The dead are in our midst

Today men think: When a human being has passed through the Gate of Death, his activity ceases so far as the physical world is concerned. But it is not so, in reality. There is a living and perpetual intercourse between the so-called dead and the so-called living. Those who have passed through the Gate of Death have not ceased to be present, it is just that our eyes have ceased to see them. They are there, nevertheless. 

Our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will are connected with the dead. The Gospel words hold good for the dead as well: “ The Kingdom of the Spirit cometh not with observation (that is to say, external observation); neither shall they say, Lo here, lo there, for behold, the Kingdom of the Spirit is within you.” For we should not seek for the dead through externalities but should become conscious that they are always present. 

All historical life, all social life, all ethical life, proceed by virtue of co-operation of the so-called living with the so-called dead. The whole being of man can be infinitely strengthened when his consciousness is filled not only with the realisation of his firm stand here in the physical world but with the inner realisation that comes to him when he can say of the dead whom he has loved: The dead are with us, they are in our midst.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – THE DEAD ARE WITH US – Nuremberg, February 10, 1918 

Translated from the German by D. S. Osmond.         

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What is the Akasha Chronicle?

What is the Akasha Chronicle? We can form the truest conception of it by realising that what comes to pass on our earth makes a lasting impression upon certain delicate essences, an impression which can be discovered by a seer who has attained Initiation. It is not an ordinary but a living Chronicle. Suppose a human being lived in the first century after Christ; what he thought, felt and willed in those days, what passed into deeds — this is not obliterated but preserved in this delicate essence. 

The seer can behold it-not as if it were recorded in a history book, but as it actually happened. How a man moved, what he did, a journey he took – it can all be seen in these spiritual pictures; the impulses of will, the feelings, the thoughts, can also be seen. But we must not imagine that these pictures are images of the physical personalities. That is not the case. 

To take a simple example. — When a man moves his hand, his will pervades the moving hand and it is this force of will that can be seen in the Akasha Chronicle. What is spiritually active in us and has flowed into the Physical, is there seen in the Spiritual. 

Suppose, for example, we look for Caesar. We can follow all his undertakings, but let us be quite clear that it is rather his thoughts that we see in the Akasha Chronicle; when he set out to do something we see the whole sequence of decisions of the will to the point where the deed was actually performed. 

To observe a specific event in the Akasha Chronicle is not easy. We must help ourselves by linking on to external knowledge. If the seer is trying to observe some action of Caesar and takes an historical date as a point of focus, the result will come more easily. Historical dates are, it is true, often unreliable, but they are sometimes of assistance. When the seer directs his gaze to Caesar, he actually sees the person of Caesar in action, phantom-like, as though he were standing before him, speaking with him. But when a man is looking into the past, various things may happen to him if, in spite of possessing some degree of seership, he has not entirely found his bearings in the higher worlds. 

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 99 – Theosophy of the Rosicrucian: IV: The Descent to a New Birth – Berlin, 28th May 1907

Translated by M. Cotterell & D. S. Osmond

Previously posted on April 27, 2016 

Our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will, are all concerned with the Dead

There is nothing more important for life, even for material life, than the strong and sure realization of communion with the spiritual world.

If modern men had not lost their relationship with spiritual things to such an extent, these grave times would not have come upon us. Only a very few today have insight into this connection, although it will certainly be recognized in the future. Today men think: When a human being has passed through the gate of death, his activity ceases as far as the physical world is concerned. But indeed it is not so! There is a living and perpetual intercourse between the so called Dead and the so-called Living. Those who have passed through the gate of death have not ceased to be present; it is only that our eyes have ceased to see them. They are there in very truth.

Our thoughts, our feelings, our impulses of will, are all concerned with the Dead. The words of the Gospel hold good for the Dead as well; ‘The Kingdom of the Spirit cometh not with observation’ (that is to say, external observation); ‘neither shall they say, Lo here, lo there, for behold, the Kingdom of the Spirit is within you.’ We should not seek for the Dead through externalities but become conscious that they are always present. All historical life, all social life, all ethical life, proceed by virtue of co-operation between the so-called Living and the so-called Dead. The whole being of man can be infinitely strengthened when he is conscious not only of his firm stand here in the physical world but is filled with the inner realization of being able to say of the Dead whom he has loved: They are with us, they are in our midst.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 182 – The Dead Are With Us – Nuremburg, 10th February 1918

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