About Karma, Past and Future

Many events we encounter in our lives do not result from good or bad past actions. Such events will find their karmic compensation in the future. If I am blameless of what now befalls me, I will find compensation in the future. The fact that nothing remains without  karmic adjustment is unequivocal. However, whether a man’s present experience is the effect of his karmic past or the cause of a future karma must be determined individually. Occult experience and observation, and not an intellect adapted to the physical world, can alone determine this.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – LUCIFER- GNOSIS – July 1904 (page 363)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on February 2, 2016

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Arrogance

Not the person who does not know anything about the higher worlds can determine whether it exists or not, but he who actually has knowledge about it. [….] The spiritual researcher says nobody can decide what another person may or may not know, but each can only decide for him- or herself what he/she knows. […] It is alleged that Anthroposophy leads to spiritual arrogance, because it claims that it has access to knowledge that rises above ordinary knowledge. But just the opposite is true. There is no greater pride than that which would decide not only about what he doesn’t know, but even would decide on what human beings may or may not know. The real pride is actually expressed in that which defines itself as the norm for all people.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, October 10, 1907 (page 18)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on April 11, 2017

Taking into consideration the whole earthly life

For the educator and the teacher, it is necessary to keep the whole earthly life in mind; Because what we put into a child in the eighth or ninth year of life works through into the forty-fifth or fiftieth year of the adult human being, as we will discuss. So, what I do as a teacher during the primary school age with the child, penetrates deeply into the physical, psychic and spiritual nature of the human being. It often lives under the surface for many years, strangely coming to light after decades, sometimes even at the end of life, because at the beginning of life, it was laid in the child as a germ. One can only work in the right direction at this age when you do not only consider the present age of the child but keep in mind the whole future life from out of true knowledge of the human being.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 308 – Die Methodik des Lehrens und die Lebensbedingungen des Erziehens – Stuttgart, April 8, 1924 (page 12)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Our failure to develop love and compassion

The egoism we develop in the physical world, without being willing to acquire self-knowledge, shows up when it is carried into spiritual worlds. Nothing is so disturbing, nothing can be so bitter and disheartening as to experience the result of our failure to develop love and compassion in the physical world. Ascending into the spiritual world, we are filled with anguish by the selfishness and lack of love we have achieved in the physical-sense world. When we cross the threshold, everything is revealed, not only the obvious but also the hidden egoism that rages in the depths of men’s souls.

Someone who with outward egoism frankly insists that he wants this or that for himself is perhaps much less egoistic than those who indulge in the dream that they are selfless, or those who assume a certain egoistic self-effacement out of theosophical abstractions in their upper consciousness. This is especially the case when the latter declaim their selflessness in all sorts of repetitions of the words “love” and “tolerance.” What a person carries up into higher worlds in the form of an unloving lack of compassion is transformed into hideous, often terrifying figures he meets on entering the spiritual worlds, figures that are extremely disturbing for the soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 147 – Secrets of the Threshold – Lecture VIII – Munich, 31 August 1913

Translated by Ruth Pusch

Previously posted on May 28, 2016

Combating defects makes us strong and free

We should thank the Gods for our defects, for combating them makes us strong and free. But we shouldn’t love the defects for even a moment. We couldn’t thank Gods who made us pure and without defects, because they would have made us into weaklings. We should tell ourselves: And even the world was full of devils we still come from God.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Lecture II Kassel, 11th December 1910

Previously posted on May 27, 2016