Then, in the next earthly life, out of the hatred is born what comes to us from the outer world as pain, distress, unhappiness caused from outside — in a word, the opposite of joy. You will reply: we experience so much of suffering and pain; is it all really due to hatred — greater or lesser hatred — in our preceding life? “I cannot possibly imagine,” man will be prone to say, “that I was such a bad lot, that I must experience so much sorrow because I hated so much.”
Well, if you want to think open-mindedly of these things, you must be aware how great is the illusion which lulls you to sleep (and to which you therefore readily give yourself up) at this point. You suggest-away from your conscious mind the antipathies you are feeling against others. People go through the world with far more hatred than they think — far more antipathy, at least. It is a fact of life: hatred gives satisfaction to the soul, and for this reason, as a rule, it is not at first experienced in consciousness. It is eclipsed by the satisfaction it gives. But when it returns as pain and suffering that comes to us from outside, it is no longer so; we notice the suffering quickly enough.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I: Lecture IV – Dornach, 24th February 1924
Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond
Previously posted on 22 September 2018