The melancholic temperament is karmically determined if a man in his previous life was compelled to lead a narrow, restricted existence and to be much alone; if he was always preoccupied only with himself and unable to make much interest in anything else. If, however, a man has learnt a great deal from experience but has also had something of a hard struggle, if he has encountered many things and has not merely looked on at them, he will become a choleric. If, again, he has had a pleasant life without much struggle or toil, or if he saw and passed by many things, but only as an onlooker, all this will work karmically into the etheric body of his next life: he will become a phlegmatic or a sanguine type.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture VII – Stuttgart, 28th August 1906
Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy
Previously posted on June 13, 2015