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6 Essential Keys to Spiritual Development

6 Essential Keys to Spiritual Development

May my soul bloom in love for all existence. —Rudolph Steiner

The great teacher and spiritual leader Rudolph Steiner spent his lifetime searching for keys to living more consciously. He boiled down the wisdom of generations into six clear, powerful, simple guidelines.

Here, then are the six essential keys to a more aware and spiritually developed life.

1. Control of thoughts. We must master our thoughts, particularly our train of thought. Just consider the way thoughts whirl about in our souls, how they flit like will o’-the-wisps; one impression arises here, another there, and each changes our thinking. It is not true that we govern our thoughts; our thoughts govern us completely. We must reach the point where, at a given time in the day, we can become so absorbed in a thought that no other thought can enter and disturb our soul. In this way, we hold the reins of thought life for awhile.

2. Control of our actions. Here it is necessary, occasionally at least, to act in ways that are not precipitated by anything external. Whatever is initiated by our place in life, our profession, or our situation does not lead more deeply into higher life. Higher life depends upon such intimate matters as one’s resolve to do something that springs completely from one’s own initiative—even if it is something absolutely insignificant. No other actions contribute anything to the higher life.

3. Equanimity. People fluctuate back and forth between joy and sorrow. Thus we allow ourselves to be rocked on the waves of life. We must reach equanimity and steadiness. One must become steadfast and even-tempered.

4. Understand every being. Nothing expresses more beautifully what it means to understand every being than the legend passed down to us by a Persian story. Jesus was crossing a field with his disciples, when they encountered the horrible-looking decaying corpse of a dog. Jesus stopped and looked at it with admiration, saying, “What beautiful teeth this animal has!” Within the ugly, Jesus found an element of beauty. Try always to approach what is wonderful in every phenomenon of outer reality. You will see that everything contains an aspect that can be affirmed.

5. Complete openness. Most people judge new things according to the old things they already know. But we must not confront a new communication immediately with our own opinion. We must instead always remain alert for the possibility of learning something new. We must develop the ability to listen, because it enables us to encounter matters with the greatest possible openness.

6. Inner harmony. We receive this after we have developed the first five keys. Those who have the other qualities are also inwardly harmonious.

Read more: Spirit, Inspiration

Adapted from Start Now! A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises, by Rudolph Steiner (Steiner Books, 2004). Copyright (c) 2004 by Rudolph Steiner. Reprinted by permission of Steiner Books.
Adapted from Start Now! A Book of Soul and Spiritual Exercises, by Rudolph Steiner (Steiner Books, 2004).

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Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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Start Now!

A book of soul and spiritual now


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4:15AM PDT on Jul 9, 2015

Nice explanation here to make understand the people. Thanks for this EyeOfThePsychic

2:34AM PDT on Jul 9, 2015

Hmm these secretive keys are truly important for Spiritual Development, nice information.

9:52PM PDT on May 22, 2013

Thank you.

9:51PM PDT on May 22, 2013

Thank you.

6:40PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Thank you.

6:39PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Thank you.

11:16AM PDT on May 13, 2013

Tips are very Good and understanderable

12:33PM PST on Dec 30, 2012

This is the website I used to enhance my spirituality to the fullest length. They have so much helpful information here, most of it being free but to get the most help you may want to consider purchasing the membership linked below. To check it out please follow this link:

check the site out, it will help you immensely if you are struggling with your spirituality and want to get help with specific areas of your life. Worth looking into, for sure in my opinion.

4:26PM PST on Dec 11, 2009

Good advices thank you.

4:11PM PDT on Nov 1, 2007

Rudolf Steiner's concepts are so spiritually ELEGANT! So powerful,clear and focused and at the same time;down-to-earth.I used to attend a Steiner study group when I lived in London,where we discussed these very points and attempted to put them into practice in our day-to-day lives and then discussed our experiences the following week.An on-going process(6 years later)still happily modifying/ striving for equanimity and steadfastness !!Suzy B.

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