Usual Self or Higher Self

In a lecture given in 1913 called “Theosophy and Antisophy”, Steiner speaks about the natural opposition in our soul to the basic principles of Theosophy, which we now call Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science. He explains this as a natural response to ideas that seem to contradict our understanding of the physical world. This also explains the opposition to Anthroposophy.

While the English translation of this lecture is a bit clumsy, some of the expressions really spoke to me. One great expression “a higher self in the usual self” captures our life’s purpose. This higher self, “is equipped with higher senses that perceive a real spiritual world.” This suggests that until we can control our usual self and let it know that it is ok to let the higher self in, we will be opposed to Anthroposophical ideas.

“… the human soul comes by such a development to an inner constitution, different from that of the everyday life, that its feeling and position in the world are different from that in the everyday life. Something is born as it were in the human soul by the development meant here that is like a higher self in the usual self that is equipped with higher senses that perceive a real spiritual world. The theosophical knowledge can only attained by developing the corresponding soul condition.”

He goes on to say that we will only take up the search if we experience the longing in our soul. This longing is for the “divine-spiritual primordial ground of existence.” It is a yearning for the spirit that sustains everything.

“The human being is not theosophically minded from the start; he is antisophically minded from the start. One must go into some knowledge of spiritual science if one wants to appreciate this apparently paradoxical dictum properly.”

The Flammarion engraving

Read the whole lecture

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