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The ego (Latin, from Greekἐγώ; phonetically related to ἠχώ "echo") is from the anthroposopical view the lower self of the human being, which, as an echo of the actual I of man, is represented as a distorted echo in the astral body filled with predominantly egoistic antipathy forces through the Luciferic influence. I and ego must therefore be clearly distinguished from each other. The ego corresponds to the Kama-Manas according to Indian theosophical designation.

To the initiate his lower nature appears like an independent being as a double or as the little guardian of the threshold before the spiritual gaze:

„In all secret teachings there are initiates. Today they experience exactly the same as then, in that they grow beyond their lower ego, develop the spiritual core of being within themselves and become citizens of a higher world already in this life. At the same time, however, it is made clear to us that in a certain hour the whole lower nature comes before them. In every human being there is a sum of passions, desires and wishes which cling to his lower nature. Man must first come out of all this. Then it appears before him like an entity. When man ascends into his higher nature, his lower nature is like something that is outside him, while he is otherwise stuck in the drives, desires and passions. Just as no one can put his brain on a plate and look at it, so no one can see his inner life, his inner lower nature. This detached entity is called the guardian of the threshold. His lower nature stands beside him as a being, and he must say to himself: 'That is you! You must discard it! - In all initiations this is called the journey to hell. One has to become a comrade of the infernal powers, to descend into the depths of the world, because man is simply stuck inside and his higher nature only half lives in him. This being is called the guardian of the threshold, because people who do not acquire courage and presence of mind cannot get beyond it. Those who have crossed this threshold are called initiates.“ (Lit.:GA 54, p. 379)


References to the work of Rudolf Steiner follow Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works (CW or GA), Rudolf Steiner Verlag, Dornach/Switzerland, unless otherwise stated.
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Index to the Complete Works of Rudolf Steiner - Aelzina Books
A complete list by Volume Number and a full list of known English translations you may also find at Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works
Rudolf Steiner Archive - The largest online collection of Rudolf Steiner's books, lectures and articles in English.
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold - Anthroposophic Press Inc. (USA)
Rudolf Steiner Handbook - Christian Karl's proven standard work for orientation in Rudolf Steiner's Collected Works for free download as PDF.