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Theosophy

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Theosophy

On-line since: 31st July, 1987

chapter i

THE NATURE OF MAN

2. The Soul-being of Man

Man's soul-nature as his own inner world is different from his bodily nature. That which is his very own comes at once to the fore, when attention is turned to the simplest sensation. Thus no one can know whether another person perceives even such a simple sensation in exactly the same way as one does oneself. It is known that there are people who are colour-blind. They see things only in different shades of grey. Others are partially colour-blind. They are unable, because of this, to perceive certain shades of colours. The picture of the world which their eyes give them is different from that of so-called normal persons. And the same holds good more or less in regard to the other senses. It will be seen, therefore, without further elaboration, that even simple sensations belong to the inner world. I can perceive with my bodily senses the red table which another person also perceives; but I cannot perceive his sensation of red. Sensation must therefore be described as belonging to the soul. If we grasp this fact alone quite clearly, we shall soon cease to regard inner experiences as mere brain processes or something similar. Feeling is closely allied to sensation. One sensation causes man pleasure, another displeasure. These are stirrings of his inner, his soul-life. In his feelings man creates a second world in addition to that which works on him from without. And a third is added to this — the will. Through the will man reacts on the outer world. And he thereby stamps the impress of his inner being on the outer world. The soul of man as it were flows outwards in the activities of his will. The actions of the human being differ from the occurrences of outer nature in that they bear the impress of his inner life. Thus the soul as that which is man's very own stands in contradistinction to the outer world. He receives from the outer world the incitements, but he creates in response to these incitements a world of his own. The body becomes the foundation of the soul-being of man.




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