In a lecture given on 30th January 1924, Rudolf Steiner spoke of the qualities needed in the people who wished to become members of the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science. Among other comments, he said this:
(…) “it is necessary that everyone who wishes to belong to the Class should ask himself (sic) whether he really intends to be one of those who from the outset will not only stand for the anthroposophical cause before the world but will be a courageous representative of it in every way.”
Steiner recognised that, if you were not only to call yourself an anthroposophist but also to let other people know that you are, it requires courage. Why is this? It is surely because to identify yourself as having belief in a larger reality than that which most people subscribe to, is to invite others to heap scorn, and even hatred, upon you; you have made yourself different from the commonsensical view of the majority in the West and thus you are an offence to their idea of what is true and obvious to all right-thinking people.
But despite this, we are all human beings, struggling with life as best we can, and sharing many more things than those which separate us. So how, while staying true to our beliefs, can we connect with one another in ways which respect our differences?
For making connections with others is at the heart of it. As Justus Wittich, a member of the Vorstand (Executive Committee) at the Goetheanum, wrote in the January 2020 issue of Anthroposophy Worldwide: “The Anthroposophical Society could become a global association of people who stand up individually and courageously for human dignity and for shaping the world out of spiritual insights. The motto we have chosen for this year’s Annual Conference from Rudolf Steiner’s Letters to Members reflects this: ‘Connecting with the world willingly out of love’. “
Yes, I completely support that aspiration, although I wish the Goetheanum could go a bit further in actively putting before the public eye spiritual research about contemporary issues such as Covid-19. If it could make a connection with the wider public, then it might stand a chance of becoming that global association mentioned by Justus Wittich. But here is our dilemma: how, in this age of atheist materialism and disbelief and disparagement of anything that smacks of spirituality, can the anthroposophical movement find its relevance and connect with other points of view?
As a blogger on anthroposophical themes, I come up against this dilemma quite frequently, because some other people simply have no way of understanding or even tolerating what I am trying to convey about the potential relevance of anthroposophy to all human lives. Here, for example, is a Tweet I received after my recent post on Coercion and the Covid-19 Vaccines:
Dunning-Kruger compliant drivel excused by #Steiner #anthroposphy barmpottery. Riddled with the usual oft-debunked #antivaxxer tropes. See http://docbastard.net/2019/03/busting-vaccine-myths.html… to counter the scare-mongering on aluminium, formaldehyde, thimerosal (mercury) etc. Oh, and they’re not untested
I didn’t know what the reference to Dunning-Kruger meant so I looked it up: apparently it is a type of cognitive bias in which people believe that they are smarter and more capable than they really are. Essentially, low ability people do not possess the skills needed to recognise their own incompetence. Well, thank you, kind sir.
I also had a look at the docbastard website but don’t recommend you do the same, unless you are unoffended by frequent use of the ‘F’ word and violent, aggressive, sneering language. All I would say is that I don’t think the guy who wrote this is likely to achieve a meeting of minds with low ability people like me.
More representative of different views from my own, as well as better exemplars of civilised discourse, are those such as the Financial Times journalist, to whom I sent a link to my previous post after seeing an article in his newspaper about what he calls ‘Vaccine Hesitancy’. He was kind enough to reply:
Thanks for writing. I think we have different ideas of freedom. For me freedom is the freedom to go into an office or a restaurant or get into a plane without having to fear that there’s a high risk that someone else in it will give me a dangerous disease, which probably wouldn’t kill me at my age but could severely damage my organs or just give me the worst flu of my life. If you don’t want to be vaccinated, fine. I don’t think the UK govt or any other in the west will force you to. But you shouldn’t expect the freedom to then go around infecting everyone else. I should remind you that childhood vaccinations are compulsory in large numbers of countries and have been so a long time.
Sorry to disagree, keep well.”
His comment really brings home to me, as if I didn’t know it before, that this whole issue of vaccination presents all of us with a genuine moral dilemma:
- Should I have the jab as my contribution to the common good and herd immunity?
- Although I don’t want to have it, do I still go ahead as a kind of sacrifice to the altar of the collective?
- Or do I decide to stay true to my belief, refuse the jab and be perceived as selfish by others?
I replied as follows:
“Thank you for your reply – I appreciate your taking the time to do this.
I’m not sure that we do have different ideas of freedom, as I, too, would like to be able to enter an office, restaurant or plane without feeling in danger. But even after you have had the jab, you will still be wearing a mask and maintaining social distancing, as the Deputy Chief Medical Officer in England, Jonathan Van-Tam, has indicated in this short YouTube clip:
Second, no-one yet knows whether the jab will give you immunity and if it does, for how long that lasts. Nor do we yet know whether, if you are an asymptomatic spreader, it will prevent you from infecting others.
Third, I don’t expect the freedom to go around infecting everyone else. I am the manager of a small residential care home for adults with learning disabilities and I have to be ultra-cautious; I swab-test myself and colleagues every week and our residents every month; we use PPE and we are scrupulous about hand washing, infection control etc. As workers in a care home, we will be high on the priority list for the new Pfizer vaccine – but neither I nor my colleagues want to have it.
My wife, who is a reflexologist with several GPs and surgeons as clients, tells me that these NHS staff don’t want to have it, either – why do you think these professional medical staff are also reluctant?
Now it may well be that my blog post was not a balanced account, as I was writing it in the white heat of indignation – but if I were to add anything, it would be to say that there are far cheaper and safer ways to protect oneself against Covid-19, ways that can’t be patented and profited from and could be mass-adopted if the government were to advocate them. But that would have made it far longer and probably wouldn’t have made it any less contentious.
Thank you, and all good wishes.”
Reflecting on these exchanges, I am very aware of the gulf that lies between my views and the views of so many other people, as typified by that journalist. If he had taken a look at other posts on this blog, he might well conclude that he was reading examples of the mystical ‘barmpottery’, of which my Twitter correspondent accused me.
Is there anything else I could say to people who have quite different perspectives from my own, that might help to create more understanding between us? I might say that I would like to know exactly what is being injected into my bloodstream and how it has been created; I could say that the record of Big Pharma over the years has not inspired me with trust in their integrity or moral judgments; I could add that none of the politicians who are exhorting us to have the jab seem to be taking into account what human actions might have created the pandemic in the first place. I might ask: can we not all see that instead of going back to how the world was before Covid-19, it was that kind of mindset that has brought it towards us? Is that the way we wish to live our lives? Is that what human beings are?
If I were to say such things, they might get us into a reasonable dialogue; but if I were then to introduce some more esoteric concepts from anthroposophy, for example about what a human being really is, the other person would most likely start to shake their head and write me off as insane.
Even someone as sympathetic to anthroposophy as is Hans van Willenswaard, who brings a Buddhist perspective to his comments on this blog, has questions about the effectiveness of anthroposophy in the world:
“The question, which also now can be applied to the numerous COVID-19 dilemmas, is whether ‘the esoteric’ spiritual science, is more effective in preventing/solving war and crisis than exoteric activism?
What are the lessons we could learn from the failed top-down political threefolding campaign shortly after World War I; and from the ultimate destruction of the First Goetheanum by fire, even though it had survived the war thanks to its position in ‘neutral’ Switzerland?
Can anthroposophy be effective vis-a-vis the COVID-19 crisis (+ climate emergency; + economic downturn; + painful inequality; + technocratic authoritarianism and + social/cultural divisions) if we are not better able to integrate the esoteric with the exoteric and shape the movement beyond the anthroposophic ‘silo’?
My answers to these questions, in the same order in which Hans asked them, are as follows:
1. Does ‘exoteric activism’ actually prevent or solve wars? For example, did Woodrow Wilson’s League of Nations, set up after the 1914-18 war, prevent the 1939-45 war? Obviously not. Has the United Nations prevented any wars since 1945? I can’t think of any. Can anyone point to examples of exoteric activism which have averted war? Probably not, although one could argue that organisations like Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, Medecins Sans Frontieres etc have been effective in galvanising public opinion for change – but it’s not fair to contrast this with spiritual science, whose role is entirely different from that of activist organisations.
2. Spiritual impulses, important though it may be that they are brought forward at a particular time, do not necessarily find fertile ground for their reception. This was true for threefolding and perhaps it was generally true for anthroposophy as well, given that Steiner’s ambitions for anthroposophy have to this day not been realised. Does this mean that these impulses should not have been introduced to the world? Absolutely not, because the results, although fewer than Steiner might have wanted, have been nevertheless totally worthwhile and are still capable of engendering new possibilities and worthwhile initiatives into the world – and we don’t know what these seeds sown in the last century might yet bring forth in the future.
3. Because the insights of spiritual science are not yet shared by a critical mass of human beings, humanity continues to create difficult karma for itself; and as with the Covid-19 vaccines, it chases after ‘solutions’ that miss the point and perpetuate in different ways the mistakes that led to the original crisis. What I’m not clear about is whether the ‘critical mass’ that will make the difference could be (a) a small number of people acting as a kind of homeopathic dose within the body of humanity; or (b) whether it really is a question of vast numbers of people being brought to a point of total crisis before real change can happen. I fear that (b) is the more likely option, but I hope I’m wrong – and in any case I choose to be in (a).
To bring this discussion back to the personal, how can I stand in the world as an anthroposophical blogger and communicate as such with other people without it ending up in complete deadlock and misunderstanding?
Here, I think, we cannot do without Rudolf Steiner’s concept of the Twelve World Views, as expressed in his book The Philosophy of Freedom. Steiner contends that truth is expressed in twelve different ways, each one of which has its own justification – which in turn means that someone with whom you have a serious disagreement may just be looking at a different and perhaps equally valid part of the truth. There is an excellent exposition of this here. Do please have a look and try to identify which is your own predominant world view.
So, if my truth and your truth are both facets of a much larger truth, and if we can both acknowledge that that is a possibility, we ought to be able to find ways to avoid falling-out over who is right and who is wrong. This is surely one of the greatest challenges facing human evolution, because people who are convinced that they are right and everyone else is wrong will continue to perpetuate division – and are ultimately capable of going to war to impose their truth on others.
We are currently in the grip of a pandemic which has put fear into millions of people. Responsibility for dealing with this is being given over to forces beyond our control. If we can but realise it, we have the opportunity at this time to make significant changes through our own resolve and will forces. As an anthroposophist, I believe that I was born into this world so that I could be in physical incarnation at this time of trial, because it is only here on Earth that certain things can be achieved. What is it that I need to do at this time? Surely it is to develop, out of my own free will, a renewed capacity for love – love for myself, love for others and for all creation. Love that can be shared with others and that can bring healing to this Earth, at all levels of existence.
As Rudolf Steiner put it in his lecture “Love and Its Meaning in the World”:
“Our egoism gains nothing from deeds of love — but the world (gains) all the more. Occultism says: Love is for the world what the sun is for external life. No soul could thrive if love departed from the world. Love is the “moral” sun of the world. Would it not be absurd if a man who delights in the flowers growing in a meadow were to wish that the sun would vanish from the world? Translated into terms of the moral life, this means: Our deep concern must be that an impulse for sound, healthy development shall find its way into the affairs of humanity. To disseminate love over the earth in the greatest measure possible, to promote love on the earth — that and that alone is wisdom.”
Can I find that wisdom and live my words?
If I and others who have similar views are not able to rise to this occasion, this enormous opportunity for a better future direction, then surely we will continue to experience, with everyone else, each of the coming crises resulting from the shared karma of humanity.
138 responses to “Walking my anthroposophical talk”
Hi Jeremy, Thanks for roiling the waters … again. Your post was rather long, so I’ll be brief on only two aspects of it. First, you quote Rudolf Steiner about conditions for being a members of the First Class. By doing so you are assuming that the First Class still exists. I beg to differ: I don’t believe that it exists; If you can point to evidence that it does, I might change my opinion, but I don’t see how you can. Secondly, about not wanting to get the “jab” as you call it. Why not? Is your blood stream so pure that you don’t want to defile it? I don’t “want” to get jabbed either, but I understand that vaccination could end this present pandemic (and it IS a pandemic), and refusing would be egotistic. (When I read the rest of your post I may be back, so don’t relax yet.)
This should actually be a new or different subject, such as reincarnation or even fiction. So I won’t be at all offended or surprised if it’s rejected – although It may be of interest. https://southerncrossreview.org/136/intergalactic-reincarnation.html .
A nice story, Frank, which I hope will be read by some of the rationalists and ‘skeptics’ who come to this blog from time to time.
Very well said, Jeremy. I struggle every day with these same questions. I have only one thing to say. Whatever the outcome of this mess of a world we now find ourselves in, you are not alone. I am sure there will be varied responses to this post as with the last. I am glad to be the first just to express support.
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Thankyou, challenging questions.
Steiner had hopes his scientists (via qualities based experiments) could establish a mutual ground with the materialists and show via fruitfulness the worth of a spiritual inclusive world view.
Lily Kolisko gave her life to this, with little help for her later days?
Connecting the cosmos and the material via life processes?
(we are still struggling to do this other than bd wine or possibly waldorf educated health and life fruits, or maybe eurythmy as curative therapy. AEM remedies survive in Eu, but are excoriated in the West)
Many seriously sub-nature scientists HAVE noticed the full moons effects upon people and madhouses, but it is as if a different realm to their scientific sub-nature views. They have no bridge to connect these realms.
I think we need to develop the language and appropriate thought processes for the different realms – visible and invisible.(ie sense perceptible vs cognitively postulated).
RS also speaks of knowledge of karma. Even if it is first considered egotistically, it opens a door for more comprehensive thoughts and awareness. This seems their worst enemy and the futures most needful “germinal thought”.
Thank you Jeremy!
I have been thinking very much like this over the past months. So it has been comforting to read you, both as a human being and as an Anthroposophist (and a Steiner kindergarten teacher).
I hope we can make the best of this advent, Christmas and twelve nights to be able to meet the challenges that are so evident now, there aren’t many options, not to say there are none.
Best wishes from Chile
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Everything you say resonates with me. Your questions are the same as mine. How could we work together?
“Is there anything else I could say to people who have quite different perspectives from my own, that might help to create more understanding between us?” I’ve come to this question very painfully in my personal life as well as from looking at the world, and I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes there is nothing you can say with words, or not with words alone. You have to speak with your whole self — with thoughts, feelings, actions, with parts that are not only non-verbal but also pre-cognitive.
I learned this largely from working with adults with special needs, so you should be familiar with this activity. As you very likely are aware, it doesn’t necessarily bear immediate results, and can be risky because involves engaging with parts of yourself that you don’t know very well. It takes patience, and courage. But it’s the only way to communicate with people with whom you cannot connect on an intellectual level.
And I know from experience that it works, and it does bring about change — in me, as well as in the person I’m communicating with. It changes everything, in fact. That’s a scary prospect, if you do not have a firm grip on the part of yourself which remains when everything is thrown into chaos, and very likely that’s why it’s so rarely done. People prefer staying in a secure dysfunction to entering into a healing process that will disrupt their reality.
And yet, it must be done. No outer, intellectually-driven response will do in our time, whether it is vaxing or antivaxing, masking or not masking, or any other of the dualisms that splinter us apart. When anthroposophy becomes an ideology, it becomes caught up in these dualisms too. That is a great temptation and is only countered by making it rather into a totally transformative way of living.
But that takes time! Maybe we just haven’t yet had time for enough people to undergo that kind of transformation. Or maybe it is happening, but those people are not yet in communication with each other. I actually sense that the souls transformed by anthroposophy are out there. We could bring about tremendous change, if we got together in the right way. We have more tools for global communication than ever before. Can we use them toward this purpose? Nothing would make me happier.
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Thanks Jeremy, your posts just keep getting better. Our actions will always speak louder than our words, unless one is a god of the universe – then perhaps words will have more effect.
I appreciate your concern about the audience for your posts, but you do have some very valuable readers/listeners who appreciate what you’re doing. I think our main concern should be how our words, and actions, are judged by the higher beings. I’d rather be appreciated by them, than to have all men speak well of me.
Thank you so much for the 12 ways of presenting truth. I hadn’t seen this, and it looks like something that will be very useful.
I’ve been increasingly challenged by this whole love subject recently. There are probably increasing levels of consciousness about it, but the supreme example for me is the Christ. He never did anything wrong, yet willingly took the condemnation of the cross in place of those who were the actual perpetrators. My desire is to have a love like that, but it’s so costly, and requires such vulnerability. It’s also foreign (one might even call it insane) to the greater part of our world.
Steiner’s 12 worldviews are actually from this lecture-course, and not PoF.
A very important course, indeed, as Jeremy suggests. We need to see each other’s inherent differences, and accept these as part of the human persona. As well, the seven + one planetary moods are also important to distinguish. One size does not fit all, and yet the integration of all 12 outlooks is the best. This course builds up its motive step by step, and with diagrams. No wonder that even Tom Last takes his hat off to anthroposophy for once. He’s the pure thinker who tends to disdain Steiner’s esotericism in favor of PoF.
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Hi, Steve, you say, about the twelve outlooks, “and yet the integration of all 12 outlooks is the best.” I am not aware that Steiner says these different outlooks can be integrated with each other, if that is what you meant. What Steiner says, if I remember rightly, is that a human being needs to be able to move from one outlook to another and see the truth from each point of view. If there is anything like integration it is in the self of the human being. The wakened self which can comprehend and find what is of value in each point of view.
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Yes, indeed, but isn’t that an integration in the best sense? Maybe, synthesis would have been a better word to describe what you have concisely given. In my experience, it is possible to ponder these 12 “isms” and find them all within oneself in a “know thou thyself” kind of way. I do agree that we tend toward one outlook or another. The several planetary moods are also important.
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Hi Tom, we have talked for a few years now. In looking at Steiner’s dynamic model, especially conveyed here in lecture three, it can be shown just how many various arrangements can be made of the ‘isms’ with, and then by including the planetary moods, it can all be expanded further. I realize that in 2020 it means nothing for most people, but I still see a heart and soul working in the world. If I had the resources of England, I would be on blessed street. Alas, I don’t. But that doesn’t stop me from acknowledging those who have, e.g., Tom and Jeremy. Just look at the intricacies and possibilities here. Good stuff.
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Thanks for your post Jeremy. The impulse for spiritual ‘love’ In the world is very strong. Many contemporary philosophers, spiritually orientated thinkers and practitioners from varied truths are proof of this.
With the event of social media these teachings are accessible to ever more people. We understand from Anthroposophy the two fundamental streams of evolving consciousness, one predominantly focusing on the evolution of science technology and the material world, the other on a different imaginative force of the arts, music, creative life of the soul. We muddle between those two polarities in our daily life’s.
Am I being true to myself by being an activist for change in the world, or am I being true to myself by being as close to the archetype of a good human being in everything I do …
Dear Jeremy, A great post, both informative and inspiring with interesting responses. I couldn’t agree more, we do need more love, the true warmth of spirit that can and should exist between us, despite our differences with others. I have spent this last year, due to Covid’s impact on our lives, reading Steiner’s lectures every day and focusing on the exercises he has given us in his amazing book, “How to Attain Knowledge of Higher Worlds.” I came to the conclusion that I will not be able to develop the ability (or organs) to ‘see’ the spirit world that is flatly refused by the materialists, if I do not give it the means and space in which to be ‘brought’ into my consciousness. Steiner says these exercises will work and for some it can take a short amount of time while for others longer, years even. I have committed myself to the long-term projection. The book itself is highly readable, and as always with Steiner, practical and succinct. I wondered if there were any others wanting to more deeply, ‘walk the anthroposophical talk’ who are using this book and what their experiences of it have been.
Thank you once again Jeremy for your inspiring posts, I love receiving them and feel so happy that there is a homely, welcoming place to pop into, here at anthropopper.
Health and best wishes to you all
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Yes, I would love to discuss more on this book, and its exercises. It is quite different than the sense-free thinking method. It would have one, “stop thought” altogether, through the power of certain Rosicrucian images. Whether here, or my place, it is all in the invitation and the enthusiasm for discussion.
Thank you kindly Steve for your heart-warming invitation. I have been familiar with Steiner’s writings for about twenty years but I hope I will not be too annoyingly novice in discussions on the exercises. I am very much on the first rung but I am enthusiastic about proceeding. I have been using the Rosicrucian images for my exercises. The image is something I have been trying to infuse with deeper meaning between exercises and I now have to persist in continuing them. Covid has allowed, or rather created a situation where it is possible to focus without exterior / social distractions. Would you be willing to share some of your thoughts or experiences around these exercises and / or about the KOHW book, in general? I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas.
I liked very much in reading your previous posts from November, and so this current invitation was irresistible. Your previous comments make it very plain how sincere you are. Please let me cite them:
This whole topic is about walking in the talk of anthroposophy, and so I think we can at least start here. The technics might have to divert to a private conversation, but that is alright, too. This blog is into very dynamic issues at this time, and the world is under a certain seizure that simply has to be addressed, as you can see. Yet, recent comments point exactly to the Cosmic Intelligence that Rudolf Steiner compiled in the first quarter of the 20th century, and sent back up to Michael. Thus, we are a unique breed, and yet very small in number, while the reactionaries proliferate in huge numbers to the left and to the right. The middle is where anthroposophy exists, and for certain reasons that relate to Christ.
So, the way is clear, and needs both the input of the contemporary issues alongside the more esoteric matters that you invite to study. Thus, I see the very real potential that we can study KOHW right here in public, and that would be a very good thing. Then, all can partake while we also revile and rebuke the world situation going on at the same time; quite a dichotomy. I see it as the meeting ground of esoteric-exoteric; and why not?
Midnight Rambler, a correspondent to this blog, has suggested that anyone who wishes can join the “How to Know Higher Worlds” Zoom online study group. This is hosted at Rudolf Steiner House in London by Dr Sue Peat and Philip Martyn and is open to anyone around the world. If you are interested, please email me at email@example.com and I will pass your details on to Sue and Philip.
Just came across this statement in Lecture 8 in The Karma of Materialism which confirms the importance of walking the talk.
“The force in man most closely bound up with his nature is the force that expresses itself in his will, in his actions. What a man does springs from the very center of his being.”
The way I understand this is that the walk is important because it shows (manifests) to others what is at the center of a persons being. He had just been saying in a previous paragraph that in today’s fifth epoch, both freedom and knowledge are theoretical. So talking a lot of words about both these are merely theory; I’ll know you by your actions, not the words you talk. It’s possible for a person to hide behind a “mask” of words, but their actions will show forth the truth of their character.
Hi Jeremy, and I want to extend this comment to Judith, as well:
What I have found in studying Steiner’s work on this subject of what it takes to lead to exact clairvoyance is that it leads to a kind of conundrum in which most students have been imbued to a certain extent with the findings of spiritual science, and therefore, find it rather impossible to totally meditate on the Rosicrucian symbols. The mind finds it hard to see the image, such as the seven occult seal pictures from the Apocalypse, without at least a hint of what has been revealed as to their meaning. So, in my experience we have to combine the two approaches, which means active meditation involving seeing the image and also seeing its underlying importance as an expression of human evolution. This requires active thinking in the process.
I’m still holding out my hand to Judith if she wants to talk, but I also recognize these other opportunities to discuss KOHW in the virtual domain. My particular emphasis is on the power of KOHW to draw the astral body out of the physical body while we strive to remain awake. It is not easy as a meditative exercise to do this. We often fall asleep while meditating, and this needs to be the first lesson. To expose the astral body while remaining wide awake in the physical body is a huge step forward. Steiner gives the rosicrucian images as a model for doing this kind of visualization. The goal is to focus on the images in order to quell thought into thoughtlessness. It is very much like the old Indian system of Raja Yoga, wherein the tumult of the daily life experienced in “the vrittis”, needs to meet the original mind set of Chitta. This is the goal, and why KOHW is so extraordinary a means in this modern day and age where this practice can be taken up again.
Now, of course, it is juxtaposed to the other method also recently revealed; the path of exact thinking, and especially wherein this path is associated with the pure thought world. This is also a domain for the continuance of spiritual science. This path has the power to confirm the results of spiritual-scientific research taken up by the student. So, it becomes a huge meeting ground with people who would like to take up the purely meditative path outlined in KOHW. Thus, one can take the lead in order to help the other. This is also important. It is all about encouragement.
In Steiner’s scientific-phenomenological method (GA 322), the Rosicrucian images are replaced by sensory-moral effects of colors, or pure perception:
“I have spoken to you about the conception underlying my book, Philosophy of Freedom. This book is actually a modest attempt to win through to pure thinking, the pure thinking in which the ego can live and maintain a firm footing. Then, when pure thinking has been grasped in this way, one can strive for something else. This thinking, left in the power of an ego that now feels itself to be liberated within free spirituality, can then be excluded from the process of perception. Whereas in ordinary life one sees color, let us say, and at the same time imbues the color with conceptual activity, one can now extract the concepts from the entire process of elaborating percepts and draw the percept itself directly into ones bodily constitution. Goethe undertook to do this and has already taken the first steps in this direction. Read the last chapter of his Theory of Colors, entitled “The Sensory-Moral Effect of Color”: in every color-effect he experiences something that unites itself profoundly not only with the faculty of perception but with the whole man. etc.”
I resonate so much with what I understand of Lory’s communication. She writes: “Souls transformed by Anthroposophy are out there”..though our forum for communication is not yet fully explored/realized. She stresses that the whole self includes both non-verbal and precognitive aspects. I think we experience feeling “thrown into chaos” when we don’t yet have a firm grip on that deeper precognitive part. What is that part that feels the chaos? It must be the Ego? The part Steiner says is still asleep when we are awake. What is this thing in me that knows that I know that I know – but is not yet awakened to itself as the knower? Here, in this time of crisis, a lot of mankind is trying to seduce itself “back to normal”. We yearn for the darkening of consciousness – for sleep. And I think the highly charged conspiracy theories – in their extreme – are us saying “I’ll kill you all if you make me wake up.” And it’s driven/exacerbated by the ghosts, phantoms and demons WE have created.
In regard to Covid, the operative point for me is to take responsibility to vaccine or not to vaccine: I need the courage to take whatever step with whichever consequences – and not to blame anybody else for it. I also think our decisions involve (maybe always) connections among both individual and group karma – the issue Mark raises.
Hi, Ken (Bro) …thank you for the golden words that keep me going: “You are not alone”.
Thanks Judith Miller for reminding me of the KOHW book. This is a book I turn to regularly, for its practical wisdom. It’s well-spoken of in Cayce circles, and is how I was introduced to Rudolf Steiner. It’s been my most helpful Steiner book, that and Citizens of the Cosmos by Beredene Jocelyn.
This is a reply to Lory – excellent thoughts you bring to our attention. I was specially moved and inspired by your thoughts about transformation, since that idea seems to best resonate with Jeremy’s topic. I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of taking in words that go in one ear and out the other, with no effect on us. To be transformed though, is a process that, as you say, takes time. It also requires having the “ears to hear what the Spirit says”, a special sort of listening, one that is aided by entering into the Silence as Steve has reminded us recently. And, in the case of vision, to have the “eyes that see”; in other words, the spiritual organs of perception Steiner spoke of.
A result of true transformation will be that our words will be manifested in our walk, in our actions, so I agree with you on its importance. As to how we will come together with other like-minded individuals, that’s up to the higher forces, as long as we’re willing to follow their lead. I know that Jeremy’s blog is helpful – I’m meeting (virtually) others who have a keen desire for growth and transformation. Still have to weed through the ones who are here for the ideology, the intellectually-driven responses you speak of, though. The love Jeremy mentions, or the Christ principle, helps to provide the energy and the impetus to enable that to happen – “Love never fails”.
I’m amazed it’s taken you so long to realise that the internet is not
a polite debating chamber where folk engage in frank and fearless
exchanges and agree to live and let live. Nor is it a place
where people successfully persuade others of the rightness of their
Some while ago, I spent several years online defending Waldorf
education and Anthroposophical medicine (and the person of Rudolf
Steiner) against a variety of opponents. Some of them were polite, as
I tried to be. Some of them were abusively hateful. The latter tended
to be limited to cutting-and-pasting the opinions of the former
between mouthfuls (or keyboardfuls) of bile.
In the end, I realised that there was little point in any of it.
Because it is the medium that is at fault. Of course people can pick
up a book and be transformed by it. In principle you can read an
internet article and it can change your life. But you overlook that by
committing your words to the ether, you are effectively handing a copy
of your thoughts to every single person who has a screen. And an awful lot
of those people don’t like what you say. In the same way that you
don’t like what a awful lot of other people say, except you’re too polite to
tell them in sexually explicit terms what they can do with it. But
they’re not too polite, and you have opted to invade their cognitive
But please do not under any circumstances think that there is goodwill
enough in most instances of internet-mediated opposition for a reasoned mutual understanding to manifest itself. It simply doesn’t work that way. Just
remember how vitriolic have been the arguments within the
Anthroposophical movement itself. And they had the advantage of physical
immediacy, the caring touch, the sympathetic glance, the shared cuppa.
If you really want to get through to people, yes please do continue
your blog so your thoughts can continue to be enjoyed by those who
agree (mostly) with you. But to influence the stranger, maximise your
chances of meeting her/him in those magical moments of non-digital
true encounter. That’s where spiritual exchange really takes place.
Oh, and yes, Frank Thomas Smith is right. The First Class as created
by Rudolf Steiner died in the aftermath of 1925**. Taking personal
responsibility for the teachings of spiritual science continues, as it
does with all esoteric knowledge.
** See Thomas Meyer: The Development of Anthroposophy Since Rudolf
Steiner’s Death: SteinerBooks 2014: ISBN 978 1 62148 116 4
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You are right, of course, that blogging is not the best way of connecting with others; best of all, is face-to-face, second best is by way of the spoken word. Perhaps I should add podcasting to the blog…
I always receive a great deal from what you write, and live into it while I am reading. You have a huge talent for doing this kind of work in the blogging domain, and give insightful links for further review. I had mentioned before that if I was in public health, or a first responder role, that I would have to be vaccinated, come what may, but I am not. I abhor the vaccine, and especially the one that you appear to fear, which has already been advertised (Pfizer) as having unpleasant side effects of nausea, vomiting, and other effects. As well, it takes two shots separated by weeks to give the full measure. So, it doesn’t sound pleasant, by any means. It is good for the soul to experience being rebuked, and your interaction with the fellow from Financial Times helps in seeing the existential crisis that stands before us. To be ostracized and marginalized as a consequence of not vaxing is the threat here. Is real Freedom the issue at hand?
Spiritual science has been around for 120 years, and during that time Rudolf Steiner contended with WWI, and the pan-flu epidemic of 1918-1920. It is interesting that one hundred years later, here we are facing that anniversary with a similar pandemic. Sorath is an invisible being with huge potential to wreak havoc in the world. There is a history here in increments of 666 years. Evil is a contest that has to be faced. Anthroposophy has a responsibility. Steiner was always asking people who seemed to really care, whether they were truly up for the demands that would be required, like with First Class. First Class still lives beyond Steiner”s death, regardless if these lectures have been made public. Many are willing to wait in order to be invited based on qualification. They see it as a sacred matter, which it is.
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Steve says, ‘First Class still lives beyond Steiner”s death, regardless if these lectures have been made public.’
It lives in the faithful members who try to abide by Steiner’s wishes. His wishes that the lessons should be HEARD, not read from a book, and that only the mantrams should be written down by the pupils of the class.
The ‘lecture’ or lesson Steiner gave when presenting each mantram is only one way of presenting the material. He didn’t want any record made of these lessons. He wanted that first group of Class-Holders to ‘do as he had done’, and it was only when they said , ‘we can’t!’, that he allowed stenographers to record the lessons.
The ‘free-renderings’ given by some class-holders are an attempt to comply with Steiner’s original wish, that the class-holders would ‘do as he had done’.
Verses such as the ‘mantrams’ have many layers of meaning and part of the development to be experienced by members in the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science comes from the EFFORT involved in making a relationship to these verses, each verse individually and also in their sequences and internal relationships. They are not a set of formulae.
Steiner didn’t live long enough after the founding of the First Class to refine the processes of teaching in the school.
Sometimes, included in the lessons are very specific instructions on what to visualise or how to perform the meditation. I can’t believe that these were thrown in haphazardly, yet in the classes I have attended over 27 years no provision has ever been made for writing these instructions down. I decided to do it anyway.
Frank Thomas Smith says of The First Class, ‘I don’t believe that it exists; If you can point to evidence that it does, I might change my opinion, but I don’t see how you can’.
I don’t expect what I have written above to change Frank’s opinion, and I know that many people are grateful to Frank for what he has done.
But I am interested in the nature of his statement, ‘I don’t believe that it exists…’. I suspect that it is the result of an essentialist doctrine, which like all essentialist thinking can have a stultifying effect on the free movement of the spirit. John 3:8, KJV: “The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
Tom, I think your focus on Steiner intending the lessons to be HEARD, not read from a book, is important. I would add, meant to be APPLIED as well. The problem may be we don’t know how to transition from the times of gurus and master teachers. Consequently, the (few) Anthroposophical groups I’ve been involved with are conducted more like book clubs than training sessions. I’m thinking that our modern equivalent of a training session might better be modeled on a therapy group, with guidelines and techniques applied from the teachings. What do you think?
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Agree with your thought Kathy. This is why I’ve leaned towards the Christian Community, when I’m near a group (am presently in a small town where none exists). Theirs have been more of a “therapy group” setting. I have to think that when Steiner was taken to the other side, that the higher beings, especially Michael, knew that we had what was necessary to carry on the stream of spiritual thought, and that we wouldn’t always have a master teacher to be there. It’s up to us to APPLY the teachings, or walk the talk. And thank you Tom Hart-Shea for the reminder about Spirit. I know that without the Spirit – that is Sophia’s – help, my dull mind would have no clue when it comes to living in this dichotomy between spiritual and physical worlds. I need Sophia to open my consciousness, and develop my spiritual organs of perception.
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I waited with my exceptionally long comment until the flow of warm, sometimes moving, positive responses to your thought provoking post seems to have come to a natural pause.
You ask yourself and gracefully share with your blog participants if there is “anything else I could say to people who have quite different perspectives from my own, that might help to create more understanding between us? I might ask: can we not all see that instead of going back to how the world was before Covid-19, it was that kind of mindset that has brought it towards us? Is that the way we wish to live our lives? Is that what human beings are?
If I were to say such things, they might get us into a reasonable dialogue; but if I were then to introduce some more esoteric concepts from anthroposophy (…) the other person would most likely start to shake their head and write me off as insane.”
And then, in a series of hilarious, utter weird or flat materialistic reactions, I get the honour to be introduced next:
“Even someone as sympathetic to anthroposophy as is Hans van Willenswaard, who brings a Buddhist perspective to his comments on this blog, has questions about the effectiveness of anthroposophy in the world”? I repeat in brief:
1. Is ‘the esoteric’ spiritual science (…) more effective in preventing/solving war and crisis than exoteric activism?
2. What are the lessons we could learn from the failed top-down political threefolding campaign shortly after World War I; and from the ultimate destruction of the First Goetheanum by fire, even though it had survived the war thanks to its position in ‘neutral’ Switzerland?
3. Can anthroposophy be effective vis-a-vis the COVID-19 crisis (+ climate emergency; + economic downturn; + painful inequality; + technocratic authoritarianism and + social/cultural divisions) if we are not better able to integrate the esoteric with the exoteric
4. and shape the movement beyond the anthroposophic ‘silo’?
Your answers to these questions, are as follows and I add my comments:
1. “it’s not fair to contrast exoteric activism with spiritual science, whose role is entirely different from that of activist organisations.” Yes, that is exactly the reason why I formulate the main quest: should we aim at better integration of the exoteric with the esoteric? Because both have often failed because they have been separated from each other, as you demonstrate here. It seems you reject, or are not interested in, or do not see the point of integration. An example of a successful integrated movement was Gandhi’s almost non-violent campaign to kick the British out of India; although Gandhi failed to maintain collaboration with the Islam liberation movement and he could not eradicate castism. Potentially the organisations now gradually coming together under the banner of the World Goetheanum Association could make impact in the much needed system change, but they do hardly organize themselves beyond the “silo” (see 4).
2. “Spiritual impulses (…) do not necessarily find fertile ground for their reception. This was true for threefolding (…). Does this mean that these impulses should not have been introduced to the world? Absolutely not.”
Jeremy, I totally agree and I did not deny that in any way. Failure can be very meaningful if the inherent lessons are learned. If not, failure repeats itself as you point out under 3. It requires as much courage to realize and communicate on Rudolf Steiner’s failures (in particular if you are a member of the School of Spiritual Science) as it takes to ponder on his enormous gifts to the world.
3. “Because the insights of spiritual science are not yet shared by a critical mass of human beings (as lessons are not learned and barriers not overcome – added Hans), humanity continues to create difficult karma for itself; and as with the Covid-19 vaccines, it chases after ‘solutions’ that miss the point and perpetuate in different ways the mistakes that led to the original crisis.”
(And anthropoppers keep complaining …)
4. “What I’m not clear about is whether the ‘critical mass’ that will make the difference could be (a) a small number of people acting as a kind of homeopathic dose within the body of humanity; or (b) whether it really is a question of vast numbers of people being brought to a point of total crisis before real change can happen. I fear that (b) is the more likely option, but I hope I’m wrong – and in any case I choose to be in (a).”
Now this is exactly the point I tried to make: many antroposophists don’t see the “middle way” between (a) and (b) and so remain stuck in their silo and/or doom scenario. The middle way being: strong self-organisation of a movement vis-à-vis the multiple crisis; and engagement with likeminded souls and movements all over the world who are in different clusters of worldviews (thank you for the link to the twelve world views – please add “world religions” and indigenous worldviews as another layer) than the typical (over-)esoteric western biased anthropopper. Whereas esoteric focus in personal life of cause is a free choice for everybody (comments to your post, and you yourself, show deeply admirable examples of it), we are talking here about a much needed collective response to a multiple, global crisis – unless we leave it to the powers that be.
And I totally agree with your heartfelt conclusion: the quote of Rudolf Steiner from “Love and Its Meaning in the World”. Hereunder is another, similar, quote I used recently (GA 54, Berlin, 12 October 1905). Love is not unique of Rudolf Steiner, nor unique for Christianity or Buddhism. Love is a universal quality and allows us to inter-connect without any barriers.
“We do not fight; we do something else: we foster love, and we know that with this care of love the fight must disappear. We do not confront fight with fight. We confront fight with love, while we nourish and cherish it. This is something positive. We work on ourselves pouring out love and found a society, which is built on love. This is our ideal. We carry out an ancient saying in a Christian way if we penetrate this emotionally and vividly. A new Christianity or rather the original Christianity will awake for the new humanity. Buddha gave his people a saying that envisages such a care. However, Christianity also has such a care of love in even nicer words, if one understands them properly: you do not overcome fight with fight, or hatred with hatred but you really overcome fight and hatred only with love.”
Hi Hans and Jeremy,
I really like what has been written in this comment because it is so good. One can only see a kind of symbiotic relationship, which Hans makes very clear with you, Jeremy. Yet, it is possible that you (Jeremy) might never respond to it, and so I thought to write a few remarks concerning integration, which Hans really makes the highlight of his comment. I have also been making allusions to integration with the twelve outlooks, but we can leave them out of account here in this assessment.
Hans, your comments concerning the work of Gandhi is very good for its depiction of a simple man who came to India in 1919, after receiving much suppression in South Africa. His experience is very much like a Paul of Damascus, who also suffered much for Christ. Thus, he saw his goal as very simple for the people of India; tell them about their original heritage as simple peasants of the spirit, and be a personal model of it. Then, tell them what it means to be a nationalist of one’s own country in order to fight for the rights of freedom. Then, show them that one can fight for freedom by being simple and meek and non-violent. Yet, Gandhi did, indeed, miss the necessary third component which would have stirred and won the victory, long before the final British appeasement in 1947. What was it? He missed including the Muslims in his quest, which you have indicated. He missed seeing them, as a Hindu, as part of his own culture. So, Gandhi fasted and nearly died when he saw what he had done. Only Nehru was able to get him to recover and come out for the hope of India. Then, he was assassinated. Why? Because he had failed to recognize the other culture right in his midst. Partition is what led to the death of Gandhi.
In our day, not many years after the death of Mahatma Gandhi in early 1948, we can learn a lot about what it means to live as a world culture who cares for and watches each others backs. It’s the various governments of the world that rule with due suspicion. Now, of course, that is no revelation of any consequence.
So, Jeremy and Hans, I only wanted to say something about partition as it relates to integration. If the third force had been seen, then Gandhi would have seen the third and blessed it. Yet, he was blind to it, and why it proved his downfall and the separation of India into Pakistan. Now today, we have a similar situation in which Hans scolds Jeremy for his lack of insight about Thailand as a “third world country”, and yet the UN has designated this situation already. In other words, an agrarian culture with no hope of advancing into the industrial age. That must be why it is what it is. Now, in just looking to take it another notch, I will always remember Hans’ memoir of his experience in which he saw his teacher spraying biodyn compound 506 when he was double-digging down somewhere in the Dominican Republic, or somewhere around 1974, and saw his mentor in a kind of aura of light. Yet, to this day he still has yet to see what he really saw that day. Buddha-Christ is what he saw in order to make it a proper homage for those who still see the active dynamic working in the agrarian culture which truly forms the ground of the industrial culture which thinks it is its “bettors”.
Thanks for this bit of business, and now signing off for tonight. Hans and Jeremy are in my dreams already, and they haven’t even spoken a word to each other. If it was telepathic I would know it, but likely not that at all.
Thanks, the middle road, and love, very good guidelines
Sorry, Steve, I do not “scold Jeremy” at all “for his lack of insight about Thailand as a “third world country”” and I don’t know where you get that “yet the UN has designated this situation already. In other words, an agrarian culture with no hope of advancing into the industrial age.” What a nonsense. I do not scold Jeremy, as I respect him deeply for the opportunities he creates for genuine dialogue with this fabulous blog. And also for his homeopathic contribution to healing the world, although I think this may not be enough where the crisis not only requires healing what we have but transformation to a new “system”. And I did not say anything about lack of knowledge about Thailand. However you demonstrate indeed a complete misconception. Thailand is unfortunately no longer an agricultural nation but lives mainly on industry and tourism. One “industry” they are really good at is medical care (including “medical tourism”). Even though only 60 people died here from Corona on a population of 60 million, Thailand is developing a high-tech plant based vaccine (low nicotine containing tobacco leaves) which may prove better and less dangerous than many other “cocktails”. However, although the vaccine is promoted as “for all” Thailand is also a country with one of the highest economic inequality margins, so let’s see how far that goes. But universal health care is of high standards.
All this is mainly besides the real points of our transformative response to the multiple (+Corona) crisis we are in. And indeed, although you distort that also a bit, the experience of the Earth (not my teacher Mark Feedman) radiating gold still is a guiding experience for a search to how the “reincarnation of the Christ in the etheric” can be understood as a universal, uniting and creative drive towards new forms of global and local Earth governance (“Earth trusteeship”). As it seems that this jump in experience-based awareness seems to be required for an adequate crisis response.
Emerson College and Tablehurst Farm are still lighthouses for this vision, although I would wish that they join building a stronger collective profile and associate with likeminded movements in order to generate “middle path” power which may be the pivot from homeopathic healing to a transformative mass movement bringing about a positive future (for next generations).
Good enough, Hans; got you to say something next. Not living where you do, I could only discern from my own viewpoint. Glad to hear that Thailand is moving on. We will see. – S
Elegantly written post, Jeremy, thank you.
Hans van Willenswaard said: “What are the lessons we could learn from the failed top-down political threefolding campaign shortly after World War I”
Steiner did take what in one sense could be called a “top-down” approach to social reform during the war, in 1917. Otto Lerchenfeld asked him to write a memorandum for German statesmen. Steiner ended up writing two, one for Lerchenfeld to circulate among German officials and the other for Ludwig Polzer-Hoditz, whose brother happened to be the cabinet chief of the young Austrian Kaiser. In addressing people at the top, however, Steiner advocated that central Europe be organized more from the bottom up. He supported federalization and complete cultural freedom for the individual.
Steiner also in one sense took a “top-down” approach when he had conversations with Max von Baden, the man who was to become the last imperial chancellor of the German Empire. Here again, of course, Steiner in proposing threefoldment to Baden was urging that society be organized in a more “bottom-up” fashion, with greater individual freedom and more decentralization.
After these conversations with Baden, Steiner believed that Baden had indeed decided to propose threefoldment as the way to reorganize Central Europe and to resist Woodrow Wilson’s and Lenin’s social proposals. On becoming chancellor, however, Baden was told by Quartermaster General Erich Ludendorff, who for years had been the most powerful man in the German Empire, that the German front lines were on the verge of collapse and that an immediate armistice had to be sought. This required rapid capitulation to Wilson’s 14 point plan. So if Baden did in fact intend to propose threefoldment during his inaugural address as chancellor — and there is some evidence that he did — he dropped that plan and capitulated. Baden never spoke publicly of the threefoldment idea. A week later, Ludendorff decided the German lines had not been about to collapse and that seeking an instant armistice had not been necessary at all. But it was too late.
Apart from those efforts by Steiner, though, Steiner’s threefoldment campaign after the war was for the most part a grassroots affair, not a top down approach. He spoke to thousands of workers in many different companies and thousands of middle class people about societal threefoldment. He gave specific suggestions showing workers the direction they had to move to immediately begin forming an associative economy — a freely contractual, decentralized, but cooperative economy outside the state, but subject to the democratic state’s labor laws.
A lot of the German press at first were very positive about his social reform suggestions for culture (individual freedom), economy (decentralized cooperation), and state (democracy). But within a couple of months, somewhere in June 1919, opposition both from the left and the right had crystallized. The opposition became too great and paralyzed the threefold social movement. The right wanted to recover something of the old German imperial order. The left, social democratic parties, and the unions seem to have felt Steiner as a threat to their control of workers and worker movements.
But did the threefold social movement fail? Well, we don’t know what would have happened to the world in the following decades had Steiner’s book on social reform never been written and if it never had sold many tens of thousands of copies. We don’t know what would have happened to the world in the decades after World War I had Steiner never responded to requests that he lead a social reform movement in 1919. I suspect that the world situation by now would have turned out much worse. The mere fact that Steiner and his associates did not instantly manage to move Germany and Austria-Hungary into visible threefoldment does not mean that the effects of Steiner’s ideas and movement have not been immense. Much influence proceeds through invisible social capillaries — this or that individual who has nothing to do with anthroposophy or social threefoldment hears from another individual who knows nothing about anthroposophy, but who heard ideas from another person about educational freedom, say. This third person got the educational freedom idea from an anthroposophist, perhaps without knowing the source was anthroposophy. Somewhere in all these chains of communication, some significant individual is influenced unknowingly by anthroposophic ideas, and that significant individual changes the world for the better with them, and no one, not even the change-maker, ever knows that the source was anthroposophy. I am not making a silly claim that everything good in the world comes by secret routes from anthroposophy. But I do think that much good has gone into the world from anthroposophy by such invisible channels. I would guess that the social capillary effects of anthroposophy have been absolutely massive. Had it not been for anthroposophy, who knows where the world might be right now? It surely would be a lot worse off.
I agree that many anthroposophical ideas of beauty and integrity may filter into the world and turn up in other places. Here considerations of “simultaneity” must be considered, that some of these spirit-derived ideas are embedded in the cosmos and likely to find that they turn up in other places and apparently with other origins. I have learned from anthroposophy (perhaps unfortunately in fits and starts) while learning from other places, people, and sources. Yet just now as I seek to deepen my understanding of three folding and associative economics, I find signs of these being taken up, not explicitly as something derived from anthroposophy, but expressed through other voices and through other images, and even out of other cultures. Recently, when I attended a “Perennial Farm Gathering” online, offered by the Savanna Institute, I heard a workshop that was offered as a centerpiece for contemplation and attended by many. Coming from a Guatemalan perspective, Reginaldo Haslett-Maroquinn proposed decolonizing the mind, and the “indigenization” of associatiative structures between farmers. A week after listening to that, I find myself listening to Steiner’s “The Treefold Social Order” (all too belatedly) and finding such deep reverberations with Reginaldo’s exposition, which was really intended as a very practical talk for economic organization and has borne fruits in his “Regenerate” movement of farmers with similar production. This is not in an anthroposophical context but the reverberations are strong, the imprint of something universal to which the anthroposophical though process makes deep contributions, and sympathetic vibrations.
Hi Rand. You wrote,
“as I seek to deepen my understanding of three folding and associative economics, I find signs of these being taken up, not explicitly as something derived from anthroposophy, but expressed through other voices and through other images, and even out of other cultures.”
Absolutely. It turns out that what Steiner was proposing–1) political democracy; 2) separating school and state; cultural freedom; and 3) economic life that is decentralized, freely contractual, independent of the state, but cooperative–it turns out that all three of those goals have slowly become more popular quite independently of anthroposophy or Steiner.
Usually though, people who support one of those goals are unaware of or not supportive of the other two goals. Or sometimes an individual supports two of the three, but is unaware of or unsupportive of the third. A lot of people believe in political democracy, but not in educational freedom. Others believe in educational freedom, but not in stakeholder capitalism or steward ownership capitalism. And so on. In part Steiner’s uniqueness as a social thinker consists in the fact that he showed how those three ideals are interdependent: the inadequate development of any one of them undermines the other two.
“it’s not fair to contrast exoteric activism with spiritual science, whose role is entirely different from that of activist organisations.”
Not sure how you arrive at the conclusion that “exoteric activism” is in a role completely different from that of spiritual science. What about the threefolding movement of 1919? Did that not integrate spiritual science with an activist movement?
The two biggest “exoteric” things people can do in an anthroposophic direction:
1. Work to increase educational freedom and separation of school and state. Join non-anthroposophical movements that seek to increase educational freedom. Form a bridge between anthroposophy and such movements. Take action on this front. Think about things that can be done, perhaps in as little as 5 minutes of activism a week. Form an activist group that self-educates about educational freedom — learning not just what Steiner thought about it, but what other current supporters of educational freedom say about it. Translate anthroposophy into the world’s or your audience’s current language of concepts and ideas. But that means we must know how current public discourse thinks about educational freedom, both generally and in as much detail as possible.
2. Support the movement for steward-owned business and steward-ownership capitalism. This is the current term used for the kind of company ownership structure that Steiner proposed. Yet the term was created and is used by people who perhaps have never heard of Steiner or anthroposophy. If you google (or perhaps duckduckgo) “Purpose, Steward Ownership,” you will find a video about steward ownership — the Purpose organization, a non-profit org, is independent of anthroposophy but if you look at a number of the companies that have adopted steward ownership models with the help of the Purpose organization — you will notice that some of those companies originated with anthroposophists, because this ownership model is in tune with what Steiner sometimes advocated in terms of company ownership structures.
Those two “exoteric” movements, steward-ownership capitalism, and educational freedom, are, I would say, the most important social reform efforts we can support. Those are the two reforms that do most to increase the societal threefoldment of institutions.
A lot of social innovation comes from anthroposophists developing ideas of Rudolf Steiner, but the involvement of anthroposophists in social innovation is quiet and often almost invisible. Community Supported Agriculture is one example. And Steiner and anthroposophists were not the first to support steward ownership models for business, but they have been a major force in advancing that ownership model, for example into a large company in the Pacific Northwest of the US — Organically Grown Company, a major Pacific Northwest distributor of organic produce. RSF Social Finance was a major force in the restructuring of that company as steward owned. Now the steward-ownership model is getting more attention as a way of building better forms of capitalism, forms that share wealth more broadly and take care of all stakeholders, but without increasing the size or powers of the state. RSF Social Finance has also been a significant force behind the B Corp movement. Yet probably very few B Corps have ever even heard of Rudolf Steiner. These points about the hidden innovations of Rudolf Steiner are made to add to my earlier comment about social capillary effects of anthroposophy. Social capillary effects happen at the micro-level and thus are of low visibility.
Thank you so much, edwardudell, for this very powerful explanation! Yes, I did not mean to say that Threefolding was a total failure, but that the first attempt as a proposal to top functionaries in Germany and Austria-Hungary during the war, not so much as a Peace initiative but as an alternative to the ideologies of the enemies USA (Wilson) and Russia (Lenin), remained unsuccessful. Steiner could have developed his insights also earlier, in 1915 (when he started conceiving them) to support his old friend Rosa Mayreder (Austria) with Elisabeth Rotten (England), Jane Addams (USA) and Aletta Jacobs (Netherlands) when they staged the massive global women’s Peace conference in The Hague in 1915, involving women from all countries including those at war, in reaction to incompetent state-driven Peace building attempts. But, I would say, the unproductive dichotomy between exoteric activism and esoteric movement kept them apart. He was not asked to provide his support.
But Steiner learned from the “top down” failure and started the Waldorf education movement right after the moment you pointedly indicate that opposition against his ideas became too strong, September 1919, probably because they became too strong as a grassroot movement. He turned the failure, and notwithstanding ups and downs in Waldorf education, into significant – I agree! – success. Later business, medicine, agriculture also benefitted enormously from the threefolding impulse.
The same happened, one could say, with the Goetheanum. After the tragic fire a new Goetheanum was conceived and realised. It became much better than the first one …
A collective architectural vision towards a “Third Goetheanum” is needed, and possible, if we learn our lessons, in our time (long overdue). Not as a physical building, but as a social movement built upon what has been developing as you beautifully describe it: a capillary (esoteric, hidden, “secret”) movement paired with already an impressive concrete complexity of organisations, businesses, farms, and associations with likeminded organisations in a wider circle. That is the potential I would say, now available in the “World Goetheanum Association”, while I worry that it will remain stuck in a replicating network of ‘more of the same’ (a signal confirming my worries is that two simple requests to update the website profile of our organisation just remain unanswered …).
In particular encouraging are your advices for integrated “exoteric/esoteric” action and social innovation. I also see three sectors where much more collaboration is still possible and needed with enormous opportunities for increased impact:
1. Education and Care.
2. Agriculture and Eco-system restoration. One of the very good examples of anthroposophic initiative associating with other streams is the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) where the biodynamic associations work together with for example the Soil Association (U.K.) and an enormous diversity of organic movements, including csa (URGENCI) as you mention, and Tablehurst farm is one csa as far as I know. Together with eco-system restoration as a climate emergency response and an “Organic 3.0″ vision to mainstream organic food systems it is possible to make a quantum leap.
3. Yes, the steward ownership movement in business is growing. Three related notions can work hand in hand: stewardship, guardianship and trusteeship. Rudolf Steiner Finance, Triodos Bank and GLS (Germany) have enormous impact, also in the framework of wider ‘ethical finance”, B. Corp and circular economy movements. The Wellbeing Economy policies in New Zealand. Ultimately the question arises “who owns the Earth” and Steiner’s related advice to exempt land from the economic/tradable sphere. We are working on “Earth Trusteeship” which means the “experienced” awareness of the complexity of legal and governance arrangements (indeed challenging national souvereignty and corporate legal personality) recognising that “all global citizens are equal trustees of the Earth”, with future generations and the community of life as beneficiaries.
The system change the corona (multiple) crisis urges us to incite is coming. But we first have to learn to “see the system” (Peter Senge) …
To conclude with a comment on the opening quote Jeremy confronts us with in this post: about the School of Spiritual Science. In order to be a “courageous representative” there are, as far as I can see, three realms where we can be active in the context of the School:
– the First Class work including meditative exercises, mantrams and development of symbolic action, Foundation Stone
– independent (group and individual) research where we explore and nurture critical freedom of thought and expression (including self-critical contemplation and unbiased assessment of “anthroposophy”) as a way forward
– inducing in depth impulses for social innovation
Wish you all a warm Merry Christmas and Enlightening Turn of the Year.
Hans, useful and helpful reply, thank you.
Hi Edward and Hans,
This kind of conversation is really invigorating for those that see its expansion, as well as its contraction. In today’s world, it is all about contraction, believe me. Yet, the idealism of the threefolding concept, according to Rudolf Steiner is an uppermost principle to be sure. And yet, it doesn’t work in the world because certain upholding forces which seek to maintain the perspective of dualism hold sway, ref. 869 AD.
You guys aren’t really saying anything of meaningful significance today because it has already been said before, and it didn’t make any difference to the way things are today. So, it is just so much “jawboning”, and why one can get exasperated with certain people who uphold these principles in a world where adversarial powers are working in *that* world and having it be their way. Even Steiner could not solve that problem. He had the reality to say that this is why it is, and as paradoxical as it was, this is the situation for us to grasp and try to figure out. So, he left it with us. Now, today, you see how these recent comments are just more word-pressing, which is what they are. Yet, their incentive is filled with goodwill and sincerity, and that is why something more can be said.
Rudolf Steiner vexed with these problems of threefolding in the year after the end of World War I, and came to a kind of resolution here with this very paradoxical diagram given in this lecture from GA 194. I wonder if you, Edward, might have scoped it out for its significance. It would seem to indicate that a certain power made things into a kind of reversion, and wherein Steiner seems to clearly outline that Sorath/Asuras now rules from the west, with Lucifer in the middle, and Ahriman in the east. This is a total reversal of the original plan of threefolding. It had Christ in the middle, which was designed to exemplify the German Folk Soul, which RS always upheld. Then, the wars of the 20th century began. Everything became reversed, and, as you see, the Christ was sacked; excluded from this equation entirely.
“You guys aren’t really saying anything of meaningful significance today because it has already been said before and it didn’t make any difference to the way things are today. So, it is just so much ‘jawboning’ ”
Now just hold up there a moment pardner. Has it often been said before that there is a movement afoot called “steward ownership” being developed by RSF Social Finance and the Purpose Organization and that “steward ownership” is one kind of social innovation Steiner developed and supported? Were you already aware of the Organically Grown Company’s recent transformation into a steward-owned company with the help of RSF Social Finance? And how do you conclude that my making such facts better known can make no difference? In part because Steiner helped make what I’m calling steward ownership better known, it has spread further than it otherwise would have done. And partly because people heard some “jawboning” about the recent transformation of Organically Grown Company, more companies are expressing interest in such a transformation in their own ownership structure. Spreading such news, which could inspire some people to change the structure of their own companies, is not just jawboning.
Pardon any jawboning there may be in my previous comments, but it was not all jawboning.
I did say that your incentives were filled with “goodwill and sincerity”, didn’t I? Yet, I think that Steiner saw the writing on the wall with this diagram from the lecture, GA 194. He was clearly prophesying how difficult it was going to be to really establish these threefolding initiatives. Yet, he pursued these measure for several more years, and finally felt the need to give it up and resort back to the esoteric model of personal spiritual development. It means to me that we should certainly work together toward active engagement, both exoteric and esoteric. The goal in either direction is to not get too steeped in the materialism that it takes to achieve even one small initiative for the good of the so-called, “earth trusteeship”. Our Earth is presently a dying, crumbling mineral-mass body, and we humans have arrived at something called, ‘Critical Mass’, which requires specific and conscientious measures to alleviate the issues of: Physical Body density, Etheric Body contraction, and Astral Body division. That is why Christ came to conduct the Mystery of Golgotha for the beginning of the Resurrection process. We also have the anti-Christ to contend with, working in the world since 666 AD, and having now extended into two additional increments, i.e., 1332 and 1998. 1998 was just 22 years ago, and look at what has been inflicted upon the world in just a short span of time. Sub-earthly technological materialism is the harbinger of the present “Beast”, and its main control mechanism. So, I have to wonder about all of these current threefolding measures, and hoping that they are serving Reality, and yet, wondering if they are mere panaceas of the prevailing Illusion; in other words, the ‘Maya’ of the outer external world which we are all still tied to with the tenacious grip of the one who has us by the noose.
I suspect that I am a defender of spiritual science in its pure form as esoteric science meant to develop the Consciousness Soul. As such, I felt Jeremy Smith’s position in this current essay needed support, or I would have remained silent. I do pray for these good intentions, and hope they are not under some dubious rationale designed to bring them to defeat. The evil cleverness of Sorath has reached anti-Michaelic proportions in today’ s world.
O.K., Boys, you’ve convinced me: Jeremy is right. The role of spiritual science is “entirely different from that of activist organizations” – It better be – or we’re all lost.
Ok, Girl, but why? Doesn’t it depend on the kind of activism? Wasn’t Steiner being an activist after World War I when he led a threefolding movement?
Hi, Ed: I see it the other way around. Any effective activism depends on “IT”. As we move through the stages of initiation, we change the world – or end the world is probably more accurate. If we try to understand the world with anything less than the Consciousness Soul, we fail. Our work is to see through the material world, not fix it. Steiner said this all began to die the moment the first seed sprouts and this earth stage will not be recapitulated. Trying to control, fix, reconfigure it is most often a trap. I met Cesar Chavez years ago. I knew I was in the presence of a man who had not fallen into that trap. There was a humility – an apologetic air about him.
His sights were wholly on “another world”.
“Our work is to see through the material world, not fix it.”
How about doing both? Seeing would include learning how to “fix” or rather how to improve the world and begin to heal it?
What was Steiner doing with all his activist work in 1919? He wasn’t just seeing things. He was trying to change things and reconfigure them on the basis of what he saw, no?
Ed, I encourage you to hold faith with your activist world view. I just don’t see the “both” as equal. On the spiritual level, we cultivate seeing through the the material world – not remodeling the reflection. Trying to fix a distorted reflection without addressing the nature of the mirror leaves us trapped in the carnival fun house. What does our “fixing” consist of? On the earthly level, as usual, we’re caught in a double-bind. When the little ego fancies itself the “fixer” it’s seduced into politics and materialism. Any tinkering I do with the world affects the karma of others and involves me in that karma. This is what the lives and deaths of those like Chavez and Gandhi – and Steiner – demonstrate to me. I don’t think Steiner is teaching us that we can be successful in re-configuring the world based on what he “saw”. He models our re-configuring ourselves so that WE can “see”. This is genuine activism. Existentialists say man is “condemned to choose” – without any guarantees. Ed, I’m not saying we shouldn’t try to fix, remodel (etc.) the world. I’m saying I experience life on earth as an impossible double bind. And I am grateful when Steiner points out that this stage in our development is the only one we experience that will not be “recapitulated”.
Replying to Kathy, thank you for encouraging us to look more deeply into our motives for the desire to “fix” our broken world. Agree with what you’re saying about fixing a distorted reflection. Also, some of the broken things we see in our world are broken for good reason – there never was any life force in them to begin with. There’s plenty of “dead” things that make up our world as we see it, and this is the double bind as I understand it – discerning what has the life force behind it, and working with that, and discerning what has no life force – in other words is dead – and not wasting energy with that. This makes our life experience one of choice every day, and it’s the choices we make that define who we are.
Who we are isn’t always clear to those who don’t see with spiritual perception; or, in the words of Jesus: “woe to you when all men speak well of you”, because man has a way of looking on the outward appearance, and we know how deceptive that kind of view can be. It’s what’s in the heart, and comes from the heart, that truly makes the person who they are. “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
I find this to be an awesome discourse, a kind of apologetic between Kathy and Maverick with Edward. I hope he does not cave into the pressure by withdrawing his own dynamic from the direct science of the spirit towards their own rather faith-based ideas of spirit as a means to resolve all. Thus, I honor the work of Edward Udell and Hans van Willenswaard in speaking about the present world situation. They come on and get easily offended by those with the feathers, and I admit to also pouring a kind of ointment in my fashion, but we need to keep this discourse going. I wrote recently about the WGA, which Hans feels is so important in today’s world.
Dunlop was a giant, as was Henry Abouleish. Theres plenty to do for those with initiative. For those without initiative, then, maybe ask oneself what is the Michael impulse?
Here is something that I think will prove to be important. While leaning more toward the side of the “tender mercies” of Kathy, and her acolyte, Maverick, it still stands to be an important matter of acknowledging how materialism can still be the best investment in today’s world. As such, and in consideration of all these kinds of ‘best alternatives’ seen in the advent of threefolding as a primary Steiner initiative some one hundred years ago, it is worth taking a moment to consider the organization known as, The World Goetheanum Association. Founded on May 18, 2018, it stands to be the harbinger of what still stands as the final squeeze of the last drip of a materialistic world culture.
Yet, what if it can be shown that this organization is nothing more than the original GBA, i.e., Goetheanum Building Association, which had formed to glean the profit-making aspects of anthroposophy? There were four or five generally recognized “institutions” of anthroposophy, which were see as profit-making enterprises, and in order to give the necessary support, Rudolf Steiner saw the need for an incorporation to occur in conjunction with the refounding of the General Anthroposophical Society at Christmas in 1923. This act of incorporation caused the founding of the Association – General Anthroposophy, and wherein these corporate objectives came to be the ruling aims of the entire society. For many years, this AAG ruled as the supreme being over what was originally to be a small and quaint gathering of people dedicated to the science of the spirit for the future.
So, in 2018, in the few days after the AGM there in Dornach, at Easter, wherein the general membership spoke in volumes about both resurrecting Ita Wegman and Elizabeth Vreede, and denouncing Paul Mackay and Bodo von Plato for another seven-year term as Vorstand members, the appearance to the public for the first time as The World Goetheanum Association came on the scene, c. May 18, 2018.
Now, let’s get real about what is exposing itself here. This is the GBA, which formed after the burning of the first Goetheanum, and eventually became the so-called “Association-General Anthroposophy, AAG, when allowed to incorporate as such by Rudolf Steiner at the end of 1923. This is what is now known as the World Goetheanum Association since 2018. The WGA came out from hiding precisely because the members want a return to former times when Steiner’s vision was the real objective.
In today’s world, certain people see the WGA as a kind of godsend of the future, when the aims of modern threefolding can find its true aims in initiatives like the one’s that Edward extolls. I can’t remember all their names, but RSF kind of stands out, and the other ‘green banking’ ideas stand out. Here’s the question: Is this just WGA continuing to rule with the aims of materialism?
As the human race today, we know that we need to get over materialism. There is a larger future at stake.
Steve, did you really just label Maverick my alter boy??? I knew the Roman Patriarchy still reigns in your world. Being our fount of knowledge, you know what you can do with your “materialism can still be the best investment in today’s world”…don’t you? Don’t ever count on “tender mercies” from me, Bub.
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Hi Kathy, yes I was acknowledging Maverick as an enthusiastic supporter of your ideas, but it really gets us nowhere. Materialism is something that can be seen as a clear and clean measure of support in a world that is dying under the weight of suppressive tendencies inflicted by the powers of evil. In other words, anthroposophical threefolding still works when it can happen, and I would more than suggest that it is happening. So, materialism is a fact of the world, but for it to be clean and green, and with a measure of seership in the offering, makes these initiatives all the more possible for support.
Your problem, or maybe it is a dilemma, is that you only react out of your past experiences, which makes you neither a ‘seer’, or a ‘fixer’. To be a reactionary is worth nothing, and why the human will is the least conscious part of the human being today. To gain Will is to be able to move mountains. My fount of knowledge is merely a support in helping the cause, and seeing every day become a new opportunity.
Replying to Steve’s comment of Dec. 27 – as this blog works out, I find I’m not getting all the responses. Perhaps this is the case for Edward as well. Steve, lumping everything under the heading of “materialism” isn’t all that helpful. I do like what you’re saying in your post though. However, on re-reading this thread, I’m still seeing a lot of wisdom in Kathy’s post of Dec. 25 – there’s a lot of “seeing” contained in it, and I’m wondering if it’s some people’s gift to “see”, and others place to “fix”? In that case, I’m reading Kathy’s post as more of a “seer”, and your reply as a “fixer”. Also wondering if it’s too much to ask of someone to be both “seer” and “fixer”, and that perhaps Steiner took on too much by trying to do both? Isn’t it enough to ask of the “seer” that they provide the correct impetus for those who want to “fix”?
I did not lump everything under the heading of “materialism”. Maybe you would like to review the comment for content. It had much more to do with a current situation that exists right now in Dornach. You see, people with a certain vision, which can be called “seership”, have found that materialism can be honored in the spiritual sense, and made into a kind of manifold enterprise which can serve to renew the world. It is more based on gold than coal. The parameters are given here with the work of the WGA. Indeed, the WGA has a history that goes back to the CC of 1923, and even before, with the fire that destroyed the first Goetheanum,
Yet, we should really consider the ideas you suggest of “seer” and “fixer”. I am no ‘fixer’, by any means, nor is Kathy a ‘seer’ by any means. She is a pure reactionary, which has the effect of making everything worse than before. I doubt that Edward or Hans has anything more to say, but hopefully they do, and I support the cause.
I encouraged Jeremy recently to keep on this thread, and I see that he has, and I hope for more. We need to make it a 24/7 kind of thing, and with Hans and Edward, and their objectives, and also WGA from Dornach, we can get a glimpse of what the future today can truly represent.
In Kathy’s original post, the verb ‘to see’ meant ‘to see through’, to understand. This would be the thinker, not the seer per se, nor the fixer. In the same vein, AS, CC and WGA could be differentiated.
It is important that you make this distinction because only thoughts that are put into the pure thought world sans sense perception are capable of being rounded off and made into understanding. The Psychology of Understanding is a process wherein concepts which make up knowledge are put into another environment in order to transform them as substance without the present bodily consciousness. Thus, content of spiritual-scientific knowledge gained in the sense world by conventional means of thinking is transformed in this domain and made the matter of truth which can stand for all-time. This is what we need to be doing today. Aristotle taught it to the young Alexander, who gained self realization and tried to conquer the world as a spiritual cause. Alas, he was poisoned just before going into Babylonia in order to bring down the arabs. He was just 33 years old.
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Steve, I’m glad you brought up this subject of understanding, which you give the term Psychology of Understanding, because I think it has relevance to the whole point of the original blog post of walking our talk. Here’s my take on the subject of understanding, and it comes from a source that exceeds in wisdom any Steiner lecture, because it’s attributed to our Creator, so this comes from the same Logos of John’s prologue. Here it is, from Jeremiah (9:24):
“But let him that glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord which exercises lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth; for in these things I delight, said the Lord.”
The question arises – from whence do we get such knowledge and understanding, the kind we can glory in spoken of here? The answer, I’m finding as we go through Holy Nights, is in Sophia. When God gave Adam the gift of Eve, he provided the man with a “mirror” by which he would be able to understand all wisdom. In our age of Christendom, we see Mary as a reflection of this Sophia wisdom, Sadly, one of the prophetic statements given to Mary when she presented her Child at the temple was that a sword would pierce her own soul, along with one piercing that of her Child. Every time men haven’t appreciated women, we pierce the soul of Sophia anew. Today we’ve been given the gift of Holy Spirit, another form of Sophia, the Divine Feminine, to be our helper in understanding our Creator and who we are. More often than not this gift comes through women – not all women certainly, but for the most part. And what do the majority of men do with this gift? We either mistakenly glorify the women through whom the gift is given (usually this is sense-based), or we take the opposite action – we pierce Sophia’s soul anew by demeaning her, and in so doing we reject the gift she was meant to be.
As we move into this Aquarian age astrologically, we’re being given another opportunity to correct our past errors. To all men, I’m saying let’s see in a renewed mind the gift of Divine Feminine, of Sophia in her pure, virginal form, as the mirror through which, when we trace back the roots of her “powers”, we’ll find our own true source, our own true selves. Then, as we apply this new understanding in our lives, we’ll walk the talk and demonstrate “love without hypocrisy” to a darkened world.
Jeremy, you wrote:
“[…] I could add that none of the politicians who are exhorting us to have the jab seem to be taking into account what human actions might have created the pandemic in the first place.”
Although I’m positive about the vaccine (it will be helpful in the circumstance we’re in, I’m sure), I’m continuously amazed and a little frustrated that the vaccine question is recieving so much attention (albeit well-deserved) while the other issue you mention (what created the pandemic in the first place) gets almost no attention at all these days. The latter seems far, far, far more important to me. Yet you hear nothing about it.
I wish you a happy new year!
Hello Alicia – and a Happy New Year to you, too!
You are right that insufficient attention is being given to the circumstances that brought about the pandemic. This is important, not only because we need to understand the causes but also so that we can avoid making similar mistakes and thus bring about future pandemics. I have mentioned the insights of Judith von Halle in this connection: https://anthropopper.com/2020/11/14/coronavirus-and-the-indwelling-divinity-within-each-human-being/
What are your views on this, please?
All good wishes,
We’re indeed going to make the same mistakes again; in fact, we’re already busy making them. I’m thinking for example of how animals are treated, a matter which absolutely salient to how this all started. People, the media, our politicians all show a remarkable lack of interest in that side of the matter. It’s all about lockdowns, face-masks, vaccines and various panicked and often irrational restrictions of freedoms (which strangely and frighteningly enough, though mildly and gently, mimic the ways of that evil dictatorship that so graciously provided the opportunity for this virus to conquer the world). Well, as for Judith von Halle, I read your post back when you published it, and now eyed through it again. All I can say is that despite all the rather apocalyptic stuff she produces, in her own very complicated manner, I’m probably more pessimistic — I don’t think a few people meditating on the right things will make much of a difference.
Do people, lots of people, want to act differently than they did before? I think that’s the big question. I know some people who really wish that the pandemic will change how people act, that it will generate a greater conscentiousness, a different way of living and being. I’m afraid I don’t see it happening. Rather the opposite. At the end of the day people want cheap, cruel meat, cheap and useless trinkets from China and cheap vacations in Thailand. (Another example: boredom and working from home inspire people to get a dog — so now we have a surge in demand of smuggled dogs from puppy mills. Sorat has very busy days, I guess…) Although I’m not a great believer in occult evil powers and karma, to say the least, haha, I do sometimes find the language quite apt. I remember picking up a little booklet of Steiner lectures in the early days of the pandemic — it had just become obvious it was spreading here in Sweden — in which he talks about contagion coming to humans from the animal world because of how we treat animals — karma can’t even things out on an individual level (as with humans who can meet again for payback in the next incarnation…), but the collective karma of animals will come back as disease and bite us in the ass. Something like that. One doesn’t have to be a believer in karma to think that at least it is, sadly, well-deserved.
All the best!
While I am not so confident as you about the vaccine as a remedy, it might prove useful to see how these events occur out of cosmic occurrences in cycles of a hundred years. One hundred years ago, this same kind of pandemic was taking place, and Steiner was trying to explain it as best he could. In today’s world, it is nearly impossible to tell, and yet it is a signpost. We did not live in 1918, but we live in 2020. This means a lot in terms of what it means to live and strive beyond the conventional means, which means getting the vaccine when it becomes available to the public.
Steiner only spoke one thing about what might relate to this current pandemic in 2020. It was in October 1918, when the panflu epidemic had struck all over Europe:
“Just as modern history fails to penetrate to spiritual realities, so modern medicine, modern hygiene and medical health services fail to penetrate to the symptoms which are of cosmic provenance. I have often emphasized the fact that the individual cannot help his neighbour, however deep his insight into current problems, because today they are in the hands of those who are looking for the wrong solution. They must become the responsibility of those who are moving in the right direction. Clearly, just as the external facts are true that the outward aspect of James I was such and such, as I pointed out earlier, so, from the external point of view it is also true that a certain kind of bacillus is connected with the present influenza epidemic. But if it is true, for example, that rats are carriers of the bubonic plague, one cannot say that rats are responsible for the plague. People have always imagined that the bubonic plague was spread by rats. But bacilli, as such, are of course in no way connected with disease. In phenomena of this kind we must realize that just as behind the symptoms of history we are dealing with psychic and spiritual experiences, so too behind somatic symptoms we are dealing with experiences of a cosmological order. In other cases the situation of course will be different! What is especially important here is the rhythmic course of cosmic events, and it is this that we must study. We must ask ourselves: In what constellation were we living when, in the nineties, the present influenza epidemic appeared in its benign form? In what cosmic constellation are we living at the present time? By virtue of what cosmic rhythm does the influenza epidemic of the nineties appear in a more acute form today? Just as we must look for a rhythm behind a series of historical symptoms, so we must look for a rhythm behind the appearance of certain epidemics.”
I did say I would be back, so now the times (post-Christmas) seems right, so here goes. I wrote way back then that the First Class no longer exists. There were several posts opining that it does indeed. I would just like to add that if people consider that it exists, for them, subjectively, I think that’s fine, My point is that “objectively” it does not exist (although the lectures do) , with the Vorstand of the General Anthroposophical Society signing membership cards and able to expel – owning it, as it were.
Now I must go one step further. The Anthroposophical Society does not exist either. I refer to the AS re-founded at the Christmas Meeting 1923/4. It ceased to exist in December 1925, when it was ingested by the GAS without the members’ knowledge- There’s plenty of documentation (whole books) in German of course, but I doubt anyone here is much interested.
Well, Frank, you know your friend Steve knows all about this bit of business in December 1925. Your friend, Willy Heidt wrote a whole dissertation about it back in 1997. He revealed it all back then in his discourse. In December 1925, on the 29th day, the newly founded GAS experienced a pivotal moment. Maybe we are the last two dinosaurs to know about it today, but what took place was the decision to elevate Albert Steffen to the presidency of the GAS, and his keeping his vorstand seat, which should have gone to someone else in a vote of the membership. Yet, he kept it.
So, Carl Unger was denied what Steiner had called for in his penultimate letter to Marie, ref. GA 262, 20 March 1925. He (Unger) was left out of account, and eventually murdered, and possibly assassinated on January 4, 1929, as we know. Yet, it is very possible that Rudolf Steiner had designated Carl Unger to succeed him, as this letter indicates. Read it for its content.
It is good to be bringing this up at this time. Steiner’s legacy saw a fitting successor, and yet he was denied in favor of Steffen, who was nominated by Rittelmeyer, as if he should have a say. According to sources, Steffen was approved unanimously, and Rittelmeyer made it happen. Now, why would that be? According to Rudolf Steiner, Christian Community was supposed to stay out of anthroposophical matters. Thus, Rittelmeyer had no business being where he was unless he was a part of the AAG, which is the transformed GBA after the fire.
Steiner revealed who caused the fire of 1 January 1923. It was the Jesuits and the Freemasons combined who caused the fire that burned down the first Goetheanum. So, are we to think they ended their involvement then? No, they were determined to take total control.
Alicia, I, too, see the irony in our regard of the pandemic. And I re-read von Halle’s writings as Jeremy suggested. In identifying virus as the plague of the Consciousness Soul Age, and its aim being to influence relapse into group-soul attitudes and prevent spiritual awakening, it is accomplishing its goals very well in my neck of the woods. I have worked most of my life with people who suffer because of persistent efforts to deny and distance from what they are afraid to see/accept/acknowledge. But today (era of Covid) , so many more people – clients, neighbors and friends alike – seem compelled to relapse into denial and fantasies and an us-and-them mentality. It’s tragic and dangerous.
I know Steiner said this 5th post-Atlantean epoch is where we have to come to terms with evil – to engage in a conscious fight against evil – and that the love of Christ defeats Sorat and the Asuras. This notion of battle feels like a child’s world view to me: Cowboys and Indians – good guys and bad guys. Yet. sometimes it feels real and I’ve felt overwhelmed by the battle. Then, the living Christ tells me I am not alone. And sometimes I know that’s all I need to know. I feel the growing, free-floating “aloneness” connected with Covid and I fear the pain and potential violence being triggered. But, I keep returning to a conviction that this pandemic is a gift – an opportunity to awaken us to the fact that this world is an illusion and death frees us to life in the “real” world.
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It has been interesting, though, at least to some extent, to observe how people have reacted to the pandemic, because some of that has not been predictable. Some people who I thought were rational, level-headed, in control of their senses and their minds, the definition of sound and normal, turned out to be anything but and cope quiet badly. While others, despite worse odds, cope just fine.
Yes, it’s “interesting” to observe the reactions of others. I have a neighbor who told me Covid is the way to keep us all indoors so we can’t see them “changing the batteries in the birds that are spying on us”. Bill Gates apparently has something to do with this. She meant it. She is a decent, generous, “church-going” woman who has lived decades with a controlling husband and three sons who specialize in drugs and battering their girlfriends. I’m thinking this pandemic may be something like the final straw that can break the camel’s back. If our defense mechanisms are designed to hide what we don’t want to know, they have to become more and more outrageous to work – like a car going into overdrive to make the last hill.
I read your response post to Jeremy. I feel as you do about the animal world. In my early 20’s I traveled in Europe and was invited by a friend’s family to visit them in Yugoslavia. These folks were so kind and generous to me. I was in their basement one day with the lady of the house. She had a huge bowl of food scraps and opened a door in the side of the basement where I couldn’t believe what I saw: a gigantic pig in a room with no windows. She threw the food at the pig and slammed the door. That pig had lived its entire life in the dark being fattened for slaughter. I never really felt hate until that moment – I despised that women who had treated me so generously – and I hated mankind for our blind cruelty. I stopped eating meat, wearing leather shoes, etc. Later, when I found Steiner I learned he said that in the eons(?) after man achieves our “I”, animals will also – though they will achieve group “I”s according to species. I like to believe that. So I’ve signed up for some future whenever to be one of their guardian angels. Want to join me?
Hi Kathy, I find your dilemma really interesting to hear. Over the course of three years on anthropopper, we finally get to hear a kind of denouement on your part about what you think is going on in the world. And yet, all you had to do was to get past your little luciferic self and realize the larger issues. Alicia is no different, and she can join you, whatever. She is an atheist, which makes no difference to Christ. He accepts all within His domain to save earth evolution. So, she is an atheist, and you are a Christian. Do you see the dynamic here? Both convey themselves as defeatists, which means that they choose to live below their larger capacity.
We need to live more toward our own potential, which would be good. Steiner left 400 volumes of spiritual science, which is supposed to mean something when we can lose our luciferic affiliations. In today’s world, alack is alas.
Dear Jeremy and fellow anthropoppers,
A very Happy New Year to all from Vitamine D destination Thailand. Not only the tourist industry is completely devastated, we are heading for a new lock down as corrupt policemen let people cross the border with Burma and allowed illegal gambling dens become epicentres of infection.
Jeremy asked to go back to his earlier posts and in particular statements made by Judith von Halle. The way she describes the deeper rationale of the present crisis is indeed enlightening and gives us direction.
However, and be it not only directly related to COVID-19 and its causes, I have one point to make.
“The greatest difficulty facing human beings is that they do not want to acknowledge the I, that is, the reality of their spiritual origin and purpose – the reality of their selves as a community of entities of purely spiritual nature, who at the present time have taken on materially physical sheaths. Only when this insight exists will life on earth for humanity – an existence that can truly be called life – be able to continue”. – your quote of Judith von Halle.
My intended contribution to the discourse in this thread is that here and in other cases I feel we get stuck in unproductive two-fold thinking. Where we need at least a threefold perspective. Is it (only): spiritual OR material as a choice to make, resulting in one victor? Are we “see-ers” or “fixers” and who is the best? Is it “the individual” or “the masses” which determine our fate? Is our challenge in this era to fight evil with love?
I think more often than not dualistic thinking is not the solution. Life is the interaction between the spiritual and the material in ongoing threefold dynamics. It is not whether “see-ers” or “fixers” who give the answers, but the threefold collaboration between the two plus “rulers” as a third party. The individual (and direct community) and the “masses”, the totality of people (within the community of life) get beneficially interconnected because we can organise social forms in between. And should we try to eliminate evil with love? Or accept that we can co-habitate with both in a framework with justice as a third perspective?
In the face of this multiple crisis the social forms we need to co-create in this era, to compliment the also two-fold pattern of Societies as legal bodies and the School of Spiritual Science as the free space for research, need to be grounded in collaborative initiatives like the World Goetheanum Association (WGA). This should have local and national equivalents. It is not helpful to dig up old karma to burden this threefold perspective with the past, like Steve is eagerly doing. Yes, we have to learn our lessons, but if we did not do that 100 years ago it won’t happen now. From where we are now, with our limited capacities and full diversity of opinions and personalities and spiritual emphasis, we have to come together (OK in evolutionary perspective but making a fresh start) to strengthen the social forms which will allow us to settle our differences with “evil”. Including this and coming viruses.
We have to bring human decision making power together to close the animal industry and to make organic agriculture (on the land and in city farms) our mainstream. We have to restore governance of our ecosystems, revive our cultures and humanize our economy.
Hans, your reply from Thailand reveals our old human nature, the underbelly of society in the gambling dens. I enjoyed your forward look – found it refreshing. As much as I believe in a Oneness in Spirit (“For the common goal implies union and harmony”, from The Search for the New Isis), it also seems we’re stuck with a duality on earth. This is the “double bind” that Kathy spoke of. It seems that we may be faced with this duality for quite some time, perhaps for eternity. As I finished my reading of The Revelation last night I came across this verse (22:14,15): “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” As much as I’d like to see unity and harmony, it seems from these verses that even in the new Jerusalem there is this duality present, separated only by the walls of the city.
Since this old lady doesn’t know how to activate her “like” button, I’ll say it outright: THANK YOU, HANS!
Steiner resolved this dualism by a dualistic Manichaeism: “the good will have to make every possible effort to rescue the evil during the period in which this will still be possible” (GA0104/19080625)
Ton, will you speak further of how you regard “the period where this will still be possible”. I know that the human being must achieve certain developmental milestones within certain time frames in order to become a functional human being, but I have such an inner resistance to thinking the spirit has such constraints. Steiner says more and more will fall away as we continue to evolve, and fewer and fewer will move on. I resist what (I think) this means. Does he speak to what their falling away consists of? He says the evil we contend with today consists of the influence of those who fell away during the Moon, the Sun and Saturn periods. But I think there are hints (I can’t grasp) that it will all be redeemed eventually. How can dualism be resolved by an extended dualism? . .
Of course, I left the context out, but for Steiner (1908) this future apocalyptic war after the seventh cultural epoch (‘the war of each single person against every other person in every branch of life’) is prepared in our time.
“This will be one of the principal tasks after the great War of All against All; to rescue what can be rescued from those who after the great war will only have the impulse to fight one another and to allow the “I” to express itself in the most external egoism.” (GA0104/19080625)
So, Manichean doesn’t mean dualistic dark-light here, but its dualism is more and more extended to the mingling of dark and light in individual colours: “The deep and profound thought here contained is the following: the darkness must be overcome through the Kingdom of Light, through the mingling of the Good with the Evil, in order that the Evil may be redeemed, but not through punishment … through gentleness.” (GA0093/19041111)
Ton, thank you. The idea of the “mingling” – and the purpose of mingling – strikes a chord for me. It has occurred to me that because the human being needs gravity to push against – to develop the body and neurological system – we don’t make gravity the “enemy”. It hurts to fall before we can confidently stand – and at my age gravity can be really scary, and requires me to stay much more conscious than I’m apt to be – but it is no enemy. So, similarly, does the consciousness soul need evil to push against? Is it more of a medium for development – exhausting and exciting and sometimes scary to strive against, but a triumph to succeed?
Hi Kathy, I know that you do not like to talk to me, and it is no different with Alicia, who is the same way because she is an atheist, but it is no matter between you two. You have already experienced it. Now, here is something important, and it concerns the issue of achieving “center of gravity”. Steiner indicates here in this lecture how achieving a kind of ‘center of gravity’ is important in the future stages of modern initiation science. I thought to bring it to you:
You had said that maintaining center of gravity in this day and age was important. It is. And many in this endeavor are as old as you, and still considering the consequences, as you do. Does that make sense? I hope so because it leads to a new awakening in the light of spiritual science. My position, of course, is to help lead you to it.
Happy though I am that this post has prompted so many comments from different people, unfolding as they do such interesting threads, I shall be grateful if commenters could reflect before engaging in discussions which might be more appropriately carried on via private email exchanges. Best wishes, Jeremy
Hi Jeremy, what seems typical of you is to censor comments when they are meant to uphold what the present thread contains. You often do this now, and it makes suspicious your motives for leaving out a line of what people are conversing in. You act like a monarchist in love with the British herald, and we have certainly had that conversation before. So, why not try just posting and letting in comments coming from all directions? I do not have private e-mail addresses, and if this is the invitation from you, then at least make it clear. Who are the ones that we need to write privately now?
I thought the lines of demarcation were pretty clear here already, and made very plain what the parameters of conversation were about. I also think the other participants were fully involved in what has been the matter of discussion. So, I think you need to decide if you want to keep this discussion board going any further. It is not a matter of side-issues being taken on between people privately, but you being responsible for this blog. Now, are you ready for it, or do we take it upon ourselves to take you over?
I’m sure the British Monarchy and its Queen will maintain and suffer the abdication of Harry and Meghan to Los Angeles, California. 🙂
Yet, come on Jeremy. Your blog still has a modicum of interest, unless you want to sabotage it. That is your choice, and choice means freedom.
As you rightly detect, my previous comment was aimed at you. I have held back a small number of your comments to this thread because in my view, you are making personal remarks about other participants which in some cases would cause offence to those people mentioned. You have a history of doing this in other threads, too, and you and I have had exchanges about this. The responses from other people to your personal comments would then drag this thread into arguments which are nothing to do with the original post, which I’m not willing to see happen. As I’ve had cause to say to you before, you submit too many comments to this blog and this prodigality of comment can overwhelm the discussion, sometimes dragging us off-topic. This can be worthwhile when we start to explore interesting byways but more often it simply provides you with an opportunity to pursue whatever interests you, rather than developing a discussion around the original post. I’m sorry to be so blunt and I do value your contribution to this blog, but if you wish to continue to submit comments, please bear in mind what I am saying here. In a nutshell: please stay on topic, don’t send so many comments and avoid making personal remarks about other people. If you can’t abide by this, then perhaps it’s time for you to take a break from this blog.
Wow, this is really blunt, Jeremy, and I have always expected it, and its admonishment to go elsewhere. Yet, we have talked now for some five years, and I always have upheld your blog since its beginnings in August 2014. So, my plan and idea has been from the beginning of my discourse on your blog to see the potential in further expansion of topics, which go in their direction precisely because of the human spirit residing in the hulk.
You, on the other hand, have become more narrow-minded over time, and this needs to be your own assessment of the conditions for it. I am simply writing from my heart and soul out to people that I really care for because they choose to write from their own perspective. I love Kathy and Alicia, and yet it appears to you that I despise them. I love Hans and Tom Hart Shea, as well. These are principal spirits that write here to your blog, and seek and need to be heard. Maverick has been really important recently as a kind of young Parsifal who is really motivating for me. So, I guess I will have to relent and say I am sorry. Words are just so much words, and yet I love what people have to say.
Currently, today in fact, we here in America are experiencing a kind of “new day of infamy”, in which the epiphany of Christ would be reduced to chaos and anarchy. Do you not think that it has a lot to do with 1998, and the third incarnation of Sorath in the western theatre? Just consider how many blog comments have occurred over the six years of this forum of yours that took on this topic of sorathic migration? And you have the gall, Jeremy to complain of my participation here. Yet, I understand fully, and will accord with your wishes. Thank you.
Steiner would go on to resolve this dualism further with the practical advice given with this diagram and its lecture:
We are born and educated in dualities. To resolve them into a higher synthesis, we need (where the X marks the spot) to bring these two loops forcefully back together. This will serve to resolve the present polarity of the objective self, which Thinks, and the subjective self, which Wills.
The Feeling Soul is the catalyst. And Threefolding becomes a living model. Christ has brought three processes into the world: Light, Life, and Love.
Hi Hans, I wrote a larger response to your comment from two days ago, and it was censored largely because of my perceived temperamental response scheme. And yet, let me try to convey it somewhat differently today. The WGA is a noteworthy organization, which has revealed itself recently as the heir to the old AAG, which was incorporated in late 1923 in order to govern the four or five institutions of anthroposophical wealth making. So, this is what we have today. Yet, this WGA is less than one half of what Rudolf Steiner wanted to say with the refounding of the GAS in 1923. He knew an incorporation needed to take place, and yet the larger issue was one of spiritual attainment. Did he achieve it, or was it drifted into the matter of the incorporation? In today’s world, one has to wonder about the latest aims of the GAS. World Goetheanum Association, it sounds so nice. And yet, we have to wonder about your own aims in Thailand in this spirit. What are they about? You see how direct I can make it in a second.
This future war is being prepared in our time; as we speak, even. As human beings developing on earth, which places us at the fourth stage of spiritual evolution, we have our spiritual guides who stand at the eighth stage of evolution. These were the Spirits of Form, or Exusaia, who stand four stages above us, and the regents of earth evolution until a certain event occurred, which Steiner called, “The New Revelation”. This revelation came just over 100 years ago in a lecture given when Steiner’s mother was crossing the threshold into the spiritual world. He had given a similar lecture when his father died in late January 1910, and as a result, was able to begin to herald the reappearance of Christ as an etheric body experience beginning in the 1930’s. Thus, with the death of Steiner’s own parents, we have two major revelations given. The first, which is fairly well known by now, has actually proved itself to be true in its outcome. Many people today can attest to having an experience of Christ, not on a physical level, but in their etheric body. If Rudolf Steiner had lived until 1933, he would have been able to place the lodestone to his own great initiative. Yet, he died in 1925, with eight years of unfulfilled karma not realized.
Now, the second revelation, given when his mother was crossing the threshold in late December 1918, is one that is still hardly even recognized today, and this fact in itself demonstrates the symptoms which are so prevalent in our time. Here is where Steiner reveals a very important turn of events for the first time. In 2021, it is still not recognized as the catalyst for the future. Now, knowing that people have little inclination for actually reading lectures, I’ll still give it for the possibility that someone might read it and have something to say. Its implications are huge.
Briefly, and just to encourage reading it, this lecture tells of an important turn of events coming in the transition from 1918 to 1919. We know that Steiner started a major campaign on the social level in 1919, and what he reveals here is the cause. Yet, the Beings indicated in this lecture, who want to hear from us, are not receiving our communications. How long do they have to wait before getting a little irritated? It will only increase as long as Lucifer pours incentive into the human personality. This we see in droves today.
Yet, let this be a start, and a hope for further communications on the subject. I would love to see Judith von Halle write here. Even if not, we can take it a step further. The folks we need to be speaking to are right there; right next door!! And they love the quiet and the calm. Just go look.
Thank you, Kathy, and all! I also think that membership of the School of Spiritual Science is a threefold engagement.
Hi Hans, I also believe that the School of Spiritual Science is a threefold engagement, and yet these eleven sections fall far short of what Rudolf Steiner had encouraged when he founded them at Christmas 1923. We only need to go back to January 1923, when the fire destroyed the original wooden structure of the Goetheanum. Rudolf Steiner’s conscience was so compelled as to give rise to a kind of critical chastisement of what had occurred in the years from 1913 to 1923, when he was not the administrative leader of the society. Only after the refounding at Christmas 1923 did Steiner really come clean about why he had not led the movement after the expulsion of the German Section by Besant in 1912.
These lectures make a great deal very clear, and especially the first four:
So, Hans, please again let me ask you about the School of Well-Being over there in Thailand. I really want to know about its principles and objectives. You often cite about Earth Trusteeship, and ‘Mother Earth’, and how the United Nations has come to your cause, and yet, if the dens of iniquity are ruling what should be a new call for a biodynamic future, wherein ‘double-digging’ down in the light of the spirit only seems natural, what is actually going on today? You have said a lot recently about the way it is.
Yet, Spiritual Science stands the litmus test for what is needed today in honesty and truth. It may prove to be inconvenient for people living under the current conditions, but it wants to strengthen the weak in us all.
Good Morning, Dear All
After sitting all day yesterday with what we witnessed in Washington, what is happening on so many octaves today has fallen into a deeper perspective for me. I see, more clearly now, what Steiner said about the Double. He taught us that we would be influenced to believe we could become clairvoyant without the great effort it would take for genuine self-development through the levels of initiation. Therefore, we would all see “something different” because our vision would be distorted by our unrecognized Double. Through electronic and social media we have come to believe we have all information, all knowledge, at our fingertips. So we think we can know all things without the effort to develop ourselves in order to understand them. Here we are (this small band of brothers-ha!) striving, in this pandemic, to grasp how there can be such a wide range of responses to an event that calls on us to see/think/act in unison. S. said that our unredeemed double would result in “confusion and strife through which all culture is overthrown”. He said the ego has to learn/experience that it is spiritual in nature – has to know itself as part of the spiritual world – or materialism and, ultimately, chaos prevails. And he said that once the Double is redeemed it becomes our Lesser Guardian.
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You make a good point Kathy. There seems to be a disconnect here between the talk and the walk. Just because people have so much information, they make a rushed judgment as to what’s right. The result is lawlessness, or “everyone doing what is right in their own eyes”, as the last line in the book of Judges states. It’s ingrained in society now.
We can climb out of this pit of despair, but it’s not going to happen overnight – it’ll require great effort and time, much like the self-development achieved through the levels of initiation that you mention. A little divine intervention will help bring some hope – perhaps we’ll see that with the change in administration? Ultimately we seek the kingdom of the Christ, a kingdom that’s not of this world, but a kingdom of Love.
Oh, Maverick, how I hope you’re right that this change of administration may make a difference. Biden – the wise and loving father, wounded by the suffering and death of his beloved children. And Harris – the courageous warrior, wielding the sword of Justice: a new hybrid for our time …a Sophia-Michael??? I wrote an article before the election for a local newsletter to highlight their complimentary “styles”. Never told anyone about Sophia or Michael, though – you’re the first!. .
Let’s hope Kamala walks the talk and brings with her all the energy that goes with her unique name. See this for the meaning of Kamala Devi:
My hope is that she’ll blaze her own trail rather than try to appease the patriarchal system that’s in place. From what I’ve seen, she’s a strong woman that’ll put the men in their place, if she chooses to exercise that strength. Time will tell.
It is pretty interesting to see that a lot of people talk about “pandemic”. Is that so? First able, as Bertrand russell used to say, we have to focus on facts. And facts indicate that there are big reasonable doubts that what we are living is a pandemic event. There are, on the contrary, more facts that tell us that we are being witnesses of what Rudolf steiner explained in many of his conferences, the advent of ahrimanic and asuric forces trying to play their role on this world. For me as an anthroposopher and student of western esoterism, there are many signs in society in a short time, and in the energy of the masses , if we have esoteric training we can clearle feel that everything is wrong. So at least for me, we have as anthropposophers the “micaelic duty” of searching the truth rather than assuming what majorities or mass media say . After that, everything turns clear and Steiner texts as well as our spiritual training are a guide for this coming era.
I am wondering what you mean by saying there are “big reasonable doubts” that we are living in a pandemic event? From the perspective of the finite, physical world I have no doubts that the people I work with are suffering and dying – or live on with serious medical problems – possibly lifelong. My doubt rises in understanding the spiritual meaning of the pandemic and my part in it. Similarly, I have no doubts that our physical actions underlay drastic climate events, but doubt lies in what part this plays in our/my spiritual evolution.
I resonate deeply with your conviction that we have a “Michaelic duty” to search for the spiritual truth, but it is not my experience that “everything turns clear” once we start. When I try to match spiritual truth with physical event things often become more and more complex. Then my Double tempts me to give up, or seize one perspective as though my life depends on it. Right now I am in process of recognizing and reigning in my Double. Like whoever it was that wrestled with the angel – I won’t let him go until he blesses me. Anthroposophists are charged with redeeming our Double.
I owe Steve an answer to his question about our School for Wellbeing in Thailand. In the same time I wish to abide to Jeremy’s urge to relate our contributions to the original theme of his post. The School for Wellbeing Studies and Research was set up as a small-scale “action research and vision exchange platform” as a sister project of the Center for Bhutan Studies which has the mandate to undertake regular Gross National Happiness surveys in this unique Himalayan Kingdom. By now we are recognised as a ‘campus’ of the Right Livelihood College. This network connects students with Right Livelihood Award Laureates.So we organise conferences, an annual summer school and small resesrch projects. Among Right Livelihood Award Laureates are people like the late George Trevilliyan, who was an important inspiration for Jeremy as far as I can remember, and more recently people and organisations we know like Nicanor Perlas, Ibrahim Abouleish and SEKEM, Greta Thunberg and here in Thailand Sulak Sivaraksa who is now 87 years. Now, just this year the new leadership of the Right Livelihood Foundation in Stockholm-Geneva undertook an identity and ‘branding’exercise towards their future. They identified COURAGE as common trait of the laureated. But they admitted that they have difficulties with ‘Right Livelihood’ as core value as expressed in their name. Indeed, Right Livelihood may be a bit too specific. It is one of the eight “spikes” in the Wheel of Dhamma in Buddhist philosophy. But I argued that if it can be understood as the Asian equivalent of ‘Buen Vivir’ in Latin America, and Ubuntu in Africa, it will get a more universal connotation, as exemplified by the courageous deeds of the laureates. What Right Livelihood and the other streams have in common, in my view, is this “new” (I am not so sure about the 1933 clockwork) awareness of Mother Earth, the re-born Christ, not only in our etheric bodies, but in the unity of this etheric life force in “the community of life” as the Earth Charter (The Hague, 2000) formulates it. This awareness, this feeling, is the guiding motivation for the huge “ecosystem restoration” challenge of today. This ecosystem restoration (healing Mother Earth) adresses climate change, health crisis (Covid-19 pandemia and what will follow), economic transformation and food security (quality food) for all.
In conclusion the question: if Right Livelihood for Asia, ‘Buen Vivir’ for Latin America and Ubuntu for Africa are resonating cultural impulses, what is the European/USA or “Western”, Atlantic, equivalent?
In my understanding that should be the “threefolding movement”. Not as a theoretical or historic concept, but as a living collaborative movement which intermingels with the movements from the other continents. As a global transformation movement. Earth Trusteeship – in my view – is one of the key concepts underpinning this global “Michaelic”(?) movement.
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I find this all very well stated on an official level, and where aims and objectives can become public policy, and should by all means become the incentives of a spiritual science for now and the future, and yet we still have our dilemmas today, and especially the current one. I like that you felt you owed me an answer about my inquiry into the School of Well Being, which was as sincere as the answer you have given. So, I hope we can be on a par again. I also like that Kathy has finally found the ‘like’ button. She is someone who seems, like you, to find a kind of resistance to what spiritual science really means when we talk and discuss in what really represents the world situation as we know it today. Thus, as you indicate in your situation in Thailand, and Kathy here in America, it is the developing power of evil working in the world that envelopes those who choose not to take up the work of spiritual science and its aims for the consciousness soul.
Yet, maybe in 2021 an incentive could come forth which brings the wings of a dove and tells us what we need to know. It likely will simply be the revealing of what we know already, but makes it plain.
There is, in fact, a gathering of people to occur in relation to the election of the new POTUS, Joe Biden on Wednesday, 20 January 2021. As a result, an initiative known as “The Peoples Inauguration” has been drawn up in which it has become the new mandate that “we the people decide what is best for our country and the world that it serves”. It hopes that President Biden will see how much the world has been torn by the former incumbent, Donald Trump, who had aspirations of “making America great again”, but failed due to his lack of experience and toxic personality. All he had to do was rise to the challenge of making the world whole again, but he failed in favor of glamorizing a celebrity profile instead.
So, here we have a very interesting conference upcoming this Sunday, sponsored by our friend, Hazel Archer Ginsberg. I encourage everyone to look at what it offers:
It could prove to be the difference needed for the future.
Read a good quote from Edgar Cayce this morning that reminded me of the point of this good blog. From his reading 262-77:
“10. Then, that which hinders most – this group, any group, the world – is speaking one thing and living in the inner self another. This destines to bring confusion and turmoil and strife and want, and a reckoning with that which makes for tears, sorrow, and that is of the earth earthy.”
Thank you, Maverick: I think this is an excellent description of what Steiner is also expressing when he spoke about the influence of our inner, subconscious, Double…that it influences us to speak one thing but live something else in our inner self. And the consequence, He said, is that we will all understand things differently – and this can precipitate social collapse. The concept certainly hits the spot today, doesn’t it?
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I think this lecture will help you a great deal in dealing with the so-called, Double. It describes the ‘invisible person’ that occupies the space of our soul in the life between birth and death, and why the pathology of therapy exists in the world in our day and age. You have acknowledged being a therapist on the psychological side, and so here you go with this presentation. It helps make the concept of the “double” plain from the standpoint of spiritual science. And, isn’t that what it is all about? Why be obscure when spiritual science makes it visible and plain. The future is more than now, as you suggest from recent days. But, will it really change anything until the new gnosis, which actually goes back 120 years, is taken seriously as a cultural imperative?
Maverick sent me this recent interview that Peter Selg gave concerning the world situation in which Selg continues to think, as much of Europe does, that Ahriman is the ruling and conquering spirit that continues to make us “turn stones into bread”. Now, I am not saying that this isn’t so by any means. We still do this by all means. But, it seems to me, by now, that all eyes and ears should be fixed on the real culprit that is behind what has been working vigorously since 1998. This year is when Sorath found its way into the etheric world as a dominating force of coercion and propaganda. It is when the major advent of the Internet began as a commercial enterprise. Ottmar once mentioned to me that in seeing Peter Selg give lectures, that he tends to clamp his eyes closed, as if the inspiring hand comes from the dark. Here are my remarks to Maverick, who sent me this video earlier today:
“No, I hadn’t seen this yet, but what draws my attention immediately is the emphasis laid on Ahriman over the course of the last 20 years. In the last five years on Jeremy’s blog, if you were to search the archives, there has been a consistent effort to point to Sorath, not Ahriman, as the main culprit in the demise seen since 1998. So, for example, when Hazel speaks and shows depictions of Uncle Sam, it is worthwhile to see an acronym in the letters S-A-M, and the designation ‘Uncle’, which is neither father or mother. S = Sorath (the anti-Christ), A = Asuras (deadly sub-earthly layer), and M = Mephistopheles (Ahriman). Thus, only the third element of the acronym is related to Ahriman.
One of the main things I have noticed over many years is how anthroposophers/anthroposophists really shy away from calling a spade a spade. Ahriman is not “the bad guy”, but only in consort with Sorath, the anti-Christ. And, there is much evidence to indicate that Sorath’s migration from east to west, in the terms of 666 – 1332- 1998, brought this Two-horned Beast to the New World in the early 17th century.
It is a deeply complex plot, instigated when James VI of Scotland, became James I of England with the death of Queen Elizabeth in 1603. Only then did James meet Francis Bacon in London, and come under the influence of the reincarnated Haroun-ar Raschid for the bringing of the “New Atlantis” to the New World.
Worthwhile it is to listen to Peter Selg, and see if he even hints at the implications of Sorath in Uncle Sam. Thanks.”
Thank you for forwarding this, which was sent to me by Josef Graf and which I have just been viewing yesterday evening. A very worthwhile talk and full of interesting thoughts – one of the things he said in reply to a question at the end really intrigued me. He suggested that if we are unable to stop the biocide/ecocide of the Earth, then Ahriman will find himself in a prison constructed by the Asuras and Sorat. As we already knew, Sorat and the Asuras are working for the total destruction of the Earth and the Human I – but this is not Ahriman’s agenda. Ultimately our role is to develop ourselves so far that we can achieve the redemption of Ahriman, one of the ‘adversely commanded’ angels, so that he can resume his own developmental path – but for Sorat and the Asuras, redemption is not a possibility.
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Wow, Jeremy, I hadn’t even gotten that far in the presentation. Personally, I hate these videos and youtubes. I like just real words left to right and down the page. So, it appears that Selg is admitting the latest claptrap without informity from above. He lives in Switzerland you know and yet has somehow kept himself out of the grand GAS structure. Maybe that is a good thing for us.
I like your assessment of conditions based on Selg’s observations for the future, and yet Rudolf Steiner had already noted what was to occur if matters were to be successful:
1) Lucifer is redeemed to the Holy Spirit through Anthroposophy itself.
2) Ahriman is redeemed through the Cosmic Intelligence of Michael.
3) Sorath is redeemed through the Atman, or Spirit Man, which is already enclosed within the dialogue of Anthroposophical Spiritual Science, which exists today.
Any objections can be adequately met in any discussion on these three merits owing to the fact that anthroposophy exists in the world. It is what it is, and that is a very big “Is”. In this day and age, what is *is* very important.
Kind regards Jeremy, and hoping for your safety and security in these seemingly tumultuous times. – Steve
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Thank you, Steve – I didn’t know that redemption is also possible for Sorat!
Best wishes to you,
Yes, it seems to me that even Evil is redeemable, or at least that is what Steiner is implying in the Apocalypse of St John lectures from June 1908. He indicates in one significant place and passage that Manes reincarnates again and again in order to prod this Evil forth as a working process to be defeated by the human striving for complete freedom. To beat it (Evil), we have to have it, and someone has to bring it on who is only doing their duty, i.e., Sorath.
I think, Sorat and the Asuras (Selg, 1:28:30) should not be equated beforehand. For Steiner in Apocalyps 1924, ‘Sorat’ (the sun demon or false prophet) stands for the ahrimanic powers, whereas ‘Satan’ (the beast from the abyss) represents the asuric powers (evil Archai, third force) which cannot be redeemed. Destruction of humanity (epidemic) and the loss of the earth (climate) seem to be two different things.
Hi Ton, I had written a comment to your remarks last night because I find them very important. You have often stated this position in a kind of “who’s who” in this game of Sorath, Asuras, Ahriman, etc. I posted a diagram, and hopefully this time it can be pasted directly:
Nope, that’s not working. Anyway, it is the one from Steiner’s seminal lecture on “Etherization of the Blood”, GA 130, 1 October 1911.
As such, Asuras is the being of the lowest level of the sub-earthly domain, and wherein the pure destructive potential of the so-called “atom” exists. Above this lowest layer are the domains of Ahriman, or the chemical light, and then Lucifer and the electrical light force. Since 1900, with the end of Kali Yuga in 1899, these three domains have seen an exponential growth and development seen in just a matter of 120 years! This proves that the principle of spiritual economy, ref. GA 109, is accelerating beyond all previous proportions.
Peter Selg wrote and edited a book from 2012 entitled: The Crisis in the Anthroposophical Society. In it, he and Sergei Prokofieff each give lectures on 30 March 2012, and describe (without knowing what the other is to say) about how pathetic the situation in Dornach is. They each characterize it as a bankrupt institution. I personally was so dismayed at hearing this that I sent the book back to Amazon for a refund. I have never done that before, but this was my kind of protest. Very disturbing things exist in this book, and now it is some nine years later.
Does leadership somehow not exist in the GAS? Everything today seems to occur out of the various committees that represent the School of Spiritual Science, and the recently revealed “World Goetheanum Association” from 2018. I think the very last President, or General Secretary of the GAS was Manfred Schmidt-Brabant, who died in 2001. This opened the door for Sergei Prokofieff to enter and become a Vorstand member. He should have been made President at that time because of his power and ability to fulfill the shoes of Rudolf Steiner to bring Spiritual Science another step forward. Yet, he was relegated to an associate level, when he was a leader in the true sense. The only other occasion that I can remember when this occurred was when Carl Unger was overlooked as successor to Rudolf Steiner, and not even admitted into the Vorstand, c. 1925.
We need to consider everything that is going on today.
I’m afraid I can’t agree with you about Prokofieff. I’ll be writing more about this in my next post, particularly in relation to Judith von Halle.
Well, Prokofieff wrote a book on Steiner when she was just ten years old, and so why would you disagree about leadership? He wrote a second book in 2002, which was still two years before she came out for the first time. Then, in 2012, he wrote his ultimate piece, “And the Earth Becomes A Sun”. So, how could von Halle hold a candle to that? I am looking forward to whatever you have to say, and hopefully what Judith says in remark. These two came to have a kind of competition, which is interesting but largely negligible in the long run.
As well, Jeremy, have you read Prokofieff’s introduction to the Temple Lodge Press edition of: Rudolf Steiner and the Founding of the New Mysteries, which was published in 1994? He describes in detail how he came to write the book, and all the influences involved since 1968, when as a fourteen year old boy, he went to the home of Max Voloshin in the Crimea. Voloshin, brother of Marguerite, who was Rudolf Steiner’s personal secretary, even took a hand in the building of the Johannesbau in 1914. In 1968, when the young Prokofieff went there, it had become a historical shrine, and contained many books of esotericism, and wherein Prokofieff selected a Steiner classic to read, “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment”. He was hooked, and came eventually to see his karma as that of Rudolf Steiner’s own unfulfilled karma. Thus began the career of some 46 years of dedicated service to Anthroposophy, which ended with Sergei Prokofieff’s untimely demise in 2014.
I too, at one time had strong reservations about Prokofieff, and for reasons that I can’t really say anything other than the wealth of Steiner’s own original contributions would seem to preclude anyone needing to say anything more. Yet, I have come to appreciate the work of this man as the finest scholar of Anthroposophy, and especially the last book, “And the Earth Becomes a Sun.” One day, when Rudolf Steiner’s legacy is more well-established, this book will be seminal reading in college and university studies on Esotericism and Modern Thought.
Steve, I don’t make a big issue about the squinting of the eyes, especially since I’ve experienced a vision issue of my own as I age. Some of us have weaker eyes than others, which can cause this type of squinting. Don’t judge by outward appearances, but instead by the spirit of truth – his words speak to me of truth and understanding. His squinting doesn’t deter from that, for me at least.
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I see Peter as receiving inspirations through this method, and not a hint of judgment was intended. Ottmar had mentioned this once as possibly a technique for receiving his words, or some of them. Judge not lest ye be judged. I too wear spectacles 🙂
I am more aware than ever that I meet the far-reaching influence of Ahriman – that Selg describes so well – through MY Ahrimanic Double. He points to why it is so critical that we work ourselves through the stages of initiation and become conscious in our waking hours. MY Ahimanic Double tries to co-opt my living awareness in this Earth experience – then tries to dictate what reality is to me. As my Consciousness Soul grows, I redeem him.
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You see I see this as the differentiating issue which you often express, and in which it appears that Peter Selg also occupies. As such, Lucifer, Ahriman, and Asuras all occupy the three domains of the underworld, which Steiner expresses so well with that diagram from “Etherization of the Blood”, GA 130. I should post it again for clarification.
Yet, here is the real issue, and I have to wonder if Selg has really discerned it. When Jahve went to the Moon as a sacrifice after the Polarean epoch of Earth, what took place? The remaining six Elohim began to amalgamate together in order to form the Christ, the sixfold Elohim of the Sun. This fact created the very tendency for a counterpart to occur at some point in time, and this was from the direct opposite of the Sun, which is the Earth and its most sub-earthly dwelling place. Therefore, Sorath arose as a sixfold Asuras from the lowest dwelling of the sub-earthly. Christ from the Sun meets Earth, which has both a horizontal plane for human occupation, as well as a sub-earthly domain designed to make for all the problems seen today. Oh, here is the diagram:
The rest of the lecture goes from there, but the real issue is to dissemble the mishmash that you so often describe, Ton, and seem to misunderstand time after time. If Christ is a sixfold Elohim, with Jehovah having gone to the Moon, then Sorath can only be a sixfold Asuras from the sub-earthly domain of the Earth. As such, his power is immense, and growing as we speak.
I wonder if Peter Selg observes this blog, but I doubt it. He should, though. He could learn a thing or two, even with eyes wide open! Some of us are forced to do that in this day and age.
Well, Steve, it seems to me, in Steiner’s concept, the destructive Asuras are opposing the trinitarian Father principle, and Sorat is opposing the Son principle. No sixfold Asuras here. To Prokofieff, Bondarev and von Halle, Sorath is a fourth anti-principle.
Among a whole load of bad habits, the Ahrimanic Double urges us to obfuscate, intellectualize and mire us down in definitions. It encourages competition and underwrites dehumanization. It leaves us vulnerable to developing a load of bad habits: feelings of frustration, anger, and in some of us, the inability to communicate without condescension, snide criticisms and deliberate misdirection. Minimally, it leaves us mired in detail and disheartened about coming together to get on track. If we want to accomplish what is critical to learn during this time of the development of the Consciousness Soul, it is important that we see who/what is running the show – and help one another in our struggles to redeem IT.
But it is Ahriman/Satan that is opposing the Son principle. Just look at this verse from the Gospel of John, chapter 12:
31 Now judgment is upon this world; now the ruler of this world will be cast out. 32 And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” 33 But He was saying this to indicate the kind of death by which He was to die. 34 The crowd then answered Him, “We have heard out of the Law that the Christ is to remain forever; and how can You say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this Son of Man?”
This passage might seem obscure to you, but throughout the gospels the nemesis of the Christ is Satan/Ahriman, who has already established itself as the power that makes the turning of stones into bread an earthly reality. The same existence of this “ruler of the world” still plagues the world today. Sorath only arose some 333 years after the midpoint of the fourth cultural epoch, and this is why Manes held that supersensible council in the fourth century, which is described in the lecture from GA 113, 31 August 1909.
Earlier in 1909, Steiner gave this lecture, which is the only place I have found where all three sub-earthly powers are described together: Lucifer, Ahriman, and Asuras. Yet, the Asuras that afflicts the fifth cultural epoch is described as having compounded to an enormous degree. The diagram from GA 130, given above, indicates the pure destructive potential of this Asuras, and 1911 was still three years from 1914. 1941 saw the forming of the Manhattan Project, supposedly encouraged by Albert Einstein’s letter to FDR, but the trend was now toward pure destructive power seen in the atomic bomb. The fabricated ‘Cold War’ with the Soviet Union in 1951 saw a further enhancement of this with the hydrogen bomb, and it continues on to this very day. Today, we have direct free-energy weapons launched from low-earth orbit, and this is due to the developments seen in high-energy particle physics since the 1970’s. Now, complete dustification is a very real factor in the aims of Sorath to rule humanity.
I know this is getting controversial, and I didn’t mean to take it this far, but you see the trend, don’t you?
I’ll be saying more about all of this in my next post, Steve.
Awesome, Jeremy. Just now came across this very disturbing report. There were 297 wildfires in California in January 2021, which is triple the number from January 2020. We know from 2017, when these very weird kind of fires started to occur, that firefighters were warning about a kind of, “new normal” in the offing. Get used to it they were saying. I found that very interesting from a propaganda standpoint. Anyway, with corona vaccinations here in America seeing drive-up lines a half mile long, this article is another sobering indication that maybe Peter Selg is addressing in his video. My understanding is that he, and the majority of Anthro’s in Central Europe, think corona is a conspiracy. Ottmar might be able to fill us in on that assessment, but here in America we are fighting the inevitable on two levels, at least; the climate outside, with the fires, and the climate inside, with the virus.
Indeed, only from the very beginning of the year 1909 (CW 107, cf. CW 13), Steiner spoke of Ahriman-Mephisto in contrast to the Luciferic and Asuric beings. In his earlier lectures (CW 96-104a), Steiner referred to the Ahriman being as the apocalyptic ‘Sorat principle’ (cf. CW 184 and 346), besides mentioning Ahriman as opposing power in its Persian context.
It sounds to me that you are acknowledging the advancement of Ahriman from the time of Christ into its eventual sixfold engagement as Sorath, c. 666 AD. As such, Sorath could be looked upon as a fourth principle working against humanity. From this point in 666, we have two other iterations, 1332 and 1998. The last is the one that is most pressing today for the obvious reasons of science and technology. Materialism has reached its ‘critical mass’, and why the process of increasing astrality has been seen since Christ entered earth evolution two thousand years ago. You mention CW 346 for this, but also CW 104 stated that the War of All Against All would not take place until the Earth became an astral sphere. Steiner revised this somewhat when he said in 346 that the opening of the seven seals began with the Crusades, c. 1000 AD. In 104, he said that the seals would not be opened until the earth had reached the seventh cultural epoch. So, big difference. The seals have been revealed in our time, and this is what makes the difference for the future. Steiner encouraged the Priests of the Christian Community with the giving of CW 346 in September 1924 to use it to create a fourth mystery epoch of our time. Yet, I don’t think they did it, because we are still having these kind of discussions wherein the plain hasn’t been made yet. Consider the Act of Consecration for example. Steiner consistently said in 346 that Consecration must also lead to Transubstantiation. Yet, what do the priests of CC uphold today? It is no different than the Catholic Church and its Mass ceremony. Oh, I know this is going to be controversial, but remember what Steiner said in the first lecture of GA 131, when he was only trying to show the difference between what the Jesuits believed and what the Rosicrucians believed. A whole new quarter of opposition began with that, and why Steiner tried hard from then on to keep anthroposophy close to the vest.
Steiner describes the Ahrimanic Double as a functional sociopath within each of us. Until the Double is redeemed, the fledgling “I-Being” has no conscience and is easily provoked into misdirection. The Double facilitates development of epidemics of all sorts: viral, military, ecological, psychological etc. It works to manipulate/oppress the “I Being” so that when the “I” dies it loses coherence. Steiner explains that the Double cannot tolerate dying in the body and experiencing what awaits the “I-Being” – the delusion of being eternally and utterly alone in a seemingly empty universe.
Ahriman enters originally as an invisible being when we are born as a visible human being. As such, this invisible being works in a very conscious way from birth in the activities of growth and nutrition, digestion and metabolism; in other words, the work of the moving and instinctive centers. That is why where we are least conscious, which is in the activities of Will, Ahriman has the upper hand as we develop through the seven-year life cycles. We grow up in these series of stages: infancy, youth, adolescence, maturing to adulthood. As well, over this same time, the invisible person who enters at birth develops and becomes the Ahrimanic double. Ahriman leaves just before we die because its role is completed when we cross the threshold at death. It wants to remain and become the Doppelganger, but cannot yet withstand Death.
I think Steiner said somewhere that Goethe saw his double just before he died. He was entering his study, and saw himself already sitting at his desk! He had the wherewithal to know what this meant.
This lecture is all about Ahriman in its role as the invisible person who works with conscientious deliberation in the parts of us that we are unconscious of. Thus, Ahriman works in the physical body from birth, while Lucifer works in the Ego from the time our memory begins, around age three. From birth to when the memory begins, we are Children of God. That is why in the Gospels you find this: “Lest ye become as little children, ye cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven”.
Steve, I would rather say, before birth an invisible electrical process takes possession of our nerves:
“… when natural scientists believe that the nerve-force that belongs to us as the basis of our conceptual life has something to do with electrical streams that go through our nerves, then they are incorrect. For the electrical streams, which are the forces put into us by the being I have just mentioned and described, do not belong to our own being at all. We carry electrical streams in us, but they are of a purely Ahrimanic nature.” GA0178/19171116 and Lectures/InvMan (1923)
Cf. The Electronic Doppelgänger: The Mystery of the Double in the Age of the Internet (2016)
I think if you review carefully the quote from GA 178 concerning the nerve impulses that stand in relation to our conceptual life, that it upholds the fact that it is Ahriman who is the invisible being working in us from birth. Ahriman’s influence progresses in us from birth to age 7, from 7 to 14, and from 14 to 21. At fourteen, the astral body enters, and over the next seven years completely permeates the nervous system, which causes the advent of cognitive assimilation toward the faculty of thinking.
Thus, it can be shown that Ahriman is a completely beneficent being in the evolution of the human being, just as Lucifer is. They each have tasks that have been assigned to them for the purpose of developing Universal Human to completion. Please remember, Steiner described in imaginative form some two years before beginning to sculpt his “Representative of Man”, just what it needed to convey out of the love and compassion of Christ for these two. GA 159, 18 May 1915.
Thanks Ton for continuing this discussion. I consider you a lifeline of sorts. You help make participating on this blog a worthwhile endeavor. Please keep it up as much as I will in responding to your input. As well, everyone here, please write your thoughts and feelings because as Kathy often seems to express out of a kind of existential angst, it is really not the Ahrimanic Double who is the bad guy. In truth, Ahriman is on our side, and even more so since Michael placed him under His feet. This had happened before when Michael cast Lucifer out of the Eighth Sphere, c. 869 AD, and put him to work in the human head, which had become by then a death process. Yet, Lucifer wants to redeem the head as a living being. This is how the transhumanist movement has come in being. The whole idea of the Man-God complex based on Ahaseurus comes from this incentive in exploiting Lucifer. Yet, it is Sorath that is actually behind it since 1998. Also, the notion of the Ahrimanic Double as the ‘bad guy’ is due to Sorath’s third incarnation since 1998.
Only the sculpting of an Anti-Representative of Man could adequately depict how Sorath has the power to raise L & A up in order to counteract the Christ. This is where Christ is counting on us humans to respond.
‘the human head, which had become by then a death process’.
This death process then would be the ahrimanic double working from birth in our nerves (CW 178), which the luciferic forces try to vitalise (CW 194).
No, this death process in the head is retrogressive by necessity. If made living again by Lucifer’s efforts to take living substance from the rest of the human organism in order to vitalize the head, we will lose all contact with our divinity and the spiritual worlds. We will become the Man-God, “Homo Deus”, an Asuras who once was a human being. The only solution is to invigorate the death process in the head with spiritual science as a living alchemy with ever increasing understanding. This is the only safe and secure method.
The ahrimanic double is what becomes of the “invisible person in us” over time, just as we visible human beings evolve over time in these series of seven-year life cycles of growing up. Ahriman gets a name, like we do, and grows with us in order to fit it. At death, the double goes out.
These forces are also called devolution and overdevelopment (CW 67), and are depicted by Steiner as nerv and blood streams in The Invisible Man in Us, The Study of Man, and Extending Practical Medicine.
“Physiologically speaking, it is Lucifer’s constant endeavor to send the life forces out of the rest of our organism into our head. … this organism is full of vitality through its very nature. Into these forces of vitality the Ahrimanic powers endeavor to send the forces of death which properly, in the divine process of evolution, belong to the head.” GA0194/19191123
This is true, and thanks for the exact quotation because no one else in the world would do it. You see how Ahriman serves to correctly oppose his buddy, Lucifer in saying how he sees that death rightfully belongs to the head. Ton, this is awesome stuff. Thanks for doing it. No one else would take the time to corroborate such a thing. A pinnacle in the accolades for spiritual science. Of course, we can continue to argue as much as we like, but I like this very much.
We have been speculating on the identities and functions of the variety of “evil” beings Steiner has named – as well as their complicity in the evils, trials, and problems we encounter. But I think we are neglecting their functions – and, more importantly, our lived-experience of their influence. Do we not need them to inspire us to make the effort to move through the stages of initiation? What if their function is to provide the developing “I” with the resistance it needs to galvanize itself? What if they serve our spiritual development in a way similar to the way gravity serves the development of our physical body and nervous system? Yes, gravity can hurt (especially when your n95 mask obscures what your foot is about to trip over, etc.) – but the point isn’t the gravity – it’s our preparedness, our awareness and willingness to accept the responsibility for our development. The point isn’t my Ahrimanic Double’s actions – it’s MY actions – my effort/willingness to become conscious. Steiner says our consciousness sleeps during our waking hours and now, in this 5th post Atlantean epoch we have the opportunity to develop our Consciousness Soul: to walk our Anthroposophical talk. The longer we neglect it, the more frequently and harder we fall. .
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Can the “evil” beings Steiner has named approach our young developing “I-Being” only indirectly through our different bodies and souls, or also directly? Prokofieff, Bondarev and von Halle talk about a fourth counterforce, although its functions (bodily incarnation, consciousness soul, the eighth sphere, the double, materialism, intellectualism) overlap with the functions of the main three counterforces.
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Ton, what are the implications of whether the forces of “evil” approach us directly or indirectly? Do they call for differentiated responses from us? Perhaps there are multiple stages in redeeming the Double? But. ultimately, I tend to think that consciously meeting Christ in the Etheric is our “evidence” of being on the right path – “right” not as one standard for all, but as evidence we are each meeting the demon honorably as free individuals.
I wrote about this fourth counterforce recently, but it has not yet appeared here. It considered Sorath as a Fourth Principle, which appears to be what Prokofieff, Bondarev, and von Halle believe to exist. Now, in large respects, this would be true when we consider Lucifer, Ahriman, and Asuras to be the three main counterforces. But, and I describe this in my post, Sorath is the acknowledged anti-Christ, which means that he is an amalgamation of certain spirits in the same way that Christ is the amalgamation of certain spirits. Thus, Christ is a sixfold Elohim of the Sun, which would seem to make it mandatory that Sorath be a sixfold Asuras of the Earth. The diagram from GA 130 indicates the progressive sub-earthly levels of Earth. I do hope that Jeremy posts by earlier comments, which support these ideas even further.
Here is a group of people who are trying to cultivate an understanding that forgiveness and restorative narratives have the power to transform lives; not only supporting people to deal with issues in their own lives, but also building a climate of tolerance, resilience, hope and empathy. It shows courageous approaches to dealing with dark forces.
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Thank you. Midnight. I’ll follow this up. Forgiveness must be central to this whole issue. Transforming the Double into the Lesser Guardian must provide us with a guide for the development of a conscience and the expansion of consciousness. It may be that refusing to develop a conscience (face feelings of shame and accept personal responsibility) may be the key factor in the epidemic of conspiracy theories we are finding everywhere and the denial of what is unfolding around us. It may all be a sign of a growing desperation that we are not as far along the path of initiation as we should be in this age – but haven’t grasped it consciously..
Thank you Midnight Rambler. A great resource; will bookmark this for any contacts I have who may be dealing with this issue. Cheers.