Lord of Karma

As with many theological doctrines, the phrase “Lord of Karma” is not found in scripture. Steiner coined it to describe a deeply profound truth, and it provides a vital link in the unfolding account of humanity’s salvation. Though he did not use Biblical language nor cite its texts, anyone familiar with scripture can recognize that his words are borne out by Holy Writ and throw radiant new light upon it, eliminating seeming conflicts. Like most such concepts, this one is interwoven with many others, for instance, “Forgiven Sins,” “Karma and Reincarnation,” “Second Coming,” “I AM,” “Bush” and “Akashic,” all of which appear in this volume.

Steiner seems to have specifically referred to Christ as “Lord of Karma” only in three lectures in the fall of 1911 (From Jesus to Christ, [JTC], Lects. 3 and 10; Faith, Love, Hope, [FLH], Lect. 1). On October 7, in Karlsruhe Lect. 3, he spoke of the “Lord of Karma” for the first time:

It is only in the twentieth century that a renewal of the Christ-Event will take place, for this is when a certain general heightening of human powers of cognition begins. It brings with it the possibility that in the course of the next 3,000 years, and without special clairvoyant preparation, more and more persons will be able to attain a direct vision of Christ Jesus.

This has never happened before. Until now there have been only two... sources of knowledge concerning the Christian mysteries for persons who could not rise by training to clairvoyant observation. One source was the Gospels.... The second source of knowledge arose because there have always been clairvoyant individuals who could see into the higher worlds.... And, now from the twentieth century onwards, a third begins. It arises because for more and more people an extension, an enhancement, of their cognitional powers, not brought about through meditation, concentration and other exercises, will occur.... More and more persons will be able to renew for themselves the experience of Paul on the road to Damascus. Hence we can say of the ensuing period that it will provide a direct means of perceiving the significance and the Being of Christ Jesus.

Now the first question that will naturally occur to you is this: What is the essential difference between the clairvoyant vision of Christ which has always been possible as a result of the esoteric development described yesterday, and the vision of Christ which will come to people, without esoteric development, in the next 3,000 years, beginning from our twentieth century?

There is certainly an important difference.. . . The reason is as follows.. . . [T]owards the end of the twentieth century, a significant event will again take place, not in the physical world, but in the world we usually call the world of the etheric. And this event will have as fundamental a significance for the evolution of humanity as the event of Palestine had at the beginning of our era. . . . And the occurrence of this event, an event connected with the Christ Himself, will make it possible for men to learn to see the Christ, to look upon Him.

What is this event? It consists in the fact that a certain office in the Cosmos, connected with the evolution of humanity in the twentieth century, passes over in a heightened form to the Christ. Occult clairvoyant research tells us that in our epoch Christ becomes the Lord of Karma for human evolution. This event marks the beginning of something that we find intimated also in the New Testament: He will come again to separate, or to bring about the crisis for, the living and the dead.1 Only, according to occult research, this is not to be understood as though it were a single event for all time which takes place on the physical plane. It is connected with the whole future evolution of humanity. And whereas Christianity and Christian evolution were hitherto a kind of preparation, we now have the significant fact that Christ becomes the Lord of Karma, so that in the future it will rest with Him to decide what our karmic account is,how our credit and debit in life are related.... [Emphasis added]

. . . We know that on passing through the gate of death we separate ourselves from the physical body. The individual is at first still connected for a time with his etheric body, but afterwards he separates his astral body and also his Ego from the etheric body. We know that he takes with him an extract of his etheric body; we know also that the main part of the etheric body goes another way; generally it becomes part of the cosmic ether, either dissolving completely—this happens only under imperfect conditions—or continuing to work on as an enduring active form. When the individual has stripped off his etheric body he passes over into the Kamaloka region for the period of purification in the soul-world. Before this, however, he undergoes a quite special experience which has not previously been mentioned, because .. . the time was not ripe for it. Now, however, these things will be fully accepted by all who are qualified to judge them.

Karma & Reincarnation, Page 26
Lord of Karma, Page 2