My failures as an anthroposophist

I started this blog in 2014 and have been writing an average of around one post a month on anthroposophical and other related themes ever since. My original purpose in writing was partly to help my own understanding of anthroposophy, through having to research and study particular topics, and partly to share my discoveries with people around the world, because I’m convinced that anthroposophy as a path for spiritual awakening and development is vital for all our futures.

Just lately, however, I have started to feel that in some respects I have failed as an anthroposophist and in this post I will set down why I think this is so. Of course, it has been good to share through this blog some of Steiner’s ideas that I’ve found really helpful; and in my personal and working lives it has also been good to be involved with biodynamic farms, anthroposophical trusts and educational bodies; but I’ve come to realise that the essential core of anthroposophy is really about studying and working with exercises to gain access to higher forms of knowledge and insight, so as to deepen ourselves as human beings. My approach up until now has been both an intellectual and an emotional path but this has not enabled me to develop the capacities for ‘living thinking’, nor to open up any latent abilities for spiritual insights (though I do have moments of intuition).

I have always had a blockage when it comes to meditation and feel that I lack the basic ability to do this, despite having tried hard on various occasions with various teachers and writers about meditation over the years. This inability to meditate is a serious stumbling block on the path to spiritual development, which means that I fall at the first hurdle and have no access to working with the mantras of the First Class or the exercises in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds. This also means that the experiences and images Steiner describes when preparing to ‘cross the threshold’ between the physical/sense world and the non-visible worlds beyond are for me a closed book. Nor do I find The Philosophy of Freedom an easy work to engage with, though this is the book that Steiner said could be used like his Occult Science or Theosophy to produce an understanding of anthroposophy.

After years of reading Steiner’s lectures and books and writing about them on this blog, I feel that I can hold my own in conversations about most topics of anthroposophy, but I cannot claim to have developed any spiritual abilities whatsoever – no clairvoyance, no guidance from spiritual sources, no encounters with elementals or awareness of angels (apart from one encounter many years ago when I was in deep despair). So I remain stuck in what is primarily an intellectual worldview of anthroposophy but am making no progress in what should be the core, which is the development of new spiritual capacities.

If I were seeking excuses for my inadequacy, I might point out that many anthroposophists are in a similar position and that generally we are paying far too little attention to what Rudolf Steiner had to say about the importance of this schooling for ‘initiation’ and the meditation it demands. Study groups, in my limited experience at least, tend to concentrate on reading and discussing lecture cycles or books, which can be enjoyable and useful things to do – but shouldn’t we also be holding meditation groups or groups to discuss and share spiritual experiences? In such groups we could learn to work together, to be socially active and to get feedback from one another in our task of capacity building.

Steiner’s view was that: “Humanity must become a partaker of the spirit in order to carry its revelations into the physical world. Human beings must transform the earth by implanting in it what they have ascertained in the spiritual world. That is their task. It is only because the physical world is dependent upon the spiritual, and because human beings can work upon the earth, in a true sense, only if they are participators in those worlds in which the creative forces lie concealed – only for those reasons should they have the desire to ascend to the higher worlds. No one approaching esoteric training with these sentiments and resolved not to deviate for a moment from these prescribed directions (ie in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, from which this quotation is taken), will have the slightest danger to fear. No one should allow the prospect of these dangers to keep them from esoteric training; it should rather act as a strong challenge to one and all, to acquire those faculties which every true esoteric student must have.”

If that is our task, I now need to begin anew. I probably need to find a good teacher, or teachers, and groups to belong to where I can find help to discipline myself to do the exercises – again and again and again. As I now consider myself unqualified to write about some of these core aspects of anthroposophy, I will not be writing any more posts on this blog unless they are clearly from the perspective of a learner. I will keep the blog available on the web for the time being as it has many worthwhile topics on it and I know many people in many countries around the world have found it useful. Thanks to those of you who have shared this journey with me so far – I hope one day to be able to write again, from a place of authentic experience.

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86 responses to “My failures as an anthroposophist

  1. Ton Majoor

    The three cited sentences from CW 26 would represent thinking (knowledge), feeling (need of the heart, need of the life of feeling, inner need), but foremost willing (justification, satisfaction).

    “… the nearer we come to modern times the more we see how, in the so-called Rosicrucian training — conditioned by the demands and requirements of humanity — a particular kind of will culture, the exercise of the will is introduced. Although the meditations are at first similar to those of pre-Christian schools, there nevertheless prevails everywhere at the basis of the Rosicrucian exercises a particular training of the element of Will.” (GA0104/19080619)

    See https://en.anthro.wiki/Initiation

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  2. Tom

    Everything helps Jeremy — to think anthro thoughts in study becomes food for the hierarchies I hear — a + contribution to the greater good — it surely also has to prep one for the interim life in spirit then the next physical one 🙂 yeah?

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  3. Nigel

    This a great audio book version of how to know higher worlds ; The way of initiation – A modern edition . https://www.scribd.com/listen/427489270 .

    I’ve always found breathing techniques to be the best method for meditation . And if time’s an issue I’ve had great results meditating in the middle of the night .

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    • Ton Majoor

      Compare: “The ideal of the development is that no exercises be made at all by means of the physical body itself, also no breathing exercises, but that everything that occurs in the physical body in this way should only come about as a consequence of pure intuition exercises.” GA013_c05-07

      Bringing rhythm into life, is also described as “preparing the philosopher’s stone”. GA055/19070314

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  4. Nigel

    I should have been more specific regarding meditation for the purists .. If you’re struggling with getting started ; the breathing exercise is a great method to get you going .. When you become more proficient – advanced you don’t need said exercise. .

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  5. Beena

    It is interesting that the jab is purported to take you away from spirituality… do you feel this has occurred for you? I’m genuinely interested as I am facing mandates of a loss of my job.

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    • No, I don’t, at least not so far.

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      • Emanuel Blosser

        Hi Beena, I agree with Jeremy. I see no effect on my spiritual activity from the Phizer vaccine. Nor do I see any effect from the social force of mandating it for my healthcare job. Healthcare jobs have for decades required a whole set of vaccines as a legislated condition of employment. But then as I explained in the post earlier today, my spiritual activity is purely spiritual and isn’t based on any substance or activity of the body nor of the social situation of my earthly body. So why would it be effected? The father remains just as good a father and the bureaucrate maintains his daily affairs. The path of knowledge that sets time aside from the daily affairs to develop new forces in evolution is universal and doesn’t care what karmic situation your body is entrapped by. Rather it sees life forces being released in the body and starting the enlivening of the mineral kingdom that prepares for the future Jupiter conditions when the ego creates separation from the astral body. Every karmic situation has non-essential activities in it that can be set aside for time in spiritual activity. The book says everyone can find at least 5 min in every day. Cheers, Manny

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        • Hoʻoponopono

          Just discover today this gem of a blog. I am looking forward to reading all your previous posts, Jeremy.

          I just scroll after some of your posts, Emanuel, and I am very grateful that you share all of your wisdom regarding meditations. I am on my way to start to meditate. I have one question for you.

          I live in Austria, which is the first country to announce the mandatory vacc. in February.

          I have read some parts from Steiner’s lectures about vacc (GA178) and his stating, from this lectures (I suppose is cited everywhere now): ”This trend — and it is already perceptible in some individuals today — will intensify. People will actually long for the time when the Spiritual is universally deemed to be insanity, craziness! Attempts will be made to achieve this end by inoculations; just as viruses have been discovered as means of protection against illnesses, so certain inoculations will be used to influence the human body in such a way that it provides no place for the spiritual proclivities of the soul. Human beings will be immunised against any predisposition for spiritual ideas … such, at least, will be the endeavour. They will try by inoculation to bring it about that even in childhood, human beings lose the urge towards the spiritual life. This is only one of the aspects of that more intimate knowledge, relating to the connection of Nature-processes and Nature-specifics with the human organism, which must arise during the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch.”

          I am confused at this moment about what to do, like Beena. I have a job here, working as a Waldorf teacher, but I am thinking to leave all behind and go to some other country where I will not be forced to take in from outside… In short I am concerned about (my and others) spiritual life and affect on it.

          What do you think about Steiner’s statement and how do you see this government oppression, which is spreading with no open discourse, or at least in Referendum?

          I would be very thrilled to read your thoughts about that, as I need to make a lot of research till February.

          Thank you.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Emanuel Blosser

            Dear Ho’oponopono,

            Steiner defines what he means by spiritual activity most clearly in his book ‘Theosophy’ in the first chapter. There he gives 10 descriptions based on observations of what occurs in ordinary consciousness. Here are numbers 6-8.:

            *************
            Why does the world appear to man in this threefold way? A simple consideration will explain it. I cross a meadow covered with flowers. The flowers make their colors known to me through my eyes. That is the fact I accept as given. Having accepted the fact, I rejoice in the splendor of the colors. Through this I turn the fact into an affair of my own. Through my feelings I connect the flowers with my own existence. Then, a year later I go again over the same meadow. Other flowers are there. Through them new joy arises in me. My joy of the former year will appear as a memory. This is in me. The object that aroused it in me is gone, but the flowers I now see are of the same kind as those I saw the year before. They have grown in accordance with the same laws as have the others. If I have informed myself regarding this species and these laws, I then find them again in the flowers of this year, just as I found them in those of last year. So I shall perhaps muse, “The flowers of last year are gone and my joy in them remains only in my memory. It is bound up with my existence alone. What I recognized in the flowers of last year and recognize again this year, however, will remain as long as such flowers grow. That is something that revealed itself to me, but it is not dependent on my existence in the same way as my joy is. My feelings of joy remain in me. The laws, the being of the flowers, remain outside of me in the world.”

            By these means man continually links himself in this threefold way with the things of the world. One should not, for the present, read anything into this fact, but merely take it as it stands. From this it can be seen that man has three sides to his nature. This and nothing else will, for the present, be indicated here by the three words, body, soul and spirit. Whoever connects any preconceived opinions or even hypotheses with these three words will necessarily misunderstand the following explanations. By body is here meant that through which the things in the environment of a man reveal themselves to him, as in the above example, the flowers in the meadow. By the word soul is signified that by which he links the things to his own being, through which he experiences pleasure and displeasure, desire and aversion, joy and sorrow in connection with them. By spirit is meant what becomes manifest in him when, as Goethe expressed it, he looks at things as a “so to speak divine being.” In this sense man consists of body, soul and spirit.

            Through his body man is able to place himself for the time being in connection with things; through his soul he retains in himself the impressions they make on him; through his spirit there reveals itself to him what the things retain for themselves. Only when we observe man in these three aspects can we hope to throw light on his whole being, because they show him to be related in a threefold way to the rest of the world.
            **************

            When I meet, observe, and speak to people I find that almost everyone is already inoculated with preconceived ideas and opinions or even hypothesis about spiritual activity ‘that necessarily misuderstand the following explanations.’ The condition of living in a body that has no predisposition to spiritual life and lack the urge to find and understand it even though it exists as a slumber faculty that can be developed in everyone that has learned to write and read, already exists.

            Notice how in the Steiner quote about vaccines he says the inoculation he is speaking about will stop a predisposition to spiritual life and the urge to seek spiritual life. It doesn’t say it will stop spiritual life or lock the door to those that do seek it. These conditions of the not having a predisposition and not having the urge to seek already exist and have been present for decades. Maybe it was the chlorine or the fluorine in the water systems that did it. Doesn’t matter now what did it. The condition of human bodies has for decades been in the state that Steiner is describing. The more modern concept is that human bodies now exist in the anthropocene, the human created environment. The earth is no longer a natural being. All of the air and all of the water that effects all living beings on the earth now has man made contaminants in it. The melting glaciers are the only place natural water still exists from the time before men started modifying our environment.

            Steiner’s proposal is this. Your body is not your essential being. It is only a transitory incarnation of your essential being. Your personal intelligence and your personal observation can now be trained and developed to know the essential part of yourself that exists outside your body during the time between sleeping and waking and the time between dying and birthing. To do this we have to take all the skills and faculties that we have created as renaissance men modifying our outer environment and now modify our inner life. The inner life that we experience in our bodies is created by what we have inherited from our previous lives in bodies, the cultural education that we are inoculated with at this point in time, and the natural conditions that our bodies are constructed from. At this point in time our bodies are constructed from man-made conditions not natural conditions. The spiritual task that we all have right now is to reconstruct this inner life into something ideally human and healthy, because nothing that comes to us from these 3 sources, karma, culture, and man-made nature is ideally human or healthy anymore. It is all a big pile of shit.

            If you haven’t freed yourself from the bondage of your karmic debts, the bondage of your cultural education and the bondage of your man-made environment you don’t have anything that can be called freedom in a true sense. It is a false political promise that any form of government can give freedom. True freedom isn’t a political right that can be enforced by legally sanctioned police force. True freedom and all life, liberty, and happiness or (justice, brotherhood, and equality) that go with it only exists when one’s inner life is reconstructed to be free from the bondage of what exists in karma, culture and nature at this point in time.

            The good news is that there is nothing in the life of the body with its karmic, cultural, and natural faults that can block or prohibit one from doing the deeds that need to be done to reconstruct the inner life. Only the inner fear, scorn, and doubt of the individual can prohibit the individual from doing what needs to be done in the inner life of the human being at this point in time.

            People say I don’t have the time, my life is too complicated already, the path is too complicated, excuse, excuse …….Your spiritual life does not depend on any of these hinderances unless you personally decide of your own free will to make such a hindrance your own being.

            Here is a beautiful paragraph from ‘Knowledge of the| Higher Worlds and Its Attainment’ chapter one:
            *******************
            Now, the scope and significance of these facts must be realized. We must bear in mind that the higher man within us is in constant development. But only the state of calm and serenity here described renders an orderly development possible. The waves of outward life constrain the inner man from all sides if, instead of mastering this outward life, it masters him. Such a man is like a plant which tries to expand in a cleft in the rock and is stunted in its growth until new space is given it. No outward forces can supply space to the inner man. It can only be supplied by the inner calm which man himself gives to his soul. Outward circumstances can only alter the course of his outward life; they can never awaken the inner spiritual man. The student must himself give birth to a new and higher man within himself.
            *******************
            Wearing the right clothes, eating the right food, having the right social life, having the right architecture and artistic decoration of life, going to the right schools are important for the outer life but will never solve the problems of the inner life where all the greed and warring that stand behind climate change and war have their source in the fear, scorn, and doubt, karma, culture, and the anthropocene have created in our inner life. Economic, power, political power, and artistic power can’t touch what happens in the inner life of the individual. Only we ourselves get to decide what we ourselves are doing in our inner life. That is our true freedom. We can give ourselves freedom there or bondage. We can reach to human ideals there or fall to animal desires. Christ has entered the earth and given us that choice. Now archangel Michael has also left his spiritual abode on the sun and entered into earthly life and can guide us to uniting our personal intelligence with his universal cosmic intelligence. Our free choice. Take it or lose it. Real-i-ze it. Your inner life is already yours, free from outer control unless you make outer life more important than your inner life. This is the newest event in evolution. inner freedom is now available. Are you going to real-i-ze it or lose it.?

            If you want to real-i-ze it Steiner and Michael give minutely prescribed steps of spiritual activity to practice and construct in your thoughts and feelings with your own free will that lead to the light of Christ at the end of time and master all the darkness of the anti-Christ at the beginning of time. The darkness at the beginning of time is the source of all the crap that now exists in what comes to you from karma, culture and the anthropocene in your inner life now.

            Cheers,
            Manny

            Emanuel Blosser
            Edmonton Alberta
            EMANUEL984@aol.com

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            • Ton+Majoor

              ‘Steiner’s proposal is this. Your body is not your essential being.’

              Actually, Steiner proposed a human trichotomy, as quoted above: “… man has three sides to his nature. This and nothing else will, for the present, be indicated here by the three words, body, soul and spirit.”

              This human trichotomy is expressed as heredity, karma and reincarnation:

              “The course of man’s life between birth and death is determined in a threefold way. In consequence, he is dependent in a threefold way on factors that lie on the other side of birth and death. The body is subject to the law of heredity; the soul is subject to its self-created destiny. We call this destiny, created by man himself, his karma. The spirit is under the law of re-embodiment, repeated earth lives.” (GA009_c02)

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            • Ho’oponopono

              Dear Manny,

              Thank you so much for your answer. I really appreciate your time.

              You have mentioned:
              ‘If you want to real-i-ze it Steiner and Michael give minutely prescribed steps of spiritual activity to practice and construct in your thoughts and feelings with your own free will that lead to the light of Christ at the end of time and master all the darkness of the anti-Christ at the beginning of time.’

              Can you please describe what are those prescribed steps? Where should I start? Should it be the meditation from the Higher worlds or something else? How is your day in meditation look like? What steps, books, or chapters would you recommend to someone who is just starting out?

              At the moment I am having in my daily life I try to move around with awareness of The six basic exercises and in the evening I am reversing my day before sleep.

              God bless you and thank you in advance!
              Cheers

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  6. Nigel

    Also the breathing is only to help you get into the meditative state . Once in the state you should have subjects to meditate on . Which is what Steiner is referring to .

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  7. Emanuel Blosser

    Dear All,

    Steiner writes in ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and It Attainment’ in chapter 1 six carefully defined sets of thoughts and feelings to create a new self experience and proceed with that new self to do deeds on the earth that have cosmic evolutionary significance. The chapter ends with concentrating these thoughts and feelings down into a process that has 3 stages. The higher self can work upon the earth by preparing, enllightening, and initiating what it can see in the spiritual world. The text describes the birth of this second or higher self that can step forward and do such deeds as the fifth step after four prerequisites are established. The first of the four prerequisites for birth of the higher self is devotion to truth and knowledge where the ego steps out of the egoism of body bound sense life. The second is to enter the realm of living thoughts that release life forces by leaving the realm of dead thoughts that slay soul forces. The third is to establish the boundary of free will between what one individually knows and what one doesn’t know yet. The fourth is to divide the essential from the non-essential to create inner tranquility in bodily consciousness.

    When the ego has created these conditions for itself by willing the thoughts and feelings that are prescribed in the text, then it can separate from the body and become the higher self that is otherwise only awake during sleep and death. Death occurs when the ether body separates from the mineral body. Sleep occurs when the astral body separates from the ether body. The higher self that is awake during sleep and death can at this point in evolution wake up also when the ego separates from the astral body. This waking up by separating the ego from the astral body begins in very small moments set aside from the daily affairs of life. The higher self wakes in these moments and then sleeps again. As the ability to divide the essential from the non-essential to establish the boundary between what is known and what is still unknown by observing which thoughts release life forces and which slay soul forces to strengthen the devotion to truth and knowledge the higher self can stay awake for longer and longer moments. These moments of the higher self being awake when the body is also awake Steiner says is the life in mediation. He also says that nothing in the body’s activity or the outer world can support, assist, or effect this development of the life of the higher self in meditation.

    As these moments gain strength and duration the higher self can enter the trials that are described in the next section of the book. Before it can enter the trials there are four new developments for it to learn. First it has to concentrate the six steps of the first chapter into a working process within itself. Then it can learn the thoughts and feelings required to observe the forms of growth and decay and hear the spiritual words. Third it can learn to look at the three lower kingdoms of nature and see the three auric colors there. Forth it learns the thoughts and feelings required to see the flame of life and the flame of consciousness in the human bodies. Then it can enter the fire trial where it learns to see the future karmic debt that needs to be satisfied by reading the occult script that shows in the words that are heard in the forms of growth and decay, the colors that are seen in the lower kingdoms of nature, and the flames of life and consciousness. Then it is prepared for the water trial where it learns to do the deeds that these forms, colors, and tones say need to be done. Once it learns the certainty required to read and do these deeds then it can graduate to the air trial where it has to do the deeds out of its own certainty without the guidance of the forms, colors, and tones of the occult script. Then it graduates to the temple of wisdom.

    More work is required for it strengthen the duration of its separation from the astral body in the temple of wisdom. The chapters continue through the Practical Aspects, Conditions, and Results. Then further recapitulates are described in the chapters on Transformation of the Dream Life, Continuity of Consciousness, and Splitting of the Personality where these realities grow and deepen. Then the final judgements are made by the two Guardians as to whether the higher self is mature enough to take over their work in the evolution of the cosmos and the enoblement of the human being. Then the separation between the ego and the astral body can be maintained continually so the the higher self can work as an eternal universal Christ being directly into the individuality of the other three bodies with spiritual purpose transforming the kingdoms of nature giving life to the dead minerals, consciousness to the sleeping plants, and self-conscious ego to the animals raising them up a step on the evolutionary sequence so that on the future Jupiter evolution of the earth there is no dead mineral kingdom.

    That was all written out in the necessary and sufficient detail beginning in 1904 and last edited in 1918. Then in 1924, Michael appears in the School of Spiritual Science. In Michael’s words the six steps of chapter 1 and all the steps up to the temple of wisdom, and then up through the chapter on splitting of the personality are concentrated down into two mantric stanzas that take us up to meeting the judgement of the lower guardian that shows us our true being and the greater guardian that show us our ideal image. The first lesson gives the mantra that says look at the four kingdoms of nature, the living colors, the lifeless forms, the sentient joys, and the human bodies. Feel the wisdom, beauty and majesty there. Know that within all that wisdom, beauty, and majesty there is nothing that can answer the questions of who I am and was and will become anymore. These questions have become completely dark and cold and separated from all that wisdom, beauty, and majesty. Karma, culture, and nature have turned our three soul forces into beasts that have nothing to do with the wisdom, beauty, and majesty that nature presents to our senses. They fear creative spirit being, scorn spirit revelation, and doubt the power of spirit light. This is our true being at this point in evolution.

    Merde. Pardon my French.

    But there is now the light shining from the future in the words that Steiner spoke from Michael giving us the words of the greater guardian describing our ideal image there in the future at the end of time. Contrary to modern materialistic science based on isolated dead phenomena measured and modeled with mathematical calculations, time has an end and a beginning. But right now we’re in the middle, turning away from all that began in darkness and turning to what needs to be created to get to the end in the light of Christ.

    Michael says that the guardian says that the guardian is the only messenger that can lead to the light at end of time from this dark dangerous dumb dead dungeon we are stuck in. If the lower self takes hold of such an ‘only’ statement then it becomes just another egotistical rant. But if we enter fully into this feeling of isolation and separation from the wisdom, beauty, and majesty that is all around us but not in our inner being, then the ego separates from the astral body and is no longer bound to being egotistical. If it does that without the guiding words of the guardian then it will lose itself in nothingness. Instead it can follow the words of Steiner in ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment’ or ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’. Both also guide the ego out of the body into stable reality outside the body, but modern life doesn’t give a time and place for all those details to be constructed. Michael revealing the words of the guardian directly, shorten the path. It can start now. It is still a long path that leads step by step through three future evolutions of the earth to the end of time. But to get there we need to start now creating separation between the ego and the astral body so that the higher self with its universal and eternal life can begin the long path of becoming active in the transitory world of space and time. Michael’s words give us the idea that space is at this point in evolution devoid of soul and that thought loses its living force in the destruction stream of time.

    The famous words ‘one small step for man, one giant step for mankind’ also apply to the ego separating from the astral body. It begins with one small step. The Michael words say, ‘with anxious seeking soul we turn to the light which from darkness takes its strength.’

    Sincerely,
    Manny

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    • Ton Majoor

      These 3 stages preparing, enlightening, and initiating in KOHW correspond to the Rosicrucian Estimation, Imagination and Inspiration, leaving Steiner’s 4th principle of Intuition (Preparing the Philosopher’s Stone) out. GA266/19080412 and GA015_c02:

      “A person who is able to look into the spiritual world is called esoterically a “clairvoyant,” but merely to be clairvoyant is not enough, for such a man might be able to see well enough although unable to discriminate. He who has acquired the faculty of distinguishing the various beings and events of higher worlds, is called an “Initiate,” Initiation brings with it the possibility of distinguishing between different kinds of beings.”

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  8. Jeff

    I would like to draw attention to three things at this point: Firstly, that this stream of contributions began with Jeremy’s declaration that he felt himself a failure in certain respects. I think we can all agree that this is an important part of ‘knowing thy self’ – in fact the beginning. Secondly that, since now that wisdom from the First Class Lessons is being offered as well as from Knowledge of Higher Worlds, one great difference between these two presentations of the path – besides the fact that one was given at the very beginning of Steiner’s public esoteric work and the other at the very end – is that allusion to the Guardian comes at the very end of KHW but at the very beginning of the Class. (Thus, either Steiner was saving this for the end or he learned something new along his journey.) Thirdly, that our lower Guardian IS our lower self (“your likeness manifesting you”); your present, earthly, normal, actual ‘lower’ self, who is your guide and your protector on the journey of discovering first the beings of your ‘elemental’ self then the beings of your ‘higher’ self. In relation to this third point I would like to offer a quote that can help clarify this:

    “In every esoteric development it is specially important that everything should be so adjusted that two things that man has in ordinary life should not be lost — which he might however very easily lose in esoteric development if not rightly guided. If rightly guided he will not lose them. First, he should not lose the recollection of any of the events of his present incarnation, as ordinarily retained in his memory. The connection with memory must not be destroyed. This connection with memory means very much more in the sphere of occultism than it does in the sphere of ordinary life. In ordinary life we only understand by memory, the power of looking back and not losing consciousness of the important events of one’s life. In occultism a right memory means that a man only values with his perceptions and feelings what he has already accomplished in the past, so that he applies no other value to himself or to his deeds than the past deeds themselves entitle. Let us understand this quite correctly, for this is extremely important. If a man in the course of his occult development were suddenly driven to say to himself “I am the reincarnation of this or the other spirit,” — without there being any justification for it through any action of his — then his memory in an occult sense would be interrupted. An important principle in occult development is that of attributing no other merit to oneself, than what comes from one’s actions in the physical world in the present incarnation. That is extremely important. Any other merit must only come on the basis of a higher development, which can only be attained if one first of all stands firmly on the ground that one esteems oneself for nothing but what one has accomplished in this incarnation. This is quite natural if we look at the matter objectively; for what we have accomplished in the present incarnation is also the result of earlier incarnations; it is that which Karma has, so far, made out of us. What Karma is still making of us we must first bring about; we must not add that to our value. In short, if we would set a right value on ourselves, we can only do so, at the beginning of esoteric development, if we ascribe merit only to what is inscribed in our memory as our past. That is the one element which we must preserve, if our ego is not to sleep while our astral body is awake. The second thing which we as men of the present day must not lose is the degree of conscience we possess in the external world. Here again is something which it is extremely important to observe. You must have often experienced that someone you know has gone through an occult development, and if it is not guided and conducted in the right way, you find that, in relation to conscience, your friend takes things much more lightly than he did before his occult training. His education, his social connection guided him before, so that he did this thing or that, or dared not do it. After beginning an occult development, many people begin to tell lies who never did so before, and as regards questions of conscience, they take things more lightly. We ought not to lose an iota of the conscience we possess. As regards memory, we must only value ourselves according to what we have already become; not according to any reliance on the future, or on what we are still going to do. As regards conscience, we must retain the same degree as we acquired in the ordinary physical world. If we retain these two elements in our consciousness: a healthy memory which does not deceive us into believing ourselves to be other than our actions prove us to be, and a conscience which does not allow us morally to take things more lightly than before, — indeed if possible we should take them more seriously — if we retain these two qualities, our ego will never be asleep when our astral body is awake.” R.S. GA136

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  9. Jeremy, I admire and applaud your self-realization of becoming an abject failure at anthroposophy. But I also cringe at the self-flagellation caused by your self-abnegation. I can do so because I’ve “been-there/done-that” myself, having spent 3 decades of my own life (1976-2006) similarly beating myself up over my own failures as an anthroposophist.

    How did I turn it all around? With the hindsight of 15 years, I can distill my experience into one sentence. I simply reversed cause and effect. And it worked!

    So therefore please allow my own empathetic “mirror neurons” (OK, etheric body) to reflect my own experience back to you. And just as a mirror reflects left & right, may this question I leave you with inspire you also to reverse cause and effect.

    Jeremy Smith! What if anthroposophy has failed you?

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  10. Emanuel Blosser

    Dear Jeff,

    You write, ” (Thus, either Steiner was saving this for the end or he learned something new along his journey.)”

    My point was that the class lessons don’t begin with meeting the two guardians. The first lesson condenses and concentrates all that is covered in the chapters of ‘Knowledge of Higher Worlds and Its Attainment’ before the last two, into 4 thoughts and feelings about the 4 kingdoms of the sense world and 4 thoughts and feelings about our soul life in relationship to the sense world. Both the set of instructions in all the chapters on the path of knowledge and the set of 8 thoughts and feelings lead to exactly the same place. The later is a condensed and concentrated version of the earlier.

    How did this concentration occur? There was the Great War that was the war to end all wars and was called a world war because it threatened to end civilization as we know it. Human consciousness expanded. There was a step forward in evolution. After the war, it was both possible and necessary to condense and concentrate the instructions. If culture had accepted and recognized the instructions as they were published in 1894 in the ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’, then again in 1902 in ‘Theosophy’, then again in 1904 in republishing the essays of ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment’ as a single text, and then again in 1909 in ‘Occult Science: An Outline’, culture could have evolved without the destruction of a world war.

    But the forces of destruction still ruled in culture and the Geotheanum was burned and Steiner was no longer supported in his bodily incarnation. The forces of destruction continued to work and gave us world war 2, then the cold war, and now the war on war also called the war on terror. It should be called the war on truth because war can’t stop war. Terrorists become terrorists for the same reason that the Minute Men went to war in 1776. Their ideals and livelihood of bodily existence were threatened with extinction

    The big question remains unanswered. Can culture evolve without killing millions of human bodies in a war? The sense world demonstrates that evolution has occurred. Advanced life forms have evolved from older less developed forms. Modern culture is dominated by the idea that this occurred through the random accumulation of molecular structures that happened to find the right conditions to become emerging complex systems that then become survivalists. The biggest bully wins.

    I’m sorry but I don’t see any rock or corpse demonstrating any activity that can be called evolutionary. Evolution is a property of objects in the sense world that are living. Living is something entirely unique from dead corpse material. I can not buy into the idea that life has its source in the same place as rocks and dirt. I see life taking up rock and dirt and making it do things it would never do on its own and then when the life is over and the forces of rockness are left on their on there is destruction of what was created. The current dominate paradigm that matter is composed of protons, neutrons, and electrons and then is further reduced to charge, mass, and energy can’t possibly allow life to have another source than matter.

    If life is real and something different than matter then matter can’t be what the model of the periodic table says it is. That model gives human beings huge power to make matter do things it won’t do on its own. But it doesn’t give us the power to create life which is also a power that makes matter do things it wouldn’t do on its own.

    The tools of measurement, mathematical thought, and isolated experimentation can’t create life, can’t make matter to the things that life makes matter do. One philosophical response to these facts is to conclude that human knowledge is limited. We can’t know such things about life and simply have to trust a creator of some sort. Steiner says another possibility is to separate the ego from the rest of the bodily organization as the ego does when the body sleeps and when the body enters its corpse consciousness. To do this there is a precise set of thoughts and feelings that when willed by the ego into bodily consciousness keep the body alive and awake while the ego is in the 2 realms of reality outside the earthly realm of dead matter. In one of those realms, the soul world, our individuality has its source. In the other of those realms, the spirit world, the universal and eternal truths of life have their source. Further, the set of thoughts and feelings that need to be willed into the body for these realms to become as real as the sense/corpse realm while the body is not a corpse or asleep can be learned by everyone who has evolved to the advancement of having learned to read, write, and do arithmetic.

    The new step in evolution is that the archangel Michael has appeared and entered directly into culture, speaking in the language of the earth. Michael appears and says, “I want to do this training of thought and feeling directly in an earthly school. I want to teach directly my cosmic, universal, and eternal intelligence to human beings while they are in their earthly bodies. Here is the ideal that you can become. Here is the true image of the crap that you are now. And here are the steps that you need to do to get from the crap stage to the ideal stage.” So all that Steiner wrote out in the details of preparation, enlightenment, and initiation to meet the two guardians is now condensed and concentrated into 8 thoughts and feelings. Michael did that, not Steiner. Evolution has happened. The later higher form of life has grown out of the earlier lower form of life. Now the spirits in east, west, north, and south have heard it. When are human beings going to hear it?

    The Michael School is based on the Foundation Stone. Spiritual activity has now united itself with exoteric reality. The guardians can be met and known. Their judgements of what we have to make of ourselves in order to pass the threshold from the sense world to the soul world and then from the soul world into the spirit world can be known, understood, and become actions of our personal intelligence, personal experience, and personal deeds. I can know and unite my individuality with Michael’s universal and eternal cosmic intelligence and work upon the earth as the higher self that I am when my body is asleep and when my body is a corpse.

    Then you write about the lower guardian. The correct description of the lower guardian is it is the being that is the collected result of all our previous deeds on the earth, good and bad. When we incarnate into the earthly body it binds our soul forces of thinking, feeling, and willing together into the forms required by all that history. The body then gives us self-consciousness of what all the history contains. We’ve all done more destruction than construction. This self-consciousness is our lower self. The lower guardian is not our lower self. It is the being that keeps our nose on the grindstone guiding us to keep looking at all the debt of destruction we have accumulated.

    In the cycles of sleeping and waking, dying and birthing, we have been going from lower self to higher self back and forth. Lower self awake and alive in the earthly body. Higher self in the living spiritual world. In between there is the threshold from the earthly world to the soul world and then from the soul world to the living spirit world. The lower guardian judges what we have in our self that is devoted to the sense world and can only live there and so can’t enter into the conditions of the soul world. The greater guardian judges what we have accumulated that can contribute to the living spirit world and can live there solving the cosmic problems that exist there. Thus far as Ton contributes in another post the laws of heredity on the earth, of karma in the soul, and or reincarnation in the spirit have created our being as we find ourselves at this point in evolution. We have our body on the earth, our 3 soul forces that have their source in each of the 3 worlds (thinking in the living spirit, feeling in the soul judgements, and willing in the earthly deeds of evolution(, and we have our lower and higher selves. All this have been created and is now mature to meet and turn at the singularity where it becomes a self creative being.

    The artificial intelligence nerds think that they can create out of material substance of charge, mass, and energy a computer that will become self-creative and have named this turning point the singularity. Steiner and Michael say that human beings are the beings that are destined to become self-creative through the higher self creating soul forces that can incarnate directly into the earthly heredity without that heredity going through the corpse stage of evolution. No more killing wars in other words. No more acting out on the earth.

    Sound interesting? Want to know more? Steiner and Michael say this is possible and describe the exact thoughts and feelings that have to be created to make this real.

    Sincerely,
    Manny

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  11. Lin

    Dear Jeremy,
    Maybe all the responses to your humble admittance are fine in their own way,
    however, I cannot read them. When I look at your blog now I feel uncomfortable and sad. It is like reading on-line posts or comments from Christians or who-evers where they begin quoting from the Bible to show you and everyone else The Way. And then off they go quoting and instructing to the responses of the responses. Conversation possibly, but not my cup of tea.
    Previously I have always been able to read your posts and gain something fine and good from them. We have a myriad of different ways to live Anthroposophy.Some live their Anthroposophy more in head knowledge and esoteric meditation. It seems you have chosen to live yours fully in the world of caring for your aged community, and also by sharing thoughtful insights with us all on your blog. I sense yours has been a living hands- on spirit in action life, deeply worthy as a path.
    I live on the other side of the world and have been involved in Anthroposophy for over 40 years. I discovered your blog in covid lock-down last year and it has been such a breath of fresh air on the internet. Please I beseech you continue doing your good work, and with small steps focus your daily will into a “simple” activity of observation and reflection, and lo, “all manner of things shall be well.”
    A recommendation : On Project Gutenberg there is a copy of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s story “The Land of the Blue Flower”. Definitely worth a read in this context. All the best with everything,
    and good will to you, and all who care.

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    • Thank you so much, Lin, for your encouraging words. I do sometimes feel that I should continue to write the occasional post, for example to give an anthroposophical perspective on world events, rather than on the deeply esoteric side of anthroposophy to which, as you know from my past post, I have little personal access. Best wishes, Jeremy

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  12. Ton+Majoor

    Steiner has often described the mystical stages of the ‘path of feeling’, the ‘Christian-gnostic path’, i.e. meditating on the Logos in the five opening verses of the Gospel of John:

    “… after meditating again on the five opening verses, the pupil allows the first chapter to pass through his mind for seven days. During the following week, after again meditating on the five opening verses, he goes on to the second chapter, and so in the same way up to the twelfth. He will soon learn how powerful an experience this is; how he is led into the events in Palestine when Christ Jesus lived there, as they are inscribed in the Akashic Record, and how he can actually experience it all.” (cf. von Halle)

    https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0095/19060903p01.html

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