GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.
Federica
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 6:22 pm
Federica wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 5:42 pm I am capable of admitting my confusions and reviewing my understanding, like for example now I have to admit that psychoactives may have a positive spiritual effect, since Cleric says they did for him.

Ok, so with that simple fact now in the picture, you can no longer be "irritated" with my uncertainty about microdosing mitigating some dangers, it is no longer "strange to read from me that a substance can promote spiritual development", you are no longer "stunned" that MS made sense when writing about the awakening effect, you no longer think Cleric was making an "arbitrary statement" about that same effect and likewise didn't make sense.

It's interesting how one simple fact later known can retroactively adjust many sentiments and judgments. Perhaps something to keep in mind for the future :)

This is how it always happens in life, Ashvin, we learn something new, which retroactively adjusts previous thoughts and sentiments. Hasn't it always worked like that for you as well?

By the way, it would have been nice to also read about what the realization of your distorting statements - the second and third red lines reported above - has retroactively adjusted in you. If anything.
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
Federica
Posts: 1900
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Location: Sweden

Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

Speaking of coffee - I actually did't have any coffee today. Usually when I skip it, it's because I have an early gym class or I'm out early, for whatever reason, and then I don't have any problem. But on a calm day, like today, I did feel some effect: a slight fog, or heaviness, in the frontal part of the brain for about 30-60 minutes after getting up. But nothing big, or impairing concentration.
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
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AshvinP
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 9:15 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 6:22 pm
Federica wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 5:42 pm I am capable of admitting my confusions and reviewing my understanding, like for example now I have to admit that psychoactives may have a positive spiritual effect, since Cleric says they did for him.

Ok, so with that simple fact now in the picture, you can no longer be "irritated" with my uncertainty about microdosing mitigating some dangers, it is no longer "strange to read from me that a substance can promote spiritual development", you are no longer "stunned" that MS made sense when writing about the awakening effect, you no longer think Cleric was making an "arbitrary statement" about that same effect and likewise didn't make sense.

It's interesting how one simple fact later known can retroactively adjust many sentiments and judgments. Perhaps something to keep in mind for the future :)

This is how it always happens in life, Ashvin, we learn something new, which retroactively adjusts previous thoughts and sentiments. Hasn't it always worked like that for you as well?

Yes, that's how it happens in normal life. We let our sentiments steer our thoughts, we make our thoughts into firm judgments, and once in a while (if we're lucky) we are given the opportunity to backtrack and adjust the judgments. Then we wash, rinse, and repeat. We take the same detours all over again, iterate over the same sentiments and thoughts, and horizontally path together some new conceptual insights along the way, but we never quite reach 'escape velocity' from the atmosphere of repetitive and myopic habits.

Things are ostensibly different on the inner path. If we're interested in transcending these limited pathways of mental experience, and we're willing to eventually say goodbye to old habits, then we can gradually learn to anticipate these patterns and avoid them. We can spiritualize our conceptual activity so that it is no longer led around by sentiments or trapped by firm judgments. We don't need to waste undue time and conceptual/emotional effort picking apart words and sentences and arguing with people, setting up binary oppositions, but can repurpose that time and effort to working with people and deepening our intuitive orientation.

By the way, it would have been nice to also read about what the realization of your distorting statements - the second and third red lines reported above - has retroactively adjusted in you. If anything.
You wrote - "The principle underlying my aversion to psychedelics is, as I said, the present-time necessity to make contact and navigate the spiritual world in full consciousness. Whoever feels he can be a microdosing artistic psychonaut, doing responsible educational work, inquiring what exact substance and amount can promote spiritual development, or however he sees it, is, in my opinion, expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level."

As I tried to explain before, there is no "principle" here. It is just your blanket opinion that the spiritual retracing of the manifold relations of phenomenal substances is "expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level". If you are still satisfied with that form of conceptual reasoning, that's fine, I'm not going to continue arguing about it.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
Federica
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:06 pm
Federica wrote:By the way, it would have been nice to also read about what the realization of your distorting statements - the second and third red lines reported above - has retroactively adjusted in you. If anything.
You wrote - "The principle underlying my aversion to psychedelics is, as I said, the present-time necessity to make contact and navigate the spiritual world in full consciousness. Whoever feels he can be a microdosing artistic psychonaut, doing responsible educational work, inquiring what exact substance and amount can promote spiritual development, or however he sees it, is, in my opinion, expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level."

As I tried to explain before, there is no "principle" here. It is just your blanket opinion that the spiritual retracing of the manifold relations of phenomenal substances is "expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level". If you are still satisfied with that form of conceptual reasoning, that's fine, I'm not going to continue arguing about it.


You are dodging the question.
The question is not if you can please continue arguing about my opinion. Instead, the question is: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words, retroactively changes any thoughts/feelings in you?


Unless you don't realize the distorsion?
To repeat - the principle I appealed to - clearly and repeatedly - is the one Steiner expressed hundred times: that in our times the initiation path must be trodden in full consciousness, waking consciousness, as opposed to the Mysteries of antiquity, when the student had to enter death-like, or dreamless sleep-like, states of consciousness, below waking state, through the use of substances. My opinion, as I already stated, is that I can rely on this principle to found my aversion to psychedelics as adjuvants on the spiritual path.

Nevertheless, in violation of the spirit and logic of my argument, you allowed yourself to state:


“Calling your admitted 'opinion' and 'aversion to psychedelics' a "principle" does not necessarily make it so”


There's another distorsion - the third red line in my post above - but let's keep it simple, one is enough. I'm asking you:
Do you recognize the distorsion? And if you do: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words makes you retroactively adjust any thoughts/feelings?
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
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AshvinP
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:38 am
AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:06 pm
Federica wrote:By the way, it would have been nice to also read about what the realization of your distorting statements - the second and third red lines reported above - has retroactively adjusted in you. If anything.
You wrote - "The principle underlying my aversion to psychedelics is, as I said, the present-time necessity to make contact and navigate the spiritual world in full consciousness. Whoever feels he can be a microdosing artistic psychonaut, doing responsible educational work, inquiring what exact substance and amount can promote spiritual development, or however he sees it, is, in my opinion, expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level."

As I tried to explain before, there is no "principle" here. It is just your blanket opinion that the spiritual retracing of the manifold relations of phenomenal substances is "expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level". If you are still satisfied with that form of conceptual reasoning, that's fine, I'm not going to continue arguing about it.


You are dodging the question.
The question is not if you can please continue arguing about my opinion. Instead, the question is: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words, retroactively changes any thoughts/feelings in you?


Unless you don't realize the distorsion?
To repeat - the principle I appealed to - clearly and repeatedly - is the one Steiner expressed hundred times: that in our times the initiation path must be trodden in full consciousness, waking consciousness, as opposed to the Mysteries of antiquity, when the student had to enter death-like, or dreamless sleep-like, states of consciousness, below waking state, through the use of substances. My opinion, as I already stated, is that I can rely on this principle to found my aversion to psychedelics as adjuvants on the spiritual path.

Nevertheless, in violation of the spirit and logic of my argument, you allowed yourself to state:


“Calling your admitted 'opinion' and 'aversion to psychedelics' a "principle" does not necessarily make it so”


There's another distorsion - the third red line in my post above - but let's keep it simple, one is enough. I'm asking you:
Do you recognize the distorsion? And if you do: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words makes you retroactively adjust any thoughts/feelings?

Yes, I realize the 'distortion', which is what I would simply call 'bad phrasing'. A better phrasing would have been, 'mentioning a principle and an opinion/aversion in the same sentence does not necessarily make the former a foundation for the latter'.

If we were to spend our time picking apart every way of phrasing underlying points with a microscope in this way, I would say this forum is chock-filled with "distortions". Such bad phrasings make me adjust my thoughts/feelings about paying more attention (a lot more attention around you :) ) to how I phrase my underlying points.

"The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life." What is the underlying spirit of what was being expressed?

On page 2 of this thread, you stated, "My understanding is, this is the deal of being incarnated on Earth [spiritual activity destroys the living body], no matter how elevated a stage one has attained."

Is it fair to say the argument above could be restated as, "this is the deal of modern initiation, the substances used for ancient initiations cannot possibly be helpful to engage in any way, no matter how elevated a stage one has attained"?
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
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AshvinP
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:38 am To repeat - the principle I appealed to - clearly and repeatedly - is the one Steiner expressed hundred times: that in our times the initiation path must be trodden in full consciousness, waking consciousness, as opposed to the Mysteries of antiquity, when the student had to enter death-like, or dreamless sleep-like, states of consciousness, below waking state, through the use of substances. My opinion, as I already stated, is that I can rely on this principle to found my aversion to psychedelics as adjuvants on the spiritual path.

I want to add something related to the above. We should keep in mind that ancient initiation isn't fundamentally different from modern initiation. Certainly, the method is different since it has become universalized through the conceptual thinking faculty where the Spirit has incarnated. We could say the sphere of karmic disposition for entering the spiritual world has grown much larger and is much less concerned with blood relations or other group characteristics. This universalization should only increase in the coming years. And it is true that the ancient practices become hindering when they are unquestionably imported into current evolutionary circumstances.

Nevertheless, there is still a concrete process of death and resurrection underlying modern initiation into higher states of consciousness (that we normally experience as dreaming and dreamless sleep), although the stages of this process are now more particularized to individual circumstances and distributed across time. Not everything needs to happen in the 3 nights of temple sleep, but it does need to happen all the same. The etheric needs to be loosened from the physical so that it can receive the imprints of the ego-astral experiences in the higher spaces of potential. 

This is related to Cleric's comment about the inner experience from psychedelics that can lead to awakening - it is intimately related to experiencing ourselves 'drawing outside the lines' of our normal personality and its various instinctively etched channels of activity, or at least intimating the possibility to draw outside those lines and become inspired to work at it. That is how the spirit begins to remember its more holistic stages of existence before/after incarnation. It has to die to the qualities and habits of those etched layers so it can be reborn in the higher spaces, which is a whole gradient of gradual development. 

I was underestimating that part of the picture as well, and perhaps I am overestimating the possibilities of microdosing or otherwise engaging with psychedelics at higher stages of development for spiritual research. I think it's clear from my comments that I am not very confident about those possibilities and I am in no position to hold any firm conclusions about them. I try to remain open to new facts and research and I try to remember how little I know in this domain apart from the most general outlines. Overall, it's safe to say that psychedelics are not going to be very useful for entering the spiritual world and attaining holistic insights, and there are much more effective ways of awakening to the immortal soul with fewer risks. Even MS seems to agree with that. 

I will add my comments from YT here as well for anyone following:

It's important to note that psychedelics do not lead to body-free or sense-free spiritual experiences. That is evident from the fact that, if all the substance were to be pumped out of our blood, we would immediately collapse back into normal conscious experience. In that sense, psychedelics (like all physical substances) condition our "I" to become reliant on bodily processes for altered states. They loosen the astral-etheric from the physical and pump images into our consciousness, but these images are confronted *with the normal intellect*, just like sensory impressions. The intellect is adapted to interpreting sensory impressions but not to engaging with holistic etheric images, which are fundamentally of thought-nature. That means we could easily form faulty conclusions from these imagistic experiences, interpreted piecemeal by the intellect, and fail to trace them back to higher-order spiritual activity that transcends all sensory-like manifestations. I think that may have also been what Anna was drawing attention to at the end.

...(response to MS) That makes sense. The issue is that, without the prior spiritual training, the psychedelic experience is felt as so profound and insightful compared to normal consciousness that it just doesn't "make sense" to then renounce the psychedelics for patient, disciplined, and sacrificial inner work, i.e. imaginative concentration and soul purification exercises. I think the situation is much better when a person begins with anthroposophical spiritual training and then decides to approach minimal and responsible usage of psychedelics for educational and redemptive purposes.

In my experience, once young people set out on the path of psychedelic spirituality, it becomes nearly impossible to tell them it may be better to renounce it for a while and seek deeper spiritual understanding through the methodical enlivening of cognition and strengthening of willpower. It is not much unlike what happens with those who pursue a modern mystical path and feel united with the absolute ground of reality. Once that happens, logical reasoning through spiritual experience becomes almost laughable.

That said, I think there are probably important distinctions to be made between psychedelics, such as DMT, and responsible spiritual investigators should continue tracing their influences to get a more refined sense of what beings they put us into contact with and exactly how they can promote or hinder spiritual development.

I also hope it's clear that the primary value here is from continually exercising our intuitive and imaginative faculties, not from reaching specific conclusions or figuring out the 'right' or 'wrong' answers. It is from making our conceptual activity concentric with the higher spaces of potential through many iterations, approaching the intuitions from many diverse angles and gradually probing their inner geometry. We should start to feel the infinite value for our inner life, and the inner life of humanity as a whole, that comes from exploring new and unfamiliar mental pathways of experience, dying to old limiting habits that bind the spirit in a straitjacket. We may experience very few clear-cut concepts when doing such explorations at first, we may not reach any firm conclusions for a long time, but the value is in the journey itself. Through that journey, we may eventually reach intuitive conclusions of an entirely different order, not necessarily about what substances and practices are 'right' or 'wrong', 'allowed' or 'disallowed' in any generalized way, but about how they fit into the holistic tapestry of spiritual evolution and into the tapestry of our own intimate streams of destiny. 
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
Federica
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 8:04 pm
Federica wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:38 am To repeat - the principle I appealed to - clearly and repeatedly - is the one Steiner expressed hundred times: that in our times the initiation path must be trodden in full consciousness, waking consciousness, as opposed to the Mysteries of antiquity, when the student had to enter death-like, or dreamless sleep-like, states of consciousness, below waking state, through the use of substances. My opinion, as I already stated, is that I can rely on this principle to found my aversion to psychedelics as adjuvants on the spiritual path.

I want to add something related to the above. We should keep in mind that ancient initiation isn't fundamentally different from modern initiation. Certainly, the method is different since it has become universalized through the conceptual thinking faculty where the Spirit has incarnated. We could say the sphere of karmic disposition for entering the spiritual world has grown much larger and is much less concerned with blood relations or other group characteristics. This universalization should only increase in the coming years. And it is true that the ancient practices become hindering when they are unquestionably imported into current evolutionary circumstances.

Nevertheless, there is still a concrete process of death and resurrection underlying modern initiation into higher states of consciousness (that we normally experience as dreaming and dreamless sleep), although the stages of this process are now more particularized to individual circumstances and distributed across time. Not everything needs to happen in the 3 nights of temple sleep, but it does need to happen all the same. The etheric needs to be loosened from the physical so that it can receive the imprints of the ego-astral experiences in the higher spaces of potential. 

This is related to Cleric's comment about the inner experience from psychedelics that can lead to awakening - it is intimately related to experiencing ourselves 'drawing outside the lines' of our normal personality and its various instinctively etched channels of activity, or at least intimating the possibility to draw outside those lines and become inspired to work at it. That is how the spirit begins to remember its more holistic stages of existence before/after incarnation. It has to die to the qualities and habits of those etched layers so it can be reborn in the higher spaces, which is a whole gradient of gradual development. 

I was underestimating that part of the picture as well, and perhaps I am overestimating the possibilities of microdosing or otherwise engaging with psychedelics at higher stages of development for spiritual research. I think it's clear from my comments that I am not very confident about those possibilities and I am in no position to hold any firm conclusions about them. I try to remain open to new facts and research and I try to remember how little I know in this domain apart from the most general outlines. Overall, it's safe to say that psychedelics are not going to be very useful for entering the spiritual world and attaining holistic insights, and there are much more effective ways of awakening to the immortal soul with fewer risks. Even MS seems to agree with that. 

I will add my comments from YT here as well for anyone following:

It's important to note that psychedelics do not lead to body-free or sense-free spiritual experiences. That is evident from the fact that, if all the substance were to be pumped out of our blood, we would immediately collapse back into normal conscious experience. In that sense, psychedelics (like all physical substances) condition our "I" to become reliant on bodily processes for altered states. They loosen the astral-etheric from the physical and pump images into our consciousness, but these images are confronted *with the normal intellect*, just like sensory impressions. The intellect is adapted to interpreting sensory impressions but not to engaging with holistic etheric images, which are fundamentally of thought-nature. That means we could easily form faulty conclusions from these imagistic experiences, interpreted piecemeal by the intellect, and fail to trace them back to higher-order spiritual activity that transcends all sensory-like manifestations. I think that may have also been what Anna was drawing attention to at the end.

...(response to MS) That makes sense. The issue is that, without the prior spiritual training, the psychedelic experience is felt as so profound and insightful compared to normal consciousness that it just doesn't "make sense" to then renounce the psychedelics for patient, disciplined, and sacrificial inner work, i.e. imaginative concentration and soul purification exercises. I think the situation is much better when a person begins with anthroposophical spiritual training and then decides to approach minimal and responsible usage of psychedelics for educational and redemptive purposes.

In my experience, once young people set out on the path of psychedelic spirituality, it becomes nearly impossible to tell them it may be better to renounce it for a while and seek deeper spiritual understanding through the methodical enlivening of cognition and strengthening of willpower. It is not much unlike what happens with those who pursue a modern mystical path and feel united with the absolute ground of reality. Once that happens, logical reasoning through spiritual experience becomes almost laughable.

That said, I think there are probably important distinctions to be made between psychedelics, such as DMT, and responsible spiritual investigators should continue tracing their influences to get a more refined sense of what beings they put us into contact with and exactly how they can promote or hinder spiritual development.

I also hope it's clear that the primary value here is from continually exercising our intuitive and imaginative faculties, not from reaching specific conclusions or figuring out the 'right' or 'wrong' answers. It is from making our conceptual activity concentric with the higher spaces of potential through many iterations, approaching the intuitions from many diverse angles and gradually probing their inner geometry. We should start to feel the infinite value for our inner life, and the inner life of humanity as a whole, that comes from exploring new and unfamiliar mental pathways of experience, dying to old limiting habits that bind the spirit in a straitjacket. We may experience very few clear-cut concepts when doing such explorations at first, we may not reach any firm conclusions for a long time, but the value is in the journey itself. Through that journey, we may eventually reach intuitive conclusions of an entirely different order, not necessarily about what substances and practices are 'right' or 'wrong', 'allowed' or 'disallowed' in any generalized way, but about how they fit into the holistic tapestry of spiritual evolution and into the tapestry of our own intimate streams of destiny. 

***
Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 3:25 pm I've reached the conclusion that once one understands the true nature of inner development, psychedelics should be left behind - even in micro doses. It's not even so much about the direct effects but much more about the fact that we doubt our inner forces. In a sense, we place a membrane between ourselves and the Christ flow.
Cleric K wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 9:54 pm It is true that for those willing to follow the path of higher development, the use of psychedelics (even if giving some initial boost) turns into an inner contradiction. The "I" is innerly divided that there's something which it is incapable to achieve through its own forces. Basically on the deepest level this amounts to the "I" doubting its own divinity.
AshvinP wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 8:57 pm Generally, I think we (you, Cleric, I) all agree it is the one of the most dangerous ways to seek the spiritual.
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
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AshvinP
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 9:52 pm
Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 3:25 pm I've reached the conclusion that once one understands the true nature of inner development, psychedelics should be left behind - even in micro doses. It's not even so much about the direct effects but much more about the fact that we doubt our inner forces. In a sense, we place a membrane between ourselves and the Christ flow.
Cleric K wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 9:54 pm It is true that for those willing to follow the path of higher development, the use of psychedelics (even if giving some initial boost) turns into an inner contradiction. The "I" is innerly divided that there's something which it is incapable to achieve through its own forces. Basically on the deepest level this amounts to the "I" doubting its own divinity.
AshvinP wrote: Sat Sep 10, 2022 8:57 pm Generally, I think we (you, Cleric, I) all agree it is the one of the most dangerous ways to seek the spiritual.

An interesting exercise here would be to search for "psychedelics" (or synonym) under Cleric's name. Then we can imagine all of those copious facts, reasoning, illustrations, imaginations, etc. vanish into thin air and we are only left with the above quotes. We only have the summary conclusions, fixed in stone, and there is nothing left to discuss - next topic!

This is the point.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
Federica
Posts: 1900
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 12:27 pm
Federica wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:38 am
AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 11:06 pm


You wrote - "The principle underlying my aversion to psychedelics is, as I said, the present-time necessity to make contact and navigate the spiritual world in full consciousness. Whoever feels he can be a microdosing artistic psychonaut, doing responsible educational work, inquiring what exact substance and amount can promote spiritual development, or however he sees it, is, in my opinion, expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level."

As I tried to explain before, there is no "principle" here. It is just your blanket opinion that the spiritual retracing of the manifold relations of phenomenal substances is "expressing some form of submission to something below us, at some level". If you are still satisfied with that form of conceptual reasoning, that's fine, I'm not going to continue arguing about it.


You are dodging the question.
The question is not if you can please continue arguing about my opinion. Instead, the question is: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words, retroactively changes any thoughts/feelings in you?


Unless you don't realize the distorsion?
To repeat - the principle I appealed to - clearly and repeatedly - is the one Steiner expressed hundred times: that in our times the initiation path must be trodden in full consciousness, waking consciousness, as opposed to the Mysteries of antiquity, when the student had to enter death-like, or dreamless sleep-like, states of consciousness, below waking state, through the use of substances. My opinion, as I already stated, is that I can rely on this principle to found my aversion to psychedelics as adjuvants on the spiritual path.

Nevertheless, in violation of the spirit and logic of my argument, you allowed yourself to state:


“Calling your admitted 'opinion' and 'aversion to psychedelics' a "principle" does not necessarily make it so”


There's another distorsion - the third red line in my post above - but let's keep it simple, one is enough. I'm asking you:
Do you recognize the distorsion? And if you do: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words makes you retroactively adjust any thoughts/feelings?

Yes, I realize the 'distortion', which is what I would simply call 'bad phrasing'. A better phrasing would have been, 'mentioning a principle and an opinion/aversion in the same sentence does not necessarily make the former a foundation for the latter'.

If we were to spend our time picking apart every way of phrasing underlying points with a microscope in this way, I would say this forum is chock-filled with "distortions". Such bad phrasings make me adjust my thoughts/feelings about paying more attention (a lot more attention around you :) ) to how I phrase my underlying points.

"The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life." What is the underlying spirit of what was being expressed?

On page 2 of this thread, you stated, "My understanding is, this is the deal of being incarnated on Earth [spiritual activity destroys the living body], no matter how elevated a stage one has attained."

Is it fair to say the argument above could be restated as, "this is the deal of modern initiation, the substances used for ancient initiations cannot possibly be helpful to engage in any way, no matter how elevated a stage one has attained"?


We disagree here. To use a principle as a principle - that is as a direction of understanding to be relied upon when approaching manifestations - and to make one's opinion into such orientating idea, are two far apart attitudes. It's not a microscope that you would need there, but more like a telescope.

Ashvin wrote:Such bad phrasings make me adjust my thoughts/feelings about paying more attention (a lot more attention around you :) ) to how I phrase my underlying points.
Aha? :)
Remember that the reason why I asked: "can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words, retroactively changes any thoughts/feelings in you?" is only that you had previously thrown in, as if it didn't happen to you too: "It's interesting how one simple fact later known can retroactively adjust many sentiments and judgments. Perhaps something to keep in mind for the future :) ". Since then we know it actually happens to you as well.

Ashvin wrote:On page 2 of this thread, you stated, "My understanding is, this is the deal of being incarnated on Earth [spiritual activity destroys the living body], no matter how elevated a stage one has attained."

Is it fair to say the argument above could be restated as, "this is the deal of modern initiation, the substances used for ancient initiations cannot possibly be helpful to engage in any way, no matter how elevated a stage one has attained"?

No it wouldn't be fair, since Cleric said that cannabis was helpful for him to direct attention to spiritual matters. But, as Cleric said many times, it's at the beginning of one's path, when one needs to have one's attention attracted to spiritual reality, that psychoactive could possibly work, as they did for him. When it comes to the effects of using psychoactives to attempt to enhance spiritual transformation in general - granted that the experience and consequences may be very different for different people at different levels of spiritual development - my opinion has not fundamentally changed from the one I expressed long ago on the topic:
Federica wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 7:51 pm I perceive psychedelics as a profound violation of the integrity not only of the physical body, but of the ego.
And that's the spirit of what was being expressed.
"As much or as little as healthy thinking has to do with the body, just so much and so little have the activities of a genuine training for supersensible knowledge. Any kind of training that affects man in a different way is no true spiritual training, but a caricature of it."
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by AshvinP »

Federica wrote: Wed Jun 19, 2024 8:22 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 12:27 pm
Federica wrote: Sun Jun 16, 2024 6:38 am



You are dodging the question.
The question is not if you can please continue arguing about my opinion. Instead, the question is: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words, retroactively changes any thoughts/feelings in you?


Unless you don't realize the distorsion?
To repeat - the principle I appealed to - clearly and repeatedly - is the one Steiner expressed hundred times: that in our times the initiation path must be trodden in full consciousness, waking consciousness, as opposed to the Mysteries of antiquity, when the student had to enter death-like, or dreamless sleep-like, states of consciousness, below waking state, through the use of substances. My opinion, as I already stated, is that I can rely on this principle to found my aversion to psychedelics as adjuvants on the spiritual path.

Nevertheless, in violation of the spirit and logic of my argument, you allowed yourself to state:


“Calling your admitted 'opinion' and 'aversion to psychedelics' a "principle" does not necessarily make it so”


There's another distorsion - the third red line in my post above - but let's keep it simple, one is enough. I'm asking you:
Do you recognize the distorsion? And if you do: can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words makes you retroactively adjust any thoughts/feelings?

Yes, I realize the 'distortion', which is what I would simply call 'bad phrasing'. A better phrasing would have been, 'mentioning a principle and an opinion/aversion in the same sentence does not necessarily make the former a foundation for the latter'.

If we were to spend our time picking apart every way of phrasing underlying points with a microscope in this way, I would say this forum is chock-filled with "distortions". Such bad phrasings make me adjust my thoughts/feelings about paying more attention (a lot more attention around you :) ) to how I phrase my underlying points.

"The letter killeth but the spirit giveth life." What is the underlying spirit of what was being expressed?

On page 2 of this thread, you stated, "My understanding is, this is the deal of being incarnated on Earth [spiritual activity destroys the living body], no matter how elevated a stage one has attained."

Is it fair to say the argument above could be restated as, "this is the deal of modern initiation, the substances used for ancient initiations cannot possibly be helpful to engage in any way, no matter how elevated a stage one has attained"?


We disagree here. To use a principle as a principle - that is as a direction of understanding to be relied upon when approaching manifestations - and to make one's opinion into such orientating idea, are two far apart attitudes. It's not a microscope that you would need there, but more like a telescope.

Ashvin wrote:Such bad phrasings make me adjust my thoughts/feelings about paying more attention (a lot more attention around you :) ) to how I phrase my underlying points.
Aha? :)
Remember that the reason why I asked: "can you please say if realizing that you distorted my words, retroactively changes any thoughts/feelings in you?" is only that you had previously thrown in, as if it didn't happen to you too: "It's interesting how one simple fact later known can retroactively adjust many sentiments and judgments. Perhaps something to keep in mind for the future :) ". Since then we know it actually happens to you as well.

We have known that for a long time, Federica. As I often remark, I can only discern these inner patterns in the outer forms of the World because I have become intimate with and sensitive to their expression within myself. Perhaps this sounds like a trite cliche to you, something that is just said as an excuse for directing criticism toward others, but it's an intimate reality for me.
 
This is practically the entire path of spiritual evolution - it is why we can leverage the 'firm point' of observing our own spiritual activity to 'explain all other phenomena of the World'. We become more and more sensitive to how the World constrains and shapes our own soul-life. The first aspects of the World we grow more sensitive to are the mental and psychic habits of modern human culture that we are swimming in.
 
There are plenty of times when I begin forming firm opinions and conclusions about spiritual issues, or I perceive 'contradictions' in other peoples' writings, and things of that nature. There are many times when I notice questionable phraseology and have certainly latched onto those phrases in the past. At the same time, I try to consistently resist bringing these habits to outer expression, which is what develops our inner sensitivity to them, and to remain conscious of all of the ways in which I could be falling short in my understanding, being uncharitable, or simply following a path of unfruitful mental experience that won't enliven my spiritual activity.
 
For ex., when you wrote "as if it didn't happen to you", I could respond this is a "distortion", something projected into my comment, and so forth. This would lead us down a whole different path of forum experience. But I would resist that and rather try to understand the thinking-gestures that reach such a feeling, to empathize with it, and then simply let it go and try to hone in on the substantial issues for spiritual development. (I am only mentioning it now to illustrate the principle that I am discussing above). The forum gives us an exceptional place to practice these resistance efforts and take more conscious steering of our spiritual activity. Where else do we have the opportunities to move our intuitive activity through such spiritual topics with other people? We should take advantage of these opportunities.

Federica wrote:
Ashvin wrote:On page 2 of this thread, you stated, "My understanding is, this is the deal of being incarnated on Earth [spiritual activity destroys the living body], no matter how elevated a stage one has attained."

Is it fair to say the argument above could be restated as, "this is the deal of modern initiation, the substances used for ancient initiations cannot possibly be helpful to engage in any way, no matter how elevated a stage one has attained"?

No it wouldn't be fair, since Cleric said that cannabis was helpful for him to direct attention to spiritual matters. But, as Cleric said many times, it's at the beginning of one's path, when one needs to have one's attention attracted to spiritual reality, that psychoactive could possibly work, as they did for him. When it comes to the effects of using psychoactives to attempt to enhance spiritual transformation in general - granted that the experience and consequences may be very different for different people at different levels of spiritual development - my opinion has not fundamentally changed from the one I expressed long ago on the topic:
Federica wrote: Thu Sep 08, 2022 7:51 pm I perceive psychedelics as a profound violation of the integrity not only of the physical body, but of the ego.
And that's the spirit of what was being expressed.

Ok, but I am saying the very fact that we are expressing an unchanging "opinion" should start feeling a bit painful for us. It should start feeling like we are sitting on the couch eating potato chips, our arteries are clogging up, our muscles are beginning to atrophy, etc. Except it should feel like that for our spiritual activity.

I will point attention to Cleric's response to the comment you quoted:

I cannot tell with certainty but the antipathy will surely be transformed into understanding in the course of time... When cattle is shocked by the electric fence they will develop antipathy towards it and try to avoid it. A human being can develop understanding of electricity and instead of feeling antipathy, simply know its effects and avoid being shocked on purely reasoned grounds.

As usual, he has summed up in that simple comparison what I have been trying to communicate in many comments. We should feel a bit pained when our spiritual activity is led by firm opinions and antipathies and rather seek to penetrate the phenomena deeply with our thought-gestures and lucid understanding, even if through that whole process we end up arriving at something resembling our original opinion.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
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