“The Meditating Scholar” … part one
Introduction, as it were: A important question is what is my relationship with the MysTech folk? A superficial reader of my comments on Facebook, might fancy I am against that work. This prejudice is not true. I even wrote an article that called the MysTech work the cutting edge of spiritual scientific investigation.
At the same time, having done my own research of such manifestations as electricity, for over three decades, it should not be surprising that I find the general views on that phenomena, in the present MysTech community, to be in error.
A philosophical issue, that is quite tricky to examine, is connected to the use of the ideas of good and evil. When the terms Lucifer and Ahriman are used in the same sense – as a matter of good and evil – my view is that this is a bias that prevents Goethean observation. When a ready-made concept – a pre-thought thought, for example – is applied, thinking has put a kind of ghost in between our I, and the phenomenal reality.
The roots of this incomplete thinking can be found in the fact that so many students of Rudolf Steiner have never appreciated the epistemological foundation Steiner provided in GA-1 to GA-4. That foundation, as regards the real nature of human cognition, is what makes spiritual science scientific. GA-1 to GA-4 produce a science of knowing, and this then enables Steiner to speak of his spiritual research as “scientific”, for he has resolved the trend toward dualism (body and mind are separate) into a practical monism (thought and experience, or concept and percept are a unity. It is the I that separates, what remains a unity, in spite of the thought habits of our technological age.
Students of the idea of the evolution of consciousness might be aware of the idea of “the onlooker separation”. In Barfield he places this separation in between two unity states of being, which he calls: original participation and final participation. It is as “onlookers” that we began to investigate the phenomenal world.
I am over here, the world is over there. That is a kind of illusion, which might be called the Ahrimanic Enchantment.
Given that a lot of “technology” is classified as “ahrimanic”, I also see the MysTech conception, of when is his incarnation, to be mistaken. These issues should not be take lightly, although folk who do science frequently disagree.
A consequence of the Ahrimanic Enchantment, is that we see that “over there” as lacking the same degree of spirit we find in ourselves. Our modern languages takes the view that Nature is a “thing”, not a Being. Final participation, or experienced unity, does not happen unless we choose for it to happen.
An aspect of the situation is our tendency to “think” there is no life, or consciousness, in manufactured materials. Some people feel a connection to those Fae, we call gnomes and such, who are clearly observable in a “forest”, but not so much today around a “forge”.
The Hermetic Science of the ancient Egyptians knows that elemental beings are just as much present where there is life, and also where there is no life (sort of), there yet remains consciousness and will. It is via Franz Bardon’s works on Magic, aka Hermetic Science, that knowing this communion-with the beings of the “forge” becomes possible.
Nor does one have to be interested in the MysTech work, to have a final participation – communion-with – with “things”. Certain Tesla and Keely had such instinctive relations with such beings. A car mechanic will speak to his vehicle, as if there was a there there. We yell at “tech” all the time, when we are faced with “bugs” and “cliches”.
Ultimately we need to set aside the Ahrimanic Enchantment, and have a whole new relationship with the world of “matter”: “It matters to me, for Matter to be, and that I too Matter do matter.”
Keep in mind that this is not just about Franz Bardon, yet begins with borrowing of a bit of his language: “the Meditating Scholar”. In Bardon’s texts, that phrase is used infrequently. It refers to those readers that might notice such an idea, and have read all the texts more than once. From this overview, aspects of other material takes on a different meaning. The insights of the scholar’s works, synthesize and blend several sources into something that is beyond what studying one way, or system alone, captures.
Many people today are fascinated with the idea of magic powers, and read and practice Bardon with such a goal in mind. He gives them a lot to do, as we will see later, but the Meditating Scholar will discover that knowledge is the greatest power of all.
Reading Steiner and Tomberg and Bardon, together as a scholarly pursuit, has many virtues, including that the Mystery is more vivid when seen as a whole. In the spiritual world we have experiences that often cannot be described. Steiner, in his dissertation, written around 1892, speaks of the human act of forming “cognitions” – word-thoughts that end up on a page or in speech – in this act we link the indescribable experience of the Mystery to the world of human thought, which he also called the ethereal world.
Only the human makes this thinking-link, and as such is Itself a crucial and necessary actor in the Creation. As Steiner says, in “A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe’s World Conception”, the human being is Nature looking at Herself.
We should also recognize that these three seers were Europeans, and were fated to incarnate their thoughts into the dying cultural life of Western Civilization.
Tomberg disagreed with Steiner’s efforts to develop a spiritual teaching as a science, observing that Steiner left out the magical and mystical aspects of reality. I don’t think this is exactly true, but rather something not easy for Tomberg to see. Steiner didn’t talk much about the magical and mystical as a subject, although there is this: “Christianity as Mystical Fact (and the Mysteries of Antiquity)” … he most often just practiced magic right in front of us (e.g. the outdoor ceremony for laying the Foundation Stone) and modeled an example of a way of life of a spiritual artist of the Word.
Steiner did have an audience-destiny that was different than Tomberg’s. A common way to teach – any subject – back then, was to write and lecture. This Steiner did, which Tomberg naturally copied by reading Steiner and sharing his own spiritual experience in somewhat the same form, often using cognition-forms that Steiner first authored.
Fate had other tasks for Tomberg. At a certain point he was no longer lecturing, but instead mostly writing. He had joined the Catholic Church, and Tomberg lore says he was asked to do this by Steiner, from across the threshold and in the afterlife.
Not just writing, but reading. In his 60’s he was able go to the British Library, daily if he wished. In his “Meditations on the Tarot – a journey into Christian Hermeticism”, each, of these Meditations/Letters on the 22 Major Symbolic Pictures of the Tarot, is filled with unimaginable scholarship. In a sense we get a scholarly education, taught by a seer, who also wrote and spoke and read the languages of many nations and ancient cultures.
The first time I read that book, I was working and living near the base of the Holy Mount Shasta, whose aboriginal name is: Waka-nunee-Tuki-wuki; Karuk: Úytaahkoo. I still wonder what manner of spirits abide even now in the depths of sleeping volcanoes.
I had a vision one morning, in the Faerie-Gate we call the psychic world in between waking and sleeping. Christ took me with Him to show me that whenever the Mass is enacted He unites the Perfect Heavenly Church with the Fallen Earthly Church, regardless of the state of the soul of the officiating priest.
Whenever two or more are gathered … Three years later I joined the Catholic Church.
About ten years later I started a more concentrated rereading of Meditations, and each Letter took around thirty minutes to read … I also took 30 pages of notes. I believe some of his “friends” have found a means to overcome the absence of an index. My notes have been useful in that regard.
I started reading the Magician Letter on Christmas eve, and did the rest – one each night, until I had reread them all. On Epiphany, I ended that evening’s reading, by writing the follow poem: It took about half an hour.
The Gift of the Word: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/giftoftheword.html
Tomberg is in love with Ideas. It is a felt experience, and each Letter is its own symphony. A Christian mystic takes his readers along with him, on the quest, or as he puts it: “Your friend greets you, dear Unknown Friend, from beyond the grave.”
Originally done Anonymously, it wasn’t published until after he had died.
He also wrote several long essays on the law, during the WWII years. Another scholarly masterpiece, published by his students under the title: “The Art of the Good”.
Steiner endured WWI. Tomberg was a seventeen years old living in Russia as that war ended. Steiner circled around Europe for lectures, going as far West as England, and very little to the East. Tomberg was born in Moscow, and traveled West as well, ending up in England.
None of the three – Steiner, Tomberg, or Bardon – went to the Americas.
Meanwhile, during WWII, it is the lore that Bardon was in prison in Germany, could have used magical powers to escape, and did not, while a student, who was also in prison, died trying.
If we remember our rules for mystery books, the best place to hide something is in plain sight. Bardon earned a living performing as a stage magician.
Steiner had no offspring. Tomberg had one child (now deceased), although both were married. Bardon, who died in his 50’s, appears to have a living son. Steiner died at age 65, and Tomberg at age 71, … the lore is that Tomberg’s wife died almost the same day. We need to keep in mind their humanity.
Magic is the oldest science, and Bardon’s three books follow these “scientific” basic rules. First Theory, then Practice – to prove the Theory. He calls his first book: “Initiation Into Hermetics”, a version of the First Tarot Card, the Magician. The Second Card is The High Priestess, and the book: “The Practice of Ceremonial Evocation”. And, the Third Card, The Empress, was called “The Key to the True Quabbalah”.
I have a familiar spirit that hovers behind my left shoulder (I write left handed, but kick with the right foot – its call mixed dominance). I had gone to a book store to pickup a used book on astrology, and this Fae being was jumping up and down happy, urging that I buy this little one, a used cloth bound: “Practical Astrology”, attributed to St. Germain.
I still own it. It is the only book I have found that combines into a single system Tarot, Astrology, and Numerology. I still use it, poorly if you want to get a chart, but if you want to talk ancient Egyptian Tarot …
In Bardon, the idea of the Meditating Scholar is given as an alternative to undertaking a more elaborate “practice”. One sits in their meditation position/posture – the asana, which is self-chosen, and meditates/thinks about the subjects in the books the scholar wishes to consider more carefully.
All three books are available in PDF form on the Internet. On Amazon, all three in paperback form would come to $130, or about $45 if you use Kindle.
There are numerous books by others, seeking to “explain” Bardon. I see no reason to acquire such. When I visit various Internet groups sharing an interest in his works, what I am about to offer next seems to be unknown.
In magic lore there are various views about how a student magician might discover that these kinds of books hide some of their wonders, again in plain sight. The attentive reader will gain from seeing Bardon’s books as actual effects of magical operations.
For example: IIH has ten Steps, and each Step has a mental or thought aspect, a psychic or soul aspect, and a material or physical aspect. The first Step in IIH is the rules of the basic practice.
Mental training: Step I: 1. Thought control, discipline of thoughts, subordination of thoughts. Psychic training: Step I 1. Introspection or self-knowledge. 2. Making of the (black and white) mirrors of the soul. Physical training: Step I: 1. the material or physical body. 2. Mystery of Breathing. 3. Conscious reception of food. 4. the magic of water.
Organizing ones life, so as to be able to do these three first Steps each day, in a kind of personally designed Rite, does not require big changes. Most of us have routines, and these tasks can easily fit into these already existing patterns. One just adds the magical point of view, into our understanding of the Rite aspect.
Bardon states that in the beginning of the practice, finding even five minutes each day can be fruitful. Their rhythmic repetition will bear powerful fruits.
In POME (the practice of ceremonial evocation), there is an elaborate discussion of the magic circle. For some, this temple building aspect can have a lot of details, yet near the end of several pages of what-might-be-dones, he says that the magician will find that the highest circle is in his hands. That is, you sit in your asana (meditation posture) and simply make a circles of thumbs and first fingers, and all the virtues of a magic circle are present.
Having a PDF of POME, allows one the opportunity to search for terms of interest. So, if one is interested in learning to commune-with those hierarchical beings knowledgeable as to “electricity”, a search will find their names, their sigils, and their areas of expertise. Keep in mind that POME contains the names and sigils of hundreds of such invisible folk, far more than any other book claiming to teach a method of evocation … far far more.
In the asana then we can, as a meditating scholar, seek contact with various entities whose genius concerns our interests. In fact, to have this meditative contact does not require that our work on psychic and physical training keep pace with the magical mental training.
How and why will be discussed in “part two”.