Ahriman: 2012

by Joel A. Wendt

The application of the methods of spiritual scientific research to matters regarding the social life of humanity is not easy or simple.  I have discussed this before in other venues [1].  At the least this needs be said: Without the metamorphosis to living thinking, as discovered and contemplated  by Rudolf Steiner in A Theory of Knowledge implicit in Goethe’s World Conception (GA 2), Truth and Knowledge (GA 3), and The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (GA 4), the soul has not yet unfolded the cognitive capacities it needs in order to perceive and create with this New Thinking the necessary knowledge and understanding.  Thinking which is asleep as to its own true nature, the dark as well as the light, will frequently mistake the non-essential for the essential. 

Below I will endeavor to point out the essential for the reader’s understanding.  Of course, the reader with their own active thinking must consciously take the view that they can learn something in what follows.  I point this out to suggest the role of intention in what thinking produces when it reads.  If we already start with a pre-judgment about an author or a subject, problems will arise [2].

Caveat: Some of the following material borders on political questions.  Nothing is being said here about those kinds of judgments, which we all must make as individual citizens.  Rather this essay is concerned with understanding certain spiritual facts latent in social phenomena - not with political questions.

*         *         *

The basic shift in point of view, when seeking real anthroposophical knowledge of the social, is to recognize the following:

While it may seem unreasonable to some, we need to understand that Rudolf Steiner didn’t know everything, doesn’t want to be used as an authority, and very much needs for us to overcome making our own I’s thinking dependent upon all or part of what he wrote and said.   Nothing kills the perception of reality quicker than taking Steiner-thought and doing exactly what he warned against in the last sentence to the original preface to The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity:  One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage

Once we are inwardly free of Steiner-thought (and unwilling to fall into bondage even to Wendt-thought as well), we can ask ourselves whether Love can ever be overcome by those Beings Steiner called the Opponents.  The problem here for our higher reason is that if we believe Love can be overcome, then the Opponents already would have done so, and they would now own the world.  Clearly the Opponents have not won, which means they are held within limits by that very Love.

Christ is not the only source of Love.  The Mother is another source and if we think carefully on this we will realize that it is in fact She that binds the Opponents, which is why Steiner described Her Realm as being a Golden Sphere on the other side of the Interior Spheres [3] of the Earth.  The Opponents work within the limits of Her Influence (as well as other spiritual laws).

The Divine Creative Spirit (Love) is distributed - everywhere, and it is in humanity itself that the leading or cutting edge of this creativity now resides.  The torch has/is being been passed to us.

Love has created in the social-political world a kind of order, just as the prior incarnations of the Earth were used to create over time the human organism itself.  The essential nature of this social order/organism is that it is now inhabited by Christ - the Word has embodied Itself in the Reality of the Social (as Steiner pointed out - with Golgatha, Christ became the Spirit of the Earth).  Thinking into [4] the Social discovers this, and thus from another direction establishes support for the truth of Steiner’s statements.  We don’t have to rely on him, but can discover through thinking itself confirmation of almost all that he has described previously for our understanding.

The central object of Love, in the Social, is the individual I and its biography.  What we think of as historical events, for example what is being called today: the Arab Spring, are macro events in the Stage Setting in which the soon to be Seven Billion human souls unfold their own lives.  These macro events are incidental to the essential, which is what happens to/by/through [5] the I during the biography. 

Thinking then must work from understanding the individual biography first in order to come to real knowledge of the meaning of macro events.  The macro events are context, not essence.

Details can be found in my book The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything and also in the essay Shapes in the Fire [6], that I sent to the summer 2011 Section conference on the Life of Rights.  The overriding artistic aspect of Love that effects modern times is found in this prophecy by John the Baptist: "I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire”.  Matthew 3:11

This situation is causally related to: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.” Matthew 10:34-36

By individualizing us (giving us the potential for the Christ Impulse as an aspect of our freely developing ego), elements of our sub-conscious feelings (antipathy and sympathy) must go through a phase where we instinctively individualize ourselves by being inwardly different from each other, and trusting that difference.  We see this everywhere today, all the way down into the family in America (the World Temple’s leading edge of this transformation by Fire and Holy Breath), such that everywhere these differences produce conflict and then in its wake social heat (Fire).  The Age of the Consciousness Soul is a great Rite of Passage in this World Temple created for humanity, where we begin to move from our spiritual childhood toward our potential spiritual adulthood [I Corinthians 13: 11-12] When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Wherever we turn our awake picture-thinking (thinking-with) we perceive this social dynamic.  The I is no longer well rooted in the family, such that we search outside it, seeking birds of a feather, companions with the same likes and dislikes.  These become social forms (clubs, political parties, gangs) and these forms then circle their wagons against the rest of the world.  The larger the social form (such as the institutional Catholic Church), the more socially powerful the impulses which bring social conflagration (conflict over ideas, beliefs etc.) in its wake.  Even the Anthroposophical Society exhibits these social tendencies.

Individualization differentiates.  Differences produce conflict.  Personal conflict not morally managed by the I escalates into group passions (mobs) and we then have mass movements such as the Arab Spring.  If we ourselves sympathize (identify) with the mob, we approve its actions.  If we don’t, we dis-approve.   Our dis-approval increases the conflict and the heat.  Keep in mind the paradox here.  In such as the Arab Spring, and in the riots in Greece and elsewhere in Europe, both individual moral action, and a descent into being a thoughtless member of a mob, will appear simultaneously in the same macro social phenomena.  Not peace, but a sword.

*         *         *

Ahriman incarnated via the birth of Karl Christian Rove on Christmas Day, 1950, revealing thereby the often ironic nature of cosmic humor [7].  Of course people in the Society disagree with my conclusions - that is after all the temper of the times (individuation).  People do need to do more than disagree however, otherwise what we do has no relationship to science at all.  The facts of Ahriman’s incarnation then is not a matter of opinion, but a matter of knowledge; and, knowledge results from deliberate and careful inner activity, and those who want to disagree with my observations need to forge arguments and evidence that answers every matter and detail put forth in the very long essay: Outrageous Genius.  Mostly people trying to find Ahriman seem to be looking for some kind of bogeyman, instead of a mostly ordinary human being with remarkable talents of a peculiar kind.

Keep in mind that Ahriman’s powers are stepped down (greatly reduced), just as our ours, in the course of our being incarnated in a human physical body.

Ahriman’s march into the center of Earthly Power (the Bush II administration) on the very cusp of the inauguration of the Third Millennium (2001) ought to give a clue as to his identity.  He began by drafting Bush II all the way back in Texas, and guiding him carefully forward, taking advantage of this immature son of privilege, who has no truly independent mind of his own [8].  Rove/Ahriman also cultivated at that time and then won a position deep inside the Religious Right that was very useful for his designs [9].

He is a lot like the character Wormtongue in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings - he whispers in ears, just as do the ahrimanic hierarchies of the three-fold double complex whisper into our consciousness, with their lies and confusion.  Out of his genius Ahriman created “talking points”.   These he distributed often daily to those willing to use them (and still does, while appearing to work outwardly, with Media mogul Rupert Murdoch, as a commentator on Fox News, and a columnist at the Wall Street Journal).  This enabled and enables  such as Fox News, most conservative politicians, and conservative talk radio and cable, to use the same language over and over again, thus allowing the Father of Lies to frame the political debate by the anti-power of rhythm in the form of endless repetition - a kind of water-drip torture of the public mind [10].

"That’s not the way the world really works anymore,'’ he continued. ‘’We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do” Attributed to a senior white house official, assumed by everyone to have been Karl Rove, summer 2002. [emphasis added] [11].

Of course, Ahriman’s activity is not at all confined to what he has done and is doing while a human being.  The whole Age in which he incarnated was carefully formed over millennia so as to have the particular characteristics that it has.  Further, he has incarnated with many sympathetic human beings, having their own karma to unfold.  Just call to mind all the unfathomable and immoral distortions of the law, which insiders in the Bush II administration authored and promulgated (such as rules on torture, on secrets, on executive power and so forth), while launching two illegal (undeclared by Congress) wars.

The direct assault on civil rights in this time (the Patriot Act etc.) is part and parcel of the whole structure (suggestive of a pre-fascist condition), as is the near complete emancipation of the Corporation as a social form, completely free of any human restraint at all.  This last is worth some details, for as a social form the Corporation carries the most obviously flagrant ahrimanic qualities.

Originally Corporations were very limited by legal structures - limited to certain purposes, the violation of which meant liability, sometimes even criminal, for their shareholders and officers.  But money could be turned into political power, and as corporate and individual wealth grew in importance, so did these limits on shareholder and  corporate officer culpability fade away.  Wealth erased them quite deliberately. 

Then some kind of intelligence persuaded a law clerk to alter the heading notes of an appeals court decision to suggest that that decision meant something it did not mean.  Thus was born into our legal system the irrational idea of the Corporation as a person.  At the same time, simply through growth and size, Corporations acquired what is now recognized as an individual kind of “culture” - a kind of social-imperative-meaning to which those wanting to rise in that hierarchy need conform.  Less and less the corporate officers ruled this emerging “culture” and more and more it ruled them.  There was no awake spiritualized (moral) thinking present in the corporation to restrain the ahrimanic excesses being evoked.

Almost all outer legal restraint disappeared as the Corporation became International, and able to find agreeable and sympathetic governments to tolerate any abuse of law or power.  Even in America, what are called shareholder values (the Corporations main legal duty is to make a profit for the shareholders), overcame all other values, whether to consumers, workers, or the environment.  The Corporation became a law unto itself, and with the fast-tracking of trade agreements, American politicians essentially set this type of social form completely free of almost any restraint by Nation States at all.

The corporate culture simultaneously became more and more morally weak, thus creating a social environment in which today could flourish, as leaders of corporations, such as: socio-paths or psycho-paths or those symptomatic of the mental condition we call Aspergers syndrome [12].  We can observe this because these nearly inhuman qualities are necessary in order to climb the backs of those in the way of ones rise to success in the corporate hierarchy - a real climate for the survival of the seemingly fittest.  See HBO’s film: To Big to Fail, as well as Oliver Stone’s recent: Wall Street: money never sleeps, for their artistic representation of the personality types that succeed in rising to the top of our major Corporate financial institutions.  Only conscienceless callous indifference could create the current financial crisis, or allow such as Monsanto and Dupont to try to selfishly own (and patent) that aspect of the plant world humanity needs for food.

Unfortunately, as we go into the future these culture-structures will more and more develop their ability to psychologically rule all their members, although many corporate leaders will believe the illusion that they run these organizations.  Their unrestrained animal passions (for wealth, power, sex, etc.) will guide these egos, and the higher I human spiritual/moral element will have nearly disappeared.  This phase of the early stages of the Third Millennium cannot be avoided - it has too much social momentum propelling it into existence.

As we enter the Third Millennium, the ahrimanicly authored Corporation will then begin to come to succeed the Nation State as the primary provider of social order, especially given the social chaos that is now emerging, which is a sign of the coming metamorphosis of Western Civilization.  What lies on the other side of the chaos stage of this metamorphosis depends in large part on the spiritual awakening that is running parallel to the decay (see Paul Hawking’s Blessed Unrest).

Symptoms of the end phase of the metamorphosis of Western Civilization are everywhere, but given our present day consciousness of the economic problems, let us visit some of the details of this next:

Economic reality is still not fully discussed in the public arena, with the nature of debt-money [13] not yet on the table; and, just about everyone is unaware that most banks are basically broke [14].  One way to picture this that can be useful is to recognize that less the 1% of the world economy is real, and the other 99%+ is fake.  We have a real economy where the exchange of goods and services create wealth, and where nature products are transformed into salable (useful) objects of consumption.  Most of the values in stock markets involve the buying and selling of financial instruments (not the creation of new capital), which involve no real economic values at all.  And, all bank loans create money out of nothing (see [13] again), which is inflationary and why Central Banks have needed the power to control interest rates (since creating money out of nothing, i.e. through no real exchange of values, is automatically inflationary).  The huge world market in currency arbitrage also creates no real values, while at the same time enriching greatly (with fake wealth) those skilled at it, such as George Soros.

A collapse of what some call the “finance bubble”, or the bubble of all bubbles, is eminent, and many of those in the know are positioning themselves for surviving the resulting social-political chaos that is to accompany this phase of the ongoing metamorphosis of Western Civilization.  Government fake-debt is undermining democratic governments everywhere, and it is likely that only certain autocratic political social forms can survive [15].

The very very wealthy can hire clever minds to tell them where this is going, while the poor have basically no one who will lay out the truth - although they have a healthy instinct for what is happening around them.  As a result, private security companies (essentially private armies) are very successful businesses today, because the elites know that public anger is on the increase and will result in violence directed at them (although, as happened recently in England, this violence tends to first attack its local environment first).  We can also see the signs of this in such places as where seed banks are being developed for the elites of wealth and any other survivors of the coming catastrophe [16], as a hedge against both financial and climate disaster.

Hedge Fund managers have recently taken money out of financial instrument markets and started buying cultivatable land in Africa (143 million acres at last count [17]), whose produce will be mostly exported to higher paying elite markets.  A bank in New York City recently reported that it is receiving so much cash in the form of deposits, that it is having to charge very large fees for the task of holding on to these currencies.  Money is fleeing the usual investment locales and relocating in gold, precious metals and stones, currencies, and in some small cases still in US Treasury Bonds.

Rove/Ahriman’s work has greatly influenced the Life of Rights in America during the Bush II years, at the same time when the lies of all lies (the economic religion of free market capitalism) has captured many of our  imaginations.  This is part and parcel of what Steiner called: the Ahrimanic Deception (materialism is all its forms).

Most people living in this confusion, authored by the Father of Lies, don’t have a clue what to do, and given their own sympathies and antipathies are pre-disposed to a great deal of conflict bordering on violence.  Just watch Fox News for the constant escalation of hate-rhetoric (more Rove/Ahriman talking-points) now in play. 

The Christian Right’s religious zealotry is extremely divisive, and here is what one American wise man, Frank Herbert, wrote in his novel Dune (published all the way back in 1965, by the way): When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way.  Their movement becomes  headlong - faster and faster and faster.  They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until its too late.

Yeats had it right: Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold, Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

In America this takes the form that liberal (the Left’s) thought (the best) lacks the courage to actually stand upright for anything, while the worst (the extreme Right’s ideological assertion of purity, either economic or religious) runs the whole social order off the cliff on the engine of its unrestrained passion.  There is an unconscious Second Revolution going on, over ideas, but as long as people remain asleep as to this war’s real nature, the balance will tip toward the ahrimanic, and the whole needed moral tone of Third Millennium may be lost at the very moment of its birth. 

What is really happening, for our hearts believe it can’t actually be all this bad?

As we noted above we are in: not peace but a sword, which causally then produces the Baptism by Fire.  We are not to be allowed to sleep through the biography, without the increasing social chaos forcing us to confront individual moral dilemmas, which then leads to the Baptism by Holy Breath.  We live inside the Word, which has incarnated so deeply into the structural nature of the social-organism, such that each individual biography, being the object of Love, is able to unfold its own individual karma of wounds so as to then face those trials particular to it.  The precision and care with which the individual biography is surrounded is nothing short of miraculous [18].

The historical seeming macro events are just aspects of the Stage Setting to our individual plays.  In this way we can learn to see how Rove/Ahriman contributed to the trial of fire in the biography by escalating the decent into social chaos.  Love constrains the Opponents so that in each biography we are then free to choose between Ahriman and Christ, between the pleasures of the world of senses and the mysteries of the own soul and spirit, just as Steiner advised almost a century ago:

"From the kingdom served by Michael himself Christ descends to the sphere of the Earth, so as to be there when the intelligence is wholly with the human individuality. For man will then feel most strongly the impulse to devote himself to the power which has made itself fully and completely into the vehicle of intellectuality. But Christ will be there; through His great sacrifice He will live in the same sphere in which Ahriman also lives. Man will be able to choose between Christ and Ahriman. The world will be able to find the Christ-way in the evolution of humanity.Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts.

Again, organic and pure living thinking, about/with/within and as the Social Organism, confirms Steiner’s observations.

Steiner hoped the Anthroposophical Society would become capable of teaching this, ... an event that has not yet come to pass.  This is made most crucial because the Baptism by Holy Breath needs to be openly spoken of, given that it can also be called: the Second Eucharist in the Ethereal, following naturally on the true Second Coming of Christ (the reappearance of Christ in the etheric).

People will experience it even without a name, as can be seen by the recognition of this human condition by many artists of this Age of the Consciousness Soul, such as in Clint Eastwood’s movies: Million Dollar Baby and Gran Torino.  It would be an even greater help were the true name of this Baptism by Holy Breath to become part of the evolving vocabulary of the Third Millennium, for only in this way can Ahriman’s excesses be consciously limited by not only the Mother, but also by human activity which must now play a role.

America is a battleground, and yet the Anthroposophical Society in America remains deeply asleep.  Who will take up the task to speak into this sleep, and to engage Ahriman not only within our own souls (as an aspect of our double), but also outwardly in the Anthroposophical Society (first) as a preparation for being able to speak of this to the whole world.  If the members and friends of Anthroposophical Society cannot wake up to Ahriman within their own soul life, social circles and processes, how then can they justly speak to the wider world.  Thou hypocrite, first get the beam out of your own eye, before you try to help your brother with the mote in his.

*         *         *

[1] The main essay is The Methodology Necessary for a New Social Science, which can be read for free on my website, in either  American Anthroposophy (2008) or Manure* for the Garden of Anthroposophy (2011) [ http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/AmericanAnthroposophy.html or http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Manure.html ]

[2] Yes, I know I may on occasion sound like a know-it-all, but a craftsman that does not know the true real value of their own gifts, is a poor craftsman indeed.  After decades of writing for an anthroposophical audience, that mostly doesn’t read my work, now at age 70 I no longer try to always make nice nice.  People who don’t read my work, such as The Art of God: an actual Theory of Everything, or the above two books, ought not to make judgments until they are truly familiar with my thought.

[3] These supposedly number Eight or Nine according to whom you read.  Probably a detail that is not a significant problem in the overall scheme of things.

[4] Ordinary thinking on its way to living thinking (in the sense of GA 2, GA 3, and GA 4) goes through through four conditions, via three stages.  Thinking-about (where we start), becomes thinking-with, becomes thinking-within, becomes thinking-as.  The more we learn to think on our knees (Tomberg), the more it thinks in us (Steiner).  The gap between our supposed subjectivity and the objects of our thinking activity narrows more and more as we engage in three renunciations and three related and slowly developing acts of love, all taking place in our own interior (soul) life.   Details can be found in many places in my writings, such as Living Thinking in Action http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/liveT.html .  

[5] Steiner describes the reason for this in Lucifer and Ahriman, at page 21: “...the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should become increasingly conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly existence. [emphasis added]

[6] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Shapes.html

[7] See the essay Outrageous Genius in my American Anthroposophy http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/AmericanAnthroposophy.html or as a stand alone at: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/genius.html

[8] http://www.bushsbrain.com/

[9] Craig Unger*, In an interview with Amy Goodman, mid-November 2007: Well, LeHay** is one of the founders of the Council for National Policy. Now, this is a not-very-well-known group, but it’s an umbrella group that oversees dozens of Christian Right groups, like Focus on the Family, which is James Dobson’s group. The Moral Majority was part of it, and so on. And within it was a much smaller group called the Arlington Group, of about fifty religious leaders. Now, they were in regular contact with Karl Rove. And what you have in the Christian Right is as many as 80 million adult evangelicals. You have about 200,000 pastors, and they operate almost as precinct captains did in the labor unions for the Democratic Party. So this is a vast populist movement that operates as part of the Christian Republican Party, and they have regular contact with the White House. [emphasis added] [*author of: The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America’s Future. **one of the authors of the Left Behind series of novels on Armageddon.]

[10] Watch Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show on cable’s Comedy Central which frequently captures these intense repetition of lies.  

[11] "The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as if they were realities” Machiavelli

[12]  Aspergers syndrome is an autism spectrum disorder that is characterized by significant difficulties in social interaction, along with restricted and repetitive patterns of behavior and interests. It differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development [from Wikipedia].  In more ordinary language - someone with Aspergers is often lacking in empathy, not skilled in leadership (except by giving orders), has repetitive patterns of behavior, yet still shows high intelligence and verbal skills.

[13] debt-money: google it for details - it essentially means that money is created when banks loan it (they don’t loan out deposits, which is the implied lie), and to this money is attached interest, which then this unpayable interest accumulates creating most of our consumer debt and most of our so-called national debt (see especially, for details, Rich Kotlarz’s: A New View of Money http://www.concordium.us/resolution/column.htm)

[14]  Like any financial institution, a bank has a balance sheet, where assets and liabilities must be balanced so as to reveal whether or not the bank is broke.  Because of the over-investment with real estate and related derivative securities, all banks (except chartered Credit Unions) greatly overstate (inflate) the value of their assets, which if the truth were known (and many do know it) significantly outweigh the liabilities (amounts owed depositors etc.).  All banks are then buried under their faked-up excessive claims of viable assets.  Both HBO’s movie To Big to Fail, and the recent Wall Street: money never sleeps had scenes where a leading investment banker confessed to Treasury and Fed officials that: we are all broke.

[15] See the blog of David Wingrove on the political future of China http://chung-kuo.net/

[16] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard_Global_Seed_Vault

[17] just google hedge funds and African farmland

[18] See Steiner’s The Work of the Angels in Man’s Astral Body: http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19181009p01.html