And consider our soul-life, taking into account only our instincts, desires and passions — how do they function? Are we not doing all we can to undermine inwardly the wisdom-filled organisation of our body? Indeed, if we consider without prejudice the marvel of our physical organisation, we have to admit that our bodily structure is far wiser than anything we can show in our inner life, although we may hope that our inner life will advance from its present imperfection towards increasing perfection. We can hardly come to any other conclusion, even without clairvoyance, if we simply look impartially at the observable facts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 59 – Metamorphoses of the Soul – Vol. 2: Lecture 8: Human Conscience – Berlin, 5th May 1910

Translated by Charles Davy and Christian von Arnim

Previously posted March 4, 2015

About truths and opinions (5 – End)

If mathematical truths were not so simple and obvious then the passions aroused in acknowledging them would lead to many difficulties. For if covetousness entered in then perhaps many housewives would determine that 2 x 2 = 5 and not 4. These things are only so obvious and simple that they can no longer be clouded by sympathy and antipathy. Continually wider regions will be grasped by this form of truth and more peace can come to mankind if truth is grasped in this manner.

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