An undeveloped brain may at times conceal great spiritual faculties

We may meet a person who seems to be very stupid, but who has brought with himself a concealed higher life that needs only to be brought out. Most human beings these days are much further than it seems, and more people would know about this if the materialism of our conditions and of our time would not drive them back into the inner life of the soul. A large percentage of today’s human beings was previously much further advanced. Whether that which is within them will come forth depends on many factors. But it is possible to give some help. Suppose you have before you a person who was highly developed in his earlier incarnation, but now has an undeveloped brain. An undeveloped brain may at times conceal great spiritual faculties. But if he can be taught the usual everyday abilities, it may happen that the inner spirituality also comes forth.

Another important factor is the environment in which a person lives. The human being is a mirror-image of his surroundings in a most significant way. Suppose that a person is a highly developed personality, but lives in surroundings that awaken and develop certain prejudices with such a strong effect that the higher talents cannot come forth. Unless such a person finds someone who can draw out these abilities, they will remain hidden.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Esoteric Development: Lecture I: Inner Development – Berlin, 7th December 1905

Translated by Gertrude Teutsch

Rudolf-Steiner-Poster

Painting by Lutz Baar

Previously posted  on July 4, 2018

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Judgment and authority

We can say that the actual carrier of human judgment, that force within the human that enables him or her to judge a given situation, is basically speaking only born when sexual maturity is reached and slowly matures from the 12th year onwards. When you know this and appreciate it, you are also aware of the responsibility you take on, when you let a child judge independently at too early an age. 

In this respect, the most disastrous prejudices are prevalent in our times: there is a preference to let the child get used to independent judgments as early as possible. We have said that we must focus on the child in such a way that he experiences the influence of an authority, that he accepts something because the authority working alongside him accepts it. When the child is used to this approach by the teacher or educator, and it accepts the truth because the educator represents the authority, we prepare the child in the right way, to exercise free, independent judgment later in life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 301 – Die Erneuerung der pädagogisch -didaktischen Kunst durch Geisteswissenschaft – Basel, May 6, 1920 (bladzijde 169)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

rudolph-steiner-sm

Previously posted on August 15, 2020 

It is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed

I have often emphasized that it is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed. When people say this, it is because they are so crammed full with materialistic prejudices that they do not look at what spiritual science really has to offer. As soon as it is examined, everything becomes understandable. One does not need clairvoyance for this; our ordinary understanding is enough to really grasp and comprehend all this gradually — of course, “gradually” will be inconvenient for some people.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: Lecture One: Understanding the Spiritual World (Part One) – Berlin, April 18, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on October 16, 2016

It is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed

Spiritual science can be understood by every person who wants to understand its findings. It strives to give people what each individual soul can truly achieve on its own, not by following the religious founders, as in earlier times. And although it must be individual researchers who make the results of this science of the spirit available today, they do so in a form that can be understood by everyone who wants to. 

I have often emphasized that it is a complete misunderstanding to say spiritual science must also be believed. When people say this, it is because they are so crammed full with materialistic prejudices that they do not look at what spiritual science really has to offer. As soon as it is examined, everything becomes understandable. One does not need clairvoyance for this; our ordinary understanding is enough to really grasp and comprehend all this gradually — of course, “gradually” will be inconvenient for some people.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path: Lecture I: Understanding the Spiritual World (Part 1) – Berlin, April 18, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim

Previously posted on October 16, 2016

An undeveloped brain may at times conceal great spiritual faculties

We may meet a person who seems to be very stupid, but who has brought with himself a concealed higher life that needs only to be brought out. Most human beings these days are much further than it seems, and more people would know about this if the materialism of our conditions and of our time would not drive them back into the inner life of the soul. A large percentage of today’s human beings was previously much further advanced. Whether that which is within them will come forth depends on many factors. But it is possible to give some help. Suppose you have before you a person who was highly developed in his earlier incarnation, but now has an undeveloped brain. An undeveloped brain may at times conceal great spiritual faculties. But if he can be taught the usual everyday abilities, it may happen that the inner spirituality also comes forth.

Another important factor is the environment in which a person lives. The human being is a mirror-image of his surroundings in a most significant way. Suppose that a person is a highly developed personality, but lives in surroundings that awaken and develop certain prejudices with such a strong effect that the higher talents cannot come forth. Unless such a person finds someone who can draw out these abilities, they will remain hidden.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Esoteric Development: Lecture I: Inner Development – Berlin, 7th December 1905

Translated by Gertrude Teutsch

Previously posted on August 13, 2015