Wisdom

When man needs wisdom in order to understand things, that is, when he extracts wisdom from them, it shows that wisdom exists in the things themselves. For however much the human being might try to understand the things by means of ideas filled with wisdom, he would be unable to extract any wisdom from them were it not already embodied in the things themselves. Anyone who wishes by means of wisdom to comprehend things that, as he thinks, have not first received wisdom, may also imagine that he can take water out of a glass into which none has previously been poured.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – IV. The Evolution of the Cosmos and Man

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

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Everything surrounding us is the external expression of the spiritual world

So it is possible to go, or rather to slip, from the sense world into the supersensible world and to live there as well as here. That does not mean life in never-never land, but life in a realm that clarifies and explains life in our realm. Just as the usual person who has not studied electricity would not understand all the wonderful workings in a factory powered by electricity, so the average person does not understand the occurrences in the spiritual world. The visitor at the factory will lack understanding as long as he remains ignorant of the laws of electricity. So also will man lack understanding in the realm of the spirit as long as he does not know the laws of the spiritual. There is nothing in our world that is not dependent on the spiritual world at every moment. Everything surrounding us is the external expression of the spiritual world. There is no materiality. Everything material is condensed spirit. For the person looking  into the spiritual world, the whole material, sense-perceptible world, the world in general, becomes spiritualized. As ice melts into water through the effect of the sun, so everything sense-perceptible melts into something spiritual within the soul which looks into the spiritual world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – Esoteric Development: Lecture I – Berlin, 7th December 1905

Translated by Gertrude Teutsch

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Previously  posted  on July 2, 2018

The etheric body

The etheric body surrounds the physical body and is much finer than the physical body. Currents and organs of wonderful variety and splendour are active in it. The etheric body contains the same organs as the physical body. It has a brain, heart, eyes etc. They represent the forces which formed the corresponding organs. It is as if one cooled water in a vessel until it becomes ice. In this way you should picture the arising of the physical organs through the densifying of the etheric organs. The etheric body extends only a little beyond the physical body.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN: Lecture I – Berlin. 19 February 1906

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About fasting and food 

A man wouldn’t be able to generate productive thoughts if he ate too much and too often, because his forces would be used in digestion, and there wouldn’t be any left for thinking. Schiller, Shakespeare and many other writers lived on very little food. The mind is never so clear as after long fasting. The greatest saints lived on fruit, bread and water, and no miracles were ever done on a full stomach.

When a man works on himself he harmonizes his temperaments, but until then a melancholic pupil should eat fruit, so that its sun forces permeate the solidifying and rigidifying element in melancholics. Phlegmatics shouldn’t eat black roots because they would only increase his inner love of ease. Whereas a sanguine would benefit by eating root vegetables. One could almost say: A sanguine must be fettered to his physical body by food, otherwise he might fly away. The ego is predominant in cholerics, so they should avoid hot spices and stimulating food.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – ESOTERIC LESSONS 1: Number 56 – Unknown place and date

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Matter and Spirit

We must, however, be clear that all that makes itself visible to our eyes derives from the spirit. There is no material thing that does not have a spiritual basis.

Now for a more frequently-used analogy. A child shows us some ice. We say, “This is water in another form.”  The child will then say, “You say that it is water but yet it is ice.” Whereupon we will say, “You do not know how water becomes ice.” So it is for him who does not know that matter is condensed spirit. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Illusory Illness – Munich, December 3, 1907

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