Genuine concern for others

Only a genuine concern of each man for his neighbour can bring salvation to mankind in the future — I mean to his community life. The characteristic feature of the epoch of the Consciousness Soul is man’s isolation. That he is inwardly isolated from his neighbour is the consequence of individuality, of the development of personality. But this separative tendency must have a reciprocal pole and this counterpole must consist in the cultivation of an active concern of every man for his neighbour.

This awakening of an active concern for others must be developed ever more consciously in the epoch of the Consciousness Soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 185 – FROM SYMPTOM TO REALITY IN MODERN HISTORY – Lecture IV: The Historical Significance of the Scientific Mode of Thinking – Dornach, October 25, 1918

Translated by A. H. Parker

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False prophets

It must also be stated repeatedly that the false prophets would be able to prevent the good and the great were they to succeed in spreading the opinion that Christ would appear again in the flesh. If anthroposophists were to fail to grasp this, it would be possible for them to fall prey to that illusion that would enable false messiahs to arise. 

These false messiahs will appear; they will count on souls that are so weakened by materialism that they cannot imagine anything but that when Christ appears again, He must necessarily appear in material substance, in the flesh. This misinterpretation of the prophecy is an evil thing, and it will appear in the form of a dangerous temptation for humanity. 

It is the task of anthroposophy to protect human beings from this temptation. This cannot be emphasized too strongly for all who have ears to hear. We can see by this, moreover, that anthroposophy has important things to say; we do not merely “pursue” anthroposophy because we are curious to know all kinds of truths but because we know that these truths must be used for the salvation and gradual perfecting of humanity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 118 – The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric: II: Spiritual Science as Preparation for a New Etheric Vision – Heidelberg, 27th January 1910 

Translated by Gilbert Church & Alice Wulsin

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Previously posted on November 30, 2017

A mission that weighs heavily on the heart

Think how much this means: — Here is a man who stands within some national group. We can see at once, he is a Russian, he is a Frenchman, he is an Englishman, he is a German. We recognise it by his appearance, and we locate him by thinking, as we see him, where can this man belong? We think it a matter of some importance if we can recognise: he is a Turk, he is a Russian, or the like. Now with those who today receive Anthroposophy with inner force of soul, with deep impulse and strength of heart — who receive it, therefore, as the deepest force of their life — such distinctions will have no more meaning when next they return to earth. People will say: Where does he come from? He is not of any nation, he is not of any race, he is as though he had grown away from all races and nations.

When the last Michael dominion took place, in the age of Alexander, the point was to spread Grecian culture in a cosmopolitan way, carrying it out in all directions. The campaigns of Alexander were an immense achievement in the equalising of men on earth, I mean in the spreading among them of a common element. But the thing was not yet able to strike so deep, for at that time Michael still administered the Cosmic Intelligence. Now Intelligence is on the earth, now it strikes far deeper, it strikes down even into the earthly element of man. For the first time, the Spiritual is preparing to become a race-creating force. The time will come when one will no longer be able to say: the man looks as if he belonged to this or that country, — he is a Turk, or an Arabian, an Englishman, a Russian or a German, — but one will have to say what will amount to this: ‘In a former life on earth this man felt impelled to turn towards the Spirit in the sense of Michael.’ Thus, that which is influenced by Michael will appear as an immediate, physically creative, physically formative power.

Now this is a thing that takes root deeply, very deeply in the karma of the individual. Hence the strange destiny of those who are sincere anthroposophists, the strange destiny that they are not able to come to terms with the world: they cannot quite master it, and yet at the same time they have to approach the world and enter into it with full earnestness.

I have said that those who stand with full intensity within the Anthroposophical Movement will return at the end of the century, and others will then unite with them, for by this means the salvation of the earth and earthly civilisation from destruction must eventually be settled. This is the mission of the Anthroposophical Movement, which weighs on the one hand so heavily upon one’s heart, while on the other hand it moves the heart, uplifts it with enthusiasm. This mission we must understand and see.

It is most necessary for the anthroposophist to know that in this situation as an anthroposophist his karma will be harder to experience than it is for other men. From the very outset those who come into the Anthroposophical Society are predestined to a harder, more difficult experience of karma than other men. And if we try to pass this harder experience by — if we want to experience our karma in a comfortable way — it will surely take vengeance on us in one direction or another. We must be anthroposophists in our experience of karma too. To be true anthroposophists we must be able to observe our own experience of karma with constant wide-awake attention. If we do not, then our comfortable, easy-going experiencing of our karma — or rather our desire to experience it so — will find expression and take vengeance in physical illnesses, physical accidents and the like.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 237 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies-Volume III: IX: Entry of the Michael  Forces – Dornach, 3rd August 1924

Translated by George Adams & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on July 10, 2016

Merely listening

If spiritual truths are rightly understood, and if people are in all seriousness following the lines of thought used to develop concepts which may make the world of the spirit accessible to our understanding, their humanity will be enhanced and they will learn the things which have to be known at the present time for the salvation and further development of humanity. 

People who take these truths into themselves in the right way will also find their drives and instincts ennobled and raised to a higher level. By merely listening to spiritual truths they go through a development that is for the good.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness – Lecture 3 – The Search for a Perfect World – Dornach, 1st October 1917

Previously posted on December 24, 2016

It will not be so comfortable

During my life I received innumerable letters from church people stating that Anthroposophy is a fine thing, but that it contradicts the “simple”, “plain Christian faith” of the soul’s salvation through Christ, of eternal life attained through Christ, without having to do anything for it. “Faith in the salvation through Christ” is something which they cannot abandon.

When people write or say such things, they think that they are especially pious. But they are simply selfish, thoroughly selfish and egoistic, for they do not wish to make any effort in their soul, they wish to leave everything to God, who will carry their soul safely through the portal of death and pension it off.

Matters will not be so comfortable in the world conception which will in future create the religious substance. We will have to grasp that the divine essence within us must be developed within the soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 296 – The Inexpressible Name, Spirits of Space and Time. Conquering Egotism – Dornach, 17th August 1919

Previously posted on September 27, 2015