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Theosophy: The Second and Third Parts of the Spirit

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    After decribing the first part, the Spirit Self, Steiner writes: Now the physical world can only give information about itself to the ego by building out of
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 9, 2002
      After decribing the first part, the Spirit Self, Steiner writes:

      "Now the physical world can only give information about itself to the ego by
      building out of physical materials and forces a body in which the conscious
      soul can live and possess within its organs for perceiving the corporeal
      world outside itself. The spiritual world, on the other hand, with its
      spiritual substances, and spiritual forces, builds a spirit body in which the
      `I” can live and, through intuitions, perceive the spiritual. (It is evident
      that the expressions spirit substance, spirit body, contain contradictions
      according to the literal meaning of the words. They are only used to direct
      attention to what, in the spiritual region, corresponds to the physical
      substance, the physical body of man.)

      Within the physical world each human body is built up as a separate being,
      and within the spirit world the spirit body is also built up separately. For
      man there is an inner and an outer in the spirit world just as in the
      physical world there is an inner and an outer. Man takes in the materials of
      the physical world around him and assimilates them in his physical body, and
      he also takes up the spiritual from the spiritual environment and makes it
      into his own. The spiritual is the eternal nourishment of man. Man is born of
      the physical world, and he is also born of the spirit through the eternal
      laws of the true and the good. He is separated as an independent being from
      the spirit world outside him, and he is separated in the same manner from the
      whole physical world. This independent spiritual being will be called the
      spirit man.

      If we investigate the human physical body, it is found to contain the
      same materials and forces as are to be found outside in the rest of the
      physical world. It is the same with the spirit man. In it pulsate the
      elements of the external spirit world. In it the forces of the rest of the
      spirit world are active. Within the physical skin a being is enclosed and
      limited that is alive and feels. It is the same in the spirit world. The
      spiritual skin that separates the spirit man from the unitary spirit world
      makes him an independent being within it, living a life within himself and
      perceiving intuitively the spiritual content of the world. Let us call this
      “spiritual skin” (auric sheath) the spirit sheath. Only it must be kept
      clearly in mind that the spiritual skin expands continually with advancing
      human evolution so that the spiritual individuality of man (his auric sheath)
      is capable of enlargement to an unlimited extent.

      The spirit man lives within this spirit sheath. It is built up by the
      spiritual life force in the same way as the physical body is by the physical
      life force. In a similar way to that in which one speaks of an ether body,
      one must speak of an ether spirit in reference to the spirit man. Let his
      ether spirit be called life spirit. The spiritual nature of man is thus
      composed of three parts, spirit man, life spirit and spirit self.

      For one who is a seer in the spiritual regions, this spiritual nature of
      man is, as the higher, truly spiritual part of the aura, a perceptible
      reality. He sees the spirit man as life spirit within the spirit sheath, and
      he sees how this life spirit grows continually larger by taking in spiritual
      nourishment from the spiritual external world. Further, he sees how the
      spirit sheath continually increases, widens out through what is brought into
      it, and how the spirit man becomes ever larger and larger. In so far as this
      becoming larger is seen spatially, it is of course only a picture of the
      reality. This fact notwithstanding, the human soul is directed towards the
      corresponding spiritual reality in conceiving this picture because the
      difference between the spiritual and the physical nature of man is that the
      physical nature has a limited size while the spiritual nature can grow to an
      unlimited extent.

      Whatever of spiritual nourishment is absorbed has an eternal value. The
      human aura is accordingly composed of two interpenetrating parts. Color and
      form are given to the one by the physical existence of a man, and to the
      other by his spiritual existence. The ego marks the separation between them
      in such wise that the physical element after its own manner surrenders itself
      and builds up a body that allows a soul to live within it. The “I”
      surrenders itself and allows the spirit to develop in it, which now for its
      part permeates the soul and gives the soul its goal in the spirit world.
      Through the body the soul is enclosed in the physical. Through the spirit man
      there grow wings for movement in the spiritual world."
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