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1839Re: "Resist Not Evil" (The Desert Cult)

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  • rickbobbs
    Sep 8, 2003
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      Dear Folks;
      Steiner, like any realistic scientist, always wanted us
      to 'collect and correlate items of concrete knowledge'. Here is
      another fact that relates to the direct methods referred to under
      this heading:

      "I hope you will not take what has been said to-day as
      propagandism of any sort, but look upon it as expressing existing
      facts. A man certainly must and ought to live with his times and when
      anything is described, he should not look upon it as all that is to
      be said on the subject; he should learn to strike the balance. It is
      quite natural that the world to-day should be confronted with
      impulses leading entirely to materialism. That cannot be prevented,
      it is connected with the deep needs of the age. But a counterbalance
      must be established. One very prominent means of driving man into
      materialism is the cinematograph. It has not been observed from this
      standpoint; but there is no better school for materialism than the
      cinema. For what one sees there is not reality as men see it. Only an
      age which has so little idea of reality as this age of ours, which
      worships reality as an idol in a material sense, could believe that
      the cinema represents reality. Any other age would consider whether
      men really walk along the street as seen at the cinema; people would
      ask themselves whether what they saw at such a performance really
      corresponded to reality. Ask yourself frankly and honourably, what is
      really most like what you see in the street: a picture painted by an
      artist, an immobile picture, or the dreadful sparkling pictures of
      the cinematograph. If you put the question to yourselves quite
      honourably, you will admit that what the artist reproduces in a state
      of rest is much more like what you see. Hence, while people are
      sitting at the cinema, what they see there does not make its way into
      the ordinary faculty of perception, it enters a deeper, more material
      stratum than we usually employ for our perception. A man becomes
      etherically goggle-eyed at the cinema; he develops eyes like those of
      a seal, only much larger, I mean larger etherically. This works in a
      materialising way, not only upon what he has in his consciousness,
      but upon his deepest sub-consciousness. Do not think I am abusing the
      cinematograph; I should like to say once more that it is quite
      natural it should exist, and it will attain far greater perfection as
      time goes on. That will be the road leading to materialism. But a
      counterbalance must be established, and that can only be created in
      the following way. With the search for reality which is being
      developed in the cinema, with this descent below sense-perception,
      man must at the same time develop an ascent above it, an ascent into
      Spiritual reality. Then the cinema will do him no harm, and he can
      see it as often as he likes. But unless the counterbalance is there,
      people will be led by such things as these, not to have their proper
      relation to the earth, but to become more and more closely related to
      it, until at last they are entirely shut off from the Spiritual
      world." (27 Feb. 1917, in: Cosmic and Human Metamorphoses, 1989, pp.
      44-45)

      Now, add to this the 'unreality presented as reality' that digital
      special effects are able to instill, as Steiner says, not in peoples
      consciousness, but in their subconscious.

      Take care, and give care.... Rick.
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