How Do I Distinguish Between Spiritual and Sensory Perception?

The fundamental difference between spiritual and sensory perception is apparent: with the latter, it is always possible—due to external solidity—to distinguish between what I am and what an object is. With spiritual perception it isn’t so easy, at first, to distinguish that which originates from one’s own spirituality and that which is related to spiritual beings. This is the basis of many of the objections about anthroposophy that question the possibility of cognizing spiritual worlds. However, objections of this kind ultimately only represent self-constructed obstacles to the spiritual world.

In the meditative texts collected here, Rudolf Steiner draws attention to the fact that humans can make good progress on the threshold to the spiritual world by beginning to cognize themselves. In ancient Greece, “Know thyself” was the directive for those striving for higher knowledge. Whomever wishes to come to spiritual knowledge must learn to distinguish between that which belongs to their own being and that which is the spiritual environment.

From Rudolf Steiner, “Erkennen Dich Selbst” (”Know Thyself”). Edited by Andreas Neider, Dornach 2010.

Translation Eliza Rozeboom
Graphic Sofia Lismont

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