Truly, our life is guided – from the other side of it, so to speak – with a far greater wisdom than is ours in guiding it from this side. Often in later life we meet a human being who becomes of extreme importance in our life. When we think back: How did we live until the moment when we met him?
Then our entire life seems like the very pathway to the meeting. It is as though we had tended every step, that we might find him at the right moment – or that we might find him at all, at a certain moment.
We need only ponder the following: Think, my dear friends, what it signifies for fully conscious human reflection. Think of what it means to find another human being in a given year of life, thenceforth to experience, work or achieve – whatever it may be – in common with him.
Think what it means, what emerges as the impulse that led up to it, when we reflect on this quite consciously. When we begin to think: How did it happen that we met him? It will probably occur to us that we first had to experience an event with which many other people were connected, for otherwise the opportunity would not have arisen for us to meet him in this life. And, that this event might happen, we had to undergo still another event….and so on.
We find ourselves in the midst of the most complex chain of circumstances, all of which had to occur, into all which we had to enter, so as to reach this or that decisive experience. And now we may perhaps reflect: If the task had been set us – I will not say at the age of one, but let us say at the age of fourteen – to solve the riddle consciously: to bring about in our fiftieth year a decisive meeting with another human being; if we imagine that we had to solve it consciously, like a mathematical puzzle – think what it would involve!
Consciously, we human beings are so appallingly stupid, whereas what happens with us in the world is so infinitely wise, when we take into account such things as these. When we begin to think along these lines, we become aware of the immense intricacy and deep significance in the workings of our destiny or karma. And this all goes on in the domain of the human kingdom. All that thus happens to us is deep in the unconscious life. Until the moment when a decisive event approaches us it lies in the unconscious.
Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, Esoteric Studies, Vol. 1