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Karmic Relationships I
GA 235

Lecture XII

23 March 1924, Dornach

Yesterday I gave you pictures of two or three personalities. In order to allow for the possibility of proof and confirmation, at least as far as external details are concerned, it is necessary to choose fairly well-known personalities and in describing them to you I have pointed in each case to characteristic qualities which can afford clues for the spiritual scientific investigator and help him to follow up the karmic relationships. This time I have chosen subjects which will also enable me to deal with a problem that has been put to me by members of our Society. Simply stated, it is as follows. Constantly, on every suitable occasion, reference is made—and of course correctly—to the fact that in very early times there were Initiates possessed of a lofty wisdom and at a high stage of development, and the question arises: If human beings pass through repeated earth-lives, where are these highly-initiated personalities? Where are they today? Are they to be found among the human beings who have been led to reincarnation at the present time? I have accordingly chosen examples which will enable me to deal with this very problem.

I gave you, as far as was necessary, a picture of the hero of the freedom of Italy, Garibaldi; and if you take what I said yesterday and add to it all that is well-known to you about this personality—a whole wealth of information is available about him—I think you will still find a very great deal in Garibaldi that is puzzling and that opens up significant questions.

Take two events of his life which amused you yesterday.—He became acquainted through a telescope with the girl who was to be his life-companion for many years, and he learnt of his own death-sentence when reading his name for the first time in print. There is still another very striking event in his life. The life-companion whom he found in the way I have described, and who stood at his side with such heroism, was the sharer of his life for many years. He certainly managed to see something very good through his telescope! Later, she died, leaving him alone, and he married a second time, this time not through a telescope—not even a Garibaldi is likely to do such a thing more than once!—this time he married, shall I say, in a perfectly conventional bourgeois manner. But for Garibaldi the marriage lasted no longer than one day. So you see, there is this other very striking fact in Garibaldi's relations with the ordinary bourgeois conditions of this world.

And now we come to something else of importance. The things I am describing to you come, as it were, with a sudden jerk to one accustomed to occult researches of this kind; they are clues that enable his vision to penetrate right into an earlier life or into a number of earlier lives. And in Garibaldi's life there is still another circumstance which raises a formidable problem.

Garibaldi, you know, was a Republican in his very bones; he was a Republican through and through. I made that abundantly clear in yesterday's lecture. And yet in all his plans for the liberation of Italy he never set out to make Italy into a Republic, but rather into an Empire under Victor Emanuel. That is an astonishing fact. When one looks at Garibaldi's whole life and character and then considers this fact, it really does astonish one.

There we have on the one hand Victor Emmanuel, who could of course reign as king only over a liberated Italy. And we have on the other hand Mazzini—also deeply united in friendship with Garibaldi—who, as you know, stood for a long time at the head of what was intended to be an Italian Republic, for he was willing to come forward only as the founder of an Italian Republic. The karmic relationships of Garibaldi will never be solved unless we take note here of a special set of circumstances.

In the course of a few years—Garibaldi, you know, was born at Nice in 1807—there were born within an area of a comparatively few square miles, four men who had a significant connection with one another in the wider course of European circumstances. In Nice, at the beginning of the 19th century, Garibaldi was born; in Genoa, not far away, Mazzini; in Turin, again not far, away, Cavour; and from the House of Savoy, once more at no great distance, Victor Emanuel. These four men are all quite near to one another in respect of the times and places of their births. And it is these four men together who, if not agreeing in thought, if not even acting always in mutual agreement, nevertheless established the country which became modern Italy.

You can see how the very way in which these four personalities are brought together in history suggests that they have, not only for themselves, but for the world, a common destiny. The most significant among them is, without doubt, Garibaldi himself. Taking into consideration all human conditions and relationships, we cannot but agree that he is by far the most significant figure of the four. Garibaldi's mentality, however, expresses itself in an elemental way. Mazzini's mentality is that of a learned philosopher; Cavour's that of a learned lawyer. And as for Victor Emmanuel's mentality ... well, there is no doubt about it, the most important among them all is Garibaldi. He possesses a quality of mind and spirit that expresses itself with elemental force, so that one cannot remain indifferent towards it. One cannot remain indifferent, for one simply doesn't know whence these traits come ... as long as they are looked at from the standpoint of the personal psychology of a single earth-life.

Now I come back to the question: Where are the earlier Initiates? For certainly it will be said that they are not to be found. But, my dear friends—I shall have to say something paradoxical here!—if it were possible for a number of human beings to be born today at the age of seventeen or eighteen, so that when they descended from the spiritual world they would in some way or other find and enter seventeen- or eighteen-year-old bodies, or if at least human beings could in some way be spared from going to school (as schools are constituted today), then you would find that those who were once Initiates would be able to appear in the human being of the present day. But just as little as it is possible, under the conditions obtaining on earth today, for an Initiate, when he needs bread, to nourish himself from a piece of ice, just as little is it possible for the wisdom of an older time to manifest directly, in the form that you would expect, in a body that has received education—in the present-day accepted sense of the word—up to his seventeenth or eighteenth year. Nowhere in the world is this possible; at all events, nowhere in the civilised world. We have here to take account of things that lie altogether beyond the outlook of the educated men of modern times.

When, as is the custom today, a child is obliged as early as the sixth or seventh year to learn to read and write, it is torture for the soul that wants to develop and unfold in accordance with its own nature. I can only repeat what I have already told you in my autobiography, that I owe the removal of many hindrances to the circumstance that when I was twelve years old I was still unable to write properly. For the capacity of being able to write, in the way that is demanded today, kills certain qualities in the human being.

It is necessary to say such a thing, paradoxical though it may sound, for it is the truth. There is no help for it—it is a fact. Hence it is that a highly evolved individual can be recognised in his reincarnation only if one looks at manifestations of human nature which are not directly apparent in a man, if he has gone through a modern education, but reveal themselves, so to speak, behind him. We have in Garibaldi a most striking example of this. What did civilised men, including Cavour, or at all events the followers of Cavour, think of Garibaldi? They regarded him as a madcap with whom it was useless to discuss anything in a sensible manner. That is a point of which we must take note; for there was much in his arguments and in his whole way of speaking that was bound to appear illogical, to say the least, to people enamoured of modern civilisation. Very often the things he says simply do not hold together. But when we are able to see behind a personality, and can look at that which in an earlier earth-life was able to enter into the body, but in this earth-life, because modern civilisation makes the bodies unfit, was not able to enter into the body—then we can begin to have an idea of what such a personality really is. Otherwise we are right off the track, for what is of most importance in such a personality lies right behind the things he can reveal externally. A good conventional man of the world, who simply expresses himself in the way he has learned to do, and in whom we see merely a reflection of the teaching and education he has received at school and elsewhere—such a man you can “photograph” in his moral and spiritual nature. He is there. A man, however, who comes over from other times bearing a soul filled with great and far-reaching wisdom, so that the soul cannot express itself in the body, can never be estimated with the means afforded by modern civilisation by what he does in the body. Above all, Garibaldi cannot be judged in that way. In his case it is rather like having to do—I am speaking metaphorically—with spiritualistic pictures, where a phantom becomes visible behind. With a personality like Garibaldi, you see him first as he is according to conventional standards, and behind you see something spiritual, a spirit-portrait, as it were, of that which in this incarnation cannot enter fully into the body.

When we take all this into consideration, and particularly if we meditate upon the special facts I have mentioned, then our vision is indeed led back from Garibaldi to a true Initiate who to all appearance lives out his Garibaldi-life in a quite different way, because he is unable to come down into his body.

If you consider the peculiar characteristics of Garibaldi's life to which I drew your attention, you will not find this so astonishing after all. A man must surely be somewhat of a stranger to earthly conventions if he finds his way into family relations through a telescope! Such a happening is certainly not usual, and it was not the only one in Garibaldi's life. In the characteristic style of his life there is something that points right away from ordinary alignment with bourgeois conventions.

Thus, in the case of Garibaldi, we are led back to an Initiate-life, and it was a life in those Mysteries which I described to you some months ago as proceeding from Ireland. Garibaldi, however, is to be found in an offshoot of those Mysteries at no great distance from here, in Alsace. There we find him, as an Initiate of a certain degree. And it is moreover fairly certain that between this incarnation in the 9th century, A.D., and his last incarnation in the 19th century, there was no further incarnation, but a long sojourn in the spiritual world. There you have the secret of this personality. He received all that I have described to you as the wisdom of Hibernia, and he received it at a very high stage of Initiation. He was within the places of the Mysteries in Ireland, and was actually the leader of the colony that came over later into Europe.

It goes without saying that just as an object reflected in a mirror becomes different in its reflected form, so all the wisdom of that time and place, embracing as it did the physical world and the spiritual world above it—all the wisdom in which an Initiate of those times participated, as I described it to you a few months ago—had to express itself during the 19th century in accordance with the civilisation of that period. You must accustom yourselves, when you find a philosopher in bygone times, or when you find a poet or an artist, not to look for the same individuality in the present epoch as a philosopher, poet or artist. The individuality passes from earth-life to earth-life, but the way in which he is able to live out his life depends upon what is possible in a particular epoch. Let me here insert an instance that will make this plain.

We will take another very well-known personality, Ernst Haeckel. Ernst Haeckel is famous as an enthusiastic adherent of a certain materialistic Monism—enthusiastic, one may say, to the point of fanaticism. He is well enough known to you; I need not give you any description of Haeckel. Now when we are led back from this personality to a former incarnation, we come to Pope Gregory VII, the monk Hildebrand, who afterwards became Pope Gregory VII.

I have chosen this instance so that you may see how differently the same individuality may express himself externally, in accordance with the cultural “climate” of the period. One would certainly not expect to look for the reincarnation of Pope Gregory VII in the 19th century representative of materialistic Monism.

The things that a man brings to manifestation on the physical plane, with the means afforded by external civilisation, are far less important to the spiritual world than one is inclined to suppose. Behind the personalities of the monk Hildebrand and Haeckel lies something wherein they are alike and this is of much greater account than the differences between them. One of them fights to the utmost to enhance the power of Roman Catholicism, and the other fights to the utmost against Roman Catholicism, but for the spiritual world it makes little difference. These things, fundamentally speaking, are important for the physical world only; they are quite different from the underlying elements in human nature which count in the spiritual world. And so we need not be astonished, my dear friends, if we have to see in Garibaldi an Initiate from an earlier age, an Initiate, as I said, of the 9th century. In the 19th century this comes to expression in the only way possible during that century. You will agree that for the whole way in which a man takes his place in the world, his temperament, his qualities of character are of importance. But if everything that made up Garibaldi's soul in an earlier incarnation had emerged in the 19th century, together with his temperament, he would most certainly have been regarded as a lunatic by the men of the 19th century. He would have been considered quite mad. As much of him as could emerge—that, externally, was Garibaldi.

And now, once we have been led in a certain direction, explanations light up for other karmic connections. The other three men of whom I have spoken, who were brought together again with Garibaldi in one region and approximately in the same decade, had been his pupils in that distant time—mark well, his pupils, assembled from distant parts of the earth, one from far away in the North, another from far away in the East and the third from far away in the West, called from all corners of the earth to be his pupils.

Now in the Irish Mysteries a definite obligation went with a certain degree of Initiation. It consisted in this, that the Initiate was bound to help on his pupils in all future earth-lives; he must not desert them. When, therefore, owing to their special karmic connections they make their appearance again on earth at the same time as their teacher, this means that he must experience the course of destiny with them; their karma has to be brought into reckoning with his own. If Garibaldi had not, at an earlier time, been associated as teacher with the individuality who came in Victor Emmanuel, then he would have been in very deed a Republican and would have founded the Republic of Italy. But behind all abstract principles are actual human lives passing from one earth-existence to another. Behind lies the duty of the Initiate of old towards his pupils. Hence the contradiction, for in accordance with the conceptions and ideas facing Garibaldi in the 19th century, he became quite naturally a Republican. What else should he have been? I have known a number of Republicans who were faithful servants of royalty. Inwardly they were Republicans, for the simple reason that in a certain period of the 19th century—it is long past now, at the time when I was a boy—everyone who counted himself an intelligent person was a Republican. People said: Of course we are Republicans, only we must not show it in the outer world. Inwardly, however, they were Republicans. So, of course, was Garibaldi, except that he did not show it in the outer world. He did not carry his republicanism into effect and those who were inspired by him could not understand this. Why was it? Because, as I have explained to you, he could not desert Victor Emmanuel, who was karmically united with him. He was obliged to help him on; and this was the only way he could do it.

Similarly the others, Cavour and Mazzini, were karmically united with Garibaldi, and he was able to do for them only as much as their capacities allowed. Whatever could proceed from all four of them, that alone Garibaldi was able to bring to fulfilment. He could not go his own way independently.

From this deeply significant fact, my dear friends, you can see that many things in life can be explained only from out of an occult background.

Have you not often experienced how at some moment of his life a person does something that is quite incomprehensible to you? You would not have expected it of him; you cannot possibly explain it from his character. You feel that if he were to follow his personal character, he would do something different. And you may be right. But there is another man living near him, with whom he is karmically united, as in Garibaldi's case. Why does he act as he does? It is really only against an occult background. that life becomes explicable. And so, in the case of Garibaldi, for example, we can truly say that we are led back to the Hibernian Mysteries—it sounds like a paradox but it is a fact. If we turn our gaze to the spiritual, we find that what meets us in external life on earth is, in many of its aspects, Maya. Many people with whom you are constantly together in ordinary life—if you could tell them what you are able to learn about them by looking through to the individuality behind—would be exceedingly astonished, they would be utterly bewildered. For what a man expresses outwardly—and this is particularly so in the present age, for the reasons I have given—is the merest fraction of what he really is, in terms of his former earth-lives. Many secrets are hidden in the things of which I am now speaking.

And now let us take the second personality of whom I gave you yesterday a brief characterisation—Lessing, who at the end of his life came forward with his pronouncement on repeated earth-lives. In his case we are led very far back, right back into Greek antiquity, when the ancient Mysteries of Greece were in their prime. Lessing was an Initiate in these Mysteries. And with him, too, we find that in the 18th century he was unable, so to speak, to come right down into his body. In the 13th century, as a repetition of his life in ancient Greece, we find an incarnation when he was a member of the Dominican Order, a distinguished Schoolman with subtle and penetrating concepts; and then, in the 18th century, he became the journalist par excellence of Middle Europe.

Take that drama of tolerance, Nathan the Wise, or such a book as The Dramatic Art of Hamburg—read for yourselves certain chapters of that book and then read The Education of the Human Race. These writings are comprehensible only on the assumption that all three incarnations of this personality have worked upon them: the Greek Initiate of olden times (read Lessing's treatise, How the men of old pictured death); the Schoolman, versed in medieval Aristotelianism; and lastly he who, with all this resting in his soul, found his way into the civilisation of the 18th century. Then, if you will keep in mind what I have just told you, a certain fact will become clear, a most striking and surprising fact.

It is remarkable how Lessing's life gives one the impression of a continual search. He himself brought this characteristic of his spiritual nature to expression when he uttered the famous saying, which has been quoted again and again (quoted, however, with very little understanding, by people who have no particular desire to strive after anything at all): “If God held in his right hand the whole full Truth, and in his left the everlasting striving after Truth, I would fall down before Him and say, ‘Father, give me what thou hast in thy left hand’.” A Lessing could say that. But when a mere pedant says it after him, it is of course intolerable. Lessing's whole life was indeed a search, an intense search. This comes to expression again and again in his works, and if we were honest with ourselves we should have to admit that many of Lessing's utterances are clumsy on this account, precisely those that are the most full of genius. People do not dare to admit that they stumble over them, because in history and literature Lessing is accounted a great man. In truth, however, his sayings often trip one up, so to speak; or, rather, they give one a feeling of being stabbed. You must, of course, become acquainted with Lessing himself to understand this. If you take up the book by Erich Schmidt, the two volumes on Lessing, then even when Erich Schmidt quotes him word for word you will not feel as though his utterances impaled you. Not at all! They may be the utterances of Lessing as far as the sound of the words goes, but what is written in the book before and after them takes away their edge.

It was not until the end of his earthly life that this seeker came to write The Education of the Human Race, which closes with the idea of repeated earth-lives. What is the explanation?

My dear friends, the way to understand this fact is through another fact I once mentioned. In the quarterly periodical [Das Reich. The articles are contained in the volume of the Complete Edition of Rudolf Steiner's works entitled, Philosophie und Anthroposophie. (Bibliographical No. 35.)] now discontinued, edited by our friend Bernus, I wrote an article on The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz and I drew attention to the fact that it was written down by a boy of seventeen or eighteen. The boy himself understood not a word of it. We have external proof of that. He wrote down this Chymical Wedding from beginning to end. The last page is not extant, but he wrote down the whole of the Chymical Wedding, without understanding a word of it. If he had understood it, he would have been bound to retain the understanding in later years. The boy, however, became a pastor, a good, honest pastor of the Württemberg-Swabian type, who wrote exhortations and theological treatises which are distinctly below the average, and very far indeed from having anything to do with the content of the Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz. Life itself proves to us that it was not the Swabian pastor-to-be who wrote this Chymical Wedding out of his own soul. It is an inspired writing throughout.

So we may not always have to do with a man's own personality; there may be times when a spirit expresses itself through him. But there is a difference between the good Swabian pastor Valentin Andreae, who wrote those conventional theological treatises, and Lessing. Had Lessing been Valentin Andreae, merely transported into the 18th century, he might perhaps have written in his youth a beautiful treatise on the Education of the Human Race, bringing in the idea of repeated earth-lives. But he was not Valentin Andreae; he was Lessing, Lessing who had no visions, who even—so it is said—had no dreams. He banished the inspirer—unconsciously of course. If the inspirer had wanted to take possession of him in his youth, Lessing would have said: Go away, I have nothing to do with you. He followed the path that was normal for an educated man in the 18th century. And so it was only in extreme old age that he was mature enough to understand what had been in him throughout his life. It was with him as it would have been with Valentin Andreae if the latter had also banished the inspirer, had written no trivial, edifying sermons and theological treatises, but had waited until he reached a grey old age and had then written the Chymical Marriage of Christian Rosenkreutz consciously.

Such are the links that unite successive earth-lives. And the day must come when this will be clearly understood. If we take a single earth-life, whether it be that of Goethe, or Lessing or Herbert Spencer or Shakespeare or Darwin, and look at what emerges from that life alone, it is just as though we were to pluck off a flower from a plant and imagine that it can exist by itself. A single life on earth is not comprehensible by itself; the explanation for it must be sought on the basis of repeated earth-lives.

And now we shall find it most interesting to study the two personalities of whom I spoke yesterday, Lord Byron and my geometry teacher. (You will pardon me if I become personal here.) They had in common only the construction of the foot, but this is a feature that specially repays attention. If one follows it up in an occult sense, it leads one to a peculiar condition of the head in an earlier earth-life. I have shown you a similar connection in the case of Eduard von Hartmann.—There is no getting over it. One can do no other than simply relate such things, as vision reveals them to one. No external, logical proofs, no proofs in the ordinary sense, can be given for these things.—When we follow the lives of these two men, it appears to us as though the lives they led in the 19th century had been shifted out of place. For we find, first of all, a contradiction of something mentioned here a few weeks ago—that in the course of certain cycles of time, those who were once contemporaries will incarnate again as contemporaries. Everything, of course, has its exceptions. In the spiritual world there are rules, but there are no rigid schemes. Everything is individual.

Thus in the case of these two personalities one is led back to a period when their lives ran together. I would never have found Byron in this earlier life if I had not found this geometry teacher of mine at his side. Byron was a genius. My geometry teacher was not even a genius in his own way. He was not a genius at all, but he was an excellent geometrician, quite the best I have ever come across, because he was a genuine geometrician and nothing else. In the case of a painter or a musician, you know that you are dealing with a one-sided man. For as a matter of fact, people are significant only when they are one-sided. As a rule, however, a geometrician in our time is not one-sided. A geometrician knows the whole of mathematics; when he constructs something in geometry, he always knows how to state the equations for it. He knows the mathematical, calculating side of it all. But this geometry teacher, though an excellent geometrician, was properly speaking no mathematician at all. He understood, for example, nothing whatever of analytical geometry. He knew nothing of the geometry that has to do with calculating and equations; in that respect he sometimes did the most childish things. On one occasion it was really very humorous. The man was so entirely a constructive geometrician and nothing else that he arrived by means of constructive geometry at the fact that the circle is the locus of the constant quotient. He found it out by construction, and since no one had found it before by construction, he regarded himself as its discoverer. We boys, who were as yet unsophisticated and had a good store of high spirits left in us, knew that in our book of analytical geometry it is shown how one sets up such and such an equation and the circle comes. We took the occasion to change the name of the circle and to start calling it by the name of our geometry teacher. The “N.N. line” we called it (I won't give his real name). This man had in fact the one-sidedness of the constructive geometrician to the point of genius. That was what was so significant about him; his character and talents were so clearly defined. People of the present day are not like that at all; you cannot get hold of them; they are like slippery eels! My teacher was anything but a slippery eel; he was a man with sharp corners, and that even in his external appearance. He had a face shaped like this—quite square, a most interesting head, absolutely four-angled, nowhere round. Really, you could study in the face of the man the right-angled nature of his peculiar constructive talent. It was most interesting.

Now, in vision, this personality is found directly by the side of Byron, and one is led back to early times in Eastern Europe, one or two hundred years before the Crusades. I once told you how, when the Roman Emperor Constantine founded Constantinople, he had the Palladium—which had been taken originally to Rome from Troy—removed from Rome to Constantinople. The transference was carried out with tremendous pomp and ceremony. For the Palladium was regarded as a particularly sacred object, which bestowed power upon whoever had it. It was firmly believed in Rome that as long as the Palladium lay beneath a pillar in the city, the power of Rome resided in it, and that this power had been brought across to Rome from the once mighty city of Troy, devastated by the Greeks. And so Constantine, whose destiny it was to transplant the power of Rome to Constantinople, caused the Palladium to be taken across to Constantinople with great pomp and ceremony, though to begin with, quite secretly. He caused it to be buried, a wall built about it, and set up an ancient pillar that came from Egypt, over the spot where the Palladium lay. On the top of the pillar he placed an ancient statue of Apollo, so arranged as to look like himself. Then he had nails brought from the Cross of Christ. And out of these he made a sort of halo for the statue, which was, as I have said, an ancient statue of Apollo and at the same time was supposed to represent himself. And so there the Palladium lay, in Constantinople.

Now there is a legend which has later assumed strange forms, but is in reality very, very ancient. Later, in connection with the Testament of Peter the Great, it was revived and transformed, but it goes back to very ancient times. The legend tells how at some time in the future the Palladium would leave Constantinople and come further up towards the North-East. Hence the idea in the Russia of a later time that the Palladium must be brought from the city of Constantinople into Russia, in order that all that is connected with the Palladium, and had been corrupted under the rule of the Turks, might have its place in the rule of Eastern Europe. Now these two personalities in olden times—it was one or two hundred years before the Crusades but I have not been able to fix the exact year—resolved to go out from what is now Russia to Constantinople in order, by some means or other, to capture the Palladium and bring it into the East of Europe.

They did not succeed. Such a project could never have succeeded, for the Palladium was well guarded. There was no possibility of getting hold of it, and those who knew how it was guarded were not to be won over. But an overwhelming pain took possession of these two men. And the pain that entered into them like a piercing ray, paralysing them both in the head, manifested in Lord Byron in his being somewhat like Achilles who was vulnerable in the heel, for Byron had a defect in his foot. On the other hand he was a genius in his head, which was a compensation for the paralysis he had suffered in that earlier earth-life. The other man also, on account of the paralysed head, had a defective foot, a clubfoot. But let me tell you (for it is not generally realised) that man does not get geometry or mathematics out of his head. If you did not step the angle with your feet, your head would not have the perception of it. You would have no geometry at all if you did not walk and grasp hold of things. Geometry pushes its way up through the head and comes forth in ideas. And in anyone who has a foot such as my geometry teacher had, there resides a strong capacity to be alive to the geometrical constitution of his limbs and his motor organism and to re-create it in his head.

If one penetrated more deeply into this geometry teacher of mine, into his whole spiritual configuration, one gained a significant impression of him as a human being. There was something really delightful about his way of doing things! Fundamentally speaking, he did everything from the point of view of a constructive geometrician and it was as if the rest of the world were simply not there. He was a singularly free human being, but one had only to observe him closely enough to feel as though some inner spell had once held sway over him and had brought him to the one-sided condition I have described.

But now in Lord Byron—I have mentioned the other man only because I should not have been able to get at the truth about Lord Byron if he had not put me on the track—in Lord Byron you can truly see karma working itself out. Once, long ago, he goes across from the East to fetch the Palladium. When he is born in the West, he goes eastward to help the cause of freedom, the spiritual Palladium of the 19th century. And he is drawn to the very same region of the earth to which he had gone long ago, from the other side. It is really staggering to see how the same individuality comes to the same locality in one life from one direction, in another life from another direction; first, attracted by something that is still deeply veiled in myth, and later by what had become the great ideal of the “age of enlightenment.” There is something in all this that stirs one very deeply.

The things that come to light out of karmic connections are indeed startling. They always are. And in this realm we shall come to know of many other striking, paradoxical things. Today I wanted to give you a grasp of the remarkable way in which the connections between earlier and later earth-lives can play into human existence.