Super-sensible knowledge

How does meditation develop your super-sensible knowledge? Good question and the answer is both simpler and more complicated than perhaps you think. Also, this is a good point at which to stress that all I am doing here and in the entire website, is to share my practice and experience. So please read this as if a friend tells you how he/she is getting on with meditation, rather than as a source of authoratative knowledge!

What do you mean with the words 'super-sensible knowledge'? What kind of images do these words evoke for you? Are you thinking of magic, miracles, levitation, auras and other mysteries? And how do you think these are all related to your day to day experiences? To tell you the truth, I am continually learning about these questions myself and have not yet quite figured it all out. But I can also say that I believe that Rudolf Steiner is the only one whose writing, for me, comes closest to offering real answers. However these answers are not simple, fixed, explanations. Steiner provides a process through which to discover the answers for yourself. There probably are other authors, more contemporary, who have a gift similar to Steiner's and who are able to guide their pupils onto the same or a similar path. But I have not yet encountered these.

For example, I love Carolyn Myss' book 'Anatomy of the spirit'. It really captures an incredible amount of insight and maps across three different traditions. But reading this book did not leave me with the urge to read it again, it did not quite feel like a journey, more like a non-fiction book. On the other hand, when I first read through Steiner's 'Philosophy of freedom' I was left with an incredible urge to read it again. I felt as if I had come home, as if here was finally the key to freedom, the key to understanding all of life. I did not actually understand much of the book, but after having re-read it many times, that same feeling remains and has been confirmed. Because every time, I discover new insights, another small step in my understanding, another idea finally truly understood. Steiner's book truly is 'magic', so to speak.

I think that anyone living up in contemporary westernised culture, dominated by materialism and scientific thinking, ought to engage in some depth with this book and really try to digest it. Steiner unpacks in great detail how we, as human beings, stand in the world, what and how we can know and how, as essentially spiritual beings, we may evolve individually towards freedom. It is powerful stuff. If you would like to read a little bit more about my insight into this remarkeable book, see my 'Key to life'.

So what has all this to do with super-sensible knowledge? It has everything to do with it, because Steiner's book clarifies exactly what such knowledge is and how it can be achieved. He shows and helps us to experience that it is through our capacity to think that we can enter the 'higher worlds'. But what thinking is and can be is the first topic of his book, so please realise that he does not mean intellectual, abstract thinking. It is a heart thinking, a feeling thinking or thinking feeling that forms the basis of the ability to gain super-sensible knowledge. And this most certainly can be developed through regular meditation.

As I have said elsewhere on this site, simply deciding to meditate (and then doing it) is a crucial first step towards freedom and super-sensible knowledge. It is an act of freedom. And in meditating we engage in depth with the object of our meditation. For example, becoming aware of our breathing and observing it for a while, we use both our feeling of the breath and our thinking in the sense of identifying it, recognising it.

Yet immediately questions about where the breath begins and ends may emerge. What is breathing? Who does the breathing? And so on. These are already super-sensible questions. You cannot observe your breathing in this way just through the sense organs. Your feeling and thinking are involved. so you can begin to see why these are both so important in the development of super-sensible knowledge. This kind of knowledge is really not all that far removed from us, in fact in some ways it stands much much closer to us than we think, but it is mostly transparent. We look at the world through a super-sensible organism of the Self, but being not yet sufficiently self-aware, we complete miss this and take the material world as an independent, dissociated world of facts and things.
Enough said. So no fixed answers, yet it is simple.

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