The greatest wisdom is acquired by the quiet endurance of pain and suffering

Knowledge of the connection between the physical and the astral world enables us to have a clear understanding of the world in its inner process of development; things are often connected in quite a different way from what people like to imagine. Many people deplore pain and suffering, but from a higher point of view this is quite unjustified, for if they are overcome and the person is ready for a new incarnation, suffering and pain are the sources of wisdom, prudence and comprehensiveness of vision. Even in writing emanating from the modern, materialistic standpoint, we find it stated that there is something like “crystallised pain” in the face of every thinker. What this materialistically minded author says here has long been known to the occultist, for the greatest wisdom of the world is acquired by the quiet endurance of pain and suffering; this creates wisdom in the next incarnation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VI The Law of Destiny – Munich 30th May, 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on June 27, 2014

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No one should imagine himself to be better than others

Anthroposophists must feel part of the whole and, to some extent, responsible for all that happens. […] No one should imagine himself to be good or even much better than other people. We must be permeated by the thought that we can’t be much better than others. What is the advantage of making a few happy when our lifestyle reduces many to unhappiness? Ignorance is the root of suffering. Ignorant as we often are, we help sharpen the knife for those who use it for evil.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden – Berlin, 15 February 1904 (page 34-35)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on July 22, 2016

Effect of hate after death

Let us consider what is yet another real experience to the seer. When we contemplate people who live between death and rebirth and seek to translate into our language what torments them, they tell us the following. “Something lives in me that causes me to suffer. It rises up out of my own self. It is akin to a headache in the physical world, except that the pain is experienced inwardly. I am myself the one who causes the pain.” A human being after death may complain of much inner pain, inner suffering.

Now if the seer traces the origin of the inner suffering that strikes souls after death, he discovers that it comes from the way of life of these people here on earth. Suppose a person has felt a quite unjustifiable loathing for a fellow human being. Then the one who hated experiences inner pain after death, and he now suffers inwardly what he has inflicted on the other.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: IX: Life After Death – Linz, January 26, 1913

Translated by Rene Querido

Good thoughts and feelings give wings to the dead

It is very important to send our thoughts and feelings to a loved one who has died and is now in the spiritual worlds. Our thoughts must not contain yearnings to have the departed back with us, as this complicates his life in the spheres in which he must now enter. What we need to send to the spiritual worlds is not the suffering we endure but the love we bear towards the departed. […] Spiritual research has shown that feelings of love give wings that bear the dead up, whereas longings like: “Oh how I wish you were still with us” create obstacles in his path. This is a general indication of how to direct our feelings in such events.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 264 – From a letter to Paula Stryczek – Berlin, 31 December 1905 (page 101)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on February 12, 2016

Purposeful Action

When a human being is suffering, people sometimes say: “He deserves his suffering and must bear his karma; if I help him, I am interfering with his karma.” This is nonsense; I know his poverty, his misery is caused through his earlier life, but if I help him, new entries will be made in his book of life; my help brings him forward.

It would be foolish to say to a merchant who could be saved from disaster by 1,000 or 10,000 Marks: “No, for that would alter your balance.”

It is precisely this possibility of altering the balance that should induce us to help a man. I help him because I know that nothing is without its karmic effect. This knowledge should spur us on to purposeful action.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VII – The Technique of Karma – Berlin, May 31, 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on November 24, 2015