A most important event took place

A most important event took place — it can only be described from the facts that are confirmed as truths in the spiritual world — a very important event occurred at the end of the seventies of the nineteenth century. [….] a time is beginning when beings who are not human are coming down to earth from cosmic regions beyond. These beings are not human but depend for the further development of their existence on coming to earth and on entering here into relationships with men.

Thus, since the eighties of the nineteenth century, heavenly beings are seeking to enter this earth existence. [….] Heavenly beings are already here in our earth existence. And it is thanks to the fact that beings from beyond the earth are bringing messages down into this earthly existence that it is possible at all to have a comprehensive spiritual science today.

Taken as a whole, however, how does the human race behave? If I may say so, the human race behaves in a cosmically rude way toward the beings who are appearing from the cosmos on earth, albeit, to begin with, only slowly. Humanity takes no notice of them, ignores them. It is this that will lead the earth into increasingly tragic conditions. For in the course of the next few centuries, more and more spirit beings will move among us whose language we ought to understand. We shall understand it only if we seek to comprehend what comes from them, namely, the contents of spiritual science. This is what they wish to bestow on us. They want us to act according to spiritual science; they want this spiritual science to be translated into social action and the conduct of earthly life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 204 – Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy: Lecture XIV – Dornach, May 13, 1921

Translated by Maria St. Goar

Previously posted on December 27, 2019

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The time for prophets and founding religions is over

A truly religious person can grasp that religion is only enriched and deepened by scientific knowledge. Spiritual science doesn’t want to have anything to do with founding a new religion or to give rise to prophets or founders of sects. Mankind has matured; the time for prophets and founding religions is over. And in future people who feel the urge to be prophets will suffer a different fate from the prophets of old, who, in accordance with the ways of their times, were rightly revered as outstanding individuals. People of today who try to be prophets in the old sense will simply be laughed at. 

Spiritual science doesn’t need any prophets because by its very nature it bases what it has to say upon the depths of the human soul, depths which our souls cannot always illuminate. And the spiritual scientist simply wants to investigate his subject as an unassuming researcher, drawing attention to vital matters. He says, “I’ve discovered it; you can discover it for yourself, too, if you try.” It won’t take long until the spiritual investigator is recognized as a researcher just like any chemist or biologist. The difference is that the spiritual researcher does his research in a field of concern to every human soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 155 – Anthroposophy and Christianity – Norrköping, July 13, 1914

Previously posted on October 22, 2018

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If we go back to the same thing, the same must again come out of it

How frequent the question arises which I have referred to briefly today and which I will go into further in the near future, the question: What is the position occupied by Christianity during the past centuries and thousands of years, seeing that although it has been working for hundreds of years, yet the present-day conditions (1918) are possible? This question has been touched upon at different points. 

It can be seen that the materials necessary to answer it are not yet to be found among what mankind calls today the scientific or religious or any other kind of studies. Spiritual Science alone will be able to produce these materials. For it is indeed an earnest question: How is the present-day man to regard Christianity? — considering that it has indeed worked for a long time in the past and yet has allowed such conditions to come about today. 

Those men are certainly peculiar who demand that Christianity should go back again to some of the forms existing before these conditions, who does have no feeling for the fact that if we go back to the same thing, the same must again come out of it. These people will certainly not very easily admit that something new of a penetrating and intense nature must strike into spiritual life.

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Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Anthroposophical Life Gifts: Lecture V: Thoughts on Life and Death – Berlin, 16th April 1918

Previously posted on June 14, 2017

Helping the dead

A person has died. During his lifetime for [one] reason or another he did not concern himself with spiritual science. The one who remains behind on earth can know by means of spiritual science that the deceased has a burning thirst for spiritual science. Now if the one who remains behind concerns himself with thoughts of a spiritual nature as if the dead were there with him, he performs a great service to him. We can actually read to the dead. That enables the gulf that exists between the living and the dead to be bridged.

The two worlds, the physical and the spiritual, are severed by materialism. Consider how their union will take hold of life itself! When spiritual science does not remain mere theory but becomes a life impulse as it should, there will not be separation but immediate communication. By reading to the dead we can enter in immediate connection with them and help them. The one who has avoided spiritual science will continue to feel the anguish of longing for it unless we help him. We can assist him from the earth if such a longing is at all present. By this means the living can help the dead.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: VII: The Working of Karma in Life After Death – Bern, December 15, 1912

Previously posted on April 25, 2017