Nature of mind – The lowest principle in man (the physical body) man indeed still pass through thew three kingdoms. just as it ts at present passing through the mineral kingdom. Just as today man lives in the mineral kingdom with his physical nature. so in the future he will live m the plant kingdom. and then rise to will higher kingdoms.
There is another kingdom above that which man has immediately and physically around him. But to which kingdom does man in his physical nature belong? At the present stage of his evolution. he belongs with his physical nature to the mineral kingdom. Physical, chemical and mineral laws hold sway over man’s physical body.
Yet even as far as his spiritual nature is concerned, he belongs to the mineral kingdom, since he understands through his intellect only what is mineral. Life. as such. he is only gradually learning to comprehend. Precisely foe this reason, official gimlet disown. life, being still at that gage of development in which it can only grasp the dead, the mineral.
Science is in the process of learning to understand this in very intricate detail. Hence it understands the human body only so far as it is a dead. mineral thing. It treats the human body basically as something dead with which one works, as if with a substance in a chemical laboratory.
Other substances are introduced [into the body), in the wise way that substances are poured into a neon. Even when the doctor, who nowadays is brought up entirely on mineral science, sets about working on the human body.
it is as though the latter were only an artificial product. Hence we are dealing with man’s body at the stage of the mineral kingdom in two ways: man has acquired reality in the mineral kingdom through having a physical body, and with his intellect is only able to grasp facts relating to the mineral kingdom.
This is a necessary transitional stage for man. However. when man no longer relies only on the intellect but also upon intuition and spiritual powers, we will then be aware we are messing into a future in which our dead mineral body will work toward. becoming one that alive.
And our science must lead the way. must prepare for what has to happen with the bodily essence in the future. In the near future. It must itself develop into something which has life in awl,, recognize the life inherent in the earth for what it is. For m a deeper sense n is true that man’s thoughts prepare the future. As an old Indian aphorism nghtly says: What you think today. that you will be tomorrow. The very being of the world spnogs out of living thought, not from dead nutter. Outward matter is a consequence of living thought, jug as ice is a consequence of water; the material world is. as it were, frozen thoughts.
We must dissolve it back again into as higher elemetm, because we grasp life in thought. If we transform(it into) thoughts of the whole hunab nature, then we have succeeded; our science will have become a science of the living and not of dead matter.
We shall raise thereby the lowest principle of man—at first in our understanding and later also in reality—into the next sphere. And thus we shall raise each mother of rnan’s nature—the ethenc, the astral included—one stage higher. What man formerly used to be we call. in theosophical temiinology, the three elementary kingdoms
These preceded the mineral kingdom in which we Ise today. that is, the kingdom to which our science restricts itself. and in which our physical body lives The three elementary kingdoms are bygone stages (of evolution]. The three higher kingdoms—the plant kingdom. the animal kingdom and the human kingdom—which will evolve out of the mineral kingdom, are as yet only at a rudymentary stage.
The lowest principle in man (the physical body) man indeed still pass through thew three kingdoms. just as it ts at present passing through the mineral kingdom. Just as today man lives in the mineral kingdom with his physical nature. so in the future he will live m the plant kingdom. and then rise to will higher kingdoms
Today with our physical nature we are in a transitional stage between the mineral and plant kingdoms, with our (them nature in transition from the plant kingdom to the animal kmg-dom, and our astral nature in transition from the animal kingdom to the human kingdom.
And finally, we extend beyond the three kingdoms into the divine kingdom. with that pan which we have in the sphere of wndom, where we extend in our own nature beyond the astral….
Be clear from now on about the respectwe positions of plant, animal and man. The plant it the precise counterpart of man.
There is a very deep and significant meaning in our conceiving the plant as the exact counterpart of man, and man as the inverse of plant nature. Outer science does not concern itself with such matters; it takes things as they present themselves to the outer senses. Science connected with theosophy. however, consider the meaning of thing. in their connection with all the rest of evolution.
For, as Goethe says. each thing must be seen only as parable. The plant has its roots in the earth and unfolds as leaves and blooms to the sun. At present the sun has in itself the force, which was once united with the earth. The son has of count separated itself from our earth. Thus the entire sun forces are something with which our earth was at one time permeated; the sun forces then lived m the earth.
Today the plant is still searching for those times when the sun forces were still united with the earth, by exposing its flowering system to those forces. The toll forces are the (same as those which work all ethenc forces in the plants. By pretenting its reproductive organs to the sun, the plant dimes an deep affinity with it; its reproductive principle is in an occult way linked with the sun forces.
The head of the plant the root, which is embedded in the darkness of the earth, is on the other hand similarly akin to the earth. Earth and sun are the two polar opposites in evolution.
Man is the inverse of the plant; the plant has its generative organs turned towards the sun and its head pointing downwards. With man it is exactly the opposite; he carries his head on high. orientated towards the higher worlds in order to receive the spirit—his generative owns are directed downwards.
The animal stands half-way between plant and man. It has made a half-turn, forming, so to weak, a crosspiece to the line of direction of both plant and man. The animal amts its backbone horizontally. thus cutting across the line formed by plant and man to make Inugine to yourselves the plant kingdom growing downwards, the human kingdom upwards, and the animal kingdom thus horizontally; then you have formed the cross from the plant, animal and human kingdoms.
That is the symbol of the cross.
It represents the three kingdoms of life, into which man has to enter. The plant, animal and human kingdoms are the next three material kingdoms (to be entered by man). The whole evolves out of the mineral kingdom; this ts the basis today. The animal kingdom foam a kind of dam between the plant and human kingdoms. and the plant is a kind of mirror image of man.
This ties up with human life—what lives In man physically—finding its closest kinship with what lives in the plant … The sun is the bearer of the lie forces, and the plant is what grows in respome to the sun forces.
And man must unite what lives in the plant with his own life forces. Thus his foodnuffi are, occultly, the were as the plant. The animal ktngdom acts as a dam. a drawing back, thereby interposing itself cross-wise against the development process, in order to begin a new flow. Man and plant, while set against each other, are mutually akin; whereas the anuml—and all that comes to expression in the body is the animal—is a crossing of the two principles of life.
The human ethnic body will provide the basis, at a higher stage. for the immoral nun, who will no longer be subject to death. The ethnic body at present still dis-solves with the death of the hunun being. But the more nun perfects and purifies himself from within, the nearer will he get to permanence, the less will he perish.
Every labour undertaken for the etheric body contributes towards man’s immortality. In this sense it is true that man will gain more mastery of immortality the more evolution takes place naturally, the more it is directed towards the forces of life—which does not mean towards animal sexuality and passion.
Animalism is a current which breaks across human life; it was retardation, necessary for a turning-point in the stream of life. Man had to combine with animalism for a while, because this turning-point had to take place. But he must free himself from it again and return again to the stream of life …
One can even acquire a fine perception for the lifeless mineral kingdom. The minerals have a group soul on the Devachan plane, just as the animals possess a group soul on the astral plane.
The souls of the minerals live in Devachan. Therefore they are not available to man. As the fly when it walks over our hand is unaware that there is a soul within it, so have men no notion that stones have souls. If stones possess souls, then you will also be able to understand how a moral understanding of them can arise.
A human or animal body has desires, passions and driving-impulses. The body of a plant no longer contains any passions but it still has a driving force. The body of the stone has neither desires, nor driving force, therefore it sets an ideal for man in that our impulses must become spiritualized. And in the far distant future of mankind that will be accomplished; man will possess bodies without desires and impulses.
One day man will be like a diamond; he will no longer have inner impulses, but such things will then be outwardly under control. The mineral already displays such chastity today—it is matter without desire.
The occult pupil must already cultivate this desirelessness at the present day. In this sense the stone stands higher than animal, plant or man. An ancient Rosicrucian saying states: I have placed and hidden the eternal creator word in the stones; chaste and modest they hold it in the depths of physical existence. If one can raise such perception of the stones into spiritual experience, one will become clairvoyant in the highest regions of Devachan.