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31182Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Spirit and Soul

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  • Jean-Marc Nguyen
    May 6, 2007
      Jennifer, you wrote:
      "Thank you, Jean-Marc, for such a thoughtful response. I think what it
      comes down to is that each one of us must summon the courage to
      withstand the heat, the fortitude to endure the reality of which you
      speak. I have lately been thinking about the dilemma, its nature,
      what to do about it. I think it's about reconciliation, and also
      about judgment. But it's also about respecting that others reconcile
      differently, and judge differently, too. Conscience is always going
      to be individual.

      If I could hear your conscience speak, what would it say?"
      *Reconciliation* is a truly happy and relevant choice of word, Jennifer.
      I also notice that you introduce a word which has a strong moral
      connotation: *conscience*.
      If you could hear my conscience speak, what would it say?
      That's a rather unusual and unexpected question, Jennifer --- but my
      conscience seems delighted to find an interested listener --- at last!
      (This conscience of mine is looking down at me right now with 
      this unmistakable reproachful look... :-)
      Okay, you asked for it :-)
      So here's what *it* might say.
      Is a clear understanding of the *reconciliation* process possible
      without a true knowledge of the initial *separation* process?
      Certainly not.
      What is this *separation* process to begin with?
      It's the cosmic history of mankind up to the present day: involution,
      the gradual descent of the spiritual essence of Man into the darkness
      of the physical and material world.
      What are the main characteristics of this cosmic involutional descent?
      Separation by means of gradual differentiation: gender, race, people, etc...
      What is the ultimate stage of the differentiation process?
      The atomization of the spiritual essence of Man.
      When does that actually happen?
      When human atoms begin to say *I* --- i.e., when human beings
      discover *self-consciousness*.
      What is the price of self-consciousness?
      The [necessary and inevitable] delusion of a dual  separation.
      Steiner frequently referred to the gradual loss of spiritual consciousness,
      to the gradual decline and erosion in mankind's instinctive faculty of
      spiritual perception [atavistic clairvoyance] throughout the post-Atlantean
      era. This gradual deterioration process culminates in a total disconnection
      from the spiritual world [as far as consciouness is concerned].
      During the 5,000 years of the small *Kali Yuga*[Dark Age], which
      ended in the year 1899, "the doors of the spiritual world were closed"
      and the souls were [more than ever] in exile...
      With regard to the human soul, this disconnection means nothing else but
      dying to the spiritual world - and *this death* is exemplified on Golgotha!
      In other words, from a spiritual point of view: the human physical body
      became a coffin, a tomb, a grave in which the soul/spiritual nature of Man
      was buried [i.e., it was confined to the physical and material world]...
      Why was this sacrificial death necessary?
      Precisely in order to bring about a birth: that of the *I am*, the birth
      of self-consciousness in the physical world.
      This is one aspect of the dual separation: dying to the spiritual world
      - to the point that the newborn self-conscious spirit negates the reality
      of its spiritual  homeland [materialism, atheism]...
      What is the second aspect of the dual separation I mentioned?
      The existential isolation and separation the *I* experiences among
      other similar human spiritual atoms [Rilke's "infinite distances"...]
      Now, what is one very decisive feature of the *I am*?
      It's a double-edged sword with one particularly lethal cutting
      edge: potentially unlimited individual selfishness!
      Consequently, human atoms inevitably collide because of their
      selfish, personal, subjective, passionate - views, thoughts, interests,
      desires, etc... [the few examples you gave illustrate that very well].
      Things being what they are, the *heat* you mentioned and the general
      temperature are bound to increase...
      The crux of the matter here, Jennifer, is to uncover the delusive nature
      of the personal, subjective, everyday *I* itself: it is full of itself,
      but nonetheless largely a spiritual void.
      In other words, our usual everyday *I* is hardly anything else but
      an ephemeral caricature of the real spiritual *Ego*. It is to a great
      extent merely an empty form or receptacle longing for the blissful feeling
      of genuine fullness.
      What does all this mean?
      This means  that the earthly human being will increasingly yearn [as long
      as he isn't totally submerged by and in selfishness] to become
      *reconciled* with Himself --- Himself being the plenitude of his true
      original spiritual nature and essence.
      And this is why spiritual science came down from above as soon as
      the Dark Age ended. Spiritual science is not a matter of belief; it is
      a revelation of Man's origin, true nature, and cosmic odyssey --- which
      every human soul is absolutely free to penetrate and feed on or not
      [and this is cosmic *respectfulness*, Jennifer].
      This first aspect or facet of the reconciliation process will necessarily
      and inherently induce its second aspect: Rilke's "infinite distances"
      will metamorphose into genuine spiritual proximity and brotherhood.
      Of course, Jennifer: my conscience's intention :-) merely was to try to
      illuminate a little the grandiose cosmic background behind our daily
      hardships in a very conflictual world...
      Cheers and happy Sunday!

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