Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism (4 – End)

Suppose that someone invents a remedy and wants to patent it right away. This shows that he was thinking of a personal advantage and that he isn’t filled with love for all mankind. For if men’s health was the most important thing for him he would be anxious to report what’s in the remedy and how it’s made. And something else would happen — he’d be convinced that the remedy that was made with his sentiments was the better one.

Here we’ve come to a statement that’s very important in esotericism: Ways of ennobling the soul must be arrived at. One who uses his thinking to attain beneficial progress must first see to it that human souls are ennobled.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Hamburg, 3rd March 1906

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Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism (3 of 4)

The counterpart to such social thinking must also be followed exactly. You know the example that a seamstress works for little pay and that social democrats tell the workers: You’re being exploited. But now the seamstress goes out and buys a cheap dress to go dancing on Sunday. She asks for a cheap dress. But why is the dress cheap? Because another worker was exploited. So in the end, who’s exploiting the worker? Certainly the seamstress who wears a cheap dress to go dancing on Sunday. One who can think clearly here already gets away from the distinction between rich and poor, for this has nothing to do with wealth and poverty. Therefore the foundations must first be created so that in future men will work hard and devotedly without thinking of personal advantage.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Hamburg, 3rd March 1906

Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism (2 of 4)

In a social community the work impulse must lie in devotion for the whole, and never in a man’s personality. It follows from this that real social progress is only possible if I work for the good of the whole. In other words: The work I do mustn’t be for myself. Social progress is completely dependent on the acceptance of this statement, that one doesn’t want to get paid personally for one’s work. A man owes work to the social community. Conversely, a man must restrict his existence to what the social community gives him.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Hamburg, 3rd March 1906

Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism (1 of 4)

Poverty, misery and suffering are nothing but the result of egoism. One should look upon this as a law of nature. A man is egotistical as soon as he lives in accordance with the principle: I must be remunerated personally, I must be paid for the work that I do. An esoteric must ask himself whether work is really what sustains life. Work is of no importance if it isn’t directed wisely. What serves men can only be produced and made through the wisdom that men put into it. One who doesn’t understand this and who sins against it even slightly, sins against the social thinking of the present time.

Reflection on this in all of its possible phases strengthens thinking. A social democrat who reflects on how to create work to get rid of joblessness is thinking antisocially in the highest degree. Instead the main thing is that work should only be used for human beings, to create valuable products.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Hamburg, 3rd March 1906

Fear of the spiritual world

The soul life of man, as well, is entirely accommodated to space and time. If you enter a world to which you are not adapted, the lack of adaptation implies sensations of pain and suffering; so that the first entrance into the spiritual world is not won without the vanquishing of pain and suffering. […] There are indeed few people today who have sufficient inner courage to venture themselves, as it were, into the bottomless and timeless in actual experience. Certain people, however, are bound by their destiny to cross over the threshold; and without the wisdom which can be brought over from beyond the threshold no further progress is possible.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mysteries of Light, of Space, and of the Earth: Lecture III: Historical Occurrences of the Last Century – Dornach, December 14, 1919

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

Previously posted on February 7, 2015