Sophia Institute online Waldorf Certificate Program
What is Anthroposophy? An Introduction.
Lesson 1: Definition and expression of Anthroposophy in our modern world.
Lesson 2: Rudolf Steiner's life and work (Part 1).
Lesson 3: Rudolf Steiner's life and work (Part 2).
Lesson 4: Rudolf Steiner's life and work (Part 3).
Lesson 5: Thinking, feeling and willing. The threefold human being.
Lesson 6: Physical body, etheric body, astral body, and ego.
Lesson 7: The seven life processes and the seven soul types.
Lesson 8: The twelve senses.
Lesson 9: Anthroposophy at work in our modern times. The impulses of Anthroposophy in education, the arts, medicine, agriculture, and social issues.
Lesson 10: The structure of the Anthroposophical Society and the School of Spiritual Science.
Tasks and Assignments for Lesson WAI5
Please study the provided study material and other sources as needed to complete the assignment. Tasks and assignments for this lesson are listed below (in the submission form).
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Course 1: What is Anthroposophy? An Introduction.
Study Material for Lesson WAI5
Thinking, Feeling and Willing. The Threefold Human Being.
One of the basic concepts of the teaching of Anthroposophy and subsequently of Waldorf Education is the threefold human being. This threefoldness is being expressed in the human being itself in its distinction or separation of three aspects: The head and nervous system, the trunk and the rhythmic system, and thirdly the limbs and the metabolic system. In activity this threefoldness is expressed in thinking, feeling and willing, and the well-known motto known to many who encounter Waldorf Education namely "Head, Hearts and Hands" stems from this distinction ot threefold approach to learning. Finally the threefoldness can be found in the body social, in society, in the three realms of the free spiritual life, the life of rights, and thirdly the economic life. In trying to understand the distinction of three realms or aspects to the human being it is helpful to read how Steiner lays out the following:
"The human organism, that most complex of all natural organisms, can be described as consisting of three systems, working side by side. To a certain extent each functions separately and independently of the others. One of these consists of the life of the nerves and senses. It may be named, after the part where it is more or less centered, the head organism. Second, comes what we need to recognize as another branch if we really want to understand the human organism, the rhythmic system. This includes the breathing and the circulation of the blood, everything that finds expression in rhythmic processes in the human organism. The third must be recognized as consisting of all those organs that have to do with the actual transformation of matter — the metabolic process. These three systems comprise everything that, duly coordinated, keeps the whole human complex in healthy working order.
I have already attempted to give a brief description of this threefold character of the natural human organism in my book, Riddles of the Soul. The approach tallies with what scientific research is on its way to telling us on this subject. It seems clear that biology, physiology and natural science in general, as it deals with man, are rapidly tending to a point of view that will show that what keeps the complex human organism in working order is just this comparatively separate functioning of its three separate systems. It follows that there is no such thing as absolute centralization in the human organism. Besides, each of these systems has its own special and distinct relation to the outer world; the head system through the senses, the rhythmic or circulatory system through the breathing, the metabolic system through the organs of nourishment and the organs of movement.
People may say that science can afford to wait until views such as these gain recognition all in good time, but the body social cannot afford to wait, either for right views or right practices. An understanding, even if only an instinctive one, of what the body social needs, is essential here. It cannot just be confined to a handful of experts, since every human soul has a share in the working of the body social. Sane thinking, feeling and willing as to the form to be given it can only be developed when one recognizes the fact that to thrive, the social organism, like the natural one, needs to be threefold.
There have been many attempts lately to trace analogies between the organic structure of natural creatures and the structure of human society. What is said here has no connection with such approaches. Its object is simply to train human thought and feeling — using the human body as an object lesson — to a sense of what organic life requires. Such a perceptive sense can then be applied to the body social, which has its own laws.
The present crisis in human history demands the development of certain faculties of perception in every single human being. The first rudiments of these must be started by the schools and educational systems. The unconscious force in the soul that gave the body social its forms in the past will from now on cease to be active. Every individual is going to need to have these above-mentioned faculties of social perception. From now on the individual must be trained to have a healthy sense of how the forces of the body social have to work in order for it to live." - Rudolf Steiner (The Threefold Social Order. Chapter II.)
The second aspect of the ideas concerning the threefold human being is the human beings activity or soul activity expressed in the three soul faculties of thinking, feeling and willing. Rudolf Steiner describes the soul activities of thinking, feeling and willing and the educational principles that meet the needs of the threefold approach to education in the following words:
"If you want to examine the human being effectively from any point of view you must return again and again to the separation of man's soul activities into cognition (which takes place in thought) and into feeling and willing …
From the spiritual point of view, also, you will find a difference between willing, feeling and thinking-knowing. If I may speak pictorially (for the pictorial element will help us to form the right concepts): when you have knowledge through thought you must feel that in a certain way you are living in the light. You cognize, and you feel yourself with your ego right in the midst of this activity of cognition. It is as though every part, every bit of the activity which we call cognition, were there within all that your ego does; and again what your ego does is there within the activity of cognition. You are entirely in the light; you live in a fully conscious activity, if I may express myself in such a concept. And it would be bad indeed if you were not in a fully conscious activity in cognizing. Suppose for a moment that you had the feeling that while you were forming a judgment something happened to your ego somewhere in the subconscious and that your judgment was the result of this process. For instance you say: “That man is a good man,” thus forming a judgment. You must be conscious that what you need in order to form this judgment — the subject “man” the predicate “is good” — are parts of a process which is clearly before you and which is permeated by the light of consciousness. If you had to assume that some demon or some mechanism of nature had tangled up the man with the “being good” while you were forming the judgment, then you would not be fully, consciously present in this act of thought, of cognition: in some part of the judgment you would be unconscious. That is the essential thing about thinking cognition, that you are present in complete consciousness in the whole warp and woof of its activity.
That is not the case in willing. You know that when you perform the simplest kind of willing, for instance walking, you are only really fully conscious in your mental picture of the walking. You know nothing of what takes place in your muscles whilst one leg moves forward after the other; nothing of what takes place in the mechanism and organism of your body. Just think of what you would have to learn of the world if you had to perform consciously all the arrangements involved when you will to walk. You would have to know exactly how much of the activity produced by your food in the muscles of your legs and other parts of your body is used up in the effort of walking. You have never reckoned out how much you use up of what your food brings to you. You know quite well that all this happens unconsciously in your bodily nature. When we “will” there is always something deeply, unconsciously present in the activity. This is not only so when we look at the nature of willing in our own organism. What we accomplish when we extend our will to the outer world, that, too, we do not by any means completely grasp with the light of consciousness.
Suppose you have here two posts set up like pillars. (See drawing.)
Imagine you lay a third post across the top of them. Now notice carefully, please, how much fully conscious knowing activity there is in what you have done; how much fully conscious activity such as there is when you pass the judgment “a man is good,” where you are right in the midst of it with your knowledge. Distinguish, please, what is present as the activity of cognition here from that of which you know nothing although you had to do it with all your will: why these two pillars through certain forces support the beam that is lying on them? Up to now physics has only hypotheses concerning this, and if men believe that they “know” why the two pillars support the beam they are under an illusion. All the concepts that exist of cohesion, adhesion, forces of attraction and repulsion are, at bottom, only hypotheses on the part of external knowledge. We count upon these external hypotheses in our actions; we are convinced that the two posts supporting the beam will not give way if they are of a certain thickness. But we cannot understand the whole process which is connected with this, any more than we can understand the movements of our legs when we move forwards. Here, too, there is in our willing an element that does not reach into our consciousness. Willing in all its different forms has an unconscious element in it.
And feeling stands midway between willing and thinking-cognition. Feeling is also partly permeated by consciousness, and partly by an unconscious element. In this way feeling on the one hand shares the character of cognition-thinking, and on the other hand the character of feeling or felt will. What is this then really from a spiritual point of view?
You will only arrive at a true answer to this question if you can grasp the facts characterized above in the following way. In our ordinary life we speak of being awake, of the waking condition of consciousness. But we only have this waking condition of consciousness in the activity of our knowing-thinking. If therefore you want to say absolutely correctly how far a human being is awake you will be obliged to say: A human being is really only awake as long and in so far as he thinks of or knows something.
What then is the position with regard to the will? You all know the sleep condition of consciousness — you can also call it, if you like, the condition of unconsciousness — you know that what we experience while we sleep, from falling asleep until we wake, is not in our consciousness. Now it is just the same with all that passes through our will as an unconscious element. In so far as we as human beings are beings of will, we are “asleep” even when we are awake. We are always carrying about with us a sleeping human being — that is, the willing man — and he is accompanied by the waking man, by the man of cognition and thought: in so far as we are beings of will we are asleep even from the time we wake up until we fall asleep. There is always something asleep in us, namely: the inner being of will. We are no more conscious of that than we are of the processes which go on during sleep. We do not understand the human being completely unless we know that sleep plays into his waking life, in so far as he is a being of will.
Feeling stands between thinking and willing, and we may now ask: How is it with regard to consciousness in feeling? That too is midway between waking and sleeping. You know the feelings in your soul just as you know your dreams, only that you remember your dreams and have a direct experience of your feelings. But the inner mood and condition of soul which you have with regard to your feelings is just the same as you have with regard to your dreams. Whilst you are awake you are not only a waking man in that you think and know, and a sleeping man in that you will: you are also a “dreamer” in that you feel. Thus we are really immersed in three conditions of consciousness during our waking life: the waking condition in its real sense in thinking and knowing, the dreaming condition in feeling, and the sleeping condition in willing. Seen from the spiritual point of view ordinary dreamless sleep is a condition in which a man gives himself up in his whole soul being to that to which he is given up in his willing nature during his daily life. The only difference is that in real sleep we “sleep” with the whole soul being, and when we are awake we only sleep with our will. In dreaming as it is called in ordinary life we are given up with our whole being to the condition of soul which we call the “dream” and in waking life we only give ourselves up in our feeling nature to this dreaming soul condition. - Rudolf Steiner (Study of Man. Lecture VI.)
Finally the third aspect or main idea of threefolding is "The Threefold Social Order" or threefolding of the society and is described by Steiner as the following:
"One of these three members is the economic life. It is the best one for us to begin considering here, because it has, through modern industry and modern capitalism, worked its way into the whole structure of human society to the subordination of everything else.
This economic life needs to form an independent, organic branch by itself within the body social. It must be relatively as independent as the nerves-and-senses system is within the human body. It is concerned with everything in the nature of the production of commodities, circulation of commodities and consumption of commodities.
Next comes the life of public rights (das Leben des öffentlichen Rechtes) — political life in the proper sense. This must be recognized as forming a second branch of the body social. To this branch belongs what one might term the true life of the state — taking Rights State in the sense in which the word was formerly applied to a community possessing common rights.
Economic life is concerned with all that a man needs from nature, and what he himself produces from nature, i.e., commodities, and their circulation and consumption. The second branch of the body social can have no other concern than with what is involved in purely human relations. It deals with what comes up from the deep recesses of the inner life and affects man's relations towards man. It is essential that one should clearly recognize the difference between the system of public rights and the economic system. The former can only deal, on an inner and purely human basis, with man-to-man relations. The economic system is concerned solely with the production, circulation and consumption of commodities. People must acquire an instinctive sense that enables them to distinguish between these two in life. This is essential so that in practice they will be kept as distinct as the work of the lungs is distinct, in the body, from what goes on in the nerves and sensory life.
The third division, alongside of the other two and equally independent, includes all those things in the social organism that are connected with the mental and spiritual life. The term, “spiritual culture,” or, “everything that is connected with mental and spiritual life,” hardly describes it accurately. Perhaps one might express it better as, “everything that rests on the natural endowments, both spiritual and physical, of each single human being.”
The first system, the economic one, has to do with everything that must exist in order that man may regulate his material relationships to the world around him. The second, with whatever must exist in the body social because of the relationship of man to man. The third relates to all that springs from the personal individuality of each human being and that must be incorporated, from out of the personal individuality, in the body social.
Just as it is true that our social life has taken its imprint from modern industry and capitalism, so is it equally necessary that the injury thus unavoidably done to the body social should be healed. This can be done by bringing man, and the life of men with one another, into a correct relation to these three members of social life. - Rudolf Steiner (The Threefold Social Order. Chapter II.)
Press Release Type Essay
The idea is to create an essay that includes the following items typical for short essays. Press release type essays - while serving a particular purpose - are not all that different from a regular essay.
Components of a Short Essay
If you are writing a 3-4 paragraph essay, your thesis should be one of the first three sentences. If you are writing 1-2 paragraph essay, your thesis should be in the first sentence and should also function as an acting hook. The thesis must be both interesting and all-encapsulating.
2) Topic Sentences
It is important to delineate the entirety of your argument at the very beginning of the paragraph. You want your message to be accessible. Do not wait until the end of the paragraph—and definitely not until the end of the essay—to present your argument.
3) Supporting Evidence
Try to limit the amount of sentences dedicated to supporting evidence. If possible, have one sentence rather than two citing a story, anecdote, or example. This may seem difficult, but it is important to provide only the details that are necessary for understanding the main idea of your essay.
Whether your essay is 200 words or 5,000 words long, introspection will always be the most important aspect of your essay. While we always recommend not getting sidetracked in a 5-6 paragraph essay, it is even more crucial that you do not allow yourself to stray away from the point in a short essay. Any sentence that is not directly relevant to your thesis not only weakens your argument but also takes up valuable space.
The strongest way to end a short essay is to include a brief summary of your main argument and a statement that includes the implications of your thesis, without veering you too far from the main idea of your essay. Limit your conclusion to no more than three sentences.