57. EL, Koeln, 2-27-'10
find our way into life through learning. We shouldn't enter
life with one-sided, critical views If we test everything that
science, art and various world views offer us in accordance with the
present state of science we'll find three threatening powers on
our path, namely, doubt, superstition, and the illusion of
personality. Don't avoid them, investigate them independently,
for we shouldn't close ourselves off from modern science,
neither from its inventions nor from its research results. It's
even our duty to take them into account, although in our theosophical
circle we receive a quite different teaching that's ridiculed
and laughed at by science. From its standpoint science can't
accept it, because it only knows matter and it can only connect its
investigations with existing material and physical things. In doing
justice to science we should let doubts about what we are taught here
arise in us; we shouldn't be afraid of doubting, so that we
arrive at inner clarity by ourselves. Thereby we wrestle through to
occult teachings out of our own consciousness.
what's meant by the conquering of superstition? We call the
fetish that an African sees and reveres in his idol or block of wood
superstition. It's superstition as long as he doesn't
think of something spiritual that stands behind it. We can also speak
of superstition when we see how modern savants build up a fetish in
their hypotheses of atoms and molecules, which also remains
hypothetical matter if one doesn't admit the existence of the
spiritual that stands behind it. We shouldn't let this kind of
superstition arise in us.
thing is added to doubt and superstition. This is the illusion of
personality. These three forces that surge up and down in man want to
control him. But if we have wrestled through to a knowledge of truth
via strong doubts, and through superstition to a belief in the spirit
that lies behind all matter, we'll also be able to overcome the
illusion about our personality. This is often the most difficult one.
Even if we sometimes feel that we're inwardly free men and that
we think that we're confronting individuals and things in the
world without prejudice, all too often this is only reflected to us
by the illusion of our personality.
Attention must also be drawn to something else. Don't take our
teachings to other kinds of social gatherings, only talk about them
when you come together for that purpose. Don't argue about them
with outsiders, and don't speak about them at mealtimes where
only casual conversation is in order. It would be best to avoid
gatherings where they only discuss everyday affairs. But if you must
go to them because your position in life or other considerations
force you to do so it'll be with a different attitude than
before. Then you won't do it out of an inner pleasure, but as a
duty so that you won't offend anyone through your nature.
I'm not saying this to give a moral sermon, for I forbid
absolutely nothing, but I must nevertheless tell you this.