The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

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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mikekatz
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2021 6:45 pm

Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by mikekatz »

Federica wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:59 am Mike,

Yesterday I was thief-reading (as we say in Swedish) in the Steiner archive and came across this. I wanted to include it in the post above, but I forgot. If we didn’t know they were spoken in 1917, we could think that these are today’s words.
Steiner wrote:It is dawning on many people today that materialism will not do. But what I have often referred to as man's love of ease prevents them from committing themselves to spiritual science. Yet nothing else can save human civilization from plunging into disaster. There are people who are often quite near the point of crossing the threshold into spiritual science; that they do not is basically due to indolence. It is love of ease that prevents them from making their soul receptive and pliable enough to grasp ideas that quite concretely explain the spiritual world. There are many today who enthuse in general about the mystical unity of worlds, vaguely declaring that science alone does not explain everything; faith must come to its aid. But the courage to penetrate earnestly into the descriptions and explanations of the spiritual world that lies at the foundation of the sense world, that courage is greatly lacking.

https://steinerlibrary.org/Lectures/176 ... re_04.html


Not at all suggesting that you are lazy (I don’t think you are, if you went to find and meet the pupils of Gurdjieff’s pupils) but I certainly am, and I understand the appeal of thoughts like: “I want to remove, not add”, “searching for the purest and most simple teaching” “I want to rest in consciousness, beauty, and peace”. But just as our body is made for movement and we should move it, our thinking cannot thrive in peaceful rest and deprivation of meaningful activity. This may be counter-intuitive. In my case for example, once I realized I was being turned inside-out by ‘thinking’ (negative thinking, loop thinking and the like) the idea of resting it in awareness was so welcome, and it made so much sense. But the solution to that kind of exhausting ‘thinking’ is not to put it on hold and rest it, but to make it purposeful, intentional, and aware of what it's doing through us, so that we turn it inside out, insead of getting exhausted by being turned inside out through it. At least that’s what I realized for myself.
Hi Frederica
Thank you so much for both your responses.
I too, will now need time to decide how and whether to respond. If I respond, it will be in a new topic.
Mike
Federica
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:32 am
Part of the problem is that, until we delve into the spiritual science, which is quite complex itself, we can only remain with vague exoteric explanations. Your intuition that the space-based relations, such as that of nations and geographical regions and their specialized economies, is inextricably linked with evolutionary Time-rhythms is correct. The latter are superimposed and the former could be thought of as how they are perceived in a decohered way by the intellect. These topics can get quite sensitive in our day, since they necessarily imply that we are dealing with less or more advanced evolutionary streams in various regions, serving different purposes in the holistic tapestry. But, regardless, sound logical reasoning can reach no other conclusion. The problem is when the people crying foul project their notions of moral superiority onto these naturally differentiated phenomena of the evolutionary process. But I don't want to get too far afield with this topic, since it requires a lot of spiritual scientific background and I don't feel well-versed enough to tackle it yet.

But I am more comfortable if we narrow down on only the consumer debt issue. From what I understand, the credit-debt polarity, in terms of monetary systems which evolved in the last few millennia, is an echo of the more ancient involution into the life-death cycle, which was also the origin of Karma. That is when we began accumulating debts from our attachment to the sensory world at the expense of the spiritual world and the Gods, i.e. our creditors. Due to our deep descent born of sensuous and, later, intellectual desire, the Gods had to continue lending us their uplifting spiritual activity so we didn't harden our consciousness too far and fall out of the human evolutionary stream altogether. Since at least the time of the Old Testament, this credit-debt dynamic has become more and more conscious over the epochs. The Karmic laws previously influencing humanity from without, incarnated in human legal systems and cultural institutions in the form of financial economies.

It is no coincidence that the metaphor of debt forgiveness/redemption is so central in the scriptures, especially the NT. It speaks to something deep within the core of our being. At first, monetary systems were still tied to hard assets like gold and silver, and various other commodities, so the amount of credit-debt which could be generated was naturally capped. In the modern age, we get fractional reserve banking and 'fiat' money abstracted from all underlying assets. The U.S. dollar becomes the world's reserve currency and detaches from the gold standard. Now we have all sorts of complex credit and debt instruments which have been packaged, re-packaged, securitized, sold and resold, etc. So we are acting more consciously within the sphere of credit-debt relations, and the ideal purpose of establishing these relations would be for people to lift themselves beyond where they are at any given time, using the debt for productive ventures, so they can free up time for spiritual contemplation.

But due to our materialistic desires and thinking, the debt is mostly used to expand the consumer lifestyle more and more (it's always a little shocking to see how often my supposedly 'broke' clients drive around in super expensive cars and continue buying other luxury items). The global debt economy has exploded into unfathomable proportions. No one really knows how much 'shadow debt' is out there lurking in the depths of the global economy. We certainly cannot rely on the official numbers published by governments and central banks. They have every corrupted incentive to underreport such numbers and pretend that the current debt is serviceable, it's no big deal. I will admit that, for a while, I thought that ball of yarn would have already unraveled after the 2008 financial crisis, but 10+ years later, they managed to kick the can down the road much further than I suspected. It seems now that, especially after the pandemic, the seams are busting again and we could be in for a very rough road ahead, and it's not clear how much more private-to-public debt shifting can occur without severe inflation taking hold. We'll see what happens there.

Anyway, the connection between our rabid consumer debt spending, fueled by greed, envy, avarice, etc., and the growing Karmic debt balance of humanity and individuals is pretty clear. It is yet again a tool for awakening, which could potentially propel our thought into the spiritual heights, which goes unused, because it has been idolized into a thing-itself. All our contractual activity, our lending institutions, the courts which enforce financial rights between parties, etc. are copies of higher spiritual governance which we have dimly awakened to in human culture and therefore incarnated in these Earthly forms. And we have certainly awakened to its moral valence, as there are few things which elicit more outrage than people being cheated out of their hard-earned money. But people aren't interested in using their intelligence to dig any deeper and learn any spiritual lessons from the lending and spending habits, only using that intelligence to find ways of perpetuating it, against all odds and at great long-term cost, towards pursuing more worldly desires and accumulating more worldly treasure. People hardly have any idea that there are spiritual debts to begin with.

Before we, as individuals and collectives, have any chance of ascending into the higher worlds in full consciousness, we must make good on our spiritual debts, through creative thinking activity which can contribute to the further evolution of the Earth-organism. Yet, if one takes this view seriously and examines just how long we have been incurring these Karmic debts, it's also clear that we can never work it off with only our own localized efforts. That is where the MoG and the Christ impulse come in. He has taken the self-conscious ego-hood born of those debts and given it the capacity to become a force for selflessly creative spiritual activity, thereby redeeming them. This is why it is such an error for the 'non-dualist', mystical, 'rest in consciousness' types to forsake Western culture and its institutions, which are practically synonymous with evolving thinking, as even Mike's various illustrations unwittingly showed. What they perceive as the greatest obstacle to reunion with the Divine will actually be the greatest boon, if we make the creative effort, in humility and devotion, to bear our Cross and participate in the redemption of Thinking.


https://rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA074/En ... index.html
Steiner wrote:This question lives as it were in the depths of the souls until Albert and Thomas: did we not take up the original sin also in our thinking? Does the intellect lead us to believe other truth contents than the real truth because the intellect has defected from spirituality? — If we take up Christ in our intellect, if we take up something in our intellect that transforms this intellect, then only it consorts with the truth, with the religious contents. The thinkers before Thomas wanted to take the doctrine of the original sin and the doctrine of the redemption seriously. They did not yet have the power of thought, the logicality for that, but they wanted to make this seriously. They presented the question to themselves: how does Christ redeem the truth of the intellect that is contradictory to the spiritually revealed truth in us? How do we become Christians to the core? Since the original sin lives in our intellect, hence, the intellect is contradictory to the pure religious truth.

Then Albert and Thomas appeared and supposed that it is wrong that we indulge in sinfulness of the world if we delve purely logically into the universalia in rebus if we take up that which is real in the things. The usual intellect must not be sinful. The question of Christology is contained in this question of High Scholasticism. High Scholasticism could not solve the problem: how can the human thinking be Christianised? How does Christ lead the human thinking to the sphere where it can grow together with the spiritual religious contents?
...
In the thirteenth century, one could not yet find the Christian principle of redemption in the world of ideas; therefore, one set it against the world of revelation. This must become the progress of humanity for the future that not only for the outer world the redemption principle is found, but also for the human intellect. The unreleased human reason only could not rise in the spiritual world. The released human intellect that has the real relationship to Christ penetrates into the spiritual world.

Ashvin,

There are more reflection opportunities than I can seize within the sphere of the credit / debt issue alone : ) Following your line of thinking, I find myself going along ideas I have never really pondered before. Exoteric as they must be, I can't resist writing them down. First, when it comes to the external events, I notice you see a turning point for the monetary system in the detachment from the gold standard, that allowed for the credit / debt dynamic to go insane. Here I am more tempted to see things the other way around: the ever-expanding nature of the credit / debt dynamic (in industrialized, trading economies) has caused as inevitable consequence the detachment of those economies from gold standards. I don’t know how the story went in the US exactly, but European states have been using gold standards for a relatively short while, on and off, before they were completely abandoned.


From my perspective, I would rather see the symbolic turning point in the advent of paper money. Because paper money seems to mark the abstraction, or intellectualization, of the notions of credit and debt. With it, the medium of exchange lost its intrinsic value (however quantified) to become only a nominal reference for transactions, grounded in arbitrary agreements. That's the moment when real and monetary economy started to disconnect from each other, at least in principle. Maybe not a coincidence that paper money was born to the world right at the end of the Middle Ages. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that paper money, rather than interest rate, makes for fully generalized, all-embracing credit / debit exchange relationships. Because holding a bank note means in itself a credit towards the system, independent of the notion of interest rate. Under inflation, holding paper money means losing purchasing power, but that doesn’t matter from a spiritual perspective. What matters is that the bank note incorporates the idea of being entitled to command / obliged to provide a future supply of something and that’s the essence of credit / debit, as long as we are interested in its spiritual meaning. And that’s very different from money with intrinsic value, coins. Basically paper money makes us permanent creditors and debitors, not towards a specific person or entity, but towards the collective. So we have not only abstracted, but also depersonalized the notion of credit and debt.


One more degree of abstraction and depersonalization has happened more recently with the movement away from paper money towards its digital forms. Overall this whole movement seems very relevant in terms of how we relate to credit and debt. Through it, sensory perceptions and feelings have left the credit and debt ‘experience’. And it seems like we have entered a more unconscious way of exchanging what we have for what we need. The complex credit and debt instruments you mention, built on the concept of interest rate mixed with risk / expectations, look to me as a kind of epiphenomenon of credit and debt, while the real phenomenon has happened with the growing degrees of credit and debt abstraction (paper money, then digital money) that has caused the contextual transformation of all exchange transactions into credit and debt transactions. This has become such a permanent state of our daily life that we are unconsciously sinking in its pervasiveness and have become quite insensitive to it.


That “the global debt economy has exploded into unfathomable proportions” it’s only half the truth, because there are creditors behind those bonds or whatever instruments it might be, so what has really exploded is the transformation of economic exchange relationships into intellectualized, abstract, cold, and non perceptible credit and debt relationships. And we are drawing in such a medium, unconscious of what has become the default medium of our daily transactions. After the pandemic, what I am seeing is a sort of rebellion, a ‘gut reaction’ from people to this credit / debt saturation of all our exchanges. Consciously or unconsciously, we are trying to extract us from this rampant dynamic. People are starting to reclaim ownership of their consumption, many are going minimalist, others are radically changing their lifestyle towards a self sustained and less consumerist living, more and more are working for themselves, there's the great resignation, the rebirth of local commerce and self-production, and so on. The trend expresses itself in a broad spectrum, from posh minimalism to dumpster diving, from the deconstruction of our work activity to the deconstruction of our home. Maybe you don’t have the same impression, it’s a sense that might be heavily impacted by the context in which we live and work, I can imagine. Anyway, that’s how my spontaneous ideas go for the moment. Does it all sound arbitrary or do you see anything recyclable that could be connected back to your description of the credit / debt polarity?


I also have to reflect more about the role of the institutions you characterize, as “copies of higher spiritual governance which we have dimly awakened to”. Spontaneously, I would see them, at least the monetary ones, as the means that has allowed the takeoff of abstract mediums of exchange, granting paper money its intellectual, contractual attachment, that has marked the deepening of the spiritual downfall…
“So what can I do
With cheap honesty
You’re giving me more than I can see
But I’m too cool to say
That I want it all my way
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity”
Federica
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by Federica »

mikekatz wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 4:24 pm
Federica wrote: Mon Sep 19, 2022 7:59 am Mike,

Yesterday I was thief-reading (as we say in Swedish) in the Steiner archive and came across this. I wanted to include it in the post above, but I forgot. If we didn’t know they were spoken in 1917, we could think that these are today’s words.
Steiner wrote:It is dawning on many people today that materialism will not do. But what I have often referred to as man's love of ease prevents them from committing themselves to spiritual science. Yet nothing else can save human civilization from plunging into disaster. There are people who are often quite near the point of crossing the threshold into spiritual science; that they do not is basically due to indolence. It is love of ease that prevents them from making their soul receptive and pliable enough to grasp ideas that quite concretely explain the spiritual world. There are many today who enthuse in general about the mystical unity of worlds, vaguely declaring that science alone does not explain everything; faith must come to its aid. But the courage to penetrate earnestly into the descriptions and explanations of the spiritual world that lies at the foundation of the sense world, that courage is greatly lacking.

https://steinerlibrary.org/Lectures/176 ... re_04.html


Not at all suggesting that you are lazy (I don’t think you are, if you went to find and meet the pupils of Gurdjieff’s pupils) but I certainly am, and I understand the appeal of thoughts like: “I want to remove, not add”, “searching for the purest and most simple teaching” “I want to rest in consciousness, beauty, and peace”. But just as our body is made for movement and we should move it, our thinking cannot thrive in peaceful rest and deprivation of meaningful activity. This may be counter-intuitive. In my case for example, once I realized I was being turned inside-out by ‘thinking’ (negative thinking, loop thinking and the like) the idea of resting it in awareness was so welcome, and it made so much sense. But the solution to that kind of exhausting ‘thinking’ is not to put it on hold and rest it, but to make it purposeful, intentional, and aware of what it's doing through us, so that we turn it inside out, insead of getting exhausted by being turned inside out through it. At least that’s what I realized for myself.
Hi Frederica
Thank you so much for both your responses.
I too, will now need time to decide how and whether to respond. If I respond, it will be in a new topic.
Hi Mike,
Thank you for your consideration and note!
“So what can I do
With cheap honesty
You’re giving me more than I can see
But I’m too cool to say
That I want it all my way
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity”
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 3891
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Wed Sep 21, 2022 5:49 pm
AshvinP wrote: Tue Sep 20, 2022 1:32 am
Part of the problem is that, until we delve into the spiritual science, which is quite complex itself, we can only remain with vague exoteric explanations. Your intuition that the space-based relations, such as that of nations and geographical regions and their specialized economies, is inextricably linked with evolutionary Time-rhythms is correct. The latter are superimposed and the former could be thought of as how they are perceived in a decohered way by the intellect. These topics can get quite sensitive in our day, since they necessarily imply that we are dealing with less or more advanced evolutionary streams in various regions, serving different purposes in the holistic tapestry. But, regardless, sound logical reasoning can reach no other conclusion. The problem is when the people crying foul project their notions of moral superiority onto these naturally differentiated phenomena of the evolutionary process. But I don't want to get too far afield with this topic, since it requires a lot of spiritual scientific background and I don't feel well-versed enough to tackle it yet.

But I am more comfortable if we narrow down on only the consumer debt issue. From what I understand, the credit-debt polarity, in terms of monetary systems which evolved in the last few millennia, is an echo of the more ancient involution into the life-death cycle, which was also the origin of Karma. That is when we began accumulating debts from our attachment to the sensory world at the expense of the spiritual world and the Gods, i.e. our creditors. Due to our deep descent born of sensuous and, later, intellectual desire, the Gods had to continue lending us their uplifting spiritual activity so we didn't harden our consciousness too far and fall out of the human evolutionary stream altogether. Since at least the time of the Old Testament, this credit-debt dynamic has become more and more conscious over the epochs. The Karmic laws previously influencing humanity from without, incarnated in human legal systems and cultural institutions in the form of financial economies.

It is no coincidence that the metaphor of debt forgiveness/redemption is so central in the scriptures, especially the NT. It speaks to something deep within the core of our being. At first, monetary systems were still tied to hard assets like gold and silver, and various other commodities, so the amount of credit-debt which could be generated was naturally capped. In the modern age, we get fractional reserve banking and 'fiat' money abstracted from all underlying assets. The U.S. dollar becomes the world's reserve currency and detaches from the gold standard. Now we have all sorts of complex credit and debt instruments which have been packaged, re-packaged, securitized, sold and resold, etc. So we are acting more consciously within the sphere of credit-debt relations, and the ideal purpose of establishing these relations would be for people to lift themselves beyond where they are at any given time, using the debt for productive ventures, so they can free up time for spiritual contemplation.

But due to our materialistic desires and thinking, the debt is mostly used to expand the consumer lifestyle more and more (it's always a little shocking to see how often my supposedly 'broke' clients drive around in super expensive cars and continue buying other luxury items). The global debt economy has exploded into unfathomable proportions. No one really knows how much 'shadow debt' is out there lurking in the depths of the global economy. We certainly cannot rely on the official numbers published by governments and central banks. They have every corrupted incentive to underreport such numbers and pretend that the current debt is serviceable, it's no big deal. I will admit that, for a while, I thought that ball of yarn would have already unraveled after the 2008 financial crisis, but 10+ years later, they managed to kick the can down the road much further than I suspected. It seems now that, especially after the pandemic, the seams are busting again and we could be in for a very rough road ahead, and it's not clear how much more private-to-public debt shifting can occur without severe inflation taking hold. We'll see what happens there.

Anyway, the connection between our rabid consumer debt spending, fueled by greed, envy, avarice, etc., and the growing Karmic debt balance of humanity and individuals is pretty clear. It is yet again a tool for awakening, which could potentially propel our thought into the spiritual heights, which goes unused, because it has been idolized into a thing-itself. All our contractual activity, our lending institutions, the courts which enforce financial rights between parties, etc. are copies of higher spiritual governance which we have dimly awakened to in human culture and therefore incarnated in these Earthly forms. And we have certainly awakened to its moral valence, as there are few things which elicit more outrage than people being cheated out of their hard-earned money. But people aren't interested in using their intelligence to dig any deeper and learn any spiritual lessons from the lending and spending habits, only using that intelligence to find ways of perpetuating it, against all odds and at great long-term cost, towards pursuing more worldly desires and accumulating more worldly treasure. People hardly have any idea that there are spiritual debts to begin with.

Before we, as individuals and collectives, have any chance of ascending into the higher worlds in full consciousness, we must make good on our spiritual debts, through creative thinking activity which can contribute to the further evolution of the Earth-organism. Yet, if one takes this view seriously and examines just how long we have been incurring these Karmic debts, it's also clear that we can never work it off with only our own localized efforts. That is where the MoG and the Christ impulse come in. He has taken the self-conscious ego-hood born of those debts and given it the capacity to become a force for selflessly creative spiritual activity, thereby redeeming them. This is why it is such an error for the 'non-dualist', mystical, 'rest in consciousness' types to forsake Western culture and its institutions, which are practically synonymous with evolving thinking, as even Mike's various illustrations unwittingly showed. What they perceive as the greatest obstacle to reunion with the Divine will actually be the greatest boon, if we make the creative effort, in humility and devotion, to bear our Cross and participate in the redemption of Thinking.


https://rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA074/En ... index.html
Steiner wrote:This question lives as it were in the depths of the souls until Albert and Thomas: did we not take up the original sin also in our thinking? Does the intellect lead us to believe other truth contents than the real truth because the intellect has defected from spirituality? — If we take up Christ in our intellect, if we take up something in our intellect that transforms this intellect, then only it consorts with the truth, with the religious contents. The thinkers before Thomas wanted to take the doctrine of the original sin and the doctrine of the redemption seriously. They did not yet have the power of thought, the logicality for that, but they wanted to make this seriously. They presented the question to themselves: how does Christ redeem the truth of the intellect that is contradictory to the spiritually revealed truth in us? How do we become Christians to the core? Since the original sin lives in our intellect, hence, the intellect is contradictory to the pure religious truth.

Then Albert and Thomas appeared and supposed that it is wrong that we indulge in sinfulness of the world if we delve purely logically into the universalia in rebus if we take up that which is real in the things. The usual intellect must not be sinful. The question of Christology is contained in this question of High Scholasticism. High Scholasticism could not solve the problem: how can the human thinking be Christianised? How does Christ lead the human thinking to the sphere where it can grow together with the spiritual religious contents?
...
In the thirteenth century, one could not yet find the Christian principle of redemption in the world of ideas; therefore, one set it against the world of revelation. This must become the progress of humanity for the future that not only for the outer world the redemption principle is found, but also for the human intellect. The unreleased human reason only could not rise in the spiritual world. The released human intellect that has the real relationship to Christ penetrates into the spiritual world.

Ashvin,

There are more reflection opportunities than I can seize within the sphere of the credit / debt issue alone : ) Following your line of thinking, I find myself going along ideas I have never really pondered before. Exoteric as they must be, I can't resist writing them down. First, when it comes to the external events, I notice you see a turning point for the monetary system in the detachment from the gold standard, that allowed for the credit / debt dynamic to go insane. Here I am more tempted to see things the other way around: the ever-expanding nature of the credit / debt dynamic (in industrialized, trading economies) has caused as inevitable consequence the detachment of those economies from gold standards. I don’t know how the story went in the US exactly, but European states have been using gold standards for a relatively short while, on and off, before they were completely abandoned.


From my perspective, I would rather see the symbolic turning point in the advent of paper money. Because paper money seems to mark the abstraction, or intellectualization, of the notions of credit and debt. With it, the medium of exchange lost its intrinsic value (however quantified) to become only a nominal reference for transactions, grounded in arbitrary agreements. That's the moment when real and monetary economy started to disconnect from each other, at least in principle. Maybe not a coincidence that paper money was born to the world right at the end of the Middle Ages. The more I think about it, the more it seems to me that paper money, rather than interest rate, makes for fully generalized, all-embracing credit / debit exchange relationships. Because holding a bank note means in itself a credit towards the system, independent of the notion of interest rate. Under inflation, holding paper money means losing purchasing power, but that doesn’t matter from a spiritual perspective. What matters is that the bank note incorporates the idea of being entitled to command / obliged to provide a future supply of something and that’s the essence of credit / debit, as long as we are interested in its spiritual meaning. And that’s very different from money with intrinsic value, coins. Basically paper money makes us permanent creditors and debitors, not towards a specific person or entity, but towards the collective. So we have not only abstracted, but also depersonalized the notion of credit and debt.


One more degree of abstraction and depersonalization has happened more recently with the movement away from paper money towards its digital forms. Overall this whole movement seems very relevant in terms of how we relate to credit and debt. Through it, sensory perceptions and feelings have left the credit and debt ‘experience’. And it seems like we have entered a more unconscious way of exchanging what we have for what we need. The complex credit and debt instruments you mention, built on the concept of interest rate mixed with risk / expectations, look to me as a kind of epiphenomenon of credit and debt, while the real phenomenon has happened with the growing degrees of credit and debt abstraction (paper money, then digital money) that has caused the contextual transformation of all exchange transactions into credit and debt transactions. This has become such a permanent state of our daily life that we are unconsciously sinking in its pervasiveness and have become quite insensitive to it.


That “the global debt economy has exploded into unfathomable proportions” it’s only half the truth, because there are creditors behind those bonds or whatever instruments it might be, so what has really exploded is the transformation of economic exchange relationships into intellectualized, abstract, cold, and non perceptible credit and debt relationships. And we are drawing in such a medium, unconscious of what has become the default medium of our daily transactions. After the pandemic, what I am seeing is a sort of rebellion, a ‘gut reaction’ from people to this credit / debt saturation of all our exchanges. Consciously or unconsciously, we are trying to extract us from this rampant dynamic. People are starting to reclaim ownership of their consumption, many are going minimalist, others are radically changing their lifestyle towards a self sustained and less consumerist living, more and more are working for themselves, there's the great resignation, the rebirth of local commerce and self-production, and so on. The trend expresses itself in a broad spectrum, from posh minimalism to dumpster diving, from the deconstruction of our work activity to the deconstruction of our home. Maybe you don’t have the same impression, it’s a sense that might be heavily impacted by the context in which we live and work, I can imagine. Anyway, that’s how my spontaneous ideas go for the moment. Does it all sound arbitrary or do you see anything recyclable that could be connected back to your description of the credit / debt polarity?


I also have to reflect more about the role of the institutions you characterize, as “copies of higher spiritual governance which we have dimly awakened to”. Spontaneously, I would see them, at least the monetary ones, as the means that has allowed the takeoff of abstract mediums of exchange, granting paper money its intellectual, contractual attachment, that has marked the deepening of the spiritual downfall…
Federica,

Yes you are correct, the idea-desire of liberating human spiritual activity from natural constraints comes first before any physical manifestations of that idea. In this case, liberating our spiritual activity from past, finite resources, and therefore borrowing against future resources and productivity. Paper money was certainly a major move in that transition. But I would say the detaching of paper money from hard assets like gold, marks the transition where we no longer even desired our creative activity to be constrained by future resources and productivity. We wanted to realize the fruits of our activity more and more immediately and, eventually, to realize more and more fruits by doing less and less activity, 'outsourcing' that activity to less developed economies. Of course this isn't true of everyone, but speaking generally, that is the trend we can discern over the last few centuries.

Now the overall impulse towards liberating our spiritual activity from the constraints of nature is why I say this reflects the 'spiritual governance' of higher worlds. Before paper money, we were constrained to what we could produce and carry to market for trade. Before lending, we were constrained to what work we could get done in any given time frame. Before detachment from the gold standard, lending was constrained to what gold could be mined and held in reserves by central banks. All of these developments could be quite useful for productive and creative spiritual growth if our attention wasn't sucked into the sensory spectrum, our desire and thought enslaved to material consumptive tendencies.

Another place we can see this more clearly is in mathematical thinking, which has become integral to financial economies. The expressions we see today are certainly very abstract thinking, yet it is exactly the same 'sense-free' thinking which we try to cultivate in spiritual training, in its essential characteristics. Mathematical thought proves its own reality without any recourse to correspondences with external sense observations, only through weaving thought-organisms from archetypal forms. This is also the hallmark of the higher planes of consciousness where thought-activity is the living environment of beings, not only the dead 'inner' husks of meaning we normally feel them to be. This mathematic thinking, and certain artistic thinking (like musical composition which doesn't rely on sense-observation), is the closest we get to higher spiritual activity with only intellectual consciousness.

So the evolved principles of human culture and civilization are all of the utmost importance for spiritual evolution. The human individual and its culture is the meeting point between the physical plane and the higher worlds. This is why I always emphasize the relation between Spirit, higher thinking, and human culture, which is very often ignored in modern society. Not only by the mystical types, but even by people in the Anthroposophical movement. From what little exposure I have had to the organization here in the States, I have already noticed this tendency in the background. Usually it manifests in one form of cynicism or another towards the history of Western culture and its institutions. An over-spiritualizing tendency can easily lead us to miss this meeting point and insert a discontinuity instead. There is a lot of talk about a 'Cosmic Christ' but very little about his role in human Earthly evolution over the ages.

The initiates of the pre-Christian mysteries knew of the higher worlds, their immanent influences on the physical plane, and even of the Christ-being as the great Sun-Spirit dwelling in the Cosmic realm. What remained a mystery for them was how the Cosmic realms and the Earthly realm would meet, so that all of humanity and the Earth herself could be transfigured into a Cosmic reality over time. The OT tradition spoke of a 'Messiah', and other mysteries spoke of the 'One', but until this became an Earthly reality, it could not be understood how this figure would insinuate himself into the Earth evolution and the souls of every individual. That is what has been progressively revealed over the centuries since the MoG, and all of 'Western' culture and its thought-out institutions, which has of course spread across the globe, has been a manifestation of that unfolding revelation.

What sucks the spiritual life out of abstract cultural life and its forms, including the economic system, just like the abstract natural forms we perceive around us, is our sphere of personal egoic desires and thoughts. We, as creative thinking individuals, are the ones responsible for bringing these spiritual principles back to life, by unearthing them from the morass of desire and ego-complexes we have laid on top of them. That was necessary for us to develop the potential for an inner thought-life potentially free from external forces. The spiritualized ego, through the Christ impulse, can then freely re-permeate the cultural institutions with life and work its way through the kingdoms of Nature as well. The outer forms will surely die away, as they must and always do, but what new seeds will grow from that death, if any, is dependent on how much we orient our desire and knowledge towards the higher world from which all living impulses originate.
"People think that they sell oil, but in fact they are becoming oil.
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Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:04 pm Federica,

Yes you are correct, the idea-desire of liberating human spiritual activity from natural constraints comes first before any physical manifestations of that idea. In this case, liberating our spiritual activity from past, finite resources, and therefore borrowing against future resources and productivity. Paper money was certainly a major move in that transition. But I would say the detaching of paper money from hard assets like gold, marks the transition where we no longer even desired our creative activity to be constrained by future resources and productivity. We wanted to realize the fruits of our activity more and more immediately and, eventually, to realize more and more fruits by doing less and less activity, 'outsourcing' that activity to less developed economies. Of course this isn't true of everyone, but speaking generally, that is the trend we can discern over the last few centuries.

Now the overall impulse towards liberating our spiritual activity from the constraints of nature is why I say this reflects the 'spiritual governance' of higher worlds. Before paper money, we were constrained to what we could produce and carry to market for trade. Before lending, we were constrained to what work we could get done in any given time frame. Before detachment from the gold standard, lending was constrained to what gold could be mined and held in reserves by central banks. All of these developments could be quite useful for productive and creative spiritual growth if our attention wasn't sucked into the sensory spectrum, our desire and thought enslaved to material consumptive tendencies.

Another place we can see this more clearly is in mathematical thinking, which has become integral to financial economies. The expressions we see today are certainly very abstract thinking, yet it is exactly the same 'sense-free' thinking which we try to cultivate in spiritual training, in its essential characteristics. Mathematical thought proves its own reality without any recourse to correspondences with external sense observations, only through weaving thought-organisms from archetypal forms. This is also the hallmark of the higher planes of consciousness where thought-activity is the living environment of beings, not only the dead 'inner' husks of meaning we normally feel them to be. This mathematic thinking, and certain artistic thinking (like musical composition which doesn't rely on sense-observation), is the closest we get to higher spiritual activity with only intellectual consciousness.

So the evolved principles of human culture and civilization are all of the utmost importance for spiritual evolution. The human individual and its culture is the meeting point between the physical plane and the higher worlds. This is why I always emphasize the relation between Spirit, higher thinking, and human culture, which is very often ignored in modern society. Not only by the mystical types, but even by people in the Anthroposophical movement. From what little exposure I have had to the organization here in the States, I have already noticed this tendency in the background. Usually it manifests in one form of cynicism or another towards the history of Western culture and its institutions. An over-spiritualizing tendency can easily lead us to miss this meeting point and insert a discontinuity instead. There is a lot of talk about a 'Cosmic Christ' but very little about his role in human Earthly evolution over the ages.

The initiates of the pre-Christian mysteries knew of the higher worlds, their immanent influences on the physical plane, and even of the Christ-being as the great Sun-Spirit dwelling in the Cosmic realm. What remained a mystery for them was how the Cosmic realms and the Earthly realm would meet, so that all of humanity and the Earth herself could be transfigured into a Cosmic reality over time. The OT tradition spoke of a 'Messiah', and other mysteries spoke of the 'One', but until this became an Earthly reality, it could not be understood how this figure would insinuate himself into the Earth evolution and the souls of every individual. That is what has been progressively revealed over the centuries since the MoG, and all of 'Western' culture and its thought-out institutions, which has of course spread across the globe, has been a manifestation of that unfolding revelation.

What sucks the spiritual life out of abstract cultural life and its forms, including the economic system, just like the abstract natural forms we perceive around us, is our sphere of personal egoic desires and thoughts. We, as creative thinking individuals, are the ones responsible for bringing these spiritual principles back to life, by unearthing them from the morass of desire and ego-complexes we have laid on top of them. That was necessary for us to develop the potential for an inner thought-life potentially free from external forces. The spiritualized ego, through the Christ impulse, can then freely re-permeate the cultural institutions with life and work its way through the kingdoms of Nature as well. The outer forms will surely die away, as they must and always do, but what new seeds will grow from that death, if any, is dependent on how much we orient our desire and knowledge towards the higher world from which all living impulses originate.


Ok, I wasn’t sure whether you were saying that, now I see. If I am correct, you mean that, at its core, what we have been doing through evolving our financial systems, generalizing the use of credit and debt beyond any reference points, is the expression of a confident, healthy, positive desire to free ourselves from trivial tasks, to have more time for cultivating spiritual activity. In practice, however, this promising idea-desire has turned wrong, when we have betrayed our own impulse, by using these extra-means to increase consumption and satisfy arbitrary desires, instead of using them for higher purposes.


This is a new perspective for me, I yet have to reflect on it. It sounds daring at first. I feel that the wish for limitless borrowing sounds wrong in itself, insofar as it entails abusing the long-term 'securities' granted by the higher strata of existence, no matter the particular use that could be made of the expected extra time/extra resources. Is the case of our busy schedules, that it’s hard to find time for spiritual activity, strong enough to justify such abuse of the trust that was granted to us? My first, reactive thought would be that such an idea-desire was questionable and arbitrary from its very origin, and that it’s only logical that it ended up materializing in the insane expansion of the global debt-economy for consumption purposes. In essence, I am struggling with the idea that we wanted to liberate spiritual activity from natural resources, past or future. It’s two different planes, so it sounds dissonant, I don’t really understand what it means...


An additional question is that our sophisticated monetary system has developed in parallel with our post-industrialized, trading economies grounded in mechanistic technology. Is it possible to condemn the impulse behind the latter, and its expressions, while ‘saving’, at least in principle, the impulse towards the limitless swelling of the financial system? The further argument of saving the impulse to financial sophistication on grounds of its mathematical foundations, should then apply to all the mechanistic technologies as well, because of their mathematical foundations? So there is much that still escapes me in this understanding of the principles of culture. I see that you have intended to explain the mediating role of culture, but I am not really getting it, I have to admit. Hopefully I will read this again further down the road and grasp it better. Thank you. (With the question marks I'm not asking for re-elaboration, Ashvin. I feel I should make some more effort on my side first)
“So what can I do
With cheap honesty
You’re giving me more than I can see
But I’m too cool to say
That I want it all my way
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity”
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Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 8:29 pm
AshvinP wrote: Thu Sep 22, 2022 1:04 pm Federica,

Yes you are correct, the idea-desire of liberating human spiritual activity from natural constraints comes first before any physical manifestations of that idea. In this case, liberating our spiritual activity from past, finite resources, and therefore borrowing against future resources and productivity. Paper money was certainly a major move in that transition. But I would say the detaching of paper money from hard assets like gold, marks the transition where we no longer even desired our creative activity to be constrained by future resources and productivity. We wanted to realize the fruits of our activity more and more immediately and, eventually, to realize more and more fruits by doing less and less activity, 'outsourcing' that activity to less developed economies. Of course this isn't true of everyone, but speaking generally, that is the trend we can discern over the last few centuries.

Now the overall impulse towards liberating our spiritual activity from the constraints of nature is why I say this reflects the 'spiritual governance' of higher worlds. Before paper money, we were constrained to what we could produce and carry to market for trade. Before lending, we were constrained to what work we could get done in any given time frame. Before detachment from the gold standard, lending was constrained to what gold could be mined and held in reserves by central banks. All of these developments could be quite useful for productive and creative spiritual growth if our attention wasn't sucked into the sensory spectrum, our desire and thought enslaved to material consumptive tendencies.

Another place we can see this more clearly is in mathematical thinking, which has become integral to financial economies. The expressions we see today are certainly very abstract thinking, yet it is exactly the same 'sense-free' thinking which we try to cultivate in spiritual training, in its essential characteristics. Mathematical thought proves its own reality without any recourse to correspondences with external sense observations, only through weaving thought-organisms from archetypal forms. This is also the hallmark of the higher planes of consciousness where thought-activity is the living environment of beings, not only the dead 'inner' husks of meaning we normally feel them to be. This mathematic thinking, and certain artistic thinking (like musical composition which doesn't rely on sense-observation), is the closest we get to higher spiritual activity with only intellectual consciousness.

So the evolved principles of human culture and civilization are all of the utmost importance for spiritual evolution. The human individual and its culture is the meeting point between the physical plane and the higher worlds. This is why I always emphasize the relation between Spirit, higher thinking, and human culture, which is very often ignored in modern society. Not only by the mystical types, but even by people in the Anthroposophical movement. From what little exposure I have had to the organization here in the States, I have already noticed this tendency in the background. Usually it manifests in one form of cynicism or another towards the history of Western culture and its institutions. An over-spiritualizing tendency can easily lead us to miss this meeting point and insert a discontinuity instead. There is a lot of talk about a 'Cosmic Christ' but very little about his role in human Earthly evolution over the ages.

The initiates of the pre-Christian mysteries knew of the higher worlds, their immanent influences on the physical plane, and even of the Christ-being as the great Sun-Spirit dwelling in the Cosmic realm. What remained a mystery for them was how the Cosmic realms and the Earthly realm would meet, so that all of humanity and the Earth herself could be transfigured into a Cosmic reality over time. The OT tradition spoke of a 'Messiah', and other mysteries spoke of the 'One', but until this became an Earthly reality, it could not be understood how this figure would insinuate himself into the Earth evolution and the souls of every individual. That is what has been progressively revealed over the centuries since the MoG, and all of 'Western' culture and its thought-out institutions, which has of course spread across the globe, has been a manifestation of that unfolding revelation.

What sucks the spiritual life out of abstract cultural life and its forms, including the economic system, just like the abstract natural forms we perceive around us, is our sphere of personal egoic desires and thoughts. We, as creative thinking individuals, are the ones responsible for bringing these spiritual principles back to life, by unearthing them from the morass of desire and ego-complexes we have laid on top of them. That was necessary for us to develop the potential for an inner thought-life potentially free from external forces. The spiritualized ego, through the Christ impulse, can then freely re-permeate the cultural institutions with life and work its way through the kingdoms of Nature as well. The outer forms will surely die away, as they must and always do, but what new seeds will grow from that death, if any, is dependent on how much we orient our desire and knowledge towards the higher world from which all living impulses originate.


Ok, I wasn’t sure whether you were saying that, now I see. If I am correct, you mean that, at its core, what we have been doing through evolving our financial systems, generalizing the use of credit and debt beyond any reference points, is the expression of a confident, healthy, positive desire to free ourselves from trivial tasks, to have more time for cultivating spiritual activity. In practice, however, this promising idea-desire has turned wrong, when we have betrayed our own impulse, by using these extra-means to increase consumption and satisfy arbitrary desires, instead of using them for higher purposes.


This is a new perspective for me, I yet have to reflect on it. It sounds daring at first. I feel that the wish for limitless borrowing sounds wrong in itself, insofar as it entails abusing the long-term 'securities' granted by the higher strata of existence, no matter the particular use that could be made of the expected extra time/extra resources. Is the case of our busy schedules, that it’s hard to find time for spiritual activity, strong enough to justify such abuse of the trust that was granted to us? My first, reactive thought would be that such an idea-desire was questionable and arbitrary from its very origin, and that it’s only logical that it ended up materializing in the insane expansion of the global debt-economy for consumption purposes. In essence, I am struggling with the idea that we wanted to liberate spiritual activity from natural resources, past or future. It’s two different planes, so it sounds dissonant, I don’t really understand what it means...


An additional question is that our sophisticated monetary system has developed in parallel with our post-industrialized, trading economies grounded in mechanistic technology. Is it possible to condemn the impulse behind the latter, and its expressions, while ‘saving’, at least in principle, the impulse towards the limitless swelling of the financial system? The further argument of saving the impulse to financial sophistication on grounds of its mathematical foundations, should then apply to all the mechanistic technologies as well, because of their mathematical foundations? So there is much that still escapes me in this understanding of the principles of culture. I see that you have intended to explain the mediating role of culture, but I am not really getting it, I have to admit. Hopefully I will read this again further down the road and grasp it better. Thank you. (With the question marks I'm not asking for re-elaboration, Ashvin. I feel I should make some more effort on my side first)
Federica,

I know you said you aren't asking for re-elaboration, so hopefully what follows isn't considered as such. I hope it introduces a few new angles of consideration. Generally, making the individual effort is critical, but, at the same time, we aren't going to get very far down the path on our lonesome. These elaborations from me really aren't substituting for your own individual efforts, especially when it comes to the ceaseless inner work which will be necessary. They are just ways of orienting our conceptual thinking in broad outlines. Let's first consider some underlying principles involved. We can relate these to our previous discussions about the speech-writing continuity and the now infamous 'we are not them' statement :)

When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not? We can sense the distancing that we are putting between it and our own being. It is not only an ethical issue, but a spiritual scientific one. How it relates to our own being is a question to be investigated through deepening Self-knowledge, yet if we insert any sort of discontinuity from the outset, this investigation will prove more and more difficult as time goes on. It is best to address these foundations early on and use them to orient us along the path.

What would happen if the debt economies, as physical manifestations of our idea-desire, never existed? Surely we would find another way to express that idea-desire, i.e. our material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts. Perhaps we would simply loot our neighbors when the desire outstripped our ability to materialize it through our own activity and borrowing. Then widespread human civilization would never have a chance to get off the ground. I want to re-emphasize here that our sacrifice of spiritual impulses was necessary for inner thought-life to develop, and therefore the potential for freedom. So even this stage of extreme material desire-thinking we are experiencing in the last few centuries was destined to unfold, in that sense. The outer clothing of that desire-thinking almost doesn't matter in terms of evaluating its underlying principles.

A child always goes through an 'abusive' phase towards its parents and authorities of all sorts if it is seeking independence, a consciousness rooted firmly within its own being. Humanity at the collective scale is no different. We had to wrestle with the Gods to win through to our self-sufficiency on the physical plane. In that vein, I never intended to suggest that mechanistic technology, of the sort which emerged with industry and spread into all domains of life, is inherently wrong or irredeemable. That's not my position. It's an evolved cultural development which was absolutely critical for cultivating our spiritual activity, i.e. our thinking skills. At a certain stage of evolution, repetition is actually the best way of strengthening memory and inner habits (and still is when it comes to spiritual habits). And, even at the surface level, we can point to many beneficial things which came from such technology. Without Alan Turing and his computing machine, as one example, many more millions of innocents would have died in WW2.

Everything in the world is subject to law, even our evolution is thus encompassed; spiritual and physical progression go hand in hand... Just as day and night, summer and winter, ebb and flood, follow each other in unbroken sequence according to the law of alternating cycles, so also the appearance of a wave of spiritual awakening in any part of the world is followed by a period of material reactions, so that our development may not become one-sided.

Heindel , Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception (Illustrated) (p. 499). Kindle Edition.

In my view, all major developments in human evolution work for the Good. There is an element of faith here, but it is all very reasonable and logical from the holistic spiritual evolutionary perspective as well. It is when these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking, that we can speak of them becoming "evil". And, from even higher vantage points, what can be called "evil" now also works for the Good, which happens through our own redemptive efforts towards those "evils". Those efforts require a continual plunging back into what is material, consumptive, abstract, egoistic, etc. to renew it with purifying spiritual impulses, thereby repurposing it to higher evolutionary ends. As usual, we should focus more on the spiritual skills acquired through the evolved institutions, rather than their outer forms and content. The former will prove invaluable for penetrating the higher worlds once the skills are oriented properly.
"People think that they sell oil, but in fact they are becoming oil.
Federica
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:34 pm Federica,

I know you said you aren't asking for re-elaboration, so hopefully what follows isn't considered as such. I hope it introduces a few new angles of consideration. Generally, making the individual effort is critical, but, at the same time, we aren't going to get very far down the path on our lonesome. These elaborations from me really aren't substituting for your own individual efforts, especially when it comes to the ceaseless inner work which will be necessary. They are just ways of orienting our conceptual thinking in broad outlines. Let's first consider some underlying principles involved. We can relate these to our previous discussions about the speech-writing continuity and the now infamous 'we are not them' statement :)

When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not? We can sense the distancing that we are putting between it and our own being. It is not only an ethical issue, but a spiritual scientific one. How it relates to our own being is a question to be investigated through deepening Self-knowledge, yet if we insert any sort of discontinuity from the outset, this investigation will prove more and more difficult as time goes on. It is best to address these foundations early on and use them to orient us along the path.

What would happen if the debt economies, as physical manifestations of our idea-desire, never existed? Surely we would find another way to express that idea-desire, i.e. our material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts. Perhaps we would simply loot our neighbors when the desire outstripped our ability to materialize it through our own activity and borrowing. Then widespread human civilization would never have a chance to get off the ground. I want to re-emphasize here that our sacrifice of spiritual impulses was necessary for inner thought-life to develop, and therefore the potential for freedom. So even this stage of extreme material desire-thinking we are experiencing in the last few centuries was destined to unfold, in that sense. The outer clothing of that desire-thinking almost doesn't matter in terms of evaluating its underlying principles.

A child always goes through an 'abusive' phase towards its parents and authorities of all sorts if it is seeking independence, a consciousness rooted firmly within its own being. Humanity at the collective scale is no different. We had to wrestle with the Gods to win through to our self-sufficiency on the physical plane. In that vein, I never intended to suggest that mechanistic technology, of the sort which emerged with industry and spread into all domains of life, is inherently wrong or irredeemable. That's not my position. It's an evolved cultural development which was absolutely critical for cultivating our spiritual activity, i.e. our thinking skills. At a certain stage of evolution, repetition is actually the best way of strengthening memory and inner habits (and still is when it comes to spiritual habits). And, even at the surface level, we can point to many beneficial things which came from such technology. Without Alan Turing and his computing machine, as one example, many more millions of innocents would have died in WW2.

Everything in the world is subject to law, even our evolution is thus encompassed; spiritual and physical progression go hand in hand... Just as day and night, summer and winter, ebb and flood, follow each other in unbroken sequence according to the law of alternating cycles, so also the appearance of a wave of spiritual awakening in any part of the world is followed by a period of material reactions, so that our development may not become one-sided.

Heindel , Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception (Illustrated) (p. 499). Kindle Edition.

In my view, all major developments in human evolution work for the Good. There is an element of faith here, but it is all very reasonable and logical from the holistic spiritual evolutionary perspective as well. It is when these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking, that we can speak of them becoming "evil". And, from even higher vantage points, what can be called "evil" now also works for the Good, which happens through our own redemptive efforts towards those "evils". Those efforts require a continual plunging back into what is material, consumptive, abstract, egoistic, etc. to renew it with purifying spiritual impulses, thereby repurposing it to higher evolutionary ends. As usual, we should focus more on the spiritual skills acquired through the evolved institutions, rather than their outer forms and content. The former will prove invaluable for penetrating the higher worlds once the skills are oriented properly.

Ashvin,

Your elaborations are more than welcome. I was just feeling self-conscious about making you come back to the exact same topic for the third or fourth time. Plus I was trying to counter a certain unjustified preference I have for new messages. There is so much worth in reading the old ones again, and I do that too, it gives me a sense of progression, but I have to admit a bias in favor of the next post. Not sure if it’s a way to feel future-oriented or simply plain laziness. Anyway, thank you for your further advice!

AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:34 pm When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not?


:) Yes, this is exactly right, I still find it challenging to 'be them' without conditions, while at the same time what I am trying to do is not what everyone else is doing, and it requires to discriminate. There is a tension in that. We want to know and act accordingly, against external and internal hindrances, and at the same time we should 'be them', not only in compassion, but in an intimate sense. How far should we go? Are we to be them even beyond the moment when “these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking”? The answer is no I guess? Are you your clients, for example, or are you not? When you talk to them, do you make an effort to feel how you could have behaved the way they do? But you said that you are shocked by them. Don’t you feel separate from their responsibility in that shock?
These are not to be read as provocative questions, I only mean that I do see the contradiction in my attitude and that somewhere the continuity is broken, and I know the answer is love, understanding, and trust in higher intelligence. But in a sense, the possibility to develop some degree of understanding of the higher worlds is grounded in discontinuity. If we were to simply submit ourselves to the forces in place, the curvature of the space around us would make us move 'with them' it would make us 'be them'. But we are invited to force that curvature, by developing some mass, by acquiring some gravity, to change the curvature. In that sense, a discontinuity is requested. Being them leads to getting sucked along the prevailing curvature.


This was to illustrate the difficulty in practice. Now, what does it mean to incorporate that idea-desire under my responsibility? The idea in this case is the “material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts”. For sure, it means awareness of the related behaviors and their sacrifice, so as to purify the idea’s evil phase. It certainly means understanding and compassion for those who operate under its control. But does it also mean to recognize that, whether I like it or not, the workings of that same idea-desire are present in me? And if yes, how to reconcile this with the free nature of individual desire and moral purpose?
Are not only ideas, but also desires, all present with their given landscape, active in each and everyone, at various levels of consciousness? I realize now that it must be so, but that's not where my thoguhts were going when reading PoF. I had not understood such equivalence between freedom of knowing and freedom of doing. I had imagined a more individualistic freedom of doing... another discontinuity :D



PS. because you refreshed the idea of speech-writing continuity, I wanted to quote how Max Leyf makes that continuity arise from separateness:
Max Leyf wrote:It seems that the technology of writing has transposed speech from time to space. In a certain way, it has turned speech to stone and hence the typewriter can be likened to the Gorgon, or Medusa. What is the Perseus in us that can overcome this impulse to slay the spirit of speech and leave only a cemetery of dead letters? It has something to do with our ability to resurrect the author’s intentions in us.
“So what can I do
With cheap honesty
You’re giving me more than I can see
But I’m too cool to say
That I want it all my way
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity”
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Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:13 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:34 pm Federica,

I know you said you aren't asking for re-elaboration, so hopefully what follows isn't considered as such. I hope it introduces a few new angles of consideration. Generally, making the individual effort is critical, but, at the same time, we aren't going to get very far down the path on our lonesome. These elaborations from me really aren't substituting for your own individual efforts, especially when it comes to the ceaseless inner work which will be necessary. They are just ways of orienting our conceptual thinking in broad outlines. Let's first consider some underlying principles involved. We can relate these to our previous discussions about the speech-writing continuity and the now infamous 'we are not them' statement :)

When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not? We can sense the distancing that we are putting between it and our own being. It is not only an ethical issue, but a spiritual scientific one. How it relates to our own being is a question to be investigated through deepening Self-knowledge, yet if we insert any sort of discontinuity from the outset, this investigation will prove more and more difficult as time goes on. It is best to address these foundations early on and use them to orient us along the path.

What would happen if the debt economies, as physical manifestations of our idea-desire, never existed? Surely we would find another way to express that idea-desire, i.e. our material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts. Perhaps we would simply loot our neighbors when the desire outstripped our ability to materialize it through our own activity and borrowing. Then widespread human civilization would never have a chance to get off the ground. I want to re-emphasize here that our sacrifice of spiritual impulses was necessary for inner thought-life to develop, and therefore the potential for freedom. So even this stage of extreme material desire-thinking we are experiencing in the last few centuries was destined to unfold, in that sense. The outer clothing of that desire-thinking almost doesn't matter in terms of evaluating its underlying principles.

A child always goes through an 'abusive' phase towards its parents and authorities of all sorts if it is seeking independence, a consciousness rooted firmly within its own being. Humanity at the collective scale is no different. We had to wrestle with the Gods to win through to our self-sufficiency on the physical plane. In that vein, I never intended to suggest that mechanistic technology, of the sort which emerged with industry and spread into all domains of life, is inherently wrong or irredeemable. That's not my position. It's an evolved cultural development which was absolutely critical for cultivating our spiritual activity, i.e. our thinking skills. At a certain stage of evolution, repetition is actually the best way of strengthening memory and inner habits (and still is when it comes to spiritual habits). And, even at the surface level, we can point to many beneficial things which came from such technology. Without Alan Turing and his computing machine, as one example, many more millions of innocents would have died in WW2.

Everything in the world is subject to law, even our evolution is thus encompassed; spiritual and physical progression go hand in hand... Just as day and night, summer and winter, ebb and flood, follow each other in unbroken sequence according to the law of alternating cycles, so also the appearance of a wave of spiritual awakening in any part of the world is followed by a period of material reactions, so that our development may not become one-sided.

Heindel , Max. The Rosicrucian Cosmo Conception (Illustrated) (p. 499). Kindle Edition.

In my view, all major developments in human evolution work for the Good. There is an element of faith here, but it is all very reasonable and logical from the holistic spiritual evolutionary perspective as well. It is when these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking, that we can speak of them becoming "evil". And, from even higher vantage points, what can be called "evil" now also works for the Good, which happens through our own redemptive efforts towards those "evils". Those efforts require a continual plunging back into what is material, consumptive, abstract, egoistic, etc. to renew it with purifying spiritual impulses, thereby repurposing it to higher evolutionary ends. As usual, we should focus more on the spiritual skills acquired through the evolved institutions, rather than their outer forms and content. The former will prove invaluable for penetrating the higher worlds once the skills are oriented properly.

Ashvin,

Your elaborations are more than welcome. I was just feeling self-conscious about making you come back to the exact same topic for the third or fourth time. Plus I was trying to counter a certain unjustified preference I have for new messages. There is so much worth in reading the old ones again, and I do that too, it gives me a sense of progression, but I have to admit a bias in favor of the next post. Not sure if it’s a way to feel future-oriented or simply plain laziness. Anyway, thank you for your further advice!

AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:34 pm When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not?


:) Yes, this is exactly right, I still find it challenging to 'be them' without conditions, while at the same time what I am trying to do is not what everyone else is doing, and it requires to discriminate. There is a tension in that. We want to know and act accordingly, against external and internal hindrances, and at the same time we should 'be them', not only in compassion, but in an intimate sense. How far should we go? Are we to be them even beyond the moment when “these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking”? The answer is no I guess? Are you your clients, for example, or are you not? When you talk to them, do you make an effort to feel how you could have behaved the way they do? But you said that you are shocked by them. Don’t you feel separate from their responsibility in that shock?
These are not to be read as provocative questions, I only mean that I do see the contradiction in my attitude and that somewhere the continuity is broken, and I know the answer is love, understanding, and trust in higher intelligence. But in a sense, the possibility to develop some degree of understanding of the higher worlds is grounded in discontinuity. If we were to simply submit ourselves to the forces in place, the curvature of the space around us would make us move 'with them' it would make us 'be them'. But we are invited to force that curvature, by developing some mass, by acquiring some gravity, to change the curvature. In that sense, a discontinuity is requested. Being them leads to getting sucked along the prevailing curvature.

Federica,

I certainly wouldn't characterize it as 'being them', to begin with. We should seek to understand a person's soul-tendencies, or the embodied soul of a cultural institution, with living intellectual and imaginative knowledge. At all times we are maintaining our distinction from their mode of being, and in fact learning from it so as to raise further and further above those same tendencies within ourselves, to the extent they are regressive and stuck in past modes of being. Not in any sense of moral superiority or escapism, but so that we may evolve towards our higher Self and contribute to future redemptive efforts. Ultimately, it is Love which allows us to maintain our firm ego-consciousness while also penetrating into the depths of another being, without simply dissolving into that being.

Steiner wrote:With the kinds of knowledge I have been speaking of in the last few days, we can look at man as a creature capable of love and as a creature capable of memory. When we do so, we shall recognize that ordinary consciousness (operating through the senses, the intellect and the logical faculty) must call a halt in face of the outside world: for it is only by treating itself as a mere instrument for systematizing the outside world that it can become capable of developing further and creating that vitalized thinking of which I have spoken in previous lectures.

When we examine our own reaction to nature by means of this vitalized thinking, we find that, at the very moment when we have developed our logical faculty to the point where it provides a means of systematizing external phenomena, our ordinary consciousness is extinguished in the act of cognition. However clear our consciousness is up to a certain point in a given process of knowing nature, at this point it really goes over in part into a state of sleep, into the subconscious. Why is this? It is because at this point there must come into operation the faculty that diffuses something more than abstract thinking into the world around us: one that carries our being out into it.

For inasmuch as we love, our relationship to the world around us is not one of cognition but one of reality, a real relationship of being. Only by developing vital thinking are we able to carry over our experience into the reality of things. We pour out our vitalized thoughts; follow up the beginnings of spiritual life that exist outside (in the shape of spiritual world-rhythm and appearance); and, by cultivating empty consciousness as I have described, advance further and further into the spiritual world, which is linked with the physical and sensuous one. Compared with ordinary consciousness, we feel, in a super-sensible act of cognition of this kind, as if we have been awakened from sleep. We eavesdrop on our being as it becomes a living thing."

Federica wrote:This was to illustrate the difficulty in practice. Now, what does it mean to incorporate that idea-desire under my responsibility? The idea in this case is the “material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts”. For sure, it means awareness of the related behaviors and their sacrifice, so as to purify the idea’s evil phase. It certainly means understanding and compassion for those who operate under its control. But does it also mean to recognize that, whether I like it or not, the workings of that same idea-desire are present in me? And if yes, how to reconcile this with the free nature of individual desire and moral purpose?
Are not only ideas, but also desires, all present with their given landscape, active in each and everyone, at various levels of consciousness? I realize now that it must be so, but that's not where my thoguhts were going when reading PoF. I had not understood such equivalence between freedom of knowing and freedom of doing. I had imagined a more individualistic freedom of doing... another discontinuity :D

I would say the reconciliation with increasing spiritual freedom is precisely in the re-cognizing of those forces within us, not in any vague 'psychological' way, but as living realities shaping our daily life. This is how we begin taking more active control in shaping the riverbed with our spiritual activity. The first step to freedom is in knowing that we are not yet free, yet there is a path to becoming free. Of course there is a gradient here, but for all practical purposes and intents, very little of what we will, feel, and think in normal waking consciousness is free in the deeper sense. It is only when make our thinking active and creative through imaginative meditation that we begin to engage in truly free acts, ones which are not highly conditioned by our own past activity.

Steiner wrote:During the last few days I have emphasized that this waking state of man, from waking until falling asleep, is not a fully-awake condition, because there is still something asleep in man. What we experience as our will is really only partially awake. Our thoughts are awake from waking until falling asleep, but the will is something which we exercise quite dreamily. On this account much of the pondering on the freedom of the will, and on freedom in general, is in vain, because people have not noticed that what they know of the will in waking daily life is really only a dream or a tale of will impulses. When they will, and represent something to themselves concerning it, they are of course awake. But how the will arises and passes over into action, of this man can only dream in daily waking life.

If you lift a piece of chalk and then think about this action, then you have of course an idea of it in your mind. But without clairvoyance, how the ego and astral body flow into the hand — how the will spreads out there — you can know nothing more of this in ordinary day consciousness than you know of a dream while you are dreaming. Man only dreams of real willing during ordinary waking life, and in most things we do not even dream, we sleep. You can clearly conceive of how you put a morsel of food on a fork; you can also conceive to a certain extent of how you bite this morsel; but how you swallow the morsel, this you do not even dream. For the most part you are quite unconscious of it, just as you are unconscious of your thoughts when you are asleep. A great part of the activity of will while man is awake is similarly performed in a half-sleeping condition.

Federica wrote:PS. because you refreshed the idea of speech-writing continuity, I wanted to quote how Max Leyf makes that continuity arise from separateness:
Max Leyf wrote:It seems that the technology of writing has transposed speech from time to space. In a certain way, it has turned speech to stone and hence the typewriter can be likened to the Gorgon, or Medusa. What is the Perseus in us that can overcome this impulse to slay the spirit of speech and leave only a cemetery of dead letters? It has something to do with our ability to resurrect the author’s intentions in us.

Great find! It is powerful and profound when we understand ourselves as living agents of redemption and resurrection, not only for the prosaic forms of Culture, but also those of Nature.

Romans 8 wrote:For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of [f]corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
"People think that they sell oil, but in fact they are becoming oil.
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AshvinP
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Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by AshvinP »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 1:59 am
Federica wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 9:13 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:34 pm Federica,

I know you said you aren't asking for re-elaboration, so hopefully what follows isn't considered as such. I hope it introduces a few new angles of consideration. Generally, making the individual effort is critical, but, at the same time, we aren't going to get very far down the path on our lonesome. These elaborations from me really aren't substituting for your own individual efforts, especially when it comes to the ceaseless inner work which will be necessary. They are just ways of orienting our conceptual thinking in broad outlines. Let's first consider some underlying principles involved. We can relate these to our previous discussions about the speech-writing continuity and the now infamous 'we are not them' statement :)

When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not? We can sense the distancing that we are putting between it and our own being. It is not only an ethical issue, but a spiritual scientific one. How it relates to our own being is a question to be investigated through deepening Self-knowledge, yet if we insert any sort of discontinuity from the outset, this investigation will prove more and more difficult as time goes on. It is best to address these foundations early on and use them to orient us along the path.

What would happen if the debt economies, as physical manifestations of our idea-desire, never existed? Surely we would find another way to express that idea-desire, i.e. our material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts. Perhaps we would simply loot our neighbors when the desire outstripped our ability to materialize it through our own activity and borrowing. Then widespread human civilization would never have a chance to get off the ground. I want to re-emphasize here that our sacrifice of spiritual impulses was necessary for inner thought-life to develop, and therefore the potential for freedom. So even this stage of extreme material desire-thinking we are experiencing in the last few centuries was destined to unfold, in that sense. The outer clothing of that desire-thinking almost doesn't matter in terms of evaluating its underlying principles.

A child always goes through an 'abusive' phase towards its parents and authorities of all sorts if it is seeking independence, a consciousness rooted firmly within its own being. Humanity at the collective scale is no different. We had to wrestle with the Gods to win through to our self-sufficiency on the physical plane. In that vein, I never intended to suggest that mechanistic technology, of the sort which emerged with industry and spread into all domains of life, is inherently wrong or irredeemable. That's not my position. It's an evolved cultural development which was absolutely critical for cultivating our spiritual activity, i.e. our thinking skills. At a certain stage of evolution, repetition is actually the best way of strengthening memory and inner habits (and still is when it comes to spiritual habits). And, even at the surface level, we can point to many beneficial things which came from such technology. Without Alan Turing and his computing machine, as one example, many more millions of innocents would have died in WW2.





In my view, all major developments in human evolution work for the Good. There is an element of faith here, but it is all very reasonable and logical from the holistic spiritual evolutionary perspective as well. It is when these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking, that we can speak of them becoming "evil". And, from even higher vantage points, what can be called "evil" now also works for the Good, which happens through our own redemptive efforts towards those "evils". Those efforts require a continual plunging back into what is material, consumptive, abstract, egoistic, etc. to renew it with purifying spiritual impulses, thereby repurposing it to higher evolutionary ends. As usual, we should focus more on the spiritual skills acquired through the evolved institutions, rather than their outer forms and content. The former will prove invaluable for penetrating the higher worlds once the skills are oriented properly.

Ashvin,

Your elaborations are more than welcome. I was just feeling self-conscious about making you come back to the exact same topic for the third or fourth time. Plus I was trying to counter a certain unjustified preference I have for new messages. There is so much worth in reading the old ones again, and I do that too, it gives me a sense of progression, but I have to admit a bias in favor of the next post. Not sure if it’s a way to feel future-oriented or simply plain laziness. Anyway, thank you for your further advice!

AshvinP wrote: Fri Sep 23, 2022 12:34 pm When we say some process or institution, whatever it is, was wrong, evil, bad, or what have you, from its very origin, we should consider the orientation we are taking towards it. We are externalizing it and necessarily removing it from the sphere of our creative/moral responsibility, are we not?


:) Yes, this is exactly right, I still find it challenging to 'be them' without conditions, while at the same time what I am trying to do is not what everyone else is doing, and it requires to discriminate. There is a tension in that. We want to know and act accordingly, against external and internal hindrances, and at the same time we should 'be them', not only in compassion, but in an intimate sense. How far should we go? Are we to be them even beyond the moment when “these modes of being have outlived their evolutionary usefulness, yet persist in our habits of desire-thinking”? The answer is no I guess? Are you your clients, for example, or are you not? When you talk to them, do you make an effort to feel how you could have behaved the way they do? But you said that you are shocked by them. Don’t you feel separate from their responsibility in that shock?
These are not to be read as provocative questions, I only mean that I do see the contradiction in my attitude and that somewhere the continuity is broken, and I know the answer is love, understanding, and trust in higher intelligence. But in a sense, the possibility to develop some degree of understanding of the higher worlds is grounded in discontinuity. If we were to simply submit ourselves to the forces in place, the curvature of the space around us would make us move 'with them' it would make us 'be them'. But we are invited to force that curvature, by developing some mass, by acquiring some gravity, to change the curvature. In that sense, a discontinuity is requested. Being them leads to getting sucked along the prevailing curvature.

Federica,

I certainly wouldn't characterize it as 'being them', to begin with. We should seek to understand a person's soul-tendencies, or the embodied soul of a cultural institution, with living intellectual and imaginative knowledge. At all times we are maintaining our distinction from their mode of being, and in fact learning from it so as to raise further and further above those same tendencies within ourselves, to the extent they are regressive and stuck in past modes of being. Not in any sense of moral superiority or escapism, but so that we may evolve towards our higher Self and contribute to future redemptive efforts. Ultimately, it is Love which allows us to maintain our firm ego-consciousness while also penetrating into the depths of another being, without simply dissolving into that being.

Steiner wrote:With the kinds of knowledge I have been speaking of in the last few days, we can look at man as a creature capable of love and as a creature capable of memory. When we do so, we shall recognize that ordinary consciousness (operating through the senses, the intellect and the logical faculty) must call a halt in face of the outside world: for it is only by treating itself as a mere instrument for systematizing the outside world that it can become capable of developing further and creating that vitalized thinking of which I have spoken in previous lectures.

When we examine our own reaction to nature by means of this vitalized thinking, we find that, at the very moment when we have developed our logical faculty to the point where it provides a means of systematizing external phenomena, our ordinary consciousness is extinguished in the act of cognition. However clear our consciousness is up to a certain point in a given process of knowing nature, at this point it really goes over in part into a state of sleep, into the subconscious. Why is this? It is because at this point there must come into operation the faculty that diffuses something more than abstract thinking into the world around us: one that carries our being out into it.

For inasmuch as we love, our relationship to the world around us is not one of cognition but one of reality, a real relationship of being. Only by developing vital thinking are we able to carry over our experience into the reality of things. We pour out our vitalized thoughts; follow up the beginnings of spiritual life that exist outside (in the shape of spiritual world-rhythm and appearance); and, by cultivating empty consciousness as I have described, advance further and further into the spiritual world, which is linked with the physical and sensuous one. Compared with ordinary consciousness, we feel, in a super-sensible act of cognition of this kind, as if we have been awakened from sleep. We eavesdrop on our being as it becomes a living thing."

Federica wrote:This was to illustrate the difficulty in practice. Now, what does it mean to incorporate that idea-desire under my responsibility? The idea in this case is the “material consumptive desires which incur Karmic debts”. For sure, it means awareness of the related behaviors and their sacrifice, so as to purify the idea’s evil phase. It certainly means understanding and compassion for those who operate under its control. But does it also mean to recognize that, whether I like it or not, the workings of that same idea-desire are present in me? And if yes, how to reconcile this with the free nature of individual desire and moral purpose?
Are not only ideas, but also desires, all present with their given landscape, active in each and everyone, at various levels of consciousness? I realize now that it must be so, but that's not where my thoguhts were going when reading PoF. I had not understood such equivalence between freedom of knowing and freedom of doing. I had imagined a more individualistic freedom of doing... another discontinuity :D

I would say the reconciliation with increasing spiritual freedom is precisely in the re-cognizing of those forces within us, not in any vague 'psychological' way, but as living realities shaping our daily life. This is how we begin taking more active control in shaping the riverbed with our spiritual activity. The first step to freedom is in knowing that we are not yet free, yet there is a path to becoming free. Of course there is a gradient here, but for all practical purposes and intents, very little of what we will, feel, and think in normal waking consciousness is free in the deeper sense. It is only when make our thinking active and creative through imaginative meditation that we begin to engage in truly free acts, ones which are not highly conditioned by our own past activity.

Steiner wrote:During the last few days I have emphasized that this waking state of man, from waking until falling asleep, is not a fully-awake condition, because there is still something asleep in man. What we experience as our will is really only partially awake. Our thoughts are awake from waking until falling asleep, but the will is something which we exercise quite dreamily. On this account much of the pondering on the freedom of the will, and on freedom in general, is in vain, because people have not noticed that what they know of the will in waking daily life is really only a dream or a tale of will impulses. When they will, and represent something to themselves concerning it, they are of course awake. But how the will arises and passes over into action, of this man can only dream in daily waking life.

If you lift a piece of chalk and then think about this action, then you have of course an idea of it in your mind. But without clairvoyance, how the ego and astral body flow into the hand — how the will spreads out there — you can know nothing more of this in ordinary day consciousness than you know of a dream while you are dreaming. Man only dreams of real willing during ordinary waking life, and in most things we do not even dream, we sleep. You can clearly conceive of how you put a morsel of food on a fork; you can also conceive to a certain extent of how you bite this morsel; but how you swallow the morsel, this you do not even dream. For the most part you are quite unconscious of it, just as you are unconscious of your thoughts when you are asleep. A great part of the activity of will while man is awake is similarly performed in a half-sleeping condition.

Federica wrote:PS. because you refreshed the idea of speech-writing continuity, I wanted to quote how Max Leyf makes that continuity arise from separateness:
Max Leyf wrote:It seems that the technology of writing has transposed speech from time to space. In a certain way, it has turned speech to stone and hence the typewriter can be likened to the Gorgon, or Medusa. What is the Perseus in us that can overcome this impulse to slay the spirit of speech and leave only a cemetery of dead letters? It has something to do with our ability to resurrect the author’s intentions in us.

Great find! It is powerful and profound when we understand ourselves as living agents of redemption and resurrection, not only for the prosaic forms of Culture, but also those of Nature.

Romans 8 wrote:For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of [f]corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

PS - I meant to address the question about my clients. I think you're correct, my sense of 'shock' at such things does express a distancing that I should be trying to narrow. Actually, it has become easier for me to discern now when I spend money that is not necessary to spend and attach myself to material things which I could do without and which generally distract me from spiritual growth. In that sense, I am doing what my clients do at a less pronounced level. Easy to discern, but not so easy to stop! Nevertheless, the discernment of these tendencies and the generally upward path, even if awkward and rife with bumpy oscillations, away from sensory-material longings is what counts the most.
"People think that they sell oil, but in fact they are becoming oil.
Federica
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Re: The Philosophy of Freedom, Summarized

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:00 am Federica,

I certainly wouldn't characterize it as 'being them', to begin with. We should seek to understand a person's soul-tendencies, or the embodied soul of a cultural institution, with living intellectual and imaginative knowledge. At all times we are maintaining our distinction from their mode of being, and in fact learning from it so as to raise further and further above those same tendencies within ourselves, to the extent they are regressive and stuck in past modes of being. Not in any sense of moral superiority or escapism, but so that we may evolve towards our higher Self and contribute to future redemptive efforts. Ultimately, it is Love which allows us to maintain our firm ego-consciousness while also penetrating into the depths of another being, without simply dissolving into that being.

I only said ‘being them’ and ‘we are them’ as a direct reference to your warning about the infamous ‘we are not them’.

When you speak of ego-consciousness, is it the same thing referred to as spirit-self in Theosophy?

AshvinP wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:00 am I would say the reconciliation with increasing spiritual freedom is precisely in the re-cognizing of those forces within us, not in any vague 'psychological' way, but as living realities shaping our daily life. This is how we begin taking more active control in shaping the riverbed with our spiritual activity. The first step to freedom is in knowing that we are not yet free, yet there is a path to becoming free. Of course there is a gradient here, but for all practical purposes and intents, very little of what we will, feel, and think in normal waking consciousness is free in the deeper sense. It is only when make our thinking active and creative through imaginative meditation that we begin to engage in truly free acts, ones which are not highly conditioned by our own past activity.

Your comment sends me into this. Freedom is (provocatively stated) understanding that there's no freedom. It's the understanding that what is true and what is right is given. So in a sense it is a freedom to remove, not to add. It's about seeing beyond what obscures universal reality. In that only we are free. In fact, there is not much we can ‘create’. We can only create our understanding of what is. We can re-create it in our reality. This is another step. The notion of creation that comes most naturally (I imagine) is one that is connected to the world content. We create things, we create deeds, we make things happen… even, we create life. But there is actually a flavor of materialism behind this mindset… Our (or my) very idea of what creation is, what freedom is, has to be rewired too. If reality is understanding, the only thing we can create is understanding. The only freedom is freedom to understand. In other words, we cannot keep the idealist monistic conception confined to phenomenology, or to epistemology, be pleased with our subtle, mathematically smooth grasp of all reality, then go back to our life and imagine that we can create stuff, and be our original self through ‘free will’. Free will is only free to dissolve into sweet tears and permeate through the veils, as light September rain quietly sprinkles down and impregnates the landscape. It’s a new concept of freedom and creation for me. It does not happen by separating something out of us. It’s the opposite impulse, it’s about integrating something back in us, and integrating ourselves back into it, by impregnation.


AshvinP wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:00 am It is powerful and profound when we understand ourselves as living agents of redemption and resurrection, not only for the prosaic forms of Culture, but also those of Nature.

It's interesting that you speak of being living agents of resurrecting the forms of Nature also. Elsewhere, Max Leyf uses the process of reading a text as a metaphor for the process of cognition at large. Both are about resurrecting meaning, in Culture as in Nature.

AshvinP wrote: Sun Sep 25, 2022 3:00 am PS - I meant to address the question about my clients. I think you're correct, my sense of 'shock' at such things does express a distancing that I should be trying to narrow. Actually, it has become easier for me to discern now when I spend money that is not necessary to spend and attach myself to material things which I could do without and which generally distract me from spiritual growth. In that sense, I am doing what my clients do at a less pronounced level. Easy to discern, but not so easy to stop! Nevertheless, the discernment of these tendencies and the generally upward path, even if awkward and rife with bumpy oscillations, away from sensory-material longings is what counts the most.

I won't make this post about two things, so I won't elaborate here, but I have to say I disagree that it's easy to discern when we make expenses that are not 'necessary'. It is very difficult!
“So what can I do
With cheap honesty
You’re giving me more than I can see
But I’m too cool to say
That I want it all my way
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity
Get blasted by this sincerity”
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