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Inspiration - also called superpsychic consciousness - unites in itself our present-day object consciousness, psychic consciousness (imagination) and sleep consciousness on a higher level. Naturally, man will only have this consciousness on the New Venus.

Transition from imagination to inspiration

In the transition to inspiration, the inner images created in the imagination have to be taken away again. This requires a strong inner force. In complete wakefulness, a state of empty consciousness thus arises at first. The human being is now completely freed from his body, which he received from his parents through birth or conception. This transition is felt as a painful deprivation. But the consciousness does not remain empty for long, in that one now comes to know one's own deeper soul-spiritual being, which one already possessed before one's earthly existence.

„But the consciousness then does not remain empty for long. It fills itself. Just as the ordinary consciousness fills itself with colours through the perceptions of the eye, and with sounds through the ear, so now this empty consciousness fills itself with a spiritual world, which is just as much in the periphery as the ordinary physical world is here. Only the empty consciousness discovers the spiritual world, that spiritual world which is neither here on Earth nor in space in the cosmos, but which is outside of space and time, but which nevertheless constitutes our deepest human beinghood. For if before we learned to look with the condensed consciousness of thought at our whole life on earth as at a unity, now we look with the fulfilled, at first empty consciousness out into that world which we have gone through in a soul-spiritual life before we descended into earthly existence. We now get to know ourselves as a being that was spiritually present before birth and conception, that lived in a pre-earthly existence before our earthly existence. We learn to recognise ourselves as a spiritual-soul human being who has received the body he carries with him, handed down from parents and forefathers, handed down in such a way that he can change it, as I said, every seven years, but who has brought in what he is according to his actual nature from the pre-earthly existence. This cannot be learnt through theories or through spintising thinking; it can only be learned by developing the corresponding abilities in intellectual modesty.

Thus we now get to know the inner human being, the actual spiritual-soul being. It comes to us when we descend into the region of feeling, not only feeling but also recognising. But first we have to realise that the struggle for knowledge is connected with strong inner experiences, which I can describe in the following way. If you have tied up some part of your physical organism, if you cannot move it, if someone ties two fingers together, you feel it as unpleasant, perhaps as painful. Now you are in a state where you experience the spiritual-mental without the body. Now you do not have the whole physical human being with you, for now you live in an empty consciousness. The transition to this is connected with a deep feeling of pain. Through the experience of pain, of deprivation, you gain access to that which is our deepest spiritual-soul being. Many people shy away from this. But there is no other way of enlightening oneself about the real human being than in this way.“ (Lit.:GA 319, p. 152f)

Inspiration and Occult Scripture

Through inspired consciousness the spiritual world begins to speak to the human being in an essential way. Only through this do the imaginations begin to explain themselves in a meaningful way and only through this is a sure and clear spiritual knowledge possible. Through inspiration we consciously connect with everything that is going on spiritually within our solar system; the harmony of the spheres becomes audible.

Through spiritual training, inspired consciousness can already be anticipated in a certain sense; for this purpose, the mind soul must be transformed into the inspirational soul. Inspiration, as the third stage of the Rosicrucian path of training to be attained, is also called the reading of the occult Scriptures:

„The third stage is the reading of the occult script, that is, not only seeing individual images, but allowing the relationship of these various images to affect one. This becomes what is called occult writing. One begins to arrange the lines of force that creatively pass through the world into certain figures and colour designs through the imagination. One learns to feel an inner connection expressed in these figures: this acts as the spiritual tone, as the harmony of the spheres, for those figures are modelled on the true world conditions. Our writing is a last decadent remnant of this old occult writing and is modelled on it.“ (Lit.:GA 99, p. 162)

We already have a faint imprint of these cosmic inspirations in our emotional life. Feelings are reflected back images of the inspirations that flow to us from the cosmos.

„157“ (Lit.:GA 298ff)

Inspiration and respiration

Inspiration (from Latininspiratio "breathing in") is closely connected with breathing, which was already predisposed on the Old Sun, which was a pure world of warmth, air and light.

„Inspiration as such deals with those inner facts in man's nature which are inherited from the old evolution of the Sun, which are connected with all that makes man capable of performing in the world what is from heaven, what is rightly from heaven. For this purpose, however, man must not only reflect on that which can be worked out in the individual life within that work of the soul which is present between birth and death; but man must reflect on that which is so in the hidden subsoil of his soul that the divine worlds work into his organisation [...] Think that during the old solar time man consisted only of heat and air. In that which works on the human being in warmth and air lies, as hereditary material from the old solar age, that which can prepare the human brain in such a way that it can be a painter's, that it can be a poet's brain.

But from this you see how we must say, through this contemplation of what is looked at in man and which goes out from the microcosm into the macrocosm: Man is one with his environment through that which is old solar inheritance; for air and warmth are just as much outside as inside. I have often pointed out: the quantity of air which I have in me now is out of me the next moment; that is always going out and in, breathing out, breathing in. The air has my form, and at the moment when I breathe out the air, it is the same air; it is then only outside, outside the human being. But as true as my bones are myself, so true, from the moment of inhalation to the moment of exhalation, is the shape of the air that which belongs to my own being. As true as the bones belong to me from my birth to my death, so the air current belongs to me from the moment it is breathed in to the moment it is breathed out. It is I just as my bones are I, only the I-ness of that air current lasts only from inhalation to exhalation, and the I-ness of my bones lasts approximately from birth to death. Only in time are these things different; the air-man dies on exhalation and he is born on inhalation. And just as our bones are born before our physical birth and gradually perish, so something is born in us when we inhale, so something dies in us when we exhale. That which is born in us when we breathe in dies when we breathe out; that itself belongs to the hereditary material from the Old Sun, that was predisposed at that time [...].

I have spoken to you today of inspiration; I have shown you how inspiration leads back to the old sun-good of man. On the Sun, however, man had come as far as breathing. That is to say, that which is now breathing, and which lives in the air element, was then predisposed. So there must be a relation between man's breathing and inspiration. You need only consider what the word inspiration originally means. In this word the intimate relationship of breathing to "inspiration" is already expressed, for it is basically the word for breathing in. Those who want to deny the spirits need only look at the development of language. We have already indicated this from another side: one would already find the spirits of speech, but one would also find how these spirits of speech work in human nature! Then we will find how we are embedded in the spiritual worlds, how the spirits work with us, how in everything we do in life the spirits co-operate. And we will feel in a real way: our self expanded to the great self of the world. Sensation will become what theory is. And that is the way to really enter the spiritual worlds.“ (Lit.:GA 164, p. 82ff)


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.