Questions concerning the meaning and significance of life must remain unanswered if there be no access to supersensible worlds

Anyone attempting an exposition of the results of spiritual science as recorded in this book must, above all, take into account the fact that at present these results are universally looked upon as something quite impossible. For things are said in the following exposition that the supposedly exact thinking of our age affirms to be “probably entirely indeterminable by human intelligence.” He who knows and appreciates the reasons why so many earnest persons are lead to maintain this impossibility will wish to make ever new attempts to show the misconceptions upon which is based the belief that entrance into supersensible worlds is denied to human knowledge. […] Any human soul, by reflecting deeply, will in the long run be unable to disregard the fact that its most important questions concerning the meaning and significance of life must remain unanswered if there be no access to supersensible worlds. We may theoretically deceive ourselves about this fact, but the depths of the soul-life will not tolerate this self-delusion. — If we do not wish to listen to these depths of the soul, we shall naturally reject any statement about supersensible worlds. Yet there are human beings — really not few in number — who find it impossible to remain deaf to the demands coming from these soul depths. Such people must always knock at the door that conceals, according to the opinion of others, the “inconceivable.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: Preface fourth edition

Previously posted on September 10, 2014

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Inner Activity of Soul

These days the people who might perhaps have the urge to experience something of the  supersensible out of some indeterminable instinct, prefer to acquire the ability to see into spiritual worlds through a mystical laying on of hands or something in that line. After all, a lot of people believe that it works this way. But it does not. What opens the spiritual world for us is strenuous inner activity of the soul.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 72 –Freiheit/Unsterblichkeit/ Soziales Leben – Bern, 18th October 1917 (page 29)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on December 19, 2014

Materialism and the Church

It is truly not particularly difficult to see that what people have since centuries believed to be a certain religiosity, is, in fact, something quite superficial, and in reality not concerned with the supersensible worlds at all. Up to now people lived with a certain indifference towards the supersensible worlds. But a turning point in time has arrived and human beings are now asked to orient themselves again on the supersensible worlds. People have to learn once again to focus their attention on the spiritual world, but in a different way from how it is nowadays often envisaged. People want to remain with the customary comfortable faith that does not require a lot of inner effort. Those who have remained in this easy faith, are the principal enemies of true current progress. The churches, who oppose the new roads to the supersensible, are in truth currently the cause of more and more materialistic impulses in humanity. It is necessary at the present time to focus in a very concrete way on the supersensible worlds.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 190 –Vergangenheits- und Zukunftsimpulse im sozialen Geschehen – Dornach, March 23, 1919 (page 47-48)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

One sided truth gives only the poorest sketch  

One can never look at the truths about the higher worlds from too many aspects. One should realize that from any one aspect it is possible to give only the poorest sketch. And when one looks at the same thing from the most diverse aspects, the impressions one receives in this way only gradually complement each other to form an ever more animated picture. Only such pictures, not dry, schematic concepts, can help the man who wants to penetrate into the higher worlds. The more animated and colorful the pictures, the more can one hope to approach the higher reality.

It is obvious that it is just the pictures from the higher worlds which arouse mistrust in many today. A person is quite content to be given conceptual schemes and classifications — with as many names as possible — of Devachan, of the development of the planets, and so forth; but he becomes more difficult when somebody presumes to describe the supersensible worlds as a traveller describes the landscapes of South America. Yet one should realize that it is only through fresh, animated pictures that one is given something useful, not through dead schemes and names.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 11 – Cosmic Memory – The Life of Earth

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Questions concerning the meaning and significance of life must remain unanswered if there be no access to supersensible worlds  

Anyone attempting an exposition of the results of spiritual science as recorded in this book must, above all, take into account the fact that at present these results are universally looked upon as something quite impossible. For things are said in the following exposition that the supposedly exact thinking of our age affirms to be “probably entirely indeterminable by human intelligence.” He who knows and appreciates the reasons why so many earnest persons are lead to maintain this impossibility will wish to make ever new attempts to show the misconceptions upon which is based the belief that entrance into supersensible worlds is denied to human knowledge. […] Any human soul, by reflecting deeply, will in the long run be unable to disregard the fact that its most important questions concerning the meaning and significance of life must remain unanswered if there be no access to supersensible worlds. We may theoretically deceive ourselves about this fact, but the depths of the soul-life will not tolerate this self-delusion. — If we do not wish to listen to these depths of the soul, we shall naturally reject any statement about supersensible worlds. Yet there are human beings — really not few in number — who find it impossible to remain deaf to the demands coming from these soul depths. Such people must always knock at the door that conceals, according to the opinion of others, the “inconceivable.”

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: Preface fourth edition

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