Giovanni Santi / Raphael / John the Baptist

The more we work with spiritual science, the more we notice that the dead also work back upon the living. For example, in educating children who have lost their fathers at a very early age, we must take this into account. Often one can feel the father sending an influence from the spiritual world. I once had to tutor children whose father had died early. I tried to train them in my own way, but it would not work, simply would not work. But when it occurred to me to allow for the influence of the father from the spiritual world, then it went very well …

If you work out something about incarnations in a clever theoretical way, it will usually be wrong. It must seem strange that Raphael was the same person as a thorny character like John the Baptist.

How could it happen that this thorny man, who had to pave the way for the Mystery of Golgotha in such a violent way, reappeared as the gentle, pliable, charming Raphael? But look at this. Raphael’s father, Giovanni Santi, died when Raphael was eleven. He was a painter. He was not a great painter so far as external achievements go, but he had great ideas in his head, although he could not put them on camas because he had no technical skill. He was also a poet. There was a great deal of fantasy in him, but the physical capacities simply were not there. He went early through the portal of death, and then his forces worked into his son. In Raphael’s hands and imagination worked all that his father could send into the physical world. One can say that the old Giovanni Santi was a painter without hands in the supersensible world, for in a wonderful karmic relationship he supplied, in combination with the Christ-filled individuality of the Baptist, what came to expression in Raphael. The supersensible world had to work with the physical world to achieve this result. It shows how the so-called dead are able to influence those who have been left behind…

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA number unknown – On the Relationship with the Dead – From a Branch Lecture in Essen on 23 April 1913

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