Claptrap

Everything current philosophy says about soul and spirit is claptrap in mere phrases.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen – Stuttgart, 6 July 1919 (page 268)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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The way of the soul: from desire to love

The soul progresses on its pilgrimage through the world from desire to love. This is the way of the soul: from desire to love. The desiring soul sticks to the physical-sensuous. However, the loving one can be penetrated by the spirit, obeys the spirit, and fulfils the commandment of the spirit. This is the difference of the age of the souls. The young souls are the longing ones, the ripe souls are those which love, which make the spirit work in them. In the soul-world or in the astral world we see this soul body of the human being gleaming in its different qualities, and we can thereby distinguish the degree of maturity of a human soul. All qualities which we can observe in this soul body come from the devotion to the sensuous or from the devotion to the spiritual.     

Now we also understand what death means, actually. We want to try to understand the concept, the idea of death once with this idea just won. What happens at first when the human being dies? That which has followed not only the physical principles in his physical body up to now, but what has also complied with the soul principles: the hand which has moved in accordance with the feelings which have surged through the soul, the look which has looked out into the world because it has been carried by the spiritual qualities in the soul, the countenance which has changed its expression depending on the soul, everything that has obeyed the soul in life goes its own ways after the death of the body.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 53 – Origin and Destination of Humanity – Lecture VI: The Soul-world – Berlin 10th, November, 1904

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Rudolf Steiner and Annie Besant

Character / Soul / Body

Character is not confined to the inner life of the soul, but penetrates into a man’s external physique and limbs. It finds expression, first, in his gestures; second, in his physiognomy; and third, in the plastic formation of the skull, the origin of what we call phrenology.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul / Paths of Experience – Volume One: LECTURE 5: Human Character – Munich, 14th March 1909

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim

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Deadening of the soul

We only need to look at certain details in present-day education to appreciate the great difficulties in the way of progress. Those who today consider themselves well-versed in the problems of education say again and again that all instruction, even in the lowest grades, must be in the form of object lessons. In the teaching of arithmetic, for instance, mechanical aids to calculating are introduced. The greatest value is placed upon having the child see everything first, and then form his own inner concepts about it. To be sure, the urge for such objectivity in education is in many respects fully justified. 

Nevertheless, it raises the question, what becomes of a child if he only receives object lessons? He becomes psychically dried up; the inner dynamic forces of his soul gradually die out. His whole being unites with the objective surroundings, and what should sprout from his inmost soul is gradually deadened. The way material is presented in much of our education today is connected with this deadening of the soul. People do not realize that one kills the soul, but it really happens. 

And the consequence is what we experience with people today. How many are problem-laden personalities! How many are unable in their later years to produce out of their own inner resources that which could give them consolation and hope in difficult times and enable them to cope with the vicissitudes of life! We see at present many shattered natures. At important moments we ourselves are doubtful as to the direction we should take.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 296 –Education as a Social Problem: Lecture IV: Education as a Problem Involving the Training of Teachers – Dornach, August 15, 1919

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About smallpox and vaccination (1 of 2)

Let us suppose that a great number of people, because of uncharitableness, had been impelled to absorb certain infectious germs, so that they succumbed to an epidemic. Let us further suppose we were in a position to protect them from this epidemic. 

We should in such a case preserve the physical body from the effects of uncharitableness, but we should not have removed the inner tendency towards uncharitableness. The case might be such that, in removing the external expression of uncharitableness, we should undertake the duty of influencing the soul also in such a way as to remove from it the tendency towards a lack of charity. 

The organic expression of uncharitableness is killed in the most complete sense, in the external bodily sense, by vaccination against smallpox. There, for instance, the following becomes manifest, and has been investigated by Spiritual Science. In one period of civilisation, when there prevailed a general tendency to develop a higher degree of egotism, and uncharitableness, smallpox made its appearance. Such is the fact. In anthroposophy it is our bounded duty to give expression to the truth.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 120 – Manifestations of Karma: Lecture: Karma of the Higher Beings – Hamburg, May 25, 1910

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