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4 Levels of Consciousness Which Can Be Motives

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    Dr.Steiner in Ch. 8 writes:
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 1, 2002
      Dr.Steiner in Ch. 8 writes: << We can find the driving force of morality by
      investigating the elements which comprise individual life.
      The first level of individual life is perceiving, more particularly,
      perceiving by means of the senses. Here we are concerned with that region of
      our individual life where perceiving, without a feeling or a concept coming
      between, is directly transformed into willing. The driving force in man,
      which comes into consideration here, we shall simply call instinct. The
      satisfaction of our lower, purely animal needs (hunger, sexual intercourse,
      etc.) takes place in this way. What is most characteristic of instinctive
      life is the immediacy with which a particular perception releases the will.
      This kind of determination of the will, which is characteristic only of lower
      sense-life to begin with, can also be extended to the perceptions of the
      higher senses. We let a deed follow upon the perception of some event or
      other in the outer world without further reflection and without linking any
      particular feeling to the perception, as in fact happens in conventional
      social life. The driving force of such conduct is what is called tact or
      moral etiquette. The more often such a direct release of activity by a
      perception takes place, the more the person concerned is able to act purely
      under the guidance of tact, that is: tact becomes his characterological
      The second level of human life is feeling. Definite feelings link
      to the perceptions of the outer world. These feelings can become the driving
      forces of deeds. When I see a starving person, pity for him can become the
      driving force of my action. Such feelings, for example, are shame, pride,
      honor, humility, remorse, pity, revenge, gratitude, piety, loyalty, love and
      The third level of life is thinking and forming representations. A
      representation or a concept can become motive for an action through mere
      reflection. Representations become motives because in the course of life we
      continuously link certain aims of will with perceptions which keep returning
      in more or less modified form. This is why, when people not entirely without
      experience have certain perceptions, there always also enter into their
      consciousness representations of deeds which they themselves have carried out
      in a similar instance, or have seen carried out. These representations hover
      before them as determining models for all later decisions; they become united
      with their characterological disposition. We could call this driving force of
      the will, practical experience. Practical experience gradually merges into
      purely tactful conduct. This happens when definite typical pictures of
      actions have become so firmly connected in our consciousness with
      representations of certain situations in life that in any given case we skip
      over all deliberation based on experience and pass over directly from
      perception into willing.
      The highest level of individual life is that of conceptual thinking
      reference to a definite perceptual content. We determine the content of a
      concept through pure intuition from the ideal sphere. Such a concept contains
      no reference to definite perceptions at first. If we pass over into willing
      under the influence of a concept pointing to a perception, that is, a
      representation, then it is this perception which determines us indirectly via
      the conceptual thinking. When we act under the influence of intuitions, then
      the driving force of our deed is pure thinking. Since in philosophy it is
      customary to call the faculty of pure thinking, reason, it would be
      justifiable to call the moral driving force characteristic of this level,
      practical reason. >>

      In descending order:
      Conceptual Thinking

      Which he would much later describe as Ego, astral, etheric and physical.
      Thoughts, images, feelings and sense-perceptions. We can choose one of these
      ("elements which comprise individual life") as a motive for doing something.

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