Reverence and Devotion

A soul quality that is of great significance for the development of the human being; this is what is called the feeling of reverence or devotion. Those who have developed this feeling in themselves or possess it from the outset through a fortunate gift of nature have an excellent basis for the forces of supersensible knowledge. The person who in childhood or youth has been able to look up with self-surrendering admiration to personalities as though to high ideals, possesses something at the foundation of his soul in which supersensible cognition thrives especially well. And whoever with mature judgment in later life looks upon the starry heavens and feels with wonder in complete surrender the revelation of exalted powers makes himself thus mature for knowledge of supersensible worlds. Something similar is the case with those who are able to admire the forces ruling in human life, and it is not of little importance if we, even as mature human beings, can have reverence to the highest degree for other men whose worth we divine or believe we know. Only where such reverence is present can the view into the higher world open up. The person who is unable to revere will in no way advance very far in his knowledge. Whoever does not wish to acknowledge anything in the world will find that the essential nature of things is closed to him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – OCCULT SCIENCE: V. Cognition of the Higher Worlds – Initiation

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

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Madeleine (Maud) Breckenridge Monges was married to Henry B. Monges, with whom she lived in Berkeley, California. Together, they were active and devoted students and promoters of Anthroposophy, and both she and Henry translated numerous works by Rudolf Steiner into English. She passed away in March 1936.

Attitude of Soul and Supersensible Knowledge

In one region of the soul every human being has a natural aptitude which in all other areas it would need considerable effort to gain supersensible knowledge about. And this one area is when a loving relationship is entered into between human beings. People must learn to develop this skill in relation to other contacts and approach them in a similar loving way with understanding and instinctive interest and a genuine desire to get to know their inner being better. In the instances that we approach other human beings with inner participation, with deep understanding, with true interest, in those instances we become, if I may put it this way, clairvoyant in everyday life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 072 – Freiheit, Unsterblichkeit, Soziales Leben – Bern, 11 December 1918 (page 394)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on June 4, 2018

Blind after death (2 of 2)

And anyone who declares that ordinary knowledge acquired through healthy human reason does not give him eyes for supersensible existence but that for this he needs clairvoyance — anyone who speaks like this might just as well declare that man cannot think unless his eyes do the thinking. As little as in physical life the eyes need think, as little does knowledge of the supersensible worlds need clairvoyance for the purposes I have indicated today.

Naturally, there would be no supersensible knowledge on Earth if there were no clairvoyance; but even the seer must make intelligible in the ordinary way what he sees in the supersensible. However powerful a man’s clairvoyant faculty might be in earthly life, however clear his vision of the spiritual world, if he were too easy-going to bring into the form of logical, intelligible ideas what he sees in the spiritual world, he would still be blinded in the spiritual world after death.

What constitutes the great suffering for one who has insight into modern Initiation-Science is that he must admit: materialism makes men blind when they pass through the gate of death. And here again is something showing that it is of significance for the whole of cosmic existence whether man today inclines to supersensible knowledge or not. The time when it is essential for him to do so has arrived; the very progress of humanity depends upon man acquiring supersensible knowledge.

Source: Rudolf Steiner- GA 219 – Man/World of Stars: IV: Rhythms of Earthly and Spiritual Life. Love, Memory, the Moral Life. – Dornach, December 15, 1922

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After the seventh cultural period the earth will be visited by a catastrophe

The transformations in the things of the earth existing outside the human being occur with a certain relationship to humanity’s own evolution. After the seventh cultural period (5733-7893) has run its course, the earth will be visited by a catastrophe that may be likened to what occurred between the Atlantean and post-Atlantean ages, and the transformed earth conditions after this catastrophe will again evolve in seven time periods. Human souls who will then be incarnated will experience, at a higher stage, the union with the higher world experienced by the Atlanteans at a lower stage. 

Only those human beings, however, in whom are incarnated souls that have developed in a manner possible through the influences of the Greco-Latin epoch (747 BC -1413 AD) and the subsequent fifth, sixth, and seventh cultural epochs of the post-Atlantean evolution will be able to cope with the newly formed earth conditions. The inner being of such souls will correspond to what the earth has then become. Other souls will then have to remain behind, whereas previously they would have had the choice of creating the conditions for advancement. Souls who will have created the possibility for themselves, in the transition from the fifth (1413-3573) to the sixth post-Atlantean period (3573-5733), of penetrating supersensible knowledge with the forces of intellect and feeling, will have the maturity for the corresponding conditions following the next great catastrophe. The fifth and sixth periods are, so to speak, decisive. 

In the seventh, the souls who will have reached the goal of the sixth will develop correspondingly further; the other souls, however, will, under the changed conditions of the environment, find but little opportunity of retrieving what they have neglected. Only at some future time will conditions appear again that will permit this. — Evolution thus advances from age to age.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – VI – The present and future of cosmic and human evolution

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

Previously posted on March 22, 2017

Attitude of Soul and Supersensible Knowledge

In one region of the soul every human being has a natural aptitude which in all other areas it would need considerable effort to gain supersensible knowledge about. And this one area is when a loving relationship is entered into between human beings. People must learn to develop this skill in relation to other contacts and approach them in a similar loving way with understanding and instinctive interest and a genuine desire to get to know their inner being better. In the instances that we approach other human beings with inner participation, with deep understanding, with true interest, in those instances we become, if I may put it this way, clairvoyant in everyday life.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 072 – Freiheit, Unsterblichkeit, Soziales Leben – Bern, 11 December 1918 (page 394)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on July 20, 2016