Experiences are transformed and become capabilities, skills and talents

The way in which the experiences here on earth are processed, is such that only a very small portion of these experiences are retained; every ability one acquires needs much more than what is retained in the end. For example, one does not remember how one has learned to write. Acquiring the ability to write was accompanied by a variety of experiences. These experiences contract, as it were, into a single power, the skill of writing. What at first is outer experience turns into a skill. In all experiences there lies such a possibility, such an opportunity: the experiences one gains in life can later on transform into abilities, talents. The conversion takes place after death. When the person is born again they will appear as talents, as capabilities. This is the basic feeling in devachan: that all experiences are transformed to capabilities, life-skills. That results in a feeling of bliss…. a stream of happiness permeates the people. All creative activity evokes a feeling of bliss. The relationships that have been spun in the world are much more intense in devachan than here on Earth. The limitations of space and time fall away. One can in fact penetrate other people.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Ursprungsimpulse der Geisteswissenschaft – Berlin, 22nd October 1906 (page182-183)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on June 28, 2018

Memories disappear, the fruits remain as abilities

The impressions that man acquires from his experiences fade gradually from memory. Not so, however, their fruits. We do not remember all the experiences lived through during childhood while acquiring the arts of reading and writing. Yet we could not read or write had we not had such experiences, and had not their fruits been preserved in the form of abilities. Such is the transmutation that the spirit effects in the treasures of memory. The spirit consigns to its fate whatever can lead to pictures of the separate experiences, and extracts therefrom only the force necessary for enhancing its abilities. 

Thus not a single experience passes by unutilized. The soul preserves each one as memory, and from each the spirit draws forth all that can enrich its abilities and the whole content of its life. The human spirit grows through assimilated experiences, and although one cannot find past experiences in the spirit as if in a storeroom, one nevertheless finds their effects in the abilities that man has acquired.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy: Chapter II. Re-embodiment of the Spirit and Destiny

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D

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Discord

When a person sets about spiritual science, he encounters an inevitable discord. You have to picture this dissension clearly. Many people who come to Anthroposophy are of two kinds. One kind says: I want to help; I want to be a valuable member of the community – and they understand this to mean that the Anthroposophical Movement will give them the means to start doing this tomorrow. 

The others may only be under the illusion that they want to help. In reality, they only want to satisfy their curiosity, to experience something sensational. Both groups will not become the right members in the Anthroposophical Society. Those who want to help right away do not consider that one must first learn to help. They must be told: You must have the patience to develop your strengths and abilities, to become a mature helper of your fellow human beings. […] 

However, the others, who only want to satisfy their curiosity, must realise that they must regard all the opportunities and skills they received only as the means to become valuable members of the entire human development. […] One must combine both patience and the will to work in oneself.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Ursprungsimpulse der Geisteswissenschaft – Berlijn, October 8, 1906 (page 89-90)

Trranslated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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About the perception of the karma of a person

When one wants to understand the karma of an individual, one must not look at his or her profession, what his or her social conditions are, nor at what such a person can do or cannot do. One must rather look deep into their soul, into the qualities and abilities that may eventually become manifest in any profession.  Because after all, we must see what a person was in a previous life. […] One should begin with looking through all that is outward and come to perceive the inner being, the purely human, that whereby the human being is human, is an individual personality.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 346 – Vorträge und Kurse über christlich- religiöses  Wirken: V – Dornach, 9 september 1924 (bladzijde 79)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on May 20, 2015

The memory fades, the fruits remain

The impressions that man acquires from his experiences fade gradually from memory. Not so, however, their fruits. We do not remember all the experiences lived through during childhood while acquiring the arts of reading and writing. Yet we could not read or write had we not had such experiences, and had not their fruits been preserved in the form of abilities. Such is the transmutation that the spirit effects in the treasures of memory. The spirit consigns to its fate whatever can lead to pictures of the separate experiences, and extracts therefrom only the force necessary for enhancing its abilities. Thus not a single experience passes by unutilized. The soul preserves each one as memory, and from each the spirit draws forth all that can enrich its abilities and the whole content of its life. The human spirit grows through assimilated experiences, and although one cannot find past experiences in the spirit as if in a storeroom, one nevertheless finds their effects in the abilities that man has acquired.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy – Chapter II: Re-Embodiment of the Spirit and Destiny

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Gilbert Church, Ph.D.

Previously posted on June 2, 2016