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

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Previously posted  on August  5, 2018

Duality

Everywhere in life we find duality: light and shade, positive and negative, male and female, left and right, right and wrong, good and evil. Duality is deeply rooted in the nature of all existence, and he who wants to understand nature, must be aware of this duality and always have it clearly in mind. Only when we perceive this duality in our own life, can we come to understand the world. The pupil must make it his duty to think in terms of these dualities. He should never have one aspect only in mind but he should always be aware of both sides when thinking. […] 

Only when one imposes on oneself the inner duty never to think in terms of a single aspect only, but to think always in terms of duality, can one come to know the full truth. When humanity learns to think in dualities, thinking will be factually correct and in accordance with reality.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 89 – Bewußtsein – Leben – Form – Berlin, April 3, 1905 (page 291)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted  on July 7, 2018

What they call knowledge is, in effect, an act of faith

During the course of centuries mankind has become inured to a scientific outlook that is related to the phenomenal world and has come to accept the findings of astronomy, botany, zoology and medicine, for example, in the form in which they are presented in recognized schools or centres of learning. A chemist, for example, undertakes a piece of research in his laboratory. People have not the slightest understanding of the technique involved. The work is acclaimed and they unhesitatingly declare: “Here is truth, here is knowledge that makes no appeal to faith.” But what they call knowledge is, in effect, an act of faith.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 243 – True/False Paths: Lecture Eleven: What is the Position in Respect of Spiritual Investigation and the Understanding of Spiritual Investigation? – Torquai, August 22, 1924

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Opinions and truth

In our age special stress is laid upon this ego or ‘I’ in the direction of thought. One hears nothing more often said than — this is my standpoint, I think this or that — as though the opinion of this or that person had any significance compared with the truth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – The Effect of Occult Development Upon the Self and the Sheaths of Man – Lecture 10 – The Hague, 29th March 1913

Previously posted on January 26, 2015

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Borstbeeld door David Dozier

Truth is complicated

When, as so often happens, people say that truth should be simple, this is due to indolence and a dislike of having to wrestle with many concepts; but the greatest truths can be apprehended only when the spiritual faculties are exerted to their utmost capacity. If considerable efforts are needed to describe a machine, it is surely unreasonable to demand that the greatest truths should also be the simplest! Truth is inevitably complicated, and the most strenuous efforts must be made if it is desired to acquire some understanding of the truths relating to the Events of Palestine. Nobody should lend himself to the objection that the facts are unduly complicated; they are complicated because here we have to do with the greatest of all happenings in the evolution of the Earth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 114 – The Gospel of St. Luke – Lecture Five – Basel, September 19, 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Owen Barfield

Previously posted on March 16, 2018

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