A Simple Act of Service to the Dead

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Friday I will be heading to Rowe, Massachusetts to attend Dr. Raymond Moody’s workshop, “Reunions, visionary encounters with departed loved ones!” The more I become familiar with his work, the more I feel strongly that I will find the synthesis between his work and Rudolf Steiner’s in communing with the dead. When I return I will, of course, tell you all about it but I would like to leave you today with a simple yet elegant way to serve the dead while strengthening your bond with those you love across the threshold.

One of the most important acts of service you an offer those you love who have died is to read to them. This can take many forms but the simplest is to actually read spiritual materials to them. According to Steiner, the dead are no longer interested in or can connect with the mundane and/or abstract thoughts of the physical world. But spiritual thoughts read to them with great love, act as nourishment and even as art for the dead. Without these spirituals readings, the dead can actually starve.

It can be any book of a spiritual nature, something that they were interested in during their physical life or something entirely new. Even those souls who never had an interest in spiritual things while in the flesh will be very grateful for you reading to them now.

I’ll share what I do but please know you can set up your practice in the way that is most satisfying to you. I’ve collected scores of books on Steiner’s theories about life between death and rebirth, destiny, reincarnation, karma, etc. and I use them primarily as I too am learning as I read. I choose to read in the evening in bed so that these thoughts will fill my dreamtime, the place where the living and the dead coexist, and my beloved dead can soak them up most easily. I read most nights but I do not make it a chore. If I am too tired or not in the right mood, I will let a night go by…but most nights I read.

I lay out pictures of those in my “reading circle” focusing on each one with love and inviting them to join me. I wait and usually feel them connect to me. Not always, but most times. And I feel confident that even if I don’t feel a sure connect, they are there just the same. Then I invite my guardian or guiding angel and the angels of each member of the circle to join us, affirming that our communication and bond grows stronger, clearer, more consistent and precise each time we gather. Next I say a little prayer that is meaningful to our purpose.

Then…I read. Usually I read aloud but that may fade into silent reading as time goes on. In some texts, Steiner says to read aloud, others times he says to read silently. I think you should do what feels right to you and your circle at the time. I read for as long as I can stay fully present with the material. If I become cloudy or tired, the images do not translate well for the dead, so I stop for the evening, closing with another little prayer and thanking everyone for attending with the invitation to join me again next time.

Steiner asserts over and over again that this is one of the most important acts of service we can perform for our beloved dead. I can also tell you it is extremely fulfilling for me as well. The intimacy and the feeling of them actually being there, which they are, is so strong at times, it brings me to tears.

So, I hope you will try it out and see if this is something you could also offer your beloved dead. It is a first step…one of many I will share in time, in building the bridge between the so-called living and the so-called dead that is absolutely essential during this time on earth. Both sides of the veil need this bridge desperately. Each of us can play our part. This is one small step I urge you to take. Until I return from Rowe…

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