R: [anthroposophy] Back on track
- Dear List.
having read Gordienko's book about Prokofieff I find that- from a formal
standpoint- Joel's review about it - is correct. .
I have also to remark a further issue,-since Joel did say nothing about it-
and precisely the fact that Gordienko is- in the same time- critical ALSO
of Tomberg's work and personality.
So you have not to think that the Russian writer - who died few months
after having write the book about SOP- was a kind of Tomberg's supporter.
The above reflections have obviously nothing to do with the inner merit of
the book itself, that's a different issue about which every listmate of
"good will" , if interested in it, will be able to grasp his own one's
----- Original Message -----
From: Joel Wendt <hermit@...>
Sent: Tuesday, July 16, 2002 5:03 PM
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] Back on track
> On Tue, 2002-07-16 at 09:46, evlogite wrote:
> > I, for one, am interested in the Prokofieff book by Gordienko. I
> > haven't read, much less seen a copy-- and would find it a great
> > benefit if someone would give a synopsis of its main points.
> > Going a little further, I would similarly like to see the Tomberg
> > book by Prokofieff discussed and also the topic of why it's so
> > difficult for new work to be accepted into the body of
> > Anthroposophy and why there have always been factionalism. Is
> > it merely the inability of certain streams to work together? Does
> > it play itself out downstream in forums such as this? Is it worth
> > reconciling? What is the ultimate prize that we all hold dear?
> No problem, I've been looking for a discussion of the actual book
> (rather than various kinds of "gossip", as you say), for quite a while.
> G's [Gordienko's] thesis is pretty straight forward. She begins by
> reminding us that anthroposophy is meant to be a science, and that means
> critical review of work ought to be welcomed and be the standard. That
> critical review is not welcomed or the standard is one of her points,
> for she feels that SOP [Sergi O. Prokofieff] would not have the status
> he has if his work had been thought about with clarity in the beginning
> of its being offered.
> One of the things that she does is carefully quote SOP over and over
> again [from a variety of his writings] as to how he seems to see and
> state his version of the "evolution of consciousness". She then
> contrasts this with Steiner's elaboration of the same theme. She shows
> through this process that SOP either eliminates completely (or radically
> down plays it) the stage we are presently in (Consciousness Soul) and
> substitutes the Spirit Self (the next stage). He does this both
> explicitly and in terms of how he uses various restatements of what
> these terms mean.
> Parallel to this she examines SOP's biography, from his own words, and
> shows how he began his spiritual development (in his late teens) before
> he had finished incarnating (we do this about age 21), with the
> consequence that he didn't really have an authentic experience of the "I
> am" in his own life, which is why he fails to see the centrality of the
> development of the "I am" during the stage of the evolution of
> consciousness we call the Consciousness Soul Age.
> She also quotes him extensively, where he describes his own spiritual
> experience and it is clear that this experience is not the result of the
> development of "living thinking", but rather something more in line with
> a kind of "deep mystical feeling".
> From this we can get the picture that SOP is basically a Russian mystic,
> who developed his clairvoyance (if it could be called that) during that
> period of life when one is full of rich and deep feelings, skipping over
> then the disciplining of the thinking out of the forces of a fully
> incarnated "I am". Recall that his first publication was at about age
> 26 (Rudolf Steiner and the New Mysteries, if my recollection serves me),
> a phase of life in which no one in our time should be trying on the
> mantle of an initiate (Marie Steiner criticized Tomberg for taking on
> this mantle at age 33, insisting that RS showed the correct way by
> waiting until he was 42).
> As to SOP's book on Tomberg, The Case of Valentin Tomberg, I found it
> quite interesting when I was reading Gordienko's book that my reaction
> to SOP's anti-Tomberg screed was precisely in line with G's
> conclusions. Basically what I said to friends, at that time - some 4
> years ago, in response to the Tomberg book was that SOP clearly had no
> experience of the Consciousness Soul, and had written the book entirely
> out of the Intellectual Soul and to the Intellectual Soul. If one
> understands, experientially, the Consciousness Soul, then one does not
> proceed by the form of argument, much like an academic (our universities
> being the present day debris of the intellectual soul). The
> Consciousness Soul convinces itself of what the truth is out of its own
> thinking, and any appeal to authority is contrary to this impulse. So
> when we write to the Consciousness Soul we offer anecdotes of our own
> experience and facts in the form of pictures, leaving the reader to
> his/her free choice as to how to incorporate what has been offered.
> This is not to say we do not "reason". There is a difference between:
> 1) making an argument, such that a plus b equals c, and therefore the
> reader should agree, our argument being the final word (how SOP
> approaches his Tomberg book); and, 2) arranging facts in such a natural
> order that they lead to something that just as naturally follows, if the
> facts are correct. In the latter case we show the reader something of
> the logical path we ourselves have followed, inviting them to
> participate in the journey.
> Gordienko's book not only has this quality, and it is also a spiritual
> experience (a most remarkable personality wrote this book). In writing
> this book Gordienko takes us on a journey of initiation, because the
> questions she puts to SOP's work, we also apply to ourselves. We find
> ourselves reading this book and thinking: Could my world view withstand
> this careful and complete level of examination?
> Let me expand upon this a bit. Gordienko was a brilliant Russian
> scientist, as well as anthroposophist. She had one of those minds that
> shines light whenever it thinks. So, in her book she just isn't writing
> a polemic against SOP, as much as showing how we need to think (in terms
> of questions asked and internal logic required) about any world view,
> any set of elaborate and related concepts. Moreover, she doesn't use
> her own world view as the contrasting measure to SOP's, but Steiner's,
> with which she is very familiar (and which of course we are also well
> acquainted). When we read this text then, we live in this light and
> cannot but help to shine it upon our own thinking. It is really a
> remarkable and quite educational experience.
> warm regards,
> List owner: email@example.com
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