How am I to know that what is presented by anyone as the science of initiation is correct, when I cannot myself see into the spiritual world?

It is true, not everyone today can cross the threshold to the spiritual world; but no one would be prevented from perceiving the truth of what is said by those who have crossed that threshold. It is false reasoning when it is said again and again by one or another: How am I to know that what is presented by anyone as the science of initiation is correct, when I cannot myself see into the spiritual world? That is false reasoning. Common sense which is not led astray by the erroneous ideas of our time in the natural or the social sphere can decide of itself whether the element of truth rules in what anyone says. If someone speaks of spiritual worlds, you must take account of everything: the manner of speaking, the seriousness with which things are treated, the logic which is developed, and so on, and then it will be possible to judge whether what is presented as information about the spiritual world is charlatanism, or whether it has foundation. Anyone can decide this.

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

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

f438fffc-300d-4559-84f4-b3b7edf467d4

Previously posted  on August  5, 2018

Advertisement

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 

rudolf-steiner-german-austrian-philosopher-260nw-1663000651

Previously posted on May 31, 2018

Whether we absorb spiritual concepts or reject them determines our environment on the other side of the threshold

When man under the present conditions of evolution passes through the portal of death, he takes with him the conditions of consciousness that he has created for himself between birth and death. The person who has occupied himself under present circumstances exclusively with materialistic ideas, concepts, and sense impressions of the material, of the sense world, condemns himself after death to live in an environment in which only concepts defined during bodily life have bearing. 

The human being who has absorbed spiritual ideas enters the spiritual world legitimately, but one who has rejected spiritual ideas is forced to remain in a certain sense within earthly conditions until he — and this may endure for a long time — has learned there to absorb enough spiritual concepts that he can be carried by them into the spiritual world. 

Whether we absorb spiritual concepts or reject them therefore determines our environment on the other side of the threshold. Many of those souls — and this must be said with compassion — who have rejected or were hindered from absorbing spiritual concepts here in life are still wandering about on earth and, though dead, remain bound to the earthly sphere. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 178 – The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric – X – Individual Spirit Beings and the Undivided Foundation of the World: Part 1 – St. Gallen – 18th November 1917

Translated by Margaret Ingram deRis & Alice Wulsin

Previously posted on March 17, 2017

Why look beyond the threshold?

Among the fiercest critics of Steiner, was Johann Wilhelm Hauer, the theologian from Tübingen. After attending a lecture by Rudolf Steiner on “life after death”, Hauer had this to say: “Why look beyond the threshold? We’ll have enough time to find out what it’s like once we get there.” Rudolf Steiner commented: “That would be exactly the same, as if polar explorers, embarking on a trip to the north pole, said: ‘We’ll decide on what we need for our trip, once we arrive at the north pole.’”

Source: Sie Mensch von einem Menschen! Rudolf Steiner in Anekdoten door Wolfgang G. Vögele (page 159)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on May 3, 2017

How am I to know that what is presented by anyone as the science of initiation is correct, when I cannot myself see into the spiritual world?

It is true, not everyone today can cross the threshold to the spiritual world; but no one would be prevented from perceiving the truth of what is said by those who have crossed that threshold. It is false reasoning when it is said again and again by one or another: How am I to know that what is presented by anyone as the science of initiation is correct, when I cannot myself see into the spiritual world? That is false reasoning. Common sense which is not led astray by the erroneous ideas of our time in the natural or the social sphere can decide of itself whether the element of truth rules in what anyone says. If someone speaks of spiritual worlds, you must take account of everything: the manner of speaking, the seriousness with which things are treated, the logic which is developed, and so on, and then it will be possible to judge whether what is presented as information about the spiritual world is charlatanism, or whether it has foundation. Anyone can decide this.

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

Translated by Frances E. Dawson

Previously posted on 27th November 2013

5bab6d3770d0f