Edited and paraphrased by me from the chapter entitled The Holy Grail, in The English Spirit by DE Faulkner Jones, 1935:
Rudolf Steiner stated that in every human being there is the 'self' or Ego enclosed within three sheaths of Astral, Etheric and Physical bodies.
In the Ancient world, women were considered to represent the Astral and Etheric principles: Astral representing Feelings, and Etheric representing Habits of Thought.
(By contrast men, collectively, represented the divinely-guided Will/ Ego, and also Physical action.)
The Ego is the innermost part of the human being whereas the Physical body (chief instrument of the will) is the outermost part. The principles especially strong in women are thus 'sandwiched in' between those principles especially strong in men.
Just as in the individual man or woman an Ego concept should properly pass-through two definite stages of first being brooded-over in feeling and then planned out by the logical intellect before it can emerge as action; so too in human society new thoughts may originate in men, but ought then to be received by the women of the community (for 'brooding over' and 'planning out') before leading to action.
No action can be truly Christian unless all four principles are equally represented in it (and therefore, at the social level, unless women have received the creative impulses into Soul, and approved the validity of action).
Women have a very special power of 'feeling' a thought. Through the plastic forces of the Soul, women can grasp a thought in all its bearings; can brood in imagination over all its implications, all its complications; can quicken thought into life, embue it with warmth and enthusiasm, and with something akin to the powerful working of nature-forces.
And finally the power of judgment, the practical common-sense, the mother-wit which enables a woman to make the best use of materials placed at her disposal (and which most women are exercising almost every minute of the day) - all this makes her know how an idea should best be organised and inserted into the round of life.
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