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still yet another attempt at 7fold thinking

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  • Robert Mason
    PREAMBLE: I regret taking so long to get this post up.  Somehow, this turned out to be about the hardest of all my attempts at 7fold thinking.  Believe it or
    Message 1 of 3 , May 5 10:28 AM
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      PREAMBLE:

      I regret taking so long to get this post up. 
      Somehow, this turned out to be about the hardest
      of all my attempts at 7fold thinking.  Believe it
      or not, I started around mid-October.  But even
      after more than half a year, I still haven't
      brought it to a satisfactory conclusion.  I've
      been looking at my own text for so long now that
      I can hardly see it.  I guess this means it's
      about time to go with what I have.  So, I'm
      pretty much resigned to showing as much as I have
      done, and to hoping that something more adequate
      might somehow result.

      I feel that I should have finished this post long
      ago, but somehow it kept dragging out.  I had to
      keep going over it and over it.  I've had some
      health problems, but I can't really blame them
      for the delay; I have to blame my own
      disorganization and time-wasting for a great part
      of the delay.  Really, the whole thing took a
      long time to "come together".  And some of the
      things that I had written didn't quite ring true
      after a while, and I had to change or scrap them. 
      And . . . for much of the time I simply couldn't
      get my mind to work.

      Around Christmas, I thought that I had a report
      almost ready to post, but then I decided that I
      would have to rewrite much of it -- and then it
      seemed that I would have to rewrite almost all of
      it, nearly starting all over.  And for a while I
      thought that I might give up the intention of
      posting at all on this subject.  Then, around the
      middle of January, things started to change
      within me, I got more ideas for positive action,
      and the logjam on my previous attempts at outside
      action started to break -- or so I thought for a
      while.  So, I had a lot of work and re-working to
      do.

      But then, some diversions came up.  One thing
      that took a lot of time was a re-consideration of
      the chronology of the life of Jesus Christ. 
      More, I had some other ideas about actions to
      take, and I tried to do some things, but I kept
      running into blockages.  And more health
      problems.  Then tax time.  (US-Americans will
      know what that means.)  And more online
      diversions; Beinsa Douno and all that.  The whole
      thing just kept dragging on and on.

      In my last major post on this theme I left with
      this question unanswered:  "What is the best way
      to counteract the WC ['Waldorf Critics'] and
      suchlike activities?"  By those "activities" I
      mean the relentless online opposition to
      Anthroposophy, accomplished mainly through
      e-lists and blogs.

      I took this question as the starting-point for my
      next (and now present) attempt at 7fold thinking. 
      That was only a starting-point; the question
      began as almost more of a feeling than a thought
      in my mind.  I assumed that the question would be
      refined as I went along. -- One difficulty was
      that in this case I was not only trying to answer
      a factual question; I was trying to work out a
      course of action for myself.  And that can get
      really complicated:  a lot depends on my
      capabilities and on the practical possibilities
      in my environment -- and these are hard to pin
      down, especially for an habitually impractical
      person such as myself.  Another difficulty was
      that I wasn't only trying to think out a simple
      theme; I was trying to solve a real problem,
      trying to get "new ideas".  It's hard enough just
      trying to think, really *think*,  simple, easily
      surveyable thoughts, but trying to think out more
      complicated, innovative thoughts is . . . well, a
      "real bear".

      (The reader can find links to my previous
      struggles with 7fold thinking here:
      <www.altanthroinfo.9f.com/index.htm>
      Scroll down to the section on "Wrestling . . .” 
      The present post might not make much sense if the
      reader will have not have gotten at least some of
      this background.)

      I am trying to make this post more readable than
      were my previous posts on this theme.  This time,
      I will lead with a brief summary of the
      essentials and results, then I will follow with a
      couple of appendices, which the reader can either
      take or leave.  The first will be an outline of a
      suggestion for a simple course of action that
      everyone can take.  The second will be a report
      on my own long, messy "process":  I will let the
      reader see much of my "process" in approaching
      this question, with a barely-refined record of my
      "musings".

      -------------------------------------------------

      THE SEVENFOLD DIALECTIC
          (a summary in this case)
         
      According to Bondarev, the seven stages of
      dialectic are as follows:

      1. thesis
      2. antithesis
      3. synthesis
      4. beholding (Anschauen)
      5. perception of the Idea
      6. individualization of the Idea
      7. unity of this individual and the general (in
      another formulation, Bondarev says:  "The cycle
      is completed with the return of the idea with
      which it began, to all-unity. . . . This is the
      concluding, seventh element, or the seventh
      stage." )

      (1-2:)  THESIS-ANTITHESIS

      The question with which I started was this: "What
      is the best way to counteract the WC and suchlike
      activities?"

      I had, at first at least, to take this as a moral
      question for me personally; the question is far
      too big for me to consider in general, for
      everybody.  As a moral question for me, it takes
      the form:  "What do I choose to do?"  But what I
      would want to choose to do would be to take the
      "best way" -- the most effective for the forward
      development of the whole Cosmos.  The question of
      what is "best" is not a matter of my *doing*, of
      taking a course of action, but it is a question
      of fact:  there does exist a "best" way for me,
      and the exact nature of this "best" way is a
      question of objective fact.  Taken thus, the
      question isn't merely "personal" for me; it isn't
      merely a "matter of opinion".  It is as much a
      question of objective fact as is the question of
      the number of giant squid on Earth.  Somewhere,
      in the great objective World of Truth, the answer
      exists.

      But the immediate problem for me is that I don't
      know this objective fact about the "best" way. 
      Here, it seems, is the "antithesis".  The
      "thesis" would be that there does exist an
      objectively "best" course of action for Robert
      Mason, but the "antithesis" would be that he
      doesn't know what this course is.

      (3:) SYNTHESIS

      So I tried, by ordinary cogitation, to find out
      what this "best" course is for me.  And, as far
      as I can see, my ordinary thinking doesn't show
      me the "best" way of responding to the WC and
      their ilk.

      I have in the past entered the WC e-list and
      tried to engage in discussion.  But it quickly
      became evident to me that such an effort was
      futile, unproductive, doomed, useless.  My only
      hope became that the discussion might be useful
      for some of the lurkers on the WC, but the
      lurkers continued to lurk.  They were silent, and
      I saw no point in going on; I got out.  Since
      then, it has been clear to me that I don't want
      to do *that* again.  I don't want to play the WC
      game:  endless, futile arguments going nowhere. 
      That much is clear, and my opinion on that has
      not changed in years. -- But that is only a
      negative "response"; I have yet to come up with a
      better, more positive one.

      In a time of extremity, I did get some key 
      information about myself:  my main, heartfelt
      reason for living is to learn how to think
      better. -- What this means for my response to the
      WC is that, whatever else this response might be,
      it must first of all meet my need for learning to
      think better.  This is simply a fact about
      working effectively with the "tools that I have". 
      In this case my primary tool is myself.

      (4:)  BEHOLDING

      I tried to take the question into a higher realm
      of thinking.  There must exist, objectively, a
      "best", a most effective, way of of countering
      the WC-ish resistance to Anthroposophy.  I don't
      know what exactly this "best" way is, and I
      sought some guidance, from the Gods or from
      wherever or whatever, in the form of mental
      pictures -- hopefully some pictures that I can
      understand.

      I got a lot of mental pictures, but seemingly
      none that mapped out an optimal course of action
      in detail.  It seemed that the Gods were not
      showing me in pictures exactly what to do;
      instead They were mostly reading me the riot act
      about my character flaws.  I was not shown a
      chart of my "best" course of action in any
      visible, material sense; rather I was shown some
      glaring defects that I need to correct in myself,
      and some qualities that I need to develop in
      myself.

      It seemed that I was shown that I need to become
      more reverent, more innocent and blameless, more
      respectful, more sober and serious, more mild,
      more serene, more grateful, more trusting, and
      indeed:  more industrious.  It seemed that I
      needed to acquire these qualities and especially
      to take them into my actions toward or about the
      WC.

      Does all this add up to "beholding" in Bondarev's
      sense? -- I did get some mental pictures that, it
      seems, helped me to approach the problem, though
      hardly in the way that I had hoped.  That's about
      the best "beholding" that I could come up with. 
      Beyond that, as to whether this meets Bondarev's
      criteria, I'll leave it to the reader to decide.

      (5:)  PERCEPTION OF THE IDEA

      I think that I got a big hint about the Platonic
      Idea that is relevant here.  It is none other
      than the Archetype of Man Himself, the Christ. 
      In this case it is Man as moral agent, as a free
      spirit, such as Steiner tried to teach us in
      *PoF*.  And in this case I am merely a human
      being trying to make a moral choice about what
      course to take in response to the WC-ish
      opposition to Anthroposophy.  I didn't want
      merely to do as I "felt like" doing; I wanted to
      find the optimal, the cosmically "best" course of
      action for me.  I presumed that this optimal
      course is not merely a matter of opinion; it does
      exist objectively as a matter of fact.  But the
      big problem was for me to know exactly what it
      is.

      In general, I believe that "the Idea" here is the
      Archetype of Man Himself as a loving, free spirit
      facing a moral decision.  A Man, any human being,
      is only a limited being with limited knowledge of
      the consequences of any action, so any moral
      decision cannot be based upon a calculation of
      the full consequences of an action.  At best, a
      moral decision can be based upon one's most
      comprehensive information about the consequences.

      -- The archetype of Man as/in Jesus Christ must
      include the quality of "innocence", since Jesus
      was without sin.  Whatever the Human Archetype
      does in response to any problem must be done with
      complete absence of guilt -- i.e. an open, clear
      soul. 

      I infer that the Archetype of Man, since it
      includes the qualities intrinsic to Man, must be
      such that an individual human being who conforms
      to that archetype should naturally have a perfect
      "soul", and therefore should have a basic mood of
      "faith". -- I gather that a pure "astral body",
      or "soul" of a human being who conforms to the
      Archetype of Man, who is "without sin",
      "innocent", would naturally feel all those
      feelings which Steiner groups under the
      fundamental mood of "veneration", for all these
      flow from "faith" -- which itself flows from the
      knowledge that lies deep within the soul herself,
      as an inherent possession of the human soul. 

      Therefore, Man, as an archetype, is a spirit of
      freedom and love, but more, is a spirit of faith,
      of healthy, reverent, trusting feelings.
      But real freedom requires, first of all, real
      thinking.  A True Man must be a true thinker. 

      Since Christ is the Archetype of Man, opposition
      to Christ is also thereby an opposition to the
      possibilities of Man, to what Man can be. 
      Essentially, Man is a Spirit of Freedom and Love. 
      A True Man will be free in his actions, and such
      freedom depends, in the first place, on
      consciousness, on the attainment of true
      thinking.  As Steiner said, and as experience
      proves, thinking is the spiritual form of love --
      and in a True Man love will become so thorough
      that it permeates his whole organism, so that he
      becomes "harmonious" in all his feelings.  (In
      anthro-speak:  so that the astral body becomes
      transformed into Spirit Self.)  But there is
      more:  on this Earth only Man, in contrast to the
      animals, can *speak*.  And a True Man will speak,
      and speak only that which is true. -- So I gather
      that, in opposition to the opposition of the WC
      and the like, it behoves me first of all to work
      upon myself, to become a better approximation of
      the Archetype of Man.  I need to think better,
      and I also need to purify my feelings; thus I
      might *do* better.  And as a big part of this
      doing, I want to speak better, to speak more
      effectively and more truly.

      (6:) -- INDIVIDUALIZATION OF THE IDEA

      So, how is this general Idea, of Man Himself to
      be applied in this particular case? -- The
      particular moral agent is none other than myself
      (I am not trying to delineate the "right" moral
      decision for everyone here), and the moral
      problem is about my response to the WC-ish
      opposition to Anthroposophy. 

      So I try to think clearly about the problem at 
      hand:  how am I to best counteract the WC-ish
      opposition to Anthroposophy.  I try to see under
      the surface, past the superficial appearances, to
      the real force behind the WC activity, and I see
      at the base:  hatred of the Christ.  Rudolf
      Steiner was merely the foremost public
      representative of Christ in modern times (that
      is, the most educational one who got the most
      publicity, as far as I know), and Anthroposophy
      is the most powerful Christ-revelation, powerful
      enough to infuse and transform all aspects of
      modern culture.  So, this opposition to
      Anthroposophy is ultimately a way of "getting at"
      the Christ.  Steiner faced fierce, even
      murderous, opposition in his day, as did Christ
      when He was on Earth.  The devils of Hell have
      always hated Christ and worked against Him, and
      the WC-ish opposition is ultimately a
      continuation of that ancient struggle.  Perhaps
      this reality is mostly unconscious to the WC
      people, nevertheless it is the reality.

      Steiner has told us what is the most effective
      way to counter opposition to Anthroposophy:  not
      to waste time and effort trying to reach people
      who are not reachable, but to move forward with
      positive Anthroposophical work.  I think that for
      me this means first of all to work upon myself. 
      I'm trying, still, to learn how to *think*,
      really.  This I take to be my primary task in
      life now, and if I can put even one more true
      thinker into this world, that would be a defeat
      for the WC and their ilk.  Not that they likely
      care what I do, even if they might take notice of
      me -- but the devils who inspire them do notice
      that sort of thing, and the emergence of a real
      thinker would be a defeat for them and a victory
      for Christ, even if only a little one.

      And more:  RS admonished the student that he
      should realize that inner work is at least as
      important as outer work.  Work upon oneself, work
      in the non-physical worlds, really *is* work for
      the whole world, including the physical one. 

      I did try to do a little more "physical" work on
      the Internet, but that didn't come to much.  And
      I did come up with a plan to "cast out demons"
      from the WC-ish cyberspaces.  But that plan is
      only borderline "physical", at best.

      I feel that I still need to do more in the outer
      world.  But I still don't know exactly what or
      how.  In fact, I've been casting about for
      something to do and some way to do it, but so far
      I haven't come up with much.  I don't know what
      else to do now but to keep looking, hoping that
      something will turn up. -- Really, my knowledge
      of cosmic effects is very limited; my knowledge
      of "moral techniques" is limited; and I'm not
      getting much "moral intuition" either.  My energy
      is very limited, and so is my power.  But I still
      feel that there has to be something more that I
      could do; I just haven't found it yet.

      And since I can't answer the cosmic question
      about the "best" way, I can turn to a lesser,
      more answerable question:  what would Robert
      Mason love to do in this case?  This question
      follows in the spirit of Steiner's *PoF*, but
      once again, asked in this way it is a question of
      objective fact.  Unhappily, it is also a question
      about myself, and if I want to approach the
      matter in a practical way, it is also a question
      about the realistic possibilities.  The "facts"
      about both these aspects are hard for me to
      ascertain. -- About the only handle I can get on
      these immediate questions is to try to find (in
      practice?) what gives me "joy in the doing".

      (7:)  ALL-UNITY (THE UPSHOT)

      What did the 7fold thinking process add up to in
      this case?

      It's hard to say; I still haven't worked it all
      out.  The main thing about my response to the WC
      and their ilk is not to play their game but to do
      my work.  (But I want to make my work playful,
      enjoyable, even childlike.  If I find the right
      course of action for me, then it will inherently
      be joyful.)  At this point, it seems that my work
      is firstly to work upon myself:  to work upon my
      thinking, upon my feelings -- and then upon my
      actions.  And I need, ever and again, to
      understand that work upon myself, inner work, is
      in itself real work for the whole world.  But I
      also feel that I want to do more *in* the outer
      world, and that's mostly what I haven't figured
      out yet.

      CONCLUSION:

      What is different now compared to the situation
      before I started this exercise?

      Before I started, I didn't know what I was going
      to do about the WC and the like.  I knew that I
      wanted to do *something*, but I didn't know what. 
      I knew that I didn't want to enter and take part
      in their endless discussions.  That hasn't
      changed; but what has changed? -- I had some
      ideas for activities in the physical world, but
      those haven't worked out yet; maybe they will
      work out better in the future.  I had the idea
      for "exorcising" the WC and similar cyberspaces,
      and that can be done by almost anyone from
      anywhere.  I also had a lot of ideas about what I
      needed to do to improve myself, especially my
      feelings.

      But mainly I had the idea that I wanted and
      needed to become a better thinker.  I was already
      working at that anyway, but now I have come to
      the realization and the intention to intensify my
      efforts in that direction.  It has become my
      first reason for living.  And I have progressed
      to the point that thinking for me has become a
      holy sacrament:  This is a real experience.  I
      enter a state of mildness and reverence; I expand
      into the thought-world, which is the spiritual
      world in its most "abstract" form of experience,
      and I experience the thoughts as they live out
      their own lives and impulses.  It is not so much
      a "revelation from above", but an entrance into
      the "above" and a sharing in the life there. -- I
      don't do this very often, only at rare moments. 
      But I try to do this more often, and to spread
      out these moments over more of my life.

      And to the extent that I succeed, this will be a
      serious defeat for the opponents of
      Anthroposophy, in the WC and elsewhere.  It will
      be more of a defeat than they know -- or can
      know, given their rejection of and derision at
      what they consider to be "magical thinking".  The
      existence of even one more real thinker in this
      world is a serious defeat for them in their
      opposition to Anthroposophy, and if they don't
      know that, then at least the devils who inspire
      them know that. 

      Even external science is starting to catch on
      about the effects of "meditation".  For instance,
      as David Wilcock recently reported:

      ". . . . 50 different scientific studies have
      confirmed the Meditation Effect is real.

      "7000 people get together and meditate -- and
      global terrorism goes down by 72 percent.

      "Similarly dramatic decreases were seen in war,
      fatalities and violent crime.

      "Even if skeptics want to argue about whether or
      not this is 'real,' the fact is that all other
      variables have been ruled out -- including
      weekends, weather, holidays, et cetera.

      "This effect has been documented in numerous
      peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal
      of Offender Rehabilitation."

      Yes, even "science" is confirming what Steiner
      said long ago:  inner work really is effective
      work for the whole world.  So I say to the WC and
      the like -- My opposition to your opposition is
      this:  love over your hatred.  You can argue as
      much as you want; I partake of the sacrament,
      which is an act of love.  As Steiner said,
      thinking is love in its spiritual form, and
      insofar as I am a true thinker, my thinking will
      defeat your hatred and opposition to the Spirit,
      in ways you don't even know.  This defeat is not
      an activity of opposing hostility to your
      hostility; it is an activity of love, which is
      for you as much as it is for anyone.  Maybe I
      don't love you well enough, but that is my
      failing, not a failing of love, or of
      Anthroposophy.  You don't have to remain stewing
      in your hatred; you can accept and find the love,
      and so come over to the side of the Truth; the
      way is wide open.

      Robert Mason

      -------------------------------------------------
      APPENDIX 1

      ABOUT EXORCISM

      I had the idea that I, or anyone, could drive out
      the devils from the cyberspaces of opposition to
      Anthroposophy, just as one can exorcise a
      physical space, such as a house.  The thing is,
      one doesn't really drive out the devils through
      one's own power, but by calling in the power of
      Jesus Christ.  The devils of Hell know Christ,
      fear Him, and yield to His spiritual power. 
      Christ on Earth told us this. -- What Does the
      *Bible* Say About Exorcism?

      "And these signs will accompany those who
      believe: in my name they will cast out demons . .
      . ." (Mark 16:16 ESV)

      "The seventy-two returned with joy, saying,
      'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your
      name!'" (Luke 10:17 ESV)

      "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,
      cast out demons. You received without paying;
      give without pay." (Matthew 10:8 ESV)

      "And he called to him his twelve disciples and
      gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast
      them out, and to heal every disease and every
      affliction." (Matthew 10:1 ESV)

      "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on
      serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of
      the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." (Luke
      10:19 ESV)

      "For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud
      voice, came out of many who had them, and many
      who were paralyzed or lame were healed." (Acts
      8:7 ESV)

      "John answered, 'Master, we saw someone casting
      out demons in your name, and we tried to stop
      him, because he does not follow with us.' But
      Jesus said to him, 'Do not stop him, for the one
      who is not against you is for you.'" (Luke 9:49-
      50 ESV)

      "Paul . . . turned and said to the spirit, 'I
      command you in the name of Jesus Christ to
      come out of her.' And it came out that very
      hour." (Acts 16:18 ESV)

      "Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists
      undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus
      over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I
      adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' . .
      . . But the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I
      know . . . ." (Acts 19:13-15 ESV)

      -- Those are only a few quotes in this vein.  The
      point is that human being can tell the devils to
      "come out in the Name of Jesus Christ", and they
      will come out.  The power comes from the Name of
      Jesus Christ, and I don't see any reason why that
      power should be limited to a localized physical
      space.

      It is apparent that the cyberspaces of the WC,
      the Quackometer, Zooey's blog, and the like, are
      infested with devils and demons inspiring the
      devilish hatred of and opposition to
      Anthroposophy.  And "we" can cast those devils
      out.  If the human denizens of those cyberspaces
      keep inviting the devils back in, even
      unconsciously, then we can keep casting them out. 
      The human dwellers and visitors in those
      cyberspaces might well still be subjected to the
      poisonous ideas there, but at least those people
      would be less subject to obsession and possession
      by the devils that might otherwise be hanging
      around. 

      -- The question bothered me:  Where do the devils
      go after they have been "cast out"?  If they are
      just left to roam, that's probably bad news for
      somebody.  Jesus cast out the "legion" of demons,
      and they entered the swine and drove them to
      destruction.  That was good for the possessed
      man, but hard on the swine.  And, as Steiner
      relates, when Jesus saw Lucifer and Ahriman
      fleeing from the gates of the Essenes, Jesus
      realized that the other people were worse off,
      because Lucifer and Ahriman had only gone and
      oppressed those others all the more. -- The
      *Bible* records Jesus as saying:

      "'When the unclean spirit has gone out of a
      person, it passes through waterless places
      seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, "I
      will return to my house from which I came." And
      when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept,
      and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it
      seven other spirits more evil than itself, and
      they enter and dwell there, and the last state of
      that person is worse than the first. So also will
      it be with this evil generation.'" (Matthew
      12:43-45 ESV)

      -- This indicates to me that a devil who is
      merely "cast out" is not therefore rendered
      harmless; he is still free to do mischief, and he
      will do that if he gets the chance.  So, I always
      make a point of telling the devils whom I adjure
      to "come out" that they don't have to remain as
      devils, that they can go into the Light and
      become spirits of Light.  And why not?  If even
      Lucifer and Ahriman can be redeemed, then the way
      to redemption should be open for all lesser
      beings.

      The point of this Appendix is just to make some
      suggestions to the reader of some simple actions
      he can take to remedy the situation.  He can
      instruct, in the Name of Jesus Christ, the devils
      to come out of the infested cyberspaces, and he
      can remind the devils that they don't have to
      remain devils.

      The reader can find his own way to do this; I'm
      not saying that my way is the best.  This note is
      just to give some hints, some food for thought.

      -------------------------------------------------
      APPENDIX 2

      MY PROCESS -- MUSINGS:

      (What follows in this section is an idealized
      recording of my "process" in approaching this
      question.  This process was of course disorderly,
      meandering, and sometimes repetitive.  If the
      reader wishes to see the route I took, here it
      is, somewhat cleaned up, but still muddled and
      floundering.  I did eventually try to bring some
      order in the results.  This recounting of what
      led up to the results is only for the very
      patient, and maybe for those who want to attempt
      their own 7fold thinking --)

      To my perception, I don't see much difference
      among the online opponents of Anthroposophy (at
      least in English); they all seem to be pretty
      much the same as the WC.  And I had already made
      an attempt to work within the WC.  And I did,
      more recently, attempt to draw some people from
      "Zooey's" blog and the "Quackometer" into
      conversation, but my attempts didn't even get
      posted.

      Here is the message that I tried to post on those
      blogs:

      >>To all who might be getting tired of playing
      the usual games here:

      >>I invite any and all to come over to an Anthro
      discussion group, such as
      <groups.yahoo.com/steiner> or
      <groups.yahoo.com/steiner12> (I hang out here,
      cyber-virtually, and post sometimes.)

      >>Here's the deal: If you are not satisfied with
      this forum and wish to try something else, then
      I'll try to engage in dialogue with you, within
      some limits.  I don't get a lot of time online,
      and I am slow, but I am willing to spend some
      time where it might do some good.

      >>I don't intend to discuss recondite details
      about Anthro history or Waldorf education, or
      whatever -- but I am willing to discuss something
      more meaningful and effective, i.e.  the
      fundamentals of Anthroposophy.  And really, the
      fundamentals are just that: fundamental.  They
      must be grasped before discussion of recondite
      details could ever be useful.  And I believe that
      such a fundamental discussion can be useful for
      everyone who is sincere -- for somewhere, deep
      down, everyone knows the Truth and can recognize
      it when he sees it. 

      >>What is fundamental about Anthroposophy is a
      positive change in consciousness, a deepening of
      thinking and feeling, leading to better actions. 
      In the basics of Anthroposophy there is
      information about the fundamentals of life and
      the world, and of death.  This information can be
      recognized by all with normal minds and good
      will.  And this information can be put into
      effect, so that people can overcome sickening
      materialism, and live and die as human beings.

      >>Hoping for a real discussion, of something
      real,<<

      (But that post never made it onto the blogs.  I
      presume that the moderators intercepted it and
      hid it. -- Many of the WC people already know
      where I am in the cyber-world, but anyone reading
      this essay may feel free to post that little
      offer to the WC.  But now, I have even less
      inclination toward "arguing"; I'm more likely to
      spend my time only in real *dialogue*.  But I
      doubt that most of the WC people know the
      difference.)

      Actually, someone did come out of the WC to ask
      some basic questions in Steiner12.  And I
      answered, giving it about the best shot that I
      could.  But that person apparently just wanted to
      argue.  And I quickly bailed out; I've had too
      much of online arguments doomed to futility. 
      People who want to obstruct can always find ways
      to argue; people who want to progress will find
      ways to work.  At this point in my life, I don't
      want to engage in endless arguments; they seem
      useless to me.  What would be more useful is for
      people to make up their minds that they really
      want to progress.  But I can't force people to
      make that decision, and I wouldn't even if I
      could; I respect free will.  And I am coming to
      see the incorrigible perverseness of perversity.
      -- Yet, maybe somewhere there is some
      "corrigibilty"? . . . I still want to *do*
      something, but what?

      I had earlier joined the WC e-list and tried to
      enter into dialogue there.  But I got nowhere; I
      ran into stone wall after stone wall, and when I
      tried to turn the discussion to the basics of
      Anthroposophy, no one there responded
      meaningfully, not even a lurker.  So I gave up
      and left; I didn't see any point in spending my
      time and energy in a doomed effort.  But I didn't
      leave it alone altogether; I couldn't, it seemed. 
      I kept peeking in and trying to figure out what
      was really going on over there.  And it seemed to
      me that what was *really* going on was not what
      was happening on the surface.  On the surface
      there were mostly denunciations of Steiner's
      alleged "racism" and picking away at alleged
      deficienies in Waldorf education.  But that was
      merely "surface stuff"; under the surface I
      perceived repressed racial feeling, and even
      deeper, hostility to Christ Himself. 

      And I became more and more "freaked out" by the
      whole thing; I had a hard time understanding how
      such a thing as the WC could even exist.  I tried
      to work out some understanding in my last major
      post on this theme.  And . . . so I next faced
      the question of what was I going to *do* about
      it.  To my ordinary thinking, I don't see any
      need for changing this much of my previous
      approach:  just to stay out of the WC and not let
      them waste my time and energy, and otherwise to
      continue on with my own Anthro "work", such as it
      may be.  But now I see that some people do go
      into the online opponents' territory and try to
      work in there.  And I haven't really decided
      whether my reaction through ordinary thinking
      actually shows me the "best" way of responding to
      the WC and their ilk.

      Someone who has tried that more recently than I
      did came to this conclusion:  "But what I've
      found is that people that won't follow reason -
      wherever it takes them, which can be past their
      own prejudices and pre-expectations - aren't
      worth debating with."  And:  "Sheesh, wonder why
      anyone bothers having these discussions." -- Yes:   
      I think:  Why bother?  It's a waste of time. 
      Maybe some people on the fringes might be
      reachable, but the hard-core WC people, and the
      like, are hopeless. -- But I think again, and
      still I want to *do* something.

      ***

      Stumbling back toward the beginning: 

      I seem to be working toward a contrasting thesis-
      antithesis, as a way of beginning a 7fold
      thinking approach to this problem.  Perhaps the
      thesis would be that an objectively "best" way of
      counteracting the opponents does exist, somewhere
      in the great Platonic World of Ideas, but the
      antithesis would be that I don't know what that
      course of action is -- and that I know only my
      floundering, groping, inept take on the
      situation, and I have only my weak tools to work
      with?

      It seems that here I have gotten about as far as
      I can get with ordinary thinking.  I've gotten
      the thesis-antithesis and the synthesis.  I see
      the contradiction between the existence of an
      objectively optimal response from me to the WC
      and suchlike opponents, and I see my lack of
      knowledge of that "right", cosmically "best",
      response -- and I have "reasoned" about it all by
      ordinary means:  I don't want to play the usual
      games of the opponents and waste my time on
      endless arguments about obscure Anthro details; I
      want to deal only with something *real*, the
      fundamentals of Anthroposophy and what the WC
      people are really doing, under the surface: 
      working from their hatred of the Christ and of
      what He brings to Mankind, freedom and knowledge. 
      I want to bring to people what they really need: 
      the information for living and dying as human
      beings.  And I want to work on myself, to improve
      myself such as I can with the tools and abilities
      that I have.  And . . . I want to be realistic
      about all of this, to do what is really possible;
      I'm likely not going to convince the core WC
      people, not going to convert them.  At most I
      might reach some of the fringe people, but I've
      tried that before and didn't see any evidence of
      a response.  So I try to follow RS's advice as I
      understand it:  not to waste my time in arguments
      with the opponents, and to try to work positively
      at Anthro achievements.  For me, lately, that has
      been to work with 7fold thinking.  Maybe now I
      might "branch out" into some other type of
      activity, but I'm not sure what.

      So, that's about as far as ordinary thinking has
      taken me.  But I gather that all this is not
      enough; I need to go further.  There does exist
      an optimal course of action for Robert M; I don't
      know it, but I would like to presume that the
      Gods know it.  It's not a "should", a
      commandment, but a fact, a cosmic quantity.  In
      this approach a moral question becomes a question
      of fact.  I am not so much looking for a course
      of action that will please me; I am looking to
      find the objectively "correct" course of action
      for me.

      STEINER SAID:
      (from *Anthroposophy -- An Introduction*: Lecture
      VIII: Lecture: 9th February, 1924; Dornach; GA
      234)

      [referring mainly to Man's life after death:)

      "Whether a man is being helped or injured is for
      ordinary consciousness to recognise; but the
      effect of a deed, be it good or evil, wise or
      foolish, in the spiritual world — its warming or
      chilling, lightening or darkening action (there
      are manifold effects) — all this arises before
      imaginative consciousness and begins to be there
      for us. And we say to ourselves: Because you did
      not know all this when you let your ordinary
      consciousness function in your actions, it does
      not follow that it was not there. Do not imagine
      that what you did not know of in your actions —
      the sources of luminous and warming rays, etc. —
      was not there because you did not see or
      experience it. Do not imagine that. You have
      experienced it all in your sub-consciousness; you
      have been through it all. Just as the spiritual
      eyes of your higher consciousness see it now, so,
      while you were helping or harming another by your
      kind or evil deed, your sub-consciousness
      experienced its parallel significance for the
      spiritual world."

      "There is so much in life that we cannot fulfil
      on earth. In a sense, we must incur a debt to the
      future, admitting that life sets tasks which we
      cannot absolve in this present earthly life. We
      must owe them to the universe, saying: I shall
      only be able to experience that when I have
      passed through death. The Science of Initiation
      brings us this great, though often tragical
      enrichment of life; we feel this unavoidable
      indebtedness to life and recognise the necessity
      of owing the gods what we can only experience
      after death. Only then can we enter into an
      experience such as we owe to the universe."

      "With ordinary consciousness we see we are
      incurring debts, but cannot read the ‘promissory
      note’ we ought to write. With initiation-
      consciousness we can, indeed, read the note, but
      cannot meet it in ordinary life. We must wait
      till death comes. And, when we have attained this
      consciousness, when we have so deepened our human
      conscience that this indebtedness is quite alive
      in us, we are ready to follow human life farther,
      beyond the retrospective tableau of which I have
      spoken and in which we reach back to birth. We
      now see that, after a few days, we must begin to
      experience what we have left un-experienced; and
      this holds for every single deed we have done to
      other human beings in the world. The last deeds
      done before death are the first to come before
      us, and so backwards through life. We first
      become aware of what our last evil or good deeds
      signify for the world. Our experience of them
      while on earth is now eliminated; what we now
      experience is their significance for the world."

      "Thus, in undergoing all he has previously left
      unexperienced, man [after death] feels all around
      him beings far higher than himself. They unfold
      their sympathies and antipathies towards all he
      now lives through as a consequence of his earthly
      life. In this experience immediately after death
      we are within a kind of ‘spiritual rain’. We live
      through the spiritual counterpart of our deeds,
      and the lofty beings who stand above us rain down
      their sympathies and antipathies. We are flooded
      by these, and feel in our spiritual being that
      what is illuminated by the sympathies of these
      lofty beings of the higher hierarchies will be
      accepted by the universe as a good element for
      the future; whereas all that encounters their
      antipathies will be rejected, for we feel it
      would be an evil element in the universe if we
      did not keep it to ourselves. The antipathies of
      these lofty beings rain down on an evil deed done
      to another human being, and we feel that the
      result would be something exceedingly bad for the
      universe if we released it, if we did not retain
      it in ourselves."

      (from *Anthroposophy -- An Introduction*: Lecture
      IX; lecture: 10th February, 1924; Dornach; GA
      234:)

      "There is no single experience whose spiritual
      counterpart is not engraved into the spiritual
      world in which we are ever present, even while on
      earth. Every hand-shake we have exchanged has its
      spiritual counterpart; it is there, inscribed
      into the spiritual world."

      ". . . . it is a part of this [after-death]
      experience to feel that beings whom, for the
      present, we may call ‘superhuman’, are
      participating in it. Pressing onwards through
      these spiritual counterparts of our experiences,
      we feel as if these spiritual beings were
      showering down their sympathies and
      antipathies upon our deeds and thoughts, as we
      experience them backwards. Thereby we feel what
      each deed done by us on earth, each thought,
      feeling, or impulse of will, is worth for purely
      spiritual existence."

      "We [after death] now feel: There is something I
      have done on earth, in thought or deed; it has
      its corresponding spiritual worth, and this is
      engraved into the spiritual cosmos. The beings
      whom I now encounter can either do something with
      it, or not; it either lies in the direction of
      their evolution or of the evolution for which
      they are striving, or it does not. We feel
      ourselves placed before the beings of the
      spiritual world and realise that we have acted in
      accordance with their intentions or against them,
      have either added to, or subtracted from, what
      they willed for the evolution of the world."

      -- What I gather from all this is that everything
      that I do on Earth has an objective, factual
      value for the whole Universe; the true quantity
      and quality of this "value" is not merely "a
      matter of opinion"; it is a question of fact. 
      This "significance for the world" seems to be
      known to the High Beings, the "Gods", and after
      death we, like it or not, run into the
      consequences of what our Earthly deeds
      "signified" for Them and the whole world.

      So . . . my course of action in response to the
      WC does have an objective effect on the whole
      world, whether I know it or not.  Ergo, it seems
      to me, there must exist an optimal, a "best"
      course of action for me -- "best" in the sense
      that it is most helpful to the forward progress
      of cosmic evolution.  But . . . I can't possibly
      calculate all the effects of my deeds for the
      whole Universe, forever.  Such a calculation is
      simply beyond my knowledge and my capabilities.

      And so, it seems, I need some information from
      Above; I need to get the facts, from the Gods, I
      hope.  Bondarev says that the next step in 7fold
      thinking is "beholding"; Steiner says that
      spiritual inspiration comes first in "fantasy",
      in the creating of mental images in
      consciousness.  So, so, so . . . I try to wipe
      the slate clean, to erase all my opinions and
      prejudices, to allow that these might all be
      wrong, and to open myself up to teaching from
      Above.  And I try to do this in mental picturing.

      But I'm not getting any pictures; they don't
      "come to" me. 

      I try to start off by creating some.  I visualize
      myself with bowed head and folded hands walking
      reverently under a sky filled with the onlooking
      Higher Beings, the "choirs of angels".  I seem to
      be walking toward a city (known to me, that I
      recently passed by) from the southeast, along the
      river that runs through it.  (I didn't plan this;
      this is just the way the imaging worked out.)  I
      see ahead of me, in or around the city, the
      Dragon, writhing.  I get scared, and look around
      for help.  To the left, south of the river, I
      "see" Micha-El with His sword.  And then I
      visualize the Christ somewhere above, somewhat to
      the right.  I hope for help and protection from
      Them.  But as I advance into the city, the Dragon
      gets bigger and bigger, surrounding me, and I get
      smaller and smaller. 

      Next step:  I did some more asking the Gods for
      help in finding the optimal path for me in
      dealing with the WC and their ilk.  Asking for
      pictures.  Got some imagery of experiences over a
      (nearby tidal) river and environs, in a sky-like
      dome, with Russian-like saints and higher beings
      in view.  Expansive, good feelings, but I still
      had the question:  what does this have to do with
      the WC and so on?  Is it that I must seek for
      reverence and sincerity from any WC people who
      want to "talk", or what?  Got pictures alright,
      but not sure whether they were relevant.

      -- In another session, trying again:  The next
      image that I get (one that seems relevant; there
      are many, many that do not) is that of my face
      with the "blessed" smile that comes from pure
      thinking and reverence.  The thought that I get
      now is that, whatever I do in relation to the WC
      etc., I must maintain my "innocence", that is, I
      must act toward them in a way that is completely
      free of blame (against me), that is helpful to
      them.  I had the thought that I might make them
      the "offer" for them to come out of the WC, or at
      least of suspending their activity there, and
      trying to find the way out of their evident
      unhappiness.  They do seem so unhappy, and the
      way to greater happiness is so clear, and so
      available.  The way is plain enough to find to
      the kind of reverence that RS talks about in the
      opening pages of *KoHW*, or at least to make the
      moral decision to seek Truth over one's
      prejudices.  Of course, to do this, really and
      not merely by talk, requires self-awareness,
      which requires work and sometimes some pain.  But
      having made at least that little moral decision,
      then one (with the consciousness normal in
      technological-scientific culture) can do the kind
      of self-aware thinking that RS taught in *PoF*. 
      Most of the WC people and that ilk do seem to
      have enough modern intellectual consciousness to
      be able to do this much at least, and this
      requires no belief, just a doing.  And if one
      really does this, then one inherently thereby
      also feels blessedness, love, in pure thinking. 
      And thinking is most immediately available
      experience of "spirit" for most of us in modern
      consciousness.  With that experience of the
      blessedness of thinking, then the way forward is
      clear toward Anthroposophy; it's just a matter of
      maintaining that feeling, and that consciousness,
      while taking in the concepts of the results of
      spiritual-scientific investigations.  Perhaps one
      might have to pass through a little pain because
      of the increased flow of life energy dissolving
      the prejudices right down into the physical
      organism, but that little pain is so minor
      compared to the great gain in happiness and self-
      reality.

      I had the thought that childhood in modern
      society is so much harder even that it was when I
      was a child, and getting harder all the time. 
      The stresses are so much greater:  especially the
      stress of early puberty bringing sexuality to
      mere children, the stress of the sexualization of
      society pushing children to sexiness younger and
      younger, the stress of the collapse of family
      life (hardly knowing their mothers, much less
      their fathers), the stresses of the influx of
      modern technology (TV, cell phones, computers,
      etc., etc.), and the stresses of wrong education
      -- the earliness of intellectualization, the
      transportation, the crowding and dehumanization,
      the violence, etc., etc. . . . and so on and on. 
      Children need some relief so desperately, and
      Steiner education tries, and is able, to bring
      some relief, even a little.  But the WC people
      try to deny children even this little relief. 
      The WC campaign is so stupendously cruel -- cruel
      not only to the living and the dead, but
      especially cruel to children, who need Waldorf
      education so desperately.  It is so hard to live
      as human beings in modern society, especially for
      children, and the WC campaign is to deny people
      the information and the methods that they need to
      live as human beings.  The WC people are mostly
      unconscious of all this, but their cruelty is
      still, effectively, so tremendous.  The WC
      people, through fear and hatred and prejudice,
      fight so hard against the Reality in
      Anthroposophy; they live in such unhappiness, and
      they try to make the rest of the world as unhappy
      as they are.   And all this is so cruel.  The WC
      people need a way out, and I should (?) offer
      them the way out, such as I can, and such as
      however many or few of them will accept.

      -- Another thought:  it seems that a lot of very
      advanced human spirits are coming into
      incarnation now.  There is this huge influx of
      children who not only "trail clouds of glory"
      behind them; they bring the glory with them. 
      They see the heavens; they know the love; and
      they give out the love in many ways, with amazing
      skills that bring new beneficial inventions to
      humanity.  But at the same time, there is a huge
      influx of very bad human spirits; they are, as
      Steiner said, those who seek to push the spirit
      into the cesspool.  In these times the good is
      getting so much better, and the bad is getting so
      much worse, that it seems that a tremendous
      battle is coming, even more of a battle between
      good and evil than we have seen on earth in
      recent times.

      And again, it is so hard especially for young
      people to live human lives.  So much works
      against the good that these advanced spirits
      would bring:  such hindrances as technology,
      family breakdown, economics, and particularly the
      "educational" system.  The good are put down,
      hindered, and maybe even dosed with Ritalin. 
      Waldorf education is just a faint glimmer of
      hope, of help, for these incoming spirits.  And
      that's why the crime of the "Waldorf critics" is
      so great:  they try to deny even this little
      relief to the good incoming spirits, and thus to
      deny to the wider society the good that these
      advanced spirits might bring.

      I suppose, maybe, I could come to the WC and the
      like, not to play their usual game, but to offer
      them a way out of their misery.  At the least
      they could see that the idea that Anthroposophy
      is a crock is itself only a thought, and it came
      about though some kind of thinking.  From that,
      it is but a short step to see that thinking
      itself is the activity that needs to be
      investigated.  Thinking is the bedrock, and a
      deeper experience of thinking is needed before
      any other conclusions.  If one can come to a
      deeper experience of thinking, the spirituality
      and the blessings of thinking become a matter of
      experience, and all else can follow from that.
      The experience of the blessedness generates a
      true reverence for Truth, for Reality, and the
      path to Anthroposophy is wide open from there. --
      And most of the WC people have at least enough of
      modern consciousness that they could, with a
      little goodwill, move to that deeper experience
      of thinking.  The trick is, it all depends upon
      that little bit of goodwill.  And that requires
      some sincerity.  Can I find any sincerity there?

      -- In another meditation:  Asking the Gods again
      to show me in pictures the optimal path for me in
      dealing with the WC people.  Go a lot of images
      of parents and elders in my youth and childhood
      to whom I did not show enough respect, not only
      "not show", but not have inwardly.  I blamed them
      for their faults without appreciating enough
      their goodness and achievements.  Translating
      that picture to my question about the WC:  maybe
      I don't have enough respect for them; not only
      don't I show it, but I don't have it.  Maybe I
      need to understand that, despite their faults,
      still their achievements and strivings deserve
      respect, because these, for all I know, might be 
      real achievements.  Maybe they are more sincere
      than I give them credit for?  Maybe they're doing
      the best they can with the tools that they have,
      given their life-paths?  Maybe?  Can I judge at
      all, or do I have to give them the benefit of the
      doubt?  Maybe I should apologize to them for
      "condescending", as one of them said to me????

      (And maybe, as Steiner said, many of them might,
      deep down, actually have a longing for
      Anthroposophy:

      ("It often happens in life that a man deadens
      himself to what lies in the subconscious; there
      are people who may have an intense longing for
      Anthroposophy — but they deaden it. By raging
      against Anthroposophy they deaden this longing
      and delude themselves by repudiating it. But
      after death the longing asserts itself all the
      more forcibly. The most ardent longing for
      Anthroposophy often shows itself after death in
      the very people who have raged against it in
      life." [Links Between the Living and the Dead
      (10th October, 1913; Bergen; GA 140)]
      (I am aware that some in the WC already know of
      this idea and sneer at it.  But, somehow, if the
      right way of bringing up this longing could be
      found before death, then maybe these "Sauls"
      might become "Pauls"?)

      -- Another session, trying again to get some
      message from the Gods about my optimal course in
      relation to the WC etc. -- Got an image of my
      recent visits to a restaurant where I was getting
      food for someone sick and dying; had more of my
      feeling in this session in relation to what I
      went through back then, with the sickness and
      death.  Had the thought:  I need to have more of
      an earnest, serious, somber, even tragic feeling
      in relation to the WC people; being freaked out
      isn't nearly good enough; it isn't serious
      enough, given what I have gotten in experience
      from the Gods.  I must have more respect for the
      WC people; I don't have enough knowledge to
      determine that they -- all -- are not sincere at
      some level.  More:  not only respect, but
      seriousness and sobriety; being freaked out
      trivializes the situation and demeans myself; it
      is a sign of my own un-development.  Maybe pity
      is condescending; I need rather to have respect
      and seriousness?  However, I resolve not to let
      them snow me; not to let them waste my time or
      set my agenda.  But at least I can't let myself
      merely be freaked out.

      -- Yet another session:  Still asking the Gods
      for a visualization about my optimal path in
      response to the WC etc.; not getting any pictures
      that seem meaningful for this question, just
      scenes from everyday life, with maybe a dome of
      Beings overhead.  But I did get the idea from all
      this, somehow, that I was not being gentle and
      mild enough in relation to the WC people.  Being
      freaked out is not mildness; being freaked out is
      a sign of my own underdevelopment.  Seems that I
      need to regard the WC inwardly with not only
      respect but mildness, and not only outwardly but
      deeply, inwardly.  This is what I gathered from
      the thought of the Manicheans and their pacifism;
      I need to be not only peaceful in my outward
      actions but especially in my inward thoughts and
      feeling.  Still, I can't let the WC people waste
      my time or determine my work; they are still
      hostile and their game is designed, perhaps
      unconsciously, as a spider's web to ensnare the
      Anthro and entangle him in futility.  But, for me
      . . . mildness, mildness.

      -- Trying yet again:  There can be no
      "desperation" in seeking the 4th stage or any
      stage of the 7fold dialectic, if -- one regards
      one's "lower self" from the vantage of the
      "higher self".  That is, if one lives in one's
      eternal being ("spirit"?), then one sees one's
      striving for 7fold thinking like all other
      strivings of the lower self, the transitory self,
      the illusory self.  Desperation must be out; only
      the serenity and calmness, the clear-sightedness,
      of the view from the eternal can prevail.  To the
      eternal self it is not a matter of desperation as
      to whether or not the lower self achieves 7fold
      thinking; it is a matter of objective viewing,
      like all else transitory as seen from the
      eternal, the inherently unchanging.

      -- Still yet another session:  Took a nap, kinda,
      this afternoon, then as awoken, tried to
      meditate; trying to experience more fully the
      meanings themselves and the activity of thinking. 
      Didn't do very well at that; then had the thought
      that I needed to accept and recognize that which
      I had already been given from the spiritual
      worlds:  the information of Anthroposophy.  And I
      needed to recognize that I did "know" it already,
      in way, deep down, subconsciously, just as
      everyone deep down already knows the Truth.  And
      I can recognize it when I see it, just as I had
      the experience "I have always known this" when I
      first read *KoHW*.  And there's no excuse for not
      acknowledging this "knowledge"; it's unreal not
      to.  I couldn't say that no one ever told me; I
      have been told, and that really is enough, if I'm
      honest with myself.

      So . . . tried again to ask the Gods to give me
      some pictures in answer to the question about my
      cosmically optimal course in dealing with the WC
      etc.  Got a picture, a scene from my daily life
      of the past few years, and the feeling from the
      picture was that of coldness, bleakness,
      tiredness, almost despair.  And I had the
      thought:   "I have to work with the tools that I
      have."  I had almost had this same thought at the
      scene pictured.  And that seemed to be a kind of
      answer to my question:  in dealing with the WC I
      can at best work only with the tools that I have. 
      And I have only modest tools; I'm tired; I don't
      have a lot of time, even though I'm getting more
      time online than I have over the past few years. 
      I don't have access to all the minutiae that the
      WC want to discuss.  I tried years ago to get a
      discussion going in the WC about the basics, and
      no one there wanted to talk about that, really;
      not even any of the lurkers came forward.  So,
      this is about all that I can do with the tools
      that I have:  talk about the basics with people
      who are sincere and willing to listen.  I can't
      let the WC people sap my time and energy playing
      their usual games.  I can do only that which I
      *can* do, with my tools.  To try to do anything
      else would be unrealistic, and to be unrealistic
      is to be ineffective.  And my question was about
      the most effective way of countering the WC.

      My way might not be the right way for everyone,
      but I think that all Anthros need to at least ask
      those same questions:  Are the WC and their ilk
      merely wasting my time in endless discussion of
      minutiae, while the real questions are much more
      basic:  the need for reverence for truth, and the
      moral decision to choose objective thinking over
      a preference for one's own prejudices.  And
      reverence for Truth sometimes entails a demand
      for self-awareness, and that demand sometimes
      entails some pain.  I think that the real problem
      with the WC and their kind is not as much what is
      discussed on the surface as what lies beneath the
      surface.  And one can get under the surface only
      by going into the basics, and in a real way, not
      merely by talking.  One must appeal for sincerity
      and self-awareness.

      -- Another session, trying to think objectively. 
      The concepts, not I, do the thinking.  Expanded. 
      Asking the question about the WC.  Mental
      pictures of my recent travel to/from a family
      funeral.  Got the idea:  the best path for RM is
      not only to help most effectively the living, but
      also the dead.  Do the dead need endless
      discussions of the WC agenda?  Or something more
      basic?

      -- And:  the need to help the animals and all
      creation, which "groaneth and travaileth".  Does
      the WC discussion do this, or is something else
      needed?

      -- Not only do I want to "talk" to help "others",
      but I crave the human contact.  I am the most
      immediate tool which I can work with, and this is
      a condition of that tool.  I must work with the
      tools that I have.

      -- Yet again thinking, asking again about my
      optimal course, trying to get some "beholding"
      visualizations.  Got the image of my aunt's and
      uncle's home area in the country; got the feeling
      of the slowness, the simplicity of the faith
      there, even the "backwardness", and the serenity. 
      These were not sophisticated people, but the kind
      of decent, honest, hardworking people who are the
      "backbone" of civilization.  I remember my uncle
      saying, in reference to the ongoing crisis in the
      Middle East:  "God has it under control."  Or
      words to that effect.  Got the idea that no
      matter what course I take in relation to the WC,
      if my intentions are right, then "God" will give
      me course corrections, if necessary.  The main
      thing for me is to have the right intentions and
      to be making my best efforts; and to have faith
      that God will work it out for the best for all
      concerned.  After all; His hand is not short.  As
      STEINER SAID:  ". . . the truth is what leads to
      the highest and noblest impulses for human
      evolution; the truth should be dearer to us than
      we are to ourselves. If our relationship to truth
      is guided by these words and we still make a
      mistake in this life, the truth will be strong
      enough to draw us to itself in the next
      incarnation. Honest mistakes we make in this
      incarnation will be compensated and redeemed in
      the next. It is better to make an honest mistake
      than to adhere to dogmas dishonestly. After all,
      our path will be lit by the promise that truth
      will ultimately prevail, not by our own will, but
      by its own inherent divine power."

      I gather that if I make an honest mistake in my
      response-actions to the WC etc., after all my
      best efforts at trying to find the cosmically
      right course, then I need to have faith that the
      Good will prevail, not by my actions, but by Its
      own inherent Divine power.

      -- And again:  woke up in the morning, trying to
      think objectively, asking the Gods for some
      images of "beholding" in answer to my question
      about the optimal course for me in dealing with
      the WC and their ilk.  Somehow I got the idea,
      and the image, of the Christ Himself, as Jesus
      Christ of Nazareth.  Had the thought:  the Christ
      is the Archetype of Man, the Platonic Idea of the
      Human Being.  Rudolf Steiner was the foremost
      public representative of Christ in our time, and
      Anthroposophy was/is the most specific
      implementation of Christ's working in modern
      society/culture.  RS was implementing the
      impulses of Micha-El and the "Michael School",
      and Micha-El was/is the "countenance of Christ". 
      (Martha Keltz says that the Name of the spirit-
      individuality who incarnated as RS is "Brunnen
      von Christus", the "Fount of Christ".)  That is
      essentially what RS was "about", and
      Anthroposophy is the expression of Christ as He
      wants to work into modern culture.  When the WC
      oppose RS and Anthroposophy (specifically, mostly
      as "racist" and bad educationally in "Waldorf"),
      this is really, at base, an indirect way of
      fighting against the Christ.  If I want to
      counteract the work of the WC most effectively,
      then I must "promote" the Christ Himself -- most
      specifically in Anthroposophy, but behind that,
      the Christ Himself.  I haven't done this well
      enough, so far; I need to do it more so.

      So, the "archetype" at work here seems to be the
      Idea of Man himself as free spirit and "spirit of
      love".  This Idea is, literally, the Cosmic
      Christ Himself, Who was incarnated in Jesus of
      Nazareth.  So, in this case, in Bondarev's sense
      (as I understand it), the Idea at work here is
      the Archetype of Man Himself as Spirit of Freedom
      and Love; and RS taught us the path to real
      freedom, and hence love, in *PoF*.  My optimal
      course in response to the WC is to act as RS
      taught in *PoF*, as a free spirit, from "moral
      intuition".  And the action that I would "love to
      do" is to take the most effective course,
      cosmically, in response to the WC.  But I can't
      calculate all the cosmic effects of my actions; I
      need some "beholding" or some kind of information
      from Those Who know better than I do, from the
      Gods.  Essentially, behind and beneath the
      surface, the WC and their ilk, are opposing
      Christ, by opposing Anthroposophy specifically. 
      So, my "task", it would seem, is to promote --
      somehow, in the "best", most effective, way --
      the Christ and Anthroposophy especially.  How to
      do that most effectively, in my situation, with
      my "tools", is the more specific question.

      The rules of the WC prohibit "ad hominem"
      attacks; this rule makes it impossible to enter
      that e-list and talk about anything real, for to
      talk about something real, not playing the usual
      superficial games, necessitates talking about
      what people there are really *doing*, and that
      would likely be considered to be "ad hominem". 
      And I have tried to talk about the more basic
      principles of Anthroposophy in the WC before, and
      gotten nowhere, with not even a real response
      from the lurkers.  So, I can't see any way for me
      to "join" the WC list again and accomplish any
      real work there.  My optimal course would seem to
      lie somewhere else, doing something else.

      -- And trying still yet again:  overnight I had
      the thought:  I'm asking the Gods about my
      optimal path etc., because I can't calculate all
      the cosmic effects and ramifications.  But --
      maybe the Gods don't know them all either?  These
      Gods are not infinite Beings, so maybe they don't
      know everything, and hence don't know ALL the
      ramifications of my actions.  Maybe they "know"
      enough to judge me after my death, according to
      how my actions help or hinder their cosmic plans
      and their own evolution, but still maybe they
      don't know perfectly all the ramifications. 
      Maybe at some point they must have "faith" in the
      Supreme Gods, just as I do.  So maybe it's unfair
      of me to ask them that question in any absolute
      sense.  Heck, maybe even Jesus Christ doesn't
      know everything; maybe even He at some point can
      only have faith in the Supreme God?  JC as the
      Archetype of Man must (?) be a limited being,
      just as Man himself, any man, must be only a
      limited being.  So, really, I might ask the Gods
      for "beholding" pictures as some kind of
      indication of Their thoughts, but I can't ask
      them for knowledge that even They don't have. 
      They surely know a lot more than I do, but still
      not everything. -- So,<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
    • robert.barnskog
      My name is also Robert, and I`m from Sweden. I have tried to read your posts on the sevenfold thinking before, but must confess that I had difficulties
      Message 2 of 3 , May 6 12:21 PM
      • 0 Attachment
        My name is also Robert, and I`m from Sweden. I have tried to read your posts on the sevenfold thinking before, but must confess that I had difficulties entering into them. This one was easier.

        I know very little about Waldorf education, and even less about the Waldorf Critics list. In fact, I have only been to Waldorf schools a few times, and then it was a question of having them as places for meetings. It had no relation to the education performed there. So don´t take my words too seriously. But what I think is this: A school system that leads to all these debates and strong emotions (including yours) is simpy not worth having. It might be the best one conceived ever – but if all these discussions belong to it, it is better doing something else. At least until our civilization is ready. Look how far you, yourself, is from the actual education. You think about a specific method of thinking – even a universally optimal one - in order to approach a discussion list about a school system, that is related to a philosophical system that you are interested in. If you work with Waldorf education – then you are close to it in that way of course, but it seems – when reading your post – that you have put a lot of effort into something that is quite far removed from the "core business" itself.

        On the other hand I believe strongly in trying to grasp why Waldorf is actually good, if it is good. And in the same way: What is good with "normal" education, and what is not? What is good with the Montessory system? And so on. Or simply: what do you think yourself? What is pedagogy all about? When you have evaluated this, use it in an ordinary school. If you are not allowed – look for other people and found a new system, without the "problematic" esoteric background. It will be good enough. Don't forget most people never go to a Waldorf school anyway, so if the new system has some problems of reaching the "potential heights" of Waldorf, it will still be better than the "ordinary", which is what it is all about.

        Basically the whole thing is related to the problem of "exoteric esoterics", as are all the external activities of anthroposophy. Exoteric esoterics!? Well, it can be taken for granted that such a thing is problematical. Steiner of course knew that, but gave it a chance and hoped for the best.

        If you still think it is worth putting energy into Waldorf, I think it is best to be completely open with the esoteric background. Tell people about it even if they haven't asked for it. I think it is this way it should be done: either strip the esoterics off and found something new that is based on insights that can be realized from common sense. Or be completely open and proud of it. I have read about several examples – even in Sweden – where anthros have tried to hide the esoterics behind different activities. Then they are confronted with it by the press etc, and the whole thing gets very confusing, and probably embarrassing.

        So this is my pessimistic view on Waldorf. In then goes without saying that I don't think there is much to gain from WC discussions.

        Regarding the 7fold thinking: what do you plan to use it for? Is it an "esoteric tool" or something you intend to use for everyday life?

        RB


        --- In steiner@yahoogroups.com, Robert Mason <robertsmason_99@...> wrote:
        >
        > PREAMBLE:
        >
        > I regret taking so long to get this post up. 
        > Somehow, this turned out to be about the hardest
        > of all my attempts at 7fold thinking.  Believe it
        > or not, I started around mid-October.  But even
        > after more than half a year, I still haven't
        > brought it to a satisfactory conclusion.  I've
        > been looking at my own text for so long now that
        > I can hardly see it.  I guess this means it's
        > about time to go with what I have.  So, I'm
        > pretty much resigned to showing as much as I have
        > done, and to hoping that something more adequate
        > might somehow result.
        >
        > I feel that I should have finished this post long
        > ago, but somehow it kept dragging out.  I had to
        > keep going over it and over it.  I've had some
        > health problems, but I can't really blame them
        > for the delay; I have to blame my own
        > disorganization and time-wasting for a great part
        > of the delay.  Really, the whole thing took a
        > long time to "come together".  And some of the
        > things that I had written didn't quite ring true
        > after a while, and I had to change or scrap them. 
        > And . . . for much of the time I simply couldn't
        > get my mind to work.
        >
        > Around Christmas, I thought that I had a report
        > almost ready to post, but then I decided that I
        > would have to rewrite much of it -- and then it
        > seemed that I would have to rewrite almost all of
        > it, nearly starting all over.  And for a while I
        > thought that I might give up the intention of
        > posting at all on this subject.  Then, around the
        > middle of January, things started to change
        > within me, I got more ideas for positive action,
        > and the logjam on my previous attempts at outside
        > action started to break -- or so I thought for a
        > while.  So, I had a lot of work and re-working to
        > do.
        >
        > But then, some diversions came up.  One thing
        > that took a lot of time was a re-consideration of
        > the chronology of the life of Jesus Christ. 
        > More, I had some other ideas about actions to
        > take, and I tried to do some things, but I kept
        > running into blockages.  And more health
        > problems.  Then tax time.  (US-Americans will
        > know what that means.)  And more online
        > diversions; Beinsa Douno and all that.  The whole
        > thing just kept dragging on and on.
        >
        > In my last major post on this theme I left with
        > this question unanswered:  "What is the best way
        > to counteract the WC ['Waldorf Critics'] and
        > suchlike activities?"  By those "activities" I
        > mean the relentless online opposition to
        > Anthroposophy, accomplished mainly through
        > e-lists and blogs.
        >
        > I took this question as the starting-point for my
        > next (and now present) attempt at 7fold thinking. 
        > That was only a starting-point; the question
        > began as almost more of a feeling than a thought
        > in my mind.  I assumed that the question would be
        > refined as I went along. -- One difficulty was
        > that in this case I was not only trying to answer
        > a factual question; I was trying to work out a
        > course of action for myself.  And that can get
        > really complicated:  a lot depends on my
        > capabilities and on the practical possibilities
        > in my environment -- and these are hard to pin
        > down, especially for an habitually impractical
        > person such as myself.  Another difficulty was
        > that I wasn't only trying to think out a simple
        > theme; I was trying to solve a real problem,
        > trying to get "new ideas".  It's hard enough just
        > trying to think, really *think*,  simple, easily
        > surveyable thoughts, but trying to think out more
        > complicated, innovative thoughts is . . . well, a
        > "real bear".
        >
        > (The reader can find links to my previous
        > struggles with 7fold thinking here:
        > <www.altanthroinfo.9f.com/index.htm>
        > Scroll down to the section on "Wrestling . . .” 
        > The present post might not make much sense if the
        > reader will have not have gotten at least some of
        > this background.)
        >
        > I am trying to make this post more readable than
        > were my previous posts on this theme.  This time,
        > I will lead with a brief summary of the
        > essentials and results, then I will follow with a
        > couple of appendices, which the reader can either
        > take or leave.  The first will be an outline of a
        > suggestion for a simple course of action that
        > everyone can take.  The second will be a report
        > on my own long, messy "process":  I will let the
        > reader see much of my "process" in approaching
        > this question, with a barely-refined record of my
        > "musings".
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------
        >
        > THE SEVENFOLD DIALECTIC
        >     (a summary in this case)
        >    
        > According to Bondarev, the seven stages of
        > dialectic are as follows:
        >
        > 1. thesis
        > 2. antithesis
        > 3. synthesis
        > 4. beholding (Anschauen)
        > 5. perception of the Idea
        > 6. individualization of the Idea
        > 7. unity of this individual and the general (in
        > another formulation, Bondarev says:  "The cycle
        > is completed with the return of the idea with
        > which it began, to all-unity. . . . This is the
        > concluding, seventh element, or the seventh
        > stage." )
        >
        > (1-2:)  THESIS-ANTITHESIS
        >
        > The question with which I started was this: "What
        > is the best way to counteract the WC and suchlike
        > activities?"
        >
        > I had, at first at least, to take this as a moral
        > question for me personally; the question is far
        > too big for me to consider in general, for
        > everybody.  As a moral question for me, it takes
        > the form:  "What do I choose to do?"  But what I
        > would want to choose to do would be to take the
        > "best way" -- the most effective for the forward
        > development of the whole Cosmos.  The question of
        > what is "best" is not a matter of my *doing*, of
        > taking a course of action, but it is a question
        > of fact:  there does exist a "best" way for me,
        > and the exact nature of this "best" way is a
        > question of objective fact.  Taken thus, the
        > question isn't merely "personal" for me; it isn't
        > merely a "matter of opinion".  It is as much a
        > question of objective fact as is the question of
        > the number of giant squid on Earth.  Somewhere,
        > in the great objective World of Truth, the answer
        > exists.
        >
        > But the immediate problem for me is that I don't
        > know this objective fact about the "best" way. 
        > Here, it seems, is the "antithesis".  The
        > "thesis" would be that there does exist an
        > objectively "best" course of action for Robert
        > Mason, but the "antithesis" would be that he
        > doesn't know what this course is.
        >
        > (3:) SYNTHESIS
        >
        > So I tried, by ordinary cogitation, to find out
        > what this "best" course is for me.  And, as far
        > as I can see, my ordinary thinking doesn't show
        > me the "best" way of responding to the WC and
        > their ilk.
        >
        > I have in the past entered the WC e-list and
        > tried to engage in discussion.  But it quickly
        > became evident to me that such an effort was
        > futile, unproductive, doomed, useless.  My only
        > hope became that the discussion might be useful
        > for some of the lurkers on the WC, but the
        > lurkers continued to lurk.  They were silent, and
        > I saw no point in going on; I got out.  Since
        > then, it has been clear to me that I don't want
        > to do *that* again.  I don't want to play the WC
        > game:  endless, futile arguments going nowhere. 
        > That much is clear, and my opinion on that has
        > not changed in years. -- But that is only a
        > negative "response"; I have yet to come up with a
        > better, more positive one.
        >
        > In a time of extremity, I did get some key 
        > information about myself:  my main, heartfelt
        > reason for living is to learn how to think
        > better. -- What this means for my response to the
        > WC is that, whatever else this response might be,
        > it must first of all meet my need for learning to
        > think better.  This is simply a fact about
        > working effectively with the "tools that I have". 
        > In this case my primary tool is myself.
        >
        > (4:)  BEHOLDING
        >
        > I tried to take the question into a higher realm
        > of thinking.  There must exist, objectively, a
        > "best", a most effective, way of of countering
        > the WC-ish resistance to Anthroposophy.  I don't
        > know what exactly this "best" way is, and I
        > sought some guidance, from the Gods or from
        > wherever or whatever, in the form of mental
        > pictures -- hopefully some pictures that I can
        > understand.
        >
        > I got a lot of mental pictures, but seemingly
        > none that mapped out an optimal course of action
        > in detail.  It seemed that the Gods were not
        > showing me in pictures exactly what to do;
        > instead They were mostly reading me the riot act
        > about my character flaws.  I was not shown a
        > chart of my "best" course of action in any
        > visible, material sense; rather I was shown some
        > glaring defects that I need to correct in myself,
        > and some qualities that I need to develop in
        > myself.
        >
        > It seemed that I was shown that I need to become
        > more reverent, more innocent and blameless, more
        > respectful, more sober and serious, more mild,
        > more serene, more grateful, more trusting, and
        > indeed:  more industrious.  It seemed that I
        > needed to acquire these qualities and especially
        > to take them into my actions toward or about the
        > WC.
        >
        > Does all this add up to "beholding" in Bondarev's
        > sense? -- I did get some mental pictures that, it
        > seems, helped me to approach the problem, though
        > hardly in the way that I had hoped.  That's about
        > the best "beholding" that I could come up with. 
        > Beyond that, as to whether this meets Bondarev's
        > criteria, I'll leave it to the reader to decide.
        >
        > (5:)  PERCEPTION OF THE IDEA
        >
        > I think that I got a big hint about the Platonic
        > Idea that is relevant here.  It is none other
        > than the Archetype of Man Himself, the Christ. 
        > In this case it is Man as moral agent, as a free
        > spirit, such as Steiner tried to teach us in
        > *PoF*.  And in this case I am merely a human
        > being trying to make a moral choice about what
        > course to take in response to the WC-ish
        > opposition to Anthroposophy.  I didn't want
        > merely to do as I "felt like" doing; I wanted to
        > find the optimal, the cosmically "best" course of
        > action for me.  I presumed that this optimal
        > course is not merely a matter of opinion; it does
        > exist objectively as a matter of fact.  But the
        > big problem was for me to know exactly what it
        > is.
        >
        > In general, I believe that "the Idea" here is the
        > Archetype of Man Himself as a loving, free spirit
        > facing a moral decision.  A Man, any human being,
        > is only a limited being with limited knowledge of
        > the consequences of any action, so any moral
        > decision cannot be based upon a calculation of
        > the full consequences of an action.  At best, a
        > moral decision can be based upon one's most
        > comprehensive information about the consequences.
        >
        > -- The archetype of Man as/in Jesus Christ must
        > include the quality of "innocence", since Jesus
        > was without sin.  Whatever the Human Archetype
        > does in response to any problem must be done with
        > complete absence of guilt -- i.e. an open, clear
        > soul. 
        >
        > I infer that the Archetype of Man, since it
        > includes the qualities intrinsic to Man, must be
        > such that an individual human being who conforms
        > to that archetype should naturally have a perfect
        > "soul", and therefore should have a basic mood of
        > "faith". -- I gather that a pure "astral body",
        > or "soul" of a human being who conforms to the
        > Archetype of Man, who is "without sin",
        > "innocent", would naturally feel all those
        > feelings which Steiner groups under the
        > fundamental mood of "veneration", for all these
        > flow from "faith" -- which itself flows from the
        > knowledge that lies deep within the soul herself,
        > as an inherent possession of the human soul. 
        >
        > Therefore, Man, as an archetype, is a spirit of
        > freedom and love, but more, is a spirit of faith,
        > of healthy, reverent, trusting feelings.
        > But real freedom requires, first of all, real
        > thinking.  A True Man must be a true thinker. 
        >
        > Since Christ is the Archetype of Man, opposition
        > to Christ is also thereby an opposition to the
        > possibilities of Man, to what Man can be. 
        > Essentially, Man is a Spirit of Freedom and Love. 
        > A True Man will be free in his actions, and such
        > freedom depends, in the first place, on
        > consciousness, on the attainment of true
        > thinking.  As Steiner said, and as experience
        > proves, thinking is the spiritual form of love --
        > and in a True Man love will become so thorough
        > that it permeates his whole organism, so that he
        > becomes "harmonious" in all his feelings.  (In
        > anthro-speak:  so that the astral body becomes
        > transformed into Spirit Self.)  But there is
        > more:  on this Earth only Man, in contrast to the
        > animals, can *speak*.  And a True Man will speak,
        > and speak only that which is true. -- So I gather
        > that, in opposition to the opposition of the WC
        > and the like, it behoves me first of all to work
        > upon myself, to become a better approximation of
        > the Archetype of Man.  I need to think better,
        > and I also need to purify my feelings; thus I
        > might *do* better.  And as a big part of this
        > doing, I want to speak better, to speak more
        > effectively and more truly.
        >
        > (6:) -- INDIVIDUALIZATION OF THE IDEA
        >
        > So, how is this general Idea, of Man Himself to
        > be applied in this particular case? -- The
        > particular moral agent is none other than myself
        > (I am not trying to delineate the "right" moral
        > decision for everyone here), and the moral
        > problem is about my response to the WC-ish
        > opposition to Anthroposophy. 
        >
        > So I try to think clearly about the problem at 
        > hand:  how am I to best counteract the WC-ish
        > opposition to Anthroposophy.  I try to see under
        > the surface, past the superficial appearances, to
        > the real force behind the WC activity, and I see
        > at the base:  hatred of the Christ.  Rudolf
        > Steiner was merely the foremost public
        > representative of Christ in modern times (that
        > is, the most educational one who got the most
        > publicity, as far as I know), and Anthroposophy
        > is the most powerful Christ-revelation, powerful
        > enough to infuse and transform all aspects of
        > modern culture.  So, this opposition to
        > Anthroposophy is ultimately a way of "getting at"
        > the Christ.  Steiner faced fierce, even
        > murderous, opposition in his day, as did Christ
        > when He was on Earth.  The devils of Hell have
        > always hated Christ and worked against Him, and
        > the WC-ish opposition is ultimately a
        > continuation of that ancient struggle.  Perhaps
        > this reality is mostly unconscious to the WC
        > people, nevertheless it is the reality.
        >
        > Steiner has told us what is the most effective
        > way to counter opposition to Anthroposophy:  not
        > to waste time and effort trying to reach people
        > who are not reachable, but to move forward with
        > positive Anthroposophical work.  I think that for
        > me this means first of all to work upon myself. 
        > I'm trying, still, to learn how to *think*,
        > really.  This I take to be my primary task in
        > life now, and if I can put even one more true
        > thinker into this world, that would be a defeat
        > for the WC and their ilk.  Not that they likely
        > care what I do, even if they might take notice of
        > me -- but the devils who inspire them do notice
        > that sort of thing, and the emergence of a real
        > thinker would be a defeat for them and a victory
        > for Christ, even if only a little one.
        >
        > And more:  RS admonished the student that he
        > should realize that inner work is at least as
        > important as outer work.  Work upon oneself, work
        > in the non-physical worlds, really *is* work for
        > the whole world, including the physical one. 
        >
        > I did try to do a little more "physical" work on
        > the Internet, but that didn't come to much.  And
        > I did come up with a plan to "cast out demons"
        > from the WC-ish cyberspaces.  But that plan is
        > only borderline "physical", at best.
        >
        > I feel that I still need to do more in the outer
        > world.  But I still don't know exactly what or
        > how.  In fact, I've been casting about for
        > something to do and some way to do it, but so far
        > I haven't come up with much.  I don't know what
        > else to do now but to keep looking, hoping that
        > something will turn up. -- Really, my knowledge
        > of cosmic effects is very limited; my knowledge
        > of "moral techniques" is limited; and I'm not
        > getting much "moral intuition" either.  My energy
        > is very limited, and so is my power.  But I still
        > feel that there has to be something more that I
        > could do; I just haven't found it yet.
        >
        > And since I can't answer the cosmic question
        > about the "best" way, I can turn to a lesser,
        > more answerable question:  what would Robert
        > Mason love to do in this case?  This question
        > follows in the spirit of Steiner's *PoF*, but
        > once again, asked in this way it is a question of
        > objective fact.  Unhappily, it is also a question
        > about myself, and if I want to approach the
        > matter in a practical way, it is also a question
        > about the realistic possibilities.  The "facts"
        > about both these aspects are hard for me to
        > ascertain. -- About the only handle I can get on
        > these immediate questions is to try to find (in
        > practice?) what gives me "joy in the doing".
        >
        > (7:)  ALL-UNITY (THE UPSHOT)
        >
        > What did the 7fold thinking process add up to in
        > this case?
        >
        > It's hard to say; I still haven't worked it all
        > out.  The main thing about my response to the WC
        > and their ilk is not to play their game but to do
        > my work.  (But I want to make my work playful,
        > enjoyable, even childlike.  If I find the right
        > course of action for me, then it will inherently
        > be joyful.)  At this point, it seems that my work
        > is firstly to work upon myself:  to work upon my
        > thinking, upon my feelings -- and then upon my
        > actions.  And I need, ever and again, to
        > understand that work upon myself, inner work, is
        > in itself real work for the whole world.  But I
        > also feel that I want to do more *in* the outer
        > world, and that's mostly what I haven't figured
        > out yet.
        >
        > CONCLUSION:
        >
        > What is different now compared to the situation
        > before I started this exercise?
        >
        > Before I started, I didn't know what I was going
        > to do about the WC and the like.  I knew that I
        > wanted to do *something*, but I didn't know what. 
        > I knew that I didn't want to enter and take part
        > in their endless discussions.  That hasn't
        > changed; but what has changed? -- I had some
        > ideas for activities in the physical world, but
        > those haven't worked out yet; maybe they will
        > work out better in the future.  I had the idea
        > for "exorcising" the WC and similar cyberspaces,
        > and that can be done by almost anyone from
        > anywhere.  I also had a lot of ideas about what I
        > needed to do to improve myself, especially my
        > feelings.
        >
        > But mainly I had the idea that I wanted and
        > needed to become a better thinker.  I was already
        > working at that anyway, but now I have come to
        > the realization and the intention to intensify my
        > efforts in that direction.  It has become my
        > first reason for living.  And I have progressed
        > to the point that thinking for me has become a
        > holy sacrament:  This is a real experience.  I
        > enter a state of mildness and reverence; I expand
        > into the thought-world, which is the spiritual
        > world in its most "abstract" form of experience,
        > and I experience the thoughts as they live out
        > their own lives and impulses.  It is not so much
        > a "revelation from above", but an entrance into
        > the "above" and a sharing in the life there. -- I
        > don't do this very often, only at rare moments. 
        > But I try to do this more often, and to spread
        > out these moments over more of my life.
        >
        > And to the extent that I succeed, this will be a
        > serious defeat for the opponents of
        > Anthroposophy, in the WC and elsewhere.  It will
        > be more of a defeat than they know -- or can
        > know, given their rejection of and derision at
        > what they consider to be "magical thinking".  The
        > existence of even one more real thinker in this
        > world is a serious defeat for them in their
        > opposition to Anthroposophy, and if they don't
        > know that, then at least the devils who inspire
        > them know that. 
        >
        > Even external science is starting to catch on
        > about the effects of "meditation".  For instance,
        > as David Wilcock recently reported:
        >
        > ". . . . 50 different scientific studies have
        > confirmed the Meditation Effect is real.
        >
        > "7000 people get together and meditate -- and
        > global terrorism goes down by 72 percent.
        >
        > "Similarly dramatic decreases were seen in war,
        > fatalities and violent crime.
        >
        > "Even if skeptics want to argue about whether or
        > not this is 'real,' the fact is that all other
        > variables have been ruled out -- including
        > weekends, weather, holidays, et cetera.
        >
        > "This effect has been documented in numerous
        > peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal
        > of Offender Rehabilitation."
        >
        > Yes, even "science" is confirming what Steiner
        > said long ago:  inner work really is effective
        > work for the whole world.  So I say to the WC and
        > the like -- My opposition to your opposition is
        > this:  love over your hatred.  You can argue as
        > much as you want; I partake of the sacrament,
        > which is an act of love.  As Steiner said,
        > thinking is love in its spiritual form, and
        > insofar as I am a true thinker, my thinking will
        > defeat your hatred and opposition to the Spirit,
        > in ways you don't even know.  This defeat is not
        > an activity of opposing hostility to your
        > hostility; it is an activity of love, which is
        > for you as much as it is for anyone.  Maybe I
        > don't love you well enough, but that is my
        > failing, not a failing of love, or of
        > Anthroposophy.  You don't have to remain stewing
        > in your hatred; you can accept and find the love,
        > and so come over to the side of the Truth; the
        > way is wide open.
        >
        > Robert Mason
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------
        > APPENDIX 1
        >
        > ABOUT EXORCISM
        >
        > I had the idea that I, or anyone, could drive out
        > the devils from the cyberspaces of opposition to
        > Anthroposophy, just as one can exorcise a
        > physical space, such as a house.  The thing is,
        > one doesn't really drive out the devils through
        > one's own power, but by calling in the power of
        > Jesus Christ.  The devils of Hell know Christ,
        > fear Him, and yield to His spiritual power. 
        > Christ on Earth told us this. -- What Does the
        > *Bible* Say About Exorcism?
        >
        > "And these signs will accompany those who
        > believe: in my name they will cast out demons . .
        > . ." (Mark 16:16 ESV)
        >
        > "The seventy-two returned with joy, saying,
        > 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your
        > name!'" (Luke 10:17 ESV)
        >
        > "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers,
        > cast out demons. You received without paying;
        > give without pay." (Matthew 10:8 ESV)
        >
        > "And he called to him his twelve disciples and
        > gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast
        > them out, and to heal every disease and every
        > affliction." (Matthew 10:1 ESV)
        >
        > "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on
        > serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of
        > the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." (Luke
        > 10:19 ESV)
        >
        > "For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud
        > voice, came out of many who had them, and many
        > who were paralyzed or lame were healed." (Acts
        > 8:7 ESV)
        >
        > "John answered, 'Master, we saw someone casting
        > out demons in your name, and we tried to stop
        > him, because he does not follow with us.' But
        > Jesus said to him, 'Do not stop him, for the one
        > who is not against you is for you.'" (Luke 9:49-
        > 50 ESV)
        >
        > "Paul . . . turned and said to the spirit, 'I
        > command you in the name of Jesus Christ to
        > come out of her.' And it came out that very
        > hour." (Acts 16:18 ESV)
        >
        > "Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists
        > undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus
        > over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I
        > adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' . .
        > . . But the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I
        > know . . . ." (Acts 19:13-15 ESV)
        >
        > -- Those are only a few quotes in this vein.  The
        > point is that human being can tell the devils to
        > "come out in the Name of Jesus Christ", and they
        > will come out.  The power comes from the Name of
        > Jesus Christ, and I don't see any reason why that
        > power should be limited to a localized physical
        > space.
        >
        > It is apparent that the cyberspaces of the WC,
        > the Quackometer, Zooey's blog, and the like, are
        > infested with devils and demons inspiring the
        > devilish hatred of and opposition to
        > Anthroposophy.  And "we" can cast those devils
        > out.  If the human denizens of those cyberspaces
        > keep inviting the devils back in, even
        > unconsciously, then we can keep casting them out. 
        > The human dwellers and visitors in those
        > cyberspaces might well still be subjected to the
        > poisonous ideas there, but at least those people
        > would be less subject to obsession and possession
        > by the devils that might otherwise be hanging
        > around. 
        >
        > -- The question bothered me:  Where do the devils
        > go after they have been "cast out"?  If they are
        > just left to roam, that's probably bad news for
        > somebody.  Jesus cast out the "legion" of demons,
        > and they entered the swine and drove them to
        > destruction.  That was good for the possessed
        > man, but hard on the swine.  And, as Steiner
        > relates, when Jesus saw Lucifer and Ahriman
        > fleeing from the gates of the Essenes, Jesus
        > realized that the other people were worse off,
        > because Lucifer and Ahriman had only gone and
        > oppressed those others all the more. -- The
        > *Bible* records Jesus as saying:
        >
        > "'When the unclean spirit has gone out of a
        > person, it passes through waterless places
        > seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, "I
        > will return to my house from which I came." And
        > when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept,
        > and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it
        > seven other spirits more evil than itself, and
        > they enter and dwell there, and the last state of
        > that person is worse than the first. So also will
        > it be with this evil generation.'" (Matthew
        > 12:43-45 ESV)
        >
        > -- This indicates to me that a devil who is
        > merely "cast out" is not therefore rendered
        > harmless; he is still free to do mischief, and he
        > will do that if he gets the chance.  So, I always
        > make a point of telling the devils whom I adjure
        > to "come out" that they don't have to remain as
        > devils, that they can go into the Light and
        > become spirits of Light.  And why not?  If even
        > Lucifer and Ahriman can be redeemed, then the way
        > to redemption should be open for all lesser
        > beings.
        >
        > The point of this Appendix is just to make some
        > suggestions to the reader of some simple actions
        > he can take to remedy the situation.  He can
        > instruct, in the Name of Jesus Christ, the devils
        > to come out of the infested cyberspaces, and he
        > can remind the devils that they don't have to
        > remain devils.
        >
        > The reader can find his own way to do this; I'm
        > not saying that my way is the best.  This note is
        > just to give some hints, some food for thought.
        >
        > -------------------------------------------------
        > APPENDIX 2
        >
        > MY PROCESS -- MUSINGS:
        >
        > (What follows in this section is an idealized
        > recording of my "process" in approaching this
        > question.  This process was of course disorderly,
        > meandering, and sometimes repetitive.  If the
        > reader wishes to see the route I took, here it
        > is, somewhat cleaned up, but still muddled and
        > floundering.  I did eventually try to bring some
        > order in the results.  This recounting of what
        > led up to the results is only for the very
        > patient, and maybe for those who want to attempt
        > their own 7fold thinking --)
        >
        > To my perception, I don't see much difference
        > among the online opponents of Anthroposophy (at
        > least in English); they all seem to be pretty
        > much the same as the WC.  And I had already made
        > an attempt to work within the WC.  And I did,
        > more recently, attempt to draw some people from
        > "Zooey's" blog and the "Quackometer" into
        > conversation, but my attempts didn't even get
        > posted.
        >
        > Here is the message that I tried to post on those
        > blogs:
        >
        > >>To all who might be getting tired of playing
        > the usual games here:
        >
        > >>I invite any and all to come over to an Anthro
        > discussion group, such as
        > <groups.yahoo.com/steiner> or
        > <groups.yahoo.com/steiner12> (I hang out here,
        > cyber-virtually, and post sometimes.)
        >
        > >>Here's the deal: If you are not satisfied with
        > this forum and wish to try something else, then
        > I'll try to engage in dialogue with you, within
        > some limits.  I don't get a lot of time online,
        > and I am slow, but I am willing to spend some
        > time where it might do some good.
        >
        > >>I don't intend to discuss recondite details
        > about Anthro history or Waldorf education, or
        > whatever -- but I am willing to discuss something
        > more meaningful and effective, i.e.  the
        > fundamentals of Anthroposophy.  And really, the
        > fundamentals are just that: fundamental.  They
        > must be grasped before discussion of recondite
        > details could ever be useful.  And I believe that
        > such a fundamental discussion can be useful for
        > everyone who is sincere -- for somewhere, deep
        > down, everyone knows the Truth and can recognize
        > it when he sees it. 
        >
        > >>What is fundamental about Anthroposophy is a
        > positive change in consciousness, a deepening of
        > thinking and feeling, leading to better actions. 
        > In the basics of Anthroposophy there is
        > information about the fundamentals of life and
        > the world, and of death.  This information can be
        > recognized by all with normal minds and good
        > will.  And this information can be put into
        > effect, so that people can overcome sickening
        > materialism, and live and die as human beings.
        >
        > >>Hoping for a real discussion, of something
        > real,<<
        >
        > (But that post never made it onto the blogs.  I
        > presume that the moderators intercepted it and
        > hid it. -- Many of the WC people already know
        > where I am in the cyber-world, but anyone reading
        > this essay may feel free to post that little
        > offer to the WC.  But now, I have even less
        > inclination toward "arguing"; I'm more likely to
        > spend my time only in real *dialogue*.  But I
        > doubt that most of the WC people know the
        > difference.)
        >
        > Actually, someone did come out of the WC to ask
        > some basic questions in Steiner12.  And I
        > answered, giving it about the best shot that I
        > could.  But that person apparently just wanted to
        > argue.  And I quickly bailed out; I've had too
        > much of online arguments doomed to futility. 
        > People who want to obstruct can always find ways
        > to argue; people who want to progress will find
        > ways to work.  At this point in my life, I don't
        > want to engage in endless arguments; they seem
        > useless to me.  What would be more useful is for
        > people to make up their minds that they really
        > want to progress.  But I can't force people to
        > make that decision, and I wouldn't even if I
        > could; I respect free will.  And I am coming to
        > see the incorrigible perverseness of perversity.
        > -- Yet, maybe somewhere there is some
        > "corrigibilty"? . . . I still want to *do*
        > something, but what?
        >
        > I had earlier joined the WC e-list and tried to
        > enter into dialogue there.  But I got nowhere; I
        > ran into stone wall after stone wall, and when I
        > tried to turn the discussion to the basics of
        > Anthroposophy, no one there responded
        > meaningfully, not even a lurker.  So I gave up
        > and left; I didn't see any point in spending my
        > time and energy in a doomed effort.  But I didn't
        > leave it alone altogether; I couldn't, it seemed. 
        > I kept peeking in and trying to figure out what
        > was really going on over there.  And it seemed to
        > me that what was *really* going on was not what
        > was happening on the surface.  On the surface
        > there were mostly denunciations of Steiner's
        > alleged "racism" and picking away at alleged
        > deficienies in Waldorf education.  But that was
        > merely "surface stuff"; under the surface I
        > perceived repressed racial feeling, and even
        > deeper, hostility to Christ Himself. 
        >
        > And I became more and more "freaked out" by the
        > whole thing; I had a hard time understanding how
        > such a thing as the WC could even exist.  I tried
        > to work out some understanding in my last major
        > post on this theme.  And . . . so I next faced
        > the question of what was I going to *do* about
        > it.  To my ordinary thinking, I don't see any
        > need for changing this much of my previous
        > approach:  just to stay out of the WC and not let
        > them waste my time and energy, and otherwise to
        > continue on with my own Anthro "work", such as it
        > may be.  But now I see that some people do go
        > into the online opponents' territory and try to
        > work in there.  And I haven't really decided
        > whether my reaction through ordinary thinking
        > actually shows me the "best" way of responding to
        > the WC and their ilk.
        >
        > Someone who has tried that more recently than I
        > did came to this conclusion:  "But what I've
        > found is that people that won't follow reason -
        > wherever it takes them, which can be past their
        > own prejudices and pre-expectations - aren't
        > worth debating with."  And:  "Sheesh, wonder why
        > anyone bothers having these discussions." -- Yes:   
        > I think:  Why bother?  It's a waste of time. 
        > Maybe some people on the fringes might be
        > reachable, but the hard-core WC people, and the
        > like, are hopeless. -- But I think again, and
        > still I want to *do* something.
        >
        > ***
        >
        > Stumbling back toward the beginning: 
        >
        > I seem to be working toward a contrasting thesis-
        > antithesis, as a way of beginning a 7fold
        > thinking approach to this problem.  Perhaps the
        > thesis would be that an objectively "best" way of
        > counteracting the opponents does exist, somewhere
        > in the great Platonic World of Ideas, but the
        > antithesis would be that I don't know what that
        > course of action is -- and that I know only my
        > floundering, groping, inept take on the
        > situation, and I have only my weak tools to work
        > with?
        >
        > It seems that here I have gotten about as far as
        > I can get with ordinary thinking.  I've gotten
        > the thesis-antithesis and the synthesis.  I see
        > the contradiction between the existence of an
        > objectively optimal response from me to the WC
        > and suchlike opponents, and I see my lack of
        > knowledge of that "right", cosmically "best",
        > response -- and I have "reasoned" about it all by
        > ordinary means:  I don't want to play the usual
        > games of the opponents and waste my time on
        > endless arguments about obscure Anthro details; I
        > want to deal only with something *real*, the
        > fundamentals of Anthroposophy and what the WC
        > people are really doing, under the surface: 
        > working from their hatred of the Christ and of
        > what He brings to Mankind, freedom and knowledge. 
        > I want to bring to people what they really need: 
        > the information for living and dying as human
        > beings.  And I want to work on myself, to improve
        > myself such as I can with the tools and abilities
        > that I have.  And . . . I want to be realistic
        > about all of this, to do what is really possible;
        > I'm likely not going to convince the core WC
        > people, not going to convert them.  At most I
        > might reach some of the fringe people, but I've
        > tried that before and didn't see any evidence of
        > a response.  So I try to follow RS's advice as I
        > understand it:  not to waste my time in arguments
        > with the opponents, and to try to work positively
        > at Anthro achievements.  For me, lately, that has
        > been to work with 7fold thinking.  Maybe now I
        > might "branch out" into some other type of
        > activity, but I'm not sure what.
        >
        > So, that's about as far as ordinary thinking has
        > taken me.  But I gather that all this is not
        > enough; I need to go further.  There does exist
        > an optimal course of action for Robert M; I don't
        > know it, but I would like to presume that the
        > Gods know it.  It's not a "should", a
        > commandment, but a fact, a cosmic quantity.  In
        > this approach a moral question becomes a question
        > of fact.  I am not so much looking for a course
        > of action that will please me; I am looking to
        > find the objectively "correct" course of action
        > for me.
        >
        > STEINER SAID:
        > (from *Anthroposophy -- An Introduction*: Lecture
        > VIII: Lecture: 9th February, 1924; Dornach; GA
        > 234)
        >
        > [referring mainly to Man's life after death:)
        >
        > "Whether a man is being helped or injured is for
        > ordinary consciousness to recognise; but the
        > effect of a deed, be it good or evil, wise or
        > foolish, in the spiritual world â€" its warming or
        > chilling, lightening or darkening action (there
        > are manifold effects) â€" all this arises before
        > imaginative consciousness and begins to be there
        > for us. And we say to ourselves: Because you did
        > not know all this when you let your ordinary
        > consciousness function in your actions, it does
        > not follow that it was not there. Do not imagine
        > that what you did not know of in your actions â€"
        > the sources of luminous and warming rays, etc. â€"
        > was not there because you did not see or
        > experience it. Do not imagine that. You have
        > experienced it all in your sub-consciousness; you
        > have been through it all. Just as the spiritual
        > eyes of your higher consciousness see it now, so,
        > while you were helping or harming another by your
        > kind or evil deed, your sub-consciousness
        > experienced its parallel significance for the
        > spiritual world."
        >
        > "There is so much in life that we cannot fulfil
        > on earth. In a sense, we must incur a debt to the
        > future, admitting that life sets tasks which we
        > cannot absolve in this present earthly life. We
        > must owe them to the universe, saying: I shall
        > only be able to experience that when I have
        > passed through death. The Science of Initiation
        > brings us this great, though often tragical
        > enrichment of life; we feel this unavoidable
        > indebtedness to life and recognise the necessity
        > of owing the gods what we can only experience
        > after death. Only then can we enter into an
        > experience such as we owe to the universe."
        >
        > "With ordinary consciousness we see we are
        > incurring debts, but cannot read the ‘promissory
        > note’ we ought to write. With initiation-
        > consciousness we can, indeed, read the note, but
        > cannot meet it in ordinary life. We must wait
        > till death comes. And, when we have attained this
        > consciousness, when we have so deepened our human
        > conscience that this indebtedness is quite alive
        > in us, we are ready to follow human life farther,
        > beyond the retrospective tableau of which I have
        > spoken and in which we reach back to birth. We
        > now see that, after a few days, we must begin to
        > experience what we have left un-experienced; and
        > this holds for every single deed we have done to
        > other human beings in the world. The last deeds
        > done before death are the first to come before
        > us, and so backwards through life. We first
        > become aware of what our last evil or good deeds
        > signify for the world. Our experience of them
        > while on earth is now eliminated; what we now
        > experience is their significance for the world."
        >
        > "Thus, in undergoing all he has previously left
        > unexperienced, man [after death] feels all around
        > him beings far higher than himself. They unfold
        > their sympathies and antipathies towards all he
        > now lives through as a consequence of his earthly
        > life. In this experience immediately after death
        > we are within a kind of ‘spiritual rain’. We live
        > through the spiritual counterpart of our deeds,
        > and the lofty beings who stand above us rain down
        > their sympathies and antipathies. We are flooded
        > by these, and feel in our spiritual being that
        > what is illuminated by the sympathies of these
        > lofty beings of the higher hierarchies will be
        > accepted by the universe as a good element for
        > the future; whereas all that encounters their
        > antipathies will be rejected, for we feel it
        > would be an evil element in the universe if we
        > did not keep it to ourselves. The antipathies of
        > these lofty beings rain down on an evil deed done
        > to another human being, and we feel that the
        > result would be something exceedingly bad for the
        > universe if we released it, if we did not retain
        > it in ourselves."
        >
        > (from *Anthroposophy -- An Introduction*: Lecture
        > IX; lecture: 10th February, 1924; Dornach; GA
        > 234:)
        >
        > "There is no single experience whose spiritual
        > counterpart is not engraved into the spiritual
        > world in which we are ever present, even while on
        > earth. Every hand-shake we have exchanged has its
        > spiritual counterpart; it is there, inscribed
        > into the spiritual world."
        >
        > ". . . . it is a part of this [after-death]
        > experience to feel that beings whom, for the
        > present, we may call ‘superhuman’, are
        > participating in it. Pressing onwards through
        > these spiritual counterparts of our experiences,
        > we feel as if these spiritual beings were
        > showering down their sympathies and
        > antipathies upon our deeds and thoughts, as we
        > experience them backwards. Thereby we feel what
        > each deed done by us on earth, each thought,
        > feeling, or impulse of will, is worth for purely
        > spiritual existence."
        >
        > "We [after death] now feel: There is something I
        > have done on earth, in thought or deed; it has
        > its corresponding spiritual worth, and this is
        > engraved into the spiritual cosmos. The beings
        > whom I now encounter can either do something with
        > it, or not; it either lies in the direction of
        > their evolution or of the evolution for which
        > they are striving, or it does not. We feel
        > ourselves placed before the beings of the
        > spiritual world and realise that we have acted in
        > accordance with their intentions or against them,
        > have either added to, or subtracted from, what
        > they willed for the evolution of the world."
        >
        > -- What I gather from all this is that everything
        > that I do on Earth has an objective, factual
        > value for the whole Universe; the true quantity
        > and quality of this "value" is not merely "a
        > matter of opinion"; it is a question of fact. 
        > This "significance for the world" seems to be
        > known to the High Beings, the "Gods", and after
        > death we, like it or not, run into the
        > consequences of what our Earthly deeds
        > "signified" for Them and the whole world.
        >
        > So . . . my course of action in response to the
        > WC does have an objective effect on the whole
        > world, whether I know it or not.  Ergo, it seems
        > to me, there must exist an optimal, a "best"
        > course of action for me -- "best" in the sense
        > that it is most helpful to the forward progress
        > of cosmic evolution.  But . . . I can't possibly
        > calculate all the effects of my deeds for the
        > whole Universe, forever.  Such a calculation is
        > simply beyond my knowledge and my capabilities.
        >
        > And so, it seems, I need some information from
        > Above; I need to get the facts, from the Gods, I
        > hope.  Bondarev says that the next step in 7fold
        > thinking is "beholding"; Steiner says that
        > spiritual inspiration comes first in "fantasy",
        > in the creating of mental images in
        > consciousness.  So, so, so . . . I try to wipe
        > the slate clean, to erase all my opinions and
        > prejudices, to allow that these might all be
        > wrong, and to open myself up to teaching from
        > Above.  And I try to do this in mental picturing.
        >
        > But I'm not getting any pictures; they don't
        > "come to" me. 
        >
        > I try to start off by creating some.  I visualize
        > myself with bowed head and folded hands walking
        > reverently under a sky filled with the onlooking
        > Higher Beings, the "choirs of angels".  I seem to
        > be walking toward a city (known to me, that I
        > recently passed by) from the southeast, along the
        > river that runs through it.  (I didn't plan this;
        > this is just the way the imaging worked out.)  I
        > see ahead of me, in or around the city, the
        > Dragon, writhing.  I get scared, and look around
        > for help.  To the left, south of the river, I
        > "see" Micha-El with His sword.  And then I
        > visualize the Christ somewhere above, somewhat to
        > the right.  I hope for help and protection from
        > Them.  But as I advance into the city, the Dragon
        > gets bigger and bigger, surrounding me, and I get
        > smaller and smaller. 
        >
        > Next step:  I did some more asking the Gods for
        > help in finding the optimal path for me in
        > dealing with the WC and their ilk.  Asking for
        > pictures.  Got some imagery of experiences over a
        > (nearby tidal) river and environs, in a sky-like
        > dome, with Russian-like saints and higher beings
        > in view.  Expansive, good feelings, but I still
        > had the question:  what does this have to do with
        > the WC and so on?  Is it that I must seek for
        > reverence and sincerity from any WC people who
        > want to "talk", or what?  Got pictures alright,
        > but not sure whether they were relevant.
        >
        > -- In another session, trying again:  The next
        > image that I get (one that seems relevant; there
        > are many, many that do not) is that of my face
        > with the "blessed" smile that comes from pure
        > thinking and reverence.  The thought that I get
        > now is that, whatever I do in relation to the WC
        > etc., I must maintain my "innocence", that is, I
        > must act toward them in a way that is completely
        > free of blame (against me), that is helpful to
        > them.  I had the thought that I might make them
        > the "offer" for them to come out of the WC, or at
        > least of suspending their activity there, and
        > trying to find the way out of their evident
        > unhappiness.  They do seem so unhappy, and the
        > way to greater happiness is so clear, and so
        > available.  The way is plain enough to find to
        > the kind of reverence that RS talks about in the
        > opening pages of *KoHW*, or at least to make the
        > moral decision to seek Truth over one's
        > prejudices.  Of course, to do this, really and
        > not merely by talk, requires self-awareness,
        > which requires work and sometimes some pain.  But
        > having made at least that little moral decision,
        > then one (with the consciousness normal in
        > technological-scientific culture) can do the kind
        > of self-aware thinking that RS taught in *PoF*. 
        > Most of the WC people and that ilk do seem to
        > have enough modern intellectual consciousness to
        > be able to do this much at least, and this
        > requires no belief, just a doing.  And if one
        > really does this, then one inherently thereby
        > also feels blessedness, love, in pure thinking. 
        > And thinking is most immediately available
        > experience of "spirit" for most of us in modern
        > consciousness.  With that experience of the
        > blessedness of thinking, then the way forward is
        > clear toward Anthroposophy; it's just a matter of
        > maintaining that feeling, and that consciousness,
        > while taking in the concepts of the results of
        > spiritual-scientific investigations.  Perhaps one
        > might have to pass through a little pain because
        > of the increased flow of life energy dissolving
        > the prejudices right down into the physical
        > organism, but that little pain is so minor
        > compared to the great gain in happiness and self-
        > reality.
        >
        > I had the thought that childhood in modern
        > society is so much harder even that it was when I
        > was a child, and getting harder all the time. 
        > The stresses are so much greater:  especially the
        > stress of early puberty bringing sexuality to
        > mere children, the stress of the sexualization of
        > society pushing children to sexiness younger and
        > younger, the stress of the collapse of family
        > life (hardly knowing their mothers, much less
        > their fathers), the stresses of the influx of
        > modern technology (TV, cell phones, computers,
        > etc., etc.), and the stresses of wrong education
        > -- the earliness of intellectualization, the
        > transportation, the crowding and dehumanization,
        > the violence, etc., etc. . . . and so on and on. 
        > Children need some relief so desperately, and
        > Steiner education tries, and is able, to bring
        > some relief, even a little.  But the WC people
        > try to deny children even this little relief. 
        > The WC campaign is so stupendously cruel -- cruel
        > not only to the living and the dead, but
        > especially cruel to children, who need Waldorf
        > education so desperately.  It is so hard to live
        > as human beings in modern society, especially for
        > children, and the WC campaign is to deny people
        > the information and the methods that they need to
        > live as human beings.  The WC people are mostly
        > unconscious of all this, but their cruelty is
        > still, effectively, so tremendous.  The WC
        > people, through fear and hatred and prejudice,
        > fight so hard against the Reality in
        > Anthroposophy; they live in such unhappiness, and
        > they try to make the rest of the world as unhappy
        > as they are.   And all this is so cruel.  The WC
        > people need a way out, and I should (?) offer
        > them the way out, such as I can, and such as
        > however many or few of them will accept.
        >
        > -- Another thought:  it seems that a lot of very
        > advanced human spirits are coming into
        > incarnation now.  There is this huge influx of
        > children who not only "trail clouds of glory"
        > behind them; they bring the glory with them. 
        > They see the heavens; they know the love; and
        > they give out the love in many ways, with amazing
        > skills that bring new beneficial inventions to
        > humanity.  But at the same time, there is a huge
        > influx of very bad human spirits; they are, as
        > Steiner said, those who seek to push the spirit
        > into the cesspool.  In these times the good is
        > getting so much better, and the bad is getting so
        > much worse, that it seems that a tremendous
        > battle is coming, even more of a battle between
        > good and evil than we have seen on earth in
        > recent times.
        >
        > And again, it is so hard especially for young
        > people to live human lives.  So much works
        > against the good that these advanced spirits
        > would bring:  such hindrances as technology,
        > family breakdown, economics, and particularly the
        > "educational" system.  The good are put down,
        > hindered, and maybe even dosed with Ritalin. 
        > Waldorf education is just a faint glimmer of
        > hope, of help, for these incoming spirits.  And
        > that's why the crime of the "Waldorf critics" is
        > so great:  they try to deny even this little
        > relief to the good incoming spirits, and thus to
        > deny to the wider society the good that these
        > advanced spirits might bring.
        >
        > I suppose, maybe, I could come to the WC and the
        > like, not to play their usual game, but to offer
        > them a way out of their misery.  At the least
        > they could see that the idea that Anthroposophy
        > is a crock is itself only a thought, and it came
        > about though some kind of thinking.  From that,
        > it is but a short step to see that thinking
        > itself is the activity that needs to be
        > investigated.  Thinking is the bedrock, and a
        > deeper experience of thinking is needed before
        > any other conclusions.  If one can come to a
        > deeper experience of thinking, the spirituality
        > and the blessings of thinking become a matter of
        > experience, and all else can follow from that.
        > The experience of the blessedness generates a
        > true reverence for Truth, for Reality, and the
        > path to Anthroposophy is wide open from there. --
        > And most of the WC people have at least enough of
        > modern consciousness that they could, with a
        > little goodwill, move to that deeper experience
        > of thinking.  The trick is, it all depends upon
        > that little bit of goodwill.  And that requires
        > some sincerity.  Can I find any sincerity there?
        >
        > -- In another meditation:  Asking the Gods again
        > to show me in pictures the optimal path for me in
        > dealing with the WC people.  Go a lot of images
        > of parents and elders in my youth and childhood
        > to whom I did not show enough respect, not only
        > "not show", but not have inwardly.  I blamed them
        > for their faults without appreciating enough
        > their goodness and achievements.  Translating
        > that picture to my question about the WC:  maybe
        > I don't have enough respect for them; not only
        > don't I show it, but I don't have it.  Maybe I
        > need to understand that, despite their faults,
        > still their achievements and strivings deserve
        > respect, because these, for all I know, might be 
        > real achievements.  Maybe they are more sincere
        > than I give them credit for?  Maybe they're doing
        > the best they can with the tools that they have,
        > given their life-paths?  Maybe?  Can I judge at
        > all, or do I have to give them the benefit of the
        > doubt?  Maybe I should apologize to them for
        > "condescending", as one of them said to me????
        >
        > (And maybe, as Steiner said, many of them might,
        > deep down, actually have a longing for
        > Anthroposophy:
        >
        > ("It often happens in life that a man deadens
        > himself to what lies in the subconscious; there
        > are people who may have an intense longing for
        > Anthroposophy â€" but they deaden it. By raging
        > against Anthroposophy they deaden this longing
        > and delude themselves by repudiating it. But
        > after death the longing asserts itself all the
        > more forcibly. The most ardent longing for
        > Anthroposophy often shows itself after death in
        > the very people who have raged against it in
        > life." [Links Between the Living and the Dead
        > (10th October, 1913; Bergen; GA 140)]
        > (I am aware that some in the WC already know of
        > this idea and sneer at it.  But, somehow, if the
        > right way of bringing up this longing could be
        > found before death, then maybe these "Sauls"
        > might become "Pauls"?)
        >
        > -- Another session, trying again to get some
        > message from the Gods about my optimal course in
        > relation to the WC etc. -- Got an image of my
        > recent visits to a restaurant where I was getting
        > food for someone sick and dying; had more of my
        > feeling in this session in relation to what I
        > went through back then, with the sickness and
        > death.  Had the thought:  I need to have more of
        > an earnest, serious, somber, even tragic feeling
        > in relation to the WC people; being freaked out
        > isn't nearly good enough; it isn't serious
        > enough, given what I have gotten in experience
        > from the Gods.  I must have more respect for the
        > WC people; I don't have enough knowledge to
        > determine that they -- all -- are not sincere at
        > some level.  More:  not only respect, but
        > seriousness and sobriety; being freaked out
        > trivializes the situation and demeans myself; it
        > is a sign of my own un-development.  Maybe pity
        > is condescending; I need rather to have respect
        > and seriousness?  However, I resolve not to let
        > them snow me; not to let them waste my time or
        > set my agenda.  But at least I can't let myself
        > merely be freaked out.
        >
        > -- Yet another session:  Still asking the Gods
        > for a visualization about my optimal path in
        > response to the WC etc.; not getting any pictures
        > that seem meaningful for this question, just
        > scenes from everyday life, with maybe a dome of
        > Beings overhead.  But I did get the idea from all
        > this, somehow, that I was not being gentle and
        > mild enough in relation to the WC people.  Being
        > freaked out is not mildness; being freaked out is
        > a sign of my own underdevelopment.  Seems that I
        > need to regard the WC inwardly with not only
        > respect but mildness, and not only outwardly but
        > deeply, inwardly.  This is what I gathered from
        > the thought of the Manicheans and their pacifism;
        > I need to be not only peaceful in my outward
        > actions but especially in my inward thoughts and
        > feeling.  Still, I can't let the WC people waste
        > my time or determine my work; they are still
        > hostile and their game is designed, perhaps
        > unconsciously, as a spider's web to ensnare the
        > Anthro and entangle him in futility.  But, for me
        > . . . mildness, mildness.
        >
        > -- Trying yet again:  There can be no
        > "desperation" in seeking the 4th stage or any
        > stage of the 7fold dialectic, if -- one regards
        > one's "lower self" from the vantage of the
        > "higher self".  That is, if one lives in one's
        > eternal being ("spirit"?), then one sees one's
        > striving for 7fold thinking like all other
        > strivings of the lower self, the transitory self,
        > the illusory self.  Desperation must be out; only
        > the serenity and calmness, the clear-sightedness,
        > of the view from the eternal can prevail.  To the
        > eternal self it is not a matter of desperation as
        > to whether or not the lower self achieves 7fold
        > thinking; it is a matter of objective viewing,
        > like all else transitory as seen from the
        > eternal, the inherently unchanging.
        >
        > -- Still yet another session:  Took a nap, kinda,
        > this afternoon, then as awoken, tried to
        > meditate; trying to experience more fully the
        > meanings themselves and the activity of thinking. 
        > Didn't do very well at that; then had the thought
        > that I needed to accept and recognize that which
        > I had already been given from the spiritual
        > worlds:  the information of Anthroposophy.  And I
        > needed to recognize that I did "know" it already,
        > in way, deep down, subconsciously, just as
        > everyone deep down already knows the Truth.  And
        > I can recognize it when I see it, just as I had
        > the experience "I have always known this" when I
        > first read *KoHW*.  And there's no excuse for not
        > acknowledging this "knowledge"; it's unreal not
        > to.  I couldn't say that no one ever told me; I
        > have been told, and that really is enough, if I'm
        > honest with myself.
        >
        > So . . . tried again to ask the Gods to give me
        > some pictures in answer to the question about my
        > cosmically optimal course in dealing with the WC
        > etc.  Got a picture, a scene from my daily life
        > of the past few years, and the feeling from the
        > picture was that of coldness, bleakness,
        > tiredness, almost despair.  And I had the
        > thought:   "I have to work with the tools that I
        > have."  I had almost had this same thought at the
        > scene pictured.  And that seemed to be a kind of
        > answer to my question:  in dealing with the WC I
        > can at best work only with the tools that I have. 
        > And I have only modest tools; I'm tired; I don't
        > have a lot of time, even though I'm getting more
        > time online than I have over the past few years. 
        > I don't have access to all the minutiae that the
        > WC want to discuss.  I tried years ago to get a
        > discussion going in the WC about the basics, and
        > no one there wanted to talk about that, really;
        > not even any of the lurkers came forward.  So,
        > this is about all that I can do with the tools
        > that I have:  talk about the basics with people
        > who are sincere and willing to listen.  I can't
        > let the WC people sap my time and energy playing
        > their usual games.  I can do only that which I
        > *can* do, with my tools.  To try to do anything
        > else would be unrealistic, and to be unrealistic
        > is to be ineffective.  And my question was about
        > the most effective way of countering the WC.
        >
        > My way might not be the right way for everyone,
        > but I think that all Anthros need to at least ask
        > those same questions:  Are the WC and their ilk
        > merely wasting my time in endless discussion of
        > minutiae, while the real questions are much more
        > basic:  the need for reverence for truth, and the
        > moral decision to choose objective thinking over
        > a preference for one's own prejudices.  And
        > reverence for Truth sometimes entails a demand
        > for self-awareness, and that demand sometimes
        > entails some pain.  I think that the real problem
        > with the WC and their kind is not as much what is
        > discussed on the surface as what lies beneath the
        > surface.  And one can get under the surface only
        > by going into the basics, and in a real way, not
        > merely by talking.  One must appeal for sincerity
        > and self-awareness.
        >
        > -- Another session, trying to think objectively. 
        > The concepts, not I, do the thinking.  Expanded. 
        > Asking the question about the WC.  Mental
        > pictures of my recent travel to/from a family
        > funeral.  Got the idea:  the best path for RM is
        > not only to help most effectively the living, but
        > also the dead.  Do the dead need endless
        > discussions of the WC agenda?  Or something more
        > basic?
        >
        > -- And:  the need to help the animals and all
        > creation, which "groaneth and travaileth".  Does
        > the WC discussion do this, or is something else
        > needed?
        >
        > -- Not only do I want to "talk" to help "others",
        > but I crave the human contact.  I am the most
        > immediate tool which I can work with, and this is
        > a condition of that tool.  I must work with the
        > tools that I have.
        >
        > -- Yet again thinking, asking again about my
        > optimal course, trying to get some "beholding"
        > visualizations.  Got the image of my aunt's and
        > uncle's home area in the country; got the feeling
        > of the slowness, the simplicity of the faith
        > there, even the "backwardness", a<br/><br/>(Message over 64 KB, truncated)
      • Robert Mason
        ... – that you have put a lot of effort into something that is quite far removed from the core business itself.
        Message 3 of 3 , May 8 9:46 AM
        • 0 Attachment
          To Robert Barnskog, who wrote:

          >>. . . . but it seems – when reading your post
          – that you have put a lot of effort into
          something that is quite far removed from the
          "core business" itself.<<

          Robert M writes:

          But a big point I was trying to make is that for
          the WC Waldorf education isn't really the "core
          business". IMO the talk there about Waldorf
          education is just "surface stuff" (that's
          American psycho-babble). I try to see under the
          surface to the real "stuff", the real "core
          business". And I "see", really, under the
          surface, hatred of the Christ. Opposition to
          Waldorf education is really a way of opposing
          the Christ.

          Robert B wrote:

          >>. . . . look for other people and found a new
          system, without the "problematic" esoteric
          background.<<

          RM writes:

          That may already be happening. I'm told that
          even in Germany maybe a third of Waldorf
          teachers aren't even Anthroposophists. But I
          don't know much about that.

          RB wrote:

          >>If you still think it is worth putting energy
          into Waldorf, I think it is best to be
          completely open with the esoteric background.<<

          RM writes:

          I agree; I'm against deception. I think I made
          that point in my long post. But sometimes even
          the Waldorf teachers might not know about the
          "esoteric background".

          RB wrote:

          >>Regarding the 7fold thinking: what do you plan
          to use it for? Is it an "esoteric tool" or
          something you intend to use for everyday life?<<

          Robert M writes:

          If you go to my Web page that I linked and read
          about 7fold thinking from the beginning, you'll
          get a pretty good idea of how I got into it. I
          got that idea from Bondarev, and I saw how he
          found the 7fold pattern throughout *PoF*. I
          tried to parse some Steiner texts, and I found
          the 7fold pattern there, if I looked for it.
          And so it seemed to me that Bondarev was really
          onto something; it made more and more sense.
          But soon it wasn't enough for me only to parse
          existing texts; I wanted to learn how to do it
          -- the thinking. I had already wanted at least
          to learn, in this incarnation, how to *think*.
          This wish has only gotten stronger as time goes
          on and death gets closer. It seems that
          thinking is 7folded; and why not? -- Everything
          else in the world is 7folded. So, I am trying
          to learn how to think 7foldedly.

          And, if Bondarev is right, this kind of thinking
          needs to become ever more "exoteric", if
          civilization is to be saved. And I may be the
          only one who is trying to do it, in English, as
          far as I know. It seems to me that at least one
          lone guy should make the try.

          So, I do it for myself and, hopefully, for the
          wider world. But, as Steiner tells us, even
          work upon oneself *is* work for the world. I
          hope that more will come of it later; right now,
          I'm just trying.

          Robert M
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