‘If you ask a biologist to explain heredity to you, they will tell you that all the character traits with which a child is born were contained in its parents’ chromosomes, and that if one could modify the chromosomes one would be in a position to influence a child’s character. It is quite true that the chromosomes contain all the elements needed to determine the characteristics of a child, but chromosomes are only the biochemical aspect of the question.
Esoteric science teaches that everything on earth has its double. Even our physical body has its double (this is what we know as the etheric body), and although it is made of a different, far more subtle matter, the form and functions of the etheric body are exactly the same as those of the physical body.
Our etheric body is the seat of the memory. It is this body which has the power to record and preserve all the events and circumstances exterior to ourselves, as well as all our own thoughts, feelings and desires. The records preserved by the etheric body are comparable to a photographic negative or stereotype from which thousands of identical copies can be made. Once something has been recorded—whether it be a thought, a feeling or an act—it must necessarily repeat itself over and over again. And this is how habits are born. If you want to change a habit you have to change your negative or stereotype.
But you will understand this better if I give you an example. Take a seed, for instance: it is a stereotype. The lines of force that are going to determine the characteristics of the plant as it grows, are, of course, invisible, but if you plant the seed and keep it watered, and if the sun warms it in the ground, before long you will see a tiny shoot and the first fragile stem and leaves thrusting out of the soil.
The blueprints for the growth and development of the plant were already stored in the seed by the most intelligent of beings. How could one explain the perfection of proportions and the beauty of every plant if the seed did not contain a secret stereotype containing the lines of force necessary to channel its energies and guide its growth?
Similarly, if certain human beings are constantly driven to commit the same crime, it is because they have a stereotype within them which, like the lines of force of a plant, guides them according to a predetermined pattern.
In the beginning—no one knows when: it may have been in this life or in a previous incarnation they must have entertained a thought or feeling or committed an act which was etched into the etheric material of the brain in the form of a stereotype. Once the stereotype exists they continue to repeat the same gestures, to entertain the same thoughts or feelings, because nature is faithful and steadfast; she never forgets.
This is why I say that the chromosomes are not sufficient to explain the temperament of a child: its origins are more remote than that. But biologists have never studied these questions from the initiatic point of view, so they are unaware that the etheric body has its stereotypes which come from previous lives, and that these stereotypes are far more important than chromosomes.’
Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov
Izvor book 221, True Alchemy or the Quest for Perfection
Chapter 6, Stereotypes