The first days after death

Immediately after death a man has before him, as in a mighty picture, the life which has just run its course. For several days he goes back over his whole past life, but always so that the whole life is there before him. It lies before him as in a great panorama. Now, of course, if observed more closely, it turns out that these days in their review of the past life, are as it were endowed with a certain power of observation. In a sense we regard the life during these days from the standpoint of the Ego. We see in particular everything in which our Ego was interested. We see the relations which we have with a person, but we see them in a connection with the results we ourselves obtained from them. 

Thus we do not regard things quite objectively, but see all that has borne fruit for ourselves. Man sees himself everywhere as the centre. And that is extremely necessary. For from these days when he thus sees everything which has been fruitful for him, arises that inner strength and force which he needs in the whole of his life between death and rebirth, in order there to be able firmly to retain the thought of the Ego. For we owe the power of being able to retain the Ego between death and rebirth to this vision of the last life; the power to do so really proceeds from this.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: Lecture 1: Spiritual life in the physical world and life between death and rebirth – Berlin, 16th November 1915