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4546Re: [anthroposophy] reasons for hope?

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  • Robert Mason
    Aug 13, 2002
      Aug 13

      To Carol, who wrote:

      >>#1... There are increasingly good books in the
      'new age'
      section of most book stores. By good books I mean
      are attempting to create bridges between the
      mysteries and the daily lives of the readers. Many
      of these
      new books are less egotistical and more objective.
      The other
      side of this shiny coin is that in the science
      section of
      bookstores we are beginning to see more and more
      books trying
      to address mysterious phenomena; there will always
      be the
      absolute denials and refutation of spiritual
      reality, but
      many of the books from the science section are
      standing on
      the edge of the razor blade and acknowledging the

      I take a bit of hope from these trends. An example
      of the
      former type of book is "The After-Life
      Experiments". An
      example of the later is "Who's afraid of
      Schodinger's cat"...<<

      Robert writes:
      I've been turning this over in my mind for a while,
      asking: Is this "New Age" stuff a good thing, or
      not? -- I've been having some trouble coming up
      with an answer.

      Perhaps a move away from crude materialism in the
      mass culture is a step in the right direction, but
      not necessarily altogether good. The New Age
      trends can be turned to evil, as is being attempted
      by Creme's "Maitreya". New Agism *could* be
      manipulated into black magic. On the other hand,
      besides the obvious benefits that can follow in
      culture from an increased awareness of soul-spirit
      realities, there might also be the benefit that
      human beings after death might be less susceptible
      to evil influences keeping them earth-bound and
      using them for harmful ends. But this is a
      speculation on my part.

      Such efforts as *The Afterlife Experiments* might
      be good up to a point, but there is a fallacy
      inherent in investigating soul-spiritual matters by
      using the methods of "natural science":

      -- from *Theosophy*, Addendum #13:
      "It is, indeed, natural to demand, for instance,
      that the statements of the seer in this domain
      should be proved by experiments corresponding to
      the scientific mode of thinking. . . . The
      spiritual world, however, will not allow itself to
      be dictated to."


      As for quantum physics: This was well underway in
      Steiner's day, and there was much talk that the
      crude materialism of 19th Century science had been
      superseded. Steiner wasn't buying it; he remarked
      that this "new physics" was at base still very much
      materialistic. That's my recollection, anyway;
      unhappily, I don't have the direct quote.

      A world-view that encompasses reincarnation, karma,
      invisible beings, etc. is not necessarily proof
      against materialism. Indeed, Der Doktor often
      remarked on the materialism in the old Theosophical
      Society, with her doctrine of the "permanent atom",
      the talk of "vibrations", etc. -- One can find the
      classic statement of "occult materialism" in the
      infamous "Mahatma Letter on God", by one of the
      TS's "Mahatmas":


      The more virulent forms of occult materialism are
      deeply evil, seeking to divert earth-evolution into
      some cosmic anti-world -- as outlined in Bondarev's
      "Good and Evil".

      -- If one is inclined toward optimism, I suppose
      one could find reason for hope in the change in
      mass-consciousness as shown in the New Age
      movement. If one is inclined toward pessimism, one
      can find in this plenty of cause for worry,
      especially given the impending incarnation of
      Ahriman. Steiner warned us that
      Ahriman-in-the-flesh will make a mighty effort to
      turn the new clairvoyance and magic to his
      purposes. The outcome of this struggle is not
      settled in advance, as far as I know.

      Thanks for your comments,

      Robert Mason

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