Brain / Universe / Birth

The active forces of the starry world push us into physical incarnation. Clairvoyant perception allows us to see in a person’s organization that he or she is indeed the result of the working together of such cosmic forces. I want to illustrate this in a hypothetical form that nevertheless corresponds fully to clairvoyant perceptions.

If we examined the structure of a person’s brain clairvoyantly and could see that certain functions are located in certain places and give rise to certain processes, we would find that each person’s brain is different. No two people have the same brain. If we could take a picture of the entire brain with all of its details visible, we would get a different picture for each person. If we photographed a person’s brain at the moment of birth and took a picture of the sky directly above his or her birthplace, the two pictures would be alike. The stars in the photograph of the sky would be arranged in the same way as certain parts of the brain in the other picture. Thus, our brain is really a picture of the heavens, and we each have a different picture depending on where and when we were born. This indicates that we are born out of the entire universe.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 15 – The Spiritual Guidance of the Individual and Humanity: Lecture Three – Copenhagen, June 8, 1911

Previously posted on May 6, 2019 


Death is the proof that in reality there is no death

The moment of death is of extraordinary significance. Death is something which most distinctly has two totally different aspects. Regarded here from the physical world it certainly has many sad aspects, many painful sides. But we really only see death here from the one side; after our death we see it from the other. It is then the most satisfying and most perfect occurrence that we can possibly experience, for there it is a living fact. Whereas here death is a proof of how frail and transitory the physical life of man is — when seen from the spiritual world it is actually a proof that the spirit continually wins the victory over everything non-spiritual, that the spirit is ever the life, the eternal, ever-unconquerable life.

Death is precisely the proof that in reality there is no death, that Death is a Maya, an illusion. Herein lies the great difference between the life from death to rebirth and our life here from birth to death. For as you know, no man can with ordinary physical means of cognition remember his own birth. No one can prove his own birth by personal experience, for he has not seen it himself. One’s birth is something which cannot be seen by the human eye here in physical life. It lies before the time which we can remember. Birth is never included in our recollection. Death, however — and it is thereby distinguished from birth as regards its significance after death — death stands before our spiritual vision as the greatest, most significant, living and perfect event in our life between death and rebirth. For death is precisely the means by which we retain our Ego-consciousness after death. And just as little as it is possible in physical life to remember our birth, is it necessary and self-evident in the life between death and rebirth, that the great moment, when the spirit separates from the body should, during the whole time we pass in the spiritual world, always stand before our psychic-spiritual gaze.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death: Lecture 1: Spiritual life in the physical world and life between death and rebirth – Berlin, 16th November 1915

Pre-Incarnation Preview

Immediately before incarnation a very important event occurs, parallel to the event which follows the moment of death. Just as immediately after death the whole memory of a man’s past life appears like a tableau before his soul, so is a kind of preview of the coming life given to the soul immediately before it incarnates. Not all the details are seen, but the circumstances of the coming life are made evident in broad outline. 

This is of the utmost importance. It may happen that a person who went through a great deal of suffering and hardship in his previous life receives a shock from the glimpse of the new circumstances and destiny now in prospect, and holds back the soul from complete incarnation. Only a part of the soul then enters the body, and this will result in the birth of an epileptic or an idiot.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: Lecture five: Human tasks in the higher worlds – Stuttgart, 26th August 1906

Translated by E. H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on October 24, 2016

Incarnations had a beginning and will have an end

Incarnations do not repeat themselves in endless cycles; they had a beginning and will have an end. Once, in a far distant past, man did not descend to Earth for his incarnation. He then led a sort of angelic life, and birth and death were unknown to him. His life condition was uninterrupted by the present radical changes of birth and death. Just as surely, time is coming when man will not be forced to dive into the lower worlds again.  This will come about when his sojourn in the lower worlds has enabled him to gather enough experience, and acquire a ripe and clear consciousness that is sufficient to allow him to work in the higher worlds.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 108 – Die Beantwortung von Welt- und Lebensfragen durch Anthroposophie – Breslau, December 2, 1908 (page 61)

Anonymous translator

From the other side death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit

From this side of life, death appears to be a dissolution, something in face of which the human being has a ready fear and dread. From the other side, death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit, as that which spreads a sun-radiance over the whole of the subsequent life between death and a new birth; as that which most of all warms the soul through with joy in the life between death and a new birth. The moment of death is something that is looked back upon with a deep sense of blessing. Described in earthly terms: the moment of death, viewed from the other side, is the most joyful, the most enrapturing point in the life between death and a new birth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death I – Dornach, February 5, 1915