With the right practice of the skills of imaginative picture thinking, the less conscious aspects of works of Art emerge. This thinking is effortless, and merely tries to read the textual aspects of this TV series (as realized in/after 2004) What is the meta-story?
Such works are created with many participants, but in the end if the ideas are not on the page, and dramatically represented, the imaginative thought activity of the creators – always drawn from the depths of the Collective Imagination – can be lost in the noise of the whole.
The series has this conceit: Human beings made artificial servants, called Cylons. These servants rebelled, and a peace made from a stark separation arose. During some past time (time in the series is not so linear) the Cylons re-invented themselves, abandoning a mechanical form for the possible advantages of copying exactly human biological forms and processes.
After achieving this imitative state, another war (who was at fault is ambiguous – a wonderful dramatic uncertainty) arises when the Cylons attack and murder as many human beings as possible – billions on many worlds (12 to be exact, in a mirror of the old ideas of the 12 Signs of the Zodiac).
A few (50,000) human beings survive, and a journey is begun seeking to grasp the hows and whys of the origin of the human species, that produced its own new Cylon species.
The series does not get certain finer points, often not quite able to come to grip with the differences in the interior lives of human beings, as against the interior lives of the machine/now biological beings.
The series is colored with many of our modern scientific assumptions, yet it is in its meditations on religion, miracles, and the like, that there lives a very bright sub-text.
What is god? To the Cylons, human beings are their creator. To the human beings of the 12 worlds, they believe in old gods, not unlike did all of humanity’s primitive religions of gods&goddesses.
Some of the Cylons develop their own religion, which has a single creator rather than the former large complicated pantheon of the humans. Wars are fought in our world over smaller differences.
The Cylons are also more intelligent and physically stronger. Being artificial beings, their consciousness – with the death of their human-like physical body – is saved to a resurrection-ship, after which they get a duplicate body like the class of which they were a member when they died. The human-like Cylons have 12 types … nice symmetry there, is it not.
The parallels between this tale/story and human history are instructive.
In our deep past there were primitive religions, in which gods&goddesses were known. As the millennia passed, those views (with their common / shared sense of a zodiac of 12 star groups) disappeared into the three dominate monotheisms we know today.
Multiple gods&goddesses becoming one single god.
As the old gods&goddesses became mythical to the modern intellect, eventually so did the one god idea become disbelieved. Natural Science disowned the idea of god entirely, and replaced it with a mechanical set of conceptions, such as: chance, randomness, uncertainty – all is matter and there is no spirit at all.
Among the 12 types of Cylons exists a dominant intellect type, who not only considers himself a machine, but that his machine nature makes him superior to the humans. In fact, he is angry at his human creators for not making him have eyes that see the full spectrum of possible light.
Gods&Goddesses become a single God, and that civilization births an intellectual human copy who believes only in chance and uncertainty, but also wants to improve the physical body -through increasing its mechanical properties.
Our world is run by metaphorical Cylons, … that is human beings with no empathy or conscience, ruled by the logic inherent in counting money. Human beings created this class of folk, at least if we continue to deny that there can be any gods&goddesses at all.
The intellect wants to deny the dark, for the heart is a mystery after all. Do we want to be Cylons? Or, do we want to go home, to find that the Earth is right where we left Her.
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 teaching 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, 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
back to the Cylon Confusion
the series culminates in a grand opera space battle … cylons, humans, angels, terrors or war and violence clash — can peace be had?
The following is a bit of dialogue, in the midst of this violence on the bridge (CIC) of the Battlestar Galactica:
Gaius Baltar = GB: I see angels. I see angels in this very room. Now I may be mad, but that doesn’t mean I’m not right. Because there’s another force at work here. There always has been. Its undeniable. We’ve all experienced it. Everyone is this room has witnessed events that they can’t fathom, let alone explain away by rational means. Puzzles deciphered in prophecy. Dreams given to a chosen few. Our loved ones dead. Risen. Whether we wanna call that “God” or “Gods”, or some sublime inspiration or a divine force that we can’t know or understand. It doesn’t matter—It doesn’t matter. Its here. It exits. And our two destinies are entwined in its force.
Cylon body-type Six = Cavil: If that were true, and that’s a big if … how do I know this force has our best interests in mind? How do you know that God is on your side, Doctor?
GB: I don’t. God is not on anyone’s side. God’s a force of Nature … beyond good and evil. Good and evil, we created those. And, we’ll break the cycle. Break the cycle of birth, death, rebirth, destruction, escape, death. Well, that’s in our hands, and our hands only. Requires a leap of faith. Requires that we live in hope … not fear.
Six: If I give you this girl, that means the destruction of my people. How does are extinction fit into this picture that you want us to believe in?
Final five: We’ll give you resurrection. You give us Hera, we’ll give you resurrection. You leave humanity in peace … and give up the pursuit now and for all time.
Adama: How do we know we can take your word for it?
Six: You don’t. You have to make a leap of faith.
As the story ends, we find humans and cylons parting (mostly), onto different parts of a newly found planet that – unsurprisingly – looks exactly like our Earth.
In order not to disturb the virginity of this full of life place, they decide to send their technology into the sun, and once again become bound and part of the primal existence we’ve always known in myth as Eden.
As Western Civilization fails, … what will save us, both human and cylon, … no longer letting differences as to gods&goddesses keep us from enjoying the real.
Most profound, a subtle note in the music of this tale from the dreaming … the magical child over which the war was fought – between the human heart and the free to determine itself intellect – had the name Hera, which according to Oggle means: the Queen of the Gods and is the wife and sister of Zeus in the Olympian pantheon. She is known for being the Goddess of Marriage & Birth. Despite being the Goddess of Marriage, she was known to be jealous and vengeful towards the many lovers and offspring of her husband Zeus.
Life is Myth as Revelation