Direct Response to Joel Wendt
- I had to do this in Word and then cut and paste. I don't know if the
formatting will get screwed up or not.
Subj: RE: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Countering Asuras
Date: 1/10/2004 1:18:16 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: hermit@... (Joel Wendt)
To: email@example.com (aptmw)
What I was trying to point to was not to be found in our trying to look
at our "ideas" of the human organization, as if we could label some
aspects of this "idea" as luciferic or ahrimanic (or asuric). Rather I
was suggesting that in order to know how evil works in the world, we
have to face our shadow, our double.
This is not about ideas at all, but about what is working in our soul
from the inside outward in such a way that we really don't appreciate
its true nature.
Mostly we don't self observe carefully enough, or practice the relevant
inner discipline by which we would meet the double. Instead what
happens is that we act out of the double on a regular basis, but never
see it - it is too intimate, and being that intimate we'd rather be in
denial of it, than face it.
Now the activity of the double leaves all kinds of hints and clues
behind, but in order to perceive this activity we have to be more
focused on the beam in our own eye, than on the mote in our brother's
eye. Appreciating the double is more an act of confession, than it is
an act of describing the world we perceive.
So when folks describe businesses or governments or others as
possessing evil qualities, we can generally assume that they don't know
what they are talking about, because this focus on the "other" and the
mote in their eye really only tells us something about the speaker or
OK Joel, let's see if I am understanding you right. Are you saying?:
1. The very fact that someone talks about Evil as an objective reality in the
outside world, they must by definition be wrong because it is not an
objective reality, only a reflection of the "evil" in the being of the speaker i.e.
Careful self observation reveals that we adorn the world with ideas
that are first produced in our own consciousness, most frequently though
unconscious processes. We have a feeling of antipathy (or sympathy),
and this unredeemed feeling then serves as a driver for the thought
content. I use the term "unredeemed" to point to the fact that the
feeling is not within our conscious mastery (as might be a cultivated
mood of soul), but more likely the antipathy is a product of the double
2. You can tell others about the motes in their eyes because you do not have
a beam in your own?
The double influences how we see the world, because until we can
consciously take over that activity, and thus the unfolding of our own
karma, we are bound to the double by necessity. We need the double in
order to experience our karma.
So the initial difficulty is always within, and our first clue as to
the problem is when we find ourselves seeing evil outside in the world
(the mote), rather than facing the more daunting task of facing our own
shadow (the beam).
When Steiner first taught these matters, he taught in a time in which
the intellectual soul still predominated, and mostly to a people
(Central Europeans) who lived very much in the ideal. This required
that he give hints and point in certain directions, but could not be
very overt and blunt.
But that time is now long past, and as we begin the new century, it
becomes necessary to be more plain spoken.
3. You are the only existing authority on whether or not any other person is
speaking from his or her Double or not because you are the only person who has
confronted his Double?
At present the best example of work with the double is in 12 Step
groups, wherein a certain practice (authored by the Ethereal Return of
the Christ) has flourished. Here is one more or less accurate version:
Were anthroposophists to combine this practical and pragmatic (very
American) method of "confession" together with a study of Steiner's
Theory of Knowledge, great strides forward in esoteric development could
be made. You see, in reality it is not about ideas at all, but about
deeds - in this case inner deeds which are then joined together in some
kind of wise group process.
4. The 12 step program supplants all of Anthroposophy as a means of achieving
Knowledge of the Spiritual World within yourself?
It is the company we keep as we struggle to understand and master the
doubles that brings us forward into the future along well grounded
spiritual pathways. We could study Steiner lectures, read all manner of
books of ideas and ideals about spiritual life, and never take the most
dangerous step at all - looking honestly at ourselves.
So on this list we talk about spiritual as if we could see it in
society, see lucifer here, and ahriman there, and michael behind that,
when the real serious work remains undone - inside our own souls, in
that place were ideas and feelings are to become the conscious product
of deeds - to will in the thinking, and think in the willing.
But confession is hard to do. The last thing our very protected and
still too childish egos want to do, is to confess to ourselves, much
less to others. Far easier to point fingers and blame, especially when
someone has the temerity to suggest we are full of shit.
Yet, of all the gifts another person can give us, telling us when we
are full of it is quite very much one of the best. Hard to take - of
course. Which is the main clue to its real utility.
At the same time, groups need to be formed where this is understood as
a way of practice. No one goes long to a truly functional 12 Step group
without finding out about confession and confrontation. "Hello, my name
is Joel, and I'm an addict" pause "hello Joel" says the group.
Confession and welcome, for we are brothers and sisters here, all of us
striving to overcome what seems beyond us to overcome.
5. One cannot be an Anthroposophist unless one is in a 12 step program? How
well do YOU take being told that you are full of bull?
So personal stories get told, and some stories are from new people, and
familiar to all for that reason, and then once in a while someone who
has been working the Steps for twenty years gets up and speaks, and
wisdom flows into the circle - hard won wisdom - wisdom won through
pain, and error, and trial by fire.
6. I have well over twenty years of "wisdom" or at least experience, won
through pain, error and trial by fire and I do not need to have done it through a
12 step program for it to be valid. On the other hand, I do not claim to be
"wise" or to know what is best for anyone else, or even (most of the time) for
myself. You want to hear my story Joel? From Physical Pain and Abuse as a Child
to Emotional Pain and Abuse as an Adolescent to Mental Pain and Abuse as a
Young Adult? You want to hear it Joel? You want to hear about my Meeting with
Michael - a REAL EVENT at age 15 Joel - before I had ever heard of Rudolf
Steiner? What I prefer to tell is about the men and women I met at Threefold Farm
who received me with open minds and open hearts and gave me help and advice and
instruction without even a TINGE of judgmentalism in it. And there was PLENTY
to judge! That is what Anthroposophy IS to me, Joel. Truth without Judgment.
Discernment, not Damnation.
Nothing from books here.
Now the 12 Steps have a weakness, in that it wasn't possible to speak
of the double in a blunt way - human consciousness in the early years
wasn't quite ready for this. But now, as we more and more need to
understand evil in order to have any kind of intelligent civilization,
it becomes necessary to speak plainly of the double. For this
anthroposophy was introduced into the world, because our "psychological"
paradigm had to grow so as to better reflect the truth here.
7. Correct me if I'm wrong here, but didn't Alcoholics Anonymous and the 12
step program come into existence After Rudolf Steiner was alive, thereby
indicating that the double could be spoken about at that time, because he did do so?
Unfortunately, the anthroposophists have fallen into Steinerism, into
dogma and sectarianism, and a kind of lame theological thinking. The
hard part of anthroposophy, looking squarely at one's self, and making
self knowing the essential goal, this has not come to pass as much as it
So we enter the new century a bit lamed - something is missing.
Anthroposophists don't know how to "confess", how to meet each other as
true ego beings (as I-ams with flaws and doubles and all kinds of
tendencies to error and stupidity - that is as human beings). Instead
we are on this high path, students of the great doctor, far above the
messy stuff of life. Our dialogs are competitions in knowing (which one
has the better handle on the questions in the New Testament, or which
one sees social life more clearly), when they should be cooperative arts
of sharing (c.f. M. Spock's Group Moral Artistry).
8. (Refer to #3) You are the only existing authority on whether or not any
other person is speaking from his or her Double or not because you are the only
person who has confronted his Double? YOUR dialogues may be competitions in
knowing, as for me, I have found a tremendous amount of give and receive and
mutual support and respect here.
Anyway, Kim, I can't really be supportive of what your wrote below - it
is still about the mote, not the beam. Were you to tell us a story of
how you finally noticed how badly you treated your first husband,
because you were more interested in your own career than in his welfare,
and how you have began to see how this impulse still lives in you today
and that you need help in mastering it. And if you then related that
you had begun to pray to the Holy Mother on a regular basis, for help
from your higher power in dealing with this unredeemed soul flaw which
you have now confessed to having. Then further, how you began to be
able to notice this impulse rising in your soul, very subtly as a kind
of temptation whispering to your spirit, your I-am, and that now you
could recognize that this was an aspect of the double complex in the
soul, this temptation, so now you could see it, and you were grateful to
the Holy Mother for this help, and truly humbled by how flawed you could
now see that you were. So then you went to your former husband, and
sought to make amends, because you knew that you had to at least ask for
his forgiveness (which it isn't necessary to receive) before you can
truly forgive yourself. Then after going through this trial, which took
several months and involved much agony, you found that in your prayer
life, you began to have better insights into how to love your current
husband better, in fact you could place questions during prayer and
9. (Back to #2) You can tell others about the motes in their eyes because you
do not have a beam in your own? How DARE you tell Kim how to deal with her
own Karma and what to Pray? Not as a loving suggestion, but to tell her that
unless she had done things the way you said they should have been done, then her
own experiences and intuitions must be wrong!
If you were to tell such a story (which is entirely made up by me of
course, and isn't meant to do anything but serve as an illustration) to
others, this would not only serve your own development indirectly, but
also be an example to others. Then if we were in a group that worked
together in this way, with many stories, we could begin to see that in
practice we now had started to understand the Gospel of John, and the
beginning steps outlined there - the washing of the feet, and the
scourging for example.
Then the need for discussions about things we don't know anything
about, like the ausuras, disappears, because we are now truly meeting
each other as struggling human beings, in such a fine way that
intellectual bull shit has no meaning anymore.
10. (Back to #1) The very fact that someone talks about Evil as an objective
reality in the outside world, they must by definition be wrong because it is
not an objective reality, only a reflection of the "evil" in the being of the
speaker i.e. the Double. The need for Discussions about the Forces of
Objective EVIL does NOT disappear!! It becomes all the more pressing and even more
effective among those willing to face the evil within themselves. And I hear from
many in this group that they are more than willing to face that evil within
themselves. Then, more than ever do we need each other's encouragement to go on
in the face of it. If your "intellectual bullshit" doesn't mean anything any
more, Joel, why don't you take down your website and just go work for AA full
In response, I need to tell you that:
1. I know my Double very well with or without a 12 step program and will
admit and confess all of my faults to my self or anyone else who cares to know.
2. I can see when other people's Doubles are at work, but I don't have to put
them down for it.
3. The 12 step program has lots of flaws and the first step, admitting that
one is "helpless" to control one's addiction and that one has to "surrender" to
a Higher Power may be effective but it certainly does not speak to working
out of the EGO. "Let Go and Let God" is a wonderful excuse for NOT accepting
responsibility for our lives and karma. It's like substituting the addiction to
God for the addiction to alcohol.
4. I never heard of the 12 step program as being part of the Risen and
Etheric Christ and if you say it is so, you would have to seriously prove how.
5. YOU are not the judge and jury of ANYONE other than yourself. And while I
admire and respect your intelligence and work on many subjects, this is not a
church and you are not our preacher.
6. Anyone who says that if one criticizes their opinions - that in itself
proves them wrong and suspect - is of the side of the dark forces. That means
you. It is using a conundrum, a circular reference. It is a closed set. "You
criticize my opinion - anyone who criticizes my opinion is wrong and suspect of
evil, the act of criticizing my opinion is proof of this - therefore you are
wrong and suspect of evil - and if you criticize my saying this, you are more
wrong and more suspect of evil."
7. You never deign to respond when I question your pronouncements. In the
last exchange that we had, I brought up some points countering your definitive
statement that prayer could not be made through the body and you never replied.
I think because you find it impossible to admit anything that is not already
in your belief system - even though I was connecting it directly to Eurythmy.
8. There is a lot of lower-ego satisfaction in pretending to be humbly
seeking the truth about oneself. One gets LOTS of attention in a 12 step program -
just think, a sponsor that you can call any time of the day or night and he or
she has to listen to YOU and YOUR problems!!
9. I'm NOT putting down AA or 12 step. They have a high rate of effectiveness
and do much good in the world. But a remedy for addiction is not something
that one can apply willy-nilly to every situation in the world.
10. Mother Teresa did more good in this world than either YOU or I will do in
this lifetime and she did not sit around in neurotic agony pondering whether
she should fight with an external Evil or with her Double. Nor did she come up
with the conclusion that she had to be perfectly clairvoyant and spiritually
developed before she started fighting and working - and FIGHT she did!!! She
got ahold of people in power and shook them by the collar with the Might of
Truth and said - this NEEDS to be done! DO IT! And they did! She didn't "save
the world" - she saved the lives of people lying on the street and she held them
in her arms as they died and she did it one life at a time. So did Mother
Jones and Many Such Women (a few men, too, I guess, but mostly WOMEN) YEAH!!! -
GO EOWYN!!! GO SOPHIE SCHOLL!!! GO JEANNE D'ARC!!!
11. You remind me of the Judge (in the Disney movie)/ Priest (in Victor
Hugo's novel) of the "Hunchback of Notre Dame" as he prays to Mary " I am so
virtuous, give me Esmerelda, or else - let her burn!" It is the JUDGES that send the
Michaelic Ones to the stake in the name of GOD - RIGHT - THE CHURCH -
ANTHROPOSOPHY! I accept you NOT as MY Judge!
12. I say definitely and include my own Self in this absolutely that we
despise in another person exactly what is a fault within our Self-s. Those who do
not lie do not recognize when someone else is lying to them. Those who are
trustworthy do not suspect other people are going to betray them. When we find a
fault with someone else, we must sit down and say to our Self-s - WOW! How much
of THAT do I have in me, too? Am I, Christine, prone to be Judgmental? You
bet your ass - That's why I recognize it so well!