Our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will, are all concerned with the Dead

There is nothing more important for life, even for material life, than the strong and sure realization of communion with the spiritual world.

If modern men had not lost their relationship with spiritual things to such an extent, these grave times would not have come upon us. Only a very few today have insight into this connection, although it will certainly be recognized in the future. Today men think: When a human being has passed through the gate of death, his activity ceases as far as the physical world is concerned. But indeed it is not so! There is a living and perpetual intercourse between the so called Dead and the so-called Living. Those who have passed through the gate of death have not ceased to be present; it is only that our eyes have ceased to see them. They are there in very truth.

Our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will, are all concerned with the Dead. The words of the Gospel hold good for the Dead as well; ‘The Kingdom of the Spirit cometh not with observation’ (that is to say, external observation); ‘neither shall they say, Lo here, lo there, for behold, the Kingdom of the Spirit is within you.’ We should not seek for the Dead through externalities but become conscious that they are always present. All historical life, all social life, all ethical life, proceed by virtue of co-operation between the so-called Living and the so-called Dead. The whole being of man can be infinitely strengthened when he is conscious not only of his firm stand here in the physical world but is filled with the inner realization of being able to say of the Dead whom he has loved: They are with us, they are in our midst.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremburg, 10th February 1918

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A giant step forward

We are not separated from the dead at all in our life of feeling or of will. What is removed from our gaze is only hidden from our sense perceptions and our mental pictures. It will be a giant step forward in the evolution of the human race on earth, in that part of human evolution that we still must live through, if some day people become conscious of the fact that in their impulses of feeling and will they are one with the dead. Death can indeed rob us of our physical view of the dead and of our thoughts of them. There is nothing that we feel, however, without the dead being there with us in the sphere in which we feel; likewise, there is nothing that we will without the dead being there with us in the sphere in which we will.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric: Lecture XIII: The Three Realms of the Dead: Life Between Death and a New Birth – Bern, 29th November 1917

Translated by Alice Wulsin

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One does not aim at clearness of thinking in our time at all

Our time strives for intelligence and logic, but those who want to be at the head of the scientific or cultural efforts of our time do not possess a lot of keen mind and logic.

One does not aim at the whole clearness of thinking in our time at all. If one fully aimed at the clearness of thinking, one would also be able to understand spiritual science completely. Who thinks clearly cannot argue anything against that which spiritual science has to bring forward — of course on the whole; since the spiritual scientist can be mistaken as the human being can generally be mistaken. Countless examples could be given which show us that just our time is little inclined to apply clear, keen thinking.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 159 – The Mystery of Death – Cologne, 19th June 1915

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Catastrophic times

I pointed out (in the lecture of 19 February in Amsterdam) that these supersensible abilities are acquired only when the human being develops certain potential powers in his soul. In the wider civilised society of today, people do not want to know about these abilities. Nonetheless, we owe the catastrophic circumstances of our times exactly to this refusal to want to recognize anything about these skills.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 297a – Erziehung zum Leben – Amsterdam,  28th February  1921 (p. 45)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Understanding between religions

In a future not far distant, intimate understanding will take the place of what led in past times to bitterest conflict and disharmony as long as humanity was divided into regional civilisations which knew nothing of each other. But what will operate on a universal scale over the globe as a spiritual movement embracing all earthly humanity, must operate also between soul and soul. What a distance still separates the Buddhists and the Christians, how little do they understand and how insistently do they turn away from each other on the circumscribed ground of their particular creeds! But the time will come when their own religion will lead more and more Buddhists to Anthroposophy, and Christianity itself will lead more and more Christians to Anthroposophy. And then complete understanding will reign between them.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – The Festivals and Their Meaning II: Lecture III – The Death of A God and Its Fruits In Humanity – Dusseldorf, 5th May 1912

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Symbols commonly associated with six of the religions labelled “world religions”: clockwise from the top, these represent Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, and Christianity