Thursday, December 1, 2022
Home Lifestyle Life The rediscovery of our lost soul. Hans Stolp

The rediscovery of our lost soul. Hans Stolp

An increasing focus on our body.

plastic surgeryIt’s obvious to everyone that we have a (physical) body. We find it so common that we have to maintain and care for that body that we usually don’t even think about it. We eat a few times every day to nourish our bodies, we sleep at night to give our bodies a rest and many do sports to keep their bodies supple and vital.

When our body is sick, we go to the doctor for healing, and when that body gets older and doesn’t look so radiantly young, more and more people go to a plastic surgeon or a beautician.
If you look around on the internet for a while, you will come across all kinds of things in the field of body care.

You come across texts like this in all kinds of variations: During busy, hectic and stressful periods, our body has to endure a lot. Give it a little extra attention and you’ll see it double and repay itself with glowing health.

When we ask ourselves where this great attention to the body comes from, we can observe something very striking.

If we look back to the years behind us, we see that people in the past paid much less attention to their bodies. Only in recent decades have we started to receive more and more, yes, noticeably more care and attention for our bodies. Our body is ‘in’.

In all kinds of commercials on the TV we are touted resources that do our body good and prevent it from decay as much as possible. Powders and pills, ointments, medicines and botox: business people achieve millions in turnover in this area. And so the question arises: how come we got so much more attention for the physical in such a short time?

Egyptian culture mirrored:

mummyThis increasing attention to the physical body is reminiscent of a time and a culture that are far behind us, but in which there was also such a strong focus on the body: the Egyptian culture. That culture (or the Egyptian epoch) is usually said to last from 2907 BC to 747 BC.

In Egypt too much attention was paid to the body, but not so much to the living body, but especially to the dead body. After all, the Egyptians are known for the mummies: their art of treating and preserving the dead body in such a way that it could continue to exist for centuries.

There are embalmed mummies from that time in all kinds of museums all over the world, which are thousands of years old!
It is also remarkable that we have never wondered whether keeping such an embalmed body for centuries might have a negative influence on the further life path of the soul that once inhabited that body…. Earlier cultures did not know the practice of embalming.

In the ancient Indian culture and in the original Persian culture there was a strong realization that it was best to burn the dead body, because then the soul could move freely (because freed from the physical body) on its journey through the spiritual worlds.

But in Egypt this self-evident knowledge (after all, it was not a belief, but a perceiving knowledge) had slowly faded and death became a question mark for man. The view of life on the other side of death had become hazy, foggy, and obscure. From 3000 BC. Kali Yuga had entered the dark age in which the spiritual world was increasingly closed.

Only initiates could observe something. That mummification had major consequences: the soul kept coming back to look at its (mummified) body, admire it and make preparations to get exactly such a body the next time.

Since that Egyptian experience, we have developed a stronger interest in our physical body. After all, many of us have gone through an Egyptian incarnation and have taken that stronger interest in the body from that life (and especially from the life after death in that incarnation).

And in addition to this attention for the physical, from that time we have included a highly developed matter, or a highly developed materialism: that developed naturally out of that fascination for the dead body. Through the matter of the physical body we became fixed on all matter!

The seven post-Atlantean epochs:

The interesting thing now is that our time, the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, mirrors the third, or Egyptian epoch: our time is in a way a repetition of the Egyptian epoch. Indeed, of the many series of seven that we find in esoteric history, the fourth (epoch, culture, period, etc.) is always the great turning point. Then the first three are repeated at a higher level.

In concrete terms, it looks like this: There are seven post-Atlantean epochs:

– 1 the Old Indian epoch (about 7000 BC to about 5000 BC)
– 2 the Old Persian epoch (about 5000 BC. to about 3000 BC)
– 3 the Egyptian-Chaldean period (2907 BC to 747 BC)
– 4 the Greco-Roman epoch (747 BC to AD 1413)
– 5 the present, post-Atlantean epoch (1413 AD to AD 3573)
– 6 the 6th post-Atlantic epoch and
– 7 the 7th post-Atlantean epoch.

As mentioned, the fourth epoch (the Greco-Roman epoch) is the great turning point.
It is therefore the period in which Jesus the Christ was born.

The fifth, or the present epoch, is a repetition of the third (ie the Egyptian) on a different, higher level. The sixth epoch is then a higher-level repetition of the second, and the seventh epoch a higher-level repetition of the first epoch.

All this means that in our time we relive the experiences of the Egyptian epoch in a different, higher way. In other words: the spiritual experiences we had in those Egyptian incarnation(s) come to life in a new way in our current incarnation.

It is therefore very understandable that in our time we can observe an increasing attention for the physical body – and therefore for all matter. Only the concern that the Egyptian had for the dead body has now been transformed into a concern for the living body.

Now it also becomes understandable why Egyptian culture is so popular in our time (and not, for example, the original Persian culture, which was just as important for the spiritual development of man). It is Rudolf Steiner in particular who told that the memory of mummification and its consequences: the permanent attention before and focus on the physical body after death, has laid the foundation for current materialistic thinking.

Seen from this point of view, then, both present-day materialism and this remarkably great attention to the corporeal are perfectly understandable. Thus the Egyptian epoch extends into our time.
(Egyptian Myths and Mysteries, Rudolf Steiner – Edition Christofoor 2007)

Nietzsche: Man is only a body:

the apostle Paul
According to the apostle Paul, every person has a body, a soul and a spirit.

At the same time as the increasing attention for the physical body, we see that in our time the attention for the soul, or for our inner life, disappears more and more.
The word ‘soul’ has already become something vague for many, which they doubt that we humans possess. That is why I immediately ‘translate’ the word ‘soul’ with the expression ‘inner life’: many more people can already imagine something with that. Incidentally, it

was the philosopher Nietzsche (1844-1900) who expressed the way of life of his time (and especially of the time to come) by stating that we humans only have a body and no soul. At most, he said, our body has some soul aspects. But that’s all. Body, he wrote, I am wholly and nothing more; and soul is but a word for something on the body.

That in addition to a body and a soul man also has a mind was an impossible concept for Nietzsche. You may therefore see him as someone who draws the consequences of an age-long development, in which man first lost the spirit, then the soul, and thus was more and more reduced to just a body.

To summarize this development, I can put it this way:
– According to the Apostle Paul, every person has a body, a soul and a spirit.
– At the Council of Constantinople in 869, however, it was pronounced by the Church Fathers that man consists only of a body and a soul; the ghost was thus deleted.

Thus the threefoldness of the body, as Paul still knew and described it, was reduced to a duality. Student — In the nineteenth century it was then Nietzsche who pronounced that man has only a body; at most, according to him, you can say that this body possesses a few soul qualities; thus Nietzsche reduced man to a being that had only a body.

Now Nietzsche was more than a philosopher: you can probably call him a seer who sensed certain future developments and managed to capture them in words.

Because what he foresaw then has only really become the actual average experience of most people in our time. For more and more people the word soul is something strange, where they can no longer imagine anything. They see man above all (and often only as a body. That is why the fear of death has become so great for many: if you only have a body and no soul, what is left when you die? Nothing .

Seen from this perspective, death must mean the final end of man. And that is exactly how many people in our time have come to view life and death. What Nietzsche wrote more than a hundred years ago has now become commonplace.

Taking care of our soul ourselves:

Until now, our souls (that is, our inner, spiritual life) have been mainly guarded and cared for by the church. Clergy were (and are) above all soul shepherds. I myself always call myself ‘pastor’ and not a preacher or pastor. Because the word pastor means ‘shepherd’, or ‘soul shepherd’ and that is what I feel most of all.

But in our day we see how the institutional church is rapidly losing authority. The sex scandals in the Catholic Church are yet another blow to the church: many people can no longer look at a priest without immediately thinking about those scandals. In addition, more and more people are saying goodbye to the church, because they can no longer agree with the dogmas and other religious statements of the church.

Moreover, the misogynistic nature of the Catholic Church (women are still not allowed to become priests, let alone bishops or popes) is becoming increasingly difficult to bear. Most likely, the other person will give you a glazed look and wonder if you may have become a little strange. This rapid decline of the church is understandable for all sorts of reasons: if you learn to look inwardly, it turns out to have a deeper meaning.

After all, in this time we must learn to seek the authority within ourselves and not to hand it over to others – and therefore not to clergy. We must learn to be our own priestess or priest, our own pope or popess. We must venture for ourselves to be our own bishop or our own pastor.

And when we have learned to take that step, we must then learn to dig up the inner knowledge in our soul ourselves, under our own spiritual strength, and to learn to trust it. So we go through a process that leads us from ‘outside’ to ‘inside’: instead of receiving directions and guidance from outside,

For example, Catholics used to teach the seven deadly sins in the Church: vanity, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and laziness. By presenting these seven sins to the believers, they naturally learned to think about them and thus work on their souls, or, as we would say today, work on themselves. And that’s essentially how it used to be: almost all people in ancient times belonged to a denomination and there learned to care for their souls in all kinds of different ways.

In this day and age the role of the church is slowly disappearing; therefore we will now have to learn to take responsibility for our soul and take care of it ourselves. But that is still an extremely strange thought for many, especially in a materialistic time, in which fewer and fewer people can imagine anything by the word soul. Tell someone else: we have to take care of our souls ourselves in this time…. Or, we need to find our souls in this time…

It is a sphere of life from which we can recognize how much Nietzsche’s views have become commonplace in our time.

the seven deadly sins
For example, Catholics used to teach the seven deadly sins in the Church: vanity, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and laziness.

The tragic consequences when our souls wither…..

So two important factors determine our spiritual realm in our day. On the one hand, the churches are less and less able to take care of our soul or our inner life. They are rapidly losing their authority and influence. In addition, we find it increasingly difficult to accept cues that come to us from outside. On the other hand, people are less and less aware that they have a soul that needs to be cared for.

As a result, we automatically end up in a spiritual void: a time when our soul languishes, because it does not receive care and sincere attention. The consequences of this are much bigger and more far-reaching than we often realize. That so many people today suffer from depression and deep feelings of loneliness,

The fact that the number of suicides is so high has everything to do with the fact that people can no longer experience the meaning of life and no longer know that we are here on earth to fulfill a life mission and to learn our lessons.

The fact that, according to the latest reports, twice as many children ended up with a psychiatrist in three years, says everything about the meaninglessness of life that so many young people experience.

Only if we manage to find our soul again that takes us away from that atmosphere of meaninglessness, depression and emptiness. After all, the deeper forces that give us insight into the meaning of life slumber in our souls. In our soul slumbers the silent knowing that wants to make us aware that we are on earth to learn love, only love.

In our soul we can find the answer to the question: what is death really? But if we don’t consciously connect with the silent forces of our soul and learn to care for it in a very focused way, we will never get answers and never find those deeper forces that lift us above that sense of meaninglessness and loneliness.

Despondency because of the increasing degradation:

Nowadays more and more people are complaining about the increasing degradation and hardening of our society. People apparently learn to stand up for themselves better, but often forget the respect and loving attention for others, some say.

Others complain about the increasing egoism (of course always the egoism of the other and never of themselves) and the rudeness of people, for example in traffic. Almost everyone has suffered from the aggression of another at one time or another and if you raise this theme in a group, it will not stop for the time being.

Many become somewhat despondent because they no longer know how this development can be reversed or reversed. It seems like a kind of fate that we just have to endure and endure.In fact, it is such a striking development that more and more people are beginning to long for the past, for ‘the good old days’.

Our former Prime Minister Balkenende therefore argued for the restoration of the old, tried-and-tested norms and values. But we can no longer go back: after all, we can no longer be given those norms and values, not even by the church; from now on we will have to dig up those norms and values ​​​​ourselves in our own inner world, in our own soul.
But then this is only possible if we regain an open, sincere and uninhibited attention to our soul and learn to protect and care for it.

In short: the elderly and young people will have to learn how to find their souls and how to take care of it.That, for example, education should help children to become aware of this task

Twice as many children see a psychiatrist in three years

will hopefully be more than clear by now thanks to all of the above!
Education will also have to provide children with techniques and possibilities to be able to consciously and concretely take on this care for their own soul.

Gone are the days when education is all about knowledge. In this day and age it will have to be mainly about the question:

how do you become a good person?
And how do you learn to live with yourself and take good care of your own soul?
We may let them make this discovery: whoever spends enough time on his soul or his inner life will become a happier person; who takes the time for himself, will have more fun in life and who learns to look honestly at himself, will be happier and more relaxed in life.

Caring for our soul:
Just as our body needs daily care, so does our soul.
That means we have to take some time every day for our soul.
In concrete terms, this assignment means:

– Take fifteen minutes every day – as much as possible at a fixed time – to reflect on yourself and during that time make yourself aware of your own feelings.
Dare to face those feelings honestly, even if they are not ‘beautiful’ or ‘nice’: your fears, your disappointments, your sadness or your anger. Let them flow through you in peace and ask yourself what message those feelings have for you.

– Then dwell on your thoughts during that time; what do your thoughts look like? Are they anxious, judgmental, chaotic and can you keep control of your thoughts or are you the unwilling victim of thoughts that are constantly flying in all directions? If the latter is the case, look for exercises to learn to control your thinking a bit more!

– During that time, also reflect on the powers of your will, or your willpower: are you able to put into action what you actually want, or are you mainly (and therefore too much) guided by what others think? you expect? If the latter is the case, then ask yourself how you can learn to stay with yourself a little better and to self-consciously go for what you deeply want to achieve in this life.

In addition to these meditations, you can also take some time for prayer.
A prayer for your loved one, but also for yourself. And also a prayer for the people you deal with on a daily basis and for the people you actually don’t like.

Try to become so quiet inwardly that you can actually feel that your prayers reach higher worlds. Such a prayer often gives yourself a sense of peace.

take time for prayer.
take time for prayer?


The silent benefits of these exercises:
Of course, the above directions are just a start. But whoever starts with that and has sufficient discipline to repeat these exercises daily with a lot of trial and error, will gradually discover other and more far-reaching exercises.

Because once you start dedicating yourself to the care of your own soul, you become increasingly enthusiastic about the effect of these exercises on daily life (but only if you have enough patience and perseverance!)
It gives you more inner peace, more self-confidence and more trust – in other people and in God!

It is this gain that leads us to continue on this path and try more far-reaching exercises. In this way – thanks to these exercises – we become a person who takes seriously the great task of our time: not to leave the care of our soul to others, but to take it upon ourselves and thus become one of the most important life tasks of this incarnation. to fulfill!


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