The multifarious genius Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was the originator the anthroposophical movement, Waldorf Education, biodynamic farming and gardening and much more. [Steiner Biography and Timeline]
Several of the trail-blazing Steiner's key ideas have proved very healthy and fruitful. He wrote several books, and hundreds of very interesting lecture series he gave in towns and cities have since been published in book form. [On-line Steiner Works]
Albert Schweiser wrote:
To take part in Rudolf Steiner's high flight of thought of spiritual science was not given to me. I know, however, that in this he lifted up and renewed many people, and his disciples attained exceptional accomplishments in many realms. I have rejoiced at the achievement which his great personality and his profound humanity have brought about in the world. [Albert Schweitzer, Werke aus dem Nachlaß, 2003, pp. 229-231.
The mountain of titles, the avalanche of ideas, obscures the clarity and simplicity of his basic insight. [It is] absorbing is to be in contact with a mind that was capable of this astonishing range of inner experience. . . . We may read [Steiner] critically, wondering . . . [Colin Wilson, Rudolf Steiner: The Man and his Vision]
Wondering takes time, and deep reflections too. And, as it is said in the Confucian Analects:
In matters which he does not understand, the wise man will always reserve his judgement. If terms are not correctly defined, words will not harmonise with things. [Chap 1 of his Dialogues]
SourcesMost of what follows is from two of Rudolf Steiner's ten Hague Lectures (GA 145 and 350) from early 1913. In them, Steiner spoke for the first time to an anthroposophical audience in a detailed, intimate way about meat, coffee, alcohol, milk, chocolate and further.
Some of his original German statements are translated into English from a Norwegian translation available here. A direct, English translation is The Effect of Occult Development Upon the Self and the Sheaths of Man (1945). To check the statements, better use the English translation. Both sources are in the Rudolf Steiner Archive [◦Link].
First Hague Lecture
Who is at heart an anthroposophist, notes the character of a strange city in his blood. He certainly doesn't have to bother with so much else.
Man kills - or at least paralyzes - part of his organism when he eats an animal.
Second Hague Lecture
On each and every planet those who live there have their own milk.
There is milk substance on Earth, but not on any other planet in our solar system. What is produced in a similar manner by the living beings on other planets in our solar system, would present itself to you as something quite other than milk.
The earthly animal kingdom is very different from what exists on the other planets.
No doubt the vegetable kingdom on earth is of a different form than the vegetable kingdom on other planets in our solar system.
The vegetable kingdom on earth is related to the vegetable kingdom on the other planets in our solar system, so that we in in plants have something which also is exists on other planets in our solar system.
Belligerent nations have a penchant for more meat-eating than peace-loving nations.
Eating meat condemns man to make the stay on earth something permanent, to something that he completely adapts to, if this is not counteracted by something else.
The will to meat-eating means: Living on earth attracts me so strongly that I renounce all the heavens, and I'd rather be wholly wrapped up in sides to the earthly existence.
For us not to become eccentrics who onesidedly strive for soul development and get estranged from human feeling and human activity on Earth, it's good that we as earthlings to a certain extent get weight (heaviness) by the use of milk and milk products in the diet.
On the whole one could say that sugar physically heightens man's personality character.
The physical and etheric bodies are somewhat separated by enjoyment of coffee.
One may say that for the people who will rise up to the spiritual life's higher regions it is often not so stupid to drink coffee.
It can sometimes be defensible to stimulate the logical thinking ability by use of coffee.
Coffee can contribute much to give weight, solidity - besides its harmful sides.
For a soul that develops in the anthroposophical sense it is less desirable to drink tea, since tea more easily leads to charlatanry than coffee.
Chocolate promotes most of all being bourgeois, narrow-minded, philistine [not liking or understanding art, literature, music, etc: Cf. Babbitt: a person who is satisfied with a narrow set of values and thinks mainly about possessions and making money]. Chocolate is the markedly bourgeois drink . . . Chocolate can be recommended for use in folk celebrations, and one can also understand quite well that people drink chocolate during festive family gatherings, on birthdays, etc. - especially in certain circles and at certain festive events.
The blood drives the heart and not the other way round.
More from Hague
When we try to impose an idea upon another person, we are trying to implant our own concept into another person; this concept we have implanted into another person is the blunted weapon that Cain plunged into Abel. [Steiner 1997, p. 164]
By developing ourselves further, we actively contribute though in small measure to the evolution willed by the gods. [Steiner 1997, p. 200]
Very many of Steiners books and lectures are on-line at the Rudolf Steiner Archive, which is maintained by James Stewart.
McDermott, Robert A., ed. The Essential Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1984.
Steiner, Rudolf. The Effect of Occult Development Upon the Self and the Sheaths of Man. Ten Lectures Given in the Hague, 20th–29th March 1913. London: Rudolf Steiner Publishing, 1945. ⍽▢⍽ A Norwegian translation: Hvilken betydning har menneskets okkulte utvikling for dets vesensdeler og dets selv? 10 foredrag holdt i Haag 20–29 mars 1913. GA 145. ◦Link
Steiner, Rudolf. The Effects of Esoteric Development. GA 350. Great Barrington, MA: Anthroposophic Press, 1997.
Wilson, Colin. Rudolf Steiner: The Man and his Vision. Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Aquarian Press, 1985.
WP (Wikipedia), sv. "Rudolf Steiner"; "Waldorf Education"; "Anthroposophy".
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