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Jeff, et al-Re: [anthroposophy] The spiritual path

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  • elaine upton
    Hello Jeff, Thank you for your post to starmann/durward--the very contrariness of the post and all as regards the dangers of objectivity , control of
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 28, 2000
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      Hello Jeff,

      Thank you for your post to starmann/durward--the very contrariness of the
      post and all as regards the dangers of "objectivity", "control of thinking",
      and so forth on the "path."-The caveats or questions you raise are those
      faced by me and many who study anthroposophy and attempt to live it.

      On the path and "objectivity", you wrote:
      > >
      >
      >Though striving to achieve "objectivity" towards self and the world is
      >an ideal in western spiritual work,
      >there are psychological components in this process that are rarely dealt
      >with in the Western path. Since
      >this path is not psychologically oriented in the modern sense of the
      >term, there is always
      >the problem of soul suppression of judgments because one is "trying" to
      >be objective in
      >receiving new impressions. This process is very tricky ((snip . . .))


      I believe Rudolf Steiner counseled us over and over to use good discernment
      and not just blindly follow the surfaces of his teachings. In my
      understanding/experience, being objective is most helpful when I see the
      "other" (so-called other) apart from my own likes or dislikes. --Now, the
      problem of "suppression" that you speak of as a problem in modern (western)
      psychological makeup is a problem only insofar as i do NOT RECOGNIZE my
      feelings of like or dislike, sympathy or antipathy. If i **recognize** my
      feelings of sympathy and antipathy, then i have suppressed nothing. The
      important thing is to recognize these feelings, but then to move on, not to
      get stuck in them, not let them color my behavior toward another.

      Moreover, if i go on to really, really seek to understand (STAND UNDER,
      STAND IN PLACE OF) the so-called other, secrets will be revealed to me. I
      will know the other as myself (not to say that we both are the same
      individual, but we both have within us all the elements of the others
      humanity...and divinity... and these secrets will be revealed to me..."Love
      thy neighbor as thyself").
      A character in a short story by Eudora Welty says, "I coulda loved anybody
      had i a knowed his story." To LISTEN, TO BE OPEN, TO WAIT FOR THE OTHER'S
      STORY, REALLY SEEK TO UNDER-STAND, WITH COMPASSION (COM-PASSION, WITH
      FEELING FOR THE OTHER), this is the spirit of the Christ within, guiding
      one, opening one, revealing secrets.

      On "control of thinking", similarly you write:

      >This method nearly killed all creativity in me for years! By doing it in
      >my early 20's
      >religiously I became inwardly in "control of my thoughts" but lost
      >virtually all spontaneity
      >and the ability to let thoughts and feelings flow and interact in an
      >inspired and creative way.((snip. . .))

      I believe that once again, Steiner counsels us to go deeper, beyond the
      surfaces of his words, and in that he might say that control of thinking
      has nothing to do with producing arid or unspontaneous thinking. And,
      afterall, what is this so-called "spontaneous" thinking that we so prize?
      Often it is no more than Luciferic delusion and egotism, pride. Creativity
      has nothing to do with "spontaneous" thinking as it is commonly perceived.
      Creativity is being in touch with the Divine Impulses that bring about
      creation. These, Steiner counsels--these divine impulses, come about when
      one uses Ichheit (true Ego forces, not egotism/selfishness/pride) to direct
      thoughts, to go beyond random, scattered, will-o-the-wisps kind of
      flightiness. To follow a thing through with devotion and love is the highest
      of earthly thinking and is in tune with being creative, in touch with the
      divine creative impulse. Again, it is a matter of compassionately listening,
      paying attention, devoted in love, that kind of focus (maybe 'focus' is a
      better word than 'control').

      Remember the meditation: IT THINKS.

      The higher THINKING is in me thinking. Often we carry childish notions of
      spontaneity, and it might really be best to let go of these childish notions
      of "spontaneity", which come from false ego (egotism)rather than from true
      Christ-ened Egohood. I say this not just to you, but also to myself and to
      all who would hear.

      Anyway, if the word "control" is a problem (and i do understand how it can
      be a problem, calling up "left brain-right brain" stuff, and also calling up
      colonialism, master-slave mentality, etc...)--instead, how about the word
      FOCUS? All great creative genuises that i know have had great focus for
      their task. No will-o-the-wisp flighty thinking there...

      Hope this is helpful (to you as well as to me and all).
      Your servant,
      elaine




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