The Significance of Spiritual Research for Moral Action
Bielefeld, March 6, 1911 (CW 127)
Here Steiner counters the notion that esoteric inner development is outside the realm of morality. Steiner says here: People continually embrace illusions. they fancy themselves separate by virtue of what is enclosed within their skins…. At the moment in which man realizes that he is embedded within the total organism of earth and has no business being a festering boil on the earth’s body—at that moment there exists an objective basis for morality.
In this lecture, Steiner makes the case and encourages us to become moral for the right reasons and through the proper process—not because we feel the need to be “good” persons or to avoid “bad” karma.
About the Author
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up. As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.