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49995Love of Truth (was: 'Skepticism', or a Clash of Worldviews)

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  • ted.wrinch
    Apr 6, 2012
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      Looking through the archives, per chance, I came across Tarjei's posting on 'Love and its Meaning in the World'. This is, in my opinion, one of the core lectures in anthroposophy, one I read soon after coming across Steiner's thought for the first time in my mid-20s. I particularly noticed this passage again, which seems so pregnant with significance for our times:

      "Wisdom steeped in love, which at once furthers the world and leads the world to Christ — this love of wisdom also excludes the lie. For the lie is the direct opposite of the actual facts and those who yield themselves lovingly to the facts are incapable of lying. The lie has its roots in egoism — always and without exception. When, through love, we have found the path to wisdom, we reach wisdom through the increasing power of self-conquest, through selfless love. Thus does man become a free personality. The evil was the sub-soil into which the light of love was able to shine; but it is love that enables us to grasp the meaning and place of evil in the world. The darkness has enabled the light to come into our ken. Only a man who is free in the real sense can become a true Christian."

      Love of wisdom (truth) is the path to truth! And love of wisdom above our own ideas of wisdom: all of us have ideas about the truth but they are often only our own partial view of the situation, influenced by our personality, upbringing, predilections and etc. Loving the truth above our idea of it allows us bit by bit to let go of such partialities. This is to accept that at the deepest levels we all suffer from Socratic ignorance and recognising this is to begin to learn. To have a love of the truth and a life dedicated to actively knowing the truth is to be a member of the intelligensia.

      What I've noticed about the WC is that no one there loves the truth. Some of them have a view of parts of the truth, that accords with their political ideals and philosophical pre-conceptions, but they are not interested in expanding that view to encompass the ever-widening, open-ended perspective that such a love reveals. So, as an example, someone like Diana apparently has a self-conception of being a literate, intelligent member of the intelligentsia (she describes herself as being, unlike the people here she denigrates, not being 'anti-intellectual'). But her philosophical perspective is, from her behaviour on WC, that of positivism and scientism, that de-values the inner life (for example, in the way she's happy to characterise the whole of the Middle Ages as 'the Dark Ages') and a priori dismisses the spiritual as being no more than 'people's beliefs'. She loves her conception of the truth (the egotism that Steiner refers to), that she finds comfortable and unchallenging, rather than truth itself. Hence her self-conception does not match reality and she is far from being either against 'anti-intellectualism' or a member of the intelligentsia.

      And to the extent that she proclaims her partial truth as one that is sufficiently comprehensive that it excludes, for instance, anthroposophy, she is following the love of the lie. In a recent exchange, she claimed that no one here had tried to or was interested in answering Peter Staudenmaier's arguments and that PS was 'respectful' of Steiner's ideas. These claims are both very obvious lies; no one could claim such obvious lies as truth except someone interested in their own idea of truth above truth itself. And because such a person loves their idea of truth more than truth, and so defends the distorted facts it supports, they end up loving those facts. They end up loving the lie and its expression in the world. Love of the lie, as we've seen over the years on WC, and in spades in the current 'war of world-views' being prosecuted, leads to *hatred* of the truth (as something that, subconsciously, challenges the narrower truth). As this group, as people that find value in Steiner's ideas, espouse a wider conception of truth, one beyond positivism and scientism for instance, than WC, this hatred has evidently flowed out into hatred of us, and is why Diana and co (and Staudi, in his more indirect, subtle mode) are unable to refrain from insulting us. Love or hate, that's the choice. But as to love is to let live, Tarjei's bumper sticker seems correct, and it's only an action of self-reform that could change the WC members' relationship to truth - though outsiders can and should point to the way-markers that they have found that can be a guide - and convert it to a relationship that values dispassionate love of truth above one's own partial view of it.


      Ted Wrinch

      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@...> wrote:
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
      > <ted.wrinch@> wrote:
      > > I was feeling a bit glum after posting the 'war of the world-views' as
      > I don't like war and reading the confrontation on those sites feels like
      > I've been in one.
      > Tarjei
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