Karma and Reincarnation

According to Rudolf Steiner (Reincarnation and Karma [RK], Lect. 5), a real understanding of the twin truths of Reincarnation and Karma is the one truly new element that anthroposophy presents to modern Western humanity, which before now was not ready to receive that understanding.1 The first thing a serious student of anthroposophy (and, as we shall presently see, of the Bible also) will discover along the path is that knowledge of these two truths is essential, for everything else follows more or less as a matter of course if one is able to acquire the right insight into them.

Reincarnation and karma have gained attention in the Western world with the advent of the modern “New Age” movement, which is actually a recurring phenomenon throughout history as in fact every “Age,” at its inception, is both important and “New.” (None is more important or dynamically “New” than that which marked the turning point of time.) Such modern awareness is simply one of the symptoms of a deep spiritual stirring resulting from the evolutionary stage that began gradually, almost imperceptibly, to sunder old dogma in the last half of the nineteenth century.2

What has come forth under the name “Karma and Reincarnation,” while healthy in the sense of resulting from a deep spiritual prompting, is laced, in the light of anthroposophy, with misconceptions, misapplications, misunderstandings, and halftruths and has therefore been understandably met by resistance, much of which could and should be dissolved in the light that Steiner has shed upon the matter. Other indications of these spiritual stirrings, such as unusual nonmediumistic visions, visitations, sightings and experiences, reassure some and disquiet others and have netted much confusion in society. Steiner predicted the coming of this circumstance later in the century if people did not become aware that the first stirrings in the evolution of a new organ for perception in the etheric world would begin to manifest in seemingly strange ways in some human beings during this time. Luciferic and Ahrimanic spirits have thus far met with considerable success in fogging the issue and generating conceptual conflict even within the Christian community.

The subject, which is far more complex than has usually been imagined, involving as it does the multifold nature (see I-9) of each human being, inheres in all of Steiner’s twentieth-century works, but especially in the eight Karmic Relationships lecture cycles (KR-1 through KR-8) given during the year before his death. It is impossible to cover the scope of Steiner’s teachings on reincarnation and karma in this work, but an overview of the basics is necessary before we can fully appreciate the complete Biblical confirmation of these realities.

Forgiven Sins, Page 5
Karma & Reincarnation, Page 2