Posts Tagged Physical Body

The Soul as Truth, Beauty and Love

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🔸Truth, and goodness, and beauty, are but different faces of the same All.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

🔸It was one of those evenings when men feel that truth, goodness and beauty are one.
— Aldous Huxley

🔸The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth.
— Albert Einstein

This is an extract of Rudolf Steiner’s lecture on Truth, Beauty and Goodness, and it’s an alternate way to look at the soul:

From the heading: “Rudolf Steiner stated that the primary function of education is to exercise the students’ faculties of thinking, feeling and willing. These basic human qualities manifest in civilization as the “eternal verities” of truth, beauty and goodness, and these in turn in science, art and religion.”

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From Steiners Truth, Beauty and Goodness:

The True, the Beautiful, the Good — through all the ages of man’s conscious evolution these words have expressed three great ideals: ideals which have instinctively been recognized as representing the sublime nature and lofty goal of all human endeavour.

In epochs earlier than our own there was a deeper knowledge of man’s being and his connection with the universe, when Truth, Beauty and Goodness had more concrete reality than they have in our age of abstraction.

Anthroposophy, or Spiritual Science, is able once again to indicate the concrete reality of such ideals, although in so doing it does not always meet with the approval of the times.

For in our age men love to be vague and nebulous whenever it is a question of getting beyond the facts of everyday life.

Let us try to understand how Truth, Beauty and Goodness are related, as concrete realities, to the being of man…

In his pre-earthly existence man lives in a world of pure Spirit, where, in communion with higher Beings, he is engaged in building up the spiritual prototype, the spirit-form of his physical body. The physical body here on earth is but an after-copy of the spirit-germ that is elaborated, in a certain sense, by man himself in pre-earthly existence.

In earthly life the human being is conscious of his physical body, but does not know what this implies. We speak of Truth, little realizing that a feeling for truth is connected with our consciousness of the physical body.

When man is confronted by a simple fact, he may either form an idea that harmonizes strictly with it and thus is true, or, from inaccuracy, laziness or positive aversion to truth, he may evolve an idea that does not coincide with the fact.

  • When he thinks the truth, he is in harmony with the feeling he has of his physical body, nay also with his sense of the connection between this physical body and pre-earthly existence.
  • If out of laziness or untruthfulness he forms an idea that is not in accordance with the fact, it is as if he cut the thread that binds him to pre-earthly existence. Untruth severs this thread.

In pre-earthly existence a delicate spiritual wool is spun, and this is concentrated into an after-copy — the physical body. Many threads connect this physical body with pre-earthly existence, and they are severed by untruthfulness.

The purely intellectual consciousness that is a characteristic quality in the early stages of the epoch of the consciousness Soul does not realize that such a severance takes place. And that is why man is subject to so many illusions as to his connection with cosmic existence.

For the most part to-day, man regards his bodily health from a purely physical point of view. But when, through untruthfulness, he severs the threads that bind him with pre-earthly existence, this works right down into his physical body, and especially into the constitution of the nervous system.

The feeling he has of his physical body gives him his “spiritual sense of being” in the universe. And this spiritual sense of being depends upon maintenance of the threads proceeding from the physical body to pre-earthly existence.

If they break, man must create a substitute for his healthy sense of being — and he does so, unconsciously. He is then led, unconsciously, to ascribe to himself a sense of being “out of the common.” But even here he has fallen into an inner uncertainty that makes itself felt even in the physical body….

What is it that can strengthen man in this sense of being? In earthly existence we live in a world that is but a copy of true reality. Indeed, we only understand this physical world aright when we realize it to be this copy of reality.

It behooves us, however, to feel the true reality within us; we must be aware of our connection with the spiritual world. And this is only possible if the bond that links us with pre-earthly existence remains intact.

This bond is strengthened by a love of truth and Integrity. Nothing establishes man’s true and original sense of existence so firmly as a feeling for truth and truthfulness.

To feel himself in duty bound first to “prove all things” he utters, to set due restraint on all his words — this helps to consolidate the sense of existence that is worthy of his being.

To be aware of the spirit within the physical body — with this, indeed, the sense of being is connected. There is, in effect, an intimate kinship between the physical body and this ideal of Truth.

We acquire the etheric body (or body of “formative forces”) only a short time before the descent from pre-earthly to earthly existence. We draw the forces of the etheric world together, as it were, to build up our own etheric body.

The sense of the reality of the etheric body is strengthened by the experience of Beauty. When truth and truthfulness enter the realm of real experience, we are, in a sense, living rightly in the physical body. A highly developed sense of beauty gives us a right relation to the etheric body of formative forces. Whereas Truth is connected with the physical body, Beauty is connected with the etheric body.

If we try either through sculpture, painting, or drama — indeed, through any art — to portray a human being, we endeavour to create a figure that is sufficient and complete in itself — one that contains a whole world, just as man contains the whole universe within himself in his etheric body. For he draws together the etheric forces from the whole universe to mould his etheric body within earthly existence.

An intense feeling for beauty — as it was then conceived — existed in earlier ages. Nothing of the same kind is present in modern civilization, Man cannot be truly man if he has no sense of beauty. It is so, indeed; for to possess a sense of beauty is to acknowledge the reality of the etheric body. To have no sense of beauty is to disregard, to disown, the etheric body.

Enthusiasm for truth and truthfulness can kindle in man — in the unconscious depths of his soul at any rate — a feeling for pre-earthly existence. …. But when this sense is highly developed, it binds man strongly to the pre-earthly past, and his more immediate experience of the earthly present must needs cause a certain sadness to arise within him.

It is a sadness that can only find consolation if the sense of beauty is awakened in the soul. Beauty gives us joy once more, even in the presence of a sadness that must always accompany great enthusiasm for truth.

In a delicate, subtle way this enthusiasm tells us: Truth, alas, is only really present in pre-earthly existence. …. Only enthusiasm for truth can help us to maintain intact our relationship with pre-earthly existence.

We ought never to undervalue the significance of beauty in education and in outer culture. A civilization that is filled with ugly machines, with chimneys and smoke, and dispenses with beauty, is a world that makes no efforts to forge a link between man and pre-earthly existence; indeed, it tears him asunder.

The world of spirit in which we live during our pre-earthly existence is always present. We have but to stretch out our arms, as it were, to this pre-earthly world of spirit.

Although it is always there, a link can only be forged in the depths of unconscious life when man glows with enthusiasm for truth and truthfulness.

And when his heart thrills with love for the beautiful, this too forms a bond with pre-earthly existence. …. To glow in response to beauty means that in his soul man must create in a picture, at least, a new link with pre-earthly spirituality.

A good man is one who can bear his own soul over into the soul of another. Upon this all true morality depends, and without morality no true social order among earthly humanity can be maintained.

When this true morality develops into momentous impulses of will which then pass to reality in moral acts, it begins to be a quickening, all-pervading impulse in the soul, inasmuch as a man can then be moved to real sympathy at the sight of care on the face of another — his own astral body feels pain at the sight of suffering in others.

Truth, then, is related to the physical body, Beauty to the etheric body, Goodness to the astral body. Here we have the concrete reality of the three abstractions of Truth, Beauty, Goodness.

These ideals show us how far man is able to fulfill his whole human nature, when, to begin with, as he lives in his physical body, he is filled with a real sense of truth instead of conventional opinions.

Again, full “humanity” is only afforded a worthy existence when a man can quicken his etheric body into life through his feeling for beauty. …. One can merely gaze at beauty or one can experience it. …. To gaze at beauty is not to experience it. The moment we experience beauty, however, the etheric body is quickened.

A man may do good because of some convention, or because punishment is in store for serious wrong-doing — or, again, because other people will respect him less if he does wrong.

He can, however, also do good from sheer love of goodness. … Such an experience of goodness will always lead to a recognition of the reality of the astral body. Indeed, only this recognition will teach man anything about the essence of goodness.

There can only be abstract knowledge of and inconsequent chatter about goodness, if loving enthusiasm for goodness in its essence does not lead to actual experience of the astral body.

▪️The sense of truth is a heritage from pre-earthly existence.

▪️The sense of beauty will create an image, at least, of pre-earthly connection with spirit.

▪️Experience of goodness is a link, leading directly to the world he enters after death.

To be true is to be rightly united with our spiritual past. To sense beauty means that in the physical world we do not disown our connection with spirit. To be good is to build a living seed for a spiritual world in the future.

Past, present, future — these three concepts, as they play their part in human life, assume far-reaching significance when we understand the concrete reality of the other three concepts — Truth, Beauty, Goodness.

The man who is untruthful denies his spiritual past; the liar severs the threads between himself and his spiritual past. He who disregards beauty is building himself an abode on earth where the sun of spirit never shines, where he wanders in spiritless shadow. The man who belies the good renounces his spiritual future; and yet he would like this future to be bestowed on him, may be by means of some outer remedy.

It was, indeed, out of a profound instinct that Truth, Beauty and Goodness were held to be the greatest ideals of human striving. Yet they have faded away into shadowy words, and it is only our present age that can bestow concrete reality upon them.”

RoseCroix

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The Taoist Triad and the Three Logoi

“The Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three.
From these three, all mankind descended.”
~Lao Tzu in Tao te King, 600BC.

All religious and esoteric traditions, philosophies and sciences try to describe the same world, and my goal was to find the shared pattern below all these. But, it’s not necessarily easy to find these patterns, the vocabularies are usually very different. The logic in Taoism seemed to be very different from the European tradition, where we had seven as key value they had eight, why? There were many questions like that. My first article on Taoism: Tao – The Equilibrium of Yin and Yang.

Especially I Ching was fascinating with their trigrams and hexagrams. It was a very stringent logical system, although the reasons was elusive. It was very different from anything else in the rest of the world. The big question was how it had been created and what the logic behind them was. Was it possible to connect it with European or Indian esotericism, with Kabbalah or astrology?

Some years ago i found out why we used seven and they used eight, it was quite easy when I first found out: Outside China we count the seven inner planetary bodies except Earth, the Chinese includes the Earth. Here we have the eight bodies to the left and the seven bodied projection to the right, where the Sun and Earth are projected into the same point.

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I was fascinated by the The Book of Change, called the I Ching, that is one of the world’s oldest works of literature. In my Dark Night of the Soul I used it to solve some difficult questions and I was surprised how precise its advices was, even though it was an old old system. I was then ‘told’ that it was nearly as good as when it was created.

I studied the text and found out that it was kind of teaching or rule book for a civilization, and it was the guiding book for the development of the Chinese civilization.  I Ching was both appreciated by the Confucians and Taoists alike.

All civilizations are in danger of decadence, of the powers of Yin or Ahriman in Anthroposophic vocabulary, but I Ching is a guide for a society to keep the society in balance. This is the reason behind the longevity of the Chinese civilisation, but at the price of stasis, nothing new happened, but it was a perfect first class for new souls. As there isn’t coming many new souls into humanity any longer, they had to break the stasis, and that was what the culture revolution of Mao did. One kind of materialism is replaced by a new materialism, a cultureless materialism, where people can begin to find their own path.

The creation of the eight Pa Kua or trigrams at the root of the sixty-four principles, hexagrams, are ascribed to the legendary Fu-Xi, who ruled during the third millennium BC.

The creation:

Tao gives birth to One,
One gives birth to Two,
The Two gives birth to Three,
The Three gives birth to all universal things.
All universal things shoulder the Yin and embrace the Yang.
The Yin and Yang mingle and mix with each other to beget the harmony.

This reminds very much on the creation story around the Three Logoi. Here a drawing of the creation:

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Steiner uses the following symbols for the Three Logoi (The Logos Walks the Earth):

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First Logos gives the idea, Second Logos gives life and Third Logos gives the resulting form.

The trigrams are build from below, where the lowest line represents the First Logos, the middle line the Second Logos and the top line the Third Logos. Here another representation of the development of the trigrams, and related to western symbolism.

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Here’s  how the children was created (from the Book of Change):

The Creative (☰ Qian) is heaven, therefore, it is called the father.
The Receptive (☷ Kun) is the earth, therefore, it is called the mother.
In the Trigram of the Arousing (☳ Zhen,) she seeks for the first time the power of the male and receives a son. Therefore, the Arousing is called the Eldest Son. [The highest spiritual principle in man, Atma.]
In the Trigram of the Gentle (☴ Xun) the male seeks for the first time the power of the female and receives a daughter. Therefore, the Gentle is called the Eldest Daughter. [The lowest principle in man, the physical.]
In the Trigram of the Abysmal (☵ Kan) she seeks for a second time and receives a son. Therefore, it is called the Middle Son. [The second lowest principle, the etheric.]
In the Trigram of the Clinging (☲ Li) he seeks for a second time and receives a daughter. Therefore, it is called the Middle Daughter. [The second highest principle, Buddhi.]
In the Trigram of Keeping (☶ Gen) Still she seeks for a third time and receives a son. Therefore, it is called the Youngest Son. [The third highest principle, Manas.]
In the Trigram of the Joyous (☱ Dui) he seeks for a third time and receives a daughter. Therefore, it is called the Youngest Daughter. [The third lowest principle, the Astral.]

Inserted into the figure of the Alchemist Mountain:

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The trigrams have names from their position in the family, and the oldest son and daughter corresponds to the First Logos, the middle son and daughter corresponds to the two personalities of the Second Logos and the youngest son and daughter corresponds to the Third Logos.

Buddhi is the Middle Daughter, and that is right, Buddhi is the feminine power of the trinity.

The Father is heaven and the Mother is Earth, and the hexagrams describes the path humanity follows from Earth to Heaven, all inclusive.

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From Yi-Globe.

The trigrams can also be put into a Fano Plane (for the math inclined Wikipedia). Those who know the octal number system will see that all opposing trigrams add to Qian (☰). Like ☰= ☶ + ☱.

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It’s like the second and third triangle in the Kabbalah Tree of Life.

Interestingly enough the Fano Plane reminds about the Deathly Hallows 72dbbc99-632c-4d1a-b95e-9233d03048f2 from the Harry Potter books.

The Three Pure Ones

From Wikipedia:

The Three Pure Ones … are the Taoist Trinity, the three highest Gods in the Taoist pantheon. They are regarded as pure manifestation of the Tao and the origin of all sentient beings.

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First Logos:

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“Heavenly King of the Chaotic Never-ending Primordial Beginning”) at a time of pre-Creation when the Universe was still null and the cosmos was in disorder; manifesting into the first of the Taoist Trinity, Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn. Yuánshǐ Tiānzūn oversees the earliest phase of Creation of the Universe, and is henceforth known as Dàobǎo (道寶) “Treasure of the Tao”.

Second Logos:

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In One produces Two—Taiji produces Yin Yang, Yuanshi Tianzun manifests into Lingbao Tianzun who separated the Yang from the Yin, the clear from the murky, and classified the elements into their rightful groups. Therefore, he is also known as Jīngbǎo (經寶) “Treasure of the Law/Scripture”.

While Jīng in popular understanding means “scriptures”, in this context it also mean “passing through” [the phase of Creation] and the Laws of Nature of how things are meant to be.

Third Logos:

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In the final phase of Creation, Daode Tianzun is manifested from Língbăo Tiānzūn to bring civilization and preach the Law to all living beings. Therefore, He is also known as Shībǎo (師寶) “Treasure of the Master”.

Transformation of Yin to Yang – TAO

The dark side is the universe not yet conscious in God, in Tao, where  the white is transformed darkness.

The body lies in darkness, the spirit in light, but the spirit is weak, and the body is strong. The soul permeates both body and spirit and is the driving power in the development, is TAO, the Logos.

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Various Sources on I Ching

The Gnostic Book of Changes is a well researched book on I Ching, usable as introduction and as reference book. It can both be read on the site or downloaded as pdf-file.

In Chapter 3 he describes the structure of the I Ching Oracle with tender care, making much of the above easier understandable.

From his book:

trigram-star-of-davidIn the Hexagram as in the Star of David are Heaven and Earth meeting.

Café au Soul have a well made site for using the I Ching Oracle.

rosecroix

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