Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Fruits of Detachment/deadness

Expand Messages
  • holderlin66
    ... wrote: Steiner warned, since the 15th century, we had to deal with this Deadness and be able to understand our two brains and the gift
    Message 1 of 63 , Nov 1, 2003
      --- In anthroposophy@yahoogroups.com, "holderlin66"
      <holderlin66@h...> wrote:

      "Steiner warned, since the 15th
      century, we had to deal with this Deadness and be able to understand
      our two brains and the gift of detachment and Ahrimanic gifts and
      Ahrimanic deadly murder when the soul finally loses to deadness."

      Bradford comments;

      Now for those who thinking losing to deadness and having this
      deadness in the soul is still something you do not understand, here,
      ready at hand, if we only observe and listen, someone can instantly
      tell us what this slow deadening of the soul is like. However you
      also must be able to discern with equal clarity that there is a
      creeping Ahrimanic potential as long as these inner concepts are not
      understood. The relationship to Deadening the Soul leads to
      astonishing places of danger to all of humanity. We happen to be on
      this Road Most Traveled by..and some of us are on this road Less
      Traveled by.


      A Passion for Life
      by Butler Shaffer

      Political systems do far more than diminish the material quality of
      our lives or deprive us of our liberties. To the degree of their
      power over us, they help to deplete the passion for living that gives
      meaning to our experiences here on earth. One sees a reflection of
      this inner emptiness in the zombie-like behavior of men and women who
      have long been accustomed to tyrannical regimes, or in the looks of
      detachment in the eyes of concentration camp prisoners. We have all
      seen newsreel footage of persons being liberated from Nazi
      imprisonment. One would think that being freed from months or years
      of dehumanized captivity would have brought looks of joy into their
      faces. Instead, we saw expressions of the deeper costs of tyranny
      that go far beyond the calculation of the dead: the breaking of the
      human spirit.

      Statists do not want us to think in terms of how their practices
      erode our sense of being human. While they are not comfortable with
      our awareness that their systems resulted in the deaths of some two
      hundred million persons in the twentieth century alone, they can live
      with such information. After all, these are only collective
      statistics, abstractions which, like references to "gross domestic
      product," "rates of unemployment," or the "Dow-Jones industrial
      average," cloud the costs individuals always pay at the hands of the
      state. Such information may be an embarrassment to statists, but it
      poses no significant threat, for it is too disconnected from personal
      experience to rouse individual souls from their slumbers.

      To speak of the dehumanization or spiritual depletion of the lives of
      individuals is so alien to most of us that few can even begin to
      envision the meaning of such concerns. Our institutional masters have
      trained us to regard the depletion of our income, or savings, or
      other material factors as the only "costs" to which we ought to
      devote our attentions. Sadly, even many of my free-market,
      libertarian friends seem stuck on the proposition that a laissez-
      faire economic system would be sufficient for a free, peaceful, and
      productive life.

      To be free to make decisions regarding our own lives and property,
      and to be able to enter into voluntary agreements with others is, of
      course, essential to an individually meaningful life. Having a daily
      supply of food and water is equally essential to our lives, but
      hardly sufficient for living well. I shall forever recall George
      Orwell's description of the institutionalized "tinny stew" fed to the
      humanoids in his 1984, as exemplary of the ways in which the state
      feeds – but does not nourish – its conscripts. How reminiscent is
      this of the cafeteria offerings in government schools, prisons, or
      military establishments? Can one find any correlation between being
      adequately fed – so as to sustain the conscripts' usefulness to the
      state – and the pursuit of a meaningful life as a human being?

      The problems we experience at the hands of the institutions to which
      we subject ourselves do not derive from the malevolence or ambitions
      of power of those purporting to be "authorities" over us. Rather,
      they are the consequences of our acknowledging them to have such
      authority! Most of our problems originate within our own minds, and
      we are generally too frightened of the specters we might discover
      therein to want to search out the root cause of our difficulties.
      Like the man who searched beneath a streetlight for the car keys he
      lost a block away "because the light's better here," most of us opt
      for the quick-and-easy explanations that target institutional flaws.
      It is so much easier for us to think of ourselves as victims of the
      state, than as having suffered the consequences of our own thinking.

      So many of us live dispirited lives because we have given up on
      ourselves, and look for direction and meaning in life by attaching
      ourselves to external agencies or purposes. In the course of doing
      so, we emasculate our emotions and feelings as hindrances to the
      sense of "responsibility" we believe we have to such external forces.
      We repress our inner voices with drugs, alcohol, or programs to help
      us "adjust" or "adapt" to our servitude. Not wanting our children to
      be left out of the system, we accede to their being
      labeled "hyperactive" or suffering from "attention deficit disorder,"
      when their only offense has been to pursue the self-directed
      exploration that is the essence of life. Like their parents before
      them, children must learn to become serviceable to their masters and
      to live according to agendas set by others. Dispositions for
      autonomous thinking or behavior must be smothered, whether by fear,
      intimidation, or the on-campus drugs against which school systems are
      not at war!

      The institutional order – particularly the state – requires us to
      live externalized lives, in which our attentions are drawn to the
      pursuit of values beyond ourselves: wealth, fame, status, power, or
      the approval of others. To be an externally-directed person is to
      give up on one's sense of being; to admit to the unworthiness of
      one's very soul; to seek meaning in others rather than oneself.
      Ultimately, it is to embrace the mass-mindedness that inheres in
      every collectivist system. The contest between collectivism and
      individualism has always been, at its core, a struggle for the human

      To live well means more than simply staying alive or being
      comfortable. Our pet animals enjoy that status. If life is to be
      experienced as our nature has prepared us, we must learn to live with
      passion; with a sense of focused, self-directed energy. The study of
      economics reminds us that life is a subjective process of learning,
      making choices, taking actions. The search for truth and the
      principled life occurs within each of us, or not at all. We are
      volitional, choosing beings; what the poet Seamus Heaney called "the
      hunters and gatherers of values."

      To live with passion is to live an internally directed life that
      exhibits a fiery, creative, exploring spirit. When we live this way –
      rather than as numbers in faceless computers – we see through the
      cruel and brutish ways by which we cooperate with others in degrading
      and destroying our lives. This is not some theoretical proposition,
      but reflects ways in which humans have occasionally transcended their
      bleak and dispirited conditions and experienced life as inner,
      fervent energy.

      The Enlightenment was one of the most dramatic and creative of these
      epochs. In his study, Peter Gay observed that this period consisted
      of a "loose, informal, wholly unorganized coalition of cultural
      critics, religious skeptics, and political reformers" in Europe and
      North America. Its participants insisted on a number of conditions,
      the most important of which was "freedom in its many forms – freedom
      from arbitrary power, freedom of speech, freedom of trade, freedom to
      realize one's talents, freedom of aesthetic response, freedom, in a
      word, of moral man to make his own way in the world."

      And what of that greatest of all periods for the advancement of the
      material well-being of mankind, the Industrial Revolution? In
      contrast with collectivists - who feign concern for the welfare of a
      humanity that they insist on keeping in abject, but equal, scarcity –
      inventive souls discovered the creative potentials of the
      marketplace. In the words of the noted English historian, T.S.
      Ashton, "England was delivered, not by her rulers, but by those who,
      seeking no doubt their own narrow ends, had the wit and resource to
      devise new instruments of production and new methods of administering

      The anti-business zealots, Marxists, and lesser socialists have
      always been unable to see the correlation between the spiritual and
      material dimensions of life implicit in the Industrial Revolution.
      This is a sad reflection of how far our abstract thinking is removed
      from the pursuit of those means that exalt and nourish both the body
      and spirit of mankind. Are we to believe that any of this was brought
      about by men and women marching in lockstep to the beat of statist
      drummers? What political leader or agency ever produced anything that
      truly advanced the well-being of humanity? When have the collective
      efforts of externally-directed oafs - their minds carefully scripted
      to vocalize the establishment line – ever produced through opinion
      polls, "town meetings," bumper-sticker slogans, or talk-show
      babblings, any value or insight that improved the condition of man?

      The tenacity with which some plead the case for liberty is an
      expression of the spirited passion for life. That the autonomous
      spirit of individuals not be restrained by others is central to what
      it means to live in wholeness as a human being. There is a life force
      within us all that statists insist on channeling into behaviors that
      serve their ends. Thus, young men are induced to believe there is
      something ennobling about fighting and dying in wars, or strapping
      bombs to one's body and killing innocent "others." Young adults grow
      up thinking that participating in government programs to compel
      people to do things they do not choose to do, is a form of "social

      What is worse, we have been taught to repress our passion for life,
      or to confuse "passion" with "excitement." Rather than regarding our
      feelings and emotions as warning signs to apprise us of the folly or
      danger of a present course of action, we have been told to deny such
      voices. We are admonished to "stay calm" and not "get emotional,"
      particularly at a time when our emotions ought to be in communication
      with our rational judgments.

      When those with ambitions for power conspire to command, plunder, and
      destroy the lives of others, it is time to "get emotional;" not in
      reactive, violent ways that pose no serious threat to their
      intrigues, but through introspective means that awaken the inner
      spirit. No more than when we are in the midst of muggers and rapists
      ought we to "stay calm," like contented cows, amongst those who seek
      to ensnare us in their schemes with lies, distortions, and threats.
      Such people are telling us, by their conduct, that they are unable to
      share with us a life of integrity, and it is integrity, or wholeness,
      upon which a focused life depends.

      Such an awakening must begin with an understanding of how personal
      liberty is the expression of the human soul in society. But it must
      go beyond abstract philosophizing. We need to become truly inspired,
      in the root meaning of that word, i.e., "to breathe in the spirit,"
      or, as I would suggest, to rediscover the spirit that is already
      within us. We could reach back into human history to try to find the
      source of the spiritual energy that powered the Renaissance, the
      Enlightenment, the Reformation, the Industrial Revolution, and other
      periods of individually relevant life.

      The lessons of history provide insights, but are unable, in
      themselves, to affect the transformations of will that must occur
      within you and me if we are to reclaim our spiritual sense. Such
      changes must begin with a determination that we are individuals
      worthy to act within the world for our own purposes, rather than
      resources to be acted upon for the ambitions of others.

      If we are to become emotional about our own existence, perhaps we
      need do no more than rekindle that enthusiasm for life we experienced
      as children, when the word "why?" was our response not only to the
      unknown but to those who sought to restrain us. Might we rediscover
      how to live with such a constant variety of things to do that we lose
      all sense of time; and with the awareness that time is too valuable
      to either count or kill? Might our work become as joyous as our
      childhood play; and might we recapture daydreaming from those who see
      it only as "dawdling," rather than a "fine art?" Might we, in other
      words, awaken that passion for energized living that we have been
      conditioned to keep in repose?"

      November 1, 2003
    • Maurice McCarthy
      Final version as submitted - with the wrong date - is appended below. Apologies to Daniel Bernard. I know I have failed him in not making the text more
      Message 63 of 63 , Dec 12, 2003
        Final version as submitted - with the wrong date - is appended below.
        Apologies to Daniel Bernard. I know I have failed him in not making the text
        more understandable. The implications contained are not yet fully clear to
        me and so the words cannot but be misty.

        In writing RP2 I spent some days considering Joksu's Monads I post on 30th

        "This First Secret can be called Father. And what will the manifestation be
        like? The best possible, "Ideal Living Picture" of the coming evolution,
        "First" Universal Cosmic Christ! This Cosmic Christ is then "reflected" or
        "echoed" in the various Solar Logoses; it is like the great "I AM"
        resounding and creating itself "across the universe". .... etc

        This was in relation to <4> paragraph 2, below "In the beginning
        willingness, the possibility of all knowledge and all content, is alone with
        itself in its own comprehensive substance from which to make the world.
        Putting forth its own ceaseless willingness many willingnesses are created."
        I ended up removing the phrase "became his own son" from <6> so as not to
        confuse the non-manifesting Father with willingness itself. Since
        willingness is manifest then it is Christ and Christ is the creator rather
        than the Father who retains his place as the unmoved mover.

        Having sent the presentation I then turned to read the Celestial
        Hierarchies. (It was not an act of arrogance not to read them first but
        because reading and thinking have become rather different things for me,
        requiring different kinds of effort, and the three times I tried to read I
        could not bear it. So I decided to write first and then compare. Reading
        still occurs in the fore-brain whereas thinking, though still in the head,
        is no longer so specifically located but there is an accompanying sensation
        over both parietal lobes equally. Hence the question about the brain and the
        sky.) How disappointed I was. There was nothing like the content I had
        expected. The penny dropped immediately. Dionysius was a man living in the
        age when human consciousness had not yet evolved to intelligence but was
        still striving for it. Intellect was Spirit for him whereas for us
        spirituality is of the nature of the will.

        The relegation of Truth to the second hierarchy reveals this most clearly.
        This was for me the most significant discovery of the writing. Though I had
        seen RS write similar things here I rediscovered it for myself, realised a
        significant fact.

        Best Wishes to All

        TA63 (Leslie)

        Commentary xx

        Part 2: Cosmology
        by Maurice McCarthy
        20th December 2003, posted

        This is a continuation of 55-C79 placed here because of its content which is
        pertinent to Prof. Leslie's recent book (1) and his long term interest in
        cosmology and cosmogenesis (2). I have tried to deliver this article as a
        stand-alone submission. Though I do not expect it to be acceptable to either
        party, in itself it bridges the evident gap between Prof. Müller and Prof.
        Leslie's views as discussed in the commentaries to this TA.

        0-D is the proposition that the origin of knowledge is an undefined content
        confronted by an indefinable activity. Consideration of this stand-off leads
        to the law of explanation, that the content can only be understandable if it
        is inherently structured by the act, i.e.

        c + a => k iff c = f(a) .......... E

        ("an action 'a' upon a content 'c' yields explanation ('k' for knowledge)
        if, and only if, the content is a function of the act." 55-C79) and this
        implies that if there is a world then 'a', the act of knowledge, is the
        world creator. Strictly speaking all language or symbol or art form used to
        characterise 'c' and 'a' is erroneous - but we must use words to
        communicate. 'c' is best described as a meaningless and therefore
        qualitatively homogenised manifold when compared to the distinguished
        manifold which we have in everyday perception. 'a' is more difficult as we
        cannot rightly yet distinguish thinking and perceiving, the only two ways in
        which we know anything. "Act of knowledge" is too abstract, it gives nothing
        to hold onto, and "Active mind" now has a too-differentiated a meaning or
        has manifold implications but in "willingness to understand" we have a vague
        but singular term and this singularity is necessary because there are no
        reasons why it should be a one or more than one, except that by E it must
        exist without relation to any other because it precedes 'c'. It is the
        hyper-singular and hyper-manifold, the One of Parmenides combined with the
        Flow of Heraclitus in an unchanging movement of its own willingness, and it
        is that which structures one and many into definite beings. So far as it is
        possible to justify the branding or characterisation of that which is
        inherently beyond all then this is attempted next.

        In the case of human knowledge the equation E becomes subjectively qualified
        or 'a' must reduce itself to distinctively human

        c + a.h => k iff c = f(a.h) ..... H

        Human consciousness is a reductive phenomenon, in an anti-materialist sense
        of those words. Human reality, however its independence is constituted, is
        therefore always in correspondence to human consciousness. The same remark
        would apply to any being's reality. This, then, is a justification of the
        term "willingness to understand", or simply "willingness" as I shall call
        it, as a label for the act of knowledge - because our world content analyses
        to an undifferentiated, meaningless manifold then the corresponding activity
        is willingness. This willingness is so accepting that it imposes no
        preconceived values before understanding.

        If the content confronting human willingness is a reality then

        c = reality = f(a.h) = truth and percept

        This states the correspondence theory of truth. Truth is a consciously
        created structure or function, whereas percepts are unconsciously structured
        by us (according to the subjectivity of our nature) so that they, at first,
        present themselves to our minds as simply given. Without this division
        knowledge, as we experience it, could not occur. The conscious human act of
        knowing reality is to re-create its inherent truth thereby restoring the
        wholeness of reality, that which our subjectivity tore into two pieces by
        the act of perception. Perception does not yield reality on its own. What
        distinguishes different perceptual activities is what they eliminate from
        willingness. Human consciousness, the state of our possessing knowledge, is
        necessarily a dual phenomenon.

        Another profound implication of H is that it is impossible to know that to
        which we are not genuinely related so that there may be percepts to which
        there is no explanation. (This is a reversal of my previous opinion.) On the
        other hand knowledge is illimitable because every new percept or concept
        adds to it.

        The task of this submission to the forum is begin from 'a', from
        willingness, and allow it to lead us it to 'a.h' or human intelligence as we
        would recognise it in our everyday lives. We have a known beginning in the
        analytic necessity of willingness and a 'known' ending in everyday
        experience, a spatio-temporal world filled with perceptual content.

        In the beginning willingness, the possibility of all knowledge and all
        content, is alone with itself in its own comprehensive substance from which
        to make the world. Putting forth its own ceaseless willingness many
        willingnesses are created. Each is distinguished and has the others for
        content. Unlike the original content of E, or H for humanity, these contents
        are auto-relational and are so because in the very core of each, in their
        utmost being, is the willingness to accept content. Each knows the others so
        immediately and so completely their knowledge is absolute, so that the only
        word to describe it is "love". In their absolute knowledge thinking and
        perceiving have not separated but instead there is conperceptuality or
        intuition. They just know immediately and fully. Their relation is of
        absolute harmony. Yet in this divine realm all relations are necessarily
        beings and beings are all conscious relationals simply because it is the
        realm of conperceptuality. Therefore harmony is the second class of
        existence. The relation between love and harmony objectifies their ground as
        the class of beings which is will. The seat of god is the product of love
        and harmony.

        With breath-taking drama we are plunged into the Celestial Hierarchies of
        Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite (3). As if by magic a religio-philosophic
        speculation of a kind unpopular in the scientific community for centuries is
        thrust upon us. Yet either these beings exist as the preconditions of human
        intelligence or else humanity can never know ultimate answers (0-D as the
        root of *all* knowledge has failed) and we must retreat into pragmatism for
        ever more. Do you want the blue pill or the red pill?

        On the other hand this orthogonal development, since it descends to
        perceptible spatio-temporal experience or reality, should (and does,
        eventually) end up by leading to observable and measurable predictions. Some
        may be observable this century. If this did not happen then it fails to meet
        the standards we are accustomed to in our finest knowledge and therefore it
        should be rightly dismissed as fantastic and idle.

        To call willingness the creator is one sense an error. Time has not yet come
        into being. It is better to use Plotinus's word "emanator". Nor does the
        emanator know anything. It is almost an insult to think that the emanator
        needs to know anything. If their were something foreign or mysterious in any
        way to the emanator it would be, in a sense, its equal. Hyper-ignorant and
        beyond knowledge willingness emanates beings whose very existence is
        absolute knowledge of each other in their most essential ground, which is
        willingness itself. There is one condition which would allow the emanator to
        become a knower - namely if it descended itself, became its own one-begotten
        and in this manner joined each of the ranks of being in turn in order to
        know their condition through their own experiences.

        Notice here that, by H, since there is no human consciousness, not even
        anything resembling it, then it is utterly impossible for us to know whether
        or not these beings have had a temporal development such as we have. If they
        did have one then it has no relation whatever to our own experience and it
        is in theory, in principle, only possible for us to know that which conforms
        to H.

        The divine classes are the great constants of the universe. The fates, the
        lords of karma who ensure reharmonisation of discordance. The beings below
        them are "contained" by their nature so that these lower but sublime beings
        are a condition upon the existence of the divine something like the lower
        orders of nature are conditions upon our own being. Living in a material
        world demands that we accomodate ourselves to it, so too the divine ranks
        accomodate what is not quite of their own nature as the graded intensity of
        the chain of being descends toward the human.

        Just as there was no necessity for the first emanations to occur so too
        there is no necessity for the divine hierarchies to emanate further. They
        can emanate because their essence is that of the original willingness. It is
        by the same grace that they do so. The expression or emanation of absolute
        knowledge is wisdom. The beings of wisdom form the next class of being. The
        great difference at these sublime levels is that harmony is lost.

        Harmony cracks into reciprocation so that relation begins to separate from
        being. This constitutes the origin of truth in the sense we are familiar
        with. Truth actually is the relation between the beings of wisdom, hence
        their name. Equally the origins of perception, as distinct from conception
        are here. In this sublime separation of matter and form it is possible for
        design and intelligence to begin to appear too. Intelligence, "choosing
        between", of beings or realisation of their relations is akin to design, the
        projection of relation into a matter. The image of the emanator as a whole
        (headed by willingness, with a heart of love and a life of harmony in a body
        or seat of divine will) is beyond any need of design but has the grace to
        allow all things to live in its warmth. For their function of dominating
        design the beings of wisdom are called the celestial house-masters.

        Wisdom has been placed into the cosmos, into the order of what is, and the
        reciprocation between its beings subtends all alteration and change as such.
        The beings of movement form the next rank of existence. With movement time
        is in its first conception. As these beings strive to greater truth and
        harmony they form a condition upon the divine classes who cannot bear
        disharmony in what *is* only through they themselves. Law and necessity
        equally make their appearance. The beings of movement constitute the good,
        the striving for truth, and also here are the roots evil as disharmony
        deepens. Evil is not evil to the divine but only to us. Evil is disharmony
        from a lower, more subjective point of view - one which does not see that
        the emanator gave rise to both what is called good and what is called evil.
        This lower view has no grip on divine harmony.

        As disharmony increases the relations between beings become more and more
        tenuous until they become related only by their separation, which means by
        space itself. Wisdom combined with time gives rise to space in the same
        movement as it grants full independence to beings. This is reality or
        thinghood and its independence is the power of form. The irreducibility of
        all perceptual form and the measurability forms comes back to these beings
        prior to any emanation of matter. The beings of form are the realisation of
        the beautiful and the ugly.

        Having reached spatio-temporal reality filled with perception and
        independent, objective being we can easily see human-like being in the
        "space", or better the counterspace, between here and now. The cosmos does
        not call for explanation but, rather, the willingness to explain calls
        forth the cosmos. Thus objective reality proceeds from the subjective and
        not vice versa. We just got things the wrong way around.

        We have not reached humanity as such but only the first beginnings of
        humanity and there is still a huge gap to descend to matter and coordinate
        to temporal development. At this point I elect to break off because it is a
        suitable occasion to produce a systematic presentation of the forms of


        (1) Infinite Minds by John Leslie, OUP 2001. For an introductory preamble

        (2) Leslie, John, "Cosmology and Theology", The Stanford Encyclopedia of
        Philosophy (Fall 1998 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.). The Summer 2003
        Edition has a dynamic content so this is the permanent archive:

        (3) There is an English translation of the Celestial Hierarchies in the
        archive of Arthur Versluis's electronic journal "Esoterica" at:


        Maurice McCarthy
        e-mail <maurice.mccarthy@...>


        This e-mail message may contain privileged/confidential information.
        It is intended solely for the addressee. If you are not the indicated
        addressee (or responsible for delivery to such a person)
        you shall neither read nor retain this message, copy or distribute it to
        anyone, or use this e-mail for any other purpose. In such cases, please
        destroy the message immediately and notify the sender by return e-mail.

      Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.