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Re: Steiner Autobiography - Chapter III

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  • juancompostella
    ... Tom, Steiner says at the very end of this third chapter of The Story of My Life , The spiritual vision perceives spirit as the senses perceive nature;
    Message 1 of 13 , Aug 24, 2012
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      --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:
      >
      > Here are some uses of spirit in the text. Could someone explain what "spiritual" means so that this text would make sense?
      > Tom
      >
      > soul brings over something spiritual.
      > as if the spiritual had streamed over into the senses.
      > has taken on the character of the spiritual.
      > out of my observation of nature and my spiritual experience.
      > one finds that spiritual reality comes to meet this thought life.
      > The spiritual vision perceives spirit


      Tom, Steiner says at the very end of this third chapter of "The Story of My Life",

      "The spiritual vision perceives spirit as the senses perceive nature; but it does not stand apart in thought from the spiritual perception as the customary state of consciousness stands in its thoughts apart from the sense-perceptions. Spiritual vision thinks while it experiences spirit, and experiences while it sets to thinking
      the awakened spirituality of man.

      A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest
      upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual
      activity which in its thoroughness might be compared with mathematical
      thinking. I was approaching the state of soul in which I felt that I
      might consider that the perception of the spiritual world which I bore
      within me was confirmed before the forum of natural scientific thought."

      Now, what is of significance, and the main reason I began to re-read this book, is that Steiner is surveying everything through the lens of a natural clairvoyant faculty that has extended far beyond the age when memory starts. As seen, he remembers being 22 years old and looking quite specifically at the faculty of human thought, and how it could possibly lead to the recognition and perception of spiritual reality. Thus, his focal point is thinking, seen through the lens of a much larger faculty, i.e., natural clairvoyance.

      Going back to chapter II of his autobiography, it is noteworthy in a couple of places that he receives geometry books to read and draw geometric figures, and also a series of self-study books come out which enables him to gain proficiency in higher-level mathematics, i.e., calculus, trigonometry, analytical algebra, which helps to facilitate his understanding of the natural sciences very well.

      But what struck me as quite indicative of his having retained the natural clairvoyance is when he says, in retrospect, that after four years in the lower classes, and three years in the upper classes of the Realschule in Wiener-Neustadt, that he remembers experiencing it all as if in a dream. For seven years (11-18) he lived his schooling as dream-life.

      Quite remarkable.

      Juan
    • be23566
      A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual activity which in its
      Message 2 of 13 , Aug 24, 2012
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        "A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual
        activity which in its thoroughness might be compared with mathematical
        thinking."

        We would have to speculate that Steiner's experience of what ever he was experiencing had the clarity and understood connections between the parts as pure conceptual thinking. We can even fantasize much more. If more awareness and alert observation were applied to the moment of intuitive insight perhaps more would be noticed about the nature of this experience. I can remember the first time I was conscious (self-aware) of an intuitive insight, it occurred after I started studying POF. I had had them before like most people but must not have been that aware of my thinking. I have had "visions" in the past but didn't find them of much value.

        Tom Last


        --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "juancompostella" <juancompostella@...> wrote:
        >
        > --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@> wrote:
        > >
        > > Here are some uses of spirit in the text. Could someone explain what "spiritual" means so that this text would make sense?
        > > Tom
        > >
        > > soul brings over something spiritual.
        > > as if the spiritual had streamed over into the senses.
        > > has taken on the character of the spiritual.
        > > out of my observation of nature and my spiritual experience.
        > > one finds that spiritual reality comes to meet this thought life.
        > > The spiritual vision perceives spirit
        >
        >
        > Tom, Steiner says at the very end of this third chapter of "The Story of My Life",
        >
        > "The spiritual vision perceives spirit as the senses perceive nature; but it does not stand apart in thought from the spiritual perception as the customary state of consciousness stands in its thoughts apart from the sense-perceptions. Spiritual vision thinks while it experiences spirit, and experiences while it sets to thinking
        > the awakened spirituality of man.
        >
        > A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest
        > upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual
        > activity which in its thoroughness might be compared with mathematical
        > thinking. I was approaching the state of soul in which I felt that I
        > might consider that the perception of the spiritual world which I bore
        > within me was confirmed before the forum of natural scientific thought."
        >
        > Now, what is of significance, and the main reason I began to re-read this book, is that Steiner is surveying everything through the lens of a natural clairvoyant faculty that has extended far beyond the age when memory starts. As seen, he remembers being 22 years old and looking quite specifically at the faculty of human thought, and how it could possibly lead to the recognition and perception of spiritual reality. Thus, his focal point is thinking, seen through the lens of a much larger faculty, i.e., natural clairvoyance.
        >
        > Going back to chapter II of his autobiography, it is noteworthy in a couple of places that he receives geometry books to read and draw geometric figures, and also a series of self-study books come out which enables him to gain proficiency in higher-level mathematics, i.e., calculus, trigonometry, analytical algebra, which helps to facilitate his understanding of the natural sciences very well.
        >
        > But what struck me as quite indicative of his having retained the natural clairvoyance is when he says, in retrospect, that after four years in the lower classes, and three years in the upper classes of the Realschule in Wiener-Neustadt, that he remembers experiencing it all as if in a dream. For seven years (11-18) he lived his schooling as dream-life.
        >
        > Quite remarkable.
        >
        > Juan
        >
      • juancompostella
        ... rest upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual ... was experiencing had the clarity and understood connections between the parts as
        Message 3 of 13 , Aug 25, 2012
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          --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:

          >
          > "A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual
          > activity which in its thoroughness might be compared with mathematical
          > thinking."
          >
          > We would have to speculate that Steiner's experience of what ever he was experiencing had the clarity and understood connections between the parts as pure conceptual thinking. We can even fantasize much more. If more awareness and alert observation were applied to the moment of intuitive insight perhaps more would be noticed about the nature of this experience. I can remember the first time I was conscious (self-aware) of an intuitive insight, it occurred after I started studying POF. I had had them before like most people but must not have been that aware of my thinking. I have had "visions" in the past but didn't find them of much value.
          >
          > Tom Last

          I listened in a spiritual sense with the greatest possible sympathy to everything that came from Schröer. Yet I could not do otherwise even in his presence than build up independently in my own mind that toward which I was striving in my innermost spirit.

          Schröer was an idealist, and the world of ideas as such was for him that which worked as a propulsive force in the creation of nature and of man. I then found it indeed difficult to express in words for myself the difference between Schröer's way of thinking and mine. He spoke of ideas as the propelling forces in history. He felt life in the idea itself. For me the life of the spirit was behind the ideas, and these were only the phenomena of that life in the human soul. I could then find no other terms for my way of thinking than "objective idealism." I wished thereby to denote that for me the reality is not in the idea; that the idea appears in man as the subject, but that just as colour appears on a physical object, so the idea appears on the spiritual object, and that the human mind – the subject – perceives it there as the eye perceives colour on a living being.

          My conception, however, Schröer was very largely satisfied in the form of expression he used when we talked about that which reveals itself as "folk-soul." He spoke of this as of a real spiritual being which lives in the group of individual men who belong to a folk. In this matter his words took on a character which did not pertain merely to the designation of an idea abstractly held. And thus we both observed the texture of ancient Austria and the individualities of the several folk-souls active in Austria. From this side it was possible for me to conceive thoughts concerning the state of public life which penetrated more deeply into my mind.

          Thus my experience at that time was strongly bound up with my relationship to Karl Julius Schröer. What, however, were more remote from him, and in which I strove most of all for an inner explanation, were the natural sciences.

          I wished to know that my "objective idealism" was in harmony with the knowledge of nature.

          http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA028/TSoML/GA028_c05.html

          Awareness of an intuition is the seed-force for its cultivation in the garden of inspiration.  POF gave you that start.

          Juan

           

        • juancompostella
          ... So, studying POF brought forth intuitions that you then began to grasp in thought? It seems to me that this would be the catalyst for those specific
          Message 4 of 13 , Aug 25, 2012
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            --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:
            >
            > "A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual
            > activity which in its thoroughness might be compared with mathematical
            > thinking."
            >
            > We would have to speculate that Steiner's experience of what ever he was experiencing had the clarity and understood connections between the parts as pure conceptual thinking. We can even fantasize much more. If more awareness and alert observation were applied to the moment of intuitive insight perhaps more would be noticed about the nature of this experience. I can remember the first time I was conscious (self-aware) of an intuitive insight, it occurred after I started studying POF. I had had them before like most people but must not have been that aware of my thinking. I have had "visions" in the past but didn't find them of much value.
            >
            > Tom Last

            So, studying POF brought forth intuitions that you then began to grasp in thought? It seems to me that this would be the catalyst for those specific efforts of sense-free thinking that yield such excellent results in furthering our own research. The proofs are in the 'pudding', are they not?

            Thinking as Spiritual Activity would more than imply that behind our ideas which bubble up as an intuition, whether vague or not, and it would appear that most intuitions, once grasped in a form by thought, are begging for greater elaboration until realization occurs, are the first expression of the spirit working behind the scene in its relation to thinking itself.

            And my experiences of sense-free thinking, which seems to be at the heart of POF as its dynamic activity, is always joy and happiness, which would be very Randian in its focus on the self and its personal attainments in satisfying the self. And it is virtuous work, this sense-free thinking, without a trace of altruism.

            So, it would appear that efforts of sense-free thinking are Randian all the way; meeting her standards invlolving reason and individuality.

            But there is also the exercise, entirely non-randian, where these thoughts are stopped and we give up the bliss of our results in free thinking. And this yields results of its own which proves something even deeper and more substantial. Its results dissolve any notion of a dark mystical undercurrent. Rather, it leads to the assuredness of a pre-existence before birth; an eternity with an immortal soul.

            This is also experiential, and is continually being corroborated whenever acts of sense-free thinking are done, and then sacrificed.

            Juan
          • be23566
            Where is this continually being corroborated taking place? Tom Last
            Message 5 of 13 , Aug 26, 2012
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              Where is this "continually being corroborated" taking place?

              Tom Last

              --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "juancompostella" <juancompostella@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@> wrote:
              > >
              > > "A spiritual perception formed itself before my mind which did not rest upon dark mystical feeling. It proceeded much more in a spiritual
              > > activity which in its thoroughness might be compared with mathematical
              > > thinking."
              > >
              > > We would have to speculate that Steiner's experience of what ever he was experiencing had the clarity and understood connections between the parts as pure conceptual thinking. We can even fantasize much more. If more awareness and alert observation were applied to the moment of intuitive insight perhaps more would be noticed about the nature of this experience. I can remember the first time I was conscious (self-aware) of an intuitive insight, it occurred after I started studying POF. I had had them before like most people but must not have been that aware of my thinking. I have had "visions" in the past but didn't find them of much value.
              > >
              > > Tom Last
              >
              > So, studying POF brought forth intuitions that you then began to grasp in thought? It seems to me that this would be the catalyst for those specific efforts of sense-free thinking that yield such excellent results in furthering our own research. The proofs are in the 'pudding', are they not?
              >
              > Thinking as Spiritual Activity would more than imply that behind our ideas which bubble up as an intuition, whether vague or not, and it would appear that most intuitions, once grasped in a form by thought, are begging for greater elaboration until realization occurs, are the first expression of the spirit working behind the scene in its relation to thinking itself.
              >
              > And my experiences of sense-free thinking, which seems to be at the heart of POF as its dynamic activity, is always joy and happiness, which would be very Randian in its focus on the self and its personal attainments in satisfying the self. And it is virtuous work, this sense-free thinking, without a trace of altruism.
              >
              > So, it would appear that efforts of sense-free thinking are Randian all the way; meeting her standards invlolving reason and individuality.
              >
              > But there is also the exercise, entirely non-randian, where these thoughts are stopped and we give up the bliss of our results in free thinking. And this yields results of its own which proves something even deeper and more substantial. Its results dissolve any notion of a dark mystical undercurrent. Rather, it leads to the assuredness of a pre-existence before birth; an eternity with an immortal soul.
              >
              > This is also experiential, and is continually being corroborated whenever acts of sense-free thinking are done, and then sacrificed.
              >
              > Juan
              >
            • juancompostella
              ... Within the one doing the investigating; the one engaging the process. My experience seems to work the opposite of the order indicated by Steiner s steps
              Message 6 of 13 , Aug 26, 2012
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                --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, "be23566" <fairoaks@...> wrote:
                >
                > Where is this "continually being corroborated" taking place?
                >
                > Tom Last

                Within the one doing the investigating; the one engaging the process. My experience seems to work the opposite of the order indicated by Steiner's steps of Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition. I have made the determination that this is because he was an exact clairvoyant, and had always retained the natural clairvoyant faculty that normally begins to recede when our power of memory begins, which is around age four.

                Steiner worked into thinking from this larger faculty of clairvoyance, which is akin to the remembrance of our pre-existent life before birth; it is the second dimension of early childhood, and follows the one-pointed consciousness of the womb, or first dimension.

                When memory starts, we begin to enter the three dimensional world of subject-object distinctions, which is the first real stimulus to thinking, and also coincides with the beginnings of selfhood in Ego.

                In a lecture that Steiner gave in December of 1906; possibly the first one concerning "Education in the Light of Spiritual Science", he says at the beginning of the lecture that the spiritual-scientific movement began 30 years ago. Well, I found that kind of curious until I did a little investigating and found that 1876 was that pivotally important time when he bought Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason" and read it covertly in his history class at the Realschule in Wiener-Neustadt.

                So, I was able to adduce that this was in fact his first big effort to expand and extend the natural clairvoyant faculty that had been preserved into his teenage and yound adult years. This reading of Kant at fifteen was the beginning of "modern exact clairvoyance", which is no doubt the propellant power and force for the creation of the spiritual-scientific movement. Reading the autobiography carefully has corroborated this intuition I had, and a number of other references also indicate that Steiner always had one foot in the spiritual worlds long after birth.

                He sees thought through the lens of clairvoyance, and seeing that it is the faculty of the age, he is focused on what it will take to extend thinking all the way to the reality of spirit behind the sense perception and logic of the senses. This was his destiny to work out.

                Then, when worked out, he began to extend POF into spiritual researches designed to communicate the facts of the objective spiritual worlds to his audience.

                Juan
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