- a collection of my research and writings on the shadow, with commentary as necessary -

the shadow*

* (I am presently  rewriting this as:
"the Mystery of Evil - in the Light of the Sermon on the Mount")

combining material from Seven Dates - erotica transcending; the Way of the Fool; American Anthroposopy; Strange Fire: the Death, and the Resurrection of Modern Civilization; and, the Natural Christian -- also, just added, a small piece I wrote for my Manure for the Garden of Anthroposophy.  In particular I've included the material on the Incarnation of Ahriman (Outrageous Genius), from American Anthroposophy

Human beings have a dark side.  Everyone does.  Its nature is complicated.   Rudolf Steiner's spiritual research suggests that this quality of human existence is strongest in the true West - in the Americas.   He spoke of how the Celtic priests, the Druids, traveled to America to study the aboriginal peoples there, for knowledge of the double was essential to healing illnesses.  Perhaps this explains a lot, if we think about it.   Such as the human sacrifices in mesoamerica or the duplicity of the oligarchy of wealth that more or less controls the government of the United States.   Such as the excessive sexualization of everything (Fallen Eros); and the violence in films and television, which violence is more pornographic than sexually explicit internet pictures.

We could easily go on.

The thing is that there is also the other side - the light side.  Got to have both.  Dick Cheney loves and supports his gay daughter.  He has trouble telling the truth about anything political or economic, but still - for all that he hasn't abandoned her in an effort to appear more politically correct to the Christian Right.

For how this shadow works into the political, read my Counter- Moves.

The shadow, as pointed out above, is complicated.   For example read Catherine MacCoun's remarkable: On Becoming an Alchemist, where she talks about the upper and lower vertical, and the problems caused by the creatures representing what she calls: absoluted truth and absolute facts.  Rudolf Steiner gave them their more ancient names: Lucifer and Ahriman.

Below is how I have considered these problems - first start with the Cross of Love (see my book Seven Dates - erotica transcending - love, sexuality, sensuality and the New Feminine Mysteries of Eros for certain details, for we are leaving behind the dying paternalism of Western Civilization, with its dominion over approach and entering a new manifestation of the Divine Feminine, with its communion with approach.):

selfless human love (agape)

nurturing love (storge)       +       comradeship (phileo*)

sensual and erotic love (

*brotherly and sisterly love

As the human organism is meant to be the means through which the human spirit learns Love on the Earth, we have a whole lot we have to learn about the various faces (forms of love) pointed to above.

To which Cross you then add this symbol set (with a brief comment) from my book "the Way of the Fool":

[sense world < soul (d) < i-AM > (d) soul > spiritual world].

"In both directions (<>) the i-AM is mediated in its relationship to either the sense world or the spiritual world, through the soul.  The soul itself is very complicated, and the "(d)", which I have placed on either side of the i-AM, is a symbolic representation of the double, or what is called the shadow and sometimes the doppelganger.  I will have a lot more to say about the double/shadow shortly.  For the moment we need just to place it as the nearest companion to the i-AM, in the soul, and as a participant in the mediation between the i-AM and the two worlds - the world of the senses and the world of spirit."

which is elaborated here: 

Christ Jesus

Guardian Angel

[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM  > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]

    human double        

the Divine Mother

from which we isolated the threefold double-complex, keeping in the mind that this is ruled from higher principles (the Mother and the Son)

(A/d) < i-AM > (L/d)

[human (d)]

A/d being the ahrimanic double and L/d being the luciferic double.  This plus the human double (see Tomberg's Inner Development for some details), is what most intimately surrounds the i-Am, the spirit in the soul.

For those who recongize the higher and lower ego way of thinking, here are the same symbolic diagrams as related in my book American Anthroposophy:

Christ Jesus

Guardian Angel


[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM  > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]

human double


the Divine Mother



(A/d) < i-Am > (L/d)

human double

The upper i-AM in bold is the participated conscience, or what we arrive at when we learn to be consciously moral, and work out of the Second Eucharist in the Ethereal.  The lower i-AM is what some call the lower ego, for it is still embedded in the threefold double-complex.

Further below will be the whole article from my book American Anthroposophy.  Here we are just making a preliminary examination of the general characteristics of the shadow, particularly its three-fold nature.

Through the existence of the shadow in the soul, we experience the sense world, mediated in a distorted way by the impulses of the ahrimanic double (absolute facts).  We also experience the spirit world, mediated again in a distorted way by the impulses of the luciferic double (absolute truth).  It is the excesses of absolute-ness, as MacCoun observes, that distorts our perceptions of both realms.

We can come at this from another direction, through the study of Owen Barfield's Saving the Appearances: a study in Idolatry, where he helps us see how we form idols in the mind (soul-spirit nexus), and tend to worship them instead of that which is really worthy of worship.

The Cross of the Spirit and the Social

The human being can be seen as placed in the center of a Cross with two axis.   The vertical axis is a spiritual axis, what MacCoun calls the upper and lower vertical.  Our i-AM moves in its spiritual relationships upward and downward according to the complexities of our biographies and the skills of our own development.  We also live in the social world, which is the horizontal axis.  This invovles our relationships with others - with the Thou.

In a commentary on Rudolf Steiner, MacCoun describes this Cross in this way:

"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 horizontal. While failure to conceptually isolate one dimension from another is a cause of much craziness, failure to bring them together is a cause of stagnation. Healthy spiritual life, both for the individual and for the community, is a matter of circulation--fluent movement from one dimension to another, and within each dimension according to its own laws." Work on What has been Spoiled, MacCoun, see commentary link above.

the Shadow in Life

In America, in particular, with its strong materialistic bent, the more powerful Shadow is a necessity.   Those living in the Americas live in a part of the world which is more earthly - more dominated by the forces of the earth.   Steiner points this out in remarking that the Mountains in the Americas run north-south, while those in the rest of the world run east-west.  In the Americas we are more exposed to the natural earth forces connected to sub-nature, and to electricity and magnetism.

We are less idealistic than the culture Center (Europe) and far more bound to the earth than the cultural East (Asia etc., where one desires to leave behind the wheel of karmic existence and seeks nirvana).  Thus American's tendency to pragmatism.  This is also the place where Ahriman has incarnated (see essay below: Outrageous Genius).  In the present phase of history, the world is most stongly influenced by this materialism that comes out of America, and those living in the Americas need this stronger double in order to move with ease within this more dense field of reality that is typical of the Americas.

It is more common for those in the Americas to travel spiritual paths where work in the lower vertical is typical.   That is we in the true West tend to have biographies that require we learn deep elements necessary for our spiritual development, not in an idealistic way, but through down and dirty, earthly, ways.  This is why the spiritual path developed through Alcoholics Anonymous was born here.   Those who travel these paths in their biographies, where "hitting bottom" is required in order to "wake up" to the real dynamics of ones inner life, will find in AA something very special.

Here is what I wrote in part five of my work The Natural Christian

part five

the psychology of the moral life

of a natural Christian

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 within.

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 them all.

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.

12. Having 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 our affairs.

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.

*   *   *

Rudolf Steiner, out of a kind of European idealism, has oriented his version of Anthroposophy as having and including the experience of the true I, during a kind of out of body experience of the full light of our own being.   This is an experience that takes place at the peak of the upper vertical.

At the lower edge of the lower vertical one can have a different, but no less important, experience.  The crisis at the bottom of the lower vertical (hitting bottom) is not an experience of higher world glory.  In a way it is a kind of polar opposite, and this experience is more typical of those whose development takes place in the Americas.  It takes place in the dark, not the light.  In the dark and alone, we shine the light of our own I, rather than discover it in the company of higher beings.  Nor is this shining perceptual in nature.  It is an extraordinary act of will - a profound deed.

the Abyss of Aloneness

- 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."

*   *   *

One of the strange facts of the practice of Spiritual Science in America is that the medical work has been so slow to develop, at that same time that Waldorf, while growing almost out of control, continues to manifest deep social problems.  Mostly this is due to trying to impose on the American Soul ideas and idealism more belonging to the European Soul; and, doing this in spite of Steiner's clear indications otherwise.

"Europeans prove, Americans affirm" R.S. lecture to 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 lecture)

"The time will one day come when this American woodenman, which actually everyone is still - when he begins to speak.  Then he will have something to say very similar to European Anthroposophy*.  One can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a natural way." (same lecture, emphasis added)

Part of setting aside the "wooden" quality of the American Soul, involves a trip into the dark, where certain forces are latent and captured as it were.  These are powerful soul forces of creativity, which are bound by the shadow precisely because they are so powerful.   The American Soul is inventive - it is of the new, while the European Soul still clings too much to its past. 

Here is the English Anthrposophist Terry Boardman, quoting Steiner on the problem:

"In his lectures to the West-East Congress in Vienna 1922, Rudolf Steiner spoke of Europe-Asia as 'the problem' of modern times and Europe-America as 'the solution'. By this he meant that Europeans were preserving the dessicated remnants of an ancient Asian spirituality in the dusty abstractions of their intellectual, political, and religious systems. The future lay rather with the will to create out of nothing. And this willingness he saw in the youthful energies of the Americans. It is no surprise therefore to learn that it is an American anthroposopher, Joel Wendt, who has articulated best this need for Anthroposophy to enter the belly of the Media. (refering to my essay: Threshold Problems in Thinking the Threefold Social Order).

Next below we will enter into research on the shadow that cannot be found anywhere else in so-called anthroposophical literature.  This knowledge is desperately needed if the American Anthroposophical Society is not to lose itself completely in a false imitation of an ungrounded European idealism of the soul.

The Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil: the relationship of the Shadow
(the threefold double-complex) to the American Soul
(from the book American Anthroposophy)

[warning for all 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 experience.

This then is where I will begin - with my experience.

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 books.

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 my website), but I 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 clairvoyant perception.

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 the Fool:

Christ Jesus

Guardian Angel


[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM  > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]

human double


the Divine Mother

Here is another diagram, isolating part of the first one for special attention:


(A/d) < i-Am > (L/d)

human double

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 remarkable capacities.

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.

From this 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 humility.

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 ordinary consciousness.

This being 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 book Inner 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 Earth.

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 soul. 

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 of 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 (e-motions).

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 shoulder.

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 action.

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 guidance.

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".  The natural scientist lost 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 - dogmatic fundamentalism).

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 Meaning of...).

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.

*   *   *

Now we take up the question of Ahriman's incarnation in the true West, the Americas.   This is a vexing problem, mostly because of the luciferic element too much in evidence in human thinking about the nature of evil.   That is, we want to make such figures into bogeymen, and not see the reality by which such a figure must be bound in order to incarnate on the Earth.

Most so-called anthroposophists who have read this work, have disagreed.   When William Bento wrote the review of my book American Anthroposophy, he sent me a preview of that review before it was published.  I asked him at that time to remove the real human name I have given to Ahriman, because if the name was taken out of the very carefully crafted context, which I had spent weeks developing, people would just make quick and pointless judgments.  There is a deep art to reading the Signs of the Times, and few in the Society are even close to mastering this capacity.

Because I end up perceiving Ahriman (as a human being) as very active in Media, I repeat here once more Terry Boardman's comments:

"In his lectures to the West-East Congress in Vienna 1922, Rudolf Steiner spoke of Europe-Asia as 'the problem' of modern times and Europe-America as 'the solution'. By this he meant that Europeans were preserving the dessicated remnants of an ancient Asian spirituality in the dusty abstractions of their intellectual, political, and religious systems. The future lay rather with the will to create out of nothing. And this willingness he saw in the youthful energies of the Americans. It is no surprise therefore to learn that it is an American anthroposopher, Joel Wendt, who has articulated best this need for Anthroposophy to enter the belly of the Media. (refering to my essay: Threshold Problems in Thinking the Threefold Social Order).

and now,

Outrageous Genius

from American Anthroposophy

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

first, some necessary preliminary considerations

Honoring the Teacher and the Teaching

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

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

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

"...the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should become increasingly conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly existence." [emphasis added] R.S. Lucifer and Ahriman, lecture II, 2 November 1919.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the Life of Rights?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*c.f. Paul Hawken's http://wiseearth.org/

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

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

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

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

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

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

We are the father and mother of all human action.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the Wise Earth impulse all manner of spiritual voices are heard.  The excesses of the Ahrimanically driven assault via the Life of Rights on social order and individual freedom has become so plain and obvious, that communities of opposition are everywhere being formed.  As a prime incarnate opponent, Ahriman does his duty, driving individuals toward the necessary moral dilemmas and challenges.  You could say that one of the aspects of the Ahrimanic Incarnation is a kind of heating up of social chaos - an inflaming of disorder.  This engenders in morally awake human hearts the will to do battle.  The dragon forces circle social life everywhere, and the knights of Michael, themselves no doubt students of the spiritual world Michael School before incarnation, take up their earthly social tasks. (see the book Blessed Unrest, at: 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 call: good conscience.  Inwardly, in the deepest aspects of the soul, invisible to outer sense experience, the presence of Christ in the Ethereal (the realm of human thought) is met with a hunger to know the Good on the part of the I.  This moral need for knowledge of the Good (in order to know what is right to do in the face of challenges forced upon humanity by Ahriman's intensification of the heat and pace of social crisis) - this moral need instinctively hungers for the Eternal, the experience of the Consciousness Soul.

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

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

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

of ordinary political and social language

Brother What Ails Thee ?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do" Senior white house official, assumed by everyone to have been Karl Rove, summer 2002. [An earthly social-political act comparable to  materialism - a kind of political-social Ahrimanic Deception.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Craig Unger*, In an interview with Amy Goodman, mid-November 2007: Well, LeHay** is one of the founders of the Council for National Policy. Now, this is a not-very-well-known group, but it's an umbrella group that oversees dozens of Christian Right groups, like Focus on the Family, which is James Dobson's group. The Moral Majority was part of it, and so on. And within it was a much smaller group called the Arlington Group, of about fifty religious leaders. Now, they were in regular contact with Karl Rove. And what you have in the Christian Right is as many as 80 million adult evangelicals. You have about 200,000 pastors, and they operate almost as precinct captains did in the labor unions for the Democratic Party. So this is a vast populist movement that operates as part of the Christian Republican Party, and they have regular contact with the White House. [emphasis added]

[*author of: The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War, and Still Imperils America's Future.  **one of the authors of the Left Behind series of novels on Armageddon.]

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

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

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

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

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

Bush appears to be what is called a dry drunk.  That is, while he is not actively drinking or drugging (we assume) he still displays all the behaviors of a serious alcoholic or addict: bouts of extreme anger (kept mostly secret from the public, but well known to West 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 astonishment and then disappointment at how much they had changed."  New York Times book review describing Alan Greenspan's (former chairman of the Federal Reserve) book: The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World "...much to my disappointment, economic policy making in the Bush administration remained firmly in the hands of the White House staff.” He was clearly referring to the political team led by Karl Rove at the White House. Mr. Rove was a neighbor of Mr. Greenspan in a leafy enclave near the Potomac River, but the two men almost never had a conversation." [emphasis added]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Waking the American Anthroposophical Society and Movement

for their true tasks in the 21st Century

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*   *    *

some incidental results of

reading the biography of a social form

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 cultural institution.

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. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/lttws.html]

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 personalities.

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: sub-nature.

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 image).

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.

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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.

Joel A. Wendt
- in the Season of St. John's Tide, 2010 -