Submitting to whatever the future may bring

We need only to remember the feelings of fear and anxiety that gnaw at our soul-life in face of the unknown future. Is there anything that can give the soul a sense of security in this situation? Yes, there is. It is what we may call a feeling of humbleness towards anything that may come towards the soul out of the darkness of the future. But this feeling will be effective only if it has the character of prayer. Let us avoid misunderstanding. We are not extolling something that might be called humbleness in one sense or another; we are describing a definite form of it — humbleness to whatever the future may bring.

Anyone who looks anxiously and fearfully towards the future hinders his development, hampers the free unfolding of his soul-forces. Nothing, indeed, obstructs this development more than fear and anxiety in face of the unknown future. But the results of submitting to the future can be judged only by experience. What does this humbleness mean?

Ideally, it would mean saying to oneself: Whatever the next hour or day may bring, I cannot change it by fear or anxiety, for it is not yet known. I will therefore wait for it with complete inward restfulness, perfect tranquillity of mind. Anyone who can meet the future in this calm, relaxed way, without impairing his active strength and energy, will be able to develop the powers of his soul freely and intensively. It is as if hindrance after hindrance falls away, as the soul comes to be more and more pervaded by this feeling of humbleness toward approaching events.

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Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 59 – Metamorphoses of the Soul: Paths of Experience Vol. 2: Lecture 4: Nature of Prayer – Berlin, 17th February 1910

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim. Original translation by George Metaxa

Concern for friends, relatives and children

Concern for friends, relatives and children may also act as a kind of gravity that holds souls (post mortem) back in the earth sphere. It is important to pay attention to this because by taking it into account we can also help the dead. If, for instance, we realize that the departed soul feels anxiety for a living person — and much can come to our knowledge in this respect — it will help the dead person in his further development to relieve him of this anxiety. We ease the life of someone who has died by relieving him, for example, of anxiety about a child whom he has left behind unprovided for. By doing something for the child, we relieve the dead person of anxiety, and this is a true service of love. Let us picture such a situation. The dead person has not available the means to rid himself of anxiety. From his realm he may be unable to do anything that would ease the circumstances of a child, a relative or a friend. He is often condemned — and in many cases this weighs heavily upon the seer — to bear the anxiety until the situation of the one left behind improves of itself or by circumstances. Therefore, if we do something to better the situation we will have performed a real deed of love for the dead one.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: Man’s Journey through the Cosmic Spheres after Death – Munich, 12th March 1913

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on June 30, 2017

There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear offer welcome food

There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear emanating from human beings offer welcome food. When humans have no anxiety and fear, then these creatures starve. People not yet sufficiently convinced of this statement could understand it to be meant comparatively only. But for those who are familiar with this phenomenon, it is a reality.

If fear and anxiety radiate from people and they break out in panic, then these creatures find welcome nutrition and they become more and more powerful. These beings are hostile towards humanity. Everything that feeds on negative feelings, on anxiety, fear and superstition, despair or doubt,  are in reality hostile forces in supersensible worlds, launching cruel attacks on human beings, while they are being fed.

Therefore, it is above all necessary to begin with that the person who enters the spiritual world overcome fear, feelings of helplessness, despair and anxiety. But these are exactly the feelings that belong to contemporary culture and materialism; because it estranges people from the spiritual world, it is especially suited to evoke hopelessness and fear of the unknown in people, thereby calling up the above mentioned hostile forces against them.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlijn, December 12, 1907 (page 145)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on May 31, 2015

Concern for friends, relatives and children

Concern for friends, relatives and children may also act as a kind of gravity that holds souls (post mortem) back in the earth sphere. It is important to pay attention to this because by taking it into account we can also help the dead. If, for instance, we realize that the departed soul feels anxiety for a living person — and much can come to our knowledge in this respect — it will help the dead person in his further development to relieve him of this anxiety. We ease the life of someone who has died by relieving him, for example, of anxiety about a child whom he has left behind unprovided for. By doing something for the child, we relieve the dead person of anxiety, and this is a true service of love. Let us picture such a situation. The dead person has not available the means to rid himself of anxiety. From his realm he may be unable to do anything that would ease the circumstances of a child, a relative or a friend. He is often condemned — and in many cases this weighs heavily upon the seer — to bear the anxiety until the situation of the one left behind improves of itself or by circumstances. Therefore, if we do something to better the situation we will have performed a real deed of love for the dead one.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: Man’s Journey through the Cosmic Spheres after Death – Munich, 12th March 1913

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on November 29, 2014

Submitting to whatever the future may bring

We need only to remember the feelings of fear and anxiety that gnaw at our soul-life in face of the unknown future. Is there anything that can give the soul a sense of security in this situation? Yes, there is. It is what we may call a feeling of humbleness towards anything that may come towards the soul out of the darkness of the future. But this feeling will be effective only if it has the character of prayer. Let us avoid misunderstanding. We are not extolling something that might be called humbleness in one sense or another; we are describing a definite form of it — humbleness to whatever the future may bring. Anyone who looks anxiously and fearfully towards the future hinders his development, hampers the free unfolding of his soul-forces. Nothing, indeed, obstructs this development more than fear and anxiety in face of the unknown future. But the results of submitting to the future can be judged only by experience. What does this humbleness mean?

Ideally, it would mean saying to oneself: Whatever the next hour or day may bring, I cannot change it by fear or anxiety, for it is not yet known. I will therefore wait for it with complete inward restfulness, perfect tranquillity of mind. Anyone who can meet the future in this calm, relaxed way, without impairing his active strength and energy, will be able to develop the powers of his soul freely and intensively. It is as if hindrance after hindrance falls away, as the soul comes to be more and more pervaded by this feeling of humbleness toward approaching events.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 59 – Metamorphoses of the Soul: Paths of Experience Vol. 2: Lecture 4: Nature of Prayer – Berlin, 17th February 1910

Translated by C. Davy and C. von Arnim. Original translation by George Metaxa.