The Source

a totally maddening story about intellectual property

In my writing will be found a lot of ideas and forms of expression.  Now according to our traditional way of looking at these things, I have a property right that I can exercise here.  I am considered the creator of the forms of expression, and in this have a property right - a right to own and get paid for the use of these forms.  However, given what I know by experience about the processes of mind in which I engage, that leads to my forms of expression, it is difficult for me in a moral sense to think of my self as the sole author.

Here is what I wrote in pragmatice moral psychology

"Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"If my mind is not quiet, empty, poor in spirit, what can enter there? Inner silence has two valuable moral consequences.

"The first benefit of inner silence is that it is essential to listening to someone else speak. If we cannot quiet our own mind when we are listening, if our whole concentration is instead on our anticipated response or on what we think, then our attention is not focused at all on the other person or what they are saying.

"In some lectures published under the title: The Inner Aspect of the Social Question, Rudolf Steiner suggests the practice of seeking to hear the presence, of what he calls "the Christ Impulse", in the other's thinking. This is very difficult. It is not just listening, but a feeling-imagining of the heart felt purposes living in the speaker. What brings them to speak so? What life path has brought them to this place? Even if they are throwing "stones" at us, we must still "actively" listen; otherwise, there will be no understanding of their humanity.

"There is a wonderful experience possible here, when we have won past our antipathetic judgment and actually have begun to hear what lives in the other speaker. Each of us has learned in life some wisdom, and these little jewels lie every where around us, often in the most improbable places, the most unsuspected souls. These treasures are often hidden only by the darkness we cast over the world through our unredeemed thought-judgments.

"The second benefit is this. Unless I am silent, and empty, that is poor in spirit, how will it be possible for the Mystery to touch me?

"John 3:8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit

"The Mystery goes where it wills. If we are not listening outwardly, we well may miss it when it appears through others. An inflated sense of self righteousness will certainly interfere. How much have we missed in life because we did not listen to what was being offered? Even a piece of an overheard passing conversation on a bus, which seems to jump into our silent waiting, may have an import just for us. And inwardly? The Mystery is silence itself, quiet, like an angel's beating wings. How much has been offered to us just there as well, a barely audible whispering that our own internal rambling dialogue has covered over in its insistent and restless commentary.

""It thinks in me" spoke Rudolf Steiner. The Mystery has its own will. "It" comes like a gentle wind, when "it" wills, and we prepare the way by "learning to think on our knees", as Valentin Tomberg, another passionate seeker I find very helpful, has advised. Two acts, only one our own."

Then there is what I wrote in my book the Way of the Fool, in that part of the section in the appendex called: 2) Sacrifice of Thoughts: cleaning out the garden of the mind before growing new insights, and other unusual properties of our soul-spirit nexus:

"Rudolf Steiner spoke of what he called: it thinks in me, which is a kind of scientific, or reasoned introspective observation of something occuring in the soul; while Valentin Tomberg wrote of what he called: thinking on your knees, which is the same thing seen from the side of devotion.  Christ, in the Sermon on the Mount, comes at it from this direction: blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, which means that when we are empty inwardly (poor in spirit) contact with the higher worlds is made more possible.  What this has become in my experience, I will call the mind feeling-sensation of fullness. and which I will next describe in a little detail.

"Many years ago I started to notice that various intutions of an excellent qualitative nature (new thoughts) were accompanied by a unusual kind of soul-sensation.  I would be thinking, and there would be this feeling, and with the feeling would come the new thought content.  Often this arose when a certain question was living in me.  I would would be seeking, and the answer would be preceeded by this mind feeling-sensation of presence or fullness.

"The essence of the feeling was that I was not alone inwardly.  At the same time the presence did not advertise itself in the sense of saying something really weird like: hi.  I'm a spirit, and I'm here to give you a message from above.  The fullness was really only a sign that my thinking activity would be meet by a cooperative presence, who was not interested in credit, but rather only responding to my heartfelt question.  Over time, whenever I began to hear this wind blow [John 3:8 The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit] when I was thinking, more and more I would then stop whatever I was doing and write down what I thought.

"For example, if I was driving a car, I would pull over to the side of the road.  If I was in bed, thinking as we do, and this sense of fullness came, I would get up.  Always, it was my own activity that inaugurated the result, and what was happening was only a kind of cooperation that I could not only sense, but I could count on when sensing it that my thinking would deepen, and produce new content, new thoughts never before thought.

"Sometimes the sense of fullness was quite strong.  There were nights I could not sleep, or even write, but only be awake and think (these mostly were personal, in the sense of facing certain issues of my own nature and karma).  Yet, the fact remains, that the more I honored this presence of fullness and the fullness of presence, the richer was my understanding of the world, and of myself and others.

"Owen Barfield, mentioned above, describes this from another direction.  In his book (previously mentioned), Saving the Appearances: a Study in Idolatry, Barfield describes the evolution of consciousness using these broad terms: original participation; the on-looker separation; and final participation.  We, many incarnations ago, were naturally integrated with the world of spirit - that was original participation.  With the on-looker separation (what we called above the enchantment into materialism, or the Ahrimanic Deception), we were set free of this prior given relationship to the Divine Mystery.  Final participation is a choice we make.  We are free not to seek reintegration.  In the case of the presence of fullness and the fullness of presence (it thinks in me) we begin that reintegration by an act of will, in our own minds, in full consciousness and by our own choice. 

"For my part, the less I am there in a certain way (sacrificing my prior thinking - i.e. poor in spirit), the more room there is for the other-presence of Spirit (the kingdom of heaven).  Then we think together (final participation).

"All the same, we have to keep in mind that we are so individual in our nature and temperment, needs and capacities, that there is no common path - each Way is individual and unique.  All that we really share is the struggle, the failures, the getting up again and trying once more."

Hopefully the reader will now see my problem with regard to considering myself the sole author of my forms of expression.