Thursday 5 November 2020

Why we need to think about what happens at death, and The (so-called) Dead

Rudolf Steiner had a remarkable prophetic era in his life, around 1917-19. At that time he seemed to have all kinds of insights about what was coming; including what was coming if Man did not re-connect with the spiritual aspects of the world (if - in a nutshell - Man did not take the path of Romantic Christianity). 

I have been reading some lectures given in Zurich, dating from November 1917 (significantly, Steiner seems to have made several of his best and most prophectic lectures to the Zurich Anthroposophical Society). 

These lectures are focused around the question of relationships with The (so-called) Dead; including how these relations can be good, or evil. 

But as a framework; Steiner makes a very important point (text edited by me):  

There are still many people who say: “Oh, well, in all good time we shall discover what transpires after death; why trouble about it now? Let us attend to the requirements of life and when we reach yonder world we shall soon discover what it is.” 

Well and good, but if it is true that in yonder world a man becomes what he has pictured himself to be, then something else is also true. 

Take the idea that is not at all uncommon nowadays. Somebody dies, leaving relatives behind him. Although thought may not be entirely lacking in these people, they may be materialistically minded, and then, quite inevitably, they will think either that the dead man is decaying in the grave or that what still exists of him is preserved in the urn. 

If materialism were to triumph, the conviction would still further increase that all that remains of the Dead person is disintegrating in the urn or in the grave. This thought is, however, a real power; it is an untruth. 

When those left behind think that the Dead person no longer lives, is no longer there, this is a false thought — but it is real and actual in the souls of those who form it. 

The Dead person is aware of this thought-reality, is aware of its significance for him. And it is a matter of fundamental importance whether those left behind cherish in their souls the thought of the Dead person living on in the spiritual world; or whether they succumb to the woeful idea that the Dead, well, he is dead, he lies there decaying in the grave. 

Far from being a matter of no importance, there is a very great and essential difference. (...)

This is illustrative of the way in which modern Man prejudges issues that he has not considered; makes up his mind about the fundamental, metaphysical nature of reality; meanwhile pretending that he is merely being 'common sensical', focused on 'what matters' and 'keeping an open mind'. However, common sense here-and-now is often the opposite of history, 'what matters' depends entirely upon what actually-is true and important, and keeping an open mind on one subject entails closing the mind on other possibilities.

Modern materialism conceals itself behind such assumptions as taking the attitude that we can (and should) defer dealing-with questions such as whether life, or human identity, continues after death; or whether The Dead have some kind of an ongoing relationship with the Living. These assumptions are reinforced by statements that 'we cannot know' such matters - or cannot know them with certainty, and therefore need-not/ should-not consider them. 

Yet at the same time, the same people behave in every way as if they were certain that (for example) 'racism' (undefined) is a great evil everywhere in the world today; or that 'science' (undefined) has proven that global warming is real, caused by CO2 and can be stopped or reversed by carbon taxes and 'green technology'. Or certain that the birdemic virus has already been a major cause of death, and is a major threat to global health. 

In truth, people refuse even to think-about death and The Dead - because they have already decided, they are certain, that the dead are annihilated and therefore there can be no genuine relationship between dead and living people.

Yet people are wrong about certainties; and then their wrongness has consequences. If The Dead continue to live and seek a relationship with the living, and if this relationship (like other personal relationships) may be good or evil in nature; then this denial Will have adverse consequences - especially if evil persons abuse their knowledge of the continuing relations with The Dead for their own evil purposes. 


This abuse is the subject of other parts of Steiner's November 1917 Zurich lectures: the ways in which 'dark brotherhoods' manipulate the situation of The Dead to cause harm to human health and the development of consciousness. 

As always with Steiner, I find that reading these lectures requires considerable sifting, discrimination and modification; but I feel a solid ring of truth about the subject matter and his basic points. And I think it is very likely that something of the sort is actively happening among the Global Establishment at the highest levels - where (to all appearances, by action not words) belief in the supernatural is normal and regarded as vital (albeit deniable and denied); and where initiations, symbols and rituals of many types have such an important role (albeit shrugged-off as mere vestiges, artistic subversions, parody and 'fun').  

One point Steiner makes is that when 'initiates' of these dark brotherhoods die, they may consent to become what are essentially 'evil ghosts' (as a mode of live extension - a very popular goal among the 'elites', as 'transhumanism') --- dead, still tied to the earth, and able to cooperate with the dark brotherhoods, and to continue their work of opposition to God and creation. 

Indeed, Steiner regards the hope or promise of life-extension to be the materialist evil-inversion of the Christian goal of life eternal; with the promise that it can be obtained by technological-magical procedures. 


I am personally Not certain about all this, but I'm pretty confident that there is 'something in it'. And much more so now than a century ago, when Steiner was speaking - hence the prophetic insight on display here. And like all prophets (as contrasted with mere predictors) the future is seen as contested territory, subject to human free agency; and something we all help to decide, and contribute to making.

1 comment:

Joe said...

It seems like a large proportion of "ghost" stories/reports involve observations of manifestations of/from the deceased by their still-living loved ones before learning of their death; while in their ignorance they still fully, implicitly, unquestioningly believe that the deceased is alive.