The Spiritual Beings in the Heavenly Bodies and in the Kingdoms of Nature. Lecture 3.
Now, if we look with occult vision into the world hidden behind the first veil of the external world, we meet there with beings quite differently organized, particularly with respect to these qualities. We meet with beings not able to lead such an independent inner life as man leads. We meet as a first group with those which, when they lead an inner life, are immediately transferred through this inner life into a different state of consciousness from the one they possess in the life they lead in and with the external world. Let us try to understand this. Suppose a man so lived that should he desire to live in his inner being and not to direct his gaze to the external world, he would, simply by means of his will, immediately have to pass over into another state of consciousness. We know that man, without his will, does pass over into a different state of consciousness in his normal life when he is asleep. We also know that sleep is the result of his astral body and his ego separating from his physical and etheric bodies. Thus we know that something has to take place in a man if he is to pass over into another form of consciousness. For instance, if a man says “Here before me is a meadow covered with flowers; when I look at it, it gives me joy,” he does not simply on that account enter another state of consciousness; he experiences his joy in the meadow and the flowers together with his association with the outer world. Now, those beings which occult vision meets with as the next category in a higher world change their state of consciousness each time they turn their perception and their action from the external world to themselves. Thus, in them there need be no separation between the different principles of their being: they simply bring about in themselves just as they are, by means of their will, another condition of consciousness. Now, the perceptions of these beings, of which we are speaking as the next category above man, are not like the perceptions of man. Man perceives, because an external world appears before his senses. He surrenders himself, so to speak, to this external world. These beings do not perceive an external world in the same way as man does with his senses; they perceive it (though this is only a comparison) rather as man perceives when, for instance, he speaks, or makes a movement of the hand, or in any way externalizes his inner being in mimic art; when, in short, he gives expression to his own nature. Thus in a certain sense for these beings of a higher world of whom we are speaking, all their perceptions are at the same time a manifestation of their own being. I want you to bear in mind that when we ascend to the higher category of beings no longer perceptible to man externally, we have before us beings which perceive whenever they manifest, when they express what they themselves are; and they really perceive their own being only as long as they wish to manifest it, as long as in any way they express it outwardly. We might say they are only awake when manifesting themselves. And when of their own will they are not manifesting themselves, not entering into connection with the world around them, another condition of consciousness arises for them — in a certain sense they sleep. Only, their sleep is no unconscious sleep like that of man; it signifies for them a sort of diminution, a sort of loss of their feeling of self. They have their feeling of self so long as they manifest themselves externally, and in a certain sense they lose it when they cease to manifest. They do not sleep then as men sleep, but something arises in their own being like a manifestation of spiritual worlds higher than themselves. Their inner being is then filled by higher spiritual worlds.
|Third Hierarchy.||Manifestation.||Being filled with Spirit.|