Thinking about Thinking in Relation to Elf and Starman Discussion
- I believe that the chaotic, cloudy thinking that is opposite of
Buddha mind as stated by Elf is thinking that is unconscious of
itself. The observer is conscious of objects, ideas that enter from
the outside, and feelings but is not conscious of his own thinking.
Thinking is a spiritual path, an initiation, when we think about
We may momentarily glimpse higher states of consciousness, but such
states can not be permanently achieved without making our thinking an
object of our observation.
Steiner states in Chap 3:
"When thinking is made the object of observation, to the rest
of the elements to be observed is added something which usually
escapes attention; but the manner in which the other things are
approached by man is not altered. One increases the number of
observed objects, but not the number of methods of observation. While
we are observing the other things, there mingles in the universal
process, in which I now include observation, one process which is
overlooked. Something different from all other processes is present,
but is not noticed. But when I observe my thinking, no such unnoticed
element is present. For what now hovers in the background is, again,
nothing but thinking. The observed object is qualitatively the same
as the activity directed upon it. And that is another characteristic
feature of thinking. When we observe it, we do not find ourselves
compelled to do so with the help of something qualitatively
different, but can remain within the same element."
So when we observe thinking, the unknown element, thinking, no
longer lies in the background. The unconscious background element
becomes identical to the object. Although Steiner uses the
term "object" as a familiar term of observation, I think that he has
already transcended the subject-object dichotomy because when we
examine thinking the object arises out of ourselves. Thinking about
thinking is an expansion of the "I" where it permeates world content
as opposed to the I being set up against a separate world.
Later Steiner says that when we examine thinking, we create the
object; since this "thinking object" is created from our own
substance, then examining thinking must be a path to self knowledge--
this reconciles Elf and Starman-we start with unexamined thinking--
the cloudy and chaotic and move toward seeing thinking which reveals
the" gaps in the thoughts"--that is why observing our own thinking is
a "spiritual activity", a form of initiation.
Further on Steiner says:"This, then, is beyond doubt: In thinking we
are grasping a corner of the universal process, where our presence is
required if anything is to come about."--ie, in examining thinking,
our own thinking, universal processes are revealed and we as
individual thinking egos are necessary to the the unfoldment of the
macrocosm. Thinking is not just a means to observation, but it is an
active process of universal creation.