Continuity of consciousness 

At the current stage of development, the human being leaves his body during sleep. The soul moves, sometimes far away from the physical body, into the astral world and meets with other creatures of the astral world and exchanges thoughts with them. However, when the person wakes up again, he or she does not remember these wanderings. This lack of remembrance is due to humanity’s current stage of development. 

However, the student can develop ever higher and higher. The student, who is under the guidance of a so-called master, can gradually turn his consciousness into a continuous consciousness. Then he will be able to bring the experiences of the night into his consciousness during his state of waking. When the student has achieved this continuity of consciousness, he remembers what he has received in the astral world. 

This knowledge is not acquired in the physical-sensory world, but it is experienced and transmitted in the astral world and brought into physical life. That is what Plato meant when he talked about the memory of higher states of the soul.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, November 18, 1903 (page 62-63)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Why does the human being not remember his former incarnations?

Why does the human being not remember his former incarnations? Put like this, this question makes little sense. You will understand in a moment why I say this. It is as if someone says: ‘human beings call themselves human beings; in front of us stands a four-year-old child that can’t count’. Then he continues to say: ‘this child cannot count, however if it is a human being so that means humans cannot count.’ It is, however, a matter of development. At some stage in life every person will come to a point which advanced students have already reached, namely the ability to recall past lives; If he cannot remember anything, then he has to acquire this skill first just like the child acquires the skill of reading, doing arithmetic and writing. The person must not unconsciously let destiny pass him by if he intends to let his experiences lead him towards the point where he can remember earlier lives on earth.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 054 – Berlijn, Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie – February 15,  1906 (page 300)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on August 5, 2016

Why does the human being not remember his former incarnations?

Why does the human being not remember his former incarnations? Put like this, this question makes little sense. You will understand in a moment why I say this. It is as if someone says: ‘human beings call themselves human beings; in front of us stands a four-year-old child that can’t count’. Then he continues to say: ‘this child cannot count, however if it is a human being so that means humans cannot count.’ It is, however, a matter of development. At some stage in life every person will come to a point which advanced students have already reached, namely the ability to recall past lives; If he cannot remember anything, then he has to acquire this skill first just like the child acquires the skill of reading, doing arithmetic and writing. The person must not unconsciously let destiny pass him by if he intends to let his experiences lead him towards the point where he can remember earlier lives on earth.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 054 – Berlijn, Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie – February 15,  1906 (page 300)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

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