Why are we born into this physical world?

Especially when we direct our gaze toward spiritual worlds should this question concern us: Why are we born out of the spiritual worlds into this physical world? Well, we are born into this physical world (tomorrow and next day I will develop in greater detail what I shall sketch today) — we are born into this physical world because here on this earth there are things to be learned, things to be experienced, which cannot be experienced in the spiritual worlds; but in order to experience these things we must descend into this physical world, and from this world we must carry up into the spiritual worlds the results of this experience. In order to attain that, however, we must really plunge down into this physical world; our very spirit in its quest for knowledge must dive down into this physical world. For the sake of the spiritual world, we must immerse ourselves in this physical world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mysteries of Light, of Space, and of the Earth – Lecture I – Dornach, December 12, 1919

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

Previously posted on March 8, 2018

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Portrait bust by David Dozier

New senses / New phenomena

Nobody has true knowledge of the visible world unless he knows something also of two other worlds.

The three worlds are:

The physical world, the scene of human life.

The astral world or the world of soul.

The devachanic world or world of spirit.

These three worlds are not spatially separate. We are surrounded by the things of the physical world which we perceive with our ordinary senses: but the astral world is in this same space; we live in the other two worlds, the astral and devachanic worlds, at the same time as we live in the physical world. The three worlds are wherever we ourselves are, only we do not yet see the two higher worlds — just as a blind man does not see the physical world. But when the “senses of the soul” are opened, the new world, with its new characteristics and new beings, emerges. In proportion as a man acquires new senses, so are new phenomena revealed to him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: LECTURE TWO: THE THREE WORLDS – Stuttgart, 23rd August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on August 19, 2019

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A seer can also be mistaken in some details 

No one can describe the spiritual world in its entirety; it is more complex and vaster than our physical world. I admit that the spiritual researcher can be mistaken in some details, just as one can be mistaken in the physical world, if one wants to determine, for example, the height of a mountain. But no more than such a mistake in detail can be a reason to deny the physical world, no more, may the reality of the spiritual realm be rejected because of a flaw in some specific detail.

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Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, October 28, 1903 (page 32)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on April 27, 2020

Every form of life is spiritual

You will understand the physical world, only if you learn to know the spiritual world. Spiritual science is not meant for cranks, but for the most practical of the practical! Every form of life is spiritual. Even as ice is condensed water, so matter is condensed spirit. Mineral, plant, animal, or man — each is a condensed form of the spirit.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture I – Kassel, 16th June 1907 

Previously posted on September 20, 2016