[RSArchive Icon]
Rudolf Steiner Archive Section Name Rudolf Steiner Archive & e.Lib



Highlight Words

Knowledge of Soul and Spirit

Schmidt Number: S-1667

On-line since: 15th April, 2016

The Soul of the Animal in the Light of Spiritual Science

Berlin, 23 January 1908

Even if the saying “recognise yourself” which was written above the entrance of a famous Greek temple remains an everlasting truth, even if this must also remain the guideline of all thinking, researching and feeling, nevertheless, the human being soon feels if he looks impartially at the world and at himself that self-knowledge is not only contemplating his own ego, but that he has to receive the true self-knowledge by the view of the big world and its beings.

We get the right self-knowledge from our surroundings if we understand them correctly. Therefore, one also felt always how significant the knowledge of those creatures must be that are the next on the stage behind us: the knowledge of the real nature, the inner life of the animals. If the human being lets the eyes wander over the plenty of animal forms, every one presents a specific feature developed in detail. If he looks at himself, he finds, also with superficial look, everything with himself that he sees distributed again on the single animals, but harmonised in a certain way. If he looks at the animal realm outdoors, it may confuse him as it were, so that he only must separate it to put it in order. He can do this best of all if he looks at the animal life in its entirety. However, as many other things of human knowledge, the human views of the animals were also dependent on the human feelings in a certain epoch and under certain conditions.

We already find in our immediate surroundings that the human beings are different from these creatures related to them. We realise how the one wants to see something in the animals that is mental-spiritual as near as possible to the human beings. On the other side, we experience others not becoming tired stressing the distance even of the highest animals to the human beings. We also realise in which way such a difference expresses itself in the moral behaviour. We see the one making this or that animal his dear friend behaving to it almost as a human being, giving it love, trust, and friendship. On the other side, we see certain human beings having a quite special reluctance against the one or the other animal. We realise how someone — like from an ethical urge — who feels mainly as a researcher points to the resemblance of the higher animals and their performances to the human being. Thus, we see apes doing things that remind of the mental and spiritual qualities of the human being. However, some people regard the high-developed animals as caricatures of the human beings, because he sees desires and instincts arising in a raw, unimproved form, which are weakened in the human being more or less, so that a kind of shame comes over him.

We realise that the materialistic thinking and feeling, in particular in the just expired epoch, did not get tired stressing again and again that everything that the human soul can express, for example, speech, laughter, feelings and moral sensations already exist as rudiments with the animals. Yes, some people also believe to notice religious feeling in certain way. Thus, one asserts, any perfect human quality has gradually developed from qualities of the animal.

Other ages, which thought less materialistically, could not make the distance great enough between the human being and the animal. We find, for example, a strange view about the animals with Descartes, the founder of the newer philosophy, whose lifetime from 1596 to 1650 does not lie so far behind us. He denies the animals everything that makes the human being a human being: reason, mind, everything that one summarises under the concept of a reasonable soul. He regards the animal as a kind of an automaton. Outer stimuli set it in motion, and everything that appears with the animal is a result of a stimulus. It is almost in such a way that he regards the animal hardly as something else than a kind of a higher, very complex machine.

Indeed, he who has an impartial look at the animal realm round us can easily feel the difficulties judging the animal and looking, so to speak, into the inside of a being that is, indeed, related to us but also distant in certain respect. We realise very soon if no prejudice blurs our vision that such a view as that of Descartes cannot maintained. We realise that, indeed, also to the superficial look those expressions that we call reasonable, prudent, and mental with the human being also exist in the animal in a certain way. Many people say, this is the typical of the animal that its intelligence, its soul is stationary in a certain way, whereas the human soul is changeable insofar as we can educate it. Although single persons assert this, one does not admit this without further ado, even if one looks at this matter only superficially. We realise looking at the animals round us how far certain animals closely related to the human being develop their intelligence. We see what an exact memory dogs seem to have now and again. We do not need to go into the subtleties of these matters characterising the animal soul, but only to sound what most of you have come to know, either directly or indirectly. Who does not know how long dogs remember where they have hidden anything anywhere or such. Who does not know that cats, if they are enclosed in this or that room, opened the door handle themselves to come out. Yes, it is not wrong at all if one asserts that the horses who were led once to the farrier know the way, so that if they lack a horseshoe they go to the farrier on their own accord. Someone who observes such things can hardly fail to admit that concerning certain manifestations of intelligence, certain mental activities only differences of quality exist between animal and human being, that there is only a gradual increase of the abilities of the human soul. Admittedly, many people become reckless with such things according to a Goethean saying that one needs only to change a little for this case: where serious concepts of the animal realm are lacking, the word instinct appears at the right time.

Instinct is such a collective name, a real smorgasbord, in which everything is put that one does not understand. Admittedly, least people are out to receive a clear mental picture of these “mystic” instincts. However, this obliges us to go deeper into these matters. If we look carefully at the animal, we find certain mental qualities of the human being, like envy, jealousy, love, aggressiveness and so on, also in the animal realm, sometimes to a lower, sometimes to a higher degree than with the human being. If one considers this, it obliges us to look at the matter somewhat more exactly. However, very numerous observations of the animal life were done in manifold ways. What was not yet known at the time of Descartes is easily accessible today because the animal realm has been scientifically investigated in all directions in order to get to know the human nature. The following may seem absurd, but to someone who knows the animals it is not at all miraculous. One made dogs by careful training to point to the right playing card. I do not want to speak of that man who asserts to have made his dogs to play at dominoes; if a domino did not match, they whined. All that are matters that are only an increase of what each of you knows.

Then we must point to the fact that particular qualities can be so deeply imprinted on the animal that they are imprinted not only on the single animal, but also on its descendants. Certain things, which one taught any dog, were found again with the descendants but their parents did not train them anyhow. It is in such a way that, even if one separated the descendants immediately after birth from the mother animals, the qualities which one had taught the parents appeared with the descendants. The outer quality was imprinted so deeply that it became hereditary and was simply transferred from the ancestors to the descendants.

However, certain factors are confronted with all things that may be undeniable, which must puzzle the human being who wants not to prejudge but to judge thoroughly. Let us take another example. Two dogs were used to hunt rats with each other. One wanted to prevent that. Hence, one closed them in two different rooms. Both rooms were separated with a closed door. It became apparent that the smaller dog made itself felt by barking at first. Thereupon the bigger one succeeded in opening the door handle. Now they were together and could hunt again collectively. Then one did something else. One separated them again in two rooms; however, the door handle was now tied with a string. Again, they were able to communicate to each other. Now the smaller one was even cheekier; he found out that one could bite through the string. Thus, they met and hunted again.

This is an example that can tempt us to speak of a very extensive intelligence activity of both animals. However, it has its limits. One closed both dogs in different rooms once again. However, this time one made the door handle invisible, while one stretched a cloth over it, and now they were no longer able to meet each other. We see the limits sharply drawn. In the latter case it would have been necessary that one of the dogs would have concluded that there a door handle must be found. It could not see it; once he could see everything. Because he could not see it, he did not find it. We see the sharp limit. Here we can take the starting point and do research where such a limit is found. We can admire lower animals concerning their mental qualities. He who has sense for the lawfulness of nature admires the anthill and the activity of the ants, the hive and the strange activity of the bees or, if we go up to higher animals, the dens of the beavers. — Who does not admire with the lower animals that which looks similar to memory, to intelligence if we see ants coming back if they have found a place where they can get something for their hill and carrying to it repeatedly, also taking others along to help them taking what is still lacking.

There we see the intelligent activity of animals finding the way back to the place where they have once picked up something. We realise an intelligent activity if an ant takes the other along for helping. One has argued, all that needs to be based on nothing but a kind of subtle percipience of that which is at the concerning place. After the ant has perceived the things once that are at the concerning place, it can move far away, and due to its subtle sense it is driven again to it, because it just perceives it. Certain researchers have tried to disprove such objections. They brought the ants in the headwind direction and made smell and perception impossible that way, so that they would not find these matters, if it depended only on sense-perception. Nevertheless, the animals found the objects again, so that the researchers seemed entitled to assume that really a kind of memory exists which the animal drives repeatedly to the place, which it has kept in mind.

However, there are also things that must puzzle us in certain respect. We realise that animals really have a subtle, distinctive gift to perform this or that. Who gets involved with such subtleties as they appear, for example, if an insect pupates how there the single threads are spun after single lines and directions, one can see something like a kind of geometry in this activity that the human being attains only after a long, long apprenticeship. The things are often built so subtly that the human being with his geometry is even today not so far to be able to copy these things. There we see, for example, the bee cell showing the figure of a regular hexagon. Yes, also if such insects have to modify their dens generally or their activity because these or those conditions changed, we realise that they do not keep on building according to an accepted pattern, but that they adapt themselves often wonderfully to the new conditions. We realise something like intelligence if such an insect, a caterpillar, cocoons itself as a chrysalis and is treated then in a certain way.

Thus, a researcher tried to find the underlying cause of this matter and observed the following: he let the concerning caterpillar spin three threads in its cocoon, and then he took out it and put it into another weave, which he had taken from an insect that had also spun single threads. However, he had taken out those threads. There the animal started again from beginning and span three threads again. If the animal, after it had spun up to three threads, was put in a weave from which six threads were taken out and only the seventh, eighth and ninth threads were there and also the first, second and third, then the animal started spinning the fifth, the sixth and seventh ones; then it stopped again. However, it is strange that the animal, after it had spun six threads, was placed in a weave in which the first three ones existed started spinning again the second one and then third, fourth, fifth and so on. — It behaves as a boy who has learnt a poem, has recited the three first stanzas, and should say the seventh now. That applies also to this animal. It saw that three threads were there; however, it could not be determined by that. Thus, we see a kind of mechanics prevailing in the activity of the animal.

We can see this still at another significant example. The sand digger wasp has a weird peculiarity: it leaves its cave, searches any insect for itself; however, it does not bring it directly to the cave, but leaves it at the entrance of the cave. Then it goes in and examines the cave whether everything is in order; then it gets the insect and puts it into it. One can consider this as a very reasonable process. — However, the matter can also go on in the following way. Imagine, you commit something naughty towards the sand wasp, and you take away the prey and lay it down far from the cave. The animal comes back; it looks and finds again the prey. Now it goes to the entrance of the cave, goes into it again, examines the cave once again, and brings in the insect. — If you do this forty times, the insect does the same procedure forty times. You realise that the insect cannot conclude that the cave is in order, that it is not necessary to look into it. We could increase this example still a thousand times.

Indeed, our natural sciences have a time behind themselves when they believed that it is sufficient if they answered to anybody who questioned them about these matters to talk about the struggle for existence, adaptation and the like. As strange it may sound to an impartial thinker, one said to himself: an animal acquired these instincts for certain reasons, the animal did not have these instincts before. However, once such an animal maybe performed an action that was suitable for its life. Because the animal performed this suitable action, it could get living conditions, which were favourable to him. The others that behaved less suitably became extinct gradually. With those, which performed favourable actions, such impulses of action were transmitted; they became habits, desires, and instincts. You will admit that if we apply this principle that in the course of the evolution, in the struggle for existence the animals appropriated suitable instincts, to the animal realm with impartial look, nevertheless, something becomes obvious. It is rather plausible for some people to say, the ancestors appropriated something once; then this was transmitted to the descendants. Those, which did something suitable, survived the struggle for existence, the others perished. Hence, only those remained which were equipped with suitable instincts.

However, if we apply this to the whole nature, something cannot withstand to such a view, because one must ask which form of usefulness is the basis of the instincts of certain insects which seeing a flame plunge into it and perish. On the other hand, which favourable adaptation forms the basis of the struggle for existence that certain domestic animals, for example, horses and bovine animals behave in the same way? If we herd them out of a fire, we see them plunging into it repeatedly.

One can also do this observation. This is the one. Then, however, one also does not come very far with this instinct principle if one considers that the animals have acquired qualities and pass on them to their descendants. If one wants to apply this principle, for example, to the bees, we must get clear about the following. You know, one distinguishes the queen, the drones, and the workers. They all have certain qualities that enable them to their task in the beehive and in the bee life. During generations these workers appear with the certain qualities repeatedly which the drones and the queen do not have. The question is now: can these attributes be inherited? This is impossible, because these workers are just those, which are infertile. Those, which do not have the attributes of the workers, provide the reproduction. The queen bears workers with the qualities repeatedly which the queen does not have. Thus, we realise that the mere materialistic theory of evolution and that of the struggle for existence are contradictory in many respects. We could increase these examples thousand fold. Nevertheless, they all speak for the same.

You find those qualities which we know as qualities of the human soul anyhow in the animal realm — if weaker or stronger, that is another question —, but we find them. We also find certain manifestations of intelligence, of a certain activity of reason. Is it now — this is the big question — inevitable to come to the materialistic explanation that everything that the human being has as contents of his soul is nothing else as a transformation, a higher development of that which we find in the animal realm? Are these related traits in the animal soul and in the human soul evidence of the fact that the human being is nothing else as a higher animal? Spiritual science only can answer to this question and is able to solve it.

Spiritual science looks impartially at all related traits of the human being and the animal realm, however, because it does not stop at the outer sensuous world and goes up to spiritual basis of existence, it can show the immense gap which opens between human being and animal. What distinguishes the human being from the animal I have already emphasised in certain respect in previous talks, in particular in the last one. Spiritual science would close the eyes, if it denied the animal the soul. The animal has, in the sense of spiritual science, a soul as the human being has one. However, it has this soul in another kind. Already in the last talk when we considered the view of repeated incarnations concerning man, woman and child, we could point to the big difference between the single human being and the single animal. I repeat briefly: the entire animal species arouses the same interest in us as the single human individuality does. The human being is a species for himself as an individuality. The father, son, grandson, great-grandchild of a lion has so much with each other in common that we only are interested in the lion as a species to the same degree as we are interested in the single human being. Hence, only the single human being has his biography in the true sense of the word, and this biography is for the single human being the same as the description of the species is for the animal.

Already last time, I have mentioned that certain persons — “dog fathers” or “cat mothers” — have to argue something. They say, they could write a biography of their cat or dog just as one of a human being. However, I have already mentioned that a schoolmaster demanded from his pupils to write the biography of their quill. Comparatively one can do everything, but it does not depend on it. One must look impartially at the matter. If you really go into the matter, you find that certain details, certain specific features are always there. A quill also has specific features by which one can distinguish it from other quills. However, it does not depend on it. It depends on the inside value of the concerning being, it depends on the fact that, indeed, the single being if it has a healthy nature engages our interest in the same way as the entire animal species does.

This is only a logical tip at first to that which spiritual science indicates as a peculiarity of the animal soul. In spiritual science, we regard the human being as an individual soul, whereas the animals have group-souls. A group-soul is the same as the individual soul of the single human being with the exception that spiritual science searches the human soul in the human being and the animal soul without the animal, as absurd as it may seem. Just because we go exactly into the phenomena, we are led even more to the consideration of higher levels than the physical level is. I called your attention to the fact that just as round a blind person light, colour and shine exist, around the human being who has only physical perception a spiritual world exists in which spiritual beings are. When the spiritual organs of perception or knowledge are opened, he sees a new world of facts and beings, like someone who was born blind and could be operated is able to see, so that light, colour and shine appear to him as a new world which he could not perceive before.

The individual human soul has descended from a higher world to the physical body. It is not physical, but it has descended to the physical world. It inspires and spiritualises the body. One cannot find the animal soul that is a group-soul, a type soul as an individual soul in the physical world. However, when the spiritual eyes of the human being are opened, we meet the animal soul. Then you meet this as a self-contained creature as you find the human soul in the human being. We call that world which presents itself immediately if the first cognitive organs are opened astral world, namely for reasons we talk about in the following talks.

As well as we find self-contained human individualities in the physical world, we find self-contained beings of mental kind within the astral world, only entire groups of animals — groups of homogenous animals — belong to these group-souls. If I should make that clear by a comparison, imagine that I stand before you, before me a wall is, so that you cannot see me, a wall with holes so large that I could push my ten fingers through them. Then you see ten fingers, you do not see me. From your experience, however, you know that somewhere a human being must be to whom these fingers belong. If you broke through the wall, you would discover the human being. The relation of the spiritual researcher to the higher world is similar to that.

He sees in the physical world various, but homogenous animals, as for example lions, tigers, monkeys etc. These single animals do not belong to a common physical body but to a common soul being. The wall that hides this soul being is simply the boundary wall between the physical and the astral worlds. Wherever the single lions are whether in Africa or in European zoos, it does not depend on it. Just as the connecting lines of my ten fingers lead to the human being, also the connecting lines of the single animals lead to the group-soul. Wherever spiritual science existed, one distinguished human being and animal in such a way that one got clear about the fact that that has entered the body which is for the animal still in a spiritual world and which manifests like stretching an arm down to the physical world. The human being takes possession of it in his individuality in his higher development, so that one does not need to be surprised if the single animals show expressions of intelligence. As well as you see intelligent expressions also in my hands if you see them seizing this or that, you can also see the single bees, single animals generally, doing this or that. However, the real culprit has not descended at all to the physical world. The culprit uses the animal like an organ, like a limb that he stretches out to the physical world.

If we take this as basis, many things become understandable to us in this world. You can recognise just in such a thing again: the spiritual eyes, the organs of higher knowledge of the most human beings are not open. They cannot convince themselves of the fact that in the spiritual world self-contained animal souls exist that send much subtler organs down into the single animals.

However, you can still say something else to yourselves. You can assume that the quite crazy ideas of the seers are true, and if we take them hypothetically, the world here becomes somewhat explicable, comprehensible to us. Now, let us look at one of the examples concerning this requirement. We take that sand wasp which as an executive organ gets the prey, lays it before the nest, goes in, and gets it again. Intelligence forms the basis of that, even if not the same intelligence as that of the forefinger. If now in a single case the animal could also stray in the action, could the order be maintained as it were by the “central authority,” by the group-soul? No! Only because the intelligence is with the central authority, with the group-soul and is not left to the single animal in the particular case, only thereby it is possible that wisdom rules in the entire animal realm. Up there where the group-soul is wisdom rules. Hence, we also see where this group-soul comes into question where modifications must take place concerning the outer conditions that it also happens there. However, if it depends on the fact that the spiritual of the animal corresponds to the intentions of the species, there the animal is like in a whole mass. If you leave to every single soldier what he wants to do or to let, how could anything uniform, a uniform enterprise come about there? Is it not necessary that just because of the unity the single one must do the wrong? Reflect about these thoughts, and then you find that the ostensible contradiction clears itself even where the fly rushes in the flame and finds its death. In the single case, this leads to death, however, on a large scale it is useful to the species.

Thus, we see abilities and qualities, wisdom and intelligence, spread out upon the animals. We also see the human being based on wisdom. The animal has it, too. Ask for memory, the human being has it. Ask with the animal, there you must reverse the matter and say, memory “has” the animal, imagination “has” the animal. The animal is possessed by imagination, is possessed by memory. The animal is a limb of a higher being that has memory and imagination. The wise group-soul standing behind it that is not within the single animal pushes the animal.

What about the taming of animals and the like? You can explain this to yourselves under these premises very well. We practise a hand as a single hand. While we practise it, we must perform certain activities of our central organ. However, the hand must be practised, and when it is practised, the practice sticks as a habit to the hand. Thus, we can know if we maintain and educate the single animal that this single animal advances like the single limb in certain way. However, it reacts on the central authority. It seems to go so deeply into the group-soul that the qualities, which have become habits, appear in the descendant again without further ado. This does not apply to the human being in such a way. With the human being such single things are not passed on just like that because with the human being the individual overshadows the type, or better said, outshines it.

We can well survey the human and the animal evolutions from such requirements. Today the descent theory is rather near to bankruptcy. Serious researchers deny what one has still claimed before short time that the single human being is close to the most advanced mammals today. One says that it is impossible that the human being is a descendant of the monkeys. The opposite can also be asserted, because we have certain abilities with many lower monkeys in common, so that certain researchers stand on the point of view that the ancestor from whom the human being descended does no longer live. The natural sciences cannot yet bring themselves to accept the point of view that the monkey itself has descended, but that the human being has ascended.

Spiritual science not only imagines this descent, but it knows how to investigate it relating to the animal type-souls or group-souls and the human individual souls. However, if we go back from the higher mammals and from the human being, we come to a common ancestor. However, this was no animal in the today's sense. This ancestor was much closer to the human being than he was similar to a today's animal. Those real ancestors whom we have to search are in certain way group-souls of the human being and of the animals.

Who would deny this who surveys the human life impartially? Go back further and further in the human development, or look at the today's savages who have stopped on a low stage of development: do we not see something even more typical with them than with the developed civilised human beings? The further we go back in time, the less the human being is an individual being. Certainly, the individual has only developed in the human being, and we await future times when the human being has still much more individual traits. The human being is on the way from a type being to a more and more individual being. Today he stands in the middle. If we go back to the origin of the human race, we find entire groups of human beings whose single limbs have no distinctive consciousness of their self with whom the tribal feeling, the family feeling was far bigger than the feeling of the single individual. The single individual was sacrificed in favour of the interests of the tribe or the group. Briefly, we must award a group-soul to him if we go back further, so that we recognise the human soul as a group-soul in ancient times like the today's animal soul.

However, the human soul had found the other possibility. In what way did it find this other possibility that the animal soul does not have? The animal soul retained, so to speak, earlier than the human soul, its single traits and hardened them. Because it had hardened them, the animals were no longer able of development; they stopped on the old stage. If we go back to the monkey, we must say, a group-soul that poured its qualities in the firm form too early is the basis of the single simian species. Hence, it could no longer develop the qualities poured in physical forms. The human being was still a subtler and more malleable being in relation to the physical body that could still be transformed. The group-soul of the human being retained something of its changeability. It did not bring down itself with its longing for forming a physical body as early as the group souls of the today's animals. The human soul waited up to the time when a more comprising life on earth was possible for it. Thus, the animal group-souls could not use the bodies of the animals to enter them as the human soul entered the physical body of the human being. The human body retained the ability to become more perfect, it can be a dwelling place, a temple for the higher individuality in which then also supersensible intelligence can live.

Hence, we do not find abilities like supersensible memory, supersensible imagination, and intelligence in the animals, but above the animals. However, we find the spiritual put in the human being; it has entered the human being. Hence, we need not be surprised that we find a point in time tracing back the evolution of the world when animals walked about on our earth for a long time, while we can trace back the human being only until the Tertiary or the Diluvium (now: Pleistocene).

In geology, one cannot trace back the human being farther. The human soul waited with its embodiment, after the animals had become physical. The human body crystallised from the spiritual. The animal bodies hardened sooner than the human bodies did. In the ancient times, when already the animal group-souls hardened, these souls were still imperfect. Hence, they could form imperfect stages only. Later on, the human group-soul was individualised, and then these individuals were born on our earth. Thus, we also understand why the animal realm appears to us like a disassembled human being. In ancient times, the group-soul that was destined to develop formed certain group-souls; it built animal forms. Then it was not able to advance. Others have developed its qualities. We must not be surprised that the being that waited longest, descended latest, shows the biggest complexity, but also the biggest harmony in the confluence of that which is spread out in the animal realm. Therefore, Goethe could say so nicely, if the human being looks out at nature and perceives what is disassembled in nature outdoors, and summarises and processes it to that which is measure and order in him, it is as if nature is at the summit of her becoming and admires herself.

The animal realm became individual in the human being that way, in the human being the qualities of the animal realm are combined in a unity. We see the divine spirit in the succession of the animal forms. Any animal creation is a one-sided representation of the divine spirit. However, a harmonious, general expression of it is the human being. Therefore, Paracelsus could say out of this consciousness what is still hard understood: if we look out at the animal realm, any animal is to us like a letter, and the human being is the word which is composed of the single letters. — This is a wonderful comparison of the relationship of the animals to the human being. Goethe got to know the single animal forms much more thoroughly. He said to himself, if we look at the animal and study its form, we can realise how in the biggest variety the divine creating is active; then we can see the original thought that is distributed in most different forms among the most different animals.

One needs not be as absurd as Oken (Lorenz O., originally Okenfuß, 1779–1851, German naturalist) was who said, every human organ is as an animal species, and he really pointed to single human organs. He says of the cuttlefish that it became the tongue. He had brought a dark notion — because he was no spiritual scientist — in this absurd form. Against it, Goethe found that in such a way, as a thought of the human being is distributed among the different types, the original type forms the basis of any animal, only the single organ that intervenes in harmonious kind with the human being appears one-sided with the animal. Goethe says, let us take a lion, and compare it to a horned or antlered animal. The same original thought forms the basis there. However, the lion has a certain power, which forms teeth. The same power forming teeth with the lion forms the antlers with the antlered animal. Hence, an antlered animal cannot have a complete range of teeth in the upper jaw. Hence, Goethe searches the lack on the other side in the animal.

In the womb of nature, the animal itself is made perfect. All limbs form according to everlasting principles, and the suitable form retains the prototype secretly. The prototype that was already created in the most imperfect being, which the soul represents in the most imperfect animal, attains the most perfect figure in the bearer of the individual soul, in the human being. Therefore, the form was bestowed not only on the human being like on the animals, but the human being makes this prototype alive in himself in creative thoughts. In him, the thought is reflected not only according to its form and figure but also to its manifestation.

While we see this thought represented, Goethe says, pursuing this gradual evolution to its height, be glad, highest creature of nature that you can grasp the great idea in your inside that the order of the creatures has developed up to you.




Last Modified: 04-Jul-2018
The Rudolf Steiner Archive is maintained by:
The e.Librarian: elibrarian@elib.com
[Spacing]