Clairvoyance without understanding and logic has no value

However much a clairvoyant may be able to investigate and see in the spiritual world, what he sees is of no value to him and to others so long as he is unable to bring it down into the ordinary sphere of men, and to express it in thought that can be grasped by sound logic and a natural feeling for truth. The clairvoyant must in fact first understand the matter himself if it is to be of any use to him. Its value begins where the possibility of logical proof begins. […]

Picture to yourselves a man who has perhaps made quite exceptional discoveries in the spiritual world through purely clairvoyant observation, but who has neglected to clothe these observations in language suited to the ordinary sense of truth of any age. Do you know what would happen to him? All his discoveries would be wiped out after death! Just as much of value would remain as it was possible for him to translate or formulate into any language that corresponded to a sound sense for truth.

It is certainly of the greatest importance that there should be clairvoyants capable of bringing over communications from the spiritual world and handing them on to others. This brings blessing to our day, for our age has need of wisdom and cannot advance unless it gets it. Such communications are necessary to the culture of the present time. If not recognised to-day, in fifty or a hundred years it will be the universal conviction of all mankind that culture cannot advance but must perish unless convinced of spiritual wisdom.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 124 – Excursus on the Gospel According to St. Mark I. On the Investigation and Communication of Spiritual Truths – Berlin, 17th October 1910

Translated by E. H. Goddard and D. S. Osmond


Liane Collot d’Herbois Tobias. Year 1970. Watercolor on paper

Previously posted on 20 December 2018


Opinions and Facts

You know from my lectures that I do not like to shoot my mouth off about my opinions. The opinions of an individual person are basically of no great value. I have always tried to allow the facts to speak for themselves, also in the field of spiritual science.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 125 – Wege und Ziele des geistigen Menschen – München, 26 August 1910 (page 71)

This English translation has been copied from the book: GA 125 – Paths and Goals of the Spiritual Human Being – Life questions in the light of spiritual science


Tara of the Flowers  close up of portrait

Art of Carol Herzer

Previously posted on 7 February 2017

Schools must again teach people something of value

Schools must again teach people something of value. Today, much importance is placed on learning the skills required for making machines. Nothing can be said against this from the standpoint of spiritual science because it is quite worthwhile. 

But the skills needed to cope among human beings are neglected. An abstract social science, ignorant of man’s needs, was invented and this is taught instead. Above all, one must study man as we have done here, but unhappily what I told you is not taught. Look back on your own school days! Where is something like this taught today? That is what our age lacks. Teaching men the things they learn today is about as good for them as feeding them rocks instead of bread. Maybe the stomach of a goose can take rocks but that of a human being cannot! To do so would ruin the digestive system, and when you teach men what is being taught today, you actually ruin their heads. 

You know that the arm becomes weak if it is unused, and the head also becomes weak if it is not used in the right way. While the head was developing in the mother, it received forces from the stars. If it is told nothing about them, if it entertains no thoughts of them, it grows weak, just as muscles do when they are not exercised. If the child learns nothing of the real world, it remains weak. 

The worst thing about conditions today is that people have weak heads and do not understand anything about one another. They separate themselves according to social standing and do not speak to those of other classes. This is like training a man to become an athlete while neglecting his biceps. If, in educating men, I leave their heads weak, they will not know the very thing that matters most. This is how things stand.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 348 – Health and Illness: II: Illnesses Occurring in the Different Periods of Life – Dornach, October 24, 1922

Translated by Maria St. Goar


Previously posted on 3 September 2021

Egoism / Poverty / Misery (4 of 11)

Who wants to convince himself of the truth about egoism has to go more intimately into various universal principles. He would have to abandon himself thoughtfully to the question whether the work that is paid personally is really life-sustaining, whether it depends on this work? — It is curious to put this question. However, not sooner than one thinks about it, one is able to inform about the social question.

Imagine — this is a paradoxical comparison — a man transported to an island. He has only to supply himself. You say, he must work! — However, he must not only work, this is not the point, but something must be added to his work. If the work is only work, it can eventually be useless for his life. Think once that the man on the island would do nothing but to throw stones during fourteen days. This would be a strenuous work, and according to usual human concepts, he could earn quite a lot of wage. Nevertheless, this work is not at all connected with life. Work is life-sustaining and has value only if anything else is added. If this work consists of the cultivation of the soil and one receives the products of the earth, then work has something to do with life. We see even with lower beings that work is separated from production. Thus, we see a possibility to get to the tremendously important sentence that work as such has no meaning for life, but only that work which is guided wisely. What is to be produced using human wisdom serves the human being. The modern social thinking offends against this sentence because it does not understand in the least.

It does not depend on the fact that anybody invents beautiful abstract theories, but the real progress depends on the fact that every single human being learns to think socially. Modern thinking is often antisocial. It is antisocial, for example, if anybody is on Sunday afternoon outdoors and says, animated by occasion: I write twenty postcards. It is correct and socially intended to know and to feel that these twenty cards cause so many postmen climbing so and so many stairs. It is social thinking to know that any action, which one does, has an effect in life. Now, however, somebody comes and says that he thinks socially inasmuch as he understands that more postmen must be employed and get their bread because of this card writing. — This is, as if one thinks of anything that one wants to build in order to employ unemployed workers. However, it does not depend on job creation, but that the work of the human beings is used solely to create valuable goods.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: The Social Question and Theosophy -Hamburg, March 2, 1908

Previously posted on 17 juli 2021

The physical world is the school (3 – End) – We should not despise any world  

As the human being is prepared in the mother’s body, so in the body of the great world mother — where we are while leading our physical life — is prepared what is necessary to make it possible for us to see and act in higher worlds. One is perfectly justified to speak of a higher world and to value it higher than our lower world, but we should only use these terms in a technical sense. All worlds are, basically, equally valid expressions of the highest principle, in different forms. We should not despise any world. In this way we learn to relate ourselves rightly towards both the lower and the higher worlds.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – The Gospel of St. John – Third Lecture – Berlin, 5th March 1906


Previously posted on July 16, 2018