Minerals have no proper consciousness, plants correspond to deep sleep, animals to dream, and man to waking consciousness. Beyond waking consciousness are three higher stages: Imaginative Cognition, the level of picture images (sometimes cor-responds to the etheric); Inspirative cognition, where one hears spiritual speech and sounds, and which corresponds to the soul world; and Intuitive Cognition, corresponding to the spiritual world, where one enters into conscious communion with the creative spiritual beings, the "Spiritual Hierarchies". Steiner gave out exercises one could do to develop these higher faculties; these involve years of visualisation and other such exercises. As with any occult system, it is difficult to measure the success and attainments of the followers relative to that of the Master.
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