New senses / New phenomena

Nobody has true knowledge of the visible world unless he knows something also of two other worlds.

The three worlds are:

The physical world, the scene of human life.

The astral world or the world of soul.

The devachanic world or world of spirit.

These three worlds are not spatially separate. We are surrounded by the things of the physical world which we perceive with our ordinary senses: but the astral world is in this same space; we live in the other two worlds, the astral and devachanic worlds, at the same time as we live in the physical world. The three worlds are wherever we ourselves are, only we do not yet see the two higher worlds — just as a blind man does not see the physical world. But when the “senses of the soul” are opened, the new world, with its new characteristics and new beings, emerges. In proportion as a man acquires new senses, so are new phenomena revealed to him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: LECTURE TWO: THE THREE WORLDS – Stuttgart, 23rd August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on August 19, 2019

41S-l5vdYjL._SX336_BO1,204,203,200_

Blind after death (2 of 2)

And anyone who declares that ordinary knowledge acquired through healthy human reason does not give him eyes for supersensible existence but that for this he needs clairvoyance — anyone who speaks like this might just as well declare that man cannot think unless his eyes do the thinking. As little as in physical life the eyes need think, as little does knowledge of the supersensible worlds need clairvoyance for the purposes I have indicated today.

Naturally, there would be no supersensible knowledge on Earth if there were no clairvoyance; but even the seer must make intelligible in the ordinary way what he sees in the supersensible. However powerful a man’s clairvoyant faculty might be in earthly life, however clear his vision of the spiritual world, if he were too easy-going to bring into the form of logical, intelligible ideas what he sees in the spiritual world, he would still be blinded in the spiritual world after death.

What constitutes the great suffering for one who has insight into modern Initiation-Science is that he must admit: materialism makes men blind when they pass through the gate of death. And here again is something showing that it is of significance for the whole of cosmic existence whether man today inclines to supersensible knowledge or not. The time when it is essential for him to do so has arrived; the very progress of humanity depends upon man acquiring supersensible knowledge.

Source: Rudolf Steiner- GA 219 – Man/World of Stars: IV: Rhythms of Earthly and Spiritual Life. Love, Memory, the Moral Life. – Dornach, December 15, 1922

41y0KQBwe-L

Blind after death (1 of 2)

If between birth and death no knowledge of the supersensible world is developed, this will mean blindness in the life in the supersensible world between death and a new birth, just as the absence of eyes means blindness in the spatial organism. Man passes through death even if on Earth he acquires no knowledge of the supersensible world; but he enters then into a world where he sees nothing, where he can only grope his way about.

This is the agonizing experience that is the natural corollary of the materialistic age for one who has true insight into Initiation-Science today. He sees how men on Earth lapse into materialism; but he also knows what this lapse means for the spiritual life. He knows that it means eradication of the eyes, that in the existence awaiting them after death, men will only be able to grope their way about. In olden times, when there was instinctive knowledge of the supersensible world, men passed through the gate of death able to see. That old, instinctive supersensible knowledge is now extinct. 

Today, spiritual knowledge must be consciously acquired — spiritual knowledge, I say, not clairvoyance. As I have always emphasized, clairvoyance too can be attained, but that is not the essential here. The essential thing is that what is discovered through clairvoyant research shall be understood — as it can be understood — by ordinary human reason, healthy human reason. Clairvoyance is needed to investigate these things, but it is not needed for acquiring the faculty of sight in the supersensible world after death. 

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner- GA 219 – Man/World of Stars: IV: Rhythms of Earthly and Spiritual Life. Love, Memory, the Moral Life. – Dornach, December 15, 1922

41y0KQBwe-L

Urgent necessity of gaining knowledge about the spiritual world

Man on Earth can gain more and more knowledge of what the nature of his life will be when he passes through the gate of death. There are people who say: ‘Why do I need to know all this? I shall surely see it all after death!’ — That attitude is just as if a man were to doubt the value of eyesight. For as the Earth’s evolution takes its course, man enters more and more into a life in which he must acquire the power to partake in these after-death experiences by grasping them, to begin with in thought, here on the Earth.

To shut out knowledge of the spiritual worlds while we are on the Earth is to blind ourselves in soul and spirit after death. A man will enter the spiritual world as a cripple when he passes through the gate of death, if here, in this world, he disdains to learn about the world of spirit, for humanity is evolving towards freedom — towards free spiritual activity. This fact should become clearer and clearer to mankind and should make men realize the urgent necessity of gaining knowledge about the spiritual world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 219 – Man and the World of Stars: II: Moral Qualities and the Life After Death. Windows of the Earth. – Dornach, December 1, 1922

Translated by Dorothy S. Osmond

Previously posted on May 22, 2018

1584366

After Death / Change of Consciousness

The first thing which we should bear in mind is that the outer worlds are not to be found in other places, but we are surrounded by them the same way in which we are surrounded by the physical world and they permeate the physical world. After death, man consequently does not travel to other places, but he simply changes his way of looking at things, his consciousness changes. 

When we die or become initiated, the same thing happens as in the case of a blind-person who suddenly acquires the power of sight; he too will not be transferred into another world, but he simply acquired a new sense. After death, we are not surrounded by a new, completely different world, but the senses for the perception of the physical world are eliminated and we perceive instead things which escaped our notice before, which had remained concealed to us until then.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – Popular Occultism: 2nd Lecture – MAN’S ASCENT INTO THE SUPERSENSIBLE WORLD –  Leipzig, 29 June, 1906