Imagine the following case. Something happens to a person that arouses in him a feeling of distress. He can take this in two different ways. He can experience distress over the occurrence and yield himself to its disturbing aspects, even perhaps sink into grief. He can, however, take it in another way. He can say, “In reality, I have in a past life developed in myself the force that has confronted me with this event; I have, in fact, brought this thing upon myself,” and he can arouse in himself all the feelings that can result from such a thought.
Naturally, the thought must be experienced with the utmost sincerity and all possible force if it is to have such a result for the life of feeling and sensation. Whoever achieves this will have an experience that can best be illustrated by a comparison. Let us suppose that two men get hold of a stick of sealing wax. One makes intellectual observations concerning its “inner nature.” These observations may be very clever; if there is nothing to show this “Inner nature,” one might easily reply that this is pure fantasy.
The other, however, rubs the sealing wax with a cloth and then shows that it attracts small particles. There is a tremendous difference between the thoughts that have passed through the head of the first man, arousing his observations, and those of the second man. The thoughts of the first have no actual results; those of the second, however, have aroused a force, that is, something actual, from its concealment. —
This is also the case with the thoughts of the human being who imagines that, through a former life, he has implanted into himself the power to encounter an event. This mere thought arouses in him a real force by means of which he can meet the event quite differently from the way he would have met it had he not entertained this thought.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: III: SLEEP AND DEATH
Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.