My Dad’s deathday

My dad, David Frank Smith, died on January 24th 2014, at the age of 89, so today is the anniversary of his deathday.  Since the death of his wife Audrey in 2010, he had become increasingly frail and after a series of falls and a spell in hospital, he lived for the last two years of his life in a care home. What follows is the speech I gave at his funeral. I reproduce it here for two reasons: i) that I miss him and and am thinking about him often; and ii) his life seems to me typical of the lives of hundreds of thousands of ordinary people born in the years after the First World War and who had to fight in the Second World War; and who then lived through the Cold War, and the huge cultural, political and technological upheavals of the second half of the 20th century. These were lives of quiet stoicism and indeed, heroism, that seem to me to have been wholly admirable but are never mentioned in the obituary columns devoted to the great, the good and the notorious. So for my dad and for all the others like him, here is an appreciation.

Dad

David Smith, March 1st 1924 – 24th January 2014

 

Dad was born on 1st March 1924, St David’s Day, and no doubt for this reason he was called David. I remember his parents, my grandparents, Henry and Mary (always known as Harry and Ivy) very well. They lived at 44 Haselbury Road in Edmonton, North London, and we would often go round to see them there at weekends. This was the house in which Dad grew up, and which was also close to where his grandparents, aunts and cousins lived. He was an only child, though his parents had had two other children, one of whom, a boy called Colin, died just after birth; and the other, a girl called Olive, died at the age of three during a botched operation for tonsillitis carried out at the hands of a drunken police surgeon (there was hardly any affordable medical help available for the working classes before the post-war creation of the National Health Service). When my grandmother was told what had happened by a theatre nurse six months after Olive’s death, she had a nervous breakdown and Granddad, who had a promising career in the Royal Navy as a signaller to an admiral, had to leave the sea and come home to look after his wife. My brother Greg thinks that Dad always had a sense that his mother somehow almost resented him for surviving when she had lost a daughter and that this may have driven him on to achieve and prove himself a worthy son.

Dad went to Silver Street School for Boys and he did well enough academically to be selected to go to a grammar school. But his parents either couldn’t afford it or didn’t consider it appropriate for him, and instead at the age of 14 he was apprenticed for seven years to a printer. When war broke out in 1939, Dad lied about his age so as to be able to join the Navy and fight for his country. Apparently, when he got home and told his mother that he had enlisted, she was furious with him – presumably after the loss of two other children, she didn’t want to lose her only son – but then he overheard her talking to the next door neighbour and boasting that “they don’t have to come and drag out any of ours to do their duty.”

During the war, Dad served first of all on surface vessels and then volunteered for training in the submarine service. Although he never spoke much about the war, I do remember him saying that on their first time out after training, the submarine he was in was depth-charged by a German destroyer. However, he survived that and I know that he visited places such as Egypt, Ceylon and Singapore during his service. I think it was in Singapore that he took prisoner a Japanese soldier who, pleading for his life, took what seemed to be a wooden stick from his sock and offered it to Dad. The wooden stick turned out to be a seppuku or hara-kiri (ritual suicide) knife. Greg now has that knife.

After the war, Dad completed his apprenticeship and began his career as a printer, first of all with various printing companies and then in Fleet Street, where he worked on several national dailies. It was in 1947 that at a party he met Audrey, an attractive young woman with a luxuriant mop of naturally curly brown hair. They married in 1948 and their first home was a flat in Arcadian Gardens, Wood Green. They were living there when I was born in 1951. I have no memory of that home, but I do remember our next home, which was at 102 Eastfield Road, Waltham Cross, as I was particularly fond of the apple tree and the golden gage tree in the garden, both of which I used to climb even though I was no more than 3 or 4 at the time. Greg was also born during the time at Eastfield Road. What I didn’t know until much later, and this was something that my wife Sophia was told by Audrey, was that there had been another child in between the births of me and my brother, but that this child had been born prematurely and died after only a few hours of life. Neither Mum nor Dad ever spoke of this when Greg and I were growing up.

When I was 4 and Greg was still a babe in arms, we moved to 87 New Park Avenue, Palmers Green, and this was the home that I remember best of all, because I lived there until I was 20 years old. It was the age of the TV handyman Barry Bucknell and Do It Yourself and Dad, who enjoyed woodwork, was always busy with DIY projects such as a shed and garage and various items of furniture. He was also busy with his career in Fleet Street and eventually he became the head printer of the Daily Mail. This was of course long before computer typesetting, in the days of hot metal and Linotype machines and fearsome print unions, who would bring their members out on strike at what seemed like the slightest pretext. Dad had to deal with all of this and as far as I can tell, he did it brilliantly.

Later on, after he had been lured to the Daily Express, he fell foul of Jocelyn Stevens, the notorious publisher of the paper, who sacked Dad as he sacked so many others. Dad took him to an industrial tribunal and won his case for unfair dismissal. After this, Dad had a change of career and went to work as a training consultant for the Paper Industry Training Board in Potters Bar. He and Audrey moved from Palmers Green to Potters Bar where the training board was located.

When Dad was 55, he retired and they moved to their last home at Havenstreet on the Isle of Wight. How he managed his finances so as to be able to retire at such a young age, I don’t know, but as someone who is still working in his sixties and can’t quite see myself being able to afford to retire, I’ve always thought this to be an amazing achievement!

They were all set for a long and happy retirement and for many years this is just what they had. But then Audrey had a stroke and everything changed. The stroke led to depression and then gradually she became afflicted by dementia, a long-drawn out and agonising process for all of us, but particularly for David, who had to witness the changing personality of his beloved wife. This was like a bereavement but one which lasted many years. Throughout it all, he remained loyal, strong and loving. I admire his loyalty and courage more than I can say.

During this time, Dad had very few outlets to make life more bearable. He was, however, a keen photographer and he had a good friend, Mick, with whom he would go out on photographic expeditions and they would also go sailing on Mick’s small boat. These were life-saving outlets for him at a time of deep and prolonged stress.

Throughout his life, Dad was a searcher for truth. In his younger days, he had been a freemason. Later on, he became interested in Sufism under the influence of the mystic Idries Shah, and later still he took a serious interest in Kabbalah. I think that ultimately he was disappointed in or felt rejected by all of these paths and became disillusioned with the search for spirituality and may even have become an atheist, or at least an agnostic.

As someone who believes absolutely that we are spiritual beings who are currently having human experiences, my greatest wish for Dad is that he is now experiencing the reality of spirit, surrounded by the love of his relatives and friends and in full knowledge of the love of Christ.

Dad loved boats and the sea and one of the last things he said to Greg, in a moment that seemed more visionary than literal, was: “I want to go back to sea.” I would like to finish by reading a short poem by Walt Whitman, which I hope Dad would have appreciated:

Joy! Shipmate – joy!

(Pleas’d to my Soul at death I cry;)

Our life is closed – our life begins;

The long, long anchorage we leave,

The ship is clear at last – she leaps!

She swiftly courses from the shore;

Joy! Shipmate – joy!

14 Comments

Filed under David Smith, Deathday

14 responses to “My Dad’s deathday

  1. Sophia Smith

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thank you for honouring your father in this way. He was the best father in law I could wish for. I so admired his intellectual and spiritual quest despite very little formal education: some of the books from his extensive library (as well as his Bible) are with me now.

    He also baked very good bread in his AGA: a skill I need to develop!

    And he managed to live self sufficiently at home while regularly visiting Audrey in the care home, quite an achievement for a man of his generation especially.

    May David’s soul and spirit receive this warm acknowledgement today;
    and may his journey in the oceanic Beyond lead him to safe and beautiful shores, finally to experience that unity with God which he so yearned to glimpse on Earth but never achieved…

    With love and warmth,

    Sophia

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  2. Caryn Louise

    Death is the wisdom of the Father God. If we never died we would not know or realise who we are. We would not be able to increase from our recent past life experiences and we would not be able to truly understand that we are spiritual beings of the fourth hierarchy. Death is the wisdom of the Father God and the victory of the spirit over matter is the divine deed of Christ fulfilled.

    “Here, on earth, death has a terrifying aspect only because we look upon it as a kind of dissolution, as an end. But when we look back upon the moment of death from the other side, from the spiritual side, then death continually appears to us as a victory of the spirit, as the Spirit that is extricating itself from the physical. It then appears as the greatest, most beautiful and significant event. Moreover, this experience kindles that which constitutes our ego-consciousness after death. Throughout the time between death and a new birth we have an ego-consciousness that not only resembles but far exceeds that which we have here during our physical life. We would not have this ego-consciousness if we could not look back incessantly, if we would not always see — but from the other side, from the spiritual side — that moment in which our spiritual part extricated itself from the physical. We know that we are an ego only because we know that we have died, that our spiritual has freed itself from our physical part. When we cannot contemplate the moment of death, beyond the portal of death, then our ego-consciousness after death is in the same case as our physical ego-consciousness here upon the earth when we are asleep. Just as we know nothing of our physical ego-consciousness when we are asleep, so we know nothing concerning ourselves after death if we do not constantly have before us the moment of death. It stands before us as one of the most beautiful and loftiest moments.” (Rudolf Steiner, The Moment of Death and the Period Thereafter, GA168)

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    • Caryn wrote:

      “to truly understand that we are spiritual beings of the fourth hierarchy”.

      https://anthropopper.wordpress.com/2015/09/10/rudolf-steiner-and-angels-angels-and-human-destiny/#comments

      We ascend progressively, through repeated earth lives, which involves the present dread and angst of Death, to the coveted Fourth Hierarchy, which was Ours in the beginning, but had to be revised in order to place Humanity under the conditions of the Fall. Thus, the human kingdom came into being, and for many a millennia has borne the cross of suffering and sacrifice. But, the future has been achieved in our time, i.e., in this life. We stand at the threshold of a new “Lifeday”, based on many prior deaths, and this marks the Fourth Hierarchy; our original destiny regained.

      Steve

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      • Caryn Louise

        Would it be correct to say The Fall occurred during the last third of the Atlantean period and was related to the weakening of clairvoyant faculty. But with the declining spiritual powers there arose the gradual development of sense perception and with this the development of self-consciousness.

        The teaching of Zarathustra, during the second Post-Atlantean epoch, in response to the first Post-Atlantean feeling that the external world was an illusion as they still had remembrance of the old spiritual powers, said:

        “If once we dwelt as men in a spiritual world, perceiving spiritual realities, and now find ourselves in a physical world which we see with our eyes and understand by means of the intellect bound to our brain, the cause of this is not to be sought in man alone; what has to be overcome cannot be overcome only in man’s inner nature. It is not only in man that a change has taken place; everything in Nature, everything on earth was also changed at the descent of man. It was therefore not enough for man simply to say: all this is Maya, is illusion, let us raise ourselves to the spiritual world! We shall then have certainly changed ourselves, but not all that has become changed in the world around us. Man belongs to the world around him; he is but part of it. Therefore if that which is divine in him, and which descended with him from Spiritual heights is to be changed, then not only man must be changed back again, but everything that surrounds him must also be changed back to what it was. What we see around us has come down from divinity, and the mission of humanity is to lead it back to divinity once more.” (The Gospel of Matthew)

        Caryn

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  3. The Fall occurred in the last third of the Lemurian period, when the luciferic beings entered as a result of the mineral element passing over to earth from the moon. Thus, Lucifer and Ahriman first gained their foothold in human evolution by creating the eighth sphere out of the remnant of Old Moon. The eighth sphere, in turn, begets the external world, and this is how earth evolution has proceeded in ever-increasing degrees of material manifestation. Materialism is a function of the external world, which has been created by the eighth sphere.

    Genesis fully accords with this, beginning with chapter 2, verse 4, “in the day the Lord God created earth and heaven”. This places the first forming of Man from the dust of the earth in the Lemurian epoch, once the mineral kingdom had been established for the creating of manifested forms in appearance. Thus, the Fall represents the descent into a material world.

    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA107/English/AP1954/19090322p01.html

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  4. Caryn Louise

    The physical mineral body is the greatest mystery.

    It was during the Lemurian epoch that man was led prematurely down to earth owing to the luciferic beings causing the premature densification of man’s astral body otherwise he would have remained for a long time in the atmosphere.

    During the Atlantis epoch man’s constitution was still soft and pliable but the animals came down into matter too soon and because of this remained stationary. Gradually seeing into the spiritual world began to fade and eventually Atlantis perished through the forces of water.

    The great migrations began. Men were destined to found the culture belonging to the earth; they were to descend to the earth in the real sense. The purpose of all the post-Atlantean cultures is that the physical plane shall be gradually mastered by man. (GA0109, lecture 8)

    What is called the Eighth Sphere can have nothing directly to do with anything within the material world — that is to say, what can be perceived by man’s senses and thought out on the basis of sensory perception has no part in the Eighth Sphere. So it will be useless to look for the Eighth Sphere anywhere in the material world. (GA254, lecture 5)

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    • Caryn and all,

      It will prove to be of the greatest significance when the following passage is understood from the standpoint of what is actually occurring today within the domain of the thinking soul of humanity. There is a condition that is developing today, and which Steiner forecasted as a kind of “paralysis of thinking” to occur beginning in the third millennium, that relates very directly to the evolution of the Eighth Sphere. This condition is known as Alzheimer’s Disease, which is expected to reach epidemic levels by the midpoint of the 21st century. It involves a rather complete erosion/atrophy of the brain substance, and leaving the victim helpless within a physical body that has lost its mind, or “Intellectual Soul”. This is what the following reference means in today’s world, wherein the Eighth Sphere is growing by leaps and bounds.

      “If everything were to run without a hitch for Lucifer and Ahriman, if they were everywhere able to wrest as much as they wrest from the organ of the head, Earth-evolution would soon reach a point where Lucifer and Ahriman could succeed in destroying our Earth and in leading over all evolution of worlds into the Eighth Sphere, so that Earth-evolution as a whole would take a different course. Hence Lucifer endeavors to unfold his greatest strength of all at the place where man is the most vulnerable, namely, in his head. The stronghold which it is easiest for Lucifer to capture is the human head; and everything that is similar to the head in respect of the distribution of the mineral element, so that it can be drawn out in the same way, is equally exposed to the danger of being dispatched into the Eighth Sphere. No less a prospect looms as a consequence of this intention of Lucifer and Ahriman than that the whole evolution of humanity may be allowed to disappear into the Eighth Sphere, so that this evolution would take a different course.”

      “It was the intention of Lucifer and Ahriman from the beginning of Earth-evolution, since the Lemurian epoch, to let the whole of this evolution disappear into the Eighth Sphere. It was therefore necessary that a counterweight should be created by those Spirits who belong to the Hierarchy of the Spirits of Form. The outer counterweight they created consists in this: into the “space”, as it were, of the Eighth Sphere something was inserted which works against this Eighth Sphere.”

      “The Eighth Sphere belongs to our physical Earth in the sense indicated. We are surrounded everywhere by the Imaginations into which the aim is that mineral materiality shall continually be drawn. There lies the reason for the sacrifice made by Jahve or Jehovah — the precipitation of substance far denser than the other mineralised substance. This was established by Jahve as Moon, as the counteracting agent. It was substance of extreme density — and this density was described as substance of a far denser physical-mineral character than exists anywhere on the Earth.”

      “Hence Lucifer and Ahriman cannot dissolve it away into their world of Imaginations. And so this Moon circles around as a globe of dense matter, solid, dense, indestructible.” (GA254, lecture 5)

      And yet, even with this counterweight measure, souls today in ever-increasing numbers are sacrificing the Intellectual Soul into the Eighth Sphere, and falling helpless and feeble into the dependency of early childhood, having lost all true freedom in this life. It is a condition worth addressing, even as its cause seems very arcane.

      Steve

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  5. Caryn Louise

    I hear and understand what you are saying Steve.

    “Although the causes of Alzheimer’s aren’t yet fully understood, its effect on the brain is clear. Alzheimer’s disease damages and kills brain cells. A brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease has many fewer cells and many fewer connections among surviving cells than does a healthy brain. As more and more brain cells die, Alzheimer’s leads to significant brain shrinkage.”
    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/alzheimers-disease/symptoms-causes/dxc-20167103

    It is the nervous system that attention needs to be directed.

    Through the study of spiritual science we know the consciousness of modern man is only awakened if connection is established with his physical mineral. The purely mineral substance must be within man in order for man to think. However; it is not the mineral in man that enables man to think – it is in fact the dissolution of the mineral in man which enables the physical intermedium of thinking to occur. Thoughts could not exist if they did not dissolve the mineral, earthly substance.

    “To the spiritual science of Anthroposophy, the nervous system appears as that organ which transmits this elimination of mineral-physical substances throughout the whole body. This elimination gives rise to that thought activity which we ordinarily carry with us through the world.”

    The World Development in the Light of Anthroposophy (GA79)
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/GA/GA0079/19211201p01.html

    Caryn

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    • We need to differentiate between the mineral substance which rightfully exists on earth in order to become the basis of our thinking and conscious awareness, and what has been held back on the Eighth Sphere. The external world of Maya/Illusion is owing to the Eighth Sphere. This is how phenomenal appearances arise, and why we have a 12-sense system to behold phenomena. Thus, thinking is a function of the external world, which surrounds us. This is the important description: (GA254, lecture 5)

      “Earth as the Fourth Sphere is constituted by the fact that mineral substantiality, as it comes into being, is wrested away at the moment of the birth of the Fourth Sphere. Thus when the mineral comes into existence out of the Imaginative substantiality, it is snatched by Lucifer and Ahriman and made into Imagination. Instead of an Earth arising from the remaining Old Moon substantiality, a cosmic body takes shape whose birth is due to the fact that the substantiality wrested from the Earth is made into what has come over from the Old Moon.

      In the Old Moon there was as yet nothing mineral. Had mineral substance been present, that world-body would have been an Earth, not Moon. The Fourth Sphere comes into being through the birth of the mineral element. In that Lucifer and Ahriman approach, snatch mineral substantiality out of Sphere Four and infuse it into Sphere Three, the Old Moon is recapitulated, but now with materiality that belongs properly to the Earth. Instead of pure Imaginations being there, the Imaginations are densified by the infusion of a mineral element that has been wrested from the Earth. Densified Imaginations are thus created. We are therefore drawn into a world of densified Imaginations which are not lunar in character because they have been densified by materiality belonging to the Earth. They are ghosts, spectres — that is to say, behind our world there is a world of spectres created by Lucifer and Ahriman.

      On the Old Moon certain pictures were present. These should have passed over to the Earth as something everywhere perceptible. But Lucifer and Ahriman retained them for themselves. Lucifer and Ahriman wrested from the Earth certain of its constituents and made them into Imaginations, so that these Earth-substances became, not Earthly formations, but Moon formations. Into our Fourth Sphere, therefore, there has been instilled a sphere that is really a Moon-sphere, but is filled with Earthly substantiality and is therefore a bogus creation in the Universe. To the seven Spheres, an Eighth, created in opposition to the progressive Spirits, has been added. The necessary consequence of this is that the Spirits of Form must do battle on the Earth for every morsel of substantiality capable of mineralisation, lest it should be wrested from them by Lucifer and Ahriman and borne into the Eighth Sphere.

      In truth, therefore, our Earth —the Fourth Sphere — is simply not what it appears outwardly to be. Were it really to consist of atoms, all these atoms would still be impregnated by formations belonging to the Eighth Sphere — which are perceptible only to visionary clairvoyance. These formations are present everywhere; so too is the spectre-like content of the Eighth Sphere which can therefore be perceived just as actual spectres are perceived. All earthly being and existence are involved here. Lucifer and Ahriman strive unceasingly to draw from the Earth’s substances whatever they can snatch, in order to form their Eighth Sphere which then, when it is sufficiently advanced, will be detached from the Earth and go its own way in the Cosmos together with Lucifer and Ahriman. Needless to say, the Earth would then pass over to Jupiter as a mere torso. But man, as you realise, has his established place in the whole of Earth-evolution, for he is mineralised through and through. We are permeated by the mineralising process which is itself drawn into this battle, so that morsels of this substance can be continually wrested from it. Therefore we ourselves are involved in the battle. Lucifer and Ahriman battle against the Spirits of Form, with the aim of wresting mineral substance from us everywhere.”

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  6. Caryn Louise

    I was thinking more about the unhealthy effect watching television (for example) has on the senses as it creates a hynoptic state that does not require much thought process. If illusion has to be pin pointed this is where I would look.

    “What presents itself to the ordinary consciousness of modern man as self-knowledge is only the transformed outer world which is reflected out of man’s inner being into his consciousness” (GA0207)

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    • All is Maya; even watching television. This is what the veil of the external world produces as the effect of the Eighth Sphere. What appears to the senses in every respect is Maya. Only going inside with sense-free thinking is real, and where the invisible archetypes of Reality exist.

      “The physical plane is Maya. The visionary clairvoyant does not strip away the physical plane; this can be done only by one who makes use of the means of thought. Then only do you penetrate behind the physical plane; only with thinking clairvoyance can you ever understand it. The physical plane is there, but you do not see the spiritual world, the real spiritual world. The abyss opens before you, and the physical plane remains as Maya. And the impossibility of penetrating through the physical plane rests upon the fact that the brain is not capable of eliminating itself. If you have learnt to think rightly, you do not directly use your brain in thinking. Thinking works on the brain, but the activity of thinking does not directly need the brain; it is nonsense to assert that the brain itself thinks.”
      The Tasks and Aims of Spiritual Science, GA117

      http://wn7.rsarchive.org/Lectures/search=mode?query=maya&mode=context

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      • As long as the present faculty of thinking remains entirely subject to materialistic apprehension within the domain of Ahriman, it has no future. It stands to be annihilated and sent to a place that is continually increasing, and that is why the external world is believed to be Reality, when it can only offer appearances that relate to the senses. The Intellectual Soul, devoid of its intended affiliation with the Consciousness Soul, stands to be destroyed unless Spiritual Science makes its way as a cultural-educational imperative. As well, Materialism will only increase in a state where the spiritual underpinnings of the world and humanity are denied, or remain ignorant. Technology, for example, is of the sub-earthly, which means its materialism has the greatest power to keep the Intellectual Soul apart from conscious awareness of the spiritual.

        Alzheimer’s disease is a blatant example of this erosion of the brain, which forms the ground of thinking in the same way that the very earth forms the ground that we walk on. Steiner gave many indications of this threat of the death of the faculty of thinking unless the Consciousness (Spiritual) Soul was made a part of thinking. Here is one example which seems to indicate how clever intelligence with no morality, and morality with no intelligence, has created the present situation. It forms the truth of the epidemic that is growing today, 603 years since 1413 AD, c,. advent of the fifth cultural epoch.

        “In the present fifth epoch, intellectuality can remain unimpaired even if no pleasure is taken in moral actions, in the sixth epoch, it will be quite different. In the sixth epoch, that is, from about the third millennium onwards, immorality will have a paralysing effect upon intellectuality. The mental powers of a man who is intellectual and at the same time immoral will definitely deteriorate and this condition will become more and more pronounced in the future evolution of humanity. A man who has no morals will therefore have no intellectual power for this will depend entirely upon moral actions; and in the seventh epoch, cleverness without morality will be non-existent. At this point it will be well to consider the nature of moral forces in individual souls in their present incarnations. How is it that in our phase of evolution a human being can become immoral? It is because in his successive incarnations man has descended more and more deeply into the physical world and has therefore been impelled more and more strongly towards the world of the senses.”

        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/BudBod_index.html

        Steve

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  7. Caryn Louise

    The consequence of one-sided Platonism has resulted in an untrue view of the world. This view separated the Divine world from what unites in human knowing through direct perception in the sense world. A total tearing apart of the world of ideas and nature resulted and the world became/becomes the imperfect reflection of the perfect world of ideas resting in God. The human soul then, as the result of a one-sided apprehension of Platonism, becomes separated from the relationship in which it lives between the world of ideas and the seeming world of the senses.

    (GA236 II,XIV) Our memory-thoughts derive from what we have actually experienced. But thoughts also come into us from outside, just as memory-thoughts come from below. Here below is our own human being; and here, outside, is the whole world of the Hierarchies.

    An impression of greatness and majesty comes to us when with Initiation-Science we begin to realise that these ‘sections’ of cosmic intelligence are outspread around us and that behind all this that makes an impression upon us from outside live the Hierarchies, as truly as our own individual being lives behind the memories that well up from within.

    It all depends upon the vividness of some experience whether or no we can call it forth again in memory, whether or no there is any reason why one thought rises up from our store of memories, and another, or all the others, lie dormant. And it is the same here. Those who learn to know the true facts realise that at one time a Being from the Hierarchy of the Angeloi is appearing, at another, a Being from the Hierarchy of the Exusiai, and so forth.

    Thus we arrive at the following formula. — During our earthly existence we behold that which it pleases the Spirit-Beings to reveal to us.

    Inasmuch as a particular portion of the world is revealed to us during our life on earth, we learn to recognise that it is just this portion of the infinite range of possibilities contained in the cosmos that certain Beings of the Hierarchies have selected in order to disclose it to us from our birth until our death. One human being has this portion revealed to him, another that. Exactly what is revealed to individual men lies in the sphere of the deliberations of the Hierarchies.

    The Hierarchies remember, just as man remembers. What is it that provides the basis for the memory of the Hierarchies? They look back upon our past earthly lives — that is what gives them the basis for their memory. And according to what they behold in these past lives they bring the appropriate section of the cosmos before our soul. In what we see of the world — even in that lies karma, karma as apportioned by the world of the Hierarchies.

    Within: remembrance of the present brief life in our human memory. Out yonder: memory of the Hierarchies of all that men have ever done. Memory-thoughts rise up from within; memory-thoughts from the world of the Hierarchies enter in the form of what a man beholds of the cosmos … and human karma takes shape. This thought is startling in its clarity, for it teaches us that the whole cosmos, working in the service of the Hierarchies, is related to man. Viewed in this aspect, to what end is the cosmos there? In order that the gods may have the means whereby to bring to man the primary form of his karma.

    Why are there stars, why clouds, why sun and moon? Why are there animals on the earth, why plants, stones, rivers, streams, why rocks and mountains, and all that is in the cosmos around us? It is there as a reservoir upon which the gods may draw in order to bring to our vision the primary form of our karma, according to the deeds we have wrought.

    Thus are we placed into the world and thus can we relate ourselves to the secrets of our existence.

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  8. Caryn Louise

    Posted yesterday evening but it did not go through so before sending Jeremy an email I send again:

    The consequence of one-sided Platonism has resulted in an untrue view of the world. This view separated the Divine world from what unites in human knowing through direct perception in the sense world. A total tearing apart of the world of ideas and nature resulted and the world became/becomes the imperfect reflection of the perfect world of ideas resting in God. The human soul then, as the result of a one-sided apprehension of Platonism, becomes separated from the relationship in which it lives between the world of ideas and the seeming world of the senses.

    (GA236 II,XIV) Our memory-thoughts derive from what we have actually experienced. But thoughts also come into us from outside, just as memory-thoughts come from below. Here below is our own human being; and here, outside, is the whole world of the Hierarchies.

    An impression of greatness and majesty comes to us when with Initiation-Science we begin to realise that these ‘sections’ of cosmic intelligence are outspread around us and that behind all this that makes an impression upon us from outside live the Hierarchies, as truly as our own individual being lives behind the memories that well up from within.

    It all depends upon the vividness of some experience whether or no we can call it forth again in memory, whether or no there is any reason why one thought rises up from our store of memories, and another, or all the others, lie dormant. And it is the same here. Those who learn to know the true facts realise that at one time a Being from the Hierarchy of the Angeloi is appearing, at another, a Being from the Hierarchy of the Exusiai, and so forth.

    Thus we arrive at the following formula. — During our earthly existence we behold that which it pleases the Spirit-Beings to reveal to us.

    Inasmuch as a particular portion of the world is revealed to us during our life on earth, we learn to recognise that it is just this portion of the infinite range of possibilities contained in the cosmos that certain Beings of the Hierarchies have selected in order to disclose it to us from our birth until our death. One human being has this portion revealed to him, another that. Exactly what is revealed to individual men lies in the sphere of the deliberations of the Hierarchies.

    The Hierarchies remember, just as man remembers. What is it that provides the basis for the memory of the Hierarchies? They look back upon our past earthly lives — that is what gives them the basis for their memory. And according to what they behold in these past lives they bring the appropriate section of the cosmos before our soul. In what we see of the world — even in that lies karma, karma as apportioned by the world of the Hierarchies.

    Within: remembrance of the present brief life in our human memory. Out yonder: memory of the Hierarchies of all that men have ever done. Memory-thoughts rise up from within; memory-thoughts from the world of the Hierarchies enter in the form of what a man beholds of the cosmos … and human karma takes shape. This thought is startling in its clarity, for it teaches us that the whole cosmos, working in the service of the Hierarchies, is related to man. Viewed in this aspect, to what end is the cosmos there? In order that the gods may have the means whereby to bring to man the primary form of his karma.

    Why are there stars, why clouds, why sun and moon? Why are there animals on the earth, why plants, stones, rivers, streams, why rocks and mountains, and all that is in the cosmos around us? It is there as a reservoir upon which the gods may draw in order to bring to our vision the primary form of our karma, according to the deeds we have wrought.

    Thus are we placed into the world and thus can we relate ourselves to the secrets of our existence.

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