Anthroposophy for Dummies

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

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Lou Gold
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by Lou Gold »

Lou Gold wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:25 pm
Cleric K wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 9:09 pm
Lou Gold wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 6:24 pm Perhaps, the knowing of Divinity from the inside is what drives onward and outward the evolution of art -- the making of a painting, a poem, a melody, a philosophy, a technology, etc -- and makes perfection an ongoing evolutionary process.
Yes Lou,
and things go on a whole new level when we begin to understand that we ourselves - individually, collectively, planetarily, Cosmically - are an artwork in the making. Up to this point, Nature has brought us to self-consciousness. From now on we must become free co-artists and co-creators, such that we fully consciously partake in the Divine artwork, and such that the Divinity concealed in Nature, and which is our innermost spiritual essence, can be expressed more and more fully through our thoughts, feelings and deeds.
Is there both a "pull" from above and a "push" from below (both being of nature/divinity)? 'Catastrophe' surely plays a role, as in the labor pains of new birth, which must link thoughts, feelings and deeds.
Be calm - Be clear - See the faults - See the suffering - Give your love
Herger The Joyous
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by Herger The Joyous »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:28 pm
Herger The Joyous wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:01 pm Have you looked into John David Ebert with his work on Rudolf Steiner?
He is an experienced Steiner scholar with a large body of work covering Steiner's work.
This lecture series is a decent place to start.

Herger,

I have watched some of JDE's videos. I did really like his analysis at first, but then I grew more weary. I found videos where he purports to be talking to Jung, Steiner, and other souls via some lady who is a channeling medium. He asked a bunch of questions and the answers were always the most vague possible ones which could be given, especially when it came to their specific philosophical-scientific ideas during their most recent incarnation. I'm not sure if he was skeptical and just wanted to explore the possibility, or if he actually thought he was in direct contact with them through the medium. After that, I basically stopped watching.
I agree that his work with mediums is sketchy, and not something I put any stock in, nor recommend anyone believe. Kastrup himself had a critique of mediumship in one of his appearances on Mishlove's channel.
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AshvinP
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by AshvinP »

Herger The Joyous wrote: Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:49 am
AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 3:28 pm
Herger The Joyous wrote: Fri Sep 03, 2021 1:01 pm Have you looked into John David Ebert with his work on Rudolf Steiner?
He is an experienced Steiner scholar with a large body of work covering Steiner's work.
This lecture series is a decent place to start.

Herger,

I have watched some of JDE's videos. I did really like his analysis at first, but then I grew more weary. I found videos where he purports to be talking to Jung, Steiner, and other souls via some lady who is a channeling medium. He asked a bunch of questions and the answers were always the most vague possible ones which could be given, especially when it came to their specific philosophical-scientific ideas during their most recent incarnation. I'm not sure if he was skeptical and just wanted to explore the possibility, or if he actually thought he was in direct contact with them through the medium. After that, I basically stopped watching.
I agree that his work with mediums is sketchy, and not something I put any stock in, nor recommend anyone believe. Kastrup himself had a critique of mediumship in one of his appearances on Mishlove's channel.
He is a tough nut to crack. After writing that comment, I watched some more of his videos, and overall they were very insightful. He started on new series on Goethe's Faust, and Part I was good. I also started watching the Aurobindo ones you reference elsewhere and liked those. It seems like he is interested in all the same thinkers I am, but maybe he has no desire to integrate them and move beyond their separate philosophies. Not that he doesn't notice the connections, but he feels there is no point developing higher cognition, for ex. It sounds like he started on that path at some point and stopped. Maybe the mediumship is related to that. Kastrup seems to critique mediumship because he feels it is spritual nonsense which cannot possibly occur, while I critique it precisely because it turns into attempts to attain "unearned Wisdom" as Jung called it. Anyway, overall I find a lot of value in JDE videos.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
Anthony66
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by Anthony66 »

AshvinP wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:54 pm
Cleric K wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:54 am It should be noted that this holds true even for simple qualities as, say, 'red'. Even if we imagine that our human consciousness was filled entirely with pure perception of red, when we fill the void with our intellectual concept of 'red', this wouldn't make the redness disappear. The reason is that our intellectual concept of red is very imperfect fit for the red void that tries to suck in our human spirit. It is in fact possible that we reach the point where color is filled nearly perfectly with meaning and practically the perception ceases to exist. This is achievable only through the highest form of cognition - Intuitive consciousness - where we live in color as in a Cosmic Being - we live and experience reality from the meaningful perspective of a Divine being, whose shadow in our human state we perceive simply as the quality of color. The more this Divine perspective becomes a perception, the more it means that the ideal essence through which we try to fill the perceptual voids is imperfect and there's a lot left out, which continues to remind us: "I, the color perception, continue to stand in front of you because your concept of color doesn't yet capture my true essence. Only in the highest of worlds, you're free enough from your human form, such that you can assume the shape of the Divine spiritual essence that can fill me completely, and then you'll know my Divinity from the inside."

Simply amazing, Cleric, thank you!

1 - I hope it as clear to others as it is to me that what is written above by Cleric is not the sort of concrete explanation for perceptions you find anywhere else in standard philosophy. How it is a living explanation and not a dead one (for the record, I put my own explanations in the mostly "dead" category for now). In the modern age, intellect really flips these things upside-down. Some may read the above and feel it is "abstract" (or "weird" and "strange") while the concept of "the percepts are the meta-cognitive alter's dream world" feels more concrete to the modern intellect. This is a major bad habit we need to break. I can say it definitely gets easier with time and, eventually, we start to wonder, "how could I have ever thought about all of philosophy and science in that upside-down way??".

2 - Cleric has just pointed to a fundamental aspect of the [qualitatively meaningful] explanation for our in-breathing (suck in) and out-breathing (suck out) process. Of course it is not the whole image with all the details, but it goes further than any physicalist (or idealist who adopts physicalist) explanation for what is actually happening with our respiration. For metaphysical idealism, the fact that real explanations are the qualitatively meaningful ones should come as no surprise. And even a major aspect of the explanation for why we blindly follow the physicalist explanation is implied within his simple illustration - we are filling the void of "respiration" with abstract concepts which give the illusion they fit the void perfectly or near perfectly, so there is no more need to continue asking questions and fill the void with concrete meaningful ideas.

3 - From my perspective, what was written is pretty advanced conception of what is going on. From Cleric's perspective, that is the most basic a, b, c. So we should be clear that these sort of imaginative explanations for the world we live in are only some of the first fruits for the spiritual scientific path. If anyone feels this is "evangelizing", then they should remember that 99.999% of spiritual scientific claims are never mentioned on this forum and probably never will be. That is because what is most important are not the specific claims, but that we find the cognitive tools to discover the explanations for ourselves from within, out of the infinite strength of our own Thinking activity. That is what PoF is all about and why Steiner felt it was the most important of all his works.
You acknowledge Cleric has provided a "pretty advanced conception of what is going on". Indeed. I'm still looking for the 101 description.

I've finished PoF and I've re-read what you and Cleric have provided and still the ontological character of a percept remains elusive. Quantum theory describes the wave function that collapses and gives rise to our perceptions. BK describes the view across dissociative boundaries. Many non-dual teachers describe the common dream that we share. What in brief, is the SS understanding? I get the coupling with thinking. You've mentioned "living spiritual beings who give rise to the phenomenal relations in the physical plane". What ontologically is this physical plane (which sounds like that which might give rise to percepts)?
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AshvinP
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by AshvinP »

Anthony66 wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 4:01 am
AshvinP wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 1:54 pm
Cleric K wrote: Mon Oct 04, 2021 11:54 am It should be noted that this holds true even for simple qualities as, say, 'red'. Even if we imagine that our human consciousness was filled entirely with pure perception of red, when we fill the void with our intellectual concept of 'red', this wouldn't make the redness disappear. The reason is that our intellectual concept of red is very imperfect fit for the red void that tries to suck in our human spirit. It is in fact possible that we reach the point where color is filled nearly perfectly with meaning and practically the perception ceases to exist. This is achievable only through the highest form of cognition - Intuitive consciousness - where we live in color as in a Cosmic Being - we live and experience reality from the meaningful perspective of a Divine being, whose shadow in our human state we perceive simply as the quality of color. The more this Divine perspective becomes a perception, the more it means that the ideal essence through which we try to fill the perceptual voids is imperfect and there's a lot left out, which continues to remind us: "I, the color perception, continue to stand in front of you because your concept of color doesn't yet capture my true essence. Only in the highest of worlds, you're free enough from your human form, such that you can assume the shape of the Divine spiritual essence that can fill me completely, and then you'll know my Divinity from the inside."

Simply amazing, Cleric, thank you!

1 - I hope it as clear to others as it is to me that what is written above by Cleric is not the sort of concrete explanation for perceptions you find anywhere else in standard philosophy. How it is a living explanation and not a dead one (for the record, I put my own explanations in the mostly "dead" category for now). In the modern age, intellect really flips these things upside-down. Some may read the above and feel it is "abstract" (or "weird" and "strange") while the concept of "the percepts are the meta-cognitive alter's dream world" feels more concrete to the modern intellect. This is a major bad habit we need to break. I can say it definitely gets easier with time and, eventually, we start to wonder, "how could I have ever thought about all of philosophy and science in that upside-down way??".

2 - Cleric has just pointed to a fundamental aspect of the [qualitatively meaningful] explanation for our in-breathing (suck in) and out-breathing (suck out) process. Of course it is not the whole image with all the details, but it goes further than any physicalist (or idealist who adopts physicalist) explanation for what is actually happening with our respiration. For metaphysical idealism, the fact that real explanations are the qualitatively meaningful ones should come as no surprise. And even a major aspect of the explanation for why we blindly follow the physicalist explanation is implied within his simple illustration - we are filling the void of "respiration" with abstract concepts which give the illusion they fit the void perfectly or near perfectly, so there is no more need to continue asking questions and fill the void with concrete meaningful ideas.

3 - From my perspective, what was written is pretty advanced conception of what is going on. From Cleric's perspective, that is the most basic a, b, c. So we should be clear that these sort of imaginative explanations for the world we live in are only some of the first fruits for the spiritual scientific path. If anyone feels this is "evangelizing", then they should remember that 99.999% of spiritual scientific claims are never mentioned on this forum and probably never will be. That is because what is most important are not the specific claims, but that we find the cognitive tools to discover the explanations for ourselves from within, out of the infinite strength of our own Thinking activity. That is what PoF is all about and why Steiner felt it was the most important of all his works.
You acknowledge Cleric has provided a "pretty advanced conception of what is going on". Indeed. I'm still looking for the 101 description.

I've finished PoF and I've re-read what you and Cleric have provided and still the ontological character of a percept remains elusive. Quantum theory describes the wave function that collapses and gives rise to our perceptions. BK describes the view across dissociative boundaries. Many non-dual teachers describe the common dream that we share. What in brief, is the SS understanding? I get the coupling with thinking. You've mentioned "living spiritual beings who give rise to the phenomenal relations in the physical plane". What ontologically is this physical plane (which sounds like that which might give rise to percepts)?

Anthony,

The ontology of Steiner is monism and idealism (but very different from transcendental idealism or idealism of Will). It is actually the only consistent form of idealism I am aware of, i.e. it remains true to the logical implications of idealism and does not lapse into unexamined dualism or "mystical" materialism. It is the sort of idealist position which encourages precise knowing inquiry of phenomena rather than shutting it down, and it makes phenomenal relations easier to understand rather than harder. I am actually writing an essay on this now which should be posted soon. It will be relatively short but useful in comparing these idealist positions.

So the percept and concept are ideal in essence, as both essentially reflect inner meaning. Thinking, as mediator i.e. connector of percepts and concepts precedes all subject-object, mind-matter, etc. distinctions. It bears repeating, though, that any "leap in one bound to the eternal" (Bergson) is against the spirit of Steiner's phenomenology. We get no value from simply positing the ideal essence or unity of phenomena, but only from unifying the phenomena through our careful and disciplined Thinking activity, and therefore also understanding why the ideal essence is necessitated by our given experience and logic. That being said, it is definitely helpful to remember the ontic ideal essence once arrived at.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
Anthony66
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by Anthony66 »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:38 pm So the percept and concept are ideal in essence, as both essentially reflect inner meaning.
Thanks Ashvin. From what I've read (which is limited), Steiner doesn't come out and say that percepts are ideal. But I'll lock your response here as part of the jigsaw puzzle. I look forward to your next essay.
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AshvinP
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by AshvinP »

Anthony66 wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 2:07 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:38 pm So the percept and concept are ideal in essence, as both essentially reflect inner meaning.
Thanks Ashvin. From what I've read (which is limited), Steiner doesn't come out and say that percepts are ideal. But I'll lock your response here as part of the jigsaw puzzle. I look forward to your next essay.

Anthony,

I am not sure if you saw it, but the essay was posted, "Solipsism: Facts and Fictions". That should address some of your earlier questions in more detail. I am happy to carry on further discussion of Anthroposophy here, there, or wherever.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
Anthony66
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by Anthony66 »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:27 pm
Anthony66 wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 2:07 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 1:38 pm So the percept and concept are ideal in essence, as both essentially reflect inner meaning.
Thanks Ashvin. From what I've read (which is limited), Steiner doesn't come out and say that percepts are ideal. But I'll lock your response here as part of the jigsaw puzzle. I look forward to your next essay.

Anthony,

I am not sure if you saw it, but the essay was posted, "Solipsism: Facts and Fictions". That should address some of your earlier questions in more detail. I am happy to carry on further discussion of Anthroposophy here, there, or wherever.
Ashvin,

Yes I read your essay and I've also gone back to re-read Cleric's Deep M@L essay. I feel like I've crossed an intellectual threshold in that the framework of SS is starting to make some sense. One first has to become used to the language and terminology - it's not natural. And then the foundational concepts are difficult because they are so antithetical to our current age. But I think I've got there.

My next intellectual project is to reconcile the claims of the mystics with the claims of SS. I know I've mentioned this and you have responded but I'm still not entirely satisfied. Eastern mysticism has been a work in progress for thousands of years and on that basis alone I'm uncomfortable with SS claiming any form of greater knowledge or insight. I generally lean to trying to find complementary explanations of things. After I've got that one sorted, I might start to become opinionated about things. :D

I've also increased my meditation activity in an attempt to gain my first glimpse into the experiential aspects of SS.
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AshvinP
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by AshvinP »

Anthony66 wrote: Sat Oct 16, 2021 1:25 pm
AshvinP wrote: Thu Oct 14, 2021 4:27 pm
Anthony66 wrote: Sun Oct 10, 2021 2:07 pm
Thanks Ashvin. From what I've read (which is limited), Steiner doesn't come out and say that percepts are ideal. But I'll lock your response here as part of the jigsaw puzzle. I look forward to your next essay.

Anthony,

I am not sure if you saw it, but the essay was posted, "Solipsism: Facts and Fictions". That should address some of your earlier questions in more detail. I am happy to carry on further discussion of Anthroposophy here, there, or wherever.
Ashvin,

Yes I read your essay and I've also gone back to re-read Cleric's Deep M@L essay. I feel like I've crossed an intellectual threshold in that the framework of SS is starting to make some sense. One first has to become used to the language and terminology - it's not natural. And then the foundational concepts are difficult because they are so antithetical to our current age. But I think I've got there.

My next intellectual project is to reconcile the claims of the mystics with the claims of SS. I know I've mentioned this and you have responded but I'm still not entirely satisfied. Eastern mysticism has been a work in progress for thousands of years and on that basis alone I'm uncomfortable with SS claiming any form of greater knowledge or insight. I generally lean to trying to find complementary explanations of things. After I've got that one sorted, I might start to become opinionated about things. :D

I've also increased my meditation activity in an attempt to gain my first glimpse into the experiential aspects of SS.

Anthony,

I am glad the light of the Spirit is shining on your efforts so far, that's great news!

A key concept to grasp here is the spiritual evolutionary framework. This goes a long way towards explaining why ancient mysticism, East or West, is not inaccurate in any way, but incomplete. That holds true for all ancient mythology, philosophy, and spiritual-religious tradition. It even holds true for modern science. Consider this quote from the solipsism essay:

Steiner wrote:Let us represent symbolically a unified configuration of reality (figure 1). I divide it intellectually thus (figure 2); another person divides it differently (figure 3). We bring it together in accordance with reason and obtain the same configuration.


Image


This makes it explainable to us how people can have such different concepts, such different views of reality, in spite of the fact that reality can, after all, only be one. The difference lies in the difference between our intellectual worlds. This sheds light for us upon the development of the different scientific standpoints. We understand where the many philosophical standpoints originate, and do not need to bestow the palm of truth exclusively upon one of them. We also know which standpoint we ourselves have to take with respect to the multiplicity of human views. We will not ask exclusively: What is true, what is false? We will always investigate how the intellectual world of a thinker goes forth from the world harmony; we will seek to understand and not to judge negatively and regard at once as error that which does not correspond with our own view. Another source of differentiation between our scientific standpoints is added to this one through the fact that every individual person has a different field of experience. Each person is indeed confronted, as it were, by one section of the whole of reality. His intellect works upon this and is his mediator on the way to the idea. But even though we all do therefore perceive the same idea, still we always do this from different places. Therefore, only the end result to which we come can be the same; our paths, however, can be different. It absolutely does not matter at all whether the individual judgments and concepts of which our knowing consists correspond to each other or not; the only thing that matters is that they ultimately lead us to the point that we are swimming in the main channel of the idea.

Also, Steiner has written extensively on mystical approaches of the East and West. For ex., his book on Mysticism at the Dawn of the Modern Age. When you have a chance to read them, I think you will see how the above is not just intellectual musings of Steiner, but he takes the above to heart. It is actually how he approaches all other previous views - dispassionately, without moral judgment, and with an eye always towards how they "go forth from the world harmony". He really derives great joy from contemplating these other views and their connections with each other and his own, which IMO shows clearly in his wriitng, and that itself can inspire us to take great joy in this integral process as well.
“I began to understand that the goal of psychic development is the Self. There is no linear evolution; there is only a circumambulation of the Self."
- Jung
findingblanks
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by findingblanks »

Anthony,

"and still the ontological character of a percept remains elusive..."

That's such a good sign.

"From what I've read (which is limited), Steiner doesn't come out and say that percepts are ideal."

In 1916 when he began to try rearticulating some of the fundamental concepts in PoF, Steiner spoke a bit more clearly and descriptively about many elements. In fact, when you go to forums where people are celebrating PoF, you find that a disproportional amount of their favorite passages come from the very small amount of additions. I always take that as a small sign of health in the community.

I think you (not the other people in this context) will find an interesting contradiction in how Steiner speaks about the nature of a percept. You might read PoF and come away thinking that Steiner claims that thinking attatches a non-cognitive percept to its corresponding concept. I bet that within five minutes you can show me at least three passages from PoF that *could* lead someone to think that thinking attaches concepts to percepts (and that percepts are therefore have no cognitive function on their own).

It's a bit harder but you can actually find at least one spot (I think two) where Steiner says (in PoF) that a percept is inherently cognitive. He uses a wonderful metaphor in that spot. In fact, if you take him very seriously you can let that description redefine the earlier idea that percepts are in need of corresponding concepts. That's when it gets fun. If you find any of the above interesting, you'll probably have to DM me to talk about it. This context is a very passionate and well intended cult-like 'educational center.' We are about to see it kick into gear! Anyway, Anthony, I've really appreciated your questions, comments and insights in this thread (and I've only read about 1/8th of it!)
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