Letters to some Friends
Over time I have become disenchanted with the Anthroposophical Society. Seriously disenchanted. I couldn't think of a way to get through the "gate keepers", such as the editors of "being human", for example. Send stuff in .... it gets ignored. I don't doubt the quality of my work ... spent several decades building skills. For a while I thought (which is a semi-truth), that I was fated to experience a kind of entombment, which is a spiritual trial where one's works get ignored for reasons hard sometimes to fathom. Eventually I worked it out that part of my problem was that I was too judgmental. Even though in my book: The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything, I had written of my coming to understand that from Christ's point of view everyone was entitled to their own point of view. I was entombed then for the basic reason that however valid my point of view was, it needed to come in a package or context in which the recipient was free to take it in, or it was otherwise useful to them, without being damaging to their justly held point of view.
I did make one last effort to understand the Society and its members and friends, by attending the AGM in Keene, New Hampshire in the Fall of 2013. It was a very educational experience, which I then wrote about here: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/AllIn.html. I called that article "All In", after the betting gesture in Texas Holdem Poker. I said what I felt, and was willing to be a complete fool.
After which I tried to forget the Society and Anthroposophy. That didn't really work, but at a certain moment I began to see a way past/through my riddle of how to communicate to Members and Friends of the Society. The result so far has been two e-mails, copied below. I expect there will be more. These were in a way experiments, and what I began to see as I worked at writing them (before sending them), was that part of my difficulty was not in fully recognizing myself as a Platonist, and the main members and friends of the Society (including Steiner) as Aristotelians. Expressing this theme has seemed more valuable. I had never really understood the Platonist/Aristotelian problem intellectually, but now I could see it practically. This has actually led to my understanding a great deal as regards my different approach to The Mystery of Thinking and other related riddles that have been my passion as an anthroposophist for decades.
From the AGM in Keene, I had received a long list of attendee's e-mail addresses, and these then became the list to which these e-mails were sent. Not wanting to create a reply-all mess, I used only a dozen or less e-mails at a time, which meant multiple sendings and the development of more computer skills on my own part. I also learned a great deal during the writing, because I had to "think" once more older themes and place them in the fresher context of the Platonist and Aristotelian dilemma. This material is collected here so that others who may hear of these e-mails, yet cannot obtain them, may find them on my website.
In a way I have succeeded in doing a kind of end-around the gatekeepers, by creating my own e-newsletter. In addition I have made it clear to the readers of these e-mails to only read what they want, and if they don't like them, don't share them. If they do like them, share them widely.
Dear Friends on, and connected to, the General Council of the Anthroposophical Society in America,
an invitation for conversation with a fellow human being
First, I want to apologize in advance for any toes upon which I might inadvertently step. Sometimes what is a true statement for one individual is experienced by someone else, to whom the statement is not true, as a criticism and on occasion then gets taken personally. This I would like to avoid, but I’ve lived long enough to realize that this goal is more or less impossible to achieve. Include enough people in a message, and someone will find a reason to take offense. It is then very difficult to write something where no one will find it to their disliking, unless - perhaps - we write something so innocuous that it has no meaning whatsoever. That said ...
I’m worried about the future of the Anthroposophical Society, and about what I refer to as: Rudolf Steiner’s true legacy. As there have been, and are yet, so few successful practitioners of this legacy - the work on the New Mystery of Thinking - it is seldom acknowledged even to exist in the works connected to the Anthroposophical Society. Mostly those, who call themselves anthroposophists, or students of Steiner, spend their hours reading his works, and sometimes practicing meditation and other exercises. On rare occasions “thinking” is referenced, but deep reported spiritual research on the mysteries of willed-cognition is mostly absent. Keep in mind Steiner’s own remarks here: In Anthroposophy it is the truth that matters; and, in the Anthroposophical Society it is the life that matters. Has our desire for a peaceable and brotherly fellow feeling in the Society overwhelmed the ability to diligently pursue the truth? Do we suppress critical thought that seeks the truth because it might make waves - because it might disturb someones equilibrium or comfort zone?
This is not necessarily a problem, for it would be very wrong to fancy one can teach a science of thinking, imitating Steiner’s pioneering efforts, unless one has succeeded in fully achieving the goals of such works as: The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (see Lecture 12 of the John Gospel cycle). Is it possible that the Society is right where it needs to be in order to continue the incarnation of Anthroposophy - in the sense of the New Thinking Mystery - itself? Is it, in fact, crucial that this legacy of the empirical science of thinking should yet remain mostly unknown and on the sidelines? If we were doing everything right (which we know not to be true), what a marvel to discover there was a great wonder still be to done.
Rudolf Steiner was not the source of all wisdom. To overly rely on his past words is to kill the very spirit that once inhabited them, for the Holy Spirit speaks to many - not just anthroposophists. Steiner meant for the Society to be a meeting place of different spiritual streams, but in America this is barely done, ... for example the Saturn Mysteries (the sages of the aboriginal peoples here) are mostly ignored. Few anthroposophists recognize them (when do they get invited to speak at our gatherings?); and, we fail to do this at our peril, for the depths of the American Soul lie rooted in that aboriginal Way of Life. How do we open wider our doors to the wisdom of those who have no desire or need to bow down their thinking and wisdom seeking before an altar of Steiner-said?
This all could be a recipe for disaster - a kind of too much Steiner standing in the way of other necessary knowledge. Consider: Certainly big changes are on humanity’s horizons. A mini-ice age could be coming - a fact that sages of the Saturn Mysteries well know. Here are some ideas from Oren Lyons, a Native American Elder (1), given at a Bioneers Conference in 2003. After noting that Native Americans had observed everywhere big changes in the migratory patterns of many animal species, he then told what he thought, from many conversations with others, about global warming. He said it is like the dimmer switch, which you turn higher and higher, and then click, at the top, it goes off. So we are going to get warmer and warmer, and then Nature will go click, and it will start to snow for a hundred years (a new ice age), so everything can be healed from the harm human beings are causing everywhere to Mother Earth.
What modern materialistic weather science calls the “polar vortex” and the “jet streams” remains the activity of an immense and intricate hierarchy of spiritual beings, who long ages ago were called: Titans and Furies and Sprites. Steiner may have given newer names, and indicated the old Ways to Spiritual Knowledge were atavistic, relative to the leading edge of the evolution of consciousness that appears in the New Thinking Mystery - yet this atavistic-Idea does not mean to suggest that precisely those more ancient Ways of seeing the world are unneeded by those that possess them in the Present (2). Christ, as Artist (Lord) of Karma blesses all such Ways. Not one of all the billions living the Earth-Existence is unloved, or seen as more special than any other. If Love can celebrate numerous Ways (“in my Father’s House are many mansions”), who are we to judge ours to be the more superior?
We also seem unable to manage our own house, for the Aristotelians (currently holding dominant power positions within the institutional Society Councils in America and in the Executive in Dornach) semi-consciously exclude most of the Platonists (of which I am one), in spite of Steiner’s indications of their mutual karma. The Platonists ask too many questions, tend to be very unhappy with the way things are going, and because the Idea is so real to them, their writings are easily misunderstood, having a fundamentally different purpose than do the writings and lectures of the Aristotelians. The language is the same, while the purpose (and thus the meaning) is different.
It is the Aristotelians that love to speak of esoterics, and hidden and guarded paths to such goals as the Holy Grail. They can often mistake by this means form for substance. The teachings of spiritual science often give us the form - the order structure of the history of the Cosmos and the relationships of the hierarchies - but the substance is only known when we actually meet the relevant Beings directly. Did not Steiner encourage us to learn to distinguish the essential from the non-essential?
Steiner knew better, but was caught in the necessity to begin to heal the soul-ravages of scientific materialism at a certain particular time and place, leading to his working out of the German language, while having to teach to those who were still trapped in the Intellectual Soul. He told them many stories (6000 lectures) to inspire them, but if they did not do the inner work, what else was there for Steiner to do but die before his time? For the tragedy is that once you start really meeting Christ you realize nothing is hidden, made secret and kept away. Knowledge of Anthroposophy (as a content) is unnecessary for meeting Christ. Why would Love hold Himself back from us, or place such elaborate obstacles, as the so-called basic books, in the Way of our Path to Him? Is it possible Anthroposophy has another (more mundane, yet very important) purpose, beyond the meetings with Christ in the coming Ages?
I am not only a Platonist and an anthroposophist, but also of the stream of the Shepherds - the Disciples. Steiner was of the stream of the Kings - the Initiates. It is possible to marry both streams in one soul, for this I have done (3). To my experience the heart of the Third Millennium is slowly unfolding, a flower in its first stages; and, in the Society the real meaning of that process remains only superficially known. Ahriman has incarnated and is yet unseen; and, the Idea that the mind (the incarnate spirit) is only a product of a material organ (the brain) continues to tragically dominate present-day culture (4). Is not Anthroposophy, as the truth, meant in the coming centuries to protect the Idea of the human being from the gnawing confusion of scientific materialism (all is matter, there is no spirit)?
On another front, the Society in America suffers a loss of income, a problem common to all organizations seeking to live on the Charity of Gift Money in this time of growing economic ruin. Western Civilization itself is undergoing a profound metamorphosis - its transformative processes already bringing a steady, yet necessary, increasing social chaos. The Signs that this will lead to a new civilization are written everywhere for those with eyes to see and ears to hear (5). Are there Ideas out there that can lead to greater financial and social stability for the Society and the World? Can the Society find such Ideas without seeking to include more voices in its most intimate conversations and councils?
I am retired (age 73), living in central Massachusetts, waiting to be more useful to the members and friends. If I am not made useful I will die - sooner rather than later (6). I am one of many gates to all manner of helpful Ideas (being a Platonist), and have no desire to rule or be followed. All I wish for is to serve, and in serving I really don’t want to tell others what to do. I only want to be involved and allowed to raise my questions - in a modern Socratic form of conversation.
This letter is an invitation to be visited, in person or via such electronic means as Skype (skype handle: Joelwendt1). I spent most of my adult spiritual life preparing myself to be able to work within the most modern stream of the Kings’ wisdom - Anthroposophy (7). My efforts in this regard have so far mostly failed, but I remain true to my desire that the Third Millennium not go forward absent knowledge of Steiner’s scientific introduction to the New Mystery of Thinking. If this is lost, Ahriman triumphs in setting the spiritual tone of the next thousand years (and the unrestrained anti-Christ spirit causes humans to believe: the material brain is the same as the mind, and is the sole source of thinking, while the spirit is not real).
The Culmination seems to have happened. The members of the School of Chartres seems to have met. They seriously studied Steiner, but except for me could not accept the current state of affairs in the Anthroposophical Society (8). Here is Steiner himself on the consequences of failing (which has also happened) to take up The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (from Awakening to Community: lecture three): “The way it should be read is with attention to the fact that it brings one to a wholly different way of thinking and willing and looking at things....The trouble is that The Philosophy of Freedom has not been read in the different way I have been describing. That is the point, and a point that must be sharply stressed if the development of the Anthroposophical Society is not to fall far behind that of anthroposophy itself. If it does fall behind, anthroposophy’s conveyance through the Society will result in its being completely misunderstood, and its only fruit will be endless conflict!”
Please contact me. Conversations cost nothing but some time and attention, yet the rewards may well be very needed. As I said to Torin Finser at the recent AGM in Keene, we are all the right people, in the right place, at the right time. Christ, as Artist (Lord) of Karma, has made it so. I urge the members of the Council, and their many friends, to take the trouble to get to know me (and my work) far better than is presently the case.
Joel A. Wendt
(2) Some Notes Toward a Resolution of the Dilemma - in reference to Paul V. O’Leary’s The Inner Life of the Earth http://www.rsarchive.org/RelArtic/ClarkeStephen/Dilemma.php
(3) a brief description of meeting the Lesser and Greater Guardians in the new way, and as well a description of the meaning of, and new manner of, the Second Pentecost in the Ethereal. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/threshold.html
(4) Cowboy Bebop - and the physics of thought as moral art. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/CowboyBebop.html
(5) Economic and Social Rebellion. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Rebellion.html
(6) nobody knows my name. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/obituary.html
(7) waltzing and weeping by the rivers of the holy grail. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/grail.html
address: Joel A. Wendt, 6 Monticello Dr., Paxton, MA 01612
e-mail addresses: hermit@tiac. net & firstname.lastname@example.org
phone # 916-671-5727 Skype name Joelwendt1
[all my work is available for free ... over a dozen self-published books, over 100 essays, and over 270 videos for YouTube]
website: Shapes in the Fire http://ipwebdev.com/hermit
YouTube channel: the foolish philosopher http://www.youtube.com/user/joel232001#p/c/4CAB86F6A9E5F238
Internet bookstore: Joel Wendt’s Theory of Everything Emporium: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/joelwendt
Dear Members and Friends of the Anthroposophical Society,
More Anthroposophical Foolishness - a Platonist contribution
(otherwise known as)
Transcending the Previous (but no longer necessary) Aristotelian Limits (1)
on the Cognitive Arts in the Anthroposophical Society - part one
It may be something not so obvious, but the raw fact is that if people really want change in the Society, they need to recognize that the so-called: Spiritual World can only contribute to the future of the Society through human beings; and, these human beings have to be prepared, and then ultimately initiated (2). We don’t initiate ourselves - only the Guardians (3) do that.
My name is Joel A. Wendt. I am, in a way, a kind of potential leader in the Society, although not officially recognized. It is not that I am a better human being, or otherwise more knowledgeable or perfect, but rather that I possess unusual skill sets in the arts and crafts of thinking (of a Platonist nature). I earned those skills the hard way, over decades of work at trying to perceive with my thinking the Idea (4) connected to the real nature of human social and political life. I also had a lot of help.
The essay below (being sent by e-mail, since the gatekeepers of the magazine “being human” won’t publish my work) is meant to offer some insight into the near future based upon my thinking skills. The reader can be their own judge of whether that works for them.
We are, by the way, on the precipice of a great tragedy in the Society because of the limited and Aristotelian thinking dominating our institutional leadership. As long at the Platonists are confined to the periphery, the membership cannot gain the whole story. While this is being sent to a few “leadership” folks, it is really the general membership that is to be the most important of those who receive it. In our Society (as in all modern societies of any kind), it is those who live in the social commons, or the social below, that need to step up and assert their own thinking, rather than anymore submit to the lectures and editorial selections of the Society’s institutional establishment powers.
This is one of the great facts of modern existence in the beginning centuries of the Epoch of the Consciousness Soul: Hierarchical (top down) social forms are no longer workable, and in our Society Steiner prepared us for this situation by concentrating organizational power in the Branches and Study Groups - in all the local institutions. Hierarchical social forms are dead and dying traditions rooted in the Third Cultural Epoch, and must (and will) be replaced by new living forms from out of the social commons as is required by the stage of the evolution of consciousness appropriate to the Fifth Cultural Epoch. Details can be found in my many writings on this subject (5).
For our immediate future, this (and other small essays) are being offered to the Branches and Study Groups, through this e-mail process. Readers of this e-mail are encouraged to share it with others. In a sense, you get to pick what the gatekeeper editors of “being human”, and other local anthroposophical newsletters, won’t publish. If you dont’ like or trust this, don’t send it on. If you do, share it widely.
Ideas connect to:
Economic Viability in an Age
of Financial Chaos
One of the rather strange experiences I have had in the Society is trying to converse with students of Steiner’s economic teachings about monetary policy. Many of these Steiner students wanted to talk only about the ideals (ideals are not Ideas, by the way) of price and the different kinds (or colors) of money (such as gift money etc.). Why did they shy away from the problems of monetary policy (what Central Banks and governments do about/with money)? My suspicion that this is because the ahrimanic lives too strongly in the facts underlying money-creation decisions. Monetary policy involves the world of finance, and finance has a lot to do with abstract numbers, while number (as a pure Idea) is a primeval power of Ahriman.
Our civilization is currently going through a massive economic crisis connected to the fact that Central Banks and governments have been printing money for generations, as the main way to foster what they perceived of as economic growth. As a consequence, more than 99% of the money, in circulation as it were, has no real-world value - it has no relationship to actual goods and services. It is not without importance to understand that this relationship is connected to the problem of economic disparity that is discussed with the ideas of the 99% and the 1%. The 1% control the tools that determine the uses to which the 99% of fake money is applied. That is where the 1% derives its wealth - from the “ownership” and/or control of the 99% of imaginary assets living in derivatives and other essentially valueless financial “investment” instruments, created only to be sold to the unsuspecting. Having turned money itself into a commodity to be traded through currency arbitrage, ... all that fake money then lost its connection to social reality.
This is properly called the “finance bubble”, and the air is leaking out of it - sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Most of the moves made by truly knowledgeable central bankers and government finance ministers (of which, by the way, there are very few) is to try to control this unstoppable finance-bubble collapse. This is why that a particular 10% of the 1% is creating private armies and enclaves in which to hide - they see the coming collapse. But that is just a stopgap measure, because at some point the servants of the 10% inside the 1% will realize that this control of imaginary wealth ultimately only comes from the barrel of a gun, and it is the servant armies that holds the guns. This is why certain conditions of social anarchy creates the “warlords” that grow to power in Africa, and remain somewhat in power in China; and, why lawless gangs flourish in our barely controlled inner cities in America, while drug cartels flower in Central and South America. To many individuals earthly power only comes through the possession of a gun - just consider the problems we endure everywhere with gun violence.
Consider the following: Metamorphosis is the archetypal process of change of all that lives, including civilizations. This dying and becoming is/was modeled for the whole Creation by Christ’s (the creator God’s) death and resurrection. At the center of this process of dynamic change is a period of chaos (Christ’s descent through the inner regions of the Earth to the realm of the Holy Mother on the Saturday following his Crucifixion). Only chaos is able to receive new form and structure (a resurrection). The End of Western Civilization rides in on a prefiguration of the Four Horseman. The true End Times casts a foreshadowing of its promises into our Age.
On this crisis is being built the form and nature of the Third Millennium. The social order is fracturing at the level of the disconnect between the rich and the poor. The rich cling, for example, to Old World Culture in the form of Operas and Symphonies that can’t exist without significant economic support, while the poor create true New World Culture in the form of rap and hip hop, whereby the musical arts are reduced to their zen-like simplicity: rhythm and rhyme, and every street corner can be a stage. Hip hop is all over the world by the way - not such that it makes the news, however - the stories of the development of fresh new culture among the so-called poor are mostly unknown.
The most dynamic cultural changes are occurring on the edges of modern civilization’s midden heaps - the great garbage dumps, where children prowl for food and wise-men find a way to turn tin cans into violins (6). Just as He said: the poor will be with you always.
It is into this emerging culture of the poor - of the great majority of humanity, during the trials of the Third Millennium, that the spiritual gifts of the slowly incarnating anthroposophical movement are meant to be planted. Most of humanity in the next centuries will become what we call poor in a material sense, which is of course precisely how Christ and the Disciples lived. But material poverty does not have to mean spiritual/cultural impoverishment.
Economic viability is not then about keeping alive the middle class. Its disappearance cannot be stopped, in part because the seeming middle class was a temporary incident within a long term social change - “class” no longer has any real social meaning. The only real existential questions, during the dying into a new becoming of Western Civilization, have to do with whether those addicted to power and wealth will escalate their efforts at control, such that they release into the living environment of the Earth weapons of mass destruction (especially biologicals), believing they can survive in their enclaves. They will be tempted to destroy the bio-sphere of the planet rather than loose their remnants of Third Epoch aristocratic-like class-status. The Beast from the Abyss (the human double, free to follow any appetite or urge) endangers us all.
Keep in mind the problem of time. Real outer social change sometimes takes centuries, while it is for all of us lived only one day at a time. The original American revolution came only after a long period of ripening, following which it burst forth in an eight year war, and then died away in a long political struggle over the creation and practice of a form of government never before seen on the earth. This is still an ongoing struggle - that revolution in its wider (Idea) sense is not over.
Yet, the actions of some can escalate the rush of time. Here is a quite apt perception of the underlying processes in which we are all caught: From science fiction writer Frank Herbert’s 1961 novel Dune: “When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movement becomes headlong - faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until its too late.”
All over the world, where we see the excessive invasion of political life by fundamentalist religions - this headlong rush to the precipice is what we observe.
The economic viability of the Anthroposophical Society during this time of increasing social chaos is in part dependent upon our having an understanding of the real nature of the “assets” or “products” of which we in the Society are the stewards; and, how it is that we may morally “share/sell” that product to others. Our basic asset/product is an advancing level of knowledge, whereby the spiritual is not lost to the degradations of scientific materialism.
The Mother Forces (7) - which rule the most ancient Earth-powers such as the Titans, have been warning us via such speaking-events as Katrina, and various Tsunamis, that the time to wake up is now. At the same time there is no reason for despair, for Christ, as Artist (Lord) of Karma, has given us our needed companions right in our individual biographies. As the Hopi Elders apparently put it: We are the people we have been waiting for.
Here is what is needed as a deed from at least some of the members and friends of the Anthroposophical Society, in America and World-wide. This will, by the way, be the only way to preserve Waldorf (8), Biodynamics, and all the other riches Steiner inspired, during the fiery crises (9) forming the birth of the Third Millennium.
the first global distributed-wisdom project:
about the future ...
The future is not going to work out the way people want. It never really has, either, because the living laws of the social cannot be discovered by abstract cause and effect thinking. Sometimes one can see trends, ... for example the financial collapse was predicted by many people. As anthroposophists we ought to see even deeper. Shakespeare pointed out, by the way, that we follow a dangerous path when we let the wish be the father of the thought.
It was obvious there was a housing bubble and that people were being allowed to borrow money that they could not repay. It was also obvious that with ending the distinction between commercial banks and investment banks, bankers were going to start to take a lot of unjustified risks. We could go on, but if you’ve been paying attention there is no need. Just note please that our governments have not reigned in these thieves, pirates and wolves, and they are continuing to make trouble for the rest of us, while still unjustly increasing their own wealth through the play of fake money (10).
The whole world is a vast complex system of interrelated and equally complex sub-systems. Generally systems theory tells us that when any complex system undergoes systemic change, it first begins to oscillate wildly, everywhere exceeding its normal conditions of limit. Only after this accelerating chaos reaches a crescendo does the new steady state emerge. Our climate phenomena reveal this quite exactly, although as anthroposophists we need to appreciate that there is a more or less a direct relationship between human moral activity and weather - a wonderful mystery if we think about it. Everything in existence is integrated and related to everything else.
On another level, profit driven commercial agricultural interests are wrecking the food supply. Not only is there no nutrition in their products, they think they can mess with the DNA of the plant world with zero bad effects. The excesses of human desire abuse just about everything. Its a bit like watching some kind of weird horror movie, where the mad scientists (more of the Beast from the Abyss) are clearly going to make as many monsters as possible.
Everywhere we have drained the aquifers in order to do too much too fast. The coming water crisis will be huge. Climate change is real, whatever confusion we have about the causal elements - whether human beings or basically just a natural cycle. Various nations manage to elect or allow complete idiots (stuck-in-early-post-adolescence children and sociopaths) to run and ruin their Countries. America did it with Bush II and his cronies, so why can’t everyone else do it? Keep in mind here, that the Artist (Lord) of Karma played a role in this.
Almost no large social institution is being prudent. Most leaders think short term, and only want to reward their friends. Many people just want to make things better for themselves, and screw the other guy. Anyone really believe the world can survive all this madness without some kind of major collapse and restructuring? Nothing seriously wrong is being fixed. Nothing.
The world then scares us because it is clearly out of control and filled with so many anti-human gestures. We feel powerless, not yet understanding that larger forces and potentials are involved. As Steiner told us: we need to trust the future. To really appreciate the coming future we need to acquire a thinking which sees past the physical sense world phenomena, and begins to recognize that all this drama has an divinely intended direct effect on the nature and evolution of human consciousness (11). Outer world stress and strife force upon us the choices leading to changes in our inner moral nature.
Yes, yes, yes! ... there is a wise ordering to the world in spite of human folly. The book pointed to in note 6 explains in detail how the real nature of the social world is about the individual biography and the changes in consciousness that arise through our biographical experiences. Christ lives there - the living organism of the social/political world is an Embodiment of the Word, which is what Steiner meant when he described Christ as the Spirit of the Earth.
Here is a small part of what this wisdom - through synergistic processes - has given us in order to help us transit through this remarkable Rite of Passage in which Western Civilization dies into something new.
Make an inner image of the Earth-Globe with your picture-thinking. Imagine the surface of that Globe covered with glittering and very bright stars - billions of them. Each star is a human mind (which is a physical-spirit interface - think of us as an spirit-created analogue of certain elements in the movie Avatar), and because so many stars are connected to other minds, via the global social networks by even so little as just a cell phone, there has now arisen a Global Mind (12). It has analogous characteristics to distributed computing, but in this case the Global Mind can care about what it does. A computer running a program can’t do what people can do - it has no imagination or any moral character.
An early global test of this Global Mind - this vast system of distributed wisdom - created open source software. It fostered the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street. Recently, via Kickstarter, the Global Mind/Spirit funded a movie a few people wanted - the old Hollywood system became unnecessary.
Now the world needs this Global Mind to create: the Library. As the collapse of Western Civilization goes through its various phases, people in different areas of the world will suffer all varieties of deprivations - some quite different from others. People need knowledge of how to deal with water issues and health issues and so forth. Imagine a world where vast areas are like Haiti is now, including places which ought to feel completely safe, such as Boston or London (13) or Paris. What is happening in Greece and Cyprus and the Ukraine will spread. Huge crowds of unemployed and hungry people will riot into anarchy. Governments will respond by trying to over-control - that’s how they always deal with tendencies to lawlessness. Over-control will only make things worse - that’s a clear lesson of the Genius of history to anyone who wants to pay attention to Her stories.
There will be many places of social chaos, and lack of food, water and medicine. The usual expectable social networks too will break down. Such organizations as the Red Cross may well completely lose their ability to come to the rescue. Only those living in a particular place can really care for each other. This Rite of Passage is not just about physical needs, it is also about psychological and spiritual needs. The encouragement of the development of Third Millennium (Fifth Cultural Epoch) wise and fresh basic-needs (poor) culture can/will help people understand what is happening in the world.
At present the Internet is full of knowledge. Its all there - a kind of huge electronic Whole Earth Catalog, that includes all things Steiner as well. There are places where this knowledge is being organized by people who can see the need for survivor knowledge - the so-called doomsday preppers. But we also need to know how to fight dysentery or cholera on more than an individual scale. How do you make penicillin or insulin? How to you take the junk lying everywhere about and make a filter for water, or turn a broken bicycle into a way of making electricity?
How do you make zip guns and IEDs out of household products in order to fight off marauders, who only want to steal from those who have little, but are too lazy to work things out on their own? What did people do in Libya to survive amidst a civil war? How do you socially organize refugees when there are no longer big institutional social organizations to help?
Even so, there are all manner of inventions to solve problems, such as a various permaculture ideas (14). But still, ... someone must be farsighted enough to recognize the need to do more - to organize the knowledge and store it off the increasingly fragile Internet.
The coming resulting social chaos will place us more and more on our own. There are lessons learned in New Orleans, after Katrina. When things break seriously down, electricity disappears. Electricity disappears and the Internet disappears. All over the world we have already seen the wise Mothers send the Titans to slap us in the face and say WAKE UP!!! A big DOOM is falling on you, if you remain asleep.
Yet, everywhere on the Internet is vast stores of wisdom acquired in ways so hard and painful it sometimes makes one want to cry. But all that hard-earned wisdom is useless if we do not collect it and organize it. My youngest son says you can put 20,000 books on a high density DVD.
What we need to do here is to decentralize the Internet’s practical information. Why? Because we may not always have the Internet, for vast powerful social forces already don’t like it. We decentralize it by editing it (no need for all those cute-cat pictures), and transferring the essential material off of remote (and indefensible) server farms and onto personally guarded DVDs. The knowledge of how to survive the already happening social-crisis Rite of Passage needs to become lodged in local off the grid nodes, in small sturdy laptops, for example, that can get their electricity by being hand cranked - these devices already exist.
This is the classic snowball situation. All that people, with social network access, need to do is to start making off-Internet web-centers where data is collected. If a common name is used, such as “the Library”, coupled with the specialty being collected at that node intersection, for example: “Library - cholera stories”, then material will gather there. Once started, on any theme, many other data collection node intersections, such as: “the Library - basic medical needs”, will gather data, but at a vaster scale and quicker pace - like a snowball, only in this case it is a wise pruning and harvesting of knowledge.
Meanwhile, open source software people need to design a search engine that can be part of the high density DVDs, and which will be able to be used to search these DVDS, made via downloads to laptops and other off-Internet storage devices. With such search engines the possibilities are endless. The Internet is full of answers to questions, ... they just have to be organized according to the wisdom of all the individuals participating, and then off loaded from the vulnerable servers onto personal nodes that are no longer connected and hackable. Save our needed knowledge! Don’t just create a small or large hoard of medicine, food and water, save knowledge!
Save and preserve especially knowledge of culture and art and law and peoples. And, because the Global Mind/Spirit is distributed, everyone can participate. Think of what happens when a salt solution crystallizes. Everything for a time is watery - unformed. Then something initiates a connection, and soon everywhere there is order. Each individual member of the Global Mind just does their part. There are lots of ways to do this, and once people catch on to the Idea, ... well, we will have to wait and see just how wise this Global Mind really is willing to become.
Will at least some of the members of the Anthroposophical Society, at the level of Branches and Study Groups, see the future’s need? Will we serve the world instead of just ourselves and our own institutions? Are we really as smart and wise as we believe ourselves to be? Should we not, at least, save and preserve in this fashion all of not just Steiner, but all of his students works as well? Does the world going crazy make you want to act, instead of always feeling powerless? Then act!
An off the grid portable knowledge Library that can survive global social/political chaos ... now there is a legacy worthy of human beings.
* * *
notes: These footnotes are not arbitrary. If the reader of this wants a deeper understanding of the above, then these materials will provide much necessary detail. The questions faced here are not simple. At the same time, the reader should trust their own instincts. Read only what draws you to it, and only so far as seems interesting.
(1) The Aristotelian impulse in the Society is far from perfect. It is simply not yet critically thought about. Anyone gets to say anything, especially if they have some kind of popular following. This is not science. Spiritual facts are not voted into existence through popularity contests. I’ve written extensively on this problem, and here are links to material on some of the normal and human (yet still with failings) personalities that various members and friends connected to the Society like to believe never make a false step or produce something that is not true: On Prokofieff - a review of his book on The Philosophy of Freedom http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Prokofieffbookreview.html; On Ben-Aharon - a review of his book The Event in Science, History, Philosophy & Art: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/benaharon.html; and, On von Halle - a review of Tradowsky’s book The Stigmata: destiny as a question of knowledge: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/vonHalle.html
(2) Here is a link to some material on the Culmination and the possible meetings at the beginning of the Third Millennium of the former members of the School of Chartres: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/chartres.html
(3) This is a description of my initiation experience: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/threshold.html
(4) From 1999, a report on the Experience of an Idea: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/lttws.html
(5) From 1995, Waking the Sleeping Giant: the mission of Anthroposophy in America: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/wkslg.html
(6) Landfill Harmonic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJxxdQox7n0
(7) The lower chakra forces need to be more intimately known and understood: Sex, Porn, and the Return of the Divine Feminine: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/sex,porn.html
(8) See the recent article in the New Yorker Magazine for Feb. 3, 2014: Class Consciousness: the rise of Waldorf Schools in China. Some very interesting insights there about what happens when Waldorf encounters a very old culture, that Steiner once described as “decadent”. Seems they strip away the Steiner-said philosophy (not being taught yet about the New Mystery of Thinking), and seek through Waldorf to free their children from centuries of State sponsored mind-control forms of education. Clearly new civilization amidst the debris of the old.
(9) See my main website: Shapes in the Fire: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/
(10) From 2009, Economic and Social Rebellion: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Rebellion.html Also watch the films: Too Big to Fail (HBO); and Margin Call (Netflix).
(11) From 2010, The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html
(12) The Noosphere: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noosphere
(13) An artist’s vision: Children of Men: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children_of_Men
Dear Friends and Members of the Anthroposophical Society, in America and elsewhere,
More Anthroposophical Foolishness - a Platonist Contribution
(anthroposophical art in the subversive mode)
Transcending the Previous (but no longer necessary) Aristotelian Limits
on the Cognitive Arts in the Anthroposophical Society - part two*
the tricky little secret about self-development
*only one more after this, and then I’ll stop pestering you
Yes, there is a tricky little secret about the idea of self-development ... we begin there, but the first sentence is simply meant to shock the reader a bit, for it is the whole tale that is crucial ...
Sorry folks, but Christ doesn’t care. Well, that’s not entirely accurate ... if you care about it for yourself, He cares. But in a more general sense that’s because what He really cares about is your freedom to choose.
Love doesn’t need or expect us to go through life obsessed with self-improvement. When we were created, we were created as perfect as we needed to be already. Think about it. There you are in your life and for a lot of us we go around feeling bad because there is something we are not. We can think (as in believe), that we would suffer less if we just changed ourselves in some way. But ask yourself: Where do the ideas, that we should be different than we already are, come from? Even more important, from where comes the urge to change and become?
Well, in one sense as soon as we started studying Rudolf Steiner we got a lot of such ideas. Now the more obvious places, such as what we get from commercial advertising that wants to sell us a product, - these places try to make us feel bad because we have the wrong odor, or our hair isn’t the right color, or we don’t drink the right beer - all that comes from someone trying to sell us something - right?
Same with all enlightenment and self-help systems - they all seem to be selling something. One of the basic Ideas in those Ways is that there is something we are not, and then as a supposed logical consequence we are advised to pursue something we should be.
So we read Steiner and we find out all this stuff we didn’t know about food, and education and medicine and soul life, and the more Steiner we read the longer the list gets of the things we don’t know or the ways our soul is somehow wrong. By the way, I’m not saying I’ve never felt that way. Truth is I bought it all, hook, line and sinker. Then I grew up, thought about it all myself, and realized that something else was going on.
Its a bit of a strange story in a way, because we are so used to the idea that our spiritual life is about being something we are not. But that turns out to not be true. The core of our spiritual life is about learning how to be good at what we already are - according to our own standards. Forced inner change is not required in order to be enlightened or be an initiate. In America, the aboriginal peoples get closer to these riddles, because in the main their concern is about character development - or who you become as a member of a family or a Nation.
For me these questions all started when I decided to study Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, well before I ever met the writings of Steiner (1). In these Four Truths Buddha points to human desire - the hungers we have, and basically says that while Life is Suffering (truth #1), suffering is caused (truth #2) by our grasping for the what-is-not (truth #3). There we are, in life, and we can’t (or won’t) accept the what is, and would rather we have the what is not. Always the grass is greener on the other-side of the fence.
That gap, between the what is and the what is not, creates in our minds the soul-soil for suffering. Yet, in truth #4 Buddha explains how to overcome suffering: the Eight-fold Path (right view; right intention; right speech; right action; right livelihood; right effort; right mindfulness; and, right concentration). All the same, isn’t that too about something we are not ... otherwise why use a comparative term like “right”, which implies that there can be something “wrong”?
However, knowing that intellectually and then learning to do it in life is not exactly easy, in part because everyone else is into suffering too. Its like being in a huge social tidal force, that pushes and pulls us away from ourselves, demanding we be something different. Even if we don’t have the rumored and somewhat mythical Jewish or Catholic mothers, we still get layered over with guilt for all the ways we aren’t yet perfect. Too fat, too short, too ugly, need a new nose, marry a dentist, why don’t you call your mother more often - a long list.
Let’s fast forward to Christ ...
Next, ... in the Gospels we find the word sin - now there’s a word to make us feel guilty just for existing. What a selling-concept for guilt - you were born guilty say some; and, if we read St. Paul, having a physical body is horrible too - our corporeal existence is all manner of causes to see ourselves as screwed up. Problem is that was not what Christ taught. Remember, Paul was not a disciple, but a convert, with all the self-righteous passions a convert typically has.
First off, the Greek word translated as sin is a word from archery and means missing the mark. Not that you are a screw-up by nature, but that like all human beings you make mistakes. But the big three monotheistic religions, in their struggle to own the guilt card, all seem to adore making rules at which we can fail. And, what Christ actually taught was “don’t judge”; as well as, “Love God, and your neighbors as you love yourself”. Now He did point out there are consequences to our actions - but most of us learn that from Life itself. Which brings us to a kind of major digression, but one that is really useful.
Holy Books, by the way, are not generally useful. First of all they try to trap the Divine into a set course of rules, which rules really become fodder for our being judged by preachers and other religious do-gooders. Where do folks get off thinking that God can be put in the jail of a book whose meaning lasts for all time, and whose major interpreters are human beings just as flawed as we are? Please wake up and really do smell the roses. God is always here - not in a book however holy some want to make it - with us always ... just as He promised (I will be with you until the culmination of time).
Want to know what God thinks now, free of the prison of a so-called Holy Book? Its all right there in your biography, and written in the most personal way possible. The Creation is ongoing, and God is free to make it be whatever He wants. And, not only that, but we helped write the Book of our Lives (2). And the Book of the Own Soul. We are largely self-created, with a little help from a lot of invisible friends.
What Steiner called the Age of the Consciousness Soul (3) is the Age of Choice and Freedom. The Age of waking up to the fact of our choosing how to be who we want to be. And, who made the world the way it is now, so that that can happen? Him. Love.
So, back to Anthroposophy and “self-development”.
Rudolf Steiner (when he was incarnated in that body and that biography) was a Central European. One of the things he tried to help us understand was that the cultural East, Center, and West had different Ways of Soul Life. One aspect of the Way of the Center is to pursue the Ideal. The minds of the Center naturally and habitually create an Ideal of how the world, or an individual, should be.
If we were to make a pragmatic empirical investigation of the mind of a human being, in accord with the Way of the West, we would find a type or mode of thinking (among many others modes) that is best described as: comparative. This particular mode of thinking is a kind of habit, rooted mostly in our semi-conscious feelings of antipathy (toward ourselves and/or others), which says, essentially, that this is better than that. Some one or thing is more beautiful, more useful etc. than another person or thing.
This naturally given condition of the human soul - to make comparative judgments derived from antipathy - is one of the reasons for Christ teaching: judge not. This is because while the teaching lives in us as an intellectual moral lesson from the Gospels, the real art of confronting this teaching only comes about because we have to face it in Life. That’s actually where Christ truly teaches us - directly in Life. Got a blood relative or two you can’t stand? Guess what.
So maybe you are a fan of Steiner’s Knowledge of Higher Worlds and How to Attain It. In that book there are a lot of moral admonitions - a lot of: if you want to succeed on this Path, you need to do or master this or that. And, there we all are, with our desires hanging out, wanting to be initiates and stuff. Opps, ... just ran into the Buddha’s truth #2 and 3# - suffering caused by grasping - by taking the comparative thinking position that the what we are not is better than the what we are. Keep in mind you are in good company - most everyone does this.
Then of course there is one of those strange paradoxes, where Christ loves us either way we choose. He loves us unconditionally. He knows we’ll figure it out. He understands us and suffers with our suffering, and knows we will eventually realize that Life is a traffic course in natural changes, and that we don’t have to add to our suffering by trying to be perfect. Just deal with the challenges of any particular day. There are plenty of adventures right there - we don’t have to go to Dornach. The Life of the Biography is a natural Path of Development. In fact, it is personally designed by Christ and us (with some help from those invisible friends).
Emerson had a good take on this. He said (I’ll paraphrase): the only good purpose of books is to inspire. What we think is ours to create. What others think - that’s for them.
I do need to confess that this is not an easy lesson to learn. We are creatures of habit and have lots of karma to work on, as our biographies are rich and varied and unique. In fact, when you meet the Lesser Guardian of the Threshold, there you are presented with all your glorious imperfections (4). The ahrimanic double knows us better than we care to admit to ourselves. The funny (as in strange) thing is that we have that meeting even when we are not perfect.
Now Steiner discussed this problem indirectly in the 12th Lecture of the John Gospel cycle, when he points out that if we do The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity Path, in the “right” way, the astral body experiences a kind of purification. Please note he did not say we end up perfect. Rather what happens is a lot of dross is let go of, and when we have learned enough of the hard Life-lessons, then our astral body becomes sensitive enough for certain invisible beings to have intercourse with us.
Here we encounter one of the differences between the Knowledge of Higher Worlds Path, and The Philosophy of Freedom Path. In the former we are given moral admonitions, and travel through the sense world toward our goal. In the latter we are taught how to practice moral freedom (moral imagination, moral intuition, and moral technique), and travel that Path through the thought (ethereal) world, not the world of the physical senses.
Meanwhile (another paradox), all this self-development activity which we suffer trying to achieve, means nothing to the Lesser or Greater Guardians. However hard we try we can’t force our way into the Grail Temple, because we are already there - just not yet awake to it (5). Steiner (who practiced/discovered The Philosophy Path, not the Knowledge of Higher Worlds Path) tried in Knowledge to give us a clue: For every step in spiritual development (exercises), one must take three steps in character (moral) development.
You can’t do moral development exercises. You can only develop morally in the Trials (2, again) of Life itself. At some point it may happen (again this can’t be forced) that the Lesser and Greater Guardians find us ripe enough by their standards, not ours. That being the case, what reason can we have for punishing ourselves through self-judging. It actually appears to be the case that learning to forgive ourselves for being imperfect human beings is a necessary element of the astral purification situation. The very hunger and grasping to become an initiate or enlightened is a genuine flaw. That returns us to the judge-not teaching, which encourages us to get the darn beam out of our own mind’s-eye first - a beam that includes self-judging.
Now, do you have to change yourself into someone that doesn’t judge? Can you rid yourself of antipathy and sympathy? Nope. You just need to wake up to these inner processes. Buddha wasn’t perfect, he was awake. And, guess what? Where you already are is just fine. Life gives us the wakeup calls too. Live life and just keep being yourself. What could be simpler?
And, oh my god, here come the really big one: Christ isn’t perfect either. You think its easy to love us unconditionally? You think Christ just sort of slides through Eternity doing it all by a magic wave of His “fingers”? I’m sorry, but didn’t you hear about the “sacrifices” and sufferings of Christ? Look carefully at the Pieta. Michaelangelo got it exactly right. Christ was spent, really dead and finished. He gave it all into a physical incarnation to follow us through the Gate of Death - follow and imitate us. Then He falls, and falls and falls, until She catches Him. After that, ... the Resurrection.
I’ll skip going into the flaws of the Mother and the Father, except to say this: Why does the Creation exist if They were already perfect? What would be the point? I love sticking that one into a conversation, because the religious purists get really red in the face, and sputter and spit on their own wonderful preconceptions and unredeemed judgments.
From where comes the dark, the mad, the fool and the saints? What are words, or the Word? For the Platonist there is a whole world of “words”, as Ideas, which are not just as real as the sense world, but even more Real. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. When consciousness goes there (without form and void), where is it, what is it, and what and where was it before?
All we have, in a sense, is what was/is written ... what was/is Created. Its all there in the Now. There is no real past or future. There is only Now. And, Now. And, Now. And, Now.
As well, in this Now we have thought and thinking; and, in thinking we have the act of the creation of thought. When we create thought, ... what is that - why is that - how is that? Do we retreat into the vague mysterious nature of God here, a common response of the Aristotelians (which includes Steiner when it comes to the really big questions - check out his idea of duration as an expression of the nature of time before the Creation)? Do we borrow a page from the materialists, and have a Big Bang out of nothing?
We wake every morning facing a potential - a world of choices, many forced and necessary, but still there are a few which are truly free and our own. We may seem trapped in the Now, except for our imagination which tries to remember the past and fancy the future. We can quick-start our minds with a cup or two of coffee, add a donut for sugar and carbs and off we go to the races. Singing and dancing by the rivers of Babylon.
What’s the tricky secret? Be kind to yourself and others. Live your Life, make your choices, and for sure do Love God ‘cause She/He needs our love big time. Don’t you think that which made you needs something in return? They don’t ask, of course. It was the Son who had to tell us that obvious truth - the first command (? - read: recommendation) being to Love God with all your heart and all your mind and all your spirit. So, be Christ-like and love and forgive Them back - give your all to all They created, beginning with yourself.
Why? Because Americans are People of the Will. We find the essence of ourselves in doing, and there is a lot more to life than spiritual exercises. For what reason do we exercise, by the way? Years ago I hung out with some Buddhists, students of Choygam Trungpa. They were always going to meditation practice. Practice for what I wondered? To me to be spiritual meant to be good, to be moral. Not easy that kind of doing, but very worthwhile when we can manage it.
The fact is all the wonder and awesomeness of the whole Creation has been given to you (6) - the microcosm within the macrocosm - the billions of prodigal children all seeking to return Home. But that tale is a stony rock-covered path, for the grasping and the suffering and the mistake making - that’s us - imperfect human beings. Accept it, for being human and flawed is a glory - even Steiner thought that, for he suggested that the religion of the gods was the human being. Try this:
When the Father was done (and rested) He disappeared behind the Stars (while the Mother descended into the deepest dark core and root of the inner center of Earth Existence). Then from the realm of Stars we humans began to descend into incarnation in the various Planetary forms of the Earth (Saturn, Sun, Moon etc.) To the perceptual experiences of the Hierarchies this descent was seen as the Father Himself, who having divided into all, took the most concentrated and incomplete, as in naive and innocent, parts of Himself toward the world of Matter - toward the world of the Mother. Toward Her Living Womb.
This the Hierarchies of both above and below could see/feel: the descent into Matter, into resistance - into the one Realm in which pure spirit must expend effort to learn and become. Not just that, but the Son too. A great in-streaming forgetting of all that was prior, so that something truly new and unknown could arise. The Art of Creation having divided could only hunger for reunification. Life is Suffering. As the Stars descended to earthly human existence, and the Son followed them so that the Divine Mystery itself could know what it meant to be human, the great visioning perception of all the Hierarchies turned and followed. How given these passions, as Steiner phrased it, could not the human journey be the religion of the Gods themselves. Where else but in the human heart could the Hierarchies find that which made them in the first place. The whole Creation - a great turning inside-out impossible transformation made possible by the magic and mystery of Love.
So ... just who are you? And, now we know why the first and greatest recommendation was to love god with all your mind and all your heart and all your spirit, while the second was like unto it - to love your companions as you love yourself.
Now all that said, is there anything going on that is forward leaning yet lacks the grasping of desire - avoids wanting too much the what-is-not, while still living in the what-is? Rudolf Steiner characterized Americans as coming to Anthroposophy naturally (7). He also characterized English speakers as instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights (8). It is fair to say that the American Soul, simply in expressing its own nature - its own what-is - does bring spiritual development situationally without grasping. We Americans already are instinctively doing the needed doing.
Tragically, we anthropops have also so absorbed a European-like approach to Anthroposophy, that by our imitation and love of all things European, we may have somewhat lost our Way. Confusion has been sown, and the garden of our soul might well need some weeding.
At the same time, it will not do from that stand point of virtue to wish matters were otherwise. The wise governance of the world takes account of everything, including all mistakes made either in ignorance, or with full culpable knowledge. Let us turn to some specifics to better appreciate this wonder.
There is Old World culture and New World culture. This is no accident. The spiritual zone, which is materially a region of salted water that is the Atlantic Ocean, is both a barrier and a bridge. It also functions like an astral sieve. When Steiner suggested in The Mission of the Folk Souls, Lecture Six: “...America is the place at which races or civilizations die.”, he was pointing to something we in America well know. America is becoming the People of Peoples, as each emigrating culture and group edits itself in order to make a mosaic whole of many parts (e pluribus unum: out of many, one).
In the beginning we were mostly European, but then with slavery we began to absorb the Africa Peoples. Other needs for workers delivered Chinese to our Western reaches, and then wars in Asia drove still others: Vietnamese, Thai and so forth. In a way there is a kind of historical/cultural vortex, revolving on a planetary scale over time, sucking representatives of all the world’s peoples toward a single vital center, where language and culture and family are being gently washed away leaving eventually only the raw socially untamed free individual.
At the same time, in the secret heart of America - the Saturn Race - the Red Peoples waited. As the soul is formed in part by amalgamating the local spiritual geology with the incarnating spirit, the Land itself becomes a creative feature of the soul. The true astral-world roots of the character-nature of the American people can only be found among the aboriginal peoples who were the previous stewards of this Land (9).
When the individual spirit is freed of the binding habits of language, culture, race and family, what Steiner called the group-soul loses its ability to capture the moral nature of that individual. America is a natural alchemical crucible distilling the free moral spirit out of a soup/stew of previously more dominant historical forces confining the soul. What the European was to find through the study of his own mind/soul via The Philosophy of Freedom (the essence of what is Anthroposophy), comes naturally through the washing away of soul-chains made by the more and more dying away of the social demands of family, race, culture and language. Again, from note (7), Steiner: Lecture to the Workman, 3 March 1923. “...one can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a natural way...".
For the American, that which is the idealistic spiritual striving of the European is for us a natural given - no striving is necessary. We are on a Path where each of us is expressing his/her individual Way just by being ourselves. That said, is there any help, or are we completely on our own?
The so-called spiritual world supports explorers, or forerunners, or trail breakers. Even innovators. I am one - there are others (10).
My specialty is the New Mystery of Thinking, with an important sub-class of exploration as regards the Double (11). At the same time these are no oughts or shoulds, for anyone traveling a spiritual path and seeking a moral life. Follow your own song above all else.
American dramatic arts (movies and TV) are full of inspiration, because everyone here is naturally developing the free moral thinking that is our gift. So, for example, we find in the TV series Joan of Arcadia, the God character telling Joan at the end of season one, to: trust the world behind your eyes; learn to see in the dark; and, follow toward the light. In my book American Anthroposophy (12), I have a chapter on four American artists and their contributions to American spiritual culture (Clint Eastwood, Neal Stephenson, Ursula K. LeGuin, and David E. Kelley). I suspect most readers of this subversive poem will already have their favorite inspiring authors and experiences, such as The Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous (13).
Trust where you were born, where you have traveled and where next you want to go. Each biographical path is unique and even someone finding satisfaction with a love of all things Steiner and European should not be dissuaded from that impulse. Notice that Nature never wastes anything - all is put to good uses, and the same is even more true of each individual human tale.
If you are an American, it is impossible not to be on your Path, even if that Way takes you down into the depths, on what some call: the lower vertical of the Cross (14). This is actually becoming true everywhere, but group-soul forces still dominate the “I” in many cultures in the present. In fact, for the American Soul, the encounter with the depths is quite normal. To study the Double (11, again), to know of the lower Chakras (15), and to seek to experience the reality of the inner spheres of the Earth (16) is to go exactly where certain explorers (the Platonists from the School of Chartres in their present day incarnations) have already gone and blazed the trails.
One last point:
After my most recent e-mail, a correspondent sent the following message to me: “A friend, mentor of mine and a colleague of Pfeiffer and many other folks well known in Anthroposophical circles - gave me this (I’m paraphrasing for clarity) “Aristotelians unchecked by Platonists will lead us all to the furnaces of Ahriman”“ I found this thought hilarious - almost laughed out loud. Why?
The danger for modern humanity is to not appreciate the true nature of the “intellect”. Yet, we cannot but have to face this imbalance in ourselves, as anthroposophists, before we start to judge the outer world for the same seeming flaw. One way to express this Idea of the intellect is: abstract cause and effect thinking. Steiner, himself basically an Aristotelian, tried to give us a counter-concept: heart thinking. The abstract cause and effect thinking is what we are taught in our schools. It is also the way most of the writing of others is expressed. It is our doom, in a way, to be born into the Age when this intellect is almost worshiped. Our minds do this out of habit. As Barfield has pointed out - a lot of these habits are captured in the meaning of most of the words we use (17).
We admire the Einsteins, for example. We evaluate a human being’s genius of spirit by an Intelligence Quotient test. Yet, we have the Gandhis too. The Martin Luther Kings. The Clara Bartons. The Mandelas. These model something more than mere intellect. At the same time the writing among many of the favorite and popular anthroposophists is fully captured by this abstract cause and effect thinking. Steiner is too often read and absorbed by the untamed intellect, even in the naked abstract concept of heart-thinking. Then later out it comes, regurgitated from the unchecked Aristotelian impulse: thoughts without heart in them. How do we know this?
Some abstract generalizations from the most recent Anthroposophy Worldwide:
“The development of the consciousness soul puts the individual human being entirely "within himself." On the positive side this means the complete disavowal of subservience and belief in any kind of authority. The soul's need to revere something is no longer directed to people and groups; instead, it seeks objective nourishment in individual striving for knowledge and truth. But on the negative side it brings the danger of isolation and loneliness, followed by insecurity, mistrust, and anxiety. It is understandable that social unrest, conflicts, and wars have been on
This is not entirely accurate. The main foundational flaw is that most anthroposophists have only an abstract idea of the Cosmic Christ. Not knowing Christ directly, in the form of His Idea (18), they don’t know that there is no negative side at all. This is also true of the Mother Forces. We have received from Steiner abstract ideas of the Cosmic Eternal Beings, because most of his readers and listeners were still in the Intellectual Soul - Steiner could not do otherwise than speak in abstractions. As S. Clarke explains in note 16, we also have abstract ideas of the Beings of the Inner Earth, not realizing that they are a fully necessary part of the Creation. There is no good and evil in an abstract sense, although too many Steiner readers often see the world that way in spite of Steiner’s constant efforts to suggest otherwise.
As a consequence, it is not just understandable that social unrest exists, because this very unrest is the food the soul needs in order to make the choices necessary for the individual moral life to grow and to flower. The social world is cosmically dynamic, and nothing is happening that Love does not fully encompass or intend.
Let me give here a concrete example. In Lehrs’ book (Man or Matter) mentioned immediately below, he makes a distinction between kinematics and dynamics. Abstract cause and effect thinking creates kinematic explanations in physics, for example the concept that a planet, such as Mars, orbits the Sun. This is not true. The real motion of Mars is dynamic, not kinematic - it does not orbit the Sun but rather follows the Sun through space in a motion that is like a vortex (19). An “orbit” is a flat-like abstraction of the actual motion which is vortexian, like a tornado or what the water does when you flush your toilet.
A Platonist picture of what is going on in the present in the social world is not kinematic - or conceptually flat - that is Aristotelian, but dynamic and pictorially rich. So the flat concept “social unrest” is actually a dynamic process playing into each biography for the specific purpose of creating individual moral dilemmas of such a powerful nature that the soul and spirit of the human beings living in our time must make choices. Often these choices are harsh ... even scary, witness recent events in Syria or Kiev.
We not only do not live in the orbit of those whose karma we share, but rather in the vortex of powerful changes occurring over time - like the vortex described above that brings to America’s shores all manner of varieties of Peoples so that the dynamic processes of individuation and freedom, from the influences of family, race, culture and language, can arise. And then from America individualism spreads out dynamically changing culture to the the world, via such cultural artifacts as rock ‘n roll and hip hop.
One of the keys to appreciating this flaw in the work of anthroposophical Aristotelians is the absence of pictures in the writing. In perceived Ideas lives Fullness and Presence. When something is abstracted the living context disappears. The most common place in anthroposophical work, where the ordinary intellectual abstraction process is naturally overcome, is what we call: Goethean Science. Steiner suggested we call it Goetheanism, referring to the application of the imagination (picture thinking) to the observation and expression of phenomena. To really see the world’s phenomena - including the social, we need only describe it while keeping it involved in its context. But, not abstractly - we must put the life element into our thinking via the dynamism and contextual appreciation of our descriptions. This is particularly true for our needed understanding of the dynamics of social existence.
Strangely enough, our institutional leaders seldom quote for us from the works of the Goetheanists. Even Barfield was a Goetheanist of the word - of language. But in our Study Groups, where is Lehrs’ Man or Matter studied, or Hauschka’s The Nature of Substance, or Grohmann’s two volume The Plant, or Adams’ Physical and Ethereal Spaces. Our intellectually limited Aristotelian leaders can only quote Steiner - endlessly and abstractly - parts removed from the whole of a lecture or a cycle. Steiner spent days walking around a subject, and we come along later and then take in the pieces abstractly, after which we string them together from multiple sources as if their meaning could be comprehended outside of the delicate artistry of his speaking.
This stringing together of abstract expressions of Steiner’s insights he warned against, calling it: the materialization of the Cosmic Michaelic Intelligence. We only truly understand Steiner’s works when we recreate in ourselves the flow of thoughts on the pages we read. All the same, remember Emerson - books are to inspire, not to provide a cage for our own independent thinking.
Want to lessen the abstraction process in the Branches and Study groups? Study Goethean Science texts for the fun of it!
This problem arose and became acute during the 20th Century, when the Society failed to connect to Steiner’s The Philosophy of Freedom, and also lost a true appreciation of the scientific impulse. One consequence of this is that we don’t know the science of today, nor how to speak to the confusions it rains down upon modern culture. Instead, the Aristotelian impulse endlessly quotes all things Steiner as if that would prepare the membership to actually engage the crucial scientific questions of our time. When, for example, was the last time a leading member of the Executive or the Councils in America urged us to study the works of these living American Goethean scientists: Dennis Klocek on weather (20), and Steve Talbott and Craig Holdrege on biology (21)?
While we may pay lip-service to the need for logical thinking, there is almost no critical and scientifically disciplined thinking applied to far too many of the works being published by our institutions’ newsletters and many books. So when Irina Gordienko published her marvelous critical review of Prokofieff’s writings (Sergei O. Profkofieff: Myth and Reality), she was vilified, somehow murdered while hiking alone in the mountains, and anyone who wanted to review her work positively was stopped. One man lost his editorship of an important publication for daring to seek to illuminate this work. Why?
The abstract cause and effect intellect is Ahriman in us. It resists, via the threefold double-complex, being exposed (see note 11, again). This is Ahriman’s Cultural Time, and his works are everywhere, not because he works from outside, but because he is inside us - a part of us, just as is the Christ in me. That is where the battle of the Third Millennium is to take place - inside the souls (minds) of human beings. Only the Christ in me can properly woo the ahrimanic intellect and ameliorate its excesses, so that thoughts become living and filled with Ideas.
All the same, we are already naturally on this Path, especially in America. What we need to be able to hold back the raw untamed intellect is already present. We already semi-consciously know how to do it. Remember (note 8, again), English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights (22)
So live your life. Let that Life teach you. Christ is embodied in the biography, and the lessons you need to deal with are right there. You don’t need to go to Dornach or memorize the so-called basic books. The Branches and the Study Groups are perfect for sharing, especially once we really grasp the significance of the Reverse Cultus (23) - the awake conversation. Plus, we are not alone - we have the grace of many companions: the members and friends of the Anthroposophical Society.
(1) this and that: some thoughts on the four noble truths: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/thath.html
(2) Cowboy Bebop - and the physics of thought as moral art: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/CowboyBebop.html
(3) The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/liveT.html
(4) a brief description of meeting the Lesser and Greater Guardians in the new way, and as well a description of the meaning of, and new manner of, the Second Pentecost in the Ethereal. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/threshold.html
(5) As an example, see the Sundance TV channel series Rectify: http://www.sundancechannel.com/series/rectify. Also waltzing and weeping by the rivers of the holy grail: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/grail.html
(6) Want details, see The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/artofgod.html
(7) R.S., Lecture to the Workman, 3 March 1923. “...one can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a natural way..."
(8) R.S., The Challenge of the Times
(9) See Sylvester M. Morey"s: American Indians and our way of life. This was an address given in a Waldorf School in 1961, not published until the end of the ‘60‘s. It is rare and hard to find, but basically shows how the general characteristics of Americans cannot be found in Europe, but rather only among the Native Peoples here.
(10) the School of Chartres, and the Culmination: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/chartres.html
(11) The Mystery of Evil in the Light of the Sermon on the Mount: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/mysteryofevil.html
(14) See, for example, Catherine MacCoun’s Work on What has been Spoiled: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/ktmc1.html
(15) Sex, Porn, and the Return of the Divine Feminine, based on a poetic/visionary experience of the Mystery of Lust: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/sex,porn.html
(16) Stephen Clarke’s remarkable discussion of his direct experiences of the Inner Spheres of the Earth: Some Notes Toward a Resolution of the Dilemma - in reference to Paul V. O’Leary’s The Inner Life of the Earth http://www.rsarchive.org/RelArtic/ClarkeStephen/Dilemma.php
(17) History, Guilt and Habit: http://www.muebooks.com/history-guilt-and-habit-PDF-14045849/
(18) To experience the Idea of a cosmic being is to experience what is a kind of garment in the ethereal (the thought-world). Somewhat this is a bit of a stepped-down (greatly reduced) experience, otherwise the full direct experience would overwhelm us. The Cosmic Being clothes itself in the Idea, which our consciousness then can more easily handle.
(19) for actual images of the planetary movements of a vortexian nature: http://www.djsadhu.com/the-helical-model-vortex-solar-system-animation/
(22) the Political Anthroposophist, and Social Michaelic Courage: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/politicalanthroposophist.html
What was originally meant to be the next
e-mail was not sent, but here is that
- it was still under revision, by the way.
Dear Friends and Members of the Anthroposophical Society, in America and elsewhere,
More Anthroposophical Foolishness - a Platonist Contribution
(additional subversive fun)
Transcending the Previous (but no longer necessary) Aristotelian Limits
on the Cognitive Arts in the Anthroposophical Society - part three*
the Future of the Anthroposophical Society
*yes, sigh, ... we are done ... I really hope,
please no requests for encores
There is little likelihood that the institutional leaders of the A. Society will change their ways. Why should they? In fact, were the Aristotelian-thinking-captured leaders of our social forms ever to ask a Platonist for help, well ... Rudolf Steiner would certain turn over in his grave.
These leaders hold positions of trust and power, regardless of claiming or believing otherwise. They make decisions that chart the course of the Society for all of us, and perhaps believe they know (and have known) what they are doing. Yet, a lot of folk in the Society are not happy with the directions being given and taken.
The money situation has not been well managed. For a bunch of supposedly wise and smart people, the institutional leadership seemed to have been caught off guard when the gift money began to dry up. A lot of people in the world saw the coming economic crisis, but apparently not our folks in the Executive or the Councils in America. In Japanese culture, a leader caught off guard in this way would have accepted responsibility for the failures, felt real shame, and resigned their office. Not so for Europeans and Americas.
At the same time the Japanese have another interesting approach - “fix the problem, not the blame”. The resignation takes away any sting and any need to find precisely who did what to whom and when ... making it far easier to get on with more crucial matters, such as discovering and making the needed changes. But sometimes, those who cling to authority, during a crisis they cannot manage, hold the future in check by preventing new impulses from taking hold.
So our authorities began to believe there was a need to cut services, let people go, and increase the seeking after ever more gift money. In a way this is a bit like what the leaders of finance corporations did: they took risks, lost much, and then took no responsibility, but rather maintained their offices and kept doing the same things as before. This Einstein defines as madness: repeatedly doing the same things while expecting a different result.
It is a wonder, in a way, the lengths to which people in a supposedly spiritual organization will go to not be responsible for what happens.
As explained in previous e-mails, the whole of modern civilization, including all social forms or institutions, are undergoing a dying into a new becoming. The A. Society is in the same boat. I wrote a long essay on this years ago (2009), but could get no one to publish it: The Conscious Death, and the Resurrection, of the General Anthroposophical Society (1). The basic Idea here is to go with the flow as it were - that is to participate in the dying process in order to meet the real social potentials of the new becoming.
Underneath this change is the spiritual river that drives the evolution of consciousness. The inner nature of the human being at the time of the founding of Western Civilization no longer exists. We are substantially different today in our consciousness then we were when Christ Incarnated. The social order can then no longer be sustained in its old traditional forms, and this world-wide individuation process is the force from within that breaks up marriages, families, nations and cultures.
Let us here ask a kind of foolish question: Could the membership, if it wanted, fire the present leaders and replace them? Anyone not entirely asleep here is well aware that the membership cannot do this, and when it was recently tried as regards the Executive, that Executive resisted and via a political accommodation of Prokofieff and von Halle supporters (2) the present Executive maintained not only its current powers, but in particular they continued to hold to the right to name their own successors. That is too much power in the hands of people who don’t give any evidence of knowing what they are doing.
In effect, the ahrimanic abstract cause and effect thinking (discussed in detail in the last letter) perpetuates itself through this process of leaders picking their own successors. Who else are they going to pick but those of an already proven like-mind. The needed participated death process is avoided by the maintenance of a rigid commonly held view, and the living future potentials kept thereby at bay. As explained in the essay in note (1) below, a period of chaos must be embraced because that is the only way the higher inspiration, out of the realm of the unformed and uncreated, can enter into any situation. All living processes, that create the new through metamorphosis, first go through death and then periods of chaos, before the new arises. The caterpillar spins its cocoon, and then dies into a homogeneous chaotic and still living cell mass. Only after this chaos-phase does the butterfly emerge from the chrysalis.
Now the current leadership could wake up from its dreaming. They could recognize that a Platonist American initiate is trying to help the A. Society, which includes them. But for most of them, the semi-conscious comparative thinking, and self and other judgmental antipathies (again, see the last letter), will drive their cognitive acts to remain in the direction of the death forces latent in abstract cause and effect thinking. That kind of thinking can never take hold of the living (as any serious practical study of Goetheanism will reveal).
Only the New Thinking Mystery can guide members and friends into the Third Millennium in a healthy and living way. And, everyone can begin to do this, especially Americans for whom it is a natural gift (again, see the last letter).
I know, I know ... I seem to be saying some unkind things. The fact is, however, that Steiner was often critical of the A. Society leadership and membership. People just don’t pay attention to those quotes. Being spiritual isn’t about being nice nice. Especially in Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy is about the truth. Recall Steiner: In Anthroposophy it is the truth that matters. In the Anthroposophical Society it is the life that matters. He has made here a distinction that deserves a lot of contemplation, for it contains a great riddle and reveals a great mystery.
Because of the fact that Steiner located true social power in the Branches and Study Groups, these small and often intimate communities of human beings really hold the levers by which to unfold the future. This can begin by just coming awake to the life story (or tale) of any particular Branch or Study Group - something that can happen simply in conversation. No major top-down institutional decisions or changes of course are necessary - local communities of free thinking individuals have all the social potential they need.
During conversation older members can then be asked to tell the tale of how that particular community began, and what were its events of growth and development. Keep in mind that a Branch or Study Group, as a social form, is living. By bringing forward the life story of the community, our thinking will naturally begin to create inner pictures. It is important to include the difficulties and the seeming personality conflicts (3). Karma has been (and will continue to be) played out in these communities.
People will naturally seek to understand in what way Steiner’s ideas of threefolding have played a role here. This is discussed in detail in note (1) and (3). The biography (tale) of a community will likely, in this current historical moment of social-time, itself feel presently under stress. Conflict already exists between those we might call the preservers and those we might call the innovators. The preservers represent the Martha archetype and the innovators the Mary archetype. The relationship between the two, as well as their mutual working together is discussed in great detail in my essay: The Natural Transformation of the Anthroposophical Society in America, which is part of my book American Anthroposophy (4).
A brief overview:
The preservers want to maintain what already exists, believing correctly that there is in our traditional understanding of Anthroposophy something of great value. This is the Martha gesture - to keep the home fires burning brightly. The innovators want to engage in outreach - to connect to and include the wider world. The Mary gesture recognizes that Anthroposophy is meant to serve the world, and all our communities (even the smallest) need to integrate themselves into the wider social order through such outreach activity.
The Martha gesture concentrates on inner work and development, while the Mary gesture needs to be involved in acts of service. As long as the Martha gesture predominates (5) we will appear to the outer world as just another religious-like cult. Only the innovators will see how to connect with others, without demanding they think like us. The A. Society is not about selling all things Steiner to the world. The A. Society is about demonstrating the New Mystery of Thinking (e.g. the practical social realization of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity) and the New Mystery of Community (the Royal Art of conversation - the reverse cultus). Its not what we say that will mean something to the non-anthroposophical world, but what we do - how we live.
We were drawn to Steiner and Anthroposophy by our personal life questions and riddles. Not everyone shares these interests. To actually serve the other - the Thou - requires that we see the world from their point of view. It is not who we think they should be and become, but who they freely desire to be and become. Our gift is really process or method, not content. It is not a what, but a how.
It is really an Aristotelian conceit that believes the world will be a better place with a lot of anthroposophists running around making baby Waldorf Schools (6) and Biodynamic Farms, while threefolding everything that isn’t tied down. The world gets to chart its own course, and if we are truly spiritually minded folk, then we “wash the feet” of that which the world itself wants and needs to do.
Rudolf Steiner said that when anthroposophy really enters the social life it will disappear. Presently this world is caught up in the continuing momentum of the changed called in history, the Copernican Revolution, which overthrew a tired set of religious conceptions in order to replace them with the Way of Knowing called: Science. This Way of Knowing still leads the world, even though it is young and often morally weak. Anthroposophy, as a science, was meant to integrate itself with this Way of Knowing, and to do so by restoring some of the balance lost when science pursued investigations of the nature of matter, at the expense of losing sight of the nature and relevance of spirit (7).
A Counter-Copernican Revolution has began - that is a science of the spirit seeks to enter into human affairs. But this cannot be done at the level of argument and who has the better idea. As noted above - we need deeds, not words. Only the vanity of the Aristotelian impulse wants everyone to think Steiner, Steiner, all the time Steiner. A Counter-Copernican Revolution adds to and extends existing human knowledge.
For example, the Christian-like religious zealot wants to oppose a theory of evolution with a theory of intelligent design. The neo-Platonist anthroposophist wants to evolve the theory of evolution (8) and make it better. We also need to evolve the theory of the big bang and make it better (9). That’s why Steiner insisted anthroposophical physicians become regular doctors first - we have to build on the already existing Ways.
Lets come around at all this from a slightly different direction: American culture produces a lot of different kinds of genius. For example, J. Michael Straczynski (10). He writes dramas for television and movies. He wrote a Tolkien-like spiritual meditation on the questions of good vs. evil for television called Babylon 5 (11), which some folks characterized as: space opera. If we understand the higher elements in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings novels, and as well the higher imagery of “opera”, we might see all this as a compliment to a kind of dramatic artistic masterpiece.
Babylon 5 was very unusual because it was organized around a five year story-arc - something no one writing in television had ever before successfully attempted. In case you don’t know what a story-arc is, it is a connected set of themes developing slowly through all the individual shows, leading its creator to eventually being able to write about matters that would not otherwise be possible, without all the previous preparation/evolution of ideas and characters. The most current TV drama to succeed in this longterm story arc effect was: Breaking Bad.
Of the 110 episodes, Straczynski personally wrote 92. He also wrote a lot of other stuff for television and for film, including the movie Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, and staring Angelina Jolie, which movie was nominated for many awards including three Oscars.
During his writing of Babylon 5, and its attempted successor: Crusade, Straczynski developed five very interesting questions all human beings might want to ask themselves: Who are you? What do you want? Where are you going? Who do you serve? and, Who do you trust?
Anthroposophists often ask the first one: Who are you? Not that there is a specific answer, but rather because we need to wake up to the fact that we get to define that for ourselves.
In the imaginative world of Babylon 5 this question - Who are you? - is asked by the Vorlons, which are one of two extremely ancient cosmic races of beings - called the Old Ones, with the Vorlons seemingly on the side of the angelic. The next question: What do you want? is asked by the Shadows, the other most ancient cosmic race of Old Ones, who seem to be on the side of the demonic. These questions dominated the underlying issues in Babylon 5. Representatives of the Vorlons would often ask characters: Who are you? While representatives of the Shadows would often ask: What do you want?
Who are you seems to seek for us to grasp the nature of our higher I, while What do you want seems to reflect the world of our base desires and hungers.
In the series Crusade, Straczynski added three more questions, which came from someone who he designated a techno-mage, or what to our way of thinking would be called an: initiate. The techno-mage asked those he was trying to help in that series: Where are you going? Who do you serve? and, Who do you trust?
Now Babylon 5 in the last parts of its third year reached a kind of dramatic crisis. The lead male character had already died, and been resurrected (given 20 more years of life), by an individual called: The First One. It was then up to this lead male character to lead the younger space-faring races. Meanwhile the Vorlons and the Shadows were apparently at war with each other, but only attacked each other’s surrogates - they never directly fought each other.
Keep in mind that the best dramatic arts not only deal with real human questions, but are also (especially in the case of so-called science fiction) engaged in making metaphorical analogues of the present day human conditions.
Eventually the lead male character, and his supporters, were able to force the Vorlons and the Shadows into a direct battle with each other, in a planetary system with several billions of humanoid species inhabiting it. As the three battle fleets (Vorlon, Shadow, and younger races) waited to begin battle, the lead male character (a human and an America) brought about a meeting on the bridge of his starship between himself (and his female significant other), a representative of the Vorlons and a representative of the Shadows, as well as The First One, who seemed to be effectively immortal.
The lead male character then made a speech in which he lamented (in essence - that is metaphorically) that human beings (the younger races) were tired of being pushed around by the angelic (Vorlon) and the demonic (Shadow) hierarchies. The human beings (the younger races) were, he went on, claiming their freedom from all such influences, even the influence of The First One.
So we have here, in dramatic form, one of the underlying ideas behind Steiner’s The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, especially as expressed in the last sentence of the original preface: One must be able to confront an idea and experience it, otherwise one will fall into its bondage. Or as Straczynski framed it: one must confront both the Vorlons (angelic hierarchies) and the Shadows (the alleged demonic hierarchies), while demanding they leave us free to create our own conceptual life in all its glorious details. For Steiner, behind any Idea lives Beings. So, we must confront an idea and experience it, in order to avoid falling into its bondage.
Steiner’s works on thinking was/is always about inner freedom. Consider then this model of the life of the mind: Empirical introspection discovers various modes of thinking and moods of feeling (12). In addition we can begin to have intercourse with various spiritual entities, in the form that Steiner called: inspiration or conversation.
There is within the mind the voice of conscience, which can be evoked, given that it is our own higher ego. There is the Holy Spirit, which responds to our prayer life, and can be felt as a kind of fullness or presence. Then there is our own angel, which serves in a kind of way as an intermediary with the Holy Spirit and other higher powers. As well, each of the members of the threefold double-complex has a characteristic “voice” in the life of soul (13). There is, for the so-called dark side, the tempter (the luciferic aspect of the double), the prosecutor (the ahrimanic aspect of the double). And last but certainly not least: The human double, which is most obvious in addictions of various kinds, and mostly manifests in the will as a raw and untamed hunger or need.
Each of these has access to our own inner voice (in discursive thinking), and depending on the mood of soul (worry, depression, passion etc.) our inner wording will be more or less under the influence of these various powers (representatives of Ideas toward which we can be in bondage).
What works (in accord with Straczynski’s imaginative intuitions) is to end the war that once was in heaven (14) and now has entered our own minds, and then kick out of the cosmos of that mind those beings that work against our individual nature, and thereby hold us in bondage. The battle for the nature of the Third Millennium begins and ends in our own minds.
As a practical matter, I have found it useful to during bouts of depression (for example) to demand that the complaining thought-voices come out of the world of spirit, and get in a physical body right here in my room and face me in a body. I say to them that when they are willing to bear a body with all its limits and temptations, then and only then can they have a say about whether I am behaving in right fashion. The prosecutor especially (the ahrimanic double) doesn’t like this and must recede.
All demanding Ideas can be met in a fashion where we maintain our own inner freedom. However, at the same time each situation can be unique, and we are then able to be creative inwardly. There is no right way, only our individual Way. Further, the biography brings to us just those inner experiences that need the most attention. The needy friend that won’t go away, the relative that always makes trouble, our own worst habits - all those elements are rich with potential experiences calling for inner activity in order to meet them. Trust the biography, and trust yourself. Meanwhile, saying the Lord’s Prayer aloud and in private is always a way by which to moderate any unruly mood of feeling or insistent Idea.
Recall from the last letter the picture of the Descent of the Father into the human beings, such that the great Hierarchies of both above and below could not but follow with their gaze and in a mood of awe and wonder. The religion of the gods is the human being because within us the Father/Mother are becoming something new.
Describing the human being as the tenth hierarchy is an abstraction - it is a flat abstract concept. For the Hierarchies are a loop, in the form of the infinity symbol or lemniscate, combined with the idea of the mobius strip. Projective geometry grasps this with the concept involution or a turning inside out. The tenth hierarchy is joined to the first, and the human passage/trial that is the descent into and through materialism is the continuously creative turning point of time, having been first modeled by Christ, and yet is now being carried forward by us. All of this is a continuous living process, which can appear to be separate parts, but which in spite of Aristotelian abstractions remains a whole - a oneness in the Ever Present Now (see again, note 7).
The natural living transformation of the Anthroposophical Society follows laws, which are not abstract, but dynamic, being the willed choices and doings of Beings, both human and otherwise. On the rocks and savage seas of modern civilization’s changes, the Society is but one ship afloat in the company of many. By what ropes of mutual interest do we link our future with that of others? Do we believe we should lead? Can we answer the remaining three of Straczynski’s questions: Where are we going? Who so we serve? And, who do we trust? These questions belong to individuals in the Branches and the Groups to consider, not the established institutional powers. These last must find a way to wash the feet of the local gatherings. Here is something from Ben Franklin (15):
Franklin had many opportunities to visit with members of the Six Nations peoples (Called the Iroquois Confederacy: Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas, and early in the 18th Century the Tuscaroras). He found their means of conversation, especially when dealing with serious issues, rather unique and remarkable. Each succeeding speaker was expected to be able to repeat the essence of all that was said prior, before offering their own thoughts.
Suppose our leading personalities, rather than coming to lecture us about their thoughts, instead went from group to group, bringing what they had heard elsewhere. What a social commons way of weaving the whole. Very circle-like (fifth epoch or communion-with) rather than hierarchical (third epoch or dominion-over)(16).
Rudolf Steiner on many occasions, when asked about the solution to a certain problem in the A. Society would say: More Anthroposophy! What do you suppose he meant?
Most people in the Society, trapped in the limits of Aristotelian thinking, equate Anthroposophy with the contents of Steiner’s research, which can be called Spiritual Science. So we study the lectures and basic books, rather than the life of the mind. Yet Steiner was clear in the very first sentence of the first leading thought that: Anthroposophy was a path of knowledge from the spiritual in the human being to the spiritual in the Universe.
Our problem arises when we fail appreciate that Steiner meant something very specific when he used the term “knowledge” in that leading thought. Like most of us, I was of the mind that we studied the contents of Spiritual Science - that kind of knowledge was what was meant. But during a conversation in Fair Oaks, California, at the Faust Branch in 1985, a mature member pointed out that the term erkenntnis or erkennin in German was better translated as cognition rather than knowledge. This term was about a human action taking place in the mind - something we do, as opposed to a then created concept or an idea, perhaps derived from mere reading and living in the dry storage of memory.
Here is Steiner from the preface to his dissertation: Truth and Knowledge: The object of knowledge is not to repeat in conceptual form something which already exists, but rather to create a completely new sphere, which when combined with the world given to our senses constitutes complete reality. Thus man’s highest activity, his spiritual creativeness, is an organic part of the universal world-process. The world-process should not be considered a complete, enclosed totality without this activity. Man is not a passive onlooker in relation to evolution, merely repeating in mental pictures cosmic events taking place without his participation; he is the active co-creator of the world-process, and cognition is the most perfect link in the organism of the universe. [emphasis added, ed.]
So ... when Steiner says we need “more anthroposophy”, what do you think he meant?
I believe he meant: more disciplined (consciously willed) cognitive activity. But to be disciplined in this way we have to be awake inwardly - we have to turn around from the sense world, and begin to empirically study our own soul and spiritual life - the life of the mind. In The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity he called this “turning around”: the exceptional state.
Now it isn’t that we don’t all do this. We just do it naturally, without study. We are all aware of our inner life. We all battle our demons, and wrestle with feelings we can’t manage, or thoughts we cannot control. At certain stages in life we look back, and reflect. Even now in the A. Society one finds more and more people writing and lecturing about “thinking”. Two decades ago this was very rare.
Plus, we don’t have to do this. While there are benefits of all kinds, one question to keep aware of is: What does my life ask of me? Study your own mind and practice the exceptional state only when this seems to you to fit in with what is already going on in your biography.
All the same, sometimes this exceptional state is very necessary. Let us look again (briefly) at the human double.
In my works on this problem, being an addict in recovery, I am well aware of what I describe as self-created wounds of soul. Many of us have wounds, and many of those come from outside us - because of the actions of others. But the human double is us - it results from our actions. In addictions and their kin it results in the creation of a kind of psychic (or astral) parasite. Usually there is a kind of rite involved, such as the ritual that takes place when a heroin addict “shoots up”. So you have the ritual, then the rush, and then the growth inside of the parasite because the act is repeated over and over again.
All kinds of actions can be addictive, such as: shopping, Internet porn, chasing money and relishing power. Collectively - in humanity - this is the rising of the Beast from the Abyss. True human freedom not only allows for us to do the good free of all traditional moral admonitions, but also to pursue darker pleasures. This is so widespread most families have at least one alcoholic or addict. The rising of the Beast comes with the Age of the Consciousness Soul because we have karma and as well temptations to consciously introduce evil into civilization. We cannot actually be truly free if we are not at the same time capable of doing the gravest harm to ourselves and others.
The Gods, in gracing us with true freedom, have set out on a path that may ultimately put the whole of the Creation at risk.
Yet, as pointed out before, the Third Millennium is about us being able to engage in the problem of good and evil within our own soul life. That is where we can do the most good, and that is where we are the most skilled judge at what to do or not do. This is why the last three e-mails have had as part of their subversive “titles”: Transcending the Previous (but no longer necessary) Aristotelian Limits on the Cognitive Arts in the Anthroposophical Society.
For example, reading the e-mails of an American Platonist initiate is not meant to compel. In point of fact the whole thematic structure includes pissing people off, for the exact purpose of making sure they don’t get to believing me. I want to poke at people to make them think, but not to tell them what to think. What to think is your own responsibility, not mine. Its a kind of inspiration by a subversive asshole. Just enough interesting stuff to intrigue, yet coupled with something at the same time (such as “pissing” and “asshole”) hopefully guaranteed to set your teeth on edge. I don’t particularly want to be liked - you need your natural antipathy. Not to say some nice feedback on occasion doesn’t feel good - it surely does. But we don’t want to go from Steiner-said; to Prokofieff-said; to von Halle-said; to Ben-Aharon-said; to Wendt-said. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Think for yourself! (17)
addendum: the egalitarian impulse
One of the tragedies of the Anthroposophical Gesture in America has been that the America Soul is not studied. The tendency to love all things European, a kind of misdirection fostered by the Double, has left American Studies in the dust heap (18). As a result, American anthroposophists have little self-knowledge of the deeper truths of their own unique soul-life. Some of this defect I have been trying to heal in these letters.
In my book American Anthroposophy I come at these problems from multiple directions and with a great deal of detail. Here I want to end these letters with a curious and little known soul characteristic, that yet remains very important for Americans (and others) to appreciate and understand.
The American Soul has a natural instinct that we can call: the egalitarian impulse. It is a desire for social equality - for a situation where each individual is able to treat each other individual as a social equal. In the present-day discussions of income inequality in America this is an underlying soul impulse.
This impulse is the root-seed of what is to make for Brotherhood in the future American Culture. We can trace it all the way historically back into feelings and thoughts held then (and now) by the aboriginal Americans (19), and connect this egalitarian impulse to the world-wide social vortex (previously discussed) that draws representatives of all the world’s peoples here, - where the ties of blood, and family and race and language and culture are washed away in an alchemical crucible from which the individual is to emerge.
At the same time, this impulse overshadows another crucial fact, one which is especially important for cultural sphere social forms such as the Anthroposophical Society. In the cultural sphere - the sphere of individual freedom - individuals are not equal in the sense of talents. While the egalitarian impulse wants a social life where all are socially equal, the fact remains that people develop differentiated skills in all manner of ways.
Often I have personally encountered in the A. Society individuals who want to act as if their knowledge experience of the social life is the equal of my knowledge and experience. Then when we get right down to it, and I get to ask them a few questions, they soon have to realize that I have made a study of this social life, i.e. devoted myself to it, in a far greater way that have they. They want social equality in conversations, but don’t think about the fact that this impulse is at odds with human reality. Steiner warned us about dilettantes - the superficial and all their opinions.
I am not a doctor, for example, or a Waldorf teacher, or a physicist and so forth. But others have not the knowledge and experience I have as regards the New Mysteries of Thinking, the nature of the American Soul, and the relationship of the Cosmic Christ to human social life on a world-wide scale. We are not talented in the same ways.
Because the egalitarian impulse lies unrecognized in the American Soul, it sneaks in via semi-conscious impulses and distorts various kinds of interactions. It is one of the reasons I have such a hard time talking to others in the Social Science Section, for example. We are different, and we mostly haven’t yet figured out what is going on that produces these differences. As a consequence they cling to their Aristotelian way of looking at things (being fascinated with Steiner’s idealist three-folding conceptions and categories), and don’t yet appreciate that they are encountering a Platonist, for whom the Idea (the way things are) actually living in social existence (Christ) itself triumphs over any kind of idealism (the way things maybe should be if we trap ourselves in Steiner, Steiner, all the time Steiner).
A secondary aspect of the egalitarian impulse is that individuals will feel (since this comes from semi-consciousness) that my assertion of greater knowledge and expertise is an effort to place myself socially above them, thus violating the social equality for which they hunger. This raising up of another human being was actually done to Rudolf Steiner, and created all kinds of social mischief that persists even in our present.
The fact is that a spiritually “talented” individual, having followed a moral or character development, really only wants to “wash the feet” of those whom they might serve. They don’t want to be up in a social sense. They want to be useful, which if we follow the tales in the Gospels was a frequent teaching of Christ (don’t hide your light under a basket).
These “letters” then are not about placing myself in some kind of superior spiritual position, but about serving - about being useful to my friends in the Anthroposophical Society. I have to honor the “talent” because it was given to me as gift. I don’t have to (and don’t actually) think I am better than any one else. I am just differently skilled.
and the Oscar for the best performance as a God
at the start of the Third Millennium goes to:
J. C. Himself
you are truly the wind beneath my wings (20)
Joel A. Wendt
(2) This story was reported to a group of people, of which I was a member, by the America artist Michael Howard, approximately two years ago.
(3) For an example of this process, see my The Social-Spiritual Organism of a Waldorf School Community: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/ssows.html
(5) The consequences of the Aristotelian abstract cause and effect thinking, without the balance of the life giving forces of the Platonists.
(6) See my Waldorf Charter Schools in America - some social observations: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/wcsma.html
(7) See my Electricity and the Spirit in Nature: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/electricityandthespiritinnature.html
(8) See Dogma and Doubt, by Ron Brady: http://www.natureinstitute.org/txt/rb/dogma/dogmadoubt.htm
(9) See my The Misconception of Cosmic Space as appears in the Ideas of Modern Astronomy: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/space.html
(12) In Joyous Celebration of the Soul Art and Music of Discipleship http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/liveT.html
(13) The Mystery of Evil in the Light of the Sermon on the Mount http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/mysteryofevil.html
(14) Steiner’s lecture cycle: The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness
(15) For a start, see the book: Forgotten Founders: http://www.ratical.org/many_worlds/6Nations/FF.html
(16) See my book the Way of the Fool, and its discussions of Fifth Epoch vs. Third Epoch community processes.
(17) In self trust all virtues are comprehended. Emerson.
(18) Learning to Perceive the American Soul: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/learning.html
(19) See the book Seven Arrows by H. Storm: http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Arrows-Hyemeyohsts-Storm/dp/0345329015
this was written as a possible summary of e-mails 1-3 and document #4
that idea was discarded, and e-mail #4 was created and then sent.
this document is unfinished, lacking planned footnotes and final revisions
it was ultimately replaced with the piece on the Culmination
solving the right problem
by Joel A. Wendt
In the March 3rd, 2014, issue of the New Yorker Magazine, is an quite lengthy article called: A Star in a Bottle: Can an experimental reactor save the planet?
The article is about ongoing work to create a functioning fusion reactor. Here are some descriptive words about what is imagined will happen when this hundred foot tall, 23,000 ton machine, functions:
At its core densely packed high-precision equipment will encase a cavernous vacuum chamber, in which a super-hot cloud of heavy hydrogen will rotate faster than the speed of sound, twisting like a strand of DNA as it circulates. The core will be scorched by electric current (a surge so forceful that it will make lightning seem like a tiny arc of static electricity), and bombarded by concentrated waves of radiation. Beams of uncharged particles, - the energy in them so great it would vaporize a car in second - will pour into the chamber adding tremendous heat. In this way, the circulating hydrogen will become ionized, and achieve temperatures exceeding two hundred million degrees Celsius - more that ten times as hot as the sun at its blazing core.”
This machine, of course, will not be isolated, but be surrounded by encasement structures, power providing structures, and many other ancillary buildings, walls, roads, parking lots and offices and control rooms full of serious people. Whole careers are attaching themselves to this device. The sell-job being done here is worse than the one that sold the American People that WMDs were a reason for going to war in Iraq.
Almost three dozen nations are involved, spending billions of dollars, on a project which has serious management problems, because of having so many cooks. The physics is iffy, and much smaller versions have had many many problems. It is, in fact, a giant experiment because they don’t know what will happen when they turn it on, and nowhere in the article does anyone mention an off switch in case once it is up and running we loose control.
Exploding an atomic bomb in Alamogordo New Mexico in 1945 is to this coming event about the same as tying a firecracker to the tail of the family cat. When that 1945 experiment was carried out, some thought it was possible they could set the whole of the earth’s atmosphere on fire. Now this totally ahrimanic physics wants to try to create what they imagine are far in excess of the inner conditions within the sun, on the earth, inside a magnetic bottle. Anyone really think these folks have the tiniest clue as to what they are doing?
While on leave, in 1960 when I was attending the United States Air Force Academy, I visited a friend in Los Angeles, who was at that time the Pacific Director of The Fellowship of Reconciliation, an international pacifist organization. She was friends with the famous scientist and biochemist Linus Pauling, and the three of us had dinner together.
Naturally, given my current life path which could well lead me to dropping atomic bombs on Russia during the heights of the Cold War, our conversation turned to in what manner or not War with Russia might be averted. Pauling and my friend were of the view that God would have to act to save us, otherwise we all were lost. I am quite sure they expected some kind of miracle.
The world still seems to want to flirt with wars using weapons of mass destruction, but I suspect the scientists, who think this fusion reactor in a magnetic bottle will solve the world’s energy problems, are far more dangerous than militarists with their fingers on a button.
Rudolf Steiner has warned anthroposophists about a third force (in addition to electricity and magnetism), and as well the actions of a spiritual Being he named: Sorat, or the Sun-demon. Some anthroposophists get all “woe is us” and “the sky is falling” when they talk about this kind of stuff, but rest assured I’m not going in that direction. Even though, if these scientists open this gateway, who knows what fell entity will find its way through. By the way, I don’t think the Being - the Sun Demon - is so much evil, but if we let it escape like a genie out of our magnetic bottle, it will probably not be in its right place in time - - now that is what Steiner called: evil.
Perhaps we are on the verge of creating a kind of anti-ethereal type of matter. In the recent movie: Thor: the Dark World, a kind of previously hidden substance, called the Aether, is used for evil purposes. By the way, please do not discount the curious dreams of our artists.
Just in passing we could note that the Anthroposophical Society has so dropped the ball in a scientific sense, that it can’t be a player in these kinds of questions, although it might have done so if a few of the leaders of our institutions actually studied and promoted Goethean Science, even just at the level of physics, in such works as Ernst Lehrs’ 1950 book: Man or Matter and George Adams Kaufmann’s 1933 essay on mathematical physics: Space and the Light of Creation. Alas, too many were too much after endlessly quoting Steiner, and have as a consequence made us begun to appear to many outsides as just another religious cult.
The problem for our conventional physicists, who want to try to capture a sun in a bottle, is that they don’t even know what electricity is. The basic error in thinking is fairly simple, which I will next make an attempt to illuminate.
Imagine walking across a carpet in your stocking feet, and building up a static electric charge over the surface of your body from the rubbing of two different materials together. You go to a door nob, or a friend if you think this is a good prank, and reach out with a finger and then “SNAP!”, an electrical spark leaps the gap and the charge is dis-charged.
The rubbing of two different kinds of matter creates, under certain circumstances, an electric/magnetic “field”. When the latent charge in the “field” is near enough to an object where it can seek to ground itself, you get the dis-charge and the spark. The “field” condition has disappeared. Now what the physicists did historically, in observing this and related phenomena, was to conceive of the “field” as occupying space. What they should have perceived, if their observations were careful enough and their thinking clear enough, is that the appearance of a “field” means that “space” itself has changed. The “field” didn’t occupy space, but represented a fundamental change in the local nature of space itself. (recall Adams: Space and the Light of Creation)
But physics marched forward, searching for the smallest pieces of stuff, believing that “space” was a fixed empty container in which matter appeared. This was so even after Einstein tried to suggest that gravity wells were a distortion of space itself. All kinds of facts of astronomical science suggest this need for a new idea of “space”, but still our conceptions appear in front of our actual perceptions. Instead of thinking following out the perception and then creating the concept that goes with it, we impose on the perception an already existing conception, such as space is a fixed mostly empty container filled occasionally and sporadically with stuff.
In the article there is described an interesting related phenomena, where certain lesser experiments with plasma physics show that a titanium shield, guarding the electrified hydrogen, gets all fuzzy on the side nearest the core. From our point of view, the matter in the shield is losing coherence, because the magnetic/electric field fluctuation of space itself extracts the latent electricity in the titanium substance where it rests at a fundamental level, and the so-called electrical forces holding that substance in its normal coherent condition have been transformed into some of the energy in the plasma.
In Lehrs’ Man or Matter, this accelerated aging of matter through the changed conditions of space is explained more carefully than here. The physicists have no idea why the titanium grows fuzz, and that is not the only unexplained phenomena of plasma physics that is not at all understood, but still being applied to the creation of this “machine”. Again, we have here an “experiment” being undertaken where the scientists are clueless, and one of the reasons for their being clueless is that the Anthroposophical Society lost the scientific impulse during the 20th Century and then became incapable of participating in modern conversations in science. Although this may have been a lot more due to karma, than to specific individual and group failings.
The truly weird thing is that the creation of this machine is driven by an imagined need to solve certain energy problems facing humanity, when the real problem lies in a whole other direction - thus the title to this little paper: solving the right problem.
While the Anthroposophical Society can’t help the confusion of physicists, we can help the general cultural situation of the world by dealing with what is essentially a social problem in a scientific fashion. The thinking in physics is not really the problem - its the thinking in politics about social-life that is. And, that political/social thinking that can be healed is not what is on the News or in Washington D.C., but the thinking among ordinary people whose schooling has failed them.
People all over the world are disgusted with how their political leaders lead, and would like to see changes that do not require as an initial condition violence. So far we in America may be charting a new course, but that has to be perceived, and were the Anthroposophical Society to listen to an American Platonist initiate (me and a couple of others), the Aristotelians and the Platonists might finally get around to their task of working together.
For example, there has been a kind of underground shift in the power relationships in America, such that We the People are at last exerting social forces successfully. While the usual clueless readers of News miss the point, the avoidance of a war in Syria came about because the Obama administration read the tea-leaves of their polls and realized that American people would not support another war-adventure. The same happened recently as regards Russia and the Ukraine, although again the News readers talked about all this as if the politicians were acting, when in fact they were basically reacting to the fact that the America People are fed up and demanding changes in the economic life.
In Congress, a similar set of events could be observed. The Senate finally began to adjust its minority-totalitarian filibuster rules, making a simple majority able to act on occasion once more. In the House, the Speaker finally began to stare down the reactionary Tea Party, and got them out of the way as regards debt limit games and the urge of the most thoughtless to “shut down the government”.
Again, the tea leaves of the polls informed an unpopular president, and the very unpopular legislative branch, that they were near to having a revolution on their hands if they continued not to do the real business of the now awake American People. A corner has been turned, but few have noticed this, ... yet.
Back to the A. Society ...
Aristotelian cause and effect abstract thinking, while not universal in the Society, dominates in the Social Science Section, which is devoted to Steiner’s social threefolding ideology. The problem is that the basic question being asked there is: What is the ideal way the social/political world should be organized?
For the Platonist, thinking must be organic at the beginning and then living or pure in its culmination. This thinking asks the question: What is the social/political world actually doing? Not how should its form-nature become sometime in the future, but what are the real dynamics at play there in the real (non-ideological) social world - where essence rules over form.
The inner substance of social existence - its causal drivers as it were - come from the fact that Love (Christ: the Word-embodied) has so organized the world that the individual human biographical needs (the essence) takes precedence over and above the form of the social order. This is what we see phenomenologically in the social/political world today. The individual, whether in the Arab Spring, or the LGBT movement, or in Kiev or Syria or Occupy Wall Street, is insisting that human individual rights dominate over cultural and political and economic tradition. So too with the changes emerging in American public life.
These soul currents, rising from the depths, are dissolving the aging and sclerotic traditions of Western Civilization (which presently dominate the world), and making way for new means and forms of human community. We can call these currents, from one point of view: the evolution of consciousness. And, because Love is directly involved in each individual human biography (Steiner spoke of Christ as the Lord - I prefer Artist - of Karma), the rest of current history and supposed clashes of civilizations are epiphenomena - incidental and necessary blow back from the dynamic karmic needs of the billions of biographies.
The street urchin in Bombay has a life - a biography. As do the wolves and pirates of Wall Street. Everyone is where they are supposed to be. The needs of each immortal spirit, in their biography, informs and individualizes the content of the astral (desire) body, the ethereal body and the genetic history of the physical body.
At the same time, the macro social order - as displayed in the nature of governments and corporations and religions - more and more expresses common needs and wants that belong to most of humanity. So we have on the one hand, an individual biography that is something like its own embryonic universe, embedded within a social form-structure that is universal, in the sense that many must live there. We are all born and die. We share the same basic organization of the various bodies. And, as we become part of a family or a language or a culture or a people or a nation - other common elements are also there.
As well, the individual in the Southwest of the United States of America, needs that climate, that geography, as well as those daily rhythms. The same with South Africa, or New Zealand, or Japan. No detail is irrelevant, while the totality for each individual is unique. This is the key point ... as we get more and more into the details of any biography (in particular the inner elements of feelings, thoughts and impulses of will), the totality is highly individual. We are, according to Steiner, as individually different from each other as are each species of animal.
The total system of existence, including the afterlife, plays a role. And, given that we, after crossing the threshold of sleep, rhythmically leave our bodies to have unconscious experiences, then from one day to the next the higher worlds adjust the various details and keep the needed course of life in balance and on track. Humanity’s earth existence is literally inside the Cosmic Being we call Christ, while also inside Him unfolds the actions of all the relevant hierarchical communities playing out their divinely ordained roles in the details of this Love.
In between the Father in the Heights and the Mother in the Depths exists the Christ, and that is where we individuals unfold our biographies according to dynamically flexible rules and laws and desires and wishes and needs. This is the heart of it, and the threefold social order is just a naturally arising after effect of that higher structure shared by all individual human beings. All the same, to believe that we can force that social order into a preconceived form is not unlike the binding of feet in China, or the mutilation of female genitalia in Africa.
A great deal of the strife in the world comes from the thoughtless application of ideologies to the nature of the social organism - the seeking to change what has yet to be understood.
It is the preference of form over essence that will lead to no good result. At the same time, if we deepen our understanding of Christ’s Nature, in which we all live our lives, we will come to see that the threefold form naturally arises as a secondary effect from the evolution of the substance - the essence of the biography. We don’t have to push the form, it will come on its own if we just follow the lead of the expression of the substance - the evolution of the I-consciousness itself.
This is part of what is behind the Gospel teachings of “judge not” and “the washing of the feet”. So how does this relate to the future of the Anthroposophical Society?
Consider once more the situation of America.
The evolution and development of the People of Peoples, taking place presently in the most concentrated way in the United States of America, represents a vast social effect related to the shedding of the group-soul for the purpose of promoting the development of individuality. Christ said: I come not to bring peace, but a sword. These effects being born with America as their leading edge, are spread now to the whole world, mostly through expressions of American Culture, with their instinctive appreciation of the forces of the will, via such Arts as rock’n roll and hip hop.
As an American Platonist initiate I have developed, over decades of work, a fully realized appreciation of both the Soul of Americans and the role of Christ in the modern world. People can (and have) ignored that work, but no one can sit in the same room with me and make even the beginning of an argument that this has not been done. Yet, a justified question exists: Why is this work not better known in the Society and Movement? The simple answer is Ahriman.
Ahriman has incarnated in America. His hierarchies, working through everyones’ Double, encourages this antipathetic disliking of my personality, for the sole purpose of preventing that work from entering into the Life of the Society. Correspondingly, when the basic core of the reincarnated souls of the School of Chartres met to discuss Steiner and Anthroposophy over the Internet, a great antipathy against the Anthroposophical Society was promoted. These Platonists, formerly members of the School of Chartres, and the regular members of the A. Society were encouraged to not like each other at all.
This is similar to the same kind of efforts in Central Europe that were intended to turn people away from Steiner’s revelations. Now this is happening in America, and is essentially a situation typical of the larger social America, but taking place within the smaller social-form we call the Anthroposophical Society. The barbarians (the dilettantes) are not outside the gates, they are inside the gates, promoting discord, often through nothing more powerful than gossip and innuendo.
The ahrimanic impulse wants desperately to keep the Platonists from working with the Aristotelians. They don’t want open discussions or debates. As well, they have worked mightily to prevent an appreciation of Steiner’s works on the New Mystery of Thinking (The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, and as well the New Mystery of Community (the reverse cultus). They want everyone to be comfortable and asleep in how they conceive of the work of Anthroposophy and what is their own role at that task.
I recently wrote four letters, sent by e-mail, to many of those that attended the 2013 AGM in Keene, NH. In these letters are details about actions that can be taken. Links are provided in the (notes) below.
I did this because there is little hope of getting the institutional leading personalities inside the A. Society to give up their power and their prestige in order to actually serve the wider social world in a more healthy way than has so far been ongoing. The only hope is in the Branches and the Study Groups, which can be (if they so choose) independent enough to act subversively outside the group-think of the General Anthroposophical Society. Just keep in mind that both Christ and Steiner were socially subversive in the milieu in which they expended their lives.
If enough of the Society members and friends add to their Aristotelian knowledge of Spiritual Science, a Platonist knowledge of how the social and spiritual world actually works, a very special service can be given to the wider culture that is America, and via that to the wider culture that is the World.
What is this service which is so subversive and radical in the sense of traditional anthroposophical activity?
Branches and Study groups start adult education businesses. When the head of General Motors said some decades ago that the business of America was business, he was creating/experiencing a very wise intuition. Anthroposophy in America is to die into entrepreneurship. The innovative economic engine that is driven by the American Soul always creates businesses as its highest achievements, whether it is the work of Thomas Edison, or Steve Jobs, or George Washington Carver.
Right now we hide our light under a bushel, disguising it as some kind of spiritual-cultural entity, not really recognizing just how many businesses have already been started, whether they are Waldorf based Charter Schools, or biodynamic farms, or medical practices, or various educational and research institutions such as The Nature Institute. Burdened by Aristotelian social-spiritual thinking, anchored in a central European set of assumptions about just what spiritual activity should look like or what Anthroposophy really is, we in America seem lost, but are not. We just don’t yet trust our own natural instincts, or have figured out how to work together.
The traditional business model that sort of fits what we already do is the franchise system. Except we don’t run it from the top down like a third epoch pyramidal and hierarchical structure, but rather it is self-organizing like something that works from the bottom up: fifth epoch and circle-like. Similar to the Waldorf Schools, each anthroposophically oriented adult education business needs to locally owned and locally controlled. Dornach and the Councils in America are to have no say in what Branches and Study Groups do. Nor is there to be any association that seeks to assert that it can grant official approval of what is being done locally. Holding such local adult education businesses to some kind of ideal conception kills the very life we are tying to create.
The only difficult matter to appreciate is what is our product and who are our customers?
The nature of the product is knowledge, just as is recognized when someone says we live today in an information age. We just scrap the religious overtones, the hierarchical traditions of the 20th Century, and the irrational urge to worship Steiner as a infallible spiritual guru. Each local group decides how to name their particular model of what is essentially a Third Millennium think-tank. The members of each local group have to rely upon themselves, and their own personal knowledge. There are no outsides authorities, although there can be individual specialists brought from outside for the purpose of speaking to specific questions.
In addition, while our electronic age continues (it is at risk as social chaos increases), people can communicate via teleconferencing systems of various sophistication. Some specifics follow, although any group taking up this creative task is certain to find the best ideas of how to proceed among themselves.
What is adult education? What we have is expertise held by many that can be offered as classes, yet this is a school that is going to essentially beyond with such things as Phoenix University and the like. What we are offering is an actual education, not training. We are going to help people learn how to learn again. The offered satisfaction is not a job, but a means to a well ordered inner life.
For this purpose each local group has to assess the capacities of its members. Anyone trained in Waldorf can also teach adults. Imagine a science or art course for adults based on the way these are taught in Waldorf Schools. Given that food and water resources are becoming scarcer, classes in biodynamic gardening are perfect. Families with young children will want classes from anthroposophical doctors and nurses in home care, especially given the increasing costs of regular health-care. Already local communities everywhere are forming such organizations, and we just join in that ongoing cultural transformation. We become another small part of the existing stream of changing consciousness, instead of standing outside of it as if we are better at it.
At the same time, this cannot be a kind of entrance catchall for getting people to be members of the Society. We really have to wash the feet of those to whom we offer true adult education. If you what to give a class where you rely on a Steiner set of lectures, you haven’t understood anything. It is what you personally know that you teach, not what some imaginary expert you believe in understands.
Want to offer a meditation class, you had better be able to teach it out of yourself without any reference to Steiner at all. Same with philosophy or the various arts of thinking. Want to teach courses in government? I’ve written some excellent basic stuff, and would make a great electronic guest.
Individual local groups can cross reference with each other various kinds of expertise. A doctor in Boston can circulate around New England on a regular basis, serving many local adult education businesses. Once we break the chains of Steiner, Steiner, all the time Steiner the rest will be easy. The world is rushing toward many kinds of crises, and there already is a hunger for the knowledge out of the future that is seeking all of us.
Just start the business, give it your own name, a begin to advertise classes on that which you can deliver. A business is something quite different from a semi-church teaching the philosophy of Steinerism; and, as a business is acquires certain responsibilities to its customers - responsibilities that will naturally correct the tendency to excessive Steiner.
There is a trick, however. The Aristotelian tendency is to deliver lectures and didactic presentations. This is alright if into it is also woven a Platonist approach using questions. The people who want an adult education already have a mind, and it is not a blank slate incapable to thought.
For example ... a class on biodynamic gardening, given by someone with several years experience as a gardener in the local climate - begins by asking the new class members about where they live, what they think about their own soil, what is their experience and do they observe the weather regularly. A Platonist approach is a rather simple skill that can easily be learned through practice.
Each local new adult education forum is like a seed. Thinking is itself of the ethereal. Dialogue and conversation fertilize this thought-garden. We don’t have to have a finished product, but rather skills at a process. Because these will be small groups, there is no longer any need to raise capital for buildings - any home will do, and many non-anthroposophical local institutions may be willing to provide space where and when necessary. In fact, using a Waldorf School building is probably a mistake. As Steiner indicated: to bring Anthroposophy properly into the social it must disappear.
Start small and resist the luciferic temptation to grandiose ideation. In fact, for many the taking up of a calling to teach is an important aspect of their own developmental path. As we age and mature, we have a need to give back. The thing to realize is that we are not teaching Steiner, but only that which we ourselves have learned and made our own. We teach out of our own hearts.
Not all adult education of this type needs to be locally scaled. Larger organizations can be attempted, they just need to be thought about carefully, and keep in mind that old traditions are dying and no longer viable. Something that wants to make a kind of University of Barfield and so forth, isn’t really a viable local business, and becoming a viable business is the key. To do that you have to be paying attention to what is actually going on in the culture, and not confine the teachers you ask to participate to only those who know Steiner. Any exclusionary impulse based upon some kind of anthroposophical standard brings death.
The point is not the purity of the pedagogy, but rather the ability to read the publics’ needs and give to that.
For example, unemployed people need something to do. They may not have the money to support an adult education, in the form of the training schools. But they do have skills, and each local institution that creates a thriving system of exchange of service for service helps the whole deal with otherwise intractable social problems as more and more people fall out of the middle class. A local adult education school that has classes in simple electrical and plumbing home repairs is gift to the whole. If it teaches meditation as a means of handling stress at the same time, it is a wonder. A non-church community center a blessing, for it doesn’t demand adherence to dogma. The possibilities are endless.
Social chaos is on the rise. A local community adult education group helps provide needed fifth epoch circle-like social order. It can be an oasis in a arid desert of misunderstanding.
The fundamental spiritual impulse of modern times is the need and hunger for meaning. This is offered in a lot of ways, from a local church to a twelve step group. Even hate groups and political advocacy groups offer meaning. Can people with an anthroposophical background offer meaning, not in the form of a fixed content or set of beliefs, but rather by being able to demonstrate the personal encounter with New Mystery of Thinking, and with the New Mystery of Community, without giving it the name Anthroposophy, the Reverse Cultus, or even mentioning Rudolf Steiner?
When we stop trying to sell Steiner as the answer to everything, then will we become able to reveal the Christ in all of us, without even using that name.
Let us now come once more at the whole set of themes, to gain a higher, deeper, and wider perspective...
It is just after 6 a.m., and I am writing this on the early morning after Ash Wednesday. The air in New England where I live is freezing cold: 9 degrees F. The ground is snow-covered, the sky a clear blue. Later the squirrels will come out to play. A cup of hot chocolate sits at my right elbow. The thoughts warm my soul, the cup my physical body.
In Valentine Tomberg’s remarkable essays on the Foundation Stone Meditation, born in the religious depths of his Russian Soul, he describes a new spiritual impulse as entering into the Earth existence beginning in the East, and then descending to incarnation in the West. This is his clairvoyant vision. What is the social-phenomenological reality?
Anthroposophy - this new spiritual impulse - first appears socially, in a clear scientific fashion, in Rudolf Steiner’s books on philosophy and the nature of knowledge. Before that it is not yet earthly enough, but rather just a spiritual process like the dawn before the rising of the Sun in the East. Hints of this rising Sun appear in many places, most visibly in Goethe, and S.T. Coleridge and Ralph Waldo Emerson, all of whom predate Steiner - the Romantics and the Transcendentalists. The mind begins to be on fire in a new way, and its illuminating passions enter into human culture.
Prior to that had begun, in the 15th Century, what we call the Copernican Revolution. This process still was a darkening, a lingering of the actual Dark Ages in a way, for this Revolution was an emerging of the the ahrimanic intellect untamed. Out of the epoch of the Intellectual Soul it arose, and then laid its seed into the beginnings of the Epoch of the Consciousness Soul, devouring the dying outer Christian religion first in the Center and then the West as it proceeded, and later in the East as well. Consciousness was evolving - becoming. We see the culmination of this darkening seeds in the effort now underway to bring to life on the Earth an illusory image of the nature of the Sun itself - the fantasy star in a fantasy bottle. Natural Science was on its way to becoming religious ... a system of dogmatic beliefs, such as macro Darwinian Evolution and the Big Bang theory of the Creation of the Universe.
Yet, there was also a counter-Copernican revolution: the Romantics, the Transcendentalists and then - ultimately - the Anthroposophists. But while these two currents in the macro soul-life of the world warred against each other, the raw ahrimanic intellectual soul-seeds seemed triumphant. A new atheism was spawned among the young. God was apparently dead.
Even so, with the anthroposophical impulse the real Sun sought incarnation in human minds. Outwardly the false Sun of the ahrimanic enchantment succeeded in making a few of us believe that we could wrest from Nature vast powers to serve our needs, and the still ongoing seeded darkening of the thinking living in science decreed that there was no mind (or self) at all, but only a material chance-derived physical organ called: the brain. In the late 19th and then into the 20th Century, the anti-Christ spirit - that there is no Father and no Son - had won the day.
Rudolf Steiner had died too young, and the anthroposophical social movement under the duress of two great world wars fell to sleeping and dreaming of a better day. Waldorf Schools, it was believed for example, will educate the young and we have centuries to unfold the new Sun in the mind of humanity.
Alas, time does not wait for those who only dream and make wishes.
The climate, itself a barometer of humanity’s moral confusion, begins to wildly oscillate. The weather is not disconnected from human consciousness, for everything in the whole of Earth existence is an inter-related part of one single entity.
Simultaneously the counter seed-idea of Anthroposophia begins to flower. What is this Idea?
This Idea is that human consciousness can evolve further by acts done by human beings themselves. We no longer are pushed by a natural evolution of consciousness, but now enter a stage of existence where we can create, with our own wills, the true Sun in the mind, and through this self-willed means tame the ahrimanic intellect, and make it serve rather than rule.
Socially this possibility lies within the Anthroposophical Society in the Branches and the Study Groups. The self aware seeking to birth the true Sun in the mind is finely distributed all over the world. Steiner, as the archetypal Aristotelian, has created the language, and now the Platonists want to open the gates to the real power hidden behind that language - the yet still veiled mystery of the will.
Outwardly the false Sun on earth is sought following the dogmas of scientism, while inwardly the true Sun is becoming active (especially in the American Soul). Anthroposophy is incarnating in the true West naturally, through the inspired offices of ordinary human beings seeking to do the Good and the True in a world seemingly gone mad.
Both these conditions have to exist side by side: the world of troubles and the hunger to resolve them. The rising of the true Sun in the mind cannot take place if Earth existence has no need for it, ... no want, no hunger. Just as Steiner described in the First Leading Thought:
Anthroposophy is a path of knowledge, to guide the Spiritual in the human being to the Spiritual in the universe. It arises in man as a need of the heart, of the life of feeling; and it can be justified only inasmuch as it can satisfy this inner need. He alone can acknowledge Anthroposophy, who finds in it what he himself in his own inner life feels impelled to seek. Hence only they can be anthroposophists who feel certain questions on the nature of man and the universe as an elemental need of life, just as one feels hunger and thirst.
But something this new and virginal must be named, or others will not recognize what they are instinctively doing. At the same time, the language of Spiritual Science must dissolve, must sacrifice itself, and adapt its understanding of the world of modern human beings, according to the way that world already conceives of itself. We don’t give Spiritual Science to human beings as a given set of conceptions, but rather learn how, with our own thinking, to ask just those questions that will evoke in the other - the Thou - the Way they need and desire to think.
The apt cliche is that we only feed someone for a day by giving them a fish. But if we teach them how to fish, then they can eat for a lifetime. The same is true with the new thinking. We don’t have to give it the name Anthroposophy. We just, in ourselves, discover its combined Aristotelian and Platonist cores, and from out of having begun to birth the Sun in our own mind we will discover how to aid another in evoking that same birth.
Or, as I said above: When we stop trying to sell Steiner as the answer to everything, then will we become able to reveal the Christ in all of us, without even using that name.
So, in order to fully incarnate Anthroposophia in individual human beings, we create economic social forms - not mere cultural forms, but down to earth economic forms in which the cultural and the political and the economic merge: new pragmatic mystery schools of adult education prepared to work with the already existing emergence of the Consciousness or Spirit Soul on the stage of history.
For example, the American needs something in order to rise to the demand created by economic inequality. Something that comes from the social below upward, rather than from the dying hierarchical Ways.
The Aristotelian impulse had to naturally run its course - run out of steam. By itself it is an esoteric dead end. The Platonists had to arrive and then save the day, so to speak. The mysteries of the will had to be uncovered, and America was the most ripe place on the Earth for that to unfold, because America is the place of greatest natural gravitas; the place where Ahriman had to eventually incarnate; the place where the secrets of the Double are to be found; and the place where most of the Platonists came to incarnate.
Americans - the natural anthroposophists - being English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights. The grave political/social/economic questions facing Americans are the needed goad to the coming transformation in which Anthroposophy is destined to play a significant role. This is so even though the Aristotelian impulse has lost its edge.
This role is one of doing, not of manuring the world with the concepts of Spiritual Science, while waiting for other flowers to grow and bloom. The social-change flowers are already blooming - everywhere in America. Just about every single socially conscious person in America is doing something. One American (Paul Hawken) even wrote a book about this: Blessed Unrest: how the largest movement in the world came into being and why no one saw it coming. The appendix of that book lists thousands of activist (will involving) organizations. There is another: World Changing: a users’ guide for the 21st Century. 600 pages of information about the thousands of activities of people all over the world - the mystery of the will in action.
But only the Real Anthroposophist can speak the true names of the New Mysteries element in all this change - the mysteries of thinking and of community. While the world could well survive without us, only we are able to know at the beginning of the Third Millennium what for many others might have to wait to the end - i.e. the application of the scientific method to the art of cognition (another name for Anthroposophy). That is Steiner’s true legacy, and it is up to us to continue its process of incarnation.
Part of consciousness is the mirrored nature of the mind, which reflects back to itself aspects of its perceptions. The absence of knowledge of the role and relationship of spirit and matter is known most precisely within the A. Society; and, even there for the moment within a sub-set of anthroposophical work: Goethean Science. Elsewhere people stumble over the existence of the riddles, and with a kind of new-age thinking sense the presence of spirit. But only in Anthroposophy is the knowledge of spirit grasped scientifically and empirically in the New Mysteries of Thinking and Community.
To fully realize itself, the Blessed Unrest emerging from humanity must be named for the culmination of the counter-Copernican revolution that it is. To help people to realize that the Sun in the Mind is dawning everywhere. Particularly and naturally in America - but everywhere.
This the new adult education businesses might be able to do. Tragically, there is still the need for the Aristotelians to recognize and incorporate the work of the Platonists. Who they are and what they have done is next ... but first a small but necessary set of nuances.
The main distinguishing features of Platonists is their love of the Idea. Not Steiner, or any system, but what might better be called: the right Idea. A statement that is not true bothers these souls. Steiner was okay if he gave out what to the Platonist sensibility was the right Idea. If he got goofy in some fashion, this made for difficulties. When I write about this soul-feeling I write using the metaphors of music. The wrong Idea is dissonant. It lacks harmony with the rest of the Idea-world as I have come to know that. I experience the dissonance first - the lack, as it were, of a kind of moral aesthetic. After that I have to search for the why of it.
It may help the reader just to look at what I am writing here. Each sentence is composed of individual words. Each paragraph is composed of individual sentences. The meaning of what is being written isn’t on the page, which itself is a kind of code. So when my thinking tries to grasp (a will activity) the meaning, it seems to hover over the page, over the individual words, over the individual paragraphs.
When I read I create the meaning myself, out of the code on the page. Because of my love of the Idea, my soul is very sensitive here. Often the dissonance is a matter of errant logic. I follow what the writer has done, recreate it in my own mind, and there then results an experience. So sometimes the problem is not just a logical dissonance, but a problem of clarity. The writing can be muddy, or confusing, as if the thinking itself is not melodic.
When a Platonist creates a sentence it is done with an aesthetic purpose. A fiction writer may do the same, but they are not bound to write a factually true statement. They get to play inside the imagination of the reader, which is a territory that does not always have to be real.
When Rudolf Steiner lectured he was creating speech that was real, and clear, and logical, and true. His problem was that his listeners could only “hear” in the intellectual element, except for the Calender of the Soul, the Mystery Plays and the Class Lesson Mantras. They were living yet in the language forms of the Intellectual Soul.
So, in order to lay the foundations for a Spiritual Science, Steiner had to follow and connect with trends already existing in the thought streams of Central European culture at that time. He had to speak in the way his audience already thought, for their thinking mirrored the common discourse of the time. Natural Science was then proceeding by a process of systematic analysis - the seeking for and the naming of the parts. As a consequence Steiner tended to give us the pieces of the structures that were to make up Spiritual Science, for example, the various planetary existences preceding the Earth: Saturn, Sun and Moon. This was not a defect by any means - he wanted to be heard and to inspire.
That necessity also kept him from doing more than hint about how he did his research. When he wrote, for example Anthroposophy - a fragment, he kept working it over and over again, because his students were not doing the inner work that was needed. They didn’t understand, for example, the soul-pain of such research - what it cost Steiner to go to those places in his own microcosm. So we get the abstract idea that the akashic record is “out there” someplace, when it in fact is the most intimate aspects of our own being. We can be “investigating” something very personal, and then all of a sudden They are there - the higher Beings behind the phenomena of our consciousness - behind what lives in our thinking, and feeling and willing.
Far better from Steiner’s point of view then to give us the abstraction: akashic record, than to give out the details as to the cost and the nature of the journey. The point of this is to create the picture for the reader that in reading the contents of Spiritual Science, in the written books and the lectures, we are living in something that is basically flat - an abstraction - with the actual living dynamics of what he experienced left aside.
What else could he do, for in most cases those who were studying his works were Aristotelians, and the abstractions of their thinking and their language was what was normal for their mode of consciousness? Further, the coming of the Platonists was about a unique and specific moment in Time, as much as anything. Christ had became available to be perceived in the Ethereal (the realm of thought), Ahriman was on his way into incarnation, and the Third Millennium was about to begin. Western Civilization was dying into a new becoming, and natural science was marching forward asleep as to the Ahrimanic Enchantment (deception).
In order then for the planet-wide inner process - the birth of the Sun in the Mind - to unfold, everyone with any kind of possible talent needed to incarnate together. All the big guns, such as the former Disciples, the future Maitreya Buddha, the former Abraham. Everyone including the so-called bad guys. One heck of a party.
A small part of this party took place over the Internet, approximately between the years 1997 and 2003. It was a discussion group, initially called Anthroposophy, then Anthroposophia, and finally the Ark. If someone is curious about the conclusions next to be put forward, the best analogy is to compare my thinking about this to the observation of iron filings under the influence of a magnetic field. I see the “field” of the Culmination and the working together of the former members of the School of Chartres in the “iron filings” of various inner and outer phenomena, and infer what I can about its existence and nature.
The concepts of the “Culmination” and the “School of Chartres” come from Rudolf Steiner. For me the experiences on the Ark concerned conversations where different personalities worked with their individual sense of the moral aesthetic of thoughts and ideas. We gave each other remarkable spiritual nourishment. I’ve written a basic article with a lot of details.
The “Culmination”, is described, according to an article by Stephen Usher, as: ... a great Culmination of the Anthroposophical Movement should occur at the end of the Century, and upon this depended the fate of civilization. If the Culmination actually occurred, civilization would receive a new impulse that would lift it to a higher stage, but if it failed then a terrible and inevitable decay would result. The key participants in the Culmination drama are the Aristotelians and the Platonists. The former include Rudolf Steiner and most of the souls who established Anthroposophy at the beginning of the Century. The latter included the great masters of the School of Chartres in France who typically incarnate out of sync with the Aristotelians but who would incarnate in sync with them to achieve the Culmination.
My view is we are in the Culmination now. One of the Platonists from the School (me) is knocking on the door of the house of the Aristotelians (the A. Society). All the others, for various reasons, have bailed on the A. Society. They can’t yet figure out how to redeem the A. Society members in thought, in large part because they cannot understand the failure of the Aristotelians to love the idea to the same extend that they do.
Now the people I am going to write about, including myself, eat, shit, fuck and make mistakes - we are fully human, have Doubles, and lower chakras. What makes us a little bit different is talent. We have an unusual spiritual talent. We are not better than others, just different at the level of capacities, such that one guy is like a good surgeon, another is like someone who plays shortstop really well, and a third is like a very good actress - would win a lot of Oscars over the years. That is basically it. Take advantage of their art, or not. Your choice.
Their art, as pointed toward above, is to love the idea and to live in the moral aesthetic of thought. They are meant to be read slowly and carefully. There are not any out of place words or sentences casually dropped on the page by accident. Among each other there is a major distinction in several cases, where the individual hasn’t developed the new thinking mystery as consciously. In those cases (Stephen, Catherine, and Harvey), their natural talent and the fact that they are Americans, created the Sun in the Mind anyway. Bruno and Liz made the journey, but they are not Americans, and that made for a subtle but real difference in approach (a preference for a kind of idealism as against pragmatism), even though the Sun there too arose in the Mind.
And, given that none of us are perfect, imperfections can be found in all our works of art. All the same, these are must reads, and belong in every Aristotelian’s library if they wish to include the Platonist wisdom.
From me, the Aristotelians should read my book: The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything. It means to be just that, and is intentionally set out within the counter-Copernican revolution to be a competing theory to that of macro Darwinian evolution and the Big Bang. It can be found for free on my website, or purchased at cost from my bookstore.
Harvey, the most sensitive soul of all of us, has already crossed over and it was left to me to collect many of his e-mail contributions to the Ark, and publish them as: Silent Passage: the prose-poems of Earlyfire aka Harvey Bornfield - musician with words . That too can be read on my website, or the book purchased at cost from my book store.
Catherine MacCoun is - how to put it? - tough minded. A bright fire, very loving, yet demanding if she thinks you are too goofy by her own standards. Her book On Becoming an Alchemist: a guide for the modern magician: seeks to combine Tibetan and Christian Alchemy and is based on considerable direct spiritual experiences. It is a most beautiful journey through the alchemical life trials all of us will have to endure. It is for sale at her website and many other places on the Internet. She now is available for teleconferencing instruction in these arts.
Stephen Clarke still somewhat hides his light under a basket. He has little presence on the Internet ... some of his material is on my website. For the Aristotelians, this work can be found on the web at the Rudolf Steiner Archive: Some Notes Toward a Resolution of the Dilemma - in reference to Paul V. O’Leary’s The Inner Life of the Earth. Stephen regularly visits the golden realm of the Mother that lies on the other-side of the inner spheres of the Earth. He asserts and makes an excellent case, that a lot of the A. Society Aristotelians are basically and dangerously clueless about the realities of what some call the Underworld.
The above four personalities (me, Harvey, Catherine and Stephen) are probably best for Americans. The next two, Liz and Bruno, may be more to the taste of Europeans. All of us should be invited into the minds of any Aristotelian that wants to take seriously Steiner’s indications about the need for the Aristotelians and the Platonists to work together. In point of fact, that working together really only takes place in the preparatory realm of study for someone taking an esoteric path seeking out the mysteries of the will.
All are initiates.
Elizabeth MacKensie (Liz) was born and lives in Scotland. She has her own website: Christian Esotericism at Tibby Fowler’s Bothy. She asserts, and I have not reason to doubt her, that she stands at the gate of the true Esoteric School of Spiritual Science, willing to guide any and all into that reality, which was basically lost to the members and friends of the A. Society during the tragedies of the 20th Century.
Bruno Abrami, an Italian living in Italy, also has his own website, the Spiritual Science Review. During his sojourn on the Ark I found him very down to earth, and frank in a most unusual fashion. He does not like at all what goes on in Dornach, which automatically made him the friend of many on the Ark.
If the reader of this wants to support the rest of humanity as it enters more deeply into the Third Millennium, especially as regards the rising of the Sun in the Mind, the above individuals are the best helpers you will find.