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Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies - Volume VI

Schmidt Number: S-5667

On-line since: 31st August, 2011

V

Stuttgart, 9th April, 1924

The truth of repeated lives on Earth was once expressed in German literature in impressive words to which attention has often been called in the Anthroposophical Movement. At the height of his powers Lessing wrote his memorable treatise, The Education of the Human Race, at the end of which he declares his belief in repeated lives on Earth. In monumental sentences he declares that the historical development of humanity can be intelligible only on the assumption that the individual man passes through many lives on Earth and carries over into other epochs of evolution what may have been experienced and accomplished in an earlier epoch. In this connection, two facts only need be borne in mind: when attempts are made by historians to explain later events as the effects of earlier causes, all kinds of reasons are brought forward — the influence of ideas, of physical happenings, and so forth — in short, pure abstractions. The truth is that the same individuals who were living, let us say, at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century, lived in earlier epochs as well; they then absorbed what was happening around them or what was to be experienced from their fellow human beings, carried it all through the gate of death into the spiritual world in which man lives between death and rebirth, and brought it down again with them into a new earthly life. They are therefore themselves the bearers of what has passed over from one epoch to another in the course of the evolution of humanity.

The past is forever being carried over to the future by individual men. This is the one fact that can fill the soul with a feeling of reverence when it is taken with due earnestness. And the other fact is that on reflection, all of us sitting here will be able to say: We ourselves have lived on the Earth many times and what we are to-day is the product of those previous lives. When we survey history and let it shed light upon our own experiences, the realisation that there are repeated lives on Earth may well imbue knowledge with a mood of reverence, and Lessing must certainly have experienced something of the kind when he wrote: “Why should not every individual man have existed more than once upon this world? Is this hypothesis so laughable merely because it is the oldest, because the human understanding, before the sophistries of the Schools had dissipated and debilitated it, lighted upon it at once?” [Translation by F. W. Robertson, 1872.] And he voices his consciousness of realities such as those indicated above, in the monumental words: “Is not then all Eternity mine?”

The line of spiritual development which could have been introduced into German culture at that time through Lessing's treatise, was broken. And in any case its continuance would certainly have been ridiculed by the mentality of the nineteenth century.

More than twenty years ago in Berlin, when we were beginning anthroposophical work within the framework of the Theosophical Society, it was announced on the programme of the meeting held in connection with the founding of what was then called the German Section of the Theosophical Society, that the title of one of the first lectures I proposed to give would be: “Practical Exercises for the Understanding of Karma” (über praktische Karma-Übungen). It was a matter at that time of introducing the idea of karma with such forcefulness that it could have become one of the leitmotifs in the development of the Anthroposophical Movement. But when I spoke about what I meant by this title to one or two well-known members of the old Theosophical Society who had come over to Berlin, there was general opposition. Such a subject was considered to be quite impossible. And as a matter of fact — although I am not suggesting that these people were right — it would have been premature at that time to speak to wider circles about these intimate esoteric truths. If one wishes to avoid abstract generalisations and to speak in a concrete way about karma and its significance in the historical life of mankind, this is not possible without touching upon matters of a deeply esoteric nature and making use of the concepts of esotericism. Hence in a certain respect everything in the way of knowledge that has since been developed in the Anthroposophical Society was a necessary preparation, because in the days to which I have referred the members of this Society were not sufficiently mature.

But sooner or later the time must come when it is possible to speak concretely of the truths of karma and their connection with the evolution of humanity. If we were to wait any longer this would be a grave defect on the part of the Anthroposophical Society. Hence one of the intentions expressed at the Christmas Foundation Meeting at the Goetheanum was to the effect that communication of the findings of genuine spiritual investigation into these more intimate questions of the evolution of humanity should no longer be withheld. And in line with this, the Anthroposophical Movement will in future be attentive to what the spiritual Beings desire, not to what timidity and caution regard as inopportune or untimely.

In this connection the Christmas Meeting at the Goetheanum was not only of qualitative significance for the Anthroposophical Movement but something that was to mark the beginning of deeper and more intensive anthroposophical work. And it is from this point of view — which must also become a point of view of the whole Movement — that I shall speak to you to-day.

We witness great happenings in history and are aware that the keynotes in certain domains of life are set by particular personalities. It should be obvious to us that some historic personality who not so long ago was the inaugurator of the kind of thinking under the influence of which we are still living to-day, can only be understood — as the historical aspect in general can only be understood — when anthroposophical investigation penetrates into earlier incarnations of such personalities. This leads to something else as well. By observing personalities of whom history tells we become aware of threads of destiny running through their different lives on Earth and the light thus shed upon karma helps to make our own personal destiny intelligible. This is of very great importance.

There must be no sensationalism in the study of karma; the sole purpose of such study must be to illumine the circumstances of human life and the experiences of individual human souls. We see, for example, that particularly in the last two thirds of the nineteenth century, a materialistic attitude of soul became general; in certain respects this attitude continued on into the twentieth century and has helped to produce the chaos and confusion prevailing in culture and civilisation to-day. There is a radical difference between the trend that was perceptible — above all in German spiritual life — after the close of the first third of the nineteenth century and the earlier character of this spiritual life. Perceiving this difference, we naturally ask about its origin. In the last two thirds of the nineteenth century there are men who cannot fail to interest us, whose individualities we feel urged to trace back to their earlier lives on Earth.

The seer who is able to carry out such investigations is led back, to begin with, not to Christian but to non-Christian incarnations. It is natural here — for it tallies approximately with the indications given of the length of the intervals between successive lives on Earth — to go back to the very widespread spiritual movement of Mohammedanism, or Arabism, which arose about half a millennium after the founding of Christianity. Starting from Asia, Christianity spread across to Spain and thence to all Western Europe, having had a slight influence upon civilisation in North Africa; it also spread across Eastern and Middle Europe, but in its expansion was flanked, as it were, by Arabism which, with the impulse of Mohammedanism active within it, forced its way on the one side through Asia Minor and on the other side through Africa across to Italy and Spain. And the many wars of which history tells bear witness to the bitter conflict waged between European civilisation and Arabism. Here again it is important to ask: What are the concrete facts underlying the evolution of the human soul?

We will now consider some of these concrete facts. For example: at the time when Charlemagne was ruling in very primitive conditions of civilisation in Europe, brilliant spiritual culture was being developed at the Court of Haroun al Raschid over in Asia. At this Court were gathered the greatest minds of that time, men of outstanding brilliance, whose souls were deeply imbued with oriental wisdom but who also combined with this wisdom the culture that had come over from Greece. The spiritual life cultivated at the Court of Haroun al Raschid embraced Architecture, Astronomy (as it was then understood), Geography, Mathematics, Poetry, Chemistry, Medicine, and the most illustrious representatives of all these branches of learning living at that time had been brought together there.

Haroun al Raschid was an energetic and active patron, a personality who provided the foundations for a truly wonderful centre of culture in the eighth/ninth century A.D. And at this Court of Haroun al Raschid there was a remarkable personality, one who in the life spent at the Court would probably not have given the impression of being an Initiate. But he himself, as well as the Initiates, knew that in an earlier life on Earth he had been one of those who were most highly initiated. Thus in a later incarnation, at the Court of Haroun al Raschid, there lived a personality who did not appear outwardly as an Initiate but who had been an Initiate in an earlier life. The others at the Court had at least some knowledge of this nature of Initiation-life in days of antiquity. The personality of whom I am speaking was a magnificent organiser — as we should say nowadays, using a rather unworthy expression — of all the sciences and arts at the Court of Haroun al Raschid.

We know that Arabism in its external aspect spread under the impetus of Mohammedanism across Africa, Southern Europe, Spain and farther into Europe. We know too of the wars and conflicts that were waged. But the campaigns came to an end. It is usually considered that Arabism was driven out of Europe by battles such as those fought by Charles Martel, at Xeres de la Frontera. But there was a tremendously strong spiritual impulse in, Arabism, and the remarkable thing is that when it was outwardly beaten back as a political and belligerent power in Europe, the souls of eminent Arabists, when they had passed through the gate of death, were intensely concerned in the spiritual world with the question of how the influence of Arabism could be made effective in Europe. In the spiritual world the outer form of things is not of primary importance. Between two successive incarnations of an individuality there may be little outer resemblance; the significance lies in the inner nature and character. This is a difficult idea for our contemporaries to grasp. In an age when it can be held against a man that he once wrote not unfavourably about Haeckel and subsequently wrote in a different vein regarded by pedants as contradictory, [Dr. Steiner is here referring to criticisms of his own writings on the subject of Haeckel.] when such a lack of insight is in evidence, there will be little understanding of how outwardly different individuals can be in two successive lives on Earth, although the same fundamental impulse is at work in both.

The development of the great Arabist souls between death and a new birth was such that in the spiritual world they remained connected with the impulse that had streamed from the East to the West; they remained connected with their own deeds. In the external world, civilisation advanced; forms of culture quite different from those characteristic of Arabism made their appearance. But the souls of individuals who had been eminent figures in Arabism came again to the Earth and without carrying over Arabism in its outer form, bore its inner impulses into a much later age. They appeared as the bearers of culture in the sphere of language, in the habits of thinking and feeling and in the impulses of will of a later age. But in the souls of these men the impulse of Arabism was working on, and it is not difficult to see that the stream of spiritual life dominating the last two thirds of the nineteenth century was deeply influenced by minds that were the product of Arabism.

Our gaze turns to the soul of Haroun al Raschid, passing in that life through the gate of death. Between death and a new birth this soul continues to develop and appears again in the modern age in quite different conditions of civilisation. For the individuality of Haroun al Raschid appears in English spiritual life as Lord Bacon of Verulam. In the universality of Bacon's mind we have to see the rebirth of what Haroun al Raschid had achieved at his oriental Court in the eighth/ninth century. We know how intensely and profoundly European culture was influenced by Bacon and has continued to be so influenced. It is true to say that in scientific investigation and the scientific approach to things, men still think as he did. This of course cannot be said of every detail but it is true of the general trend of the age. If we contemplate the brilliant achievements of Haroun al Raschid and their influence upon the outer world, and then, having learnt through spiritual investigation that he appears again in Lord Bacon of Verulam, we think of the known course of Lord Bacon's life, we shall certainly find consistency, similarity — not in the external forms but in the inner trend of these two incarnations.

I spoke of a personality who lived at the Court of Haroun al Raschid and in an earlier incarnation had been an Initiate. It may well happen — I say this in parenthesis — that one who was an Initiate in bygone times does not, in a later life, give the impression of having attained Initiation. When I speak again and again of a number of ancient Initiates, of teachers and priests in the Mysteries, you are bound to ask yourselves: Where are they to be found? Why are they not living among us at the present time? Now an individuality with great spiritual enlightenment in an earlier life can work in a later life only through the medium of the body and the education afforded by that later epoch. But for a long time now, the character of education has made it impossible for what once lived in these Initiate-souls to express itself. They are obliged to operate in quite different forms of life and only those endowed with a power of intimate observation are able to realise that men in whom the Initiate is not apparent in the later earthly life have nevertheless passed through lives during which they reached Initiation.

One of the most striking examples in this respect is Garibaldi, the hero of the freedom of Italy. The elemental forcefulness displayed in a truly remarkable life is in itself enough to indicate that this personality lived at a level transcending the conditions of the immediate earthly existence. He had been an Initiate in an earlier incarnation and became a political visionary — for that is what he must be called. In an earlier life he had been an Initiate, filled with impulses of will which then, in the later life as Garibaldi, he brought to a head in the way that was possible for a man born in 1807. But think of the peculiar features of his earthly life. The starting-point for me was that I observed how Garibaldi's path of destiny in the nineteenth century was linked with three other men with whom he was connected and with whom he worked in a way that on the face of it is really not entirely comprehensible. In the depths of his nature Garibaldi was an intensely loyal Republican, yet he rejected everything that would have united Italy under the flag of a Republic. Convinced Republican though he was, he set out to establish the Empire, and moreover under Victor Emmanuel.

Occult investigation has now to concern itself with this enigma: How came it that Garibaldi was the one responsible for making Victor Emmanuel King of Italy? — for it was he, Garibaldi, who made him King. And then our vision falls on two other personalities: Cavour and Mazzini. The circumstances are remarkable. Garibaldi was born in 1807 and the others within the space of a few years. Garibaldi was born in Nice, Mazzini in Genoa, Cavour in Turin, Victor Emmanuel not far away. All of them were born within a small area.

A concrete starting-point is needed for researches into karma. It is not much help to know how clever a man is or what scientific knowledge he has acquired. Even if someone has written thirty novels in his life, this fact will not provide a starting-point for penetrating with vision into earlier lives on Earth. Whether a person limps or has a habit of blinking is much more important for investigation of an earlier incarnation. It is precisely by what seem to be insignificant features in life that the occultist is guided along the paths where light is shed from one earthly life into earlier incarnations.

And so a criterion for occult research in the case of Garibaldi was the way in which, in the nineteenth century, he established relations with the other three individuals. There was another criterion as well. Outwardly observed, Garibaldi was a man with a strong sense of concrete reality, one who stood firmly on his feet, mindful only of practical exigencies. But in this Garibaldi-life there were intimate phases, showing clearly that Garibaldi stood at a level above the conventional experiences of life. While still quite young he took part in many dangerous sea voyages on the Adriatic, was several times captured by pirates but on every occasion freed himself again by very hazardous means. It is also noteworthy that the first time Garibaldi saw his name in print was when he read in a newspaper the announcement of his own death-sentence. This is a biographical incident that does not happen to everybody! The death sentence had been passed on account of his participation in a conspiracy, but it was never carried out. Garibaldi fled to South America and there led an adventurous life, rich in inner experiences and full of vital force.

How very little the ordinary conditions of earthly existence affected Garibaldi is shown, for example, by the way in which he contracted his first marriage — which for many decades was an exceedingly happy one. How he became acquainted with the woman he married is a strange story. He was on board ship, still some distance out at sea, and looking towards the land through a telescope he saw a woman standing there. He fell in love with her at once. Falling in love through a telescope is by no means an everyday occurrence and in such a case the ordinary bourgeois conditions of life mean nothing! What happened? Garibaldi steered at once to the land and met a man who was so taken with him that he invited him home to a meal. This man was the father of the girl he had seen through the telescope! A slight drawback was that Garibaldi spoke only Italian, she only Portuguese, but although neither knew the other's language he made her understand that they must unite for life. It turned out to be the happiest and also one of the most interesting marriages imaginable. She shared in all his undertakings and experiences in South America and once, when a report reached her that Garibaldi had been killed in one of the many fights for freedom, she searched every battlefield — as legend narrates of other women. She lifted every corpse in order to look at the face but finally discovered on her journeyings that her husband was still alive. During these adventures she gave birth to her first child who would have died from cold if she had not bound it with a sling around her neck and kept it warm against her breast. These are not ordinary circumstances and the companionship was anything but a conventional one in the bourgeois sense. Some time after the death of his wife, Garibaldi married again, this time in perfectly conventional circumstances. But this marriage — which had not been arranged through a telescope — lasted no longer than a day! These happenings and similar features of Garibaldi's life are clear evidence that there was something quite out of the common about him.

Spiritual vision revealed to me that in an earlier incarnation [See Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies - Volume I, p.194 (lecture XII).] in the Christian era, this personality had been an Irish Initiate; he had come over with a mission from Ireland to Alsace where he taught in a centre of the Mysteries and where he had as pupils those individualities who were born later on in approximately the same period and in the same region as he. Now in various Mysteries where Initiation was attained there was a law according to which the connection of certain pupils with the teacher must be so close and strong that the teacher might not desert them when circumstances brought them together in a later life. Garibaldi was bound to feel a very strong tie with the individuality of Victor Emmanuel because the latter had been his pupil in an earlier Initiation-life. In such a case, theories are of no account. In a later life what is of real importance is not any external undertaking, but obedience, even if an unconscious obedience, to that inner law by which men are brought together in accordance with impulses working in the intimate processes of historical evolution.

The whole of Garibaldi's life indicates how the attainments of one who was an Initiate in a previous life are obliged to express themselves in a later incarnation because the bodily constitution and the education provided in a given century do not make it possible for such a personality to appear outwardly as an Initiate.

The same applies in the case of the personality who lived at the Court of Haroun al Raschid and who, when he had gone through the gate of death, was bound to take a different path from that of Haroun al Raschid himself. This personality was connected in the very depths of his soul with all the mysteries of Initiation he had received from oriental wisdom. He could not follow the path that was taken, more with an eye to outer renown, by Haroun al Raschid. He was obliged to take a different path. These paths led to reincarnation in a later epoch when the two individualities worked in the currents of civilisation and culture that were under their own influence — the influence, that is to say, of Haroun al Raschid and his Counsellor. The soul of this Counsellor appeared again as Amos Comenius, who again was not able to bring the Initiation-principle to outward manifestation but whose forceful and effective intervention in the world of education in the age that is also the age of Bacon, shows that profound and significant impulses were alive in him. And so we see how after his life at the Court of Haroun al Raschid, the soul who has now become Amos Comenius is reincarnated with a more inward vocation; we see how Haroun al Raschid himself reincarnates; and we see how in these personalities, civilisations, cultures, flow together. If we contemplate the spiritual life of Europe as it developed particularly in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, we shall everywhere find Arabism in its new forms. In everything that has been influenced by Bacon, Arabism is present in a more outwardly brilliant form. In everything that has been influenced by Amos Comenius, the deep inwardness of oriental wisdom can be perceived.

What I am telling you is not a made-up story. These things are not discovered by speculation but only by uniting oneself inwardly with the spirit-entities concerned and by means of inspired investigation seeking the way from the one earthly life into the other. Through the incarnation of souls in repeated lives a great deal has been brought over from Arabism into the modern age. What is all-important is that the character and purpose of such investigation shall not be misunderstood. I told you that it is not a question of following clues that in materialistic life would usually be considered significant. Nothing much will be discovered by so doing. — I will give you an example.

I had a teacher — I have also spoken of him in my autobiography — who was a really excellent geometrician. At a certain period in my fife he began to interest me very deeply. There was something absolutely original about him, a one-sidedness that amounted almost to genius; he had other characteristics as well, but his geometrical talent provided no pointer to his earlier incarnation. This really first-class constructive geometrician had a certain external peculiarity — a club-foot. Now investigations which lead over from one incarnation into another very often reveal that everything connected in the one incarnation with the development of the legs is connected, in another life, with the development of the head. A remarkable metamorphosis takes place of the inner forces which in one life are those of the limb-system and in another, those of the head-system.

My teacher's club-foot became for me the starting-point of occult investigation. And what transpired? The vision that was focused upon this defect led me to another personality who also had a club-foot namely, Lord Byron. I now knew: this has to do with reincarnations connected in some way with each other. And it turned out that in a previous incarnation there was something in the souls of both these men that had led them to common action, although in their last incarnation, as far as their earthly activity was concerned, they were not actually, but almost, contemporaries. I stress the point here that I am not dealing with incarnations as women because in past epochs life in a man's body was more important. Incarnations as women are only now beginning to be of importance, although in the future it will be of very special interest to take account of them. In considering many historical personalities, however, one often omits intervening incarnations as women. — You must not conclude from this that there have been no such incarnations, but I am speaking now of aspects which lead back first and foremost to previous incarnations as men. — And so through these two personalities whose connection with each other I had perceived, I was led back to a time — it was either in the tenth or eleventh century A.D. but I have not been able to determine this exactly — when they had lived in the East of Europe, in regions that are now part of modern Russia. They were comrades. At that time the legend of the Palladium and its changing whereabouts in the world had already reached the ears of a few. — You know, perhaps, that the Palladium was regarded as a holy treasure upon which the fortunes of civilisation depended. According to the legend, this Palladium was first in Troy, then in Rome and was then transferred with pomp and splendour to Constantinople by Constantine the Great, who caused a pillar to be erected over it for his own glorification. At the top of this pillar was a statue of Apollo. In a chaplet were pieces of wood which Constantine had caused to be brought from the Cross of Christ. Everything was done with an eye to his own glorification. The legend related that the Palladium would at some time be carried northwards, whither the civilisation centred in Constantinople would then be transplanted. — This legend came to the ears of the two comrades of whom I am speaking and they were seized with enthusiasm to obtain possession of the Palladium in Constantinople. They did not succeed but they embarked on many adventurous undertakings with the aim of removing this holy treasure to the North. Especially in the case of the one who was subsequently reincarnated in the West as Byron, we see how his enthusiasm for the cause of freedom was a karmic continuation of the search for the Palladium in the earlier life. And the same spiritual configuration was to be seen in the intimate impression made by my geometry teacher upon those who knew him: here was a sense of freedom in the domain of science.

And so the paths led from details of secondary importance — in this case the club-foot — to earlier incarnations of the personalities in question. When it is a matter of speaking of the karmas of individuals one must always have an eye for the inner configuration of life.

Let me give one more example. — In the eighth/ninth century A.D., in the region that we should today call the North East of France, there lived a personality who in those days would have been considered a well-to-do landowner. But he was adventurous and went out on predatory expeditions in the neighbouring provinces. Incredible as it seems today, such things as the following did happen in those times. — He would leave his house and estate and wage campaigns sometimes more, sometimes less successfully in the neighbouring districts. On returning from one of these expeditions he found that he had been robbed of his property; another man was in possession and he had so many soldiers and weapons that the property could not be wrested from him by its rightful owner. There was no place to which the latter could go and he became a serf — as it would have been said later on — of the one who had dispossessed him. And so a strange relationship developed between these two men. The former owner of the estate was obliged to reverse his position. The property that had once been his now belonged to someone else and he himself was in the position previously occupied by the new owner. He (the former owner) and like-minded companions would hold all kinds of meetings — as we should call such gatherings nowadays — in the neighbouring forests by night, voicing vehement resentment against the one who had taken possession of the property and against conditions where such things were tolerated. The intense resentment and the things that were said at that time as an expression of it are an interesting study.

I was able to follow the paths taken by these two men who passed through the gate of death in the ninth century and were born again in the nineteenth. The one who had been an owner of property of which he was afterwards dispossessed, appeared as Karl Marx, the founder of socialism in the nineteenth century. However greatly the outer circumstances differ, speculation leads nowhere. But by following certain underlying currents we find in the dispossessed landowner of the ninth century the soul of Karl Marx in the nineteenth. The one who had persecuted and abased him so cruelly in that earlier century became his friend Friedrich Engels. There is no question of sensationalism here but of understanding life and history from the concatenation of circumstances in earthly existence.

Such matters must be taken with deep earnestness, unmixed with any trace of sensationalism. In this example we have an illustration of European spiritual life, but it was into this spiritual life that Arabist trends were inculcated. In the modern age too, a great deal of Arabism will be found — but in a quite different form.

Now a predecessor of Haroun al Raschid, one of the earliest successors of the Prophet Mohammed in the seventh century A.D. was Muawiyah. He was a remarkable personality who longed to make conquests in the West but achieved little; his inner longing for the West could not find fulfilment, but he was still aware of the urge towards the West when he passed through the gate of death, and this impulse continued through his life between death and a new birth. Then this individuality of one of the Prophet's earliest successors appeared again, exercising a dominant influence upon the conditions prevailing in the twentieth century. Before the Christmas Foundation Meeting I had spoken of many things that are confirmed by what can be known about the repeated lives of a certain personality. People understood little of what I said on those occasions, for the power of conviction with which these utterances were made came ultimately from the observation of karmic relationships through many lives on Earth. Muawiyah appeared again in our age as Woodrow Wilson, who carried Arabist abstraction in its most radical form into external civilisation. In Woodrow Wilson there appeared an individuality who brought Arabism to very strong expression in our time, particularly in the famous Fourteen Points. The calamities for which Woodrow Wilson was responsible can best be studied by comparing the actual phrasing of those Fourteen Joints with certain passages in the Koran. You will then find that a great deal becomes intelligible and you will discover remarkable things once you have knowledge of the true circumstances.

The fact is, my dear friends, that the study of history to-day can be satisfactory from the human point of view only when the concrete phenomena of repeated lives on Earth are taken seriously, together with the perception of karma and the inner connections in the individual earthly lives of men. Since the Anthroposophical Society has for two decades been prepared for what ought now to be brought about under the influence of the Christmas Foundation Meeting, the “Practical Exercises for the Understanding of Karma” that were announced in 1902 when the German Section of the Theosophical Society was founded, may surely be put into practice today with greater and greater thoroughness. These exercises, devoid of all sensationalism, should form part of our anthroposophical life, becoming the foundation for greater and stronger impulses that must be at work within the Anthroposophical Society. What has now been said ought also to be regarded as an expression of the fact that esotericism must stream through the Anthroposophical Movement which is now embodied in the Anthroposophical Society. But let us also realise with what deep earnestness these things must be studied. If this earnestness is present we shall be carrying farther the threads that were beginning to be woven when, at the end of his treatise on The Education of the Human Race, Lessing drew attention to the fact of repeated lives on Earth. For out of a deeper, more intimate study of man and of his destiny, humanity must come to realise that through Spiritual Science we gaze into the true being of man, the being who, having knowledge of his own nature can utter the words: “Is not then all Eternity mine?” But the expression of this Eternity in the concrete facts of karma and of destiny in the historical life of mankind must be recognised and known.




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