On reading to the dead

If the souls that have remained behind make a clear mental image of the dead person and, at the same time, bring to mind an anthroposophical train of thought
or open an anthroposophical book and in thought, not aloud, read to the dead whose spiritual image stands before them, the dead will become aware of it. […]

It is a grave error to think that a human being need only to die in order, so to speak, to come into contact with the whole spiritual world. […] It is deep prejudice that believes the souls become quite wise as soon as they have passed through the portals of death.

[…] During the time immediately following death, the departed is also more connected with the language he has last spoken, if he has exclusively spoken only one language. We should really consider the fact that during the time immediately following death we have to send our thoughts to the dead, — we must send our thoughts to them — in the language they were accustomed to.

Source: Rudolf steiner – GA 140 – Occult Research into Life Between Death and a New Birth: THE COSMIC ASPECT OF LIFE BETWEEN DEATH AND NEW BIRTH, THE WAY THROUGH THE PLANETARY SPHERES – Stuttgart, February 17, 1913

Translated by Ruth Hofrichter