ON COMFORT FOR THOSE WHO MOURN
Lift up your head, you who are mourning for someone who was and is dear to your heart and now must be buried!
You, the mother of a child now lost; you, the father of a son torn away just as he had become a friend to you; you children, walking with the coffin of your father or mother to the burial ground!
Lucky are you if those teachings you once received as a child give you faith to sustain you even today!
You were told how the soul would return to God in its magnificence and how even this earthly body would itself be raised up one day…
If this is what you believe: – why do I see you inconsolable in your grief!?
I feel for you and know what you have lost for the time of your life on earth.
You have real cause to lament, and I know the anguish you are suffering…
But look: – according to the teachings of your faith, death has been vanquished!
The separation you mourn will be but brief; if you are steadfast in your belief, you will quiver with inner joy at the thought that your loved one, transfigured into a blessed state, is now free of all earthly suffering and living among the blessed. –
Lucky are you, if you really believe these things, and nothing could ever deflect you from your belief!
Give grief its due; weep for what you will never be able to see, hear and feel for the rest of your life here on this earth! –
You have cause to weep, for you must stay behind and never will you find again during this earthly life what you love! –
But when that future day comes which will be your last, you will see again – as your faith tells you – those you have temporarily lost, and your joy shall know no end…
Lucky are you if you still believe that!
Your tears will soon run dry, and you will find every comfort in your faith!
I have found many who claimed to believe this, and yet they were inconsolable in their grief. –
I found many who paid lip service, while in their hearts they felt to be falsely professing such faith out of deference to the external tradition of belief. –
I found the largest number, however, had long ago given up hiding the fact that such beliefs were nothing more to them than pious tales. –
It was among these that I found the most in need of the power of comfort within themselves and they were capable of finding comfort within themselves if they were shown the right paths to it…
I was once asked:
“Why only teach us these things which inherently contain the truth in the manner of fairy tales? In this way they are lost to us when we grow out of believing such tales?”
I replied to my questioner as follows:
“Do not get agitated with those who once taught you just in the way they knew how to teach; but see to it that you teach in a different way.”
Truly, ancient teachings can provide a good foundation for comfort. Those who still believe in them shall surely not, in the end, be deceived, even if the ideas created by such beliefs do not completely reflect reality. –
Nevertheless, they allow the truth to be intuited: – show that the mortal body of this earth is but a temporal expression of a being which is not of this earth. Therefore it can only ever be perceived by earthly senses if it reveals itself in sensory forms belonging to this earth.
Certainly it is foolish to nourish the belief that one day a new body will arise from the same material perceptible to earthly senses. Yet this teaching also contains the truth: that the continuing spiritual form of man corresponds to his earlier earthly appearance to the extent that already on earth the spiritual was able to more or less imprint its own features on the given earthly form. –
It is also true that those who have been separated in death will ‘see each other again’. Then they will recognise each other in their spiritual forms with greater certainty than, for example, here on earth, when they have not seen each other for some years.
Completely false, however, is the notion that the spiritual part of man will, as soon as it has left this earthly body, either partake of all ‘the delights of heaven’ or fall into a state of eternal torment from which there is no salvation. –
This latter idea contains a trace of the truth, in that utterly animalistic natures, attached only to what is of this earth, may well remain for aeons in darkness of the soul before being able to set eyes on the spiritual light of the soul.
Yet in this respect too, the law of the spirit, whose life is love, is immeasurably milder than merciless human judgement. Whoever has bequeathed love to the earth can never be subject to the black night of aeons, however fallible he once was. –
In my ‘Book on the Life Beyond’ I have spoken in detail about the condition the spiritual in man finds itself in, once the earthly body has gone cold. There, and in many of my other books, I have explained from where I was given the certainty with which I speak about these matters.
Suffice it to say here that this certainty comes from most assured experience; even if it may seem foolish and presumptuous to men in the western world of this age if you tell them that there are people living on earth who are capable of acquiring such experience – experience which, however, is only open to very few. –
As regards the state of consciousness in which one who has departed this earth finds himself, let it be stated here that he will firstly awaken after his death in a nether spiritual region which is very close to this earth.
If his earthly life has already prepared him spiritually, he will soon leave this nether region led by secure guides. These may once have lived on earth as he did, or perhaps have never inhabited an earthly body.
On his wandering the heights, the timescale for which can no longer be measured in earthly terms, he will encounter helpers who work spiritually on earth in a human body, but are also present in their spiritual form within the realm of the spirit. By them he is guided towards continually more enlightened recognition and experience of spiritual life. –
This is the path of those human spirits which during life on earth have trained themselves in love, action and work on themselves to recognise in its essence a reality hitherto unknown to them, and to follow those who alone can lead them onwards. –
The great majority of those who leave the earth at any time, however, find themselves – once they apprehend that they have form, are conscious and capable of action – at ease in this nether spiritual realm of transition, and try to find there whatever corresponds to their imaginings. –
Since here, as in a dream, imaginings appear as reality, they are benumbed by the world they have created themselves and give little heed to the voices of those who could lead them higher; just as a dreamer in a deep sleep often fails to wake up, even if voices can be heard close by.
Since also the spirit of one burdened with guilt will always know reasons to excuse himself in his own eyes, he will quickly rid himself of those imaginings which initially reflected his fear of eternal ‘punishment’ or tortuous purification, so that he can now behold a ‘heavenly realm’ where he finds everything to be exactly as the ideas based on his belief on earth. –
Those, however, who once believed that all life would end with the death of the human body, will in a similar way imagine continuing existence on earth. All those who participate in creating such ‘border lands’ are happy in their own way until awakening approaches. Then they will see through the world of illusory fulfilment they have dreamt up together, like one on earth who awakens from a night’s sleep and recognises that he alone has created the dream. –
Only then will they be ready to hear the voice of the helper and to grasp his hand when embarking on the path to higher spiritual worlds, consciously working on his own self, step by step, moving ever closer to the essential light of the spirit, strengthened by love and drawn towards the original source of love. –
If the human spirit which sought to express itself on this earth had first found expression in the body of a child, and if that child had existed only long enough for the spiritual to unite with the given atoms of the soul, then that human spirit would indeed be conscious of itself, but without the ability to create a world of ideas from earthly memories or only in such small measure that the human spirit would be spared dreaming that collective dream of phantom bliss which often endures for so long in adults.
He will then be taken immediately by the hand and guided upwards by spiritual helpers. Even if he needs much longer to climb his steps, since he has not collected spiritual experiences on earth, he is nonetheless in the light of truth from the start and holds the hand of reliable guides. –
‘Meeting again’ and recognising one another can only occur if either the ‘border land’ of dreamt up fulfilment had never been entered or only crossed in haste, or, after awakening from the dreamt up bliss and consciously entering higher spiritual worlds at the hand of the guide.
Then a ‘meeting again’ is possible at any time between all those who knew each other during their days on earth or even only knew of each other, as long as, however, they were bound by inner sympathy. It matters not if they have now attained very different levels of development. –
The child who lost its mother early in its life will initially appear to her in the form she knew; before her very eyes he will then change into his permanent spiritual form …
And so every individual will initially see the other in the form of his earthly appearance; following this, he will see him in his permanent spiritual form. For the substance bearing spiritual consciousness moulds itself to fit every image which consciousness of the human spirit can have from itself. For example, someone born with some physical handicap will initially appear to those he sees again in that one form which their imagination can conceive of him. He will then quickly abandon this form, of which he truly wishes to be rid, and will show himself as the same one, yet in his perfected spiritual form. –
All these things sound like descriptions found in fairy tales; yet they reflect reality as precisely as if I had described a series of earthly occurrences so familiar to you that you would recognise them immediately. –
Perhaps you should ask yourself whether many ideas found in fairy tales do not indeed point us upwards to man’s original homeland, even if this was only unconsciously intuited by the creators of those fairy tales…
However, you can see that you too are given, despite not wanting to believe what you were once taught as a child, the same, if not indeed more certain, grounds for comfort as those who are satisfied with their childhood faith! –
You know that I understand all too well the pain you suffer at the loss of the presence of a loved one in his earthly form.
Yet apart from this pain there is truly no reason for grief; even if those who have gone home surely do not immediately experience themselves, after the change in their form of perception, at the highest levels of spiritual life. They too must develop themselves in the manner of men on earth who wish to attain spiritually that which can be achieved during this earthly life. All my books tell you of these things.
Furthermore, you are by no means separated spiritually from your dear ones who have left this earthly body!
Within yourself – in your own spiritual being – you remain attached to them, and if you will learn to listen in your very innermost of your being, you will become increasingly certain that you are still spiritually connected to them …
Beware of all attempts to summon those who are departed back to the visible realm of this earth – to the realm of the external senses!
You cannot summon them!
They are far from your senses, even if you knew all the invocations made through history by foolish necromancers.
Whatever you might summon would make you a victim of delusion and would harm the best powers of your soul and of your body. –
You will be able to read in much more detail about these matters in my other books. I must refer you to them here, if I am to avoid repeating what I have already said.
I have shown you how you may find true comfort within yourself.
Now turn from your grief for those who have gone home!
They have their path to follow, as you have yours! –
Lift yourself up and make a new start. And if you would find your way to the spirit, there will be invisible help from on high near at hand on this earth: – the same help which is now leading your loved ones towards the light. –
Above all, see to it that you are always found in love!
Only those who live in love can find guidance, here and beyond, and only when you abandon the dream world of selfish wishes can you attain the love which is the most sublime source of all comfort! –