Vanity / Shame / Satisfaction

While in the case of a person in exoteric life, when he has uttered certain words, when he has said something or other, that is the end of the matter; in the case of a person who has undergone a anthroposophical development there comes a clear after-feeling regarding what he has said; he feels something like an inner shame when he has expressed what is not right in a moral or intellectual sense; and something like a sort of thankfulnes — not satisfaction with himself — when he has been able to express something to which the wisdom he has attained can give assent.

And if he feels — and for this, too, he acquires a delicate sensitiveness — that something like an inner self-satisfaction, a self-complaisance with himself arises when he has said something that is right, that is a sign that he still possesses too much vanity, which is no good in his development. He learns to distinguish between the feeling of satisfaction which follows when he has said something with which he can agree, and the self-complaisance which is worthless. He should try not to allow this latter feeling to arise, but only to develop the feeling of shame when he has said anything untrue or non-moral, and when he has succeeded in saying something suitable to the occasion, to develop a feeling of gratitude for the wisdom he now has part in, and to which he does not lay claim as his own, but receives as a gift from the universe.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 145 – The Effect of Occult Development Upon the Self and the Sheaths of Man: Lecture 5 – The Hague, March 24, 1913

Translated by Harry Collison

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What self-seeking has brought this discontent upon me?

All obstinacy, all self-seeking, have a destructive effect upon thinking. All characteristics connected with obstinacy and selfishness — such as ambition, vanity all these things that seem to tend in a very different direction make our thinking unsound, and act unfavourably upon our mood of soul. We must seek, therefore, to overcome obstinacy, self-seeking, egoism; and cultivate, on the contrary, a certain absorption in things and a certain self-sacrificing attitude toward other beings.

Absorption, a self-sacrificing attitude, in regard to the most insignificant objects and occurrences have a favourable effect upon thinking and upon one’s mood. In truth, self-seeking and egoism bring their own punishment because the self-seeking person becomes more and more discontented, complains more and more that he comes off badly. When anyone feels this way about himself, he ought to place himself under the law of karma and ask himself, when he is discontented: ‘What self-seeking has brought this discontent upon me?’

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on March 5, 2015

Fear and antipathy for the spiritual world

Sometimes people present themselves outwardly as quite robust – but in the depths of their souls they are cowards. Because of the fear they experience for the spiritual world, they look for various ways to stun themselves. Many believe they lose the ground beneath their feet when they penetrate the spiritual world, that is why there is fear. But they try to drown this fear out – mostly from fear of the serious and earnest strength they must use to reach the spiritual world. One has often seen those who believed to have reached the spiritual world within four weeks, but then it turns out, o worst of all horrors, that based on the spiritual knowledge they gain, they will not become famous in this incarnation! Many lose the pleasure in searching for spiritual knowledge because they fear what they might learn. That is why they would rather be stunned, and therefore they invent the antipathy penetrated with hate and vanity against this spiritual science.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Okkulte Untersuchungen über das Leben zwischen Tod und neuer Geburt – Stuttgart, February 20, 1913 (page 224-225)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 17 november 2016

Fear and antipathy for the spiritual world

Sometimes people present themselves outwardly as quite robust – but in the depths of their souls they are cowards. Because of the fear they experience for the spiritual world, they look for various ways to stun themselves. Many believe they lose the ground beneath their feet when they penetrate the spiritual world, that is why there is fear. But they try to drown this fear out – mostly from fear of the serious and earnest strength they must use to reach the spiritual world.

One has often seen those who believed to have reached the spiritual world within four weeks, but then it turns out, o worst of all horrors, that based on the spiritual knowledge they gain, they will not become famous in this incarnation! Many lose the pleasure in searching for spiritual knowledge because they fear what they might learn. That is why they would rather be stunned, and therefore they invent the antipathy penetrated with hate and vanity against this spiritual science.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Okkulte Untersuchungen über das Leben zwischen Tod und neuer Geburt – Stuttgart, February 20, 1913 (page 224-225)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

What self-seeking has brought this discontent upon me?

All obstinacy, all self-seeking, have a destructive effect upon thinking. All characteristics connected with obstinacy and selfishness — such as ambition, vanity all these things that seem to tend in a very different direction make our thinking unsound, and act unfavourably upon our mood of soul. We must seek, therefore, to overcome obstinacy, self-seeking, egoism; and cultivate, on the contrary, a certain absorption in things and a certain self-sacrificing attitude toward other beings. Absorption, a self-sacrificing attitude, in regard to the most insignificant objects and occurrences have a favourable effect upon thinking and upon one’s mood. In truth, self-seeking and egoism bring their own punishment because the self-seeking person becomes more and more discontented, complains more and more that he comes off badly. When anyone feels this way about himself, he ought to place himself under the law of karma and ask himself, when he is discontented: ‘What self-seeking has brought this discontent upon me?’

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on 6th December 2013

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