Envy/Selfishness/Fraternity

What comes about in the economic life through brotherliness or unbrotherliness, through what people do for each other, in economic relations, does not, strange as it sounds, only have significance for this life between birth and death, but it actually has a huge meaning for the life after death as well.

It is, for example, important whether I spend my life in jealousy and behave in such a way that my outlook is one of envy, or whether I act out of love for humanity. Actions, in so far as they belong to public life, in so far as bringing people together, do not only have importance here on earth, but the results are carried through the gate of death and has implications for the whole life between death, which affects us after the present earthly life, and the next earthly life.

So we can say: what takes place here in the economic life, will affect how people will live between death and a new birth. For example, if an economic order is built only on selfishness, then it will mean that people will to a high degree be lonely between death and a new birth, that they will have the greatest difficulty to find other human beings. In short, it is of huge significance for life between death and the following birth, how people here are behaving in economic relations.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner  – GA 196 – Geistige und soziale Wandlungen in der Menschheitsentwickelung – Dornach, January 31, 1920 (page 127-128)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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