Sense of right and wrong

Compare the soul of an average European man with the soul of some of the people Darwin came across on his travels. The soul of contemporary man has a sense of right and wrong, of good and evil, of true and false. Darwin wanted to explain to an aborigine, who was still cannibalistic, that one should not eat fellow human beings, that it was bad to do such things. The aborigine looked at him strangely and said, “How can you know that, you have to first have eaten him. Only if we have eaten him can we know if he was good or bad.”  That is how an imperfect soul understands the world; it will develop through time, becoming more and more perfect. Our individual souls do not arrive in the world like new-born babies but each soul has developed first through many imperfect incarnations in which at first it understood nothing more of right and wrong, than the pleasant or unpleasant taste on the tongue and the like. Stage by stage the soul has evolved and only through many incarnations has it learned to get to the level it has reached at present.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 054 –Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie – Berlijn, February 15, 1906 (page 286-287)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Charles_Darwin_1880

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)