Connection between the spiritual and moral way in which a man lives during one earthly life, and his physical constitution in the next earthly life

Take for instance, a man who ponders much in one incarnation — who thinks and ponders a great deal. In his next incarnation he will be a thin, delicately made man. A man who ponders little in one earthly life, but lives a life more concerned with grasping the outer world, tends, in the next life, to accumulate a good deal of fat. This, too, has a significance for the future. Spiritual “slimming cures” cannot well be managed in one earthly life; for this one must resort to physical cures — if indeed they are of any help! But for the next earthly life it is certainly possible to undergo a “slimming cure” if one ponders and thinks a great deal, especially if one thinks about something that calls for effort, of the kind I described yesterday. It need not be meditated, but simply pondered about a great deal, with the willingness to make many inner decisions.

There is an actual connection of this kind between the spiritual and moral way in which a man lives during one earthly life, and his physical constitution in the next earthly life. This cannot be emphasised sufficiently.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS II – Lecture VIII – Dornach, 10 May 1924

Translated by George Adams with revisions by M. Cotterell, C. Davy and D. S. Osmond

 

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A clairvoyant must be resilient

A person must be able to endure what he clairvoyantly observes and this encompasses such strength of character as but few can imagine. For example: If you are not clairvoyant and tell a lie, it is wrong. However, if you lie when you are clairvoyant you will see the lie becoming visible and what that means on the astral plane. Then you will understand why it is said: to tell a lie is murder. It is like this – suppose you have seen an event, you have formed an idea of what has occurred but what you subsequently tell about this event is incorrect, made up or untrue or something to that effect. Then there will emanate from this event the reality of what has occurred while from you there will stream the incorrect account – this results in a collision and it causes a terrible explosion; and every time you do this, you attach a horrific creature to your karma, where you will not be liberated from, until you have corrected the lie you have told.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 98 – Natur- und Geistwesen – Ihr Wirken in unserer sichtbaren Welt – Vienna, November 5, 1907 (page 25)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on 13 October 2018

Antipathy and karma (4 – End)

And now, as we go on again into the third life, the outcome of the suffering which came to us (though only of that suffering which came, as it were, out of our own stored-up hatred), the outcome of the pain which was thus spent in our soul is a kind of mental dullness — dullness as compared with quick, open-minded insight into the world.

There may be a man who meets the world with a phlegmatic indifference. He does not confront the things of the world, or other men with an open heart. The fact is, very often, that he acquired this obtuseness of spirit by his sufferings in a former life on earth, the cause of which lay in his own karma. For the suffering which subsequently finds expression in this way, in dullness of soul, is sure to have been the result of feelings of hatred, at least in the last earthly life but one. You can be absolutely sure of it: stupidity in any one life is always the outcome of hatred in this or that preceding life.

Yet, my dear friends, the true concept of karma must not only be based on this; it is not only to enable us to understand life. No, we must also conceive it as an impulse in life. We must be conscious that there is not only an a b c d, but an e f g h. That is to say, there are the coming earthly lives and what we develop as the content of our soul in this life will have its outcome and effect in the next life. If anyone wants to be extra stupid in his next earthly life but one, he need only hate very much in this life. But the converse is also true: if he wants to have free and open insight in the next earthly life but one, he need only love extra much in this life.

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

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Previously posted on  24 September 2018

Antipathy and karma (3 of 4)

Well, my dear friends, to picture, if I may, in homely and familiar fashion, the possibilities there are in this respect, think of an afternoon-tea, a real, genuine, gossiping party where half-a-dozen (half-a-dozen is quite enough) aunts or uncles — yes, uncles, too — are sitting together expatiating on their fellows. Think of it. How many antipathies are given vent to, what volumes of antipathy are poured out over other men and women, say in the course of an hour and a half — sometimes it lasts longer. In pouring out the antipathy they do not notice it; but when it comes back in the next earthly life, they notice it soon enough. And it does come back, inexorably.

Thus, in effect, a portion (not all, for we shall still learn to know other karmic connections) of what we experience as suffering that comes to us from outside in one earthly life, may very well be due to our own feelings of antipathy in former lives on earth.

But with all this, we must never forget that karma — whatsoever karmic stream it may be — must always begin somewhere. If these are a succession of earthly lives:

a b c (d) e f g h

and this one, (d), is the present life, it does not follow that all pain which comes to us from without, is due to our former life on earth. It may also be an original sorrow, the karma of which will work itself out only in the next life on earth. Therefore I say, a part — even a considerable part — of the suffering that comes to us from outside is a result of the hatred we conceived in former lives.

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

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Previously posted on 23 september 2018

Antipathy and karma (2 of 4) – People go through the world with far more hatred than they think

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

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Previously posted on  22 September 2018