From AnthroWiki

During sleep, which normally occurs in the daily sleep-wake rhythm, the structure of the human being's members changes. In the day-waking state, the physical body, etheric body, astral body and I are closely connected with each other. Our present waking consciousness is essentially based on the functions of the physical body, namely on the sense organs and the physical brain. Through the activity of this waking consciousness, however, the animate physical body is partially filled with destructive forces. Consciousness is not based on vital building processes, but rather on degradation processes. In sleep, the damage thus caused must be compensated for as far as possible. This is only possible in that during sleep the I and the astral body are at least partially lifted out of the human being and only the animate physical body, i.e. the connection between the etheric body and the physical body, remains in bed. Those high spiritual beings that created the physical body and the etheric body then move into them to revive them. A special significance is given to those spirits who are called Laj'lah (Hebrewלילה "night") in Genesis. They are Primordial Angels (Spirits of Personality) retarded in their development, who served the Elohim as Spirits of Darkness or Spirits of the Night in their work of creation. They are retarded on the level of Old Saturn, that lightless, dark world of heat on which the first plant of the physical body was created and can therefore regenerate it.

Separation of the physical-etheric and the soul-spiritual members of man in sleep

„Human life is divided into these two distinct states of consciousness, waking and sleeping. But sleeping is actually only understood in the sense that one forms the idea: In sleep man rests. - The natural scientific view generally assumes that the activity of consciousness ceases when we fall asleep and then begins again, so that in relation to the organism sleeping is nothing more than a suspension of human activity to rest. But sleep is not a mere resting, but one must be clear about the fact that from falling asleep to waking up there is first what we call the astral body, and then the I as a real beingness apart from the physical and etheric body.“ (Lit.: Contributions 65, p. 3)

„In spiritual science we usually describe the human being as he presents himself to us in life as consisting of the physical body, the etheric body, the astral body and the I. - And we then describe the alternating states between waking and sleeping in such a way that we say: During waking the I and the astral body are inside the physical body and the etheric body. During sleeping the I and the astral body are outside. - This is at first quite sufficient for an understanding of the matter and corresponds perfectly to the spiritual-scientific facts. But it is only a part of the full reality by describing it in this way. We can never encompass the full reality in a description. We actually always give a part of the full reality when we describe something, and we must always first seek light again from some other sides in order to illuminate the partial reality described in the right way. And here it must be said: It is generally the case that sleeping and waking really represent a kind of cyclical movement for man. Strictly speaking, the I and the astral body, apart from the physical and etheric human body, are in sleep only outside the head, while precisely because in sleep the I and the astral body are outside the physical and etheric head of man, they exercise an activity and efficacy on the other human organisation which is all the more active. Everything in the human being that is not the head, but the other human organisation, is under a much stronger influence of this I and this astral body during the state of sleep. Then, in contrast to the waking state, the I and the astral body act upon the human being from outside. And one can already say: during the sleeping state, the effect which the I and the astral body exert on the head in the waking state is exerted on the rest of the organism.“ (Lit.:GA 172, p. 55f)


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
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