“Cognitive Yoga: making yourself a new etheric body and individuality.”
by Yeshayahu (Jesaiah) Ben-Aharon.
The book can be pre-ordered at Amazon, here:

This book is a “bad” book. Not so much poorly written, however, although such a judgment is factually correct. This book is bad as in “not good” and “not true”, in a spiritual/moral sense. A reader who tries to follow its instructions will bring harm to their own soul life.

Ben-Aharon asserts that he is following in the steps of Rudolf Steiner and Goethe. That is not true. That is a pretense. I am, by the way, not being critical of Ben-Aharon’s personality - only his “work product”. He had spiritual talent, and sometimes people with spiritual talents get drawn into what is called in Tomberg: the Realm of the False Holy Spirit - a realm of illusion. In this Ben-Aharon is in the company of many spiritual seekers who have fallen prey to the Father of Lies, who Steiner named: Ahriman. I wrote about this in great detail in my review of an earlier book of Ben-Aharon’s [http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/benaharon.html] Ben-Aharon “uses” certain language conventions and calls what he does: Spiritual Science, yet this work is not at all within the stream of Anthroposophy, as engendered by Steiner. Nor is it within the stream of Goethean Science, followed and created by many Steiner students. It is not enough to endlessly quote Steiner, which Ben-Aharon mostly does as an “authority”, a mantel Steiner did not want to wear. Ben-Aharon also needs to get his “science” right, and there is plenty of “Goethean Science” that is not quoted at all.

I need to confess that I only read through to the end of the first chapter, but there were so many “wrong” statements, that whatever foundation Ben-Aharon believed he was creating, was in fact a house being built upon sand. There is no there there.

Ben-Aharon makes frequent use of the term “electricity” in this Chapter, and almost everything he writes about electricity is incorrect. In order to be brief, I will just make general references to places that should have been mentioned, and were not. The reader who wants the true and the good, will have to make the effort to seek out this material. Here, however, is a few quotes that are full of errors:

Ben-Aharon begins his first chapter with this paragraph:
“Water is the most common and essential liquid that sustains all the processes of life as well as living beings in the physical world. Like other physical substances it is not original stuff, but a condensation of etheric and ultimately spiritual forces. Water is a result of an active process of composition, synthesis and condensation of two very different substances, namely the gases oxygen and hydrogen.”

Here is the leading Goethean scientist on chemistry, Rudolf Hauschka, from his book “The Nature of Substance” (beginning Chapter Six). Substance being what Ben-Aharon called above “stuff”:
“Starch, sugar and cellulose are carbohydrates, the most characteristic plant material. All three substances break down into the carbon and water when subjected to heat. Now we know that water can be further broken down into hydrogen and oxygen by applying great heat or an electric current. The elements which compose these three substances are therefore carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. This is not, however, a very accurate statement, since carbohydrates, not to mention plants, cannot be built up out of combinations of these elements, as the term implies. We have to bear in mind that elements are actually break-down products, or corpses - a description that is then better in this connection that the term elements.”

But Ben-Aharon does not know this, so he writes (invents) the idea that water (because it can be broken down by electricity) is composed of two parts oxygen and hydrogen (the elements Hauschka rejects as a valid concept - corpse is better, for by breaking them down, the life is lost). Ben-Aharon further asserts that these elements (which are corpses of the once living), can be reconnect by electricity back into water in the upper regions of the atmosphere.

Having completely mis-conceived the relationship between electricity and substances, Ben-Aharon goes on to say: “The soul’s electric current is made of a mutually enhancing, reciprocally invigorating synergy of all our soul forces” (page 13) ... then further, same page: “This synergetic, holistic force fired by the strongest forces of our innermost will, which is the soul equivalent of electricity in the physical world.”

In Steiner’s system of ideas (in spite of all of Ben-Aharon’s cherry-picked Steiner quotes concerning Nature), the Natural World has two boundary conditions: sub-nature and supra-nature. Electricity is a phenomena of sub-nature, which realm is filled with the Beings of the Nine Spheres of the Inner Earth. When Ben-Aharon describes electricity as the human will, he is greatly mistaken. The human will is an aspect of supra-nature - the higher spiritual as lives in the total human organism, called in Anthroposophical Medicine: the warmth body.
Electricity in matter provides “cohesion”. Read this: [https://borderlandsciences.org/journal/vol/46/n05/Goethe_Space_Field_Phenomena.html]. Electricity is not the spirit in Nature. Read this, which has many related footnotes: [http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/electricityandthespiritinnature.html]

In the Prologue to the Gospel of John, we find this: “In It (the Word) was Life, and the Life was the Light of the World.” The Cosmos has an earthly pole, where “gravity” dominates, and a heavenly pole where “levity” dominates. This “levity” is this “Life” as referred to above, and from this “Life”, at the Cosmic Periphery arises, “Light”. Find and read George Adams: “Space and the Light of Creation.” (link to that work in the paper in the link just above).

What we call “solid” matter, or substance, arises from a kind of intercourse between “gravity” and “levity”, which are in fact the will forces of Cosmic Hierarchical Beings. In solid matter is “bound levity”, which is released during processes of oxidation (when we burn matter) as light and warmth. Read George Adams on “Physical and Ethereal Spaces”, and as well as his material on “Hidden Forces in Mechanics”. Again, links just above.

Ben-Aharon attempts to make much of the fact that if we electrify “water” it breaks into “pieces”, which chemists call oxygen and hydrogen. This is sort of true, but its real meaning is lost to Ben-Aharon. He goes on to suggest that electricity takes free oxygen and hydrogen in the atmosphere and combines them into water. This is not what happens when fresh water is created as an aspect of the metabolic processes in the living atmosphere. Water is created from “nothing”, but the will of Cosmic Beings, just as was all of the Creation. When water is created in the atmosphere, as a secondary phenomena we get thunder and lightening. See E. Lehrs: “Man or Matter”, link once more above. In fact, Nature is full of processes of “continuous creation”, such as what happens at the “growing point” of a leaf (again, see Adams/Whicher - “The Plant between Sun and Earth”, links above.

These mis-statements of the real processes of Nature in Cognitive Yoga, are not the worst moral/spiritual flaws (absence of the good and the true) it contains. This book tries to bring into our present, aspects of spiritual laws and processes not yet appropriate for modern humanity. We are not nearly ready to consciously build a new “etheric body”, which in fact does not come about in the way Ben-Aharon describes (see my writings in “Sacramental Thinking”: for a more appropriate understanding: [http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/SacramentalThinking33x.html].

There (in Sacramental Thinking) you will discover the idea that the moral thoughts we create in the Age of the Consciousness Soul, through a process of our active participation in the transubstantiation of thought, - these moral thoughts will become the next planetary condition, or the New Jerusalem.

Readers of Steiner are aware that he characterized these attempts to draw us into such future developmental possibilities, out of their correct place in Time, as true evil; and a sure sign of the activity of Ahriman. For Ben-Aharon, to have his soul so captured by the Father of Lies, is a great tragedy. To follow where he has gone, and is going, will be piling tragedy upon tragedy.
Understand, please dear reader, that I take no pleasure in the circumstances that requires I write the above. I feel only deep pain of soul for the lost nature of someone who I had hoped years ago would become a true spiritual brother.