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

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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

Antipathy and karma (1 of 4)

Now let us assume that a man does positive harm to another, out of hatred or antipathy. We can imagine every conceivable degree. A man may harm his fellows out of a positively criminal sense of hatred. Or — to omit the intermediate stages — he may merely be a critic. To be a critic, you must always hate a little — unless you are one who praises; and such critics are few nowadays. It is uninteresting to show recognition of other people’s work; it only becomes interesting when you can be witty at their expense.

Now there are all manner of intermediate stages. But it is a matter here of all those human deeds which proceed from a cold antipathy — antipathy of which people are often not at all clearly aware — or, at the other extreme, from positive hatred. All that is thus brought about by men against their fellows, or against sub-human creatures — all this finds vent in conditions of soul which in their turn are mirrored in the life between death and a new birth.

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 21 September 2018

A human being’s destiny is composed of many and diverse factors

If we speak in detail about karma, we naturally must distinguish, in the first place, between those karmic events of life which come to a human being from outside and those which arise, as it were, within his inner being. A human being’s destiny is composed of many and diverse factors. His destiny is dependent on his physical and etheric constitution. It is dependent on what the human being, according to his astral and ego constitution, can bring of sympathy and antipathy toward the outer world, what others, again, according to his constitution can bring to him as sympathy and antipathy. Moreover, the destiny of the human being depends on the most manifold complications and entanglements in which he finds himself involved on the path of life. All of this determines the human being’s karmic situation for any given moment of time or as a totality for his whole life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – KARMA: 5 – The Single Factor of Karma – Dornach, 1 March 1924

Translated by Henry B. Monges

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About truths and opinions (5 – End)

If mathematical truths were not so simple and obvious then the passions aroused in acknowledging them would lead to many difficulties. For if covetousness entered in then perhaps many housewives would determine that 2 x 2 = 5 and not 4. These things are only so obvious and simple that they can no longer be clouded by sympathy and antipathy. Continually wider regions will be grasped by this form of truth and more peace can come to mankind if truth is grasped in this manner. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908

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 Previously posted on July 26, 2018