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An Outline of Occult Science

attraction for all that appertains to man. All personal propensities, sympathies, antipathies, passions, opinions, etc., possessed by a person, group themselves, as it were, around this ego, and it is this ego likewise to which human Karma is attached. Were we able to see this ego unveiled, it would also be possible to see just what blows of fate it must yet endure in this and future incarnations, as a result of its life in previous incarnations and the qualities acquired. Encumbered as it is with all this, the ego must be the first picture that presents itself to the human soul, when ascending into the psycho-spiritual world. This double of the human being, in accordance with a law of the spiritual world, is bound to be his first impression in that world. It is easy to explain this fundamental law to ourselves, if we consider the following. In the life of the physical senses man is cognizant of himself only so far as he is inwardly conscious of himself in his thinking, feeling, and willing. This cognition is an inner one; it does not present itself to him externally, as do stones, plants and animals; but even through inner experiences, man learns to know himself only partially, for he has within him something that prevents deep self-knowledge, namely, the impulse to immediately transform this quality, when through self-cognition he is forced to admit its presence and concerning which he is unwilling to deceive himself. If he did not yield to this impulse, but simply turned his attention away from himself—remaining as he is—he would naturally deprive himself of even the possibility of knowing himself in regard to that particular matter. Yet should he “explore” himself, facing his characteristics without selfdeception, he would either be able to improve them, or in his present condition of life he would be unable to do so. In the latter case a feeling would steal over his soul which we must designate a feeling of shame. Indeed, this is the way in which man's sound nature acts; it experiences through self-knowledge various feelings of shame. Even in ordinary life this feeling has