AP and other paths
- Michael Knaak wrote:
Like you, I have been walking many ways, studying many paths, meeting
different initiates on different levels.... the moment I start to read
Steiner, it is kind listening to Beethovens 9th symphonie (Schillers
Ode) - of course only if you like the music. What I want to say with
this: there are moments, where you just meet the spirit world.
Rudolf Steiner vision of things is just so incredible, revolutionary,
breath-taking - and yet, I wonder, why it is so difficult for
Anthroposophy to be accepted by other spiritual streams.
I am personally (well, we all had our previous lifes...) very close to
Sufism and native american spirituality and I find myself diving into
Sufism and diving into Anthroposophy isn't that much of a problem - yet,
as well as you, we have all experienced the world of arguments that
arises from anthroposophical insight - " (f.ex. Sufism..: it was good at
the time - but nowadays...."
And reading and studying Steiner you just enter into a perfect world of
conceps, even if you take into consideration that Steiner tries again
and again to look at things from different angels.(which sometimes makes
it more difficult), nevertheless it fits, it is perfect.
Now, what I have been observing is f.ex. that this living being
Anthroposophy, which Steiner tries to put into words, is often taken in
a kind of scholastic way (which isn't bad) - but, and this is just a
feeling I am expressing: it sort of appears to get into this kind of
inquisition direction, when it comes to some of his pupils.....
I think you expressed yourself quite well and should not be embarrassed by not talking the talk. You have summarized just about every major "issue" AP has been associated with. I cannot get into all my "opinions " about this but here are some to mull over:
One: Steiner had a very well defined mission which he fully accepted. This mission originated with Michael and Anthroposophia and others who wish to bring something special and distinct into human consciousness during the next 1000 years or so and beyond. Its not for everyone and but it has the power to truly transforms one - if one knows how to use the system and model he presented. But.... it comes with a price. The style and stamp of Steiner's personality on AP is inevitable. His crafting of language and concepts to portray spiritual realities is deliberate and intentional but uniquely his. Someone else, perhaps an English speaking teacher, would have described things very differently. This style and content turns people off who are not attracted to this path. Though he can be quite specific and detailed at times there is always a sense of abstraction about his descriptions. Its not just about doing some inner mental and soul work to reach into it but something more. It sounds and feels alien (though the knowledge and places he describes do not). This we have a issue with form.
Two: It's a path of knowledge. AP is purely a path of knowledge but not spiritual knowledge and experience, at first. Spiritual knowledge is veiled through descriptions and concepts of spiritual realities and Beings. Instead using direct methods of meditation and influence from a teacher, one is asked to transformed the intellect and thinking first and then work on the soul with meditations, life work, etc.The process is intended to build and organize the soul and psyche in specific way and other methods can interfere with this. Its like playing the piano and electric guitar at the same time- it doesn't work. This can be tedious and a turn off to those looking for immediate proof of experience or something else via movement, music, chanting, energy, etc. Safety, preparation for experience, and discrimination are more important than just experience in this path. Thus with those more inclined to direct experience, AP seems stiff, deliberate and intellectual - not flowing and vital. This is an issue of the nature of the path and who is attracted to it.
Three: Essential concepts/spiritual facts put it at odds with virtually every other path on the planet! Even though this was and is not the intent, it happens. There is no hedging around with mystical allusions, allegories or abstractions- Buddha and Christ consciousness are not the same; channeling and psychic exploration are not recommended; ancient religious practices are okay to study but are generally outdated and not valuable to modern mankind;: Christ is the Lord of the Earth and lives within it, is beyond the reach of most seekers and theologians; the dual "Jesus mystery" is profound and befuddling ; the human "I" is real and not an illusion or something to get rid of or give away; ; and so on.
There is a very clear platform. The intention is not to discredit others paths (but this happens) but to clarify the evolution of human life on earth, religion and culture; and to do this, one must deal with AP content. This content is not "authoritative" but does have consistency and weight when seen within the light of history.
There is also a fearful or restricted view of any mystical activity or psychic work since these methods dilute the inner clarity of the soul or leads to illusions and self deception. All of this does not build bridges between other paths. It is especially tough in " mixers" when newcomers enter and express their beliefs. Though outwardly, some proponents may not say much, I have heard later that in thought they are trying to fit the other approach into the AP context. I have done this too- its natural but not the right thing to do always.
In short, I see the situation similar to the early Church. When St. Paul brought his full powers and influence to bear and begin the Christian movement, followers felt that they had something unique and special - and they did. But this specialness never mixed well with pagan or Roman traditions. The same may be true with AP. Though I feel Steiner would be spending many hours today correcting or throwing out many of the mutations that have occurred in AP over the years, there is something inherent in the path itself that doesn't mix well.
Its up to the individual to take what works and make it meaningful in their lives. There is certainly enough within AP to chose from and this is why some are more attracted to the Rosicrucian influence within it.
Yet, if one is serious and board minded in their studies and personal growth (and has a large pocketbook for an esoteric library), no one covered more ground and brought more light to both mundane and cosmic issues that Rudolf Steiner.
Just some thoughts.....