I felt my girlfriend like something of the sun in my life

Between the younger daughter and me there gradually came about a beautiful friendship (In about the years 1879-1884 Steiner had a friend in Vienna where he often visited the family. This younger daughter was a sister of that friend. RvD). She really had in her something of the primal type of the German maiden. She bore in her soul nothing acquired from her education, but expressed in her life an original and charming naturalness together with a noble reserve, and this reserve of hers caused a like reserve in me. We loved each other, and both of us were fully aware of this; but neither of us could overcome the fear of saying that we loved each other. Thus the love lived between the words we spoke to each other, and not in the words themselves. I felt the relationship as to our souls was of the most universal kind; but it found no possibility of taking a single step beyond what is of the soul.

I was happy in this friendship; I felt my girlfriend like something of the sun in my life. Yet this life later bore us far apart. In place of hours of happy companionship there then remained only a short-lived correspondence, followed by the melancholy memory of a beautiful period of my past life – a memory, however, which has through all my later life arisen again and again from the depths of my soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 28 – The Story of my Life: Chapter VII

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The most important characteristic of the devachanic world 

The most important characteristic of this devachanic world (heaven) is that in it moral actualities are no longer separable from the physical, that moral and physical laws are one and the same. What does that mean? Well, is it not true that in the ordinary physical world the sun shines upon the just and the unjust? Whoever commits a crime may be put in prison, but the physical sun is not darkened. That is to say: in the physical world there is a realm of moral and physical laws, leading in two very different directions. 

It is not so in Devachan, not at all; instead of this, everything proceeding from morality, from intelligent wisdom, from the aesthetically beautiful, and so on, leads to growth (is creative,) and that which arises from immorality, intellectual falsity, and aesthetic ugliness leads to withering and destruction. And there the laws of nature are such that the sun does not shine upon the just and the unjust alike but, if we may speak figuratively, it darkens upon the unjust; so that the just, passing through Devachan, have there the spiritual sunshine, that is to say, the influence of the fertilizing forces that bring about their forward progress in life. 

The spiritual forces draw back from the dishonest or ugly human being. The following is possible there which is impossible here on earth. When two people — just and unjust — walk here side by side, the sun cannot shine upon one and not upon the other; but in the spiritual world the effect of the spiritual forces depends absolutely upon the quality of the individual concerned. That is to say: the laws of nature and the spiritual laws do not follow two separate roads, but one and the same. That is the fundamental, essential truth. In the devachanic world the natural, moral, and intellectual laws act together as one.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Psychoanalysis in the Light of Anthroposophy – Munich, February 25, 1912

Translated by May Laird-Brown

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Previously posted on August 27, 2018

In Devachan the laws of Nature and the moral and intellectual laws coincide

The chief characteristic of Devachan is that moral facts can no longer be distinguished from physical facts, or physical laws; moral laws and physical laws coincide. What is meant by this? In the ordinary physical world the sun shines over the just and the unjust; one who has committed a crime may perhaps be put in prison, but the physical sun will not be darker because of this fact. This signifies that the world of sense-reality has both a moral order of laws and physical one; but they follow two entirely different directions. In Devachan it is otherwise — there, this difference does not exist at all. In Devachan everything that arises out of something moral, or intellectually wise, or esthetically beautiful, etc., leads to a creation, is creative — whereas everything that arises out of something immoral, intellectually untrue, or esthetically ugly, leads to destruction, is destructive.

The laws of Nature in Devachan are indeed of such kind that the sun does not shine equally brightly over the just and the unjust. Speaking figuratively, we may say that the sun actually is darkened in the case of an unrighteous man, whereas the righteous man who passes through Devachan really finds in it the spiritual sunshine, that is, the influence of the life-spending forces which help him forward in life. A liar or an ugly-minded man will pass through Devachan in such a way that the spiritual forces withdraw from him. In Devachan an order of laws is possible, which is not possible here or earth. When two people, a righteous and an unrighteous one, walk side by side here on the earth, it is not possible for the sun to shine upon one and not to shine upon the other. But in the spiritual world the influence of the spiritual forces undoubtedly depends upon the quality of a human being. In Devachan this signifies that the laws of Nature and the spiritual laws do not follow separate directions, but the same direction. This is the essential thing which must be borne in mind — in Devachan the laws of Nature and the moral and intellectual laws coincide.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Reflections of Consciousness, Super-consciousness and Sub-consciousness – Munich, February 25, 1912

Previously posted on May 21, 2016

The most important characteristic of the devachanic world

The most important characteristic of this devachanic world (heaven) is that in it moral actualities are no longer separable from the physical, that moral and physical laws are one and the same. What does that mean? Well, is it not true that in the ordinary physical world the sun shines upon the just and the unjust? Whoever commits a crime may be put in prison, but the physical sun is not darkened. That is to say: in the physical world there is a realm of moral and physical laws, leading in two very different directions.

It is not so in Devachan, not at all; instead of this, everything proceeding from morality, from intelligent wisdom, from the aesthetically beautiful, and so on, leads to growth (is creative,) and that which arises from immorality, intellectual falsity, and aesthetic ugliness leads to withering and destruction. And there the laws of nature are such that the sun does not shine upon the just and the unjust alike but, if we may speak figuratively, it darkens upon the unjust; so that the just, passing through Devachan, have there the spiritual sunshine, that is to say, the influence of the fertilizing forces that bring about their forward progress in life.

The spiritual forces draw back from the dishonest or ugly human being. The following is possible there which is impossible here on earth. When two people — just and unjust — walk here side by side, the sun cannot shine upon one and not upon the other; but in the spiritual world the effect of the spiritual forces depends absolutely upon the quality of the individual concerned. That is to say: the laws of nature and the spiritual laws do not follow two separate roads, but one and the same. That is the fundamental, essential truth. In the devachanic world the natural, moral, and intellectual laws act together as one.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 143 – Psychoanalysis in the Light of Anthroposophy – Munich, February 25, 1912

Translated by May Laird-Brown

Oriental Meditation and Christian Prayer

Meditation is usually thought of as an oriental approach to the divine. In the Occident, especially in Christian communities, prayer has taken its place. It is by prayer that the Christian customarily approaches the Divine, and through it he seeks entry to the higher worlds.

It should be noted by the way that what passes for prayer today would by no means have been considered such in early Christian times, least of all by the Founder of Christianity, Christ Jesus Himself. For if it were to happen that someone were really to gain the gratification of his personal wishes by prayer or entreaty, he would soon entirely disregard the all-embracing effect that the granting of the prayer should bring.  He would assume that the Deity granted his wishes rather than those of others.  One peasant might pray for sunshine for a particular crop; another for rain for another crop. What would Divine Providence then do?

Or suppose two opposing armies are facing each other, with each side praying for victory and supposing its cause alone to be just. Such an instance makes immediately obvious how little universality and sense of brotherhood attach to prayers arising out of personal wishes, and the granting of such prayers by God can satisfy only one group of supplicants. People so praying disregard the prayer in which Christ Jesus set forth the fundamental attitude of mind that should prevail in all prayer: “Father, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” This is the Christian attitude of prayer.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 96 – The Lord’s Prayer/An Esoteric Study – Berlin, January 28, 1907

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Carl Bloch, “Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane”, 1873