Theosophy (Cotterell translation)

  1. Introduction
  2. When Johann Gottlieb Fichte, in the autumn of 1813, gave to the world his Introduction to the Science of Knowledge, as the ripe fruit of a life wholly devoted to the service of truth, he spoke at the very outset as follows:
  3. “This doctrine presupposes an entirely new inner sense-organ or instrument, through which is revealed a new world which has no existence for the ordinary man.”
  4. And he showed by a simile how incomprehensible this doctrine of his must be when judged by conceptions of the ordinary senses:
  5. “Think of a world of people born blind, who therefore know only those objects and their relations which exist through the sense of touch.
  6. Go among them, and speak to them of colours and the other relations which exist only through light and for the sense of sight.
  7. You will convey nothing to their minds, and it is luckiest if they tell you so, for you will then quickly notice your mistake and, if unable to open their eyes, will cease talking to them in vain.
  8. …”
  9. Anyone who speaks to people about such things as those Fichte is pointing to in this instance finds himself only too often in the position of a seeing man among those born blind.
  10. Yet these are things that relate to a man’s true being and his highest aims, and to believe it necessary “to cease the useless speaking” would amount to despairing of humanity.
  11. Far rather, one should never despair of opening the eyes of everyone to these things, provided he has good will.
  12. It is on this supposition that all those have written and spoken who have felt that within them the growth of the “inner sense-instrument” by which they have become able to know the true nature and being of man, which is hidden from the outer senses.
  13. This is why from the most ancient times such a “Hidden Wisdom” has been spoken of again and again.
  14. Those who have grasped something of it feel just as sure of their possession as people with normal eyes feel sure that they possess the conception of colour.
  15. For them, therefore, this “Hidden Wisdom” requires no “proof”.
  16. They know also that this “Hidden Wisdom” requires no proof for any other person like themselves, in whom the “higher sense” has unfolded.
  17. To such a one they can speak as a traveller can speak about America to people who have not themselves seen that country, but who can form an idea of it, because they would see all that he has seen, if the opportunity presented itself to them.
  18. But it is not only to investigators into the spiritual world that the observer of the supersensible has to speak.
  19. He must address his words to all men.
  20. For he has to give an account of things that concern all men.
  21. Indeed he knows that without a knowledge of these things no one can, in the true sense of the word, be “man”.
  22. And he speaks to all men, because he knows that there are different grades of understanding for what he has to say.
  23. He knows that even those who are still far from the moment when first-hand spiritual investigation will be possible for them, can bring to meet him a measure of understanding.
  24. For the feeling for truth and the power of understanding it are inherent in every human being.
  25. And to this understanding, which can light up in every healthy soul, he addresses himself in the first place.
  26. He knows too that in this understanding there is a force which, little by little, must lead to the higher grades of knowledge.
  27. This feeling which, perhaps, at first sees nothing at all of what is related, is itself the magician which opens the “eye of the spirit”.
  28. In darkness this feeling stirs; the soul sees nothing, but through this feeling is seized by the power of the truth; and then the truth will gradually draw nearer to the soul and open in it the “higher sense”.
  29. In one person it may take a longer, in another a shorter time, but everyone who has patience and endurance reaches this goal.
  30. For although not everyone born blind can be operated on, every spiritual eye can be opened, and when it will be opened is only a question of time.
  31. Erudition and scientific training are not pre-conditions for the unfolding of this “higher sense”.
  32. It can develop in the simple-minded person just as in the scientist of high standing.
  33. Indeed, what is often called at the present time “the only true science”, can, for the attainment of this goal, be frequently a hindrance rather than a help.
  34. For this science naturally allows only that to be considered “real”, which is accessible to the ordinary senses.
  35. And however great its merits are in regard to the knowledge of that reality, yet when it decrees that what is necessary and healthful for itself shall also apply to all human knowledge, then it creates at the same time a host of prejudices which close the approach to higher realities.
  36. Against what is said here, it is often objected that “insurmountable limits” have been once and forever set to man’s knowledge, and that since he cannot overstep these limits, all knowledge must be rejected which does not observe them.
  37. And anyone who makes assertions about things that most people accept as lying beyond the limits of man’s capacity for knowledge is looked upon as highly presumptuous.
  38. Such objections entirely disregard the fact that a development of the human powers of knowledge has to precede the higher knowledge.
  39. What lies beyond the limits of knowledge before such a development stands, after the awakening of faculties slumbering in each human being, entirely within the realm of knowledge.
  40. One point in this connection must, indeed, not be neglected.
  41. It might be said: “Of what use is it to speak to people about things for which their powers of knowledge are not yet awakened, and which are therefore still closed to them?”
  42. Yet that is the wrong way to look at it.
  43. Certain powers are required to find out the things referred to; but if, after having been discovered, they are made known, every man can understand them who is willing to bring to bear upon them unprejudiced logic and a healthy feeling for truth.
  44. In this book only those things will be made known which can fully produce the impression that through them the riddles of human life and the phenomena of the world can be satisfactorily approached.
  45. This impression will be produced upon everyone who permits thought, unclouded by prejudice, and feeling for truth, free and without reservation, to work within him.
  46. Put yourself for a moment in the position of asking,
  47. “If the things asserted here are true, do they afford a satisfying explanation of life?”
  48. and it will be found that the life of every human being supplies the confirmation.
  49. In order to be a “teacher” in these higher regions of existence, it is by no means sufficient that simply the sense for them has developed.
  50. For that purpose “science” is just as necessary, as it is necessary for the teacher’s calling in the world of ordinary reality.
  51. “Higher seeing” makes a “knower” in the spiritual as little as healthy sense-organs make a “scholar” in regard to the realities of the senses.
  52. And because in truth all reality, the lower and the higher spiritual, are only two sides of one and the same fundamental being, anyone who is unlearned in the lower branches of knowledge will as a rule remain so in regard to the higher.
  53. This fact creates a feeling of immeasurable responsibility in one who, through a spiritual call, feels himself summoned to speak about the spiritual regions of existence.
  54. It imposes upon him humility and reserve.
  55. But it should deter no one from occupying himself with the higher truths — not even one whose other circumstances of life afford no opportunity for the study of ordinary science.
  56. For one can, indeed, fulfil one’s task as man without understanding anything of botany, zoology, mathematics and other sciences; but one cannot, in the full sense of the word, be “man” without having, in some way or other, come nearer to an understanding of the nature and destination of man as revealed through the knowledge of the supersensible.
  57. The Highest a man is able to look up to he calls the “Divine”.
  58. And in some way or other he must think of his highest destination as being in connection with this Divinity.
  59. Therefore that wisdom which reaches out beyond the sensible and reveals to him his own being, and with it his final goal, may very well be called “divine wisdom” or theosophy.
  60. To the study of the spiritual processes in human life and in the cosmos, the term spiritual science may be given.
  61. When, as is the case in this book, one extracts from this spiritual science the particular results which have reference to the spiritual core of man’s being, then the expression theosophy may be used for this domain, because it has been employed for centuries in this direction.
  62. From the point of view here indicated, there will be sketched in this book an outline of the theosophical conception of the universe.
  63. The writer of it will bring forward nothing that is not, for him, a fact in the same sense as an experience of the outer world is a fact for eyes and ears and the ordinary intelligence.
  64. For one is concerned with experiences which become accessible to every person who is determined to tread the “path of knowledge” described in a special section of this work.
  65. The right attitude towards the things of the supersensible world is to assume that sound thinking and feeling are capable of understanding everything in the way of true knowledge which can emerge from the higher worlds, and further that, when one starts from this understanding, and therewith lays a firm foundation, a great step onwards has been made towards seeing for oneself; even though, to attain to this, other things must be added also.
  66. But one locks and bolts the door to the true higher knowledge, when one despises this path and resolves to penetrate into the higher worlds only in some other way.
  67. The principle: only to recognise higher worlds when one has seen them, is a hindrance in the way of this very seeing.
  68. The will, first of all to understand through sound thinking what can later be seen, furthers that seeing.
  69. It conjures forth important powers of the soul which lead to this “seership”.
  71. The following words of Goethe point in a beautiful manner to the starting point of one of the ways by which the nature of man can be known.
  72. “As soon as a person becomes aware of the objects around him, he considers them in relation to himself, and rightly so, for his whole fate depends on whether they please or displease, attract or repel, help or harm him.
  73. This quite natural way of looking at or judging things appears to be as easy as it is necessary.
  74. Nevertheless, a person is exposed through it to a thousand errors which often make him ashamed and embitter his life.
  75. A far more difficult task is undertaken by those whose keen desire for knowledge urges them to observe the objects of nature in themselves and in their relations to each other; for they soon feel the lack of the test which helped them when they, as men, regarded the objects in reference to themselves personally.
  76. They lack the test of pleasure and displeasure, attraction and repulsion, usefulness and harmfulness.
  77. This they must renounce entirely: they ought as dispassionate and, so to speak, divine beings, to seek and examine what is, and not what gratifies.
  78. Thus the true botanist should not be moved either by the beauty or by the usefulness of the plants.
  79. He has to study their formation and their relation to the rest of the vegetable kingdom; and just as they are one and all enticed forth and shone upon by the sun, so should he with an equable, quiet glance look at and survey them all and obtain the test for this knowledge, the data for his deductions not out of himself, but from within the circle of the things which he observes.”
  80. The thought thus expressed by Goethe directs man’s attention to three kinds of things.
  81. First, the objects concerning which information continually flows to him through the portals of his senses, the objects which he touches, smells, tastes, hears and sees.
  82. Second, the impressions which these make on him, characterising themselves through the fact that he finds the one sympathetic, the other abhorrent; the one useful, the other harmful.
  83. Third, the knowledge which he, as a so-to-speak “divine being”, acquires concerning the objects — that is, the secrets of their activities and their being which unveil themselves to him.
  84. These three regions are distinctly separate in human life.
  85. And man thereby becomes aware that he is interwoven with the world in a threefold way.
  86. The first way is something that he finds present, that he accepts as a given fact.
  87. Through the second way he makes the world into his own affair, into something that has a meaning for himself.
  88. The third way he regards as a goal towards which he has unceasingly to strive.
  89. Why does the world appear to man in this threefold way?
  90. A simple consideration will explain it.
  91. I cross a meadow covered with flowers.
  92. The flowers make their colours known to me through my eyes.
  93. That is the fact which I accept as given.
  94. I rejoice in the splendour of the colours.
  95. Through this I turn the fact into an affair of my own.
  96. Through my feelings I connect the flowers with my own existence.
  97. A year later I go again over the same meadow.
  98. Other flowers are there.
  99. New joy arises in me through them.
  100. My joy of the former year will appear as a memory.
  101. It is in me; the object which aroused it in me is gone.
  102. But the flowers which I now see are of the same kind as those I saw the year before; they have grown in accordance with the same laws as did the others.
  103. If I have informed myself regarding this species and these laws, then I find them in the flowers of this year again just as I found them in those of last year.
  104. And I shall perhaps muse as follows:
  105. “The flowers of last year are gone; my joy in them remains only in my remembrance.
  106. It is bound up with my existence alone.
  107. That, however, which I recognised in the flowers of last year and recognise again this year, will remain as long as such flowers grow.
  108. That is something that has revealed itself to me, but is not dependent on my existence in the same way as my joy is.
  109. My feelings of joy remain in me; the laws, the being of the flowers remain outside me in the world.”
  110. Thus man continually links himself in this threefold way with the things of the world.
  111. One should not for the time being read anything into this fact, but merely take it as it stands.
  112. There follows from it that man has three sides to his nature.
  113. This and nothing else will for the present be indicated here by the three words body, soul, and spirit.
  114. Whoever connects any preconceived opinions, or even hypotheses with these three words will necessarily misunderstand the following explanations.
  115. By body is here meant that through which the things in man’s environment reveal themselves to him; as in the above example, the flowers of the meadow.
  116. By the word soul is signified that by which he links the things to his own being, through which he experiences pleasure and displeasure, desire and aversion, joy and sorrow in connection with them.
  117. By spirit is meant that which becomes manifest in him when, as Goethe expressed it, he looks at things as a “so to speak, divine being”.
  118. In this sense the human being consists of body, soul and spirit.
  119. Through his body man is able to place himself for the time being in connection with things; through his soul he retains in himself the impressions which they make on him; through his spirit there reveals itself to him what the things retain for themselves.
  120. Only when one observes man in these three aspects can one hope to be enlightened about his nature.
  121. For these three aspects show him to be related in a threefold way to the rest of the world.
  122. Through his body he is related to the objects which present themselves to his senses from without.
  123. The materials from the outer world compose this body of his; and the forces of the outer world also work in it.
  124. And just as he observes the things of the outer world with his senses, so he can also observe his own bodily existence.
  125. But it is impossible to observe the soul-existence in the same way.
  126. Everything in me which is bodily process can be perceived with my bodily senses.
  127. My likes and dislikes, my joy and pain, neither I nor anyone else can perceive with bodily senses.
  128. The region of the soul is one which is inaccessible to bodily perception.
  129. The bodily existence of a man is manifest to all eyes; the soul-existence he carries within himself as his own world.
  130. Through the spirit, however, the outer world is revealed to him in a higher way.
  131. The mysteries of the outer world, indeed, unveil themselves in his inner being; but he steps in spirit out of himself and lets the things speak about themselves, about that which has significance not for him but for them.
  132. Man looks up at the starry heavens; the delight his soul experiences belongs to him; the eternal laws of the stars which he comprehends in thought, in spirit, belong not to him but to the stars themselves.
  133. Thus man is citizen of three worlds.
  134. Through his body he belongs to the world which he also perceives through his body; through his soul he constructs for himself his own world; through his spirit a world reveals itself to him which is exalted above both the others.
  135. It seems obvious that because of the essential differences of these three worlds, a clear understanding of them and of man’s share in them can only be obtained by means of three different modes of observation.
  137. We learn to know the body of man through bodily senses.
  138. And the way of observing it can differ in no way from that by which we learn to know other objects perceived by the senses.
  139. As we observe minerals, plants, animals, so can we observe man also.
  140. He is related to these three forms of existence.
  141. Like the minerals he builds his body out of the materials of Nature; like the plants he grows and propagates his species; like the animals, he perceives the objects around him and builds up his inner experiences on the basis of the impressions they make on him.
  142. We may therefore ascribe to man a mineral, a plant, and an animal existence.
  143. The difference in structure of minerals, plants and animals corresponds to the three forms of their existence.
  144. And it is this structure — the shape — which we perceive through the senses, and which alone we can call body.
  145. Now the human body is different from that of the animal.
  146. This difference everybody must recognise, whatever he may think in other respects regarding the relationship of man to animals.
  147. Even the most thorough-going materialist, who denies all soul, cannot but admit the truth of the following sentence which Carus utters in his Org anon der Natur und des Geistes:
  148. “The finer, inner construction of the nervous system, and especially of the brain, still remains an unsolved problem for the physiologist and the anatomist; but that this concentration of the structures increases more and more in the animal, and in man reaches a stage unequalled in any other being, is a fully established fact; a fact which is of the deepest significance in regard to the mental evolution of man, of which, indeed, we may go so far as to say it is really in itself a sufficient explanation.
  149. Where, therefore, the structure of the brain has not developed properly, where smallness and poverty are revealed as in the case of microcephali and idiots, it goes without saying that we can as little expect the appearance of original ideas and of knowledge, as one can expect propagation of the species from persons with completely stunted organs of generation.
  150. On the other hand, a strong and beautifully developed build of the whole man, and especially of the brain, will certainly not in itself take the place of genius, but it will at any rate supply the first and indispensable condition for higher knowledge.”
  151. Just as we ascribe to the human body the three forms of existence, mineral, plant, animal, so we must ascribe to it a fourth, the distinctively human form.
  152. Through his mineral existence man is related to everything visible; through his plant-like existence to all beings that grow and propagate their species; through his animal existence to all those that perceive their surroundings, and by means of external impressions have inner experiences; through his human form of existence he constitutes, even in regard to his body alone, a kingdom by himself.
  154. Man’s soul-nature as his own inner world is different from his bodily nature.
  155. That which is his very own comes at once to the fore, when attention is turned to the simplest sensation.
  156. Thus no one can know whether another person perceives even such a simple sensation in exactly the same way as one does oneself.
  157. It is known that there are people who are colour-blind.
  158. They see things only in different shades of grey.
  159. Others are partially colour-blind.
  160. They are unable, because of this, to perceive certain shades of colours.
  161. The picture of the world which their eyes give them is different from that of so-called normal persons.
  162. And the same holds good more or less in regard to the other senses.
  163. It will be seen, therefore, without further elaboration, that even simple sensations belong to the inner world.
  164. I can perceive with my bodily senses the red table which another person also perceives; but I cannot perceive his sensation of red.
  165. Sensation must therefore be described as belonging to the soul.
  166. If we grasp this fact alone quite clearly, we shall soon cease to regard inner experiences as mere brain processes or something similar.
  167. Feeling is closely allied to sensation.
  168. One sensation causes man pleasure, another displeasure.
  169. These are stirrings of his inner, his soul-life.
  170. In his feelings man creates a second world in addition to that which works on him from without.
  171. And a third is added to this — the will.
  172. Through the will man reacts on the outer world.
  173. And he thereby stamps the impress of his inner being on the outer world.
  174. The soul of man as it were flows outwards in the activities of his will.
  175. The actions of the human being differ from the occurrences of outer nature in that they bear the impress of his inner life.
  176. Thus the soul as that which is man’s very own stands in contradistinction to the outer world.
  177. He receives from the outer world the incitements, but he creates in response to these incitements a world of his own.
  178. The body becomes the foundation of the soul-being of man.
  180. The soul-being of man is not determined by the body alone.
  181. Man does not wander aimlessly and without a purpose from one sense impression to another; neither does he act under the influence of every casual incitement which plays upon him either from without or through the processes of his body.
  182. He reflects upon his perceptions and his acts.
  183. By reflecting upon his perceptions he gains knowledge of things: by reflecting upon his acts he introduces a reasonable coherence into his life.
  184. And he knows that he will fulfil his duty as a human being worthily only when he lets himself be guided by correct thoughts in knowing as well as in acting.
  185. The soul of man, therefore, is confronted by a twofold necessity.
  186. By the laws of the body it is governed by natural necessity; but it allows itself to be governed by the laws which guide it to exact thinking because it voluntarily acknowledges their necessity.
  187. Nature subjects man to the laws of metabolism, but he subjects himself to the laws of thought.
  188. By this means he makes himself a member of a higher order than that to which he belongs through his body.
  189. And this order is the spiritual.
  190. The spiritual is as different from the soul as the soul is different from the body.
  191. As long as we speak only of the particles of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen which are in motion in the body, we have not got the soul in view.
  192. The soul-life begins only when within the motion of these particles, the feeling arises: “I taste sweetness” or “I feel pleasure”.
  193. Just as little have we the spiritual in view as long as we consider merely those soul-experiences which course through a man who gives himself over entirely to the outer world and his bodily life.
  194. This soul-life is rather the basis of the spiritual just as the body is the basis of the soul-life.
  195. The scientist, or investigator of nature, is concerned with the body, the investigator of the soul (the psychologist) with the soul, and the investigator of the spirit with the spirit.
  196. To make clear to oneself through thought upon and observation of one’s own self the difference between body, soul, and spirit, is a demand which must be made upon those who seek by thinking to enlighten themselves regarding the nature of man.
  198. Man can only come to a true understanding of himself when he grasps clearly the significance of thinking within his being.
  199. The brain is the bodily instrument for thinking.
  200. Just as man can only see colours with a properly constructed eye, so the suitably constructed brain serves him for thought.
  201. The whole body of man is so formed that it receives its crown in the organ of the spirit, the brain.
  202. The construction of the human brain can be understood only by considering it in relation to its task, which consists in being the bodily basis for the thinking spirit.
  203. This is borne out by a comparative survey of the animal world.
  204. Among the amphibians we find the brain small in comparison with the spinal cord; in mammals it is proportionately larger; in man it is largest in comparison with the rest of the body.
  205. Many prejudices are prevalent regarding such statements about thinking as are brought forward here.
  206. Many persons are inclined to undervalue thinking, and to place higher the “warm life of feeling” or “emotion”.
  207. Some, indeed, say it is not by “sober thinking”, but by warmth of feeling, by the immediate power of “the emotions”, that one raises oneself to higher knowledge.
  208. People who talk thus fear to blunt the feelings by clear thinking.
  209. This certainly does result from the ordinary thinking that is concerned only with matters of utility; but in the case of thoughts that lead to higher regions of existence, the opposite happens.
  210. There is no feeling and no enthusiasm to be compared with the sentiments of warmth, beauty and exaltation enkindled through the pure, crystal-clear thoughts which relate to higher worlds.
  211. For the highest feelings are as a matter of fact not those which come “of themselves”, but those which are achieved by energetic and persevering work in the realm of thought.
  212. The human body is so built as to be adapted to thinking.
  213. The same materials and forces which are present in the mineral kingdom are so combined in the human body that by means of this combination thought can manifest itself.
  214. This mineral construction, built up in accordance with its task, will be called in the following pages the physical body of man.
  215. This mineral structure which is organised with reference to the brain as its central point, comes into existence through propagation and reaches its fully developed form through growth.
  216. Propagation and growth man shares in common with plants and animals.
  217. Through propagation and growth what is living differentiates itself from the lifeless mineral.
  218. Life gives rise to life by means of the germ.
  219. Descendant follows forefather from one living generation to another.
  220. The forces through which a mineral originates are directed upon the substances of which it is composed.
  221. A quartz crystal is formed through the forces inherent in the silicon and oxygen which are combined in the crystal.
  222. The forces which shape an oak tree must be sought for in an indirect way in the germ in the mother and father plants.
  223. The form of the oak is preserved through propagation from forefather to descendant.
  224. There are inner determining conditions innate in all that is living.
  225. It was a crude view of Nature which held that lower animals, even fishes, could evolve out of mud.
  226. The form of the living passes itself on by means of heredity.
  227. How a living being develops depends on what father or mother it has sprung from, or in other words, on the species to which it belongs.
  228. The materials of which it is composed are continually changing; the species remains constant during life, and is transmitted to the descendants.
  229. Therefore the species is that which determines the combination of the materials.
  230. This force which determines species will be here called Life-force.
  231. Just as the mineral forces express themselves in the crystals, so the formative life-force expresses itself in the species or forms of plant and animal life.
  232. The mineral forces are perceived by man by means of his bodily senses; and he can only perceive that for which he has such senses.
  233. Without the eye there is no perception of light, without the ear no perception of sound.
  234. The lowest organisms have only one of the senses belonging to man: a kind of sense of touch.
  235. Nothing can be perceived by such organisms, in the way a human being perceives, except those mineral forces which make themselves known through the sense of touch.
  236. In proportion as the other senses are developed in the higher animals does their surrounding world, which man also perceives, become richer and more varied.
  237. It depends, therefore, on the organs of a being whether that which exists in the outer world exists also for the being itself, as perception, as sensation.
  238. What is present in the air as a certain motion becomes in man the sensation of hearing.
  239. Man does not perceive the manifestations of the life-force through the ordinary senses.
  240. He sees the colours of the plants; he smells their perfume; the life-force remains hidden from this form of observation.
  241. But the ordinary senses have just as little right to deny that there is a life-force as has the man born blind to deny that colours exist.
  242. Colours are there for the person born blind as soon as he has been operated upon; in the same way, the objects, the various species of plants and animals created by the life-force (not merely the individual plants and animals) are present to man as objects of perception as soon as the necessary organ unfolds within him.
  243. An entirely new world opens out to man through the unfolding of this organ.
  244. He now perceives, not merely the colours, the odours, etc., of the living beings, but the life itself of these beings.
  245. In each plant, in each animal, he perceives, besides the physical form, the life-filled spirit-form.
  246. In order to have a name for this spirit-form let it be called the ether-body, or life-body.
  247. [The author of this book, long after it was written, applied to what is here called etheric or life-body, the name “formative-force-body”
  248. (also cf. Das Reich, 4th book of the first year’s issue.)
  249. He felt moved to give it this name, because he believes that one cannot do enough to prevent the misunderstanding due to confusing what is here meant by etheric body with the “vital force” of older natural science.
  250. In what concerns the rejection of this older concept of a vital force in the sense of modern natural science, the author shares in a certain respect the standpoint of those who are opposed to assuming such a vital force.
  251. For the purpose of assuming such a vital force was to explain the special mode of working in the organism of the inorganic forces.
  252. But that which works inorganically in the organism, does not work there in any other way than it does in the inorganic world.
  253. The laws of inorganic nature are in the organism no other than they are in the crystal, and so forth.
  254. But in the organism there is present something which is not inorganic: the formative life.
  255. The etheric body or formative-force-body lies at the base of this formative life.
  256. By assuming its existence, the rightful task of natural science is not interfered with: viz., to observe the workings of forces in inorganic nature and to follow the workings into the organic world: and further, to refuse to think of these operations within the organism as being modified by a special vital force.
  257. The spiritual investigator speaks of the etheric body in so far as there manifests in the organism something other than what shows itself in the lifeless.
  258. In spite of all this the author does not here feel impelled to replace the term “etheric body” by the other “formative-force-body”, since within the whole connected range of what is said here, any misunderstanding is excluded for everyone who really wants to see.
  259. Such a misunderstanding can only arise when the term is used in a development which cannot exhibit this connection.
  260. See also under Addenda.]
  261. To the investigator of spiritual life, this matter presents itself in the following manner.
  262. The ether-body is for him not merely a product of the materials and forces of the physical body, but a real independent entity which first calls forth these physical materials and forces into life.
  263. It is in accordance with spiritual science to say: a purely physical body, a crystal for example, has its form through the action of the physical formative forces innate in that which is lifeless.
  264. A living body has its form not through the action of these forces, because the moment life has departed from it and it is given over to the physical forces only, it falls to pieces.
  265. The ether-body is an organism which preserves the physical body every moment during life from dissolution.
  266. In order to see this body, to perceive it in another being, one requires the awakened “spiritual eye”.
  267. Without this, its existence can be accepted as a fact on logical grounds; but one can see it with the spiritual eye as one sees colour with the physical eye.
  268. Offence should not be taken at the expression “ether-body”.
  269. “Ether” here designates something different from the hypothetical ether of the physicist.
  270. It should be regarded simply as a name for what is described here.
  271. And just as the physical body of man in its construction is a kind of reflection of its purpose, so is this also the case with man’s etheric body.
  272. Moreover, it can be understood only when considered in relation to the thinking spirit.
  273. The etheric body of man differs from that of plants and animals, through being organised to serve the purposes of the thinking spirit.
  274. Just as man belongs to the mineral world through his physical body, he belongs through his etheric body to the life-world.
  275. After death the physical body dissolves into the mineral world, the ether-body into the life-world.
  276. By the word “body” is denoted that which gives any kind of being “shape” or “form”.
  277. The term “body” must not be confused with a bodily form perceptible to the physical senses.
  278. Used in the sense implied in this book the term “body” can also be applied to such forms as soul and spirit may assume.
  279. In the life-body we still have something external to man.
  280. With the first stirrings of sensation the inner self responds to the stimuli of the outer world.
  281. You may trace ever so far what one is justified in calling the outer world, but you will not be able to find sensation.
  282. Rays of light stream into the eye, penetrating it till they reach the retina.
  283. There they call forth chemical processes (in the so-called visual-purple); the effect of these stimuli is passed on through the optic nerve to the brain where further physical processes arise.
  284. Could one observe these, one would simply see physical processes, just as elsewhere in the physical world.
  285. If I were able to observe the ether-body, I should see how the physical brain-process is at the same time a life-process.
  286. But the sensation of blue colour, which the recipient of the rays of light has, I can find nowhere in this manner.
  287. It arises only within the soul of the recipient.
  288. If, therefore, the being of this recipient consisted only of the physical body and the ether-body, sensation could not exist.
  289. The activity by which sensation becomes a fact differs essentially from the operations of the formative life-force.
  290. It is an activity by which an inner experience is called forth from these operations.
  291. Without this activity there would be a mere life-process, such as is to be observed in plants.
  292. If one pictures a man receiving impressions from all sides, one must think of him at the same time as the source of the above-mentioned soul-activity which flows out from him to all the directions from which he is receiving the impressions.
  293. In all directions soul-sensations arise in response to the physical impacts.
  294. This fountain of activity shall be called the sentient soul.
  295. This sentient soul is just as real as the physical body.
  296. If a man stands before me, and I disregard his sentient soul by thinking of him as merely a physical body, it is exactly as if I were to call up in my mind, instead of a painting — merely the canvas.
  297. A similar statement has to be made in regard to perceiving the sentient soul, as was previously made in reference to the ether-body.
  298. The bodily organs are “blind” to it.
  299. And blind to it also is the organ by which life can be perceived as life.
  300. But just as the ether-body is seen by means of this organ, so through a still higher organ can the inner world of sensation become a special kind of supersensible perception.
  301. A man would then not only sense the impressions of the physical and life-world, but would behold the sensations themselves.
  302. Before a man with such an organ, the sensation world of another being is spread out like an external reality.
  303. One must distinguish between experiencing one’s own world of sensation, and looking at that of another person.
  304. Every man of course can look into his own world of sensation; only the seer with the opened “spiritual eye” can see another person’s world of sensation.
  305. Unless a man be a seer, he knows the world of sensation only as an “inner” one, only as the peculiar hidden experiences of his own soul; with the opened “spiritual eye” there shines out before the outward-turned spiritual gaze what otherwise lives only in the inner being of another person.
  306. In order to prevent misunderstanding, it may be expressly stated here that the seer does not simply experience in himself what the other being has within him as content of his world of sensation.
  307. That being experiences the sensations in question from the point of view of his own inner being; the seer becomes aware of a manifestation of the world of sensation.
  308. The sentient soul depends, as regards its activity, on the ether-body.
  309. For it draws from it that which it will cause to gleam forth as sensation.
  310. And since the ether-body is the life within the physical body, therefore the sentient soul is also indirectly dependent on the latter.
  311. Only with properly functioning and well-constructed eyes are correct colour sensations possible.
  312. It is in this way that the nature of the body affects the sentient soul.
  313. The latter is thus determined and limited in its activity by the body.
  314. It lives within the limitations fixed for it by the nature of the body.
  315. The body accordingly is built up of mineral substances, is vitalised by the ether-body, and limits even the sentient soul.
  316. A man, therefore, who has the above-mentioned organ for “seeing” the sentient soul, knows it to be conditioned by the body.
  317. But the boundary of the sentient soul does not coincide with that of the physical body.
  318. It extends somewhat beyond the physical body.
  319. From this one sees that it proves itself to be greater than the physical body.
  320. Nevertheless the force through which its limits are set proceeds from the physical body.
  321. Thus between the physical body and the ether-body, on the one hand, and the sentient soul on the other, there inserts itself another distinct member of the human being.
  322. This is the soul-body or sentient body.
  323. One can express this in another way.
  324. One part of the ether-body is finer than the rest, and this finer part of the ether-body forms a unity with the sentient soul, whereas the coarser part forms a kind of unity with the physical body.
  325. Nevertheless, the sentient soul extends, as has been said, beyond the soul-body.
  326. What is here called sensation is only a part of the soul-being.
  327. (The expression sentient soul is chosen for the sake of simplicity.)
  328. Connected with sensations are the feelings of desire and aversion, impulses, instincts, passions.
  329. All these bear the same character of individual life as do the sensations, and are, like them, dependent on the bodily nature.
  330. Just as the sentient soul enters into mutual action and reaction with the body, so does it also in thinking, with the spirit.
  331. In the first place thinking serves the sentient soul.
  332. Man forms thoughts about his sensations.
  333. He thus enlightens himself regarding the outside world.
  334. The child that has burnt itself thinks it over, and reaches the thought “fire burns”.
  335. Nor does man follow blindly his impulses, instincts, passions; his thinking about them brings about the opportunity through which he can gratify them.
  336. What is called material civilisation moves entirely in this direction.
  337. It consists in the services which thinking renders to the sentient soul.
  338. An immeasurable amount of thought-power is directed to this end.
  339. It is thought-power that has built ships, railways, telegraphs, telephones; and by far the greatest proportion of all this serves only to satisfy the needs of sentient souls.
  340. Thought-force permeates the sentient soul in a similar way to that in which the formative-life-force permeates the physical body.
  341. The formative-life-force connects the physical body with forefathers and descendants, and thus brings it under a system of laws with which the purely mineral body is in no way concerned.
  342. In the same way thought-force brings the soul under a system of laws to which it does not belong as mere sentient soul.
  343. Through the sentient soul man is related to the animal.
  344. In animals, also, we observe the presence of sensations, impulses, instincts and passions.
  345. But the animal obeys these immediately.
  346. They do not, in its case, become interwoven with independent thoughts, transcending the immediate experiences.
  347. [See also under Addenda.]
  348. This is also the case to a certain extent with undeveloped human beings.
  349. The mere sentient soul is therefore different from the evolved higher member of the soul which brings thinking into its service.
  350. This soul that is served by thought will be termed the intellectual soul.
  351. One could also call it the mind-soul.
  352. The intellectual soul permeates the sentient soul.
  353. He who has the organ for “seeing” the soul sees, therefore, the intellectual soul as a separate entity, in relation to the mere sentient soul.
  354. By thinking, man is led above and beyond his own personal life.
  355. He acquires something that extends beyond his soul.
  356. He comes to take for granted his conviction that the laws of thought are in conformity with the laws of the world.
  357. And he feels at home in the world because this conformity exists.
  358. This conformity is one of the weighty facts through which man learns to know his own nature.
  359. Man searches in his soul for truth; and through this truth it is not only the soul that speaks, but the things of the world.
  360. That which is recognised as truth by means of thought has an independent significance, which refers to the things of the world, and not merely to one’s own soul.
  361. In my delight at the starry heavens I live in my own inner being; the thoughts which I form for myself about the paths of heavenly bodies have the same significance for the thinking of every other person as they have for mine.
  362. It would be absurd to speak of my delight were I not in existence; but it is not in the same way absurd to speak of my thoughts, even without reference to myself.
  363. For the truth which I think to-day was true also yesterday; will be true to-morrow, although I concern myself with it only to-day.
  364. If a piece of knowledge gives me joy, the joy has significance just so long as it lives in me; the truth of the knowledge has its significance quite independently of this joy.
  365. By grasping the truth the soul connects itself with something that carries its value in itself.
  366. And this value does not vanish with the feeling in the soul any more than it arose with it.
  367. What is really truth neither arises nor passes away: it has a significance which cannot be destroyed.
  368. This is not contradicted by the fact that certain human “truths” have a value which is transitory, inasmuch as they are recognised after a certain period as partial or complete errors.
  369. A man must say to himself that truth exists in itself, and that his conceptions are only transient forms of eternal truths.
  370. Even he who says, like Lessing, that he contents himself with the eternal striving towards truth because the full, pure truth can, after all, only exist for a God, does not deny the eternity of truth but establishes it by such an utterance.
  371. For only that which has an eternal significance in itself can call forth an eternal striving after it.
  372. Were truth not in itself independent, if it acquired its value and significance through the feelings of the human soul, then it could not be the one unique goal for all mankind.
  373. One concedes its independent being by the very fact that one sets oneself to strive after it.
  374. And as it is with the true, so it is with the truly good.
  375. Moral goodness is independent of inclinations and passions, inasmuch as it does not allow itself to be commanded by, but commands them.
  376. Likes and dislikes, desire and loathing belong to the personal soul of man; duty stands higher than likes and dislikes.
  377. Duty may stand so high in the eyes of a man that he will sacrifice his fife for its sake.
  378. And a man stands the higher the more he has ennobled his inclinations, his likes and dislikes, so that without compulsion or subjection they themselves obey what is recognised as duty.
  379. Moral goodness has, like truth, its eternal value in itself, and does not receive it from the sentient soul.
  380. By causing the self-existent true and good to come to life in his inner being, man raises himself above the mere sentient soul.
  381. The eternal spirit shines into it.
  382. A light is kindled in it which is imperishable.
  383. In so far as the soul lives in this light, it is a participant of the eternal.
  384. It unites therewith its own existence.
  385. What the soul carries within itself of the true and the good is immortal in it.
  386. Let us call that which shines forth in the soul as eternal the consciousness-soul.
  387. [Bewusstsein-Seele (consciousness-soul) may also, as indicated by Dr. Steiner, be translated “spiritual soul”.]
  388. We can speak of consciousness even in connection with the lower soul-stirrings.
  389. The most ordinary everyday sensation is a matter of consciousness.
  390. To this extent animals also have consciousness.
  391. By consciousness-soul is meant the kernel of human consciousness, the soul within the soul.
  392. The consciousness-soul is thus distinguished as a distinct member of the soul from the intellectual soul.
  393. This latter is still entangled in the sensations, the impulses, the passions, etc.
  394. Everyone knows how at first he counts as true that which he prefers in his feelings, and so on.
  395. Only that truth, however, is permanent which has freed itself from all flavour of such sympathy and antipathy of feeling.
  396. The truth is true, even if all personal feelings revolt against it.
  397. The part of the soul in which this truth lives will be called consciousness-soul.
  398. Thus three members have to be distinguished in the soul as in the body: sentient soul, intellectual soul, consciousness-soul.
  399. And just as the body works from below upwards with a limiting effect on the soul, so the spiritual works from above downwards into it, expanding it.
  400. For the more the soul fills itself with the true and the good, the wider and the more comprehensive becomes the eternal in it.
  401. To him who is able to “see” the soul, the radiance which proceeds from a human being because his eternal element is expanding, is just as much a reality as the fight which streams out from a flame is real to the physical eye.
  402. For the “seer” the corporeal man counts as only part of the whole man.
  403. The physical body, as the coarsest structure, lies within others, which mutually interpenetrate both it and each other.
  404. The ether-body fills the physical body as a life-form; extending beyond this on all sides is to be perceived the soul-body (astral form).
  405. And beyond this, again, extends the sentient soul, then the intellectual soul which grows the larger the more it receives into itself of the true and the good.
  406. For this true and good cause the expansion of the intellectual soul.
  407. A man living only and entirely according to his inclinations, his likes and dislikes, would have an intellectual soul whose limits coincide with those of his sentient soul.
  408. These formations, in the midst of which the physical body appears as if in a cloud, may be called the human aura.
  409. The aura is that in regard to which the “being of man” becomes enriched, when it is seen as this book endeavours to present it.
  410. In the course of his development as a child, there comes the moment in the life of a man in which, for the first time, he feels himself to be an independent being distinct from the whole of the rest of the world.
  411. For finely strung natures it is a significant experience.
  412. The poet Jean Paul says in his autobiography:
  413. “I shall never forget the event which took place within me, hitherto narrated to no one, and of which I can give place and time, when I stood present at the birth of my self-consciousness.
  414. As a very small child I stood at the door of the house one morning, looking towards the wood pile on my left, when suddenly the inner vision, ‘I am an I’ came upon me like a flash of lightning from heaven and has remained shining ever since.
  415. In that moment my ego had seen itself for the first time and for ever.
  416. Any deception of memory is hardly to be conceived as possible here, for no narrations by outsiders could have introduced additions to an occurrence which took place in the holy of holies of a human being, and of which the novelty alone gave permanence to such everyday surroundings.”
  417. It is well known that little children say of themselves, “Charles is good”, “Mary wants to have this”.
  418. One feels it to be right that they speak of themselves as if of others, because they have not yet become conscious of their independent existence, because the consciousness of the self is not yet born in them.
  419. Through self-consciousness, man describes himself as an independent being, separate from all others, as “I”.
  420. In “I” man includes all that he experiences as a being with body and soul.
  421. Body and soul are the carriers of the ego or “I”; in them it acts.
  422. Just as the physical body has its centre in the brain, so has the soul its centre in the ego.
  423. Man is aroused to sensations by impacts from without; feelings manifest themselves as effects of the outer world; the will relates itself to the outside world in that it realises itself in external actions.
  424. The “I” as the essential being of man remains quite invisible.
  425. Excellently, therefore, does Jean Paul call a man’s recognition of his ego an occurrence taking place only in his veiled holy of holies; for with his “I” man is quite alone.
  426. And this “I” is the man himself.
  427. That justifies him in regarding his ego as his true being.
  428. He may, therefore, describe his body and his soul as the “sheaths” or “veils” within which he lives; and he may describe them as bodily conditions through which he acts.
  429. In the course of his evolution he learns to regard these instruments ever more and more as servants of his ego.
  430. The little word “I” is a name which differs from all other names.
  431. Anyone who reflects in an appropriate manner on the nature of this name, will find that in so doing an avenue to the understanding of the human being in the deeper sense is revealed.
  432. Every other name can be applied to its corresponding object by all men in the same way.
  433. Everybody can call a table “table” or a chair “chair”.
  434. This is not so with the name “I”.
  435. No one can use it in referring to another person; each one can call only himself “I”.
  436. Never can the name “I” reach my ears from outside when it refers to me.
  437. Only from within, only through itself, can the human being refer to himself as “I”.
  438. When the human being therefore says “I” to himself, something begins to speak in him that has nothing to do with any one of the worlds from which the sheaths so far mentioned are taken.
  439. The “I” becomes ever more and more ruler of body and soul.
  440. This also expresses itself in the aura.
  441. The more the “I” is lord over body and soul, the more definitely organised, the more varied and the more richly coloured is the aura.
  442. The effect of the “I” on the aura can be seen by the “seeing” person.
  443. The “I” itself is invisible even to him; this remains truly within the veiled “holy of holies”.
  444. But the “I” absorbs into itself the rays of the light which flashes up in a man as eternal light.
  445. As he gathers together the experiences of body and soul in the “I”, so too he causes the thoughts of truth and goodness to stream into the “I”.
  446. The phenomena of the senses reveal themselves to the “I” from the one side, the spirit reveals itself from the other.
  447. Body and soul yield themselves up to the “I” in order to serve it; but the “I” yields itself up to the spirit in order that the spirit may fill it to overflowing.
  448. The “I” fives in body and soul; but the spirit lives in the “I”.
  449. And what there is of spirit in the “I” is eternal.
  450. For the “I” receives its nature and significance from that with which it is bound up.
  451. In so far as it experiences itself in the physical body, it is subject to the laws of the mineral world; through its ether-body to the laws of propagation and growth; by virtue of the sentient and intellectual souls to the laws of the soul-world in so far as it receives the spiritual into itself it is subject to the laws of the spirit.
  452. That which the laws of mineral and of life construct, comes into being and vanishes; but the spirit has nothing to do with becoming and perishing.
  453. The “I” lives in the soul.
  454. Although the highest manifestation of the “I” belongs to the consciousness-soul, one must nevertheless say that this “I”, raying out from it, fills the whole of the soul, and through the soul exerts its action upon the body.
  455. And in the “I” the spirit is alive.
  456. The spirit sends its rays into the “I” and fives in it as in a “sheath” or veil, just as the “I” lives in its sheaths, the body and soul.
  457. The spirit develops the “I” from within, outwards; the mineral world develops it from without, inwards.
  458. The spirit forming an “I” and living as “I” will be called Spirit-self, because it manifests as the “I”, or ego, or “self” of man.
  459. The difference between the “Spirit-self” and the “consciousness-soul” can be made clear in the following way.
  460. The consciousness-soul is in touch with the self-existent truth which is independent of all antipathy and sympathy; the Spirit-self bears within it the same truth, but taken up into and enclosed by the “I”, individualised by the latter and absorbed into the independent being of the man.
  461. It is through the eternal truth becoming thus individualised and bound up into one being with the “I”, that the “I” itself attains to eternity.
  462. The Spirit-self is a revelation of the spiritual world within the “I”, just as from the other side sensations are a revelation of the physical world within the “I”.
  463. In what is red, green, light, dark, hard, soft, warm, cold, one recognises the revelations of the corporeal world; in what is true and good, the revelations of the spiritual world.
  464. In the same sense in which the revelation of the corporeal world is called sensation, let the revelation of the spiritual be called intuition.
  465. [See also under Addenda.]
  466. Even the most simple thought contains intuitions, for one cannot touch it with the hands or see it with the eyes; its revelation must be received from the spirit through the “I”.
  467. If an undeveloped and a developed man look at a plant, there lives in the “I” of the one something quite different from that which is in the “I” of the other.
  468. And yet the sensations of both are called forth by the same object.
  469. The difference lies in this, that the one can form far more perfect thoughts about the object than can the other.
  470. If objects revealed themselves through sensation alone, there could be no progress in spiritual development.
  471. Even the savage is affected by Nature; but the laws of Nature reveal themselves only to the thoughts, fructified by intuition, of the more highly developed man.
  472. The stimuli from the outer world are felt even by the child as incentives to the will; but the commandments of the morally good disclose themselves to him only in the course of his development, in proportion as he learns to live in the spirit and understand its revelations.
  473. Just as there could be no colour sensations without physical eyes, so there could be no intuitions without the higher thinking of the Spirit-self.
  474. And as little as sensation creates the plant on which the colour appears, does intuition create the spiritual realities about which it is merely giving information.
  475. The “I” of a man, which comes to life in the soul, draws into itself messages from above, from the spirit-world, through intuitions, just as through sensations it draws in messages from the physical world.
  476. And in so doing it fashions the spirit-world into the individualised life of its own soul, even as it does the physical world by means of the senses.
  477. The soul, or rather the “I” lighting up in it, opens its portals on two sides; towards the corporeal and towards the spiritual.
  478. Now just as the physical world can only give information about itself to the ego by building out of physical materials and forces a body in which the conscious soul can live and possess organs to perceive the corporeal world outside itself, so does the spirit-world build, with its spirit-substances and spirit-forces, a spirit-body in which the “I” can live and, through intuitions, perceive the spiritual.
  479. (It is evident that the expressions spirit-substance, spirit-body contain a contradiction, according to the literal meaning of the words.
  480. They are used only in order to direct attention to what, in the spiritual, corresponds to the physical body of man.)
  481. Just as within the physical world each human body is built up as a separate physical being, so is the spirit-body within the spirit-world.
  482. In the spirit-world there is an “inner” and an “outer” for man just as there is in the physical world.
  483. As man takes in the materials of the physical world around him and assimilates them in his physical body, so does he take up the spiritual from the spiritual environment and make it into his own.
  484. The spiritual is the eternal nourishment of man.
  485. And as man is born out of the physical world, so is he born out of the spirit through the eternal laws of the true and the good.
  486. He is separated from the spirit-world outside him, as he is separated from the whole physical world, as an independent being.
  487. This independent spiritual being will be called the Spirit-man.
  488. If we investigate the human physical body, we find the same materials and forces in it as are to be found outside it in the rest of the physical world.
  489. It is the same with the Spirit-man.
  490. In it pulsate the elements of the external spirit-world; in it the forces of the rest of the spirit-world are active.
  491. As within the physical skin a being is enclosed and limited which is alive and feels, so also is it in the spirit-world.
  492. The spiritual skin, which separates the Spirit-man from the homogeneous spirit-world, makes him an independent being within it, living a life within himself and perceiving intuitively the spiritual content of the world — let us call this “spiritual skin” (auric sheath) the spirit-sheath.
  493. Only it must be kept clearly in mind that the spiritual skin expands continually with advancing human evolution, so that the spiritual individuality of man (his auric sheath) is capable of enlargement to an unlimited extent.
  494. The Spirit-man lives within this spirit-sheath.
  495. It is built up by the spiritual life-force.
  496. In a similar way to that in which one speaks of an ether-body, one must therefore speak of an ether-spirit in reference to the Spirit-man.
  497. Let this ether-spirit be called Life-spirit.
  498. The spiritual being of man therefore is composed of three parts, Spirit-man, Life-spirit, and Spirit-self.
  499. For one who is a “seer” in the spiritual regions, this spiritual being of man is a perceptible reality as the higher, truly spiritual part of the aura.
  500. He “sees” the Spirit-man as Life-spirit within the spirit-sheath; and he “sees” how this “Life-spirit” grows continually larger, by taking in spiritual nourishment from the spiritual external world.
  501. Further, he sees how the spirit-sheath continually increases, widens out through what is brought into it, and how the Spirit-man becomes ever larger and larger.
  502. In so far as this “becoming larger” is “seen” spatially, it is of course, only a picture of the reality.
  503. In spite of this, man’s soul is directed towards the corresponding spiritual reality in conceiving this picture.
  504. For the difference between the spiritual and the physical being of man is that the latter has a limited size while the former can grow to an unlimited extent.
  505. Whatever of spiritual nourishment is absorbed has an eternal value.
  506. The human aura is accordingly composed of two interpenetrating parts.
  507. Colour and form are given to the one by the physical existence of man, and to the other by his spiritual existence.
  508. The ego marks the separation between them in such wise that the physical, after its own manner, yields itself and builds up a body that allows a soul to live within it; and the “I” yields itself and allows to develop in it the spirit, which now for its part permeates the soul and gives it the goal in the spirit-world.
  509. Through the body the soul is enclosed in the physical; through the Spirit-man there grow wings for its movement in the spiritual world.
  510. In order to comprehend the whole man, one must think of him as put together out of the components above mentioned.
  511. The body builds itself up out of the world of physical matter in such wise that its construction is adapted to the requirements of the thinking ego.
  512. It is penetrated with life-force, and thereby becomes the etheric or life-body.
  513. As such it opens itself through the sense-organs towards the outer world and becomes the soul-body.
  514. This the sentient soul permeates and becomes a unity with it.
  515. The sentient soul does not merely receive the impacts of the outer world as sensations; it has its own inner life which it fertilises through thinking, on the one hand, as it does through sensations on the other.
  516. It thus becomes the intellectual soul.
  517. It is able to do this by opening itself to intuitions from above, as it does to sensations from below.
  518. Thus it becomes the consciousness-soul.
  519. This is possible for it because the spirit-world builds into it the organ of intuition, just as the physical body builds for it the sense-organs.
  520. As the senses transmit to the human organism sensations by means of the soul-body, so does the spirit transmit to it intuitions through the organ of intuition.
  521. The Spirit-self is thereby linked into a unity with the consciousness-soul, just as the physical body is with the sentient soul in the soul-body.
  522. Consciousness-soul and Spirit-self form a unity.
  523. In this unity the Spirit-man lives as Life-spirit, just as the etheric body forms the bodily basis for the soul-body.
  524. And as the physical body is enclosed in the physical skin, so is the Spirit-man in the spirit-sheath.
  525. The members of the whole man are therefore as follows:
  526. Physical body.
  527. Ether-body or life-body.
  528. Soul-body.
  529. Sentient soul.
  530. Intellectual soul.
  531. Consciousness-soul.
  532. Spirit-self.
  533. Life-spirit.
  534. Spirit-man.
  535. Soul-body (C) and sentient soul (D) are a unity in the earthly man; in the same way are consciousness-soul (F) and Spirit-self (G) a unity.
  536. Thus there come to be seven parts in the earthly man.
  537. [See also under Addenda.]
  538. Physical body.
  539. Etheric or life-body.
  540. Sentient soul-body.
  541. Intellectual soul.
  542. Spirit-filled Consciousness-soul.
  543. Life-spirit.
  544. Spirit-man.
  545. In the soul the “I” flashes forth, receives the impetus from the spirit and thereby becomes the bearer of the Spirit-man.
  546. Thus man participates in the “three worlds”, the physical, the soul, and the spiritual.
  547. He is rooted in the physical world through his physical body, ether-body, and soul-body and blossoms through the Spirit-self, Life-spirit, and Spirit-man up into the spiritual world.
  548. The stalk, however, which takes root in the one and blossoms in the other, is the soul itself.
  549. This arrangement of the members of man can be expressed in a simplified way, but one entirely consistent with the above.
  550. Although the human “I” lights up in the consciousness-soul it nevertheless penetrates the whole soul-being.
  551. The parts of this soul-being are not at all as distinctly separate as are the limbs of the body: they interpenetrate each other in a higher sense.
  552. If then one regards the intellectual soul and the consciousness-soul as the two sheaths of the “I” that belong together, with the “I” itself as their kernel, then one can divide man into physical body, life-body, astral body, and “I”.
  553. The expression astral body designates here what is formed by soul-body and sentient soul together.
  554. This expression is found in the older literature, and may be applied here in a somewhat broad sense to that in the constitution of man which lies beyond the sensibly perceptible.
  555. Although the sentient soul is in certain respects energised by the “I” it is still so intimately connected with the soul-body that, in thinking of both as united, a single expression is justified.
  556. When, now, the “I” saturates itself with the Spirit-self, then this Spirit-self makes its appearance in such wise that the astral body is worked over from within the soul.
  557. In the astral body there are primarily active the impulses, desires, and passions of man, in so far as they are felt by him; sense-perceptions are also active in it.
  558. Sense-perceptions arise through the soul-body as a member in man which comes to him from the external world.
  559. Impulses, desires, and passions, etc., arise in the sentient soul, in so far as it is energised from within, before this “inner” has yielded itself to the Spirit-self.
  560. If the “I” saturates itself with the Spirit-self, then the soul energises the astral body with this Spirit-self.
  561. This expresses itself in the illumination of the impulses, desires, and passions by what the “I” has received from the spirit.
  562. The “I” has then, through its participation in the spiritual world, become ruler in the world of impulses, desires, etc.
  563. To the extent to which it has become this the Spirit-self manifests in the astral body.
  564. And the astral body is thereby transmuted.
  565. The astral body itself then appears as a two-fold body — in part untransmuted and in part transmuted.
  566. Therefore the Spirit-self, as manifested in man, can be designated as the transmuted astral body.
  567. A similar process takes place in a man when he receives the Life-spirit into his “I”.
  568. The life-body then becomes transmuted.
  569. It becomes penetrated with the Life-spirit.
  570. This manifests itself in such wise that the life-body becomes quite other than it was.
  571. For this reason one can also say that Life-spirit is the transmuted life-body.
  572. And if the “I” receives the Spirit-man, it thereby receives the necessary force with which to permeate the physical body.
  573. Naturally, that part of the physical body, thus transmuted, is not perceptible to the physical senses.
  574. For it is just that part of the physical body which has been spiritualised that has become the Spirit-man.
  575. The physical body is then present to the physical senses as physical, but in so far as this physical is spiritualised, it must be perceived by spiritual faculties of perception.
  576. To the external senses the physical, even when permeated by the spiritual, appears to be merely sensible.
  577. Taking all this as basis, the following arrangement of the members of man may also be given:
  578. Physical body.
  579. Life-body.
  580. Astral body.
  581. “I” as soul-kernel.
  582. Spirit-self as transmuted astral body.
  583. Life-spirit as transmuted life-body.
  584. Spirit-man as transmuted physical body.
  586. Midway between body and spirit lives the soul.
  587. The impressions which come to it through the body are transitory.
  588. They are present only as long as the body opens its organs to the things of the outer world.
  589. My eye perceives the colour of the rose only as long as the rose is in front of it and my eye is itself open.
  590. The presence of the things of the outer world as well as of the bodily organs is necessary in order that an impression, a sensation, or a perception can occur.
  591. But what I have recognised in my intellect as truth concerning the rose does not pass with the present moment.
  592. And as regards its truth, it is not in the least dependent on me.
  593. It would be true even although I had never stood before the rose.
  594. What I know through the spirit is rooted in an element of the soul-life, through which the soul is linked with a world-content that manifests itself in the soul independently of its bodily basis.
  595. The point is not whether what manifests itself is essentially imperishable, but whether its manifestation for the soul takes place in such a way that the soul’s perishable bodily basis takes no part, but only that which is independent of the perishable element.
  596. The enduring element in the soul comes under observation at the moment one becomes aware that the soul has experiences which are not bounded by its perishable factor.
  597. Again the important point is not whether these experiences come to consciousness primarily through perishable processes of the bodily organisation, but the fact that they contain something which does indeed dwell in the soul, but yet in its truth is independent of the transient process of the perception.
  598. The soul is placed between the present and duration, in that it holds the middle place between body and spirit.
  599. But it also mediates between the present and duration.
  600. It preserves the present for remembrance.
  601. It thereby rescues the present from impermanence, and takes it up into the duration of its own spiritual being.
  602. It also stamps that which endures upon the temporal and impermanent by not merely yielding itself up in its own life to the transitory incitements, but by determining things from out of its own initiative, and embodying its own nature in them in the shape of the actions it performs.
  603. By remembrance the soul preserves the yesterday; by action it prepares the to-morrow.
  604. My soul would always have to perceive afresh the red of the rose, in order to have it in consciousness, if it could not retain it through remembrance.
  605. What remains after an external impression, what can be retained by the soul, can again become a conception, independently of the external impression.
  606. Through this power of forming conceptions, the soul makes the outer world so into its own inner world that it can then retain the latter in the memory — for remembrance — and, independent of the impressions acquired, lead therewith a life of its own.
  607. The soul-life thus becomes the enduring result of the transitory impressions of the external world.
  608. But action also receives permanence when once it is stamped on the outer world.
  609. If I cut a twig from a tree, something has taken place through my being, which completely changes the course of events in the outer world.
  610. Something quite different would have happened to the branch of the tree if I had not interfered by my action.
  611. I have called into life a series of effects which, without my existence, would not have been present.
  612. What I have done to-day endures for to-morrow; it becomes lasting through the deed, as my impressions of yesterday have become permanent for my soul through memory.
  613. For this fact of becoming permanent through action we do not, in our ordinary consciousness, form a definite conception, like that which we have for “memory”, for the becoming permanent of an experience which has occurred as the result of a perception.
  614. But will not the “I” of a man be just as much finked to the alteration in the world resulting from his deed as it is to a memory resulting from an impression?
  615. The “I” judges new impressions differently, according as it has or has not this or that other recollection.
  616. But it has also as “I” entered into a different relation to the world according as it has performed one deed or another.
  617. Whether in the relation between the world and my “I” a certain something new is present or not, depends upon whether or not I have made an impression on another person through an action.
  618. I am a different man in relation to the world after having made an impression on my surroundings.
  619. The fact that what is here indicated is not so generally noticed as is the change in the “I” through the acquiring of a recollection, is solely due to the circumstance that the recollection unites itself, immediately on being formed, with the soul-life, which man always feels to be his own; but the external effects of the deed are independent of soul-life and work out in consequences which again are something different from what is retained in the recollection.
  620. But apart from this it must be admitted that, after a deed has been accomplished, there is something in the world which the ego has sealed with its own character.
  621. If one really thinks out what is here being considered, the question must arise as to whether the results of a deed on which the “I” has stamped its own nature might not retain a tendency to return to the “I”, just as an impression preserved in the memory, revives in response to some external inducement.
  622. What is preserved in the memory waits for such an inducement.
  623. Could not that which has retained the imprint of the “I” in the external world wait also, so as to approach the human soul from without, just as memory, in response to a given inducement, approaches it from within?
  624. This matter is put forward here only as a question: for certainly it might happen that the opportunity would never occur, through which the results of a deed, bearing the impress of the ego, could meet the human soul.
  625. But that these results do exist, as such, and that, through their presence, they determine the relation of the world to the “I” is seen at once to be a possible conception, when one really follows out in thought the matter before us.
  626. In the following considerations, we shall enquire whether there is anything in human life which, starting from this possibility, points to a reality.
  627. Let us first consider memory.
  628. How does it originate?
  629. Evidently in quite a different way from sensation or perception.
  630. Without the eye I cannot have the sensation “blue”.
  631. But through the eye I in no way have the remembrance of “blue”.
  632. If the eye is to give me this sensation now, a blue thing must come before it.
  633. The body would allow all impressions to sink back again into nothing were it not that whilst the present image is being formed through the act of perception, something is also taking place in the relationship between the outer world and the soul, as a result of which the man is able, subsequently, to form, through his own inner processes, a fresh image of that which he received in the first place as an image from outside himself.
  634. (Anyone who has acquired practice in observing the life of the soul will be able to realise how erroneous it is to say that a man has a perception to-day, and to-morrow, through memory, the same perception appears again, having meanwhile remained somewhere or other within him.
  635. No; the perception which I now have is a phenomenon which passes away with the “now”.
  636. When recollection takes place, a process occurs in me which is the result of something that happened, in addition to the calling forth of the actual present image, in the relation between the external world and me.
  637. The image called forth through remembrance is a new one, and not the old one preserved.
  638. Recollection consists in the fact that one can make a fresh mental image to oneself, and not that a former image can revive.
  639. What appears again in recollection is something different from the original image itself.
  640. These remarks are made here, because in the domain of Spiritual Science it is necessary that more accurate conceptions should be framed than is the case in ordinary life, and indeed also in ordinary science.)
  641. I remember; that is, I experience something which is itself no longer present.
  642. I unite a past experience with my present life.
  643. This is the case with every remembrance.
  644. Let us say for instance, that I meet a man and recognise him again because I met him yesterday.
  645. He would be a complete stranger to me were I not able to unite the picture which I made yesterday by perception, with my impression of him to-day.
  646. The picture of to-day is given me by the sense-perception, that is to say, by my sense-organisation.
  647. But who conjures yesterday’s picture into my soul?
  648. It is the same being in me that was present during my experience yesterday, and is also present in that of to-day.
  649. In the previous explanations it has been called soul.
  650. Were it not for this faithful preserver of the past, each external impression would be always new to a man.
  651. Clearly the process by which perception becomes a recollection is that the soul imprints it upon the body, as though it were stamped upon it.
  652. But the soul must both make the impression and also itself perceive the impression it has made, just as it perceives any object outside itself.
  653. It is in this way that the soul is the preserver of memory.
  654. As preserver of the past the soul continually gathers treasures for the human spirit.
  655. That I can distinguish what is correct from what is incorrect depends on the fact that I, as a human being, am a thinking being, able to grasp the truth in my spirit.
  656. Truth is eternal; and it could always reveal itself to me again in things, even if I were always to lose sight of the past and each impression were to be a new one to me.
  657. But the spirit within me is not restricted to the impressions of the present alone; the soul extends its horizon over the past.
  658. And the more it is able to bring to the spirit out of the past, the richer does it make the spirit.
  659. Thus the soul hands on to the spirit what it has received from the body.
  660. The spirit of man therefore carries at each moment of its life a two-fold possession within itself: firstly the eternal laws of the good and the true; secondly, the remembrance of the experiences of the past.
  661. What it does, it accomplishes under the influence of these two factors.
  662. If we want to understand a human spirit we must therefore know two different things about it: first, how much of the eternal has revealed itself to it; second, how much treasure from the past lies stored up within it.
  663. These treasures by no means remain in the spirit in an unchanged form.
  664. The impressions man acquires from his experiences fade gradually from the memory.
  665. Not so their fruits.
  666. One does not remember all the experiences one lived through during childhood while acquiring the faculties of reading and writing.
  667. But one could not read or write if one had not had the experiences, and if their fruits had not been preserved in the form of abilities.
  668. And that is the transmutation which the spirit effects on the treasures of memory.
  669. It consigns whatever can merely lead to pictures of the separate experiences to their fate, and extracts from them only the force necessary for enhancing its own abilities.
  670. Thus not one experience passes by unutilised; the soul preserves each one as memory, and from each the spirit draws forth all that can enrich its abilities and the whole content of its life.
  671. The human spirit grows through assimilated experiences.
  672. And although one cannot find the past experiences in the spirit as it were in a storeroom, one nevertheless finds their effects in the abilities which the man has acquired.
  673. Spirit and soul have thus far been considered only within the period lying between birth and death.
  674. One cannot stop there.
  675. Anyone wishing to do so would be like a man who observes the human body also within the same limits.
  676. Much can certainly be discovered within these limits; but the human form can never be explained by what lies between birth and death.
  677. It cannot build itself up directly out of mere physical substances and forces.
  678. It can only descend from a form like its own, which arises as the resultant of what has been handed on by heredity.
  679. The physical materials and forces build up the body during life; the forces of propagation enable another body, a body which can have the same form, to proceed from it; that is to say, one which is able to be the bearer of a similar life-body.
  680. Each life-body is a repetition of its forefather.
  681. Only because it is such a repetition does it appear, not in any chance form, but in that passed on to it by heredity.
  682. The forces which make possible my human form lay in my forefathers.
  683. But the spirit of a man appears also in a definite form (the word “form” is naturally used in a spiritual sense).
  684. And the forms of the spirit are the most varied imaginable in different persons.
  685. No two men have the same spiritual form.
  686. Investigations in this region should be made in just as quiet and matter-of-fact a manner as in the physical world.
  687. It cannot be said that the differences in human beings in a spiritual respect arise only from the differences in their environment, their upbringing, etc.
  688. This is by no means the case: for two people under similar influences as regards environment, upbringing, etc., develop in quite different ways.
  689. One must therefore admit that they have entered on their path of life with quite different qualities Here one is brought face to face with an important fact which when its full bearing is recognised, sheds light on the being of man.
  690. A person who is set upon directing his outlook exclusively towards material happenings, could indeed assert that the individual differences of human personalities arise from differences in the constitution of the material germs.
  691. (And in view of the laws of heredity discovered by Gregor Mendel and further developed by others, such a view can say much that gives it the appearance of justification, even to a scientific judgment.)
  692. One who judges in this way only shows, however, that he has no insight into the real relation of man to his experience.
  693. For it is obvious to careful observation that external circumstances affect different persons in different ways, because of something which is not the direct result of their material development.
  694. To the really accurate investigator in this domain it becomes apparent that what proceeds from the material basis can be distinguished from that which, it is true, arises through the mutual interaction of the man with his experiences, but which can only take shape and form in that the soul itself enters into this mutual interaction.
  695. It is clear that the soul stands here in relation to something within the external world, which, by virtue of its very nature, cannot be connected with the material, germinal basis.
  696. Human beings differ from their animal fellow-creatures on the earth through their physical form.
  697. But in respect of this form they are, within certain limits, like one another.
  698. There is only one human species.
  699. However great may be the differences between races, tribes, peoples, and personalities, as regards the physical body, the resemblance between man and man is greater than between man and any animal species.
  700. Everything that finds expression in the human species is conditioned through inheritance from forefathers to descendants.
  701. And the human form is bound to this heredity.
  702. As the lion can inherit its physical form through lion forefathers only, so can the human being inherit his physical body through human forefathers only.
  703. Just as the physical similarity of men is clear to the eye, so does the difference of their spiritual forms reveal itself to the unprejudiced spiritual gaze.
  704. There is one very evident fact through which this is expressed.
  705. It consists in the existence of the life-history of a human being.
  706. Were a human being merely a member of a species, no life-history could exist.
  707. A lion, a dove, lay claim to interest in so far as they belong to the lion or the dove species.
  708. The single being in all its essentials has been understood when one has described the species.
  709. It matters little whether one has to do with father, son, or grandson.
  710. What is of interest in them, father, son and grandson have in common.
  711. But what a human being signifies begins, not where he is merely a member of a species, but where he is a single individual being.
  712. I have not in the least understood the nature of Mr.
  713. Smith if I have described his son or his father.
  714. I must know his own life-history.
  715. Anyone who reflects on the nature of biography becomes aware that in respect of the spiritual each man is a species for himself.
  716. Those people, to be sure, who regard a biography merely as a collection of external incidents in the life of a person, may claim they can write the biography of a dog in the same way as that of a man.
  717. But anyone who depicts in a biography the real individuality of a man, grasps the fact that he has in the biography of one human being something that corresponds to the description of a whole species in the animal kingdom.
  718. The point is not — and this is quite obvious — that one can relate something in the nature of a biography about an animal — especially clever ones — but the point is that the human biography does not correspond to the life-history of the individual animal but to the description of the animal species.
  719. Of course there will always be people who will seek to refute what has been said here by urging that owners of menageries, for instance, know how single animals of the same species differ from one another.
  720. The man who judges thus, shows however, that he is unable to distinguish the difference between individuals from a difference which reveals itself as acquired only through individuality.
  721. Now if genus or species in the physical sense becomes intelligible only when one understands it as conditioned by heredity, so too the spiritual being can be understood only through a similar spiritual heredity.
  722. I have received my physical human form because of my descent from human forefathers.
  723. Whence have I that which finds expression in my life-history?
  724. As physical man, I repeat the shape of my forefathers.
  725. What do I repeat as spiritual man?
  726. Anyone claiming that what is comprised in my life-history required no further explanation, but has just be accepted as such, must be regarded as being also bound to maintain that he has seen, somewhere, an earth-mound on which the lumps of matter have, quite by themselves, conglomerated into a living man.
  727. As physical man I spring from other physical men, for I have the same shape as the whole human species.
  728. The qualities of the species, accordingly, could thus be acquired within the species through heredity.
  729. As spiritual man I have my own form as I have my own life-history.
  730. I can therefore have obtained this form from no one but myself.
  731. And since I entered the world not with undefined but with defined soul-predispositions, and since the course of my life, as it comes to expression in my life-history, is determined by these predispositions, my work upon myself cannot have begun with my birth.
  732. I must, as spiritual man, have existed before my birth.
  733. In my forefathers I certainly did not exist; for they as spiritual human beings, are different from me.
  734. My life-history is not explainable through theirs.
  735. On the contrary, I must, as spiritual being, be the repetition of someone through whose life-history mine can be explained.
  736. The only thinkable alternative would be this: that I owe the form of the content of my life-history to a spiritual life only, prior to birth (or more correctly to conception.)
  737. But one would only be entitled to hold this idea if one were willing to assume that what acts upon the human soul from its physical surroundings is of the same nature as what the soul receives from a purely spiritual world.
  738. Such an assumption contradicts really accurate observation.
  739. For what affects the human soul out of its physical environment works in the same way as a later experience works on a similar earlier experience in the same life.
  740. In order to observe these relations correctly, one must acquire a perception of how there are impressions operating in human life, whose influence upon the aptitudes of the soul is like standing before a deed that has to be done, in contrast to what has already been practised in physical life.
  741. But the soul does not bring faculties gained in this immediate life to meet these impressions, but aptitudes which receive the impressions in the same way as do the faculties acquired through practice.
  742. Anyone who penetrates into these matters, arrives at the conception of earth-lives which must have preceded this present one.
  743. He cannot in his thinking stop at purely spiritual experiences preceding this present earth-life.
  744. The physical form which Schiller bore, he inherited from his forefathers.
  745. But just as little as Schiller’s physical form can have grown directly out of the earth, as little can his spiritual being have arisen directly out of a spiritual environment.
  746. He must himself be the re-embodiment of a spiritual being, through whose life-history his own will be explicable, just as his physical human form is explicable through human propagation.
  747. In the same way, therefore, as the physical human form is again and again a repetition, a re-embodiment, of the distinctively human species, so too the spiritual human being must be a re-embodiment of the same spiritual human being.
  748. For, as spiritual human being, each one is in fact his own species.
  749. It might be objected to what has been stated here, that it is a mere spinning of thoughts; and such external proofs might be demanded as one is accustomed to demand in ordinary natural science.
  750. The reply to this is that the re-embodiment of the spiritual human being is, naturally, a process which does not belong to the domain of external physical facts, but is one that takes place entirely in the spiritual region.
  751. And to this region no other of our ordinary powers of intelligence has entrance, save that of thinking.
  752. He who will not trust to the power of thinking, cannot in fact enlighten himself regarding higher spiritual facts.
  753. For him whose spiritual eye is opened, the above trains of thought act with exactly the same force as does an event that takes place before his physical eyes.
  754. Anyone who ascribes to a so-called “proof”, constructed according to methods of natural science, greater power to convince than the above observations concerning the significance of life-history may be in the ordinary sense of the word a great scientist; but from the paths of true spiritual investigation he is very far distant.
  755. One of the most dangerous assumptions consists in claiming to explain the spiritual qualities of a man by inheritance from father, mother or other ancestors.
  756. Anyone who is guilty of the assumption, for example, that Goethe inherited what constituted his essential being from father or mother will at first be hardly accessible to argument, for there lies within him a deep antipathy to unprejudiced observation.
  757. A materialistic spell prevents him from seeing the mutual connections of phenomena in the true light.
  758. In such observations as the above, the antecedents are provided for following the human being beyond birth and death.
  759. Within the boundaries formed by birth and death, the human being belongs to the three worlds, of the bodily element, of soul, and of spirit.
  760. The soul forms the intermediate link between body and spirit, inasmuch as it endows the third member of the body, the soul-body, with the capacity for sensation, and inasmuch as it permeates the first member of the spirit, the Spirit-self, as consciousness-soul.
  761. Thus it takes part and lot during life with the body as well as with the spirit.
  762. This comes to expression in its whole existence.
  763. It will depend on the organisation of the soul-body, how the sentient soul can unfold its capabilities.
  764. And on the other hand, it will depend on the life of the consciousness-soul to what extent the Spirit-self can develop within it.
  765. The more highly organised the soul-body is, the more complete is the intercourse which the sentient soul will be able to develop with the outer world.
  766. And the Spirit-self will become so much the richer and more powerful, the more the consciousness-soul brings nourishment to it.
  767. It has been shown that during life this nourishment is supplied to the Spirit-self through assimilated experiences and the fruits of those experiences.
  768. For the interaction of soul and spirit described above can, of course, only take place where soul and spirit are within each other, penetrating each other, that is, within the union of Spirit-self with consciousness-soul.
  769. Let us consider first the interaction of the soul-body and the sentient soul.
  770. The soul-body, as has become evident, is the most finely elaborated part of the body; but it nevertheless belongs to the body and is dependent on it.
  771. Physical body, ether-body, and soul-body compose, in a certain sense, one whole.
  772. Hence the soul-body is also involved in the laws of physical heredity through which the body receives its shape.
  773. And since it is the most mobile and, so to speak, the most volatile form of body, it must also exhibit the most mobile, volatile manifestations of heredity.
  774. While, therefore, the difference in the physical body corresponding to races, peoples and tribes is the smallest, and while the ether-body shows, on the whole, a preponderating likeness, although a greater divergence as between single individuals, in the soul-body the difference is already a very considerable one.
  775. In it is expressed what is felt to be the external, personal peculiarity of a man.
  776. It is therefore also the bearer of that part of this personal peculiarity which is passed on from parents, grandparents, etc., to their descendants.
  777. True, the soul as such leads a complete life of its own; it shuts itself up with its inclinations and disinclinations, its feelings and passions.
  778. But as a whole it is nevertheless active, and therefore this whole comes to expression also in the sentient soul.
  779. And because the sentient soul interpenetrates and as it were fills the soul-body, the latter forms itself according to the nature of the soul and can in this way, as the bearer of heredity, pass on inclinations, passions, etc., from forefathers to children.
  780. On this fact rests what Goethe says:
  781. G“From my father I have stature and the serious manner of life, from my mother a joyous disposition and the love of telling stories.”
  782. Genius, of course, he did not receive from either.
  783. In this way we are shown what part of a man’s soul-qualities he hands over, as it were, to the line of physical heredity.
  784. The substances and forces of the physical body are in like manner present in the whole circle of external, physical Nature.
  785. They are continually being taken up from it and given back to it.
  786. In the space of a few years the substance which composes our physical body is entirely renewed.
  787. That this substance takes the form of the human body, and that it is perpetually renewed within this body, depends upon the fact that it is held together by the ether-body.
  788. And the form of the latter is not determined by events between birth — or conception — and death alone, but is dependent on the laws of heredity which extend beyond birth and death.
  789. That soul-qualities also can be transmitted by heredity, that is, that the progress of physical heredity receives an impulse from the soul, is due to the fact that the soul-body can be influenced by the sentient soul.
  790. Now how does the interaction between soul and spirit proceed?
  791. During life, the spirit is bound up with the soul in the way shown above.
  792. The soul receives from it the gift of living in the good and the true, and of thereby bringing, in its own life, in its tendencies, impulses and passions, the spirit itself to expression.
  793. The Spirit-self brings to the “I”, from the world of the spirit, the eternal laws of the true and good.
  794. These link themselves through the consciousness-soul with the experiences of the soul’s own life.
  795. These experiences themselves pass away but their fruits remain.
  796. The Spirit-self receives an abiding impression by having been linked with them.
  797. When the human spirit meets with an experience similar to one to which it has already been linked, it sees in it something familiar, and is able to adopt a different attitude towards it from the one it would adopt if it were facing it for the first time.
  798. This is the basis of all learning.
  799. And the fruits of learning are acquired capacities.
  800. The fruits of the transitory life are in this way graven on the eternal spirit.
  801. And do we not see these fruits?
  802. Whence spring the innate predispositions and talents described above as characteristic of the spiritual man?
  803. Surely only from capacities of one kind or another which the human being brings with him when he begins his earthly life.
  804. These capacities, in certain respects, exactly resemble those which we can also acquire for ourselves during our earthly life.
  805. Take the case of a genius.
  806. It is known that Mozart when a boy, could write out from memory a long musical work after hearing it only once.
  807. He was able to do this only because he could survey the whole at once.
  808. Within certain limits, a man is also able during life to increase his capacity of rapid survey, of grasping connections, so that he then possesses new faculties.
  809. Lessing has said of himself that through a talent for critical observation he had acquired for himself something that came near to genius.
  810. One has either to regard such abilities founded on innate capacities as a miracle or to consider them as fruits of experiences which the Spirit-self has had through a soul.
  811. They have been graven on this Spirit-self, and since they have not been implanted in this fife, they must have been in a former one.
  812. The human spirit is its own species.
  813. And just as man, as a physical being belonging to a species, transmits his qualities within the species, so does the spirit within its species, that is, within itself.
  814. In each life the human spirit appears as a repetition of itself with the fruits of its former experiences in previous lives.
  815. [See also under Addenda.]
  816. This life is consequently the repetition of others, and brings with it what the Spirit-self has, by work, acquired for itself in the previous life.
  817. When the Spirit-self absorbs something that can develop into fruit, it saturates itself with the Life-spirit.
  818. Just as the life-body reproduces the form, from species to species, so does the Life-spirit reproduce the soul from personal existence to personal existence.
  819. The preceding considerations give validity to that conception which seeks the reason for certain life-processes of man in repeated earth-lives.
  820. That conception can really only receive its full significance by means of observations which spring from spiritual insight, such as can be acquired by following the path of knowledge described at the close of this book.
  821. Here the only intention was to show that ordinary observation, rightly orientated by thinking, already leads to this conception.
  822. But observation of this kind, it is true, will at first leave the conception to become something like a silhouette.
  823. And it will not be possible to defend the conception entirely against the objections advanced by observation which is neither accurate, nor rightly guided by thinking.
  824. But on the other hand it is true that anyone who acquires such a conception through ordinary thoughtful observation, makes himself ready for supersensible observation.
  825. To a certain extent he develops something that one needs must have prior to this supersensible observation, just as one must have eyes prior to observing through the senses.
  826. Anyone who objects that through the formation of such a conception one can readily suggest to oneself the super-sensible observation, proves only that he is incapable of entering into the reality and that it is he himself who is thereby suggesting his objections.
  827. Thus the experiences of the soul become enduring not only within the boundaries of birth and death, but beyond death.
  828. The soul does not stamp its experiences, however, only on the spirit which flashes up in it; it stamps them on the outer world also, through its action.
  829. What a man did yesterday is to-day still present in its effects.
  830. The relationship between cause and effect in this connection is illustrated by the parallel relation between death and sleep.
  831. Sleep has often been called the younger brother of death.
  832. I get up in the morning.
  833. My consecutive activity has been interrupted by the night.
  834. Now under ordinary circumstances, it is not possible for me to begin my activity again just as I like.
  835. I must connect it with my doings of yesterday, if there is to be order and coherence in my life.
  836. My actions of yesterday are the conditions predetermining those actions which fall to me to-day.
  837. I have created my fate of to-day by what I did yesterday.
  838. I have separated myself for a while from my activity; but this activity belongs to me and draws me again to itself, after I have withdrawn myself from it for a while.
  839. My past remains bound up within me; it lives on in my present, and will follow me into my future.
  840. If the effects of my yesterday were not to be my fate to-day, I should have had, not to wake this morning, but to be newly created out of nothing.
  841. It would be absurd if under ordinary circumstances I were not to occupy a house that I have had built for me.
  842. The human spirit is as little newly created when it begins its earthly life, as a man is newly created every morning; let us try to make clear to ourselves what happens when entrance into this life takes place.
  843. A physical body, receiving its form through the laws of heredity, comes upon the scene.
  844. This body becomes the bearer of a spirit, which repeats a previous life in a new form.
  845. Between the two stands the soul, which leads a self-contained life of its own.
  846. Its inclinations and disinclinations, its wishes and desires, minister to it; it presses thought into its service.
  847. As sentient soul, it receives the impressions of the outer world and carries them to the spirit, in order that the spirit may extract from them the fruits that are to endure.
  848. It plays, as it were, the part of intermediary; and its task is fulfilled when it is adequate to this part.
  849. The body forms impressions for the sentient soul which transforms them into sensations, retains them in the memory as conceptions, and hands them over to the spirit to hold permanently.
  850. The soul is really that through which man belongs to his whole earthly life.
  851. Through his body he belongs to the physical human species.
  852. Through it he is a member of this species.
  853. With his spirit he lives in a higher world.
  854. The soul binds the two worlds together for a time.
  855. But the physical world into which the human spirit enters is no strange field of action to it.
  856. On that world the traces of its own former actions are imprinted.
  857. Something in this field of action belongs to this spirit.
  858. It bears the impress of its being.
  859. It is related to it.
  860. As the soul in the first place transmitted impressions from the outer world to the human spirit, in order that they might remain enduringly within it, so later the soul, as the organ of the human spirit, converted the faculties bestowed on it by the spirit into deeds which in their effects are also enduring.
  861. Thus the soul has actually immersed itself in these actions.
  862. In the effects of his deeds a man’s soul lives further a second life of its own.
  863. Now this provides us with a motive for examining life from this angle, in order to perceive how the processes of fate enter into it.
  864. Something “happens” to a man.
  865. He is probably at first inclined to regard such a “happening” as something coming into his life “by chance”.
  866. But he can become aware of how he himself is the outcome of such “chances”.
  867. Anyone who studies himself in his fortieth year and in the search after his soul-nature refuses to be content with an unreal abstract conception of the “I”, may well say to himself:
  868. “I am indeed nothing else whatever than what I have become through what has ‘happened’ to me according to fate up to the present.
  869. Should I not be a different man, if, for example, I had had a certain series of experiences when twenty years old instead of those that I did have?”
  870. The man will then seek his “I”, not only in those educative impulses which came to him from “within” outwards, but also in what has formatively thrust itself into his life from “without”.
  871. He will recognise his own “I” in that which “happens to him”.
  872. If one gives oneself up unreservedly to such a perception, then only a further step of really intimate observation of life is needed in order to see, in what comes to one through certain experiences of destiny, something which lays hold upon the “I” from without, just as memory works from within in order to make a past experience flash up again.
  873. Thus one can make oneself able to perceive in the experiences of fate, how a former action of the soul finds its way to the ego, just as in memory an earlier experience finds its way into the mind as a conception, if called forth by an external cause.
  874. It has already been alluded to as a “possible” conception, that the consequences of a deed may meet the human soul again.
  875. A meeting of this kind in regard to certain consequences of action is out of the question in the course of one earth-life, because that earth-life was particularly arranged for the carrying out of the deed.
  876. Experience is derived from its accomplishment.
  877. A definite consequence of that action can as little react upon the soul in that case, as one can remember an experience while one is still in the midst of it.
  878. It can only be a question here of the experience of the results of actions which do not confront the ego while it has the same soul-content which it had during the earth-life in which the deed was committed.
  879. One’s gaze can only be directed to the consequences of action from another earth-life.
  880. As soon as one realises that what “happens” to one seemingly as a destined experience is bound up with the “I”, just as much as what shapes itself “from out of the inner being” of that “I” — then one is forced to the conclusion that in such a destined experience one is concerned with the consequences of action from previous earth-lives.
  881. One sees that one is thus led, through an intimate grasp of life, guided by thinking, to what for the ordinary consciousness is the paradoxical assumption — namely, that the destined experiences of one earth-life are linked with the actions of preceding earth-lives.
  882. This conception again can only receive its full content through supersensible knowledge; lacking this it remains a mere silhouette.
  883. But once more, this conception, derived from the ordinary consciousness, prepares the soul so that it is enabled to behold its truth in actual super-sensible observation.
  884. Only the one part of my deed is in the outer world: the other is in myself.
  885. Let us make this relation of “I” to deed clear by a simple example taken from natural science.
  886. Creatures that once could see, migrated to the caves of Kentucky, and through their life in them have lost their power of sight.
  887. Existence in darkness has put the eyes out of action.
  888. Consequently the physical and chemical activity that is present when seeing takes place is no longer carried on in these eyes.
  889. The stream of nourishment, which was formerly expended on this activity, now flows to other organs.
  890. These creatures can now live only in these caves.
  891. They have by their act, by the immigration, created the conditions of their later lives.
  892. The immigration has become a part of their fate.
  893. A being that once acted, has united itself with the results of the action.
  894. It is so also with the human spirit.
  895. The soul could only mediate and make over certain capacities to the spirit through being itself active.
  896. And these capacities correspond to the actions.
  897. Through an action which the soul has performed, there lives in the soul the predisposition, full of energy, to perform another action, which is the fruit of that first action.
  898. The soul carries this as a necessity within itself, until the latter action has come to pass.
  899. One might also say: through an action, the necessity has been imprinted upon the soul to carry out the consequences of that action.
  900. By means of its actions, the human spirit has really brought about its own fate.
  901. In a new life it finds itself linked to what it did in a former one.
  902. One may ask,
  903. “How can that be, when the human spirit on reincarnating finds itself in an entirely different world from that which it left at some earlier time?”
  904. This question is based on a very superficial conception of the linking’s of fate.
  905. If I change my scene of action from Europe to America I also find myself in new surroundings.
  906. Nevertheless, my life in America depends entirely on my previous life in Europe.
  907. If I have been a mechanic in Europe, my life in America will shape itself quite differently from the way in which it would, had I been a bank clerk.
  908. In the one case I should probably be surrounded in America by machinery, in the other by banking arrangements.
  909. In each case my previous life decided my environment; it attracts to itself, as it were, out of the whole surrounding world, those things that are related to it.
  910. So it is with the Spirit-self.
  911. It inevitably surrounds itself in a new life with that to which it is related from previous lives.
  912. And on that account sleep is an apt image for death, because the man during sleep is withdrawn from the field of action in which his fate awaits him.
  913. While one sleeps, events in this field of action pursue their course.
  914. One has for a time no influence on this course of events.
  915. Nevertheless, our life in a new day depends on the effects of the deeds of the previous one.
  916. Our personality actually incarnates anew every morning in our world of action.
  917. What was separated from us during the night is spread out as it were around us during the day.
  918. So it is with the actions of the former embodiments of man.
  919. They are bound up with him as his destiny, as life in the dark caves remains bound up with the creatures who, through migration into them, have lost their power of sight.
  920. Just as these creatures can only live in the surroundings in which they have placed themselves, so the human spirit can only live in the surroundings which by its acts it has created for itself.
  921. That I find in the morning a state of affairs which I created on the previous day is brought about by the direct progress of the events themselves.
  922. That I, when I reincarnate, find surroundings which correspond with the results of my deeds in a previous life, is brought about by the relationship of my reincarnated spirit with the things in the world around.
  923. From this one can form a conception of how the soul is set into the constitution of man.
  924. The physical body is subject to the laws of heredity.
  925. The human spirit, on the contrary, has to incarnate over and over again; and its law consists in its bringing over the fruits of the former lives into the following ones.
  926. The soul lives in the present.
  927. But this life in the present is not independent of the previous fives.
  928. For the incarnating spirit brings its destiny with it from its previous incarnations.
  929. And this destiny determines its life.
  930. What impressions the soul will be able to have, what wishes it will be able to have gratified, what sorrows and joys shall grow up for it, with what individuals it shall come into contact — all this depends on the nature of the actions in the past incarnations of the spirit.
  931. Those people with whom the soul was bound up in one life, the soul must meet again in a subsequent one, because the actions which have taken place between them must have their consequences.
  932. When this soul seeks re-embodiment, those others, who are bound up with it, will also strive towards their incarnation at the same time.
  933. The life of the soul is therefore the result of the self-created destiny of the human spirit.
  934. The course of man’s life between birth and death is therefore determined in a three-fold way.
  935. And thereby he is dependent in a three-fold way on factors which he on the other side of birth and death.
  936. The body is subject to the law of heredity; the soul is subject to its self-created fate.
  937. Using an ancient expression, one calls this fate, created by the man himself, his karma.
  938. And the spirit is under the law of re-embodiment, repeated earth-lives.
  939. One can accordingly express the relationship between spirit, soul and body in the following way as well: the spirit is immortal; birth and death reign over the body according to the laws of the physical world; the soul-life, which is subject to destiny, mediates the connection of both during an earthly life.
  940. All further knowledge about the being of man presupposes acquaintance with the “three worlds” to which he belongs.
  941. These three worlds are dealt with in the following pages.
  942. A thinking which frankly faces the phenomena of life, and is not afraid to follow out to their final consequences the thoughts resulting from a living, vivid contemplation of life, can, by pure logic, arrive at the conception of the law of destiny and repeated incarnations.
  943. Just as it is true that for the seer with the opened “spiritual eye”, past lives, like an opened book, he before him as experience, so it is true that the truth of all this can become obvious to the unbiased reason which reflects upon it.
  944. [Compare what is said about this at the end of the book under Addenda (7).]
  946. 1. THE SOUL-WORLD
  947. Our study of man has shown that he belongs to three worlds.
  948. From the world of physical corporality are taken the materials and forces that build up his body.
  949. He has knowledge of this world through the perceptions of his outer physical senses.
  950. Anyone trusting to these senses alone, and developing only their perceptive capacities, can gain for himself no enlightenment concerning the two other worlds, the soul-world and the spiritual.
  951. A man’s ability to convince himself of the reality of a thing or a being depends on whether he has an organ of perception, a sense for it.
  952. It may, of course, easily lead to misunderstandings if one calls the higher organs of perception “spiritual senses”, as is done here: for in speaking of “senses” one involuntarily connects with them the thought of the “physical”.
  953. The physical world is in fact designated the “sensible”, in contradistinction to the “spiritual”.
  954. In order to avoid this misunderstanding, one must take into account that “higher senses” are spoken of here only in a comparative or metaphorical sense.
  955. As the physical senses perceive the physical, the soul and spiritual senses perceive the soul and spiritual worlds.
  956. The expression “sense” is used as meaning simply “organ of perception”.
  957. Man would have no knowledge of light and colour had he not an eye able to sense light; he would know nothing of sound had he not an ear able to sense sound.
  958. In this connection the German philosopher Lotze rightly says,
  959. “Without a light-sensing eye, and a sound-sensing ear, the whole world would be dark and silent.
  960. There would be in it just as little light or sound as there could be toothache without the pain-feeling nerve of the tooth”.
  961. In order to see what is said here in the right light, one need only think how entirely differently the world must reveal itself to man on the one hand, and on the other to the lower forms of animal life that have only a kind of sense of touch or sense of feeling spread over the whole surface of their bodies.
  962. Light, colour and sound certainly cannot exist for them in the same way as for beings endowed with ears and eyes.
  963. The vibrations which the firing of a gun causes, may also have an effect on them if they are struck by them.
  964. But in order that these vibrations of the air should present themselves to the soul as a report, an ear is necessary.
  965. And an eye is necessary in order that certain processes in the fine matter called ether should reveal themselves as light and colour.
  966. A man only knows something about a being or thing because through one of his organs he receives an effect from it.
  967. This relationship of man with the world of realities is excellently brought out by Goethe when he says,
  968. G“It is really in vain that we try to express the nature of a thing.
  969. We are aware of activities, and a complete history of these activities would indeed embrace the nature of that thing.
  970. We endeavour in vain to describe the character of a man: if instead we put together his actions and deeds, a picture of his character will present itself to us.
  971. Colours are the deeds of fight, deeds and sufferings … colours and fight are indeed linked in most intimate relationship, but we must think of them both as belonging to the whole of Nature; for through them the whole of Nature is engaged in revealing herself to the sense of the eye especially.
  972. In like manner Nature reveals herself to another sense
  973. Nature thus speaks downwards to other senses, to known, mis-known and unknown senses; she thus speaks with herself and to us through a thousand phenomena.
  974. To the attentive she is nowhere either dead or silent.”
  975. It would not be correct to interpret this saying of Goethe’s as though by it the possibility of knowing the essential nature of things were denied.
  976. Goethe does not mean that one perceives only the activity of a thing, and that its nature is hidden behind this.
  977. He means rather that one should not speak at all of a “hidden being”.
  978. The being is not behind its revelation; it comes on the contrary, into view through the revelation.
  979. But this being is in many respects so rich that it can reveal itself to other senses in yet other forms.
  980. That which reveals itself does belong to the being: only — on account of the limitations of the senses — it is not the whole being.
  981. This thought of Goethe’s corresponds entirely with the views of spiritual science set forth here.
  982. As in the body eye and ear develop as organs of perception, as senses for bodily processes, so is man able to develop in himself soul and spiritual organs of perception through which the soul and spiritual worlds will be opened to him.
  983. For those who have not such higher senses, these worlds are “dark and silent”, just as for a being without eyes and ears the bodily world is “dark and silent”.
  984. It is true that the relation of man to these higher senses is rather different from his relation to the bodily senses.
  985. It is good Mother Nature who sees to it, as a rule, that these latter are fully developed in him.
  986. They come into existence without his help.
  987. But on the development of his higher senses he must work himself.
  988. If he wishes to perceive the soul- and spirit-worlds, he must develop soul and spirit, as Nature has developed his body so that he may perceive the corporeal world around him and guide himself in it.
  989. Such a development of the higher organs not yet developed for us by Nature herself is not unnatural; for in the higher sense all that man accomplishes belongs also to Nature.
  990. Only he who is ready to maintain that man should remain standing at the stage at which he left the hand of Nature could call the development of the higher senses unnatural.
  991. By him the significance of these organs is “mis-known”, in the sense of the quotation from Goethe.
  992. Such a one might just as well oppose all education, for this also develops further the work of Nature.
  993. And he would have to oppose especially operations upon those born blind.
  994. For almost the same thing happens to that man who awakens the higher senses in himself, in the way set forth in the last part of this book, as happens to the person born blind and operated upon.
  995. The world appears to him with new qualities, events, and facts, of which the physical senses reveal nothing to him.
  996. It is clear to him that through these higher organs he adds nothing arbitrarily to the reality, but that without them the essential part of this reality would have remained hidden from him.
  997. The soul- and spirit-worlds are not to be thought of alongside or outside the physical world; they are not separated in space from it.
  998. Just as for persons born blind and operated upon, the previously dark world flashes out in light and colours, so do things which previously were only corporeal phenomena, reveal their soul- and spirit-qualities to one who is, in soul and spirit, awakened.
  999. It is true, moreover, that this world then becomes filled with other occurrences and beings that remain completely unknown to one whose soul- and spirit-senses are not awakened.
  1000. (The development of the soul- and spirit-senses will be spoken of in a more detailed way farther on in this book.
  1001. Here these higher worlds themselves will be first described.
  1002. Anyone who denies the existence of these worlds says nothing more than that he has not yet developed his higher organs.
  1003. The evolution of mankind is not terminated at any one stage; it must always progress.
  1004. [See also under Addenda.]
  1005. The “higher organs” are often involuntarily pictured as too similar to the physical ones.
  1006. It should, however, be realised that these organs are spiritual or soul-formations.
  1007. One ought not to expect, therefore, that what is perceived in the higher worlds will be only a cloudy, attenuated form of matter.
  1008. As long as something of this kind is expected one can come to no clear idea as to what is really meant here by “higher worlds”.
  1009. For many persons it would not be nearly as difficult as it actually is to know something about these higher worlds, the elementary part, that is to say, if they did not form the idea that what they will see is again physical matter rarefied.
  1010. Because they presuppose something of this kind, they are not, as a rule, at all willing to recognise what they are really dealing with.
  1011. They look upon it as unreal, refuse to acknowledge it as something that satisfies them, and so on.
  1012. True, the higher stages of spiritual development are accessible only with difficulty; but those stages which suffice for the perception of the nature of the spiritual — and that is already a great deal — would not be at all difficult to reach, if people would from the first free themselves from the preconception which consists in picturing to themselves the soul and the spiritual merely as being of a finer physical nature.
  1013. Just as we do not wholly know a man when we have formed a picture of his physical exterior only, so also we do not know the world around us if we know in it only what the physical senses reveal to us.
  1014. And just as a photograph becomes intelligible and living to us when we have become so intimately acquainted with the person photographed as to know his soul, so can we really only understand the corporeal world if we learn to know its soul- and spiritual-basis.
  1015. For this reason it is advisable to speak, first about the higher worlds, the soul- and spirit-worlds, and only then judge of the physical from the standpoint of spiritual science.
  1016. At this present stage of civilisation certain difficulties are encountered by anyone speaking about the higher worlds.
  1017. For the greatness of this age consists above all in the knowledge and conquest of the physical world.
  1018. Our words have, in fact, received their stamp and significance in relation to this physical world.
  1019. Nevertheless we must make use of these current words so as to link on to something known.
  1020. This opens the door to many misunderstandings on the part of those who will trust only their external senses.
  1021. Much can at first be expressed and indicated only by means of similes and comparisons.
  1022. It must be so, for such similes are a means by which man is first directed to these higher worlds, and through which his own ascent to them is furthered.
  1023. (Of this ascent we shall speak in a later chapter, when the development of the higher organs of perception will be dealt with.
  1024. To begin with, knowledge of the higher worlds must be gained by means of similes.
  1025. Only then is man ready to acquire for himself the power to see into them.)
  1026. As the substances and forces which compose and govern our stomach, our heart, our brain, our lungs, etc., come from the physical world, so do our qualities of soul, our impulses, desires, feelings, passions, wishes, sensations, etc., come from the soul-world.
  1027. The soul of man is a member of this world, just as his body is part of the physical-corporeal world.
  1028. If one wants at the outset to indicate a difference between the corporeal and soul-worlds, one could say that the latter is in all its objects and entities much finer, more mobile and plastic than the former.
  1029. But it must be kept clearly in mind that on entering the soul-world one enters a world entirely different from the physical.
  1030. If, therefore, “coarser” and “finer” be spoken of in this respect, readers must be fully aware that one is suggesting by means of a comparison something that is fundamentally different.
  1031. It is the same with all that is said about the soul-world in words borrowed from the world of physical corporality.
  1032. Taking this into account, it can be said that the formations and beings of the soul-world consist in the same way of soul-materials and are directed in the same way by soul-forces, as is the case in the physical world with physical substances and physical forces.
  1033. Just as spatial extension and spatial movement are peculiar to corporeal formations, so are susceptibility and impelling desire peculiar to the things and beings of the soul-world.
  1034. For this reason the soul-world is described as the world of desires or wishes, or as the world of longing.
  1035. These expressions are borrowed from the human soul-world.
  1036. One must therefore hold fast to the idea that the things in those parts of the soul-world which lie outside the human soul are just as different from the soul-forces within it, as the physical substances and forces of the external corporeal world are different from those parts which compose the physical body.
  1037. (Impulse, wish, longing, are names for the material of the soul-world.
  1038. To this material, let us give the name of “astral”.
  1039. If one pays more attention specifically to the forces of the soul-world, one can speak of “desire-reality”.
  1040. But it must not be forgotten that the distinction between “matter” and “force” cannot be as sharply drawn as in the physical world.
  1041. An impulse can just as well be called “force” as “matter”.)
  1042. The differences between the soul-world and the physical have a bewildering effect on one who obtains a view of the soul-world for the first time.
  1043. But that is also the case when a previously inactive physical sense has been opened.
  1044. The man born blind, when operated upon, has first to learn to guide himself through the world which he has previously known only by means of the sense of touch.
  1045. Such a man, for example, sees the objects at first in his eyes, then he sees them outside himself, but they appear to him as if painted on a flat surface.
  1046. Only gradually does he grasp perspective and the spatial distance between things, and so on.
  1047. In the soul-world entirely different laws prevail from those in the physical.
  1048. Now it is true that there are many soul-formations bound to those of the other worlds.
  1049. The soul of man, for instance, is bound to the human body and to the human spirit.
  1050. The occurrences to be observed in it are therefore influenced at the same time by the bodily and the spiritual worlds.
  1051. This has to be taken into account in observing the soul-world; and one must take care not to claim as a law of the soul-world occurrences due to the influence of another world.
  1052. When, for example, a man sends out a wish, that wish is brought to birth by a thought, by a conception of the spirit whose laws it accordingly follows.
  1053. But just as the laws of the physical world can be formulated disregarding, for example, man’s influence on it, so the same thing is possible with regard to the soul-world.
  1054. An important difference between soul and physical processes can be expressed by saying that interaction in the former is much more inward than in the latter.
  1055. In physical space there prevails, for example, the law of “impact”.
  1056. When an ivory ball strikes another which is at rest, the latter moves in a direction which can be calculated from the motion and elasticity of the former.
  1057. In soul-space, the mutual action of two forms which meet depends on their inner qualities.
  1058. If they are in affinity they mutually interpenetrate each other and as it were grow together.
  1059. They repel each other if their essential beings conflict.
  1060. In physical space there are, for example, definite laws of vision.
  1061. Distant objects diminish in perspective.
  1062. When one looks down an avenue, the distant trees appear, according to the laws of perspective, to stand at shorter distances from each other than the near ones.
  1063. In soul-space, on the contrary, all objects near and far appear to the clairvoyant at those distances from each other which are due to their inner nature.
  1064. This is naturally a source of all manner of mistakes for those who enter the soul-world, and wish to become at home there by the help of the principles they bring with them from the physical world.
  1065. One of the first things that a man must acquire in order to make his way about the soul-world, is the power to distinguish the various kinds of forms found there in a similar manner to that in which solid, liquid, airy or gaseous bodies are distinguished in the physical world.
  1066. In order to do this one must know the two basic forces which are the most important here.
  1067. They may be called sympathy and antipathy.
  1068. According to the way in which these basic forces work in any soul-formation, its nature is decided.
  1069. The force with which one soul-formation attracts others, seeks to fuse with them, to make its affinity with them effectual, must be designated as sympathy.
  1070. Antipathy, on the other hand, is the force with which soul-formations repel, exclude each other in the soul-world, with which they assert their separate identity.
  1071. The part played in the soul-world by a soul-formation depends upon the proportion in which these basic forces are present in it.
  1072. One has to distinguish, in the first place, between three kinds of soul-formations according to the manner in which sympathy and antipathy work in them.
  1073. These kinds differ from each other in that sympathy and antipathy have in them definitely fixed mutual relationships.
  1074. In all three, both basic forces are present.
  1075. Let us take, to begin with, a formation of the first kind.
  1076. It attracts other formations in its neighbourhood by means of the sympathy ruling in it; but besides this sympathy there is at the same time present in it antipathy, through which it repels certain things in its surroundings.
  1077. From the outside such a formation appears to be endowed with the forces of antipathy only.
  1078. That, however, is not the case.
  1079. There is sympathy and antipathy in it, but the latter predominates.
  1080. It has the upper hand over the former.
  1081. Such formations play a self-seeking role in soul-space.
  1082. They repel much that is around them, and lovingly attract only little to themselves.
  1083. They therefore move through soul-space as unchangeable forms.
  1084. The force of sympathy in them makes them appear avaricious, with a greed that seems insatiable, as though it could never be satisfied.
  1085. That is because the predominating antipathy repels so much of what approaches, that no satisfaction is possible.
  1086. If one wishes to compare this kind of soul-formation with something in the physical world, one can say that it corresponds with the solid physical body.
  1087. This region of soul-substance may be called Burning Desire.
  1088. That portion of this Burning Desire which is mingled with the souls of animals and men determines in them what one calls the lower sensual impulses, their dominating selfish instincts.
  1089. The second kind of soul-formation is that in which the two basic forces preserve a balance, in which, accordingly, antipathy and sympathy act with equal strength.
  1090. They approach other formations with a certain neutrality; they act on them as if related, but without especially attracting or repelling.
  1091. They erect no solid barrier, as it were, between themselves and their surroundings.
  1092. They constantly allow other formations in their surroundings to act on them; one can therefore compare them with the fluids of the physical world.
  1093. And there is nothing of greed in the way in which such formations attract others to themselves.
  1094. The activity meant here may be recognised, for example, when the human soul receives the sensation of a certain colour.
  1095. If I have the sensation of a red colour, I receive to begin with a neutral excitation from my surroundings.
  1096. Only when there is added to this excitation pleasure in the red colour does another soul-activity come into play.
  1097. That which produces the neutral excitation is the action of soul-formations standing in such mutual relationship that sympathy and antipathy preserve an equal balance.
  1098. The soul-substance here being considered, must be described as a perfectly plastic and mobile substance.
  1099. Not self-seeking like the first it moves through soul-space in such a way that its being receives impressions everywhere, and it shows itself to have affinity with much that approaches it.
  1100. An expression that might be applied to it is Flowing Susceptibility.
  1101. The third degree of soul-formation is that in which sympathy has the upper hand over antipathy.
  1102. Antipathy produces the self-seeking self-assertion; this, however, retires into the background when inclination towards the things around takes its place.
  1103. Let us picture such a formation within soul-space.
  1104. It appears as a centre of an attracting sphere which spreads over the objects around it.
  1105. Such formations must be specially designated as Wish-Substance.
  1106. This designation appears to be the right one, for although antipathy, relatively weaker than the sympathy, is there, the attraction works in such a way as to bring the attracted objects within the soul-formation’s own sphere.
  1107. The sympathy thus receives an underlying tone of selfishness.
  1108. This wish-substance may be likened to the airy or gaseous bodies of the physical world.
  1109. As a gas strives to expand on all sides, so does the wish-substance spread itself out in all directions.
  1110. Higher grades of soul-substance render themselves distinguishable by the fact that in them one of the basic forces, namely antipathy, retires completely into the background, and sympathy alone shows itself as the one really effective factor, which is able to express itself primarily within the various parts of the soul-formation itself.
  1111. These parts act upon each other in mutual attraction.
  1112. This force of sympathy within a soul-formation comes to expression in what one calls liking.
  1113. And each lessening of this sympathy is disliking.
  1114. Disliking is only lessened liking, as cold is only a lessened warmth.
  1115. Liking and disliking compose what fives in man as the world of feeling in the strict sense of the word.
  1116. Feeling is the activity of the soul within itself.
  1117. What one calls soul-comfort depends on the way in which the feelings of liking and disliking interact within the soul.
  1118. A still higher grade is occupied by those soul-formations whose sympathy does not remain shut up within the region of their own life.
  1119. They differ from the three lower grades, as does in fact the fourth also, in that in them the force of sympathy has no opposing antipathy to overcome.
  1120. It is only through these higher orders of soul-substance that the manifold variety of soul-formations can unite and form a common soul-world.
  1121. In so far as there is any appearance of antipathy, it is when the soul-entity approaches some other object for the benefit of its own life, in order that it may itself be strengthened and enriched by the other.
  1122. Where antipathy is stilled, the other object is received as a revelation, a source of discovery.
  1123. This higher form of soul-substance plays in soul-space a similar role to that played by light in physical space.
  1124. It causes a soul-entity to absorb into itself, as it were, the being or essence of others for their sake, or, in other words, to let itself be shone upon by them.
  1125. It is only by drawing upon these higher regions that the soul-entities are awakened to their true soul-life.
  1126. Their dull, darkened life opens outwards, and begins to shine and ray out into soul-space; the sluggish, dull weaving within itself which seeks to shut itself off through antipathy when only the substances of the lower regions are present, becomes force and mobility, which goes forth from within and pours itself outwards in streams.
  1127. The Flowing Susceptibility of the second region is only effective when formations meet each other.
  1128. Then, indeed, the one streams over into the other.
  1129. But contact is essential.
  1130. In the higher regions there prevails a free out-raying and outpouring.
  1131. Rightly does one describe the essential nature of this region as an “out-raying”, for the sympathy which is developed acts in such a way that one can use as symbol for it the expression taken from the action of light.
  1132. As a plant languishes in a dark cellar, so do the soul-formations without the soul-substances of the higher regions which give them life.
  1133. Soul-Light, Active Soul-Force and the true Soul-Life, in the strict sense, belong to these higher regions, and thence pour themselves into the soul-beings.
  1134. Thus we have to distinguish between three lower and three higher regions of the soul-world; and these two are linked together by a fourth, so that there results the following division of the soul-world:
  1135. Region of Burning Desires.
  1136. Region of Flowing Susceptibility.
  1137. Region of Wishes.
  1138. Region of Attraction and Repulsion.
  1139. Region of Soul-Light.
  1140. Region of Active Soul-Force.
  1141. Region of Soul-Life.
  1142. Throughout the first three regions, the soul-formations receive their qualities from the relative proportions of sympathy and antipathy; throughout the fourth region sympathy weaves its web within the soul-formations themselves; throughout the three highest, the power of sympathy becomes ever more and more free; illumining and quickening, the soul-substances of this region waft through soul-space, awakening that which, if left to itself, must lose itself in its own separate existence.
  1143. For the sake of clarity it is here emphasised, though it should be superfluous, that these seven divisions of the soul-world do not represent regions separated one from another.
  1144. Just as in the physical world, solid, liquid and airy or gaseous substances interpenetrate, so do Burning Desire, Flowing Susceptibility, and the forces of the World of Wishes in the soul-world.
  1145. And as in the physical world, warmth penetrates bodies and light illumines them, so is it the case in the soul-world with attraction and repulsion, and with the Soul-Light.
  1146. And something similar takes place with regard to the Active Soul-Force and the true Soul-Life.
  1148. The soul is the connecting link between the spirit of man and his body.
  1149. Its forces of sympathy and antipathy which, owing to their mutual relationship, bring about soul-manifestations such as desire, susceptibility, wish, liking, aversion, etc., are not only active between soul-formations and soul-formations, but they manifest themselves also in relation to the beings of the other worlds, the physical and the spiritual.
  1150. While the soul lives in the body it participates to a certain extent in all that takes place in the body.
  1151. When the physical functions of the body proceed with regularity, pleasure and comfort arise in the soul; if these functions are disturbed, aversion and pain arise.
  1152. And the soul has its share in the activities of the spirit also; one thought fills it with joy, another with abhorrence; a correct judgment has the approval of the soul, a false one its disapproval.
  1153. The stage of evolution of a man depends, in fact, on whether the inclinations of his soul move more in one direction or in another.
  1154. A man is the more perfect, the more his soul sympathises with the manifestations of the spirit; he is the more imperfect the more the inclinations of his soul are satisfied by the functions of the body.
  1155. The spirit is the central point of man, the body the instrument by which the spirit observes and learns to understand the physical world and through which it acts in it.
  1156. But the soul is the intermediary between the two.
  1157. It releases the sensation of the tone from the physical impression which the vibrations of the air make on the ear; it experiences pleasure in this sound.
  1158. All this it communicates to the spirit, which thereby attains to the understanding of the physical world.
  1159. A thought which arises in the spirit is translated by the soul into the wish to realise it, and only through this can it become deed, with the help of the body as instrument.
  1160. Now man can fulfil his destiny only by allowing his spirit to direct the course of all his activity.
  1161. The soul can by its own power direct its inclinations just as readily to the physical as to the spiritual.
  1162. It sends as it were, its feelers down into the physical as well as raising them into the spiritual.
  1163. By sinking them into the physical world the soul’s own being becomes saturated and coloured by the nature of the physical.
  1164. But since the spirit is able to act in the physical world only through the soul as intermediary, it also receives in this way the direction towards the physical.
  1165. Its formations are drawn towards the physical by the forces of the soul.
  1166. Observe, for example, an undeveloped man.
  1167. The inclinations of his soul cling to the functions of his body.
  1168. He feels pleasure only in the impressions made by the physical world on his senses.
  1169. His intellectual life too is thereby completely drawn down into this region.
  1170. His thoughts are used only to satisfy his demands on the physical life.
  1171. Since the spiritual Self lives from incarnation to incarnation, it is intended to receive its direction ever increasingly out of the spiritual.
  1172. Its knowledge should be determined by the spirit of eternal Truth, its action by the eternal Goodness.
  1173. Death, regarded as a fact in the physical world, signifies a change in the functions of the body.
  1174. With death the body ceases to be, through its organisation, the instrument of the soul and the spirit.
  1175. It shows itself henceforth entirely subject in its processes to the physical world and its laws; and it passes over into it in order to dissolve there.
  1176. It is only these physical processes of decay in the body that can be observed after death by the physical senses.
  1177. What then happens to soul and spirit escapes these senses.
  1178. For even during life, soul and spirit can be observed by the senses only in so far as they attain to external expression in physical processes.
  1179. After death such an expression is no longer possible.
  1180. Therefore in regard to the fate of the soul and spirit after death, observation by means of the senses and a science based on them are of no value.
  1181. Here a higher knowledge steps in, based on observation of what takes place in the soul- and spirit-worlds.
  1182. After the spirit has released itself from the body, it still continues to be united with the soul.
  1183. And as during physical life the body fettered it to the physical world, so now the soul fetters it to the soul-world.
  1184. But it is not in this soul-world that the spirit’s true, primordial being is to be found.
  1185. The soul-world is intended to serve merely as its connecting link with the scene of its actions, the physical world.
  1186. In order to appear in a new incarnation with a more perfect form, the spirit must draw force and renewed strength from the spiritual world.
  1187. But through the soul it has become entangled in the physical world.
  1188. It is bound to a soul-entity which is saturated and coloured by the nature of the physical, and through this it has acquired a tendency in that direction.
  1189. After death the soul is no longer bound to the physical body, but only to the spirit.
  1190. It lives now within soul-surroundings.
  1191. Only the forces of this soul-world can therefore have an effect on it.
  1192. And at first the spirit also is bound to this life of the soul in the soul-world.
  1193. It is bound to it in the same way as it is bound to the body during physical incarnation.
  1194. When the body shall die is determined by the laws of the body.
  1195. Speaking generally, in fact, it must be said it is not that the soul and spirit forsake the body, but that they are released from the body when its forces are no longer able to fulfil the purpose of the human organisation.
  1196. The relationship between soul and spirit is just the same.
  1197. The soul will release the spirit to pass into the higher, the spiritual world, when its forces are no longer able to fulfil the purpose of the human soul-organisation.
  1198. The spirit is set free the moment the soul has handed over to dissolution what it can only experience in the body, and retains only that which can five on with the spirit.
  1199. This remainder which, although experienced in the body, can, nevertheless, as fruit be impressed on the spirit, connects the soul with the spirit in the purely spiritual world.
  1200. In order to learn the fate of the soul after death, therefore, one has to observe its process of dissolution.
  1201. It had the task of giving the spirit its direction towards the physical.
  1202. The moment it has fulfilled this task the soul takes the direction to the spiritual.
  1203. In fact, the nature of its task would cause it to be at once only spiritually active when the body falls away from it, that is, when it can no longer be a connecting link.
  1204. And so it would be, had it not, owing to its life in the body, been influenced by the latter and in its inclinations attracted to it.
  1205. Without this colouring, received through the body, it would at once, on being disembodied, follow the laws of the spiritual-soul-world only, and manifest no further inclination to the sense-world.
  1206. And this would be the case if a man, on dying, completely lost all interest in the earthly world, if all desires, wishes, etc., attaching to the existence he has left, had been completely satisfied.
  1207. In so far, however, as this is not the case, that which remains over in this direction clings to the soul.
  1208. To avoid confusion, we must here carefully distinguish between what chains man to the world in such a way that it can be balanced in a subsequent incarnation, and that which chains him to one particular incarnation, that is, to the immediately preceding one.
  1209. The first is made good by means of the law of destiny, Karma; but the other can be got rid of only by the soul after death.
  1210. After death there follows, for the human spirit, a time during which the soul is shaking off its inclinations towards physical existence, in order once more to follow the laws of the spiritual-soul-world only and set the spirit free.
  1211. It is natural that this time will last longer the more strongly the soul was bound to the physical.
  1212. It will be short in the case of a man who has clung little to physical life; long, on the other hand, for one who has completely bound up his interests with it, so that at death many desires, wishes, etc., still live in the soul.
  1213. The easiest way to gain an idea of the condition in which the soul fives during the time immediately after death, is afforded by the following consideration.
  1214. Let us take a somewhat crass example: the pleasures of the bon vivant.
  1215. His pleasure consists in the tickling of the palate by food.
  1216. The pleasure is naturally not bodily, but belongs to the soul.
  1217. The pleasure lives in the soul as also does the desire for the pleasure.
  1218. But for the satisfaction of the desire the corresponding bodily organs, the palate, etc., are necessary.
  1219. After death the soul has not immediately lost such a desire, but it no longer possesses the bodily organ which provides the means for satisfying the desire.
  1220. The state of the man is now — to be sure, from another cause, but one which acts in the same way only far more strongly — as if he were suffering burning thirst in a region in the length and breadth of which there is no water.
  1221. The soul thus suffers burning pain from the deprivation of the pleasure, because it has laid aside the bodily organ through which it can experience that pleasure.
  1222. It is the same with all that the soul yearns for and that can only be satisfied through the bodily organs.
  1223. This condition (of burning privation) lasts until the soul has learned not to long any more for what can only be satisfied through the body.
  1224. And the time passed in this condition may be called the Region of Desires, although it has of course nothing to do with a “locality.”
  1225. When the soul enters the soul-world after death it becomes subject to the laws of that world.
  1226. The laws act on it, and on their action depends the manner in which its inclinations towards the physical are destroyed.
  1227. The way in which they act on it must differ according to the kinds of soul-substances and soul-forces, in whose domain it is placed at the time.
  1228. Each of these kinds will make its purifying, cleansing influence felt.
  1229. The process which takes place here is such that all antipathy in the soul is gradually overcome by the forces of sympathy, and this sympathy itself is brought to its highest pitch.
  1230. For through this highest degree of sympathy with the whole of the rest of the soul-world, the soul will, as it were, merge into it, become one with it; then it is utterly emptied of its self-seeking.
  1231. It ceases to exist as a being inclined to physically sensible existence.
  1232. In this way the spirit is set free.
  1233. The soul therefore purifies itself through all the regions of the soul-world already described, until, in the region of perfect sympathy, it becomes one with the general soul-world.
  1234. That the spirit itself is in bondage until this last moment of the liberation of its soul is due to the fact that, through its life with it, the spirit has become most intimately related to the soul.
  1235. This relationship is much closer than the one with the body.
  1236. For to the body the spirit is only indirectly bound through the soul; while to the soul it is directly bound.
  1237. The soul, is in fact, the spirit’s own life.
  1238. For this reason the spirit is not bound to the decaying body, though it is bound to the soul that is gradually freeing itself.
  1239. On account of the immediate bond between the spirit and the soul, the spirit can feel free from the soul only when the latter has itself become one with the general soul-world.
  1240. In so far as the soul-world is the abode of man immediately after death, it can be called the “Region of Desires”.
  1241. The different religious systems, which have embodied in their doctrines a knowledge of these conditions, know this “Region of Desires” by the name of “purgatory”, “cleansing fire”, and so on.
  1242. The lowest region of the soul-world is that of Burning Desire.
  1243. By it everything in the soul that has to do with the coarsest, lowest, selfish desires of the physical life is purged from the soul after death.
  1244. For through such desires it is exposed to the effects of the forces of this soul-region.
  1245. The unsatisfied desires which have remained from physical life furnish the points of attack.
  1246. The sympathy of such souls extends only to what can nourish their selfish natures; it is greatly exceeded by the antipathy which floods everything else.
  1247. Now the desires, however, are concerned with physical enjoyments which cannot be satisfied in the soul-world.
  1248. The craving is intensified to its highest degree by this impossibility of satisfaction.
  1249. But at the same time, owing to this impossibility, it is forced to die out gradually.
  1250. The burning lusts gradually exhaust themselves, and the soul has learned by experience that the only means of preventing the suffering that must come from such longings lies in killing them out.
  1251. During physical life, satisfaction is ever and again being attained.
  1252. By this means the pain of the burning lusts is covered over by a kind of illusion.
  1253. After death, in the “cleansing fire” the pain comes into evidence quite unveiled.
  1254. The corresponding experiences of privation are passed through.
  1255. It is a dark, gloomy state in which the soul thus finds itself.
  1256. Of course only those persons whose desires are directed during physical life to the coarsest things can fall into this condition.
  1257. Natures with few lusts go through it without noticing it, for they have no affinity with it.
  1258. It must be stated that souls are the longer influenced by Burning Desire the more closely they have become bound up with that fire during life; and the more they require on that account to be purified in it.
  1259. Such purification should not be described as suffering in the same sense as one would feel anything similar in the sense-world as suffering.
  1260. For the soul, after death, demands its own purification, because only thereby can an imperfection that exists in it be purged away.
  1261. In the second region of the soul-world, sympathy and antipathy preserve an equal balance.
  1262. In so far as a human soul is in that condition after death it will be influenced for a time by what takes place in this region.
  1263. The losing of oneself in the external glitter of life; the joy in the swiftly succeeding impressions of the senses, bring about this condition.
  1264. People live in it in so far as it is brought about by the soul-inclinations just indicated.
  1265. They allow themselves to be influenced by each worthless trifle of everyday life; but as their sympathy is attached to no one thing in particular, the influences quickly pass.
  1266. Everything that does not belong to this region of empty nothings is repellent to such persons.
  1267. If the soul experiences this condition after death without the presence of the physical objects which are necessary for its satisfaction, the condition must needs ultimately die out.
  1268. Naturally the privation which precedes its complete extinction in the soul is full of suffering.
  1269. This state of suffering is the school for the destruction of the illusion in which a man is enveloped during physical life.
  1270. Thirdly, there comes under consideration in the soul-world that which is filled with predominating sympathy, that in which the wish-nature predominates.
  1271. The effects of this activity are experienced by souls through all that maintains an atmosphere of wishes after death.
  1272. These wishes also gradually die out on account of the impossibility of being satisfied.
  1273. The region of Attraction and Repulsion in the soul-world which has been described above as the fourth, imposes on the soul special trials.
  1274. As long as the soul dwells in the body it shares all that concerns it.
  1275. The inner surge of attraction and repulsion is bound up with the body.
  1276. It causes the soul’s feeling of well-being and comfort, dislike and discomfort.
  1277. Man feels during his physical life that his body is himself.
  1278. What is called the feeling of self is based upon this fact.
  1279. And the more people live in the sense-life, the more does their feeling of self take on this characteristic.
  1280. After death the body, the object of this feeling of self, is lacking.
  1281. On this account the soul, which still retains the feeling, has the sensation of being, as it were, hollowed out.
  1282. A feeling as if it had lost itself overcomes the soul.
  1283. This continues until it has been recognised that the true man does not lie in the physical.
  1284. The impressions of this fourth region on the soul accordingly destroy the illusion of the bodily self.
  1285. The soul learns no longer to feel this corporality as an essential reality.
  1286. It is cured and purified of its attachment to corporality.
  1287. In this way it has conquered that which previously chained it strongly to the physical world, and can unfold fully the forces of sympathy which flow outwards.
  1288. It has, so to say, broken free from itself, and is ready to pour itself with full sympathy into the common soul-world.
  1289. It should not pass unnoted that the experiences of this region are suffered with special intensity by suicides.
  1290. They leave their physical body in an artificial way, while all the feelings connected with it remain unchanged.
  1291. In the case of natural death, the decay of the body is accompanied by a partial dying out of the feelings of attachment to it.
  1292. In the case of suicides there are, in addition to the torment caused by the feeling of having been suddenly hollowed out, the unsatisfied desires and wishes on account of which they have deprived themselves of their bodies.
  1293. The fifth stage of the soul-world is that of Soul-Light.
  1294. In it sympathy with others has already reached a high degree of power.
  1295. Souls are connected with it in so far as, during their physical lives, they did not lose themselves in the satisfaction of lower necessities, but took delight and pleasure in their surroundings.
  1296. Enthusiasm for Nature, for example, in so far as it has borne something of a sensuous character, undergoes cleansing here.
  1297. It is necessary, however, to distinguish clearly this kind of love of Nature from that higher living in Nature which is of the spiritual kind, and which seeks for the spirit that reveals itself in the things and events of Nature.
  1298. This kind of feeling for Nature is one of the things that develop the spirit itself and establish something permanent in the spirit.
  1299. But one must distinguish between such a feeling for Nature and a pleasure in Nature that is based on the senses.
  1300. In regard to this the soul requires purification just as much as in the case of other inclinations based on mere physical existence.
  1301. Many people hold, as a kind of ideal, arrangements which minister to sensuous welfare, and a system of education which results above all in the production of sensuous comfort.
  1302. One cannot say of them that they are furthering only their selfish impulses.
  1303. But their souls are, nevertheless, directed to the physical world, and must be cured of this by the prevailing force of sympathy in the fifth region of the soul-world in which these external means of satisfaction are lacking.
  1304. The soul here recognises gradually that this sympathy must take other directions; and these are found in the outpouring of the soul into the soul-region, which is brought about by sympathy with the soul-surroundings.
  1305. Those souls also who seek from their religious observances mainly an enhancement of their sensuous welfare, whether it be that their longing goes out to an earthly or a heavenly paradise, are purified here.
  1306. They find this paradise in the “Soul-land”, but only for the purpose of seeing through its worthlessness.
  1307. These are, of course, merely a few detached examples of purifications which take place in this fifth region.
  1308. They could be multiplied indefinitely.
  1309. By means of the sixth region, that of Active Soul-Force, the purification of that part of the soul which thirsts for action takes place in souls whose activity does not bear an egotistical character, but springs, nevertheless, from the sensuous satisfaction which action affords them.
  1310. Natures which develop this desire for action, viewed superficially, convey the impression of being idealists; they show themselves to be persons capable of self-sacrifice.
  1311. In the deeper sense, however, the chief thing with them is the enhancement of a sensuous feeling of pleasure.
  1312. Many artistic natures and such as give themselves up to scientific activity because it pleases them, belong to this class.
  1313. What binds these people to the physical world is the belief that art and science exist for the sake of such pleasure.
  1314. The seventh region, that of the real Soul-Life, frees man from his last inclinations to the sensibly physical world.
  1315. Each preceding region takes up from the soul whatever has affinity with it.
  1316. What now still envelops the spirit is the belief that its activity should be entirely devoted to the physical world.
  1317. There are individuals who, though highly gifted, do not think about much more than the occurrences of the physical world.
  1318. This belief can be called materialistic.
  1319. It must be destroyed, and this is done in the seventh region.
  1320. There the souls see that no objects exist in true reality for materialistic thinking.
  1321. Like ice in the sun this belief of the soul melts away.
  1322. The soul-being is now absorbed into its own world; the spirit, free from all fetters, rises to the regions where it lives in its own surroundings only.
  1323. The soul has completed its previous earthly task, and after death any traces of this task that remained as fettering to the spirit, have dissolved.
  1324. By overcoming the last trace of the earth, the soul is itself given back to its own element.
  1325. One sees from this description that the experiences in the soul-world, and also the conditions of soul-life after death, assume an ever less repellent appearance the more man has shaken off those elements adhering to him from his earthly union with the physical corporality and immediately related to his body.
  1326. The soul will belong for a longer or shorter time to one or another region according to the conditions created in its physical life.
  1327. Where the soul feels itself to be in affinity, there it remains until the affinity is extinguished.
  1328. Where no relationship exists, it goes on its way without feeling the possible influences.
  1329. It was intended that only the fundamental characteristics of the soul-world and the outstanding features of the life of the soul in this world should be described here.
  1330. This applies also to the following descriptions of the Spiritland.
  1331. It would exceed the prescribed limits of this book were further characteristics of these higher worlds to be described.
  1332. For what can be compared with spatial relationships and the course of time (since conditions here are quite different from those obtaining in the physical world) can only be discussed intelligibly when one is prepared to deal with them in full detail.
  1333. References of importance in this connection will be found in the book Occult Science — an Outline.
  1335. Before the spirit can be observed on its further pilgrimage, the region it enters must first be examined.
  1336. It is the “World of the Spirit”.
  1337. This world is so unlike the physical that whatever is said about it will appear fantastic to one who is willing only to trust his physical senses.
  1338. And what has already been said in regard to the world of the soul holds good here to a still higher degree; that is, to say, one has to use analogies in order to describe it.
  1339. For our speech, which for the most part serves only for the realities of the senses, is not richly blessed with expressions directly applicable to the “Spiritland”.
  1340. It is therefore especially necessary here to ask the reader to take much that is said as an indication only.
  1341. For everything described here is so unlike the physical world that it can be depicted only in this way.
  1342. The author is ever conscious of how inadequately his account describes the experiences of this region, owing to the imperfect means of expression in language that is adapted entirely to the physical world.
  1343. It must above all be emphasised that this world is woven out of the substance of which human thought consists.
  1344. (The word “substance”, too, is here used in a far from usual sense.)
  1345. But thought, as it lives in earthly man, is only a shadow picture, a phantom of its true being.
  1346. As the shadow of an object on the wall is related to the real object which throws this shadow, so is the thought that makes its appearance through a human brain related to the being in the Spiritland which corresponds to this thought.
  1347. Now when the spiritual sense of man is awakened he actually perceives this thought-being, just as the eye of the senses perceives the table or the chair.
  1348. He moves in a region of thought-beings.
  1349. The corporeal eye perceives the lion, and the thinking that is directed to the material world thinks the thought “lion” as a shadow, a shadowy picture.
  1350. In “Spiritland” the spiritual eye sees the thought “lion” as truly as the corporeal eye sees the physical lion.
  1351. Here we may again refer to the analogy already used regarding the Soul-land.
  1352. Just as the environment of a man born blind and then operated upon appear all at once with the new qualities of colour and light, so is the environment of the person who learns to use his spiritual eye seen to be filled with a new world, the world of living thoughts or spirit-beings.
  1353. There are to be seen in this world, first the spiritual archetypes of all things and beings which are present in the physical and in the soul worlds.
  1354. Imagine the picture of a painter existing in the mind before it is painted.
  1355. This indicates what is meant by the expression “Archetype”.
  1356. It does not concern us here that the painter has not, perhaps, had such an archetype in his mind before he paints; and that it only gradually develops and becomes complete during the practical work.
  1357. In the real “World of the Spirit”, there are such archetypes for all things, and the physical things and beings are images of these archetypes.
  1358. It is quite understandable when anyone who trusts only to his outer senses denies this archetypal world, and holds archetypes to be merely abstractions which the intellect arrives at by comparing the objects of the senses.
  1359. Such a person simply cannot see in this higher world; he knows the thought-world only in its shadowy abstractness.
  1360. He does not know that a man with spiritual vision is as familiar with the spirit-beings as he himself is with his dog or his cat, and that the archetypal world has a far more intense reality than the world of the physical senses.
  1361. True, the first insight into “Spiritland” is still more bewildering than that into the soul-world.
  1362. For the archetypes in their true form are very unlike their material images.
  1363. They are, however, just as unlike their shadows, the abstract thoughts.
  1364. In the spiritual world everything is in continuous, mobile activity, ceaselessly creating.
  1365. A state of rest, a remaining in one place, as in the physical world, do not exist here.
  1366. For the archetypes are creative beings.
  1367. They are the master builders of all that comes into being in the physical world and the soul-world.
  1368. Their forms change rapidly; and in each archetype lies the possibility of assuming myriads of specialised formations.
  1369. [See also under Addenda.]
  1370. They let the different formations well out of them, and scarcely is one produced than the archetype sets about pouring forth the next one.
  1371. The archetypes stand in more or less intimate relationships to each other.
  1372. They do not work singly.
  1373. The one requires the help of the other for its creations.
  1374. Innumerable archetypes often work together in order that this or that being in the soul-world or the physical world may arise.
  1375. Besides what is to be perceived by “spiritual sight” in this “Spiritland”, there is something else that is to be regarded as “spiritual hearing”.
  1376. As soon as the clairvoyant rises out of the soul-world into the spirit-world, the archetypes that are perceived sound as well.
  1377. This “sounding” is a purely spiritual process.
  1378. It must be conceived of without any accompanying thought of physical sound.
  1379. The observer feels as if he were in an ocean of tones.
  1380. And in these tones, in this spiritual sounding, the beings of the spirit-world express themselves.
  1381. The primordial laws of their existence are expressed in their mutual relationships and affinities, in the intermingling of their sounds, their harmonies, melodies and rhythms.
  1382. What the intellect perceives in the physical world as law, as idea, reveals itself to the “spiritual ear” as a spiritual music.
  1383. (Hence, the Pythagoreans called this perception of the spiritual world the “Music of the Spheres”.
  1384. To one who possesses the “spiritual ear” this “Music of the Spheres” is not something merely figurative and allegorical, but a spiritual reality well known to him.)
  1385. If one wishes to gain a conception of this “spiritual music” one must lay aside all ideas of the music of the senses as perceived by the “material ear”.
  1386. For here one is concerned with “spiritual perception”, that is, with perception of such a kind as must remain silent for the “ear of the senses”.
  1387. In the following descriptions of the “Spiritland”, reference to this “spiritual music” will be omitted for the sake of simplicity.
  1388. One has only to form a mental picture in which everything described as “picture”, as “radiance”, is at the same time sounding.
  1389. To each colour, each perception of light, there is a corresponding spiritual tone, and every combination of colours corresponds to a harmony, a melody, etc.
  1390. For one must hold clearly in mind that even where the sounding prevails, perception by means of the “spiritual eye” by no means ceases.
  1391. The sounding is merely added to the radiance.
  1392. Therefore, where archetypes are spoken of in the following pages, the “Primal Tones” are to be thought of as also present.
  1393. Other perceptions arise as well, which by way of comparison may be termed “spiritual tasting”, and so on.
  1394. But it is not proposed to go into these processes here, since we are concerned with awakening a conception of the “Spiritland” through certain selected modes of perception.
  1395. It is necessary, in the first place, to distinguish the different kinds of archetypes from one another.
  1396. In the “Spiritland”, too, one has to distinguish between a number of grades or regions in order to find one’s way among them.
  1397. Here also, as in the soul-world, the different regions are not to be thought of as lying one above the other like strata, but as mutually interpenetrating and pervading each other.
  1398. The first region contains the “archetypes” of the physical world in so far as it is not endowed with life.
  1399. The archetypes of the minerals are to be found here — also those of the plants; but the latter only in so far as they are purely physical, that is, in so far as the life in them is not taken into account.
  1400. In the same way one finds here the archetypes of the physical forms of the animals and of human beings.
  1401. This does not exhaust all that is to be found in this region but merely illustrates it by the readiest examples.
  1402. This region forms the basic scaffolding of the “Spiritland”.
  1403. It can be likened to the solid land of the physical earth.
  1404. It forms the “continental” mass of the “Spiritland”.
  1405. Its relationship with the physical corporeal world can only be described by means of an illustration.
  1406. One gains some idea of it in the following way.
  1407. Picture a limited space filled with physical bodies of the most varied kinds.
  1408. Then think these bodies away and conceive in their place cavities in space, having their forms.
  1409. The intervening spaces, on the other hand, which were previously empty, must be thought of as filled with the most varied forms, having manifold relationships with the physical bodies spoken of above.
  1410. This is somewhat like the appearance presented by the lowest region of the archetypal world.
  1411. In it, the things and beings which become embodied in the physical world are present as “spatial cavities”.
  1412. And in the intervening spaces the mobile activity of the archetypes (and of the “spiritual music”) plays out its course.
  1413. At the time of physical embodiment the spatial cavities become as it were filled with physical matter.
  1414. If anyone were to look into space with both physical and spiritual eyes, he would see the physical bodies, and in between, the mobile activity of the creative archetypes.
  1415. The second region of the “Spiritland” contains the archetypes of life.
  1416. But here this life forms a perfect unity.
  1417. It streams through the world of spirit like a fluid element, as it were like blood pulsating through everything.
  1418. It may be likened to the sea and the water systems of the physical earth.
  1419. Its distribution, however, is more like the distribution of the blood in the animal body than that of the seas and rivers.
  1420. This second stage of the “Spiritland” could be described as Flowing Life, formed of thought-substances.
  1421. In this element are the creative Primal Forces, producing everything that appears in physical reality as living being.
  1422. Here it is evident that all life is a unity, that the fife in man is related to the life of all his fellow-creatures.
  1423. The archetypes of whatever is of the nature of soul must be designated as the third region of the “Spiritland”.
  1424. Here we find ourselves in a much finer and rarer element than in the first two regions.
  1425. To use a comparison it can be called the air or atmosphere of the “Spiritland”.
  1426. Everything that goes on in the souls of both the other worlds has here its spiritual counterpart.
  1427. Here all feelings, sensations, instincts, passions, etc., are again present, but in a spiritual way.
  1428. The atmospheric processes in this aerial region correspond with the sorrows and joys of the creatures in the other worlds.
  1429. The longing of a human soul appears here as a gentle zephyr; an outbreak of passion is like a stormy blast.
  1430. One who can form conceptions of what is here under consideration, pierces deep into the sighing of every creature when he directs his attention to it.
  1431. One can for example speak here of storms with flashing lightning and rolling thunder; and if one investigates the matter one finds that the passions of a battle waged on earth are expressed in such “spirit tempests”.
  1432. The archetypes of the fourth region are not immediately related to the other worlds.
  1433. They are in certain respects Beings who govern the archetypes of the three lower regions and mediate their working together.
  1434. They are accordingly occupied with the ordering and grouping of these subordinate archetypes.
  1435. From this region therefore a more comprehensive activity proceeds than from the lower ones.
  1436. The fifth, sixth and seventh regions differ essentially from the preceding ones.
  1437. For the Beings in these regions supply the archetypes with the impulses for their activity.
  1438. In them are to be found the creative forces of the archetypes themselves.
  1439. He who is able to rise to these regions comes to know the purposes which underlie our world.
  1440. [That such a term as “purposes” is also meant in the sense of a “simile” is obvious from what was said above about the difficulties of expression in language.
  1441. It is not intended to revive the old “doctrine of purpose”.]
  1442. The archetypes lie here still like living germ-entities ready to assume the most manifold forms of thought-beings.
  1443. If these germ-entities are projected into the lower region they well up, as it were, and manifest themselves in the most varied shapes.
  1444. The ideas through which the human spirit manifests itself creatively in the physical world are the reflection, the shadow, of these germinal thought-beings of the higher spiritual world.
  1445. The observer with the “ear of spirit” rises from the lower regions of the “Spiritland” to these higher ones, becomes aware that sounds and tones are changed into a “spiritual language”.
  1446. He begins to perceive the “spiritual word” through which the things and beings do not now make known to him their nature in music alone, but express it in “words”.
  1447. They utter to him what is called in spiritual science their “eternal names”.
  1448. We must picture to ourselves that these thought-germinal-beings are of a composite nature.
  1449. Out of the element of the thought-world only the germ-sheath, as it were, is taken.
  1450. And this surrounds the true life kernel.
  1451. With it we have reached the confines of the “three worlds”, for the “kernel” has its origin in still higher worlds.
  1452. When man was described above according to his component parts this “life kernel” of the human being was specified, and its components were called “Life Spirit” and “Spirit Man”.
  1453. There are similar “life kernels” for other beings in the Cosmos.
  1454. They originate in higher worlds and are placed in the three which have been described, in order to accomplish their tasks in them.
  1455. The human spirit will now be followed on its further pilgrimage through the “Spiritland” between two embodiments or incarnations.
  1456. In the course of the description the conditions and distinguishing characteristics of this “land” will once more come clearly into view.
  1457. [See also under Addenda.]
  1459. When the human spirit on its way between two incarnations has passed through the “World of Souls” it enters the “Land of Spirits” to remain there until it is ripe for a new bodily existence.
  1460. We can only understand the meaning of this sojourn in “Spiritland” if we are able to interpret in the right way the aim and end of the pilgrimage of man during his incarnations.
  1461. While man is incarnated in the physical body he works and creates in the physical world.
  1462. And he works and creates in it as a spiritual being.
  1463. He imprints on the physical forms, on the corporeal materials and forces, what his spirit thinks out and elaborates.
  1464. He has therefore as a messenger of the spiritual world to embody the spirit in the corporeal world.
  1465. Only by being incarnated can a man work in the corporeal world.
  1466. He must take on the physical body as his instrument, that through the body he can work upon the other bodies around and they can work upon him.
  1467. But what works through this physical corporality of man is the spirit.
  1468. From this flow the purposes, the directions its work is to take in the physical world.
  1469. Now as long as the spirit works in the physical body it cannot as spirit five in its true form.
  1470. It can only shine through the veil of the physical existence.
  1471. For as a matter of fact the thought-life of man really belongs to the spiritual world; and as it appears in the physical existence its true form is veiled.
  1472. One can also say that the thought-life of the physical man is a shadow, a reflection of the activity of the true, spiritual being to whom it belongs.
  1473. Thus, during physical life the spirit working through the physical body interacts with the earthly corporeal world.
  1474. Now although it is in working on the physical corporeal world that one of the tasks of the spirit of man lies as long as he is proceeding from incarnation to incarnation, yet this task could not be carried out as it ought to be, were the spirit to lead an embodied existence only.
  1475. For the purposes and goals of the earthly task are just as little elaborated or gained within the earthly incarnation, as the plan of a house comes into existence on the site on which the labourers work.
  1476. Just as this plan is worked out in the offices of the architect, so are the aims and purposes of earthly creative activities worked out and elaborated in the “Land of Spirits”.
  1477. The spirit of man has always to live again in this realm between two incarnations in order, equipped with what he brings with him from there, to be able to tackle the work in the physical life.
  1478. As the architect, without working with brick and mortar, designs the plan of the house in his workroom in accordance with architectural and other laws, so has the architect of human activity, the spirit or Higher Self, to develop in the “Spiritland” its capacities and aims in accordance with the laws of that land, in order then to bring them over into the physical world.
  1479. Only if the human spirit sojourns over and over again in its own region, will it also be able to bring the spirit, by means of the physical corporeal instruments, into the earthly world.
  1480. On the physical scene of action man learns to know the qualities and forces of the physical world.
  1481. During his creative activity he gathers experiences there regarding the demands made by the physical world on anyone wishing to work in it.
  1482. He there learns to know the qualities of the matter in which he wishes to embody his thoughts and ideas.
  1483. The thoughts and ideas themselves he cannot extract from matter.
  1484. Thus the physical world is both the scene of his creating and of his learning.
  1485. What has been learned is then transmuted, in the “Spiritland”, into living faculties of the spirit.
  1486. The above comparison can be carried farther, in order to make the matter clearer.
  1487. The architect designs the plan of a house.
  1488. It is carried out.
  1489. While this goes on he gains a number of the most varied experiences.
  1490. All of these experiences enhance his capacities.
  1491. When he works out his next plan, all these experiences flow into it.
  1492. And this next plan, when compared with the first, is seen to be enriched with all that was learned through the first.
  1493. It is the same with the successive human lives.
  1494. In the intervals between the incarnations, the spirit lives in its own sphere.
  1495. It can give itself up entirely to the requirements of the spirit-life; freed from the physical body, it develops in every direction, and works into this development the fruits of its experiences in former earthly lives.
  1496. Thus its attention is always directed to the scene of its earthly tasks; thus it works continually at following the earth, in so far as that is its present field of action, through its necessary development.
  1497. It works upon itself, so as to be able in each incarnation to carry out its service during that life in accordance with the then condition of the earth.
  1498. This is of course only a general outline of the course of successive human lives.
  1499. The reality will never be quite the same but will only more or less correspond with it.
  1500. Circumstances may bring it about that a subsequent life of a man is much less perfect than a previous one.
  1501. But taken as a whole such irregularities equalise themselves within definite limits in the succession of lives.
  1502. The development of the spirit in “Spiritland” takes place through the man throwing himself completely into the life of the different regions of this land.
  1503. His own life as it were dissolves into each region successively; he takes on, for the time being, their characteristics.
  1504. Through this they permeate his being with theirs, in order that his being may be able to work, strengthened by theirs, in his earthly life.
  1505. In the first region of the “Spiritland”, man is surrounded by the spiritual archetypes of earthly things.
  1506. During life on earth he learns to know only the shadows of these archetypes which he grasps in his thoughts.
  1507. What is merely thought on the earth is in this region experienced, lived.
  1508. Man moves among thoughts; but these thoughts are real beings.
  1509. What he has perceived with his senses during life on earth works on him now in its thought-form.
  1510. But the thought does not appear as the shadow which hides itself behind the things; it is on the contrary the life-filled reality producing the things.
  1511. Man is, as it were, in the thought-workshop in which earthly things are formed and constructed.
  1512. For in the “Land of Spirit” all is vital activity and mobility.
  1513. Here, the thought-world is at work as a world of living beings, creative and formative.
  1514. We see how what we have experienced during the earthly existence is shaped.
  1515. Just as in the physical body we experience the things of the senses as reality, so now as spirit we experience the spiritual formative forces as real.
  1516. Among the thought-beings to be found there, is also the thought of our own physical corporality.
  1517. We feel separated from this.
  1518. We feel only the spiritual being as belonging to ourselves.
  1519. And when we perceive the discarded body as if in memory, no longer as physical but as thought-being, then its relation to the external world becomes a matter of direct perception.
  1520. We learn to look at it as something belonging to the external world, as a member of this external world.
  1521. Consequently we no longer separate our own corporality from the rest of the external world, as something more nearly related to ourselves.
  1522. We feel the unity in the whole external world including our own bodily incarnations.
  1523. Our own embodiments dissolve here into a unity with the rest of the world.
  1524. Thus here we look upon the archetypes of the physical, corporeal reality as a unity, to which we have ourselves belonged.
  1525. We learn therefore gradually to know our relationship, our unity, with the surrounding world by observation.
  1526. We learn to say to it
  1527. “That which is here spread out around thee, thou wert that.”
  1528. And that is one of the fundamental thoughts of ancient Indian Vedanta wisdom.
  1529. The “sage” acquires, even during his earthly life, what others experience after death, namely, ability to grasp the thought that he himself is related to all things, the thought,
  1530. “Thou art that.”
  1531. In earthly life this is an ideal to which the thought-life can be devoted; in the “Land of Spirit” it is an immediate reality, one which grows ever clearer to us through spiritual experience.
  1532. And man himself comes to know more and more clearly in this realm that in his own inner being he belongs to the spirit-world.
  1533. He is aware of himself as a spirit among spirits, a member of the Primordial Spirits, and he will feel in his own self the word of the Primordial Spirit:
  1534. “I am the Primal Spirit.”
  1535. (The Wisdom of the Vedanta says, “I am Brahman”, i.e., I belong to the Primordial Being, in Whom all beings have their origin.)
  1536. We see that what is grasped during earthly life as a shadowy thought, towards which all wisdom strives, is, in the “Spiritland”, an immediate experience.
  1537. Indeed, it is only thought during the earth-life because it is a fact in the spiritual existence.
  1538. Thus during his spiritual existence man sees the relationships and facts in the midst of which he stands during his earthly life, from a high watch-tower, as if from outside.
  1539. And during his life in the lowest region of “Spiritland”, he lives thus in respect of the earthly relationships immediately connected with the physical corporeal reality.
  1540. On earth man is born into a family, a race: he lives in a certain country.
  1541. His earthly existence is determined by all these relationships.
  1542. He finds this or that friend because relationships in the physical world bring it about.
  1543. He carries on this or that business.
  1544. All this decides the conditions of his earthly life.
  1545. All this now presents itself to him during his life in the first region of “Spiritland” as living thought-reality.
  1546. He lives it all through again in a certain way.
  1547. But he lives it through from the active spiritual side.
  1548. The family love he has extended, the friendship he has offered, become alive from within, and his capacities in this direction are enhanced.
  1549. That element in the spirit of man which works as the power of love of family and friend is strengthened.
  1550. He enters again on his later earthly existence a more perfect man in these respects.
  1551. It is to a certain extent the everyday relationships of the earth-life which ripen as the fruitage of this lowest region of “Spiritland”.
  1552. And that element in man, which in its interests is wholly absorbed by these everyday relationships will feel itself in affinity with this region for the greater part of the life between two incarnations.
  1553. The people with whom we have lived in the physical world, we find again in the spiritual world.
  1554. Just as everything falls away from the soul which was peculiarly its own through the physical body, so also does the bond that in physical life linked soul and soul, loosen itself from those conditions which have meaning and reality only in the physical world.
  1555. Yet there is carried over beyond death — into the spiritual world — all that soul was to soul in the physical life.
  1556. It is natural that words coined from physical conditions can only reproduce inaccurately what takes place in the spiritual world.
  1557. But if this is taken into account, it must be described as quite correct when it is said: souls who belong together in physical life find each other again in the spiritual world so as to continue their lives together there.
  1558. The next region is that in which the common life of the earth-world flows as thought-being, as the fluid element, so to speak, of “Spiritland”.
  1559. As long as we observe the world during physical embodiment, fife appears to be confined within separate living beings.
  1560. In “Spiritland” it is loosed from them and, like life-blood, flows as it were through the whole realm.
  1561. It is there the living unity that is present in everything.
  1562. Of this also only a reflection appears to man during the earthly fife.
  1563. And this reflection expresses itself in every form of reverence that man pays to the whole, to the unity and harmony of the universe.
  1564. The religious life of man is derived from this reflection.
  1565. Man becomes aware that the all-embracing meaning of existence does not fie in what is transitory and separate.
  1566. He regards the transitory as a “semblance” a likeness of an eternal, of a harmonious unity.
  1567. He looks up to this unity in reverence and worship.
  1568. He offers up to it religious acts and rites.
  1569. In “Spiritland” there appears, not the reflection, but the real form, as living thought-being.
  1570. Here man can really unite with the unity that he has reverenced on earth.
  1571. The fruits of the religious life and everything connected with it make their appearance in this region.
  1572. Man now learns through spiritual experience to recognise that his individual fate is not to be separated from the community to which he belongs.
  1573. The capacity to know oneself as a member of a whole, develops here.
  1574. The religious feelings, everything that has already during life striven after a pure and noble morality, will draw strength from this region during a great part of the spiritual life between incarnations.
  1575. And the man will reincarnate with enhanced capacities in this direction.
  1576. Whereas in the first region we are together with those souls with whom we have been linked by the closest ties during the preceding physical life, in the second region we enter the domain of all those with whom we felt ourselves to be united in a wider sense: through a common reverence, through a common religious confession, and so on.
  1577. It must be emphasised that the spiritual experiences of the preceding regions persist through the subsequent ones.
  1578. Thus a man is not torn away from the ties knit by family, friendship and so on, when he enters upon the life of the second and following regions.
  1579. Moreover the regions of the “Spiritland” do not he like “divisions” apart from each other; they interpenetrate each other, and man experiences himself in a new region not because he has outwardly “entered upon” it in any form whatever, but because he has attained in himself the inner capacities for perceiving that within which he previously lived without perceiving it.
  1580. The third region of “Spiritland” contains the archetypes of the soul-world.
  1581. All that lives in that world is present here as living thought-being.
  1582. We find here the archetypes of desires, wishes, feelings, etc.
  1583. But here, in the spirit-world, no element of self-seeking clings to the soul.
  1584. Like all life in the second region, in this third region all longings, wishes, all likes and dislikes form a unity.
  1585. The desire and wish of another are not separable from my desire and wish.
  1586. The sensations and feelings of all beings are a common world enclosing and surrounding everything else, just as the physical atmosphere surrounds the earth.
  1587. This region is, as it were, the atmosphere or air of the “Spiritland”.
  1588. Everything that a person has carried out in his life on earth in the service of the community, in selfless devotion to his fellowmen, will bear fruit here.
  1589. For through this service, through this self-giving, he has lived in a reflection of the third region of the “Spiritland”.
  1590. The great benefactors of the human race, the self-sacrificing natures, those who render great services to communities, have acquired their capacity to render them in this region, after having prepared themselves for a special relationship with it during their previous earthly lives.
  1591. It is evident that the three regions of “Spiritland” just described stand in a certain relation to the worlds below them, to the physical world and the soul-world.
  1592. For they contain the archetypes, the living thought-beings that take corporeal and soul-existence in those worlds.
  1593. Only the fourth region is the “pure Spiritland”.
  1594. But even this region is not that in the fullest sense of the word.
  1595. It differs from the three lower regions owing to the fact that in them we meet with the archetypes of those physical and soul-relations, which man finds existing in the physical world and soul-world, before he himself begins to take any part in them.
  1596. The circumstances of everyday life are linked to the things and beings which man finds already present in the world; the transitory things of this world direct his gaze to their eternal, primal foundation: and man’s fellow creatures also, to whom he selflessly devotes himself, do not owe their presence there to man.
  1597. But it is through him that there are in the world all the creations of the arts and sciences, of technology, of the State, and so on; in short all that he has embodied in the world as original works of his spirit.
  1598. Without his co-operation none of the physical reproductions of all these would be in the world.
  1599. The archetypes of these purely human creations are in the fourth region of the “Spiritland”.
  1600. What man develops during his earthly life in the way of scientific discoveries, of artistic ideas and forms, of technology, bears fruit in this fourth region.
  1601. It is out of this region therefore that artists, scientists, great inventors, draw their impulses and enhance their genius during their sojourn in “Spiritland”, in order during another incarnation to be able to assist in fuller measure the further evolution of human culture.
  1602. But we must not imagine that this fourth region of the “Spiritland” has importance only for particularly outstanding men.
  1603. It has importance for all men.
  1604. Everything that occupies man in his physical life outside the sphere of everyday living, wishing and willing, has its primal source in this region.
  1605. If a man did not pass through it in the period between death and a new birth, then in his subsequent life he would have no interests leading out beyond the narrow circle of his personal life-conduct to what is common to all humanity.
  1606. It has been said above that even this region cannot be called the “pure Spiritland” in the full sense of the word.
  1607. This is because the state in which men have left civilisation on earth continues to influence their spiritual existence.
  1608. They can enjoy in “Spiritland” only the fruits of what it was possible for them to carry out in accordance with their gifts and the stage of development of the race, State, etc., into which they were born.
  1609. In the still higher regions of the “Spiritland” the human spirit is now freed from every earthly fetter.
  1610. It rises to the pure “Spiritland” in which it experiences the intentions, the aims, which the spirit set itself to accomplish by means of the earthly life.
  1611. Everything that has already been achieved in the world brings into existence only a more or less feeble copy of the highest intentions and aims.
  1612. Each crystal, each tree, each animal, and all that is being achieved in the domain of human creation — all these are merely reflections of what the spirit intends.
  1613. And man, during his incarnations, can only form a connection with these imperfect reflections of the perfect intentions and aims.
  1614. Thus during one of his incarnations he himself can only be a reflection of what, in the kingdom of the spirit, he is intended to be.
  1615. What he, as spirit in “Spiritland”, really is, therefore, comes into view only when he rises in the interval between two incarnations, to the fifth region of “Spiritland”.
  1616. What he is here is really he himself: the being who maintains an external existence in the numerous and varied incarnations.
  1617. In this region the true Self of man can freely live.
  1618. And this Self is therefore that which appears ever anew in each incarnation as the one Self.
  1619. This Self brings with it the faculties which have developed in the lower regions of the “Spiritland”.
  1620. Consequently, it bears the fruits of former lives over into those following.
  1621. It is the bearer of the results of former incarnations.
  1622. When the Self lives in the fifth region of the “Spiritland” it is in the realm of intentions and aims.
  1623. As the architect learns from the imperfections which show themselves in his work, and as he brings into his new plans only what he was able to change from imperfections to perfections, so the Self, in the fifth region, casts off from its experiences in former lives whatever is bound up with the imperfections of the lower worlds, and fertilises the purposes of the “Spiritland” — purposes with which it now lives — with the results of its former lives.
  1624. It is clear that the force which can be drawn from this region will depend upon how much the Self, during its incarnation, has acquired in the form of results fit to be received into the world of purposes.
  1625. The Self that has sought to fulfil the purposes of the spirit during earthly life through an active thought-life or through wise love expressed in deeds, will establish a strong claim to be received into this region.
  1626. The Self that has expended itself entirely on the events of the everyday life, that has lived only in the transitory, has sown no seeds that can play a part in the purposes of the eternal World Order.
  1627. Only that small portion of its activities which extended beyond the interests of everyday life can unfold as fruitage in these higher regions of the “Spiritland”.
  1628. But it must not be supposed that what chiefly comes into consideration here is “earthly fame” or anything akin to it.
  1629. No: it is rather a question of bringing into consciousness the fact that in the very narrowest circles of life each single thing has its significance in the eternal progress of existence.
  1630. We must make ourselves familiar with the thought that in this region a man must judge otherwise than he can in physical life.
  1631. For instance: if he has acquired little that is related to this fifth region, there arises in him the urge to instil into himself for the following life an impulse, which will cause that life so to run its course that in its destiny (Karma) the consequential effect of that deficiency shall come to light.
  1632. That which then, in the following earth-life, appears as painful destiny from the point of view of that life — nay, is perhaps deeply bewailed as such — is the very thing the man in this region of the “Spiritland” finds absolutely necessary for himself.
  1633. Since a man in the fifth region lives in his own true Self, he is lifted out of everything from the lower worlds that envelops him during his incarnations.
  1634. He is what he ever was and ever will be during the course of his incarnations.
  1635. He is at one with the purposes which prevail during these incarnations, and which he members into his own Self.
  1636. He looks back on his own past, and feels that everything he has experienced in it will be brought into the purposes he has to bring to realisation in the future.
  1637. A kind of remembrance of his earlier lives and prophetic vision of his future lives flash forth.
  1638. We see therefore that what in this book is called “Spirit-self” fives, in this region, as far as it is developed, in the reality that is appropriate to itself.
  1639. It develops still further and prepares itself to make possible in a new incarnation the fulfilment of the spiritual purposes in earthly reality.
  1640. If this “Spirit-self” has evolved so far during a succession of sojourns in “Spiritland” that it can move about quite freely in this land, it will more and more seek its true home there.
  1641. Life in the spirit will be as familiar to it as life in physical reality is to earthly man.
  1642. The view-points of the spirit-world are from now on the dominating ones, which it makes its own more or less consciously or unconsciously for the succeeding earthly lives.
  1643. The Self can feel itself to be a member of the divine World Order.
  1644. The limitations and laws of the earthly life no longer affect the man in his innermost being.
  1645. Power for everything he carries out comes to him from this spiritual world.
  1646. But the spiritual world is a Unity.
  1647. He who lives in it knows how the Eternal has worked creatively upon the past and from out of the Eternal he can determine the direction for the future.
  1648. [See also under Addenda.]
  1649. The survey of the past widens into a perfect one.
  1650. A man who has reached this stage sets before himself aims to be carried out in a coming incarnation.
  1651. From out of the “Spiritland” he influences his future so that it runs its course in harmony with the True and the Spiritual.
  1652. During the stage between two incarnations such a man finds himself in the presence of all those exalted Beings before whose gaze the Divine Wisdom lies outspread.
  1653. For he has climbed to the stage at which he can understand them.
  1654. In the sixth region of the “Spiritland”, man will fulfil in all his doings that which is most in accord with the true being of the world.
  1655. For he cannot seek for what profits himself, but only for what ought to happen according to the rightful course of the World Order.
  1656. The seventh region of the “Spiritland” leads to the boundary of the “three worlds”.
  1657. The man stands here in the presence of the “Life-kernels”, which are transplanted from higher worlds into the three which have been described, in order that in them they may fulfil their tasks.
  1658. Therefore when a man is at the boundary of the three worlds he recognises himself in his own life-kernel.
  1659. This means that for him the problems of these three worlds have been solved.
  1660. He has a complete survey of the life of these worlds.
  1661. In physical life, the powers of the soul through which it has in the spiritual world the experiences here described, remain unconscious under ordinary circumstances.
  1662. They work in their unconscious depths upon the bodily organs, which bring about the consciousness of the physical world.
  1663. That is precisely the reason why these powers remain imperceptible to this world.
  1664. The eye too does not see itself, because forces are at work in it which make other things visible.
  1665. If we would judge as to how far a human life running its course between birth and death can be the result of preceding earthly lives, we must take into consideration the fact that a point of view which itself lies within this same life, and which we should naturally accept in the first instance, can yield no possibility of judgment.
  1666. For such a point of view, for instance, an earth life might appear full of suffering, imperfect, and so on, while precisely in this form it would be seen, from a point of view lying outside this life, to be in its suffering, in its imperfection, the natural outcome of previous lives.
  1667. By treading the path of knowledge, as this is described in the next chapter, the soul sets itself free from the conditions of bodily life.
  1668. Thus it can perceive in a picture the experiences which it undergoes between death and a new birth.
  1669. Perception of this kind makes it possible to describe what happens in the “Spiritland”, as has here been done in outline.
  1670. Only when we keep in mind the fact that the whole disposition of the soul is different in the physical body from what it is in periods of purely spiritual experience, only then shall we rightly understand the description here given.
  1672. The formations in the Soul-World and Spiritland cannot be the objects of external sense perception.
  1673. The objects of sense perception are to be added to the two worlds already described, as a third world.
  1674. Moreover, man lives during his bodily existence simultaneously in the three worlds.
  1675. He perceives the things of the sensible world and works upon them.
  1676. The formations of the soul-world work upon him through their forces of sympathy and antipathy; and his own soul causes waves in the soul-world by its inclinations and disinclinations, its desires and wishes.
  1677. The spiritual essence of the things, on the other hand, mirrors itself in his thought-world: and he himself is, as thinking spirit-being, citizen of the “Spiritland” and companion of everything that lives in this region of the world.
  1678. This makes it evident that the sensible world is only a part of what surrounds man.
  1679. This part stands out from the general environment of man with a certain independence, because it can be perceived by senses which leave unregarded the soul and the spiritual, although these belong equally to this surrounding world.
  1680. Just as a piece of floating ice consists of the same substance as the surrounding water, but stands out from it through particular qualities, so are the things of the senses the substance of the surrounding soul- and spirit-worlds from which they stand out through particular qualities which make them perceptible to the senses.
  1681. They are, to speak half metaphorically, condensed spirit- and soul-formations; and the condensation makes it possible for the senses to acquire knowledge of them.
  1682. In fact, as ice is only a form in which the water exists, so are the objects of the senses only a form in which soul- and spirit-beings exist.
  1683. If we have grasped this, we can also understand that as the water can pass over into ice, so the spirit-world can pass over into the soul-world and the latter into that of the senses.
  1684. Looked at from this point of view we see why man can form thoughts about the things of the senses.
  1685. For there is a question which everyone who thinks must needs ask himself, namely, in what relation does the thought which a man has about a stone stand to that stone itself?
  1686. This question rises in full clarity in the minds of those who look especially deeply into external nature.
  1687. They feel the consonance of the human thought-world with the structure and order of Nature.
  1688. The great astronomer Kepler, for example, speaks in a beautiful way about this harmony:
  1689. “True it is that the divine call which bids man study astronomy is written in the world, not indeed in words and syllables, but in substance, in the very fact that human conceptions and senses are fitted to relationships of the heavenly bodies and their conditions.”
  1690. Only because the things of the sensible world are nothing else than densified spirit-beings, is the man who raises himself through his thought to these spirit-beings able by thinking to understand the things.
  1691. Sense-objects originate in the spirit-world, they are only another form of the spirit-beings; and when man forms thoughts about things his inner nature is merely directed away from the sensible form and out towards the spiritual archetypes of these things.
  1692. To understand an object by means of thought is a process which can be likened to that by which a solid body is first liquefied by fire in order that the chemist may be able to examine it in its liquid form.
  1693. The spiritual archetypes of the sensible world are to be found in the different regions of the “Spiritland”.
  1694. In the fifth, sixth, and seventh regions these archetypes are still found as living germ-points; in the four lower regions they shape themselves into spiritual formations.
  1695. The human spirit perceives a shadowy reflection of these spiritual formations when, by thinking, man tries to gain understanding of the things of the senses.
  1696. How these formations have condensed until they form the sensible world, is a question for one who endeavours to acquire a spiritual understanding of the world around him.
  1697. For human sense perception this surrounding world is divided primarily into four distinctly separated stages: the mineral, the plant, the animal and the human.
  1698. The mineral kingdom is perceived by the senses and comprehended by thought.
  1699. Thus when we form a thought about a mineral body we have to do with two things: the sense object and the thought.
  1700. Accordingly we must imagine that this sense object is a condensed thought-being.
  1701. Now one mineral being works upon another in an external way.
  1702. It impinges on it and moves it; it warms it, lights it up, dissolves it, etc.
  1703. This external kind of action can be expressed through thoughts.
  1704. Man forms thoughts as to the way in which mineral things work upon each other externally in accordance with law.
  1705. By this means his separate thoughts expand to a thought-picture of the whole mineral world.
  1706. And this thought-picture is a reflection of the archetype of the whole mineral world of the senses.
  1707. It is to be found as a complete whole in the spirit-world.
  1708. In the plant kingdom there is added to the external action of one thing on another, the phenomena of growth and propagation.
  1709. The plant grows and brings forth from itself beings like itself.
  1710. Life is here added to what confronts man in the mineral kingdom.
  1711. Simple reflection on this fact leads to a view that is enlightening in this connection.
  1712. The plant has the power to create its living form, and to reproduce it in a being of its own kind.
  1713. And between the formless nature of mineral matter, as we encounter it in gases, liquids, etc., and the living form of the plant world, stand the forms of the crystals.
  1714. In the crystals we have to seek the transition from the formless mineral world to the plant kingdom which has the capacity for creating living forms.
  1715. In this externally sensible formative process in the kingdoms both of the mineral and the plant, we see condensed to its sensible expression the purely spiritual process which takes place when the spiritual germs of the three higher regions of the “Spiritland” form themselves into the spirit-shapes of the lower regions.
  1716. The transition from the formless spirit-germ to the shaped formation corresponds to the process of crystallisation as its archetype in the spiritual world.
  1717. If this transition condenses so that the senses can perceive it in its outcome, it then shows itself in the world of the senses as the process of mineral crystallisation.
  1718. Now there is also in the plant life a formed spirit-germ.
  1719. But here the living, formative capacity is still retained in the formed being.
  1720. In the crystal the spirit-germ has lost its constructive power during the process of formation.
  1721. It has exhausted its life in the form produced.
  1722. The plant has form and in addition to that it has the capacity of producing form.
  1723. The characteristic of the spirit-germ in the higher regions of the “Spiritland” has been preserved in the plant life.
  1724. The plant is therefore form as is the crystal, and added to that, formative force.
  1725. Besides the form which the Primal Beings have taken in the plant-form there works at the latter yet another form which bears the impress of the spirit-being of the higher regions.
  1726. But only that which expends itself in the produced form of the plant is sensibly perceptible; the formative beings who give life to this form are present in the plant kingdom in a way not perceptible to the senses.
  1727. The physical eye sees the lily small to-day, and after some time grown larger.
  1728. The formative force which elaborates the latter out of the former is not seen by this eye.
  1729. This formative force is that part of the plant world which is imperceptible to the senses.
  1730. The spirit-germs have descended a stage in order to work in the kingdom of formative forces.
  1731. In spiritual science, Elemental Kingdoms are spoken of.
  1732. If one designates the Primal Forms which as yet have no form as the First Elemental Kingdom, then the sensibly invisible force-beings, who work as the craftsmen of plant growth, belong to the Second Elemental Kingdom.
  1733. In the animal world sensation and impulse are added to the capacities for growth and propagation.
  1734. These are manifestations of the soul-world.
  1735. A being endowed with these belongs to the soul-world, receives impressions from it and reacts on it.
  1736. Now every sensation, every impulse which arises in the animal is brought forth from the foundations of the animal soul.
  1737. The form is more enduring than the feeling or impulse.
  1738. One may say that the life of sensation bears the same relation to the more enduring living form as the self-changing plant-form bears to the rigid crystal.
  1739. The plant to a certain extent exhausts itself in the shape-forming force; during its life it goes on constantly adding new forms to itself.
  1740. First it sends out the root, then the leaf-structure, then the flowers, and so on.
  1741. The animal is enclosed in a shape complete in itself and develops within this the changeful life of feeling and impulse.
  1742. And this life has its existence in the soul-world.
  1743. Just as the plant is that which grows and propagates itself, the animal is that which feels, and unfolds its impulses.
  1744. They constitute for the animal the formless which is always developing into new forms.
  1745. They have their archetypal processes ultimately in the highest regions of “Spiritland”.
  1746. But they carry out their activities in the soul-world.
  1747. There are thus in the animal world, in addition to the force-beings who, invisible to the senses, direct growth and propagation, others who have descended a stage still deeper into the soul-world.
  1748. In the animal kingdom, formless beings who clothe themselves in soul-sheaths, are present as the master-builders bringing about sensations and impulses.
  1749. They are the real architects of the animal forms.
  1750. In spiritual science, the region to which they belong may be called the Third Elemental Kingdom.
  1751. Man, in addition to having the capacities named as those of plants and animals, is equipped also with the power to work up his sensations into ideas and thoughts and to control his impulses by thinking.
  1752. The archetypal thought, which appears in the plant as shape and in the animal as soul-force, makes its appearance in him in its own form as thought itself.
  1753. The animal is soul; man is spirit.
  1754. The spirit-being which in the animal is engaged in soul-development has now descended a stage deeper still.
  1755. In the animal it is soul-forming.
  1756. In man it has entered into the world of material substance itself.
  1757. The spirit is present within the human sensible body.
  1758. And because it appears in a sensible garment, it can appear only as that shadowy reflection which represents the thought of the spirit-being.
  1759. The spirit manifests in man conditioned by the physical brain organism.
  1760. But, at the same time, it has become the inner being of man.
  1761. Thought is the form which the formless spirit-being assumes in man, just as it takes on shape in the plant and soul in the animal.
  1762. Consequently man, in so far as he is a thinking being, has no Elemental Kingdom building him from without.
  1763. His Elemental Kingdom works in his physical body.
  1764. Only in so far as man is form and sentient-being do Elemental Beings of the same kind work upon him as work upon plants and animals.
  1765. The thought-organism in man is worked out entirely from within his physical body.
  1766. In the spirit-organism of man, in his nervous system which has developed into the perfected brain, we have sensibly visible before us that which works on plants and animals as supersensible force.
  1767. This brings it about that the animal manifests feeling of self, but man consciousness of self.
  1768. In the animal, spirit feels itself as soul, it does not yet grasp itself as spirit.
  1769. In man the spirit recognises itself as spirit, although — owing to the physical conditions — merely as a shadowy reflection of the spirit, as thought.
  1770. Accordingly, the threefold world falls into the following divisions:
  1771. 1. The kingdom of the archetypal formless beings (First Elemental Kingdom);
  1772. 2. The kingdom of the form-creating beings (Second Elemental Kingdom);
  1773. 3. The kingdom of the soul-beings (Third Elemental Kingdom);
  1774. 4.The kingdom of the created forms (crystal forms);
  1775. 5. The kingdom that is perceptible to the senses in forms, but in which the form-creating beings are also working (Plant Kingdom);
  1776. 6. The kingdom which is sensibly perceptible in forms, upon which, however, there work in addition the form-creating beings, and also the beings that are active in soul (Animal Kingdom);
  1777. 7. The kingdom in which the forms become sensibly perceptible, but upon which work not only the form-creating beings and the beings that expend their activities in soul-life, and in which the spirit itself takes shape in the form of thought within the world of the senses (Human Kingdom.)
  1778. From this it can be seen how the basic constituents of the human being living in the body are connected with the spiritual world.
  1779. The physical body, the ether-body, the sentient-soul-body, and the intellectual-soul, are to be regarded as archetypes of the “Spiritland” condensed in the sensible world.
  1780. The physical body comes into existence through the fact that the archetype of man becomes densified to the point of sensible appearance.
  1781. For this reason one can call this physical body also a being of the First Elemental Kingdom, densified to sensible perceptibility.
  1782. The ether-body comes into existence by the form that has arisen in this way, having its mobility maintained by a being that extends its activity into the kingdom of the senses, but is not itself visible to the senses.
  1783. If one wishes to characterise this being fully, one must say it has its primal origin as a spirit-germ in the highest regions of the “Spiritland” and then shapes itself in the second region into an archetype of life.
  1784. It works in the sensible world as such an archetype of life.
  1785. In a similar way, the being that builds up the sentient-soul-body has its origin in the highest regions of the “Spiritland”, forms itself in the third region of the same into the archetype of the soul-world and works as such in the sensible world.
  1786. But the intellectual soul is formed by the spirit-being of man, who in the fourth region of the “Spiritland” shaped itself into the archetype of thought and, as such, acts directly as thinking human being in the world of the senses.
  1787. Thus man stands within the world of the senses; in this way his spirit works on his physical body, on his ether-body and on his sentient-soul-body.
  1788. Thus this spirit comes into manifestation in the intellectual soul.
  1789. Archetypes, in the form of beings who in a certain sense are external to man, work upon the three lower members of his being; in his intellectual soul he himself becomes a conscious worker on himself.
  1790. And the beings that work on his physical body are the same as those that form mineral nature.
  1791. On his ether body work beings of the kind that live in the plant kingdom, on his sentient-soul-body work beings such as live in the animal kingdom; both are imperceptible to the senses but extend their activity into these kingdoms.
  1792. Thus do the different worlds work together.
  1793. The world in which man lives is the expression of this collaboration.
  1794. When we have grasped the sensible world in this way, understanding arises for Beings of another kind than those that have their existence in the above-mentioned four kingdoms of Nature.
  1795. One example of such Beings is what is called the Folk Spirit, or Nation Spirit.
  1796. This Being does not manifest directly in a material form.
  1797. He lives his life entirely in the sensations, feelings, tendencies, etc., which are to be observed as those common to a whole people.
  1798. He is a Being who does not incarnate physically, but, as man so forms his body that it is physically visible, so does that Being form his body out of the substance of the soul-world.
  1799. This soul-body of the Nation Spirit is like a cloud in which the members of a nation live, the effects of whose activity come into evidence in the souls of the human beings concerned, but they do not originate in these souls themselves.
  1800. The Nation Spirit remains a shadowy conception of the mind without being or life, an empty abstraction, to those who do not picture it in this way.
  1801. And the same may be said in reference to the Being known as the Spirit of the Age (Zeitgeist).
  1802. The spiritual gaze extends in this way over many other beings, both of a lower and higher order, who live in the environment of man without his being able to perceive them with his bodily senses.
  1803. But those who have the faculty of spiritual sight perceive such beings and can describe them.
  1804. To the lower kinds of such beings belong those that are described by observers of the spiritual world as salamanders, sylphs, undines, gnomes.
  1805. It should not be necessary to say that such descriptions cannot be faithful reproductions of the reality that underlies them.
  1806. If they were such, the world in question would be not a spiritual, but a grossly material one.
  1807. They attempt to make clear a spiritual reality which can only be represented in this way: that is, by similes.
  1808. It is quite comprehensible that anyone who admits the validity of physical vision alone will regard such beings as the offspring of wild hallucination and superstition.
  1809. They can of course never become visible to the eye of sense, for they have no material bodies.
  1810. The superstition does not consist in regarding such beings as real, but in believing that they appear in forms perceptible to the physical senses.
  1811. Such Beings co-operate in the building of the world and we encounter them as soon as we enter the higher realms that are hidden from the bodily senses.
  1812. It is not those who see in such descriptions pictures of spiritual realities who are superstitious but rather those who believe in the material existence of the pictures, as well as those who deny the spirit because they think they must deny the material picture.
  1813. Mention must also be made of those beings who do not descend to the soul-world, but whose sheath is composed of the formations of the “Spiritland” alone.
  1814. Man perceives them and becomes their companion when he opens his spiritual eye and spiritual ear to them.
  1815. Thereby much becomes intelligible to man, at which otherwise he could only gaze uncomprehendingly.
  1816. Everything becomes light around him; he sees the Primal Causes of effects in the world of the senses.
  1817. He comprehends what he either denies entirely when he has no spiritual eyes, or in reference to which he has to content himself by saying:
  1818. “There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamed of in your philosophy.”
  1819. People with delicate spiritual feelings become uneasy when they begin to have a glimmering, when they become vaguely aware of a world other than the material one around them, one in which they have to grope around as the blind grope among visible objects.
  1820. Nothing but the clear vision of these higher regions of existence and a thorough understanding and penetration of what takes place in them can really fortify a man and lead him to his true goal.
  1821. Through insight into what is hidden from the senses the human being expands his nature in such a way that he feels his life prior to this expansion to be no more than “a dream about the world”.
  1823. It has been said that the formations of any one of the three worlds can have reality for a man only when he has the faculties or the organs for perceiving them.
  1824. Man perceives certain processes in space as light-phenomena only because he has a properly formed eye.
  1825. It depends on the receptivity of a being how much of reality reveals itself to that being.
  1826. Therefore a man may never say that only what he can perceive is real.
  1827. There can be much that is real, for the perception of which he has no organs.
  1828. Now the soul-world and the spirit-world are just as real as the sensible world, indeed they are real in a much higher sense.
  1829. No physical eye can see feelings and ideas; but they are real.
  1830. And as by means of his outer senses man has the corporeal world before him as an object of perception, so do feelings, instincts, thoughts, and so forth, become objects of perception for his spiritual organs.
  1831. Exactly as processes in space can be seen with the sensible eye as colour-phenomena, so can the above-named soul and spiritual processes become, by means of the inner senses, perceptions which are analogous to the sensible colour-phenomena.
  1832. To understand fully in what sense this is meant is only possible for one who has trodden the path of knowledge to be described in the following chapter and has thereby developed his inner senses.
  1833. For such a one the soul-phenomena in the soul-region around him and the spiritual phenomena in the spiritual region become supersensibly visible.
  1834. Feelings which he experiences in other beings ray out from them as light-phenomena for him; thoughts to which he directs his attention flow through spiritual space.
  1835. For him, the thought of one man about another is not an imperceptible but a perceptible process.
  1836. The content of a thought lives as such only in the soul of the thinker; but this content activates effects in the spirit-world.
  1837. These are the perceptible processes for the eyes of spirit.
  1838. The thought streams out as an actual reality from one human being and flows to the other.
  1839. And the way in which this thought works on the other person is experienced as a perceptible process in the spiritual world.
  1840. Thus the physically perceptible human being is only part of the whole man for one whose spiritual senses have unfolded.
  1841. This physical man becomes the centre of soul and spiritual outpourings.
  1842. It is impossible to do more than faintly indicate the richly varied world which reveals itself here to the seer.
  1843. A human though*, which otherwise lives only in the understanding mind of the listener, appears, for example, as a spiritually perceptible colour-phenomenon.
  1844. Its colour tallies with the character of the thought.
  1845. A thought which springs from a sensual impulse in a man has a different colour from a thought conceived in the service of pure knowledge, noble beauty, or the eternal good.
  1846. Thoughts which spring from the sensual life course through the soul-world in shades of red colour.
  1847. [The explanations given here are from their very nature exposed to great misunderstandings.
  1848. For this reason it is proposed in this new edition to return quite briefly to these points in a note at the end of the book.
  1849. See under Addenda.]
  1850. A thought which springs from devoted and unselfish love rays out in glorious rose-red.
  1851. And just as the content of a thought comes into expression in its supersensibly visible form, so also does its greater or lesser definition.
  1852. The precise thought of a thinker appears itself as a formation with definite outlines; a confused idea appears as a wavering, cloudy formation.
  1853. In this way the soul and spirit of man appear as the supersensible part of the whole human being.
  1854. The colour effects perceptible to the eyes of spirit which ray out round the physical man when observed in his activity, and which envelop him like a cloud (somewhat in the form of an egg) are a human aura.
  1855. The size of this aura differs in different people.
  1856. But an idea can be formed of it by picturing that the whole man appears on an average twice as tall and four times as broad as the physical man.
  1857. The most varied tones of colour ebb and flow in the aura.
  1858. And this ebb and flow is a true picture of the inner life of the man.
  1859. As this changes, so do the colour-tones change.
  1860. But certain permanent qualities such as talents, habits, traits of character, express themselves also in permanent and basic colour-tones.
  1861. In people who for the time being are remote from the experiences of the “Path of Knowledge” described in a later chapter of this book, misunderstandings may arise with regard to the nature of what is here described as “Aura”.
  1862. It would be possible to arrive at the idea that the “colours” here described came before the soul just as a physical colour comes before the eye.
  1863. But such a “soul colour” would be nothing but an hallucination.
  1864. With impressions that are “hallucinatory”, spiritual science has nothing whatever to do.
  1865. And in any case they are not what is meant in the description now before us.
  1866. We reach a right conception if we keep the following in mind.
  1867. The soul experiences in a physical colour not only the sense impression; it has an actual experience.
  1868. This experience is different when the soul — through the eye — perceives a yellow surface from what it is when it perceives a blue one.
  1869. This experience may be called “living in yellow” or “living in blue”.
  1870. Now the soul that has trodden the path of knowledge has a similar “experience in yellow” when observing the active soul-experiences of other beings; an “experience in blue” when observing devotional moods of soul.
  1871. The essential point is, not that in the thought of another soul the seer sees “blue”, just as he sees blue in the physical world, but that he has an experience which justifies him in calling the thought “blue”, just as the physical man calls, for instance, a curtain “blue”.
  1872. And further, it is essential that the “seer” should be conscious that this is an experience free from the body, so that it is possible for him to speak about the value and the meaning of soul-life in a world the perception of which is not mediated through the human body.
  1873. Although this meaning of the description must in all cases be taken into account, it is entirely a matter of course that the seer should speak of “blue”, “yellow”, “green”, etc., in the “aura”.
  1874. The aura varies greatly according to the different temperaments and dispositions of human beings; it varies also according to the stages of spiritual development.
  1875. A man who yields altogether to his animal impulses has a completely different aura from one who lives much in the world of thought.
  1876. The aura of a religiously disposed nature differs essentially from one that is immersed in the trivial experiences of the day.
  1877. In addition, all changing moods, all inclinations, joys and sufferings find their expression in the aura.
  1878. The auras of different soul-experiences must be compared with each other in order to learn to understand the meaning of the colour tones.
  1879. Take, to begin with, soul-experiences permeated with strongly marked emotions.
  1880. They may be divided into two kinds: those when the soul is chiefly impelled to such feelings by the animal nature, and those when these emotions take a more delicate form, when they are strongly influenced by reflection.
  1881. In the first kind of experiences mainly brown and reddish-yellow streams of colour stream through the aura in definite places.
  1882. In persons with more delicate emotions there appear in the same places tones of brighter reddish-yellow and green.
  1883. It is noticeable that as intelligence increases the green tones become more and more frequent.
  1884. People who are very intelligent, but who give themselves up to the satisfying of their animal impulses, show much green in their aura.
  1885. But this green will always have a stronger or weaker admixture of brown or brownish-red.
  1886. In unintelligent people a great part of the aura is permeated by brownish-red or even by dark blood-red streams.
  1887. The auras of quiet, deliberate, thoughtful moods of soul are essentially different from those of other conditions.
  1888. The brownish and reddish tones recede, and different shades of green become prominent.
  1889. In strenuous thinking the aura shows a pleasing green undertone.
  1890. These natures know how to find their bearings in every condition of life.
  1891. Blue tones of colour appear in intensely devotional moods of soul.
  1892. The more a man places his Self in the service of a cause the more pronounced become the blue shades.
  1893. Here too there are two quite different kinds of people.
  1894. There are natures who are not in the habit of exerting their power of thought, passive souls, who as it were have nothing to throw into the stream of events in the world but their “good feeling”.
  1895. Their aura glimmers with beautiful blue.
  1896. This is also the appearance of many religious and devotional natures.
  1897. Compassionate souls and those who find pleasure in giving themselves up to a life of benevolence have a similar aura.
  1898. If such people are intelligent in addition, green and blue currents alternate, or the blue itself may assume a greenish shade.
  1899. The peculiarity of the active souls in contrast to the passive is that their blue is pervaded from within with bright colour tones.
  1900. Richly inventive natures, those that have fruitful thoughts, radiate bright tones of colour as if from an inner point.
  1901. This is the case in the highest degree with persons whom one calls “wise”, and especially with those who are full of fruitful ideas.
  1902. Generally speaking, everything that indicates spiritual activity takes more the form of rays which spread out from within; while everything that arises from the animal life has the form of irregular clouds which stream through the aura.
  1903. The colourings of formations in the aura differ according to whether the ideas and conceptions which arise from the activity of the soul are placed at the service of the person’s own animal impulses or of idealistic interest.
  1904. An inventive person, who applies all his thoughts to the satisfaction of his sensual passions, shows dark blue-red shades; he, on the contrary, who places his thoughts selflessly at the service of an outside interest, shows light reddish-blue colour tones.
  1905. A spiritual life combined with noble devotion and capacity for sacrifice shows rose-pink or light violet colours.
  1906. Not only does the fundamental disposition of the soul show its colour streaming in the aura but transient emotions, passions, moods and other inner experiences do the same.
  1907. Violent anger that breaks out suddenly creates red streams; feelings of injured dignity which suddenly well up appear in dark green clouds.
  1908. Colour phenomena do not however appear only in irregular cloudlike forms, but also in defined, regularly shaped figures.
  1909. If we observe a fit of terror in a man we see this in the aura from top to bottom as undulating stripes of blue colour, suffused with a bluish-red shimmer.
  1910. In a person in whom we observe how he is expecting with anxiety some particular event, we can see red-blue stripes like rays constantly streaming through the aura from within outwards.
  1911. Every sensation that is induced in a man from outside can be observed by one who has developed the faculty of exact spiritual perception.
  1912. People who are greatly excited by every external impression show a continuous flickering of small reddish-blue spots and flecks in the aura.
  1913. In people who do not feel intensely, these flecks have an orange-yellow or even a beautiful yellow colouring.
  1914. In so-called “absentmindedness” bluish flecks more or less changing in form play over into green.
  1915. A still more highly developed spiritual “vision” can distinguish three kinds of colour phenomena in the aura, radiating and surging round a man.
  1916. First, there are colours which have more or less the character of opaqueness and dullness.
  1917. Certainly if we compare them with those that our physical eyes see they appear, in comparison, fugitive and transparent.
  1918. But in the supersensible world itself they make the space which they fill comparatively opaque; they fill it like clouds.
  1919. Colours of a second kind consist of those which are as it were light itself.
  1920. They light up the space which they fill so that it becomes, through them, a shining space.
  1921. Colour-phenomena of the third kind are quite different from these two.
  1922. They have a raying, sparkling, glittering character.
  1923. They fill space not merely with light but with glistening, glittering rays.
  1924. There is something active, inherently mobile, in these colours.
  1925. The others are quiet, lacking in brilliance.
  1926. These on the contrary continuously produce themselves out of themselves, as it were.
  1927. By the first two kinds of colours the space is filled with a delicate fluidity which remains quietly in it; by the third it is filled with a life constantly kindling itself anew in never resting activity.
  1928. These three kinds of colours are not ranged as it were alongside each other in the human aura; they are not each enclosed in a separate section of space, but they interpenetrate each other in the most varied ways.
  1929. All three kinds can be seen playing through each other in one region of the aura, just as a physical body such as a bell can be heard and seen simultaneously.
  1930. The aura thereby becomes an exceedingly complicated phenomenon: for we have as it were to do with three auras within each other and interpenetrating each other.
  1931. The difficulty can be overcome however by directing attention to the three kinds alternately.
  1932. We then do in the super-sensible world something similar to what we do in the sensible, for example, when we close our eyes in order to give ourselves up fully to the impression of a piece of music.
  1933. The “seer” has as it were three different organs for the three kinds of colours.
  1934. And in order to observe undisturbed, he can open or close any one of the organs to impressions.
  1935. As a rule only the one kind of organ can at first be developed by a “seer”, namely, that for the first kind of colours.
  1936. A person at this stage can see only the one aura; the other two remain invisible to him.
  1937. In the same way a person may be accessible to impressions from the first two but not from the third.
  1938. The higher stage of the “gift of seeing” consists in a person’s being able to see all three auras and for the purpose of study to direct his attention to the one or the other.
  1939. The threefold aura is the supersensibly visible expression of the being of man.
  1940. The three members: body, soul and spirit, come to expression in it.
  1941. The first aura is a mirror of the influence which the body exercises on the soul of man; the second characterises the life of the soul itself, the soul that has raised itself above what affects the senses directly, but is not yet dedicated to the service of the eternal; the third mirrors the dominion which the eternal spirit has won over the transitory man.
  1942. When descriptions of the aura are given, as here, it must be emphasised that these things are not only difficult to observe but above all difficult to describe.
  1943. No one therefore should see in a description like this anything more than a stimulus to thought.
  1944. Thus for the seer the particular character of the life of soul expresses itself in the nature of the aura.
  1945. When he encounters a soul-life that is given up entirely to passing impulses, passions and momentary external incitements, he sees the first aura in the loudest tones of colour; the second, on the contrary, is only slightly developed.
  1946. He sees in it only scanty colour formations; while the third is barely indicated.
  1947. Only here and there, a small, glittering spark of colour shows itself, indicating that even in such a soul-mood the Eternal lives as a seed, but that it is driven into the background by the effect of the sensuous as has been indicated.
  1948. The more the man casts away his lower impulses, the less obtrusive becomes the first part of the aura.
  1949. The second part then grows larger and larger, filling the colour-body within which the physical man lives, more and more completely with its illuminating force.
  1950. And the more a man proves himself to be a “Servant of the Eternal”, the more does the wonderful third aura reveal itself, that part which bears witness to how far the human being has become a citizen of the spiritual world.
  1951. For the divine Self radiates out through this part of the human aura into the earthly world.
  1952. In so far as human beings reveal this aura, they are the flames through whom the Divine illumines this world.
  1953. They show through this part of the aura how far they know how to live not for themselves but for the eternally True, the nobly Beautiful and Good; how far they have wrung from their narrower self the power to offer themselves upon the altar of the great World Process.
  1954. Thus what the man has made of himself in the course of his incarnations comes to expression in the aura.
  1955. All three parts of the aura contain colours of the most varied shades.
  1956. But the character of these shades changes with the stage of development reached by the man.
  1957. In the first part of the aura can be seen undeveloped life of impulse in all shades from red to blue.
  1958. These shades have a dull, muddy character.
  1959. The obtrusive red shades point to the sensual desires, the fleshly lusts, the passion for the enjoyments of the palate and the stomach.
  1960. Green shades appear to be found especially in inferior natures tending to obtuseness and indifference, greedily giving themselves up to every enjoyment, but nevertheless shunning the exertions necessary to bring them to satisfaction.
  1961. Where the desires are passionately bent on any goal beyond the reach of the capacities already acquired, brownish-green and yellowish-green auric colours appear.
  1962. Certain modern modes of life breed this kind of aura.
  1963. A personal conceit which is entirely rooted in unworthy inclinations, thus representing the lowest stage of egotism, shows itself in muddy yellow to brown shades.
  1964. Now it is clear that even the animal life of impulse can take on a pleasing character.
  1965. There is a purely natural capacity for self-sacrifice, a striking degree of which is to be found in the animal kingdom.
  1966. This development of an animal impulse finds its most beautiful consummation in natural mother love.
  1967. These selfless natural impulses come to expression in the first aura in fight reddish to rose-red shades of colour.
  1968. Cowardly fear and terror of external provocations show themselves in the aura in brown-blue and grey-blue colours.
  1969. The second aura again shows the most varied grades of colours.
  1970. Brown and orange coloured formations point to strongly developed conceit, pride and ambition.
  1971. Inquisitiveness also betrays itself through red-yellow flecks.
  1972. Bright yellow mirrors clear thinking and intelligence; green is the expression of understanding of fife and the world.
  1973. Children who learn easily have a great deal of green in this part of the aura.
  1974. A green-yellow in the second aura betokens a good memory.
  1975. Rose-red indicates a benevolent affectionate nature; blue is the sign of piety.
  1976. The nearer piety comes to being religious fervour, the more does blue pass over into violet.
  1977. Idealism and an earnest view of life in a higher sense, are seen as indigo blue.
  1978. The basic colours of the third aura are yellow, green and blue.
  1979. Bright yellow appears here if the thinking is filled with lofty, far-reaching ideas that comprehend the details as part of the whole of the divine World Order.
  1980. If the thinking is intuitive and also completely purified from all sensory conceptions, the yellow has a golden brilliance.
  1981. Green expresses love for all beings; blue is the sign of a capacity for selfless sacrifice for all beings.
  1982. If this capacity for sacrifice rises to the height of strong willing which devotes itself actively to the service of the world, the blue brightens to light violet.
  1983. If pride and desire for honour as last remnants of personal egotism are still present, despite a more highly developed soul-nature, there appear beside the yellow shades others verging on orange.
  1984. It must however be remarked that in this part of the aura the colours are very different from the shades one is accustomed to see in the world of the senses.
  1985. It displays to the seer a beauty and a sublimity with which nothing in the ordinary world can be compared.
  1986. This description of the aura cannot be rightly judged by anyone who does not attach the chief weight to the fact that “seeing the aura” implies an extension and enrichment of what is perceived in the physical world: an extension indeed that aims at knowing that form of soul-life which has spiritual reality apart from the world of the senses.
  1987. This presentation has nothing whatever to do with a reading of character or of a man’s thoughts from an aura perceived in an hallucinatory manner.
  1988. It seeks to expand knowledge in the direction of the spiritual world and will have nothing to do with the questionable art of reading human souls from their auras.
  1990. Knowledge of the spiritual science presented in this book can be acquired by every human being for himself.
  1991. Descriptions of the kind given here present a thought-picture of the higher worlds and they are in a certain respect the first step towards personal vision.
  1992. For man is a thinking being.
  1993. He can find his path to knowledge only when thinking is his starting-point.
  1994. A picture of the higher worlds presented to his intellect is not fruitless for him, even if for the time being it is only like a narration of higher facts into which he has as yet no insight through his own vision.
  1995. For the thoughts which are given him represent in themselves a force which works on further in his world of thought.
  1996. This force will be active in him; it will awaken slumbering capacities.
  1997. A man who is of the opinion that it is superfluous to occupy himself with such a thought-picture is mistaken; for he regards thought as something unreal and abstract.
  1998. But thought is a living force.
  1999. And just as in one who has knowledge thought is present as a direct expression of what is seen in the spirit, so the communication of this expression works in him to whom it is communicated as a seed, which brings forth from itself the fruit of knowledge.
  2000. Anyone disdaining the application of strenuous intellectual exertion in the effort to attain higher knowledge, and preferring to turn to other forces for that end, fails to take into account that thinking is the highest of the faculties possessed by man in the world of the senses.
  2001. To one who asks,
  2002. “How can I gain personal knowledge of the higher truths of spiritual science?”
  2003. the answer must be given,
  2004. “Begin by making yourself acquainted with what is communicated by others concerning such knowledge.”
  2005. And should he reply,
  2006. “I want to see for myself; I do not want to know anything about what others have seen”,
  2007. the answer must be:
  2008. “It is in the very assimilating of the communications of others that the first step towards personal knowledge consists.”
  2009. And if he should retort: “Then I am compelled first of all to have blind faith”, one can only reply that in regard to some communications it is not a case of belief or disbelief, but merely of unprejudiced assimilation.
  2010. The genuine spiritual investigator never speaks with the expectation of being met with blind credulity.
  2011. He merely says,
  2012. “I have experienced this in the spiritual regions of existence and I am narrating these experiences of mine.”
  2013. But he knows too, that the assimilation of these experiences by another and the fact that the thoughts of that other person are permeated by the account are living forces making for spiritual development.
  2014. What is here to be considered, will only be rightly viewed by one who takes into account the fact that all knowledge of the worlds of soul and spirit slumbers in the depths of the human soul.
  2015. It can be brought to light through treading the “path of knowledge”.
  2016. But there can be insight not only into what one has oneself brought to light, but also into what someone else has brought up from the depths of the soul; and that, moreover, even when no actual preparation has yet been made for the treading of that path of knowledge.
  2017. Genuine spiritual insight awakens the power of understanding in anyone whose inner nature is not clouded by preconceptions and prejudices.
  2018. The unconscious knowledge rises to meet the spiritual facts discovered by another.
  2019. This is not blind credulity but the right working of healthy human reason.
  2020. This healthy comprehension should be considered a far better starting-point even for first-hand cognition of the spiritual world, than dubious mystical “experiences” and the like, which are often imagined to be more valuable than what healthy human understanding can recognise when confronted with the findings of genuine spiritual research.
  2021. It cannot be emphasised strongly enough how necessary it is for anyone who wishes to develop his faculties for higher knowledge to undertake strenuous efforts to cultivate his powers of thinking.
  2022. This emphasis must be all the stronger because many people who would become “seers” place too little value on this earnest, self-denying labour of thinking.
  2023. They say,
  2024. “Thinking cannot help me to reach anything; what really matters is ‘feeling’ or something similar.”
  2025. In reply it must be said that no one can in the higher sense (and that means in truth) become a “seer” who has not previously worked his way into the life of thought.
  2026. In the case of many people a certain inner laziness plays an injurious role.
  2027. They do not become conscious of this laziness because it clothes itself in contempt for “abstract thought”, “idle speculations”, and the like.
  2028. But thinking is completely misunderstood, if it is confused with a spinning of idle, abstract trains of thought.
  2029. This “abstract thinking” can easily kill supersensible knowledge; live and vigorous thinking can become its foundation.
  2030. It would of course be more convenient if the power of higher seership could be acquired while shunning the labour of thinking.
  2031. Many would like this to be possible.
  2032. But in order to achieve higher seership an inner stability is necessary, an assurance of soul to which thinking alone can lead.
  2033. Otherwise there merely results a meaningless flickering of pictures hither and thither, a distracting display of phenomena which indeed gives pleasure, but has nothing to do with a true penetration into higher worlds.
  2034. Further, if we consider what purely spiritual experiences take place in a man who really enters the higher world, we shall realise that the matter has also another aspect.
  2035. Absolute healthiness of the life of soul is essential in a “seer”.
  2036. There is no better means of developing this healthiness than genuine thinking.
  2037. In fact this health of soul may suffer seriously if the exercises for higher development are not based on thinking.
  2038. Although it is true that the power of spiritual sight makes a healthy and rightly thinking man still healthier and more capable in life than he is without it, it is equally true that all attempts to develop while shirking the effort of thought, all vague dreamings in this domain, lend strength to fantasy-hunting and encourage a false attitude to life.
  2039. No one who wishes to acquire higher knowledge has anything to fear if he pays heed to what is said here; but the attempt should only be made under the above premise.
  2040. This premise has to do only with man’s soul and spirit; to speak of any kind of injurious influence upon the bodily health is absurd.
  2041. Unfounded disbelief is indeed injurious.
  2042. It works in the recipient as a repelling force.
  2043. It hinders him from taking in the fruitful thoughts.
  2044. Not blind faith, but the reception of the thought-world of spiritual science, is the pre-requisite for the development of the higher senses.
  2045. The spiritual investigator approaches his pupil with the injunction:
  2046. “You are not to believe what I tell you but think it out yourself, make it part of the contents of your own thought-world; then my thoughts will themselves bring it about that you recognise them in their truth.”
  2047. This is the attitude of the spiritual investigator.
  2048. He gives the stimulus; the power to accept it as true springs from within the recipient himself.
  2049. And it is in this sense that the views of spiritual science should be studied.
  2050. Anyone who steeps his thoughts in them may be sure that sooner or later they will lead him to vision of his own.
  2051. What has been said here already indicates one of the first qualities which everyone wishing to attain vision of higher realities has to develop in himself.
  2052. It is the unreserved, unprejudiced surrender to what is revealed by human fife or by the world external to man.
  2053. If from the outset a man approaches a fact in the world bringing with him judgment originating in his life hitherto, he shuts himself off through this judgment from the calm, all-round effect which the fact can have on him.
  2054. The learner must be able at each moment to make himself a perfectly empty vessel into which the new world flows.
  2055. Knowledge arises only in those moments when every criticism coming from ourselves is silent.
  2056. For example, when we meet a person, the question is not at all whether we are wiser than he.
  2057. Even the most unintelligent child has something to reveal to the greatest sage.
  2058. And if he approaches the child with his prejudgment, however wise it may be, his wisdom thrusts itself like a dulled glass in front of what the child ought to reveal to him.
  2059. [One can see very well, precisely from this indication, that in the requirement of “unreserved surrender” there is no question of shutting out one’s own judgment or giving oneself up to blind faith.
  2060. Anything of the sort would quite obviously have no sense or meaning in regard to a child.]
  2061. Complete inner selflessness is necessary for this surrender to the revelations of the new world.
  2062. And if a man test himself to find out in what degree he has this power of surrender, he will make astonishing discoveries.
  2063. Anyone who wishes to tread the path of higher knowledge must train himself to be able to obliterate himself, together with all his preconceptions at any and every moment.
  2064. As long as he obliterates himself the other flows into him.
  2065. Only a high degree of such selfless surrender enables a man to imbibe the higher spiritual realities which surround him on all sides.
  2066. This faculty can be consciously developed.
  2067. A man can try for example to refrain from any judgment on people around him.
  2068. He should obliterate within himself the gauge of attraction and repulsion, of stupidity or cleverness, which he is accustomed to apply, and try without this gauge to understand people purely through themselves.
  2069. The most effective exercises can be made in connection with people for whom he has an aversion.
  2070. He should suppress this aversion with all his might and allow everything that they do to affect him without bias.
  2071. Or, if he is in an environment that calls for this or that judgment, he should suppress the judgment and lay himself open to the impressions.
  2072. [This open-minded and uncritical attitude has nothing whatever in common with “blind faith”.
  2073. The important thing is not that one should believe blindly in anything, but that a “blind judgment” should not be put into the place of the living impression.]
  2074. He should allow things and events to speak to him rather than speak about them.
  2075. And this should also extend to his thought-world.
  2076. He should suppress in himself whatever prompts this or that thought and allow only what is outside to give rise to the thoughts.
  2077. Only when such exercises are carried out with the most solemn earnestness and perseverance do they lead to the goal of higher knowledge.
  2078. He who undervalues such exercises knows nothing of their worth.
  2079. And he who has experience in such things knows that selfless surrender and freedom from prejudice are true generators of power.
  2080. Just as heat conducted to the steam boiler is transformed into the motive power of the locomotive, so do these exercises in selfless spiritual self-surrender transform themselves in man into the power of vision in the spiritual worlds.
  2081. By this exercise a man makes himself receptive to everything that surrounds him.
  2082. But to this receptivity must be added the faculty of correct estimation.
  2083. As long as a man is still inclined to value himself too highly at the expense of the world around him, he bars all access to higher knowledge.
  2084. One who in face of each thing or event in the world yields himself up to the pleasure or pain which they cause him, is enmeshed in this over-valuation of himself.
  2085. For through his pleasure and his pain he learns nothing about the things, but merely something about himself.
  2086. If I feel sympathy with a human being, I feel, to begin with, nothing but my relation to him.
  2087. If I make myself dependent on this feeling of pleasure, of sympathy, in my judgment and my conduct, I am placing my personality in the foreground: I am obtruding it upon the world.
  2088. I want to thrust myself into the world just as I am, instead of accepting the world in an unbiased way and allowing it to play itself out in accordance with the forces working in it.
  2089. In other words, I am tolerant only of what harmonises with my personality.
  2090. Towards everything else I exert a repelling force.
  2091. As long as a man is enmeshed by the sense-world, he works in a particularly repelling way on all non-material influences.
  2092. The learner must develop in himself the capacity to conduct himself towards things and people in accordance with their peculiar natures and to recognise the due worth and significance of each one.
  2093. Sympathy and antipathy, liking and disliking, must be made to play quite new roles.
  2094. There is no question of man’s eradicating these, of blunting himself to sympathy and antipathy.
  2095. On the contrary, the more a man develops in himself the capacity to refrain from allowing every feeling of sympathy and antipathy to be followed immediately by a judgment, an action, the more delicate will be the sensitiveness he develops.
  2096. He will find that sympathies and antipathies assume higher forms in him, if he curbs those already in him.
  2097. Even something that is at first utterly unattractive has hidden qualities; it reveals them if a man does not in his conduct obey his selfish feelings.
  2098. He who has developed in this respect has more delicate feelings, in every direction, than one who is undeveloped, because he does not allow his own personality to cause lack of receptivity.
  2099. Each inclination that a man follows blindly blunts his power to see things in the environment in their true light.
  2100. By obeying inclination we thrust ourselves through the environment, as it were, instead of laying ourselves open to it and feeling its true value.
  2101. A man becomes independent of the changing impressions of the outer world when every pleasure, every pain, every sympathy and antipathy, no longer evoke in him an egotistical response and egotistical conduct.
  2102. The pleasure he feels in a thing makes him at once dependent on it.
  2103. He loses himself in the thing.
  2104. A man who loses himself in the pleasure or pain caused by constantly changing impressions cannot tread the path of higher knowledge.
  2105. He must accept pleasure and pain with equanimity.
  2106. Then he ceases to lose himself in them; he begins instead to understand them.
  2107. A pleasure to which I surrender myself devours my being at the moment of surrender.
  2108. I ought to use the pleasure only in order through it to reach an understanding of the thing that arouses pleasure in men.
  2109. The important point ought not to be that the thing has aroused the pleasure in me; I ought to experience the pleasure and through it the essential nature of the thing in question.
  2110. The pleasure should only be an intimation to me that there is in the thing a quality calculated to give pleasure.
  2111. This quality I must learn to understand.
  2112. If I go no further than the pleasure, if I allow myself to be entirely absorbed in it, then it only feeds my own pleasures; if the pleasure is to me only an opportunity to experience a quality or property of a thing, I enrich my inner being through this experience.
  2113. To the seeker, pleasure and displeasure, joy and pain, must be opportunities for learning about things.
  2114. The seeker does not thereby become blunted to pleasure or pain, but he raises himself above them in order that they may reveal to him the nature of things.
  2115. He who develops in this respect will learn to realise what good instructors pleasure and pain are.
  2116. He will feel with every being and thereby receive the revelation of its inner nature.
  2117. The seeker never says to himself merely, “Oh, how I suffer!” or “Oh, how glad I am!” but always “How suffering speaks!” “How joy speaks!”
  2118. He eliminates the element of self in order that pleasure and joy from the outer world may work upon him.
  2119. By this means he develops a completely new way of relating himself to things.
  2120. Formerly he responded to this or that impression by this or that action, only because the impressions caused him joy or dislike.
  2121. But now he lets pleasure and displeasure also become the organs by which things tell him what they themselves truly are in their own nature.
  2122. In him, pleasure and pain change from being mere feelings to organs of sense by which the external world is perceived.
  2123. Just as the eye does not itself act when it sees something, but causes the hand to act, so do pleasure and pain bring about nothing in the spiritual seeker, in so far as he employs them as means of knowledge, but they receive impressions, and what is experienced through pleasure and displeasure is that which brings about the action.
  2124. When a man uses pleasure and displeasure in such a way that they become organs of transmission, they build up within his soul the actual organs through which the soul-world reveals itself to him.
  2125. The eye can serve the body only by being an organ for the transmission of sense-impressions; pleasure and pain become eyes of the soul when they cease merely to have value for themselves and begin to reveal to a man’s own soul the soul outside it.
  2126. Through the qualities named, the student induces in himself the condition which allows the realities present in the world around him to work upon him without disturbing influences emanating from his own personality.
  2127. But he has also to fit himself into the surrounding spiritual world in the right way.
  2128. As a thinking being he is a citizen of the spiritual world.
  2129. He can be this in a right way only if during mental activity he makes his thoughts move in accordance with the eternal laws of truth, the laws of the “Spiritland”.
  2130. For only so can that realm work upon him and reveal its facts to him.
  2131. A man does not reach the truth as long as he gives himself up only to the thoughts continually coursing through his Ego.
  2132. For if he does, these thoughts take a course imposed on them by the fact that they come into existence within the bodily nature.
  2133. The thought-world of a man who gives himself up to a mental activity determined primarily by his physical brain appears disorderly and confused.
  2134. A thought enters it, breaks off, is driven out of the field by another.
  2135. Anyone who tests this by listening to a conversation between two people, or who observes himself frankly, will gain an idea of this mass of will-o’-the-wisp thoughts.
  2136. As long as a man devotes himself only to the calls of the life of the senses, the confused course of his thoughts will always be set right again by the facts of reality.
  2137. I may think ever so confusedly: but in my actions everyday facts force upon me the laws corresponding to the reality.
  2138. My mental picture of a town may be utterly confused; but if I wish to walk along a certain street in the town I must accommodate myself to existing facts.
  2139. A mechanic may enter his workshop with a chaotic medley of ideas; but the laws of his machines compel him to adopt the correct procedure in his work.
  2140. Within the world of the senses facts exercise their continuous corrective on thought.
  2141. If I think out a false opinion about a physical phenomenon or the shape of a plant, the reality confronts me and sets my thinking right.
  2142. It is quite different when I consider my relations to the higher regions of existence.
  2143. They reveal themselves to me only if I enter them with strictly controlled thinking.
  2144. There my thinking must give me the right, the sure impulse, otherwise I cannot find the proper paths.
  2145. For the spiritual laws prevailing in these worlds are not sensibly perceptible, and therefore they do not exert on me the compulsion described above.
  2146. I am able to obey these laws only when they are allied to my own as those of a thinking being.
  2147. Here I must be my own sure guide.
  2148. The student’s thinking must therefore be strictly regulated in itself.
  2149. His thoughts must by degrees disaccustom themselves entirely from taking the ordinary daily course.
  2150. They must in their whole sequence take on the inner character of the spiritual world.
  2151. He must be able constantly to keep watch over himself in this respect and have himself in hand.
  2152. With him one thought must not link itself arbitrarily with another, but only in the way that corresponds with the actual contents of the thought-world.
  2153. The transition from one idea to another must correspond with the strict laws of thought.
  2154. As thinker, the man must be to a certain extent a constant copy of these thought-laws.
  2155. He must shut out from his train of thought everything that does not flow out of these laws.
  2156. Should a favourite thought present itself to him, he must put it aside if the right sequence will be disturbed by it.
  2157. If a personal feeling tries to force upon his thoughts a direction not proper to them, he must suppress it.
  2158. Plato required of those who wished to be admitted to his school that they should first have a mathematical training.
  2159. And mathematics, with its strict laws which are independent of the course taken by sense-phenomena, form a good preparation for the seeker.
  2160. If he wishes to make progress in the study of mathematics he must get rid of all personal arbitrariness, all elements of disturbance.
  2161. The student prepares himself for his task by overcoming through his own will all arbitrary thinking.
  2162. He learns to follow purely the demands of thought.
  2163. And so too he must learn to do this in all thinking intended to serve spiritual knowledge.
  2164. This thought-life itself must be a reflection of undisturbed mathematical judgment and inference.
  2165. He must strive, wherever he goes and wherever he is, to be able to think in this way.
  2166. Then the laws of the spirit-world flow into him, laws which pass over and through him, without a trace as long as his thinking has the usual, confused character.
  2167. Regulated thinking leads him from reliable starting-points to the most hidden truths.
  2168. What has been said, however, must not be understood in a one-sided way.
  2169. Although mathematics acts as a good discipline, pure, healthy and vital thinking can be achieved without mathematics.
  2170. The goal towards which the student must strive for his thinking must also be the same for his actions.
  2171. He must be able to obey the laws of the nobly beautiful and the eternally true without any disturbing influences from his personality.
  2172. These laws must be able to guide and direct him.
  2173. If he begins to do something he has recognised as right and his personal feelings are not satisfied by the action, he must not for that reason abandon the path on which he has entered.
  2174. But on the other hand he must not persist with it because it gives him joy, if he finds that it is not in harmony with the laws of the eternally Beautiful and True.
  2175. In everyday life people allow their actions to be determined by what satisfies them personally, by what bears fruit for themselves.
  2176. In so doing they force their personality upon the world’s events.
  2177. They do not bring to realisation the true that is already traced in the laws of the spirit-world, but simply the demands of their self-will.
  2178. We act in harmony with the spiritual world only when we follow its laws alone.
  2179. From what is done merely out of the personality, there result no forces which can form a basis for spiritual knowledge.
  2180. The seeker must not ask only,
  2181. “What brings me advantages, what will bring me success?”
  2182. He must also be able to ask:
  2183. “What have I recognised as the Good?”
  2184. Renunciation of the fruits of action for his personality, renunciation of all self-will: these are the stern laws that he must prescribe for himself.
  2185. Then he treads the paths of the spiritual world, his whole being is penetrated by these laws.
  2186. He becomes free from all compulsion from the world of the senses; his spirit-nature raises itself out of the material sheath.
  2187. Thus he makes actual progress on the path towards the spiritual and spiritualises his own nature.
  2188. One cannot say,
  2189. “Of what use to me are the precepts to follow purely the laws of the True when I am perhaps mistaken as to what is the True?”
  2190. What matters is the striving and the attitude to it.
  2191. Even a man who is mistaken has in his very striving after the True a force which diverts him from the wrong path.
  2192. If he is mistaken, this force guides him to the right paths.
  2193. Even the objection, “But I may be mistaken”, is harmful misgiving.
  2194. It shows that the man has no confidence in the power of the True.
  2195. For the important point is that he should not presume to decide on his aims and objects in life in accordance with his own egotistical views, but that he should selflessly yield himself up to the guidance of the spirit itself.
  2196. It is not the self-seeking human will that can prescribe for the True; on the contrary, the True itself must become lord in the man, must penetrate his whole being, make him a mirror-image of the eternal laws of the Spiritland.
  2197. He must fill himself with these eternal laws in order to let them stream out into life.
  2198. The seeker must be able to hold strict guard over both his thinking and his will.
  2199. Thereby he becomes in all humility — without presumption — a messenger of the world of the True and the Beautiful, and rises to be a participant in the Spirit-World.
  2200. He rises from stage to stage of development.
  2201. For one cannot reach the spiritual life by merely beholding it; it has to be attained through actual experience.
  2202. If the seeker observes the laws here described, those of his soul-experiences that relate to the spiritual world will take on an entirely new form.
  2203. He will no longer live merely in them.
  2204. They will no longer have a significance merely for his personal life.
  2205. They will develop into inner perceptions of the higher world.
  2206. In his soul the feelings of pleasure and displeasure, of joy and pain, grow into organs of soul, just as in his body eyes and ears do not lead a life for themselves but selflessly allow external impressions to pass through them.
  2207. And thereby the seeker gains the inner calmness and assurance that are necessary for investigation in the spirit-world.
  2208. A great joy will no longer make him merely jubilant, but may be the messenger of qualities in the world which have hitherto escaped him.
  2209. It will leave him calm: and through the calm, the characteristics of the joy-bringing beings will reveal themselves to him.
  2210. Suffering will no longer merely oppress him, but will also be able to tell him about the qualities and attributes of the being which causes the suffering.
  2211. Just as the eye does not desire anything for itself, but shows to man the direction of the path he has to take, so will joy and suffering guide the soul safely along its path.
  2212. This is the state of balance of soul which the seeker must attain.
  2213. The less joy and suffering exhaust themselves in the waves which they throw up in his inner life, the more will they form eyes for the supersensible world.
  2214. As long as a man lives wholly in joy and pain he cannot gain knowledge through them.
  2215. When he learns how to live through them, when he draws out of them his feeling of self, then they become his organs of perception; then he sees by means of them, cognises by means of them.
  2216. It is incorrect to think that the seeker becomes a dry, colourless being, incapable of joy or suffering.
  2217. Joy and suffering are present in him, but — when he investigates in the spiritual world — in a different form; they have become “eyes and ears”.
  2218. As long as we live in a personal relationship with the world things reveal only what links them with our personality.
  2219. But that is the transitory part of them.
  2220. If we withdraw ourselves from the transitory nature and live with our feeling of self, with our “I”, in our permanent nature, then the transitory parts of our nature become intermediaries; and what reveals itself through them is an Imperishable reality, an Eternal reality in the things.
  2221. This relationship between his own Eternal nature and the Eternal in the things must be established by the seeker.
  2222. Even before he begins other exercises of the kind described, and also during them, he should direct his thought to this Imperishable aspect.
  2223. When I observe a stone, a plant, an animal, a man, I should be able to remember that in each of them an Eternal Reality expresses itself.
  2224. I should be able to ask myself what is the permanent reality that lives in the transitory stone, in the transitory human being?
  2225. What will outlast the transitory, physical appearance?
  2226. It must not be thought that such a directing of the spirit to the Eternal destroys the power of devoted observation and our feeling for the qualities of everyday affairs, and estranges us from the immediate realities.
  2227. On the contrary.
  2228. Every leaf, every little insect, will unveil to us innumerable mysteries when not our eyes only, but through the eyes the spirit is directed upon them.
  2229. Every sparkle, every shade of colour, every cadence, will remain vividly perceptible to the senses; nothing will be lost; an infinitude of new life is gained in addition.
  2230. Indeed a person who does not understand how to observe with the eye even the tiniest thing will achieve only pale, bloodless thoughts, not spiritual sight.
  2231. Everything depends upon our attitude of mind.
  2232. How far we shall succeed will depend upon our capacities.
  2233. We have only to do what is right and leave everything else to evolution.
  2234. It must be enough for us at first to direct our minds to the permanent.
  2235. If we do this, the knowledge of the permanent will thereby awaken in us.
  2236. We must wait until it is given.
  2237. And it is given at the right time to each one who waits with patience — and works.
  2238. A man soon notices during such exercises what a mighty transformation takes place in him.
  2239. He learns to consider each thing as important or unimportant only in so far as he recognises it to be related to the Permanent, to the Eternal.
  2240. His valuation and estimate of the world are different from those he has hitherto held.
  2241. His feeling takes on a new relationship towards the whole surrounding world.
  2242. The transitory no longer attracts him merely for its own sake, as formerly; it becomes for him a member, an image of the Eternal.
  2243. And this Eternal reality that lives in all things, he learns to love.
  2244. It becomes familiar to him, just as the transitory was formerly familiar to him.
  2245. Again this does not cause him to be estranged from life; he merely learns to value each thing according to its true significance.
  2246. Even the trifles of life will not pass him by without trace; but, inasmuch as he is seeking the spiritual, he no longer loses himself in them but recognises them at their worth.
  2247. He sees them in their true light.
  2248. Only an inferior seeker would go wandering in the clouds and lose sight of actual fife; a genuine seeker will, from his high summit, with his power of clear survey and his just and healthy feeling for everything, know how to assign to each thing its proper place.
  2249. Thus there opens out to the seeker the possibility of ceasing to obey only the incalculable influences of the external world of the senses, which turn his will now here, now there.
  2250. Through knowledge he has seen the eternal nature in things.
  2251. Through the transformation of his inner world he has gained the capacity to perceive this eternal nature.
  2252. For the seeker, the following thoughts have special importance.
  2253. When he acts from out of himself, he is conscious that he is also acting out of the eternal nature of the things.
  2254. For the things give utterance in him to this nature of theirs.
  2255. He is therefore acting in harmony with the eternal World Order when he directs his action from out of the Eternal within him.
  2256. He knows himself to be no longer merely impelled by the things; he knows that he impels them according to the laws implanted in them which have become the laws of his own being.
  2257. This ability to act out of his own inner being can only be an ideal towards which the seeker strives.
  2258. The attainment of the goal lies in the far distance.
  2259. But the seeker must have the will clearly to recognise this path.
  2260. This is his will for freedom.
  2261. For freedom is action out of one’s own inner being.
  2262. And only a man who draws his motives from the Eternal may act from out of his inner being.
  2263. One who does not do this, acts according to motives other than those inherent in the things.
  2264. Such a man opposes the World Order.
  2265. And this must then prevail against him.
  2266. That is to say, what he plans to carry through by his will can, in the last resort, not take place.
  2267. He cannot become free.
  2268. The arbitrary will of the individual annihilates itself through the effects of its deeds.
  2269. He who is able to work upon his inner life in such a way advances from stage to stage in spiritual knowledge.
  2270. The fruit of his exercises will be that certain vistas of the supersensible world will unfold to his spiritual perception.
  2271. He learns the meaning of the truths that are communicated about this world; and he will receive confirmation of them through his own experience.
  2272. If this stage is attained something approaches him which can become experience only through treading this path.
  2273. In a manner whose significance now for the first time can become clear to him through the “great spiritual guiding Powers of the Human race” there is bestowed on him what is called consecration — Initiation.
  2274. He becomes a “pupil of Wisdom”.
  2275. The less such an Initiation is thought to consist in any outer human relationship, the more correct will be the conception formed about it.
  2276. What the seeker now experiences can only be indicated here.
  2277. He receives a new home.
  2278. He becomes thereby a conscious dweller in the supersensible world.
  2279. The source of spiritual insight now flows to him from a higher sphere.
  2280. The light of knowledge does not henceforward shine upon him from without but he is himself placed in the fountain-head of this light.
  2281. The problems which the world presents receive new illumination.
  2282. Henceforth he no longer holds converse with the things which are fashioned through the spirit, but with the forming Spirit itself.
  2283. The separate life of the personality only exists now, in the moments of spiritual knowledge, in order to be a conscious image of the Eternal.
  2284. Doubts concerning the spirit which could formerly have arisen in him vanish away: for only he can doubt who is deluded by things regarding the spirit that rules in them.
  2285. And since the “pupil of Wisdom” is able to hold intercourse with the spirit itself, every false form in which he had previously imagined the spirit, vanishes.
  2286. The false form under which the spirit is conceived is superstition.
  2287. The initiate has passed beyond all superstition, for he knows what the true form of the spirit is.
  2288. Freedom from the preconceptions of the personality, of doubt and of superstition — these are the hallmarks of one who has attained to discipleship on the path of higher knowledge.
  2289. This state in which the personality becomes one with the all-embracing spirit of life, must not be confused with an absorption in the “All-Spirit” that annihilates the personality.
  2290. No such annihilation takes place in a true development of the personality.
  2291. Personality remains preserved as such in the relationship into which it enters with the spirit-world.
  2292. It is not the subjection of the personality but its higher development that takes place.
  2293. If we wish to have a simile for this coincidence or union of the individual spirit with the “All-Spirit”, we cannot choose that of different circles which, coinciding, are lost in the one, but we must choose the picture of many circles of which each has a distinct shade of colour.
  2294. These differently coloured circles coincide, but each separate shade preserves its existence within the whole.
  2295. Not one loses the fullness of its individual power.
  2296. No further description of the path will be given here.
  2297. It is contained, as far as is possible, in my Occult Science — an Outline which forms a continuation of this book.
  2298. What has been said here about the path of spiritual knowledge can only too easily, if it is not properly understood, mislead the reader into regarding it as a recommendation of moods of soul that bring with them the tendency to turn away from the immediate, joyous, active experience of life.
  2299. As against this it must be emphasised that the particular mood of the soul which renders it fit for direct experience of the reality of the spirit, cannot be extended over the whole of life.
  2300. It is possible for the investigator of spiritual existence to bring his soul, for the purpose of that investigation, into the necessary condition of withdrawal from the realities of the senses, without being made in ordinary life into a man estranged from the world.
  2301. On the other hand it must be recognised too that a knowledge of the spiritual world, not merely a knowledge gained by treading the path, but also a knowledge acquired through grasping the truths of spiritual science with ordinary, open-minded, healthy human understanding, leads to a higher moral status in life, to a knowledge of sensory existence that is in accord with the truth, to assurance in life and to inner health of the soul.
  2302. ADDENDA
  2303. (1)
  2304. To page 26.
  2305. To speak of a “Life-Force” was still regarded only a short time ago, as a mark of an unscientific mind.
  2306. Here and there among scientists to-day there are some who are not averse from the idea of a “life-force”, such as was accepted in former times.
  2307. But anyone who examines the course of modern scientific development will, nevertheless, perceive the more consistent logic of those who, in view of this development, refuse to hear of such development, refuse to hear of such “life-force”.
  2308. “Life-force” does not belong to what are called to-day “forces of Nature”.
  2309. And anyone who is not willing to pass from the habits of thought and the conceptions of modern science to a higher mode of thinking should not speak of “life-force”.
  2310. Only the mode of thinking and the premises of spiritual science make it possible to deal with such subjects without inconsistency.
  2311. Further, those thinkers who seek to form their conclusions purely on the ground of natural science, have abandoned the belief which obtained in the latter half of the nineteenth century, namely, that the phenomena of life could be explained only through the same forces which are at work in inanimate Nature.
  2312. The book of so noted a naturalist as Oscar Hertwig: The Development of Organisms: A Refutation of Darwin’s Theory of Chance is a scientific phenomenon that sheds its light far and wide.
  2313. It opposes the assumption that the inter-workings of mere physical and chemical laws are able to shape the living thing.
  2314. It is also significant that, in what is called “Neo-Vitalism”, a view is becoming prevalent which also admits the action of a special force in the living thing, much as did the older adherents of “life-force”.
  2315. But no one will be able in this domain to get beyond shadowy abstract conceptions unless he can recognise that to arrive at what transcends the working of the inorganic forces in life is only possible through a mode of perception which rises to vision of the supersensible.
  2316. The point is that the natural scientific knowledge which has been applied to the inorganic, cannot be carried over into the region of life, but that knowledge of a different nature must be achieved.
  2317. (2)
  2318. To page 26.
  2319. When the “sense of touch” of the lower organisms is spoken of here, the word “sense” does not mean the same thing as is referred to by this term in the usual descriptions of the “senses”.
  2320. Indeed, from the point of view of spiritual science, much can be said against the use of this expression.
  2321. What is meant here by “sense of touch” is rather a general “becoming aware” of an external impression, in contrast to the particular “becoming aware”, which consists in seeing, hearing, etc.
  2322. (3)
  2323. To page 24-44.
  2324. It may appear as if the way in which the being of man is membered in this book is based upon a purely arbitrary differentiation of parts within the unitary soul-life.
  2325. As against this it must be emphasised that this differentiation within the unitary soul-life may be compared with the appearance of the seven shades of colour in the rainbow, when fight passes through a prism.
  2326. What the physicist accomplishes with regard to phenomenon of light through his study of this process, and the seven shades of colour which result from it, the spiritual scientist accomplishes with regard to the soul-nature of man.
  2327. The seven members of the soul are not merely distinctions made by the intellect.
  2328. They are this as little as are the seven colours in relation to light.
  2329. The differentiation depends in both cases upon the inner nature of the facts; only that the seven members in the case of light become visible through an external contrivance, and the seven members of the soul through a mode of spiritual observation suited to the nature of the soul.
  2330. The soul’s true nature cannot be grasped without the knowledge of this membering.
  2331. For through the three members, physical body, life-body, and soul-body, the soul belongs to the transitory world; through the other four members it is rooted in the eternal.
  2332. In the “unitary soul” the transitory and the eternal are indistinguishably united.
  2333. Unless one is aware of this differentiation in the soul, it is not possible to understand its relation to the world as a whole.
  2334. Another comparison may also be used.
  2335. The chemist separates water into hydrogen and oxygen.
  2336. Neither of these substances can be observed in the “unitary” water.
  2337. Nevertheless each has its own identity.
  2338. Hydrogen and oxygen both combine with other substances.
  2339. And so, at death, the three lower members of the soul unite with the transitory part of world-being; the four higher members unite with the eternal.
  2340. Anyone who objects to taking this membering of the soul into account is like a chemist who might refuse to know anything about the separation of water into hydrogen and oxygen.
  2341. (4)
  2342. To page 31.
  2343. The descriptions given by spiritual science must be understood with utmost exactitude; for they are of value only when they are accurate expressions of the ideas.
  2344. For example, in the sentence: “They (the sensations, etc.) do not in its case (namely, that of the animal) become interwoven with independent thoughts, transcending the immediate experience” — if the words “independent, transcending the immediate experience” are left out of account, it would be easy to fall into the mistake of thinking that it is being claimed here that the sensations and instincts of animals do not contain thoughts.
  2345. But true spiritual science is based on knowledge which says that all inner experiences of animals (as indeed of existence in general) are permeated with thought.
  2346. Only the thoughts of the animal are not those of an independent ego living in the animal, but are those of the animal group-ego, which is to be regarded as a being controlling the animal from outside.
  2347. This group-ego is not present in the physical world, as is the ego of man, but works down into the animal from the soul-world described previously.
  2348. (Further details regarding this are to be found in my Occult Science.)
  2349. The point to make clear is, that in man, thoughts attain an independent existence: that in him, they are not experienced indirectly in sensation, but are experienced in the soul directly as thought.
  2350. (5)
  2351. To page 35.
  2352. When it is pointed out that little children say “Charles is good”, “Mary wants to have that”, it must be remembered that the important point is not so much how soon children use the world “I”, but when they connect the corresponding idea with that word.
  2353. When children hear adults using the word, they may well use it too, without forming the idea of the “I”.
  2354. But the generally late use of the word points to an important fact of development, namely, to the gradual unfolding of the idea “I” out of the dim “I”-feeling.
  2355. (6)
  2356. To pages 38/9.
  2357. A description of the real nature of “Intuition” is to be found in my books, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment and Occult Science — an Outline.
  2358. Through inadequate attention a contradiction might be detected between the use of the word in those books, and what is said concerning it in this one.
  2359. But for the careful observer there is no such contradiction.
  2360. It will be seen that what is revealed in its fullness from the spiritual world to supersensible perception, through Intuition, makes itself known in its lowest manifestation to the Spirit-self, just as the external physical world makes itself known in sensation.
  2361. (7)
  2362. To page 45.
  2363. On “Re-embodiment of the Spirit and Destiny”.
  2364. It must be borne in mind — disregarding for the moment the facts of spiritual science already given in other parts of the book — that in this section the attempt is made, by means of the study of the course of human life, to gain an idea of the extent to which this human life, with its destiny, points to a series of earth-lives.
  2365. These ideas will, of course, appear very questionable to those who regard the customary belief in a single life on earth as the only well-founded one.
  2366. But it should also be borne in mind that the intention here is to show that the ordinary way of looking at things can never lead to an understanding of the deeper foundations of life.
  2367. For this reason, other conceptions which apparently contradict the generally accepted ones must be sought.
  2368. And this search is only hindered by a deliberate refusal to apply the same consideration of a course of events belonging to the soul, as is applied to a series of events in the physical world.
  2369. In thus refusing, no value is attached, for instance, to the fact that when a stroke of fate falls upon the “I”, the effect in the realm of feeling is related to that produced when the memory meets an experience related to what is remembered.
  2370. But anyone who tries to perceive how a stroke of fate is really experienced will be able to differentiate this experience from the assertions which must arise if an external standpoint is taken — through which, of course, every living connection of this stroke of fate with the ego is lost.
  2371. For such a point of view, the blow appears to be either the result of chance, or to have been determined by some external cause.
  2372. The fact that there are also strokes of fate which, in a certain way, break into a human life for the first time, only showing their results later on, makes the temptation all the greater to generalise on this basis, without taking other possibilities into account.
  2373. People do not begin to pay heed to these other possibilities until experience of life has brought their imaginative faculty into a direction similar to that which may be observed in Goethe’s friend, Knebel, who wrote in a letter as follows:
  2374. “On close observation it will be seen that there is a plan in the lives of most people which seems traced out for them, either through their own nature, or through the circumstances which affect them.
  2375. Their lot in life may be infinitely varied and changeable, but taken as a whole, a certain conformity will be apparent in the end
  2376. However secretly it may operate, the hand of a definite destiny, whether it be moved by an outer cause, or by an inner impulse, may be clearly discerned; even conflicting causes often move in its direction.
  2377. However confused the course of life may be, plan and definite direction are always discernible.”
  2378. Objections to observations of this kind may easily be raised by people who are not willing to consider experiences of a soul-nature.
  2379. But the author of this book believes that in what he has said about repeated earth-lives and destiny, he has accurately drawn the boundary line within which conceptions can be formed about the underlying causes which shape human life.
  2380. He has pointed out the fact that the mode of viewing things to which these conceptions lead, can only be defined by them as it were in “silhouette”, that they can only prepare the thoughts for what must be discovered by means of spiritual science.
  2381. But this thought-preparation is an inner work of the soul, which, if it does not overstep the mark, if it does not seek to “prove” but aims merely at being an exercise of the soul, makes a man impartially open to items of knowledge which without such preparation, appear foolish to him.
  2382. (8)
  2383. To page 69.
  2384. The subject of the “spiritual organs of perception” which is only briefly alluded to at the end of this book in the chapter on “The Path of Knowledge”, is more fully dealt with in my books, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment and Occult Science — an Outline.
  2385. (9)
  2386. To page 89.
  2387. It would be incorrect to imagine that there is ceaseless unrest in the spiritual world, because a “state of rest, a remaining in one place, such as is found in the physical world”, is not present there.
  2388. In the realm where the “Archetypes are creative Beings”, there is not what can be called “rest in one place”, but there is rest of a spiritual kind that is compatible with active mobility.
  2389. It may be likened to the restful contentment and happiness of the spirit which are manifest in deeds, not in inactivity.
  2390. (10)
  2391. To page 93.
  2392. One is obliged to use the word “purposes” with regard to the great driving powers of world-creation, although in so doing, inducement is given to the temptation to conceive of these powers simply in the sense of human purposes.
  2393. In the case of such words, which have naturally to be taken from the sphere of the human world, this temptation can be avoided only by perceiving a new significance and meaning in them, a meaning from which everything that they contain of the narrow, limited, human element has been eliminated; while in place of this there has been imparted to them the meaning which a man gives them at moments in his life when he rises above himself.
  2394. (11)
  2395. To page 94.
  2396. Further particulars with regard to the “Spiritual World” are to be found in my Occult Science — an Outline.
  2397. (12)
  2398. To page 105.
  2399. When it is said here: “from out of the Eternal he can determine the direction for the future”, this is intended to point to the special constitution of the human soul during the time between death and a new birth.
  2400. A stroke of destiny which befalls a person during life in the physical world, may seem, from the point of view of that (physical) life, to contain something altogether opposed to the man’s own will: in the life between death and re-birth a force, akin to will, rules in the soul which gives to the man the urge towards experiencing this very blow of fate.
  2401. The soul sees, as it were, that an imperfection has clung to it from earlier earth-lives: an imperfection which had its original in an ugly deed or an ugly thought.
  2402. Between death and re-birth there arises in the soul a will-like impulse, to make good this imperfection.
  2403. The soul therefore becomes imbued with the tendency to plunge into a misfortune in the coming earth-life, in order, through enduring it, to bring about compensation.
  2404. After its birth in the physical body, the soul, when met by some hard fate, has no glimmering of the fact that in the spiritual life before birth, the impulse which led to this hard fate had been deliberately given.
  2405. Therefore, what seems completely undesired from the point of view of the earth-life, is willed by the soul in the supersensible.
  2406. “From out of the eternal the human being determines the future for himself.”
  2407. (13)
  2408. To page 115.
  2409. The chapter in this book on “Thought-forms and the Human Aura” is doubtless the one which may most easily lead to misconception.
  2410. It is precisely with regard to these descriptions that antagonistic feelings find the best opportunity for raising objections.
  2411. It is indeed very natural to demand, for instance, that the statements of the seer in this domain should be proved by experiments in keeping with the scientific mode of thinking.
  2412. It may be demanded that a number of people who assert that they are able to see the spiritual element in the aura should place themselves in front of other people, and allow their auras to work upon them.
  2413. Then these seers should be asked to say what thoughts, feelings, etc., they see as the auras of the people they are observing.
  2414. If their reports coincide, and if it is found that the persons who are observed really have the feelings, thoughts, etc., reported by the seers, then the existence of the aura could be believed in.
  2415. That is certainly in accord with the methods of natural science.
  2416. The following, however, must be taken into account.
  2417. The work which the spiritual investigator carries out upon his own soul, through which he acquires the capacity for spiritual vision, has, as its aim, the acquisition of this capacity.
  2418. Whether he is then able in any given case to perceive something in the spiritual world, and what he perceives, does not depend upon himself.
  2419. It flows to him as a gift from the spiritual world.
  2420. He cannot take it by force, he must wait until it comes to him.
  2421. His intention to bring about the perception has no bearing on the real causes of its happening.
  2422. But this intention is exactly what natural science demands for the experiment.
  2423. The spiritual world, however, will not allow itself to be commanded.
  2424. If the above attempt is to succeed, it would have to be instituted from the spiritual world.
  2425. In that world a Being would have to have the intention to reveal the thoughts of one or more persons to one or more “seers”.
  2426. These seers would then have to be brought together, through a “spiritual impulse”, for their work of observation.
  2427. In that case their reports would most certainly agree with each other.
  2428. Paradoxical as all this may appear to the purely scientific mind, it is true, nevertheless.
  2429. Spiritual “experiments” cannot be undertaken in the same way as those of a physical nature.
  2430. If the seer, for example, receives the visit of a person who is a stranger to him, he cannot at once “undertake” to observe the aura of this person.
  2431. But he sees the aura when there is occasion in the spiritual world for it to be revealed to him.
  2432. These few words are intended merely to draw attention to the misconception in the objection described above.
  2433. What spiritual science has to do, is to point out the way by which a man may come to see the aura, by what means he may bring about the experience of its reality.
  2434. Thus the only reply that spiritual science can make to the would-be seer is:
  2435. “The conditions have been made known; apply them to your own soul, and you will see.”
  2436. It would certainly be more convenient if the above demands of the natural scientific methods could be fulfilled; but whoever asks for tests of this kind shows that he has not made himself acquainted with the very first elements of spiritual science.
  2437. The statements made in this book about the “human aura” are not intended to encourage the desire for “supersensible” sensationalism.
  2438. This desire only admits itself satisfied, as regards the spiritual world, when it is shown something as “spirit”, which cannot be distinguished in the presentation from the physically sensible, so that it can rest comfortably and remain with its conceptions in that same physical sense-world.
  2439. What is said on page 117 about the way in which the auric colour is to be imagined, could certainly be calculated to prevent such misunderstanding.
  2440. But anyone who is striving for true insight into these things must clearly perceive that the human soul, in experiencing the spiritual and psychic, has of necessity the spiritual, not the physical, sight of the aura.
  2441. Without this sight the experience remains in the unconscious.
  2442. It is a mistake to confuse the pictorial sight with the actual experience itself: but we must also make quite clear to ourselves that in this same pictorial vision the experience finds a completely adequate expression: not one for instance which the beholding soul creates arbitrarily, but such a one as takes shape of itself, in supersensible perception.
  2443. At the present time a natural scientist would be forgiven should he feel called upon to speak of a kind of “human aura” as Prof. Dr. Moritz Benedikt speaks in his book on the Rod and Pendulum Theory (Ruten und Pendellehre):
  2444. “There exist, even though in small numbers, human beings who are adapted to the dark.
  2445. A relatively large fraction of this minority sees in the dark very many objects without colours, and only relatively very few see the objects coloured also.
  2446. A considerable number of learned men and doctors have been investigated in my dark room by my two classical ‘subjects’ or ‘seers in the dark’ and those investigated in this way could retain no justifiable doubt as to the correctness of the observations, and descriptions
  2447. Now those ‘adapted to the dark’ who see colours, see in the front the forehead and scalp blue, the rest of the right half likewise blue and the left red, or some see it … orange-yellow.
  2448. To the rear one finds the same division and the same colouring.”
  2449. But the spiritual investigator is not so easily forgiven when he speaks of the “aura”.
  2450. There is no intention here of taking up any kind of attitude to the things worked out by Benedikt, which belong to the most interesting modern theories about Nature.
  2451. Neither is it intended to take advantage of a cheap opportunity to “make excuses” for spiritual science through natural science, as many are so glad to do.
  2452. The only intention has been to point out how, in one instance, a natural scientist can make assertions which are not entirely unlike those of spiritual science.
  2453. But at the same time it must be emphasised that the aura spoken of in this book, which can only be comprehended spiritually, is something quite different from what can be investigated by physical means and about which Benedikt is speaking.
  2454. It is a gross illusion to think that the “spiritual aura” can be one that may be investigated by the external means of natural science.
  2455. It is accessible only to that spiritual seeing which is reached by the Path of Knowledge (as described in the last chapter of this book).
  2456. But it would also be a mistake to suppose that the truth and reality of what is spiritually perceived could be demonstrated in the same way as that which is perceived through the senses.