Saturday, February 26, 2011
Evil in the service of the greater good
Rudolf Steiner: "We human beings are called upon to penetrate into the secrets of existence, not to criticize the wisdom-filled guidance of the world. We must therefore also gain insight into the place and significance of the evil currents which are permitted by the wise guidance of the world. For if only the good were allowed, if good impulses alone worked in history, human beings would never be so guided in their historical evolution that they could develop freedom. Only through the fact that evil holds sway in the spiritual course of human history can humanity develop to freedom. And if the Gods were to turn away Man's gaze from evil, he would have to remain forever an automaton — he would never become free. Things are indeed so ordered in the progress of humanity that even that which causes the deepest sorrow is led at last to good. Pain is only a temporary thing — not that it is on that account any less great and deep. We must not deceive ourselves as to pain and fall a prey to some cheap mysticism that will not see the pain; we must be ready to partake in it, ready to sink ourselves in it, ready to pour it out over our own soul. But, at the same time, without criticizing the spiritual purpose and will of existence, we must also learn to understand how the most varied impulses of a positive and negative nature are introduced into the evolution of humanity in order that human beings may become not only good, but also free and possessors of their own impulses."