Is the brain a computer?  Is the mind the brain?


 Cowboy Bebop

and the physics* of thought as moral art


by Joel A. Wendt




[*The term physics is here meant to suggest a set of general rules and processes that in part can be labeled: the Way of a science of thought and thinking. That thought and thinking are also moral and artistic then too becomes part of a truephysicsof thought. This means that the threescience, art, and religion cannot actually be separated, as they form in the soul an organic whole.]

*

Cowboy Bebop (1) was a Japanese anime television show that was also made into a movie. It was short lived (1998-99), and critically acclaimed. The main character was a bounty hunter working from Mars in the year 2071. Many sequences in this very original animation were accompanied by music often dominated by a jazz and blues background. From the beginning this anime was a fusion of American cultural influences and modern Japanese artistic sensibilities.

In a certain way this work of art carried both instinctive esoteric Christian and instinctive Zen components, which to elaborate might take a whole book, and therefore will not be attempted here. The Cowboy motif fits in with the fact that the Western is the main mythical archetype of the American Soul (2), and the use of jazz and blues rests the musical themes within the creative heart/roots of American music, fostered mostly out of the culture New Orleans.  In fact, many of the sequences or scenes in the show are basically spontaneous dance.  Feet and limbs often move to the underlying jazz and blues bebop of the music.

The visual artistic style is very modern in a Japanese sense, as are the ideas which positive criticism has come to recognize, such as:philosophical concepts including existentialism, existential ennui, loneliness, and the past’s influence” (1, again). The main character’s morality is very much of the Western “cowboytype - the lone stranger doing good while entirely uncertain as to his own meaning in the great schemes of existence. The dialog is clever, philosophical and pointed, in the same fashion as the American film-noir movies that were common in the late 1930s and on into the early 1950s. (3)

These undercurrents within the American Soul influence the path of thought-creation in Americans. These undercurrents arise from the whole world in a way - each emigrating culture adding its distinct influence to the whole. In America is being born the People of Peoples. Cowboy Bebop is a good modern expression of certain undercurrents that have greatly influenced the American Soul, beginning with the Western in the 1920s, and then later in the 1950s when Zen was brought to our shores in California by Alan Watts (4). California then became a kind of stew pot of soul-themes, such that West and East met at that edge of the North American continent and had cultural intercourse.

If we want to look for evidence of this subterranean influence of cultures, we need go no further than the writings of the modern crime novelists: Robert Parker and Elmore Leonard. Their dialogue is crisp and spare, zen-like in wisdom. Their characters are the stranger-other - the Cowboy archetype who rescues damsels in distress and lays down his/her life to do the right thing.
 

That the heroes themselves are flawed, even criminal, really only points to the fact that in America the soul also can take a path near and through the Underworld - the ancient world of Faerie, and dark and dangerous impulses. America is the world’s most earthly culture, and this density of fallen striving and suffering should not really surprise anyone paying attention to social phenomena in America.

Not all Paths of development wander among the stars and the clouds. The American Soul gave birth, with the aid of Christ and the Holy Mother, to the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1933, which is the most practical spiritual path for dealing with the threefold double complexor the shadow in the soul. (5) Addictions and their kin are not the only issues human beings may solve in the company of others with similar flaws.  The hungers for wealth and power can be addictions.  So can be lying - how many of us know the individual whose every word is an exaggerated tale told to advance their image, and impress their acquaintences. 


The point of the immediately above is to set a tone for what is to follow, for it will be useful and practical to understand from what well of wisdom do such writers as Parker and Leonard draw their art.

Let us examine this carefully

Thought exists. Everyone knows this. Ordinary mind also is often naturally virtuous, and the below is what can be understood if one makes a study of ordinary mind, in a scientific and empirical fashion.

The brain scientist, never actually examining the intimacy of his own mind, does not understand the art of how to come to an empirical knowledge of thought. To know thought, through thinking, we must investigate the own mind. But this journey is rooted in the challenges of the moral. It requires the encountering of life-trials. There is no substitute for this is very personal investigation, which is often costly in terms of suffering.

We are dark and light, which fact makes any exploration of the basics of the life of the own thought dependent upon an excruciatingly moral self-honesty.

Not everyone needs to do this on purpose. The modern biography, particularly in America which is at the cutting edge of the evolution of consciousness, is itself a spiritual developmental Path. (6) The life-trials of the biography lead to a natural spiritual development. The main difficulty is an absence of the needed language to describe this fact of existence. Anthroposophy can provide to modern culture this language of the Consciousness Soul era if we tease apart the traditional reliance on the dead thoughts of Rudolf Steiner, entombed in books and in the tragic  overuse of Steiner said (note the use of the past tense of that verb).   Steiner is well worth quoting, but to rely on him as an authority is to violate his own stated wishes.

Anthroposophists must discover how to think for themselves, outside the past utterances of Rudolf Steiner.

That religious and moral metaphors might be practical could be denied by many seeking an operating manual of the mind. The truth is otherwise, however, for the journey begins here with thewashing of the feet. The higher elements of thinking cannot be consciously known other than by actions in the spirit-mind that are profoundly moral. To unveil the secrets of the will-in-thinking begins and ends with appreciating the nature of theintention” (or purpose) from which the thinking is born - or, the Why of the How.


These moral/heart forces are the only way in which the cold and arid, almost lifeless, thinking of the intellect alone can be mastered.  The intellect is brilliant, but not wise.  Obviously we are a mixture of light and dark.  But to better understand the light we have to also appreciate the dark.


Washing the feet means thinking must be put in the service of the Thou. Thought which is self-directed, and meant to only benefit ourselves, will lack the warm clarity and strength to find anything other than superficial meaning. The cold thinking of the intellect alone - without the guidance of the heart - leads only to the error of misunderstanding. For thinking to find the truth it must sacrifice personal consequences for those results which are meant to benefit others.

The striving for empathy already is washing the feet.  It is very important to realize that the biography itself, especially in and among Americans, does this naturally.  Here is Rudolf Steiner, from a lecture to the workmen, on 3 March 1923:


The time will one day come when this American woodenman, which actually everyone is still - when he begins to speak.  Then he will have something to say very similar to European Anthroposophy.  One can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a natural way.


This natural development happens because American social-cultural forces tears the individual away from its original language and cultural roots.  We speak of a third generation American, for example.  Our parents may come to America bringing with them their cultural past, but generation by generation this past dies away, and theindividualemerges.  This is true even of the so-called: Native Americans.  Individuation will triumph, and tradition will fade away.

The same process of development also arises because the family and community matrix too is falling apart.  Elsewhere in the world what Steiner called the group-soul tends to rule, and the individual bows to those social forces that define group behavior as against individual and independent of family and community life choices.  Growing up in America takes away our cultural and language past, strips us of the normative rules governing families, and spits us out into the modern world forced to stand on our own.  Natural here does not mean painless.

This is not an easy course of life, and once freed of the past of our ancestors the washing the feet trial is only the beginning. Ultimately we will travel all of the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ: washing the feet; the scourging; the crowning with thorns; the carrying of the Cross; the crucifixion; the entombment; and finally, the resurrection. Each of these is an exact metaphorical archetype of the various arts of thinking in the fullness of soul and spirit, and their related trials in life. 

Christ warned us: Matthew 10:34-40: 


Don’t think I came to cause peace across the land.  I didn’t come to cause peace, I came to wield a sword, because I came to divide a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a bride against her mother-in-law, and to make a man’s servants his enemies.  Whoever prefers father or mother over me is not worthy of me; and whoever prefers son or daughter over me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.  Whoever found his life will lose it, and the one who lost his life because of me will find it.  Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me, receives my Sender.


Not only that, but these trials do not confine themselves to linear time - that is, they do not follow one after the other in sequence.  In the same way a plant lives in an ecology, the life of soul and spirit - in the biography - lives in a psychological and mental ecology of social existence, in which various events (trials) arise and become the center of our lives.  The social, with respect to the biography, provides both inertia and momentum.  Life resists us, while at the same time certain impulses and actions propel us onward.

For example, to become a mother or a father places before the soul the trial of the washing of the feet in a quite natural fashion.  Parenthood creates a necessity, and theIin responding to this necessity can begin to learn to put the other - the Thou - before self.   In the same biography, family conflicts exist over life choices and meaning - do we do what our parents want us to do, or do we follow our own star - the unfolding of this trial of individuation in our family life will evoke scourging and crowning with thorns.  Details will be described below.

These stages then do not always appear in sequence. Different life experiences draw them out, although over time, the general pattern produces a transformation of the artistic skill level of thinking, which starts as a natural skill, then (usually with maturation) becomes craft, and then finally wisdom or art.  Maturation, by the way, is not a given.  Many there are who never develop past late (early 20's) adolescence.  When such a person becomes a political or corporate leader, disasters happen.

The mystery of thinking is then trained by the moral struggles in life - not just the successes but the failures as well. All experience can be turned to developmental nourishment when the "I" reflects on its actions.  The intention behind thought determines the nature of the realm of the thought-world in which we travel.  This intention is instinctive (natural) in the beginning, becoming more and more conscious over time.  The path, which we in anthrposophical circles conceive of as a path of development, for the American (and others all over the world at this same leading edge of the Consciousness Soul) occures in the biography.  We do not have to go to the Swiss Alps to engage it.  We just live our life, for it is - through Divine Intention - the very best School possible.

*

Recently I was saying some related words to my girl friend, and she wanted me to take the time for a more careful and somewhat formal illumination of the nature of thought. What follows next is based in large part on her notes to that conversation, which mostly consisted of me making an attempt at an skeleton-like organized presentation, which on occasion was inspired by questions she asked me during this verbal intercourse.  These notes give order to what follows next ... and flesh has been added to the observations of structure alone.

The plane or arena of matter is bound to space and time. You can’t put your hand through matter. That’s how we know its exists. Two cars crash into each other on a highway, and the violence is so powerful it crushes steel and human flesh, perhaps bringing death in its train of causes and effects.

We live in a physical body and act in a material world.  We also act in the non-material world of thought and thinking.  This non-material life survives death.

Above the plane of matter is the plane of soul, or consciousness. Thisastral plane” (to use a more ancient form of expression) is bound to space, but not to time. It is also the plane of perishable or mutable spirit. We know this realm when we use picture thinking or the imagination. The imagination needsspacein order to appear before our mind’s eye. It is, we should note, not three-dimensional, but plane-like, or two dimensional. We can move around its surfaces and sometimes right through it, but it remains in essence an arena of organic (living) thought that longs to be investigated and known directly.

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

In the final episode of Season One of the television show Joan of Arcadia, the God character there says:You have to trust the world behind your eyes, and,learn to see in the dark.

Our biographies do not take place, in general, when we are alone (although a prisoner and a monk or a nun, often live lives of virtual isolation). We live as members of a community. As we grow into the truthful possibilities of our thinking, we may often find ourselves needing to speak truth in circumstances where others do not like it. In order to avoid what this truth has to mean to them, they will deflect, or act angry or many other forms of finding a way to ignore what we have said or done (based on what wethought, independent of the cultural or social norms).

This deflection can often take the form of attacking the truth-speaker, and this is experienced by the truth-speaker as a scourging - the own soul experiences a trial of emotional (astral) pain. Where someone confronts a gossip, for example, in a community that likes the false content of the gossip, the whole group may turn upon the person who challenges these lies. Everyone who seeks to speak or act on the true and the good experiences such trials, even though we yet have no vocabulary in our shared social existence that recognizes this fact.

On a wider social scale, we have today what is calledpolitical correctness, which are ways of individual doing or speaking that large portions of the social body do not like. Modern social-media allows scourging of this kind to apply a huge unjustified condemnation of acts or words of specific individuals. This public shaming is the problem of the mote and the beam writ large, forgetting the admonition: he who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.

Matthew 7: 3-5: Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.


Everywhere that we see social conflict, we see those naturally occurring trials that for some individuals are best described in the metaphors of the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ.  When the I-am is authoring what it can of the Christ-Impulse, this produces social conflict - social strife and heat.  Not peace, but a sword.

The mental plane, or sphere of pure thought (or spirit), is spaceless and timeless. We are an active creator in this sphere, and through a thorough study of this capacity to create thought there comes to be one of the best Ways we can learn to understand thought’s properties and nature - however, only if we are so inclined.  It is not necessary for everyone to do this, and in fact the understanding of such facts is the point of any science of thought or thinking.   The scientist of thought makes the journey and then shares that understanding with others.

Rudolf Steiner writes in the first sentence of the First Leading Thought:Anthroposophy is a path [Way] of knowledge [cognition] from the spiritual in man [the human being] to the Spiritual in the Universe.

Human beings create thought, but we are not usually conscious of this creative activity. When we create thought we are active ourselves as a spaceless and timeless spirit in the realm of the uncreated and formless. As thought then descends from this formless state, it takes on form, ultimately descending into the words that comprise our languages. To be intuitive, in the sense of Zen for example, is to always be awake in the creative act that results in the flow of thoughts. That’s why it is difficult to getZen, because its locus is outside the realm ofnaming, so the Zen masters speak ofno-mindorno-name. (7)

Thought is also living. In the arena of theastral, where the imagination resides, organic thought as spirit is clearly perishable and mutable, for unless we maintain the mental picture with our conscious intention and attention it fades away. That Goethe came to perceive the Ur-plant shows that he eventually entered the realm of the timeless and spaceless and met a Being, through the gate of recreating, in the imagination, the changes in matter-based form over time. The arena of space and time bound matter; and the arena of  imaginative space or astral space;  and,  the arena of timeless and spaceless thought, - all interpenetrate at their boundary conditions

The thought-world, or the ethereal world, has an upper and lower boundary condition. At the upper boundary we experience the garments of non-material Beings in the form of Ideas, after the indications of Plato. Steiner, in A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception describes an Idea as acomplex of concepts.

As social beings we sometimes find ourselves in conflict with others over the Ideas of the Good and the True. Here too we can be attacked, for our expression of this mental/spiritual world disturbs those who do not agree with it, or otherwise need a justification for ignoring our expressions or deeds. These attacks represent a crowning with thorns. Our head is where we develop thought toward its higher qualities, and the socially induced crown of of thorns is meant to penetrate the idea-matrix we have offered, and through pain banish our ability to express ourselves here.

The Beings of the super-sensible spiritual worlds wear (or appear) as Ideas so that we can approach them without having to experience the full impression/power of their real nature. At the upper boundary of the ethereal or thought-world (8), theystep downtheir nature as an act of loving kindness. This is also themeeting groundbetween the 9th Hierarchy, the realm of the Angels, and the 10th Hierarchy, the realm of human beings. Christ, as an aspect of His Second Coming, appears in the ethereal in theformof an Angel.

Like our personal guardian Angel He is now available tospeakto us in the realm of discursive thinking - our inner wording - the same way our Angel is able to speak to us there. Steiner called this speaking inner thinking: Inspiration. But first we must learn to silence our inner discourse - to become poor in spirit, or what in the cultural East might be called: empty consciousness, or no-mind.   Our original experience of this Angelic contact is via the still small voice of the conscience.  With practice (especially praying out loud and in private) we can learn to "hear" other inner voices besides our own.

At the lower boundary of the ethereal or thought-world, we experience the living aspect of this thought-world as a train of thoughts, in the form of discursive thinking (inner wording). The speed of the primal or original thinking is infinite, and that takes place in the realm of the uncreated and formless. In this realm everything is simultaneous - in the Now, in the Eternal. This is the gate to the Akashic Record. Everything that happens, happens Now.All things happened through Him and not one thing that happened happened without Him.

When we bring a thought out of this realm, through the space bound astral world of picture thinking, or imagination, into the realm of concrete words, we also bring it out of the realm of the simultaneous into the realm of linear time - that is, out of the realm of timelessness and spacelessness, through pure space (the imagination), and then into sequential time.

In life, when we do this, it is best called: carrying the Cross. The weight of the true and the good, as it is born in naturally developing thinking, to become realized in speaking and doing, - this moral weight is a burden. At the same time we are not alone. Matthew 11: 28-30: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

In our ordinary thinking we experience all of this. We just don’t notice it, because our thinking usually has as its object some important (or playful) aspect of our day to day existence. Thinking serves our existence, as does thought. It is just that we do not attend to it, or know yet how to practice our intention in full consciousness.

That’s why Steiner wanted us toturn aroundin our consciousness (soul life) and wake up through the path or Way of an empirical and scientific study of our own minds, following the map he created through The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, whose subtitle was:some results of introspection following the methods of natural science, and whose last sentence of the original preface said:One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage.

Here is what Steiner said aboutcognition, from the preface to Truth and Knowledge, his doctoral dissertation:

The object of knowledge is not to repeat in conceptual form something which already exists, but rather to create a completely new sphere, which when combined with the world given to our senses constitutes complete reality. Thus man’s highest activity, his spiritual creativeness, is an organic part of the universal world-process. The world-process should not be considered a complete, enclosed totality without this activity. Man is not a passive onlooker in relation to evolution, merely repeating in mental pictures cosmic events taking place without his participation; he is the active co-creator of the world-process, and cognition is the most perfect link in the organism of the universe.


We have today the concrete terms or words: consciousness and self-consciousness. Two or three hundred years ago in Europe, they would have used the words soul and spirit to mean the same experience. In between our Now and this most recent past, as those terms - soul and spirit - were translated into the English language, the term/word for soul and spirit becamemind. This materialization of our concepts of our inner life has intensified so that now people no longer use the term mind, but instead use the wordbrain, believing that there is only matter, and never spirit. (9)

The truth is that thebrainis a material organ by which the spirit is able, with the aid of the soul - or astral body - in a mediating fashion, to integrate itself into a physical body, much the same way consciousness is moved around in the movie Avatar. Theideathat there is only matter, but no spirit, so common today is due to the existence in themindof beliefs. Abeliefis an idea that has placed the self-consciousness of ourI” (or spirit) intobondage.

Steiner called such belief-like ideas aspects of the Ahrimanic Deception, which I name (for artistic/aesthetic reasons) the Ahrimanic Enchantment.

Errors in the act of thinking produces illusory thoughts, which realm of illusions Tomberg has called:the Realm of the False Holy Spirit. This is that portion of the ethereal or thought-world ruled by the legions of Lucifer. It is at the boundary of the ethereal and astral planes of existence. According to Tomberg, to get through this realm one needs to be accompanied by the Holy Mother.

In this experience in life we begin to come to know the crucifixion. We die inwardly in order to travel higher into the thought-world consciously, yet in this death we arecaughtby the Holy Mother, just as is depicted in Michaelangelo’s The Pieta. The thinkingIgives up itsselffor the other - for the Thou, thus experiencing a kind of death in the astral.

Steiner has said there are more illusions in the spiritual world than there are in the material world.

This is looking at the process of thinking from below upward. When we view this process in the fashion it creatively happens, we travel it from above downward - from, as pointed out before, the realm of the uncreated and formless, through the space bound world of imaginations (and mental pictures) into the space and time bound realm of discursive thinking in the forms of words (language).

Belief is different from true Faith, the latter being an act of trust in the Divine, not anideaof the Divine. When we encounter fundamentalism, of either the religious or the scientific kind, we are meeting a rigidly held belief, which possesses (or holds in bondage) the mind of the speaker.

MacCoun, in her book On Becoming an Alchemist, writes: that the belief in absolute facts is ahrimanic (she doesn’t actually use that name, but it is obvious she means to refer to a Being), and the belief in absolute truths is luciferic (again the same caution).

If people treat the works of Rudolf Steiner as an absolute authority on anything, they are falling into a relationship of bondage with those ideas. In a way this is a kind of self-generated entombment. This is different from social entombment, where the expressions of the good and the true are experienced by theIin the soul as an inability to effect the outer world. However hard we try to manifest the good and the true in the social world, it is rejected or otherwise not heard. We feel we are alone and powerless.  Like someone buried alive (entombed, but living), we fight and struggle against the social world's refusal to hear us.


There is a way out of the Tomb.  Our empathy must be so rich, that we realize that the other - the Thou - does not need to be like us.  The Thou is entitled to Its own version of the true and the good, and we must then sacrifice that version which is ours, and learn, as Steiner pointed out in The Inner Aspects of the Social Question: to hear the Christ Impulse in the other's thinking.  For our own biography we need the true and the good in order to act the Consciousness Soul, but at the same time part of the true and the good is that the other - the Thou - is not seen, if Judged.

Thinking as Perception:

This is not a commentary on the nature of sense perception, but only on the characteristics of thinking as perception - asseeing. (10)

In a crisis situation thinking is aided by the adrenaline to focus and concentrate. We can ourselves learn to focus and concentrate without this chemical (astral) support. Through either process we can wake up in the realm of the uncreated and the formless. We will thenseewith the thinking. To consciously experience this, and to also act in the world on the basis of this seeing is the experience of the resurrection at the level of our inner life. The social world often compels ourseeing.

The Zen masterseesthe situation of his student. The mother, when thinking selflessly, sees what to do in a moment of crisis with her child. The soldier, or first responder, sees with their thinking what the right action is. An athlete calls this: being in the zone.

Themindin this condition, which is generally completely spontaneous, is free - no longer in bondage to its old thoughts and mental habits.


This, when sustained while in contact with the world of pure spirit, Steiner called: Intuition. In our ordinary life we call it likewise: intuition, without the capital letter. We are united with the Idea in either case, although Steiner’s Intuition means a fully aware experience of the Divine Being, free of our own body - or sense free (body free) thinking. In the more ordinary types of consciousness, where our self-consciousness is seeing/perceiving, we have taken to having our ordinary language talk about abrightidea, or in a cartoon we have someone with a light-bulb going off over their head. The concentrated action in thinkinglightsup the mind.

"More light!" said Goethe on his death bed.

In spontaneous action we have what MacCoun describes assee, do. Perceiving and acting are united. Because our attention is focused on the needed action, we don’t notice the inner activity of seeing/perceiving because we are too committed to the outer world action to notice the inner world lighting up. In the East, if this state of pure intuitive experience is constant, it is called: enlightenment.

I had the following personal experience one day. I was in my kitchen with a friend, and also with my youngest daughter, who was about 3 and one half years old at that time. My daughter was skipping around the room, tripped over her own feet, and fell forward with her chin striking the corner of the clothes dryer which was also in that room.

I immediately picked her up, and sat her on the dryer, looking at her carefully to see her condition. She had not yet started to cry, something one ordinarily expects to happen very soon. I next immediately recalled that there was a bottle of Arnica in a nearby cabinet. I quickly took the bottle out, unstoppered it and placed some on a finger tip, which I then placed under her nose for her to smell. I next took another bit on a finger tip, and rubbed up between her eyebrows over the astral/ethereal doorway to the pineal gland. Only after these actions did I look at her chin, notice there was no open wound, and applied the Arnica there.

I had never before thought about any of these actions, other than the last one. All the same, I saw/I did. She did not cry at all, and was soon very calm, and sat in my lap for a while before returning to play.

My visiting friend, who was also a curative eurythmist, said to my daughter:Your father is very wise.Perhaps. What I did know was how to think - how to be empty or poor in spirit. I didn’t need a content of knowledge already existing, stored somewhere in memory - I only needed to know how to think. I do not mean here to denigrate experience and memory, but only to point to the capacities of the purely intuitive mind.

I trusted the world behind my eyes, and saw in the dark.

This Pure Thinking is pure in three ways: It is pure in the sense that the attention of our I is oriented fully away from sense experience (we don’t actually have to leave the body to do this).  It is also pure in a consciously intended moral sense - that is our thinking is fully other-directed. We have no egoistic stake in the outcome of the thinking activity, for we do it for others not for ourselves. The third way such thinking is pure is that it is only of concepts and ideas - that is the object of thought is the thought-world itself.


Rudolf Steiner described this kind of inner moral activity in The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, as moral imagination, moral intuition, and moral technique. This activity can be applied both in the outer world of our social environment, and in the world of contemplative thought alone. To apply it contemplatively, or while in a state of reverie or meditation, means to turn around and enter into the thought-world on purpose - as a place in itself.

The deeper (higher) we go, the more consciously we become able to wake up in the realm of the uncreated and formless, where moral thought arises out of our own creative activity. When we live the true and the good from out of this realm of experience, then we are truly free - no bondage to the idea. We’ve become a spirit-thought-creator, and then we are seen. Again, as pointed out by Steiner in Truth and Knowledge:

Man is not a passive onlooker in relation to evolution, merely repeating in mental pictures cosmic events taking place without his participation; he is the active co-creator of the world-process, and cognition is the most perfect link in the organism of the universe.


Ordinary consciousness, as it faces the social-trials of the biography, is the naturally arising  expression of the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ.  This then is the science orphysicsof the life of thought as religious or moral art.


For the American Soul,
 we now have cowboys and cowgirls, as women more and more claim their rightful places society.  Again, following the mythical archetype of the Western as regards the American Soul, and remembering that this Soul is the leading edge of changes in consciousness occurring on a world-wide scale, those who "think" their way to the true and the good, or live in what Steiner called the Consciousness Soul, burn with a kind of fire for the true and the good that involves them becoming Christ-like in their biographical environments, however small and intimate. 

As such fore-runners they then are destined to live the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ in their individual biographical niche.  This can be true even if someone is in a prison, or works in a large Corporation, or is homeless.

In this biographical niche they will run into, and become involved with, those individuals serving other impulses.   Our Age then is an epic social conflagration brought about by the naturally occurring differences among individuals, which is bringing in its train that Age of Earth Existence the Hopi Prophets called: the Day of Purification.  As a first act in this true New Age, Western Civilization is failing.

Those serving other impulses are not necessarily wrong.  Each biographical Path is perfect, and overseen by the most profound Love (see note 6, again).  Each follows their own drummer - their own music.  In my Father's House are many mansions.


Is the brain a computer?  Is the mind the brain? Can a computer be moral or create art? (11)





a brief summation

The above was mostly parts ... now it is our task to string the parts into a whole, and as a whole we will then arrive deeper into the realm of the true and the good ... of the "physics" of thought and thinking ...

Original thought is created by human beings, in the realm of the uncreated and unformed - a realm connected to the spaceless and timeless Now that is Eternity.  From there it descends, through the realm of perishable and mutable spirit - the realm of the imagination and mental pictues, which arise in that mental/astral space bound existence we more easily experience.  Then from there the descent is into the the inner wording of discursive thinking in the form of concrete language, and in that way finally, via speech (12), into the world of social space and linear time.  Steiner's map of the mind: The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, via its practices of moral imagination, moral intuition, and moral technique mirrors this process just described.  Moral imagination takes place in the middle realm of the perishable and mutable spirit, through which activity we ask a question of ourselves, and in forming the moral intuition that is the answer to that question, we rise into the realm of timeless and spaceless cognitive creation.  Then through moral technique we once more descend, from our previous assent, into the process of incarnating the true and the good into deeds, which can include speech.


Not all thoughts that we utter come from this organic and living sequence of ascent and descent.  Some thoughts come from memory, such as where we store Steiner-said.  We also speak out of habits of thought, which too live in the astral/ethereal matrix, often in the Realm of the False Holy Spirit.  The liar is trapped in the illusions spun by his or her lies - a false idea we don't confront places us in bondage.  Steiner called speech without true thought: the empty phrase.

The Creator, named Christ in our current perception of the Now, has made a world-encompassing social organism in which the human biography unfolds, in such a way that each individual receives the Love that belongs to them to receive (see note 6, again).  As an aspect of this organism, there also exists a Path, which we have called The Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ.  The Creator became human and then went through the gate of death, because He could not ask of us something He could not himself do - namely be human.  Many people believe falsely that the Passion is something we did to Christ.  It is not.

The Passion is the mirror image of something humans do to themselves as a result of the Fall into Matter.  Christ follows us in living out this Passion.  It is our Passion for material existence that He imitates.  

The social organism is so perfectly endowed, that what Christ experienced in the Seven Stages - during the Turning Point of Time as Steiner phrased it, we can now experience as well.  This is possible because the social world reacts to us, and in reacting plays the same role as did the Romans and the Hebrews, in the moments when the Creator God became human.  The profound Now of the Turning Point of Time reverberates through All Time - all Nows.   The Seven Stages are also the ultimate process of metamorphosis.  What Goethe observed as the various renunciations in the Plant, can also be seen in such a way that in that the totality of all the single renunciations also reflect the Seven Stages of the Passion.  The Ur-plant, first as seed, washes the feet of material existence, burying itself into Matter, engaging in its own Fall.  This Fall goes ever more deeper into matter, and the life of the Ur-Plant, on a planetary scale, experiences the resistance of matter to its generative powers as scourging, crowning with thorns, carrying the cross, crucifixion, entombment and then resurrrection in the masterful creation of the new seed.  This life is yet without consciousness or self-consciousness.  It is pure life-process, without even instinct.

The animal kingdom and the human kingdom too suffer the Fall into materiality - and in overcoming the density of matter in order to express their true spirit, they too go through this Passion.  And the human kingdom, in forgetting its own true nature, adds to the suffering of the life (plant) process, and the instinctive consciousness pain of the animal kingdom - by our efforts to manipulate what we do not understand (the fundamental "sin" or error we commit by our efforts to genetically modify organisms - including ourselves).  Not appreciating matter, we also harm spirit, including the spirit of life itself ("In it - the Word - was Life and the Life was the Light of the world").
 
The Light of the Sun does the same thing (see note 11, again).  In photosythensis It dies into Matter to become food (energy) for the human being (take and eat for this is my body), only to return/become the inner sun-light of thought and the mind.  The deeds and sufferings of light also mirror the Seven Stages of the Passion.   Everything is part and parcel of everything else.  Those people who vex us, and scourge us and help us be socially entombed - that's just us wearing a different face in a different aspect of the Eternal Now (13).  Our biographical Time is not their biographical Time, which is one of the reasons Christ encourages us not to Judge, for it is ourselves we judge.  The other - the Thou - is us wearing a different face and experiencing a different time-oriented biography.  We only appear to share the same Time.

When asked what is the most important commandment, Christ spoke this way:   Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your spirit and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

God is everything, everything is god (14)We are all Cowboy Bebops - stranger others - dancing and singing throughout all Eternity; and, seeking the true and the good is just one Chapter of many in our own eternal dying and becoming.


Notes

(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cowboy_Bebop

(2) Learning to Perceive the American Soul http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/learning.html 

(3) See the movie Payback starring Mel Gibson, for an updated film-noir representation. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payback_(1999_film)
(4) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts 

(5) The Mystery of Evil in the Light of the Sermon on the Mount http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/mysteryofevil.html 

(6) The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html 

(7) seeZen Anthroposophy: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/ZenA.html

(8) “The IDEA of the thought-world: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/thoughtworld.html

(9) “The Idea of Mind: a Christian meditator considers the problem of consciousness:  http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/tidom.html

(10) Carl Stegmann, in his book:The Other America: the West in the Light of Spiritual Science" called this new thinking: clair-thinking: http://www.amazon.com/The-Other-America-Carl-Stegmann/dp/0945803281

(11) Electicity and the Spirit in Nature .. - a tale of certain considerations of the present state of science, in the light of a modern practical understanding of the nature of mind - http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/electricityandthespiritinnature.html
(12) The Gift of the Word (a poem - meant to be read aloud):  http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/giftoftheword.html

(13) See the Beatles "I am the Walrus": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42luHhrsNhg

(14) also: All You Need is Love http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ydfH7iuLR0I