About thinking and not thinking

It is a very important principle to let the organ of thinking work in yourselves. You are practicing this best of all if you try not to think for a while, howsoever short. 

A big, immense decision belongs to it to sit or to lie somewhere without letting thoughts go through the head. It is much easier to let your thoughts surge up and down in yourselves, until you are released from them by a good sleep than to tell yourselves: now you are awake and, nevertheless, you do not think, but you think nothing at all. If you are able to sit or to lie quietly and to think nothing with full consciousness, then the organ of thinking works in such a way that it gains strength in itself, accumulates strength. 

Who puts himself in the situation over and over again not to think with full consciousness notices that the clearness of his thinking increases, that in particular repartee grows because he does not only leave his apparatus of thinking to itself by sleep, but that he lets this apparatus of thinking itself work under his guidance.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 57 – WHERE AND HOW DOES ONE FIND THE SPIRIT? – X. The Practical Development of Thinking – Berlin, 11 February 1909

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The source of our strength and power  

Strength and power are not acquired by sitting down and brooding all day long over such questions as — “What shall I think now? What shall I do? What’s that pain I feel coming on again?” — but by opening the heart to everything great and beautiful in our surroundings, and by showing interest and understanding for everything that warms the hearts of others, as well as for their wants and privations. In this way we strengthen the life-forces in the realm of feeling within us; we overcome narrow minded egoism and we enhance and enrich our Ego by bringing the true form of egoism into harmony with our environment.

[….] A man who exerts his will only for himself and his own advantage will always feel inwardly dissatisfied. Only when he can see his resolves reflected in the outer world and his will-impulses realised in action — only then can he say that he has brought his willing into harmony with outer events. And here we learn that our inner strength and power are not developed by anything we will for ourselves, but by whatever we will for the outer world and for other people. Our willing becomes reality and its reflection shines back to us. As our eyes are formed by light, so is our strength of soul developed by our actions and activities.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – METAMORPHOSES OF THE SOUL I – VII. Human Egoism – Berlin, 25 November 1909

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim

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A clairvoyant must be resilient

A person must be able to endure what he clairvoyantly observes and this encompasses such strength of character as but few can imagine. For example: If you are not clairvoyant and tell a lie, it is wrong. However, if you lie when you are clairvoyant you will see the lie becoming visible and what that means on the astral plane. Then you will understand why it is said: to tell a lie is murder. It is like this – suppose you have seen an event, you have formed an idea of what has occurred but what you subsequently tell about this event is incorrect, made up or untrue or something to that effect. Then there will emanate from this event the reality of what has occurred while from you there will stream the incorrect account – this results in a collision and it causes a terrible explosion; and every time you do this, you attach a horrific creature to your karma, where you will not be liberated from, until you have corrected the lie you have told.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 98 – Natur- und Geistwesen – Ihr Wirken in unserer sichtbaren Welt – Vienna, November 5, 1907 (page 25)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 13 October 2018

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 – I. Materialism and Spirituality – Berlin, 6 February 1917

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Variety in the different incarnations (1 of 2)

Just as the sex usually alternates in the successive incarnations, so, as a rule, an incarnation with a more intellectual trend follows one more inclined towards faith, then again towards intellectuality, and so forth. There are, of course, exceptions — there may be several consecutive male or female incarnations. But as a rule these qualities are mutually fruitful and complementary.

Other qualities in the human being are also complementary in a similar way, for example, the two qualities of soul we will call the capacity for love and inner strength.

Self-reliance, harmonious inner life, a feeling of our own sure foundations, the inner assurance that we know what we have to do in life—in this connection too the working of karma alternates in the different incarnations. The outstanding stamp of the one personality is loving devotion to his environment, forgetfulness of self, surrender to what is around him. Such an incarnation will alternate with one in which the individual feels the urge not to lose himself in the outer world but to strengthen himself inwardly, applying this strength to bring about his own progress. This latter urge must not, of course, degenerate into lack of love, any more than the former urge must not degenerate, as it might well do, into a complete loss of one’s own self. These two tendencies again belong together. 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 135 – REINCARNATION AND KARMA THEIR SIGNIFICANCE IN MODERN CULTURE 4. Examples of the working of karma between two incarnations – Stuttgart, 21 February 1912 

Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer, by D.S.   Osmond, C. Davy and S. and E. F. Derry.

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