- Friends,Since this topic has come up more than once, I searched in my 1970's archives for some qoutes a friend found in Steiner's work. Since this issue can be a problem in esoteric study in general, I thought I would transcribe these quotes again . These quotes may be good ammunition for those on the outside who cast onions at those who are convinced of esotericism in general but are still seen as a "true believer".
Rudolf Steiner on the Limits of Spiritual Knowledge and Authority
In order to avoid possible misunderstanding, it should be said that spiritual perceptions are not infallible. This perception also can err, can see in an inexact, oblique, wrong manner. No man is free from error in this field, no matter how high he stands…. But the dependability of observation is much greater here than in the external world of the senses. What various initiates can relate about history and pre-history will be in essential agreement."
Cosmic Memory: Prehistory of Earth and Man
"It would be disastrous for Spiritual Science if he who cannot yet see into the spiritual world were obliged to accept on blind faith what he is told. I beg of you now, as I begged of you in Berlin, never to accept on authority or on faith anything I have said or shall say. Even before one has reached the stage of clairvoyance, it is possible to test the result of clairvoyant vision. I beg you not to accept as an article of faith whatever I have said about Zarathustra and Jesus of Narareth, about Hermes and Moses, Odin and Thor, and about Christ Jesus Himself, nor accept my statements as authoritative. I beseech you to reject the principle of authority, for that principle would be deleterious to our Movement."
" You must not accept anything on authority, The best students of Spiritual Science are those who take what is said as a stimulus in the first place and test it by the facts of life itself…. This need to test everything received from Spiritual Science should become a kind of basic attitude permeating our whole approach."
From The Mission of the Folk Souls