selfless human love (agape)
nurturing love (storge) + comradeship (phileo*)
*brotherly and sisterly love
sensual and erotic love (eros)
< soul (d) < i-AM > (d) soul > spiritual world].
[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]
human doublethe Divine Mother
i-AM > (L/d)
[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]
(Asuras)the Divine Mother
(A/d) < i-Am > (L/d)human double
"In the social life of a spiritual
community, a strict separation between
the horizontal and the vertical cannot be maintained. Community life is
moral life, and the moral is the meeting point of vertical and
While failure to conceptually isolate one dimension from another is a
of much craziness, failure to bring them together is a cause of
Healthy spiritual life, both for the individual and for the community,
is a matter of circulation--fluent movement from one dimension to
and within each dimension according to its own laws." Work on What has been Spoiled,
MacCoun, see commentary link above.
the psychology of the moral life
A main difficulty for those engaging in
the self study of their own mind is those nasty moral questions.
Right at the beginning of such a study we already know the own
dark within. That is, if we have what is called: a
conscience (some folks don't appear to have one). This fear
of facing the own shadow is what keeps many from being willing to look
This is partially why Alcoholics
Anonymous has the forces for true change it has. The Twelve
Steps help you take that journey of facing the dark inside.
Hitting bottom is a life experience that tends to wake
people up and confront them with a choice. Do I take my life
(particularly my inner life) in hand, or do I just continue to let it spiral
out of control, destroying all those I love in its wake. Those
are powerful moral questions, and the process of AA's Twelve Steps
walks you through this minefield in a very healthy way.
The fact is that AA is universally valid
as a Path, and need not be confined to just people with obvious
addictions and flaws. Everyone is flawed, everyone. A
lot of so-called Christians, for example, are addicted (selfishly in
love with and hooked on certain systems of belief, by which activity
many others are harmed). There could well be a recovery group for
former fake Christians. Lets look at the Twelve Steps a bit and
see if we can appreciate their deeper nature.
Twelve Steps, twelve Disciples, twelve
Signs of the Zodiac. One Sun in the Center, shedding light and
warmth on All.
From a certain point of view, the Twelve
Steps can be conceived of as three processes, through which the soul is
mastered (its dark and its light integrated - healed and made whole).
These three processes elevate the spirit for the mastery of the
soul. The self-consciousness (the spirit) becomes awake in the
consciousness (the soul). What was fallen in the soul is
redeemed, by the forces of the own I.
The first stage of this total process is surrender.
1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
4. Made a
searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The first part of surrender is directed
at our egotistical idea that we can, out of the present state of being
of our own I, rule our life of soul, in particular its shadow elements.
The second part of surrender is to recognize that something
other than our own I can help us. The third part of
surrender is to choose to include this other-ness consciously as a force within. The fourth part is
to surrender the I's defenses of its own dark truths about itself.
In a way the 4th Step and the 1st form a circle.
In the surrender phase (and keep in mind
people don't always get it the first time or the tenth time) we circle
around ourselves, trying to create a true attitude of surrender to the
truth. Admitted powerlessness, sought help from something
greater, let this something greater have more influence over our self
than our own egotism, and began the work of understanding that egotism
(too much I, not enough Thou) in brutally self-honest detail.
5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
8. Made a
list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to
Having learned surrender, we now move
away from egotism toward the Thou, via the higher nature of our I.
In this process surrender becomes confession and
contrition. We include others - we confess to ourselves, to
another and to God as we understand him (maintaining our freedom to
think for ourselves). We ask for help. And, we get ready to
face our responsibilities. This is the central process, and
it takes us away from our self as the egotistic center of our life, and
involves us in community. Confession and contrition makes
us better social beings. AA is a social process - we don't
do it alone, but as part of something greater.
In a certain way this gesture of movement
away from self and toward community is the heart of the Twelve Steps.
It is clearly, to those who actually become able to experience
it, the hardest step of all, and the one most difficult to maintain.
We don't get perfect. We don't recover.
We continue to have a dark inside, as well as a light.
Yet, to help us maintain (continue one day at a time our
recovery), we have the process of the last four Steps.
9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to
carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all
The process of the last four Steps is:
practice leading to service. We need a daily practice, just
as a monk or nun, or meditating Zen student needs a daily practice.
One day at a
time, - but to do that we have a form as it were - a Way of Life. The beginner in AA is encourage to do 90
in 90, that is to make 90 meetings in 90 days. A lot of those
well into their recovery and able to help others go everyday. If
things get tough, you go more than once a day. If things
get really tough in the dark of the night, you call your confessor,
your sponsor and they will come and sit with you.
We don't have to be alone in our trials.
We redeem the past, and as there is
always more past as we walk into our future, and as we are in recovery
and not recovered, we will continue to screw up. We never
stop making amends, we just get used to being occasionally idiotic
(making mistakes and missteps) and learn how to deal with it.
So, three processes. Surrender. Confession and Contrition
(social acts as part of a community). Practice and Service. If you re-read the steps you will see that 4 and
5 together meditate between those two processes, while 8 and 9 also
mediate between those two processes.
Everyone has a Way, everyone.
We think of it as our routine. A prisoner has a
routine as does his jailer. The wonderful movie Groundhog
Day is a beautiful modern fable of what can
be done if we take the right attitude to the Day. This
movie understands that we do wake up everyday the same person, and that
there is no change or development (growth past the end of adolescence)
unless we use each given Day to move, one step at a time, forward on our Way.
- another metastory -
The grandfathers waited. So did the grandmothers, and the fathers and mothers, and the young men and women, and the children - the little boys and the little girls. They all waited.
Then Teller-of-stories began to speak...
"So, we understand that the Stories of Spring are to be found in the Mystery. We also understand that the Springtime of our civilization comes when It will, not when we wish it to. How is this to happen? How will the Mystery unfold this Newness? Are human beings completely passive in this?
"Let us first remember that this Spring is not like the one before, or the one before even that one. Each Spring is unique. The similarity is that it is always the Mystery that gives forth the New; how that happens in this particular coming Spring - that will be different.
"This is the difference.
"Before, the Mystery came on Its own. In the ancient Spring times the Mystery had servants - priests, magi, sages, prophets and initiates. But now this is no longer the Way. Now each individual personality must stand before the Mystery on their own - no intermediaries.
"Before, the ordinary human being looked up to the keepers of the Temple, to the shaman, to those who spoke for the Mystery - who served as interpreters of the Mystery to the People. But now, the individual must face the Mystery on their own - alone.
"How does this happen? Why does this happan this way - this new way, and not the old?
"The answer is this: Because we too are mystery. The Mystery is not something outside us, floating in the air, a ghost hiding in invisible realms. We are mystery, and it is only through that Gate - the own mystery - that the Source Mystery is found.
"So we look within, or we can. Not everyone has the will to look into this dark place, to bring the light of one's own insight into the soul's raw primal nature. Even so, this is the first choice - to look, or not to look.
"Here, in the face of this threshold choice, is revealed much, for just here the mystery, the small personal self, unveils its unlimited potential. This potential is written in the truth that the personal mystery is free to choose.
"Mostly we focus on what curbs our freedom of choice. We can't have this, can't do that, are not permited to go there, forbidden to try this. We often pay, being human, more attention to what is limiting, then to noticing what having any choice at all means.
"We are not like a rock, rigid in our passivity. Nor are we a plant, bound to place and fast asleep, lacking even dreams. Nor are we an animal, fixed in nature and only able to utter moans, and cries and wimpers.
"Rather we are human, self aware, awake, gifted with the word - inwardly in thought and outwardly in speech. We are capable of choosing: thought, speech, desires and action. We can end our life, or another's. We can sing songs, write poetry and great plays, fight wars, build bridges and dance on the surface of the Moon.
"We can give birth, love, and hold each other gently.
"Many, in our age of confusion, will believe themselves diminsihed, jealous of another's beauty, or wealth, or gifts of mind. And blinded by this comparing jealousy will not notice at all what a bright miracle they, themselves, are.
"Many others, however, will not be so blind. They will marvel at existence, wonder at self awareness, and ponder deep the mysteries of the mind and heart. To be human, what an astounding grace filled gift.
"So we come to the Gate of the Mystery, the small mystery, which is the own self.
"Some, confronting the mystery will choose to explore it. Each path of exploration is individual, but even so there are many dangers, delights and riddles that are common. While each individual will encounter these tasks and wonders in their own way, one particular common aspect stands out above all the rest.
"We do it alone."
"Yes, we may walk side by side in life, with others who also are exploring the mystery, but each of us can only look within alone. Moreover, and this is central to all that is, or will, or has happened, we first confront our self as an individual.
"We confront desire, yes, but only in the form of our particular individual desires. We confront unwanted thoughts, yes, but something in us has generated those thoughts and only we can solve the puzzle; because, while it is universal in existence (the puzzle), it is always personal and particular in fact of experience.
"Choices, always choices. Some choices - the most difficult - are made alone, without guidance or support.
"Now not all choices are so bleak. Many occur in a social context and others, who share our life, can play a part. But the most crucial choices, the deepest, the most difficult, these will be personal, particular and made alone, in the "dark night of the soul."
"It is here then that our mystery makes its final preparations for meeting the Mystery. Because in facing choice at the abyss of aloneness, we accomplish an act, which cannot be prompted, supported or shared.
"Now it may be that when we are at this abyss, that Mystery will be there with us. Even so, we will not know it, or believe it, or feel it. We will instead, be utterly alone, empty of faith, or hope. We will have no knowledge, no pattern, no grace. We will, in fact, have to step off into the abyss in total uncertainty.
"You see, it is essential that our choice, this particular choice, not be induced with vague dreams of glory, or even the belief that God is with us, believes in us, or waits for us.
"This choice is to take place out of something in us that can only awake in this way, stimulated into being by stepping off into the abyss. Before this moment, it is not. Only this choice, only this primal act unfolds within us this essential core of our individual mystery.
"This abyss of aloness is not new. Others have experienced it, and it is their experience which gives our language such phrases as: "to be or not to be"; "the courage to be"; and, "the dark night of the soul".
"Is it a single experience? Yes, it seems so, but is it also an experience we may approach many times and turn from because we are not yet ready and the time is not ripe.
"We approach it many times, dancing up to it only to back off and turn away. The darkness and uncertainty is fearful indeed.
"So we could ask, with good cause, why the Mystery places this before us. What purpose is served to be so alone in the deepest darkest regions of the self?
"We are, in the self, a given. We are, we exist, as a gift. But in this stark and lonely choice, in choosing or not choosing to be, we give birth to our true self, as our own act, shedding the given self much like an old skin, no longer needed.
'The small mystery, as gift, dies, and a new small self-intended mystery is born.
"This then is the deep secret of the Age of Confusion, the riddle at the heart of the Strange Fire of the Day of Purification: From out of the given self, as an act of creation, catapillar becomes butterfly. We become mystery, because we so choose."
"Europeans prove, Americans affirm"
workmen 3 March 1923.
When the sun is in Aquarius: "only then will the true
American Civilization come." (same lecture).
"We in Europe develop Anthroposophy out of the Spirit.
Over there they develop something that is a kind of wooden doll
of Anthroposophy. Everything becomes materialistic." (same lecture)
"But for one who is not a fanatic, there is something
similar in American culture to what is anthroposophical spiritual
science in Europe. Only everything there is wooden, it is not yet
alive. We can make it alive in Europe out of the spirit, those
over there take it out of instinct..." (same
readers...facing the fact that we are
the door through which evil enters the world can sometimes be a
shattering experience, for often our general attitude of mind is that
evil is in the other, not in ourselves. This is why the teaching
of Christ on the mote and the beam is so crucial. Below the
reader will be led directly into some of the deepest aspects of the
beam in their own eye. At the same time there is a danger that we
will apply this beam in judgment of ourselves - we will be tempted and
encouraged by the double itself, to look upon this fact (that we have a
shadow being so intimately within our souls) as a defect or flaw.
This is not the case. As was
pointed out far above in the discussion of Ahriman's Incarnation, the
opposing beings are a gift and a treasure. Further, in our
biographies we are watched over by the Divine Mystery at all times, and
whatever our state of soul - whenever we are in the deepest despair and
pain, that is the time when we can turn to the Mystery in prayer.
The 23rd Psalm is a quite exact description of our real condition
in any given moment of time in our biographies, and even harsh
conditions of soul pain and despair are as much a part of our
development of any other experience we are to meet in life.
Rudolf Steiner advised us, and experience itself proves, that the
hardest experiences are the most fruitful, even though we may not like
them at all. To labor in an inner trial of life is to do a
spiritual developmental work that can be accomplished in no other way.
The opponents and the shadow beings are a gift, and the Divine
Mystery is always ready for and open for us to surrender, just as was
captured by Michelangelo in the Pieta. The not I but Christ in me will in these trials go though passages much like death,
as the trials strip away from us our excesses of egotism.
When the unredeemed aspects of the soul dies through
these experiences into a new becoming, we are always held in such
moments by the Mother, exactly as is depicted in this remarkable work
of art: the Pieta.]
I recently had a discussion with a
leading anthroposophical doctor, who was also many years a leader in
the Society as well, and who on the question of the Shadow said to me
that it was his view that I could not speak of such things, without
first discovering and mastering everything Rudolf Steiner said about
the Double and about (I believe) Lucifer and Ahriman.
I found this to be a most incredible
statement, for it seemed to assume that if one was to take up any
subject Rudolf Steiner spoke about, the first path to knowledge of the
matter had to go through him. Since Steiner himself had urged us
again and again to not make him into any kind of authority, I wondered
just what was being said to me by this doctor who has been seen for
many years to be a deep anthroposophist. I found this all the
more peculiar in an anthroposophical doctor, for at the end of the
lecture cycle Spiritual
Science and Medicine, Steiner was asked by a
doctor/student what should one do with Paracelsus, whom Steiner had
recommended be studied. Steiner replied that one should think out
things for themselves first, and then go to Paracelsus for
confirmation. My view has been that this is a good approach to
Steiner as well.
This doctor's attitude was also not
something new to my experience, for I had run into similar views many
times during my 25 plus years as an anthroposophist. Basically
this view was that all that we could think, had to be tested against what Steiner had said.
This is, of course, logically impossible.
If taken to the extreme of what it implies, it would suggest that
no one can have a thought about anything since Steiner incarnated.
Further, it represents a view that imagines thinking to be
incapable of having its own direct spiritual connection, independent of
Rudolf Steiner, while at the same time assuming that Steiner never made
an error, never could make an error and ought not ever to be
questioned. (At a recent Branch meeting, a Christian Community Priest
said to me: we
are never to doubt Rudolf Steiner.)
Given the logical absurdity of the
doctor's statement to me, what was in fact living in this point of
view? I would say that it was in fact the Shadow itself speaking
to me, trying mightily to rise out of the doctor's sub-conscious soul
on streams of anxiety and doubt and thus to keep its nature hidden.
The Shadow cannot not bear the light of reasoned examination, or
the true heart-warmth of genuine humor, and will trick us at every turn
whenever we let ourselves sleep inwardly. But this is getting
ahead of ourselves.
Where did the doctor's unconscious
anxiety come from? It came from the fact that he did not know me,
and even though he had read some of my writings, had no basis in his
experience to have confidence in me. But he was asleep as to this
lack of confidence, otherwise that is what he would have said. He
would have said, that if I was to write of the Shadow, I needed to
explain how it was that I felt qualified to speak, for people (such as
himself) would need to be able to have some trust right from the
beginning, otherwise they will believe that all that is said is theory
and Steiner-said - everything but something actually grounded in direct
This then is where I will begin - with my
I have practiced introspection for over 35 years now, ever since at age 31 when I underwent a remarkable, unexpected and spontaneous change of personality. From one evening on going to sleep to the next morning on awakening, a light - a new small flame of self-awareness - awoke in my soul that had not been there before, such that I began to see inwardly (into my own inwardness) where previously all had been enfolded in the normal darkness of ordinary consciousness. Lest one think this was a godsend, let me set the record straight, for it separated me from my fellows and has since lead to all kinds of troubles and challenges. To be awake where others are sleep is not always a good thing.
Fortunately, the personality that I was
before the change was grounded in a kind of simple faith, and so in the
beginning I turned to the Gospels in order to understand the meaning of
what I began to observe in my inner life as a consequence of this
spontaneous inner and brighter self awareness.
Seven years later, I met Rudolf Steiner's
writings, and became attracted almost at once to his works on the
science of objective introspection (A Theory
of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, and The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity).
Already naturally introspective (inwardly awake to the processes
of my soul), I now found the way to make this very alone journey with
the aid of scientific thinking. The main trouble that followed
(these things never take a straightforward course), was that among
other anthroposophists, I found almost no one that was as inwardly
awake and as carefully studying their soul life out of the impulse of
an introspection following the methods of natural science.
Oh, people did read the books on
epistemology, but mostly they absorbed the concepts from the books,
such that they thought about the content of their souls through the
lens of the indications of Steiner, and did not in fact actually look
to their own souls as a book itself that can be studied. Slowly over
time I found myself again at odds with what I had assumed were my
fellow students in Anthroposophy, because we were not actually studying
the same material. I was studying my soul and they were reading
About ten years ago, I ran into a wall in
these studies. I knew a great deal in practice and had written
about it in my essay pragmatic moral psychology (see
had not yet met the double (in any kind of obvious
way such that I felt any confidence in describing it as experience that had become
knowledge in my soul). I had read much about
the double, and had all kinds of concepts, but no adequate experience.
I even stopped completely writing a book I was writing at that
time because I did not know what clearly was the next thing to know.
I wasn't even sure that introspection, for all that I had learned
there, could provide this experience, which seemed to require actual
In this I was wrong. The fact
is that my experience was full of evidence of the double, but this had
eluded me because I had made certain assumptions about what I was to
experience as an aspect of introspection, such that a matter that was
the most intimate aspect of my inner life - the introspective
experience of the Shadow, I had assumed to have one quality, when it in
fact possessed another entirely.
This quality was hidden in the process we call our inner voice, or sub-vocalization, or which others call discursive thinking (the spirit speaks, the soul hears). The plain fact was that unless I was consciously directing this inner speaking (the throat chakra), the unconscious (in part the threefold double-complex) was using it. To experiment here, simply count inwardly to yourself up to 23, and then stop and go on to some other activity, possibly involving movement. While you are doing this other activity, this inner speaking (the mental chatter we mostly conceive of as thinking) will continue on its own. There is a kind of endless commentary about everything that is going on, and unless we are consciously directing this inner speaking, it is speaking out of itself, or more precisely out of the presently hidden sub-conscious and super-conscious elements of soul life.
For someone to whom this is a new idea,
and has little experience with introspection, let me add this concept.
We all know how it is that we can place iron filings on a piece
of paper, underneath which is a magnet. The filings will form
patterns on the paper to line up with the influence of the magnet's
magnetic field. In a like way the double-complex and other
aspects of the soul, both sub-conscious and super-conscious, make
patterns in soul phenomena - patterns that can be observed. When
we think about these patterns, after a time it is this thinking
reflection itself which sees (recognizes) the meaning of the various
phenomena as described in this essay.
Now this unconscious soul life is not
just the double-complex (the sub-conscious), for the conscience (the
super-conscious) speaks here as well. In addition, what the John
Gospel calls the
wind (the Holy Spirit) also speaks into our
thinking (recall above the essay: In Joyous Celebration of the
Soul Art and Music of Discipleship).
The whole soul is in fact a kind of inner mystery temple*, and
requires that we pay attention to it (be scientific about our
introspective experiences), otherwise we will miss a great deal that
can be observed in the soul. As another example, just notice the
next time someone seems to have made you angry. Up in intensity
goes this inner chatter, which then tends to take the character of all
kinds of thoughts which are unkind and destructive. If we act out
of these thoughts, we will usually make a mess of things.
*Once we recognize the soul as an inner
mystery temple, we can approach it with the care and art that we might
make with regard to a physical temple. How often do we clean it?
How often do we air it out? What rites to we celebrate
there? These are just a few of the dozens of questions we can
take up, once we orient ourselves toward our soul in this way.]
If we think it through, we will now
recognize why Steiner so frequently spoke to us about learning control of thoughts. Our will needs to awake in this realm, so that
the unconscious influences become more conscious, the access to our I
by the Shadow is reduced, and our ability to consciously co-participate
with the Holy Spirit (the wind) is able to emerge out
of the general background noise in the soul, because thought is no
longer allowed to be driven out of the hidden depths
(instead becoming a conscious act of the own I). This then
is a basic and essential task in achieving the Living Thinking or what
is sometimes called heart thinking: control of thoughts.
Some will have good instincts about
holding back this endless mental chatter (which the Tibetans call: the oscillation of the citta). We will also here come to a sense of the
difference between the lower ego and the higher ego. That which
appears to introspection in ordinary consciousness as the seemingly
endless flow of mental chatter is a phenomena of the soul. I am
not, by the way, in the immediate above trying to solve all of the
relevant problems. Instead I am simply pointing directly at soul
phenomena that if studied objectively will lead to experiences of the
threefold double-complex in the soul.
All that said, let us now step away, and
come at this more abstractly for a while, instead of so intimately, for
this outer view, with its generalized mental pictures, is needed in
order for us to have a context in which to place the meaning of why we
need to have such an intimate inner companion, the shadow or
double-complex, who appears to be able to use our own inner voice as a vehicle for
temptation and prosecution and other problems, while at the same time
the conscience and the wind have a similar access
to our deepest inner soul realities. In the sense of the soul as
an inner mystery temple, while it has many general characteristics,
this temple is also quite distinctively individual and unique.
Also, keep in mind that once we obtain to a certain degree of control of thoughts (the will-in-thinking) it then becomes possible (again see my essay In Joyous...) for us to begin to learn how to perceive inwardly the voice of temptation - egotism (the luciferic double), the voice of inner prosecution - lies (the ahrimanic double) and the influence of the self-created egregorial beings (or better said: the self-generated wounds) in the soul (these wounds by the way, can so weaken the I that it becomes permeable for the influence of the Asuras). Further, the lower ego (the I surrounded by the threefold double-complex) becomes able, via the will-in-thinking (control of thoughts), to begin to consciously co-participate with the conscience (the higher ego - which is itself never really separated from the Mystery).
Here is a diagram from my book the Way of
[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]
Here is another diagram, isolating part
of the first one for special attention:
(A/d) < i-Am > (L/d)
We need to keep in mind that the symbols
(the map) is not the territory.
The first diagram represents our general
experiential relationship to the worlds, both inner and outer.
The second diagram represents the structural nature of the
lower and higher egos as they sit within this world of experience.
From within our biographies we experience
the world, mediated on the sense-world side by the ahrimanic double and
the sensory parts of the soul, and mediated on the
spiritual-world side of experience by the luciferic double and the
higher inner perceptual parts of the soul. We are far more awake
to the former (in the sense-world) in this stage of the evolution of
consciousness than we are to the latter (the spiritual-world).
This is an important point, and one of
the reasons the study of Steiner's The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity is far more
important for the future of Anthroposophy than the study of Knowledge
of Higher Worlds. Only via actual
introspection following the map that is Philosophy do we begin directly with an encounter in the spiritual
worlds. In KoHW our approach is indirect, through the sense world
(a world more informed by Ahriman, who is, in a way a stronger opponent
than is Lucifer).
Further, not one of the spiritual powers,
whether it is Christ, the Divine Mother, Ahriman or Lucifer have direct
access to the social world of the tenth hierarchy. Their only
access is through us. "...the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is
that man should become increasingly conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly existence." R.
S. Lucifer and Ahriman [emphasis
added]. This both insures our freedom and our capacity to in the
end master the influence of the Shadow forces, as these pour out of
ourselves onto the shared social world of humanity. As pointed
out above in my article on Ahriman's Incarnation, his power in Nature
no longer quite influences us as directly as before, for the social
world has emancipated itself from the natural world. [It could come to
pass that this situation will change as Western Civilization passes
through its death and then toward a rebirth - such that humanity could
find itself once again deeply integrated with the natural world, albeit
one badly damaged by our excesses.]
The main thing that goes on in the social
world is the biographies of six billion plus human beings. These
are artistically arranged by Christ as Lord of Karma, so that each of
us lives our biographies in the company of those with whom we have
special and very much needed shared striving. Once we incarnate
into the social world of humanity, we are set free of direct
spiritual-world influence, except for the fact of partial excarnation
every night during sleep. This is where needed adjustments can be
made to keep us on track with regard to the goals we have agreed to
experience in our biographies. Here is a great mystery, and
everyone should really only make a judgment about what this means for
them individually, and not concerning any other person.
The threefold double-complex plays a
special role here, for much that the double does is needed in order for
us to experience our karma, fate and then eventually (perhaps) to form
our free destiny. We need the Shadow in earthly life in the same
way we need a physical body. Granted aspects of the
double-complex are similar in kind and nature to immense spiritual
powers, yet Steiner also describes this as a hierarchical structure of
gloves within gloves within gloves - a stepping down of the original Power into something much smaller and
more in balance with the real I. While the double is like Ahriman
and Lucifer, it is ordained to be in a kind of harmonious relationship
to the ego, for the freedom of the I is the essential matter.
In the heart-center of the soul is a
realm the double cannot touch.
In the last Lecture to the John Gospel
cycle, Steiner also speaks of the result of properly passing through
the trials of The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (becoming
able to reproduce the meaning content of that book out of our own
thinking, feeling and willing) as producing a condition of katharsis
(or purification) in the astral body. This purification is what
makes the soul (the astral body aspect) more permeable to the Light and
to the Life, and this forms the necessary basis out of which the Rite
of Initiation can later be enacted.
Every incarnate human being is thus
accompanied in the biography by a relevant Shadow (threefold
double-complex), which is rich and just in its essential nature (the
justice element comes from Christ's influence as the Lord of Karma).
We can begin to observe the field of play of these beings by studying (with scientific objectivity) our own
inwardness, especially the phenomena of discursive thought.
Because of the laws of karma and reincarnation, the astral body
also contains (in addition to the ahrimanic and luciferic doubles) the
human double, we will explore this in more detail next.
In my writing I used to speak of the
human double as various kinds of egregorial beings. This is an
ancient term, and refers to a kind of self-generated psychic parasite
in the astral body or world (the heroin addict calls it: the monkey on my back - a quite suitable imagery). Many times these
beings are formed collectively by a group, but they also can be formed
individually as well. Such artificial beings are created by our
giving into a prompting of either or both of the ahrimanic and
luciferic doubles, except that the egregore requires an almost rite
like-repetition for its creation. The ritual by which the heroin
using shots up is one such rite.
The result of the rite is a kind of
forbidden pleasure (the payoff to the rite), and a kind of separation
occurs in the astral body such that the egregorial being becomes more
and more independent of the will of the I as the rite is repeated.
Steiner hinted at such beings in the last lecture of the cycle
called: Man as Symphony of the Creative Word, where he called them cancers or tumors of the soul.
I have taken to dropping the term
egregore, and replacing it with self-generated wound. I believe this is more accurate if we want our
conceptions about such matters to not only be true, but also good and
beautiful. Steiner also referred to such beings somewhat
indirectly when he described the processes of excarnation and
incarnation (in between death and a new birth) in a way that suggested
that as the astral body expands (excarnates) into the cosmos, it leaves
behind pieces of itself, which later during the following incarnation
process are picked up once again.
Now such beings are of varying degrees of
harm. Many of us will have had the experience of driving on a
freeway, and because there was little traffic we let our minds go into
a kind of reverie, such that 20 miles down the road our ego
consciousness (our attention) returns from the day-dreaming with a kind
of shock that we did not at all notice what we did as a driver for the
lost time. Who drove the car while our conscious ego attention
was participating in the experience of reverie? A modern thinker,
using computer terminology, might speak of a sub-routine, which is not
entirely inaccurate since a sub-conscious habit
was driving the car.
We have many such sub-conscious habits
(physiologists also speak of muscle memory, as if the physical body
itself could self-direct its complicated activities). What else
is the training for certain dancers, gymnasts and others, but the
creation of a whole community of sub-conscious habits. Experience
in fact teaches us that many such activities require of the ego that it
not over-think the activity, otherwise we become awkward and clumsy.
Also, if we come to understand that the ego is much more than
where our I directs our attention at any given moment, we can see that
in the sub-conscious and super-conscious of the will are rather
It is really only in thinking that the activity of the will can become the most
conscious (see again In Joyous...).
Now as we know, the more dangerous and
problematic self-generated wounds (addiction, alcoholism, etc.) have in
the 20th Century become more treatable. A great aid came into
existence at the beginning of the most intense period of the Second
Coming of Christ in the Ethereal in 1933, when Bill W. was visited,
while detoxing in the hospital for the umpteenth time, by Christ in the
form of an angel, and the impetus was given for the later community
development of the 12 Steps. There is no present day spiritual
discipline better suited for healing self-generated wounds than the 12
Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I'll not lay out the Steps here in
detail, but I will do a kind of overview, and point out their threefold
nature. The beginning gesture of the Steps is one of surrender.
We recognize our powerlessness before the self-generated wound
(the monkey on my back, my disease, demon rum etc.), and we turn to the
Divine Mystery (as we individually understand this - our spiritual
freedom remains fully intact) for help. Here is some Novalis
which touches this process quite directly:
The heart is the key to the world and of life.
We live in our helpless condition
in order to love, and be obliged to others.
Through imperfection we become ripe for the influence of others,
and this outside influence is the aim.
In illness we must be helped by others and only others can help us.
point of view, Christ surely is the key of the world.
What actually happens in a spiritual
technical sense is that by our act of surrender the forces of the
Divine Feminine (which oversee, from the other side of the Eight Inner
Spheres of the Earth, the hierarchies of the left) are able to enter
for a time into the soul and stand in between the I and the
self-generated wound, as well as in between the I and the ahrimanic and
luciferic doubles as these through inner prosecution and temptation
encourage the flaw in our character that has led to the self-generated
wound. We surrender to our helpless condition, and in so humbling
ourselves make it possible for the soul to have enough embryonic purity
(humility) that the Mystery can come to our aid.
In the middle elements of this 12-Step
process we enter into community. We confess to another.
We admit our flaws to the Divine, and we get ready to make amends
to those we have harmed. We start to shoulder, on our own, acts
of purification rooted in the slowly unfolding of this practice of true
In the final elements of this process we
then act in the social community world so as to transform our character
flaws, and build out of this a conscious spiritual practice that keeps
us awake in the moment to our next potential fall from grace. As
we do this it becomes less necessary for the Divine Feminine to provide
direct inner support, as long as we can remain on the path of humility
and service to others. The ego is strengthened in the very best
way (beginning with and remaining in: washing the feet). This process, which I call the elevation of the
spirit for the mastery of the soul is as follows: 1) surrender;
2) entrance (naive membership) in the community of like-wounded; and,
3) then becoming a self-transforming example and actor (through
service) in this same community.
Lets now look a little more deeply at the
ahrimanic double and inner prosecution - lies (we hear in our inner
voice the repeating tape of: you are such a loser!).
This is not all the ahrimanic double does, for it is a kind of
cold and calculating intelligence. In fact, precisely because it
is so cold and calculating it has (in a way) a higher order intellect.
Heart-warmed thoughts are wise and generally far less clever in
making life decisions. Further, heart-warmed thoughts often
selflessly involve us with others, such that they can often lead to
troubles and difficulties (see the film Pay it
Forward), whereas clever thoughts are quite
selfish and enable us to avoid more easily messy life situations.
Now in extremis, inner prosecution is
often accompanied by what we tend to call depression, using conventional psychological terms. We have
lost ourselves in self-negative feelings, and out of this inability to
control our life of feelings, the inner prosecutor (the lying
ahrimanic-double) is given a kind of free reign to provide us with
negative thoughts (remember from above the need to learn to control
thoughts). Here the problem involves the mastery of feelings.
The Shadow during much depression is in charge of the feeling
life (yes, there are physically based physiological problems that can
lead to depression, but we need to learn to work within our own soul
first, before we turn to a pill. The pill can weaken the I,
because it fails to wake up within and then face the Shadow-in-the-soul
out of the I's own forces.
By the way, do not go around giving
advice to any of your depressed friends, unless you have clearly
mastered the following practices yourself, and they (your friends)
already have a general spiritual understanding of their own life of
soul and spirit. What is being said here requires that it remain
within its necessary context, and if abstracted out of that context it
will lead to harm.
In effect in much depression we are in
the grip of the ahrimanic double. Our life of feeling is not
mastered, nor are our thoughts within our control. Also remember that
this being is very clever, so one must begin by recognizing (as in
the 12 Steps) our fundamental helplessness. The best advice I
have ever practiced in this regard, apparently came from Dennis Klocek
(indirectly attributed to him through another), and involves taking
hold of our inner voice, and saying inwardly: Who are you? This
should be repeated two or three times, with the accompanying thought
(remember that context) that we are waking up in the realm of soul and spirit
and speaking to a being
in the still somewhat inner darkness of
cannot give us its name, and is compelled, upon being asked to provide
its name, to withdraw from its activity as a contributor to the state
of depression. Part of what is going on is that during depression
we are experiencing a related paralysis of the will. When we
activate the inner will by asking the question, we take from this being
a power it has tricked us into allowing it to have, which power really
belongs to us.
Don't expect immediate relief. Feelings linger, and the depression (especially if quite strong) will not fly away (unless a higher being intervenes, an experience I have also had, but which requires petition - prayer - followed by grace from above)*. Sometimes we just need to lie down, ask the question a few times, and then rest. The being must withdraw and the depression will lessen. At this point, however, we are not yet done.
*[The best time I have found for petition
and prayer is on going to sleep. We pray to the Holy Mother for
help with our depressed state, and in the morning on waking, there
should be a kind of small gap between our I and the shadow presence.]
Just as in the 12 Steps, when during
surrender there arises a gap in between the I and the self-generated
wound, so the question (who are you?) creates a gap between the I and
the ahrimanic double (the inner prosecutor). Into this gap now we
must assert further inner activity. The best activity I have
found is to then consciously create a mental picture of this being
and its cohorts. I make a picture of three such beings (really
seeking thereby to effect the whole threefold double-complex, for these
tend to cooperate), imagining them being somewhat like the character
Gollum in Lord of the Rings, but instead of being rounded in shape as
in the film are actually quite angular with very sharp features as
described in the early lessons of the First Class.
We imagine these beings kind of gleefully
dancing, holding hands, and moving in a circle. Then to this
picture we add something humorous. Perhaps we picture cold maple
syrup pouring over these beings, making them slippery and causing them
to pratfall. We, of course, don't want to imagine harm coming to
them, but we do need to make an inner picture in which their activity
is seen as quite silly and ineffectual. Maybe we picture that
they get depressed and then start to eat all kinds of ice cream until
they get sore of stomach because of the excess.
By this activity we have first dismissed
the being by asking the question of their name, and then second made a
counter picture to those negative self images the Shadow has been
urging on us. The final (or third step) is to become physically
active. We rise from the sofa or bed where we have lain down, and
take up some activity (cleaning is good, if we otherwise because of
weather can't go for a walk). Nature is certainly a good
experience here, or if we are housebound for some reason, then music,
made by ourselves (singing, playing a recorder, or listening to a CD).
Something like the Gregorian Chant music that was popular some
years ago is also helpful. Whatever choices we make, it is
movement that is essential.
The depression has paralyzed the will,
and now after we have first asserted the will inwardly by asking the
question and then developed it further by creating the humorous
counter-picture, we must then press this will gesture all the way into
the physical body and into movement. With the state of depression
lifted, the more harmonious thoughts that we need will come to us, and
we can return to life.
On the basis of a picture from Tomberg's
Development, I have also taken to imaging my
will working from the crown of my head downward, pressing the ahrimanic
double out through the soles of my feet. This is the last act
before rising from rest (or from inner meditative activity) to begin
movement. I also try to image this being not having the capacity
to enter another, or cause harm there, but once pressed out it has to
return to the realm proper to it in the Eight Inner Spheres of the
Experience, by the way, shows that this
being does not leave us completely in the beginning. We are
learning to exercise a certain capacity of soul, and the threefold
double-complex remains present until we have accomplished all that we
need to develop in the soul, through the activity of our own I.
Just as there is no instant mastery of the physical body,
there is no gain without pain in the purification of the temple of the
Next lets look at temptation -egotism, a
principle arena of the activity of the luciferic double. Again,
this temptation comes to us via our own inner voice, which we have,
mostly by habit and lack of development, allowed a kind of independence
from the I. Our attention is on listening to the tempting inner
voice to our egotism, and not on control of thoughts or mastery of
feelings. At the same time we need to keep in mind that the
luciferic double is also a voice of a kind of wisdom. We
sometimes need this wisdom in life, even though it will tend to be a
bit ungrounded. Luciferic wisdom takes us off the Earth, while
Ahrimanic cleverness drives too deep into a mood of gravitas.
Keep in mind also, that Steiner has said that often the cure for
Ahriman is Lucifer, and the cure for Lucifer is Ahriman.
Essentially the same problems as above
apply, except that we are not generally depressed (although often in
states of depression we are more easily tempted). The root of the
temptation is generally a mood of soul. So lets come at this from
the problem of mastery
feelings (something a bit different from control of thoughts). Obviously the six supplementary exercises are an
essential preliminary support here as well.
There is some imagery from the
middle-East, Persian or perhaps Sufi, which I have found useful in
understanding this problem. The soul and spirit can be described
as consisting of a charioteer, a chariot and a horse. The
charioteer is the I. The chariot is the self constructed mental
world - our collection of ideas and concepts which we use to travel
through life. And, the horse is our feelings or emotions
The charioteer is most in balance when he
has consciously created and maintained his chariot, and is able to tame
and direct the energies of the horse (the mastery of feelings).
As regards the chariot, we have the need to control thoughts, and
to not be in bondage in the experience of an idea (unable to
distinguish our I from an idea). As regards the horse, we have to
be able to step aside from unredeemed (sub-conscious) feelings of
antipathy and sympathy, and develop the ability to be able to replace
these with cultivated feelings (such as reverence, equanimity etc.).
A temptation is generally a selfish
(egotistical) desire (which Steiner speaks about from many directions
in The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity). It is a want, perhaps experienced as a need:
sex, hunger, revenge, etc. Lets just work with hunger and sex, to
keep things simple.
Hunger is often a need of the body, as is
sex. The I experiences the need, and in fact often identifies
with it, having already identified itself with the body. We
feel/think: I need food or sex (when it is really the body). In the Philosophy Steiner has put the question this way: Can I want what I
want? Can a desire be an act of will, or am I powerless before it?
His answer is that we can will what we
want, if we put before the want a
self-chosen moral intuition. We put in front of the want, a
self-determined because. Not after the want, in front of the want.
Just like with depression, the first step is actually to create
the gap in between the want (the temptation) and the action. And
the same rules can apply. We experience the want, the temptation,
which will often appear in discursive thought as if our own inner voice
was saying: oh
boy, I was so good today with what I didn't eat at lunch, I can take my
dinner hunger and satisfy it with ice cream
(a friend of mine humorously calls this an ice crime).
If we notice the temptation, and then we
can say: Who are you? There is also an old folk remedy from
Europe, where we cross ourselves three times and spit over our left
Of course there are all kinds of
temptations and desires, this is just an example. Lets look at
sex as well, since there is a lot in common with other inner soul
gestures that can make these questions of soul management (control of thoughts and
mastery of feelings) stand out.
Generally with sex and hunger we also
deal with inner pictures, and also the lower chakras. These
images are not insignificant. Further, our culture through
advertising is constantly stimulating desire. This (sex) is a bit
of a different problem for men than for women. The temptation for
men is to see a women just as a women and not as an individual. A
man just wants to get laid (is the cliche), and is often
in-discriminant about who is the object of his desire. The
temptation for women is more of one toward immodesty in dress and
The man is stimulated by the culture to
make women into sex objects, and the women is stimulated by the culture
to dress provocatively, forgetting that (or asleep to the fact that)
men are intoxicated by such stimulation (intoxication being a kind of
surrender of the I to the aroused passion). No one in these
circumstances is free, because they are in fact in bondage to the idea
(the related mental pictures), and mastered by the feelings (the
passion) instead of being their master.
So the first problem, as noted above with
depression, is to awake to the situation, in this case the temptation.
The second problem is to create a gap in between the desire and
the action, so that before it sparks across that gap, a freely chosen
moral choice can be inserted in the front of the desire. Willed
thinking can do this in accord with the teachings contained in The
Philosophy of Freedom. [With this
understanding we also get an idea of the deeper nature of the Freedom
contemplated by this book.]
Again, since the chariot - the mental
construct - is relevant, we can create an alternative mental picture to
the one prompting the desire. We can shift from a picture of an
ice crime, to one of another food choice, which our thinking helps us
recognize as more healthy. We can also try to self observe the
feeling life which has prompted the desire. We can then ask,
where did this mood of soul come from, and how can I substitute another
mood (take the reigns of the horse through the conscious willed
creation of a cultivated feeling).
The most significant matter is to have in
our world view of our inner life a quite concrete and accurate
understanding of the relationship of the Shadow (the threefold
double-complex) to the I. With this understanding we now shift
the battle with evil into that realm were we are most able to meet it.
We understand that evil (and the good) enter into the world through us, and since this is the case, we are then able to meet
it, and more and more slowly render it impotent out of the own
developing I. We don't change the world, we change ourselves.
As a corresponding element of this
understanding, we also need to recognize (as pointed out in the essays
above on the mote and the beam) that what we observe in the outer world
(the Stage Setting) is more beam than mote. Yes, we can in the
outer world oppose evil, but first we must master the beam ("You hypocrite, first you must
get the beam out of your own eye, before you can help your bother with
his splinter" Christ Jesus, the Sermon on the Mount).
Another thing the tempter (luciferic
double) can do is cause us to live too strongly in fantasy and reverie.
This is a use of the imagination (picture making capacity)
that wastes its energies in the realm of illusion. A
fantasy is not real, and when we give into this day-dreaming
sub-consciously, we retreat into that inner realm which the luciferic
dominates. At the same time, there is a great deal that the
imagination can do, if we but give it the lightest direction and
Here the artistic impulse finds a great
source for its work. The question that is helpful to ask
ourselves is: Toward what purpose has my I directed my assent into
inner reverie? Recall, for example, that in The Philosophy of
Freedom a crucial step involves a moral imagination. The impulse to Goetheanism also finds its powers
in the use of the picture thinking. We routinely rehearse our
coming conversations with people in order to be ready for what is to
happen there. All of this kind of inner picturing activity can be
lightly directed by the I along directions that are less and less
illusory, and more and more lending themselves to real spirit vision.
Day-dreaming takes only a little nudge
from the I to become meditation and thinking contemplation.
Reverie is a step that lets us calm the soul, especially when
outer events may tempt us to anger and away from peace. Picture
thinking is strong in us today precisely because the Sophianic impulse
lays there, and wants to find itself in our souls once more. If
we feel a need to understand better someone who is disturbing our calm,
what better soul quality do we have than the capacity to strive, using
the picture thinking, to see the world from their point of view.
The opportunities to grace the temple of our soul with new inner
pictures are ever present, if we but wake to them.
Let us now return to the consideration of
Macro Evil, for one of the characteristics of the Stage Setting (the
cultural historical background to individual human biographies) is that
because the relationship between the opponents (Ahriman, Lucifer etc)
takes the shape of gloves within gloves within gloves, giving thus a
common and general yet specific nature and character to the threefold
double-complex, a whole culture (even a Civilization) can be turned in
a certain shared direction because each individual double expresses to
a small degree the same time-related impulses originating in its
Hierarch (or ruler, such as Ahriman).
For example, scientific materialism (an
aspect of the Ahrimanic Deception) arises in Western humanity in large
part because the individual doubles are able to be coordinated, and
consists (in part) of inner temptations and prosecutions designed to
cause natural scientists (natural philosophers at the beginning of the
scientific age) to make the same (common) error of judgment. The
whole of Western Civilization pivots in the direction of a spiritless
(all matter no spirit) world view because most all the threefold
double-complexes are moved in sync with this basic impulse* originating
in the realm of the hierarchies of the left.
*[For a discussion of certain details of
the some of the more common errors of thought induced into this period
of development, see Barfield's World's
Apart, and Cruse's Evolution
and the New Gnosis.]
William Blake called the effect of this
generalized confusion: "single vision and Newton's sleep".
confidence in his senses (which Goethe
said never lie, only the judgment - discursive thinking moved from out
of the sub-conscious - lies), and so the natural scientist believed he
could only find the truth of the world through instruments and
mathematics. Thus arose a spiritless world-view, which while
itself seems a terrible thing, was actually turned toward the good by Beings more powerful and wise than Ahriman and his minions.
In the stream of earthly world events, a
central theme is the evolution of consciousness. Humanity evolves
by being offered precise tasks in each cultural age. While not
every biography achieves what is offered it, at the time it is offered,
the possibility is always there. In terms of the evolution of
consciousness, the Ahrimanic Deception enabled humanity to become (more
or less) free of the Gods. The human being was to feel
spiritually alone, until bearing a hunger for a return to the spirit,
it awoke enough to begin to strive once more for reintegration.
Even faith was to become arid and dead (thus the appearance of
spiritual materialism everywhere as a kind of rigid - ahrimanized -
As we saw above in the essay on Methodology, that the processes in the social that gave rise to the
potential for moral freedom (the development of individualism and the
loss of the cohesive nature of the family and community), were
accompanied in large part by the effects of natural science and the
industrial revolution. The social effects of Ahriman's
character, as stamped on present day civilization, served the good -
the evolution of consciousness, by causing the I to have to stand on
its own (leave its childhood behind), and begin to draw from the deeper
inner wells of its nature a true - self-created - knowledge of the
Good, or moral freedom (see also above: The
Christ even told us to expect this
effect, when He said in the Gospels, Matthew 10:34-40: "Don't think I came to cause
peace across the land. I didn't come to cause peace, I came to
wield a sword, because I came to divide a man against his father and a
daughter against her mother and a bride against her mother-in-law, and
to make a man's servants his enemies. Whoever prefers father or
mother over me is not worthy of me; and whoever prefers son or daughter
over me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take his cross and
follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever found his life will
lose it, and the one who lost his life because of me will find it.
Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me,
receives my Sender."
Rudolf Steiner called aspects of this
effect of the Christ Impulse: the loss of the blood ties that at one
time bound us into various forms of group soul.
This then is how we need to see (from
this point of view) the Mystery of Evil. Macro-evil, the Stage
Setting, is one aspect of the living and evolving social organism of
the whole world. It is context, not essence. Essence is
micro-evil, which occurs in individual human biographies in the nature
of the relationship of the I to the threefold double-complex - the
Shadow. The counter to the Shadow is the own I. We are the
key to the Mystery of Evil, for real evil (along with the good) only
enters the world through us. By unfolding within ourselves the
Christ Impulse (free moral grace via the Second Eucharist), we start to
learn to tame evil and subdue it at the only point it has through which
to enter the social world.
We will also gain something by noticing
from Lecture Five, of From
Symptom to Reality in Modern History, a hint
from Steiner about the Mystery of Evil, where he says that what we
think of as evil is a secondary effect of something that is more
important and part of the Good. He uses there the metaphor of a
train and the rails that train travels upon. The train engine and
the direction it travels are important, but the indirect effect of this
travel is that it wears out the rails. When all we notice is the
wear and tear on the rails, this is the human conception of evil.
Yet, this concept misses the main point, which is that the engine
and its direction are an important and necessary part of human
development and existence.
In the essay below on sexuality, we'll
come at this again, but let us here just notice that without sexuality
and desire there is no procreation, no stream of heredity.
Without physical bodies there is no earth existence for our
development. Without the hunger for food there are no
forces for that same body's use. In the so-called lower chakras
are the true Mystery of Evil, the engine that takes us where we need to
go. That this conscious and semi-conscious giving into appetite
wears out the body and wounds the soul, through leading us to excesses
of temptation and addiction, this is a side effect of the true purpose
of what we, in human terms, call Evil.
Again, and to conclude: "...the very purpose of our
Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should become increasingly
conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly existence." R.
S. Lucifer and Ahriman [emphasis
added] As well: You hypocrite, first you must get the beam out of your
own eye, before you can help your brother with his splinter.
Outrageous Genius - Discovering the in-the-Present
Incarnation of Ahriman in America through the Signs of the Times
necessary preliminary considerations
Teacher and the Teaching
"And, just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the
flesh, and as there was an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so will
there be, before
of the third post-Christian millennium will have passed, an actual incarnation of
Ahriman in the West: Ahriman in the flesh."
[emphasis added] R.S. lecture, 1 November, 1919
"The thing that will matter, though, will be for people in
the age of Ahriman to know that John William Smith* is only what
appears before them outwardly, and that inwardly Ahriman is there; they
happening and not succumb to any deception in the
drowsiness of their illusions." [emphasis added] R. S. 28
December 1919 [*a name Steiner made up]
The first and essential thing to realize
is that in thinking about the Incarnation of the near-god Ahriman, as a
human being on the cusp of the change from the 2nd Millennium to the
3rd, we must not conceive of this as an incarnation of Evil. What
Rudolf Steiner has called the "opponents" play a necessary and
ordained role in the Creation. They are the density and weight we
are to meet and learn to carry (in both the inward heavenly realm as
well as the outward earthly realm), otherwise our own incarnations
would be too easy, and we would never really learn anything. Macro Evil
(the opponents) are different from the Beast from the Abyss, or collective and conscious micro (human) evil.
The tempters and confusers tempt and confuse, they sow seeds of
fear and doubt and judgment and cynicism, but they do not bring
true evil into the social world. We
do that when we give into their urgings,
instead of the wise (though challenging and often difficult) promptings
of our own hearts. The more consciously we choose the dark, the
more the Beast
from the Abyss has free play in human social
existence. The more we consciously seek and choose the Good, the
more evolution moves forward in a balanced and harmonious
"...the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is
that man should become increasingly conscious of what takes
him in earthly
existence." [emphasis added] R.S. Lucifer and
Ahriman, lecture II, 2 November 1919.
Some anthroposophists create pictures
within their inwardness, in which they view the opponents as more or
less extremely powerful, and thereby capable of overwhelming humanity
(especially in connection with the hardly spoken of Soradt - the Sun
Demon - and the Asuras). Simple logic refutes such an assumption,
for if these Beings had the power some anthroposophists believe they
have, progressive evolution would already be over. The fact is
they are constrained, principally through the office of the Divine
Mother, whose golden realm is found on the other side of the Eight
Inner Spheres of the Earth (the Spheres of the Fallen Hierarchies).
As we more and more become able to do research into the Feminine
Mysteries (something Steiner could only hint at in order not to get
caught up in the web of the Mary Cult of European Catholicism), we will
discover that there is not only a male trinity (Father, Son and Holy
Spirit), but also a feminine trinity (Mother, Daughter and Holy Soul).
Steiner could only point out to us a few facts about this golden realm, and also the significance of the return of the
Imagination (the Holy Sophia) and as well the significance of
Anthroposophia. Some of the best present-day research on the
Divine Mother can be found in Tomberg's Meditations
Tarot, in the 11th Arcanum: Force.
through Hell to the realm of the Holy Mother
(the Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth) that Christ descended on the
Saturday following His crucifixion, whereby he obtained the forces
necessary for resurrection. [See Proverbs viii, 22-30 for some
More detail will be developed on this
problem in my essay below: The Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil: the relationship of
the Shadow (the three-fold double-complex) to the American Soul, wherein knowledge of the Shadow obtained after 35 years
of introspection will be described. This much can be said
presently: Ahriman and Lucifer enter directly into human affairs through us - through our giving into the Shadow, the three-fold
double-complex. We are the gate by which the effects of the
opponents enter the world social order. In a like fashion, it is
also only through
us that Christ (and the Divine Mother - but
that is, as noted above, a whole other theme) can directly enter into
the social order.* The Fifth Cultural Epoch (the Age of the
Consciousness Soul) is the era in which greater and greater aspects for
the responsibility for earthly social affairs falls to human beings.
*[Obviously, both Christ and the Divine
Mother appear sometimes to make a physical contact with individuals in
various forms. This is one of the means through which they
influence a particular time, but still this is always done with great
respect for human freedom, and still keeps to the same rule: the
influence enters the social world through us. The recipient of such effects is not made into
a passive tool in any sense of that word.]
Ahriman in reality is a gift to humanity,
a two-edged gift to be sure, but a real treasure. His very
onesidedness teaches us, and this is teaching we need to face squarely,
for it not only teaches us about ourselves, but also about an essential
aspect of the real nature of the Creation. We all contain within
our souls the ahrimanic potential, the possibility to be calculatingly
cold and heartless, and if we are as brutally self honest as our
conscience would encourage, we have all made and will make judgments
that have such a quality - that are, from a human perspective, callous
Do we not walk through the world turning
a blind eye away from all manner of suffering and pain, fully aware
that we do this in order to preserve our self interest, our comfort and
our far easier lives?
To fill out this picture, think on
Nature. In tooth and claw, in flood and earthquake, in all that
seems as powers of death and radical sudden change, we see in the
processes of Nature what appears as an absence of either compassion or
love. The Natural World (as against the Social World*) is a world
of profound and complicated laws, which seem in their results to have
not at all the same consciousness that one human being might bear, out
of compassion and love, toward another. In this indifferent power
of Nature and nature's lawfulness, lives Ahriman as he manifests as an
aspect of the sense world.
*[From another point of view this
distinction, separating the mineral, plant and animal kingdoms from the
human kingdom, does not work. But we have different purposes
here, if the reader will accept that reality (as Steiner himself
pointed out) is frequently paradoxical. Our bodies are of this
Nature, but our Spirit, in its freedom, stands outside those rules.
See Owen Barfield's remarkable book Worlds
Apart to explore some of the logical problems
here in a deeper way.]
Yes, Nature (as meant here) contains
beauty - it is a divine work of art, but in its processes and laws it
is basically finished, fixed and complete. It is essentially
done. That human beings may in the future have the possibility of
lifting Nature up out of this fixed and finished condition is a whole
other story. That Anthroposophy can yet teach humanity mysteries
of Nature unimagined by today's mankind is a necessary step in laying
the groundwork for this lifting up. Humanity must learn to truly
see, and it is a mission of Anthroposophy to enable this seeing.
All the same, Nature is Created (past tense), in which the last
act was the arising of thought. "Thought is the last member of a series of
processes by which Nature is formed"
[emphasis added] R.S. A Theory
of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception. This is why the path of Anthroposophy is a path
of cognition. To see the real secrets of Nature requires the
metamorphosis of thinking, a task not as well advanced as it should be
in anthroposophical culture (more later). What we haven't truly
understood in practice, we cannot teach.
Our social-political world has almost
completely emancipated itself from Nature. As we more and more
developed, we more and more separated away from Nature, so that today
the Social World is a world essentially all of its own, in which
callous indifference and compassion and love operate along side each other.
The Social World has out of instinct come to sit astride the
Natural World, using it for our egoistic benefit. We can now
choose whether to continue that course, whether to continue to
over or to transform and metamorphose that
with (see my book the Way of
the Fool). We can go to sleep and let raw
animality (callous indifference and appetite) rule us (instead of us
ruling it), or we can wake up.
Ahriman in entering into our world
confronts other powers than those which would be normal to his realm -
his usual place in the Creation. As a human
being he now enters this world of choice, not
of essentially fixed processes and laws.
Part of what bothers us, and will bother
us about this Cosmic Being, now to be seen as a human individual, is
not how much he has done that we see as wrong, but how much he is just
like a certain part of us. For example, many people have and will
in the future like and admire this individual. Even so, as a
human being, to the extent that he does evil, he does it as a human
being. Elements of his cosmic powers are restrained by being
incarnated, just as are ours.
In addition, recall that Rudolf Steiner
explained how our antipathy to another really acquires its strength and
passion from the fact that we semi-consciously know just how much we
ourselves are like that which we observe in others as failings.
Ahriman incarnate is a mirror to a common human failing, a
failing to which everyone living today in the world is prone. If
we want to avoid this, we must strive to know the true nature of our
heart, and at the higher levels of inner development, think our way to
an experience of the Ethereal Christ. This requires us to work
properly and consciously at soul metamorphosis, and not just whine and
complain about how awful the world is, and about how much everyone but
us is wrong, evil and dumb.
It is also important to realize that
Ahriman incarnates in a specific place and time in order to accomplish
something as a more or less ordinary human being (with extraordinary
intelligence - one-sided spirit-thinking) he can only achieve at this
specific place and time. Outside the social world of incarnate
human beings, the cosmic power Ahriman can only do certain limited
things, and these mostly indirectly through our Shadow (the three-fold
with us as a human being, he can do directly
things he was unable to do before.
All the same, to act directly on the
world, as a member of the social order, he must still surrender some of
his capacities - some of his genius, that is operate as a extremely
gifted human being, not as a nearly divine power incarnate (what in
ancient times might have been called an avatar).
In this, Ahriman's teaching is harsh - it
is not for wimps, and his influence on our social existence is
necessarily profound, regardless of how dark we may be tempted to seek
to portray it. A cosmic power is on the earth living as a human
being, and this is a power that can only be called Outrageous
Ahriman also belongs to America (the true
West), in the same way Lucifer belonged to the East and Christ to the
Center. American anthroposophists need to recognize that he is
ours. Our materialistic society, mostly of our own making through
our choices in terms of comfort and appetites, is ahrimanic because we
opened the door to his influence and have benefited from it. For
example, we have computers and all that goes with this electronic
world, because of him. The genius of cold heartless calculation
provides many gifts, and we have had to become awash in it - buried up
to our necks in it - so that we will soon be forced to decide whether
or not we really want it to rule us, or us to rule it.
Our task then in coming to knowledge of
this power is to recognize a part of ourselves in its nature, and to
also understand how fine and exact is the shape this power seeks to
give to our social life. This shape, crafted by outrageous
genius, can tell us a great deal. In so doing it reveals to us,
we who would foster the good - that is we who would be balanced instead
of so extremely one-sided - just what we need to do and how we need to
act in the social world to bring into that world just the healing that
is needed. Ahriman would overbalance the world in a certain
direction, and it will be up to that portion of humanity, willing to be
awake to him consciously, or instinctively, to strive to restore this
In a peculiar sense, he also points
directly at the true Second Coming, as began in its initial ethereal
world dynamics in the years 1933 to 1945, by pointing so strongly away
from it. He (Ahriman) comes to distract us, to move us away from
our true heart, and this is his temptation - to cause us to loose
ourselves in the world of the senses, and never look within at the own
soul and discover what lies there, for as Christ told us in Luke: "the kingdom of heaven is
within you". Ahriman would have
us be so absorbed in the Stage Setting, that we never notice that the
real battlefield is within - that is: It
battlefield of soul that we as individuals act
most powerfully as creative authors in the Play.
Yet, by this very distraction and its
strength, he points the other way. He speaks into our lives and
says to us: go here, for you will like it, for all your lower impulses
will find there their satisfaction. He wants to pull us down into
too much self-gratifying gravitas. Even the excess of seriousness
in anthroposophical circles tends to have this ahrimanic character.
We have to engender the counter-levity out of our selves.
We have to overcome the cold-hearted and calculating
materializing lower senses tendency in our soul that otherwise remains
sub-conscious, and replace that with the ethereal forces of consciously
moralized thought. Only our wills can do this, and we have
incarnated just in this time precisely to learn this lesson and to
accomplish this task, which Rudolf Steiner has called: the unfolding of
the Consciousness Soul.
Moreover, if we learn to perceive the
real dynamics of social existence correctly, we will see that already,
in spite of Ahriman's incarnate activities, we have been instinctively
engaged in much that is already transforming the worst that he would
accomplish were we not to learn to understand his teaching.
We are learning even
now from this teaching how to make its
countering healing gesture. Everywhere there is a waking
up, and now it is time for Anthroposophy to step forward and find a way
to serve the world's hunger to wake up all the way. However,
first we need to rouse ourselves by facing the mirrored shadow of our
worst qualities as these manifest not just in American and World
Culture, but more importantly, as an absolutely necessary crucial first
step, in American (and world-wide) Anthroposophical Culture.
Were we simply to look at the outer
culture, without first looking inwardly and squarely at ourselves, we
will fail utterly. We must meet the Shadow in ourselves or we
will be nothing but the hypocrites to which Christ referred when he
said in Matthew 23: 25-28:
"Woe to you canon-lawyers and Pharisees, you fakes, for
cleaning off the rim of your cup and saucer while on the inside you're
bursting with greed and wild appetites. Blind Pharisee, wash out
the inside of the cup and saucer first, if you want the outside to end
up clean! Woe to you canon-lawyers and Pharisees, you fakes, for
being like dusty monuments that look pretty on the outside but on the
inside are full of the bones of corpses and all kinds of rot. You
likewise from the outside appear to the world to be decent, but inside
you're full of hypocrisy and ways around the law".
It is the thesis of this essay then that
Ahriman incarnated in the West in the latter part of the 20th Century,
and that his activity as an incarnated human being can be found in
various phenomena of social existence. He leaves/left a trail, as
it were, in events that mark his passage, and this paper means to
discover that trail, and mark that passage, so that we know who he
is/was and what he did, and can then begin to counter-balance this
influence. Not erase it, or eliminate it, but consciously
counter-balance it. Moreover, we must start to look also at its
examples that are nearest at hand in our Society and Movement (a great
deal in the collection of essays that follows does this). We look
outwardly to understand it, and then inwardly to correct it; for we
have nothing to teach anyone about this if we have not first understood
it, and mastered it within ourselves and within our own circles.
Anthroposophists are faced in this trial
- of coming awake to Ahriman's Incarnation - by the problem of the mote
and the beam on a very large scale (See Matthew: Chapters 5-7).
Those wanting to consider more details,
as regards the indications of Rudolf Steiner, are encouraged to read
and ponder the essay in the appendix to the book: The Future
is Now: Anthroposophy at the New Millennium,
which appendix was called: When did Rudolf Steiner Expect the Incarnation of
Ahriman? by Hans-Peter van Manen. This
is, of course, in addition to the obvious books Steiner wrote
specifically on Lucifer and Ahriman.
In order to fully appreciate this
incarnation of a near-god, we have to have a proper inner picture of
modern existence - to learn to perceive that Earth Events also have
Cosmic Meaning. What can seem to some, to be merely historical
confusion and social evil, has to be perceived by the anthroposophical
living picture thinking as Divine Drama, in which certain unusual
Actors enter Stage Left, cross the Stage, and leaving behind their
Effects exit Stage Right. I use the term Actors, because Ahriman
does not incarnate alone - many others are drawn to this place and time
precisely because of the unique characteristics Ahriman has stamped
We also need to ask good questions about
where to look. Do we look in the Cultural Sphere that is:
Religion, Art or Science, or in the Economic Sphere (Production,
Distribution and Consumption), or in the Life of Rights (State, Media,
People)? Where would Ahriman work?
I am going to suggest the Life of Rights,
because if we read Steiner's The Inner
Aspect of the Social Question, we will come
upon the understanding that while the Cultural Sphere and the Economic
Sphere have spiritual world counterparts, the Life of Rights is
completely Earthly. It is our Earthly existence to which Ahriman wishes
to bind us (while Lucifer would take us to a world of unearthly and
illusory spirit). Nonetheless, nothing here should be taken to
confine the reader to coming to a different understanding.
Why the Life of Rights?
Humanity now possesses considerable
freedom with respect to the happenings in the human social life of the
Earth, as well as with regard to our relationship to the natural world.
We can build bombs that we believe make a small sun of death inside a
city. We can alter biological life in ways we can't predict out
of an almost cultivated arrogant ignorance (callous indifference).
We can consciously spread horrible diseases, perhaps killing all
human life, all animal life, all plant life.
We can also control the economy by the
hidden secret levers behind the issuance and management of currencies,
and then using the power that this concentrated wealth can buy, the
holders of these hidden levers subvert politicians and media outlets so
as to hold great temporal power in a few hands, which hands cannot be
challenged or often even named. A secret cabal tries to rule
mankind, and seems to direct through money (stones into bread) most of the scientific research of our great
industries. All this inside a world view dominated by ideas and
concepts that make little or no room for the reality of Spirit.
All to what end?
At this climatic point in world history,
one Nation State is behaving as if it is the main center of political,
economic and technological power - the United States of America.
The entire social and natural spheres of earth existence are
spread out before this power like live prey waiting to be devoured
(Americans literally consume far far more than a fair share of the
world's wealth). Since the United States Government is a nexus of
these powers, those who seek to rule from out of the economic and
financial circles still must work through the Life of Rights.
If then someone were to be inside this
nexus of power conduits, they would be able to sit astride all those
flowing streams of power running from the economic, and the cultural
(as in that which is controlled by corporations - television and movies
etc. and also the dangerous oversight of the State in education) in and
through the Life of Rights - the middle Sphere of the emerging
Threefold Social Organism.
Recognize also that of the threefold
nature of the Life of Rights (State, Media, People - see my essay Waking the Sleeping Giant:
the Mission of Anthroposophy in America http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/wkslg.html),
are currently dominated by the State alone.
We could place then Ahriman's human
incarnation right inside the current Bush II Administration and not be
far off the mark in our efforts to see if some kind of heartless
calculating force is/was radiating from there outwards into the
political life of the United States, tilting it and the world in
certain directions. We should also expect that Ahriman will not
incarnate alone, but will bring with him (or along side him) those who
have some karma to work out with respect to such Genius. His cold
calculating genius does not need to be perceived as just localized in
him, but needs to be seen as distributed - as spread out
among many many individualities around or near him (and also throughout
We also need to recognize that there will
be those intimately within these circles (although more will be
outside), who oppose him and these tendencies. Christ is the Lord
of Karma, and through His Art as the arranger of the relationships of
all human biographies, He has allowed in the circles around Ahriman not
merely his closest allies, but also those who have the remarkable
strength needed to thwart much that he would otherwise like to achieve.
Michaelic warriors will be right next to those who have chosen to
be the Dragon's earthly spawn.
Moreover, Ahriman has no need to hold
directly any reins of temporal power, for the use of such power is not
his genius. His genius is to see how number relationships can be
gripped and thus give an excessive strength of fixed-like order to the
normal living and fluid nature of social existence. He knows
better than anyone, human or divine, what power lives in number, and
earthly temporal power has no attraction to him at all.
presentation of the relevant context in the form of a contemplation on
the social organism
Earth* as Counter-force to Ahriman's Incarnation
We need now to revisit the above themes,
but from an even higher and more picture-like level. It is
important for the reader to realize that our conventional conceptual
frame of reference as regards political-social themes, in particular
the Life of Rights, does not adequately take account of the related
spiritual reality. To speak or think of the political-social
using the same terminology as conventional media is to "materialize"
our mental pictures, concepts and ideas. In this next section I
will endeavor to help the reader overcome these habits of mind.
First, we should step back a little, and
see if we can see earthly events in the more mythic or imaginative
form. Events in the social organism are also a story, or perhaps
better said a Cosmic Tale as it were. Just like nature speaks in its
appearances, so does the logos nature of Christ speak into social
events, which He artistically arranges through His role as Lord of
Karma (see my essays below: The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the
Consciousness Soul; and, The Methodology Necessary for
a New Social Science).
Picture the surface of the Earth sphere, that narrow spherical physical band in which unfolds all the visible phenomena of human lives and cultures. Literally, dear reader, consciously form this picture of a huge spherical band, perhaps only twenty miles in height, that at its upper limits is airless space (beyond which we cannot breath), and at its lower limit solid near impenetrable rock. Six billion plus people spread over the surface of the Earth, all held dear by the Divine Mystery. Waves of change move through this sphere of social existence, which in the 20th Century became truly global economically, at the same time it became more self-aware globally (via the Internet). In fact, if we think away the mental pictures we have of this world that are derived from the senses, and begin to substitute more imaginative, more fluid and dynamic pictures of the social world as the interplay of downward and upward flowing will forces of Cosmic Beings, in which the human being moves through fields* of thinking, feeling and willing born in the hierarchies, we will come closer to the truth. The apparently material earth sphere, in which the social world seems to have emancipated itself from Nature, is in fact a nexus of dynamic and inter penetrating cosmic spiritual activity. Rudolf Steiner gave us a very necessary picture of this activity, when he said that "man was the religion of the Gods".
There is a reason so much activity is directed from the Cosmic Spiritual Heights and from the Earthly Spiritual Depths, at this in between center - at this narrow material-like spherical band where human beings unfold their biographies. The Hierarchies conceive of us as their religion, because inside us, in the i-AM, that is the human spirit, exists something that can't be found anywhere else. Rudolf Steiner wrote of this in his youth, in A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception:
"Man is not behaving in accordance with the purposes of
the Guiding Power of the world when he investigates one or another of
His commandments, but when he behaves in accordance with his own
the Guiding Power of the world manifests Himself. He does not live as
Will somewhere outside of man; He has renounced his own will in order
that all might depend upon the will of man."
*[See the lessons of the First Class of
the School of Spiritual Science.]
We are the father and mother of
all human action.
Within the consciousness of these many
billions of human beings, whose true mystery we are hardly ready to
acknowledge, exists struggles, which we call in general the Evolution
of Consciousness. In the current phase of this evolution, which
we call the time of the Consciousness Soul, the I seeks to awake in the
encounter with other I's. Within the soul, moral challenges appear out
of these encounters, as each biography confronts its necessary karma
and destiny. First, as if radiating outward in waves from the
Western Democracies (where individualism is most fully developing),
while at the same time appearing homeopathically in smaller communities
world-wide, the Consciousness Soul begins its unfolding. From out
of the totality of the invisible inner world of humanity the I faces
both outer and inner challenges (for the most part lost from the
insight of our thinking in an inner darkness of coagulated concepts,
such as rigid and arid religious beliefs, or a spiritless materialistic
natural science, or even to the Anthroposophical Society and Movement
via the intellectualization during the 20th Century of the Michaelic
Meanwhile, unknown to most, the Christ
works in between. He is able to work in between because having
arranged our karma - our integrated and finely interrelated
biographies - to the extent that our social relationships are informed
with moral qualities (even the most tentative impulses of the heart),
these moral acts in the Epoch of the Consciousness Soul also amount to
an encounter with the Eternal. In that we seek the Good, and draw
even a weak tea intuition of it into our social relationships, Christ
can be present precisely because of that qualitative vertical inner
gesture we make in our souls in order to seek knowledge of the Good in
the dramas of the moral challenges in modern life. (For every one step in
spiritual development, we must take three steps in character - moral -
In the outer stage setting, which we
believe we know through our materialized conceptions of present world
history, itself a kind of polar opposite to the inner world of
spiritual awakening and moral challenge, gestures of change seek to
warp the slowly unfolding threefold social organism to their own uses
and needs. A Dark Prince of the World seeks to dominate the
Stage, while the Lord (Artist) of Karma weaves the biographies into a
musical-like harmony of inner conscious spirit evolution. The I,
under the influence of Christ, tends to become We. While we,
under the influence of Ahriman, are pushed to remain only I. [The
Rastafarians - a mostly now Jamaica based religious impulse - speaks
interesting enough of the idea of I 'n I - we - as something different from the idea of I and you. The idea of I and you comes from the devil,
according to their instinctive wisdom, while the truth is that we are
both I's - that is we are the same, "I 'n I".]
Ahriman divides communities into smaller
and smaller groups, ultimately to become isolated I's. Christ
unifies I's into communities through His in between support of the healing resolution of our karmic moral
Let us look for a moment closer at the
threefolding of the social organism of the world social order.
Many in anthroposophical circles will
tend to believe threefolding is something we have to create and is not
the present condition of the social world. This is partially
true, but at the same time we need to recognize that the dynamics of
social life have been active in the history of civilizations for
thousands of years, and the slow evolution of the social organism has
been set on a progressive course for a long time. For example, in
the third cultural age the Cultural Sphere (the ancient Mysteries)
ruled the social order. In the fourth cultural age, a Rights
Sphere impulse was added at the foundations of Greek and Roman
civilization in the idea of the State on the one hand and of the
Citizen on the other. As the fifth cultural age emerged from the
fourth, the rights life itself threefolded (State, Media, People - or
citizen), just as the cultural life had already threefolded into
Science, Art, and Religion. At the same time that the on-looker
consciousness appears (as did the deepest aspects of the Ahrimanic
Deception, namely materialism in all its aspects), so began the birth
time of the economic life, which now struggles to differentiate into an
inner threefolding of producers, distributors and consumers.
Clearly we live in a time when the
concept of the threefold social organism had barely begun to be present
and was at the same time never more needed. Threefolding
manifests itself instinctively, but if we are to properly birth it in a
healthy social way, we have to know the Idea of it consciously. as well
as choose to embrace it consciously. Here again is a
teaching task which anthroposophists may fail entirely to bring into
our shared social life.
With Ahriman's incarnation, powerful
dividing forces entered into the nature of the Stage Setting - the
stream of historical events and its structurally embryonic threefold
relationships. America (as a political power ruled by an
essentially unelected elite) under this influence isolated itself on
the world Stage, taking the attitude that it could stand alone
(Ahriman's attitude). Within America, groups were set against
groups, communities against communities. Hate and mistrust was
fostered, for to some at least this was seen as an advantage.
This we know from the News, but other impulses were
simultaneously at work.
At the same time that this isolating gesture pushed against the instincts of the human spirit for community, the instinctively developing consciousness soul produced its counter-gesture. People did not really want separation, and felt in their hearts the social poverty of this tendency. As this situation ripened, it brought with it a certain developments in technology, which also contained both potentials - one for isolation and one for community building. This was woven into the the whole world's social fabric - a means of connecting across previously disconnecting boundaries. Someone in China could now meet and work with someone in Sweden, instantly in the moment.
Out of the earth, human intelligence,
guided in part by Ahriman's genius, raised up from the world of
metallic substances a network, perhaps a spider web of
inter-connectivity. A great power oozed out of its previous sub-natural
condition and took on form in metal and plastic, spreading its arms all
over the world.
Yet, Ahriman was not the only inspiring
genius, and other impulses from human beings took hold of this
transformation of substance and sub-nature and gave it higher potential
uses. It was after all capable of being only a tool, and the real
meaning of this tool was in the hands and hearts of those who created
how to set it to work.
One kind of work was the turning of human
beings into number. Everything that could be counted was being
counted and every fact that could be converted to data was being
converted. Human beings became capable of being known as mere
cyphers. As a result, when Ahriman incarnated, he could take hold
of this number meaning of human beings and use that tool to create a
top down driven political power machine, filled with the callousness of cold calculation exactly
in the center of the social organism: the Life of Rights.
A kind of social heart attack was created
in the instinctive relationship of Americans for the Consciousness Soul
are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights - R.S. The
Challenge of the Times). Just when the
most egregious terrorist attack of modern times shattered the world's
divisions and united them in a shared sense of loss and tragedy
(remember the Towers were centers of international financial activity), the political power elite of
America turned away from this warm-hearted world-wide joining, and used
this situation in the most callous and calculated fashion.
Centered in the most powerful Nation State in the history of
humanity, this heartless thinking flowed outward as a political foreign
policy out over the world, encouraging division and in the lie of all
lies, everywhere (domestically and internationally) suppressing freedom
in the name of freedom.
But, again as we have already seen,
Ahriman had not incarnated with only his minions as companions.
Michaelic warriors, some very aware but most only instinctive,
entered into incarnation as well. At their insistence and from
their genius, the tool of metal, plastic and sub-natural forces was put
to other uses. Reacting, the Consciousness Soul took on a
world-wide social form in thousands upon thousands of new kinds of
communities of association, something it had been slowly preparing to
do for a long time. Civil Society was born, and the tool -
the Internet - was placed in the service of heart-warmed thoughts.
In so doing we need to emphasize that this Sphere of
heart-centered activity (the Wise Earth) tended to arise on the
Internet as individual expressions of community service. The I's
sought out other I's and many kinds of We's were born.
The same tool Ahriman used to create a
social machine for the manipulation of political power in America, was
used by others to create a living organism of communities world-wide in
scope, while at the same time concentrated in America and active on all
political fronts. Above, in the top of a now decadent elite
political hierarchy, Ahriman worked, while below, spread out across the
social commons, the Consciousness Soul - the Wise Earth - spoke back.
In the Wise Earth impulse all manner of
spiritual voices are heard. The excesses of the Ahrimanically
driven assault via the Life of Rights on social order and individual
freedom has become so plain and obvious, that communities of opposition
are everywhere being formed. As a prime incarnate opponent, Ahriman does his duty, driving individuals toward the
necessary moral dilemmas and challenges. You could say that one
of the aspects of the Ahrimanic Incarnation is a kind of heating up of
social chaos - an inflaming of disorder. This engenders in
morally awake human hearts the will to do battle. The dragon
forces circle social life everywhere, and the knights of Michael,
themselves no doubt students of the spiritual world Michael School
before incarnation, take up their earthly social tasks. (see the book Blessed
Unrest, at: http://www.blessedunrest.com/)
Ahriman's teaching is harsh, and the I
must stand up within itself and in relationship with others, or succumb
to soul failures it would otherwise be unwilling to tolerate in what we
conscience. Inwardly, in the deepest
aspects of the soul, invisible to outer sense experience, the presence
of Christ in the Ethereal (the realm of human thought) is met with a
hunger to know the Good on the part of the I. This moral need for
knowledge of the Good (in order to know what is right to do in the face
of challenges forced upon humanity by Ahriman's intensification of the
heat and pace of social crisis) - this moral need instinctively hungers
for the Eternal, the experience of the Consciousness Soul.
There, inside the soul, this hunger for knowledge of the Good, coming in the time of the Second Coming, leads to a Second Eucharist - a communion of the I with the Being of the Good (for details see the next essay: The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul).
What an amazing teacher and teaching is
this Outrageous Genius, we know as Ahriman, forcing us to awake to the
Good by driving into the Center Stage of social existence, in the
principle nation state in the world, obviously powerful impulses of
callous and calculated indifference to human suffering and need.
third, an entry more into the material, in the sense
political and social language
Ails Thee ?
In the following discussion it is very
important to keep in mind that we are now mostly using a quite
materialized way of speaking and writing about something whose true
essence remains entirely spiritual in its most
Such a personality as Ahriman incarnate,
in my view, can be found just here then in the American Life of Rights
(working from there upon the whole world), for after all these
preliminaries we must begin to name him. The question for us, however,
is: Will we recognize this "human" being as a brother?
Karl Christian Rove (birth name), was
born December 25th 1950. Karl's biological father abandoned him
early on, his adoptive father left home when Karl was 18, and it later
became known that this second father was a homosexual. His mother
committed suicide when he was 30. Karl described himself in high
school this way: "I
I had the briefcase. I had the pocket protector.
I wore Hush Puppies when they were not cool. I was the thin, scrawny
little guy. I was definitely uncool" [facts
and quote from Wikipedia].
[There will be a few quotes below about
Rove-Ahriman (hundreds could easily be provided). The reader
should realize that Rove has had such a strong influence (which
Outrageous Genius certainly would) that while Google only shows 630,000
entries for him and about 8 million for George W. Bush (and 1.5 million
for Dick Cheney), all that is said about Rove recognizes that his
influence from behind the scenes is the real dominant feature of the
Bush II Administration. He is the riddle and puzzle that many
have commented on seeking to penetrate his real nature and activity in
order to understand the policies of the Bush II White House. His
hand prints are everywhere, and no historical political figure has ever
inspired such interest, both positive and negative.
We could also keep in mind this idea from
Rudolf Steiner. In the lectures published under the title The Fall
of the Spirits of Darkness, he presents the
following for our understanding. Just like what happened after
the mid-point of the various ages of Atlantis, we in this the
Post-Atlantean Epoch are past the mid-point as well. Spiritual
capacities and impulses that are up-building and progressive in the
first half of an Epoch become in the second half forces of
degeneration. Decay sets in and the course the Evolution of
Consciousness takes must be unfolded in the context of this decay.
In addition, with the Battle in Heaven between Michael and the
Dragon, which Michael had won by 1879, the Spirits of Darkness were pushed down into the realm of the Earth.
These spirits have to be recognized as
being everywhere, in particular working with the dead and with the
various occult brotherhoods. So when we recognize in social
phenomena the prevalence of human evil, we have to see that the
tendency for this immorality to dominate social existence cannot be
avoided. In fact, our ability to properly work with the times,
requires we not be asleep and have fantastic visions of unrestrained
potentials for utopias. Our thinking has to root itself in
reality, and social reality cannot in our Age be forced into an
illusion of some kind of universal domain of freedom and happiness.
These facts then all the more call to us, who receive Spiritual
Science, to develop our own soul life so that we will be able to find
the down to earth healing social ideas that can actually be brought
Now we must tell a more detailed story of
certain changes in social life that have come at the same time as this
incarnation entered deeper and deeper into a core aspect of the Life of
Rights in America. Let us begin by considering certain changes in
law and other governmental emphasis that have accompanied the 7 plus
years so far of the Bush II administration (at the time of writing
these paragraphs). While doing this we need to keep in mind how crucial
is this moment in the Evolution of Consciousness. A great deal is
being decided by individual human beings just now, and we cannot blind
ourselves by assuming that the struggles for the future of America, and
as a consequence the whole World, are simply passing and insignificant
moments in history. These events are profound in the deepest sense of
Not only that, we, living today, are in
the middle of them. It is no accident we too have incarnated in
the Time that Ahriman is to be discovered as our most significant
outer-world teacher. What Ahriman could not do, while excarnate
through the Shadow - the three-fold double-complex, he could now do as
a human being having incarnated just in this time into the heart-center
of human social life: the Life of Rights, and giving birth there not to
heart-warmed thoughts, but rather the most cold and calculated
Over the course of activity of this
Administration, several structural changes have occurred, which changes
by the way are not just confined to the time of the Administration, but
were authored further in the past, and then matured and polished off in
the time since the 2000 election, the election, remember, at the cusp
of the New Millennium. Let us list a few of those.
The Executive Branch, mostly through the
exercise of raw power has been able to achieve a certain freedom from
restraint by the other two Branches (the Legislative Branch and the
Judicial Branch). This breaking down of the threefold balance of
the U.S. Constitution gives to the will force, of those addicted to
power, extraordinary latitude in its conduct (this is how we must see
Cheney and Bush, as addicts to the most addictive temptation of all -
earthly power). This executive power has become so freed of any
restraint that it neither must feel (the significance of the
Legislative Branch - the People's House) nor be wise (the import of the
Supreme Court). The American Government, during Rove's strongest
period of influence, had no wise head, nor any open heart. Nor
would it do to see this as a reflection of just the Republican Party.
The Ahrimanic confusion and the influence of the Spirits of
Darkness is everywhere, and we have now mostly raw will forces owning
the Executive Branch of the dominant Nation State on the Earth, which
from there radiates out into the whole world social organism heartless
cold and calculating thought and will.
The Bush II administration's definition
of the meaning of the War on Terror has taken hold of the political
consciousness of both major American political parties. No major
candidate currently running for President wants to appear weak in the
War on Terror (a complete illusion by the way, once critically examined
as is being done out of the social commons by the Wise Earth appearance
of Civil Society).
Thus also has torture become officially
permitted in the conduct of self-interest by the U.S. government (using
the identical language of the Third Reich in its justifications for
torture). Included in this are the powers to remove any claim of
citizenship of a natural or naturalized Citizen. Anyone anywhere
in the world (including Americans in America) can be kidnapped and
taken anywhere anytime to places of prison and torture (extraordinary
rendition). To call these Imperial Powers, akin to that of Rome
at its most decadent, is to severely understate the case, for the
United States has far greater powers than ever Rome could dream of.
There is a quote, falsely attributed to
Alexis de Tocqueville: America is great because she is good, and if America ever
ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.
the great French thinker never wrote this, the
fact that it is constantly quoted in public life suggests that it
nevertheless has deep meaning for Americans.
Civil liberties, once taken for granted
in the United States have been neatly and nearly castrated. Since
there is nothing to require the government to admit to even possessing
the body of a single human being (habeas corpus exists as a rule, but
is consciously ignored and obstructed by the Bush II administration at
every turn), we have no idea how many have disappeared into the hidden
bowels of this out of control will. This is all the more
problematic if we recognize that to a certain extent America is very
much a cradle for future spiritual development, so that the unopposed
emasculation of major components of the Life of Rights in America is a
significant victory for Ahriman.
The power radiating out from the
imbalance in the State (the out of control Executive Branch), has been
joined by an ahrimanic corporate control of the Media (the heart of the
heart of the social organism). Thus it has come about that the
threefold social organism's inner core (the Life of Rights), itself is
out of balance such that (or so it appears) that the polar opposite to
the State - the People - is completely dominated through so much fear
and hopelessness, that many of the People have come to believe
themselves to be completely powerless.
"He [Rove] could carve up
constituencies with the best of them, and divide the country as easily
as columns on a spreadsheet -- and with no more thought" diarist "Hunter" DailyKos Aug.2007.
Yet, here is where the counter-pole
begins to appear, for recall that Rudolf Steiner spoke in a lecture
collected in The
Challenge of the Times: English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness
Soul in their Life of Rights. Ahriman's
incarnation arouses the Consciousness Soul to action. Rove, by
pushing forward the callous and indifferent to consequences unconscious
will forces of Cheney and Bush II (and others), stimulates in those who
strive to follow their political conscience the opposite reaction.
This administration has made of the lie
an art never dreamed of even in the time of National Socialism (see
Steiner's The Karma of Untruthfulness).
They have lied so successfully that large portions of the People
of America have bought elements of it for years, and still buy into it
(polls still show that large numbers believe Iraq was connected to
9/11). Granted the culture of the lie is everywhere, from daily
advertising to individual human biographies, nevertheless the callous,
calculated and repeated nature of these lies offered by a United States
government is staggering. The only matter more staggering is how
much they have managed to simultaneously hide from view.
The art of secrecy is equally adept in
this government. No one knows what it is doing, and so clever has
been the manner of this hiding, that it is carefully layered such that
even if you think you have caught them out, they have a backup plan -
lies within lies, as it were. As time has gone on, and various
members of the administration became more publicly vulnerable, they
have easily blocked every effort to have them removed from office
(Rumsfeld and then Gonzales, for example), until it was time to cut
them loose and then install an even better buffer in between public
interest and the truth. For example, nearly every military
general officer who would not spin and lie about Iraq has been
systematically removed until all that is mostly left in positions of
power are career military general officers who are themselves
essentially politicians and sycophants.
The pure outrageous nature of the nerve
of this administration is extraordinary. They lie, and then
they act, and then even when caught out, continue to lie and lie.
Holding powers stolen from the other Branches (and to which these
Branches acquiesce) there is no motive to come clean in any fashion,
for almost no human heart forces are really present in this home in
which Ahriman created for himself and his priests to incarnate.
"That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when
we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that
reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other
new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort
out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to
just study what we do" Senior white house
official, assumed by everyone to have been Karl Rove, summer 2002. [An
earthly social-political act comparable to materialism - a kind
of political-social Ahrimanic Deception.]
"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with
appearances, as if they were realities"
At the locus of this center of power of
Earthly streaming forces, he has come to rest, with his aides, in order
to imprint with his nature, the most earthly aspect of the potential
and unfolding threefold social organism: the Life of Rights.
One of Ahriman's qualities is hardening.
He desires that things become fixed, immobile.
This means that one Party in the United
States strives to achieve continuous dominance. Not only was a
world dominating power to radiate from the United States as a center,
but it was to have within itself a loss of what had been an otherwise
self-correcting fluidity - that more than one Party would hold power,
which would mean that no longer could any Ahrimanic excess of the Right
be balanced out through the pendulum swing by any Luciferic excess of
the Left . So it was desired that this swing of the balance be stopped
for a while, especially at a particular Moment in Time; AND, if this
unbalancing gesture was to take into itself an also rigid and arid
religious impulse, then the knowledge of the social effects of Christ's
True Second Coming could be hidden, if not completely blocked for
centuries, in that the otherwise good effects on the social world of
humanity, this Second Golgotha offered, were obscured and interfered
Consider: Already, the Anthroposophical
Movement and Society had been eviscerated from within, and led in its
centers into great confusion (any honest rendering of our history in
the 20th Century shows this - for details see the essays below), so
that basically unopposed and unknown Ahriman could now undertake the
task to boldly assert temporal powers as an obstacle to spiritual
inspiration [for example, the New Freedom Act which enables the
government to test all for mental illness and require medicine to be
given to those who fail this examination]. In addition, granting
political power to an arid and rigid religious cult, calling itself
Christian, could do much to convince the world that Christ and
Christianity had nothing to offer. So drawing this already
decadent religious impulse deeper into politics does a great deal which
is far more than just to secure votes at a crucial moment, for whatever
the outer world press sees of the effects of this genius that radiates
out of the White House, you can bet this outer world press is
completely clueless to what is truly at stake.
The ahrimanic Christianity of the
Religious Right hates all that it judges (all beam and no mote), and
speaks into world culture in such a way that more and more the world is
pushed to hate such Christianity back. What better way to turn
minds away from the true Second Coming, than to raise up a such a false
and foolish alternative, that seemingly* rational people cannot but
think of the idea of Christ and the Second Coming as some kind of
insanity. How do we bring into such a world, a true appreciation
of Christ's Second Coming, and the related Second Eucharist, when
ahrimanic Christianity has gained such temporal power in the Bush II
administration to the dismay of so many intelligent people.
Ahriman is clever beyond our imaginations.
*[See Sam Harris's The End of
Faith; Christopher Hitchens' God is not
religion poisons everything; and, Richard
Dawkins' The God Delusion, where what
are called the New Atheists have taken (hopefully briefly) center stage
in the public dialog on religion and Christianity.]
Craig Unger*, In an interview with Amy
Goodman, mid-November 2007: Well, LeHay** is one of the founders of the Council for
National Policy. Now, this is a not-very-well-known group, but it's an
umbrella group that oversees dozens of Christian Right groups, like
Focus on the Family, which is James Dobson's group. The Moral Majority
was part of it, and so on. And
much smaller group called the Arlington Group, of about
fifty religious leaders. Now, they were in regular contact with Karl
Rove. And what
you have in the Christian Right is as many as 80 million adult
evangelicals. You have about 200,000 pastors, and they operate almost
as precinct captains did in the labor unions for the Democratic Party.
So this is a vast populist movement that operates as part of the
Christian Republican Party, and they have regular contact with the
White House. [emphasis added]
[*author of: The Fall
of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized
the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils
America's Future. **one of the authors
of the Left Behind series of novels on
Christianity is not alone in being so
publicly compromised by the materialization of religion.
"The grim truth is that when George W. Bush declared "a
global war on terror", he was really announcing a jihad of his own - a
struggle to convert the whole world to American-style capitalist
democracy....Here lies the peril for the future. For how can "the Axis
of Evil" and "the Great Satan" negotiate a businesslike compromise on
the basis of live-and-let-live?" from the
article: Bush the Jihadist: How the world was plunged into an
apocalyptic war, by Correlli Barnett, Daily Mail, Sept. 2007.
"...these ahrimanic powers are present wherever disharmony
comes about between groups of people..." R.S.
lecture, 2 November 1919
Another matter to recognize is that after
9/11, the ahrimanic forces radiating out of the temporal power center
that is Washington, were able to bring about a Crucifixion of the
Imagination of America as a Beacon of Hope for the poor and
disenfranchised the world over. Previously America (which is at
root itself a Mystery) stood in the imaginations of the world's
downtrodden as the place of dreams, where one could go and find freedom
(spiritual-religious, as well as political and economic). So
Rove-Ahriman not only created and encouraged a debased Christian
Meaning in the World, but also cast down the single most important
aspect of the American Mystery in the present - its meaning as a Beacon
Let us now take a necessary but small
side trip here, and fit in two of Ahriman-Rove's chief allies: George
W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Both are addicted to power, but in two
entirely different ways. At the same time, let us keep in mind
the title to this section: Brother
thee?. These are flawed (as
we are all flawed) human beings, placed by the Lord (Artist) of Karma,
in their biographies into very special places in relationship to all of
us. Like Ahriman-Rove, they participate in the creation of the
heating and speeding up of social chaos - conditions necessary for the
development of the Consciousness Soul through the I's necessary
encounters with real existential moral crises.
Bush appears to be what is called a dry
drunk. That is, while he is not actively drinking or drugging (we
assume) he still displays all the behaviors of a serious alcoholic or
addict: bouts of extreme anger (kept mostly secret from the public, but
well known to West Wings staffers), coupled with a psychological need
to never admit he is wrong - the problem always lies with someone else.
In taking up the outward (fake) posture of recovery, he adopted
the attitude of someone who has been saved by Christ. No doubt
encouraged by Rove (all the way back in Texas), Bush courted the
Religious Right, and here found fuel for his own (hopefully
sub-conscious) megalomania - a religious conviction which included him
as being an active and dominant world player in the End Times fantasy.
So rigid is his faith, as he constantly demonstrates by his
unchanging behaviors, that only this mega-illusion has meaning - the
truth has been banished from his consciousness.
"Mr. Greenspan described his own emotional journey in
dealing with Mr. Bush, from an initial elation about the return of his
old friends from the Ford White House - including Mr. Cheney and Donald
H. Rumsfeld, secretary of defense - to
at how much they had changed."
New York Times book review describing Alan Greenspan's (former
chairman of the Federal Reserve) book: The Age of
Turbulence: Adventures in a New World
"...much to my disappointment, economic policy making in the Bush
administration remained firmly in the hands of the White House staff.” He was clearly referring to
the political team led by Karl Rove at the White House. Mr. Rove was a
neighbor of Mr. Greenspan in a leafy enclave near the Potomac River,
but the two men almost never had a conversation."
"Rove's method is to plot out elaborate strategies well in
advance of the campaign, and stick to them vigilantly. John Deardourff,
Rove's media consultant for races in Texas and Alabama, says, 'This rap
Bush has of never changing his mind and never admitting a
mistake-that's Karl! That's where it comes from.' It is a tribute to
Rove's strategic skill that he is so often right." Joshua Green Atlantic Monthly 2007.
Already long before his incarnation,
Ahriman-Rove had cultivated the illusory religious impulse that has at
least captured the sub-conscious of Bush, probably through the help of
Lucifer's legions, for in its rigid End Times world picture and rigid
and fixed morality, it has hardened all that was once Life in these
aspects of Christianity, and turned that Life into a fixed and vain
system of beliefs in the soul.
The fixed nature comes from Ahriman, and
the vanity (pride of belief in ones moral righteousness) comes from
Lucifer. Both these, however, arise indirectly in the soul
through the three-fold double-complex (see the essay on the Shadow
Then comes Cheney. Already a hard
line cold-warrior, well connected and supported by the elites of
industry and banking throughout his political career (Cheney won his
spurs here, while Bush was born into these circles), Cheney (again no
doubt encouraged by Rove) became Vice President, and having an
intellect of far more depth than Bush's, discovered that the child of
privilege had little interest in actually understanding and wielding
the reins of governmental power (Bush loves to playact as president).
These then fell by default to Cheney, and gave to his addiction
more temporal power than any human being has had in history, and of
such a nature that as a behind the throne power he could do much that
was unseen and thus experience as all the more delightful its private
pleasures (the addictive payoff). Think on it! No one could
really oppose his actions always taken in secret. He could tell
any lie he wanted and change them at will for everyone else was asleep.
Every urge and impulse to dominate his political enemies and
reward his rich friends could be immediately indulged. Nothing
stood in the way of this will to excess, while at his side, and in his
aid was the most clever of minds ever, able with just a word or two to
encourage Cheney's every desire, and at the same time to likewise with
silver tongue encourage the child of privilege to believe he was god's
chosen to stand in the world just in this time. [Recall Tolkien's
character Wormtongue in the Lord
of the Rings!]
So then we have around Rove, two
personalities, the one lost in a luciferic dream of egoistical
historical place, and the other, given the opportunity to wield
enormous earthly temporal powers, becomes instead the creature of those
very powers - possessed by them. Recall from above Greenspan's
dismay to discover the changes in his old friends.
Rove's truest and more profound contributions, however, are of a
whole other kind, even though he played a significant role in the
transformation of a child of privilege, from out of the culture of
Texas oil and wealth, into a public persona that doesn't actually bear
any relationship to the underlying human personality*. See: "Bush's
Brain: How Karl Rove made George W. Bush Presidential" by Wayne H. Slater and James C. Moore.
*[To appreciate this even more, just
consider how frequently it is now observed that Bush seems so often
inappropriately happy as his term of office nears its end (or
culmination?). A President, who honestly bore the necessary
wounds of leading American into such a state as it is today, should be
gray headed, careworn and full of melancholy.]
At the same time, we have to remember the
title to this section: Brother what ails thee?
It is essential (as will be discussed in later essays) to
recognize in such personalities that we are observing wounds of soul. Certainly there can be venality, and even
conscious choosing of evil, but if we were to be able to live through
the details of the biography of such men as these, and see how their
inner life developed over this long period of a lifetime, we would
discover how the soul has been wounded by life experience.
We all bear such wounds. It would
go too far here to go into details, but the question Brother what ails thee? is directed exactly at discovering the mystery of the
wounds that lie behind choices and actions, so as to be able to perhaps
help heal our brothers and sisters in life. With this thought in the background, let us continue our
examination of what has flowed out of the center of the American
government, and into our shared public life.
In order for a single Party to dominate,
certain possibilities inherent in our Time in relationship to
technology have become applied to the political process.
Computers are turned into ballot boxes. The striving for
power, which had taken possession of the Republican Party, found a
crucial inspiration in all that Ahriman had prepared before his
incarnation, and in all that he was about to accomplish during his
incarnation. Win at any cost is the goal, and the corruption of
the ballot box by electronic means provides an easy tool in a war in
which number is to play such an essential role.
Data is accumulated, not just State by
State, or city by city or neighborhood by neighborhood (voting precinct
by voting precinct), and when possible individual by individual.
Profiles are created showing, through the accumulation and use of well
tracked commercial purchases, just what attitudes each individual who
is potentially a voter is likely to possess. The out-of-strict
oversight computer powers, of the United States intelligence community
(and willing corporate allies), is through secret process turned on its
own citizens, and further data accumulated, such that there now is in
place and in the hands of a single party, exactly which voters to
encourage, and which to discourage in order to place in power and keep
in power a single political party as the dominant political force in
America, itself (at a crucial time) the dominant Nation State in the
Nor is this done with any sense of the
individual itself, as an I. It is only their general
characteristics as a set of numbers on a spreadsheet that matter.
One young woman, who had worked with Rove, the human incarnation
of Ahriman, described in a televised interview how remarkable it was to
watch him pick up a newly generated spread sheet from a computer,
glance at it and then immediately begin to issue instructions, down the
well oiled machinery intended to coerce an election effect, from the
inside of the White House out into a neighborhood and then surrounding
an individual home.
In addition was perfected what became
called: the Republican talking points. Spreading
out from the political center of the West Wing of the White House, a
well controlled and perfected set of lies and spin was distributed
throughout Party officials (elected and otherwise) and among the
cooperative media, such as Fox News and the widely listened to
conservative radio talk shows. If one listened across this
spectrum, as well as to the President himself and his chief spokesman
the White House Press Secretary, the same reality was presented.
Remember that Rove's idea of the power of deception is
remarkable. Set the agenda, set the tone of what is to be claimed
to be true. Create our own reality (an earthly political
ahrimanic deception), and never ever give an inch.
Radiating from the imbalanced and
unhealthy will force of the Executive Branch had been created a huge
manipulative mechanism for coercing the vote, precinct by precinct,
drawing certain voters in, keeping certain voters out, and all the
while ignoring places, neighborhoods and communities that could be seen
by this cold calculating genius as having no meaning or worth at all.
Coupled with this was an enormous publicity machine, never seen
before, creating in that Nation State that believed itself most
virtuous to have unlimited free speech, a propaganda mechanism quite
beyond that known even in the time of National Socialism or Communist
This lie machine is all the more devious
(and clever) for it was accomplished in what thought of itself as a
non-totalitarian state. In the center of the Life of Rights, this
calculated number driven process came into existence, in which data
streams about voters were turned into numbers on a spreadsheet. and
false ideas about social reality merely items on a sheet of talking
points. What genius created such a work!
"President Bush's powerful adviser is one part
spreadsheet-carrying, vote-counting political wonk, and one part
no-holds-barred, brass-knuckled political operative" Dan Froomkin.
"I'm looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at
four or five public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally,
but that do not impact the outcome -" Karl
Rove in a radio interview late October 2006. "You may end up with a
different math, but you're entitled to your math. I'm entitled to the math." same interview. [emphasis added]
In all this, the Legislative Branch was
compliant. Even so far as to pass legislation requiring all
States to issue common-in-nature drivers licenses, that individual
States could then require be presented in order to vote. This
process of making voting more and more difficult was another part of
the grand scheme, which then makes it possible to eliminate those most
inclined to vote for the Party that is not to dominate - namely the
Party whose fundamental traditions connected it to the poor and
disenfranchised. Remember, Ahriman incarnated with a community of
like-minded, already disposed through all his preparations to their own
weakness and self-interested heartless cold calculating judgments.
All he had to do was enter into the center of these streams of
downward radiating powers, take hold of the number relations, and
polish off the machinery that was to permit a solidified rule from the
top down, during one of the most significant moments of emergence of
the Consciousness Soul (the Dawn of the Third Millennium), with its
natural impulse to bring in social reform out of the social commons -
out of the social below.
Now in this work, he was not unopposed.
As a human being, his will was bound by many earthly laws.
He could not force those around him serve his will. He
could only, with extreme cleverness, encourage their weaknesses and
inclinations, thus the personality changes that can be observed in
those he influenced while in (and on his way to) this center of
temporal power (from which he himself recently resigned, which is, of
course, just an appearance - another kind of clever lie, his influence
At that same time as all this ahrimanic
success, we need to come to understand that his very genius in its
one-sided nature was also a blindness. This blindness came to the
fore in the 2006 general election in America. Rove fully expected
to win, his spreadsheets told him so. However, human beings are
in fact not numbers, and not really predictable at that level.
Rove's numbers told him only of general characteristics, which
were all based on specific assumptions. When many of these people
walked into the polling booth, something happened (and will continue to
happen) which can't be reduced to number. People, when they vote,
are faced with what to them is essentially a moral choice (English speakers are
instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights).
This righteous impulse, invisible
perception, expressed itself
strongly in the 2006 election, reacting in large part to all that was
being experienced as the callous indifference radiating from the White
House, and as political impotence, corruption and incompetence in the
Legislative Branch. The Democrats won the House with far more
seats than expected by any pollster (whose immature science suffers the
same perceptual limits as Ahriman), and further won the Senate as well,
something not expected by either Party. Since this victory gave
the chairmanship of the various House and Senate committees to the
Democrats, a very large shift in power occurred in the Life of Rights
in the United States of America (in the People's House especially, with
it role as regards "feeling"). While such a shift of power
is not able to manifest in a rapid fashion (in spite of the hopes of
the Left), this expectable time-delay has enabled the White House to
continue to act out its disdain for the People, treating them as
number-cyphers instead of as real human beings.
"Rovism is not simply a function of Rove the political
conniver sitting in the counsels of power and making decisions, though
he does. No recent presidency has put policy in the service of politics
as has Bush's. Because tactics can change institutions, Rovism is much
more. It is a philosophy and practice of governing that pervades the
administration and even extends to the Republican-controlled Congress.
As Robert Berdahl, chancellor of UC Berkeley, has said of Bush's
foreign policy, a subset of Rovism, it constitutes a fundamental change
in 'the fabric of constitutional government as we have known it in this
country.'"Neal Gabler The Los Angeles Times
Sunday 24 October 2004.
"The whole art of war consists in a well-reasoned and
extremely circumspect defensive, followed by rapid and audacious attack." Rove campaign memo from the early years in Texas.
"Rove is the greatest political mind of his generation and
probably of any generation. He not only is a breathtakingly smart
strategist but also a clever tactician. He knows history, understands
the moods of the public, and is a visionary on matters of public
policy. But he is not a magician." Fred
Barnes, conservative commentator, editor The Weekly Standard.
"Dubbed the “architect” and “Bush's brain”, Rove plotted
the rise of George W Bush and departed the White House after the
disastrous 2006 mid-term elections. Successful punditry is a
combination of real political experience, intellectual nimbleness, a
provocative turn of phrase and a coherent point of view. Rove, a Fox
News commentator and contributor to Newsweek and the Wall Street
Journal, has all these qualities.
"Democrats may protest that they would rather see him in
jail than on their television screens but they can't help noting what
he says. Whether outlining what the Democrats should do or outlining
John McCain's rocky path to victory (and McCain has followed his advice
almost to the letter), Rove's take is important and often surprising.
Expect the name Rove to come up frequently on the campaign trail - and
in coverage of it." Comments in the
British newspaper The Telegraph, who ranked Rove (since leaving the
White House) as
one (of the top 50) pundits in U.S. Politics, Friday, May 2nd, 2008.
Ahriman-Rove's genius is seen by many,
and his incarnate influence is far from over. He has left the
realm of the State now, and is taking up his mature biographical
position in the real heart of the Life of Rights: Media. From
here he can continue his influence, for his very success is attractive.
Because of the influence of the ahrimanic shadow on people, many
will succumb, for that same callous and calculated indifference toward
which they are inwardly tempted, will now reside in those aspects of
Media open to making such views widely known and justified.
It is not an accident that Rove now works for two major Rupert Murdoch Media companies, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Many will read him, and his clever genius will guide and teach, all who will listen, into a life without any moral center at all - only the cold calculus of intellect, and its anti-human world views and impulses of will.
Ahriman-Rove has now risen to the
celebrity heights of the social world as a Media personality, respected
and trusted by many, for he reflects back to them all the
justifications they need for their own ahrimanic tendencies.
A quite neat fit, if you think about it. The Shadow
of Ahriman within, and the Stage setting influenced by Ahriman without.
Even so, the individual I in the Age of the Consciousness Soul would chart its own course. His very presence arouses something in the I that needs just that presence as a goad to its own awaking.
look at the challenges to the role of the Society and Movement as a
consequence of recognizing Ahriman's present day incarnation
Waking the American Anthroposophical Society and Movement
true tasks in the 21st Century
The above then is what happened on the
macro scale of modern human history. What then on a micro scale
has happen in the internal makeup of the Anthroposophical Society
and Movement? Were we somehow free of this influence? Did
Ahriman incarnate and just ignore us in the process? I think not,
and in the next essays it will be unfolded just what needs to happen
within our circles in order for us to be able to speak first honestly
among ourselves, before we can earn the moral authority to truly bring
Anthroposophy further into world incarnation. The greatest
potential for leading the instinctive Consciousness Soul into full
awakening lies in Anthroposophy, and by implication in the Society and
Movement. But these problems are not simple and many of the
essays below are required of anyone wanting to really learn what is
needed to be learned in order to meet the Challenge of Ahriman's
Incarnation on the Cusp of the New Millennium.
We have one last task,however, which is
most essential. Having discovered Ahriman's incarnation, how are
we to treat the living man, now and into the future? Ahriman-Rove
has a family - a wife and a son: should they think of him as evil?
Of course not, he is a genius, he is a cosmic power incarnate,
who will at the final judgment weep at the feet of the Mother and beg
forgiveness for all that he had, out of his given nature, the
responsibility to author.
Those seduced by Ahriman-Rove are to be
pitied. Our problem then is not to assume evil and seek to rub it
out, but to see clearly the
processes so that we, who would do the
good, can discover how our work can be applied in the right places.
Many already are working in such ways, albeit instinctively, and
others will want to hate Rove, Cheney, Bush and their friends.
Should we follow such an example, or create another? How do
we redeem what Ahriman-Rove has done and properly honor it?
We are also frustrated by the scope of
the debacle - Ahriman-Rove has spread chaos in the world in a huge way,
and this is not yet finished, for much worse may yet be done by those
who have succumbed to his influence. This Ahrimanic Impulse,
living throughout the social world of humanity, has pushed that world
toward its breaking and fracture points in a quite precise fashion
through the influence of Ahriman-Rove within the excesses of the Bush
II administration. The whole social order of Western Humanity is
breaking down. Wherever we look, whether at global warming, the
crisis in the food supply, the corporate theft of the water supply, the
spreading of technological means of biological destruction, the
machinations of those in the banking and finance industries and the
interference with the genetic code itself, - all stands on the brink of
even further decay, while the political life by its everywhere pursuit
of dominance, engages all structure in war, at
order to survive humanity needs instead of war to
develop the greatest skills at cooperation.
One of the worst effects, as previously
noted, is the crucifixion of American Dream. All over the world,
that which had once been a Beacon of Hope to many people living amidst
poverty and despair, has now been tarnished, perhaps beyond repair.
Is this not then the next goal for America, to discover how to
restore what has been defiled? Who will lead here? Who will
understand this need for the imagination of the downtrodden the world
over to have once more a Beacon of Hope? Can there be a
resurrection of what was crucified? What kind of moral forces
could bring this about?
We are also right to be concerned whether
the political machine that has been created will live on into the future
inside the core of the America Government. Already, many wonder
whether the Democrats will roll back some of what has been done, should
they win the White House in 2008. A lot of people believe many of
the worst of the changes introduced by Rove and friends will be
All kinds of debris live as the
after-effects of Ahriman-Rove's incarnation. The situation and
consequences will not go away, but reverberate on into the future, and
we have to not just come awake, but must learn how to stay awake.
Into the world the power, the tone, the
sound of number, and the searing light of geometry incarnated, with its
naturally given mission to draw downward the heart of the developing
social organism into rigid form and lifeless brilliance - what Rove
called "the math". Here too was "mission accomplished", because while the Anthroposophical Movement and
Society lost themselves in a massive forgetting of the true
significance of Steiner's scientific introspection (The
Philosophy of Freedom, and A Theory
of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception), and in ignoring the beauty and potential for community
life given by Steiner in Awakening
to Community as the Reverse
Cultus, we also took the living Michaelic
Cosmic Intelligence given to us by Steiner through Anthroposophy and
converted it to dead intellectualized content, without any life at all:
the Steinerism displayed constantly in the excesses of Steiner-said.
There are no redeeming powers in
Steinerism, such that without The
Philosophy of Freedom (Spiritual Activity)
and the Reverse Cultus, with which to
meet the deeper spiritual after-effects of Ahriman's incarnation, the
Movement and Society are impotent. At the same time, American
Anthroposophy (which this book seeks to illuminate) offers just those
needed antidotes and inspiration for all of Anthroposophy world-wide.
The American Soul must awake now, and the best leaders for this
will be those American Anthroposophists who have the will and the
courage to find the truth of who they are, as a separate but equal soul
force in the threefold world.
For example, Ahriman accomplished a great
deal during the weaknesses of the 20th Century into which the Society
and Movement fell, such that all kinds of wisdom was lost and buried in
jars", locked up either in books stashed in
libraries, and in books allowed to go out of print.
Hundreds of significant works, by early students of
Steiner, have been allowed to go out of print, while the
anthroposophical publishing houses reprinted again and again Steiner's
lectures, erroneously leaving aside all the work done by others during
the 20th Century.
Let me take up just one other theme left
in the dust heap of the 20th Century, along side The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and the Reverse
Cultus: namely Projective Geometry.
Nothing else has quite the ability to give to the Life of the
Mind the forces necessary with which to meet Ahriman's one-sided:
"...power, the tone, the sound of number, and the searing light of
Let us begin with an obscure out of print
essay by George Adams Kaufman: Space and
the Light of Creation: a new essay in cosmic theory. Just in the Chapter headings of this essay we can
feel/see the redemptive force of the new thinking as it penetrates the
very realm of Ahriman and lifts it free through the art of thought of
the tendency to an excess of gravitas: Chapter I: Radiation of Space; Chapter II: Music of Number; and, Chapter
III: Burden of
Earth and Sacrifice of Warmth.
One of the tasks of American
Anthroposophy will be to rediscover and ingest the art of others
besides Steiner, which has been given to us by European
anthroposophical endeavors during the 20th Century. This is
something far beyond what Steiner had provided, but which he certainly
inspired. In the essay far below: a letter to a young
anthroposophist, you will find details.
Olive Whicher's book: Projective
Geometry: Creative Polarities in Space and Time,
of print, and ought to be on the same shelf with
every anthroposophist's copy of The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and Awakening
to Community. By the way, little or no
abstract thought is called for in this way of study - as all that is
essential is taught through drawing.
The significance of Projective Geometry
can be found here, quoted by Olive Whicher in her introduction to
Adam's remarkable Physical
and Ethereal Spaces: "Confirmed by Rudolf Steiner
in the knowledge that the quality of thought prevailing in the new
geometry is in reality indispensable both to the scientist in his
quest of world-reality and
a path of spiritual development..."
The living (heart) thinking, to which
many anthroposophists today aspire (but believe comes far easier than
it actually does), needs to remain scientific and picture-like in all
its qualities. Nothing aids this need better than the study
through drawing of Projective Geometry, which teaches the I how to move
and weave living pictorial thought, through and from one metamorphosis
to the next, all the while never losing the exact and precise quality
of scientific thinking.
To truly meet and contain Ahriman-Rove,
we also need a living spiritual social science, whose scientific
qualities can only be found through pictorial thought trained in the
disciplines of Projective Geometry and Goetheanism (A Theory
of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception). We meet his powers, with those of our own.
Then out of this soul training, the I can hear the World Song in
which is contained the logos speaking of the Christ
into the social world of humanity (as the Lord - the Artist - of
Karma). Just as Goethe learned to listen to the speech of Nature,
we must now learn to listen to the speech of the social world, and then
out of our own forces of art and story telling, render this logos speaking into pictures we share with each other.
Let me end by bringing forward one last
matter, which in its details can be found below in the discussion of
the true soul roots of the Mystery of America. This will be there
developed much more fully - here I only want to hint at its dimensions.
The roots of the American Soul, by the
way, are not found in Europe, but in America's Aboriginal Peoples.
The soul is determined by two main influences of which the most
earthly is the local geography, while the most heavenly is the
incarnating spirit. Spirit and place interact, and the soul is
Among the various Nations of Indians,
there is one who has a very special relationship to the whole: the
Hopi. All the Elders of the other Nations recognize this.
It is from a Hopi that we received the idea in the 1990's: we are the people we have
been waiting for.
The Hopi Prophecy anticipates the arrival
from the East (from the rising Sun), of the True White Brother. This influence is to come at a time
when the Nations of Indians will be in dire need, for world conditions
will have brought about their near destruction. Only one or two
individuals may still be alive that are true to their deepest
teachings. In the most crucial words of the Prophecy we find this
third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command,
setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of
You can find details below, but let me
just render my best interpretation of this phrase in the language with
which anthroposophists are familiar (it will be well worth repeating in
greater depth later).
At the time of great crisis, the World
will be three times rocked into War. It is the last, the third
event, which is the most crucial. The outcome of this third
event (Ahriman's Incarnation) will depend upon the Red Symbol, or the People of the Rose-Cross. These People of
the Rose-Cross, the True White Brother (true in the
sense of also being awake to the living Being of the Earth Mother and
the Father in the Sky, as once were all Aboriginal Peoples), will then take command, setting the
four forces of nature in motion. These
are the forces of the Four Directions (honored in the Pipe Ceremony of
the Lakota Sioux), or the Cosmic Ethereal Forces (and their elemental
servant beings in Nature), which even Steiner recognized when he laid
the Foundation Stone for the original Goetheanum in the Earth, and then
later the Foundation Stone Meditation in the hearts of those who
attended the Christmas Conference.
All this for the benefit of the Sun. To understand this all we need to remember is
that the Hopi Prophecy originated in a People who remembered Atlantis
(see below). At the time of Atlantis, where was Christ? He
was in the Cosmic Sun Sphere! What then does all this come
to mean, especially given that the Prophecy also recognizes that this
needed work of the True White Brother can fail to
The outcome of the Third Event - the
third time the World is rocked into War (Ahriman's Incarnation) depends
upon the People of the Rose-Cross bringing forward a scientifically
based knowledge of the Ethereal Cosmic Forces, not just in the living
aspects of the sense world, but in the life of thought itself.
Moreover, all this in service to the Christ, by announcing His
True Second Coming in the Ethereal, with all its majesty (a Second
Crucifixion, a Second Resurrection, and a Second Eucharist).
Are anthroposophists up to such a task?
Apparently that remains to be seen.
* * *
some incidental results of
reading the biography of a
This is in part a report of an actual experience
connected with some inner work I engaged in with regard to the social
form: The Faust Branch in Fair Oaks California. The Branch was
getting ready to celebrate its 35th Anniversary, and in preparation I
did the following inner work.
First, through conversation, I collected the history of
the Branch from a number of individuals, including going all the way
back through the day (in 1977 I believe) when at a meeting of the
Branch Carl Stegmann, the retired Christian Community priest (one of
the original priests and the author numerous books, including The Other
America: the West in the Light of Spiritual Science), stood up out of inspiration and indicted that a Center
for the Study of Anthroposophy should be formed in the Fair Oaks area.
His conception was that this should be an organism of two parts:
one directed at teaching the fundamentals of Anthroposophy, and the
other at doing research on the spiritual history and meaning of America
- a kind of American Studies program done under the inspiration of
anthroposophical insights and practices.
Committees were set up to bring this about and various
personalities began to prepare themselves to participate. One
individual went so far as to take leave from his work and family, and
go to work with Francis Edmunds (in either England or Scotland, for a
year). Many lives began to change as this proposal was being
brought into incarnation. Money had to be raised and land
acquired, as well as all the other aspects of creating a viable
Seeking a leading personality for the anthroposophical
studies aspect, it was eventually worked out the Rene Querido (a
central European expert in Waldorf eduction) and his American wife
Merlyn were brought in to head this anthroposophical study center.
However, when the dust settled something strange had happened.
The American studies aspect was left aside and the
anthroposophical studies program soon warped into a Waldorf teacher
training center, under the leadership of Rene Querido, which was
eventually named: Rudolf Steiner College.
The man who went to study with Francis Edmunds was
shattered when he returned to find this condition, and eventually left
the Society. A number of others, who were drawn into the idea of
working on research on the spiritual America were also left high and
dry. When I arrived in Fair Oaks in about 1983, there was only a
remnant of the impulse to study America, gathered around Carl Stegmann
and called: the Emerson Study Group, which produced Carl’s works, as
well as 12 issues of a journal that called itself: American
in the Threefold World.
I wrote for the journal a number of early materials that
later became aspects of my own work, including the original report on
the relationship between anthroposophy and the Hopi Prophecy, as well
as a first attempt to develop the idea of a Goetheanism of the social,
which I called at that time (1985): Listening
to the World Song. [This link will give
a more mature (1999) version of my thinking on this process of applying
Goetheanism to the social.
For the 35th anniversary meeting of the Faust Branch I
prepared by taking the stories of the history of the Branch and
recreating them in my imagination. I would sit meditatively at my
desk (altar) and slowly create pictures of these events as best I could
based on the oral histories I had collected.
When I got to that aspect of the history related to the
strange dynamics involved in the formation of Rudolf Steiner College, I
experienced the gift of an Imagination (a supersensible symbolic
picture), which I will next describe.
There were two main figures, one to the left and one to
the right. The left figure was in blue lines (these lines were
realized much like an artist would sketch the most basic elements
needed to picture that to which their art was to refer), and the right
figure was in red lines. This lines were not exactly static, but
contained a kind of gesture of movement.
The left pictures showed Rene Querido somewhat rising up
in the air as if he was rotating slowly around. Included with him
were three seemingly adoring students who also were rising in the air,
but below him somewhat. All figures were not on the ground.
The right figure pictured Carl Stegmann, sitting on a
half built stone or brick wall, somewhat in the form of Rodin’s the
Thinker. Around him, sitting or laying on the ground were three
others, surrounded by smaller suggestions of half-built walls and weeds.
Simultaneously I experienced certain ideas in connection
with these pictures, and I have since this event continued to study
(call it forth), and think about the relevant problems, such that my
ideas as to its meaning have grown. My present conclusions:
The fact that it was Rene and Carl was secondary, not
primary. It could have been any two European anthroposophical
personalities, with the three companions of each, any three American
The point, as it were, of these pictures was to reveal
the effect of certain Earth forces, as described by Steiner, that arise
in the Americas in connection with the fact that the mountains in the
Americas run North-South, while the mountains elsewhere in the world
all run East-West. These forces come from the kingdoms/spheres of
the Interior of the Earth, and are also related to what Steiner called:
These forces influence the nature and structure of the
soul born in these geographic regions. Steiner in fact tells us
that the soul is formed in large part out of the “geography” of where
the birth takes place. We can make too much of this if we think
of this “geography” as solely material/physical, but rather we have to
think of it as simultaneously ethereal, astral and egoistic. The
soul is formed in a “field” on intersecting activities of diverse
spiritual communities (see the Class Lessons for this).
Americans are born with a specific kind of soul density,
particularly connected to the double, such that we easily exist in this
more earthly “field”. This is why Steiner describes the double in
America as far stronger than the double elsewhere. When Europeans
come to America, this field of earth forces, particular to this region
of the world, tends to push the European soul off the ground so to
speak. The astrality of the soul seeks a kind of equilibrium with
the general astrality of the place.
The Rene-like figure then represents this “European"
influence as is carried out within the American Anthroposophical
Society - it ungrounds the European, and to the extent we try to
imitate or emulate European soul life, the American as well ungrounds
himself (the other three adoring off the ground figures in the left
The Carl-like figure represents what can happen when a
European permeates themselves with the love of America before ever
coming here (as Carl clearly showed to all who knew him). This
grounds them, although Carl is still somewhat above as well, since he
is depicted as sitting on one of the walls. The sitting and
lying on the ground figures symbolize the natural state of Americans.
The half built structure is of course American Studies,
which has languished for almost all of the time anthroposophy has been
studied in America.
The colors represent: for blue (water) the life of
feeling, and for red (fire) the life of willing. The European is
more of an artist, and the American more of a doer. More could be
said, but I think this is enough hints for someone who has troubled to
read this far.
In this collection of material, from
other writings of mine about the shadow, I have tried to weave the
various themes together into a coherent structure. The
importance of work on the shadow, and the human identity of Ahriman,
is, I believe, self-evident (to borrow from the Declaration of
Independence). It is new research. Hopefully people
interested in Real Anthroposophy will find it useful.