Writings about Rudolf Steiner's relevance to today's world.
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Keeping the Light Alive!

Monthly articles demonstrating Rudolf Steiner’s  relevance to today’s world

Adrian Anderson Ph. D., author of books and articles on anthroposophy

July 2015: Allerleirauh or The Coat Of Many Skins: understanding the threefold human spirit in women and in men

In this lovely old fairy tale, the storyline is about a maiden, who undergoes various challenges before she can marry a prince. She has to create three distinct dresses in the process, before successfully encountering the prince. Rudolf Steiner explains that in these European tales, a feminine figure represents the soul, and a masculine figure, represents the ego. Firstly, there has to be a golden dress which represents the Spiritual-self (or Manas) with its golden wisdom. Secondly, there is a silver dress, which represents the Life-spirit (Buddhi); this is because silver symbolises etheric forces as these are influenced by the moon. And thirdly she has to acquire a deep blue starry dress; this image, which is of course directly similar to the night sky, represents the Spirit-human (Atma). The starry quality represents the zodiacal forces, and the underlying structure and subtle energies supporting the physical body derive from the zodiac.

As a further help to understand these wonderful teachings, here is a note from a lecture by Rudolf Steiner on how these spiritual qualities can be subtly present in the two sexes, to the extent that they may have begun to develop in some people.

How the spirit manifests in women and in men:
  in women in men
Spirit-self: in speech in features of the countenance
Life-spirit: in hand gestures in the voice (speech organs)
Spirit-human: over-all body refinement in the hand gestures

(Rudolf Steiner, 1906)

Of course indications of the Spirit-Self will be the easiest for to discern, and those of the Spirit-human will be the most difficult to notice.

For more about the threefold human spirit, see my book: the Rudolf Steiner Handbook by Adrian Anderson (available from Steiner stores, Amazon/Book Depository, etc)

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