The way to the heart goes through the head

Today we are once again in the Michael Age, which began in 1879. Its central task is to develop a new heart thinking, which should replace the mere head thinking, but at the same time further develop its fruits. Head thinking therefore forms the indispensable basis of the heart thinking to be developed. Rudolf Steiner therefore rightly writes in his “Philosophy of Freedom”: “The way to the heart goes through the head.” (GA 4, P. 25)

“As necessary as it is – this has already been emphasized – that one first passes through the training of a good, rational thinking, where one has first learned to comprehend things, before one ascends to higher worlds, so necessary is it that one again rises above this ordinary thinking to an immediate comprehension. And precisely because this is so necessary, that one learns to grasp things directly in the higher world, one must on the other hand undertake that logical foundation. It must be done for the reason that otherwise one’s feelings and sensations would certainly be mistaken.

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One is not able to judge in the higher world if one carries the ordinary intellectual thinking up there; one is not able to judge in the higher world if one has not first developed intellectual thinking in the physical world. Some people, however, may find a reason, out of the peculiarity of higher thinking, of thinking from the heart, to dispense with ordinary logic altogether. They say that since one must forget the ordinary logic of the physical plan, there is no need to learn it.

However, they ignore the fact that one becomes a different person when one has gone through logical thinking on the physical plane as a training, as an exercise. One does not go through it in order to understand the higher worlds with this thinking, but in order to make a different person out of oneself. One also experiences something in logical thinking. In logical thinking, one experiences above all a kind of conscience. There is a kind of logical conscience, and if one develops this, then one gets in his soul a certain sense of responsibility towards truth and untruth, and without this sense of responsibility towards truth and untruth there is not much to be done in the higher worlds.” (Lit.:GA 119, p. 220)

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You must get rid of all trained logical thinking to access your heart thinking

“Whereas, therefore, for the outer physical world thinking is immediately necessary – for we cannot construct a machine, build a bridge without intelligence, we cannot do botany, zoology without intelligence, we cannot study medicine without the application of intelligence to the immediate object – for higher development intelligence has about the importance that learning to write has in youth. Learning to write has no meaning until one has overcome it. When one is beyond it, then one looks back on it as the prerequisite of being able to write. As long as we are learning to write, we cannot yet express our thoughts through writing. We can’t do that until we get past learning to write.

Learning to write is practicing a skill that must be finished if what one wants to learn is to be practiced. It is the same with logic. Whoever wants to go through a higher development must already spend a certain amount of time on training in logical thinking; but he must be able to get rid of all that again in order to come to the thinking of the heart. What then remains for him from his logical training is the accustoming to conscientiousness in regard to the keeping of the truth in the higher worlds. He who has gone through this training will not consider every illusion, every arbitrary symbol as a real imagination or interpret it in any sense, but he will have the inner strength to approach reality and to see and interpret it in the right sense.

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Precisely for this reason such a subtle and good preparation is necessary, because one must again come to immediate sensation, must have a feeling for whether something is true or false. To be precise, the following must happen. While one is making considerations in ordinary life, one must have trained one’s soul in relation to higher things in such a way that one is able to decide directly in relation to them what is true or false.” (Lit.:GA 119, p. 223)

The logic of the heart

The old logic of the heart, which was associated with a secure sense of truth based in reality and therefore also with unshakable faith, has largely disappeared and given way to clear but largely speculative thinking of the intellect. The new heart-thinking combines the clarity of the intellect with the certainty of the heart.

“I would now like to stick in some aspects to shaping this account more from within, and therefore to tie in with what we said yesterday about the logic of the heart in contrast to what is known in outer life as the logic of the head or of the intellect. We could already gather from yesterday’s lecture that the logic of the heart can confront us twice in human development. It can confront us in that form of development in which what the heart thinks is not yet permeated by the logic of the mind, the logic of the head.

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We have pointed out that there are still people today who would like to refuse to occupy themselves with the logic of the intellect and to convert what they feel and sense as true into concepts and ideas. This state of human development will no longer exist in our present time; it can no longer exist. For wherever you look among the people of our time, you will find at least some concepts and ideas of the intellect, even in those who still judge almost entirely from the immediate impressions of the heart.

If we wanted to find a stage of development which still completely excludes the intellect, then we would have to go far back in the development of mankind and would then find a preliminary stage of our present human development. It can be said, therefore, that from the nature of what has been described it is self-evident that our present stage of development points to an earlier one, in which the heart judged out of a sub consciousness, out of a consciousness not yet saturated by the intellect.

Today we live in a time in which this original judgment of the heart, this original logic of the heart is permeated by concepts and ideas, in short by what we call the logic of the intellect. And if we take into consideration all that we said yesterday and consider that man can develop, we may point from our present stage of development to a future stage of development which is striven for today by a few individuals who, out of their present consciousness, have the longing, the urge, to anticipate the future in a certain way.

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We can look to a future state of mankind, which mankind will show in such a way that logic of the heart will again be present to the full extent, that is, that man will again be able to see the truth out of the immediacy of his feeling. But he will then have absorbed the stage of development which he passed through between these two, the stage of logic, of understanding. So that we can say: We are now – the whole of mankind – passing through the stage of development of the intellect, of the head, in order to reach again on a higher stage that which was already reached on a lower stage; the logic of the heart.

While on the lower stage this logic of the heart was not illuminated by what man acquires through his intellect, on a higher stage the logic of the heart will be saturated, illuminated by what he has acquired on the present stage of development through concepts, through ideas.

Thus we have before us three stages of development of man: one lying before our present, one as that of our present, and a future stage of development.” (Lit.:GA 119, p. 236ff)