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Re: Theosophy 1D:Body Soul and Spirit---6.The Spiritual or Consciousness Soul

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    Steiner on the third and highest part of the soul. By thinking, the human being is led above and beyond his own personal life. He acquires something that
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 2, 2002
      Steiner on the third and highest part of the soul.

      "By thinking, the human being is led above and beyond his own personal life.
      He acquires something that extends beyond his soul. He comes to take for
      granted his conviction that the laws of thought are in conformity with the
      laws of the universe, and he feels at home in the universe because this
      conformity exists. This conformity is one of the weighty facts through which
      he learns to know his own nature. He searches in his soul for truth and
      through this truth it is not only the soul that speaks but also the things of
      the world. What is recognized as truth by means of thought has an independent
      significance that refers to the things of the world, and not merely to one's
      own soul. In my delight at the starry heavens I live in my own inner being.
      The thoughts I form for myself about the paths of heavenly bodies have the
      same significance for the thinking of every other person as they have for
      mine. It would be absurd to speak of my delight were I not in existence. It
      is not in the same way absurd, however, to speak of my thoughts, even without
      reference to myself, because the truth that I think today was true also
      yesterday and will be true tomorrow, although I concern myself with it only
      today. If a fragment of knowledge gives me joy, the joy has significance just
      as long as it lives in me, whereas the truth of the knowledge has its
      significance quite independently of this joy.

      By grasping the truth, the soul connects itself with something that carries
      its value in itself. This value does not vanish with the feeling in the soul
      any more than it arose with it. What is really truth neither arises nor
      passes away. It has a significance that cannot be destroyed. This is not
      contradicted by the fact that certain human truths have a value that is
      transitory inasmuch as they are recognized after a certain period as partial
      or complete errors. Man must say to himself that truth after all exists in
      itself, although his conceptions are only transient forms of manifestation of
      the eternal truths. Even someone who says, like Lessing, that he contents
      himself with the eternal striving for truth because the full pure truth can
      only exist for a god, does not deny the eternity of truth but establishes it
      by such an utterance. Only what has an eternal significance in itself can
      call forth an eternal striving for it. Were truth not in itself independent,
      if it acquired its value and significance through the feelings of the human
      soul, it could not be the one unique goal for all mankind. By the very fact
      of our striving for truth, we concede its independent being.

      As it is with the true, so is it with the truly good. Moral goodness is
      independent of inclinations and passions inasmuch as it does not allow itself
      to be commanded by them but commands them. Likes and dislikes, desire and
      loathing belong to the personal soul of a man. Duty stands higher than likes
      and dislikes. Duty may stand so high in the eyes of a man that he will
      sacrifice his life for its sake. A man stands the higher the more he has
      ennobled his inclinations, his likes and dislikes, so that without compulsion
      or subjection they themselves obey what is recognized as duty. The morally
      good has, like truth, its eternal value in itself and does not receive it
      from the sentient soul.

      By causing the self-existent true and good to come to life in his inner
      being, man raises himself above the mere sentient soul. An imperishable light
      is kindled in it. In so far as the soul lives in this light, it is a
      participant in the eternal and unites its existence with it. What the soul
      carries within itself of the true and the good is immortal in it. Let us call
      what shines forth in the soul as eternal, the consciousness soul. We can
      speak of consciousness even in connection with the lower soul stirrings. The
      most ordinary everyday sensation is a matter of consciousness. To this extent
      animals also have consciousness. The kernel of human consciousness, that is,
      the soul within the soul, is what is here meant by consciousness soul. The
      consciousness soul is thus distinguished as a member of the soul distinct
      from the intellectual soul, which is still entangled in the sensations,
      impulses and passions. Everyone knows how a man at first counts as true what
      he prefers in his feelings and desires. Only that truth is permanent,
      however, that has freed itself from all flavor of such sympathy and antipathy
      of feeling. The truth is true even if all personal feelings revolt against
      it. That part of the soul in which this truth lives will be called
      consciousness soul.

      Thus three members must be distinguished in the soul as in the body, namely,
      sentient soul, intellectual soul and consciousness soul. As the body works
      from below upwards with a limiting effect on the soul, so the spiritual works
      from above downwards into it, expanding it. The more the soul fills itself
      with the true and the good, the wider and the more comprehensive becomes the
      eternal in it. To him who is able to see the soul, the splendor radiating
      forth from a man in whom the eternal is expanding is just as much a reality
      as the light that streams out from a flame is real to the physical eye.

      For the seer, the corporeal man counts as only part of the whole man. The
      physical body as the coarsest structure lies within others that mutually
      interpenetrate it and each other. The ether body fills the physical body as a
      life-form. The soul body (astral shape) can be perceived extending beyond
      this on all sides. Beyond this, again, extends the sentient soul, and then
      the intellectual soul, which grows the larger the more of the true and the
      good it receives into itself. This true and good causes the expansion of the
      intellectual soul. On the other hand, a man living only and entirely
      according to his inclinations, likes and dislikes, would have an intellectual
      soul whose limits coincide with those of his sentient soul. These
      organizations, in the midst of which the physical body appears as if in a
      cloud, may be called the human aura. The perception of this aura, when seen
      as this book endeavors to present it, indicates an enrichment of man's soul
      * * *
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