The physical world is the school (2 of 3) – Our work here prepares the organs for a higher world

Man has to go through birth and death ever and again, until he has gained his full maturity in order to enter the spiritual world itself, so that he no longer needs physical organs. Thus we have to realise that everything we do by means of our eyes, ears and other senses is work done for the higher life.

Certainly, we have, frequently said that man must develop higher senses, that he must develop the chakrams or holy wheels, which enable him to enter the spiritual world and see it. But how does he come to obtain these holy wheels? Through his work on the physical plane. Here is the place of preparation. Our work here prepares the organs for a higher world.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – The Gospel of St. John – Third Lecture – Berlin, 5th March 1906


Previously posted on July 15, 2018

In spiritual science knowledge comes before seeing

For external nature, nature is first, then comes ‘knowledge’; for spiritual nature, knowledge — that is, an experience like a ‘knowledge’ — leads the way as a preparation; the ‘sight’ comes after. [….]

Obviously — there should be no need to mention this — we do not ‘make’ the spiritual experience when we comprehend it in this way spiritually-scientifically; but we become aware within ourselves of what is always within us. But as in the knowledge of nature, experience and knowledge spring from sight or contemplation, in spiritual science the sight or contemplation of the spiritual world must spring, if human culture is to go on, from a knowledge of the spiritual processes. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 64 –  The Human Soul in Life and Death – Berlin, November 26, 1914


Opposing forces (2 – End)

These forces are so powerful that our organism would waste away beneath their holiness if they continued to work on us. However, for the activity that brings us into conscious contact with the supersensible world, we have to call upon these forces again.

This leads us to a realization that is very significant if we understand it rightly. In the New Testament it is put thus: “Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) What then seems to be the highest ideal for a human being if the above statement is correctly understood? Surely that our ideal must be to approach ever closer a conscious relationship with the forces that worked on us, without our awareness, in the first years of childhood. At the same time, we must realize that we would collapse under the power of these forces if they were immediately and too easily to affect our conscious life. That is why a careful preparation is necessary to achieve the capacities that lead to a perception of supersensible worlds. The goal of this preparation is to enable us to bear what we simply cannot bear in ordinary life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 15 – The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity: Lecture One – Copenhagen, June 6, 1911

Previously posted on May 9, 2019


Preparation / Knowledge / Exercise / Powers of the soul

Let it be remembered, that in the physical world whatever we do in thinking, feeling and willing in order to have some knowledge of that world or to do something for it — all this serves only as preparation for knowledge of the higher worlds. 

Whatever we may think about something belonging to the physical world, no matter how astutely, gives us no knowledge of the higher worlds. Through thinking our soul is merely prepared, merely trained in such a way that it gradually becomes capable of penetrating into the spiritual worlds. 

And the same applies to willing and feeling in connection with things of the physical world. In order to be doubly clear, let me say this. A learned researcher, through his scientific methods, gets to know something belonging to the external world. When he has investigated it he is wont to say: I know this and that belonging to the external world. This kind of investigation, this kind of thinking, does not help him in the very least to penetrate into the spiritual world. 

His thinking and investigation are of significance only because they exercise the powers of his soul. The effect, as far as penetration into the spiritual worlds is concerned, is that through this thinking and investigation the soul becomes more capable of living its own life, of activating its own forces. The activities that are normally carried out in the physical world are of use for spiritual-scientific investigation only as an education of a man’s own soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 156 – Occult Reading and Occult Hearing –  LECTURE I: The Human Being and his Relationship to the World – Dornach, 3rd October 1914

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond


Connection between what a man is and what he produces

The tendency of World-evolution is for a connection to arise between what a man is and what he creates — what he produces. This connection will become more and more intimate. It will emerge to begin with in those spheres on which a closer relationship between man and man is founded — in the treatment of chemical substances for instance, when they are worked up into medicines. People today may still believe that a substance consists of sulphur and oxygen and hydrogen and what-not besides; and that the product of combination will only contain the effects that proceed from the several substances combined. To-day, to a large extent, this is still true; but the tendency of World-evolution is in another direction altogether. Intimate pulsations which are inherent in man’s life of will and feeling, will more and more be woven and incorporated in that which he produces. It will no longer be a matter of indifference whether we receive a preparation from one man or another.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 172 – The Insertion of Early Human Destiny into Extraterrestial Relationships – Dornach, 12th November 1916


Previously posted on October 3, 2017