A tremendous amount in respect of devoutness is effected by the messages of those who died early

To clairvoyant consciousness it is specially interesting that it is due to those who died in youth that a man in outer life feels a certain devoutness, a certain religious inclination. A tremendous amount in respect of devoutness is effected by the messages of those who died early.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Earthly Death and Cosmic Life: Lecture 3: The Living and the Dead – Berlin, 5th February 1918

Morality and consciousness after death  

The preservation of our consciousness (after death) depends upon certain specific things that happened before death. For instance, the consciousness of a person with an immoral soul disposition is more easily dimmed. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we cross the threshold of death with moral strength, for moral consciousness will keep our soul open to the light of the Hierarchies. Recently I have been able to examine the state after death of people with moral sentiments and also the state of those with an immoral disposition of soul, and in every case it could be established that a person with a moral disposition of soul was able to preserve clear, radiant consciousness after death, whereas those with an immoral soul constitution sink into a kind of dim twilight consciousness.

One might well ask what it matters if after death a person should fall into such a sleeping consciousness because then he would not suffer. He would even escape the consequences of his immorality. This argument will not hold because, with such a dimming of consciousness that is the result of immorality, the most terrible conditions of fear are connected. There is no greater fear after death than this darkening of consciousness.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – I – Milan, October 26, 1912

Translated by Rene Querido

Prosperity/ Labour/ Egotism

The well-being of a community of people working together will be the greater, where there is less egotism. To realize this, one is therefore dependent on finding people who are able to leave behind all selfishness. However, this is practically impossible as long as people’s welfare is determined by their work situation. Whosoever works for himself or herself, must eventually fall into selfishness. Only the person who labours solely for others can slowly become more and more selfless. There is one condition however. When a human being works for others, he must find the motive for his labour in the other; and when someone works for the human community as a whole, he must feel and experience the value, the essential importance, and the idea behind all this.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 34 – LUCIFER – GNOSIS 1903-1908 Geisteswissenschaft und soziale Frage – October 1905 (p. 214)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger


A sudden death

Imagine that a person is struck down, dies by an accident. Let us suppose that a man is struck dead in his thirtieth year. To outer physical observation such a sudden death is a kind of accident: but from a spiritual science outlook it is simply absurd to regard such an affair as accidental. For in the moment when from outside, from any external cause, a man suddenly meets with death, an immense amount rapidly takes place. Think to yourselves: this same man who has been killed at the age of thirty would have become in the ordinary course of things perhaps seventy, eighty, ninety years old. If he had still lived from thirty to ninety years he would slowly have gone through, one after another, many life experiences. What he would thus have experienced during sixty years of life, he now goes through rapidly, it might even be in half-a-minute, if he is killed at the age of thirty. When it is a matter of the spiritual world, time relationships are different from what they seem to us here on the physical plane. A sudden death caused by external circumstances — one must treat the matter quite exactly — can cause the experience, I say the experience, the life-wisdom of the whole life that might still have been lived, to be passed through under certain circumstances very rapidly.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 180Ancient Myths: Their Meaning and Connection with Evolution – Dornach, 12th January 1918

Translated by M. Cotterell

We must always bear in mind that we should not imagine men living on in the spiritual world as they last were, when here

We must always bear in mind that we should not imagine men living on in the spiritual world as they last were, when here. The trivial ideas that people hold, as, for instance, that those who die as children continue to live on as children, are naturally incorrect. The imagination may picture the dead as we last saw them here, but that is not their true form; it is rather the expression of it. A child may die, but the human entity incarnated in the child may be a highly evolved soul, and continue its life after death as a highly evolved soul. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 20th November 1915