תמונת הנושא של הספר

General Introduction

In the earthly world, to know what is going on in another person’s soul, we must make an effort and get to know him through his “envelopes” and avoid judging that comes from the structure of our soul, with its sympathy and antipathy.

In the spirit world, the situation is entirely different. There, the physical body does not create a division between us; we penetrate each other in the mental-spiritual space and experience the other soul from within ourselves. We also live in communion with spiritual beings and feel them within us as well.

The effort of Biographical-Anthroposophical counselling is in this direction. We strive to develop new forms of consciousness, some of them belong to the future, known in spiritual science as Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition. These forms of consciousness allow us to know the other person from within during this life. To do this, we must give up the subjective position of our soul and look at each person and event from high spiritual understanding.

Humanity must now attain to living thinking once more. Otherwise, humanity will remain weak and the reality of thought will lose its own reality. (…) The inner connection will dawn upon you if you attempt not so much to follow up with the intellect, but to feel with your whole being what has been said today. You must attempt to feel it knowingly, to know it feelingly, in order that not only what is said but what is heard within our circles may be sustained more and more by real spirituality”.

Steiner, ‘Karmic Relationships’, Volume 3, Lecture I

This ability of living-thinking (Imagination), develops as a result of a very long process of brave self-examination, work on our Soul-Spirit, an examination of our karma. These processes are essential for us to stop identifying with our everyday ‘I’. This spiritual process helps us to connect to our eternally higher spiritual being. It is the ‘wise person’ within us that allows us to understand the truth of the situation, over and over again.

Our ‘I’ is a spiritual being. It cannot be found through repeated attempts to dig into ourselves, but through observing the events that happen to us in life, and through the human beings who serve as messengers in our karma.

Human beings who walk this path can help others in deciphering the path of their lives and in developing according to the spiritual laws common to all.

A Personal Appeal to the Dear Reader

In his book: ‘An Outline of Occult Science’, Steiner turns to potential opponents who may criticize him, with the following words:

“The author also understands quite well the critic who generally regards the descriptions in this book as an outpouring of wild fantasy or a dreamlike play of thoughts. All that is to be said in this regard, however, is contained in the book itself. It is shown there how, in full measure, thought based on reason can and must become the touchstone of what is presented. (…) Although the book deals with the results of research that lie beyond the power of the intellect bound to the sense world, yet nothing is offered that cannot be comprehended by anyone possessing an unprejudiced reason, a healthy sense of truth, and the wish to employ these human faculties.”

Steiner, An Outline of Occult Science, Preface

Concerning the analysis of the biographical events in this book, it may occur to the reader that treating the interpretation of the biographical event as the ultimate truth is boldness and pretentiousness because the counsellor is not a clairvoyant. The reader might attribute this interpretation solely to the subjective perception of the counsellor, that is, as arising from the soul and not from the spirit. However, this is not the case.

There is common ground in all of us that can find a way to the truth. Everyone indeed has to achieve this on his own through his own journey of development. Still, when we penetrate deeply enough into spiritual inquiry and are willing to go through the difficult path of spiritual growth, we can similarly identify events. This vision is objective and is common ground for all who walk with courage, diligence and perseverance in the developmental soul-spirit path.

The reference to the life-events stories of the people described in the book was made from a combination of logical thought and imaginative thought (living and even pictorial creative thinking – Imagination), which developed over years.

Despite the above, it is not easy to explain the new Imaginative ability that is emerging in contemporary humanity. Steiner compares this to an attempt to explain to a blind person what colour is. This is a new sense that is developing in our time for everyone who walks the spiritual path while undergoing rigorous and continuous self-examination. We can call it: the sense of Truth. This sense rests on a phenomenological observation of the events that reveal themselves to the observer who makes room within him for the higher insight (Inspiration) – and not on a psychological interpretation.

Contrary to the hypotheses and dilemmas that characterize intellectual-logical thinking, the insight that arises as a result of living-thought (Imagination) is experienced as correct for that event clearly and unambiguously. This is a groundbreaking moment in which the counselee and counsellor marvel at the discovery, which allows for a breakthrough in a direction that has been hidden so far.

This is not a subjective gut feeling or a blind belief in authority (the counsellor) – but a connection to the spiritual truth of the situation, correct for all concerned at a particular time, which goes beyond sympathy and antipathy.

This sense develops in our time, the time of the Consciousness-Soul, in preparation for the next cultural period. The sense for the truth will be the property of all human beings in the future, in the developmental stage known in anthroposophical-spiritual science as – the Spirit-Self

I appeal to the reader to approach the book ‘with an open mind’, out of a willingness to learn new things, which can be felt with the help of the development of that new sense, in parallel with the investigation of the event through logical-rational thinking and astral feelings.

Biographical-Anthroposophical counselling as a therapeutic branch, is based on the assumption that present earthly life is only a link in a longer chain in which the individual spirit incarnates in different periods in different envelopes (the various bodies), to correct moral defects and develop.

During our various incarnations, we meet the same people we met in previous lives. These are the people with whom we share common karma and mutual rectification, or we have to compensate for what we did to them in a previous life. The work with karma and re-incarnation is done with counselees who are ready for it. Some of the case-studies will touch on the question of destiny relationships between human beings, karma and reincarnation.

By deepening our contemplation of cosmic secrets — with which the secrets of human existence are connected — we shall learn to understand the nature of the human being standing before us; we shall learn to silence our preconceptions and to feel and recognise the true qualities of the individual in question. The most important light that Spiritual Science can give will be the light it throws upon the human soul.”

Steiner, ‘Life Between Death and Rebirth’, lecture I

The great gift we received from Steiner is an in-depth analysis of the karmic connections of dozens of well-known personalities in history. This knowledge allows us to shed light on our karma with all its details, and to develop in ourselves a sense for karma and an ability to understand and interpret karmic biographical events. Our starting point is the recurring life. We develop a sensitivity to understanding the experiences of existence and the karmic relationships between human beings, whose origins are rooted in previous lives.

Karma lies in the unconscious of the human being. This karma leads the person through the events of his life, to encounter the people and experiences that will allow him to know himself deeply, and to rectify what needs rectification.

The dialogues and consultations in the book, as well as the discourse on biographical events in the classroom, were written in spoken language – the language in which things were said. The text may not entirely pass the ‘standard English’ test. In deciding between high-level English and the authenticity of things – I chose to leave the discourse as it happened in reality.

I’ll note that substantial questions were written with emphasized letters and some of the things I wanted to emphasize are underlined.


Author: Orna Ben Dor

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