The consciousness soul is transformed into the imaginative soul in the course of spiritual training.
Today, the consciousness soul draws its essential content from the sensual world (this does not contradict the fact that the actual mediator of sensual perceptions is the sentient soul). The intellect then processes the sensual perceptions into shadowy essenceless abstractions. In order for the consciousness soul to also open up to spiritual perception, sensual perception and the intellectual interpretation attached to it must be silenced and, at the first stage, a sensuality-free, living symbolic-pictorial thinking must be developed, which finally leads into imagination. Since the consciousness soul is formed by the I unconsciously transforming the physical body, the transformation of the consciousness soul into the imaginative soul is also connected with further changes in the activity of the physical body. In particular, sense activity is transformed in such a way that sense perception becomes permeable to the imaginative perception of the spiritual world.
„Now when man undergoes occult development, it is first of all a question of certain things in the soul itself being suppressed. We have seen how it is particularly important that the human being should be able to shut out the outer sense impressions. That is the first requirement of real occult progress, that the outer sensory impressions should be eliminated. By eliminating the outer sensory impressions, the member of the soul changes inwardly, which is preferably formed under the influence of the outer sensory impressions. This is the consciousness soul. Understand correctly: the consciousness soul is at present in its main formation, because it counts mainly on the outer sense impressions. You must not confuse the fact that the consciousness soul is most strengthened inwardly under the impression of sense impressions with the fact that these sense impressions are imparted by the sentient soul. When it is a question of occult development, one has to look at the influences under which the consciousness soul strengthens most: that is under the influences of the outer sense impressions; if these are switched off, then the consciousness soul is damped. So that ... the consciousness soul in the occultly developing human being will have to take a back seat to everything else. That, then, is what is meant by what in ordinary life leads man to emphasise his I, what leads him to emphasise this I above all things in all possible fields. In our time, this I is already emphasised in the field of thinking. Nothing can be heard more often than: This is my point of view, I think this or that. - As if it mattered what this or that person thinks, as if it did not rather matter what the truth is! It is true that the sum of the three angles of a triangle is one hundred and eighty degrees, and it does not matter what a man's point of view is. It is true that the hierarchies are divided into three times three upwards from the human point of view, and it does not matter what the human point of view is. That, then, which is the emphasis of the I, recedes; in its place the consciousness-soul, which formerly served chiefly for the culture of the I, gradually fills itself with what we call the imagination. We can virtually say: in the occultly developing human being, the consciousness soul is transformed into the imaginative soul.“ (Lit.:GA 145, p. 176f)
- Rudolf Steiner: Welche Bedeutung hat die okkulte Entwicklung des Menschen für seine Hüllen und sein Selbst?, GA 145 (1986), Zehnter Vortrag, Den Haag, 29. März 1913 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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