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

The way to the heart is through the head

The way to the heart is through the head. Even love is no exception to this. When it is not the mere expression of the sex drive, it is then based upon the mental pictures which we make for ourselves of the loved one. And the more idealistic these mental pictures are, the more blissful is the love. Here also the thought is father to the feeling. One says: Love makes us blind to the weaknesses of the loved one. The matter can also be grasped the other way round and it can be maintained that love opens the eye in fact for precisely the good qualities of the loved one. Many pass these good qualities by without an inkling, without noticing them. One person sees them, and just because he does, love awakens in his soul. What has he done other than make for himself a mental picture of something of which a hundred others have none. They do not have the love because they lack the mental picture

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 4 – The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity: I: Conscious Human Action

Translated by William Lindeman

Previously posted on January 6, 2017

Knowledge of the spiritual world is again attainable through spiritual science (1 of 2)

For someone born blind, the world of color and light is a “beyond” in relation to the accessible world. In other words, we have access to a world only if we have organs with which to perceive it. The moment sight is restored an individual no longer has to rely on others in order to determine that light and color exist. Then, a person experiences a new world but one which in reality was always there. In regard to the spiritual world of which spiritual science speaks, the situation is exactly the same.
Knowledge of the spiritual world is again attainable through spiritual science. Just as there always were enlightened human beings able to see into the spiritual world, so there are individuals today who have developed spiritual organs. They are able to perceive the spiritual aspect of physical phenomena and see beyond the portal of death. They perceive that part of the human being constitutes the immortal being that survives after death. Their task is to impart detailed information of this spiritual research, thus making spiritual knowledge possible once more.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 55 – Supersensible Knowledge – Lecture I: The Significance of Supersensible Knowledge Today – Berlin, 11th October 1906

Translated by Rita Stebbing

Previously posted on April 4, 2017

As blind as a mole

Man is under the influence of many forces and is, in relation to them, as blind as a mole. All the time, he is only aware of one part of reality, although all of reality concerns him. We must have strong impulses that enable us to get away from the reach of harmful demons.

Source (German):  Rudolf Steiner – GA 98 – Natur- und Geistwesen- ihr Wirken in unserer sichtbaren Welt – Hannover, February 24, 1908 (page 257)

Anonymous translator

Previously posted on May 7, 2016

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