A true philosopher should be a practical human being

One must be able to live in these higher worlds, but at the same time be able to bring oneself back again, so as to stand firmly on one’s own two feet. That is why in speaking of these things I state emphatically that for me as for a good philosopher a knowledge of how shoes and coats are sewn is almost more important than logic. A true philosopher should be a practical human being. One must not be thinking about life if one does not stand within it as a really practical human being. And in the case of one who is seeking super-sensible knowledge this is still more necessary. Knowers of the super-sensible cannot be dreamers or fanatics — people who do not stand firmly on their own two feet. Otherwise one loses oneself because one must really come out of oneself. But this coming-out-of-oneself must not lead to losing oneself. The book, Occult Science, an Outline, was written from such a knowledge as I have described.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 305 – Esoteric Development: Lecture IV: The Attainment of Spiritual Knowledge – Oxford, August 20, 1922

practical-philosophy

Blind faith in authority

We live in an age of the most careless thinking and at the same time it is an age of the blindest trust in authority. People live to-day entirely under the impression that they must believe in, they must recognise authority, that they must have the sanction of outside powers. They desire a warrant for this or that. For the most part men do not consider to-day that it is an individual concern, that they will eventually have to take up the matter for themselves! So, they go to whom ‘right and law is bequeathed like a hereditary sickness’ and accept conclusions without weighing how those conclusions were reached; for they consider it right to accept authority blindly.

A man is ill — he takes not the least trouble to learn the simplest thing about the illness. Why should he? We have recognised and certified physicians whose business it is to look after our bodies; we need not trouble in the least about them!

If information on any subject be desired, people go to those who ought to know, to the theologian, to the philosopher, to this one or to that.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 165 – ON THE DUTY OF CLEAR, SOUND THINKING – Dornach, 1st January 1916