Who did it? Less Importance..

In the Middle Ages it would have been impossible to say who had built many of the cathedrals or painted many of the pictures. […]

It is only in our epoch of civilization that people have begun to attach such value to the human name; in earlier epochs, more spiritual than our own, the individual name was of less importance. Spirituality in those days was directed to reality; whereas our epoch adheres to the delusion of thinking that what is a mere concern of the moment should be preserved. […]

Nobody knows who wrote the work entitled Theologica Deutsch. On the outside, there are only the words: The man from Frankfurt. He, therefore, was one who took care that his very name should be unknown. He worked in such a way that he merely added something to the world without asking for honor or for the preservation of his name.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 93 – The Work of Secret Societies in the World – Berlin, December 23, 1904

https://rudolfsteinerquotes.wordpress.com/2021/04/19/who-did-it-is-of-less-importance/

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Lack of humility is due to nothing else than lack of knowledge

Lack of humility is due to nothing else than lack of knowledge. A penetrating, comprehensive knowledge of man in his connection with the events of the world and of history will certainly not lead to excessive self-esteem; far rather it will lead the human being to look at himself objectively. It is precisely when a man does not know himself that there rise up in him those feelings which have their source in the unknown regions of his being. Instinctive, emotional impulses make themselves felt. And it is these instinctive, emotional impulses, rooted as they are in the subconscious, that make for arrogance and pride.

Source: Rudolf Steiner – GA 236 – Karmic Relationships: Esoteric Studies – Volume II – Dornach, 23rd April 1924

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The Formation of a Science of World-Economics~World Economy

World Economy

The Formation of a Science of World-Economics

by: Rudolf Steiner

 

Fourteen lectures are given in Dornach,
24th July to 6th August 1922
Translated by A. O. Barfield and T. Gordon-Jones Bn 340, GA 340

These lectures provide a foundation for a completely new approach to the science of economics. Steiner does not give abstract theories but bases his ideas on the dynamics inherent in the phenomena themselves. A mobile, flexible quality of thinking is required to enter into this radically different approach to such things as capital, labor, and natural resources, and the qualitative differences between purchase, loan, and gift money. The direction Steiner indicated in these lectures is the inspiration for a number of banking and financial initiatives now active all over the world.

These Economic Course lectures are the entire contents of the lecture series entitled, World Economy, published in German as, Nationaloekonomischer Kurs. Aufgaben einer neuen Wirtschaftswissenschaft, Band I. They were translation by Owen Barfield and T. Gordon-Jones.

This volume is presented here with the kind permission of the Rudolf Steiner Nachlassverwaltung, Dornach, Switzerland. From Bn 340, GA 340.

 

I Lecture I Dornach 24th July, 1922
II Lecture II Dornach 25th July, 1922
III Lecture III Dornach 26th July, 1922
IV Lecture IV Dornach 27th July, 1922
V Lecture V Dornach 28th July, 1922
VI Lecture VI Dornach 29th July, 1922
VII Lecture VII Dornach 30th July, 1922
VIII Lecture VIII Dornach 31st July, 1922
IX Lecture IX Dornach 1st August, 1922
X Lecture X Dornach 2nd August, 1922
XI Lecture XI Dornach 3rd August, 1922
XII Lecture XII Dornach 4th August, 1922
XIII Lecture XIII Dornach 5th August, 1922
XIV Lecture XIV

See All Lectures on the Link: https://wn.rsarchive.org/SocialIssues/GA340/English/RSP1972/WldEco_index.html?fbclid=IwAR3WJw6wyhUGhh4b9SZ4TVZw7XVUVgO4cnt9A563xSoVxVNhtDq7lMsAvD4

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Sense of Thought

Steiner’s twelve senses can be grouped into three categories. He distinguished senses which relate to the perception of:
• your body: the senses of touch, of life, of movement, of balance
• the external world: smell, taste, sight, temperature
• the immaterial, spiritual world: hearing, speech, thought, ego

Will, feeling, thought
• The first four senses, the lowest, are called physical senses, or senses of the will because they are used to perceive one’s own body.
• The middle four senses are the senses of feeling. Observations made with these senses arouse feelings. These senses are also reflected in our language: a tastefully furnished house, a sourpuss, hard to swallow, heart-warming, cold thought.
• The last four senses, the highest, focus particularly on the other. These are the spiritual or knowledge senses and they are used in the observation of other people.

Your sense of thought observes the thoughts of others. Specifically, you
observe the views, considerations, and questions that others have, and thus
get an idea of what they are thinking. You must distinguish between the sound of a word and its meaning. Next to the tonal shape of the word, words have meaning. In order to understand what someone is saying, you must know the denotative meaning of the words and be able to distill the coherent thought from the arrangement of the words.
When you focus on someone’s way of speaking, that is on the phonemic image, the substance of what they are saying will pass you by. But when you concentrate on the substance, you do not hear the way in which the message is conveyed. This is most apparent when you hear a language being spoken that you do not understand. You can pick up certain tones, but you do not have the faintest idea of what is being said. Clearly, your sense of speech and sense of thought perceive different complementary aspects of human communication.
Imagery is a descriptive tool. For example, you could describe how a woodpecker hammers an oak tree. This would immediately raise images of oak trees and woodpeckers in the listeners’ minds. They might
even hear in their minds the drumming sound of the woodpecker. Their imaginations color the story as you tell it to them. Everyone will have their own specific images, based on their own personal experiences and past observations. But it is also possible to discourse on abstract patterns of thought, such as why the sum of the angles of a triangle must always add up to 180o. When you listen to an abstract discourse, you must concentrate on
the other’s train of thought, so that you do not lose their line of reasoning. You must hold back your own thoughts and images and give yourself over to the other person’s thoughts. When you fail to follow the story, you return to your own thoughts. Focused attention, in short, is necessary to observe another’s thoughts, and you can only focus your attention if the words or concepts that you hear are familiar to you. The body of concepts that you build up over time is therefore essential to understanding someone else’s line of thought. This body of concept forms the organ of observation that is referred to as your sense of thought. Your sense of thought distinguishes between your own and another’s thoughts. The sense of thought is very important in people’s spiritual development, as thought enables them to learn new concepts. New concepts, in turn, broaden our mental horizons and encourage us to integrate them in our own way. It is not easy to understand, absorb and integrate new concepts. The road to truth is a painful one.
The sense of thought uses that part of the life sense that is not focused on the body but on the mind. The sense of life observes processes in your physical body and the sense of thought observes mental processes in your immaterial body. This is logical, as the life processes are directed by the vital being, and thought takes place in the immaterial part of the vital being. Soesman wrote that the sense of thought is better developed when the sense of life has been more active in someone’s childhood, i.e. when the person learned as a child that wishes are not always fulfilled and also learned to endure pain.
The sense of thought can also be used to determine which thoughts or ideas are at the root of a phenomenon. In this case, you would observe the phenomenon with your sense of thought, in order to find your way around it and find out what has shaped it.

Exercises
Tell a story with a lot of imagery, such as a fairytale. Then ask the listeners to describe what they were thinking and what happened inside them as they were listening. Now hold an abstract discourse on, for example, a mathematical or philosophical matter. Ask your listeners the same
questions as before. In a group discussion, try to uncover how the listeners’ activity differed. Ask someone to tell an evocative story without forming any mental images. In other words, the storyteller must tell the story as if it was an abstract discourse. Then another story is told, for which the speaker did create her own images. As a listener, what differences did you observe?

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Sense of Ego

Steiner’s twelve senses can be grouped into three categories. He distinguished senses which relate to the perception of:
• your body: the senses of touch, of life, of movement, of balance
• the external world: smell, taste, sight, temperature
• the immaterial, spiritual world: hearing, speech, thought, ego

Will, feeling, thought
• The first four senses, the lowest, are called physical senses, or senses of the will because they are used to perceive one’s own body.
• The middle four senses are the senses of feeling. Observations made with these senses arouse feelings. These senses are also reflected in our language: a tastefully furnished house, a sourpuss, hard to swallow, heart-warming, cold thought.
• The last four senses, the highest, focus particularly on the other. These are the spiritual or knowledge senses and they are used in the observation of other people.

The last sense is the sense of ego with which you observe the other’s
personality or individuality. This sense needs to be activated, because in
practice — with people tending to be distracted by their own and others’
habits and emotions — the sense of ego is barely used.
Steiner described the observation of someone’s personality as follows. You
spend some time observing the other so that you have an impression of
him. This impression imposes on your inner being, a feeling that resembles
an assault. Your response is to retaliate, and you throw the other out of your
inner being. This causes your aggression to diminish so that you can allow the other in again. Attraction and repellence, sympathy, and antipathy alternate.
What this means, is that if you want to get to know someone’s personality, you must allow him into your inner being. But you can only tolerate this intrusion for a little while. Before long you need to have your inner being to yourself again, and so you throw the other out. This process can be repeated.
The ego-sense is used in various ways: You can observe someone’s individuality most directly in their eyes. The eyes give you an unfettered view
of the other’s ego. Unless you are in love with that person, you can only do this for a short while before you start feeling uncomfortable. When you look into someone’s eyes and encounter them, something gets sent back to you. There is resistance as you have entered the other’s private space. You cannot look into both of someone’s eyes with your own two eyes, you have to look with alternate eyes. Generally, you will have a preference for one eye, as the other makes you feel uncertain. You will probably experience little trouble in looking children (up to about twelve years of age) in the eyes for a longer period of time, as their return gaze is a soft one. The same applies to the return gaze of animals. The difference between humans and animals can also be experienced in this way.
The handshake is also an expression of someone’s personality and enables the mutual observation of each other’s egos. As with eye contact, you observe the other intensely when you shake their hand. This intensity occurs in the encounter of two individuals. In both cases, you can hold out for a while, but then you either need to draw away or vary the contact by alternating between focusing and retreating. You also observe someone’s personality by their posture and body movements. You can observe how the forces of personality shape the body and how the body is used. By absorbing someone’s posture and movements you perceive how the other’s ego functions in their body. Important physical aspects to note are the other’s balance (are they standing straight or not), the way the other stands on the ground (are they stand on the surface, are they hovering above it or are they too deeply rooted, and the way the other walks. When you listen to someone, you also observe something of the individual. You can tell whether someone is telling something that comes from within, or whether they are relating something that has not been
internalized. The individual line of thought also reveals the other’s personality, especially if you follow that line of thought from a distance, with a positive critical attitude. You observe these thoughts with your sense of thought; the individual aspect of the thoughts are perceived by the sense of ego.
The meaning conveyed by spoken words depends on who is talking. Two people can say the same words but mean different things. If two good friends of yours both say “I’ll do it,” then in one case you’ll interpret it as “he will try to get around to it” and in the other case, you will be able to depend on her to
do it. Thus you use observations of the individual to interpret what they say. In the same vein, you can observe the other’s personality in their voice.
The ego-sense functions similarly to the sense of touch: you touch the other and let the other touch you, you absorb the other. That is why you feel uneasy when eye contact or a handshake lasts too long, or if you are absorbed in the other’s thoughts for too long. Your sense of ego uses your whole body and not
just the outside, like the sense of touch. If you do not allow the other to enter your inner being, you will not observe their individuality. It is essential to take a back seat for a while in order to make the observation of the other’s ego possible. The individual can also be observed in animals, plants, events, and situations. Obviously, the individual cannot be observed as directly as with people, but it is a skill that you can learn.

Exercises
Form pairs and take turns looking into each other’s eyes. Describe what you observe and what you experience. Ask a third person to observe the movements of both pairs of eyes, and to describe his own observations.
Form pairs and shake each other by the hand. Describe what you observe and what you experience.
Study the posture of a number of people. Describe it, and try to draw careful conclusions about your observations. Use the observations in the text.
Try to remember situations in which you observed someone’s personality by their thoughts, i.e. how they related a story, or by the connotative meaning of what they say.

73 Rudolf Steiner: Quotes ideas | rudolf steiner, steiner, quotes

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Sense of Speech/Words

Steiner’s twelve senses can be grouped into three categories. He distinguished senses which relate to the perception of:
• your body: the senses of touch, of life, of movement, of balance
• the external world: smell, taste, sight, temperature
• the immaterial, spiritual world: hearing, speech, thought, ego

Will, feeling, thought
• The first four senses, the lowest, are called physical senses, or senses of the will because they are used to perceive one’s own body.
• The middle four senses are the senses of feeling. Observations made with these senses arouse feelings. These senses are also reflected in our language: a tastefully furnished house, a sourpuss, hard to swallow, heart-warming, cold thought.
• The last four senses, the highest, focus particularly on the other. These are the spiritual or knowledge senses and they are used in the observation of other people.

Sense of speech or words
The senses of speech thought and ego was actually the first senses identified by Rudolf Steiner. These three senses are referred to as the spiritual senses because they are used in the observation of human characteristics: the spoken words, thoughts, and individuality of others.
The first four senses focus on one’s own body, the next five focus on the
external world and can be used in any situation. The last three senses,
discussed from here on, are most useful in having their meaning especially
in the interaction between people.
There is a difference between the perception of sound and music, and the perception of speech. When listening to human speech, you perceive the vowels and consonants which make up all words. Your ears perceive both the acoustic and the musical aspects of language, but not the essence, or meaning of speech. The actual words are perceived by another sense that we refer to as the sense of speech.
When you meet someone, their posture and facial expression, the look in their eyes, the gestures of their hands and body, and the sound of their voice all reveal information about their inner state and character. By listening to the words people say, you can observe their thoughts, opinions, judgments, experiences, and personality. When listening to someone speak, the first thing you perceive is not what is being said, but the rhythm and intonation. Rhythm and intonation – reveal agreement or rejection, scorn or admiration, good or bad intentions, and so on. You hear more than just the meaning of the words. Brief reactions can be interpreted quite accurately on the basis of context and – nuances of tone alone. You can perceive how the speaker intended to convey the message, and in doing so you have observed something about the
speaker’s inner being. Letters, words and stories have a different quality to tones and melodies. Words harbour connotations, or gestures, that can be perceived. Quick has a different gesture to fast, sluggish is not the same as slow.
The basic meaning might be the same, but the letters that make up the word make a different gesture. A word is in effect a phonemic image of a series of letters. Observation of the phonemic image is not the same as hearing. Word eurhythmics can help visualize the gestures of words, as each speech sound and letter has its own gesture. That is why word eurhythmy is often called visual speech.
The phonemic image is rarely distinguished from sound because spoken language is heard by the ears, just like all other sounds. But the ears only register the sounds. This is demonstrated by the following phenomenon which occurs regardless of whether you are speaking or listening. In hearing or making speech sounds, your body is constantly making tiny, almost imperceptible movements. These unconscious micro-movements are made by different parts of your body, from your head to your toes, and are specific
for each letter. These movements have been recorded by high-speed photography of people talking.
Within 50 milliseconds (0.005 second), the listener starts making the same micro-movements as the speaker. The speaker makes these micro-movements because he is listening to his own words. When the
phonetic W is spoken or heard, for example, almost imperceptible rapid muscle activity can be registered on the face (eyes, eyebrows, mouth), chest, right shoulder, elbow, right wrist and fingers. The next letter will be accompanied by different micro-movements. The same letter provokes the same movements in different people, independent of culture. Babies make these micro-movements in response to a speech from the day they are born. In short, this is a universal phenomenon. Rapid micro-movements are related to hearing the language. You might call them phonemic gestures.
If these micro-movements were not very fleeting, you would become absorbed by the movements associated with the sounds and forget to listen. The movements, however, are only bursts of nerve action and never develop into full-blown movements, so that you do experience the sound movements but do not become absorbed by them.
Rudolf Steiner pointed out that our understanding of language is made possible by the fact that we have a musculoskeletal system. Our flesh-and-bones body is the sensory organ for words. Speech is perceived with the ears. Nerves travel from the organ of speech down the spinal cord and branch out to all the muscles in the body. This is why you make unconscious micro-movements in response to speech sounds, and why you physically experience the gestures of sounds. In other words, language is not heard just by your ear, it is heard by your whole muscular system. Together, these form the sense of speech. The sense of speech can interpret more than just the spoken word. You also observe visible gestures, such as hand signals and body language. When you observe body language or facial expressions, your muscles
also respond by mimicking these movements, albeit so minimally and briefly that this is not seen.
Your sense of speech can be used to understand the characteristic gestures and body language of other mammals. In that case, your sense of speech observes the animal’s posture and movements. The sense of speech observes both words and gestures.

Exercises
Listen closely to someone. Note what you hear in their voice: the substance of what they are saying, the connotations, pitch, and so on. Describe as many aspects as possible. Now try to observe without paying attention to the denotative meaning of the words. What do you now hear in their
voice? (It is not easy to ignore the meaning. You could try listening to a language that you do not understand. What gestures do you observe in that language?) Describe the difference between a singing bird and a piece of music, or more generally the difference between an animal sound and a natural sound or music.
Listen to the difference between a tune played on a flute or recorder, and the tune when you whistle it yourself. Use word eurhythmics to make the gestures of letters and words visible. Try to find out whether the rhythmic gesture agrees with your own experience of a letter or word.

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shooting off at the mouth | Abiding Life Counseling and Coaching

Sense of Hearing

Steiner’s twelve senses can be grouped into three categories. He distinguished senses which relate to the perception of:
• your body: the senses of touch, of life, of movement, of balance
• the external world: smell, taste, sight, temperature
• the immaterial, spiritual world: hearing, speech, thought, ego

Will, feeling, thought
• The first four senses, the lowest, are called physical senses, or senses of the will because they are used to perceive one’s own body.
• The middle four senses are the senses of feeling. Observations made with these senses arouse feelings. These senses are also reflected in our language: a tastefully furnished house, a sourpuss, hard to swallow, heart-warming, cold thought.
• The last four senses, the highest, focus particularly on the other. These are the spiritual or knowledge senses and they are used in the observation of other people.

Your ears pick up your own sounds and those made by others, human or
animal. Unlike your eyes, your ears are positioned at the side of your head.
Your ears are open to sounds from your entire surroundings; it is not necessary to position the ears directly in front of a sound. You cannot close
your ears so that you are connected with the world of sound during all your
waking hours. You cannot help but hear them.
Listening – conscious hearing – requires you to be quiet. You must keep still
yourself and take a back seat, as it were. Listening is a social activity
focused on others, but it is also an internal activity. How often did your teacher say ‘sit still and listen carefully’?
Animals can turn their ears towards a source of the sound. Humans do not have the ability to ‘see’ with their ears. Animals hear well, but they do not listen, as they cannot step out of themselves and become silent.
The hearing organ can be divided into three parts. The external ear, consisting of the concha and the ear canal, captures sounds. The eardrum is situated at the end of the ear canal. The middle ear carries the sound further. The middle ear is made up of the tympanum which in turn contains the three ossicle bones (malleus, incus, and stapes), and the Eustachian tube which connects the tympanum with the throat. The Eustachian tube stays open when you swallow so that constant pressure is maintained on both sides of the tympanic membrane. The ossicle bones pick up vibrations in the air and pass these on from the tympanic membrane to the inner ear. The inner ear is located in the temporal bone and consists of a labyrinth, a cavity filled with fluid that is
made up of the vestibule, cochlea, and three semi-circular canals which are used to maintain balance. The cochlea is the actual hearing organ, where vibrations of the air are transformed back into sounds.
You can distinguish three types of sounds. First, there are the common, everyday sounds such as the rustling of leaves, the wind howling around the house, babbling water, and all sorts of mechanical noises such as cars, creaking doors, and so on. The second type of sound is music, which is made up of sounds and tones. The third type of sound is human speech.
You can observe three aspects of every sound, regardless of which type it is: the volume, the pitch and the tone colour. You can also observe the distance to the source of the sound since the sound does not reach both ears simultaneously. The second ear will hear the sound 0.001 second later so that you can estimate where the sound originated. Accurately assessing the distance and direction of a sound is a matter of experience.
Hearing declines with age, but to compensate we are born with a very wide range of hearing. Children can hear 11 octaves, and even in old age, you can still hear 10 octaves. Looking at an object gives you an idea of its exterior. Listening to an object gives you an idea of what is within. Often, for example, it is difficult to distinguish a glass pane from a plastic one by sight alone. If
you tap the pane, however, the sound will tell you which it is right away. You can also hear if a plate or a bell is cracked, even if you cannot see the damage. Listening to people can also reveal information about their inner lives. People might look smart, but if they feel bad inside it is immediately apparent in their
voice. Someone’s intonation betrays whether they are sad, happy, or excited.
The resonation of sound by objects is always the sum of its parts, of substance, and shape.
In order to resonate, objects must be solid and free-standing. A free-standing copper bell rings, but a bell standing on the ground is like a soft chunk of clay: it makes no sound. Sound is considered an unearthly (immaterial) phenomenon.
We have a very fine perception of music and sound, and we can feel intimately connected with tones and melodies. High tones are generally perceived as clear, light, sharp and distinct, while low tones are perceived as dark, full, warm, big and less distinct. A final point of interest is the relationship between sight and hearing. When you look at something, you can hear it better. This does not only apply to speech, but also to music. If you were to listen to a
philharmonic symphony and keep your eyes on the oboe, you would hear that instrument more clearly than the others. If you then switch your gaze to the clarinet, you would hear it more clearly, and so on.

Exercises
Stand somewhere, indoors or out, and describe all the sounds you hear. What feelings do the sounds evoke? You can do this exercise with your eyes open or blindfold. Does it make a difference in what you experience?
This is an exercise for two people, one of whom is blindfold. Stand 5 meters apart. The person who is not blindfold must whisper something, articulating well, and the blindfolded person must repeat what the other whispered. Then remove the blindfold, so that the listener can see the speaker. Again, the
listener must repeat what the speaker whispered. What is the result? What was the listener’s experience?
This exercise is for a group. One person sits behind a sheet or screen. Out of sight of the other subjects, this person makes sounds using various objects. For example, silver, lead, iron, and wooden spoons can be used to tap objects such as a plate, a cracked plate, a glass, a porcelain cup, a plastic beaker, a free-standing bell, a bell on a table, a small bell, and so on. The rest of the group must try to identify the objects by the sounds.

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How to Manipulate Brain Waves for a Better Mental State — The Nexus

Sense of Sight

Steiner’s twelve senses can be grouped into three categories. He distinguished senses which relate to the perception of:
• your body: the senses of touch, of life, of movement, of balance
• the external world: smell, taste, sight, temperature
• the immaterial, spiritual world: hearing, speech, thought, ego

Will, feeling, thought
• The first four senses, the lowest, are called physical senses, or senses of the will because they are used to perceive one’s own body.
• The middle four senses are the senses of feeling. Observations made with these senses arouse feelings. These senses are also reflected in our language: a tastefully furnished house, a sourpuss, hard to swallow, heart-warming, cold thought.
• The last four senses, the highest, focus particularly on the other. These are the spiritual or knowledge senses and they are used in the observation of other people.

Your eyes are your most important sensory organ. They are the only organs
located visibly on your body’s surface. “Seeing” is often used synonymously
for “observing” or “understanding”. Yet in actual fact, your eyes only see
colours and light and dark. You can see shapes, motion and proportions
because your eyes move and work together with the senses of movement
and balance. It is easier to block visual stimuli than smells or tastes. There is a distance between you and what you see and thus you observe more consciously. Of all your senses, sight contributes most to your awareness. You are an organism with conscious thought, which is intricately involved with the act of seeing. This also means that it is easier to be mistaken about
what you see than what you smell, for example. Sometimes, your thoughts determine what you see. You can experience this in two of the exercises, below. The sense of sight is the most popular sense for scientific observation. Everything is expressed visually, often in numbers, because the eyes are supposed more reliable than other, ‘more primitive’ senses such as
smell and taste. The eyes are considered to be objective.
The eye is a transparent oval ball into which light enters. Light rays first pass through the cornea and then through the pupil. The pupil detracts and expands, depending on how little or how much light there is. The pupil is located in the centre of the iris. After passing through the pupil, the light is
concentrated by the lens, it passes through the eyeball and falls onto the retina. The retina has conical and rod-shaped receptors. The eyeball is made up of a transparent, colourless, jellylike substance containing 99% water. The tissue of the cornea has a somewhat crystalloid structure. The rod-shaped photo-receptors on the retina (pars optical) can sense light and dark, while the conical-shaped receptors (pars caeca) are sensitive to colours.
The pars optical adapt very well to changes in the degree of light, as you will have experienced on entering a darkened room. First, you see nothing, but after a while, you can see quite a lot and find your way around. You cannot see the colours in the dark. The yellow spot is the most sensitive part of the retina
and is made up solely of pars caeca. The place where the bundled optical nerve leaves the eye is called the blind spot, as the eye has no receptors to register anything here.

Most people can see about 150 colours, though some can see more. We can perceive the subtlest differences in the colour green. Colours can affect your mood. Red makes people active. It is perceived as being lively and restless and boosts strength and energy. Orange makes people enthusiastic, while yellow
radiates and gives a sense of cheer. Green is restful and balanced. Blue is a cool colour and stimulates thought. White is the reflection of the spirit; it gives us a sense of purity and symbolises chastity. Black, on the other hand, evokes human sorrow. Goethe discovered that colours are a result of the play between light and dark. You see red, orange and yellow when you look out of the dark at something light, the sunset for instance. Blue and violet
predominate when you look from the light at something dark. That is why the sky is blue: it is light here on earth, but black in space.
Goethe put it this way: light’s victory over darkness results in active colours (red, orange and yellow), while the victory of darkness over light brings out passive colours (blue, indigo and violet). You can verify this by looking at a rainbow. The sky is always darker at the top of the rainbow than at the bottom, and the red is always on the top where it is darker, and the violet on the bottom, where it is lighter. You can find evidence for this rule in brown eyes, where the iris is red nearest the pupil and green or bluish nearest the
white of the eye.
Colours are arranged on a colour wheel in a succession of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, then back to red and so on. Only colour can be arranged in this type of wheel, it does not work with other observations.
When you stare at a colour intensely for a while and then look away, you will see an after-image, an image whose colour is the opposite, or the complement (on the colour wheel), of the original. For example, if you stare at a violet-red object for a minute, you will see an after-image made up of green
and blue since green complements violet and blue complements red. During prolonged exposure to a bright colour, the conical receptors on the retina that perceive the colour become desensitised. The negative after-image occurs during the recovery of the desensitised retina. The colour of the after-image is
not a physical, material colour; rather, it has a lingering, unearthly and transparent quality. You could describe it as an etheric colour.
The effect of colours on mood has been demonstrated effectively in scientific experiments such as the following. The subjects in this experiment did not know what the purpose of the experiment was. One half of the group was told to paint a certain picture with red paint, while the other half was told to paint the same picture with blue paint. After fifteen minutes of painting, the group using red paint was louder and more restless than the group using blue paint. This experiment showed how mood was affected by these colours.
Another experiment was carried out in a factory. One room in the factory was painted in the usual colours and the other in soft, human tones. Before long, workers in the second room had achieved a 15% higher production rate and taken 30% less sick leave than those in the first room.

Exercises
Observe the two objects below. What do you see? What else can you see? Can you change your focus from one observation to the other? Then what do you experience?
Place a coloured sheet on top of a white piece of paper. Stare at the coloured sheet for a minute, then remove it and continue staring at the white paper. What colour do you see now? What qualities would you ascribe to this colour, compared to the coloured sheet? Do this exercise for each of the colours of the rainbow and find their complementary colours or opposites.
Painting exercise: paint something in one colour. After half an hour, see what sort of mood you are in. It is better to do this exercise with a partner: let one person do the painting while the other observes the painter.
Hold a hand in front of your left eye, and look at the dot below with your right eye. Move the book gradually closer and farther away from your face. At most distances, you will see the star to the right of the dot, except for one particular distance when the image of the star falls onto your blind spot.
Take a simple natural, living object such as a leaf. Make a larger-than-life drawing of it. Try to recreate the different shades of colour as accurately as possible by mixing your paints. Painting requires you to look with increasing accuracy and thus improves your ability to observe visually. This
exercise also demonstrates that the colours you see are composite colours.

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