okay... so here's a can of worms... ;> --| The Karma of Women and Men |----- Let us suppose that a woman lives in a certain incarnation. It cannot be denied that this woman, by reason of her sex, will undergo experiences which differ from those of a man, and that these are not merely dependent on her inner soul life, but for the most part they are connected with external happenings, with circumstances in which she will find herself simply because she is a woman, and which will again react upon the whole of the condition and disposition of her soul. We see, therefore, that certain deeds of woman are most intimately connected with the fact of her womanhood. Only in the realm of spiritual companionship is there any equality between man and woman. The further we penetrate into the purely spiritual and into the outer aspect of the human being, the more is accentuated the difference between man and woman in relation to their lives. We can say that woman differs from man also in certain qualities of the soul, and that she inclines more towards those impulses which must be termed emotional. For this reason we find that psychic experiences come to her more easily than to man. Intellectuality and materialism are, on the contrary, more natural to man's life, and these strongly influence the soul life. So the psychic and emotional predominate in woman and the intellectual and materialistic in man. Thus it is that there are certain shadings in woman's soul life by virtue of her womanhood. It has already been described how the qualities we experience in our souls force their way between death and a new birth into our next bodily organism. That which is psychically and emotionally the strongest and that which in the life between birth and death penetrates most deeply into the soul, will have a greater tendency to enter more profoundly into the organism, and to impregnate it far more intensively. And because woman absorbs psychical and emotional impressions, she also receives the experiences of life into the profounder depths of the soul. Man may have richer and also more scientific experiences, but they do not penetrate his soul life as deeply as do those of woman. The whole of the world of her experiences is deeply graven into a woman's soul. Therefore those experiences will have a stronger tendency to affect the organism, to modify the organism more closely in the future. Thus woman's life absorbs the tendency towards deeper intervention in the organism by means of the experiences of one incarnation, and thereby towards the formation of the organism itself in the next incarnation. A deep working into and working through the organism will bring forth a male organism. A male organism appears when the forces of the soul desire to be more deeply graven into matter. From this we see that the effect of woman's experiences in one incarnation results in a male organism in the next incarnation. Occult teaching here shows that there is a connection which lies outside the bounds of morality. For this reason occultism states 'Man is woman's karma.' The male organism of a later incarnation is the result of the experiences and events of a preceding female incarnation. At the risk of arousing in some of those present reflections which may possibly be uncongenial (it always happens that modern man is terrified of incarnating as woman), since these matters are facts, I must illuminate them objectively. What happens in the case of man's experiences? We shall best understand them if we base them on what has been said before. In man's organism the inner man has penetrated thoroughly into matter, and has embraced it more closely than has woman. Woman retains more spirituality. She does not so deeply into matter, but keeps her materiality more flexible. It is characteristic of woman's nature that she retains a greater degree of free spirituality, and for that reason does not penetrate so profoundly into matter, and especially keeps her brain more flexible. Therefore it is not surprising that women have a special inclination for what is new, especially in the spiritual realm. And it is not by accident, but in accordance with a profound law, that in a movement whose very nature deals with spirituality, there should be found a greater number of women than of men. Any man knows that the male brain is frequently an intractable instrument. On account of its rigidity it offers terrible resistance when one would use it for more flexible lines of thought. It refuses to follow and must be educated by all sorts of means before it can lose its rigidity. With all men this can be a personal experience. Man's nature is more condensed, more concentrated; it has been compressed more, rendered more rigid and hard by his inner being of a man; it has been made more material. A more rigid brain is first and foremost an instrument for the intellectual, rather than for the psychic. For intellectuality deals mainly with the physical plane. In this respect we might speak of a brain being frozen to a certain degree and if it is to deal with the finer channels of thought, it must first be thawed. Therefore a man will be inclined to absorb less of those experiences that are connected with the depths of his own soul life, and what he does absorb does not so deeply. We have an external proof of this in the shallowness of external science, and its comparative failure to comprehend the inner being. Although much thought is expended in a wide circumference, facts are concentrated with but little thoroughness. Let us quote an example of the superficiality of modern science: Let us suppose a young man is in a college where a rabid Darwinian is lecturing. This is how the advocate of the theory of selection will characterise certain facts: Whence does a cock derive his beautiful iridescent feathers of bluish tints? This is to be traced back to sexual, natural selection; for the cock attracts the hens by his colours, and the hens will choose those from among the cocks who possess these bluish iridescent feathers. In this way the other cocks are ignored, and the consequence is that one particular species is developed. This is progress; this is 'natural selection'! And the student is glad to know how progressive development is brought about. Now he goes to the next hall, where physiology of the senses is dealt with. It may well happen that the student in this second hall will hear the following: Experiments have been made which show how the various colours of the spectrum affect various beings. It can be proved that of the whole colour spectrum, hens, for instance, can only see the colours ranging from green to orange, and red to ultra-red, but not those ranging from blue to violet. Now a student, if he wants to combine these two statements which really are taught to-day, is forced to regard things superficially. The whole of the theory of natural selection is based on the fact that hens perceive the variegated colours of cocks and that these colours afford them special pleasure. This is not the case, for the colours to them appear raven black. This is merely an example, but anyone willing to investigate really scientifically will encounter instances of this kind at every step. This will demonstrate that intellectuality does not penetrate very deeply into life but that it remains on the surface. I intentionally chose the more marked examples. It is not so easy to believe that intellectuality remains external and affects the inner being of man but slightly. And a materialistic mind affects the soul life even less. The consequence of this is that the being on quitting an incarnation in which he has lived but little in the soul, carries with him the tendency between birth and death to penetrate less deeply into the organism in the next incarnation. He has but little power to do this, and that is why in the next incarnation the organism is less impregnated. So comes the inclination to build up a female body in the next incarnation, and it is therefore correct when occultism says that 'Woman is man's karma.' Reference: - Rudolf Steiner, Manifestation of Karma, Lecture 9, Hamburg, 26th May, 1910, GA 120. - http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/ManfKarma/ManKar_index.html --


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