The Mystery of Death
- All movements or materials are links in a cycle
One of the greatest causes of sorrow is the everyday phenomenon we call “death”. Every single day millions of people die all over the world, and every day millions of people – in fact an even greater number of millions of people – will sob and shed tears over the dear friends or relatives that they have lost. Every single day there will be millions of people, all dressed in black, who will take part in an equally dark-coloured burial ceremony with solemn speeches, hymns and funeral music. Every single day millions of human beings will shed tears over something that is a perfectly natural process in the maintenance and existence of life. The death process is just as natural a process as the birth process. And why should the laws of life in this one area have a different structure than in all other areas, and not be bound by law as they are.
If we look at the living being’s normal earthly life from the cradle to the grave that has been cut off by old age, we have to acknowledge that it constitutes a cycle just like all other processes in Nature. There is not one single form of movement, not one single form of material in Nature, that does not consist of a link in a cycle. Every single day is a cycle, every single year is a cycle. The crystal-clear water that we drink is a link in a cycle. It consists of what was once a puddle of sewage, which will through us become a puddle of sewage again. And the most beautiful, white summer clouds or the red morning and evening skies are also based on what was once water from gutters, muddy puddles and sewage tanks, which now, as ray-formed types of gases, produces the great wealth of colours in the heavens when we gaze up into the skies above our heads. Is it not the same with the withered leaves of autumn that play a part in producing the new buds in spring that bring us such joy? And is it not the dung-heap that plays its part in producing the scent of the rose and the rich fertility of the corn? Where can we find a material that does not consist of a link in a cycle? Are not all materials in their present stage moving from one state to another? Cannot solid substances become liquid, cannot liquid substances become gaseous, cannot gaseous substances become ray-formed? And cannot the whole process just as easily go in the opposite direction, so that ray-formed substances become gaseous, gaseous substances become liquid and liquid substances become solid? How else could the Earth and all other worlds, globes, planets, suns and moons come about?
- Straight lines do not exist, neither physically nor mentally
The whole of Nature, in its all-outshining manifestation, speech and the effect it has on living beings, therefore one hundred percent confirms that no matter can be permanent or at a standstill, but that it must be constantly subject to the process of transformation we have already referred to as a cycle. But why should this transformation process of Nature be termed a cycle? – Quite simply because no transformation, whether it be physical or mental, proceeds in a straight line. It will always lead back to its point of origin, from where it will issue as a new movement, which will likewise lead back to its point of origin. In this way, every period of 24 hours leads back to a new morning and every year back to a new year. It is the same principle that causes planets, suns and galaxies to go in cyclic paths and electrons to spin round the nucleus of the atom. But it is not only movement forward in space and time. The principle of cycles is also present in every form of transformation. A transformation of an object will therefore also be a link in a cycle. Objects transform themselves through various stages to become once again the same as they had been at their point of origin. This can be seen sometimes clearly in human beings. From the stage of being a child they grow through the stages of being a young person, an adult and an old person. This latest stage results in many cases in the being appearing like a child, giving rise to the saying “to be in one’s second childhood”.
- “Answer A” in the mystery of death
The fact that everything in Nature, from a drop of water to the living being’s organism, is organised in cycles that repeat – days followed by days, years followed by years, organisms of living beings followed by organisms of living beings – is the eternally unshakable foundation of all functions. The most unshakably fundamental thing that life reveals to intellectual human beings is precisely the fact that everything consists of repetitions, everything hastens back to its point of origin from where it sets off in a new cycle that also leads back to its point of origin, and so on. This is the solution to the mystery of matter. All apparent disintegration is therefore merely transformation. It is the transition of things from one stage in the cycle to another. Matter can therefore never ever perish and be lost; it will eternally exist. The universe will eternally consist of the same amount of matter, the same primal substance. There can never ever come into being more matter in the universe, just as there can never ever be less matter. Nothing can therefore disintegrate and become absolutely nothing. What exists will eternally constitute something that exists. What exists cannot turn into something that absolutely does not exist. All the matter in the world is therefore eternal. This is the first unshakable answer in the mystery of death, and we can call it “Answer A”.
- “Analysis B” in the mystery of death
But there is more than just matter. Matter is in movement. We have already touched on the fact that this movement is organised in such a way that what we call “cycles” come into being. Every cycle, wherever it is most clearly manifested on the material plane, consists of four different stages or sections that differ one from the other by being opposites. In two of the sections the contrast is at its culmination, whereas in the two other sections the contrast appears only as transitional stages. In the case of the 24-hour cycle the culmination of the contrasts lies between the two sections: midday and midnight, its intermediate stages consisting of morning and evening. In the case of the year cycle the contrast between the stages is most extreme between summer and winter, with spring and autumn being the intermediate stages. In the case of the cycle of substance or matter, the contrast culminates between the two stages: the solid and the ray-formed states, whereas the two other stages: the liquid and the gaseous states constitute the intermediate or transitional stages.
Since the cycle is therefore subject to this eternal law, a contrast to eternity comes about, namely “time and space”. Eternal matter becomes transformed into temporal matter. What is limitless becomes limited. And with this, a new reality comes into the world: the reality that we know as perception or experience. Without the division of matter into time and space there would be no possibility of life. The universe would certainly consist of an eternal “something” but if there did not exist this cyclic function of matter or its division into time and space there would be absolutely no contrast to eternity. But thanks to the cycle, temporality exists. Thanks to temporality, eternity will finally be experienced by the individual as a fact. Thanks to temporality, another new reality becomes, as we have said, a fact, namely the experience of life. This unshakable reality is “Analysis B” in the mystery of death.
- The four main stages of matter. Time and space
Without the cyclic principle of matter, which forms the principle of contrasts, all experience would be impossible. But thanks to the four different main stages of matter: solid, liquid, gaseous and ray-formed, these stages can be distinguished one from the other. But they cannot only be distinguished one from the other. The different kinds of materials can be combined in various combinations, all of which must of course without exception perish, due to the fact that matter is subject to the law of cycles. Such combinations of matter we know as “created objects”. They have also come into being. But since they constitute something that has come into being, they mark a point in time. And as they once again will perish or come to an end, they will once again mark a point in time when they will come to an end. Between these two points in time there exists a temporal space. This temporal space constitutes the created object’s age. But as the created object consisted of materials from various stages in the cycle that were combined in a certain way, the object will not be the same as the materials that it has been made out of. It is to a certain degree a contrast to the other material. Due to the fact that it is different from the other material, it marks a relationship in space. It takes up or fills a certain space. No created thing can therefore exist without marking time and space, which is in turn the same as age and form. And in the language of spiritual science we say that the thing is time- and space-dimensional.
- “Analysis C” in the mystery of death
Since the object is time- and space-dimensional, it is therefore doomed to perish. And we can therefore see that everything that we are witness to or that we can sense directly in the way of material or created objects is perishable. This is the source of the superstition that everything is mortal, and as a result this removes all possibility of the living being’s experience of an eternal life. This superstition is at its highest in the most materialistically minded scientists. The fact that it is a particular class of intellectual beings who proclaim this imaginary mortality to everyone, has, on a certain evolutionary step, caused it to be seen as nothing short of modern to have such an opinion. But such an opinion is glaringly far from uncovering the mystery of death; on the contrary it is covering up the mystery of death. This covering up is inevitably one of the ups and downs in life’s cycle in the same way that night and winter are inevitable ups and downs in each of their particular cycles. All living beings have to go through this sphere of culminating superstition or spiritual darkness with its resultant blood-dripping consequences or the culmination of the killing principle.
This is precisely what is happening nowadays all around us in the outer world. We have the most colossal materialistic science, at the same time as the most stubbornly superstitious ideas about death. And it is therefore perfectly understandable and natural that we see the results of this spiritual darkness culminating around us in the form of a permanent, all-out war of everyone against everyone else. We are living in the very midst of the true night, winter or sphere of death of the mental cycle of life-experience. These superstitious human beings are in the process of dying the death that is the consequence of eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. This is not something that one can blame human beings for, just as one cannot blame them that we have summer and winter, day and night. The mental cycles are just as strongly subject to the various contrasting seasons as the physical cycles. The covering up of the mystery of death in scientific superstition is “Analysis C” in the mystery of death.
- The experience of life consists of experiencing transformation or creation
What is wrong with this view of the mystery of death? How did this superstition of materialistic science arrive in the world? As we have already said, it arrived due to the circumstance that everything that can be perceived directly is by nature temporal and is bound to perish. Since the beings cannot perceive anything directly that does not perish, they cannot see or grasp immortality at all. But it is important to realise that this is not how it will continue to be. One cannot go on ignoring the fact that if there exists experience there must also exist something that experiences. And one therefore has to differentiate between “what is experienced” and “what experiences”. Everything that we have pointed to so far is something that is experienced: matter, time and space and the things that are created out of these and that together make up the experience of life. It therefore stands to reason that the experience of life consists exclusively of temporal or perishable things. How could this picture gallery that is the experience of life possibly be experienced if there did not exist contrasts in it? And how could these contrasts have come about if they had not come into being through the transformation of the various materials? And how would this transformation be able to take place if it were not for the fact that something would thereby have to cease in order to allow other things to come into being? Everything that has to do with the building up of the experience of life must therefore absolutely inevitably consist of perishable things. And as a result the experience of life can therefore consist only of the experience of transformation, which can also be seen as creation. Everything that we perceive is something created, something that has come about, and must therefore be time- and space-dimensional in order to be able to be perceived.
- “Analysis D” in the mystery of death
But if it is a condition that all things, for them to be able to be perceived or experienced, have to have a beginning and an end or be subject to transformation, it is not so remarkable that our own organism must likewise be perishable, or be time- and space-dimensional. Were it not for this condition it would be impossible for it to be able to be manifested. The material that our physical body is made up of, with its many organs and functions, is subject to the great principle of cycles just like the material outside our organism in the physical world – day and night, summer and winter. The logical consequence of this is that we cannot continue for all eternity to have the same organism. In order that it, together with all its subordinate organs – the heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and other organs and glands etc. – can be kept accessible to perception or experience, it has to be functioning or in movement. It has to be constantly highlighted by being in a contrasting relationship to its surroundings. If this were not the case the organism would have no meaning. What would be the good of an organism that is not manifested, and how can it be manifested without movement, and how can it be moved without it being time and space, and how can it differ from eternity without being temporal? One therefore has to learn to see the perishability of created things in general, and the perishability of one’s organism in particular, as something absolutely necessary for maintaining the experience of life. Without the perishability of the organism and the other created things there could not exist even the slightest form of experience of life. The perishability of this organism and the other created things as the foundation of the experience of life is “Analysis D” in the mystery of death.
- The “Analysis E” in the mystery of death
But through this experience of life we come inevitably to what it is that experiences. Even though this experiencing something can be perceived only indirectly, it nevertheless becomes an unshakable fact. It is, however, a fact that the experience of life takes place within every one of us. There is something in us that experiences life and that we express as our own self or I. That this I cannot be one with created things can be proved partly owing to the fact that one can experience oneself. This proves that the living being consists of two contrasts, namely temporality and eternity. If eternity did not exist there would be no contrast to temporality. Temporality would be an impossibility. But if temporality did not exist absolutely no form of life experience whatsoever could exist. But as these two contrasts constitute the living being’s fundamental, unshakable analyses, it is not difficult to see that life experience is secondary, whereas of the living being’s two analyses it is eternity that is the primary analysis. Eternity constitutes that which is unmoving, that which survives the temporal, created things. Eternity constitutes the experiencer that is inaccessible to direct perception, whereas the temporal constitutes this eternally unchanging something’s experience of life and thereby of itself. From the cosmic point of view, matter is eternal, just as much as life experience is eternal and as the living being is eternal. The living being is eternity itself. This is “Analysis E” in the mystery of death.
- The oneness of the I with the Father
Having understood the above analyses you will now be able to understand how the I is free when it comes into contact with all combinations of matter, and as a result of this sovereignty it can travel into the very centre of the sun or into blocks of stone etc., and is therefore quite literally one with the Father.