“We could all benefit positively if we direct our thoughts to all of humankind and consider that birth and death are only portals. We must recognize that the greater part of humankind exists beyond these portals and that we are one with them.” —Karl König
Karl König, following Rudolf Steiner's teachings, saw human beings as eternal, understanding that our time in earthly bodies is only one part of our journey. Our souls exist before birth and continue on beyond death, until they are reborn.
In these important lectures and essays, König asserts that the greatest part of our community exists beyond this earthly life. He calls on us not to neglect our connection with those who have died, encouraging us to solicit their guidance so that we might rediscover the spiritual values our society has lost.
In this remarkable book, König suggests that, by changing our everyday thinking, we can create a bridge across the threshold of death, allowing essential communication among humans in various states of being, and uniting humankind for the benefit of us all.
Karl König (1902–1966) was born in Vienna, in Austria-Hungary, the only son of a Jewish shoemaker. He studied medicine at the University of Vienna and graduated in 1927, with a special interest in embryology. After graduating, he was invited by Ita Wegman to work in her Klinisch-Therapeutisches Institut, a clinic in Arlesheim, Switzerland for people with special needs. He married Mathilde Maasberg in 1929. Dr. König was appointed paediatrician at the Rudolf Steiner-inspired Schloß Pilgrimshain institute in Strzegom, where he worked until 1936, when he returned to Vienna and established a successful medical practice. Owing to Hitler's invasion of Austria, he was forced to flee Vienna to Aberdeen, Scotland, in 1938. Dr. König was interned briefly at the beginning of World War II, but on his release in 1940 he set up the first Camphill Community for Children in Need of Special Care at Camphill on the outskirts of Aberdeen. From the mid-1950s, König began more communities, including one in North Yorkshire, the first to care for those beyond school age with special needs. In 1964, König moved to Brachenreuthe near Überlingen on Lake Constance, Germany, where he set up another community, where he died in 1966.