Second death

From AnthroWiki

A second death (Greekθάνατος ὁ δεύτερος thánatos hò deúteros) will, according to the Revelation of John, befall those souls at the time of the Last Judgement who are not recorded in the Book of Life because they did not unite with the Christ during their earthly incarnations and therefore will not share resurrection. They will be thrown into the lake of fire, in which death and the underworld have already sunk before. In the lake of fire the devil will suffer eternal torment (Rev 20:10).

The Report of the Apocalypse

„11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. 13 And the sea gave up the dead who were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them, and they were judged, each one of them, according to what they had done. 14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire. 15 And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.“

„8 But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.“

Those who suffer the second death will not enter the New Jerusalem. They will not be able to participate in the further development on the New Jupiter, the next evolutionary stage of the Earth planet, but will be banished to a moonlike satellite. However, a final decision on their fate has not yet been made. Many can still be saved. Only on New Venus, the sixth planetary state of evolution, in the 6th condition of form of the 6th round - when the great number 666 is fulfilled - will the final decision be made[3].

First and second death

„Think of the last death that is possible in earthly evolution, of the last laying down of the physical body. This last death of the embodiments, that is what is called the first death in the Apocalypse. And those who have received the Christ Principle see this physical body, as it were, like a falling shell. For them, the etheric body now has significance. With the help of the Christ it is organised in such a way that it is adapted to the astral body, so that it no longer has any desire or lust for what is down there in the physical world. Only with all that has been brought into the etheric body through the help of the Christ do men now continue to live in the spiritualised earth. They have created a harmony between their astral body and their etheric body. The Christ principle has created this harmony.

On the other hand, there are others who have not absorbed the Christ principle. These others do not have such harmony. They too must lose their physical body, for there is no physical body in the spiritualised earth. Everything physical must first be dissolved. It remains behind as a desire for the physical, as the unpurified spiritual, as the spiritual hardened in matter. An etheric body remains which has not been helped by the Christ to be adapted to the astral body, which is ordered towards the physical body. These are the people who will feel hot ardours of desire for the physical sensuality. They will feel unquenched, burning ardour of desire in the etheric body through what they have had in physical life and what they must now do without. Thus in this next period, after the physical has melted away, we have people who live in their etheric body as in a unity of being which harmoniously resonates with the astral body, and we have other people whose etheric body lives in discord because they have a craving for what has fallen away in the physical body.

And then, in further development, a state occurs where the spiritualisation of the earth progresses in such a way that there can no longer be an etheric body. Those whose etheric body is completely in harmony with the astral body throw off this etheric body without pain, for they remain in their astral body, which is filled with the Christ Being, and they feel it to be a necessity of development that the etheric body be cast off. For they feel in themselves the ability to build it up again themselves, because they have received the Christ into themselves. But those who have in this etheric body the desire for what is past, cannot keep this etheric body when everything becomes astral. It will be taken from them, it will be torn from them, and now they feel this as a second dying, as the "second death". This second death passes unnoticed by the others who have made their etheric body harmonious with the astral body by receiving the Christ principle. Over them the second death has no power.“ (Lit.:GA 104, p. 246f)

18th Lesson of the School of Spiritual Science

„ Those people who have heard those words in esoteric schools will go through the gate of death, where they will again hear all these words resounding together: the esoteric schools here, life between death and a new birth there. They will understand what is resonating there.

Or they will be dull and unwilling — after preparation by general anthroposophy — in respect to what is said in the esoteric schools. They do not perceive what can be heard through initiation-science from the realm of the heights. They go through the gate of death. They hear there what they should already have heard here. They don't understand it. When the gods speak to each other with powerful words, it sounds to them like incomprehensible ringing, mere sounds, cosmic noise.

Paul speaks about this in the Gospel — that through the teachings of Christ men should protect themselves from death in the spirit-land. For death soon comes in the spirit-land if we go through the gate of death and don't understand what is resonating there, if we can only hear the incomprehensible sounds instead of the understandable words of the gods, because we have been overcome by the soul's death instead of the soul's life. There is an initiation-science because souls are alive. There are esoteric schools so that souls may remain alive when they go through the gate of death. This we must feel deeply.“ (Lit.:GA 270b, p. 159)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.


  1. Greek (Nestle-Aland 28th edition):

    „11 Καὶ εἶδον θρόνον μέγαν λευκὸν καὶ τὸν καθήμενον ἐπ’ αὐτόν, οὗ ἀπὸ τοῦ προσώπου ἔφυγεν ἡ γῆ καὶ ὁ οὐρανὸς καὶ τόπος οὐχ εὑρέθη αὐτοῖς. 12 καὶ εἶδον τοὺς νεκρούς, τοὺς μεγάλους καὶ τοὺς μικρούς, ἑστῶτας ἐνώπιον τοῦ θρόνου. καὶ βιβλία ἠνοίχθησαν, καὶ ἄλλο βιβλίον ἠνοίχθη, ὅ ἐστιν τῆς ζωῆς, καὶ ἐκρίθησαν οἱ νεκροὶ ἐκ τῶν γεγραμμένων ἐν τοῖς βιβλίοις κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. 13 καὶ ἔδωκεν ἡ θάλασσα τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτῇ καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἔδωκαν τοὺς νεκροὺς τοὺς ἐν αὐτοῖς, καὶ ἐκρίθησαν ἕκαστος κατὰ τὰ ἔργα αὐτῶν. 14 καὶ ὁ θάνατος καὶ ὁ ᾅδης ἐβλήθησαν εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός. οὗτος ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερός ἐστιν, ἡ λίμνη τοῦ πυρός. 15 καὶ εἴ τις οὐχ εὑρέθη ἐν τῇ βίβλῳ τῆς ζωῆς γεγραμμένος, ἐβλήθη εἰς τὴν λίμνην τοῦ πυρός.“

  2. Greek:

    „8 τοῖς δὲ δειλοῖς καὶ ἀπίστοις καὶ ἐβδελυγμένοις καὶ φονεῦσιν καὶ πόρνοις καὶ φαρμάκοις καὶ εἰδωλολάτραις καὶ πᾶσιν τοῖς ψευδέσιν τὸ μέρος αὐτῶν ἐν τῇ λίμνῃ τῇ καιομένῃ πυρὶ καὶ θείῳ, ὅ ἐστιν ὁ θάνατος ὁ δεύτερος.“

  3. According to Steiner, there are 7 planetary stages of world evolution corresponding to 7 conditions of consciousness. The names of these 7 planetary states of evolution are: Old Saturn - Old Sun - Old Moon - Earth - New Jupiter - New Venus - Vulcan. Our present earth evolution is the 4th and at the same time middle stage. Every planetary evolution is divided into 7 conditions of life (rounds), each of which passes through 7 conditions of form (globes). After 7x7x7 = 343 stages the evolution is completed. A critical phase of evolution occurs when 6x6x6 = 216 stages have been completed. At this point, everything that cannot reach the evolutionary goal is finally eliminated.
    However, there are still smaller cycles of evolution. Thus each state of form is further divided into 7 root races (the term "race" is to be used here only in a very non-genuine sense; Steiner first took it from Theosophy, but later no longer used it), each of which again passes through 7 cultural epochs. We are currently living in the 5th root race, which Steiner also calls the post-Atlantean time, and are here in the 5th cultural epoch, the consciousness soul age. Even when a evolutionary ratio of 6x6x6 has been reached with regard to these smaller cycles, the evolution enters a critical phase - i.e. approximately in the 6th epoch of the 6th root race of the 6th condition of form. The Apocalypse refers to this. The information on this in (Lit.:GA 104, p. 223) is, however, somewhat confusing, as it does not speak of the 6th condition of form but of the 6th condition of life, the conditions of form are skipped over; this is possibly an error in the transcript.