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Fundamentals of Therapy
GA 27

IV. Concerning The Nature Of The Sentient Organism

[ 1 ] The form and organization of plants in the plant kingdom are exclusively the result of the two fields of force: that which radiates outwards from the earth and that which radiates in towards it; this is not exclusively the case in animal or man. The leaf of a plant stands under the exclusive influence of these two domains of forces; the lung of an animal is subject to the same influences, but not exclusively. For the leaf, all the formative creative forces lie within these two domains while for the lung there are other formative forces besides these. This applies both to the formative forces which give the outward shape, and to those that regulate the inner movements of the substances, giving them a definite direction, combining them or separating them.

[ 2 ] It can be said of the substances which the plant absorbs that it is not a matter of indifference whether they are alive or not, because they attain the realm of the forces radiating into the earth. Within the plant they are lifeless if the forces of the universe do not work upon them; they come into life if they come under the influence of these forces.

[ 3 ] But to the plant substance, even when alive, the past, present, or future relative position of its members is a matter of indifference so far as any action of their own is concerned. They abandon themselves to the action of the external forces that ray in and out. The animal substance comes under influences that are independent of these forces. It moves within the organism, or moves as a whole organism in such a way that the movements do not follow only forces radiating outward and inward. Because of this the animal configuration arises independently of the domains of forces raying outward from and inward to the earth.

[ 4 ] In the plant, the play of forces here described gives rise to an alternation between the conditions of being connected and disconnected with the current of the forces that pour in from the periphery. The single being of the plant thus falls into two parts. The one tends to life and is wholly under the domain of the world-circumference; these are the sprouting organs, growth and blossom bearing organs. The other inclines towards the lifeless, it stays in the domain of the forces raying outward from the earth; this part comprises all that hardens the growth, provides a firm support for life, and so on. Between these two parts, life is forever being kindled and extinguished; and the death of the plant is only an increase of the effects of what rays out over what forces ray in.

[ 5 ] In the animal, part of the substantial nature is drawn right out of the domain of these two kinds of forces. Another part is thus brought about other than that which we found in the plant. Organ formations arise which stay within the domain of the two realms of forces, but others too come into being, which lift themselves out of this domain. Between these two formations, reciprocal relationships take place, and in these reciprocal relationships lies the cause why animal substance can become the bearer of feeling. One consequence is the difference, both in appearance and in constitution, between animal and vegetable substance.

[ 6 ] Thus in the animal organism we have a domain of forces independent of those radiating outward from, and inward to the earth. Beside the physical and the etheric, there is in fact the astral domain of forces, of which we have already spoken from another point of view. One need not be put off by the term “astral”. The forces radiating outward are the earthly ones, those radiating inwards are those of the cosmic circumference about the earth; in the “astral”, something is present of a higher order than these two kinds of forces. This higher presence first makes of the earth itself a heavenly body—a “star” (Astrum). Through the physical forces the earth separates itself from the universe; through the etheric it subjects itself to the influence of the universe upon it; with the “astral” forces it becomes an independent individuality within the universe.

[ 7 ] In the animal organism, the “astral” principle is an independent, self-contained part like the physical and the etheric. We can therefore speak of this part as an “astral body”.

[ 8 ] The animal organization only becomes intelligible by studying the reciprocal relationships between the physical, the etheric and the astral bodies. For all of these are present, independently, as its three parts; moreover, all three are different from what exists outside by way of lifeless (mineral) bodies or living bodies of a plant-like nature.

[ 9 ] True, the animal physical organism may be spoken of as lifeless; yet it is different from the lifeless nature of the mineral, for it is first estranged by the etheric and the astral organism from the mineral nature, and then, by a withdrawal of etheric and astral forces, it is returned to the lifeless realm. It is an entity in which the mineral forces, those that work in the earth domain alone, can only act destructively. This physical body can serve the animal organization as a whole only so long as the etheric and astral maintain the upper hand over the destructive intervention of the mineral forces.

[ 10 ] The animal etheric organism lives as that of the plant, but not in the same manner. For by the astral forces, the life has been brought into a condition foreign to itself; it has in fact been torn away from the forces raying in toward the earth and then returned once more to their domain. The etheric organism is a structure in which the merely plant-like forces have an existence too dull for the animal nature. Only through the astral forces continually lighting up its manner of activity can it serve the animal organism as a whole. When the activities of the etheric gain the upper hand, sleep ensues; when the astral organism becomes predominant, wakefulness prevails.

[ 11 ] Neither sleeping nor waking may overstep a certain boundary in their effect. If this were to happen in the case of sleep, the plant-nature in the organism as a whole would incline towards the mineral; there would arise a diseased condition, a hypertrophy of the plant-nature. And if it happened in the case of waking, the plant-nature would become entirely estranged from the mineral, the latter would assume forms within the organism belonging, not to it, but to the external, inorganic, lifeless sphere. It would be a diseased condition because of hypertrophy of the mineral nature.

[ 12 ] Into all the three organisms, physical, etheric and astral, [material] substance penetrates from outside. Each of the three in its own way must overcome the special nature of the [material]. Through this there is a threefold organization of the organs. The physical organization produces organs which have gone through the etheric and astral organizations but are on the way back again to their realm. They cannot altogether have arrived there, for this would mean death to the whole organism.

[ 13 ] The etheric organism forms organs which have passed through the astral organization but are striving ever and again to withdraw from it; they have in them a force towards the dullness of sleep, they incline to develop this merely vegetative life.

[ 14 ] The astral organism forms organs which estrange the vegetative life. They can only exist if this vegetative life takes hold of them again and again. Having no relationship either with the radiating outward or with the radiating inward [field] forces of the earth, they would fall out of the earthly realm altogether if it did not again and again take hold of them. In these organs, a rhythmic interplay of the animal and plant like natures must take place. This determines the alternating states of sleeping and waking. In sleep, the organs of the astral forces, too, are in the dull stupor of a plant-like life. They have no active influence on the etheric and physical realm. They are then entirely abandoned to the domains of [field] forces pouring in toward and outward from the earth.

IV. Von dem Wesen des empfindenden Organismus

[ 1 ] Die Pflanzengestalt und Pflanzenorganisation ist ein ausschließliches Ergebnis der beiden Kräftebereiche: des aus der Erde ausstrahlenden und des in sie einstrahlenden; die tierische und menschliche nicht ein ausschließliches. Ein Pflanzenblatt steht unter dem ausschließlichen Einfluß dieser beiden Kräftebereiche; die tierische Lunge steht auch unter deren Einfluß, aber nicht ausschließlich. Für das Blatt liegen alle gestaltenden Kräfte in diesen Bereichen; für die Lunge gibt es solche außerhalb derselben. Das gilt sowohl für diejenigen gestaltenden Kräfte, die die Außenform geben, als auch für diejenigen, die die innere Bewegung des Substantiellen regeln, diesem eine gewisse Richtung geben und es verbinden oder trennen.

[ 2 ] Man kann sagen, den Stoffen, welche die Pflanze aufnimmt, bleibt es dadurch, daß sie in den Bereich der auf die Erde einstrahlenden Kräfte gelangen, nicht gleichgültig, ob sie leben oder nicht leben. Sie sind innerhalb der Pflanze leblos, wenn die Kräfte des Umkreises nicht auf sie wirken; sie geraten in das Leben, wenn sie unter den Einfluß dieser Kräfte kommen.

[ 3 ] Aber es ist der Pflanzensubstanz auch als lebende gleichgültig, wie ihre Glieder lagen, liegen und liegen werden in Bezug auf ihre eigene Betätigung. Sie überlassen sich der Betätigung der aus- und einstrahlenden Außenkräfte. Die tierische Substanz kommt in Wirkungen, die von diesen Kräften unabhängig sind. Sie bewegt sich innerhalb des Organismus, oder sie bewegt sich als ganzer Organismus so, daß diese Bewegungen nicht aus den aus- und einstrahlenden Kräften allein folgen. Es entsteht dadurch die tierische Gestaltung unabhängig von den Bereichen der von der Erde aus- und in sie einstrahlenden Kräfte.

[ 4 ] Bei der Pflanze ergibt sich durch das gekennzeichnete Kräftespiel ein Wechsel zwischen einem Eingeschaltetsein in die einstrahlenden Kräfte des Umkreises und einem Ausgeschaltetsein. Das Pflanzenwesen zerfällt dadurch in zwei Glieder Das eine zielt nach dem Leben hin, es steht ganz im Bereich des Umkreises; es sind die sprossenden, Wachstum-, blütentragenden Organe. Das andere zielt nach dem Leblosen, es verbleibt im Bereiche der ausstrahlenden Kräfte, es umfaßt alles, was das Wachstum verhärtet, dem Leben Stütze gibt usw. Zwischen diesen beiden Gliedern entzündet sich und erlöscht das Leben; und das Sterben der Pflanze ist nur das Überhandnehmen der Wirkungen von seiten der ausstrahlenden gegenüber den einstrahlenden Kräften.

[ 5] Beim Tiere wird etwas von dem Substanziellen ganz aus dem Bereiche der beiden Kräftegebiete herausgezogen. Dadurch entsteht noch eine andere Gliederung als bei der Pflanze. Es entstehen Organbildungen, die im Bereiche der beiden Kräftegebiete verbleiben, und solche, die sich aus ihnen herausheben. Es ergeben sich Wechselwirkungen zwischen den beiden Organbildungen. Und in diesen Wechselwirkungen liegt die Ursache, daß die tierische Substanz Träger der Empfindung sein kann. Eine Folge davon ist die Verschiedenheit im Aussehen, in der Beschaffenheit der; tierischen Substanz gegenüber der pflanzlichen.

[ 6 ] Man hat im tierischen Organismus einen Kräftebereich, der gegenüber dem von der Erde ausstrahlenden und in sie einstrahlenden unabhängig ist. Es ist der astralische Kräftebereich außer dem physischen und ätherischen noch da, von dem, von anderem Gesichtspunkte aus, schon gesprochen ist. Man braucht sich an dem Ausdrucke «astralisch» nicht zu stoßen. Die ausstrahlenden Kräfte sind die irdischen, die einstrahlenden diejenigen des Welt-Umkreises der Erde; in den «australischen» ist etwas vorhanden, das den beiden Kräftearten übergeordnet ist. Dies macht die Erde selbst erst zum Weltenkörper, zum «Stern» (astrum). Durch die physischen Kräfte sondert sie sich aus dem Weltall heraus, durch die ätherischen läßt sie dieses auf sich wirken; durch die «astralischen» Kräfte wird sie eine selbständige Individualität im Weltall.

[ 7 ] Das «Astralische» ist im tierischen Organismus eine selbständige, in sich abgeschlossene Gliederung wie der ätherische und der physische Organismus. Man kann deshalb von dieser Gliederung als von dem «astralischen Leib» sprechen.

[ 8 ] Man kann die tierische Organisation nur verstehen, wenn man die Wechselbeziehungen zwischen dem physischen, dem ätherischen und dem astralischen Leib ins Auge faßt. Denn alle drei sind selbständig als Glieder der tierischen Organisation vorhanden; und alle drei sind auch verschieden von dem, was außer ihnen an leblosen (mineralischen) Körpern und an pflanzlich belebten Organismen vorhanden ist.

[ 9 ] Der tierische physische Organismus kann zwar als leblos angesprochen werden; aber er unterscheidet sich von dem Mineralisch-Leblosen. Er wird zuerst durch den ätherischen und astralischen Organismus dem Mineralischen entfremdet, und dann. wieder, durch Zurückziehen der ätherischen und astralischen Kräfte dem Leblosen zurückgegeben. Er ist ein Gebilde, an dem die im Mineralischen, im bloßen Erdenbereiche, wirksamen Kräfte nur zerstörend sich betätigen können. Er kann dem tierischen Gesamtorganismus nur so lange dienen, als die ätherischen und astralischen Kräfte das Übergewicht haben. über das zerstörende Eingreifen der mineralischen.

[ 10 ] Der tierische ätherische Organismus lebt wie der pflanzliche, aber nicht in der gleichen Art. Das Leben ist durch. die astralischen Kräfte in einen sich selbst fremden Zustand gebracht; es ist aus den auf die Erde einstrahlenden Kräften herausgerissen und dann wieder in deren Bereich versetzt worden. Der ätherische Organismus ist ein Gebilde, in dem die bloß pflanzlichen Kräfte ein für die tierische Organisation zu dumpfes Dasein haben. Er kann dem tierischen Gesamtorganismus nur dadurch dienen, daß die astralischen Kräfte seine Wirkungsweise aufhellen. Gewinnt er die Oberhand im Wirken, so tritt der Schlaf ein; gewinnt der astralische Organismus die Oberhand, so ist das Wachen vorhanden.

[ 11 ] Beides, Schlafen und Wachen, darf nicht über eine gewisse Grenze der Wirksamkeit hinausgehen. Geschähe das mit dem Schlafen, so würde in dem Gesamtorganismus das Pflanzliche zum Mineralischen hinneigen; es entstünde als krankhafter Zustand ein Überwuchern des Pflanzlichen. Geschähe es mit dem Wachen, so müßte sich das Pflanzliche von dem Mineralischen ganz entfremden; dieses würde in dem Organismus Formen annehmen, die nicht die seinigen, sondern die des - außerorganischen Leblosen wären. Es bildete sich ein krankhafter Zustand durch Überwuchern des Mineralischen.

[ 12 ] In alle drei Organismen, den physischen, ätherischen, astralischen, - dringt die physische Substanz von außen ein. Alle drei müssen in ihrer Weise die Eigenart des Physischen überwinden. Dadurch entsteht eine Dreiheit der Organgliederung. Die physische Organisation bildet Organe, die durch die ätherische und astralische Organisation hindurchgegangen, die aber wieder auf dem Rückwege zu deren Bereich sind. Ganz angekommen in deren Bereich können sie nicht sein; denn das müßte den Tod des Organismus zur Folge haben.

[ 13 ] Der ätherische Organismus bildet Organe, die durch die astralische Organisation hindurchgegangen sind, die aber sich dieser immer wieder zu entziehen streben; sie haben in sich die Kraft zur Dumpfheit des Schlafes; sie neigen dazu, das bloß vegetative Leben zu entfalten.

[ 14 ] Der astralische Organismus bildet Organe, die das vegetative Leben sich entfremden Sie können nur bestehen wenn dieses vegetative Leben sie selbst immer wieder er greift. Denn da sie keine Verwandtschaft weder mit den von der Erde aus-, noch auf diese einstrahlenden Kräften haben müßten sie aus dem Bereich des Irdischen ganz herausfallen wenn sie nicht immer wieder von diesem ergriffen wurden. Es muß ein rhythmisches Wechselwirken des tierischen und pflanzlichen in diesen Organen stattfinden Das bedingt die Wechselzustände von Schlafen und Wachen Im Schlafen sind auch die Organe der astralischen Kräfte in der Dumpfheit des pflanzlichen Lebens Sie üben da keine Wirkung auf das ätherische und physische Gebiet. Die sind dann ganz den von der Erde aus und in sie einstrahlenden Kräftebereichen überlassen.

IV. On the nature of the sentient organism

[ 1 ] The plant form and plant organization is an exclusive result of the two spheres of forces: that which radiates out of the earth and that which radiates into it; the animal and human are not an exclusive result. A plant leaf is under the exclusive influence of these two spheres of forces; the animal lung is also under their influence, but not exclusively. For the leaf, all formative forces lie within these realms; for the lung, there are those outside them. This applies both to those formative forces that give the outer form and to those that regulate the inner movement of the substantial, give it a certain direction and connect or separate it.

[ 2 ] It can be said that the substances absorbed by the plant are not indifferent to whether they are living or non-living because they enter the realm of the forces radiating onto the earth. They are lifeless within the plant if the forces of the environment do not affect them; they come to life when they come under the influence of these forces.

[ 3 ] But even as a living substance, the plant is indifferent to how its limbs lie, lie and will lie in relation to its own activity. They leave themselves to the activity of the external forces radiating in and out. The animal substance comes into action independently of these forces. It moves within the organism, or it moves as a whole organism in such a way that these movements do not follow from the out- and in-radiating forces alone. In this way, the animal form arises independently of the areas of the forces radiating from and into the earth.

[ 4 ] In the case of the plant, the marked interplay of forces results in an alternation between being switched on to the radiating forces of the environment and being switched off. The plant being is thus divided into two parts One is directed towards life, it is entirely in the sphere of the environment; these are the sprouting, growing and flower-bearing organs. The other is directed towards the inanimate, it remains in the area of the radiating forces, it includes everything that hardens growth, gives support to life, etc. Between these two limbs, life is ignited and extinguished; and the death of the plant is only the predominance of the effects of the emanating forces over the radiating forces.

[ 5] In the animal, something of the substantial is completely withdrawn from the realm of the two forces. This results in a different structure than in the plant. Organ formations arise that remain in the area of the two spheres of force and those that emerge from them. There are interactions between the two organ formations. And in these interactions lies the cause that the animal substance can be the carrier of sensation. One consequence of this is the difference in appearance, in the nature of the animal substance compared to the plant substance.

[ 6 ] In the animal organism there is a realm of forces that is independent of the forces radiating from and radiating into the earth. In addition to the physical and etheric, there is also the astral realm of forces, which has already been mentioned from another point of view. There is no need to take offense at the term "astral". The radiating forces are the earthly ones, the radiating ones those of the world-circle of the earth; in the "astral" there is something present which is superior to both kinds of forces. This is what makes the earth itself a world body, a "star" (astrum). Through the physical forces it separates itself from the universe, through the etheric forces it allows the universe to affect it; through the "astral" forces it becomes an independent individuality in the universe.

[ 7 ] The "astral" in the animal organism is an independent, self-contained division like the etheric and the physical organism. One can therefore speak of this division as the "astral body".

[ 8 ] The animal organization can only be understood if one considers the interrelationships between the physical, etheric and astral bodies. For all three are present independently as members of the animal organization; and all three are also different from what is present apart from them in inanimate (mineral) bodies and in plant-animated organisms.

[ 9 ] The animal physical organism can indeed be addressed as inanimate; but it differs from the mineral inanimate. It is first alienated from the mineral by the etheric and astral organism, and then, by withdrawing the etheric and astral forces, it is returned to the inanimate. It is an entity on which the forces active in the mineral, in the mere earthly realm, can only act destructively. It can only serve the animal organism as a whole as long as the etheric and astral forces have the upper hand over the destructive intervention of the mineral forces.

[ 10 ] The animal etheric organism lives like the plant organism, but not in the same way. Life is brought into a state alien to itself by the astral forces; it has been torn out of the forces radiating onto the earth and then placed back into their sphere. The etheric organism is an entity in which the purely vegetable forces have an existence that is too dull for the animal organization. It can only serve the animal organism as a whole if the astral forces brighten its mode of action. If it gains the upper hand in its activity, sleep sets in; if the astral organism gains the upper hand, waking is present.

[ 11 ] Both sleeping and waking must not go beyond a certain limit of effectiveness. If this were to happen with sleeping, then in the organism as a whole the vegetable would tend towards the mineral; the result would be an overgrowth of the vegetable as a pathological condition. If it happened with waking, the vegetable would have to become completely alienated from the mineral; the latter would assume forms in the organism which would not be its own, but those of the extra-organic inanimate. A pathological condition would develop through the overgrowth of the mineral.

[ 12 ] The physical substance penetrates from outside into all three organisms, the physical, etheric and astral. All three must overcome the nature of the physical in their own way. This creates a trinity of organ organization. The physical organization forms organs that have passed through the etheric and astral organization, but which are on their way back to their realm. They cannot have completely arrived in their realm, for that would result in the death of the organism.

[ 13 ] The etheric organism forms organs which have passed through the astral organization, but which again and again strive to withdraw from it; they have within them the power of the dullness of sleep; they tend to develop the merely vegetative life.

[ 14 ] The astral organism forms organs that alienate the vegetative life. They can only exist if this vegetative life itself repeatedly takes hold of them. For since they have no relationship either with the forces radiating from the earth or radiating into it, they would have to fall completely out of the realm of the earthly if they were not seized by it again and again. There must be a rhythmic interaction of the animal and vegetable in these organs This causes the alternating states of sleeping and waking During sleep the organs of the astral forces are also in the dullness of vegetable life They have no effect on the etheric and physical realm. They are then left entirely to the forces radiating from and into the earth.