Now in our life on earth there is only one member of our being whose development we can work at in the real sense, and that is our ego. What does it mean to work at the development of the “I?” To answer this question we must realize what it is that makes this work necessary. Suppose a man goes to another and says to him, “You are wicked.” If this is not the case the man has told an untruth. What is the consequence of the ego’s having uttered an untruth such as this? The consequence is that from this moment the worth of the ego is less than it was before the utterance was made. That is the objective consequence of the immoral deed. Before uttering an untruth our worth is greater than it is afterwards. For all time to come and in all spheres, for all eternity the worth of our ego is less as the result of such a deed. But during the life between birth and death a certain means is at our disposal. We can always make amends for having lessened the worth of our ego; we can invalidate the untruth. To the one we have called wicked we can confess, “I erred; what I said is not true,” and so on. In doing this we restore worth to our ego and compensate for the harm done.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: III: Man’s Journey Through the Planetary Spheres and the Significance of a Knowledge of Christ – Hanover, November 18, 1912
Translated by Rene Querido