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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AshvinP
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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Anthony66 wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:22 pm We're nearly there! The question is whether I'll join team Steiner at the end of all this or join the ranks of Eugene and his fellow mystics. :twisted:
AshvinP wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:28 pm 9. The tendency of abstract intellect to be possessed by these forces and therefore ignore the need to develop higher Spiritual activity by reducing all experiences to its own abstract terms - practical ways of defending against that tendency.

I know you are joking around, but I think it's helpful if I repost what Cleric said recently in case anyone missed it:

Cleric wrote:It is indeed heartening! Thank you PZ, for sharing your story! Contrary to what others may imagine, this heartening feeling has nothing to do with some personal satisfaction of the sort of "Finally, someone who adopts our beliefs!" The only way I can describe this heartening feeling is as if one witnesses a bird that finds its way out of a cage and flies freely. Neither I nor Ashvin take credit for this. Every individual frees himself when he finds the Spirit within - or rather the Spirit frees itself and emerges from the cage of our intellectual self as a butterfly from the cocoon. What peer human beings can do is simply give assurance that the Spirit can be found. There's nothing more beautiful than beholding a soul awakening to its reality and becoming independent of any outer authorities. The one who has some tiny contribution in helping a soul see where the cage door is, doesn't benefit in any personal way when the spirit soars free. Yet the certain knowledge that something good and beneficial for the Whole has happened is what gives us joy like no other. I think both PZ and Ashvin can testify that once we begin to experience in freedom our true spiritual being, no outer personality, authority, guru, philosophy stands in between. Our thoughts are no longer repetitions of some religious tenets but the immediate readout of our own spiritual reality.
Anthony wrote:What are the dynamics or causal mechanisms by which the intellect is "possessed"?

Apart from the "abstract" intellect, what other types of intellect are there?

What's in it for me if I develop higher Spiritual activity? What are the consequences if I don't?

It's easier for me when I remember that we are always speaking of the living activities of spiritual beings in Anthroposophy. Whether we are talking about the sense-world, the evolutionary history of nations and cultures, or our own individual sense-experience and evolutionary history. We, of course, are one of those spiritual beings, but there are many others involved in giving rise to phenomenal experience. There are two in particular who act as sort of polar opposites and pull us towards extremes in life - Lucifer and Ahriman. Now, from my personal experience, when we give names to the spiritual beings there is an automatic recoil of the modern intellect. For some reason, we have no problem talking about "spiritual beings", assuming we are open minded, but when we add the names it makes it a little too real for us. So just keep that in mind. With spiritual science, there should really be no sympathy or antipathy when discussing these supersensible beings and their activities - we are not judging them or imagining them to be spiritual versions of ourselves, where they are hatching evil schemes exacty like we are.

Rather, they are pursuing their own interests and this manifests in certain predictable ways in our experience. Lucifer leads to over-spiritualized vanity, while Ahriman leads to over-materialized greed. That is a very crude and simple way to put it, but still accurate enough for now. We could also say they "work together", because generally whatever extreme we succumb to inwardly will be manifested outwards in the opposite pole (Jung referred to this as "projection" and "compensation"). Also, from my understanding so far, there is no direct cause-effect "mechanism" which we can point to for "possession" in this manner, because it is not like the physical realm with linear time and a sequence of event X leads to Y leads to Z, etc. Actually, I find it helpful, and most accurate, to just say we are all "possessed" by these spiritual forces by default, i.e. "fallen" nature, "original sin", etc., and it is through our spiritual activity of higher Thinking that we overcome this possession and become free spiritual beings. Even with normal cognition, we can begin that de-possession by recognizing we are, in fact, possessed and therefore need to take affirmative steps towards freedom, which clearly you are already doing right now just by asking questions and genuinely contemplating the answers.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Anthony66
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by Anthony66 »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 2:28 pm
Anthony66 wrote: Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:22 pm We're nearly there! The question is whether I'll join team Steiner at the end of all this or join the ranks of Eugene and his fellow mystics. :twisted:
AshvinP wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:28 pm 9. The tendency of abstract intellect to be possessed by these forces and therefore ignore the need to develop higher Spiritual activity by reducing all experiences to its own abstract terms - practical ways of defending against that tendency.

I know you are joking around, but I think it's helpful if I repost what Cleric said recently in case anyone missed it:

Cleric wrote:It is indeed heartening! Thank you PZ, for sharing your story! Contrary to what others may imagine, this heartening feeling has nothing to do with some personal satisfaction of the sort of "Finally, someone who adopts our beliefs!" The only way I can describe this heartening feeling is as if one witnesses a bird that finds its way out of a cage and flies freely. Neither I nor Ashvin take credit for this. Every individual frees himself when he finds the Spirit within - or rather the Spirit frees itself and emerges from the cage of our intellectual self as a butterfly from the cocoon. What peer human beings can do is simply give assurance that the Spirit can be found. There's nothing more beautiful than beholding a soul awakening to its reality and becoming independent of any outer authorities. The one who has some tiny contribution in helping a soul see where the cage door is, doesn't benefit in any personal way when the spirit soars free. Yet the certain knowledge that something good and beneficial for the Whole has happened is what gives us joy like no other. I think both PZ and Ashvin can testify that once we begin to experience in freedom our true spiritual being, no outer personality, authority, guru, philosophy stands in between. Our thoughts are no longer repetitions of some religious tenets but the immediate readout of our own spiritual reality.
Anthony wrote:What are the dynamics or causal mechanisms by which the intellect is "possessed"?

Apart from the "abstract" intellect, what other types of intellect are there?

What's in it for me if I develop higher Spiritual activity? What are the consequences if I don't?

It's easier for me when I remember that we are always speaking of the living activities of spiritual beings in Anthroposophy. Whether we are talking about the sense-world, the evolutionary history of nations and cultures, or our own individual sense-experience and evolutionary history. We, of course, are one of those spiritual beings, but there are many others involved in giving rise to phenomenal experience. There are two in particular who act as sort of polar opposites and pull us towards extremes in life - Lucifer and Ahriman. Now, from my personal experience, when we give names to the spiritual beings there is an automatic recoil of the modern intellect. For some reason, we have no problem talking about "spiritual beings", assuming we are open minded, but when we add the names it makes it a little too real for us. So just keep that in mind. With spiritual science, there should really be no sympathy or antipathy when discussing these supersensible beings and their activities - we are not judging them or imagining them to be spiritual versions of ourselves, where they are hatching evil schemes exacty like we are.

Rather, they are pursuing their own interests and this manifests in certain predictable ways in our experience. Lucifer leads to over-spiritualized vanity, while Ahriman leads to over-materialized greed. That is a very crude and simple way to put it, but still accurate enough for now. We could also say they "work together", because generally whatever extreme we succumb to inwardly will be manifested outwards in the opposite pole (Jung referred to this as "projection" and "compensation"). Also, from my understanding so far, there is no direct cause-effect "mechanism" which we can point to for "possession" in this manner, because it is not like the physical realm with linear time and a sequence of event X leads to Y leads to Z, etc. Actually, I find it helpful, and most accurate, to just say we are all "possessed" by these spiritual forces by default, i.e. "fallen" nature, "original sin", etc., and it is through our spiritual activity of higher Thinking that we overcome this possession and become free spiritual beings. Even with normal cognition, we can begin that de-possession by recognizing we are, in fact, possessed and therefore need to take affirmative steps towards freedom, which clearly you are already doing right now just by asking questions and genuinely contemplating the answers.
I'm not sure I'm seeing answers to my questions in there. No doubt it is a function of me not having the necessary framework in place (I'm still reading PoF). Unless you can reformulate things, we can leave it there and return at a later date. But I would like to get a straight answer to the last of my questions regarding the consequences of not developing the higher aspects of Spiritual activity. Does some form of hell come into play?
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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Anthony66 wrote: Fri Sep 24, 2021 2:43 pm
Anthony wrote:What are the dynamics or causal mechanisms by which the intellect is "possessed"?

(1) Apart from the "abstract" intellect, what other types of intellect are there?

(2) What's in it for me if I develop higher Spiritual activity? What are the consequences if I don't?
I'm not sure I'm seeing answers to my questions in there. No doubt it is a function of me not having the necessary framework in place (I'm still reading PoF). Unless you can reformulate things, we can leave it there and return at a later date. But I would like to get a straight answer to the last of my questions regarding the consequences of not developing the higher aspects of Spiritual activity. Does some form of hell come into play?

Sorry, I think I forgot entirely about the last two as I was trying to answer the first.

1 - My current way to think of it is that there are three essential modes of cognition - Imagination, Inspiration, Intuition. What we call "abstract intellect" is not a real mode of cognition unto itself. Rather, we could say it is Imagination descended so far into the sense-world that it has become mineralized concepts and conceptual activity just like the physical world has a mineralized kingdom. The concepts of this mineralized thinking are dead and mechanical, yet we are now so used to them (like fish immersed in water) that, relative to the essential modes we have never actually experienced in this incarnation, it just feels to be the natural and only way of thinking.

2 - That is a massive topic if you want specific details and one that I cannot adequately speak to. In the most general sense, one simply never comes to know their true Self if they fail to develop depth of Thinking (essential modes of cognition). As the structure of Reality integrates towards more Self-knowing, those who do not develop spiritual activity for whatever reason are 'left behind' and will have to endure many more lifetimes of trials and tribulations to 'catch up'. These souls fall into what Steiner calls "decadence". Beyond that, we really need to remember that these details can be found easily and naturally in the course of one's spiritual research, but to treat it from the earthly mentality of, "what's in it for me if I do it or what do I lose by not doing it?" is really the complete opposite spirit of that which we find in Anthrosophy and "ethical individualism", which Steiner says in PoF is "spiritualized theory of evolution carried over into moral life". To evolve spiritual freedom, one must learn to intimately desire all that one feels, thinks, and does, so the motivation for spiritual growth is one's own innermost desires which seek to realize one's innermost thoughts and nothing else external to that.

Steiner wrote:Ethical individualism has nothing to fear from a natural science that understands itself: for observation shows that the perfect form of human action has freedom as its characteristic quality. This freedom must be allowed to the human will, in so far as the will realizes purely ideal intuitions. For these intuitions are not the results of a necessity acting upon them from without, but are due only to themselves. If a man finds that an action is the image of such an ideal intuition, then he feels it to be free. In this characteristic of an action lies its freedom.
...
External powers may prevent me from doing as I will. Then they simply condemn me to do nothing or to be unfree. Not until they would enslave my spirit, drive my motives out of my head, and put their own motives in the place of mine, do they really aim at making me unfree. For this reason the Church sets itself not only against the mere doing, but especially against the impure thoughts, that is, the motives of my action. The Church makes me unfree if, for her, all those motives she has not herself enunciated seem impure. A Church or other community produces unfreedom when its priests or teachers make themselves into keepers of consciences, that is, when the faithful are obliged to go to them (to the confessional) for the motives of their actions.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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Hi Anthony,

I'll take a stab at answering your most recent question. Firstly, thanks for your considered input so far. It really has been a service.

If someone were to answer your question definitively and with specifics, I'd be inclined to take that as strong evidence against whatever else they were saying.

We all have some notion about the "structure of reality", whether explicit or implicit. (In your case, it looks like it is definitely explicit.) Like everything else in life, when you base a course of action on assumptions, there are consequences when those assumptions turn out to be faulty.

How uncomfortable those consequences might be? It depends of course, on internal states, "external" considerations, karmic attachments. These are metaphors and I don't know how you conceive of such things.

So, if you go to "hell", it might all feel quite normal for you. Although I think it's fair to take it that you won't be there forever. Might see you there!
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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Ashvin,

Thank you again for all your responses so far. We've reached number 10!
AshvinP wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:28 pm 10. The nature of the "Time-Consciousness Spectrum" as explained in this essay by Cleric - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=509
I actually think I grasp the essence of this one. It has a flavor of a Fourier decomposition (if you're familiar with that). It also reminds me of what the Buddhist practitioner Shinzen Young wrote about in "Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works". Shinzen spoke about developing a level of concentration which was able to discern the microscopic, rhythmic changes in the ordinary objects of perception. Shinzen would see this as a developmental point on the road to realizing the emptiness or oneness at the core of reality. This seems a point of friction for you as evidenced by your interactions with Eugene. It is an issue that I'd like to develop a greater degree of clarity. Is there a position of resolution?
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:19 am Hi Anthony,

I'll take a stab at answering your most recent question. Firstly, thanks for your considered input so far. It really has been a service.

If someone were to answer your question definitively and with specifics, I'd be inclined to take that as strong evidence against whatever else they were saying.

We all have some notion about the "structure of reality", whether explicit or implicit. (In your case, it looks like it is definitely explicit.) Like everything else in life, when you base a course of action on assumptions, there are consequences when those assumptions turn out to be faulty.

How uncomfortable those consequences might be? It depends of course, on internal states, "external" considerations, karmic attachments. These are metaphors and I don't know how you conceive of such things.

So, if you go to "hell", it might all feel quite normal for you. Although I think it's fair to take it that you won't be there forever. Might see you there!
Hi PZ. Thanks for your response. Just for reference, I'm a maths/science type and have a background in both evangelical Christianity and Eastern religion.
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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Anthony66 wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:01 pm Ashvin,

Thank you again for all your responses so far. We've reached number 10!
AshvinP wrote: Wed Sep 01, 2021 4:28 pm 10. The nature of the "Time-Consciousness Spectrum" as explained in this essay by Cleric - viewtopic.php?f=5&t=509
I actually think I grasp the essence of this one. It has a flavor of a Fourier decomposition (if you're familiar with that). It also reminds me of what the Buddhist practitioner Shinzen Young wrote about in "Science of Enlightenment: How Meditation Works". Shinzen spoke about developing a level of concentration which was able to discern the microscopic, rhythmic changes in the ordinary objects of perception. Shinzen would see this as a developmental point on the road to realizing the emptiness or oneness at the core of reality. This seems a point of friction for you as evidenced by your interactions with Eugene. It is an issue that I'd like to develop a greater degree of clarity. Is there a position of resolution?

Anthony,

When you refer to interactions with Eugene, I presume you mean when he says that spiritual science, if it is valid, should explain why the sense-world "obeys the Schrodinger equations". The key here is to recognize that Cleric is not trying to point attention to more abstract concepts, such as the "Schrodinger equations" or the "Fourier transform", but rather the living reality which the abstract concepts are partial reflections of. He proceeds from the "givens of experience" to reason through to the conclusion that this underlying living reality is none other than our own metamorphosing spiritual Thinking activity (but of course he adds much more detailed resolution on what is going on with that activity and how we can usefully move it from mere intellect to Imaginative thinking). It is through this activity that we participate in the co-creation of the sense-world. I think the most important point, however, is that if we hold any of these ideas abstractly and indefinitely, even what I just wrote about "co-creation of the sense-world", it will do us absolutely no good in our spirtual evolution. Because when we remain in the abstract mode without consciously and incessantly acknowledging to ourselves that it can only serve as a stepping stone to higher modes of cognition, then we are implicitly assuming Reality exists "out there" and the task of knowing is to replicate it within our own "personal" mind. That is just an inevitable dualistic perpsective on Reality if we stay entirely within the confines of abstract intellect - that split into subect-object, mind-matter, ideal-real, noumenon-phenomenon, etc. is simply how the left brain intellect approaches the World Content. The only safe way to avoid this pitfall when reasoning is to engage in phenomenological approach, avoiding all metaphysical assumptions and 'natural' habits of mind, which of course is easier said than done, but that is precisely the purpose of PoF. Cleric mentions this up front in the "firm point of departure":

Cleric wrote:First we must always start from solid foundations, grounded in the given. Current science tries to grasp reality by creating an intellectual model of it and show the logical rules by which this model transforms in time. There are many different approaches which are deeply equivalent. For example, the Schrodinger equation models reality as a time-dependent wave function which must conform to certain restrictions. A Turing machine is another example of a state that evolves through time. Cellular automata are another approach. What is common between all these is that we build a certain mental picture of reality and then apply rules to transform that picture from 'frame to frame'. All these are founded on a common presupposition - it's assumed that reality exists 'out there' and we can build an intellectual replica of it. We can't afford such a presupposition if we want to stay firmly grounded in the given. The most we can say without going beyond the given facts is that we experience World Content entirely of conscious phenomena - colors, sounds, feelings, thoughts, etc. These are in continuous metamorphosis. So we are basically approaching the question in the same way as science but instead of imagining a real world 'out there' which our thoughts reflect, we take the immediate world of the metamorphosis of the World Content of consciousness. When we do this we are safe because we don't presuppose anything. Even if there are many deeper facts behind the appearances of conscious phenomena this doesn't change the given fact that we experience the continuous transformation of the conscious World Content.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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AshvinP wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:14 pm When you refer to interactions with Eugene, I presume you mean when he says that spiritual science, if it is valid, should explain why the sense-world "obeys the Schrodinger equations".
No, I didn't have this in mind although I must admit I'm looking forward to Cleric's essay on the Schrodinger equation. From where I sit at the moment, any system needs to provide some handle on the "mundane aspects" of existence before we can have confidence in respect to higher worlds. I'd be keen for Cleric to even provide some insight into the inverse square laws we see operating at the macroscopic levels in our universe.

I was however thinking about the issue surrounding formlessness. As you are no doubt aware, many Eastern traditions place great emphasis on realizing the formless aspects of reality. Brahman is being, consciousness and bliss. Bliss awaits those who can see through the manifold varieties of experience to the underlying unity of experience. The Buddhists (at least some schools) ask us to realize the emptiness of reality. Rupert Spira talks of the "I am", our true unchanging nature. Over thousands of years, mystics have experienced the transcendent states of "nothingness".

Spiritual science seems to be in some tension with the formlessness schools. Perhaps (and I hope) this is just a result of misunderstanding. But it does seem like SS directs the seeker in the direction of the structures and forms of consciousness. This is where the freedom is to be found, not in the depths of formlessness.
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

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Anthony66 wrote: Sun Sep 26, 2021 1:46 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sat Sep 25, 2021 4:14 pm When you refer to interactions with Eugene, I presume you mean when he says that spiritual science, if it is valid, should explain why the sense-world "obeys the Schrodinger equations".
No, I didn't have this in mind although I must admit I'm looking forward to Cleric's essay on the Schrodinger equation. From where I sit at the moment, any system needs to provide some handle on the "mundane aspects" of existence before we can have confidence in respect to higher worlds. I'd be keen for Cleric to even provide some insight into the inverse square laws we see operating at the macroscopic levels in our universe.

I was however thinking about the issue surrounding formlessness. As you are no doubt aware, many Eastern traditions place great emphasis on realizing the formless aspects of reality. Brahman is being, consciousness and bliss. Bliss awaits those who can see through the manifold varieties of experience to the underlying unity of experience. The Buddhists (at least some schools) ask us to realize the emptiness of reality. Rupert Spira talks of the "I am", our true unchanging nature. Over thousands of years, mystics have experienced the transcendent states of "nothingness".

Spiritual science seems to be in some tension with the formlessness schools. Perhaps (and I hope) this is just a result of misunderstanding. But it does seem like SS directs the seeker in the direction of the structures and forms of consciousness. This is where the freedom is to be found, not in the depths of formlessness.

Anthony,

Sorry, I completely missed this comment before. If I had known it was here, then I would have replied sooner. I actually started wondering, "what happened to Anthony?" I thought you had bailed on the discussion :o

But anyway, as it so happens, my latest essay on "What do 'I' Know?" directly addresses your question as well. There is definitely no tension between SS and those spiritual traditions which focus on the formless aspect of Be-ing. The essential "I", "Self", "Spirit", "Thinking", is the formless aspect. (see quote from essay below). Where SS differs in its approach from past traditions is in recognizing the formative aspect (desires, feelings, thoughts, perceptions) is not other than the formless aspect, and that it is precisely through the forms that we come to deeply know the formless "I"-Self (with transfigured cognition). I should say, though, that many other modern philosophers have also recognized and commented at length on this polar essence of Reality (formlesness-form), such as Goethe, Hegel, Fichte, Schelling, Coleridge, and perhaps a few others, but SS is also a comprehensive spiritual and scientific framework as well which tells exactly what concrete steps can be taken to begin this journey towards the formless Self.

Ashvin wrote: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."
- Carl Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (1962)

We began speaking of the essential "I" ("Self") in Part A and how it is not a 'thing' which is comprised of all experiences, traits, qualities, etc. It does not have any spatiotemporal 'boundaries' and we cannot perceive it directly. The Self should be understood as an ever-evolving, patterned process. Only after the Self is reified into a 'thing' can the modern skeptics dismiss the Self as having no substantial reality. We used the examples of Annakka Harris and Carlo Rovelli as current skeptics who outright deny the Self's existence, and therefore its importance, in Part A. They are correct to the extent that there is no Self as a 'thing' who experiences other 'things'. Philosophers of the East and West have recognized the non-existence of any such 'thingy' Self for millennia now (which is how we get "no-thingness" as an essential aspect of the Cosmos). But, leaving our understanding of the Self frozen there is entirely counter-productive to any serious knowing endeavor. What then is this essential Self we keep speaking of? How can we say it does, in fact, exist and is essential? As mentioned, it cannot be directly perceived and therefore it cannot be captured by words or images. The Self transcends spatial and temporal dimensions - it is not at all meaningful to speak in terms of where it is 'located', when it came into existence, or when it will go out of existence.

Rather, we can only speak of relations between the Self and our own psychic development. As Carl Jung observed, if we are limited to words and images as we are now, we can only circumabulate the Self with these symbols (metaphors, analogies, etc.) which help us view its essential functioning from various spatiotemporal angles in our own immanent experience of the world. The depth of Jung's quote above is impossible to overstate, yet it is the sort of depth which can only take form as we ourselves begin circumambulating the Self. Why is this so? It is because the evolving, patterend Self is not other than our own formless Thinking activity; an activity which is not personal to us, but is shared by all. Every living be-ing participates in the Self. Our Thinking, then, is how the Self comes to know Itself through this shared activity. One very helpful symbol for the Self, especially for the modern scientific mind, is the 'strange attractor' of "Chaos Theory". I will provide a brief description below, but, for our overall purposes here, the key point to remember is that the Self who knows is like the 'stable rhythm' of experience to which the dynamics of complex systems always return. All such dynamics eventually end up pointing right back to the underlying Self, no matter how complicated and convoluted they become.

re: math and the "mundane aspects" - I agree and I assure you that SS provides such insights. That is really what separates it from any other philosophy or spiritual tradition - it is truly a science which seeks to explain every single empirical fact one can think of, even ones that materialism ignores (all those related to inner experience, but also ones related to outer phenomena which have just been superficially addressed or sidestepped entirely). Actually, one of the "big mysteries" of secular science has been the "uncanny effectiveness of math" at describing phenomenal relations. This is not a mystery for SS at all. First, we should remember the core principle of metaphysical idealism - all is ideating activity. Mere 'nondual' traditions ignore this core principle and therefore are unable to provide any specified account for phenomenal experience within 'Mind at Large'.

This principle is especially easy to discern with math, because it is, by definition, a field comprised of purely ideal concepts with no corresponding sense-impressions for its 'objects'. We are always manipulating purely ideal concepts in math, yet it also turns out to have that uncanny effectiveness when applied to the sense-world. How do we explain that? Again, with the principle of metaphysical idealism, it's not terribly difficult to understand - the outer sense-world is also purely ideal, but we have forgotten that in the modern age. All of it - ideal-real, spirit-matter, subject-object, inner-outer, etc. - is structured by the Spirit-Self (essential Thinking). I think it was Schelling who said, "Spirit is invisible Nature, and Nature is visible Spirit". Many others have expressed it similarly. So we just need to find the principles of spiritual (Ideating-Thinking) activity which explain the particular mathematical formulation we are interested in.

All such explanations come from the realm of Imaginative thinking, and since Cleric has developed Imaginative cognition and is writing an essay about Schrodinger equations (and perhaps he can address "inverse square law" as well), I will leave it there for now.
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Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies

Post by AshvinP »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Oct 03, 2021 1:05 am So we just need to find the principles of spiritual (Ideating-Thinking) activity which explain the particular mathematical formulation we are interested in.

All such explanations come from the realm of Imaginative thinking, and since Cleric has developed Imaginative cognition and is writing an essay about Schrodinger equations (and perhaps he can address "inverse square law" as well), I will leave it there for now.

I will say here briefly that I have written about how all dimensions of 'space' are abstracted inward qualities of experience. So immediately we see how mathematical 'laws' dealing with movements and 'distances' in space will be illuminated by figuring out how those inward qualities relate to the abstract dimensions. Even though this must be the case under metaphysical idealism, we will find this very very difficult to conceive with mere intellect, since the intellect abstracted them in the first place. The dimensions of space-time are the most abstracted of all inner qualities. I can't pretend I really have a grasp on how Willing-Feeling-Thinking and all corollary experience translate to width-depth-height. We really must develop Imaginative cognition to get a better sense of that. It was not always this way, and thinkers such as Jean Gebser outline very well how this abstract experience of spatial dimensions unfolded in our evolutionary history with many helpful illustrations in The Ever-Present Origin.

That being said, you could check out the following essay to start contemplating the images some, because that is a critical step towards developing Imaginative cognition later on.

Also, I am sure there are also more simple ways to explain this with images which Cleric could provide. It seems to me that the functioning of our two hemispheres and two eyes will be very important for understanding how the 'inverse square law' arises, but that's just my speculation for now as I have not really thought it through.


viewtopic.php?f=5&t=533
Before the soul can remember the Divine realms from within the sense-world, it will need to rehabilitate its relationship with the dimensions of Space and Time. For we 'abstractlings', this relationship has become a thin, pale, and sickly accounting of width, height, depth, and linear sequential moments. Our souls feel as helpless specks of dust in the infinite expanse of space, carried along by the oppressive and monotonous flow of linear time. It is easy to test how poorly we are experiencing these dimensions by attempting to imagine them and observe what, if any, qualities of meaning arise within us. Do we vaguely picture equations, lines, shapes, flattened 'things', and sequential moments in an external manner, or are we directed back inwards to imagine the meaning of interpenetrating primordial forces revolving around the very Center of our soul's activities? Our mythic ancestors prior to the fourth epoch, and even for some time within that epoch, still experienced the latter and that is what we need to seek from within ourselves for reorientation in the present day. This reorientation towards the images of spatiotemporal dimensions should really drive home the point that we are not speaking of mere metaphors when exploring ancient mythology, but rather we are speaking of the literal 'location' that our soul occupies in the Cosmic panorama of meaningful qualities.
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The first two dimensions of Space - height and width - can be visualized as two intersecting lines of Up-down (Conscious-unconscious) and Right-left (Wisdom-form). These lines are spectrums of qualitative experience and the two poles on either side are inseparable, always existing in relation to each other. As Goethe illustrated above, there are many other manifestations of these poles, such as Unity-diversity, Expansion-contraction, Warmth-coldness, Growth-decay, Creation-destruction, and infinitely more. They all associate with the polar relation of Spiritual-physical; or Solar-lunar. What is important for us now is to internalize the general concept of the polar relation - whenever an experience arrives to the Light of our conscious mind, it is forged through two inseparable, yet distinct polar forces. In the modern age of dualism, which infects the thinking of nearly all Westerners regardless of philosophical or spiritual orientation, we think of these forces as strictly "opposite", where one cannot be present if the other one is present. That is actually an inversion of their true essence, which is an abstract mentality born of the 'lower' physical-lunar pole. In Reality, one cannot be present without the other one. Keeping that in mind, the Up-down qualitative dimension conveys the inner meaning of a crawling human infant struggling its way upwards from the Earth so that it can stand up tall, walk, talk, and think.
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The polar quality of the Right-left width spectrum is perhaps most usefully related to the modern scientific human soul by way of the right brain hemisphere ("RBH" - integrated Wisdom) and the left brain hemisphere ("LBH" - fragmented form). After many rigorous experiments involving individuals who had their LBH and RBH 'disconnected' by procedures for treatment of epilepsy, researchers gathered data demonstrating that these two modes of consciousness within each individual approach the phenomenal world in two polar opposite ways. The LBH perceives the world as a place of manifold 'things' that it seeks to exhaustively analyze and attain a level of certainty about them. It is a conscious disposition which is most comfortable in abstract thought. The RBH perceives the world as place of interconnected and concrete meanings - it is not only a disposition which is normally unconscious for us, but it is also the manner by which our lower instincts and feelings are infused with enough thoughtful meaning to keep us alive. LBH seeks to fix 'things' in the spatiotemporal dimensions and abstractly reflect on them afterwards, while RBH seeks to experience the living dynamisms of those dimensions immanently. The RBH reflects to our soul all of our higher imaginations, inspirations, and intuitions, even when we are not consciously aware of this reflective process.
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This new 3rd-dimension of 'Before-behind' conveys the inner meaning of Spiritual-physical. It was also sensed in the fourth epoch that thoughts were now always in the process of dying. The life of the Spirit was always becoming increasingly more material as the days, weeks, months, years, and centuries progressed. What was Spiritual was always becoming more material; what was living was always dying in the time between sunrise and sunset - between physical birth and death - and what was Before the soul was always going behind it. The ancients had a great sense of this qualitative dynamic of the depth-dimension, which is why the mythic beings who preceded before were always considered more Divine than those who were behind them. In the modern age, we have abstracted far away from living experience of "Divine" and "less-Divine" to arrive at the vague, inverted, and qualitatively inert concepts of "past" and "future". It is no coincidence that the 19th-21st century Western mythos became clothed in symbols of cynicism and pessimism. What other outlook could there be when the phenomenal world we perceive around us becomes increasingly less Divine - less intuitive, less inspiring, and less imaginative - and increasingly mired in the cold, dead, and rotting corpses of purely physical thought?
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
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