5262The Ahrimanic Deception-I
- Jan 5, 2011
This is the first Christmas in 10 years of leading this group that I have not tried to get together a group study for the 12 Holy Nights. The past two years, it was pretty obvious that no one in the group was particularly interested in doing it, so I didn't even try this year.
However, I don't want to give up on this new communications medium that has such potential. Television also has great potential although it is currently filled with dreck, but once in a while something worthwhile appears on it.
The inspiration has come to me during these Holy Nights to do something relating spiritual science to the present time, to our current events. As some of you know, I have always kept politics off-topic for this group--- primarily because of my experience that allowing political discussions on the Internet degenerates very quickly into ranting and raving and arguments (though whether that is because of the nature of communication on the net, or just because of our times, is an open question). A secondary reason has been, as Dr. Steiner began one of his books on society by saying, that most of the time people talking about social problems seem clearly ill-equipped to deal with them in any useful way, because using the current thinking practices and ideologies of our time produce only futile results. Spiritual science should provide new tools, but too many people just import their political biases into anthroposophy, primarily leftist ones, rather than really basing themselves on spiritual study. Accordingly, what I'd like to do is publish some thoughts based on 30 years of working with anthroposophy and as a professor of social sciences.
The spiritual path, or path to self-realization, begins with the realization that one does NOT at first know one's true self--- that this is something which must be sought. In the seeking, one confronts illusion and deceptions, and realizes that there are actual beings seeking to keep one from realizing one's spiritual nature by cleverly substituting illusions for reality.
The primary opponent of we human beings in our time was named by Dr. Steiner "Ahriman", the name of the Persian god of darkness in old Zoroastrianism, and it is only by overcoming his influence that we can move from an illusionary picture of ourselves to experiencing our true being. In a similar way, what Steiner called the "Ahrimanic deception" has influenced all of mankind in our time, and must be peeled away in order to see mankind as it really is and human events as they are really unfolding. In other words, just taking for granted your own opinions and making pronouncements about social and political events is of no more use than making pronouncements about human nature until you experience the soul and spiritual worlds where the essential human nature truly is. To know ourselves instead of illusions, we must struggle to raise ourselves up into higher perception; the same is true if we would understand the nature of groups of human beings that is true for an individual one. It certainly is not sufficient to identify the deception with Marxist or other conspiracy theories, and in fact these merely substitute one set of assumptions for another.
What follows will be some essays on the Ahrimanic deception--- this opposing power's attempt to replace truth in our time with only the thoughts he wishes us to think.
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