Re: Anthroposophy for Dummies
Posted: 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.
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.