Good thoughts are like balm to the dead

Good thoughts are like balm to the dead. No selfish love must be sent to them, no grieving because the departed is not around any longer; this bothers the deceased and brings to them a heavy burden. The love that remains and makes no claim to still want the dead  here with us, benefits the deceased and increases his or her happiness.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – Vor dem Tore der Theosophie – Stuttgart,  September 2, 1906 (page 151)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

See The whole lecture in English  Translated by E.H. Goddard and Charles Davy

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Previously posted on July 20, 2018

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Knowledge of the spiritual world can only be acquired on earth

The fact that the dead live in the spiritual world does not necessarily give them knowledge of the world, although they can see it. The knowledge which can be acquired through Spiritual Science can only be acquired on earth; it cannot be acquired in the spiritual world. If, therefore, the beings in the spiritual world are to possess it too, they can only gain it from the beings still on the earth. That is an important secret of the spiritual worlds. We may live in them and be able to perceive them, but the necessary knowledge concerning these worlds can only be acquired on earth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 140 – Descriptive Sketches of the Spiritual World: Lecture I – Bergen, 10th October 1913

Translated by Harry Collison

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Drawing by Mia Araujo

Previously posted on June 29, 2018

The dead do not really die, but merely move to another place

We gradually come to know that the dead do not really die, but merely move to another place. They still participate in what we do. This insight will be more than a vague feeling for us; we will gradually learn to point to the areas where they are active. We will learn to feel them with us when we need forces we cannot find on the physical plane, when we need support from higher regions. For the souls who have passed through death possess forces different from those on the physical plane, because they take the material for their development at that stage from another world. We can feel the true inner deepening we can gain by taking up spiritual science, not just in the form of abstract theories, but in lively understanding of concrete particulars.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 154 – UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRITUAL WORLD (PART TWO) – Berlin, May 12, 1914

Translated by Christian von Arnim and edited by Joachim Reuter

The dead do not judge

As to the way in which the dead person sees the human beings who are here on earth, there is one thing of outstanding importance. Let us not imagine that the dead has not a keen and living interest in the world of human beings. He has, indeed, for the world of human beings belongs to the whole cosmos. Our own life belongs to the cosmos. And just as we, even in the physical world, interest ourselves in the subordinate kingdoms, so do the dead interest themselves intensely in the human world, and send their active impulses into the human world. For the dead work through the living into this world. We have only just given an example of the way in which they go on working soon after their passage through the Gate of Death.

But the dead sees one thing above all, and that most clearly. Suppose, for example, that he sees a human being here following impulses of hatred — hating this person or that, and with a merely personal intensity or purpose. This the dead sees. At the same time, however, according to the whole manner of his vision and all that he is then able to know, he will observe quite clearly, in such a case, the part which Ahriman is playing. He sees how Ahriman impels the person to hatred. The dead actually sees Ahriman working upon the human being. On the other hand, if a person on earth is vain, he sees Lucifer working at him. That is the essential point. It is in connection with the world of Ahriman and Lucifer that the dead human being sees the human beings who are here on earth. Consequently, what generally colours our judgement of people is quite eliminated for the dead. We see this or that human being, whom in one sense or another we must condemn. Whatever we find blameworthy in him, we put it down to him. The dead does not put it down directly to the human being. He sees how the person is misled by Lucifer or Ahriman. This brings about a toning-down, so to speak, of the sharply differentiated feelings which in our physical and earthly life we generally have towards this or that human being. To a far greater extent, a kind of universal human love arises in the dead. This does not mean that he cannot criticize — that is to say, cannot rightly see what is evil in evil. He sees it well enough, but he is able to refer it to its origin — to its real inner connections.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 168 – On the Connection of the Living and the Dead – Berne, 9 November 1916

Previously posted on April 26, 2020

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