The Influence of the Dead on Destinyby Rudolf Steiner, Christopher Bamford
With a single observation Rudolf Steiner can sometimes outline a radically new reality that changes everything. Here, he introduces these extraordinary lectures by proposing that the boundary between the physical and spiritual worlds "lies right in the middle of the human being." One indication of this boundary may be found in what science mistakenly differentiates as the sensory and motor nerves, which, for Steiner, do not represent two different kinds of nerve functioning, but rather a gap or interruption through which soul-spiritual reality incarnates and the spiritual world participates in the physical-natural world. This gap makes it possible for us to inwardly experience and participate in not only the outer world, but also the spiritual world and the world of the dead. It also functions as the boundary between the conscious and the subconscious.
The lectures that loosely follow this introduction enter into the vast field of the dead and the spiritual worlds and the many ways in which these influence and play into human and earthly life. Steiner shows how the living and the dead (together with the whole spiritual world) are intimately and pervasively interconnected. History itself is the result of the interweaving of the living and the dead, whose influences "flow right into our daily lives." Realizing, "this feeling of being together with the dead," he says, is indispensable for further human development. The reader's understanding of the influence of the dead and the spiritual world on human destiny deepens from lecture to lecture, as Rudolf Steiner shows how this reality becomes truly existential-a question of personal decision-through the Archangel Michael's great deed,which occurred in 1879, when he assumed responsibility for the guidance of humanity. Thus, together with Michael and the whole spiritual world, the dead call upon us for a change of consciousness.
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