Love/Karma/Physical body

It is possible to observe, in all details, how the tendencies that were present in one life, work, in the next, on the physical body. A person who is disposed to love everything around him, who is loving to all creatures, who pours out love, will have in the next incarnation a physical body that remains young and fresh until late in life. Love for all beings, the cultivation of sympathy, gives rise to a physical body that preserves its youthful vigour. A man who is full of antipathy against other human beings, who criticises and grumbles at everything, trying to keep aloof from it all, produces, as the result of these tendencies, a physical body that ages and becomes wrinkled prematurely. Thus are the tendencies and passions of one life carried over to the physical, bodily life of subsequent incarnations.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VI: The Law of Destiny – Berlin, 30th May 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on 17 January 2014

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If a person does not acquire the ability to look behind the facade so to speak, he will not at all be able to understand anything about the forces that direct and guide life

One never learns to know people from a world view that is merely outwardly oriented. Once an viewpoint that is clouded by materialism orientates itself only on the outer appearance of a person, once the human being does not know what hides behind this physical corporality, and he thereby does not get the opportunity to look behind the scenes so to speak, he is not at all capable, really unable, to understand something about the forces that guide and direct life. That is precisely the task of spiritual knowledge. It has to be admitted that this task is not currently fulfilled in the right measure. [….] However, that is not what really matters, what is important is that which becomes possible through spiritual insight. It can be something that not only teaches us, but provides powerful schooling for our inner soul forces as well. That is what can best be brought about through spiritual knowledge, when we look at the spiritual worldview from out of the perspective of what can be developed through it.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 054 – Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie – Hamburg, 2nd March 1908 (page 91-92)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on March 17, 2015

Cruelty

[…] a quality very widely spread, especially in the thought-system of the present time, and that is cruelty. Only it is rooted in the subconscious life and people are unaware that they possess it. Because the people of our time have no courage to practise cruelty externally, they practise it in their concepts and ideas. In many a work of our time we can feel this latent cruelty in the whole manner of exposition. In much that is done and said in our time we can perceive it. It is far more widespread in the foundations of human souls than we imagine.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 172 – Matter Incidental to the Question of Destiny – Dornach, 18th November 1916

Translated by George Kaufmann

Previously posted on May 17, 2014

Many consider this an incomprehensible demand

It must be emphasised again and again, that when it is given out, spiritual science, can indeed be understood. It cannot be emphasised often enough that one need not be a clairvoyant to understand spiritual science. One must of course be clairvoyant to arrive at results, but once they are there, one need not be clairvoyant. Understanding of spiritual science must precede personal vision. Here one can say: the opposite path is correct to that which is correct in the physical-sensible world. In the physical-sensible world, we first have correct perceptions, then we pass over to a thoughtful consideration of these, and we then form our scientific judgments. This must be reversed in the ascent to the spiritual world. There, we must first develop ideas — we must make every effort to live into spiritual science objectively; otherwise we can never be certain that any observation we make in the spiritual world is interpreted by us in the right sense. Hence knowledge must precede vision, and this is what is so infinitely disagreeable to many; the fact that they have to study spiritual science. Many consider this an incomprehensible demand. For it is relatively easy to have perceptions; but to interpret them aright — for this it is necessary that one enters rightly, — objectively, selflessly — into spiritual science.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – Meditation and Concentration – Dornach, 27th March 1915