And I'm not bothered that you try to show him in error for if he is he is, however it seems to me that you fail to grasp the reasoning behind... All good things, Dottie
Dottie, I appreciate your effort to keep the communication open; even if we don't understand each other, it gives me the opportunity to keep working with words and put them in paper.
I don't think anything of what Steiner has to say regarding karma and reincarnation is "an error".
Being "limited" is an unavoidable condition of being human. We are all children of our times and our culture, and just being human incarnated in a physical body imposes limitations on what we are able to do,
... but I can see and accept that you have a problem accepting the idea of seeing Steiner that way.
For example, Rudolf Steiner's statement that his mission was first and foremost the teaching of Karma and
Reincarnation needs to be qualified. At the time(s) he said this, they were an integral part of other cultures, so the statement should be: "teaching of karma and reincarnation in the West" or "in a form adequate to the West".
Seen in retrospect, however, the wide-spread acceptance of karma and interest in reincarnation outside of Europe (e.g. USA and Latin America) that can be observed today is not due to Anthroposophy but to Theosophy and to the influence of eastern philosophies and the massive "New Age" cultural wave.
The theosophical concept of reincarnation differs from the buddhist in the recognition of the cumulative development of the "ego", which as Steiner explains has no place in Buddhism, and rejects the common belief in the possibility of reincarnating in animals, plants, or minerals, so it already shows a particular Western evolutionary and progressive tint.
This raises some questions, neither of which can be answered
with ready-made formulas:
1) in what way Steiner's teachings on karma and reincarnation differ from the commonplace theosophical and new-age concept?
2) why did Anthroposophy not reach the massive spread of Theosophy and eastern doctrines outside of Europe?
3) what would be a Christian understanding of karma and reincarnation?
Today, the wide acceptance or social tolerance of the doctrine of karma by the masses is in the form of a rationalization based on theory that "feels" true, and belongs to the rational and the sentient soul. With the consciousness soul, this is no longer a rationalization, but an experience direcly through the "I" that shows karma in the form of "our life", or "what life brings to us."
When one is in front of an experience directly with the "I", there is thinking, but it is no longer a rationalization or a theory that goes around or dances about the experience: the vitalized, emancipated thinking
penetrates the experience transforming it into something new, and we transform ourselves with it, so the experience and us and the thinking are the same, we all become part of the trasnformative movement of thinking.
At this point theory or rationalization concerning the role of karma and reincarnation begins to loose meaning. Karma is no longer conceived or talked about in the same way, as a concept or a law, because it has become the intense and irrevocable experience of LIFE. Instead of the concept of "destiny" and considerations about the past or the future or about the causes, we have something far more powerful than brings us down to earth to the full presence of the I Am that says to us: "I, this Life, this experience, Am You".
This is completely at the level of ethics and freedom, not of Theology or Gnosis. It doesn't have anything to do with "teachings" but with direct personal experience, a personal relationhip with karma that
present to us in the now as Life full of strength.
It is not in the distant future, but right here. Once in it, there is no space for "laws" or mere teachings. The conceptual dancing of the brain and theoretical studies go on in the life of my soul, but now a new place has been formed in the consciousness soul where nothing of that is needed and my cup overflows.