Yet Another Attempt at 7fold ThinkingOctober 2012
Many months have passed since my last posted attempt at 7fold thinking. My personal trials have been such that I have had very little time free for writing, and almost none online. And my mind has been so disorganized that I have not made much use Anthro-wise of even the little free time that I have had. But now, my trials have entered a new phase, and I have more free time. So I am attempting to write down some of the thoughts that I have had over the past months, and to organize these thoughts enough to bring them into enough focus, and to make them readable and (hopefully) useful. Over the recent months I have written down almost nothing of these thoughts, so here I am trying to recapitulate them from my very faulty memory and, again, to bring them to some kind of focus.
I had previously been trying to "do" the kind of 7fold thinking that Gennady Bondarev expounded, as I understood it. (Links to my previous approaches and attempts can be found here: www.altanthroinfo.org/index.html).
More recently, during the past months, I had been casting about for a subject for another attempt, and I settled upon a problem that really bothered me and seemed to call for a solution. And still, I wanted to learn how to *think*; it seemed to me that I had not yet learned how to do it well enough. I might have made a little progress, but somehow it wasn't enough; real thinking was still so rare and difficult for me. So I needed the "practice", it seemed to me. Even more, the practice of thinking had become a *raison d'etre* for me; if I wasn't here on earth to do that, then what else was I here for?
And on a more crass, but pressing, level: As I am getting older, I am worried about my material upkeep. I recalled the promise of Jesus Christ if we seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all other things (such as material upkeep) would be added unto us. My life-path had brought me to the point, and my heart seemed to demand, that I first of all had to learn to *think*. Thinking might not be as obvious a kind of "righteousness" as, say, feeding the hungry or clothing the naked, nevertheless it is real work that needs to be done; really, every kind of human activity depends first of all upon thinking. And Steiner has admonished the esoteric student to come to the realization that inner work is at least as important for the world as is outer work. I suppose that most people cannot appreciate my work upon thinking, but I am convinced that at least Christ does appreciate it. I came to, and held onto, the conviction that to try to think truly is to seek the kingdom of God.
But, as one with a long history of ultra-scepticism, I am beset with the nagging doubt: Is it even possible to think truly, or if even so, to know it? All thinking is merely "a matter of opinion", isn't it? Is it even possible for human thinking to truly, knowingly grasp objective Reality? -- But, as I have learned over many long years, my touchstone of Truth must be my feeling for Reality. Doubt itself is a thought, and the question becomes: is the doubt or the conviction, the belief, *more real*? The question I must always ask myself is: am *I* being real or unreal in what I am saying and doing?
And so, I present the following ruminations partly as a record of my own struggles, but also in the hope that they may help, or provoke, others in a forward direction in their own efforts in self-development. If, as Bondarev says, and I am inclined to believe, sevenfold thinking must come into the general culture if civilization is not to go to ruin, then it falls upon us to learn to *do it*. I hope that my attempts, however weak they may be, will help "us" to learn to *think truly*.
The particular problem that bothered me, and that I wanted to solve, is the fact of opposition to Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy, of course, has always had opposition; in earlier times it was even murderous, as was shown in the arson of the first Goetheanum and the poisoning of Rudolf Steiner. But my experience of social Anthroposophy and of that opposition has been mostly on the Internet, so my conundrum stems mainly from that experience. I am limited mostly to the English language, so my experience has been mostly with English-language e-groups. I am vaguely aware that in some places, especially in Europe, more overt, forceful moves are being made in opposition to Anthroposophy, but so far these have not touched me directly, and so, again, my awareness of them is rather vague. My experience of such opposition has been mainly "virtual": of the open kind, as in the "Waldorf Critics" e-list, and of a more covert kind, within Anthroposophical e-lists. It has become painfully obvious to me that Anthroposophy attracts a lot of mentally ill people, both pro and con. I have had to deal with both over the years, and the illness isn't always apparent at first.
I did post briefly on the WC e-list, about six years ago, starting with a topic that was tangential to Anthroposophy. My posts can be found here:
I tried to turn the discussion from the tangential to a more basic consideration of Anthroposophy, and I left when it became apparent that no one there was willing to engage in a real discussion of anything substantial. That was six years ago, yet I have been peeking in over there, from time to time, in horrified fascination. And now, perhaps I am more puzzled by the activity there than I was before.
My problem is that it somehow doesn't seem quite possible to me that such opposition could exist. (I am taking the WC list as a representative example of more widespread, overt opposition to Anthroposophy. Such opposition is mostly verbal, sometimes tending toward the political. The more direct, deadly kind of opposition, such as that which perpetrated the Fire and the Poisoning, is probably more conscious but also more secretive. Thus I have no direct experience of *that* kind of opposition.) I could understand that some opposition might arise from pure ignorance of Anthroposophy, or from garbled misinformation, but the kind of opposition that really bothers me doesn't come for ignorance or misinformation; many of the overt, public opponents (such as the core group on the WC list) are very knowledgeable about Anthroposophy, sometimes more so than most Anthroposophical proponents. It doesn't seem possible to me that someone could have studied Anthroposophy, could have read Steiner thoroughly, and not have seen the obvious Truth in basic Anthroposophical ideas. I can understand ignorance; I can understand misunderstanding; but I have a really hard time understanding knowing opposition to Truth. (Or maybe such opposition is only seemingly knowing?)
My experience on the Internet was first of all in an Anthroposophical discussion group. Right away, I ran straight into an intelligent occult charlatan, a putative Anthroposophist (Joel Wendt), and I was shocked and befuddled -- and then more and more enraged. I hadn't known that a creature such as Joel Wendt could even exist upon the earth. Maybe I should have, but somehow I didn't. Joel was devious, and hardly anything "pushes my buttons" like deviousness. I was enraged, but also confused: I would approach Joel, and then give up on him, then approach him again and give up on him again. Literally years passed before I started to get a handle on what was happening with Joel. (Seems that he considers himself to be the Maitreya Bodhisattva, kinda, in a way.) -- I also ran into another clever occult charlatan (Alexander Kieding), but that experience was more passing and less infuriating; he had a quicker intelligence but was also less devious than Joel.
I also became aware of a more open, direct kind of opposition to Anthroposophy, on the "Waldorf Critics" e-list. I observed this mainly from the outside, but I followed the discussion there somewhat. (I surely didn't read everything, and still don't.) Then, this kind of open opposition didn't bother me as much as did the trickier, more covert kind of opposition as exemplified by Joel Wendt and his chosen mentor Valentin Tomberg. And I said then, I suppose that much the same principle was at work as when the scab is more hated than the boss or when the captured soldier is treated as an honorable prisoner of war and the captured spy is shot: the false friend seems to be more of an enemy than is the open, honest enemy.
But now, for me, the situation is somewhat reversed. The occult charlatan is more understandable to me than is the more direct, open opponent. As Steiner tells us, occult development entails a tremendous revolution in the soul of the occultist, and when such development goes awry, insanity can result. Steiner repeatedly warned that methods of occult develop other than he recommended could have disastrous consequences. (He uses the term *lotus flower* to refer to the major organs of clairvoyant perception in the human subtle bodies.)
STEINER SAID [from *KoHW*]:
". . . . only such things are here imparted as are attended by no danger whatsoever to the health of soul and body. There are other ways which lead more quickly to the goal [of clairvoyance], but what is here explained has nothing to do with them, because they have certain effects which no experienced spiritual scientist considers desirable. Since fragmentary information concerning these ways is continually finding its way into publicity, express warning must be given against entering upon them. For reasons which only the initiated can understand, these ways can never be made public in their true form. The fragments appearing here and there can never lead to profitable results, but may easily undermine health, happiness, and peace of mind. It would be far better for people to avoid having anything to do with such things than to risk entrusting themselves to wholly dark forces, of whose nature and origin they can know nothing."
"Now this [16-petalled] lotus flower may be made to develop in another way by following certain other instructions. But all such methods are rejected by true spiritual science, for they lead to the destruction of physical health and to moral ruin. They are easier to follow than those here described. The latter, though protracted and difficult, lead to the true goal and cannot but strengthen morally. The distorted development of a lotus flower results not only in illusions and fantastic conceptions, should a certain degree of clairvoyance be acquired, but also in errors and instability in ordinary life. Such a development may be the cause of timidity, envy, vanity, haughtiness, willfulness and so on in a person who hitherto was free from these defects."
"As regards the esoteric student, the observance of these  principles is indispensable. Should he attempt esoteric training without conforming to them, this could only result in his entering the higher worlds with inadequate organs, and instead of perceiving the truth he would be subject to deceptions and illusions. He would attain a certain clairvoyance, but for the most part, be the victim of greater blindness than before. Formerly he at least stood firmly within the physical world; now he looks beyond this physical world and grows confused about it before acquiring a firm footing in a higher world. All power of distinguishing truth from error would then perhaps fail him, and he would entirely lose his way in life. It is just for this reason that patience is so necessary in these matters. It must ever be borne in mind that the instructions given in esoteric training may go no further than is compatible with the willing readiness shown to develop the lotus flowers to their regular shape. Should these flowers be brought to fruition before they have quietly attained their correct form, mere caricatures would be the result. Their maturity can be brought about by the special instructions given in esoteric training, but their form is dependent on the method of life described above."
"These are the three ways of error into which the student can stray: (1) exuberant violence of will, (2) sentimental emotionalism, and (3) cold, loveless striving for wisdom. For outward observation, and also from the ordinary (materialistic) medical standpoint, anyone thus gone astray is hardly distinguishable (especially in degree) from an insane or, at least, a highly neurasthenic person. Of course, the student must not resemble these. It is essential for him that the three fundamental soul-forces, thinking, feeling, and willing, should have undergone harmonious development before being released from their inherent connection and subordinated to the awakened higher consciousness. For once a mistake is made and one of the soul-forces falls a prey to unbridled excess, the higher soul comes into existence as a miscarriage."
(Robert resumes now:)
An occultist becomes a charlatan because of his uneven development; the worlds on the other side of the Veil are inherently deceptive, and if he enters them without going through the soul-revolution in a completely healthy way, he is almost inevitably deceived; he is lucky if he doesn't go "crazy". As Steiner warns of the unevenly developed occultist: "All power of distinguishing truth from error would then perhaps fail him . . . ." I passed through years of frustration, bewilderment, and anger before I realized that such things were happening before my very (e-)eyes. But now, I don't get so angry or confused: the irregular development of clairvoyance can drive people mad; they might lose all power of distinguishing truth from error. It's all very comprehensible, and now I don't get so worked up about it.
So now, for me, the more direct opponents of Anthroposophy, such as those in the "WC", present more of a puzzle. They might be less infuriating, but they are also less understandable. So much so, that even their existence seems impossible. But as a matter of plain fact they do exist, ergo their existence is at least possible. What does all this prove? -- In the first place it proves that something is wrong with Robert Mason's cognition. He has these thoughts that are obviously out of conformity with Reality. The next step for Robert, if he would have healthy, true cognitions, is to find out how and why his cognition has gone wrong here, to find out *how* it is possible that, for instance, the WC opponents exist.
But of course his cognition hasn't gone completely wrong; he recognizes the existence of the WC; indeed he has been following the discussions there for a long time (not all of them, but at least skimming enough to "reconnoiter enemy activity", as it were). Still, he has only seen it "from the outside" in a deeper sense; he doesn't understand *how* such people as those in the WC (I mean the loudest, most persistent voices there) could be as they are and be doing what they are doing. They, as it seems, are not at all ignorant of Anthroposophy; it seems that many of them have read even more Anthro literature, including the "basic books", than have many Anthros. I don't see how any intelligent person could read so much and learn so little; I don't see how anyone could oppose such obvious, vital Truth with so much evident energy. I just don't "get it"; it doesn't seem possible, despite the plain fact that it is actual.
I try and try to put myself in the place of those such as the core WC-people, to see it from their point of view, and ultimately I can't. I look back to my younger self, and I can see that as an ultra-sceptic I likely would have scoffed and sneered at Steiner. But then, I didn't know about Steiner, hadn't read him at all. I didn't know that Steiner addressed the epistemological problems of scepticism, and solved them. The course of my life had, after my life with scepticism, brought me to the point that, even before my encounter with Steiner, I was ready for more positive world-views and epistemologies than utter scepticism. But even at my most sceptical, I was always enough of a sceptic to be sceptical about my own scepticism. I now think that even then, had I met Steiner, I would not have turned against him with in complete rejection and opposed him with much energy; I would have always allowed the slight possibility that he was right. Or so at least I would like to think now.
It seems fairly obvious to me now that the WC people are not really *sceptics*; they are negative dogmatists, and very energetic ones at that. In physics *energy* is defined as *the capacity to do work*. And the WC people, rather obviously, do accomplish a lot of work, after their own fashion. The question must be asked: where does all that "energy" to do all that "work" come from? The given explanations, the ones given in the WC writings, do not suffice. If these people were really concerned about the educational well-being of children, then they would direct most of their energy to the place where most of the real damage is being done: in the USA, that's the public schools. If they were really serious about opposing so-called "racism", they wouldn't fight so hard against the very man (Steiner) who has probably done more than anyone since Jesus Christ to defeat so-called "racism" in a real way, not merely an ideological one. And so on. The given, superficial reasons just don't stand scrutiny. It is evident that *something else* is generating all that energy; this "something else" is hidden beneath the surface.
I have to come to the recognition that these people are not like me. Well, in itself that's no big deal; most of the people in this world are not like me, and that's a good thing; this world would be a sorry, sorry place if everyone were like me. But there's more to it than just that; these WC people don't seem to be like *people*. I have a very hard time trying to imagine how a human being who knows Anthroposophy fairly thoroughly could oppose it with so much evident energy. Seems to me, there really is something inhuman about it all. A human being encountering Anthroposophy might get scared and run away; I could understand that somewhat. But I do have a hard time understanding how a human being encountering Anthroposophy could stay and fight so hard against it so actively. A human being encountering Anthroposophy would see the Truth in it, and sometimes "the truth hurts". Most people don't like pain, and so I could understand that some people would just run away. But I have a much harder time trying to understand how a human being in that situation would stay where that pain is, live with it, and spend so much time and energy fighting against evident Truth. It doesn't seem human.
Years ago, after my only sojourn within the WC e-list, as I was leaving, I got a mental image of the situation. It seemed to me that I was seeing a nest of snakes, many snakes entangled with each other and writhing, with some snakes going out and showing their fangs threateningly. And it seemed to me that this was a true image: there really is something inhuman about the WC, something reptilian. But those people do, at least on the surface, seem to be human. It was very disconcerting. About all I could do was to stop wasting my time there, and then to gape in amazement and consternation, and sometimes with horror. But always also with fascination; I kept returning again and again to peek in, and to try to figure out what was really going on there.
-- To anyone who has experience of the soul-healing and soul-warming that comes from Anthroposophy, such people as those in the WC must be seen as . . . what? In me, they sometimes have provoked anger, but not as much as have some of the occult charlatans. More, they provoked amazement and consternation. And sometimes apprehension, for what they represent and what they are trying to do could become dangerous. And in some ways they already are dangerous and do real harm: they mislead people and deny them what some people might otherwise come to: the soul-healing of Anthroposophy. And this denial applies not only to living people, but also to the dead, who, perhaps, need Anthroposophy even more than do the living. But now, to me, the WC people seem more pitiable than anything else; they must be very unhappy people. They try to make the rest of the world as unhappy as they are; in that they are dangerous. But they are still pitiable. I suppose that some of them are merely being honest according to their own lights. But some of them, it would seem, are not even trying to be honest; still, even those are pitiable.
Here are some remarks that I posted some years ago in response to someone who questioned my extension of "compassion" to the WC people:
"Having compassion, even showing compassion, does not necessarily entail being an 'enabler'.
"Having compassion for someone does not necessarily entail tolerating the 'mischief' he does in the world.
"Compassion is firstly an internal state of soul; to express it outwardly in a *really* helpful way surely does not mean to go along with any and all destructive actions that anyone might commit.
"In a therapeutic situation, having *real* compassion for someone often entails a 'therapeutic confrontation' -- which is the opposite of angry, retaliatory abuse. Such a confrontation entails 'speaking the truth in love'; even, or especially, when (as the saying goes) 'the truth hurts'.
"In other situations (such as law enforcement, for example) real compassion might sometimes entail physical violence against the one for whom the compassion is deserved. Granted, it is humanly very hard to *feel* much warmth toward someone who is kicking you in the teeth at the moment, but in calmer moments, when the adrenaline has subsided, one need not retain the anger or hatred; one might reflect that letting someone get away with murder would not really do *that* person any real good (not even considering the harm that would be done to others and society).
"After all, as Steiner said (somewhere; I don't have the quote handy), karma -- even 'bad' karma -- is a wise gift of the loving Gods. If the Gods were to let us get away with our mistakes and misdeeds forever, we would likely slide irredeemably into some cosmic abyss. The real, active, wise compassion of the Gods gives us painful consequences for our misdeeds so that we might learn and purify ourselves. That's cosmic 'tough love' -- and it is real, effective love.
"The WC people might not accept Truth in the present incarnation. But it's not our job to 'change' them; we don't have that power, ergo we don't have that responsibility. And it is good that we don't have that power; the development of free will is the greater good, especially in the present Consciousness Soul epoch.
"We don't need to let them waste our time; we don't have to crack our skulls beating our heads against their brick wall. But neither do we have to let ourselves be consumed by anger and bitterness toward them."
(Robert resumes now:)
Robert may have reached the point where he has risen above anger, as it were, but he is still so amazed that he is freaked out by the opposition such as that in the WC e-list, probably more freaked out now than he was years ago. I guess that he needs to come to the realization that some people are just not like him, not like him at all in relation to thinking and to Truth. Again, it's a very good thing for the world that not everyone is like Robert; "it takes all kinds to make a world", and thank God for that. But still, yet, the kind of "unlikeness" that is manifested in those such as the core WC people seems to be more than a merely human difference; it is something utterly alien. The evident energy that manifests in the WC activity must come from somewhere; I can imagine that "somewhere" to be only, in human terms, to be something like "hatred". Of course, some in the WC would deny that they are motivated by hatred, but that seems to me to be a denial of the obvious. Again, if they were motivated by real concern for the healthy education of children or for the hurtful effects of so-called "racism", then they would direct most of that energy into activities that might really ameliorate those evils, not against Anthroposophy. There is something altogether unreal about their alleged motivations, as well as something unreal about their activities overall.
I suppose that it is this unreality that seems so alien to me. I crave Reality, and it is unimaginable to me that some people could choose to live in unreality. In a famous book evil people have been defined, essentially, as "people of the lie". Now, I can understand lying as, for instance, a means of avoiding pain that might be inflicted upon one for telling the truth. But systematic, deep, inner-directed lying is something much less comprehensible for me. There seems to be no obvious "payoff" in that kind of lying; it seems so self-defeating for the practitioner that it's just about impossible for me to imagine a motivation for it. But then, yet again, I must presume that Robert must somehow come to accept that some people are not like him, so much so that they are incomprehensible.
I would allow that in the WC direct, flat lies are relatively rare; what is more common is an overall misdirection, an unspoken falseness of purpose and an avoidance of basic realities. And again, I am far from having read all of the many posts over there, but I think that I have read enough to see the general trend. The WC people seem to love details, and their game is to draw Anthros and honest people into endless discussions of details, while avoiding basic facts underlying the whole enterprise.
I can observe the WC from the outside, and I can fairly well see what they are doing and where they are heading, but I still have a hard time understanding it from the inside. As the saying goes, "it never ceases to amaze me". No matter how long I have been watching it, no matter how much everything there "is only to be expected", I still gape in astonishment. -- So, as a further exercise in my practice of 7fold thinking, I resolved to take this phenomenon, the WC and suchlike opponents of Anthroposophy, as a problem to be solved by thinking 7foldedly. For me, this is a real problem; until now my thinking about it had been quite inadequate.
I was aware that I had probably gotten about as far as I could with this problem through ordinary consciousness; I needed to take the next step, into higher consciousness. And I was aware that, according to Bondarev, the next step was that of "beholding", of a pictorialization of the underlying "idea". I had already, years ago, come to a kind of mental picture of the situation, the picture of the "snake nest" as mentioned above. Perhaps this was already the needed "beholding"? -- But that picture hadn't brought me much understanding; I was still puzzled. I wanted to go further, so I sought more "beholding", another picture.
While considering the overall problem, I did "get" a mental picture the Archangel Micha-El standing over the Dragon, with Rudolf Steiner somehow in front of the Archangel; perhaps the Archangel was holding him forward? And the Dragon was craning his neck, reaching his head around to bite Steiner. Still the Dragon was under the "feet" of the Micha-El, but he was straining to reach his head around to bite at Rudolf Steiner. -- Again the "enemy" was seen as reptilian, perhaps as the archetypal, the ur-reptile. I had to ask myself: is the pictured reptilian nature of the opposition somehow explanatory? I looked up some of what Steiner had said about reptiles and the Dragon.
Firstly, the "dragon" is a symbol of debased forces that were within Man himself at previous stages of world-evolution; not only within but actually forming the proto-Man. A colletion of extracts from some of Steiner's lectures:
"But since the worst forces [during the Lemurian age] had remained as the ingredients of the water-earth, and since these forces were dreadful elements, man's vapor-portion was drawn ever further down, and out of the earlier plant-form a being gradually evolved that stood at the stage of the amphibian. In saga and myth this form, which stood far below later humanity, is described as the dragon, the human amphibian, the lindworm. Man's other part, which was a citizen of the realm of light, is presented as a being which cannot descend, which fights the lower nature; for example, as Michael, the dragon-slayer, or as Saint George combating the dragon. Even in the figure of Siegfried with the dragon, although transformed, we have pictures of man's rudiments in their primeval duality. Warmth penetrated into the upper part of the earth and into the upper part of physical man, and formed something like a fiery dragon. But above that rose the ether body, in which the sun's force was preserved. Thus we have a form that the Old Testament well describes as the tempting serpent, which is also an amphibian."
"We know that the earth was a water-earth, and the formation in the water attained an ever lower stage during the time preceding the departure of the moon. When the moon withdrew, man's lower nature was at about the stage of a great amphibian. This is what the Bible calls the serpent, and what is elsewhere called the lindworm or dragon. During the time when the moon was withdrawing, more and more of the animal kingdom had worked itself into the lower human form. When the moon finally left, man had a hideous animal-like form in his lower parts, although above he still had the last remnants of a light-form into which the forces of the sun flowed from without. It was still possible for the light-beings to work into man. He moved about in the primal ocean, floating and swimming, with this remarkable light-form protruding out of the water-earth."
"Think of the pleasure of seeing a beautiful glittering fish, a shining water-animal, and then think of the antipathy one feels toward a frog, toad, or snake, although these stand higher than the fish. The forms of that time appear in their decadence as the present amphibians, but man once had such forms in his lower corporeality. As long as man had only a lower corporeality to the hips, he was a sort of dragon. It was only later, when the upper body assumed solid form, that by use of this he transformed the lower. We may say that the fish reflects the form that man possessed through the forces he received while the sun was still united with the earth. Until the sun departed, man stood at the level of the fish."
"Many a man might be ready to make up his mind to be a bull, a lion or an eagle as a price for immortality. That is, however, only the upper man. The continuation down below is a wild, savage dragon. Here you have the source of all the numerous sagas and stories of the dragon. Traditional religious symbolism has always given man the four pictures, - Man, Lion, Bull, Eagle; but it has given no more than indications, as, e.g., in the account of the Fall, that a wild Dragon also belongs to man. The dragon, however, has its place in the totality of man, it is to be found there; and man has to say to himself: Lucifer is indeed able to promise you immortality - it is a sure and well-founded promise - but only at the cost of your form and figure, so that you go on living in the form you have become under the influence of Lucifer. . . . The animal is, moreover, tripartite and does not belong to the 'higher' animals; rather is man debased to the animal stage that exists on the Earth in the picture of an amphibian."
"Man took on the most diverse forms, and when he had developed upward to the hip-level he was at his ugliest in his physical form. The shape he then had is preserved in a decadent form in the snake. The time when man had reached the amphibian form, when the moon was still in the earth, is the time of shame and degeneracy in the evolution of mankind. Had the moon not then departed from the earth, the race of men would have succumbed to a horrible fate, failing increasingly into evil forms. Hence the feeling that the naive and unspoiled person has toward the snake, which retains the form that man had at his lowest point, is entirely justified. Precisely the unspoiled soul-attitude, which does not assert that there is nothing ugly in nature, feels a revulsion before the snake, because it is the document of human shame. This is not meant in a moral sense, but points to the lowest stage in human evolution."
"But since the worst forces had remained as the ingredients of the water-earth, and since these forces were dreadful elements, man's vapor-portion was drawn ever further down, and out of the earlier plant-form a being gradually evolved that stood at the stage of the amphibian. In saga and myth this form, which stood far below later humanity, is described as the dragon, the human amphibian, the lindworm. Man's other part, which was a citizen of the realm of light, is presented as a being which cannot descend, which fights the lower nature; for example, as Michael, the dragon-slayer, or as Saint George combating the dragon."
(Robert resumes now:)
Not only was Man's form reptilian, but his soul was in disorder; this disorder was symbolized by the "dragon". It took a pre-Earthly intervention by Christ to bring this disorder into order:
"Mankind has preserved some memory of how human passion and human thinking were harmonized at this period by forces that descended from supramundane worlds, but the sign of this memory is not rightly understood. St. George who conquers the dragon, or Michael who conquers the dragon, are symbols of the third Christ event, when Christ ensouled Himself in an archangel. It is the dragon, trodden under foot, that has brought thinking, feeling and willing into disorder. . . . So the Sun Spirit became the guardian of the wild, stormy passions when they, as it sometimes happened, gushed forth in the fumes that rise from within the earth and break through its surface. If a human being should expose himself to them and allow only these vapors to work upon him, then thought, feeling and will would rage madly within him."
". . . . the third Christ event when Christ took for the third time the soul of an archangel as an outer vehicle. Mankind has preserved some memory of how human passion and human thinking were harmonized at this period by forces that descended from supramundane worlds, but the sign of this memory is not rightly understood. St. George who conquers the dragon, or Michael who conquers the dragon, are symbols of the third Christ event, when Christ ensouled Himself in an archangel. It is the dragon, trodden under foot, that has brought thinking, feeling and willing into disorder. All who turn their gaze upon St. George or Michael with the dragon, or some similar episode, perceive, in reality, the third Christ event."
(Robert resumes now:)
But not only does the "dragon" belong to the past; he is very much active in the present. He is still part of the inner Man, and he works in outer culture: ". . . . Michael, who was formerly the bearer of the Jehovah-mission, is now the bearer of the Mission of the Christ. . . . . Michael did not fight this Dragon in the ages that are past, for then the Dragon which is now meant was not yet a Dragon; it will become a Dragon if those concepts and ideas which belong only to natural science were to be used to construct the world conception of the coming age. For the monster that will then rear its head amongst mankind will be rightly seen in the picture of the Dragon that must be vanquished by Michael, whose Age begins in our own time. That is an important Imagination, - Michael overcoming the Dragon. To receive the inflow of spiritual life into the sense world, - from now on, that is the service of Michael. We serve Michael by overcoming the Dragon that is trying to grow to his full height and strength in ideas which during the past epoch produced materialism and which now threaten to prolong their life on into the future. To defeat this means to stand in the service of Michael. That is the victory of Michael over the Dragon. It is the old picture over again, which for earlier times had another meaning and which must now acquire the right meaning for our age. When we are conscious of the part we have to play as men of a new age, then our task can stand before us in the picture of Michael conquering the Dragon."
(Robert resumes now:)
And *that* is the real meaning of the symbol of the "dragon" in the present: the Dragon is the materialism that permeates outer culture. And it is easy to understand why the Dragon "bites" Rudolf Steiner: Steiner was the foremost public representative of the new, profoundly Christian, cultural force that has the real power to overcome materialism. And it is easy to see why Micha-El "holds forth" Rudolf Steiner: Micha-El is the "countenance of Christ" in the spiritual worlds; on Earth Rudolf Steiner brought "Michaelic" culture in a powerful, intellectually rigorous way that is capable of Christianizing the culture through and through, to its roots. Of course the Dragon-spirits hate Rudolf Steiner and seek to destroy him and his works.
Jesus Christ said: "Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you." [Matthew 7:6] Around the turn of the 20th Century an initiated, true occultist, Rudolf Steiner, with help from Above, read the signs of the times and decided that the time had come to cast some of the pearls before the swine. That is, he gave out Anthroposophy publicly. And some "swine" did indeed try to "rend" him. In his lifetime they tried to kill him, literally. Marie Steiner said, in her epitath for Rudolf:
"How could he escape being hated with all the demonic power of which Hell is capable?
"But he repaid with love the misunderstanding brought against him.
"He died-a Sufferer, a Leader, an Achiever In such a world as trod him under foot Yet which to raise aloft his strength sufficed. He lifted men; they cast themselves before him, They hissed with hate and blocked his forward way. His work they shattered even as he wrought it. They raged with venom and with flame; And now with joy they brand his memory:- . . .
"'We demons cannot suffer such a thing. We harry, hunt, pursue who dares such deeds With all those souls who give themselves to us, With all those forces which obey our will.'"
(Robert resumes now:)
The word which is translated here as *venom* is in German *Gift*, literally *poison*. Frau Steiner's epitath is a fairly clear reference to the Poisoning and to the Fire as deliberate acts of demonic opposition to Anthroposophy. Indeed, Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy were "hated with all the demonic power of which Hell is capable".
And still today they, the demons of Hell and their Earthly agents, try to "kill" Rudolf Steiner's ongoing works. This is all very understandable. So, what is Robert's problem in understanding all this? -- I suppose that my problem is that, while I can understand how and why non-human, supersensible spirits, in their totality symbolized by the Dragon, would fight against the Christ and His representatives on Earth, I still can't quite understand how human beings on Earth could join forces with the "Dragon" in this undertaking. It doesn't seem human; it's inhuman.
Again, I suppose that, if Robert is to bring his thinking into accord with obvious facts, he must, finally, come to accept that not all people are like him; he must accept the fact of human free will and respect the choice that some people make: to do the apparently inhuman. In his sojourn in the WC e-list Robert made this attempt to explain the "opposition" he saw, writing to the prominent voices there:
"I have to suspect that your ongoing, endless fight against Anthroposophy on this list is some kind of 'reaction formation' against the deep knowing in your hearts: deep down, Anthroposophy does "move" your hearts, and -- for some reason, or perhaps better said, for some *cause* -- this 'movement' within your souls provokes fear, and then this fear manifests in your conscious lives as your obsessive fight against that which 'moves' you.
"-- In down-to-earth terms, this 'reaction formation' might be partially explained by the concepts of 'bio-energetics' (or 'orgonomics') originated by the late Wilhelm Reich: There is an intimate connection between our human emotions (feelings) and physical bodies (organisms). Painful feelings that are not expressed can get 'stored', as it were, in our bodies, especially in our system of musculature. The muscles (or perhaps other organs) hold these painful emotions in a rigidified, unconscious state, and they can be 'stored' for many years, even a lifetime. Reich calls this rigidified musculature *armor* (*Haltung*). But 'life energy' flows through the body; healthy energy flows and pulsates. If the energy does not flow and pulsate, it becomes stale and poisonous. The 'pain energy' that is trapped in 'armor' really does become poisonous. And when healthy life-energy is aroused, it pulsates and tries to flow though the body, through the muscles. But when this flowing energy hits against the rigid 'armor', a conflict erupts. The flowing, healthy energy tries to loosen the rigidified armor, to break it up, but when the armor starts to come loose those old, stored painful feelings start to come to the surface. And one feels, rightly in a way, that one is being flooded with a poison, perhaps even that one's 'self' (the only self that one has consciously known perhaps for one's whole life) starts to break to pieces. One feels that one is coming to pieces and being flooded with a painful poison from within. And so one might react with fear, panic, anger, even hatred -- not so much against the old, stored pain, but against the flowing, healthy life-energy, and thus against whatever set that energy into motion. The paradox is that in order to feel the healthy, healing life-energy one must in the very process also feel the old, stored, poisonous pain. And many people cannot bear that paradox; they panic, 'clamp down', 'freeze up' -- anything to avoid the upwelling pain, to maintain the old, 'armored' body, the rigidified "character structure, and thus to stop the flowing of the life-energy. And they may turn in hatred against that which evokes the flow of life-energy within themselves, and try to push away that 'thing', that stimulus of life, perhaps even to destroy it, to kill it. The killing of that source of life becomes, in a sick but understandable way, a matter of survival for the one in panic. And there is a 'logic' of sorts in this whole process; in order to feel healthy 'life', one must feel pain; but one naturally wants to avoid pain, so one must avoid healthy life -- but not only avoid it, for the existence of any potential stimulus of life-energy is a threat to oneself, and therefore any such potential must be fought, must be stamped out.
"I really do suspect that this endless, obsessive fight against Anthroposophy derives from a deep, unconscious knowing within your hearts. Anthroposophy 'moves' you, but for some reason you cannot tolerate this movement, and so you shun Anthroposophy. But you can't just leave it alone; deep down you 'know' that it touches your deepest longings, and so you are obsessed with it. Your obsession takes the conscious form of a fight against Anthroposophy, but this fight is at base your fight against your own 'inner movement'. The fight is only the flip side of the coin of your longing; but it's still the same coin."
(Robert resumes now:)
Of course this explanation met with no agreement on the WC list. I tried to explain the opposition in human terms: the "choice" to do the inhuman was really unconscious, unknowing, Even without reaching for spiritual-scientific concepts, I could see the ongoing fight against Anthroposophy as a panicky, subconscious fight against one's own internal pain. That's fairly comprehensible in human terms. -- But now, years later, this explanation doesn't seem quite so explanatory; I'm even more freaked out by the WC than I was then. The ongoing opposition is so deep, so tricky, so perverse, that I can't quite "see" it in human terms, as analogous to my own experience. I can "see" how a human being might panic and turn against Anthroposophy in fear and even hatred, but it's a lot harder for me to "see" how a human being could stay with that effort for years and years, going into endless details, with apparently unabated energy. It does seem that a human being at least would get tired of it all after a while. And I suppose that some of the WC people have gotten tired; some have disappeared, but the core group goes on and on. Mere panic or even merely human hatred doesn't seem to explain it.
Maybe it isn't really human? -- We have no guarantee that every creature that outwardly resembles a human being is really human. Even ordinary psychology has the concept of the *psychopath*, of apparently human beings who are somehow fundamentally "alien", who have no apparent conscience and act in ways that seemingly no human being could. And spiritual science tells us of demons in human form; ordinary science can't quite come to that explanation but gropes toward the concept of the *psychopath*. -- Maybe some "people" in the opposition are not really people at all? That might well be, but I don't feel competent to make such a judgment in any particular case; I simply don't have the knowledge and understanding to do so. It is not given to one human being to judge the soul of another human being, even of a putative human being. Of course sometimes some people are forced by practical circumstances to make practical judgments, but I don't think that any ordinary human being, surely not one of my standing, could make such a judgment in an ultimate sense. Really, I must give the other fellow the benefit of the doubt; even if he behaves in apparently inhuman ways, I must go on the "working assumption" that he is a human being somehow caught up in inhuman activities. I must grant that this assumption might be wrong, but I can't claim to have enough knowledge to "write off" a possibly human being as being inhuman.
But still, to me, their behavior does *seem* inhuman. At Steiner said (from sparse notes): "The rejection of spiritual wisdom is a sin against the Holy Spirit." That, as Jesus Christ said, is the one sin that cannot be forgiven: "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." [Mark 3:29] The core WC people do seem to know the "spiritual wisdom" as expressed in Anthroposophy and they not only reject it, over and over and over, but they seem to be trying to get the whole world to reject it also. They are not only sinning against themselves; they are sinning against the whole world. This world, obviously, desperately needs help, and help has been given from above in the form of Anthroposophy. Not only this world of the living, but also the world of the dead needs the help of Anthroposophy. It is the utmost cruelty to try to deny such help to those who so desperately need it. And the WC people (at least the core group) do seem to know Anthroposophy; they have surely read a lot of it. They do not reject Anthroposophy from pure ignorance, but knowingly. And that is what seems so inhuman.
But I do still have to wonder how "knowing" their rejection really is; I suspect that for many of them, maybe most of them, this rejection takes place mainly in the subconscious mind. Perhaps they don't quite know the true dimensions of their cruelty and perversity? -- I suspect that opponents exist who do really, consciously know, but I also suspect that *those* are far more secretive than the WC people. The WC people are "out there" in public, and yet I, somehow feel that I must give them the benefit of the doubt. I must hold it to be possible that the WC people have given themselves unconsciously to truly inhuman spirits of opposition, and that is why these people *seem* to be inhuman. I still must allow the possibility that some people might be so unlike Robert Mason that they could unconsciously or semiconsciously ally themselves with inhuman, evil spirits and do the inhumanly perverse, perhaps from overwhelming, subconscious fear and pain. Maybe.
And yet . . . still . . . all this does not quite answer my questions. Even if this benefit of the doubt be warranted, then how, why do these truly inhuman spirits of opposition even exist? -- While researching Steiner-saids on this general topic, I ran across the following from the notes of his early lecture on "The Manicheans": "The deep and profound thought here [in the Temple Legend] contained is the following: the darkness must be overcome through the Kingdom of Light, through the mingling of the Good with the Evil, in order that the Evil may be redeemed, but not through punishment. The conception underlying this is also that of Theosophy, namely that Evil is only an untimely Good. . . . From the Kingdom of Light a spark is sent into the Kingdom of Darkness in order that through itself the Darkness may be redeemed, in order that Evil may be overcome through gentleness (Milde). We must explain the confluence of Life and Form out of the cooperation of Good and Evil. Life becomes form through finding opposition. . . . The Good of an earlier age unites with the Good of a newer age. That gives at the same time the possibility of material manifestation, the possibility of manifested existence. That is the doctrine of Manicheanism. . . . But Evil will also be there [in the Sixth Root Race] as a mood and a disposition (Gesinnung) without any covering, within a large number of human beings. They will extol Evil. Some inkling in regard to the Evil in the Sixth Root Race glimmers in many men of genius. (Nietzsche's Blond Beast is a portent of this Evil in the Sixth Root Race.) The task of the Sixth Root Race is to draw Evil again into itself through gentleness (Milde). . . . Peace, Love, and Non-resistance to Evil."
(Robert resumes now:)
What I get from this is that "Evil" must exist. This is an old, old thought, but one that is still always hard for me to grasp: evil exists for the sake of the greater good; the existence of evil is not a defect in the world, but something which is necessary for greater perfection to exist. From the same lecture:
"Life becomes form through finding opposition. It does not all at once express itself in a form. Only consider how Life hurries from form to form. Life has fashioned the lily, then Life overcomes the Form and it passes over into the seed out of which a new form will be born. Life is formless it could (not?) live out its own nature in itself. Life is everywhere. The limited form is the hindrance. There would be no forms if Life were not obstructed and arrested in its forces which stream out in every direction. Form grows precisely out of that which at higher stages appears as fetters."
(Robert resumes now:)
And from an apparently later lecture:
"To the Manicheans, however, Evil is an integral part of the cosmos, collaborating in its evolution, finally to be absorbed and transfigured by the Good."
(Robert resumes now:)
Again, what I get is that for even the forms that life takes on to exist, some kind of opposition ("evil") must also exist. If "evil" did not exist, then life would be formless; not even human forms could come into being. And if human forms could not exist, then neither could human evolution with its growth toward the possibility of Freedom and Love. -- So, it must be that "the Dragon" is in the world; the world would be incomplete and less good without him. If the WC people seem monstrous, then I have to allow that monsters must be in the world; this world would be incomplete without them. They might seem inhuman, and it might seem that it is impossible for them to exist, but that Robert's problem, a problem with Robert's cognition; it is not a problem with the world.
So, what does all this add up to? -- I would guess that Robert just has to come to grips with the fact that opposition to Anthroposophy exists. This opposition might well be informed, clever, diligent, and energetic. It's here, and it's not going away easily. And it might get worse. It's already worse than I would have imagined; how much worse could it get? One thing that freaks me out about the WC is the apparent youth of some of the participants. I had thought that, with the advent of the "New Age" and all, opposition to spiritual endeavors and world-views had become mainly the work of ossified old fudds, and that such opposition would die out with them. But now I must admit that new generations of the "ossified" are growing up and working with youthful energy. This really surprises me, but I have to believe the evidence of my own eyes. And I must extrapolate into the future the onset of more energetic working of that kind. How far could this go?
I would have to suppose that it could go as far as the direct, forceful, political police-state repression of Anthroposophy. The WC people now might deny that they favor any such thing; nevertheless they are preparing the ground for it. Anthroposophists might be in for a very rough ride in the not-too-distant future, and we had better get prepared for it, mentally and morally. Indeed, as Steiner said, Anthroposophy might have to survive for centuries "in the catacombs". Of course the allusion was to the early Christians meeting in the Roman catacombs, and of course they were not hiding there; the Roman authorities knew very well what was happening, but they did not molest the Christians there out of respect for the dead. For the Romans these early Christians were under the protection of the dead in the catacombs. In the future I would expect that the repressive political authorities would not be so superstitious, and that the Anthros would have to be more resourceful and imaginative to survive.
Could this really happen? -- It seems far-fetched in the USA [I live in the USA], but in Canada and some parts of Europe it's already almost happening. "Hate-speech" laws are in effect there, and people have actually been put in prison because of them. This is no joke; in the USA repression of free speech is mostly economic, but in much of the so-called "free world" it is already enforced by the state. And it isn't much of a stretch to see how "hate-speech" laws could be construed to apply to Anthroposophy. Already the chief accusation against Anthroposophy in the WC and suchlike circles is that it is "racist". Such accusations are now all over the Internet . . . and, no, it's not much of a stretch at all to imagine that some enterprising opponent might go to the authorities and try to get Anthros prosecuted under "hate-speech" laws.
Here are some extracts from remarks that I posted online back in 2007:
"We all know very well that Anthroposophy has always aroused fierce, even murderous, opposition: witness 'The Fire' and the (very probable) poisoning of Steiner himself. And those of us who are paying attention to current world events (at least those of us who are not blinded by prejudice against 'conspiracy theories' etc.) have to be aware that deeply evil forces are working to gain world power, have already gained much, and are at the point of making a desperate gamble for total power. This is becoming so obvious that many observers, even non-occultists and non-Anthros such a Alex Jones, see that dark occultism is behind this power grab.
"And we should be aware that the demonic beings who inspire these power occultists have a deep, abiding hatred for the Christ and for human freedom. It follows that these beings do have very unpleasant intentions toward real Christianity on Earth, and therefore especially toward Anthroposophy as the prime public, cultural manifestation of the Christ working toward true human freedom. If anyone might doubt just how unpleasant these intentions can be, one need only consider the mountains of human corpses piled up in the last century by political power.
"And those of us who keep an eye on the Internet probably have some idea of how such hatred manifests in the campaign against Anthroposophy as being 'racist' etc. Many of us have had some experience with the 'Waldorf Critics', who (at least the most active among the regulars there) reveal this hatred relentlessly at work. Probably most of those WC people are not conscious of the forces that move them, or of where their efforts are ultimately leading, but the destructive, perverse energy is readily apparent there. And if one keeps an eye out over there, one might sometimes even run across some useful information, for instance:
"(Yahoo waldorf-critics: Message #545: 'Germany is considering to censor Steiner')
">>Alex Rühle reports that Germany is considering whether to censor two volumes from the collected works of Rudolf Steiner for racist content. A new study by historian Helmut Zander - ('Anthroposophie in Deutschland', Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht), examines the attitudes of this founder of the Waldorf Schools, and shows how he reflected the thinking of his day. In two lecture series, one from 1908 and the other from 1910, Steiner 'investigated the various human races in terms of their skin colour and their standing in the development of humankind.' In short, says Zander, Steiner found 'blacks to be an imperfect, earlier model, whereas whites are the fulfilment of the goal of human evolution... He formulated an ethnology in which the terms 'degenerate,' or 'backward,' or 'future' races was not accidental, but rather the result of a well planned evolution curriculum.'<<
"Of course the campaign of destructive distortion against Anthroposophy springs from causes far deeper than any putative concern about so-called 'racism', but in this charge of 'racism' the enemies of Anthroposophy have found a bludgeon that sometimes 'works' all too well in the current political-cultural climate. And this bludgeon can be more deadly in much of Europe now than in the USA. In much of Europe the traditions of 'freedom of speech' are much weaker than in the USA, and people who say the 'wrong' things can be, and are, put into prison on a regular basis. Here is an instructive recent example:
"(http://www.brusselsjournal.com/node/2211 *The Brussels Journal* 'Secularist Europe Silences Pro-Lifers and Creationists' From the desk of Paul Belien on Sat, 2007-06-23 18:53)
">>Last week, a German court sentenced a 55-year old Lutheran pastor to one year in jail for 'Volksverhetzung' (incitement of the people) because he compared the killing of the unborn in contemporary Germany to the holocaust. . . . Without legalized abortion the number of German children would increase annually by at least 150,000 -- which is the number of legal abortions in birth dearth Germany. Pastor Johannes Lerle compared the killing of the unborn to the killing of the Jews in Auschwitz during the Second World War. On 14 June, a court in Erlangen ruled that, in doing so, the pastor had 'incited the people' because his statement was a denial of the holocaust of the Jews in Nazi-Germany. Hence, Herr Lerle was sentenced to one year in jail. Earlier, he had already spent eight months in jail for calling abortionists 'professional killers' -- an allegation which the court ruled to be slanderous because, according to the court, the unborn are not humans. Other German courts convicted pro-lifers for saying that 'in abortion clinics, life unworthy of living is being killed,' because this terminology evoked Hitler's euthanasia program, which used the same language. In 2005, a German pro-lifer, Günter Annen, was sentenced to 50 days in jail for saying 'Stop unjust [rechtswidrige] abortions in [medical] practice,' because, according to the court, the expression 'unjust' is understood by laymen as meaning illegal, which abortions are not. . . . <<
"The inmates have been running the asylum in Germany for a long time, but now they are apparently not even pretending to be sane. For many years anyone there who publicly expressed doubts about the official history of the 'Holocaust' has been liable to time in the slammer, but now even someone who expressed no such doubts at all but only likened the abortion plague to the putative 'Holocaust' has been put in prison for . . . 'denial of the holocaust'. . . .
"It's not much of stretch to see that if criticism of abortion could be 'Volksverhetzung', then promulgation of such Anthroposophical 'racism' as cited above could be just as well. If we don't think that the widespread campaign against Anthro 'racism' isn't working toward such legal attacks, especially in Europe, then I think we are being naïve indeed. Again, maybe not all these 'critics' of Anthro 'racism' are conscious of this tendency, but nevertheless they are in fact preparing the ground.
"To get a fuller view of the political climate in Europe, we can read more of the article:
">>In Germany, believing [sic] abortion to be as murderous as the holocaust is a crime, and educating your own children is a crime too. In France, saying that 'homosexual behaviour endangers the survival of humanity' is a crime, and so is the distribution of pork soup to the poor. In Belgium, speaking out against immigration is a crime. In the latest issue of the Dutch conservative magazine Bitter Lemon the Dutch author Erik van Goor writes that European courts are silencing conservative and orthodox citizens. Freedom of speech no longer exist, says van Goor. 'While many in the West still idolize the second-hand fighters for free speech, such as [Ayaan] Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh, the true victims of curtailment are deliberately kept under wraps. Hirsi Ali, [Pim] Fortuyn and Theo van Gogh were not curtailed by the state or by court, Johannes Lerle is. The former voiced mere opinions -- expressions of a public opinion which one may or may not value or believe. The latter -- Dr Lerle -- shows that what is at stake is not merely opinions, but a moral order which is being questioned; a reality of life and death which is at risk.'
">>Hirsi Ali, Fortuyn and van Gogh did not defend Europe's traditional Christian moral order. People such as Johannes Lerle and Christian Vanneste, the French parliamentarian who was convicted for 'homophobia,' do. The latter are being persecuted by Western Europe's political regimes -- a phenomenon which is ignored completely by the Western mainstream media, who participate in the persecution.<<
"And we can get some idea of what kind of new violations of basic liberties are 'in the works':
">>Next week, the Council of Europe is going to vote on a resolution imposing Darwinism as Europe's official ideology. The European governments are asked to fight the expression of creationist opinions, such as young earth and intelligent design theories. According to the Council of Europe these theories are 'undemocratic' and 'a threat to human rights.'
">>Volksverhetzung is a crime which the Nazis often invoked against their enemies and which contemporary Germany also uses to intimidate homeschoolers. Soon, the German authorities will be able to use the same charge against people who question Darwin's evolution theory. Indeed, next Tuesday, the Council of Europe (CoE), Europe's main human-rights body, will vote on a proposal which advocates the fight against creationism, 'young earth' and 'intelligent design' in its 47 member states. According to a report of the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, creationists are dangerous 'religious fundamentalists' who propagate 'forms of religious extremism' and 'could become a threat to human rights.' The report adds that the acceptance of the science of evolutionism 'is crucial to the future of our societies and our democracies.' 'Creationism, born of the denial of the evolution of species through natural selection, was for a long time an almost exclusively American phenomenon,' the report says. 'Today creationist theories are tending to find their way into Europe and their spread is affecting quite a few Council of Europe member states. . . . [T]his is liable to encourage the development of all manner of fundamentalism and extremism, synonymous with attacks of utmost virulence on human rights. The total rejection of science is definitely one of the most serious threats to human rights and civic rights. . . . The war on the theory of evolution and on its proponents most often originates in forms of religious extremism which are closely allied to extreme right-wing political movements. The creationist movements possess real political power. The fact of the matter, and this has been exposed on several occasions, is that the advocates of strict creationism are out to replace democracy by theocracy. [...] If we are not careful, the values that are the very essence of the Council of Europe will be under direct threat from creationist fundamentalists.'
">>According to the CoE report, America and Australia are already on their way towards becoming such undemocratic theocracies where human and civic rights are endangered. Creationism is 'well-developed in the English-speaking countries, especially the United States and Australia,' the report states. 'While most curricula in Europe today unashamedly teach evolution as a recognised scientific theory, the same does not apply to the United States. In July 2005, the Pew Research Center conducted a poll that showed that 64% of Americans favoured the teaching of intelligent design alongside the theory of evolution and that 38% would support the total abandonment of the teaching of evolution in publicly owned schools. The American President George W. Bush supports the principle of teaching both intelligent design and the theory of evolution. At the moment, 20 of the 50 American states are facing potential adjustments of their school curricula in favour of intelligent design. Many people think that this phenomenon only affects the United States and that, even if it is not possible to be indifferent to what is happening on the other side of the Atlantic, it is not the Council of Europe's role to deal with this issue. That, however, is not the case. On the contrary, it would seem crucial for us to take the appropriate precautions in our 47 member states.'
"But at least this proposal have been 'put on the back burner', for now;
"Update A quote from Reuters, 25 June 2007:
">>Europe's main human rights body on Monday cancelled a scheduled vote on banning creationist and intelligent design views from school science classes, saying the proposed resolution was one-sided. . . . Guy Lengagne, the French Socialist member of the Assembly who drew up the report, protested after the Parliamentary Assembly voted to call off the debate and vote, and [approved a proposal of the Flemish Christian-Democrat Luc Van den Brande] to send the report back to committee for further study. . . . Deputies said the motion by the Christian Democratic group of parliamentarians also won support from east European deputies, who recalled that Darwinian evolution was a favorite theory of their former communist rulers.<<
"And at least those who have lived under outright Communism can see where all this is headed. Perhaps an unintended consequence of EU push into the Slavic areas is that those survivors of Bolshevism will act as a restraint on the Western atheistic-materialist mind-control agenda?
"And, while those of us living in the USA might allow ourselves a sad, weary smile at the apparent credence that the CoE gives to the American President's alleged support of the dreaded 'creationism', perhaps that horrified fear of this particular kind of Americanism still might point out a real difference between Europe and the USA. Just considering the facts that a major US politician at least gives 'lip service' to a resistance to rampant Darwinism and that those polls show such a resistance among the American population, these facts seem to show something that might seem paradoxical to Anthros who are familiar with the idea that cultural materialism in the world comes primarily from America. It might well be that, despite the many years of pervasive, materialistic-Darwinistic 'education', there still remains among the American people a deep, widespread, instinctive hold on at least some elements of a spiritual worldview. To this American observer, such instincts do not seem to be as pervasive and widespread among the European population, at least not in Western and Central Europe. (Perhaps some Europeans here might wish to comment on this observation?)
"I get the feeling, or at least the hope, that, given this instinctive American spirituality and the strong American tradition of 'freedom of speech', such legal atrocities as that committed against Pastor Lerle are still not possible here in the USA. And likewise, I get the feeling that moves to censor Anthroposophy, or to imprison outspoken Anthros for promoting 'racism' or whatnot, are not as great a danger in the US as they are in Germany and much of Europe. Not yet, anyway.
"I realize that there are powerful forces working to make such dangers real in the US, still it seems to me that the main attacks against spirituality and freedom in the US come not so much in the form of legal prohibitions but rather in the form of making people inwardly incapable of spiritual freedom. This American oppression comes from the combined might of economic and cultural perversions, mainly through 'public education' but also through the financial 'rat race', movies, 'music', television, forced drugging, forced vaccinations, poisoned food, poisoned water, electromagnetic poisoning, etc., etc.
"I'm not saying that direct, legal attacks against freedom in the USA are not 'in the works'; surely they are. But it seems that there is yet enough resistance, or potential resistance, in the American people so that the Powers That Be are not quite ready to make that final move. Not only the instinctive American spirituality and respect for personal freedom act as restraints on those Powers, but so also does the brute fact that the American people are armed, as well as the paradoxical fact that, to some extent, technology seems to be backfiring on the Ahrimanic powers: for instance, the '9-11 truth movement' could hardly have reached its present strength without the Internet.
"Still, I do have the feeling that European Anthros should be more worried about being sent to the Gulags than should American Anthros, at least for now. I'd be interested to get and compare comments from European and American Anthroposophists on this question."
-- OK, that was five years ago, and I haven't really been keeping up with political developments in Europe since then. I don't know whether anyone has actually brought political-state police power to bear against Anthros. And perhaps I was overly optimistic about the "9/11 truth movement". And maybe I was being a bit too smug about the USA: "That couldn't happen here; not yet anyway." But here are some excerpts from remarks that I posted a few years ago as to the deeper reasons why the charge of "racism" is such a favorite with contemporary opponents of Anthroposophy:
"I've been doing some reflecting on the phenomenon of the active opposition to Anthroposophy, especially on the 'Waldorf Critics' e-group. The energy, the persistence, and the incorrigibility of this opposition is amazing to me. Some other people have been working assiduously on the Internet (and elsewhere, as in the legal process) to refute the allegations of those like the WC, and that work is necessary and good, but still the opposition goes on and on and on, and even sometimes 'gets some traction' here and there outside the realm of the dedicated opponents of Anthroposophy. Given the general speciousness of the accusations against Anthroposophy, I really have to wonder about the source of the energy and power of such opposition.
"The first consideration that comes to mind is that Anthroposophy has always encountered opposition, even violent, murderous opposition. Steiner himself was relentlessly misconstrued and slandered, and eventually poisoned; of course the first Goetheanum was deliberately burned in a attempted act of mass murder against the gathered Anthroposophists. Anthroposophy was suppressed in the USSR and Nazi Germany. -- So the present opposition is really nothing new in essence; it should be seen in the context of the old, ongoing opposition. And actuality, that context goes back long before Steiner's time. Christ on Earth encountered hatred and violence; it should be no wonder that the foremost public carrier of the new Christian development in the modern world meets implacable resistance, by means fair and foul.
"With no real knowledge of spiritual science the late Dr. Wilhelm Reich perceived the archetypal pattern of such antagonism; he called it *the chronic murder of Christ* and attributed it to *the emotional plague of mankind*. Steiner himself saw the grave significance of the opposition and the hand of the spiritual Adversaries; just a couple of quotations from many possible:
"'. . . . people . . . [generally do not] make the basic distinction between the Spirit of the supersensible world, the Christ Spirit and the adversary, the unrighteous Prince of this world. Look at this situation and see if this does not explain why in so many places today men oppose and struggle against the acceptance of any true spiritual teaching, against true spiritual deeds, and against Spiritual Science. They are possessed by the unrighteous Prince of this world.' [from 'Social and Anti-Social Forces in the Human Being'; Bern, December 12, 1918; GA 186]
"'The rejection of spiritual wisdom is a sin against the Holy Spirit.' [notes from 'Esoteric Lesson: Berlin, 10-23-1907']"
"Taking the long view, it's not very hard to see what moves the 'Waldorf Critics' and those like them with such energy and persistence: fear and hatred of the Spirit, 'emotional plague', and the inspirations of the demonic beings. (I'm speaking here in generalities, of the overall impression that I get from the loudest and most persistent voices in the WC. This generalized characterization might have to be adjusted to fit some particular cases, especially those of the fringe people and those people who more-or-less naïvely may have wandered into the WC. But *in general* I think that this diagnosis is true enough.)
"Still, lately I have come to suspect that some other force is at work in the WC-ish opposition. I haven't made a systematic survey, but it seems to me that the most repeated charge made is that Anthroposophy is suffused with 'racism', that Rudolf Steiner was a 'racist'. These accusations, in an astonishing range of combinations and permutations, are made over and over and over, year after year after year. The WC participants seem never to get tired of that subject; that tactic of attack goes on and on and on.
"Given that the primary motives behind the general attacks are fear and hatred of the Spirit, one might still ask why this particular maneuver is apparently the favorite. -- By way of an answer, one might suppose first of all that 'they go with what works'; this accusation gets the opponents the 'best' results from their point of view. In the current socio- political climate 'racism' is considered to be practically the worst thing in the world; if something can be effectively characterized as 'racist', then it is effectively excluded from rational consideration in public discourse; it is thereby widely perceived as being almost unspeakably evil, even by many who don't believe in the reality of Good and Evil.
"Though the term *racism* has a cognitive meaning approaching zero, its emotional impact is enormous. Here in the USA the consequence of an effective accusation are usually social and maybe political, and perhaps financial; but in much of Europe the consequences can be legal, in the criminal sense. And the more dedicated of the WC people, and especially their European cousins, have to be aware of this fact."
"But even where the charge of 'racism' does not (yet?) have direct legal consequences (as in the USA), still that charge seems to be an effective 'wedge issue' that might drive people away from Waldorf Education and Anthroposophy. That is the impression I get from skimming through the WC discussions. The natural question that arises is: given that Anthroposophy so obviously transcends and opposes narrow racial and nationalistic boundaries, that it clearly promotes universal brotherhood, even love for all creatures and all Creation -- why then is this charge of 'racism' often all too effective as a weapon against Anthroposophy even outside the hub of the WC?
"The first, obvious observation is that in polite, public 'white' society (European, Euro- American, etc.) 'discrimination' against the darker races has come to be the greatest socio- political taboo. This situation is, in part, a natural progression in public morals, in keeping with the Christian spirit, especially in the Michael age of cosmopolitanism. It is also, in part, a natural, guilty reaction against a history of oppressive European domination, including conquest, colonialism, slavery, etc. (The history of the invasions of Europe by Huns, Arabs, Magyars, Mongols, Turks, etc. is fading from the *emotional* memory of most Europeans, except probably in the East and Southeast.) -- But there is also an unhealthy side to this state of affairs. As XXX recently hinted, is seems that, to some extent, this 'white' guilt and the corresponding 'colored' resentments are being manipulated as engines for the destruction of European civilization. And it is no longer much of a secret -- especially since the Internet has become probably the freest, fastest means of communication in history -- that the course of socio-political development is indeed being manipulated for malevolent purposes by 'occult' conspiracies. These conspiracies do have the goal of destroying even as much 'civilization' as mankind has achieved consistent with human dignity. Therefore, it is only to be expected that these occult-political powers would use for their goals any convenient tool that comes to hand, and 'white'-guilt/'colored'-resentment is just such a tool. (There may also be other, esoteric considerations.)
"But the question remains: *why* is it such an effective tool? The 'energy' behind this 'effectiveness' must 'be there' in the first place before it can be manipulated. Where does this energy come from?
"We might approach an answer by way of some insights that Steiner gave about nationalism. In this case he was speaking in Europe during the First World War, when nationalism was raging with a deadliness previously unknown:
"'So you see that by discussing the system of ganglia one is indicating how the impulses of all that belongs to the folk soul work in man's unconscious. You will now also understand why, more than one might ordinarily think, belonging to a particular nation is connected with certain characteristics which are linked to the system of ganglia. More than one might think, the problem of nationality has to be seen in relation to the problem of sexuality. Belonging to a nation has the same organic foundation -- the system of ganglia -- as the sexual element. Quite externally you can understand this when you remember that you belong to a nation by birth, that is, your body develops inside that of a mother who belongs to a particular nation. This of itself creates a link. So you see what subterranean soul foundations connect the problem of nationality with the problem of sexuality. That is why these two impulses in life manifest in such related ways. If your eyes are open to life you will see a tremendous amount of similarity between the way people behave in an erotic sense and the way they show their connection to their nationality. I am not speaking either for or against either of these things, but the facts are as I have described them. Arousal of a nationalistic kind, which works particularly strongly in the unconscious if it is not brought up into ego-consciousness by making it a question of karma as I described the other day, is very similar to sexual arousal. It is no good glossing over these things by making out that the emotional illusions and longings of national feeling are noble, while sexual feelings are rather less so.' [Lecture: 14th January, 1917; Dornach; GA174; *The Karma of Untruthfulness*]
"To reiterate the essential insight: 'Arousal of a nationalistic kind . . . is very similar to sexual arousal.' And it seems reasonable enough to extend this principle with even more power to 'arousal' of the racial kind; the differences among the races (at least on the obvious, physical level) are usually greater than the differences among *Volk*-nations of the same race. Such 'racial arousal' is a deep, instinctive force in the human soul; it has all the energy and irrationality of the sexual instincts. And naturally, this irrationality is all the greater when these instincts remain below the level of conscious awareness and hence control.
"One might suppose, at first, that this spiritual-scientific insight has no relevance to the present question, since the question is about 'anti-racism', which one might suppose to be the opposite of 'racial arousal'. But if one expands upon Steiner's insight just a little further, one can see that this objection is unfounded. In the past century virtually the whole civilized world has learned the concept of *repression* in the Freudian sense: when a soul-content is 'repressed', it is forced out of consciousness and into the subconscious mind. And we know that the repressed content doesn't just 'go away'; it always returns, in one way or another. When an elemental instinct, such as sexuality, is repressed, its powerful 'energy' must still, somehow, be expressed. Since this energy has been entwined with the psychic force that repressed it, it will find expression in manifestations that are shaped by that repressing force. Usually (or always?) that force is somehow 'painful' (such as fear or guilt), and so the resulting instinctual manifestations will usually be somehow painful or unhealthy. And all the more so, since these manifestations are not subject to conscious, reasoning control and are thus inherently irrational. But these expressions of repressed soul-energy are doubly irrational, since repression is essentially a lie, a denial of a reality and an assertion of an unreality.
"But Reality has a disconcerting habit of asserting itself regardless of our delusions, and the more deluded we are, the more painful such 'assertions' usually are for us.
"Severe sexual 'repression' (again, in the strictly Freudian sense) usually manifests (at least partly) in what might broadly be called *prudery*. The prude 'denies' the reality of his own sexuality, and he reacts with 'negative' emotions (fear, anger, hatred, etc.) to any appearance of a sexual nature. In severe cases, he might become 'obsessed' with a drive to suppress any sexual manifestations in society; he may become an anti-porn campaigner, etc.
"It does seem that the obsessive sexual prude, as a type, is fading into history, apparently because of the general emergence of human sexuality into consciousness. (It may sometimes be emerging in repulsive ways; when a boil is lanced, pus and blood must flow. Nevertheless, it is coming into consciousness, and thus may eventually come under conscious control.) But Steiner's insight that I have been considering here gives us a strong clue that not all prudery is fading from modern society; indeed the opposite might well be the case. Prudery, of a kind, seems to be very much with us, because the repression of an elemental instinct is still very much with us.
"Steiner tells us that 'national' (*Volk*) passions are as instinctual as sexual passions, and I have inferred that the same is true of racial passions, maybe even more strongly true. Nowadays, whereas sexual instincts were formerly taboo for polite discussion, racial instincts are likewise taboo, especially in polite white-European society. And whereas sexuality was often 'denied', repressed into the subconscious mind, now 'cultured' whites often 'live in denial' of their racial feelings. And it seems that the farther 'Left' one goes, the more 'politically correct' one is, the stronger is this 'denial'. And just as sexual prudery springs from the repression, the 'denial' of sexual instincts, and is inverted into 'reaction formation' of fanatical anti-sexuality -- so does a kind of 'racial prudery' spring from the repression/denial of racial feelings. And likewise the psychic energy of the repressed racial instincts persists and will find expression. The expression of this 'denied' racial energy manifests in an inverted, twisted form: an obsessive racial prudery, driven by all the energy of an elemental instinct, and often working in the socio-political realm with all the social and legal repression that used to be applied to pornography. The 'politically correct' racial prude is sometimes so fanatical, so at-war with Reality, that he will 'deny' that there are any differences at all among the races, or even that human races exist.
"How does this dynamic relate to the antagonism against Anthroposophy? -- Of course, we know that Steiner's world-view is usually at odds with the generally accepted view in any particular area of intellectual endeavor, whether it be in academia or in the larger society. (Perhaps the only large exception might be mathematics; I'm not sure.) When someone unfamiliar with Anthroposophy runs across one of Steiner's unorthodox assertions about, say, geology or physics or agriculture, that non-Anthro might perhaps be bemused, maybe amused, just dismissive, or (one might hope) curious enough to investigate further with an open mind. But if he encounters some of Steiner's heretical explanations of the differences among the human races, and if he is a 'white' and has absorbed enough of the ambient society's dogmas in such a way to have become a 'racial prude', he may react to such racial heresies as a sexual prude would react to raw pornography: with an instinctual excitement inverted into fear, horror, anger, revulsion, and fascination.
"One might freely grant that some of Steiner's statements about racial characteristics and differences might be hard to understand for the non-Anthro, especially if those statements are excerpted from uncorrected notes taken at lectures scattered over time and space. But *in themselves* such statements present no *special* problem of exegesis -- that is to say, no more of a problem *in general* than would such heterodox Steiner-saids about physics, geology, medicine, agriculture, etc. The special problem arises not from Steiner's revolutionary world-view, but from the special nature of the contemporary culture's conventional doctrines about race. When these doctrines become so extreme as to 'deny' Reality and so rigid as to be internalized as 'repression' in the Freudian sense, then the non-Anthro's reaction against Steiner's explanations of racial differences may well be so violent as to make understanding impossible. Such a reaction is violent because it is driven by excited quasi-sexual energy that is blocked, inverted, unconscious, and suffused with fear, horror, anger, guilt, etc. -- And really, such reactions are not altogether confined to the non-Anthroposophical world. Anthroposophists are, after all, just people, and they come to Anthroposophy from the surrounding society. And so they may bring with them the ambient cultural prejudices, and if they have not done enough inner work to overcome this particular prejudice, they may react with same kind of 'racial prudery' as would a 'politically correct' non-Anthroposophist. And apparently (from what I have read in the WC) it seems that some Anthroposophists' racial prudery even reaches into Anthro publishing. It seems that at least one English edition of Steiner lectures was bowdlerized to exclude a racially unorthodox lecture that was included in the GA edition.
"Of course, one need not become a racial prude in order to avoid injurious effects arising from one's natural racial and *Volk* instincts, any more than one must be a sexual prude in order to live with one's sexuality in a healthy, moderate way. Such problems are a question of realistic thinking, self-awareness, self-control, and self-development. And anyone who has much self-awareness knows that there is no perversion, no atrocity, that does not lurk somewhere in the dark recesses of one's soul. But 'repression' is no lasting solution the problems that might come from emerging awareness of these dark impulses; repression is the opposite of consciousness. The development of self-awareness that is destined in our *Consciousness* Soul Epoch can proceed in a healthy way, the more one is able to look unpleasant facts calmly in the face. Ultimately, on the Path of Cognition that Steiner has given us, the development of self-awareness can proceed to the conscious meeting with one's own 'unredeemed karma', the Lesser Guardian of the Threshold.
"But negative fanatics such as one finds in the WC group can never (unless they change their ways) reach such healthy consciousness. They are driven by hate and fear, and they fight against Reality. And apparently they are also driven by racial prudery. But even if somehow all of Steiner's provocations of their racial prudery were to magically disappear (if, per improbable, it were discovered that someone had fraudulently inserted the provocative texts into the GA archives), I get the feeling that the dedicated WC people would still hate Anthroposophy, probably just as much. They would still hate and fear the Spirit; they just might not get as much warped, inverted quasi-sexual pleasure from their campaign against Anthroposophy's alleged 'racism'.
"-- Again, I'm generalizing, painting with a broad brush, but this is the picture that I have come to perceive, especially from observing the discussions in the 'Waldorf Critics' e-group. (And yet again, I note that I am generalizing about the WC, speaking of my mental composite of the most strident voices over there.) When I was briefly subscribed to the WC list, I was (inevitably, it seems) drawn into a discussion of the alleged 'racism' in Anthroposophy and of Steiner's allegedly being a 'racist'. I tried to make the point the term *racism* has almost no cognitive meaning, that its meaning is almost entirely emotional and pejorative, that it is little more than a cuss-word. One of the core WC people came back at me with a dictionary definition of *racism*. I didn't abandon my point, but I went ahead anyway and demonstrated briefly (and effectively, IMO) how and why that dictionary definition does not fit Anthroposophy.
"But my interlocutor didn't miss a beat; he just side-stepped my demonstration and went on with his charges of 'racism'. And as far as I could see, nobody in the WC has missed a beat, even to this day; the drumbeat still goes on and on: 'Racist! Racist! Racist!' Endlessly. Relentlessly. With amazing diligence, and with even a kind of warped 'intelligence'. -- Where does such obsessive repetitiveness 'come from'? OK, it comes from a deep, underlying fear/hatred of the Spirit. And likely it also comes from a, perhaps unconscious, calculation that this charge of 'racism' is the most effective 'wedge issue' to use against Anthroposophy in today's society. But even when this 'racism' talk does not reach the outside society, when the discussion is mostly internal to the WC e-group, the same theme is still pursued . . . relentlessly, eagerly, fervently. This repetitive 'racism' drumbeat seems to have a drive of its own; it is, in part, an end in itself. And I think that this internal drive is largely an inverted, quasi-sexual, racial 'arousal' in the souls (and hence bodies) of the dedicated WC people themselves. They are 'racial prudes'; they are 'in denial' of racial realities; they are energized by their own repressed racial instincts.
"But, it may be more accurate to say that this persistence is less of a 'drumbeat' and is more of a flagellation. It seems to me that anyone who knows much about Anthroposophy must inwardly -- just a little, at least -- wince with pain whenever the words *racist* and *racism* are flung at Steiner and at Anthroposophy: the charge is so unjust, so perverse, such an abuse, a profanation of something that is holy. And the core WC people do 'know' a lot about Anthroposophy; at some level, however deep in the subconscious, everyone 'knows' the Truth. And so, when they repetitiously hurl the cuss-words *racist* and *racism* at Anthroposophy and at Steiner, they must, at some level, perceive the pain of these whiplashes. And more, they must, at some level, know of the pain that they are inflicting on the Truth, on the World itself. -- Watching this 'racism' lash wielded with such zeal, I get the feeling that that I am witnessing a sado-masochistic orgy of an especially perverse kind. These flagellants are 'aroused' with inverted, quasi-sexual, racial feelings, but worse, mixed into this arousal are sadism against Truth and Holiness, profound self-destruction of their own souls, and hatred of the Spirit. Is this a 'sin against the Holy Spirit' that cannot be forgiven?
"It is truly a grave and horrific spectacle to behold. Through how many more incarnations must such perversity persist before the offenders condemn themselves to the snail-like life that Steiner prophesied for the 'evil race' on the New Jupiter?
"-- Once again I must acknowledge that I haven't proven anything here in detail; I am mostly relating my general impressions and my thoughts arising from those impressions. I grant that these generalizations might have to be adjusted to fit some particular cases here and there. But I invite you to take these thoughts -- call them an *hypothesis* perhaps -- and observe the phenomena that I have been talking about. You might look in on the WC discussions; you might go back in their archives. You might look around at the larger socio-political scene. You can decide for yourselves whether my 'hypothesis' fits the facts, whether it brings new, better understanding. -- Maybe the active defenders of Anthroposophy might find more effective means of defense if they can see when they are not merely contending with falsehoods but are also shadow-boxing with repressed, inverted instincts?"
(Robert resumes now:)
But again, while I might allow that the charge of "racism" likely gives an extra, internal fillip to their activities, the real, underlying motive behind the WC is hatred for Christ; all else is fluff and piffle. But they always talk about the fluff and piffle; they never state the real truth plainly. Perhaps because they don't know the truth consciously. That's giving them the benefit of the doubt. But all their talk still adds up to a big lie; they are "people of the lie".
And yet again, I must suppose that some opponents of Anthroposophy do exist who are more conscious; they knowingly oppose the Christ because they consider Him to be inferior to Satan and/or Lucifer. And I must suppose that such opponents were behind the more direct, murderous attacks on Anthroposophy such as the Fire and the Poisoning . . . and I might suppose as well that they are lurking behind the less conscious opponents such as those in the WC. But somehow, these knowing opponents don't freak me out as much as do those such as in the WC. Maybe that's because I just don't see as much of the more knowing ones, but probably also because they somehow seem to be more understandable than the less knowing ones. To me, consciousness, any kind of consciousness, seems to be more understandable and more human than unconsciousness and self-deception. Deliberate deception seems more comprehensible than such overall deception that includes oneself. The latter kind doesn't seem to be quite human. But maybe that "seeming" is due to Robert Mason's lack of cognition?
So, what does all the foregoing add up to as an exercise in 7fold thinking?
According to Bondarev, the seven stages of dialectic are as follows:
1. thesis 2. antithesis 3. synthesis 4. beholding (Anschauen) 5. perception of the Idea 6. individualization of the Idea 7. unity of this individual and the general
Do my foregoing musings fit this pattern at all?
(1-2) THESIS-ANTITHESIS: Opposition to Anthroposophy, such as that in the WC e-list, seemingly can't exist. But it does exist.
(3) SYNTHESIS: Robert has come to the realization that people, or seeming people, such as the core group on the WC are not like him. OK; some people are not like Robert; that's understandable enough. But those WC people are so unlike him in such basic ways that they don't seem human; it doesn't seem possible that they could exist. Robert still doesn't understand; he needs to go further.
(4) BEHOLDING: Here is where thinking moves into a higher realm: that of picture-consciousness suffused with concepts. Years ago, in relation to the WC, Robert had already gotten the picture of the "snake nest". That was somewhat explanatory, but he wanted to go further. Now he got the archetypal picture of Micha-El standing on the Dragon, but in this case "holding", as it were, Rudolf Steiner before him, while the Dragon was craning his neck around and biting at Rudolf Steiner.
In both pictures the opponents are indeed represented by something inhuman, something reptilian. As Steiner explains, the proto-reptile does in fact live within Man; in earlier ages even Man's form was somewhat reptilian, and the reptile still lives within the soul of Man.
The reptile, archetypally, is a memory of the lowest point in Man's evolution, a time of "shame and degeneracy". It is a symbol of Man's wild passions, of thinking, feeling and willing being in disorder. In past evolution, it took an act of the Christ Being to expel the "dragon" and to bring Man's evolution into an upward direction. And surely Rudolf Steiner was the most public Earthly representative of Micha-El, as Micha-El is the "countenance of Christ". So it is entirely understandable that the Dragon should harbor an inherent, ongoing antipathy toward the Christ, and in this case, toward Rudolf Steiner and his works.
And in the present age, the Dragon represents the world-view of materialism, the kind of materialism that infects official science especially and seeks to deny the reality of the Spirit. The Dragon is inhuman, but obviously he has many human agents in human culture. But most of these human agents merely consider themselves to be scientists; they are usually completely ignorant of Anthroposophy. However, the WC people are not so ignorant; still they fight against Anthroposophy especially. That is what seems so inhuman.
Robert is still freaked out; he still doesn't quite understand. More is needed.
(5) PERCEPTION OF THE IDEA: Bondarev of course means *idea* in the original, Platonic sense: the archetypal, formative pattern which expresses itself in the existence of particular instances.
The "idea" that I got from the Manichaeans is that even the existence of this evolving, physical world requires the existence of "evil". Evil must be in the world, period. And this fact is no defect in the world; if the existence of an evolving world be "good", then the existence of evil within it must be good also.
So, there is no justification for Robert being "freaked out" by the existence of such evil as is manifested in the WC. Evil must "be there".
(6) INDIVIDUALIZATION OF THE IDEA: Evil must be in the world. In the particular case of Steiner and Anthroposophy, evil, as symbolized by the "dragon", will naturally attack the "good" of Anthroposophy. How else would evil behave in this particular instance?
In some cases, this attack has manifested in direct, physical ways: for instance the Fire and the Poisoning. But such direct attacks are criminal, and the perpetrators naturally are secretive. I suspect that such perpetrators consciously know exactly what they are doing, and they consider Christ to be their enemy, so it is natural that they would attack the foremost public representative of Christ in our time (Rudolf Steiner) and his works (Anthroposophy).
But public attacks continue into our times. On the Internet they manifest in such distortions and slanders as are regularly to be seen on the WC e-list. And from what I have seen of that, I strongly suspect that most of the WC attackers are hardly conscious of what they are really doing. So far as I have seen, no one there has actually come out and said, "I hate the Christ and seek to destroy his works on Earth." That is what really underlies the WC, but what is given to the public is deceptive, and I have to strongly suspect that the WC people are deceiving themselves as well. Well, self-deception is human enough, but the deception and perversity on the WC is so deep and wide, and so erudite, that, for me, it stretches beyond the boundaries of what might be considered merely human.
(7) UNITY OF THIS INDIVIDUAL AND THE GENERAL:
As another formulation, Bondarev says:
"The cycle is completed with the return of the idea with which it began, to all-unity. . . . This is the concluding, seventh element, or the seventh stage."
As I have said before: I take seventh, *all-unity* element to mean in general an overall view, a summary, the "upshot" of the whole 7folded thought-cycle. -- So, what is the overall "upshot" of these foregoing considerations here?
Well, first of all, Robert has to recognize that the opposition to Anthroposophy is real; it's here, and it's not going away easily. It might even get worse, going from merely verbal attacks to real, political, police attacks. And we already have a very good clue as to which direction such prosecutorial attack will likely come from: as accusations of "racism". Anthroposophists will just have to get ready, mentally and morally. Really, it's all very understandable: evil must be in the world; the Dragon will naturally attack the Christ, His representative, and their works. Perhaps the attackers seem monstrous, but monsters must be in the world; this world would be incomplete without them. And if the attackers seem inhuman, so what? Whether the putatively human attackers are human or not, inhuman monsters are in the world too. There's no point in getting upset about it; certainly no point in getting angry. The more healthy reaction would be to regard the attackers with compassion and pity, or at least with understanding.
All right then, so why does Robert still get so freaked out by the WC phenomenon? He still gapes at it with horrified fascination. -- I have to conclude, after all these considerations, that the real problem is maybe not so much with Robert's cognition as with his emotions. He really doesn't have as much of a hard time with his understanding as he does with his feelings. But understanding depends upon thoughts, which are universal and objective, while feelings are individual and subjective. This exercise in 7fold thinking didn't really require very much new thinking; Robert had almost reached the conclusion even before he started to try to think 7foldedly. His real problem seems to be with his feeling-reactions to the opposition to Anthroposophy, such as is exhibited on the WC e-list. But what can he do about his feelings? As far as thinking goes, the problem is solved, but Robert is still left with his horrified fascination.
It would seem that Robert still has to "work on himself", to bring his feelings into accord with his thoughts. The thoughts that he has worked out make the WC-phenomenon very understandable; if he would bring his feelings into accord with his thoughts, there would be no "freaking out"; there would be only calm understanding. Probably he would not be quite so calm if the police came to his door to arrest him for promulgating "racism" or whatever, but that would be Robert's personal defect, not a defect in the thought-process.
Well, I suppose that achieving real calmness and serenity about all this will take time. Feelings are not as malleable as thoughts. Wrong feelings are stubborn. I hope that I have at least made a good start on this "work". At least I have gotten my thoughts straight, I think.
The "unification" of the general and the individual in this case I suppose would be as follows: The overarching, archetypal "idea" ruling here is the necessity of "evil" within the manifested world. In this instance evil is symbolized pictorially as something reptilian: snakes or the "dragon". The Dragon, archetypally, is a symbol of the "shame" of the lowest point in Man's previous evolution, and now of something shameful which lives within Man -- his wild, disorderly passions. And now, in the wider culture, the Dragon symbolizes materialism, especially that which now rules in "official" science. The Christ conquered the Dragon in Man's previous evolution, and today the archangel Micha-El, as "the countenance of Christ" and the regent of cosmic intelligence symbolically stands upon "the Dragon" and "holds forth" Rudolf Steiner as his foremost public representative, who has brought that which effectively counteracts the overwhelming materialism in culture; that is, Rudolf Steiner has brought Anthroposophy. It is no wonder, then, that the Dragon, even while writhing under the feet of Micha-El, tries to "bite" at Rudolf Steiner. Now, on the Internet, in public, in English, this "biting" manifests as the ongoing campaign of slander and distortion that can be seen on the "Waldorf Critics" e-list. -- Evil in general acts in this particular case as e-attacks against Anthroposophy. For thinking, this is all very understandable; no problem.
So . . . this wasn't really a difficult exercise in 7fold thinking, not nearly as hard as my previous attempts. My feelings were confusing my thoughts more than my thoughts were confused in themselves. I just couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that seemingly human beings can behave in seemingly inhuman ways. But that's not really so unusual, is it? Some people commit sex acts upon children; it seems inhuman, but some people do it, and not a very few of them. That's just the world we live in. So, what's so hard to comprehend about the seemingly inhuman opposition to Anthroposophy? It's only to be expected, isn't it? And hadn't Robert already gone a long way toward explaining it?
Maybe the difference is that Anthroposophy is so close to Robert's heart and so essential for understanding human life that he can't quite imagine how any human heart could not grasp and hold Anthroposophy as dear as he does. Not to do that, when well-informed about Anthroposophy, just doesn't seem possible for a human being. Even child-molesting seems to be more human than the knowing denial of Anthroposophy; a sexual compulsion is, after all, understandable in human terms; it is not a denial of one's own essential human-ness. But not all people are like Robert; he needs to wrap his mind around that fact; he needs to appreciate the sovereignty and the possibilities of free will. And suppose that some of the WC people are really inhuman; so what? Whether human or inhuman, monsters must be in the world; this world would be incomplete without them. That is the conclusion to which thinking has brought Robert, and it remains for him to bring his feelings into accord with his thinking. Already, in his better moments, he can feel compassion and pity for such as those in the WC; it remains for him to generate some calmness from the quiet clarity of understanding. Anyone engaged in such activities as those committed by the core WC people would surely stir pity in the human heart? And suppose that those "people" aren't really people; maybe they would be even more pitiable?
A final thought -- Rudolf Steiner has said:
"Perhaps you will have come across a person who, through a deep inner longing, through his own soul disposition, was driven to spiritual science, whereas another may have become antagonistic towards it. The one became more deeply involved in spiritual science, while his friend developed increasing enmity towards it. The one became more deeply involved in spiritual science, while his friend developed increasing enmity towards it. Life not only presents us with a maya in nature but also in the immediacy of our connection with others. In fact, what has just been related may be a complete deception. He who has convinced himself that all this is nonsense may, in the depths of his soul of which he remains unconscious, develop a secret love for it. In the substrata love can express itself as hate. One does find such cases in earthy life. When a person has gone through the gate of death, all the secret soul impulses and longings that he has suppressed during his earthly existence rise to the surface and become the content of the period of catharsis. We have observed people going through the gate of death who on earth were enemies of spiritual science and who after death developed an intense longing for it. Such antagonists then strive for spiritual science. Had we during their earthly lives gone to them with a book on spiritual science, they might have dismissed us in anger. After death we can do them no greater service than to read to them." [21st January, 1913: Vienna; GA0140]
(Robert resumes now:)
Some on the WC list are well aware of this thought of Steiner's, and they dismiss it. But here at least is a glimmer that allows one to see them as human beings. If subconscious love can express itself consciously as hatred, then maybe the evident hatred for Anthroposophy shown by the core people on the WC expresses itself in such a fascination with Anthroposophy that they study it assiduously. Consciously they study for the purpose of refutation, but perhaps subconsciously they are preparing themselves for the life after death? It might not even be necessary for those on Earth to read to them after death, for they already would have the concepts of spiritual science, only their attitude to those concepts would be different? On Earth they are ammunition, but in the next world they are light?
Maybe . . . maybe. But on Earth the WC people are still dangerous; they do a lot of damage. What can an Anthro do about them while they are on Earth but try to find the best way to counteract them? That might be a problem to be solved by another round of thinking.
But for now . . . the thinking has done its part. For one such as myself, apparently right thinking must come first; perhaps right feelings might follow. And thinking is the Lord's work:
TO TRY TO THINK TRULY IS TO SEEK THE KINGDOM OF GOD.
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