Karma / Heredity (2 of 2)

This instrument of our life of concepts and ideas is inherited externally through our line of heredity. Its delicate convolutions are formed in one way or another according to this line of heredity. The soul will always to some extent have the inner strength to overcome what does not suit it and bring its instrument into harmony with its own forces, but only to a certain extent. The stronger the soul is the better it can do this. And if circumstances are such that it becomes impossible for the soul forces to overcome the resistance in the composition of the brain, the brain cannot be used properly. And then there occurs what we call mental defectiveness, mental illness. A melancholic temperament arises too, because the soul forces are not strong enough to overcome certain things in the organism. In the middle of life — it is different at the beginning and at the end — the forces of our soul always encounter a certain unsuitability in their instrument. This is the secret that always lies hidden behind the inner conflict and disharmony in human nature. What men often imagine to be the reason for their discontent is usually just a mask. In reality the reasons for it are as we have described. Thus we see the relationship between what the soul takes with it from incarnation to incarnation and what it receives from the line of heredity.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – THE BEING OF MAN AND HIS FUTURE EVOLUTION – VI. Illness and Karma – Berlin, 26th January 1909

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

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Karma / Heredity (1 of 2)

Our organism is also dependent on the forces of heredity. This makes for disharmony in any life. Man is born on the one side into these forces of heredity. His physical and etheric body inherit the qualities that can be passed down through the generations. This hereditary stream is, of course, bound to have some measure of external connection with the karma our soul has set itself. For as it comes down from the spiritual world our soul is attracted to the kind of parents through whom it can inherit those qualities that come closest to our requirements. They never, however, entirely correspond, for in the body this cannot be so. There is always a certain discrepancy between the forces of heredity and what the soul brings with it from the past. Now it all depends on whether the soul is strong enough to overcome all the obstacles in the line of heredity, and is capable of re-forming the organism during the course of a lifetime, so that it overcomes what does not suit it. People vary a great deal in this respect. Some souls have acquired great strength in the course of previous incarnations. A soul of this nature has to incarnate in the most suitable body possible, though it will not be absolutely suitable. Yet this soul might be strong enough more or less to overcome everything not suited to it, though this is not necessarily always the case. Let us follow this up in detail by looking at the brain.

To be continued 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 107 – THE BEING OF MAN AND HIS FUTURE EVOLUTION – VI. Illness and Karma – Berlin, 26th January 1909

Translated by Pauline Wehrle

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By David Newbatt

About insanity and disharmony in thinking, feeling and willing

There are three soul forces in human beings: thinking, feeling and willing. These three forces are bound up with the physical organization. Certain thoughts and feelings will call up certain acts of will. The human organism must function correctly if the three soul forces are to act in harmony. If the connection between them has broken down due to illness, then there is no longer consistency between thinking, feeling and willing. If an organ connected with the will is impaired, the human being will be unable to translate his thoughts into impulses of will; he is weak as far as action is concerned. Although a person is well able to think, he cannot decide on action. Another disturbance may be that someone is unable to link thoughts and feelings correctly; this human cannot bring his feelings into harmony with the thoughts behind them. Basically that is the cause of insanity.

In the normally constituted human being of today, thinking, feeling and willing are in harmony. This is right at certain stages of evolution. However, it must be born in mind that as far as a person is concerned, this harmony is established unconsciously. If a person is to be initiated, if he or she is to become capable of higher perception, then thinking, feeling and willing must be severed from one another. The organs connected with feeling and will must undergo division. Consequently, even if it cannot be proved anatomically, the organism of an initiate is different from that of a non-initiate. Because the contact between thinking, feeling and willing is severed, the initiate can see someone suffering without his feelings being roused; he can stand aside and coldly observe. The reason is that nothing must occur in the initiate unconsciously. An individual is compassionate out of his own free will, not because of some external compulsion. He becomes separated into human beings of feeling, a person of will and a thinking person; above these three is the ruler, the newfound individual, bringing them into harmony from a higher consciousness. Here too a death process, a destructive process must intervene; should this occur without a higher consciousness being attained, insanity would set in. Insanity is in fact a condition in which the three soul members have separated without being ruled by a higher consciousness.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Supersensible Knowledge – Lecture III – The Origin of Suffering – Berlin, 8th November 1906

Translated by Rita Stebbing

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Previously posted on 23 October 2018

About truths and opinions (2 of 5)

The idea floats before quite a number that a time must come when there are as many religions and truths as persons.This will not be the course of human evolution. It would take this course if men were to continue to follow the impulse coming today from materialism. That would lead to disharmony, to the splitting of humanity into separate individuals. Mankind, however, will only not take this course if such a spiritual movement as Spiritual Science is accepted. What will enter then? The great truth, the great law, will be realized that the most individual truths, those that are found in the most inward way, are at the same time those that hold good for all.

To be continued

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 23, 2018

 

Man’s task must be entirely sought for on this earth

Above all things, no disharmony must ensue between the higher experiences and the events and demands of every-day life. Man’s task must be entirely sought for on this earth, and anyone desiring to shirk his earthly task and to escape into another world may be certain he will never reach his goal.

Source: GA 10 –  Knowledge of the Higher Worlds – VIII – The Splitting of the Human Personality during Spiritual Training

Translated by George Metaxa / Revisions by Henry B. Monges

Previously posted on March 17, 2018

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