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my take on Prokoffief - Dottie

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  • Stephen Clarke
    Dear Dottie: ... Well, first of all, Dottie, that rumor is out there, and Joel did not invent it, he reported it as a social fact that some other people hold
    Message 1 of 55 , Dec 31, 2004
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      Dear Dottie:

      dottie zold <dottie_z@y...> wrote:

      > However the big to
      > do with me is the idea of linking him through gossip
      > to a murder. And that one point is enough for me to
      > rethink Joel Wendt and anything and everything he has
      > to offer up now and in the future

      Well, first of all, Dottie, that rumor is out there, and Joel did not
      invent it, he reported it as a social fact that some other people hold
      it as possible. I think this item defines "red herring." He included
      it as part of a list of things that to him indicated a generally
      overheated emotional atmosphere surrounding discussion of P.'s work.


      > It's funny because it is almost like getting into the
      > whole Work On What Has Spoiled debate with you and
      > Joel. And this regards the society as well. You both
      > have this thing that just because people find the good
      > things about their teacher that when a smutty thing
      > comes up it should be taken with all due sincerity and
      > given credence just because it takes an opposite
      > stance of the other. Lack of good thinking as far as I
      > am concerned.

      To make a charge of poor thinking, sloppy procedure, and erroneous
      results against someone who in an official and public capacity
      represents a Society devoted to Spiritual Science is hardly to dig for
      smut, Dottie. I do not repeat nor believe in character assassination,
      and I have seen no evidence which would support any charge of murder
      (incidentally, IG's publisher's website states that she was killed in
      a traffic accident). If someone gets caught with their hands in the
      cookie jar, well then, the wolves should gather. I find more than
      enough evidence within Mr. P.'s own work to convict him of really
      lousy anthroposophy; I don't need to go on utterly hazy "suspicions."
      So please don't tangle me up in that tar-baby.
      Good thinking entails discrimination. You can't have one without the
      other, and that's a simple fact. You may not like it, but that doesn't
      matter. That's the thing about thinking: it's objective.


      > I'm interested however, of your thoughts on what you
      > thoughts within the book 'The Heavenly Sophia and the
      > Being Anthroposophia? And how does it compare to your
      > own work on the Goddess?

      You can read what I have written and make your own opinion, Dottie,
      but on P. I have this to say for and for others who may not know my
      opinion:

      1. P. mentions Sophia and Anthroposophia. So far so good. This, in
      and of itself represent a major step forward in the evolution of the
      Society, and many people respond positively to this.

      2. But for me the question is _how_ does he treat Sophia and
      Anthroposophia? On this score I find him to be going hunting big game
      with a pop gun.

      3. Recollect or research almost any description of people meeting the
      Goddess in any of her aspects. Invariably, whatever the other details
      of the encounter may be, the overwhelmingly relevant content of it is
      a tremendous increase and elevation in the function of the Heart. It's
      analogous to the function of simple mental computation raised to the
      level of Living Thinking and true Imagination. P. demonstrates none of
      this. Instead, his treatment of Anthroposophia is a textbook example
      of Steiner's famous example of how exoteric natural science would miss
      the boat in approaching Dante's Divine Comedy if it were to analyze
      the chemical composition of the ink and paper and totally ignore the
      _meaning_ of the poet.
      This essential component escapes P.'s attempt to put it to paper, and
      in the absence of an obvious effort to do so – even an unsuccessful
      effort – renders the quality and scope of whatever his experiences are
      suspect.

      4. An example of this is that no one who has had a real, consistent,
      and sustained experience of the divine feminine in any of her forms
      would refer to her by the phrase "supersensible `man' ", as he does.
      In fact, such clumsy abstraction would probably be one of the first
      bad habits to be jettisoned if one had met Anthroposophia or any other
      goddess face to face.

      5. Although I do not follow the exact course of the thread taken by
      Joel in his discussion of P. in relationship to the Intellectual Soul,
      the Consciousness Soul, and the Spiritual Soul, I am 100% with him and
      Gordienko in calling P. to account for not having done his
      anthroposophical homework. Consistently he shoots himself in the foot
      with unwarranted and unsustained conclusions which frequently are not
      only pure conjecture on his part but which contradict basic items of
      Steiner's system. Now he may be right or he may be wrong, and your
      feelings on this may or may not be a reliable guide, but the way in
      which P. sets forth his ideas prevents them from being examined in a
      conscious and objective way. As a result we have those who believe in
      him and those who don't - hardly something which is a credit to
      "Spiritual Science."
      Certainly P. has a right to his own opinions, but opinions are dime a
      dozen and P. should be deserving of no special credit for having them
      unless he makes his case. His claims to authority should be asserted
      after, not before he makes that case, or instead of it.

      6. As Joel has set forth several times recently in masterfully lucid
      and true fashion, for anything to be a science, it must have clear and
      accountable standards against which the results of that science can be
      evaluated. P. has mastered the elements of the Intellectual Soul, but
      he, in keeping with the predominant and unexamined tendency in the
      Society since its inception, has rejected the fruits of the Sentient
      Soul - which is warm fellow-feeling, basically. One does not get to
      "B" from "A" by rejecting "A" but by embracing "A" it until it bears
      its healthy fruit in due time. This is as true in spiritual evolution
      as it is in our own personal lives. How can one who has not had a good
      and proper childhood grow up to be a healthy adult? If they manage
      anyway, it is not an example to be emulated.

      7. Mr. P rejects the Sentient Soul (something which he seems to
      consider part and parcel with illiterate peasants who bunk with their
      animals, get drunk on Saturday if not all week long and fart in church
      on Sunday), is heavily overbalanced in the direction of the
      Intellectual Soul, and knows enough about the theory of the
      "Consciousness Soul" to be able to represent it fairly enough, but
      totally fails to demonstrate any evidence of participation in the
      Spiritual Soul which he strives for (see my point # 3). Now all that
      would be neither her nor there if he were just another monkey in the
      tree. But he has written millions of words on the subject, is a
      sitting member of the Vorstand, and his work is considered
      cutting-edge anthroposophy by what is probably a majority of the
      Society. That raise the stakes on whether he knows what he is talking
      about.
      My impression on this count is that he has hit the Threshold and has
      bounced off.

      8. I claim that he does not "know" what he is talking about, in the
      sense epistemological sense that our own Joel Wendt and the late Irina
      Gordienko have set forth in such exemplary fashion. I think he is
      faking it - unconsciously, probably, but he has so mastered the
      cataloging and cross-referencing of Steiner's work-product (which he
      has full and unrestricted access to in the German original!) and has
      apparently become so involved in the study of it that he has forgotten
      that the map is not the territory, and has convinced himself that to
      understand something in mental-conceptual fashion is to "know" it
      across the Threshold. I think he has fooled himself on this score, and
      that one of the main reasons that he has not been found out is that
      there is no consistent body of real spiritual-scientific research
      extant within the Society to which his can be compared, nor is there
      anyone in the Society who is able and willing to review it. If there
      is, they have not been able to find a venue supported by the Society
      in which to do so. Thus by default of the community of the Society and
      by virtue of his own self-promotion, he is accepted as the paragon of
      the active anthroposophist.

      9. I do not think his work is useless. If I wish to research a topic
      in anthroposophy, I frequently go to P. and look in his footnotes for
      relevant citations. Invariably his GA references are in order, along
      with lengthy excerpts, and I can find what I am looking for, and more
      besides. This is invaluable.

      10. But his cut-and-past approach of cobbling together bits and pieces
      of quotes from Steiner to support what is presented as his own
      spiritual research is evident in the utterly preposterous attitudes
      which he brings to the table – and which he leaves us with. As a said
      in the beginning, read more than a few of the many descriptions of
      encounters with the Divine Feminine, or talk with those that have had
      such encounters, that are out there and Sergei Prokoffief's take on
      the subject is simply ridiculous and reflects the utter exhaustion of
      the inner impulse of anthroposophy in the 22nd Century.

      11. The manner in which P. is known to respond, or fails to respond,
      as the case may be, to inquiries, questions, criticisms, and
      objections, is typical of such a standpoint as I describe, and
      reinforces my conclusions.

      12. If people are "given permission" (as the current jargon goes) by
      P. to speak and think of the Goddess, that is good. But P. skews his
      treatment of the subject into such sterile, arid, and tortuous terrain
      that the poor traveler who runs out of gas and who has to rely upon
      P.'s authority to carry the task is liable to be left stranded or
      conducted into a virtual mirage of fractal reflections. P. is a big
      frog in a mighty small pond. The circumscribed insularity of most
      anthroposophists prevents them from accessing a greater frame of
      reference on the subject of the Goddess and protects P. from
      unflattering comparisons. Individuals who have either a built-in
      resistance to P.'s subtle manipulations or a strong connection to
      Sophia or the Goddess may not be adversely affected by his
      idiosyncrasies, but the tremendous weight and astral effect of his
      influence has an effect upon all who work under the Society's umbrella.

      13. I'm not saying that his data is incorrect, only that he completely
      misses the boat with it. In any gathering of experienced
      Goddess-initiates, pronouncements and attitudes like P. displays would
      be met by either incredulous silence or howls of glee and derision.

      14. For years, I have had my own intimate encounters with the Goddess,
      and although I am able to deconstruct P.'s work to some extent, it is
      primarily from direct personal experience that my impression is
      utterly clear and direct and gives me confidence in my opinion that
      Sergei Prokoffief is an amateur and a poseur on this score. If he had
      set his sights a lot lower he might have hit his mark, but such
      unwarranted pretension as P. displays knows no self-regulation.

      15. Although this is a thread I am unable to follow up on at this
      point, I would throw it out there for consideration that, considering
      the grievous mangling to which P. subjects the subject of the
      Feminine, that he could do little better if he was a witting agent of
      disinformation or an agent provocateur manufacturing a massive Red
      Herring attack upon the developmental course of anthroposophy.


      There's a lot more I could say, and on a different day I might say all
      of it differently. Some might well suggest that I am wrong on this or
      that point of fact or conclusion and I myself would be surprised if,
      upon rereading this some weeks or months from now, I might wish I had
      said some things differently or simply not said certain things. So be it.
      Yes, this is serious stuff, but I've been working this issue since
      SP's books first started coming out and this is where I'm at.
      Everything is up for discussion and I'll be glad to change my mind on
      any of it if the need for doing so is made clear to me. I'd even go
      one-on-one with SP in public forum if the opportunity arose.

      *****

      And as for you, Dottie, I would like to lean on our personal
      acquaintance and friendship to suggest to you that you do not need Mr.
      Prokoffief to lean on or to inspire you. You are beyond needing that,
      although if you simply enjoy his material that's fine. But you are not
      a mental type person, Dottie; you live from your heart and act from
      your gut and you're beautiful in that. You're not the type to be
      interested in or be able to tease apart and isolate the flaws in P.'s
      material and presentation, which would be necessary if you were to
      accept him as guide. So I would caution you against swallowing it
      whole. Unfortunately, there is as yet no decent presentation in
      anthroposophy of Anthroposophia or the Divine Feminine. Some like
      Powell but he has left the anthroposophical reservation and anyway I
      have my own differences with his thing. Its better but he's still
      hampered by latent and counterproductive anthroposophical baggage –
      but that's a different story.
      So enjoy P. If that's what you like, but be careful that you don't
      unwittingly eat the worm with the apple! I say this as a friend: P. is
      dangerous.
      This advice may be unnecessary; you are a strong person who knows her
      own way. Just take it as evidence of my affection for you.

      Stephen

      PS: if anyone wants more of this, there is a review of SP's book on
      Anthroposophia which I did several years ago. It covers the same
      territory but makes the same and other points in other ways. I'll
      send a copy to anyone – or to the list – if it is requested.
    • Stephen Clarke
      Dear Brad: Wonderful stuff! In my no doubt exasperating fashion, I say but : ... Oh Brad, but it is! This is the secret of America that no one recognizes,
      Message 55 of 55 , Jan 10, 2005
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        Dear Brad:

        Wonderful stuff! In my no doubt exasperating fashion, I say "but":


        "holderlin66" <holderlin66@h...> wrote:
        > ...We like to think of ourselves
        > so advanced and raise up, rightly, various Joseph Campbell Native
        > American myths and realities... I love to integrate their researches
        > with the depths of Occult Science, but I stand to differ with
        > Stephen, that I think amazing substantiation and credit is due, but
        > like the wonderful Hindu myths and occult vision, Spiritual and
        > mythic history, it must be caught up the current Christology Event
        > of Golgotha and the clear depths of Occult Science an Outline.


        Oh Brad, but it is! This is the secret of America that no one
        recognizes, or, recognizing, admits: that Jesus/Christ, who went down
        to ignominous overt failure in the Middle East - tortured and executed
        like scum, risen to only a secret few, his message coopted by
        political empire, the true disciples mostly martyrs at the hand of the
        Church erected to fossilize the impulse, etc., etc. - this Christ was
        openly honored by those in the Americas who recognized him and served
        him in has passage through the human dimension, and who kept his
        active message alive for half a millenium in what might just have been
        the one true utopia that mankind has ever known.

        Yet this _successful_ impulse continues to be marginalized and
        ignored. Perhaps the racial guilt incured by the events of 1492 (as
        Malcom X said about a similar instance" "We didn't land on Plymouth
        Rock, Plymouth rock landed on US!") is responsible for our culture's
        reluctance to appreciate the glory of what we destroyed.

        In spite of Steiner's explicit indications, and revealing of our own
        disposition, only the dark echo of what was confronted and redeemed is
        emphasized.

        I submit that true christianity flourished in the Land of the Far West
        and is still remembered in the Mythos of the Traditions that contain
        it. Not myths, but accurate and vital Imaginations still live in the
        physical Land of America. This is true.

        Brad, you are a true American, along with Joel, Dottie, and some
        others here, (anyone who is half crazy qualifies!) but I would like to
        ask you to try and ground yourself just a little bit more in what has
        always been alive here. Read Stiener's GA 171: the elib has a copy of
        the Sept. 18 and Sept. 24, 1916 lectures in which Stiener describes
        how the arch-shaman Vitzliputzli, Palladin of Christ, opens the way
        for Christ into the UnderWorld, the womb-body of the Earth. This is a
        _real_ christinity, one that is still taboo for its European-oriented
        variants.

        Most Sincerely,

        Stephen
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