5491Re: Pre and Post Steiner
- Aug 17, 2012'Do as thou wilt' was the maxim of Aleister Crowley, but maybe we should bring that in as well. Rand, Steiner, Crowley.
Rand never saw a life before or beyond the present life. Thus, she was pure Aristotle in *that* incarnation that came out of Plato's Academy after 20 years. Isn't that interesting?
Steiner seems to always see a happiness that relates to others, which could be due to lives after Aristotle's rather fixed point in time.
So, for Steiner, pain and suffering is a part of his ethical individualism, and cannot be dismissed. This is because he knew that repeated earth lives exist in the whole scheme of spiritual evolution.
As such, Rand and Crowley see the present life as most important, while Steiner sees the present in relation to the past, and also to the future. This can be assuredly be found in his concept of "ethical individualism".
He also proved it by taking it to the next level with his work as a spiritual investigator, which Rand and Crowley could hardly stake any claim on attempting.
--- In email@example.com, Patrick Nielsen <patrickrnielsen@...> wrote:
> I think that Fair Oaks has identified the key point: the pursuit of one's
> own true desire.
> One danger of Rand's rhetoric is that one can come to think that only the
> most overt desires are legitimate and that the more rarified motivations
> that Steiner describes are phantastical or even abhorant. This can lead to
> a race to the lowest common denominator of desires; those of conspicuous
> consumption, instant gratification, and personal domination. When this
> happens, it's a shame because Rand's characters rejected empty acquisition
> for merited wealth, neediness for desire, and backbiting for esteem of
> The mistake is to think of altruism as opposed to desire. Where it is,
> it's sure to be poisoned, but it doesn't have to be so. Love of others is
> a higher form of love of self. Charity is a higher form of ambition.
> Sacrifice is not a negation of what we want but a setting aside of one
> desire for the sake of a greater desire. Rand was understandably disgusted
> by self-negation, but that too is a desire.
> Steiner's genius in this is his recognition that all desires exist as a
> continuum. One may cut herself and we think that is perverse. But she
> does this in response to a desire. It's pointless to say that that desire
> is false; it's acting in her. What's needed is for her to break down those
> obstructions to realizing her underlying desire in a more immediate and
> less self destructive way. If one can become able to actually experience
> fully what is happening, one will be better able to get what one needs from
> that experience and thereby be transformed. The transformation, if allowed
> to take root, will lead to different desires. In time, one's motivation
> can appear insane to those who have not undergone such transformation.
> Thus, saints appear to sin against their own desires while in truth
> swimming in a rich sensuality.
> -Do what you want, but do what you really want.
> -You are moral insofar as you free, insofar as you are pursuing your own
> truest desire.
> -Thou hast no right but to do as thou wilt.
> -'Do as thou wilt' shall be the whole of the law.
> Both self-identified conservatives and liberals can fall into any of the
> above-described errors. In fact, partisanship, sectarianism, and ideology
> are great ways to keep us from our true individual desires.
> On Fri, Aug 17, 2012 at 6:59 PM, be23566 <fairoaks@...> wrote:
> > **
> > I found this in Ayn Rand's essay THE OBJECTIVIST ETHICS.
> > "The basic social principle of the Objectivist ethics is that just as life
> > is an end in itself, so every living human being is an end in himself, not
> > the means to the ends or the welfare of othersand, therefore, that man
> > must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor
> > sacrificing others to himself. To live for his own sake means that the
> > achievement of his own happiness is man's highest moral purpose."
> > That sounds like Steiner's Philosophy Of Freedom, almost. Steiner adds the
> > question: What is man's highest pleasure? This brings in the element of
> > ideals that seems to be narrowly fixed with Rand. Steiner has a long
> > chapter examining the pursuit of happiness in POF Chapter 13 The Value Of
> > Life. He concludes our main concern is not the pursuit of "happiness" as
> > such, but we are driven by a desire to achieve our moral ideals, which
> > would be individual, and could cause us great misery with only brief
> > moments of happiness. So this self-fulfillment doesn't necessarily lead to
> > selfishness, but could also lead to helping others, if that was a "freely"
> > selected ideal by the individual.
> >  "Moral ideals have their root in the moral imagination of man.
> > Their realization depends on the desire for them being sufficiently intense
> > to overcome pains and agonies. They are man's own intuitions. In them his
> > spirit braces itself to action. They are what he wills, because their
> > realization is his highest pleasure. He needs no Ethical theory first to
> > forbid him to strive for pleasure and then to prescribe to him what he
> > shall strive for. He will, of himself, strive for moral ideals provided his
> > moral imagination is sufficiently active to inspire him with the
> > intuitions, which give strength to his will to overcome all resistance."
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