Daily Archives: October 15, 2022

Only Death is Dead

Only Death is Dead

“…Walking in a garden at the break of day,
Mary asked the gardener where the body lay;
But he turned towards her, spoke her name and said:
‘Mary, Spring is here to stay, only death is dead
~Hilary Greenwood

Fra Angelico

To expound on yesterday’s essay, I was thinking how many sacred traditions, like Sufism for instance, tell us that we must ‘die before we die’, meaning we must be dead to our sense-bound thinking before our physical death occurs.

The “The Voice of the Silence” informs us that: “The Mind is the great Slayer of the Real. Let the Disciple slay the Slayer. “

It is our materialistic thinking which creates the illusion of separateness, including the illusion of death. If we ‘slay’ this lower mind we also slay death.

Louis Claude de Saint-Martin writes in “The Ministry of the Human-Spirit” that: “A way of discerning at least the index of our immortality is to realise how, in every respect, man here below walks daily on the edge of his grave, and it can only be by some instinct of his immortality that he seeks to rise superior to this menace, living as if it did not exist.”

These are “intimations of our immortality” to use the words of the poet Wordsworth, who had this ‘instinct’ it seems.

Anton Shakov

There are 2 ways of looking at the idea of living as if death does not exist. The first is the most common illusion – living out of fear, as if the material world is all there is, shutting the idea of death completely out of their minds until some event like sickness, the death of a loved one, or the advent of old age for example, forces them to face up to their mortality. But even these events may cause many to retreat even further into a denial of the spirit.

In the 2nd instance there are those who have taken an interest in the Spiritual side of life & have become aware that they ‘walk daily on the edge of their graves’ which they come to see as a veil between the worlds. This begins a conscious effort to live as if death did not exist by becoming intuitively aware that their higher “I” can never die – allowing a living into the Light of this eternal truth.

Louis Claude de Saint-Martin goes on to say: “Death is merely the quitting of an appearance, that is to say of the body, or rather it is relinquishing of separateness – one less illusion between man and truth…”

The physical body, because of its many limitations, can be a barrier to true perception, restraining us to sense bound appearances. We have to awaken our imagination, inspiration & intuition to become aware of the essence beyond the physical. It is only when we are freed from the confines of our personal self that we can begin to do that.

Thru study & meditation we must put an end to the theory of death as an ending, & come to realize that there are only various phases of Life. Spiritual Science gives us an understanding of the life after the death, which hands us the key to unlocking the illusion of death – so that we can cultivate our immortality as Spiritual Beings.

Our true Self lives beyond the dominion of the body alone, in a state of total freedom, so that before us lives an infinity of experiences in many dimensions, & an ever increasing awareness of the Light that illumines us inwardly on all levels – opening us to the Love that permeates the whole Universe.

We can also remember the words of the Bhagavad Gita: “Never the spirit was born; the spirit shall cease to be never; Never was a time it was not; End and Beginning are dreams, Birthless and deathless and changeless remaineth the spirit forever; Death hath not touched it at all, dead though the house of it seems.”

My thoughts on this cold dark morning.


15 October 2022 – “Speaking with the Stars”

Rudolf Steiner’s Lectures on this day

Looking at the past to see the present, co-creating the future: ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

70 BC – Birthday of Virgil, an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues (or Bucolics), the Georgics, & the epic Aeneid, considered the national epic of ancient Rome. Modeled after Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny & arrive on the shores of Italy—in Roman mythology the founding act of Rome. Virgil’s work has had wide & deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante’s Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante’s guide through hell & purgatory

St. Teresa of Avila Receives the Veil and Necklace from the Virgin and St.  Joseph | Carmel, Garden of God

Feast Day of Saint Teresa of Ávila, who lived in the 16th century, an age of exploration as well as political, social & religious upheaval. She was a woman; she was a contemplative; she was an active reformer.

As a woman, Teresa stood on her own two feet, even in the man’s world of her time. She was “her own woman,” entering the Carmelites despite strong opposition from her father. She is a person wrapped not so much in silence as in mystery. Beautiful, talented, outgoing, adaptable, affectionate, courageous, enthusiastic, she was totally human. Like Jesus, she was a mystery of paradoxes: wise, yet practical; intelligent, yet much in tune with her experience; a mystic, yet an energetic reformer. A holy woman, a womanly woman.

Teresa was a woman “for Christ,” a woman of prayer, discipline & compassion. Her heart belonged to God. Her ongoing conversion was an arduous lifelong struggle, involving ongoing purification & suffering. She was misunderstood, misjudged, opposed in her efforts at reform. Yet she struggled on, courageous & faithful; she struggled with her own mediocrity, her illness, her opposition. And in the midst of all this she clung to God in life & in prayer. Her writings on prayer & contemplation are drawn from her experience: powerful, practical & graceful. A woman of prayer; a woman for God.

Teresa was a woman “for others.” Though a contemplative, she spent much of her time & energy seeking to reform herself & the Carmelites, to lead them back to the full observance of the primitive Rule. She founded over a half-dozen new monasteries. She traveled, wrote, fought—always to renew, to reform. In her self, in her prayer, in her life, in her efforts to reform, in all the people she touched, she was a woman for others, a woman who inspired & gave life.

Her writings, especially the Way of Perfection & The Interior Castle, have helped generations of believers.

In 1970, the Church gave her the title she had long held in the popular mind: Doctor of the Church. She & St. Catherine of Siena were the first women so honored.

Ours is a time of turmoil, a time of reform & a time of liberation. Modern women have in Teresa a challenging example. Promoters of renewal, promoters of prayer, all have in Teresa a woman to reckon with, one whom they can admire & imitate.

Amazon.com: Friedrich Nietzsche - Edvard Munch hand-painted oil painting  reproduction,German philosopher,cultural critic, poet,philologist,great man  art: Handmade
Edvard Munch

1844 – Birthday of Friedrich Nietzsche, German composer, poet, & philosopher. Friedrich Nietzsche, Fighter for Freedom written by Rudolf Steiner. Nietzsche was seen by Steiner, but was lying in a coma near death. Rudolf Steiner brought out an edition of some of Nietzsche’s writings. In seeing that Nietzsche’s ideas received a public exposure, Steiner was not identifying himself as one of Nietzsche’s disciples, but rather assuring philosophical readers that this important link in the spiritual development of occidental thought should not be ignored.

WHEN I BECAME acquainted with the works of Friedrich Nietzsche six years ago, ideas had already formed within me which were similar to his. Independently, and from completely different directions, I came to concepts which were in harmony with those Nietzsche expressed in his writings: Zarathustra, Jenseits von Gut and Böse, Beyond Good and Evil, Genealogie der Moral, Genealogy of Morals, and Götzendämmerung, Twilight of Idols. In my little book which appeared in 1886, Erkenntnistheorie der Goetheschen Weltanschauung, The Theory of Knowledge in Goethe’s World Conception, this same way of implicit thinking is expressed as one finds in the works of Nietzsche mentioned above.

This is why I feel myself impelled to draw a picture of Nietzsche’s life of reflection and feeling. I believe that such a picture will be most like Nietzsche when it is created according to his last writings. This I have done. The earlier writings of Nietzsche show him as a searcher. He presents himself to us as a restless striver toward the heights. In his last writings we see him when he has reached the summit, and at a height commensurate with his very own spiritual quality. In most of the writings which have appeared about Nietzsche up to now, this development is represented as if in the various periods of his writing he had more or less contradictory opinions. I have tried to show that there is no question of a change of opinion in Nietzsche, but rather of a movement upward, of a development of a personality in a manner fitting to it, which had not yet found a form of expression in accord with his innate points of view in those first works.

The final goal of Nietzsche’s creativity is the description of the “superman.” I considered my chief task in this writing to be the characterization of this type. My characterization of the superman is exactly the opposite of the caricature developed in the currently popular book about Nietzsche by Frau Lou Andreas Salomé. One cannot put into the world anything more contrary to Nietzsche’s spirit than the mystical monster she has made out of the superman. My book shows that in Nietzsche’s ideas nowhere is the least trace of mysticism to be found. I did not allow myself to be drawn into the refutation of Frau Salomé’s opinion that Nietzsche’s thoughts in Menschliches, All-zumenschliches, Human, All Too Human, were influenced by the works of Paul Rée, the editor of Psychological Observations, and The Origin of Moral Feelings, etc. Such an average brain as that of Paul Rée could make no important impression on Nietzsche. Even now I would not touch upon these things at all if the book of Frau Salomé had not contributed so much toward the spreading of downright disagreeable judgments about Nietzsche. Fritz Koegel, the excellent publisher of Nietzsche’s works, bestowed upon this bungled piece of work its deserved treatment in the Magazine for Literature.

I cannot conclude this short preface without giving hearty thanks to Nietzsche’s sister, Frau Foerster-Nietzsche, for the many friendly deeds I experienced from her during the period in which this book developed. I owe to her the hours spent in the Nietzsche Archives, and the mood out of which the following thoughts were written. ~RUDOLF STEINER, Weimar, April 1895.

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