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What is existence?

What is existence? This is, of course, and a rather fundamental question. I’ve been thinking about it a bit recently, after someone told me “the etheric and astral bodies don’t exist, Daniel.” From a certain the point of view, this is, of course, absolutely true. By definition (Anthroposophical and not Theosophical) they are invisible and unmeasurable by any scientific instrument. So it is hardly an earth shattering revelation that they don’t “exist” from that point of view. Their existence can only be deduced by observing the physical. So scientifically, the etheric and astral bodies are a hypothesis for explaining phenomena observed in the physical. We observe how one face contracts of the line of the lip somewhat downward. The concept presents itself: this is the frown. We then say that the person has become unhappy with something. How do we know this? From subtle changes in the color areas that have come to our attention through sensations that have passed through the optic nerve. That is, it has been deduced from manifestations in the physical world as presented to us thought the senses. The concept “unhappy” is an idea. This idea somehow connected to the idea “frown” but is not the frown. Do we say that “unhappiness” does not exist? Some do, but most will grant its existence. So why do we say the astral body does not exist? The astral body is, among other things, the sum of a person’s inner or emotional state. Feelings are nowhere visible yet we do not doubt their existence. Just because something is not directly measurable does not mean that it does not exist. So at best to it could be said to that the etheric and astral bodies are a hypothesis of dubious merit; it is difficult indeed to argue that ideas do not exist.

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