Rudolf Steiner on Biography

What is to be undertaken can be called soul exercise.  To begin with, soul contents, which are ordinarily examined only with regard to their value as images of external reality, are looked at from another side.  In the concepts and ideas that man makes for himself, he at first wants to have something that can be an image, or at least a sign, of something lying outside the concept or idea.  The spiritual investigator, in the sense meant here, looks for soul contents that are similar to the concepts and ideas of ordinary life, or of scientific research, only he does not view these with regard to their cognitional value in reference to something objective.  He lets them live in his own soul as active forces.  Like spiritual seeds he embeds then in the mother ground of the soul’s life, and in perfect calmness of soul he awaits their effect on his soul life.  He can then observe how by repeated use of such an exercise his soul’s state, in fact, changes….  In this process, concepts work not as cognitional elements, but as real powers, and their effect depends on the oft-repeated laying hold of one’s soul life by the same forces.

-Rudolf Steiner, A Spiritual Way of Looking at Things, Bologna, April 8, 1911