Michaelmas – the Festival of Fearlessness

This is the text of an address given as part of the Anthroposophical Society in Sussex’s Michaelmas Festival, held at Emerson College in the UK on Sunday 25th September 2022.

I’m sure we can all agree that Anthroposophy is not always easy to understand; and one of the concepts that I personally have struggled to get to grips with is that of what Steiner calls the cosmic intelligence. According to Rudolf Steiner, the archangel Michael, the great Sun Spirit whose Festival we are celebrating today, was the regent of this cosmic intelligence. 

As far as I can tell, what Steiner means by the cosmic intelligence is the revelation of divine thinking in this world and beyond; what he would call the world-thinking of the spiritual hierarchies that gives rise to world-thought, and which is the original source of our own thinking, our earthly-human intelligence. In other words, there is a divine ordering of everything that reveals itself through the whole cosmos. The spiritual hierarchies shape this world thinking in their interactions and in their relationships with one another. And it was the task of Michael to send this cosmic intelligence into the souls of human beings and it was the task of human beings to order life on Earth in accordance with it, as far as we are able to understand it. 

Shakespeare put this very well, when he had Hamlet say to Horatio: “There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough-hew them how we will.” I like that image, which comes from carpentry or building, in which the shape of the divine idea survives, despite the imperfect attempts of human beings to hack it about with crude tools.

After the crucifixion of Christ, that pivotal event of world history which Steiner calls the turning point of time and the Mystery of Golgotha, Michael gradually gave up his role as regent of the cosmic intelligence. This is another idea that I find difficult: Steiner says that in those early times when a human being became aware of thoughts, that is, intelligent content, within himself, then he did not regard these thoughts as his own, but as the thoughts revealed to him through the power of the gods.  I’m referring here, of course, to what Steiner called ‘living thinking’ rather than the more mundane kind of thoughts, like “What do I fancy for dinner tonight?”. Living thoughts are those which fire you up to do something or understand something, and which require you to exercise your will to bring them about. But responsibility for this living thinking, this divinely inspired thought content, gradually fell away from Michael over many centuries and came over to us human beings. This process of the descent of intelligence from the Sun to the Earth was largely completed, so Steiner tells us, between the 9th and 14th centuries AD. From that time on, people began to develop their own intelligence, and intelligence took up residence in the souls of human beings – so instead of us having the sense that the Gods had imparted their living thoughts to us, we began to feel that these thoughts were created out of our own selves. It’s not so, of course – it is a materialist illusion that we originate living thinking out of ourselves. What actually happens is that through our human thinking we bring into our consciousness the thoughts which are already part of the world because the spiritual hierarchies have already thought them into existence.

As I say, I find this concept quite difficult to understand – but what I can understand is that Michael, just like us human beings, is in an evolutionary process. He does not stand still but he evolves and progresses. Through the crucifixion of Christ, Michael himself went through a huge transformation. From Golgotha onwards, Michael became the ‘countenance of Christ’ or the face of Christ, the one who stands before Christ, the source of our spiritual freedom. We already know that through the event of Golgotha came the possibility for every human being on earth to become a free bearer of the I, that immortal part of us which goes with us from incarnation to incarnation. After Golgotha, what had previously only occurred through initiation in ancient cultures was now possible for each and every one of us. But what also occurred was that with freedom, human beings became apparently separate from the cosmic intelligence and were able to pursue not only their good ideas and benevolent intentions but also the shadow side of their desires and to follow false modes of thinking. I don’t think it’s too extravagant a statement to say that it is this freedom to follow false paths which has brought us to our present existential crisis, in which it appears that the Earth is destined to become an overheated wasteland and human beings are persuaded to live their lives in electronically generated worlds of illusion. The ecological crisis and the multiple other crises confronting humanity are at root just one crisis, that of our human consciousness. The state of the outer world is a direct reflection of the state of the human soul.

Many of us seem to have forgotten or never to have known, that the Earth, not some other planet, is the setting for the evolution of humanity and the natural kingdoms associated with it. Instead, some of our most prominent public figures are chasing entirely illusory goals, that could only come from being totally divorced from Nature and spiritual reality. There’s the American inventor, Ray Kurzweil, for example, who is Google’s leading futurologist, who has invested $200,000 with a cryonics company so that he can be frozen in liquid nitrogen as soon as he dies, in the weird belief that science in the future may be able to bring his dead body back to life. If he studied Rudolf Steiner instead, he would know that he is already immortal! And then there’s Elon Musk, who is currently throwing a network of 42,000 satellites around the world, and who believes the Earth will eventually become uninhabitable (partly due to his efforts, no doubt) so he thinks we must now make preparations to leave Earth and find another planet to live on; and to Elon Musk, Mars seems to be the best option. People who think like this, who have a vision of turning the Earth into a vast electrical machine and creating a technologically enhanced humanity that will eventually abandon this planet altogether, are clearly not in touch with Michael or the cosmic intelligence. One can imagine that their thinking is influenced by another being altogether, who works through inducing fear and whose incarnation is supposed to be imminent.

And we are all fearful now, aren’t we? Wherever we look in the world, people everywhere are living in fear. We’re fearful on both personal and planetary levels.  Can we survive on an overheating planet, with pandemics, food shortages, floods and droughts, mass migration, deranged dictators, wars and the possibility of nuclear annihilation? Where do we turn? Here in the UK, our faith is failing in all the public institutions we used to look to for support to get us through crises, whether it’s the NHS, the police, government, the armed services, Post Office, or the Church. 

And on a personal level, we worry whether will we have enough money to heat our homes and put food on the table.  We ask ourselves whether it is fair to bring children into a world like this.  These kinds of fear are what one might expect as preparations to soften us up for the incarnation of Ahriman, which Steiner tells us is due before the first third of this millennium is over. We also know that whoever emerges from all of this as a kind of solution to world problems will be the Antichrist, yet nevertheless this person will be greeted by most people as a saviour – and those of us who take leave to doubt it will be reviled and hated for it.

How did we get into such a situation? Steiner has described how what he called the “War in Heaven” took place between 1841 and 1879. This battle was waged between angels of the higher hierarchies and some of the spirits of darkness, and it ended with these spirits of darkness being cast down from the spiritual world to the earth. This made the heavens free of these beings but had the unfortunate effect of making the earth full of them. This has led on to what is surely the most terrible period in the whole of human history in terms of war, famine, genocide, climate catastrophe, unimaginable cruelties and multiple other causes of human misery.

Why did this happen? According to Steiner, these spirits of darkness wanted to be able to prevent the spiritual wisdom, which was due to be revealed from the 20th century onwards, from flowing into human souls. Only by the removal of these hindering beings from the spiritual realm could our human hearts and minds begin to open to receive from the angels the spiritual knowledge for which we are destined – but the corollary of this was that the opposing spirits of darkness are now here on earth and in fact living within the feeling, will and mind impulses of each one of us, where they make it their business to spread confusion and to prevent human understanding of spiritual truths.

It was the Archangel Michael who won the War in Heaven and I have sometimes felt that Michael has placed an appalling burden on humanity by casting down the spirits of darkness to find their new dwelling-place within human beings; but in my wiser moments, I can see that this has in fact been a necessary but very difficult chapter in the evolution of human freedom. 

And I can also see that, by handing over his role as administrator of the cosmic intelligence to human beings, Michael is creating another very difficult situation for us – but he is doing this in order to progress human evolution towards our ultimate goal of becoming the Tenth Hierarchy. Our destiny, way into the future and after aeons of evolution, is to become what Steiner calls the Tenth Hierarchy of angels and, as the Spirit of Freedom and Love, to imbue the cosmos with completely new qualities. But on the way to that goal, because we are free but not necessarily wise, the failings of our lower human nature such as selfishness and greed inevitably come to the fore and our thinking and actions are therefore wrested away from our own best interests.

According to Rudolf Steiner, the goal of the Earth’s evolution is to become the Cosmos of Love, for its spiritual mission is to bring love into the world. For this it needs the human being, who here on Earth develops his independent I. For the bearer of love can only be a being that is able to give itself away of its own free will. The prerequisites for this were created by the incarnation of the Christ on Earth and the Mystery of Golgotha.

Steiner made statements about Michael from the early years of his activity – in 1907, for example, he once called participants of an esoteric school “the pupils of Michael”. But it wasn’t until July 1924, just nine months before he died, that Rudolf Steiner described the way in which such pupils were instructed centuries before in the heavenly realms. In particular, he described how in between what in our earthly time reckoning we would call the 15th and 18th centuries, Michael taught a huge number of unborn human souls and even the heavenly hierarchies. What Michael was teaching in this school was how in ancient cultures people were initiated into how to direct life on earth in the right ways. 

This is the fundamental question which Michael addressed in his heavenly school. It is also the question of our time and for the future– how can human beings direct life on earth in the right ways? If you read Rudolf Steiner’s descriptions of the Michael school in the heavenly realms, it may make it possible for a spiritual memory to awaken, something like a faint realisation that we, too, were present at this Michael school in the world of spirit. 

And if as anthroposophists we were indeed pupils in the heavenly Michael school, we can fill our I that is pre-destined for freedom with the great ideal of a new, renewed culture. We can do this because we will have a real spiritual knowing that what Michael teaches us is true. This gives us both the courage and the will to deal with all the fearful manifestations of evil that this age is forcing in upon us and it can also help us direct our deeds on earth so as to serve our fellow human beings and all life.

Steiner said: “Michael is a strange being (…) who does not actually reveal anything unless one brings something to him out of active spiritual work from the Earth. Michael is a silent spirit. Michael is a closed spirit within himself. (…) Michael is actually most concerned with what people create out of the spiritual. He lives in the consequences of what people have created. But Michael is not only a closed, silent spirit, Michael, by approaching man, does so with a clear rejection of much that man still lives in on Earth today.” 

It’s also clear that it is now up to all of us – we cannot expect Michael or the spiritual hierarchies to intervene to save us. Because the reality is that it is human beings themselves who have taken over the cosmic intelligence and who now have to work out how to get ourselves out of the mess we have made of the world. But we are not powerless, quite the contrary. My wife Sophia recently reminded me of something that the late Nick Thomas, the former general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain, had told us.  Nick said that in the Old Mysteries, the phrase “As Above, So Below” was operational, meaning that the hierarchies directed their intentions to human beings on Earth. But now, he said, in the New Mysteries mankind is in the driving seat and the phrase has become “As Below, So Above”. If we pray and act for peace, if we direct our will with the intention of seeing a planet of peace and harmony, then the hierarchies are constrained to respond positively and meet us halfway. What then emerges upwards from the earth is destined to become a wholly positive reality. This is a kind of new spiritual power that can be implemented by each of us as individuals and within groups.

We are living in unprecedented times but despite this I’m not at all pessimistic about the future. There are many, many individuals and organisations around the world who are responding positively and creatively to the challenges of our times. Whether they realise it or not, all these individuals and organisations are imbued with the Michaelic impulse.  We also see this here in Forest Row, for example, which is the home of several of these initiatives that are full of future, to use a phrase from Ita Wegman. Here we are in Emerson College, which if it is able to fulfil its destiny will be an important component of an emerging global learning community where people around the world can find, share and generate connection, culture, ideas, practices, resources, wellbeing, healing and meaning, which will in turn lead us to a future worthy of human beings. 

Steiner described how we should celebrate the Michaelmas Festival with fearlessness– and this, I think, is very relevant to our situation today. This is what he said:

“Human beings must learn to celebrate the Michaelmas festival by making it a festival of fearlessness, a festival of inner initiative and inner strength (…) and selfless self-awareness. Experience how in this autumn Michaelmas festival all that is to grow in you which is to develop against comfort, against timidity, but towards inner initiative, towards the free, strong, brave will in the human being, (…), a festival which renews the whole inner human being. That is what the Michael Festival must become if it is to be worthily used.”

We are of course in a Michael Age, which runs from 1879 to around 2300 AD. The special significance of the Michael Age for us is that Michael is ascending from the Archangelic rank to the rank of Archai, a so-called Zeitgeist or Spirit of the Age who can thereby stimulate a spiritual deepening of all humanity that transcends all peoples and will help in that quest to renew the whole inner human being. Steiner tells us that each of the most highly evolved archangels or Time Spirits has a regency or developmental period lasting from about 300 to 350 years’ duration. The previous age up until 1879 was that of Gabriel and the one after the present age of Michael will be that of Oriphiel. Oriphiel is also called by Rudolf Steiner the Angel of Wrath, who purifies humanity with a strong hand. He was the leading Archangel at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha and he will again be the leading Archangel after the Michael-time has completed. 

Steiner says, and no doubt he is speaking here of anthroposophists and other people of goodwill: “Whoever today, under Michael’s rule, feels the urge to participate in the spiritual life, is called to serve the Archangel Michael and to learn under him, so that he may one day be mature enough to serve the terrible Oriphiel in the right way. (…) In four to six hundred years, the small group of people who are being prepared today will serve God Oriphiel, so that humanity may be saved.”

Almost one hundred years ago, on September 28th 1924 Rudolf Steiner had to end his lecturing activity because of his increasing physical illness and exhaustion. He concluded the final lecture of his life, with a verse dedicated to the archangel Michael, the guardian spirit of anthroposophy. Here is the last stanza of that verse, which is addressed to all anthroposophists:

“You, the pupils of spirit knowledge,

Take up Michael’s wise direction,

Take up the word of love of the will of worlds

Actively into your souls’ high aims.”

This was a direct instruction to us. “Take up the word of love of the will of worlds Actively into your soul’s high aims.” Steiner then spent part of the remaining six months of his life revealing astonishingly profound and diverse insights about anthroposophy and Michael. Despite his illness, Steiner wrote down these insights, in a series of weekly essays which he continued without interruption until his death, and which we can read today in the book ‘Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts’. For those of you who are members of the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science, you will know that Steiner’s death prevented him from bringing the content of the Second and Third Classes. My sense is that the content of the Second Class and maybe some of the Third Class, can be found in these Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts.

Steiner described and here he is obviously referring to himself, “Those persons who can see the supersensible world bordering next upon the visible world, perceive Michael and those belonging to him engaged in what they would like to do for humanity. Such persons see how — through the picture of Michael in Ahriman’s sphere — man is to be led in freedom away from Ahriman to Christ.” Perhaps the most significant phrase in that sentence are the two words “in freedom”. It is the free choice of each one of us to decide which path to follow.

When my courage falters, and I am overwhelmed by the state of the world, I try to remember those words, which are surely a solemn promise to all of us: Man is to be led in freedom away from Ahriman to Christ.

Thank you for listening.

42 Comments

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42 responses to “Michaelmas – the Festival of Fearlessness

  1. Thank you Jeremy. Beautiful and inspiring. I deeply appreciate it.

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  2. Julia Harrington

    Thank you so much. Your words always bring clarity to me.

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  3. anthonykmdouglass

    Thank you for this, Jeremy. For myself it was perfect timing.

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  4. Cathrine De Danann

    Jeremy, you are back…………. thank you for your wonderful words. It would be lovely to hear of your journey over the past couple of years during your hiatus from posting on Anthropopper. I have missed your posts.

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  5. Manny Blosser

    Hi Jeremy, You don’t claim to be the author of this text nor give a credit so I’ll respond impersonally. The second paragraph diverges hugely from what Steiner wrote in his first 4 philosophical texts about his study of human thinking and its source. In the last of these 4 texts Steiner moved forward from thinking about thinking and knowledge to thinking about feeling and willing and how to have objective knowledge of these human faculties. In the first 5 chapters of his ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’ he refines his previous descriptions and conclusions that human thinking can’t possibly have its source in the human body but rather stops the activity of the bodily organization so that it can appear. In chapter 9 he reiterates this with the statement that thinking is a purely spiritual activity in a purely spiritual realm. The 2nd paragraph of this text imagines that human thinking is a less than spiritual activity that tries to copy the intelligence of a greater spiritual being. As the rest of the text describes that not only seems to be but by the logic of ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’ can be concluded actually is an impossible to achieve premise. Human knowledge depends upon a perceptual content that is personally perceived being united through the self activity of a personal self-consciousness with a conceptual content that is personally thought, and then is accumulated in the soul as a mental picture so that any other human being who creates within themselves the same conditions of percept, self-activity, and concept can arrive at the same mental picture. The 2nd paragraph of this text presents a relationship with a universal intelligence that can’t possibly satisfy these requirements so that can’t possibly be what Steiner is talking about when he speaks about universal knowledge.

    When Steiner speaks about thinking being a purely spiritual activity in a purely spiritual realm he means your thinking is a purely spiritual activity in a purely spiritual realm and is not the product of the electrical activity in your bodily organization. He uses the example of foot prints on a beach to illustrate his point. If one finds footprints in the sand one does not look for the source of those formations in the sand but looks around for the being that made the impressions. So thinking makes impressions on the brain and we have to look for the being that makes such impressions. Since Steiner’s time brain study has focused on all the electrical activity that is detectable there. Dementia patients have decreased electrical activity. From the point of view of reincarnation that would mean that the being that makes those impressions has partly left the body.

    In the later chapters of the book Steiner thinks about feeling and willing. In feeling he finds there is a characterological disposition that doesn’t have its source in objective thought. In willing he finds a creative activity of purpose that creates evolution, value, and transforms generic qualities into individual variations on earth in the body out of its moral activity in the universal thought realm. The only way for thoughts to get from the universal field of knowledge down into the brain of a body on earth is for the individual identity to leave the body cross the soul land described in the book ‘Theosophy’ and live with the archetypes described in the spirit land of that book until the right time and place for the next evolutionary step to take place on earth to be done by that individuality comes round and then form it back down to the earth through the hierarchies and the elements and the kingdoms of nature to make an impression on a particular brain body.

    If all one has as consciousness of thinking is the impressions that appear in the brain then one has no knowledgeable consciousness of the other 2 worlds and can only have vague feelings that such worlds might exist and can only make vague imaginations about those worlds such as the 2nd paragraph of this text presents as a premise about how to have a relationship with it.

    When ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’ asks at the very beginning, ‘do I have free will or are my actions necessitated by iron will of natural law?’, it is asking the same question that Michael brings in the first lesson of the first class, ‘who I am and was and will become?’ I have been created by beings other than myself. I am now a creative being. I with this creativity I can rise up and become one of the beings that created me. We will be the spiritual beings that create the 3 future incarnations of the evolving earth. Know thyself.

    Cheers,
    Manny

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  6. Thank you for breaking your silence.
    A message of hope in a time of confusion.

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  7. Joining in the thanks for this thoughtful essay.

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  8. bresbo

    Hi Jeremy

    Nice to see you back in print.

    You wrote:- “it is a materialist illusion that we originate living thinking out of ourselves.” and that it’s difficult to appreciate how thoughts originate from outside of our thinking minds.

    I’m not sure it’s a materialist illusion, rather a real, albeit illusory, quality of our current state of consciousness. However, there are exercises for helping to overcome this illusion. One in particular I have worked with for many years, and find especially effective. The first aphorism in “The Threshold of the Spiritual World” (GA#17) entitled “Trust in Thinking” is a short meditative essay that if practised well leads to a direct experience of “it is not merely I who think, for it thinks in me – world-becoming expresses itself in me and my soul provides only the stage upon which the world lives as thought”.

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  9. Judith

    Wonderful to receive a post from you Jeremy, I am so overjoyed that you are back! I am writing from my distant outpost here in north-eastern Poland, and I have missed your posts. Oringinally from the UK citizen, I have chosen to live here (on and off since about 1992), this beautiful, peaceful area now known as the Front Line (or Eastern Flank) of Nato. Since the time of the Ukraine war outbreak (our neighbour) and the atrocities that have followed, I have found comfort, solace, strength and hope in daily morning ‘participation’ in the Classes of Steiner’s Esoteric School of Spiritual Science. I will be taking up your advice and reading through the book, “Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts” , to try to gain more insights from Steiner’s profound work in the Three Classes that he created. Looking forward to more future posts full of your insights and heart-felt hope. Wishing you much love, light and health.

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  10. Good to see you’re back Jeremy, and thanks very much!

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  11. Ton Majoor

    ‘the incarnation of Ahriman, which Steiner tells us is due before the first third of this millennium is over’

    Indeed, Lazaridès (2022) argues that the third millennium and thus the incarnation of Ahriman/Sorat will take place in 2033. But he leaves out Steiner’s remark that “The third millennium begins with the year 2000, so it is only a short time ahead of us.” (GA0182/19181009).

    “En bref, le 3e millénaire chrétien proprement dit (compté à partir du Mystère du Golgotha) ne commencera que le 3 avril 2033 (ou le Vendredi-Saint 2033, ou à Pâques 2033).”

    Click to access actualite_Sorat.pdf

    Lazaridès also skips the fall of the false prophet (aka Sorat) in Revelation 19, before the fall of the dragon from the abyss in Revelation 20 (see the ahrimanic second and asuric third Fall in Steiner’s Priest Apocalypse, Ch. XI).

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  12. RoseCroix

    Wow, what a nice surprise this wonderful Tennessee fall morning to click on Anthropopper, in the top tier of my Favorites, and find such a wonderful posting. I would love to have it in print. Truly a heartfelt and loving message this Michaelmas.
    hugs Jeremy and hope your time of was rejuvenating for the soul.

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  13. rosecroix8

    We have been instructed to not let the incarnation of Ahriman catch us unaware. Every time we discuss this inevitable occurrence my hope is the Powers know we are paying attention and will extend some assistance.
    The last time I read the collection of lectures from The Incarnation of Ahriman I made margin notes on timings mentioned in the lectures.
    From Lecture 2, Zurich Oct. 27 1919……page 17
    “Just as Lucifer incarnated at the beginning of the third pre-Christian millennium, and Christ incarnated at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, so there will be an incarnation of Ahriman in the West not long after our present times, in the third post Christian millennium in fact. To gain a right conception of the historical evolution of mankind over approximately 6000 years, one must grasp that at the one pole stands the incarnation of Lucifer, in the center the incarnation of Christ, and at the other pole the incarnation of Ahriman.”
    This is the clearest information on the incarnation I have personally come across so far.

    Page 18……”Ahrimanic powers prepare the evolution of mankind in such a way that it can fall prey to Ahriman when he appears in human form within western civilization-hardly then to be called ‘civilization’ in our sense-.” ………..

    While we humans are seeing some Crazy Town ideas at this time, I feel we can still call it civilization at the moment! I feel the timing of Oriphiel also works into the incarnation somehow.
    Michael listens we must speak.

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    • Ton Majoor

      Rose, the expression ‘approximately 6000 years’ (in German: ‘almost six millennia’) was in Steiner’s first lecture on the subject, meaning between the third pre-Christian millennium and the third post Christian millennium. The later wording “before only a part of the third millennium of the post-Christian era has elapsed” seems to be more deliberate, meaning just before the year 2000.

      https://rsarchive.org/Lectures/AhrDec_index.html

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      • Rose Croix

        Ton I always appreciate your view on any subject. I have pondered that passage many times. I personally still consider it could be the last part elapse/end of the millennium. One thing for sure is we must keep speaking about the incarnation so “Ahriman does not catch us unaware.” My feeling is that some horror such as the world/humans have never seen will put us on our knees and will be looking to a savior. This is when ‘he’ will come forth posing as just that. Allowing for each individual to have a separate clairvoyance and show his powers as proof. As decadent as we are, sigh, I feel humans will sink even lower into sub nature before his coming. Going to be the battle of all battles till the War of All Against All.
        Peace, Love, Hope

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        • Fabric

          Sorry to jump in here. I echo your thoughts on the incarnation of Ahriman and think he is yet to announce his arrival, although a certain electronic car and Space exploration magnate currently tops my list of potential avatars.

          I have an off topic question that I wondered if you had a a take on give. your choice of posting name. Steiner seems to frame the Rosicrucians as a well-meaning group that safeguard the ancient mysteries but they are also associated with the Georgia Guide Stones which promote massive global depopulation (the name Cristian Rosenkreuz was provided by the person who commissioned them). Really curious if this has been addressed in the Anthroposophy community?

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          • Ton Majoor

            Fabric, in his article Lazaridès (2022) points to Putin’s soul group (‘1999 et le symptôme Poutine’):

            Click to access actualite_Sorat.pdf

            Putin yesterday in his inverted rhetoric: “They [the West] are moving toward open satanism,” he said in a speech broadcast to millions online. … “I believe in the spiritual power of the Russian people and my spirit is its spirit, the suffering of the people is my suffering,” he said. https://euobserver.com/world/156188

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          • Rose Croix

            Fabric, jump in anytime. I am not Rosicrucian in this life per say. But I was somewhere in the past. I study the old teachings, the alchemical and the relation to Spiritual Science in the future. I do not know much about the guide stones other than they were blown up recently and some think they are of the devil. Maybe some of the groups have discussed it. I do not know.

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          • Ton Majoor

            Vladimir Putin has been ‘an artilleryman, as the commander of a howitzer artillery battalion…22 millimeter’ (Newsweek, 2019). After former KGB-director in 1998 and prime minster in 1999, he became president of the Russian Federation at the turn of the millennium. Before his reelection as president in 2018 he introduced three kinds of hypersonic missiles. In 2021 after a constitutional amendment, he became federative president for life.

            Compare with Solovjov, A Short Story of the Anti-Christ (1900):

            “He was the only man with a great worldwide fame. Being by profession a learned artilleryman, and by his source of income a rich capitalist, he was on friendly terms with many in financial and military circles. … “The Coming Man” was almost unanimously elected president of the United States of Europe for life. Etc.” https://www.goodcatholicbooks.org/antichrist.html

            Steiner connected Michael’s “War in Heaven” (Revelation 12) with the splitting up of the comet Biela (from 1841 to November 1879), which he had observed personally.

            He thus predicted that in 1933, instead of a collision with the comet, mankind would have to deal with ‘the beast’, who would be rising up from the earth: “A beast, or a comet in a cosmic sense, frees itself from its imprisonment in the earth.” (Priest’s Apocalypse, Lecture XI and XVI). Cf. “When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison … ” (Revelation 20).

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        • Ton Majoor

          Rose, what is more, an ahrimanic incarnation in the beginning of the third millennium can be equated with a soratic incarnation in flesh in the year 1998 (see Priest’s Apocalypse, Lecture VIII), both described as possessed black-magical opponents of the Sun Spirit.

          Schroeder (1979) has summarized Steiner’s statements on the ahrimanic incarnation, but he ignored the soratic incarnation in a group of black magicians (GA 90A and 104A)
          https://anthroposophy.eu/w/images/c/cb/Schroeder_Hans-
          Werner_-_Ahriman_and_Sorat_articles_1979-80.pdf

          Cf. Lazaridès (French),

          Click to access Quand_aura_lieu.pdf

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          • Rose Croix

            Ton, I am reading those lectures now. I did learn there was no stenographer during these lectures, notes were collected and compiled by several people. Hopefully done so with much reverence, few opinions and few mistakes.

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  14. Fabric

    Thanks Jeremy.

    I’ve only recently become acquainted with the teachings of Steiner and have sought out contemporary reflections on anthroposophy to help me gain further understanding. I keep returning to your site for this reason.

    I wondered if you are familiar with the YouTube channel of Gigi Young? She has a recent video on the concept of the 8th Sphere and how it pertains to current times. I thought it was a brilliant breakdown, would be great to hear your thoughts on it.

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  15. Colin Treiber

    Thank you for this post, Jeremy. Your words and the ideas they present are encouraging to my soul. After reading and thus renewing my contemplation on the idea of fearlessness I feel closer to myself. I feel as if the still silent voice within has gained a new foothold of confidence to press itself a little closer to the light and to utter something fresh, but yet still obviously fallible.

    What you say about the inversion of the spiritual maxim which once stated, “As above, so below” now expressing “As below, so above”, is very thought provoking. I think I have followed the same thought stream from slightly different angles before and it seems to me to be true. At least as much as the imagination which the Earth has inherited from the Universe is now well established. Meanwhile, the memory, or remembrance, which the Universe longs to receive from the Earth is a work in progress. Our work in progress. Therefore, the first variation of the maxim is not null and void, it merely necessitates the second variation if it is to continue. In other words, the imagination of the Universal Spirit needs to receive back from us, as memory, the content which it already has bestowed upon us. It needs to receive it back from us because it is yet incomplete and thus the Spirit longs to continue to work upon it, to bring it to completion through the Earth and the Human Being.

    In this regard, R.W. Emerson was perhaps immeasurably on point to introduce his essay titled Nature with the first sentence, “Our age is retrospective.” Indeed we are. But, to come back to the theme at hand, I ask, what could be more courageous, or demonstrative of fearlessness, than to look away from our current cultural impetus of fantastic future conquering to instead cultivate a memory of the true past of humankind? The courage to remember! What is more unpopular and therefore isolating than this? Yet, this seems to me to be an essential aspect of the autumnal invitation and the reciprocal human gesture to the Michael deed.

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  16. Gauran

    Hello Manny
    I understand Anthroposophy to be a Michaelic path of spirituality so I would then also understand that the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity to be a particular path for developing Michaelic thinking which is not limited to thinking alone but encompasses feeling and willing as well. Michaelic thinking in humans is the uniting of the Christened cosmic intelligence into spiritually active human beings through various paths of spiritual development indicated by Rudolf Steiner. I wished to unite the apparent differences between your excellent contribution and Jeremy’s essay. My thoughts,words and understanding of Anthroposophy are imperfect and therefore potentially lay the ground for further discussion. https://rsarchive.org/Books/GA026/English/RSP1973/GA026_c01.html

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    • Manny Blosser

      Dear Gauran, There are 2 places in the basic books where Steiner defines what he means by the phrase ‘living thinking’. Plucking these 2 sentences out of the whole body of knowledge in which each lives and gains its reality is like plucking a corn kernel off the cobb and saying here is the essence of what corn is. Words that describe thoughts don’t exist by themselves, but live in the whole reality of all words. Every word is part of defining all other words. Thoughts are the same they live in the body of all thoughts and can’t exist separate from that complete body. The 2 places Steiner defines living thinking use different words to describe the same thought being. The metaphor can be made that one sentence compared to the other is like a grain of wheat compared to a kernal of corn. Both are living creations that grow through cycles with seeds, roots, stems, leaves, blossoms, and back to seeds yet have their individual expressions of these distinguishable characteristics of their life forces over time and in space.

      One sentence is from the 1918 appendix to chapter 10 of ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’: “What appears as a logical contradiction between the universal nature of cognitive ideas and the individual nature of moral ideas is the very thing that, when seen in its reality, becomes a living concept”

      The other is from chapter 1 of ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment’: “Every idea which does not become your ideal slays a force in your soul; every idea which becomes your ideal creates within you life-forces.

      Each of these sentences describe a world of thoughts, a world of individualities, and a world where those individualities make those thoughts into deeds/ideals. They each do this in ways that are as different as corn and wheat. Yet as a comparison of corn and wheat can reveal that a similar reality of forces are working in individual ways in each species, so these 2 sentences can be seen to reveal that a similar reality of forces are being described in individual ways.

      When the forces of thought work into an individuality so that individuality’s earthly bodily consciousness gains a perception of something it had never seen before the life forces of that thought are released into the earthly body and the individuality that did that deed experiences a joy-in-growth-of-world-existence.

      If on the other hand this relationship of universal thought world, individual action, and earthly body is thought of, felt, and acted on according to different relationships then different outcomes occur.

      If individual thought arrives at the conclusion that no such living forces are present in the plant or thought life as are being described here, but that thoughts are the result of chemical activity of the neurological networks of material structure and therefore as individual as the DNA of the chemical structures then no such joy-in-growth-of-world-existence arises in the soul because all reality that is not material chemical is denied to exist. Soul forces are slain by such abstract thoughts that also deny their own existence as a world separate from chemical conditions and individual conditions. Steiner names this condition where no soul and spirit are real as the Ahrimanic worldview.

      If on the third hand, this relationship of universal thought world, individual action, and earthly body is thought of, felt and acted on according to the relationship that there is nothing true and only sin in the earthly body, so that the individual has to seek its salvation in the universal thought world free from earthly corruption, then also there is no joy-in-growth-of-world existence. Steiner names this relationship of spirit, soul, and body, Luciferic.

      When I hold these names of Ahrimanic and Luciferic within the body of knowledge that arises from observation of the living forces behind the individualities of corn and wheat and the observation of Steiner’s 2 definitions of living thinking, they give me moral guidance for my actions on earth and my thinking in spirit and so work as thought forces that make perceptible what is otherwise invisible behind the surface of my earthly sensory experience. These names then live in my body of knowledge as thought beings that contribute to evolution rather than working as unsseen counterforces toward devolution.

      Sincerely,
      Manny

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  17. Gauran

    Thanks Manny, I appreciate very much your sharing the results of your spiritual research. You also express your work with great clarity and artistry.

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