Wisdom of Life

Rudolf Steiner: The Highest Endeavor & Knowledge — The Meaning of Life

“The smallest thing in its rightful place can lead to the highest goals.”

“Love starts when we push aside our ego and make room for someone else.”

“For even the wisest can learn incalculably much from children.”

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. Man is not a being who stands still, he is a being in the process of becoming. The more he enables himself to become, the more he fulfills his true mission.

To be free is to be capable of thinking one’s own thoughts – not the thoughts merely of the body, or of society, but thoughts generated by one’s deepest, most original, most essential and spiritual self, one’s individuality.

If we do not believe within ourselves this deeply rooted feeling that there is something higher than ourselves, we shall never find the strength to evolve into something higher. That which secures life from exhaustion lies in the unseen world, deep at the roots of things.

Just as in the body, eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so does a man develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds are opened to him. For those who do not have such higher senses, these worlds are dark and silent, just as the bodily world is dark and silent for a being without eyes and ears. The time has come to realize that supersensible knowledge has now to arise from the materialistic grave. Feelings are for the soul what food is for the body.

The pyramids will perish in the course of the centuries but the ideas which gave them birth will develop onwards. The cathedral of today will take another form. Raphael’s pictures will fall into dust but the soul of Raphael and the ideas which his creations represent will be living powers forever. The Art of today will be the Nature of tomorrow and will blossom again in her. Thus does Involution become Evolution.

Whoever seeks higher knowledge must create it for himself. He must instill it into his soul. It cannot be done by study; it can only be done through life. Whoever, therefore, wishes to become a student of higher knowledge must assiduously cultivate this inner life of devotion. Everywhere in his environment and his experiences he must seek motives of admiration and homage. If I meet a man and blame him for his shortcomings, I rob myself of power to attain higher knowledge; but if I try to enter lovingly into his merits, I gather such power. The student must continually be intent upon following this advice. The spiritually experienced know how much they owe to the circumstance that in face of all things they ever again turn to the good, and withhold adverse judgement. But this must not remain an external rule of life; rather it must take possession of our innermost soul.

The heights of the spirit can only be climbed by passing through the portals of humility. You can only acquire right knowledge when you have learnt to esteem it. Man has certainly the right to turn his eyes to the light, but he must first acquire this right. For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character. We must be educated in inner human modesty, so we can recognize that we are not, even for a moment, complete as human beings. Instead, we continue to develop from birth until death. We must recognize that every day of life has a special value, that it is not without purpose that we must learn to live through our thirties right after we have just gone through our twenties. We need to learn that each new day and each new year offers continual revelation. The outer world, with all its phenomena, is filled with divine splendour, but we must have experienced the divine within ourselves, before we can discover it in our environment.

The common trait of all evil is nothing other than egoism… Basically all human evil comes from what we call the selfishness. There will be as much deceit and criminality in the world as there is lack of art.

Love is higher than opinion. If people love one another the most varied opinions can be reconciled – thus one of the most important tasks for humankind today and in the future is that we should learn to live together and understand one another. If this human fellowship is not achieved, all talk of development is empty. When human beings meet together seeking the spirit with unity of purpose then they will also find their way to each other.

For every human illness, somewhere in the world there exists a plant which is the cure. I believe that there is a healing potential locked inside plants which is integral with their evolution, just as it is part of human evolution to learn to tap this wonderful gift of Nature. A real medicine can only exist when it penetrates into a knowledge which embraces the human being in respect to body, soul and spirit.

Beauty is not the divine in a cloak of physical reality; no, it is physical reality in a cloak that is divine. The artist does not bring the divine on to the earth by letting it flow into the world; he raises the world into the sphere of the divine.

“Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom.”

“We are fully human only while playing, and we play only when we are human in the truest sense of the word.”

“May my soul bloom in love for all existence.”

***

~Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom.

Excerpts from Rudolf Steiner’s works.

©Excellence Reporter 2021

Categories: Wisdom of Life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.