Rudolf Steiner, Paris, May 25, 1924:
Sunday, July 23, 2017
Life between death and rebirth: morality and karma. Focus lecture for this Wednesday's gathering of The Olive Branch, a Rudolf Steiner study circle meeting at the Himalayan Institute since 2001.
Rudolf Steiner, Paris, May 25, 1924:
We have spoken about the life between death and a new birth and have realized that after death man is received into a super-earthly world which becomes manifest to us on Earth only through its signs or tokens — the stars; for the stars are tokens of another world, indications of spiritual worlds within our ken during our life between death and a new birth. We have heard, too, how man enters a Moon-sphere, a Mercury-sphere, a Venus-sphere, and yesterday we began to think about the Sun-sphere. At the same time I explained how, through initiation knowledge, the nature of these worlds can be understood.
When through the methods described in my books the power to look into the spiritual world has been acquired, we are able to survey in retrospect the whole of our earthly life. It lies there, displayed in a vast tableau, and we survey it in periods of time, each of about seven years' duration. We see our early childhood until the change of teeth, and with it the mystery of the Moon-sphere is revealed. The mystery of the Mercury-sphere is revealed by the retrospective survey of the period between the change of teeth at about the seventh year, and puberty. The mystery of the Venus-sphere is revealed by the retrospective survey of the period from the fourteenth or fifteenth year to the beginning of the twenties. And when, having grown older in earthly life, we look back on the period between approximately the twenty-first to the forty-second years, when the human being is in the prime of life and has not begun to decline, then the mysteries of the Sun-sphere present themselves to us. In this sphere there are no processes, no workings, of nature. None of the causes and effects to be perceived in earthly nature exist in the Sun-sphere. When we have passed the spheres of Moon, Mercury, and Venus and have entered that of the Sun, there are no activities of nature around us but only activities of a moral kind. Everything that is good has its corresponding good results; whatever is evil has long ago fallen away in the Moon-sphere. The Sun-sphere is pure goodness, shining, radiant goodness; no evil has any place in it. And we must live through this Sun-existence often for centuries, for time is more prolonged in the life between death and rebirth than here on Earth. In the Sun-sphere we come not only into the company of those souls with whom we were connected by karma on Earth, who have passed through the gate of death and have entered the spiritual world as we ourselves have done, but in the Sun-sphere we come also into the province of the Exusiai, Dynamis, and Kyriotetes. The activities of these beings are purely spiritual; their nature is purely spiritual. And the moral world we behold around us in the Sun-sphere belongs to them, just as the mineral, plant, and animal kingdoms belong to the Earth.
To understand the life of the human soul in the Sun-sphere we must realize that here on Earth we stand spatially enclosed within our skin. We look out upon the world from what is bounded by our skin. In the Sun-sphere the reverse is the case. There, everything we here call the world is within us; the Moon is within us, not outside us; Mercury is within us; indeed the Sun-sphere itself is within us, not outside us.
Here in earthly life we distinguish between our body and our head, realizing that if the head is to do its work as an organ of cognition it must be set apart from the rest of the body. And just as we know that the head must be constructed differently from the rest of the body, so in the Sun-sphere we know that the world organism is in us, belongs to us as Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun. But we also have something special which corresponds to the head in earthly life, namely, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. They constitute our head in the Sun-existence. We may say: In the Sun-existence Moon, Mercury, and Venus are our limbs; the Sun itself is our whole rhythmic system; the Sun-sphere itself, with all its beings, is our heart and our lungs; whereas our organ of intelligence and reason, the head, is represented in the Sun-sphere by Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. And just as we speak with the mouth in the lower part of the head, so, because we carry Mars within us in our cosmic body, we live by virtue of the cosmic word. The cosmic word sounds through the wide expanses of space. Thus, just as here on Earth we carry in our head those insignificant earthly thoughts, so through Jupiter we bear within us the wisdom of worlds. And as here we have memory, experiences of remembrance, so in the Sun-existence we bear within us the Saturn-existence which gives us cosmic memory. And just as here we live inside our skin and look outwards, so we live, as I have described, in our Sun-existence and look out upon the outside world, upon Man — not, of course, the being with whom anatomy is concerned, but a being as great, mighty, and majestic as the Universe with all its stars.
Seen from an earthly standpoint we have far too low an opinion of what is comprised in man — and this is a good thing for earthly human beings who might otherwise become megalomaniacs. Fundamentally speaking, if we include all the human beings on the Earth, they are the bearers of all the Hierarchies, for the beings of the Hierarchies unfold their nature in man. That in man which is far grander than the whole starry world, than the courses and phenomena of the stars — that is our outer world in the Sun-existence. And it is together with the Exusiai, Dynamis, and Kyriotetes, with the other beings belonging to the Moon-sphere, with the Angels, with the beings who inhabit Venus, with the Hierarchy of the Archai, with all the other human souls with whom we are karmically connected, that we prepare our next earthly life. This work in the Sun-existence for the elaboration of the next earthly life is infinitely grander than anything man can achieve for culture and civilization on the Earth. What earthly civilization offers is, after all, the work of man. But man himself is much more; to him it is vouchsafed to work for his later earthly life in collaboration with the beings in the Sun-sphere. The result would be pitiable if man were merely to work with other human souls at the structure subsequently produced for earthly life. He must work in cooperation with all the higher Hierarchies. For the being born of a mother has not arisen on the Earth; it is only the scene of action, as it were, that comes into existence on the Earth. A wonderful cosmic creation, formed in supersensible worlds, in the Sun-existence, incarnates into what is produced through physical heredity.
If such things are grasped with the right kind of understanding, we must surely look up to the Sun and say that its physical rays shining down to the Earth as warmth are the blessings bestowed by the Sun. But when we know what the Sun is in reality, we shall feel: Up yonder, where the glowing orb of the Sun moves through the Universe, is the scene where the spiritual prototypes of future generations of men first take shape; there the higher Hierarchies work together with the souls of men who lived on Earth in their previous incarnations, to bring the human beings of the future into existence. The Sun is actually the spiritual embryo of the Earth life of the future. In point of fact, it is the first half of the Sun-existence that we spend with the Gods, shaping together with them our future Earth-existence.
When we have lived through half the period between death and a new birth and have reached the point called in my Mystery Plays the ‘Midnight Hour,' another kind of work begins. We have heard that the Sun-existence is pure goodness. If all that I have described to you had been the work of the higher cosmic wisdom alone, angel-like, godlike beings would have come to the Earth instead of men. But these godlike beings would have had no freedom, for in keeping with the Sun-existence from which they sprang they would have been adapted only to do good. They would have had no choice between good and evil.
In the second half of the Sun-existence, part of the human reality produced there is transformed, dissolved as it were, to a picture. To begin with, man is formed in such a way that in his organism he would inevitably have become a wholly good being. Then, however, in the second half of the Sun-existence, part of his nature is not formed as a reality, but only as a picture, so that we go on our way in the Sun-sphere partly as spiritual reality, partly as a picture. This spiritual reality is the foundation for our body in the next earthly life. The part that is merely a picture is the foundation for our head. Because it is merely a picture it can be filled with much denser material, bony substance in fact. At the same time there is membered into this part that is not spiritual reality but a picture only, what we experience on Earth as the echoings of this picture. The requirements of our stomach, liver, and so on, are experienced as necessities of nature. The moral impulse within us is a spiritual experience here on Earth. The rudiment of what resounds from our conscience as the moral impulse is formed in that part of the Sun's embryonic prototype of man which becomes a picture.
Now, the Earth in its evolution, the evolution of mankind on the Earth — each has its history; culture and civilization evolve throughout the course of this history. The Sun life, the long period traversed between death and a new birth, also has its history. The most important event in the Earth's history is the Mystery of Golgotha, and in that history we make a clear distinction between the period before the Mystery of Golgotha and the period after it. A similar distinction must be made in the Sun-existence between what took place there before the Event of Golgotha on Earth, and after it. The following are the facts.
Before the Mystery of Golgotha had taken place the Christ Being was not present on the Earth; His coming was expected but He was not yet there, He was still in His Sun-existence. Those who were initiated in the Mysteries had ways and means in their Mystery Centers of participating in the Sun life. When the initiates succeeded in attaining higher knowledge outside the body, they were able, through their initiation, to reach Christ in the Sun-sphere where He was to be found. Since the Mystery of Golgotha came to pass on the Earth, Christ has no longer been in the Sun-sphere. He has united Himself with Earth-existence. First, Christ is present in the Sun-sphere; afterwards He is no longer there. In Earth life it is exactly the reverse: to begin with, Christ is not there; after the Mystery of Golgotha He is. But just as the Christ Impulse penetrates radically into Earth life, so does it into the Sun life. Here on Earth it costs us effort so to deepen our life of soul that we may experience the Christ, that we may be inwardly filled, permeated, by the Christ; similarly, it is difficult during the Sun life to survey, to behold, the essential nature of the whole man. And especially was it difficult in the early days of man's evolution, in spite of the instinctive clairvoyance then prevailing, to perceive the human being in the Sun-life after death. Precisely because on Earth man saw something spiritual within himself, it was difficult for him in the Sun-life to perceive the mystery of man as a world outside himself. Before the Mystery of Golgotha it was the Christ who gave to man in the Sun-sphere the power to behold his wholebeing. Since the Mystery of Golgotha we, as men on the Earth, must bring about the spiritual deepening that can be acquired through living contemplation of the Mystery of Golgotha, through inward participation in the life of Christ. In this way, during our earthly existence, we can consciously marshal the forces which we can bear with us through death and which can give us power to see man's whole being in the Sun-sphere. Before the Mystery of Golgotha, Christ gave to human beings in their life between death and rebirth the power to behold man in the Sun-existence; since the Mystery of Golgotha Christ prepares human beings during earthly life itself to be able to behold the whole, full nature of man in the Sun-existence. Thus it is only when we look out beyond Earth-existence into the Sun-existence that we can learn truly to understand the essence of Christianity. And, as we have seen, we learn to recognize in the Sun-existence a first half when man is originally formed as reality, when he is pure goodness. Then the picture-like part is engendered, and this projects into the later life, giving man freedom and containing the seed of moral experience.
Now, if we study a man's moral aptitudes and the health-promoting forces in him with initiation science, we see nothing correctly through Imagination, Inspiration, and Intuition unless these faculties are strengthened by what we can receive from the spheres into which man gradually enters on passing out of the Sun-existence: the spheres of Mars-existence, Jupiter-existence, Saturn-existence. Then, in order to fathom this second half of human life between death and rebirth, we must look back once more on certain seven-year periods in life. To see all this connectedly, however, we must have passed our sixty-third year, as I have already pointed out. If we look back on the period between the forty-second and forty-ninth years, the mysteries of Mars shine out from this period of life. From the forty-ninth to the fifty-sixth year, the Jupiter mysteries send out their light, and from the period between the fifty-sixth and the sixty-third years of life, illumination comes from the Saturn mysteries. Merely through the light which radiates towards us in this retrospective survey we can understand what takes place in the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn to prepare man for a new life on Earth. For when a man enters these spheres, having passed through the Sun-existence, the beings of the higher Hierarchies begin to work manifestly: first the Thrones in the Mars-sphere; then the Cherubim in the Jupiter-sphere; and the Seraphim in the Saturn-sphere.
When we have passed through this second half of the life between death and a new birth, once again the position is in a certain respect the opposite of that in earthly life. Here on Earth we look out into the wide spaces of the starry world; we see its wonders, and its sublimity fills us with reverence. When in preparation for our future earthly life we proceed from the Sun-existence through the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, wherever we look we are in the sphere of religious life. But looking downwards towards the Earth, it does not appear to us in a physical form as we have it around us here; rather there appears in the direction of the Earth a sublime and mighty spiritual life, woven out of the events of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn, out of the deeds of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. Now, however, it is not quite as it was before, when we felt the whole world within us. We felt the Exusiai, Dynamis, and Kyriotetes within ourselves. Now, looking down as we experience the deeds of Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones, we see them, to begin with, outside ourselves; we see below us the supersensible heaven, for the purely spiritual world is, for us, even above that. We see the supersensible heaven and look down into the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, Saturn; we see Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim living, striving, working. But what vista presents itself to us when we contemplate this work? — As we watch, we experience in a supersensible way among the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones what will constitute the fulfillment of our karma in our next earthly life; we see what we shall experience through those other human beings with whom our karma is in some way interwoven. This we experience in the first place through divine deeds among the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. They determine among themselves what we shall experience as the fulfillment of our karma in the next life on Earth. The Gods are verily our creators, but they also create our karma. The fulfillment of our karma is first experienced by the Gods in a heavenly picture; and this makes the impression we carry with us into our further existence. We take our karma upon ourselves because we behold it first in the divine deeds of the Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones. And in this vista we are shown what is in store for us in our next earthly life, carried into effect by the Gods.
From this you will realize that knowledge of karma is acquired through initiation science if human life is followed through the second half of the journey from death to a new birth and if we are able to decipher what takes place in the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn through the deeds of the Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim. And for one who has learnt to look back in spirit over his life between his forty-second and forty-ninth years, it is possible to penetrate into the Mars mysteries, to have some vision of what takes place in that sphere — especially among the Thrones but in general among Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim — when man is passing through it. From the standpoint of earthly life alone, the way in which a man's karma works cannot be rightly judged; the supersensible world must come to our assistance. And if someone wishes to study karma, he must turn his attention to that part of the Universe traversed by man between death and a new birth in the spheres of Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn.
Now, in certain cases what is taking place in the Mars-sphere is of particular significance for the next earthly life. Between death and a new birth we look at the Mars-sphere and perceive what is happening there. Everything is ‘word.' The beings of Mars are ‘word beings' — if I may put it so. Picture it as follows. Man consists of flesh and blood; when he speaks he sets the air in motion. When the airwaves strike against our ears, we hear; the sounds and tones are embodied in the airwaves. The Mars beings are formed of such waves; their whole nature consists of words, and when we hear with the ears of spirit we experience these beings. If in later life we look back over the period between the forty-second and forty-ninth years, if this is the period that has the greatest influence on a man between death and a new birth, if it is in the Mars-sphere that his karma is chiefly worked out, then what he will experience on the Earth is very closely connected with the Mars-existence. At the decisive juncture in his life after death he looks down through the Mars-sphere and forms for himself an earthly life very strongly connected with the Mars-existence.
Now let us take an example. There was a man who lived at the time when the Arabs, under the influence of Mohammedanism, streamed from Asia and North Africa to battle against Europe, threatening the Spanish Empire and setting up Moorish Arabian sovereignty. Suppose that before the spread of Arabian domination in Africa a man had acquired learning in the form customary at that time. There was such a man. In North Africa he had imbibed the knowledge that was available there, not exactly as it had been imbibed by St. Augustine, but in a somewhat similar form. This man — I am not now speaking of St. Augustine but of the other personality — imbibed a later form of North African learning which by then contained elements of Moorish-Arabian thought. This personality subsequently went over to Spain, where his beliefs underwent a kind of transformation; he turned to a more Christian point of view and mingled the Arabian concepts he had previously imbibed with the Christian teachings he was now receiving. Then he became imbued with elements of cabbalistic knowledge — not with what is now generally called Cabbalism but with certain trends of cabbalistic thought. The outcome was that he had many doubts, inner doubts and uncertainties; and in this mood of uncertainty he died. Comparatively soon afterwards, in the first half of the Middle Ages, this male personality was reborn as a woman, bringing into the new life an accumulation of all these doubts, which now became more deeply rooted than ever. The same personality appears again later on, having prepared for the transition from life as a woman to life again as a man, partly before and partly during the life between death and rebirth. The destiny for the next earthly life having been elaborated principally in the Mars-sphere, this personality was inevitably associated with the sphere of keen intellectuality on Earth — the sphere of intellectual judgments fraught with elements of criticism, of rebellion. This personality, two of whose previous incarnations I have here described, then became Voltaire.
You see how in the life between death and a new birth the earthly life is formed through the connection existing between man and the spiritual realities behind the stars. We understand the historical course of earthly life only when we can perceive the connection between one life and other earthly lives of the same individual.
How, then, do things that were present as causes and effects in earlier epochs of historical evolution pass over into the new epoch? It is men themselves who carry them over. All of you sitting here have brought over from your experiences in earlier epochs what you are experiencing in the present era. It is men themselves who make history, but we understand history only if instead of abstract speculation we are able to perceive what happens to individuals between death and a new birth in concrete reality.
Of particular importance for the understanding of human earthly life is the study of the karmic evolution that is revealed when a man brings with him from his earlier lives on Earth the results of having elaborated the main impulses of his karma in the Saturn-sphere. Men whose main karmic impulses take shape in the Mars-existence become like Voltaire. All their thoughts are concerned with life on Earth, criticizing it, fighting against it, sometimes — in Voltaire's case with genius — epitomizing it in caustic, aphoristic sayings. It is different when the karma is formed mainly through the Saturn impulses. These Saturn impulses have a very special influence on men. Even the perception of them when a man looks back upon his earthly life between the fifty-sixth and sixty-third years — even the sight of the Saturn mysteries is in many respects shattering; these mysteries are in a sense alien to earthly life. And whoever gradually learns through initiation knowledge to perceive the Saturn mysteries that are connected with this period of life undergoes experiences of dramatic intensity, shattering experiences, that are harder and harder to bear because these mysteries strike at the very roots of life. Nevertheless it can be said that we become aware of the whole wonderful setting of the settings of a man's life when we perceive how karma takes shape in this sphere. I will illustrate this too by an example, but something must be said in preparation.
A question may well occur to you — a question that is entirely justified and based upon statements often made by me in books and lectures, namely, that in earlier times there were great initiates who lived among men. You may ask: Where are they now, in this later age? Probably if you look around at present you will not say of many of the men working in the world that they have the characteristic traits of initiates — and this has been the case for some long time. So the question must be asked: Where are the initiates in their later incarnations?
Now, someone who was an initiate in a former incarnation, in full consciousness and outwardly too, need not necessarily become one again in a subsequent incarnation. The fruits of the initiation may remain in the subconsciousness. A man is obliged to make use of the body with which his epoch can provide him. The bodies of today are not well adapted for spiritual knowledge; they are actually a continual hindrance because they are products of a materialistic epoch; and the education we receive from childhood onwards is a greater hindrance still. When a person who was an initiate in past ages grows up in these conditions, he cannot again give outward expression to what remained of the initiation for this incarnation. We learn to write in childhood, but our present writing is incapable of giving expression to what at one time was initiation science; and it is the same in other domains. Initiates of earlier epochs may appear in life as great figures in a different sense, but not as initiates. Many a life at the present time and in the immediate past points back to earlier initiation.
I should like to give you an example of a personality who in a former earthly life was actually initiated into a high grade of the Hibernian Mysteries, the Mysteries of ancient Ireland, during the first Christian century when those great Mysteries were already in decline, though still preserving far-reaching, profound knowledge. The knowledge possessed by these Irish Mysteries was especially profound, not in an intellectual but in an intensely human sense. An impression of the proceedings in these Mysteries can be described as follows: After a candidate had been prepared for a long time to realize that truth may be subject to deception on the Earth, to realize the possibility of doubt, he had to experience in a picture something that only in that form could make the necessary deep impression. The pupil was taken in front of two statues. One was made of elastic substance, but it was hollow. It was of huge dimensions and tremendously impressive. The pupil was told to touch it. This caused a violent shock, for the statue gave the impression of being alive. The finger was pressed into it, then quickly withdrawn, and the original shape was immediately restored. The impression was of something living that was at once restored when disturbed even in the slightest degree. This was intended to signify everything in man that is of the nature of the Sun.
The other statue was more plastic. Again the pupil was told to touch it, and in this case the impression left by the touch remained. The next day, however, when the pupil was led before the statue again, its original shape had been restored during the night. Ritualistic acts of this kind brought about a change in the inner life of the pupil of the Mysteries.
In this way a deep impression had been made in the Irish Mysteries upon a certain personality who was living at that time as a man. You will realize that when examples of this kind are being given today, the male incarnations are the most likely to be conspicuous because in earlier epochs it was almost exclusively men who played any important part. Incarnations as women are intermediate. Today, when women are beginning to be important figures in historical life and development, the time is coming when female incarnations will be increasingly significant.
Now, there is a personality upon whom the Initiation rites and ceremonies of the Hibernian Mysteries had made a profound impression; they had a deep effect upon his inner life, and his experiences were of such intensity that he forgot the Earth altogether. Then, after this personality had lived through an incarnation as a woman, when the impulses of earlier initiation showed themselves merely in the general disposition of the soul, he came to the Earth again as an important figure in the 19th century. He had lived out the consequences of his karma in the Saturn-sphere — the sphere where one lives among beings who, fundamentally speaking, have no present. It is a shattering experience to look with clairvoyant vision into the Saturn-sphere, where beings live who have no present but only look back on their past. Whatever they do is done unconsciously; any action of theirs comes to consciousness only when it has happened and is inscribed into the world karma. Acquaintance with these beings, who draw their past after them like a spiritual comet's tail, has a shattering effect. The personality of whom I am speaking, who had at one time been initiated and had thus transcended earthly existence in a certain sense, bore his soul to these beings who take no part in the present, and elaborated his karma among them. It was as if everything that had been experienced hitherto in an initiate-existence now illumined with majestic splendor all the past earthly lives. This past was brought to fruition by what had been experienced through the Hibernian initiation. When this personality appeared again on Earth in the 19th century he had now, by contrast, to unfold impulses for the future. And when, on descending from the Saturn-sphere, this soul, with its gaze into the past illumined by the light of initiation, arrived on Earth, it presented this contrast: a firm foothold on the Earth while gazing into the future and giving expression to far-reaching ideas, impulses, and perceptions. This Hibernian initiate became Victor Hugo. We can assess a man rightly only when we also perceive the development he underwent between death and a new birth. His moral, religious, and ethical qualities then become evident to us. A personality certainly does not become poorer, but on the contrary very much richer, when viewed with the eyes of spirit.
These examples have been selected with the greatest exactitude. How do they help us to understand the life of man, the collaboration of the Cosmos with man? How does a third example help us to understand much that might otherwise be problematical even to unprejudiced minds? How do the karmic connections in such a case explain something quite extraordinary, something which otherwise seems incomprehensible?
We are led to Mysteries that had fallen completely into decay. These Mysteries had at one time been a factor of great significance in America but had then become decadent, with the result that conceptions of the rites, and their actual enactment, had become thoroughly childish in comparison with the grandeur of earlier times. But even the elements of superstition and magic prevailing in these later Mysteries before the so-called ‘discovery' of America — therefore not so very long ago — still echoed something of the suggestive power of the most ancient Mysteries.
There was a personality who received in these later Mysteries not only pictures but definite impressions of beings then known by the names of Taotl, Quetzalcoatl, Tezcalipoca. These beings made a tremendously strong impression, but it was an impure influence — impure in an ethical respect, as is often the case with decadent Mysteries. I see this personality born again later on as a man whose subconsciousness was permeated with the suggestive power that emanated from these Mysteries. He was reborn as Éliphas Lévi, and his writings revive the abstract, rationalistic, purely external conceptions which invariably spring from decadent Mysteries. This throws light on an otherwise enigmatic figure, whose writings have a certain grandeur about them but also something that is apt to stupefy the soul.
No matter where we look, life is clarified by the concrete indications given by Anthroposophy. Is it now possible for you to suppose that genuine descriptions of conditions of existence above and beyond earthly life can be listened to without stirrings of the heart, without spiritual warmth and illumination being brought into your souls? Does not human life between birth and death look different, indeed is it not felt to be different, when these descriptions of supersensible life are allowed to work upon the soul with all their inner power? We realize that we have come down from a world that can indeed be described; we carry into the physical world something that has lived among Gods.
To grasp these things theoretically is of very secondary importance. What matters is to realize that as human beings on the Earth in the physical body it is incumbent upon us to become worthy of what we have brought with us from supersensible worlds. If knowledge becomes an impulse of will worthy of our soul life before the descent through birth, then what is taught in Anthroposophy has a direct moral influence. This strengthening of the moral impulse is an essential aspect of Anthroposophy. I think the content of these three lectures will have made this evident.
Let us now look at the other aspect, the aspect of death which ends physical life on Earth, setting Nothingness in the place of life. If, however, we can picture what it has been possible to describe of the supersensible world, then behind the Nothingness there rises the spiritual world of the Gods, and man becomes conscious that he will have the strength to begin the work of forming a new physical body just where the Nothingness of his former physical body has been made evident. This gives a strong and true religious impulse. And so a picture of cosmic and human life springs from Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is moreover the source from which moral and religious ideals are imbued with strength.
I should like to conclude these lectures by speaking of the living Anthroposophy that must remain with us, so that even when we separate in space we are together in spirit. Our thoughts will meet, and in reality we are not parting at all. Through study of supersensible realities we know that those who have been brought together by Anthroposophy can always be together in soul and in spirit. Therefore let these lectures to the Group here conclude on this note: You and I have been together for a time in space, and in spirit we will remain united.