The book you have in front of you describes the foundation of everything that bas life. Where in human life do we recognize this foundation? To answer that question we must return to the time of infancy, when we are in our beginning stages of emotional development. At that time we have only feelings, no knowledge. This book deals with emotions.
THE FOUNDATION OF LIFE AND OF BEING HUMAN IS TO FEEL
In ancient times the physician was priest, king, and healer, all in one. At that time medical thinking was based on the trinity of mind, soul, and spirit. In our society these terms are no longer clearly defined, because religion, culture, and society have given them a different content. I would like to define these terms on the basis of their original meaning.
The mind is the outer form, the knowledge or the surface of things without inherent content. The soul is the content of the human being, which in effect is a person’s feeling, his emotional possibilities. The term spirit may be described as the steering mechanism in the unique human being; it is his own spontaneity, his starting mechanism for action, and sets his goals in life.
The soul gives content (feeling), to the mind (knowledge) and the spirit then gives the content a unique creative expression, its own action.
The word body in the English terminology of “body, mind, soul, and spirit” is a collective term. We speak of the emotional body, the spiritual body, and the body of the mind. I have not found this fourth concept (body) in either the Dutch or the German language, nor in Sanskrit.
When we look at the human development from infancy to adulthood, we observe the growth of mind, soul, and spirit. Between birth and around age six the child is preoccupied with his emotional development (soul). He is building a good ego-typical frame of reference, his basic security in later life, which he will use to check his knowledge (mind) and his goals in life (spirit). The better his emotional development, the better his stability in life will be. During the stage from age six to twelve, school age, knowledge (the mind) is added, but as yet separated from the emotions. The emphasis is on knowledge, but after each period of learning the child goes back to feeling, playing, and dreaming. His posture also becomes more pronounced. Thus between infancy and age six the emotional development takes place and between ages six and twelve knowledge is added, with concentration (the mind) occurring separate from feeling.