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Re: [anthroposophy] question

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  • eurythmy
    ... I find that one has to find the mood in which one wants to read this text. One can substitute the term lower class to savage and have a field day, the same
    Message 1 of 7 , Dec 13, 2000
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      ----- When I look at your quote in the first of four lectures by Steiner
      > titled "Occult Signs and Symbols>
      I find that one has to find the mood in which one wants to read this text.
      One can substitute the term lower class to savage and have a field day, the
      same if one put member of the third world or developing world.

      If one take a spiritual Science study mood it seems fairly obvious to me
      that Steiner talks about way to enlighten one's astral body, to prepare it
      for enlightenment, illumination as described in knowledge of higher worlds.
      The audience must have had a good level of complacency. So instead of his
      usual the present people excepted he speaks of a case of some one who is
      obviously not in the audience, as no cannibal was eating physically some one
      else
      He could have taken mild flaws of character, white lies, being very
      interested in making money for the well being of the family -some how mildly
      regardless of the social consequences, a turning of head at the sight a
      pretty man or woman etc. The audience would have thought yes but either this
      path demand such perfection I cannot follow it. Or never the less, as I
      recognise those traits in others, I still think they are not too bad
      fellows; is not one throwing the baby with the bath water?
      So Steiner probably takes an extreme case, extreme in the eyes of the
      audience, NOT NECESSARILY IN HIS OWN EYES, and so we are to day looking at
      it with our prejudices.
      FURTHERMORE taking the cannibal enables him to remind the audience that
      they are not so far off this stage and they can have some humility! One of
      the main trait of the savage cannibal is not an animal as some thought he
      has an ego, like every one in the audience. The man cannot do arithmetic and
      some in the audience could not do more than the very basic.
      Steiner takes this point to indicate that control of passion is not only
      a psychological self development affair but that maths are a gate way to
      self development and he often advocate it as a gate way to non perception
      not linked to the bodily senses, not dominated by the astral body or
      sentient soul.

      Our view of the world is different from early 20th century, in our daily
      life most of us have met non white people, if only in film or TV and have
      different sense perception of this problem, our astral body has been
      educated by these sense perception.
      What can one say of the aborigine or the pygmies or the red Indian or any
      other offspring of the early 20th century savage who spend his youth
      hunting/gathering and as a young adult goes to university? Is it a lesson of
      humility for "us" or had s/he a previous incarnation in a non-savage race!
      and then we are at the top again? This kind of general question is of no
      use, one has as always with fellow human being to look at the individual, to
      spiritually investigate. Not to stay in generalities. This domain of
      generalities is only there for us to understand certain basic laws of
      reincarnations, the new Lord of Karma is the great juggle of those laws, not
      their slave like the previous one.

      Yours
      Franky

      Original message:
      "What does a man work into his astral body? What we call goodness and
      > common sense. If you observe a savage who is still on the level of a
      > cannibal, blindly following his passions, you must say of him that he
      > stands lower than the animals because the animal still has no
      > understanding, no consciousness of his deeds. Man, however, even the
      > lowest, already has an ego. The more highly educated person can be
      > distinguished from the savage through the fact that he has already
      > worked on his astral body. Certain passions he has so understood that
      > he says to himself, "This one I may follow, this other I may not
      > follow." Certain urges and passions he fashions to more refined
      > configurations, which he calls his ideal. He forms moral concepts.
      > All these are transformations of his astral body. The savage cannot
      > do arithmetic or make judgments. This property man has acquired
      > through work on his astral body from incarnation to incarnation. What
      > develops as man gradually ennobles his present imperfect form to
      > become that being of light of whom we spoke; this is called the
      > assimilation of wisdom. The more wisdom the astral body contains, the
      > more luminous it will be."
      >
      >
    • starmann77@aol.com
      holmar@jps.net writes:
      Message 2 of 7 , Dec 18, 2000
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        holmar@... writes:
        << "What does a man work into his astral body? What we call goodness and
        common sense. If you observe a savage who is still on the level of a
        cannibal, blindly following his passions, you must say of him that he stands
        lower than the animals because the animal still has no understanding, no
        consciousness of his deeds. Man, however, even the lowest, already has an
        ego. The more highly educated person can be distinguished from the savage
        through the fact that he has already worked on his astral body. Certain
        passions he has so understood that he says to himself, "This one I may
        follow, this other I may not follow." Certain urges and passions he fashions
        to more refined configurations, which he calls his ideal. He forms moral
        concepts. All these are transformations of his astral body. The savage cannot
        do arithmetic or make judgments. This property man has acquired through work
        on his astral body from incarnation to incarnation. What develops as man
        gradually ennobles his present imperfect form to become that being of light
        of whom we spoke; this is called the assimilation of wisdom. The more wisdom
        the astral body contains, the more luminous it will be."

        I assume Steiner means by the term savage a member of an aboriginal
        tribe as can be found in a place such as Australia,or perhaps the
        term savage even includes people such as native Americans. Does
        Steiner really mean to say that an Australian aborigine cannot learn
        arithmetic. There have certainly been aborigines who have attended
        universities and earned degrees. I remember from an class I once
        took in physical anthropology, that members of different species
        cannot produce offspring. Human beings between different races can
        certainly have healthy normal children. And therefore every human on
        earth is a member of the same species. It appears from scientific
        research that a very small group of humans gave rise to all humans
        which are now dispersed all over the earth..
        Steiner lectures " This property man has acquired through work on
        his astral body from incarnation to incarnation". Does this imply
        that "savages" on average are born with a lesser developed astral
        bodies than those who began life in a modern nation state. I have
        met individuals of any color or race, who don't fit into the savage
        or cannibal category and yet are perfectly content to live their
        lives "blindly following their passions".
        I was disturbed reading the above quoted lines. Perhaps, I hope,
        there is something that I don't understand correctly. I can't
        believe that Steiner is a racist. Maybe somebody can shed some light
        on this for me.
        Holger. >>

        *******I believe if you look carefully you'll see it was you who brought
        'race' into the above quotes. They are about cultures. There are, in any era,
        more and less advanced cultures. The advancement of all mankind is centered
        in one or another, now Egypt, now Greece.. and souls go to the group they
        have an affinity for. Those who incarnate in the European nations or the
        Western world are (mostly) those who have attained a level of development
        where they can participate in it. An Edison or an Einstein would not be able
        to fulfill his karma if he incarnated in New Guinea among the savages that
        ate Michael Rockafeller some years ago, for instance.

        There is a great difference in the cultural development of different
        volks or peoples, and it's folly to ignore this in the name of some abstract
        idea of equality. The equality of all human beings as human beings has
        nothing to do with their cultural conditioning, which must be taken into
        account if you want to be realistic. You can't teach every child with the
        same methods regardless of where it's from.

        Certainly people born into a culture can decline and give in to their
        passions again, especially if the culture is degenerating, like some of the
        West---just compare the music it's had handed down to what most of its young
        people are listening to now and the effects the former and the latter have.
        But it's much harder for one from a culture low in certain values to go in
        the other direction. And those cultures do indeed attract souls with astral
        bodies appropriate to their level of development. Most souls go where they
        need to be.

        Dr. Starman
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