Imaginative perception

To discover the true significance of thinking, to find the real truth — that thinking has cosmic significance — it is necessary to progress to imaginative perception, as described in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. Stripping our thinking of the abstract nature we consciously associate with it, and entering into that ocean of weaving thoughts, we encounter the necessity to have not only the abstract thoughts in there that we have as citizens of the earth but to conceive images in it. For everything is created from images. 

Images are the true or origins of things; images are behind everything around us; and it is into these images we enter when we immerse ourselves in the ocean of weaving thoughts. Those are the images Plato spoke of; they are the images all who have spoken of spiritual primary causes had in mind, the images Goethe had in mind with his archetypal plant. These images are to be found in imaginative thinking. This imaginative thinking is a reality and we become immersed in it when we enter the billowing world of thoughts that move with the stream of time.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations: Lecture 14: The Cosmic Significance of Our Sensory Perceptions – Our Thinking, Feeling and Will Activity – Berlin, July 6, 1915

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By David Newbatt

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Cleverer than Plato

Unlike others, we spiritual scientists do not talk of the marvellous progress we have made. Just listen to a modern physician, one who is very much taking the present-day point of view, or to a modern philosopher and so on. They say: ‘We need not go far back to find people who amounted to nothing at all. Someone like Paracelsus really was an idiot, and a grammar school teacher today is cleverer than Plato every was.’ 

Plato’s philosophy was thoroughly picked to pieces by Hebbel. The latter put down in his diary, as an idea for a play, that a grammar school teacher had a reincarnated Plato in his class. He intended to make a dramatic figure of him, showing the schoolmaster to be dealing with his reincarnated Plato who was quite incapable of grasping anything his teacher was saying about Plato. Hebbel intended to make a play of this. It really is a pity he did not do so, for it really is a very good idea.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 157 – Destinies of Individuals and Nations – Lecture 13 – The Prophetic Nature of Dreams: Moon, Sun and Saturn Man – Berlin, June 22, 1915

Fritz-Hebbel

Friedrich Hebbel (March 18, 1813 – December 13, 1863)

Continuity of consciousness 

At the current stage of development, the human being leaves his body during sleep. The soul moves, sometimes far away from the physical body, into the astral world and meets with other creatures of the astral world and exchanges thoughts with them. However, when the person wakes up again, he or she does not remember these wanderings. This lack of remembrance is due to humanity’s current stage of development. 

However, the student can develop ever higher and higher. The student, who is under the guidance of a so-called master, can gradually turn his consciousness into a continuous consciousness. Then he will be able to bring the experiences of the night into his consciousness during his state of waking. When the student has achieved this continuity of consciousness, he remembers what he has received in the astral world. 

This knowledge is not acquired in the physical-sensory world, but it is experienced and transmitted in the astral world and brought into physical life. That is what Plato meant when he talked about the memory of higher states of the soul.

consciousness

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, November 18, 1903 (page 62-63)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger

Previously posted on 13 mei 2020

Continuity of consciousness 

At the current stage of development, the human being leaves his body during sleep. The soul moves, sometimes far away from the physical body, into the astral world and meets with other creatures of the astral world and exchanges thoughts with them. However, when the person wakes up again, he or she does not remember these wanderings. This lack of remembrance is due to humanity’s current stage of development. 

However, the student can develop ever higher and higher. The student, who is under the guidance of a so-called master, can gradually turn his consciousness into a continuous consciousness. Then he will be able to bring the experiences of the night into his consciousness during his state of waking. When the student has achieved this continuity of consciousness, he remembers what he has received in the astral world. 

This knowledge is not acquired in the physical-sensory world, but it is experienced and transmitted in the astral world and brought into physical life. That is what Plato meant when he talked about the memory of higher states of the soul.

Source (German): Rudolf Steiner – GA 88 – Über die astrale Welt und das Devachan – Berlin, November 18, 1903 (page 62-63)

Translated by Nesta Carsten-Krüger