******* OK, so we're clear now: the "soul" is our inner experience of our world and ourselves, what you're having right now. If we had only the astral body, we would immediately forget what we were experienced a moment ago ---- as soon as we turned our attention away from a thing it would no longer exist for us. And only what we perceived around us now would exist, we wouldn't be able to know anything else. This is how animals are. We also are this way every night in the dream world (until we begin to transform our dream experience by changing our inner selves through meditation, that is). We are also back this way again as little children under 4.
But as normal adults, we're not. We carry our experiences with us from the past.
Steiner again from An Outline of Occult Science:
"The significance for the Ego of remembering and forgetting is like that of waking and sleeping for the astral body. As sleep lets the cares and troubles of the day vanish into nothingness, so does forgetting spread a veil over the unhappy experiences of life, thus extinguishing a portion of the past. And as sleep is necessary to refresh the exhausted powers of life, so must the human being blot out from memory certain portions of his past if he is to meet new experiences openly and freely....
Now memory appears in different stages and degrees. We have it in its simplest form when a man perceives an object and, having turned away, is able still to recall an image of it to his mind. It was while he was perceiving the object that he formed the mental image. A process was then taking place between his astral body and his Ego. The astral body brought the external impression of the object to his consciousness. But his awareness of the object would have lasted no longer than it was actually there before him, if it were not for the Ego receiving this awareness into itself and making it its own.
It is this point that the science of the supersensible distinguishes “body” from “soul.” We speak of the “astral body” so long as we have in mind how the knowledge or awareness of an actually present object comes about, while we designate as “soul” what give the knowledge performance, duration. From this it will be evident how close is the connection of the astral body with the part of the soul which gives permanence to knowledge. In a sense, they may even be said to be united — to constitute a single member of the human being. Hence it is also possible to refer to them jointly as the astral body. Or, if we desire a more exact description, we may call the astral body of man the “Soul-Body” and the soul, is so far as it is united with the astral body, the “Sentient Soul.”
*******So your part of the soul that remembers things seen, heard, etc.--- the senses' experience---is the sentient soul. But a person who had ONLY the sentient soul would remember "things", but have little or no knowledge of his own being. When we reflect upon our external experiences, that's a higher level of the soul. Then we're not dependent on external things, although our memory-pictures derive from them originally. (There are some so-called 'retarded' people who have almost only the sentient soul, but for most of us it is always intertwined with the higher levels.)
Continuing with what Steiner wrote:
" The Ego rises to a higher stage of being when it directs its activity to what it has received and has made its own by taking cognizance of external objects. In this activity it liberates itself increasingly from the external objects of perception., to work within its own sphere and property. The part of the soul to which this faculty belongs may be described as the Intellectual or Mind-Soul. "
*******So, as I said before, when you are looking only outwards, you're using the sentient soul; when you reflect on your experience and make an inner world out of the outer, that's the intellectual or mind soul. That's why I said a person can be a scientist using only those two.
They are two successive levels of experience CAUSED BY THE EGO, THE PART OF OURSELVES THAT RISES ABOVE THE ANIMAL.
The Ego, though, is not only what we mean by the ordinary word "ego". It is far more than that. Our permanent sense of a world outside us and our permanent sense of our inner self is caused by it. But it has a still deeper and higher being concealed within it for the person using only the sentient and mind-souls.
CONSCIOUSNESS OR SPIRITUAL SOUL
Steiner once more from An Outline of Occult Science:
"It is characteristic both of the sentient and of the intellectual soul that they work with what is received through the impressions of sense-perceived objects and with what memory retains of these impressions. The soul is here entirely given up to things external to it. For even what it has made its own through memory,--even this was received originally from outside.
But it is able to transcend all this; the soul is not only sentient and intelligent. Supersensible perception can most readily form an idea of this transcendent faculty by pointing to a simple fact, the far-reaching significance of which needs only to be rightly valued,--the fact that in the whole domain of language there is one name which differs in its essence from all other names. It is the name “I.” Every other name can be given by every man to the thing or being to which it belongs. “I,” on the other hand, as the designation of a being, only has meaning when the being gives itself this name. The name “I” can never reach a man from without as a designation of himself. It is only to himself that any being can apply this name. “I” am an I only to myself; to every other being I am a you, and every other being is a you to me.”
This is the outer expression of a deeply significant truth. The real being of the I is independent of all external things and for this very reason no external thing or person can call it by its name. Hence those religious faiths which have consciously maintained their connection with the supersensible wisdom speak of the I as the Unutterable Name of God. For this is what they mean to indicate. Nothing external has access to the part of the human soul which is here envisaged. Here is the “hidden Holy of Holies” of the soul, to which no entry is possible save for a Being with whom the soul is of like kind and essence. “The God who dwells in man,--He it is who speaks when the soul perceives and knows itself as “I.” As the sentient soul and intellectual soul live in the outer world, so does a third member of the soul immerse itself in the Divine when the soul comes to a perception of its own essence and nature.
One may all too easily be misunderstood at this point — as though one were asserting that the human I and God were one and the same. Yet it is not said that the I is God, but only that it is of like kind and essence with the Divine. When we say that a drop of water taken from the ocean is of the same essence or substance as the ocean, are we thereby stating that the drop is the ocean? If we must use a comparison, we may put it thus: as the drop is to the ocean, so is the I to the Divine. Man can find a Divine within himself, because his own and most essential being springs from the Divine.
In this way man reaches up to a third member of his soul — to an inner knowledge and awareness of himself, even as through the astral body he gains knowledge and awareness of the outer world. Hence too, Occult Science calls this third member of the soul, the Consciousness-Soul or Spiritual Soul. Thus Occult Science sees the soul as consisting of three members: Sentient Soul, Intellectual Soul and Spiritual Soul; just as the bodily nature consists of the three members: Physical Body, Etheric Body and Astral Body."
*******In what says "I" within us is thus hidden our divine Self. TO ACTIVELY GRASP IT BY THE WILL is different than just having your own inner world you reflect on, in the Mind Soul. It is a much deeper and different grasp of the Self. You could say that a person using the first two levels of the soul does not really know himself OR his world. He is only preparing to get to truly know them. This is where most clever adults are today.
Steiner from An Outline of Occult Science again:
" In the spiritual soul the real nature of the I first becomes revealed. For while in sentient and intellectual activity the soul is given up to other things, qua spiritual soul it seizes hold of its own being. Hence too, the spiritual soul can only perceive the I by dint of a certain inner activity. The mental images and representations of external objects are formed as these objects come and go; in the intellect they go on working by their own impetus. But if the I is to perceive itself, it can no longer passively devote itself to other things. To become conscious of its own essence and being, it must first call it forth — by dint of inner activity — out of the depths of its own nature. With the perception of the “I” — with self-contemplation — an inner activity of the I itself begins. By virtue of this activity, the perception of the I in the spiritual soul has a fundamentally different significance for man from the observation of what comes to him through the three bodily members and the other two members of the soul.
The power which brings the I to manifestations in the spiritual soul is indeed the self-same power which reveals itself throughout the world. In the body however, and in the lower members of the soul, it does not come forth directly but is revealed stage by stage in its effects. The lowest revelation of it is through the physical body; thence it arises, step by step, up to the content of the intellectual soul. We might say that with each step in the ascent one of the veils by which the Unmanifest is shrouded falls away. In the experience and content of the spiritual soul, the Unmanifest in its own essence enters unveiled into the inmost temple of the soul Admittedly it shows itself as a mere drop out of the ocean of the all-pervading spiritual essence. Yet it is here that man must first seize the spiritual essence. He must know it by discovering it within himself; then he can also find it in all other revelations.
What penetrates in this way like a drop into the spiritual soul is what Occult Science calls the Spirit. "
*******Obviously, when one realizes this within oneself, the essence of all things divine, then it transforms one's experience of everything else in the world, since it all had its origin in the Divine. Self and World are both experienced in a new and higher way by actively realizing the Consciousness or Spiritual Soul. No one who has experienced it can see the self or the outer world in the same way again.
Steiner completes his description by writing the following;
"Thus the spiritual soul is connected with the universal Spirit which is the hidden reality within all things manifest. If man would apprehend the hidden Spirit in all the other manifestations of the World, he must needs do so in the same way in which he apprehends the Ego in the “Consciousness-Soul” — the spiritual soul. He must apply to the manifest world the same activity which has led him to a perception of the I within himself. By this means he evolves to higher stages of his being. To the bodily members and the members of the soul he now adds something new... "
He then goes on to describe the 3 levels of the Spirit we create out of the body---Manas, Buddhi, Atma.
Thus the process that begins with realizing oneself as a Self leads on to much more. The consciousness or spiritual soul is where it begins.
Later, in his lectures, Steiner emphasized that this is the part we are meant to be developing now, as we developed the Mind Soul in Greece and Rome.
It is clearly not easy to describe the consciousness soul in a few words! So, if we want to talk about what helps mankind to develop it, or what doesn't, first we have to try to grasp what it IS. This can only be done if you work your way to some experience of it. There's little point talking about some abstraction with that name hung on it. IT IS YOUR REALIZATION OF THE SPIRIT WITHIN YOUR SOUL. This is a vivid experience that you can't fail to know if you've had it. It transforms your experience of your everyday self and your entire experience of your world as much as being able to say "I" changes animal-level experience into human one. It may be that this is something you've experienced, or it may be something you're still striving to experience. Same with everyone on earth. It's been called Cosmic Consciousness, or Enlightenment, or many other names.
Now, in light of the above, we can discuss things about the 'consciousness' or 'spiritual' soul from out of anthroposophy.
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