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Theosophy 1D:Body Soul and Spirit---3.The Sentient Soul

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    (Steiner writes, after writing about the ether or life-body....) The life-body is still something external to man. With the first stirrings of sensation the
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 29, 2002
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      (Steiner writes, after writing about the ether or life-body....)

      "The life-body is still something external to man. With the first
      stirrings of sensation the inner self responds to the stimuli of the outer
      world. You may search forever in what is called the outer world but you will
      be unable to find sensation in it. Rays of light stream into the eye,
      penetrating it until they reach the retina. There they cause chemical
      processes in the so-called visual-purple. The effect of these stimuli is
      passed on through the optic nerve to the brain. There further physical
      processes arise. Could these be observed, we would simply see more physical
      processes just as elsewhere in the physical world. If I am able also to
      observe the ether body, I shall see how the physical brain process is at the
      same time a life-process. The sensation of blue color that the recipient of
      the rays of light experiences, however, I can find nowhere in this manner. It
      arises only within the soul of the recipient. If, therefore, the being of
      this recipient consisted only of the physical and ether bodies, sensation
      could not exist. The activity by which sensation becomes a fact differs
      essentially from the operations of the formative life-force. By that activity
      an inner experience is called forth from these operations. Without this
      activity there would be a mere life-process such as we observe in plants.
      Imagine a man receiving impressions from all sides. Think of him as the
      source of the activity mentioned above, flowing out in all directions from
      which he is receiving these impressions. In all directions sensations arise
      in response to the stimuli. This fountain of activity is to be called the
      sentient soul. This sentient soul is just as real as the physical body. If a
      man stands before me and I disregard his sentient soul by thinking of him as
      merely a physical body, it is exactly as if, instead of a painting, I were to
      call up in memory merely the canvas.

      A statement similar to the one previously made in reference to the ether body
      must be made here about perceiving the sentient soul. The bodily organs are
      blind to it. The organ by which life can be perceived as life is also blind
      to it. The ether body is seen by means of this organ, and so through a still
      higher organ the inner world of sensation can become a special kind of
      supersensible perception. Then a man not only senses the impressions of the
      physical and life world, but he beholds the sensations themselves. The
      sensation world of another being is spread out before a man with such an
      organ like an external reality. One must distinguish between experiencing
      one's own sensation world, and looking at the sensation world of another
      person. Every man, of course, can see into his own sensation world. Only the
      seer with the opened spiritual eye can see the sensation world of another.
      Unless a man is a seer, he knows the world of sensation only as an inner one,
      only as the peculiar hidden experiences of his own soul. With the opened
      spiritual eye there shines out before the outward-turned spiritual gaze what
      otherwise lives only in the inner nature of another being.

      * * *

      In order to prevent misunderstanding, it may be expressly stated here that
      the seer does not experience in himself what the other being experiences as
      the content of his world of sensation. The other being experiences the
      sensations in question from the point of view of his own inner nature. The
      seer, however, becomes aware of a manifestation or expression of the sentient
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