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Theosophy 1A: The Bodily Nature of Man

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    The Essential Nature of Man 1. The Corporeal Nature of Man We learn to know man s body through bodily senses, and the manner of observing it cannot differ from
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2002
      The Essential Nature of Man
      1. The Corporeal Nature of Man
      We learn to know man's body through bodily senses, and the manner of
      observing it cannot differ from the way in which we learn to know other
      objects perceived by the senses. As we observe minerals, plants and animals,
      so can we also observe man. He is related to these three forms of existence.
      Like the minerals, he builds his body out of natural substances; like the
      plants, he grows and propagates his species; like the animals, he perceives
      the objects around him and builds up his inner experiences on the basis of
      the impressions they make on him. Thus, a mineral, a plant and an animal
      existence may be ascribed to man.
      The differences in structure of minerals, plants and animals correspond with
      the three forms of their existence. It is this structure — the shape — that
      is perceived through the senses, and that alone can be called body. Now the
      human body is different from that of the animal. This difference must be
      recognized, whatever may otherwise be thought of the relationship of man to
      animals. Even the most extreme materialist who denies all soul cannot but
      admit the truth of this passage uttered by Carus in his Oragnon der Natur und
      des Geistes. “The finer, inner construction of the nervous system and
      especially of the brain remains still an unsolved problem for the
      physiologist and the anatomist. That this concentration of structures ever
      increases in the animal kingdom and reaches in man a stage unequalled in any
      other being is a fully established fact — a fact that is of the deepest
      significance in regard to the mental evolution of man. Indeed, we may go so
      far as to say it is really a sufficient explanation of that evolution. Where,
      therefore, the structure of the brain has not developed properly, where its
      smallness and poverty are in evidence as in the case of microcephali and
      idiots, it goes without saying that we can no more expect the appearance of
      original ideas and of knowledge than we can expect the propagation of the
      species from persons with completely stunted reproductive organs. On the
      other hand, a strong and beautifully developed build of the whole man, and
      especially of the brain, will certainly not in itself take the place of gen
      ius but it will at any rate supply the first and indispensable condition for
      higher knowledge.”
      Just as one ascribes to the human body the three forms of existence, mineral,
      plant and animal, so one must ascribe to it a fourth — the distinctively
      human form. Through his mineral existence man is related to everything
      visible; through his plantlike existence to all beings that grow and
      propagate their species; through his animal existence to all those that
      perceive their surroundings and by means of external impressions have inner
      experiences; through his human form of existence he constitutes, even in
      regard to his body alone, a kingdom by himself.
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