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Rudolf Steiner: 180 Quotations and Extracts

It is generally assumed that sleep strengthens and replenishes the organism. Waking up with a headache could correct this view. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 21)

Our experience of tragedy is . . . as though something in our stomach cannot be digested. Rudolf Steiner (1996, 25)

It is not the spirit that is the problem in spiritualism. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 38)

Something we cannot do without: humor. We need humor for thinking, at the right moment, of the unknown or half known, through which we evoke tensions and relaxations as memory aids, and for something else as well. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 22)

Rudolf Steiner, founder of Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education.
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925)

Rudolf Steiner Dr Rudolf Steiner is the founder of the anthroposophical movement, Waldorf Education, biodynamic farming and gardening, and much else. [Steiner Biography and Timeline]

The Waldorf approach emphasises imagination in learning. There are over a thousand independent Waldorf schools and 1400 independent Waldorf kindergartens in about sixty countries. It is one of the world's largest independent educational systems. And Unesco, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, states that the Waldorf movement's ideals and ethical principles correspond to those of Unesco.

Rudolf Steiner has authored several books, and many of his lecture series have since been published in book form. [On-line Steiner Works]

Years before Steiner went for the anthroposophical movement, he "found it necessary to join the Theosophical Society." The German Section of the Theosophical Society was founded in 1902, with Steiner as General Secretary. He lectured extensively for it until 1913, when he founded the Anthroposophical Society in Berlin (February 2-3). Parts of Steiner's teachings - including long-range vistas about Atlantis and further - correspond to Theosophy teachings.

Colin Wilson finds:

The mountain of titles, the avalanche of ideas, obscures the clarity and simplicity of his basic insight. Nevertheless, . . . the rewards can be enormous. . . . It hardly matters that there is a great deal that we may find unacceptable . . . What is so absorbing is . . . a mind that was capable of this astonishing range of inner experience. . . . We may read them critically, wondering where Steiner was 'amplifying' genuine intuitions, and where he was amplifying his own dreams and imaginings. . . . [Colin Wilson, Rudolf Steiner: The Man and his Vision. From WikiQuote]

The Essential Steiner by Professor Robert A. McDermott at Baruch College, The City University of New York, is said to cull the best of some sixty of Steiner's published works. McDermott says Steiner was "a genius in twelve fields" and describes Steiner's writing as vast, his thought as complex and deep, and "Steiner's teachings seem to me well grounded [my emphasis]." [McDermott 1984, xi-xii]

Maybe . . . Rudolf Steiner tells, "Test everything in the light of healthy reason." (Metamorphoses of the Soul, Vol. 1, Lecture 1). So compare Steiner ideas on several subjects with sound knowledge of today - allowing for "there are some things we do not know", and in sound measure. Taking sides for or against - by just belief - in unclear matters may lead to getting beaten. Against it, try some "well-well reservations".

On other pages:

Rudolf Steiner - Survey page

Steiner Quotations

. . . test everything in the light of healthy reason. - Rudolf Steiner, Metamorphoses of the Soul, Vol. 1, Lecture 1]

Receive the children in reverence, educate them in love, and send them forth in freedom. - Rudolf Steiner

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 - Rudolf Steiner

Every human being should show the greatest interest in beekeeping because our lives depend upon it. - Rudolf Steiner

If there is something more powerful than destiny, this must be the human being who bears destiny unshaken. - Rudolf Steiner

To be free is to be capable of thinking one's own thoughts . . . thoughts generated by one's deepest, most original, most essential and spiritual self, one's individuality. - Rudolf Steiner

Today certain definite ideas are developing out of the Egyptian ideas . . . old views have awakened again, but man has descended more deeply into the material world. - Rudolf Steiner

A real artist may create his picture in a lonely desert... gods look over his shoulder; he creates in their company. What does he care whether or not anybody admires his picture? - Rudolf Steiner

Anthroposophie is not a religion but a tool. - Rudolf Steiner

When you try to do one step forward to attain knowledge about the hidden truths, then do the same time three steps forward to perfect your character. - Rudolf Steiner

It is not the head alone, but the whole human being that is a logician. - Rudolf Steiner

It is the death of present art when it returns again and again to the model. Use of the model is only an intermediate stage in artistic development. Create out of a living spirituality to overcome everything naturalistic. - Rudolf Steiner

The basis of artistic creation is . . . what might be; not the real, but the possible. Artists create according to the same principles as nature, . . . building and destroying . . . to achieve perfection . . . in the whole. - Rudolf Steiner

Knowledge of the higher worlds is the means to attain greater and truer self-confidence, a higher degree of courage, and a magnanimity and perseverance such as cannot, as a rule, be acquired in the lower world. For every one step that you take in the pursuit of higher knowledge, take three steps in the perfection of your own character. - Rudolf Steiner

Thoughts that deny reincarnation are transformed in the next life into an inner unreality, an inner emptiness of life; this inner unreality and emptiness are experienced as torment, as disharmony. - Rudolf Steiner

We must have experienced the divine within ourselves, before we can discover it in our environment. - Rudolf Steiner

Man is effective in the world not only through what he does, but above all through what he is. It is important that we discover an educational method where people learn to learn and go on learning their whole lives. - Rudolf Steiner

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. - Rudolf Steiner

A real medicine can only exist when it penetrates into a knowledge which embraces the human being in respect to body, soul and spirit. - Rudolf Steiner

Seek the spirit, . . . but so that you may apply it in the genuinely practical life. - Rudolf Steiner

He who is unwilling to trust to the power of thinking cannot, in fact, enlighten himself regarding higher spiritual facts. - Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy]

Where is the book in which the teacher can read about what teaching is? The children themselves are this book. We should not learn to teach out of any book other than the one lying open before us and consisting of the children themselves. - Rudolf Steiner, Rhythms of Learning]

You will not be good teachers if you focus only on what you do and not upon who you are. - Rudolf Steiner

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. - Rudolf Steiner

Anthroposophy is . . . to guide the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the universe. . . . Anthroposophists are those who experience . . . certain questions on the nature of the human being and the universe, just as one experiences hunger and thirst. - Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts (1924)]

Vague and general phrases - "the harmonious development of all the powers and talents in the child," and so forth - cannot provide the basis for a genuine art of education. Such an art of education can only be built up on a real knowledge of the human being. Not that these phrases are incorrect, but that at bottom they are as useless as it would be to say of a machine that all its parts must be brought harmoniously into action. To work a machine you must approach it, not with phrases and truisms, but with real and detailed knowledge. - Rudolf Steiner, The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy (GA 34)]

That which secures life from exhaustion lies in the unseen world, deep at the roots of things. - Rudolf Steiner, An Outline of Occult Science]

We become acquainted with the fact that before we received a physical body and entered upon this physical existence we lived a purely spiritual life [before] entrance into the world of the senses, and who are now striving to live as physical beings with those faculties and psychic characteristics which were originally attached to them and which have developed since their birth. - Rudolf Steiner, Road to Self Knowledge]

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 . . . ever again turn to the good, and withhold adverse judgement. - Rudolf Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds]

There slumber in every human being faculties by means of which he can acquire for himself a knowledge of higher worlds . . . a world of soul and spirit which . . . is just as real as the world we see with our physical eyes and touch with our physical hands. - Rudolf Steiner, How to Know Higher Worlds]

If we want to develop inner truthfulness, we must . . . attempt to formulate our words in such a way that we . . . confirm the facts. - Rudolf Steiner, lectures from Jan 19 and 20, 1923; German Bibl. Nr: 220]

In order to approach a creation as sublime as the Bhagavad-Gita with full understanding it is necessary to attune our soul to it. - Rudolf Steiner

Today, we have knowledge of many, many things and the relations among human beings have multiplied ad infinitum. But we live in cities that are like deafening factories in awful Babels. - Rudolf Steiner, Esoteric Cosmology]

From "Education for Adolescents" (A Lecture)

When we do not have enough interest in the world around us, then we are thrown back into ourselves. - Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents (lecture]

Between 14, 15 and 21 years old [the] capacity for forming judgments is blossoming. - Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents Lecture]

In front of students between 14, 15 and 20, 21, you simply must not expose your latent inadequacies and so make a fool of yourself. - Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents Lecture]

Schwung [swing, oomph, verve] is what teachers must bring to young people . . . [Schwung] above all is directed towards imagination . . . judgment is actually borne out of the powers of imagination. - Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents Lecture]

If you are not able to deal with the intellect with a certain imagination, then you have missed the boat. - Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents Lecture abr]

It is tremendously significant to take the education of young people in hand in a bold and generous way. [With Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents Lecture]

Eroticism has grown up in city dwellers. As urban life triumphs altogether in our civilization will these things come to such a terrible, such a frightful degeneracy. A blossoming of city life needs to be dealt with. - Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents Lecture, mod]

From Education for Adolescents. Eight Lectures (Book)

Chapter 1

Just as the limbs of any living creature are developing during the growing stages, so also should the ideas, feelings, and skills we give our children be not fully formed but rather capable of growth and development. We must see to it that our teaching does not remain rigid, static, but that it can grow with them, change as they change during the course of development, so that at the age of thirty or forty they will still have the benefit of what they learned at seven or eight, because the learning has grown and developed as their complicated limbs have developed. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 16)

Our teaching must enter the children’s being deeply, so that it can continue to develop with them, can live or fade away. This means that the children will have to absorb whatever we present to them and make it their own. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 16)

The ideas, the mental images, which we produce in the children and which, with us, they elaborate and develop, immediately change when the chil- dren occupy themselves with other things after the lesson. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 17)

When we remember, we really perceive inner events in the same way we perceive outer objects. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 18)

The continuing effects of mental images and ideas that, later, emerge in memory actually take place in the sphere of our feelings. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 18)

Our life of feelings – with its joys, pains, pleasures, displeasures, tensions, and relaxations – is the actual vehicle for the enduring qualities of the ideas and mental images that we can recall at a later stage. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 18)

The important thing is that the children's feelings are engendered during a lesson. Such stirrings of feeling aid memory. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 19)

To go beyond the merely intellectual aspects to the life of feeling is more difficult. It demands great presence of mind. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 19 abr)

We ought to make use of the unknown or half known. We really must not ignore such matters. As we get used to working in this way, as we ponder, this will lead to increased teaching skills. Developing such wisdom and teaching skills will ever more be of the gravest importance. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 19-20 abr)

Essentially good lessons consist of two interacting parts. (1) We instruct for good use of skills, and (2) we lead the receiver to think about, to consider the things we tell. (Cf. Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents, 1996, 20)

Concentrating merely on contemplation in time and slowly leads into a prosaic adult life where they will have a superficial view, will not feel inclined to observe accurately, may pay only little attention. Who are trained predominantly in contemplation become benumbed, confused, unless adequate balancing is had, like handiwork, music and singing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 20, with)

Our experience of tragedy is . . . as though something in our stomach cannot be digested, cannot pass into the intestine. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 25)

Healthy digestion is, qualitatively understood, identical to the effect of laughing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 25)

Laughing is a process that makes us organically healthy; its effect is similar to that of a healthy undisturbed digestion. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 25)

Ideas interact, flow into each other. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 26)

It is not possible to remain well fed without the need of eating again. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 27)

The concepts we teach our students about stomach, lungs, and liver will produce in them a disposition that will again be offset in singing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 27)

If we teach for an hour without stimulating the imagination of the children, their stomachs will be filled with acid, will have excessive pepsin. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 28)

A lively interest in human nature can be developed. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 29 abr)

You can contribute positively to education by making use of both abstractions and a materialistic approach. You may teach both, by combining them well, by interweaving them. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 29)

You could teach history so that it enlivens anatomy, and anatomy to bring life to history. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 29)

The function of the liver and the history of the later Egyptian culture have a similar aroma. In the organism, the effect is the same. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 29-30, mod)

Enter the classroom in such a way that your words carry weight and, at the same time, acquire wings. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 30 abr)

Chapter 2

To have a correct picture of the human being, what really matters is that we rid ourselves of all the prejudices. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 32 abr)

Of the three stages – mental images, judgments, conclusions – only in the first is the head involved. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 31-32)

We need our head as a reflecting apparatus. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 32)

Our judgments are actually connected to arms and hands. It is true – we judge with our arms and hands. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 32)

Our middle organism is to mediate the world of feelings. The rhythmical organism is essentially the basis for the mediation of feelings. Judgments are deeply related to feelings, even the most abstract of judgments. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 33 abr)

In considering conclusions, the drawing of conclusions, we must understand the connection to legs and feet . . . it is not the head that draws conclusions but the legs and feet. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 33)

We form ideas and mental images with the etheric body, supported by the head organism; we make our judgments – in an elementary, original way – with our astral body, supported by our arms and hands; and we draw conclusions in our legs and feet – because we do this with our ego, and the ego, the I, is supported by legs and feet. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 33-34)

The cosmos gives the head its shape, makes it autonomous and individual. Above all, the work of the cos-mos – inasmuch as it is connected to the head – can be seen in those things that are part of the nerve-sense organism. We bring our nerve-sense organism with us from the cosmos. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 36 abr)

It is not the spirit that is the problem in spiritualism. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 38)

When we notice a nuance of melancholy, in a child, we shall do well to try to interest him or her in music that passes from the minor to the major mood. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 38 abr)

Habitually seeing the harmony between spirit and body - the ancient Greeks had this knowledge, but it got lost. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 39)

It is important that we use all our own temperamental energies in order to teach history with a strong personal accent. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 39)

To mediate to the children via feelings allows their inner life to grow. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 40 with)

The physical can be spiritually experienced. We can experience our breathing and metabolism if we advance far enough in our efforts . . . to achieve this we ourselves must learn a great deal. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 43-44)

Chapter 3

An education that is not based on a true understanding of the human being cannot possibly succeed in adapting the content of a lesson to the reality of human life. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 46)

Much can be achieved on any one day when we let the children sing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 49)

Proper structuring and adaptation of a curriculum allows the teaching of a subject for several weeks. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 53, abr)

Every decent human being is supposed to listen to sermons in church. . . . Still we must understand what is actually happening. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 54)

Sermons preached by people who are living in abstractions, who are ignorant of the connections in nature, whose thoughts do not contain such connections, and who do not even enjoy natural phenomena - the faithful who attend such sermons that are not connected to everyday life, listen and get physically ill to a slight degree. The effect of such sermons is the breeding of slight illnesses. A few hours after such a sermon, the listeners are subjected to the processes of an illness of decadence. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 54-55 mod)

See the human as a being who draws conclusions. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 55)

The surrounding space is part of the human being. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 55 abr)

The neglect of geography results in an aversion to loving one's fellow beings. Today's unhappy cultural phenomena are the effects of such follies. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 56)

Neglecting geography and taking the wrong approach to history have greatly contributed to the serious illnesses of our time. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 56)

We must see the human being in his or her totality, as a being who is also extremely active during sleep. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 57)

Today's education is in many respects an education not toward humanness but toward the most obvious type of human automaton – namely, the bureaucrat [the 1921 model] - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 57-58)

Our children are trained to become bureaucrats. Such people are no longer really human. . They are fixed, they have an existence, they are finished. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 58)

Cultural life must be autonomous and independent. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 58)

Cultural life must not be an appendix of the state or of economic life but must develop out of its very own sphere. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 58)

Chapter 4

Give the children ideas and mental pictures. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 60)

This would constitute a triumph, a success – when a child is able to hold a pencil between the toes and form adequate letters. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 61 abr)

Can you think of anyone who is able to pick up a piece of soap from the floor with his or her toes? . . . It sounds grotesque, but it points to something of great significance. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 62)

The grey matter at the surface of the brain . . . it is the deeper part of the brain that is more perfect. If we teach a child to observe well, as in reading, we engender a very delicate metabolic process. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 62 abr)

Observation and comprehension during the reading of and listening to stories engender metabolic processes that tax the children. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 63)

A salt phantom is imparted into the whole organism when the children read or listen to stories. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 63)

Be interested in the subject. Genuine interest is connected with a delicate feeling of pleasure. That feeling expresses itself physically. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 63)

Endeavor never to bore the children. Lack of interest, boredom, leads to all sorts of metabolic problems. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 63)

What matters is that in reading or storytelling, and also in the presentation of the natural sciences, we take great care not to harm the children. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 64)

We aim to liberate the spirit by singing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 64 mod)

Memory is strongly related to imagination. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 65)

Children with poor memory, who have difficulty in getting the pictures to surface, should be made to observe better during reading . . . to listen better. With children who are slaves to their mental pictures, we should see to it that they become more physically active [and] concentrate more on writing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 66)

In the past, children were allowed to grow up without being educated. Now we violate this freedom when we begin to educate them. We must make up for this crime, this destruction of freedom, by educating them correctly. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 67-68 abr)

We must not produce mere imprints in our schools. We must allow our children to develop in their individuality. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 68 abr)

What is learned by heart must first be understood. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 68)

We must bring the children to the point that, to the same extent as they recite lines, they listen to themselves. But this is not enough. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 68 abr)

To learn anything by heart, first engender a deep feeling, for deep feelings allow learners to relate to the content in the right way. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 69 with)

Does the teacher of eurythmy, for example, know that he releases the spirit from the children's limbs? - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 70)

If the teacher becomes aware that when she is reading in the wrong way, she bores the children, and they will tend toward metabolic illness. She will feel that by making a child read a boring piece of literature, she actually produces a diabetic in later life. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 70)

By occupying the children continuously with boring material, you produce diabetics. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 70 If you don't calm the released spirit after a physical exercise or a singing lesson, you produce people who lose themselves in life. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 70)

Let the children do things in handwork or crafts that are meaningful. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 71)

If the embroidery on little cushions is merely arbitrary, it isn't really a cushion. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 71 abr)

The embroidery must invite the ear to lie on the cushion. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 71 abr)

Very much can be achieved in handwork if it is produced in feeling, is translated into feeling. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 72 abr)

Get what the hands are supposed to do, into the hands. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 72 abr)

The handwork lessons must be directed to feeling. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 72)

Chapter 5

The astral body (strongly connected with the ego) is active from the fourteenth to the twentieth or twenty-first year. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 73)

The female organism is organized toward the cosmos through the astral body. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 75)

The female astral body is more richly structured than that of the male. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 75 abr)

Girls who develop in a healthy, correct way between the ages of thirteen or fourteen and twenty or twenty-one, [have] a courageous, self-assured and firm demeanor. It is natural for them to confront the world freely and unashamedly. Girls during this time wish to confront the world in this free uninhibited way and to show their worth. Taken to an extreme, this wish can lead to coquetry and vanity, not only to the display of inner (soul) life but also to self-adornment with jewelry. It is extraordinarily interesting to observe how what later leads to an addiction to makeup and a trivial love of finery can show itself as a delicate aesthetic sense during this time. And taken to an extreme, they become supercilious. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 76, 77 cf)

A child whose feelings for the beautiful, for the aesthetic conception of the world, have not been stimulated will during puberty easily become overly sensual, even perhaps erotic. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 78)

Succeed in making the children feel deeply the beauty, the colors, in sunrise and sunset, in the flowers, experience the sublime splendor of a thunderstorm – cultivate in them the aesthetic sense. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 78)

Take special care that the girls enjoy the moral, the religious, and the good in what they hear in the lessons. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 78)

During their teenage years we must prevent the boys from turning into hooligans - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 79 mod)

A secret one does not want to share with anyone is the nature of shame or embarrassment. Such a feeling will have a tremendous educational effect. (Cf Rudolf Steiner, Education for Adolescents, 1996, 80)

The proper humor in dealing with teenage boys - their loutish, rude behavior - consists in showing an interest in what they are up to, yet making it clear to them that you do not take it too seriously. A different method applies to the girls. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 81, 82 with)

The boys, if only in an elementary way that allows them to understand it, must be taught the principles of surveying and mapping a pasture or forest, and handle surveillance instruments. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 84 mod)

Spinning, weaving, hygiene, and first aid are taught to the girls [around seventeen]; the boys will do this later. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 84)

In a terrible time, people are living in an environment that is foreign to them - not to learn to see and understand the objects around oneself brings on a defect of spirit and soul. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 85 mod)

Chapter 6. On world-conceptions

As a rule, children grow into the totality of the world into which they are received, without getting close to the mystery of the connection between the human being and the cosmos. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 87 abr)

Educate the children in a way that allows them, later in life, to work, to participate in events, to interact with other people, and so that their work can be meaningful and valuable for society, so that they themselves may find their place in life - Do this in the right way, so that we on the one hand meet the needs of human nature in them, and on the other hand help them grow into the social life in such a way that they can do something by which they may advance both themselves and the world. We must see to meeting both these demands. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 88 abr)

Understand the symptoms of our transitional culture. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, cf 91)

What journalists are writing is at times of little significance. It may work better to peer into their reasons for writing about a subject. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 91 mod)

To enter a discussion with people, to listen to their opinions, is quite useless today [which was 'yesterday', ie, 1921]. It is far more profitable to discover what is living deep down in their souls, to discover what induces them to act in a certain way, to have this or that opinion. It is this that matters. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 91)

Keep in mind the intentions behind the lies. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 92)

We must know that we are living at a time when the words [most] people are speaking have no longer any meaning. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 92)

When we today – permeated even a little with anthroposophical consciousness – take a walk in the streets, we no longer see human people; rather, we see moles that move about in the smallest of circles, moles whose thinking is limited to these narrow circles, cannot reach beyond them, moles who take no interest in what is happening outside these circles. If we do not succeed in growing beyond this molelike existence, if we cannot do more than reproduce the judgments and opinions – from various points of view – to which we have been conditioned through the events at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, then we cannot positively participate in what ought to be done, in order to overcome this unhappy situation. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 92)

NOTE. Steiner refers to European moles, small mammals adapted to a subterranean lifestyle. They have cylindrical bodies, velvety fur, very small ears and eyes, reduced hindlimbs and short, powerful forelimbs with large paws for digging. The name stems from moldwarp, "one who throws soil" or "dirt tosser". Moles tolerate higher levels of carbon dioxide than other mammals, and urban dwellers could need to . . .

Male moles are called 'boars', females are called 'sows'. (Wikipedia, "Mole (animal)")

Our task is to take full charge of what has been implanted in us, through a timely exploration of conscience that extends beyond the individual aspects. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 93 abr)

We must grow beyond what our time can give us. We must not become puppets of the trends. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 94)

Thoughts and words have become hollow; the older generation having nothing to give to the young, the young then roam the woods. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 95)

The Wandervögel do not pretend. They have . . . taken to the woods. We have seen this happen. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 95)

The young shudder and feel scared in view of their future. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 96)

It really is not easy to see behind the mysteries of human evolution. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 97)

At the age when we approach death something does begin to be active in us that is synonymous with the teaching of modern science . . . it is not a matter of humor; it is a matter of the deepest tragedy. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 100)

Academics, our professors, the leaders of our culture and education who has begun to think a little will tell us: "We admire the Greeks for their knowledge." This is benevolent. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 101 mod)

We have [much] education . . . that at best prepares us to be able to function outwardly, mechanically, to maintain the status quo in society. . . . Our education does not reach our limbs but remains stuck in the intellect. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 103)

Chapter 7

Today's knowledge of the elements cannot explain life, what is working in the life of plants. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, Cf 111)

It is essentially the beginning of folly to tell someone what to do. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 111)

Greeks did not limit themselves to the observation of the life in plants. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 112 abr)

Greeks observed the stars and felt: "Here on earth, where I am surrounded by the plants, I am permeated by the effects of fire, air, and water. The plants are permeated by fire, air, and water. What I see there also works rhythmically in me." - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 112)

Greeks felt: "I could not have the front part of my brain, could not have a larynx, heart, or stomach without Saturn, Mars, the sun, or Mercury." - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 112-13)

One may say: "Certainly, I can see objects formed according to mineral laws. But these do not include me. Neither am I a part of the plant world. And I am certainly not part of the animal world." - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 113)

In a light-filled room is total darkness. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 114)

We at least know that "less-than-no-money" means debts. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 115)

The animals I see are enclosed in definite forms. I have not become such a form. I do not look like a lion, a bull, an ox, or a pig. I have in me all the animals as synthesis. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 115)

I bear within me the dispositions for all the animals, but in a suppressed way. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 116)

Animals are outwardly shaped according to their imaginations . . . The same forms are in me [as] thought pictures. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 116)

What is logic? Living logic is zoology! - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 116)

We have within us what is spread out, outside of us, in the animal kingdom. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 116)

Anthroposophy is pedagogy. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 118)

Return to a knowledge that enters our feelings and will, that permeates our whole being, that is for soul and spirit similar to the blood for the physical. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 119)

Chapter 8

Do not channel this basic inner maxim – life must have a purpose – into the wrong direction. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 120)

Up to the seventh year, when the change of teeth occurs, children are essentially imitators. They develop, we may say, by doing what they see done in their environment. All their activities are basically imitations.

During the time of the change of teeth, children begin to feel the need for an authority, the need to be told what to do. Now they no longer feel the need to imitate but know that they can carry out what they are told to do and not to do.

At puberty the children begin to feel that they can now make judgments themselves, but they still want to be supported by authorities they choose themselves: "This person may be listened to; I can accept his or her opinions and judgments."

Allow the children to grow into this natural relation to authority in the right way. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 121 mod)

Children must in a certain way be connected with what they are doing. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 126)

Children must grow into beings who copy the outer world beautifully. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 126)

Erroneous opinions in our school community must be checked; we have to correct them and enlighten the parents. Yet we cannot say to parents: "You ought to be grateful for the fact that your son cannot read and write fluently at the age of nine." - With Rudolf Steiner (1996, 128)

We have to be gentle with today's grown-ups who have been influenced by modern culture. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 128)

In the realm of soul and spirit, we have progressed to the point that experiments are allowed which paralyze the unhappy victims, paralyze them for life. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 130)

[Those clever lambs:] Children are not educated to do meaningful, sensible things. Like little lambs in a pasture, they are taken to the gymnasium, ordered to move their arms in a certain way, told how to use the various apparati. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 131)

People move about in life without being able to connect with it, without discovering anything in it. This is the characteristic of our time. People do not observe anything meaningful in life. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 131)

[People] cannot find the hidden, mysterious beauty that is present everywhere . . . This is the course culture is taking. The connection of human beings to nature dies away. If one . . . observes this, then one knows how everything depends on finding the right words. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 132)

Direct the child to artistic activities [and thereby learning to say "I" to himself or herself.] We prepare the children for this process by getting them at the age of nine and ten to the point that they can look at the world in wonder, astonishment, and admiration. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 132)

We ought to do what we love to do [and] like what we are dutybound to do. - Rudolf Steiner (1996, 133)


Rudolf Steiner quotations, Rudolf Steiner quotes,  citations and extracts of Rudolf Steiner, Literature  

McDermott, Robert, ed. The Essential Steiner: Basic Writings of Rudolf Steiner. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1984.

Steiner, Rudolf. Education for Adolescents. Eight Lectures Given to the Teachers of the Stuttgart Waldorf School June 12–19, 1921. GA 302. Tr. Carl Hoffmann. Hudson, NY: Anthroposophic Press, 1996.

⸻. "Education for Adolescents." Excerpts from a lecture given in Stuttgart on June 21, 1922. Tr. C. B. Journal for Anthroposophy, Spring 1979.

⸻. Observations on Adolescence: The Third Phase of Human Development. Rev. ed. Chatham, NY: Waldorf Publications, 2016.

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