The Wisdom of Accidents

A man proposes early in the morning to accomplish something that night. He lives, as it were, in the thought, that he will carry out his plan during the evening. At midday something occurs which prevents him from fulfilling his intention. To the ordinary consciousness this occurrence would seem to be an accident. But if one looks deeper into human life, one discovers wisdom in the so-called accident, but a wisdom that lies beneath the threshold of consciousness. 

One cannot really perceive this wisdom with the ordinary consciousness, but one very frequently discovers in such cases that if hindrance had not occurred at midday the man would perhaps have been brought into some disastrous situation through undertaking the proposed project during the evening. As I said, he might perhaps have broken his leg. But when one knows the connection, one discovers that wisdom lies in the entire occurrence: that the soul herself sought the obstacle and put it in the way, but with intentions lying beneath the threshold of consciousness. 

Now that is something which is still close to the ordinary consciousness, but it points below to a region to which man belongs; to which he belongs with the concealed parts of his being, those parts which, after he lays aside the physical body, go through the gate of death. This region belongs to that ruling consciousness, of which we spoke in the public lecture, as the beholder of the actions of our will. This spectator is really always present. He guides and conducts us, but the ordinary consciousness knows nothing of him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a -The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: LECTURE 5 – CONCERNING THE SUBCONSCIOUS SOUL IMPULSES – Berlin, 14th December, 1915

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