104+ Best Rudolf Steiner Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. Profoundly inspirational Rudolf Steiner quotes will challenge the way you think, and make your life worth living.

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Famous Rudolf Steiner Quotes

It is one of the sternest judgments confronting a human being after death that insofar as he is himself evil, he can see only what resembles himself because he can reproduce in his own being only the physiognomy of other evil people. — Rudolf Steiner

Just as future eclipses of the Sun and Moon are indicated in the present relations of those bodies, so are future earthly lives indicated in what now lives within us. — Rudolf Steiner

While someone who is working out of ordinary science can speak from memory, the scientist of the spirit has to repeat the steps that once led him to the experience or discovery of which he is speaking. The whole process must be generated over again as a fresh, original experience. — Rudolf Steiner

Our thoughts do not actually exist; they are only pictures. A great error was made at the end of the last human developmental period when existence was equated with thinking. ‘Cogito ergo sum’ is the greatest error ever placed at the head of the modern world view. — Rudolf Steiner

The knowledge we gain about the secrets of the spiritual world is at every hour, at every moment, of vital and profound significance for our souls; what seems to be remote from us personally is often what the soul inwardly needs. — Rudolf Steiner

A healthy social life is found only when, in the mirror of each soul, the whole community finds its reflection, and when, in the whole community, the virtue of each one is living. — Rudolf Steiner

Only man is permitted to live without rhythm in order that he can become free. However, he must of his own accord bring rhythm again into the chaos. — Rudolf Steiner

If I meet other people and criticize their weaknesses, I rob myself of higher cognitive power. But if I try to enter deeply and lovingly into another person’s good qualities, I gather in that force. — Rudolf Steiner

Knowledge has value only insofar as it contributes to the all-round development of the whole nature of man. — Rudolf Steiner

Acquaintance with the human kingdom is limited: between death and a new birth – and this begins immediately or soon after death – the soul has contact and can make links only with those human souls, whether still living on earth or in yonder world, with whom he has already been karmically connected on earth in the last or in an earlier incarnation. — Rudolf Steiner

If spiritual science is to do the same for spirit that natural science has done for nature, it must investigate quite differently from the latter. It must find ways and means of penetrating into the sphere of the spiritual, a domain which cannot be perceived with outer physical senses nor apprehended with the intellect which is bound to the brain. — Rudolf Steiner

The only knowledge which satisfies us is one which is subject to no external standards but springs from the inner life of the personality. — Rudolf Steiner

We will not find the inner strength to evolve to a higher level if we do not inwardly develop this profound feeling that there is something higher than ourselves. — Rudolf Steiner

In earthly life, a person can conceal whether evil or good is active in his soul. After death, this is no longer possible. The spirit form presents after death the physiognomical expression of what the person was on earth. — Rudolf Steiner

We must carry out exercises in thought and exercises in will if the portals of the supersensible world are to open for us. It is this world that we must enter if we want to know the eternal aspect of ourselves and of the universe. — Rudolf Steiner

The subject of the lesson itself should not become more important that the underlying basis. Drawing thus provides first the written forms of letters and then their printed forms. Based on drawing, we build up to reading. — Rudolf Steiner

We can find Nature outside us only if we have first learned to know her within us. What is akin to her within us must be our guide. This marks out our path of enquiry. — Rudolf Steiner

You must always be open to new experiences; by this means, your physical and etheric bodies will be brought into a condition which may be compared with the contented mood of a brooding hen. — Rudolf Steiner

Oriental reality is called ideology in Europe and America, and Western ideology is called reality in the Orient. Those viewpoints eat into people’s souls and form two distinct kinds of beings. — Rudolf Steiner

We must never forget that higher knowledge has to do with revering truth and insight and not with revering people. — Rudolf Steiner

In order to find our bearings in the spiritual worlds and see truly what is there for us to see, we need a further inner trait in our character, a quality I should like to term ‘presence of mind.’ In ordinary life, this is the trait we need when faced with a situation that requires us to make an immediate decision without hesitation. — Rudolf Steiner

All of nature begins to whisper its secrets to us through its sounds. Sounds that were previously incomprehensible to our soul now become the meaningful language of nature. — Rudolf Steiner

The realms of life are many. For each one, special sciences develop. But life itself is a unity, and the more deeply the sciences try to penetrate into their separate realms, the more they withdraw themselves from the vision of the world as a living whole. — Rudolf Steiner

By immersing ourselves with our consciousness in a supersensible world, we now learn a new kind of thinking, a new life of mental pictures, one that is not dependent on the nervous system in the way ordinary thinking is. We know that previously we have had to make use of our nervous system, but now we no longer need our brain. — Rudolf Steiner

Most actions derive not from your own initiative but from your family circumstances, your education, your calling, and so on. You must therefore give up a little time to performing actions which derive from yourself alone. They need not be important; quite insignificant actions fulfill the same purpose. — Rudolf Steiner

We have to push aside what generally concerns us most in our thought life, namely, the content of our thoughts, and learn instead to make conscious use of the element of will in our thinking. — Rudolf Steiner

I have often called attention to the fact that walking through the streets in the Middle Ages was a different experience from nowadays. Right and left, there were house facades that were built out of what the soul felt and thought. Every key, every lock, carried the imprint of the person who had made it. — Rudolf Steiner

It is possibly not very helpful to our inner life to ponder a great deal on how the external world is reflected in our soul. By doing so, we do not get beyond a shadowy picture of the world of mental images in ourselves. — Rudolf Steiner

Our task is to find teaching methods that continually engage the whole human being. We would not succeed in this endeavor if we failed to concentrate on developing the human sense of art. — Rudolf Steiner

The vision of the human being is confined today to the physical body. One regards this as a reality; one cannot raise oneself to what is spiritual. The souls who now look upon their own physical bodies with their eyes, and are unable to rise to what is spiritual, were incarnated among earlier peoples as Greeks, as Romans, and as ancient Egyptians. — Rudolf Steiner

You must learn to perceive as your self that which lies outside you. Looking only within oneself leads to a hardening in oneself, to a higher egotism. — Rudolf Steiner

You can go from object to object, from plant to plant, from animal to animal and regard them as symbols for the spiritual. In this way, you make your imaginative capacities fluid and release them from the sharp contours of sense perception. — Rudolf Steiner

The whole of ancient astrology owed its origin to conversation with the cosmic intelligences. But by the time of the first centuries after the rise of Christianity, ancient astrology – that is to say, conversation with cosmic intelligences – was a thing of the past. — Rudolf Steiner

The Egyptian was the reverse of a theorist or mere thinker. He wanted to perceive with his senses how the soul took its way from the dead body into higher realms – he wanted to have this constructed before him. — Rudolf Steiner

Links are formed karmically on the earth and then continue between death and a new birth. Those who are able to see into the spiritual world perceive how the dead person gradually makes more and more links – all of which are the outcome of karmic connections formed on earth. — Rudolf Steiner

A feeling for equal rights for other human beings cannot exist in adults if a feeling for authority is not implanted in them during childhood. Otherwise, adults will never become mature enough to recognize the rights of others. — Rudolf Steiner

It is not possible to educate the will and the healthy soul that underlies it unless we develop insights that awaken energetic impulses in the soul and will. — Rudolf Steiner

One can ascend to a higher development only by bringing rhythm and repetition into one’s life. Rhythm holds sway in all nature. — Rudolf Steiner

When we have learnt through a period of finely honed training to live in Imaginative Thinking, when we can engage the whole of our being in this Imaginative Thinking, we find that it immerses us in a reality hitherto unknown to us. — Rudolf Steiner

We must assimilate the thought that life between death and a new birth is so constituted that everything we do awakens an echo in the environment. — Rudolf Steiner

Thinking is a picturing of all our experiences before birth or before conception. You cannot come to a true understanding of thinking if you are not certain that you have lived before birth. — Rudolf Steiner

Gothic architecture requires individual craftsmanship. The wish to create an enclosed world for the congregation gives rise in Gothic architecture to the need to create something wherein the activity of the congregation plays a part. — Rudolf Steiner

Adults need to live in a society that is economically social, governmentally democratic, and culturally free. — Rudolf Steiner

Observation and thinking are the two points of departure for all the spiritual striving of man, insofar as he is conscious of such striving. The workings of common sense, as well as the most complicated scientific researches, rest on these two fundamental pillars of our spirit. — Rudolf Steiner

What the human being sees, what is poured into his environment, becomes a force in him. In accordance with it, he forms himself. — Rudolf Steiner

You must take a definite idea, set it in the centre of your thinking, and then logically arrange your furthest thoughts in such a way that they are all closely linked with the original idea. Even if you do this for only a minute, it can be of great importance for the rhythm of the physical and etheric bodies. — Rudolf Steiner

The history of our spiritual life is a continuing search for the unity between ourselves and the world. Religion, art, and science follow, one and all, this aim. — Rudolf Steiner

Anyone who believes that it is possible to educate the will without cultivating the insight that enlivens it is succumbing to illusion. Clear-sightedness on this point is a task for present-day pedagogy, but it can come only from a life-filled understanding of the whole human being. — Rudolf Steiner

For the most part, people think in ordinary life without bringing order into their thoughts. The guiding principles and epochs of human development and planetary evolution, the great viewpoints which have been opened by the initiates, bring thought into ordered forms. All of this is a part of Rosicrucian training. It is called the Study. — Rudolf Steiner

What is attained by a developed thinking is not visions but spiritual sight of realities; what is attained by a developed will is not ordinary soul-experiences but the discovery of a consciousness different from the ordinary. — Rudolf Steiner

May my soul bloom in love for all existence. — Rudolf Steiner

If you observe children with sufficient objectivity as they grow into the world, then you will perceive that children’s temporal bodies are still not fully connected with the spirit-soul. The task of education, understood in a spiritual sense, is to bring the soul-spirit into harmony with the temporal body. — Rudolf Steiner

When we project the specific organization of the human body into the space outside it, then we have architecture. — Rudolf Steiner

In the very traits of his temperament, which have a considerable effect on his life of soul, a person bears within him qualities and impulses that have an obvious connection with those of his physical ancestors. — Rudolf Steiner

By giving material expression to force-forms in space, the Greeks gave divine spiritual beings the opportunity of using these material forms. It is no figure of speech but a fact when we say that gods came down at that time into the Greek temples in order to be among human beings on the physical plane. — Rudolf Steiner

When you objectively observe the most spiritual area to which modern people devote themselves, the religions, ask yourself if the basis of modern culture, particularly in religion, is not human self-interest. It is typical of modern sermons that the preacher criticizes people for their selfishness. — Rudolf Steiner

Learning certain things purely through memory is related to the developmental forces that are present between the sixth or seventh year and the fourteenth year of life. This quality of human nature is what mathematical instruction should be based on. — Rudolf Steiner

Man only becomes independent of this physical world when he learns to consider the objects around him as symbols. He must, for this reason, seek to acquire a moral relationship to them. — Rudolf Steiner

In our will, there lives something which is perpetually observing us inwardly. It is easy to look upon this inner spectator as something intended to be taken pictorially; the spiritual investigator knows it to be a reality, just as sense-perceptible objects are realities. — Rudolf Steiner

The Oriental thinks everything in the sense-perceptible world is ‘maya’; everything perceived by our senses and all thinking connected with sense perceptions is ‘maya,’ the great illusion. The only reality is the reality of the soul. What a human being achieves in his or her soul is reality. — Rudolf Steiner

Between death and a new birth, we know that our body, down to its smallest particles, is formed out of the cosmos. For we ourselves prepare this physical body, bringing together in it the whole of animal nature; we ourselves build it. — Rudolf Steiner

The main difference in the effectiveness of teaching comes from the thoughts the teacher has had during the entire time of his or her existence and brings into the classroom. A teacher concerned with developing humans affects the students quite differently from a teacher who never thinks about such things. — Rudolf Steiner

A truth which comes to us from outside always bears the stamp of uncertainty. We can believe only what appears to each one of us in our own hearts as truth. — Rudolf Steiner

You cannot be an educator or a teacher without relating to children with full insight. Their urge to imitate has been transformed into a receptivity based on a natural and uncontested relationship of authority, and you must take this into account in the broadest possible sense. — Rudolf Steiner

In order for the students’ development and the outer development of civilization to coincide, we need a faculty whose interest is not limited to specialized educational practices. Rather, this faculty must be fully involved in the broader aspects of life. — Rudolf Steiner

Esoteric or inner knowledge is no different from other kinds of human knowledge and ability. It is a mystery for the average person only to the extent that writing is a mystery for those who have not yet learned to write. — Rudolf Steiner

We must guard against disrespectful, disparaging, and criticizing thoughts. We must try to practice reverence and devotion in our thinking at all times. — Rudolf Steiner

You can certainly get an idea of the value of memory if your memories can carry you out into the world no matter how utterly dissatisfied you may be with the present and wish you could get away from it. — Rudolf Steiner

When what we introduce into the children’s world of ideas and feelings is in line with the direction of the developmental forces of a given stage of life, we strengthen the entire developing person in a way that remains a source of strength throughout that person’s life. — Rudolf Steiner

What is of the nature of spirit and soul must be gleaned from facts belonging to the spirit and soul; we shall then know that in the living thinking which is liberated from the will, a life-germ has been discerned which passes through the gate of death, goes through the spiritual world after death, and afterwards returns again to earthly life. — Rudolf Steiner

Only a person who has passed through the gate of humility can ascend to the heights of the spirit. — Rudolf Steiner

Today’s policies and political activity treat people like pawns. More than ever before, attempts will be made to use people like cogs in a wheel. People will be handled like puppets on a string, and everyone will think that this reflects the greatest progress imaginable. — Rudolf Steiner

The true teachers and educators are not those who have learned pedagogy as the science of dealing with children, but those in whom pedagogy has awakened through understanding the human being. — Rudolf Steiner

Nature has endowed us with needs; among them are some that she leaves to our own activity to satisfy. Abundant as are the gifts she has bestowed upon us, still more abundant are our desires. We seem born to be dissatisfied. — Rudolf Steiner

However superficial prevailing views of heredity seem to be, it must be admitted that a person is indeed the bearer of inherited characteristics. This is the one aspect. He must often battle against these inherited traits and rid himself of them in order to bring to fulfillment the talents laid into him before he entered earthly existence. — Rudolf Steiner

If a motive affects me, and I am compelled to act on it because it proves to be the ‘strongest’ of its kind, then the thought of freedom ceases to have any meaning. How should it matter to me whether I can do a thing or not, if I am forced by the motive to do it? — Rudolf Steiner

All things which have a directing force here in the physical world cease to exist when one arrives in the imaginative world. If, on the physical plane, you imagine yourself to have done something you actually have not done, you will soon be persuaded by the facts of the physical world that this is not so. This is not the case in astral space. — Rudolf Steiner

Architecture produces a musical mood in our inner being, and we notice that even though the elements of architecture and music appear to be so alien in the outer world, through this musical mood engendered in us, our experience of architecture brings about a reconciliation, a balance between these two elements. — Rudolf Steiner

Above all, we must be conscious of the primary pedagogical task, namely that we must first make something of ourselves so that a living inner spiritual relationship exists between the teacher and the children. — Rudolf Steiner

We have to realize that when we talk in front of other people about things only we can understand, those people will not be able to avoid getting wrong impressions. — Rudolf Steiner

The strength people need to proceed along the path of human development can come only from the spiritual worlds. — Rudolf Steiner

Failure to take note of the fact that the character of twentieth-century humanity differs from that of humanity in the fifteenth century, let alone before and at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, is to sleep through the process of world evolution. — Rudolf Steiner

The capacities by which we can gain insights into higher worlds lie dormant within each one of us. — Rudolf Steiner

Through systematic exercising of our thinking faculties, we can train ourselves for exact clairvoyance. Imaginative Knowledge is the first step in supersensible perception, and through it we reach the first element of the supersensible it is possible to reach, namely, the supersensible body that we bear within our earthly body in physical space. — Rudolf Steiner

In ancient, prehistoric times, the temples of the spirit were outwardly visible, but today, when our life has become so unspiritual, they no longer exist where we can see them with our physical eyes. Yet spiritually they are still present everywhere, and whoever seeks can find them. — Rudolf Steiner

Normally, adults process their waking experiences during sleep. Children cannot yet carry their waking experiences into sleep. Thus, in sleep, they settle into the general cosmic order without taking their physical experience into the cosmic order. — Rudolf Steiner

Whereas what man can learn about the world through his senses and through the intellect which relies upon sense-observation may be called ‘anthropology,’ what the spiritual man within us can know may be called ‘anthroposophy.’ — Rudolf Steiner

The essential and living elements in our architectural activities stem from what was implanted in us during Old Saturn evolution. — Rudolf Steiner

The most important thing in arithmetic is not the shapes of the numbers but the reality living in them. This living reality has much more meaning for the spiritual world than what lives in reading and writing. — Rudolf Steiner

It is the forces of the universe that make human beings fall ill. Having learnt to recognize how sun qualities and moon qualities live in plants, animals and minerals, we discover how we can find counterforces and also individual natural forces that point us towards medicines for specific internal illnesses. — Rudolf Steiner

Immortality is the negation of death. We do not usually speak about ‘innatality’ – about having not yet been born – yet this is something we would have to regard as the other aspect of the human soul. We are just as unborn as we are immortal. — Rudolf Steiner

Descriptions of inner, spiritual processes are much more liable to misunderstanding than descriptions of events in the physical world. Such misunderstandings arise easily because the life of the soul is in constant movement and because we fail to bear in mind that the life of the soul is very different from life in the physical world. — Rudolf Steiner

The Anthroposophical Society is different from other societies in that it will not tolerate any figments of the imagination in its organization but is constructed on the basis of reality. — Rudolf Steiner

A living art of teaching, one that rests on a true understanding of the human being, has a thread of strength running through it that stimulates individual students to participate so that it is not necessary to keep their attention through direct ‘individualized’ treatment. — Rudolf Steiner

In raising children, we need to continuously keep in mind how we can best create the most favorable environment for their imitative behavior. Everything done in the past regarding imitation must become more and more conscious and more and more consciously connected with the future. — Rudolf Steiner

A philosophy of freedom must set out from the experience of thinking, for it is through this experience of thinking that a human being discovers his own self, finds his bearings as an independent personality. — Rudolf Steiner

It should not be expected that what is spiritual can be brought before the eyes, before the senses. It must be experienced inwardly and spiritually. — Rudolf Steiner

What the spiritual investigator has to do to acquire the faculty of looking into the spiritual world consists exclusively of processes of spirit and soul; they have nothing to do with changes in the body, nor with visions arising from an abnormal bodily life. — Rudolf Steiner

Prenatal education can only be an unconscious result of what the parents, particularly the mother, do. If, until the child is born, the mother acts in such a way that she expresses what is morally and intellectually correct, then what she accomplishes in her own continuing education will transfer to the child. — Rudolf Steiner

When children draw or do rudimentary painting, the whole human being develops an interest in what is being done. This is why we should allow writing to develop from drawing. — Rudolf Steiner

We know even from ordinary life that we have to achieve a sufficient degree of attentiveness if we want to concentrate on an inner picture or an object of some kind; we must also have it in our power, though, to turn our soul away from something we have been concentrating on. — Rudolf Steiner

You can get an idea of human nature only when you can see the relationship of the individual human being to the whole cosmos. — Rudolf Steiner

However true it may be that we have estranged ourselves from Nature, it is nonetheless true that we feel we are in her and belong to her. It can be only her own working which pulsates also in us. We must find the way back to her again. — Rudolf Steiner

In the life of our organism, we are continually dealing with a development of force followed by a state of equilibrium. Of course, the human being has no conscious knowledge of what is really going on within him, but what takes place is so infinitely wise that the cleverness of the human ego is nothing by comparison. — Rudolf Steiner

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