577Woman and society
- Feb 29, 2000Sergei O. Prokofieff speak of the feminine and masculine as follow:
"...the masculine as the bearer of the individualising, separative
and enclosed tendency, and the feminine as the expression of a more
social, unifying tendency, connecting all the individual, separate
parts into a single whole."
"In every human being -- this is a fact -- the etheric body consists of
two parts; the etheric body of a man, as he lives among us, shows
itself to have feminine features, and the etheric body of a woman to
have masculine features. Many facts in life become clearer when we
recognise that in a man there is something of the feminine nature, and
in a woman, a more masculine nature. From this it can be explained why
certain character features can arise in Man. In truth we never have
before us in the physical, material human body anything other than a
physical expression of the totality of the individuality. The human
soul forms for itself a body with two poles, just as a magnet does. It
forms for itself a masculine and a feminine part, each of which can be
either a physical body, or reacts at another time as the etheric body.
Hence, with regard to those emotions which are associated with the
etheric body -- devotion, courage, love -- a woman can clearly evince
masculine characteristics, and a man womanly characteristics. In
contrast, with regard to all those characteristics which depend more on
the physical body, the consequences of gender will express themselves
in outer life.
Hence it seems clear that in every human being, if we wish to consider
him as a totality, we have a phenomenon before us with two parts -- one
revealed and material, and one hidden and spiritual. And only that man
is a complete human being who is capable of combining an external
masculinity with a beautiful feminine character within. And it is
precisely this that the greatest spirit, namely. those of a mystical
nature, have always felt in the spiritual life of the past.
This is an important point. Men have played a greater part because
materialism impels itself towards an external culture. This external
culture is a man's culture because it was meant to be a material
culture. But we must also be aware that in the development of world
history one cultural epoch gives way to another, and that this
one-sided masculine culture must find its completion through that which
lives in every human being. One senses this precisely in the age of
this masculine culture. That is why, when the mystics spoke from the
innermost depths of their souls, they defined this soul as something
feminine. And it is from this that you find everywhere the comparison
of the soul, receptive as it is to the world, with Woman; and on this
is based Goethe's saying in the `Chorus mysticus':
Is but illusion
The inadequate --
Here it becomes event;
The indescribable --
Here it is done;
Bears us aloft.
It is nonsense to analyse this saying in a trivial way. One can analyse
it in a right way, and in the true Goethean sense, when one says: He
who knew something of noble spiritual culture also pointed to the
feminine character of the soul; and precisely from this masculine
culture did the saying: `The Eternal feminine bears us aloft' struggle
free. Thus the greater world, the Macrocosm was pictured as a man, and
the soul, which was fructified by the wisdom of the Cosmos, as the
WOMAN AND SOCIETY
A lecture by
Hamburg, November 17, 1906
'There's a fine line between participation and mockery'.
'My advice to you is to get married. If you find a good wife, you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher'.
'True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing'.
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