Thank you, Starman, and thank you, Joel, for your comments, responding to
John and me.
I resonate with Starman on this one. Starman writes replying to John:
><<>If I have read Steiner correctly, he says that there are objective
> >the Spiritual Scientist can observe: isn't that the basis for Spiritual
> >Science? This requires a detachment and lack of emotion.
Then Starman replies:
>*******I would say rather that one feels but does not allow one's emotions
>pull one this way and that, to affect one's thinking and will
>as storms of emotion do. It's one of the basic exercises in Knowledge of
Yes, for me this is the way, the ideal: to feel, and to transform that
feeling and attendant emotion into an experience beyond the selfish,
limiting sympathies and antipathies. I see that as an exercise in
Joel, I would agree that compassion is only partly an emotion. But i don't
see SPIRITUAL science as lacking in feeling (feeling, emotion --not quite
the same thing, but related, but that's another subject--smile). If
SPIRITUAL science is not lacking in feeling, then it is not lacking in
compassion (which includes, but is more than, feeling).
Last time i heard, feeling was important --in that triumvirate of thinking,
feeling, willing. So, this OBJECTIVITY that is being referred to? This
science of objectivity? Conventional science *used to*, maybe still does,
promote the illusion of objectivity (yet we know that the subject influences
the observation...). Yet, SPIRITUAL science is not conventional science. In
SPIRITUAL science there is development of thinking, feeling, and willing.
There is development of astral and ego bodies. The dispassionate ideal of
conventional science is not, in my understanding, the ideal of SPIRITUAL
science, but rather what is involved is the transformation of sympathies and
antipathies, which is not the same as lack of feeling.
There seems in Joel's and John's post an understanding of OBJECTIVITY as a
lack of feeling. (If i misunderstand either of you, i stand to be corrected,
and will apologize.) As i said above, and i repeat myself, that--a domain of
no feeling--is not my understanding of OBJECTIVITY. Rather, OBJECTIVITY is
the holistic entrance into the *object*, involving transformed thinking (IT
THINKS), transformed willing (HE WILLS,"Thy Will Be Done"), transformed
feeling(SHE FEELS), that which has gone beyond sympathy and antipathy. What
is left? Empathy, which, for me, is another word for compassion.
And please, John, don't quote me the dictionary. I'm an English professor
and quite aware of what goes into the making of dictionaries, believe me! A
dictionary is like a road map, helpful in certain ways, for sure, yet it
can't show you the real place.--
If--if and when-- I use it as a road map in this case of compassion, i would
look at something your post didn't mention--the etymology: *com* and
passion. *Com* as with, along with, a relational word, a word of bonding. So
passion *along with* the rest--the whole/holistically (thinking, willing).
*Passion*? That's a very interesting word. We (most people i know) use it to
mean several different but related things. One is passion, as in strong
feeling, even anger and lust is one meaning. But there is also the meaning
of Passion as in Christ's Passion. Passion Week. All the wonderful music and
celebrations of Christ's Passion come to mind here.--Now, to meditate on
these meanings opens up immense riches, and leads me right round to
SPIRITUAL science, so that com-passion is not a contradiction of, nor in
opposition to, spiritual science.
Moreover, in Steiner SPIRITUAL science (the what aspect you refer to Joel)
there is the whole matter of the twelve senses that we are discussing in
another thread on this list. This is related to our "compassion" thread.
If we think of Steiner's teachings on the Twelve Senses, we might see that
we move from the 9th sense--hearing, to the 10th sense--language, to the
11th sense--thought. This is relevant to our discussion of *words* here, or
how we use words. In this e-mail medium, we do not hear, so that is already
an issue, a problem, I would say. Even so, let's say we are at the 10th
level of Language sense--that is, we have gone beyond, or transformed, sound
(that lay in the sense of hearing) to a sense of the words (language). But
for the 11th sense--Thought--to occur, we must go beyond language (the
words) to let the light of concepts shine through. As one anthrop(Tom)
writes on another list, "We must eliminate, erase, or transcend the actual
words" in order to come to the sense of Thought.
Maybe we all could use a dose of this, at least a dose, for starters (and
surely i include myself here). The next sense is the 12th, that of EGO (not
egotism, not experience of my own little narcisstic world, but sense of the
other Person, sense of relation). Words on their own are sounds, but then
sounds take on meanings and we move into the realm of thought, and we can
move even further to a real sense of EGO, of relationship, of the other
person (say, i to a sense of "John" and he to a sense of "me", bur even on
beyond that to a sense of the SELF, or what the native people call *All My
Relations* or somewhat like what Martin Buber calls Self-in-Relation).
Ah, then we will have arrived!
Meantime, we (many people, myself often included) are caught in our own
separate egotistical levels of sense, lower narcissitic senses, awaiting
transformation (awaiting our movement beyond sympathies and antipathies, but
not beyond feeling, i would say, but then, if these words do not reach
"you", nor your words "me", then we are not experiencing the Goethean
Peace (another word we could debate?--whew!--smile),
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