Science believes that a person takes on the characteristics of his ancestors. Actually he influences the characteristics of his ancestors from the super-sensible world. In a certain sense we ourselves are responsible for the way our great-great-great-grandparents were. Obviously, we cannot influence all their characteristics and yet, among others, those must be present that we ourselves later require. What one inherits from one’s ancestors one first has oneself instilled into them.
First the time and place of birth are determined; then the ancestry is chosen. Fundamentally, what is called a child’s love for his parents is the emergence of a union with a stream in which he has worked for centuries from the super-sensible world.
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Intercourse With the Dead: XV – Düsseldorf, April 27, 1913
Translated by R.M. Querido