Saturday, March 29, 2014
All our feelings should take their rise from a fundamental feeling of gratitude
Rudolf Steiner: "Anyone who can look upon the historical life of man with certain intuitive sense will perceive that in this our own age many men have very little inner joy; on the contrary, they are beset by heavy doubts and questions as to destiny. This age has less capacity than any other for deriving answers to its problems from out of the universe, the world at large: 'Though I may be very unhappy in myself, and with good reason, yet there is always a possibility of finding something in the universe which can counterbalance my unhappiness.' But modern man has not the strength to find consolation in a view of the universe when his personal situation makes him downcast. Why is this? Because in his education and development modern man has little opportunity to acquire a feeling of gratitude: gratitude namely that we should be alive at all as human beings within this universe. Rightly speaking, all our feelings should take their rise from a fundamental feeling of gratitude that the cosmic world has given us birth and given us a place within itself. A philosophy which concludes with abstract observations and does not flow out in gratitude toward the universe is no complete philosophy. The final chapter of every philosophy, in its effect on human feeling at all events, should be gratitude toward the cosmic powers. This feeling is essential in a teacher and educator, and it should be instinctive in every person who has the nurture of a child entrusted to him. Therefore the first thing of importance to be striven for in spiritual knowledge is the acquiring of thankfulness that a child has been given into our keeping by the universe."