Rudolf Steiner takes us on a journey through the understanding of the human soul. A mix of spirituality, science, and philosophy, it truly is a complex system he presents. He guides us in seeking the truths for ourselves. Ultimately, he offers a practical way of living where our feeling, thinking, and willing selves live freely with a heightened awareness of each other and the world.
Like exercising the muscles of your arms and legs, or your heart, or your brain, you can also exercise your soul!
The three members of your soul life that we will focus on are (there are more, but the following three, for me, have a clear thread that can be followed by new students of Steiner):
the sentient soul
the intellectual soul
the consciousness soul
Visualize that these souls are envelopes of light, fluid, and energy, constantly churning, expanding, receeding, and changing colors, surrounding and penetrating your physical body. They occupy the same space as each other, but each one functions differently from each other. Think of them as conduits that capture particular elements from the physical and the spirit world, and then transport these thought elements to your inner self, sometimes referred to as the Spirit Self. The Spirit Self then takes the information from all three soul aspects and you express these thoughts as your feelings, your intellectual musings, your striving for meaning.
In fact, that is how we can delineate each of the soul aspects, by the quality of the thought. Your sentient soul will process the stimuli as your feelings, your sensations, your descriptive adjectives for the thing you are experiencing. Your intellectual soul takes the experience to another level and gives a more scientific edge to the thoughts - the resoning, the logic, the interrelationships of the stimuli. And finally, the consciousness soul processes the experience and your thoughts become intuitions, your deeper search for meaning in the stimuli, your call to action.
Through daily meditations and reflections on nature, your family, and your environment, and by categorizing the thoughts through the three soul aspects, you are exercising your ability to sharpen your awareness and your intuitiveness about your self and your world.
So, the exercise begins!
1. Look at the picture above for a minute or two
2. Now close your eyes
3. Organize your thoughts accordingly:
how would your sentient soul receive the image
how would your intellectual soul receive the image
how would your consciousness soul receive the image
4. Now write down your thoughts
5. You may share your thoughts by leaving them as comments on this blog post.
In a later blog post, I will offer you my thoughts on the same image, and we can compare notes!
Good luck with the exercise. And little by little, through this type of exercise, you will build your soul's capacity for intuitive thought and propel your physical body towards mindful action.