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Self Observation

Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib Document

Sketch of Rudolf Steiner lecturing at the East-West Conference in Vienna.

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Self Observation

On-line since: 31st October, 2016



Human existence is anything but easy. We find ourselves faced with difficulty after difficulty, with problem upon problem. We are in ever-recurring danger of being overwhelmed. In the cellarage lurks the possibility of a nervous breakdown, even of making away with ourselves. ... But within us there sound strengthening voices: —

Be a force of nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.

Trust thyself! Every heart vibrates to that iron string.

Be our joys three parts pain, strive and hold cheap the strain.

Hold up your head! You weren't made for failure, you were made for victory.

The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves that we are underlings.

The fountain-head of strength upon which you can draw Li inexhaustible.

And the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon that house; and it fell not; for it was founded upon a rock.

“If only I could believe in these inner voices more! If only I could listen to them steadfastly! If only I could somehow become a person who as a matter-of-course lived from within, outwards!” ... This is our longing — the deepest, truest, noblest longing of the human heart. How shall we turn it into accomplished fact?

“If Freedom is to be realised,” says Dr. Steiner, “the will must be sustained by intuitive thinking.” By the help of this book of his, we can discover how we work and what we are. By self-observation we learn that with our thinking we are lifted up above this sense-perceptible world of effects and stand in the super-sensible world of causes. With what we thus acquire as ascertained and indubitable knowledge, we cannot but increasingly identify ourselves. We find ourselves emerging out of wistful pathetic longing into realised strength. We are on the high road to Freedom.

“The view that I have here developed,” says Dr. Steiner, “points man back to himself.” In these words, Chapter XIII is summed up. Whether life is worth living is a question every human being must settle for himself. Our business is to make it worth living. That it is in our power is a thing that by sincere self-observation we can come to know.

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