Knowledge of Soul and Spirit
III. The Knowledge of Soul and Spirit
17 October 1907, Berlin
The whole cycle of these talks is dedicated to the knowledge of spirit, and if one wants to speak about the knowledge of spirit and soul, this happens, because we can come to an understanding with each other about the concept of the spirit relating it to the concept of the soul. Since for those who deal with spiritual science it is especially annoying that one mixes up the concepts “soul” and “spirit” considering the human being.
You all probably know that we have a so-called psychology or soul science that is today conducted to a relatively high degree just like in school. In the schedules of lectures at the universities, you find lectures on psychology that is literally the doctrine of the soul. One has to note that with all people who talk of psychology or soul science in such a way no distinct consciousness exists of the fact that one has to speak of soul and mind with the human being. One summarises the human inner life — thinking, feeling, and willing — under the concept of the soul. Soul is almost considered as the contrast to the bodily and physical, and one says — if one deigns generally to such a thing, if one is not completely addicted to the materialistic way of thinking — the human being consists of body and soul.
At first, we want to regard those opinions only that have the point of view that the soul is a real being. If one says that the human being consists of body and soul, one is mostly not aware of the fact that one falls a victim to dogmatics that relatively late, in the course of the Christian development originated. Even the older Christianity that has still gone out from the teachings of wisdom distinguished, as all teachings of wisdom of the different times and people did, body, soul and mind of the human being. Only later decisions of Councils have abolished, so to speak, the mind, and only since the (fourth) Council of Constantinople (869/870), one speaks of body and soul. The modern scholarship which deals with such a thing which thinks not materialistically believes to stand on the ground of absolutely free research and has no idea that it has taken up this later Christian concept of the soul, which refrains from the mind, as a prejudice, as a preconceived opinion. This applies to many concepts generally which play a role in our scholarship and are accepted as if they were results of research, while they signify only an ancient prejudice.
We will now have a look at the general psychology in the most different directions. However, I do not criticise here, but only characterise. Psychology has suffered — we are allowed to state this — mostly and most thoroughly from the materialistic attitude and way of thinking. Not only the outer science of the sensory phenomena has lost the concept of mind gradually, but also psychology has even lost the concept of soul, that is its own object. The cultural life went through an interesting development there.
A daring researcher and thinker who performed many quite extraordinary things in some fields had the courage to pronounce what is, so to speak, only a basic attitude and basic sensation within the modern psychology with others. This daring thinker was Friedrich Albert Lange (1828–1875, German philosopher). You can buy cheap his History of Materialism (1866) from Reclam's Universal Library. It is an excellent book because just someone who studies it thoroughly must come to the conviction — I have explained it in the last talk — that materialism as a worldview is to be compared to a man who draws himself upwards with his own shock of hair. This Friedrich Albert Lange has pronounced in relation to psychology something that can be summarised in three words: “psychology without soul.” This is from Friedrich Albert Lange. Other researchers did not dare to pronounce this consequence; but they act and do psychological research in such a way, as if a concept of the soul did not concern them. Also today, you find all kinds of concepts about the soul in the most famous works of the academic psychology. However, if you want to get to know something about the soul, you ask for advice in vain, because this psychology has lost — this should be no criticism, but only a characteristic — the concept of the soul completely even if this is not always pronounced. Whether you ask advice from Wundt (Wilhelm W., 1832–1920, German physiologist, psychologist, philosopher) or another about those questions in which the human beings are interested concerning the soul life, you nowhere get information. You find all kinds of questions answered about the way in which the human being perceives objects in his surroundings. You also find all kinds of speculations about the relation of perception to consciousness.
For example, one asks, how long does it last, until the human being becomes aware of it, after he has received a stimulus? You find questions about attention, questions in which way the human being judges in which way he compares the things with each other, how he remembers and so on. However, who could deny that the impartially feeling soul — in the usual sense — if it asks for its own being has in mind above all: what is the nature of my soul? Does it share the fate of the physical to disintegrate and to end if death occurs? Does it only take share in the life of the sensuous surroundings or does it take share in a far higher one, in an extrasensory life that does not wear out itself in the physical world? You will search these questions in vain, which are vital matters for the human being in the modern psychology even as questions. Everything in the human life points to them; but if the real nature of the soul is considered, one says, this goes beyond the limits of human knowledge.
If you have a little bit patience and have a look at such psychology, you become aware of the fact that it applies quite the same methods of research as the natural sciences. If one applies these methods, just nothing else can result than what faces us in this psychological literature. More than in any other field it concerns in the soul research who does these researches. Where one thinks materialistically, one has come more and more to the conviction that the research results can be only of the kind that they face everybody from the outside. Who does understand the sense of the nice Goethean saying completely and thoroughly still today?
Unless the eye were like the sun,
How could we see the light?
Unless God's own strength were in us,
How could delight us the divine?
Nothing faces us in the outside world if we are not related to the concerning thing or being or to the concerning force in the outside world if we do not carry something related in ourselves. Thus, only someone can investigate the soul who searches something beyond his self that he has experienced in himself. Not everybody — this must be stressed in particular in relation to psychology — can be a psychologist; for the human being notices only so much of the secrets of the other souls as he has experienced in himself.
Spiritual science deals with the spirit as such, as we said at the beginning. All the talks are dedicated to the consideration of the spirit. Howsoever the titles are called in detail, the spirit has to be searched everywhere. As it arises already from the talk, which I have held two weeks ago here, spiritual science has to show that behind everything that faces us the spirit lives and works.
What is matter to spiritual science? It is only another form of the spirit. If spiritual science speaks of matter, material, and body, it speaks of it in such a way as it speaks of ice and water. Ice is water in another form. Now, however, somebody could come and say, then spiritual science denies the matter and corporeality if it asserts that everything is spirit — and then there is no matter for spiritual science. Spiritual science stands on this weird point of view by no means. We remain with our comparison of ice and water. What come into consideration for life are not empty words, not empty definitions, but effects that you meet in life. Even if one says, ice is water in another form — and one is right with it completely-, are, nevertheless, the effects of the water different from those of ice as everybody can perceive if he puts a piece of ice on his hand instead of pouring water on it.
Someone who wanted to deny that ice is water in another form would make a fool of himself. Thus, spiritual science does not dream of denying the matter. It exists; it is only spirit in another form. In which form? In the form, that one can observe it from the outside by the senses. These are the essentials of matter. This talk links to the talk eight days ago where we could show how any materialistic view disintegrates into nothing before the progress of the natural sciences as the fantastic concept of the matter dissolves in smoke and fog due to the new researches. Concepts like ether, matter scatter today in light of the other researches. What remains to us of that which approaches us in the outside world? What we see and hear, tone, colour, warmth et cetera: what we perceive. We should soar the view that behind the warmth, behind the tone, behind the light nothing is of this terribly crude whirl of atoms that was the only real during the long time of materialism. Real is in this sense what we see what we hear what we feel as warmth. If we look behind the colour, behind the tone, behind the warmth, as we feel it, what do we find behind them? We find behind them if we take the tone, as long as it remains in the sensuous world, moved air. However, we are not allowed to go behind the sensuous world with our speculations. We have to stop in the sensory world. Someone pronounced something most important whom the scholars did not take seriously, who was not only a poet but also a great thinker: “Never search anything behind the phenomena; they themselves are the teachings.”
If we go behind the tone, behind the light, we do not find material atoms that dive into our retina, which impregnate it and create the mental picture of the colour and the light. If we really look behind, what do we find there? — Spirit! Colour relates to the spirit like ice to water. Tone relates to the spirit like ice to water. Instead of that fantastic world of whirling atoms the true thinker and spiritual researcher finds spirit, spiritual reality behind that what he sees and hears, so that the question of the nature of matter loses all sense. For how does the question of the nature of matter answer itself for the spiritual researcher? What surrounds us outdoors in the world and appears to us as matter? It is spirit! We know the spirit! We must visit its nature in ourselves. What we are in our innermost being, these are all things outdoors in the world, only in other forms. They are it in such form that one can look at them from the outside if the spirit gives itself a surface. Let me pronounce something that every scientist regards as madness: if the spirit goes outwardly, he appears as colour, tone. Nothing else is colour and tone than spirit; it is completely the same what we find in ourselves if we properly understand each other. Thus, every mineral is spirit to us in spiritual science. The true being of the lowest member of the human being, the physical body, is spirit for us in the form in which it exists just also in the apparently lifeless nature.
In what way does the human spirit differ from the spirit that faces us outdoors as mineral and plant, as mountain, as thunder and flash, as trees and bodies of water et cetera? By the fact that this spirit in the narrower sense appears as mind in its very own figure, in the figure that is due to itself as mind. What one normally calls nature, indeed, is spirit, but spirit, which turns its outside to the senses, and what one calls spirit or mind in the narrower sense, is exactly the same. According to its form, nature is what turns to the core of our being. If we search the spirit outdoors in nature, we find it lifeless in the minerals, animated in the plants and feeling in the animals. The human being combines this triple figure of the spirit in himself in three members of his being, as we know them from the point of view of spiritual science. Thereby only, you come to a real knowledge of the human being that you look at his complex nature and are not content with the abstract differentiation between body and soul, but ask yourselves, how is the human being built up?
At first spiritual science distinguishes the physical body of the human being that he has in common as materials and forces with the entire so-called lifeless nature. In the physical body of the human being are the same materials and forces that we find outdoors in the mineral world. However, he has a second member, which we call etheric body or life body. If we speak of ether, it has nothing to do with the fantastic ether that has played a role in science so long and that one will dethrone in the next time. In relation to the etheric body, we cannot get involved in the methods of the higher beholding. However, we understand the etheric body best of all saying: if we take a plant, an animal, the human being, the physical body has the same materials and forces, but in an endlessly complex mixture and variety, so that these materials cannot form the physical body by themselves. No plant body can be what it is by the physical forces, no animal body, and no human body. There is the complication, the variety of the mixture that would make the body destroy if it were left to its own physical and chemical forces. At every moment of life, its so-called etheric body or life body works against the decay of the physical body. A permanent struggle takes place in it. At the moment of death when the etheric body or life body separates from the physical body, the materials and forces of the physical body follow their own principles. Hence, spiritual science says, the physical body is physically and chemically an impossible mixture, it cannot survive. The etheric body is that which struggles against the decay of the physical body permanently.
The third member of the human being is that which we have often called the bearer of desire and pain, of joy and grief, of instincts and passions. If the life starts becoming internal, then we start in spiritual science speaking of an astral body. This is the third member of the human being and of the animal.
Today one has such an unclear concept of that what constitutes the single being that certain researchers cannot make a distinction between an animal and a plant. Of course, there are transitions; but they do not interest us here. You can read in the popular works that are otherwise very meritorious that the plant shows the same manifestations as an animal or a human being, and one talks there about a “plant soul” in the usual sense. One confuses the animal soul and the human soul with simple manifestations of life in the plant. When do we speak of an animal or human soul or of an astral body? If to the outer appearance inner life, inner experience is added. It depends on the inside. If you see a plant, if you touch it, and it contracts its leaves, a stimulus is exercised on the plant, and this shows a certain response to this stimulus. Calling this answer a soul manifestation is the most unbelievable dilettantism. One is not allowed to speak already of soul or astral body if any counter-effect takes place; otherwise, you must also attribute a soul to the litmus paper if it turns red in the acid. It does not depend on any outer reaction, but on the fact, whether anything happens inside of such a being.
If you push a being and it shows a change of form or, otherwise, any outer reaction, you may call that a manifestation of life. However, talking of sensation or soul in this case means to turn all concepts upside down. One can speak of soul or astral body only if to that what goes forward outside a new event, a new fact is added inside if because of a push or pressure pain or because of another stimulus joy is experienced. The outer manifestations do not make a being a soul being, but the processes which it experiences in its inside. Only where sensation starts where life itself is transformed internally into joy and sorrow where any object outdoors not only exercises an attraction on any being, but where inside of the being an experience appears in relation to the outer object, only there we can speak of soul or astral body. If a plant twines spirally round a rod, an effect responds to the stimulus, it is a manifestation of life. Even if it seems with some plants that — if you bring a finger in their nearness — it follows the finger and not the rod, you are not concerned with an inner process. It can be talk of such a thing only if a desire inside of the being exists and it follows the stimulus because of this influence. He who does not distinguish these matters strictly is incapable to rise to the concept of the soul, the astral body. The human being has this in common with the animals, however, not with the plants.
Then we have, as often mentioned, the fourth member by which the human being experiences something in himself that makes him the crown of the earth creation, that what we call “I” or ego. It is an exceptionally important matter for any knowledge to recognise this ego in its nature. In former talks, I have drawn your attention to the fact that there is in our entire language only one word, one name that differs from all other names. You can call any other object with its name, the clock, the table, the notebook. You cannot call that in such a way that is the “I” with its name. Try to say “I” to another being! You can say I only to yourselves. Any being is “you” for the other, and for any being is the other “you.” Should the name I be pronounced, this name must sound from the core of the being. The religions that were based on spiritual science felt this too, and, therefore, said correctly: here the divinity speaks the first tone, the first word in the human soul in its very own figure, and thus the expression for the ego was something holy for them. They called it the ineffable name of God. What the Hebrew religious doctrine called with the expression Yahveh is nothing else than for the ego which calls itself. This is the fourth member of the human being.
Considering this four-membered being — physical body, etheric body, astral body and ego — we have to say: with these four members, which no other being has on earth than the human being, everybody faces us, the uneducated savage and the high developed human being. In what way do the individual human beings differ on earth, if they all have four members? This is because the one has worked more, the other less on his three members from his ego. If we compare the savage who follows any desire, any passion with a high-minded moralist who has pure holy moral concepts and follows these who only accepts that of his desires and passions to which the mind is able to say “yes.” In which way do both differ? By the fact that the high-minded man worked on his astral body from his ego. The uneducated savage has worked less on his astral body; he has it still in such a form as he has received it from nature, from the divine powers. The high-minded moralist and idealist has transformed and purified it.
An astral body consists of two parts; of one part that the human being has got without his co-operation, and the other part that is the work of his ego. Human beings who stand on such a height as for example Francis of Assisi have brought the whole astral body under the control of the ego, so that nothing happens in their astral body that the ego does not control. How does such a human being differ from the savage? In the savage, everything happens without the ego; in the high-minded human being, everything happens by what he has done from his astral body. As much as the ego has transformed the astral body, as much spirit self or manas exists in the human being.
We have five members of the human being now: physical body, etheric body, astral body, ego and spirit self. Then we have the possibility to transform, to purify and to improve not only our astral body, not only the sum of our desires and instincts but we have also the bigger ability to transform our etheric body. In the usual life, the human beings work in the spiritual development on improving their astral bodies gradually, already with the usual impulses of life, the moral concepts, the intellectual mental pictures. Everything that we learn transforms the astral body. If we want to imagine the contrast of the transformation of the astral body and the transformation of the etheric body by the ego, we must remember how we were as eight-year-old children. Then we did not know many a thing that we know today. We have learnt a lot. With the sensations which we have taken up in such a way the astral body has transformed itself, it has incorporated the spirit self or manas. However, everything that constituted our temperament, our inclinations etc. when we were eight years old have not transformed themselves in the same way. If you were a hot-tempered contrary child at the age of eight years, you are probably hot-tempered or contrary sometimes even today. The change of the temperament and the inclinations advances much slower. One can compare the progress of the astral body to the advance of the minute hand and the progress of the etheric body to the advance of the hour hand. However, the inclinations change only if the etheric body changes, and stronger impulses are necessary than for the change of the astral body. The human being who stands in spiritual science has such strong impulses and can already have them if he exposes himself to the impression of a piece of art, behind which he realises the infinite sense, we say of Wagner's Parsifal or of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. These impulses not only have effects on the astral body, but they are so strong that the etheric body is purified and transformed. The same applies standing before a picture of Raphael or Michelangelo, and an impulse of the everlasting penetrates us due to the colours. However, the strongest impulses are the religious ones. They have transformed the human being so strongly that they have seized their etheric bodies, so that the human beings bear two parts of their etheric bodies in themselves, the untransformed one, received from nature, and the transformed one. One calls the transformed part life spirit or buddhi.
If that approaches the human being which we get to know in the talk on the initiation, it becomes more prominent what transforms the etheric body. The initiation consists in giving the means to the human being to transform the etheric body more and more. Hence, it also applies to the student of occultism that any intellectual learning, everything that he can take up just like in school is only a preparation. More important than any intellectual taking up is for that who submits himself to a spiritual-scientific training to transform only one single inclination consciously into another, and if it is only a movement of the hand. Transforming such a thing has more value than any acquired theoretical knowledge. The initiation consists in the impulses that purify the human etheric body. Then these impulses go on purifying the physical body, and this is the highest that the human being can attain in this life.
One could say that the physical body is the lowest; if the human being works on the physical body, is this something particular. — Just because the physical body is the lowest member, one has to apply the strongest forces to transform it into its original form, into the form of the pure spirit. The purification of this physical body begins with certain methods to adjust the respiratory process. Therefore, one calls the part that is converted atman or the spirit man; atman means breathing (German atmen). When the body is transformed — which keeps being as before — the spiritual-scientific training takes place on the highest level. Then the human being attains not only the ability to live consciously in his physical body, to know any blood corpuscle, any nerve he also attains the ability to work on the big nature, to become a human being having an effect on the forces of the universe from a human being that was enclosed in his skin before. Thus, the human being changes into that stage by which he becomes one with the universe. Any other talk of becoming one with the universe that does not happen on the way of proper training and development is gossip and phrase. The human being thereby becomes one with the universe transforming his astral body first, then the etheric body and, finally, the physical body. He becomes one with the entire universe, as the small finger is one with the physical body. This is a quite regular course of the human development which many human beings have gone through, which we all experience already to a certain degree, and which all human beings experience in the future.
What happens there, actually? Let us visualise it: what is the astral body? It is nothing else than the sum of desires, drives and passions, of joy, sorrow, and pain. Everything that co-operates there in the human being is a phenomenon of the spirit, spirit in any form, because everything is spirit. In what way is it possible that the ego works on the astral body? It is possible because the spirit discloses itself to the ego in its very own figure. In the passions, drives and desires the spirit is hidden, there it appears in its phenomena. It flows into the ego in its very own figure, and the ego lets flow it again into the astral body, so that the ego mediates between the very own figure of the spirit and its manifestations. The same applies to the etheric body and, finally, also to the physical body, and thus a perpetual spiritualisation takes place during the transformation of the three human bodies or members. As true it is that any mineral is spirit — but spirit in its outer effect-, as true it is that the human being is on the way to spiritualisation by that which his ego pours into the lower being. Only because the ego is between these manifestations of the spirit, his physical, etheric and astral bodies, and the members of the spirit, which illumine the three bodies, this transition of the spirit into the three bodies is possible. The ego has to be in between. Then the upper can work on the lower.
In what way did we get to know the nature of the ego? We got to know it already in its name. The name of the ego can never sound from the outside to our ear if it means us. With it, one says more than with all phrases that you read in the books of the usual psychology. If one understood substantially what the ego is because this name can never come from the outside to us, then one would have performed more than any academic psychology. The philosopher Fichte already said: the human being as an ego is the nicest. However, most people would prefer to regard themselves as a piece of lava in the moon than as an ego because they need own energy to look at it.
We shall see in the talk on the animal soul that the animal also has an ego, but not in the physical world. The human being thereby differs from the animal that he has his ego in the physical world. The ego is something that lets the spirit flow from the inside into another form of spirit, into the different matters, even into the soul, into the astral body. Hence, we can call the being of the ego almost an internalisation. This internalisation is only prepared with the animal. Because we will still speak of the animal soul, I only suggest this today. One must not forget that also the animal has an ego, but not the single animal, but the animal species. All lions together, all tigers together have an ego, and this ego is in the supersensible world. It is in such a way, as if from an animal, which belongs to a species, invisible ropes or threads run to the common group soul in the supersensible world. Such a group soul has become the individual human soul. Any individual human being has what an entire animal group has.
Hence, the internalisation only prepares itself with the animal. We realise it if we study the so-called animal soul, the astral body. The real internalisation of this soul, the first irradiating of the spirit is possible in our world where the ego exists as an individual soul. The soul that has the ego in itself is thereby able to let the spirit flow into the matter. Thus, we see how mind and body or also spirit and matter are two beings; however, one being is the same as the other, only in another form. Matter and body are spirit in other form. They are different from each other in the world generally as ice and water. They are different, even though they are the same. In the middle, the soul exists. It connects mind and body. Hence, we understand the human being only if we understand him in this tripartite composition, consisting of the physical, etheric and astral bodies and consisting of nascent spirit: manas, buddhi, and atman or spirit self, life spirit and spirit man. The soul is the being that transforms one into the other that participates in the body and in the mind. We can understand the soul in the right light only if we see it working from the mind on the body. If we study it from this viewpoint, spiritual science answers just those questions that the human being must put to the real soul being. We realise that the human soul is positioned between body and mind at every moment. With the savage, the soul is only able to take up a droplet of the spirit in his body. Hunger and thirst, the manifestations of the etheric body, almost animal instincts, and desires still completely influence him. The soul of the sophisticated idealist, as for example of Schiller or Francis of Assisi, tends to the spirit, attains a higher consciousness, and frees himself from the material existence. Spiritual science shows that there is transformation of forms what we call matter. That often will meet us in the winter talks but nobody can expect that he can absorb all concepts of spiritual science in one talk.
If we look at the world round ourselves from this spiritual-scientific viewpoint, it appears in a continual transformation as also nature appears in a continual transformation. We see the flower arising from the seminal grain in the spring. In autumn, we see it wilting, but the being is preserved in the seminal grain to arise again. Thus, spiritual science also shows how the spirit builds up the body, and how the being of this spirit is preserved as a spiritual seed when the body disintegrates. It appears again and again.
We can transform ice into water and water into ice. Similarly, spirit also changes into body. The body disintegrates, but the spirit remains and appears in always-new forms. There we are led to the principle of transformation in the human life. The human being lives here in the physical, etheric and astral bodies. However, he still has a second life that existed before this life and will be after this life. There he lives, as well as he lives here in these three bodies, in the spiritual world. From there he brings the forces that build up his bodies, which give him that form which he has, even if the life in spirit is different. We get to know this if we understand spiritual science in the right way.
It becomes apparent that the human being leads a life by turns: a life in the body between birth and death and a life in the spiritual between death and a new birth, until he prepares himself for a new incarnation. What lives here in the body and there in spirit and changes between the life in the body and the life in spirit is the soul. However, every time when it has gone through an incarnation, the human being has worked on his body and comes back to the spirit land as a soul enriched with the fruits of the earth-life. The soul keeps on developing higher and higher. Hence, it is also the mediator between spirit and body. Thus, we are led to the border which shows us — considering mind, soul and body correctly — how the relation of the three human parts is to each other. We get to know everything that disintegrates that scatters as a transformation of that which constitutes the innermost being of the soul as we recognise everything temporal as a form of the everlasting. Spiritual science leads to a science, which really the questions of the temporal and of the everlasting answers and of the human destiny after death. The human heart has these questions generally if it wants to know something about such a science. A science that sets limits to itself cannot see the most important. Hence, our academic psychology is limited. In a certain sense, it is important to learn what it offers. Spiritual science does not disdain it, but it finds it insufficient, as long as one does not go into the being of the spirit and the soul. This is the right way to the knowledge of the spirit and the soul: the soul is connected with its bodies in the temporal life, it is involved in these bodies, and that which attracts it to these bodies is that part which is an obstacle for the pure, purified life in spirit between death and a new birth. There we learn to understand gradually where the obstacles of the soul are for the new birth. We also learn to understand that the soul must free itself completely not only from the body — by death — but from the longing for the body. By the right concepts of mind, soul, and body, we also come to the destiny of the soul during its bodily and spiritual pilgrimage.
I have today tried to show how one gets correct concepts of the soul and spirit using the ordinary human mind. I did it without taking into account what one can attain by the methods of clairvoyance and initiation. I speak about them in the next talks. We must hold on this: what faced us in the course of this winter will be results of the spiritual research. One can only discover them with the methods as I gave them in the talks on initiation et cetera. However, one can understand them by the ordinary logic and thorough thinking. Someone who says, what does the spiritual science concern me, because I am no clairvoyant? He turns away from the spiritual science not because of lack of clairvoyance, but, because he does not apply his thinking thoroughly and extensively enough to it. Just psychology has suffered a lot in our time of materialism — which some people regard as finished and is also dismissed in philosophy, but flourishes just in the way of thinking of psychology. Today the concepts of soul and spirit have suffered mostly from this materialism. Spiritual science has the mission to bring pure, purified concepts of the soul and the spirit again to humanity. Thereby it will be the best servant of the high religious traditions that distinguish between the human mind and the world enclosing spirit that the religious traditions call the Holy Spirit. We understand these scriptures as means of understanding only if we comprehend them deeply enough and consider everything in great enclosing pictures which are the expression of facts.
We spiritual scientists still know many things that humanity knows in future and only anticipated due to its most significant spirits in former times. Many strange feelings go through the human soul, if it immerses itself in the spiritual activities. Some people say to the spiritual scientist: you give us something for the mind, but nothing for the soul; we search soul and you give us spiritual achievements. They do not know that they reject just that which gives the soul what they require. They covet the will impulses of the soul. However, the soul can be only happy if it lets the spirit flow in itself and develops the bodies from the spirit.
What faces us from the outside is formed spirit, and what shapes the matter flows from the spiritual world down. What the eye sees in the figure as colour is, so to speak, compressed spirit, and the force that causes the figure in the matter comes from the everlasting. Thus, someone who does not have the clearness of spiritual-scientific concepts but feels and anticipates the surrounding world says. everything appears to me as shaped by the spiritual world. The figure appears to me as the holy that flashes in the mere matter, and if I see the figure, it seems to immerse itself in the matter and to withdraw again from the matter. The poet anticipated this of spiritual science when he put up the contrast between the body, the human soul, and the spirit that both work creatively in the body. Schiller (Friedrich Sch., 1759–1805, German poet) anticipated how the soul lets the spirit flow in the matter in reality whereby the matter disappears to the view. Considering this, he let the sensation flow out in the nice words:
Only the body appertains to those powers that braid the dark destiny. However, far from any temporal power, the playmate of blessed spirits walks aloft in the acres of light, divine among divinities: the shape.