Spiritism/Materialism

Many spiritualists are much more materialistic than the ordinary materialist! The average materialist states: ‘ there is no spirit ‘, and calls matter ‘matter ‘. But a large number of spiritualists want to, in that they make the spirit visible, see the spirit physically – either because it manifests as light (thus in a material way) or because it becomes tangible in some other way. Contact with the spirits can manifest in various ways. This is a materialistic approach to the whole spiritual world.

We have to acquire the ability to embrace a deeper reality than that which is mediated by the senses. It becomes quite absurd when the spiritualist, the materialistic spiritualist, wants to see the deceased with physical eyes while he can’t assume that he will be able to see the dead with physical eyes after death; because at death the physical eyes are laid down. When one wants to see the dead one should try to see as one would perceive him or her when one has died oneself, that means without physical eyes, obviously.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 163 –  Zufall, Notwendigkeit und Vorsehung – Dornach, September 6, 1915 (page 130)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on May 30, 2017

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Spiritualism/Materialism

Many spiritualists are much more materialistic than the ordinary materialist! The average materialist states: ‘ there is no spirit ‘, and calls matter ‘matter ‘. But a large number of spiritualists want to, in that they make the spirit visible, see the spirit physically – either because it manifests as light (thus in a material way) or because it becomes tangible in some other way. Contact with the spirits can manifest in various ways. This is a materialistic approach to the whole spiritual world.

We have to acquire the ability to embrace a deeper reality than that which is mediated by the senses. It becomes quite absurd when the spiritualist, the materialistic spiritualist, wants to see the deceased with physical eyes while he can’t assume that he will be able to see the dead with physical eyes after death; because at death the physical eyes are laid down. When one wants to see the dead one should try to see as one would perceive him or her when one has died oneself, that means without physical eyes, obviously.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 163 –  Zufall, Notwendigkeit und Vorsehung – Dornach, September 6, 1915 (page 130)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Spiritual experiences without healthy reason are worthless (1 of 3)

Most people to-day still persist in believing that the essential way to acquire knowledge of the science of Initiation is to amass all kinds of spiritual experiences, but not by the path that is proper for us in the physical body. Even the experiences gained by spiritualistic methods are apt to be valued more highly to-day than those which can be understood by the healthy human reason.

Everything that is discovered by an Initiate, and can be communicated, is intelligible by the normal, rightly applied, human reason if only the necessary efforts are made. It is a primary task for the Initiate, also, to translate what he is able to proclaim out of the spiritual world into a language intelligible to human reason. Much more depends upon such translation being correct than upon the fact of having experiences in the spiritual world.

Naturally, if one has no such experiences, there is nothing to communicate. But crude experiences which arise without healthy reason being applied to their interpretation are really worthless, and have not the right significance for human life.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Some Conditions for Understanding Supersensible Experiences – Dornach, 18th January 1920