Here on earth we carry a body made of bones, muscles, arteries, and so forth. Then, after death, we acquire a spiritual body, formed out of our moral qualities. A good man acquires a moral body radiating with beauty; a depraved man a moral body radiating with evil. This is formed while we are living backward. Our spirit-body, however, is only partly formed out of that which is now joined to us. Whereas one part of the spirit-body received by us in the spiritual world is formed out of our moral qualities, the other part is simply put on us as a garment woven from the substances of the spiritual world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture II – Kristiana, 17th May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

Previously  posted on February 28, 2017


There can be no beauty in the world without pain and suffering and illness

Fabre d’Olivet, who has investigated the origins of the Book of Genesis, once used a beautiful simile, comparing destiny with a natural process. The valuable pearl, he says, derives from an illness: it is a secretion of the oyster, so that in this case life has to fall sick in order to produce something precious. In the same way, physical illnesses in one life reappear in the next life as physical beauty.

Either the physical body becomes more beautiful as a result of the illness it endured; or it may be that an illness a man has caught from infection in his environment is compensated by the beauty of his new environment. Beauty thus develops, karmically, out of pain, suffering, privation and illness. This may seem a startling connection, but it is a fact. Even the appreciation of beauty develops in this way: there can be no beauty in the world without pain and suffering and illness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture Eight: Good and Evil/Individual Karmic Questions – Stuttgart, 29th August 1906

Translated by E. H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on October 13, 2016

No matter how ugly a thing may be, there is always some beauty concealed in it

No matter how ugly a thing may be, there is always some beauty concealed in it; in every untruth there is a grain of truth, in everything evil a grain of goodness. This does not mean, of course, that you should abstain from criticism! You misunderstand positivity if you think that you should no longer find anything bad, ugly, etc., but positivity means that you should see the grain of beauty in everything evil. This develops the higher forces of your soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture XIV: Further Stages of Rosicrucian Training – Kassel, 29th June 1907

Previously posted on September 27, 2016


When looking upon the law of Karma you must think of the future, for with everyone of our actions we enter into our account book an item which will bear fruit. […] Many things become clear to us through an insight into this law. In the first place, we can accurately prove the connection between the individual bodily development and earlier lives. A life full of love prepares for the next life a course of development whereby the human being preserves his youth for a long time; a premature ageing is on the other hand caused by much antipathy during the past life. In the second place: A particularly selfish sense of grasping and hoarding things produces in the next life a disposition to infectious diseases. In the third place, it is of special interest that pains, and particularly certain illnesses through which we pass, produce a beautiful body in our next life. This insight enables us to bear many an illness more easily.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture VII: The Law of Karma – Kassel, 22nd June 1907

Previously posted on January 31, 2015

Soul peace

Let’s imagine a quiet sea and then the same sea with towering waves, and that we’re on a sinking ship in this wildly surging water so that death is inevitable. Anyone who can feel no fear of death but only the wonderful beauty of the unfettered elements and the grandness of creation at such a moment knows what soul peace is.

We should let such images, such thoughts, live in us in their whole richness and greatness as often as possible. Then we’ll feel that fear and terror about the elements and eruptions disappear, and we’ll draw strength from all hindrances that life puts in our path.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Munich, 8th March 1909