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Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Guidelines - From Nature to Sub-Nature

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  • Mikko Nuuttila
    Also, Heidegger s tekhne and poesia apply in comprehending the present situation. ________________________________ From: Frank To:
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 6, 2010
      Also, Heidegger's tekhne and poesia apply in comprehending the present situation.

      From: Frank <eltrigal78@...>
      To: anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Sat, February 6, 2010 3:20:23 AM
      Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Guidelines - From Nature to Sub-Nature


      From Nature to Sub-Nature

      It is said that the age of philosophy was superseded by the natural-scientific age in the middle of the nineteenth century. And it is also said that this natural-scientific age continues still today, although many emphasize that certain philosophical intentions have been reiterated.

      All this corresponds to the paths of knowledge which has been initiated in modern times, but not the paths of life. Man still lives in nature with his thoughts, even though he brings mechanistic thinking into his concept of nature. With his volition his lives so much in mechanical, technical processes, that it has imbued the natural-scientific age with a completely new nuance.

      In order to understand human life, one must begin by considering it from two sides. From his previous earth-lives man brings his capacity to understand the cosmos acting from the periphery into the earth. He perceives with his senses what is acting on the earth from the cosmos, and through his thinking organization he thinks about the cosmos acting on the earth from the periphery.

      Thus through his physical body man lives in perception, through his etheric body in thinking.

      What happens in his astral body and his I is at work in hidden regions of his soul. It is at work, for example, in his destiny. However, one must not begin seeking it in complicated situations of destiny, but in the elementary, everyday events of life.

      Man binds himself with with certain earthly forces in that he orients his organism with these forces. He learns to stand upright and to walk, he learns to position himself with his arms and hands in the equilibrium of the earthly forces. These force are not those which stream in from the cosmos, rather are they simply earthly.

      In reality nothing the human being experiences is an abstraction. He only doesn't see where the experience comes from, so he constructs abstractions from ideas about realities. He talks about mechanical laws. He thinks he has abstracted them from the world of nature. That is, however, not the case; rather all the purely mechanical laws man experiences in his soul are related to his orientation to the earth (standing, walking, etc.).

      This clearly indicates that mechanics are purely earth oriented. For the laws of nature concerning color, sound and so forth have streamed to earth from the cosmos. It is only in the earthly region where the mechanical is implanted in the natural laws, as it is first implanted and experienced by the human being on earth.

      Far and away the most active element that works through technology into today's civilization, and in which it is so involved, is not nature, but sub-nature. It is a world that emancipates itself downwardly from nature.

      When the oriental strives for the spirit he tries to leave the states of equilibrium which derive from the earth. He assumes a position of meditation which brings him into cosmic equilibrium. The earth no longer affects his organism's orientation. (This is not for the purpose of imitation, but only to clarify what is meant here. Anyone familiar with my writings knows how in this respect spiritual life in the East and in the West differ.)

      The human being needed this relation to the earth for the development of his Consciousness Soul. In recent times the tendency has arisen to experience in actual doing everything man needs for this development. In settling in the earthly region he encounters the Ahrimanic element. With his own resources he must find the right relation to this Ahrimanic element.

      But in the technological age he has so far not been able to acquire the correct relationship to Ahrimanic civilization. Man must find the strength, the inner cognitive force in order not to be overwhelmed by Ahriman in this technological culture. Sub-nature must be grasped as such. This is only possible when man reaches at least as far up in outer-earthly "supra-nature" as he has descended into technological sub-nature. The times require knowledge that transcends nature, because it must get the better of an dangerous inner life content which has descended to a level below nature.

      Of course we are not suggesting that previous stages of civilization should be repeated, but that a way must be found by man which leads to the correct relation between the new cultural situation, himself, and the cosmos.

      Nowadays only the fewest realize what meaningful spiritual tasks await humanity. Electricity, which after its discovery was celebrated as the soul of nature's existence, must be recognized for its ability to divert from nature downwards to sub-nature. Man must not allow himself to be diverted along with it.

      It the times when a technology independent of nature did not exist, man found the spirit through the observation of nature. Technology made independent of nature caused humanity to concentrate on mechanistic materiality as the only reliable science. In this all the divine-spiritual essence related to the genesis of human evolution is absent. This sphere of activity is dominated by the Ahrimanic.

      In spiritual science the other sphere is created in which the Ahrimanic is not present. And it is just in the cognitive absorption of that spirituality, to which the Ahrimanic has no access, where humanity is strengthened in order to confront Ahriman in the world.

      Goetheanum, March 1925

      Translation: FTS

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