At a time of life when most people might expect to have retired and be putting their feet up, the anthropopper (who doesn’t think that retirement is good for people), counts himself fortunate to have not one, but two part-time jobs. Despite a colleague’s cynical observation that there is no such thing as a part-time job, only part-time wages, I love both these jobs and after a long and sometimes frustrating working life, I’m delighted to have work where I feel I’m making a worthwhile contribution, in organisations that are offering hope and practical solutions for some of the world’s problems.
The first of these jobs is at Tablehurst Community Farm in Forest Row, East Sussex. While I was there the other day, I found myself having a sudden flashback to an emotion I recognised – it was how I had sometimes felt when I was a small boy at primary school in the 1950s. It came and went in seconds but I was intrigued as to why I had had this sudden recall of something from my early schooldays, now well over half a century ago. What had made me remember this feeling from so long ago, seemingly out of the blue? Trying to analyse my state of mind at that moment, I realised that I had a feeling of wellbeing, knowing I was in the right place for me and glad to be working on a community-owned farm in which the land, plants and animals are cared-for and where the people are friendly, supportive and look out for one another. I was, in fact, in a situation that I suspect is hardly ever experienced in most workplaces these days. This then led me to the further realisation that, if how I was feeling that day was reminiscent of how I had felt during my early schooldays, then there must have been something warm and secure and nurturing about my primary school and the way in which the teachers and pupils treated one another back then. This was not a Steiner school, it was an ordinary state primary school in the 1950s, long before the days of Ofsted, SATS, league tables etc. Somehow I grew up with the notion that the world was on the whole a safe and welcoming place, that adults and policemen were mainly benign, there was joy and beauty in nature – and I also had a sense of how to behave and how not to behave. This gave me something to rebel against when I was a teenager in the 60s. My generation was lucky to have had these positive experiences, as recent alarming reports indicate that many schoolchildren today have quite a different experience of school.
An international study by the Children’s Society in 2015 found that English children are among the unhappiest in the world. Matthew Reed, chief executive of the Children’s Society, said: “It is deeply worrying that children in this country are so unhappy at school compared to other countries, and it is truly shocking that thousands of children are being physically and emotionally bullied, damaging their happiness. School should be a safe haven, not a battleground.”
And now in a report dated 9th March 2016, the online Spectator magazine’s Health section has said that: “There has been a large increase in the number of British children prescribed anti-depressants, according to research published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology. The research, led by Dr Christian Bachmann of Berlin’s Charité University Hospital, found that prescription rates increased by 54 per cent between 2005 and 2012. In Denmark the figure is higher still, at 60 per cent.”
What on earth is going on? Clearly, something very disturbing is happening with our young people. Rudolf Steiner, in a lecture given in Berlin in 1919, said:
“What the individual human being experiences consciously when he (sic) strives to attain clairvoyance in the spiritual world, namely, the crossing of the threshold, must be experienced unconsciously by the whole of mankind, during our fifth post-Atlantean epoch. Humanity has no choice in regard to this; it must experience this unconsciously — not the individual human being, but HUMANITY, and the individual human being together with humanity.”
So are our young people starting to experience this crossing of the threshold between the physical and spiritual worlds, but unconsciously, without preparation? And if so, what part of the spiritual world are they accessing?
My second part-time job is with Emerson College in Forest Row, East Sussex, where I organise a programme of public talks and workshops by leading thinkers. On 9th March 2016, we were privileged to hear a talk by Lisa Romero, an adult educator, complementary health practitioner and teacher of meditation from Australia.
Lisa’s theme was: Developing the Self – Meditations and Exercise for our Inner Growth. During the course of her talk, she had some interesting things to say about the difficulties and challenges that teenagers are experiencing today. She suggested that teenagers are crossing the threshold into the elemental part of the spiritual world. Lisa enlarged on this in her book, The Inner Work Path:
“Humanity has begun to break through this threshold, the boundary between the physical and elemental world. If those who cross over are unprepared, we will see more mental disorders in our community. As fascination with the occult, psychic powers, and the supernatural continue to grow, all sorts of false paths of ‘inner development’ will become more and more popular. Consciousness-altering substances that exploit a form of gate-crashing to enter the other dimensions will increase. Using these substances to enter different states of consciousness will be seen as an acceptable and inevitable path for our young people.”
Some schools are now teaching their pupils meditation and calling it “mindfulness” so as to avoid any association with the spiritual; but Lisa thinks that this “will lead ultimately to a weakened relationship to the spiritual world, and thereby leave them open to all sorts of potentially harmful influences by stepping backward, not forward, in their incarnating process. All those who truly know the path of inner development know that a healthy relationship to the spiritual world is acquired by completing all the necessary developmental stages of childhood first. These various occurrences that we already see are signs that humanity is crossing the threshold unprepared. Rudolf Steiner describes this unprepared entry into the elemental world, likening it to putting your head into an ant’s nest.”
Where is anthroposophy, and where are anthroposophists, in all of this? One of the things which teenagers need to know at this time is that not all spiritual beings are divine beings. Some of these beings are working to divert humanity from the path of evolution, by encouraging us in our materialism, reinforcing our egotism and selfishness, magnifying our false self and deepening our lower ego – while at the same time supporting our premature access into the spiritual world. Anthroposophists ought to be helping young people to understand that the right path for humanity and each one of us is to align freely with the beings of progression, the beings of the divine spiritual world – but for that to be possible, we must find the progressive being, the divine being within ourselves. Are we, should we be, finding ways of telling that to young people? Are we making sufficient efforts to communicate with teenagers in ways that they can access? I don’t think so. In the meantime, anthroposophy as we have known it is dying. Lisa told me that there are now only 130 society members in the whole of New York City.
The situation appears to be no better in the UK. As Marjatta van Boeschoten, general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain, says in the Spring 2016 Newsletter of the society: “This question (of how anthroposophy can best fulfil its given task) occupied me greatly during the Holy Nights, especially when a range of initiatives in the ‘daughter’ movements in Great Britain are either closing, struggling, in conflict or in financial crisis.” To add to Marjatta’s worries, the ASinGB has revealed that 55% of members pay nothing at all towards their annual membership. What is the future of the society if more than half of its members, out of their own free choice, are making no financial contribution whatsoever?
Surely these symptoms are telling us that the present form of anthroposophy is in serious decline. What are anthroposophists doing about this crisis? My own sense is that another form of anthroposophy is seeking to be born, but it is having an extended labour and a difficult birth. It won’t come from trying to persuade people to read difficult lectures or books, it won’t come from attending the same old meetings with a rapidly diminishing number of elderly anthroposophists (not that I have anything against elderly anthroposophists – far from it – I hope to be one myself before too long) and it certainly won’t come from spending too much time online arguing with the critics.
On the other hand, it may emerge from people who become inspired by one or more of the practical applications of anthroposophy, such as biodynamics or education. I’m struck, for example, by the number of young people who are coming to work at Tablehurst Farm, which now employs nearly 30 people, some of whom are starting families there – this in marked contrast to what is happening on conventional farms, where the average age of a British farmworker is 59 years and where a farm of 300 hectares will be run by one or two men with machines and lots of chemicals. It may emerge if we can find practical, clear and sensible ways of speaking about the spiritual realities behind what is happening in the world, as Lisa Romero is doing. Lisa is part of the Goetheanum Meditation Initiative, which is involving young people from many countries. (Incidentally, Lisa Romero will be returning to Emerson in June for a talk and weekend workshop.)
The times are serious and demand people and organisations of initiative. Places like Tablehurst Farm and Emerson College are seeking to play their parts. Finding ways in which to meet the very real human needs of today’s young people can offer hope and practical solutions not only to them but to anthroposophy as well. Christopher Fry expressed our opportunity in his play, A Sleep of Prisoners:
Thank God our time is now when wrong
Comes up to meet us everywhere,
Never to leave us till we take
The longest stride man ever took.
Affairs are now soul size.
Is Exploration into God.
Where are you making for? It takes
So many thousand years to wake
But will you wake, for pity’s sake?
61 responses to “But will you wake, for pity’s sake?”
I want in this comment to take a look at the use of anti-depressants. Because the drugs they use whilst called anti-depressants, are, as befitting in a world dominated by Ahriman, nothing of the kind. That doctors believe them to be is neither here nor there; they lack the perception to see what is actually happening to the adult – leave alone a school age child. What’s more, the doctor doesn’t even know he’s telling lies.
All the doctor is trained to see is the ‘skin’ of the patient, as it were. Everything for them is data or facts. Depression likewise is a dischord of biochemicals, only in this case, in the brain.
The only option the doctor has is to give the child a sedative, to dope them, if you will. All he does is dull their consciousness.
What’s more, it works! It works wonderfully: the child is a trouble no longer, they are no longer depressed – if for the only reason that they are no longer aware of the problem they were once aware of. In the context of my last comment on the previous post, all the doctor is doing is lessening the child’s awareness of what is going on outside them.
Now, what if the child’s depression is the result of a premature experience of the threshold? The doctor knows nothing of the threshold, and what with the literature pointing to earthly things, has no way to deal with it properly. Whilst many children and young adults have conscious or semi-conscious experiences of the threshold, all the world can do is to dim their consciousness, not guide them on the correct way to handle it.
I had my own experience with the Outer Guardian at age eighteen or so, and on hearing this, a senior anthroposophist said that I must have been hallucinating! Thankfully I was old enough to know better than to think him right just because he lacked the perception or the humility to accept another person’s experiences as genuine. After all, how can he know the realities if he only knows the words? Now imagine the effect of such an outwardly wise and noble person using such careless words on a youngster? He could have smashed their self confidence completely. My own experience of earthly life after that meeting was one of the profoundest depression. The kind if treated with addictive sedatives could easily have cost me my life.
I have had similar experiences wherein I was told that my experience of the Etheric Christ was an hallucination, for example. I was told that it must have been an auditory figment of my imagination by an anthroposophist of some rank, although it occurred when I was near 30 years of age, and recounted to the anthroposophist some 27 years later. You see, before that time I had kept it to myself, and only felt comfortable to reveal it in 2007, amongst people I thought I could trust. I found out that I couldn’t trust them.
As well, I know what it means to experience both the lesser and greater guardians of the threshold. Indeed, being prescribed with anti-depressants as a symptom and diagnosis would have been fatal. My experiences occurred at age ten with the greater guardian, and age thirty-four with the lesser one, who put me through the shame exercise that really makes one take hold of what it means to be a householder. So, I have gone the gamut with all of this, and hope you see that while I very much appreciate your personal experiences and anecdotes, which I relate to very much, I have my own recourse, which is this obviously pathetic attempt to write about spiritual science.
You have a wonderful gift of novelization and imagination. I love it, and would like to be a part if it weren’t for your rather judgmental attitude which seeps out at the seams. We all have our gift, and need to join in. I try.
You, as yet, cannot discern when a judgmental attitude is wielded consciously.
I know what it is to let my challenges slip by: there’s the excuse not to draw the illustrations for my book because … well, my garden needs digging, the dishes need doing, people might not like them, I have a blog post to write… all great and worthy excuses for not dealing with an element of my life that needs wresting from the grasp of Ahriman.
Steve Hale, I can’t strive for you. Only you can do that. Choose one of Steiner’s verses and work with it until it feels like a nail being driven into the palm of your hand. Only then will you have overcome your excuses.
In Denmark there are huge amount of children and adults on anti-depressants,the results are quite tragic.Also ritalin wreaks havoc and young people are old, tired and finished at the age of 18. After that it is a swing door relationship to the mental hospital, a long string of drugs and usually suicide at an early age. Nonsense that Danes are the happiest people in the world. Alchohol abuse is epidemical, drug abuse, sex abuse and all other forms of abuse one can think of,they are miserable.
From your name I would understand you to be British, although I could be wrong. However, what must be remembered in the “happiness” surveys is that the surveyors know as much about what makes a person happy as the average alcoholic.
The network of social benefits, decent (if materialistic) healthcare and above all, a government focussed on the people who voted for it, all contribute to a society that is far and away happier than those I knew in Britain.
The immediate perspective of the Dane is probably closer to the Dutchman who I know well (I will add that my Dutch is near perfect and my Danish a lot less). That is to say, in our modern world where jobs are indescribably boring, bosses uncommonly stupid and life is just one more tedious day after the last, is it any surprise that people need an escape?
Drugs have taken the place of a society that would have benefitted hugely from more Waldorf Schools; the very time the Society could have given this a massive impulse was exactly the point where they turned inwards and wanted the shelter of a new headquarters at Dornach.
The answers lie outside us: when people have been through an education system that only teaches inner resources and outer authorities, is it any surprise that modern Europeans cannot find the answers they are looking for? The result is more drugs and more unhappiness.
A rare few will know where to look, a rarer few will meet someone who does strive and can give them clear and direct inspiration to take them away from the drug culture that infests our society – and that includes our healthcare systems. A doctor who can see only the surface of the problem – which is directly linked to Steve Hale’s thoughts on the nerve-endings – will be happy to use a drug to wipe away the condition he sees.
What he cannot see is the fact that using external drugs means pressing the disease inwards. A practice counter to this is to strengthen the human body, initially using homeopathy and with other practices such as eurythmy, the condition will be shaken off by a human being made stronger.
Parasites like a weak body, and the beings that ‘inhabit’ bottles of whisky are no different! Strengthen that body and the need for alcohol diminishes.
This is an astounding essay, and your pinnacle effort so far, I believe. It leaves me with many humble remarks to make, and largely because we are of the same age, and I also had early primary school experiences in the 1950’s which led to a healthy rebellion in the 1960’s. You have two part-time jobs while I have two pensions and a social security, which one gets after 40 years of serving Ahriman.
Yet, your two jobs are related to spiritual science, while I only have served the cold-hearted/headed machinations of Ahriman in the military-industrial complex of America. But, I have been an anthroposophist for some 30 years now, and live in a place that is seventy times smaller than New York City. So, when Lisa Romero proclaims to you that only 130 anthroposophists live in a city of some ten million people, I have to wonder about the reason why I have felt so alone in my little town of only 150,000 people. You know, maybe that is why I still feel so alone, and have felt that way all of my life. I could possibly be the only anthroposophist in all of Tacoma, Washington! I know that my birth family had nothing to do with it, or even my married family; nor my many efforts to extend this ‘Science of the Spirit’ to my contemporaries in this little “Podunk” town. So, I could possibly be the only ‘anthro’ in town, which helps me get a gauge on the situation. You mentioned that in Forest Row alone there were, what, at least 40 more than the New York City estimate? Gemma lives in the Netherlands, and has stated that she has some six disciples, which only proves how much more fruitful Steiner has been in Europe than our paltry America.
One large feeling I have about you, Jeremy, concerns the 9 beatitudes expressed in the Sermon on the Mount, given in chapter five of the Gospel of Matthew. For me, I have spent my whole life living under the weight of the first one, and I see you clearly as representing the third::
“Blessed are the gentle (meek) for they shall inherit the earth”.
Your efforts in biodynamics, and a definite lack of confrontation skills, easily give you away, while my poor spirit looks for every morsel possible in the feeding. And that is why I write with an eye toward the whole logistics of the system, and wherein the human being of today is being driven down to a lump size that can be fashioned in a way that is not good. My intent is to give perspective of what is going on, and it is ample from a spiritual-scientific standpoint. We all will have to suffer this “going down below the threshold of the horizontal line”, as seen especially with our young today. It is no different than the worries of our parents about juvenile delinquency in the 1950’s. It was overcome at that time, but not so possible today without an education that must recognize the spirit working behind the world of phenomena.
I would ask you to verify this remark, as to the best of my knowledge, I have no disciples. I do meet neophytes, but disciples they are not, for they teach me more than I can ever teach them.
Thank you for this moving and heartfelt comment, Steve. We may be isolated but at least Ahriman has given us the internet so that we can connect online!
May you find the strength and support of which we all stand in need.
Ahriman does not give the internet to us. Christ gives it. This is why it has become an international venue of communication. Would Ahriman concede to that?
When the Christ died and was resurrected, He went ultimately into the etheric envelope of the earth and therein worked to build up the moral etheric element, which came down in order to enrich the very core of the earth’s fundamental outer strata, i.e., the silica compound. And that is how it came about that around 1965 it was discovered that a silica-chip could make contact with the etheric world, which is a world of information in the same way that the plant impresses its veins into the leaf. The microchip processor is the gateway to the communications network we have today, and its has nothing to do with Ahriman, but rather, the Christ who died on the Cross and then ascended into the earth’s etheric atmosphere.
We talk today in the greater world because of Christ, not Ahriman. Ahriman would have us all clipping his toenails if he had his way, and thinking that we loved it and appreciated the opportunity.
Your efforts, Jeremy, are real and hands-on, while I can only talk in this domain that Christ has provided, and that will one day help to make a difference, I hope. As such, the Ethernet has worked immensely to bring us together. We even know each other’s names.
Do you wish to remove this remark?
Christ gave us the planet we walk on, Christ created the beauty of the Seraphim, the warmth of the Exusiai, the friendliness and closeness of all the Angels…
… and we, humanity, refuses all these gifts. We prefer to isolate ourselves from all these helpers, employ machines created out of the very earth Christ inspired for our sustenance.
Christ is in the etheric to bring it alive, not devour it with the contusions of fallen ethers!! Christ will live in us, bring us the brilliance and colour of a true human interaction – and we prefer to sit alone with a computer! Christ inspired the thoughts of Rudolf Steiner, the poetry of Shakespeare… and we sit beside a machine that has less intelligence than chattering teeth on a cold morning!!
Christ died on the cross that we might sin and become conscious of our relationship with evil – it is for us to transform evil, and not abuse Christ’s gift and wallow in it like some humile Albigensian. It is for us to strive. Strive with the humans we meet in our daily lives – for that is where Christ is to be found.
It is through striving that one meets others, where one opens one’s life to be guided by our own Angel. A computer is ancillary to these things, not part of it.
“Do you wish to remove this remark?”
No, I think I’ll keep it 😉
As well, your previous remark on being judgmental only helps prove my point. Practicing the exercises is always good to remember.
Well, Steve Hale, if you are happy believing the things you do, then you will have to learn from others not me – and they may not be so kind to you.
Greetings, Jeremy, Steve, Gemma!
It was 40 years ago today, on March 13, 1976, that I awakened to anthroposophy in this life. Early that Saturday morning, I had walked to the shopping mall very close by my apartment in Houston, Texas, where at the time, I was working as a technician for Chevron Oil Co., Geophysical Division. I went into a bookstore where I was browsing and my hand kept reaching out for this one book, an inner prodding that was so strong I decided to buy the book on the spot and go home to read it.
It was The Spear of Destiny by Trevor Ravenscroft. Once I got home and opened the book I was hooked. I could not put it down until the end, and then when I closed the book, I still remember this question that formed itself: “Who is this Rudolf Steiner figure who plays through the background of this book as the White Magic opponent of Hitler and his Black Magic Nazis?”
By Monday, March 15, I had started my quest, by going, in those pre-Internet days, to the public library searching for anything by or about Rudolf Steiner. Nothing by him, but I believe it was in a big popular astrologer’s book that had his chart, there was mention of an Anthroposphical Society in my hometown of NYC and the librarian was able to track down the famous address: 211 Madison Ave., which I knew, from my brief NYC yellow cab-driving days in 1970, had to be located just one block East and one block North of the Empire State Building.
Now this is quite synchronistic fro me, Jeremy and Steve, because I was going to end this comment with a 3-word motto that entirely summarizes or encapsulates my 40 years in, out and around anthroposophy. Why? Because you both supplied 2 of the 3 words! And did so by speaking about the Internet!
Jeremy, you stated that Ahriman gave us the Internet. Steve, you then corrected Jeremy to say that it was not Ahriman, but Christ who gave us the internet.
For my part, I must now evoke the decades old TV commercial about Certs Mints. One lady claimed: “Certs is a breath mint!” The other said: “No, Certs is a candy mint.” An older man resolved the dilemma by telling the ladies: “Stop, you’re both right!”
And so I must now resolve the nominal dispute between you two, Jeremy and Steve: “Stop you’re both right!”
AHRIMANUS VERUS CHRISTUS
Tom, I’m letting this through, albeit reluctantly, because you make a brief comment upon a comment; but I’m not letting through your other two comments because they have nothing to do with the original post. Have you thought about starting your own blog?
Let us just take a moment to talk about this “Ahrimanus vs. Christus”, and how right is right and wrong is wrong. Yes, two people can certainly be “both right” in any number of things, but not in this case. Christ is the basis of the Internet for the reasons that involve evolution of the moral ether element, and how over time the very silica of the earth’s outer core has been enriched by the Christ Impulse. Thus, the magic secret to the micro-chip processor; a chip of moralized silica.
Ahriman, rather, is the exploiter of the Internet, which at one time, say 20 years ago was a wonderfully simple tool for research and connecting with people with no frills, ads or commercials, and no propaganda. Thus, Ahriman’s function is to drive the human being down into his domain of sub-earthly magnetism, and create the “human thing”, and that links this current blog post of Jeremy’s to the previous one: “Turning the Human Being into the human thing”.
Ahriman’s creations by way of the Internet (and other devices) leads to the “human thing”, whilst Christ’s creation is the Internet for its original purposeful intent of expanding human freedom to an international network of people living in good will and harmony. That is the difference.
Ahrimanus vs. Christus = “human thing” vs. Human Being.
Steve, what Tom Mellett actually wrote was Ahrimanus verus Christus, i.e. Ahriman is the true Christ. He wrote two other messages on the same theme, which I’ve not allowed through because they are patently off-topic. They are of course also offensive and I don’t propose to give him space here for his provocations – after all, we know which god he serves.
Thanks Jeremy! I appreciate your indulging me in my anniversary celebration. Sorry for my extra exuberance in commenting.
But do you really want me to start my own blog? I ask because the human vessel for the imminent incarnation of Ahriman will be an author, now, a blogger. If I go really public now as Tommy and his Akasha Tabloid, might you begin to suspect that I might be just the right human vessel for Ahriman to choose for his incarnation.
But even if I’m not the vessel, becoming a blogger may be just as good for the cause of Ahriman.
May I quote the very end of KR: Vol 3, Lecture 10
August 4, 1924, Dornach, GA 37?
I believe it is very on topic:
“. . . it may happen that Ahriman himself emerges, incorporated in human form. Twice already it can be demonstrated that Ahriman has thus appeared as an author. And for those who desire as anthroposophists to have a clear and true vision of life, it will be a question of making no mistakes, even in such a case.
For what is the use of it, my dear friends, if someone finds a book somewhere and writes his name on it and he is not the author? The true author is confused with another. And if Ahriman is the author of a book, how can it be of any benefit if we do not perceive who is the true author, but hold a human being to be the author?
For Ahriman by his brilliant gifts can find his way into everything — he can slip into the very style of a man. He has a way of approach to all things. What good can come of it if Ahriman is the real author, and we mistake it for a human work? To acquire the power of discrimination in this sphere too, is absolutely necessary, my dear friends.”
Well, Tom, we certainly know whose colours you have nailed to your mast. But why do you think that Ahriman will incarnate as an author or blogger, when he has a Trump to prepare his way? And why in your disillusion with the RC church, and then with Rudolf Steiner, have you chosen to serve those who will hate and destroy you? These are mysteries which you could perhaps address in a blog of your own. It would be good to know, for example, what it is you now believe in.
I appreciate your taking up the idea that the internet is given by Christ. It is refreshing after so many years of hearing from Anthroposophists how Ahriman rules the internet and all things technical. Yes, Ahriman lives in technology, but it doesn’t mean it must be so! I recently came across one of the best descriptions of technology from Steiner in his lectures on Threefolding. I don’t have my fingers on it now, but it was to the effect that the future of humanity rests on the development of technology.
Between you and Steve I am encouraged as I think about retirement years about 15 years from now. I honestly can’t see myself in a traditional retirement and sometimes wonder if I’ll be lonely. I have so many people about 10 years ahead of me that I don’t think so. You appear wise in your approach to staying engaged.
I’ll follow up with another comment on the Society. This is an important topic. Regards.
I want to add a general note about the nature of the ethers. And for the sake of our moderator, this will be stricly on topic. Eventually.
Rudolf Steiner was very clear on one issue: that the Christ being incarnated on this earth on one occasion and on one occasion only. Christ came to earth in order to live and breathe in the way we humans do, and most importantly of all, to forgive us our sins and transgressions. As mentioned elsewhere, this was to enable humankind to act independently, and this very independence implies that we are fully aware of evil.
Thus the sole purpose of Christs forgiveness is to allow us to become conscious of both Ahriman and Lucifer within ourselves. In becoming conscious of them both, which is where the waking up and the striving come in, we transform them into morally sound beings. In as much at least that any one of us can; taking humanity as a whole, the entire beings of Ahriman and Lucifer would be transformed – but that would need all of humanity to wake up, wouldn’t it?
There is one thing we cannot expect Christ to do for us, and that is to do our work for us. He died on the cross once, and needed to do so only once.
This in and of itself means that Christ has not entered the material realm or that of the fallen ethers (which are material by their very nature of being fallen).
It is for we humans to work with the fallen ethers as an adjunct to our personal strivings with Ahriman and Lucifer. In becoming conscious of the effects and nature of the fallen ethers we unveil different aspects of Ahriman (in the case of the fallen sound ether) and Lucifer (in the case of the fallen light ether).
It must be emphasized that these ethers are independent of each other, and it is only through the machinations of Ahriman and of Lucifer on the weaker minds on this planet that the “inspiration” came to fuse them together to form what we commonly call “electricity” (more correctly termed “electric power”).
Neither Ahriman nor Lucifer could achieve this on their own – and what is essential to grasp is that Christ has no part to play in undoing what mankind has wrought for himself. Electric power is a challenge that mankind has established for himself (and women too, of course) and one that we must overcome if we are to have a future on this planet.
In closing, I wish to add that the pure, pure silicon in the way it is employed in the making of silicon wafers is not silica! Nor is the pure silicon any good for making electronic gadgetry of any kind: mankind learned that by ‘doping’ the silicon he could form what became known as a semi-conductor. The levels of doping – using various elements such as phosphorus or arsenic – are extremely fine. For the highest grades of silicon wafers, the levels of doping are well under one doping atom per hundred million atoms (I use the term ‘atom’ here in that it is in common parlance when speaking of semiconductors – there is another explanation which I am working on and will be published privately).
These doping levels are, in and of themselves, finer by several orders of magnitude than the levels of contaminants existing in any naturally occurring silicon dioxide – that is to say, silica.
This implies that the pure silicon wafer must now have a purity well in excess of one part in one hundred million, and the Japanese are now the only producers of the military grade silicon wafers that have the required levels of purity.
If there is anybody who has the knowledge of doping, Fermi levels and the finer points of transistor manufacture at nanometer scales, do let me know and we can discuss the issue further.
I appreciate your analysis of silicon doping. I have a good background on this topic as an electrical engineer, but not as a physicist. At one point I worked on computer vision systems that verified the electrical circuitry of wafers during manufacture. A series of video pictures at microscopic amplification, were taken of a wafer and it was checked for overall validity to a stored template. If you know how wafers are designed, there are dozens of identical circuits on each wafer. It is progressively more expensive during the manufacture process to discover at later stages that a chip is malformed. At the last stage each of these individual circuits are packaged in plastic with leads attached and a final electrical test is done. The work I did in programming computer vision was to catch defects at an earlier stage.
I also have knowledge from an electrical engineering aspect of doping and PNP junctions, and how electron-hole pairs function. This is an interesting topic and certainly could lead to various discussions, but would largely be out of scope for this blog.
I sense that you may be, although we have not discussed this topic before, a bit too sensitive to the nature of electrical power and the Ahrimanic and Luciferic forces at work there. I wrote an extensive article in 1998 on the topic and I agree that Ahriman is very present in the electrical forces. But as a Waldorf student, and as a software architect in life today, I find the rejection of technology by Anthroposophists and spiritual researchers to be too automatic and overdone.
The fallen light ether is certainly out of its relationship with the cosmic archetypes, but it still preserves a mirror of those archetypes. We could spend eternity arguing if technology is good or evil, but it is real and present and it is part of our evolution. We can’t hide from it even if we curse its existence. All we can do is become conscious of what is really human in us, and what matters in life.
You may feel you are being balanced in your concern, and as I don’t know you that could be the case, but I have seen so many people go down the path of condemnation of technology, without a balanced respect that I suspect otherwise.
I recently watched a lecture that was given by a friend who had been at IBM and EMC and he loved exposing all the “devils” in technology. What he really loved was scaring the audience who knew so little about what the world will look like in a future incarnation. I see so many who are terrified of chip implants and nano-tech that they become in a sense more materialistic in their thinking. This can only harm our response to technology.
I am actively working to develop more sophisticated computer video technology today. I have researchers who use algorithms to extract information from video, and in my architecture we sort and collect all this metadata to create reports and analysis. Yes, this is part of “Big Brother” and it is our future.
This march towards artificial intelligence, AI, is just in its infancy. For me there is little fear of technology itself, but a great deal of concern for the future of humanity. Technology, however, is not the devil, but the evolution of humanity and how we grow alongside it that matters most.
I could write a novel on what a future earth will look like. Most people only fear this future, but we need to have some belief in how we can grow to meet it. AI will go much further than people now realize, but it will never replace a human mind. In the end technology will show us what a spiritual being’s value really is, by doing those things that are sub-human for us.
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Thankyou for your response, Daniel Perez.
I am grateful that someone with the knowledge of the science has spoken up; I will add that most scientists lack this courage, but that’s another story – perhaps one better fitted to the recent Waldorf post?
I am going to take you to task on a few assumptions, which I trust you will take in good heart. Whilst these may seem like attacks, remember that I am on your side. That is to say, I am striving for clarity, and I trust that you are too.
I want to start with Rudolf Steiner’s thoughts on technology, because what he saw as humanity’s future was radically different from the one we live in today. In his lectures on economy he is very clear that businesses should not become reliant on machinery where they can calculate the costs and expect profits. It has led to academics dreaming up such things as “the price/value relationship”.
They also dreamt up the notion of the ‘hole’ in semiconductor physics because it confused them to think of the alternative. This leads to the inevitable question: do Atoms exist? If you have studied Rudolf Steiner’s scientific lectures, you will know what he has to say about smashing things to see what they’re made of. Because this is what the science of atomic physics amounts to, and it amounts to little more than a big hammer and a very powerful microscope. My point is that all these researches – of which I should have been a part – change nothing about the realities of the universe we live in.
But then, technology will not change the universe we live in, will it? We still need to eat, and technology cannot change that, no matter how powerful it becomes. Which is what Rudolf Steiner’s thoughts on economy boil down to.
I met a foreman at the Cowley plant who spoke of the oncoming robot revolution, and he said “you can’t sell cars to robots”. But then, cars don’t buy cars either, do they? No more than a stack of servers will.
Business is about humans, and anybody who has read books by the master marketer Claude Hopkins will see just how close he came to emulating Steiner’s ideas. Systems like the internet – and the internet is a system in that it is only as good as what is put into it. I used to work with Google Adwords, and most Adwords jockeys reckoned a 3% click through rate was the gold standard – but all they could do was to tweak the system. [Click through rate, CTR = the number of people who click to those who saw the advertisement].
The key to any system, to any technology is not the technology itself, but what you put in it. Following the concepts of Hopkins and others, if you have a good eye-grabbing advertisement, a 3% click through rate is pathetic. I know guys who got a 50% CTR and thought 30% was off the mark.
But they knew the secret of systems.
Most people believe in the system and treat it as their god rather than as their mechanical slave.
The thinking that lies behind such intrusions into a person’s body is the same as drives the US security services to want to record all emails. Just in case, don’t you know? Yet anybody conversant with a book code can be happily chatting with their daughter about pot plants when all the time it’s a major terrorist outrage they’re planning…
If you are going to use technology – rather than abuse it – you do have to use your intelligence. The problem is that the niceties of Google Adwords are so tempting that the adwords jockeys simply cannot see the wood for the trees, as the saying has it. They are so enthralled with the things they can do, they forget how pathetic their economic activity actually is. This is the truest harm we can do to our relationship with technology!!
Rudolf Steiner was intent that we should use our intelligence, and I am glad that you can see this. However, the technology we have around us today is more of a challenge to that than any adjunct. The technology Rudolf Steiner imagined took a very different shape from that which surrounds us today.
If you read my post on “What’s It Like In There” you will have realized that computers have no intelligence. Any intelligence in a system is that which is put there, and the poorer the system, the poorer the thinking that went into it – and just as with adwords jockeys looking the wrong way, most businessmen do too. Because technology – because of its size and cheapness – allows them to be very stupid, very quickly (and still profit from it!)
I could go on…
“I could go on…”
Indeed, anyone invested in ahrimanic activity today, which is an inevitability, can go on and on, and write volumes of technically precise material. The fact still remains that Steiner warned in his last essay and leading thoughts, to beware of going down into the sub-earthly realms of technology. This is why Waldorf schools eschew computers in early childhood education. Critics of the Waldorf method consider this the type of regressive and antiquated notions that Steiner espoused based on the his “science of the spirit”, which of course, has its educational aspect.
The key, for those in the know, which means having conscious awareness, is to make good all of these technological advances, and place Ahriman under our feet. That way, he is taken by the collar, and made impotent.
Christ entered earth evolution in order to make the inevitable materialism of the soul something that would ultimately prove to be fruitful and satisfying, and that is why there will always be a link with this moral evolution of the etheric world, which the Christ occupied after His resurrection, and which Paul first saw, and made him a convert to Christianity. Now, in our time, Christ has reappeared in the domain of the human etheric body as a real experience, and along with this, materialism has become more of the fine science that can serve to relieve human beings from the slave labor and inefficient practices and poor economics of earlier times.
The danger remains with those who succumb to the enticements of easy consumerism, which now has a grip on the technology field, which is also of the etheric world. This is where Ahriman still has a grip over Christ consciousness.
<blockquote.The key, for those in the know, which means having conscious awareness, is to make good all of these technological advances, and place Ahriman under our feet. That way, he is taken by the collar, and made impotent.
If but that you knew it, I had given you the answer to this in my comment.
Do you know what I said, and why? For it is one thing to be able to place Ahriman beneath one’s feet and suppress him; it is quite another to realize what it is that he does that is beneficial in our world.
Read the following with care:
I would like to add that when I said
If atoms, electrons and holes (et al) do not exist, what does? What is the reality that demonstrates the same properties, yet conforms with Goethean-anthroposophical science?
“If atoms, electrons and holes (et al) do not exist, what does? What is the reality that demonstrates the same properties, yet conforms with Goethean-anthroposophical science?”
Lacking more time this morning, here is a short lecture that explains it very nicely.
“Materialism of the nineteenth century. Reflexion about thinking indispensable for recognition of the barrenness of the materialistic picture of the world. The true origin of atomism.”
And you who believeth that Christ dost dwell in the material world of the sub-ethers to Christianize those things that we must Christianize ourselves…
I will add that the concept of the nerves is not an angle I had looked at myself; but then, one has to recognize where the impetus came from to imagine atoms in the first place.
Even so, one has to think this through in the light of inventions that existed even in Rudolf Steiner’s time, namely, electric power. How can one sensibly describe this phenomenon without thinking of atoms, copper atoms and the common or garden electrical socket that your computer is plugged into.
In short, how can one describe the realities of the sub-ethers without first being distracted by one’s training in atoms and atomic theory? After all, not all metals are equally conductive, the question is what quality do they lack that makes them less amenable to the fallen ethers? One need only think of the comparison of gold and iron; gold is extremely unwilling to form earthly compounds, is usually found in its metallic – that is to say, materially pure state. Iron, however tends to rust quickly, and readily forms a relationship with the earth – thus becoming materially impure.
“Read the following with care”,
“And you who believeth that Christ dost dwell in the material world of the sub-ethers to Christianize those things that we must Christianize ourselves… I will add that the concept of the nerves is not an angle I had looked at myself; but then, one has to recognize where the impetus came from to imagine atoms in the first place.”
You’re a hard person to reach with your semantics, and a certain ahirmanic authorship, which is duly noted. Yet, we are perforce required to write in the terminology that tries to convey the cold-hard facts of a materialism that has, indeed, gone well into the fallen ethers of Ahirman’s domain. The important point is that Christ actually remains above, in the Astral World, at this time, having been progressively pushed out of the etheric (atmospheric) envelope of the earth by the increasing presence of human souls crossing the threshold at death, and bearing materialism in their souls. By the 16th century, Christ was well on His way to vacating the Etheric World, and this would eventually see the necessity of re-enacting the Mystery of Golgotha on the Etheric plane, in just the same way that it had occurred on the physical plane before, when Christ was in the sheaths of Jesus of Nazareth.
The only time that Christ “dwelt in the material world of the sub-ethers to Christianize those things that we must Christianize ourselves”, is over the period of the forty days of the Resurrection. This is when He descended into the underworld, and saved all the souls that had gone down due to the conditions at the midpoint of earth evolution. Humanity was a lost cause in the making until Christ incarnated, and that is why we say: “In Christ, death becomes life”, i.e., [in christos morimur]. Christ solved the problem of death that had incarcerated so many unrepentant souls to a life of purgatory in the hell of the underworld. Our future ascent was now assured.
Then, He ascended after these forty days, into the “sky and disappeared in the clouds”. Thus began the Etheric evolution of Christ in the earth’s ‘atmos’, and the building of the moral etheric element to go along with the life ether, light ether, and chemical-tone ether. Thus, a fourth ether is this moral element, which builds the communications network with the higher worlds, and assures a lasting connection with the planetary Hierarchies. The earth is surrounded by a sensitive membrane which is transmitted through the moralized silica of an earth that has been imbued by Christ.
With regard to the angle about the nervous system, explained in the third lecture of GA254, it shows how the inevitability of materialism contains the slant of pathological conditions of the astral body, wherein it remains outside of a fully ramified nervous system. This creates the “scientific genius”, bearing mathematics, and the notion of atoms and molecules; protons, electrons and neutrons, and even the ‘bits and bytes’ of our genie of the computer world. This kind of perception has its origin in the outer-external world, which is a world of specters that scientists can grasp due to their pathological condition. Behind it all is the Eighth Sphere.
Normal people cannot fathom all of this stuff of technology because they bear a normal astral body, which is seated (ramified) all the way to the very endings of the peripheral nervous system. Thus, we live like good consumers, with faith and love and hope for all the necessary advancements we absorb, and knowing that Ahriman still rules, but one day Christ will be fully recognized.
Tom wrote about “ahrimanic authorship” in an earlier post, in which Steiner saw the overtaking of a striving human soul in the late 19th century Germany. This soul would prove to be the conscience of Central Europe, and the so-called “adversary of his age”, or “fighter for freedom”, which equate in the same way. Thus, from lecture 10 of GA237, we have these words:
“. . . it may happen that Ahriman himself emerges, incorporated in human form. Twice already it can be demonstrated that Ahriman has thus appeared as an author. And for those who desire as anthroposophists to have a clear and true vision of life, it will be a question of making no mistakes, even in such a case.
For what is the use of it, my dear friends, if someone finds a book somewhere and writes his name on it and he is not the author? The true author is confused with another. And if Ahriman is the author of a book, how can it be of any benefit if we do not perceive who is the true author, but hold a human being to be the author?
For Ahriman by his brilliant gifts can find his way into everything — he can slip into the very style of a man. He has a way of approach to all things. What good can come of it if Ahriman is the real author, and we mistake it for a human work? To acquire the power of discrimination in this sphere too, is absolutely necessary, my dear friends.”
Thus, Ahriman can creep into any work of the intellectual domain. In Nietzsche’s time, during that last period of frenzied activity, c. 1880-1889, he was knowingly running out of time in his quest to stay a step ahead of Ahriman, and then collapsed in early January after rushing to protect a horse from being beaten, c. Turin, Italy, January 1889.
Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the one’s that Steiner was referring to in being taken over by Ahriman, although Nietzsche fought to the end to keep it from happening. In today’s world, we have many so-called “ahrimanic authors”, all vying to express the latest and greatest in the world of technology. While Nietzsche fought to the end to stay out of the grip of Ahriman, and lost, in today’s environment we have all too many that are willing to extol Ahriman. Recent examples can be found on this thread.
But will you wake, for pity’s sake?
I will be frank: it is time for you to get your ducks in a row.
When you say:
Where on earth did you dream this up? It’s as if you want to add 2+3 and reckon the answer to be 23. The fallacies you are peddling – which some others have already been ensnared by – are the result of a mind that has yet to wake up.
Please! Get your ducks in a row, before you confuse anybody else and lead them astray. Rudolf Steiner wrote the Philosophy of Freedom for the likes of you – but not to skim read, not to just read the words, tussle with the semantics, but to struggle with the imagery, the concepts!
After all, I asked you if you saw what I meant in the words I wrote in a comment on this very post, and your answer tells me that you could not see it. All you could see was Ahriman standing in the words, blinding you to the imagery. And yes, my words were Ahrimanic, but the living concepts are not.
It reminds me of a chat with a friend who told me that it was impossible to describe something without using the word for it. So in the next breath I gave him the answer, “when you turn on the tap, run your hands under the warm stream and taking the soap to wash them. Rinsing them clean you dry your hands on the towel and turn off the tap. What was I talking about?”
He said, “water”.
Obvious, isn’t it? But take a concept that cannot be phrased so easily in words and most people can only deal with the words and not the concept! You’re not alone, Rudolf Steiner said, “I described this in my last lecture” at which I thought, ‘did you??’ Because I’d missed it.
Just as you did.
But that’s not the point: I didn’t think ‘did you?’ and leave it at that: I then thought, ‘what did I miss? How can I get my head around this concept?’ You just prattle on about semantics, talk about “a certain ahirmanic authorship, which is duly noted”, putting the fault at my door…
… when it is quite cle
Your task, Steve Hale, is not to gloss over your own relationship with the eighth sphere, but to recognize the part you play in it. The Eighth Sphere is the result of spectres entering a person’s life, rather than the living concept. Struggling – the process of waking up – is a process whereby those heartless spectres are formed into something that lives in your mind, rather than controlling it.
Only through this can you become fully aware of how Ahriman works in your life – but to do that requires something else of you. Something I have mentioned to you before, yet you simply read the words and missed the content of the paragraph altogether.
For pity’s sake, will you wake up!
I won’t start on the contradictions you’ve stated in your comments – on this very same post – you have enough on your plate already. As to Nietzsche, how would he know about Ahriman in himself any more than you know him in yourself?
In short: please stop telling me that Ahriman lives within me. I am fully aware of the fact.
The problem is, as you so clearly demonstrate, is that you, like Nietzsche, are not. Nor do you have the first clue about how to deal with him.
Which I do, and have spoken of directly on this thread – but your Ahriman has veiled the truth from you, allowing you to see only the words that were written. And nothing more.
Steve and Gemma,
I’d be grateful if you could pursue your discussions via email rather than here, as I think this has got too personal as well as being off-topic. Now, do you have any views on the state of anthroposophy today (which would be on-topic)?
Let us understand one thing: if one is to wake up, it is only possible to do this for oneself. Any help that is given can only be personal, because Ahriman works in us according to our individual shortcomings – and on that account, it means challenging people.
I am sorry if that offends you, but unless a person is willing to accept their challenges, they are working with Ahriman. If another person wishes to defend another, they too are working with Ahriman.
Either you get personal, or you sign out.
I would like to add that if Anthroposophists knew the key to dealing with Ahriman, there would be far less bickering and far more practicing the verses.
Had the Vorstand worked with their Ahrimanic selves, they would not have had the civil war of 1935: they would have acted together because of their concern for each other’s genuine weaknesses – rather than seeing their own weaknesses reflected in the other party. Rudolf Steiner knew of this all too well, and I doubt he would have been surprised to know that they had had a stand up fight right in the very centre of Anthroposophical life!!!
Ahriman needs dealing with, and he needs dealing with PERSONALLY, and there is simply no way around this. Either you get personal, deal with your own issues or it’s game over. As it is for so many ill prepared anthroposophists.
It is going to be hard to cover everything I would like to with so little time. I’ll have to cut to the chase. I wrote, “But as a Waldorf student, and as a software architect in life today, I find the rejection of technology by Anthroposophists and spiritual researchers to be too automatic and overdone.”
You quoted what I said about implants etc. as though I was promoting them. Perhaps this was not your intent, but it would be incorrect. What I was pointing out, and what is relevant to Jeremy’s posting, is that it is easy to be 1960’s flower children who run through the grass with bare feet. It is also one of the areas where Anthroposophists fail to unite the real life world of engineering with the arts and agriculture. Technology is a very easy target! Have you seen the American program, “Saturday Night Live?” There was the church lady who loved to say, “Satan.”
We can cry out “Satan” all we want, but my point is that Anthroposophists can’t afford to be Essenes who hide behind their Waldorf Schools while the rest of society deals with Ahriman. It is gut wrenching for me to see lectures on technology where the presenter condemns technology and instills fear. This will do nothing but keep the Anthroposophists in their Essene camps.
We can debate AI, but I think little of the smoke and mirrors of AI. I am not promoting AI as though it is intelligence. It is machinery, and exceedingly “clever” machinery! I am glad that I know as well as any man on earth how it works, and how empty it is, rather than hiding in a monastery.
And this is where it gets directly back to the topic Jeremy started. I have felt the avoidance and condemnation of technology for my entire adult life. Then I discovered another Anthroposophist who was a colleague in engineering and the brotherhood we shared. The entire nature of the relationships in this company warmed my heart, and I saw how human beings can work together, even work with Ahriman, and can remain human. That is a struggle worth having. If the Anthroposophical world can only get excited about Eurythmy performances and bio-agriculture, we will not meet the demands of our changing world. We also will lose engaged human beings, whose drive and excitement in all fields of life are not “spiritual” enough.
If you want to dive deeper into why the AS is struggling to exist, we can have that conversation as well. This was just a warm-up for the other issues that follow. Yet the issues are all related. Once you go down the path of selecting with what part of life you will engage, you can be guided like sheep into many other situations. The egotism and elitism are easy to redirect.
thankyou for your thoughts; whilst our sympathy for technology is at odds, I appreciate your approach to the subject.
Oh dear! Now, I wonder, can you see how the person who condemns is actually playing Ahriman’s game? It is like the United States condemning miliatrism in the Middle East and then marching in to bomb the place flat. For “peaceful reasons”, of course. The other side of this coin is that the people whose fears are evoked are unwilling to think through the things the lecturer is saying.
After all, this is why Rudolf Steiner didn’t like stenographers: they heard all the words and in transcribing them so fast, couldn’t assimilate them to form the images that Rudolf Steiner was describing with those words. Too many people read only the words and are unwilling to ‘challenge’ the things they hear and so form a relationship with the speaker, if but a less effective one than engaging face to face.
This “active” listening would tell the listener if the speaker was telling truths.
Isn’t this the point? The machine itself can do nothing – this I stated on the quoted post above “What’s It Like In There?”. The intelligence can only be instilled through the acts of men, using their intelligence – just as Ahriman within us is only pure in as much as we are genuinely conscious of him. If we are not conscious of him, he will rule us and employ us as his machines…
We cannot be aware of our subconscious any more than we can be aware of our subconscious deeds… the challenge I gave (on this occasion) to Steve Hale was to become more aware of his own subconscious deeds. I have an inkling that you already have some ability in this direction. Once you have the key, you can work on unlocking the door. This is the topic of the post, and without that key, without that struggle, we are lost.
I have a very great deal to say on this topic, but don’t take fright, dear moderator, it will be posted on my website. I will look at one aspect of this statement – that of relationships. Business is a relationship between two human beings. Technology – as witnessed in your statement – is only a way of bringing people together.
I could go on about those who are tempted by technology to hide from business relationships, and it was this reason that I stopped doing Adwords (see above). The effectiveness of Adwords is in communicating, not selling. Technology when respected as a purveyor of relationships is effective. But I have to add this disclaimer: the realities of business are always tangible. A system can only provide this (even if the tangible product is a downloadable software system!). The system will not improve a relationship.
The better the relationship, the better the business – and I have little doubt that you are in agreement with this, Daniel. The better the relationship, the better and closer the friendship. The two are the same, and this is where we return to the topic at hand, the striving: what if we are striving to have a relationship with the hierarchies? How can we achieve this? What is more, it all begins with relationships.
When people prefer the comfortable isolation of the library at Rudolf Steiner house? Or the comfortable isolation of their hermit’s cave? Or the comfortable isolation of their computer interface? All of this leads away from direct relationships with other human beings – where the hierarchies can be present. It is in relationships with other people that one’s strivings have the most impact on the worlds unseen.
It starts, however, with the realization that you have made yourself, in that one must look at technology as one’s servant. When we make Ahriman our servant we bring him into consciousness… but this is precisely the point where we can lay technology to one side and get on with the true work of the human in our rightful place as the tenth angelic hierarchy.
And it all starts with true relationships.
The following is a tale of someone who was the servant of Ahriman:
As you can see, my posts are on-topic, but then I get assaulted with very blatant attempts to discredit me. Why do you allow these comments to be published, and then ask that we (Gemma/Steve) discuss it in private?
You should have forbid Gemma’s remarks entirely, as being off-topic. Mine were all about waking up. Tell me if you don’t think so.
Thus, the phenomenon here is one where technology, which is sub-earthly, has the ahrimanic character of being described in the most extremely profound terms by its various authors as a kind of justification for its existence. In reality, it is the Christ that has been working to make the inevitable materialism a fine science, and wherein humanity can be lifted from the burdens of hard labor. Ahriman, indeed, has to respect this overriding control by Christ, and yet, still tries to get his own advantage from out of the lower worlds. Thus, Ahriman wields a certain power today,in which non-wakeful consumers are succumbing to the entices of lower world being and behavior.
I thought that this was very adequately conveyed earlier when I said that without Christ leading us into the present ascendant phase of earth evolution, this whole situation of Ahriman, and yes, even Lucifer, would not exist. For it is Christ Incarnated that has ultimately driven Lucifer and Ahriman down into the sub-earthly regions, where they now serve this fine science that Christ has brought forth in order to eventually overcome the materialism that still burdens the world today.
My experience involves working many years in the ahrimanic world of both military and aerospace applications, and wherein I have seen the evolution of computer applications from the Univac 1050-II, to MS-DOS, COBOL, and then the NT servers and HTML world of hyper-text, which means that the old mainframes and their coding were replaced by the realization that computer code (language) could be impressed right into the etheric world. This realization is why we are at “where we are at” today. It could not be a fact of existence without the reappearance of Christ in the Etheric. Nor could the advent of the Internet be possible without this moralized etheric element.
I mentioned that you should allow blog comments to stand on their own, without being assaulted, which is clearly what we have here. I am only writing for the purpose of offering something useful out of spiritual science. This attack was very blatant as you, and all can see.
This is a very well considered response to Gemma. She seems to exhort Ahriman in the ways that you see as being both problematic and resultive.
Of course, that is true, and yet, a decided “ahrimanic authorship” can be evinced in Gemma’s various blog works. I only addressed it in a minor way and got assaulted for it. Hopefully, your better tact here will serve you well.
On her behalf, she is already being heralded as the true “spiritual anthroposophist” in our time by a fellow alumni of the class of ‘ahrimanus verus Christus’.
This thread itself certainly says a thing or two about “the state of anthroposophy today”, which Jeremy asked for opinions about.
Not that it is very uplifting or anything.
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The WC thread certainly says a thing or two about the “state of WC today.” Does that tell you anything interesting? I’m sure you have some ideas about what would make a better Society?
The answer to my first question is, no.
Don’t worry. The WC thread helped to further dismantle the likes of the critics, which has been reduced to further iterations of old Staudenmaier research about the past. Even today, it was shown how a present scholar of anthroposophy, Jost Schieren, is acknowledged by the WC as holding certain progressive aims, and yet still holds largely to the anthroposophical roots. They see it as a step forward in their reformation project, while we can see it as confirming the fact that anthroposophy must be recognized in our time.
The so-called “baby and bathwater” must remain intact. Schieren admits this in his interview, and hopes that progress can be made. That must be why the critics, like Alicia, find him refreshing, although he still espouses anthroposophy in his heart.
A Point Of Order.
There is a remarkable difference between a person who has striven to free themselves from the snares of Ahriman, and someone who only thinks they have.
The very real problem here is that the person who only thinks they have freed themselves will actually believe that they have done so. However, for the more perceptive amongst you, it should be clear that someone who has striven is the kind of person who is not so sure of their own ability to overcome the great deceiver.
Furthermore, the more one has striven, the more clearly the deeds of Ahriman appear to one; this means such a person can explain these deeds and need not employ the term ‘Ahriman’. The person who has not striven will be unable to do this, and will merely repeat the term time and time again without any clear idea of what it really means. Again, the problem is that they think they do… to those with more perception, it will be clear that they only think they do, and the reality is that they cannot. They are also the kind of person who speaks about being attacked, and will do so in plain speech.
Either you question yourself, or it’s game over. Those who feel no need to examine their lives in the context of those they meet and converse with are part of the latter group.
I have said enough.
I would suggest that you are taking this debate too personally. I don’t claim to know exactly how much Christ has penetrated the silicon of computer circuits vs. how much Ahriman lives there. I don’t think Gemma is making this claim either, but I’m not attempting to speak for her.
I believe it extraordinary and outlandish for anyone to claim perfect knowledge of this domain. What we can perceive and experience is the cold calculations done in computer circuitry. This we can perceive with our thinking, and our thinking is the first step to clairvoyance. We also can perceive the uniting forces of communication across the globe via the web and our technology. Yet what unites us is not ultimately the technology, but the human compassion, love, and interest in others, with technology as a transport.
The point is that Christ can only directly work through the human being. He also exists in the etheric earth, but is that really touching computer chips? If you believe that, what is the basis? What does that mean for you? And why would it not be reasonable for someone else to challenge that stance?
Now there are a few places where I agree with you and where this started my discussion with Gemma. I appreciated your non-knee-jerk rejection to technology. I can’t tell you how important it is for me to have someone say something positive about technology from the spiritual science perspective. I defend technology mainly because I feel it is usually served up as the “devil.” – It is how we use it, how we understand it and how accurate we are in our appraisal of it that matters. And yet Ahriman is certainly connected to the cold of the compute engine.
In the concepts used to develop computers are cosmic archetypes. In my understanding of Gemma’s position, she would allow this as well. I know I see the same archetypes in my computer development as I see in my meditative work and even in my First Class work. In this regard I am inspired in my engineering work by the incredible concepts and archetypes in the spiritual science lectures.
I believe there is incredible positive, human, love filled work in human beings that can also exist along side technology. I am cautious about putting too much of Christ in the sub-human realm directly. For me, the Christ works through human beings and through nature forces. Perhaps there is some overlap between Christ and the mineral as it exists in nature, but it is hard to see how transformed mineral, as with the computer chip, relates to Christ forces.
I hope my perspective is clear. I hope you can be a bit more forgiving to Gemma, who I don’t see as having a significantly different perspective than my own. I believe that archetypes that live in the highest spiritual realities can be inspiration for computer development, and yet computers are still machines. They live in the sub-human domain and as much as we can be inspired in our work with them, they will only reflect archetypes as machines.
I suppose now I can reflect back to the topic at hand. This is directly related to the future of spiritual science. If we can appreciate how in our human minds, even in our computer engineering as in other fields of work, we work with the highest archetypes, while also recognizing that what remains as the product of creation is a sub-human device, we will go far to heal what ails the Anthroposophical Society.
The world and our society does not only require education, food and medicine. We require technology for the evolution of humanity. This can be true while it is also true that technology is sub-human. Remember that eventually we will create beings with our words. I feel we see the first rudimentary reflections of this in our technical work.
Thankyou, Daniel Perez.
And as a member of the First Class, you will know that the fallen ethers are all ‘created’ out of cosmic archetypes… it is not for us to indulge ourselves in them, immerse ourselves in them, fall for their temptations, hook, line and sinker.
It is for us to meet the challenges they bring us and transform them!
Rudolf Steiner gave clear warnings in his ‘World Economy’ series of lectures that treating machines as the be-all and end-all of economics would lead to inevitable disaster. One that is unfolding before your very eyes.
Just look at Amazon, paying some $0,009 for each page that is read… how many pages need to be read by how many people to make a day’s living in our technological age? When Amazon is making ten cents per page read? (Allow me this excess, I don’t know the exact figures, but judging by the way most corporations treat those who are chained to them, I wouldn’t put it past them to profiteer in this fashion).
A worker in Europe needs to be a superhuman to earn his daily bread now, move forty tons of goods four hundred miles – and adds colossal amounts of pollution in doing so. Try doing that with a horse and cart and you will come up against a logistical nightmare that only Ahriman could bring us!
The internet is, as you say, a medium of communication. But think: why do we need to pollute our planet with all the electricity generated for these piles of electronic boxes – when with a little patience and compassion, we could find people in our locality who genuinely need our help?
The technology humanity requires will address this issue of patience and compassion directly. We do not need more stimulation from battery powered equipment that takes us away from this very human need!!
I believe for now we have taken this as far as we may. It is true that we must focus on what is human, and not be ruled by technology. However, I still believe that you do not create a space for technology in the world. The world will continue to develop technology, so you can ignore this at your own peril. How can you transform what you can only ridicule?
There is no more rational thought that can be expounded at this point, because we are now in the theory of the future and how we can bring about that future. History is ripe with examples of those who “warned” against technology. Steiner gave extensive examples of those who claimed, for example, that prior to the first railroad that if there were a railroad train operating at about 60MPH (of course he used metric units), that farmers would get concussions. This of course was absurd.
I’ll leave you with Steiner’s description:
“Where this kind of thing goes on, the wish to yoke up human strength with the strength of machines is always involved. It would be quite mistaken merely to oppose these things They are not going to fade away; they are on the march. The only question is whether in the course of world-history they are going to be brought on to the scene by men who are unselfishly aware of the great aims of earth-evolution and wish to shape these developments for the healing of mankind, or by groups of men who want to use them for their own or the group’s selfish ends. That is the issue. The point is not what is going to happen, for it certainly will happen, but how it happens — how these things are handled. The welding together of men with machines will be a great and important problem for the rest of earth-evolution.”
We may cry and lament at this tragic condition, or we can become conscious of what separates technology from humanity. I have chosen the path that leads to building a bridge between Anthroposophy and technology. I could have become a Waldorf teacher, or a priest in the Christian community. I chose to learn about the belly of the beast, so it may be transformed from within. Hiding in the monastery might be attractive, but it solves little for humanity. The Society will be abandoned if this type of attitude prevails.
Some additional interesting quotes:
“What used to be accomplished on the altar only must lay hold of the entire world. Humanity must learn to deal with nature as the gods themselves have done: not building machines in an indifferent way, but doing everything as an act of divine service and bringing the sacramental into everything.”
“…Men will achieve something through which the mechanics of living will be detached, in a certain sense, from man himself, but will not give any one group power and rulership over another. The cosmic forces drawn from this direction will create remarkable machines, but only those that will relieve man of work, because they will carry a certain power of intelligence within themselves, [AI]. And a Spiritual Science which itself reaches out towards the cosmic will have to see to it that all the great temptations which come from these machine-animals, created by man himself, are not allowed to exercise any harmful influence upon him.”
“…Men must learn to know that when a workman stands at his bench and the sparks fly about, elemental spirits are being created who pass over into the world-process and have their significance there. … They will certainly come into existence; the important point is that they should come into existence rightly, in the right way. For elemental spirits that are destructive of the world-process can be engendered, as well as those that serve the world-process.” – The Karma of Vocation
“…No-one of course must imagine that what I have just said means that we ought to do away with steam engines. In that case we should have to do away with a great deal, for steam engines are by no means the most demoniacal devices. Wherever electricity and much else is used, there is far more demon magic, for electricity operates with quite different forces which have a different significance for the cosmos. Anyone who understands Spiritual Science will naturally know clearly that these things are not to be done away with; that we cannot be reactionary or conservative in the sense of opposing progress. Indeed, demon magic signifies progress, and the earth will make more and more progress of this kind. A stage will even be reached when it will be possible to produce great effects outwards into the cosmos.” – The Karma of Vocation
Daniel, you quote the following:
In the case of the railways you gave, I would ask you in response to this, where are the men who would use a railway for the healing of mankind? For every man that would employ them in such a way, there are ten thousand wringing their hands in greed and thinking of the profits they will make from the transport of goods.
In a like manner: where are those who would use a computer for good? Here we have ten thousand who would employ a computer to sate their own greed, to defraud others (in the manner of the US and British banks), to rig the stockmarkets with the algorithmic buying and selling of shares.
Let us look at this website, anthropopper. Does Jeremy get paid for doing this? I doubt it, and as with all things done freely (see my comment on the next post on Eastertide) those things done freely are a reward in themselves. There is no need to force a person to do something they enjoy, and when it is shared and done for the benefit of others, it is then that the person has at least attempted to redeem that part of themselves.
In this manner one can employ technology for good.
My intent is to always keep things impersonal until the personal is brought in from outside, which perforce requires the necessary response. I see it as the social element wanting to come alive, and you have responded accordingly. Thus, whatever forgiveness you might have imagined being needed, has already occurred. It is extended to you, as well. The issue is one of understanding, and its obverse. In today’s world, especially in the esoteric market, the realm of misunderstanding is quite large, and must encompass a database of huge proportion.
So, please allow these comments to your well-considered opinions:
Briefly, I see no dwelling of Christ in the sub-earthly as a continuing influence. Lucifer and Ahriman dwell there because Christ has brought them both down in a loving fashion, and that is why Steiner felt the need to carefully image these downfalls in his lecture from May 18, 1915, “Christ in Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman”. Two years before he began the sculpting of his “Representative of Man” in 1917, he artistically imagined exactly what it had to convey.
And that is how the actual downfall of Lucifer and Ahriman place them in the sub-nature domains of desecrated light (electricity), and magnetism (chemistry). A further third-degree of downfall involves the Asuras, which is the so-called ‘atomic’ level of negative-force energy, which was activated in 1945.
The only thing that could lift Lucifer and Ahriman up today, in support of post-modern technical materialism, is Sorat/Sorath/Soradt; the anti-Christ. And this is the challenge in seeing both the good and constructive side of technology, and the side that is reactionary. Being awake and aware of all that is involved is the key, of course.
“Some day when the building in Dornach that is dedicated to the spiritual sciences is completed, it will contain, in a significant spot, a sculpture dominated by three figures. In the center of this group a figure will tower as if it were the manifestation of what I would call the most sublime human principle ever to unfold on earth. Hence, one will be able to experience this representation of the highest human principle in the evolution of the earth-the Christ, who in the course of this evolution lived three years in the body of Jesus of Nazareth. A special task in the portrayal of this Christ figure will be to make two ideas visible. Firstly, it will be important to show how the being that we are concerned with dwells in a human body. Secondly, it must also become apparent how this human body, in every facial expression and in every gesture reflects a magnificent degree of spiritual refinement, which descended with the Christ from cosmic and spiritual heights into this body in its thirtieth year.
Then there will be the remaining two figures of the group, one to the left and the other to the right of the Christ figure, if that is the proper name for the figure that I have just sketched. This Christ figure is placed in such a way that it seems to be standing in front of a rock that towers noticeably at His left side, with its peak extending over His head. On top of the rock there will be another figure, winged but with his wings broken, who for this reason begins to fall into the abyss. One feature in the Christ figure that must be worked out with special artistic care is the manner in which he raises his left arm, for it is precisely this gesture that precipitates the breaking of the wings. It must not appear, however, as if the Christ Himself were breaking the wings of this being.
Rather, the interaction of the two figures must be portrayed artistically to show how the Christ, by the very motion of raising his hand, is expressing his infinite compassion for this being. Yet this being cannot bear the energy flowing upward through arm and hand, an energy that is evidenced by indentations that the fingers of the extended hand seem to leave in the rock itself. When this being comes into proximity with the Christ being, he feels something that may be expressed in the words: I cannot bear the radiation of such purity upon me.”
Did you intend to state that some products are worthy of compensation while others are not? While it is true that altruistic goals are worthy, compensation such that an individual can live, send their children to Waldorf or other schools, and pursue the arts are also worthy, are they not? Then your response does not hold together. You are mixing your dislike of “greed” with valid commerce. This is covered quite well in Steiner’s Threefold Social Order.
If a farmer is going to produce an ear of corn for my table, should his family also be able to attend school and pursue the arts? What about my family, where my produce is technology? Are you deciding what is a moral product for others? Is the farmer’s product the good one while mine is “fallen?” If so, perhaps you could expand on how my product is of a different quality than the farmers?
Now we may need to take this discussion elsewhere, if it is too far off topic. Where it is right on topic for me is that Anthroposophy will die if those who carry it think like this, in my opinion. Actually, I think this is not just an opinion, but objective logic. It is consistent with the Threefold Social Order.
there is a clear difference between the free act that I spoke of and the needs of a business that fulfill the requirements of one’s karma.
I will add that when in business, many of my clients were so pleased with the work done that they had their pens ready to write the cheque before I’d even had time to write out my receipt. Now, as you say, I needed that money to live, pay for various things and fulfill the demands made by my karma. However, one can do these things in a way that prepares one to work in freedom.
Thus whilst one is required perforce to fulfill one’s karma, one can employ it to strengthen oneself to work with the free, the eternal. It is the understanding of this which will untangle the riddle Rudolf Steiner gave us of thinking death as imagining the job of a railway train is to wear out the tracks.
That is the distinction I make, and it is one as clear as the difference between Purchase Money and Gift Money – a thorough understanding of which is essential if one is to have a hope of comprehending the Threefold Social Order.
I appreciate your reply. I like the image of the Christ’s hand indirectly “breaking” the wing of Lucifer, such that he descends into sub-human depths. It is also interesting to see how predictive Steiner ideas were of the atomic bomb. Too bad his wish that we had raised our morality before fission was discovered did not come to pass.
Yes, Steiner was very predictive of the eventuality of negative third-force energy, as seen with the atomic bomb. His vision encompassed all that the Christ had to bring low in order for humanity to begin to rise again.
Here is where he begins to describe what occurs with the right hand extended to Ahriman; the bat-like figure that dwells in the cave.
“This feeling dominates so essentially as to break this upper beings wings and cause his imminent plunge into the abyss. To make this visible will be a particularly important artistic task and you will see how the meaning of this interaction could easily be misunderstood. Imagine, for example, an artistic portrayal of the Christ suggesting that merely by raising His hand He would radiate such power onto the being that his wings would be broken, forcing the plunge into the abyss. In that case it would be the Christ Himself who irradiated this being, as it were, with hatred, and thereby caused his descent. Such an impression must under no circumstances be conveyed. Rather, the being must be portrayed as having caused his own fall, for what is to be shown plunging downward, with broken wings, is Lucifer.
Now let us consider the other side of the group, toward the right of the Christ figure. There, the rock will have a ledge and, therefore, will be concave underneath. In this depression there will be another winged figure, who with his arm-like organs turns toward the ledge above. You have to visualize this as follows. To the right is the depression in the rock and in it stands this winged figure with wings entirely different from the figure on top of the rock. The wings of the figure on top of the rock resemble those of an eagle, whereas the figure in the depression has bat-like wings. This figure virtually buries himself in the cave, working in shackles, ever busy undermining the earthly realm.
The Christ figure in the middle has his right hand directed downward and the left one upward. Again, it will be an important artistic task not to show the Christ as wanting to shackle this figure; rather, he has infinite compassion for this being, which is Ahriman. Ahriman cannot bear this compassion and he writhes with pain from what the hand of the Christ exudes. This radiance from Christ’s hand causes the golden veins down in the rock depression to wind around Ahriman’s body like strong cords and shackle him. What is happening to Lucifer is his own doing; the same is true with Ahriman. This concept is going to take form as a sculpture that will be set up in a significant place in the new building. Above the sculptured group we will attempt to express the same motif through the medium of painting, but then the concept must be expressed differently. To summarize, the group of three figures: Christ, Lucifer and Ahriman will stand at the bottom as a sculpture, and above, the same motif will appear as a painting.
We are injecting this configuration of a relationship between Christ, Lucifer and Ahriman into our Dornach building because the science of the spirit reveals to us in a certain way that the next task regarding the comprehension of the Christ impulse will be to make man finally understand how the three forces of Christ, Lucifer and Ahriman are related in this world.”
This will take us too far afield as we parse the needs of the Threefold Social Order. I am glad you have concerned yourself with the concepts therein, but I also found your response a bit cryptic. My concern, and one that remains true for me, is the cosmic puzzle over the judgement and sometimes rejection of technology by Anthroposophists as it relates to the evolution of the earth.
I once knew an individual who ate unhealthy food. He said he wished to eat what the poor ate, out of brotherhood. Was it wrong for him to eat the processed food and support big food conglomerates, or was the love of living with the masses more important? I don’t believe there is a simple answer to such a question. Avoiding “poor food” can also come from egotism and self-absorption.
There will always be the *intent* behind such an act. Was he just claiming this to make an excuse for his eating choices? Was it the correct decision even if it was his genuine intent? And can we transform material while abstaining, or do we need to engage and understand it?
You gave some examples of greed that stand independent of technology. Most of the issues technology amplifies were there in subtler form a long time ago. I feel it is too easy to mix ideas, blame technology for human nature, and retreat into a monastic condition. We can understand the death-nature of technology while also engaging in its existence. Perhaps this is as far as we may take a complex topic on a comments section of a blog. To be continued another time.
I will do my best to arrange my thoughts and keep them on topic!
For a start, is not the point at which one must wake up, the point at which one finds something cryptic? Puzzling? Believe me, if you take the time to consider the things Rudolf Steiner spoke about in his World Economy lectures, you will find that they do make sense.
That unravelling of puzzles is to deal with the confusions in one’s own mind that are present as a result of Ahriman and Lucifer. The problem is that most people prefer to believe the lies they tell themselves rather than seek the reality and so challenge their own manner of thinking.
That is the first step on the Path of Initiation. Without that, anything further striving has to be undone and thought through again in the light of the truth one has unveiled. This isn’t to say that practicing the verses and studying the lectures of the First Class is wrong – only it has to be done in a manner that questions one’s own comprehension of them.
As to your friend who ate processed food: Rudolf Steiner made it quite clear that good, nutritious food improves the ability to think. My friend who lectures at the business school in Amsterdam told me they wanted to improve their results – I told him straight: less pressure on the students ( = less exams!) and clear out the chicken and chips from the canteen! Serve freshly cooked organic food, and you will see a change in the exam results, for the better.
But at least it was a conscious act, albeit one that he might have come to regret as he found he couldn’t do up his trousers any longer… the other side of the coin is this: did he do any of the menial labour that many such people do, that burns off the fat and the calories they consume? Believe me, a healthy carpenter can pack food away at a rate that is bewildering.
The real essence of striving is to untangle the paradoxes that confuse the intellectual mind. The key to solving these things is rhythmical practice – growing food according to the bio-dynamic practices, practicing the verses at morning and sunset, doing something meaningful at a certain time of day. All these things will lead one to wonder, and it is that very wonder that will unravel a cryptic sentence.
In doing so, you will be transforming Ahriman’s whispers into clear thinking.
As to human greed, I’m afraid that technology is all too easy to abuse to one’s own ends. The banks in the USA and United Kingdom are clear examples of this kind of excess, part and parcel of which is the point at which they have to fess up to their frauds. Usually, they’ll just say “sorry mate, what do you expect from an American salesman?” and walk away from the securities they sold you in good faith.
If one is to work with technology properly, it requires the utmost morality from the human being. That means they question each and every step they take with it, form clear concepts as to what it is and what it does. Not forgetting the downsides that are all too easy to forget.
Unless you can challenge the Ahriman within yourself, you will be consumed by technology, just as Ahriman consumes too much of modern humanity’s consciousness. This isn’t a game: those who say they are anthroposophists and cannot discern the Ahriman within themselves are going to lose the games they are playing – when they should be striving.
My apologies if this is not on topic; it is not on topic as it discusses the results of those who have not striven rather than anything to do with striving.
This and the following quotes were taken from the lecture series GA204.
I want first to examine the term Rudolf Steiner uses here, ‘mineral-plant-like spiders’. It is one thing to fantasize about these things, it is quite another to imagine their reality. In the above quote, Rudolf Steiner does not beat about the bush. Because their reality is a mineral endowed with sub-etheric forces in a manner that is quintessentially evil.
A “mineral endowed with a sub-etheric force”. That is to say, manipulated silicon with a voltage applied across it. In modern parlance, a transistor.
Remember that these are ethers that we, humanity, should be endowing with life through imaginative thinking, we employ with our click-clack material thinking to sate the basest of selfish desires.
This is where we stand today, yet Rudolf Steiner speaks of this as coming to pass in the eighth millennium. No doubt he was speaking in order not to start the pigeons; to those who had more sense, and believed what they – and Steiner himself – saw the potential for such an outcome unfolding around them in the 1920s.
We live today in a world where most people are utterly unaware of the reality of the internet, which is the truest expression of Rudolf Steiner’s thoughts regarding these evil spiders. There are other emanations of this, the electrical power supplies that criss-cross any modern country, and the railway locomotives dashing around like some agitated machine-plant-worm.
It is our job to redeem the sub-ethers, and the beings that brought them about: it is not for us to indulge in them.
The internet can be likened to this artificial kingdom between mineral and plant. By raising our present shadowy intellects, which know only of the physical-mineral limits of the earthly descent, we can remain outside the fetters of Ahriman, and restore to Christ the proper Ethernet. Much in the way of a kind of replicant thinking being exists today that mimics human thought at this shadowy level. It also arises out of this artificial kingdom.
“Since the last third of the nineteenth century, we are actually dealing with the influx of spirit beings from the universe. Initially, these were beings dwelling in the sphere between the moon and Mercury, but they are closing in upon earth, so to say, seeking to gain a foothold in earthly life through human beings imbuing themselves with thoughts of spiritual beings in the cosmos. This is another way of describing what I outlined earlier when I said that we must call our shadowy intellect to life with the pictures of spiritual science. That is the abstract way of describing it. The description is concrete when we say: Spirit beings are seeking to come down into earth existence and must be received. Upheaval upon upheaval will ensue, and earth existence will at length arrive at social chaos if these beings descended and human existence were to consist only of opposition against them. For these beings wish to be nothing less than the advance guard of what will happen to earth existence when the moon reunites once again with earth.”
“All the beings presently conceived so incorrectly in people’s thoughts – incorrectly because the mere shadowy intellect can only conceive of the mineral, the crudely material element, be it in the mineral, plant, animal or even human kingdom, these thoughts of human beings that have no reality all of a sudden will become realities when the moon and the earth will unite again. From the earth, there will spring forth a horrible brood of beings. In character they will be in between the mineral and plant kingdoms. They will be beings resembling automatons, with an over-abundant intellect of great intensity. Along with this development, which will spread over the earth, the latter will be covered as if by a network or web of ghastly spiders possessing tremendous wisdom. Yet their organization will not even reach up to the level of the plants. They will be horrible spiders who will be entangled with one another. In their outward movements they will imitate everything human beings have thought up with their shadowy intellect, which did not allow itself to be stimulated by what is to come through new Imagination and through spiritual science in general.”
—- Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy, Lecture XIV, 13 May 1921
I was trying to give our host Jeremy a break, as he has moved on to Easter, and it is Good Friday after all. However, I believe this needs addressing.
You wrote, “there is a clear difference between the free act that I spoke of and the needs of a business that fulfill the requirements of one’s karma.” I do not believe you have standing to declare that all of business needs are for the fulfillment of one’s personal karma. There are many positions that Steiner held and they were not all for the sake of personal karma. I doubt you meant that. – If you did intend this, then I would point out that Steiner’s work on Goethe’s scientific works had meaning for the cosmos. You may say that these facts are not mutually exclusive, but it is not clear.
I appreciate very much your follow up clarification on your perspective on the role of technology and our relationship to it. You wrote, “It is our job to redeem the sub-ethers, and the beings that brought them about: it is not for us to indulge in them.” This is exactly the classic position of my Anthroposophical colleagues. These are truly my fellow Spiritual Science travelers, so I say this with the greatest of respect!
You are judging from what I believe is your “personal karma” what is a great spiritual mystery for humanity. You have decided that “not indulging” the sub-ethers is to eat organic food and not participate in the evolution of the earth as it passes through the mechanisation process? This is a very deep puzzle! 🙂
Steve has graciously posted a relevant section of Steiner’s work on this topic. “Spirit beings are seeking to come down into earth existence and must be received. Upheaval upon upheaval will ensue, and earth existence will at length arrive at social chaos if these beings descended and human existence were to consist only of opposition against them. For these beings wish to be nothing less than the advance guard of what will happen to earth existence when the moon reunites once again with earth.”
I wish to meet the beings who, “wish to be nothing less than the advance guard.” Further, from the Leading Thoughts, “He must understand Sub-Nature for what it really is. This he can only do if he rises, in spiritual knowledge, at least as far into extra-earthly Super-Nature as he has descended, in technical Sciences, into Sub-Nature. The age requires a knowledge transcending Nature, because in its inner life it must come to grips with a life-content which has sunk far beneath Nature — a life-content whose influence is perilous. Needless to say, there can be no question here of advocating a return to earlier states of civilisation.”
I am a student of the Threefold Social Order. I am also a student of Anthroposophy in general. My road to Anthroposophy started at 7 years old while in 2nd grade at the Green Meadow Waldorf School. Our family had no conventional connection to Anthroposophy or spiritual science prior to this point. My parents were raised Catholic in Queens NY, changed to Baptist, and died in the care of Anthroposophists, the Christian Community, and their Baptist friends before I was a Junior in college.
I was programming computers by 12 to 13 years old. This was the same time that reading the Bible opened up secrets of human thought that led a couple of years later to a study of Soloviev and Tomberg, as they reflected on my favorite book, the Apocalypse. From there my high school years were filled with personal studies and personal friendships with Anthroposophists in Spring Valley. Due to the illness of my parents I had to start college while still in high school, and I studied Genesis with Florin Lowndes from a Spiritual Science perspective. I studied poetry with a Waldorf parent who was a poet in a local college. And I was given mantras from Christian Community priests written by Steiner, to speak at the side of my parents as they transitioned into another state of being.
The picture I’m painting is one where there is intimate knowledge of the aims of Spiritual Science and Anthroposophy. I leave you free to disagree, but I wanted to make it clear that my perspective is not lightly earned. My parents were born into poor families in Queens, not the upper middle class family they had formed when I was born. So I am well aware that not everyone will have organic produce, or a Waldorf education. Across all classes and layers of society it will be necessary to meet the “advanced guard” of beings preparing for the next epochs.
The study I did with Florin Lowndes was one of archetypes. The book of Genesis is a wonderful journey of the earth from archetypal thought-forms into sentient existence. These archetypes live on in my daily work as I construct complex computer systems. I find no difference in origin between my meditative work for the First Class and my thought-work in my daily architecture efforts. The focus of the efforts is different, one is focused on the cosmic and spiritual, while the other is focused on the earth exclusively. However, the origin of the cosmic intelligence is the same. For me it is all about consciousness.
Steiner gives the healing prescription, “The age requires a knowledge transcending Nature, because in its inner life it must come to grips with a life-content which has sunk far beneath Nature.” There is no question that our technical products are other than “far beneath Nature.” The question is our right relationship to the fallen beings. Will we be prepared to meet the, “advance guard” of beings who wish to prepare us for the reuniting of the Moon and the Earth?
Spiritual archetypes can be seen to be reflected in our modern computer architecture. For some, such an idea is a glorification of technology. This is not true. To avoid technology we will not learn what has fallen. You can say all you wish that this or that being has fallen, but you can not redeem what is far below and out of reach of understanding.
Easter Greetings! May the fallen ethers rise again.
It is one thing to say this, and it is quite another to know how to tackle – and redeem them. That is our job in sub-nature, not to indulge ourselves in it!!
None of us can see the Ahriman within us – so how is it possible to deal with his influence in our lives, if we cannot see it within us? This answer to this simple paradox will give you the key to striving.
“None of us can see the Ahriman within us – so how is it possible to deal with his influence in our lives, if we cannot see it within us? This answer to this simple paradox will give you the key to striving.”
Self-observation and self study, as the beginning of a true psychology, holds the key to a clear recognition of the workings of Ahriman within. Since Ahriman is quite close to us, within the etheric body and its evolution as the Intellectual Soul, it is really a matter of conscious awareness in apprehending how Ahriman works within the rather established system of habits, opinions, lies, identification, consideration, false imagination, and any number of other dictates that exist within the human etheric body.
As such, one fights Ahriman everyday, or simply succumbs to the influence of a spiritual being that has been driven down into the sub-earthly in order to dwell within human nature itself. One can either be simply a part of the man-machine mentality, or develop a kind of “divided attention”, in which the true self always remains outside the subjective domain of the ahrimanic-manufacturing environment, and exists in pure self-observation as a spiritually motivated entity.
With the “advance guard” of spiritual beings descending in the 1880’s as the ‘heavenly host’ of Michael, it can also be shown that they sought a way to commune with the fallen humanity, which had become ever more bound to the materialism that progressively forced the Christ out of the etheric envelope of the Earth. This effort coincided with the victory of Michael in 1879, which forced out a certain group of ahrimanic spirits, and cast them down to earth in order to increase the materialism as seen in the period from 1879 to 1918.
In 1915, Michael was compelled to bring forth the Etheric Body of the Russian Folk Soul as a means to aid in the dissolution of the etheric bodies of the young French soldiers who had died at the first Battle of Marne, which could have ended the war in favor of Germany, yet remained a condition of young unexpended etheric bodies in the field of battle in the astral world. Thus, Michael called on the Russian Folk Soul to help in this amelioration process of the French, and accelerate their entry into the spiritual world in order to begin the Kamaloca process.
As a result, an “advance guard” of Russian mystics, with prior philosophical training in the Greek epoch, came rather immediately on the scene in order to specifically aid the Consciousness Soul age with a necessary assist from the future Spirit-Self age. This brought about a program for the identification of Ahriman’s working in the etheric body, and a disciplined effort to battle this presence by wielding Michael’s Sword of Meteoric Iron in defeating the dragon.
Thus, while Ahriman has most of us by the collar in our day and age, it can also be shown that spiritual science has brought forth a certain “advance guard” of the future Spirit-Self age as a support in identifying and eradicating Ahriman. Consider it as part of the “Battle for the Cosmic Intelligence”, which also signaled anthroposophy’s entry into its third phase of development, c. September 1914.
Steve Hale, you are making the same mistake you always do.
For those of you confused by the nature of Ahriman, please be aware that none of us can see Ahriman. Put the other way around, there is no way that we can look into ourselves and see the errors that Ahriman hides from us.
Whilst this has been stated a few times, it is interesting to see how many times this has been ignored because it is obvious that it is possible to perceive, well, everything. But this is the point: our subconscious is just that, it is beneath our ability to be conscious of. The paradox is that we think that because we can see everything, perceive everything, that is all there is to see.
There is one thing I look for in another person, and it is the ability to recognize what others have to teach them. It is this that leads to true striving, and this alone.
If like most, they are satisfied with what they have and see nothing in other people, there is nothing they can learn from them – and Ahriman has complete control over the areas that such a person cannot perceive. These people will strive within themselves, but all that will need undoing and re-learning when – if – they ever clear their Ahrimanic Double.