Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Personality of God

Rudolf Steiner:

But when, for instance, it happens that spiritual science is accused of not speaking of a personal God, when it is said that I prefer to speak of the Divinity, not of God, when it is asserted that what is called “the divine” in spiritual science is of a similar nature to that which is so designated in the pantheism of the Monists or Naturalists, this is all the opposite of the truth. Through the very circumstance that in spiritual science we are led to real spiritual beings, and to the real being that man is after death, just because we are led to concrete, real spiritual beings, we arrive at being able completely to understand how unreasonable it is to become a pantheist, how repugnant to common sense to deny personality in God. One arrives, on the contrary, at seeing that one may speak not only of the personality, but even of a super-personality of God. The most thorough refutation of pantheism may be found through spiritual science.

Can it be a subject of reproach that the spiritual investigator only speaks with deep reverence when, out of the feelings which his knowledge arouses in him, he points the way with awe to the divine? How often it is said in the circle of our friends, “In Him we live, and move, and have our being.” And one who wishes to comprehend God with one idea does not know that all possible ideas cannot comprehend God, because all ideas are in God. But the recognition of God as a being who has personality in a much higher sense even than man, in a sense which even through spiritual science cannot be fully perceived, becomes quite, I would say, natural to people, especially through Anthroposophy. Religious conceptions are not made misty, in the pantheistic sense, through spiritual science, but, in accordance with their nature, become deepened. If we say that God is revealed in our own hearts and souls, this is surely the conviction of many religious people; and it is again and again said in spiritual science that there can be no question in this of wishing to deify man.

I have often used the simile that a drop taken out of the sea is water — do I therefore say that the drop is the sea? If I say that something divine speaks in the individual human soul, a drop out of the ocean of the infinite divine, do I therefore say anything which deifies the individual human soul? Do I say anything which unites nature with the individual human soul in a pantheistic way? Far from it. And finally, if from certain deeply seated feelings which are aroused by spiritual science itself, the name “GOD” is, in reverential awe, not named but paraphrased, should this be a subject of blame from the religious point of view? I ask: Is not one of the Ten Commandments: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain?” May not spiritual science stimulate to a faithful fulfilment of this command, if the name of God is not perpetually on the lips of its followers?

No comments:

Post a Comment