From the book: American Anthroposophy:

The Challenge

American Anthroposophy begins to come to maturity in the situation of a given place and a given time.  The dominant characteristic of this time, outwardly, is the Incarnation of Ahriman

[A brief introduction to the neophyte: For some it will come as a strange surprise (perhaps quite off putting) to find this book begin with the following discussion concerning the present day incarnation of a spiritual Being of whom they have perhaps never heard anything.  Ahriman is apparently first known to outward history as a figure in Persian religious myths.  Rudolf Steiner discussed this Being in great detail, and represented both human nature and the general structure of the social world as being threefold in its most universal all-human characteristics.  As represented artistically in Steiner's sculpture: the Representative of Humanity, we find above was Lucifer, who stood between the human being and his experience of the divine spiritual worlds.  Below was Ahriman, who stood between the human being and his experience of the world of the senses.  In the Middle, as the balancing gesture, stood Christ as the Representative of Humanity (what our true higher nature is to become, as St. Paul had noted: Not I, but Christ in me).  This arrangement should be viewed as something not easy to understand and as something that needs to be approached carefully and without succumbing to any temptations to sensationalize or exaggerate the real nature of Mystery of Evil, the main structural Mystery surrounding humanity in the present. 

This much should be recognized.  The social world consists of two parts, the first of which is an outer structural aspect - a  Stage Setting, the maya of nature, history and social-political facts and processes.  Here in this outside structure Ahriman is a main feature.  More essential is the inwardness, what is not visible to the senses. All our outer actions (and inner actions) have a consequence for our soul and spirit.  This inwardness is not maya, but truth.  But to arrive at truth requires a rite of passage.  The governor of this rite of passage is Lucifer.  As we progress in inner development, we come to learn that the real essential aspect is Christ.  He is the predominant feature of the truth of the inner world (Lucifer commands an inner world of temptation and illusion, while Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life - what receives our approach (the Way), in the middle becomes the means (the Truth) leading us through this rite of passage to its culmination (the Life).).

As the essay below progresses, certain facts about this structural Mystery will be illuminated, and other related facts will come forward as the reader gets deeper into the rest of this book.  The neophyte, who wants to go further into this Mystery - particularly what is called: the opponents, may want eventually to read Steiner's works on the subject of Lucifer and Ahriman very carefully.]

Outrageous Genius - Discovering the in-the-Present Incarnation of Ahriman in America through the Signs of the Times

first, some necessary preliminary considerations

Honoring the Teacher and the Teaching

"And, just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh, and as there was an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so will there be, before even a part of the third post-Christian millennium will have passed, an actual incarnation of Ahriman in the West: Ahriman in the flesh." [emphasis added] R.S. lecture, 1 November, 1919

"The thing that will matter, though, will be for people in the age of Ahriman to know that John William Smith* is only what appears before them outwardly, and that inwardly Ahriman is there; they must know what is happening and not succumb to any deception in the drowsiness of their illusions." [emphasis added] R. S. 28 December 1919 [*a name Steiner made up]

The first and essential thing to realize is that in thinking about the Incarnation of the near-god Ahriman, as a human being on the cusp of the change from the 2nd Millennium to the 3rd, we must not conceive of this as an incarnation of Evil.  What Rudolf Steiner has called the "opponents" play a necessary and ordained role in the Creation.  They are the density and weight we are to meet and learn to carry (in both the inward heavenly realm as well as the outward earthly realm), otherwise our own incarnations would be too easy, and we would never really learn anything. Macro Evil (the opponents) are different from the Beast from the Abyss, or collective and conscious micro (human) evil.  The tempters and confusers tempt and confuse, they sow seeds of fear and doubt and judgment and cynicism,  but they do not bring true evil into the social world.  We do that when we give into their urgings, instead of the wise (though challenging and often difficult) promptings of our own hearts.  The more consciously we choose the dark, the more the Beast from the Abyss has free play in human social existence.  The more we consciously seek and choose the Good, the more evolution moves forward in a balanced and harmonious  direction.

"...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] R.S. Lucifer and Ahriman, lecture II, 2 November 1919.

Some anthroposophists create pictures within their inwardness, in which they view the opponents as more or less extremely powerful, and thereby capable of overwhelming humanity (especially in connection with the hardly spoken of Soradt - the Sun Demon - and the Asuras).  Simple logic refutes such an assumption, for if these Beings had the power some anthroposophists believe they have, progressive evolution would already be over.  The fact is they are constrained, principally through the office of the Divine Mother, whose golden realm is found on the other side of the Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth (the Spheres of the Fallen Hierarchies).  As we more and more become able to do research into the Feminine Mysteries (something Steiner could only hint at in order not to get caught up in the web of the Mary Cult of European Catholicism), we will discover that there is not only a male trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), but also a feminine trinity (Mother, Daughter and Holy Soul).  Steiner could only point out to us a few facts about this golden realm, and also the significance of the return of the Imagination (the Holy Sophia) and as well the significance of Anthroposophia.  Some of the best present-day research on the Divine Mother can be found in Tomberg's Meditations on the Tarot, in the 11th Arcanum: Force.  It is through Hell to the realm of the Holy Mother (the Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth) that Christ descended on the Saturday following His crucifixion, whereby he obtained the forces necessary for resurrection.  [See Proverbs viii, 22-30 for some hints.]

More detail will be developed on this problem in my essay below: The Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil: the relationship of the Shadow (the three-fold double-complex) to the American Soul, wherein knowledge of the Shadow obtained after 35 years of introspection will be described.  This much can be said presently: Ahriman and Lucifer enter directly into human affairs through us - through our giving into the Shadow, the three-fold double-complex.  We are the gate by which the effects of the opponents enter the world social order.  In a like fashion, it is also only through us that Christ (and the Divine Mother - but that is, as noted above, a whole other theme) can directly enter into the social order.*  The Fifth Cultural Epoch (the Age of the Consciousness Soul) is the era in which greater and greater aspects for the responsibility for earthly social affairs falls to human beings.

*[Obviously, both Christ and the Divine Mother appear sometimes to make a physical contact with individuals in various forms.  This is one of the means through which they influence a particular time, but still this is always done with great respect for human freedom, and still keeps to the same rule: the influence enters the social world through us.  The recipient of such effects is not made into a passive tool in any sense of that word.]

Ahriman in reality is a gift to humanity, a two-edged gift to be sure, but a real treasure.  His very onesidedness teaches us, and this is teaching we need to face squarely, for it not only teaches us about ourselves, but also about an essential aspect of the real nature of the Creation.  We all contain within our souls the ahrimanic potential, the possibility to be calculatingly cold and heartless, and if we are as brutally self honest as our conscience would encourage, we have all made and will make judgments that have such a quality - that are, from a human perspective, callous and indifferent.

Do we not walk through the world turning a blind eye away from all manner of suffering and pain, fully aware that we do this in order to preserve our self interest, our comfort and our far easier lives?

To fill out this picture, think on Nature.  In tooth and claw, in flood and earthquake, in all that seems as powers of death and radical sudden change, we see in the processes of Nature what appears as an absence of either compassion or love.  The Natural World (as against the Social World*) is a world of profound and complicated laws, which seem in their results to have not at all the same consciousness that one human being might bear, out of compassion and love, toward another.  In this indifferent power of Nature and nature's lawfulness, lives Ahriman as he manifests as an aspect of the sense world.

*[From another point of view this distinction, separating the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms from the human kingdom, does not work.  But we have different purposes here, if the reader will accept that reality (as Steiner himself pointed out) is frequently paradoxical.  Our bodies are of this Nature, but our Spirit, in its freedom, stands outside those rules.  See Owen Barfield's remarkable book Worlds Apart to explore some of the logical problems here in a deeper way.]

Yes, Nature (as meant here) contains beauty - it is a divine work of art, but in its processes and laws it is basically finished, fixed and complete.  It is essentially done.  That human beings may in the future have the possibility of lifting Nature up out of this fixed and finished condition is a whole other story.  That Anthroposophy can yet teach humanity mysteries of Nature unimagined by today's mankind is a necessary step in laying the groundwork for this lifting up.  Humanity must learn to truly see, and it is a mission of Anthroposophy to enable this seeing.  All the same, Nature is Created (past tense), in which the last act was the arising of thought.  "Thought is the last member of a series of processes by which Nature is formed" [emphasis added] R.S. A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception.  This is why the path of Anthroposophy is a path of cognition.  To see the real secrets of Nature requires the metamorphosis of thinking, a task not as well advanced as it should be in anthroposophical culture (more later).  What we haven't truly understood in practice, we cannot teach.

Our social-political world has almost completely emancipated itself from Nature.  As we more and more developed, we more and more separated away from Nature, so that today the Social World is a world essentially all of its own, in which callous indifference and compassion and love operate along side each other.  The Social World has out of instinct come to sit astride the Natural World, using it for our egoistic benefit.  We can now choose whether to continue that course, whether to continue to  embody dominion over or to transform and metamorphose that into communion with (see my book the Way of the Fool). We can go to sleep and let raw animality (callous indifference and appetite) rule us (instead of us ruling it), or we can wake up.

Ahriman in entering into our world confronts other powers than those which would be normal to his realm - his usual place in the Creation.  As a human being he now enters this world of choice, not of essentially fixed processes and laws.

Part of what bothers us, and will bother us about this Cosmic Being, now to be seen as a human individual, is not how much he has done that we see as wrong, but how much he is just like a certain part of us.  For example, many people have and will in the future like and admire this individual.  Even so, as a human being, to the extent that he does evil, he does it as a human being.  Elements of his cosmic powers are restrained by being incarnated, just as are ours.

In addition, recall that Rudolf Steiner explained how our antipathy to another really acquires its strength and passion from the fact that we semi-consciously know just how much we ourselves are like that which we observe in others as failings.  Ahriman incarnate is a mirror to a common human failing, a failing to which everyone living today in the world is prone.  If we want to avoid this, we must strive to know the true nature of our heart, and at the higher levels of inner development, think our way to an experience of the Ethereal Christ.  This requires us to work properly and consciously at soul metamorphosis, and not just whine and complain about how awful the world is, and about how much everyone but us is wrong, evil and dumb.

It is also important to realize that Ahriman incarnates in a specific place and time in order to accomplish something as a more or less ordinary human being (with extraordinary intelligence - one-sided spirit-thinking) he can only achieve at this specific place and time.  Outside the social world of incarnate human beings, the cosmic power Ahriman can only do certain limited things, and these mostly indirectly through our Shadow (the three-fold double-complex).  Inside the Social World, when with us as a human being, he can do directly things he was unable to do before.

All the same, to act directly on the world, as a member of the social order, he must still surrender some of his capacities - some of his genius, that is operate as a extremely gifted human being, not as a nearly divine power incarnate (what in ancient times might have been called an avatar).

In this, Ahriman's teaching is harsh - it is not for wimps, and his influence on our social existence is necessarily profound, regardless of how dark we may be tempted to seek to portray it.  A cosmic power is on the earth living as a human being, and this is a power that can only be called Outrageous Genius.

Ahriman also belongs to America (the true West), in the same way Lucifer belonged to the East and Christ to the Center.  American anthroposophists need to recognize that he is ours.  Our materialistic society, mostly of our own making through our choices in terms of comfort and appetites, is ahrimanic because we opened the door to his influence and have benefited from it.  For example, we have computers and all that goes with this electronic world, because of him.  The genius of cold heartless calculation provides many gifts, and we have had to become awash in it - buried up to our necks in it - so that we will soon be forced to decide whether or not we really want it to rule us, or us to rule it.

Our task then in coming to knowledge of this power is to recognize a part of ourselves in its nature, and to also understand how fine and exact is the shape this power seeks to give to our social life.  This shape, crafted by outrageous genius, can tell us a great deal.  In so doing it reveals to us, we who would foster the good - that is we who would be balanced instead of so extremely one-sided - just what we need to do and how we need to act in the social world to bring into that world just the healing that is needed.  Ahriman would overbalance the world in a certain direction, and it will be up to that portion of humanity, willing to be awake to him consciously, or instinctively, to strive to restore this balance.

In a peculiar sense, he also points directly at the true Second Coming, as began in its initial ethereal world dynamics in the years 1933 to 1945, by pointing so strongly away from it.  He (Ahriman) comes to distract us, to move us away from our true heart, and this is his temptation - to cause us to loose ourselves in the world of the senses, and never look within at the own soul and discover what lies there, for as Christ told us in Luke: "the kingdom of heaven is within you".   Ahriman would have us be so absorbed in the Stage Setting, that we never notice that the real battlefield is within - that is: It is within this inner battlefield of soul that we as individuals act most powerfully as creative authors in the Play.

Yet, by this very distraction and its strength, he points the other way.  He speaks into our lives and says to us: go here, for you will like it, for all your lower impulses will find there their satisfaction.  He wants to pull us down into too much self-gratifying gravitas.  Even the excess of seriousness in anthroposophical circles tends to have this ahrimanic character.  We have to engender the counter-levity out of our selves.  We have to overcome the cold-hearted and calculating materializing lower senses tendency in our soul that otherwise remains sub-conscious, and replace that with the ethereal forces of consciously moralized thought.  Only our wills can do this, and we have incarnated just in this time precisely to learn this lesson and to accomplish this task, which Rudolf Steiner has called: the unfolding of the Consciousness Soul.

Moreover, if we learn to perceive the real dynamics of social existence correctly, we will see that already, in spite of Ahriman's incarnate activities, we have been instinctively engaged in much that is already transforming the worst that he would accomplish were we not to learn to understand his teaching.   We are learning even now from this teaching how to make its countering healing gesture.   Everywhere there is a waking up, and now it is time for Anthroposophy to step forward and find a way to serve the world's hunger to wake up all the way.  However, first we need to rouse ourselves by facing the mirrored shadow of our worst qualities as these manifest not just in American and World Culture, but more importantly, as an absolutely necessary crucial first step, in American (and world-wide) Anthroposophical Culture.

Were we simply to look at the outer culture, without first looking inwardly and squarely at ourselves, we will fail utterly.  We must meet the Shadow in ourselves or we will be nothing but the hypocrites to which Christ referred when he said in Matthew 23: 25-28:

"Woe to you canon-lawyers and Pharisees, you fakes, for cleaning off the rim of your cup and saucer while on the inside you're bursting with greed and wild appetites.  Blind Pharisee, wash out the inside of the cup and saucer first, if you want the outside to end up clean!  Woe to you canon-lawyers and Pharisees, you fakes, for being like dusty monuments that look pretty on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of corpses and all kinds of rot.  You likewise from the outside appear to the world to be decent, but inside you're full of hypocrisy and ways around the law".

It is the thesis of this essay then that Ahriman incarnated in the West in the latter part of the 20th Century, and that his activity as an incarnated human being can be found in various phenomena of social existence.  He leaves/left a trail, as it were, in events that mark his passage, and this paper means to discover that trail, and mark that passage, so that we know who he is/was and what he did, and can then begin to counter-balance this influence.  Not erase it, or eliminate it, but consciously counter-balance it.  Moreover, we must start to look also at its examples that are nearest at hand in our Society and Movement (a great deal in the collection of essays that follows does this).  We look outwardly to understand it, and then inwardly to correct it; for we have nothing to teach anyone about this if we have not first understood it, and mastered it within ourselves and within our own circles.

Anthroposophists are faced in this trial - of coming awake to Ahriman's Incarnation - by the problem of the mote and the beam on a very large scale (See Matthew: Chapters 5-7).

Those wanting to consider more details, as regards the indications of Rudolf Steiner, are encouraged to read and ponder the essay in the appendix to the book: The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New Millennium, which appendix was called: When did Rudolf Steiner Expect the Incarnation  of Ahriman? by Hans-Peter van Manen.  This is, of course, in addition to the obvious books Steiner wrote specifically on Lucifer and Ahriman.

In order to fully appreciate this incarnation of a near-god, we have to have a proper inner picture of modern existence - to learn to perceive that Earth Events also have Cosmic Meaning.  What can seem to some, to be merely historical confusion and social evil, has to be perceived by the anthroposophical living picture thinking as Divine Drama, in which certain unusual Actors enter Stage Left, cross the Stage, and leaving behind their Effects exit Stage Right.  I use the term Actors, because Ahriman does not incarnate alone - many others are drawn to this place and time precisely because of the unique characteristics Ahriman has stamped upon it.

We also need to ask good questions about where to look.  Do we look in the Cultural Sphere that is: Religion, Art or Science, or in the Economic Sphere (Production, Distribution and Consumption), or in the Life of Rights (State, Media, People)?  Where would Ahriman work?

I am going to suggest the Life of Rights, because if we read Steiner's The Inner Aspect of the Social Question, we will come upon the understanding that while the Cultural Sphere and the Economic Sphere have spiritual world counterparts, the Life of Rights is completely Earthly. It is our Earthly existence to which Ahriman wishes to bind us (while Lucifer would take us to a world of unearthly and illusory spirit).  Nonetheless, nothing here should be taken to confine the reader to coming to a different understanding.

Why the Life of Rights?

Humanity now possesses considerable freedom with respect to the happenings in the human social life of the Earth, as well as with regard to our relationship to the natural world. We can build bombs that we believe make a small sun of death inside a city.  We can alter biological life in ways we can't predict out of an almost cultivated arrogant ignorance (callous indifference).  We can consciously spread horrible diseases, perhaps killing all human life, all animal life, all plant life.

We can also control the economy by the hidden secret levers behind the issuance and management of currencies, and then using the power that this concentrated wealth can buy, the holders of these hidden levers subvert politicians and media outlets so as to hold great temporal power in a few hands, which hands cannot be challenged or often even named.  A secret cabal tries to rule mankind, and seems to direct through money (stones into bread) most of the scientific research of our great industries.  All this inside a world view dominated by ideas and concepts that make little or no room for the reality of Spirit.  All to what end?

At this climatic point in world history, one Nation State is behaving as if it is the main center of political, economic and technological power - the United States of America.  The entire social and natural spheres of earth existence are spread out before this power like live prey waiting to be devoured (Americans literally consume far far more than a fair share of the world's wealth).  Since the United States Government is a nexus of these powers, those who seek to rule from out of the economic and financial circles still must work through the Life of Rights.  

If then someone were to be inside this nexus of power conduits, they would be able to sit astride all those flowing streams of power running from the economic, and the cultural (as in that which is controlled by corporations - television and movies etc. and also the dangerous oversight of the State in education) in and through the Life of Rights - the middle Sphere of the emerging Threefold Social Organism.

Recognize also that of the threefold nature of the Life of Rights (State, Media, People - see my essay Waking the Sleeping Giant: the Mission of Anthroposophy in America, these streams of power are currently dominated by the State alone.

We could place then Ahriman's human incarnation right inside the current Bush II Administration and not be far off the mark in our efforts to see if some kind of heartless calculating force is/was radiating from there outwards into the political life of the United States, tilting it and the world in certain directions.  We should also expect that Ahriman will not incarnate alone, but will bring with him (or along side him) those who have some karma to work out with respect to such Genius.  His cold calculating genius does not need to be perceived as just localized in him, but needs to be seen as distributed - as spread out among many many individualities around or near him (and also throughout the world).

We also need to recognize that there will be those intimately within these circles (although more will be outside), who oppose him and these tendencies.  Christ is the Lord of Karma, and through His Art as the arranger of the relationships of all human biographies, He has allowed in the circles around Ahriman not merely his closest allies, but also those who have the remarkable strength needed to thwart much that he would otherwise like to achieve.  Michaelic warriors will be right next to those who have chosen to be the Dragon's earthly spawn.

Moreover, Ahriman has no need to hold directly any reins of temporal power, for the use of such power is not his genius.  His genius is to see how number relationships can be gripped and thus give an excessive strength of fixed-like order to the normal living and fluid nature of social existence.  He knows better than anyone, human or divine, what power lives in number, and earthly temporal power has no attraction to him at all.

second, a presentation of the relevant context in the form of a contemplation on the social organism

The Wise Earth* as Counter-force to Ahriman's Incarnation

*c.f. Paul Hawken's

We need now to revisit the above themes, but from an even higher and more picture-like level.  It is important for the reader to realize that our conventional conceptual frame of reference as regards political-social themes, in particular the Life of Rights, does not adequately take account of the related spiritual reality.  To speak or think of the political-social using the same terminology as conventional media is to "materialize" our mental pictures, concepts and ideas.  In this next section I will endeavor to help the reader overcome these habits of mind.

First, we should step back a little, and see if we can see earthly events in the more mythic or imaginative form.  Events in the social organism are also a story, or perhaps better said a Cosmic Tale as it were. Just like nature speaks in its appearances, so does the logos nature of Christ speak into social events, which He artistically arranges through His role as Lord of Karma (see my essays below: The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul; and, The Methodology Necessary for a New Social Science).

Picture the surface of the Earth sphere, that narrow spherical physical band in which unfolds all the visible phenomena of human lives and cultures.  Literally, dear reader, consciously form this picture of a huge spherical band, perhaps only twenty miles in height, that at its upper limits is airless space (beyond which we cannot breath), and at its lower limit solid near impenetrable rock.  Six billion plus people spread over the surface of the Earth, all held dear by the Divine Mystery.  Waves of change move through this sphere of social existence, which in the 20th Century became truly global economically, at the same time it became more self-aware globally (via the Internet).  In fact, if we think away the mental pictures we have of this world that are derived from the senses, and begin to substitute more imaginative, more fluid and dynamic pictures of the social world as the interplay of downward and upward flowing will forces of Cosmic Beings, in which the human being moves through fields* of thinking, feeling and willing born in the hierarchies, we will come closer to the truth.  The apparently material earth sphere, in which the social world seems to have emancipated itself from Nature, is in fact a nexus of dynamic and inter penetrating cosmic spiritual activity.  Rudolf Steiner gave us a very necessary picture of this activity, when he said that "man was the religion of the Gods".

There is a reason so much activity is directed from the Cosmic Spiritual Heights and from the Earthly Spiritual Depths, at this
in between center - at this narrow material-like spherical band where human beings unfold their biographies.  The Hierarchies conceive of us as their religion, because inside us, in the i-AM, that is the human spirit, exists something that can't be found anywhere else.  Rudolf Steiner wrote of this in his youth, in A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception:

"Man is not behaving in accordance with the purposes of the Guiding Power of the world when he investigates one or another of His commandments, but when he behaves in accordance with his own insight.  For in him the Guiding Power of the world manifests Himself.  He does not live as Will somewhere outside of man; He has renounced his own will in order that all might depend upon the will of man." [emphasis added]

*[See the lessons of the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science.]

We are the father and mother of all human action.

Within the consciousness of these many billions of human beings, whose true mystery we are hardly ready to acknowledge, exists struggles, which we call in general the Evolution of Consciousness.  In the current phase of this evolution, which we call the time of the Consciousness Soul, the I seeks to awake in the encounter with other I's. Within the soul, moral challenges appear out of these encounters, as each biography confronts its necessary karma and destiny.  First, as if radiating outward in waves from the Western Democracies (where individualism is most fully developing), while at the same time appearing homeopathically in smaller communities world-wide, the Consciousness Soul begins its unfolding.  From out of the totality of the invisible inner world of humanity the I faces both outer and inner challenges (for the most part lost from the insight of our thinking in an inner darkness of coagulated concepts, such as rigid and arid religious beliefs, or a spiritless materialistic natural science, or even to the Anthroposophical Society and Movement via the intellectualization during the 20th Century of the Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence).

Meanwhile, unknown to most, the Christ works in between.  He is able to work in between because having arranged our karma - our integrated  and finely interrelated biographies - to the extent that our social relationships are informed with moral qualities (even the most tentative impulses of the heart), these moral acts in the Epoch of the Consciousness Soul also amount to an encounter with the Eternal.  In that we seek the Good, and draw even a weak tea intuition of it into our social relationships, Christ can be present precisely because of that qualitative vertical inner gesture we make in our souls in order to seek knowledge of the Good in the dramas of the moral challenges in modern life.  (For every one step in spiritual development, we must take three steps in character - moral - development)

In the outer stage setting, which we believe we know through our materialized conceptions of present world history, itself a kind of polar opposite to the inner world of spiritual awakening and moral challenge, gestures of change seek to warp the slowly unfolding threefold social organism to their own uses and needs.  A Dark Prince of the World seeks to dominate the Stage, while the Lord (Artist) of Karma weaves the biographies into a musical-like harmony of inner conscious spirit evolution.  The I, under the influence of Christ, tends to become We.  While we, under the influence of Ahriman, are pushed to remain only I. [The Rastafarians - a mostly now Jamaica based religious impulse - speaks interesting enough of the idea of I 'n I - we - as something different from the idea of I and you.  The idea of I and you comes from the devil, according to their instinctive wisdom, while the truth is that we are both I's - that is we are the same, "I 'n I".]

Ahriman divides communities into smaller and smaller groups, ultimately to become isolated I's.  Christ unifies I's into communities through His in between support of the healing resolution of our karmic moral challenges.

Let us look for a moment closer at the threefolding of the social organism of the world social order.

Many in anthroposophical circles will tend to believe threefolding is something we have to create and is not the present condition of the social world.  This is partially true, but at the same time we need to recognize that the dynamics of social life have been active in the history of civilizations for thousands of years, and the slow evolution of the social organism has been set on a progressive course for a long time.  For example, in the third cultural age the Cultural Sphere (the ancient Mysteries) ruled the social order.  In the fourth cultural age, a Rights Sphere impulse was added at the foundations of Greek and Roman civilization in the idea of the State on the one hand and of the Citizen on the other.  As the fifth cultural age emerged from the fourth, the rights life itself threefolded (State, Media, People - or citizen), just as the cultural life had already threefolded into Science, Art, and Religion.  At the same time that the on-looker consciousness appears (as did the deepest aspects of the Ahrimanic Deception, namely materialism in all its aspects), so began the birth time of the economic life, which now struggles to differentiate into an inner threefolding of producers, distributors and consumers.

Clearly we live in a time when the concept of the threefold social organism had barely begun to be present and was at the same time never more needed.  Threefolding manifests itself instinctively, but if we are to properly birth it in a healthy social way, we have to know the Idea of it consciously. as well as choose to embrace it consciously.   Here again is a teaching task which anthroposophists may fail entirely to bring into our shared social life.

With Ahriman's incarnation, powerful dividing forces entered into the nature of the Stage Setting - the stream of historical events and its structurally embryonic threefold relationships.  America (as a political power ruled by an essentially unelected elite) under this influence isolated itself on the world Stage, taking the attitude that it could stand alone (Ahriman's attitude).  Within America, groups were set against groups, communities against communities.  Hate and mistrust was fostered, for to some at least this was seen as an advantage.  This we know from the News, but other impulses were simultaneously at work.

At the same time that this isolating gesture pushed against the instincts of the human spirit for community, the instinctively developing consciousness soul produced its counter-gesture.  People did not really want separation, and felt in their hearts the social poverty of this tendency. As this situation ripened, it brought with it a certain developments in technology, which also contained both potentials - one for isolation and one for community building.  This was woven into the the whole world's social fabric - a means of connecting across previously disconnecting boundaries.  Someone in China could now meet and work with someone in Sweden, instantly in the moment.

Out of the earth, human intelligence, guided in part by Ahriman's genius, raised up from the world of metallic substances a network, perhaps a spider web of inter-connectivity. A great power oozed out of its previous sub-natural condition and took on form in metal and plastic, spreading its arms all over the world.

Yet, Ahriman was not the only inspiring genius, and other impulses from human beings took hold of this transformation of substance and sub-nature and gave it higher potential uses.  It was after all capable of being only a tool, and the real meaning of this tool was in the hands and hearts of those who created how to set it to work.

One kind of work was the turning of human beings into number.  Everything that could be counted was being counted and every fact that could be converted to data was being  converted. Human beings became capable of being known as mere cyphers.  As a result, when Ahriman incarnated, he could take hold of this number meaning of human beings and use that tool to create a top down driven political power machine, filled with the callousness of cold calculation exactly in the center of the social organism: the Life of Rights.

A kind of social heart attack was created in the instinctive relationship of Americans for the Consciousness Soul (English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights - R.S. The Challenge of the Times).  Just when the most egregious terrorist attack of modern times shattered the world's divisions and united them in a shared sense of loss and tragedy (remember the Towers were centers of international financial activity), the political power elite of America turned away from this warm-hearted world-wide joining, and used this situation in the most callous and calculated fashion.  Centered in the most powerful Nation State in the history of humanity, this heartless thinking flowed outward as a political foreign policy out over the world, encouraging division and in the lie of all lies, everywhere (domestically and internationally) suppressing freedom in the name of freedom.

But, again as we have already seen, Ahriman had not incarnated with only his minions as companions.  Michaelic warriors, some very aware but most only instinctive, entered into incarnation as well.  At their insistence and from their genius, the tool of metal, plastic and sub-natural forces was put to other uses.  Reacting, the Consciousness Soul took on a world-wide social form in thousands upon thousands of new kinds of communities of association, something it had been slowly preparing to do for a long time.   Civil Society was born, and the tool - the Internet - was placed in the service of heart-warmed thoughts.  In so doing we need to emphasize that this Sphere of heart-centered activity (the Wise Earth) tended to arise on the Internet as individual expressions of community service.  The I's sought out other I's and many kinds of We's were born.

The same tool Ahriman used to create a social machine for the manipulation of political power in America, was used by others to create a living organism of communities world-wide in scope, while at the same time concentrated in America and active on all political fronts.  Above, in the top of a now decadent elite political hierarchy, Ahriman worked, while below, spread out across the social commons, the Consciousness Soul - the Wise Earth - spoke back.

In the Wise Earth impulse all manner of spiritual voices are heard.  The excesses of the Ahrimanically driven assault via the Life of Rights on social order and individual freedom has become so plain and obvious, that communities of opposition are everywhere being formed.  As a prime incarnate opponent, Ahriman does his duty, driving individuals toward the necessary moral dilemmas and challenges.  You could say that one of the aspects of the Ahrimanic Incarnation is a kind of heating up of social chaos - an inflaming of disorder.  This engenders in morally awake human hearts the will to do battle.  The dragon forces circle social life everywhere, and the knights of Michael, themselves no doubt students of the spiritual world Michael School before incarnation, take up their earthly social tasks. (see the book Blessed Unrest, at:

Ahriman's teaching is harsh, and the I must stand up within itself and in relationship with others, or succumb to soul failures it would otherwise be unwilling to tolerate in what we call: good conscience.  Inwardly, in the deepest aspects of the soul, invisible to outer sense experience, the presence of Christ in the Ethereal (the realm of human thought) is met with a hunger to know the Good on the part of the I.  This moral need for knowledge of the Good (in order to know what is right to do in the face of challenges forced upon humanity by Ahriman's intensification of the heat and pace of social crisis) - this moral need instinctively hungers for the Eternal, the experience of the Consciousness Soul.

There, inside the soul, this hunger for knowledge of the Good, coming in the time of the Second Coming, leads to a Second Eucharist - a communion of the I with the Being of the Good (for details see the next  essay:
The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul).

What an amazing teacher and teaching is this Outrageous Genius, we know as Ahriman, forcing us to awake to the Good by driving into the Center Stage of social existence, in the principle nation state in the world, obviously powerful impulses of callous and calculated indifference to human suffering and need.

third, an entry more into the material, in the sense

of ordinary political and social language

Brother What Ails Thee ?

In the following discussion it is very important to keep in mind that we are now mostly using a quite materialized way of speaking and writing about something whose true essence remains entirely spiritual in its most significant meaning.

Such a personality as Ahriman incarnate, in my view, can be found just here then in the American Life of Rights (working from there upon the whole world), for after all these preliminaries we must begin to name him. The question for us, however, is: Will we recognize this "human" being as a brother?

Karl Christian Rove (birth name), was born December 25th 1950.  Karl's biological father abandoned him early on, his adoptive father left home when Karl was 18, and it later became known that this second father was a homosexual.  His mother committed suicide when he was 30.  Karl described himself in high school this way: "I was the complete nerd. I had the briefcase. I had the pocket protector. I wore Hush Puppies when they were not cool. I was the thin, scrawny little guy. I was definitely uncool" [facts and quote from Wikipedia].

[There will be a few quotes below about Rove-Ahriman (hundreds could easily be provided).  The reader should realize that Rove has had such a strong influence (which Outrageous Genius certainly would) that while Google only shows 630,000 entries for him and about 8 million for George W. Bush (and 1.5 million for Dick Cheney), all that is said about Rove recognizes that his influence from behind the scenes is the real dominant feature of the Bush II Administration.  He is the riddle and puzzle that many have commented on seeking to penetrate his real nature and activity in order to understand the policies of the Bush II White House.  His hand prints are everywhere, and no historical political figure has ever inspired such interest, both positive and negative.

We could also keep in mind this idea from Rudolf Steiner.  In the lectures published under the title The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness, he presents the following for our understanding.  Just like what happened after the mid-point of the various ages of Atlantis, we in this the Post-Atlantean Epoch are past the mid-point as well.  Spiritual capacities and impulses that are up-building and progressive in the first half of an Epoch become in the second half forces of degeneration.  Decay sets in and the course the Evolution of Consciousness takes must be unfolded in the context of this decay.  In addition, with the Battle in Heaven between Michael and the Dragon, which Michael had won by 1879, the Spirits of Darkness were pushed down into the realm of the Earth. 

These spirits have to be recognized as being everywhere, in particular working with the dead and with the various occult brotherhoods.  So when we recognize in social phenomena the prevalence of human evil, we have to see that the tendency for this immorality to dominate social existence cannot be avoided.  In fact, our ability to properly work with the times, requires we not be asleep and have fantastic visions of unrestrained potentials for utopias.  Our thinking has to root itself in reality, and social reality cannot in our Age be forced into an illusion of some kind of universal domain of freedom and happiness.  These facts then all the more call to us, who receive Spiritual Science, to develop our own soul life so that we will be able to find the down to earth healing social ideas that can actually be brought into incarnation.]

Now we must tell a more detailed story of certain changes in social life that have come at the same time as this incarnation entered deeper and deeper into a core aspect of the Life of Rights in America.  Let us begin by considering certain changes in law and other governmental emphasis that have accompanied the 7 plus years so far of the Bush II administration (at the time of writing these paragraphs). While doing this we need to keep in mind how crucial is this moment in the Evolution of Consciousness.  A great deal is being decided by individual human beings just now, and we cannot blind ourselves by assuming that the struggles for the future of America, and as a consequence the whole World, are simply passing and insignificant moments in history. These events are profound in the deepest sense of that concept.

Not only that, we, living today, are in the middle of them.  It is no accident we too have incarnated in the Time that Ahriman is to be discovered as our most significant outer-world teacher.  What Ahriman could not do, while excarnate through the Shadow - the three-fold double-complex, he could now do as a human being having incarnated just in this time into the heart-center of human social life: the Life of Rights, and giving birth there not to heart-warmed thoughts, but rather the most cold and calculated conceptions possible.

Over the course of activity of this Administration, several structural changes have occurred, which changes by the way are not just confined to the time of the Administration, but were authored further in the past, and then matured and polished off in the time since the 2000 election, the election, remember, at the cusp of the New Millennium.  Let us list a few of those.

The Executive Branch, mostly through the exercise of raw power has been able to achieve a certain freedom from restraint by the other two Branches (the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch).  This breaking down of the threefold balance of the U.S. Constitution gives to the will force, of those addicted to power, extraordinary latitude in its conduct (this is how we must see Cheney and Bush, as addicts to the most addictive temptation of all - earthly power).  This executive power has become so freed of any restraint that it neither must feel (the significance of the Legislative Branch - the People's House) nor be wise (the import of the Supreme Court).  The American Government, during Rove's strongest period of influence, had no wise head, nor any open heart.  Nor would it do to see this as a reflection of just the Republican Party.  The Ahrimanic confusion and the influence of the Spirits of Darkness is everywhere, and we have now mostly raw will forces owning the Executive Branch of the dominant Nation State on the Earth, which from there radiates out into the whole world social organism heartless cold and calculating thought and will.

The Bush II administration's definition of the meaning of the War on Terror has taken hold of the political consciousness of both major American political parties.  No major candidate currently running for President wants to appear weak in the War on Terror (a complete illusion by the way, once critically examined as is being done out of the social commons by the Wise Earth appearance of Civil Society).

Thus also has torture become officially permitted in the conduct of self-interest by the U.S. government (using the identical language of the Third Reich in its justifications for torture).  Included in this are the powers to remove any claim of citizenship of a natural or naturalized Citizen.  Anyone anywhere in the world (including Americans in America) can be kidnapped and taken anywhere anytime to places of prison and torture (extraordinary rendition).  To call these Imperial Powers, akin to that of Rome at its most decadent, is to severely understate the case, for the United States has far greater powers than ever Rome could dream of.

There is a quote, falsely attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville: America is great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.  While it turns out the great French thinker never wrote this, the fact that it is constantly quoted in public life suggests that it nevertheless has deep meaning for Americans.

Civil liberties, once taken for granted in the United States have been neatly and nearly castrated.  Since there is nothing to require the government to admit to even possessing the body of a single human being (habeas corpus exists as a rule, but is consciously ignored and obstructed by the Bush II administration at every turn), we have no idea how many have disappeared into the hidden bowels of this out of control will.  This is all the more problematic if we recognize that to a certain extent America is very much a cradle for future spiritual development, so that the unopposed emasculation of major components of the Life of Rights in America is a significant victory for Ahriman.

The power radiating out from the imbalance in the State (the out of control Executive Branch), has been joined by an ahrimanic corporate control of the Media (the heart of the heart of the social organism).  Thus it has come about that the threefold social organism's inner core (the Life of Rights), itself is out of balance such that (or so it appears) that the polar opposite to the State - the People - is completely dominated through so much fear and hopelessness, that many of the People have come to believe themselves to be completely powerless.

"He [Rove] could carve up constituencies with the best of them, and divide the country as easily as columns on a spreadsheet -- and with no more thought" diarist "Hunter" DailyKos Aug.2007.

Yet, here is where the counter-pole begins to appear, for recall that Rudolf Steiner spoke in a lecture collected in The Challenge of the Times:  English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights.  Ahriman's incarnation arouses the Consciousness Soul to action.  Rove, by pushing forward the callous and indifferent to consequences unconscious will forces of Cheney and Bush II (and others), stimulates in those who strive to follow their political conscience the opposite reaction.

This administration has made of the lie an art never dreamed of even in the time of National Socialism (see Steiner's The Karma of Untruthfulness).  They have lied so successfully that large portions of the People of America have bought elements of it for years, and still buy into it (polls still show that large numbers believe Iraq was connected to 9/11).  Granted the culture of the lie is everywhere, from daily advertising to individual human biographies, nevertheless the callous, calculated and repeated nature of these lies offered by a United States government is staggering.  The only matter more staggering is how much they have managed to simultaneously hide from view. 

The art of secrecy is equally adept in this government.  No one knows what it is doing, and so clever has been the manner of this hiding, that it is carefully layered such that even if you think you have caught them out, they have a backup plan - lies within lies, as it were.  As time has gone on, and various members of the administration became more publicly vulnerable, they have easily blocked every effort to have them removed from office (Rumsfeld and then Gonzales, for example), until it was time to cut them loose and then install an even better buffer in between public interest and the truth.  For example, nearly every military general officer who would not spin and lie about Iraq has been systematically removed until all that is mostly left in positions of power are career military general officers who are themselves essentially politicians and sycophants.

The pure outrageous nature of the nerve of this administration is extraordinary.   They lie, and then they act, and then even when caught out, continue to lie and lie.  Holding powers stolen from the other Branches (and to which these Branches acquiesce) there is no motive to come clean in any fashion, for almost no human heart forces are really present in this home in which Ahriman created for himself and his priests to incarnate.

"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" Senior white house official, assumed by everyone to have been Karl Rove, summer 2002. [An earthly social-political act comparable to  materialism - a kind of political-social Ahrimanic Deception.]

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

At the locus of this center of power of Earthly streaming forces, he has come to rest, with his aides, in order to imprint with his nature, the most earthly aspect of the potential and unfolding threefold social organism: the Life of Rights.

One of Ahriman's qualities is hardening.  He desires that things become fixed, immobile.

This means that one Party in the United States strives to achieve continuous dominance.  Not only was a world dominating power to radiate from the United States as a center, but it was to have within itself a loss of what had been an otherwise self-correcting fluidity - that more than one Party would hold power, which would mean that no longer could any Ahrimanic excess of the Right be balanced out through the pendulum swing by any Luciferic excess of the Left . So it was desired that this swing of the balance be stopped for a while, especially at a particular Moment in Time; AND, if this unbalancing gesture was to take into itself an also rigid and arid religious impulse, then the knowledge of the social effects of Christ's True Second Coming could be hidden, if not completely blocked for centuries, in that the otherwise good effects on the social world of humanity, this Second Golgotha offered, were obscured and interfered with.

Consider: Already, the Anthroposophical Movement and Society had been eviscerated from within, and led in its centers into great confusion (any honest rendering of our history in the 20th Century shows this - for details see the essays below), so that basically unopposed and unknown Ahriman could now undertake the task to boldly assert temporal powers as an obstacle to spiritual inspiration [for example, the New Freedom Act which enables the government to test all for mental illness and require medicine to be given to those who fail this examination].  In addition, granting political power to an arid and rigid religious cult, calling itself Christian, could do much to convince the world that Christ and Christianity had nothing to offer.   So drawing this already decadent religious impulse deeper into politics does a great deal which is far more than just to secure votes at a crucial moment, for whatever the outer world press sees of the effects of this genius that radiates out of the White House, you can bet this outer world press is completely clueless to what is truly at stake.

The ahrimanic Christianity of the Religious Right hates all that it judges (all beam and no mote), and speaks into world culture in such a way that more and more the world is pushed to hate such Christianity back.  What better way to turn minds away from the true Second Coming, than to raise up a such a false and foolish alternative, that seemingly* rational people cannot but think of the idea of Christ and the Second Coming as some kind of insanity.  How do we bring into such a world, a true appreciation of Christ's Second Coming, and the related Second Eucharist, when ahrimanic Christianity has gained such temporal power in the Bush II administration to the dismay of so many intelligent people.  Ahriman is clever beyond our imaginations.

*[See Sam Harris's The End of Faith; Christopher Hitchens' God is not Great: how religion poisons everything; and, Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, where what are called the New Atheists have taken (hopefully briefly) center stage in the public dialog on religion and Christianity.]

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.]

Christianity is not alone in being so publicly compromised by the materialization of religion.

"The grim truth is that when George W. Bush declared "a global war on terror", he was really announcing a jihad of his own - a struggle to convert the whole world to American-style capitalist democracy....Here lies the peril for the future. For how can "the Axis of Evil" and "the Great Satan" negotiate a businesslike compromise on the basis of live-and-let-live?" from the article: Bush the Jihadist: How the world was plunged into an apocalyptic war, by Correlli Barnett, Daily Mail, Sept. 2007.

"...these ahrimanic powers are present wherever disharmony comes about between groups of people..." R.S. lecture, 2 November 1919

Another matter to recognize is that after 9/11, the ahrimanic forces radiating out of the temporal power center that is Washington, were able to bring about a Crucifixion of the Imagination of America as a Beacon of Hope for the poor and disenfranchised the world over.  Previously America (which is at root itself a Mystery) stood in the imaginations of the world's downtrodden as the place of dreams, where one could go and find freedom (spiritual-religious, as well as political and economic).  So Rove-Ahriman not only created and encouraged a debased Christian Meaning in the World, but also cast down the single most important aspect of the American Mystery in the present - its meaning as a Beacon of Hope.

Let us now take a necessary but small side trip here, and fit in two of Ahriman-Rove's chief allies: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  Both are addicted to power, but in two entirely different ways.  At the same time, let us keep in mind the title to this section: Brother what ails thee?.  These are flawed (as we are all flawed) human beings, placed by the Lord (Artist) of Karma, in their biographies into very special places in relationship to all of us.  Like Ahriman-Rove, they participate in the creation of the heating and speeding up of social chaos - conditions necessary for the development of the Consciousness Soul through the I's necessary encounters with real existential moral crises.

Bush appears to be what is called a dry drunk.  That is, while he is not actively drinking or drugging (we assume) he still displays all the behaviors of a serious alcoholic or addict: bouts of extreme anger (kept mostly secret from the public, but well known to West Wing staffers), coupled with a psychological need to never admit he is wrong - the problem always lies with someone else.  In taking up the outward (fake) posture of recovery, he adopted the attitude of someone who has been saved by Christ.  No doubt encouraged by Rove (all the way back in Texas), Bush courted the Religious Right, and here found fuel for his own (hopefully sub-conscious) megalomania - a religious conviction which included him as being an active and dominant world player in the End Times fantasy.  So rigid is his faith, as he constantly demonstrates by his unchanging behaviors, that only this mega-illusion has meaning - the truth has been banished from his consciousness.

"Mr. Greenspan described his own emotional journey in dealing with Mr. Bush, from an initial elation about the return of his old friends from the Ford White House - including Mr. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld, secretary of defense - to astonishment and then disappointment at how much they had changed."  New York Times book review describing Alan Greenspan's (former chairman of the Federal Reserve) book: The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World "...much to my disappointment, economic policy making in the Bush administration remained firmly in the hands of the White House staff.” He was clearly referring to the political team led by Karl Rove at the White House. Mr. Rove was a neighbor of Mr. Greenspan in a leafy enclave near the Potomac River, but the two men almost never had a conversation." [emphasis added]

"Rove's method is to plot out elaborate strategies well in advance of the campaign, and stick to them vigilantly. John Deardourff, Rove's media consultant for races in Texas and Alabama, says, 'This rap Bush has of never changing his mind and never admitting a mistake-that's Karl! That's where it comes from.' It is a tribute to Rove's strategic skill that he is so often right." Joshua Green Atlantic Monthly 2007.

Already long before his incarnation, Ahriman-Rove had cultivated the illusory religious impulse that has at least captured the sub-conscious of Bush, probably through the help of Lucifer's legions, for in its rigid End Times world picture and rigid and fixed morality, it has hardened all that was once Life in these aspects of Christianity, and turned that Life into a fixed and vain system of beliefs in the soul.

The fixed nature comes from Ahriman, and the vanity (pride of belief in ones moral righteousness) comes from Lucifer.  Both these, however, arise indirectly in the soul through the three-fold double-complex (see the essay on the Shadow below).

Then comes Cheney.  Already a hard line cold-warrior, well connected and supported by the elites of industry and banking throughout his political career (Cheney won his spurs here, while Bush was born into these circles), Cheney (again no doubt encouraged by Rove) became Vice President, and having an intellect of far more depth than Bush's, discovered that the child of privilege had little interest in actually understanding and wielding the reins of governmental power (Bush loves to playact as president).  These then fell by default to Cheney, and gave to his addiction more temporal power than any human being has had in history, and of such a nature that as a behind the throne power he could do much that was unseen and thus experience as all the more delightful its private pleasures (the addictive payoff).  Think on it!  No one could really oppose his actions always taken in secret.  He could tell any lie he wanted and change them at will for everyone else was asleep.  Every urge and impulse to dominate his political enemies and reward his rich friends could be immediately indulged.  Nothing stood in the way of this will to excess, while at his side, and in his aid was the most clever of minds ever, able with just a word or two to encourage Cheney's every desire, and at the same time to likewise with silver tongue encourage the child of privilege to believe he was god's chosen to stand in the world just in this time. [Recall Tolkien's character Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings!]

So then we have around Rove, two personalities, the one lost in a luciferic dream of egoistical historical place, and the other, given the opportunity to wield enormous earthly temporal powers, becomes instead the creature of those very powers - possessed by them.  Recall from above Greenspan's dismay to discover the changes in his old friends.  Rove's truest and more profound contributions, however, are of a whole other kind, even though he played a significant role in the transformation of a child of privilege, from out of the culture of Texas oil and wealth, into a public persona that doesn't actually bear any relationship to the underlying human personality*.  See: "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove made George W. Bush Presidential" by Wayne H. Slater and James C. Moore.

*[To appreciate this even more, just consider how frequently it is now observed that Bush seems so often inappropriately happy as his term of office nears its end (or culmination?).  A President, who honestly bore the necessary wounds of leading American into such a state as it is today, should be gray headed, careworn and full of melancholy.]

At the same time, we have to remember the title to this section: Brother what ails thee?  It is essential (as will be discussed in later essays) to recognize in such personalities that we are observing wounds of soul.  Certainly there can be venality, and even conscious choosing of evil, but if we were to be able to live through the details of the biography of such men as these, and see how their inner life developed over this long period of a lifetime, we would discover how the soul has been wounded by life experience.

We all bear such wounds.  It would go too far here to go into details, but the question Brother what ails thee? is directed exactly at discovering the mystery of the wounds that lie behind choices and actions, so as to be able to perhaps help heal our brothers and sisters in life.  With this thought in the background, let us continue our examination of what has flowed out of the center of the American government, and into our shared public life.

In order for a single Party to dominate, certain possibilities inherent in our Time in relationship to technology have become applied to the political process.  Computers are turned into ballot boxes.  The striving for power, which had taken possession of the Republican Party, found a crucial inspiration in all that Ahriman had prepared before his incarnation, and in all that he was about to accomplish during his incarnation.  Win at any cost is the goal, and the corruption of the ballot box by electronic means provides an easy tool in a war in which number is to play such an essential role.

Data is accumulated, not just State by State, or city by city or neighborhood by neighborhood (voting precinct by voting precinct), and when possible individual by individual. Profiles are created showing, through the accumulation and use of well tracked commercial purchases, just what attitudes each individual who is potentially a voter is likely to possess.  The out-of-strict oversight computer powers, of the United States intelligence community (and willing corporate allies), is through secret process turned on its own citizens, and further data accumulated, such that there now is in place and in the hands of a single party, exactly which voters to encourage, and which to discourage in order to place in power and keep in power a single political party as the dominant political force in America, itself (at a crucial time) the dominant Nation State in the World.

Nor is this done with any sense of the individual itself, as an I.  It is only their general characteristics as a set of numbers on a spreadsheet that matter.  One young woman, who had worked with Rove, the human incarnation of Ahriman, described in a televised interview how remarkable it was to watch him pick up a newly generated spread sheet from a computer, glance at it and then immediately begin to issue instructions, down the well oiled machinery intended to coerce an election effect, from the inside of the White House out into a neighborhood and then surrounding an individual home.

In addition was perfected what became called: the Republican talking points.  Spreading out from the political center of the West Wing of the White House, a well controlled and perfected set of lies and spin was distributed throughout Party officials (elected and otherwise) and among the cooperative media, such as Fox News and the widely listened to conservative radio talk shows.  If one listened across this spectrum, as well as to the President himself and his chief spokesman the White House Press Secretary, the same reality was presented.  Remember that Rove's idea of the power of deception is remarkable.  Set the agenda, set the tone of what is to be claimed to be true.  Create our own reality (an earthly political ahrimanic deception), and never ever give an inch.

Radiating from the imbalanced and unhealthy will force of the Executive Branch had been created a huge manipulative mechanism for coercing the vote, precinct by precinct, drawing certain voters in, keeping certain voters out, and all the while ignoring places, neighborhoods and communities that could be seen by this cold calculating genius as having no meaning or worth at all.  Coupled with this was an enormous publicity machine, never seen before, creating in that Nation State that believed itself most virtuous to have unlimited free speech, a propaganda mechanism quite beyond that known even in the time of National Socialism or Communist Russia. 

This lie machine is all the more devious (and clever) for it was accomplished in what thought of itself as a non-totalitarian state.  In the center of the Life of Rights, this calculated number driven process came into existence, in which data streams about voters were turned into numbers on a spreadsheet. and false ideas about social reality merely items on a sheet of talking points.  What genius created such a work!

"President Bush's powerful adviser is one part spreadsheet-carrying, vote-counting political wonk, and one part no-holds-barred, brass-knuckled political operative" Dan Froomkin.

"I'm looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at four or five public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally, but that do not impact the outcome -" Karl Rove in a radio interview late October 2006.  "You may end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math. I'm entitled to the math." same interview. [emphasis added]

In all this, the Legislative Branch was compliant.  Even so far as to pass legislation requiring all States to issue common-in-nature drivers licenses, that individual States could then require be presented in order to vote.  This process of making voting more and more difficult was another part of the grand scheme, which then makes it possible to eliminate those most inclined to vote for the Party that is not to dominate - namely the Party whose fundamental traditions connected it to the poor and disenfranchised.  Remember, Ahriman incarnated with a community of like-minded, already disposed through all his preparations to their own weakness and self-interested heartless cold calculating judgments.  All he had to do was enter into the center of these streams of downward radiating powers, take hold of the number relations, and polish off the machinery that was to permit a solidified rule from the top down, during one of the most significant moments of emergence of the Consciousness Soul (the Dawn of the Third Millennium), with its natural impulse to bring in social reform out of the social commons - out of the social below.

Now in this work, he was not unopposed.  As a human being, his will was bound by many earthly laws.  He could not force those around him serve his will.  He could only, with extreme cleverness, encourage their weaknesses and inclinations, thus the personality changes that can be observed in those he influenced while in (and on his way to) this center of temporal power (from which he himself recently resigned, which is, of course, just an appearance - another kind of clever lie, his influence is undiminished).

At that same time as all this ahrimanic success, we need to come to understand that his very genius in its one-sided nature was also a blindness.  This blindness came to the fore in the 2006 general election in America.  Rove fully expected to win, his spreadsheets told him so.  However, human beings are in fact not numbers, and not really predictable at that level.  Rove's numbers told him only of general characteristics, which were all based on specific assumptions.  When many of these people walked into the polling booth, something happened (and will continue to happen) which can't be reduced to number.  People, when they vote, are faced with what to them is essentially a moral choice (English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights).

This righteous impulse, invisible to number driven perception, expressed itself strongly in the 2006 election, reacting in large part to all that was being experienced as the callous indifference radiating from the White House, and as political impotence, corruption and incompetence in the Legislative Branch.  The Democrats won the House with far more seats than expected by any pollster (whose immature science suffers the same perceptual limits as Ahriman), and further won the Senate as well, something not expected by either Party.  Since this victory gave the chairmanship of the various House and Senate committees to the Democrats, a very large shift in power occurred in the Life of Rights in the United States of America (in the People's House especially, with it role as regards "feeling").   While such a shift of power is not able to manifest in a rapid fashion (in spite of the hopes of the Left), this expectable time-delay has enabled the White House to continue to act out its disdain for the People, treating them as number-cyphers instead of as real human beings.

"Rovism is not simply a function of Rove the political conniver sitting in the counsels of power and making decisions, though he does. No recent presidency has put policy in the service of politics as has Bush's. Because tactics can change institutions, Rovism is much more. It is a philosophy and practice of governing that pervades the administration and even extends to the Republican-controlled Congress. As Robert Berdahl, chancellor of UC Berkeley, has said of Bush's foreign policy, a subset of Rovism, it constitutes a fundamental change in 'the fabric of constitutional government as we have known it in this country.'"Neal Gabler The Los Angeles Times Sunday 24 October 2004.

"The whole art of war consists in a well-reasoned and extremely circumspect defensive, followed by rapid and audacious attack." Rove campaign memo from the early years in Texas.

"Rove is the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any generation. He not only is a breathtakingly smart strategist but also a clever tactician. He knows history, understands the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public policy. But he is not a magician." Fred Barnes, conservative commentator, editor The Weekly Standard.

"Dubbed the “architect” and “Bush's brain”, Rove plotted the rise of George W Bush and departed the White House after the disastrous 2006 mid-term elections. Successful punditry is a combination of real political experience, intellectual nimbleness, a provocative turn of phrase and a coherent point of view. Rove, a Fox News commentator and contributor to Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, has all these qualities.

"Democrats may protest that they would rather see him in jail than on their television screens but they can't help noting what he says. Whether outlining what the Democrats should do or outlining John McCain's rocky path to victory (and McCain has followed his advice almost to the letter), Rove's take is important and often surprising. Expect the name Rove to come up frequently on the campaign trail - and in coverage of it."  Comments in the British newspaper The Telegraph, who ranked Rove (since leaving the White House) as the number one (of the top 50) pundits in U.S. Politics, Friday, May 2nd, 2008.

Ahriman-Rove's genius is seen by many, and his incarnate influence is far from over.  He has left the realm of the State now, and is taking up his mature biographical position in the real heart of the Life of Rights: Media.  From here he can continue his influence, for his very success is attractive.  Because of the influence of the ahrimanic shadow on people, many will succumb, for that same callous and calculated indifference toward which they are inwardly tempted, will now reside in those aspects of Media open to making such views widely known and justified.

It is not an accident that Rove now works for two major Rupert Murdoch Media companies, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.   Many will read him, and his clever genius will guide and teach, all who will listen, into a life without any moral center at all - only the cold calculus of intellect, and its anti-human world views and impulses of will.

Ahriman-Rove has now risen to the celebrity heights of the social world as a Media personality, respected and trusted by many, for he reflects back to them all the justifications they need for their own ahrimanic tendencies.   A quite neat fit, if you think about it.  The Shadow of Ahriman within, and the Stage setting influenced by Ahriman without.

Even so, the individual I in the Age of the Consciousness Soul would chart its own course.  His very presence arouses something in the I that needs just that presence as a goad to its own awaking.


finally, a look at the challenges to the role of the Society and Movement as a consequence of recognizing Ahriman's present day incarnation

Waking the American Anthroposophical Society and Movement

for their true tasks in the 21st Century

The above then is what happened on the macro scale of modern human history.  What then on a micro scale has happen in the internal makeup  of the Anthroposophical Society and Movement?  Were we somehow free of this influence?  Did Ahriman incarnate and just ignore us in the process?  I think not, and in the next essays it will be unfolded just what needs to happen within our circles in order for us to be able to speak first honestly among ourselves, before we can earn the moral authority to truly bring Anthroposophy further into world incarnation.  The greatest potential for leading the instinctive Consciousness Soul into full awakening lies in Anthroposophy, and by implication in the Society and Movement.  But these problems are not simple and many of the essays below are required of anyone wanting to really learn what is needed to be learned in order to meet the Challenge of Ahriman's Incarnation on the Cusp of the New Millennium.

We have one last task,however, which is most essential.  Having discovered Ahriman's incarnation, how are we to treat the living man, now and into the future?  Ahriman-Rove has a family - a wife and a son: should they think of him as evil?  Of course not, he is a genius, he is a cosmic power incarnate, who will at the final judgment weep at the feet of the Mother and beg forgiveness for all that he had, out of his given nature, the responsibility to author.

Those seduced by Ahriman-Rove are to be pitied.  Our problem then is not to assume evil and seek to rub it out, but to see clearly the social processes so that we, who would do the good, can discover how our work can be applied in the right places.  Many already are working in such ways, albeit instinctively, and others will want to hate Rove, Cheney, Bush and their friends.  Should we follow such an example, or create another?  How do we redeem what Ahriman-Rove has done and properly honor it?

We are also frustrated by the scope of the debacle - Ahriman-Rove has spread chaos in the world in a huge way, and this is not yet finished, for much worse may yet be done by those who have succumbed to his influence.  This Ahrimanic Impulse, living throughout the social world of humanity, has pushed that world toward its breaking and fracture points in a quite precise fashion through the influence of Ahriman-Rove within the excesses of the Bush II administration.  The whole social order of Western Humanity is breaking down.  Wherever we look, whether at global warming, the crisis in the food supply, the corporate theft of the water supply, the spreading of technological means of biological destruction, the machinations of those in the banking and finance industries and the interference with the genetic code itself, - all stands on the brink of even further decay, while the political life by its everywhere pursuit of dominance, engages all structure in war, at a time when in order to survive humanity needs instead of war to develop the greatest skills at cooperation.

One of the worst effects, as previously noted, is the crucifixion of American Dream.  All over the world, that which had once been a Beacon of Hope to many people living amidst poverty and despair, has now been tarnished, perhaps beyond repair.  Is this not then the next goal for America, to discover how to restore what has been defiled?  Who will lead here?  Who will understand this need for the imagination of the downtrodden the world over to have once more a Beacon of Hope?  Can there be a resurrection of what was crucified?  What kind of moral forces could bring this about?

We are also right to be concerned whether the political machine that has been created will live on into the future inside the core of the America Government.  Already, many wonder whether the Democrats will roll back some of what has been done, should they win the White House in 2008.  A lot of people believe many of the worst of the changes introduced by Rove and friends will be permanent.

All kinds of debris live as the after-effects of Ahriman-Rove's incarnation. The situation and consequences will not go away, but reverberate on into the future, and we have to not just come awake, but must learn how to stay awake.

Into the world the power, the tone, the sound of number, and the searing light of geometry incarnated, with its naturally given mission to draw downward the heart of the developing social organism into rigid form and lifeless brilliance - what Rove called "the math".   Here too was "mission accomplished", because while the Anthroposophical Movement and Society lost themselves in a massive forgetting of the true significance of Steiner's scientific introspection (The Philosophy of Freedom, and A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception), and in ignoring the beauty and potential for community life given by Steiner in Awakening to Community as the Reverse Cultus, we also took the living Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence given to us by Steiner through Anthroposophy and converted it to dead intellectualized content, without any life at all: the Steinerism displayed constantly in the excesses of Steiner-said.

There are no redeeming powers in Steinerism, such that without The Philosophy of Freedom (Spiritual Activity) and the Reverse Cultus, with which to meet the deeper spiritual after-effects of Ahriman's incarnation, the Movement and Society are impotent.  At the same time, American Anthroposophy (which this book seeks to illuminate) offers just those needed antidotes and inspiration for all of Anthroposophy world-wide.  The American Soul must awake now, and the best leaders for this will be those American Anthroposophists who have the will and the courage to find the truth of who they are, as a separate but equal soul force in the threefold world.

For example, Ahriman accomplished a great deal during the weaknesses of the 20th Century into which the Society and Movement fell, such that all kinds of wisdom was lost and buried in Ahriman's "preserving jars", locked up either in books stashed in libraries, and in books allowed to go out of print.   Hundreds of significant works, by early students of Steiner, have been allowed to go out of print, while the anthroposophical publishing houses reprinted again and again Steiner's lectures, erroneously leaving aside all the work done by others during the 20th Century.

Let me take up just one other theme left in the dust heap of the 20th Century, along side The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and the Reverse Cultus: namely Projective Geometry.  Nothing else has quite the ability to give to the Life of the Mind the forces necessary with which to meet Ahriman's one-sided: "...power, the tone, the sound of number, and the searing light of geometry incarnated...". 

Let us begin with an obscure out of print essay by George Adams Kaufman: Space and the Light of Creation: a new essay in cosmic theory.  Just in the Chapter headings of this essay we can feel/see the redemptive force of the new thinking as it penetrates the very realm of Ahriman and lifts it free through the art of thought of the tendency to an excess of gravitas: Chapter I: Radiation of Space; Chapter II: Music of Number; and, Chapter III: Burden of Earth and Sacrifice of Warmth.

One of the tasks of American Anthroposophy will be to rediscover and ingest the art of others besides Steiner, which has been given to us by European anthroposophical endeavors during the 20th Century.  This is something far beyond what Steiner had provided, but which he certainly inspired.  In the essay far below: a letter to a young anthroposophist, you will find details.

Olive Whicher's book: Projective Geometry: Creative Polarities in Space and Time, should never be out of print, and ought to be on the same shelf with every anthroposophist's copy of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Awakening to Community.  By the way, little or no abstract thought is called for in this way of study - as all that is essential is taught through drawing.

The significance of Projective Geometry can be found here, quoted by Olive Whicher in her introduction to Adam's remarkable Physical and Ethereal Spaces: "Confirmed by Rudolf Steiner in the knowledge that the quality of thought prevailing in the new geometry is in reality indispensable both to the scientist in his quest of world-reality and to the individual on a path of spiritual development..." [emphasis added].

The living (heart) thinking, to which many anthroposophists today aspire (but believe comes far easier than it actually does), needs to remain scientific and picture-like in all its qualities.  Nothing aids this need better than the study through drawing of Projective Geometry, which teaches the I how to move and weave living pictorial thought, through and from one metamorphosis to the next, all the while never losing the exact and precise quality of scientific thinking.

To truly meet and contain Ahriman-Rove, we also need a living spiritual social science, whose scientific qualities can only be found through pictorial thought trained in the disciplines of Projective Geometry and Goetheanism (A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception).  We meet his powers, with those of our own.  Then out of this soul training, the I can hear the World Song in which is contained the logos speaking of the Christ into the social world of humanity (as the Lord - the Artist - of Karma).  Just as Goethe learned to listen to the speech of Nature, we must now learn to listen to the speech of the social world, and then out of our own forces of art and story telling, render this logos speaking into pictures we share with each other.

Let me end by bringing forward one last matter, which in its details can be found below in the discussion of the true soul roots of the Mystery of America.  This will be there developed much more fully - here I only want to hint at its dimensions.

The roots of the American Soul, by the way, are not found in Europe, but in America's Aboriginal Peoples.  The soul is determined by two main influences of which the most earthly is the local geography, while the most heavenly is the incarnating spirit.  Spirit and place interact, and the soul is born.

Among the various Nations of Indians, there is one who has a very special relationship to the whole: the Hopi.  All the Elders of the other Nations recognize this.  It is from a Hopi that we received the idea in the 1990's: we are the people we have been waiting for.

The Hopi Prophecy anticipates the arrival from the East (from the rising Sun), of the True White Brother.  This influence is to come at a time when the Nations of Indians will be in dire need, for world conditions will have brought about their near destruction.  Only one or two individuals may still be alive that are true to their deepest teachings.  In the most crucial words of the Prophecy we find this statement: "This third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun."

You can find details below, but let me just render my best interpretation of this phrase in the language with which anthroposophists are familiar (it will be well worth repeating in greater depth later). 

At the time of great crisis, the World will be three times rocked into War.  It is the last, the third event, which is the most crucial.   The outcome of this third event (Ahriman's Incarnation) will depend upon the Red Symbol, or the People of the Rose-Cross.  These People of the Rose-Cross, the True White Brother (true in the sense of also being awake to the living Being of the Earth Mother and the Father in the Sky, as once were all Aboriginal Peoples), will then take command, setting the four forces of nature in motion.  These are the forces of the Four Directions (honored in the Pipe Ceremony of the Lakota Sioux), or the Cosmic Ethereal Forces (and their elemental servant beings in Nature), which even Steiner recognized when he laid the Foundation Stone for the original Goetheanum in the Earth, and then later the Foundation Stone Meditation in the hearts of those who attended the Christmas Conference.

All this for the benefit of the Sun.  To understand this all we need to remember is that the Hopi Prophecy originated in a People who remembered Atlantis (see below).  At the time of Atlantis, where was Christ?  He was in the Cosmic Sun Sphere!   What then does all this come to mean, especially given that the Prophecy also recognizes that this needed work of the True White Brother can fail to manifest?

The outcome of the Third Event - the third time the World is rocked into War (Ahriman's Incarnation) depends upon the People of the Rose-Cross bringing forward a scientifically based knowledge of the Ethereal Cosmic Forces, not just in the living aspects of the sense world, but in the life of thought itself.  Moreover, all this in service to the Christ, by announcing His True Second Coming in the Ethereal, with all its majesty (a Second Crucifixion, a Second Resurrection, and a Second Eucharist).

Are anthroposophists up to such a task?  Apparently that remains to be seen.