The dead are in our midst

Today men think: When a human being has passed through the Gate of Death, his activity ceases so far as the physical world is concerned. But it is not so, in reality. There is a living and perpetual intercourse between the so-called dead and the so-called living. Those who have passed through the Gate of Death have not ceased to be present, it is just that our eyes have ceased to see them. They are there, nevertheless. 

Our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will are connected with the dead. The Gospel words hold good for the dead as well: “ The Kingdom of the Spirit cometh not with observation (that is to say, external observation); neither shall they say, Lo here, lo there, for behold, the Kingdom of the Spirit is within you.” For we should not seek for the dead through externalities but should become conscious that they are always present. 

All historical life, all social life, all ethical life, proceed by virtue of co-operation of the so-called living with the so-called dead. The whole being of man can be infinitely strengthened when his consciousness is filled not only with the realisation of his firm stand here in the physical world but with the inner realisation that comes to him when he can say of the dead whom he has loved: The dead are with us, they are in our midst.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – THE DEAD ARE WITH US – Nuremberg, February 10, 1918 

Translated from the German by D. S. Osmond.