The dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean cultural period

At present the dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean cultural period already proclaims itself. For what is to arise in human evolution at a certain time begins to ripen in the preceding age. What is already able to show its beginnings at present is the discovery of the link that unites the two impulses in the human breast: material culture and life in the world of the spirit. For this purpose it is necessary that the results of spiritual perception are comprehended, and also that the manifestations of the spirit are recognized in the observations and experiences of the sense world. The sixth cultural epoch will bring the harmony between these two impulses to complete development.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: IV: The evolution of the cosmos and man (part 7)

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

Previously posted on August 6, 2016

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All is not moonlight and roses behind the veil of sensory perception

One should not believe that when one glimpses behind the veil of the senses and reaches the region beyond the threshold, that one ends up in a realm of pure beauty. Do not think that someone who cognisant of these worlds expresses himself light-heartedly when he says: if people are not carefully prepared, they need to be held back when coming to the threshold of the spirit world. – Because it is essential that one first of all gets to know the totally unedifying foundations, before one experience what in a sense is elevating and wholesome behind the curtain.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 219 – Das Verhältnis der Sternenwelt zum Menschen und des Menschen zur Sternenwelt – Dornach, 16 December 1922 (page 81)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on July 18, 2016

The child reveals the deepest world riddles in a wonderful way

Anthroposophical spiritual science does not regard education as a science, nor as theoretical knowledge, but as a true art, as an art dealing with the most noble material we have in the world, with the human being himself, with the child that in such a miraculous way reveals to us the deepest world riddles, who year after year, one would even like to say, from week to week, illustrates how the spiritual, the soul, still deeply hidden as a divine gift from the spirit world, becomes visible in its physiognomy, through its gestures, through everything with which it expresses life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Geistige Zusammenhänge in der Gestaltung des menschlichen Organismus – London, November 20, 1922 (page 243-244)  

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 7,  2017

The world of the spirit is all around us, just as air and water, the stars, the sun and the moon

If anthroposophy is to fulfil its purpose, its prime task must be to rouse people and make them really wake up. Merely knowing what is going on in the physical world, and knowing the laws that human minds are able to perceive as operative in this world, is no more than being asleep in a higher sense. Humanity is only fully awake when people are able to develop notions and ideas of the world of the spirit. This is all around us, just as air and water, the stars, the sun and the moon are all around us. When we are physically asleep we are wholly given up to the internal processes that go on in the body during the night and have no idea of anything in the physical world around us. We are asleep in exactly the same way when we are wholly given up to the physical environment, and to the world and the laws of the intellect, and have no idea of the world of the spirit that is all around us.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – Fall of the Spirits of Darkness – LECTURE 1: The Driving Force Behind Europe’s War – Dornach, 29 September 1917

Translated by Anna R. Meuss

Previously posted on September 12, 2014

The length of time between incarnations

It should be clear that a certain amount of time needs to elapse before the human being comes back to earth again after death. You might ask, ‘ Yes, when does one come back? ‘ –  if one really considers this matter well, the following conclusion arises: the one who has occupied him or herself much with the spiritual world grows into the spirit world easier after death. He or she then has a relatively, because of having been occupied with the spiritual world during the time on earth, longer time between death and a new birth. You may be surprised, that I say: longer. Such a person may stay there for a longer time because he has already learned a lot about the spiritual world. People who engaged themselves with spiritual matters on earth can develop better there, stay longer and come back later. By contrast, those who are only occupied with the material world, come back relatively earlier again.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 350 – Rhythmen im Kosmos und im Menschenwesen – Dornach, May 30, 1923 (page 21)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger