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An Outline of Occult Science

causes him extremely painful sensations. He may meet the situation in one of two ways. He may submit to the occurrence as something affecting him painfully, and abandon himself to the painful sensation, even becoming absorbed in his grief; or he may meet it in another way. He may say: “It is really I myself who in a former life set the force in motion which has brought me into contact with this thing. I have really brought it on myself.” He may then awaken in himself all the feelings which such a thought brings in its train. It goes without saying that the thought must be entertained with perfect seriousness, and with the utmost possible force, if it is to have such consequences in the life of sensation and feeling. One who succeeds in this will meet with an experience which may be best illustrated by a comparison. Let us suppose that two men have each a stick of sealing wax in his hand. One begins reflecting upon its inner nature. These reflections may perhaps be very wise, but if the “inner nature” did not show itself in any way, some one might easily retort: “That is all imagination.” The other, however, rubs the sealing wax with a woolen rag, and then shows that it attracts small particles. There is an important difference between the thoughts which have passed through the first man's head and his reflections, and those of the second. The thoughts of the first man had no actual result; those of the second have called out a hidden force, consequently something real. The same thing happens with regard to the thoughts of a man in whose mind the idea arises that in a former life he has set going within himself the force which causes him to experience a certain event. The mere conception of this stirs up strength within him which enables him to face the event in quite a different manner from that in which he would have met it without entertaining such an idea. It dawns upon him that an event which he would otherwise have looked upon as an accident was really a necessity and he will immediately see that he had the right thought, because this thought had the power to reveal the facts to him. If such

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51270675-An-Outline-of-Occult-Science-Rudolph-Steiner  
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