telling ourselves that in a previous life, we ourselves actually created the force that led us to this event– in fact, we’ve brought this thing upon ourselves. We can then kindle in ourselves all the feelings that are the results of a thought like this. Of course, for it to have such results for all our feelings and sensations, we have to experience this thought with the utmost sincerity and with all our strength.”
I feel like I have to continue. It makes our case for the meaning of the cross, honestly, clearer than ever.
Pg110 “If we manage to do this, we will have an experience that can best be illustrated by means of a comparison: Let’s assume that two people get ahold of a stick of sealing wax. One of them makes intellectual comments about its ‘inner nature.’ No matter how clever these comments are, people can easily retort that this ‘inner nature’ is pure fantasy if it doesn’t show itself in any way. But the other person rubs the sealing wax with a cloth and shows that it attracts small particles. There is a great difference between the thoughts that ran through the first person’s mind and prompted his or her remarks and the thoughts of the second person. The first person’s thoughts have no consequences for reality, but the second person’s thoughts have lured a real thing, an actual force, out of hiding.
This is also the case with imagining that a former life has implanted in us the power to encounter a certain event. Simply imagining this arouses a real force in us that allows us to meet the event in a way that is very different from how we would have met it if we had not entertained the thought. The event’s inherent necessity dawns on us, whereas otherwise we would only have been able to see it as a coincidence. We will immediately understand that since what we imagined was strong enough to show us the facts of the matter, we must have had the right idea. If we repeat inner processes like this, they begin to be a source of inner strength and validity is confirmed by their fruitful consequences. This force gradually becomes a force to be reckoned with. Such processes have a healing effect on spirit, soul, and body– they foster life in every respect. We become aware that while this allows us to take our place in the context of life in the right way, considering only a single life between birth and death means succumbing to delusion and falsehood. This knowledge makes our souls stronger.”
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. (27)And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be my disciple. (28)For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it—(29)lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, (30)saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish?”