It does not depend on what a person says or believes

You can find plenty of doctors nowadays, properly recognised members of the medical profession, who would never admit to being sworn materialists; they profess to one or another religious faith, and they would staunchly deny the accusation of being materialistic. But this is not the point. Life does not depend on what a man says or believes. That is his personal concern. To be effective it is necessary to know how to apply and make valuable use in life of those facts that are not limited to the sense world but have an existence in the spiritual world. So that however pious a doctor is and however many ideas he has regarding this or the other spiritual world, if he nevertheless works according to the rules that arise entirely out of our materialistic world conception, that is, he treats people as though they only had a body, then however spiritually minded he believes himself to be, he is nevertheless a materialist. For it does not depend on what a person says or believes but on his ability to set in living motion the forces behind the external world of the senses.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – The Being of Man and His Future Evolution: Lecture 2: Different Types of Illness – Berlin, 10th November 1908

Translated by Pauline Wehrle


Painting by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 18 December 2018


In Devachan the laws of Nature and the moral and intellectual laws coincide

The chief characteristic of Devachan is that moral facts can no longer be distinguished from physical facts, or physical laws; moral laws and physical laws coincide. What is meant by this? In the ordinary physical world the sun shines over the just and the unjust; one who has committed a crime may perhaps be put in prison, but the physical sun will not be darker because of this fact. This signifies that the world of sense-reality has both a moral order of laws and physical one; but they follow two entirely different directions. In Devachan it is otherwise — there, this difference does not exist at all. In Devachan everything that arises out of something moral, or intellectually wise, or esthetically beautiful, etc., leads to a creation, is creative — whereas everything that arises out of something immoral, intellectually untrue, or esthetically ugly, leads to destruction, is destructive. 

The laws of Nature in Devachan are indeed of such kind that the sun does not shine equally brightly over the just and the unjust. Speaking figuratively, we may say that the sun actually is darkened in the case of an unrighteous man, whereas the righteous man who passes through Devachan really finds in it the spiritual sunshine, that is, the influence of the life-spending forces which help him forward in life. A liar or an ugly-minded man will pass through Devachan in such a way that the spiritual forces withdraw from him. In Devachan an order of laws is possible, which is not possible here or earth. When two people, a righteous and an unrighteous one, walk side by side here on the earth, it is not possible for the sun to shine upon one and not to shine upon the other. But in the spiritual world the influence of the spiritual forces undoubtedly depends upon the quality of a human being. In Devachan this signifies that the laws of Nature and the spiritual laws do not follow separate directions, but the same direction. This is the essential thing which must be borne in mind — in Devachan the laws of Nature and the moral and intellectual laws coincide.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – THE THREE PATHS OF THE SOUL TO CHRIST – Reflections of Consciousness, Super-consciousness and Sub-consciousness – Munich, 25 February 1912

Translator Unknown


Previously posted on 29 november 2018

Overcoming inherited tendencies by spiritual forces

We know that upon entering the world the human being springs from two sources. His physical body is inherited from his ancestors, from his father and mother and their forbears. He inherits certain traits, good or bad, that are simply inherent in the blood, in the line of descent. But in every case of this sort the forces a child brings along from his previous incarnation unite with these inherited qualities. Now, you know that today a great deal is talked about “hereditary tendencies” whenever some disease or other makes its appearance. How this term is abused nowadays — though it is quite justified within a narrow scope!

Whenever anything crops up that can be proved to have been an attribute of some ancestor, hereditary tendencies are invoked; and because people know nothing of active spiritual forces derived from the previous incarnation they endow these inherited tendencies with overwhelming power. If they knew that a spiritual factor accompanied us from our previous incarnation they would say, Well and good: we believe absolutely in hereditary tendencies, but we know as well what stems from the previous incarnation in the way of inner, central soul forces, and that if sufficiently strengthened and invigorated these will gain the upper hand over matter — that is, over hereditary tendencies.

— And such a man, capable of rising to the cognition of spirit, would continue: No matter how powerfully the inherited tendencies affect me, I shall provide nourishment for the spirit in me; for in this way I shall master them. — But anyone who does not work upon his spiritual nature, upon that which is not inherited, will positively fall a prey to inherited tendencies as a result of such lack of faith; and in this way materialistic superstition will actually bring about a steady increase in their power over us. We shall be engulfed in the quagmire of hereditary tendencies unless we fortify our spirit and, by means of a strong spirit, vanquish each time anew whatever is inherited.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 112 – THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN IN RELATION TO THE OTHER THREE GOSPELS – Kassel, 30 June 1909


Sleep: only a transitory state

Those who have understood a little of the evolution of the spiritual forces and capacities of mankind know that there are different states of consciousness, that what we call sleep in the average man is only a transitory state which in the future will develop into one in which the human being, independent of the body, will perceive the spiritual world. (This is today already the case with the initiates.) 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 103 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture I – The Doctrine of the Logos – Hamburg, 18th May 1908

Translated by Maud B. Monges

9781684220946 (1)

Previously posted on  14 november 2018

About vegetarian food

Vegetarian food that consists of physical and etheric things support the creation of large, comprehensive pictures and so gives a greater insight that lets one oversee things better without much deliberation. The greater force doesn’t exhaust us, but summons spiritual forces.

Vegetarian food is excellent for doctors and lawyers who will find it easier to see through their patients or their clients’ affairs, but it’s not the right thing for bankers, industrialists, salesmen and others who have a lot of calculating, for one loses the ability to make physical combinations. People who inherited a body that can’t stand vegetarianism should not undertake an esoteric training.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Stuttgart, 13th August 1908

Vegetarian food plate

Previously posted on May 26, 2018