952Re: Introduction to Anthroposophy #2
- Jun 18, 2002ashley.case@... writes:
> I am currently intested in the basics like understanding the four parts to the human being; the four incarnations of earth; the significance of Christ in Anthroposophy; nutritional implications of Anthroposophy; the four ethers; four temperaments; the notion of threefoldness vs. duality ..*******I explained a little of the 4 parts of we human beings last time. We got each of our 3 lower bodies in 3 previous worlds, for the whole earth---in fact the whole solar system---re-incarnates also. In old Sanscrit these great periods of the world were called Days of Brahma. In each one we lost some of our awareness of the whole universe but gained self-awareness in corresponding mesasure. The Earth, the 4th state, is the lowest of the total series of 7. At this lowest point, if an impulse had not happened to provide a "push" to help us to re-ascend, we could have been lost in disintegrating matter. The Incarnation and Resurrection of the Christ was that impulse.
> basically the foundations of an anthroposophical world view.
Before starting a discussion on nutrition, let's keep filling in some of the foundation on which to base it. We have the 4 bodies, and each of these has a physical reflection. The reflection or physical concentration of the physical body itself is the skeleton, and the senses. The etheric body of life-forces is seen physically in the circulating lymph and the circulating hormones secreted by the endocrine or ductless glands, which are the physical part of the 7 'chakras' of Eastern wisdom. The physical manifestation of the astral body is the nervous system, and the breathing. The Ego is the least physical of all, and it is physically not exactly the blood, but more accurately the WARMTH IN the blood.
Everything physical is formed by etheric formative forces, and these 4 physical systems are formed by 4 kinds of 'ether': there is not one ether but many ethers, which are moreover in constant flowing movement and interaction with each other (which is why the Michaelson-Morley physics experiment a century ago which 'disproved' a single, stationary ether is meaningless). The warmth in the blood is formed by Warmth Ether, the nervous system by Light Ether, the endocrine glands by what's called either Sound, Chemical or "Number" Ether, and the skeleton by Life Ether. These were once called Fire, Air, Water and Earth.
A person in whom the Warmth Ether is strongest (and thus the blood) is said to have a Choleric temperament, one with Light Ether (and thus the nervous system) strongest is called the Sanguine temperament, one with Chemical, Sound or Number Ether strongest (and thus the endocrine glands) is the Phlegmatic, and one who has Life Ether strongest (and thus the bones and senses) the Melancholic. The Choleric thus has a strong Ego, the Sanguine a strong astral body, the Phlegmatic a powerful etheric body and the melancholic is he in whom the physical itself is strongest.
To Be Continued....
Date: Saturday, June 15, 2002 02:18:23 PM
Subject: [steiner] Introduction to Anthroposophy #1
, ashley.case@... writes:
> I am currently intested in the basics like understanding the four parts to the human being; the four incarnations of earth; the significance of Christ in Anthroposophy; nutritional implications of Anthroposophy; the four ethers; four temperaments; the notion of threefoldness vs. duality .. basically the foundations of an anthroposophical world view.*******OK, I'll start with the first one. There are many ways to approach this; since you're in Teacher Training, I'll try to orient it towards that. The human being is seen in spiritual science as having many parts, but the 4 lowest are a good basis for starting to understand us (it was called the 'sacred Tetrad' by the Pythagoreans). We have a physical body, which is all we can see with the senses, then a body of life-forces that forms this matter into living forms. (It's forces in certain patterns, like magnetic fields are. It can be understood by thinking not very far from material pictures.) Then we have an astral body, which is what many religions call the soul: this is what we have our emotions with, desires, wishes, impulses. Then the 4th part is the Ego or "I". This is what we do truly conscious thinking and willing with.
The first 7 years we are primarily developing the physical body (the senses, the muscles thru gymnastics, etc.), and then we develop the etheric body in the second 7 years. This etheric body is what "remembers" the form of the living body, so is the seat of memory. This is why teaching children to memorize (numbers, alphabet etc.) is so bad in the first 6 years, because it forces us to use etheric forces that are not ready for use. It's a different matter if a child teaches itself, for instance, to read; but drilling small children in rote memorization ages them prematurely. Memorization belongs to grade school age, after 6. (You can find evidence of the great change in consciousness we go thru at 6-7, apart from the Waldorf movement, in the work of Piaget and all those who have repeated his researches into the development of consciousness in children.)
Anbout 12-14 is when the astral body becomes active. Just as when the etheric body does, we have the change of teeth, so the sign of the working of the astral body is puberty. It comes earlier and earlier now because of this premature aging of children caused by bad education. The true Ego of a human being is there but still immersed in 'astral forces' of impulse, wish etc., till about 21. This is why the old voting age or age of reasoned consent was 21.
We have the physical body in common with all visible nature, even the minerals. All living things have an etheric body: plants are physical and etheric bodies. Animals also have an astral body, but only Man has the Ego that makes him not only conscious but SELF-conscious. This is the great difference between Man and animal that Darwinism overlooks.
So 'you' are an Ego-being within 3 lower bodies. We develop each of these bodies in 7-year cycles and then at 21 begin to develop the Ego.
Now, we got each of these 3 lower bodies 'donated' to us for our use in each of 3 previous worlds, in which we passed thru a mineral, a plant and an animal state of consciousness but in different forms than present-day Nature. Steiner called these Saturn, Sun and Moon. So in a sense, we're repeating the Saturn state of our world in the earliest part of life, then the Sun state in grade school and the 'Moon' as teens.
That's a start, though I'm sure you've heard most of it already; but it can stimulate discussion and asking questions, I'm sure.
To Be Continued....