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R: [anthroposophy] Back on track

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  • VALENTINA BRUNETTI
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 16, 2002
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      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
      opinion.
      Andrea



      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Joel Wendt <hermit@...>
      To: <anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com>
      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,
      > joel
      >
      >
      >
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