At the threshold

At the threshold

03 July 2019 | Joan Sleigh & Matthias Girke & Johannes Kühl

From 6 to 8 December a conference will take place at the Goetheanum that is dedicated to questions regarding the threshold between life and death. Its title is Soul Courage and Self-Transformation at the Threshold and the conference languages will be German and English.

Birth and death are thresholds of transition between the spiritual and the earthly worlds. It is the soul that mediates between spirit and body as it receives the new-born child into the earthly world and prepares for crossing the threshold again at the end of earthly life.

In our time both thresholds are increasingly open to conscious and technological access and control. And yet, we all experience how both crossings of the threshold are not merely external processes: expectation, reverence and joy usually surround the birth of a child, while uncertainty, fear and pain often prevail in the face of death.

Our daily falling asleep and waking up are like images of the two thresholds. They allow us to practise making the transition from the spiritual world to the earth and from the earth to the spiritual world more conscious.

In the night, when the soul is free from the body, it experiences a wider consciousness and develops new faculties that can then become effective in daily life. A smooth crossing of the thresholds of sleeping and waking and of birth and death seems to become increasingly difficult: the soul needs to consciously develop courage to meet the unknown. It is therefore an increasingly important task in our time to find and foster the mood of soul that is equal to both threshold experiences.