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Re: [anthroposophy] How to discuss Anthroposophy in public

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  • DRStarman2001@aol.com
    ... ********I think the frustration is on your part. Every attempt to arrive at real spiritual knowledge through intellectualizing is doomed to failure.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jun 8, 2002
      pacbay@... writes:
      > Another frustrated reply from someone who will not deal with critical distinctions in philosophy or science especially in regards to AP. Where does science fit into Spiritual Science??...

      ********I think the frustration is on your part. Every attempt to arrive at real spiritual knowledge through intellectualizing is doomed to failure. Intellectual debate can convince a man that there is something more than what his intellect can grasp, but then he has to ACT to SEEK that something--- start a program of meditation, contemplation, use of mantras or visual imaginations, seeing life in a different way than the intellect that sets itself apart from feelings and will-forces, being creative with ideas instead of merely logical, using the forces of the limbs in eurythmy, painting, art, deepening his experience of life beyond the shallow intellect. The spiritual scientist uses himself as his laboratory for experimentation. The intellect can read the menu, but the menu is not the food!

      The path of spiritual science begins with the use of the ordinary mind, but then must progress to the level of Imaginative knowledge, which starts with choosing certain thoughts, images and sayings and repeating them to intensify the experience of them with feeling and will. Many artists experience this without consciously being on a spiritual path: ask them what they think of so-called "scientific" knowledge! Nine times out of ten they'll see it the same way: as limited, useful in its own place but useless for real life, and as a mere "head trip" that keeps people boxed in and cut off from the full experience of being a human being. Dr. Steiner in later life defined anthroposophy as "an adequate awareness of being human." This is not just presumption. Any world-conception without awareness of the spirit is inadequate for a modern human being, and an inadequate awareness of being human cannot lead to a fruitful life or to the Truth.

      For some reflections on scientific subjects from out of the attempt to see their content in a new light from the practice of a spiritual science, see the anthropos-science list.

      Also, discussing 'how to discuss anthroposophy in public' without knowing it by practicing it in private, is putting the cart before the horse. Why a non-anthroposophist would presume to do so is beyond me. Why not tell chiropractors how to discuss chiropractic in public while knowing nothing of it and in fact being against its fundamental bases?


      >>>Why do you think AP is under appreciated in so many places- hint: its not because of the dark forces but because there is no bridge between conventional thinking and its insular perspective...

      *******Anthroposophy is not "under-appreciated" because it will be found by only a small number of people. They have an effect all out of proportion to their numbers, so trying to drag lots of people into it is unnecessary. Any attempt to reduce it to something the uninitiated can understand without pursuing the path of self-transformation, will result only in making an uninspired, watered-down caricature of it. We've had plenty of those in other New Age movements. They don't lead to Waldorf Education or a cure for cancer.

      The mystic does not allow himself to be disturbed by the fact that the majority of people can, at any given moment, find no "bridge" to direct experience of higher realities. The bridge is always there. As demonstrated so often, it's not that the "bridge" (which in plain sight) can't be found, but that it can't be seen by any unwilling to acknowledge its existence or walk across it. How the majority chooses to limit itself, should matter not at all to an individual and his daily practice of the Path. He does what he knows to be right from out of the spirit itself, regardless of the attitudes of others. Or as the doctor put it, "We have only to do what is right and trust in evolution for everything else". It is Ahriman who always seeks to make us impatient.


      >
      > Didn't Steiner first master science and math and then introduce spiritual science. When he was engaged in post graduate and undergraduate studies he did not fight the profs with arguments about the ethers, astral beings, or Angels but studied and mastered conventional education as it was at the time not as he wanted it to be. Later he made his corrections.<<

      *******I have done the same, including years of teaching science. But I don't accept the conclusions of 20th century scientists blindly, much less of science fiction. I know what ideas they are basing themselves on, and where they go wrong through ignorance. Steiner did, too. His "corrections" are important because critical erroneous thoughts are encouraged by the being he called Ahriman---viz., that the heart is a pump, that the Sun is a ball of burning gas, that Man is an animal. "Science" is a means of thinking. These conclusions of the science of the moment, repeated and accepted as the word of the "experts", are what C.S. Lewis called "Scientism", a dogmatic faith as closed-minded as Catholicism. I am for the former, opposed to the latter.


      >>>If you want bland quotations and blind allegiance to AP and Steiner, you will not get that from me. <<

      *******Find one such in my posts.

      >
      > One of the most essential concerns in spiritual work is the total elimination of false beliefs, dogma, and spiritual cataracts.

      *******And one of the truths of spiritual development is: Before you presume to pluck out the mote from another's eye, you must remove the beam from your own.

      Dr. Starman

      > pacbay@... writes:
      > > "Real" = made of physical components and with advanced
      > > technological design.
      >
      > *******Jeff, you said you're not an anthroposophist but now it's obvious you're not into ANY kind of spiritual study. So thoughts and feelings aren't real? Or are they all from the physical brain in your belief-system? Because that's the conclusion of thought-patterns like this, that only what has physical components is real...
    • jla
      Jeff : I guess the circle of logic and discussion winds down again to positions and taking a stand. No, I am not or want to be an anthroposophist primarily
      Message 2 of 6 , Jun 8, 2002
        Jeff : I guess the circle of logic and discussion winds down again to positions and taking a stand. No, I am not or want to be an anthroposophist primarily because I see no spiritual need to do so or have I seen examples of balanced spiritual development in my contacts for over 30 years in Waldorf, at seminars, workshops etc. This is not say APs are not good people or doing good spiritual work but there continues to a mystifying the awkward and insular approach found in modern AP. Value is there and I continue to study AP much to your consternation. ( In fact, the lectures I am reading now is highly recommendable and discusses the problems involving Lucifer and Ahriman in some of the most practical and lucid terms I have ever seen as well as our relationship to Guardian Angels. (Guardian Angels).
         
         Jeff: Steiner on the other hand worked against this insularity and this is obvious from his lectures to workers and from  the origins of Waldorf to factory workers. The argument that any discussion outside of AP is intellectual and will lead to nowhere is nonsense. There are simple meditation practices found in other traditions that do not lead to that dreaded label Lucfieric or humanistic and can present people with an immediate sense of well being, self knowledge of soul and without engaging one in clairvoyance imaginations. This is Steiner's mission and that of APs but I do not see a host of clairvoyants arising in the world stepping forward to lead us out of darkness. This emphasis, and I believe, is mis-directed ideal has lead to a one-sided appeal towards the head and visionary abilities as the only way to know spiritual things. .. The bridge between everyday life and AP is not yet there.Contention, defensiveness, blanket condemnation of other spiritual paths, poor understanding of Eastern spirituality, and language exclusively are some of the factors of  leading to under appreciation as expressed by you below:
         
        Starmann: The path of spiritual science begins with the use of the ordinary mind, but then must progress to the level of Imaginative knowledge, which starts with choosing certain thoughts, images and sayings and repeating them to intensify the experience of them with feeling and will. Many artists experience this without consciously being on a spiritual path: ask them what they think of so-called "scientific" knowledge! Nine times out of ten they'll see it the same way: as limited, useful in its own place but useless for real life, and as a mere "head trip" that keeps people boxed in and cut off from the full experience of being a human being. Dr. Steiner in later life defined anthroposophy as "an adequate awareness of being human." This is not just presumption. Any world-conception without awareness of the spirit is inadequate for a modern human being, and an inadequate awareness of being human cannot lead to a fruitful life or to the Truth.
        The mystic does not allow himself to be disturbed by the fact that the majority of people can, at any given moment, find no "bridge" to direct experience of higher realities. The bridge is always there. As demonstrated so often, it's not that the "bridge" (which in plain sight) can't be found, but that it can't be seen by any unwilling to acknowledge its existence or walk across it. How the majority chooses to limit itself, should matter not at all to an individual and his daily practice of the Path. He does what he knows to be right from out of the spirit itself, regardless of the attitudes of others. Or as the doctor put it, "We have only to do what is right and trust in evolution for everything else". It is Ahriman who always seeks to make us impatient.
         
         
        Jeff: And this statement above encapsulates the essence of what I am speaking about. Firstly, what is a mystic? This is a general label covering a wide range of human religious experience past and present. St. Francis, Rumi, Thomas Merton and Eckert Tolle were and are "mystics" but all express this life very differently. The bridge so often hoped for in AP is not a bridge necessarily but series of ropes across a crevice. Often practioners hit the wall in early work because there is no experienced guidance available (in groups or literature) and the exercises can lead to energetic imbalances, too much focus on the head energies, disturbed sleep patterns, etc.as well as a subtle changes in spiritual outlook  and moral and ethical sensitivity.  This bridge should have been crafted with more understanding to the preparatory work needed in basic in meditation practice before taking on the six month exercises and Knowledge of Higher Worlds. But that is another discussion. 
         
        Jeff:  It is clear that we are not deserted by the Divine and what can be called essential spiritual revelations or experiences can be engaged by ordinary people and create life transforming changes without metaphysical underpinnings.  Could it be that there are really many paths to God and not just one "appropriate to modern life".?  I would trust the spiritual experience of an artist, if it was genuine,  than someone who "understands" the world metaphysically. There is an extraordinary quality about someone who has encountered the spiritual world or Beings directly and someone who is still in the progress stage. Each person must deal with where they are at not envy the experience of another but the proof is in the quality of being.
         
        And you did not answer my earlier question about the police encounter.
         
        Jeff
         
         
         -----
      • jla
        Then I am asking to create a bridge that diverts from a Goethean outlook. Sheldrake is doing more now to shake up science than AP. Why? he stared with the
        Message 3 of 6 , Jun 8, 2002
          Then I am asking to create a bridge that diverts from a  Goethean outlook.  Sheldrake is doing more now to shake up science than AP. Why? he stared with the observations of plants and saw and understood something that did not make sense in present theory. He postulated "morphic field theory" (in AP -etheric formative forces) and it has attracted attention and consideration. He did not try to posit a whole new world view immediately but little insights like this can bridge to something like AP. Again the problem is pulling the thread. If you open up AP and pulls a "thread" (a concept/description from Steiner since he is the only real source!) you end up with the entire tapestry. This is by design but is daunting and not what necessarily works today. I know it not a holistic approach I am considering or "a unified spiritual outlook" but apparent disconnected threads can lead on back to a the whole.
           
          jeff
           
           
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: Carol
          Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2002 1:28 AM
          Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] How to discuss Anthroposophy in public

          Jeff said:

          > As for Carl Sagan, I always felt sour on him for the same
          > reason you do but recently I saw a retrospective on his
          > life and TV work and in spite of his being wedded to a
          > materialistic view of things, his awe and own sense of
          > reverence for the Cosmos was admirable and in fact
          > inspiring. He did not need metaphysical concepts or beings
          > to actually feel the wonder of creation and I respect him
          > for that.
          >


          I love that too.  I love knowing pure atheists who
          demonstrate more awe and wonder for the natural world than I
          do. 
          It shows me something very important; that somebody like Carl
          Sagan is not at all a complete prisoner to his ideas, which
          on their own would deny that his experience of awe is of any
          significance; he experiences awe in spite of the inevitable
          conclusions of his ideas about the nature of the universe.  I
          can go on all day as to why his experience is so important
          and yet experience no more than a dull buzz when looking at a
          garden.  I guess it makes some sense that Steiner says that
          spiritual science is impossible outside of a context of
          reverence and love for the natural world.  I like how
          spiritual science doesn't just acknowledge that awe, but
          utilizes it as a foundation of its methodology.

          As to your first point, I don't think it is possible for
          spiritual science to create a bridge to our modern notions. I
          think it is the responsiblity of those working in the
          Goethean-styled science to form this bridge.  They are small
          in number, but they are doing an amazing job, I think.  And
          in my opinion, the primary challenge they face in trying to
          point science in a new direction is that this new direction
          is based on what is considered to be massive TABOOS of
          science.  If you just read a Goethean scientist you might
          conclude that, yes he is intelligent, but you will never get
          around the fact that he is claiming that cognition can
          somehow be primary, not secondary. 
          Even if he makes a logical arguement that seems clear and
          resonable, your eyes keep telling you that the rock you are
          looking at has nothing to do with cognitive activity.  And
          this is just one of the taboos that a goethean type science
          would break.  It must have been a similiar type thing when
          people began to challenge the Aristotillian cosmology.

          But I shouldn't forget the subject you chose.  I don't think
          we should expect much in regards to discussing AP in public
          because the moment you talk about certain AP categories,
          you've either lost them or you had them already so what's the
          point.  Goethean styled sciences, however, can generate
          facinating conversations with people who are even just
          somewhat open to new ideas.

          Carol



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        • Carol
          Wait was that post from the same guy who just criticized AP for coming across as the only path, the same guy who just suggested that there were probably many
          Message 4 of 6 , Jun 8, 2002
            Wait was that post from the same guy who just criticized AP
            for coming across as the only path, the same guy who just
            suggested that there were probably many paths that were
            appropriate in our times? It can't be because why would you
            elevate Sheldrake over Henri Bortoft. Sheldrake is
            incredible, but he is only working on one aspect of the
            science question. He does nothing to bring our attention to
            the way science can evolve to become more participative
            epistemolgically, however, his work helps because it opens up
            new thought space for a wide range of people.

            Carol
            --- jla <pacbay@...> wrote:
            > Then I am asking to create a bridge that diverts from a
            > Goethean outlook. Sheldrake is doing more now to shake up
            > science than AP. Why? he stared with the observations of
            > plants and saw and understood something that did not make
            > sense in present theory. He postulated "morphic field
            > theory" (in AP -etheric formative forces) and it has
            > attracted attention and consideration. He did not try to
            > posit a whole new world view immediately but little
            > insights like this can bridge to something like AP. Again
            > the problem is pulling the thread. If you open up AP and
            > pulls a "thread" (a concept/description from Steiner since
            > he is the only real source!) you end up with the entire
            > tapestry. This is by design but is daunting and not what
            > necessarily works today. I know it not a holistic approach
            > I am considering or "a unified spiritual outlook" but
            > apparent disconnected threads can lead on back to a the
            > whole.
            >
            > jeff
            >
            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: Carol
            > To: anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Saturday, June 08, 2002 1:28 AM
            > Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] How to discuss Anthroposophy
            > in public
            >
            >
            > Jeff said:
            >
            > > As for Carl Sagan, I always felt sour on him for the
            > same
            > > reason you do but recently I saw a retrospective on his
            > > life and TV work and in spite of his being wedded to a
            > > materialistic view of things, his awe and own sense of
            > > reverence for the Cosmos was admirable and in fact
            > > inspiring. He did not need metaphysical concepts or
            > beings
            > > to actually feel the wonder of creation and I respect
            > him
            > > for that.
            > >
            >
            >
            > I love that too. I love knowing pure atheists who
            > demonstrate more awe and wonder for the natural world
            > than I
            > do.
            > It shows me something very important; that somebody like
            > Carl
            > Sagan is not at all a complete prisoner to his ideas,
            > which
            > on their own would deny that his experience of awe is of
            > any
            > significance; he experiences awe in spite of the
            > inevitable
            > conclusions of his ideas about the nature of the
            > universe. I
            > can go on all day as to why his experience is so
            > important
            > and yet experience no more than a dull buzz when looking
            > at a
            > garden. I guess it makes some sense that Steiner says
            > that
            > spiritual science is impossible outside of a context of
            > reverence and love for the natural world. I like how
            > spiritual science doesn't just acknowledge that awe, but
            > utilizes it as a foundation of its methodology.
            >
            > As to your first point, I don't think it is possible for
            > spiritual science to create a bridge to our modern
            > notions. I
            > think it is the responsiblity of those working in the
            > Goethean-styled science to form this bridge. They are
            > small
            > in number, but they are doing an amazing job, I think.
            > And
            > in my opinion, the primary challenge they face in trying
            > to
            > point science in a new direction is that this new
            > direction
            > is based on what is considered to be massive TABOOS of
            > science. If you just read a Goethean scientist you might
            > conclude that, yes he is intelligent, but you will never
            > get
            > around the fact that he is claiming that cognition can
            > somehow be primary, not secondary.
            > Even if he makes a logical arguement that seems clear and
            > resonable, your eyes keep telling you that the rock you
            > are
            > looking at has nothing to do with cognitive activity.
            > And
            > this is just one of the taboos that a goethean type
            > science
            > would break. It must have been a similiar type thing
            > when
            > people began to challenge the Aristotillian cosmology.
            >
            > But I shouldn't forget the subject you chose. I don't
            > think
            > we should expect much in regards to discussing AP in
            > public
            > because the moment you talk about certain AP categories,
            > you've either lost them or you had them already so what's
            > the
            > point. Goethean styled sciences, however, can generate
            > facinating conversations with people who are even just
            > somewhat open to new ideas.
            >
            > Carol
            >
            >
            >
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