Lastly, now that we have searched out the meaning of the cross as Jesus himself meant the word– seeing that a perpetual divine act of refinement through affliction, as I referred to it, is biblically given as a responsive act. That is, personal acts here on earth, or in Israel’s case, collective-personal acts, these deeds are measured in relation to the vows or oaths made by the individual at one point or another according to the higher law of Vow’s given in Numbers30. To which a response is made from our spiritual administration to the result that a certain amount of affliction is in judicious order. And so forms the heart of man. The underlining factor here is one of cause and effect. Not as a philosophy, but as an observation of the text.
To which I may now add something I’ve found very much related to our subject as a whole. It is quoted from Rudolf Steiner’s –Outline of Esoteric Science, the chapter dedicated to –Sleep and Death. The context the quote follows is an examination of the argument that an individuals personal qualities, predispositions, talents and so forth, are strictly genetic, being inherited through a bloodline one way or the other. To which he determines that in terms of the personal element, “the idea of heredity is an impossible one.” Obviously, leaving the remaining explanation being that of a spiritual causation, if the physical cause is removed.
pg.106 “This is not intended to deny the fact that those who speak of spiritual causation in life often add just as much to the confusion. They often speak in terms that are much too general and indefinite. If we say that an individual’s personality is an accumulation of inherited characteristics, that can be compared to the statement that a number of metal parts have assembled themselves into a clock. But it must also be admitted that many statements about spiritual worlds are no different from the statement that the parts of a clock are incapable of putting themselves together so that the hands actually move, and that therefore something spiritual must be present to make sure this movement happens. Faced with such a statement, we actually have more reason to say, “I’m not going to bother any more with these ‘mystical, beings that move the hands of the clock– I’d rather find out about the mechanical relationships that make this happen.” It is not at all a question of merely knowing that there is something spiritual (the watchmaker) behind the mechanical objects (such aw clocks). The only significant thing here is to become familiar with the watchmaker’s thoughts, which existed before the clock was assembled. We can rediscover these thoughts in the mechanism of the clock.
Merely dreaming or fantasizing about the supersensible element never gives rise to anything except confusion because it is unable to satisfy the opponents of spiritual views, who are quite right when they say that such references to supersensible beings in the abstract do not help us understand the actual facts of the matter. Of course these opponents may also say the same thing about the statements of spiritual science, which are specific and definite. In that case, however, we can point to how the activity of a hidden spiritual element affects our outer life. We can say, “Suppose it’s true what spiritual research claims to have established by means of observation— that during the purification period we undergo after death, our souls experience how specific actions of ours in the previous life hinder our further development, and that while we are experiencing this, we develop an impulse to make up for the consequences of these actions. Let’s assume that we bring this impulse with us into a new life, and that it then shapes character traits that put us in a position to make up for what we have done. If we look at the sum total of such impulses, we then have a reason why we are born into certain surroundings as a matter of destiny.”
The same can be applied to a different assumption. Once again, let’s assume that spiritual science is right in saying that the fruits of a bygone life are incorporated into an individual’s spiritual “seed,” and that in the land of spirits where we spend the time between death and a new life, these fruits ripen so that they can be transformed into predispositions and abilities that will appear in that new life, shaping our personalities to reflect the effects of what we gained from a prior life. If we make these assumptions and use them to observe life in an unbiased way, we will see that they make it possible for us to acknowledge all the realities of the sense world in their full truth and significance. At the same time, they clarify everything that must always remain incomprehensible to those who base themselves strictly on sense-perceptible facts while turning their attention to the spiritual world. And above all, any illogical assumptions will disappear— for instance, the one to the effect that because the most illustrious name appears at the end of a bloodline, the bearer of the name must have inherited his or her talents. The supersensible facts communicated by spiritual science make life logically comprehensible.”
And then he adds, “It is absolutely true that if we have no knowledge of something, we should not assume that the thing exists simply because it explains things that would otherwise remain unexplainable. However, in the case of the spiritual facts the matter is actually quite different. If we assume that these facts are true, we experience not only the intellectual result that life becomes comprehensible, but also something quite different. Let’s imagine that something happens to us that causes us considerable pain and embarrassment. We can react in one of two ways: We can be distressed about the incident and succumb to feeling embarrassed or even be overcome with pain, or we can relate to it quite differently,
to be cont…