Steiner and Aurobindo: Comments and Criticisms

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ParadoxZone
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Re: Steiner and Aurobindo: Comments and Criticisms

Post by ParadoxZone »

Hi again,

Cleric has recently written about the difficulty of expressing all of this here

viewtopic.php?p=11956#p11956

I haven't come across anything from Steiner yet that suggests that bliss and joy are only available to the elect. That would be odd, speaking from personal experience again, as there have been times when I've felt blissful and joyful while not being part of any elect (unless you mean white and western, which I don't suppose you do). As for Atlantis and Lemuria, I'll wait and see as it's already been discussed here. Reminding myself that concrete is not the same as literal surely helps.

As regards "respecting" the shadow - that's a curious one. It can't mean acknowledging that it exists and leaving it at that. Surely the shadow is there to be explored and brought to awareness, discombobulating as that might be at times. And the more obfuscated parts are often "good" for the self to be aware of too - but now we're back to to discussing what the essence and components of the (factual) self are in the first place.

And racism in all its forms, as well as other "isms" can be part of an individual or collective shadow too - I'd put transphobia is this category.

I think it's in "Knowledge of Higher Worlds" that Steiner addresses a particular stage that needs to be reached - wherein leaving behind the objectives of the tribes and nation's becomes important. To leave them behind effectively, it's best to see them clearly, whether they are already openly in awareness, part of the individual shadow or, perhaps more often, part of a collective shadow. I read this part of Steiner as anti-racist or anti-prejudice in general. I'm most familiar with goings on in this part of the world and the US, but the so called "culture wars", confusing as they can be at times, seem to be a part of all this - when they're not simply been stoked for sectoral political gain. (No desire to speak about politics.)

I think we're back to "eye of the needle" talk. Does the rich "man" (or woman or non-binary, I'm claiming this as going beyond Steiner) refer to money or something else? I think it's pretty clear that it refers to baggage in general, what's described around here as egoic structures, including (or especially) prejudices.

So when Bernardo talks of brief peaks beyond - and this is simply my own take - it sometimes feels that he's talking of a beyond which might be nice to have a look at sometime, maybe on holiday from the comfort of a nice hotel and then when enough time has elapsed, it's time to come "home" to everyday life again. (This might be grossly unfair).

Or to put it a bit more crudely - I remember, as a teenager, a pope (probably Paul, but I'm not sure) announcing that there was no sex to be had in heaven. There was much angst with re-assessments of whether this heaven place lives up to its previous branding. Although the older one gets ... (better stop here, rather than falling into the trap of categorising again.)
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AshvinP
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Re: Steiner and Aurobindo: Comments and Criticisms

Post by AshvinP »

ParadoxZone wrote: Sat Oct 16, 2021 5:28 am Ashvin has got a lot of pushback for the prolific nature of his posts. I felt the need to push back as well, not too long ago (although there was a definite curiosity too). I think he may have mentioned the ego once or twice. This 'I' here was still (temporarily, it came and went) largely merged with that ego, hence the urge to push back. He was also trashing some convictions I have/had of a political nature which, at the time I considered in need of pushback (this is not an invitation to discuss any of this). He also mentioned later that he was attributing his prodigious output to spiritual energy and I don't doubt that at all. I too had an extraordinarily productive period, particularly at work. (I described this previously as an ascent phase, though that's not a good enough word. It's all I have for now.) Concepts and situations that I had been butting my head against became effortlessly clear, as well as what needed to be done. There were hugely tangible benefits, though not everyone appreciated that. Two of those people (peace be upon them, I still forget that part sometimes) were the only two who had some power over me at work. Resentment and increased hostility are the two best words here. Ego "I" didn't like this one bit and reacted. Cue much chaos and turbulence (for me, not them). Even then, I didn't want special recognition in any way, though I did need simple acknowledgement. So I hope Ashvin is getting enough acknowledgement for the volume and comprehensiveness of his posts and essays (he may be more advance than I was and it's not even needed, which I suspect is more the way of things). But I wanted to say that anyway. All of what's in this paragraph is treated very skillfully in the Aurobindo video above.

PZ,

Thank you for this comment. I really do appreciate it!

I am definitely not "advanced" enough to not care whether I get some recognition, complements and feedback for my posts, although it is true those things become less important and pale in comparison to the inner satisfaction one gets from creatively engaging with the Spirit in this evolutionary journey. One thing I notice is that it becomes easier to see how those natural impulses can be adapted for our spiritual growth. In the modern age, ambition and self-determination has become practically synonymous with "egoism" and "selfishness". The culture wants us to avoid all such natural feelings within us, rather than confronting them squarely and integrating them into our spiritual development. It is true these personal attachements, i.e. the need for recognition, praise, etc., will become harmful if not consciously addressed, but those who "confront" them by avoiding them completey are just deluding themselves into thinking they no longer exist, when they are actually still subconsciously operating and being projected out into the world. “Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” (Rilke).

I try to be very honest with myself that what I am doing, i.e. reading, writing, posting, answering questions, etc., is for the benefit of my own spiritual growth first and foremost. Whether someone else recognizes my ideas and comments on them has no bearing on the value it will provide me - it is only my own effort which goes into the researching and writing which has a bearing on that value. It is a very helpful way to stay disciplined and to integrate many different ideas I have been considering at the time into a more holistic understanding. We are of no use to others until we lift ourselves up to a place where we can be of use, and we shouldn't imagine this will come easy. There is always a lot more to learn and grow into. In my experience, every time I have felt that I had practically exhausted my conceptual understanding of what Steiner is writing about, I have come across even deeper meaning in other writings (or the same writings) of Steiner and Cleric which I had missed before. This never-ending depth of meaning from the spiritual scientific path is a source of great inspiration and satisfaction, and it does really put all merely "personal" desires and goals into a much higher perspective.
“It is your presumption that freedom is something which you already possess that ensures that you will remain in chains."
Ben Iscatus
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Re: Steiner and Aurobindo: Comments and Criticisms

Post by Ben Iscatus »

I haven't come across anything from Steiner yet that suggests that bliss and joy are only available to the elect. That would be odd, speaking from personal experience again, as there have been times when I've felt blissful and joyful while not being part of any elect
So by bliss and joy, you thought I meant the temporary exaltation of a fan when his team scores an injury time winner, turning to despair when the goal is disallowed? I was referring to the idea that eternal bliss is only available to those who have jumped through all the hoops of consciousness evolution.
As for Atlantis and Lemuria, I'll wait and see as it's already been discussed here. Reminding myself that concrete is not the same as literal surely helps.
If something is said to be historically true, it is either literally true or it is not. It cannot be metaphorically or symbolically true.
As regards "respecting" the shadow - that's a curious one. It can't mean acknowledging that it exists and leaving it at that. Surely the shadow is there to be explored and brought to awareness, discombobulating as that might be at times.
Since the shadow derives from our evolutionary past, it is nine tenths of us. What we are metaconscious of is the tip of the iceberg. Much of the nine-tenths will never be brought to awareness.
ParadoxZone
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Re: Steiner and Aurobindo: Comments and Criticisms

Post by ParadoxZone »

Ben,

"So by bliss and joy, you thought I meant the temporary exaltation of a fan when his team scores an injury time winner, turning to despair when the goal is disallowed?"

I didn't know what you meant, so thanks for clarifying.

"I was referring to the idea that eternal bliss is only available to those who have jumped through all the hoops of consciousness evolution."

What if jumping through the hoops isn't arduous? What if it's shortening a painful process? What if I've put the hoops there myself? If I build a wall around my "self" does it seem appropriate to complain about having to climb a wall to get food? There are a lot of what if's, beyond the thought "It's just this, only this, hoops will arise, despair will arise, bliss will arise". Maybe the most vital one is what if it's not just "this".

"If something is said to be historically true, it is either literally true or it is not. It cannot be metaphorically or symbolically true."

I'll have to wait until I get to that bit, take note of what's being said and in what context. Being radically honest, I don't know what to make of the phrase "historically true" right now. So I agree I have an issue here, though it's possible it's not the issue you believe me to have.

"Since the shadow derives from our evolutionary past, it is nine tenths of us. What we are metaconscious of is the tip of the iceberg. Much of the nine-tenths will never be brought to awareness."

We could start with the bits of shadow we dress ourselves with (since birth anyway), for understandable reasons and then discard those clothes when they don't fit, or serve us, or serve anything of value. Then we could take it from there. Is seeing into past lives important? Probably not, as long as we can identify the shadow that they cast. And backwards from there, I'm not sure yet. I'm confident though that we won't find anything without a way of looking and if we don't look for a way that lessens the chance of finding it. We probably agree on that sentence.
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