Wishes and desires after death (1 of 3)

For the ego there are two kinds of desires in life: the desires that have their source in the bodies, and therefore must be satisfied within these bodies, ceasing with the disintegration of these bodies, and the desires that have their source in the spiritual nature of the ego. As long as the ego is within the bodies, these desires also are satisfied by means of bodily organs, for in the manifestations of the bodily organs the hidden spirit is at work, and in all that the senses perceive they receive at the same time something spiritual. This spiritual element exists also after death, although in another form. All spiritual desires of the ego within the sense world exist also when the senses are no longer present. 

If a third kind of desire were not added to these two, death would signify merely a transition from desires that can be satisfied by means of the senses to those that find their realization in the revelation of the spiritual world. This third type of desire is produced by the ego during Its life in the sense world because it finds pleasure in this world also in so far as there is no spirit manifest in it. — The basest enjoyments can be a manifestation of the spirit. The gratification that the hungry being experiences in taking food is a manifestation of spirit because through the eating of food something is brought about without which, in a certain sense, the spirit could not evolve. The ego can, however, transcend the enjoyment that this fact of necessity offers. It may long for good tasting food, quite apart from the service rendered the spirit by eating. 

The same is true of other things in the sense world. Desires are created thereby that would never have come into being in the sense world had the human ego not been incorporated in it. But neither do these desires spring from the spiritual nature of the ego. The ego must have sense enjoyments as long as it lives in the body, also in so far as it is spiritual; for the spirit manifests in the sense world and the ego enjoys nothing but spirit when, in this world, it surrenders itself to that medium through which the light of the spirit radiates. It will continue to enjoy this light even when the sense world is no longer the medium through which the rays of the spirit pass. In the spirit world, however, there is no gratification for desires in which the spirit has not already manifested itself in the sense world. 

To be continued

Source:Rudolf Steiner – GA 13 – An Outline of Occult Science – III. Sleep and Death

Translated by Maud and Henry B. Monges and revised for this edition by Lisa D. Monges.

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Those who eat in order to live / Those who live in order to eat

There are men … how shall I speak of them? Let us say they are ready eaters; they are fond of eating. Others are not so fond of eating. I do not want to say gluttonous people and non-gluttonous people for this would hardly be in place in a serious study. But I will say: there are people who are fond of eating and there are others who are less fond of it. This too is connected in a certain sense with what the human being experiences in his passage between death and a new birth, before and after the midnight summit of existence. The middle point here is the midnight summit of existence.

There are human beings who, as I will put it, ascend very high into the spiritual, and there are others who do not rise so high. Those who ascend very high will eat in order to live. Those who do not rise so high will live in order to eat.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume II – Lecture VIII – Dornach, 10th May 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D.S. Osmond

Previously posted on April 7, 2019

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Those who eat in order to live/Those who live in order to eat

There are men … how shall I speak of them? Let us say they are ready eaters; they are fond of eating. Others are not so fond of eating. I do not want to say gluttonous people and non-gluttonous people for this would hardly be in place in a serious study. But I will say: there are people who are fond of eating and there are others who are less fond of it. This too is connected in a certain sense with what the human being experiences in his passage between death and a new birth, before and after the midnight summit of existence. The middle point here is the midnight summit of existence.

There are human beings who, as I will put it, ascend very high into the spiritual, and there are others who do not rise so high. Those who ascend very high will eat in order to live. Those who do not rise so high will live in order to eat.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume II – Lecture VIII – Dornach, 10th May 1924

Translated by G. Adams, M. Cotterell, C. Davy, & D.S. Osmond

Eating in the future

The man of the future will approach plants that are of use to him consciously; not as now when he reflects on which yield the best substances for his body; he will then have a vital relationship to every plant, for he will know what it is they have absorbed, and what passes from them to him. Eating will not be to him a mean occupation, but an act consummated with soul and spirit, for he will know that everything he eats is the external form of something spiritual. In our immediate age, when men know little about the vital inward relations between themselves and the world, all kinds of substitutes are made use of. Why have the Initiates of all ages urged people to say grace before eating? The grace should be a token of the recognition that, together with the food, something spiritual enters into man.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 105 – Universe, Earth and Man – Lecture III – Stuttgart, 6th August 1908

Previously posted on September 14, 2015

Temperance

“Temperance purges feelings, awakens spiritual faculties, strengthens inner awareness and strengthens the memory, the soul is relieved of her earthly burden and thereby enjoys a higher freedom”, a wise man said long ago. Would the human being eat too much and too often, he would have no fertile thoughts to bring forth. Because if the digestive system claims a lot of energy, then no forces are accessible to apply to the thinking capability.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 266a – Aus den Inhalten der esoterischen Stunden/Band 1 (page 559)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on September 19, 2015