A Love Letter to the Friends of Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy …
[first, a few words from our Sponsor=Love: From the Center there are four directions, North and South, and East and West. On the upper vertical (N) of this Cross is self-less human love, and on the lower vertical (S), erotic and sensual love. In the horizontal, on the left, is the East, aka comradeship, and on the right is the West, nurturing love (touch).
expressions mirror the Divine Mystery itself. We are They and They
are We. Anthroposophia is this, as well. Four directions and a
center. Next time you walk barefoot on morning dew wet grass,
understand this touch goes both Ways. Experience touches us. We
If you Grok a michaelic martian stranger in a strange land, … the Earth knows us even more intimately then we yet know the Earth. All manifestations, even “objects” which appear completely inert, and governed by fixed rules of “scientific” laws, at the edges of experience – where we feel the wind, or touch the sky with our eyes – are invisible Beings. Elementals – aware of us far more than we are aware of them.
The untamed cold intellect has killed the mind’s ability to actually see what is right in front of us. What is going on?
The mature expansion of Natural Science, into the future, needs Anthroposophia. The already achieved ground-work of Steiner’s influence is considerable, and is even academically recognized through the work done by the American, Dan McKanan in his book: Eco-Alchemy: Anthroposophy and the History and Future of Environmentalism.
McKanan is the Emerson Senior Lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, and this work involved at least twenty years of his life to produce. Every fan of Steiner and/or what many name: Anthroposophy – should own a copy, or three, of this book to share. In this book, McKanan brings the Aristotelian impulse in Anthroposophy to a “logical” conclusion, which is to tell the story of: Without Steiner, environmentalism loses its best Aristotelian friend whose works broke open all the secrets of the ancients, and wove them into a new tapestry of meaning. Bright and richly textured. Arts of thought at the most remarkable level.
Still, a work not yet flowering as widely as many had hoped. Have we failed him, and Her? Good, grief, of course we have. Being human means falling down in spite of our best intentions.
Environmentalists have not yet really noticed Steiner’s pointing to Anthroposophia, for in the Anthroposophical Society (and wider community of Steiner readers), his thought comes to a kind of rest state. Why rest? Why pause for a moment and breathe … the Wind is not done with any of us, whatever our peculiar predilections might be. The Wind has shifted a bit, and certain songs from the American Southwest haunt our souls, such that we might do well to wonder about the gateways to the deeps, these forgotten peoples still guard.
The situation is simple and aggravating at the same time. To what degree do I harm my own spiritual development, by any one-sided activity, such as reading a lot of Steiner, and joining groups who talk of nothing but Steiner, perhaps unconsciously creating a shadow/double (Steinerism) of Anthroposophy, which sees becoming learned in his words a worthy philosophical goal.
The reality is that to the extent that Steiner-said occupies a too prominent place in my soul, there my own spirit is not. This could bring us to imagine, then, a kind of arid desert around the Steiner-inspired. That would not be true. We didn’t get to meet him physically, but spirit/mind to spirit/mind. Meanwhile, he pointed us in certain directions, and in our striving to realize in our own lives, some element of his genius, our personal deeds gain additional shine. Just keep in mind that it is the own heart, which gives off the warmest light.
Anthroposophy does not live in the intellect, but is – as he remarked – a calling/hunger of the heart. Humanity, under the enchantment of the powers of the intellect (a matter-only science – no spirits allowed), … humanity needs to be freed from those chains to our personal autonomous imagination.
Readers of Steiner might be hungry for fresh tales, forged in a darker occult wilderness. Still, there was in the Steiner-then – too much intellectualism simply because – for Europe – the Intellectual Soul thrived, … in fact in the 19th Century its prowess crowned the world with achievements – albeit some very dangerous.
In essence, to build a spiritual bridge, from the social-center of the world outward, required first making the local soul-ground fertile through the already existing pattern of intellectualality (recall Herr Dr. Steiner), via lectures and books. Amazing lectures and books.
The truth is simple, after a fashion. Many great intellects in our Age (Newton, Einstein, Hawking), already feel isolated in their individuality from all that surrounds them (as with most of us in some fashion). As a result we are filled thereby with a natural ego-sense – some call: the on-looker separation. The ordinary human experience is one of being a “center” with a periphery over which we have little control. At the same time, life teaches us that even our “center” is complicated. The human journey itself is evidence of the Divine Mystery living in Everything.
This has led to a unique bias against the natural world, through humanity’s (aided by scientific intellectualism) assumption that we – human-creatures – are the only material entity with a fully self-conscious (invisible to the senses of most others), interior life,
The Earth is for too many a prison from which to escape, fleeing fires of fears becoming more and more desperate – people moving in flood. Meanwhile … in fact there remains latent within, a magical moon-light world, of sprites and Thrones, of Old Ones and memories of Existence’s Original Spiritual State as a Garden.
What we call environmentalism is a flame for seeking living truths. What has been done to our minds to lose a sense of the Sky as the Father, and the Earth is the Mother? Will we add to humanity’s growing mastery/fear of death, a true quantum leap in the imagination, arriving at an authentic mastery of life, magical and mystical? She has given us so much, the least we can do is be proper caretakers for the Old Age of Her Avatar body we call a physical planet.
Planting trees with whom we learn to talk. Going into the still preserved regions, the inhospitable regions, and rekindling the fire of love between us and the all around.
The Hopi call this Age, the Day of Purification. Disciples told stories of words from a rabbi, who said: I come not to bring peace, but a sword. “The Great Unsettling, & the 3rd Millennium” http://www.thecollectiveimagination.com/the-great-unsettling-the-3rd-millennium/
The authentically wild can never be tamed, except by the Mother of Wild Herself. So with our own souls. We are inundated with concerns over global warming, cryptically aware we are killing the Life Sphere, Who truth to tell are more worried about us, than Themselves.
Our artists imagine many horrible/terrible futures, given everyone’s understanding of the evils that seem to live in the hearts of men. The Beast from the Abyss is human freedom.
Eco-Alchemy is a fine, nae far better, poetic notation of the razor-edged cusp on which the future of all of humanity balances. If we might expand that notation a little to include/conclude the idea that it is the human being Itself that is the healing source/ground from which the “environment” is to recover from the ravages of industrial civilization.
Existence teaches that if you run too fast, there will be a trip&fall … and the higher the heights obtained, the more startling the messy splash.
We are free to engender endless ruination. The Divine Mystery lent us this gift, suggesting we humans would be worth the trouble. Will we make something greater than the Creation itself, or will we fail ourselves, the once upon a time legendary crown of creation.
Our world burns with violence and rage. People run away and toward anything, but where they are. The alchemy of Alcoholics Anonymous suggests we can’t actually get away from ourselves, however far we run.
Rudolf Steiner made two very important predictions about the near future of humanity. The first (and most important, when properly understood) concerns the Return of Christ in the Ethereal World. The ethereal is the world/sphere of Life, – “In It (the Word) was Life, and the Life was the Light of the World”.
Which is also the “light” of the world of thought. When we think, that is, … the where/realm in which we think is a living world, with us as one of many creative loci, hungering to sing/sign our Way past/through the edges some call: the Threshold, although I suspect in the future we will use other language such as: the Collective Imagination; or the Dreamtime.
Steiner’s second near-time prediction concerned some future co-workers. The Aristotelians in the Society would have a chance to work with the Platonists, folk who don’t normally hang together in the same Age. The Culmination, Steiner called it.
Why is that meeting
Aristotelians tend to being deeply connected to the Mysteries of the Son, and thereby connected to the Mysteries of the Father. “I and the Father are One; No one gets to the Father except by me”.
The Platonists are deeply connected to the Mysteries of the Mother – i.e they are what Steiner might have called “initiates”, due to the fact that they live in the world of spirit&matter. None the less, these Platonists might confess to being: mere foolish wizards and/or accidental shamans, that being the same thing (mostly). They have become deeply connected to the Mother, enough so that the word “pagan” applies.
Using the term “Platonist”, I refer the readers to Catherine MacCoun, although she might prefer other names. She (Platonist or not) did in fact write: “On Becoming an Alchemist: a guide for the modern magician”.
This personal connection, with the Maternal, is the main matter. In terms of the Eco-Alchemy noted by McKahan, the pagan is at the edges. Farmers, and others seeking to heal the Mother’s over cultivated kingdoms, are not unaware of the little people – the nature spirits, but still – in a “scientific age” – how and why do we connect with the consciousness that lives in the green world, among the stone people, and the water and air folk.
I offered some help here: Letters about Magic (#1-12): http://www.thecollectiveimagination.com/2019/05/20/letters-about-magic/
Stephen Clarke, who was also at the Culmination with Catherine, and myself, has helped Steiner’s works immensely, by correcting a fundamental error. It is not that Steiner has feet of clay (we all do), but Steiner practiced spiritual science, and if better work was to come along, he would be the first to applaud its arrival. http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/Clarke5.html From this remarkable spiritual reseach we learn the details of where&why Christ went on a Saturday two millennia ago.
Steiner discussed the two Ways (the Aristotelian son/father folk and the Platonist mother/pagan folk) in his lectures on Karma. The two folk have karma, which suggests some butting of heads on occasion. Truth to tell, Life as Providence – being the best teacher of all – has already introduced everyone to the question of: What are we? Not just who. What?
Still, as a pagan-anthroposophist, I invite folk to consider the Americas, the last – found land for Europeans to plunder – great continental feature, a West of Europe rocky shore on which Western (Greek&Roman) Civilization could give up the ghost.
land, peopled for Epochs before European grandiose interference dined
on these places – geological & geographical magical-mystical
Loci – dotted with ancient temples close to the Gates of Hades –
so many other-folk here now, without realizing that in the Americas
one goes down and through the dark, in order to find the light.
A journey best enjoyed in the company of others, drumming, dancing, and singing encouraged.
“Sympathy for the Devil, Rolling Stones
“Jailhouse Rock”, Blues Brothers
“Otahku”, Ghost town sound
Those familiar with the works of Owen Barfield will be aware of his remarks about how words change their meaning over time (See “Speaker’s Meaning” for details). In our case the keystone word is “Anthroposophy”. It is possible to try to use that word in the precise fashion with which Steiner applied it – not always successfully. Through usage the meaning has changed over time. It wasn’t him so much as it was the times, and the needs of middle-European folk. Anthroposophy as “the path of cognition”, over time and through usage, becomes Anthroposophy = the spiritual scientific philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, which is how the term is used (mostly) as Dan McKanan encountered it.
In a very real sense, something Divine as fallen to Earth, perhaps an actual incarnate Being, named: Anthroposophia. This earthly/heavenly Being needs both, the Aristotelians and the Platonists, in order to express Her full Nature.
She is of the Shes long forgotten, an Immortal Sphinx, buried under the sands of time, as the three monotheisms ran over the older earth/mother religions, … and here we encounter a new mystery. The monotheisms seem to run aground on the rocks of scientific materialism. God is made dead by logical&intellectual fiat. We, of the 21st Century, find even the idea of there being something true, lost to our public life via fake news, and synthetic intelligence being used to make talking images out of ones and zeros, and a dark heart.
Humanity is being forced to rely on Itself. Although it is clear that the gods&goddesses seem to have bet the whole house on our being up to the task. They clearly trust us, given our flirtations with powers of death, so maybe it is time to once again consider the virtue of trusting Them, as well.
Significantly, for Steiner lovers, he was not the only player placed on the board by the Mystery. The question is, will the Aristotelians climb into – the zen-swamp Faerie/Underworld Upsidedown of Stranger Things – with the Platonists, or will they hide out in their books and “if he said it, it must be true”. An attitude that if continued will make it harder to get people to open their hearts to Steiner’s love and sacrifice.
The whole of the human-future is at stake, saith Steiner, if the Culmination does not happen in the right way. What is the right way?
The transformation of the influence of Anthroposophy on environmentalism, needs to evolve to the point, where not only is the Return of Christ in the Ethereal important (all minds can experience this), but the recognizing of the “environment” itself as a living Cosmic Being is brought to the public mind.
“The only relationship which will be effective for achieving the quite worthy goals of the environmental movement, is the relationship of I and Thou. For there is an immense unasked question: what does Nature want? And no human being has the right to impose their personal point of view over that of Nature Herself” From my essay: “The Quiet Suffering of Nature” http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/qsfnt.html
The self-conscious sentient inner nature of the World has been proven by the collective works of those who have achieved some aspects of Goethean science. The work has been done, it just now needs to be championed in the right way. What is the right Way?
Throw a party and give away the knowledge. Increase production and sale of Adams, Lehrs, Hauschka, and company. They belong to humanity, and not some dusty corner of a Waldorf School library.
Or not. If something needs doing, does it get done automatically? I don’t believe that is how the world is meant to work. Let me borrow … “Ask not what Anthroposophia can do for you, but what you can do for Anthroposophia”
Let me end here with some material from Steiner’s latest incarnation, as Harvey Bornfield, aka Early Fire. He was also at the Culmination.
[NOTE DATES: the first was written before Harvey knew of what had happened }> a beautiful prose/poem to the Season. Following that, will be what he wrote the next day. I’ve encountered no better grasp of 9/11’s esoteric and exoteric heart. These are best read aloud, with some passion.
“For Earlyfire, mood ever upstages all memory of events. And Michaelmas then becomes a time of reflection, of consenting to let go of the spree of the summer, and the pastel float of its siren-song, and to bring her euphoria and fan of perfume, and all sweet fenceless expanse that let us reach to the meadows of every distant star at will in the long season of floorless song, and kiss and at last, to welcome it back to unwinged, places, politely handcuffed to more anchored beauty, and gone our drunkard’s major chords, lost forever in the mists of Mists of Avalon.
“Let the introspection be medicine, always restoring the quiet, and de-spicing the warm and buoyant revels, guide us one and all back south of the sky, to the Place of Kneeling. This is what the leaves announce, that by catching fire, and descending pungeant to the air’s seabottom, loud in braided harvest hues of peach and orange and cherry, sing before the Angel of Death, all this to remind us of how love comes to tell the last tale whenever the pages of magic, losing their ink,turn white as the coming snow.
“And chill is blessing, for the Day of Atonement, the Day of Hollows and plainsong is at hand, when the dragon and the flames of the dragon within is exiled to clay climates, and made flightless and sober, must drink wine of iron, reckon gravity his friend, and so anchored, made devout, holy by winter, light his own torch and learn to stand again……….
“It is the season when we learn the secret of how to respond to being orphaned, and encounter the opportunity to invite the development of the power of detachment which camphor cools the raging of wild campaigns, of all that’s fair in love and war. And thus what seems, slows, no longer glows and now descends from dreams, and what once round us wove famous parades, now de-charades, and suddenly becomes robust to our touch. And so it comes to pass we discover touch is another word for Thanks.”
(9/12/01) Cold and Uncaring
“Often the manifestations of Justice make for intolerable assaults against Mercy, and by way of seeking to comprehend such mysterious competition, require, more gently, suggest, better, softly invite, that an event as punctuating,, as irrevocable in human history as we have seen yesterday, must be seen to serve what can be focused through different lenses. The Heart speaks first: There is no way to dissolve or in any way distancing, to exclude ourselves from participating in the personal tragedy which befell those individuals who suffered real loss. So we too, who witnessed yesterday’s terrorism, no longer bystanders, are also compelled to endure the psychic rape at the destruction of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But suddenly a shift, now to transition from heart to thought, and dare raise a more graphic issue, even if the price of raising such a question is the revelation of knowledge from which one recoils: “What is the linkage between what is undeserved by individuals and that to which our entire way of life is violenced, which can be connected to matters of justice? Patience! One must wait around to confront this, better, to listen and receive, best, to embrace the answer, for to fly from it is to invite history to repeat itself. Thus ask: “How do the lives of individuals and the tale of buildings interesect?”
“The World Trade Center and the Pentagon are bricks and steel cemented with a mythology, strange to say “saturated” with group identity and momentum, one which like donning totem masks upon one’s face, overlays the lives of the people who perished inside them with an irrevocable dimension of martyrdom of ideals and values we ourselves wear. For all those who lost their lives, unwilling volunteers in the death of buildings, who were asked to wear, to bear the clothing of the headquarters at the very center of the competitive, triumphal heart of American economics and government, which embody the entrepreneurial sovereignty and deeply-treaded legacy of material accomplishments of America, were also at the same time compelled to be clothed in the shadow, the double of those buildings, which are the symbols of arrogance which achieves economic triumph by the chill reptilian reduction of individuals and nations to objects of target marketing. And the relationship between the fulfilment of an American Dream and the infliction of a Third-World Nightmare will not go away, is immune to all distraction and bypass, is central to all Michaelic dialogue for this age, and so must be raised, felt as inevitable and must be answered not by those who would short-circuit thinking and speak in behalf of all of us, not by the flame-broil of spin doctors and well-jacuzzied media hypnotists, and the appointed hosts of credentialled high priests of politics and similar corrupt Magi, but rather by far more quiet, sovereign, authentic acts of private individuals who heroically refuse giving up their right to think or interpret or vote to those whose very conspicuous power and easy confidence make the rest of us victims in the claws of a scorpion, blind in loyalty to unwholesome assumptions about what is important in human existence.
“No one can hesitate acknowledging, no one can doubt that the terrorist attacks were obviously directed toward mocking, degrading and annihilating the prestige of an inspired economic and often morally-vacuous torque which expresses, which promulgates ferociously manipulative interests to which we, stroked till numb-drunk with thoughts of triumphal cannibalism of success, wealth, have become fast addicts, and confuse our addiction with belief, and so have come, at long last to prefer victory to beauty, the celebration of turf to the blessing of the whole.Were all this not true, then why the chronic outpour of ecstatic violence in our entertainment industry, or the premium, adorationally god-like salaries of our glowing gladatorial sports heros which we homage and in such genuflexion, make ourselve a nation willing to remain fast anaesthetized by heroism minus the homework of heroism, which is the sourcing of courage, which, truth to swell, truth to tell, makes of us all shameless, intellectually safely grazing sheep while the angels weep snow tears to wash away the bloodshed below, while war remains a synonym for necessity.
“Those who are devastated deserve compassion and warmth, which injected into the engulfing brutality of this catastrophic moment, Americans can nobly rise to source, to greet the dragons of the day. But now enter the other half of the perspective: For our response, for our bathe of mercy in this dark night to ultimately prove to be a source of its salvation, one must also in the wake of such work of healing, acknowledge that Justice is older, more mature than Mercy, and the law of “Goes round, comes round” will have the final say as the instrument of revelation. We must ask what have we done to deserve to be awakened by such murder. In what way has our corporate loyalty, our IV of monthly green that drip$ in this petty pace from day to day swept under the carpet many opportunities to address the harmonization of East and West, to seek out a spiritual chiropractic alignment of Wisdom to Tool-based cultures?
“This event is a reincarnation of the storming of the Bastille, of peasants who have been victimized by both literal and attitudinal machinery, made the voiceless subjects of an unidentified aristocracy. Peer down the dim tunnels of history, observing the centuries when Indians decimated by Priveleged Conquistadors, prepared the way for Manifest Destiny, for Lebensraum, for Palestineans being oppressed by Israelis. Observe how wounded pride, how it makes us all addicts scrambling without dignity or majesty to secure a place in the sun, how fattened it becomes, flooded with opportunity to employ instruments of murder purchased from factories which keep American and European economy thriving, how it perpetuates a grave injustice to something far greater, far more consequential than the success of an American Dream, how it militates against the evolution of a mankind created in God’s image. It is more convenient for history to repeat itself, then to cut the circle and from it becoming Carpenters, with leaven of hope north to the future pulling, author a spiral.
“I think the third world war is the conflict between those who merely embrace religious, philosophical and humanistic omni-cultural ideals and those who climb uphill to practice them, between a well-credentialled Ghost God and his lip services, who with theoretical warmth massacres the human race by cliches of indifference, and those of us on an Ark, the survivors of the Ghost God, who daily birth an experience-able God within who honors the human dwellers of this planet with a destiny, rather than abandons it to a fate.
“And so Earlyfire suspects that this is the question which none of us are capable of murdering, the one which will not go away, the one which, depending upon whether we, as, individuals who refuse to rubber stamp another’s judgment, become noble by an act of response, or, remaining below in sub-human squalor, become a terrorist by our reaction. Tis the stuff out of which either/or is sired, and once sired, like a child, must now be raised. And they asked again and he says all this, ’tis but a mild footnote to a Christmas Carol, perhaps sung, it will remain to be seen, by the tone deaf.
“”As ye from crimes would pardoned be, let your indulgence set me free””