61463114 theosophy-rudolph-steiner-1910-247pgs-spt
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5
×
 

61463114 theosophy-rudolph-steiner-1910-247pgs-spt

on

  • 547 views

 

Statistics

Views

Total Views
547
Views on SlideShare
547
Embed Views
0

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
5
Comments
0

0 Embeds 0

No embeds

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Adobe PDF

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

61463114 theosophy-rudolph-steiner-1910-247pgs-spt 61463114 theosophy-rudolph-steiner-1910-247pgs-spt Document Transcript

  • THEOSOPHY
  • THEOSOPHYAN INTRODUCTION TO THE SUPERSENSIBLE KNOWLEDGE OF THE WORLD AND THE DESTINATION OF MAN BY RUDOLF STEINER TRANSLATED WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR FROM THE THIRD GERMAN EDITION BY E . D . S.RAND McNALLY & COMPANY, PUBLISHERS CHICAGO I 9 I0 NEW YORK
  • Copyright, rgro,By RAND, MCNALLY & COMPANY .
  • CONTENTS PAGETranslators Foreword ixPreface to the First Edition xiPreface to the Third Edition xvIntroduction ICHAPTER I. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING . . . 9 I. THE CORPOREAL BEING OF MAN 15 2. THE SOUL BEING OF MAN 18 3. THE SPIRITUAL BEING OF MAN 20 4. BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT . . . 22 II . RE-EMBODIMENT OF THE SPIRIT AND DESTINY . . 59 RE-INCARNATION AND KARMA 59 [II . THE THREE WORLDS . . . 87 I. THE SOUL WORLD . . . . 87 2. THE SOUL IN THE SOUL WORLD AFTER DEATH 1o9 3. THE SPIRIT-LAND . . . 129 4. THE SPIRIT IN THE SPIRIT-LAND AFTER DEATH . . . . 141 5. THE PHYSICAL WORLD AND ITS CON- NECTION WITH THE SOUL AND SPIRIT-LANDS 161 6. THOUGHT-FORMS AND THE HUMAN AURA . . . . 178 IV. THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 195Notes and Amplifications . 225 V11
  • TRANSLATORS FOREWORD IT is significant of the movement of thoughtin our time that, although the previous worksof Rudolf Steiner, Ph .D . Vienna, such ashis penetrating and suggestive "ErkenntnissTheorie" (Theory of Knowledge), his worksin the field of philosophy such as "Wahrheitand Wissenschaft" (Truth and Science), andhis volumes on the natural science of Goethe,are well known in Germany, it is another classof books by him, "Die Mystik" (Mysticism),"Das Christentum als Mystische Tatsache"(Christianity as a Fact in Mysticism), andhis distinctively theosophic writings, whichare the first to be called for by foreign readersin their own language. This work, though now appearing for thefirst time in English dress, has not only passedinto three editions in Germany, but has beentranslated into Russian, Swedish, Dutch,Czechish, and Italian, while a French trans-lation is being prepared . It were perhaps well to mention that in ix
  • x TRANSLATORS FOREWORDthis work the words "know" and "knowledge,"when used in reference to the supersensibleworlds, involve actual experience of themgained by man through his higher organs ofperception . The names chosen by the author to describethe higher bodies of man, and other theosophicfacts, have been, as far as possible, retainedhere. Readers will find that they revert withprimitive strength to the ancient power ofnames, and are word pictures and alsomnemonics of what they represent . They thusconstitute distinct forces too valuable to bewithheld from the English reading public . Grateful acknowledgment must be expressedhere to I. M . M. for her chivalrous help-which indeed made this translation possible-and to others who have rendered invaluableand willing assistance. E. D. S.
  • PREFACE TO THE FIRST EDITION THIS book will give a description of some ofthe regions of the supersensible world . Thereader who is willing to admit the existenceof the sensible world only will regard thisdelineation as a mere unreal production of theimagination. He, however, who looks forpaths that lead beyond this world of the senseswill soon learn to understand that human lifeonly gains in worth and significance throughsight into another world . Such a man will not,as many fear, be estranged from the "real"world through this new power of vision . Foronly through it does he learn to stand fast andfirm in this life . He learns to know the CAUSESof life, while without it he gropes like a blindman through their EFFECTS. Only through theunderstanding of the supersensible does thesensible "real" acquire meaning . One there-fore becomes more, and not less, fit for lifethrough this understanding. Only he who xi
  • xii PREFACEunderstands life can become a truly practicalman . The author of this book describes nothingto which he cannot bear witness from experi-ence, that kind of experience which one has inthese regions . Only that which in this sensehas been personally experienced will be dealtwith . One cannot read this book as one is accus-tomed ordinarily to read books at the presentday. In certain respects every page, and evenmany a sentence, will have to be WORKED OUTby the reader. This has been intentionallyaimed at . For only in this way can the bookbecome to the reader what it ought to become .He who merely reads it through will not haveread it at all . Its truths must be experienced,lived . Only in this sense has theosophy anyvalue . The book cannot be judged from the stand-point of science if the point of view adoptedin forming such a judgment is not gained fromthe book itself . If the critic will adopt thispoint of view, he will certainly see that thepresentation of the facts given in this book willin no way conflict with the truly scientific
  • PREFACEmethods. The author is satisfied that he hasbeen on the alert not to come into conflict withhis own scientific scrupulousness, even by asingle word . Those who feel more drawn to anothermethod of searching after the truths here setforth will find one in my "Philosophie derFreiheit" (Philosophy of Freedom), Berlin,1892. The lines of thought taken in these twobooks, though different, lead to the same goal .For the understanding of the one the other isby no means necessary, although undoubtedlyhelpful for some persons. He who looks for "ultimate" truths in thisbook will, perhaps, lay it aside unsatisfied .The primary intention of the author has beento give the FUNDAMENTAL TRUTHS underlyingthe whole domain of theosophy . It lies in thevery nature of man to ask at once about thebeginning and the end of the world, the pur-pose of existence, and the nature and being ofGod. Anyone, however, who looks, not formere phrases and concepts for the INTELLECT,but for a real understanding of life, knows thatin a work which deals with the elements ofwisdom, things MAY not be said which belong
  • xiv PREFACEto the higher stages of wisdom . It is, indeed,only through a comprehension of these ele-ments that it becomes clear how higher ques-tions should be asked . In another work form-ing a continuation of this one, namely, in theauthors "Die Geheimwissenscha f t im Umriss"(An Outline of Occult Science), further par-ticulars on the subject here dealt with will befound.
  • PREFACE TO THE THIRD EDITION ON the appearance of the second edition ofthis book occasion was taken to preface a fewremarks which may also be said with regardto this third edition . "Amplifications andextensions," which seem to me important forthe more exact description of what is beingpresented, have again been inserted ; but in nocase have essential alterations of what was con-tained in the first and second editions seemednecessary . What was said on the first appear-ance of the book regarding its aim, and whatwas added to this in the second edition, alsorequire, at present, no alteration . In the pref-ace to the second edition the following sup-plementary remarks were inserted . Anyone who at the present time gives adescription of supersensible facts ought to bequite clear on two points . The first is that ourage REQUIRES the cultivation of the differentbranches of supersensible knowledge . The xv
  • xvi PREFACEother is that the intellectual and spiritual lifeof the day is full of ideas and feelings whichmake such a description appear to many anabsolute chaos of fantastic notions and dreams .The present age requires knowledge of thesupersensible because all that a man can cometo know by current methods about the worldand life arouses in him numerous questionswhich can only be answered by means of super-sensible truths . For one ought not to deceiveoneself in regard to the fact that the informa-tion concerning the fundamental truths ofexistence given within the intellectual andspiritual currents of to-day is, for the souls thatfeel deeply, a source not of answers but ofQUESTIONS regarding the great problems ofthe universe and of life . Some people may,for a time, hold firmly to the opinion that theycan find a solution of the problems of existencewithin the "results of strictly scientific facts,"and within the conclusions of this or thatthinker of the day . But when the soul goesinto those depths into which it must go if it isto understand itself, what at first seemed tobe a solution becomes evident as being only theincentive to the true question . And an answer
  • PREFACE xviito THIS question is not intended to be broughtforward merely as a response to human curios-ity ; on it, rather, depend the inner calm andcompleteness of the soul life . The attainmentof such an answer does not satisfy merely thethirst for knowledge ; it makes a man capableof practical work and fitted for the duties oflife, while the lack of a solution of these ques-tions lames his soul, and finally his body also .In fact, the knowledge of the supersensible isnot merely something that meets a theoreticalrequirement ; it supplies a method for leadinga truly practical life . Exactly on account ofthe nature of the intellectual and spiritual lifeof the present time, therefore, theosophy is adomain of knowledge indispensable for ourage. On the other hand, it is an evident fact thatmany to-day reject most strongly what theymost sorely need . The dominating influenceexercised by many theories built up on thebasis of "exact scientific experience" is so greaton some people that they cannot do otherwisethan regard the contents of a book like this asa boundless absurdity. The exponent of super-sensible truths can view such facts entirely
  • xvm PREFACEfree from any illusions . People will certainlybe prone to demand from him that he shouldgive "irrefutable proofs" for what he states .But they do not realize that in doing this theyare the victims of a misconception, for theydemand, although unconsciously, not theproofs lying within the things themselves, butthose which they personally are willing to rec-ognize or are in a condition to recognize . Theauthor of this work knows that it contains noth-ing that any person taking his stand on thebasis of the natural science of the present daywill be unable to accept. He knows that allthe requirements of natural science can be com-plied with, and FOR THIS VERY REASON themethod adopted here of presenting the factsof the supersensible world supplies its ownjustification . In fact, the manner in which atrue natural science approaches and deals witha subject is the very one in full harmony withthis presentation . And anyone accustomed tothink in that manner will be moved by many adiscussion to feel in the way characterized inGoethes deep and true saying, "A false teach-ing does not offer any opening to refutation,for it is, in fact, based on the conviction that
  • PREFACE xixthe false is true." Discussions are fruitlesswith those who allow only such proofs to weighwith them as fit in with their own manner ofthinking . He who knows the true essence ofwhat is called "proving" a matter sees clearlythat the human soul finds truth by other waysthan discussion. It is with these thoughts inmind that the author hands over this book forpublication in its second edition . Unfortunately, too long a time has elapsedbetween the date at which the second editionwas exhausted and the appearance of this thirdedition . Pressing work of other kinds, in thedomain to which this book is devoted, delayedthe author in the examination he wished to giveto the book, and prevented its appearing assoon as he had hoped . RUDOLF STEINER . 2
  • THEOSOPHY INTRODUCTION WHEN JOHANN GOTTLIEB FICHTE, in theautumn of 1813, gave to the world his "Intro-duction to the Science of Knowledge" as theripe fruit of a life wholly devoted to the serv-ice of truth, he said, at the very beginning :"This science presupposes an entirely newinner sense organ or instrument, by means ofwhich there is revealed a new world whichdoes not exist for the ordinary man ." And heproceeded to give the following comparisonto show how incomprehensible this doctrine ofhis must be when judged by means of concep-tions founded on the ordinary senses : "Thinkof a world of people born blind, who thereforeknow only those objects and relations whichexist through the sense of touch . Go amongthem and speak to them of colors and the other I
  • a THEOSOPHYrelations which exist only through light andfor the sense of sight . Either you convey noth-ing to their minds, and this is the more fortu-nate if they tell you so, for you will in that wayquickly notice the mistake and, if unable toopen their eyes, will cease the useless speak-ing. . . ." Now those who speak to peopleabout such things as Fichte deals with in thisinstance find themselves only too often in aposition like that of a man who can see amongthe born blind . But these are things that referto mans true being and highest goal, and tobelieve it necessary "to cease the useless speak-ing" would amount to despairing of humanity .On the contrary, one should not for onemoment doubt the possibility of opening theeyes of everyone to these things, provided thathe is in earnest in the matter . On this suppo-sition have all those written and spoken whofelt that within themselves the "inner sense-instrument" had grown by which they wereable to know the true nature and being of man,which is hidden from the outer senses . Thisis why from the most ancient times such a"Hidden Wisdom" has been again and againspoken of . Those who have grasped some-
  • INTRODUCTION 3thing of it feel just as sure of their possessionas people with normal eyes feel sure that theypossess the conception of color . For them this"Hidden Wisdom" requires no "proof ."They know also that it requires no proof forany other person who, like themselves, hasunfolded the "higher sense ." Such a one canspeak as a traveler can about America to peo-ple who have not themselves seen that country,but who can form a conception of it becausethey would see all that he has seen if the oppor-tunity presented itself to them . But not only to such has the investigator ofthe higher truth to speak . He must addresshis words to all mankind . For he has to makeknown things that concern all humanity .Indeed he knows that without a knowledge ofthese things no one can, in the true sense of theword, be a "human being ." And he speaks toall mankind because he knows that there aredifferent grades of understanding for what hehas to say. He knows that even those who arestill far from the moment in which they willthemselves be capable of spiritual investiga-tion can bring a certain measure of under-standing to meet him . For the FEELING for
  • 4 THEOSOPHYtruth and the power of UNDERSTANDING it isinherent in EVERY human being . And to thisUNDERSTANDING, which can flash forth inevery healthy soul, he in the first placeaddresses himself . He also knows that in thisUNDERSTANDING there is a force which, littleby little, must lead to the higher grades ofKNOWLEDGE . This feeling, which perhaps atfirst sees NOTHING AT ALL of that which is toldit, is itself the magician which opens the "eyeof the spirit." In darkness this feeling stirs ;the soul does not SEE, but through this feelingit is seized by the POWER of THE TRUTH ; andthen the truth will gradually draw nearer tothe soul and open in it the "higher sense ."For one person it may take a longer, foranother a shorter time, but everyone who haspatience and endurance reaches this goal . Foralthough not every physical eye can be oper-ated on, EVERY SPIRITUAL EYE can be opened,and when it will be opened is only a questionof time . Erudition and scientific training are notessential to the unfolding of this "highersense ." It can be developed in the simple-minded person just as in the scientist of high
  • INTRODUCTION 5standing . Indeed, what is often called at thepresent time "the only true science" can, forthe attainment of this goal, be a hindrancerather than a help . For this science too oftenpermits to be considered "real" only what isperceptible to the ordinary senses . And how-ever great its merit is in regard to the knowl-edge of THAT reality, it creates at the sametime a mass of prejudices which close theapproach to higher realities . In objection to what is said here it is oftenbrought forward that "insurmountable limits"have been once and forever set to humanknowledge, and that, since one cannot passbeyond these limits, all branches of investiga-tion and knowledge which do not take theminto account must be rejected . And a personwho wishes to make assertions about thingswhich many regard as proved to lie beyondthe limits that have been set to human capac-ities of knowledge, is looked upon as highlypresumptuous . Those who make such objec-tions entirely disregard the fact that a DEVEL-OPMENT of the human powers of knowledgehas to precede the higher knowledge . Whatlies beyond the limits of knowledge BEFORE
  • 6 THEOSOPHYsuch a development is, after the awakening offaculties slumbering in each human being,entirely WITHIN the realm of knowledge. Onepoint in this connection must, indeed, not beneglected . One could say, "Of what use is itto speak to people about things for which theirpowers of knowledge are not yet awakened,and which are therefore still closed to them?"But that is also the wrong way to look at it .One requires certain faculties to FIND OUT thethings referred to ; but if, after having beenfound out, they are made known, EVERY PER-SON can understand who is willing to bring tobear upon them unprejudiced logic and ahealthy instinct for truth . In this book thethings made known are of no other kind thansuch as can produce the impression thatthrough them the riddle of human life and thephenomena of the world find a satisfyingexplanation . This it can do on anyone whoallows thinking that looks at all sides of a sub-ject and is unclouded by prejudice, and a feel-ing for truth that is free, and sets no reserves,to take effect . Let one merely place himself inthe attitude of asking, "If the things that areasserted here are true, do they afford a satisfy-
  • INTRODUCTION 7ing explanation of life?" and one will find that the life of each human being supplies the con- firmation. In order to be a "teacher" in these higher regions of existence, it is by no means sufficientthat a person has developed the sense for them . For that purpose "science" is necessary, just asmuch as it is necessary for the teachers callingin the region of ordinary reality . "Higherseeing" alone makes a "knower" in the spiritualjust as little as healthy sense organs make a"scholar" in regard to the sensible realities .And because in truth ALL reality, the lowerand the higher spiritual, are only two sides ofone and the same fundamental essence, anyonewho is unlearned in the lower branches ofknowledge will as a rule remain so in regardto the higher . This fact creates a feeling ofresponsibility that is immeasurable in himwho, by a spiritual call, is destined to be ateacher in the spiritual regions of existence .It creates in him humility and reservedness .But it should deter no one from occupyinghimself with the higher truths, not even himwhose other circumstances of life afford noopportunity for the study of ordinary science.
  • 8 THEOSOPHYFor one can, indeed, fulfill ones task as ahuman being without understanding anythingof botany, zoology, mathematics, and othersciences ; but one cannot, in the full sense ofthe word, be a "human" being without having,in some way or other, come near to a percep-tion of the nature and destination of manrevealed in the "Higher Wisdom ." The highest to which a man is able to lookup he calls the "Divine." And he has in someway or other to bring his highest destinationinto connection with this Divinity . For thisreason the higher wisdom which reveals to himhis own being, and with it his destination, mayvery well be called "Divine Wisdom," orTHEOSOPHY . From the point of view here indicated therewill be sketched in this book an outline of thetheosophical interpretation of the universe .The writer of it will present nothing that isnot a FACT for him, in the same sense as anexperience of the outer world is a fact for eyesand ears and the ordinary intelligence . Indeed,experiences will be dealt with which becomeaccessible to each person who is determined totread the "path of knowledge" described in aspecial section of this work .
  • CHAPTER I THE CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING THE following words of Goethes describe,in a beautiful manner, the starting point ofone of the ways by which the constitution ofman can be known : "When a person firstbecomes aware of the objects surrounding him,he observes them in relation to himself, andrightly so, for his whole fate depends onwhether they please or displease him, attractor repel, help or harm him . This quite naturalway of looking at and judging things appearsto be as easy as it is necessary. Nevertheless,a person is exposed through it to a thousanderrors which often cause him shame andembitter his life . A far more difficult task dothose undertake whose keen desire for knowl-edge urges them to strive to observe the objectsof nature in themselves and in their relationsto each other, for they soon miss the gaugewhich helped them when they, as persons, 9
  • To THEOSOPHYregard the objects in reference to THEMSELVESpersonally. They lack the gauge of pleasureand displeasure, attraction and repulsion, use-fulness and harmfulness ; this gauge they haveto renounce entirely . They should, as dispas-sionate and, so to speak, divine beings, seek andexamine what is, and not what gratifies . Thusthe true botanist should not be affected eitherby the beauty or by the usefulness of the plants .He has to study their structure and their rela-tion to the rest of the vegetable kingdom ; andjust as they are one and all enticed forth andshone upon by the sun, so should he with anequable, quiet glance look at and survey themall and obtain the gauge for this knowledge,the data for his deductions, not out of himself,but from within the circle of things which heobserves ." The thought thus expressed by Goethedirects attention to three kinds of things .First, the objects concerning which informa-tion continually flows to man through thedoors of his senses, those that he touches, smells,tastes, hears, and sees . Second, the impressionswhich these make on him, and which recordthemselves as his pleasure and displeasure, his
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING i idesire or abhorrence, according as he finds oneharmonious, another inharmonious, one useful,another harmful . Third, the knowledge andthe experiences which he, as a so-to-speak"divine being," gains concerning the objects-the secrets of their activities and their beingwhich unveil themselves to him . These three regions are distinctly separate inhuman life . And man thereby becomes awarethat he is interwoven with the world in a three-fold way . The first way is something that hefinds present and accepts as a given fact .Through the second way he makes the worldinto his own affair, into something that has asignificance for himself . The third way heregards as a goal toward which he has unceas-ingly to strive . Why does the world appear to man in thisthreefold way? The simplest considerationwill explain that . I cross a meadow coveredwith flowers . The flowers make their colorsknown to me through my eyes . That is thefact which I accept as given . I rejoice in thesplendor of the colors . Through this I turnthe fact into an affair of my own . By meansof my feelings I link the flowers with my own
  • 12 THEOSOPHYexistence . A year after I go again over thesame meadow . Other flowers are there . Newjoy arises in me through them . My joy of theformer year will appear as a memory . It is inme ; the object which aroused it in me is gone .But the flowers which I now see are of thesame species as those I saw the year before ;they have grown in accordance with the samelaws as did the others . If I have enlightenedmyself regarding this species and these laws,I find them again in the flowers of this year asI recognized them in those of the former year .And I shall perhaps muse as follows : "Theflowers of last year are gone ; my joy in themremains only in my remembrance . It is boundup with MY existence alone . That, however,which I recognized in the flowers of the formeryear and recognize again this year, will remainas long as such flowers grow . That is some-thing that revealed itself to me, but which isnot dependent on my existence in the same wayas my joy is . My feelings of joy remain in me ;the laws, the BEING of the flowers, remain out-side of me in the world." Man continually links himself in this three-fold way with the things of the world . One
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 1 3should not for the time being read anythinginto this fact, but merely take it as it presentsitself . It makes it evident that man has THREESIDES TO HIS NATURE . This and nothing elsewill for the present be indicated here by thethree words BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT. He whoconnects any preconceived meanings, or evenhypotheses, with these three words will neces-sarily misunderstand the following explana-tions . By BODY is here meant that by which thethings in the environment of a man revealthemselves to him, as in the example just cited,the flowers of the meadow . By the word SOULis signified that by which he links the things tohis own being, through which he experiencespleasure and displeasure, desire and aversion,joy and sorrow . By SPIRIT is meant that whichbecomes manifest in him when, as Goethe ex-pressed it, he looks at things as "a so-to-speakdivine being ." In this sense the human beingconsists of BODY, SOUL, and SPIRIT. Through his body man is able to place him-self for the time being in connection with thethings ; through his soul he retains in himselfthe impressions which they make on him ;through his spirit there reveals itself to him
  • 14 THEOSOPHYwhat the things retain in themselves . Onlywhen one observes man in these three aspectscan one hope to gain light on his whole being .For these three aspects show him to be relatedin a threefold way to the rest of the world . Through his body he is related to the objectswhich present themselves to his senses fromwithout. The materials from the outer worldcompose this body of his ; and the forces of theouter world work also in it. And just as heobserves the things of the outer world with hissenses, he can also observe his own bodily exist-ence. But it is impossible to observe the soulexistence in the same way . All occurrencesconnected with my body can be perceived withmy bodily senses . My likes and dislikes, myjoy and pain, neither I nor anyone else canperceive with bodily senses . The region of thesoul is one which is inaccessible to bodily per-ception . The bodily existence of a man ismanifest to all eyes ; the soul existence he car- ries within himself as HIS world. Through the SPIRIT, however, the outer world is revealed to him in a higher way . The mysteries of the outer world, indeed, unveil themselves in his inner being ; but he steps in spirit out of him-
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 15self and lets the things speak about themselves,about that which has significance not for himbut for THEM . Man looks up at the starryheavens ; the delight his soul experiencesbelongs to him ; the eternal laws of the starswhich he comprehends in thought, in SPIRIT,belong not to him but to the stars themselves . Thus man is citizen of THREE WORLDS .Through his BODY he belongs to the worldwhich he perceives through his body ; throughhis SOUL he constructs for himself his ownworld ; through his SPIRIT a world revealsitself to him which is exalted above both theothers . It is evident that because of the essentialdifferences of these three worlds, one canobtain a clear understanding of them and ofmans share in them only by means of threedifferent modes of observation . I. THE CORPOREAL BEING OF MAN One learns to know the body of manthrough the bodily senses . And the way ofobserving it can differ in no way from thatby which one learns to know other objects per-ceived by the senses . As one observes min- 3
  • i6 THEOSOPHYerals, plants, animals, so can one observe manalso. He is related to these three forms ofexistence . Like the minerals he builds hisbody out of the materials in nature ; like theplants he grows and propagates his species ;he perceives the objects around him and, likethe animals, forms on the basis of the impres-sions they make his inner experiences . Onemay therefore ascribe to man a mineral, aplant, and an animal existence . The difference in the structure of minerals,plants, and animals corresponds with thesethree forms of existence . And it is this struc-ture, this shape which one perceives throughthe senses, and which alone one can call body .But the human body is different from that ofthe animal . This difference everybody mustrecognize whatever may be his opinion in otherrespects regarding the relationship of man toanimals. Even the most radical materialistwho denies all soul will not be able to avoidagreeing with the following sentence whichCarus utters in his "Organon der Natur anddes Geistes" : "The finer, inner construction ofthe nervous system, and especially of the brain,remains as yet an unsolved problem to the
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING i7physiologist and the anatomist ; but that thisconcentration of the structure increases moreand more in the animal, and in man reaches astage unequaled in any other being, is a fullyestablished fact, a fact which is of the deepestsignificance in regard to the spiritual evolu-tion of man, of which, indeed, we may franklysay it is a sufficient explanation . Where,therefore, the structure of the brain hasnot developed properly, where its smallnessand poverty show themselves, as in the case ofmicrocephali and idiots, it goes without say-ing that one can as little expect the appearanceof original ideas and of knowledge, as one canexpect propagation of species in persons withcompletely stunted organs of generation . Onthe other hand, a strong and beautiful con-struction of the whole person, especially of thebrain, will certainly not in itself take the placeof genius, but it will at any rate supply the firstand indispensable requirement for higherknowledge ." Just as one ascribes to the hu-man body the three forms of existence, min-eral, plant, animal, one must now ascribe to ityet a fourth, the distinctively HUMAN form .Through his mineral form of existence man
  • THEOSOPHY related to everything visible, through his Cant- like form of existence to all beings thatgrow and propagate their species, through hisanimal existence to all those that perceive theirsurroundings, and by means of external im-pressions have inner experiences . Throughhis human form of existence he constitutes,even in regard to his body alone, a kingdomby himself . 2. THE SOUL BEING OF MAN The soul being of man differs from his cor-porality through being his own inner world .This inner world peculiar to each person facesone the moment one directs ones attention tothe simplest sensation . One finds, in the firstplace, that no one can know if another personperceives even the simplest sensation inexactly the same way as one does oneself . Itis known that there are people who are color-blind. They see things only in differentshades of gray . Others are partially color-blind. They are unable, because of this, toperceive certain shades of colors. The pic-ture of the world which their eyes give them isdifferent from that of so-called normal per-
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING i9sons . And the same holds good in regard to the other senses . It will be seen, therefore,without further elaboration, that even simplesensations belong to the inner world . I canperceive with my bodily senses the red tablewhich another person also perceives ; but Icannot perceive his sensation of red . Onemust therefore describe sensation as belongingto the SOUL . If one grasps this fact alonequite clearly, he will soon cease to regard innerexperiences AS MERE brain processes or some-thing similar . The first result of sensation isFEELING . One sensation causes man pleasure,another displeasure. These are stirrings ofhis inner, his soul life. Man creates in hisfeelings a second world in addition to thatwhich works on him from without . And athird is added to this-the will . Through itman reacts on the outer world . And hethereby stamps the impress of his inner beingon the outer world . The soul of man, as itwere, flows outward in the activities of hiswill . The actions of the human being differfrom the occurrences of outer nature in thatthey bear the impress of his inner life . In thisway the SOUL represents what is mans own in
  • 2o THEOSOPHYcontradistinction to the outer world . Hereceives from the outer world the incitements ;but he creates, in responding to these incite-ments, a world of his own . The corporalitybecomes the foundation of the soul being ofman. 3. THE SPIRITUAL BEING OF MAN The soul being of man is not determined bythe body alone. Man does not wander aim-lessly and without a goal from one sensation toanother ; neither does he act under the influ-ence of every casual incitement directed onhim either from without or through the pro-cesses of his body . He THINKS about hisperceptions and his acts . By thinking abouthis perceptions he gains knowledge of things ;by thinking about his acts he introduces a rea-sonable coherence into his life . He knowsalso that he will fulfill his duty as a humanbeing only when he lets himself be guidedby CORRECT THINKING in knowledge as wellas in acts . The soul of man, therefore, facesa twofold necessity. The laws of the bodygovern it in accordance with the necessities ofnature, but it allows itself to be governed by
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 21the laws which guide it to exact thinkingbecause it voluntarily acknowledges theirnecessity . Nature subjects man to the laws ofthe change of matter, but he subjects himselfto the laws of thought . By this means hemakes himself a member of a higher orderthan that to which he belongs through his body .And this order is the SPIRITUAL . The soul isas different from the body as the body is differ-ent from the soul . So long as one speaks onlyof the particles of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen,and oxygen which stir in the body, one has notthe soul in view . The soul life begins onlywhen within the motion of these particles sen-sation arises, and one can say : "I taste sweet-ness" or "I feel pleasure." Just as little hasone the SPIRITUAL in view when one considersmerely the soul experiences which coursethrough a man who gives himself over entirelyto the outer world and his bodily life . Ratheris this soul life merely the basis for the spirit-ual, just as the body is the basis of the soul life .The naturalist, or investigator of nature, hasto do with the body, the investigator of thesoul (the psychologist) with the soul, and theinvestigator of the spirit with the SPIRIT. To
  • 22 THEOSOPHYrealize what one is in oneself, and thus becomeclear as to the difference between body, soul,and spirit, is a requirement which must bedemanded from those who wish by thinkingto enlighten themselves regarding the consti-tution of man . 4. BODY, SOUL, AND SPIRIT Man can enlighten himself in a correct wayconcerning himself only when he grasps thesignificance of THINKING within his being .The brain is the bodily instrument for think-ing. Just as man can only see colors with aproperly constructed eye, so the suitably con-structed brain serves him for thought . Thewhole body of man is so formed that it receivesits crown in the organ of the spirit, the brain .One can understand the construction of thehuman brain only by observing it in relationto its task, which consists in being the instru-ment or tool for the thinking spirit . This isborne out by a comparative survey of the ani-mal world . Among amphibians we find thebrain small in comparison with the spinalcord, in mammals it is proportionately larger,in man it is largest in comparison with the
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 23rest of the body . There are many prejudicesprevalent regarding such statements aboutTHINKING as are brought forward here .Many persons are inclined to undervalueTHINKING, and to place higher the "warm lifeof feeling" or "emotion ." Some, indeed, sayit is not by "dry thinking" but by warmth offeeling, by the immediate power of "the emo-tions," that one raises oneself to higher knowl-edge . Persons who speak thus fear to bluntthe feelings by clear thinking . This certainlyresults from the ordinary thinking that refersonly to matters of utility . But in the case ofthoughts that lead to higher regions of exist-ence, the opposite is the result . There is nofeeling and no enthusiasm to be comparedwith the sentiments of warmth, beauty, andexaltation which are enkindled through thepure, crystal-clear thoughts which refer to thehigher worlds . For the highest feelings are,as a matter of fact, not those which come "ofthemselves," but those which are gained byenergetic and persevering thinking . The human body has a construction adaptedto THINKING . The same materials and forceswhich are present in the mineral kingdom are
  • 24 THEOSOPHYso combined in the human body that by meansof these combinations thought can manifestitself . This mineral construction, formed asa suitable instrument for its work, will becalled in the following pages the PHYSICALBODY of man. (In theosophical literature it iscalled "Sthula sharira .") This organized mineral construction withthe brain as its center comes into existence by .PROPAGATION, and reaches its developed formthrough GROWTH . Propagation and growthman has in common with plants and animals .Propagation and growth distinguish what isliving from the lifeless mineral . What livescomes forth from the living by means of thegerm. The descendant follows the fore-fathers in the succession of the living . Theforces through which a mineral originates wemust look for in the materials themselveswhich compose it. A quartz crystal is formedby the forces united in it, and inherent in thesilicon and oxygen . The forces which shapean oak tree we must look for in a roundaboutway in the germ in the mother and fatherplants . The FORM of the oak is preservedthrough propagation from forefathers to
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 25descendants . There are INNER DETERMININGFORCES INNATE in all that is living . It was acrude view of nature which held that loweranimals, even fishes, could evolve out of mud .The form of the living passes itself on bymeans of HEREDITY. The manner in which aliving being develops depends on what fatherand mother beings it has sprung from or, inother words, on the SPECIES to which itbelongs . The materials of which it is com-posed change continually ; the SPECIES remainsduring life, and is transmitted to the descend-ants . Thus the SPECIES is that which condi-tions the organizing and molding of thematerials . This species-forming force willhere be called LIFE-FORCE (in theosophical lit-erature it is called "Prana") . Just as themineral forces express themselves in crystals,so the life-force expresses itself in the speciesor form of plant and animal life . The mineral forces are perceived by man bymeans of the bodily senses . And he can onlyperceive that for which he has such senses.Without the eye there is no perception oflight, without the ear no perception of sound .The lowest order of organic beings has only a
  • 26 THEOSOPHYkind of sense of touch . For these there existonly those mineral forces of which the sense oftouch enables them to become aware . In pro-portion as the other senses are developed inthe higher animals is the surrounding worldricher and more varied for them . It depends,therefore, on the organs of a being whetherthat which exists in the outer world exists alsofor the being itself, as perception, as sensation .What is present in the air as a certain motionbecomes in man the sensation of hearing .Man does not perceive the manifestations ofthe life-force through the ordinary senses .He SEES the colors of the plants ; he SMELLStheir perfume ; the life-force remains hiddenfrom THIS form of observation . But the ordi-nary senses have just as little right to deny theexistence of the life-force as has the man bornblind to deny that colors exist . Colors arethere for the person born blind just as soon ashe has been operated upon ; in the same way,the life-force, as creating the various species ofplants and animals created by it, is presentto man as an object of perception as soon asthe necessary organ unfolds within him . Anentirely new world opens out to man through
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 27the unfolding of this organ . He now per-ceives, not merely the colors, the odors, etc .,of the beings, but THESE BEINGS THEM-SELVES . In each plant, in each animal, heperceives, besides the physical form, the LIFE-FILLED SPIRIT-FORM . In order to have a namefor this spirit-form let it be called the ETHER-BODY, or LIFE-BODY . To the investigator of spiritual life thismatter presents itself in the following manner :The ether-body is for him not merely a prod-uct of the materials and forces of the physicalbody, but a real independent entity which firstcalls forth these physical materials and forcesinto life. One speaks in harmony with spirit-ual science when one says : a mere physicalbody, a crystal for example, has its form bymeans of the physical formative forces dwell-ing within it. A living body does NOT haveits form by means of THESE forces, for in themoment in which life is extinct in it, and it isgiven over to the physical forces ONLY, it fallsto pieces . The ether-body is an organismwhich preserves the physical body everymoment during life from dissolution . Inorder to SEE this body, to perceive it in another
  • 28 THEOSOPHY being, one requires the awakened "SPIRITUAL EYE." Without this, one can accept its exist- ence as a fact on logical grounds ; but one can SEE it with the spiritual eye as one sees a colorwith the physical eye . One should not takeoffense at the expression "ether-body.""Ether" here designates something differentfrom the hypothetical ether of the physicist .One should regard the thing simply as a namefor what is described here . And just as thephysical body of man is constructed in con-formity with its set task, so is it also inconformity with the ether-body of man . Onecan understand it also only when one observesit in relation to the thinking spirit . The ether-body of man differs from that of plants andanimals through being organized so as to servethe requirements of the thinking spirit . Justas man belongs to the mineral world throughhis physical body, he belongs through hisether-body to the life-world . After death thephysical body dissolves into the mineralworld, the ether-body into the life-world . (Intheosophical literature the human ether-bodyis called "Linga sharira .") By the word"body" is designated what in any way gives a
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 29being "shape" or "form ." The word used inthis sense must not be confused with the wordbody when used to designate physically sensi-ble bodies . Used in this sense the term bodycan also be applied to forms which soul andspirit may assume. In the life-body we still have somethingexternal to man . With the first stirrings ofsensation the inner self responds to the excita-tions of the outer world . You may trace whatone is justified in calling the outer world everso far, but you will not be able to find the sen-sation. Rays of light stream into the eye, pene-trating till they reach the retina . There theycall forth chemical processes (in the so-calledvisual-purple) ; the effect of this stimulus ispassed on through the optic nerve to the brain ;there further physical processes arise . Couldone observe these one would see more physicalprocesses, just as elsewhere in the physicalworld. If I am able to observe the ether-body, I will see how the physical-brain processis at the same time a life-process . But the sen-sation of blue color which the recipient of therays of light has, I can find nowhere in thismanner . It arises only within the soul of the
  • 30 THEOSOPHYrecipient. If, therefore, the being of therecipient consisted only of the physical bodyand the ether-body, sensation could not exist .The activity by which sensation becomes a factdiffers essentially from the operations of thelife-force. By that activity an inner experi-ence is called forth from these operations .Without this activity there would be a merelife-process, such as one observes in plants . Ifone tries to picture how a human beingreceives impacts from all sides, one must thinkof him at the same time as the source of theabove-mentioned activity which streams outtoward every point from which he receivedthese impacts . Sensations respond in alldirections to the impacts . This fountain ofactivity is to be called the SENTIENT-SOUL . (It is the same as that which in theosophicalliterature is called "Kama .") This sentient-soul is just as real as the physical body. If aman stand before me and I disregard hissentient-soul by thinking of him as merely aphysical body, it is exactly as if I were to callup in my mind, instead of a painting-merelythe canvas . A similar statement has to be made in
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 31regard to perceiving the sentient-soul as waspreviously made in reference to the ether-body . The bodily organs are "blind" to it .And blind to it is also the organ by which lifeas life can be perceived . But just as the ether-body is seen by means of this organ, the innerworld of sensation itself can be seen througha still higher organ . A man then not onlysenses the impressions of the physical and lifeworlds, but he BEHOLDS the sensations them-selves. Before a man with such an organ theworld of the sensations of another being isspread out like an open and, for him, a legiblebook. One must distinguish between experi-encing ones own sensation world and lookingat the sensation world of another . Every manof course can see into his own sensation world ;only the SEER with the opened "spiritual eye"can SEE the sensation world of another .Unless a man be a seer he knows the sensationworld only as an "inner" one, only as thepeculiar hidden experiences of his own soul ;with the opened "spiritual eye" there shinesout before the external spiritual gaze whatotherwise lives only in the "inner" being ofanother. 4
  • 32 THEOSOPHY The sentient-soul depends, as regards itsactivity, on the ether-body because it drawsfrom it that which it will cause to gleam forthas sensation . And since the ether-body is thelife within the physical body, the sentient-soul is indirectly dependent on the latter .Only with correctly-functioning and well-constructed eyes are correct color sensationspossible . It is in this way that the corporalityaffects the sentient-soul . The latter is thusdetermined and limited in its efficaciousnessby the body. It lives therefore within thelimitations fixed for it by the corporality .The BODY accordingly is built up of mineralmaterials, is vitalized by the ether-body, anditself limits the sentient-soul . He, therefore,who has the above-mentioned organ for "see-ing" the sentient-soul, sees it limited by thebody. But the limits of the sentient-soul do not coincide with those of the physical body .The soul extends somewhat beyond it . By this one sees that it proves itself more power- ful than the physical body . But the force through which its limits are set proceeds from the physical body . So that between the phys- ical body and the ether-body on the one hand,
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 33and the sentient-soul on the other, there insertsitself another distinct member of the humanconstitution . This is the SOUL-BODY, or sentientbody . (It is called in theosophical literature"astral shape," or "Kama Rupa ;" "Rupa" sig-nifies form or shape .) One can also say : apart of the ether-body is finer than the rest,and this finer part of the ether-body forms aunity with the SENTIENT-SOUL, whereas thecoarser part forms a kind of unity with thephysical body. Nevertheless, the sentient-soul extends, as has been said, beyond the soul-body . What is here called sensation is only a partof the soul being . (The expression sentient-soul is chosen for the sake of simplicity .)Connected with sensations are the feelingsof desire and aversion, impulses, instincts, pas-sions . All this bears the same character ofindividualized life as do the sensations, and is,like them, dependent on the corporality . Just as the sentient-soul enters into mutualaction and reaction with the body, so does italso with thinking, with the spirit . Thought,among other things, is of immediate service toit. Man forms thoughts about his sensations .
  • 34 THEOSOPHYIn this way he enlightens himself regardingthe outside world . The child that has burntitself thinks it over, and reaches the thought"fire burns ." Also man does not followblindly his impulses, instincts, passions ; histhought over them brings about the opportu-nity by which he can gratify them . What onecalls material civilization moves entirely inthis direction . It consists in the serviceswhich thinking renders to the sentient-soul .Immeasureable quantities of thought-powerare directed to this end. It is thought-powerthat has built ships, railways, telegraphs, tele-phones ; and by far the greatest proportion ofall this serves only to satisfy the needs of thesentient-soul . Thought-force permeates thesentient-soul in a similar way to that in whichthe life-force permeates the physical body .Life-force connects the physical body withforefathers and descendants, and thus bringsit under a system of laws with which thepurely mineral body is in no way concerned.In the same way thought-force brings the soulunder a system of laws to which it does notbelong as mere sentient-soul . Through thesentient-soul man is related to the animals .
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 35 In animals, also, we observe the presence of sensations, impulses, instincts, and passions . But the animal obeys these immediately .They do not, in its case, become interwovenwith independent THOUGHTS, transcendingthe immediate experiences . This is also thecase to a certain extent with undevelopedhuman beings. The mere sentient-soul istherefore different from the evolved highermember of the soul which brings thinkinginto its service . This soul that is served bythought will be designated the intellectual-soul . One could call it also the emotionalthought-soul. (Theosophical literature callsit "Kama manas .") The intellectual-soul permeates the sentient-soul . He who has the organ for "seeing" thesoul sees, therefore, the intellectual-soul as aseparate entity, distinct from the mere sen-tient-soul . By thinking man is raised above and beyondhis own personal life . He acquires some-thing that extends beyond his soul . He comesto take for granted his conviction that thelaws of thought are in conformity with thelaws of the world . And he feels at home in
  • 36 THEOSOPHYthe world because this conformity exists . Thisconformity is one of the important factsthrough which man learns to know his ownnature . Man searches in his soul for truth ; andthrough this truth it is not only the soul thatspeaks, but the things of the world . Thatwhich is recognized as truth by means ofthought has an INDEPENDENT SIGNIFICANCE,which refers to the things of the world, andnot merely to ones own soul . -My delight inthe starry heavens is part of my own innerbeing ; the thoughts which I form for myselfabout the courses of the heavenly bodies havethe same significance for the thinking of everyother person as they have for mine . It wouldbe absurd to speak of MY delight were I not inexistence ; but it is not in the same way absurdto speak of my thoughts, even WITHOUT REF-ERENCE to myself . For the truth which Ithink to-day was true yesterday also, and willbe TRUE to-morrow, although I concern myselfwith it only to-day . If a piece of knowledge gives me joy, the joy has significance just so long as it lives in me . The TRUTH of the knowledge has its significance quite independ- ently of the joy . By grasping the truth the
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 37soul connects itself with something that carriesits worth in itself . And this worth does notvanish with the feeling in the soul any morethan it arose with it. What is really truthneither arises nor passes away ; it has a signifi-cance which cannot be destroyed . This is notcontradicted by the fact that certain human"truths" have a value which is transitory, inas-much as they are recognized after a certainperiod as partial or complete errors . Forman must say to himself that truth after allexists in itself, although HIS conceptions areonly transient forms of manifestation of theeternal truth . Even he who says, like Lessing,that he contents himself with the eternal striv-ing toward truth because the full pure truthcan, after all, only exist for a God, does notdeny the eternity of truth, but establishes itby such an utterance . For only that whichhas an eternal significance in itself can callforth an eternal striving after it . Were truthnot in itself independent, if it acquired itsworth and significance through the feelings ofthe human soul, THEN it could not be the ONECOMMON GOAL for all mankind . One con-
  • 38 THEOSOPHYcedes its INDEPENDENT BEING by the very factthat one wishes to strive after it . And as it is with the truth, so it is with theTRULY GOOD . The moral good is independentof inclinations and passions, inasmuch as itdoes not allow itself to be commanded bythem, but commands them . Likes and dislikes,desire and loathing belong to the personalsoul of man . Duty stands higher than likesand dislikes . Duty may stand so high in theeyes of a man that he will sacrifice his life forits sake . And a man stands the higher themore he has ennobled his inclinations, his likesand dislikes, so that, without compulsion orsubjection, they themselves obey the recog-nized duty. The moral good has, like truth,its eternal value in itself, and does not receiveit from the sentient-soul . In causing the self-existent true and goodto come to life in his inner being, man raiseshimself above the mere sentient-soul . Theeternal spirit shines into this soul . A light iskindled in it which is imperishable . In sofar as the soul lives in this light, it is a partici-pant, of the eternal . It unites its own exist-ence with an eternal existence . What the soul
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 39carries within itself of the true and the good isIMMORTAL in it. That which shines forth inthe soul as eternal is to be called here CON-SCIOUSNESS-SOUL. CONSCIOUSNESS can bespoken of even in connection with the lowersoul stirrings . The most ordinary everydaysensation is a matter of consciousness . To thisextent animals also have consciousness . Thekernel of human consciousness, that is, THESOUL WITHIN THE SOUL, is here meant by CON-SCIOUSNESS-SOUL . The consciousness-soul isaccordingly differentiated from the intellect-ual-soul as yet another distinct member of thehuman soul. The intellectual-soul is stillentangled in the sensations, the impulses, thepassions, etc . Everyone knows how at first aman holds that to be true which he, owing tohis feelings, prefers. Only THAT truth, how-ever, is PERMANENT which has freed itselffrom ALL taint of such feelings as sympathyand antipathy . The truth is true, even if allpersonal feelings revolt against it . The partof the soul in which THIS truth lives will becalled consciousness-soul . So that even as one had to distinguish threemembers in the body, one has also to distin-
  • 40 THEOSOPHYguish three in the soul ; SENTIENT-SOUL, INTEL-LECTUAL-SOUL, CONSCIOUSNESS-SOUL. And justas the corporality works from below upwardwith a LIMITING effect on the soul, so thespiritual works from above downward intoit, EXPANDING it. For the more the soul fillsitself with the True and the Good, the widerand the more comprehensive becomes theeternal in it. To him who is able to "see" thesoul, the splendor which goes out from ahuman being, because his eternal is expanding,is just as much a reality as the light whichstreams out from a flame is real to the physicaleye. For the "seer" the corporeal man is onlya part of the WHOLE MAN . The body as thecoarsest structure lies within others, whichinterpenetrate both it and each other . Theether-body fills the physical body as a doubleform ; extending beyond this on all sides is tobe seen the soul-body (astral shape) . Andbeyond this, again, extends the sentient-soul,then the intellectual-soul, which grows thelarger the more it receives into itself of theTrue and the Good . For this True and Goodcause the expansion of the intellectual-soul . Aman living only and entirely according to his
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 41inclinations, his likes and dislikes, would havean intellectual-soul whose limits coincide withthose of his sentient-soul . These organiza-tions, in the midst of which the physical bodyappears as if in a cloud, are called the HUMANAURA. In the course of the childhood of a humanbeing, there comes a moment in which, for thefirst time, he feels himself to be an independentbeing distinct from the whole of the rest of theworld . For persons with finely-strung naturesit is a significant experience . The poet JeanPaul says in his autobiography, "I shall neverforget the event which took place within me,hitherto narrated to no one, and of which Ican give place and time, when I stood presentat the birth of my self-consciousness . As a verysmall child I stood at the door of the houseone morning, looking toward the wood pileon my left, when suddenly the inner revelation`I am an I came to me like a flash of lightningfrom heaven and has remained shining eversince. In that moment my ego had seen itselffor the first time and forever . Any deceptionof memory is hardly to be conceived as possiblehere, for no narrations by outsiders could have
  • 42 THEOSOPHYintroduced additions to an occurrence whichtook place in the holy of holies of a humanbeing, and of which the novelty alone gavepermanence to such everyday surroundings ."It is known that little children say to them-selves, "Charles is good," "Mary wishes tohave this ." They speak of themselves as ifof others because they have not yet becomeconscious of their independent existence,because the consciousness of the self is not yetborn in them. Through self-consciousnessman describes himself as an independentbeing, separate from all others, as "I." In his"I" man brings together all that he experi-ences as a being in body and soul . Body andsoul are the carriers of the ego or "I ;" in themit acts. Just as the physical body has its centerin the brain, so has the soul its center in theego. Man is aroused to sensations by impactsfrom without ; feelings manifest themselves asthe effects of the outer world ; the will relatesitself to the outside world in that it realizesitself in external actions . The ego as thepeculiar and essential being of man remainsquite invisible . Excellently, therefore, doesJean Paul call a mans recognition of his ego
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 43an "occurrence taking place only in the veiledholy of holies of a man," for with his "I"man is quite alone . And this "I" is theman himself . That justifies him in regardinghis ego as his true being . He may, therefore,describe his body and his soul as the"SHEATHS" or "VEILS" within which he lives ;and he may describe them as his TOOLS throughwhich he acts . In the course of his evolutionhe learns to regard these tools ever more andmore as the servants of his ego . The littleword "I" (German ich) as it is used, forexample, in the English and German lan-guages, is a name which differs from all othernames. Anyone who reflects in an appropri-ate manner on the nature of this name willfind that it forms an avenue to the understand-ing of the human being in the deeper sense.Any other name can be applied to its corre-sponding object by all men in the same way.Anybody can call a table "table" or a chair"chair," but this is not so with the name I .No one can use it in referring to another per-son ; each one can call only himself "I ."Never can the name "I" reach my ears fromoutside when it refers to ME. Only from
  • 44 THEOSOPHY within, only through itself, can the soul refer to itself as "I ." When the human being therefore says "I" to himself, something begins to speak in him that has nothing to do with anyone of the worlds from which the "sheaths" so far mentioned are taken . The I becomes ever more and more rulerr of body and soul . This also comes to visible expression in the aura . The more the I is lord over body and soul, the more numerous and complex are its members, and the more varied and rich are the colors of the aura . This effect of the I on the aura can be seen by the "seeing" person. The I itself is invisible, even to him . This remains truly within the "veiled holy of holies of a man ." But the I absorbs into itself the rays of the light which flames forth in a man as eternal light. As he gathers together the experiences of body and soul in the I, he also causes the thoughts of truth and goodness to stream into the I . The phenomena of the senses reveal themselves to the I from the one side, the SPIRIT reveals itself from the other . Body and soul yield themselves up to the I in order to serve it ; but the I yields itself up to the spirit in order that
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 45it may be filled by it. The I lives in body andsoul ; but the spirit lives in the I . And whatthere is of spirit in the I is eternal . For the Ireceives its nature and significance from thatwith which it is bound up . Inasmuch as itlives in the physical body, it is subject to thelaws of the mineral world ; through its ether-body to the laws of propagation and growth ;by virtue of the sentient and intellectual soulsto the laws of the soul world ; in so far as itreceives the spiritual into itself it is subjectto the laws of the spirit . That which themineral laws and the life laws construct comesinto being and vanishes ; but the spirit hasnothing to do with becoming and perishing . The I lives in the soul . Although the high-est manifestation of the I belongs to the con-sciousness-soul, one must nevertheless say thatthis I, raying out from it, fills the wholeof the soul, and through the soul affects thebody . And in the I the spirit is alive . Itrays into it and lives in it as in a "sheath" orveil, just as the I lives in its sheaths, the bc4yand the soul . The spirit develops the I fromwithin, outward ; the mineral world developsit from without, inward . The spirit forming
  • 46 THEOSOPHYan I and living as I will be called SPIRIT-SELF, because it manifests as the I, or ego,or "self" of man . ("Spirit-self" signifies thesame as that which in theosophical literatureis called "Higher manas ." The Sanscritword "manas" is related to the English word"man," and the German word "Mensch," andsignifies the human being in so far as he is aspiritual being.) The difference between the"spirit-self" and the "consciousness-soul" canbe made clear in the following way . Theconsciousness-soul is the bearer of the self-existent truth which is independent of allantipathy and sympathy, the spirit-self bearswithin it the SAME truth, but taken up into andenclosed by the I, individualized by the latterand absorbed into the independent being ofthe man . It is through the eternal truthbecoming thus individualized and bound upinto one being with the I, that the I itselfattains to eternity. The spirit-self is a revelation of the spiritualworld within the I, just as from the other sidesensations are a revelation of the physicalworld within the I . In that which is red,green, light, dark, hard, soft, warm, cold, one
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 47recognizes the revelations of the corporalworld ; in what is true and good, the revela-tions of the spiritual world . In the same sensein which the revelation of the corporal worldis called SENSATION, let the revelation of thespiritual be called INTUITION . Even themost simple thought contains intuition, forone cannot touch it with the hands or see itwith the eyes ; one must receive its revelationfrom the spirit through the I . If an unde-veloped and a developed man look at a plant,there lives in the I of the one something quitedifferent from that which is in the ego of theother. And yet the sensations of both arecalled forth by the same object . The differ-ence lies in this, that the one can make farmore perfect thoughts about the object thanthe other can . If objects revealed themselvesthrough sensation alone, there could be noprogress in spiritual development . Even thesavage is affected by nature, but the laws ofnature reveal themselves only to the thoughts,fructified by intuition, of the more highlydeveloped man . The excitations from theouter world are felt even by the child as incen-tives to the will ; but the commandments of 5
  • 48 THEOSOPHYthe morally good disclose themselves to himin the course of his development only as helearns to live in the spirit and understand itsrevelations. Just as there could be no color sensationswithout physical eyes, there could be no intui-tions without the higher thinking of the spirit-self. And as little as sensation creates theplant on which the color appears, does intui-tion create the spiritual realities about whichit is merely giving information . The I of man, which comes to life in thesoul, draws in messages from above, from thespirit world through intuitions, just as throughsensations it draws in messages from the phys- ical world . By doing this it makes the spiritworld the individualized life of its own soul, even as it does the physical world by means of the senses . The soul, or the I flaming forth in it, opens its portals on two sides, toward the corporal and toward the spiritual . Now as just the physical world can only give informa- tion about itself to the ego, because it builds out of physical materials and forces a body in which the conscious soul can live and possess organs for perceiving the corporal world out-
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 49side itself, so the spiritual world builds, withits spiritual materials and spiritual forces,a spirit-body in which the I can live andthrough intuitions perceive the spiritual . (Itis evident that the expression SPIRIT-BODY con-tains a contradiction, according to the literalmeaning of the word . It is only to be usedin order to direct attention to what, in thespiritual regions, corresponds to the body ofman in the physical .) Just as within the physical world eachhuman body is built up as a separate being,so is the spirit-body within the spirit world.In the spirit world there is for man an innerand an outer, just as there is in the physicalworld. As man takes in the materials of thephysical world around him and assimilatesthem within his physical body, so does he takethe spiritual from the spirtiual environmentand make it into his own. The spiritual isthe eternal nourishment of man . And as manis born of the physical world, he is also bornof the spirit through the eternal laws of theTrue and the Good . He is separated fromthe spirit world outside of him, as he isseparated from the whole physical world, as
  • 50 THEOSOPHYan independent being. This independentspiritual being will be called SPIRIT-MAN . (It is the same as that which is called ATMAin theosophical literature .) If we examine the human physical body,we find the same materials and forces in it aswe find outside it in the rest of the physicalworld. It is the same with the spirit-man .In it pulsate the elements of the external spiritworld. In it the forces of the rest of thespirit world are active . As a being withinthe physical skin becomes a self-containedentity, living and feeling, so also in the spiritworld. The spiritual skin which separatesthe spirit man from the uniform spirit worldmakes him an independent being within it,living a life within himself and perceivingintuitively the spiritual content of the world .This "spiritual skin" will be called SPIRIT-SHEATH . (In theosophical literature it iscalled AURIC SHEATH .) It must be keptclearly in mind that the spiritual skin expandscontinually with the advancing human evolu-tion, so that the spiritual individuality of man (his auric sheath) is capable of enlargementto an unlimited extent .
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 5 1 The spirit-man LIVES within this spirit-sheath. It is built up by the spirtual LIFE-FORCE in the same way as is the physical bodyby the physical life-force . In a similar way tothat in which one speaks of an ether-body onemust therefore speak of an ether-spirit inreference to the spirit-man . Let this ether-spirit be called LIFE-SPIRIT . The spiritualbeing of man therefore is composed of threeparts, SPIRIT-MAN, LIFE-SPIRIT, and SPIRIT-SELF . (Atma, budhi, manas are the corre-sponding expressions in theosophical litera-ture. For Budhi is the separated speciallife-spirit which is formed by the SPIRITUALLIFE-FORCE, or Budhi .) For him who is a "seer" in the spiritualregions, this spiritual being of man is a per-ceptible reality as the higher, truly spiritualpart of the AURA. He "sees" the spirit-manas life-spirit within the spirit-sheath, and he"sees" how this "life-spirit" grows continuallylarger by taking in spiritual nourishmentfrom the spirtual external world . Fur-ther, he sees how the spirit-sheath continuallyincreases, widens out through what is brought into it, and how the spirit-man becomes ever
  • 52 THEOSOPHYlarger and larger. For the difference betweenthe spiritual and the physical being of man isthat the latter has a limited size while theformer can grow to an unlimited extent .Whatever of spiritual nourishment is absorbedhas an eternal worth . The human aura isaccordingly composed of two interpenetra-ting parts . Color and form are given to theone by the physical existence of man, and tothe other by his spiritual existence . The egoforms the separation between them in this waythat, while the physical after its own mannerGIVES ITSELF to building up a body whichallows a soul to live and expand in it, and theego GIVES ITSELF to allowing to live and de-velop in it the spirit which now for its partpermeates the soul and gives it the goal in thespirit world . Through the body the soul isenclosed in the physical ; through the spirit-man there grow wings for its moving in thespiritual world . In order to comprehend the WHOLE man,one must think of him as formed of the com-ponents above mentioned . The body buildsitself up out of the world of physical matter in such a way that the construction is adapted
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 53to the requirements of the thinking ego. Itis penetrated with life-force, and therebybecomes the ether or life-body . As such itopens itself through the sense organs towardthe outer world and becomes the soul-body .This the sentient-soul permeates and becomesone with. The sentient-soul does not merelyreceive the impacts of the outer world as sen-sations . It has its own inner life which itfructifies through thinking on the one hand,as it does through sensations on the other . Inthis way it becomes the intellectual-soul . Itis able to do this by opening itself up to intui-tions from above, as it does to sensations frombelow . Thus it becomes the consciousness-soul .This is possible to it because the spirit worldbuilds into it the organ of intuition, just asthe physical body builds in it the sense organs .As the senses transmit sensations by means ofthe soul-body, the spirit transmits to it intui-tions through the organ of intuition . Thespirit-man is therefore linked into a unitywith the consciousness-soul, just as the physicalbody is with the sentient-soul in the soul-body.Consciousness-soul and spirit-self form aunity. In this unity the spirit-man LIVES as
  • 54 THEOSOPHYlife-spirit, just as the ether body forms thebodily life-basis for the soul-body . And as thephysical body is enclosed in the physical skin,so is the spirit-man in the spirit-sheath . Themembers of the WHOLE man are as follows A. Physical-body . B . Ether-body . C . Soul-body . D . Sentient-soul . E . Intellectual-soul . F. Consciousness-soul . G . Spirit-self . H . Life-spirit . I . Spirit-man. Soul-body (C) and sentient-soul (D) are aunity in the earthly man ; in the same wayare consciousness-soul (F) and spirit-self (G)a unity . Thus there come to be seven partsin the earthly man . The expressions used intheosophical literature are as follows i . Physical-body (Sthula sharira) . 2. Ether or life-body (Linga sharira) . 3. Sentient-soul-body (Astral body, Kama rupa) . 4 . Intellectual-soul (Lower manas, Kama manas) .
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 55 5 . Spirit-filled Consciousness-soul (Higher manas) . 6 . Life-spirit (Spiritual-body, Budhi) . 7 . Spirit-man (Atma) . The "I" flashes forth in the soul, receivesthe infusion from out the spirit and therebybecomes the bearer of the spirit-man .Through this, man participates in the "threeworlds," the physical, the soul, and the spir-itual . He takes root in the physical worldthrough his physical body, ether-body, andsoul-body and flowers through the spirit-self,life-spirit, and spirit-man up into the spir-itual world . The STALK, however, whichtakes root in the one and flowers in the other,is the soul itself . One can express this arrangement of themembers of man in a simplified way, but oneentirely consistent with the above . Althoughthe human I flashes forth in the conscious-ness-soul, it nevertheless penetrates the wholesoul-being . The parts of this soul-being arenot as distinctly separate as are the limbs ofthe body ; they penetrate each other, in ahigher sense . If then, one hold clearly inview the intellectual-soul and the conscious-
  • 56 THEOSOPHYness-soul as the two members united to formthe bearer of the I, and this I as their kernel,one can divide man into physical body, life-body, astral-body, and I . The expressionastral-body designates here what is formedby soul-body and sentient-soul together,although the sentient-soul is in a certainrespect energized by the I . When now the Ipenetrates itself with spirit-self, this spirit-self comes into evidence in the transmutationof the astral-body by a force within the soul .In the astral-body there are primarily activethe impulses, desires, and passions of man,in so far as they are felt by him ; the physicalperceptions also take effect in it. Physicalperceptions arise through the soul-body as amember in man which comes to him from theexternal world . Impulses, desires, and pas-sions, etc., arise in the sentient-soul, in so faras it is energized by the soul before the latterhas yielded itself to the spirit . If the I pene-trates itself with spirit-self, the soul proceedsto energize the astral-body with this spirit-self. This expresses itself in the illuminationof the impulses, desires, and passions by whatthe I has received from the spirit . The I has
  • CONSTITUTION OF THE HUMAN BEING 57then, through the power it gains as partakerof the spiritual world, become ruler in theworld of impulses, desires, etc . In proportionto the extent to which it has become this thespirit-self appears in the astral-body . Andthe astral-body becomes thereby transmuted .The astral-body itself then becomes visible asa two-membered body, an untransmuted anda transmuted . One can therefore designatethe spirit-self, as manifested in man, as trans-muted astral-body . A similar process takes place in a personwhen he receives the life spirit into his 1 .The Life-body then becomes transmuted . Itbecomes penetrated with the life-spirit . Andthe Life-spirit reveals itself in that the life-body becomes quite other than it was . Forthis reason one can also say that life-spiritis transmuted life-body . And if the I receivesthe spirit-man, it thereby receives the strongforce with which to penetrate the physicalbody. Naturally, that part of the physicalbody thus transmuted is NOT perceptible tothe physical senses . It is, in fact, just thatpart of the physical body which has beenspiritualized that has become the spirit-man .
  • 58 THEOSOPHYThe physical body is then present to thephysical senses as physical, and in so far asthis physical is spiritualized, it has to beperceived by spiritual faculties of perception .To the external senses the physical, even whenpenetrated by the spiritual, appears to bemerely sensible . Taking all this as a basis, one can have alsothe following arrangement of the membersof man r . Physical-body. 2. Life-body . 3 . Astral-body . q.. I, as soul kernel. 5. Spirit-self as transmuted astral-body. 6. Life-spirit " " life-body . 7. Spirit-man " " physical-body .
  • CHAPTER IIRE-EMBODIMENT OF THE SPIRIT AND DESTINY REINCARNATION AND KARMA IN the midst between body and spirit livesthe SOUL. The impressions which come to itthrough the body are transitory . They arepresent only as long as the body opens itsorgans to the things of the outer world . Myeye perceives the color of the rose only solong as the rose is opposite to it and my eyeis itself open . The PRESENCE of the things ofthe outer world as well as of the bodily organsis necessary in order that an impression, asensation, or a perception can take place.But what I have recognized in my spirit asTRUTH concerning the rose does not passwith the present moment . And, as regardsits truth, it is not in the least dependent onme. It would be true even although I had 59
  • 6o THEOSOPHYnever stood in front of the rose . What I knowthrough the spirit is timeless or ETERNAL .The soul is placed between the present andeternity, in that it holds the middle placebetween body and spirit . But it is alsothe INTERMEDIARY between the present andeternity . It preserves the present for theREMEMBRANCE. It thereby rescues it fromimpermanence, and brings it nearer to theeternity of the spiritual . It stamps eternityon the temporal and impermanent by notmerely yielding itself up to the transitoryincitements, but by determining things fromout its own initiative, and embodying its ownnature in them by means of the actions itperforms. By remembrance the soul pre-serves the yesterday, by action it prepares theto-morrow . My soul would have to perceive the red ofthe rose always afresh if it could not store itup in remembrance . What remains after anexternal impression, what can be retained bythe soul, is the CONCEPTION . Through thepower of forming conceptions the soul makesthe corporal outer world so far into its owninner world that it can then retain the latter
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 61in the memory for remembrance and, inde-pendent of the gained impressions, lead withit thereafter a life of its own . The soul-lifethus becomes the enduring result of thetransitory impressions of the external world . But an action also receives permanencewhen once it is stamped on the outer world .If I cut a branch from a tree something hastaken place by means of my soul whichcompletely changes the course of events inthe outer world . Something quite differentwould have happened to the branch of thetree if I had not interfered by my action . Ihave called forth into life a series of effectswhich, without my existence, would nothave been present . What I have done TO-DAYendures for TO-MORROW ; it becomes permanentthrough the DEED, as my impressions of yes-terday have become permanent for my soulthrough memory. Let us first consider memory . How doesit originate? Evidently in quite a differentway from sensation or perception, becausethese are made possible by the corporality.Without the eye I cannot have the sensation"blue ." But in no way do I have the
  • 62 THEOSOPHYremembrance of "blue" through the eye.If the eye is to give me this sensation now,a blue thing must come before it . Thecorporality would always allow impressionsto sink back into nothingness if it aloneexisted . I remember ; that is, I experiencesomething which is itself no longer present .I unite a past experience with my presentlife. This is the case with every remembrance .Let us say, for instance, that I meet a manand recognize him again because I met himyesterday . He would be a complete strangerto me were I not able to unite the pictureperception with my impression of him to-day .The picture of to-day is given me by theperception, that is to say, by my corporality .But who conjures that of yesterday into mysoul? It is the same being in me that waspresent during my experience yesterday, andthat is also present in that of to-day . In theprevious explanations it has been calledSOUL . Were it not for this faithful preserverof the past each external impression would bealways new to a man . As preserver of the past the soul con-tinually gathers treasures for the spirit . That
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 63I can distinguish right from wrong followsbecause I, as a human being, am a thinkingbeing, able to grasp the truth in my spirit .Truth is eternal ; and it could always revealitself to me again in things, even if I werealways to lose sight of the past and eachimpression were to be a new one to me . Butthe spirit within me is not restricted to theimpressions of the present alone ; the soulextends its horizon over the past . And themore it is able to bring to the spirit out of thepast, the richer does it make the spirit . Inthis way the soul transmits to the spirit whatit has received from the body . The spirit ofman therefore carries each moment of its lifea twofold possession within itself, firstly,the eternal laws of the good and the true ;secondly, the remembrance of the experiencesof the past. What he does, he accomplishesunder the influence of these two factors . Ifwe wish to understand a human spirit wemust therefore know two different thingsabout him, first, how much of the eternalhas revealed itself to him ; second, how muchtreasure from the past is stored up withinhim .
  • 64 THEOSOPHY The treasure by no means remains in thespirit in an unchanged shape . The concep-tions which man extracts from his experiencesfade gradually from the memory . Not so,however, their fruits . One does not rememberall the experiences one had during childhoodwhen acquiring the arts of reading andwriting. But one could not read or write ifone had not had the experiences, and if theirfruits had not been preserved in the form ofabilities . And that is the transmutationwhich the spirit effects on the treasures ofmemory. It consigns the pictures of theseparate experiences to their fate, and only extracts from them the force necessary forenhancing and increasing its abilities . Thusnot one experience passes by unused ; the soul preserves each one as memory, and from each the spirit draws forth all that can enrich its abilities and the whole content of its life . The human spirit GROWS through assimilated experiences . And, although one cannot find the past experiences in the spirit preserved as if in a storeroom, one nevertheless finds their effects in the abilities which the man has acquired .
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 65 Thus far spirit and soul have been con-sidered only within the period lying betweenlife and death . One cannot rest there . Any-one wishing to do that would be like theman who observes the human body alsowithin the same limits only . Much can cer-tainly be discovered within these limits . Butthe HUMAN FORM can never be explained bywhat lies between birth and death . It can-not build itself up unaided out of mere phys-ical matter and forces . It takes rise in aform like its own, which has been passed onto it by propagation . Physical materialsand forces build up the body during life ; theforces of propagation enable another body,inheriting its form, to proceed from it ; that isto say, one which is able to be the bearer ofthe same life-body . Each life-body is a repeti-tion of its forefathers . Only BECAUSE it issuch does it appear, not in any chance form,but in that passed on to it . The forces whichhave given me human form lay in my fore-fathers . But the spirit also of a man appearsin a definite form . And the forms of the spiritare the most varied imaginable in differentpersons . No two men have the same spiritual
  • 66 THEOSOPHYform . One ought to make investigations inthis region in just as quiet and matter-of-facta manner as in the physical world . It cannotbe said that the differences in human beingsin spiritual respects arise only from the differ-ences in their environment, their upbring-ing, etc . No, this is by no means the case,for two people under similar influences asregards environments, upbringing, etc.,develop in quite different ways . One is there-fore forced to admit that they have enteredon their path of life with quite different pre-dispositions . Here one is brought face to facewith an important fact which, when its fullbearing is recognized, sheds light on thenature of man . Human beings differ from their animal fellow-creatures on the earth as regardstheir physical form . But among each otherhuman beings are, within certain limits, the same in regard to their physical form . There is only one human species . However great may be the differences between races, peoples, tribes, and personalities as regards the phys- ical body, the resemblance between man and man is greater than between man and any
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 67brute species . All that expresses itself ashuman species passes on from forefather todescendants . And the human form is boundto this heredity . As the lion can inherit itsphysical form from lion forefathers only, sothe human being inherits his physical bodyfrom human forefathers only. Just as the physical similarity of men isquite evident to the eye, the DIFFERENCE oftheir spiritual forms reveals itself to theunprejudiced spiritual gaze . There is onevery evident fact which shows this clearly . Itconsists in the existence of the biography ofa human being. Were a human being merelya member of a species, no biography couldexist. A lion, a dove, lay claim to interest inso far as they belong to the lion, the dovegenus. One has understood the separate beingin all its ESSENTIALS when one has describedthe genus . It matters little whether one hasto do with father, son, or grandson . What isof interest in them, father, son, and grandsonhave in common . But what a human beingsignifies begins, not where he is a mere mem-ber of a genus, but only where he is a separatebeing. I have not in the least understood the
  • 68 THEOSOPHYnature of Mr . Smith of Crowcorner if I havedescribed his son or his father . I must knowhis own biography . Anyone who reflectsaccurately on the essence of biographybecomes aware that in regard to spiritualthings EACH MAN IS A SPECIES BY HIMSELF .Those people, to be sure, who regard a biog-raphy merely as a collection of external inci-dents in the life of a person, may claim thatthey can write the biography of a dog in thesame way as that of a man . But anyone whodepicts in a biography the real individualityof a man, grasps the fact that he has in thebiography of ONE human being somethingthat corresponds to the description of a wholegenus in the animal kingdom . Now if genus or species in the physicalsense becomes intelligible only when oneunderstands it as the result of heredity, thespiritual being can be intelligible only througha similar SPIRITUAL HEREDITY. I havereceived my physical human form from myforefathers . Whence have I that whichcomes to expression in my biography? Asphysical man, I repeat the shape of myforefathers . What do I repeat as spiritual
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 69man? Anyone claiming that what is com-prised in my biography requires no furtherexplanation has to be regarded as having noother course open to him than to claimequally that he has seen, somewhere, anearth mound on which the lumps of matterhave aggregated quite by themselves into aliving man . As physical man I spring from otherphysical men, for I have the same shape asthe whole human species . The qualities ofthe species, accordingly, could be bequeathedto me within the genus . As spiritual man Ihave my own shape as I have my ownbiography . I therefore can have obtainedthis shape from no one but myself . Since Ientered the world not with undefined but withdefined predispositions ; and since the courseof my life as it comes to expression in my biog-raphy is determined by these predispositions,my work on myself cannot have begun withmy birth. I must, as spiritual man, haveexisted before my birth . In my forefathersI have certainly not been existent, for they asspiritual human beings are different from me .My biography is not explainable through
  • 70 THEOSOPHYtheirs. On the contrary, I must, as spiritualbeing, be the repetition of one through whosebiography mine can be explained . The phys-ical form which Schiller bore he inheritedfrom his forefathers . But just as little asSchillers physical form can have grown outof the earth, so little can his spiritual beinghave done so . It must be the repetition ofanother spiritual being through whose biog-raphy his will be explainable as his physicalhuman form is explainable through humanpropagation . In the same way, therefore, thatthe physical human form is ever again andagain a repetition, a reincarnation of the dis-tinctively human species, the spiritual humanbeing must be a reincarnation of the SAMEspiritual human being . For as spiritual humanbeing, each one is in fact his own species . It might be said in objection to what hasbeen stated here that it is pure spinning ofthoughts, and such external proof might be demanded as one is accustomed to in ordinarynatural science . The reply to this is that thereembodiment of the spiritual human being is, naturally, a process which does not belong to the region of external physical facts, but
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 71is one that takes place entirely in the spiritualregion . And to this region no other of ourORDINARY powers of intelligence has entrance,save that of THINKING . He who is unwillingto trust to the power of thinking cannot, infact, enlighten himself regarding higher spir-itual facts . For him whose spiritual eye isopened the above train of thoughts acts withexactly the same force as does an event thattakes place before his physical eyes . He whoascribes to a so-called "proof," constructedaccording to the methods of natural science,greater power to convince than the aboveobservations concerning the significance ofbiography, may be in the ordinary sense of theword a great scientist, but from the paths oftrue SPIRITUAL investigation he is very fardistant . One of the gravest prejudices consists intrying to explain the spiritual qualities of aman by inheritance from father, mother,or other ancestors . He who contracts theprejudice, for example, that Goethe inheritedwhat constitutes his essential being fromfather or mother will at first be hardlyapproachable with arguments, for there lies
  • 72 THEOSOPHYwithin him a deep antipathy to unprejudicedobservation. A materialistic spell preventshim from seeing the relations of phenomenain the true light . In such observations as the preceding, thepresuppositions are supplied for following thehuman being beyond birth and death . Withinthe boundaries formed by birth and deaththe human being belongs to the three worlds,of corporality, of soul, and of spirit . Thesoul forms the link between body and spiritbecause it penetrates the third member ofthe body, the soul-body, with a capacity forsensation, and because it permeates the firstmember of the spirit, the spirit-self, asconsciousness-soul . In this way it takespart and lot during life with the body as wellas with the spirit . This comes to expressionin its whole existence. It will depend on theconstruction of the soul-body how thesentient-soul can unfold its capabilities . And,on the other hand, it will depend on the lifeof the consciousness-soul to what extent thespirit-self can develop itself in it . The morehighly developed the soul-body is, the morecomplete is the intercourse which the sentient-
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 73soul will be able to develop with the outerworld. And the spirit-self will become somuch the richer and more powerful, the morethe consciousness-soul brings it nourishment .It has been shown that during life thisnourishment is supplied to the spirit-selfthrough assimilated experiences, and thefruits of these experiences. For the inter-action of soul and spirit described above,can, of course, only take place where souland spirit are within each other, penetratingeach other, that is, within the union of"spirit-self" with "consciousness-soul ." Let us consider, first, the interaction .fthe soul-body and sentient-soul . The soul-body is, as has become evident, the most finelyelaborated part of the corporality ; but it,nevertheless, belongs to it and is dependent onit. Physical-body, ether-body, and soul-bodycompose, in a certain sense, one whole . Hencethe soul-body is also drawn within the laws ofphysical heredity through which the bodyreceives its shape . And since it is the mostmobile and, so to speak, volatile form of cor-porality, it must also exhibit the most mobile,volatile manifestations of heredity . While,
  • 74 THEOSOPHYtherefore, the difference in the physical bodyis smallest, corresponding to races, peoples,and tribes ; and while the ether-body presents,on the whole, a preponderating likenessalthough a greater divergence in single indi-viduals, in the soul-body the difference is avery great one . In it is expressed what onealready feels to be the EXTERNAL, PERSONAL,uniqueness of a man . It is therefore also thebearer of that part of this personal uniquenesswhich is passed on from parents, grand-par-ents, etc ., to descendants. The soul as suchleads, as has been explained, a completely self-contained life of its own ; it shuts itself up withits inclinations and disinclinations, its feelingsand passions ; but, as a whole being, it isnevertheless active, and therefore this wholecomes to expression also in the sentient-soul .And because the sentient-soul penetrates and,as it were, fills up the soul-body, the latterforms itself according to the nature of thesoul and can in this wav, as the bearer ofheredity, pass on tendencies, passions, etc .,from forefathers to children . On this factrests what Goethe says : "From my fatherI have stature and the serious manner of life,
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 75from the little mother the joyous dispositionand the love of romance ." Genius, of course,he did not receive from either . In this waywe are shown what part of a mans soulqualities he hands over, as it were, to the lineof physical heredity . The matter and forces of the physical bodyare in the whole external physical naturearound us . They are continually being takenfrom it and given back to it . In the spaceof a few years the matter which composesour physical body is entirely renewed . Thatthis matter takes the form of the human body,and that it always renews itself again withinthis body, is due to the fact that it is heldtogether by the ether-body . And the formof the latter is not determined by eventsbetween birth-or conception-and deathalone, but is dependent on the laws ofheredity which extend beyond birth and death .That soul qualities also can be transmitted byheredity, that is, that the process of physical heredity receives an infusion from the soul, is due to the fact that the soul-body can be influenced by the sentient-soul . Now how does the interaction between body
  • 76 THEOSOPHYand soul proceed? During life the spirit isbound up with the soul in the way shownabove. The soul receives from it the powerof living in the Good and the True, and ofthereby bringing in its own life, in its tend-encies, impulses, and passions, the spirit itselfto expression . The spirit-self brings to the 1,from the world of the spirit, the eternal lawsof the True and the Good . These link them-selves through the consciousness-soul with theexperiences of the souls own life. Theseexperiences themselves pass away, but theirfruits remain . The spirit-self receives anabiding impression by having been linkedwith them . When the human spiritapproaches an experience similar to one withwhich it has already been linked, it sees in itsomething familiar, and is able to take up adifferent attitude toward it than if it werefacing it for the first time . This is the basisof all learning . And the fruits of learning areacquired capacities . The fruits of the transi-tory life are in this way graven on the eternalspirit . And do we not see these fruits?Whence spring the innate predispositions andtalents described above as characteristic of the
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 77spiritual man? Surely only from capacitiesof one kind or another which the human beingbrings with him when he begins his earthlylife. These capacities, in certain respects,resemble exactly those which we can alsoacquire for ourselves during life . Take thecase of a genius . It is known that Mozart,when a boy, could write out from memory along musical composition after hearing it onlyonce. He was able to do this only because hecould survey the whole at one glance . Withincertain limits a man is also able during lifeto increase his capacity of rapid survey, ofgrasping combinations to such an extent thathe then possesses new faculties . Lessing,indeed, has said of himself that by means ofa talent for critical observation he hadacquired for himself something that camenear to being genius . One has either to regardsuch abilities founded on innate capacitieswith wonder as miracles, or one must considerthem as fruits of experiences which the spirit-self has had through a soul . They have beengraven on the spirit-self . And since they havenot been implanted in this life, they havebeen in a former one . The human spirit is
  • 78 THEOSOPHYits own species . And just as man as a phys-ical being belonging to a species bequeathshis qualities within the species, so does theSPIRIT within ITS species, that is, within itself .IN EACH LIFE THE HUMAN SPIRIT APPEARS ASA REPETITION OF ITSELF WITH THE FRUITS OFITS FORMER EXPERIENCES IN PREVIOUS LIVES .This life is consequently the repetition ofanother, and brings with it what the spirit-self has, by work, acquired for itself in theprevious life . When the spirit-self absorbssomething that can develop into fruit, it pene-trates itself with the life-spirit . Just as thelife-body reproduces the form, from genus togenus, so does the life-spirit reproduce the soulfrom personal existence to personal existence . Thus the experiences of the soul becomeenduring not only within the boundaries ofbirth and death, but out beyond death . Butthe soul does not stamp its experiences onlyon the spirit which flashes up in it, it stampsthem, as has been shown, on the outer world,also, through the DEED . What a man did yes-terday is to-day still present in its effects . Apicture of the connection between cause andeffect is given in the simile of sleep and death .
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 79Sleep has often been called the youngerbrother of death . I get up in the morning.Night has interrupted my consecutive activity .Now, under ordinary circumstances, it is notpossible for me to begin my activity again justas I like . I must connect it with my doings ofyesterday if there is to be order and coherencein my life . My actions of yesterday are theconditions predetermining those I have to doto-day . I have created my fate of to-day bywhat I did yesterday . I have separated myselffor a while from my activity ; but this activitybelongs to me and draws me again to itselfafter I have withdrawn myself from it for awhile . My past remains bound up with me ;it lives on in my present, and will follow meinto my future . If the effects of my deeds ofyesterday were not to be my fate to-day, Ishould have had, not to AWAKE this morning,but to be newly created out of nothing . Itwould be absurd if under ordinary circum-stances I were not to occupy a house that Ihave had built for me. The human spirit is just as little newlycreated when it begins its earthly life as is aman newly created every morning . Let us try 7
  • 8o THEOSOPHYto make clear to ourselves what happens whenan entrance into this life takes place . A phys-ical body, receiving its form through the lawsof heredity, comes upon the scene. This bodybecomes the bearer of a spirit which repeats aprevious life in a new form. Between the twostands the soul, which leads a self-containedlife of its own . Its inclinations and disinclina-tions, its wishes and desires minister to it ; ittakes thought into its service. As sentient-soulit receives the impressions of the outer worldand carries them to the spirit, in order that thespirit may extract from them the fruits thatare for eternity. It plays, as it were, the partof intermediary ; and its task is fully accom-plished when it is able to do this . The bodyforms impressions for the sentient-soul whichtransforms them into sensations, retains themin the memory as conceptions, and hands themover to the spirit to hold throughout eternity.The soul is really that through which manbelongs to his earthly life . Through his bodyhe belongs to the physical human species .Through it he is a MEMBER of this species .With his spirit he lives in a higher world .
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 8iThe soul binds the two worlds for a timetogether . But the physical world on which thehuman spirit enters is no strange field of actionto it. On it the traces of its actions areimprinted . Something in this field of actionbelongs to the spirit . It bears the impress ofits being . It is related to it . As the soulformerly transmitted the impressions from theouter world to the spirit in order that theymight become enduring in it, so now the soul,as the spirits organ, converts the capacitiesbestowed by the spirit into deeds which arealso enduring through their effects . Thus thesoul has actually flowed into these actions . Inthe effects of his actions mans soul lives on ina second independent life . And it is inevita-ble that the human spirit should meet againthe effect of these actions . For only the onepart of my deed is in the outer world ; theother is in myself . Let us make this clear bya simple example taken from natural science .Animals that once could see migrated to thecaves of Kentucky, and have, through theirlife in them, lost their powers of sight . Theexistence in darkness has caused the eyes to
  • 82 THEOSOPHYbe inactive . Consequently the physical andchemical activity that is present when seeingtakes place is no longer carried on in theseeyes. The stream of nourishment which wasformerly expended on this activity now flowsto other organs . These animals CAN NOW liveonly in these caves . They have by their act,by the immigration, created the conditionsof their later lives . The immigration hasbecome a part of their fate . A being that onceacted has united itself with the results of theaction . It is so also with the human spirit . Itis only by having been active that the soulcould have transmitted certain capacities to it .And these capacities correspond to the actions . By means of his actions, therefore, thehuman spirit has really carved his fate . In anew life he finds himself linked to what he didin a former one . One may ask, "How can thatbe, when the human spirit on reincarnatingfinds itself in an entirely different world fromthat which it left at some earlier time?" Thisquestion is based on a very superficial concep-tion of the linkings of fate . If I change myscene of action from Europe to America Ifind myself in entirely new surroundings .
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 83Nevertheless, my life in America dependsentirely on my previous life in Europe . If Ihave been a mechanic in Europe, my life inAmerica will shape itself quite differentlyfrom the way in which it would had I been abank clerk . In the one case I should probablybe surrounded in America by machinery, in theother by bank offices . In each case it is myprevious life that decides my environment ; itattracts to itself, as it were, out of the wholesurrounding world, those things that arerelated to it . So it is with the spirit-self . Itinevitably surrounds itself in a new life withthat to which it is related from previous lives .And it is on this account that sleep is a goodlikeness for death . For the man during sleep is withdrawn from the field of action in which his fate waits for him . While one sleeps events in this field of action pursue their course . One has for a time no influence on this course of events. Nevertheless, our life on a new day depends on the effects of the deeds of the previous one . Our personality actually embodies or incarnates itself anew every morning in our world of action . What was separated from us at night is on the next
  • 84 THEOSOPHYday, as it were, spread out around us . So itis with the actions of the former embodimentsor incarnations of man. They are bound tohim as his destiny, as the life in the dark cavesremains bound up with the animals who,through migration into them, have lost theirpowers of sight . Just as these animals canonly live in the surroundings in which theyhave placed themselves, so the human spiritCAN only live in the surroundings which byits acts it has created for itself . There can beno more appropriate comparison than that ofsleep with death . That I find in the morninga state of affairs which I on the previous daycreated, is brought about by the immediateprogress of the events themselves . That I,when I reincarnate myself, find surroundingswhich correspond with the results of my deedsin a previous life, is brought about by the rela-tionship of my reincarnated spirit with thethings in the world around . From this itstands out clearly how the SOUL forms a mem-ber of the constitution of man . The physicalbody is subject to the laws of heredity . Thehuman spirit, on the contrary, has to incarnateover and over again, and its law consists in its
  • RE-EMBODIMENT AND DESTINY 85bringing over the fruits of the former livesinto the following ones . The soul lives in thepresent . But this life in the present is not inde-pendent of the previous lives . For the incar-nating spirit brings its destiny with it from itsprevious incarnations, and this destiny decidesthe kind of life . Whatever impressions thesoul will be able to have, with what wishes itwill be able to be gratified, what sorrows andjoys spring forth for it, depend on the natureof the actions in the past incarnations of thespirit . The life of the soul is therefore theresult of the self-created destiny of the humanspirit. The course of mans life between birthand death is therefore determined in a three-fold way . And he is by these means depend-ent in a threefold way on factors which lie ONTHE OTHER SIDE of birth and death . The bodyis subject to the laws of heredity ; the soul issubject to the self-created fate . One calls thisfate created by the man himself his KARMA .The spirit is under the law of reembodimentor reincarnation . One can accordinglyexpress the relationship between spirit, soul,and body in the following way as well . Thespirit is ETERNAL ; birth and death have domin-
  • 86 THEOSOPHYion over the corporality according to the lawsof the physical world ; the soul-life, which issubject to destiny, links them together duringan earthly life . All further knowledge of the being of manhas to be preceded by acquaintance with the"three worlds" to which he belongs. Theyare dealt with in the following chapters . Thinking which takes up an unprejudicedattitude toward the phenomena of life, notafraid to follow the thoughts resulting to theirfinal consequences, can, by pure logic, arriveat the conviction of the law of karma and rein-carnation . Just as it is true that for the seerwith the opened "spiritual eye," past lives,like an opened book, face him as EXPERIENCE,so is it true that the TRUTH of it all becomesobvious to the unprejudiced REASON .
  • CHAPTER III THE THREE WORLDS i. THE SOUL WORLD OUR study of man has shown that he belongsto three worlds . From the world of physicalcorporality are taken the materials andforces building up his body. He has knowl-edge of this world through the perceptions ofhis external physical senses . Anyone trusting toTHESE senses ALONE, and developing his per-ceptive abilities alone, can gain for himself noenlightenment concerning the two otherworlds, the SOUL and the SPIRITUAL . A mansability to convince himself of the reality of athing or a being depends on whether he has anorgan of perception, a sense for it . It may, ofcourse, easily lead to misunderstandings if onecall the higher organs of perception spirit-ual SENSES, as is done here, for in speakingof "SENSES" one involuntarily connects with 87
  • 88 THEOSOPHYthem the thought "physical ." The physicalworld is in fact designated the "sensible," incontradistinction to the "spiritual ." In orderto avoid this misunderstanding, one must takeinto account that "higher senses" are spokenof here only in a comparative or metaphoricalsense. As the physical senses perceive thephysical world, the soul and spiritual sensesperceive the soul and spiritual worlds . Theexpression "sense" will be used as meaningsimply "organ of perception ." Man wouldhave no knowledge of light and color had henot an eye able to sense light ; he would knownothing of sound had he not an ear able tosense sound. In this connection the Germanphilosopher Lotze rightly says, "Without alight-sensing eye, and a sound-sensing ear, thewhole world would be dark and silent . Therewould be in it just as little light or sound asthere could be toothache without the pain-feeling nerve of the tooth ." In order to seewhat is said here in the right light, one needonly think how entirely different the worldmust reveal itself to man on the one hand, andon the other to the lower forms of animal lifethat have only a kind of touch sense or sense of
  • THE THREE WORLDS 89feeling spread over the whole surface of theirbodies . Light, color, and sound certainlycannot exist for them in the same way as forbeings gifted with ears and eyes . The vibra-tions which the firing of a gun causes mayDave an effect on them also if they reach them .But in order that these vibrations of the airshould present themselves as a report an earis necessary . And an eye is necessary in orderthat certain processes in the fine matter thatone calls ether should reveal themselves aslight and color . Man knows something abouta being or thing only because through one ofhis organs he receives its EFFECTS . This relationship of man with the world ofrealities is excellently brought out by Goethewhen he says : "It is really in vain that we tryto express the nature of a thing . We becomeaware of EFFECTS, and a complete history ofthem would indeed embrace the nature of thatthing. We endeavor in vain to describe thecharacter of a man, but if instead we systemat-ically correlate his actions and deeds, a pic-ture of his character will present itself to us .Colors are the actions of light, actions andsuffering . . . colors and light are indeed
  • 90 THEOSOPHYlinked in closest relationship, but we mustthink of them both as belonging to the wholeof nature ; for through them the whole ofnature is engaged in revealing herself to thesense of the eye especially . In like mannernature reveals herself to another sensenature thus speaks downward to OTHER SENSES,to known, MISUNDERSTOOD, UNKNOWN senses ;she thus speaks with herself and to us througha thousand phenomena . T O THE ATTENTIVESHE IS NOWHERE EITHER DEAD OR SILENT ."It would not be correct were one to interpretthis saying of Goethes as though by it thepossibility of knowing the ESSENTIAL NATUREof a thing were being denied . Goethe does notmean that one perceives only the effects ofa thing, and that the being hides itself behindthem. He means rather that one should notspeak at all of a "hidden being ." The beingis not behind its revelation ; it comes, on thecontrary, into view through the revelation .But this being is in many respects so RICH thatit can reveal itself to other senses in yet otherforms. THAT which reveals itself belongs tothe being ONLY-on account of the limitationsof the senses-it is not the WHOLE being. This
  • THE THREE WORLDS 91point of view of Goethes is entirely the theo-sophical one . As in the body, eye and ear develop intoorgans of perception, into senses for corporaloccurrences, so is man able to develop in him-self soul and spiritual organs of perception,through which the soul and spiritual worldswill be opened to him . For those who havenot such higher senses, these worlds are "deadand silent," just as for a being without eyesand ears the corporal world is "dark andsilent." It is true that the relation of man tothese higher senses is rather different from hisrelations to the corporal senses . It is goodMother Nature who sees to it as a rule thatthese latter are developed in him . They comeinto existence without his help . But on thedevelopment of his higher senses he must workhimself. If he wishes to perceive the soul andspirit worlds, he must develop soul and spirit as nature has developed his body so that hemight perceive the corporal world around him and guide himself in it . Such a develop- ment of the higher organs not yet developed for us by nature herself is not unnatural ; for in the HIGHER SENSE all that man accom-
  • 92 THEOSOPHYplishes belongs ALSO to nature . Only he whowishes to maintain that man should remainstanding at the stage at which he left the handof nature could call the development of thehigher senses unnatural . By him the sig-nificance of these organs is misunderstood,as indicated in the quotation from Goethe .Such a one might just as well oppose alleducation of man, for it also develops furtherthe work of nature . And he would have tooppose especially operations upon those bornblind . For almost the same thing happens tohim who awakens his higher senses in himselfas to the person born blind and operated upon .The world appears to him with new qualities,events, and facts, of which the physical sensesreveal nothing to him. It is clear to him thatthrough these higher organs he adds nothingarbitrarily to the reality, but that without themthe essential part of this reality would haveremained HIDDEN from him . The soul andspirit worlds are nothing ALONGSIDE or OUTSIDEthe physical world ; they are not separated inspace from it . Just as for persons born blindand operated upon, the previously dark worldrays out light and colors, so the things which
  • THE THREE WORLDS 93previously were only corporal phenomenareveal their soul and spirit qualities to himwho is, soul and spirit, AWAKENED . In addi-tion to this, however, this world then becomesfilled with still other occurrences and beingsthat remain completely unknown to himwhose soul and spirit senses are not awakened .The development of the soul and spiritsenses will be spoken of in a more detailed wayfurther on in this book. Here these higherworlds themselves will be described . Anyonewho denies the existence of these worlds saysnothing more than that he has not yetdeveloped his higher organs . This is still thecase with the greater part of mankind at thepresent stage of the worlds evolution . Butthe evolution of man is not terminated at anyone stage ; it must always progress . Whatwill be here called the SOUL WORLD, is calledin current theosophical literature the "astral,"the spirit world is called in it the "mental"world . One often involuntarily pictures the"higher organs" as too similar to the phys-ical ones . One should understand quite clearlythat in these organs one has to do with spir-
  • 94 THEOSOPHYitual or soul formations . One ought not toexpect, therefore, that what one perceives inthe higher worlds is only a vaporous, rarefiedmatter . So long as one EXPECTS something ofthis kind, one can come to no clear idea asto what is exactly meant by "higher worlds ."For many persons it would not be at all as diffi-cult as it actually is to know something aboutthese higher worlds, the elementary part, thatis to say, if they did not form the idea thatwhat they are to see is again merely physicalmatter rarefied . Because they presupposesomething of this kind they, as a rule, do notat all wish to acknowledge the reality of thatwhich is the essential part . They look uponit as unreal, refuse to acknowledge it as some-thing that satisfies them, and so on . The higherstages of spiritual development are certainlynot easily accessible ; but the lower, and thatis already a great deal, would not be at allso difficult to reach if people would from thefirst free themselves from the prejudicewhich consists in picturing to themselvesthe soul and spiritual merely as a finer phys-ical. Just as we do not wholly know a man when
  • THE THREE WORLDS 95we have formed a picture of his physicalexterior only, so also we do not know theworld around us if we only know in it whatthe physical senses reveal to us . And justas a photograph becomes intelligible andliving to us when we have become so inti-mately acquainted with the person photo-graphed as to know his soul, so we can reallyunderstand the corporal world only if welearn to know its soul and spiritual basis .For this reason it is advisable to speak here,first about the higher, the soul and spiritworlds, and only then judge of the physicalfrom the theosophical standpoint . Certain difficulties are met with at thispresent stage of civilization by anyone speak-ing about the higher worlds . For this age isgreat above all things in the knowledge andconquest of the physical world . Our wordshave, in fact, received their stamp and , sig-nificance through being applied to this phys-ical world . Nevertheless we have to makeuse of these current words so as to form alink with something known . This opens thedoor to many misundertandings on the part ofthose who wish to trust to their external senses 8
  • 96 THEOSOPHYonly. Much also can be expressed and indi-cated only by means of similes and resem-blances . This must be so, for such similesare a means by which a man is at first directedto these higher worlds, and through which hisown ascent to them is furthered . (This willbecome evident in a later chapter, in whichthe development of the soul and spiritualorgans of perception will be spoken of . Tobegin with, one MUST gain knowledge of thehigher worlds by means of similes . Only thenis man ready to acquire for himself the powerto see into them.) As the matter and forces which composeand govern our stomach, our heart, our brain,our lungs, etc ., come from the physicalworld, so do our soul qualities, our impulses,desires, feelings, passions, wishes, sensations,etc., come from the soul world . The soul ofthe human being is a member of this world,just as his body is part of the physical worldof bodies. Should one wish to begin bypointing out a difference between the cor-poral and soul worlds, one would say thatthe latter is in all its objects and entities muchfiner, more mobile, and plastic than the
  • THE THREE WORLDS 97former. But it must be kept clearly in mindthat on entering the soul world one enters aworld entirely different from the physical .If, therefore, "coarser" and "finer" be spokenof in this respect, readers must be fully awarethat one SUGGESTS by means of a comparisonwhat is fundamentally different . It is the samewith all that is said about the soul world inwords borrowed from the world of physicalcorporality . Taking this into account, onecan say that the formations and beings of thesoul world consist in the same way of soulmaterials, and are directed in the same way bysoul forces, as is the case in the physical worldwith physical materials and physical forces . Just as spacial extension and spacial move-ment are peculiar to corporal formations, soare excitability and impelling desire peculiarto the things and beings of the soul world .For this reason one describes the soul worldas the world of desires or wishes, or as theworld of longing. These expressions are bor-rowed from the human soul world . One musttherefore hold clearly in view that the thingsin those parts of the soul world which lie out-side the human soul are just as different from
  • 98 THEOSOPHYthe soul forces within it as the physical matterand forces of the external corporal world aredifferent from the parts which compose thephysical human body . (Impulse, wish, long-ing are names for the material of the soulworld. To this matter theosophical literaturegives the name of "astral ." If one wishes torefer specifically to the FORCES of the soulworld, one speaks in Theosophy of "kama ."But it must not be forgotten that the distinc-tion between "matter" and "force" cannot beas sharply drawn as in the physical world .An instinct, an impulse, can be called "force"just as well as "matter .") On him who obtains a view of the soul worldfor the first time, the differences between itand the physical have a bewildering effect .But that is also the case when a previouslyinactive physical sense is being opened . Theman born blind, when operated upon, has firstto learn to guide himself through the worldwhich he has previously known only bymeans of the sense of touch . Such a one, forexample, sees the objects at first IN his owneyes, then he sees them outside himself, but atfirst they appear to him as if painted on a flat
  • THE THREE WORLDS 99surface . Only gradually does he grasp per-spective and the spacial distance betweenthings . In the soul world entirely differentlaws prevail from those in the physical . Nowthere are many soul formations bound to thoseof the other worlds . The soul of man, forinstance, is bound to the human body and tothe human spirit . The occurrences one canobserve in it are therefore influenced at thesame time by the bodily and the spiritualworlds . One has to take this into account inobserving the soul world, and one must takecare not to ascribe to a law of the soul worldoccurrences due to the influence of anotherworld . When, for example, a man sends outa wish, it is produced by a thought, a concep-tion of the spirit whose laws it accordingly fol-lows. One can formulate the laws of the phys-ical world while ignoring, for example, theinfluence of man on its occurrences, and thesame thing is possible with regard to the soulworld. An important difference between soul andphysical occurrences can be expressed by say-ing that the interaction in the former is muchmore INWARD than in the latter . In phys-
  • ioo THEOSOPHYical space there reigns, for example, the lawof "impact." When an ivory ball strikesanother which is at rest, the latter moves in adirection which can be calculated from themotion and elasticity of the first . In the soulspace the interaction of two forms which meetdepends on their inner qualities. If they arein affinity they mutually interpenetrate eachother and, as it were, grow together. Theyrepel each other if their beings conflict . Inphysical space there are, for example, definitelaws of vision . One sees distant objects per-spectively diminishing . When one looks downan avenue, the distant trees appear, accordingto the laws of perspective, to stand at shorterdistances from each other than the near ones .In the soul space, on the contrary, all objectsnear and far appear to the clairvoyant at thosedistances from each other which are due totheir inner nature . This is naturally a sourceof the most varied mistakes for those who enterthe soul world, and wish to become at homethere by the help of the rules which they bringwith them from the physical world . One of the first things that a man must do inorder to make his way about the soul world
  • THE THREE WORLDS ioiis to realize that one distinguishes the variouskinds of its forms in a similar manner to thatin which one distinguishes solid, liquid, air,or gaseous bodies in the physical world . Inorder to be able to do that it is necessary toknow the two basic forces which are the mostimportant in it. They may be called SYM-PATHY and ANTIPATHY . The order to whicha soul formation belongs is decided by themanner in which these basic forces work init. The force with which one soul formationattracts others, seeks to fuse with them, to makeits affinity with them effectual, must be desig-nated as _ SYMPATHY . ANTIPATHY, on theother hand, is the force with which soul for-mations repel, exclude each other in the soulworld, with which they assert their separateidentity. The part played in the soul worldby a soul formation depends upon the propor- tions in which these basic forces are present in it. One has to distinguish, in the first place, between three kinds of soul formations accord- ing to the manner in which sympathy and antipathy work in them . These kinds differ from each other in that sympathy and antipa- thy have in them definitely fixed mutual rela-
  • 102 THEOSOPHYtionships . In all three BOTH basic forces arepresent . Let us take, to begin with, a forma-tion of the first kind . It attracts other for-mations in its neighborhood by means of thesympathy ruling in it ; but, besides this sym-pathy, there is at the same time present in itantipathy, through which it repels certainthings in its surroundings . From the outsidesuch a formation appears to be endowed withthe forces of antipathy ONLY . This, however,is not the case . There is sympathy and antipa-thy in it, but the latter predominates . It hasthe upper hand over the former . Such for-mations play a SELF-SEEKING role in the soulspace . They repel much that is around them,and lovingly attract but little to themselves .They therefore move through the soul spaceas unchangeable forms . The force of sympa-thy which is in them appears GREEDY . ThisGREED appears at the same time insatiable, asif it could not be satisfied, because the pre-dominating antipathy repels so much of whatapproaches that no satisfaction is possible .(Here we have to do with what is describedin theosophical literature as the lowest partof the astral world .) Should one wish to
  • THE THREE WORLDS 103compare this kind of soul formation withsomething in the physical world, one can saythat it corresponds with the solid physicalbodies . This region of soul matter may becalled BURNING DESIRE . The manner inwhich this Burning Desire is mingled in thesouls of animals and men determines in themwhat one calls the lower sensual impulses,their dominating selfish instincts . The second kind of soul formations is thatin which the two basic forces preserve a bal-ance, in which, accordingly, antipathy andsympathy act with equal strength . Theyapproach other formations with a certainneutrality and act on them as if related, butwithout especially attracting or repelling.They, as it were, erect no solid barrier betweenthemselves and their surroundings . Theyconstantly allow other formations in theirsurroundings to act on them ; one can there-fore compare them with the liquids of thephysical world . And there is nothing of greedin the way in which such formations attractothers to themselves . The activity meant hereis in process, for example, when the humansoul receives the sensation of a certain color .
  • 104 THEOSOPHYIf I have the sensation of a red color, I receiveto begin with a NEUTRAL EXCITATION frommy surroundings . Only when there is addedto this excitation pleasure in the red colordoes another soul activity come into play .That which effects the NEUTRAL EXCITATIONis the action of soul formations standing insuch mutual relationship that sympathy andantipathy preserve an equal balance . Onewill have to describe the soul matter whichcomes under observation here as perfectlyplastic and flowing . Not self-seeking likethe first does it move about the soul space, butin such a way that its being receives impres-sions from all directions, and that it showsitself to have affinity with much thatapproaches it . An • expression that may beused to designate it is FLOWING EXCITABILITY . The third stage of soul formations .is thatin which sympathy has the upper hand overantipathy. Antipathy produces the self- seeking self-assertion ; this, however, retires in face of the liking for the things in the sur- roundings . Let us picture such a formationwithin the soul space . It appears as the center point of an attracting sphere which spreads
  • THE THREE WORLDS 1 05over the objects in its surroundings . Suchformations one must designate in a specialsense as WISH SUBSTANCE . This designationappears to be the right one, because the attrac-tion so acts, even through the existing antipa-thy, as to bring the attracted objects within thesoul formations own sphere . The sympathythus receives a tone of selfishness. This wishsubstance may be likened to the air or gaseousbodies of the physical world . As a gas strivesto expand on all sides, so does the wish sub-stance spread itself out in all directions . Higher grades of soul substance renderthemselves distinguishable by the fact that inthem one of the basic forces, namely antipathy,retires completely, and sympathy alone showsitself as the one really effective . Now this isable to make its power felt within the parts ofsoul formation itself . These parts mutuallyattract each other . The force of sympathywithin a soul formation comes to expression inwhat one calls LIKING. And each lessening ofthis sympathy is DISLIKING . Disliking is onlya lessened liking, as cold is only a lessenedwarmth. Liking and disliking compose whatlives in man as the world of EMOTIONS in
  • rob THEOSOPHYthe narrow sense of the word . FEELING is thelife and activity of the soul within itself .What one calls the COMFORT of the soul de-pends on the way in which the feelings of lik-ing and disliking-attraction and repulsion-interact within the soul . A still higher grade is occupied by thosesoul formations whose sympathy does notremain enclosed within the region of their ownlife . They differ from the three lower grades,as does in fact the fourth also, in that in themthe force of sympathy has no antipathy oppos-ing it to overcome . It is only through thesehigher orders of soul substance that the mani-fold variety of soul formations can unite andform a common soul world. In cases whereantipathy comes into play, the soul formationstrives toward another thing for sake of itsown life, and in order to strengthen and enrichitself by means of the other . Where antipa-thy is silent the other thing is received asrevelation, as information . This higher formof soul substance plays in the soul space a simi-lar role to that played by light in physicalspace . It causes a soul formation to suck in,as it were, the being or essence of others for
  • THE THREE WORLDS 107their sakes ; one could also say to let itself berayed upon by them . Only by drawing uponthese higher regions are the soul beingsawakened to the true soul life . Their dull lifein the darkness opens outward, and begins it-self to shine and ray out into the soul space ;the sluggish, dull movement of the inner lifewhich wishes to shut itself off through antipa-thy when the substances of the lower regionsonly are present, becomes force and mobilitywhich arises from within, and, streaming,pours itself outward . The Flowing Excita-bility of the second region is only effectivewhen formations meet each other . Then,indeed, the one streams over into the other .But CONTACT is here necessary . In the higherregions there prevails a free out-raying andout-pouring. (Rightly does one describe theessential nature of this region as an "out-ray-ing," for the sympathy which is developed actsin such a way that one can use as symbol for itthe expression taken from the action of light .)The soul pines from lack of the soul substancesof the higher regions which give it life, as aplant degenerates in a dark cellar . SOUL LIGHT, ACTIVE SOUL FORCE and the
  • rob THEOSOPII Ytrue SOUL LIFE in the narrower sense belongto these regions, and thence pour themselvesout to the soul beings . One has therefore to distinguish betweenthree lower and three higher regions of thesoul world . These are linked by a fourth, sothat there results the following division of thesoul world i . Region of Burning Desire . 2. " Flowing Excitability . 3. " Wishes . 4• Attraction and Repulsion . 5. " Soul Light. 6. " Active Soul Force . 7• " " Soul Life . Through the first three regions the soul for-mations receive their qualities according to theproportion of sympathy and antipathy in them ;through the fourth region sympathy is prevail-ingly active within the soul formations them-selves ; through the three highest, the powerof sympathy becomes ever more and more free ;illumining and quickening, the soul substancesof this region waft through the soul space,awakening that which, if left to itself, wouldlose itself in its own separate existence .
  • THE THREE WORLDS log For the sake of clearness it is here empha-sized, though it should be superfluous, thatthese seven divisions of the soul world do notrepresent regions separated from one another .Just as in the physical regions solid, liquid, andair or gaseous substances interpenetrate, so doBurning Desire, Flowing Excitability, and theforces of the World of Wishes in the soulworld. And as in the physical world, warmthpenetrates bodies and light illumines them, sois it the case in the soul world with desire andaversion, and with the Soul Light . Some-thing similar takes place with regard to theActive Soul Force and the true Soul Life .2. THE SOUL IN THE SOUL WORLD AFTER DEATH The soul is the connecting link between thespirit of man and his body . Its forces of sym-pathy and antipathy which, owing to theirmutual relationship, bring about soul manifes-tations, such as desire, excitability, wish, lik-ing, and aversion, etc ., are not only activebetween soul formations and soul formations,but they manifest themselves also in relation tothe beings of the other worlds, the physical
  • 110 THEOSOPHY and the spiritual . While the soul lives in thebody it participates to a certain extent in all that takes place in it . When the physicalfunctions of the body proceed with regularity,there arise in the soul desire and comfort . Ifthese functions are disturbed aversion and painarise . And the soul has its share in the activi-ties of the spirit also ; one thought fills it withjoy, another with repulsion ; a correct judg-ment has the approval of the soul, a false oneits disapproval . The stage of evolution of aman depends, in fact, on whether the inclina-tions of his soul move more in one direction orin another . A man is the more perfect the morehis soul sympathizes with the manifestationsof the spirit ; he is the more imperfect the morethe inclinations of his soul are satisfied by thefunctions of the body. The spirit is the central point of man, thebody the instrument by which the spiritobserves and learns to understand the physicalworld and through it acts in it . But the soulis the intermediary between the two . Out ofthe physical impression which the vibrationsof air make on the ear, it awakens the sensingof the sound ; it produces the PLEASURE in this
  • THE THREE WORLDS IIItone . All this it communicates to the spirit,which thus attains to the UNDERSTANDING ofthe physical world . A thought which arisesin the spirit is changed by the soul into theWISH to realize it, and only through this canit become DEED, with the help of the body asinstrument . Now man can fulfill his destinyonly by allowing his spirit to direct the courseof all his activity . The soul can (of itself)direct its inclinations just as well to the phys-ical as to the spiritual . It sends, as it were,its feelers down into the physical as well as upinto the spiritual . By sinking them into thephysical world its own being becomes pene-trated and colored by the nature of the phys-ical . But the spirit, because able to act inthe physical world only through it as interme-diary, receives also in this way the directiontoward the physical . Its formations are drawnto the physical by the forces of the soul .Observe, for example, the undeveloped man .The inclinations of his soul cling to the func-tions of his body . He feels pleasure only in theimpressions made by the physical world on hissenses. His intellectual life also is therebycompletely drawn down into this region . His
  • 112 THEOSOPHYthoughts serve only to satisfy his demands onthe physical life . The spiritual Self by livingfrom incarnation to incarnation is intended toreceive its direction ever increasingly out ofthe spiritual ; its knowledge to be determinedby the spirit of eternal Truth, its action bythe eternal Goodness . Death, when regarded as a fact in the phys-ical world, signifies a change in the functionsof the body . It ceases to be through its organ-ization the instrument of the soul and thespirit . It shows itself henceforth to be entirelysubject, as regards its functions, to the physicalworld and its laws . And it passes over into itin order to dissolve in it . Only these physicalprocesses in the body can be observed afterdeath by the physical senses . What happensthen to soul and spirit escapes them. For evenduring life soul and spirit can be observed bythe senses only in so far as they have externalexpressions in physical processes . After deathTHIS kind of expression is no longer possible .For this reason observation by means of thephysical senses and science based on it, do NOTcome under consideration in reference to thefate of the soul and spirit AFTER DEATH . Here
  • THE THREE WORLDS iiia higher knowledge steps in, based on observa-tion of the events in the soul and spirit worlds . After the spirit has released itself from thebody it continues to be united with the soul .And as, during physical life, the body chainsit to the physical world, the soul now chainsit to the soul world . But it is not in thissoul world that the spirits true primordialbeing is to be found . The soul world isintended to serve merely as its connecting linkwith the scene of its actions, the physicalworld. In order to appear in a new incarna-tion with a more perfect form it must drawforce and strength from the spiritual world .But through the soul it has become entangledin the physical world. It is bound to asoul being which is penetrated and coloredby the nature of the physical, and throughthis it has itself acquired a tendency in thisdirection . After death the soul is no longerbound to the body, but only to the spirit. Itlives now within soul surroundings . Onlythe forces of this soul world can there-fore have an effect on it . And at first thespirit also is bound to this life of the soulin the soul world . It is bound to it in the
  • rr 4 THEOSOPHYsame way as it is bound to the body duringphysical incarnation . The time when thebody is to die is determined by the laws of theBODY . Speaking generally, in fact, it must besaid it is not that the soul and spirit forsakethe body, but that the body is set free by themwhen its forces are no longer able to act afterthe manner of the human organization . Thesame relationship exists between soul andspirit . The soul sets the spirit free to passinto the higher, the spiritual world, when itsforces are no longer able to function as afterthe manner of the human soul-organism . Thespirit is set free the moment the soul hashanded over to dissolution what it can onlyexperience in the body, and retains only thatwhich remains over, which can live on withthe spirit. This retained extract, which,although experienced in the body, can, never-theless as fruit, be stamped on the spirit, con-nects the soul with the spirit in the pure,spiritual world . In order to learn the fate of the soulafter death, therefore, one has to observe itsprocess of dissolution . It had the task ofgiving the spirit its direction toward the
  • THE THREE WORLDS z ,_ 5physical . The moment it has fulfilled THIStask the soul takes the direction to the spirit-ual . In fact, the nature of its task would causeit to be henceforth only spiritually active whenthe body falls away from it, that is, when itcan no longer be a CONNECTING LINK . And soit would be, had it not, owing to its life in thebody, been influenced by it and in its inclina-tions attracted to it . Were it not for this color-ing received through the body it would atonce, on being disembodied, follow the lawsof the spiritual soul world only, and manifestno further inclination to the sensible world .This is what would happen if a man on dyinglost completely all interest in the earthlyworld, if all desires, wishes, etc ., attaching tothe existence he has left had been completelysatisfied . To the extent to which this is notthe case, the unsatisfied part of the soul per-sists in its longings for the physical . To avoid confusion we must here carefullydistinguish between what chains man to theworld in such a way that it can be made goodin any following incarnation, and that whichchains him to ONE particular incarnation, thatis, to the immediately preceding one . The
  • 116 THEOSOPHYfirst is made good by means of the law of des-tiny or Karma ; but the other can only be gotrid of by the soul after death . After death there follows, for the humanspirit, a time during which the soul is shakingoff its inclinations toward the physical exist-ence, in order once more to follow the laws ofthe spiritual soul world only and set the spiritfree . It is natural that this time will lastthe longer the more the soul was bound to thephysical . It will be short in the case of aman who has clung little to the physical life,long, on the other hand, for one who has socompletely bound up his interests with it thatat death many desires, wishes, etc ., still live inthe soul . The easiest way to gain an idea of the con-dition in which the soul lives during the timeimmediately after death is afforded by thefollowing consideration . Let us take thesomewhat crass example, the enjoyment of thebon vivant . His pleasure consists in the tick-ling of the palate by food . The pleasure isnaturally not bodily, but belongs to the soul .The pleasure lives in the soul, as also doesthe desire for the pleasure . But for the
  • THE THREE WORLDS 117SATISFACTION of the desire the correspondingbodily organs, the palate, etc ., are necessary .After death the soul has not immediatelylost such a desire, but it no longer possesses thebodily organ which provides the means forsatisfying the desire . For another reason,but one which acts in the same way only farmore strongly, the man is now as if he weresuffering burning thirst in a region in thelength and breadth of which there is nowater. The soul thus suffers burning painfrom the deprivation of the pleasure becauseit has laid aside the bodily organ by which itcan experience it. It is the same with all thatthe soul yearns for and that can only be satis-fied through the bodily organs . This con-dition (of burning privation) lasts until thesoul has learned not to long any more for thatwhich can only be satisfied through the body .The time passed in this condition is usuallycalled in Theosophy "Kamaloca" (region ofdesires, although it has of course nothing todo with a locality) . When the soul enters the soul world afterdeath it becomes subject to the laws of thatworld. The laws act on it, and on their action
  • 1 18 THEOSOPHYdepends the manner in which its inclinationstoward the physical are destroyed . The waysin which they act on it must differ accordingto the kinds of soul substances and soul forcesin whose domain it is placed at the time . Eachof these kinds will make its purifying, cleans-ing influence felt . The process which takesplace here consists in the gradual conqueringof all antipathy in the soul by the forces ofsympathy, and in bringing this sympathy itselfto its highest pitch . For through this highestdegree of sympathy with the whole of the restof the soul world, the soul will, as it were,merge into it, become one with it ; then is itutterly emptied of its self-seeking ; it ceasesto exist as a being inclined to the physicallysensible existence ; the spirit is set freethrough it . The soul therefore purifies itselfthrough all the regions of the soul worlddescribed above until, in the region of perfectsympathy, it becomes one with the wholesoul world . That the spirit itself is in bondageuntil the last moment of the liberation of itssoul is due to the fact that, through itslife with it, it has developed a completeaffinity. This relationship is much greater
  • THE THREE WORLDS 119than the one with the body. For the spiritis bound directly to the soul, but only indi-rectly through the soul to the body . Thesoul is, in fact, the spirits own life . For thisreason the spirit is not bound to the decayingbody, though it is bound to the soul graduallyfreeing itself . On account of the immediatebond between the spirit and the soul, the spiritcan feel free with the soul only when the lat-ter has itself become one with the whole soulworld. In so far as the soul world is the abode ofman immediately after death it is called"Kamaloca," the "Region of Desires ." Thedifferent religious systems which have embod-ied in their doctrines a knowledge of theseconditions know this "Region of Desires" bythe name of "purgatory," "cleansing fire," andso on . The lowest region of the soul world is thatof Burning Desire. By it everything in thesoul that has to do with the coarsest, lowest,selfish desires of the physical life is rootedout of the soul after death . For through suchdesires it is exposed to the effects of theforces of this soul region . The unsatisfied
  • 120 THEOSOPHYdesires which have remained from physicallife furnish the points of attack . The sym-pathy of such souls extends only to what cannourish their selfish natures ; it is greatlyexceeded by the antipathy which floods every-thing else . Now the desires aim at physicalenjoyments which cannot be satisfied in thesoul world . The craving is intensified to itshighest degree by this impossibility of satis-faction . But at the same time owing to thisimpossibility it is forced to die out gradually .The burning lusts gradually exhaust them-selves, and the soul has learned by experiencethat the only means of preventing the suffer-ing that must come from such longings lies inkilling them out. During the physical lifesatisfaction is constantly being repeated . Bythis means the pain of the burning lusts iscovered over by a kind of illusion . Afterdeath, in the "fire cleansing," the pain comesinto evidence quite unveiled . The most fear-ful sufferings are laid bare . A dark, gloomystate is it in which the soul thus finds itself .Of course only those persons whose desiresare directed during physical life to the coarsestthings can fall into this condition . Natures
  • THE THREE WORLDS 121with few lusts go through it without noticingit, for they have no affinity with it. It mustbe stated that, in general, souls are the longerinfluenced by the Burning Desire the moreclosely they have become bound up with thatfire during life, and the more they require onthat account to be purified in it. A second class of things in the soul worldis of such a nature that sympathy andantipathy preserve an equal balance in them .In so far as a human soul is in a similar con-dition after death it will be influenced bythese things for a time . The giving of one-self up entirely to the external glitter of lifeand to joy in the swiftly-succeeding impres-sions of the senses, brings about this condi-tion . Many people live in it . They allowthemselves to be influenced by each worth-less trifle of everyday life ; but, as their sym-pathy is attached to no one thing in particular,the influences quickly pass . Everything thatdoes not belong to this region of empty noth-ings is repellent to such persons . If the soulexperiences this condition after death withoutthe presence of the physical objects which arenecessary for its satisfaction, the condition
  • 122 THEOSOPHYmust needs die out ultimately . Naturally theprivation which precedes its complete extinc-tion in the soul is full of suffering . This stateof suffering is the school for the destructionof the illusion in which such persons are com-pletely wrapped up during physical life . Thirdly there come under considerationin the soul world the things with predominat-ing sympathy, those in whose natures WISHpredominates . The effects of their activityare experienced by souls that retain anatmosphere of wishes after death . Thesewishes also gradually die out on account ofthe impossibility of their being satisfied . The region of Attraction and Repulsionwhich has been described above as thefourth, exposes the soul to special trials .As long as the soul dwells in the bodyit shares all that concerns it . The inner surgelife of attraction and repulsion is bound upwith the body . It causes the souls feeling ofwell-being and comfort, dislike and discom-fort. Man feels during his physical life thathis body is himself, what one calls the FEELINGOF SELF springs from this . And the more sen-sually inclined people are, the more does their
  • THE THREE WORLDS 123feeling of self take on this characteristic .After death the body, the object of this feelingof self, is lacking . On this account the soul,with which the feeling has remained, feels asif EMPTIED OUT. A feeling as if it had lostitself befalls it . This continues until the soulhas recognized that the true man does notlie in the physical . The operations of thisfourth region on the soul accordingly destroythe illusion of the bodily self . The soul, atlength, learns to stop feeling that this cor-porality is an essential reality . It is cured andpurified of its attachment to embodiment . Inthis way it has conquered that which chainsit strongly to the physical world, and canunfold fully the forces of sympathy which flowoutward. It has, so to say, broken free fromitself, and is ready to pour itself with fullsympathy into the common soul world . It should not pass unnoted that the tor-ments of this region are suffered to anespecial degree by suicides . They leave theirphysical body in an artificial way, while allthe feelings connected with it remainunchanged . In the case of a natural death thedecay of the body is accompanied by a
  • T24 THEOSOPHYpartial dying out of the feelings of attachmentto it . In the case of suicides there are, inaddition to the torment caused by thefeeling of having been suddenly emptied out,the unsatisfied desires and wishes on accountof which they have deprived themselves oftheir bodies . The FIFTH stage of the soul world is that ofSOUL LIGHT. In it sympathy with others hasalready reached a high degree of power .Souls are connected with it in so far as theyhave not during their physical lives entirelydevoted themselves to satisfying lower neces-sities, but have had joy and pleasure in theirsurroundings . Enthusiasm for nature, forexample, in so far as it has borne somethingof a sensuous character undergoes cleansinghere. It is necessary, however, to distinguishclearly THIS kind of love of nature from thathigher living in nature which is of the spirit-ual kind, and which seeks for the spirit thatreveals itself in the things and events ofnature. This kind of feeling for nature is oneof the things that develop the spirit itself andestablish something permanent in the spirit .But one must distinguish between THIS feel-
  • THE THREE WORLDS 125ing for nature and such pleasure in nature asis based on the senses . In regard to this thesoul requires purification just as well as inregard to other inclinations based on the merephysical existence . Many people hold, as akind of ideal, arrangements which minister tosensuous welfare, and a system of educationwhich results above all in the production ofsensuous comfort . One cannot say of themthat they further only their selfish impulses,but their souls are, nevertheless, directed tothe physical world, and must be cured of thisby the prevailing force of sympathy in thefifth region of the soul world in which theseexternal means of satisfaction are lacking.The soul here recognizes gradually that thissympathy must take other directions, andthese are found in the outpouring of the soulinto the soul region, which is brought aboutby sympathy with the soul surroundings .Those souls also that demand from theirreligious observances mainly an enhancementof their sensuous welfare, whether it be thattheir longing goes out to an earthly or aheavenly paradise, are purified here . Theyfind this paradise in the "Soul-land," but only
  • 126 THEOSOPHYfor the purpose of seeing through its worth-lessness . These are, of course, merely a fewdetached examples of purifications whichtake place in this fifth region . They couldbe multiplied indefinitely. By means of the SIXTH region, that ofActive Soul Force, the purification of soulsthirsting for action takes place, souls whoseactivity does not bear an egotistical character,but springs, nevertheless, from the sensuoussatisfaction it affords them. Such natures,viewed superficially, quite convey the impres-sion of being idealists ; they show themselvesto be persons capable of self-sacrifice . In adeeper sense, however, the chief thing withthem is the enhancement of a sensuous feelingof pleasure. Many artistic natures and suchas give themselves up to scientific activitybecause it pleases them, belong to this class .What binds these people to the physical worldis the belief that art and science exist for thesake of such pleasure . They have not yetlearned to place these at the service of theworlds evolution, and thereby to place them-selves at its service . The SEVENTH region, that of the real SOUL.
  • THE THREE WORLDS 127 LIFE, frees man of his last inclination to the sensibly physical world . Each preceding region divests the soul of whatever has affinitywith it. What now still envelops the spiritis the belief that its activity should be entirely devoted to the physical world . There areindividuals who, though highly gifted, do notthink about much over and above the occur-rences of the physical world . This belief canbe called materialistic . It must be destroyed,and this is done in the seventh region . Therethese souls see that they have no objects fortheir materialistic thinking. Like ice in thesun this belief of the soul melts away . Thesoul being is now absorbed into its own world .The spirit, free from all fetters, rises to theregions where it lives in its own surroundingsonly. The soul has completed its previousearthly task, and after death any traces of thistask that remained fettering the spirit have dis-solved. By overcoming the last trace of theearth, the soul is itself given back to its ele-ments. One sees by this description that the experi-ences in the soul world, and also the condi-tions of the soul life after death, gain an ever 10
  • 128 THEOSOPHYfriendlier appearance the more a man hasshaken off the low elements that adhere to himfrom his earthly union with the physical cor-porality . The soul will belong for a longer orshorter time to one or another region accordingto its physical life . Where the soul feels itselfto be in affinity, there it remains until the affin-ity is extinguished . Where no relationshipexists, it goes on its way untouched . It was intended that only the fundamentalcharacteristics of the soul world, and the out-standing features of the life of the soul in thisworld, should be described here . This appliesalso to the following descriptions of the spiritland . I would exceed the prescribed limitsof this book were further characteristics ofthese higher worlds to be gone into . For thespecial relationships and the lapse of time,which are quite different there from those inthe physical world, can only be spoken aboutintelligibly when one is prepared to deal withthem in full detail . References of importancein this connection will be found in my "Out-line of Occult Science" ("Geheimwissenschaftim Umriss," Altmanns Verlag, Leipsig) .
  • THE THREE WORLDS 129 3. THE SPIRIT LAND Before the spirit can be observed on its fur-ther pilgrimage the land which it enters mustfirst be examined . It is the "World of theSpirit." (In theosophical literature this iscalled the "mental" world . Here, the expres-sion "World of the Spirit" or "Spirit-land"will be used .) This world is so unlike thephysical that all that is said about it willappear fantastic to him who is willing to trusthis physical senses only. And what has alreadybeen said in regard to the world of the soulholds good here to a still higher degree ; thatis, that one has to use analogies in order todescribe it . For our speech, which for themost part serves only for the realities of thesenses, is not richly blessed with expressionsfor the "Spirit-land ." It is therefore espe-cially necessary here to ask the reader to under-stand much that is said as an INDICATION only.For everything that is described here is sounlike the physical world that it can only inthis way be depicted . The author is ever con-scious of how little this account can reallyresemble the experiences of this region owing
  • 130 THEOSOPHYto the imperfection of our speech, calculated,as it is, to be our medium of expression forthe physical world. It must above all things be emphasized thatthis world is woven out of the material ofwhich human thought consists . But thought,as it lives in man, is only a shadow picture, aphantom of its true being . As the shadow ofan object on the wall is related to the realobject which throws this shadow, so is thethought that springs up in man related to thebeing in the spirit land which corresponds tothis thought . Now when the SPIRITUAL senseof man is awakened he really perceives thisthought-being just as the eye of the senses per-ceives the table or the chair . He goes about ina region of thought-beings . The corporeal eyeperceives the lion, and the corporeal thinkingTHINKS merely the thought "lion" as a phan-tom, a shadow picture . The SPIRITUAL eyesees in Spirit-land the thought "lion" as reallyand actually as the corporeal eye sees the phys-ical lion . Here we may refer to the analogyalready used regarding the soul land . Justas the surroundings of a man born blind andoperated upon appear all at once with the new
  • THE THREE WORLDS iiiqualities of color and light, so are the sur-roundings of the person who learns to use hisSPIRITUAL eye seen to be filled with a newworld, the world of LIVING thoughts or SPIRITBEINGS. There are to be seen in this world, first, theSPIRITUAL ARCHETYPES of all things andbeings which are present in the physical andin the soul world. Imagine the picture of apainter existing in the mind before it ispainted . This gives an analogy to what ismeant by the expression ARCHETYPE. It doesnot concern us here that the painter has per-haps not had such an Archetype in his mindbefore he paints, and that it only graduallydevelops and becomes complete during thepractical work . In the real "World of Spirit"there are such Archetypes for all things, andthe physical things and beings are COPIES ofthese Archetypes . When any person whotrusts only his outer senses denies thisarchetypal world, and holds Archetypes to bemerely abstractions which the intellect, bycomparing the objects of the senses, arrives at,it is quite to be understood ; for such a onesimply cannot see in this higher world ; he
  • 132 THEOSOPHYknows the thought world only in its shadowyabstractness . He does not know that the per-son with spiritual vision is as familiar with thespirit beings as he is with his dog or his cat,and that the archetypal world has a far moreintense reality than the world of the physicalsenses. The first look into this "Spirit-land" is stillmore bewildering than that into the soulworld . For the Archetypes in their true formare very unlike their sensible copies . Theyare, however, just as unlike their SHADOWS,the abstract thoughts . In the spiritual worldall is in continuous, mobile activity, a ceaselesscreating . A state of rest, a remaining in oneplace, such as one has in the physical world,does not exist here . For the Archetypes areCREATIVE BEINGS . They are the master build-ers of all that comes into being in the physicalworld and the soul world . Their formschange rapidly ; and in each Archetype liesthe possibility of assuming myriads of spe-cialized forms . They, as it were, let differentshapes well up out of them, and scarcely is oneproduced than the Archetype prepares to pourforth the next one . The Archetypes are
  • THE THREE WORLDS 133related to each other in varying degrees ofcloseness . They do not work singly . Theone requires the help of the other in its cre-ating. Often innumerable Archetypes worktogether in order that this or that being in thesoul or physical world may arise . Besides what is to be perceived by "spirit-ual sight" in this "Spirit-land," there is some-thing else experienced that is to be regarded as"spiritual hearing ." As soon, that is to say, asthe clairvoyant rises out of the soul world intothe spirit world the Archetypes that are per-ceived become sounding as well . The observerfeels as if he were in an ocean of tones . Andin these tones, in these spiritual chimes, theBeings of the spirit world express themselves .The primordial laws of their existence expresstheir mutual relationships and affinities in theintermingling of their sounds, their harmo-nies, melodies, and rhythms . What the intel-lect perceives in the physical world as law, asidea, reveals itself to the "spiritual ear" as akind of music . (Hence the Pythagoreanscalled these perceptions of the spiritual worldthe "music of the spheres ." To the possessorof the "spiritual ear" this "music of the
  • 1 34 THEOSOPHYspheres" is not something merely figurative,allegorical, but a SPIRITUAL REALITY wellknown to him .) If one wishes to gain a con-ception of this "spiritual music" one has to layaside all ideas of the music of the senses as per-ceived by the material ear . For it is here amatter of "spiritual perception" and thereforeof a kind which must remain silent for the"ear of the senses ." In the following descrip-tions of the "Spirit-land" reference to this"spiritual music" will for the sake of simplic-ity be omitted . One has only to form a men-tal picture in which everything described as"Type," as "shining with light," is at the sametime SOUNDING . Each color, each perceptionof light represents a spiritual tone, and everycombination of colors corresponds with a har-mony, a melody, etc . For one must holdclearly in mind that even where the soundingprevails, perception by means of the "spirit-ual eye" by no means ceases . The sounding ismerely added to the shining . Where, there-fore, Archetypes, the Primal Types, arespoken of in the following pages, the PrimalTones are to be thought of as also present . Now it is necessary in the first place to
  • THE THREE WORLDS 135distinguish the different kinds of Archetypes .In the "Spirit-land" also one has to differ-entiate numerous grades or regions in order tosteer ones way among them . Here also, as inthe soul world, the different regions are not tobe thought of as laid one above the other likestrata, but mutually interpenetrating and suf-fusing each other . The FIRST region containsthe "Archetypes" of the physical world in sofar as it is not endowed with life . The Arche-types of the minerals are to be found here-also those of the plants ; but the latter only inso far as they are purely physical, that is, inso far as one does not take into account thelife in them . In the same way one finds herethe physical forms of the animals and ofhuman beings. This does not exhaust all thatis to be found in this region, but merely illus-trates it by the readiest examples . This regionforms the basic structure of the "Spirit-land ."It can be likened to the solid land of our phys-ical earth . It forms the continental masses ofthe "Spirit-land ." Its relationship with thephysical, corporal world can only be describedby means of an illustration. One gains someidea of it in the following way . One has to
  • 136 THEOSOPHYpicture a limited space filled with physicalbodies of the most varied kinds . Then thinkthese bodies away and conceive in their placecavities in space having their forms . Theintervening spaces, on the other hand, whichwere previously empty one must think of asfilled with the most varied forms, having mani-fold relationships with the former bodies .This is somewhat like the appearance pre-sented by the lowest region of the Archetypalworld. In it the things and beings whichbecome embodied in the physical world arepresent as "spacial cavities ." And in theintervening spaces the mobile activity of theArchetypes (and the "spiritual music") playsout its course . During their formation intophysical forms the spacial cavities become,as it were, filled up with physical matter . Hewho looks into space with both physical andspiritual eyes sees the physical bodies and, inbetween, the mobile activity of the creativeArchetypes . The SECOND region of the "Spirit-land"contains the Archetypes of life . But this lifeforms here a perfect unity. It streamsthrough the world of spirit like a fluid ele-
  • THE THREE WORLDS 137ment, as it were, like blood pulsating throughall. It may be likened to the sea and the watersystems of the physical earth . The mannerin which it is distributed, however, is morelike the distribution of blood in the animalbody than that of the seas and rivers . Onecould describe this second stage of the "Spirit-land" as Flowing Life, formed of thought ma-terial. In this element are the creative PrimalForces producing everything that appears inthe physical reality as living being . Here itis evident that all life is a unity, that the lifein me is related to the life of all my fellowcreatures . The Archetypes of all soul formations mustbe designated as the THIRD region of the"Spirit-land ." Here one finds oneself in amuch finer and rarer element than in the firsttwo regions. To use a comparison, one cancall it the AIR or atmosphere of the "Spirit-land." Everything that goes on in the soulsof both the other worlds has here its spiritualcounterpart . Here all feelings, sensations,instincts, passions, etc ., are again present, butin a spiritual way . The atmospheric eventsin the air region correspond with the sorrows
  • 138 THEOSOPHY and joys of the creatures in the other worlds .The longing of the human soul is here per- ceived as a gentle zephyr ; an outbreak of pas-sion is like a stormy blast . He who has theability to perceive here notes the sigh of everycreature should he direct his attention to it .One can, for example, observe at times some-thing like a loud storm with flashing light-ning and rolling thunder ; and, if one investi-gates the matter, one finds that the passions ofa battle waged on earth are expressed in such"spirit tempests ." The Archetypes of the FOURTH region arenot immediately related to the other worlds .They are in certain respects Beings who gov-ern the Archetypes of the three lower regionsand render possible their working together.They are accordingly occupied with theordering and grouping of these more sub-ordinate Archetypes . From this region,therefore, a more comprehensive activityissues than from the lower ones . The FIFTH, SIXTH, and SEVENTH regionsdiffer essentially from the preceding ones.For the Beings in them supply the Arche-types with the IMPULSES to their activity. In
  • THE THREE WORLDS 139them one finds the creative forces of theArchetypes themselves . He who is able torise to these regions makes acquaintance withthe PURPOSES which underly our world . TheArchetypes lie here, as yet, like living germ-points, ready to assume the most manifoldforms of thought-beings . If these germ-pointsare guided into the lower regions they wellout, as it were, and manifest themselves inthe most varied shapes . (It is for this reasonthat in theosophical literature these threehigher regions of the "Spirit-land" are calledthe Arupa, in contrast with the four lower,which are called the Rupa regions . Arupameans formless ; Rupa, having form .) Theideas through which the human spirit mani-fests itself creatively in the physical worldare the reflection, the shadow, of these GermThought-beings of the higher spiritual world .The observer with the spiritual ear who risesfrom the lower regions of the "Spirit-land" tothese higher ones, becomes aware that soundsand tones are changed into a "spiritual lan-guage." He begins to perceive the "spirit-ual word" through which the things andbeings do not now make known to him their
  • 1 40 THEOSOPHYnature in music alone, but express it in"words ." They say to him what one calls in"spirit science" their "eternal name ." One must picture to oneself that theseGerm Thought-beings are of a compositenature. Out of the element of the thoughtworld only the germ-sheath, as it were, istaken . And this surrounds the true LIFEKERNEL. With it we have reached the con-fines of the "three worlds." For the"KERNEL" has its origin in still higher worlds .When man was described above according tohis components this "Life kernel" of thehuman being was mentioned, and its com-ponents were called "life spirit" and "spiritman ." (Theosophical literature applies tothese the names budhi and atma .) There aresimilar "Life kernels" for other Beings in theCosmos . They originate in higher worlds andare placed in the three described, in order toaccomplish their tasks in them . The human spirit will now be followed onits further pilgrimage through the "Spirit-land" between two embodiments or incarna-tions . While doing this the relationships and
  • THE THREE WORLDS 141distinguishing characteristics of this "land"will once more come clearly into view . 4. THE SPIRIT IN SPIRIT-LAND AFTER DEATH When the human spirit on its way betweentwo incarnations has passed through this"world of souls" (Kamaloca), it enters the"Land of Spirits" to remain there until it isripe for a new bodily existence . (The theo-sophical name for this region is "Devachan .")One can only understand the significance ofthis sojourn in "Spirit-land" when able tointerpret in the right way the aim and end ofthe pilgrimage of man during his incarna-tions . While man is incarnated in the phys-ical body he works and creates in the physicalworld . And he works and creates in it as aSPIRITUAL BEING . He imprints on the phys-ical forms, on corporeal materials and forces,that which his spirit thinks out and develops .He has therefore, as a messenger of the spir-itual world, to incorporate the spirit in thecorporal world . Only by being embodied cana man work in the world of bodies . Hemust wrap physical matter around his spirit
  • 14 2 THEOSOPHYso that, through the body, he can act on theother bodies around, and so that they can acton him. But what acts through this physicalcorporality of man is the SPIRIT . From it flowthe PURPOSES, the direction its work is to takein the physical world. Now, as long as thespirit works in the physical body, it cannot asa spirit live in its true form . It can, as it were,only shine through the VEIL OF THE PHYSICALexistence . For, as a matter of fact, thethought life of man really belongs to the spir-itual world ; and, as it appears in the physicalexistence, its true form is veiled . One can alsosay that the thought life of the physical manis a shadow, a reflection of the true, spiritualbeing to whom it belongs . Thus, during phys-ical life, the spirit, through the physical bodyas an instrument, interacts with the earthlycorporal world . Now, although it is exactly in action on thephysical corporal world that one of the tasks ofthe spirit of man lies as long as he is proceed-ing from incarnation to incarnation, it couldnot by any means carry out this task as it oughtif it led an embodied existence only . For thepurposes and goals of the earthly task are
  • THE THREE WORLDS 143 just as little developed and gained within the earthly incarnation as the plan of a house comes into existence on the site on which the laborers work. Just as this plan is worked out in the offices of the architect, so are the aims and purposes of the earthly creative activities worked out and developed in the "Land of Spirits ." The spirit of man hasalways to live again in this land between two incarnations in order to be able to equip him-self with what he takes with him on leaving itand, armed with that, to approach the work inthe physical life . As the architect withoutworking with brick and mortar designs theplan of the house in his workroom in accord-ance with architectural and other rules, sohas the architect of human creations, the spiritor Higher Self, to develop in the "Spirit-land" capacities and aims in accordance withthe laws of this land, in order to bring themover into the physical world . Only if thehuman spirit sojourns over and over again inits own region will it be also able to bring thespirit, by means of the physical corporalinstruments, into the earthly world . On the physical scene of action man learns 11
  • 144 THEOSOPHY to know the qualities and forces of the phys- ical world . He gathers there during his cre-ative activity experiences regarding thedemands made by the physical world on anyone wishing to work in it . He learns there toknow, as it were, the qualities of the matter inwhich he wishes to embody his thoughts andideas . The thoughts and ideas themselves hecannot extract from the matter, so that thephysical world is both the scene of his creatingand of his LEARNING. What has been learnedis then transmuted in the "Spirit-land" intoliving faculties of the spirit . One can carry the above comparison fur-ther, in order to make the matter clearer . Thearchitect designs the plan of the house . Itis carried out . While this goes on he gains anumber of the most varied experiences . Allof these experiences enhance his capacities .When he designs his next plan all these experi-ences have an influence on it . And this plan,when compared to the first, is seen to beenriched with all that was learned through thefirst. It is the same with the successive humanlives . In the interval between the incarna-tions the spirit lives in its own sphere . It
  • THE THREE WORLDS 145can give itself up entirely to the requirementsof the spirit life ; freed from the physical cor-porality, it develops in every direction . Andit calls to its aid in this development the fruitsof its experiences in former earthly careers .In this way its attention is always directed tothe scene of its earthly tasks . And in this wayit works continually at making the earth, itspresent field of action, more and more per-fect . It works upon itself, so as to be able ineach incarnation to carry out its service dur-ing its earthly pilgrimage more and more per-fectly . This is of course only a GENERAL OUTLINEof the successive human lives . The realitywill never be quite the same, but will onlymore or less correspond with it . Circum-stances may bring it about that a subsequentlife of a man is much less perfect than a pre-vious one. But taken as a whole such ir-regularities equalize themselves in a naturalmanner during the course of the succession oflives . The development of the spirit in "Spirit-land" takes place through the mans throw-ing himself completely into the life of the
  • 146 THEOSOPHY different regions of this land . His own life,as it were, dissolves into each region succes-sively ; he takes on, for the time being, theircharacteristics . Through this they penetratehis being with theirs, in order that his may beable to work, strengthened by theirs, in hisearthly life . In the FIRST region of the "Spirit-land" manis surrounded with the spiritual Archetypesof the earthly things . During life on earthhe learns to know only the shadows of theseArchetypes which he grasps in his thoughts .What is merely THOUGHT on earth is in thisregion experienced, LIVED . Man moves amongthoughts ; but these thoughts are REAL BEINGS .What he has perceived with his senses duringlife on earth acts on him now in its thoughtform . But the thought does not appear as theshadow which hides itself behind the things ;it is on the contrary the life-filled reality pro-ducing the things . Man is, as it were, in thethought workshop in which the earthly thingsare formed and constructed . For in the"Land of Spirits" all is vital activity andmobility. Here, the thought world is at workas a world of living beings, creative and con-
  • THE THREE WORLDS 147structive . One sees how that which one hasexperienced during the earthly existence isCONSTRUCTED. Just as in the physical bodyone experiences the things of the senses asreality, so now as spirit one experiences thespiritual constructive forces as real . Amongthe thought-beings to be found there is alsothe thought of ones own physical corporality .One feels separated from this . One feels onlythe spiritual being as belonging to oneself .And when we no longer regard the body asphysical but as thought-being, there alreadyenters into our view of it its relation to theexternal world . We learn to look at it assomething belonging to the external world, amember of this external world . We conse-quently no longer separate our OWN corpo-rality from the rest of the external world assomething more nearly related to ourself . Wefeel the unity in the whole external worldincluding our own bodily incarnations . Ourown embodiments dissolve here into a unitywith the rest of the world . Thus we here lookupon the ARCHETYPES of the physical corpo-ral reality as a unity, to which we ourselvesbelong . We learn therefore gradually to
  • T48 THEOSOPHYknow our relationship, our unity with the sur-rounding world by observation . We learn tosay to it, "That which is here spread outaround thee, thou art that thyself ." And thatis one of the fundamental thoughts in theancient Indian Vedanta Wisdom . The"sage" accustoms himself to do, even duringhis earth life, what others experience afterdeath ; namely, to grasp the thought that hehimself is related to all things, the thought"Thou art that ." During the physical lifethis is an ideal to which the thought life canbe devoted ; in the "Land of Spirits" it is aplain fact, one which grows ever clearer to usthrough spiritual experience . And the manhimself comes to know ever more and moreclearly in this land that he in his own innerbeing belongs to the spirit world . He per-ceives himself to be a spirit among spirits, amember of the Primordial Spirit, and he willfeel concerning himself, "I am the PrimalSpirit." (The Wisdom of the Vedanta says"I am Brahman," i .e., I belong as a member tothe Primordial Being, in Whom all beingshave their origin .) One sees that what isgrasped during earthly life as a shadowy
  • THE THREE WORLDS 149thought and toward which all wisdom strives,is in the "Spirit-land" an immediate experi-ence . Indeed, it is only THOUGHT during theearth life because it is a FACT in the spiritualexistence . Thus man during his spiritual existence seesthe relationships and facts in the midst ofwhich he stands during his earthly careerfrom a high watch tower, as if from outside .And during his life in the lowest regions of"Spirit-land" he has this attitude toward theearthly relationships immediately connectedwith the physical corporal reality . On earthman is born into a family, a race ; he lives ina certain country. His earthly existence isdetermined by all these relationships . Hefinds this or that friend because relationshipsin the physical world bring it about . He car-ries on this or that business . All this decidesthe conditions of his earthly life . All thispresents itself to him during his life in thefirst region of "Spirit-land" as LIVING thoughtbeing. He lives it all through again in acertain way . But he lives it through from theactive spiritual side . The family love he hasextended, the friendship he has offered, are
  • 150 THEOSOPHYmade living from within, made to spring frominner sources, and his capacities in this direc-tion are enhanced . The force in the spirit ofman which acts as the power of love of fam-ily and friend is strengthened . He enters hisearthly existence later a more perfect man inthese respects . It is to a certain extent theeveryday relationships of the earth life whichripen as the fruitage of this lowest region ofthe "Spirit-land ." And those persons whoseinterests are wholly absorbed by these every-day relationships will feel themselves in affin-ity with this region for the greater part oftheir spiritual life between two incarnations . The next region is that in which the COM-MON LIFE of the earth world flows as Thought-being, as the fluid element, so to speak, of the"Spirit-land ." So long as we observe theworld during physical embodiment lifeappears to us to be confined within separateLIVING BEINGS . In "Spirit-land" it is loosedfrom them and, like life blood, flows as it werethrough the whole land . It is there the livingUnity which is present in everything. Of thisalso only a reflection appears to us during theearthly life . And this reflection expresses
  • THE THREE WORLDS 151itself in every form of reverence we pay to theWhole, to the Unity and Harmony of the uni-verse. The religious life of man is derivedfrom this reflection . Man becomes sensibleof the fact that the significance of existencedoes not lie in what is transitory and separate .He regards the transitory as a "similitude,"a likeness of an Eternal, of a harmoniousUnity. He looks up to this Unity in rever-ence and worship . He offers up before itreligious rites and ceremonies . In "Spirit-land" appears, not the reflection, but the realform, as living Thought-being . Here mancan really unite himself with the Unity thathe has reverenced on earth . The fruitage ofthe religious life and all connected with itappears in this region . Man now learnsthrough spiritual experience to recognize thathis individual fate is not to be separated fromthe community to which he belongs . Thecapacity to know oneself as a member of awhole develops itself here . Religious natures,and such as have already during life strivenafter a pure and noble morality, will drawstrength out of this region during a great partof their spiritual life between incarnations .
  • 152 THEOSOPHYAnd they will reincarnate with heightenedcapacities in this direction . The THIRD region of "Spirit-land" containsthe Archetypes of the soul world . All thatlives in this world is present as living thought-being . One finds in it the Archetypes ofdesires, wishes, feelings, etc . But here, in thespirit world, nothing of self-seeking attachesitself to the soul . Like all life in the secondregion, in this third region all longings,wishes, all likes and dislikes, form a unity .The desires and wishes of others are not separ-able from my desires and wishes . The sensa-tions and feelings of all beings are a commonworld enclosing and surrounding everythingelse, just as our physical atmosphere surroundsthe earth . This region is, as it were, the atmos-phere or air of the "Spirit-land." All that aperson has carried out in his -life on earth inthe service of the community, in selfless devo-tion to his fellowmen, will bear fruit here .For through this service, through this self-giving, he has lived in a reflection of the thirdregion of the "Spirit-land ." The great bene-factors of the human race, the philanthropistswho render great services to communities,
  • THE THREE WORLDS 153have gained their ability to render them inthis region, after having made themselvesworthy of a special relationship with it duringtheir previous earthly careers . It is evident that the three regions of "Spirit-land" above described have a certain connec-tion with those below them, the physical andthe soul worlds . For they contain the Arche-types, the living Thought-beings that take uptheir corporal and soul existence in theseworlds . Only the FOURTH region is the "pureSpirit-land ." But even it is not that in thefullest sense of the word . It differs from thethree lower regions owing to the fact that inthem we meet with the Archetypes of thosephysical and soul relations which man findsexisting in the physical and soul worlds beforehe himself begins to take any part in them .The circumstances of the ordinary everydaylife link themselves with things and beingswhich man finds already present in the world the transitory things of THIS WORLD direct his gaze to their eternal primal foundation ; nor do the fellow creatures of man to whom he selflessly devotes himself owe their existence to him . But it is through him that there are
  • 154 THEOSOPHYin the world all the creations of the arts,sciences, engineering, states, governments, etc . ;in short all that he has embodied in the worldas original works of his spirit . Without hiscooperation none of the physical reproductionsof all these would be in the world . The Arche-types of these purely human creations are inthe fourth region of the "Spirit-land ." Whatman during the earthly life develops in theway of scientific discoveries, of artistic ideasand forms, of technical conceptions, bearsfruit in this fourth region . It is out of this region, therefore, that artists, scientists, great inventors, draw nourishment during their stay in "Spirit-land" and increase their genius, in order, during another incarnation, to be able to assist with greater weight the further evolu- tion of human progress . It has been said above that even this region cannot be called the "pure Spirit-land" in the FULL sense of the word . This is because the stage at which men have left civilization on earth continues to influ- ence their spiritual existence . They can enjoy in "Spirit-land" only the fruits of that which it was possible for them to carry out in accordance with their gifts and the stage of
  • THE THREE WORLDS 155development of the race, state, etc ., into whichthey were born . In the still higher regions of the "Spirit-land" the human spirit is freed from everyearthly fetter . It rises to the "pure Spirit-land" in which it experiences the intentions,the aims, which the spirit set itself to accom-plish by means of the earthly life . All thathas been realized in the world brings intoearthly existence only a more or less weak copyof the highest intentions and aims . Eachcrystal, each tree, each animal, and all that isbeing realized in the domain of human crea-tions, all this only gives of that which thespirit intends . And man, during his incarna-tions, can only set to work with these imper-fect copies of the perfect intentions and aims .Thus during one of his incarnations he him-self can only be a copy of that which, in thekingdom of the spirit, he is intended to be .What he as spirit in "Spirit-land" really iscomes therefore into view only when he risesin the interval between two incarnations,to the fifth region of "Spirit-land ." Whathe is here is really he himself, that whichreceives an external existence in the numerous
  • 156 THEOSOPHYand varied incarnations . In this regionthe true Self of man can freely live its truelife and expand in all directions . And thisSelf is that which appears ever anew ineach incarnation as the one . This Selfbrings with it the faculties which have devel-oped in the lower regions of the "Spirit-land ."It carries, consequently, the fruits of formerlives over into those following . It is the bearerof the results of former incarnations . There-fore one can call it the "BEARER OF CAUSES ."(In theosophical literature it is for this rea-son called the "Causal Body.") When the Self lives in the FIFTH regionof the "Spirit-land" it is accordingly in thekingdom of intentions and aims . As the arch-itect learns from the imperfections whichshow themselves in his work, and as he onlybrings into his new plans what he was ableto change from imperfections to perfections,so the Self, in the fifth region, shakes off theresults of its experiences in former livesrelated to the imperfections of the lowerworlds, and fructifies the purposes ofthe "Spirit-land"-purposes with which itnow lives-with the perfect results of its
  • THE THREE WORLDS 157 former lives . It is clear that the force which can be drawn from this region will depend upon how much the Self, during its incarna- tion, has acquired in the form of results suited to being received into the world of Purposes .The self that has sought to realize the purposesof the spirit during the earthly life throughan active thought life or through wise loveexpressed in deeds, will establish a strongclaim to this region . The self that hasexpended itself entirely on the events of theeveryday life, that has lived only in the transi-tory, has sown no seeds that can play a part inthe purposes of the eternal World Order.Only that small portion of the activities ofthe self which had extended beyond the inter-ests of everyday life can unfold as fruitagein this higher region of the "Spirit-land ." Ingeneral it will hold good that a mans affinitywith this region will be the greater the moredeveloped he is . Since a man in this regionlives in his own true Self, he is raised aboveeverything that, as a part of the lower worlds,envelops him during his incarnations . He iswhat he ever was and ever will be during thecourse of his incarnations . He lives in the
  • 158 THEOSOPHYgoverning power of the Purposes which pre-vail during these incarnations, and which hegrafts into his own Self . He looks back onhis own past, and feels that all that he hasexperienced in it will be brought into servicein the purposes he has to bring to realizationin the future . A kind of remembrance of hisearlier lives and the prophetic vision of hisfuture ones flash forth . We see, therefore, thatwhat in this book (pp . 46 et seq.) is called"spirit self" lives in this region, as far as it isdeveloped, in that measure of reality withwhich it is able to unite itself ; it develops itselfstill further and prepares itself to make pos-sible in a new incarnation the fulfillment ofthe spiritual purposes in the region of earthlyreality . If this "spirit self" has evolved so far duringa succession of sojourns in "Spirit-land" that hecan move about quite freely in this land, hewill evermore seek his true home in it . Lifein the spirit will be as familiar to him as lifein the physical reality is to the earthly man .The viewpoints of the spirit world can fromnow on be the only ones which he makes hisown during his succeeding earth lives . Such
  • THE THREE WORLDS 159a Self feels himself uninterruptedly to be amember of the divine World Order . Thelimitations and laws of the earthly life affecthim in his innermost being no more . Powerfor all that he carries out comes to him fromthis spiritual world . But the spiritual worldis a Unity . He who lives in it knows how theEternal has produced the past, and he can,from out the Eternal, discern which directionthe future is to take . The view over the pastwidens into a perfect one . A man who hasreached this stage sets before himself the aimswhich he should carry out in the approachingincarnation. From out the "Spirit-land" heinfluences his future so that it runs its coursein harmony with the true and the spiritual .Such a man during the stages between twoincarnations is in the presence of all thoseexalted Beings before whose gaze the DivineWisdom lies spread out unveiled . For he hasclimbed up to the stage at which he can under-stand them . And, should he return to theearth, he acts in harmony with them . Hisword is itself a reflection of divine revelationand his deed a link in the divine World Order. Only he who during an earth life has freed ly
  • i6o THEOSOPHYhimself to a high degree from the transienttrifles and the worthless turmoil of existencecan hope that he shall rise in "Spirit-land" intothe SIXTH region, through which he shallreceive a "DIVINE MISSION" for a coming earthlife. Through this divine mission he becomes"a stranger on this earth" only in so far as hehimself in his innermost being is not movedby inclinations and disinclinations springingfrom the transitory nature of things, but allowshimself to be guided by what the spirit recog-nizes as necessary. Because he does this, hewill accomplish through all his actions thatwhich is most in conformity with the TRUEBEING OF THE UNIVERSE . For he has reachedthe point of seeking not that which will be ofuse to him but only and entirely that whichought to take place ; that which is in accord-ance with the true progress of the WorldOrder. His interest in the world, his devo-tion to it, are the greater the less he himselfis attached through his sympathies and antipa-thies to transient matters . His understand-ing of all that goes on around him will begreat because his soul observes all withoutdesires and in quiet composedness .
  • THE THREE WORLDS 161 The SEVENTH region of the "Spirit-land"brings one to the confines of the "three worlds ."The man who can feel himself attracted to itstands here in the presence of the "Life ker-nels" which are transplanted from the higherworlds into the three which have beendescribed, in order that in them they may ful-fill their missions . When a man therefore ison the confines of the three worlds he recog-nizes himself in his own Life kernel . Thisimplies that for him the problems of thesethree worlds have been solved . He has a com-plete view of the entire life of these worlds .He has solved the great "Why" of existence .(The great guides of the human race who willbe spoken of in the chapter on "The Path ofKnowledge" are recognized by means offorces originating in this region of the "Spirit-land.") 5. THE PHYSICAL WORLD FIND ITS CONNECTION WITH THE SOUL AND SPIRIT LANDS The formations of the Soul World and the"Spirit-land" cannot be the objects of externalsense perception . The objects of THIS per-
  • 162 THEOSOPHYception are to be added to the two alreadydescribed as a third world . Man lives duringhis bodily existence simultaneously in the threeworlds . He perceives the things of the sen-sible world and acts upon them . The forma-tions of the soul world act on him through theirforces of sympathy and antipathy ; and his ownsoul excites waves in the soul world by itsinclinations and disinclinations, its wishes anddesires . The spiritual being of things, on theother hand, mirrors itself in his thought worldand he himself is, as thinking spirit being,citizen of the "Spirit-land" and participant ofall that lives in this region of the universe .This makes it clear that the sensible worldis only a part of that which surrounds man.This part stands out from the general sur-roundings of man with a certain independ-ence because it can be perceived by senseswhich leave disregarded the soul and spiritualparts which belong just as much to the sur-rounding world . Even as a piece of ice float-ing on the water is of the same matter as thesurrounding water but stands out from it owingto particular qualities, so are the things of thesenses matter of the surrounding soul and spirit
  • THE THREE WORLDS 163worlds ; and they stand out from these owingto particular qualities which make them per-ceptible to the senses . They are, to speak halfmetaphorically, condensed spirit and soul for-mations ; and the condensation makes it possi-ble for the senses to acquire knowledge of them .In fact, as ice is only a form in which thewater exists, so are the objects of the sensesonly a form in which soul and spirit beingsexist. If one has grasped this, one can alsounderstand that as water can pass over into ice,so the spirit world can pass over into the soulworld, and the latter into that of the senses .Looking at the matter from this point of viewleads us to the reason why man can formthoughts about the things of the senses . Forthere is a question which everyone who thinkswould have to ask himself, namely, in whatrelation does the thought which a man hasabout a stone stand to the stone itself? Thisquestion rises in full clearness in the minds ofthose persons who look especially deeply intoexternal nature . They feel the consonance ofthe human thought world with the structureand order of nature . The great astronomerKepler, for example, speaks in a beautiful
  • 164 THEOSOPHYway about this harmony, "True it is that thedivine call which bids man study astronomyis written in the world, not indeed in wordsand syllables, but in the very fact that humanconceptions and senses are fitted to gauge therelationships of the heavenly bodies and theirconditions ." Only because the things of thesensible world are nothing else than condensedspirit beings is the man who raises himselfthrough his thought to these spirit beings ableby thinking to understand the things . Senseobjects originate in the spirit world ; they areonly another FORM of the spirit beings . Andwhen man forms thoughts about things hemerely looks up from the sensible form to thespiritual Archetypes of the things . To under-stand an object by means of thought is a proc-ess which can be likened to that by which asolid body is first liquefied by fire in order thatthe chemist may be able to examine it in itsliquid form . The spiritual Archetypes of the sensibleworld are to be found (pp . 131 et seq.) in thedifferent regions of the "Spirit-land ." In thefifth, sixth, and seventh regions these Arche- types remain in the condition of living Germ
  • THE THREE WORLDS 165points ; in the four lower regions they shapethemselves into spiritual formations . Thehuman spirit perceives a shadowy reflection ofthese spiritual formations when, by thinking,he tries to gain understanding of the thingsof the senses. How these formations have con-densed until they form the sensible world isa question for him who strives toward a spirit-ual undertsanding of the world around him .For human sense perception this surroundingworld is divided into four distinctly sepa-rated stages, the mineral, the plant, the ani-mal, and the human . The mineral kingdom is perceived by thesenses and comprehended by thought. Thuswhen one forms a thought about a mineralbody one has to do with two things, the senseobject and the thought . In accordance withthis, one is brought to the conception that thissense object is a condensed thought being .Now one mineral being acts on another in anexternal way. It impinges on it and moves it ;it warms it, lights it up, dissolves it, etc . Thisexternal kind of action can be expressedthrough thoughts . A man forms thoughts asto the way in which mineral things act on each
  • 166 THEOSOPHYother externally and in accordance with theirlaws . By this means his separate thoughtsexpand to a thought picture of the whole min-eral world. And this thought picture is agleam, a reflection of the Archetype of thewhole mineral world of the senses . It is to befound AS A COMPLETE WHOLE in the spiritworld. In the plant kingdom there is added to theexternal action of one thing on another, thephenomena of growth and propagation . Theplant grows and brings forth from itself beingslike itself. LIFE is here added to what manmeets with in the mineral kingdom . A sim-ple recollection of this fact leads to an expres-sion which is enlightening in this connection .The plant has in itself the power to give itselfits LIVING shape, and to reproduce this shapein a being of its own kind . And in betweenthe shapeless kinds of mineral matter, as wemeet them in gases, liquids, etc ., and the livingshape of the plant world, stand the forms ofthe crystal . In the crystal we have the transi-tion from the shapeless mineral world to theplant kingdom, which has the capacity forforming living shapes . In this externally
  • THE THREE WORLDS 167sensible formative process in both kingdoms,the mineral and the plant, one sees condensedto its sensible expression the purely spiritualprocess which takes place when the spiritualGerms of the higher regions of the "Spirit-land" form themselves into the spirit shapesof the lower regions . The process of crystal-lization corresponds to its Archetype in thespirit world, the transition from the formlessspirit Germ to the SHAPED FORMATION. Ifthis transition condenses so that the senses canperceive it, it exhibits itself in the world ofthe senses as the process of crystallization . Now there is in the plant being a shapedspirit Germ also . But here the living, shap-ing capacity is still retained in the shapedbeing . In the crystal the spirit Germ has lostits constructing power during the process ofshaping. It has exhausted its energies in theshape produced . The plant has shape and, inaddition to that, it has the capacity of produc-ing a shape . The characteristic of the spiritGerms in the higher regions of the "Spirit-land" has been preserved in the plant life.The plant is therefore shape, as is the crystal,and, added to that, shaping or formative force .
  • 168 THEOSOPHYBesides the form which the Primal Beingshave taken in the plant shape there works atthe latter yet another form which bears theimpress of the spirit being of the higherregions . Only that which expends itself onthe produced shape of the plant is sensibly per-ceptible ; the formative Beings who give lifeto this shape are present in the plant kingdomin a way not perceptible to the senses . Thephysical eye sees the lily small to-day, andafter some time grown larger . The formingforce which elaborates the latter out of theformer cannot be seen by this eye . This form-ative Force Being is that part of the plantworld which acts imperceptibly to the senses .The spirit Germs have descended a stage inorder to work in the kingdom of shapes . InTheosophy, Elementary Kingdoms are spokenof . If one designate the Primal Forms, whichas yet have no shape, as the FIRST ELEMEN-TARY KINGDOM, then the sensibly invisibleForce Beings, who work as the craftsmen ofplant growth, belong to the SECOND ELEMEN-TARY KINGDOM . In the animal world sensation and impulseare added to the capacities for growth and
  • THE THREE WORLDS i69propagation . These are externalizations ofthe SOUL WORLD . A being endowed withthese belongs to the soul world, receivesimpressions from it and reacts on it . Everysensation, every impulse, which arises in ananimal is brought forth from the foundationsof the animal soul . The shape is more endur-ing than the feeling or impulse . One may saythe sensation life bears the same relation to themore enduring living shape that the self-chang-ing plant shape bears to the rigid crystal . Theplant to a certain extent exhausts itself as theshape-forming force ; during its life it goes onconstantly adding new shapes to itself . Firstit sends out the root, then the leaf structure,then the flowers, etc . The animal possesses ashape complete in itself and develops withinthis the ever-changing life of feeling andimpulses. And this life has its existence inthe soul world . Just as the plant is that whichgrows and propagates itself, the animal is thatwhich feels and develops its impulses . Theyconstitute for the animal the formless whichis always developing into new forms . TheirArchetypal processes when traced to their pri-mal source are found in the highest regions of
  • 170 THEOSOPHY"Spirit-land ." But they carry out their activ-ities in the soul world . There are thus in theanimal world, in addition to the Force Beingswho, invisible to the senses, direct growth andpropagation, others that have descended intothe soul world, a stage still deeper . In theanimal kingdom formless Beings, who clothethemselves in soul sheaths, are present as themaster builders, bringing about sensations andimpulses . They are the real architects of theanimal forms . In theosophy one calls theregion to which they belong the THIRD ELE-MENTARY KINGDOM . Man, in addition to having the capacitiesnamed as those of plants and animals, is fur-nished also with the power of working up hissensations into ideas and thoughts and of con-trolling his impulses by thinking . Thethought which appears in the plant as shapeand in the animal as soul force makes itsappearance in him in its own form as thoughtitself . The animal is soul ; man is spirit . TheSpirit Being, which in the animal is engagedin soul development, has now descended astage deeper still. In man it has entered intothe world of sensible matter itself . The spirit
  • THE THREE WORLDS 171is present within the human sensible body .And because it appears in a sensible garment,it can appear only as that shadowy gleamor reflection which the thought of the SpiritBeing affords . The spirit manifests in manthrough the apparatus of the physical brainmechanism . But at the same time it hasbecome the inner being of man. The animalfeels and moves as it chooses, but exhibits nothoughts . Thought is the form which theformless Spirit Being assumes in man just asit is shape in the plant and soul in the animal .Consequently man, in so far as he is a think-ing being, has no Elementary Kingdom con-structing him from without . His ElementaryKingdom works in his physical body . Onlyin so far as man is shape and sentient being,do Elementary Beings work at him in the sameway as they work at plants and animals . Thethought organism of man is developed entirelyfrom within his physical body . In the spiritorganism of man, in his nervous system whichhas developed into the perfect brain, we havesensibly visible before us that which works onplants and animals as supersensible ForceBeing. This brings about the fact that the
  • 172 THEOSOPHYanimal shows feeling of self, but man con-sciousness of self. In the animal, spirit feelsitself to be soul ; it does not yet comprehenditself as spirit. In man the spirit recognizesitself as spirit, although, owing to the physicalapparatus, merely as a shadowy gleam orreflection of the spirit, as thought . Accordingly, the threefold world falls intothe following divisions : i . The Kingdom ofthe Archetypal formless Beings (First Ele-mentary Kingdom) ; 2 . The Kingdom of theShape-creating Beings (Second ElementaryKingdom) ; 3 . The Kingdom of the SoulBeings (Third Elementary Kingdom) ; 4 . TheKingdom of the Created Shapes (crystalforms) ; 5 . The Kingdom that becomes per-ceptible to the senses in shapes, but in whichthe Shape-creating Beings are working (PlantKingdom) ; 6. The Kingdom which becomessensibly perceptible in shapes, on which workthe Shape-creating Beings, and also the Beingsthat expend all their activities in the soul life (Animal Kingdom) ; 7. The Kingdom whichbecomes sensibly perceptible in shapes onwhich work the Shape-creating Beings andalso the Beings that expend all their activities
  • THE THREE WORLDS 173in soul life, and in which the spirit itself takesshape in the form of thought within the worldof the senses (Human Kingdom) . From this can be seen how the basic constit-uents of the human being living in the bodyare connected with the spiritual world . Thephysical body, the ether body, the sentient soulbody, and the intellectual soul, are to beregarded as Archetypes of the "Spirit-land"condensed in the sensible world . The phys-ical body comes into existence in that theArchetype of man is so condensed that it canmanifest itself to the senses . For this reasonone can call this physical body also a Being ofthe First Elementary Kingdom, condensed tosensible perceptibility. The ether-body comesinto existence in that the shape that has arisenin this way has its mobility retained by a Beingthat extends its activity into the kingdom ofthe senses but is not itself visible to the senses .If one wishes to characterize this Being fully,one must say it has its primal origin in thehighest regions of the "Spirit-land" and thenshapes itself in the second region into an Arche-type of life . It works in the sensible worldas such an Archetype of life . In a similar
  • 174 THEOSOPHYway the Being that constructs the sentient soul-body has its origin in the highest regions ofthe "Spirit-land," forms itself in the thirdregion of the same into the Archetype of thesoul world and works as such in the sensibleworld . But the intellectual soul is formed inthat the Archetype of thinking man shapesitself in the fourth region of the "Spirit-land"into thought, and as such acts directly as think-ing human being in the world of the senses.Thus man stands within the world of thesenses ; thus works the spirit on his physical-body, on his ether-body, and on his sentientsoul-body . Thus comes this spirit into mani-festation in the intellectual soul . Archetypesin the form of Beings who in a certain senseare external to man work upon the three lowercomponents of his being ; in his intellectualsoul he himself becomes a (conscious) workeron himself . The Beings working on his phys-ical-body are the same as those who form themineral nature . On his ether-body workBeings living in the plant kingdom, on hissentient soul-body work Beings who live inthe animal kingdom imperceptible by the
  • THE THREE WORLDS 175senses, but who extend their activity into thesekingdoms. Thus do the different worlds combine inaction . The universe in which man lives isthe expression of this combined activity . When a person has thoroughly grasped thisview of the sensible world he gains also anunderstanding of Beings of another kind thanthose that have their existence in the abovementioned four kingdoms of nature . Oneexample of such Beings is what one calls theFolk Spirit, or National Spirit . This Beingdoes not manifest himself directly in a sensi-bly perceptible way . He lives and carries onhis activities entirely in the sensations, feel-ings, tendencies, etc., which one observes asthose common to a whole nation . He is there-fore a Being that does not incarnate physically,but forms his body out of the matter of thesoul world, even as man forms his body out ofsensibly visible matter . This soul body of theNational Spirit is like a cloud in which themembers of a nation live . The effects of hisactivity come into evidence in the souls of thehuman beings concerned, but he does not orig-inate in these souls themselves . The National 13
  • 176 THEOSOPHYSpirit remains merely a shadowy conceptionof the mind without being or life, an emptyabstraction, to him who does not picture it inthis way . And the same may be said in refer-ence to what one calls the Spirit of the Age (Zeitgeist) . The spiritual outlook, in fact,is through this, extended over a variety ofother beings, both lower and higher, who livein the environment of man without his beingable to perceive them with his bodily senses .But those who have powers of spiritual sightperceive such beings and can describe them .To the lower kinds belong those designatedby the spiritual investigator, as salamanders,sylphs, undines, and gnomes . It is quite to beunderstood that anyone who is inclined toadmit the validity of physical vision only,regards such beings as the offspring of a wildhallucination and superstition . They can ofcourse never become visible to the physical eyefor they have no physical bodies. The super-stition does not consist in regarding such beingsas real, but in believing that they appear in away perceptible to the physical senses . Beingswith such forms cooperate in the building ofthe world, and one comes into connection with
  • THE THREE WORLDS 177them as soon as one enters the higher regionsclosed to the bodily senses . Mention mustalso be made of those beings who do notdescend to the soul world, but whose vestmentis composed of the formations of the "Spirit-land" alone . Man perceives them andbecomes their companion when he opens hisspiritual eye and spiritual ear to them . Manythings at which without these organs man canonly gaze uncomprehendingly, become, whenhe has brought them into use, understandableto him. It becomes bright around him, hesees the Primal Causes of that which is work-ing itself out as effects in the world of thesenses . He comprehends what he eitherdenied entirely when he had no spiritual eye,or in reference to which he had to contenthimself with saying, "There are more thingsin heaven and earth than are dreamed of in thyphilosophy." People with fine-with spirit-ual-feelings become uneasy when they beginto have a glimmering, become vaguely awareof another world than the sensible one aroundthem, and one within which they haveto grope about as the blind grope amongvisible objects . Nothing but the clear
  • 178 THEOSOPHYvision of these higher regions of existence anda thorough understanding and penetration ofwhat takes place in them can really fortify aman and lead him to his proper goal . Onlythrough insight into that which is hidden fromthe senses does the human being understandthe world and himself . 6. THOUGHT-FORMS AND THE HUMAN AURA It has become evident that the formations ofany one of the three worlds can have realityfor a man only when he has the capacities orthe organs for perceiving them . A man per-ceives certain occurrences in space as lightphenomena only because he has a correctly-constructed eye . It depends on the receptivityof a being how much of what really is, revealsitself to it . Never therefore may a man saythat only what he can perceive is real . Therecan be much that is real, for the perception ofwhich he has no organs . Now the soul worldand the spirit world are just as real as the sen-sible world, indeed they are real in a muchhigher sense . No physical eye can see feel-ings and ideas ; but they are real . And as man
  • THE THREE WORLDS 179by means of his outer senses has the corporalworld before him as an object of perception,so do feelings, impulses, instincts, thoughts,etc ., become objects of perception for his spir-itual senses . Exactly as occurrences in spacecan be seen with the sensible eye as color phe-nomena, the above-named soul and spiritualoccurrences can become, by means of the innersenses, perceptions which are analogous to thesensible color phenomena . To understandperfectly in what way this is meant is onlypossible for one who has trod the path ofknowledge described in the following chapterand has thereby developed his inner senses . For such a one the soul phenomena in thesoul region around him and the spiritual phe-nomena in the spiritual region become super-sensibly visible . For him, feelings ray out from the feeling being as light phenomena ; thoughts surge through the spiritual space . For him, the thought of one man about another is not something imperceptible but a percep- tible occurrence . The thought streams out as an actual reality from one human being and flows to the other . And the way in which this thought acts on the other person becomes
  • ISO THEOSOPHYsimilarly a perceptible occurrence in the spir-itual world. Thus the physically perceptiblehuman being is only part of the whole manfor him whose spiritual senses are unfolded .This physical man becomes the center of souland spiritual outpourings . It is impossible todo more than faintly indicate the richly variedworld which discloses itself here to the seer .A human thought, for example, appears as aspiritually perceptible color phenomenon . Itscolor corresponds with the character of thethought. A thought which springs forth froma sensual impulse in a person has a differentcolor from a thought conceived in the serviceof pure knowledge, noble beauty, or the eternalgood . Thoughts which spring from the sen-sual life course through the soul world in redshades of color . A thought by which thethinker rises to higher knowledge appears inbeautiful light yellow . A thought whichsprings from devoted and unselfish love raysout in glorious rose pink . And just as thecontent of a thought comes into expression inits supersensibly visible form, so also does thegreater or less degree of its definiteness . Theprecise thought of the thinker shows itself as
  • THE THREE WORLDS 181a formation with definite outlines ; the con-fused idea appears as a wavering, cloudyformation . In this way the soul and spirit being of manappears as the supersensible part of the WHOLEhuman being . The color effects which the "spiritual eye"can perceive raying out round the physicalman and enveloping him like a cloud (some-what egg-shaped) are called the HUMAN aura.The size of this aura differs in different peo-ple. But one can form an idea of it by pic-turing that the WHOLE man is in the averagetwice as long and four times as broad as thephysical man . The most varied tones of colors surge in theaura. And this surging is a true picture ofthe inner life of the man . Single color-tonesare just as changing . But certain permanentqualities, such as talents, habits, traits of char-acter, express themselves in a foundation ofpermanent color-tones . The aura varies greatly according to thedifferent temperaments and dispositions ofpeople ; it varies also in accordance with thestages of spiritual development. A man who
  • 182 THEOSOPHYyields completely to his animal impulses hasan entirely different aura from one who livesmuch in the world of thought. The aura ofa nature with a religious tone differs essen-tially from one that expends itself on the trivialexperiences of the day . In addition to this,all varying moods, all inclinations, joys andpains, find their expression in the aura . One has to compare the auras of differenthuman types with each other in order to learnto understand the meaning of the color-tones .Take, to begin with, people who have stronglymarked passions . They may be divided intotwo kinds ; those who are impelled to thesefeelings by the animal nature chiefly, andthose with whom these passions take a moresubtle form in which they are, so to speak,strongly influenced by thought . In the firstkind of person brown and brown-red streamsof color in every shade surge through the aurain definite places . In persons with more sub-tle passions there appear in the same placestones of brighter red and green . One cannotice that as intelligence increases the greentones become more and more abundant . Per-sons who are very intelligent, but who quite
  • THE THREE WORLDS 183give themselves over to the satisfying of theiranimal impulses, have much green in theiraura. But this green will always have moreor less of an admixture of brown or brownishred. Unintelligent people show a great partof their aura coursed through by brownish redor even by dark blood-red streams . The auras of quiet, deliberate, thoughtfulpeople are essentially different from those ofsuch passionate natures . The brownish andreddish tones become less prominent, and dif-ferent shades of green come out. Withthoughtful natures the aura shows a pleasinggreen undertone . This is to an especial degreethe appearance of those natures of whom onecan say, "They know how to adapt themselvesto every condition of life ." Blue tones of color appear in natures full ofdevotion . The more a man places his Selfin the service of a thing the more pronouncedbecome the blue shades . In this class, also,one finds two quite different kinds of people .There are natures with a mediocre power ofthought, passive souls who, as it were, havenothing to throw into the stream of events inthe world but their "good nature ." Their aura
  • 184 THEOSOPHYglimmers with beautiful blue . One observesthe same in the auras of religious and devo-tional natures . Compassionate souls andthose who find pleasure in giving themselvesup to a life of benevolence have similar auras .If such people are intelligent in addition tothis, green and blue currents alternate, or theblue itself perhaps take a greenish shade . Itis the peculiarity of the active souls in contrastto the passive, that their blue saturates itselffrom within with bright color-tones . Richlyinventive natures, such as have fruitfulthoughts, ray out bright tones of color as iffrom an inner point . This is the case in thehighest degree with those persons whom onecalls "wise," and especially with those full offruitful ideas . Generally speaking, all thatimplies spiritual activity takes more the formof rays which spread out from within, whileeverything that arises from the animal life hasthe form of irregular clouds which surgethrough the aura . Auric formations show colorings which dif-fer according to whether the conceptionswhich spring up in an active soul are placedat the service of the persons own animal
  • THE THREE WORLDS 185impulses or of an idealistic interest outside ofhimself . The inventive person who appliesall his thoughts to the satisfaction of his sen-sual passions shows dark, blue-red shades ; he,on the contrary, who places his thoughts self-lessly at the service of an interest outside ofhimself, shows light reddish-blue color-tones .A spiritual life combined with noble devotionand capacity for sacrifice shows rose pink orlight violet colors . Not only does the fundamental disposition ofthe soul show its color surgings in the aura butalso transient passions, moods, and other innerexperiences . An anger that breaks out sud-denly creates red streams . Feelings of injureddignity which expend themselves in a suddenwelling up can be seen appearing in dark greenclouds. Color phenomena, however, do notappear only in iregular cloud forms but also indistinctly defined, regularly shaped figures . Afit of terror, for example, shows the auralined from top to bottom by undulating stripesof blue color suffused with a reddish shimmer .In a person who expects with anxiety someparticular event, one can see continuous red-
  • 186 THEOSOPHYblue stripes like rays streaming from withinthe aura to the circumference . Every sensation which a man receives fromwithout can be observed by one who has devel-oped a faculty of exact spiritual perception .Persons who are greatly excited by everyexternal impression show a continuous flick-ering of small reddish spots and flecks in theaura . In people who do not feel intensely,these flecks have an orange yellow or even abeautiful yellow coloring. So called "absent-minded" people show bluish flecks more or lesschanging in form . A highly developed spiritual seer can dis-tinguish three species of color phenomenawithin the aura, radiating and surging rounda man. First there are the colors which bearmore or less the character of opaqueness anddullness, although if we compare them withthose that our physical eyes see, they appearin comparison fugitive and transparent. Butwithin the supersensible world itself theymake the space which they fill comparativelyopaque ; they fill it like mist forms . The sec-ond species of colors consists of those whichare, as it were, light itself . They light up the
  • THE THREE WORLDS 187space which they fill so that it becomes itself,through them, a shining or lighted space . Thethird kind of color phenomena is quite differ-ent from these two. They have a raying,sparkling, glittering character . They fillspace not merely with light but with glisten-ing, glittering rays . There is somethingactive and inherently mobile in these colors .The others are somewhat quiet and lackbrilliance. These on the contrary continu-ously produce themselves out of themselves,as it were . By the two first species of colors,the space is filled up with a subtle fluid whichremains quietly in it . By the third it is filledwith life ever enflaming itself anew withnever-resting activity . Now these three species of colors are notranged, as it were, strictly alongside eachother in the human aura ; they are not eachenclosed in a separate section of space . Onthe contrary, they interpenetrate and suffuseeach other in the most varied ways . One cansee all three species playing through each otherin one region of the aura, just as one can simul-taneously hear and see a physical body suchas a bell . The aura thereby becomes an
  • 188 THEOSOPHYexceedingly complicated phenomenon, for onehas, as it were, to do with three auras withineach other and interpenetrating each other.One can, however, overcome the difficulty bydirecting ones attention to the three speciesalternately . One then does in the supersen-sible world something similar to what onedoes in the sensible, for example, when onecloses ones eyes in order to give oneself upfully to the impression of a piece of music .The "seer" has, as it were, three differentorgans for the three species of colors . And, inorder to observe undisturbed, he can open orclose to impressions any one of the organs . Asa rule only the one kind of organ can at firstbe developed by a "seer," namely for the firstkind of colors . A person at this stage can seeonly the one aura . The other two remaininvisible to him . In the same way a personmay be accessible to impressions from the twofirst but not the third. The higher stage of the"gift of seeing" consists in a persons beingable to see all three auras and, for the purposeof study, to direct his attention to the one o1the other . The threefold aura is the supersensibly
  • THE THREE WORLDS 189visible expression of the being of man . Thethree members,body, soul, and spirit,come toexpression in it . The first aura is a mirror of the influencewhich the body exercises on the soul of man ;the second signifies the life of the soul itself,the soul that has raised itself above what affectsthe senses directly, but is not yet devoted to theservice of the eternal ; the third mirrors thelordship which the eternal spirit has won overthe transitory man . When descriptions of theaura are given, as here, it must be emphasizedthat these things are not only difficult to observebut above all difficult to describe . No one,therefore, should see in a description like thisanything more than a stimulus to thought . The "seer" therefore can judge the stageof development of a person by the nature ofhis aura. When an undeveloped personapproaches him, one who is given up entirelyto his impulses, passions, and momentaryexternal incitements, he sees the first aura in the loudest colors . The second, on the con- trary, is only slightly developed . He sees in it only scanty color formations, while the third is barely indicated . Only, here and there, a
  • I9o THEOSOPHYsmall, glittering spark of color shows itself,indicating that even in this human being theeternal already lives as a germ, but that it willrequire a long course of evolution, extendingover many incarnations, before it can gain apredominating influence on the outer life ofits bearer . The more the man puts from himhis lower impulses, the less obtrusive becomesthe first part of the aura . The second partgrows larger and larger, filling the color bodywithin which the physical man lives, evermore and more completely, with its illumin-ing force . And the highly developed persons,"Servants of the Eternal," show the wonderfulthird aura, that part which bears witness howfar the human being has become a citizen ofthe spiritual world . For the divine Self raysthrough this part of the human aura into theearthly world . Persons in whom this aura isdeveloped are the flames through whom theDivine illumines this world . They havelearned to live not for themselves but for theeternally True, the nobly Beautiful and Good ;they have wrung from their narrower self thepower to offer themselves up on the altar ofthe great World Work .
  • THE THREE WORLDS 191 Thus there comes to expression in the aurawhat the man has made of himself in the course of his incarnations . All three parts of the aura contain colors ofthe most varied shades . But the character ofthese shades changes with the stage of devel-opment of the man . One can see in the firstpart of the aura of the undeveloped man ofimpulse all shades from red to blue . Withhim these shades have a dull, dirty character .The obtrusive red shades point to the sensualdesires, to the fleshly lusts, to the passion forthe enjoyments of the palate and the stomach .Green shades appear to be found especially inthose lower natures that incline to obtusenessand indifference, greedily giving themselvesover to each enjoyment but nevertheless shun-ning the exertions necessary to satisfy them .Where the desires are passionately bent onany goal beyond the reach of the capacitiesalready acquired, brownish-green and yellow-ish-green colors appear . Certain modernmodes of life actually breed this kind of aura . A personal conceit which is entirely rootedin low inclinations, that is to say the loweststage of egoism, shows itself in tones from 14
  • 192 THEOSOPHYdirty yellow to brown. Now it is clear thateven the animal life of impulse can take on apleasing character . There is a purely naturalcapacity for self-sacrifice, a high form ofwhich is to be found in the animal kingdom .This development of an animal impulse findsits most beautiful consummation in the naturalmother love. These selfless natural impulsescome to expression in the first aura in lightreddish to rose-red shades of color . Cowardlyfear and timidity in the face of external causesshow themselves in the aura in brown-blue andgray-blue colors . The second aura also shows the most variedgrades of colors. Brown and orange coloredformations point to strongly developed conceit,pride, and ambition . Inquisitiveness alsoannounces its presence through red-yellowflecks . A bright yellow mirrors clear think-ing and intelligence, green expresses under-standing of life and the world . Children wholearn easily have much green in this part oftheir aura . A green yellow in the secondaura seems to betoken a good memory . Rose-red indicates a well-meaning affectionatenature. Blue is the sign of piety. The more
  • THE THREE WORLDS 193the piety approaches to religious fervor, themore does blue pass over into violet. Ideal-ism and an earnest view of life in a highersense one sees as indigo blue . The fundamental colors of the third auraare yellow, green, and blue . YELLOW appearshere if the thinking is filled with lofty, wide-reaching ideas that comprehend the detailsas part of the whole of the divine WorldOrder. If the thinking is intuitive and is alsocompletely purified of all conceptions spring-ing from the world of the senses, the yellowhas a golden brilliance . GREEN indicates lovetoward all beings ; BLUE is the sign of a capac-ity for selfless sacrifice for all beings . If thiscapacity for sacrifice is brought to the heightof the strong Willing, which devotes itself tothe active service of the world, the blue bright-ens to light violet . If pride and desire forhonor as last remnants of personal egoism arestill present in a more highly developed per-son there appear beside the yellow shades oth-ers verging on orange . It must, however, beremarked that in THIS part of the aura thecolors are very different from the shades one
  • 194 THEOSOPHYis accustomed to see in the world of the senses .It displays to the "seer" a beauty and an exalt-edness with which nothing in the ordinaryworld can be compared .
  • CHAPTER IV THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE KNOWLEDGE of the truths made known byTheosophy can be gained by EACH man forhimself . Descriptions of the kind given in thisbook present a thought-picture of the higherworlds . And they are in a particular respectthe FIRST STEP toward personal vision . Forman is a thought-being . He can only find hispath of knowledge when he makes thinkinghis starting point. A picture of the higherworlds given to his intellect is not unfruitfulfor him even if for the time being it wereonly as an account of higher facts into whichhe has not yet gained insight through his ownvision. For the thoughts which are given himrepresent in themselves a force which con-tinues working in his thought world . Thisforce will be active in him, and it will awakenslumbering capacities . He who is of theopinion that it is superfluous to make oneselfreceptive to such a thought-picture is mistaken . 195
  • 196 THEOSOPHYHe regards thought as something unreal andabstract. But thought is a living force . Itis for him who has the higher knowledge adirect expression of what can be seen in thespirit, and it therefore acts in him to whom itis communicated like a GERM, which bringsforth from itself the fruit of knowledge . Anyone disdaining the application of strenu-ous intellectual exertion to the attainment ofthe higher knowledge, and preferring to makeuse of other forces in man to that end, fails totake into account that thinking is the highestof the faculties possessed by man in the worldof the senses . To him who asks, "How can I gain per-sonal knowledge of the higher truths of The-osophy?" the answer must be given, "Begin bymaking yourself acquainted with what is com-municated by others concerning such truths ."And should he reply, "I wish to see for myself,I do not wish to know anything about whatothers have seen," one must answer, "It is inthe very assimilating of the communicationsof others that the first step toward personalknowledge consists." And if he shouldanswer, "Then I am forced to have blind faith
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 197to begin with," one can only reply that inregard to something communicated it is not acase of belief or unbelief but merely of anunprejudiced consideration of what one hears .The theosophist never speaks with the inten-tion of awakening blind faith in what he says .He merely says, "I have experienced this inthe higher regions of existence, and I narratethese my experiences ." But he knows alsothat the reception of these experiences byanother and the penetrating of his thoughtswith such an account are living forces makingfor spiritual development . One cannot, in fact, emphasize stronglyenough how necessary it is that anyone whowishes to develop his capacity for higherknowledge should undertake the earnestcultivation of his powers of thinking . Thisemphasis must be all the stronger becausemany persons who wish to become "seers"actually estimate lightly this earnest, self -deny-ing labor of thinking . They say, "Thinkingcannot help me to reach anything ; the chiefthing is `sensation, feeling, or something simi-lar." In reply it must be said that no onecan in the higher sense (and that means in
  • 198 THEOSOPHYtruth) become a "seer" who has not previouslyaccustomed himself to the life of trainedthought. In this connection a certain innerlaziness plays an injurious role with manypersons . They do not become conscious ofthis laziness because it clothes itself in a con-tempt of "abstract thought" and "idle specu-lations," etc . But one completely misunderstands whatthinking is if one confuses it with a spinningof idle, abstract trains of thought . For whilethis "abstract thinking" can easily kill super-sensible knowledge, vigorous thinking, full oflife, must be the groundwork on which it isbased . It would indeed be more comfortable if onecould reach the higher power of seeing whileshunning the labor of thinking. Many wouldlike this . But in order to reach it there isnecessary an inner firmness, an assurance ofsoul to which thinking alone can lead . Other-wise there merely results a meaningless flick-ering of pictures here and there, a distractingdisplay of soul or astral phenomena, whichindeed gives pleasure to many, but which hasnothing to do with a true penetration into the
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 199higher worlds . Further, if one considers whatgreat changes take place in the man whoreally enters the higher world, one will under-stand that the matter has still another aspect .Absolute HEALTHINESS of the soul life belongsto the condition of being a "seer ." There isno better means of developing this healthinessthan the true kind of thinking . In fact, it ispossible for the health to suffer seriously if theexercises for higher development are not basedon thinking . Although it is true that thepower of spiritual sight makes a healthy andcorrectly thinking man still healthier andmore capable in life, it is also true that vaguedreamings about these things, all attempts todevelop while shirking the effort of thought,are dangerous to the health both of body andsoul. No one who wishes to develop himselfto higher knowledge has anything to fear if hepay heed to what is said here, but the attemptshould only be made under the above condi-tions . Unfounded disbelief is injurious . It worksin the recipient as a repelling force . It hin-ders him from receiving the fructifyingthoughts . Not faith, but just this reception
  • zoo THEOSOPHYof the theosophic conceptions and teachings,is the requisite for the development of thehigher senses . The theosophist approacheshis scholar with the injunction, "You are NOTrequired to BELIEVE what I tell you but to thinkabout it, make it part of the contents of yourown thought world, then my thoughts willwork in you and of themselves enable you torecognize them as true." This is the attitudeof the teacher of Theosophy . He gives thestimulus ; the power to accept as true what isgiven him springs forth from the inner beingof the learner himself . And it is with thisattitude of mind that the theosophic views oflife should be studied . Anyone who has theself-control to steep his thoughts in them maybe sure that in a shorter or longer time theywill lead him to personal vision . In what has been said here there is alreadyindicated one of the first qualities which every-one wishing to arrive at a personal vision ofhigher facts has to develop . It is the UNRE-SERVED, UNPREJUDICED, LAYING OF ONESELFOPEN to that which is revealed by humanbeings or the world external to man . If aman approaches a fact in the world around
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 201him with a judgment arising from his previ-ous experiences, he shuts himself off by thisjudgment from the quiet, complete effectwhich this fact can have on him. The learnermust be able each moment to make himself aperfectly empty vessel into which the newworld flows . Knowledge is received only inthose moments in which every judgment, everycriticism coming from ourselves, is silent . Forexample, when we meet a person, the questionis not at all whether we are wiser than he.Even the most unreasoning child has somethingto reveal to the greatest sage. And if heapproach the child with his prejudgment, beit ever so wise, he pushes his wisdom like adulled glass in front of what the child oughtto reveal to him . Complete inner selflessnessis necessary for this constant accessibility tothe revelations of the new world . And if aman test himself to find out in what degreehe possesses this accessibility he will makeastonishing discoveries regarding himself .Anyone who wishes to tread the path of higherknowledge must train himself to be able eachmoment to obliterate himself with all hisprejudices . As long as he obliterates himself
  • 202 THEOSOPHYthe other flows into him . Only a high gradeof such selfless accessibility enables one toreceive the higher spiritual facts which sur-round man on all sides . One can develop thiscapacity in oneself of set purpose . One tries,for example, to refrain from passing any judg-ment on people in ones neighborhood . Oneshould obliterate within oneself the gauge ofgood and bad, of stupid or clever, which oneis accustomed to apply, and try without thisgauge to understand persons purely throughthemselves . The best exercises can be madewith people for whom one has an aversion .One should suppress this aversion with allones power and let everything that they doaffect one unbiased . Or, if one is in an envi-ronment that excites this or that judgment,one should suppress the judgment and, freefrom criticism, lay oneself open to impres-sions . One should allow things and events tospeak TO ONESELF rather than speak oneselfabout them. And one should extend this evento ones thought world . One should suppressin ONESELF that which prompts this or thatthought and allow only what is outside to pro-duce the thoughts. Only when such exer-
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGEcises are carried out with holiest earnestnessand perseverance, do they lead to the goal ofhigher knowledge . He who undervalues suchexercises knows nothing of their worth . Andhe who has experience in such things knowsthat selfless accessibility and freedom fromprejudice are true producers of force . Justas heat conducted to the steam boiler is trans-formed into the motive power of the engine,the habitual exercise of selfless, spiritualaccessibility in man is transformed into thepower of seeing in the spiritual worlds . By this exercise a man makes himself recep-tive to all that surrounds him . But to thisreceptivity correct valuation must also beadded. As long as a man is inclined to valuehimself too highly, at the expense of the worldaround him, he closes up the approach tohigher knowledge . He who in regard toeach thing or event in the world yields him-self up to the pleasure or pain which theycause Him, is enmeshed by such an overvalu-ation of himself . For through His pleasureand HIS pain he learns nothing about the thingsbut merely something about himself . If I feelsympathy with a man, I feel to begin with
  • 204 THEOSOPHYnothing but my relation to him . If I makemyself entirely dependent on this feeling ofpleasure, of sympathy, as regards my judg-ment and my conduct, I place my personalityin the foreground, I obtrude it upon the world .I wish to thrust myself into the world just asI am, instead of accepting the world in anunbiased way and allowing it to play itselfout in accordance with the forces acting in it .In other words, I am tolerant only of whatharmonizes with my personality . Towardeverything else I exercise a repelling force .As long as a man is enmeshed by the sensibleworld, he acts in an especially repelling wayon all influences that are supersensible . Thelearner must develop in himself the capacityto conduct himself toward things and peoplein accordance with their peculiar natures andto give to each its due worth and significance .Sympathy and antipathy, liking and dislikingmust be made to play quite new roles . Therecan be no thought of eradicating these, ofblunting oneself to sympathy and antipathy.On the contrary, the more a man develops inhimself the capacity to refrain from allowingeach feeling of sympathy and antipathy to be
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 205followed immediately by a judgment, anaction, the more fine will be the sensitivenesshe develops in himself . He will find thatsympathy and antipathy of a higher kindawaken in him if he curb those which healready has . Even something that is at firstmost unattractive has hidden qualities ; itreveals them if a man does not in his conductobey his selfish feelings . He who has devel-oped himself in this respect feels more finelyin every direction than one who has not,because he does not allow his own personalityto lead him into lack of receptivity . Eachinclination that a man follows blindly bluntsthe power to see the things in his environmentin their true light . By obeying inclination wethrust ourselves, as it were, through the envi-ronment instead of laying ourselves open to itand feeling its true worth . A man becomes independent of the CHANG-ING impressions of the outer world when eachpleasure and each pain, each sympathy andeach antipathy, no longer calls forth in himan egotistical response and egotistical conduct .The pleasure one feels in a thing makes one atonce dependent on it . One loses oneself in
  • 206 THEOSOPHYthe thing. A man who loses himself in thepleasure or pain caused by each varyingimpression cannot tread the path of higherknowledge . He must accept pleasure andpain with EQUANIMITY. Then he ceases to losehimself in them ; he begins instead to under-stand them . A pleasure to which I surrendermyself devours my being in the moment ofsurrender . I ought to use the pleasure onlyin order through it to arrive at an understand-ing of the thing that arouses pleasure in me .The important point ought not to be that thething has aroused the pleasure in me ; I oughtto experience the liking and through it theNATURE of the thing. The pleasure shouldonly be an announcement to me that there is inthe thing a quality calculated to give pleasure .This quality I must learn to understand . IfI go no further than the pleasure, if I allowmyself to be entirely absorbed in it, it is onlythat I am expending myself ; if the pleasure isto me only the opportunity of experiencing aquality or property of the thing itself, I enrichmy inner being through this experience . Tothe learner pleasure and displeasure, joy andpain, must be OPPORTUNITIES for learning
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 207about things. The learner does not becomeblunted to pleasure or pain through this, heraises himself above them in order that theymay reveal to him the nature of the things .He who develops himself in this respect willlearn to understand what instructors pleasureand pain are . He will feel with every being,and thereby receive the revelation of its innernature. The learner never says to himselfmerely, "Oh, how I suffer" or "Oh, how glad Iam," but always "How suffering speaks! Howjoy speaks !" He eliminates the element of selfin order that pleasure and joy from the outerworld may work on him . By this means a com-plete change takes place in the man . Formerlyhe responded to this or that impression by thisor that action, because these impressionscaused him joy or dislike . But now he allowspleasure and displeasure to become merely theorgans by which things tell him how he shouldconduct himself toward them. IN HIM,pleasure and pain change from being merefeelings to being organs of sense by which theexternal world is perceived. Just as the eyedoes not act itself when it sees something, butallows the hand to act, so pleasure and pain 15
  • 208 THEOSOPHYbring about nothing in the learner, but merelyreceive impressions ; and what is learnedthrough pleasure and displeasure is thatwhich brings about the action . When a man uses pleasure and displeasurein such a way that they become mere organsof transmission, they build up for him withinhis soul the very organs through which thesoul world opens up to view . The eye canserve the body only by being an organ for thetransmission of sensible impressions ; pleasureand pain become the eyes of the soul whenthey cease to have any value in themselvesand begin to serve one purpose alone, that ofrevealing to the inner soul the souls outside it . By means of the faculties mentioned theseeker of the Path places himself in such a con-dition as to enable what is really present in theworld around him to affect him without dis-turbing influences from his own personality .But he has also to adapt himself to the spirit-ual world around him in the right way . Forhe is, as thinking being, a citizen of the spir-itual world . He can be this in a right wayonly if he guides his thoughts in accordancewith the eternal laws of truth, the laws of the
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 209"Spirit-land ." For only in this way can thatland act on him and reveal its facts to him .A man never reaches the truth as long as heyields to the thoughts continuously coursingthrough his ego . For if he does, his thoughtstake a course imposed on them by the fact thatthey come into existence within the bodilynature. The thought world of a man who isabsorbed in an intellectual activity, deter-mined primarily by his physical brain, has anappearance of irregularity and confusion . Init a thought enters, breaks off, is driven outof the field by another . Any one who tests thisby listening to a conversation between two peo-ple, or who observes himself in an unpreju-diced way, will gain an idea of this mass ofwill-o-the-wisp thoughts . As long as a mandevotes himself only to the calls of the life ofthe senses, his confused succession of thoughtswill always be brought into order again by thefacts of the reality . I may think ever so con-fusedly, but in my actions everyday facts forceupon me the laws corresponding to the reality.My mental picture of a town may be most con-fused, but if I wish to walk along a certainroad in the town I must accommodate myself
  • 210 THEOSOPHYto existing facts . The mechanic can enter hisworkshop with ever so varied a whirl of ideas,but the laws of his engines compel him toadopt the correct procedure in his work.Within the world of the senses facts exercisetheir continuous corrective on thought . If Ithink out a false opinion about a physicalphenomenon or the shape of a plant the realityconfronts me and sets my thinking right . Itis quite different when I consider my relationsto the higher regions of existence . Theyreveal themselves to me only if I enter theirworlds with already strictly controlled think-ing. Unless my thinking shows me the right,sure standpoint, I cannot find the proper paths .For the spiritual laws prevailing within theseworlds are not condensed into the sensibly per-ceptible kind, and therefore they do not exerton me the compulsion referred to above . I amable to obey these laws only when they arerelated to those which govern me personallyas a thinking being. Here I must be my ownsure guide . The seeker of the Path must there-fore make his thinking strictly regulated incharacter. His thoughts must by degrees dis-accustom themselves entirely from taking the
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE altordinary daily course . They must in theirwhole sequence take on the inner character ofthe spiritual world. The seeker of the Path must constantly keepwatch over himself in this respect and havehimself in hand . With him one thought mustnot link itself arbitrarily with another butonly in the way that corresponds with theseverely exact contents of the thought world .The transition from one idea to another mustcorrespond with the strict laws of thought . Hemust as thinker be to a certain extent con-stantly a copy of these thought laws . He mustshut out from his train of thought all that doesnot flow out of these laws. Should a favoritethought present itself to him, he must put itaside if the correct sequence will be disturbedby it. If a personal feeling tries to force uponhis thoughts a direction not inherent in them,he must suppress it. Plato required of thosewho wished to be in his school that theyshould first go through a course of mathemat-ical training . And mathematics with theirstrict laws, which do not yield to the course ofordinary sensible phenomena, form a goodpreparation for the seeker of the Path. If he
  • 212 THEOSOPHYwishes to make progress in the study of mathe-matics he has to strike out all personal, arbi-trary choice, all disturbances . He learns by itto follow purely the requirements of thethought . And he has to learn to do this in allhis thinking . His THOUGHT-LIFE must itself bea copy of the unchanging mathematical meth-ods of stating premises and forming con-clusions . He must strive wherever he goes andwhatever he does to think after this manner .Then the intrinsic lawfulness of the spiritworld will flow into him instead of passingover and through him without leaving a trace,as it does when his thinking bears the ordinaryconfused character . Regulated thinkingbrings him from sure starting points to themost hidden truths. What has been said,however, must not be looked at in a one-sidedway. Although mathematics act as a gooddiscipline for the mind, one can arrive at pure,healthy thinking without the study of mathe-matics . And what the Path seeker strives to have inhis thinking, he must also strive to have in hisactions . These must obey the laws of the noblyBeautiful and the eternally True without any
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 213disturbing influences from his personality.These laws must constantly direct him .Should he begin to do something that he hasrecognized as right and fail to content , hispersonal feelings, he may not FOR THAT REASONforsake the road he has entered on . But, onthe other hand, he may not pursue it becauseit gives him joy if he finds that it is not inaccordance with the laws of the eternallyBeautiful and True . In everyday life peo-ple allow their actions to be decided by whatcontents them personally, by what bears fruitFOR THEMSELVES . In this way they forceupon the course of the worlds events a direc-tion influenced by their personality . Theydo not bring to realization the True that isalready prescribed in the laws of the spiritworld, they realize the demands of their self-will . They act in harmony with the spiritualworld only when they follow its laws alone.The Path seeker may not ask, "What bringsme advantages, what will bring me success?"but only, "What have I recognized as theGood?" Renunciation of the fruits of actionin the interest of his personality, renunciationof all self-will, these are the weighty laws
  • 214 THEOSOPHYwhich he must prescribe for himself . Thenhe treads the paths of the spiritual world, hiswhole being becomes penetrated by these laws .He becomes free from all compulsion fromthe sensible world ; his Spirit-man raises itselfout of the sensible sheath . Thus he makesactual progress on the path toward the spirit-ual, and thus he spiritualizes himself . Onecannot say, "Of what use to me are all myresolutions to follow purely the laws of theTrue when I am perhaps mistaken as to whatis the True?" The important thing is thestriving and the spirit in which one strives .Even he who is mistaken possesses in his verystriving after the True a force which turnshim away from the wrong road . This forceseizes him should he be mistaken and guideshim to the right road. The very objection,"But I can be mistaken," is itself harmfulunbelief . It shows that the man has no con-fidence in the power of the True . For theimportant point is that he should not presumeto decide on his aims and objects in life inaccordance with his egotistical views, but thathe should selflessly yield himself up to theguidance of the spirit itself . It is not the
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 215self-seeking will of man that can prescribe forthe True ; on the contrary THIS TRUE ITSELFmust become lord in man, must penetrate hiswhole being, make him a copy of the eternallaws of the Spirit-land . He must fill himselfwith these eternal laws in order to let themstream out into life . As the Path seeker musthold strict guard over his thinking, so musthe also over his WILL. Through this hebecomes in life a messenger from the world ofthe True and the Beautiful . And throughbecoming this he rises to be a participant inthe spirit world . Through this he is raisedfrom stage to stage of development . For onecannot reach the spiritual life by merely see-ing it ; on the contrary, one has to reach it byexperiencing, by living it. If the Path seeker observes the laws heredescribed his soul experiences will take on anentirely new form . He will not longer livemerely IN THEM . They will no longer havea significance merely for his personal life .They will develop into soul perceptions of thehigher world . In his soul the feelings of pleas-ure and displeasure, of joy and pain, grow intosoul organs, just as in his body eyes and ears
  • 216 THEOSOPHYdo not lead a life for themselves merely, butselflessly allow external impressions to passthrough them . As a result CALMNESS andASSURANCE become inherent qualities in thesoul of the Path seeker . A great pleasure willno longer make him jubilant, but will be themessenger to him of qualities in the worldwhich have hitherto escaped him . It willleave him calm, and through the calm thecharacteristics of the pleasure-giving beingswill reveal themselves to him . Pain willno longer fill him with grief, but will tell himthe qualities of the being which causes thepain . Just as the eye does not desire any-thing for itself but shows man the direction ofthe road he has to take, so will pleasure andpain guide the soul safely along its path .This is the state of balance of soul which thePath seeker must reach . The less pleasureand pain exhaust themselves in waves whichthey throw up in the inner life of the Pathseeker, the more will they form eyes for thesupersensible world . As long as a man livesin pleasure and pain he cannot GAIN KNOWL-EDGE through them . When he learns throughthem how to live, when he withdraws from
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 217them his feeling of self, then they become hisorgans of perception, then he sees by meansof them, and through them attains to knowl-edge. It is incorrect to think that the Seekerof the Path becomes a dry, colorless being,incapable of pleasure or suffering . Pleasureand suffering are present in him but in a trans-formed shape ; they have become "eyes andears." So long as one lives in a personal relation-ship with the world, things reveal only thatwhich links them with our personality . Butthat is the transitory part of them . If wewithdraw ourselves from the transitory partof us and live with our feeling of self, with our"I," in our permanent part, then our transi-tory parts become intermediaries for us ; andthat which reveals itself through them is anImperishable, an Eternal in the things . Thisrelationship between His own Eternal andthe Eternal in the things must be estab-lished by the seeker of the Path . Even beforehe begins other exercises of the kind described,and also during them, he should direct histhought to this imperishable part . When I observe a stone, a plant, an animal, a man, I
  • 218 THEOSOPHYshould remember that in each of them an Eter-nal declares itself . I must ask myself whatis the permanent that lives in the transitorystone, what will outlast the transient, sensiblephenomenon? One ought not to think thatsuch a directing of the spirit to the eternaldestroys the power of devoted observation andour feeling for the qualities of everydayaffairs, and estranges us from the immediaterealities. On the contrary every leaf, everylittle insect will unveil to us innumerable mys-teries, when not our EYES only but THROUGHTHE EYES the spirit is directed upon them .Every sparkle, every shade of color, everycadence will remain vividly perceptible tothe senses ; nothing will be lost ; only an infini-tude is gained. Indeed, the person who is notable to observe even the meanest thing innature with interest will only attain to pale,bloodless thoughts, not to spiritual sight . Alldepends on the ATTITUDE OF MIND we acquirein this direction . What stage we will succeed in reachingdepends on our capacities . We have eachmoment to do what is right and leave every-thing else to the future . It must be enough
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 219for us at first to direct our minds to the perma-nent . If we do this the knowledge of the per-manent will THROUGH THIS awaken in us. Wemust wait until it is given . And it is givenat the right time to each one who with patiencewaits and works . A man soon notices duringsuch exercises what a powerful transformationtakes place within him . He learns to considereach thing as important or unimportant onlyin so far as he recognizes it to be related toa Permanent, to an Eternal . He comes to adifferent appreciation and estimate of theworld from the one he has hitherto had . Hiswhole feeling takes on a new relationshiptoward the entire surrounding world . Thetransitory no longer attracts him for its ownsake as formerly ; it becomes for him a member,an image of the Eternal . And this Eternal,that lives in all things, he learns to love . Itbecomes familiar to him, just as the transitorywas formerly familiar to him . This againdoes not cause him to become estranged fromlife, he only learns to value each thing at itstrue worth . Even the vain trifles of life willnot leave him quite unaffected ; but the manno longer loses himself in them, he recognizes
  • 220 THEOSOPHY them at their limited worth. He sees them in their true light . He is a poor discerner who prefers to go awandering in the clouds and lose sight of life ; a true discerner from his high summit, with his power of clear survey and his just and healthy feeling for every- thing, will be able to assign to each thing its proper place . In this way there opens out to the Path seeker the possibility of ceasing to obey the incalculable influences of the external world of the senses, which turn his will now here, now there . Through higher knowledge he has seen the Eternal Being in things. By means of the transformation of his inner world hehas gained the capacity to perceive this eternalbeing. When he now acts from out himself,he acts also from out the Eternal Being of thethings. For the things give utterance IN HIMto this being of theirs . He therefore acts inharmony with the eternal World Order whenhe directs his action from out the Eternal liv-ing within him . He becomes in this way nolonger impelled by the things, he impels themaccording to the laws implanted within themwhich have become the laws of his own being .
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 221This ability to act from out his inner beingcan only be an ideal toward which one strives .The attainment of the goal lies in the far dis-tance . But the Path seeker must have the willto tread this road . This is his WILL FOR FREE-DOM . For freedom is action from out of onesinner being . And only he may act from out ofhis inner being who draws his motives fromthe Eternal . He who does not do this actsaccording to other motives than thoseimplanted in the things . Such a one opposesthe World Order . And this must prevailagainst him . That is to say, what he plansto carry through by his will can not take place .He cannot become free. The arbitrary choiceof the individual annihilates itself through theeffects of its deeds . He who directs his inner life in such away steps upward from stage to stage . Thefruits of his exercises will be that certain vistasof the supersensible world will unfold to hisspiritual perception . He learns the real mean-ing of the truth communicated about thisworld ; and he will receive confirmation ofthem through his own experience . If this
  • 222 THEOSOPHY stage is reached, an experience comes to him which can only be his through treading this path . Through Beings whose significance can now for the first time become clear to him through the "great Guides of the Human Race" there is bestowed on him what is called consecration (initiation) . He becomes a "Disciple of theWisdom ." What the Seeker of the Path now experiences can only be indicated here . He receives a new home . He becomes a consciousdweller in the supersensible world . The Riverof Wisdom flows to him now from a highersource. The Light of Knowledge from thistime forth does not shine upon him from with-out ; he is himself placed in the fountain eyeof this Light . In it the problems which theworld supplies are solved . Henceforth heholds converse no longer with the things whichare shaped through the spirit, but with theShaping Spirit itself . The separate life ofthe personality only exists now in order to be aconscious image of the Eternal . Every linger-ing doubt that could formerly arise in himvanishes ; for only he can doubt whom thingsdelude regarding the spirit that rules in them .
  • THE PATH OF KNOWLEDGE 223And since the "Disciple of the Wisdom" isable to hold intercourse with the spirit itself,each false form in which he had before imag-ined the spirit vanishes . The false formwhich man ascribes to the spirit in his concep-tions is superstition . The initiate is aboveall superstition, for he knows what the trueform of the spirit is . FREEDOM from person-ality, doubt, and superstition, these are thecharacteristics of him who has attained todiscipleship in the Path of the higher knowl-edge . One must not confuse this state in whichthe personality becomes one with the compre-hensive spirit of life with a DISAPPEARANCE OFTHE PERSONALITY in the "All-Spirit ." Sucha disappearance does not take place in a truedevelopment of the personality . It remainspreserved as personality at the highest stageof its perfection . It is not the subjection of thepersonality but its highest development thattakes place . If one wishes to have a simile forthis coincidence or union of the individualspirit with the "All-Spirit" one cannot choosethat of different circles which, coinciding, arelost in the One, but one must choose the pic-ture of many circles of which each has a quite
  • 224 THEOSOPHYdistinct shade of color ; these differently col-ored circles coincide, but EACH separate shadepreserves its existence within the whole . Notone loses the fullness of its individual power,and the whole is the resultant of these individ-ual powers . The further description of the Path will notbe given here . It is given so far as is possiblein "Occult Science," which forms a continu-ation of this book . The Way of Man passes through many lives(incarnations) . PATIENCE ought to flow outof the real understanding of this fact . Hewho uses his present incarnation for his devel-opment prepares for those stages in which hewill attain to (intuitive) seeing, to clairvoy-ance, to the full possession of his higher being(Spirit-self, Life-spirit) as well as to theremembrance of his former lives and to stillhigher experiences . It is possible for this totake place in his present life or perhaps, itmay be, in a following one . THE END
  • NOTES AND AMPLIFICATIONS i . To page 23 . To speak of "life-force"(Lebenskraft) was regarded a short time backas the mark of an unscientific mind. But onebegins to find here and there in science to-daya tendency which is not averse from the ideaof a "life-force" such as was accepted informer times . Anyone who really understandsthe course of contemporary science will, how-ever, recognize that the superior logic lies withthose who in considering this tendency refuseto find any trace of "life-force ." "Life-force"is by no means the same as what is to-daycalled the "forces of nature (Naturkrafte),"and he who will not pass over from the modesof thought and conception characteristic ofmodern science to higher modes ought not tospeak of "life-force ." Only the mode of think-ing and the presuppositions of spiritual science(Geisteswissenschaft) or Theosophy make itpossible to deal with such things withoutinconsistency. 225
  • 226 THEOSOPHY 2. To page 26 . When the "sense of touch" of the lower organisms is spoken of here, it is not intended to convey what is expressed by this phrase in the ordinary expositions of the "Senses ." From the theosophical point ofview much could, in fact, be urged in objec-tion to the use of this expression . What ismeant here by "sense of touch" is rather a GEN-ERAL BECOMING AWARE of an external impres-sion, in contrast to the SPECIAL becomingaware which consists in seeing, hearing, etc . 3 . To page 35 . It is necessary to read theo-sophical presentations of a subject with strictaccuracy . For it is only in the accurate state-ment of ideas that they have a value . Forexample in the statement, "They (the sensa-tions, etc .) do not in its case (namely, that ofthe animal) become interwoven with inde-pendent thoughts transcending the immediateexperience," one could easily fall into themistake of thinking that it was claimed herethat there are no thoughts contained in the sen-sations or the instincts of animals . Now The-osophy is actually based on a knowledge whichsays that all inner experience on the part ofanimals (and all existence of any kind) is
  • NOTES AND AMPLIFICATIONS 227interwoven with thought . But the thoughtsof the animal are not those of an independentI, or ego, living in the animal, but are those ofthe animal group ego, which must be regardedas a being governing the animal from without .This group ego is not present in the physicalworld as is the I, or ego, of a man, but worksdown into the animal from the soul worlddescribed on pages 87 et seq . (Further detailsregarding this are to be found in my "Outlineof Occult Science .") The real point at issuein the case of man is that thoughts attainto an independent existence IN HIM-thatthoughts are not experienced immediately insensation, but mediately as thoughts which areexperienced also in the soul . 4. To page 42 . When it is said that littlechildren say, "Charles is good," "Mary wishesto have this," it must be carefully noted thatthe important point is not so much how soonchildren use the word "I" but when they con-nect the proper conception with that word .When children hear adults use the word, theycan continually use it without having the con-ception of the "I ." Nevertheless, the fact thatthe use of the word begins late as a rule points
  • 228 THEOSOPHYto an important feature of evolution, namelythe gradual unfolding of the I-concept out ofthe vague I-feeling . S . To pages 47 and 48 . A description ofthe intrinsic nature of "Intuition" is to befound in my books "A Way of Initiation" and"Occult Science ." One might through inac-curate observation of the matter detect a con-tradiction between the use of this word in thosebooks and what is said in this book on page 47 .This, however, will be found not to exist whenone takes into account that what reveals itselfthrough intuition in full reality to supersen-sible knowledge makes itself known, in itsLOWEST revelation, to the spirit-self, even asthe external existence of the physical worldmakes itself known in sensation . 6 . To page qi . The subject of the spirit-ual organs of perception which is only alludedto shortly in the later chapter in this book onThe Path of Knowledge, is more fully dealtwith in my books "A Way of Initiation" and"Occult Science ." (Berlin, Philosophisch-TheosophischerVerlag . Motz Strasse 17 .) 7. To page 132 . It would be incorrect toimagine a ceaseless UNREST in the spiritual
  • NOTES AND AMPLIFICATIONS 22 9world because there is not in it "a state ofrest, a remaining in one place, as in the phys-.ical world ." There, where the Beings are whocreate the Archetypes, there is not indeedwhat can be called "rest in one place," butthere is that rest which is spiritual in itsnature, and consistent with active mobility. Itmay be likened to the restful satisfaction andbliss of the spirit which is revealed in deedsand not in a state of inaction . 8 . To page 139 . One is obliged to use theword "Purposes" in regard to the impellingor motive Powers of the world evolution,although it opens the door to a temptation toconceive of these Powers simply as humanpurposes . In the case of such words-whichhad naturally to be taken from the sphere ofhuman life-this temptation can be avertedonly by the raising of oneself when using themto a significance from which every connectionwith human limitation is banished, and thereis assigned to them what man approximatelyimbues them with on those occasions in hislife when he, to a certain degree, rises abovehimself. 9. To page 139 . Further particulars in
  • 230 THEOSOPHYregard to the "Spiritual Word" are to be foundin my "Outline of Occult Science." MUNICH, August 28, 1910.