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.

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.

You will best realize the significance of color if we describe how it affects the occultist. For this it is necessary that a person should free himself completely from everything else and devote himself to the particular color, immerse himself in it. If the person devoting himself to the color which covers these physically dense walls were one who had made certain occult progress, it would come about that after a period of this complete devotion the walls would disappear from his clairvoyant vision; the consciousness that the walls shut off the outer world would vanish. Now, what appears first is not merely that he sees the neighboring houses outside, that the walls become like glass, but in the sphere which opens up there is a world of purely spiritual phenomena; spiritual facts and spiritual figures become visible. We need only reflect that behind everything around us physically there are spiritual beings and facts...The worlds which surround us spiritually are of many kinds, many different kinds of elementary beings are around us. These are not enclosed in boxes or in such a state that they live in various houses... But they cannot all be seen in the same way; according to the capacity of clairvoyant vision, there may be visible and invisible beings in the same space. What spiritual beings become visible in any particular instance depends on the color to which we devote ourselves. In a red room, other beings become visible than in a blue room, when one penetrates to them by means of color. We may now ask: what happens if one is not clairvoyant? That which the clairvoyant does consciously is done unconsciously by the etheric body of a person not clairvoyantly trained; it enters a certain relationship with the same beings.

Receive children in reverence; educate them in love; let them go forth in freedom.

To delight in art that is materialistic increases the difficulties of the Kamaloca state, whereas delight in spiritual art lightens them. Every noble, spiritual delight shortens the time in Kamaloca. Already during earthly life we must break ourselves of pleasures and desires which can be satisfied only by the physical instrument

Regardless of how much people contemplate getting rid of criminality in the world by means of outer institutions and arrangements, for human souls in the future, true redemption -- the true transformation of evil into good -- will happen when art permeates human souls and hearts with a spiritual substance.

To live in love towards our actions, and to let live in the understanding of the other person's will, is the fundamental maxim of free men.

Reverence awakens in the soul a sympathetic power through which we attract qualities in the beings around us, which would otherwise remain concealed.

To supersensible perception there is no such thing as ‘unconsciousness’, only varying degrees of consciousness. Everything in the world is conscious…The actual essential nature of the ‘I’ is independent of anything external; therefore, nothing outside of it can call it by its name. Religious denominations that have consciously maintained their connection to the supersensible call the term ‘I’ the ‘ineffable name of God’. Because we only attained this individuated ego-based awareness in our recent development, the ‘I’ is still weaker than the other bodies we possess- the physical body, the astral body, the etheric body. Cravings and desires are constantly pouring into us through the astral body, and the goal of our present phase of evolution is to master those cravings, and the astral body itself, through the strengthening of the ‘I’, transmuting lower passions into higher energies. Fundamentally, all of our cultural activity and spiritual endeavors consist of work that aims for this mastery by the ‘I’. All human beings who are alive at present are involved in this work, whether or not they are conscious of it. The spirit self constitutes a higher element of our human makeup, one that is present in it in embryonic form, as it were, and emerges more and more in the course of working on ourselves.

Seek the truly practical life, but seek it in such a way that it does not blind you to the spirit working in it. Seek the spirit, but seek it not out of spiritual greed, but so that you may apply it in the genuinely practical life.

To truly know the world, look deeply within your own being; to truly know yourself, take real interest in the world.

Spiritual science attempts to speak about non-sensory things in the same way that the natural sciences speak about sense-perceptible things…No one can ever deny others the right to ignore the supersensible, but there is never any legitimate reason for people to declare themselves authorities, not only on what they themselves are capable of knowing, but also on what they suppose cannot be known by any other human being.

Truth is a free creation of the human spirit, that never would exist at all if we did not generate it ourselves. The task of understanding is not to replicate in conceptual form something that already exists, but rather to create a wholly new realm, that together with the world given to our senses constitutes the fullness of reality.

The basis of artistic creation is not what is, but what might be; not the real, but the possible. Artists create according to the same principles as nature, but they apply them to individual entities, while nature, to use a Goethean expression, thinks nothing of individual things. She is always building and destroying, because she wants to achieve perfection, not in the individual thing, but in the whole.

Unless we first permeate ourselves with the realization that only through the artistic can we penetrate into the realm of truth, there can be no question of acquiring a real understanding of the supersensible world in accordance with the present age of the conscious soul.

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.

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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