Rudolph Steiner on when men grow old

When men grow old they do not become weak or even feeble-minded

For very many people it will be a hard nut to crack if they are told to believe that when men grow old they do not become weak or even feeble-minded, but more psychic and more spiritual. Only, when the body is worn out, we can no longer express the psycho-spiritual which we have cultivated, through the body. It is like the case of a pianist: he might become a better and better player, but if his piano is worn out we cannot perceive this. If you were only to know his capabilities as a pianist from his play, you will not be able to gather much if the piano is out of tune and has broken strings. So that Kant, when he was an old man and “feeble-minded” was not weak minded as regards the spiritual world; there he had become glorious.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 181 – Anthroposophical Life Gifts – Lecture III: Thoughts about the Life Between Death and Rebirth – Berlin, 2nd April 1918

7 thoughts on “Rudolph Steiner on when men grow old

  1. I generally agree with Steiner (he was far ahead of his time) …

    although this is not my own experience personally. I took care of a parent with alzheimers-dementia for over three years (living with them in their home and providing 24 hour care) and I gradually noticed that other things were going on for this parent. And, it was these non-physical manifestations that I noticed while observing them daily that routed me down a new path towards where I am now.

    There are individuals waking up to these kinds of things … certainly not the crowd … but definitely individuals are …

    1. Dear Subtle Traveler:

      Would you care to share the non-physical manifestations that you noticed with this parent and how they routed you down a new path? I have a relative who is in the early stages. I did find some metaphysical explanations in the Elias material but was curious about the actual manifestations that you experienced.

      In reading some of the Elias material, I understand that the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in our times is part of the shift in consciousness that is occurring in our physical dimension. Those exhibiting Alzheimer’s symptoms are experiencing the transition from the physical to non-physical while still in the physical body.

      Here is an excerpt taken from the Elias website (

      “If you are incorporating interaction with an individual creating of this situation, you may be listening to expression. You may hear the expression of this individual of different time frameworks. You may look to this individual and they may view you and they do not recognize you, for they occupy an awareness temporarily, subjectively, of another time framework in which you are not what you appear to be presently. Therefore, you do not exist in your form, to their perception. You exist within another form. You may be called another name, for this individual views you within another focus (lifetime) or another reality. You may encounter an individual within this state of consciousness and you may frighten them, for they may view you as an extraterrestrial! For they view another aspect of you. They are in actuality viewing you, but they are viewing the multidimensionality of your essence.

      They do not objectively understand what they are creating. Therefore, they are also subject to the belief systems which surround them within consciousness of the mass, which is reinforced by the interaction that they encounter objectively – of all of those individuals so well-meaning, wishing to be helpful, and helpfulness may come through quite simply understanding and accepting the expression of this individual and reinforcing differently, that they are not experiencing insanity, for it does not exist!”


      1. Hi Karla,

        Your referenced Elias quote reminds me of some “Seth” material I was reading (again, ahem, “coincidentally”) just last night in “Seth Speaks”. In a particular session, Rob asks Jane/Seth how he views members of Jane’s “ESP Class”, while using Jane’s physical eyes/senses. His reply, in brief, taken from Session 578:

        Rob: “You told us you were going to elaborate upon what you perceive when you are speaking through Jane to a roomful of people. In that ESP class session, you mentioned going into a trance yourself, and the effort required by you to pinpoint us in our time and space.”

        Seth: “I perceive people in a room in a far different manner than they perceive themselves; their various past and future reincarnated personalities…are perceivable to me.

        “I ‘see’ the reincarnated aspects, the various manifestations taken in that regard. In your terms it would be as if you saw a series of quickly moving pictures, all representing various poses of one personality. I must remember, in all communications with those in the room, to limit my remarks and focus to the specific reincarnated ‘present self’.

        “I see this composite image myself. It is not registered by Ruburt’s (Jane) eyes…, which do not have the multidimensional depth perception necessary. I see the composite images clearly…I use his (Ruburt/Jane) eyes because they narrow down the focus for me, to the one ‘present’ self of which the individual (being seen) is aware.

        “These patterns of activity (seeing past/future selves of the person Seth/Jane is viewing/addressing), however, are also constantly changing. I say for example that I am aware of their past and future actions and thoughts; and yet what I am aware of, actually, are ever-shifting and changing patterns, both in the future and in the past.”

        (From “Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul”, Session 578, p. 297)

        To me, anyway, it sounds as if Elias is saying that the Alzheimer/dementia person is actually “widening their perceptive abilities”, viewing “familiar” figures in other than their “current life” forms…

        Anyway, interesting ideas to ponder; I intuitively feel Rudolph Steiner is “right on” w/ this quoted observation. Also, I “needed my daily dose” of “Metaphysical Food”, to counter some of the “heavy” medical research I’m perusing, into Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis (which I feel I may “have”)!


      2. It has been almost 4 years, so my memories of individual events would be rather fuzzy. I did not create a diary or log of the events.

        I can summarize three memories.

        First, the parent was my father and his alzheimers-dementia was rather progressed. However, while caring for him I eventually discovered that after restful naps he would gain lucidity. It was like an awakening (he was present again and could say my name). So, these are the moments that I would concentrate on to talk with him. His memory would often improve in these moments. I also made sure that these moments were filled physical contact, as this improved his responsiveness and lengthened the time of lucidity.

        Second, at the moment of his transition in the hospital, all signs were there that he left his body in our presence. There was a sudden stillness to his body when I was at his bedside, and I looked up to my right and the room clock was spinning wildly. I quickly stepped back from the emergency room cubicle and noticed that all the clocks on the floor (there were several and one for each cubicle) were not spinning and just normally ticking away. I stepped back into the cubicle and our clock was still spinning. I am not clair-voyant (e.g., I do infrequently experience clair-audience) but I strongly sensed this was my father. He was the only being in the cubicle that could have left his body (or maybe he had someone helping him).

        He also seemed to hang around our house for a couple of weeks after his physical death. He came and talked me one night. His voice was very weak, but I think that he was getting some help with this communication because it was a “good-bye type message”. He had a great clarity when he spoke (no alzheimer’s fog). I was asleep at the time, but I was immediately in a focus 10 like state. I was fully lucid, but in my body and looking into a void while listening to my father speak. I did not know about OBE’s at the time, so this is why I think that each of us were helped.

        Third, I do remember times where he would just sit back in his recliner (where he spent most days) and point at seemingly invisible objects (e.g., as if an animal was running across the room). He would also combine these gestures with a ‘shooing’ movement – like “go away”. While my description is very speculative, it is something that I consistently observed with him. He clearly seeing something (that no one else was seeing).

      3. I just realized that I did not answer your initial question.

        Upon my father’s death, and with my care duties completed, I began to focus on myself. I began meditating daily about 30 minutes and I began to exercise. This gradually led me down a path of discovery about the non-physical. Unusual things started happening in my life. Things that I could not explain (e.g., pre-cognitive experiences, visions in dream coming into my life 30 days later).

        To get answers, I began reading (heavily) while maintaining certain practices. About two years later (early 2015), I learned about OBE’s and began practicing that craft. In an early OBE, I met and confirmed my guide-guidance. I began listening to Abraham (Hicks) about this time.

  2. Thank you Craig for this interesting information. I always appreciate the perspective of the Seth. It reminds me of an experience I had in my early days of lucid dreaming. At the suggestion of a friend I had been looking for my hands in my dreams (he had been reading Carlos Casteneda’s books). Once I found my hands and determined that I was lucid, I would focus on a person or in this case a spirit guide. I would seem to go into a gray mist for a few seconds and then I was usually in the presence of my intended target. One night I decided to see if I could meet my primary spirit guide. I found my hands and became lucid and focused on my intention and soon found myself sitting on a bench in an old train station. I heard heavy footsteps coming and soon a man appeared. He was very tall with dark skin and was dressed in gray/brown shirt and pants. I was overjoyed to see him. We sat face to face on the bench. As I looked at him, his face kept rapidly changing appearances, from male to female, old to young, different ethnicities etc. At one point he even appeared to have animal features. Based on Seth’s description, I may have been getting a hint of the multidimensional depth perception that is available when one is non-physical.

    Thank you Subtle Traveler for sharing your experiences. Your attentiveness to your father’s changing condition provides very helpful suggestions for improving responsiveness and lengthening the time of lucidity . As Seth said he used Jane’s eyes to narrow down the focus to the one ‘present’ of which the individual is aware, it sounds like you were helping your father do something similar in bringing his focus and attention to the present physical moment at the most opportune times available. Such actions could provide comfort and connection for both caregivers and their loved ones. In regard to the invisible objects, I was a hospice volunteer for a short time and I did have experiences with patients seeing invisible things or people, especially as they got closer to the end. Many times they saw loved ones that had passed on before. It makes sense as they are seeing from some sense of a multi-dimensional perspective. Thank you for sharing the gift of your story and your insight.


    1. You’re welcome, Karla.

      After my last post here, I went on YouTube to find out what Abraham might say about Alzheimers. Here is a brief 4 minute recording I can share here.

      There are several other Abraham comments about Alzheimers on YouTube (if you are attracted to this). I am sharing Abraham because they have said several times that Seth is now part of Abraham, and I noticed your comments about Seth. They have also stated that Seth and Abraham come from the same family of non-physical teachers.

      Abraham (Hicks) has been very helpful to me, and is one the few groups of channeled non-physical beings who I have heard discuss some of the same topics presented by Rita in Frank’s books – including our complex being and threads.

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