Group soul

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Minerals, plants and animals do not have an individual I like humans, but they belong as a whole group according to their species and genus to a group spirit and a corresponding group soul, whose consciousness is not to be found on the physical plan as with human beings, but on higher plans. Species and genera, which for today's consciousness are mere summary general terms, live here as spiritual reality. Just as in humans the soul and the spirit must be clearly distinguished, so too the group spirit must be clearly distinguished from the group soul that belongs to it.

Overview

The I of minerals is in the higher devachan, the I of plants in the lower devachan and the I of animals on the astral plan. Only the human I has descended to the physical plan.

The group souls have split off from the entities of the second hierarchy, the group soul of the minerals even from the Thrones, which already belong to the first hierarchy:

„The group-souls of minerals we find in the realm of the thrones, the group-souls of plants in the sphere of the spirits of wisdom, the group-souls of animals in the sphere of the spirits of movement; but man has received his group-soul in such a way that with the infusion of his I a group-soul was originally given as the outflow of the spirits of form. And what this group soul of man, which was actually destined by the spirits of form to be a unified soul in the whole of humanity, what this group soul differentiated, divided into such diversities that racial differences, tribal differences arose, that has now happened through the working of the other spirits.“ (Lit.:GA 136, p. 203)

Literatur

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References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
Email: verlag@steinerverlag.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may find at Rudolf Steiner's Complete Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - books, lectures and articles by Rudolf Steiner online (Jim Stewart).
steinerbooks.org - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Steiner's complete works for free download as PDF.