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5742a plea for discernment

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  • Robert Mason
    Oct 17, 2013
      Jean-Marc quoted from *Stimme aus dem Osten*
      (G.A. Bondarev):
      (Translation by J-M:)
       
      "At the time of the first coming of the Christ,
      as the Mystery of Golgotha was taking place, the
      Sun darkened. The astronomers attest that it
      should not have been so. In this regard, Rudolf
      Steiner said that the darkening of the higher,
      spiritual realms of the world, by the knowledge
      of antiquity -- obfuscated the true knowledge of
      the Mystery of Golgotha '...as the Moon in front
      of the Sun during a Solar eclipse.'
       
      "He [RS] goes on: 'I do not wish to speak of
      miracles in the usual sense, of the breaking of
      natural laws, but I can do no other than inform
      you how one can read that solar eclipse -- how
      one can do no other than position one's soul
      before that solar eclipse as though reading what
      that natural event signifies: With Moon-
      knowledge an eclipse of the higher Solar message
      occurred.'[GA 148 - October 2,1913]. 
       
      "In our century, the Second Coming of Christ is
      taking place in a world of living forces. One
      experiences it only through Spiritual Science
      [Von ihr erfährt man nur durch die
      Geisteswissenschaft]. That's why Ahriman
      endeavors to obscure [verdunkeln] it, to
      submerge [überfluten] the world with the now
      despairing ancient wisdom [mit der
      altertümlichen, hoffnungslos gewordenen
      Weisheit]. Thus one sees how significant it is
      that atavistic occultism is making approaches to
      Anthroposophy. In the future, this situation
      will become even more complicated. Distortions
      will occur evermore, attempts to equate
      Anthroposophy with the ancient occult doctrines
      and practices."
       
      Robert comments:
       
      That Steiner quote was from *The Fifth Gospel*,
      and indeed an ordinary solar eclipse was
      impossible:  the Moon was full at the time of
      the Crucifixion.  But RS was adamant:  the
      darkening of the Sun during the Crucifixion was
      very much like a solar eclipse: 
       
      "This clairvoyant gaze actually beholds a kind
      of darkening of the earth. And one feels, as it
      were in aftermath, that deeply significant
      moment when, as in a solar eclipse, the physical
      sun was darkened over the land of Palestine,
      over the place of Golgotha. And one has the
      impression, which vision schooled in the sense
      of Spiritual Science can still confirm when an
      actual, physical eclipse of the sun casts shadow
      over the land: that to the eyes of soul the
      whole environment of man looks quite different
      during the time of an eclipse. . . . To be able
      to endure the spectacle of those demonic powers
      and entities which during an eclipse of the sun
      rise out of the creations of art-forsaken,
      technical science, requires great courage . . .
      ."
       
      Steiner's point (in part) was that even the
      great wisdom (including, I presume, the
      clairvoyance) of antiquity was like a darkness
      covering the radiance of knowledge brought by
      Christ:
       
      ". . . . all this knowledge, gathered and
      garnered by humanity in pre-Christian times, has
      its symbol in the moon, as for earthly sight it
      passes through the Cosmos. The moon is the
      symbol, because for all higher stages of human
      cognition this knowledge has acted, not as a
      light-bringer or solver of riddles, but rather
      as a bringer of darkness, just as the moon
      darkens the sun during a solar eclipse. . . .
      All the knowledge existing at that time shed
      darkness, not illumination, upon the riddle of
      the universe. And as a seer one feels the
      higher, truly spiritual regions of the world
      darkened by the intellectual achievements of
      antiquity which placed themselves like a screen
      in front of the real knowledge, just as the moon
      screens the sun during a solar eclipse. And the
      external event becomes a symbolic expression of
      the fact that human evolution had reached a
      stage where the knowledge born of man's own mind
      placed itself in front of the higher knowledge,
      like the moon before the sun during an eclipse."
       
      But back to Bondarev's point: the "atavistic
      occultism" that insinuates itself into
      Anthroposophy is the modern analogue of this
      ancient event.  The present Christ-revelation
      (the "Second Coming") that should be furthered
      especially by Anthroposophy is itself obscured
      by any pre-modern, non spiritual-scientific,
      forms of clairvoyance that work their way into
      the Anthroposophical Movement.  (That's how I
      understand his point.)
       
      And this brings me toward my point here.  I seem
      to observe, in the Anthro movement in general,
      and on Facebook in particular, a lack of
      discernment, a lack of meticulousness, about
      spiritual-scientific methodology -- sometimes,
      at least.  (That was a big complaint by Bondarev: 
      the lack of methodological understanding among
      Anthros.) 
       
      Steiner made the point over and over (I won't
      quote now; I would like to assume that most here
      can find the relevant passages, in *KoHW* and
      *OS* especially):  the worlds on the other side
      of the Veil are inherently deceptive; it
      requires careful discernment and rigorous
      training in order to able to tell Reality from
      illusion over there; especially the Seer must
      successfully pass the tests of the two
      Guardians.
       
      And I would like to emphasize the fact that,
      besides the "inherent" deceptions, there are
      hostile powers who would deliberately deceive
      the seekers and seers.  Anthroposophists need to
      grasp the fact:  the devils of Hell *hate*
      Anthroposophy.  These devils not only inspire
      external attacks against Anthroposophy, but they
      also inspire internal subversion.  And this
      subversion often takes the form of false
      clairvoyance.
       
      It might be hard for many Anthros to wrap their
      minds around this fact.  One might think:  "I'm
      a nice person; I love everybody; I don't lie to
      them; etc."  And one would like to assume that
      everyone else is essentially "nice" too.  If one
      doesn't harbor ill-will, it's hard to imagine it
      in others.  But the facts are otherwise:  some
      people do harbor ill-will, and not just people
      in this world; the same is true of some spirits
      in the other world.  And Anthroposophy in
      particular inspires a lot of malice, and I
      mean real *hatred*.  If you are an
      Anthroposophist, then you are *hated* (and not
      just in this world), no matter how nice you may
      be.  (Jesus was a nice guy too, but look at what
      happened to Him.)  This hatred may come as
      direct attacks (e.g. the Fire), but it might
      also come as more subtle deception, as
      infiltration and subversion.  Anthros need to be
      awake, to be alert to this situation.
       
      The "atavistic occultism" that Bondarev sees as
      "approaching" Anthroposophy includes, I presume,
      pre-scientific methods of crossing the Veil, of
      attaining some kinds of clairvoyance.  At the
      very foundation of Anthroposophy, of Steiner's
      life-work, is the epistemological soundness of
      *trained* clairvoyance.  Steiner took great
      pains to make the Anthro "path of cognition"
      epistemologically secure.  And essential to this
      Path are always:  sound, healthy thinking and
      common sense.  On the Path one must always be
      grounded in these soul-qualities.  Some might
      try to employ the "thinking of the heart"
      without having first acquired these fundamental
      qualities, but such an attempt is doomed; one
      merely wallows in emotionalism.  If one does
      acquire some clairvoyance without these
      qualities, one might well become even more
      deluded and lost than one ever was merely in the
      physical world.
       
      I think that I observe, often, that this lack of
      methodological thoroughness pervades the Anthro
      world, from top to bottom.  Charlatanism runs
      rampant throughout occultism, and even in the
      Anthro world.  One cannot assume that those "in
      authority" know what they're doing; all too 
      often, they do not.  Charlatans might be
      published by Anthro publishing houses; they
      might even find their way into positions of
      organizational power.  The mere seeker might be
      tempted to defer judgment to those who seem to
      be knowledgeable, but that is the high road to
      Anthro perdition.  One is in great danger
      whenever one defers judgment; one has to look at
      everyone with the gimlet eye:  every sentence,
      every word must be scrutinized without
      assumptions.  Otherwise one can get so lost, it
      isn't even funny.  (The voice of experience.)
       
      I suppose that it's even harder to scrutinize
      one's own clairvoyant experiences, if one has
      them.  Yet one must.  Again, as Steiner warned
      us, over There it is inherently deceptive, and
      worse, there are deceptive spirits lurking.  And
      these spirits don't love us at all; they hate us
      and want to deceive and exploit us.  It may be
      hard to doubt one's own experience, but one must
      walk the strait way; there is no other sure
      road.  Eventually, one must immerse oneself in
      the logic of real thinking.  Logic might seem
      dull and tedious at first, but one must, sooner
      or later, learn to love logic.  And one must
      learn to recognize and avoid the manifold
      sources of delusion that Steiner warned us
      about. -- That route may be slow, but haste and
      credulity are fatal.
       
      I'll close with a pertinent Steiner-said:
       
      "It is a thousand times better to have grasped
      the ideas of Spiritual Science with thought
      first of all, and then - sooner or later, each
      according to his karma - to be able oneself to
      ascend into the spiritual worlds; a thousand
      times better than to have 'seen' straight-away
      and not to have grasped with thought the
      knowledge that is imparted in the Movement known
      as the Theosophical. A thousand times better it
      is indeed, to know Theosophy and to see nothing
      as yet, than to see something and not be able to
      penetrate it with thought, for that is how
      unreliability is introduced."
       
      That's from the lecture "The Tasks and Aims of
      Spiritual Science"; November 13, 1909; GA 117. 
      (RS was still using the term *Theosophy* where
      he later would have said *Anthroposophy*.)  This
      whole lecture is well worth reading on the 
      present theme.
       
      Bondarev's warning is urgent:  the "moon" of
      non-scientific clairvoyance "eclipses" the "sun"
      of the new (Christian) wisdom.
       
      Robert Mason
       
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