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.(I say as a rule, because I am alluding to the normal sleep, at night.) He then meets with the world in which we place the beings of that Hierarchy which we designate as that of the Angels.Thus every time we pass through sleep, we pass in a sense, through that world in which these beings dwell; through the world which is nearest to our own physical world, reckoning upwards.Through this meeting we refresh and strengthen our whole spiritual being.Because this is so, because in the state of sleep man is in relation with the spiritual world, no merely materialistic explanation of sleep, such as is put forward by external science, can ever be satisfactory.Much of what goes on in man can be explained by the changes that take place in the body between waking up and going to sleep; we may try to explain sleep itself by means of these same changes; yet any such explanation must always prove unsatisfactory, for the reason that in sleep the afore-mentioned meeting takes place, and man enters into relation with the spiritual world; that makes the whole difference.Thus it is just when we consider the state of sleep that we can see that man, unless he consciously seeks a relation to the spiritual world, only arrives at half-true concepts and ideas, which indeed, because they change into life-falsify it, and at last actually bring about great catastrophe.These half-true concepts are indeed in some respects even worse than those which are quite false ones, for those who form the partly-true concepts and ideas rely upon them; they are able to prove them, for, being partly true they can be proved.An attempt to disprove them would bring no further illumination, for these ideas are, after all, partly true! Such concepts really falsify life even more than do the entirely wrong ones, which we can immediately recognise as false.One of these half -true concepts which external science today is to some extent giving up, though it is in a great measure still believed, is the idea I have often alluded to before, that we sleep because we are tired.We may say that this concept is only half-true, and is the result of a half-true observation.People think that the day's life tires out the body and because we are tired we must sleep! I have often, in former lectures, called attention to the fact that this concept does not explain how it is that people of independent means, who do no work at all, often fall asleep when the most stirring things relating to the outer world, are being discussed.It cannot be proved that these persons are tired out and therefore in -need of sleep.It is absolutely incorrect.If we believe that we are compelled to sleep by fatigue, we are only half-observing.We only notice that this is so when we compare the observations made on the one side, with what can be observed on the other, when we come in contact with the other half of the truth.You will presently see what I mean.Sleeping and waking in individual human life follow each other in rhythmic succession, yet man is a free being, and can consequently interfere with this rhythm (this he does more by reason of circumstance than from what may be called freewill; but the circumstances are the bases of free life).Another rhythm which we have often placed in the same order as sleeping and waking, is that of the seasons of the year; the alternation of summer and winter (leaving the intermediate seasons out of account), but the ordinary consciousness does not connect them aright.It will occur to no one to say that because the earth is hard at work during the summer, unfolding the forces leading to the growth of plants and to much else besides, that thereby it grows tired and needs the rest of winter.Everyone would consider such an idea absurd and would say that the setting in of winter has nothing whatever to do with the summer-work of the earth, but is caused by the changed position of the sun in relation to the Earth.In this case everything is supposed to be brought about from without; in sleeping and waking it all comes from fatigue, from within.Now the one is just as incorrect as the other, or rather the one is only partly true and so is the other — for the rhythm of sleeping and waking is just the same kind of rhythm as that of winter and summer.There is just as little truth in saying that we only sleep because we are tired, as in saying that winter comes because the earth has exhausted herself in summer.Both these statements rest on the independent working of a rhythm, brought about by certain circumstances.The rhythm between sleeping and waking comes about because the human soul has need of the continually recurring meeting with the spiritual world.If we were to say we want to sleep and consequently feel tired, if we were to say that we enter the state in which we have need of one part of the rhythm, that of sleep, and consequently feel tired, we should be speaking more correctly than when we say that because we are tired, we must sleep.This whole question will become still clearer to us, if we simply ask: `What then does the soul do when it sleeps?' The non-spiritual science of today has not the requisite understanding and cannot reply properly to such a question.You see, while we are awake, we enjoy the external world and the enjoyment of this lasts our whole life through.We do not merely enjoy the outer world when we convey good food to our palate, which is the sense in which we generally speak of `enjoyment' because it is here directly applicable, but the whole time we are awake we enjoy the outer world; all life is enjoyment.Although there is much that is unpleasant in the world, much that is apparently no enjoyment, this is only an illusion, of which we shall speak in the subsequent lectures in other connections.In our waking state we enjoy the external world; in sleep we enjoy ourselves.Just as when we with our souls are in the body and through the latter enjoy the external world, so when we with our souls are outside our body, for in the life between birth and death we are still connected with the body: even when outside it — we then enjoy our body.The condition of sleep, of normal sleep, consists essentially in our having a deeper experience of our body, so that we enjoy it.We enjoy our body from outside.The right interpretation of dreams, of the ordinary chaotic dreams, is that they are the reflection of the enjoyment of his body which a man has in dreamless sleep.You see this explanation of sleep is approximately that of the need of sleep felt by the man of independent means, of which I have already spoken.We cannot easily believe that he is really tired; but we can very readily believe that he may be so fond of his body that he would rather enjoy that than what often comes to him from the external world.He really loves it so much and is so fond of enjoying it, that he may even prefer that to listening to a lecture, let us say, which he is perhaps ashamed not to attend.Or perhaps a better example would be to say he would rather enjoy his body than listen to a difficult piece of classical music which sends him to sleep at once, if he is compelled to listen to it — sleep is self-enjoyment.Now, as in sleep, in normal sleep, we have the meeting with the spiritual world, our sleep does not therefore consist merely of self-enjoyment, it is also self-understanding, to a certain degree self-understanding, a sizing-up of oneself.In this respect our spiritual training is really needed, so that people may learn to realise that in normal sleep they actually plunge down into the spirit and emerge from it when they wake up; it is necessary that they should learn to feel reverence for this meeting with the spirit.Now, in order that we may not fail to understand completely, I will return once more to the so-called enigma of fatigue; for the commonplace consciousness may very likely lay hold of this point [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]