About the fear of death

At the moment of death, when the human being goes through the portal of death, he sees numerous hindering, malevolent forces approaching him. These forces, however, are usually drawn near through the fear of death. The greater the fear of death, the stronger their power is. Fear of death has always been a cause of anxiety at the moment of death. When, however, the dying person is aware that fear cannot change anything about the dying process that he has to go through, these forces and powers appear like desiccated bags.

The human being can only gain victory over the fear of death and bravely face it if he knows that in him is an immortal, eternal inner core for whom death is only a metamorphosis of life, a change of life form. As soon as the human being discovers his immortal inner core through spiritual science, he learns more and more how to overcome anxiety and in the long run all fear of death disappears as well. The more materialistic a person is however, all the more will he fear death.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlin, December 12, 1907 (page 146)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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STEINER AND MARIE VON SIVERS

Previously posted on July 17, 2018

There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear offer welcome food

There are beings in the spiritual realms for whom anxiety and fear emanating from human beings offer welcome food. When humans have no anxiety and fear, then these creatures starve. People not yet sufficiently convinced of this statement could understand it to be meant comparatively only. But for those who are familiar with this phenomenon, it is a reality. 

If fear and anxiety radiate from people and they break out in panic, then these creatures find welcome nutrition and they become more and more powerful. These beings are hostile towards humanity. Everything that feeds on negative feelings, on anxiety, fear and superstition, despair or doubt,  are in reality hostile forces in supersensible worlds, launching cruel attacks on human beings, while they are being fed. 

Therefore, it is above all necessary to begin with that the person who enters the spiritual world overcome fear, feelings of helplessness, despair and anxiety. But these are exactly the feelings that belong to contemporary culture and materialism; because it estranges people from the spiritual world, it is especially suited to evoke hopelessness and fear of the unknown in people, thereby calling up the above mentioned hostile forces against them.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 56 – Die Erkenntnis der Seele und des Geistes – Berlijn, December 12, 1907 (page 145)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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RUDOLF STEINER AND HIS SISTER LEOPOLDINE

Previously posted on July 13, 2018

Fear of the spiritual world

The soul life of man, as well, is entirely accommodated to space and time. If you enter a world to which you are not adapted, the lack of adaptation implies sensations of pain and suffering; so that the first entrance into the spiritual world is not won without the vanquishing of pain and suffering. […] There are indeed few people today who have sufficient inner courage to venture themselves, as it were, into the bottomless and timeless in actual experience. Certain people, however, are bound by their destiny to cross over the threshold; and without the wisdom which can be brought over from beyond the threshold no further progress is possible.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 194 – The Mysteries of Light, of Space, and of the Earth: Lecture III: Historical Occurrences of the Last Century – Dornach, December 14, 1919

Translated by Frances E. Dawson 

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Previously posted on May 31, 2018

Fear of the new and unknown  

Daily we are experiencing that there actually lives a fear of the new and unknown in the souls of many people. They come and say, ‘ What is brought to us here is in contradiction with proven scientific results.’ Often such a supposed proof is firmly believed in and it is hardly possible to penetrate the preconceived thought patterns. But these thought combinations are nothing else but a pleasant mask with which the fear of the new and unknown clothes itself. And because it’s so nice to be able to say to oneself: one can prove something with logic, all arguments speak against this new way of looking at the world, one hides the fear; a fear that one would be ashamed of when one can see it in its true form.  Even much that nowadays is merited as scientifically sound, which occurs with seemingly strict logic is nothing else but the masked inner fear for the new and unknown.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 77b – Kunst und Anthroposophie, Der Goetheanum-Impuls – Dornach, 21 August 1921 (page 18)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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Previously posted on May 28, 2018

Karma-Moral-Egoism (2 of 5)

It would actually be a severe reproach if one were able to maintain that theosophy prompts people to develop moral action not out of sympathy and compassion but out of fear of punishment. Let us now ask ourselves whether such a reproach is really justified. We must reach very deeply into occult research if we wish to refute such a reproach to anthroposophy in a really fundamental way.

Let us assume that someone were to say that if a person does not already possess this striving for perfection, theosophy will certainly never prompt him to moral actions. A deeper understanding of what anthroposophy has to say can teach us that the individual is related to the whole of humanity in such a way that by acting immorally he not only does something that may earn him a punishment. It is rather the case that through an immoral thought, an immoral action or attitude he brings about something really absurd, something that cannot be reconciled with truly healthy thinking.

The statement has many implications. An immoral action not only implies a subsequent karmic punishment; it is rather in the most fundamental respect an action that one definitely ought not to do. Let us assume that a person commits a theft. In so doing the person incurs a karmic punishment. If one wishes to avoid this punishment one simply does not steal. But the matter is still more complicated. Let us ask ourselves what really motivates the person who lies or steals. The liar or thief seeks personal advantage — the liar perhaps wishing to wiggle out of an unpleasant situation. Such an action is only meaningful if one actually does gain an advantage through lying or stealing. If the person were now to realize that he simply cannot have that advantage, that he is wrong, that on the contrary he will bring about a disadvantage, he would then say to himself that it is nonsense even to think about such an action. As theosophy penetrates ever deeper into human civilization, people will know that it is absurd, indeed that it is ridiculous, to believe that through lying or stealing one can acquire what one seeks to acquire.

To be continued

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 127 – The Significance of Spiritual Research For Moral Action – Bieleveld, 6 March 1911

Translated by Alan P. Cottrell, Ph.D.

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Previously posted on April 22, 2018