A human being’s destiny is composed of many and diverse factors

If we speak in detail about karma, we naturally must distinguish, in the first place, between those karmic events of life which come to a human being from outside and those which arise, as it were, within his inner being. A human being’s destiny is composed of many and diverse factors. His destiny is dependent on his physical and etheric constitution. It is dependent on what the human being, according to his astral and ego constitution, can bring of sympathy and antipathy toward the outer world, what others, again, according to his constitution can bring to him as sympathy and antipathy. Moreover, the destiny of the human being depends on the most manifold complications and entanglements in which he finds himself involved on the path of life. All of this determines the human being’s karmic situation for any given moment of time or as a totality for his whole life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – KARMA: 5 – The Single Factor of Karma – Dornach, 1 March 1924

Translated by Henry B. Monges



Thoughts and health  

Correct ideas have a healing effect on man, and wrong ideas make him sick. One can find a wrong idea behind every disease, if one traces it back. Mankind in general is responsible for this and not individuals. Interest also has a destructive effect when people run from one sensation to the other and always want to be amused. That makes people sick. It’s also a hindrance to progress to have a personal interest in higher knowledge. Men become scleroticized thereby.

A man must not become indifferent to his surroundings. He must retain his feeling and sympathy for his surroundings. Some say that sympathy can also come from egotism. That may be the case. Many kinds of sympathy only arise because one doesn’t want to see other people suffer. That’s even a good thing. It’s better for a man to help someone out of egotistical sympathy than not to help him at all. But we must learn to develop a sympathy that stands above egoism, that helps neighbors because it’s one’s duty to help them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes: Esoteric Lesson – Berlin, 15th May, 1908


Previously posted on May 21, 2018

About truths and opinions (5 – End)

If mathematical truths were not so simple and obvious then the passions aroused in acknowledging them would lead to many difficulties. For if covetousness entered in then perhaps many housewives would determine that 2 x 2 = 5 and not 4. These things are only so obvious and simple that they can no longer be clouded by sympathy and antipathy. Continually wider regions will be grasped by this form of truth and more peace can come to mankind if truth is grasped in this manner. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908


 Previously posted on July 26, 2018

About truths and opinions (4 of 5)

These most trivial of all truths, the arithmetical, geometrical, are found inwardly, and yet people do not dispute about them. They are in absolute agreement about them because man is far enough advanced to grasp them. Agreement of opinion prevails only as long as pure truth is not clouded by passions, sympathy and antipathy. A time will come, though it is still far distant, when mankind will be laid hold of increasingly by the knowledge of the inner world of truth. Then in spite of all individualism, in spite of truth being found by everyone for himself inwardly, harmony will prevail.  

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture IX – Berlin, 1st June 1908


 Previously posted on July 25, 2018

I took pains to refrain from applying any criticism

The task for my observation took this form: to take in quite objectively and purely by way of perception that which lives in a human being. I took pains to refrain from applying any criticism to what men did, not to give way to either sympathy or antipathy in my relation to them; I desired simply to allow “man as he is to work upon me.”

I soon learned that such an observation of the world leads truly into the world of spirit. In observing the physical world one goes quite outside oneself; and just by reason of this one comes again, with an intensified capacity for spiritual observation, into the spiritual world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of My Life – Chapter XXII