Theosophy, by Rudolf Steiner, , at sacred-texts.com
1. To page 23. To speak of "life-force" (Lebenskraft) was regarded a short time back as the mark of an unscientific mind. But one begins to find here and there in science to-day a tendency which is not averse from the idea of a "life-force" such as was accepted in former times. Anyone who really understands the course of contemporary science will, however, recognize that the superior logic lies with those who in considering this tendency refuse to find any trace of "life-force." "Life-force" is by no means the same as what is to-day called the "forces of nature (Naturkrafte)," and he who will not pass over from the modes of thought and conception characteristic of modern science to higher modes ought not to speak of "life-force." Only the mode of thinking and the presuppositions of spiritual science (Geisteswissenschaft) or Theosophy make it possible to deal with such things without inconsistency.
2. To page 26. When the "sense of touch" of the lower organisms is spoken of here, it is not intended to convey what is expressed by this phrase in the ordinary expositions of the "Senses." From the theosophical point of view much could, in fact, be urged in objection to the use of this expression. What is meant here by "sense of touch" is rather a general becoming aware of an external impression, in contrast to the special becoming aware which consists in seeing, hearing, etc.
3. To page 35. It is necessary to read theosophical presentations of a subject with strict accuracy. For it is only in the accurate statement of ideas that they have a value. For example in the statement, "They (the sensations, etc.) do not in its case (namely, that of the animal) become interwoven with independent thoughts transcending the immediate experience," one could easily fall into the mistake of thinking that it was claimed here that there are no thoughts contained in the sensations or the instincts of animals. Now Theosophy is actually based on a knowledge which says that all inner experience on the part of animals (and all existence of any kind) is
interwoven with thought. But the thoughts of the animal are not those of an independent I, or ego, living in the animal, but are those of the animal group ego, which must be regarded as a being governing the animal from without. This group ego is not present in the physical world as is the I, or ego, of a man, but works down into the animal from the soul world described on pages 87 et seq. (Further details regarding this are to be found in my "Outline of Occult Science.") The real point at issue in the case of man is that thoughts attain to an independent existence in himthat thoughts are not experienced immediately in sensation, but mediately as thoughts which are experienced also in the soul.
4. To page 42. When it is said that little children say, "Charles is good," "Mary wishes to have this," it must be carefully noted that the important point is not so much how soon children use the word "I" but when they connect the proper conception with that word. When children hear adults use the word, they can continually use it without having the conception of the "I." Nevertheless, the fact that the use of the word begins late as a rule points
to an important feature of evolution, namely the gradual unfolding of the I-concept out of the vague I-feeling.
5. To pages 47 and 48. A description of the intrinsic nature of "Intuition" is to be found in my books "A Way of Initiation" and "Occult Science." One might through inaccurate observation of the matter detect a contradiction between the use of this word in those books and what is said in this book on page 47. This, however, will be found not to exist when one takes into account that what reveals itself through intuition in full reality to supersensible knowledge makes itself known, in its lowest revelation, to the spirit-self, even as the external existence of the physical world makes itself known in sensation.
6. To page 91. The subject of the spiritual organs of perception which is only alluded to shortly in the later chapter in this book on The Path of Knowledge, is more fully dealt with in my books "A Way of Initiation" and "Occult Science." (Berlin, Philosophisch-Theosophischer Verlag. Motz Strasse 17.)
7. To page 132. It would be incorrect to imagine a ceaseless unrest in the spiritual
world because there is not in it "a state of rest, a remaining in one place, as in the physical world." There, where the Beings are who create the Archetypes, there is not indeed what can be called "rest in one place," but there is that rest which is spiritual in its nature, and consistent with active mobility. It may be likened to the restful satisfaction and bliss of the spirit which is revealed in deeds and not in a state of inaction.
8. To page 139. One is obliged to use the word "Purposes" in regard to the impelling or motive Powers of the world evolution, although it opens the door to a temptation to conceive of these Powers simply as human purposes. In the case of such wordswhich had naturally to be taken from the sphere of human lifethis temptation can be averted only by the raising of oneself when using them to a significance from which every connection with human limitation is banished, and there is assigned to them what man approximately imbues them with on those occasions in his life when he, to a certain degree, rises above himself.
9. To page 139. Further particulars in
regard to the "Spiritual Word" are to be found in my "Outline of Occult Science."