Truth is the leader of mankind towards unity and mutual understanding, and also the precursor of justice and love

Truth is a lofty goal. This is shown by the fact that truth, in the sense intended here, is recognised today in one limited realm only. It is only in the realm of mathematics that humanity in general has reached the goal of truth, for here men have curbed their passions and desires and kept them out of the way. Why are all men agreed that three times three makes nine and not ten? Because no emotion comes into it, Men would agree on the highest truths if they had gone as far with them as they have with mathematics. The truths of mathematics are grasped in the inmost soul, and because they are grasped in this way, we possess them. We would still possess them if a hundred or a thousand people were to contradict us; we would still know that three times three makes nine because we have grasped this fact inwardly. If the hundred or thousand people who take a different view were to get away from themselves, they would come to the same truth.

What, then, is the way to mutual understanding and unity for mankind? We understand one another in the field of reckoning and counting because here we have met the conditions required. Peace, concord and harmony will prevail among men to the extent that they find truth. That is the essential thing: that we should seek for truth as something to be found only in our own deepest being; and should know that truth ever and again draws men together, because from the innermost depth of every human soul its light shines forth.

So is truth the leader of mankind towards unity and mutual understanding, and also the precursor of justice and love. Truth is a precursor we must cherish, while the other precursor, anger, that we came to know yesterday, must be overcome if we are to be led by it away from selfishness. That is the mission of truth: to become the object of increasing love and care and devotion on our part. Inasmuch as we devote ourselves inwardly to truth, our true self gains in strength and will enable us to cast off self-interest. Anger weakens us; truth strengthens us.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 58 – Metamorphoses of the Soul / Paths of Experience – Volume One: Lecture 3: The Mission of Truth – Berlin, 22nd October 1909

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim

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In fact the truth is most detested

You are now only a small movement and few in numbers, but if you carry the awareness within you that you are working with Truth, then you will simply say to yourself: with spiritual movements it does not depend on how great they are in number but how strong their inner strengths are. This will be active when you have a strong awareness of what it is that is being carried. This is exactly what you must have: a strong consciousness for Truth and not allowing it to de-motivate you because in fact the truth is most detested. If you wish to spread some secular falsehood, then people will have no fear of it. Precisely when you want to spread the truth people sense your intention and there will be the strongest opposition you can find.

Soure: Rudolf Steiner – GA 345 – Course for Priests of the Christian Community: Lecture 1 – Stuttgart, 11 July 1923

Previously posted on December 24, 2019

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Materialism and Spiritualism 

We see to-day the most violent conflict between Materialism and Spiritualism. This conflict simply rests on the fact that human beings simply will not see what deep foundations this utterance has: — The truth always lies midway between two directly opposite associations.

My dear friends, is it true that God is within us? Is it true then that we are in God? It is true that we are in God. These two assertions are direct opposites. Both are true. God is in us, and we are in God; but the two assertions are polar opposites. The real truth, the whole truth lies between the two. The nature of all the conflict of ideas in the world rests on this — that human beings always tend to a one-sidedness, which is true, but only a one-sided truth; whereas the real truth lies between two opposite assertions. We must know both in order to get at the reality. 

For instance, to-day, in the present state of the evolution of the world, one must have the most earnest will to learn all we can of material existence above all, and not propagate the desire of those people who say: “We will only occupy ourselves with the Spirit: we do not want to know Matter.” To learn as much as possible of Matter is one side of human cognition, one thing for which the Will of man, must strive. On the other hand one must learn to know the Spirit, because between those two, lies what we are, and ought really to strive for. Both are wrong. — those who say the world is only Matter and those who say the world is only Spirit are wrong.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 203 – Social life: Lecture 1 – Dornach, January 21, 1921

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Feeling for truth and the power of understanding it are inherent in everyone

It is not only to researchers into the spiritual world that the observer of the supersensible has to speak. He must address his words to all men, because he has to give an account of things that concern all men. Indeed, he knows that without a knowledge of these things no one can, in the true sense of the word, be a human being. Thus, he speaks to all men because he knows there are different degrees of understanding for what he has to say. 

The feeling for truth and the power of understanding it are inherent in everyone, and he knows that even those who are still far from the moment in which they will acquire the ability to make their own spiritual research can bring a measure of understanding to meet him. He addresses himself first to this understanding that can flash forth in every healthy soul. He knows that in this understanding there is a force that must slowly lead to the higher degrees of knowledge. 

This feeling, which perhaps at first perceives nothing at all of what it is told, is itself the magician that opens the “eye of the spirit.” In darkness this feeling stirs. The soul sees nothing, but through this feeling it is seized by the power of truth. The truth then gradually draws nearer to the soul and opens the higher sense in it. In one person it may take a longer, in another a shorter time. Everyone, however, who has patience and endurance reaches this goal, for although not every physical eye can be operated on, every spiritual eye can be opened. When it will be opened is only a question of time.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy – An Introduction to the Supersensible Knowledge of the World and the Destination of Man

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D.

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The higher truth of religion got lost

Anthroposophy is neither an adversary of religion nor of science. It wants to attain truth like the researchers by knowledge, and it does not deny the basic truth of the religions.

This basic truth is often little understood by those who represent the religions. Original, eternal truth forms the basis of all religions. The religions existing today developed from it. Then, however, later ingredients overgrew them. They lost their deeper truth. The core of truth lies behind them. However, science has not yet advanced so far that it has ascended from the matter to the spirit. It is not yet so far that it investigates the spiritual with the same enthusiasm as it investigates the natural phenomena. Science finds its core of truth in future. So, this higher truth of religion got lost, and science has not yet found it. Today, anthroposophy stands between them. It falls back on the past, on the lost, and it tries to investigate in the future what has not yet been found. In return, it is attacked by both sides. The habits and the external customs of today are different from those of former times, but in spite of the frequently praised tolerance of our modern time one still tries to intimidate those who represent an uncomfortable opinion. Somebody who speaks of the soul today, like the naturalist speaks of the external facts, is no longer burnt, indeed, but also methods are found to burden and to suppress him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 52 – Spiritual Teachings of Soul/World: Course I: Lecture II: The Origin of the Soul – Berlin, October 3, 1903

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