The higher truth of religion got lost

Anthroposophy is neither an adversary of religion nor of science. It wants to attain truth like the researchers by knowledge, and it does not deny the basic truth of the religions.

This basic truth is often little understood by those who represent the religions. Original, eternal truth forms the basis of all religions. The religions existing today developed from it. Then, however, later ingredients overgrew them. They lost their deeper truth. The core of truth lies behind them. However, science has not yet advanced so far that it has ascended from the matter to the spirit. It is not yet so far that it investigates the spiritual with the same enthusiasm as it investigates the natural phenomena. Science finds its core of truth in future. So, this higher truth of religion got lost, and science has not yet found it. Today, anthroposophy stands between them. It falls back on the past, on the lost, and it tries to investigate in the future what has not yet been found. In return, it is attacked by both sides. The habits and the external customs of today are different from those of former times, but in spite of the frequently praised tolerance of our modern time one still tries to intimidate those who represent an uncomfortable opinion. Somebody who speaks of the soul today, like the naturalist speaks of the external facts, is no longer burnt, indeed, but also methods are found to burden and to suppress him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 52 – Spiritual Teachings of Soul/World: Course I: Lecture II: The Origin of the Soul – Berlin, October 3, 1903

rudolf-steiner-1915-rudolf-joseph-lorenz-steiner-austrian-philosopher-K2YD4K

Intellectualistic proof of God’s existence cannot be given

What has had to be said concerning Cosmology applies still more to knowledge of a religious kind. Here we have to build up knowledge which has its origins in the experience of the spiritual world. To draw conclusions concerning such experience from the subject-matter of ordinary consciousness is impossible. In intellectual concepts the religious content cannot be opened out but only clarified. When one began to seek for proofs of God’s existence, the very search was a proof that one had already lost the living connection with the divine world. For this reason also no intellectualistic proof of God’s existence can be given in any satisfactory way. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 25 – Cosmology, Religion and Philosophy: CHAPTER IV: EXERCISES OF COGNITION AND WILL – Dornach, September 1922

716YojVwWBL

Change

The strongest impulses producing this change (of traits of character, of temperament, and so forth R.v.D.) in ordinary life are the religious ones. When the I allows the impulses that flow from religion to act upon it again and again, they form within it a power that works right into the ether body and transforms it in much the same way that lesser life-impulses cause a transformation of the astral body. 

These lesser impulses of life, which come to man through study, contemplation, ennobling of the feelings, and so forth, are subject to the manifold changes of existence; religious experiences, however, imprint upon all thinking, feeling, and willing a uniform character. They shed, as it were, a common, uniform light over the entire soul-life. A man thinks and feels this way today, tomorrow differently. The most varied causes bring this about. But if a person through his religious feelings, whatever they may be, divines something that persists throughout all changes, he will relate his current soul experiences of thinking and feeling to that fundamental feeling just as he does with his soul experiences of tomorrow. Religious creed, therefore, has a far-reaching effect upon the whole soul-life; its influence becomes ever stronger in the course of time, because it works by means of constant repetition. It therefore acquires the power of working upon the ether body. 

The influence of true art has a similar effect upon the human being. If, through outer form, through color and tone of a work of art, he penetrates to its spiritual basis with thought and feeling, then the impulses that the I thus receives work down even into the ether body. If we think this thought through to the end we can estimate what a tremendous significance art has for all human evolution. We have referred here only to a few instances that give to the  I  the impulse to act upon the ether body. There are many similar influences in human life that are not so apparent to the observing eye as those that have been mentioned. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: II: THE ESSENTIAL NATURE OF MANKIND

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges

4697_steiner

The death of something that is merely regarded as religion

It is well-nigh incomprehensible to me that again, quite recently, anthroposophical Spiritual Science should have been accused by theological circles of destroying the religious life. It has been said, for example: the life of Anthroposophy betokens the death of religion! 

Now the life of Anthroposophy is indissolubly bound up with that life of the soul in which the very deepest forces of religion unfold. This search for super-sensible realities cannot betoken the death of religion — at most it might betoken the end of something that is merely regarded as religion and is already dead. If, indeed, this is what has happened to religion, Anthroposophy would simply be opening up a vista of death. 

By its very nature, however, being a living path to the super-sensible realities, Anthroposophy is a means whereby the religious feelings, the whole-hearted devotion of men to the super-sensible worlds may be enhanced, quickened, pervaded with warmth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 79 – On the Reality of Higher Worlds – Christiania (Oslo), November 25, 1921

Translation by D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on March 7, 2017

The Belief in Authority has moved from Religion to Science

Nowadays, the human being proudly tells himself that he only believes in what he can grasp within himself. However, to one who can look deeper, it seems the belief in authority that used to belong to the religious confessions has merely sprung over to another sphere. Moreover, this sphere is, indefinitely, but with an all the stronger belief therein, what is abstractly called “science”. As soon as the word “science” falls, there rises to the surface in contemporary humanity, the belief in authority from a completely different direction than previously.

To what science establishes as valid, an authority of much higher power than ever before is attributed – for reasons that, in widespread circles, are not entirely clear.

How often one hears today, as the answer to a question arising from the inner being of a person: “Science says this or that.” This generally acknowledged power, namely science, has now claimed all authority for itself. This authority is accepted by those who consider themselves to be knowledgeable of the times they live in, even concerning questions that relate to their worldview as well.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 77a – Die Aufgabe der Anthroposophie gegenüber Wissenschaft und Leben – Darmstadt, July 28, 1921 (page 56-57)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 17, 2019