Region of soul life
The region of soul life is the seventh and highest realm of the astral world. Out of pure and unlimited sympathy and devotion, everything that weaves and lives here becomes the immediate invigorating soul food for all soul beings.
„Higher stages of soul-materiality are characterised by the fact that in them the one basic force recedes completely, namely antipathy, and only sympathy proves to be what is actually effective. Now this can first of all assert itself within the parts of the soul-formation itself. These parts have a mutually attractive effect on each other. The power of sympathy within a soul-form is expressed in what is called pleasure. And every diminution of this sympathy is unpleasure. Dislike is only a diminished pleasure, just as cold is only a diminished warmth. Pleasure and displeasure is that which lives in the human being as the world of feelings - in the narrower sense. Feeling is the weaving of the soul within itself. The way in which the feelings of pleasure and displeasure weave in the soul depends on what is called its comfort.
A still higher level is occupied by those soul-forms whose sympathy does not remain decided in the realm of its own life. They differ from the three lower stages, as does the fourth, in that the power of sympathy has no antipathy to overcome. Only through these higher types of soul-materiality does the diversity of soul-forms unite into a common soul-world. Insofar as antipathy comes into consideration, the soul-form strives for something else for the sake of its own life, in order to strengthen and enrich itself through the other. Where antipathy is silent, the other is accepted as revelation, as manifestation. This higher form of soul-materiality plays a role similar to that of light in physical space. It causes one soul-form to absorb, as it were, the existence and being of the others for their own sake, or one could also say, to allow itself to be irradiated by them. By drawing from these higher regions, the soul beings are awakened to the true life of the soul. Their dull life in darkness opens outwards, shines and radiates even into the soul-space; the sluggish, dull weaving within, which wants to close itself off through antipathy when only the substances of the lower regions are present, becomes power and activity which emanates from within and pours outwards. The flowing irritability of the second region only works when the formations meet.
Then, however, one flows over into the other. But touch is necessary here. In the higher regions there is free radiating, pouring. (The essence of this region is rightly described as "radiating towards", for the sympathy which is developed has such an effect that the expression taken from the effect of light can be used as a symbol for it). As a plant withers in the cellar, so do the soul-formations without the soul-substances of the higher regions which animate them. Soul-light, active soul-power and the actual soul-life in the narrower sense belong to these regions and communicate themselves from here to the soul-beings.“ (Lit.:GA 9, p. 102f)
„The seventh region, that of the actual soul life, frees the human being from his last inclinations towards the sensual-physical world. Each preceding region absorbs from the soul that which is related to it. What now still surrounds the spirit is the opinion that its activity should be entirely devoted to the sensuous world. There are highly gifted personalities who do not think about much else than the processes of the physical world. One can call such a belief a materialistic one. This belief must be destroyed, and it will be in the seventh region. There the souls see that there are no objects for materialistic thought in the true reality. Like ice in the sun, this belief of the soul melts away here. The soul being is now absorbed by its world, the spirit is free of all fetters. It soars into the regions where it lives only in its own environment. - The soul has fulfilled its previous earthly task, and what remained of this task as a fetter for the spirit has been released after death. By overcoming the earthly remnant, the soul has itself returned to its element.“ (Lit.:GA 9, p. 118f)
- Rudolf Steiner: Theosophie. Einführung in übersinnliche Welterkenntnis und Menschenbestimmung , GA 9 (2003), ISBN 3-7274-0090-0 English: rsarchive.org German: pdf pdf(2) html mobi epub archive.org
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