Many will be familiar with the notion that people, at the point of death, see their life “flash” before them. Rudolf Steiner describes how—when the spiritual bodies separate from the physical body—the etheric body one who is dying is revealed, giving a panoramic overview of one’s earthly life. This etheric body contains everything we have experienced in our consciousness and held in memory. The etheric not only generates and sustains all life, but also encompasses the life forces from which we shape our existence.
Although the revelation of the life tableau is part of the early period following death, it can also emerge as a result of meditation. Steiner speaks of this—which occurs through “imagination,” the first level of spiritual experience—as conscious self-perception of the soul in the realm of images. Here we are confronted with the harrowing knowledge of our doppelgänger, though we also experience the cosmic forces of childhood that are present in all of our life processes. Those forces are described in psychology as the “inner child.”
Through this unique anthology of Steiner’s work, we are led to a therapeutic, meditative approach that—by working with the imaginative life tableau—can strengthen and heal body, soul, and spirit.
C O N T E N T S:
Experiencing the Inner Child as the Starting Point for a New Philosophy
The First Supersensible Experience: Time Becomes Space
Experiencing Life before Birth
The Three Levels of the Anthroposophical Path of Meditation
Unbornness and Eternity
Pain and Sadness when Reliving the Life Tableau
Developing Courage and Will Power
The Perspectival Alignment of the Life Tableau
Intensive Backward Thinking
The Life Tableau as the Second Level of Imaginative Perception
Transforming the Forces of Memory
Feelings of Happiness when Experiencing the Life Tableau
Re-experiencing the Inner Child
The Cosmic Dimension: Wisdom of the Individual
Through the Forces of Childhood to the “Higher Self” and the Christ Experience
Rudolf Steiner (1861–1925) was born in the small village of Kraljevec, Austro-Hungarian Empire (now in Croatia), where he grew up (see right). As a young man, he lived in Weimar and Berlin, where he became a well-published scientific, literary, and philosophical scholar, known especially for his work with Goethe’s scientific writings. At the beginning of the twentieth century, he began to develop his early philosophical principles into an approach to systematic research into psychological and spiritual phenomena. Formally beginning his spiritual teaching career under the auspices of the Theosophical Society, Steiner came to use the term Anthroposophy (and spiritual science) for his philosophy, spiritual research, and findings. The influence of Steiner’s multifaceted genius has led to innovative and holistic approaches in medicine, various therapies, philosophy, religious renewal, Waldorf education, education for special needs, threefold economics, biodynamic agriculture, Goethean science, architecture, and the arts of drama, speech, and eurythmy. In 1924, Rudolf Steiner founded the General Anthroposophical Society, which today has branches throughout the world. He died in Dornach, Switzerland.
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