FAITH, HOPE, LOVE--I 145
The time is coming when human beings who feel depressed and miserable for one reason or another will increasingly find the help of their fellows less important and valuable. The force of individuality, of individual life, will count for more and more, while the power of one person to work helpfully upon the soul of another, which held good in the past, will tend constantly to diminish. In its stead the great Counselor will appear, in etheric form.
Therefore the best advice we can receive for the future (and this certainly applies to young people today) is to strengthen our souls and fill them with energy; in this way, as we advance into the future (whether in this incarnation or in the next), we may realize with increasing strength the newly awakened faculties that give us knowledge of the great Counselor, who at the same time is becoming the judge of a person's karma. This is knowledge of Christ in his new form.
From the book... LOVE & ITS MEANING IN THE WORLD SELECTED LECTURES AND WRITINGS, Rudolf Steiner, Anthroposophic Press, Page 145
A CYCLE OF LECTURES 120
Let us hold this clearly in mind and take very earnestly, quite seriously, the fact that, because the Christ wishes to bestow the true ego upon every human soul, He will awaken the God in it and gradually enkindle the Spirit of the Lord and King in everyone. What does this signify? We have here nothing more or less than the fact that the Christ brings to expression, in the highest sense, the idea of Karma, the karmic law.
For when anyone fully understands the idea of Karma, he will understand it in this Christian sense. IT MEANS THAT NO MAN SHOULD SET HIMSELF UP AS A JUDGE OF THE INNER SOUL OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING. Unless the idea of Karma has been understood in this way, it has not been grasped in its deeper significance. When one man judges another, the one is always placing the other under the compulsion of his own ego. However, if a person really believes in the "I AM" in the Christian sense, he will not judge. He will say: "I know that Karma is the great adjuster. Whatever you may have done, I do not judge it!"
Let us suppose that a transgressor is brought before a person who really understands the Christ-Word. What will be his attitude toward the transgressor? Let us suppose that all those who would like to be Christians were to accuse him of a terrible sin. The REAL Christian would say to them: "Whether what you maintain has been done by him or not, makes no difference, the I AM must be respected; it must be left to Karma, to the great law which is the law of the Christ-Spirit Himself. Karma is fulfilled in the course of earthly evolution. We can leave it to this earthly evolution to determine what punishment Karma shall inflict upon a human being." He would perhaps turn to the earth and say to the accusers: -- "Pay heed to yourselves, it is the duty of the earth to inflict the punishment. Let us inscribe it then upon the earth where it has, moreover, been registered as Karma."
Jesus went up to the Mount of Olives.
And early in the morning He came again into the temple and all the people came unto Him and He sat down and taught them.
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto Him a woman taken in adultery; and they placed her in their midst.
They said unto Him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us that such should be stoned; but what sayest Thou?
This they said, tempting Him, that they might accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground.
So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.
But when they heard this, being convicted by their own conscience, they went out one by one, beginning at the eldest even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
When Jesus had lifted Himself up and saw none but the woman, He said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? Hath no man condemned thee?
This He said in order to turn her thoughts away from all idea of outer judgment and point to an inner Karma.
She said, No man, Lord.
She was left to her Karma. Thus the only thing for her was to think no more about "punishment" which Karma fulfills, but to change her life.
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Thus we see that the idea of Karma is bound up with the idea of the Christ in its deepest sense, is connected with the very significance of His Being for the earth. "If you have understood my Being, then you have comprehended also Him whose Being I express and know that the I AM brings compensation." The impulse to independence and an inner completion is what the Christ has given to mankind.
From the book... THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN, Rudolf Steiner, page 120. (All capitalization emphasis mine.)
THE WAY OF INNER DEVELOPMENT Page 99
An important prerequisite for spiritual development is not to seek it out of egotism. Whoever is motivated by egotism cannot get very far. But egotism in our time reaches deep into the innermost soul. Again and again the objection is heard, ‘What use are all the teachings of occultism, if I cannot experience them myself?’ Whoever starts from this presumption and cannot change has little chance of arriving at higher development. One aspect of higher development is a most intimate awareness of human community, so that it is i mmaterial whether it is I or someone else having the experience. Hence I must meet one who has a higher development than I with unlimited love and trust. First, I must acquire this consciousness, the consciousness of infinite trust towards my fellow man when he says that he has experienced one thing or the other. Such trust is a precondition for working together. Wherever occult capacities are strongly brought into play, there exists unlimited trust; there exists the awareness that a human being is a personality in which a higher individuality lives. The first basis, therefore, is trust and faith, because we do not seek the higher self only in ourselves but also in our fellow human beings. Everyone living around one exists in undivided unity in the inner kernel of one’s being.
On the basis of my lower self I am separated from other humans. But as far as my higher self is concerned -- and that alone can ascend to the spiritual world -- I am no longer separated from my fellow human beings; I am united with my fellow men; the one speaking to me out of higher truths is actually my own self. I must get away completely from the notion of difference between him and me. I must overcome totally the feeling that he has an advantage over me. Try to live your way into this feeling until it penetrates the most intimate fibre of your soul and causes every vestige of egotism to disappear. Do this so that the one further along the path than you truly stands before you like your own self; then you have attained one of the prerequisites for awakening higher spiritual life.
From the book.... SELF TRANSFORMATION, Rudolf Steiner, Page 99
DEATH AS TRANSFORMATION 225
Between death and a new birth -- and this begins immediately or soon after death -- the dead has contact and can make links only with those human souls, whether still living on earth or in yonder world, with whom he has already been karmically connected on earth in the last or in an earlier incarnation. Other souls pass him by; they do not come within his ken. Only those human souls come within his ken with whom he has had some karmic connection here on earth, and with these he becomes more and more closely acquainted . You must not imagine that their number is small, for individual human beings have already passed through many lives on the earth.
In every life numbers of karmic connections have been formed and of these is spun the web which then, in the are spiritual world, extends over all the souls whom the dead has known in life; only those with whom no acquaintance has been made remain outside the circle.
This indicates a truth which must be emphasized, namely, the supreme importance of earthly life for the individual human being. If there had been no earthly life we should be unable to form links with human souls in the spiritual world. The links are formed karmically on the earth and then continue between death and a new birth. Those who are able to see into the spiritual world perceive how the dead gradually makes more and more links — all of which are the outcome of karmic connections formed on earth.
Just as concerning the first kingdom with which the dead comes into contact — the animal kingdom — we can say that everything the dead does, even when he simply moves, causes either pleasure or pain in his environment, so we can say about everything experienced in the human realm in yonder world that it is much more intimately connected with the life of soul. When the dead becomes acquainted with a soul, he gets to know this soul as if he himself were within it. After death, knowledge of another soul is as intimate as knowledge here on earth of our own finger, head or ear— we feel ourselves within the other soul. The connection is much more intimate than it can ever be on earth.
There are two basic experiences in the community among human souls between death and a new birth; we are either within the other souls or outside them. Even in the case of souls with whom we are already acquainted, we are some-times within and sometimes outside them. Meeting with them consists in feeling at one with them, being within them; to be outside them means that we do not notice them, do not become aware of them.
From the book.... LIFE BEYOND DEATH, Rudolf Steiner, Page 224
105 THE WAY OF INNER DEVELOPMENT
The fifth quality is complete openness towards everything new that meets us. Most people judge new things which meet them by the old which they already know. If anyone comes to tell them something new, they immediately respond with an opposing opinion. But we must not confront a new communication immediately with our own opinion. We must rather be on the alert for possibilities of learning something new. And learn we can, even from a small child. Even if one were the wisest person, one must be willing to hold back one’s own judgement and to listen to others. We must develop this ability to listen, for it will enable us to meet matters with the greatest possible openness. In occultism, this is called faith. It is the power not to weaken through opposition the impression made by the new.
From the book.... SELF TRANSFORMATION, Rudolf Steiner, Page 105
Love & Its Meaning in the World