Soul peace

Let’s imagine a quiet sea and then the same sea with towering waves, and that we’re on a sinking ship in this wildly surging water so that death is inevitable. Anyone who can feel no fear of death but only the wonderful beauty of the unfettered elements and the grandness of creation at such a moment knows what soul peace is.

We should let such images, such thoughts, live in us in their whole richness and greatness as often as possible. Then we’ll feel that fear and terror about the elements and eruptions disappear, and we’ll draw strength from all hindrances that life puts in our path.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Munich, 8th March 1909

Two will renuite without fail through soul organs

We find a mighty drive in the animal kingdom that’s independent of sense organs. If one brings a foreign pair of butterflies to Germany and releases the male in Frankfurt and the female say in Magdeburg, the two will reunite without fail. They do this with special organs that are even finer than sense organs.

If we meet a total stranger whom we feel a great sympathy for, as happens between man and wife and also between friends, then this is a sign that these people belong together and that they have soul organs that tell them this and bring them together.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – Ga 266 – From the Contents of Esoteric Classes – Berlin, April 18, 1906

See also: The attraction of love: a powerful mystery

The reaction is to avoid having anything to do with this

Nowadays, if you start to discuss, with someone who is interested in these matters, the possibility of achieving a knowledge of spiritual life in conjunction with the sensuous and physical world, you will generally meet with a sympathetic reception. At any rate, the question will be raised: Are there paths by which man can reach some kind of spiritual knowledge? even though it may often turn out that the only knowledge of a spiritual world allowed is one that takes the form of general concepts and ideas, a vague pantheism perhaps or a conception of life reminiscent of mysticism.

If however you should then attempt, as it became necessary for me to do in my book Occult Science, to describe a real cosmology, a science of the origin and development of the world in specific terms, discussion with a rationalist is usually at an end. He reacts strongly to the suggestion that anyone today might be in a position, on some epistemological basis or other, to make a statement about a spiritual origin of the world, about forces operating spiritually in the world’s development, and about the possibility that this development, after having passed through a sensuous and physical phase, might lead back once more into a spiritual form of existence.

The reaction of the rationalist to such a suggestion, implicit in the specific descriptions in Occult Science, for example, is to avoid having anything to do with someone who makes claims of this kind. He will think that, if a man sets out to make specific statements about such matters, he is probably on the verge of losing his reason; at least, we cannot compromise ourselves by becoming involved in discussing these details.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 83 – The Tension Between East and West: 5: Cosmic Memory – Vienna, 5th June, 1922

Translated by B. A. Rowley

Ahriman

During earth life the power of Ahriman leads to the consideration of physical-sensory existence as the only one, thus barring all outlook into the spiritual world. In the spiritual world this power leads the human being to complete isolation, to concentration of all interests only upon himself. Human beings who at death are in the power of Ahriman are reborn as egotists.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science: IV: The Evolution of the Cosmos and Man: Part 7

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

Ahriman (Wikipedia)

Rudolf Steiner, who founded the esoteric spiritual movement anthroposophy, used the concept of Ahriman to name one of two extreme forces which pull humanity away from the centering influence of Christ. Steiner associated Ahriman, the lower spirit, with materialism, science, hereditary, objectivity and soul-hardening. He thought that contemporary Christianity was subject to Ahrimanic influence, since it tended towards materialistic interpretations. Steiner predicted that Ahriman, as a supersensible Being, would incarnate into a human form, ‘some little time after our present earthly existence, in fact in the third post-Christian millennium’.

The dead are perpetually working into our physical world

You must remind yourselves that as well as living through his life here between birth and death, man passes again and again through the life between death and a new birth. Just as here on earth we have experiences through the instrumentality of our body, we also have experiences between death and a new birth, and these experiences are by no means without significance for what we do during our earthly existence in the physical body. But neither are they without significance for what happens on earth as a whole.

For only part — and indeed the rather lesser part — of what happens on the earth originates from those who are living in the physical body. The dead are perpetually working into our physical world. The forces of which man is unwilling to speak to-day in the age of materialism are nevertheless at work in the physical world. Our physical environment is fashioned and permeated not only by the forces emanating from the spiritual world, from the Beings of the higher Hierarchies, but forces proceeding from the dead also penetrate into what surrounds and overtakes us here. So that a full and complete survey of man’s life is possible only if we look beyond what can be told us by knowledge obtained through the senses and through history, here on earth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 196 – Some Conditions for Understanding Supersensible Experiences – Dornach, 18th January 1920

Previously posted on March 1, 2016