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Links Between the Living and the Dead

On-line since: 3rd December, 2003

I

LINKS BETWEEN THE LIVING AND THE DEAD

Another version of this lecture is: Descriptive Sketches: Lecture I

With all my heart I reciprocate the greeting of your Chairman, and I am sure that those who have come here with me to be together with friends in Bergen will cordially join me in this. It has been a beautiful journey through mountains that were so welcoming and so majestic, and I believe that everyone will be happy during their stay in this old Hanseatic city. A marvellous handiwork of man — the railway by which we traveled — has given us an impression seldom occurring in other regions of Europe, an impression of human creative power applied to Nature in her pure, original state. When one sees rocks that had to be shattered to pieces in order to produce a work like this, and sees them lying side by side with others piled up by Nature herself, impressions pour in which make a journey to a country such as this one of the grandest that can be undertaken nowadays. In this old city, friends will spend happy days and keep them in special remembrance because of their majestic background. These days will be enshrined in the memory especially because outer, physical evidence itself shows that, in this land too, anthroposophical hearts are beating in unison with our own pursuit of the spiritual treasures of humanity. It is quite certain that the visitors to this city will feel an even closer link of affection with those who have given us such a kindly reception.

* * *

As we are together here for the first time, I want to speak in an aphoristic way of matters pertaining to the spiritual world. Such matters are better and more easily expressed by word of mouth than in writing. This is not only because the prejudices existing in the world make it difficult in many respects to commit to writing everything that one so gladly conveys to hearts devoted to Anthroposophy, but it is also difficult because spiritual truths lend themselves better to the spoken word than to writing or to print.

This applies very specially to spiritual truths of a more intimate kind. For these things to be written down and printed always goes rather against the grain, although in our day it has to be done. It is always difficult to allow the more intimate truths relating to the higher worlds themselves to be written down and printed, precisely because writing and printing cannot be read by the spiritual Beings of whom one is speaking. Books cannot be read in the spiritual world.

True, for a short period after death books can still be read through remembrance, but the Beings of the higher Hierarchies cannot read our books. And if you ask: Do these Beings then not want to learn how to read? — I must tell you that according to my experience they show no desire at present to do so because they find that the reading of what is produced on the earth is neither necessary nor useful to them.

The spiritual Beings begin to read only when human beings on the earth read books — that is to say, when what is contained in the books comes to life in the thoughts of men. Then the spiritual Beings read in these thoughts; but what is written or printed is like darkness for the Beings of the spiritual worlds. And so when something is committed to writing or to print, one has the feeling that communications are being made behind the back of the spiritual Beings. This is a feeling which a man of modern culture may not wholly share, but every true occultist will experience this feeling of distaste for writing and print.

When we penetrate into the spiritual worlds with clairvoyant vision, we see it to be of particular importance that knowledge of the spiritual world shall spread more and more widely during the immediate future, because upon this spread of Spiritual Science will depend a great deal in respect of a change that is becoming increasingly necessary in man's life of soul. If with the eyes of spirit we look back over a period measured by centuries only, we find something that may greatly astonish those who have no knowledge of these things. It is that intercourse between the living and the dead has become more and more difficult, that even a comparatively short time ago this intercourse was far more active and alive.

When a Christian of the Middle Ages, or even a Christian of more recent centuries, turned his thoughts in prayer to the dead who had been related or known to him, his prayers and feelings bore him upward to the souls of the dead with much greater power than is the case today. For the souls of the dead to feel warmed by the breath of the love streaming from those who looked upwards or sent their thoughts upward to them in prayer, was far easier in the past than it is today — that is, if we allow external culture to be our only guide.

Again, the dead are cut off from the living more drastically in the present age than they were a comparatively short time ago, and this makes it more difficult for them to perceive what is astir in the souls of those left behind, This belongs to the evolution of humanity, but evolution must also lead to a rediscovery of this connection, this real intercourse between the living and the dead.

In earlier times the human soul was still able to maintain a real connection with the dead, even if it was no longer a fully conscious one, because for long now men have ceased to be clairvoyant. In even more ancient times the living were able to look upwards with clairvoyant vision to the dead and to follow the happenings of their life. Just as it was once natural for the soul to be in living relationship with the dead, so it is possible today for the soul to re-establish this intercourse and relationship by acquiring thoughts and ideas about the spiritual worlds. And it will be one of the practical tasks of anthroposophical life to ensure that the bridge is built between the living and the dead.

In order that we may really understand one another, I want to speak first of certain aspects of the mutual relationship between the living and the dead, starting with a quite simple phenomenon which will be explained in accordance with the findings of spiritual investigations. Souls who sometimes practise a little self-contemplation will be able to observe the following (and I believe that many have done so). Let us suppose that someone has hated another person in life, or perhaps it was, or is, merely a question of antipathy or dislike. When the person towards whom hatred or antipathy was directed dies, and the other hears of his death, he will feel that the same hatred or antipathy cannot be maintained. If the hatred persists beyond the grave, sensitive souls will feel a kind of shame that it should be so. This feeling — and it is present in many souls — can be observed by clairvoyance. During self-examination the question may well be asked: Why is it that this feeling of shame at some hatred or antipathy arises in the soul, for the existence of such hatred was never at any time admitted to a second person?

When the clairvoyant investigator follows in the spiritual worlds the one who has passed through the gate of death and then looks back upon the soul who has remained on the earth, he finds that, generally speaking, the soul of the dead has a very clear perception, a very definite feeling, of the hatred in the soul of the living man. The dead sees the hatred — if I may speak figuratively. The clairvoyant investigator is able to confirm with all certainty that this is so. But he can also perceive what such hatred signifies for the dead. It signifies an obstacle to the good endeavours of the dead in his spiritual development, an obstacle comparable with hindrances standing in the way of some external goal on earth. In the spiritual world the dead finds that the hatred is an obstacle to his good endeavours. And now we understand why hatred — even if there was justification for it in life — dies in the soul of one who practises a little self-contemplation: the hatred dies because a feeling of shame arises in the soul when the one who was hated has died. True, if the man is not clairvoyant he does not know the reason for this, but implanted in the very soul there is a feeling of being observed; the man feels: the dead sees my hatred and it is an actual hindrance to his good endeavours.

Many feelings rooted deeply in the human soul are explained when we rise into the worlds of spirit and recognize the spiritual facts underlying these feelings. Just as when doing certain things on earth we prefer not to be physically observed and would refrain from doing them if we knew this was happening, so hatred does not persist after a person's death when we have the feeling that we ourselves are being observed by him. But the love or even the sympathy we extend to the dead eases his path, removes hindrances from him.

What I am now saying — that hatred creates hindrances in the spiritual world and love removes them — does not cut across karma. After all, many things happen here on earth which we shall not attribute directly to karma. If we knock our foot against a stone, this must not always be attributed to karma — not, at any rate, to moral karma. In the same way it is not a violation of karma when the dead feels eased through the love streaming to him from the earth, or when he encounters hindrances to his good endeavours.

Something else that will make an even stronger appeal in connection with intercourse between the dead and the living is the fact that in a certain sense the souls of the dead too need nourishment; not, of course, the kind of nourishment required by human beings on the earth, but of the nature of spirit-and-soul. By way of comparison, just as we on the earth must have cornfields where the grain for our physical sustenance ripens, so must the souls of the dead have cornfields from which they can gather certain sustenance which they need during the time between death and a new birth. As the eye of clairvoyance follows the souls of the dead, the souls of sleeping human beings are seen to be cornfields for the dead. For one who has this experience in the spiritual world for the first time, it is not only surprising but deeply shattering to see how the souls living between death and a new birth hasten as it were to the souls of sleeping human beings, seeking for the thoughts and ideas which are in those souls; for these thoughts are food for the souls of the dead and they need this nourishment.

When we go to sleep at night, the ideas and thoughts which have passed through our consciousness in our waking hours begin to live, to be living beings. Then the souls of the dead draw near and share in these ideas, feeling nourished as they perceive them. When clairvoyant vision is directed to the dead who night after night make their way to the sleeping human beings left behind on earth — especially blood-relations but friends as well — seeking refreshment and nourishment from the thoughts and ideas that have been carried into sleep, it is a shattering experience to see that they often find nothing. For as regards the state of sleep there is a great difference between one kind of thought and another.

If throughout the day we are engrossed in thoughts connected with material life, if our mind is directed only to what is going on in the physical world and can be achieved there, if we have given no single thought to the spiritual worlds before passing into sleep but often bring ourselves into those worlds by means quite different from thoughts, then we have no nourishment to offer to the dead. I know towns in Europe where students induce sleepiness by drinking a lot of beer! The result is that they carry over thoughts which cannot live in the spiritual world. And then when the souls of the dead approach, they find barren fields; they fare as our physical body fares when famine prevails because our fields yield no crops. Especially at the present time much famine among souls can be observed in the spiritual worlds, for materialism is already very widespread. Many people regard it as childish to occupy themselves with thoughts about the spiritual world but thereby they deprive souls after death of needed nourishment.

In order that this may be rightly understood, it must be stated that nourishment after death can be drawn only from the ideas and thoughts of those with whom there was some connection during life; nourishment cannot be drawn from those with whom there was no connection at all. When we cultivate Anthroposophy today in order that there may again be in souls a spirituality which can be nourishment for the dead, we are not working only for the living, or merely in order to provide them with some kind of theoretical satisfaction, but we try to fill our hearts and souls with thoughts of the spiritual world because we know that the dead who were connected with us on earth must draw their nourishment from these thoughts. We feel ourselves to be workers not only for living human beings, but workers too in the sense that anthroposophical activity, the spread of anthroposophical life, is also of service to the spiritual worlds. In speaking to the living for their life by day, we promote ideas which, bringing satisfaction as they do in the life by night, are fruitful nourishment for the souls whose karma it was to die before us. And so we feel the urge not only to spread Anthroposophy by the ordinary means of communication, but deep down within us there is the longing to cultivate Anthroposophy in communities, in groups, because this is of real value.

As I have said, the dead can draw nourishment only from souls with whom they were associated in life. We therefore try to bring souls together in order that the harvest-fields for the dead may become more and more extensive. Many a human being who after death finds no harvest-field because all his family are materialists, finds it among the souls of anthroposophists with whom he had had some connection. That is the deeper reason for working together in community, and why we are anxious that the dead should have been able before death to know anthroposophists who are still occupied on the earth with spiritual things; for when these people are asleep the dead can draw nourishment from them.

In ancient times, when a certain spirituality pervaded the souls of men, it was among religious communities and blood-relatives that help was sought after death. But the power of blood-relationship has diminished and must be replaced by cultivation of the spiritual life, as is our endeavour. Anthroposophy can therefore promise that a new bridge will be built between the living and the dead and that through it we can mean something real to the dead. And when with clairvoyant vision today we sometimes find human beings in the life between death and a new birth suffering because they have known, including their nearest and dearest, [those who] harbour only materialistic thoughts, we recognize how necessary it is for cultural life on earth to be permeated with spiritual thoughts.

Suppose, for example, we find in the spiritual world a man who died fairly recently, whom we knew during his life on earth and who left behind certain members of his family also known to us. The wife and children were all of them good people in the ordinary sense, with a genuine love for one another. But clairvoyant vision now reveals that the father, whose wife was the very sun of his existence when he came home after heavy and arduous work, cannot see into her soul because she has not spiritual thoughts either in her head or in her heart. And so he asks: Where is my wife? What has become of her? He can look back only to the time when he was united with her on earth, but now, when he is seeking her most urgently of all, he cannot find her. This may well happen. There are many people today who believe that as far as consciousness is concerned the dead have passed into a kind of void, who can think of the dead only with materialistic thoughts, not with any fruitful thoughts. In the life between death and rebirth a soul may be looking towards someone still on earth. someone who had loved him, but the love is not combined with belief in the soul's continued existence after death. In such a case, at the very moment after death when this desire arises to see one who was loved on earth, all vision may be extinguished. The living human being cannot be found, nor can any link be established with him, although it is known that he could indeed be contacted if spiritual thoughts were harboured in his soul.

This is a frequent and sorrowful experience for the dead. And so it may happen — this can be seen by clairvoyant vision — that many a human being after death encounters obstacles in the way of his highest aims on account of the thoughts of antipathy by which he is followed, and he finds no consolation in the living thoughts of those to whom he was dear on earth because owing to their materialism they are hidden from his sight.

The laws of the spiritual world, perceived in this way by clairvoyant vision, hold good unconditionally. That this is so is shown by an example which it has often been possible to observe. It is instructive to see how thoughts of hatred, or at least antipathy, take effect even if they are not conceived in full consciousness. There are school-teachers of the type usually known as ‘strict’, who are unable to gain the affection of their pupils; in such cases of course, the thoughts of antipathy and hatred are formed half innocently. But when such a teacher dies it can be seen how these thoughts too — for they persist — are obstacles in the way of his good endeavours in the spiritual world. After the teacher's death it is not often that a child or young person realizes that his hatred ought to cease, but he nevertheless preserves the feeling of how the teacher tormented him. From such insights a great deal can be learnt about the mutual relationships between the living and the dead.

I have been trying to lead up to something that can become a fundamentally good result of anthroposophical endeavour — namely, reading to the dead. It has been proved in our own Movement that very great service can be rendered to the souls of those who have died before us by reading to them about spiritual things. This can be done by directing your thoughts to the dead and, in order to make this easier, you can picture him as you knew him in life, standing or sitting before you. In this way you can read to more than one soul at a time. You do not read aloud, but you follow the ideas with alert attention, always keeping in mind the thought: The dead are standing before me.

That is what is meant by reading to the dead. It is not always essential to have a book, but you must not think abstractly and you must think each thought to the end. In this way you are able to read to the dead.

Although it is more difficult, this can be carried so far that if in the realm of some particular world-conception — or indeed in any domain of life — thoughts have been held in common with the soul of the dead and there has been some degree of personal relationship, one can even read to a soul with whom the connection has been no closer than this. Through the warmth of the thoughts directed to him, he gradually becomes attentive. Thus it may be of real use to read to distant associates after their death.

The reading can take place at any time. I have been asked what is the best hour of the day for such reading, but it is quite independent of time. All that matters is to think the thoughts through to the end; to skim through them is not enough. The subject-matter must be worked through word by word, as if one were reciting inwardly. Then the dead read with us. Nor is it correct to think that such reading can be useful only to those who have come into contact with Anthroposophy during their lifetime. This is by no means necessarily so.

Quite recently, perhaps not even a year ago, one of our friends, and his wife too, felt a kind of uneasiness every night. As the friend's father had died a short time previously, it struck him at once that his father was wanting something and was turning to him. And when this friend came to me for advice, it was found that the father, who during his lifetime would not listen to a word about Anthroposophy, was feeling an urgent need after his death to know something of it. Then, when the son and his wife read to the father the lecture-course on the Gospel of St. John which I once gave in Cassel, this soul felt deeply satisfied, as though lifted above many disharmonies that had been experienced shortly after death.

This case is noteworthy because the soul concerned was that of a preacher who had regularly presented the views of his religion to other men, but after death could only find satisfaction by being able to share in the reading of an anthroposophical elucidation of the Gospel of St. John. It is not essential that the one whom we wish to help after death should have been an anthroposophist in his lifetime, although in the nature of things very special service will be rendered to an anthroposophist by reading to him.

A fact such as this gives us a view of the human soul quite different from the one usually held. There are factors in the souls of men of far greater complexity than is generally believed. What takes its course consciously is actually only a small part of man's life of soul. In the unconscious depths of his soul there is a great deal going on of which he has at most a dim inkling; it hardly enters at all into his clear waking consciousness. Moreover, the very opposite of what a man believes or thinks in his upper consciousness may often be astir in his subconscious life. A very frequent case is that one member of a family comes to Anthroposophy and the brother or the husband or the wife become more and more hostile to it, often scornful and rabidly opposed. Great antipathy to Anthroposophy then develops in such a family and life becomes very difficult for many people because of the scorn and even anger of friends or relatives.

Investigation of these latter souls often reveals that in their subconscious depths an intense longing for Anthroposophy is developing. Such a soul may be longing for Anthroposophy even more intensely than someone who in his upper consciousness is an avid attender of anthroposophical meetings. But death lifts away the veils from the subconscious and balances out such things in a remarkable way. It often happens in life that a man deadens himself to what lies in the subconscious; there are people who may have an intense longing for Anthroposophy — but they deaden it. By raging against Anthroposophy they deaden this longing and delude themselves by repudiating it. But after death the longing asserts itself all the more forcibly. The most ardent longing for Anthroposophy often shows itself after death in the very people who have raged against it in life. Do not, therefore, refrain from reading to those who were hostile to Anthroposophy while they were alive, for by this reading you may often be rendering them the greatest service imaginable.

A question often raised in connection with this is: ‘How can one be sure that the soul of the dead person is able to listen?’ Admittedly, without clairvoyance it is difficult to be sure of this, although one who steeps himself in thoughts of the dead will in time be surprised by a feeling that the dead person is actually listening. This feeling will be absent only if he is inattentive and fails to notice the peculiar warmth that often arises during the reading. Such a feeling can indeed be acquired, but even if this proves not to be possible it must nevertheless be said that in our attitude to the spiritual world a certain principle always applies. The principle is that when we read to one who has died, we help him under all circumstances, if he hears us. Even if he does not hear us, we are fulfilling our duty and may eventually succeed in enabling him to hear. In any case we gain something by absorbing thoughts and ideas which will quite certainly be nourishment for the dead in the way indicated. Therefore under no circumstances is anything lost. Actual experience has shown that in fact this awareness of what is being read is extra-ordinarily widespread among the dead, and that tremendous service can be rendered to those to whom we read the spiritual wisdom that can be imparted to us today.

Thus we may hope that the wall dividing the living from the dead will become thinner and thinner as Anthroposophy spreads through the world. And it will be a beautiful and splendid result of Anthroposophy if in a future time men come to know — but as actual fact, not in theory only — that in reality it is only a matter of a transformation of experience when we ourselves have passed through so-called death and are together with the dead. We can actually enable them to share in what we ourselves experienced during physical life. A false idea of the life between death and rebirth would be indicated if the question were asked: ‘Why is it necessary to read to the dead? Do they not know through their own vision what those on earth can read to them, do they themselves not know it far better?’ This question will of course be asked only by one who is not in a position to know what can be experienced in the spiritual world. After all, we can live in the physical world without acquiring knowledge of it. If we are not in a position to form judgments about certain things, we have no real knowledge of the physical world. The animals live together with us in the physical world, but do not know it as we ourselves know it. The fact that a soul after death is living in the spiritual world does not mean that this soul has knowledge of that world, although he is able to behold it. The knowledge acquired through Anthroposophy can be acquired only on the earth; it cannot be acquired in the spiritual world. If, therefore, beings in the spiritual world are to possess knowledge, it must be learnt through those who themselves acquire it on earth. It is an important secret of the spiritual worlds that the soul can be in them and behold them, but that knowledge of them must be acquired on the earth.

At this point I must mention a common misconception about the spiritual worlds. When a human being is living in the spiritual world between death and a new birth, he directs his longing to our physical world somewhat as a physical human being directs his longing to the spiritual world. A man between death and a new birth expects from men on the earth that they will show and radiate up to him knowledge that can be acquired only on the earth. The earth has not been established without purpose in spiritual world-existence; the earth has been summoned to life in order that there may come into being that which is possible nowhere else. Knowledge of the spiritual worlds — which means more than vision, more than a mere onlooking — can arise only on the earth.

I said before that the beings of the spiritual worlds cannot read our books, and I must now add that what lives in us as Anthroposophy is for the spiritual beings, and also for our own souls after death, what books here on earth are for physical man — something through which he acquires knowledge of the world. But these books which we ourselves are for the dead, are living books. Try to feel the importance of these words: we must provide reading for the dead!

In a certain sense our books are more long-suffering, for they do not allow their letters to vanish away into the paper while we are reading them, whereas by filling our minds with material thoughts which are invisible in the spiritual worlds, we men often deprive the dead of the opportunity of reading. I am obliged to say this because the question is often raised as to whether the dead themselves are not capable of knowing what we are able to give them. They cannot be, because Anthroposophy can be grounded only on the earth and must be carried up from there into the spiritual worlds.

When we ourselves penetrate into the spiritual worlds and come to know something about the life there, we encounter conditions altogether different from those prevailing in physical life on earth. That is why it is so very difficult to describe these conditions in terms of human words and human thoughts. Any attempt to speak concretely about them often seems paradoxical.

To take one example only, I am able to tell you of a human soul after death together with whom it was possible — because of his special knowledge — to make certain discoveries in the spiritual world about the great painter Leonardo da Vinci, particularly about his famous picture of the Last Supper, in Milan. When one investigates a spiritual fact in association with such a soul, this soul is able to indicate many things which ordinary clairvoyance might not otherwise have found in the Akasha Chronicle. The soul in the spiritual world is able to point them out, but can do so only if there is some understanding of what this soul is trying to convey. Something very noteworthy then comes to light.

Suppose that in company with such a soul one is investigating how Leonardo da Vinci created his famous picture. Today the picture is hardly more than a few patches of colour. But in the Akasha Chronicle one can watch Leonardo as he painted, one can see what the picture was once like — although this is not an easy thing to do. When the investigation is carried on in company with a soul who is not incarnate but has some connection with Leonardo da Vinci and his painting, one perceives that this soul is showing one certain things — for example, the faces of Christ and of Judas as they actually were in the picture. But one perceives, too, that the soul could not reveal this unless at the moment when it is being revealed there is understanding in the soul of the living investigator. This is a sine qua non. And only at the moment when the soul of the living investigator is receptive to what is being disclosed does the discarnate soul itself learn to understand what is otherwise merely vision. To speak figuratively. — After something has been experienced together with such a soul — something that can be experienced only in the way described — this soul says to one: You have brought me to the picture and I feel the urge to look at it with you. (The soul of the dead says this to the living investigator because of the latter's desire to investigate the picture.) Numerous experiences then arise. But a moment comes when the discarnate soul is either suddenly absent or says that it must depart. In the case of which I have just told you, the discarnate soul said: Up to now the soul of Leonardo da Vinci regarded with approval what was being done, but does not now desire the investigation to continue.

My object in telling you this is to describe an important feature of the spiritual life. Just as in physical life we know that we are looking at this or that object — we see a rose, or whatever it may be — so in the spiritual life we know: this or that being is seeing us, watching us. In the spiritual worlds we have the constant feeling that beings are looking at us. Whereas in the physical world we are conscious that we are observing the world, in the spiritual world the experience is that we ourselves are being observed, now from this side, now from that. We feel that eyes are upon us all the time, but eyes that also impel us to take decisions. With the knowledge that we are or are not being watched by eyes in favour of what we ought or ought not to do, we either do it or refrain. Just as we reach out to pick a flower that delights us because we have seen it, in the spiritual world we do something because a being there views it favourably, or we refrain from the action because we cannot endure the look that is directed at it. This experience must become ingrained in us. In the spiritual world we feel that we ourselves are being seen, just as here in the physical world we feel that we ourselves are seeing. In a certain sense, what is active here is passive in that other world, and what is active there is passive here.

From this it is obvious that quite different concepts must be acquired in order to understand correctly descriptions of conditions in the spiritual world. You will therefore realize how difficult it is to coin in words of ordinary human language descriptions of the spiritual world that one would so gladly give. And you will realize too how essential it is that for many things the necessary preparatory understanding shall first have been created.

There is only one other matter to which I want to call attention. The question may arise: Why does anthroposophical literature describe in such a general sense what happens directly after death, in Kamaloca and in the realm of spirits (Devachan) and why is so little said about individual examples of clairvoyant vision? For it may well be believed that to observe a particular soul after death would be easier than to describe general conditions. But it is not so. I will use a comparison to explain this.

It is easier for rightly developed clairvoyance to survey the broad, general conditions — such as the passage of the human soul through death, through Kamaloca and upwards into Devachan than to perceive some particular experience of an individual soul. In the physical world it is easier to have knowledge of phenomena that are subject to the influences of the great movements of the celestial bodies and more difficult in the case of irregular phenomena caused by those movements. Every one of you will be able to predict that the sun will rise tomorrow morning and set in the evening; but it is not so easy to know exactly what the weather will be. The same holds good for clairvoyance. The knowledge of conditions usually portrayed in the descriptions of the spiritual worlds — conditions which are first perceived in clairvoyant consciousness — is to be compared with the knowledge of the general course taken by the heavenly bodies. And one can always count upon the fact that the data of such knowledge will generally prove correct.

Particular happenings in the life between death and rebirth are like the weather conditions here on the earth — which are, of course, also subject to law, but difficult to know with certainty. At one place one cannot be sure what kind of weather there is at another. Here in Bergen it is difficult to know what the weather is in Berlin, but not the positions of the sun or the moon. A special development of the faculty of clairvoyance is required to follow the course of an individual life after death, for to do this is more difficult than to follow the general course taken by the human soul.

On the right path, knowledge of the general conditions is acquired first, and only at the very end — if the necessary development has been achieved through training — knowledge of what would seem to be the easier. A man may have been able for some time to see conditions in Kamaloca or Devachan quite correctly and yet find it extremely difficult to see what time it is on the watch on his pocket. Things in the physical world present the greatest difficulty of all to clairvoyance.

In acquiring knowledge of the higher worlds it is exactly the opposite. Errors occur here because a certain natural clairvoyance still exists; this clairvoyance is unreliable and prone to all kinds of aberrations, but it may long have been present without its possessor having clairvoyant sight of the general conditions described in Anthroposophy, which are easier for the trained clairvoyant.

This is what I wanted to say to you today about the spiritual worlds. In the lecture tomorrow we will continue and to some extent deepen these studies.



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