A thousand times better

It is a thousand times better to have grasped the ideas of Spiritual Science with thought first of all, and then — sooner or later, each according to his karma — to be able oneself to ascend into the spiritual worlds; a thousand times better than to have ‘seen’ straight-away and not to have grasped with thought the knowledge that is imparted in the Movement known as the Anthroposophical. A thousand times better it is indeed, to know spiritual science and to see nothing as yet, than to see something and not be able to penetrate it with thought, for that is how unreliability is introduced.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 117 – The Tasks and Aims of Spiritual Science – Stuttgart, November 13, 1909

Advertisements

Why do we occupy ourselves with Spiritual Science?

Why do we occupy ourselves with Spiritual Science? It is as though we were learning the vocabulary of the language through which we approach the Christ. If we take the trouble to learn to think the thoughts of Spiritual Science, and make the mental effort necessary for an understanding of the Cosmic secrets taught by Spiritual Science, then, out of the dim, dark foundations of the Cosmic mysteries, will come forth the figure of Christ Jesus, which will draw near to us and give us the strength and force in which we shall then live. The Christ will guide us, standing beside us as a brother, so that our hearts and souls may be strong enough to grow up to the necessary level of the tasks awaiting humanity in its further development.

Let us then try to acquire Spiritual Science, not as a mere doctrine but as a language, and then wait till we can find in that language,  the questions which we may venture to put to the Christ. He will answer, yes, indeed, He will answer! Plentiful indeed will be the soul-forces, the soul-strengthening, the soul-impulses, which the student will carry away with him from the grey spiritual depths through which humanity in its evolution is now passing, if he is able to receive instructions from Christ Himself; for, in the near future He will give them to those who seek.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses – Lecture 1 – Materialism and Spirituality (bottom of lecture) – Berlin, February 6, 1917

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on February 23, 2016

It is of the very essence of Spiritual Science that activity should be demanded

One hears it said so often: The literature of Spiritual Science available to us is written in such a difficult style; it demands such effort and such intense development of the forces of the soul if any real headway is to be made. “Well-meaning” people — the adjective in inverted commas — are always coming forward with the suggestion that difficult passages should be simplified for their fellow-men; they want to trivialise — this I say without inverted commas — what is written in a rather difficult style.

But it is of the very essence of Spiritual Science that activity should be demanded of the soul; that Spiritual Science should not be easy to master. For in Spiritual Science it is not a matter merely of absorbing what is said about one thing or another, but of how things are absorbed — by dint of effort and activity of the soul. What Spiritual Science has to offer must be assimilated with sweat of the brow. That is a sine qua non in the whole business — forgive the colloquialism.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 275 – Technology and Art: Their Bearing on Modern Culture – Dornach, 28th December 1914

Translated by Dorothy Osmond

Previously posted on January 18, 2016

Mysticism/sophisticated selfishness/self-deception

When what has been brought to you for some years now as Anthroposophical oriented spiritual science was initiated, many of those who were drawn to what was brought here by me as the basis of this Anthroposophical Science, said: we would rather delve into the mysticism of Meister Eckhart, in the mysticism of Johannes Tauler. After all, that is so much simpler; then one can so blissfully and snugly say: I sink into my inner self, I become aware of the higher man in me, my higher I has taken hold of the divine in me. But surely that is nothing more than a refined egotism, nothing but a retreat into the own egotistical personality, a walking away from all of mankind, an inner deceiving of the self.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung – Dornach, 6 February 1920 (Seite 157)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger to mankind

What do we learn from Spiritual Science? We learn facts concerning the evolution of the earth, we hear of the Spirit of the earth, of the earth’s surface and its changing conditions, of the development of the human body and so forth; we learn to understand the nature of the forces working and weaving in the evolutionary process. What does this mean? What does it mean when people do not want to know anything about Spiritual Science? It means that they have no interest for what is reality. For if a man has no desire to know anything about the nature of Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, then he can know nothing about the Earth.

Lack of interest in the world is egoism in its grossest form. Interest in all existence is man’s bounden duty. Let us therefore long for and love the sun with its creative power, its love for the well-being of the earth and the souls of men! This interest in the earth’s evolution should be the spiritual seed of love for the world. A Spiritual Science without love would be a danger to mankind. But love should not be a matter for preaching; love must and indeed will come into the world through the spreading of knowledge of spiritual truths. Deeds of love and Spiritual Science should be inseparably united.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Love and its Meaning in the World – Zurich, 17th December 1912

Translated by D. S. O. and E. F. and S. Derry

Previously posted on December 25, 2015