Ahriman versus the Archbishop of Canterbury

When the anthropopper was a boy at school in the 1950s, each day we had what was called an “assembly” in the school hall. It was in fact a short, non-denominational Christian religious service in which we sang a hymn, said a prayer and listened to an address by the head master or another teacher, and then went on to routine announcements about what was happening in the school. There were always a few children of other faiths, who stayed outside the hall for the religious part of the assembly.

School assemblies in the UK were provided for in the 1944 Education Act. Schools in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland were required (and still are to this day) to provide daily acts of collective worship. In Scotland, some form of religious observance is required. If the school is a faith school, these acts must be in line with the specific religion. In non-religious schools, the acts need to be broadly Christian in character without favouring any particular Christian denomination.

However, a recent report by the University of Leicester says that the duty of British schools to arrange daily acts of collective worship should be scrapped. The study, for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, says such acts, which must be Christian in nature, could discriminate against other religions. It adds there is no clear rationale for the duty, and that parents are often unaware they can withdraw their children from religious assemblies. The report also highlights how in 2004, the Chief Inspector of Schools for England drew Parliament’s attention to the fact that 76% of secondary schools were breaking the law by failing to provide daily acts of worship.

The statutory duty to provide an act of collective worship or religious observance in schools has been controversial for decades. Atheists and secular humanist have never liked it and there is disagreement about the appropriateness of such acts in an increasingly multicultural UK.

The Department for Education said the daily act of collective worship encourages children to reflect on belief, and helps shape fundamental British values of tolerance, respect and understanding for others. A spokesman said: “It is for schools to tailor their provision to suit the needs of their pupils, and parents can withdraw their children from all or any part of collective worship.”

The situation in the UK in 2015 is clearly very different from how it was seventy years ago and there are children of many other faiths and none in our schools whose needs should be respected and represented in school assemblies. But the fact remains that the culture in the UK has been formed over many hundreds of years on the basis of Christian values and traditions and in the anthropopper’s view, it is useful for children of any faith or none to have some idea about where this culture came from. It gives each of us a context in which we can frame our own views and decide what we choose to believe.

Fewer and fewer people today seem to share this view, however, and it is clear that to express any form of interest in, let alone belief, in spiritual values is to commit some kind of social faux pas. I was talking to a priest the other day and she told me that during a conversation while she was having her hair cut, she was asked what her work was. When she said “minister of religion”, everyone in the hairdresser’s shop went quiet, in some kind of embarrassed silence. “It was,” she said, “as though people thought I was going to judge them, when that is the very last thing on my mind.”

And now it appears that we have reached a point where even a sixty-second advert from the Church of England, based on the Lord’s Prayer, is deemed too embarrassing and divisive to be shown in cinemas. This is due to a decision by the Digital Cinema Media agency (DCM), which handles advertising for cinemas in the major chains.

DCM won’t accept ads with religious content in cinemas lest they offend “those of differing faiths and of no faith”. So it seems that, unlike a feature film which may contain scenes of rape, torture, sadism, massacre and all kinds of horrors, it’s too upsetting for cinemagoers to view one minute of the Archbishop of Canterbury and others saying the Lord’s Prayer.

Despite its potentially shocking nature, the church’s advert was passed uncut by the British Board of Film Classification and given a “U” certificate, as well as receiving clearance from the Cinema Advertising Authority.

You can watch the advert on YouTube and decide for yourself. I looked at it and thought it was rather good; the words of the Lord’s Prayer are said and sung by people at work in factories and fields, by schoolchildren, body builders, police officers and a black gospel choir. I imagine that atheists, rationalists, skeptics and those of other faiths are robust enough not to be too traumatised by it.

The decision by DCM should perhaps not be unexpected in the Age of the Consciousness Soul, during which according to Owen Barfield, “…man experiences isolation, loneliness, materialism, loss of faith in the spiritual world, above all, uncertainty. The soul has to make up its mind and to act in a positive way on its own unsupported initiative. And it finds great difficulty in doing so. For it is too much in the dark to be able to see any clear reason why it should, and it no longer feels the old (instinctive) promptings of the spirit within”.

But this may also be the age of the incarnation of Ahriman, which Rudolf Steiner said was likely to happen at the beginning of the 21st century. Whether Ahriman is in bodily form or not, he is clearly working well and confusing us in the West with moral relativism. I can’t help but think, however, that his followers in the East would also have found the advert offensive but, unlike DCM, would have no truck with any such namby-pamby protection of cinemagoers’ sensitivities. Instead, the representatives of IS, Isil, Islamic State, Daesh or whatever name we are currently supposed to use, would go straight to the cinema to spray with bullets anyone who was decadent enough to watch the advert or the feature film. No doubt DCM was trying to avoid provoking them.

9 Comments

Filed under Anthroposophy, Moral Relativism, Uncategorized

9 responses to “Ahriman versus the Archbishop of Canterbury

  1. Dear Jeremy,

    We both live in the western hemisphere, and grew up in the 1950’s. Born and living in America, I was fortunate enough to remember the yearly Christmas festival in grade school, and how much it evoked a very solemn sense of warmth and communal love at year-end, often accompanied by bitter cold and wonderful snow, and the Christmas Tree, which conveyed its gifts of the mystery of redemption and salvation, although as a child I only knew it rather subconsciously as an entirely felt experience.

    This reverence has long since passed away in the American education system, which has for many years acknowledged the need to be more general and cosmopolitan in its recognition of diverse cultures living here. Thus, what is now becoming a social pressure in Britain to relinquish Christian praxis in favor of a more general communal belief, or non-belief,
    has been the norm here for the last three decades. I know because my kids saw the transition into the idea of a “winter festival” in replacement of the formerly solemn Christmas festival.

    Indeed, Ahriman is the culprit, and would like nothing better than to have all of humanity under his foot for all time. Our respective education systems are parallel in this aim, with rationalism, materialism, and the outer-external viewpoint of the merely pragmatical flow of linear-chronology holding sway. That is why the completion of secondary school so easily passes into the so-called “higher education” of the academics, who only continue the charade of a fine pragmatism, which only advances the “fable convenue of history”, as Rudolf Steiner often warned would be the fate of the struggling Consciousness Soul age.

    Ahriman is said to be on schedule to physically incarnate in the first third of this third millennium, and this will happen, based on all that can be easily discerned by observation and experience today. The twentieth century was a veritable harbinger of the fact that this incarnation is inevitable. Our “fair herr professor” from Milwaukee bears many earmarks, and other signs and symbols of this very incarnation.

    In fact, a laundry list could be drawn up in support of it, although I’ll wait on that and see if we can get the attention.

    Regards,

    Steve

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  2. Ian Trousdell

    I saw that the ArchB had doubts about God after Paris attacks. Glad he wasn’t on duty during WWII. Has he thought much about human freedom I wonder?

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    • Mary Lou Bethune

      Did the Archbishop really say that he had doubts about God? I cannot believe that. But I do believe that Ahriman is here but then so is Christ and we are called to chose.

      Like

      • Dear Mary,

        If the Archbishop has doubts about God, considering his profession, then he is likely showing signs of wear and tear due to this utterly ludicrous “war on terror”. History has its symptoms, and this ‘war’ is keenly evident of the Ahrimanic nature of the world today, which is cracking under its own great weight.

        Jeremy has indicated the mere advert of the Lord’s Prayer, wherein it is hoped and encouraged that folks might take a moment out of their preciously significant day to recite it. Yet, who cannot be astounded at such paucity of reverent feeling in today’s environment, when we consider Rudolf Steiner’s profound explanation of the meaning of this prayer:

        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/LorPry_index.html
        1/28/1907, GA96

        Herein, the recitation is all about the sevenfold church of the human evolutionary being in this Earth-stage of the Logos of God. The Ego first makes itself conscious in this fourth sphere, and exactly at the point in time where we stand today. This is where the conflict is experienced.

        We live at a time in which a so-called, “Great War” exists. C.S. Lewis and Owen Barfield had one on a very small (microcosmic) scale for five years back in the mid 1920’s, but the one that we face today is much bigger. Barfield’s words, which Jeremy selected to cite about our present age are extremely important:

        “according to Owen Barfield, “…man experiences isolation, loneliness, materialism, loss of faith in the spiritual world, above all, uncertainty. The soul has to make up its mind and to act in a positive way on its own unsupported initiative. And it finds great difficulty in doing so. For it is too much in the dark to be able to see any clear reason why it should, and it no longer feels the old (instinctive) promptings of the spirit within”.”

        As well, I would like to reference from the preceding thread something that pertains very much to what this topic is about. It concerns faith and conviction in the one who knows, and this is what Friedrich Rittlemeyer experienced and conveyed in his fifteen-year experience in knowing Rudolf Steiner. Jeremy wrote:

        “Friedrich Rittelmeyer’s book, “Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life”, is a fascinating account by the founder and first leader of the Christian Community of his personal experience of Rudolf Steiner. In it, Rittelmeyer describes how, with great caution, he took ten years to investigate and scrutinise Steiner’s body of thought, before coming to his final conviction of the unparalleled greatness of Steiner’s spirit. This is just the process that Steiner advises all of us to adopt where he is concerned.”

        Now we stand one hundred years later, after the original opportunity was missed, i.e., 1915/196, and must truly consider what it means when Steiner says that another hundred years will be needed. Well, this is our time today. Yet, just look at the obstacles.

        Regards,

        Steve

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  3. Dear Anthropoppers,

    When we consider the Mystery of Evil, which exists today because the Mystery of Death was solved by Christ, then it becomes quite a paradox that the solution to death begets the problem of evil. Yet, it is so. Our salvation from a further and terminal descent into the underworld, by the Mystery of Golgotha, means the positive path of ascent, and yet also having to face the inevitability of the ‘being of evil’, who directly opposes Christ.

    Thus, Michael is to the Mystery of Evil, and its solution, as Christ is to the Mystery of Death, which has been solved. The Michael-Christ connection is the inseparable relationship of Two who hold human evolution on Earth as their full-time professions.

    Now, in considering the Archbishop of Canterbury’s recent remark concerning where God was, and stood, with regard to the Paris attacks, we actually have a very good question, which should not dismay anyone who sees how evil must be dealt with. The Archbishop, Justin Welby, also condones military retaliation on the part of England, which is a courageous gesture, and suggests a strong Michael affiliation in the continued ‘War on Terror’, which could be likened to a second “Hundred Years War”, in which Joan of Arc would finally solve, bearing the Christ Impulse from birth.

    If we contrast the two key figures of the western churches, as they might relate to the Christ Impulse, what do they say? The Archbishop has an issue with God, and tells Him so, while the other figure, the Pope of the Roman Catholic church, says what? He has no recourse but to say:
    “It is God’s Will”; which means we must abide.

    So, what appears the better decision; to ask God what is going on, or simply resign oneself to, “God’s Will’? Is Michael even to be found in the Catholic church? And hasn’t Christ rather been reduced to “the simple man of Nazareth known as Jesus”?

    Joan of Arc won the Hundred Year’s War for France, bearing the Christ Impulse from birth. Today, the idea of England defending the outrage in Paris is a wonderfully courageous testimony to this Impulse working in the world.

    Regards,

    Steve

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    • David Clark

      Hi Steve,

      You wrote: “…Well, this is our time today.Yet just look at the obstacles.

      Hmm … Isn’t that seemingly insoluble problem only part of our possibilities? Wouldn’t it be more valuable to find fresh strength and see a way through the obstacles?

      David

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  4. Dear Jeremy,

    If Ahriman vs. the Archbishop of Canterbury entails a noteworthy viewpoint, it can also be shown where blatant ahrimanic favour is found among the academics. Our “fair herr professor”, Dr. Staudenmaier, of Jesuit Marquette University has made it his curriculum vitae to expound a purely ahrimanic history of the twentieth century, wherein the German nation is to be found utterly guilty of complicity in crimes against humanity.

    If we take the professor’s latest post on his home-base WC forum today, it demonstrates again a keen hatred of the recent past, and attempts to complicate it all in adroit scholarly terms. The title is : The Vril Myth.
    Here is the text:

    Last year Eva Kingsepp published a fine review, in English, of Julian Strube’s excellent study of the Vril myth (Julian Strube, Vril: Eine okkulte Urkraft in Theosophie und esoterischem Neonazismus, Munich 2013). Kingsepp’s review appeared in the journal Aries, vol. 14 (2014), 264-67. It is now available electronically. I would be happy to send a pdf to anybody interested. The opening paragraph of the review reads:

    “Until quite recently “Nazi occultism” has mainly been a topic confined to spectacular crypto-or pseudo-history and popular fiction, while serious scholarly research has been, to say the least, scarce. Almost 30 years after Goodrick- Clarke’s seminal The Occult Roots of Nazism it seems that academia is slowly beginning to acknowledge this as a field worthy of exploration. This is not because of its historical qualities—as the concept per se is highly questionable—but with regard to the substantial impact it has had on post-war popular culture and right-wing political movements, thereby also on collective memories of the Nazi era. In fact, many—if not most—popular narratives of “Nazi occultism” are founded on dubious revisionist concepts of history, not only by falsifying and/or distorting well-documented historical facts. Although not revisionist in the sense of Holocaust deniers, several of them are certainly trivializing the Nazi crimes and racist ideology in an ethically highly questionable way by “explaining” this as basically being the evil deeds of black magicians. Consequently, the victims are reduced to commodities, mere objects used in human sacrifice, thus once again dehumanized and bereft of their dignity. The lack of serious scholarly attention has certainly contributed to the success of this Nazi exploitation genre, as one of its main arguments is precisely that academia is neglecting the occult aspects of Nazi Germany.”

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/waldorf-critics/conversations/messages/30761

    “Staudi” of Marquette, which is in Wisconsin of the USA, has often been characterized as a “straw man” in his attempts to cover up what makes for the American control system, which is under the auspices of Ahriman. As such, it is the duty of every American academic to serve Ahriman in every description of human scholarship, including modern German history.

    definition: straw man
    a person whose importance or function is only nominal, as to cover another’s activities; front. a fabricated or conveniently weak or innocuous person, object, matter, etc., used as a seeming adversary or argument.

    America is where the so-called, “war on terror” started. Bush-Blair was a lie in which both nations know of it. Yet, academics like Staudenmaier, raise another false flag in placing the blame where it does not belong.

    One day, it will be known where Soradt resides in order to inflict war and terror on the world. And the academics will be left in the wind to blow.

    Regards,

    Steve

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  5. Hi David,

    I find nothing insoluble in advocating Spiritual Science. In fact, by indicating various obstacles, such as the opposition to Spiritual Science by the very fact that it exists to inconvenience certain people, it only serves to strengthen the resolve to take responsibility and serve its higher aims for a better world. I had hoped to make this clear. Steiner made a very solemn statement to Rittelmeyer that if Spiritual Science didn’t achieve its proper place as a recognized movement, c. 1915/1916, that it would have to wait another one hundred years for the opportunity. This is now! Yet, can we do it as effectively as he did it?

    The Spiritual-scientific movement has existed for 115 years, and for 90 of those years, Rudolf Steiner has not been here to carry on. And no successor was ever designated, nor has the GAS in the aftermath of Steiner’s death continued with the initiatives of the Christmas Conference of 1923 with any of the fire and enthusiastic dedication that Steiner so carefully prepared and encouraged.

    Obstacles on the path have only increased over time, yet the Michael Impulse lives on with great strength. Being honest about where we stand is all I am alluding to here. Spiritual Science is the enemy of Evil because it can reveal it and disable it. Knowledge is Power.

    Steve

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  6. Hi David,

    You need to realize that when you take a mere line, e.g., “…Well, this is our time today. Yet just look at the obstacles.”, and then judge it with a simple “Hmm”, and then go on to talk of an “insoluble problem”…, that you have failed to read and really listen to all that has come before that mere line that you chose to focus your attention on?

    This, in fact, is a very typical and well-worn method of the critics under the tutelage of Dr. Staudenmaier, who trains them to strain as little context as possible out of a sentence, and then make grand claims concerning the ineptitude of the anthroposophist. I trust that you see how you have done it yourself.

    Please read all that I have written on this topic, as well as the previous trilogy on the ‘Staudi phenomenon’. I am quite sure that you will see that I am not at a loss in seeing the issues. As well, since you seem to have made a nice case for listening and full context, I have to wonder why you would not make more of an opportunity to communicate the full weight of this discussion, which is largely about the Mystery of Evil and its defeat.

    I also wrote a longer response concerning Steiner’s trepidation a hundred years ago as to whether he was being listened to, and maybe that will appear along side this comment.

    Steve

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