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Re: [anthroposophy] Re: Anthroposophical Angle on Christianity

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  • Lee Peters
    Joel, This seems to jive with my minor readings of Steiner but I am still confused about the nature of :Ordinary thinkingOrganic thinkingLiving thinking What
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 30, 2003
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      Joel,
       
      This seems to jive with my minor readings of Steiner but I am still confused about the nature of :
      Ordinary thinking
      Organic thinking
      Living thinking
       
      What are these types of thinking in practical and spiritual states of human undertanding??
       
      Lee


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    • Joel Wendt
      ... Dear Lee, I ll make stab at this, but you have to accept that this will be a map and not the territory. You have to personally investigate the territory
      Message 2 of 16 , May 1, 2003
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        On Wed, 2003-04-30 at 19:29, Lee Peters wrote:
        > Joel, This seems to jive with my minor readings of Steiner but I am
        > still confused about the nature of :
        > Ordinary thinking
        > Organic thinking
        > Living thinking
        > What are these types of thinking in practical and spiritual states
        > of human understanding?

        Dear Lee,

        I'll make stab at this, but you have to accept that this will be a map
        and not the territory. You have to personally investigate the territory
        to really appreciate that to which I am referring. This map is also an
        oversimplification, with all the problems that go with that fact.

        Ordinary Thinking: discursive thinking, the inner wording common to our
        normal consciousness. The spirit speaks the soul hears. Everything is
        inward. It's what the harried mother is referring to when she says to
        the screaming kids "stop that! I can't hear myself think!"

        We don't always just do this kind of thinking, but rather have moments
        of the other types out of a kind of instinctive wisdom, but usually we
        just "think" in the inner wording. In that mode (discursive thinking)
        we do what we normally call "reasoning", that is we might be reflective
        on some kind of problem and try to work it out logically, so that there
        is a stream of inner wording while we follow out our concerns. This
        thinking most easily deals with quantities, and is typical of the kind
        of thinking done in natural science, which works with abstractions and
        tends to assume cause and effect relationships. This kind of thinking
        assumes also that ideas are a product of the brain, and something not at
        all connected to the outer world - that is that there is a disconnect
        between an object (something in our experience, what Steiner in The
        Philosophy of Freedom calls a percept), and the idea we have of it (what
        Steiner calls there a concept).

        In ordinary consciousness percept and concept are divided, and the
        thinking subject is assumed to be separate from the sense object.

        Sometimes this will instinctively wander over into...

        Organic Thinking: this is basically a picture thinking, and the
        imagination is quite important here. It is also a qualitative
        characterizing thinking. We sometimes do this at the same time as the
        inner wording, particularly if what we are thinking about naturally has
        a picture component. Certainly a fantasy is picturing, and some
        processes of invention involve picturing (Edison's notes on his
        inventions always began with a drawing, as if he first intuited the
        "picture" of the device before starting to solve the practical problems
        of realizing it).

        Mainly what Steiner was referring to with the idea of Organic Thinking
        was what Goethe pioneered, namely living into the "appearances" with the
        thinking, recreating them in the consciousness (G' called it "exact
        sensorial phantasy). This kind of thinking forgoes abstractions and the
        linear cause and effect assumptions, and works with the idea that Nature
        has both Being and Consciousness, such that the appearances (Maya) are a
        kind of "speech". We don't need to invent a theory of what Nature is
        about, because Nature is "instructing" us right in front of our faces if
        we will get our inner subjective judgments out of the way.

        Nature isn't a "thing", but rather some"one" with whom we can have an I
        and Thou relationship. Emerson puts it this way: "Nature is a thought
        incarnate, and turns to thought again as ice becomes water and then
        gas. The world is mind precipitated and the volatile essence is forever
        escaping into the state of free thought." And Steiner spoke of it this
        way: "What takes place in human consciousness is the interpretation of
        Nature to itself. Thought is the last member in the series of processes
        whereby Nature is formed".

        Now in order to live through thinking into the world of the appearances,
        with have to think "with" them, not "about" them. In recreating in the
        imagination various aspects of the world, we learn to "see" it rather
        then form abstractions about it. This allows Organic Thinking to take
        hold of the qualitative aspects of reality - the life elements.

        Now this thinking also blends over into moral or living thinking, which
        itself is occasionally experienced by ordinary mind in those intuitive
        insights without "logic", that we represent in cartoons with the image
        of someone with a light bulb going off over their heads...

        Living Thinking: In Living Thinking the "I and Thou" relationship
        disappears, and we are no longer in the appearances, but rather have an
        "I and I" relationship with the spiritual reality "embodied" in the
        appearances. Living Thinking is thinking subject meeting thinking
        subject. I think it, it thinks me.

        Of course, here we have to abandon our ordinary conception of "think"
        entirely, for it is no longer a kind of lazy inner gesture in which
        words spill across the arena of the mind, but rather something fully
        willed in a concentrated fashion, where our own conventional sense of
        "I" disappears into attention. We are fully "attention", focused on
        another that is fully attention. Because of the mutual intention latent
        in the attention we "meet".

        Kuhlewind advises us to approach this by first learning to concentrate
        on a "theme", a set of pure concepts, and each practitioner of living
        thinking has something to suggest in this regard, but everyone is really
        left to their own "work" in the end.

        Now there are all manner of disciplines to be learned on this path of
        developing the "thinking" into its full potential. We have to discover
        and master the nature of antipathies and sympathies - the unconscious
        feeling judgments which influence thinking. We have to come to terms
        with and be awake to our moral intention in thinking - what good do we
        choose to live out of in "thinking".

        Mostly we have to face life, for in life (our biography) is the main
        moral work, and it is this moral work that underpins everything else.
        If outer life is neglected, then our inner life won't be able to unfold
        out of the necessary richness of moral experience. It is the biography
        that molds our spirit and soul characteristics, and then it is these
        characteristics that form the qualitative and moral nature of our
        meditative and contemplative life.

        For example, pursuing enlightenment or initiation is a very egocentric
        objective. It can become a kind of illness, which is partially why we
        have monasteries, and isolate people who believe they can have a special
        relationship with the Divine. But life humbles us, and knocks the
        corners off of our egocentric spiritual ambitions. Then our spirit is
        forged in the fires of the biography in the right way so that authentic
        spiritual experience becomes possible through our no longer being so
        full of ourselves.

        warm regards,
        joel
      • Evert Hoff
        Could someone give me a reference to where Steiner defines the concept of Living Thinking? Thanks, Evert
        Message 3 of 16 , May 1, 2003
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          Could someone give me a reference to where Steiner defines the concept
          of Living Thinking?

          Thanks,

          Evert
        • Joel Wendt
          Dear Evert, You are chasing a horse here that doesn t exist. The best we can do is walk around living thinking and use words and concepts to point a finger in
          Message 4 of 16 , May 1, 2003
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            Dear Evert,

            You are chasing a horse here that doesn't exist. The best we can do is
            walk around living thinking and use words and concepts to point a finger
            in its direction.

            The best I ever heard about it was an analogy, by someone who had
            achieved it. Its like making love to the point where you loose yourself
            in the other. Except that talking about it (as an experience) has the
            same quality as masturbation does to making love this way.

            The former is an empty imitation, and the latter beyond description.

            There is no definition of the concept of living thinking that could
            have any meaning.

            warm regards,
            joel

            On Thu, 2003-05-01 at 11:51, Evert Hoff wrote:
            > Could someone give me a reference to where Steiner defines the concept
            > of Living Thinking?
            >
            > Thanks,
            >
            > Evert
            >
            >
            >
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          • DRStarman2001@aol.com
            ... ******* It is something that needs to be taken up as a way of life, with the whole being, including, for instance, using the very personal forces we move
            Message 5 of 16 , May 1, 2003
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              >> What is the Rosicrucian path by the way?

              ******* It is something that needs to be taken up as a way of life, with the whole being, including, for instance, using the very personal forces we move our bodies with.

              >>Could you explain more what you mean in the above statement??


              *******Sure, just as priests dedicate their entire bodies to performing a ritual, or athletes will adopt an 'ascetic' way of life to prepare for a competition, or a dancer will dedicate her entire being to her art, so the pursuit of spiritual science involves not only the head, but must go into the whole of life--- all your deeds, one by one.  You can't take it up only with the intellect and leave aside how you speak, the things you do in daily life, etc. It has to work into and transform all the layers of your being. Your every word and gesture has to be thought through and performed from out of your study, as in performing a ritual. Steiner said that in the future, a scientist working at his laboratory table would come to regard it as it his altar. for instance.


              *******Many people also confuse it with other half-conscious or subconscious paths, like Eastern or pagan ones. They want to abandon reason. This path is not one like that: it is constantly directed by your conscious rational mind.

              >>Since I have some experience with Yoga and Zen, I am not quite clear about what you mean here The wakefulness "exercises" in Zen and Vapassina meditation demand a high degree of conscious attention and not falling asleep. It is an active/passive observing process. It is certainly not semi conscious. In fact, during these practices, psychic experiences are common with lights being seen, color phenomena, etc. but its rarely talked about. Buddhism is highly reasonable and logical in its own way. The question I have then- why is reason so often considered the enemy of consciousness and spiritual work by virtually every other path.


              *******There are what I meant by 'Eastern' paths and then there are some that have combined  their older elements with more modern, Western consciousness. I meant the ones that negate the use of the intellect and instead focus on breathing and other subconscious processes of the body,

                 The reason was often stated by Steiner, that these ancient Asian paths worship  the life forces-- which we once had the use of before the modern intellect came into being. Their traditions recall a time when we had the use of these forces, and then what they perceived as 'lower' intellectual knowledge arose-- and therefore they teach that this has to be put aside in order to get the other back.

                 But the path of spiritual science involves changing the abstract intellect into a living thinking, one which will not block the life forces, but rather lets them through. Some paths have this understanding that one's awareness must be increased, as anthroposophy does, while others go around consciousness and use subconscious stuff. We know that this opens you up to the influence of lower beings.



              >>The conventional reasoning process does not do well with experiences that "defy"
              reason at times ( like having a clear sense of separation of the "self" from the physical body.This form of spiritual discrimination is part of all paths, it seems.
              Lee

              ******But actually pure thinking, reasoning about whatever you observe, IS carried over into the body-free state. It's a falsehood that our thinking is only good for sense-perceptible objects: it is good for anything observed, through any senses, including those of the soul and the spirit. When the self is separated from the physical body, it does indeed use reason--- only pure reason, pure thinking, as in mathematics and geometry, not the mere 'having of thought-images' that most people use in daily life, which is dependent on the body.

              -Starman
              http://www.DrStarman.net
            • DRStarman2001@aol.com
              ... *******The ancient Greeks used to say that Man thought with his heart, not with his head. This was a way of saying real thinking is done with the entire
              Message 6 of 16 , May 1, 2003
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                anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com writes:
                Subject: Living Thinking
                Could someone give me a reference to where Steiner defines the concept
                of Living Thinking?
                Thanks,
                Evert


                *******The ancient Greeks used to say that Man thought with his heart, not with his head. This was a way of saying real thinking is done with the entire being. Living thinking has all the Will and feeling put into it that you use in living your life.
                    Steiner sometimes called it having life in thinking, sometimes 'wollen in gedanken', Will in thinking.
                   One of the best collections I know of his various descriptions of it is the book "Rudolf Steiner on His Book The Philosophy of Freedom" arranged by Otto Palmer. It's not online at the Steiner electronic library, but they have a summary of it here and I believe a note that it's available from the Anthroposophical Press:

                http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/sumries.txt;bytes=90360-90747

                -Starman
                http://www.DrStarman.net
              • jeff barney
                Also see research in neurocardiology. Joseph chilton pearce is an exellent interpreter of info one won t see for years to come in conventional research
                Message 7 of 16 , May 2, 2003
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                  Also see research in neurocardiology. Joseph chilton pearce is an exellent interpreter of info one won't see for years to come in conventional research journals.

                  DRStarman2001@... wrote:
                  anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com writes:
                  Subject: Living Thinking
                  Could someone give me a reference to where Steiner defines the concept
                  of Living Thinking?
                  Thanks,
                  Evert


                  *******The ancient Greeks used to say that Man thought with his heart, not with his head. This was a way of saying real thinking is done with the entire being. Living thinking has all the Will and feeling put into it that you use in living your life.
                      Steiner sometimes called it having life in thinking, sometimes 'wollen in gedanken', Will in thinking.
                     One of the best collections I know of his various descriptions of it is the book "Rudolf Steiner on His Book The Philosophy of Freedom" arranged by Otto Palmer. It's not online at the Steiner electronic library, but they have a summary of it here and I believe a note that it's available from the Anthroposophical Press:

                  http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/sumries.txt;bytes=90360-90747

                  -Starman
                  http://www.DrStarman.net

                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
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                • Lee Peters
                  That was great ( about the Rosicrucian Path and the blending of East and West in some eastern approaches now in use. But I have a question about this
                  Message 8 of 16 , May 2, 2003
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                    That was great ( about the Rosicrucian Path and the blending of East and West in some "
                    eastern approaches" now in use. But I have a question about this below.
                    Can you or Steiner or someone else describe exactly how pure thinking and reason are actually experienced in the the out of body condition. Do we think and form words like here on earth? Descriptions I have run across state that as "travelers" think, it instantly manifests around them. Telepathy is natural and seeing the reading the minds of others equally so.

                     

                    What is your knowledge here? How do we learn to "think" and reason in this new state?

                    Lee


                    ******But actually pure thinking, reasoning about whatever you observe, IS carried over into the body-free state. It's a falsehood that our thinking is only good for sense-perceptible objects: it is good for anything observed, through any senses, including those of the soul and the spirit. When the self is separated from the physical body, it does indeed use reason--- only pure reason, pure thinking, as in mathematics and geometry, not the mere 'having of thought-images' that most people use in daily life, which is dependent on the body.

                    -Starman
                    http://www.DrStarman.net

                    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy
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                  • elaineupton2001
                    Dear Lee and all, Lee, you asked about whether there are any initiates besides Steiner (in the Steinerian vein, I assume, you mean). There is the danger for
                    Message 9 of 16 , May 2, 2003
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                      Dear Lee and all,

                      Lee, you asked about whether there are any initiates besides Steiner
                      (in the Steinerian vein, I assume, you mean). There is the danger for
                      some of us of getting into the superstar mode and looking for
                      initiates to look up to or worship. So, in looking for initiates, I
                      feel a need to be careful.

                      Having said that, let me say that some consider Orland Bishop to be
                      an initiate. I don't know if he publishes (in print) anything, but he
                      is involved in a lot of social initiatives, with another great
                      anthroposophic leader (in my opinion) and that one is Nicanor Perlas,
                      a Phillipine who walks the talk and brings it down to Earth in
                      relationship to Cosmos. Nicanor Perlas has things on the web,
                      especially as regards Threefolding and Civil Society and the work to
                      overcome corporate globalism. Also in this realm is the work of
                      Jesiaiah Ben-Aharon.

                      Owen Barfield, now on the other side, is someone also whose work
                      seems to me quite advanced and enlightened.

                      I personally cannot say if any of these men are "initiates', but I do
                      feel they have an immense lot to offer.

                      I think there are women who show up in other traditions who have
                      levels of initiation. Some of them are called curanderos and known by
                      other titles, and they have achieved certain levels.

                      The question is (or so I see it): what, or who, lights the light
                      within you?

                      There are, as you know, various levels and kinds of initiation (as
                      pointed out by you, Starman, Joel and others in the references to
                      Steiner). The important thing to me is to follow the highest
                      promptings of Spirit in oneself, as best one can, and to study all
                      great teachings that speak to one. The circle will be ever expanding,
                      even if it is narrow at first. If the intention is high, then help
                      will be found. As Steiner says (and I agree) if the intention is not
                      just egotistical, but the work is for the "ennoblement of humanity
                      and the upliftment of the cosmos" then one is on the right path.

                      Aho!
                      elaine
                    • Lee Peters
                      Thanks Elaine. I was really looking for others who had possibly confirmed and brought the similar or new knowledge to the world since Steiner. Though I
                      Message 10 of 16 , May 3, 2003
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                        Thanks Elaine.
                         
                        I was really looking for others who had possibly confirmed and brought the similar or new knowledge to the world since Steiner. Though I greatly appreciate his work and accomplishments, I feel his writings are dated and will not speak to America or modern people very well. I am not just looking for edited summaries but real breakthroughs in the same path. I use his works but rarely can offer them to others (like Theosophy or Occult Science)- they read a little can not continue on.
                        Lee

                        elaineupton2001 <elaineupton@...> wrote:
                        Dear Lee and all,

                        Lee, you asked about whether there are any initiates besides Steiner
                        (in the Steinerian vein, I assume, you mean). There is the danger for
                        some of us of getting into the superstar mode and looking for
                        initiates to look up to or worship. So, in looking for initiates, I
                        feel a need to be careful.

                        Having said that, let me say that some consider Orland Bishop to be
                        an initiate. I don't know if he publishes (in print) anything, but he
                        is involved in a lot of social initiatives, with another great
                        anthroposophic leader (in my opinion) and that one is Nicanor Perlas,
                        a Phillipine who walks the talk and brings it down to Earth in
                        relationship to Cosmos. Nicanor Perlas has things on the web,
                        especially as regards Threefolding and Civil Society and the work to
                        overcome corporate globalism. Also in this realm is the work of
                        Jesiaiah Ben-Aharon.

                        Owen Barfield, now on the other side, is someone also whose work
                        seems to me quite advanced and enlightened.

                        I personally cannot say if any of these men are "initiates', but I do
                        feel they have an immense lot to offer.

                        I think there are women who show up in other traditions who have
                        levels of initiation. Some of them are called curanderos and known by
                        other titles, and they have achieved certain levels.

                        The question is (or so I see it): what, or who, lights the light
                        within you?

                        There are, as you know, various levels and kinds of initiation (as
                        pointed out by you, Starman, Joel and others in the references to
                        Steiner). The important thing to me is to follow the highest
                        promptings of Spirit in oneself, as best one can, and to study all
                        great teachings that speak to one. The circle will be ever expanding,
                        even if it is narrow at first. If the intention is high, then help
                        will be found. As Steiner says (and I agree) if the intention is not
                        just egotistical, but the work is for the "ennoblement of humanity
                        and the upliftment of the cosmos" then one is on the right path.

                        Aho!
                        elaine



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