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


Previously posted on 19 November 2018


Not only is morality advanced by good habits, but also health

In considering karma and disease, both of the individual and whole populations, we have seen that what has been prepared during earlier times spiritually asserts itself later in physical life. Therefore, if we ensure that humanity has good education and habits, we will promote health too! Not only is the moral element promoted by good habits, but also health, since bad habits create disease in the next incarnation. Nervousness, one of the most typical illnesses today, results from a particular state of mind in an earlier life. It would never have occurred if the materialistic worldview with its habits of thought had not become so prevalent. Should this mindset persist, it would devastate public health and drive humankind to madness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 97 – Das christliche Mysterium – Stuttgart, March 14, 1906 (page 255)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger 


Habits and Health

If a man has bad habits and bad characteristics and does nothing to get rid of them, this will appear in the next life in the physical body as a disposition, a predisposition to illness. Strange as this may sound the disposition towards certain illnesses, particularly infectious ones, depends on the bad habits of a preceding life. This insight therefore enables us to prepare health or illness for our next life. If we conquer a bad habit, we become healthy and immune against infections in our next life. Thus we can prepare health for our next life. By endeavouring to foster only noble qualities, we can prepare a healthy body for our next incarnation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: VII. THE LAW OF KARMA – Kassel, June 22, 1907


Habits, Actions and Destiny

A bad habit in itself does not mean that I have done something; but if this bad habit leads to an action, this action changes the external world. In fact, everything which thus exercises an influence upon the physical world returns to us during our next life as our external destiny in the physical world. Thus the deeds of our physical body during this life become our destiny in the next. We learn this through being placed in this or in that life-situation. Whether a person is happy or unhappy in one or other condition of life depends upon his actions during his preceding life. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 100 – Theosophy and Rosicrucianism: Lecture VII: The Law of Karma – Kassel, 22nd June 1907

Previously posted on April 26, 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