Morality/Beauty/Ugliness

Here on earth we carry a body made of bones, muscles, arteries, and so forth. Then, after death, we acquire a spiritual body, formed out of our moral qualities. A good man acquires a moral body radiating with beauty; a depraved man a moral body radiating with evil. This is formed while we are living backward. Our spirit-body, however, is only partly formed out of that which is now joined to us. Whereas one part of the spirit-body received by us in the spiritual world is formed out of our moral qualities, the other part is simply put on us as a garment woven from the substances of the spiritual world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture II – Kristiana, 17th May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

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A day will come when we can no longer hide the good or evil within us

At the present time we can more or less hide the good or evil within us. A day will come when we can no longer do this, when the good or the evil will be written indelibly on our forehead, on our body, and even on the face of the earth. Humanity will then be split into two races. In the same way that we encounter boulders or animals today, in the future we will encounter beings of pure evil and ugliness. When a human being’s facial features become an expression of that individual’s karma, then people will separate themselves according to the stream in which they apparently belong. Everything depends on whether human beings have conquered the lower nature within them or whether this lower nature has triumphed over the spirit.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – Reading the Pictures of the Apocalypse: Appendix: Cosmogony – Paris, 14th June 1906

Translated by James H. Hindes

Previously posted on January 24, 2016

Why should I worry about life after death?

The dead can experience their present spiritual environment only to the degree in which they formerly reflected, as much as earthly men are capable of doing, on the spiritual world. You know how many people are saying now-a-days: Why should I worry about life after death? We might as well wait. Once we are dead, we shall see what is going to happen. — This thought, however, is completely misleading. People who have not reflected, while still alive, on the spiritual world, who have lived in a purely materialistic way, will see absolutely nothing after death.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture II – Kristiana, 17th May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur

Knowledge of Karma in life between death and rebirth alleviates Pain

A person who is not prepared to admit the reality of karma, or repeated earth lives, can never really accept the fact that a destiny belongs to him. How does a person go through the world? One person does this to him, the other that; he likes the one, dislikes the other. He does not know that he himself is the cause of what comes to meet him, of the painful experience inflicted by another person. This does not occur to him, for otherwise he would feel, “You have brought it on yourself!”

If during one’s lifetime one is able to entertain such thoughts, then one at least will have a feeling as to the origin of the suffering one has to endure after death. To know about karma in life between death and rebirth alleviates the pain, for otherwise the agonizing question as to why one has to suffer remains unanswered. In our time we have to begin to be aware of such things for without knowledge of them the evolution of humanity will not be able to continue.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – Lecture 9: Life After Death – Linz, January 26, 1913

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on January 14, 2016

A window for the dead

Although dwelling in an element akin to sleep, yet have a vast range of interests and sweep the whole world with their glance. And we ourselves can greatly assist them. This may be done by thinking of the dead as vividly as possible; especially by sending thoughts to them which bring to life, in the most striking way, what we experienced in their company. Abstract concepts are not understood by the dead.

Hence I must send out such thoughts as the following: Here is the road between Kristiania and a near-by place. Here we two walked together. The other person, who is now dead, walked at my side. I can still hear him speaking. I hear the sound of his voice. I try to recall how he moved his arms, how he moved his head.

By visualizing, as vividly as possible, what we experienced together with the dead; by sending out our thoughts to the dead whom we conjure up before our soul in a familiar image, we can make these thoughts, as it were, soar or stream towards the dead. Thus we provide the dead with something like a window, through which they can look at the world. Not only the thought sent by us to the dead comes forth within them, but a whole world. They can gaze at our world as if through a window.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 226 – Man’s Being, His Destiny and World-Evolution: Lecture II – Kristiana, 17th May 1923

Translated by Erna McArthur