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the initiate matter

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  • Joel A. Wendt
    Andrea Franco wrote: Dera Joel, I cannot agrre with your thoughts about the initiates . The link with The Christ is the Crux, OK. But the Christ is not alone
    Message 1 of 1 , May 19, 2000
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      Andrea Franco wrote:

      "Dera Joel,
      I cannot agrre with your thoughts about the
      "initiates". The link
      with The Christ is the Crux, OK. But the Christ is not
      alone and
      the "Initiates" are His servants and helpers I need to
      penetrate the
      web of their living thoughts of Anthroposophicak path
      : people like
      Stein.Lievegood,Zeylmans,Scaligero and (why noyt ") Ben
      Aharon,et
      cet. are there to help my weak forces in order to make
      me able to
      walk on the Christ's cognition path. I think their
      thoughts but the
      thinking-force is an universal force with thousands
      different "creeks" I try to ship with my little canoa
      on these creeks."

      Dear Andrea,

      I think you will agree that what you do and what I do
      are (and ought to be) two different matters. The Way
      of one of us does not make the Way of the "other" (the
      thou) in error. For me, my life has been a path of
      making my own judgments about what is true. I read
      many people, so-called initiates as well as others. I
      take from whatever appears before me and test it before
      my own judgment.

      I don't claim to be right, nor do I assert to others
      that any person whose "thoughts" I have read are right
      (unless I have been able to determine myself that they
      are true - at which point what I say to others is that
      so and so said such and such and I have tested it
      myself and found it to be true).

      I have also found it problematic (I even wrote an essay
      on it) to consider that what I read is "knowledge". It
      may have been knowledge to the one who wrote it or
      spoke it, but to me it is not knowledge. This is
      especially true with the work of so-called initiates,
      or any individual reporting on the results of spiritual
      research.

      My understanding is that for something to be
      "knowledge", requires in the consciousness of the
      person experiencing the "knowledge" the union of
      percept and concept. When I read the words of an
      "initiate", while I may have the concept within my own
      soul, I do not have the percept, as that lies on the
      other side of the threshold.

      Therefore, what I read (and reconstruct in my
      imagination) is not knowledge, but something else. It
      is essentially an "invention".

      Now it is possible to go beyond this "invention".
      Through meditation and other practices it may arise
      that I have an experience of the percept toward which
      the words of the "initiate" have pointed.

      Consider an example, say Steiner's descriptions of the
      Saturn, Sun and Moon incarnations of the Earth, prior
      to its present material existence. The words on the
      page (of Occult Science, for example) are not what
      Steiner experienced. They are, at best, a very poor
      map of a rather extraordinary territory. I, as a
      reader of Steiner, may have knowledge of maps, but of
      the Reality, I will "know" nothing.

      Now the issues of trust of the spiritual researcher's
      reports (the maps) and the use we make of this
      knowledge of "maps", are choices that belong to each of
      us to make. As far as I am concerned, there is no
      "rule" but that which lives in our own judgment.

      There is, however, a very grave danger.

      In the soul, it is possible to have "beliefs". One can
      take into one's consciousness the images created by the
      reading of these "maps" and believe them to be true.
      In fact, one can so absorb the complex and rich reports
      of anthroposophically oriented spiritual research, that
      a whole world view arises in the soul, to which our
      ego, commits itself much like the ego can commit itself
      to a "religious" belief.

      It is this relationship, this "religious" attachment,
      that leads to the danger. The soul can, in this
      condition, no longer distinguish between what it
      "knows" and what it "believes". It so "loves" its
      beliefs that it sacrifices its spiritual freedom, and
      becomes "captured" by the concept (the re-imagined
      "maps"). It is at such a point in the life of the
      soul, that the condition of soul and spiritual life,
      which was intended by Steiner to arise from the
      encounter with his book the Philosophy of Freedom, has
      become impossible.

      The anthroposophical movement and Society flounder on
      just this failure to distinguish between maps and the
      territory, and beliefs and knowledge, and percepts and
      the concept.

      Now the question to me is this: Does your statement
      above - "The link with The Christ is the Crux, OK. But
      the Christ is not alone and the "Initiates" are His
      servants and helpers" - derive from belief or
      knowledge?

      It also sounds (but this could be a problem of
      language) a lot like the old relationship between
      Priest and Parishioner, where the former is a necessary
      intermediary between the I and God. Now, to me, it
      seems that you want to assert the same relationship,
      only this time it is Initiate and non-initiate, instead
      of Priest and Parishioner. Personally, I don't want
      anyone inbetween, and I don't think that Christ wants
      anyone inbetween either.

      I do understand your idea about the "creeks" in the
      world of thoughts, and about taking your canoe down a
      trail where the initiate has already gone. However, I
      don't know how this is a support for your own cognitive
      activity. My own experience is that I cross the
      threshold on my own forces, not riding on the back of a
      theme that another has guided me toward. The theme (an
      initiates thoughts) seems to have value as a subject
      (that is as a percept to seek) to go toward, but the
      forces lie within my own soul.

      Perhaps you meant something else, and could say more.

      warm regards,
      joel
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