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The Rudolf Steiner Archive

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Meditation and Concentration:
Three Kinds of Clairvoyance
GA 161

Lecture I

27 March 1915, Dornach

Translator Unknown

Whereas on the last occasion that we were able to meet together here we focused our attention upon experiences of a more special kind, today our approach to spiritual science will be rather of a general nature. I Should like to make a start from something all of you have really known for a long time—that all study of spiritual science is based on knowledge which is not acquired through the instrument of the physical body but through the liberation of what belongs to soul and spirit from the physical instrument; whereby the soul and spirit enter into direct connection with the spiritual world.

In ordinary life and in ordinary cognition this direct connection with the spiritual world is broken off because, if we wish to maintain our relation to the ordinary world, we have in our waking condition to use the instruments of our physical body. In the sleeping condition all our will is concentrated on our connection with the physical body in such a way that the longing for the body spreads a cloud, as it were throughout soul and spirit, preventing us—both during sleep and in ordinary life—from experiencing anything at all in the spiritual world around us.

Now it is important that anyone actively interested in spiritual science should really understand the value of this activity, as such, and its relation to the personal striving which, by meditation, and concentration of the impulses of thought, feeling and will—or anything else of that nature—brings the human being into the spiritual world. For in this connection we must above all be clear about a deep and significant truth—namely, that the unity, which to a certain extent surrounds us in the ordinary world, in the spiritual world does not exist in the same way I have already indicated that this unity is founded on the whole way in which man, as soul and spirit, is fitted together. Now constantly do we hear men asking: What is the unifying principle in the world? And what satisfaction they find in being able to trace everything to a unifying principle!

Actually the physical world does appear to us eminently as a whole, as one formation; and those people who  are, as it were, obsessed by the ‘demon of unity’ arrive at all manner of abstractions in their thought by seeking for the unifying  principle in the world.

Characteristic of this are personalities such as an old gentleman who came to me one evening and told me, with all the enthusiasm of a discoverer, that he had found a unifying principle enabling him to explain all the phenomena of the world. In his joy at this discovery he declared that he could tell me all about it in just a few words, and he was so pleased about the matter that he said: I can now explain the whole cosmos. Hell, earth, heaven—he could explain them all in accordance with this unifying principle.

This episode was brought to my mind again the other day, when someone wrote urgently demanding an interview with me. He had made the acquaintance of a man able in five minutes to propound a completely satisfying world-conception. I need hardly say that there is no time for interviews of such a kind where a really serious spiritual stream is concerned. Those, however, who are possessed by the "unity demon”—always at the same time a demon who loves the easy path—are just now particularly numerous.

In connection with this we must above all take very seriously what is said in "Knowledge of the Higher World", namely, that directly we have crossed the threshold of the spiritual world we really come face to face with a threefold experience. In the book mentioned, I have especially emphasised that the soul is split, as it were, into three, that when the soul crosses the threshold into the spiritual world there no longer exists what makes it possible to believe in the unity-demon, the demon who loves ease.

Indeed, as soon as we pass the threshold of the spiritual world, with our whole being we feel that we are entering into three worlds—actually three worlds. We must never lose sight of the fact that once the threshold of the spiritual world is crossed we have the distinct experience of three worlds. We actually belong to these three worlds in the very construction of our whole physical body. I might say that the working together of three worlds, comparatively independent of one another, is a necessary factor in the wonderful structure of man as he confronts us in the physical world. When we consider the formation of our head, the formation of all that belongs to our head, we must be clear, even when only speaking of the head, that the formative forces of our head and the beings who are working and creating in these formative forces, belong to an entirely different world from, for example, the formative force of our breast, the formative force of all that has to do with our heart, including our arms and hands. To a certain extent it is as if the formative force of these material parts of man were to belong to a quite different world from the formative forces of our head. The lower organs of the body to gather with the legs, in their turn, belong to an entirely different world from the other members referred to.

Now you may ask what significance all this has. It has a great significance, because the present cycle of mankind is such that we attain unadulterated genuine and really true results in spiritual science only when what is of a soul and spiritual nature is lifted out of the head.  So that the clairvoyant aspect of a man observed in the light of spiritual science is this—that the soul-spiritual is for the most part lifted out and, as it were, joined to the forces of the cosmos as if by a spiritually electric contact. (See Diagram I.)

Etheric Head
Diagram I

Thus everything must be drawn out—the ego, the astral body, up to the etheric body. This drawing out is obviously connected with the development of what are called the lotus flowers. The forces that set the lotus flowers in movement lie in those parts of the soul-spiritual in man that are lifted out—or on the way to being lifted out.

This clairvoyance that is a head-clairvoyance can come about in our time through spiritual science, for the result of this head-clairvoyance is of service to mankind.  Of a quite different nature is the clairvoyant result brought about by the lifting-out of the soul-spiritual from the organs of the heart, arms and hands. This lifting-out is distinct, too, in its inward significance from what comes about through—what I prefer to call—head-clairvoyance. The lifting-out from the material organ of the heart is, rather, the result of meditation which is related to the life of the will; it is brought about by human devotion to the world-process, whereas the head-clairvoyance is more the result of thought, of conceptions, but also of conceptions partaking of the nature of feeling.

Where these two kinds of clairvoyance are concerned it is generally so that the heart-clairvoyance or breast-clairvoyance to the degree to which it is destined to develop, develops simultaneously with the head-clairvoyance. This leads the breast-clairvoyance more in the direction of will-development, towards connection with the actions of the spiritual beings of lower hierarchies, like those, for instance, who are embodied in the various earthly kingdoms; whereas the head-clairvoyance leads man more to vision, cognition, perception in the more important, higher worlds: more important in the sense that knowledge of these higher powers is necessary for satisfaction of certain requirements—knowledge which must increasingly arise in present day mankind. The further we approach the future of our earthly evolution the less will men be able to live—if their soul life is not to wither away—when they are not able to absorb into their knowledge the results of this clairvoyance.

There is still a third kind of clairvoyance which arises when what may be called the soul-spiritual is freed from, lifted out of, the remaining part of man. Here I have to indicate (see Diagram II.) the lifting-out down below towards man's extremity. In spite of the inelegance of the expression let me call this the clairvoyance of the abdomen; so that we can actually differentiate the kinds of clairvoyance as those of be head, the breast and the abdomen.

Abdoman Clairvoyance
Diagram II

Whereas in this cycle of mankind the head-clairvoyance leads pre-eminently to the acquiring of what is independent of the human being, the abdomen-clairvoyance leads chiefly to results connected with what gees on within man. What goes on within man himself must naturally be an object of investigation and, indeed, in the sphere of physical research—of anatomy and physiology—which is concerned with this matter, there are plenty of investigators. It should not be thought that this abdomen-clairvoyance is without value, in the best sense of the word. Certainly it has value. We must, however, be clear that abdomen-clairvoyance can teach man very little concerning what goes on impersonally in cosmic processes, but that it teaches him principally about what is within him, what may be said to go on within his skin.

Where the moral and ethical are concerned, comparatively the most important clairvoyance is that of the head. I shall therefore speak always of opposites. The breast-clairvoyance is in the middle—between head-clairvoyance and abdomen-clairvoyance. In respect of the ethical these two are easily distinguishable, even inwardly. Those who in an impersonal way, in the sense indicated in "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds", strive for vision into the higher worlds, those who do not let themselves be disheartened by the difficulty of this sure path, will develop something impersonal in their clairvoyance, above all an interest of a higher kind for objective knowledge of the world, for all that goes on in the world cosmically, and in the world of historical events.

Of man himself head-clairvoyance speaks pre-eminently in a ray that points to man’s place in the cosmic, in the historical course of life, drawing attention also to what man is in the whole world-process; and what arises as a result of this head-clairvoyance will always have what we might call the character of universal knowledge. It will contain information having significance—please note this well—for all human beings, not only for particular individuals.

The abdomen-clairvoyance is chiefly permeated by every possible kind of human egoism, and in general very easily leads to the clairvoyant in question being mainly concerned with himself, with the occult foundations of his own destiny, with the occult foundations of his personal worth and character. This shows itself as a self-evident tendency in what we call abdomen-clairvoyance.

Now where the nature of their perception is concerned a great difference is revealed between these two kinds of clairvoyance. Whoever, on the path given in "Knowledge of the Higher Worlds", strives to free the soul and spirit from his head, from his apparatus of perception, whoever to a certain extent loosens the soul-spiritual part of his head from the physical instrument and with this soul-spiritual part of his head is able to place himself within the spiritual world, will find it extraordinarily difficult to get away from clairvoyant experiences that are merely shadowy. This getting free from the head is connected at first with experiences, that certainly lack the colour, the fulness, of vivid memories, and therefore appear to be, in a way, inwardly colourless. Only by striving for further progress on this path does it come about that these experiences lose their shadowy character so that pale, shadowy experiences become tinged with colour and tone.

This then is the process taking place here—that we leave our head and actually enter a world very difficult for us to observe; for it is by gradually and slowly acquiring the ability to live outside our head that we strengthen the inner life-forces, with the result that the forces streaming towards us from the whole surrounding world are drawn together. Imagine, therefore, the forces out of the whole surrounding world have to be drawn together, and when we have thus gathered them together we get the tinging with what has colour and tone. Imagine we conceive it in this way (see Diagram III.) you have here (a) a surface very full of colour, a spherical surface; and now imagine this spherical surface extended over a wide surface (b, c). Here the colour becomes much paler, and if we extend it still farther the colour will become increasingly pale. Were we to withdraw it again, if here it were pale yellow, we should here have a much stronger, deeper yellow, because the colour would be more concentrated.

Diagram III
Diagram III

Now the head-clairvoyance confronts the whole cosmos; and spread out over the whole cosmos is what the human being has first with his life-forces to concentrate into what, clairvoyantly, is himself in his essential being. So that in reality it is only in the arduous course of inner evolution that he gradually tinges his shadowy experiences with colour. Then, when endless efforts have been made to gain the general experience of simply being outside the body, when this has been experienced for a long time with a growing feeling of ever more intensive experience - though not yet accompanied by colour and tone—then gradually the realms from the cosmos approach the head-clairvoyance.

This is a matter of lengthy, selfless development. It must particularly be pointed out that an indispensable factor in this development is the actual study of spiritual science. Over and over again it must be emphasised that spiritual science when given can really be understood. It cannot be emphasised too often that for the understanding of spiritual science there is no need of clairvoyance.  It goes without saying that to arrive at its results one has to be clairvoyant; but once these results are gained they can be understood without clairvoyance. What must precede actual vision is the understanding of spiritual science. Here, too, it must be said that the right way is the reverse of what is right in the physical world of the senses. In the physical world of the senses we first have the right perception, after which we pass on to observation by means of thought, thus forming for ourselves a judgment based on knowledge. This must be reversed when we rise into the spiritual world. There we have first to develop concepts, making every effort to live ourselves into spiritual science objectively; otherwise we can never be sure that we shall rightly interpret anything we observe in the spiritual world. There, knowledge must come before vision. This is what to many people is so infinitely tiresome—that they are suppressed to study spiritual science; they take it as an incomprehensible demand. For it is comparatively easy to have perceptions, but rightly to interpret them means to make one's way rightly—objectively, selflessly—into spiritual science, to go into it deeply.

Now where what may be called abdomen-clairvoyance is concerned, the reverse is the case. Here we start out from the soul-spiritual which has been working upon our bodily, physical nature. For everything in the world is founded upon the spiritual. When you have eaten a piece of kohlrabi, let us say—most of us here are vegetarians—and it is then worked upon in our organism, we have to do not merely with a process that is physical and chemical, brought about by the stomach with its forces and juices but, behind all this, etheric body, astral body and ego are active. All these processes have behind them processes which are spiritual. We should be wrong in believing that there are material processes having no spiritual processes behind them. Just imagine that after a more or less excellent midday meal you lie down and become clairvoyant, clairvoyant in such a way that what is of a soul and spirit nature in the digestive organs is lifted out from then. While your stomach and your other organ are effectively digesting you are living with your soul and spirit in the world of soul and spirit itself, and whereas the spiritual process going on in your etheric body, astral body and ego normally remains in the unconscious, when you become clairvoyant it rises into your consciousness. Then, while you are experiencing in soul and spirit, you are able to see all the working, forming and creating of the soul and spirit in the bodily members during digestion; you are able to see this because it projects itself into the world and, reflecting itself in picture-form, appears to you in the ether outside. Then, because now you have not to draw colour so much out of the cosmos but have the working of the whole process concentrated under your skin, you get the most beautiful clairvoyant images. Thus this wonderful thing taking place around you in the most sublime, radiating processes of colour and form is nothing but the process of digestion going on in man's spiritual organs—a process taking place in the body.

This clairvoyance is particularly distinguished from the other by the fact that the other proceeds from shadowy images and receives colour and tone only with effort, whereas the abdomen-clairvoyance proceeds from the most beautiful, the most sublime, sight it is possible for us to have. This may be expressed in the form of a law—when clairvoyance begins with the most sublime images—in particular colour images—then it is a clairvoyance related to processes taking place within the personality. I lay stress upon this as it can be of value for investigation into the spiritual world.  Just as anatomy and physiology investigate the process of digestion and other processes; it is also of the greatest worth to investigate in this way the spiritual processes behind those that belong to man. It would be bad, however, to give oneself up to any kind of deception or illusion and thus to give things a wrong interpretation.

Were it thought that clairvoyance arising in this way without suitable preparation could give anything more than what goes on in man and projects itself into the objective world—were it thought possible to approach more nearly to the ruling powers of the world, to the leading spiritual forces, through clairvoyance of such a kind, we should be sadly deceived.  Just as little as we can solve the riddle of the world by investigating human digestion, can we approach the riddles and mysteries of the world by developing abdomen-clairvoyance.

You see therefore how essential it is rightly to find our way about in the world we enter through liberation of the forces in our soul and spirit. What we have now been saying is not meant to make anyone feel aversion towards abdomen-clairvoyance.  But everyone should be clear about the way clairvoyance of this kind is related to what can be true spiritual clairvoyance, and how we have to rise superior to all superficial over-estimation of what can be attained on a clairvoyant path in such a way that it can have only a personal content. Only when, where these things having a personal content are concerned, we can disregard the personal and observe in the way an anatomist or physiologist observes what he experiences in course of dissection or investigation only then have these things a certain value. In any case no religious feeling of any kind ought to be attached to these things, but only to the results of head-clairvoyance. We shall have the right attitude to the other clairvoyance in proportion as we demand that it is to be treated in the same scientifically objective sense as the results of anatomy and the results of physiology.

I should like here to make a rather sweeping statement—namely, that not everything discovered on the path of clairvoyance is worthy of veneration, but it is all of value as knowledge. This is what we have to bear in mind. I have told you that for our present cycle it is particularly

Important to incorporate into the general spiritual culture of mankind the results of clairvoyance; this is really important.  Concerning this, I will just mention today one aspect of the matter. We are actually living at a time when men must prepare gradually to leave the realm of mere philosophical idealism and to enter into real consciousness of the spiritual world, the universal spiritual world, in which we live just as we live in the physical world.

Now we will start out from an experience of  the head- clairvoyance, which will be easily understood by those who have  gone at all deeply into what was said in the last Munich cycle,1Secrets of the Threshold and which is dealt with also in my book The Threshold of the Spiritual World. I particularly mentioned there that our thinking undergoes a transformation the moment we free ourselves—especially where our thoughts are concerned—from the physical instrument of the head. I expressed myself at the time in a rather grotesque way, saying that when we are thus free our thoughts no longer have the character that they have in ordinary, everyday life. In our ordinary everyday experience we necessarily have the feeling—if we are not out of our mind—which we are in control of our thought-world, that when we have two thoughts—it is we who either combine or separate them.

When we remember we are conscious that in our inner life we pass over from our present experience to that of our past. We always have the feeling: it is we who stand behind the weaving and movement of our thoughts.  This ceases the moment we free the soul and spirit from our head and develop a thinking independent of the body. At that time I used a rather crude simile, saying it is as if we had put our head into ant-heap and then the characteristic confusion had arisen—this indeed is the way the thoughts begin to play into one another. When in ordinary life we combine two of our thoughts, as, for example, the two thoughts "rose" and "red", we know that in our thought-world we are free to combine these concepts—the rose is red. This is not so when we are outside. There we find life in the thoughts—thoughts have life of their own, every thought becomes a being. One thought runs into the other, while some other thought runs away from another.

Thus the thought-world acquires an individual life. Why is this so? Now what we experience in our ordinary, everyday thinking is merely pictures, merely shadows of thoughts. You can glean this from my book "Theosophy". As soon as we develop the thinking that is free of the body, every thought becomes like a husk, and into this husk there slips an elemental being. The thought is no longer in our control. We put it out like a feeler; it goes out into the world and into it slips an elemental being. Our thoughts are thus filled out, as it were, by elementals; and all this twirls and blusters about in us. So that it may be said: when we send out the soul- spiritual part of our head into the spiritual world (we have it outside only because we are within the physical head), when in this way we project it into the spiritual world, we no longer experience thoughts such as we do in the physical world, it is the life of being that we experience. As I said at the time, we put our head, as it were, into an ant heap, and experience the life of beings.

It is like this, in reality, right up to the highest of the hierarchies. If we wish to experience Angels, Archangels, or even Archai, this has to be in such a way that we live in our thoughts and in the beings, just as I have described. We send out our thoughts and a being slips in and moves about inside them. When on Venus or on Saturn we perceive beings, we let our thoughts slip out and then there slip into them Venus or Saturn beings. There is no need for us to be afraid of having the thoughts of hierarchies; we just have to accustom ourselves to live in the higher hierarchies with our head. We must say to ourselves: Our own thinking ceases and our head becomes the stage on which the higher hierarchies work

Now in the philosophy of Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, thought has certainly reached its zenith in purity and clearness.  Whatever the height to which thought was able to soar at the beginning of the nineteenth century, it is all implicit in this philosophy. The highest point which thought can attain has there been reached; the next step must go beyond it and lead into the actual whirling and weaving life of thought. Thus we live in an age when men are called to perceive the higher hierarchies. We are destined to be taken up into the world of the higher hierarchies and, confronted by the living and weaving of the hierarchies, we have to rid ourselves of our fear.

The nineteenth century was overflowing with this fear, with this terror, in face of the life of the higher hierarchies. Though they did not realise it, men had reached such a pitch that they were actually praying: O, dear Ahriman, protect me from having my life of thought seized upon by the weaving and living of the higher hierarchies, for otherwise some devil of a Saturn or Sun-being may enter! You will say that no one in the nineteenth century thought thus. But I can prove to you that they did.

 Ludwig Feuerbach, a philosopher of the nineteenth century, who particularly fought against the idea of immortality, who opposed all belief in a supersensible world, holding this belief to be that of fantastical, mystical dreamers and considering it harmful for the whole of mankind this Ludwig Feuerbach wrote the following. I beg you to make special note of this in your soul:

“The man who is actively occupied with the objects surrounding him in life has no time to think of death and consequently no need for immortality. If he thinks of death at all he sees in it merely a warning to lay out his share of life's capital wisely, to avoid wasting valuable time on unworthy thing but to use it to fulfil the task he sets himself in life.”

“Were man to find his fulfillment only beyond the earth, in the heavens, on Uranus, on Saturn, or wherever else he would, we should have no philosophy, no knowledge of any kind.  Instead of universal, abstract truths and beings, instead of the thoughts, knowledge, concepts of pure spiritual beings and objects that now dwell in our head, there would then dwell there our heavenly brothers—the beings of Saturn and Uranus.  In place of mathematics, logic, metaphysics, we should have the most faithful portraits of the dwellers in heaven .Those heavenly beings would indeed be encamped between us and the objects of our knowledge and thinking; they would obstruct our view of those objects and bring about a total eclipse of the sun in our spirit.”

For Feuerbach the sun is his thought.

He has, therefore, the whole picture of what would have to happen. He is so terribly afraid of it that he prays to the good Ahriman to preserve him from having the beings of Saturn and Uranus  dwelling in his head.

“They would be nearer and more akin to us than thoughts, ideas and concepts, for they are not purely spiritual abstract beings such as these, they are spiritual beings affecting the senses, beings who express only the essential nature of imaginative force. Our whole spirit would then be merely a dream, a vision of a more splendid future. Hence, whoever is prevented by the weight of his reason from swimming around on the surface of the ocean of imagination, will recognise that in the depths of our spirit, as if in an atmosphere impossible to be breathed in those depths, the life-light of the Angels, and all other similar heavenly beings, is extinguished ...."

If, therefore, these beings were to enter our thoughts our spirit would become a dream - so writes Feuerbach.  He feels secure only in the realm of thoughts; should the being of the Angels and other heavenly beings enter these thoughts he would then feel insecure. This is the prayer to Ahriman—that he should protect mankind from knowledge of the spiritual world; and in the forties of the nineteenth century this came about through Ludwig Feuerbach, the enemy of any spiritual world-conception. What does this mean? It means nothing or less than this—that the time is ripe for us to raise ourselves to the spiritual worlds; for we need only take in earnest what this man describes and the way will be found into the spiritual worlds. We need just to leave off struggling against it with the help of Ahriman. Thus you see that it is not the heavens that are to blame for spiritual science not making its way into the culture of our age, for it actually penetrates into the heads of its opponents. Spiritual science wills to enter the world. The heavens are not at fault; the gods are offering men wisdom—spiritual science is pressing its way in.  With the same fervour with which under Ahriman's lead men have brought resistance to bear, is it up to them now to leave off resisting and to find the courage to take spiritual science fully and genuinely in earnest.

The following must be said about the development of the nineteenth century. We must say: It is as if indicated by the spiritual world that after the materialistic age the spiritual age is to come, when it is man’s part to open his mind and heart to receive the spiritual world. What was in a supreme sense a materialistic world-outlook and found its characteristic advocate in the clever and greatly gifted philosopher, Ludwig Feuerbach, is like an assault, a resistance, against what is to come to mankind. From above, the spiritual forces come down; from below the forces of understanding, the forces of knowledge, must ascend. It may be said that Ludwig Feuerbach found the characteristic way to express himself when he said that an eclipse in the sun of the soul would have to begin were thoughts no longer to be thought, but that beings of Uranus, Venus, Saturn, and so on, were to play in—in other words, the higher hierarchies. Then would come an eclipse of the spirit of which these people have a dreadful fear. This Eclipse of the spirit not, however, brought about by heavenly beings—their desire is to bring their light to man. The darkness has come about through men entering into connection with Ahriman, when, surrounding themselves with a cloud, an aura of fear, they have sought to make good their attack against the oncoming of the spiritual world. We can see by this that the darkening has been the work of man; and we must say further that man has made more and more use of this darkening, of this obscuring, of a free knowledge that opens itself to the radiant light of the spirit

This is what men have prepared for themselves; and by this it can be seen how, in the course of the nineteenth century, a certain love has arisen, a certain sympathy, for all thoughts which are without sequence and quickly disposed of—for everything, indeed, which does not have to be thoroughly thought out. A preference, a sympathy, has arisen for everything for which no definite conclusion is desired. A cognition and thinking that are unprejudiced and free of hypotheses has become increasingly unpopular; hence we cannot wonder, if in public life this love of the nebulous, the vague, the thoughts that are incomplete, has taken on a morally unsound character. While this character finds favour, however, sympathy for the life of thought becomes dull, and this then has its effect on general conduct. From this, into the physical body. Thereby the activity of the etheric body is held up in the glands and rays back, making perceptible what is not perceptible to the brain. By this means thoughts can be perceived that the brain does not perceive; but all the same it remains a subordinate activity.

You see how it is possible to make a sharp distinction between what are called head-clairvoyance and the clairvoyance of the abdomen. It may be that you will ask: How can I decide which of these two I am develoiping? We can only say that head-clairvoyance will always be obtained when, in this present cycle of mankind, it is really sought on the path specified, namely, through meditation and concentration, and when everything on this path is developed. Abdominal clairvoyance is something that does not come from following this path. It rests on the glandular system being perceived, and this can happen in life through various kinds of abnormal conditions.  There is less effort in becoming an abdominal clairvoyant, because to a certain extent this comes of itself; whereas head-clairvoyance has in the strictest sense of word—to be acquired.

Therefore when clairvoyance arises of itself it is best not to say that one is divinely favoured by being given something which has not been earned; it is best to distrustful. It is possible to give examples of ways in which abdominal clairvoyance can arise. The only way in which head-clairvoyance comes about is by one’s rising to certain stages in the development of initiation through diligent and regular meditation and concentration. Where abdominal clairvoyance concerned I will—because in a rather different sense to our previous reference it is not without danger to speak of these things—mention one of the most harmless occasions for becoming clairvoyant.

Let us suppose that a man grows up in circumstances such as early develop in his soul the desire to become in ordinary physical life a very big gun indeed—Privy Councillor, shall we say, or something of the kind. Thus, let us suppose that this desire arises in life very early. When anything like this is wished for it means that one is ambitious. This ambition lives in the desire-nature, and in the desire-nature it can burn—burn terribly. The man is not aware of wanting to be a Privy Councillor, but it burns in his desire and with this burning desire he goes through the world, growing up in company with it. Hence it happens that his desires does not always enter his physical organization as it should. Something is in disorder. If anyone becomes a Privy Councillor this doesn’t make him an abdominal clairvoyant; but it is possible for him to become so if, wishing to be a Privy Councillor and not becoming one, he goes through the world full of this burning ambition which gradually devours him. This desire, however, must be very strong. I can say all this because there is no one among us pining to be a Privy Counsillor.

When this desire continues to feed in this way, it remains hidden in the organism; the glandular system becomes inured to throwing back the desire and through the reflected desire it is possible to become clairvoyant. It is also possible that, if this man lives at number 13 Schunhauserallee, Berlin, and someone else living at number 23 becomes a Privy Councillor, our man perceives the event by means of this specially developed clairvoyance. This comes from his glandular system having been made particularly receptive by his inherent desire to be a Privy Councillor. And when some other man becomes something else of approximately the same kind, he will develop for such things a delicate, intensive clairvoyance. This clairvoyance usually develops in a certain sphere.  Since you know that there are other desires in life besides my harmless example of wishing to be a Privy Councillor, you will understand by what desires the various forms and spheres of this clairvoyance can be awakened. For these desires stream into the organism because during physical life they are unsatisfied. You will therefore see by what desires abdominal clairvoyance can be promoted; it is always bred through desire though this is not in every case perceived. In the burning desire that is reflected back the events are mirrored which can then be perceived in the etheric body.

It is now possible for you to have a more real insight into the deeper connection between the clairvoyance of the head and that of the abdomen. We need all this because it is related to what I propose to deal with tomorrow.