Thursday, November 4, 2010

Piercing the Veil of Maya: The Redemption of Thinking

Rudolf Steiner, June 14, 1921:

The intellectual comprehension of the world gives people the illusion that they can, with the content that they have put into their souls, become clear about the whole world: they they can reduce everything to intellectual concepts. For this reason, intellectuals, when they have their intellectual concepts, feel that they possess the whole world. Because such people have given themselves up to the illusion that they have grasped the whole world, they feel themselves intellectually satisfied precisely because of this universal intellectual element. They believe they need nothing more to understand and sense the world. You can understand that preceisely today intellectualism can take the upper hand because people now believe that they can fit the world into intellectual concepts. At the same time, because people are satisfied because they seem to have gotten the whole world into their 'I,' they lose their social connection with the rest of the world. The social element is atomized, split up into each individual. This situation exists throughout the Youth Movement, because, through their intellectualism, young people simply separate themselves into individual 'atoms,' each wanting his or her own religious creed. People are so absorbed with this that they are certain that the religious element cannot reach beyond their own skin. This shows that it is precisely this universal intellectual life that splits and atomizes the religious life and must therefore end in undermining religious life through the particular form modern science has taken. Here the most powerful force for the downfall of religious life exists among university theologians and other teachers of theology who have taken contemporary scientific thinking as adequate to understand the facts of religion as such. Not even laypeople today do as much to undermine the religious life as modern theology does.

Source: First Steps in Christian Religious Renewal, pp. 72-73

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