Habits and health

A bad habit in a previous life is a cause of disease in the next one, whereas a good habit results in health. In this way are people led to infectious diseases through their own disposition. 

We all know of one who can travel the world to areas ridden with epidemics or contagious diseases, mingling with many individuals, without suffering any ill. But we also know of another who will contract an infection by merely walking down the street. 

It is one’s disposition which determines whether or not one is prone to infection. The initiates know for a fact that a predisposition to infectious diseases originates from the selfish habits of thinking in a previous life. They know how a pronounced desire to possess and gather riches for oneself leads to infectious diseases.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Erkenntnisse und Lebensfrüchte der Geisteswissenschaft – Stuttgart, 14 March 1906 (page 253)

Anonymous translator

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Previously posted on 19 November 2018

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Good habits will produce good health

Good habits will produce good health; bad ones will create a tendency to some specific illness in the next life. A strong determination to rid oneself of a bad habit will work down into the physical body and produce a tendency to good health. How a disposition to infectious diseases arises in the physical body has been particularly well observed. Whether we actually get a disease will depend on what we do; but whether we are specially liable to contract it is the result of the inclinations we had in a previous life. Infectious diseases, strangely enough, can be traced back to a highly developed selfish acquisitiveness in a previous life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science – Lecture VII: Workings of the Law of Karma in Human Life – Stuttgart, 28th August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

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Previously posted on August 6, 2018

No virtue can be cultivated without developing also a disposition towards the opposite vice (2 of 2)    

If a person develops good will it is certainly an excellent thing. However, just as the pendulum in its downward swing gathers the force that will make it swing upwards, so there develops with the force of good will a tendency to its opposite, a tendency to prejudice, biassed views and the like. No virtue can be cultivated without developing also a disposition towards the opposite vice. These truths are not comfortable but truths they are. In the individual they are less noticeable, but in public life they result in the kind of thing I have indicated. If people in one age one-sidedly cultivate some virtue and pride themselves over much in the fact, then people in the following age, although the connection is not recognized, will exhibit the corresponding vice.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 176 – Karma of Materialism: Lecture 9 – Berlin, September 25, 1917

Necessary knowledge

Nobody can fail to realise that it is just as necessary for a human being to have knowledge, feeling and perceptiveness of the life between death and the new birth as of earthly life itself. For when he enters earthly life at birth, the confidence, strength and hopefulness connected with that life depend upon what forces he brings with him from the life between the last death and the present birth. But again, the forces we are able to acquire during that life depend upon our conduct in the earlier incarnation, upon our moral and religious disposition or the quality of our attitude of soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 141 – Between Death and Rebirth: LECTURE TWO – Berlin, 20th November 1912

Translated by E.H. Goddard & D.S. Osmond

Previously posted on July 28, 2018

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Knowledge and feeling of the life between death and the new birth

It is just as necessary for a human being to have knowledge, feeling and perceptiveness of the life between death and the new birth as of earthly life itself. For when he enters earthly life at birth, the confidence, strength and hopefulness connected with that life depend upon what forces he brings with him from the life between the last death and the present birth. 

But again, the forces we are able to acquire during that life depend upon our conduct in the earlier incarnation, upon our moral and religious disposition or the quality of our attitude of soul. We must realise that whether the future evolution of the human race will be furthered or impeded depends upon our active and creative co-operation with the super-sensible world in which we live between death and the new birth. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 141 – Between Death and Rebirth – Lecture 2 – Berlin, 20th November 1912

Translated by E. H. Goddard & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on January 9, 2017