Improbable, confused and fantastic

Whoever has worked for many years within these circles, or are inwardly active in such circles, will think back to a time when they had, for the first time, heard something about the anthroposophic occult science of man, and they will remember that some of the first communications not only appeared improbable, but perhaps confused and fantastic — perhaps even worse could be said about them. However, with the passing time you may get used to certain impressions as the anthroposophic world view comes ever closer, and the world of feeling makes it possible to share things which are revealed from Higher Worlds. These revelations become absorbed just like facts on the physical place, taking place in the physical world, they too are taken in. 

Whatever one can call proof of spiritual statements is not to be sought in the same fields as are the proofs for scientific certainties. With such a line of argument one can’t do much. The line of argument which is available for experiences in the anthroposophic world view lies in the complete intimate transformation as experienced within the soul life. Long before we can happily penetrate to perceiving the spiritual worlds through the application of spiritual scientific or occult methods, we can build in ourselves a presentiment, a premonition out of the correctness, from deep legitimacy, that which is shared regarding Higher Worlds.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Regarding Higher Worlds – Vienna, 21st November 1908

Translated by Hanna von Maltitz

 Previously posted on October 25, 2017

Advertisement

Spritual Science/Education/Self-education

Spiritual science does not merely signify the acquisition of knowledge; it signifies most pre-eminently an education, a self-education of our souls. We make ourselves different; we have other interests. When a man imbues himself with spiritual science, the habits of attention for this or for that subject which he developed during previous years, alter. What interested him before, interests him no longer; that which had no interest for him previously, now begins to interest him in the highest degree. One ought not simply to say that only a person who has gone through esoteric development can attain to a connection with the spiritual world; esotericism does not begin with occult development. The moment we make any link with spiritual science with our whole heart, esotericism has already begun; our souls begin at once to be transformed. There then begins in us something resembling what would arise, let us say, in a being who had previously only been able to see light and darkness, and who then through a special and different organisation of the eyes, begins to see colors. The whole world would appear different to such a being. We need only observe it, we need only realise it, and we shall soon see that the whole world begins to have a different aspect when we have for a time gone through the self-education we can get in a spiritual science circle.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 136 – The Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature: Lecture 1 – Helsinki, 3rd April 1912

Previously posted on June 16, 2015

Transformation/Inspiration/Instinct

Look at the blood that flows today, look at the people who are put against the wall and shot: those are the inspirations of good will from the spiritual world that want to come to the people, but are hated by them and then transformed into wild animal urges. If the human being does not want that which comes to him from out of spiritual worlds as inspiration then it transforms itself into wild emotions, into animal drives.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 192 – Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen – Stuttgart, Juni 22, 1919 (page 225)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on June 26, 2017

Evil has to exist

One needs to be aware that the evil powers should also be incorporated into earth development. When the time comes that we will have to overcome these forces again, human beings will have to exercise great strength to transform the evil and demonic into the good. However, his strength will thereby grow, because evil exists to strengthen the power of the human being through his victory over it. All evil must be melted down and transformed into the good again, and it is so placed by Providence to develop strong activity in humanity, much stronger than if he should never have had to transform evil into good.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 101 –  Mythen und Sagen, Okkulte Zeichen und Symbole – Cologne, December 28, 1907 (page 237-238)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on October 20, 2016

The underlying reasons for suffering

In pursuing the laws of karma, we shall discover that the underlying reasons for suffering are similar to what can be described by the following example relating to the ordinary life between birth and death. Let us assume that a youngster has lived until his eighteenth year at the expense of his father. Then the father loses all his wealth and goes into bankruptcy. The young man must now learn something worthwhile and make an effort to support himself. As a result, life hits him with pain and privation. It is quite understandable that he does not react sympathetically to the pain that he has to go through.

Let us now turn to the period when he has reached the age of fifty. Since, by the necessity of events, he had to educate himself at an early age, he has become a decent person. He has found a real foothold in life. He realizes why he reacted negatively to pain and suffering when it first hit him, but now he must think differently about it. He must say to himself that the suffering would not have come to him if he had already acquired a sense of maturity — at least, to the limited degree than an eighteen year old can attain one. If he had not been afflicted by pain, he would have remained a good-for-nothing. It was the pain that transformed his shortcomings into positive abilities. He must owe it to the pain that he has become a different man in the course of forty years. What was really brought together at that time? His shortcomings and his pain were brought together. His shortcomings actually sought pain in order that his immaturity might be removed by being transformed into maturity.

Even a simple consideration of life between birth and death can lead to this view. If we look at the totality of life, however, and if we face our karma as it has been explained in the lecture two days ago, we will come to the conclusion that all pain that hits us, that all suffering that comes our way, are of such a nature that they are being sought by our shortcomings. By far the greater part of our pain and suffering is sought by imperfections that we have brought over from previous incarnations. Since we have these imperfections within ourselves, there is a wiser man in us than we ourselves are who chooses the road to pain and suffering. It is, indeed, one of the golden rules of life that we all carry in us a wiser man than we ourselves are, a much wiser man. The one to whom we say, “I,” in ordinary life is less wise. If it was left to this less wise person in us to make a choice between pain and joy, he would undoubtedly choose the road toward joy. But the wiser man is the one who reigns in the depth of our unconscious and who remains inaccessible to ordinary consciousness. He directs our gaze away from easy enjoyment and kindles in us a magic power that seeks the road of pain without our really knowing it. But what is meant by the words: Without really knowing it? They mean that the wiser man in us prevails over the less wise one. He always acts in such a way that our shortcomings are guided to our pains and he makes us suffer because with every inner and outer suffering we eliminate one of our faults and become transformed into something better.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Facing Karma – Vienna, February 8, 1912

Translated by Dietrich V. Asten

Previously posted on March 6, 2015