The Divine Sovereignty
Preparing Your Soul For Life After Death
Acting In the Supersensible Plenum
Discerning the Supersensible Domain
The Form Truth
The Supersensible Affects the Terrestrial
"Has creation a final goal? And if so, why was it not reached at once? Why was the consummation not realized from the beginning? To these questions there is but one answer: Because God is Life, and not merely Being."
I have died and find myself in the supersensible realm of being, a realm of Goodness, Love, and Beauty. Of course I could not have fully anticipated what life after death would be like. The change in consciousness is stupendous and overwhelming; from an earth-bound self, with private feelings, thoughts, and activities to a form of consciousness in which one shares being and awareness with all Being.
F.W.J. Schelling, 1809
My being now is still within a life of succeeding events, as in my terrestrial existence. I have a supersensible body possessing sense-essences: sight, hearing, apprehension, comprehension, ecstasy (emotional, sexual), tactile awareness, motion. I am self-aware in a new form of consciousness. I interact with whatever being (person, object, event) I conceive of (or they conceive of me). I am aware of the universal objective and purpose of all being: evolving to oneness with the Divine. I realize that my comprehension of this objective and purpose is itself evolving, that my present understanding and actualization is at a lower level.
When I regained consciousness in the supersensible realm after physical death, I was overwhelmed with the "presence" of innumerable persons who lovingly greeted me and expressed love and understanding and assisted me to assimilate to this new form of consciousness. Goodness, love, beauty, wisdom and other archetypal essences are palpable in this new life, within its very sinews and in the beings with whom I interact. I am loved, understood, appreciated, and guided in this new state of being.
"All higher dimensions employ direct thought transmission and also use various forms of symbolic intelligence. Only in the third dimension do we have vocal speech and depend upon words to convey meaning. This is the main reason that communication is so difficult in this dimension and deception is so easy.
"In higher dimensions, everything radiates its own nature. You know it, by becoming it. You pass over to the standpoint of the other and know it as it knows itself - from the inside-out. Knowing by becoming permits deep and rapid communication. Unlike the third dimension, in the higher dimensions everything is illuminated by an inner light that is a direct expression of its spiritual frequency. There is no reflected light from an external source such as a sun or moon. The inner light is modulated by the entity's individuality, which expresses as a distinctive array of sound and color [and energy]."
Leland Kaiser, "Self-Transcendence"
This essay examines the nature of the supersensible being of humans after terrestrial death. After our terrestrial life, when we resume our life in the supersensible realm, our activity will be to consciously and deliberately evolve toward our highest potential: complete oneness with the Divine One.
The eternal soul must pass through the discipline of terrestrial, human incarnation. 2 The aim is to gain understanding and capabilities which assist the soul in its eternal evolution toward complete union with the One. The soul's method is to distinguish itself as much as possible from the body, to have its consciousness and being in the supersensible realm of Forms, not in that of sense or thought, to identify with its Higher Reality.
"As the philosopher turns away from the transitory material world, and turns to truth, he approaches an eternal element, dwelling within him. If we immerse ourselves wholly in the spirit, then we live entirely in truth. The material world around us is no longer present in its material form only. 'Would not that man,' asks Socrates, 'do this most perfectly who approaches each thing, so far as possible, with the reason alone, not introducing sight into his reasoning nor dragging in any of the other senses along with his thinking, but who employs pure, absolute reason in his attempt to search out the pure, absolute essence of things, and who removes himself, so far as possible, from eyes and ears, and, in a word, from his whole body because he feels that its companionship disturbs the soul and hinders it from attaining truth and wisdom? ... Well, then, this that we call death, is it not a release and separation from the body? But, as we hold, the true philosophers and they alone are always most eager to release the soul, and just this--the release and separation of the soul from the body--is their study.'" Rudolf Steiner, Plato as a Mystic
As Plato and Iamblicus indicated, if persons have worked assiduously to become philosophers (lovers and seekers of wisdom) then they will have attained the supernormal capability of dialectically communing with Higher Beings in the supersensible realm and will have achieved awareness of their own higher being as their Higher Self.
In other words, if we attain the preternatural 3 capability of dialectical interchange--with terrestrial and supersensible persons--we become masters of a science used by savants to achieve surpassing comprehension of the Forms through the attainment of a higher state of consciousness. Dialectic is not, therefore, merely ordinary conversation, discussion, argumentation, cross-examination, or debate. Dialectic puts its participants in touch with an invisible, supersensible domain beyond ordinary reality.
Plato identified the two realms within which being occurs: the ordinary realm of terrestrial existence and the supersensible, Intelligible Realm of Thought and Understanding. We must avoid interpreting the Intelligible Realm of eternal being as some kind of "heaven" located in another "place." Plato's Divided Line teaching indicates that there is only one universe, one reality: everything and every-time and everyone are here, now.
Plato saw ultimate reality composed of two distinct dimensions of being. The dimension of physical objects in space and time is known through sense perception and ordinary thought. Apart from this is the nonphysical, nonspatial, nontemporal, universal, eternal metaphysical dimension of Forms known only through philosophic reflection and dialectical discernment--beyond ordinary experience and requiring special capabilities.
We begin by recognizing that our being after life will possess the essence of consciousness, just as we experienced being in terrestrial life through consciousness.
"There is but one reality. It is all-inclusive . . . [One of] its highest expression[s] on earth is consciousness, the self-aware I-Am of man."
Betty White and Stewart Edward White, The Unobstructed Universe, 1940
"O Primal Origin of my origination; Thou Primal Substance of my substance; First Breath of breath, the breath that is in me; First Fire, God-given for the Blending of the blendings in me, First Fire of fire in me; First Water of my water, the water in me; Primal Earth-essence of the earthy essence in me; Thou Perfect Body of me!
"If, verily, it may seem good to you, translate me, now held in my lower nature, unto the Generation that is free from Death. In order that, beyond the insistent Need that presses on me, I may have Vision of the Deathless Source, by virtue of the Deathless Water, by virtue of the Deathless Solid, and by virtue of the Deathless Air. In order that I may become re-born in Mind; in order that I may become initiate, and that the Holy Breath may breathe in me. In order that I may admire the Holy Fire; that I may see the Deep of the [New] Dawn, the Water that doth cause the Soul to thrill; and that the Life-bestowing Ether which surrounds all things may give me Hearing."
A Mystery-Ritual from the Mithraic religion 4
Our being in the after-life will possess the same endowments as we possessed in earth life, plus any supersensible qualities we may have achieved while in terrestrial life. A person's reality is composed both of her terrestrial existence and her eternal, spiritual being. She enters the terrestrial realm from her state of eternal being, lives throughout her physical existence, usually without awareness of her primordial being, and experiences physical death, re-entering the state of consciousness of her eternal being. Person A (in the image below) lives only in the visible, physical world during her earthly existence. Person B (a philosopher in Plato's sense) lives both in the physical world and through spiritual death (dissevering her Higher Consciousness from her lower consciousness) makes contact with the Higher Realm of eternal being.
In his writing, Egyptian Mysteries, Iamblicus indicates that there are various levels of being.
"When our soul is lifted up [through ascesis] towards Essences higher than mathematical or metaphysical sciences, it can divest itself of the conditions which hold it in the bondage of every-day life; it exchanges its ordinary existence for another one, it renounces the conventional habits which belong to the external order of things, to give itself up to and mix itself with another order of things which reigns at that most elevated level of being."
Level of Being Characteristics Entities Faculties Manifestation Spiritual
Supersensible Body Metaphysical
Our being after death will be within the higher Intelligible Realm of the Good, the realm of the Forms or Archetypes.
Plato's Conception of Goodness
"This, then which gives to the objects of knowledge their truth and to him who knows them his power of knowing, is the Form or essential nature of Goodness. It is the cause of knowledge and truth; and so, while you may think of it as an object of knowledge, you will do well to regard it as something beyond truth and knowledge and precious as these both are, of still higher worth. . . . So with the objects of knowledge: these derive from the Good not only their power of being known, but their very being and reality. Goodness is not the same thing as being; it is ontologically superior to being in rank and power."
Plato, The Commonwealth
In his work The Commonwealth, Plato places the Essence Goodness at the pinnacle of ontological being. Plato conceives of the Essence Goodness as bringing terrestrial entities into existence, as well as making it possible for humans to know these entities. Plato thus posits the Primordial Essence Goodness as a creative force, along with the Deity. Any person who lacks the Essence Goodness does not possess genuine existence--he is a sub-human.
"As Plato's conception developed, he dwelt more and more upon the one ultimate Reality which binds all subordinate realities into an organic whole--the supreme unity of all that is. This he called the 'Idea [Form] of the Good.' Through the 'Idea of the Good' all special spheres of reality are united in One Ultimate Reality. This is the Source and Goal of all things--the Alpha and Omega. Toward It all that is moves. It is the end and Final Cause in the entire circuit of the universe--'the one far-off divine event to which the whole creation moves.' Whatever comes to any degree or stage of being does so through the attraction of the Idea of the Good. The universe in all its parts is realizing an End which is Good and the end or Goal functions in the entire process. As the idea of a loved one moves the lover toward her whom he loves, so the Idea of the Good moves the many parts of the universe toward Itself, the One Reality--the Absolute Good."
Rufus Jones, Studies In Mystical Religion, 1919
Plato affirms that God is of the Essence Goodness and wants all humans to embody the Essence Goodness."The Creator is of the Essence Goodness and He desires that all should partake of His nature: the Essence Goodness. . . Since this world of ours is beautiful and its Creator partakes of the Essence Goodness, then clearly the Creator has selected the primordial Essence of Beauty as the blueprint for the world . . ." Plato, TimaeusPlato examined his "world" with more insight into its true nature than any other person before or after him. He was aware of the hidden corruption of persons such as the fifth-century (BCE) Athenian oligarchs who condemned Socrates to death. Plato was cognizant that most persons follow the egomaniacal ideology expressed by Thucydides in the Commonwealth: justice is the will of the stronger, who commits evil deeds without compunction.
Even with his extraordinary discernment into the concealed depravity of plutocrats during his time and before, Plato still comprehended ultimate reality and the Creator as embodying Goodness, Justice, Beauty, and Truth. Plato understood spiritual essences such as Goodness, as not only being a quality which God embodied, but an ontological power with a reality and force of its own.
The Essence Goodness "gives the objects of knowledge their truth," is the "cause of knowledge and truth . . . and reason," and "all that is right and beautiful." Similarly, the Form Truth is, according to Plato, something in addition to the common conception of it as conformity to actuality; truth also consists of eternal verities.
"Truth cannot have a yesterday and a tomorrow; it cannot be this on one occasion and that on another, as material things are. Hence truth in itself must be eternal. As the philosopher turns away from the transitory material world, and turns to truth, he approaches an eternal element, dwelling within him." Rudolf Steiner, Plato as a Mystic
According to Plato, it is essential that humans attain understanding of the Essence Goodness, because this is the highest and most essential form of reality and knowledge of reality and all entities become useful and advantageous by embodying this Essence.
"The Essence Goodness is the highest knowledge, and all other things become useful and advantageous only by their embodiment of this Essence . . . Without the Essence Goodness any other knowledge or possession of any kind will profit us nothing. Do you think that the possession of any other thing is of any value if we do not possess the Essence Goodness or the knowledge of any other thing if we have no knowledge of Beauty and Goodness?"We are able to act wisely only if we have gained understanding of the Essence Goodness through dialectical interchange.
"Anyone who is to act wisely in private or public must have achieved discernment of the Essence Goodness. . ."
"He who is not able by the exercise of his reason to define the Essence Goodness, separating it from all other objects and piercing, as in an encounter, through every kind of dialectical interchange, endeavoring to confute, not according to opinion but according to essence, and proceeding through all the dialectic energies with an unshaken reason--he who cannot accomplish this, neither knows the Essence Goodness, nor anything that is properly denominated the Good."
We can be certain that our life, our being, after death will consist of gaining additional understanding and capabilities essential in our eternal evolution toward complete unity with the One. To prepare for this supersensible being after death, we can develop the capabilities of:
- Achieving the Capacity to Discern the Supersensible Domain
- Gain capability in practicing Plato's esoteric science of dialectical interchange
- Attain the ability to commune with Higher Beings in the supersensible domain
1 The original ancient Greek word poine means "exactment of justice." Very often, this Greek word is mistranslated as "punishment" or "penalty," that is, mere retribution or retaliation without the possibility of rehabilitation, betterment, or refinement.
2 Plato and other Western and Eastern philosophers had various ideas about the nature of terrestrial incarnation, whether or not there were multiple incarnations or only one.
3 Preternatural: exceeding what is natural or ordinary, inexplicable by ordinary means
4 From G.R.S. Mead, The Doctrine of the Subtle Body in Western TraditionM, 1919