Steiner on aging,death and dying?
- Hello dear ones,
In my moving from country to country, perhaps I have lost some of the
things Rudolf Steiner offered about death and dying, also about
My partner's father recently died, and I feel some need to support
journey. I know Steiner has verses that one can say to accompany the
dead. Also, I remember there being something about not holding on to
pictures and images of the one who died, because these really don't
represent who that soul is becoming (or something like that...and
makes me wonder why so many of us anthropops hold on to photographs
Well, I will appreciate any help any of you can give, suggesting
titles of lectures and/or sharing verses here, and any other wisdom
you have on aging, death, dying.
- Dear Elaine,
I suggest you get hold of the book "Staying
connected", selected talks and meditations by Rudolf
Steiner, Anthroposophic Press.
I am just reading it myself.
Meantime, I send you a verse from such book...
My thoughts stream
Into your soul's sleep.
Experience them in your I
I will be with you.
And bring out of your life,
From earth existence,
What you need for spirit remembering.
(GA 268, for Margaret Bockholt,
after the death of her father, January 1924)
May our love follow you,
Living there in spirit,
Seeing your earthly life;
Seeing yourself cognized as spirit.
And what appears to you
In the land of souls to be yourself
Accept our love
So that we may feel ourselves in you
And you may find in our souls,
What lives with you in faithfulness.
(GA 261/268, for the death of Marie Hahn, September
--- elaine upton <elaineupton@...> wrote: >
Hello dear ones,
> In my moving from country to country, perhaps I have
> lost some of the
> things Rudolf Steiner offered about death and dying,
> also about
> My partner's father recently died, and I feel some
> need to support
> journey. I know Steiner has verses that one can say
> to accompany the
> dead. >
> Well, I will appreciate any help any of you can
> give, suggesting
> titles of lectures and/or sharing verses here, and
> any other wisdom
> you have on aging, death, dying.
> With gratitude,
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- Thanks, Gisele.
This is very helpful. I will print out the loving verses, and eventually
obtain the book, i trust.
Not only did my partner's father die, but also I am feeling a calling to do
work with the aging and dying, and so STAYING CONNECTED is likely to be
very important to me and my work.
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- Hello Elaine and all,
Your post just came in about your call to work with the aging and
dying. Such noble work!
These thoughts deal mostly in working with those already across the threshold.
I feel Dr. Steiner's ideas on working with the dead are some of the
most valuable within the vast body of his work. To maintain
connection with the dead is to open new understanding that can help
us in our own task of living...and dying.
I should mention Dr. Steiner's beautiful picture of nourishment for
the dead. He said sleeping human beings are like "cornfields" for the
dead. If we take spiritual thoughts into our sleep, the dead will be
nourished on those thoughts. If our thoughts are material, the dead
find nothing. He also said we weren't worthy of influencing one
another with our opinions until 30 or 40 years after our death! (at
that point in our excarnation we are capable of "speaking" directly
to the ego of incarnated souls, thus providing sort of continuity in
the in breathing and out breathing of earth evolution)
Dr. Steiner is quite explicit in saying that we can only touch those
whom we knew in life with our reading. He says it's helpful to
picture them as they were in life when reading to them. It's
comforting to them to remember a specific thought or an event you
shared. The essential thing is to enliven your thoughts as much as
possible and live into the material, thinking a thought through to
the end. I have read poetry written by the deceased and I believe it
was helpful. I hesitate to read Steiner's poetry to recently dead
non-Anthroposophists especially those who had little connection to
religion or metaphysics. Instead, I choose things I think they would
like. (sometimes,however, it is most specifically Anthroposophy and
I have to hold myself back from telling them "I told you so" :-))
The dead, of course, know no spatial constraints, but time is within
their awareness. Therefore, when you read, set a time in advance and
let them know so they can be there.
On the subject of grief, Dr. Steiner warns of prolonged periods of
grief as being harmful to the deceased. Such activity is mainly
egotistical on our part and can harm the soul on the other side by
holding him too close to the earth.
They are harmed another way by thoughts and feelings of unresolved
conflicts such as a student might harbor against a teacher whom he
didn't particularly like. My thoughts on this issue would be to work
through the conflict to resolution in your own feelings as best you
can. I believe this effort will help release the dead. Simply
suppressing such conflict is most harmful. The dead loose language
quite soon, but remain connected with us through our imaginations,
thoughts, and feelings.
The Doctor also says the dead see quite clearly the way old L and A
pull our chains! This means the dead can see us separate from the
influences of Lucifer and Ahriman. This idea is a fruitful
We are approaching November 2nd, All Souls Day, or the time in the
year when the veil is thinnest between the living and the dead. This
is always a good time to read, light candles, or otherwise celebrate
those who are no longer with us on the physical plane. Dr. Steiner
says we look back at our death day the entirety of our time between
death and birth as celebration of the day we became spirit, much like
the way we celebrate our birthday while we are incarnated. The death
day of an individual is therefore an important day to read to him or
The dead can help us with our destiny. They ~do~ help us with our
destiny, depending on our ability to "hear" what they "say". They
work hard to bring us together. (internet, anyone?) For example,
have you ever had a thought that just dropped into your soul out of
nowhere? You recognized it as an important thought (or feeling) but
had no idea where it came from? ...maybe it had a different substance
or quality to it... it just sort of "plopped" in? ...a strange
feeling perhaps accompanied this thought? By all means... ask where
it came from!
PS. There is a group (in Chicago, I think) that formed for the
specific purpose of reading to the Dead. The March, 2000 issue of the
AS in A newsletter dealt primarily with the topic of our relationship
to the dead. It would be worth digging up a copy of this issue.