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

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

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Previously posted on January 6, 2015

Interest and understanding instead of criticism

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. Amongst the fundamental impulses indicated in my book Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. How is it achieved? you will find mentioned the impulse which, when applied to social life, aims at enhancing understanding for others. You will find frequent mention of ‘positiveness,’ the need to develop a positive attitude. The majority of men today will certainly have to foreswear their present ways if they wish to develop this positive attitude, for at the moment they have not the slightest notion what it means. When they perceive something in their neighbour which displeases them — I do not mean something to which they have given careful consideration, but something which from a superficial angle meets with their disapproval — they immediately begin to criticize, without attempting to put themselves in their neighbour’s skin. It is highly anti-social from the point of view of the future evolution of mankind — this may perhaps seem paradoxical, but it is none the less true — to harbour these tendencies and to approach one’s neighbour with undisguised sympathy or antipathy. On the other hand the finest and most important social attribute in the future will be the development of a scientific objective understanding of the shortcomings of others, when we are more interested in their shortcomings than in our concern to criticize them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 185 – From Symptom to Reality in Modern History – Lecture IV – Dornach, 25th October 1918

Translated by A.H. Parker

Previously posted on March 7, 2014

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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

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