Dislike of anthroposophy

Maybe you are a really good anthroposophist, very keen on spiritual science, but you are living in the same house and in very close connection with someone else who detests it, who regards Anthroposophy as his greatest enemy. Now you may say, you are extremely sorry to be causing him so much pain by your attachment to what he detests. From the aspect of earthly life this may be rightly judged. Seen from the other side however, very often it turns out in such a case that it lay in the other person’s Karma not to be able to come near to Anthroposophy owing to hindrances brought from a former life, making him in his head a very hater of it. As to his head, he simply cannot bear it. He becomes vexed and excited every time he hears tell of anthroposophical truths. 

Yet all the time, in his inmost heart he may not be averse to them at all, and when he dies it may well be that he has after death a very deep longing for Anthroposophy. Often therefore you will be doing just what is needed for one who hated it during earthly life, if after his death, you turn to him with thoughts derived from Anthroposophy, so as to bring them to him. 

Paradoxical as it may sound, not a few relatives who raged and stormed when another member of the family became [an] anthroposophist have become deeply attached to it after death. In this respect once more, you must take seriously what I said during my last sojourn here: we judge life very differently from yonder side than we do from this side.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Planetary Spheres and Their Influence on Mans Life on Earth and in the Spiritual Worlds: LECTURE VI – London, 19th November, 1922

Translated by George and Mary Adams

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Previously posted on January 21, 2018

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Inheritance of talents and capacities (3 – End)

Thus the human being is born into that family which is able to transmit to him by heredity the bodily conditions which correspond to his karmic potentialities. It then looks, if we go back to the example of moral courage, as if the latter itself had been inherited from the parents. The truth is that man, through his individual being, has searched out that family which makes the unfoldment of moral courage possible for him. 

In addition to this it may be possible that the individualities of the children and the parents have already been connected in previous lives and for that very reason have found one another again. The karmic laws are so complicated that we may never base a judgment upon outer appearances. Only a person to whose spiritual sense-organs the higher worlds are at least partially manifest may attempt to form such a judgment. 

Whoever is able to observe the soul organism and the spirit, in addition to the physical body, is in a position to discriminate between what has been passed on to the human being by his forebears and what is his own possession, acquired in previous lives. For ordinary vision these things are not clearly distinguishable, and it may easily appear as if something were merely inherited which in reality is karmicly determined. 

It is a thoroughly wise expression which states that children are “given” to their parents. In respect of the spirit this is absolutely the case. And children with certain spiritual qualities are given to them for the very reason that they, the parents, are capable of giving the children the opportunity to unfold these spiritual qualities.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – ANSWERS TO SOME QUESTIONS CONCERNING KARMA – Essay in Luzifer/Gnosis – October 1904

Translated by Lisa D. Monges

Previously posted on January 28, 2017

What is the law of karma?

What is the law of karma? The principle of making good in a subsequent incarnation what was reprehensible in a preceding one. Differentiation must be made between karma that takes effect inwardly and one that has more external results. Karma taking effect inwardly is connected with the forming of character, talents and habits. Karma that manifests in more external ways takes the form of the conditions of life in which a man is placed, such as family, nationality and so forth. We will now consider more closely how karma works in physical life. 

For example, what appears in one life as urge or impulse, desire and ideation, emerges in the next life, or one of the following lives, as habit. From good habits a fine, well-knit, healthy physical body will come into existence in the next incarnation. A bad habit makes (in RS Archive is used the word ‘snakes’) its appearance in another life in the form of an illness or as a tendency to illness. Thus, the causes of illnesses are to be sought in the inclinations and habits of a previous life. 

The actual destiny of an individual is, on the contrary, the result of his former deeds. A person who radiates much love in one life will, in another, be able to stay young, inwardly as well as outwardly, for a long time. A person who harbors many feelings of hatred in one life will age prematurely in another. Individuals who abandon themselves to an ordinary, indolent life, which avoids all forms of spirituality, deprive themselves of something for their subsequent life that will be difficult for them to retrieve.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 109 – Rosicrucian Esotericism: X: On Karma, Reincarnation and Initiation Budapest, 12th June 1909

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on November 6, 2016

Not the whole story

Over and over again one hears that people are saying: “Last time he described man’s experience between going to sleep and waking, and now he is telling us something different about it.” My dear friends, if I tell you what an official experiences in his office, it does not contradict what later I tell you about him in the bosom of his family. The two things go together. So you must be clear that when I tell you of experiences between going to sleep and waking this is not the whole story, just as an official can still have a family life outside his office.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 218 – Memory and Love – Stuttgart, December 4th, 1922