Re: [steiner] Steiner's Basic Books- Pt. 2
- info@... writes:
You presented diagrams of nine and seven "parts" of Man.
In "The Education of the Child in the Light of Anthroposophy" Steiner states TEN "parts":
"From what has been said, it is clear that we may speak of four members of man's nature: the Physical Body, the Etheric or Life-Body, the Astral or Sentient Body, and the Body of the Ego. The Sentient Soul, the Intellectual Soul, and the Spiritual Soul, and beyond these the still higher members of man's nature — Spirit-Self, Life-Self, Spirit-Man — appear in connection with these four members as products of transformation. Speaking of the vehicles of the qualities of man, it is in fact the first four members only which come into account."
In the quote above we have a "BODY of the Ego". In your diagram of seven the Ego plays the main role, while in the diagram of nine the Ego or "I" is not playing any part at all!! How come?
******* The physical body is what can be perceived by our senses, while the life forces can at first only be perceived indirectly but later directly when the organ for perceiving them is developed; similarly, everything we call "soul" or inner experiences likewise is perceived differently when the organ for perceiving astral phenomena is developed. Thus Man is seen as composed of physical body, etheric body of life forces, and astral body, as are animals; we can sense each of these three in the kingdoms of nature and in ourselves.
But we human beings have a uniquely human part which goes beyond these three lower bodies. This Steiner calls the body of the Ego or vehicle of the Ego; not the Ego itself, but its outer covering, so to speak. (He states that even the clairvoyant cannot truly see the ego of another, but only its covering.)
As you then trace your own Ego's history, you find that it only began to live in the three lower bodies at a certain point. Before that time they were as nature prepared them for us, unaffected by our individual selves. But within the three lower bodies can be perceived parts of them that have been transformed since our Egos began incarnating in them. At first we worked unconsciously on the three lower bodies, and this work produced the three parts of the soul: sentient soul, intellectual soul, and consciousness soul. These came into existence when we human beings were still being led by higher beings. Since we began consciously to work on the three lower bodies, the three parts of the spirit have come into existence, Spirit Self, Life Spirit and Spirit Man (Manas, Buddhi and Atma).
So, by one way of looking at it, there are the 3 lower bodies, the vehicle of the Ego, and then the 3 parts of the soul and the 3 parts of the Spirit.
But this is looking at the totality of the human being. As Steiner says at the end of the first chapter of Theosophy, it's a different matter when we are on earth, in the body, or whether we are not. While IN THE BODY, the highest part of the body (astral or sentient body) and the lowest part of the soul (sentient soul) are joined together, and so can be thought of as one. Likewise the highest part of the soul (the consciousness soul) is one with the lowest part of the spirit (Manas or Spirit Self). This gives a total of seven not including the vehicle of the Ego, which he places as a separate entity coming into existence in the intellectual soul and then truly being active in the consciousness soul. He concludes by saying that it can be thought of as the essential center of the soul, giving physical body, etheric body, and astral body below, Ego in the center, and Manas, Buddhi and Atma above: the sevenfold man of ancient religions.
More detail can be found by reading the first chapter of the book "Theosophy", of which the enunciation of the principles of Man in "The Education of the Child" is a repetition. The relation of the 'Ego' to the parts of the soul and spirit is a tricky matter that a first reading will easily pass by.