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Cosmology, Religion and Philosophy
GA 25

V. Experiences of the Soul in Sleep

[ 1 ] WE speak to-day of the ‘Unconscious’ of ‘Subconscious’, when we wish to signify that the soul-experiences of ordinary consciousness—observation, representation, realization, volition—are dependent on a state which is not included in this consciousness. That knowledge which would base itself only on these experiences can no doubt, by logical sequence of argument, point to such a ‘subconscious’; but that is all it can do. It can bring no contribution to a definition of the unconscious.

[ 2 ] The imaginative, inspired and intuitive knowledge which has been described in the foregoing considerations, can give such a definition. Now we shall try to do the same for the soul-experiences of man during sleep.

[ 3 ] The sleep-experiences of the soul do not enter upon ordinary consciousness, for this rests on the basis of the physical organization; and during sleep the experience of the soul is outside the body. When in waking the soul begins, with the help of the body, to imagine, to feel, and to will, it joins up in its memory with those experiences which took place before sleep on the basis of the physical organization. The experiences of sleep reveal themselves only to Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition. They do not appear in the guise of memory, but as if in a psychic review of it.

[ 4 ] I shall now have to describe what is revealed in this review. Because it is hid from ordinary consciousness, such a description of this review must, when the consciousness is faced with it unprepared, naturally appear grotesque. But the foregoing explanations have shown that such a description is possible, and how it is to be taken. Although it may even be laughed at from some quarter or another, I shall give it as it emerges from the states of consciousness already described.

[ 5 ] At first, in falling asleep, a man finds himself in an inwardly vague, undifferentiated state of being. He sees there no difference between his own being and that of the universe; nor any between separate objects or people. His state of existence is universal and vague. Taken up into the imaginative consciousness, this experience becomes an ‘Ego-feeling’, in which the ‘universe-feeling’ is included. He has left the sphere of the senses, and has not yet clearly entered upon another world.

[ 6 ] We shall now have to use expressions such as ‘Feeling’, ‘longing’, etc., which also in ordinary life refer to something known; and yet we shall have to use them to denote processes which remain unknown to the ordinary soul-life. But the soul experiences them as facts during sleep. Think, for instance, how in daily life joy is experienced consciously. Physically an enlargement of the small blood vessels takes place, and other things, and this enlargement is a fact; when it takes place, joy is consciously felt. Similarly, the soul goes through real experiences in sleep; and this will be described in terms which refer to corresponding experience of the imaginative, inspired and intuitive consciousness. If, for example, we speak of ‘longing’ we shall mean an actual soul-process which is imaginatively revealed as longing. Thus the unconscious states and experiences of the soul will be described as if they were conscious.

[ 7 ] Simultaneously with the feeling of vagueness arid the absence of differentiation, there arises in the soul a longing for rest in what is spiritual and divine. The human soul evolves this longing as a counterbalance to the feeling of being lost in infinity. Having lost the sphere of the senses, it craves for a state out of the spiritual world that will support it.

[ 8 ] Dreams interweave themselves into the state of soul just described. They traverse the unconscious with half-conscious experiences. The real form of sleep experiences is not made clearer through ordinary dreams, but still less clear. This lack of clearness applies also to the imaginative consciousness if this latter is clouded by dreams arising spontaneously. One perceives the truth on the further side of life both awake and in dream by means of that conception of the soul which is attained by free will through the exercises previously explained.

[ 9 ] The next state through which the soul lives then is like a division or partition of itself into inner happenings which are differentiated from each other. During this period of sleep, the soul feels itself to be not a unity but an inner plurality, and this state is one suffused with anxiety. Were it felt consciously, it would be soul-fear. But the human soul experiences the real counterpart of this anxiety every night, though remaining unconscious of it.

[ 10 ] In the case of modern man there appears at this moment of sleep the soul-saving effect which corresponds in the waking condition to his self surrender to Christ. It was different, of course, before the events of Golgotha. Then men, when awake, received from their religious beliefs the antidote which carried over into the condition of sleep and was the medicine for this fear. For the man who lives after the events of Golgotha are substituted the religious experiences which he has in the contemplation of the life and death and being of Christ. He overcomes his fears through the working of this into his sleep. This fear prevents, as long as it is present, the inner vision of that which should be experienced by the soul in sleep, as the body prevents it in the waking state. The leadership of Christ overcomes the inner division and transforms the plurality into a unity. And the soul comes now to the point of having an inner life different from that of the waking condition. The physical and etheric organisms belong now to its outer world. On the other hand in its present inner self it experiences a reflection of the planetary movements. The soul experiences something cosmic in place of the individual, conditioned by the physical and etheric organisms. The soul lives outside the body; and its inner life is an inner reflection of the planetary motions. This being so, the inspired consciousness is aware of the corresponding inner processes in the manner which has been described in our previous studies. This consciousness perceives also how that which the soul receives through its contact with the planets continues to have an after-effect in the consciousness after waking. This planetary influence continues in awakeness as a stimulant in the rhythm of breathing and blood-circulation. During sleep the physical and etheric organisms are subjected to the effect of the planet-stimulation, which by day influence them, as described, as the after-effect of the previous night.

[ 11 ] There are other experiences side by side with these. In this phase of its sleep-existence, the soul experiences its relation to all human souls with which it had come into contact in earthly life. Considered intuitively this leads to certainty on the subject of repeated earth life; for these earth-lives reveal themselves in their relation to the soul. And the connection with other spirit-beings, which live in the world without ever assuming a human body, is also one of the soul's experiences. [ 12 ] But in this condition of sleep the soul experiences also what point to good and evil tendencies, and good and evil events in the predestined course of earthly life. In fact, what older philosophers have termed ‘Karma’ is now presented to the soul.

[ 13 ] In daily life all these happenings of the soul have so much effect that they help to cause the feelings, the general mood of the soul, of happiness or unhappiness.

[ 14 ] In the further course of sleep another state of the soul is added to the one just described. It goes through a copy or imitation of state of the Twin Stars. As the bodily organs are sensed in waking, so a reconstructing of the fixed constellations is now attempted. The cosmic experience of the soul is widening. It is now a spirit amongst spirits. ‘Intuition’ sees the sun and the other fixed stars as physical projections of spirits, in the manner just described. These adventures of the soul reverberate during daily life as its religious leanings, its religious feeling and willing. It can be said indeed that the religious longing, stirring in the depth of the soul, is in awake life the aftermath of the stellar experience during the state of sleep.

[ 15 ] But it is significant above all that in this state the soul is faced with the facts of life and death. It sees itself as a spirit-being, entering into a physical body through conception and the life of the cell, and unconsciously it sees the event of death as a passing over into a purely spiritual world. That the soul in its waking state cannot believe in the reality of what outwardly represents itself to the senses as the events of birth and death is therefore not only the imaginative picturing of a longing but a vaguely-felt reliving through things presented to the soul in sleep.

If man could recall to his consciousness everything he lives through unconsciously from falling asleep to waking up, he would have a consciousness-content giving the experiences of truth to his philosophical ideas in the first occurrence in which sense-phenomena merge Into a universal inner cosmic life, and in which a kind of pantheistic knowledge of God occurs. If he was conscious of this planet and fixed-star life of sleep he would indeed have a cosmology full of content. And the conclusion could be formed from the experience of star-life, that a human being has a life as spirit among spirits.

From falling asleep, through further states of sleep, man actually becomes an unconscious philosopher, cosmologist, and God-filled being. From the depths of experiences otherwise only possible in sleep, ‘Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition’ lift up that which shows what kind of being man himself really is; how he is part of the Cosmos and how he becomes one with God.

[ 16 ] This last happens to man in the deepest stage of sleep. From there the soul begins to return to the world of the senses. In the impulse leading to this return the intuitive consciousness recognizes the activity of those spirit beings which have their physical counterpart in the moon. The spiritual moon-activities are the ones recalling men in their sleep back to their presence on earth. Naturally these same lunar activities are also present in the New Moon. But the transformation of whatever changes visibly in the moon has its significance concerning the part lunar activities play in man's holding on to his earthly life from birth or conception to death.

[ 17 ] After the deepest state of sleep man returns to his waking state through the same intermediate states. Before awakening he goes once more through experiencing the universal world state, and the longing for God, in which dreams can play their part.

V. Schlaferlebnisse der Seele

[ 1 ] Man spricht heute vom «Unbewußten» oder «Unterbewußten», wenn man andeuten will, daß die Seelenerlebnisse des gewöhnlichen Bewußtseins - Wahrnehmen, Vorstellen, Fühlen und Wollen - von einem Dasein abhängig sind, das von diesem Bewußtsein nicht umfaßt wird. Diejenige Erkenntnis, die sich nur auf diese Erlebnisse stützen will, kann wohl durch logische Schlussfolgerungen auf ein solches «Unterbewußtes» hinweisen; sie muß sich aber mit diesem Hinweis begnügen. Zu einer Charakteristik des Unbewußten kann sie nichts beitragen.

[ 2 ] Die in den vorangehenden Betrachtungen geschilderte imaginative, inspirierte und intuitive Erkenntnis vermag eine solche Charakteristik zu geben. Diesmal soll das versucht werden für die Seelenerlebnisse, welche der Mensch während des Schlafes durchmacht.

[ 3 ] Die Schlaferlebnisse der Seele treten in das gewöhnliche Bewußtsein nicht ein, weil dieses auf der Grundlage der körperlichen Organisation entsteht. Während des Schlafes ist aber das seelische Erleben ein außerkörperliches. Wenn die Seele beim Erwachen beginnt, mit Hilfe des Körpers vorzustellen, zu fühlen, zu wollen, knüpft sie in ihrem Erinnern an diejenigen Erlebnisse an, die vor dem Einschlafen auf der Grundlage der körperlichen Organisation sich abgespielt haben. Vor der Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition erst treten die Schlaferlebnisse auf. Sie stellen sich nicht wie in einer Erinnerung dar, sondern wie in einem seelischen Hinschauen auf sie.

[ 4 ] Ich werde nun zu schildern haben, was in diesem Hinschauen sich offenbart. Weil dieses dem gewöhnlichen Bewußtsein eben verborgen ist, so muß für dasselbe, wenn es unvorbereitet an eine solche Schilderung herantritt, diese sich naturgemäß grotesk ausnehmen. Aber die vorangehenden Darstellungen haben ja gezeigt, daß eine solche Schilderung möglich, und wie sie aufzufassen ist. Ich werde daher, trotzdem über sie von der einen oder andern Seite sogar gespottet werden kann, sie einfach so geben, wie sie aus den gekennzeichneten Bewußtseinszuständen erfließt.

[ 5 ] Zunächst im Einschlafen befindet sich der Mensch in einem innerlich unbestimmten, undifferenzierten Sein. Es wird da kein Unterschied erlebt zwischen dem eigenen Sein und dem Sein der Welt; auch nicht ein solcher zwischen einzelnen Dingen oder Wesenheiten. Der Mensch ist in einem allgemeinen, nebelhaften Dasein. In das imaginative Bewußtsein heraufgehoben, stellt sich dieses Erleben als ein Sich-Erfühlen dar, in dem das Erfühlen der Welt mitenthalten ist. Der Mensch ist aus dem Sinnensein ausgetreten und noch nicht deutlich in eine andere Welt hineinversetzt.

[ 6 ] Es werden im weiteren nun Ausdrücke gebraucht werden müssen, wie «Fühlen», «Sehnsucht» usw., die auch im gewöhnlichen Leben auf ein Bewußtes bezogen werden. Und doch soll durch sie hingewiesen werden auf Vorgänge, die für das gewöhnliche Seelenleben unbewußt bleiben. Aber die Seele erlebt sie als reale Tatsachen während des Schlafens. Man denke daran, wie im Alltagsleben z. B. Freude im Bewußtsein erlebt wird. Im Körperlichen spielt sich da eine Erweiterung der feinen Blutgefäße und anderes ab. Diese Erweiterung ist eine reale Tatsache. Im Bewußtsein wird bei ihrem Ablaufen Freude erlebt. So wird von der Seele während des Schlafens Reales erlebt; im folgenden soll dieses durch die Ausdrücke geschildert werden, die auf das entsprechende Erleben des imaginativen, inspirierten und intuitiven Bewußtseins sich beziehen. Wenn z. B. von «Sehnsucht» gesprochen wird, so ist ein tatsächlicher Seelenvorgang gemeint, der imaginativ als Sehnsucht sich offenbart. Es werden also die unbewußten Seelenzustände und Seelenerlebnisse so geschildert werden, als ob sie bewußt wären.

[ 7 ] Gleichzeitig mit dem Erfühlen des Unbestimmten, Undifferenzierten, stellt sich in der Seele eine Sehnsucht ein nach einem Ruhen in einem Geistig-Göttlichen. Die Menschenseele entwickelt diese Sehnsucht als die Gegenkraft gegen das Verlorensein im Unbestimmten. Sie hat das Sinnensein verloren und begehrt nach einem Sein, das sie aus der geistigen Welt heraus trägt.

[ 8 ] In den soeben geschilderten Seelenzustand wirken die Träume hinein. Sie durchsetzen das Unbewußte mit halb-bewußten Erlebnissen. Die wahre Gestalt der Schlaferlebnisse wird durch die gewöhnlichen Träume nicht deutlicher, sondern noch undeutlicher. Auch für das imaginative Bewußtsein tritt diese Undeutlichkeit ein, wenn dieses in seiner Reinheit durch unwillkürlich auftauchende Träume gestört wird. Die Wahrheit schaut man jenseits des wachen und auch jenseits des Traumeslebens durch diejenige Seelenverfassung, die im freien Willen durch die in den vorigen Darstellungen beschriebenen Seelenübungen herbeigeführt ist.

[ 9 ] Der nächste Zustand, den die Seele erlebt, ist wie ein Aufgeteiltsein ihres Selbstes in voneinander differenzierte innere Geschehnisse. Die Seele erlebt sich in dieser Schlafperiode nicht als eine Einheit, sondern als eine innere Vielheit. Dieser Zustand ist ein von Ängstlichkeit durchsetzter. Wenn er bewußt erlebt würde, wäre er Seelen-angst. Das reale Gegenstück von dieser Ängstlichkeit erlebt aber die Menschenseele in jeder Nacht. Es bleibt ihr nur unbewußt.

[ 10 ] Für den Menschen der Gegenwart tritt in diesem Augenblicke des Schlafzustandes die seelen-heilende Wirkung dessen auf, was er im Wachzustande als seine Hingegebenheit an Christus erlebt. Vor dem Ereignisse von Golgatha war dies für die Menschen anders. Sie bekamen von ihren Religionsbekenntnissen im Wachen die Mittel, die dann in den Schlafzustand hereinwirkten und die Arznei gegen die Ängstlichkeit waren. Für den Menschen, der nach dem Ereignisse von Golgatha lebt, treten die religiösen Erlebnisse, die er in der Beschauung des Lebens und Sterbens und Wesens Christi hat, dafür ein. Er überwindet durch deren Hineinwirken in den Schlaf die Ängstlichkeit Diese verhindert, solange sie vorhanden ist, die innere Anschauung dessen, was von der Seele im Schlafen so erlebt werden soll, wie der Körper im Wachen. Die Führung Christi faßt die innerliche Zersplitterung, die Vielheit in eine Einheit zusammen. Und die Seele kommt jetzt dazu, ein anderes Innensein zu haben als während des Wachzustandes. Zu ihrer Außenwelt gehören jetzt auch der eigene physische und ätherische Organismus. Dagegen erlebt sie in ihrem jetzigen Inneren eine Nachbildung der Planetenbewegungen. Es tritt in der Seele an die Stelle des individuellen, durch den physischen und ätherischen Organismus bedingten Erlebens ein kosmisches Erleben. Die Seele lebt außerhalb des Körpers; und ihr Innenleben ist eine innere Nachbildung der Planetenbewegung. Als eine solche erkennt die entsprechenden inneren Vorgänge das inspirierte Bewußtsein in der Art, wie dies in den vorigen Betrachtungen geschildert worden ist. Dies Bewußtsein erschaut auch, wie dasjenige, was die Seele durch das Planetenerlebnis hat, in seiner Nachwirkung im wachen Bewußtsein vorhanden ist. In dem Rhythmus der Atmung und der Blutzirkulation wirkt dies Planetenerlehnis während des Wachens als Anreiz fort. Während des Schlafes stehen physischer und ätherischer Organismus unter der Nachwirkung des Planetenreizes, der im wachen Tagesleben in der geschilderten Art als Nachwirkung der vorigen Nacht in ihnen waltet.

[ 11 ] Parallel diesen Erlebnissen gehen andere. Die Seele erlebt in dieser Sphäre ihres Schlafdaseins ihre Verwandtschaft mit allen Menschenseelen, mit denen sie jemals in einem Erdenleben in Beziehung gestanden hat. Was da vor der Seele steht, wird, intuitiv erfaßt, zur Gewißheit über die wiederholten Erdenleben. Denn in der Verwandtschaft mit Seelen enthüllen sich diese Erdenleben. Auch die Verbindung mit andern Geistwesen, die in der Welt leben, ohne je einen menschlichen Körper anzunehmen, wird Seelenerlebnis.

[ 12 ] Aber in diesem Stadium des Schlafes tritt auch ein Erlebnis dessen auf, was gute und schlechte Neigungen, gute und schlechte Erlebnisse im Schicksalszusammenhange des Erdendaseins bedeuten. Was ältere Weltanschauungen Karma genannt haben, steht vor der Seele.

[ 13 ] In das Tagesleben wirken alle diese Schlafereignisse so herein, daß sich das allgemeine Sich-Fühlen, die Seelenstimmung, das Sich-glücklich- oder -unglücklich-Empfinden mitbewirken.

[ 14 ] Im weiteren Verlaufe des Schlafes tritt zu dem geschilderten Zustande der Seele noch ein anderer. Diese erlebt in sich das Fixsterndasein im Abbilde. Wie im Wachzustande die Körperorgane, so werden jetzt Nachbildungen der Fixsternkonstellationen erlebt. Das kosmische Erleben der Seele erweitert sich. Sie ist jetzt Geist-wesen unter Geistwesen. Die Intuition erkennt in der Art, wie dies in den vorigen Betrachtungen geschildert worden ist, die Sonne und die anderen Fixsterne als die physischen Ausgestaltungen von Geistwesen. Was die Seele da erlebt, wirkt im Tagesleben nach als ihre religiöse Anlage, ihr religiöses Fühlen und Wollen. Man muß in der Tat sagen, was in den Tiefen der Seele sich regt als religiöse Sehnsucht, ist für das Wachen die Nachwirkung des Sternenerlebens während des Schlafzustandes.

[ 15 ] Aber vor allem bedeutungsvoll ist, daß die Seele in diesem Zustande vor sich hat die Tatsachen der Geburt und des Todes. Sie erlebt sich als Geistwesen, das in einen physischen Leib durch Empfängnis und Keimesleben einzieht, und sie schaut (unbewußt) den Todesvorgang als einen Übertritt in eine rein geistig-seelische Welt. Daß die Seele in ihrem Wachzustande nicht an die Realität dessen glauben kann, was sich äußerlich den Sinnen als die Ereignisse der Geburt und des Todes darstellt, ist eben nicht bloß ein phantasievolles Ausgestalten einer Sehnsucht, sondern das dumpf gefühlte Nacherlehen des im Schlafzustand vor der Seele Stehenden. Könnte der Mensch alles dasjenige, was vom Einschlafen bis zum Aufwachen unbewußt durchlebt wird, in seinem Bewußtsein gegenwärtig machen, so hätte er in dem ersten Erlebnis, in dem die Sinneserscheinungen in einem allgemein inneren Welterleben sich auflösen und in dem eine Art pantheistischen Gottesbewußtseins auftritt, einen Bewußtseinsinhalt, der seinen philosophischen Ideen das Erlebnis der Wirklichkeit gäbe. Könnte er das Planeten- und Fixsternleben des Schlafes bewußt in sich tragen, so hätte er eine inhaltvolle Kosmologie. Und den Abschluß könnte bilden das im Sternenerleben Auftauchende, das ein Erleben des Menschen als Geist unter Geistern ist. In der Tat wird der Mensch von dem Einschlafen an, durch weitere Schlafzustände hindurch, unbewußter Philosoph, Kosmologe und gottdurchseeltes Wesen. Imagination, Inspiration und Intuition heben aus der dunklen Tiefe des sonst nur im Schlafe Erlebten das heraus, was zeigt, welch ein Wesen der Mensch an sich ist, wie er ein Glied des Kosmos ist, wie er gottdurchdrungen wird.

[ 16 ] Das letztere tritt für den Menschen im tiefsten Schlafzustande ein. Von da aus tritt die Seele wieder den Rückweg in die Sinneswelt an. In dem Impuls, der zu diesem Rückweg führt, erkennt das intuitive Bewußtsein eine Wirkung derjenigen Wesenheiten, die als geistige ihr sinnliches Gegenbild im Monde haben. Es sind die geistigen Mondenwirkungen, die den Menschen in jedem Schlaf wieder zum Erdendasein zurückrufen. Natürlich sind diese Mondenwirkungen auch beim Neumond vorhanden. Aber es hat die Verwandlung dessen, was an dem Mondenbilde in sinnlicher Sichtbarkeit sich wandelt, eine Bedeutung für dasjenige, was Mondenwirkungen für das Festhalten des Menschen im Erdendasein von der Geburt (Empfängnis) bis zum Tode sind.

[ 17 ] Nach dem tiefsten Schlafstadium kehrt der Mensch durch dieselben Zustände hindurch wieder zum Wachdasein zurück. Er macht vor dem Erwachen wieder das Erleben in dem allgemeinen Weltdasein mit der Gottessehnsucht durch, in das die Träume hineinspielen können.

V. Sleep experiences of the soul

[ 1 ] Today we speak of the "unconscious" or "subconscious" when we want to suggest that the soul experiences of ordinary consciousness - perceiving, imagining, feeling and willing - are dependent on an existence that is not encompassed by this consciousness. The knowledge that wants to rely only on these experiences can certainly point to such a "subconscious" through logical conclusions; but it must be content with this indication. It can contribute nothing to a characterization of the unconscious.

[ 2 ] The imaginative, inspired and intuitive cognition described in the previous considerations is capable of providing such a characterization. This time we will attempt to do so for the experiences of the soul that a person undergoes during sleep.

[ 3 ] The soul's sleep experiences do not enter into ordinary consciousness, because this arises on the basis of bodily organization. During sleep, however, the soul's experience is an out-of-body experience. When, on awakening, the soul begins to imagine, to feel, to will with the help of the body, it takes up in its memory those experiences which took place before falling asleep on the basis of the bodily organization. Sleep experiences occur before imagination, inspiration and intuition. They do not present themselves as if in a memory, but as if in a soulful looking at them.

[ 4 ] I will now have to describe what is revealed in this gazing. Because this is hidden from the ordinary consciousness, if it approaches such a description unprepared, it must naturally appear grotesque. But the preceding descriptions have shown that such a description is possible, and how it is to be understood. I will therefore, despite the fact that it can even be mocked from one side or the other, simply give it as it flows from the characterized states of consciousness.

[ 5 ] First of all, when falling asleep, the human being is in an inwardly indeterminate, undifferentiated state of being. No difference is experienced between one's own being and the being of the world, nor between individual things or entities. Man is in a general, nebulous existence. Lifted up into imaginative consciousness, this experience presents itself as a feeling of oneself in which the feeling of the world is also contained. The human being has left the realm of the senses and has not yet been clearly transported into another world.

[ 6 ] Further on, expressions such as "feeling", "longing" etc. will have to be used, which in ordinary life also refer to a conscious being. And yet they are intended to refer to processes that remain unconscious to the ordinary life of the soul. But the soul experiences them as real facts during sleep. Think of how in everyday life, for example, joy is experienced in consciousness. In the body there is an expansion of the fine blood vessels and other things. This dilation is a real fact. Joy is experienced in the consciousness when it takes place. Thus the soul experiences something real during sleep; in the following this will be described by the expressions that refer to the corresponding experience of the imaginative, inspired and intuitive consciousness. For example, when we speak of "longing", we are referring to an actual soul process that reveals itself imaginatively as longing. The unconscious states of the soul and soul experiences are thus described as if they were conscious.

[ 7 ] Simultaneously with the feeling of the indeterminate, undifferentiated, a longing arises in the soul for a resting in a spiritual-divine. The human soul develops this longing as the counterforce against being lost in the indeterminate. It has lost its sensuality and longs for a being that carries it out of the spiritual world.

[ 8 ] Dreams have an effect on the state of the soul just described. They intersperse the unconscious with semi-conscious experiences. The true form of sleep experiences does not become clearer through ordinary dreams, but even more indistinct. This indistinctness also occurs for the imaginative consciousness when its purity is disturbed by involuntary dreams. One sees the truth beyond the waking and also beyond the dream life through that state of soul which is brought about in free will through the soul exercises described in the previous descriptions.

[ 9 ] The next state that the soul experiences is like a division of its self into differentiated inner events. In this sleep period, the soul does not experience itself as a unity, but as an inner multiplicity. This state is interspersed with anxiety. If it were experienced consciously, it would be fear of the soul. But the human soul experiences the real counterpart of this anxiety every night. It only remains unconscious.

[ 10 ] For the human being of the present, the soul-healing effect of what he experiences in the waking state as his surrender to Christ occurs in this moment of the sleeping state. Before the events of Golgotha, this was different for people. They received the means from their religious confessions in the waking state, which then worked into the sleeping state and were the medicine against anxiety. For the person who lives after the events of Golgotha, the religious experiences that he has in contemplating the life and death and nature of Christ are used for this purpose. This prevents, as long as it is present, the inner contemplation of that which is to be experienced by the soul in sleep in the same way as the body in waking. The guidance of Christ unites the inner fragmentation, the multiplicity into a unity. And the soul now comes to have a different inner being than during the waking state. Its outer world now also includes its own physical and etheric organism. In contrast, it experiences a replica of the planetary movements in its present inner world. In the soul, a cosmic experience takes the place of the individual experience caused by the physical and etheric organism. The soul lives outside the body; and its inner life is an inner replica of the planetary movement. As such, the inspired consciousness recognizes the corresponding inner processes in the way described in the previous observations. This consciousness also sees how that which the soul has through the planetary experience is present in its after-effects in the waking consciousness. In the rhythm of breathing and blood circulation this planetary experience continues to act as a stimulus during waking. During sleep, the physical and etheric organism are under the after-effect of the planetary stimulus, which prevails in them during waking daytime life in the manner described as an after-effect of the previous night.

[ 11 ] There are others parallel to these experiences. In this sphere of its sleeping existence, the soul experiences its kinship with all human souls with whom it has ever been in relationship in an earthly life. What stands before the soul, intuitively grasped, becomes certainty about the repeated earth lives. For in the relationship with souls these earth lives reveal themselves. The connection with other spiritual beings who live in the world without ever taking on a human body also becomes a soul experience.

[ 12 ] But in this stage of sleep there is also an experience of what good and bad inclinations, good and bad experiences mean in the context of the destiny of earthly existence. What older worldviews called karma stands before the soul.

[ 13 ] All these sleep events have an effect on daytime life in such a way that the general feeling of self, the mood of the soul, the feeling of happiness or unhappiness are also affected.

[ 14 ] In the further course of sleep, the described state of the soul is joined by another. It experiences in itself the fixed star existence in the image. As in the waking state the body organs, so now replicas of the fixed star constellations are experienced. The cosmic experience of the soul expands. It is now a spirit being among spirit beings. Intuition recognizes the sun and the other fixed stars as the physical formations of spirit beings in the way described in the previous observations. What the soul experiences there continues to have an effect in daily life as its religious disposition, its religious feeling and volition. One must indeed say that what stirs in the depths of the soul as religious longing is for the waking world the after-effect of the experience of the stars during the state of sleep.

[ 15 ] But above all it is significant that in this state the soul has before it the facts of birth and death. It experiences itself as a spiritual being that moves into a physical body through conception and germ life, and it sees (unconsciously) the process of death as a passage into a purely spiritual-soul world. The fact that the soul in its waking state cannot believe in the reality of that which outwardly presents itself to the senses as the events of birth and death is not merely a fanciful expression of a longing, but the dully felt after-lament of that which stands before the soul in the sleeping state. If man could make present in his consciousness all that which is unconsciously lived through from falling asleep to waking up, he would have in the first experience, in which the sense phenomena dissolve into a general inner experience of the world and in which a kind of pantheistic consciousness of God appears, a content of consciousness which would give his philosophical ideas the experience of reality. If he could consciously carry the planetary and fixed star life of sleep within himself, he would have a cosmology full of content. And the conclusion could be formed by what emerges in the experience of the stars, which is an experience of man as a spirit among spirits. In fact, from the moment he falls asleep, through further states of sleep, man becomes an unconscious philosopher, cosmologist and God-inspired being. Imagination, inspiration and intuition lift out of the dark depths of what is otherwise only experienced in sleep that which shows what a being man is in himself, how he is a member of the cosmos, how he is permeated by God.

[ 16 ] The latter occurs for man in the deepest state of sleep. From there, the soul returns to the sensory world. In the impulse that leads to this return journey, the intuitive consciousness recognizes an effect of those entities which, as spiritual, have their sensory counterpart in the moon. It is the spiritual effects of the moon that call man back to earthly existence in every sleep. Of course, these lunar effects are also present at the new moon. But the transformation of what changes in the lunar image in sensual visibility has a meaning for what lunar effects are for the retention of man in earthly existence from birth (conception) to death.

[ 17 ] After the deepest stage of sleep, man returns to waking life through the same states. Before awakening, he again goes through the experience of the general world existence with the longing for God, into which dreams can play a part.