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questions on anthroposophy

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  • jarett richardson
    is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism? what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy hold in common? can a person be a theosophist and an
    Message 1 of 10 , Dec 13, 2004
      is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism?

      what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy
      hold in common?

      can a person be a theosophist and an anthroposophist
      at the same time?



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    • Cheeseandsalsa@aol.com
      In a message dated 12/14/2004 4:59:21 P.M. Central Standard Time, gringo300@yahoo.com writes: is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism? what-if
      Message 2 of 10 , Dec 14, 2004
        In a message dated 12/14/2004 4:59:21 P.M. Central Standard Time, gringo300@... writes:

        is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism?

        what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy
        hold in common?

        can a person be a theosophist and an anthroposophist
        at the same time?
        Depends on how you define esotericism.  There are parts of anthroposophy that are more and less esoteric.  There are parts that are exoteric.  When Steiner lectured about the gospels I would call that esoteric. There are points in those lectures where Steiner point us in a certain direction and you either find that direction or you don't.  When you discover the hidden meanings for yourself that is esoteric. Second question theosophy and anthroposophy have a lot in common except the Christ event is where they stand separate.  The last question I would say, yes of course!  The Christ event is where the big difference is.  I have a lot of books on C.W. Leadbeater.  He has an entire different view than Steiner on the Christ but I am not going to throw the baby out with the bath water and conclude that Leadbeater is unwise.  He was clairvoyant like Steiner and has a lot to offer to people like us.  Being an anthroposophist is not drawing lines between what is and is not.  There is too much grey in between.  Find what speaks to you and find your own truth.  Steiner found his and so we are seekers finding our own.  Hope that helps somewhat.  ~Chantel
      • Joel Wendt
        Dear Jarett, Anthroposophy and Theosophy are very different. Neophytes to Anthroposophy can become confused, however, because the Anthroposophical Society and
        Message 3 of 10 , Dec 15, 2004
          Dear Jarett,

          Anthroposophy and Theosophy are very different. Neophytes to
          Anthroposophy can become confused, however, because the Anthroposophical
          Society and Movement have lost a true connection to what Steiner taught
          - on multiple levels. As a consequence, there are not a lot of good
          examples of what it means to be an "anthroposophist".

          Much of the confusion within the Society and Movement comes from
          failing to distinguish the method from the content. Anthroposophy is
          not the content of the Steiner's lecture cycles, as if it was a set of
          beliefs or understandings. Anthroposophy is "a path of cognition from
          the spirit in man to the Spirit in the Universe".

          What this last means is that with the arrival of the present stage of
          the evolution of consciousness (what Steiner called the Epoch of the
          Consciousness Soul), a certain potential arose in the soul for a new
          kind of clairvoyance, using "thinking" as the means. This requires deep
          introspection and much else. Here is something I wrote recently on
          another list as regards the new clairvoyance latent in thinking:

          "As you know "mind", or the human inwardness, is a difficult matter to
          discuss, yet from Steiner we are advised to come to knowledge of "mind",
          especially thinking, before any other activity. His view is that
          without understanding the act of thinking, we will remain stuck (in our
          thinking) in its most rudimentary forms.

          "For example: Thinking always has within it, at its deepest
          levels, the quality: perception. In ordinary mind we sleep through this
          perceptual element, and live only in the after effect - the flow of
          words (or concepts). Thinking is always perceiving, but our i-AM often
          only is awake to the secondary effect, which is the stream of words (our
          spirit speaks, our soul hears). To the perceiving aspect we are most
          frequently unconscious.

          "Thinking in words then can become a kind of interesting play,
          although the concepts being played with are dead, when compared with the
          unconscious perceptual element which is living. So when you write a
          term such as "infinitely infinite" I detect, not perception but a play
          with words. You seem here to be "idealizing" the Divine Mystery, by
          attributing to it the most grandiose concepts you can find. God must be
          Great, is the logic, and so if I (you) use concepts which suggest that
          which is beyond any limits, then I (you) am finding true concepts which
          can be applied to God.

          "Lots of people do this, and there is no shame in it. I would
          guess that there is a sense of wonder and awe behind this. The
          unconscious perception you have when you try to think God, leads to this
          oh so awesome qualitative sense of His Being and Mystery, and only such
          terms as point in that direction can justly be applied.

          "Something similar exists (it appears to me) in the discussions
          concerning the Divine Feminine and the two Trinities. God is being
          "idealized", but the different posters to that thread, live in different
          assumptions (and experiences), with the consequence that they can not
          but seem to disagree, given these different assumptions and experiences.

          "For Steiner, he wished for us to find a way beyond being only
          awake in the play of concepts (play of words and terms), which is the
          natural gift of ordinary mind. He had discovered that thinking could go
          further, were we to learn more about thinking through the application of
          a scientifically based (as in method) practice of introspection. He
          wanted us to look within at thinking itself, and through this process of
          self discovery (know thyself) there involved, we would slowly unfold the
          hidden potential of thinking.

          "The essence of this work is the application of will. We are
          ultimately training the will through this practice of introspection. In
          this sense the will can be divided into two kinds of preliminary acts:
          intention and attention.

          "The "intention" works best when it is rooted in a moral impulse
          (thus Steiner's comments in Knowledge of Higher Worlds about taking
          three steps in moral development for every one step in the development
          of higher knowledge).

          "Second to a moral intention, we have to train our ability to
          focus the inner attention. Normally this aspect of mind (the attention)
          wanders all over the place, which is why all the various exercises -
          they all share in common this training of the attention.

          "One of the most important moral acts is sacrifice of thoughts.
          If we already believe we know, there is no progress, because that lack
          of humility toward the inwardness casts a shadow. Nothing new can be
          brought to us by the participation of the Spirit (which seeks to come
          toward us when we learn properly to "think"), when we already know. In
          the Sermon on the Mount, Christ spoke of this, in this way: "Blessed are
          the poor in spirit, for their's is the Kingdom of Heaven" [or, "The poor
          in spirit are in luck: the kingdom of the skies is theirs" - see the
          Unvarnished Gospels]

          "Only when my consciousness is empty of content (sacrifice of
          thoughts), and I am humble in my thinking ("learn to think on your
          knees" - V. Tomberg), can "it think in me" (Steiner) - that is can the
          Spirit co-participate in the act of thinking and bring me that which I
          yet do not know.

          "So we have intention (moral) and attention (open and focused -
          that is: expectant), which then will ride the true essential part that
          is the cultivation of feeling. It is the willed qualitative nature and
          intensity of feeling that is the essential matter. This is why Steiner
          has us (again in Knowledge of Higher Worlds) spend so much time on
          exercises of the subtle inner feelings.

          "In a sense, we place the center of our "self" in the middle of
          our feelings, as if in a bath of subtle living movement. We "cultivate"
          (will) a certain mood of soul, and this mood makes possible
          "intercourse" with the Spirit.

          "Through these activities we are deepening our sense of what
          truly lives in potential in thinking. We move from the superficial play
          of words into that which has been always latent there - perception. But
          the "perception" is only analogous to sense experience. We haven't yet
          the language, so we borrow from sense experience.

          "Thus, Imagination (Steiner's first level of clairvoyance) is
          picture like - this is it is analogous to seeing, only it is an inner
          seeing - our questing feeling attention has discovered knowledge in the
          sense of seeing a picture. Inspiration (Steiner's second level of
          clairvoyance) is analogous to hearing (we have a "conversation" with the
          Invisible world), so the Beings "tell" us answers to our heartfelt
          questions. With Intuition (Steiner's third and deepest level of
          clairvoyance), we "join" (inter-penetrate) the Being, so that our
          essence and their Essence meet. Knowledge then is neither "seen" or
          "heard", but we are changed - we become the knowledge - it (the
          knowledge) is now part of our will.

          "In this way (method - path - anthroposophy), we come to "know"
          the Divine Mystery.

          "So we know as we are known, as St Paul has explained in 1
          Corinthians 12-13: "We see now through a mirror in an obscure manner
          (ordinary mind), but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I
          shall know even as I have been known (Intuition)"."

          I hope Jarett, this is not too much, but these are serious matters and
          I did want to at least point you in the right direction.

          warm regards,
          joel
          Outlaw Anthroposophy: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/otlwa.html






          On Mon, 2004-12-13 at 22:08, jarett richardson wrote:
          > is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism?
          >
          > what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy
          > hold in common?
          >
          > can a person be a theosophist and an anthroposophist
          > at the same time?
        • Maurice McCarthy
          ... I pretty much agree with everything Chantel answered to these questions. If esotericism is a form of inner or hidden knowledge then anthroposophy would
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 15, 2004
            > In a message dated 12/14/2004 4:59:21 P.M. Central Standard Time,
            > gringo300@... writes:
            >
            >
            > is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism?
            >
            > what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy
            > hold in common?
            >
            > can a person be a theosophist and an anthroposophist
            > at the same time?
            >
            >

            I pretty much agree with everything Chantel answered to these questions. If esotericism is a form of inner or hidden knowledge then anthroposophy would meet this criterion as we always look for the inner truth of things.

            Steiner himself was a Theosophist. At the turn of the century when he first started making his esoteric views public no one would listen barring theosophists. They alone provided him with the space to fulfill his life purpose at that point.

            Theosophy is the wisdom of God whereas Anthroposophy is the wisdom of Man. One looks upon knowledge from a higher vantage point. Theosophy is an ideal objective for an anthroposophist who from this more mundane level I see as better suited to the immediate difficulties of the world.

            When Madame Blavatsky died Annie Besant became one the leaders of the Theosophical Society. RS had to take great exception when she proclaimed the child Krishnamurti as the reincarnation of Christ. This was the point at which he broke away to form the Anthroposophical Society from those members who would follow him from the Theosophists. RS's own life purpose was to deliver the teachings on karma but the preparatory grounding necessary had not been achieved. (It should have been done by someone else.) A spirit approached RS to take this on himself and leapt to it. It was more than 20 years later that he finally began delivering his own life purpose, the last year or two of his own life.

            I've often wondered whether the Michaelic forces utilised Luciferic influence upon Annie Besant in order that anthroposophy should be delivered. This sounds cruelly unspiritual but RS's work was aimed at the year 1998 and after. Either we turn the direction of civilisation now, i.e. in this generation or so, or live with the consequences forever.


            As for specific differences between Anthroposophy and Theosophy I'm afraid I don't really know but whereas RS speaks of 'forces' (an abstract term for spirits and/or their actions) the Theosophists appear to speak of finer and finer grades of 'matter'.


            Best Wishes
            Maurice
          • gabi shell
            ... is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism? what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy hold in common? can a person be a theosophist and an
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 16, 2004
              --- jarett richardson <gringo300@...> wrote:

              ---------------------------------

              is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism?

              what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy
              hold in common?

              can a person be a theosophist and an anthroposophist
              at the same time?



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            • holderlin66
              Maurice McCarthy wrote: I ve often wondered whether the Michaelic forces utilised Luciferic influence upon Annie Besant in order that anthroposophy should be
              Message 6 of 10 , Dec 16, 2004
                Maurice McCarthy wrote:

                "I've often wondered whether the Michaelic forces utilised Luciferic
                influence
                upon Annie Besant in order that anthroposophy should be delivered.
                This sounds
                cruelly unspiritual but RS's work was aimed at the year 1998 and
                after. Either
                we turn the direction of civilisation now, i.e. in this generation
                or so, or
                live with the consequences forever."

                Maurice;

                Care to back that statement up with some storm warnings!!!!
              • joksu57
                Hello! I pretty much agree with Chantel. Here are some comments about theosophy and anthroposophy, which have much in common. As we all know, Dr. Steiner was
                Message 7 of 10 , Dec 17, 2004
                  Hello!

                  I pretty much agree with Chantel. Here are some comments about
                  theosophy and anthroposophy, which have much in common. As we all
                  know, Dr. Steiner was able to find the first audience to his deep
                  teachings through the pioneering work of early theosophists,
                  especially HPB. From the declared objectives of TS the first one was
                  regarded as crucial (To form a nucleus of the Universal Brotherhood
                  of humanity without distinction of race, creed, sex, caste or
                  colour) and there is (IMO) something "rosicrucian" element in this
                  principle. The early work of theosophists consentrated more on older
                  religions (though "Isis" is clearly more rosicrucian book than "The
                  Secret Doctrine"). HPB seems to regard Buddha and buddhism as
                  a "conveyor" of the highest spiritual "message".

                  I see all this as a preliminary work, preparing seekers to understand
                  the Greater Mysteries, Christ-mysteries. Perhaps it was a good thing
                  to let the hypocritical "Christian" western world with its
                  degenerated churches to know about the real achievements of earlier
                  religions (even though there was a strong luciferic element
                  included). Without the knowledge of the earlier spiritual work (e.g.
                  the ancient Rishies, Zarathustra and Gautama Buddha) it is very
                  difficult to clearly understand the crucial turning point and great
                  difference, what the Christ Event ment.

                  Dr. Steiner as a Christian Initiate had the
                  necessary "qualifications" to give to the world (through TS) the
                  teachings about the real meaning of the Christ Event and the Mystery
                  of Golgotha. This could have been the next locigal step after the
                  teachings of HPB (who of course also made mistakes in her teachings
                  concerning the meaning of Christ). But Annie Besant was more
                  interested about ancient hinduism and then came the
                  incredible "Krishnamurti affair" and many other difficulties. Instead
                  of advancing towards Christ-Mysteries the TS took a backward course.
                  The WW I was also declared as a Holy war and Germans were seen under
                  the dominion of black magicians (by the TS leaders). Theosophists
                  were provekod to take part in actual fighting against the Germans.
                  (So, goodbye the 1. objective of the TS, as well as the teachings of
                  Buddha and Christ.)

                  Concerning the "atavistic" clairvoyance of CWL I have some
                  scepticism. Mr. Ervast (whose teachings about the Christ Event were
                  very near of those given by Dr. Steiner) has said some interesting
                  comments abouts CWL. Ervast appreciated Leadbeater's teachings
                  conserning the "astral world". But when CWL described the higher
                  levels, mental (devachan), buddhic etc. it was an other thing. Ervast
                  said that CWL just described the different sub-levels of the astral
                  world, when CWL himself thought that he was on "really high levels".
                  It is the same thing when CWL tries to study the former incarnations
                  of Krishnamurti (in a book called "Man, whence and whither", if my
                  memory serves me.) There Krishnamurti is even "detected" in a very
                  distant period as some kind of a kangaroo type of an animal, already
                  more brighter and obedient than other animals! (Psychic abilities and
                  vivid imagination can make out of the object of the study a
                  real "fairy tale hero".)

                  Maurice mentioned about the finer grades of matter. This is typical
                  in the books of Besant and Leadbeater. According to those
                  descriptions when one goes towards more spiritual worlds matter seem
                  to become more "thinner and finer". This point of view can be
                  considered astral materialism and Dr. Steiner has given some accurate
                  comments about the subject.

                  By the way, the word "theosophy" can be found already in the
                  epistoles of St. Paul: "On the contrary, we speak God's hidden wisdom
                  in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory" (1
                  Cor. 2:7). In Greek something like "Theo Sophie en MysterionÂ…"


                  Warm Regards
                  Joksu
                  --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, Cheeseandsalsa@a... wrote:
                  >
                  > In a message dated 12/14/2004 4:59:21 P.M. Central Standard Time,
                  > gringo300@y... writes:
                  >
                  >
                  > is anthroposophy considered a form of esotericism?
                  >
                  > what-if any-beliefs do theosophy and anthroposophy
                  > hold in common?
                  >
                  > can a person be a theosophist and an anthroposophist
                  > at the same time?
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > Depends on how you define esotericism. There are parts of
                  anthroposophy
                  > that are more and less esoteric. There are parts that are
                  exoteric. When
                  > Steiner lectured about the gospels I would call that esoteric.
                  There are points in
                  > those lectures where Steiner point us in a certain direction and
                  you either
                  > find that direction or you don't. When you discover the hidden
                  meanings for
                  > yourself that is esoteric. Second question theosophy and
                  anthroposophy have a
                  > lot in common except the Christ event is where they stand
                  separate. The
                  > last question I would say, yes of course! The Christ event is
                  where the big
                  > difference is. I have a lot of books on C.W. Leadbeater. He has
                  an entire
                  > different view than Steiner on the Christ but I am not going to
                  throw the baby
                  > out with the bath water and conclude that Leadbeater is unwise.
                  He was
                  > clairvoyant like Steiner and has a lot to offer to people like
                  us. Being an
                  > anthroposophist is not drawing lines between what is and is not.
                  There is too much
                  > grey in between. Find what speaks to you and find your own
                  truth. Steiner
                  > found his and so we are seekers finding our own. Hope that helps
                  somewhat.
                  > ~Chantel
                • Maurice McCarthy
                  ... Hi Bradford As I see it, from the point of view of ordinary understanding, society begins as a survival strategy. The individual must subserve the whole
                  Message 8 of 10 , Dec 17, 2004
                    On Fri, Dec 17, 2004 at 12:11:13AM -0000 or thereabouts, holderlin66 wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > we turn the direction of civilisation now, i.e. in this generation
                    > or so, or
                    > live with the consequences forever."

                    > Maurice;
                    >
                    > Care to back that statement up with some storm warnings!!!!
                    >
                    >

                    Hi Bradford

                    As I see it, from the point of view of ordinary understanding, society begins as a survival strategy. The individual must subserve the whole even unto slavery else the whole may perish. The whole, today, is the economic sphere. Economics already IS world unity.

                    As of the last 200 years survival is guaranteed. Survival is no longer the driving force of society. Slowly the (spiritual) needs of the individual take precedence over the needs of the whole. Economics now must subserve the individual. When the community was more important than the individual then communal property was fitting. Individual property (i.e. the means of re-investment in the economy or capital) is a transitional stage to the fulfillment of the deeper needs of the human being.

                    At present our super-cooled societies are nucleating subcultures in abundance - sexual fetish, drugs, "jackass" behaviour (I am not being judgmental here but only observing fact - the fact that individuals are creating their own 'spaces' in which to exercise their yearning for freedom in whatever manner they see and they alone see fit.) Goths, sk8ters, charvas ... multiple dress codes and musics etc. ... every city area has its 'gang' (in a loose not an organised sense) ... and they are all latent conservatives - they like only their own and distrust, dislike or worse all the way to hate and violence everyone else. So I am saying that the war of all against all has already begun.

                    This crushing of the yearnings of the soul is the ultimate reason which produced the ground on which Al Qaeda could be formed. The concentration of wealth in individual hands without cultural controls in place is felt to be crushing human dignity the world over.

                    Yet politically we continue to think that if only the economy were OK everything would fall into place of its own accord. (This residue of materialistic thinking makes most politicians of the present day closet 'commies'. A snide remark but I leave it their for its illustrative power.) At just this point in time we must begin to set up the truly democratic solutions or the combined power of politics and economic coersion may obtain a bind which is unbreakable. They have the Ahrimanic powers at hand. The ultimate result would be the tearing apart of humanity into two separate destinies, failure of the Michaelic cause. I'd guess we may have a couple of generations.

                    Maurice
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