Ego Awareness

Here in physical life we realise our Ego through the fact — which I have often pointed out — that we stand in a certain relation to our body. Consider: if you reflect closely on a dream you will say: In the dream you have no clear feeling of the Ego, but often a feeling of separation. That is because man here on the physical plane only really feels his Ego through contact with his body. You can represent it very crudely thus: If you move your finger through the air — there is nothing there! Move it further — there is still nothing. When you touch something, however, in coming against something, you know of yourself, you become aware of yourself. We are thereby made aware of our Ego. Not the Ego itself is aroused — the Ego is a Being — but the consciousness of the Ego. The opposition makes us aware of our Self. Thus we are Ego-conscious in the physical body because of our living in it. For this reason we have received the physical body. In the life between death and rebirth we have an Ego-consciousness, because we have received the forces which proceed from the vision of the previous life. We come to a certain extent in contact with that which the world of space gives us and thereby win our Ego-consciousness for the life between birth and death. We come in contact with that which we ourselves have experienced between birth and death in the last life, and thereby have our Ego-consciousness for the life between death and rebirth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – THE FORMING OF DESTINY AND LIFE AFTER DEATH: 2. On the forming of Destiny – Berlin,18 November 1915

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PORTRAIT BUST BY DAVID DOZIER

What could be more uplifting?

What could be more uplifting than to know that we can discover the fount of our life between death and rebirth. We can discover our kinship with the whole universe! What could give us greater strength for our duties in life than the knowledge that we bear within us the forces pouring in from the universe and must so prepare ourselves in life that these forces can become active in us when, between death and rebirth, we pass into the spheres of the planets and of the Sun. 

One who truly grasps what occultism can reveal to him about man’s relation to the world of the stars can say with sincerity and understanding the prayer that might be worded somewhat as follows, “The more conscious I become that I am born out of the universe, the more deeply I feel the responsibility to develop in myself the forces given to me by a whole universe, the better human being I can become.” 

One who knows how to say this prayer from the depths of the soul may also hope that it will become in him a fulfilled ideal. He may hope that through the power of such a prayer he will indeed become a better and more perfect man. Thus what we receive through true spiritual science works into the most intimate depths of our being.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth: III – Hanover, November 18, 1912

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on June 30, 2018

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Knowledge of Karma in life between death and rebirth alleviates pain

A person who is not prepared to admit the reality of karma, or repeated earth lives, can never really accept the fact that a destiny belongs to him. How does a person go through the world? One person does this to him, the other that; he likes the one, dislikes the other. He does not know that he himself is the cause of what comes to meet him, of the painful experience inflicted by another person. This does not occur to him, for otherwise he would feel, “You have brought it on yourself!”

If during one’s lifetime one is able to entertain such thoughts, then one at least will have a feeling as to the origin of the suffering one has to endure after death.

To know about karma in life between death and rebirth alleviates the pain, for otherwise the agonizing question as to why one has to suffer remains unanswered. In our time we have to begin to be aware of such things for without knowledge of them the evolution of humanity will not be able to continue.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Life Between Death and Rebirth – Lecture 9: Life After Death – Linz, January 26, 1913

Translated by Rene Querido

Previously posted on February 25, 2017

Kamaloka – The positive develops out of the negative (3 – End)

I thus realise all the effects of my deeds and thereby absorb the force to wipe them away. And during this time in Kamaloka — which lasts a third of the earth-life — I absorb all the forces which may be expressed as an intense longing in the now disembodied soul, to remove everything which destroys perfection by retarding the soul’s evolution.

If you ponder over this you will see that man himself makes his own Karma, that is, that he has in himself the wish to become such that everything undesirable may be wiped out. Thus is Karma prepared, during this particular time. We incorporate into our souls the force which we must take up between death and rebirth, in order to bring about in the next incarnation that configuration of our life which we are able to regard as the right one. This is how Karma is created. […]

For the positive develops out of the negative. Through insight into that which we have done, we develop the power of making compensation.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: LECTURE 2: ON THE FORMING OF DESTINY – Berlin, 18th November, 1915

Translated by Harry Collison

Kamaloka – The positive develops out of the negative (1 of 3)

One idea, one characteristic, which has indeed been expressed many times already, but which we will once more bring forward in connection with the life which occupies a third of the earth-life just elapsed, and which we are accustomed to call the life in Kamaloka. If you are living here on the earth and somebody strikes you, you are aware of it. You perceive it, and say: he has struck me. And as a rule it makes a difference whether somebody hits you, or whether you hit him, and if you hear something said by someone, you have not the same experience as when you yourself say something.

All this is quite reversed in Kamaloka life, in which we live our life backwards between death and rebirth. To use this rough illustration it is then as follows. If you have given anybody a blow in life, you feel what the other person felt through the blow. If you have injured another through a word, you experience the feeling you caused him. Thus you feel the experience of the other soul. In other words, you experience the results brought about by your own deeds. We experience in this journey backwards everything which other people have experienced through us during our life here, between birth and death.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: LECTURE 2: ON THE FORMING OF DESTINY – Berlin, 18th November, 1915

Translated by Harry Collison