World and Internal Interactions

The World and Internal Activities Interaction

 Lecture: S-4317: 17th December, 1920 | Dornach | Dr Rudolf Steiner

Course for Young Doctors

Young Doctors Course: Bridge Lecture 1: Soul and Spiritual in the Human Physical Constitution

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The condition of sleep, too, can be understood only if we go much more closely into these matters. During sleep it is only the physical body and the etheric body that remain as they are during the waking state; the Ego and the astral body are outside. But in the sleeping human being the forces that are within the physical and etheric bodies are then also active on the airy organism and the warmth organism as well.

When we turn to consider waking life, from what has been said we shall understand the connection of the Ego with the astral body and with the whole organism. During sleep, when the Ego and the astral body are outside, the four elements are nevertheless within the human organism: the solid supporting structure, the fluid organism, but also the air organism in which the astral body otherwise works, and the warmth organism in which the Ego otherwise works. These elements are within the human organism and they work in just as regularly organized a way during sleep as during the waking state, when the Ego and the astral body are active within them.

During the sleeping state we have within us, instead of the Ego — which is now outside — the spirit which permeates the cosmos and which in waking life we have driven out through our Ego which is part of that spirit. During sleep our warmth-body is permeated by cosmic spirituality, our air organism by what may be called cosmic astrality (or world-soul), which we also drive out while we are awake.

Waking life and sleeping life may therefore also be studied from this point of view. When we are asleep our warmth organism is permeated by the cosmic spirituality which on waking we drive out through our Ego, for in waking life it is the Ego that brings about in the warmth organism what is otherwise brought about by the cosmic spirituality. It is the same with the cosmic astrality; we drive it out when we wake up and readmit it into our organism when we fall asleep. Thus we can say: By leaving our body during sleep, we allow the cosmic spirit to draw into our warmth organism, and the world-soul, or the cosmic astrality, into our airy organism.

If we study the human being without preconceived ideas, we acquire understanding not only of our relation to the surrounding physical world, but also of our relation to the cosmic spirituality and to the cosmic astrality.

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