I’m still reflecting on the phenomenon of evil that was the subject of my last post, and in particular the statement from Rudolf Steiner with which that post ended: “What people in our epoch must learn is the need to wage a fully conscious fight against the evil that is making its way into human evolution.”
Steiner was speaking at the time of the First World War. He was undoubtedly looking ahead to all the horrors that were to be visited on human beings in the 20th and 21st centuries and to our present time, in which unspeakable depravities are being committed, often in the name of God.
Rudolf Steiner exhorted people to wake up and to observe what was really going on, not only behind the façade of political and economic events but also beyond our immediate physical reality. Almost exactly 100 years ago, and not long after the Russian revolution, he spoke in terms that are just as relevant today:
“At the present time of severe trials it must be quite natural to anyone who has a heartfelt interest in the endeavours of anthroposophical spiritual science to reflect upon the relations existing between the fact that this spiritual-scientific movement started at the beginning of the twentieth century to send its impulses into the evolution of mankind and the other fact that mankind of the present age has been engulfed by catastrophic events. How catastrophic these events are for mankind has not yet been fully understood, for people are accustomed today to a life without the spirit. To live without the spirit, however, is to live superficially; and to live superficially causes human beings to sleep away the important impressions of the events taking place around them. To sleep through important events is a special characteristic of the human being of the present age. There are few people today who arrive at an adequate conception of the severity and incisiveness of present-day events. Most of them live from day to day.”
Why has there been this intensification, a kind of industrialisation, of the scale of evil on this Earth? And how can we wake up to what is really going on and begin to counteract “the evil that is making its way into human evolution”?
By way of context, I have written in an earlier posting about what Steiner called “the war in heaven” that took place over the period 1840 to 1879 between the Archangel Michael and the dark angels. I won’t repeat it here, except to say that since that time, when these dark forces were cast out of heaven and into the earth, they have been working within the blood and nervous system of human beings in an attempt to reverse both human and angelic evolution.
It is no coincidence that since the fall to earth of these dark angels, humanity has endured what must surely be the most terrible century in the whole of human history.
Rudolf Steiner speaks of the Archangel Michael who maintains the balance in the world between too much disembodied fantasy (dominated by Lucifer) and too much cold intellectuality and materialism (dominated by Ahriman). Lucifer and Ahriman are in Steiner’s view two polarities of evil but they are also actual spiritual beings, who are active within humanity. They are evil in the sense that they both strive to hinder the human being’s spiritual development. But Steiner does not have a simplistic view of Lucifer and Ahriman as merely oppositional to humanity; in a lecture given in Munich on February 17th 1918, he had this to say:
“The spiritual Beings, whose task it was to fight against the Michaelic principle, were the same ones whose task it was to bring differentiation into humanity, to split unified humanity into races and peoples, to bring about all those differences connected with the blood, with nerves, with temperament. This had to happen. We may call these spiritual beings who had to bring such differentiation into humanity “Ahrimanic” Beings. We may call them such, but we must realise that the Ahrimanic principle was a necessity in the whole course of human evolution.” (Schmidt Number S-3482)
Christ and Michael hold the balance between these two polarities and they work closely together, for Michael is known as the Countenance of Christ. By casting down the angels of darkness into the earth, it is almost as though Michael has inflicted a situation in which human beings have had to suffer far, far more than would have been the case if we had been left to our own devices. And here we come to a strange paradox, which is that the forces of both good and evil proceed from God.
This is a powerful reason why many people say they do not believe in God, for how can a god of love who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent allow phenomena such as Islamic State to exist? Yet initiates tell us that God has two aspects, which when understood and viewed correctly, enable us to see the purpose of evil. Evil can be viewed as the unevolved and undeveloped aspect of life, the force which tests us and absorbs and removes that which is unwanted. The illumined soul will not attempt to get rid of evil by attacking it, but by radiating love, light, beauty and truth.
I find this a difficult concept to understand and accept. If I were given the opportunity to prevent an assault on a Yazidi girl by killing the Islamic State fighter who had imprisoned and raped her, then I would choose to shoot him as though he were a rabid dog. I would take on that karma quite willingly. I don’t think that any amount of radiating love, light, beauty and truth would do much to save that young girl in such circumstances. Clearly, and as must be evident to all who know me, I’ve still some way to go before becoming an illumined soul. 🙂
Nevertheless, I can see that the general point holds, and that by fighting evil on its own terms, we are merely strengthening and perpetuating its effects. So what might Steiner have meant when he called on us to wage a fully conscious fight against the evil that is making its way into human evolution?
First, we need to understand what is the fundamental trait of all human evil. According to Steiner, speaking in Berlin on 15th January 1914, “all human evil proceeds from what we call egotism. In the whole scope and range of ‘wrong’, from the smallest oversight to the most serious crime, whether the imperfection or evil originates more in the body or in the soul, egotism is the fundamental trait which underlies it all… and that the path which leads beyond evil here in the physical world is the one upon which we combat egotism.”
But there is another paradox here, and it’s a tricky one, to do with the dual nature of the soul: qualities which in our physical sense-world appear as egotism, are the very same qualities which need to be strengthened and intensified if we are to ascend into the world of spirit. Steiner tells us that it is only when the soul has developed a self-rooted ego-strength that it can begin to rise up into the higher worlds of spirit; in other words, the soul in the spiritual world between death and rebirth is mainly concerned with itself and its own destiny resulting from its previous earthly lives. This is necessary because in the spiritual world the more a soul has strengthened itself and developed its potential, the more it can participate and serve the whole – the soul has to draw out from the ego what is inherent in itself, otherwise it has nothing to offer.
This strengthening and empowering of our ego in the spiritual world between death and a new birth is what enables us to prepare an incarnation in the physical world in which our outer thoughts and actions can become as unegotistic as possible. And it is only in the physical world, here on Earth, that we can find the conditions which allow us to overcome egotism. Earth gives us the opportunity to develop altruism and unselfishness, and to break the habit of egotism, so as to become more moral. It is by understanding this paradox that Steiner gives us the key to avoiding the evil that is otherwise inherent in each one of us:
“What does this dual nature of the soul actually mean for us? It means that we must be very careful not to falsely transpose something that has its rightful place in one world – the intensification of inner strength in the world of spirit – to another, the physical world, except when we are attempting to penetrate the world of spirit. It means that only evil will come of the human being allowing his earthly sense-nature to be permeated by this inner intensification and self-consolidation, even though this is exactly what the realm of spirit requires…what is absolutely necessary for spiritual progress, perfecting and intensifying one’s own being, is a source of evil and wrong if transposed directly upon the things of outer, physical life…Whether we enter the spiritual world through self-development or by passing over the threshold of death, we must dwell there within the inner strength of our being. Yet we cannot manage this unless we develop altruism in the physical world. Altruism in the physical world has its mirror-image in the rightful egotism needed in the world of spirit.” (ibid.)
This is quite a tough concept to grasp and to compound the difficulty, Steiner gives us here what seems to be a counter-intuitive understanding of the origin of evil:
“So we can begin to answer the question about the origin of evil and wrong-doing in the world. It comes about when we allow our better, higher nature (not our worst) to descend and be submerged in the physical realm, a realm which cannot as such be evil. It comes about when we develop qualities in the physical realm which do not belong there, which have their rightful place in the realm of spirit. Why do we have a potential for evil? Because we are also spiritual beings! Because we have to be able to develop those qualities when we penetrate into the spiritual world, which become bad when we apply them in the physical…What brings about evil is misapplying spiritual qualities to physical life. If we could not be evil, we could not be spiritual beings either. Without the characteristics which make us evil, we could not enter the spiritual world.” (ibid.)
Steiner also tells us that, since the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, the propensity for evil lies in the subconscious of every person, and that there is no crime, however dreadful, that each one of us, as people of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, does not have the potential to commit. And he asks:
“What on earth is the reason for these forces in the universe which infiltrate our being? They are certainly not there in order to bring about evil acts in human society. They no more exist to provoke us to criminal actions than the forces of death exist to make us die; they are present in the universe so as to awaken in us a propensity, once the consciousness soul has developed, for opening ourselves to the life of spirit…These forces of evil are active in the universe. We must assimilate them, and by so doing we implant in our being the seed which enables us to have conscious experience of the spirit. In the context of our social order they appear in a perverted form, but they really do not exist to incite us to evil acts. They exist to enable people at the stage of the consciousness soul to break through to the life of the spirit.”
These are indeed difficult ideas to understand, and they need much thought and reflection before one can begin to make any sense of them. But Steiner helps us by indicating where all these struggles will ultimately lead: the forming of a community of human beings with emancipated, independent and differentiated egos:
“This is the mission of the Earth, expressed through love: that one ego learns to encounter another in freedom. No love is perfect that proceeds from coercion, from being linked or bound together through necessity. Only when each ego is so free and independent that it can choose not to love, is its love an entirely free gift. This is really the aim of the divine plan – to make the ego so independent that it can offer the free, individual gift of love even to God…The ego therefore represents the promise of the human being’s highest goal. But if it does not find love, if it hardens inwardly, it is also the tempter that casts us into the abyss. Then it becomes what separates people from each other, leading them ultimately to the great War of All against All – not only the war of nation against nation (for the concept of nations will then no longer have anything like the significance it possesses today) but the war of each single individual against every other in all realms of life; the war of class against class, caste against caste, the war between different generations and races. In all realms of life, then, the ego will become the focus of strife and contention, which is why we say that it can lead both to the highest and to the lowest possible qualities.”
We are coming up to a very difficult period in human physical existence, which anthroposophists characterise as the actual incarnation in physical form of the great dark archangel, Ahriman. This will be the last of three unique incarnations of which Steiner spoke – the incarnation of Lucifer in about 3000 BC (believed by many to have been as the Yellow Emperor in China, he of the terracotta army); the incarnation of Christ in Palestine two thousand years ago; and the incarnation of Ahriman “before only a part of the third millennium of he post-Christian era has elapsed”, probably in America. Each of these incarnations is prepared for many years, indeed centuries, in advance, and we can see quite clearly already the kind of evil influences that the future Ahrimanic incarnation is bringing to bear upon our human societies. As I said earlier, the past one hundred years has been the most terrible century in the whole of human history and the evil is worsening and intensifying as we approach the actual incarnation. In a lecture given in 1919, Steiner told us the following:
“Just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh and an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so, before only a part of the third millennium of the post-Christian era has elapsed, there will be, in the West, an actual incarnation of Ahriman: Ahriman in the flesh. Humanity on earth cannot escape this incarnation of Ahriman. It will come inevitably. But what matters is that people shall find the right vantage point from which to confront it.
Whenever preparation is being made for incarnations of this character, we must be alert to certain indicative trends in evolution. A being like Ahriman, who will incarnate in the West in time to come, prepares for this incarnation in advance. With a view to his incarnation on the earth, Ahriman guides certain forces in evolution in such a way that they may be of the greatest possible advantage to him. And evil would result were people to live on in a state of drowsy unawareness, unable to recognise certain phenomena in life as preparations for Ahriman’s incarnation in the flesh. The right stand can be taken only by recognising in one or another series of events the preparation that is being made by Ahriman for his earthly existence. And the time has now come for individual human beings to know what tendencies and events around them are machinations of Ahriman, helping him to prepare for his approaching incarnation.
It would undoubtedly be of the greatest benefit to Ahriman if he could succeed in preventing the vast majority of people from perceiving what would make for their true well-being, if the vast majority of people were to regard these preparations for the Ahriman incarnation as progressive and good for evolution. If Ahriman were able to slink into a humanity unaware of his coming, that would gladden him most of all. It is for this reason that the occurrences and trends in which Ahriman is working for his future incarnation must be brought to light.”
I recently attended a talk given at Emerson College by T.H (Thomas) Meyer, in which he reminded us of a passage towards the end of Steiner’s fourth Mystery Drama, The Soul’s Awakening. Thomas drew our attention to a scene between the initiate, Benedictus, and another character whom Benedictus at first does not recognise:
Benedictus: Who are you, who come to shadow-life from out the chaos of my soul horizon?
Ahriman: (aside) He sees, but yet he does not recognise me and so he will not cause me painful terror when at his side I try to use my power.
(Ahriman then tries to tempt Benedictus with special spiritual knowledge but Benedictus does not take the bait.)
Benedictus: Whoever you may be, you only serve the good, when for yourself you will not strive, or when you lose yourself in human thinking, to rise anew in cosmic revolution.
Ahriman: It is high time for me to turn away in haste from his horizon, for when his sight can think me as in truth I really am, there will arise and grow within his thinking part of the power that will slowly destroy me. (Ahriman disappears.)
So the play is telling us that when we can see Ahriman as he really is, in all his manifestations and influences, then there will arise and grow within our thinking part of the power that will slowly destroy Ahriman. Our best way to prepare ourselves for the evil that is making its way into human evolution is to be alert to what is really going on; and to recognise Ahriman in all his guises and in all the countless ways in which his influence is affecting us and our fellow human beings.
In the same lecture I quoted last, Steiner said:
“To the extent to which people can be roused into conducting their affairs not for material ends alone and into regarding a free and independent spiritual life, equally with economic life, as an integral part of the social organism — to that same extent Ahriman’s incarnation will be awaited with an attitude worthy of humanity.”
I will be touching upon some of the more grotesquely distorted and evil aspects of our present-day economic life, and how these can affect the free and independent spiritual life, in my next post.
65 responses to “How should we deal with evil?”
Thankyou for sharing your thoughts, Jeremy.
Before I start, I have one question – both for you, or anybody else. “How can you counter Ahriman?”
It is one thing to describe it, quote Rudolf Steiner’s thoughts on the matter – it is quite another to genuinely stand up against it. As importantly, that very act is one in which evil is not so much destroyed, as transformed. It is a spiritual law that I hope you are acquainted with, that evil beings cannot pass through the gates of death. Only those beings who have been transformed through human activity can follow us through them.
The obverse to this coin is that if one is going to stand up to evil, one has to know what it is within one, after all, that is the definition of understanding. That the understanding lives within one (and that is a little more than absorbing it for three days; that is letting knowledge sink in).
The demands of the Fifth Epoch are such that our entire society is both a challenge and thereby, challenged. It is only possible to let the consciousness soul flower through a person’s meeting their challenges. The demands of the Fifth Epoch are that we listen to what others have to say, for it is only in this way that one can become aware of one’s challenges before one meets them head on in the form of a crisis.
The consciousness soul is both personal and an expression of our innate uniqueness, it is implicit that these challenges will be both personal and unpleasant. The longer these are left, the more unpleasant those challenges will become – it’s how it works. The phenomenon of the mid-life crisis is very much one of reaping what we sowed, and it is the direct result of not conversing.
I emphasize this because unless we are prepared to accept our own challenges, we cannot develop our consciousness soul. Protecting the weak from their own challenges will only make their challenges the worse for them. It may be what they desire, it is not what they need. The truest shepherd will show his human flock how to deal with the wolf for themselves, not to protect them from it. Those who deny them this will do them the severest unkindness a human can bestow on another. I trust those that do are ready and willing to accept the dreadful karma that this brings on its tails.
I can understand people if they tire of this kind of talk, but then, there is too much ‘being tired’ and too little doing. People are genuinely tired of hearing about challenges, but then, they cannot gain the strength unless they engage with those challenges directly.
The point here is that if one does not accept the challenges put before one, then the only alternative is to retreat back to a thinking that was appropriate to the Fourth Epoch where shepherding was commonplace. All who have read Rudolf Steiner will know, the thinking that is applicable to past ages can only be expressed in our current age as evil.
Again, I ask the question: “How do you counter Ahriman?”
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It will not completely answer your question, Jeremy, but I think it could help if everywhere in your essay, especially when quoting Steiner, you substituted “I” for “ego”. Using “ego” for the German “Ich” is a common but unhealthy error in translation, because it can confuse “I” for egotism.
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Thank you, Frank. As a non-German speaker, I’ve grappled before with this term “ego” and have sometimes used the word “Self”, but I’m not aware of any entirely satisfactory expression in English that conveys the concept. In my view, the term “I” is also not ideal, because it is ambiguous, particularly when spoken. I’d be interested to hear suggestions for an expression that we could standardise upon.
There’s no getting around the fact that the German “Ich” is nothing more nor less than “I” in English. When writing in English (not translating) one may of course use “self”. However, when Steiner wanted to say “self” he used “Selbst”. No problem.
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I really enjoy your writing. I’ve found this particular piece really speaks to me. I teach at a Steiner school in New Zealand and this really brings home to me why we focus on the beauty and goodness in the lower school, and the need for human connection.
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As to ‘probably in America’:
In this connection (1919) Steiner used the expression ‘Europeans and their American affinities’ in contrast to Jerusalem and to Asia (China). So, this could mean: the traditional Christian countries including Russia.
And taken literally, the expression ‘before only a part of the third millennium of the post-Christian era has elapsed‘ would mean: before the year 2000, which is 16 years ago.
But then again, ‘incarnation’ or ‘appearance in the flesh’ doesn’t necessarily mean birth.
I’m afraid you’ve lost me there, Ton.
AD 1 to AD 1000 – First Millennium (start of the “post-Christian” era)
AD 1001 to AD 2000 – Second Millennium
AD 2001 to AD 3000 – Third Millennium (the age in which Ahriman will incarnate)
Isn’t that how it is? Or am I missing something?
I agree on that, Jeremy (maybe with exception of the boundaries). But the sentence looks like a cryptogram or paradoxical expression to me. The ‘part of’ is rather undefined, and it says ‘before’ (instead of ‘when’), but also ‘has elapsed’. If I stress the word ‘before’ and read ‘minimal part’, I end up in 2000 (or 1999) or even exactly on December 31, 2000 (or 1999).
Jeremy, you wrote:
“It is no coincidence that since the fall to earth of these dark angels, humanity has endured what must surely be the most terrible century in the whole of human history.”
For contemporary reference into these matters, as you suggest, I would point to the book by Eric Hobsbawm, written in 1994, and entitled: The Age of Extremes, wherein the foremost British historian of the recent past centuries, has calculated that some 187 million people died in the twentieth century due to wars. For the roots of World War I, and wherein the description of the European karma was given and amplified over the entire course of the four years of the war by the anthroposophical movement of Rudolf Steiner. Herein, it was shown that the driving forces of the war, and its successor, were those of death and destruction, and any reasonable assessment of the history of the 20th century clearly indicates that fact,
when the body count is given for all the wars of the last century. Reasonable estimates by the historians, such as Eric Hobsbawm, and even former U.S. Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, indicate total deaths due to wars in the range of 165-187 million lives.
Now, the year of 1915 was the first full year of the first world war, and yet, apparently we are done with this discussion in the year 2015. Why? This is the centennial year in which definite and substantive issues can be drawn from what anthroposophy has to say about the war. For example, recently it was asked why the sinking of the Lusitania by a German submarine on May 7, 1915, did not compel the United States
military to enter the war at that point. Why was the entry delayed for two more years?
Of course, any early entry of the U.S. would have served to make it a shortened war, so why did Woodrow Wilson wait until 1917, after winning re-election on his platform of “he kept us out of the war”, in order to justify entry based on the attacks of ships, like the Lusitania, in the neutral waterways? Steiner’s discourses about the war and its symptoms would only increase in terms of rightfully condemning Wilson for entering the war at an opportune moment in strategic timing.
The lectures that encompass GA177, “The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness”, convey the symptoms of the United States motivation to an extraordinarily acute degree, and let us not forget that the pan-flu epidemic that was brought over to Europe with the U.S. invasion in 1918, was created in a laboratory environment, and then tested out at an army base in Kansas, before being spread into Europe and Asia. It killed some 40 million people alone, ref. Gina Kolata’s book, “Flu”.
Thus, these subjects should continue to be discussed here, in consideration of the historical perspective of the last century in retrospective analysis. Steiner clearly saw every indication, and spoke with outright courage at every point.
Marxism-Leninism-Bolshevism was another driving force:
“Two leading personalities, Wilson and Lenin, have died from the same symptoms, both of paralysis [stroke], that is, both offered a gate for the ahrimanic powers. These things just show that world history ceases to be Earth history, but is beginning to be a cosmic story.” GA260a (1924 )
In 1859, in the preface to his Zur Kritik der politischen Ökonomie (Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy), Marx wrote that the hypothesis that had served him as the basis for his analysis of society could be briefly formulated as follows:
In the social production that men carry on, they enter into definite relations that are indispensable and independent of their will, relations of production which correspond to a definite stage of development of their material forces of production. The sum total of these relations of production constitutes the economic structure of society, the real foundation, on which rises a legal and political superstructure, and to which correspond definite forms of social consciousness. The mode of production in material life determines the general character of the social, political, and intellectual processes of life. It is not the consciousness of men which determines their existence; it is on the contrary their social existence which determines their consciousness. http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/367344/Marxism
“It is not the consciousness of men which determines their existence it is on the contrary their social existence which determines their consciousness.”
Marx has based the human being’s whole existence on a foundation of economic structure and by this has reduced human beings consciousness to a product of economic social existence.
Yes – it’s ironic that Western capitalism shares with Marx the same view of the over-riding priority of economic issues in human social existence.
In the Threefold Social Society the economic life will be placed on its own foundation.
“An economy in which the state does not participate will be able to proceed from independent economic experience on the one hand and the support of particular individuals and economic groups on the other. Economic experience cannot play itself out in the sphere where the rights due every adult should come to the fore, but rather only in the sphere of the self-governing economic body.
Recognition given a person because of work in a special field of the economy cannot be expressed in the structure of the state, where only that which is valid for all persons equally prevails, but rather only in the effect this person exerts upon other branches of the economy. Persons who belong to the same branch of the economy will have to unite with each other; they will have to form associations with those from other economic sectors.
Through a lively intercourse between such associations and cooperatives the interests of producers and consumers will be able to organize themselves. In this way, economic impulses alone will be able to work within the economy.
When blue collar and white collar workers meet with each other, they need only consider economic issues because legal matters will be dealt with separately under the state’s jurisdiction.
The blue collar worker can associate freely with the manager of the business, because only the division, on economic principles, of that which they have earned together will be allowed; there will be no economic compulsion resulting from the greater economic resources of the manager.
The associative structuring of the economic body will place the blue collar worker’s contractual relationship to the business manager in a totally different light. Up to now, he has been forced to fight against the interests of the business manager, but in his new associative role he will share in the fruits of production.
Through the heightened awareness he has gained as a consumer, he will cultivate and profit by — rather than oppose — the same interest in production as the manager
This can never happen in an economy the aim of which is the profitability of capital assets; it can happen only in an economy that regulates the value of products on the basis of self-equilibrating processes of production and consumption within the social structure as a whole.
The special interests of the individual branches of industry give rise to the individual associations; determinations of economic value will arise out of the coalition of these associations, and in the central administrative body that will emerge from these economic interests.
An individual business cannot be socialised; socialisation happens only when the production of economic value that a separate business contributes to the total economic life has no antisocial effect. As a result of such genuine socialisation, the capitalist system will lose its harmful tendencies.
And it should be clear by now that one cannot “do away” with capital, since capital is nothing other than the means of production working for the community.
It is not capital itself that is harmful, but rather capital in private hands, especially if this private ownership is able to control the social structure of the economic body. But if society is structured in the threefold manner described, then capital can no longer have any antisocial influence.
The beneficial social structure will always prevent the capital assets from being isolated from the management of the means of production. It will also put a stop to the attempts of those who strive only for capital assets, but shirk participation in the economic process.”
The Threefold Social Organism, The Social Future, Lecture 1
Thank you – I’ll be writing more about this and associated issues in my next post.
Could somebody please tell me how quoting from others is going to help us deal with the evil that dwells within us all?
After all, that is the challenge of the consciousness soul.
I mean, it is nice to converse at this level because it is free of risk and free of any genuine personal interaction – but as such, does not admit anything that even gets close to a conversation that develops the consciousness soul. After all, if the threefold organism is to be placed on its own foundation, that in itself implies that we ourselves have our own foundation rather than someone else’s.
Without a personal foundation – the consciousness soul by any other name – one has no hope to deal with the problems raised in the author’s post.
Well, Gemma, to me Caryn Louise’s quoted extract was relevant in the context of the evil inherent in prioritising the economic realm over the others. Steiner did his best to set out a saner, more humane system after the end of the First World War but Ludendorff and Woodrow Wilson made sure that his initiative did not get anywhere. Perhaps, and as Steiner indicated, another opportunity will come one hundred years later, which is of course right now. By the way, and reverting to your earlier comment, do you truly think there is a way of countering Ahriman? I think that Steiner is telling us that Ahriman’s incarnation cannot be countered or prevented but what we can do is to see him and realise what he is up to – which will then slowly destroy him. Ultimately, there is compassion for all of us, even Ahriman, whose mission must be one of the greatest possible sacrifices imaginable.
Jeremy, when you say, “to me Caryn Louise’s quoted extract was relevant in the context of the evil inherent in prioritising the economic realm over the others.”
And what, may I ask is the “economic realm”? What is it but the seller and the purchaser… otherwise known as human society?
If there is to be an opportunity around our time, it will not come from those who quote others and rest their ideals on the past. It must come from the present – and have nothing to do with Fourth Epoch ideas of shepherding others or the slightest mention of any person being above any other. If there is to be a regeneration of society – or of economy, which is but one outer aspect of it – it must come from the heart. In other words, a well developed consciousness soul (or even someone in possession of a higher organ – that requires a very great deal more than the consciousness soul demands).
Do I think there is a way of countering Ahriman? I would not have written my first comment had I not known how to do this. I will add that a transformed Ahriman is a wonderful being. But then, to understand this, one must first have met a sufficiency of one’s own challenges. Something I find woefully lacking in our day and age. But then, the First World War was more of a disaster than many imagine it to be. No matter, had the Stockholm Peace Conference succeeded, the warmongers would have fomented another, just as they did by distorting the Treaty of Versailles – and overruling democratic votes such as were held in Danzig – and by supporting Adolf Hitler’s rise to power. Another illegal act. As an aside, I would like to add that the German conception of the ‘ich’ is subtly different from that of the Anglo-Saxons.
If you think that Rudolf Steiner was saying that Ahriman’s incarnation cannot be countered, I can assure you that it is a karmic demand on Ahriman himself – and in person – to be incarnate on this earth. Just as it was a demand on Lucifer to incarnate. That is the result of their falling. There was no demand made of Christ, however. That was a deed of the utmost freedom; and when you understand what freedom entails, you will be half way to understanding what Ahriman can do for you. At least, when transformed, that is.
But that entails a free act – and that is concomitant with acts that are free and bind nobody else. In binding others to your will, you not only bind them, but you restrict your own destiny too. It’s how Ahriman works in the Fifth Epoch: by entreating people to behave as though they lived in the Fourth, where shepherding was still appropriate. Those who have fallen from the Fifth to the Fourth will pay for this. It is the law of Karma when people act out of evil impulses.
But there is compassion, as you say. There is compassion even for Ahriman – but it cannot come from a soul that is bound by his shackles. They cannot reach to destroy – transform – that which is bad in themselves without being able to act freely. A transformed Ahriman is a delight, indeed, the greatest possible sorrow is to see people shackled by his demands – for that is in fact his own greatest sorrow. For they cannot help him in any way. For they are not free.
Hey Gemma, you wrote: “As an aside, I would like to add that the German conception of the ‘ich’ is subtly different from that of the Anglo-Saxons.”
What different except that in German it’s got 2 more letters?
Frank Thomas Smith.
If one is to understand the difference between the British and the Germans, one must understand this from within oneself. It is not a matter that can be comprehended merely by quoting others in the way Steve Hale has done – it is a start, but as with all things to do with the reality of the consciousness soul, the issue is too subtle for words alone.
The German national anthem is “Deutschland Über Alles”, which to the English whose mind is set on their own self and their own needs, means “Germany will conquer everything”. But that is what the British did in the run-up to the First World War. They conquered everything and anything – and made the Germans look warlike by stating that they had had thirty wars in the preceding three centuries.
When, as you know, the British themselves had had well over four hundred.
So much for Ahriman, then! Well, that is the challenge of the consciousness soul: to allow others the things you dare not do yourself. The obverse to this truth is telling others that they are what you are yourself. Naturally, this is unseen – but that is Ahriman’s greatest challenge to us all. It can only be met by free conversation with others, and any hinderance to this means that person is under Ahriman’s pall. Anybody who restricts conversation in any manner or form denies themselves their human future, whether they like this or whether they do not.
To the German heart, “Deutschland Über Alles” means ‘Germany comes first in my life’. It’s why Rudolf Steiner explains that the Germans do not capitalize their ‘ich’ in the way the Anglo-Saxons do. The difference is subtle, if it cannot be seen, that only means that it cannot be perceived.
That is very different to its not being there.
Hey Frank, I’m utterly convinced that when Gemma says: “As an aside, I would like to add that the German conception of the ‘ich’ is subtly different from that of the Anglo-Saxons.” And you say, in response: “What different except that in German it’s got 2 more letters?”, that she is referring to something related to the German Folk Soul, and especially Rudolf Steiner’s mission to convey the relationship of Christ to individual ego-consciousness.
“Now it will certainly seem strange and fantastic when mankind nowadays is told that in Central Europe the close association of the “I” with the Christ principle had put a stamp on the entire development of the area, to the effect that even the linguistic spirit of a people took up this association and equated “I” (Ich) and “CH” (Christ): I-CH conjoined became “Ich.” In pronouncing “Ich” in Central Europe one utters the name of Jesus Christ. That is how close the “I” wants to be to the Christ, longing for the most intimate closeness with Him. This living together, as one, with the spiritual world, which we in Central Europe must strive to attain in all intellectual fields, is not known in the West or in the East. Therefore, something in the twentieth century is necessary so that the Christ principle can gradually spread over the entire European continent. I have frequently emphasized in several lecture series that in November 1879 the spiritual being we call the Archangel Michael had reached a special stage of development. Michael had become, so to speak, the leading spirit who is now preparing the event that has to take place in the twentieth century. This is alluded to in my first mystery play as the appearance of the etheric Christ on earth. It will come to pass that at first a few, and gradually more and more souls will know that the Christ is really here, is again on this earth, but as an ether body and not as a physical body.”
Note that ‘Central-Europe’ comprises the western Slavs and Hungarians:
“Looking for an expression to use instead of the word “nationality” in the case of Middle-European culture, we find, even from geographical considerations, the words: “Striving after individuality”. And within this striving after individuality we include not the German only, for Middle Europe must be taken to embrace a number of other peoples as well, in all of whom this striving is present in a most marked degree. This striving after individuality is to be found in the Czechs, the Ruthenians, the Slovaks, the Magyars, in spite of all their external differences; and finally it is to be found at the other pole of German culture, in the Poles. In them, the element of individuality is developed to the extreme.” GA0287/19141019
In Central Europe, the Order of Jesus follows a real spiritual being behind the threshold. The Jesuits fostered the worldly distinction between science and belief. (Polarities, GA 197/19200730 and 19200921)
Gotya, Steve and Gemma. But…”“Now it will certainly seem strange and fantastic…”
Steiner was acutely aware of the special mission of the Central European cultural stream; the German Folk Soul. Its early tribes were more backward and non-intellectual as a preparation for what would spring forth in the 13th century. Steiner gained greatly from the early work of Tacitus on German ethnography. It is likely that out of this particular study, that Steiner was also able to perceive that Tacitus reincarnated as Ralph Waldo Emerson.
“If you were to go back to ancient peoples, to ancient races, you would find that originally human beings were everywhere formed into little groups. With the Germanic peoples you would not need to go very far back. In the writing of Tacitus it is quite evident that the German thought more of his whole tribe than of himself as an individual. The individual felt himself more as a member of the Cheruskian or of the Sigambrian tribe than as a separate personality. Therefore he partook of the fate of the whole tribe and when an individual member or the entire tribe received an affront, it did not matter who was the avenger.”
“Thus we see a revival of the Moses-epoch inasmuch as the spirit of Moses illumined and imbued with life the whole of Christian mysticism, from Meister Eckhart down to the later Christian mystics. Verily the spirit of Moses was alive in the souls of the Christian mystics! This was in the second millennium after Christ when there was a revival of the whole character of the Moses-epoch. Just as in the first millennium of the Christian era the repetition of the Solomon-epoch was responsible for bringing to expression the inner content of the Christian mysteries — for example, the Christian teaching concerning the Hierarchies, the detailed wisdom concerning the higher worlds — so was the second Moses-epoch particularly responsible for the essential character of German mysticism: a deep, mystical consciousness of the One God who can be awakened and resurrected within the human soul. And the influence of this Moses-epoch has persisted in all the endeavours made since that time to fathom the nature of the World-Ego, the Undivided Godhead.”
The stereotyped Central-European ‘striving after individuality’ can be contrasted with the ‘unfavourable initiation knowledge’ of the soldiers of the Society of Jesus and their obedience.
The Steiner quote from GA 103 proceeds:
“Then in the course of time it happened that individual personalities gave up their tribal membership, and this resulted at last in the breaking up of the tribes so that they no longer held together. Human beings also evolved out of this group-soul characteristic and little by little they developed to a point where they could experience the ego in their own individual personalities.”
And about the strong sense of personality of the ‘ancient Europeans’:
“… a strong sense of personality developed in them, a special sense of the divine worth of the human personality, and, above all, a strong sense of freedom. We must picture this state of feeling vividly, for it was this consciousness of the personality which the people of Europe took with them when they went south and peopled the Grecian and Italian peninsulas.” GA0105/19080813 (compare also the atlantean Tlavatli, who ‘considered the personal character of a man’, GA011_c03)
“And about the strong sense of personality of the ‘ancient Europeans’:
“… a strong sense of personality developed in them, a special sense of the divine worth of the human personality, and, above all, a strong sense of freedom. We must picture this state of feeling vividly, for it was this consciousness of the personality which the people of Europe took with them when they went south and peopled the Grecian and Italian peninsulas.” GA0105/19080813 (compare also the atlantean Tlavatli, who ‘considered the personal character of a man’, GA011_c03)”
This is true, and why Steiner revealed it in the last lecture of GA186, that the Spirits of Form had passed the mantle to the Spirits of Personality. They had moved on, and made earth evolution the province of the Archai. Steiner perceived this when his mother died on December 18, 1918, and reported it immediately. He had also done the same when his father died in late January 1910, and announced the imminent second coming of Christ.
The theme here is one you emphasized before when you were nestled in Nice, and thinking like James Joyce. Summer is now almost gone, but here is the paramount thought for consideration:
“What people in our epoch must learn is the need to wage a fully conscious fight against the evil that is making its way into human evolution.”
Of course, if evil needs a fully conscious fight from us humans in order to be defeated, then we’re doomed. Why? Because we are not fully conscious; at least, not in terms of what Steiner meant from his vantage-point.
So, what is he saying? If we’re not fully conscious, which we’re not, then he is saying that evil holds a certain power and influence over mankind today. Does that mean that the forces of evil, and its resident constituency, is conscious somehow, and able to rule the earth with its evil intentions? Or does it mean something else?
What if it can be shown that evil is the obverse of conscious; i.e., inconscient . This fact was given quite directly by Sri Aurobindo in his analysis of how dumb matter still contains the force of a ruling power of control, ref. ‘The Life Divine’, 1914.
Steiner calls for “a fully conscious fight against the evil that is making its way into human evolution”, but also notes, from the previous thread from Nice, that an ABC of black magic exists as the guidebook owned by the forces of evil, who appear today in suits, and even rule governments.
Here is the difference. While an ABC of black magic exists, which we truth-seekers are excluded from, there is also an ABC of white magic that exists, as well. But it requires the full consciousness that Steiner is talking about. Since, we lack it, although possibly aspiring toward it, it means that the forces of evil will continue to rule the earth until we get it.
Since we cultivate anthroposophy, at least some of us, it means that we see how evil exists to work against truth. Speaking up is a good sign that evil needs to be thwarted, but then we’re called “conspiracists” for opposing the mainstream position in history, and especially today with the causes of the so-called “war on terror”. Some estimates say it is going to be another one hundred years war, which was so successful in Soradt’s second evolutionary phase, c. 1332-1998.
Herein, the war between France and England, declared by Phillip VI, in 1337, can be likened to the war against Iraq in 2003, declared by George W. Bush. France gained the victory over England because the Christ Impulse was born in a little girl in 1412. Today, the Christ Impulse works on many levels to show the American fraud of a ‘war on terror’ that should not exist, but does.
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“France gained the victory over England because the Christ Impulse was born in a little girl in 1412.”
I am wondering why you think it was the Christ impulse at work in Joan of Arc rather than the French folk-spirit or some other Luciferic Being?
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Joan of Arc had a tremendous influence on the French folk-spirit. Why would you say “or some other Luciferic Being?” Do you feel that she was merely possessed by the “furies”? Steiner indicates in GA157, which began on 1 September, 1914, that the battlefield in the Marne confrontation between France and Germany was strewn with the bodies of young French soldiers who bore an image of a revered icon in their etheric bodies. They went into battle with Joan of Arc as their spiritual leader. This is why Steiner lays particular emphasis on the importance of Joan in his inaugurating lectures on the “Nature of the Christ Impulse and the Michael Spirit Serving It”, on 17 and 19 January, 1915. Joan is central to understanding France’s resolve in WWI.
As well, it can be shown that Joan was only effective for three years, 1428-1431, and during which time the Hundred Years War turned dramatically in favor of France. Christ could only live for three years on earth.
“We are living in an age when natural initiations are becoming increasingly rare and will eventually disappear. Yet one initiation that could still essentially be called a natural initiation took place when the Christ impulse worked itself into the soul of the simple country girl, The Maid of Orleans. It was she who caused the victory of the French over the English. Again, not the human mind nor the talents of military leaders were decisive factors in changing the map of Europe so magnificently, but rather the Christ impulse working itself into the subconscious of the Maid of Orleans and inspiring her to radiate its presence in all of history.
We would now have to examine whether something similar could have occurred in the Maid of Orleans by way of natural initiation and ask whether her soul was inspired in the nights from the 25th day of December to the 6th of January. From her biography it seems difficult to demonstrate that she was even once in a sleep-like state during the twelve or thirteen special days when the Christ impulse could have entered her soul, inspiring her to act as its human shell on the battle grounds of France. Yet, that is precisely what happened. There is a time when the karma of a particular individual can facilitate such a sleep-like state in a human being. During the last few days prior to a person’s birth he lives in the mother’s womb in a dreaming, sleep-like state. He has not yet perceived with his senses what is happening in the world outside. If by virtue of his karma a person were especially suited to receive the Christ impulse during these last few days in the womb, then these days could also be days of natural initiation. Strengthened by and saturated with the Christ impulse, such a person would have to be born on the sixth day of January. Joan of Arc was born on that day. It is her special mystery that she was born on the 6th day of January and had spent the time from Christmas to the day of Epiphany in a peculiar sleep-like state in the womb of her mother where she received her natural initiation. Now consider the profound connections beyond the external developments that we are accustomed to call history. As a rule, the external events that are reconstructed from historical documents are of the least significance. What is of decisive historical significance is the plain date in our calendar indicating that Joan of Arc was sent into this world on the 6th day of January. Thus, supernatural forces become active in the sentient world and we must read the occult signs that present this fact to us. They tell us that the Christ impulse had already streamed into the Maid of Orleans before her physical birth, as if by way of natural initiation.”
Well, Steve, I find this very puzzling. I cannot understand the Christ being inspiring war, whereas I can easily imagine the shadow of a folk-spirit doing so. There are many examples of aggressive behaviours inspired by Nationalism in the guise of folk-spirit, isn’t that what Nazism was about, what Trump is about?
I guess there have been many warriors who believed they had God/Christ on their side. I always find that difficult to believe in a simplistic way – even in the case of Joan of Arc.
I do think it was the french folk-spirit working through her, and I have no opinion whether that may have been for good or evil – I am not a doctrinaire pacifist, the dynamis and the folk-spirits have their destinies which are beyond my understanding and there may be situations in which one has to go to war.
I think it was a very subconscious thing with Joan. She was driven by her ‘voices’.
I cannot understand the Christ being ever operating in this way.
In addition to your quote from Steiner above, in Paris on May 25 1914 Steiner made the following statement about Joan, ‘Regardless of what Joan of Arc said about the appearance of the higher beings in her visions, the occultist who is able to investigate these things knows that it was always the genius of the French nation who stood behind them.’ *
Tom wrote: “I cannot understand the Christ being inspiring war,”
No, it was the anti-Christ that inspired the Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453). The Christ Impulse was born 75 years later in Joan. It is not without significance that the fifth cultural epoch began in 1413, when Joan was one year old.
These two lectures describe how the Hierarchies worked in her with a kind of sibylline force. Milla Jovovich depicts this nicely in Luc Besson’s, “The Messenger”. A Sibyl, behind which is working the Christ.
“Who intervened at that time in the course of history? — None other than Beings of higher Hierarchies! The Maid of Orleans was an outer Instrument of these Beings, and it was they who guided the deeds of history.”
“something like a modern Sibyl emerged in the Maid of Orleans. It was the time — the fifteenth century — when the fifth post-Atlantean epoch begins; a time when the Christ Impulse had to emerge more and more from the subconscious depths of the soul. We can see in what a gentle, tender form, imbued with the noblest qualities of the human soul, the Sibylline power of the Maid of Orleans is revealed.”
At the trial in Rouen Joan answered this:
Question: Who carried your standard?
Answer: It was I who carried the aforementioned sign when I charged the enemy. I did so to avoid killing any one. I have never killed a man.
Question: What significance was there in the two angels and God’s holding the world.
Answer: Saint Catherine and Saint Marguerite said to me that I should take and carry the Standard boldly on the part of the King of Heaven.
Question: Did the two angels that were painted on your standard represent Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel?
Answer: They were there only for the honor of Our Lord, Who was painted on the standard. I only had these two Angels represented to honor Our Lord, Who was there represented holding the world.
The ‘national impulse‘, in contrast to the universal Catholicism, is characteristic of the spiritual soul, and here Joan of Arc was a turning point (GA0185/19181018). England differentiated from France, as consequence of a Michaelic impulse, which in later years wasn’t understood anymore (GA026_c11).
The Christ Impulse in the Maiden at the dawn of the fifth age declares the activity of individual ego consciousness in the physical body. “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood”
She also gave the needed encouragement to Charles VII, who she bowed to in reverence and confidence, even as he had nearly lost all of France by 1429. As such, he went from being called, “Charles the Hopeless”, to “Charles the Victorious”, in 1453.
Note: Maid of Orleans insert is most important.
The encouragement of Charles by Joan of Arc is described as the so called ‘Sign’ for the king (e.g. Sullivan p.71 f., google KY2fgOKGj6gC).
Steiner said in a very important lecture from GA182, on “How Do I Find the Christ”, that people need to recognize, first and foremost in dealing with evil, that we are at the present time, “powerless and helpless in the face of evil”. The reason is that we lack the learning required “to wage a fully conscious fight against the evil that is making its way into human evolution.”
But that is why spiritual science exists today, and why we are having these discussions. We feel powerless and helpless because evil acts are occurring all around us, and it is largely due to the ignorance that is still beheld by mankind. Yet, it is possible to trace both an east to west migration of the Christ, as well as His opponent, the anti-Christ, or ‘Soradt’. They each originated in the east, in Palestine in 30 AD, and then in Babylon, in 666 AD. Thus, both incentives bore the impetus to migrate westward, and this is what has occurred, and is well-known to history by now.
Steiner has traced the east-to-west migration of Soradt in various lectures, and this has always been expressed as the movement across the African continent westward, and then north, over the Rock of Gibraltar into southern Europe. Therein, the idea was to infiltrate Europe with the cultural influence of arabism, but it was beaten back by Charlemagne, and had to take refuge in Spain.
Then, Soradt got the clever idea to make its way by incarnating in individual personalities, who became influential in European thinking, and its progress. I won’t give details because we have already discussed this earlier, except possibly for Amos Comenius, the influential educational theorist in the 17th century, who was known to Francis Bacon, and had been his counselor, Jafar, in their previous incarnation together.
Thus, Comenius is noteworthy for bringing the principles of arabism right into the education system in Europe and America. As well, Francis Bacon proved to be a strong influence in encouraging James I to colonize the so-called “new world”, beginning in 1607.
You see, Bacon had a concept for realization called, “The New Atlantis”, which was the practical element of his book, ‘Novum Organum’. It needed a pristine field of undefiled nature for its development, which just happened to be the wilderness of the American continent. So, beginning quite directly after James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, Bacon went to work on him.
And this is how Soradt, the anti-Christ, made its final migration-navigation across the “pond” to America, and where it has resided ever since. How it came to be such a controlling ‘beast’ of world domination should become our major concern from now on. From the original ‘founding fathers’, who were all deists of a so-called “supreme being”, and yet utterly lacking in comprehension of the element of the Trinity, the course of american history quickly led to the Monroe Doctrine of 1832. This doctrine has become the standard-bearer for the United States in all of its perceived and imaginary conflicts with the greater world around it.
Today, armed with the technology once envisioned by Francis Bacon’s “New Atlantis”, it rules the world. But, is it a just and rightful ruling for the good of mankind, or merely Soradt flexing its muscle?
Steve, don’t overlook the eastern esoteric stream and the opposing Turkish influence, e.g. in GA0216/19221001
Ton, I haven’t. If we take the Turkish genocide of the Armenians in 1915, when WWI was raging, and then compound that with Helmuth von Moltke’s breakdown, wherein he saw himself as Pope Nicholas I, we can get the picture of how Soradt, from the west, could actually diminish the consciousness of the 30-40 European leaders involved at the time of WWI; none more so than von Moltke himself. Yes, GA216 clearly indicates the relationship between Nicholas I and the younger von Moltke.
The passage on WW 1 in GA 346 continues with Eastern Europe: “Not the World War, but what followed and is more terrible and even will be more terrible, for example, the current Constitution of Russia, …” (Book of Revelation GA 346)
On Pope Nicholas I and Eastern Europe in the ninth century, see also GA0185/19181102.
Von Moltke Jr. in: http://www.perseus.ch/PDF-Dateien/MoltkeIntroduction.pdf
“The passage on WW 1 in GA 346 continues with Eastern Europe: “Not the World War, but what followed and is more terrible and even will be more terrible, for example, the current Constitution of Russia,”
Yes. Russia vacated the war in 1916, and by 1924 the Bolsheviks had a stranglehold on the region, owing to Ulyanov-Lenin’s successful return to Russia from Swiss exile in 1917. This coincided with both the resolve of Alexander Kerensky in March 1917 to form a western-style democratic government (Duma), which would retain the present czarist monarchy and establish a parliamentary form of government, c. England.
What intervened was the re-election of Woodrow Wilson as POTUS in 1916, and the decision to enter WWI after three years of non-involvement. The reason was the perceived threat of Russia establishing a western-style democratic system, similar to England. By doing so, Russia would have established itself as an equal power in the world.
Therefore, Wilson in gaining the re-election on the platform of: He kept us out of the war, entered the war. But the reason had far less to do with Germany, and much more to do with the attempt at Russian democracy. So, by entering the war in early 1917, Wilson ordered the U.S. army to mass troops around the borders of Russia in order to begin a campaign to undermine the Kerensky initiative, which was known as, “The White Revolution”. Over time, this suppressive effort of American troops bordering Russia, led to the return of Vladimir Lenin, in order to instigate the very opposite of what Kerensky sought. Thus, Kerensky was defeated, the Czar Nicholas II and his family was executed, and a “Red Revolution” began, with its attending chaos and civil war.
The Bolsheviks had entered to destroy Kerensky’s aim, and help realize America’s initiative of sole rulership. Defeating Germany in 1918 was merely the icing on the cake. Wilson’s fourteen points easily became the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, and all against Germany.
Side note: I was watching the movie, “Hitlers’ Children” the other night, which is a very typical Hollywood propaganda film from the 1940’s, and it said that the ToV was a product of all of the so-called “allied powers” together. Not so. This Hollywood movie lied, as many other films of its ilk have also lied. The Treaty of Versailles was entirely the creation of Woodrow Wilson, based on his fourteen points, and imposed on Germany in the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. That was when Wilson, having suffered a stroke, had his wife be his mouthpiece.
Wasn’t the return of Lenin (the transplantation of bolshevism into Russia), an impulse derived essentially from Ludendorff in order to make peace possible?, GA0186/19181129 (cf. GA 185a)
Prokofieff (1993) described the above historical development of Arabism and of the ninth century to be mirrored in Marx and Engels, and in Bolshevism respectively (google _y3nDzXvcB8C p.240 f.).
“Wasn’t the return of Lenin (the transplantation of bolshevism into Russia), an impulse derived essentially from Ludendorff in order to make peace possible?, GA0186/19181129 (cf. GA 185a)”
I doubt that very much, as Lenin’s return to Russia from exile in Switzerland, occurred on April 3, 1917, just one day after President Wilson appealed to Congress to enter the war against Germany on the side of the Allied Powers. In Russia, the czarist monarchy had been overthrown with the abdication of Nicholas II, and a provisional government established. This was the so-called “white revolution”, which Lenin’s return would begin to taint with his idea of atheistic-anarchistic “Bolshevik”, or “red revolution”. Consider Kerensky’s “June Alliance” as his hope to maintain the proper government needed.
Now, just four years before, on June 5, 1913, Steiner gave his second private lecture to the Russian members in Helsinki, Finland, who had attended the lectures, “The Occult Significance of the Bhagavad Gita”. Herein he expresses, in no uncertain terms, what they can expect in the near-future from North America.
“You have found it possible, despite the difficult conditions that prevail in your country, to assemble here unhindered. Make use of this opportunity to achieve the greatest possible inward relatedness among you, in order to build the bridge between each one of you and your Folk soul. It cannot be my task to speak in detail of the services you can render to your Folk soul. But I would like to say something else, and would ask you, though I speak in words, to allow the words to change within your feelings. You are in a special situation, at the opposite pole as it were from a people, the people of North America, who are rising to a short period of brilliance. Reflect that these American people, your opposites, began to advance slowly westward just at the time when the epoch of materialism had begun in Europe, and they developed this materialism still further.
Remember that materialism prevails in the very roots of American civilization. Remember that the people who colonized America took with them the ideas that were current in educated Europe only a few centuries ago. While they were making their way through primeval forests, clearing the land bit by bit and preparing it for agricultural activities, they were already imbued with a whole range of materialistic modern concepts. They thought in terms of modern parliaments, natural science, modern social organization. Everything they accomplished was done under the influence of materialism. Think of the man who is generally regarded as one of their most important writers, the man whom they elected as their President, Woodrow Wilson. In the context of the present day, he really is a significant writer; he has produced some brilliant literary studies of social life. But if one looks at his concepts and ideas, at everything that he stands for as a representative of the American people, what does it amount to? A house of cards. If the spiritual world were once to breathe upon it, this house of cards, and the whole culture that it typifies, would collapse. This American civilization can be traced back in every detail to the history books and the cultural history of previous centuries. It all lies there openly; everything about it is man-made.
Ask yourselves whence your character as a people comes; whence comes your spiritual life and all the best qualities you can cherish in your souls. You will not find the origin of all this on earth; its roots are in the spiritual world. All this is living and organic; it is no house of cards. It should never be a source of pride, however, but of modesty and humility; we should derive from it a feeling of responsibility, not an arrogant self-consciousness.
Yesterday I spoke to you about freedom. A great deal of water will have to flow under the bridges of Europe before any considerable number of people come to understand fully what freedom in this sense means. What is freedom? Looking to the West, what does it mean for an American? Whatever gives him the most comfortable life. For him, freedom signifies a social order which gives every individual the best chance to get on in the world! Our idea of freedom, says Woodrow Wilson, is different from that of Europeans, because we think of it in practical terms. A knife is used to cut with and a fork to eat with, because they are practically useful for these purposes. Freedom for an American is a utility product; it is something that serves his convenience. For the Western European, freedom has been something very different; a lofty ideal to which he looked up to. One could almost apply the words of the poet and say that for a European freedom is a “high and glorious goddess” -while for the American, freedom is a useful cow which provides him with milk and butter. I am not the one putting it this way; it is the man who will be responsible for guiding the United States during the next few years. My task is not to advance opinions of my own, but to act as an interpreter of the living realities of the spiritual world. An outstanding American, Woodrow Wilson, has himself characterized freedom in this way. If now we take all that heroic spirits in Europe struggled to express in describing this divine freedom as a lofty, majestic goddess, we shall have to say: All our enthusiasm, our feelings and our thoughts go out towards the ideal of freedom as it hovered before these Europeans.”
—Address to the Russian Members/2, June 5, 1913
I would beg everyone to read the following article, which details how the German government, under Kaiser Wilhelm II, seems to invite the United States to enter the war on the side of the allied powers in early 1917. President Wilson had sought a peace conference at the end of 1916, which Steiner discussed in his lectures, “Karma of Untruthfulness”, and made the Kaiser mad. So, in early 1917, Germany began to orchestrate the next move by telling of a telegram sent to the Mexican ambassador via America, which contains the biggest invitation to enter the war imaginable.
It also warns that Germany will begin to bomb enemy ships beginning on February 1, 1917.
On the other hand; the discovery of America, with its weight and heaviness, counterbalanced the luciferic Asiatic influence of Genghis Khan. This influence wanted to lull man into a dreamy experience of imaginations instead of a free experience filled through and through with clear understanding. “America had to be discovered so that man might be brought to grow closer to the earth, to grow more and more materialistic. Man needed weight and heaviness to counterbalance the spiritualization that was the aim of the descendants of the “Great Spirit.” (Inner Impulses of Evolution, GA171, 17091916)
Steiner characterizes Wilson in 1913 as a practical utilitarian, who sees freedom as a knife and fork, and a “useful cow giving milk and butter”. And yet, can we say any different about Lenin’s resolve after his return to Russia in April 1917?
No, he espouses the very same sentiments: “peace, land, and bread.”
This is how the Bolsheviks have their roots in the American materialistic enterprise, which timed it very nicely. Yet, overall, who wins? Just look at today, which has Russia fighting against its own Ukraine, and then the Syrian offensive against ISIS, which America strikes with failure.
America today is indeed a failure. If lacks any resolve of knowledge. Yet, we are here today. Looking at the recent past with insight is good, and yet the present war on terror has a point of very recent origin. If these two candidates for POTUS don’t discuss it directly on 9/26, they show their very own dishonesty in the world situation that exists today.
So, watch the rhetoric and denial of the past which these two sling. They will both leave 9/11 out of account, and only talk about the aftermath. Just watch. It will all come down to milk and bread; butter and peace.
What does POTUS mean?
President of the United States.
Was the transplantation of Bolshevism into Russia just a western experiment? Or was it accompanied by a karmic breeding ground for the Bolshevist leaders in the Arabism of the Academy of Gondi Shapur (an exact reflection of events in the 7th and 20th century, according to Prokofieff p.237 ff.)?
Cf. ‘Men such as Lenin, and Trotsky should be seen by their contemporaries as the greatest, bitterest enemies of true spiritual development, …’ GA181/19180709
Utterly indeed, the modern conception of Bolshevism goes back to the Academy of Gondishapur, wherein the anti-Christ “black initiate” first arose as the leader of the counter-revolution, c. 666 AD. Prokofieff identifies Marx and Engels as former students of the Academy, and while Steiner did not specifically identify these two, or Lenin and Trotsky, he had much to say about them in their most recent incarnations. As such, they all worked against the future destiny of the Russian Folk Soul, which V.S. Soloviev once characterized as the meeting of “the red rose and the while lily”. Steiner spoke of Soloviev in his first private lecture to the Russians on April 11, 1912. This was his first chance to tell them of their future mission, and how Vladimir Soloviev’s death in 1900 had been an event of revelation for him. He told them to study anthroposophy as their best preparation for this future task.
Sergei Prokofieff does a masterful job in this book that Ton cites frequently. As such, he affiliates fully with the Russian Folk Soul, and obviously has heard Steiner’s call in 1912. Yet, the “black initiate” that governed Gondishapur still remains unidentified, although clues have been given. Steiner knew, but for some reason felt compelled to be rather secretive, and yet was willing to reveal more some day, ref. GA185, lecture 1. Sadly, it wouldn’t be for some almost four years that he would return to England in 1922, where this subject would have been of great significance. By then, its topic had been completely forgotten.
Wilson had a karmic background in Islam, Marx/Engels (Marxism) and Lenin/Trotsky (Bolshevism) directly in Arabism. Made concrete by Steiner (1920):
‘Lenin, Trotsky and others similar to them are the tools of these ahrimanic powers. That is an ahrimanic initiation.’ (Polarities, RjwnjDEwcq0C p.44)
Further thoughts on: How Should We Deal With Evil
Of course, we need to differentiate between real human beings, who are logical and rational, and these so-called “powers that be”, who are ruthless thugs, and vicious murderers and torturers. They only receive satisfaction when pain is felt. It is said that the first step in learning the ABC’s of black magic is to cut into animal flesh in order to learn to feel the joy of vivisection.
No normal human being can understand this objective. Why? Because it is utterly irrational and illogical, but this is the mentality that rules the world. We humans need to wake up more to what really constitutes evil; yet, as mere humans we feel a certain powerlessness and helplessness in the face of evil. Its lack of comprehension creates fear when we hear of all of these utterly despicable acts inflicted on the world.
The CIA is a government agency that specifically fabricates seemingly logical stratagems which mask entirely illogical aims. Why? Because they work for the ‘PTB’s’, who are soulless beings with no moral code whatsoever. They are amoral beings in human bodies who seek nothing other than the destruction of life.
Spiritual evolution sees the need for evil’s existence in the world. The reason is to defeat it, and become fully free human beings. Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which assured their expulsion from the Garden of Eden, and into the greater outside world. The Tree of Life was held aside for a later time.
We are getting very close to this later time.
Oh okay thanks Jeremy 🙂
Such a high sounding abbreviation for a straight forward title!
So there’s for example:
I think “Potus” originated with the special agents who guard Presidents; and the First Lady is called “Flotus” 🙂
Early reports of the first POTUS debate (it saves writing letters) is that Trump made an absolute fool of himself, and showed that he is a liar who cannot be trusted. If he is doing this on purpose, in order to escort the first female POTUS into office, he certainly showed it tonight. HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) showed timely bearing and aplomb, which Trump served her on a silver platter. The NBC (National Broadcasting Company) analysts called the event utterly surreal; such was DJC’s (Donald J. Trump) ridiculous caricature of himself from earlier debates. He has no diplomatic skill whatsoever, which he showcases with obvious intent. He can’t even complete a sentence without invoking a “bait and switch” move, which HRC detected early on, and used very effectively. A very sad and pathetic figure is Donald Trump, who so many of his supporters saw as the catalyst to MAGA (Make America Great Again).
Clinton wins hands down in this first of three debates. She at least has skill and experience. He’d rather be making mammon, which he clearly indicates in every breath. It was surreal, all right.
Well, by the looks of things DJT is an independent free thinker who even has the honesty of asking “what the hell is going on” whereas the CF (Clinton family) seem to follow a particular political ideology and thus cannot be called free thinkers in that sense.
Hegel, in his Philosophy of History, ch3, speaks about “liberalism” and how instead of the establishment of rational rights exercised by the intelligent members of the community and the confidence that is felt in them; liberalism sets up in opposition to this maintaining that all government should emanate from their express power and have their express sanction. Asserting this formal side of freedom – this abstraction – the party in question allows no political organization to be firmly established. The particular arrangements of the government are forthwith opposed by the advocates of liberty as the mandates of a particular will, and branded as display of arbitrary power. The will of the many expels the ministry from power, and those who had formed the opposition fill the vacant places; but the latter having now become the government, meet with hostility from the many, and share the same fate.
Hegel states that liberalism in politics is the antithesis of what it claims to be as in its persuasion for liberalism it intentional creates dogmatic laws (so and so rights etc. regardless of moral implications) and if these so called laws do not agree with any member in society it is they who are ostracised in the name of “liberty”.
Therefore liberalism cannot be called democratic as, besides from been one sided, it caters for populist sentiment, often found to be young and inexperienced, which in effect is open to manipulation.
Maybe the most important fact in characterizing Hegel’s logic and history is his belief that “The Absolute” could actually be incarnate in a human body, and revolutionizing the world. Hegel actually believed this in the personage of Emperor Napoleon I. He even applauded Napoleon’s entry into Jena on October 13, 1806, as he saw the ‘world-spirit’ in magnificent dress on a horse:
Hegel was putting the finishing touches on his book, the Phenomenology of Spirit, as Napoleon engaged Prussian troops on October 14, 1806, in the Battle of Jena on a plateau outside the city. On the day before the battle, Napoleon entered the city of Jena. Hegel recounted his impressions in a letter to his friend Friedrich Immanuel Niethammer:
“I saw the Emperor – this world-spirit – riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it … this extraordinary man, whom it is impossible not to admire.”
Although Napoleon chose not to close down Jena as he had other universities, the city was devastated and students deserted the university in droves, making Hegel’s financial prospects even worse. Prussia was defeated and ruled by France until 1812, when the “fourth coalition” was engaged.
Question: did Hegel ever see the fundamental error in this line of reason? Why would anyone applaud a foreign ruler entering their country and defeating it , and making life in Prussia miserable? I can’t find anywhere that Hegel ever reversed his thinking about Napoleon. No, he saw Napoleon as a hero; a man of action who could make the difference, while he held only idealist thoughts.
That’s why Hegel saw Napoleon that day, while Napoleon never heard of Hegel.
In today’s world, we need to be very concerned about the so-called “man of action who could rule the world”. Trump is a tin-ear, who doesn’t listen to any voice other than his own; very napoleonic. Hillary, on the other hand, is very Hegelian in her politics, yet it is mere wordsmithing, much like Hegel’s whole corpus of idealist philosophy.
The first debate of the POTUS candidates didn’t prove much. All they did was boast, and joust each other. Neither candidate is worth a tinkers-damn in my opinion. Neither will improve the domestic, or world situation that is in crisis today. But one will come out victorious, and inflict their defects on the world.
What Hegel saw in Napoleon was the transition from the old feudal system to an organised constitutional based government. It was the Jacobins who were the cause of revolutionary chaos later picked up by Marxists.
Compare Steiner (1918): One has the impression that a soul wanted to incarnate in the world, appeared without a body, clamoured for incarnation amongst the revolutionaries of the eighteenth century, but was unable to find a body … and that only externally a body offered itself, a body which for its part could not find a soul, i.e. Napoleon. (GA0185/19181019)
Yes, and interesting that Steiner attempted to find the soul of Napoleon after death, and could not find it. As he said, maybe it didn’t exist. So, could Napoleon have been the embodiment of the spirit of revolution? In that case, Hegel’s vision of the Emperor was very intuitive. A phenomenon of spirit in a body with no soul. Pure spiritual-revolutionary conquest.
“I saw the Emperor – this world-spirit – riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it … this extraordinary man, whom it is impossible not to admire.”
“At St. Helena, after his downfall, Napoleon expressed himself as follows: “Everything would have gone all right. I should not have fallen before all the Powers which ranged themselves against me. With one factor only did I fail to reckon, and it is this that really brought about my downfall, namely — the German philosophers!” Let narrow minds say what they will about the value of philosophy; this piece of self-revelation from Napoleon’s own lips has more weight, I think, than all the objections that might be raised against Fichte’s idealism, which indeed had a thoroughly practical aspect.
“At Berlin , Fichte found himself confronting the personality of Napoleon, in whom, in his view, this selfishness was incarnate. During all this period when the Napoleonic chaos was enveloping north and central Germany, Fichte never in his heart viewed himself otherwise than as Napoleon’s spiritual antagonist.”
“Napoleon, an inexhaustible source of energy indeed, but a man who, though he may have had in his soul occasional glimpses of freedom, has never formed any true notion of the real all-embracing ideal of freedom as it works from age to age in men’s moral aspirations and in the moral framework of the world. And from this fundamental deficiency that a personality which is only a shell, without any true spiritual core, can yet wield such immense force, from this phenomenon Fichte traced the personality, the whole “catastrophe” as he expressed it — Napoleon.”
The Spirit of Fichte Present in Our Midst
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