How can I accept in good faith what these researchers say since I am unable to perceive the spiritual world myself?

If someone asks, “How can I accept in good faith what these researchers say since I am unable to perceive the spiritual world myself?”, then this is completely unfounded. For it is entirely possible merely by reflecting on what is given, to attain the certain conviction that what is communicated is true, and if anyone is unable to form this conviction through reflection, it is not because it is impossible to believe something one cannot see, but solely because his reflection has not been sufficiently thorough, comprehensive and unprejudiced. In order to gain clarity in regard to this point we must realize that human thinking, when it arouses itself with inner energy, is able to comprehend more than is usually presumed. For in thought itself an inner entity is already present that is connected with the supersensible world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science–V–Cognition of the higher worlds. Initiation (part 3)

Previously posted on June 18, 2014

Illnesses calmly borne often appear in the next life as great physical beauty

No one who shudders at the unpleasantness of pain, who is unwilling to bear pain can create in himself the foundations for wisdom; indeed when we look deeper, we cannot really bemoan illnesses, for regarded from a higher standpoint, from the standpoint of Eternity, they take on a very different aspect. Illnesses calmly borne often appear in the next life as great physical beauty; great physical beauty in a human being is acquired at the cost of illnesses in the preceding life. Such is the connection between impairment of the body through illness, particularly also through external circumstances, and beauty.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian – Lecture VI  -The Law of Destiny – Berlin, 30th May 1907

Previously posted on op June 17, 2014

The best method of developing good thinking

We nurture and sharpen the thinking especially by the development of characteristics which seem to have nothing whatever to do with thinking, with concepts. The best method of developing good thinking is by complete absorption and insight, not so much through logical exercises but by observing one thing and another, using for this purpose processes in nature, in order to penetrate into hidden mysteries. Through absorption in problems of nature and of humanity, through the endeavour to understand complex personalities, through the intensifying of attentiveness, we grow wise. Absorption means striving to unravel something by thinking, by conceiving. In this connection, we shall be able to see that such mental absorption has a wonderfully good effect in later life.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – Esoteric Christianity and the Mission of Christian Rosenkreutz – Lecture 2 – Leipzig, 5th November 1911

Previously posted on June 16, 2014

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be send them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 -Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart,  September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

How long is the time in the devachan?

The time in devachan (spirit-land) is not of equal length for all human beings. The uneducated savage who has experienced a little of this world only who has applied his mind and sense only a little has a short stay in the devachan. The devachan is basically supposed to elaborate what the human being has learnt in the physical, to unfold it freely, to make it suitable to a new life. The human being, who is on a higher level of existence who has collected rich experiences, has to process a lot and, hence, has a long stay in the devachan. Only later, when he is able to look into these states, the stays become again shorter up to the point where the human being can immediately walk after death again to a new incarnation because he has already experienced what is to be experienced in devachan.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 53 – Origin and Goal of the Human Being: Lecture VII: The Spirit-land – Berlin, 17th November 1904

Previously posted on June 13, 2014