Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be sent to them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart,  September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

See The whole lecture in English  Translated by E.H. Goddard and Charles Davy

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Previously posted on July 20, 2018

About the fear of death

At the moment of death, when the human being goes through the portal of death, he sees numerous hindering, malevolent forces approaching him. These forces, however, are usually drawn near through the fear of death. The greater the fear of death, the stronger their power is. Fear of death has always been a cause of anxiety at the moment of death. When, however, the dying person is aware that fear cannot change anything about the dying process that he has to go through, these forces and powers appear like desiccated bags.

The human being can only gain victory over the fear of death and bravely face it if he knows that in him is an immortal, eternal inner core for whom death is only a metamorphosis of life, a change of life form. As soon as the human being discovers his immortal inner core through spiritual science, he learns more and more how to overcome anxiety and in the long run all fear of death disappears as well. The more materialistic a person is however, all the more will he fear death.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, December 12, 1907 (page 146)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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STEINER AND MARIE VON SIVERS

Previously posted on July 17, 2018

Without the school of sensuality, we can never reach spirituality

Spiritual science does not teach us to turn away from life. The spiritual scientist may use the following comparison: the soul resembles a bee that flies out to the meadows to seek honey and bring it back to the hive. Here on earth the soul gathers the honey of life which he brings to the altar of the Godhead after death. The soul could never do this without a life in the physical world.

When man incarnates and begins to see, he at first simply perceives through his eyes. Gradually spiritual enjoyment grows out of this. Physical pleasure changes into spiritual enjoyment. The savage with but a few incarnations enjoys the many colors and the simplest sense-impressions. With each incarnation his senses grow more refined. — If we had never enjoyed colours sensually, we could never attain spiritual enjoyment of colors. The sensually enjoyment is therefore a necessary deviation. We should enjoy the beauty of the physical world. Similarly, sensual love gradually leads to the highest, purest, spiritual love. The soul should transform every experience and carry it up to the altar of spirituality. Nothing, really nothing, is ever lost. Without the school of sensuality, we can never reach spirituality. The Earth is not a valley of tears, it is a gathering place and the human beings are — so the Bible says — messengers, Angels of God, sent out to gather honey.

Source: Rudof Steiner – GA 94 – POPULAR OCCULTISM: III. Man’s Different States after Death – Leipzig, 30 June 1906

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Painting by David Newbatt

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

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Drawing by Mia Araujo

Previously posted on June 29, 2018

Experiences are transformed and become capabilities, skills and talents

The way in which the experiences here on earth are processed, is such that only a very small portion of these experiences are retained; every ability one acquires needs much more than what is retained in the end. For example, one does not remember how one has learned to write. Acquiring the ability to write was accompanied by a variety of experiences. These experiences contract, as it were, into a single power, the skill of writing. What at first is outer experience turns into a skill. In all experiences there lies such a possibility, such an opportunity: the experiences one gains in life can later on transform into abilities, talents. The conversion takes place after death. When the person is born again they will appear as talents, as capabilities. This is the basic feeling in devachan: that all experiences are transformed to capabilities, life-skills. That results in a feeling of bliss…. a stream of happiness permeates the people. All creative activity evokes a feeling of bliss. The relationships that have been spun in the world are much more intense in devachan than here on Earth. The limitations of space and time fall away. One can in fact penetrate other people.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – Ursprungsimpulse der Geisteswissenschaft – Berlin, 22nd October 1906 (page182-183)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on June 28, 2018