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Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

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  • jla
    Off base, perhaps. its hard to see how mechanical occultism is related to yoga breathing or yoga in general. There is a assumed fear of all yoga methods and
    Message 1 of 14 , Jun 28, 2002
      Off base, perhaps. its hard to see how mechanical occultism is related to yoga breathing or yoga in general. There is a assumed fear of all "yoga" methods and spiritual approaches implicit in AP and by Steiner and other early Western occultists, in particular. I recently read this again in the Holy Trinity cycle and it is clear that a gross misinterpretation can result from a short comment and assessment by RS about yoga and breathing. There are many forms of Hatha or physical yoga- some are modified for westerners and involve simple breath awareness. Others are more extreme but have quickly passed away from popular usage for the very reasons RS and other point to:  focus on the breath and kundalini energy can be overpowering and lead one into psychic experiences and ungroundedness quickly. I have friends who used to be involved in Kundalini yoga (3HO) and nearly all have stopped the vigorous practices and do physical yoga not energetic yoga and breath work for the reasons above.
       
      By the way, comparing Eurythmy and Yoga postures is another subject and there may be some validity to the criticism of imitating animal like postures by humans or holding certain postures that may stimulate certain organs in the body (Chinese martial arts and yoga copy some animal postures for cats, dogs, birds, etc). On the other hand, most yoga practices today in the West are not really yoga but yogic stretching with little or no philosophy or spiritual pretensions. It's simple and effective way to achieve greater flexibility and strength in the body gently and with controlled attention. Breath work is added to increase oxygen flow and assist circulation and expand lung and diaphragm capacity. I have experience in this since I have done hatha yoga off and on since 1970 and have started up again much to my pleasure and benefit. There are very few disciplines that will counteract the predominant fact that we sit in chairs too much and have little flexibility left in our bodies. To touch our toes while bending over or being able to turn the torso easily side to side in a rarity not to mention our slumped postures and shallow breathing.
       
       
      Jeff
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: evlogite
      Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 8:22 AM
      Subject: [anthroposophy] Mechanical Occultism

      --- In anthroposophy@y..., "elaineupton2001" <elaineupton@h...> wrote:
      > I am presently uncomfortable with the use of
      > the word "mechanic" to describe this particular mode--"natural"?--
      >of  spiritual inheritance-???).

      I never thought about it before, but I guess mechanical might evoke
      images of Keeley perpetual motion machines and the like.
      As a spiritual stream, mechanical occultism has more in common with
      yoga and the mechanics of the breath, but it has more in common with
      what Theosophy calls the 7th Ray, the path of ritual, interaction
      with the forces of nature and alchemy.

      Am I off-base here?  What do you think? 

      evlogite


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    • evlogite
      ... related to yoga breathing or yoga in general. There is a assumed fear of all yoga methods and spiritual approaches implicit in AP and by Steiner and
      Message 2 of 14 , Jun 28, 2002
        --- In anthroposophy@y..., "jla" <pacbay@a...> wrote:
        > Off base, perhaps. its hard to see how mechanical occultism is
        related to yoga breathing or yoga in general. There is a assumed fear
        of all "yoga" methods and spiritual approaches implicit in AP and by
        Steiner and other early Western occultists, in particular.

        Wouldn't dividing the breath into its component elements encompass
        both alchemy and yoga?

        Regarding the fear of yoga methods:
        Yes, there are dangers, but they can be part of an Anthroposophical
        path, IMHO.

        evlogite
      • jla
        Wouldn t dividing the breath into its component elements encompass both alchemy and yoga? Regarding the fear of yoga methods: Yes, there are dangers, but they
        Message 3 of 14 , Jun 28, 2002
           
          Wouldn't dividing the breath into its component elements encompass
          both alchemy and yoga?

          Regarding the fear of yoga methods:
          Yes, there are dangers, but they can be part of an Anthroposophical
          path, IMHO.

          evlogite
           
          I would say, absolutely- that any esoteric breath work that takes on this function is alchemy. Both Steiner and the Rosicrucians mention that at a certain stage of inner growth and initiation, breath control and cadence control is introduced to ultimately change the mix of carbon dioxide in the blood. Advanced methods supposedly are taught actually allow the initiate to separate the carbon element from carbon dioxide, free it for use and infuse it into the cell life of the body for longevity and minimal dietary intake. The tradition of breatharans in the East and among some saints and nuns in the West may reflect this process but its done unconsciously by most.
           
          I don't see how the early stages of this practice (pre-initiation and without direct advanced instruction)  would lead one to discover applications to mechanical principles or technology applications. I think the post earlier on Keely and sympatric force of thinking and will may be closer to this.

          Jeff

        • Bill
          Jeff, Do you remember where Steiner talks about this? Bill
          Message 4 of 14 , Jun 28, 2002
            Jeff,

            Do you remember where Steiner talks about this?

            Bill

            jla wrote:
             
            Wouldn't dividing the breath into its component elements encompass
            both alchemy and yoga?

            Regarding the fear of yoga methods:
            Yes, there are dangers, but they can be part of an Anthroposophical
            path, IMHO.

            evlogite
             
            I would say, absolutely- that any esoteric breath work that takes on this function is alchemy. Both Steiner and the Rosicrucians mention that at a certain stage of inner growth and initiation, breath control and cadence control is introduced to ultimately change the mix of carbon dioxide in the blood. Advanced methods supposedly are taught actually allow the initiate to separate the carbon element from carbon dioxide, free it for use and infuse it into the cell life of the body for longevity and minimal dietary intake. The tradition of breatharans in the East and among some saints and nuns in the West may reflect this process but its done unconsciously by most.
             
            I don't see how the early stages of this practice (pre-initiation and without direct advanced instruction)  would lead one to discover applications to mechanical principles or technology applications. I think the post earlier on Keely and sympatric force of thinking and will may be closer to this.

            Jeff


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          • Joel Wendt
            Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this subject comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern spiritual life in the
            Message 5 of 14 , Jun 29, 2002
              Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this subject
              comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern
              spiritual life in the Cultural West.

              Always, it seem to me in any case, those who write and speak demonstrate
              not a very deep understanding of what is going on. Routinely Jeff can
              be expected to accuse AP of some kind of prejudice against Yoga, which
              is accurate in the sense that Steiner clearly discouraged interest in
              it.

              Many people think of Yoga in the sense of the stretching exercises in
              their physical aspect, not acknowledging that physical work involves and
              effects the mind quite directly. Certainly the breathing exercises
              effect the soul/spirit nexus, and again Steiner can probably be quoted
              as suggesting people avoid these practices.

              Perhaps the proponents of Yoga for anthroposophists should consider
              three possible realities. One: they may not have a deep enough
              knowledge to actually make a correct judgment. Two: The way they use
              the word Yoga is not at all what Steiner meant when he used the term.
              And, Three: There might well be excellent reasons for those involved in
              Western spiritual life to avoid Yoga.

              I will now quote below several parts of a short essay of V. Tomberg's
              published in the book Early Articles. The essay was originally published
              in Mensch en Kosmos, in Holland in 1939. It is called: Indian Yoga and
              Christian Occultism

              "Regarding Yoga now from this point of view - that it is not just a
              theoretical world of ideas, but a practical ordering of the relation
              between spirit and matter - there arises the question as to the manner
              in which this relationship is governed. We are faced with the question:
              What does the student of Yoga actually want to achieve? What aim does
              his soul have in view?

              The goal of the Yoga student is to be freed from the bonds of the body,
              and essentially Yoga technique employs methods for breaking these bonds.
              These consist of a system of exercise along with a certain way of life
              which call forth changes in the human being, taking him further in the
              direction of this goal. The transformations striven for by repeated
              exercises and the definite life style of Yoga result in the formation of
              a kind of stream of forces which come from below and move upwards in the
              human organism: from the lower body up into the head.

              "...causing consciousness to be loosened from the body ...This striving
              is a striving after freedom - but in the sense of freedom from the
              earth."

              "The practical aim of Yoga actually stands in polar opposition to the
              ideals of the representatives of Christian European Culture...For them
              the important thing is not to be freed from the earthly element, but to
              redeem everything earthly from evil.

              "The idea which forms the basis for this striving is not the opposition
              between spirit and matter, but rather the opposition between good and
              evil.

              "...The goal of true Christianity finds expression in the image of the
              Washing of the Feet from the sublime Gospel of St. John...In this image,
              the idea is expressed that the Christ impulse has the task of enabling
              the 'low' to be purified: by going down oneself into the lowest regions
              of being in order to ennoble them...

              "While the objective of Indian Yoga is to create a stream of 'fire
              power' from below upward in the human organism with the purpose of to
              experience the liberation of ones' own soul, so in Christian Occultism
              the main objective is to create a stream of 'light power' which works
              from above downward. Meditation and other spiritual exercises of
              Christian Occultism have the task to allow the light which is kindled in
              the head to stream downward so that the unconscious life of human urges
              and instincts may be illuminated and ennobled."

              There is more, and I urge any with an interest to try to obtain a copy
              of this book.

              warm regards,
              joel
            • evlogite
              Dear Everyone: Perhaps the use of Indian words such as yoga are taboo here because they evoke knee-jerk reactions, so I guess we should avoid them.
              Message 6 of 14 , Jun 29, 2002
                Dear Everyone:

                Perhaps the use of "Indian" words such as yoga are taboo here because
                they evoke knee-jerk reactions, so I guess we should avoid them.
                Unfortunately-- we have inherited the vocabulary from Theosophy and
                we use a lot of these foreign terms.

                Let's just say that within a true Rosicrucian path of development
                there are effects on the breath that we come to understand as what I
                call "yoga"-- no specific postures or stretching-- but changes in the
                rhythm, flow and depth of the breath and the physical body. An
                understanding of the Indian yoga "of the past" can help to shed light
                on these changes. That is why we are called to understand, not to
                condemn. Forgive me for my loose use of vocabulary. Remember that
                the "bodhisattvas carry forth the fruits of past cultures in the
                present time." (RS 1911)

                Perhaps if we substituted the word "respiration" for "yoga" that
                might clear up things, but at the same time it would cut us off from
                a viable spiritual tradition of the past. The fruit doesn't appear
                without the tree. What I wished to explore was the Rosicrucian
                understanding of respiration. How does the breath change when we
                pray; when we concentrate on an object; when we meditate on a verse;
                when we come into contact with this or that being? How does the rib
                cage rise and fall? Do the sacrum and psoas muscles move? Are they
                limber? Or has our life -in- our- heads cut us off from these very
                basic yet important phenomena? These are the questions that I wanted
                to explore under the umbrella of mechanical occultism and to see if
                there were others out there who could shed some light on these things.

                Now if you don't go for this, that's all well and good-- but don't
                tell me why Rudolf Steiner or Valentin Tomberg won't go for it--
                Firstoff it's the first indication of spiritual presumptiousness that
                we "know" their minds and can speak for them.

                That's always been one side of the coin-- the other is to reject
                anyone with legitimate knowledge. That's why true spiritual
                investigation doesn't easily flourish in the mainstream of
                Anthroposophy -- only on the periphery.
                But that's a whole different area for discussion.

                Now here comes my opinion-- I don't think that we men who live in
                the consciousness soul era, and less those who seek manasic
                consciousness should be condemning the chosen path of anyone who
                choses to share their experience here in this forum. Shouldn't we
                try to understand and learn from one another instead of fishing out
                quotations from long ago to justify our exclusionary points of view?

                Shouldn't the tactfulness that we are expected to use in the external
                world be applied to the intimate questions of our chosen path to the
                Christ? Or do we feel free to apply the methods of the Dark Ages
                when it comes to the spiritual paths of others? Is it the last arena
                of subjectivity, and tribalism?

                The rudeness and negativity that sometimes masquerades here for
                wisdom is beneath us all.
                Otherwise I find this to be a very instructive arena of exchange.
                Thank you all.

                evlogite
              • Joel Wendt
                Dear Evlogite, If it was your intention to comment on my post, I would prefer you be more direct. Personally I am interested in what the truth is, and I find
                Message 7 of 14 , Jun 29, 2002
                  Dear Evlogite,

                  If it was your intention to comment on my post, I would prefer you be
                  more direct. Personally I am interested in what the truth is, and I
                  find that many people read a lot of books and say things that are from
                  books, but not from experience. Not to say quoting books is bad, on the
                  contrary. What I would prefer is that people make clear which they are
                  doing, so if someone says, as you did: "What I wished to explore was the
                  Rosicrucian understanding of respiration.", what I need to know is how
                  the statement that follows is "Rosicrucian". Merely stating that it is
                  so is inadequate. I need to hear sources and if not sources what are
                  one's direct experiences.

                  This "source" discipline is part of what makes for a spiritual
                  "science", otherwise one can say anything and claim anything, and end up
                  really having contributed nothing.

                  I quoted Tomberg and hoped that a discussion might evolve around what
                  seems to be very important questions. I wasn't trying to start a
                  pissing contest.

                  warm regards,
                  joel

                  On Sat, 2002-06-29 at 10:51, evlogite wrote:
                  > Dear Everyone:
                  >
                  > Perhaps the use of "Indian" words such as yoga are taboo here because
                  > they evoke knee-jerk reactions, so I guess we should avoid them.
                  > Unfortunately-- we have inherited the vocabulary from Theosophy and
                  > we use a lot of these foreign terms.
                  >
                  > Let's just say that within a true Rosicrucian path of development
                  > there are effects on the breath that we come to understand as what I
                  > call "yoga"-- no specific postures or stretching-- but changes in the
                  > rhythm, flow and depth of the breath and the physical body. An
                  > understanding of the Indian yoga "of the past" can help to shed light
                  > on these changes. That is why we are called to understand, not to
                  > condemn. Forgive me for my loose use of vocabulary. Remember that
                  > the "bodhisattvas carry forth the fruits of past cultures in the
                  > present time." (RS 1911)
                  >
                  > Perhaps if we substituted the word "respiration" for "yoga" that
                  > might clear up things, but at the same time it would cut us off from
                  > a viable spiritual tradition of the past. The fruit doesn't appear
                  > without the tree. What I wished to explore was the Rosicrucian
                  > understanding of respiration. How does the breath change when we
                  > pray; when we concentrate on an object; when we meditate on a verse;
                  > when we come into contact with this or that being? How does the rib
                  > cage rise and fall? Do the sacrum and psoas muscles move? Are they
                  > limber? Or has our life -in- our- heads cut us off from these very
                  > basic yet important phenomena? These are the questions that I wanted
                  > to explore under the umbrella of mechanical occultism and to see if
                  > there were others out there who could shed some light on these things.
                  >
                  > Now if you don't go for this, that's all well and good-- but don't
                  > tell me why Rudolf Steiner or Valentin Tomberg won't go for it--
                  > Firstoff it's the first indication of spiritual presumptiousness that
                  > we "know" their minds and can speak for them.
                  >
                  > That's always been one side of the coin-- the other is to reject
                  > anyone with legitimate knowledge. That's why true spiritual
                  > investigation doesn't easily flourish in the mainstream of
                  > Anthroposophy -- only on the periphery.
                  > But that's a whole different area for discussion.
                  >
                  > Now here comes my opinion-- I don't think that we men who live in
                  > the consciousness soul era, and less those who seek manasic
                  > consciousness should be condemning the chosen path of anyone who
                  > choses to share their experience here in this forum. Shouldn't we
                  > try to understand and learn from one another instead of fishing out
                  > quotations from long ago to justify our exclusionary points of view?
                  >
                  > Shouldn't the tactfulness that we are expected to use in the external
                  > world be applied to the intimate questions of our chosen path to the
                  > Christ? Or do we feel free to apply the methods of the Dark Ages
                  > when it comes to the spiritual paths of others? Is it the last arena
                  > of subjectivity, and tribalism?
                  >
                  > The rudeness and negativity that sometimes masquerades here for
                  > wisdom is beneath us all.
                  > Otherwise I find this to be a very instructive arena of exchange.
                  > Thank you all.
                  >
                  > evlogite
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
                  > Unsubscribe:
                  > anthroposophy-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > List owner: anthroposophy-owner@yahoogroups.com
                  >
                  >
                  > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                  >
                  >
                • studioeditions2002
                  Dear Joel, Perhaps I can offer something worthwhile on your discussion below, based on experience but also a kind of worked-through knowledge from so many
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jun 29, 2002
                    Dear Joel,

                    Perhaps I can offer something worthwhile on your discussion below,
                    based on experience but also a kind of worked-through knowledge from
                    so many sources I can hardly remember all of them... I'll note some
                    sources that I recall.

                    On the Western Christian esoteric path, through meditation, the
                    spiritual forces of energy move from the head downward to the heart
                    or heart center; when this occurs, at the same "time" the forces from
                    below move upward to the heart center, so there's a meeting in the
                    center, at the "crossing point." So the Western, especially the
                    American, individual, who places so much value on sexuality, must,
                    when this occurs, "take the bull by the horns," and confront that
                    "mountain of fire," (Steiner painted it) that is his/her instinctual
                    life brought into consciousness. Recall what RS said about the cross:
                    human above; plant below; and animal (horizontal) at the crossing
                    point. These lower forces should not go up to the head and out in
                    Western man (the halo shown on Christian saints indicates that lower
                    forces are prevented from going up and out) because these forces make
                    him desire life and the earth. As Zanoni was mentioned a week or so
                    ago, this novel does describe the character's confrontation with the
                    extremely powerful forces of his sexuality in the form of the double,
                    and the character goes "off the deep end," for quite some time until
                    he finally gets his balance again. RS indicated that John was the
                    Being who has the spiritual responsibility for the horizontal or
                    animal line in the cross. The goal is to work through and enoble the
                    animal or instinctual life, leading gradually to an experience of a
                    higher love, or agape, a love for humanity, a selfless devotion to
                    the higher life.

                    The Eastern guru does not value sexuality all that much; it's nowhere
                    near as important to him as to Western man, and he does still strive
                    to release himself from the earth and the earthly forces. This is
                    really still very apparent in the Eastern cultures today. The Indian
                    epoch was the first (in post-Atlantean times) and will be the last
                    epoch, indicating that humanity will go back at some really late
                    point in his evolution to releasing himself from the earth, and the
                    Eastern way will be right and proper then, although perhaps as we
                    perceive it now.

                    This licentious Western double has been described by soldiers in
                    WWII, who had near-death experiences on the battlefield, appearing as
                    a seductive girl. (I'll have to research one particular book and
                    author, now forgotten.) Hollywood has brought forth the image of this
                    double in Marilyn Monroe.

                    I hope this is helpful,

                    Cordially,

                    Martha
                    --- In anthroposophy@y..., Joel Wendt <hermit@t...> wrote:
                    > Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this
                    subject
                    > comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern
                    > spiritual life in the Cultural West.
                    >
                    > Always, it seem to me in any case, those who write and speak
                    demonstrate
                    > not a very deep understanding of what is going on. Routinely Jeff
                    can
                    > be expected to accuse AP of some kind of prejudice against Yoga,
                    which
                    > is accurate in the sense that Steiner clearly discouraged interest
                    in
                    > it.
                    >
                    > Many people think of Yoga in the sense of the stretching exercises
                    in
                    > their physical aspect, not acknowledging that physical work
                    involves and
                    > effects the mind quite directly. Certainly the breathing exercises
                    > effect the soul/spirit nexus, and again Steiner can probably be
                    quoted
                    > as suggesting people avoid these practices.
                    >
                    > Perhaps the proponents of Yoga for anthroposophists should consider
                    > three possible realities. One: they may not have a deep enough
                    > knowledge to actually make a correct judgment. Two: The way they
                    use
                    > the word Yoga is not at all what Steiner meant when he used the
                    term.
                    > And, Three: There might well be excellent reasons for those
                    involved in
                    > Western spiritual life to avoid Yoga.
                    >
                    > I will now quote below several parts of a short essay of V.
                    Tomberg's
                    > published in the book Early Articles. The essay was originally
                    published
                    > in Mensch en Kosmos, in Holland in 1939. It is called: Indian Yoga
                    and
                    > Christian Occultism
                    >
                    > "Regarding Yoga now from this point of view - that it is not just a
                    > theoretical world of ideas, but a practical ordering of the relation
                    > between spirit and matter - there arises the question as to the
                    manner
                    > in which this relationship is governed. We are faced with the
                    question:
                    > What does the student of Yoga actually want to achieve? What aim
                    does
                    > his soul have in view?
                    >
                    > The goal of the Yoga student is to be freed from the bonds of the
                    body,
                    > and essentially Yoga technique employs methods for breaking these
                    bonds.
                    > These consist of a system of exercise along with a certain way of
                    life
                    > which call forth changes in the human being, taking him further in
                    the
                    > direction of this goal. The transformations striven for by repeated
                    > exercises and the definite life style of Yoga result in the
                    formation of
                    > a kind of stream of forces which come from below and move upwards
                    in the
                    > human organism: from the lower body up into the head.
                    >
                    > "...causing consciousness to be loosened from the body ...This
                    striving
                    > is a striving after freedom - but in the sense of freedom from the
                    > earth."
                    >
                    > "The practical aim of Yoga actually stands in polar opposition to
                    the
                    > ideals of the representatives of Christian European Culture...For
                    them
                    > the important thing is not to be freed from the earthly element,
                    but to
                    > redeem everything earthly from evil.
                    >
                    > "The idea which forms the basis for this striving is not the
                    opposition
                    > between spirit and matter, but rather the opposition between good
                    and
                    > evil.
                    >
                    > "...The goal of true Christianity finds expression in the image of
                    the
                    > Washing of the Feet from the sublime Gospel of St. John...In this
                    image,
                    > the idea is expressed that the Christ impulse has the task of
                    enabling
                    > the 'low' to be purified: by going down oneself into the lowest
                    regions
                    > of being in order to ennoble them...
                    >
                    > "While the objective of Indian Yoga is to create a stream of 'fire
                    > power' from below upward in the human organism with the purpose of
                    to
                    > experience the liberation of ones' own soul, so in Christian
                    Occultism
                    > the main objective is to create a stream of 'light power' which
                    works
                    > from above downward. Meditation and other spiritual exercises of
                    > Christian Occultism have the task to allow the light which is
                    kindled in
                    > the head to stream downward so that the unconscious life of human
                    urges
                    > and instincts may be illuminated and ennobled."
                    >
                    > There is more, and I urge any with an interest to try to obtain a
                    copy
                    > of this book.
                    >
                    > warm regards,
                    > joel
                  • Morgan Vierheller
                    Dear Martha: Thank you for your very affirming post. That the heart center is key has been a notion for me ever since I started working on it. In a
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jun 29, 2002
                      Dear Martha:

                      Thank you for your very affirming post.  That the heart center is key has been a notion for me ever since I started working on it.  In a discussion on the chakra system in a study group  on Florin Lowdes' book "Enlivneing the Chakra of the Heart" this very conclusion seemed to be the only possible answer in the marrying of East and West.
                      I was just about to write a similar post when I came across yours.
                      One of my favorite teachers always said, "If you feel you have the answer, hold on to it and it will be spoken."

                      Morgan

                      On the Western Christian esoteric path, through meditation, the
                      spiritual forces of energy move from the head downward to the heart
                      or heart center; when this occurs, at the same "time" the forces from
                      below move upward to the heart center, so there's a meeting in the
                      center, at the "crossing point."

                    • studioeditions2002
                      Morgan, thank you for your affirming response. I wrote down the title of the book you refer to... I would love to visit the East, or India, but don t think
                      Message 10 of 14 , Jun 30, 2002
                        Morgan, thank you for your affirming response. I wrote down the title
                        of the book you refer to... I would love to visit the East, or India,
                        but don't think I'll have the opportunity. Meantime, western rodeo
                        bull-riding came into my sphere in Phoenix, Arizona. Those guys don't
                        ride those bulls for nothin'.

                        Martha
                        --- In anthroposophy@y..., Morgan Vierheller <mrgnsms@e...> wrote:
                        > Dear Martha:
                        >
                        > Thank you for your very affirming post. That the heart center is
                        key has
                        > been a notion for me ever since I started working on it. In a
                        discussion on
                        > the chakra system in a study group on Florin Lowdes' book
                        "Enlivneing the
                        > Chakra of the Heart" this very conclusion seemed to be the only
                        possible
                        > answer in the marrying of East and West.
                        > I was just about to write a similar post when I came across yours.
                        > One of my favorite teachers always said, "If you feel you have the
                        answer,
                        > hold on to it and it will be spoken."
                        >
                        > Morgan
                        >
                        > On the Western Christian esoteric path, through meditation, the
                        > spiritual forces of energy move from the head downward to the heart
                        > or heart center; when this occurs, at the same "time" the forces
                        from
                        > below move upward to the heart center, so there's a meeting in the
                        > center, at the "crossing point."
                      • evlogite
                        Hi Joel: Regarding Truth-- one has to practice openness, the willingness to listen to others, and tact before one can get at the truth. If what I say seems to
                        Message 11 of 14 , Jun 30, 2002
                          Hi Joel:

                          Regarding Truth-- one has to practice openness, the willingness to
                          listen to others, and tact before one can get at the truth.

                          If what I say seems to be a lot of horseshit without a lot of
                          footnotes and quotes, then take it for what it appears to be.

                          no hard feelings,

                          evlogite

                          >
                          > If it was your intention to comment on my post, I would
                          prefer you be
                          > more direct. Personally I am interested in what the truth is, and I
                          > find that many people read a lot of books and say things that are
                          from
                          > books, but not from experience. Not to say quoting books is bad,
                          on the
                          > contrary. What I would prefer is that people make clear which they
                          are
                          > doing, so if someone says, as you did: "What I wished to explore
                          was the
                          > Rosicrucian understanding of respiration.", what I need to know is
                          how
                          > the statement that follows is "Rosicrucian". Merely stating that
                          it is
                          > so is inadequate. I need to hear sources and if not sources what
                          are
                          > one's direct experiences.
                          >
                          > This "source" discipline is part of what makes for a spiritual
                          > "science", otherwise one can say anything and claim anything, and
                          end up
                          > really having contributed nothing.
                          >
                          > I quoted Tomberg and hoped that a discussion might evolve
                          around what
                          > seems to be very important questions. I wasn't trying to start a
                          > pissing contest.
                          >
                          > warm regards,
                          > joel
                          >
                          > On Sat, 2002-06-29 at 10:51, evlogite wrote:
                          > > Dear Everyone:
                          > >
                          > > Perhaps the use of "Indian" words such as yoga are taboo here
                          because
                          > > they evoke knee-jerk reactions, so I guess we should avoid them.
                          > > Unfortunately-- we have inherited the vocabulary from Theosophy
                          and
                          > > we use a lot of these foreign terms.
                          > >
                          > > Let's just say that within a true Rosicrucian path of development
                          > > there are effects on the breath that we come to understand as
                          what I
                          > > call "yoga"-- no specific postures or stretching-- but changes in
                          the
                          > > rhythm, flow and depth of the breath and the physical body. An
                          > > understanding of the Indian yoga "of the past" can help to shed
                          light
                          > > on these changes. That is why we are called to understand, not
                          to
                          > > condemn. Forgive me for my loose use of vocabulary. Remember
                          that
                          > > the "bodhisattvas carry forth the fruits of past cultures in the
                          > > present time." (RS 1911)
                          > >
                          > > Perhaps if we substituted the word "respiration" for "yoga" that
                          > > might clear up things, but at the same time it would cut us off
                          from
                          > > a viable spiritual tradition of the past. The fruit doesn't
                          appear
                          > > without the tree. What I wished to explore was the Rosicrucian
                          > > understanding of respiration. How does the breath change when we
                          > > pray; when we concentrate on an object; when we meditate on a
                          verse;
                          > > when we come into contact with this or that being? How does the
                          rib
                          > > cage rise and fall? Do the sacrum and psoas muscles move? Are
                          they
                          > > limber? Or has our life -in- our- heads cut us off from these
                          very
                          > > basic yet important phenomena? These are the questions that I
                          wanted
                          > > to explore under the umbrella of mechanical occultism and to see
                          if
                          > > there were others out there who could shed some light on these
                          things.
                          > >
                          > > Now if you don't go for this, that's all well and good-- but
                          don't
                          > > tell me why Rudolf Steiner or Valentin Tomberg won't go for it--
                          > > Firstoff it's the first indication of spiritual presumptiousness
                          that
                          > > we "know" their minds and can speak for them.
                          > >
                          > > That's always been one side of the coin-- the other is to reject
                          > > anyone with legitimate knowledge. That's why true spiritual
                          > > investigation doesn't easily flourish in the mainstream of
                          > > Anthroposophy -- only on the periphery.
                          > > But that's a whole different area for discussion.
                          > >
                          > > Now here comes my opinion-- I don't think that we men who live
                          in
                          > > the consciousness soul era, and less those who seek manasic
                          > > consciousness should be condemning the chosen path of anyone who
                          > > choses to share their experience here in this forum. Shouldn't
                          we
                          > > try to understand and learn from one another instead of fishing
                          out
                          > > quotations from long ago to justify our exclusionary points of
                          view?
                          > >
                          > > Shouldn't the tactfulness that we are expected to use in the
                          external
                          > > world be applied to the intimate questions of our chosen path to
                          the
                          > > Christ? Or do we feel free to apply the methods of the Dark Ages
                          > > when it comes to the spiritual paths of others? Is it the last
                          arena
                          > > of subjectivity, and tribalism?
                          > >
                          > > The rudeness and negativity that sometimes masquerades here for
                          > > wisdom is beneath us all.
                          > > Otherwise I find this to be a very instructive arena of exchange.
                          > > Thank you all.
                          > >
                          > > evlogite
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
                          > > Unsubscribe:
                          > > anthroposophy-unsubscribe@y...
                          > > List owner: anthroposophy-owner@y...
                          > >
                          > >
                          > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to
                          http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                          > >
                          > >
                        • jla
                          I will not take on the role of apologist for Yoga but I can say again: it depends on the path and style of Yoga taken and whether its been Westernized . My
                          Message 12 of 14 , Jul 1, 2002
                             I will not take on the role of apologist for Yoga but I can say again: it depends on the path and style of Yoga taken and whether its been Westernized . My experience and that of friends on and off over the years has not been as described below by Tomberg. And I wonder if he really investigated it in practice and with board study or did as many do, take public examples and added esoteric insight .
                             
                             We must remember why we need sleep, its not just to rejuvenate the body and soul but to leave our physical body and experience the spiritual worlds and the beings there! This is done so that we do not become too bound the physical body!. To this consciously is tricky and open to discussion.
                             
                            On the other hand, extremes can be found in any approach. Sometimes at a certain stage of spiritual growth, being less incarnate for awhile may be what one needs. On the other hand being deep into the body and bringing in light forces may be what someone else may need. 
                             
                             My observations (as I mentioned before) are that the forces and energies of America rarely allow practioners to pursue Yoga in its pure forms. The spacey and ungrounded effects are usually dealt with by our unique geographic and cultural/spiritual conditions. As for higher forms of yoga, as you mention, there are critical differences between East and West . The dangers of yoga and some martial arts are legend and I have personally seen the results so-called enlightened gurus in public and pedophiles or seducers in private. Clearly awakening the lower "charkas forces" prematurely and without moral strength is highly dangerous and should not be done. And we are talking about a complete system of spiritual training in Yoga.The ancient system is probably not appropriate for modern times but the popular forms of Yoga are little more than stretch and limbering practices. Most are not interested in Gurus or ashrams anymore.
                             
                            If one wants to pursue a spiritual path, that is another issue. If one wants a gentle way to bring harmony to the body and engage in a physical discipline, then westernized hatha yoga can work with Western practices in my opinion.
                             
                             
                             
                            jeff
                             
                             
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 6:29 AM
                            Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

                            Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this subject
                            comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern
                            spiritual life in the Cultural West.

                            Always, it seem to me in any case, those who write and speak demonstrate
                            not a very deep understanding of what is going on.  Routinely Jeff can
                            be expected to accuse AP of some kind of prejudice against Yoga, which
                            is accurate in the sense that Steiner clearly discouraged interest in
                            it.

                            Many people think of Yoga in the sense of the stretching exercises in
                            their physical aspect, not acknowledging that physical work involves and
                            effects the mind quite directly.  Certainly the breathing exercises
                            effect the soul/spirit nexus, and again Steiner can probably be quoted
                            as suggesting people avoid these practices.

                            Perhaps the proponents of Yoga for anthroposophists should consider
                            three possible realities.  One: they may not have a deep enough
                            knowledge to actually make a correct judgment.  Two: The way they use
                            the word Yoga is not at all what Steiner meant when he used the term.
                            And, Three: There might well be excellent reasons for those involved in
                            Western spiritual life to avoid Yoga.

                            I will now quote below several parts of a short essay of V. Tomberg's
                            published in the book Early Articles. The essay was originally published
                            in Mensch en Kosmos, in Holland in 1939.  It is called: Indian Yoga and
                            Christian Occultism

                            "Regarding Yoga now from this point of view - that it is not just a
                            theoretical world of ideas, but a practical ordering of the relation
                            between spirit and matter - there arises the question as to the manner
                            in which this relationship is governed.  We are faced with the question:
                            What does the student of Yoga actually want to achieve?  What aim does
                            his soul have in view?

                            The goal of the Yoga student is to be freed from the bonds of the body,
                            and essentially Yoga technique employs methods for breaking these bonds.
                            These consist of a system of exercise along with a certain way of life
                            which call forth changes in the human being, taking him further in the
                            direction of this goal.  The transformations striven for by repeated
                            exercises and the definite life style of Yoga result in the formation of
                            a kind of stream of forces which come from below and move upwards in the
                            human organism: from the lower body up into the head.

                            "...causing consciousness to be loosened from the body ...This striving
                            is a striving after freedom - but in the sense of freedom from the
                            earth."

                            "The practical aim of Yoga actually stands in polar opposition to the
                            ideals of the representatives of Christian European Culture...For them
                            the important thing is not to be freed from the earthly element, but to
                            redeem everything earthly from evil.

                            "The idea which forms the basis for this striving is not the opposition
                            between spirit and matter, but rather the opposition between good and
                            evil.

                            "...The goal of true Christianity finds expression in the image of the
                            Washing of the Feet from the sublime Gospel of St. John...In this image,
                            the idea is expressed that the Christ impulse has the task of enabling
                            the 'low' to be purified: by going down oneself into the lowest regions
                            of being in order to ennoble them...

                            "While the objective of Indian Yoga is to create a stream of 'fire
                            power' from below upward in the human organism with the purpose of to
                            experience the liberation of ones' own soul, so in Christian Occultism
                            the main objective is to create a stream of 'light power' which works
                            from above downward.  Meditation and other spiritual exercises of
                            Christian Occultism have the task to allow the light which is kindled in
                            the head to stream downward so that the unconscious life of human urges
                            and instincts may be illuminated and ennobled."

                            There is more, and I urge any with an interest to try to obtain a copy
                            of this book.

                            warm regards,
                            joel


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                          • evlogite
                            Hi Jeff: In the Christian Hermeticism of the book Meditation on the Tarot, there are quite a number of indications about the breath and respiration. In fact,
                            Message 13 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
                              Hi Jeff:

                              In the Christian Hermeticism of the book Meditation on the Tarot,
                              there are quite a number of indications about the breath and
                              respiration. In fact, the author of this work returns again and
                              again to the Christian yogic practice of the Jesus Prayer. Another
                              example he gives is the work with the bija mantras, where he gives
                              the updated, Christian form of the mantras. A lot of it has to do
                              with our intention and the goal of the practice.

                              However, my sense for breath exercises and physical postures are
                              that they are *just a stage* of development that we pass through in
                              order to operate from a higher vantage point (higher mental plane, in
                              traditional Theosophical terminology). There things are directed by
                              intention and a whole new schooling is undertaken. Thus the exercise
                              of physical respiration isn't an end in itself, but a preparation
                              *for the great game*. Respiration can then take place on a more
                              encompassing (vertical)level.

                              Sometimes we can find that such things are valuable and should not be
                              dismissed out of hand without experiencing both their usefulness and
                              limitations to our personal paths, of which each of us has his/her
                              own. On a personal note, it has helped me to appreciate more the
                              ongoing heritage of earlier traditions and their present day
                              practitioners.

                              evlogite

                              --- In anthroposophy@y..., "jla" <pacbay@a...> wrote:
                              > I will not take on the role of apologist for Yoga but I can say
                              again: it depends on the path and style of Yoga taken and whether its
                              been Westernized . My experience and that of friends on and off over
                              the years has not been as described below by Tomberg. And I wonder if
                              he really investigated it in practice and with board study or did as
                              many do, take public examples and added esoteric insight .
                              >
                              > We must remember why we need sleep, its not just to rejuvenate the
                              body and soul but to leave our physical body and experience the
                              spiritual worlds and the beings there! This is done so that we do not
                              become too bound the physical body!. To this consciously is tricky
                              and open to discussion.
                              >
                              > On the other hand, extremes can be found in any approach. Sometimes
                              at a certain stage of spiritual growth, being less incarnate for
                              awhile may be what one needs. On the other hand being deep into the
                              body and bringing in light forces may be what someone else may need.
                              >
                              > My observations (as I mentioned before) are that the forces and
                              energies of America rarely allow practioners to pursue Yoga in its
                              pure forms. The spacey and ungrounded effects are usually dealt with
                              by our unique geographic and cultural/spiritual conditions. As for
                              higher forms of yoga, as you mention, there are critical differences
                              between East and West . The dangers of yoga and some martial arts are
                              legend and I have personally seen the results so-called enlightened
                              gurus in public and pedophiles or seducers in private. Clearly
                              awakening the lower "charkas forces" prematurely and without moral
                              strength is highly dangerous and should not be done. And we are
                              talking about a complete system of spiritual training in Yoga.The
                              ancient system is probably not appropriate for modern times but the
                              popular forms of Yoga are little more than stretch and limbering
                              practices. Most are not interested in Gurus or ashrams anymore.
                              >
                              > If one wants to pursue a spiritual path, that is another issue. If
                              one wants a gentle way to bring harmony to the body and engage in a
                              physical discipline, then westernized hatha yoga can work with
                              Western practices in my opinion.
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > jeff
                              >
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: Joel Wendt
                              > To: anthroposophy@y...
                              > Sent: Saturday, June 29, 2002 6:29 AM
                              > Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism
                              >
                              >
                              > Periodically on various anthroposophically oriented lists this
                              subject
                              > comes up, namely what is the relationship between Yoga and modern
                              > spiritual life in the Cultural West.
                              >
                              > Always, it seem to me in any case, those who write and speak
                              demonstrate
                              > not a very deep understanding of what is going on. Routinely
                              Jeff can
                              > be expected to accuse AP of some kind of prejudice against Yoga,
                              which
                              > is accurate in the sense that Steiner clearly discouraged
                              interest in
                              > it.
                              >
                              > Many people think of Yoga in the sense of the stretching
                              exercises in
                              > their physical aspect, not acknowledging that physical work
                              involves and
                              > effects the mind quite directly. Certainly the breathing
                              exercises
                              > effect the soul/spirit nexus, and again Steiner can probably be
                              quoted
                              > as suggesting people avoid these practices.
                              >
                              > Perhaps the proponents of Yoga for anthroposophists should
                              consider
                              > three possible realities. One: they may not have a deep enough
                              > knowledge to actually make a correct judgment. Two: The way they
                              use
                              > the word Yoga is not at all what Steiner meant when he used the
                              term.
                              > And, Three: There might well be excellent reasons for those
                              involved in
                              > Western spiritual life to avoid Yoga.
                              >
                              > I will now quote below several parts of a short essay of V.
                              Tomberg's
                              > published in the book Early Articles. The essay was originally
                              published
                              > in Mensch en Kosmos, in Holland in 1939. It is called: Indian
                              Yoga and
                              > Christian Occultism
                              >
                              > "Regarding Yoga now from this point of view - that it is not just
                              a
                              > theoretical world of ideas, but a practical ordering of the
                              relation
                              > between spirit and matter - there arises the question as to the
                              manner
                              > in which this relationship is governed. We are faced with the
                              question:
                              > What does the student of Yoga actually want to achieve? What aim
                              does
                              > his soul have in view?
                              >
                              > The goal of the Yoga student is to be freed from the bonds of the
                              body,
                              > and essentially Yoga technique employs methods for breaking these
                              bonds.
                              > These consist of a system of exercise along with a certain way of
                              life
                              > which call forth changes in the human being, taking him further
                              in the
                              > direction of this goal. The transformations striven for by
                              repeated
                              > exercises and the definite life style of Yoga result in the
                              formation of
                              > a kind of stream of forces which come from below and move upwards
                              in the
                              > human organism: from the lower body up into the head.
                              >
                              > "...causing consciousness to be loosened from the body ...This
                              striving
                              > is a striving after freedom - but in the sense of freedom from the
                              > earth."
                              >
                              > "The practical aim of Yoga actually stands in polar opposition to
                              the
                              > ideals of the representatives of Christian European Culture...For
                              them
                              > the important thing is not to be freed from the earthly element,
                              but to
                              > redeem everything earthly from evil.
                              >
                              > "The idea which forms the basis for this striving is not the
                              opposition
                              > between spirit and matter, but rather the opposition between good
                              and
                              > evil.
                              >
                              > "...The goal of true Christianity finds expression in the image
                              of the
                              > Washing of the Feet from the sublime Gospel of St. John...In this
                              image,
                              > the idea is expressed that the Christ impulse has the task of
                              enabling
                              > the 'low' to be purified: by going down oneself into the lowest
                              regions
                              > of being in order to ennoble them...
                              >
                              > "While the objective of Indian Yoga is to create a stream of 'fire
                              > power' from below upward in the human organism with the purpose
                              of to
                              > experience the liberation of ones' own soul, so in Christian
                              Occultism
                              > the main objective is to create a stream of 'light power' which
                              works
                              > from above downward. Meditation and other spiritual exercises of
                              > Christian Occultism have the task to allow the light which is
                              kindled in
                              > the head to stream downward so that the unconscious life of human
                              urges
                              > and instincts may be illuminated and ennobled."
                              >
                              > There is more, and I urge any with an interest to try to obtain a
                              copy
                              > of this book.
                              >
                              > warm regards,
                              > joel
                              >
                              >
                              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
                              > Unsubscribe:
                              > anthroposophy-unsubscribe@y...
                              > List owner: anthroposophy-owner@y...
                              >
                              >
                              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                              Service.
                            • jla
                              Theosophy of the Rosicrucian (now called Rosicrucian Wisdom) - I believe there is some reference there; Guidance in Esoteric Training:Max Heindel s
                              Message 14 of 14 , Jul 2, 2002
                                Theosophy of the Rosicrucian (now called Rosicrucian Wisdom) - I believe there is some reference there; Guidance in Esoteric Training:Max Heindel's descriptions in Questions And Answers Vol 1 or 2 on How Adepts prolong life downloadable from Rosicrucian.com, and I believe there was some mention of this process in Esoteric Cosmology or the Temple Legend or the History and Contents of the School of Spiritual Science.. As usual, without a card file of quote sources, its tough to recall exactly. 
                                 
                                Jeff
                                ----- Original Message -----
                                From: Bill
                                Sent: Friday, June 28, 2002 10:11 PM
                                Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Yoga and Mechanical Occultism

                                Jeff,

                                Do you remember where Steiner talks about this?

                                Bill

                                jla wrote:
                                 
                                Wouldn't dividing the breath into its component elements encompass
                                both alchemy and yoga?

                                Regarding the fear of yoga methods:
                                Yes, there are dangers, but they can be part of an Anthroposophical
                                path, IMHO.

                                evlogite
                                 
                                I would say, absolutely- that any esoteric breath work that takes on this function is alchemy. Both Steiner and the Rosicrucians mention that at a certain stage of inner growth and initiation, breath control and cadence control is introduced to ultimately change the mix of carbon dioxide in the blood. Advanced methods supposedly are taught actually allow the initiate to separate the carbon element from carbon dioxide, free it for use and infuse it into the cell life of the body for longevity and minimal dietary intake. The tradition of breatharans in the East and among some saints and nuns in the West may reflect this process but its done unconsciously by most.
                                 
                                I don't see how the early stages of this practice (pre-initiation and without direct advanced instruction)  would lead one to discover applications to mechanical principles or technology applications. I think the post earlier on Keely and sympatric force of thinking and will may be closer to this.

                                Jeff


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