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

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  • Durward Starman
    __*******, 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
    Message 1 of 20 , Aug 17, 2008
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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.
       
      -starman

      www.DrStarman.com


      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
      why.

      Robert Mason


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    • Mathew Morrell
      One of the elements that drew me to Anthroposophy is that it is 100% extroverted. That is to say, the purpose of Anthroposophy isn t to create more
      Message 2 of 20 , Aug 17, 2008
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        One of the elements that drew me to Anthroposophy is that it is 100% extroverted.  That is to say, the purpose of Anthroposophy isn't to create more abstraction in the world—i.e. to philosophize—but to apply spiritual principles externally to the physical world. 

        Anthroposophy heals the earth of its afflictions, not through philosophy and abstraction, but through real applications of spiritual science. 

        True expressions of Anthroposophy would be biodynamic agriculture, Anthroposophical medicine, Eurythmy, Woldorf education, Creative Speech (Chekhov Method), Social Finance, Goethean Science, etc. 

        The abstract ground of Anthroposophy lies within the sphere of Theosophy, I believe—although I'm no expert in these matters. 

        I would consider Theosophy, from what I've read, to be 100% introverted; it contains no practical, worldly aim.  Rather, its purpose is to provide a pure stream of Western esoteric knowledge, from which Anthroposophy draws upon in its manifold applications. 

        The two branches are deeply related.


         

         

        --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, Durward Starman <DrStarman@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > __*******,
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > 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.
        >
        > -starmanwww.DrStarman.com
        >
        > To: steiner@...: robertsmason_99@...: Sun, 17 Aug 2008 12:15:27 -0700Subject: [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-scientific 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 why.Robert Mason
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      • happypick
        To Robert re: I can t find my copies of Stegmann s work, Robert, so they re probably loaned out and this point ,ight have to wait a bit. The thoughts you
        Message 3 of 20 , Aug 18, 2008
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          To Robert re:

          I can't find my copies of Stegmann's work, Robert, so they're probably loaned out and this point ,ight have to wait a bit. The thoughts you expressed so well seem to me, perhaps erroneously, to be more in tune with Prokofieff, but I'll hold this in abeyance until I can receive some clarification.

          Regarding my very brief statement of the Consciousness Soul, it is exactly that: brief. My sense of the Consciousness Soul is that it goes very far past any sense of empathy et al and on into a higher realm of unconsciousness of one's entire self  while "in spirit," so to say, with another soul or other souls - it is as though one was out of one's bodies and totally "at one" with another's all encompassing inner world all the while with total unconsciousness of any sense of "self."

          Sheila

          Robert Mason wrote:

          To Sheila, who wrote:

          >>Robert, I don't think I recall "The Other
          America" as having the selected subject noted
          below, but perhaps I've simply overlooked it.<<

          Robert writes:

          I'm not sure that Stegmann used the term
          *Ahrimanized Consciousness Soul*; I don't have
          the text to check it. I looked in my notes,
          and he does discuss (in Part One, chapter 5)
          how, when cold thinking meets hot will without
          the mediation of the heart-Ego, the clash
          brings about a kind of war-of-all-against- all.
          I also seem to recall that he relates this idea
          to how, on the North American continent, the
          clash of cold, Arctic air (coming down directly
          without interruption from mountains) against
          hot, humid air from the Gulf causes violent
          storms and tornadoes.

          I'm pretty sure that I have read that term
          somewhere. Maybe it's Prokofieff's coinage and
          not Steiner's?

          Sheila wrote:

          >> . . . . It seems to me when/if one is able
          to reach that point in evolution from which one
          is able to feel in ALL aspects exactly and
          completely what another soul feels, one is
          experiencing the Consciousness Soul.<<

          Robert writes:

          To my understanding, the tendency of the
          Consciousness Soul is just in the opposite
          direction: As one realizes one's own,
          independent individuality, one is (at first)
          more isolated within oneself, more cut off from
          "other souls". For instance, in "Social and
          Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being (12th
          December, 1918; Bern; GA 186) Steiner says:

          "Well, we live in the age of the Spiritual or
          Consciousness Soul in which man must become
          independent. But on what does this depend? It
          depends on people's ability during our Fifth
          Post-Atlantean Period to become self-assertive,
          to not allow themselves to be put to sleep. It
          is the anti-social forces which require
          development in this time, for consciousness to
          be present. It would not be possible for
          mankind in the present to accomplish its task
          if just these anti-social forces did not become
          ever more powerful; they are indeed the pillars
          on which personal independence rests. At
          present, humanity has no idea how much more
          powerful anti-social impulses must become,
          right on until the 30th century. For men to
          progress properly, anti-social forces must
          develop."

          As I understand the matter, the ability to feel
          in empathy with other souls is more
          characteristic of the Spirit Self, which can be
          developed in a healthy way only *after* the
          independent individuality is realized in the
          Consciousness Soul. Thus, the instinctive
          social sense of the East Slavs is a
          foreshadowing of the future role they will play
          in the coming cultural epoch of the Spirit
          Self.

          Robert M

        • Robert Mason
          To Starman: I read your series about the Consciousness Soul. Where you were following RS closely, it did help to clarify. I m glad that we re agreed at least
          Message 4 of 20 , Aug 23, 2008
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            To Starman:

            I read your series about the Consciousness
            Soul. Where you were following RS closely, it
            did help to clarify. I'm glad that we're
            agreed at least that "quoting Steiner is of
            some value".

            You're using a different translation of *OS*
            from the one I have. I have the 1972 Monges
            edition; it seems to follow the German more
            closely. For instance, I doubt that RS uses
            (in the German) *Spiritual Soul* in *OS*. --
            But overall, in that discussion I don't see
            much that I would argue with. I would add just
            a few notes for more clarity, hopefully.

            Starman wrote:

            >>And only what we perceived around us now
            would exist, we wouldn't be able to know
            anything else. This is how animals are.<<

            Robert writes:

            Animals differ in their stages of consciousness,
            as would be suggested by their vast variations
            in appearance and behavior. The soul-life of a
            vertebrate is different from that of an oyster,
            likewise that of the warm-blooded animals is
            different from that of the cold-blooded. The
            apes almost have an ego-consciousness; RS said
            that when apes die their incipient ego is born
            as a salamander. -- The souls of different
            animals are not the all the same. See Wolfgang
            Schad's *Man and Mammals* for many details.

            Starman quotes RS:

            >>. . . . we designate as “soul” what give the
            knowledge performance, duration.<<

            Robert writes:

            This looks like a typo; *performance* should be
            *permanence*?

            Starman wrote:

            >>There are some so-called 'retarded' people
            who have almost only the sentient soul, but for
            most of us it is always intertwined with the
            higher levels.<<

            Robert writes:

            I'd say that such "intertwining" should be
            emphasized more, otherwise it might appear as
            though the "parts" of body, soul, and spirit
            were, as it were, just layered on top of one
            another. But as RS said, they do
            interpenetrate, and they are in constant flux.
            For instance, as ordinary experience shows,
            sensation (Sentient Soul), subjective thinking
            (Intellectual Soul), and objective thinking
            (Consciousness Soul) are usually jumbled
            together in different ways from moment to
            moment, and it takes some effort to distinguish
            them. And as RS says in *Theosophy*, all
            thinking must have at least a spark of
            intuition (Spirit Self) in it. More, depending
            on how you look at him, man could be seen to
            consist of three "parts", or four, or seven, or
            seven again in a different way, or nine, or
            even ten. And, again, as RS said, we need
            mobile concepts to grasp Anthroposophy.

            Starman wrote:

            >>. . . . when you are looking only outwards,
            you're using the sentient soul; when you
            reflect on your experience and make an inner
            world out of the outer, that's the intellectual
            or mind soul. That's why I said a person can
            be a scientist using only those two.<<

            (. . . and earlier, elsewhere:)

            >>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.<<

            Robert writes:

            But, going back to *Theosophy*, we can see that
            what RS calls the *Intellectual Soul* is that
            aspect of our thinking that "counts as true
            what [we] prefer… in [our] feelings and
            desires". The Consciousness Soul is that which
            grasps that "the truth is true even if all
            personal feelings revolt against it".
            Elsewhere (GA 73; November 7, 1917) he makes
            clear that thinking in the Intellectual Soul is
            still dim and instinctive, while only in the
            Consciousness Soul does it become critical and
            objective:

            ". . . . the sentient soul, the most dull,
            living almost entirely in the subconscious; the
            intellectual soul which still develops without
            full consciousness, still having an instinctive
            nature; and finally the consciousness soul,
            which experiences the Ego in full
            consciousness, which emancipates the Ego from
            the life of the body, where intelligence no
            longer appears instinctively but, emancipated,
            confronts things critically."

            But any "science" worthy of the name must at
            least attempt to follow objective thinking and
            the objective facts, regardless of personal
            preferences. (Scientists might not always live
            up to that ideal, but it is the ideal which
            must be at least partially realized for us to
            have any "science" as we have it today.) And
            so it was only with the arrival of the epoch of
            the Consciousness Soul that modern science
            emerged in mass culture. The epoch of the
            Intellectual Soul surely had very little
            "science" as we have it today.

            At a stretch, I suppose, one might say that the
            start of Consciousness Soul development is the
            start of spiritual science; the Consciousness
            Soul is indeed a necessary precursor. But one
            could just as well "stretch" more and say the
            same of the Intellectual or the Sentient Soul.
            But just living in the Consciousness Soul does
            not make one a "spiritual scientist" in
            Steiner's sense. For that, one must be a true
            Initiate. Sometimes RS used the term
            *initiation science* as a synonym for
            *spiritual science* or *Anthroposophy*.

            Starman wrote:

            >>You could say that a person using the first
            two levels of the soul does not really know
            himself OR his world. He is only preparing to
            get to truly know them. This is where most
            clever adults are today.<<

            Robert writes:

            Most? -- I don't know; this kinda brings us
            back to my original question. We are living in
            the epoch of the Consciousness Soul, and that
            is manifesting most obviously (here in the USA)
            in modern science and technology, and in
            "democratic" political life. Again, these seem
            to be manifestations of the "onlooker
            consciousness" and the "instinctive
            Consciousness Soul". But, as I broached the
            question in my first post, we might even be
            falling backward insome ways, especially in
            the past century or so.

            It's really hard to make a quantitative
            estimate; a lot would depend on what you mean
            by *clever*. I'd guess that many, perhaps
            most, cultured adults in modern, Western
            society (and where Western, techno-scientific
            culture is spreading) have *some* appreciation
            of the objectivity of facts and reason -- and
            are thus at least on the cusp of the "inner
            aspects" of the Consciousness Soul, as RS was
            outlining in your quotations. But perhaps only
            on the cusp; people easily fall back into the
            habit of subordinating their thinking to their
            desires. And, given all the mass attacks
            against the free human individuality, it seems
            that many or most people are as though
            hypnotized (most of the time) by mass
            manipulation. -- And so, back to my original
            question.

            Starman wrote:

            >>It is clearly not easy to describe the
            consciousness soul in a few words! . . . . It's
            been called Cosmic Consciousness, or
            Enlightenment, or many other names.<<

            Robert writes:

            I'd caution about invoking these other terms;
            they're too exalted and, worse, nebulous. If
            you're trying to bring clarity, better not to
            suggest images of the Buddha sitting under the
            Bodhi tree, and the like. Such images refer to
            something far more advanced than the
            Consciousness Soul.

            -- So much for the substantive discussion of
            the Consciousness Soul; now, for more of the
            hairsplitting aspects of the discussion:

            Starman wrote:

            >>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.<<

            And:

            >>People "coin" words for a concept, not the
            concept itself. The parts of the soul are found
            in old Greek, Hebrew, in Plato and Arstotle,
            etc. Steiner coined a term for what he
            experienced, as the Greeks named a reality
            "pi".<<

            Robert writes:

            Here again is what I said:
            " - 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."

            We seem to agree that RS coined the term, but
            not the concept. Just considering the use of
            the term: It still is not a commonly
            understood term; as you said elsewhere, it is a
            technical term, at least for the general
            public, even though in our Anthro environment
            it is much more generally understood (let us
            hope). But even here it is not perfectly
            understood; I'm not sure that I understand it
            completely. So I'm willing to enter into this
            discussion.

            But if we were to try to explain the concept of
            *consciousness soul* while using Steiner's
            terminology, without explaining Steiner's usage
            and sticking closely to it *at least for
            starters*, we would thus cause confusion. If
            you want an analogy, this would be like using
            the word *cow* to mean *horse* without warning
            your listeners. But worse, since
            *consciousness soul* is a relatively technical
            term, it would be more like speaking to non-
            mathematicians while using the term *tensor* to
            mean *group* without warning and without
            explaining either term or concept.

            But in order to understand Steiner's usage, we
            must understand his concept; they are
            practically the same thing. (Wittgenstein
            equated use and meaning, but he wasn't an
            ontological Platonist. Granting the real
            existence of the concept, I would say that the
            concept governs the usage.) And only then, IF
            it seems that Steiner's concept is inadequate
            to the reality, we might try to refine his
            concept, as long as our revision is kept
            transparent for everyone. But then, as a
            practical matter, it would probably be better
            to change also the terminology, to eliminate a
            likely source of confusion.

            About the Pythagorean analogy: Even assuming
            that Pythagoras discovered the theorem, which
            is a dubious assumption, there are differences.
            *Pythagorean theorem* is a generally and
            precisely understood term; *Consciousness Soul*
            is neither. All the constituent geometric
            concepts and proofs are widely understood; in
            mathematical culture they were long ago
            detached from the person of Pythagoras. There
            is no similar general understanding of either
            the literal terminology or concept of
            *Consciousness Soul*. -- More, any fairly
            intelligent person, with minimal guidance, can
            come to understand the Pythagorean theorem and
            thus come to grasp directly the mathematical
            (spiritual) reality of it. But the referent
            (the object pointed to) of the term and concept
            *Consciousness Soul* is not likewise a truth of
            the mere relations of concepts. The actual
            Consciousness Soul has a "perceptual" side (in
            the sense of *PoF*) in a way that a merely
            mathematical-geometrical reality does not. One
            can understand the concept *Consciousness Soul*
            without perceiving Consciousness Souls in the
            way that Steiner did. One comes into full
            contact with the reality of the Pythagorean
            theorem through concepts only; the analogous
            contact with the Consciousness Soul requires
            both the concept and the percepts.

            -- And, as a point of fact, people can coin
            concepts. For instance, I could gather a
            knife, a comb, a candle, and a pillow into a
            pile in a cat-box and call them *blitfx-
            thingies*; I define *blitfx-thingie* as an
            object that I just put into the cat-box. I
            just created a concept and coined a term for
            it; see? It might not be a very useful concept
            in life; nevertheless it is an understandable
            concept.

            That illustrates the principle. More to the
            point in the present context: Other, older
            teachings may well have had their concepts for
            the "parts" of the soul, but are Steiner's
            related concepts exactly the same as those
            others? -- I don't know that; I'm not enough of
            a scholar to say for sure, but I doubt it. We
            know that RS in his early lecturing for the
            German Theosophical Society often used the
            Sanskrit terminology with which his listeners
            were familiar, but he eventually substituted
            his own terminology for the Sanskrit. I rather
            doubt that he did so just to be coining words;
            I suspect that he found the old Eastern
            concepts to be somewhat inadequate to the
            facts; thus he may have been introducing new
            terminology for his refined concepts. -- In any
            case, since most of us don't really know the
            old concepts of the soul, it seems to me that
            we should at least start the discussion with
            the concepts and the terminology (Steiner's)
            that are more immediately available to us, if
            we want clarity and not confusion.

            Starman wrote:

            (. . . in reply to my: "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...")

            >>Now, this is no more being nit-picking nor
            evasive than if you walked into a lecture on
            the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and began
            giving your opinion on it because of knowing
            the word "uncertainty" and were told you didn't
            know what we were talking about. The
            "consciousness soul" or "spiritual soul" is a
            technical term in spirit-science that refers to
            a definite reality which can be experienced by
            every individual human being. It has nothing to
            do with "consciousness" which is present in
            even the simplest forms of organic life which
            don't even have "soul"--- and encouraging
            anyone to launch into a discussion of the
            "consciouness soul" with whatever their
            opinions are about "consciousness" would be
            pretty counter-productive.<<

            Robert writes:

            Of course the concepts *consciousness* and
            *Consciousness Soul* are not exact equivalents;
            that's a given. But they are closely related.
            In this context just to point out this fine
            distinction and *stop there* seems like an
            evasion of my original question. But now, you
            even overstate this distinction: to use your
            analogy, saying that the Consciousness Soul
            "has nothing to do with" consciousness is like
            saying that the Uncertainty Principle has
            nothing to do with uncertainty. The
            Consciousness Soul is surely the form that
            human consciousness assumes at a certain stage
            of development; it is a component of the
            overall human consciousness (using
            *consciousness* in the broad sense in which a
            rock can be said to have a dull kind of
            "consciousness"). -- It's fair enough to try to
            clarify the term *Consciousness Soul*, but
            overstating distinctions doesn't bring clarity;
            it causes confusion.

            Starman wrote:

            >>So, "Goethean conversation" or discussion by
            anthroposophists rules out taking an attitude
            like 'Well, none of us can know this stuff but
            we can only quote and speculate'. . . .<<

            Robert writes:

            I didn't take that attitude; I neither said it
            nor implied it. You seem to be setting up a
            straw man to knock down.

            Starman wrote:

            >>Rudolf Steiner was not some sort of higher
            being who could know things we can't; every one
            of us has the same ability to know.<<

            Robert writes:

            In the abstract, we have the same ability as a
            potential, but we haven't all realized it as an
            actuality. This is rather obvious, isn't it?

            Starman wrote:

            >>Steiner wrote his books to be read by anyone,
            anywhere, while his lectures were given at a
            specific place to a specific group of people.
            . . . He didn't want his lectures written down
            at all . . . .<<

            Robert write:

            Again, this is a misleading overstatement. RS
            was reluctant about having his lectures written
            down, but he, if he really wanted to be
            insistent about it, could well have refused to
            speak with a stenographer present. And he was
            reluctant about having the transcripts
            published, but he eventually did agree, around
            the time he was reorganizing the AS. He did
            have deep reasons for reluctance about having
            his spoken words frozen into print and made
            generally available, but he did eventually
            agree that such was inevitable under the
            circumstances of modern culture.

            Starman wrote:

            >>That's why I use his written works here. . .
            . The lectures are also stenographic copies
            which can contain errors. So, anyone interested
            in spirit-science should return again and again
            to the books, and study them more than lecture-
            transcripts. . . .
            <<

            Robert writes:

            But you just proposed that we should study the
            lecture cycles *Paths of Experience* and
            *Metamorphoses of the Soul*, so you must
            recognize the value of the lectures. Yes, the
            basic books are basic, but we might assume that
            most of us in an Anthro e-group already have
            some familiarity with them. And if you want to
            return to the basics for emphasis and clarity,
            that's OK with me. And it's also OK to study
            the lectures, as long as we take into account
            the standard *caveats* that are usually
            published as a preface to them. But it does no
            good to so overstate the *caveats* that it
            might seem that we would be violating Steiner's
            will and betraying Anthroposophy merely by
            reading the lectures.

            Starman wrote:

            >>You asked for quotes so I included some, but
            I didn't need to at all. Everything I'm saying
            in this e-mail is things I know from experience
            as well. Can put it whichever way you prefer. I
            don't only have "Steiner-saids" like some
            people may. If a lot of the anthroposophists
            you've read or met have only Steiner-saids and
            have not made any progress in clairvoyance and
            direct knowledge, well, that's a pity but not
            unexpected. I've met only 3 other psychics in
            the movement.<<

            Robert writes:

            I'd prefer that the Steiner-saids and whatever
            goes beyond them be clearly identified and
            distinguished. And if you bring in your own
            putative insights which go beyond Steiner's,
            I'd prefer that you'd lay the necessary
            groundwork for yours, as RS did for his. That
            might be a lot of work, but it would be
            necessary if you want me to take you seriously
            as a spiritual researcher in your own right. I
            believe that mere clairvoyance and "psychism"
            do not make a spiritual scientist -- as STEINER
            SAID.

            Robert Mason
          • carol
            Robert: I believe that mere clairvoyance and psychism do not make a spiritual scientist -- as STEINER SAID. It s funny to read all this, knowing that both
            Message 5 of 20 , Aug 23, 2008
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              Robert: "I believe that mere clairvoyance and "psychism" do not make a spiritual scientist -- as STEINER SAID."

              It's funny to read all this,  knowing that both parties involved represent dinstinct, highly individualized conscious souls.

              Nothing wrong with that-  Recognizing one's own Ego consciously, as a simple, unihibited fact, appears to me as healthy as can be. Without this qualitative experience,  I find that people risk remaining   prey to personality afflictions such as overall nervousness, denial of reality (ex. of simple facts set before oneself) , childlish diversions and much worse, of course.

              I think within the activity of 'an anthroposophical' discussion, where 'self centered ambition' is recognized to be fully absent, there occurs a little more positive stuff than a mere exchange of abstract ideas and concepts.

              Socialization occurs, and if I recall a 'Steiner said' of my own, it would seem that once we regain our heavenly abode after this life, we will be surprised to discover to what extent the gathering up of our social interactions (that which comprises the great multitude of human encounters we lived),  plays into defining our individual 'life's substance'.

              I find this interesting.

              Carol.

               


              --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, Robert Mason <robertsmason_99@...> wrote:
              >
              > To Starman:
              >
              > I read your series about the Consciousness
              > Soul. Where you were following RS closely, it
              > did help to clarify. I'm glad that we're
              > agreed at least that "quoting Steiner is of
              > some value".
              >
              > You're using a different translation of *OS*
              > from the one I have. I have the 1972 Monges
              > edition; it seems to follow the German more
              > closely. For instance, I doubt that RS uses
              > (in the German) *Spiritual Soul* in *OS*. --
              > But overall, in that discussion I don't see
              > much that I would argue with. I would add just
              > a few notes for more clarity, hopefully.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>And only what we perceived around us now
              > would exist, we wouldn't be able to know
              > anything else. This is how animals are.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > Animals differ in their stages of consciousness,
              > as would be suggested by their vast variations
              > in appearance and behavior. The soul-life of a
              > vertebrate is different from that of an oyster,
              > likewise that of the warm-blooded animals is
              > different from that of the cold-blooded. The
              > apes almost have an ego-consciousness; RS said
              > that when apes die their incipient ego is born
              > as a salamander. -- The souls of different
              > animals are not the all the same. See Wolfgang
              > Schad's *Man and Mammals* for many details.
              >
              > Starman quotes RS:
              >
              > >>. . . . we designate as “soul” what give the
              > knowledge performance, duration.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > This looks like a typo; *performance* should be
              > *permanence*?
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>There are some so-called 'retarded' people
              > who have almost only the sentient soul, but for
              > most of us it is always intertwined with the
              > higher levels.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > I'd say that such "intertwining" should be
              > emphasized more, otherwise it might appear as
              > though the "parts" of body, soul, and spirit
              > were, as it were, just layered on top of one
              > another. But as RS said, they do
              > interpenetrate, and they are in constant flux.
              > For instance, as ordinary experience shows,
              > sensation (Sentient Soul), subjective thinking
              > (Intellectual Soul), and objective thinking
              > (Consciousness Soul) are usually jumbled
              > together in different ways from moment to
              > moment, and it takes some effort to distinguish
              > them. And as RS says in *Theosophy*, all
              > thinking must have at least a spark of
              > intuition (Spirit Self) in it. More, depending
              > on how you look at him, man could be seen to
              > consist of three "parts", or four, or seven, or
              > seven again in a different way, or nine, or
              > even ten. And, again, as RS said, we need
              > mobile concepts to grasp Anthroposophy.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>. . . . when you are looking only outwards,
              > you're using the sentient soul; when you
              > reflect on your experience and make an inner
              > world out of the outer, that's the intellectual
              > or mind soul. That's why I said a person can
              > be a scientist using only those two.<<
              >
              > (. . . and earlier, elsewhere:)
              >
              > >>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.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > But, going back to *Theosophy*, we can see that
              > what RS calls the *Intellectual Soul* is that
              > aspect of our thinking that "counts as true
              > what [we] prefer… in [our] feelings and
              > desires". The Consciousness Soul is that which
              > grasps that "the truth is true even if all
              > personal feelings revolt against it".
              > Elsewhere (GA 73; November 7, 1917) he makes
              > clear that thinking in the Intellectual Soul is
              > still dim and instinctive, while only in the
              > Consciousness Soul does it become critical and
              > objective:
              >
              > ". . . . the sentient soul, the most dull,
              > living almost entirely in the subconscious; the
              > intellectual soul which still develops without
              > full consciousness, still having an instinctive
              > nature; and finally the consciousness soul,
              > which experiences the Ego in full
              > consciousness, which emancipates the Ego from
              > the life of the body, where intelligence no
              > longer appears instinctively but, emancipated,
              > confronts things critically."
              >
              > But any "science" worthy of the name must at
              > least attempt to follow objective thinking and
              > the objective facts, regardless of personal
              > preferences. (Scientists might not always live
              > up to that ideal, but it is the ideal which
              > must be at least partially realized for us to
              > have any "science" as we have it today.) And
              > so it was only with the arrival of the epoch of
              > the Consciousness Soul that modern science
              > emerged in mass culture. The epoch of the
              > Intellectual Soul surely had very little
              > "science" as we have it today.
              >
              > At a stretch, I suppose, one might say that the
              > start of Consciousness Soul development is the
              > start of spiritual science; the Consciousness
              > Soul is indeed a necessary precursor. But one
              > could just as well "stretch" more and say the
              > same of the Intellectual or the Sentient Soul.
              > But just living in the Consciousness Soul does
              > not make one a "spiritual scientist" in
              > Steiner's sense. For that, one must be a true
              > Initiate. Sometimes RS used the term
              > *initiation science* as a synonym for
              > *spiritual science* or *Anthroposophy*.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>You could say that a person using the first
              > two levels of the soul does not really know
              > himself OR his world. He is only preparing to
              > get to truly know them. This is where most
              > clever adults are today.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > Most? -- I don't know; this kinda brings us
              > back to my original question. We are living in
              > the epoch of the Consciousness Soul, and that
              > is manifesting most obviously (here in the USA)
              > in modern science and technology, and in
              > "democratic" political life. Again, these seem
              > to be manifestations of the "onlooker
              > consciousness" and the "instinctive
              > Consciousness Soul". But, as I broached the
              > question in my first post, we might even be
              > falling backward insome ways, especially in
              > the past century or so.
              >
              > It's really hard to make a quantitative
              > estimate; a lot would depend on what you mean
              > by *clever*. I'd guess that many, perhaps
              > most, cultured adults in modern, Western
              > society (and where Western, techno-scientific
              > culture is spreading) have *some* appreciation
              > of the objectivity of facts and reason -- and
              > are thus at least on the cusp of the "inner
              > aspects" of the Consciousness Soul, as RS was
              > outlining in your quotations. But perhaps only
              > on the cusp; people easily fall back into the
              > habit of subordinating their thinking to their
              > desires. And, given all the mass attacks
              > against the free human individuality, it seems
              > that many or most people are as though
              > hypnotized (most of the time) by mass
              > manipulation. -- And so, back to my original
              > question.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>It is clearly not easy to describe the
              > consciousness soul in a few words! . . . . It's
              > been called Cosmic Consciousness, or
              > Enlightenment, or many other names.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > I'd caution about invoking these other terms;
              > they're too exalted and, worse, nebulous. If
              > you're trying to bring clarity, better not to
              > suggest images of the Buddha sitting under the
              > Bodhi tree, and the like. Such images refer to
              > something far more advanced than the
              > Consciousness Soul.
              >
              > -- So much for the substantive discussion of
              > the Consciousness Soul; now, for more of the
              > hairsplitting aspects of the discussion:
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>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.<<
              >
              > And:
              >
              > >>People "coin" words for a concept, not the
              > concept itself. The parts of the soul are found
              > in old Greek, Hebrew, in Plato and Arstotle,
              > etc. Steiner coined a term for what he
              > experienced, as the Greeks named a reality
              > "pi".<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > Here again is what I said:
              > " - 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."
              >
              > We seem to agree that RS coined the term, but
              > not the concept. Just considering the use of
              > the term: It still is not a commonly
              > understood term; as you said elsewhere, it is a
              > technical term, at least for the general
              > public, even though in our Anthro environment
              > it is much more generally understood (let us
              > hope). But even here it is not perfectly
              > understood; I'm not sure that I understand it
              > completely. So I'm willing to enter into this
              > discussion.
              >
              > But if we were to try to explain the concept of
              > *consciousness soul* while using Steiner's
              > terminology, without explaining Steiner's usage
              > and sticking closely to it *at least for
              > starters*, we would thus cause confusion. If
              > you want an analogy, this would be like using
              > the word *cow* to mean *horse* without warning
              > your listeners. But worse, since
              > *consciousness soul* is a relatively technical
              > term, it would be more like speaking to non-
              > mathematicians while using the term *tensor* to
              > mean *group* without warning and without
              > explaining either term or concept.
              >
              > But in order to understand Steiner's usage, we
              > must understand his concept; they are
              > practically the same thing. (Wittgenstein
              > equated use and meaning, but he wasn't an
              > ontological Platonist. Granting the real
              > existence of the concept, I would say that the
              > concept governs the usage.) And only then, IF
              > it seems that Steiner's concept is inadequate
              > to the reality, we might try to refine his
              > concept, as long as our revision is kept
              > transparent for everyone. But then, as a
              > practical matter, it would probably be better
              > to change also the terminology, to eliminate a
              > likely source of confusion.
              >
              > About the Pythagorean analogy: Even assuming
              > that Pythagoras discovered the theorem, which
              > is a dubious assumption, there are differences.
              > *Pythagorean theorem* is a generally and
              > precisely understood term; *Consciousness Soul*
              > is neither. All the constituent geometric
              > concepts and proofs are widely understood; in
              > mathematical culture they were long ago
              > detached from the person of Pythagoras. There
              > is no similar general understanding of either
              > the literal terminology or concept of
              > *Consciousness Soul*. -- More, any fairly
              > intelligent person, with minimal guidance, can
              > come to understand the Pythagorean theorem and
              > thus come to grasp directly the mathematical
              > (spiritual) reality of it. But the referent
              > (the object pointed to) of the term and concept
              > *Consciousness Soul* is not likewise a truth of
              > the mere relations of concepts. The actual
              > Consciousness Soul has a "perceptual" side (in
              > the sense of *PoF*) in a way that a merely
              > mathematical-geometrical reality does not. One
              > can understand the concept *Consciousness Soul*
              > without perceiving Consciousness Souls in the
              > way that Steiner did. One comes into full
              > contact with the reality of the Pythagorean
              > theorem through concepts only; the analogous
              > contact with the Consciousness Soul requires
              > both the concept and the percepts.
              >
              > -- And, as a point of fact, people can coin
              > concepts. For instance, I could gather a
              > knife, a comb, a candle, and a pillow into a
              > pile in a cat-box and call them *blitfx-
              > thingies*; I define *blitfx-thingie* as an
              > object that I just put into the cat-box. I
              > just created a concept and coined a term for
              > it; see? It might not be a very useful concept
              > in life; nevertheless it is an understandable
              > concept.
              >
              > That illustrates the principle. More to the
              > point in the present context: Other, older
              > teachings may well have had their concepts for
              > the "parts" of the soul, but are Steiner's
              > related concepts exactly the same as those
              > others? -- I don't know that; I'm not enough of
              > a scholar to say for sure, but I doubt it. We
              > know that RS in his early lecturing for the
              > German Theosophical Society often used the
              > Sanskrit terminology with which his listeners
              > were familiar, but he eventually substituted
              > his own terminology for the Sanskrit. I rather
              > doubt that he did so just to be coining words;
              > I suspect that he found the old Eastern
              > concepts to be somewhat inadequate to the
              > facts; thus he may have been introducing new
              > terminology for his refined concepts. -- In any
              > case, since most of us don't really know the
              > old concepts of the soul, it seems to me that
              > we should at least start the discussion with
              > the concepts and the terminology (Steiner's)
              > that are more immediately available to us, if
              > we want clarity and not confusion.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > (. . . in reply to my: "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...")
              >
              > >>Now, this is no more being nit-picking nor
              > evasive than if you walked into a lecture on
              > the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and began
              > giving your opinion on it because of knowing
              > the word "uncertainty" and were told you didn't
              > know what we were talking about. The
              > "consciousness soul" or "spiritual soul" is a
              > technical term in spirit-science that refers to
              > a definite reality which can be experienced by
              > every individual human being. It has nothing to
              > do with "consciousness" which is present in
              > even the simplest forms of organic life which
              > don't even have "soul"--- and encouraging
              > anyone to launch into a discussion of the
              > "consciouness soul" with whatever their
              > opinions are about "consciousness" would be
              > pretty counter-productive.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > Of course the concepts *consciousness* and
              > *Consciousness Soul* are not exact equivalents;
              > that's a given. But they are closely related.
              > In this context just to point out this fine
              > distinction and *stop there* seems like an
              > evasion of my original question. But now, you
              > even overstate this distinction: to use your
              > analogy, saying that the Consciousness Soul
              > "has nothing to do with" consciousness is like
              > saying that the Uncertainty Principle has
              > nothing to do with uncertainty. The
              > Consciousness Soul is surely the form that
              > human consciousness assumes at a certain stage
              > of development; it is a component of the
              > overall human consciousness (using
              > *consciousness* in the broad sense in which a
              > rock can be said to have a dull kind of
              > "consciousness"). -- It's fair enough to try to
              > clarify the term *Consciousness Soul*, but
              > overstating distinctions doesn't bring clarity;
              > it causes confusion.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>So, "Goethean conversation" or discussion by
              > anthroposophists rules out taking an attitude
              > like 'Well, none of us can know this stuff but
              > we can only quote and speculate'. . . .<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > I didn't take that attitude; I neither said it
              > nor implied it. You seem to be setting up a
              > straw man to knock down.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>Rudolf Steiner was not some sort of higher
              > being who could know things we can't; every one
              > of us has the same ability to know.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > In the abstract, we have the same ability as a
              > potential, but we haven't all realized it as an
              > actuality. This is rather obvious, isn't it?
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>Steiner wrote his books to be read by anyone,
              > anywhere, while his lectures were given at a
              > specific place to a specific group of people.
              > . . . He didn't want his lectures written down
              > at all . . . .<<
              >
              > Robert write:
              >
              > Again, this is a misleading overstatement. RS
              > was reluctant about having his lectures written
              > down, but he, if he really wanted to be
              > insistent about it, could well have refused to
              > speak with a stenographer present. And he was
              > reluctant about having the transcripts
              > published, but he eventually did agree, around
              > the time he was reorganizing the AS. He did
              > have deep reasons for reluctance about having
              > his spoken words frozen into print and made
              > generally available, but he did eventually
              > agree that such was inevitable under the
              > circumstances of modern culture.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>That's why I use his written works here. . .
              > . The lectures are also stenographic copies
              > which can contain errors. So, anyone interested
              > in spirit-science should return again and again
              > to the books, and study them more than lecture-
              > transcripts. . . .
              > <<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > But you just proposed that we should study the
              > lecture cycles *Paths of Experience* and
              > *Metamorphoses of the Soul*, so you must
              > recognize the value of the lectures. Yes, the
              > basic books are basic, but we might assume that
              > most of us in an Anthro e-group already have
              > some familiarity with them. And if you want to
              > return to the basics for emphasis and clarity,
              > that's OK with me. And it's also OK to study
              > the lectures, as long as we take into account
              > the standard *caveats* that are usually
              > published as a preface to them. But it does no
              > good to so overstate the *caveats* that it
              > might seem that we would be violating Steiner's
              > will and betraying Anthroposophy merely by
              > reading the lectures.
              >
              > Starman wrote:
              >
              > >>You asked for quotes so I included some, but
              > I didn't need to at all. Everything I'm saying
              > in this e-mail is things I know from experience
              > as well. Can put it whichever way you prefer. I
              > don't only have "Steiner-saids" like some
              > people may. If a lot of the anthroposophists
              > you've read or met have only Steiner-saids and
              > have not made any progress in clairvoyance and
              > direct knowledge, well, that's a pity but not
              > unexpected. I've met only 3 other psychics in
              > the movement.<<
              >
              > Robert writes:
              >
              > I'd prefer that the Steiner-saids and whatever
              > goes beyond them be clearly identified and
              > distinguished. And if you bring in your own
              > putative insights which go beyond Steiner's,
              > I'd prefer that you'd lay the necessary
              > groundwork for yours, as RS did for his. That
              > might be a lot of work, but it would be
              > necessary if you want me to take you seriously
              > as a spiritual researcher in your own right. I
              > believe that mere clairvoyance and "psychism"
              > do not make a spiritual scientist -- as STEINER
              > SAID.
              >
              > Robert Mason
              >

            • Robert Mason
              ... occurs ... and ... Of course there is no personal ambition among Anthros; we have all risen above that. Are you in the market for a slightly used
              Message 6 of 20 , Aug 24, 2008
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                --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "carol" <organicethics@...> wrote:

                > I think within the activity of 'an anthroposophical' discussion, where
                > 'self centered ambition' is recognized to be fully absent, there
                occurs
                > a little more positive stuff than a mere exchange of abstract ideas
                and
                > concepts.

                Of course there is no personal ambition among
                Anthros; we have all risen above that.

                Are you in the market for a slightly used
                suspension bridge?

                Robert
              • Durward Starman
                *******Robert, I doubt any of this rather convoluted discussion is going to be of much interest to the list, or of any use to anyone trying to practice
                Message 7 of 20 , Aug 24, 2008
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                  *******Robert, I doubt any of this rather convoluted discussion is going to be of much interest to the list, or of any use to anyone trying to practice anthroposophy in a school, farm, etc. Nor, I think, is this latest post advancing at all the alleged discussion of what's good or bad for developing the consiousness soul one bit, as that seems to have dropped out of consideration completely and been repalced by an endless debate on what should be clear first to HAVE such a discussion, which I thought I'd supplied directly from Steiner's writings as requested.
                   
                      I don't have much time to be drawn into unproductive by-ways. If we want to continue the discussion about the effect of things like the internet on our consciousness soul, which as I said could be a fruitful subject, please feel free to do so, but let's move forward, not backwards.



                  Starman wrote:
                  (referring to having only the astral body, not any soul levels:)
                  >>And only what we perceived around us now would exist, we wouldn't be able to know anything else. This is how animals are.<<

                  Robert writes:

                  Animals differ in their stages of consciousness,
                  as would be suggested by their vast variations
                  in appearance and behavior. The soul-life of a
                  vertebrate is different from that of an oyster,
                  likewise that of the warm-blooded animals is
                  different from that of the cold-blooded. The
                  apes almost have an ego-consciousness; RS said
                  that when apes die their incipient ego is born
                  as a salamander. -- The souls of different
                  animals are not the all the same. See Wolfgang
                  Schad's *Man and Mammals* for many details.

                   
                  *******I taught zoology in a Waldorf High School and know that literature all very well, thank you. Has no bearing on what I wrote, that all perceive just the present moment.
                   


                  Robert wrote:
                  ... as ordinary experience shows,
                  sensation (Sentient Soul), subjective thinking
                  (Intellectual Soul), and objective thinking
                  (Consciousness Soul) are usually jumbled
                  together in different ways from moment to
                  moment, and it takes some effort to distinguish
                  them. And as RS says in *Theosophy*, all
                  thinking must have at least a spark of
                  intuition (Spirit Self) in it.
                   
                  ******I detailed this showing how the Ego, as a drop of the eternal Spirit, gradually unfolds in the 3 soul levels. But the consciousness soul is much more than objective thinking: it gives that but much more. They are not synonymous. It starts with objective thinking but leads much further, to experiencing 'objects' unknown to others.
                   


                  Starman wrote:
                  >>. . . . when you are looking only outwards,
                  you're using the sentient soul; when you
                  reflect on your experience and make an inner
                  world out of the outer, that's the intellectual
                  or mind soul. That's why I said a person can
                  be a scientist using only those two.<<
                  (. . . and earlier, elsewhere:)
                  >>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.<<

                  Robert writes:

                  But, going back to *Theosophy*, we can see that
                  what RS calls the *Intellectual Soul* is that
                  aspect of our thinking that "counts as true
                  what [we] prefer… in [our] feelings and
                  desires". The Consciousness Soul is that which
                  grasps that "the truth is true even if all
                  personal feelings revolt against it".
                  Elsewhere (GA 73; November 7, 1917) he makes
                  clear that thinking in the Intellectual Soul is
                  still dim and instinctive, while only in the
                  Consciousness Soul does it become critical and
                  objective:

                  *******And I believe I can say that that is true of our 'scientifically' educated citizens today. They have not a trace of objectivity. Ask for proof of the religion of 'Darwinism' or any other of a hundred beliefs in the "Religion of Scientism" and see how objective a person is. Most are using only the sentient and intellectual souls and so cannot be. Look at how many people accept 'global warming' and how few scientists have the courage to say the data are quite inconclusive. Try saying some things from anthrosophy to 'em, for that matter, like 'the heart may not be a pump'!
                   


                  Starman wrote:
                  >>You could say that a person using the first
                  two levels of the soul does not really know
                  himself OR his world. He is only preparing to
                  get to truly know them. This is where most
                  clever adults are today.<<

                  Robert writes:

                  Most? -- I don't know; this kinda brings us
                  back to my original question. We are living in
                  the epoch of the Consciousness Soul, and that
                  is manifesting most obviously (here in the USA)
                  in modern science and technology, and in
                  "democratic" political life. Again, these seem
                  to be manifestations of the "onlooker
                  consciousness" and the "instinctive
                  Consciousness Soul"...
                   
                   
                  *******Realization of the consciousness soul might have some ramifications in inventions technologically, since it leads to a higher and truer knowledge of the external world as well as the Self. But I don't consider those synonymous at all, either. People can invent things while having only illusory ideas of reality, like the imaginary 'atoms' and 'electrons' and 'photons'. If they are elaborating on discoveries already made, they may live in a world of illusory mental constructs and still produce inventions, so technology can have little or nothing to do with the consciousness soul. It can be only from the sentient and intellectual souls, as can be many other things. I don't see it behind much of the science and technology in the US. It was with men like Edison.
                   
                     Also, I know of no such thing in anthroposophy as an "instinctive consciousness soul". If you read what I posted from Occult Science or my own words on the subject, clearly, to experience the consciousness soul has nothing 'instinctive' or unconscious about it. It's realizing oneself as spirit, as Steiner did when he wrote his Philosophie der Freiheit. Andre Gregory describes going through the awakening of HIS consciousness soul (and amusingly) in the film "My Dinner With Andre." It's something that summons you to full consciousness.
                   
                   
                   


                  Starman wrote:

                  >>It is clearly not easy to describe the
                  consciousness soul in a few words! . . . . It's
                  been called Cosmic Consciousness, or
                  Enlightenment, or many other names.<<

                  Robert writes:

                  I'd caution about invoking these other terms;
                  they're too exalted and, worse, nebulous. If
                  you're trying to bring clarity, better not to
                  suggest images of the Buddha sitting under the
                  Bodhi tree, and the like. Such images refer to
                  something far more advanced than the
                  Consciousness Soul.
                   
                  *******Sorry you involuntarily picture Buddha when I say the word "enlightenment". [I think of Steiner's description in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds, myself.] And that you have other problems with certain words. I'd say that's a problem for you to solve, not a problem with the language in the e-mail, and I don't believe I need advice of caution since I speak from experience.
                   
                     I believe that if you'll re-read the description of the awakening of the cosnciousness soul from Occult Science, or the other things I wrote, you'll find that people who have had an experience of the Consciousness Soul do indeed go through an 'enlightenment experience' and have called it a "cosmic consciousness" experience, for instance those in Bucke's book of the same name.
                   
                     I'd say you may not be in the ideal position to decide what belongs to the experience of it or not. It opens up the higher levels as well, of course, so some people will experience much more than others; but that it opens up a new light and makes one experience oneself and all the outer world and your previous knowledge of it at a minimum, is undeniable.
                   



                  Robert wrote:

                  -- As a point of fact, people can coin
                  concepts. For instance, I could gather a
                  knife, a comb, a candle, and a pillow into a
                  pile in a cat-box and call them *blitfx-
                  thingies*; I define *blitfx-thingie* as an
                  object that I just put into the cat-box. I
                  just created a concept and coined a term for
                  it; see? It might not be a very useful concept
                  in life; nevertheless it is an understandable
                  concept.
                   
                  *******No, it is not; it would be a word. There is a great difference, and this is what Steiner wrote his philosophical works for. No one can CREATE a concept; we DRAW each concept from the world of concepts by intuition (not meaning the street-usage of the word 'intuition'). They are hierarchical and connected to each other by laws and this is why there is only one correct concept for a given reality. You can make up a group of words like "4-sided triangle" or "white blackness" but these have no real conceptual referent; they refer to nothing in the ideal world.
                     To use a later term from anthroposophy rather than philosophy, they are unreal lies caused by Luciferic influence.
                     It is very important in relation to philosophy and epistemology to not confuse concepts and words. In relation to our discussion of the 3 levels of the soul, they are perceived realities which men then must find the correct concepts for. I pointed out how the ancient Greeks named three parts of the soul and so did the ancient Hebrews. They found the same concepts but gave them different words.
                   



                  Starman wrote:

                  >>Steiner wrote his books to be read by anyone,
                  anywhere, while his lectures were given at a
                  specific place to a specific group of people.
                  . . . He didn't want his lectures written down
                  at all . . . .<<

                  Robert writes:

                  But you just proposed that we should study the
                  lecture cycles *Paths of Experience* and
                  *Metamorphoses of the Soul*, so you must
                  recognize the value of the lectures.
                   
                  *******POTENTIAL value, rather. The Agriculture lectures would have only potential value until you started gardening or farming and were actually putting them to use instead of just reading them. Similarly, there are exercises in the 2 above-named lecture-cycles that can be used to differently experience your breathing, personal realities like laughing and crying, and the course of your own individual life, so that these things you experience directly take on new significance.

                  Starman wrote:

                  >>You asked for quotes so I included some, but
                  I didn't need to at all. Everything I'm saying
                  in this e-mail is things I know from experience
                  as well. Can put it whichever way you prefer. I
                  don't only have "Steiner-saids" like some
                  people may. If a lot of the anthroposophists
                  you've read or met have only Steiner-saids and
                  have not made any progress in clairvoyance and
                  direct knowledge, well, that's a pity but not
                  unexpected. I've met only 3 other psychics in
                  the movement.<<

                  Robert writes:

                  I'd prefer that the Steiner-saids and whatever
                  goes beyond them be clearly identified and
                  distinguished. And if you bring in your own
                  putative insights which go beyond Steiner's,
                  I'd prefer that you'd lay the necessary
                  groundwork for yours, as RS did for his. That
                  might be a lot of work, but it would be
                  necessary if you want me to take you seriously
                  as a spiritual researcher in your own right. I
                  believe that mere clairvoyance and "psychism"
                  do not make a spiritual scientist -- as STEINER
                  SAID.

                  Robert Mason

                  *******CONTROLLED clairvoyance does---and merely reading books and not developing your own direct perception of what Steiner saw makes a book-learned anthroposophist, who may be useful as a farmer or medical worker, but has not yet advanced to doing their own spiritual research. Anyone who really applies anthroposophy correctly begins having clairvoyant experiences, unless he or she blocks their own, as deeming it "mere" clairvoyance, for instance. The cause of that kind of loathing of and rejection of it is fear of one's own psychic ability and not wanting to allow it out. Same thing is often the cause of alcoholism. Once again, direct perception from my experience. Can debate about whether I interpret experiences correctly or not, but not that I had the experiences themselves. Sounds like most of the 'anthroposophists' you've met have had none. Not surprising, I said--- I've found the same. Just a sad reflection on our times. Not all are failures on the path of developing clairvoyance, however, never fear. Several of the ones I've known hid it from the ESP-hating crowd of so-called other 'anthroposophists'. And they just about crucified Willi Sucher for doing astrology readings but I've known many people he helped and he was right on target with them, predicting things twenty years in advance.
                   
                     Will post something on what I see inhibits or aids the development of the consciousness soul when I have time.
                   
                  -starman


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                • Durward Starman
                  ******* No insulting other members, either. You may regard it as humorous but I m not sure Carol does. -starman www.DrStarman.com To:
                  Message 8 of 20 , Aug 24, 2008
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                    ******* No insulting other members, either. You may regard it as humorous but I'm not sure Carol does.
                     
                    -starman

                    www.DrStarman.com




                    To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
                    From: robertsmason_99@...
                    Date: Sun, 24 Aug 2008 20:09:15 +0000
                    Subject: [steiner] Re: think piece: Is the Internet good or bad for the Consciousness Soul?


                    --- In steiner@yahoogroups .com, "carol" <organicethics@ ...> wrote:

                    > I think within the activity of 'an anthroposophical' discussion, where
                    > 'self centered ambition' is recognized to be fully absent, there
                    occurs
                    > a little more positive stuff than a mere exchange of abstract ideas
                    and
                    > concepts.

                    Of course there is no personal ambition among
                    Anthros; we have all risen above that.

                    Are you in the market for a slightly used
                    suspension bridge?

                    Robert




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                  • carol
                    Robert, when I wrote: where self centered ambition is recognized to be fully absent , I really meant it, in a thorough sense. Let me elaborate a
                    Message 9 of 20 , Aug 25, 2008
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                      Robert,  when  I wrote: "where 'self centered ambition' is recognized to be fully absent",  I really meant it, in a thorough sense. 

                      Let me elaborate a little... meaning  that,  'once one, lets say me, has ascertained,  using whatever means I freely will, be it thought,  inner vision, inner full body experience, angelic or disincarnate resource spirit beings etc etc;  that  a given anthroposophist expressing him/her self within discussion is reflecting an earnest attempt to widen their spiritual knowledge/experience through the act of  socialization,  AND thus NOT intentionaly  pursuing  a self centered, one man/woman mission, THEN there exists a possibility for  more positive stuff to thrive within the exchange,  more than that of mere ideas.

                      However,  in retrosopect,  I understand that it's hard to draw a line here, seeing as people are known to unconsciously pursue selfish interests.  But all the same,  if such an individual where expressing themselve in a  truly genuine fashion,  even if  a condition of 'fault' were present,  good things would  still transcend from the  sharing in 'conversation'.  The 'fault element' would be shuffled a little by underlying soul forces....

                      OK,  can you see that?

                      Also,  in this exchange,  I've raised the topic of discussion just a little bit to a more superficial plane than it was in the original post - though certainly not to the extreme that you did.  

                      Do you recognize this?

                      carol.


                      --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "Robert Mason" <robertsmason_99@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "carol" organicethics@ wrote:
                      >
                      > > I think within the activity of 'an anthroposophical' discussion, where
                      > > 'self centered ambition' is recognized to be fully absent, there
                      > occurs
                      > > a little more positive stuff than a mere exchange of abstract ideas
                      > and
                      > > concepts.
                      >
                      > Of course there is no personal ambition among
                      > Anthros; we have all risen above that.
                      >
                      > Are you in the market for a slightly used
                      > suspension bridge?
                      >
                      > Robert
                      >

                    • Robert Mason
                      ... Yes, when you put it as an if-then proposition, I can see it. ... post ... Uh, no; I don t see what you mean by raising to a more superficial plane .
                      Message 10 of 20 , Aug 28, 2008
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                        --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "carol" <organicethics@...> wrote:

                        > OK, can you see that?

                        Yes, when you put it as an if-then proposition,
                        I can see it.

                        > Also, in this exchange, I've raised the topic of discussion just a
                        > little bit to a more superficial plane than it was in the original
                        post
                        > - though certainly not to the extreme that you did.
                        >
                        > Do you recognize this?

                        Uh, no; I don't see what you mean by "raising"
                        to a "more superficial plane". Maybe you
                        meant *less superficial*?

                        -- And I can see much of what you say about
                        TV causing people to confuse fantasy with
                        reality. But this can also happen with books
                        and movies. For instance, in bars Bogart used
                        to run into people who wanted to take a poke
                        at him to prove they were tougher than he
                        was. And even in ancient Rome, I think,
                        actors were "stars". But TV likely intensifies
                        this pseudo-reality because of TV's hypnotic
                        effect and easy availability.

                        Robert M
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