Steiner Online Library Spiritual Science for Human Evolution

Karmic Relationships I
GA 235

Table of Contents

Formation of Karmic Forces

  • Lecture I 16th February, 1924
    • Laws and conditions of human destiny. The different kinds of universal law. Cause and effect in lifeless Nature and in the sphere of the living. Self-contained nature of the mineral kingdom. The working of the universe in the plant. The causative forces for both kingdoms lie in simultaneity. The causative forces for the animal kingdom and human kingdom lie in the pre-natal conditions, they come from the antecedent star-constellations. To explain the animal nature and the astral in man, we must go outside all that there is in space; we must move forward in time. The causes that apply to man as such must be sought once more on earth; then we come to a former life on earth.
  • Lecture II 17th February, 1924
    • The different regions of man's world-environment. The mineral world as necessary counterpart to human freedom. Man's dependence as a breathing-being on the plant-world, i.e. on the etheric forces of growth which are deeply connected with his destiny, forming his “nature-karma” through his relation to the Beings of the Third Hierarchy. Well-being or discontent: the karma of our inner constitution; sympathies and antipathies depend on the forces constituting the animal atmosphere. The animal-forming forces affect the astral body, of which the sympathies and antipathies belong to the destiny we bring with us from the spiritual world in which are living the Beings of the Second Hierarchy. A second constituent of karma is formed from our inner human structure, according to former lives on earth. The intricacy of the working of destiny in the human kingdom. Inner necessity in the chain of events, effected through the power of the First Hierarchy. This lives in our Ego-organisation from one earthly life over to the next. The moral significance of the balancing-out of karmic experiences must become external cosmic deeds.
  • Lecture III 23rd February, 1924
    • Karmic necessity and freedom. The limits of repeated earthly lives. The theory of universal causality. Insight into our karma as into an organic totality. We ourselves are the basis of karma. Initiation Science sects life through the looking back into former earthly lives. Freedom in the fulfilment of cosmic tasks.
  • Lecture IV 24th February, 1924
    • Formation of the impulse to karma between death and a new birth. Reflection in other human souls. Metamorphosis of love into joy. Joy is the karmic result of out-going love: result of these two is then an open heart for the world. Suffering is the karmic result of hatred; both lead in the third life to dim understanding of the world. Possibility of creating a balance by education. Significance of contemporary existence for repeated earthly lives.
  • Lecture V 1st March, 1924
    • Internal and external factors in man's total destiny. Pre-disposition to health or illness. Illnesses of childhood. Karmic metamorphosis of spiritual interests into health and facial expression. Karma ending and in the becoming. Karmic connections of friendships.
  • Lecture VI 2nd March, 1924
    • How karma enters man's development. Waking and sleeping. Ideation and remembering. Grey and white matter of the brain. In day-consciousness we are incorporated as man; in unconsciousness we are incorporated in the world. Connection of the Hierarchies with head-organisation, rhythmic organisation, motor-sphere. Inter-weaving of world and the Divine. The Beings of the Third Hierarchy underlie the activity manifested in memory, lead us through the unconscious realm of earthly life. In the life after death the Beings of the Second Hierarchy work on the shaping of inner karma. The Beings of the First Hierarchy, the Creators of the terrestrial, carry out down below the just and compensating activity resulting from our own deeds on earth. This meets us in the next life as facts of destiny. Behind the Law of Karma lie deeds and experiences of the Gods.

Karmic Determination of Individual Destinies

  • Lecture VII 8th March, 1924
    • Representative personalities: Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Franz Schubert, Eugen Dühring, studied biographically.
  • Lecture VIII 9th March, 1924
    • Karmic connections. Investigations depend on direct vision, and are communicated in narrative form. Arabism and its influence in the 7th, 8th and 9th centuries A.D. Vischer and Hegelianism. Vischer's attitude to Goethe's Faust. Schubert and Baron von Spaun. Previous lives of Eugen Dühring.
  • Lecture IX 15th March, 1924
    • Details of karmic relationships. How bodily characteristics are carried over from one incarnation into the make-up of the next. Eduard von Hartmann. Friedrich Nietzsche.
  • Lecture X 16th March, 1924
    • The paths of karma leading from historical personalities of the past into later times or into the life of the modern age. Mohammedanism and its driving force. Haroun al Raschid and the civilisation centred in Baghdad. Arabism: its influence on European civilisation through reincarnating individualities. Lord Bacon of Verulam. Gebel al Tarik: Charles Darwin. The circle of learned men around Mamun in Baghdad; the cultivation of astronomy and astrology. Laplace. Aristotelianism in a more mystical form is present within the monotheism and determinism of Mohammedanism, which grew into fatalism. Muavija in Damascus: Woodrow Wilson. The reincarnation of ideas.
  • Lecture XI 22nd March, 1924
    • Karmic relationships in the lives of individuals and in history. The right way of approach. Garibaldi and Victor Emmanuel. Lessing. Lord Byron.
  • Lecture XII 23rd March, 1924
    • Where are the Initiates of earlier times? Hindrances caused by the present form of civilisation whereby certain qualities are killed out in men and bodies become unsuitable vehicles. An Irish colony in Alsace in the 9th century A.D. Garibaldi, Mazzini, Cavour, Victor Emmanuel. Ernst Haeckel. Lessing. Valentin Andreae. Geometry teacher. Lord Byron. The Palladium ...

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"You can see from this, my dear friends, what mischief will be set on foot if the truths of Spiritual Science are withheld. For man will be exposed to the forces of evil, and he will only be protected from it by giving himself up to the spiritual life of the good. To withhold the spiritual life of goodness from men is to be no friend to humanity. Whoever does this, be he Freemason or Jesuit, is no friend to humanity. For it means handing men over to the forces of evil. And there may be a purpose in doing so. This purpose may be to confine goodness to a small circle, in order by the help of this goodness to dominate the helpless humanity who are thus led by evil into the follies of life."

—Rudolf Steiner,
Spiritual Science Notes On Goethe's Faust, Vol. II, No. 273-8.

Spiritual Exercises

Calendar of the Soul

In 1912 Rudolf Steiner offered a “calendar of the soul” with weekly verses that express how the changing seasons in both the outer natural world and our inner lives help humanity evolve. Download and read the verses in four translations with commentary by Eloise Krivosheia of the Los Angeles Branch of the Anthroposophical Society.


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