Per Spiritum Sanctum Reviviscimus. Part 1 of 2.
The Inner Nature of Man and Our Life Between Death and Rebirth
The fifth of six lectures to members of the Anthroposophical Society.
Rudolf Steiner, Vienna, April 13, 1914:
I have now to speak once more of the events between death and rebirth, making use of the ideas we have acquired in the previous lectures. As we can only deal briefly with this wide subject, a great deal can be but indicated and much else which perhaps does not follow from this pictorial presentation will have to be worked out later; but that which at present you may find incomplete will be made clear in the further course of our studies in Spiritual Science.
When a person passes the portal of death, he lays aside his physical body. This is consigned to the elements of the earth. In other words we may say of the physical body, that it has withdrawn from the forces and laws proceeding from the true man which permeate it between birth and death and which are different from the mere chemical and physical laws to which, as physical body, it succumbs after death. From the standpoint of the physical plane, a person has naturally the idea that he has left on the physical plane that part of his being which belongs to that plane. What belongs to the physical plane is consigned to the physical plane. For the comprehension of man himself and also for any comprehension of the spiritual world, we have naturally to consider the point of view taken by the dead person when he has passed through the portal of death. To him the leaving of the physical body means an inner process, a soul-process. To those who are left behind, what happens to the physical body after death is an external process, and the inner being of the person who has died, his human soul nature, can no longer express itself in the mortal residue; but to the man himself who has passed through the portal of death, something is connected with this leaving of the body. To him it means an inner experience of the soul; he feels: Thou hast come forth out of thy physical body and art leaving it behind.
From the standpoint of the physical plane, it is extremely difficult to give an accurate description of what here takes place within the soul; for it is an inner process of far reaching importance and immense significance. It is an inner process which lasts but a brief space of time, but it is of universal importance to the whole of human life. Now if the ideas connected with what then takes place in the soul were to be described — these ideas which of course cannot be touched upon at present in a public lecture because they would astonish the public too much, though perhaps the time will also come for this — if we were to describe the external process of ideas (now of course the spiritually external) with which the path of life running between death and rebirth commences, we might say that the person who has passed the portal of death has the feeling: Thou art now in an entirely different relationship to the world from that in which thou wast before; thy former relationship to the world is radically reversed. If we wished to describe the ideas which are then experienced in the soul, we should have to say that up to his death a person has lived on the earth. During this time he has been accustomed to stand on the solid, material earth, to see there the beings belonging to the mineral, vegetable and animal kingdoms, to see the mountains, rivers, clouds, stars, sun and moon; and from his own standpoint and through the powers of his physical body he has become accustomed to conceive of all this as we do to-day. This he does although at the present day we know from the teaching of Copernicus that fundamentally what we see is an illusion. There above us is the blue vault of the heavens, like a bowl, there are the stars, over it pass the sun and moon. Man is within this bowl as it were, he is within this hollow globe, in the centre, on the earth, together with all that the earth reveals to his powers of perception.
We are not at present concerned with the fact that it is an illusion when through the limitation of our capacities, we picture to ourselves this blue circumference, but with the fact that we cannot do otherwise than see it; we see a blue globe as a firmament above us. Now when a person has passed the portal of death, the first idea he has to form in his soul is: ‘Thou art now outside, but as though sunk into a single star.’ At first he is unconscious of the starry world in which he is really outspread, at first he is only aware of what he has left, he is only aware that he has left the sphere of consciousness he possessed in the physical body, he has left all that he was able to see by means of the human capacities developed in his physical body. Something has really happened — but spiritually — similar to what would happen if a chick, which at first is within the egg-shell, were consciously to experience how it breaks through this and afterwards sees the broken egg-shell — the world which had previously surrounded it — from outside, instead of from inside. Naturally this idea, which passes through the human soul at this point is Maya; but it is a necessary Maya or illusion. As we have already said, that which previously gave our consciousness its content has shrunk together as if into a single star, only that from this star radiates what we might call ‘radiating cosmic wisdom.’
This radiating cosmic wisdom is what I dealt with in the last lecture and regarding which I said that we possess it in its fullness. It shines and glitters at first as if from a fiery star. It is now not blue, like the firmament, but fiery, shining, reddish — like a fiery star. And from it streams forth into space the plenitude of wisdom, which in inward motion first presents to us what might be called a memory-tableau of our last earthly life. All the events we have consciously experienced in our soul between birth and death now come before our soul, but in such a manner that we know: There thou seest all, because the star shining before thee is the background which, through its inner activity, is the cause of thy being able to see what is outspread before thee, as a memory tableau. That is expressed more from the standpoint of the imagination. From the standpoint of inwardness the experience is somewhat as follows: The one who has passed the portal of death is entirely filled with the thought: Thou hast left thy body; now in the spiritual world this body is nothing but will. Thy body is a star of will, a star whose substance is will; and this will glows with warmth, and into the expanses of the world into which thou hast now poured thyself, it rays back to thee thy own life between birth and death as a great tableau. To the circumstance of thy sojourn within this star thou owest the privilege that thou art able to draw and absorb from the world what thou hast drawn and absorbed from it while on the physical plane: for this star, this will-star, which now forms the background is the spiritual part of thy physical body, this will-star is the spirit which permeates and strengthens thy physical body. That which streams to thee as wisdom is the activity, the mobility of thy etheric body.
This period passes. The period during which we have the impression that our life is running its course like a memory-tableau really only lasts for some days. Our thoughts, which became our memories during life on earth, unfold once more before our souls in this memory-tableau. We can maintain this tableau as long as we have the power under normal conditions to keep awake in the physical body. It does not depend upon how long we once remained awake in life under abnormal conditions, it depends upon the power we have within us to keep ourselves awake. In one case it may be that a person can scarcely keep awake one night without tiredness overcoming him, in another case it may be that he can hold out longer without becoming tired; but the length of time he needs to finish with this memory-tableau depends upon the degree of this power. We also have the distinct inner consciousness that because this will-star is in the background, there is contained within the memory-tableau what we have gained in our last earthly life, there is contained in it that by which we have become more mature, what we have carried beyond death as a plus quantity as compared with what we had as a minus quantity when at birth we entered into earthly life. This, which we may describe as the fruit of the last life, we feel in such a way as if it would not remain as it appeared during the memory-tableau, but as if it withdrew, as if it went away into the future and disappeared in those future ages.
In this lecture I shall speak principally of the condition in the life between death and rebirth of those who have reached the normal length of life and have died under normal conditions. Exceptional cases will be dealt with in the next lecture.
Thus the fruit of our life, if we have gained such fruit, withdraws to a distance and we know within our soul: — This fruit exists somewhere, but we have been left behind by it. We have the consciousness that we have remained at an earlier period of time, the fruit of our life hurries forward, it arrives before us at a later period of time and we have to follow after it. We must grasp correctly what I have just said, this idea of the inward experience of the fruit of our life being in the universe; because it is this inward experience which forms the basis of our consciousness, the beginning of our consciousness after death.
Our consciousness must always be aroused by something. When we awake in the morning our consciousness is enkindled anew through our entering into the physical body and thereby confronting outer objects, through something affecting us from outside, while during sleep we are unconscious. In the state immediately after death, this consciousness is enkindled by our inward feeling and experience of the fruits of our last life, experience of what we have gained. These fruits exist, but outside us. Our consciousness is first enkindled after death through this feeling and experience of our inmost earthly nature being outside us. By this our consciousness is quickened. Then begins the period during which it is necessary for us to develop soul-forces which had really to remain undeveloped during our life on the physical plane, because they were used to organise the physical body and all appertaining to it — soul-forces which during physical life have to be changed into something else. These forces have to awaken gradually after death. Even in the days during which we experienced the memory-tableau we notice this awakening of soul-capacities. This happens when the memory-tableau gradually fades away and grows dim, because it is during these days that we actually develop the forces lying at the foundation of the faculty of remembrance, but not acting consciously during physical life. The reason these forces do not act consciously during physical life is because during this physical life we have to transform them in order to be able to form memories. The last great memory which we have after death in the form of the tableau must first fade away, must gradually grow dim. Then out of the darkness develops that which we could not consciously possess before death; for if we had had it consciously before death we could never have formed the forces of memory. The forces which now develop in the soul during the fading of the remembrance of the tableau of life were, during life, transformed into the power by which we remember: they now emerge, because the power to remember earthly thoughts in the ordinary way is overcome and this spiritually transformed memory-force is awakened within us as the first spiritual soul-force which comes forth from the human soul after death, just as the soul-forces come forth in a growing child in the first weeks of its life. As this soul-force grows it is revealed to us that behind our thoughts, which while we were on the physical plane were but shadows, something lives; there is life and movement in the world of thought. We become aware that the thought pictures in our physical body were but a shadow and that in them there really lives and expands a vast number of elemental beings. Our memories grow dim and in their place we see emerge a vast number of elemental beings out of the universal cosmos of wisdom.
You might ask, ‘Is it not a great loss when after death the power of memory is overcome and we have something else in its place?’ We do not miss it, because we then have a very good substitute for it. Instead of remembering our thoughts as we do in life, we notice after death that these thoughts, which we had in life as memory-thoughts, only seem to be memories. This treasure of memory which is ours during life becomes something much more than merely a treasure of memory. When we are out of our physical body, we see all this treasure of memory as a living presence; it exists. Every thought is alive, is a living being. Now we know: During physical life thou didst think, thy thoughts appeared to thee; but while thou wast under the delusion that thou wast forming thoughts, thou wast producing nothing but elemental beings. That is the new thing thou hast added to the whole cosmos. Something new exists, to which thou gavest birth in the spirit; that which thy thoughts really were now stands before thee. We now first learn by direct vision what elemental beings are, because this is the first time we come to know the elemental beings we have ourselves produced. This memory-tableau is the very important impression we receive in the first period after death; but this begins to live, really to live, and as it begins to live we perceive it as nothing but elemental beings. It now shows its true face, as it were and its disappearance merely signifies its change into something different. If, for example, we died at the age of sixty or eighty, we do not need the power of memory to remember a thought we had, say, at the age of twenty, because it is there as a living elemental being, it has waited and we do not need to remember it; then if we died, for example, at the age of forty the thought would only be twenty years old and we should see it clearly. These elemental beings themselves tell us how long it is since they were formed. Time becomes space: it stands before us, because the living beings reveal their own time-signature. Under these conditions time becomes the immediate present.
From these, our own elemental beings, which surrounded us during life and which we see at death, we learn the nature of the elemental world and thereby prepare ourselves gradually to understand the elemental beings in the outer world not produced by us, but existing apart from us in the spiritual cosmos. Through our own elemental creations we learn to know the others. Think how very different this life between death and rebirth really is from our earthly life. The main thing is that after physical birth we are not aware of ourselves. What we experience as a baby, those around us experience with us; we are born, and others, our parents, look upon this which has been born. Neither are we aware of ourselves at first after death, but we see as an outer world that to which we have given birth. We ourselves look upon that which is outside, that to which we have given birth at the moment of death. When at our physical birth we enter into existence, we have an incomprehensible world before us, and to those around us we are indeed a being who only sprawls and cries and laughs; but after death, after our birth into the spiritual world — which to the physical world is death — we enter at once into an environment to which we ourselves have given birth, which we have ourselves organised, for we have ourselves given birth to it. There, we have given birth to a world, whereas, when we are born physically, this world gives birth to us. Such are the conditions with respect to thought and also to that which springs from thought as our store of memory.
It is different as regards what belongs to our feeling and our will. In the first lecture I mentioned that all that belongs to the spheres of our feeling and our will is not yet born in us, that in a certain respect will and feeling are something which is not fully born. This can be seen clearly after death; for will and feeling, as they pervade the physical body, still exist after death. So that after a time, after the will-star has withdrawn with the fruits of our last earthly life, we live in an elemental world which forms our environment to which we ourselves give the fundamental tone through our transformed memories. We live in such a manner in this world, which really is ourselves, in the sense I have just explained, that we know: Thy feeling and thy will are still in thee. They have still a sort of remembrance, a sort of connection with thy last earthly life. This condition lasts for decades. When we are in earthly life between birth and death, we enjoy and suffer, we live in our passions and we develop impulses of the will through having the feeling and willing soul in our body; but it is never the case that all the forces contained in feeling and will are really able to find an outlet through the body. Even though we may die in very old age, we still could have enjoyed more, suffered more, we still could have developed more impulses of the will. All the possibilities of feeling and will that yet remain in the soul must, however, be overcome. As long as these are not fully overcome we still have a connection of desire with our last earthly life. We look back, as it were, at this last earthly life. It is, as I have often expressed by a trivial word, a sort of weaning from the connection with the physical earthly life. Anyone who is but to a slight degree a true spiritual investigator soon penetrates into the nature of the force which we have now to overcome, and this overcoming takes decades to accomplish: but it is revealed comparatively easily to spiritual investigation.
Each day when we fall asleep and when we experience the interval between sleeping and waking, we are in our soul and spiritual nature outside our body. We return, because in our soul and spirit nature we have the impulse to return, because we really have a desire for our body. We absolutely long for our body. And one who can consciously experience awaking, knows: you want to awaken and you must will to waken. In the spirit and soul-nature there is indeed a force of attraction to the body. This must gradually decline, it must be entirely overcome and this takes decades to accomplish. This is the period in which we gradually overcome our connection with our last earthly life and this is why, in the period which is occupied in the manner I have just described, we really have to experience in a reversed direction everything that took place in our earthly life.
Now that the previous lectures have been given, I am in a position to describe various conditions more minutely than before, when only a general outline could be given; for before this could be done, it was necessary that certain ideas should first be brought forward.
Let us suppose that we have passed the portal of death and that we have left someone behind on the earth. We are now in the period when we have gained the power of beholding elemental beings and of having the inward feeling that the fruits of our earthly life have withdrawn; but that we are still connected with this last earthly life. Let us suppose, that when we have passed the portal of death we have left behind one whom we have loved very much. Now, when after death we have become accustomed to our elemental creations, we gradually attain to seeing the elemental beings of others; it is possible for us now to see the thoughts of others as elemental beings. We see the thoughts that live in the soul of the person we have left behind, for they are expressed in living elementals which appear before our soul as mighty Imaginations. In this way we can now have a much more intimate connection with the inner life of this person than we had with him in the physical world; for while we ourselves were in the physical body we could not indeed see the thoughts of the other, whereas now we can. But we have need of the feeling-memory — please note the word — the feeling-memory, the connection of feeling with our own last earthly life. We must feel, just as we felt in the body, and this feeling must echo in us. Then, when the thoughts of the other appear to us, the whole condition, which otherwise would only be as a picture, receives life. Thus, by the route of our feeling, we gain a living connection with our friend: it is really so with everyone.
You see, it is a development of a condition which may be described thus: There is a period during which we still have to draw from our last earthly life the forces enabling us to enter into living relationship with the surrounding spiritual world; we have still to be connected with this earthly life. We love the souls we have left behind, the contents of whose souls appear to us as thoughts, as elemental beings. But we love them because we ourselves are still living in the love we developed for them during our earthly life. The expression is not a happy one, but some of you will understand me when I say that earth-life — not the thought-life but the earth-life whose soul-contents are filled with feeling and permeated with the impulse of will — this earth-life, with which we are still connected, becomes like a sort of electric switch connecting our own individuality with what goes on around us spiritually; we perceive everything in a roundabout way through our last earthly life, but we only perceive what appertains to us in the spiritual world, through the feeling and will that were ours in our last earthly life. It is now really the case that we feel ourselves living on further into time, as a sort of comet of time. Our earthly life is still there like the kernel of the comet, but the kernel sends out a sort of tail into the near future through which we live. We are still connected with our earthly life in so far as this is filled with feeling and will, and from this experience something must be born within our soul as I have described, something that is not directly feeling and will. The soul-powers we develop here in the physical world, which include the power of feeling as we have it here in the physical world and the power of the will as we have it here in the physical world, these soul-powers we possess in this form, because we are living in the physical body. When the soul no longer lives in the physical body, it has to develop other qualities which only slumber during physical life. Because the echoes of feeling and will reverberate in it for years, the soul has to mature something from them which it can also use for the spiritual world in this respect, namely a force which I might describe as something like a feeling-desire or a desiring-feeling. In respect of our feeling and our will, we know that these dwell within our soul; but after death we do not, on the whole, possess such feeling and desire, they must gradually fade and die down, and they do this after some years.
But during this dying down and fading away, something has to develop from feeling and will which can be ours after death. Our thoughts live outside us as elemental beings; of inward feeling and will we should have nothing in this spiritual world which we ourselves are, and which is there, outside us. We have gradually to develop a will — and this we really do — which streams forth from us, which pours forth from us, as it were, and undulates and moves to where our living thoughts are. These it penetrates, because then upon the waves of will floats the feeling which in physical life is within us and not outside. Feeling then returns to us floating on the waves of will. There, outside surges and billows the ocean of our will and upon this swims our feeling. When the will strikes against an elemental thought-being, the contact produces an up-glimmering of feeling and we perceive this ‘ricochet’ of our will as an absolute reality of the spiritual world. Let us suppose there is an elemental being in the outer spiritual world. When we have gradually worked out of the condition we must first pass through, our will going forth from us breaks against this elemental being. When it strikes against the elemental being it is thrown back. It does not now return as will, but as feeling, which floats back to us on the waves of will. Our own being which is poured out into the cosmos lives as feeling which comes back to us on the waves of will. The elemental beings thereby become real to us and we gradually perceive that which exists outside us as the outer spiritual world.
Still another soul-force has to come forth from us, which slumbers in a much deeper layer of the soul than the feeling-will or the willing-feeling. It is creative soul-force, which is like an inner soul-light that must shine forth over the spiritual world, in order that we may not only see the living, active, objective thought-beings floating back to us on the waves of feeling in the ocean of our will, but that we may also illumine this spiritual world with spiritual light. Creative, spiritual illuminating power must go forth from our soul into the spiritual world. This awakens gradually.
You see, that while living in physical life we have at least differentiated within us the pair of brothers — feeling and will, from feeling-will or willing-feeling: we possess these as a duality whereas when we have passed the portal of death they are unity. The creative soul-force which we radiate as soul-light into spiritual space (if I may use the word ‘space’ here, for in reality it is not space, but we have to try to make these conditions comprehensible by expressing them pictorially), this soul-light slumbers so deep down within us because it is connected with something regarding which we neither may nor can know anything during life. That which is liberated as light and which then illumines and brightens the spiritual world slumbers very deep down within us during our life on the physical plane. What then rays forth from us, has to be transformed during our physical life and used in such a way that our body shall really live and that consciousness shall dwell in it. Entirely below the threshold of consciousness works this spiritual illuminating power in our physical body, as the power which organises life and consciousness. We dare not bring it into our earthly consciousness, for we should then rob our physical body of the power which has to organise it. But when we have no body to take care of, it becomes spiritual illuminating power, and streams through, shines and glitters through everything: these words signify actual realities.
Thus we gradually work our way onwards to where we become at home in the spiritual world and experience it as a reality, just as here we experience the physical world as a reality. We gradually arrive at really having the souls of those who have passed the portal of death as our companions in the spiritual world, in so far as these really live in the spiritual world. We then live among souls, just as here in the physical body we live among bodies. As we enter more and more into the true spirit of Spiritual Science, the assertion that after death we do not meet again all those with whom we have lived here, would be, to one who goes more deeply into the matter, as foolish as if someone were to say, with respect to the physical plane, that when we enter upon the earth at birth we find no human beings there. Human beings are all about us. — To one who knows spiritual life it is exactly the same as if someone were to say: the child comes into the physical world, but it sees no one there. That, obviously, is nonsense. In the same way it is nonsense when people say: when we enter into the spiritual world we do not find again all the souls with whom we have been associated, neither do we find the Beings belonging to the higher Hierarchies, whom we recognise in their order, as here upon the earth we recognise minerals, plants and animals! But there is this difference, here in the physical world we know that when we see and hear objects and beings, the possibility for doing so comes through our senses, from the outer world. In the spiritual world we know that this possibility comes from ourselves, because what we may call the soul-light streams forth from our souls illuminating everything about us.
Thus do we live in the period which may be called the first half of our life between death and rebirth. While we are living in this period we go through the two conditions I have already described: — one, a condition lasting for years, in which, through the illuminating power proceeding from our soul, we are connected with the spiritual world and are thus enabled to perceive spirits and souls about us. This then grows dim and we have the feeling: thou canst develop thy soul-illuminating power, thy soul-light less and less, thou art obliged to let it become dimmer and darker in a spiritual sense. Thereby thou canst see spiritual beings less and less. It becomes increasingly the case that we enter alternating periods in which we have a feeling which we may express thus: Beings surround thee on all sides but thou art becoming more and more solitary, thou art aware only of the contents of thine own soul and these contents grow richer to the same extent that thou ceasest to be able to illuminate the beings without. — There are periods of spiritual companionship, and again, periods of spiritual solitude during which we live over again in our soul, what we experienced in the periods of spiritual companionship. These conditions alternate. Such is our life in the spiritual world: spiritual companionship, and again spiritual solitude. In periods of spiritual solitude we know: what thou didst experience in the spiritual world around thee was indeed there, thou knewest about all that; but now there remains only the echo of it within thee. One might say, that what we experience in the periods of spiritual solitude, are memories; but these words do not express it exactly. I must therefore try to describe it to you from another aspect. It is not as if in the period of spiritual darkness, when one has no companions, one were to remember what one had previously experienced in the spiritual world, but as if one had to produce this afresh every moment: it is a continual inward creation. One is inwardly aware: While there, outside thee the outer world exists; thou must remain alone and create and create. What thou createst is the world which surges around thee beyond the shores of thine own being.
As we thus live on further during the first half of our life between death and rebirth and approach the middle of the period between death and rebirth, we feel the solitary life grow richer and richer and at the same time the vision of our spiritual environment becomes dimmer and more restricted. This continues until we arrive at the middle of the period between death and rebirth, which in my last Mystery Drama, The Soul's Awakening, I have endeavoured to describe as the Midnight of the World. That is the period when we have the strongest inward life, but we no longer have within us the creative soul-force enabling us to illumine our spiritual environment. Here, one might say, infinite worlds fill us inwardly, spiritually, but we are unable to know anything about any other being except our own. That is the central point in our experience between death and rebirth, it is the Midnight of the World.
Now the time begins when there develops within us the longing for a positive creative power; for although we have an infinite inner life, there awakens within us the longing to have an outer world again. And so different are the conditions of the spiritual world from those of the physical world, that whereas in the physical world longing is the most passive force (when there is something for which we long, this something is what determines us), the reverse is the case in the spiritual world. There, longing is a creative force; it transforms itself into something which, as a new kind of soul-light, is able to give us an outer world, an outer world which is yet an inner world, inasmuch as it reveals to us a vision of our previous earthly incarnations. These now lie outspread before us, illumined by the light that is born of our longing. In the spiritual cosmos there is a power which comes from longing, which can illumine this backward survey and enable us to experience ourselves.
But to this end one thing is necessary in our present age. I have said that during the whole of the first half of our life between death and rebirth we alternate between inner life and outer life, between solitude and spiritual companionship. At first the conditions in the spiritual world are such, that each time we return to our solitude in the spiritual world, to our inner activity, we call up before our soul again and again what we have experienced in the outer world. Thereby a consciousness is aroused which expands over the whole of the spiritual world; with the swing of the pendulum this again contracts during the period of solitude.
There is one thing, however, which exists there and which we must retain, no matter whether we expand into the great spiritual world, or withdraw into ourselves. Before the Mystery of Golgotha took place, it was possible, through the forces connecting man with primeval times, to preserve a connection with that which gave him the feeling of ‘I’. It was possible not to lose this connection, for he could preserve a clear remembrance of one thing in the previous earthly life, namely, that in this life on the earth he had lived as an ‘I’; and this remembrance continued both through the periods of solitude and of companionship. Before the Mystery of Golgotha the forces of inheritance took care of this. Now, it can only be accomplished through the fact that the soul-content, which we may have through Christ having entered into the earth aura, remains connected with that which we have released from us as the treasure we have brought from the earth, which we perceived withdraw immediately after leaving the physical body. This is the permeation with the Christ-substance, which after death gives us the power to maintain the remembrance of our ‘I’ up to the time of the world-midnight, in spite of all expansion and in spite of all the contraction into solitude. Thus far does the impulse proceeding from the power of Christ extend, that through it we do not lose ourselves. Then from our longing must spring a new spiritual power, a power that only exists in spiritual life and by which, through our longing a new light may be kindled.
In the physical world there is Nature and the Divinity which pervades Nature, from which we are born into the physical world. There is the Christ-impulse which is present in the earth's aura, that is, in the aura of physical nature. But the power which draws near to us in the Midnight of the World, through which our longing is enabled to illumine the whole of our past, this power exists only in the spiritual world where nobody can live. When the Christ-impulse has brought us as far as to the Midnight of the World, and when the Midnight of the World is experienced by the soul in spiritual loneliness, because the soul-light cannot yet stream forth from us, when world-darkness has come upon us, when Christ has led us thus far, then in the Midnight of the World there emerges something spiritual from our desire, creating a new world-light which illuminates our being and by means of which we enter anew into worldly existence. We learn to know the Spirit of the spiritual world which awakens us, because out of the Midnight of the World a new light shines, the light which illuminates the whole of our human past.
In Christ we have died; through the Spirit, through the bodiless Spirit for which the technical expression Holy Ghost is used, i.e., the Spirit that lives without a body — (for this is meant by the word Holy, namely, a spirit without the weakness of one that lives in the body) — through this Spirit we are reawakened at the Midnight of the World. At the World-Midnight we are awakened by the Holy Ghost:
PER SPIRITUM SANCTUM REVIVISCIMUS.
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