Evening Retrospect Discussion

Remember Little Details
It’s very important to be able to remember little details in your daily life.

If you see yourself walking down a street you should try to remember how the rows of house ran, which store windows you passed, the people you met, how they and you looked. Then you see yourself going into a store and you recall which sales lady came towards you, what she had on, how she spoke, moved, etc. You must make a big effort to recall such details, and this strengthens the soul’s forces.

With practice you can get to the point where your whole day’s life runs through the soul, clear as wall paintings with all details in five minutes.

In a retrospect let’s place yourself into what was experienced in such a way that you rightly feel the difference between the soul experience and the real experience in the outer world. The relation between the memory of a landscape and the direct perception of the same with open eyes is the same relation as between memory and retrospect.

One must place a picture of the day’s experiences before one, quite exactly and clearly of all details, blouse, face, etc., and so look at the happenings in a picture, how people spoke, what was done, etc. It’s very important to recall the little experiences that didn’t interest one so much, that are hard for one to remember, because this generates inner forces. Imaginative force is created via the ability to imagine pictures. The clarity of the pictures is the important thing and not the completeness of the experiences.

No Regret
Regrets are egoism, so the retrospect should be without them.
Never let a feeling of regret arise when you let the pictures of the day pass by you in reverse order. You shouldn’t wish that you had been better, you should want to get better.
You should think:

I couldn’t do otherwise back then, but now I can do it better and I will do it better in future.

With every experience you should ask:

Did I do it right; couldn’t I have done it better?

Worsening Memory
An esoteric will gradually notice that his memory is worsening, until it disappears, but it will be replaced by the ability to see the past directly.
Memory gradually disappears in an initiate and is replaced by direct perception of what one wants to remember.


Look at yourself as a stranger, as if you looked at and criticized yourself from outside.

A general who won a big battle has a picture of it before his eyes that evening. But he forgot how he put his boots on and took them off again.

This exercise is useless for you if you run through the day superficially and just registers the events colorlessly. If a man walks a stretch and wants to bring this back he can stand still and try to remember what’s behind him. Or he can turn around and look at where he’s gone. If a period of time has passed we can initially only recall this with our memory and can’t look back at the period of time that has elapsed. But this looking back that you only know in connection with space is also possible in time, and you learn to do it by trying to let the last day pass before you as clearly as possible in perceptible pictures.
No event of the past is entirely gone, they’re all there in the Akashic record. This is the only way one learns to read it. Initially one only sees things that concern oneself from this, and gradually also other things. That’s why the evening retrospect is such an important, indispensable exercise.


Look back at every little detail from the end to the beginning. Memory is the bridge on which we’re led to the invisible Akashic record. In the retrospect we have streets, fields, flowers, rocks, etc. recalled through memory or we could really look back at them with our eyes. This takes place in the previous time order. But there’s also another kind of looking back: as if time periods were in space. So-called memory is lost, but something higher is gained. In higher worlds everything runs from end to beginning; the pupil goes backwards to prepare for this.


No muscle must be tensed in all of this work.

Just as light first created the outer eyes, and the body was stimulated from outside to form other organs, so the astral body’s organs are formed through the imagining of pictures.


It also often happens that a meditator goes to sleep while he’s doing his retrospect, but when he reawakens and tries to follow up what happened in him in the meantime he’ll often be able to find that the retrospect was continued. It’s important to feel that. It doesn’t contradict what was always said to the effect that we mustn’t give any value to what happens without the ego. For when we recall it, we incorporate it into the ego.


Esoteric Lessons Part I: Stuttgart, 1-20-1907
Esoteric Lessons Part I: Berlin, 1-29-1907
Esoteric Lessons Part I: Kassel, 6-27-1907
Esoteric Lessons Part II: Berlin, 11-8-12