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577Woman and society

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  • Danny F.
    Feb 29, 2000
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      Sergei 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."


      Rudolf Steiner:

      "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':

      Everything transient
      Is but illusion
      The inadequate --
      Here it becomes event;
      The indescribable --
      Here it is done;
      The Eternal-feminine
      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

      A lecture by
      Rudolf Steiner
      Hamburg, November 17, 1906
      GA 54

      'There's a fine line between participation and mockery'.
      --Scott Adams

      '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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