Storm's Journal

--| On Dreams and Animal Sounds |--- 

[In addition to our waking day consciousness, we also undergo other
 stages, including that of: sleep, and dreamless REM sleep. Here, the
 condition of sleep in which dreaming occurs (i.e. as the physical and
 etheric/growth body are left to lay by the astral (passions/desires) and
 EGO (self) consciousness, we transform from a condition of waking-day
 consciousness to sleep consciousness). Here, the nomenclature is such that
 the deep dreamless sleep is called the Sun-consciousness (as an epoch of
 cyclic evolutionary development), and the state of sleep in which dreaming
 occurs 'picture consciousness' --Ed ]

The second condition of consciousness which we knoww, or much rather, do
not know, since we are then asleep, is that of ordinary sleep. This
condition is not so comprehensive, but in spite of its still being very
dull, it is clear in comparison with the first. This 'sleep consciousness'
was once the permanent state of all human beings when the Earth was 'Sun';
at that time the human ancestor was in a continuous sleep

Even to-day this state of consciousness still exists; the plants have it,
they are beings who uninterruptedly sleep, and if they could speak they
could tell us how things are on the Sun, for they have Sun-consciousness.

The third condition, which is still dim and dull in relation to our
day-consciousness, is that of 'picture-consiousness,' and of this we have
a clear idea since we experience an echo of it in our dreamm-filled sleep,
though it is but a reminiscience of what on the Moon was the consciousness
of all human beings. It will be well to start from the dream in order to
get a picture of the Moon-consciousness.

In the dream-life we find indeed something confusing, chaotic, but on
closer observation this confusion nevertheless displays an inner law. The
dream is a remarkable symbolist. In my lectures I have often brought
forward the following examples, which are all taken from life. You dream
that you are running after a tree-frog to catch it, you feel the soft,
smooth body; you wake up and have the corner of the sheet in your hand.
Had you used your waking consciousness you would have seen how your hand
was holding the bed-cover. The dream-consciousness gives you a symbol of
the external act, it forms a symbol out of what our day-consciousness sees
as a fact.

Another example: a student dreams that he is standing at the door in the
lecture-hall. There he is roughly jostled, and from this ensues a
challenge. He now experiences every detail until, accompanied by his
second and a doctor, he goes to the duel, and the first shot is fired. At
this moment he wakes up and sees that he has overturned the chair at his
bedside. In waking consciousness he would simply have heard the fall; the
dream symbolises this prosaic event through the drama of the duel. And you
see too, that the conditions of time are quite changed, for the whole
drama flashed through his mind in the single instant in which the chair
fell. The entire preparation took place in one moment, the dream has
reversed time, it does not conform to the circumstances of the ordinary
world, it is a creator in time.

Not only can external events be symbolised in this way, but also inner
processes of the body. A man dreams he is in an airhole of a cellar,
obnoxious spiders creep about him; he wakes up and feels a headache; the
skull has taken on the symbol of the cellarhole, the pain, that of the
hideous spiders!

The dream of the present-day man *symbolises* events which are both
external and within. But it was not so when the third state of
consciousness was that of the Moon humanity. At that time man lived
entirely in such pictures as he has in the modern dream, but they
expressed realities. They signified precisely such a reality as to-day the
blue colour signifies a reality, only at that time colour hovered freely
in space, it was not resting upon the objects. In that former
consciousness man could not have set out on the street, as to-day, have
seen a man in the distance, looked at him, approached him; for forms of
beings with a coloured surface could not have been percieved at that time
by man, quite apart from the fact that he could not then walk as he does
to-day. But let us suppose that one man on the Moon had met another, then
a freely hovering picture of form and colour would have risen up before
him. Let us say, an ugly one, then the man would have turned aside in
order not to meet it; or a beautiful one, then he would have drawn near
it. The ugly colour-picture would have shown him that the other had an
unsympathetic feeling towards him, the beautiful, that the other liked

Let us suppose there had been salt on the Moon; when salt stands on the
table to-day, you see it as it is in space, as object, granular, with
definitie colouring. At that time it would not have been so. On the Moon
you would not have been able to see the salt. But from the place where the
salt would be, a picture of colour and form would have proceeded, floating
free; and this picture would have shown you that the salt was something
useful. Thus the wohel consciousness was filled with pictures, with
floating colours and forms. In an ocean of such form and colour pictures
the human being lived; but the pictures of colour and form denoted what
was going on around him, above all, things of a soul character and those
which affected the soul-nature--what was advantageous to it or harmful. In
this way the human being orientated himself rightly with regard to the
things around him. When the Moon passed over into the Earth incarnations
this consciousness changed into our day-consciousness, and only a relic of
it has remained in the dream as one has it now--a rudiment, as there are
rudiments of other things. You know, for instance, that there are certain
muscles near the ear which nowadays seem purposeless. Earlier they had
their significance; they served to moved the ears at will; there are very
few persons who can do this to-day.

So conditions are to be found in man which have remained as a last relic
of a former significance. Although these pictures no longer have a
meaning, at that time they signified the outer world. Even today you still
have this consciousness among all those animals--note this
carefully--which cannot utter sounds from their inner being. There is in
fact a far truer division of animals in occultism than in external Natural
Science, namely into those which can utter sounds from within and those
which are dumb. It is true that you can find among certain lower creatures
the power of producing sounds, but then this happens in a mechanical way,
through friction, etc. not from their inner being. Even the frogs do not
create sounds so . Oly the higher animals, which arose at the time when
the human being could express his suffering and joy in tones, only these,
together with man, have gained the power of bringing to expression their
pain and pleasure through sounds and cries. All animals which do not utter
sounds from within still have such a picture consciousness. It is not a
fact that lower animals see the pictures in such outlines as we do. If
some lower animal, the crab, for example, percieves a picture that makes a
distincty unpleasant impression, it gets out of the way, it does not see
the objects, but sees the harmfulness in a repelling picture.

The fourth state of consciousness is that which all men now have. The
pictures which man formerly percieved as colour-pictures floating freely
in space, wrap themseles, so to speak, round the objects. One might say
they are laid over them, they form the surface and seem to be upon the
objects, whereas formerly they seemed to float in freedom. In consequence,
they have become the expression of the form; what man earlier had within
himself has come out and fastened itself on the objects and through this
he has come to his present waking day-consciousness.

(Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy of the Rosicrucian, Lecture VIII, pp. 84-86,
 Anthroposophic Press, 1987)



- Human Consciousness

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SUBMIT AN ARTICLE posted: March 8, 2002