Ability to Receive Anthroposophy Limited

If one presents a public lecture about spiritual science or anthroposophy, then one is forced to take into account the inability to take in what is offered, by the contemporary world, one must be very much aware of this limited ability. One has to be clearly conscious of the fact that in our time, although there is an influx of insights streaming in from the spiritual world, insights which are necessary for humankind today, it is very difficult nowadays to be uninhibited in taking these truths in. Most people who are not well prepared to receive it will experience the deeper spiritual-scientific truths as a shock, as something which appears as fantastic or as a dream.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – Die Mission der neuen Geistesoffenbarung – München, February 25, 1911 (page 86)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on July 1, 2016

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Absurd theories

Spiritual science does not contradict natural science but provides complete confirmation of scientific facts. However, the people whose task it is to know, are fearful; for complex thoughts, even thinking, in general, men have an unwholesome fear. And just because human beings nowadays find it so easy to learn and after having read a little bit can become an authority – not only an authority, but even a great discoverer of scientific facts – so many absurd theories are being produced. Because if he has a few concepts and knows a few facts, then he can today pretend to be a reformer of scientific knowledge.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 167 – Gegenwärtiges und Vergangenes im Menschengeiste – Berlin, May 16, 1916 (page 251)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on June 1, 2016

Physical science claims to know all there is to know

Physical scientists often say that spiritual science stands on unscientific grounds. How can this be true when spiritual science accepts all the findings of physical science? Some firm advocates of physical science expect spiritual scientists to remain within the limits of physical scientific knowledge. They not only want others to embrace their viewpoint, but also demand to conform to their dogma, so nothing can be added to what they say.

Source (German) Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, 9 April 1908 (page 269-270)

Anonymous translator

 Previously posted on April 28, 2016

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

Spiritual Science/Occultism/Superstition

There is a very prevalent opinion that what spiritual research says about the reality of higher worlds is merely the result of some form of ‘inspiration,’ so-called, or of subjective, intellectual deduction, or even of pure fantasy. Indeed it is not so. Clinical research, astronomical research, for example, demands specialised and difficult work. But what is acquired inwardly in the way described, learnt as it were from man’s own being by inner experimentation in order to unfold perception of higher worlds — this is an even more difficult task, demanding greater devotion, greater care, greater exactitude and methodical perseverance.

What is here described in all seriousness as Spiritual Science is fundamentally different from current forms of Occultism, Mysticism and the like. As science stands in contrast with superstition, so does anthroposophical Spiritual Science stand in contrast with current forms of Occultism which try to acquire knowledge through mediums or by compiling external, sensational data in amateurish fashion. This particular brand of modern superstition is vanquished by nothing more decisively than by genuine spiritual research, with its absolutely scrupulous and exact methods.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 79 – On the Reality of Higher Worlds – Christiania (Oslo), November 25, 1921

Translation by D. S. Osmond