I don’t like that nonsense

When we speak on the physical plane and tell our thoughts to someone, we have the feeling that our thoughts come from our soul, that we have to remember them at this particular moment. Speaking as a true occultist and not someone who just tells his experiences from memory, we will feel that our thoughts arise as living beings. We must be glad if we are blessed at the right moment with the approach of a thought as a real being.

When you express your thoughts in the physical world, for example, as a lecturer, you will find it easier to give a talk for the thirtieth time than you did the first time. If, however, you speak as an occultist, thoughts always have to approach you and then depart again. Just as someone paying you the thirtieth visit had to make his way to you thirty times, the living thought we express for the thirtieth time has to come to us thirty times as it did the first time; our memory is of absolutely no use here.

If you express an idea on the physical level and someone is sitting in a corner thinking, “I don’t like that nonsense, I hate it,” you will not be particularly bothered by it. You have prepared your ideas and present them regardless of the positive or negative thoughts of someone in the audience. But if as an esotericist you let thoughts approach you, they could be delayed and kept away by someone who hates them or who hates the speaker. And the forces blocking that thought must be overcome because we are dealing with living beings and not merely with abstract ideas.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – The Presence of the Dead on the Spiritual Path – Lecture Four: The Presence of the Dead in our Life – Paris, May 25, 1914


Previously posted on 9 November 2018


A kind of sleep after death

You know that when a man passes through the gate of death, he lays aside his physical and etheric bodies and for a short time has a retrospective view of his past life on earth. A kind of sleep then ensues and after a few months, or perhaps years, he wakens on the astral plane, in Kamaloka. Then follows the life in Kamaloka, when the earthly life is lived over again in backward order, three times as quickly.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 130 – BUDDHA AND CHRIST: The Sphere of the Bodhisattvas – Milan, 21 September 1911

Translated by D. S. Osmond

It is remarkable that Steiner speaks here of a sleeping state of several months or years after death, between the retrospective view of a couple of days and the Kamaloka.

He says nothing about this in two of his most important books Occult Science (GA 13) and Theosophy (GA 9). I have never read this in other of his works either.



Antipathy and karma (2 of 4) – People go through the world with far more hatred than they think

Then, in the next earthly life, out of the hatred is born what comes to us from the outer world as pain, distress, unhappiness caused from outside — in a word, the opposite of joy. You will reply: we experience so much of suffering and pain; is it all really due to hatred — greater or lesser hatred — in our preceding life? “I cannot possibly imagine,” man will be prone to say, “that I was such a bad lot, that I must experience so much sorrow because I hated so much.”

Well, if you want to think open-mindedly of these things, you must be aware how great is the illusion which lulls you to sleep (and to which you therefore readily give yourself up) at this point. You suggest-away from your conscious mind the antipathies you are feeling against others. People go through the world with far more hatred than they think — far more antipathy, at least. It is a fact of life: hatred gives satisfaction to the soul, and for this reason, as a rule, it is not at first experienced in consciousness. It is eclipsed by the satisfaction it gives. But when it returns as pain and suffering that comes to us from outside, it is no longer so; we notice the suffering quickly enough.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I: Lecture IV – Dornach, 24th February 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond


Previously posted on  22 September 2018

Antipathy and karma (1 of 4)

Now let us assume that a man does positive harm to another, out of hatred or antipathy. We can imagine every conceivable degree. A man may harm his fellows out of a positively criminal sense of hatred. Or — to omit the intermediate stages — he may merely be a critic. To be a critic, you must always hate a little — unless you are one who praises; and such critics are few nowadays. It is uninteresting to show recognition of other people’s work; it only becomes interesting when you can be witty at their expense.

Now there are all manner of intermediate stages. But it is a matter here of all those human deeds which proceed from a cold antipathy — antipathy of which people are often not at all clearly aware — or, at the other extreme, from positive hatred. All that is thus brought about by men against their fellows, or against sub-human creatures — all this finds vent in conditions of soul which in their turn are mirrored in the life between death and a new birth.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 235 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume I: Lecture IV – Dornach, 24th February 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D. S. Osmond


Previously posted on 21 September 2018

Knowledge of the spiritual world can only be acquired on earth

The fact that the dead live in the spiritual world does not necessarily give them knowledge of the world, although they can see it. The knowledge which can be acquired through Spiritual Science can only be acquired on earth; it cannot be acquired in the spiritual world. If, therefore, the beings in the spiritual world are to possess it too, they can only gain it from the beings still on the earth. That is an important secret of the spiritual worlds. We may live in them and be able to perceive them, but the necessary knowledge concerning these worlds can only be acquired on earth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Descriptive Sketches of the Spiritual World: Lecture I – Bergen, 10th October 1913

Translated by Harry Collison


Harry Collison (1868-1945)

Previously posted 29 June 2018