Spiritual Research on America
Dear Friends of Rudolf Steiner,
On the occasion of the Natural Science Section’s meeting in Spring Valley, where the questions related to the problem of knowledge are being more openly discussed, I wish to add an additional perspective, from – shall we say – the point of view of those who Steiner described as the Platonists, who were to gather with Aristotelians at the turn of the Century.
America is not Europe, nor is the American Soul like the soul of Central Europeans. The following material is distinctly of the American Spirit, and yet little known in anthroposophical circles, either here or elsewhere. Dire straights if this ignorance is alllowed to continue.
For example, concerning the problem of knowledge, a distinctive American Way of practicing the New Mystery of Thinking is outlined in this book: Sacramental Thinking, links to which are part of the material collected on this data stick. [ http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/SacramentalThinking33x.html ]
The gathering Steiner refereed to as the “Culmination” happened. I was there. A earlier report of mine on the results of that is here: [ http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Culmination.html ], also included on this data stick.
As a – hopefully – succinct preview of this work, I recently wrote a letter to both John Bloom and John Beck. Below is that letter and their replies:
Pagan (Platonist) Anthroposophy
Owen Barfield, in his seminal “Speaker’s Meaning”, proves through language studies that all the oldest religions only named reality, given that languages in their youth are purely literal.
One implication of this fact is that the most primitive religions – the earth-religions – were correct in every detail, although as various as are clusters of stars in the heavens, given the significance of geographical regions&peoples decorating the whole surface of the Earth. Differentiation is essential.
The Platonists to which Rudolf Steiner referred, in his prediction about the Culmination Event, were pagans. Which really only means that they worshiped/adored/cherished Everything, knowing the Totality of this Cornucopia comes from the Mother.
From the American Platonist Stephen Clarke’s: “Rudolf Steiner’s “Mexican Mysteries” Re-Imagined … Introduction, 2017” [ http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Clarke5.html ]
“Thus, successive precipitations of Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon and Earth evolutions (simply an alternate vocabulary for the traditional kabbalistic worlds of Emanation, Creation, Formation & Existence as depicted in shorthand in Genesis) can be seen as having their parallel “tree-rings” in the building up of successive inner-earth layers corresponding to Saturn, Sun, Moon, and, finally, the surface world of Nature, all inhabited at their core and in every particle by divinity in its immanent maternal aspect.”
However, … in Central Europe, with its long history of immature Christianity and the woeful dualism of good&evil, Steiner was constrained – again in harmony with the variety of peoples and geographical/ethereal regions out of which the Earth surface is composed. He – Steiner – was serious medicine for the culture that birthed scientific materialism – all is matter, there is no spirit – a medicine that needs to be precise and focused … no room for mystical and magical operations.
Still Steiner managed to hide in plain sight, the Seven Earth Mysteries, sprinkled with fairy dust, and slyly described as abstract “forces”, in a situation that in other contexts he pointed out that there are no abstract (ethereal formative) forces, only Beings and their collective Will.
[What happens if you unite in the soul generalized versions of the wisdoms of the Sections as a single whole? All were rooted in accompanying magical acts done by Steiner – not too hidden from view, yet not really noticed.]
Even in the beginning the language used was an open obvious evocation: Lucifer Gnosis. The Foundation Stone, that was laid in the Earth, begins with an open air magical ceremony, acknowledging the Spirits of the Four Directions, just as is still done today in the Pipe Ceremony of the Lakota Sioux.
By connecting to Freemasonry Steiner tried to keep something alive, among those Lodges who acknowledge the still real role of Rite. Ultimately he then helped generate a new priesthood and ritual work in the Christian Community, at the request of the local folk with pastoral responsibilities.
He spoke of Anthroposophia – a female emphasis, and of the dangers that would befall the Anthroposophical Society were the members to lose sight of the essence – a Way of Seeing Anthroposophy as the Mother from which all else, including spiritual science, was being born.
“When we are in a position to assimilate anthroposophical knowledge not only through reading and listening, but when we are more and more able to experience the content of anthroposophy in our heart, in our feelings, then it is as if living, cosmic beings enter our souls. Then, anthroposophy will appear to us increasingly as a living being. And we will become aware that something is knocking at the threshold of our heart saying, ‘Let me in, because I am you yourself; I am your true nature, your very humanity.”
“In Anthroposophy it is the Truth that matters. In the Anthroposophical Society it is the Life that matters.”
In what sense are today’s earth-religions true brothers&sisters of Anthroposophy? While their sciences are visionary/mystical, and magically evocative, they are still “sciences” as anyone knows who studies those ancient teachings outside a Steiner-only wisdom.
The already immortal Beings are the same, only the names vary. All the same, it is humanity that is the leading edge of change. Our hungers, whether vain or exulted, rule our destinies.
Owen Barfield points out in his “Saving the Appearances: a study in Idolatry”, that language reveals the human being becoming the leading edge of the incarnation of the Logos into&through earth-reality, most notably when around 250 to 300 years ago, the word “self-consciousness” first appears in English.
Steiner, necessarily originally constrained, needs to be freed. The baleful dichotomy of evil&good needs to be laid to rest. This is the mission of the Platonists, which are being born from the Aristotelians. The Culmination Event is ongoing … the whole world is pregnant with it, including the Anthroposophical Society, which mostly needs to get occasionally intoxicated and dance much more frequently.
Why? Ahriman so loves rules and procedures over daring and adventures. Joy and/or humor is not in his repertoire.
The logical problem is this: There is the either/or idea(1) of “evil”, and another idea(2) of “good”, … and then there is the meta(above)physical idea(3) of both/and or: = “good&evil” – qualities that cannot be separated out from each other, their opposition only apparent – an “appearance” as it were.
Heaven&Earth ~!~ Flute&Drum ~!~ Breath&Blood. the Emerald Tablet:
“The above from the below, and the below from the above – the work of the miracle of the One. And things have been from this primal substance through a single act. How wonderful is this work! It is the main (principle) of the world and is its maintainer. Its father is the sun and its mother the moon; …“
In the Americas, the earth-religions know the secrets of the will. Fire and Water cannot be separated. The path to the Mother involves surrendering to the own dark&wild. Occasionally dancing intoxicated is a necessary antidote to a paralyzed from too much reading mind and soul, afraid to physically express joyous freedom of personal essence.
Feelings move us. Feelings see/know.
For millennia folks slowly left the more wild regions of the earth, slowly coagulated more and more in cities, billions now crowded together – yet there&surviving. Meanwhile Western Civilization is dissolving into a yet to be created&new – a social organism of wide variations, while the no longer viable nation states slide to their inevitable defeat, through the machinations of the multi-national heartless corporate cultures.
The political wars, especially in the Americas, very much need to be infused from the Earth-ground upward, with spiritual knowledge. Women, carrying the Mother&Friends are already on the march. Changes surge from within, and youth have such glorious forces, if we can get them to attend to the wisdom acquired over the years from their grandmothers.
Still, nothing stops the music. Nothing impedes free culture expression, which is always defiant of excessive form. At the glorious mixture of the social commons travelers wander, some forced (parents fleeing with children), others doing good in loco perentis. Many carry Anthroposophy (conscious and instinctive) in their hearts, yet always dangers … for Anthroposophy itself is dissolving away from its: the best Way is the highest Road, becoming Americanized into: the Way that Works will have to do, no time for the will to be any longer asleep, hardly dreaming.
Anthroposophists need to recognize that as the new pagan/mother mysteries are coming forth, our shared physical life is getting harsher, water and food more scarce, … so that what Steiner gave needs to wash the feet of the local latent ancient culture. Steiner didn’t know those Other Cultures, as well as his own, which leaves to true scientists of the spirit the task to investigate all the ancient truths.
Everyone will recognize in their own local great myths, the roots that are modernized&science-touched in bio-dynamics, Waldorf education, anthroposophical medicine, … in all of the newly refreshed sciences&arts&letters, …
… but Europe must no longer engage in any form of spiritual/cultural imperialism&colonization. Goethe is interesting, but Everywhere Else in the world there are different cultural giants, and as we know, the Divine Mystery wastes nothing.
Anthroposophy – the truth – arises from the individual, through family, and then into community, because that is where/how the future always emerges – out of individuals. To live on the Earth, of wondrous variations of culture&language, is to discover that each ancient Way to the Mother remains valid.
That Place, where any particular People live, that’s were the deepest memories are of the ancient ones, who like the rose are still themselves, whatever names we sell/buy/preach … this is the secret of the return of the Moon. Echo-Born borne from seeds deep in the mysteries of the earth and of the will.
Do you want to know what Anthroposophy is, … answering that question means to seek to know what Others most need. Anthroposophy can’t be carried in a bucket of books, only in the warmed perceptive evocations of a heart. Magic is real. We use it everyday, although tending to mislabel its arts.
The Moon is Returning Now, for those with eyes to see, and ears to hear: “Medicine Woman is Here” [http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/moon~%21~earth.html ]
Replies of John Beck (Director of Communications of the Anthroposophical Society in America), and John Bloom (current General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America).
Good to hear from you. Very interesting thoughts and observations.
And you know, it is very important that you are engaging and carrying these thoughts, along with a few other people. Why do I say that?
What gets missed (I’ve done it many times myself) is that this Anthroposophical Society is a tiny thing. We haven’t been able to organize the resources even to meet the more obvious opportunities. Dornach is a substantial center but it is smaller, I would estimate, that the typical community college in the US. There are over 1400 of those. And the ASA is about the size of a regional animal welfare society.
So I think a great many things can only be carried right now as seeds, by passionate individuals like yourself. If we are short in other resources, we are long in people who really dig into things.
I would mention that the AGM last fall in Phoenix was really planted in a space of living Native American culture, a palpable presence. And I met a radiant old man who creates curriculums and was working to interest tribal schools in Waldorf methods. So we have two pages on that in the latest being human. That would begin to be a foundation for recognizing the gifts the ancient cultures can still bring.
Best wishes to you,
Thanks for taking the time to write this and for the depth of thought. The question of where and how anthroposophy stands in the world right now, and how it can be of real service in support of each person’s humanity is at the forefront of my daily work. So I much appreciate the vision that you are holding.
Anthroposophical Society in America
links also included on the data stickCrucial Research on the problem of Evil,and the true Nature of the Inner Earthby Stephen Clarke,who was also at the Culmination
Some Notes Toward a Resolution of the Dilemma
– in reference to Paul V. O’Leary’s The Inner Life of the Earth
Rudolf Steiner’s “Mexican Mysteries” Re-Imagined
[ http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Clarke5.html ]
also on the data stick, for background purposes:
a celebration of the American Soul’s unique ability to contribute to the future of Anthroposophy,
and to the future of world culture
review of American Anthroposophy, written by William Bento,
and published in the Evolving News For members
Waking the Sleeping Giant
the mission of Anthroposophy in America
Freely Thought Anthroposophy
a page of links to my research on Anthroposophy and America
master work: The Art of God: an actual theory of Everything
review of The Art of God, by Liz MacKenzie
for latest works of mine, see:
business card: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/wendtagency.html