By Rudolf Steiner – “The physical human eye is similar to a camera, for, as with the camera, there appears within it a picture of the surrounding world. Only when one abstracts from the physical eye everything that is not to be found in the camera, does one discover what is the specific nature of the physical eye.

So too one must abstract from the entire physical body everything that is not purely physical: only then does one have what in occultism is called the physical body.

In itself, it can neither live, think nor feel.

There then remains a very wisely ordered, extremely complicated automaton, a purely physical apparatus. This, alone, was all there was of human existence at the Old Saturn stage.

At that time the eyes were present only as little cameras. What was produced as [a] picture of the surrounding world came to the consciousness of a Deva being. In the middle of the Saturn evolution the so-called Asuras (the Archai) were sufficiently advanced to make use of the apparatus. At that time they were at the human stage.

They made use of the automata and the pictures they produced.

The Asuras themselves were not within the apparatus but outside and only made use of the pictures as we make use of photographic apparatus in order to take pictures of a landscape.

Thus the physical body of man was at that time an architectural structure of a physical apparatus operated from outside.

This is the first stage of human existence.”

SOURCE: Rudolf Steiner, FOUNDATIONS OF ESOTERICISM (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 12, GA 93a.

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