post-literate consciousness

The Written Word, a few of its Mysteries, and its Limitations < everyone is an anthroposophist, btw >

What happens when we learn to read our birth language?    Just the facts.

We first are shown letters (code on a page), at school or at home.  Depending on the School System, reading and writing can be taught in many different ways.  Even today in America, there sadly remain far too many illiterate folk.

“According to a study conducted in late April by the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Literacy, 32 million adults in the U.S. can’t read. That’s 14 percent of the population. 21 percent of adults in the U.S. read below a 5th grade level, and 19 percent of high school graduates can’t read.“

Being unable to read, does not mean you are unable to speak.  Many children are speaking by the time they are two years old.

At some point in time, in the inner development of the child, thinking appears.  We tend not to remember when this happens, and it would appear that our will forces dominate our early childhood, our feeling forces start to dominate around age eight or nine, and normal adult-like thinking begins to dominate in adolescence.  These three: willing, feeling, and thinking, can be accurately categorized as “powers” of the soul.  Mostly we are, at core, will, but this will is not as conscious as the other “powers”, with thinking becoming the most conscious, mediated with respect to the will, by the life of feeling.   The distribution of the functions of the various sense organs on the “face” of the human “being”, are signature glyph material expressions of “powers" in matter.

Don’t we “read” the mobile glyphs of faces?

In speech we have words.  In ordinary “discursive” thinking, we also have “words”.  Inwardly we seem to talk to ourselves.  What talks - what hears, when the mind is reflecting on this or that?

When the transition to reading arises, speech acquires new qualities.  Many new readers have to learn by speaking aloud the code that reading (via the eye) interprets from the page.  Before reading, during speech alone, the mind also becomes a repository of “meaning”.  Words “mean” something.  Eventually, as a reader, we may be able to sub-vocalize the code ... i.e. read silently in the mind.

Take a test drive here.  Read some of the above aloud, not just silently in the mind.  Move back and forth, from reading aloud to reading silently, so as to become clear on the distinctions inherent in the different experiences.

As our speech grows, and then later the reading grows, the whole becomes enriched with meaning, most of it transmitted by family, and then later by culture.  All the same, as the powers of individual thinking grow, a separation living in speech and writing occurs between the growing individual mind and the surrounding minds, .   We hold the view that our thoughts belong to us, and part of what culture can give us is trusting our own thinking/meaning activity.

Culture can also give us the opposite.  The whole sea of words, and their latent meanings, is vast, and we (at least most of us) swim in the waters of our birth language, even when learning to speak another.  Keep in mind that some people when learning a new language make a distinction in their own understanding of their inner life, between “thinking” in the original language, or learning eventually to think in the new language.

Thinking itself, is more complicated than just the sub-vocalizations in reading, and the inner dialogue in discursive reflection, or theorizing.  We have conversations, using words, with our self, all the time.  Concepts arise that are not spoken, which are often created during discursive reflection.  Obsessed a bit with does he love me, for example, another person may inwardly express to themselves, “meaning” that is not shared in speech, but later pours out during anger.

“In Vino Veritas” = “in wine, truth”.   Substances, and feelings, can loosen our tongue.  Speech/meaning  then enters the outer-world from an inner-world, and then is either read, or listened to.

The readers, or listeners, degree of attention to the spoken words varies.  In moments of need, a good friend lends an ear.  Or, there we are listening to some idiot declare the sanctity of Trump Tweets, and inside my mind “???” < “questions”, who could be named a type of self-spirit > is jumping up and down, getting ready to interrupt if necessary so as to gain a portion of the music of the shared conversation. 

In our culture we train our children’s mind’s-eye to ignore its own visionary capacities.   We drown the reality of the world in beliefs, about things we know we do not know.   Surrounded by repeated words,  the self-spirit, aptly named: “???”, succumbs, and the hunger driven attention of the -<{mind}>- slips from &%$'s grasp, into the hands of the everywhere-noise of consciousness, which is trying to drown out the wind.

How well do we listen to ourselves?  Writing is an Art, even in the physical.  Writing is the Word Entombed, and no reason not to play with the tomb, so I can change the “code”, by introducing the sub-spirits, which are part of our soul/multiplicity, and naming them:  “???” takes a bow, while “&%$'s” unfolds winged hands, and twirls.  All brought to you by ... well your guess is as good as mine, .... drum-roll please: The Dude ... your own: “-<{mind}>-”

A letter, in any language, being the evocation of a sound which can be felt, when written (or ages ago spoken) - the shape when written was a magic act, that altered - like the very tight image on a computer chip - parts of the material cosmos into each single letter-shape symbols for the “sound” concepts of the individual letter.  Latent aspects of “-<{mind}>-” resonate with the un-conscious tone / sound of the letter-shape. 

Make funny sound signs (“&%$'s”)  in your inner sin-g-ing.  Make them your outside your head voice.  Go back and forth from one field of play to the other.  The favorite song we can reproduce, also has meaning within meaning - or metaphor. 

Calligraphy is not just the art of the sign on the page, but the remembered ancient magic art of the liberating feeling connected to the act of shaping the individual tone in the physical gesture, that leaves a material trace on a page.  Calligraphy is ceremonial magic.  The Art of Shape on the Page.

Anthroposophy 1.0 was very clear on certain Ways of teaching reading and writing so as to begin to liberate the latent soul powers, most easily participated through shared choral art, both formal and child-like.   It is via getting intoxicated that the modern human being liberates the picture name: “((((((((((((((())))))))))))))))) -<{mind}>-” = the song of self which is multitudes.  Odd, isn’t it, that Eurythmy is so formal, as say against rock and roll “@@@@@@”. 

What part of the “king’s” (see image) crown do you not see in the shape: “-<{mind}>-????”?

Look at something written, on this screen or elsewhere.  Read a couple of sentences out-loud, very slowly enunciating each set of sounds connected to each word group.  Consider that we have hardly begun a work on what lives entombed on the printed page.

Repeat sentence above: [  What part of the “king’s” (see image) crown do you not see in the shape: “-<{mind}>-????”.  ].  A captured “word” (that is we know its sounds and its basic meaning) - anyway, a captured “word” has not just tone quality, but a cadence.  Rhythm.  Actors capture spirit, in the totality of sounds, concepts, ideas, and feeling which they “ex-press”, that is itself an interesting word made of sub-sounds and scattered meanings.

Something else is captured - maybe, perhaps, for whatever reason - the attention (the how of the why) of the reader.  Across the tomb the writer lays his trail of crumbs, with varying degrees and shapes of intention (the why of the how).

Anthroposophy 1.0 = Steiner casting loaves of bread on the waters of human culture.  There is little chaos, and a lot of order, in the lines of dark on light which we “read” when we “read” Steiner.  Sort of.  The cadence of tone and rhythm of the original language is remastered by a “translator”.  How much of the “order” and “chaos” there is a function of Steiner, the translator, the reader, or most likely some ridiculous assortment of sources in the readers own -<{mind’s}>- echo chamber, where Steiner ideas are mirrored, or not, according to taste and intention.  Is that memory????

The Anthroposophical Society, as a kind of island in the Whole Learning School which is the Earth Existence, is in relationship to the Whole Earth Culture a kind of private mental pictures fashion show, analogous to the annual seasonal pagan rites of a sometimes petty self-loathing sub-department of philosophy concerned with the most obscure of philosophical antiquities.  This Society worships Anthroposophy 1.0, keeping it entombed in Steiner-said books, read through rites of worshiping the waters from the well of: “we’ve-got-the-super-greatest-guru-seer-ever-type” “-<{mind}>-” in our house.  What do you have in your wallet?

There are a lot of other well littered with letters words I could place on this page, but, you know, in America our icons are “big and powerful”, like Pecos Bill, and Paul Bunyan and his friend Tonto.   Since I have no Idea what that means, its time to stop clicking keys.

Thank you, by the way, for reading this far, which is a great gift in that you have given me the attention of having read there on that page, some glyphs of my heart’s spirit:

- a side/front view, of some etchings on the tomb of meaning -


p.s. Rudolf Steiner knew that there was a one to one correlation between what he said, and especially what he wrote, in the sub-vocalizing gesture living in hearing and reading.  To read Steiner is to drive a train of thoughts through the own mind ... gaining what?

We create the meaning.  It is not on the page, which is an entombment for meaning.  We have to resurrect the dead meaning in our own mind.  Listening is better, because the ear doesn’t grab the meaning with the same force as does the eye.

In order to speak and write to the Intellectual Soul, Steiner had to repeat himself many times over.  Instead of just noticing the new stuff next time you read him, try to reflect on the lines of thought, and words, which are being said over and over again.  Take the terms “spiritual world”, for example.

This is an abstract concept for a reality that is so awesome, that very few people can directly perceive it.  This is part of what makes Steiner’s works spiritual “science”: the use of abstract generalizations for events which Steiner experienced, and we have not.  Natural Science (natural philosophy) worked, in the beginning by taking apart something that arrives at our single  consciousness whole, not in parts.  So Steiner takes the awesome nature of spiritual reality, reduces it to an abstract name - the spiritual world - and then proceeds to create names for all the parts, which are never actually experienced as separate.

When we take the discrete abstract names for Beings and Hierarchies and for karmic events, and spiritual tasks, .... when we mistake the abstract “names” for the Being, when really do not know the actual Being - that leads to illusion.  Moreover, if we follow Steiner’s schematic organization, we buy into (maybe even turn into Religious non-sense) one man’s specific way of organizing spiritual data (experience).

We get then Steiner’s “theory” of what it all means, which “theory” is not commonly held by other seers, saints, and religious wanders all over the world.  The content of Spiritual Science is a temporary wonderment, that will pass, as does all else.  If we cling to it like it was the all and everything, we will be exactly where Steiner warned us not to be: In Bondage to Ideas we have not confronted through experience.

Want to honor Steiner for his gifts?  Break down the walls of the womb/prison which he had to use, to help us become spiritually liberated and awake, in the Age of Ahriman, which includes the capture of natural science by the anti-Christ Spirit (there is no Father, and there is no Son).  Help Anthroposophy 3.3 replace Anthroposophy 1.0.  You may well want to upgrade the operating system for your soul and spirit, you are currently using, under the influence of Anthroposophy 1.0, and instead run this Next, : The Rising of the Sun in the Mind: