Finer Bodies of Spirit and Light

“During sleep no impressions are conveyed to the human soul through the instrumentality of the physical sense-organs. The impressions from the ordinary outer world do not find their way to the soul when in that condition. In certain respects the soul is actually outside the part of the human being, the so-called physical body, which in waking life is the medium for sense perceptions and thought. The soul is then only connected with the finer bodies (the etheric body and the astral body), which are beyond the scope of physical sense observation. But the activity of these finer bodies does not cease during sleep. Just as the physical body is connected and lives with the things and beings of the physical world, affecting them and being affected by them, so, too, does the soul live in a higher world; only this life of the soul continues also during sleep. The soul is in full activity during sleep but we can know nothing of this activity so long as we have no spiritual organs of perception.” ~Rudolf Steiner

Soul Impressions

Mr. Steiner says the body “instrumentality”send no data to the soul during sleep. We can assume that also includes the brain-mind. This doesn’t mean that the soul does not receive any knowledge during sleep. It means that the knowledge it receives comes from higher dimensions, spiritual dimensions.

Even when we are physically awake, the soul has little interest in the observations of the physical world coming from the body and mind. One exception is when the body and mind commit great wrongs such as murder. This sends vibrations of a sort to the soul that it finds excruciatingly painful. In most cases, the soul of one who commits such crimes will depart the physical body never to return. This leaves the person as a soulless zombie. Sadly, there are more than a few such people in our world today.

Finer Bodies

Steiner says the soul is connected only with the “finer bodies” which he calls the etheric and astral bodies. We in Cosolargy call those higher-frequency bodies the psychic body and the spiritual body, or spirit. I’m not sure we can say the soul has no connection with the physical body and mind. We can say that the connection is indirect. We can visualize our structure as being like a pyramid. The physical body is the bottom layer. The brain-mind is just above it. Then we have the psychic (or astral) body. Finally, the spiritual body above that. The soul is the apex of the pyramid, the capstone.

Awakened Soul

What Steiner is not saying in the quote is that when we are born into the material world, our spirit and soul are in a dormant state. It is like when the body and mind is in a coma. They are alive, but not really functioning. It is only after they are awakened that they can “live in a higher world”. The soul’s link to those finer bodies, which in turn link to the physical body and brain-mind, may exist, but it’s not very useful when the soul remains dormant. The first task of the spiritual student is to awaken the soul using the light of the spiritual sun.


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