I am no longer the child who looked at the camera from the changing table 50 years ago. But I have remained who that child was.
When a child develops into an adult, they go through many transformations, but they do not become another person. Some scientists believe that this is an illusion, that in reality there is only change and no changing individuality. In Buddhism, the ‹I› is illusory, in Hinduism it is impersonal. I see a different path ahead of me. This other way needs courage, though, because it seems as if through this idea, the meaning of the individual human self is extremely endangered. This is a path that leads directly to the idea of reincarnation, of course, through an occidental Christian one. Because he is able to connect the insubstantial stream of Buddhism with the enduring essence of Hinduism, Steiner speaks of a development that takes place beyond the incarnations. But there are much greater changes between my previous and my current incarnation than between my childhood and my adulthood and age. Here it becomes obvious that my individuality has nothing to do with the characteristics or features by which I can now be identified.
Compiled from ‹Leben mit mehreren Leben› in ‹Leben mit dem Leben›, Stuttgart 2008
Cover Image: Jennifer Burk/ Unsplash – Translation: Monika Werner