In perceiving the sequence of earthly lives one also learns to understand what streams from the present into the future. Men who are capable of intense hatred carry over into the next earthly life as the result of this hatred the disposition to be hurt by everything that happens. If one studies a man who goes through life with a perpetual grudge because everything hurts him, makes him suffer, that is what one finds. Naturally one must have compassion for such a man but this trait in the character invariably leads back to a previous incarnation when he gave way to hatred. Please do not misunderstand me here. When hatred is mentioned it is natural for everyone to say: “I do not hate, I love everybody.” But let them try to discover how much hidden hatred lurks in the soul! This becomes only too evident when one hears human beings talking about each other. Just think about it and you will realise that the derogatory things that are said about an individual far outweigh what is ever said in his praise. And if one were to go into the true statistics it would be found that there is a hundred times — really a hundred times — more hatred than love among human beings. This is a fact although it is not generally acknowledged; people always believe that their hatred is justified and excusable. But hatred is transformed in the next earthly life into hypersensitiveness to suffering and in the third life into lack of understanding, obtuseness traits which make a man hard and indifferent, incapable of taking a real interest in anything.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume V: Lecture II – Prague, 30th March, 1924
Translated by D.S. Osmond
Previously posted on April 7, 2014