It might be well to bring in Reincarnation into the following Rudolf Steiner extracts taken in this above post. (This is; do not assume an Aristotelian approach)
Yes! quite right the ancient Hebrew race has come to an end.
This is why The Christ said St. John 16:33
`Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me'.
The Mission has been fulfilled!
This is a good lecture in this regard:
`Thus the earth will more and more become the expression of its Spirit, of the Christ-Spirit. Spiritual science will be understood in the light of the world's foundations, apprehended as a real and active power. In various respects to-day mankind is near to losing the Spirit altogether.
In the recent public lecture (see Note 3) it was said that men suffer to-day under the fear of heredity. The fear of the burden of heredity is the direct offspring of our materialistic age. But is it enough if a man simply says to himself that he need not have this fear? By no means does that suffice.
A man who does not concern himself with the spiritual world, who does not instill into his soul what can flow from spiritual science, is subject to the forces of physical heredity.
Only by steeping his whole being in what spiritual science can communicate to him does he gain mastery over the forces of heredity, regards it as a factor of no essential significance and becomes the victor of everything that the powers of hindrance place in his way in the external world.
It is not by arguing or philosophizing it away, or by contending: Spirit exists! that man brings the life of the senses under his command, but by permeating himself with the Spirit, by absorbing the Spirit, by having the will to acquire intimate knowledge of the Spirit.
Then spiritual science will make men healthier even in the physical world; for spiritual science is itself a therapy that brings vigor and health. And the essential power of spiritual science will become still more evident to us when we consider what becomes of the human being when he passes through the gate of death. The modern mind finds great difficulty here'.
Life Beyond Death selected lectures by Rudolf Steiner 1912 1924
Introduction by Frank Teichmann
Rudolf Steiner first provides a basis which can be built upon in his book Theosophy (1904). Here he develops concepts which can facilitate an understanding for life after death. He takes his starting point from Goethe, but redefines the concepts of body, soul and spirit.
In particular he makes a distinction between the soul and spirit, and characterizes the properties and attributes of each one. These concepts, it is true, existed since the late Greek and early Christian period; in the course of time, however, their particular differentiated meanings became unclear and eventually undiscernible.
Today people normally only believe that the human being possesses a body and perhaps also a soul; they no longer know anything of the threefold constitution of body, soul and spirit.
In contrast, say, to an Origenes or an Augustine, who were both convinced of the existence of the human soul and spirit, it is usual in contemporary science to refer everything back to the physical body and senses.
People believe that a concept of spirit is unnecessary, but do not notice that this involves overlooking themselves, suspending their own statements nothing one might say would have any worth if it was simply secreted from the brain's cells, as is suggested by standard scientific views.
Those who comprehend this believe themselves mostly to be unconstrained by such a view, as long as they recognize a `soul' to which can be attributed all the faculties which constitute a person.
They forget, however, that this conception also only represents the last stage of an evolution during which human beings gradually lost sight of the significance of the spirit.
In the universities nowadays one can study psychology, but no longer pneumatology, the field of knowledge concerned with the human spirit!
Rudolf Steiner introduces clarity here. By means of his characterization of the concepts of body, soul and spirit, a path is opened up whereby these `members' of the human being can also be traced and followed after death.
In the chapter `The Essential Nature of the Human Being' in Theosophy, the separate attributes and interactions of the body, soul and spirit are delineated. Especially important for our theme is, in this context, the division of the various soul faculties.
The sentient soul is the first level, in which the soul reacts to the impressions of the world which our senses convey to it. For example one may see something moving which has a particular shape and form and is of a yellow-brown colour, and recognize a lion. Everything we encounter is immediately recognized and named by the sentient soul.
This reply to the stimulation of the sense world connects with our feelings, desires and also instincts. Every kind of impression which we encounter stirs the sentient soul.
The next level is attained through the activity of thinking. We no longer only experience, we also evaluate our experiences. If they provide pleasant, we strive to repeat them. To this end we make rational plans to enable our wishes to find fulfillment.
Thinking is used initially wherever it proves to be of use. It serves the sentient soul. But it is not long before it becomes independent and generates its own systems, taking pleasure in self-created contexts. Rudolf Steiner called this activity the intellectual soul. At this stage of development the thinker is still convinced of the evident truth of his thoughts.
He cannot detach himself from his thoughts, cannot observe and test his own thought-processes. Not until he reaches the level of the consciousness soul does the human being strive for an `objective' thinking, which is in accord and harmony with the world, and is wholly true.
It is no longer important to him merely to have thoughts and think things out, but for his thinking to reflect the truth. This becomes an aim worth striving for, because he thereby unites himself with something eternal.
For what is really true shares in the nature of eternity. `By letting what is intrinsically true and good come to life within us, we rise above the mere sentient soul. The eternal spirit shines into the sentient soul, kindling in it a light that will never go out. To the extent that our soul lives in this light, it takes part in something eternal, which it links to its own existence. What the soul carries within itself as truth and goodness is immortal'.
With these words Rudolf Steiner points to the core of the soul, which cannot perish even at death. It remains precisely because it is formed of eternal `substance'.