Staying Connected: How to Continue Your Relationships with Those Who Have Died
“This is what it comes down to: that we learn to experience that those who have passed through the gate of death have only assumed another form. Having died, they stand before our feelings like those who, through life experiences, have traveled to distant lands, whither we can follow them only later. We have therefore nothing to fear but a time of separation. Spiritual science must help us learn to feel and experience this in the most living way we can.” —Rudolf Steiner
“Living and working with the concepts and exercises in these talks and meditations has changed my life. This is a most practical book. Do what it recommends and you will experience the presence of the dead in your lives. You will know that the community of human beings on both sides of the threshold is not theory, but reality.” —Christopher Bamford (from the introduction)
The idea of “working with the dead” – maintaining, continuing, and enhancing one’s relationships with those who have died – was fundamental to Steiner’s work. This volume collects a rich harvest of his thoughts on the subject, gathered over many years. Steiner spoke directly from his own experience and formulated various meditation practices and verses that worked for him.
We learn the usefulness of reading to the dead; the use of verbs (instead of nouns) when we speak with them; the importance of the sacred moments when falling asleep and awakening for asking questions and receiving answers; how our memories of the dead are like “art” to them; and of key moods we must cultivate—community with the world, gratitude, confidence in the current of life.
We learn, too, of the many ways discarnate souls can help us in our earthly work, and of the many ways we can help them. Also included are many of the mantras Steiner gave to his students for connecting with those who have died.
This important volume will help those who want to deepen their relationships to the living, to those who have died, or to the spiritual world itself.
Introduction by Christopher Bamford
Part 1: “Entry”
- Overcoming the Abyss
- The Life of the Dead
- Recovering the Connection
- The Presence of the Dead
- The Blessings of the Dead
- Works of Art, Acts of Grace
Part 2: “Practice”
- How the Dead Influence the Living
- The Dead Are Always with Us
- Uniting with the Universal Spirit
- The Feeling of Community and the Experience of Gratitude
- Trust in Life and the Rejuvenation of the Soul
- The Language of the Heart
- Momento Mori
Part 3: “Experience”
- First Experience with the Dead
- An Example of Working with the Dead
- Advice on Meditation
- The Importance of Self-Knowledge in the Life after Death
Coda: The Dead Speak
About the Author
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.
Christopher Bamford is Editor in Chief for SteinerBooks and its imprints. A Fellow of the Lindisfarne Association, he has lectured, taught, and written widely on Western spiritual and esoteric traditions. He is the author of The Voice of the Eagle: The Heart of Celtic Christianity (1990) and An Endless Trace: The Passionate Pursuit of Wisdom in the West (2003). He has also translated and edited numerous books, including Celtic Christianity: Ecology and Holiness (1982); Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science; and The Noble Traveller: The Life and Writings of O. V. de L. Milosz (all published by Lindisfarne Books). Harper San Francisco included an essay by Mr. Bamford in its anthology Best Spiritual Writing 2000.