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Observations placeholder

Steiner, Rudolf - How to Know Higher Worlds - Patience



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

How to Know Higher Worlds – Rudolf Steiner

We must strive especially to train our capacity for patience.  Every stirring of impatience paralyses, even destroys, the higher faculties latent within us.  We should not desire or expect to achieve boundless insights into the higher worlds overnight, for then as a rule they will certainly not come to us.  Instead, contentment with even our smallest achievement, along with calm and detachment, should certainly fill our souls.

Certainly, as students, we are understandably impatient to see the results of our efforts.  Yet we can achieve nothing until we can master our impatience.  On the other hand, merely to fight against impatience in the ordinary ways does no good.  It strengthens it.  We would only be deceiving ourselves and our impatience would sink its roots deeper into our souls.  Only if we surrender ourselves repeatedly to a particular thought, making it completely our own, can we achieve anything.  This thought is ‘I must do everything I can for the education of my soul and spirit; but I will wait calmly until the higher powers consider me worthy of illumination…

Patience has the effect of attracting the treasures of higher knowledge.  Impatience repels them.  Haste and unrest achieve nothing in the higher realms of existence.  Above all, longing and craving must be silenced.  These are soul qualities in the face of which all higher knowledge shyly retreats.  Precious as higher knowledge is, if it is to come to us, we must not long for it.  Moreover, if we wish it only for our own ends, we will never attain it.


It is no good saying ‘I really want to know about my past life and – for this – I will even study and practise!’
Rather, we must be ready to give up all such desires and must renounce them completely.  We must learn without ulterior motive.  We must be able to rejoice in and be devoted to what we learn for its own sake.  Only in this way can we have an aspiration that brings about its realisation.

The source of the experience

Steiner, Rudolf

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Reducing desires