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A READER'S JOURNAL
Transforming the Soul, Volume 1
9 Lectures in Berlin, Oct-Dec 1909, GA#58
Translation Revised by Pauline Wehrle
Published by Rudolf Steiner Press/UK in 2005
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2012
Chapter: Spiritual Science
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Rudolf Steiner says that every time in which we live is a "time of transition", but there are times of huge jumps in spiritual life. (Page 2) This is certainly true of the early part of the 21st Century in which we currently live, but these transitions are never noticed until they have happened and passed; when we are living through a transition, we are scarcely aware of it, hardly notice the incipient changes which will be so noticeable in retrospect. To give a familiar example, take the decade of the Roarin' Twenties — everyone was having too much fun to give the decade a name before it had passed into history. It was only the onset of the Great Depression which called our attention to the spectacular fun the previous decade had been.
[page 2] People living between the sixteenth and the nineteenth centuries, and in our time, have needed to relate differently in their soul and spiritual life to the world about them than humankind did in earlier times. And the further back we go in human evolution the more noticeable it becomes that human beings had different longings, different needs, and gave different answers from within themselves to questions concerning the great riddles of existence. We can gain a clear impression of transition periods such as these by acquainting ourselves with individual people who had retained certain qualities of feeling, knowing and willing from earlier periods, but who nevertheless felt the urge to meet the demands of a new age. Such historic characters can be found in most of the epochs of human evolution.
In particular Steiner singles out one great thinker, Francis Joseph Philipp, who pointed out how important it was for Man to know his inner being. (Page 3) Steiner's spiritual science was called anthroposophy for exactly that reason, to become the science of knowing the full human or anthropos, both in body and inner being (spirit and soul). People today ridicule the very idea of a spiritual science, boldly claiming without bothering to examine the issue, that it is irrational to speak of a world lying beyond our senses. Steiner himself did examine the issue as he explains here:
[page 6] Are there then any rational grounds for saying that it is nonsensical to speak of such a spiritual world, of a world lying beyond the sense-perceptible? A glance at the progress of our ordinary science should be enough to justify this question. But precisely by considering impartially the course of this progress and the wonderful advances that have been made in unraveling the secrets of external nature, we should become aware that a higher, supersensible knowledge must exist. How is that?
Clearly not many people bother to consider the issue at all, and if they do, they bring scientific prejudices with them and by virtue of those preconceived notions, act very non-scientific. Shouldn't a scientist act without prejudice when examining the basis of science itself, not accept some premises laid down by Bacon centuries ago as if they were the God's truth, namely, that a scientist must only accept what arrives from the senses? If that were so, one would be unable to explain why people before the Copernican revolution had the same data arrive via their senses as the people after that revolution. The revolution was a turning-about of a way of thinking, a new way of interpreting the data which arrives at our senses when we view the Sun's passage in the sky during the course of a day. That revolution was an evolution of thinking and our thinking is not data that reaches us from our senses, is it? This change from saying the Sun crossed the sky to saying the Earth rotates was made possible by an evolution of human consciousness.
[page 7] Anyone who studies these changes without prejudice must say to himself: Human beings have acquired something they did not have before. They have learnt to see the outer world differently because with regard to the forces of cognition they apply to the sense world there has been a further development. Therefore it became clear to them that the sun does not revolve around the earth; for their new cognitional faculties compelled them to think of the earth as going round the sun. In other words, in our time human beings have other forces at their disposal than they had in earlier times.
Saying the Earth rotates and the Sun only appears to move is thus a way of saying we as human beings have developed a new way of understanding the world which did not exist before, in fact, a way in which we were incapable of understanding the world before. In the geocentric fashion, earlier humans understood the heavens to be organized in the way that humans move spiritually through them at night when asleep and in the time between death and a rebirth, we examine outward from the Earth, encountering first the Moon, then Venus, then Mercury, then the Sun, then Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. In our heliocentric fashion, today's humans understand the heavens as the Sun being in the center of the Solar System and the various planets revolving around it. Our Moon is demoted from a planet to satellite of Earth, just as Earth is a satellite of the Sun. The geocentric way is useful for navigating the heavens at night with our spirit; the heliocentric way is useful for sending rockets into orbit around various celestial objects. Both are useful, and neither deserves the derision of any rational person who would examine the issues involved.
[page 7, 8] No one who is proud of the achievements of physical science and who studies progress impartially can have any doubts at all that human beings are capable of inner development, that we have more in us than natural forces, and that our powers have been remodeled from stage to stage until we have become what we are today. But we are called upon to develop more than outer powers; human beings have in their inner life something which enables them, in the new light of their inner capacities, to bring the world to life once more in knowledge.
We humans have understood the world of the senses, examining carefully the dead objects under the microscope, the flight of rockets and other dead objects in outer space, the design and manufacture of computers using dead objects made of silicon and various other mineral elements. We have paved our cities with dead concrete, built huge skyscrapers of dead steel and glass, constructed autos and planes similarly to move us around the surface of this planets and off it at times in orbit, to the Moon, Mars, and other planets. We have brought dead objects to the world and now it is time for us to bring life once more into the world, the same life of the living spirit which once filled human thoughts and perception via the various myths and symbols of earlier times. We will achieve this differently this time because we are different people, our consciousness has evolved and we can only get glimpses of how we will proceed from now on from such visionaries as Goethe.
[page 8] 'Man, placed at the summit of nature, is again a whole new nature which must in time achieve a summit of its own. He ascends towards that height when he permeates himself with all the perfections and virtues, summons forth order, selection, harmony and meaning, and attains in the end to the creation of a work of art.'
This is not a plan for skyscraper, an interplanetary rocket, or an electric automobile, but rather a design for a whole new human being which each of us has the possibility of being involved with, and those who are oblivious to this possibility are also involved, but their involvement may be a hindrance rather than a furtherance of this end.
Goethe allows us to glimpse a new human ability currently evolving as our ability to finely observe the surfaces of things with our sensory apparatus evolved from Bacon's time to today. Our next evolution will allow us to finely observe the inner spirit of living things.
[page 9] Is there not the possibility that human beings can apply their inner forces not only as a mirror of the external world? May it not be that if they developed further forces within themselves that were once slumbering within them these might light up spiritually, so that their spiritual eyes and spiritual ears — as Goethe calls them — might be opened, enabling them to perceive a spiritual world behind the sense world?
Rudolf Steiner can ask these questions because he was born with spiritual eyes and ears as Goethe predicted, so he knows what it means for human to perceive a spiritual world behind the sense world, and being able to do so allows him to perceive that such a capability is on the way to becoming a widespread humanity capability. He understands that human cognition is a supersensible faculty already present in human beings, even though it has been mostly used for manipulating the world of the senses, up until now.
[page 10] . . . in human beings themselves there is something that cannot be perceived by physical senses. For how could it be thought that human reason, for example, is a visible entity? What sort of impartial thinking could fail to admit that human cognition is by its very nature a supersensible faculty?
Immanuel Kant had that sort of human cognition, even though he considered it blatantly for human to penetrate with spiritual vision the sensory world.
[page 10, 11] One particular thinker reduced this faculty to the smallest limit; it was impossible, he said, for human beings to penetrate by any kind of supersensible vision into a world that is as real to us spiritually as are animals, plants, minerals and physical human beings in the world of the senses. Yet even he had to recognize impartially that something supersensible does exist and can never be denied.
How could anyone say that about Kant? Does Kant not claim that there is no way for human beings to observe and experience the spiritual world, That one cannot know the ding an sich, the thing in itself? Yes, but Kant allows for a loophole, and a loophole in a logical argument can be big enough to allow any size physical object, the metaphorical Mac Truck, to drive through. What is the loophole?
[page 11, 12] Kant had to recognize that human beings do not follow only instinctive impulses, as lower animals do; they also follow impulses from within their souls which can raise them far above subservience to mere instinct.
But the loophole, Kant claimed, only gets us to the boundary of the supersensible world, and no further.
[page 12] Kant's philosophy prohibits human beings from going any further than to the boundary of the supersensible world. Everything that is actually within these realms from which come the voices of conscience, duty and the categorical imperative is withdrawn from our observation, despite the fact that it is of the same supersensible nature as the soul. According to Kant human beings cannot enter that realm; the most they can do is draw conclusions about it.
If Kant sounds as silly to you as he does to me, remember that his viewpoint is the commonly accepted one by all materialistic philosophers today. Rudolf Steiner counteracted Kant's silly but serious philosophy with the equally serious, but not silly, philosophy of Goethe. What did Goethe have to say to Kant?
[page 13] Kant, says Goethe, claims that human beings have only an intellectual, conceptual power of judgement and not a pictorial faculty which could have experiences in the spiritual world. But — Goethe continues — anyone who has exercised himself with the whole force of his personality to wrest his way through the sense world to the supersensible, as I have done, will know that we are not restricted to drawing conclusions, but through a pictorial power of judgment we are actually able to raise ourselves into the spiritual world!
Goethe visualized the full progression of any plant's growth from its seed to its fruiting stage, quite an adventure out of which he found what he called the Urpflanze or archetype for all plants. Goethe clearly "passed the adventure of reason with flying colors!" (Page 13) Building upon Goethe's pioneering work, Steiner claims his own spiritual science is transforming the souls of people so that they can enter the spiritual world, going past Kant's so-called impenetrable barrier.
[page 14] The pictorial judgement that Goethe had in mind when he spoke out against Kant is in a certain sense the beginning of the upward path which is by no means unknown today. Spiritual science is therefore now reaching the position, as we shall see, where it can show that there are hidden faculties of knowledge which in ascending order penetrate ever further into the spiritual world.
In the past people who could see into the spiritual world were called initiates and what they saw they transformed and preserved as myths and symbols, myths and symbols which we do not understand today because we interpret them out of our sensory-based experience of the world. In those days, people understood the spiritual world and grasped the meaning of the myths and symbols directly, but we today are separated from this way of thinking by an evolution of consciousness of which we are not aware, up until now.
[page 17] We come to understand legends and myths only when we take them as symbols expressing a real knowledge of the spiritual world. In those times these very symbols were the way to speak to the widest circles of the people. It is a mistake to assume — as it so often is nowadays — that the human soul has always been just as it is in our century. The soul has changed; its receptivity was quite different in the past. When people were given the symbolic picture in the myth they were inwardly satisfied, for they were moved to see in the visible picture a much more immediate impression of the reality behind it. Today myths are regarded as fantasy, but when in former times the myth was received into human souls secrets of human nature opened to them. And when people looked at the clouds, the sun and so forth, they understood as a matter of course what the myth had told them. For a smaller number of people the symbol brought them what we can call higher knowledge.
The Star of David, Mogen David, and Solomon's Key are different names for two interlocking triangles, one facing up and one facing down. What does this symbol mean? Gazing upon it was a means of enlightenment in ages past, an instrument of looking into the spiritual world as surely as a microscope is an instrument of looking into the material world today(1).
[page 18] Today the humans soul is different. In the age when we have to develop so as to be able to give modern answers to questions about nature and life, we cannot respond in the old way to such things as the interlocked triangles, the one pointing upwards, the other downwards. In former times this picture stirred something in people's souls, and they could see into something beyond it. Just as nowadays we can look through a microscope and see plant cells that cannot be seen without it, so did these symbolic figures serve as instruments for the soul. Those who held Solomon's key as a picture in their mind's eye could see into the spiritual world in a way that they could not have done without the picture.
When people ask what we see in a microscope, we must explain using the logical terms of biology; similarly when people ask someone to explain what they see when contemplating the Solomon's Key, we expect them to explain using logical concepts of external science. This is how spiritual scientists must speak today, Steiner said, and followed his own advice when giving over 6,000 lectures to a wide variety of people of different backgrounds. Today his lectures in print require a certain exegesis in order to be palatable to the modern ear and cognition, but his deep truths ring true if one's ear is rightly tuned.
[page 21] The spiritual researcher is in fact speaking of realms that mean something to present-day understanding. And we shall see that the symbols that were once a means to gaining knowledge of the spiritual world have become an aid to spiritual development. For instance, Solomon's key which once called forth in the soul real spiritual perception does so no longer. But if today souls allow themselves to be acted upon by what the spiritual researcher can explain concerning this symbol, something in the soul is aroused that can lead them by stages into the spiritual world. Then when they have acquired vision of the spiritual world they can tell other people about it in the same logical terms that apply to external science.
Spiritual science or esotericism must therefore speak today in a way that can be grasped by anyone who has a broad enough understanding. Whatever spiritual researchers have to impart must be clothed in conceptual terms that are customary in other sciences, otherwise they would not be paying due regard to the needs of the times. Not everyone can straight away see into the spiritual world but, because the appropriate forces of reason and feeling exist now in every soul, spiritual science if rightly presented can be grasped with ordinary understanding by everyone.
When we are small children, we want books with photos and drawings in them, but as we age, we progress gradually over the years to enjoying reading books with no pictures in them, preferring the images we see in our mind which are conjured up by the words to the images some artist sees in their mind. Often when we view a movie of a book we enjoyed reading, we are disappointed by the visual images presented by the movie because they are not as vivid as our own images while reading. Human beings as a whole went through a stage of being entranced by the visual images of symbols, and now we want a new level of understanding and reasoning to be provided as the symbols no longer grab our attention. Jean Piaget said about our development through childhood, "Everything we know we base on our current frame of reference." This dictum is equally true about the development of humanity over the ages, what I call the evolution of consciousness, and it explains why we do ill to criticize people of ages past using our current frame of reference: if these people had had our current frame of reference, they could not have behaved the way they did. In the future of humanity, people who have not learned this lesson will likely look back and criticize us for our current frame of reference.
[page 22] If we now consider the relationship between the spiritual researcher and his public and look once more at the difference between the past and present situation in regard to spiritual science, we can say: The symbolic pictures used by spiritual researchers in the past acted directly on the human soul because what we today call the faculties of reason and understanding were not yet present. The pictures had the effect of giving direct vision into the spiritual world without the people receiving them being able to test with their reason what the spiritual researcher gave them. The pictures acted with the force of suggestion, of inspiration, and the people subjected to them were carried away and unable to resist them.
If an evil person were to give them a false image, the people would be likewise enthralled and led into evil deeds. Our history as a human race is filled with periods of both goodness and degeneration. Today, if we avoid having blind faith and instead apply our unbiased judgment, which requires us to recognize our current frame of reference, we can see through the evil charlatans' ruses and rightly understand the true mission of a spiritual science researcher.
[page 23] From now on this will be the mission of spiritual science: to ascend, through developing hidden powers, into a spiritual world, just as the physiologist, by means of the microscope, descends into a realm of micro-organisms invisible to the naked eye. Ordinary human powers of reasoning will be able to test the findings of spiritual research as it can test the findings of physiologists, botanists and so on. Ordinary common sense will be able to realize that it is all thoroughly consistent.
People have asked me how could I as a physicist accept the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, and when I answer them, it comes down to his work and writings being thoroughly consistent, internally and externally, meaning this: his content and process match up at all levels. Nowhere is this so clear as in his classic book, The Philosophy of Freedom where he talks about the twelve ways of understanding the world (World Outlooks) and writes out of each of the twelve ways(2). Steiner understood that Goethe was telling everyone lost in the labyrinth of the material world that help was on its way.
[page 25 from Faust I, sc. 1, 11.443-6]
The spirit world is ever open,
Dead is thy heart, thy sense-veil closely drawn!
Up, scholar, let thy breast unwearied
Bathe in the roseate hues of dawn!
In the dawn glow of the spirit!
In Lecture 2 Steiner explains how anger is a part of our evolution as a human being, taking time first to explain how our various human components are formed.
[page 29, the physical body] Referring . . . to our physical body, which harbors the same physical and chemical laws as does the external physical-mineral world, we can ask when do we see the actual nature of these laws. We see them when a human being has ceased to have life. When a human being has passed through the gate of death, then we see what the laws that govern the physical body are really like. They are the laws that lead to the decomposition of the body, and their effect on it is then quite different from their action during life. They are always present in the physical body, but the reason why the human body does not obey them is that between birth and death an antagonist of dissolution is active there — the etheric or life-body.
[page 29, the etheric body] As a result of observation, however, and not merely on the strength of logical inference, spiritual science recognizes over and above the physical body a second member of the human being, what we call the etheric body or life-body. Only brief reference can be made here today to the structure of the human organism, for on this occasion our task is quite a different one — but knowledge of this underlying structure is the foundation on which we have to build. Human beings have an etheric body in common with everything that is alive.
[page 30, the astral body] We can distinguish a third member too of the human organism, the carrier of pleasure and sorrow, joy and pain, of urges, desires and passions — of everything we call our psychological and mental life. The carrier, please note, but not the actual soul itself. Human beings have this in common with all those creatures who possess a certain form of consciousness, namely, the animals. Astral body or body of consciousness is the name we give to this third member of the human organism.
[page 30, the "I"] Within these three members we can distinguish further the spark which makes man the crown of creation, and which he has in common with nothing else. It has often been remarked that our language has one little word which points directly to this inner core of man which makes him the crown of earth creation. These flowers here, the desk, the clock — anyone can name these objects. But there is one word we can never hear spoken by another with reference to ourselves. It is expressed by the little name of 'I'. Think for a moment about whether the word 'I' can come to you from outside if it means yourself. If you want to call yourself 'I' this 'I' must sound forth from within yourself and designate your inmost being. This is why the great religions and world views have always regarded this name as the 'unspeakable name' of that which cannot be named from outside. Indeed, with this designation 'I' we reach the innermost being of a person, which can be called the godlike element in him.
Francesco Redi narrowly escaped being burnt at the stake when he proclaimed, "Life can only arise from the living." Steiner with his spiritual science which proclaims that "soul and spirit can only issue from soul and spirit" has not escaped being burnt at the stake of modern scientific opinion for his claim because it presupposes reincarnation to be a fact of our existence. (Page 33) When I came to see my life as a riddle bordered by an enigma on each end — birth, life, death — I began searching for answers to the riddle and enigmas and found them in the works of Rudolf Steiner.
[page 33] Whereas Redi's statement is of restricted interest, the statement by spiritual science, 'soul and spirit can issue only from soul and spirit', concerns everyone. That a human being does not live once only but passes through repeated lives on earth, every life being the result of earlier lives and the starting point of numerous subsequent lives, is the kind of knowledge that interests everyone. All confidence in life, all certainty in our work, the solution of all the riddles facing us — they all depend on knowing this. People will draw more and more strength from this knowledge for coping with their lives, and for confidence and hope in facing the future.
It is the "I" which is at work in one incarnation after another, going from life to life, and evolving each time. In our time our individual "I" is working on our three bodies, astral, etheric, and physical to cleanse and purify them into Spirit Self, Life Spirit, and Spirit Man(3). This working is a conscious working, requiring volitional involvement of our "I", our ego.
[page 34] But how does this evolution proceed? By the ego working on the three lower members of the human being. There is the astral body, the vehicle of pleasure and pain, joy and sorrow, instinct, desire and passion. Let us look at a person on a low level, whose ego has done little as yet to cleanse his astral body and so is still its slave. In a person on a higher level we find that his ego has worked upon his astral body so that his lower instincts, desires and passions have been transformed into moral ideals, ethical judgements. From this contrast we can gain a first impression of how the ego works on the astral body. In every human being it is possible to distinguish the part of the astral body on which their ego has not yet worked and the part which the ego has consciously transformed. The transmuted part is called Spirit Self or Manas. The ego is able to become even stronger, and it will then also transmute the etheric body. Life Spirit is the name given to the transformed part of the etheric body. And if the ego acquires such strength that it is able to extend its transforming power as far as the physical body, we call the transmuted part Atma, or the real Spirit Man. This is how evolution takes place. The outer members of the human being, which are not actively acquired but given, are transformed by the ego.
The process of evolution described above is happening right now with each person's "I" or ego working on the three bodies to some extent. The more evolved the person is, the more the astral, etheric, and physical bodies have been purified into the Spirit Self, Life Spirit, and Spirit Man. As the "I" works its way through astral to etheric, the work gets harder, and the physical body is the hardest of all, so at any one time, there will be the most progress made on the astral, less on the etheric, and the least on the physical body (which will be completed last). This is our present and our future, whether we are aware of it now or not, at some point we will become aware of it, and the sooner this happens the easier it will be for us as an individual.
The next process of evolution is one that we have almost finished, as the major portion of this development took place in our past without us in previous lifetimes being aware of it. The "I" or ego worked on the astral body to produce a Sentient Soul, on the etheric body to produce an Intellectual Soul(4), and on the physical body to produce a Consciousness Soul.
[page 34, 35] So far we have been speaking of the conscious transforming of the astral body. But in the far distant past, before the ego was capable of working in this conscious way, it worked unconsciously — or rather, subconsciously — on the three outer human sheaths, beginning with the astral body, the carrier of our emotions, desires and instincts. The part of the astral body that the ego worked on in this way, this transmuted part of the astral body, we call the first member of the human soul, the sentient soul. This is how the ego lives in our inner being, and it created the sentient soul at a time when human beings lacked the requisite degree of consciousness for transforming their instincts, desires and so forth. In the etheric or life body the ego created, before the age of consciousness, what is called the intellectual soul. And in the physical body the ego created the inner organ we call the consciousness soul. For spiritual science the human soul is not a vague, nebulous entity, but an essential part of our inner being, consisting of three distinct members — sentient soul, intellectual soul and consciousness soul — within all of which the ego is actively engaged.
Animals, lacking an "I", are unable to create any of these three bodies, and anyone who treats animals as if they had a soul are simply projecting onto animals a human frame of reference which they do not have. Steiner clearly describes the evolution of minerals, plants, animals, and human beings, and in that evolution one can rightly understand that human beings are a separate entity from animals, that animals completely missed a stage of development which humans underwent. Humans did not evolve from animals, rather animals remained behind during a stage of evolution. Humans are not higher apes, but rather apes are examples of the highest stage an animal can reach as an animal.
To understand the difference between our sentient body which any animal has and our sentient soul which only a human has, one needs to make the distinction between a percept and a concept. Humans are like the captain of a large ship traveling at seas which is dividing the water into percepts and concepts: when the Captain looks to the right side he sees only percepts arriving from the sentient body side of the ship, when he looks to the left side he sees only concepts which are arriving from the sentient soul side of the ship. If you look at a rose, you receive a percept; ; if you look away from the rose and recall it, you are receiving a concept of the rose.
[page 36] Perception brings us into communication with the external world, concepts belong to the soul. The boundary between inner experience and the outer world can be precisely drawn. Directly we begin to experience something inwardly, we owe it to the sentient soul — as distinct from the sentient body which brings us our percepts and enables us to perceive, for example, the rose and its colour. Concepts are located in the sentient soul, which is also the bearer of all that we call our sympathies and antipathies, of the feelings that things arouse in us. When we feel the rose to be beautiful, this is an inward experience belonging to the sentient soul.
The second step is to understand the intellectual soul and how we operate through its use.(5)
[page 36, 37] The higher principle brought into being by the work of the ego on the etheric body is what we call the [intellectual] soul. Through the [intellectual] soul human beings are enabled to do more than carry about with them the experiences aroused in them by their perceptions of the outer world. They take these experiences a stage further. Instead of merely keeping their perceptions alive as images in the sentient soul, they reflect on them and involve themselves with them until these form themselves into thoughts and judgements, into the whole content of a person's inner life. The inner cultivation of impressions received from the outer world is the work of what we call the [intellectual] soul.
The third step is to understand the consciousness soul and how we have come to know and explain the world in which we live by dint of its presence in our current frame of reference.
[page 37] A third principle is brought into being when the ego has created in the physical body the organs whereby it is enabled to go out from itself and to connect once again its judgements and ideas with the external world. This principle we call the consciousness soul because the ego is then able to turn the inner experiences aroused in it by the stimuli from outside into conscious knowledge of this outer world. When we give form to the feelings we experience so that they enlighten us concerning the outer world, then the content of our minds becomes actual knowledge of the outer world. It is by means of the consciousness soul that we fathom the mysteries of the outer world, that we become knowledgeable people.
At this point some of you may be wondering why Steiner uses the word "ego" which has so many dreadful connotations today. He is aware of the ego being a "two-edged sword" (Page 37), one which cuts for good and one cuts for bad, one edge is selfless and one is selfish. Steiner explains that those who enrich themselves risk hardening their ego and losing thereby the riches of the world(6).
[page 38, 39] This is one aspect of the ego; and we are duty-bound to endeavor to make our ego as rich and as many-sided as we can. But there is also a reverse side of this progress of the ego, and this is called selfishness or egoism. . . . It is indeed the task of human beings to enrich themselves inwardly, but this does not imply a selfish hardening of the ego and a shutting off of themselves and their riches from the world. In that event human beings would indeed become richer and richer, but they would lose their connection with the world. Their enrichment would signify that the world had no more to give them and they nothing to give the world. In the course of time they would perish, for while striving to enrich their ego they would be keeping it all for themselves and would become isolated from the world. This caricature of ego development would impoverish the human ego to an increasing extent, for selfishness lays waste a person's inner being. So it is that the ego, as it works in the three members of the soul, acts as a two-edged sword. . . . The ego has to work on each of the three soul members in such a way that in both these directions justice is done where human evolution is concerned.
The next topic could be called "Anger as an Educator", a title that educators might get angry over, as they deem any anger as wrong and evil. But what is evil? Rightly understood, "evil is a good out of its time", in Steiner's own words. Lucifer's deed of bringing light to humankind was a good out of its time, something that would be good, namely light, humankind was not ready for, so it was something out of its time, and evil. A good out of its time, evil, will always be balanced by an equal good later, as Lucifer's deed was balanced later by Christ's deed in the Mystery of Golgotha.
How does anger arise? It arises as an impulse in the sentient soul which the intellectual soul is not prepared to deal with. Any parent who's raised children, knows that their teenage years are filled with anger of some kind, and rightly so, as teenagers are bombarded with impulses from their sentient soul which their intellectual soul is not prepared to deal with. So the teenager gets mad at one or both parents, often simply because they are the only ones who will listen to the teen's ravings, after all, parents can be blamed for almost anything that upsets a teenager, can they not? After all, if they had raised the teenager better, this would not have happened, right?
[page 41] First, we judge an event in the outer world by getting angry; then, having first learnt unconsciously to disagree with something that is not right — learning unconsciously by way of anger — we learn, through this very way of judging, to become more and more ready in the higher part of our souls to have enlightened judgement. So in a certain area anger is an educator. It arises in us as an inner experience before we are mature enough to form an enlightened judgement about something unacceptable to us. This is how we should look at the anger which can overcome young people, before they are capable of considered judgement, at sight of an unjust or foolish action which violates their ideals; we are justified in calling this righteous anger. It is a dimly recognized judgement made by the sentient soul before we are mature enough to pass enlightened judgement.
Jesus himself was moved to anger by the money-changers in the temple, was he not? Steiner says it is by anger that we are enabled to move into "light-filled clarity". (Page 41) Each human being must operate on the world out of their own frame of reference, doing what they can do at their current level in the process of moving to a higher level.
[page 41, 42] For no one does better at acquiring self-assured judgement than a person who, starting from the right feelings, has passed through the stage of being moved to righteous anger by anything mean, immoral or senseless. This is the mission of anger. Anger has the mission to raise the human ego to higher levels. Before we can master ourselves and judge clearly, it leads us by means of what we can do to what we cannot yet do.
But anger can become rage, and certainly that is not good for anyone? I can hear some of you thinking to yourselves, as I have thought that to myself on many occasions. Anger can become rage because of free will: being free, anything can degenerate, even anger.
[page 41] Anger can degenerate into rage and serve to gratify the worst kind of egoism. This must be so, if human beings are to be able to develop freedom. But we must not fail to realize that the very thing which can become evil may, when it shows its proper nature, have the mission of assisting our progress. It is just because human beings can allow good to turn into evil that something which has been developed into a good quality can become a possession of the ego. Therefore anger is to be understood as the herald of the force that can raise a human being to calm self-possession.
Jesus' anger at the money-changers in the temple gives us a model for righteous anger, which we can model when we encounter injustice or stupidity in our world today. Jesus got angry and he took immediate action by overturning their tables and chasing the changers from the temple, saying they had changed the temple into "a den of thieves." In German the vernacular phrase for being furious is to "poison oneself" (sich giften ), but a little poison used homeopathically can help one who is ill become well, and anger works the same way. Anger is a two-edged sword: it can reduce awareness (if suppressed internally) or it can promote selflessness (if expressed externally).
[page 43] Anger which eats into the soul is a poison which damps down the ego's self-awareness, yet the very expression of it points to the other factor it promotes, namely, selflessness.
Steiner says that "we would just melt into nothing if we had to remain indifferent to everything around us, and we could not judge it calmly." In addition we would be free, but without an ego and with no chance of acquiring enlightened judgment. (page 43)
[page 43] Life shows us that a person who is unable to flare up in righteous anger at injustice or stupidity will never acquire real love and kindness, whereas a person who educates himself through righteous anger will acquire a heart aglow with love, a heart that leads to the doing of good deeds. Love and kindness are the obverse of righteous anger. Anger that is conquered and purified becomes transformed into love and kindness. A loving hand is seldom one that has never clenched in response to injustice or foolishness. Anger and love are complementary.
We move now into the next lecture where Steiner promises to show us "how the ego becomes mature enough to educate itself in the rational or perceptive soul by understanding the mission of truth on a higher level." (Page 48) We can lead into this revelation by asking, "Which kind of teacher did you learn more from in grade school: the cold fish dictator who made you write sentences on the board like "I will do my homework" after school for an hour, or the one who got red-faced in anger at if you missed an important homework assignment? Think about that.
[page 51, 52] To visualize the way anger works in the soul let us imagine two teachers faced with children who have done something wrong. One teacher will lose his temper and immediately punish the child. The other teacher may not be capable of letting go in anger, yet neither is he able to do the right thing out of full self-control from out of his ego. . . . An outburst of anger involves more than the punishment imposed on the child. Anger stirs the soul, working upon it so as to destroy selfishness. Anger acts like a poison on selfishness, and we find that in time it gradually transforms the powers of the soul, making it capable of love, whereas the teacher who has not yet attained inner tranquillity and yet inflicts a coldly calculating punishment will, since anger does not work in him as a poison, become an increasingly cold egoist.
Which of the two teachers will have the respect of their pupils? Remember back to your schooldays and you will find the answer. You may have disliked the cold-fish Victorian spinster and the hot-tempered Irishman, but you respected the one who openly got angry when you fell short of your own potential. We also learned from him that it was okay to get openly angry at others ourselves, and that is an important lesson in becoming more mature. From the spinster we got that message that becoming old was a sad and lonely proposition, one to be avoided. We did what she demanded of us in class, but at recess on the playground we vented our anger at her, and only in this indirect way did her stoic disposition provide us a lesson in maturity. Anger weakened the ego of the Irishman and prevented him from becoming a stone-cold egoist.
But neither self-composure or fiery anger can get us very far without truth.
[page 57] Truth has this unique characteristic: we can strive for it while remaining entirely within ourselves yet — while living in our ego — we can acquire something which fundamentally speaking has nothing to do with the personal.
In my lifetime I have met many original thinkers and inventors and they all had this one distinguishing feature: anger at those who didn't believe in their creations. They demonstrated a strong combination of egoism and a search for truth, which invariably led them again and again to anger at skeptics who were unable to see the truth they had uncovered. Considering that their truth was not as yet known commonly by the world, this was not at all surprising, but the anger was always there.
[page 57] Whenever people are driven to have their own way, what drives them is egoism. When they want to do something they think is right, but someone stands in the way, they get angry, which is an expression of self-seeking. But if they are bent on attaining truth, this self-seeking must be subdued.
Steiner points to mathematics as the one field where humankind has "curbed their passions and desires, and do not permit them to have a say." One cannot argue that 2 and 2 equals 4. Whatever disputes arise in mathematics, eventually someone will provide a proof, and the dispute goes calmly away.
[page 59] By opening ourselves to truth, truth becomes all the stronger and we are released from the self. Whereas anger weakens us, truth strengthens. Truth is a stern goddess; she demands to be at the center of a unique love in our souls. The moment one fails to get away from oneself and prefers something else to her, she takes immediate revenge.
Some time ago I came upon an interesting interpretation of the myth of Pandora who had two brothers, Epimetheus and Prometheus, whose names can be seen to mean "hindsight" and "foresight" or what is translated as reflective thinking and creative thinking in this book. Steiner points out forcefully that spiritual science comes from creative thinking.
[page 61] So there are two kinds of truths, and they must be kept strictly apart, those that arise from external observation, by means of reflective thought, and those that arise through 'creative thought'.
How can truths of this kind be verified? What makes them true? The inventor of a clock can spend a lot of time giving us proof that he thought it out correctly. But we shall only give him our confidence if he can show us that the clock does what he expects. Anything we think out in advance must prove itself in practice, and yield results that can be recognized. The truths of spiritual science or anthroposophy are of this kind. We cannot learn about them in the first place from our outer experiences.
We cannot come to understand that each human being appears in successive incarnations by examining the external world with reflective thought, but only by proving it in our own life.
[page 62] If we look at life with the knowledge that the soul repeatedly returns and ever and again goes through a series of events and experiences between birth and death, we shall find how much satisfaction, how much strength and productivity these thoughts can bring. Or again, if we ask how the soul of a child can be helped to develop and grow stronger, presupposing that an eternally existent soul is here working its way into a new life, then this truth will shine in on us and give proof of its fertility in outer reality. Any other proofs are false. The only way a truth of this kind can be confirmed is by proving it true in daily life. Truths that have been actually arrived at in thought and not through external observation cannot be proved in the same way as reflective truths. They have to prove their worth and show their fruitfulness in life itself. There is a vast difference between these two kinds of truth. Those of the second kind are grasped in the spirit and verified through outer observation.
My academic career began as a physicist, and I spent a lot of time in reflective thoughts which investigated how the external world works. I was well on my way to becoming a cold egoist, as Steiner explains in this next passage.
[page 63] The creative power of the ego is lamed and devitalized; the self loses strength and can no longer stand up to the world if it is concerned only with reflective thoughts. Nothing does so much to isolate the ego, to make it withdraw into itself, and to look with hostility on the world, as merely reflecting on it. People can become cold egoists if they are intent only on investigating the outer world. What do they want this knowledge for? Do they mean to place it at the service of the gods? If people desire only this kind of truth they want to have it for themselves, and they are on the way to becoming cold egoists and misanthropists in later life. They will become recluses or will sever themselves from humanity in some other way, for they want to possess the content of the world as their own truth. All forms of seclusion and hostility towards humanity can be found on this path. Souls become increasingly dried up and lose their sense of human fellowship.
Gradually I began to move toward a study of the spiritual world, because nothing in the field of physics allowed me to comprehend the riddle which is life and the two enigmas, birth and death, which embrace this one lifetime. I had devoted the first half of my life to the study of science and I began to devoted the second half of my life to the study of the arts — for myself, that meant to begin viewing the world as an artist does in my every endeavor. Suddenly I discovered what feelings were, a discovery which brought me out of my incipient isolation into the connected world of people. Here's how Steiner describes the artist:
[page 64] Now an artist comes along, and his soul confronts the picture that nature sets before him. He does not merely reflect on it but lets nature's creative power work upon him. He creates a work of art which does not contain merely a reflective thought but a productive force. . . . In this realm human beings relate in a different way, as they themselves are productive. They bring their thoughts to realization in life; here they are working according to nature's own example. This is how it is with us when we go beyond mere observation and reflective thinking, and make space for something to arise in our souls that we cannot get from mere observation.
We see there are two distinctly different kinds of truth, the Epimetheus-kind of reflective thinking and the Prometheus-kind of creative thinking.
[page 65] This is how different the two kinds of truths are, the one reached by creative thought and the other by reflective thought. The latter kind, derived from investigating existing things or current experience, will always lead to abstractions, and the soul will be deprived of nourishment and dry up. The truth that is not acquired from outer experience, however, is creative and by the force of its own strength it assigns human beings a place in wider existence where they can cooperate in shaping the future.
One kind of truth can be called hindsight and the other kind foresight; one looks back over the past, the other looks into the future; one is filled with regrets, the other is filled with optimism; one will starve on the abstract, the other thrive on the creative; one sees the world as it was, the other sees the world as it can be. This is a personal choice each person makes, whether or not one is a aware of it being a choice or not.
[page 65, 66] Those people who are active in their striving for truth will soon find how much reflective thinking impoverishes them. And they come to understand that the devotees of reflective thinking are filling their minds with phantom ideas and bloodless abstractions. Such people may feel like outcasts, condemned to a mere savoring of truth, and may come to doubt whether they have any spirit to playa part in shaping the world. On the other hand, if we experience a truth acquired by creative thinking we shall find that it nourishes and warms the soul and gives it new strength at every stage in life. It fills us with joy when we are able to grasp truths of this kind and discover that in connecting them up with the phenomena of life we can say to ourselves: Now I not only understand what is going on there but I can now explain it in the light of having known something about it previously.
Epimetheus opens Pandora's Box, all the ills of the world based on reflective thinking is let loose and only Hope remains behind, showing what is the last refuge of the abstract reflective thinker.
[page 72, italics added ] Only one thing is left to the merely reflective thinker. While creative thinkers unite their ego with the future and break free from themselves in living for the future, reflective thinkers, with regard to the future, only have this one thing left them: to hope that things will happen, for, not being creative thinkers, they will have no part in shaping it.
Epimethean reflective thinkers are the ones who fill Ayn Rand's famous novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, who are systematically regulating and stifling the productivity of America; they can only hope for the best. Her heroes are promethean creative thinkers who make things happen to create a better future for all of humanity. If you ask them, they will answer, "I hope for nothing."
[page 72] If a promethean person were to speak of the future he would say: 'I hope for nothing, but will work out of my own forces to shape the future.'
Earlier we discovered how anger is in effect the tutor of the sentient soul. In Lecture 4 Steiner reveals that truth is the tutor of the intellectual soul.
[page 82, 83] This describes briefly the content of the intellectual soul. We have seen how untamed passions, such as anger, educate the soul if they are overcome. We have seen also that the intellectual soul is really educated by truth, when truth is understood as something one has to take hold of completely within oneself and which one should take account of at all times; something which, despite being an inner possession, leads us out of ourselves, enlarging the ego and making it stronger and stronger and more selfless in its own right. These then are the means of self-education for the sentient soul and intellectual soul.
Which leaves us wondering what about the consciousness soul? From where does it gets its stimulus into being? We cannot gain knowledge of the spiritual world merely by hoping and waiting for it or expect our sensations and perceptions of the physical world to allow us to acquire more than the knowledge of the physical world. So where does it come from?
[page 83] There is something that reaches out from the intellectual soul to the consciousness soul, and this is thinking — thinking with its strength and cleverness. The consciousness soul can develop only because human beings are thinkers; for the consciousness soul, with its self-awareness, has to know both the world and itself.
We are so used to the phrase "cold, hard logic" that we are led to assume that all logic is cold and hard, but logic gets its very beginnings in feeling which provides us a direct connection to the spiritual world. Yes, we can act as if logic, once accepted and proven, exists separately from its origins in feeling, but, rightly understood, that is not the case.
[page 84] Logical thinking cannot be proved primarily by logical thinking, but only by feeling. In fact, everything that constitutes logic is in the first place proved through feeling, by our soul's infallible feeling for truth. . . . What kind of feeling do we need if it is to provide the drive not only for thinking in general, but for thinking about worlds with which we are at first unacquainted and cannot survey?
Feeling of this kind must be a force that strive from within towards an object as yet unknown. When the human souls wants to encompass with feeling some other thing, we call this feeling love.
I have a feeling that this next statement of Rudolf Steiner is true:
[page 85] To love the supersensible before we are capable of illuminating it with thought is not only possible but is indispensable.
When our will gets involved, it can lead us to reach out to the supersensible world before our thinking can achieve it, and this quality of will we call devotion. When love and devotion appears together, we call it reverence. We have seen previously that anger is the tutor for our sentient soul, and now we can see that reverence is the tutor of our consciousness soul.
In the transformation of the soul, the eponymous theme of this book, the ego, our "I", is the essential ingredient.
[page 86] Anger needs to be overcome and discarded; a sense of truth has to fill the ego. Reverence has to flow from the ego towards the thing that needs to be known. In this way the ego raises itself out of the sentient soul and the intellectual soul by overcoming anger and other passions and by cultivating a sense of truth, and now it is increasingly drawn towards becoming a consciousness soul through the influence of devotion.
In Steiner's metaphor below he reckons our three souls as the three strings of a musical instrument like a balalaika, and the ego, our "I", as a musician who tunes these strings, adjusting them, not too loose, not too tight, causing them to vibrate in harmony, producing the music of life. A child scrapping a bow across a balalaika will produce a chaos of cacophony because it does not yet understand the unique nature of the three strings.
[page 98, 99] We must also remember that the human soul embracing the inner life of man, is not merely a chaos of intermingling feelings, concepts, passions and ideals, but has three distinct members: the sentient soul, the lowest; in the middle the intellectual soul; and the highest, the consciousness soul. There three soul members are to be clearly distinguished, but they must not be allowed to fall apart, for the human soul must be a unity. What is it then that holds them together? It is the ego, it is what, in the true sense, we call the human "I", the bearer of our human consciousness of self, the active element within our soul, which plays upon its three soul members as a musician plays upon the strings of an instrument. And the harmony or disharmony is the basis of human character.
Through more than 15 years of discussing Rudolf Steiner's works with others, I have on rare occasions found someone saying or claiming something was true because Herr Doktor had said it or written it. That never seemed to be the case for me because I questioned everything Steiner wrote, accepting it only if it made sense for me, not accepting it merely because the Master had said it. In Lecture 6, Steiner himself spells out clearly for us and for all time how we are respond to what he or anyone else has said.
[page 135] . . . we are told that in the old Pythagorean Mystery Schools there was a familiar phrase: 'The Master has said.' But this never meant: 'The Master has said, therefore we believe it!' For his students it meant something like this: 'The Master has said it; therefore it presents us with a challenge to reflect on it and see how far we can get with it if we bring all our forces to bear on it.'
In the first ten books I read of random lectures given by Steiner, I didn't get very far as I had few forces to bring to bear on them. Not until I read his basic works did I begin to develop forces with which to draw meaning from his lectures. The first time I read "An Outline of Occult Science" I wrote a single page review of it; the second time I wrote a 127 page review of the first five chapters and I haven't completed the last three chapters as of now(7). My Steiner reviews represent my application of my full forces upon understanding his work at the time I read and review a book of lectures. My reviews represent my own evolution of consciousness, the progress my ego, "I", has made to date on the development of my sentient soul, intellectual soul, and consciousness soul. It delights me to have people share with me that when they get stuck while reading a Steiner book, they say to themselves, "Let me go see what Bobby Matherne has to say about this book." Perhaps through watching me stumble through to an understanding of what Steiner has to say to modern readers, they can come to develop their own forces to establish their own view. "People only pay attention to things they discover for themselves," as Tony Perkins spoke in the movie, "Pretty Poison", an old B-movie — i. e., what we discover for ourselves is more important than what some respected authority figure has to say.
So far I can determine after reading and reviewing over 197 books of his, one can never discover in Steiner's works anyplace where he claims vegetarianism is a requirement for understanding the spiritual world. On the contrary, he goes to great lengths to counteract the tendency of his followers to argue for a vegetarian diet. One night after a meeting where vegetarianism was discussed, members of the class went out to a small local diner with him. As they ordered, each one spent a lot of time hassling the owner of the diner to find some vegetarian dish they could eat. When it came time for Steiner to order, he told the owner, "I'll have the Special." The Special was a meat dish, and you can imagine the gasps which must have gone around the table. In Lecture 6, he gives his guidance to those who might otherwise harm themselves by switching to vegetarianism.
[page 140] Vegetarianism will never lead anyone to higher worlds; it can be no more than a support for people who think to themselves: I will to open for myself certain ways of understanding the spiritual worlds; I am hindered by the heaviness of my body, which prevents the exercises from having an immediate effect. Therefore I will help myself by relieving my body of a certain amount of strain.
He adds that if one simply turns into a vegetarian to acquire certain spiritual powers, they will likely find their soul stays the same, their body weakens, and they will achieve only a false asceticism which allows them to see into a pseudo-spiritual world, not the real spiritual world. (Page 141)
[page 141] When you have stopped enjoying eating meat then refraining from eating it is of some use with regard to the spiritual worlds. Until then, breaking the meat-eating habit can be helpful only in getting rid of the desire for meat. If the desire persists, it may be better to start eating meat again. For to go on tormenting yourself about it is certainly not the right way to reach an understanding of spiritual science!
A Sufi saying goes, "Counterfeit gold exists because real gold exists." That will help us to understand how it is that false asceticism can exist.
[page 141] From all this you can clearly see the difference between true and false asceticism. False asceticism often attracts people whose sole desire is to develop the inner forces and faculties of soul, for it will not matter much to them whether they gain real knowledge of the outer world. Their aim is simply to develop their inner faculties and then to wait and see what comes of it.
Basically their ego remains as it was to begin with and no higher powers are attained. Another problem comes if people strive for humility and surrender and become so involved with themselves that they become egoists in the worst sense, which can degenerate into ambition and self-aggrandizement. (Page 142)
In Lecture 7, he elaborates on how the ego can affect us in good ways and bad ways.
[page 161] How does egoism affect the consciousness soul through which human beings acquire knowledge of the world around them? In other words, when can a piece of knowledge be really fruitful? It will be truly effective only if it brings a person into harmony with the rest of the world, which means that the only concepts and ideas that can enliven the human souls are those that are drawn form the outer world, from a living understanding of the worlds, and then only if we relate to the world in harmony! This is what all knowledge selflessly pursued, where we seek step by step to reach the great truths of existence, are so health-promoting for the soul, which then passes this on to the physical body. On the other hand anything that draws us out of a living connection with the world, as inner brooding does, or anything that brings us into discord with the world, will have a hardening effect.
In Lecture 8, Steiner strongly rebuts any claim that spiritual science's view of one's incarnating into serial lifetimes on Earth means it has adopted Buddhism.
[page 180] By now people should have grasped that spiritual science is not concerned with names but with actual truths that can be researched independently of any name that may be given to it. . . . At the same time it is essential to point out that spiritual science provides a means of testing the spiritual sources of every religion — including Christianity, the basis of our European culture on the one hand, and Buddhism on the other.
For those who wish to understand how two diverse religions such as Christianity and Buddhism can deal with reincarnation, he provides this antistrophe:
[page 186] If as spiritual scientist we stand for reincarnation we must say:
For Buddhism, the central unifying element in a person's life on earth does not endure; only his actions have effects for the next life.
For Christianity, the unifying element in a person's life is his ego with its contents. This ego endures, and carries over into the next life all the fruits of the preceding one.
He compares the ends expected by the two religions thusly:
[page 190] While Buddhism sees release from earth existence in terms of ascending to Nirvana, Christianity sees its aim as a continuing process of development whereby all the products and achievements of the various incarnations shine forth in ever higher stages of perfection until, spiritualized, they are resurrected at the end of earth existence.
The turning point in Earth evolution was the Mystery of Golgotha when Christ Jesus died on the cross and his great Spirit entered the Earth, and this turning point led humans to a new way of perceiving which no longer required long training in Mystery Schools to be an initiate. What initiates learned through their arduous training, humans could acquire on their own from then on, with Christ's help. One must understand this to be the basis of John the Baptist's loud proclamation at the time, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
[page 196] . . . [The Baptist] was simply using a technical expression for abilities human beings acquired when they began to obtain knowledge of the world in conscious self-awareness and no longer through [the Mystery School] inspirations. The Baptist's call means that knowledge of the world in concepts and ideas is approaching. Human beings are no longer dependent on the old clairvoyance, but can investigate and understand the world for themselves. And this mightiest of impulses to obtain knowledge by way of their 'I' and not through inspirations was given by the Christ.
One of the Beatitudes that is often not clearly understood is, "Blessed are the poor in spirit for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven" [Matt. 5:3] and Steiner explains its meaning. By those who were poor in spirit Jesus was speaking of those who no longer had direct spiritual experience through their loss of the old clairvoyance, but they are truly blessed because they will find a new way to the spirit by dint of His Deed on Golgotha.
[page 197] Blessed are they, for their's is that which will be revealed to them through their own ego, and can be achieved by way of ego-consciousness.
For some of you who still ponder the question, "Why read Rudolf Steiner?" I think the best answer I can give is what the Greek philosopher Heraclitus is reported to have said in this next passage.
[page 48, 49] Our study today has shown us, too, that the practical presentation of the Greek legend also bears out the words of Heraclitus: 'You will never find the boundaries of the soul, by whatever paths you search for them; so wide and deep is the soul's being.' . . . The boundaries of the soul are so wide that you may search along every path and not reach them, so comprehensive is the being of the soul.
From my extensive studies of his works, I can say that Rudolf Steiner explored the boundaries of the soul so much that every book of his lectures I delve into becomes a source of new and mind-boggling concepts which lead further to the wide, deep and limitless boundaries of the soul.
Review of Volume 2 of Transforming the Soul can be read here:~^~
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1. Edward Reaugh Smith devotes two pages of his Burning Bush to Solomon's Key, explaining how Steiner received the information on its spiritual uses. (Page 672) Also called the Mogen David, I received one made of PVC pipes from my friend Warren Liberty. It contained only right angles, but, when viewed from over 30 feet away it will turn into the double-triangle figure, as seen in the photograph.Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2. Tom Last, who read this book several dozen times shared his insights with me and we developed this set of web-pages to help earnest students of Steiner's work to decipher the many levels at work in his The Philosophy of Freedom.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3. These spiritual scientific names were coined by Steiner to replace the older esoteric names of manas, buddhi, and atman.Return to text directly before Footnote 3.
Footnote 4. The translator renders the German phrase into "rational soul" or "perceptive soul" while most other translations use Intellectual Soul, but it will be useful to remember the perceptive attributes of the Intellectual Soul.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Footnote 5. To avoid confusion, in all quoted passages the word "intellectual" will replace the phrase "rational or perceptive" which seems to point to two different souls instead of the one intellectual soul.Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
Footnote 6. The effects of hardening the ego is magnificently portrayed by Charles Dickens in his classic tale, A Christmas Carol.Return to text directly before Footnote 6.
Return to text directly before Footnote 7.
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