Re: Thinking and Feeling
Actually, I placed a quote by Dr. Steiner which acknowledges
the importance of "right feeling" before one one can become a good
"A man may be ever so clever a thinker, he may even suffer from a
superabundance of intelligence; if he has never passed through the
stage of wonder nothing will come of it. He will give you a cleverly
thought-out concatenation of ideas, containing nothing that is not
correct - but correctness does not necessary lead to reality. It is
absolutely essential that before we begin to think, before we so much
as begin to set our thinking in motion, we experience the condition
of wonder. A thinking which is set in motion without the condition of
wonder remains nothing but a mere play of thought."
By "wonder" he could have meant two things, but both of the meanings are
It could either mean admiration - admiration for God's creation and how
God designed things to work. By admiring "life, the universe and
everything" we would become open to understanding God's purpose in
creating things the way they are and making life work in the way it
does. Pondering on this purpose would cause us to take into
consideration ideas and precepts that we might otherwise have ignored.
Or it could mean saying "I wonder how this works?" Which would imply
that we need to remain open minded and questioning - adopt an attitude
of being willing to learn. This would help ensure that we really give
all possible alternatives consideration when we think about something.
To me the message of his quote is that we should adopt a willingness to
find the truth.
*******Yes, this refers to the attitude of soul connected with the WILL, not with just feeling.
As regards feeling without thinking, Steiner from Theosophy ("The Path of Knowledge" chapter):
"What is here to be considered will only be rightly viewed by one who takes into account the fact that all knowledge of the worlds of soul and spirit slumbers in the profoundest depths of the human soul. It can be brought to light through the path of knowledge. We can grasp, however, not only what we have ourselves brought to light, but also what someone else has brought up from those depths of the soul. This is so even when we have ourselves not yet made any preparations for the treading of that path of knowledge. Correct spiritual insight awakens the power of comprehension in anyone whose inner nature is not beclouded by preconceptions and prejudices. Unconscious knowledge flashes up to meet the spiritual fact discovered by another, and this “flashing up” is not blind faith but the right working of healthy human understanding. In this same healthy comprehension we should see a far better starting-point even for first hand cognition of the spiritual world than in dubious mystical contemplations or anything of a similar nature, in which we often fancy that we have something better than what is recognized by the healthy human understanding, when the results of genuine spiritual research are brought before it.
One cannot, in fact, emphasize strongly enough how necessary it is that anyone who wishes to develop his capacity for higher knowledge should undertake the earnest cultivation of his powers of thought. This emphasis must be all the more pressing because many persons who wish to become seers actually estimate lightly this earnest, self-denying labor of thinking. They say, “Thinking cannot help me reach anything; the chief thing is sensation or feeling.” In reply it must be said that no one can in the higher sense, and means in truth, become a seer who has not previously worked himself into the life of thought. In this connection a certain inner laziness plays an injurious role with many persons. They do not become conscious of this laziness because it clothes itself in a contempt of abstract thought and idle speculation. We completely misunderstand what thinking is, however, if we confuse it with a spinning of idle, abstract trains of thought. Just as this abstract thinking can easily kill supersensible knowledge, so vigorous thinking, full of life, must be the groundwork on which it is based.
It would, indeed, be more comfortable if one could reach the higher power of seeing while shunning the labor of thinking. Many would like this, but in order to reach it an inner firmness is necessary, an assurance of soul to which thinking alone can lead. Otherwise there results merely a meaningless flickering of pictures here and there, a distracting display of soul phenomena that indeed gives pleasure to many, but that has nothing to do with a true penetration into the higher worlds. Further, if we consider what purely spiritual experiences take place in a man who really enters the higher world, we shall then understand that the matter has still another aspect. Absolute healthiness of the soul life is essential to the condition of being a seer. There is no better means of developing this healthiness than genuine thinking. In fact, it is possible for this healthiness to suffer seriously if the exercises for higher development are not based on thinking. Although it is true that the power of spiritual sight makes a healthy and correctly thinking man still healthier and more capable in life than he is without it, it is equally true that all attempts to develop oneself while shirking the effort of thought, all vague dreamings in this domain, lend strength to fantasy and illusion and tend to place the seeker in a false attitude towards life. "