The Gospel of St. John is a seer’s book

The Gospel of St. John is a book of life, and whoever lives it through will awaken within himself the power to see spiritually. It is a seer’s book, and was written for the training of spiritual vision. Whoever lives it through, sentence by sentence, will experience the great and mighty result, that he meets Christ spiritually face to face. It is not so easy to convince people; they must themselves work up to the stage at which the knowledge dawns upon them that the Christ is a reality.

St. John’s Gospel is the way that leads to Christ, and the writer desired to give everyone the opportunity to understand it. Whoever develops the Spirit Self will experience within himself the dawning of that wisdom through which he can understand what Christ is.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – The Gospel of St. John – Lecture VIII – Basle, 25 November, 1907

Previously posted on February 14, 2020

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Spiritual development and environment

Something may here be said concerning the environment in which this training should be undertaken, for this is not without some importance. And yet the case differs for almost every person. Anyone practicing in an environment filled only with self-seeking interests, as for example, the modern struggle for existence, must be conscious of the fact that these interests are not without their effect on the development of his spiritual organs. It is true that the inner laws of these organs are so powerful that this influence cannot be fatally injurious. Just as a lily can never grow into a thistle, however inappropriate its environment, so, too, the eye of the soul can never grow to anything but its destined shape even though it be subjected to the self-seeking interests of modern cities. 

But under all circumstances it is well if the student seeks, now and again, his environment in the restful peace, the inner dignity and sweetness of nature. Especially fortunate is the student who can carry out his esoteric training surrounded by the green world of plants, or among the sunny hills, where nature weaves her web of sweet simplicity. This environment develops the inner organs in a harmony which can never ensue in a modern city.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 10 – Knowledge of the Higher Worlds And Its Attainment – IV. Some Practical Aspects

Translated by George Metaxa

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About false clairvoyance and the true sources of knowledge

What has been said in our last lecture is of great significance and of fundamental importance if we are dealing with clairvoyant aberrations, for in the case of clairvoyance not attained through regular training, through systematic exercises under strict and proper direction, but showing itself through old inherited characteristics, in images, or else in hearing of sounds — in the case of such false clairvoyance we shall always find that it diminishes, or even ceases altogether if the person in question finds the opportunity and has the inclination seriously to take up anthroposophical studies, or to take up a training that is rational and normal. So we can say that a person who has a wrong perception of the super-sensible always finds that the true sources of knowledge, if he is susceptible to them, will invariably prove helpful to him and lead him back to the right path.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 120 – Manifestations of Karma: LECTURE 8: KARMA OF THE HIGHER BEINGS – Hamburg, 25th May 1910

Previously posted on December 8, 2014

Clairvoyance/Dangers

No psychical trouble arises in true initiation, but the premature and sudden flashing-up of the astral world may give rise to insanity. In clairvoyance, man is liberated from his physical body. Hence the dangers that may threaten the mind and brain of one who attempts this kind of training without being absolutely balanced.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture IX: The Astral World – Paris, 2nd June 1906

Translated by R. Querido