Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rudolf Steiner: True and False paths in Spiritual Investigation

...We see that a natural creative imagination is at work in dreams; external events are reflected in dreams. But we need not insist upon this. The dream can, so to speak, come to life and take on its own inner meaning and essential reality. We may dream of something that cannot be related to anything in the external world. When that point is reached in gradual stages, we say that a totally different world is portrayed in our dreams; we encounter quite other beings, demoniacal or beatiful and elf-like. It is not only the phenomenal world that appears in dream pictures, but a wholly different world invades us. Human beings can dream of the supersensible world in the form of images perceptible by the senses.
Thus the consciousness of man today has a dream life alongside his ordinary waking life. Indeed, a disposition to dreaming makes us poets. People who are unable to dream will always be inferior poets. For in order to be a poet or artist, one must be able to translate the natural stuff of dreams into the imaginative fantasy of waking life.
Anyone, for example, whose dreams draw their symbolism from external objects, as in the dream where sunshine pouring into a room symbolized a neighbour's house on fire, will feel next day an urge to compose. He is a potential musician. He who experiences the palpitation of the heart as an overheated stove will feel impelled next day to turn to modelling or architectural design. He is the potential architect, sculptor or painter.
There is a connection between these things, in ordinary consciousness they are associated in the way I have described. But we can go further. This ordinary consciousness can be developed by undertaking spiritual exercises. So that by concentrating on certain precise concepts and linguistic relationships, our whole inner life of thinking, feeling and willing is given added life and vigour. Though these exercises thoughts become virtually tangible realities and feelings living entities.
Then begins the first stage of modern initiation - we carry over our dreams into waking life.

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