We must always bear in mind that we should not imagine men living on in the spiritual world as they last were, when here

We are, in fact, all “old souls.”

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

We must always bear in mind that we should not imagine men living on in the spiritual world as they last were, when here. The trivial ideas that people hold, as, for instance, that those who die as children continue to live on as children, are naturally incorrect. The imagination may picture the dead as we last saw them here, but that is not their true form; it is rather the expression of it. A child may die, but the human entity incarnated in the child may be a highly evolved soul, and continue its life after death as a highly evolved soul.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157a – The Forming of Destiny and Life after Death – Lecture 3 – Berlin, 20th November 1915

Translated by Harry Collison

Previously posted on July 27, 2014

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Saraswati’s Sadhu

Sadhus-21On my final double mirror gazing experience with Raymond Moody, we entered the mirror with the intention of connecting with one of the Enlightened Dead. Raymond chose a near English, categorical form of nonsense by W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan that had meaningful refrains as our bridge over the threshold.

Once again, piggy-backing off Raymond’s considerable energy and experience, things moved very quickly for me. Once again, the mirror reformed into the shape of a heart. At first I thought we were returning to St. Catherine of Siena’s monastery but instead I see the entrance to a dark cave. Entering into it, I discover a naked Hindu Sadhu, body smeared with ashes, hair matted and uncombed for years, his body nothing but skin and bones. I ask him who he is.  Not completely sure but I think I hea, “Saraswati.” Is there such a person? Is he that person or is he a sannyasin of that person? I will have to do research again when this is over.

He takes me to, I believe it is, Benares, now known (I later found out) as Varanasi, one of the most sacred of destinations in India and one of the most fortuitous places to die and be cremated. He tells me that many of the dead who will form my team in the otherworld will be those who worked with the dying in this world.

We move on to the burning Ghats where corpses lie on pyres and the fires burn 24 hours a day. I watch as a man uses a mallet to crack a hole into the skull of a corpse to keep it from exploding in the heat. The Sadhu takes me by the hand, leads me into the Ganges and begins pouring water over my head, telling me it is a kind of initiation and preparation to help me become a walker between the worlds.

We stay this way in the Ganges as day becomes night, watching as the souls of the newly dead rise from the burning pyres and begin their journey to the otherworld. “They are too new to help us,” the Sadhu tells me. He continues, “I am the next link in the chain. I take Catherine’s hand. I am here to help balance you. Catherine, though she protects one from fire, has lit a flame in you. You are afire. I am here to cool you, to help you find silence and stillness. In my tradition, we call it egolessness. That will be essential for you. Also I bring you patience. The team is forming. Be patient. Do your work but know… the team is forming.”

Once more, I am taken by the information I am getting. Wikipedia tells me “Saraswati (Sanskrit: सरस्वती, Sarasvatī) is the Hindu goddess of knowledge, music, arts, wisdom and learning worshipped throughout Nepal and India.[3] She is a part of the trinity (Tridevi) of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. All the three forms help the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva to create, maintain and regenerate-recycle the Universe respectively.” Surely one of her disciples will be a welcome guide for me in this work.

That was the end of my double mirror gazing experiences with Raymond Moody, the perfect ending for our private weekend of work together. While I will not share his mirror gazing experiences here with you out of respect for his privacy, I can say that although different, each one was resonnant to mine in some important way.

Next it is time to take all this knowledge and experience home and see where it wants to go. We will pick up from there next time. Thank you for sharing this journey with me.

The dead are always present

Imagine how the nature of grief might change should we only embrace this wholeheartedly.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

We are living together with the so-called dead. The dead are always present. They move and have their being in a super-sensible world. We are not separated from them by our ‘real being,’ only by our condition of consciousness. We are only separated from them as in sleep we are separated from the things around us; we sleep in a room and do not see the chairs and other things. Though we do not describe it thus, yet as regards our feeling and will, we ‘sleep’ in the so-called waking condition among the dead, just as we do not perceive the physical objects around us when we sleep.

Thus we do not live separated from the world ruled by the forces of the dead, we are together with them in one common world. In our ordinary consciousness we are only separated from them by the state of that consciousness.

This…

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

While I allow my body and spirit to heal, I send along Steiner’s thoughts about our connection to the so-called dead. I will continue with my original postings soon but in the meantime…here is where my heart lies.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

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…

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From the other side, death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit

If we could just relax into this knowing, how we live our lives might change dramatically.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

From this side of life, death appears to be a dissolution, something in face of which the human being has a ready fear and dread. From the other side, death appears as the light-filled beginning of experience of the Spirit, as that which spreads a sun-radiance over the whole of the subsequent life between death and a new birth; as that which most of all warms the soul through with joy in the life between death and a new birth. The moment of death is something that is looked back upon with a deep sense of blessing. Described in earthly terms: the moment of death, viewed from the other side, is the most joyful, the most enrapturing point in the life between death and a new birth.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 161 – The Problem of Death I – Dornach, February 5, 1915

Previously posted on April 12, 2016

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About the fear of death

Quiet…Quiet…Hush now…do not fear. Death is not the enemy. There is nothing to fear. Gentle. Easy. When the time is right…relax…and let go.

The great Rudolf Steiner Quotes Site

At the moment of death, when the human being goes through the portal of death, he sees numerous hindering, malevolent forces approaching him. These forces, however, are usually drawn near through the fear of death. The greater the fear of death, the stronger their power is. Fear of death has always been a cause of anxiety at the moment of death. When, however, the dying person is aware that fear cannot change anything about the dying process that he has to go through, these forces and powers appear like desiccated bags.

The human being can only gain victory over the fear of death and bravely face it if he knows that in him is an immortal, eternal inner core for whom death is only a metamorphosis of life, a change of life form. As soon as the human being discovers his immortal inner core through spiritual science, he learns more…

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Cry of the Elephants

african-elephant-herd.jpg.adapt.945.1

For my second double mirror gazing experience with Raymond Moody, he chose a travel narrative piece of nonsense (which is self-explanatory as it conveys a sense of traveling) to carry us over the threshold and into the mirror. We decided we would have no particular agenda for this trip; we would just see what happened.

Again, piggy backing off Raymond’s considerable experience and energy for this work, I easily entered, or more accurately, was absorbed by the mirror and found myself nose to trunk with a giant and old elephant.

“I will take you through the nephesh,” he told me. “You’ll be safe with me.” He picked me up and placed me gently upon his back. I should explain for those not familiar with the Kabbalah, nephesh refers to the level of soul related to the lower astral and the sephira Yesod. It is also known as the animal soul. There are four or five levels of soul in the Kabbalah depending on the school of thought one follows. The nephesh can be the most problematic as it encompasses the more primitive aspects of man and animal.

We traveled deep into the jungle until we entered a clearing. Here I saw the whole family of this ancient elephant gathered in a circle around a dead bull lying in the center upon the ground.

“Please grieve with us,” the lead elephant asked. “We know you are one whose task it is to feel what others cannot or will not. Grieve his death with us. Poachers killed him for his ivory tusks. We know you know how to grieve. Please help us to grieve his loss.”

I cried with them. Moaned and swayed my body in sync with them. Their trumpeting cries scored my heart with pain. When they felt their grieving complete, the lead elephant asked me to guide their dead brother across the threshold to the other side of life. Once again, he picked me up, and then gently placed me upon the back of the dead elephant whose soul now stood ready for his next journey.

Slowly together, we made our way to a bridge and crossed it. We went as far together as I was able to go, then he gently used his trunk to place me on the ground. He thanked me and made the rest of the journey on his own, as I turned, made my way back over the bridge, back into the nephesh and once more found the circle of elephants that was his family. They stood waiting for me.

“Please,” said the head elephant, “you have always known we have souls, we have emotions. You know that we grieve and mourn the loss of our loved ones just as you do. Some of your kind try to help us. They dye our tusks pink to render them useless to the poachers. Please tell them to do this more and more quickly or soon we will be no more.”

Initially after this mirror gazing experience, I thought it was unrelated to the first one and the others yet to come. Now, however, I understand the relationship and purpose of the experience and am humbled by it. What a blessing, what a gift, to cry with the elephants.