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4884RE: [steiner] Re: think piece: Is the Internet good or bad for the Consciousness Soul?

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  • Durward Starman
    Aug 17 1:57 PM
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      __*******,Well, this is a pretty good example of what's wrong with so-called 'anthroposophical' discussion on the other lists, and why I don't waste any time there. When I have the time to correct all the errors here and explain the many things that require it, I may do so, but I don't think others on the list would be helped by it to understand our subject better, or be very interested in it.  
         Abstract thinking and regarding spirit-science as words in books is of very limited use in grasping even the most elementary things in it. It has to be grasped out of your life. Such direct experience is always possible if we don't bar our path to it.
         For instance, saying "consciousness soul" is "Steiner's concept" is like saying the Pythagorean theorem belonged only to Pythagoras and you'd have to quote him to understand it. This is false.
        We all experience the soul directly and need only correctly interpret our experience of it, as I've tried to indicate repeatedly.
        More some other time.


      To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      From: robertsmason_99@...
      Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:15:27 -0700
      Subject: [steiner] Re: think piece: Is the Internet good or bad for the Consciousness Soul?

      [Robert had written:
      "The thrust of my question wasn't about my own
      experience of the Consciousness Soul, though
      this is a related question. I was mostly,
      vaguely, groping toward a question about the
      Consciousness Soul in contemporary world
      evolution... "]

      To Starman, who wrote:

      >>Well, see, I'm afraid I must decline to
      discuss spirit-science things on that basis,
      because, as I see it, that's not having a
      spiritual-scientifi c discussion at all. The
      German anthroposophists are sick of "Herr Dr.
      Steiner hatt gesage" ("Dr. Steiner said...")
      and I think justifiably so, but that's all you
      have if you aren't working towards direct
      knowledge yourself.

      Robert writes:

      But I am working toward direct knowledge. You
      asked me about my experience, and so I told you
      about it, briefly. And I briefly outlined my
      understanding of the Consciousness Soul in
      society, relating Steiner's concepts to the
      generally known facts. The Steiner-saids are
      not all that I have, but surely Steiner's words
      must be taken into account: *Consciousness
      Soul* is his concept, after all.

      Starman wrote:

      >>But we all HAVE direct experience of the
      soul, so why should we start speculating
      without coming to understand what we're talking
      about first? What good would discussing the
      'effects of something on colors' be if you
      couldn't see colors?

      Robert writes:

      But I wasn't just "speculating" ; I did *start*
      to show the "colors", both in my experience and
      in a wider context.

      Starman wrote:

      >>To work with spirit-science, we have to take
      steps towards having direct experience
      ourselves. Not everyone can directly experience
      it all, but the first chapter of Theosophy is
      all you need to work with to experience the
      three parts of your soul directly. Then, the
      early lecture-cycles "Paths of Experience" and
      "Metamorphoses of the Soul", which were called
      "Cycle A" by the early anthroposophists because
      they're so fundamental after the written works,
      are excellent at leading you to recognize the
      three souls in your breathing experience and
      life experiences. We could read them together
      online here.

      >>If the discussion is, "Is the internet good
      or bad for people?", or "good or bad for the
      mind?", fine. But if you want to use the
      "consciousness soul", well, I think everyone
      would agree that people would first have to
      know what it IS to have any intelligent
      discussion of it, surely.<<

      Robert writes:

      I have to say that this response is puzzling
      and frustrating for me. First, you rejected my
      original post because it allegedly had "nothing
      whatever to do with anthropsophy" . Then, you
      "decline to discuss" because, you imply, I
      brought too much Steiner-said, but then you
      want for us to study more Steiner-said. But I
      already brought in the core definition from one
      of the texts you recommend, but still you scold
      me. This is confusing, to put it mildly.

      But, if you want to study more texts, then you
      could show us what Steiner-saids you mean and
      how they relate to the original question. I've
      outlined my approach, but you haven't really
      shown us yours. I feel that the next move is
      still up to you. You could go into those texts
      and show us what you think they tell us about
      the Consciousness Soul, and then maybe your
      ideas about how the Internet affects it.

      Starman wrote:

      >>See, that's an example of "Dr. Steiner said".
      It's misleading because the German word he used
      was translated as "instincts". He knew that
      human beings have no instincts. An instinct by
      scientific definition is a COMPLEX behavior
      opattern that is UNLEARNED, and naturally
      occurs in ALL normal members of a species---
      like the web-pattern of a spider or the salmon
      swimming back upstream to spawn. By that
      definition, we human beings have no instincts.
      We have URGES, but our behavior to satisfy them
      is all LEARNED. I'm sure he meant "urge",
      subconscious urges.<<

      Robert writes:

      In my dictionary (Webster's 7th collegiate) the
      first definition of *instinct* is:

      "a natural aptitude, impulse, or capacity"

      . . . then the second one (a) is more like the
      scientific usage you indicated, but (b) is:

      "behavior that is mediated by reactions below
      the conscious level".

      No, I don't agree that's too much Steiner-said,
      and I think that the translator's choice of
      *instinct* was well within the standard usage.
      You might well explicate by pointing out that
      RS was not speaking strictly in the scientific
      sense that you described, but I see no good in
      getting "anal-retentive" about it, and
      especially not when the dictionary backs up
      the translator. And BTW, *learned behavior*
      is a tricky, dangerous concept in the
      scientific context; if you're not careful
      about it, that concept could pull you into
      the deterministic suppositions of materialism.

      And still the question remains: how does the
      Internet (and technology in general) affect
      this instinctive, "outer" Consciousness Soul?

      Starman wrote:

      >>This is good for a start but I'm sure anyone
      reading this discussion who's a beginner at
      anthroposophy would probably have a lot more
      questions to ask before feeling like they know
      what's meant by "consciousness soul" now. It
      would probably be better to start a few pages
      back in Theosophy, with what's the soul
      compared to the body and then the 3 parts of
      the soul. And this is so fundamental to
      anthroposophy. <<

      Robert writes:

      OK, let 'em ask. And if you want to answer
      with more Steiner-saids, that's OK too. But it
      seems a little inconsistent, at the least, for
      you to scold me when I bring in Steiner-saids
      (and considering that the banner for this
      e-list reads: "For discussion of the works of
      Rudolf Steiner").

      And it is especially baffling since I already
      brought in Steiner's core definition of
      *Consciousness Soul* and briefly discussed my
      experience in relation to it. You seem to
      think that my discussion was somehow
      inadequate, but you don't say exactly how and
      why. -- My reaction is: if you think it would
      be better to start a few pages back, then show
      us your "better"; don't just criticize and
      leave us guessing.

      Starman wrote:

      >>Sure, and I think that grounds the
      conversation a bit. But they say you have ADD?
      How on earth could you write such a long e-
      mail? I've known people with ADD, they can't
      write something like this---sometimes, can't
      even read a book at all. Doesn't seem that bad
      in your case.<<

      Robert writes:

      You don't know how long and how much effort it
      takes me to write a post like that (or this
      one). And I surely have had trouble reading
      books. Didn't finish many reading assignments
      in high school, but I could still slide by.
      But I couldn't slide by that way when I got to
      the university. I might find myself having
      scanned and turned 50 or 100 pages without my
      conscious mind being involved at all; it was
      somewhere else; didn't remember anything that I
      had just "read". As you might imagine, I
      didn't last long at the U.

      And there is no "they". I use the term *ADD*
      because it seems to pretty much fit my life-
      story, according to the book *Scattered Minds*
      by Gabor Mate. Also I fit many or most of the
      criteria for ADD listed in that book. -- But
      I’m 60 years old now, with all that learning-
      experience, and much meditation behind me --
      attempted, at least.

      And you don't know how many projects I'm
      leaving on the back burner because I got
      interested in Hoffman's ideas. A trail of
      unfinished projects behind in one's life-path
      -- that's another symptom of ADD.

      Starman wrote:

      >>But the subject wasn't supposed to be the
      effect of the internet on consciousness, but
      specifically on the "consciousness soul." Big
      difference.< <

      Robert writes:

      Again, this is perplexing to me; seems like a
      nit-picky evasion. The Consciousness Soul is
      surely a "subset" of consciousness, and it
      would seem that something that affects
      consciousness in general, in the age of the
      Consciousness Soul, must therefore affect the
      Consciousness Soul, at least in a general way
      in the wider culture. And maybe even in an
      individual way for those who are working on the
      inner aspects of their own Consciousness Souls.

      -- Overall: *Consciousness Soul* is Steiner's
      concept; he coined it. I don't see how we
      could understand the term without going into
      some Steiner-saids, at least for starters. And
      Steiner did use that concept to shed light on
      facts of history that are generally known. One
      need not rely on the Steiner-saids in a
      dogmatic way; one can take the generally known
      facts of history and see how they are explained
      in an enlightening way by Steiner's concepts.
      And likewise, one need not be dogmatic about
      the Steiner-saids concerning the inner aspects
      of the soul.

      Strangely, it seems that you do something that
      your *bête noire* Joel Wendt does: trying to
      put down other people when they bring in a
      Steiner quote, when all the while you are
      bringing in plenty of Steiner-saids of your own
      when they suit your purpose. Could some Wendt
      have rubbed off on you, or do you react against
      him so strongly because he personifies
      something negative within you?

      And I did read over your post to Mathew about
      the Consciousness Soul. Obviously, you did
      rely heavily on Steiner-saids, as well you
      should when discussing Steiner's concepts (and
      given Steiner's enlightening use of those
      concepts to explain human-cultural facts), but
      only implicitly, not explicitly. There was not
      one proper quotation in your whole post. Now,
      I don't mean to get "all anal" and nit-picky,
      but this does raise questions of substance:
      where does Steiner end and Starman begin, and
      where Starman end and Steiner begin? You did
      say some things that seem to me to be very un-
      Steinerian; for instance:

      >>When you start becoming aware of the spirit,
      you no longer experience yourself just as a
      separate ego in a world of objects. Instead,
      the separateness vanishes . . . .<<

      >>Another way you could say it is that with
      only the intellectual soul you can be a
      scientist, but when you start developing the
      consciousness soul you have to start becoming a
      spiritual scientist.<<

      I don't know how those statements could be
      consistent with Steiner's concept, but if you
      think that they are, you could quote the
      relevant Steiner-saids and try to show the
      relation to your formulations. As it is, I
      can't tell whether you conceive such statements
      to be in agreement with Steiner, or whether you
      are deliberately opposing Steiner. If you are
      deliberately opposing Steiner's ideas, it might
      help if you would say so explicitly and tell us

      Robert Mason

      Post to steiner@egroups.comSearch the archives of the group at:

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