Atmosphere after death

Just as here on Earth we have the summer air around us giving warmth and life, and as we have the cold and frosty winter air around us, so, after death, we are surrounded by an atmosphere of soul-and-spirit that is warm and life-giving in so far as it is produced through our good feelings, and chilling in so far as it is produced through our evil feelings. 

Here on Earth, in certain regions at least, the summer and winter temperatures are the same for all of us. In the time after death, each human being has his own atmosphere, engendered by himself. And the most moving experiences after death are connected with the fact that one man lives in icy cold and the other, close beside him, in life-giving warmth.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 219 – Man and the World of Stars: II: Moral Qualities and the Life After Death. Windows of the Earth. – Dornach, December 1, 1922

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on June 23, 2017


If we go back to the same thing, the same must again come out of it

How frequent the question arises which I have referred to briefly today and which I will go into further in the near future, the question: What is the position occupied by Christianity during the past centuries and thousands of years, seeing that although it has been working for hundreds of years, yet the present-day conditions (1918) are possible? This question has been touched upon at different points. 

It can be seen that the materials necessary to answer it are not yet to be found among what mankind calls today the scientific or religious or any other kind of studies. Spiritual Science alone will be able to produce these materials. For it is indeed an earnest question: How is the present-day man to regard Christianity? — considering that it has indeed worked for a long time in the past and yet has allowed such conditions to come about today. 

Those men are certainly peculiar who demand that Christianity should go back again to some of the forms existing before these conditions, who does have no feeling for the fact that if we go back to the same thing, the same must again come out of it. These people will certainly not very easily admit that something new of a penetrating and intense nature must strike into spiritual life.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Anthroposophical Life Gifts: Lecture V: Thoughts on Life and Death – Berlin, 16th April 1918

Previously posted on June 14, 2017

I took pains to refrain from applying any criticism

The task for my observation took this form: to take in quite objectively and purely by way of perception that which lives in a human being. I took pains to refrain from applying any criticism to what men did, not to give way to either sympathy or antipathy in my relation to them; I desired simply to allow “man as he is to work upon me.”

I soon learned that such an observation of the world leads truly into the world of spirit. In observing the physical world one goes quite outside oneself; and just by reason of this one comes again, with an intensified capacity for spiritual observation, into the spiritual world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of My Life – Chapter XXII



Practical thinking

Whenever anything really practical has been invented, it has been done by a person without practical knowledge of that particular subject. Take, for instance, the modern postage stamp. It would be most natural to assume that it was invented by some practical post office official. It was not. At the beginning of the last century it was a complicated affair to mail a letter. In order to dispatch a letter one had to go to the nearest receiving office where various books had to be referred to and many other formalities complied with. The uniform rate of postage known today is hardly sixty years old, and our present postage stamp that makes this possible was not invented by a practical postal employee at all but by someone completely outside the post office. This was the Englishman, Rowland Hill


Rowland Hill

After the uniform system of postage stamps had been devised, the English minister who then had charge of the mails declared in Parliament that one could not assume any simplification of the system would increase the volume of mail as the impractical Hill anticipated. Even if it did, the London post office would be entirely inadequate to handle the increased volume. It never occurred to this highly “practical” individual that the post office must be fitted to the amount of business, not the business to the size of the post office. Indeed, in the shortest possible time this idea, which an “impractical” man had to defend against a “practical” authority, became a fact. Today, stamps are used everywhere as a matter of course for sending letters.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Practical Training In Thought – Carlsruhe, January 18, 1909

Translated by Henry B. Monges and revised by Gilbert Church, Ph.D.

Harmful to mankind

Care must be taken that a certain knowledge is not placed at the service of one part of mankind, but at the service of mankind as a whole. As soon as man does not permeate the best knowledge with this sentiment it will become harmful to mankind.


Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Anthroposophical Life Gifts: Lecture IV: The Eternal and the Imperishable – Berlin, 9th April 1918

Previously posted on June 12, 2017