Advent gives us the opportunity to journey through our soul and become aware of its awakening. How often are we aware that our soul’s activity is habitual? The same feelings arise when we face certain situations, we think the same thoughts day in day out, and we act in predictable ways when we make decisions.
We journey through our soul on the steppingstones of feeling, thinking, and will impulses. As we explore these steps through the weeks of Advent, it becomes clear that they work together in many different ways.
Last week we experienced how feeling is very personal, and thinking connects us with others. In his book “Philosophy of Freedom” Rudolf Steiner explains that feeling can only have significance beyond ourselves if we unite it with thoughts, with concepts, and in this way connect ourselves with the world. We can see that this calls us to action, the action of stepping up to use our will to connect.
As we explore the nature of thinking, we discover that it has many characteristics. It remains cold, dry, and colourless when our thoughts take an abstract form, when we are unable to imbue them with warmth and enthusiastic feeling.
So what is thinking? To answer this question we might ask another question: where does thinking take place?
To understand our own thinking we need to be clear about the way thinking works. In his book “Jung and Steiner – the birth of a new psychology” Gerhard Wher says, “Thinking is a soul activity totally independent of the brain. The brain is only needed to produce the mirror image of living reality so that everyday consciousness can see it.” Thought therefore is a living force; it is a direct expression of that which is beheld in spirit.
As we live our daily lives, how often do we think of this spiritual activity? Rudolf Steiner in the lectures, “Education as a Force for Social Change” says that the purpose of thinking is to comprehend ourselves as spiritual beings.
This would explain why active thinking appears to those who think passively as miraculous clairvoyance. Rudolf Steiner, Younger Generation lectures.
At this time of the year we can give thanks to the Christ Being whose incarnation brought the impulse for thoughts to take hold of our inner soul. This is possible through the I Am, that amazing gift we were given at Christmas.
Painting by Szabo Norbert