Storm's Journal

--| The Breathing Connection with the World |--- 

We say that, as human beings, we are whatever is within our skins.
That is, of course, an enormous misconception, for as soon as we understand
what happens when we breathe, we see our connection with the world.
Essentially, it makes no difference whether you have a piece of sugar
in your mouth, which, in the next moment, will be inside your stomach,
or whether the air is now outside and in the very next moment inside your lungs.
The piece of sugar follows one kind of path through the body, the air, another.
And whoever fails to take account of the air outside the body as part of
oneself will also not count the mouth, but must determine that the body
starts with the stomach. It is absurd therefore to think of oneself as
cut off inside the skin.

(December 9, 1923, Mystery Knowledge and Mystery Centers,
 39 x 59 inches, chalk on paper, GA 232)

--| Invisible Humans |--- 

Let me characterize the Michaelic thinking more exactly. When you
encounter a fellow human being today, your conscious impression is really
an entirely materialistic one. You tell yourself (not aloud of course, and
perhaps not even as a conscious thought, but on a deeper level of
awareness), 'This is a person made of flesh and blood, composed of earthly
substances.' And you say the same of animals and plants. But this attitude
is justified only insofar as the mineral substances you face in a human
being, plant, or animal are concerned.

Let us take the most extreme case, human beings, and look at them purely
from the standpoint of their external form. [draws on the chalkboard] You
do not really 'see' the outer form, you do not actually confront it with
physical perception, for this outer form consists of more than ninety
percent fluid, it is more than ninety percent filled with water. What your
physical eyes percieve is the mineral element that fills this structure.
You see whatever the person has absorbed from the external mineral world.
You do not see the being who did the absorbing, who united with the
mineral element. Hence, when we encounter another human being, we speak
correctly only if we say to ourselves: 'What stands before me are material
particles that this individual's spirit-form has stored and gathered,
thereby making something invisible visible.'

Actual human beings are invisible, truly invisible. All of you sitting
here listening to this lecture are invisible to physical senses. But a
certain number of shapes with a certain capacity to attract particles of
matter are sitting here [drawing], and these particles are visible. We see
only the mineral element in people; the real individuals sitting here are
supersensible beings, hence invisible.

Michaelic thinking brings us to full consciousness of this in every moment
of our waking lives. We stop viewing these conglomerations of mineral
particles that have simply been arranged in a certain pattern as human
beings. Animals and plants also arrange mineral particles in this way.
Minerals alone do not do so. To think Michaelically is to be aware that we
move among invisible human beings.

(Rudolf Steiner, The ArchAngel Michael, Lecture 3,
 Dornach, Nov. 23, 1919, p. 134-135, Anthroposophic Press, 1944)

--| Searcher |--- 

 When I look at you
 and you look at me,
 we only see the skin.
 If we could look inside
 I bet we'd find
 a Searcher there within...

 (Jeff Johnson)

--| Inside and Outside |--- 

  'A being does not stand BEHIND its manifestation,
   but rather COMES INTO VIEW THROUGH its manifestation'.

Directly we reflect about man in this way we find that it is impossible
for our thought to come to a standstill within the limits of the human
organism itself. We can remain within these limits only if we are thinking
merely of the solid organism which is shut off by the skin from what is
outside it. Even this, however, is only apparently so. The solid structure
is generally regarded as if it were a firm, self-enclosed block; but it is
also inwardly differentiated and is related in manifold ways to the solid
earth as a whole. This is obvious from the fact that the different solid
substances have, for example, different weights; this alone shows that the
solids within the human organism are differentiated, have different
specific weights in man. In regard to the physical organism, therefore,
the human being is related to the earth as a whole. Nevertheless it is
possible, according at least to external evidence, to place spatial limits
around the physical organism.

It is different when we come to the second, the fluid organism that is
permeated by the etheric body. This fluid organism cannot be strictly
demarcated from the environment. Whatever is fluid in any area of space
adjoins the fluidic element in the environment. Although the fluid element
as such is present in the world outside us in a rarefied state, we cannot
make such a definite demarcation between the fluid element within man and
the fluid element outside man, as in the case of the solid organism. The
boundary between man's inner fluid organism and the fluid element in the
external world must therefore be left indefinite.

This is even more emphatically the case when we come to consider the
aeriform organism which is permeated by the forces of the astral body. The
air within us at a certain moment was outside us a moment before, and it
will soon be outside again. We are drawing in and giving out the aeriform
element all the time. We can really think of the air as such which
surrounds our earth, and say: it penetrates into our organism and
withdraws again; but by penetrating into our organism it becomes an
integral part of us. In our aeriform organism we actually have something
that constantly builds itself up out of the whole atmosphere and then
withdraws again into the atmosphere. Whenever we breathe in, something is
built up within us, or, at the very least, each indrawn breath causes a
change, a modification, in an upbuilding process within us. Similarly, a
destructive, partially destructive, process takes place whenever we
breathe out. Our aeriform organism undergoes a certain change with every
indrawn breath; it is not exactly newly born, but it undergoes a change,
both when we breathe in and when we breathe out. When we breathe out, the
aeriform organism does not, of course, die, it merely undergoes a change;
but there is constant interaction between the aeriform organism within us
and the air outside.

(Rudolf Steiner, The Bridge Between Universal Spirituality and the Physical
 Constitution of Man, Lecture 1 (portion), December 17, 1920, Dornach, GA 202.)


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