Apparent and real motives

It may happen in life that two people live together for a long time and that through the strange forces playing out of the unknown regions of the astral body and Ego of the one person into the astral body and Ego of the other (these forces remain in the hidden regions), the one has in relation to the other a real desire for torment, a kind of need for cruelty.

It may be that the one person who has this desire for torment, this need for cruelty, has no inkling whatever of the existence of these emotions in the astral body and Ego; he may build up about the things he does out of this urge to cruelty, a whole number of ideas which explain the actions on quite other grounds. Such a person may tell us that he has done this or that to the other person for one reason or another; these reasons may be very clever and yet they do not express the truth at all.

For in ordinary life, what we all-too-often picture as the motives of our own actions, indeed of our own feelings, frequently stands, as I say, in a very, very distant connection with what is really living and weaving in our inner being.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death: I – Dornach, February 5, 1915

Previously posted on October 27, 2016

No matter how ugly a thing may be, there is always some beauty concealed in it

No matter how ugly a thing may be, there is always some beauty concealed in it; in every untruth there is a grain of truth, in everything evil a grain of goodness. This does not mean, of course, that you should abstain from criticism! You misunderstand positivity if you think that you should no longer find anything bad, ugly, etc., but positivity means that you should see the grain of beauty in everything evil. This develops the higher forces of your soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture XIV: Further Stages of Rosicrucian Training – Kassel, 29th June 1907

Previously posted on September 27, 2016

Chaos has arisen because the reality is considered in an unspiritual way

If people insist that this war is just like the wars of the past and that we’ll be making peace just as peace has been made before — let them talk. They are the people who love maya and do not distinguish between truth and deception. Let them make what may seem like ‘peace’ — order will only arise from the chaos that fills the world today when insight based on the science of the spirit dawns in human minds. You may feel in your hearts that it will be a long time before such order comes; you may think it will be a long time before people are prepared to let the dawn of such a science arise, and you will be right. You have to accept that it will be a long time before order arises from the chaos. For it will not come until human hearts understand the realm of the spirit. Order can only come when it is understood how this chaos has arisen.

Chaos has arisen because the reality is considered in an unspiritual way and the world of the spirit cannot be ignored with impunity. You may think it is enough to live with thoughts and ideas that are wholly derived from the physical world. It is what people generally think today, though this does not make it true. The most completely and utterly wrong idea humanity has ever had is — to put it simply — that the spirits will put up with being ignored. You may consider it egotistical and selfish on their part, but the terminology is different in their world. Egotism or not, the spirits take their revenge if they are ignored here on earth. This is a law, an iron necessity. One way to characterize the present time is to say that the present human chaos is the revenge of the spirits who have been ignored for too long.

Bron: Rudolf Steiner – GA 177 – The Driving Force Behind Europe’s War: Lecture 1 – Dornach, 29 September 1917

Some think modern science will bring all the truth  

When we look out into the world today we see something that has already been there for many years: a tremendous amount of destructiveness. There are forces at work that give us an inkling of the abysses into which western civilization is still to plunge. Looking at those individuals who externally are the cultural leaders in the various fields of life, we notice how they are enmeshed in a terrible cosmic sleep. They think, and until recently most people thought, that until the nineteenth century mankind was childlike and primitive in its insights and views, and that now that modern science has entered into all the various fields truth has at last arrived, truth that must be upheld forever.

People who think like this are, without knowing it, living in a state of tremendous arrogance. On the other hand, here and there amongst mankind today there are some inklings that things are perhaps not as the majority would like to imagine.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 260 – The Christmas Conference- Part Two: The Procedings of the Conference – Dornach, 1st January 1924

Translated by Johanna Collis

Previously posted on March 19, 2016

Good and evil will be determined by the State

People imagine that those who strive to arrive at the truth by means of Spiritual Science can be met with the weapons of scorn and ridicule that often pass for criticism. In the Sixth epoch they will be treated medically! By that time medicaments will have been discovered which will be administered compulsorily to those who believe in a recognized canon of good and evil independent of social sanctions. A time will come when people will say: “What is all this talk about good and evil? Good and evil are determined by the State. What the State declares to be good is good; what it declares to be evil is evil. When you speak of good and evil as moral values, you are obviously ill.” And medicaments will be administered to such people in order to cure them. 

It is no exaggeration to say that this is the direction in which our epoch is moving; it is a pointer to the future. For the moment I will not disclose what will follow in the Seventh epoch. A time will come — for human nature cannot be changed — when people will be adjudged ill according to the concepts of natural science and the necessary steps will be taken to cure them. This is no flight of fancy. Even the most sober observation of the world around confirms what I have said. And those who have eyes to see and ears to hear see on every side the first steps in this direction. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 175 – Building Stones for an Understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha – Lecture 4 – Berlin, 12th April 1917

Translated by A. H. Parker

Previously posted on March 12, 2017