Rudolf Steiner, fully Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner

Steiner, fully Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner

Austrian Cultural Philosopher, Social Thinker, Architect, Literary Critic, and Esotericist, Founder Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy

Author Quotes

Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility—these three forces are the very nerve of education.

The nerve system is the only system that has no connection whatever with soul and spirit. Blood, muscles, and so on always have a direct connection with soul and spirit. ... That is the peculiar thing about it. In psychology and physiology you find the following put forward; the organ that acts as a medium for sensation, thinking and the whole soul and spirit element, is the nerve system. But how does it come to be this medium? Only by continually expelling itself from life [Lee: continually dying out], so that it does not offer any obstacles to thinking and sensation, forms no connections with thinking and sensation, and in that place where it is it leaves the human being empty in favour of the soul and spirit, Actually there are hollow spaces for the spirit and soul where the nerves are. Therefore spirit and soul can enter in where these hollow spaces are.

We learn through all our experiences and they enrich our store of knowledge. But in order that man may learn on the Earth, he must be allured by, [or] involved in enjoyment.

The occultist sees in the man of today a being in the full swing of evolution. Man is at the same time a fallen God and a God in the becoming.

We must emphasize again and again that the anthroposophical world-conception fosters a consciousness of the common source of art, religion and science. During ancient periods of evolution these three were not separated; they existed in unity. The Mysteries which fostered that unity were a kind of combination art institute, church and school. For what they offered was not a one-sided sole dependence upon language. The words uttered by the initiate as both cognition and spiritual revelation were supported and illustrated by sacred rituals unfolding, before listening spectators, in mighty pictures

The plant-kingdom breathes out oxygen; man breathes out love.

We must eradicate from the soul all fear and terror of what comes towards Man, out of the future. We must acquire serenity in all feelings and sensations about the future. We must look forward with absolute equanimity to everything that may come. And we must think only that whatever comes is given to us by a world-directive full of wisdom. It is part of what we must learn in this age, namely, to live out of pure trust, without any security in existence - trust in the ever-present help of the spiritual world. Truly, nothing else will do if our courage is not to fail us. And let us seek the awakening from within ourselves, every morning and every evening.

The sun with loving light makes bright for me each day, the soul with spirit power gives strength unto my limbs. In sunlight shining clear I revere, Oh God, the strength of humankind, which thou has planted in my soul, that I may with all my might, may love to work and learn. From thee stream light and strength to thee rise love and thanks.

What each individual really needs can only be known by himself; what he should contribute he can determine through his insight into the situation as a whole.

The time has come to realize that supersensible knowledge has now to arise from the materialistic grave.

What is necessary to keep providing good care to nature has completely fallen into ignorance during the materialism era.

Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility — these three forces are the very nerve of education.

The world fires us when we paint. Behind the sense world are not atoms and molecules, but spiritual beings...what emerges in painting is the restoration of the supersensible, a revelation in our spatial environment and, from outside space, the spiritual world penetrating us -- the world in which we find ourselves between falling asleep and awakening.

When the past has taught us that we have more within us than we have ever used, our prayer is a cry to the divine to come to us and fill us with its power.

Our task is to educate the human being in such a way that he or she can bring to expression in the right way that which is living in the whole human being, and on the other side that which puts him/her into the world in the right way.

These things may even lead to an understanding of something that can also be observed externally. In countries where, according to statistics, sugar consumption is low, the inhabitants have a less defined personality than in countries where consumption is high. If you visit countries where the people show more individuality, where each individual is self-contained, and then move on to countries where the inhabitants betray more the typical racial characteristics, show less individuality in their outward appearance, you will find that in the former countries sugar consumption is high, in the latter very low.

When we as human beings confront a simple fact, we can rigorously attempt to form a mental picture that exactly corresponds to this fact. This mental picture is then true. Or, we can-whether due to inexactness, lassitude, or even an aversion to truth, that is, out of falseness-form a mental picture that is not connected with the fact, that does not fit the fact…. If we want to develop inner truthfulness, we must never go further than facts of the outer world speak to us. And we must, strictly speaking, attempt to formulate our words in such a way that we only confirm the facts of the outer sensory world…. When we feel an obligation to test the things we say and to find the boundaries within which what we say has validity, then we are contributing to a real inner consolidation of our human feeling for existence.

Out of the courage of the fighters, Out of the blood of battles, Out of the grief of the bereaved, Out of the peoples' deeds of sacrifice, There shall arise spirit fruit, If only souls, in spirit-mindfulness, will reach out to the spirits' realm.

Those who judge human beings according to generic characteristics only reach the boundary, beyond which people begin to be beings whose activity is based on free self-determination....Characteristics of race, tribe, ethnic group and gender are subjects for special sciences....But all these sciences cannot penetrate through to the special nature of the individual. Where the realm of freedom of thought and action begin, the determination of individuals according to generic laws ends.

Where the realm of freedom of thought and action begin, the determination of individuals according to generic laws ends.

People must come closer to one another than they used to be, each becoming an awakener of everyone he meets. Modern human beings entering life today have stored up far too much karma not to feel a destined connection with every individual they encounter. In earlier ages, souls were younger and had not formed so many karmic ties. Now it has become necessary to be awakened not just by nature, but by the human beings with whom we are karmically connected and whom we want to seek.

Thus man could use a portion of the energy which previously he employed for the production of beings like himself, in order to perfect his own nature. The force by which mankind forms a thinking brain for itself is the same by which man impregnated himself in ancient times. The price of thought is single-sexedness. By no longer impregnating themselves, but rather by impregnating each other, human beings can turn a part of their productive energy within, and so become thinking creatures... In this way man has become a spiritual being of the kind which he is now. But one must not suppose that no beings which possessed cognition had been in contact with the earth before then. When one follows the Akasha Chronicle it does indeed appear that in the first Lemurian period, later physical man, because of his double sex, was a totally different being from that which one today designates as man. He could not connect any sensory perceptions with thoughts; he did not think. His life was one of impulses. His soul expressed itself only in instincts, in appetites, in animal desires and so on. His consciousness was dreamlike; he lived in dullness

You have no idea how unimportant is all that the teacher says or does not say on the surface, and how important what he himself is as teacher.

People must learn once more to think the spiritual together with the course of nature. It is not admissible today for a person merely to indulge in esoteric speculations; it is necessary today to be able once again to do the esoteric. But people will be able to do this only when they can conceive their thoughts so concretely, so livingly that they don't withdraw from everything that is going on around them when they think, but rather that they think with the course of events: think together with the fading of the leaves, with the ripening of the fruits, in a Michaelic way, just as at Easter one knows how to think with the sprouting, springing, blossoming plants and flowers.

Thus the Atlanteans could control what one calls the life force. As today one extracts the energy of heat from coal and transforms it into motive power for our means of locomotion, the Atlanteans knew how to put the germinal energy of organisms into the service of their technology. One can form an idea of this from the following. Think of a kernel of seed-grain. In this an energy lies dormant. This energy causes the stalk to sprout from the kernel. Nature can awaken this energy which reposes in the seed. Modern man cannot do it at will. He must bury the seed in the ground and leave the awakening to the forces of nature. The Atlantean could do something else. He knew how one can change the energy of a pile of grain into technical power, just as modern man can change the heat energy of a pile of coal into such power. Plants were cultivated in the Atlantean period not merely for use as foodstuffs but also in order to make the energies dormant in them available to commerce and industry. Just as we have mechanisms for transforming the energy dormant in coal into energy of motion in our locomotives, so the Atlanteans had mechanisms in which they — so to speak — burned plant seeds, and in which the life force was transformed into technically utilizable power. The vehicles of the Atlanteans, which floated a short distance above the ground travelled at a height lower than that of the mountain ranges of the Atlantean period, and they had steering mechanisms by the aid of which they could rise above these mountain ranges.

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Steiner, fully Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner
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Austrian Cultural Philosopher, Social Thinker, Architect, Literary Critic, and Esotericist, Founder Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy