Steiner and concepts

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Anthony66
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Anthony66 »

Cleric K wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 8:56 am
Güney27 wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 9:31 pm 3. Why does Steiner's name have such a negative connotation?
Most people think he's a weirdo.
Just as Ashvin noted, anyone who dares today to speak of depth of reality will be condemned as a weirdo. This is the reason also why BK prefers to stay on the borderline. This is the reason why most spiritual life today practically serves materialism.

This is very easy to discern. If we look without prejudice we'll see that humans today are still very prone to think of our sensory existence as
1/ the full picture of reality (physicalism)
or
2/ an aspect of reality but quite independent of the yonder world (superficial spiritualism)

People today feel they exist in a physical sandbox and either believe this is all there is or they simply seek some kind of belief for continued existence after death. We have many kinds of heavens or simply the bliss of pure awareness.

The latter is especially popular today because it is the the most economical upgrade of materialism. It requires almost no beliefs except that it converts the dark non-existence after death which the materialist imagines, to blissful non-personal state. Compared to that, belief in heaven requires more assumptions.

The common line is that the physical sandbox remains unquestioned (irrelevant if self-existing or created by some god). It is believed to be a rigid reality pre-made and we are here only to experience it in one way or another. This has the consequence that we feel ourselves to be complete beings, except that we're placed in a material environment. Religious persons simply imagine that their soul-atom will be transported to another place after death.

One becomes a weirdo as soon as they says that sensory life is only a spectral band of reality and through our thoughts, feelings and will (T,F,W) we participate in the full spectrum, except that currently our culture flattens this full spectrum on the plane of sensory perceptions. Our TFW are glued to sensory perceptions. The religiously inclined would much prefer to hold sensory-like fantasies about a spiritual world rather than realize that we are already a slice of the full spectrum. Here's a summary:

Image

The left image depicts the general situation today. We feel we deal with a physical world (the purple curvy line) which is experienced in the soul/consciousness (green sphere). For the materialist this is all there is to reality. For the spiritual ones there's a veil which separates us from the full reality. What is above the veil is a matter of belief. For some there's the Kingdom of Heaven, for others it is simply the pure awareness, etc.

The right image depicts what we should reckon if we're truly to follow our non-dual intuitions to their conclusions. There are no separate worlds. Our soul is a slice of the Cosmos (green cone). We already live in a spiritual world, yet all our soul life is flattened on the sensory screen. From this perspective the veil is really a pseudo veil. It is only our dependence on the sensory screen to which we anchor all our thoughts, feelings and will. It's like we're moving in the sea but insist that our thinking, feeling and willing feet are firmly on the sea floor - in other words, we refuse to learn to swim, to find that we can have our firm support in our spiritual activity, detached from the screen.

The greatest trouble with this view is that our soul life is not enclosed atomic bubble but a slice of the World organism. In this view, the reason astrology has something to say about soul life is not because our soul sphere interacts with planetary spheres through some mystical exchange of spiritual photons but simply because the depth layers of our being are the very same spiritual beings of the planetary spheres. The physical perceptions of cosmic bodies in space are only the decohered symbolic shadow of our shared Cosmic subconscious.

So there you have it. If you want to be called a weirdo yourself, simply tell someone that there's no veil between worlds but that your own soul space is also an aperture of Cosmic spiritual space and for this reason, through investigation of the layers of your higher being (the one not glued to the sensory screen), you also learn about the World Being. I guarantee that you'll be receive your negative connotation in no time.
I wonder how the depth reality you depict here relates to what is discussed in:


In short, Westcott Louden here and elsewhere argues that the structure of DMT experiences mirrors that of the 4-fold state - waking, dreaming, deep sleep void, formless awareness - described in the Mandukya Upanishad. He also draws parallels to NDEs. Of particular interest is how do the dream state entities marry with SS.

For the average DMT tripper, most of the phenomena is rather chaotic and outside one's control. I imagine that you would argue that all of this can be brought under control, integrated with our thinking process, and become an "own reality" rather than "detached" on the screen of perception.
Jim Cross
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Jim Cross »

lorenzop wrote: Mon May 09, 2022 8:27 pm Most ancient traditions have a clear layering of reality, for example google: Purusha / Prakriti / Mahat&Buddhi / etc.
The Vedic tradition proposes an extremely 'crowded' subtle plane way beyond the subtlest Physics has yet to 'discover' or describe.
Yes, the Vedic layering and your diagram both support a Materialist, Idealist or even Dualist state of consciousness - in fact, layering includes at least a patina of material even if that material is merely an intellectual distinction.
I think we tend to think of materialism, idealism, even dualism as mutually exclusive, but some of the ancient traditions recognized their relativity.
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Cleric K
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Cleric K »

Anthony66 wrote: Wed May 11, 2022 3:55 am I wonder how the depth reality you depict here relates to what is discussed in:

In short, Westcott Louden here and elsewhere argues that the structure of DMT experiences mirrors that of the 4-fold state - waking, dreaming, deep sleep void, formless awareness - described in the Mandukya Upanishad. He also draws parallels to NDEs. Of particular interest is how do the dream state entities marry with SS.

For the average DMT tripper, most of the phenomena is rather chaotic and outside one's control. I imagine that you would argue that all of this can be brought under control, integrated with our thinking process, and become an "own reality" rather than "detached" on the screen of perception.
It's of utmost importance to understand what it means to bring that under control.

I believe I've given this example before but I'm not sure. We can imagine our soul life as a room where the light of our spirit illuminates a spot on the wall - this is where we encounter perceptions - both sensory and of our own activity. If we metaphorically imagine that we introduce dust or smoke in the room, suddenly the cone of light also becomes perceptible.

Image

In this way we begin to experience vivid imagery which is really the dust particles swirled in the currents of our soul life. Most people in our culture are so glued to the screen of perceptions that these currents are completely subconscious. That's why it's a great shock when we become conscious of aspects of our character in this way.

Almost exclusively, what we behold in a psychedelic state is closely associated with our personal organism of body and soul. When we're probing near the threshold of the physical and life body, we live in the somatic and life processes. These processes are grasped by the intellect through dust forms that it can deal with - variations of sensory perceptions, geometric forms, etc. For example, in the video they speak about moving through tunnels, snake skins, etc. These are all experiences in the etheric body but without the proper organization, all becomes reduced to the lowest common denominator that we can comprehend.

Imagine that we live in animalistic state - we have perceptions which stimulate instinctive behavior. Now imagine that some kind of psychedelic substance makes it possible to become aware of thinking in words. Yet the 'wavelength' of our animal cognition can't yet grasp the meaning of the thoughts. Instead we become flooded with auditory perceptions of the inner voice. We experience incredible sounds that feel like coming from deeper reality but none of the meaning.

We're in a similar situation with psychedelics in our age. We become aware of deeper currents of reality but enjoy them only in their sensory-like precipitations. In this sense it would be a grave error to imagine that spiritual development amounts to taking control of the visions while they remain as incomprehensible as ever. This would be as if the animal learns somehow to control the thinking sounds but without any clue that there could be higher order curvature of meaning that organizes these sound forms in the first place.

Actually this is quite the case with our science today. All efforts are to better control the flow of sensory life yet through entirely mechanistic rearrangements of perceptions. The idea that the perceptions of the world are really the decohered beyond recognition meaning of the Cosmic Word is blasphemous both for the materialist and the mystic who insists that the highest wisdom is to simply let go of the tapestry of perceptions and only experience it as nebulous mysteriousness.

These are serious things and we should be aware that very powerful forces are at play which steer evolution in different directions. Unless we develop sincere interest in the essential Being of reality, there's great danger of falling into decadence in forms of Cargo Cults. Psychedelics can indeed give a shake for many people (as they did for me) and at least partially awaken them from the materialistic sleep but then we're prowled by the next danger which is the psychedelic state to become the next cargo cult. Just as the indigenous people didn't seek the state of consciousness which would make the airplanes comprehensible but instead were only happy for the cargo, so today trippers don't seek the higher order spiritual activity which weaves in the Cosmos but instead are fascinated by the crates of psychedelic visuals falling from their higher organization to entertain their imaginative senses. Even if we have more respectful attitude, as in shamanism where we're grateful for the crates, and we take them as messages and impetus for work, the fact remains that we have no interest for growing into the higher reality. We either declare the higher reality to be of some instinctive nature, thus it's foolish to imagine one can live consciously there or we postulate some veil that hopefully will be torn after death, while in the meantime it supports the dualism of non-dualism on Earth.

This should be crystal clear to us. Just as no amount of free cargo would give the indigenous people the consciousness of aerospace physics, so in the same sense no amount of psychedelic precipitations of (or even mechanistic control over) symbolic crates, would give us the higher order consciousness which alone can see them in their true light.
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Güney27
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Güney27 »

AshvinP wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 12:57 pm
Güney27 wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 10:52 am


Ashvin,

Thanks for your response.

The name deer is not just a man-made name for something that has a great similarity in perception.
As I understand it, a concept (according to anthroposophical concepts) is a regularity of objects (the circle has only one line and a center that is always the same distance from the line).
The concept is the spiritual in the object, which is revealed to us in our thoughts by looking cautiously.
Wouldn't a concept be an abstraction if you took essential characteristics from the object and then added a name?

Yes that's fair to say. The human concept of this sort is an abstraction to begin with. It is in the realm of pure thought without corresponding sense-experience. Abstraction in this sense became necessary in the course of spiritual evolution, as humanity descended deeply into the particulars of matter and needed to chart its own course back to the universals of meaning through heartfelt thinking. In pure thought, we partially liberate ourselves from the seemingly spirit-less perceptual world and begin to ascend to the world of archetypal meaning. This is insufficient for humanity today, however.

Now we must also endeavor to spiritualize our pure thought through inner soul work and Imaginative cognition, to truly restore the Spirit of our thoughts and, therefore, the perceptual world of particulars. We can think of every concept as a fractal seed which embeds the image of the entire spiritual Cosmos. A concept imbued with new life through Imagination can allow us, as Blake put it, "to see the world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wildflower; hold infinity in the palm of our hand and eternity in an hour". Conceptual reasoning and focused thinking meditation is how we begin to accomplish this Divine task, gradually but surely. In meditation, we are turning from the past in perception to face towards the future in supersensible meaning, and we eventually unveil the correponding perceptions for the pure thoughts.

The great words, the nouns and verbs embrace indeed far more than the undisclosed particulars of the senses. They explore wide-ranging realms and know how to relate of their world trips. Yet without the help of the senses (the senses of entire nations are at their disposal) they are powerless. The little words “with” and “without” on the other hand fly with light wings over the greatest distances and bring the most remote areas together. And even the most inconspicuous and hackneyed of all words, the tiny word “and”, the smallest copper coin of our treasury of words, makes from “with” and “without”, from “yes” and “no”, irrespective of their inequality, a couple.

Relieved from the senses, the supersensible words float in the etheric heights of thinking, but with falcon eyes espying their prey, namely every gap in the world of the senses on which they swoop down – yet not to snatch, rob and carry off the captured prey, but to introduce to the sentence – the just and mild ruler of the world of context – its members joining company in friendly communion.
...
The concept “tree” is such a means of separation within the realm that it classifies inwardly as well as outwardly set against the area in which it inserts the tree. The concept “tree” embraces the parts of the tree, the root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, buds, blossoms and fruits. The concept “tree” therefore binds many other concepts in its realm. For the precepts of the parts of the tree are on their part groups that are classified by concepts, unified into totalities, constructed into shapes. Many other concepts belong to the ones mentioned, such as bark or sap and also those that do not specifically belong to the morphological construction of the tree, but indirectly or nonspecifically condition it such as light or air, up and down.

This cannot be otherwise, since the thinking from which the concepts originate is the constituent power,
and since its tools unite the concepts on the basis of their powers of discrimination with one another and
with all things. Since cognition is in principle a border crossing, since its assistants are such border crossings, it follows that this union is nowhere interrupted, that it has no end except in its complete coherence. Since concepts are connections, there are no isolated concepts and is thinking a unity. The isolation within thinking solely arises from our viewpoint that gives priority to the particularity of the concepts and not to the universality of thinking. Every concept, every idea therefore represents thinking as a whole, the whole ideational world from a certain aspect. The saying by Goethe is valid and wise, “The Idea is eternal and unique. To speak of ideas is not well done."
-Witzenmann, What is Meditation?

What meditation from Steiner do you mean?
What do you think about Steiner's Rosenkreuz meditation? This type of meditation strengthens your ego instead of switching it off.
But how should meditation lead to knowledge through imagination?
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, simpler.

Friedrich Nietzsche
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AshvinP
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by AshvinP »

Güney27 wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 8:25 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 12:57 pm
Güney27 wrote: Sat May 07, 2022 10:52 am


Ashvin,

Thanks for your response.

The name deer is not just a man-made name for something that has a great similarity in perception.
As I understand it, a concept (according to anthroposophical concepts) is a regularity of objects (the circle has only one line and a center that is always the same distance from the line).
The concept is the spiritual in the object, which is revealed to us in our thoughts by looking cautiously.
Wouldn't a concept be an abstraction if you took essential characteristics from the object and then added a name?

Yes that's fair to say. The human concept of this sort is an abstraction to begin with. It is in the realm of pure thought without corresponding sense-experience. Abstraction in this sense became necessary in the course of spiritual evolution, as humanity descended deeply into the particulars of matter and needed to chart its own course back to the universals of meaning through heartfelt thinking. In pure thought, we partially liberate ourselves from the seemingly spirit-less perceptual world and begin to ascend to the world of archetypal meaning. This is insufficient for humanity today, however.

Now we must also endeavor to spiritualize our pure thought through inner soul work and Imaginative cognition, to truly restore the Spirit of our thoughts and, therefore, the perceptual world of particulars. We can think of every concept as a fractal seed which embeds the image of the entire spiritual Cosmos. A concept imbued with new life through Imagination can allow us, as Blake put it, "to see the world in a grain of sand, or heaven in a wildflower; hold infinity in the palm of our hand and eternity in an hour". Conceptual reasoning and focused thinking meditation is how we begin to accomplish this Divine task, gradually but surely. In meditation, we are turning from the past in perception to face towards the future in supersensible meaning, and we eventually unveil the correponding perceptions for the pure thoughts.

The great words, the nouns and verbs embrace indeed far more than the undisclosed particulars of the senses. They explore wide-ranging realms and know how to relate of their world trips. Yet without the help of the senses (the senses of entire nations are at their disposal) they are powerless. The little words “with” and “without” on the other hand fly with light wings over the greatest distances and bring the most remote areas together. And even the most inconspicuous and hackneyed of all words, the tiny word “and”, the smallest copper coin of our treasury of words, makes from “with” and “without”, from “yes” and “no”, irrespective of their inequality, a couple.

Relieved from the senses, the supersensible words float in the etheric heights of thinking, but with falcon eyes espying their prey, namely every gap in the world of the senses on which they swoop down – yet not to snatch, rob and carry off the captured prey, but to introduce to the sentence – the just and mild ruler of the world of context – its members joining company in friendly communion.
...
The concept “tree” is such a means of separation within the realm that it classifies inwardly as well as outwardly set against the area in which it inserts the tree. The concept “tree” embraces the parts of the tree, the root, stem, branches, twigs, leaves, buds, blossoms and fruits. The concept “tree” therefore binds many other concepts in its realm. For the precepts of the parts of the tree are on their part groups that are classified by concepts, unified into totalities, constructed into shapes. Many other concepts belong to the ones mentioned, such as bark or sap and also those that do not specifically belong to the morphological construction of the tree, but indirectly or nonspecifically condition it such as light or air, up and down.

This cannot be otherwise, since the thinking from which the concepts originate is the constituent power,
and since its tools unite the concepts on the basis of their powers of discrimination with one another and
with all things. Since cognition is in principle a border crossing, since its assistants are such border crossings, it follows that this union is nowhere interrupted, that it has no end except in its complete coherence. Since concepts are connections, there are no isolated concepts and is thinking a unity. The isolation within thinking solely arises from our viewpoint that gives priority to the particularity of the concepts and not to the universality of thinking. Every concept, every idea therefore represents thinking as a whole, the whole ideational world from a certain aspect. The saying by Goethe is valid and wise, “The Idea is eternal and unique. To speak of ideas is not well done."
-Witzenmann, What is Meditation?

What meditation from Steiner do you mean?
What do you think about Steiner's Rosenkreuz meditation? This type of meditation strengthens your ego instead of switching it off.
But how should meditation lead to knowledge through imagination?
Guney,

There are many different imaginative meditations which can be employed. Cleric has posted quite a few here. Personally, I made a lot of progress with the vowel exercise he provided. There are also the exercises Steiner outlines in How to Know Higher Worlds (the Rosy Cross meditation you mentioned), Esoteric Lessons (lectures), and a few other places. Meditation is really a sacred act of the free individual agency today - the type of exercises and employment of them will be highly personalized. At this stage of our evolution, it is generally the only time of day when we are deviating from templated behaviors and contributing creatively to the spiritual Cosmos. But that assumes we understand why and how we are contributing in this way. You will notice how neither Steiner nor Cleric simply present an exercise to do in isolation, but also provide conceptual background on why it is being done. Beyond this basic remarks, I am not really in a position to offer much advice on meditation, because I myself am only at the earliest stages.

I feel that I was very fortunate to be led to PoSA first and then work through spiritual science as a conceptual foundation. When I really started devoting time and energy to meditation, I had a solid understanding of why I was doing it and what degrees of freedom could be attained through it. That doesn't mean we need to be perfectly certain about these things - that is unnecessary and impossible. We can study spiritual science and gradually engage meditative exercises at the same time. Perhaps Cleric can add something helpful here. It might help if you comment on what sort of experiences you have had when doing the vowel exercise or any other ones so far. There are many preconceptions which can act as obstacles for us, for ex. if we go in expecting quick results and certain kinds of experiences, i.e. we expect to see imaginations like we see objects in the physical world. There are really no shortcuts, but if you engage with patience, discpline, and good will, you will certainly notice profound changes over time.

I also recommend you check out this lecture on prayer. We have mentioned here often how invaluable this spiritual tool is for bridging our intellect and reason with the higher modes of thinking.

Steiner wrote:We need only to feel these things in relation to the whole of life in order to see that prayer, looked at in the right way, can lead us from the transitory finite of this world to the infinite. This was felt especially by those such as Angelus Silesius whom I have previously mentioned who passed from prayer to mysticism. He felt that he owed the inner truth and glorious beauty, the warm intimacy and brilliant clearness of his mystical thought, shown for instance in The Cherubinean Wanderer, to the training of prayer that had worked so powerfully on his soul. In fact, following this prelude of prayer, it is the feeling of eternity that streams through and illuminates all such mysticism. Everyone who prays has an idea of this, when in prayer he comes to true inner peace and intimacy and thence again to liberation from himself. It is something that teaches us to look from the passing moment to eternity, embracing in our souls the past, present and future. Whether we know it or not, whenever we turn in prayer to those sides of life where we seek God, the feelings, thoughts, and impressions accompanying us are permeated by a sense of eternity. It dwells consciously or unconsciously in every true prayer like some divine sweetness and aroma. It lives in the following lines of Angelus Silesius, which form a fitting conclusion to our discussion.

When I leave time,
I myself am eternity.
Then I am one with God
And God is one with me.
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
Federica
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Federica »

I have zero knowledge of Rudolf Steiner. Until coming to this forum, Steiner was for me some sort of eclectic thinker somehow connected to alternative medicine and alternative education. That’s how far it goes in my books… So I want to read The Philosophy of Freedom and I can’t do it in German.
Google tells me there are various editions and translations, even a missing chapter as it seems!
Would anyone have any suggestions on which one to go for?

“If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” (Carl Gustav Jung)
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Soul_of_Shu
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Soul_of_Shu »

Federica wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 9:24 am I have zero knowledge of Rudolf Steiner. Until coming to this forum, Steiner was for me some sort of eclectic thinker somehow connected to alternative medicine and alternative education. That’s how far it goes in my books… So I want to read The Philosophy of Freedom and I can’t do it in German.
Google tells me there are various editions and translations, even a missing chapter as it seems!
Would anyone have any suggestions on which one to go for?
I've only listened to an audio version, re-titled (preferably IMO) "Intuitive Thinking as A Spiritual Path" . But no doubt this cannot compare to reading it in book-form, especially in the original German ... other than that, I can offer no suggestions.
Here out of instinct or grace we seek
soulmates in these galleries of hieroglyph and glass,
where mutual longings and sufferings of love
are laid bare in transfigured exhibition of our hearts,
we who crave deep secrets and mysteries,
as elusive as the avatars of our dreams.
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Cleric K
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Re: Steiner and concepts

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Mon May 30, 2022 9:24 am I have zero knowledge of Rudolf Steiner. Until coming to this forum, Steiner was for me some sort of eclectic thinker somehow connected to alternative medicine and alternative education. That’s how far it goes in my books… So I want to read The Philosophy of Freedom and I can’t do it in German.
Google tells me there are various editions and translations, even a missing chapter as it seems!
Would anyone have any suggestions on which one to go for?
I haven't gone through all translations but this seems OK.

You can see the available translations here. The one you can skip is the 1916 one, which is before the final 1918 edition by Steiner which adds some clarifications.
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