Earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

In human beings who perish as a result of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions one notices, during their next incarnation, inner qualities which are quite different. They bring from birth great spiritual pre-dispositions because, through their death, they were brought in touch with forces which showed them the true nature of reality and the illusion of material life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner  – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture XVI: Earthquakes, Volcanoes, and Human Will – Paris, 12th June 1906

Translated by René Querido

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Previously posted on May 13, 2018

The greatest wisdom is acquired by the quiet endurance of pain and suffering

Knowledge of the connection between the physical and the astral world enables us to have a clear understanding of the world in its inner process of development; things are often connected in quite a different way from what people like to imagine. Many people deplore pain and suffering, but from a higher point of view this is quite unjustified, for if they are overcome and the person is ready for a new incarnation, suffering and pain are the sources of wisdom, prudence and comprehensiveness of vision. 

Even in writing emanating from the modern, materialistic standpoint, we find it stated that there is something like “crystallised pain” in the face of every thinker. What this materialistically minded author says here has long been known to the occultist, for the greatest wisdom of the world is acquired by the quiet endurance of pain and suffering; this creates wisdom in the next incarnation.

Source: GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – VI. The Law of Destiny – Munich, 30th May, 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on February 19, 2018

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Transformation / Talents / Forces

An external consideration of similarities is generally deceptive in reference to the characteristics of successive incarnations; and just as we must reflect upon whatever did not please us and conceive of ourselves as having had an intense desire for it, so we must also reflect upon those things for which we have the least talent, and about which we are stupid. If we discover the dullest sides of our nature, they may very probably point to those fields in which we were most brilliant in our previous incarnation. Thus we see how easy it is in these matters to begin at the wrong end. A little reflection will show us that it is the soul-kernel of our being which works over from one incarnation to another; this can be illustrated by the fact that it is no easier for a man to learn a language even if in his preceding incarnation he lived in the country associated with this particular language; otherwise our school-boys would not find it so difficult to learn Greek and Latin, for many of them in former incarnations will have lived in the regions where these were the languages of ordinary intercourse.

You see, the outer capacities we acquire are so closely connected with earthly circumstances that we cannot speak of them reappearing in the same form in the next incarnation; they are transformed into forces and in that way pass over to a subsequent incarnation. For instance, people who have a special faculty for learning languages in one incarnation will not have this in the next; instead, they will have the faculty which enables them to form more unbiassed judgments than those who had less talent for languages; these latter will tend to form one-sided judgments.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 135 – Reincarnation and Karma – Berlin, 23rd January 1912

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond & Charles Davy

Previously posted on June 28, 2016

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Power of judgment / Memory in the next incarnation

If that is really to come to pass which ought to come to pass, namely, that in the course of ensuing incarnations a sufficiently large number of people have a memory of this present incarnation, then provision for this must be made beforehand. Develop, therefore, your power of judgment; then you are candidates for the memory, in your next incarnation, of the present one. See to it that you are able to follow the world with your thoughts. For however much you can see m a visionary way, it will give you no help in remembering back to the present incarnation. 

And it is the mission of Spiritual Science to prepare the way for what must needs come — namely, that there may be a sufficiently large number of people who out of their own knowledge can look back to this present incarnation. How many come to the point in this incarnation of accompanying their knowledge of Spiritual Science with clairvoyant powers depends on the karma of each individual. 

There are certainly many sitting here whose karma will not allow them to see the world clairvoyantly in this incarnation. But all those who acquire what is given in true Spiritual Science, clothed as it is in the forms of thought, will reap the fruits of it in the next incarnation; for in this one they will have laid the right foundation. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 117 – The Tasks and Aims of Spiritual Science – Stuttgart, November 13, 1909

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Previously posted on February 10, 2018

Moderation and health

One can be impulsive because one eats or drinks too much. This is the lowest kind of impulsiveness. There the astral completely sinks into the bodily desire, and we completely enjoy life in our body. If, however, we control our desire, if we almost order the body what he has to do or not, then we are temperate, one can also say moderate. Then we keep by such moderation those forces in the correct order which should help that we do not deliver the concerning organs to Lucifer in the next incarnation. Since we deliver the forces to Lucifer, which we spend to a passionate life. Most badly when the passions transport us into a state of drunkenness, when we feel well with dozing.

Where we lose our temperance, we always deliver forces to Lucifer. He takes these forces, but with them, he also takes the forces from us we need for the respiratory and the digestive organs. We return then with bad respiratory and digestive organs if we do not practice the virtue of moderation. Those who like to be captivated by their life of passions, who dedicate themselves to their passionate life, are the candidates for the decadent people of the future, for those people of the future who will suffer from all possible shortcomings of their physical bodies.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death – Zurich, 31st January 1915

Previously posted on May 29, 2016