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  • Robert Mason
    ... From: AnthroposophicalMethodology@yahoogroups.com Subject: [AnthroposophicalMethodology] Digest Number 4 To:
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 27, 2010
      --- On Mon, 9/13/10, AnthroposophicalMethodology@yahoogroups.com <AnthroposophicalMethodology@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      From: AnthroposophicalMethodology@yahoogroups.com <AnthroposophicalMethodology@yahoogroups.com>
      Subject: [AnthroposophicalMethodology] Digest Number 4
      To: AnthroposophicalMethodology@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Monday, September 13, 2010, 3:54 AM

      Anthroposophical Methodology

      Messages In This Digest (4 Messages)

      my struggles with the 7fold dialectic From: Robert Mason

      the speeches of the Guardians parsed 7foldedly From: Robert Mason

      "The Path of Knowledge" parsed 7foldedly From: Robert Mason

      background:  post from 2006 From: Robert Mason
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      my struggles with the 7fold dialectic
      Posted by: "Robert Mason" robertsmason_99@...   robertsmason_99
      Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:10 pm (PDT)

      To all:

      This is my first post to the "Anthroposophical
      Methodology" e-group, so it will be, in part, an
      introduction of myself.  I am just now joining
      this group, and I do not know who are the
      members, nor have I read any of the previous
      posts.  Since this group apparently is devoted
      mainly to working with Gennady Bondarev's
      methodological concepts, I will take the liberty
      of presuming that everyone here knows what I am
      talking about when I refer to the "7fold
      dialectic", and so I will assume that no
      explanation of the term is needed here and now.

      My concern with the 7fold dialectic began almost
      a year ago, when I got a preliminary text of
      Graham Rickett's translation of the first parts
      (appx. 155 pages) of Bondarev's tome on
      Steiner's *PoF*.  I had already been working
      with *PoF* for more than a quarter-century, and
      I had thought that I had made some progress in
      that work.  A post that I wrote to the now-
      defunct Yahoo Anthroposophy e-group might give
      one a fair picture of the position that I had
      reached.  Since that group's archives are no
      longer online, I will send separately that post
      for reference, for anyone who might be
      interested. -- As suggested in that post, I had
      reached the point where I was less interested in
      reading *PoF* than in doing it, especially in
      doing the kind of thinking taught in that book.

      And I had believed that I had made a good deal
      of progress in that direction; at least that
      seemed to be my experience.  The transition from
      ordinary, "brain-bound" thinking to controlled,
      willed thinking "free from the body" had come to
      be practically an everyday experience for me. 
      And my aim was mainly to deepen and expand this
      experience and to make it more of a "habit", for
      want of a better word.  My ideal was, and is, to
      have my thinking determined by the "things
      themselves" and by thinking's own internal
      energy of the expansion of understanding of
      meanings -- not by anything in my merely
      personal make-up -- and further, to make this
      way of thinking a constant for me, not only a

      This aim was a kind of "promise" that I had made
      to myself.  Over the years, I had been reading
      Steiner's other works, including of course
      *KoHW* and *OS*, about attaining true
      clairvoyance and initiation, and I had made some
      weak attempts at the "exercises" on the "Path". 
      It was becoming apparent to me that I would
      likely not reach initiation anytime soon,
      probably not in this lifetime.  To make a long
      story short, I more or less came to the
      determination that, even if I accomplished
      nothing else in this incarnation, I would at
      least learn how to *think*, really think as
      Steiner taught us, mainly in *PoF*.

      And, as I said, I believed that I had made some
      real progress. -- But suddenly, along comes this
      Anthro-Russkie Bondarev telling us that true
      thinking is really seven-folded and that the
      crucial turning point is the fourth stage, that
      of "beholding" (*anschauen* ).  I had already
      understood "beholding" to be a kind of low-grade
      clairvoyance attained mainly in a visual way,
      but by visualizing processes as did Goethe with
      plants, etc.  But now Bondarev seemed to be
      saying that "beholding" was the crucial stage in
      conceptual, non-visual thinking -- and I had not
      experienced my own thinking in this way.  (There
      were some visual experiences, but I had not
      experienced them as cognitive in any definite
      way.)  I had never noticed any 7folding in my
      own thinking, even as Steinerish as I had
      believed it to be.  And worse, I couldn't really
      see Steiner's own thinking in *PoF* to be
      7folded as Bondarev parsed it in the early part
      of his own *PoF* book.

      Here is some of my initial reaction to the first
      chapters of Bondarev's book, in a post I wrote
      almost a year ago:
      <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/anthroposo phy_now/message/ 1083>
      <http://groups. yahoo.com/ group/steiner/ message/5091>

      Just about that time my offline life was
      disrupted so as to severely limit the amount of
      time and energy that I could spend on
      Anthroposophy, and more so to limit my time on
      the Anthro Internet.  My time online hadn't been
      much anyway, and now it was even less.  And my
      offline life was (and still is) filled with
      experiences that shattered my concentration and
      provoked me to negative feelings, acutely and
      chronically.  But even so, I couldn't leave this
      "7folded thinking" stuff alone:  to fulfil my
      "promise" to myself I had to find out about
      Bondarev's 7fold dialectic, whether it was real
      or whether it was a crock. 

      Even though I couldn't quite grasp this 7fold
      dialectic, I still had to take it seriously. 
      Everything else in the world is 7folded; why
      shouldn't thinking be also?  Bondarev makes
      arguments in this direction, which are
      intriguing but over my head somewhat; still I do
      grasp the principle of "as above, so below" --
      it does seem to run through all Creation.  And
      there were *ad hominum* considerations also;
      illogical in a deduction though they are, they
      can be nonetheless psychologically weighty in
      practical life.  I had already known some of
      Bondarev's work, going back a good number of
      years, when I first saw "The Principles of
      Christian Ethics" (and more) in English on
      Rudolf Saacke's old website.  That essay was
      surely impressive and inspiring, as was the
      whole *Kreuzung* (*Crisis of Civilization* ) when
      I got the English proofs of Graham Rickett's
      translation from the late Nelson Willby. 
      Bondarev was, to me, an obviously important
      Anthroposophical thinker.  I even for a while
      considered the possibility that he might be the
      reincarnation of Rudolf Steiner, though I soon
      discounted that idea.  And thus it was quite
      puzzling, to put it mildly, for me that Bondarev
      was expelled from the Anthro Society for reasons
      that were fairly obviously spurious.  More
      recently, I even put on the Web some chapters
      from the English version of that book.  (Willy
      Lochmann has since put pretty much the rest of
      that book in his English pages:
      <http://lochmann- verlag.com/ englischetexte. htm>)

      And more recently I have seen the preliminary
      English texts of the first part of the *PoF*
      book, the *Weihnachtstagung* book, and even more
      recently, still more texts that I have only
      glanced at (and yet more recently, even more
      that I have not even glanced at).  From that,
      and from other odds and ends (such as what I
      could understand from the German-language site
      "Lebendig-anschauen des Denken"), it is apparent
      to me that Bondarev is a flaming genius and very
      probably the most important contemporary
      Anthroposophical writer.  So, I have to take the
      7fold dialectic seriously, if only because
      Bondarev endorses it.  Of course, even a genius
      might be half-cracked and go off the rails
      altogether sometimes, so I want to find out
      about this 7fold dialectic for myself.  If it's
      a crock, I want to find that out; if it's real,
      I want to "see" (understand) it, and more, to
      *do it*.

      In the little time that I've managed to give to
      the effort over the past year (approximately) ,
      I've tried to work with the idea of the 7fold
      dialectic.  To make a long story short again:  I
      studied the part of the *PoF* book that was in
      English, and then I also went to the Russian
      Anthro site that has the whole German text
      <http://bdn-steiner. ru/modules. php?name= Books>
      -- and, even though I read German very poorly, I
      managed to figure out how Bondarev parsed the
      rest of Steiner's *PoF* and marked up my own
      hard copy (the Wilson translation) accordingly.

      So, I bypassed the "foreign" philosophizing in
      the first chapters of Bondarev's book and tried
      to focus on the 7fold thinking itself.  Again,
      if it was real, I didn't just want to read about
      it, I wanted to learn how to *do it*. -- And
      making a long story short yet again, part of
      this attempt was my trying to parse some of the
      simpler passages of *PoF* myself before marking
      down Bondarev's parsing, to see how mine
      compared to his.  Disappointingly, my parsings
      only sometimes matched his.  We couldn't both be
      right (could we?), so this disparity seemed to
      me to be proof that I hadn't learned how to "do
      it", even so far as to see 7fold thinking where
      it was already present (assuming that it was
      present as Bondarev asserted).

      Another aspect of my attempts was to "meditate"
      on the question of the reality or the crockness
      of the whole concept of the 7fold dialectic. 
      Eventually I came to the thought:  "The 7fold
      dialectic is a closed book to you, Robert Mason,
      because you lack sufficient reverence."  I came
      to this thought because I was aware that my
      effort to grasp the concept was motivated (in
      part, at least) by egotism, and that,
      conversely, the crucial stage of "beholding" was
      accessible only to the pure in heart.  This was
      one of the first principles of Goetheanism, and
      I had already had enough experience with "living
      thinking" to know that wrong feelings, a "bad
      attitude", will surely prevent one from entering
      into the realm of that "living thinking". 
      Really, "living thinking" is an experience of
      "love"; I already knew that.  (For a little more
      on this theme, see my "background" post.) -- So,
      my lack of reverence in my attempts at 7fold
      thinking is itself pretty good proof that I was
      not really *thinking*, since if I were really
      thinking, I would *ipso facto* also have the
      right feelings.

      Once more, my circumstances of outer life were,
      and are, making real thinking and healthy
      feelings vary difficult for me.  So, I was aware
      that I was floundering; my attempts (there was
      more to them that I have related here) were
      failing, it seemed. -- That's about where I was
      a few weeks ago, when someone familiar sent me
      more of Bondarev's works translated into
      English.  That correspondent said that he hoped
      that these texts wouldn't distract me from my
      work with the 7fold concept; I replied that I
      would be glad to be so distracted.  But then I
      drew back; I read a little of the new English
      texts, but then I stopped.  I wasn't quite yet
      ready to admit defeat.  I had been at this 7fold
      stuff almost a year, and it was high time that I
      should be showing some progress; indeed I felt
      that I *had* to have made some kind of progress.

      So I resolved to try again some 7fold parsing of
      my own.  I knew that this "Anthro Method"
      e-group exists, dedicated to Bondarev's
      methodological work, so I conceived the idea of
      doing some 7fold parsing and putting it up here
      for discussion.  Expanding the principle that
      "two heads are better than one", I thought, I
      hoped, that maybe some "group work" with the
      7fold dialectic might break the logjam for me. 
      I already knew that Bondarev said that the 7fold
      pattern runs through all of Steiner's writings,
      and I had already seen that one "M. Giersch" had
      already found the 7fold pattern at the start of
      <http://www.lebendig -anschauendes- denken.ch/ doc/Anschauendes _Denken_Giersch. pdf>
      I can read German just well enough to see what
      pattern Giersch found.  I thought that I might
      be able to do something similar with other
      Steiner texts.

      The idea came to me of parsing the speeches of
      the Guardians in *KoHW*.  For one thing, these
      speeches are short; for another; it seemed that
      they should be relatively simple, since they are
      more dramatic actions than complex philosophical
      arguments.  I took a whack at them, and, sure
      enough, they seemed to fall into 7folded
      "cycles".  Even the crucial fourth "element" of
      "beholding" seemed to be clearly marked,
      sometimes with that very word.  If I had the
      first and fourth elements, I thought that I
      should be able to work out the rest -- and I
      did, or at least so it seems to me.

      Next I took a shot at something more difficult: 
      the final chapter of *Theosophy*.  For one
      thing, it's not too very long; for another, it
      just might be the most important chapter in all
      of Steiner's writings.  If I could find the
      7folding in this chapter, that would be a big
      step forward, out of my "floundering" , or at
      least so I hoped.  And again, that chapter did
      seem to fall into 7folded "cycles", with only
      one exception.

      And so -- here I am, with my attempted 7folded
      parsings.  I bring them here as springboards for
      discussion, I do wish.  And let's do hope that
      two heads are better than one.  Go ahead, rip my
      parsings to shreds; I'm willing to listen to
      criticism.  But if you criticize, please tell me
      exactly how and why I'm wrong, and offer your
      alternative interpretations.  Maybe that way, we
      can all make progress together. -- Tell me:  do
      I "see it", or am I "seeing things"?

      Yes, this is an invitation to discussion, but
      . . . . But, as I said, I get vanishingly little
      time online, and not much to work Anthro-wise
      even offline.  So, I will likely be very slow to
      respond to comments; I might take days or even
      weeks.  But I intend, I will try, to read and
      give serious consideration to all comments. --
      Unless I am knocked out of e-action altogether. 
      That might happen, but it hasn't quite yet.

      Three related posts follow:
      1. the speeches of the Guardians parsed
      2. the last chapter of *Theosophy* parsed
      3. a post from a few years ago that reveals some
         of my personal background with "thinking"

      Submitted for your consideration,

      Robert Mason

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      Messages in this topic (1)


      the speeches of the Guardians parsed 7foldedly
      Posted by: "Robert Mason" robertsmason_99@...   robertsmason_99
      Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:11 pm (PDT)

      {The text within [brackets is mine; the rest is
      Steiner's, through the translator. -- RM}

      Knowledge of the Higher Worlds  X

      Chapter: The Guardian of the Threshold   

      [The speech of the Lesser Guardian seems to me
      to fall into two parts:  the first concerned
      with the nature of karma, and the second with
      the nature of the Threshold itself.  Thus, I see
      two cycles, and they both seem to be
      sevenfolded. ]

      [Cycle 1]

      [1.1 -- Here is a statement of the thesis:  the
      way that karma has worked in the student's life
      until this meeting.]

      Hitherto, powers invisible to thyself watched
      over thee. They saw to it that in the course of
      thy lives each of thy good deeds brought its
      reward, and each of thine evil deeds was
      attended by its evil results. Thanks to their
      influence thy character formed itself out of thy
      life-experiences and thy thoughts. They were the
      instruments of thy destiny. They ordained that
      measure of joy and pain allotted to thee in
      thine incarnations, according to thy conduct in
      lives gone by. They ruled over thee as the all-
      embracing law of karma.

      [1.2 -- And here is an antithesis, an opposing
      principle:  the change that will come in the
      working of the student's karma (if he crosses
      the Threshold).]

      These powers will now partly release thee from
      their constraining influence; and henceforth
      must thou accomplish for thyself a part of the
      work which hitherto they performed for thee.

      [1.3 -- Now follows the synthesis of the
      opposing principles:  the past working of karma
      is transformed into the new working.]

      Destiny struck thee many a hard blow in the
      past. Thou knewest not why. Each blow was the
      consequence of a harmful deed in a bygone lie.
      Thou foundest joy and gladness, and thou didst
      take them as they came. They, too, were the
      fruits of former deeds. Thy character shows many
      a beautiful side, and many an ugly flaw. Thou
      hast thyself to thank for both, for they are the
      result of thy previous experiences and thoughts.
      These were till now unknown to thee; their
      effects alone were made manifest. The karmic
      powers, however, beheld all thy deeds in former
      lives, and all thy most secret thoughts and
      feelings, and determined accordingly thy present
      self and thy present mode of life. But now all
      the good and evil sides of thy bygone lives
      shall be revealed to thee. Hitherto they were
      interwoven with thine own being; they were in
      thee and thou couldst not see them, even as thou
      canst not behold thine own brain with physical
      eyes. But now they become released from thee;
      they detach themselves from thy personality.

      [1.4 -- And here is the element of "beholding"
      in this cycle; Steiner (or the translator) even
      uses that very word.  Here is a visual
      experience:  "*See* this . . . ."]

      They assume an independent form which thou canst
      see even as thou beholdest the stones and plants
      of the outer world. And . . . I am that very
      being who shaped my body out of thy good and
      evil achievements.

      [1.5 -- Steiner, as a dramatist, now has his
      "character" conceptualize for the reader the
      archetype, the Platonic Idea, of the Lesser

      My spectral form is woven out of thine own
      life's record. Till now thou hast borne me
      invisibly within thee, and it was well that this
      was so; for the wisdom of thy destiny, though
      concealed from thee, could thus work within
      thee, so that the hideous stains on my form
      should be blotted out. Now that I have come
      forth from within thee, that concealed wisdom,
      too, has departed from thee. It will pay no
      further heed to thee; it will leave the work in
      thy hands alone. I must become a perfect and
      glorious being, or fall a prey to corruption;
      and should this occur, I would drag thee also
      down with me into a dark and corrupt world.

      [1.6 -- Then the archetype is individualized;
      the implications for the student himself are

      If thou wouldst avoid this, then thine own
      wisdom must become great enough to undertake the
      task of that other, concealed wisdom, which has
      departed from thee. As a form visible to thyself
      I will never for an instant leave thy side, once
      thou hast crossed my Threshold.

      [1.7 -- All this leads to the culmination of the
      cycle:  the new working of karma and the
      consequences of the student's failure or

      And in [the?] future, whenever thou dost act or
      think wrongly thou wilt straightway perceive thy
      guilt as a hideous, demoniacal distortion of my
      form. Only when thou hast made good all thy
      bygone wrongs and hast so purified thyself that
      all further evil is, for thee, a thing
      impossible, only then will my being have become
      transformed into radiant beauty. Then, too,
      shall I again become united with thee for the
      welfare of thy future activity.

      [Cycle 2]

      [2.1 -- This is the theme of the second cycle: 
      the nature of the Threshold itself.]

      Yet my Threshold is fashioned out of all the
      timidity that remains in thee, out of all the
      dread of the strength needed to take full
      responsibility for all thy thoughts and actions.
      As long as there remains in thee a trace of fear
      of becoming thyself the guide of thine own
      destiny, just so long will this Threshold lack
      what still remains to be built into it. And as
      long as a single stone is found missing, just so
      long must thou remain standing as though
      transfixed; or else stumble.

      [2.2 -- And this is the "conflicting" element, a
      warning against presumptuous rashness.]

      Seek not, then, to cross this Threshold until
      thou dost feel thyself entirely free from fear
      and ready for the highest responsibility.

      [2.3 -- Here is an explanation of this conflict: 
      a history of how the student's timidity and
      irresponsibility have always been with him and
      how they have worked.]

      Hitherto I only emerged from thy personality
      when death recalled thee from an earthly life;
      but even then my form was veiled from thee. Only
      the powers of destiny who watched over thee
      beheld me and could thus, in the intervals
      between death and a new birth, build in thee, in
      accordance with my appearance, that power and
      capacity thanks to which thou couldst labor in a
      new earth life at the beautifying of my form,
      for thy welfare and progress. It was I, too,
      whose imperfection ever and again constrained
      the powers of destiny to lead thee back to a new
      incarnation upon earth. I was present at the
      hour of thy death, and it was on my account that
      the Lords of Karma ordained thy reincarnation.
      And it is only by thus unconsciously
      transforming me to complete perfection in ever
      recurring earthly lives that thou couldst have
      escaped the powers of death and passed over into
      immortality united with me.

      [2.4 -- Now the reader is again given something
      to "behold", a visual experience; The Guardian,
      or Steiner, even uses the word *visible*.]

      Visible do I thus stand before thee today, just
      as I have ever stood invisible beside thee in
      the hour of death.

      [2.5 -- The Guardian now states the essence, the
      archetype of the Threshold.]

      When thou shalt have crossed my Threshold, thou
      wilt enter those realms to which thou hast
      hitherto only had access after physical death.

      [2.6 -- This (general) essence is now
      individualized by a delineation of the
      consequences for the student himself.]

      Thou dost now enter them with full knowledge,
      and henceforth as thou wanderest outwardly
      visible upon the earth thou wilt at the same
      time wander in the kingdom of death, that is, in
      the kingdom of life eternal. I am indeed the
      Angel of Death; but I am at the same time the
      bearer of a higher life without end. Through me
      thou wilt die with thy body still living, to be
      reborn into an imperishable existence. Into this
      kingdom thou art now entering; thou wilt meet
      beings that are supersensible, and happiness
      will be thy lot. But I myself must provide thy
      first acquaintance with that world, and I am
      thine own creation. Formerly I drew my life from
      thine; but now thou hast awakened me to a
      separate existence so that I stand before thee
      as the visible gauge of thy future deeds -
      perhaps, too, as thy constant reproach. Thou
      hast formed me, but by so doing thou hast
      undertaken, as thy duty, to transform me.

      [Here Steiner interrupts the Guardian's speech
      with his (RS's) own comments and explications
      about the student's new, coming relation to
      death, group spirits, and so on.  Then the
      speech resumes with the final, culminating

      [2.7 -- This final warning is the "upshot" of
      the cycle, and indeed of the whole speech.]

      Step not across my Threshold until thou dost
      clearly realize that thou wilt thyself illumine
      the darkness ahead of thee; take not a single
      step forward until thou art positive that thou
      hast sufficient oil in thine own lamp. The lamps
      of the guides whom thou hast hitherto followed
      will now no longer be available to thee.

      [This drama is ended after the "lines" with
      Steiner's description of the final "action".]

      * * *

      Knowledge of the Higher Worlds

      XI Life and Death: The Greater Guardian of the         

      [In this speech of the Greater Guardian I find
      only one cycle, but somewhat more complicated
      than the cycles of the Lesser Guardian.  The
      student has passed the Threshold and is already
      a "citizen" of the supersensible world.  The
      overall theme is the student's new
      responsibilities, and the Greater Guardian
      confronts the student with this speech.]

      [1.1 -- The thesis is stated:  the student now
      has this new citizenship. ]

      Thou hast released thyself from the world of the
      senses. Thou hast won the right to become a
      citizen of the supersensible world, whence thine
      activity can now be directed.

      [1.2 -- Then comes the antithesis:  not exactly
      a direct contradiction, but a reference to the
      "opposing" principle, i.e. life in the physical

      For thine own sake, thou dost no longer require
      thy physical body in its present form.

      [1.3 -- The "synthesis" of the first two
      elements is a statement of their immediate
      implication. ]

      If thine intention were merely to acquire the
      faculties necessary for life in the
      supersensible world, thou needest no longer
      return to the sense-world.

      [1.4 -- And here is the turning point of the
      cycle:  the "beholding".  It is clearly marked
      with the very word and an evocation of a visual

      But now behold me. See how sublimely I tower
      above all that thou hast made of thyself thus

      [1.5 -- The archetype of this cycle is the
      Platonic Idea of "liberation" in the profound

      Thou hast attained thy present degree of
      perfection thanks to the faculties thou wert
      able to develop in the sense-world as long as
      thou wert still confined to it. But now a new
      era is to begin, in which thy liberated powers
      must be applied to further work in the world of
      the senses. Hitherto thou hast sought only thine
      own release, but now, having thyself become
      free, thou canst go forth as a liberator of thy

      [1.6 -- Now this archetype is individualized as
      a personal matter for the student.  This element
      seems to me to be comprised of seven sub-
      elements, each bearing an analogous relation to
      the whole element as the seven elements do to
      the whole cycle.]

      [1.6.1 -- The sub-thesis is stated, namely
      individual experience.]

      Until today thou hast striven as an individual .
      . . .

      [1.6.2 -- This (previous) statement is
      contradicted by the antithetical principle,
      namely coordination with the Whole.]

      . . . . but now seek to coordinate thyself with
      the whole, so that thou mayst bring into the
      supersensible world not thyself alone, but all
      things else existing in the world of the senses.

      [1.6.3 -- This contradiction is synthesized with
      their joint implication . . . .]

      Thou wilt some day be able to unite with me, but
      I cannot be blessed so long as others remain
      unredeemed. As a separate freed being, thou
      wouldst fain enter at once the kingdom of the
      supersensible . . . .

      [1.6.4 -- . . . . which is made concrete by an
      evocation of a visual experience:  what the
      student would behold.]

      . . . . yet thou wouldst be forced to look down
      on the still unredeemed beings in the physical
      world . . . .

      [1.6.5 -- There follows the archetypal principle
      at work in this sub-cycle:  the Idea of profound

      . . . . having sundered thy destiny from theirs,
      although thou and they are inseparably united.
      Ye all did perforce descend into the sense-world
      to gather powers needed for a higher world. To
      separate thyself from thy fellows would mean to
      abuse those very powers which thou couldst not
      have developed save in their company.

      [1.6.6 -- The past and future implications of
      this Idea are individualized for the student
      thusly --]

      Thou couldst not have descended had they not
      done so; and without them the powers needed for
      supersensible existence would fail thee. Thou
      must now share with thy fellows the powers
      which, together with them, thou didst acquire.

      [1.6.7 -- And . . . the upshot of this sub-
      cycle, the consequences of the possibility of
      profound separation, is this stern action of the
      Greater Guardian, stated in stern words.]

      I shall therefore bar thine entry into the
      higher regions of the supersensible world so
      long as thou hast not applied all the powers
      thou hast acquired to the liberation of thy
      companions. With the powers already at thy
      disposal thou mayst sojourn in the lower regions
      of the supersensible world; but I stand before
      the portal of the higher regions as the Cherub
      with the fiery sword before Paradise, and I bar
      thine entrance as long as powers unused in the
      sense-world still remain in thee.

      [1.7 -- The sequence of the elements of the
      whole cycle resume and culminate with the
      overall implications of the new "citizenship" .]

      And if thou dost refuse to apply thy powers in
      this world, others will come who will not
      refuse; and a higher supersensible world will
      receive all the fruits of the sense-world, while
      thou wilt lose from under thy feet the very
      ground in which thou wert rooted. The purified
      world will develop above and beyond thee, and
      thou shalt be excluded from it. Thus thou
      wouldst tread the black path, while the others
      from whom thou didst sever thyself tread the
      white path.

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      "The Path of Knowledge" parsed 7foldedly
      Posted by: "Robert Mason" robertsmason_99@...   robertsmason_99
      Sun Sep 12, 2010 12:11 pm (PDT)

      {The text within [brackets is mine; the rest is
      Steiner's, through the translator. -- RM}

      Chapter IV: The Path of Knowledge   

      [I see nine "cycles"; the themes:

      [Cycle 1:  general description of this Path, for
                 everyone, of getting knowledge

      [Cycle 2:  cultivating thought

      [Cycle 3:  unprejudiced receptivity

      [Cycle 4:  correct valuation of experiences

      [Cycle 5:  elimination of personal peculiarities
                 through thinking

      [Cycle 6:  regulation of (outer) actions

      [Cycle 7:  the change of soul experiences on the

      [Cycle 8:  the nature of Initiation

      [Cycle 9:  (truncated) summary the chapter as to
                 the relation of this Path to ordinary

      [I have the uneasy feeling that I might be
      missing some sub-cycles, but I have not yet been
      able to tease them into visibility.]

                  Theosophy Chapter IV
                  The Path of Knowledge

      [Cycle 1]

      [1.1 -- This "element" state the thesis, the
      theme of the first cycle:  thinking as the
      essence of *this* path of knowledge.]

      Knowledge of the spiritual science that is aimed
      at in this book can be acquired by every man for
      himself. Descriptions of the kind given here
      present a thought picture of the higher worlds,
      and they are in a certain respect the first step
      towards personal vision. Man is a thought being
      and he can find his path to knowledge only when
      he makes thinking his starting-point. A picture
      of the higher worlds given to his intellect is
      not without value for him even if for the time
      being it is only like a story about higher facts
      into which he has not yet gained insight through
      his own perception. The thoughts that are given
      him represent in themselves a force that
      continues working in this thought world. This
      force will be active in him; it will awaken
      slumbering capacities.

      [1.2 -- And here is the first "anti"; here is a
      consideration of a "denial" of the thesis.]

      Whoever is of the opinion that it is superfluous
      to give himself up to such a thought picture is
      mistaken because he regards thought as something
      unreal and abstract.

      [1.3 -- Now follows the rejoinder to the
      "denial", taking into account the thesis; here
      is the "synthesis" of the two.]

      Thought is a living force, and just as for one
      who has knowledge, thought is present as a
      direct expression of what is seen in the spirit,
      so the imparting of this expression acts in the
      one to whom it is communicated as a germ that
      brings forth from itself the fruit of knowledge.
      Anyone disdaining the application of strenuous
      mental exertion in the effort to attain the
      higher knowledge, and preferring to make use of
      other forces in man to that end, fails to take
      into account the fact that thinking is the
      highest of the faculties possessed by man in the
      world of his senses.

      [1.4 -- And here the reader is given a
      "picture", as it were, to "behold":  a drama, a
      dialogue between the denier and the Teacher --
      in three acts.]

      [1.4a] To him who asks, "How can I gain personal
      knowledge of the higher truths of spiritual
      science?" the answer must be given, "Begin by
      making yourself acquainted with what is
      communicated by others concerning such

      [1.4b] Should he reply, "I wish to see for
      myself; I do not wish to know anything about
      what others have seen," one must answer, "It is
      in the very assimilating of the communications
      of others that the first step towards personal
      knowledge consists."

      [1.4c] If he then should answer, "Then I am
      forced to have blind faith to begin with," one
      can only reply, "In regard to something
      communicated it is not a case of belief or
      unbelief, but merely of an unprejudiced
      assimilation of what one hears."

      [1.5 -- Then immediately follows a statement of
      the Platonic Idea, the archetype, of this cycle: 
      the essence of the spiritual Teacher's reliance
      on the living forces of thoughts.]

      The true spiritual researcher never speaks with
      the expectation of meeting blind faith in what
      he says. He merely says, "I have experienced
      this in the spiritual regions of existence and I
      narrate my experiences. " He knows also that the
      reception of these experiences by another and
      the permeation of his thoughts with such an
      account are living forces making for spiritual

      [1.6 -- Now this archetype, which is by nature
      general, is "individualized" ; it is shown how
      the general applies to the individual student.]

      What is here to be considered will only be
      rightly viewed by one who takes into account the
      fact that all knowledge of the worlds of soul
      and spirit slumbers in the profoundest depths of
      the human soul. It can be brought to light
      through the path of knowledge. We can grasp,
      however, not only what we have ourselves brought
      to light, but also what someone else has brought
      up from those depths of the soul. This is so
      even when we have ourselves not yet made any
      preparations for the treading of that path of
      knowledge. Correct spiritual insight awakens the
      power of comprehension in anyone whose inner
      nature is not beclouded by preconceptions and
      prejudices. Unconscious knowledge flashes up to
      meet the spiritual fact discovered by another,
      and this "flashing up" is not blind faith but
      the right working of healthy human

      [1.7 -- And so comes the summary of this cycle,
      its unification of the general and the
      particular:  the power of thought, even if
      subconscious, is the best instrument of the true
      Path of Knowledge.]

      In this same healthy comprehension we should see
      a far better starting-point even for first hand
      cognition of the spiritual world than in dubious
      mystical contemplations or anything of a similar
      nature, in which we often fancy that we have
      something better than what is recognized by the
      healthy human understanding, when the results of
      genuine spiritual research are brought before

      [Cycle 2]

      [2.1 -- This thesis is the "octave" of the first
      one; this states the theme of the further,
      deeper exposition of the cultivation of the
      power of thinking.]

      One cannot, in fact, emphasize strongly enough
      how necessary it is that anyone who wishes to
      develop his capacity for higher knowledge should
      undertake the earnest cultivation of his powers
      of thought.

      [2.2 -- And this statement immediately leads to
      another conflict, another denial.]

      This emphasis must be all the more pressing
      because many persons who wish to become seers
      actually estimate lightly this earnest, self-
      denying labor of thinking. They say, "Thinking
      cannot help me reach anything; the chief thing
      is sensation or feeling."

      [2.3 -- The Teacher (Steiner) denies the denial,
      giving the outcome, the synthesis, of the two
      conflicting elements.]

      In reply it must be said that no one can in the
      higher sense, and means in truth, become a seer
      who has not previously worked himself into the
      life of thought. In this connection a certain
      inner laziness plays an injurious role with many
      persons. They do not become conscious of this
      laziness because it clothes itself in a contempt
      of abstract thought and idle speculation. We
      completely misunderstand what thinking is,
      however, if we confuse it with a spinning of
      idle, abstract trains of thought. Just as this
      abstract thinking can easily kill supersensible
      knowledge, so vigorous thinking, full of life,
      must be the groundwork on which it is based. It
      would, indeed, be more comfortable if one could
      reach the higher power of seeing while shunning
      the labor of thinking. Many would like this, but
      in order to reach it an inner firmness is
      necessary, an assurance of soul to which
      thinking alone can lead.

      [2.4 -- This leads to a beholding, a "seeing",
      but of the falseness of the wrong visual
      experiences gained on wrong paths.]

      Otherwise there results merely a meaningless
      flickering of pictures here and there, a
      distracting display of soul phenomena that
      indeed gives pleasure to many, but that has
      nothing to do with a true penetration into the
      higher worlds.

      [2.5 -- Thus is shown the archetype, the matrix,
      of the interdependence of true thinking and a
      healthy soul.]

      Further, if we consider what purely spiritual
      experiences take place in a man who really
      enters the higher world, we shall then
      understand that the matter has still another
      aspect. Absolute healthiness of the soul life is
      essential to the condition of being a seer.
      There is no better means of developing this
      healthiness than genuine thinking. In fact, it
      is possible for this healthiness to suffer
      seriously if the exercises for higher
      development are not based on thinking. Although
      it is true that the power of spiritual sight
      makes a healthy and correctly thinking man still
      healthier and more capable in life than he is
      without it, it is equally true that all attempts
      to develop oneself while shirking the effort of
      thought, all vague dreamings in this domain,
      lend strength to fantasy and illusion and tend
      to place the seeker in a false attitude towards
      life. No one who wishes to develop himself to
      higher knowledge has anything to fear if he pays
      heed to what is said here, but the attempt
      should only be made under the above pre-
      supposition. This pre-supposition has to do only
      with man's soul and spirit. To speak of any
      conceivable kind of injurious influence upon the
      bodily health is absurd under this assumption.
      Unfounded disbelief is indeed injurious. It
      works in the recipient as a repelling force. It
      hinders him from receiving fructifying thoughts.
      Not blind faith, but just this reception of the
      thought world of spiritual science is the
      prerequisite to the development of the higher

      [2.6 -- These general principles are
      individualized in the relation between the
      spiritual researcher and the student.]

      The spiritual researcher approaches his student
      with the injunction, "You are not required to
      believe what I tell you but to think it, to make
      it the content of your own thought world, then
      my thoughts will of themselves bring about your
      recognition of their truth." This is the
      attitude of the spiritual researcher. He gives
      the stimulus. The power to accept what is said
      as true springs forth from the inner being of
      the learner himself.

      [2.7 -- Now the summary, the "upshot', the
      unification of the elements in this cycle.]

      It is in this manner that the views of spiritual
      science should be studied. Anyone who has the
      self-control to steep his thoughts in them may
      be sure that after a shorter or longer period of
      time they will lead him to personal perception.

      [Cycle 3]

      [3.1 -- Here is the statement of the third
      theme:  the unprejudiced receptivity necessary
      for the attainment of higher cognition.]

      In what has been said here, there is already
      indicated one of the first qualities that
      everyone wishing to acquire a vision of higher
      facts has to develop. It is the unreserved,
      unprejudiced laying of oneself open to what is
      revealed by human life or by the world external
      to man.

      [3.2 -- A conflict arising from the antithesis
      of unprejudiced receptivity immediately

      If a man approaches a fact in the world around
      him with a judgment arising from his life up to
      the present, he shuts himself off by this
      judgment from the quiet, complete effect that
      the fact can have on him.

      [3.3 -- The Teacher brings forth the resolution
      of this conflict, its "synthesis". ]

      The learner must be able each moment to make of
      himself a perfectly empty vessel into which the
      new world flows. Knowledge is received only in
      those moments in which every judgment, every
      criticism coming from ourselves, is silent.

      [3.4 -- The reader is given something to
      "behold", to "see":  a picture of a sage meeting
      a child.]

      For example, when we meet a person, the question
      is not at all whether we are wiser than he. Even
      the most unreasoning child has something to
      reveal to the greatest sage. If he approaches
      the child with prejudgment, be it ever so wise,
      he pushes his wisdom like a dulled glass in
      front of what the child ought to reveal to him.*   

      [Then, in a footnote, is what seems to be a
      parenthetical remark by Steiner:  harking back
      to the archetype of the second cycle.]

      * One can very well see, precisely from what is
      stated here,   that in the requirement of
      "unreservedly laying oneself   open" there is no
      question of shutting out one's own   judgment or
      of giving oneself up to blind faith. Anything of   
      that sort would quite obviously have no sense or
      meaning in   regard to a child.

      [3.5 -- Now is revealed the archetype of the
      unprejudiced receptivity of the true knower.]

      Complete inner selflessness is necessary for
      this yielding of oneself up to the revelations
      of the new world. If a man tests himself to find
      out in what degree he possesses this
      accessibility to its revelations, he will make
      astonishing discoveries regarding himself.
      Anyone who wishes to tread the path of higher
      knowledge must train himself to be able at any
      moment to obliterate himself with all his
      prejudices. As long as he obliterates himself
      the revelations of the new world flow into him.
      Only a high grade of such selfless surrender
      enables a man to receive the higher spiritual
      facts that surround him on all sides.

      [3.6 -- This archetype is applied to the
      individual, collectively as "we".]

      We can consciously develop this capacity in
      ourselves. We can try, for example, to refrain
      from any judgment on people around us. We should
      obliterate within ourselves the gauge of
      "attractive" and "repellent," of "stupid" or
      "clever," that we are accustomed to apply and
      try without this gauge to understand persons
      purely from and through themselves. The best
      exercises can be made with people for whom one
      has an aversion. We should suppress this
      aversion with all our power and allow everything
      that they do to affect us without bias. Or, if
      we are in an environment that calls forth this
      or that judgment, we should suppress the
      judgment and free from criticism, lay ourselves
      open to impressions. *   

      [Here seems to be another parenthetical return
      by Steiner to the refutation of the expected
      accusation of an appeal to "blind faith" --
      again harking back to 2.5.]

      * This open-minded and uncritical laying of
      ourselves open   has nothing whatever to do with
      blind faith. The important   thing is not that
      we should believe blindly in anything, but   
      that we should not put a blind judgment in the
      place of the   living impression.

      [3.6 continues.]

      We should allow things and events to speak to us
      rather than speak about them ourselves, and we
      also should extend this to our thought world. We
      should suppress in ourselves what prompts this
      or that thought and allow only what is outside
      to produce the thoughts.

      [3.7 -- And now the summary, the unification,
      the upshot of the discussion in this third

      Only when such exercises are carried out with
      holiest earnestness and perseverance do they
      lead to the goal of higher knowledge. He who
      undervalues such exercises knows nothing of
      their worth, and he who has experience in such
      things knows that selfless surrender and freedom
      from prejudice are true producers of power. Just
      as heat applied to the steam boiler is
      transformed into the motive power of the
      locomotive, so do these exercises in selfless,
      spiritual self-surrender transforms themselves
      in man into the power of seeing in the spiritual

      [Cycle 4]

      [4.1 -- A brief statement of the fourth thesis: 
      the theme of "correct valuation" . . . .]

      By this exercise a man makes himself receptive
      to all that surrounds him, but to this
      receptivity he must allow correct valuation also
      to be added.

      [4.2 -- . . . . is followed immediately by a
      depiction of the conflicting principle: 
      overvaluation of the personal self.]

      As long as he is inclined to value himself too
      highly at the expense of the world around him,
      he bars himself from the approach to higher
      knowledge. The seeker who yields himself up to
      the pleasure or pain that any thing or event in
      the world causes him is enmeshed by such an
      overvaluation of himself. Through his pleasure
      and his pain he learns nothing about the things,
      but merely something about himself. If I feel
      sympathy with a man, I feel to begin with
      nothing by my relation to him. If I make myself
      mainly dependent on this feeling of pleasure, of
      sympathy, for my judgment and my conduct, I
      place my personality in the foreground - I
      obtrude it upon the world. I want to thrust
      myself into the world just as I am, instead of
      accepting the world in an unbiased way, allowing
      it to assert itself in accordance with the
      forces acting on it. In other words I am
      tolerant only of what harmonizes with my
      peculiarities. In regard to everything else I
      exert a repelling force.

      [4.3 -- Here the Teacher presents a resolution
      of the conflict by the "synthesis" of the
      opposing principles:  in particular, with the
      principle that personal feelings are not to be
      eliminated, but de-personalized, as it were.]

      As long as a man is enmeshed by the sensible
      world, he acts in an especially repelling way on
      all influences that are non-sensory. The learner
      must develop in himself the capacity to conduct
      himself toward things and people in accordance
      with their own peculiar natures, and to allow
      each of them to count at its due worth and
      significance. Sympathy and antipathy, pleasure
      and displeasure, must be made to play quite new
      roles. It is not a question here of man's
      eradicating them, of his blunting himself to
      sympathy and antipathy.

      [4.4 -- The reader is given a vivid picture to
      "behold" of the experience of the man who has
      de-personalized his feelings, contrasted with
      the ordinary state of soul.]

      On the contrary, the more a man develops the
      capacity to refrain from allowing immediately by
      a judgment, an action, the finer will his
      sensitivity become. He will find that sympathies
      and antipathies take on a higher character if he
      curbs those he already has. Even something that
      is at first most unattractive has hidden
      qualities. It reveals them if a man does not in
      his conduct obey his selfish feelings. A person
      who has developed himself in this respect has in
      every way a greater delicacy of feeling than one
      who is undeveloped because he does not allow his
      own personality to make him unimpressionable.
      Every inclination that a man follows blindly
      blunts the power to see things in his
      environment in their true light. By obeying
      inclination we thrust ourselves through the
      environment instead of laying ourselves open to
      it and feeling its true worth.

      [4.5 -- This picture leads to a conceptual
      perception of the archetypal, general Idea of
      this cycle:  the experiencing of feelings
      objectively rather than subjectively. ]

      Man becomes independent of the changing
      impressions of the outer world when each
      pleasure and pain, each sympathy and antipathy,
      no longer call forth in him an egotistical
      response and conduct. The pleasure we feel in a
      thing makes us at once dependent on it. We lose
      ourselves in it. A man who loses himself in the
      pleasure or pain caused by every varying
      impression cannot tread the path of spiritual
      knowledge. He must accept pleasure and pain with
      equanimity. Then he ceases to lose himself in
      them and begins instead to understand them. A
      pleasure to which I surrender myself devours my
      being in the moment of surrender. I should use
      the pleasure only in order to arrive through it
      at an understanding of the thing that arouses
      pleasure in me. The important point should not
      be that the thing has aroused pleasure in me. I
      should experience the pleasure and through it
      the nature of the thing. The pleasure should
      only be an intimation to me that there is in the
      thing a quality capable of giving pleasure. This
      quality I must learn to understand. If I go no
      farther than the pleasure, if I allow myself to
      be entirely absorbed in it, then it is only
      myself who lives in it. If the pleasure is only
      the opportunity for me to experience a quality
      or property of the thing itself, I enrich my
      inner being through this experience. To the
      seeker, pleasure and displeasure, joy and pain,
      must be opportunities for learning about things.

      [4.6 -- And this general principle, the
      archetype, is individualized to apply to the
      particular "seeker".]

      The seeker does not become blunted to pleasure
      or pain through this. He raises himself above
      them in order that they may reveal to him the
      nature of the things. By developing himself in
      this respect, he will learn to understand what
      instructors pleasure and pain are. He will feel
      with every being and thereby receive the
      revelation of its inner nature. The seeker never
      says to himself merely, "Oh, how I suffer!" or
      "Oh, how glad I am!" but always, "How does
      suffering speak? How does joy speak?" He
      eliminates the element of self in order that
      pleasure and joy from the outer world may work
      on him.

      [4.7 -- This cycle of discussion is now
      summarized, unifying the general and the

      By this means there develops in a man a
      completely new manner of relating himself to
      things. Formerly he responded to this or that
      impression by this or that action, only because
      the impressions caused him joy or unhappiness.
      Now he causes pleasure and displeasure to become
      also the organs by which things tell him what
      they themselves really are in their own nature.
      Pleasure and pain change from mere feelings
      within him to organs of sense by which the
      external world is perceived. Just as the eye
      does not act itself when it sees something, but
      causes the hand to act, so pleasure and pain do
      not bring about anything in the spiritual seeker
      insofar as he employs them as means of
      knowledge, but they receive impressions, and
      what is experienced through pleasure and
      displeasure causes the action When a man uses
      pleasure and displeasure in such a way that they
      become organs of transmission, they build up for
      him within his soul the actual organs through
      which the soul world opens up to view. The eye
      can serve the body only by being an organ for
      the transmission of sense impressions. Pleasure
      and pain become the eyes of the soul when they
      cease to be of value merely to themselves and
      begin to reveal to one's soul the other soul
      outside it.

      [Cycle 5]

      [5.1 -- Here is the theme of the fifth cycle: 
      the necessity (on the Path) of controlled,
      objective thinking . . . .]

      By means of the qualities mentioned, the seeker
      for knowledge places himself in a condition that
      allows what is really present in the world
      around him to act upon him without disturbing
      influences from his own peculiarities. He has
      also to fit himself into the spiritual world
      around him in the right way because he is as a
      thinking being a citizen of the spiritual world.
      He can be this in the right way only if during
      mental activity he makes his thoughts run in
      accordance with the eternal laws of truth, the
      laws of the spiritland. Only thus can that land
      act on him and reveal its facts to him.

      [5.2 -- . . . . as opposed to uncontrolled,
      subjective pseudo-thinking. ]

      A man never reaches the truth as long as he
      gives himself up to the thoughts continually
      coursing through his ego. If he permits this,
      his thoughts take a course imposed on them by
      the fact of their coming into existence within
      the bodily nature. The thought world of a man
      who gives himself up to a mental activity
      determined primarily by his physical brain looks
      irregular and confused. In it a thought enters,
      breaks off, is driven out of the field by
      another. Anyone who tests this by listening to a
      conversation between two people, or who observes
      himself in an unprejudiced way, will gain an
      idea of this mass of confused thoughts.

      [5.3 -- A resolution of this opposition is
      usually provided by the forceful correction that
      life in the physical world gives to disordered
      pseudo-thinking. ]

      As long as a man devotes himself only to the
      calls of the life of the senses, his confused
      succession of thoughts will always be set right
      again by the facts of reality. I may think ever
      so confusedly but in my actions everyday facts
      force upon me the laws corresponding to the
      reality. My mental picture of a city may be most
      confused, but if I wish to walk along a certain
      road in the city, I must accommodate myself to
      the conditions it imposes on me. The mechanic
      can enter his workshop with ever so varied a
      whirl of ideas, but the laws of his machines
      compel him to adopt the correct procedure in his
      work. Within the world of the senses facts
      exercise their continuous corrective on thought.
      If I come to a false opinion by thinking about a
      physical phenomenon or the shape of a plant, the
      reality confronts me and sets my thinking right.

      [5.4 -- But behold:  the different state of
      affairs in the non-physical worlds.]

      It is quite different when I consider my
      relations to the higher regions of existence.
      They reveal themselves to me only if I enter
      their worlds with already strictly controlled
      thinking. There my thinking must give me the
      right, the sure impulse, otherwise I cannot find
      proper paths. The spiritual laws prevailing
      within these worlds are not condensed so as to
      become sensibly perceptible, and therefore they
      are unable to exert on me the compulsion
      described above. I am able to obey these laws
      only when they are allied to my own as those of
      a thinking being. Here I must be my own sure

      [5.5 -- That "picture" leads to the archetypal
      Idea:  the strict self-control of the knower who
      must make his thinking obey the Law.]

      The seeker for knowledge must therefore make his
      thinking something that is strictly regulated in
      itself. His thoughts must by degrees disaccustom
      themselves entirely from taking the ordinary
      daily course. They must in their whole sequence
      take on the inner character of the spiritual
      world. He must be able constantly to keep watch
      over himself in this respect and have himself in
      hand. With him, one thought must not link itself
      arbitrarily with another, but only in the way
      that corresponds with the severely exact
      contents of the thought world. The transition
      from one idea to another must correspond with
      the strict laws of thought. The man as thinker
      must be, as it were, constantly a copy of these
      thought laws. He must shut out from his train of
      thought all that does not flow out of these
      laws. Should a favorite thought present itself
      to him, he must put it aside if it disturbs the
      proper sequence. If a personal feeling tries to
      force upon his thoughts a direction not inherent
      in them, he must suppress it.

      [5.6 -- This general archetype is shown in the
      particular instances of Plato and mathematics,
      for example.]

      Plato required those who wished to attend his
      school first to go through a course of
      mathematical training. Mathematics with its
      strict laws, which do not accommodate themselves
      to the course of ordinary sensory phenomena,
      form a good preparation for the seeker of
      knowledge. If he wishes to make progress in the
      study of mathematics, he has to renounce all
      personal, arbitrary choice, all disturbances.
      The seeker prepares himself for his task by
      overcoming through his own choice all the
      arbitrary thinking that naturally rules in him.
      He learns thereby to follow purely the demands
      of thought.

      [5.7 -- But the archetype holds not only for
      Plato and mathematics; it is shown as a
      "universal" in the culmination of this cycle.]

      So, too, he must learn to do this in all
      thinking intended to serve spiritual knowledge.
      This thought life must itself be a copy of
      undisturbed mathematical judgments and
      conclusions. The seeker must strive wherever he
      goes and in whatever he does to be able to think
      after this manner. Then there will flow into him
      the intrinsic characteristic laws of the spirit
      world that pass over and through him without a
      trace as long as his thinking bears its ordinary
      confused character. Regulated thinking brings
      him from sure starting points to the most hidden
      truths. What has been said, however, must not be
      looked at in a one-sided way. Although
      mathematics act as a good discipline for the
      mind, one can arrive at pure healthy, vital
      thinking without mathematics.

      [Cycle 6]

      [6.1 -- The discussion turns from thinking to
      (outer) actions; the thesis is that in this
      realm also objectivity must rule.]

      What the seeker of knowledge strives for in his
      thinking, he must also strive for in his
      actions. He must be able to act in accordance
      with the laws of the nobly beautiful and the
      eternally true without any disturbing influences
      from his personality. These laws must be able
      constantly to direct him. Should he begin to do
      something he has recognized as right and find
      his personal feelings not satisfied by that
      action, he must not for that reason forsake the
      road he has entered on. On the other hand, he
      must not pursue it just because it gives him
      joy, if he finds that it is not in accordance
      with the laws of the eternally beautiful and

      [6.2 -- The antithesis is the way that people
      usually act:  egotistically, for personal
      satisfaction. ]

      In everyday life people allow their actions to
      be decided by what satisfies them personally, by
      what bears fruit for themselves. In so doing
      they force upon the world's events the direction
      of their personality. They do not bring to
      realization the true that is traced out in the
      laws of the spirit world, rather do they realize
      the demands of their self-will.

      [6.3 -- The resolution (with regard to
      knowledge) of these conflicting principles is
      found only in actions that are "harmonious" .]

      We only act in harmony with the spiritual world
      when we follow its laws alone. From what is done
      only out of the personality, there result no
      forces that can form a basis for spiritual

      [6.4 -- Here is a concrete picture for the
      reader to "behold":  the inner conversation of
      the true "seeker".]

      The seeker of knowledge may not ask only, "What
      brings me advantages; what will bring me
      success?" He must also be able to ask, "What
      have I recognized as the good?"

      [6.5 -- The archetypal Idea lays down the

      Renunciation of the fruits of action for his
      personality, renunciation of all self-will;
      these are the stern laws that he must prescribe
      for himself. Then he treads the path of the
      spiritual world, his whole being penetrated by
      these laws. He becomes free from all compulsion
      from the sense world; his spirit man raises
      itself out of the sensory sheath. He thus makes
      actual progress on the path towards the
      spiritual and thus he spiritualizes himself.

      [6.6 -- Now Steiner individualizes this "law" by
      applying it to particular cases, exemplary

      One may not say, "Of what use to me are the
      resolutions to follow purely the laws of the
      true when I am perhaps mistaken concerning what
      is true?" The important thing is the striving,
      and the spirit in which one strives. Even when
      the seeker is mistaken, he possesses, in his
      very striving for the true, a force that turns
      him away from the wrong road. Should he be
      mistaken, this force seizes him and guides him
      to the right road. The very objection, "But I
      may be mistaken," is itself harmful unbelief. It
      shows that the man has no confidence in the
      power of the true.

      [6.7 -- And then Steiner points again to the
      general, in a long summary of this cycle; he
      unifies the particular and the archetypal, and
      expands and drives home the thesis.]

      The important point is that he should not
      presume to decide on his aims in accordance with
      his own egotistical views, but that he should
      selflessly yield himself up to the guidance of
      the spirit itself. It is not the self-seeking
      will of man that can prescribe for the true. On
      the contrary, what is true must itself become
      lord in man, must permeate his whole being, make
      him a copy of the eternal laws of the
      spiritland. He must fill himself with these
      eternal laws in order to let them stream out
      into life. Just as the seeker of knowledge must
      be able to have strict control of thinking, so
      he must also have control of his will. Through
      this he becomes in all modesty - without
      presumption - a messenger of the world of the
      true and the beautiful. Through this he ascends
      to be a participant in the spirit world. Through
      this he is lifted from stage to stage of
      development because one cannot reach the
      spiritual life by merely seeing it. On the
      contrary, one has to reach it by experiencing
      it, by living it.

      [Cycle 7]

      [7.1 -- This cycle begins with a brief statement
      of the theme:  the change in the soul
      experiences of the seeker.]

      If the seeker of knowledge observes the laws
      here described, his soul experiences relating to
      the spiritual world will take on an entirely new

      [7.2 -- The new soul-configuration is
      immediately contrasted with its antithesis:  the
      old, "normal" soul configuration. ]

      He will no longer live merely within them. They
      will no longer have a significance merely for
      his personal life.

      [7.3 -- Then follows a long "synthesis", a long
      exposition of the succession of the new, in
      contrast to the old, soul-configuration. ]

      They will develop into soul perceptions of the
      higher world. In this soul the feelings of
      pleasure and displeasure, of joy and pain, do
      not live for themselves only, but grow into soul
      organs, just as in his body eyes and ears do not
      lead a life for themselves alone but selflessly
      allow external impressions to pass through them.
      Thereby the seeker of knowledge wins that
      calmness and assurance in his soul constitution
      necessary for research in the spiritual world. A
      great pleasure will no longer make him merely
      jubilant, but may be the messenger to him of
      qualities in the world that have hitherto
      escaped him. It will leave him calm, and through
      the calm the characteristics of the pleasure-
      giving beings will reveal themselves to him.
      Pain will no longer merely fill him with grief,
      but be able to tell him also what the qualities
      are of the being that causes the pain. Just as
      the eye does not desire anything for itself but
      shows man the direction of the road he has to
      take, so will pleasure and pain guide the soul
      safely along its path. This is the state of
      balance of soul that the seeker of knowledge
      must reach. The less pleasure and pain exhaust
      themselves in the waves that they throw up in
      the inner life of the seeker of knowledge, the
      more will they form eyes for the supersensible
      world. As long as a man lives in pleasure and
      pain he cannot gain knowledge by means of them.
      When he learns how to live by means of them,
      when he withdraws his feeling of self from them,
      then they become his organs of perception and he
      sees by means of them, attaining through them to
      knowledge. It is incorrect to think that the
      seeker of knowledge becomes a dry, colorless
      being, incapable of experiencing joy and sorrow.
      Joy and sorrow are present in him, but when he
      seeks knowledge in the spiritual world, they are
      present in a transformed shape; they have become
      eyes and ears.

      [7.4 -- The Teacher gives the reader something
      to "behold", a "revelation" of the principle at
      work behind the changes in the soul; he
      admonishes the seeker to observe, not only with
      the physical senses, but with the eyes of the
      soul and spirit, "seeing" the eternal; he gives
      the seeker a concrete *picture* of the thoughts
      that a developed seeker will have.]

      As long as we live in a personal relationship
      with the world, things reveal only what links
      them with our personality. This, however, is
      their transitory path. If we withdraw ourselves
      from our transitory part and live with our
      feeling of self, with our "I," in our permanent
      part, then our transitory part becomes an
      intermediary for us. What reveals itself through
      it is an imperishable, an eternal in the things.
      The seeker of knowledge must be able to
      establish this relationship between his own
      eternal part and the eternal in the things. Even
      before he begins other exercises of the kind
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