Serenity and acceptance of our destiny

What characteristics must we specially cultivate if we wish to work in a beneficial way on our will life?

Most beneficial of all in our will nature is the influence of a life directed in its entire character towards a comprehension of karma. We might also say a soul life which strives to develop, as its primary characteristic, serenity and acceptance of our destiny. And what better way can one find of developing this acceptance, this calmness of soul in the presence of one’s destiny, than by making karma an actual content in one’s life?

What do we mean by this? It means that — not merely theoretically but in a living way — when our own sorrow or the sorrow of another comes upon us, when we experience joy or the heaviest blow of fate, we shall really be fully aware that, in a certain higher sense, we ourselves have given the occasion for this painful blow of fate.

Our serenity, our acceptance of our karma in all occurrences, strengthens our will. We grow stronger in facing life with serenity, never weaker. Through anger and impatience we become weak. In the face of every occurrence we are strong when we are serene. On the contrary, we become continually weaker in will through moroseness and an unnatural rebellion against destiny.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

Previously posted on April 25, 2016

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Attraction/Repulsion/Previous earth-lives

What attracts or repels others in a human being actually veils itself in a darkness impenetrable to the world of abstract concepts. But if, with the help of Anthroposophy, we investigate what one can really experience in five minutes but cannot describe in fifty years, we find that it is what rises up from the previous earth-life or series of earth-lives into the present life of the soul, and what is exchanged. This indefinite, indefinable element that comes upon us when we meet as adults is what shines through from earlier lives on earth into the present. Not only the pre-earthly existence but everything the human being has passed through in the way of destiny in his successive earth-lives.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 217 – The Younger Generation: Lecture XI – Stuttgart, 13th October 1922

Translated by Rene M. Querido

Previously posted on August 14, 2015

A stroke of destiny

A stroke of destiny that befalls a person during life in the physical world may seem, from the point of view of that (physical) life, to contain something altogether opposed to the man’s own will. In the life between death and rebirth a force, resembling will, rules in the soul that gives to the person the tendency toward experiencing this very blow of fate. The soul sees, as it were, that an imperfection has clung to it from earlier earth-lives — an imperfection that had its origin in an ugly deed or an ugly thought. Between death and re-birth, there arises in the soul a will-like impulse to make good this imperfection. The soul, therefore, becomes imbued with the tendency to plunge into a misfortune in the coming earth-life, in order, through enduring it, to bring about equilibrium. After its birth in the physical body, the soul, when met by some hard fate, has no glimmering of the fact that in the purely spiritual life before birth, the impulse that led to this hard fate has been voluntarily accepted by it. What, therefore, seems completely unwished for from the point of view of earth-life is willed by the soul itself in the supersensible.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 9 – Theosophy: Addenda (No. 12)

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

Previously posted on January 20, 2015

Karma

With a simple example, let me make clear what one calls karma. Imagine, you work on anything from morning to night. Then you go to bed, sleep the whole night through, and get up in the morning again. If now you say to yourself, what I have worked yesterday does not concern me, I start afresh today, and then you are brainless, are you not? Nevertheless, the only possibility is that you take up in the morning again, what you have left in the evening, saying to yourself, this is my work and where I have stopped yesterday, I must resume today. What does that mean? That only means that my destiny of today is determined by my work of yesterday. Yesterday I have created my destiny of today. With it the whole concept of karma is given. Every being makes his future destiny.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 54 – The Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy: Lecture XII: Reincarnation and Karma – Berlin, 15th February 1906