4 July 1906, Leipzig
Yesterday I spoke of the path followed by man's nucleus after death and of his return into a new earthly life. After death there arises first of all the picture-tableau of etheric body, then follows a short sleep-like condition in which the causal body frees itself. This asserts itself in the form of rays which radiate in blue and indigo colors out of the ether flame-like forms. When the astral body has remained behind is a third corpse, it continues to live for a time in an existence of its own and then it is absorbed by the astral world. Such "astral shades" (specters) are often cited by mediums in spiritistic séances. Then after a long preparation (Kamaloka), man enters Devachan, where he transforms his experiences into capacities.
After having passed through the first two regions, he reaches the third region, the atmospheric region of Devachan. There he experiences everything which takes on the form of pleasure and pain, passions and instincts, these constitute the "atmosphere" of Devachan. To the spiritual human being this is as vivifying an element as oxygen the physical human being.
When the human being has thus transformed his whole life in an alchemistic way, his causal body and his Ego return to the earthly sphere. The human germs arise, described as bell-like shapes, which arise through the fact that the astral substance comes flying towards them in accordance with the inner force-streams of the capacities acquired by each human germ. None of these forms resembles the others in regard to color and shape; this expresses the different individualities. Their whole character is contained in these forms and colors and is expressed in them.
The new etheric body arises, as we have seen, not through the attraction of etheric substance, but only through the activity of the so-called Mahadevas. The attraction of the new etheric body takes place when the bell-like shape has already found a path leading to the embryo. A complete connection of the etheric body with physical germ of man only takes place in the seventh month after conception. Until then the bodies are connected, but this connection does not reach as far as the germ. Beings called the Lipikas lead the human being to the parents and into the family-conditions in which he can best live according to his karma.
Let us now discuss how karma works in the individual human being. Let us envisage man deeds: this will show us that behind them always lies a definite character-disposition. The external deed may be the same, though the motives may differ. Deeds and their effects appear to begin with, in the external favorable or unfavorable karma. Also the character, the inclinations and habits express themselves in karma.
These lasting qualities of man are contained in the etheric body and in the next life they are elaborated in the physical body. They transformed themselves into forces which appear in the next life in the physical body as organ-forming forces. Since the qualities of the etheric body have such an influence upon the physical body of the next life, the healthy or unhealthy constitution in one life depends on inclination and habits of a past one.
In this life we may thus influence our next one by cultivating noble inclinations and feelings, thus rendering the body of our next incarnation strong and healthy. The causes of illness are indeed of a moral kind.
This transformation of the moral forces often lasts very long. Decadent peoples and races have a kind of putrefaction process in their astral bodies. The invading Huns and Mongols also brought such fear and terror to the European populations because they had this decadent astral substance. But fear and terror are a good soil for such putrefying astral substances. These forces entered the bodies of European peoples and the result was the terrible disease of leprosy in the Middle Ages. Such putrescent substances, carried by the Huns and Mongols, cannot harm those who are fearless and courageous.
Since moral qualities appear physically in the next generation, we not only work our own benefit by living morally, but for the health of the next generations.