Old and new clairvoyance (1 of 2)

In earlier times people had a basic, atavistic clairvoyance. It was possible for them to have Imaginations, even Inspirations. But in contrast to this earlier stage, we have now reached an advanced stage and can form ideas about the physical world. When people still possessed an atavistic clairvoyance, they could not think properly. For proper thinking to develop, the strength used earlier in clairvoyance had to be applied to thinking. Some people nowadays develop clairvoyant faculties at certain times in their life by methods other than those described by spiritual science. This is because they have inherited these faculties from earlier times and they have not yet achieved sound judgment in those areas of life where they are clairvoyant. But we are approaching the time when sound judgment must be present before clairvoyance can be developed on the basis of such mature and balanced judgment.

In other words, when people these days show certain psychic abilities, a certain clairvoyance, without having done serious exercises, without having studied spiritual science – which, if applied in the right way, can be the best exercise to bring out the old clairvoyance – this does not mean that they are more advanced than everyone else, but rather that they are lagging behind. Having atavistic abilities today does not mean one has reached the stage of clear thinking.

To be continued

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

Translated by C. von Arnim

Previously posted on January 2, 2015

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Do not think too much

The first ground rule for the study of man is that one does not have to think too much. That will seem strange at first, but you will soon understand what I mean. By thinking about something a man does obviously not learn particularly much about anything. If he only broods on what he saw, he will as a rule not make much sense of it.

Thus If one wants to learn about the world, one should not expect too much from thinking; It is not so important to think about something. When one needs to consider the facts, one must of course do that. But one must not consider this to be the main purpose. It does not bring any knowledge to brood on things afterwards. One has to look at other things, compare them and find the coherences. The more one looks for the coherences, the more one becomes aware of nature. Those who only think about nature find nothing more there than what they already knew.

If someone is a materialist, then he also talks about nature in a materialistic way, because that is how he stands in the world. He discovers nothing new. If someone talks about nature in an idealistic way, he does that because he already is an idealist. One can always find that by thinking, people find only what they already knew beforehand. Proper thinking arises only when one is led by the facts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner- Health and disease – Dornach, 10 January 1923

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 13th December 2013

Old and new clairvoyance (1 of 2)

In earlier times people had a basic, atavistic clairvoyance. It was possible for them to have Imaginations, even Inspirations. But in contrast to this earlier stage, we have now reached an advanced stage and can form ideas about the physical world. When people still possessed an atavistic clairvoyance, they could not think properly. For proper thinking to develop, the strength used earlier in clairvoyance had to be applied to thinking. Some people nowadays develop clairvoyant faculties at certain times in their life by methods other than those described by spiritual science. This is because they have inherited these faculties from earlier times and they have not yet achieved sound judgment in those areas of life where they are clairvoyant. But we are approaching the time when sound judgment must be present before clairvoyance can be developed on the basis of such mature and balanced judgment.

In other words, when people these days show certain psychic abilities, a certain clairvoyance, without having done serious exercises, without having studied spiritual science – which, if applied in the right way, can be the best exercise to bring out the old clairvoyance – this does not mean that they are more advanced than everyone else, but rather that they are lagging behind. Having atavistic abilities today does not mean one has reached the stage of clear thinking.

To be continued

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

Translated by C. von Arnim

Previously posted on September 23, 2013

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Do not think too much

The first ground rule for the study of man is that one does not have to think too much. That will seem strange at first, but you will soon understand what I mean. By thinking about something a man does obviously not learn particularly much about anything. If he only broods on what he saw, he will as a rule not make much sense of it.

Thus If one wants to learn about the world, one should not expect too much from thinking; It is not so important to think about something. When one needs to consider the facts, one must of course do that. But one must not consider this to be the main purpose. It does not bring any knowledge to brood on things afterwards. One has to look at other things, compare them and find the coherences. The more one looks for the coherences, the more one becomes aware of nature. Those who only think about nature find nothing more there than what they already knew.

If someone is a materialist, then he also talks about nature in a materialistic way, because that is how he stands in the world. He discovers nothing new. If someone talks about nature in an idealistic way, he does that because he already is an idealist. One can always find that by thinking, people find only what they already knew beforehand. Proper thinking arises only when one is led by the facts.

Source: Rudolf Steiner- Health and disease – Dornach, 10 January 1923

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Old and new clairvoyance – 1 of 2

In earlier times people had a basic, atavistic clairvoyance. It was possible for them to have Imaginations, even Inspirations. But in contrast to this earlier stage, we have now reached an advanced stage and can form ideas about the physical world. When people still possessed an atavistic clairvoyance, they could not think properly. For proper thinking to develop, the strength used earlier in clairvoyance had to be applied to thinking. Some people nowadays develop clairvoyant faculties at certain times in their life by methods other than those described by spiritual science. This is because they have inherited these faculties from earlier times and they have not yet achieved sound judgment in those areas of life where they are clairvoyant. But we are approaching the time when sound judgment must be present before clairvoyance can be developed on the basis of such mature and balanced judgment.

In other words, when people these days show certain psychic abilities, a certain clairvoyance, without having done serious exercises, without having studied spiritual science — which, if applied in the right way, can be the best exercise to bring out the old clairvoyance — this does not mean that they are more advanced than everyone else, but rather that they are lagging behind. Having atavistic abilities today does not mean one has reached the stage of clear thinking.

Source: Presence of the Dead: Lecture One: Understanding the Spiritual World (Part One)

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – Wie erwirbt man sich Verständnis für die geistige Welt? – Berlin 18 April 1914 (p 24)

To be continued