There is no phrase more frequently mentioned than ‘inherited tendency.’ No man is considered an educated man today who does not mention it at least two or three times a week! An educated man must at least make himself acquainted with what the learned, medical profession has ascertained as to ‘inherited tendencies.’ When a person does not know what to make of himself, most people say at once: ‘he is suffering from an inherited tendency.’ Anyone not saying that is regarded as badly educated, perhaps among other things an Anthroposophist!
Here Science begins not only to go astray in theory, but also to be injurious to life. This is the boundary where theory encroaches on morality — where it is immoral to hold a wrong theory. Here life’s strength and security really depend on correct knowledge. What will a man be able to do who, through the right spiritual conception in his soul, strengthens, fortifies himself by taking in the elixir of life? No matter what he may have inherited, these inheritances are only in the physical body or at most in the etheric body. Through his right conception of the world he will be able to make his own vital centre stronger and stronger, and will be able to conquer his inherited tendencies; for the spiritual, if present in the right way, is able to equalise the body.
To be continued
Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 116 – The Christ Impulse and the Development of the Ego-Consciousness: LECTURE 2. THE LAW OF KARMA WITH RESPECT TO THE DETAILS OF LIFE – Berlin, 22nd December, 1909
Translated by Harry Collison