Anthroposophy, the Double, and Depression
Please keep in mind that I don’t use the word “Anthroposophy” to mean familiarity with the works of Rudolf Steiner. To me, Anthroposophy is personal awake cognition of our own experiences of soul and spirit. “Anthroposophy is a path of cognition from the spiritual in the human being to the Spiritual in the Universe”. First sentence, first leading thought. The key words here are “path”, “from”, and “to”.
No book I have read, from whatever authority, will help me work with my own Double. That work is mine, and if I watch myself (even talk inwardly to myself), I can become more intimate with my own soul, and its darker characteristics.
The threefold double complex is not the I. Early on in the Class Lessons, Steiner writes of three creatures. Tomberg, in his anthroposophical work (Inner Development), writes of there being a luciferic double, an ahrimanic double, and a human double. Later, in Meditations on the Tarot, Tomberg writes of the tempter, the prosecutor, and egregores.
From one point of view, these entities are with us all the time. They serve purposes … i.e have functions in the psychology of the human soul and spirit. If we study this in ourselves, we will notice how they help us unfold our karma. For example, we are repeatedly tempted to indulge in a certain pleasure, but through over use we get ill.
Illness is a vital “initiation“ process, and some anthroposophists recognize illness as a blessing.
In our present now/moment in the spiritual history of mankind, these creatures are essentially hyper-active. The plandemic made us not just face illness, but fear of illness, fear of death, and to a certain extent fear of the “other”, the contagious ones.
All three aspects of the threefold double complex are working in concert. Readers of Steiner will be aware of how often he wrote of Ahriman’s intentions, or Lucifer’s as well. Generally he characterized them as evil intentions.
I am fairly sure that Steiner did not expect the ‘60’s, where the Mother (Divine Providence – fortune) and the Son (Artist of Karma – fate), engineered a Dionysian (luciferic) Rite in order to balance out the excessive aspects of the age of Ahriman’s incarnation.
We do have to be careful in how we think about the macro aspects of modern earth existence, aka: the Big Picture. That is: She has the whole world in His Hands.
In fact, many people today see the world – in the macro sense – as all screwed up, never should have happened, and as an I, I am powerless to fix it. This is actually a crisis of Faith. That’s why Steiner in one place can point to all the awful potentials facing us in the coming millennia, and then in another context tell us to “trust the future”.
A lot of people today are depressed, perhaps even hopeless. Maybe they have an addiction, aided by the tempter, and can’t seem to overcome it. We’ve lost jobs, and relatives. Homelessness is growing. Between the egotism in most of the world’s leaders, and the greed of the social-egregore we call a corporation, there is much to worry about.
At the same time, the whole world’s fortune and fate was given a “time-out” for reflection, and we can see everywhere people changing the course of their lives. In a spiritual social science, we can learn that states of social chaos are necessary before new structure and order can be found. On a higher level we might choose to see what is happening as the dying And becoming of “Western” civilization.
While the luciferic elements can tempt us to extravagant reactions, the ahrimanic elements paralyses the will. This activity of the persecutor, aka: the nag, puts us in a loop of self doubt. This mood of soul can also get us lost in shame, and despair. All depression (in a psychological sense) is preparation for the meeting with the Lessor Guardian of the Threshold.
I speak here from many years of experience.
It helped me to encounter the idea of the “double”, perhaps a version of Jung’s “shadow”. We know the story of the two wolves, and the riddle of which do you feed. In the Koran, we read of: “the sneaking whisperer, from among the Djinn and Mankind”. Given a name we can look for the phenomena. Once we notice the phenomena, then we can work with it consciously. The original idea, I worked with pragmatically, was attributed to Dennis Klocek
Because depression is so vivid, as an experience, we are already becoming aware of the right “being’s” presence. Klocek was alleged to have suggested that we speak to this inner darkness, and ask it “what is your name”. Several times, inwardly. The “being” can’t give you its name, without also losing aspects of its own freedom.
This silencing of the voice of the own nag has placed our will in the right direction. To manage depression means we not only “see”/sense these folk, but also that we are now (inwardly) in a soul environment where we can do more.
One of my favorites, a couple of decades or so, was to next – after asking the question – imagine three creatures (somewhat looking like Tolkien’s character “Golem”) dancing together in a circle, weaving their magic. Then I imagined them being covered over by honey, and falling down drunk and silly. It is the willed-picture that helps the release, and which then begins the task of reasserting our own I over the effects of these apparitions.
Most of the time, we discover our depression/state, has us sitting still, or lying down. The soul phenomena is the paralysis of the will.
Once we seize the inner territory, the next challenge is to stand up, and will the body into movement. Dance. Clean the house. Screaming these days has become popular.
Lately, when such moods ensnare me, I scream inside my mind. Easier on the throat. One of the activities of the nag is to use our unrealized higher ambitions as a goad to showing us our failures. I find that what works best is to inwardly scream at everyone, to feel and admit to our rage … which includes every other human being on the planet, all the higher beings of the Mystery, and anyone else. Being angry at God is normal. People who care about each other can get angry – you don’t think your guardian angel is happy when you follow the tempter, rather than the insights of the conscience.
The Spirit can handle angry. Indifference – i.e. not caring – that doesn’t work too well. What matters is the inner connection. Which in all its details is personal and private. Pray in secret He said.
There is also higher power available to manage the tasks. The luciferic tempter is balanced out by the inspirations of the Holy Spirit. The ahrimanic prosecutor is balanced out by the intuitions of the Guardian Angel. The human double, with its egregorial community (bad habits, which I also call: wounds of soul), is balanced out by the higher ego, aka: the conscience.
Ask, seek, and knock, He said. Connection. Inner dialogue via the own personal gate to the mystery,
One final word on the “creatures”, all six of them (tempter, prosecutor, self generated parasites, Holy Spirit, Guardian Angel, and own conscience (higher ego).
Loving the latter three is easy. Loving the former three not so much. Resist the former, sure. Forgiving them helps.
A prayer of gratitude for the whole … essential for our own sanity.