Thought Control

From AnthroWiki

Strict thought control is the first of the so-called subsidiary exercises which, according to Rudolf Steiner, is a basic prerequisite for all occult development.

„The first condition is the acquisition of perfectly clear thinking. For this purpose one must free oneself, if only for a very short time of the day, for about five minutes (the more the better) from the delusion of thoughts. One must become master of one's world of thoughts. One is not master if external circumstances, profession, any tradition, social circumstances, yes, even belonging to a certain ethnic group, if the time of day, certain activities, etc., etc., determine that one has a thought and how one spins it out. In the above time, therefore, one must empty the soul of the ordinary, everyday course of thought entirely of one's own free will and, on one's own initiative, place a thought at the centre of the soul. It is not necessary to believe that this must be an outstanding or interesting thought; what is to be attained in occult relations is even better attained if one endeavours at first to choose a thought as uninteresting and insignificant as possible. In this way the self-acting power of thought, on which it depends, is more excited, whereas in the case of a thought which is interesting, this thought itself carries away the thought. It is better if this condition of thought control is done with a pin than if it is done with Napoleon the Great. One says to oneself: I now proceed from this thought and, through my own inner initiative, string together with it everything that can be properly connected with it. At the end of the period the thought should still stand before the soul as colourfully and vividly as at the beginning. Do this exercise day after day, for at least a month; you can take up a new thought every day, but you can also hold a thought for several days. At the end of such an exercise, try to bring to full consciousness the inner feeling of firmness and security which one will soon notice when paying subtle attention to one's own soul, and then conclude the exercises by thinking of one's head and the middle of one's back (brain and spinal cord), as if one wanted to pour that feeling into that part of the body.“ (Lit.:GA 245, p. 13ff)

Through the practice of thought control one learns to experience the physical body more consciously.

„Where does it come from that one knows one's physical body so little? Because one lives in it and perceives it only perceptively. One sees with the eye, therefore one cannot observe it. The esotericist has to withdraw with his spiritual-soul, to free himself from the physical. Then he will succeed in observing his physical body. It helps us to do this if we concentrate our thoughts on one point, if possible, and then immerse ourselves in this point, live in it for a time. Through such concentration a strengthening of the power of thought occurs and through it one can gradually reach the point of observing one's physical body.“ (Lit.:GA 266c, p. 241)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.