Since it may take a while for FB to come along with some quotes, I'll provide some. Let everyone be their own judge if Steiner was speaking of amorphous 'magnetic fields' which people, only because of their childish imagination, tend to experience as manifesting from multitude of Intelligent centers of be-ing.
If man wishes to build for himself a world conception, he rightly strives toward harmonizing the individual parts. This he does out of a certain habit, out of a habit that is most justified, because it is related to all that through many centuries has been humanity's dearest treasure of soul and spirit, to monotheism. What is encountered in the world as experience one wishes to lead back to an undivided foundation of the world. This is well justified, though not in the way that we usually believe it to be justified.
It is justified in a completely different way, about which we will speak next time. Today I would like to lead before your soul only what is of principal importance.
One who approaches the world with the expectation that everything must explain itself without contradiction, as if it arose from an undivided foundation of the world, will experience many disappointments when he faces the world and its experiences in an unprejudiced way. It is traditional for the human being to treat all that he perceives in the world according to a pastoral world conception, in which everything is led back to the undivided, divine, primordial foundation; everything stems from God and therefore must be understandable as a unity.
This is not the case now, however. What surrounds us in the world as experience does not stem from the undivided primordial foundation. Rather it stems from spiritual individualities different from one another. Different individualities work together in all that surrounds us in the world as experience. This is how it is above all. We will speak next time about other ways of justifying monotheism, but this is how it is above all. We must think of individualities as being to a certain degree — actually to a high degree — independent of one another as soon as we cross the threshold of the spiritual world. One cannot then require that what appears be accountable by an undivided principle. Imagine that this, schematically represented, is some experience (as far as I am concerned it could be the experiences from 1913–1918).
The experiences of human beings continue naturally in both directions. The historian is always tempted to assume an undivided principle in this whole process. This is not the case, however. As soon as we cross the threshold to the spiritual world — which can be crossed from either above or below (see drawing, red), it is one and the same — various individualities work together in influencing these events that are relatively independent of each other (see drawing, arrows). If you do not take this into consideration, if you assume everywhere an undivided foundation of the world, you will never understand these events. Only when you take into consideration what is to a certain degree the ebb and flow of events, the varied individualities who work with or against one another
, only then will you understand these things in the right way.
This matter is indeed connected with the deepest mysteries of human evolution. Only the monotheistic feeling has veiled this fact for centuries or millennia, but one must consider it. If one wishes to progress today, therefore, with questions of a world conception, above all one must not confuse logic with an abstract lack of contradiction.
An abstract lack of contradiction cannot exist in a world in which individualities are working together independently of one another. A striving for conformity will therefore always lead to an impoverishment of concepts
; the concepts will no longer be able to encompass the full reality. Only when these concepts are able to take hold of this world full of contradictions, which is the true reality, will they be able to encompass the full reality.
https://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/ReapC ... 19p01.html
This is something we see all too often today. People are only too comfortable to cling to some abstract principle like "It's all One" and smear out the contents of experience, dreaming away reality. We attain to reality not when we fantasize some Divine perspective from which everything seems as amorphous whole, but when we realize that all perspectives of the One reality express freedom
- something unique which can't be derived as effect of amorphous causes. Thus we can only begin to understand reality if we expand our horizon of cognition to find the place of all these loci of spiritual activity which have their unique contribution in the overall interference pattern that each one of us experiences. We kind of accept this in the physical realm, where we see social reality as the contribution of individuals, but things dissolve into mist when we have to conceive of Intelligent and individual beings, which don't have localized bodily forms, yet which contribute to the interference pattern just the same (and even to much greater degree) as the physically localized human perspectives. When we speak of amorphous 'magnetic fields' (which is just a synonym for Schop's blind Will, although much more misleading
because it lures the reader that there's some 'scientific' validity to it) we are practically closing our eyes for reality. Our ego practically declares it is not
interested in reality and would much rather throw away all concepts and replace everything with smeared out picture of inexplicable nebulousness. Speaking of solipsism, imagine that I smear out all the fine understanding for each one of the individuals writing here in this forum and say "This is nonsense, there are no individual loci of spiritual experience. It's all amorphous whole". This is exactly the superficial lack of contradiction
that Steiner speaks of. This is the same as getting eye disease and suddenly all our visual field becoming an amorphous blurry colorful blob, then we say "Aaahh - finally. I no longer need to care about all these tiring details of the visual field, with all their concepts and interrelations. It's all One now, the sweet flowy blurry blob - this is what is real! The details of perceptions are the evil that causes us to find separation in everything". Anyone can decide for themselves who has turned into solipsist - those who seek the place of every perception by relating it with the appropriate concepts and the contributions of beings, or those who celebrate their bad vision and live in their own blurry world, fantasizing that they behold the undivided foundations of reality. As simple as this may sound, it is the literal
truth, and the difference between pursuing higher cognition which brings more and more clarity in the ever growing interrelatedness of the World, and enclosing ourselves in the egoic bubble and enjoying the blurry 'undivided' blob of the no-thought mystical state, the 'ego-death' of the psychedelic state and so on.
During supersensible perception thinking, feeling, and willing do not remain three forces that radiate from the common egocenter of the personality, but they become three independent entities, three personalities, as it were; one must now make one's own ego all the stronger, for it is not merely a matter of its bringing three forces into order, but of leading and directing three entities. This separation, however, must only exist during supersensible perception. Here again it becomes clear how important it is that the exercises for higher training be accompanied by those that give certainty and firmness to the power of judgment, and to the life of feeling and willing. For the person who does not bring these qualities with him into the higher world will soon see how the ego proves weak and unable to act as an orderly guide for thinking, feeling, and willing. If this weakness were present, the soul would be as though torn by three personalities in as many directions and its inner unity would cease. If, however, the development of the student proceeds in the right way the described transformation of forces signifies true progress; the ego remains master of the independent entities that now form its soul. — In the further course of this evolution the development continues. Thinking that has become independent stimulates the emergence of a special fourth soul-spirit being that may be described as a direct influx of currents into man, similar to thoughts. The entire cosmos then appears as a thought-structure confronting man as does the plant or animal world in the realm of the physical senses. Likewise, feeling and willing that have become independent stimulate two forces in the soul that act in it like independent beings. Still another seventh power and being appears that is similar to one's own ego itself.
https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/En ... 05-08.html
The actual life of this First Hierarchy is such that when such objective, independent, detached beings proceed from it, it realizes itself. For the inner condition of consciousness, the inner experience of the beings of the First Hierarchy, lies in creation, in forming independent beings. We may say: They contemplate that which they create and which becomes a world, and it is not when they look into themselves but when they look out of themselves upon the world which is their own creation, that they possess themselves. To create other beings is their inner life; to live in other beings, is the inner experience of these beings of the First Hierarchy. Creation of worlds is their external life — creation of beings their inner life.
In the course of these lectures we have drawn attention to the fact that these various beings of the hierarchies have offspring; beings split off from themselves, which they send down into the kingdoms of nature, and we have learnt that the offspring of the Third Hierarchy are the nature-spirits, while the offspring of the Second Hierarchy are the Group-souls. The beings of the First Hierarchy have likewise offspring split off from them, and as a matter of fact I have already described from a different aspect these beings which are the offspring of the First Hierarchy. I described them at the beginning of this course, when we ascended to the so-called Spirits of the Rotation of Time, the spirits governing and directing what goes on in the kingdoms of nature in rhythmic succession and repetition. The beings of the First Hierarchy detach from themselves the beings governing the alternation of summer and winter, so that the plants spring up and fade away again; that rhythmical succession through which, for instance, the animals belonging to a certain species have a definite period of life in which they develop from birth to death. Everything too which takes place in the kingdom of nature rhythmically and in recapitulation, such as day and night, alternations of the year, the four seasons of the year, everything which thus depends upon repeated happenings, is regulated by the Spirits of the Rotation of Time, the offspring of the beings of the First Hierarchy. These Spirits of the Rotation of Time can be described from one aspect, as we did some days ago, and we can now describe them according to their origin, as we have done to-day. Thus we can comprehensively represent the beings of these Three Hierarchies as follows:
|Hierarchy||Outer Life||Inner Life||Detached beings|
|1st Hierarchy||World-creation||Creation of Beings||Spirits of the Rotation of Time|
|2nd Hierarchy||Self-creation||Stimulation of Life||Group-Souls|
|3rd Hierarchy||Manifestation||Being filled with Spirit||Nature-Spirits|
Here's something that Ashvin also quoted recently:
Here it is perfectly clear that our mind is not to be conceived as a receptacle for the ideal world, containing the thoughts within itself, but as an organ which perceives the thoughts.
It is an organ of apprehension just as are the eye and the ear. Thought is related to our minds just as light is related to the eye, tone to the ear. It does not occur to any one to think of color as something which stamps itself on the eye, remaining there as if it adhered to the eye. But in regard to the mind this is the prevailing conception. It is supposed that a thought of each thing forms itself in the consciousness and there remains, to be drawn forth at need. A peculiar theory has been based upon this view as if those thoughts of which we are at any moment unconscious were really preserved in our minds, but were lying below the threshold of consciousness.
These strange opinions dissolve into nothing the moment we reflect that the ideal world is self-determinative. What has this self-determinative content to do with the multiplicity of consciousnesses? It will not be supposed that this content so determines itself in indeterminate multiplicity that one fractional content is always independent of another! The thing is perfectly clear. Thought-content is of such a nature that it simply requires a mental organ for its manifestation, but that the number of beings possessed of such an organ is a matter of indifference. Therefore, an indefinite number of beings endowed with minds may be confronted by the one thought-content. That is, thinking as an organ of apprehension, perceives the thought-content of the world. There is only one single thought-content of the world. Our consciousness is not the capacity to produce thoughts and store them up, as is so generally supposed, but the capacity to perceive thoughts (ideas). Goethe expressed this strikingly in the following words: “The Idea is eternal and single; the fact that we use the plural is unfortunate. All things of which we become aware and of which we can speak are only manifestations of the Idea; we utter concepts, and to that extent the Idea itself is a concept.”
https://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA002/En ... 2_c13.html
I could have gone in these directions with my own words, expressing my own spiritual experience, without mentioning Steiner. But since things here revolve around this, I would much rather just quote few random things.
Anyone can decide for themselves if Steiner maintained that the Spiritual World was an amorphous 'magnetic field' and the clear spiritual experience of individual spiritual beings contributing uniquely in the totality, is only an image for the blurry blind substance of the World, on which the intellect projects its own anthropomorphic concepts.
I think the words of Steiner above make it perfectly clear who
is drawn to such nebulous pictures. Is it because true knowledge of reality is sought or because one want to sleep merrily in his own blurry bubble (even thought they may be able to write whole volumes with intellectual justifications why the blurry bubble should be considered the foundations of reality)?