Staying Connected

By Neil Perry Gordon

In my novel, “Between Two Gates: A Young Man’s Quest Toward Birth,” I found inspiration and solace by weaving in the intricate concepts of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophical teachings about the journey of the soul from death to rebirth. At the heart of this tale is Samuel, a character whose journey mirrors the transformative path I believe my own son Sam took after his untimely passing at the age of 32.

While writing this book, embedding Steiner’s ideas gave the narrative a profound structure and a deeper sense of meaning and catharsis. Tracing Samuel’s steps through these celestial realms, each representing different spiritual development and reconciliation phases, I felt as if I was accompanying my son on his journey toward understanding and peace. This literary odyssey served as an intricate tapestry where philosophy met emotion and where the eternal met the profoundly personal, allowing me to feel a stronger spiritual connection to my beloved son.

The following narrative explores the concept of the soul’s celestial pilgrimage through the seven planetary spheres, as outlined by Steiner. It offers an imaginative yet scholarly exploration into the realms the soul may traverse in its eternal journey of growth, change, and ultimate rebirth.

Life’s greatest mystery, the soul’s journey from death to rebirth, has fascinated human minds for centuries. The Austrian philosopher and spiritual teacher Rudolf Steiner provided one of the most captivating viewpoints on this mystical passage. His Anthroposophical teachings tell us that the soul’s voyage doesn’t merely end with death or float aimlessly in an ethereal world; instead, it embarks on a transformative journey through seven planetary spheres as it prepares for rebirth. Let’s explore this fascinating concept.

In Steiner’s view, death is not the end but a transition—similar to a birth—into another form of existence. When the soul departs the earthly plane, it moves into a spiritual realm, beginning a new chapter in its eternal existence. The initial period post-death involves a review of the life just lived, a sort of “cosmic debrief,” serving as a cleansing and preparatory phase for the soul’s journey ahead.

After undergoing an initial phase of reflection and spiritual growth, the soul is ready for the next leg of its journey, a celestial pilgrimage through seven awe-inspiring planetary spheres. In the Anthroposophical understanding, these aren’t just physical planets orbiting the sun; they are vibrant cosmic realities, each filled with its own unique spiritual energies and lessons.

The soul’s journey begins in the Moon Sphere, a realm for quiet reflection upon its earthly existence. The soul feels the weight of its most recent life and the myriad lives it has led before. Time stretches and bends here, allowing room for introspection on the composite of existences that make up its eternal identity.

Transitioning into the Mercury Sphere, the soul finds itself amid a landscape of perpetual learning and purification. Language, ideas, and intellect take center stage as the soul navigates complexities and nuances it had never considered. Communication transcends words, manifesting as an almost telepathic connection with other entities as the soul deepens its understanding of cosmic dialogues.

From Mercury, the soul moves to the Venus Sphere, where it is enveloped in a rosy aura of love, compassion, and interpersonal connection. The soul finds itself reviewing its past relationships, friendships, and familial bonds, reconciling and balancing energies that have been carried over from previous incarnations.

The voyage continues into the Sun Sphere, which serves as the fulcrum of the journey. Here, bathed in unimaginable light and warmth, the soul is struck by a profound sense of its own place within the grand cosmic scheme. A moment of ultimate illumination occurs, where questions that once plagued the soul find answers in the sun’s brilliant rays.

Further along, the soul reaches the Mars Sphere, where it is met with opportunities for courage and valor. It’s a challenging realm where unresolved anger, aggression, and warlike tendencies emerge. The soul learns to grapple with these energies, transforming them into forces that can be used for good, healing past scars in the process.

The journey then ascends to the Jupiter Sphere, a domain of incomprehensible wisdom and expanded consciousness. The soul becomes a student of the universe itself, learning the cosmic laws that govern not just the world it left but existence in its totality. It’s a humbling yet empowering experience, reminding the soul of the interconnectedness of all things.

Finally, the soul arrives at the Saturn Sphere, the zenith of its celestial journey. A sense of completion washes over the soul as it readies itself to descend back into the earthly realm. Having traversed landscapes of cosmic knowledge, love, and wisdom, the soul feels prepared, armed with the spiritual insights it needs for its next incarnation.

Thus, the soul journeys and evolves across these seven celestial spheres, preparing itself for the continual cycle of death and rebirth that forms the crux of human existence.

The soul prepares for rebirth as it concludes its journey through the planetary spheres. At this point, Steiner suggests the soul actively shapes the conditions for its next life, guided by karmic principles. The experiences and lessons gleaned from the seven planetary spheres play a pivotal role in these preparations, allowing the soul to map out a life course aimed at spiritual evolution.

Steiner’s perspective offers a holistic and cyclical view of life and death, showing them as points on an eternal continuum. Far from being a linear journey with a definitive beginning and end, the soul’s existence is an unending spiral of learning, growth, and transformation.

Beyond the transformative phases the soul goes through, Steiner also emphasized the importance of connections between the living and the departed. By employing spiritual practices and exercises, humans can continue their relationships with those who have crossed the threshold, benefiting both souls in the process. This concept deeply resonated with me while writing “Between Two Gates.”

The experience of crafting this novel was nothing short of transformative; it served as a spiritual bridge between two worlds. As I delved deeper into the intricacies of each celestial realm, something extraordinary began to happen. My emotional and spiritual connection with my son, Sam, escalated to an emotionally charged level I had never experienced before. Significant parts of the book seemed to flow through me rather than from me as if Sam were channeling these passages directly into my consciousness.

The words on the pages served as both an echo and an extension of Sam’s spirit, enabling a form of almost tangible communication. This feeling reinforced my belief in Steiner’s teachings about the interconnectedness of the living and the departed, suggesting that our bonds can indeed stretch across the veil separating life and death. The process of writing the novel thus became not merely a creative endeavor but also a sacred act of communion, heightening my sense of connection with Sam in an indescribable way.

In summary, Rudolf Steiner’s conception of the soul’s journey offers a comprehensive, awe-inspiring look into what may lie beyond the curtain of death. It provides us with a roadmap, guiding us through the soul’s pilgrimage from earthly existence through cosmic realms and back to a new life on Earth in a perpetual cycle of death and rebirth.

Through this spiritual lens, the unknown becomes a bit more known, encouraging us to approach life and death with awe, reverence, and a greater sense of cosmic purpose.