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Conscience and Astonishment

As Indications of Spiritual Vision in Past and Future

Lecture by Rudolf Steiner Breslau, February 3rd, 191 !A 1"3
Copyright 1967 This e.Text edition is provided through the wonderful work of: #he !olden Blade

Sear h for related titles availa!le for pur hase at "#a$on. o#% &or another version of this le ture' see: Cons ien e and (onder as )ndi ations of Spiritual *ision in the +ast and in the &uture. fro# the "nthroposophi al ,ews Sheet' 19-.. #han$s to an anonymous donation, this lecture has been made a%ailable&
/0ST of 1udolf Steiner2s le tures were not addressed to the general pu!li ' !ut to groups of people

already fa#iliar with his !asi writings. 3e was on erned with the parti ular needs and interests of those to who# he was speaking4 and he was hardly ever a!le to revise the notes taken at the ti#e. The le ture of whi h a translation is printed in this issue is of this kind: !ut' read su!5e t to this aution' it will !e found widely o#prehensi!le.

C0,SC)6,C6 ",7 "ST0,)S3/6,T "S ),7)C"T)0,S 0& S+)1)T8"9 *)S)0, ), +"ST ",7 &8T816 A lecture given by 18709& ST6),61 in Breslau, 3rd February 191:
&ro# notes unrevised !y the le turer. +u!lished !y kind per#ission of the 1udolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung' 7orna h' Swit$erland' and in agree#ent with the 1udolf Steiner +u!lishing Co#pany.

we an #eet so seldo#' it will perhaps !e good to tou h upon so#e ;uestions today' through whi h anthroposophy is dire tly on erned with life. "nthroposophists will often !e asked: what does anthroposophy #ean for so#eone not yet a!le to see into the spiritual worlds !y #eans of lairvoyant ons iousness< &or the ontent of spiritual s ien e is in the #ain re eived' derived and i#parted through resear h undertaken through lairvoyant ons iousness. )t #ust !e e#phasised again and again that everything' all the fa ts and relationships' investigated and i#parted fro# lairvoyant ons iousness' #ust !e o#prehended !y healthy hu#an understanding. 0n e the things found !y lairvoyant ons iousness are there' they an !e grasped and understood !y the logi inherent in every ordinary hu#an !eing' if only his 5udg#ent is unpre5udi ed enough.

&urther' it an !e asked: are there not fa ts experien ed in nor#al hu#an life whi h give dire t support to the assertion !y spiritual resear h' that our physi al world and all its

pheno#ena have underlying the# a spiritual world< There are indeed #any fa ts in ordinary life of whi h we ould say that #an would never o#prehend the#' although he has to a ept their existen e' without the re ognition of a spiritual world. (e an look to !egin with at two fa ts in ordinary hu#an ons iousness whi h annot !e explained without taking the presen e of a spiritual world into onsideration. /an knows these indeed as everyday fa ts' !ut does not usually regard the# in the right light4 if he did' there would !e no ne essity for a #aterialisti on eption of the world. The first of these fa ts an !e regarded in onne tion with very fa#iliar events in ordinary life. (hen a #an fa es a fa t whi h he annot explain with the on eptions that he has a ;uired up to that #o#ent' he is astonished. So#eone for exa#ple who saw for the first ti#e a ar or a train in #ove#ent =though su h things will soon not !e unusual even in the interior of "fri a> would !e very astonished' !e ause he would think so#ething like this: " ording to #y experien e up to now it see#s i#possi!le to #e that a thing an #ove along ;ui kly' without having so#ething harnessed to it in front' that an pull it. ?ut ) an see that this is #oving along ;ui kly without !eing pulled% That is astonishing. (hat a #an does not yet know auses hi# astonish#ent4 so#ething he has already seen' no longer astonishes hi#. 0nly the things whi h annot !e onne ted with previous experien es ause astonish#ent4 let us keep this fa t of ordinary life learly !efore us. "nd we an !ring it now into onne tion with another fa t' whi h is very re#arka!le. 3u#an !eings are fa ed in ordinary life with #any things that they have never seen !efore and whi h they nevertheless a ept without astonish#ent. There are #any su h events. (hat are they< )t would !e very astonishing' for exa#ple' if so#eone was to find in the ordinary way that after sitting ;uietly on his hair he suddenly !egan to fly up through the hi#ney into the air. )t would indeed !e astonishing4 !ut when this happens in a drea# he would do it all without !eing in any way a#a$ed. (e experien e in drea#s #u h #ore fantasti things than this' !ut are not astonished although we annot relate the# to daily events. )n waking life we are even astonished if so#e!ody leaps high into the air4 !ut in a drea# we an fly without !eing surprised at all. So we are fa ed with the fa t that while in waking life we are astonished a!out things we had not experien ed previously' in drea#s we are not at all a#a$ed. "s a se ond fa t fro# whi h we shall !egin' we have the ;uestion of ons ien e. (hen a #an does so#ething' and with a sensitive nature even when he thinks' so#ething stirs in hi# that we all ons ien e. This ons ien e is entirely independent of the external signifi an e of events. (e ould for exa#ple have done so#ething very advantageous to us' and yet this a t #ight !e onde#ned !y our ons ien e. 6veryone feels that when ons ien e goes into a tion so#ething influen es the 5udg#ent of an a t that has nothing to do with its utility. )t is like a voi e that says within us: Truly' you should have done this' or you should not have done this @ this is the fa t of ons ien e' and we know how strong its warning power an !e' and how it an pursue us through life. (e know that the presen e of ons ien e annot !e denied. ,ow we an onsider again the life of drea#s. 3ere we #ay do the strangest things whi h would ause us the #ost terri!le pangs of ons ien e if we did the# in waking life. "nyone an onfir# this fro# his own experien e' that he does things in drea#s without

his ons ien e stirring at all4 while if he were to do the# awake the voi e of ons ien e would speak. Thus these two fa ts' a#a$e#ent and ons ien e' are ex luded in a re#arka!le way fro# the life of drea#s. 0rdinarily #an does not noti e su h things4 nevertheless they throw their light upon the depths of our existen e. There is so#ething else that throws light on this' on erned less with ons ien e than with astonish#ent. )n an ient Aree e the saying appears that all philosophy !egins with astonish#ent' with wonder. The feeling expressed in this saying @ the feeling of the Areeks the#selves @ annot !e found in the earlier periods of Areek history4 only fro# a ertain point in the develop#ent of philosophy is it to !e found. 6arlier periods did not have this feeling. (hy was it that fro# a ertain point onwards in an ient Aree e this o!servation a!out astonish#ent was #ade< (e have seen that we are astonished a!out so#ething that does not fit in with our previous life4 !ut if we have only this kind of astonish#ent this is nothing spe ially re#arka!le. So#eone who is astonished a!out a ar or train is si#ply una usto#ed to see su h things. )t is #u h #ore re#arka!le that a #an an !egin to !e astonished a!out a usto#ed things. &or exa#ple there is the fa t that the sun rises every #orning. Those people who are a usto#ed to this fa t with their ordinary ons iousness are not surprised a!out it. ?ut when there is astonish#ent a!out the everyday things' whi h one is a usto#ed to see' philosophy and knowledge arise. Those #en are the ri her in knowledge' who are a!le to !e astonished a!out things whi h the ordinary #an si#ply a epts. 0nly then does a #an strive for knowledge. &or this reason' it was said in an ient Aree e: "ll philosophy !egins in wonder. 3ow is it with the ons ien e< 0n e #ore it is interesting' that the word B ons ien eC @ and therefore the on ept too' for only when we have a on eption of so#ething does the word appear @ is also only to !e found in an ient Aree e fro# a ertain ti#e onwards. )t is i#possi!le to find in earlier Areek literature' a!out up to the ti#e of "es hylus' a word that should !e translated B ons ien eC. ?ut we find one in the later Areek writers' for exa#ple 6uripides. Thus it an !e pointed out pre isely that ons ien e is so#ething' 5ust as is a#a$e#ent a!out fa#iliar things' known to #an only fro# a ertain period of an ient Aree e onwards. (hat sprang up at this ti#e as the a tivity of ons ien e was so#ething ;uite different a#ong the earlier Areeks. )t did not then happen that the pangs of ons ien e appeared when a #an had done so#ething wrong. /en had then an original' ele#ental lairvoyan e4 going !a k only a short ti#e !efore the Christian era we would find that all hu#an !eings still had this original lairvoyan e. )f a #an then did so#ething wrong' it was not followed !y the stirring of ons ien e' !ut a de#oni for# appeared !efore the old lairvoyan e' and a #an was tor#ented !y it. Su h for#s were alled 6rinys or &uries. 0nly when #en had lost the apa ity to see these de#oni for#s did they !e o#e a!le to feel' when they had done so#ething wrong' the power of ons ien e as an inner experien e. (hat do su h fa ts show< (hat really happens in the everyday fa t of astonish#ent @ when for exa#ple a tri!es#an fro# the depths of "fri a' suddenly transported to 6urope' sees here the trains and ars for the first ti#e< 3e is astonished !e ause his astonish#ent presupposes that so#ething new is entering his life' so#ething that he !efore saw differently.

)f now a developed #an has a parti ular need to find explanations for #any things' in luding everyday things' !e ause he is a!le to !e astonished a!out everyday things @ this too presupposes that he had seen the thing differently !efore. ,oDone would !e a!le to rea h another explanation of the sunrise' distin t fro# the #ere appearan e of its rising' if he had not seen it differently !efore. ?ut it #ight !e o!5e ted that we see the sunrise happening in 5ust the sa#e way fro# our earliest youth4 would it not !e nonsensi al to !e astonished a!out it< There is no other explanation of this than that if we are a#a$ed a!out it after all' we #ust have experien ed it earlier in another ondition' in a way different fro# our present experien e in this life. &or if spiritual s ien e says that #an exists !etween !irth and a previous life in another ondition' we have in the fa t of astonish#ent a!out so#ething so everyday as a sunrise an indi ation of this earlier ondition' in whi h #an also per eived the sunrise' !ut in another way' without !odily organs. 3e per eived all this then with spiritual eyes and spiritual ears. )n the #o#ent where di# feelings lead hi# to say: BEou fa e the rising sun' the roaring sea' the growing plant' and are filled with wonder%C @ there is in this wonder the knowledge' that all this has on e !een per eived in another way' not with !odily eyes. 3e has looked at all these with his spiritual eyes !efore he entered the physi al world. 3e feels di#ly: BEet this is all different' fro# the for# in whi h you saw it earlier.C This was' and ould only !e' !efore !irth. These fa ts o#pel us to re ognise that knowledge would not !e possi!le at all if #an did not enter this life fro# a pre eding supersensi!le existen e. 0therwise there would !e no explanation for a#a$e#ent and the knowledge that follows fro# it. ,aturally #an does not re#e#!er in lear pi tures what he experien ed in a different way !efore !irth4 !ut though it is not in the for# of lear thought' it is present in feeling. )t an only !e !rought as a lear #e#ory through initiation. ,ow we an go deeper into the fa t that we are not a#a$ed in drea#s. &irst the ;uestion #ust !e answered' what a drea# really is. 7rea#s are an an ient heritage fro# earlier in arnations. /en passed in earlier in arnations through other onditions of ons iousness whi h were si#ilar to lairvoyan e. )n the further ourse of evolution #an lost the apa ity to look lairvoyantly into the world of soul and spirit. )t was a shadowy lairvoyan e4 evolution pro eeded gradually' fro# the earlier' shadowy lairvoyan e into our present lear' waking ons iousness' whi h ould develop in the physi al world @ in order' when it is fully developed' to as end again into the worlds of soul and spirit with the apa ities whi h #an has a ;uired with his B)C in waking ons iousness. ?ut what did #en a ;uire then in the old lairvoyan e< So#ething has re#ained4 the life of drea#s. ?ut the life of drea#s is distinguished fro# the old lairvoyan e !y the fa t that it is an experien e of presentDday #an' and presentDday #an has developed a ons iousness whi h ontains the i#pulse to a ;uire knowledge. 7rea#s' as a re#nant of an earlier ons iousness' do not ontain the i#pulse to a ;uire knowledge and for this reason #an feels the distin tion !etween waking ons iousness and the ons iousness of drea#s. "stonish#ent' whi h did not exist in the an ient shadowy lairvoyan e' annot enter even today the ons iousness of drea#s. "stonish#ent and wonder annot enter the life of drea#s. (e have the# in the waking ons iousness' whi h is dire ted to the external world. )n his drea#s' #an is not in the external world4 he is pla ed into the spiritual world' and does not experien e physi al things. ?ut it was in fa ing the physi al world that #an learned a#a$e#ent. )n drea#s he a epts everything as it o#es' as he did in the old lairvoyan e. 3e ould do this then !e ause the spiritual powers a#e and showed hi# the good and evil that he had done4 #an did not then need wonder. 7rea#s thus show

us !y their own hara ter that they are inherited fro# an ient ti#es' when there was not yet any astonish#ent a!out everyday things' and not yet a ons ien e. (hy was it ne essary that #an' having on e !een lairvoyant' ould not re#ain so< (hy has he des ended< 7id the gods perhaps drive hi# down unne essarily< )t is really so' that #an ould never have a ;uired what lies in his apa ity of wonder and what lies in his ons ien e' if he had not des ended. /an des ended in order to a ;uire knowledge and ons ien e4 he ould only do so through !eing separated for a ti#e fro# these spiritual worlds. "nd he has a hieved knowledge and ons ien e here' in order to as end on e #ore with the#. Spiritual s ien e shows us that #an spends ea h ti#e a period !etween death and a new !irth in a purely spiritual world. (e experien e to !egin with after death the ti#e of Fa#alo a' the ondition in the soul world where desires are purified' where #an is only half in the spiritual world' so to speak' !e ause he still looks !a k upon his i#pulses and atta h#ents and is thus still drawn !y what !ound hi# to the physi al world. 0nly when this Fa#alo a period has !een wiped out does he experien e purely spiritual life in its fulness' in the real# of spirit. (hen a #an enters this purely spiritual world' what is his experien e< 3ow is it experien ed !y every hu#an !eing< Consideration even !y the ;uite ordinary understanding leads to the on lusion that our environ#ent !etween death and a new !irth #ust appear entirely different fro# what we have in physi al life. 3ere we see olours !e ause we have eyes4 here we hear sounds !e ause we have ears. ?ut when in spiritual existen e after death we have no eyes and no ears' we annot per eive these olours' and sounds. 6ven here we see and hear !adly or not at all' if we have not got good eyes and ears. )t is selfDevident that we have to on eive the spiritual world as entirely different fro# the world in whi h we here live !etween !irth and death. (e an for# a pi ture of the way in whi h this world #ust alter when we pass through the gate of death with the help of a o#parison. " #an sees a la#! and a wolf. ?y #eans of the organs of per eption availa!le to hi# in physi al life #an per eives the la#! and the wolf4 he sees the# as #aterial la#!' as #aterial wolf. 0ther la#!s and wolves too he re ognises' and alls the# la#! and wolf. 3e has a on eptual pi ture of a la#!' and another of a wolf. )t ould now !e said' and is in fa t said: the on eptual pi ture of the ani#al is not visi!le' it lives within the ani#al4 one does not really see #aterially the essential !eing of la#! and wolf. 0ne for#s #ental pi tures of the essential !eing of the ani#al' !ut this essential !eing is in itself invisi!le. There are theorists who hold that the on epts of wolf and la#! whi h we for# for ourselves live only within us' and that they have nothing to do with the wolf and the la#! the#selves. " #an who holds this view should !e asked to feed a wolf with la#!s until all #aterial parts of the wolf !ody have !een renewed' a ording to s ientifi resear h @ then the wolf would !e !uilt entirely of #atter fro# la#!s. "nd then this #an should see whether the wolf has turned into a la#!% ?ut if the result is nevertheless that the wolf has not !e o#e a la#!' it has !een proved that BwolfC' as a fa t' is so#ething distin t fro# the #aterial wolf and that the wolf2s o!5e tive existen e is so#ething #ore than a #aterial thing. This invisi!le reality' whi h in ordinary life one only for#s as a on ept' one a tually

sees after death. 0ne does not see there the la#!2s white olour' or hear the sounds whi h it #akes !ut one !eholds the invisi!le power whi h works in the la#!. &or the one who lives in the spiritual world this is 5ust as real' this is a tually there. (here a la#! is standing' there stands too a spiritual reality' whi h !e o#es visi!le for #an after death. "nd it is the sa#e with all pheno#ena of the physi al environ#ent. 0ne sees the sun differently' the #oon differently' everything differently4 and one !rings so#ething of this with one' while entering through !irth into a new existen e. "nd if through this there arises the feeling that one has on e seen so#ething ;uite differently' then there des ends with one2s astonish#ent and wonder the power of knowledge. )t is so#ething different' if one o!serves a hu#an a tion. Then the ele#ent of ons ien e is added. )f we wish to know what this is we #ust turn our attention to a fa t of life whi h an !e onfir#ed without the develop#ent of lairvoyan e. The #o#ent of falling asleep #ust !e arefully o!served. 0ne an learn to do this without any lairvoyan e4 this experien e is open to anyone. Gust !efore one falls asleep' things first lose their sharp outlines' olours grow faint' sounds not only grow weaker' !ut it is as if they go away fro# us into the distan e4 they rea h us only fro# far away' they grow weaker 5ust as if they were going into the distan e. The way in whi h the whole visi!le world grows less distin t is a transfor#ation like the on o#ing of #ist. "nd the li#!s grow heavier. 0ne feels in the# so#ething whi h one has not felt !efore in waking life4 it is as if they a ;uired their own weight' their own heaviness. )n waking life if one were to onsider it one should really feel that a leg' when one is walking' or a hand' whi h one raises' have for us no weight. (e raise our hand' arrying a hundredweight @ why is the hundredweight heavy< (e raise our hand and it arries itself @ why do we feel no weight< The hand !elongs to #e' and so its heaviness is not felt4 the hundredweight is outside #e' and sin e it does not !elong to #e' it is heavy. 9et us i#agine a !eing fro# /ars des ending to the earth' knowing nothing a!out earthly things4 and the first thing he sees is a #an holding a weight in ea h hand. To !egin with he would have to suppose that !oth these weights !elong to the #an as if they were part of his hands' part of his whole !eing. )f he then later had to a ept the idea that the #an feels a differen e !etween the hundredweight and his hand' he would find it astonishing. (e really only feel so#ething as a weight if it is outside us. So that if #an feels his li#!s !eginning to !e o#e heavy as he falls asleep' this is a sign that #an goes out of his !ody' out of his physi al !eing. /u h now depends upon a deli ate o!servation' whi h an !e #ade at the #o#ent when the li#!s grow heavy. " re#arka!le feeling appears. )t tells us: BEou have done this @ you have left this undone%C 9ike a living ons ien e the deeds of the previous day stand out. "nd if so#ething is there that we annot approve of we toss on our !ed and annot fall asleep. )f we an !e ontent with our a tion there o#es a happy #o#ent as we fall asleep' when a #an says to hi#self: BCould it always !e so%C Then there o#es a 5olt @ that is when #an leaves his physi al and ethereal !ody' and then a #an is in the spiritual world. 9et us o!serve the #o#ent of this pheno#enon' whi h is like a living ons ien e' #ore exa tly. " #an has not really any power to do so#ething reasona!le' and tosses a!out on his !ed. This is an unhealthy ondition whi h prevents hi# fro# getting to sleep. )t happens at the #o#ent when we are a!out to leave the physi al plane through falling asleep' in order to as end into another world4 !ut this is not willing to a ept what we all our B!ad ons ien eC. " #an annot fall asleep !e ause he is ast !a k !y the world into

whi h he should enter in sleep. Thus if we say that we will listen to our ons ien e a!out so#e a tion' this #eans that we have a presenti#ent of what the hu#an !eing will need to !e in future in order to enter the spiritual world. Thus we have in astonish#ent an expression of what we have seen at an earlier ti#e' and ons ien e is an expression of a future vision in the spiritual world. Cons ien e reveals whether we shall !e horrified or happy' when we are a!le to !ehold our a tions in the real# of spirit. Cons ien e is a presenti#ent that reveals propheti ally how we shall experien e our deeds after death. "stonish#ent and the i#pulse towards knowledge on the one hand' and the ons ien e on the other @ these are living signs of the spiritual world. These pheno#ena annot !e explained without !ringing in the spiritual worlds. " #an will !e #ore in lined to !e o#e an anthroposophist if he feels reveren e and wonder !efore the fa ts of the world. The #ost developed souls are those whi h are a!le to feel wonder #ore and #ore. The less one an feel wonder' the less advan ed is the soul. 3u#an !eings !ring to the everyday things of life far less wonder than they !ring for exa#ple to the starry sky in its #a5esty. ?ut the real higher develop#ent of the soul only !egins when one an feel as #u h wonder a!out the s#allest flower and petal' a!out the #ost in onspi uous !eetle or wor#' as a!out the greatest os#i events. These things are very re#arka!le4 a #an will generally !e #oved very easily to ask for the explanation of so#ething whi h strikes hi# as sensational. +eople who live near a vol ano for exa#ple will ask for the explanation of vol ani eruptions' !e ause people in su h regions have to !e alert a!out su h things and give the# #ore attention than everyday affairs. 6ven people who live far away fro# vol anoes ask for an explanation of the#' !e ause these events are startling and sensational for the# too. ?ut when a #an enters life with su h a soul' that he is astonished a!out everything' !e ause he feels so#ething of the spiritual through all his surroundings' then he is not very #u h #ore astonished a!out a vol ano than a!out the little !u!!les and raters whi h he noti es in a up of #ilk or offee on his !reakfast ta!le. 3e is 5ust as interested in s#all things as in great things. To !e a!le to !ring wonder everywhere @ that is a #e#ory of the vision !efore !irth. To !ring ons ien e everywhere into our deeds is to have a living presenti#ent that every deed whi h we fulfil will appear to us in the future in another for#. 3u#an !eings who feel this are #ore predestined than others to find their way to spiritual s ien e. (e live in a ti#e in whi h ertain things are !eing revealed whi h an only !e explained through spiritual s ien e. So#e things defy every other explanation. +eople !ehave very differently towards su h things. (e have ertainly in our ti#e #any hu#an hara ters to o!serve' and yet within the great variety of shades of hara ter we en ounter two #ain ;ualities. (e an des ri!e one group as #editative natures' in lined towards onte#plation' a!le everywhere to feel astonish#ent' feeling everywhere their ons ien e stirred. /any sorrows' #any heavy #elan holi #oods an pile up in the soul if the longing for explanations re#ains unsatisfied. " deli ate ons ien e an #ake life very diffi ult. "nother kind of hu#an !eing is present today. They have no wish for su h an explanation of the world. "ll the things that are !rought forward as explanations derived fro# spiritual resear h appear to the# terri!ly dull' and they prefer to live a tively and

unheedingly' rather than asking for explanations. )f you even !egin to speak a!out explanations' they yawn at on e. "nd ertainly with people of this kind' ons ien e is less a tive than with the others. (hat is the sour e of su h polarities in hara ter< Spiritual s ien e is ready to exa#ine the reasons for the one ;uality of hara ter' re#arka!le for its tenden y towards #editation' its thirst for knowledge @ while the other is prepared to en5oy life si#ply without seeking any explanation. )f the o#pass of the hu#an soul is exa#ined !y #eans of spiritual resear h @ one an only indi ate these things' #any hours would !e needed to give a #ore thorough des ription @ it an !e found that #any of those whose lives have a #editative ;uality' who need to seek explanations for what is around the#' an !e followed !a k to previous lives in whi h they had an i##ediate knowledge in their souls a!out the fa t of rein arnation. 6ven today there are #any hu#an !eings on earth who know it' for who# repeated earthly lives are an a!solute fa t. (e need only think of those in "sia. Thus those #en who in the present ti#e lead a #editative life' are in the present onne ted with a previous in arnation in whi h they knew so#ething a!out repeated earthly lives. ?ut the other' #ore insensitive natures o#e over fro# previous lives in whi h nothing was known a!out rein arnation. They have no i#pulse to !urden the#selves #u h with what ons ien e says a!out the deeds of their lives' or to !e on erned #u h with seeking explanations. *ery #any people with us in the 0 ident have this ;uality4 it is indeed the #ark of o idental ivilisation' that #en have forgotten' so to speak' their earlier lives on earth. )ndeed' they have forgotten the#4 !ut ivilisation is standing at a turning point where a #e#ory for for#er lives on earth will revive. /en who are living today are going to #eet a future whi h will have as its hara teristi the renewal of onne tion with the spiritual world. This is still the ase only with very few hu#an !eings4 !ut ertainly in the ourse of the twentieth entury it will !e o#e widespread. )t will take this for#4 let us assu#e that a #an has done so#ething' and is trou!led afterwards !y a !ad ons ien e. )t is like this at the present ti#e. ?ut later' when the onne tion with the spiritual world has !een restored' a #an will feel i#pelled' after he has done this or that' to draw !a k fro# his a tion as if with !lindfolded eyes. "nd then so#ething like a drea# pi ture' !ut one that is entirely living for hi# will arise4 a future event' whi h will happen !e ause of his deed. "nd #en experien ing su h a pi ture will say so#ething like this to the#selves: BEes' it is ) who a# experien ing this' !ut what ) a# seeing is no part of #y past%C &or all those who have heard nothing of spiritual s ien e this will !e a terri!le thing. ?ut those who have prepared for what all will experien e will say to the#selves: BThis is indeed no part of #y past' !ut ) will experien e it in the future as the kar#i result of what ) have 5ust done.C Today we are in the anteroo# of that ti#e' when the kar#i o#pensation will appear to #en in a propheti drea#Dpi ture. "nd when you think of this experien e in the ourse of ti#e developing further and further' you an on eive the #an of the future who will !ehold the kar#i 5udg#ent upon his deeds. 3ow does so#ething like this happen @ that hu#an !eings !e o#e apa!le of seeing this kar#i o#pensation< This is onne ted with the fa t that hu#an !eings on e had no

ons ien e !ut were tor#ented after evil deeds !y the &uries. This was an an ient lairvoyan e whi h has passed away. Then a#e the #iddle period when they no longer saw the &uries' !ut what was !rought a!out !y the &uries previously now arose inwardly as ons ien e. " ti#e is now gradually approa hing in whi h we shall again see so#ething @ and this is the kar#i o#pensation. That #an has now developed ons ien e !egins to ena!le hi# to !ehold the spiritual world ons iously. Gust as so#e hu#an !eings in the present have !e o#e #editative natures !e ause they a ;uired powers in earlier in arnations whi h reveal the#selves @ like a #e#ory of these lives @ in the power of wonder' @ in the sa#e way the #en of today will !ring over powers into their next in arnation if they now a ;uire knowledge of the spiritual worlds. ?ut it will go !adly in the future world for those who today re5e t any explanation of the law of rein arnation. This will !e a terri!le fa t for these souls. (e are still living in a ti#e in whi h #en an #anage their lives without any explanation of the# whi h relates the# to the spiritual worlds. ?ut this period' in whi h this has !een per#itted !y the os#i powers' is o#ing to an end. Those #en who have no onne tion with the spiritual world will awaken in the next life in su h a way that the world into whi h they are !orn on e #ore is in o#prehensi!le to the#. "nd when they leave on e #ore the physi al existen e whi h has !een in o#prehensi!le to the#' they will have no understanding either after death for the spiritual world into whi h they are growing. 0f ourse they enter the spiritual world4 !ut they will not grasp it. They will find the#selves in an environ#ent whi h they do not o#prehend' whi h appears not to !elong to the#' and tor#ents the# as a !ad ons ien e does. 1eturning on e #ore into a new in arnation' it is 5ust as !ad4 they will have all kinds of i#pulses and passions and will live in these' !e ause they are not a!le to develop any wonder' as in illusions and hallu inations. The #aterialists of the present ti#e are those who are going towards a future in whi h they will !e terri!ly tor#ented !y hallu inations and illusions4 for what a #an thinks in the present life' he experien es then as illusion and hallu ination. This an !e on eived as an a!solute reality. (e an pi ture for exa#ple two #en walking in a street together at the present ti#e. 0ne is a #aterialist' the other a nonD #aterialist. The latter says so#ething a!out the spiritual world4 and the other says' or thinks: B(hat nonsense% That is all illusion%C )ndeed' for hi#' this is illusion' !ut for the other' who #ade the re#ark a!out the spiritual world' it is no illusion. The onse;uen es for the #aterialist will !egin to appear already after death' and then very definitely in the next earthly life. 3e will then feel the spiritual worlds as so#ething that tor#ents hi# like a living re!uke. )n the period of Fa#alo a !etween death and a new !irth he will not feel the distin tion !etween Fa#alo a and the spiritual real#. "nd when he is !orn again' and the spiritual world approa hes hi# in the way that has !een des ri!ed' then it appears to hi# as so#ething unreal' as an illusion' as a hallu ination. Spiritual s ien e is not so#ething intended si#ply to satisfy our in;uisitiveness. (e are not sitting here si#ply !e ause we are #ore in;uisitive than other people a!out the spiritual world' !ut !e ause we have so#e feeling for the fa t that hu#an !eings in the future will not !e a!le to live without spiritual s ien e. "ll efforts whi h do not take this fa t into a ount will !e o#e de adent. ?ut life is arranged in su h a way that those who resist spiritual knowledge at the present ti#e will have the opportunity to approa h it in later in arnations. ?ut there #ust !e outposts. 3u#an !eings who through their kar#a have a longing for spiritual knowledge already in the present an !e o#e outposts

through this. Eou have this opportunity !e ause there #ust !e outposts' and you an !e a#ong the#. 0ther hu#an !eings who annot yet o#e to spiritual knowledge a ording to their kar#a' even though they do not re5e t it' will find later the longing for spiritual knowledge arising within the#' #ore fro# the general kar#a of #ankind.