Sensory perception or sensation (from French: sensation "sensory impression", derived from Latin: sensus "to feel, sense, perceive with the senses") is a special case of perception in general. In common speech, the word "sensation" is also used to describe a sensational, emotionally experienced event.
In his theory of the senses, Rudolf Steiner distinguished twelve physical senses through which we perceive the sensual world. However, not only processes of the sensual world, but also those of higher worlds are significantly involved in the formation of sensory perception. Accordingly, it is not only the physical body that is active in the human being, but also the higher members, as Rudolf Steiner has exemplarily shown in the process of colour perception.
Sensory perception and members of man
All four fundamental members of man, from the physical body up to the I, are involved in sensory perception. The impressions coming from the outer sensual world have a deadening effect on the soul organs of the astral body. The astral body, which is lifted out of the animate body during sleep, can therefore not convey any soul-spiritual perceptions. Consciousness is therefore completely extinguished in deep sleep. Only through the exercises of spiritual training the soul organs can be revived.
„The process of perception is like this: Throughout the day impressions of the outer world come to us. These affect the etheric body and astral body through the physical senses until they become conscious to the I. In the astral body they press upon the soul organs. In the astral body the effects of what is exerted on the physical body are expressed. When light impressions take place, the eye receives impressions. The impression of light gives an impression on the etheric and astral body, and the I becomes conscious of this impression. It is the same with the impressions on the ear and the other senses. This whole daily life therefore affects the astral body throughout the day. The astral body is always active under the influence of the outer world. Now it comes out in the evening. There it has no powers within itself to make conscious the impressions that are now in its surroundings. The old powers of perception in the distant past have been extinguished by the first perception of the present sensual world. At night he has no powers, because the whole life of the day is unsuitable to leave anything in the astral body which could have a formative effect on the astral body. All things, as you see them all around, have an effect on the astral body. But what is effected there is not capable of creating forms that could become astral organs.“ (Lit.:GA 104, p. 46f)
- Rudolf Steiner: Eleven European Mystics. Translated by Karl E. Zimmer. Rudolf Steiner Publications 1960 rsarchive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Mysticism at the Dawn of the Modern Age. Translated by Karl E. Zimmer. SteinerBooks 1980. CW 7. ISBN 0-8334-0758-8 rsarchive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: The Apocalypse of St. John, CW 104, rsarchive.org
- Rudolf Steiner, D. S. Osmond (ed.), Charles Davy (ed.): Macrocosm and Microcosm. CW 119. Revised Edition. Rudolf Steiner Press 1986. ISBN 978-0854405022; EBook ASIN B008RLXHHC rsarchive
- Rudolf Steiner, A. R. Meuss (translator): The Inner Nature of Man and Our Life Between Death and Rebirth. CW 153. Revised ed. Edition. Rudolf Steiner Press 2013. ISBN 978-1855843783; eBook ASIN B07N9NS7Z7 rsarchive
- Rudolf Steiner: Die Mystik im Aufgange des neuzeitlichen Geisteslebens und ihr Verhältnis zur modernen Weltanschauung, GA 7 (1990), ISBN 3-7274-0070-6 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Schriften. Kritische Ausgabe (SKA). Band 5: Schriften über Mystik, Mysterienwesen und Religionsgeschichte
Die Mystik im Aufgange des neuzeitlichen Geisteslebens und ihr Verhältnis zur modernen Weltanschauung – Das Christentum als mystische Tatsache und die Mysterien des Altertums. Herausgegeben und kommentiert von Christian Clement. Frommann-Holzboog Verlag, Stuttgart 2013, ISBN 978-3-7728-2635-1
- Rudolf Steiner: Die Apokalypse des Johannes, GA 104 (1985), ISBN 3-7274-1040-X English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Makrokosmos und Mikrokosmos, GA 119 (1988), Achter Vortrag, Wien, 28. März 1910 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Inneres Wesen des Menschen und Leben zwischen Tod und neuer Geburt, GA 153 (1997), ISBN 3-7274-1530-4 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
- Rudolf Steiner: Heilfaktoren für den sozialen Organismus, GA 198 (1984), Dreizehnter Vortrag, Dornach, 10. Juli 1920 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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: email@example.com URL: www.steinerverlag.com.
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 (by Steiner Online Library).
Rudolf Steiner Audio - Recorded and Read by Dale Brunsvold
steinerbooks.org - 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.