The Problem of Death
6 February 1915, Dornach
Yesterday I told you the story of Manon de Gaussin because it gives an actual description of the working of the etheric organisation, the etheric body, after death. One cannot, of course, quote every novelistic description in such a connection because, naturally, a writer might evolve the most unreal ideas and one would then be quoting something that is incorrect. But I chose an example where, in a way that accurately corresponds with the facts of such a case, the working of an etheric body is described.
The first truth encountered by spiritual-scientific knowledge is that when the human being passes through the gate of death, etheric body, astral body and Ego are loosened from the physical body; a kind of intermediate condition then sets in, a condition in which, on the one side, the physical body is still there and, on the other side, with a connection between them; etheric body, astral body and Ego.
We know that then, after a comparatively short time, the etheric body frees itself, and the Ego, together with the astral body of the human individuality, has to enter upon the further journey through the cosmos in the period between death and a new birth.
We must realise that the etheric organisation, the etheric body, is destined to maintain the earthly body of the human being through the whole maximum age of life. A human being who has reached advanced age, has of course, the same etheric body as when he was a child. When a human being has to leave the physical plane prematurely in some incarnation and the etheric body has then separated from the astral body and the Ego, then this etheric body is in a different condition from the etheric body of a human being who has reached a certain maximum age and who has therefore been able to use the forces of this etheric body through many decades of his earthly life. when a human being dies prematurely, the forces that are still present in the etheric body would, if his karma had allowed him to remain on the earth, have been used during the further course of his life. The using of these forces denotes a continual wearing out of the etheric body. Therefore an etheric body which separates from one who has died early, contains many unused forces; these forces are preserved in the etheric body. They are forces which have gone over into the spiritual world but which would have been able, for a long time yet, to maintain a physical life.
Naturally, these forces are not destroyed when a human being has passed through the gate of Death. For nothing — and still less in the spiritual world than in the physical world — is destroyed. All the forces in existence change into other forms. The law of the conservation of force has assumed great significance in physical science since the year l842 when it was discovered by Julius Robert Mayer. A force is applied in the simplest action, for example, when the hand is rubbed over some surface. This force is not lost; the surface gets warm; the force of the pressure and of the rubbing is changed into warmth. No force is lost; forces change their character. Similarly, no force is lost in the spiritual world. So that we may say: forces of the etheric bodies of those who have died prematurely pass over into the spiritual world and, as they have not been used for the earthly life, are used for the purpose of the human individuality who is living on as Ego and astral body.
These forces which would otherwise have been used for the individuality in his life on the Earth, are used in the spiritual world and remain in the elementary world. (The etheric body itself is dissolved within the elementary world.) In the elementary world they form a real source and reservoir of force. This is very significant, for it sheds light, in a most concrete way, upon the connection between the physical world and the spiritual world.
For real knowledge it is not enough to picture merely in the abstract that the physical world is connected with the spiritual world, and that the spiritual world is behind the physical world. There is variety and differentiation in the spiritual world which lies behind the physical world. Art that is born of clairvoyance and has an important part to play in human evolution on the earth owes a great deal to these unused etheric bodies. Significant stimuli for clairvoyant knowledge and for the knowledge that is inspired by Spiritual Science are provided by these etheric bodies in the elementary world.
Please realise this thoroughly. — In a certain sense we have to thank those who have died prematurely for the fact that their etheric bodies have been given over to the elementary world and that many spiritual influences can therefore proceed from these etheric bodies. I think I need hardly say that such influences can proceed only from souls whose end has come in the course of natural karma and never from a soul who has in any way willed his own death, through suicide. In such a case things are entirely different; fruitful forces of the etheric body are destroyed by decisions emanating from that maya of consciousness of which I spoke yesterday — and all decisions taken during earthly life in regard to death emanate from this Maya. I say this only in parenthesis.
In a very special way the etheric bodies of which I have spoken are at the basis of the spiritual stimuli which may come to us. The spiritual movement we serve will owe, as we may well realise, a very very great deal to what it is able to receive from this side. Perhaps it is not necessary for me to indicate how significantly our knowledge can be enriched in the direction of the love and the reverence we bring to our Dead by the realization of such facts and by our learning to understand how we have to thank those who have died in early youth, and how we have to thank those who have died in mature age, who have taken up into their individuality those forces which, in other circumstances, are unused forces of the etheric body.
When somebody dies in advanced age — and we have also had to experience such a case recently — he has taken up into his astral body forces which would otherwise still be in the etheric body. He has, as it were, made human what, under other circumstances is cosmic. And because this is so, there goes out from him, from his individuality, the stimulus of which I have spoken; he can be particularly influential because these stimuli can then be received by specific human hearts, also by the hearts of those who do not proceed from Spiritual Science or from clairvoyance but abandon themselves to the ordinary impulses of life. into the souls of such men too there can be received — I say ‘there can be received’ — those forces — now less cosmic but just because of that, more human — which flow into the spiritual world in which the soul is always imbedded.
We have now mentioned one detail that is connected with the “Death Spectrum” as I will call it — this etheric organisation which remains when Ego and astral body are released. I will call it the “Death Spectrum” ... it contains the forces I have described, but much else as well. In order to study what else is contained in this death spectrum we must resort to such matters as I tried to bring before you yesterday, derived from Grimm's tale.
It will have been clear to you from what I said, and also from the whole treatment of the subject in that case, that between Manon de Gaussin and the man who shot himself, there existed a karmic tie which was, of course, the outcome of previous earthly lives spent together. Karmic connections of this kind are indicated in nearly all imaginative writings. Such writings — above all, the most impressive of them — take their start from the fact that these karmic connections arising from previous earthly lives have not been wholly lived out. Manon de Gaussin meets the man who loves her. She does not understand his love and out of the maya of her consciousness she resists the full and complete living-out of karma. Hence there arises that conflict which is very adaptable to artistic treatment; out of the maya of consciousness human beings rebel against what is karmically predestined.
They cannot, of course, do away with it. I am not saying that karma can be got rid of, for it must certainly be lived out in a subsequent incarnation. The human being certainly cannot escape from karma, or at least only in the very rarest cases, and in such cases the karma has to be transformed. But in one incarnation the soul may resist the full living-out of karma. Consequences then arise such as those which are dealt with in this tale. The one human being leaves the physical plane, and karma has not taken the shape it should have taken. But this “should” of karma is inscribed in the nature of the man. Karma should have been fulfilled in a certain way. We may resist karma in one incarnation because we do not recognise it, and then we postpone it until a later incarnation. Nevertheless it was there within us ... it was actually within us. We wipe karma away, as it were, from the one life, wipe it away from the happenings of the life between birth and death.
And so what Manon de Gaussin and the man who loved her would have experienced if they had fully lived out their karma, is wiped away from their lives. It is wiped away from the physical events of life. But from the death spectrum it cannot be wiped away or effaced. It remains in the death spectrum as will, and then it happens that after the death of the human being concerned this death spectrum follows the will of the karma that has not been lived out. So that when Manon de Gaussin seeks and finds rest at the proper moment, this death spectrum comes to her because there is living in it the will which should have brought about the union of the two. The death spectrum — so far as this is possible — fulfils what ought to have been but has not been fulfilled.
The connection described in the tale has, in this respect, been truly portrayed. This death spectrum, therefore, also contains the karma that has not been lived out, and after the death of the human being something takes shape in the elementary world that is like a picture of this karma. We have to do with two aspects — please realise this — When a human being dies with karma that has not been lived out, he will have to live out this karma in a subsequent incarnation ... this will happen at some time in the future. But in the death spectrum there arises something that is like a prophetic picture of what will have to come about at some time, what ought to have come about but has not. Clairvoyant vision of the death spectrum therefore brings an experience of destiny, of karma that has not been lived out.
It may be said that in the etheric spectrum of the human being after death something happens that could have happened in life, but has not. A picture of happenings which could have been happenings of life may be experienced in this death spectrum. This is a very significant esoteric connection. The human individuality (Ego and astral body) passes over almost immediately after death to a kind of cosmic existence and for some days is still connected with the death spectrum (the etheric body), so that the karma-will of the individuality is playing from the cosmos into the death spectrum. Then, after a few days, what belongs to the cosmic spheres is loosened from what has received its specific, unique character from the connection with the physical human being and has only assumed the form of the physical human being because it has been enclosed within the human physical body. The Ego and the astral body have not this physical form of the human being; but the death spectrum, the etheric body has, in a certain respect, also the physical form of the human being. The death spectrum loses this human form only in the course of days. When the soul has been freed from the physical body it loses this human form. The physical body, through its forces, has preserved this death spectrum in its form; but now that the spectrum is outside the physical body, it takes on other forms, determined by the external forces of the cosmos.
It is therefore understandable that a true description of the emergence of the human individuality together with the etheric body from the physical body must indicate the death spectrum rising up, as it were, in the form which has been that of the physical body. if, therefore, somebody wants to describe the moment of death truly, he will describe how the etheric body rises up like a kind of cloud, still manifesting the form of the physical body with its arms and other limbs, and how this gradually dissolves into the more spiritual forces working in from the cosmos. This is a transformation, a metamorphosis, a transition.
The picture revealed by clairvoyance is difficult for us, because in physical life the human being is bound to time and space, and indeed to those forms of time and space which are at our disposal precisely when we are in the physical body, namely, ordinary three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time, with its past, present and future. And so, many people are inclined to connect with purely spiritual perceptions, three-dimensional space and one-dimensional time with its past, present and future. We can speak of time and space in connection with the spiritual world too; but there they are altogether different. The difficulty is that words coined for the physical world are inadequate and imperfect when used for portrayal of the spiritual world.
In conceptions of time in the physical world, the past is ... well, the past. The past lies behind us and we can only preserve it in memory. It is only the present that can be there before us in immediate perception. In the spiritual world it is not like this, nor even in the elementary world; there the past can be before us just as the present is before us in the physical world.
In the spiritual world, therefore, we can look at what is past, what has happened, what can only be preserved by the physical individuality in memory. When we have passed through the Gate of Death we can look from a later point of time at an earlier point of time. It is just as if, from a later period, we were looking at what is physically past as something that is immediately present, just as from this point where I am standing I can look, physically, into the corner. The past is actually there, living before us, surrounding us.
This conception is made particularly vivid by events like one that happened among us recently, when we attended the cremation of a dear friend, and when her consciousness first came to itself at the moment when the fire seized the physical body. At this moment the consciousness began to be active. But before the physical body was given over to cremation the burial service was held, and it could be seen that this burial service was vividly present to the Dead, as vividly as when something is before us in space. [‘Rudolf Steiner and our Dead.’ Phil. Anthr. verlag (not yet in translation)]
Such things belong, of course, to the very deepest esotericism among us. But in the course of many years we have been striving to make it possible to speak among ourselves of things that are veiled in mysteries just as one speaks of ordinary everyday occurrences. What may be said now is this: that when these difficult days of the war are over, our esoteric life at all events will have to assume a much stronger and more intimate character then, things called forth by the suffering through which humanity has passed — I do not mean the individual suffering which springs from egotism but the general suffering undergone by mankind as a whole. Because of this general suffering it will be possible for much to be deepened in other directions, in directions upon which silence has perforce now to be maintained because human beings are living in a time of general transition.
Let us think more intimately still of the emergence of the human individuality — of the Ego and the astral body with the etheric body — let us think of the emergence of the threefold man from the physical body. This is a process which lasts for days, beginning when the human being passes through the gate of Death. This process shows very vividly indeed how cosmic forces may exist in the human etheric body, but it also reveals, as we have seen, the karma that has not been lived out. This is a process that is individually different in different human beings; it is not the same in two human beings. That is why it is so difficult to describe these things. They are not the same in two cases; they are everywhere different.
It is of course the case that other elements, as well as this process, are contained in the death spectrum, but I cannot describe everything at once. If we know of two characteristic phenomena contained in this death spectrum we already have a more intimate picture than when we are only able to associate the term ‘etheric body’ with this death spectrum. Karma that has not been lived out is contained within this death spectrum — and this makes it possible to deal with conflicts in written works of art, to connect this karma that has not been lived out with processes that take place after death. All that a purely exoteric writer can do is to portray the conflict that has taken place in life, and then let his characters die. But when — as for example in Shakespeare's works — account is taken of esoteric connections in life (as I have said on different occasions in indicating what was behind Shakespeare), when a writer shows how things are connected with deeper laws of life and his descriptions take account of what lies behind the external happenings, then a work like Hamlet can come into being. in what comes from the spirit of Hamlet's father we see a great deal of karma that has not been lived out, that is being transformed. The dramatic conflict for the main character of the play, for Hamlet, begins through the intervention of the father's karma which has not been lived out. So an artist who is convinced of the connection of the physical with the spiritual world will often feel compelled not to let his human characters simply fade out at death — as monistic and materialistic thinkers picture to themselves — but to indicate that this passing through death is a beginning of new events and happenings that are still more concrete than the concrete happenings of life between birth and death.
In order to show how art can seek enrichment by using earthly life as the starting-point for the continuation which then proceeds in the spiritual life, I have spoken about the tale from which I also read an extract yesterday. It is interesting to find how the experience of karma that has not been lived out can come to a man, how he can describe it. And he may feel compelled to say at the end of his work: ‘Here I feel the karma that has not been lived out.’ Then he may feel the urge to portray, in an elementary, real Imagination, how this karma lives itself out. This can be done if life is taken in its totality and not merely in its physical aspect.
In this connection I want to speak of yet another writing although I can indicate its content only very briefly, still more briefly than yesterday, because it is a novel of two volumes (“Invincible Powers”, by Herman Grimm). You will see that what is said here also portrays an element of karma that has not been lived out. I will indicate as briefly as possible how the story gives expression to this.
A mother comes with her daughter from America to Europe. The father died some time ago in America. on their journey in Europe they meet a man who is a descendant of an old noble family, a family firmly rooted in the traditions of aristocracy. Many things happen from which it at once becomes evident to those who observe the spiritual connections of things that between the man "“Arthur” and the two women whom he happens to see in the street while they are going to a theatre, there are karmic links. Anyone who watches the events from the point of view of Spiritual Science observes this immediately. These karmic ties lead to very intricate situations. They take their course in such a way that the whole present age, European culture that has grown old and the still young American culture, are described in a great tableau. The whole present picture of Europe and America is described with poignant concreteness and self-surrendering love. The representatives of these two kinds of culture are Arthur and the two other personalities who have been mentioned. The whole of the present time is described in these souls and many things happen which, to those who bear the spiritual connections in mind, immediately appear as consequences of the karma playing between them. The external milieu, pictured in the interplay between the American outlook upon life and the atavistic European outlook, is connected on the one side with the new, fresh, untouched culture of America, and, on the other, with the atavistic European culture that is simply subsisting on tradition. In this whole milieu there is something that is reflected in the souls of the characters and causes conflict after conflict. Arthur's father who has died, owned an estate; his whole outlook had been imbued with old traditions of the aristocracy; with his money, or rather, with the disappearance of his money, he was a product of the old traditions of aristocracy, he had been obliged to sell the estate — as happens so frequently in Europe today. The estate has been sold, so that Arthur does not inherit it. In the noblest way — which is not always the case in such affairs — an improvement is brought about in the situation as a result of the attitude taken by the Americans to European conditions. Naturally, Emmy has money and she is able to retrieve the estate for Arthur. This happens, at all events is about to happen. But an upstart of uncertain origin has remained on the scene; he is not quite sure of his parentage but he goes about on the estate like a tramp. The estate does not, of course, belong to him, but he has a delusion that he is the master of it — and now the idea comes into his head that the estate must become his property. His point of view is that as the estate has been re-acquired, his rights have been violated. But his ‘rights’ are only a decadent delusion — he regards himself as the master of the estate which has long been mortgaged to the Bank. He goes about as mentally deranged people are allowed to go about when they are not dangerous. A conflict begins, in that this man is furious about the acquisition of the property and actually shoots Arthur on the estate when opportunity offers. Now Emmy has already had terrible experiences; this other experience is added to them and as a consequence of it an illness already present in germ, develops. She is in her twenties. Her mother brings her to Montreux and in her illness she is cared for there by an American who is extraordinarily well portrayed, a Mr. Wilson and some others who are in Montreux. The description of this Mr. Wilson is a wonderful piece of writing; the whole of North America seems to be personified in him ... it is all made wonderfully alive. But in spite of the care she receives — from the doctor too, who comes into her life and is a kind of rival to Arthur, an old friend of his — she cannot be cured. She dies ... and her death is described. In the light of Spiritual Science, therefore, let us observe that here we have, in the sense, a case of karma which in many respects has not been lived out; we have to do with conflicts arising, in the main, between America and Europe; it is a case of karma that simply has been brought to an end by a shot from a gun. Anyone who realises this will naturally ask, if he is not materialistically minded: — “Where is the reality, what happens to this unlived-out karma immediately after death, where will it continue?” — This further continuance of karma that has not been lived out will be felt by a man who is not a materialist. If he is an artist he will feel compelled to give some indication about it, and we actually find such an indication at the end of the writing. I need only read a few lines. — Arthur is dead, he has been shot. Mother and daughter go to Montreux. Emmy is ill for some time and in her last dream Arthur appears to her. It is evident at once that this is no ordinary dream-picture but an actual intervention of the real Arthur in the physical world. The moment of death is described as follows: —
“Between midnight and dawn she thought she had wakened.
Her first glance at the window through which the faint light was streaming into the room, was free and clear, and she knew where she was. Her mother who was sleeping near her, heard her breathing. The next minute, however, with a weight she had never before experienced, overwhelming fear came over her. It was no longer the thoughts that had been troubling her the last days, but it was as if a gigantic hand were holding all the mountains of the earth over her on a thin thread. And at any moment the hand might open and hurl down the great masses which would lie upon her for all eternity. She tried to look within herself and outside herself, seeking for a glimmer of light; but none came. The light from the window had vanished, her mother's breathing was no longer to be heard, and a suffocating loneliness surrounded her. It was as if she would never reach life again. She wanted to call out but could not; she wanted to move but no limb obeyed her. Everything was still and dark and no thought would come in this terrible monotonous state of fear in which even remembrance had departed ... and then, finally, one thought returns: Arthur!
Wonderful to tell, it was as though this single thought had changed into a point of light, visible to the eye. And as the thought grew to infinite longing, so did this light grow and expand, and suddenly seemed to divide, unfold and take on a form ... Arthur was there before her she saw, and finally recognised him. It was certainly he himself. He smiled and was close beside her. She did not notice whether he was naked or clothed, but it was he; she knew him too well; it was he himself, no phantom who had assumed his shape. He stretched his hand towards her and said: ‘Come:’
Never had his voice seemed so sweet and attractive as now.
With all the power of which she was capable, she tried to raise her arms towards him; but she could not.
He came still nearer and stretched his hand closer to her: ‘Come!’ he said once again.
To Emmy it was as though the power with which she tried to bring one word through her lips would have been able to move mountains, but she could not utter even this one word. Arthur looked at her and she at him. One movement of a finger now and she would have touched him. And now the most terrible thing of all: he seemed to be going away again: ‘Come!’ he said for the third time. With the feeling that he had spoken for the last time, that the dreadful darkness would again hide the heavenly vision of him, she was filled now with a fear that split her as the frost splits trees and made the final effort to raise her arms to him; but the weight and coldness which held her captive were not to be overcome. And then, as a bud breaks and a flower grows before our eyes, shining arms came forth from her own arms, shining shoulders from her shoulders; these arms stretched towards Arthur's arms and he, grasping her hands with his hands and slowly hovering backwards, drew her with him, together with the whole shining form that has arisen from the body of Emmy.”
This moment of death, this emergence of the etheric body, the passing over of the death spectrum into the cosmic realms, is wonderfully described. In this death spectrum, spiritually and concretely described as it emerges from the body, there is contained the will that is taking shape; this death spectrum contains the karma that was not lived out between Arthur and Emmy. I quote this second example because you saw from the tale yesterday how the death spectrum comes to the still living personality. But here we have to do with two purely spiritual entities, with the etheric body of Arthur which has already undergone many transformations in the spiritual world and with Emmy's emerging death spectrum. It is therefore an old relationship, karma that has not been lived out, that is playing between Arthur's etheric body and Emmy's death spectrum which is just passing into the spiritual world. Something that has not been played out in life, something that is unlived-out karma, is proceeding here in the spiritual world.
We must really try to grasp in its reality what is present as the first moment after the human individuality has passed through the gate of Death. The unlived-out karma is freed from the individuality — the individuality can only live out his karma in a subsequent incarnation — it is freed, and becomes cosmic: cosmic happenings are the result of it. And in much that happens in the clouds, on the mountains, in the springs, but also in much that happens in the subconscious processes of the soul-life of human beings living on the earth, unlived-out karma is being expressed, karma that has taken over into the spiritual world and is like a wellspring in this death spectrum. For these cosmic happenings play continually into human life; we are permeated by them, interwoven in them. — Thus we must distinguish between what becomes cosmic when the human being passes through the gate of Death, and what remains individual. What remains of the physical body becomes preeminently cosmic, this passes over — slowly in earth burial more quickly in cremation — into the elementary, the more physical-elementary world of earth; and it is a gross, materialistic idea to believe that this then simply disappears or functions like the chemical elements. This is nonsense, and we shall see tomorrow how it goes on living in the planet, how significant it is for the planet.
It lives on in the planetary life. The chemists' knowledge of what becomes of the physical body amounts to nothing at all; for the earth has its essential subsistence from the fact that human beings have died upon it — its more important forces are derived from this source. The earth has its subsistence from the physical nature of human beings who have died. here, therefore, something becomes cosmic from the physical body; the other becomes cosmic from the etheric body. And I have tried today to indicate what becomes cosmic from the ether-aura; what remains, and has become cosmic lives on as individuality in the higher spiritual world. You will find it mentioned in more detail in the books “Theosophy” or “An outline of Occult Science.” This lives on as individuality and I will speak about it tomorrow. But we must realise that what lives on individually begins to live in new conditions which differ essentially from the ordinary conditions of earthly existence.
Careful study of the Vienna lecture-course on the life between death and a new birth will give you a conception of what happens during this period. We cannot really understand the nature of the conditions which prevail between death and a new birth if we have not made these conceptions alive within us. The Time that is presented to our physical outlook as past, present and future, continuing onwards in a straight line, is really a physical Maya. At death we enter into a different world, where the past exists not only in memory, but is actually present; it is all around the human being who is living in conditions where his inner being is revealed as his outer being; his inner being of soul is there in direct manifestation — the being who has shaped the body as well as the physical incarnation between birth and death.
The way in which we must approach one who has passed through the Gate of Death is not an act of external perception but an inner sharing of his experiences. The individuality is fully present when the Gate of Death has been passed, although, as I have said, the human being has to find his bearings and direction within his superabundant consciousness. But what he is in himself, the essential core of his being, is there as a real presence, although it may not as yet be connected with his consciousness. It is there. What a man is in his essential being can be seen, and the experiences shared.
When I have spoken during the sad occasions caused by the recent loss of dear friends, I have always tried to speak out of their being. I will give one or two indications — as far as this is permissible here — concerning the last three friends who have died. I have tried simply to speak out of these souls themselves, as it were to let them speak with me. And when I look back I realise that there were very good reasons for speaking quite differently in each of the three individual cases — for human beings are individually different. I admit quite frankly that this was not in my consciousness when the words were coined. It came entirely out of the situation itself. Moreover words which have to be coined for Spiritual Science and also for the life into which Spiritual science leads us, are coined and unfold in the best and truest way when they are absolutely uncolored by any wish emanating from life. if we are to sneak truly and accurately in the domain of Spiritual Science we must keep entirely aloof from any wish to coin this or that in a particular way. We must hold at a distance every wish that things might be this or that.
When it is a question of speaking at the cremation of a dear friend there is naturally no wish to speak the words that were actually uttered. In such circumstances the words will certainly not be spoken out of any wish, but only out of the necessity. For naturally, the only wish that could be present in such a case is that such words should not have to be spoken. This attitude helps the coining of the words. To me it was very significant — and I say this without any pretensions whatever that in the case of dear Frau Grossheintz I had to speak simply as the organ of expression for this soul.
A soul who had passed through a long earthly life, who in her last years, with so much determination and energy, had united all her forces with the impulses of Spiritual Science ... united them in a way that perhaps only a few among us have done ... who had made Spiritual Science one with her own initiatives in life — such a soul then passes through the Gate of Death into a life that arises not as a theoretical life but as a life of real and vital impulses, born of Spiritual Science. This life is actually there, even if the soul has not yet wakened sufficiently to be aware of it. It is the characteristic element in the being who is becoming free. And so you will admit that the words I had to speak (at the cremation) actually contain what I will call: transformed Spiritual Science, Spiritual Science that has become will, that has become feeling. This soul had had a long earthly life and passed through the gate of Death with mature etheric forces. One was compelled in this case, to speak entirely out of the soul itself. The main words necessarily took a form as if the soul itself were speaking:
In Weltenweiten will ich tragen
fuhlend Herz, dass warm es werde
Im Feuer heil 'gen Kraftewirkens;
In Weltgedanken will ich weben
Das eigne Denken, dass klar es werde
Im Licht des ew'gen Werde-Lebens;
In Seelengrunde will ich tauchen
Ergeb'nes Sinnen, dass stark es werde
Fur Menschenwirkens wahre Ziele;
In gottes Ruhe streb'ich so
Mit Lebenskampfen und mit Sorgen,
Mein Selbst zum hohern Selbst bereitend;
Nach arbeitfreud'gem Frieden trachtend,
Erahnend Welten-Seins im Eigensein,
Mocht' ich die Menschenpflicht erfullen;
Erwartend leben darf ich dann
Entgegen meinem Seelensterne,
Der mir im Geistgebiet den Ort erteilt ...
The inner mobility and life of this soul is revealed in that the first time (at the beginning of the service) the words had to be: “Entgegen meinem Seelensterne,” and at the end of the service: “Entgegen meinem Schicksaltsterne.”
It is the nearness one must have to the soul who has passed through the Gate of Death which calls forth such words — words which are characteristic of the being of the individuality after death.
What I have to say concerning the other two cases will be said tomorrow.