The world needs our free deeds of love

Does the following describe our situation?

“The greatest ecological crisis in the Earth’s history began with the emission of climate-changing gases by an organism that had spread widely across the planet, colonising many of its ecological niches. These gases – the waste products of its lifestyle – gradually accumulated in the atmosphere. For a long time nothing noticeably changed, but at some stage a tipping point was reached and the planet’s climate flipped rapidly from one state to another. The composition of the atmosphere changed, becoming poisonous to most life on Earth, and the planet’s mean temperature plunged, precipitating a global ice age. The resulting mass extinction killed perhaps 90% of all living things on Earth.”

It could be a description of our present and near-future but in fact this was the situation 2.3 billion years ago, as described in an essay by Paul Kingsnorth:

“The climate-changing organisms were bacteria, and the poisonous gas they emitted was oxygen. Without the planetary catastrophe they precipitated, you, and almost everything you know about the Earth you are part of, would never have come about at all. All told, there have so far been at least five, and perhaps as many as twenty, ‘mass extinction events’ in the history of Earth. This first – known as the ‘great oxygen catastrophe’ – was the most far-reaching. The last, 66 million years ago, is the one we know best, because it is the most appealing to the human imagination: it wiped out the dinosaurs. Overall, it is estimated that around 98% of all organisms that have ever existed are now gone forever.”

So in taking a long view, it seems as though here on Earth an evolutionary process is continuing that involves extinctions and the disappearance of whole species. Today we appear to be approaching a similar crisis, sometimes called the Sixth Mass Extinction, the difference being that this time it is humans who have brought themselves and all life on Earth to a tipping point.

Climate instability is the major threat facing us today, but there are others. In 2018, the World Economic Forum listed the 5 risks that it believes will have the biggest impact in the next 10 years as:

  • Weapons of mass destruction
  • Extreme weather events
  • Natural disasters
  • Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation
  • Water crises

Millennials (ie 18 to 35-year olds, those people who became young adults during the 21stcentury) and who participated in the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Survey 2017 also said that they thought human-made climate change is the most serious issue affecting the world today, despite their worries about their own economic prospects.

Anders Sandberg from the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford has listed five existential risks apart from climate change, ie those risks that threaten to wipe out humanity and most of life on Earth:

  • Nuclear war
  • Bioengineered pandemics
  • Superintelligence (Nicanor Perlas’s book, Humanity’s Last Stand, is well worth reading on this)
  • Nanotechnology
  • Unknown unknowns

I’m sure you will have your own list of risks, whether existential or what one might call ‘global but survivable’ risks. Mine includes the following:

  1. Climate instability (as Rachel Carson put it: “Man is a part of nature and his war against nature is inevitably a war against himself.”)
  2. Over-population. The world human population reached one billion by 1804 and has increased seven-fold in the 200 years since. It is projected to reach 11 billion by 2050.
  3. The triumph of materialism; and human inability to recognise that we are both physical and spiritual beings. Steiner offers us the possibility of making ourselves truly “free spirits”. Materialism does just the opposite. It seeks to reduce us to creatures completely determined by heredity and our genes, hence totally unfree.
  4. The breakdown of social trust and the sense of hopelessness that so many people feel about the possibility of positive change. To counteract this, requires each of us to find within our own individual consciousness the direction in which our thinking, willing and feeling are to follow.

But because it leads to so many other associated problems, climate instability is at the top of my list of risks. For anyone of my daughter’s age, that is to say people under the age of 30 – more than half the world’s population – the experience of a stable climate is entirely unknown. Not a single month in their lifetime has fallen within the limited range of temperature, precipitation or storm activity that governed the planet for the previous 10,000 years. We are living through the change from the Holocene geological epoch, which has been with us since the last glacial period, to the human-made Anthropocene. A single species, Homo sapiens, has through its activities moved the planet from one geological epoch to another, an occurrence without precedent in the paleoclimatic record.

Despite President Trump’s denial of the reality of climate change, the experience of many of his fellow Americans indicates that something extraordinary is actually happening. Here is an example from Texas, which might give even Trump pause for thought: the quantity of rain deposited on Houston during Hurricane Harvey was consistent with at least a 500-year storm – a flooding event so rare as to be expected to occur only once between the discovery of America by Columbus and today. Yet Houston has experienced a ‘500-year’ flood in each of the last three years. For the last 10,000 years, the probability of a 500-year storm occurring in three successive years would have been 1 in 125,000,000. In the current age of climate instability, the probability of such an occurrence is unknown but appears to be rising.

A teacher of 14-year olds recently told me that her pupils are extremely worried about their futures because of climate instability and they cannot understand why the world appears to be doing so little about it. I responded by saying that I shared their anxieties and had felt comparable fears when I was 11 years old, back in 1962 at the time of the Cuban missile crisis. (This was the 13-day confrontation in October 1962 between the United States and the Soviet Union initiated by American ballistic missile deployment in Italy and Turkey with consequent Soviet ballistic missile deployment in Cuba.) At the height of the crisis I remember riding my bike through Town Park in Enfield, north London, and looking at the beautiful tall plane trees there, and thinking that those trees and all life, including myself and my family, could be vapourised within the next three days as a result of nuclear war.

Today I reflect that my parents’ generation must have felt equally fearful about their futures during the Second World War, which led to an estimated death toll of between 50 to 80 million people; and my grandparents were surely almost as worried during the First World War, which resulted in 17 million deaths and 20 million wounded. As I have written elsewhere, the last 100 years have been the most terrible in human history. Anthroposophists will tend to think that these have all been part of what might be expected as precursor events to the incarnation of Ahriman.

Steiner was not trying to scare us out of our wits but rather to emphasise the importance of this inescapable event which humanity must go through; and above all, if we are wise and stay awake to what is going on, it can be used to advance human development through developing a clear and conscious relationship to all that will enter into human culture through the powerful influence of this being.

What all of this indicates to me is that the evolutionary process is continuing and humanity is now confronted with the challenge either to evolve or to face the consequences. From Rudolf Steiner’s perspective of human evolution, since the 15th century we have been developing what he calls the consciousness soul (you can read more about Steiner’s view of human evolution in his book Occult Science) and this is a process that will continue for a very long time yet. Steiner gave two possibilities for the course of human evolution:

“Now, however, we have come to the time — in this epoch of human evolution that began in the middle of the fifteenth century — when we face the necessity of ascending once more to the spirit. (…)

Then you will be capable of perceiving that in the course of spiritual evolution human life runs its course in repeated earth lives. For the whole span of man’s life consists of an alteration between the kind of lives he spends in a physical body and another form of existence between death and a new birth, spent in the super-sensible worlds which are connected with our world through the spirit that is also at work in historical evolution. (…)

If we continue with the kind of thing the materialistic age has brought into human evolution in recent times, we shall get further and further removed from the spirit and more and more attached to matter. But if we turn our minds to our super-sensible nature and develop this in ourselves, we shall add the results of spirit vision to the dazzling achievements of the materialistic natural scientific outlook. This spirit vision will then be like the soul of the world conception of outer nature. These two ways are open to human evolution today: either to keep to a perception of the material world and drag mankind further into chaos and distress, or to give birth to our higher inner being from out of our super-sensible nature and the super-sensible world. One of these directions, the materialistic way, can already be seen in the ripples it sends to the surface. (…)

If we carry on in the first direction, the effect on European spiritual life will be that man’s spirit will become mechanisedman’s soul vegetative and man’s body animalised. This is the fate that actually threatens us today. If men become addicted to this western mechanisation of the spirit, this state of being will combine with eastern animalisation, which means that social demands will be on a level of animal instinct and blind impulse. Western mechanisation and eastern animalisation are connected one with another. In between these is the vegetative or drowsy nature of soul that does not want to be woken up by a treading of the path to the spirit. This is the one perspective. Mankind will have to choose between becoming mechanised in spirit, vegetative in soul and animalised in body or going the other way. Hardship and distress will no doubt eventually drive us into going the other way. And although it will be the other people who have the power (ie the materialists), they will not be able to bar us from going this other way, the way leading to the spirit. We shall have to want to go this way. We shall have to want to keep our spirit free, even if our bodies are in bondage.”

As far as I’m aware, Steiner said nothing about the possibility that we might be moving from one geological epoch to an entirely human-induced new one, or that we might also be moving from the extinction of Homo sapiens to a new form of human being, what Yuval Noah Harari has called Homo deus. This goes together in the coming merger of the human being with infinitely intelligent machines, as predicted by Ray Kurzweil, Google’s senior futurist. On this last point, Steiner said this about human beings and machines:

“One of these great problems will be concerned with finding out how to place the spiritual etheric forces at the service of practical life. I have told you that in this epoch we have to solve the problem of how the radiations from human states of mind are carried over into machines; of how human beings are to be brought into relation with an environment which must become increasingly mechanised. The welding together of human beings with machines will be a great and important problem for the rest of the earth-evolution”.

How can we cope with such developments and how can we find meaning in them and even a basis for hope and optimism?

Looking at nos. 3 and 4 on my list of risks above, ie materialism and the associated human inability to recognise the spiritual side of life; and the breakdown of social trust and the sense of hopelessness that people feel about the possibility of positive change, it seems to me that overcoming both of these are crucial to our survival as a species – and if we can make some progress with those, then we will also be in a position to make progress with climate instability and over-population.

I find some ideas from Rudolf Steiner’s lecture Supersensible Man, Freewill, Immortality of the Soul given in Munich on 1st May 1918 (not available online) to be helpful in this respect. Here is part of what he says:

“Twenty-five years ago, it seemed to me particularly important to enter a protest in a philosophical work (The Philosophy of Freedom)against a widespread misconception, a misconception that can be summed up in the phrase, “Love makes us blind.” I showed that, on the contrary, love makes us seeing. It guides us into an area that we cannot enter if we remain egotistically isolated in our own selfhood, and it does this the moment we are able to sacrifice ourselves sufficiently to live with our feelings in another’s being, to live within it for the very reason that we hold its independence sacred and have no desire to impinge upon it with our love. We cannot call a love perfect that wants to meddle with the nature of the loved person and make changes in it. We love truly when we love a person for his own sake, to the point where the one who loves forgets himself. When we feel love for someone wholly independent of ourselves, someone whom we love especially well just because we are conscious of his separateness, and have not the slightest desire to influence him in any way tinged with our egotism, when we love him purely for his own sake rather than for ours, then this feeling to which we can rise is truly the ideal of the love that, I am convinced, makes us seeing, not blind. This love can be developed for an action, for what we find needs doing when we give ourselves up to pure contemplation of some action. Among the many and varied actions born of our desires and instincts there can be others that at least move in the direction of the kind of impulse that carries out an action purely out of love for it. (…) The only question is whether it is possible for actions of this kind to be included in human life, whether actions born of love can become a reality in human living. Even if we recognise that such a thing as action born of love is possible to human life, we can probably still not call man free in the entirety of his being but must rather say that he comes closer and closer to freedom the more he transforms his behaviour in the direction of making his deeds acts performed out of love”.

In the same lecture, Steiner describes how in ordinary life we are unaware of our immortal part but even though it remains at an unconscious or sub-conscious level, it is nevertheless present:

“It is present in unconscious inspirations, as also in moral ideas, regardless of whether they are right or wrong; it is present on occasions when we are not taken up with ourselves, but develop – in warmth of love for an action such as I described (ie an action performed out of love) – an energy that carries us beyond the confines of self-interest.

Here something remarkable reveals itself in human nature. When something that is present only at an unconscious level, namely, this unconscious imagination that is a personal possession and that, as I described, can only be made effective by love, works in concert with intuitive or inspired thinking as this shines in from its own sphere to illumine ideas … when this thinking, that is born not of man’s mortal part but of what is immortal in him, works in concert with the imagination that ordinarily remains unconscious but takes on an instinctual character in us when we conceive love for an action … when as I say this instinctive love, which is an instinctual expression of the imagination described, acts on a person in such a way as to move him to make use through inspiration of what shines into him from the time before his birth, then an immortal element works on the immortal element in man. An idea, born of the immortal world that we experience before our birth, works in concert with the immortal element that manifests itself on an unconscious level in imagination and returns again to the spiritual world through the gates of death.

Thus man is capable of actions in which his immortal part, otherwise revealed only after death, becomes an effective force during his earthly life and works in concert with free ideas issuing, through inspiration, from the immortal realm in the form of impulses that enter our human personalities before birth. This is then free deed”.

According to Steiner, what we perceive with our senses is only one half of reality, not the whole thing. As we entered our physical body, we suppressed our access to the invisible spiritual world, which is the other half of reality. But we can restore to the world by our own efforts the true reality of which our physical perceptions have deprived it! Steiner’s books The Philosophy of Freedom and Knowledge of Higher Worlds are the most important texts here for study and self-development but I suspect it is only a limited number of people who will have the sheer determination and the patient and persistent doggedness to study and work successfully with these over the long periods of time likely to be required. So is there anything else we can do that might put us in touch with the angel who guides us from the spiritual world?

It is worth bearing in mind that from an anthroposophical perspective each one of us has chosen to be here on Earth in physical incarnation during this time. We came here now because we have particular tasks to do, tasks that we agreed to take on before we left the spiritual world. But how can we get in touch with remembering our intentions for this life if we are not clairvoyant?

My own recent practice is very simple and straightforward but I find it a great way to start the day. I get up quite early each morning and boil the kettle for a cup of hot water with a slice of lemon. Then I sit in an armchair and in between sips of hot water, say my prayers. I usually start with the Lord’s Prayer and, if a complex situation is on my mind, may say another prayer to ask for the best and highest outcome for all concerned. Then I give thanks for all the blessings in my life (it’s very important to express gratitude on a regular basis) and for the help received from my guardian angel. And finally I ask: What do I need today that will nurture me, relieve any stresses and enable solutions to problems to emerge?

This only takes five to ten minutes each morning but it sets me up for the day. And I’ve noticed that it does something else as well – through the contact with and acknowledgement of one’s angel (each of us has one, who stays with us from birth to the moment of our death), it somehow opens up the possibility of helpful interventions during the day that I had not expected. For example, you will suddenly get a call from someone who has just what you need to solve a knotty problem; or those people whom you had expected to be so difficult, turn out to be charming and helpful; or that deadline you were going to miss somehow gets put back to a much more manageable date. Try it for a few days and see what happens… It is this kind of thing that enables one to become aware through intuition of free deeds of love that are needed – and it gives a purpose to one’s life and a sense that, whatever the problems of the larger world, you yourself are doing exactly what you need to do as your contribution to the bigger picture.

I have written before about what Steiner called the ‘School of Unselfishness’ but I am convinced that it is a key to us getting through our present crises in reasonable shape, even if it is only a small proportion of human beings who can practise it, like a kind of homeopathic medicine, for the benefit of all life. Each of the examples quoted in that post are what I think we can call free deeds of love – and it is free deeds of love that will enable us to survive as a species during the next stages of our evolutionary journey.

86 Comments

Filed under Climate change, Existential Threats, Free Deeds of Love, Philosophy of Freedom, Unselfishness

86 responses to “The world needs our free deeds of love

  1. I am reading Nicanor Perlas’ Humanity’s Last Stand at the moment – what a book! Highly recommend.

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    • Hi Kristina,

      I appreciate books which predict such things as “Humanity’s Last Stand”, and likely because of all the dismal forecasts that we hear on a daily basis. For example, there are those that say that global warming is now being offset by a glacial freeze, and so I wonder if the polar bear is really sitting on his last ice cube?

      I wonder, where do you think this places us in the maelstrom of events today? Personally, I think we have to endure this life to the end, and then experience the life between death and rebirth. As having been anthroposophists in our life on earth, we would not only have been informing the dead whilst present on earth, but also very ready to gain what is needed for the next life on earth. So, indeed, “Humanity’s Last Stand”, just might be reserved for the next life. You see, by then, we should certainly know more than now. It only makes sense.

      My experience as a US American is one that I have previously described, and wherein the man on the street knows nothing about it, which could refer to the book by Perlas. Yet, the hope will likely come in the future, after all this travail.

      But, there are some willing to seek and achieve the life divine now. They don’t want to wait, and see the need to expose the evil now working in the world. For many of us, that seems elementary, and we could even extend it to the past history of the twentieth century, which seems now so easy to assess in hindsight.

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  2. John Beck

    Great new topic. By chance I’ve just been reading two lectures, from New Year’s Eve 2018 and New Year’s Day 2019, which raise a rather different angle. (And Steiner observes many times that spiritual things especially need to be looked at from many, many angles.)
    https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA187/English/AP1984/19181231p01.html

    This angle is the moving up of the “Spirits of Personality” (Archai) into the role of world creators previously held by the “Spirits of Form” (Elohim). Steiner says that _this_ introduces a flood of conflict into the lower level of our consciousness. And then we either meet it consciously, inwardly, and strive to raise ourselves to higher levels from out of this inner conflict; or, we repress it and it is then expressed by us outwardly, in physical conflict. “…[S]ince the year 1899 — as we human beings come and go about the world, we have been immersed in a new wave of spiritual life that is pouring into the common life of all mankind.” And the next day: “Now is the time when spiritual beings wishing to bring humanity the consciousness of repeated earth-lives have to wage a hard fight against those who would allow only old elements and impulses to enter human consciousness. This is a significant battle in which man must take part if he wants to see what is going on behind the scenes in either human evolution or the general evolution of the world.”

    What is the effect of the awareness of repeated earth-lives? We realize we are not physical beings, but “spiritual beings having a physical experience,” as some have said recently. We realize that there is a little-known-to-us world of consciousness to which we belong just as much as our bodies belong to nature. We begin to let go of the fear of wasting this earth-life and look instead toward what it is supposed to accomplish. — Quite a lot the idea of reincarnation sets free in our consciousness. Indeed, it sets us free from the valley of the shadow of death into which we went deeper and deeper for 5000 years.

    The spiritual leadership shift suggests to me that the spiritual demand is that we who were made in the “image and likeness” of the Elohim/Spirits of Form, have fulfilled the potential of that in our intellectuality and its expression in materialism. So now the beings formerly responsible for the direction of history, the Archai/Spirits of Personality, are to become the creative leaders, and humans must choose to follow them…

    And where do they lead? To acknowledgment of higher laws, higher science. To opening up to beings of higher consciousness. To thinking metamorphically, Goetheanistically. To your topic: becoming more and more truly free, and acting freely out of love. And this is Steiner’s path up to Spirit Self, Maslow’s from “self-actualization to self-transcendence,” and Steiner again to becoming not just emissaries from nightly visits to “the architect’s office” but assistant architects and co-creators. (And to Ben-Aharon’s picture of our new etheric being.) Quite a new year’s picture, from RS, weeks after the first Great War halted.

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    • Yes, Steiner made this new revelation one hundred years ago. It says that the Spirits of Formative Forces, i.e., Powers, Elohim, Exusaia, have completed their task and passed the mission of earth evolution on to the Time-Spirits, i.e., Archai, Spirits of Personality. And, Michael just happens to be the leading Time-Spirit of our age.

      I brought this matter up on the previous thread, c. https://anthropopper.wordpress.com/2018/12/03/life-unworthy-of-life/comment-page-1/#comment-5890
      and it really deserves to be continued here; the reason is because of all that really plagues humanity today in terms of “world strife”. It is quite a synchronicity, John, for we each to be reading about how strife is an incentive for growth and development. Yet, Jeremy’s essay here is also an invitation to the only recourse that can prevent world catastrophe, and the extinction of the earth.

      What the transition from the Spirits of Form, to the Archai, really means is that we, as the human race, have achieved the realization of “Universal Human”, and we embody this based on the Spirits of Form; the original regents of Earth Evolution. By transferring regency from ‘form’ to ‘time’, it means the beginning of the gradual descent of what Steiner indicated as “The Realm of the Spirit Selfhood”. That is why Aurobindo was indicated as the exemplar of this descent; because he achieved it on 24 November 1926, and expressed it as the “reception of the Overmind Soul.” This event is known today as the “Day of Siddhi”, or ‘Victory Day’.

      Today, we have only to remove the various obstacles, obstructions, hindrances, and other barriers that prevent us from experiencing God’s infinite love for His human creation, which gets to experience the Ego. Aurobindo developed the Integral Yoga for removing these obstructions, and Steiner gave his own form of the same with his book, “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment”.

      So, with the Time-Spirits, we experience the descent of the Heavenly Host. This is because we represent the Universal Human Spirit due to the dedicated work of the Exusaia. Yet, in our day and age, we still have to remove the obstacles which inhere with living in the Consciousness Soul Age. But, we can do it with dedication and knowledge.

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    • Thank you, John, I didn’t know those lectures and am glad to have read them now. The final sentences of Steiner’s New Year’s Day lecture are very powerful: “But this must be experienced by insight into the path of the spirit. No leaning toward anything external, no worshiping of new idols that are even now being made ready, can save mankind: only keeping to the spirit, holding fast to the spirit, working in the spirit.”

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

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  3. peter le ray

    Good offering Jeremy, thanks. Not sure why you need to bring politics into this. I am of the understanding that Trump disagrees with the “carbon emission global warming theory” one that seems to have been a scam created by those who want to rule the world. Plenty of believable evidence out there about that. Have you not noticed how the corporate controlled media have changed their tune from global warming to climate change. What about all those military documents out there that show that climate can be altered using Ahriman’s technology. (haarp etc) What about the “on the ground media suppressed” evidence of the Californian fires. What we see and feel may be a human not a natural creation.

    In one of his exchanges Steiner suggested that our thinking should be in the form of questions…hence the idea of a quest. Do such questions make our angel busy otherwise s’he might sit about unemployed passing the time polishing the gold trim on clouds.

    regards Peter

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    • John Beck

      Peter, hi — the new movie _Vice_ reports about the GOP focus group of ten or more years ago (part of the Dick Cheney co-presidency) when it was found that people were fearful about “global warming” but not so much about “climate change.” So “climate change” got heavily promoted to make us feel better, not to change facts; it is actually a soporific gift to us all from the oil and coal companies. They are just making a profit… And by the accounting concept of “externalities,” they don’t want to be responsible for the effects of the use of their products. [I’m from a coal state, Wyoming, and my grandfather was in the oil business.]

      Since for example the city of Houston, Texas, has had now three years in a row with rainstorms of a once-in-500-years quantity, it does appear that something is going on. Has anyone calculated how much more energy there is in the atmosphere when its temperature goes up 1 degree? I haven’t seen that, but warmer air can hold more water vapor. The flooding in Houston and elsewhere has had huge costs; lucky for oil and coal producers that it doesn’t come from their profits.

      “What does it profit a man if he gain the world but lose his own soul?” What does it profit anyone to be rich at others’ expense, when we will all be coming back again? “Free deeds of love” are the way to a future that is worthy of the best in us. Is this politics? Or maybe “humanistics”? Or JS Mill’s “moral science”?

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  4. Dear Jeremy,
    I want to draw attention to this excerpt you cite from the lecture of 1 May 1918, “Supersensible Man, Freewill, Immortality of the Soul”.

    “….love makes us seeing. It guides us into an area that we cannot enter if we remain egotistically isolated in our own selfhood, and it does this the moment we are able to sacrifice ourselves sufficiently to live with our feelings in another’s being, to live within it for the very reason that we hold its independence sacred and have no desire to impinge upon it with our love. We cannot call a love perfect that wants to meddle with the nature of the loved person and make changes in it. We love truly when we love a person for his own sake, to the point where the one who loves forgets himself.”

    I recently completed the lectures, “How Can Mankind Find the Christ Again”, and found this paragraph from lecture five really insightful. I think many people know how much we only find ourselves when we empathize with the “other”. To have been a householder dedicated to wife and children has been the saving grace in my life. I often notice when discoursing with others, even here on this list, that there is a witness standing next to me who seems more real than my little ruminative self 🙂

    “People are beginning to sense their true ego when they come in contact with other people. The man of old understood “Know thou thyself!” in the external world. For supersensible cognition it is different; but the man of ancient times, when speaking of his ego, had something real in the external world, the world in which the human being lives with his ordinary consciousness between birth and death. Modern man has only a reflection of his true ego; but something of his true ego shines into him when he comes in contact with other people. Another person who is connected with him karmically, or in any other way, gives him something real. To express it radically: it is characteristic of human beings of our present age to be inwardly hollow — and we should acknowledge it. If we practice life-retrospection honestly and faithfully, we find that the influences other people have had upon us are much more important than what we ourselves have supposedly acquired. Present-day man, of himself, gains extraordinarily little unless he obtains knowledge from supersensible sources. He need not be clairvoyant. A person is driven to daily social intercourse because actually he is only real in someone else, in his relation to another person.”
    https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA187/English/AP1984/19181228p01.html

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  5. Ottmar

    Dear Jeremy, thank you for this work.

    What touched me most was your „own recent practice“. This, together with a good esoteric background or understanding, does more, than we can see at a first and superficial glance. You mentioned how this reflects into your daily life, but it goes far beyond this, I m absolutely sure. It has its results in generations, centuries and eons to come. Thank you for this intimate revelation; it needs great courage to do this.

    You write about the risks to humanity and the earth. I would make up a hierarchy in this list, the „triumph of materialism“ as you put it is the source for the other „risks“ and a change in the paradigma of the „way we think“ is the source, at the beginning of all other risks and problems.

    We all know that there will be no such change in this fundamental, ruling materialism. What we can do is lead a life, as decribes in your own pratice, combined with an according mental, astral life and physical standard of life. I must think of the early Christians in the first 2 hundred years after Christ: they were ridiculed, prosecuted, few were in high positions but their light shone in a perfect, but dead civilisation. But in complete darkness, even a small light is perceived and taken as a direction sign.
    Ottmar

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  6. Kathy

    18 years ago I moved to a small, appalachian community in Southern Ohio to start the retirement process and grow organic vegetables. I didn’t want to leave the life I had, the friends I cherished, the opportunities to work with others of like interests/commitments: meditation groups, cooperative markets, anthroposophists, Reiki, professionals to consult with, ethnic food (oh, ethnic food I miss you…). But Spirit made it clear I had to do this. And I did what I always do, I freely agreed – but it started a struggle with God I hadn’t had since adolescence. I thought I could have created a community, an Earth, so much better than this. I thought I deserved some relaxation and freedom from working with people with pain. I thought it should have been made clearer to me what I was walking into – so I could decline. Oh, I still intended to engage in free deeds of love – but the problems in this small community overwhelmed any hope for success. I won’t list the details.

    Then something happened. In 2004, two crop circles appeared in two soybean fields about 25 miles apart – and two others in an adjacent county. One was two miles from my home and I got to engage with the folks who came to study them. I was thrilled. Something was happening here – in this sad, suffering county where people distance themselves from “outsiders” and are afraid to disagree with each other. Clients started showing up in my office (I’m a clinical psychologist) who NEVER would have sought out a therapist. One of them voiced what motivated the influx. He said something like: “I’m a farmer for 45 years. I know soybeans. And I know no human being did this. It has to be evil”.

    There has been a resurgence of this anxiety recently. I’m sure it has to do with all the upheaval in the country and the fact that most folks here voted for Trump but it’s worrying them. For example, a woman (casual friend, not a client) called over the holiday and raised two concerns: 1) – “They proved men made those circles, didn’t they? (bear in mind the event was 12 years ago!) and 2) – Since I’m from New York, do I think Trump laundered money for the mob? And what does “launder” mean, anyway? It was precious.

    Except for a handful of friends, I can’t talk to folks about Steiner head on. But I can study his teachings everyday and find ways to put them forth. I am now grateful that Spirit tricked me into coming here. It also told me to start writing letters to the Editor to get messages out – and think about reading comprehension levels as I write. I’m becoming a local celebrity! Ha! If anyone wants to read one of my magnificent tomes – let me know!.

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    • John Beck

      Kathy, hi — I’m always interested in how to talk with folks, and letters to editors. I’m at editor@anthroposophy.org — do send something! John Beck

      Like

    • Hi Kathy,
      My wife and I are getting up in age and with my being unemployed now for 9 months, struggling to find a job, our retirement prospects are lean at best. Like you (making an assumption here of course) we have gone through so many scenarios of “what are we going to do now?” that it often makes our minds spin. What you describe is one of those scenarios (though we wouldn’t even begin to know how or what that would look like for us). I would love to hear more about your experience that you are okay with sharing – and your tomes!
      Thanks. If so inclined you can email me at kdouglass@protonmail.com
      Here’s hoping you – all of us – have a wonderful 2019!

      Like

  7. Ottmar

    Hi Jeremy, you didnt accept my reply. Can you give me a reason for this?
    Ottmar

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    • It needed editing, as you had written “Dear Steve” rather than “Dear Jeremy”. I’ve now changed it and it has gone through. By the way, it can take up to 24 hours for a post to be approved, as I do not sit hunched over my computer allay and all night long!

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  8. David Ball

    Once you realize those things you believe to be natural are actually controlled by man, the blame shifts from ordinary man to those at the top that you believe are to be trusted telling you need to worry. These are the folks that are going to lead us to ruin, accidentally or intentional…..I don’t know. They have been altering our climate in secrecy for decades. Anyone that needs to work in the shadows of night and conceal their deeds does not have good intentions IMO.

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  9. peter le ray

    Hi again, thanks John Beck, In the following link, anthropop historian Terry Boardman points out half way through the third paragraph how the English elite took over parliament and how they had allies within academia….this was way back then. I was educated to assume that the BBC voice on the radio and my teachers only spoke truth but after decades of research I have found that much is a lie..eg global warming, even denied in public lectures by the founder of Green Peace and nobel laureates. This relatively brief rethink of English American history may be of interest. cheers Peter http://threeman.org/?p=2770

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  10. Kathy

    David wrote: “Once you realize those things you believe to be natural, are actually controlled by man, the blame shifts from ordinary man to those at the top…”. And, I would add, we unconsciously shift it to anything we can cook up: beings from other planets, other dimensions, angelic realms, secret black-art communities, deep state laboratories, etc. We humans have perfected the arts of denial and projection. And something that we find hardest to grasp: these mechanisms are working unconsciously, calling the shots, running the show.

    Possibly there are variations of all these scenarios going on. Possibly the Reptilians are trying to change our weather so that full-spectrum light cannot stimulate the neurochemicals in our brains that make us fully functioning humans. Maybe they’re creating a darkened, wet atmosphere to suit their needs. Or maybe we humans are trying to recapitulate our reptilian stage? Maybe the massive amount to pain and suffering in this world feels so overwhelming, we are escaping to our ancient cold-blooded nature?

    It may be that performing free deeds of love are what warms our blood: a remedy to the perpetuation of our defenses and collapse into the reptilian past? They feel warming to me. I know – as much as I’ve resisted the way things are unfolding – I’ve made a commitment not to desert others. But, will this stage mean the obliteration of mankind anyway? If we are truly free – we’re free to fail. There are signs of failure everywhere. It doesn’t seem we are rallying with Michael in the battle. Steiner wrote that Michael is worried (“anxious”) about this and that there is a real possibility of failure. It’s very sobering.

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  11. Thank you for this post Jeremy. The excerpts from Steiner’s “not online” lecture you share about love is one I will find a creative way to share with my married children.

    As for the “state of the world”. I respect everyone that has responded here and cannot add anything of value, except to say “Perfect love casts out fear”, therefore, I no longer fear these things (as I once did, very much). Almost a mantra is something Cayce said, “Jesus is the pattern, the Christ is the power.”

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  12. Ton Majoor

    I consider pseudoscience and scepticism (i.e. the breakdown of social trust) about climate instability as a greater danger than climate instability itself. The same goes for over-population, vaccination, genetic modification and other controversial issues.

    Mysticism is the imminent risk. Observing nature on a daily basis (what’s new?) can be healing and can ‘restore reality’.

    ‘Steiner said nothing about the possibility that we might be moving from one geological epoch to an entirely human-induced new one …‘
    At least the Atlantean catastrophe (crisis) is connected to the end of a geological epoch in the Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner (1919): “The Ice Age is the Atlantean catastrophe. … You can create a parallel between the Tertiary Period and Atlantis, and easily bring the Secondary Period into parallel, but not pedantically, with what I have described as the Lemurian Period.“

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    • Kathy

      Ton, can you flesh out what “mysticism is the imminent risk” means?

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      • Ton Majoor

        Kathy, ‘mysticism’ (in contrast to materialism) is more or less my conclusion of the preceding paragraph about the dangers of scepticism and dogmatism. E.g. desinformation (half-truths) about climate change, or about HIV, 9/11 and MH17 in the alternative (non-pluriform) press (see previous thread).

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      • My assessment of mysticism is that it likely accords to a more personal and inward perception, and yet, also yielding to skepticism and cynicism, as seen prevalent today, and would also claim that appearances of crop circles in southern Ohio in 2004 might be an event worthy of analysis.

        Yet, according to ICCRA, which is the international association that researches crop circles, Ohio heads the list of states that have reported these kind of phenomena, and some 42 cases in the annals of such reportage. So, why would this be going on just four years after you moved their in 2000? Was it a sign of the Spirit?

        Now, here is something you wrote which seems to betray the people living in your little town, which you migrated to in 2000. You saw them as odd and quaint, and yet what took place in 2004?

        You wrote earlier:
        “Possibly there are variations of all these scenarios going on. Possibly the Reptilians are trying to change our weather so that full-spectrum light cannot stimulate the neurochemicals in our brains that make us fully functioning humans. Maybe they’re creating a darkened, wet atmosphere to suit their needs. Or maybe we humans are trying to recapitulate our reptilian stage? Maybe the massive amount to pain and suffering in this world feels so overwhelming, we are escaping to our ancient cold-blooded nature?”

        Then again, Kathy, maybe this is your own ruse, and designed to show how simple reality is. For example, why would not someone want to go live in simplicity, in anticipation of retiring, and grow vegetables in a garden to their own peace. It makes perfect sense. And then something else takes place.

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    • Steiner often cited the book by Eduard Suess in order to convey how much the present geological strata differs from earlier epochs:

      “The mid-point of Earth-evolution falls in the middle of the Atlantean epoch, and so in our present age the Earth has already passed the mid-point of its development. From this you will realise that the Earth is already involved in a declining phase of evolution, and in our time this must always be taken into account. As I have often said, it conforms entirely with the findings even of modern materialistic geology.

      In his book The Face of the Earth, Eduard Suess has stated that the soil beneath our feet to-day belongs to an earth that is already dying. During the Atlantean epoch the earth was, so to say, in the middle period of life; it teemed with inner life; it had upon it no such formations as the rocks and stones, which are gradually crumbling away. The mineral element was active in the earthly realm in the way in which it is active to-day in an animal organism, in a state of solution out of which deposits will not form unless the organism is diseased. If the animal organism is healthy it is only the bones that can be said to take their form as deposits. In the bones, however, there is still inner life. The bones are not in the condition of death, they are not, like our mountains and rocks, in process of crumbling into dust. The crumbling of the rocks is evidence that the earth is already involved in a death-process.” GA224, 7 May 1923

      So, if we take this assessment into consideration, it is more than possible that a human-induced epoch of climatic and chaotic change exists today.
      Looking further back to the Atlantean, and post-Atlantean periods, we find the tertiary and secondary periods, respectively. Then, with the present Fifth Cultural Epoch, wherein the Sentient Soul is drawn to the Intellectual Soul, the advent of science begins. Human induction gains the power to even destroy the earth.

      Now, the Lemurian Period can be equated with a Quaternian Epoch, and this goes back some 50,000 years ago. This is when the Spirits of Form began to conduct their activities, and the first measure involved the transport of mineral substance from the Moon to the Earth. This allowed the Moon to separate and enable the Earth to exist independently.

      Ref. GA254, lecture 5, describes the battle of the Exusaia with Lucifer and Ahriman for mineral substance. Well, L & A got some of it for their own realm. Yet, this rather begins the arduous mission of the Spirits of Form in governing Earth Evolution. Steiner’s lectures on “The Mission of the Folk Souls”, from June 1910, is all about the work of the Exusaia in establishing the various sub-races of Atlantis. Very complex stuff.

      Today, the mission of the Exusaia has been completed. We humans stand as “Universal Human”, after a very long struggle to achieve the model that God first invoked with His covenant conveyed in Genesis, chapter 1, v. 26. Image and Likeness; and yet while God immediately created Man in His Image, it is the Likeness part that takes time. And time means pain and suffering.

      With the transfer to the Spirits of Personality, it is a gravy train, and yet people still suffer tremendously. Why? As Kathy might respond, “it is due to the unconscious forces still ruling in the soul.” Well, that is why the science of the spirit exists; even as a therapeutic model.

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  13. Kathy

    Steve, you’ve misread part of my communication. I never saw the people here as “odd and quaint”. Initially, I saw them as territorial. Most have – and many carry – guns. Most are wary of strangers. Most insist on doing things their “own way”. But it didn’t take long to see deeper into that. For instance, a local nurse told me how angry she was because she was told to count sponges in surgery – “just because Columbus tells us!”. The local health department refused to educate and encourage people to be tested and treated for HIV (though citizens could receive both – for free and confidentially – provided by the Ohio Department of Heath that received $11,000,000 from the CDC.) When I brought this before the County Commissioners (including Health Commissioner – a physician!), they simply didn’t want anyone to”worry” about it and they didn’t want people to think there were “gays” were in the County.

    Meanwhile heroin addiction, needle sharing and teen pregnancy rates here are through the roof and HIV is spreading. All I could see was pain here and I didn’t feel up to dealing with it. Then I started tracking stats in 2004 – after the crop circles gave me a boost of energy. And I learned what’s going on. The people here have been damaged by 50 years of heavy metal poisoning from two coal-burning power plants. And they are only just now waking up to it. Year in and year out we rank first or second (county in the State of Ohio) in deaths by cancer, lung disease and suicide. The latest stat is that we rank 87 of 88 counties in life expectancy. We have a violent crime rate 3.5 times, and a child poverty rate 5.5 times the national average. We have an epidemic of multi-generational neurological disorders. We have an epidemic of opioid and home-brewed meth dependency. Our population is 27,000. Everyone’s lives are touched and the pain here is horrendous.

    One other thing, Steve. Of course I regard crop circles as spiritual communication! I know Ohio has had a number of them – but the two that appeared in this county was a first-time event for Adams County and were not at all regarded as positive or inspirational – which opened the door for people who did not customarily reach out, or admit to feeling vulnerable, to express themselves.

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    • A respectful request to all commenters – please do try to stay broadly on topic! I’m not going to let through any more comments about crop circles, David Icke, English elites or secret brotherhoods etc.

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

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  14. Jeremy, as much as I enjoy your blog, it is with some dismay that I view your comment moderation policy! My two comments have been rejected for this post so far… first, the wonderful ‘gasometer’ speech in ‘The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists’ by Robert Tressell… this has everything to do with your post and climate change. However, I suspect the politics of it were not to your taste… then yesterday, a two min clip of David Icke talking about crop circles… in it he suggests what you can do for the earth as a free deed of Love! Anyway, I hope you let this third comment through, it might be interesting to see if others agree. I think you have a tendency to write a post then keep out of the comments as much as you can. It might be better to jump in more often and steer the conversation instead of listing what you don’t want to see or hear.

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    • David Ball

      I agree with gc-photo-art, I think this may lead to more organic direction of the discussion and will lead to a better experience for all if Jeremy can tolerate beliefs that differ from his. I imagine this could be tough if I were running a blog. My 2 cents.

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  15. Kathy

    Jeremy, I agree with gc-photo-art. If I’d known that talking about crop circles was taboo, I could have spoken in more general terms about coming to live in this county – but I would have questioned why the circles are taboo. I think the suggestion to jump in and steer the topics is excellent. And I’d like to hear about your free deeds of love. More – I’d like to hear about your struggles with the deeds, how you resist what I experience as despair when I look at what’s happening around us. I know one of your deeds is this blog. And another lies in following Steiner’s approach to gardening – I think it’s an act of love and respect for the Earth Mother..oops! – She’s not taboo…Is She???

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    • Crop circles are not taboo – but I’m struggling to find their connection (together with several other subjects that various people have wanted to introduce), with the topic of this post.

      What I’m hoping for is that we can talk about our free deeds of love and anything else that is relevant, with an emphasis on personal experiences and any difference that anthroposophy has made for us. We go down some interesting and rambling paths in the Comments on this blog – and maybe that’s what many commenters enjoy and want – but I’m trying, just for once, to keep us on-topic.

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

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  16. Ottmar

    Free deeds of love – you find them here
    https://www.sektion-landwirtschaft.org/fileadmin/SLW/Literatur/Praeparatestudie/The_biodynamic_preparations_in_context_EN.pdf .
    In this work and through the people behind this work spiritual knowledge and attitude go hand in hand with practical, physical work and very precisely chosen anorganic, plant and animal substances. And what was most interesting for me was the amalgation of anthroposophical wisdom with traditional wisdom of the native Americans in chapter 13 and spiritual traditions from India chapter 16.
    Ottmar

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  17. I’d like to share a personal experience that (I think) arose out of anthroposophy. When I was about 21 years old and fairly new to the work of Rudolf Steiner, I was very excited to be on a trip to visit the Goetheanum. As poor as the devil, I hitch-hiked to Basel and booked into a youth hostel. I remember walking down a busy road towards the area where I could catch a tram to Dornach. Walking towards me were three women dressed in Arabian type clothing. As I walked past them, I glanced at the woman in the middle, she was looking at me. This fleeting encounter was over in a couple of seconds. Since then, and astonishingly, that woman’s beautiful green eyes have flashed up within me, at various times, for over 30 years (I’m 53). I don’t know what prompts it, they just suddenly appear… mysterious.

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    • Kathy

      GC: While I certainly can’t speak to what this experience means to you/for you – to read it reinforces for me that we are all so connected in ways we can barely imagine, Once, as a child, I watched my parents, aunt, grandparents sitting around a dining room table and for a brief moment I “knew” there were not 5 people around the table – there was only one – and me, too.

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      • Kathy, the reoccurring image of the woman’s face I simply view as something ‘special’ in my biography. I don’t know what it means and sometimes it takes me by surprise. In those moments I question ‘what am I thinking?’ or ‘what have I said?’ as if the image is a sort of moral compass but as mentioned previously, I haven’t discovered a pattern I’m aware of. When I saw them walking towards me, the woman in the middle was all in black and the two on either side were all in white (it could be the opposite way around, I can’t remember). She was olive skinned and had a half smile on her face. In the past, I attributed a religious experience to it because of the middle eastern connection. Now I just think it is a fascinating thing to have happened and one I am grateful for, regardless of the reasons behind it…

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  18. Kathy

    Jeremy, I’m starting to see that I have been pussy-footing around a genuine response to staying “on topic” because I have not wanted to be cautioned by one more Anthroposophist about the dangers of getting lost in the “ancient clairvoyance” – which has been my experience in talking with some (male) Steiner folks at workshops. Most responses to your blog are so scholarly/erudite. My most genuine responses are not. So, here goes.

    Did Steiner literally say that what we perceive with our senses is only “one half” of reality? I don’t experience it to be reality at all. If anything, it’s like a transparent skin behind which is the reality – inexpressibly beautiful, wondrous – and where I knew, since I was 4 yours old, is the “place” I really belong. This world we think is around us is not what it seems to be – it’s really massive, conscious beings sacrificing themselves (Steiner’;s term) to provide us with a stage, a ground, for the human drama. Mankind knew it once and felt awe and gratitude – and as children many of us still know it – but as humankind in this time/epoch we spit on such a thought.

    I experience the destruction, rape, torture of the earth, its animals and plants to be unbearable. Also, I think it is echoed in the same treatment of women. It’s hard for me to retain/sustain the awareness of what’s going on behind the scenes – hard to be faithful to the precious awareness when not actually in it.

    I’ve experienced the Etheric Christ twice in my life – precipitated by despair over the suffering and extinction of plants and animals with every breath I take. He didn’t tell me what I thought I wanted to hear – that the slaughter, the losses, would stop. One time, He showed me a rosebush of such color and fragrance I knew it couldn’t die – though this earth will. And He didn’t tell me He’d fix everything. Both times he said – “You are not alone”.

    And because of that promise, all I can do is attempt the same – offer free deeds of Love – without religious rhetoric – try to show others we are not alone. And I intend it for the beings who comprise the appearance of this sorry world, too – they need our love and encouragement so as not to fall into the hands of Ahriman along with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Kathy, I sympathise with your point of view. That’s why I’m trying to get more of an emphasis, for the comments on this post at least, on speaking from personal experience. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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  19. midnight rambler

    I recently came across the following example of a free deed of love and the soul process leading up to it.
    The person involved was Immacule Ilibagiza whose family was killed in a massacre in Africa and how she came to forgive the perpetrators. See the following for details.

    https://www.americamagazine.org/issue/716/article/survivors-story

    If you keep your ears open there are so many different inspirational examples of forgiveness happening on a daily basis that it gives hope for the future.

    Forgiveness is a high form of good and I guess it is generally a free deed.

    Since Christ took over the role of the Lord of Karma in the second half of the 20th century, my experience is that whilst the spirits of darkness rage, there is a growing less publicised “slow train coming” with free deeds of compassion, forgiveness, love and wonder increasingly transforming the 9 spheres of the earth.

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  20. OOO
    Dear Kathy, of course what we see isnt all and I d agree that it is even less than half of reality. In this lecture Rudolf Steiner speaks about different layers or level of reality, 1st what we can perceive with our senses, 2nd the forces of or in nature, which are an expression of the elemental beings, 3rd the laws of nature, which are an expressin of the Archai, here he says their specific name, Geister der Umlaufzeiten, here in the English translation it is „Spirits of the rotation time“. I wonder whether Spirits of cycle time wouldnt express their being in a better way. (The archai are called spirits of cycle time in their function as leaders of the elemental beings and they steer or lead all rhythms in nature. The archai are called Zeitgeister or Time spirits in their function as leaders in the cultural epochs of human development.) And 4th, behind the spirits of cycle time there is the Planetary Spirit, which we might perceive or understand as „the meaning of nature“ meaning or purpose of nature. It might be difficult to literally translate „Sinn der Natur“; Sinn und Unsinn = sense and nonsense; the „Sinn der Natur“ is the deepest answer to the question why is the nature existing at all, in the first place and of course we can answer that is the Christ.
    Thank you, Kathy, for sharing your Christ experience; this is needed today very much but it is also the most intimate experience and I do understand that it is difficult to open it up to discussion or even worse reactions by the ignorants and cynics. Ottmar

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  21. Sorry I forgot to add the link to the lecture I mentioned above
    https://wn.rsarchive.org/GA/GA0136/19120404p01.html

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  22. Ton Majoor

    A parallel lecture to the 1. May 1918 lecture is available online at GA0067/19180420. Their theme is similar to the theme in Bounderies of Natural Science (1920).

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  23. Kathy

    Thank you, Ottmar and Ton for the links. I read them and distinctly remember reading them both long ago – and it is always amazing to me how I re-see with time. A friend of mine once asked me why I always preface sharing Steiner’s teachings with something like: “at least up to now, this is what I think he said “. I tried to explain that reading the lectures often seems to alter the way I understand things, and 2nd and 3rd readings even more so.

    And, Midnight, thank you for linking free deeds of love with forgiveness.

    The second thing I remember bowling me over in Steiner, was the teaching that we can freely choose to be on the path of initiation and move through the stages of imagination, inspiration and intuition. It gave me, for the first time in my life, a format (schema?) for understanding the experiences I’ve been conscious of since 4 years old. Until Steiner, coming from a family with no college background and no books in the house, all I had was Italian Catholic mysticism. In many ways I chose my family well because they never denied or demonized my experiences – which I think happens with most westernized folks. But they spoke of them with a whole load of mystical, miracle talk and worship, and saints. By the time I was 6-7yo I had learned the nuns definitely did not interpret reality as I did. And by the time I was – maybe 13yo? – I started to see it wasn’t St. Anthony, or Mary or God who gave me what I saw and experienced – it was me (sort of). And I knew I had to find a way to teach myself what I knew! Then Steiner appeared.

    I’m going to think more on free deeds relating to forgiveness – “free” maybe as untethered from who and what we think we are. Later…K

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  24. Stephen Hale

    Been thinking about free deeds untethered from normal acts of human kindness, and it draws me to these recent weeks from the Calendar of the Soul verses.

    Fortieth Week (December 30-January 5)
    And when I live in spirit depths
    And dwell within my soul’s foundations,
    There streams from love-worlds of the heart,
    To fill the vain delusion of the self,
    The fiery power of the cosmic Word.

    Forty-first Week (January 6-12)
    The soul’s creative might
    Strives outward from the heart’s own core
    To kindle and inflame god-given powers
    In human life to right activity;
    The soul thus shapes itself
    In human loving and in human working.

    Forty-second Week (January 13-19)
    In this the shrouding gloom of winter
    The soul feels ardently impelled
    To manifest its innate strength,
    To guide itself to realms of darkness,
    Anticipating thus
    Through warmth of heart the sense-world’s
    revelation.

    Forty-third Week (January 20-26)
    In winter’s depths is kindled
    True spirit life with glowing warmth;
    It gives to world appearance,
    Through forces of the heart, the power to be.
    Grown strong, the human soul defies
    With inner fire the coldness of the world.

    Forty-fourth Week (January 27 – February 2)
    In reaching for new sense attractions,
    Soul-clarity would fill,
    Mindful of spirit-birth attained,
    The world’s bewildering, sprouting growth
    With the creative will of my own thinking.

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  25. Ottmar

    Dear Jeremy,

    your blog has been quiet for some days now and so I take the opportunity to write to you personally and say thank you for this blog and the work you do for the good of mankind and for anthroposophy.
    You have the great talent, like many people from the English speaking world, to express complicated matters in an easily understandable way. It reminds me of books like from National Geographic, which are popular science in the best sense of the word.

    I have the impression that the access to anthroposophy comes more and more through the practical side, through the „daughter movements of anthroposopy“. The esoteric or occult side of anthroposophy appeals to fewer and fewer people. In a French journal for anthro-medicine I read that anthroposophy in France is best known through dio-dyn vine, in Germany it is best known of course through the 250 Waldorf schools, but bio-dyn agricultre is making up ground. This is due to the fact, -that one of the biggest food retailers now signed a contrat with Demeter for selling Demeter products under quite strict conditions (percentage of Demeter products of total food, training of staff, and so on) and -that 10 % of all Demeter farms are non-profit farms, many CSA farms, Community Supported Agriculture or Solidarische Landwirtschaft in German, solidary agricultre. Demeter farms often empoly handicapped people and all this creates a circle of people who know the farm, who learn about problems of farming like subsidies, weather, local conditions etc.

    I personally think that although more people are connected with Waldorf schools, dio-dyn farms have a greater potential in creating cultural islands, in creating consciousness or awareness for a healthy life, a healthy life that goes beyond personal egoistic health wishes, health for money.
    Claus Otto Schamer, who grew up on a Demeter farm in northern Germany, very much encourages bio-dyn farms as a new means for creating communities, cooperation, solidarity.
    I think this would be a good topic for a new entry on your list. (I m sorry if you have already written about it an I forgot or missed it.)

    Or will you write about your PM and show how super clever or super stupid she is or that the world spirit will unfold anyway (Hegel)? 😉 I wonder if the MPs and the public know at all what they are talking about. The UK and EU should not talk about the backstop but the UK should say what form of relationship it wants, the backstop question is included there. A relationship like Switzerland, or Norway or Turkey or Bangladesh?

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/slide_presented_by_barnier_at_euco_15-12-2017.pdf

    I personally wouldnt start a „political discussion“ on anthropopper, fixed opinion before the facts are known, extreme polarization like in the American media; that is not a good idea.

    I was shocked when I read about some cruel, black magic details in the Bataclan and the Nice attack. I had never heard that before. Where did you get these details from?

    Thank you again for your work, which is a free deed of love
    and best regards
    Otto

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    • Hello Otto,

      Thanks for your message and kind remarks. Yes, it has been quiet on this post just lately, although there has also been a good number of comments. What is interesting to me is that the flow of comments dried up when I asked that people should write from their personal experience of the difference that anthroposophy makes in one’s life, rather than from a more theoretical or intellectual perspective.

      My next post will be about the difficult times that Steiner schools are having in England right now. I won’t be writing about Brexit until there is some more certainty about what will happen.

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

      Liked by 1 person

    • John Beck

      I’d second Otto’s thanks to Jeremy. I also would endorse Otto’s positive sense that “the access to anthroposophy comes more and more through the practical side…” But to that I would add that the Anthroposophical Society and the School should be and sometimes are practical beyond all measure!! Why is that so hard to sustain, to recognize, and to communicate?

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      • You know, John, I want to acknowledge everything you have said in positive regard to Ottmar and Jeremy, and yet there is a lapse that has been allowed in this present blog-post. Jeremy has refused certain comments, and this is why the present quietude exists. Kathy was made for this present post, and that is why her editorial comment from before was made into an invitation that we all speak from personal experience. So, she did, and this invited the further comments. Alas, Jeremy chose to exclude certain remarks which pertained quite specifically to what Kathy was experiencing in her sojourn to southern Ohio in 2000, and why Kathy has even wondered why she was invited to speak.

        I would invite and encourage Jeremy to allow all of the blog posts in this thread to occur and be displayed. This will help in any future attempts to say something next. It sounds like Jeremy has something on the docket, and it might have to do with Rudolf Steiner schools in England. I am willing to listen.

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        • John Beck

          Good point, Stephen. I might have noted that there is personal experience here. I should have added that I started to try to understand and represent Rudolf Steiner’s great initiative in 1984. I scarcely know how to speak about the suffering that has confronted me every step of this way, mostly in the people close to me who are all asking to be shown not just a good farm or a good school, as much as those can help. They ask for a good reason to believe in themselves and their own humanity, to see wisdom behind human existence. A glimpse of that “good reason” turns lives around, inwardly.
          And then there is the suffering among those who have met this “anthroposophy” and have some sense of that great good reason: the old mystery people, the practicals, the “new intuitives” so often at odds with each other, who together in their hot and cold quarrels make Steiner’s Society unpalatable if not repellent for millions of others. This is my personal experience.

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      • Hi John,

        I didn’t hear the name Rudolf Steiner until 1986, when I was 36 years old. It was a lot like Robert McDermott’s experience described in his, “The Essential Steiner”. How could this man’s work have escaped notice, and especially after McD having already written, “The Essential Aurobindo” in the 1970’s? I walked around for days wondering how in “new age America” so little was known about the life and work of Rudolf Steiner.
        So, I have been studying spiritual science for some 32 years now, and my interest has become not only pretty intense and committed, as my over three years contributing to this blog indicates, but I also see every reason to be personalistic and experiential when the occasion arises for such opportunity.

        A good example is Jeremy’s well-crafted essay from January 2018, entitled: Anthroposophy and the Twilight of Culture. Awesome title.
        https://anthropopper.wordpress.com/2018/01/

        It deals with the prevailing attitudes concerning the obstacles to entertaining the Science of the Spirit. Reviewing it again, and its 50 comments was refreshing because it proves how important this blog is with its serious and dedicated intention. 2018 was a banner year in kind of summing up and crystallizing what amounts to a new beginning with a larger scope of application. 2019 can only be more fruitful.

        I have often had my moments of despair in living where little interest or acknowledgement of spiritual science exists, and even with my family, but this is the price of modern initiation science. Yet, for me, with the internet, I have been able for the last 20 years to communicate with the larger global community, and I am thankful for that. Everything we do helps when the devotion is there; the karma of vocation.

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  26. Kathy

    I resonate with Ottmar’s post. Over the years I have reached out to other students of Steiner – in workshops, Waldorf schools and farms and cooperative markets. Two of my godsons and several children of friends attended the Spring Garden Waldorf School in Akron. Everywhere I’ve turned I see proof of what Ottmar writes: Anthroposophists focus on the practical side of Steiner’s teachings, not the esoteric. I understand. I knew the Waldorf school in Akron did not want to be identified as a religion or a cult. And Anthroposophy is not, and shouldn’t be. This is the first blog of any kind I have participated in, and I was seeking what I have not found elsewhere in reaching out to Anthroposophists.

    Here is what I am afraid of: are we throwing out the baby with the bathwater? WilI I never meet an Anthroposopohist who will share personal experiences of initiation? Sometimes practicing what I believe to be steps in initiation and participation in the Michael path (as feeble as my efforts may be) literally feels like dying. Do others of us feel the same? Maybe feeling alone in the journey is exactly part of the journey – the growing edge?

    Steiner said that ascending to the spirit is now a necessity. Does anyone else feel this “necessity”?

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    • John Beck

      Kathy, thanks. I feel the “necessity of ascending to the spirit” but it comes to me in terms of “making it known at the court of the king,” in the language of the I Ching. The people at large are now the king. I have concentrated on that rather than on raising my own consciousness higher because I experience that I was “formed” (by traumas and scarifices around me) to try to express the big ideas; the forming was that my feeling life was shut down for decades and my mental horizons were extended. And I keep finding that I can think and say things that are 1+2=3+3=6 to me, and people who are very bright and trusting of me cannot follow. They don’t see the stones there to leap across the river?
      I have also heard repeatedly that people who reach high initiation are directed not to speak of it. Elizabeth Vreede reported how upset Steiner was, initially, when, around the Boddhisattva question and the “Krishnamurti is Jesus reincarnated” business, he had to tell a small circle about his biography. I know of a recent person who was attacked personally (and discredited with many people), but the attacker tipped their hand to me so I know it was lies; the contributions of this person still seem to me the most advanced that are publicly offered, and I do not speak of it anymore. (Steiner himself was attacked in this way in 1915.)
      My own sense with my little bits of spiritual experience is that I am weakening them by talking about them. I have gotten rather wide awake not by meditation but by intensely working on graphics or layout on a computer screen for hours. After such I once went out on Wall Street in NYC and saw a non-optical light in everyone on the street, and felt, we are all going the same place, aren’t we? For a few weeks in 1997, having tricked myself into taking a trip to Hawaii for a workshop, I experienced real freedom. My personal history lifted off me — was still there as knowledge, but lost its compulsion. “So Steiner knew what he was talking about in Philosophy of Freedom,” I thought to myself. The last trickle of this freedom passed off months later as I spoke the last line of Steiner’s last mystery drama, suddenly choosing to underplay the line. And one more, at the computer again, in the middle of the night, listening to Gieseking play a piece of Debussy and experiencing how my 21-years dead mother could hear his playing which she had loved, but feeling-knowing that I was experiencing her reality in that present moment.
      I don’t experience myself as initiated at all. Once in Stuttgart speaking with two real big shots before a large crowd, I was treated afterwards as someone who really knew things. The waves of expectation and need were shocking; the inflation of my own ego was more shocking. The big shots laughingly asked me about it the next day. It was like being a huge, balloon at the Macy’s parade, but where were the handlers to keep me from being blown away?
      And the loneliness is considerable. It does help to recall that “homeless is the first step of initiation” — and perhaps to ask whether the desire for sharing of these things, natural as it feels, may not be an undesirable desire. Steiner reported that if one caught oneself before tears start to fall and asked why, great things could be learned. I’ve had that experience. Perhaps there is also a split second before loneliness floods in, when it would be powerful and wise to ask, with Steiner’s Pharaoh in the mystery dramas, “Why am I all alone here at this place?” Rilke advised the young poet to embrace the loneliness, it is all yours, and it is immense.
      But back to our theme. Steiner was marinated in loneliness, among incarnate people, for forty years. And after “coming out” he was met with how many requests that were not wise? And how often did he step up to help with something which people were not strong enough to carry? How very many times must he have experienced grounds for deep discouragement? And yet he persisted, and was of good cheer.
      It took a long time for me to realize that there was a pattern here. And it was only when I could think this pattern, and feel it, that I really committed myself to Steiner: to think and feel that the one great constant of his life was — what else? — free deeds of love.

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    • Ottmar

      Dear Kathy,
      for me it feels like you wrote this letter to me, not because you mention my name, but because of the questions you ask. Let me give a first reaction.
      I agree very much that „steps in initiation and participation in the Michael path literally feels like dying“ „feeling alone in the journey is exactly part of the journey“.
      Do you think „personal experiences of intitiation“ much beyond of what you ve said here can be shared on such a platform? Or what kind of experiences would you like to share?

      From a perspective of the highest hierarchies, „initiation“ of us humans may look very similar; but from a personal perspective or human perspective the paths of initiation are all very different, absolutely individualized. Even if there are groups of souls, the paths of initiation are absolutely individual, as individual as karma is.

      Or do you want to share clairvoyant experiences? I think this would be very difficult on such a platform, too. In the last 10 or 20 years there is a growing number of clairvoyant anthroposophists and I d like to distinguish 2 groups of clairvoyants, with overlappings of course.
      Let me call them the top-down ones and the bottom-up ones. The top-down ones have experience and can tell about the highest spiritual laws, about the hierarchies, akasha and karma. The bottom-up ones know and experience the etheric sphere, elementals, they know much about animals and so on. The first group may have difficulties in actualizing, to bring into their everyday life what they know and experience, to make Christ a relevant,living factor in their life. The second group tends to be very aware of their ways of life, but they may have difficulties in reaching „for the crown“, too often they are content with what they see and feel, they dont feel or experience the path of initiation as a matter of life and death, they often lack the existentialistic trait.
      There are weekend seminars and meetings of anthroposophic „karma researchers“ and of anthroposophic „supersensual researchers in the etheric sphere and in nature“ here in Germany. An organizer for these meetings was asked whether there were differences in the atmosphere of these meetings, in the people, in the seminars. And he answered: Oh yes, very much so. The karma researchers are very serious, strict, structured, dont laugh so much; the supersensual perceivers of the etheric sphere are always content and happy. But as I said, there are overlappings.

      And there are anthroposophists who dont like this talking about karma research and clairvoyancy; the „professors“ of anthroposophy, the protagonists of „The philosophy of freedom“, and so on. This was also the attitude in Dornach and the officials at least until a few years ago, but this is changing slowly. But this is a story of its own.

      I do understand, dear Kathy, that you want to share your occult experiences or other experiences „on the path“ with other people. I think it is possible to talk about these things in a general way on this platform but I think what you are looking for is something more personal and I m sure you ll find someone you can trust, perhaps even in flesh and blood. Of course we are all very individualized and feeling alone, but I m also sure we can find some karmic companions on our path.
      Ottmar

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      • Ottmar, as you know, we have been comrades in private communications for years now, and this kind of response to Kathy bleeds with the sentiment that says something. It says, “What do you want from me”? Our own discussions dealt a great deal with Heartland vs. Hinterland over the years from 2013 to 2018. Now, again, you bring into focus your own very unique perspective of the various factions seeking attention from the GAS, and knowing they will duly be ignored. Yet, they are all striving entities that serve the compass of spiritual science as a growing development of human evolution on earth. Thus, their efforts will not be denied. They represent aspects of the total scope of anthroposophical endeavour today in which echoes of Steiner’s seminal lectures on the karmic relationships of the anthroposophical movement were given in GA 237 and 238. So, how can such varied viewpoints exist in a world that has come down from such prestigious possibilities?

        I’ll leave that for a future consideration, but please remember that Rudolf Steiner had an idea that the Esoteric School he developed from 1904 to 1914 had the potential to last all the way through to the end of the twentieth century. And, this would have vouchsafed the existence and reason for the anthroposophical movement coming into being back then.

        But, World War I intervened in 1914, and everything changed. Steiner had to regroup, and this meant the onset of an era of doubt and confusion. Yet, Steiner still tried to make it plain in order to keep to the original plan. Then, he died with his best effort left unaccomplished.

        What can I say, Ottmar? Does it resonate with you as it does for me?

        Steve

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  27. Kathy

    John, thank you for your observations. I, too, feel the suffering and the thirst for a “good reason” to believe in ourselves and our humanity – in myself and in so many others.

    Like

    • You know, I wonder about these latest observations and honest efforts to express experience in the temporal zone. I decided that this thread, from Ottmar down to Kathy, with John Beck in the middle, is really the place where I should say something next, which is often called, “the two-cents worth”. On a blog, in which brief comments are appreciated, these current remarks are kind of overwhelming to me. For me, John Beck resonates a great deal, and I think it is because he expresses the element of tragedy, sacrifice, and angst. I don’t know where it all comes from, but it is really compelling. For my part, hearing the name Rudolf Steiner was a godsend, and my life has been on the uplift ever since, which is over thirty years now. My circumstances involve a little boy who was initiated in a rather dramatic fashion when he was just six years old. I was just reading again a lecture that Steiner gave on Parsifal in 1906, and he mentioned the “Magic Wand”, and I remember how much this wand was part of my experience in 1956. Indeed, I can’t think of any better way to express what occurred to me than that a magic wand was waved in order to make everything in the atmosphere around me to shimmer and glitter, and then I witnessed how the Light wrapped itself around objects in order to carve them out like a cookie-cutter cuts the dough of the original batter of gestalt.

      This is how I experienced the three-dimensional world for the first time, and it also led to the realization of intellect and individuality, which a little boy of six would hardly know under ordinary conditions. So, to describe personal experiences of a spiritual kind is really a daunting task, because they compound over the years and it really is a matter of a memoir of self-remembering. I don’t mind saying now that I have talked very personally to Ottmar for over the last five years, and we have shared experiences which really require the item of confidence.

      So, I like where John says that it is really difficult to express experiences of soul and spirit on a public blog. It is, indeed, and largely because of the depth and detail required to make it truly coherent. And, if it involves years of future experiences and events, like for me what occurred around the eruption of Mount St. Helen in May 1980, well, it can go on and on in description. This is when I experienced the Etheric Christ, and yet it took fourteen years to actually come to know the identity of the “Voice of Consoling Words”. Well, I found out over time that fourteen years is also the span of time in which the Holy Grail occurs. In 1986, I heard the name, Rudolf Steiner, for the very first time. In 1987, I began to study the works of Spiritual Science, beginning with the lecture-course, “World History in the Light of Anthroposophy”. By 1994, when I read the little lecture which came in the mail, “Etherization of the Blood”, it was finally told to me Who The Voice was.

      You know, it can be actually deflating to speak of deeply personal experiences in a public discussion, and I knew that this would occur, but the challenge to speak out of it, and how freedom does really attest to coming to a kind of spiritual cognition, is also very important to convey amongst the theory and conceptions of spiritual science.

      So, here is what I really want to say tonight because the whole arena of practical applied spiritual science is esoterically oriented from the beginning, even if it is extended into the non-esoteric domain. Kathy fears about the so-called, “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.” Well, I have had many contentious discussions with the various critics of Steiner’s ideas, and the ‘offspring’, or “daughter movements”, and these critics think that at least, and especially with Waldorf Schools, that they need to distance themselves with Rudolf Steiner, and Anthroposophy, in order to have a chance for success. Thus, it will always be the occasion that the practical enterprises in the public (non-esoteric) domain will see the expediency of eliminating the esoteric foundations. This is because sense-perception and its logic is all that exists in today’s world for most people seeking a better life for themselves and their children.

      Yet, and I want to emphasize this in particular, Rudolf Steiner gave indications of how an applied spiritual science could arise in the soul by simply going within and assessing the findings of the spiritual investigator. This has been my path for over 30 years now, and why I write with so much perceived authority and confidence. It is because there is an inner path to the corroboration and proving of the findings of spiritual science. Carl Unger was on this path, but he tragically was murdered when he sought to begin public lectures again in early 1929.

      Thus, there is a kind of “intermediate path”, and the further back we go in time, and I am referring to these last twenty years that I have been involved in the Internet World of Anthroposophical Discussion, this path was actually acknowledged and highly regarded, but has fallen into obscurity over the last few years. It involves a really seminal place where Rudolf Steiner describes it here in a kind of one-page outline from 1909, and then I found a nice reprise of its importance in this article from Ron Milito from 2015.

      https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/English/RSP1963/GA013_c05-03.html

      http://www.mathsciencehelp.com/intermediatepath2.pdf

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    • Ton Majoor

      Steiner’s ‘intermediate path‘ is also described in Boundaries of natural science (1920, Ch.7 and 8) and in his autobiography (1924, Ch.22), and comprises both pure thinking and pure sense perception (phenomena).

      Maybe, we should distinguish between ‘speaking from personal experience’ and ‘speaking of personal experiences’. The former on spiritual practise or method; the latter on spiritual results or outcome.

      Like

      • Pure thinking is a process that involves leaving the outer-external world of sense perception to itself, and going inward in order to orient with the Thought World Itself. This is what Descartes did some 250 years before the Philosophy of Freedom was even written. “Cogito Ergo Sum” arose in his soul as an acute experience of both Intellect and Individuality. Of course, he did it because he sought for real knowledge, and the outer-external realm of phenomenal appearances is not a reliable basis for the permanent and eternal. Pure sense perception is actually the means with which we orient ourselves to this external world of Maya, or Illusion. It will never become Reality in truth, which is the major weakness of Natural Science because it believes that the external world is real.

        Yes, Steiner had a seminal experience when he was 36 years old, and about to leave Weimar in 1897. Chapter 22 expresses how he had finally arrived at the point where the sense-perceptible world was now his own actual experience. Previous to this, he had to enter it from the outside as a kind of visitor. This was so that his clairvoyant faculty could develop unhindered by the impermanent and unreliable.

        Interestingly, I only heard the name Rudolf Steiner for the first time when I was 36, and yet, when I was just six years old I had the most remarkable experience of entry into the three-dimensional realm of subject-object distinctions. I have come to believe over time that one of these astral copies that is preserved for spiritual economic purposes was involved in this experience. It all took place in maybe just 15 minutes. It was the entry into Earth perception as “the first love”. I remember how happy I was.

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      • Ton, you wrote:

        “Maybe we should distinguish between ‘speaking from personal experience’ and ‘speaking of personal experiences’. The former on spiritual practise or method; the latter on spiritual results or outcome.”

        I think this distinction could prove to be very useful, and in my case, I remember many years ago now in reading the first chapter of GA13, on “The Character of Occult Science”, where Steiner pointed out that the difference between modern initiation science today, and the practices of the ancient mysteries is that back then the student was led step-by-step by a living teacher, known as the Hierophant. Today, this has all changed because modern initiation has become self-initiation. Thus, one has to acquire new knowledge in advance of beginning the efforts to attain actual experience. This makes it paramountly important to listen to the research results of the spiritual investigator. And this means a kind of theoretical or conceptual uptake of this new knowledge as a kind of thought-content. Then, after many years, or even a lifetime, the disciple of modern initiation science becomes ready for the next stage, which is the practicing of those methods which eventually lead to insight into the spiritual world.

        I admit to only partially working with the method developed in “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds.” This involves both the path of veneration, or devotion to truth and knowledge, as well as the principle of three moral actions for every step forward in higher knowledge. What I lacked was the ability or interest in forming the specific kinds of Rosicrucian imagery required in meditative concentration on this path.

        For me, it was all about the ability that develops with the intense study of the findings of spiritual science, in terms of knowledge acquisition over time, that led quite naturally into the domain of the so-called, “Philosophy of Freedom path”. This is where one goes intentionally into the inner world, and excludes the outer world entirely, in order to conduct a disciplined effort of meditative concentration that is no less daunting than the other path. Steiner even admits that it can lead to results that are more incisive than the modern exact clairvoyant. The reason is that a modern exact clairvoyant, which Steiner was, has exposure to everything on a macrocosmic scale. The one who goes inward, on the other hand, reaches down into the microcosm, with its more detailed results, and it is important to note that Steiner acknowledged the greater exactitude of this kind of result. In Milito’s essay, he found this very hard to understand, and yet one who employs this discipline sees it clearly, and appreciates Steiner’s own referral to the other path.

        So, we have practical methods, and practical results, or outcomes. For my part, I have been expressing these outcomes for over three years on this blog! Were you not listening with attention, or was it just the blur of a discarnate ego writing like a phantom with disembodied words? 🙂
        No doubt.

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      • Ton Majoor

        Steve, your statement that ‘the outer-external realm of phenomenal appearances is not a reliable basis for the permanent and eternal’ is contradicted by Steiner’s phenomenology course (CW 322, The Boundaries of Natural Science). Milito’s essay skips it. Ottmar referred to it as bottom-up.

        Qualia like colours are part of the world (externalism), are not in our head (internalism). Berkeley refuted Descartes. Paradoxically, Steiner called it ‘the inner path of contemplation: ‘surrender oneself to bare percepts … absorb the external world free from concepts’ (GA0322/19201003), i.e. ‘pure, undisturbed sense-observation’ (GA028_c22).

        Like

      • Ton wrote:
        “Steve, your statement that ‘the outer-external realm of phenomenal appearances is not a reliable basis for the permanent and eternal’ is contradicted by Steiner’s phenomenology course (CW 322, The Boundaries of Natural Science). Milito’s essay skips it. Ottmar referred to it as bottom-up.”

        I only say that it is not a reliable basis for the permanent and eternal because it is not. The outer-external world is illusion; a realm of spectres and ghosts which form the phenomenal appearances which acquaint with the twelve senses which have been strategically aligned on the periphery of the human body in order to apprehend a phenomenal world, and then attempts to make it logical with inductive reasoning.

        The real source of phenomena that we perceive with the outer senses is the “densified imaginations” which exist in the Eighth Sphere, or Counter-Earth, which was created out of the remnant of Old Moon which passed over to Earth evolution. This occurred at that critical point in the Lemurian Epoch when the Moon separated from the Earth. You can read of it in that “Eighth Sphere Discourse” I sent to you some time ago.

        Now, I think I know about Ottmar’s descriptions of “top-down”, and “bottom-up”, and being anthroposophists, we should know that the outer-external world of Maya is there for a reason. We seek to penetrate in both directions to the underlying reality behind the appearance-world. This is a given. Yet, look at how many accept the external world as reality? Almost the entire population of the world believes that what it experiences in waking life is reality.

        There are two paths into the knowledge of higher worlds; all else is illusion. Humanity lives in illusion because it is so, and yet, spiritual science tells the reason why, and natural science says the outer world is real. What is lacking is the experience of the Guardian of the Threshold, which is an initiatic event based on real training and intent. You can’t expect that humanity seeks what it knows nothing about. So, why wouldn’t they accept everything they hear?

        We anthroposophists, on the other hand, know the difference. So, whatever Steiner points out in GA322 is understood among us. I often refer to those that need to acquire new knowledge as being fooled by the present circumstances working in the world. If it was just us anthro’s talking to each other it could prove to be deadly boring.

        I suspect that is why talking the case for anthroposophy with the critics and other opponents has come to be my lot in life. You can even find it on this blog, where it is no longer a matter of what Rudolf Steiner carefully formulated and explained, but what people think about it today. He knew the difficulties would arise after his death.

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      • Ton Majoor

        Maybe, the reliability of phenomenal appearances was best expressed by Steiner in his Leading Thoughts (1925):

        “… the man of true spiritual knowledge has no ascetic attitude to what the senses can perceive. In the very spiritual experience, there remains alive in him the inner need to perceive once more through the senses what he now experiences in the Spirit. In the full human being, seeking as he does to experience the whole reality, sense perception awakens the longing for its counterpart…“ GA026_c25

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  28. Thank you, John, Kathy, Ottmar and Steve – these are just the kind of reflections I had hoped for on this post!

    Best wishes,

    Jeremy

    Like

  29. Ottmar

    Dear Steve, you ask for the sentiment why I answered Kathy s letter. Well, Kathy s letter „spoke“ to me, I thought and think that I know what she means, that I cannot only understand the words but also this longing for answers, which can hardly be expressed with words. Both, these questions and answers can hardly be expressed in words.

    I think a full answer to her „question“does not lie in gaining clairvoyancy, but this could be a side aspect. So I talked of 2 kinds of clairvoyancy, top-down and bottom-up I called them. And this characterisation may also help to understand which „type“ you belong to. We know for example of the platonic and aristotelian souls and Rudolf Steiner stressed again and again how important it is to find out the stream or group we belong to. So I thought my characterisation might help to give insight or understanding of different „soul groups“.

    Many years ago there was a kind of confrontation in the German speaking anthro world between „thinkers“ and „supersensual perceivers“. The sharp confrontation has ceased. Meanwhile a differentiation of these 2 groups of supersensual researchers has evolved. And it was last year I think that Joan Sleigh was the first member of the Vorstand in Dornach to take part in a meeting of these people. Before they were either regarded with great skepticism or just ignored. And for me it was a sign that someone from the English speaking world „broke the ice“.
    I m not sure whether I fully understood your letter to me, Steve and whether my answer is sufficient.
    Ottmar

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  30. Ottmar

    „of personal experience“
    Speaking „of personal experience“, of personal occult experience is difficult in the anthroposophical circles (and even more so in a totally public forum like the anthropopper); it almost immediately provokes ridicule, contradiction, hate and „occult jealousy“ from ignorants, cynics and personal opponents.
    Some karma researchers and some supersensual perceivers work together or at least respect each other; but there is also rejection and hate among them, which most often has a karmic background which is easy to see.
    I personally have a top-down research background and I consider it one of the greatest karmic presents in my life that I came into contact with researchers with a bottom-up approach and that I could study and learn their ways.
    So here I dare to present a small but good result from the cooperation of a bottom-up and top-down researcher. Dirk Kruse, a friend of mine, now at the age of 60, is well known for his research and studies in the yearcircle. He publishes a yearcircle letter 2 times a month in German and English and reaches over 1000 people with it. He discovered that Nov 19 – 21 is the „dead time“ of the year, the turning point so to speak; and indeed it is not too difficult to prove this yourself if you are trained in observing nature, feeling sensing the changes in the course of the year. On November 22 „Advent“ begins in nature on the northern hemisphere and it is possible to sense or feel or perceive how -beginning with this date- the hierarchies come down to earth. Here some shortened notes from my diary (it is difficult to find the right words in German, so in a translation nothing much is left of the original experience, it sounds dead, ahrimanic):

    Nov 22 Mood: gentleness/smoothness, mildness, an untroubled unclouded atmophere, like a first innocent kiss, the sphere has come down to the chest,
    Nov 23 the sphere has come down further, about a hand wide above the ground or touching the ground with the tips of the fingers (The angels coming down first, vertically, touching ones mood directly) Mood: like an approaching holiness, something like Leonard Cohen s Halleluja – halleluja joy and melancholy at the same time
    (You can follow this descending of the hierarchies with a daily progression, how they go down deep into the earth.)
    Nov 28 The archangles are approaching, not vertically like in a line but bell-shaped, like a tepee, the top of the tepee about 2 m above my head (later they when they had fully come down it was like a blanket, like the angles but unlike the archai)
    Dec 4 The archai are already there, they dont come down like a „sheet“ but they make nature, even the physical body shine from inside, make them kind of transparent
    Dec 8 The exusiai are present, have come down …
    Dec 23 All hierarchies are present now, from the cosmos to the centre of the earth it is a unified space…
    And so on, for dozens of pages in my diary …

    For me it is a great pleasue to share these observations in personal conversations and hear what others have to say. Unfortunately we hardly have a „place“ where we can talk about these things confidentially. It will take some time until these things can be published and printed. For me personally these observations are too precious, too holy to expose them to the icy winds of ignorants and cynics.
    Ottmar

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  31. Kathy

    Ottmar, John and Steve (and Jeremy) – thank you, thank you! Your responses and thoughts and experiences are what I have craved hearing/learning. They answer what I must most need to hear: “You are not alone” (in the words of the Etheric Christ.) But I get stuck in an angry place over all this. Why does it have to (often) be so painful? (I’m very aware I sound like a spoiled, demanding child). I keep re-playing a childhood experience similar to yours, Steve. When I was young I told my mother what I was suddenly able to “see” – thinking she would be so happy for me. But she said – “You’re sleepy, we’ll be going home soon.” She didn’t know what I saw! I felt like I was falling off a mountain. I thought (as well a 5-year old can think) some terrible mistake had been made. I was in the wrong place with the wrong people. I made my first “existential decision” at that moment – I choose to believe my experience over my mother. From then, I could never feel “at home” any more – the whole world of family, grandma’s house, etc. became drab/empty – though the natural world stayed “alive”.

    Except with friends who light my life, I feel like an impostor most of the time. I use it well when I can, ie. use it therapeutically, with others – which takes the edge off the fact I hate having to do it. But why wasn’t I consulted on how all this was designed? Does anyone else get angry thinking they could have done this better? – or, conversely, to borrow from what John wrote: here I am a big puffed up, unwieldy balloon – WHERE’S MY HANDLER?

    And, Ottmar, I didn’t know there’s a growing number of clairvoyant anthroposophists! It saddens/angers/frightens me to learn about the internal conflicts among us about altered consciousness. It ties in with Steiner speaking of ascending to the spirit as now being a “necessity”. It ties in with letting ourselves be tempted NOT to see/experience Christ in the Etheric. Does it feel to you (all) we are running out of time (I don’t exactly mean so much as individuals – but more, maybe, time for the accomplishment of this epoch?)

    Enough for now. I am so grateful for all of you and for the opportunity to talk and to learn. Thank you!

    PS: I don’t understand the blog etiquette of when to respond in individual replies, or at the end like this one.

    Like

    • John Beck

      Kathy, hi — thanks for your sharing of the alienation that you have suffered. May I say, shades of the Muggles? (Harry Potter) It’s the main social experience Steiner reported for his first forty years. What was all that pain and isolation for?
      Of course in Steiner’s work there has always been Theodora in the mystery dramas. She appears near the beginning, shares something from natural clairvoyance that is clearly not quite in line or in the style of the teacher’s lecturing, and it is not clear how her offering is ever put to use. But she marries Dr. Strader, seems a friend with Felicia the storyteller, but is driven out of life (!) by the mis-attentions of Johannes (otherwise sort of the hero of the plays), and is then honored as a caring and guarding spirit among the human dead. It is a peculiar plot line, to say the least, and these were real biographies, according to Steiner.
      You’ve given me the thought in any case to try to open up a larger conversation about all this (in the USA). As Adrienne Rich put it, “No person, trying to take responsibility for her or his identity, should have to be so alone. There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep, and still be counted as warriors.”

      Like

    • Kathy,
      I take to heart these comments very much. I wanted to acknowledge Ottmar’s remarks to you because they resonate with me, as well. You see, he and I have conversed for over five years on matters of confidence such as you seek concerning the expression of personal experiences. Yet, it takes time to gain the intimacy required to reveal truly deep matters. Your bold challenge to speak of spiritual experiences was taken up by me immediately, and it first was the keen interest in your situation going back to 2000, and the decision to go south and prepare for retirement. I, too, had an enormous revolution that occurred that year, but, at 50, I was still obliged to work and take care of a family. So, the spiritual side of my revolution was met equally by the practical side, which informed me that I needed to work two full-time jobs in order to make the mortgage. Thus, this was also a low-point in my life.

      In my experience of the Etheric Christ, which occurred around the eruption of Mount Saint Helen in 1980, the words were: “You are so worthy and you always have been.” Yet, it took fourteen years to discover the identity of the Voice of Consoling Words. Thus, as I came to realize much later, this period is known as, “The Grail”, i.e., 1980-1994.

      Now, when I was nearly six years of age, I had a purely spiritual experience in my backyard in which I was drawn to the 3-D world out of a kind of ‘nether-world’, or “between worlds” state of being. A kind of flux arose in which everything around me in the atmosphere began to shimmer and glitter, and I saw Light begin to diffract (bend) around things which had previously been uncarved out; gestalt. I spoke of this before because in reading an early Steiner lecture on Parsifal, he mentioned the “magic wand”, and this exactly described this act in which everything was made to shimmer and glitter.

      The only one to notice was my sister, who saw directly that I had changed from a rather reserved little boy who stood back, and now was loving the world he was in. She screamed, “you’ve changed”!! I said, ‘shush, no one can know’. This was the first and fundamental initiation event in my life. This time the Voice I inquired of to help me understand said: “You are one with Me”. I remember looking way up through a peep-hole in the sky to where this Voice came from.

      From then on I felt like a “homeless soul” because I had actually been torn out of my family unit, and felt myself like an alien, going around in deep introspective contemplation ever since, as if I was compelled to try to figure something out. This is when my father began to withdraw his affection for his first-born son, who he had glorified in my earliest memory when I was just one year old, c. 15 August 1951. Eventually, he would reject me altogether, and that is why I grew up feeling unloved and unworthy.

      I know that Ottmar has listened to some of this stuff, and even if he doesn’t remember it now, he helped in being there. Your interest, and Jeremy’s as well in writing this kind essay, helps make one realize just how much life is meant to be a free giving of the spirit in the best sense possible; even with all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.

      Steve

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  32. Kathy

    Woke to a 4:30 AM thunderstorm with dogs needing to be touched by their “pack leader”. it’s how I feel about Christ. I am becoming more and more certain of how important it is to trust/respect that in us that yearns for…the Etheric? How will we know/recognize Christ in the Etheric if we don’t? How will we develop the altered consciousness it takes to evolve if Anthroposophists shun even talking about it? We need something unobtrusively bold.

    John, I have an idea. Can BEING HUMAN provide a forum for learning about/sharing experiences of altered consciousness? Maybe one of your most knowledgeable writers (Ottmar?) could write an overview on “Anthroposophy and the Cultivation of Altered Consciousness”, describe the various subgroups and their history and the reasons the whole topic is shunned. Then you could offer a small, ongoing space/column for those who want to continue the dialog – to share what they’ve experienced and have learned…???

    Like

    • John Beck

      Kathy, hi
      Our _being human_ is just twice a year now and overloaded, but I’m thinking about how to get the conversation started. I think that’s the most important thing: to bring out an awareness that people are having the experiences Steiner talked about. The challenge comes in that people are having _their_ experiences, not just a recap of what Steiner had. (And he worked very hard to bring things into brain-thinkable concepts.)
      There is a very strong authority question in all this, obviously. Acknowledging difference also will mean working hard to come together. And Steiner observed that Ahriman is aware of human need for spiritual experience, he aims to give us all some kind of unique personal experience but block us from finding the higher science which we will need to have in common if we are to pursue a higher development together.
      So we want to move past intolerance of each other without “the circus getting lost in the dark.”

      Like

      • You known, John, I had the same idea as Kathy, which is: “why can’t your publication also be a ‘sounding board’ for what people are thinking and feeling right now”? I also offered this advice to Thomas O’Keefe a few years ago concerning his online journal, “Deepening Anthroposophy”. You guys need to make your publications real in the interactive sense. This means establishing a real-time link, i.e, blog/discussion board, that allows readers of the articles to write in response right away.

        That way, your publication remains lively, and I remember (before you established the website) all of these wonderful articles written with so much depth of consideration. For example, I just had to write in response to Bill T.’s article on Saint Paul awhile ago, and then when my comment didn’t appear, I wrote to Bill about it, and asked if I needed to be a member of the GAS in order to write to ‘Being Human’. He didn’t think I did, but said that you were very busy with various editorial projects.

        And maybe that is true, John. I know that ‘Being Human’ could easily be a monthly journal, and especially with this interactive mechanism in which articles written could be appreciated immediately. Yet, you say that it “is just twice a year now and overloaded”. Well, I can imagine it is, but why have you reduced publication? Wasn’t this a four-quarter publication, and maybe even a monthly at one time? It was once known as, “Anthroposophy Today”, with George O’Neil as the editor. (btw, I can’t get any of those early pubs anymore since you created the website).

        My experience is that people want to hear their voice, and have it acknowledged. And this is continuous. By having a means whereby articles and comments can become the immediate display of the larger community of listeners, then we can have the worldwide dimension that Steiner envisioned. Let’s take advantage of the Internet by increasing our message, and not reducing it.

        So, I suppose this invites the question, John, concerning what the ASiA might like with the option of a semi-annual publication (current) vs. a monthly publication which could meet and exceed all expectations?

        What do you think?

        Steve

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        • John Beck

          Steve, hi
          Good thoughts, and I’m pondering them.
          The number of issues were reduced in 2015 when our regular budget was brought in line with regular income…
          But I’ll see what can be done, and thank you, Kathy, and all.
          John

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  33. Ottmar

    Dear anthroposophical friends, Kathy, Steve, Jeremy and all the others;
    many aspects of initiation and an esoteric life have been touched upon. Let me say something to some of them.
    Kathy and Steve have talked of their occult or initiation experiences. I think many more in and outside anthro circles have such experiences today, but most often they dont talk about it. Bob Dylan dared to talk about his Christ experience and how little was this understood and how much was he ridiculed and critizised for it.
    Those who have this kind of experiences have certainly gone through many initiations in past lives, that is for sure. Then we can -I d say we have to- find out what is new in this life, what has been added to previous initiations and to which mysteries did we belong to, did we have a connection with. For example: did we participate more in the northern or southern stream leaving old Atlantis, or did we also have a connection with the stream to the west. (Rudolf Steiner described them in detail and so we can understand our own soul inclinations, more the macrocosmic direction, the northern way, the upper gods or more the microcosmic direction, going inwards, India and Egypt, the lower gods. And so on. I ve just read the biography of DNDunlop again, the only man whom Rudolf Steiner called brother, and who had a connection with all 3 streams.)
    So here we are, with many past and present experiences. And where are the next steps? What is necessary to become more healthy in our soul? Are we too rigid, stiff or do we lack structure and clarity; and so on. The 6 side exercises that Rudolf Steiner gave us help a lot for a soul in good equilibrium.
    I personally worked for decades with mantrams, prayers which proved to be of great help and blessings. The very first mantra Rudolf Steiner gave to his students was in fact a translation; it was in 1904 when he took over responsibility for the Esoteric School of Theosophy and the 1st mantra was a translation of HPBs
    More radiant than the sun
    Purer than snow
    Subtler than the ether
    Is the Self
    The Spirit of my heart
    I am this Self
    This Self am I.
    Interestingly he changed the last 2 verses into Dies Selbst bin ich, ich bin dies Selbst, a change of the emphasis of the words Self and I. This mantra breathes old Indian air, it feels or smells eternity, complete silence and rest, a complete unity. But very soon Rudolf Steiner gave a new mantra which in a way activates this eternal rest, a mantra which marks our present situation on the path to eternity and where to direct ourselves.
    In den reinen Srahlen des Lichts
    erglänzt die gottheit der Welt….
    In the pure rays of light
    shines/glitters the deity of the world…
    Here are 3 English versions, version 3 is the most literal
    https://www.rudolfsteineranthroposophy.com/l1/exercises/in-pure-ray-of-light/

    The letters here on anthropopper shouldnt be too long, so I keep it short.
    Meditations with mantras are characteristic for the top-down approach. Hopefully these mantras „will make their way“ down into our daily life.
    The bottom-up approach which I talked about is trying to reach from the etheric sphere in general to the Christ in the etheric sphere or from the etheric sphere of e.g. plants to the realm where the archetypes of the plants exist and thus understand their connection with the planetary sphere and the human body. Hopefully the proponents of this way dont forget the aim, the telos of mankind.
    Ottmar

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  34. Ottmar

    Hi Kathy, you ask for „the reasons the whole topic (of occult experiences) is shunned“.

    Well, there are those, -who think that most if not all occult experiences are atavistic, not healthy, not aquired by the „right method“ and those -who more or less openly reject all occult experiences, but stress the importance of „pure thinking“, all the rest is of inferior quality and those -who seek acceptance by the academic world, who want to make Rudolf Steiner acceptable to the academic philosophical, pedagogical and other departments and those -who think that there is no real spiritual world, but that angels etc. are human projections and those -who have no supersensual experiences and so they are envious, try not to talk about such things but rather about things they know, they are good at and there are perhaps others that dont come to my mind right now. I could give names for each of these groups, all anthroposophist and all have their merits on their fields. It becomes difficult when they attack each other and claim to be the only right anthros.

    People close to Rudolf Steiner however experienced something totally different. Sure you ve read what Rudolf Steiner told the travel group when they were in Tintagel: Here was the kitchen, here the stables and so on. It was quite normal form him to talk about things he „saw“ clairvoyantly. In a memoire of Alexander Strakosch I read how he once visited a museum in Italy with Rudolf Steiner and when they left Rudolf Steiner asked Strakosch: Did you realize how similar Socrates` face is to Tolstoi s face and then smiling „and he even brought Xanthippe with him again“. On an another occasion Rudolf Steiner and Strakosch s wife, who was an artist, went for a walk in a narrow gorge and Rudolf Steiner asked her: Have you seen the gnomes making fun of the humans or showing them a long nose who think rock is impenetrable and lasts forever, havent you?
    So for Rudolf Steiner and many of his close friends it was quite normal to speak about such things. So we shouldnt be too shy to talk about “simple” supersensual perceptions or occult experiences when we feel we are in a save environment and we can be cautious and begin with a phrase like: I have the impression that… I can feel that… I m (quite) sure that…
    The curtain between the visible and invisible is becoming thinner and thinner, world history is speeding up and our personal karma, our spiritual progress opens up widely; that is my personal conviction, no it s more, that is my personal experience
    Ottmar

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  35. Kathy

    Dear John, Ottmar, Thank you so much for your perspectives. Something has struck me in regard to several of your thoughts,

    John, you refer to the perceived dangers in forces (Ahriman) that know we yearn for the spiritual world and use it to sidetrack us from finding the “higher science” leading to “higher development”. Though I always try to “give the devil his due”, and do know that some of us dramatize/flout having “psychic powers”, I don’t credit A. with our efforts to confuse/avoid/escape the path of genuine initiation. I think it’s fear – human fear. Several months after my sister died I became aware one morning that I wasn’t doing compulsive “checking” any more (eg. – is the coffee pot unplugged, is the phone on the hook?, etc.) I’d never been compulsive and was shocked to realize I’d become so, and now didn’t “have to” any more. And I realized it was because of having “premonitions” of my sister’s death starting about a year before we knew she was sick. I would wake up in the night and go to her bedroom door to listen to hear if she was breathing – a couple of times I even woke her to be sure. I realize now that on a largely unconscious level I refused to “know” Barb was dying, and I had been doing what is called “binding” ie hiding anxiety in compulsions.

    I’m thinking the reluctance of Anthroposophists to think and talk about initiation experiences, spiritual/altered consciousness experiences, etc. is more often unrecognized personal fear. Who wants to know these things? Who wants to know, as Ottmar wrote, that the curtain between the visible and invisible worlds is getting thinner and thinner? Sometimes both the experience and the thought feels like a balm to my soul – but not always. How can we bear that? Yes, we yearn for the spiritual world – but not so fast – what happens when the ground literally goes out from under my feet? (It has). Aspects of the things that have been the most wondrous in my life have also, at times, felt so threatening that I’ve tried to escape in ways I don’t even know I’m doing. Have you ever seen the TV show, Monk? “It’s a blessing, it’s a curse.”

    I don’t recall anything I’ve read in Steiner that addresses how we engage in/deal with initiation experiences without a personal (living person) guru. Are we supposed to be each others’? Are we to need it so badly that Christ, Himself, comes forth? The two experiences I’ve had of Christ were both when I was feeling desolate. I hope this is only a temporary stage – where hopelessness seems to be the only key to get through that barrier that’s getting thinner.

    Like

    • Kathy, you wrote:
      “I don’t recall anything I’ve read in Steiner that addresses how we engage in/deal with initiation experiences without a personal (living person) guru. Are we supposed to be each others’?”

      I decided to write about my spiritual experiences because I sensed that possibly this is exactly what needs to take place now. You gave the impulse, and what it needed was the momentum of an actual speaking out of revelations which many hold near and dear. Now, I would like to see it develop into a force that people who care will confide in.

      Steiner did, indeed, speak of what the demands of modern initiation science today requires. It requires studying the findings of the spiritual researcher first, and long before taking up the methods indicated for one’s own definite understanding. This is because in today’s day and age, there is no guru like in the past when the ancient mysteries existed. All has become self-initiation, and even from the earliest years in life.

      For example, when I was just five years old, and living in close association with the so-called, “Kingdoms of Childhood”, and wherein a keen perception of the elemental spirits of the Mineral, Plant, and Animal Kingdoms was the normal naive clairvoyant perception of a young child, my mother one day in early September of 1955, got me dressed up and took me to the public school in order to enroll me in Kindergarten. And she left me there! No warning; no preparation for such an occurrence. Well, it was a very difficult experience for me the entire year, and the reason is that I was still closely associated with these ‘elementals’, and a world that had yet to be carved up into discrete entities. My experience was pure Gestalt, if you know what that means. And that is why the next year I was given the blessing of the rather quick and dramatic entry into the 3-D world, as previously described. It was only then, with this experience coming from the Father, that I was really made ready for earth life with all of its responsible connotations.

      Rudolf Steiner made a big impression on me with what he says in this first chapter of Outline of Occult Science. Here, he indicates how modern initiation involves no guru, although a teacher and guide can appear for a time, and that the acquisition of new knowledge on a theoretical/ conceptual level is imperative as the first step. In fact, we can go a whole lifetime in taking in the results of spiritual-scientific investigation without any further effort to make the knowledge our own, and it will still turn to gold in the future. Why? Because it is a preparation.

      https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/English/RSP1963/GA013_c01.html

      Like

    • John Beck

      Kathy, hi
      You’re certainly in agreement with Steiner that human beings today naturally fear the spirit and revelations of the spirit. And given how adapted we are to a physical world and physical thoughts, what we fear in the spirit is a breaking open of the shell. Of course, if the shell doesn’t break open, the seed can’t take the next step and grow into its further environment.
      My reference to Ahriman’s intentions, to give us all unique private spirituality to comfort and distract us, I suppose, in our physical silos, had to do with a positive concern that spiritual experience become something in which we can together have confident and create future community. I think you handle that part nicely by giving your experiences sufficient context so that others can relate to them without feeling a need to submit to them as student to teacher. The future of all this seems necessarily to be a project of co-learners.
      John

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  36. Kathy

    I feel a genuine shift in how I am meeting what I think of as the lonely experience of facing the Guardian at the abyss. I woke this AM thinking do I really want to “own up to” all the stuff I’ve done to block my own way – and, worse, – the things I’ve done that contribute to blocking others? Yes, I’m willing – at least before I start my day and get embroiled in how hard it is to slog through the heaviness of this place and people. Communicating with all of you is helping – so much – and I’m grateful…Kathy

    Like

    • John Beck

      I’m really glad to hear that Kathy. I also just a few days ago realized that I had to admit to taking on too much — and getting stuck with it all. And that I was constantly stressed as a result. Gaining spiritual vision is a blessing, but not an easy one I think!

      Like

    • Stephen Hale

      I have been reading about the importance of achieving inner tranquility in “Knowledge of the Higher Worlds”. This state seems to equate with the center-point, or so-called, ‘balance between opposites’, which allows one to work from the Christ position in the middle, and safely move to the left and right in order to face the prevalent luciferic and ahrimanic influences so ripe today.

      Steiner indicated that this inner tranquility, or calm spirit, along with dedication to the path of veneration, or truth and knowledge, was the basis for modern initiation science. This is true.

      Yet, in maintaining it and upholding its veracity, we come into so much conflict that we have to wonder about the obstacles and what they are after? So, it is good when an intrepid spirit sees that it is bad habits that need to be gleaned for their prior reproofs and made clean based on simple measures discussed here.

      How more simple can it be other than extending one’s vista to ask for help? And, has it not been given; in spades?

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  37. Ottmar

    Thank you Steve and John,
    let me add a small remark from my side.
    “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you.” John 14:27
    The words in the gospels and especially in John also mean something specific, esoteric. For example a word like „May he rest in peace“ is often said without knowing what it can mean in reality, often it is just said superficially.
    So can we be more precise on the word „My Peace“ ? In my experience (and not only in my idea or opinion) „My Peace“ is a state of being beyond sympathy and antipathy, the continuing changes and transformations in the soul, it is more than an equilibrium between Lucifer and Ahriman but a „leaving behind“ Lucifer and Ahriman, it is somewhat similar to the state of being after the kamaloka. So this „My Peace“ is a kind of Christ-substance in the devachan in which we can first rest, then awake and then also live.
    “the Spirit of truth ; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him : but ye know him ; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14, 17
    Ottmar

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Thanks, Ottmar. Yes, this is certainly something very high. “I have been to the mountaintop.”

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      I would certainly like to keep this thread going but maybe it is time to move on. I think it will prove to be one of Jeremy’s most important in the annals of the Anthropopper because it honestly asked about personal experience and commitment. And it takes courage to speak about it in faltering words, no less. Yet, people are truly experiencing the Christ today in the etheric body. This can be proven by something called the “spiritual emergence movement”, in which people are reporting being changed by some unidentified means, which (of course) spiritual science can explain.

      I am very taken by the remarks of John and Ottmar concerning what Christ says to His disciples in the fourteenth chapter of the Gospel of John. He is beginning to console them about what has to take place. Having washed their feet in order to express His love for them each and individually, including the betrayer, He now sees that their collective grief is rather overwhelming. So, He begins a discourse which covers four chapters, i.e, 14-17, and it starts with a most remarkable passage:

      “In My Father’s house are many mansions (dwelling places) and I go to prepare a place for you.”

      Jesus Comforts His Disciples – 14
      “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

      So, does this not really seem to be the configuration we have, and exists today? Christ is predicting His own return, and we have much evidence for it. I can personally attest to it, and it came some six years before I even heard the name, Rudolf Steiner.

      Of course, that makes Rudolf Steiner someone of significance in the first quarter of the 20th century. He is the one who predicted the reappearance of Christ, or Second Coming, beginning in the second third of the 20th century, c. 1933. Has it not happened for many people since then, and many who still might not know it? Personally, I am sure because it took fourteen years, c. 1980 to 1994, in order to truly identify the Voice of Consoling Words Who spoke to me. He said: “You are so worthy, and you always have been.” Very important for me to hear.

      Yet, it finally came with reading the lecture, “The Etherization of the Blood”, which Steiner gave on October 1, 1911. I read it for the first time on April 1, 1994. So, Eureka!!

      Ottmar knows this story from repeated reference, and so he can attest that he has heard it before. Kind regards to all in our further pursuits.

      Steve

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  39. Ottmar

    „I would certainly like to keep this thread going but maybe it is time to move on.“
    I agree, that many important things have been said on this thread. The question that arises for me is: And now? Where do we go from here?
    We have become aware that there are other „seekers“, anthroposophists with first hand spiritual experiences „out there“, spread all over the world. We can see the good results of the 5th era, and the Faust mythos is the archetype of this era, the individual that strives, that seeks, that fights „who wants to know what holds the world together“ and who is ready to pay with his life for it. But the pioneers in the spiritual development should or could already attempt the next step, the task of the 6th era, Philadelphia. In Philadelphia it is no longer the individual that seeks „redemption“, but a group, a community, the archetype for the 6th era or epoch is the mythos of the city Kitesh (which was discovered by Tomberg and later taken over by Prokofieff).
    But forming a group, a circle of friends, a community, a lodge, a branch with this kind of anthroposophists is not possible via the internet; this needs personal contact at least from time to time, personal talks, handshakes, looking into the other s eyes and this is not possible on the anthropopper. Here we are confined to the exchange of words, to sharing experiences. But this may very well help us on our attempt to fulfill the „Faust task“. Comments?
    Ottmar

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  40. Kathleen Finnegan

    Ottmar, Thank you for your thoughts – and the thoughts about Philadelphia. I’m finally feeling more and more gratitude for what I’m starting to understand is a fledgling Philadelphia group I’m part of – but have never until lately been able to grasp as Philadelphia-in-redemption!!!…In action. For years I’ve yearned for an Anthroposophy “family”. But I find myself in a group of 9 to 12 people – most of us meeting once a month to “do Reiki” and often celebrate holidays with each other. Only two of us have actually studied Reiki and we have never in the three years we’ve been meeting even talked about how we conceptualize what it is we are doing. In silence, we take turns on a massage table and “lay hands” on each other – maybe 5 out of 12 of us on any given day. Then we eat and talk. I seldom talk Anthroposophy and haven’t (yet) shared any books because of my past history with friends who give the books back saying “I just can’t get into it” – or – “I think it’s the language”. But it’s not the words – or even the teachings, is it? It’s the lived experience. Recently one of us expressed interest in Buddhism and I lent him some books – leading to great talks. I remember thinking – last time we talked – if only we could be talking anthroposophy. But I’m coming to see now that, yes, we’re not talking Anthroposophy – but we’re DOING it! In multiple ways, we’re doing that mutual mind stretching, holistic grasp that I feel when I read Steiner – and when the “observer” in me expands into what it’s (I’m) observing.

    It may be time we move on from this thread because it’s getting longer and longer to scroll down – but I think it will be weaving eternally!

    Like

    • Ottmar and Kathleen,

      I have experienced this thread with you both, and I know that we each have the same goals for spiritual attainment. I also know that John and Jeremy are of the same caliber in this seeking. The reason that I know is because we have been talking to each other for two months on this thread, and even longer. Personally, I think that the Internet is a hugely important device for human communication. It makes “snail-mail” a thing of the past, although receiving personal letters in the mail can still be a sight to behold. But, let’s get realistic with each other. Without the Internet, we would not know about our common aims. So, this thread has been important for that. In fact, the entire Anthropopper blog, from its inception, is a sign of the times to behold. All it takes is the time and care to review it to know that it houses the spiritual strivings that Rudolf Steiner brought forth.

      So, for example, if we look at the first lecture of “Awakening to Community”, which took place a few weeks after the burning of the Goetheanum, Steiner seems to clearly indicate the need to form a kind of “Kitesh” in which the extant members living and supporting him could come to a new resolve in helping make it happen.
      https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA257/English/AP1974/19230123p01.html

      It is noteworthy that Steiner mentions the anthroposophical movement no less than 30 times in this lecture, and often in direct conjunction with the idea and fact of the “Universal Human”, which he certainly saw as extant. Yet, in today’s day and age, it is hard to find personal contacts of the fourth kind, i.e., physical-etheric-astral-ego. So, I admire Ottmar for his circumstances there in the heartland of original anthroposophy, where so many competing initiatives exist as to the science of the spirit, and I also admire Kathleen, who seeks communion with others in fourfoldness, and yet, seems to want more from her contactees concerning anthroposophy.

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