At the end of his life Rudolf Steiner took up the task that was his special destiny; to bring to the West a knowledge of reincarnation and karma. To do this he gave over eighty lectures in 1924 in which he explicitly and concretely revealed the destinies of various individuals from one life to the next in order to show how the general laws of karma operate in individual cases. He also revealed many details of the karmic streams of the members of the Anthroposophical Society. These volumes constitute an immeasurable contribution to the understanding of reincarnation and karma, and the tasks of the Anthroposophical Society in connection with the Archangel Michael.
Seven lectures given at Prague and Paris, between 29th March and 25th May, 1924. Published here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland.
Translated from shorthand reports unrevised by the lecturer by D. S. Osmond. The original texts of the lectures are contained in Vol. V of the series entitled Esoterische Betrachtungen karmischer Zusammenhänge (No. 239 in the Bibliographical Survey, 1961).
|Lecture I||March 29, 1924|
|The fallacies of modern civilisation and their consequences. In olden times man was aware of his dependence on the stars as well as on the kingdoms of nature surrounding him on Earth. Interest in the heavenly bodies is now confined to the physical aspect. The process of fertilisation: the ovum driven into a state of chaos to enable forces to work in from the Cosmos. The primeval wisdom on Earth. Moon Beings and Sun Beings. Two forms of karmic relationships. Example of Garibaldi.|
|Lecture II||March 30, 1924|
|The Moon Beings are connected with man's past. Initiation science and the recognition of karmic relationships. The Akasha Chronicle. The Sun Beings have to do with future karma. Negative space is the condition in the Sun. Influence of the Hierarchies of spiritual Beings upon man after death in the different cosmic spheres. The human heart and the constellation of Leo. Organs in the body are products of cosmic forces, elaborated in co operation with the Gods during man's life between death and a new birth. The whole Universe is compressed in man a microcosm transformed after his death into the macrocosm. Qualities of character in an earthly life and their transformation into gifts or defects in subsequent incarnations. Examples: love — joy — understanding of environment; hatred — hyper-sensitiveness to suffering obtuseness and lack of understanding of surrounding world. Importance of interest in the environment. As a rule it is the case that illnesses arise from attributes of soul in a previous incarnation, but things appertaining to spiritual life must not be pressed too far. A stream of karma may also begin. Speaking generally, qualities of soul in one life are transformed into bodily traits in another incarnation, and vice versa.|
|Lecture III||March 31, 1924|
|Man's life in the physical body among the kingdoms of nature and after death among the Hierarchies of spiritual Beings. Pictures of the deeds of these Beings of the Hierarchies are revealed to man in his life after death and, when the time comes for the descent to incarnation, arouse in him the will to make compensatory adjustment for his dealings with individuals on Earth. Anthroposophy must speak not only to the head but awaken deep feeling in the heart when the spiritual world is described in detail. Studies of the practical working of karma must now be possible. The Mystery of Golgotha, Christianity and the effects of Mohammedanism. Influences of Arabism and the Crusades on European thinking. The Court of Haroun al Raschid and its cultivation of learning and the arts. Haroun al Raschid. Lord Bacon of Verulam. Amos Comenius. Ernst Haeckel. Pope Gregory VII (formerly Abbot Hildebrand). The fruits of each epoch of culture are carried onward to later times by human souls themselves. Realities in history.|
|Lecture IV||April 05, 1924|
|The nature and constitution of man can be understood only through a spiritual under standing of the Cosmos. Illustrations of how the deeds of one incarnation are carried over into a later one. Garibaldi and his bond with three contemporaries. Garibaldi, an Initiate of the ancient Hibernian Mysteries. Lord Byron. Rudolf Steiner's geometry teacher. The Palladium. Carl Marx. Muawiyah. Woodrow Wilson. Initiates of earlier epochs are hindered in their working by the bodies and education provided by the epoch during which they are incarnated. The ‘twice born.’ The Sun Mystery and the early Christian Mysteries. The birth of Christ in the thirtieth year of the life of Jesus of Nazareth has been confounded with the physical birth. The sacrifice of intellect and the awakening of clairvoyant vision of Christianity as cosmic reality. Maurice Maeterlinck on Rudolf Steiner.|
|Lecture V||May 23, 1924|
|Man in the life between death and rebirth. The aspects of ‘death,’ the ‘vanishing of earthly life,’ and the ‘stars,’ revealed by Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition. The Moon-sphere and the primeval Teachers of mankind. The figure of Strader in the Mystery Plays. The soul passes into the Cosmos. The experience of earthly life in backward order as the first seed for the fulfilment of karma in the following incarnation.|
|Lecture VI||May 24, 1924|
|After death man passes first into the region ofthe Elements, then into the region of cosmic Intelligence, then into the region of the Stars. Passage through the Moon-region, the Mercury-region, the Venus-region, the Sun-region, and the effects of existence in each of these spheres. Removal of the consequences of illness in the Mercury-sphere. Healing was the secret of the Mercury Mysteries. The Venus region ruled by love. The Sun Mysteries and moral realities. Survey of seven year periods in earthly life and the revelations of cosmic secrets.|
|Lecture VII||May 25, 1924|
|Mysteries of the Sun-existence: the province of the Exusiai, Dynamis and Kyriotetes. The Sun is the spiritual embryo of the future earthly life. The Christ was first in the Sun-sphere; since the Mystery of Golgotha He has been united with the Earth. After his sojourn in the Sun-sphere, man passes into the spheres of Mars-existence, Jupiter-existence, Saturn-existence. The elaboration of karma for the new earthly life through the divine deeds of the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. Individual examples of karma elaborated in these spheres: Voltaire (Mars). Victor Hugo (Saturn). Éliphas Lévi (Jupiter).|