EL, Berlin, 5-15-'08
Man gains interest in the physical world through perception or
estimatio. It's this interest that fetters him to the physical
world. One can grow out of this by seeing the spiritual behind things
in the sense world. In an earlier stage of consciousness men had
imaginatio and no estimatio for physical things, and
even earlier they had incantatio or inspiratio. Moderns
usually only have estimatio during the day, and they have
imaginatio at night. Men are unproductive in daytime; they used
to be much more productive. Moderns are only productive during sleep.
Consciousness arises when the astral body and ego destroy the physical
and etheric bodies during the day. When the astral body and ego become
aware of their physical surroundings it's as if the nerves were being
torn to pieces.
Corporeal tiredness arises from the destructive, deadly effect of the
astral body and ego on the etheric and physical bodies. The streaming
of the physical world into man's organism has a poisonous, destructive
At night the ego and astral body take in the forces of the spiritual
world and stream them into the physical and etheric bodies. They
surround the physical body with pictures that have a healing effect on
it. The first thing a man sees when the spiritual world opens before
him for the first time is his physical body. This picture of the
physical body has a healing effect on him. Likewise the astral body
and ego work upon the rest of man in a strengthening, healing way at
night through true pictures out of the spiritual world. They stream
into the ripped nerve strands and destroyed organism. Thereby forces
from the spiritual world stream in at night that eliminate tiredness
from the body.
Tiredness mainly arises from interest in things. No tiredness is
caused if one looks at something without personal interest. For
instance, say someone really likes a tasty food. Thereby he has a
personal interest in the food because it stimulates his gums. It has
quite a different effect on a man if he knows his connection with the
cosmos and that he's at a stage where he has a physical body that
needs food. This affects his organism differently than if he only eats
food for pleasure. A man must get to know spiritual things through the
physical body, and then he loses interest in physical things.
A man should look upon estimatio as the low point in evolution.
He must grow out of this into the imaginatio that he had
previously. But if he connects himself with the physical world he goes
below the lowest point and can no longer ascend. It's very important
for a man to learn to occupy himself with things that lie beyond the
physical plane, with ideas and concepts that are supersensible.
Exercises are given to this end. The longer and more patiently a pupil
practices certain ideas, the more he learns to overcome personal
interests and to ascend to imaginatio. Then a man becomes
productive instead of just taking in things from outside. He then
streams something from within out into the world. One rightly says
that man has the sun and moon in him. When he looks at things without
personal interest he streams a spiritual light onto them; he becomes a
sun who illumines things. They reflect his light. The surroundings
that reflect his light become a moon.
Correct ideas have a healing effect on man, and wrong ideas make him
sick. One can find a wrong idea behind every disease, if one traces it
back. Mankind in general is responsible for this and not individuals.
Interest also has a destructive effect when people run from one
sensation to the other and always want to be amused. That makes people
sick. It's also a hindrance to progress to have a personal interest in
higher knowledge. Men become scleroticized thereby. A man must not
become indifferent to his surroundings. He must retain his feeling and
sympathy for his surroundings. Some say that sympathy can also come from
egotism. That may be the case. Many kinds of sympathy only arise
because one doesn't want to see other people suffer. That's even a
good thing. It's better for a man to help someone out of egotistical
sympathy than not to help him at all. But we must learn to develop a
sympathy that stands above egoism, that helps neighbors because it's
one's duty to help them.