Terror-inspiring astral world

For the inexperienced, the astral world is a confusing jumble. A person can experience all kinds of animal figures coming towards him, frightening human figures and the like. Some people tell of such experiences. They are really in a very deplorable state. Because they are ill, the astral world becomes visible in an irregular manner. If one begins to meditate and seriously train oneself, clairvoyance develops in the right way and then one knows what to expect in the astral world. However, when people enter the astral world with a diseased brain or something similar, terrible figures are seen coming towards them and throwing themselves upon them. These figures are, in reality, passions emanating from themselves, mirrored images from the astral world. In the astral world, everything is reversed, but they are unable to read the astral images and experience everything as if rushing toward them. Everything appears in images in the astral world. Erupting anger, for example, may appear as a picture of an attacking tiger. So it is with all these wild figures, because every desire and every passion becomes a demon. However, the untrained person does not know how to interpret these images and assumes them to be fantasised imaginations which they certainly are not. They are mirrored images.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – Kosmogonie – Leipzig, June 29, 1906 (page 135)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 7 October 2018

 

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Clairvoyance / Dangers

No psychical trouble arises in true initiation, but the premature and sudden flashing-up of the astral world may give rise to insanity. In clairvoyance, man is liberated from his physical body. Hence the dangers that may threaten the mind and brain of one who attempts this kind of training without being absolutely balanced.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 – An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture IX: The Astral World – Paris, 2nd June 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner

Previously posted on 4 October 2018

 

The images of feelings and passions

Feelings and passions are (in the astral world) expressed by plant and animal forms. When man begins to behold his passions in the astral world he sees them as animal forms. These forms proceed from himself, but he sees them as if they were assailing him. This is because his own being is objectivised — otherwise he could not behold himself. Thus it is only in the astral world that man learns true self knowledge in contemplating the images of his passions in the animal forms which hurl, themselves upon him. A feeling of hatred entertained against another being appears as an attacking demon.

This astral self-knowledge occurs in an abnormal way in those who are troubled with psychical illnesses which consist in constant visions of being pursued by animals and menacing entities. The sufferers are seeing the mirror images of their emotions and desires.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 94 –  An Esoteric Cosmology – Lecture IX: The Astral World – Paris, 2nd June 1906

Translated by Rene Querido

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Previously posted on June 18, 2018

Animal group-souls

You will have gathered from the lectures given here recently that when we ascend with clairvoyance into the higher worlds we there meet with beings who, it is true, do not belong to our physical world, but who are in themselves so independent that we can describe them as ‘persons’ for those worlds, just as we call men here on the physical plane ‘persons.’ 

You have seen that groups of animals of the same species together belong to a group-soul or group-ego and that on the astral plane we come upon the lion-soul, the tiger-soul, and so on, as independent personalities whom we can meet there as we meet the human being on the physical plane. 

In the same way we find in still higher regions, on the devachanic plane, the egos of quite large plant groups, and in the highest parts of Devachan we find the egos of the minerals, personalities as distinct as men are here on the physical plane. We saw in this way that in these higher worlds we meet with certain beings who, so to speak, extend part of their organism, their separate members, down into the physical plane. 

If a man were to extend his fingers through openings in a curtain or partition we should only see the ten fingers, the man himself would be behind the partition. So it is with the group-egos of the animals. Here with the physical eye we see what is extended down below as members by higher beings of the astral world, and the actual ego is behind the partition, behind that wall which separates the physical world from the astral world.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 102 – The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man: Lecture I – Berlin, 6th January 1908

Previously posted on September 27, 2019

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New senses / New phenomena

Nobody has true knowledge of the visible world unless he knows something also of two other worlds.

The three worlds are:

The physical world, the scene of human life.

The astral world or the world of soul.

The devachanic world or world of spirit.

These three worlds are not spatially separate. We are surrounded by the things of the physical world which we perceive with our ordinary senses: but the astral world is in this same space; we live in the other two worlds, the astral and devachanic worlds, at the same time as we live in the physical world. The three worlds are wherever we ourselves are, only we do not yet see the two higher worlds — just as a blind man does not see the physical world. But when the “senses of the soul” are opened, the new world, with its new characteristics and new beings, emerges. In proportion as a man acquires new senses, so are new phenomena revealed to him.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 95 – At the Gates of Spiritual Science: LECTURE TWO: THE THREE WORLDS – Stuttgart, 23rd August 1906

Translated by E.H. Goddard & Charles Davy

Previously posted on August 19, 2019

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