Sleep in the Afterlife
- In the elemental world, after death, the etheric body reverses
direction in relation to the self. Instead of flowing into the
self, as it does in physical life, after death the etheric body
flows away from the self; it flows outward into the projections of
the soul's inner life. The etheric body is very active in the
elemental world, immersing itself in astral projections, which are
half-word, half-picture dream images composed of thought.
In time exhaustion is the natural and inevitable result. We become
exhausted from the activities of the etheric body, and eventually
sleep is desired. We no longer want our etheric body immersing
ourselves in the powerful elemental realities, no matter how
beautiful or pristine these realities are. Just as in normal waking
life, we need sleep to empty our souls of thought or to reorganize
these thoughts so that they no longer burden the soul.
However, in the afterlife, sleep is an act of will. You will your
self into a sleep state. People who've taken the time to develop
their will during their physical life will benefit greatly for their
efforts in the after life. This is another reason why Steiner kept
stressing moral/mental/physical exercises that strengthen the will.
A disciplined life gives the soul the power to withdraw into its
mystical center, where the soul may refresh and rejuvenate itself.
While asleep within the mystical center we envelope ourselves in the
streams of universal love overflowing from the First Cause of all
life, God. However, if sleep is not consciously willed, the soul
falls into a sort of unconscious delirium that is highly vulnerable
to attack by Luciferic or Ahrimanic forces. You not only have to
fear these archetypes in "the image" but also in your inner states
of sleep. . . . .