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

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

Post by Cleric K »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 3:25 pm I would say the main risk in that scenario, as also discussed on that thread, is conditioning our "I" to the physical substances, making it more reliant on some outer stimulus to remain conscious in the higher strata. That is also the risk with using caffeine or any other substance designed to alter our inner state. Surely there are other risks as well, but again we should remain with humble and open minds with respect to the spiritual influences that we have not already traced. I think Cleric's comment illustrates that open attitude when he said, "Whether this is very detrimental - I don't know." That doesn't mean it is incumbent upon us to start micro-dosing and figure it all out, but just that we should be honest about what is known and what still remains an open question.
I still don't have a clear-cut intuition on this but for the moment it feels to me that the situation is similar to the consumption of meat. We know that with meat we get entangled with astral forces, which through the dark fall of humanity have served a purpose - namely, these forces were added to our constitution from outside. Now that we are on the path to freedom, a vegetarian diet frees us from this entanglement but we must now become more consciously responsible for the deeper currents of our soul life (they are no longer regulated from without). Furthermore, with the advancement of the age, even that external regulation is on a descending path (for those who continue meat consumption), so it can be expected that only more and more negative aspects of this entanglement will manifest as time goes on. As an ideal, in the very long run, we can imagine that asymptotically the nourishment of man should become Light (obviously at that time the mineral element would have been largely spiritualized). We can conceive that as the purest element that is most free of etheric and astral forces and thus man would be able to manifest his creative intents in the rawest element, so to speak. This, of course, requires corresponding mastery of all our sheaths.

The more I ponder the question, the more I think that something similar holds with psychoactives (yes, caffeine included). They can partially open the inner mirror toward the Imaginative (or whatever other effect they might have) but in other important aspects we remain unfree in our astral body, where, just like with meat, hidden forces work in the background. Needless to say, the contribution that these forces have is also on the descending path so we can expect that only more and more inferior forces will make their way into the human astral body. While today, psychedelics may still have a potentially awakening function for some (not as a tool for prolonged use but as a triggering experience), I suppose that in the future one will be much more prone to fall into deceptions right away.
Federica
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 3:25 pm I think it's important to approach these topics with dispassionate reasoning, trying to trace exactly how the substances influence the subtle organization and promote or hinder spiritual development under varied circumstances. We don't already have all the answers and so we should recognize there are still open questions to be investigated.

My question on that thread you linked was prompted by reviewing a post where Cleric mentioned his recent experimentation with mushrooms for purposes of spiritual research, particularly how the altered states compare with higher cognitive states. That is the key - what is our level of inner development and what are our intentions when approaching these substances? We will necessarily encounter the group souls of animals, plants, minerals, as well as Ahrimanic and Lucifering beings, in our spiritual retracing efforts. We encounter these spiritual beings on a daily basis whenever we interact with the sensory spectrum to consume sensory impressions (including food) and to think about them, but we are normally oblivious to that fact. As long as we try to remain clearly conscious of these spiritual influences in our sensory, emotional, and ideal environments, and we approach them with wholesome intentions, we cannot become unwitting outlets for them.

I would say the main risk in that scenario, as also discussed on that thread, is conditioning our "I" to the physical substances, making it more reliant on some outer stimulus to remain conscious in the higher strata. That is also the risk with using caffeine or any other substance designed to alter our inner state. Surely there are other risks as well, but again we should remain with humble and open minds with respect to the spiritual influences that we have not already traced. I think Cleric's comment illustrates that open attitude when he said, "Whether this is very detrimental - I don't know." That doesn't mean it is incumbent upon us to start micro-dosing and figure it all out, but just that we should be honest about what is known and what still remains an open question.

PS - if it's not clear, I'm not insinuating you are not open or honest about these questions, but am just conveying some additional thoughts on my current perspective for anyone who is following.

It’s strange to read from you that a substance can “promote” spiritual development. You have regularly taken an opposite position in many recent and less recent discussions. For example: "We won't gain this intuitive sensitivity by a process of trial and error within the physical curvature that somehow works around concentrated cognition."

And about "remaining clearly conscious" of the influences, well, under the effect of these substances you don’t remain clearly conscious, your waking consciousness is muzzled. The main point with taking the substance is precisely to alter the state of clear consciousness. Steiner said that in our time it’s in full waking consciousness that we need to make contact with the spiritual world. The times of initiation under strange states induced with substances are way over. The exceptional state is a fully conscious state. Simple enough. By the way, that Steiner couldn’t say much on psychedelic substances specifically is irrelevant, because he spoke enough about the importance of making spiritual progress in full consciousness. And he spoke enough about the danger of substances that alter waking consciousness (absinthe, alcohol, opium, cocaine). So it’s more than clear what he would have said about mushrooms. He said: "Absinthe will cause people to become weaklings".
"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
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 6:50 pm
AshvinP wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 3:25 pm I would say the main risk in that scenario, as also discussed on that thread, is conditioning our "I" to the physical substances, making it more reliant on some outer stimulus to remain conscious in the higher strata. That is also the risk with using caffeine or any other substance designed to alter our inner state. Surely there are other risks as well, but again we should remain with humble and open minds with respect to the spiritual influences that we have not already traced. I think Cleric's comment illustrates that open attitude when he said, "Whether this is very detrimental - I don't know." That doesn't mean it is incumbent upon us to start micro-dosing and figure it all out, but just that we should be honest about what is known and what still remains an open question.
I still don't have a clear-cut intuition on this but for the moment it feels to me that the situation is similar to the consumption of meat. We know that with meat we get entangled with astral forces, which through the dark fall of humanity have served a purpose - namely, these forces were added to our constitution from outside. Now that we are on the path to freedom, a vegetarian diet frees us from this entanglement but we must now become more consciously responsible for the deeper currents of our soul life (they are no longer regulated from without). Furthermore, with the advancement of the age, even that external regulation is on a descending path (for those who continue meat consumption), so it can be expected that only more and more negative aspects of this entanglement will manifest as time goes on. As an ideal, in the very long run, we can imagine that asymptotically the nourishment of man should become Light (obviously at that time the mineral element would have been largely spiritualized). We can conceive that as the purest element that is most free of etheric and astral forces and thus man would be able to manifest his creative intents in the rawest element, so to speak. This, of course, requires corresponding mastery of all our sheaths.

The more I ponder the question, the more I think that something similar holds with psychoactives (yes, caffeine included). They can partially open the inner mirror toward the Imaginative (or whatever other effect they might have) but in other important aspects we remain unfree in our astral body, where, just like with meat, hidden forces work in the background. Needless to say, the contribution that these forces have is also on the descending path so we can expect that only more and more inferior forces will make their way into the human astral body. While today, psychedelics may still have a potentially awakening function for some (not as a tool for prolonged use but as a triggering experience), I suppose that in the future one will be much more prone to fall into deceptions right away.

Cleric, why doesn't Steiner put coffee (and tea, at this rate) in the same bucket as alcohol, absinthe and cocaine? Why not put sugar in the psychoactive bucket then? It seems to me that there is a blatantly enormous difference in the way coffee, tea, sugar alter waking consciousness compared to a substance that resets the perceptual spectrum to a parallel fantastic dreamscape.

By the way, I believe the triggering effect of psychedelics is more likely to lock the person into limiting ideas rather than unlocking anything. See for example the first comment in the above-linked episode 14. For him, the goal of study and preparation is to enhance the next psychedelic experience!
I think there's a point in using psychedelics but I'm not advocating for thoughtless experimentation. Personally I only meditated once using LSD, almost twenty years ago; it was the most important experience in my life but I hadn't felt the need to do it again to this day. I have been studying all this time to better understand what happened to me in that occasion, and I haven't finished yet. Next time, I will be ready so that I can go even beyond the first experience.
I don't think that meditation without drugs can give the same results, unless one is a real master of the art; and by "master" here I mean one in a billion. Thankfully, having lived the experience as a young man, I had a clear picture of what I was looking for from the beginning, and that gave me a lot of direction in my studies. Moreover, I am not subject to the doubt that what I'm looking for doesn't exist, I just need to remember to know that it's true.
I think one great problem with Anthroposophy is that, after Steiner, nobody managed to replicate his clairvoyance following the exercises he prescribed, while by now we would have expected thousands and thousands of clairvoyants all over the world. If Steiner was telling the truth regarding his experiences, then he was built very differently than the average anthroposophist.
"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 Federica »

Ashvin, I am stunned by your youtube comment. You say that MS' comment makes sense, while the only sense it makes is to justify personal psychedelic use. I would like to ask you: are you doing this tracing of psychedelic influences that responsible spiritual investigators should continue doing to know exactly how spiritual development can be promoted?
"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: Thu Jun 13, 2024 8:43 pm
AshvinP wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 3:25 pm I think it's important to approach these topics with dispassionate reasoning, trying to trace exactly how the substances influence the subtle organization and promote or hinder spiritual development under varied circumstances. We don't already have all the answers and so we should recognize there are still open questions to be investigated.

My question on that thread you linked was prompted by reviewing a post where Cleric mentioned his recent experimentation with mushrooms for purposes of spiritual research, particularly how the altered states compare with higher cognitive states. That is the key - what is our level of inner development and what are our intentions when approaching these substances? We will necessarily encounter the group souls of animals, plants, minerals, as well as Ahrimanic and Lucifering beings, in our spiritual retracing efforts. We encounter these spiritual beings on a daily basis whenever we interact with the sensory spectrum to consume sensory impressions (including food) and to think about them, but we are normally oblivious to that fact. As long as we try to remain clearly conscious of these spiritual influences in our sensory, emotional, and ideal environments, and we approach them with wholesome intentions, we cannot become unwitting outlets for them.

I would say the main risk in that scenario, as also discussed on that thread, is conditioning our "I" to the physical substances, making it more reliant on some outer stimulus to remain conscious in the higher strata. That is also the risk with using caffeine or any other substance designed to alter our inner state. Surely there are other risks as well, but again we should remain with humble and open minds with respect to the spiritual influences that we have not already traced. I think Cleric's comment illustrates that open attitude when he said, "Whether this is very detrimental - I don't know." That doesn't mean it is incumbent upon us to start micro-dosing and figure it all out, but just that we should be honest about what is known and what still remains an open question.

PS - if it's not clear, I'm not insinuating you are not open or honest about these questions, but am just conveying some additional thoughts on my current perspective for anyone who is following.

It’s strange to read from you that a substance can “promote” spiritual development. You have regularly taken an opposite position in many recent and less recent discussions. For example: "We won't gain this intuitive sensitivity by a process of trial and error within the physical curvature that somehow works around concentrated cognition."

And about "remaining clearly conscious" of the influences, well, under the effect of these substances you don’t remain clearly conscious, your waking consciousness is muzzled. The main point with taking the substance is precisely to alter the state of clear consciousness. Steiner said that in our time it’s in full waking consciousness that we need to make contact with the spiritual world. The times of initiation under strange states induced with substances are way over. The exceptional state is a fully conscious state. Simple enough. By the way, that Steiner couldn’t say much on psychedelic substances specifically is irrelevant, because he spoke enough about the importance of making spiritual progress in full consciousness. And he spoke enough about the danger of substances that alter waking consciousness (absinthe, alcohol, opium, cocaine). So it’s more than clear what he would have said about mushrooms. He said: "Absinthe will cause people to become weaklings".

Federica,

You are looking for clear, bright-line rules for spiritual development and evolution, and also projecting those onto my past comments, whereas I never intended my comments as such formulas and rules, but rather as artistic testimonies that hopefully help us continually orient to inner realities. I won't comment more on this trend other than to say that I hope you are taking note of it in recent discussions.

With that said, clearly no one here is advocating for abdicating concentration and spiritual exercises and simply seeking the spiritual through psychedelics. What I was speaking of in the comment quoted above was in the context of Cleric experimenting with mushrooms for spiritual research - Cleric is someone who has done significant inner work and approaches these things in fully conscious states. Do you think that the level of inner development and the underlying intentions are irrelevant to what results from ingesting psychedelics? I am saying those factors are clearly relevant to anything we do for spiritual purposes (or physical purposes, for that matter). We should try to remain fluid with our thinking and take those ever-important factors into account.

Ashvin, I am stunned by your youtube comment. You say that MS' comment makes sense, while the only sense it makes is to justify personal psychedelic use. I would like to ask you: are you doing this tracing of psychedelic influences that responsible spiritual investigators should continue doing to know exactly how spiritual development can be promoted?

His comment does make sense, in the exact same way that Cleric's last comment makes sense - "While today, psychedelics may still have a potentially awakening function for some (not as a tool for prolonged use but as a triggering experience)." This was exactly Matt's point in that comment. So yes, it makes sense.

MS wrote:But fantastic imagery aside, deep emotional, existential, and world view shifts can result from psychedelic experiences. These shifts could just as easily be a catalyst for more sustained spiritual practice, jolting people from the materialistic illusion that consciousness is a brain figment. The problems arise when, after the jolt (or "ontological shock" as it is often described in the academic literature on psychedelic experience), folks continue pursuing chemically-mediated peak experiences as though they might receive some deeper answer to the mysteries of life.

Nevertheless, the rest of my comment to him was pushing back on the positive value of the 'triggering effect', since there are other important factors to consider as well, like the conditioning we have discussed. Awakening to the inner flaws of materialism is not the end all be all, and it matters what obstacles we may be creating to our further awakening beyond the imaginative veil.

No, I am not doing the tracing of psychedelic influences, at least not apart from my own intuitive probing of the facts surrounding them. The point here, as was also made in my previous comment to you, is that we don't have all the answers yet and we can't box all forms of psychedelic use, under all circumstances, into a convenient bright-line rule. Such rules can dim down our consciousness just like the substances can - they give our spiritual activity an automatic channel to flow through when encountering new phenomenal circumstances. I am saying we should instead remain imaginatively active when considering these issues, trying to understand them at ever-deeper levels, which necessarily means we can't set up any fixed and universal 'law of psychedelic use'.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
Federica
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:26 pm Federica,

You are looking for clear, bright-line rules for spiritual development and evolution, and also projecting those onto my past comments, whereas I never intended my comments as such formulas and rules, but rather as artistic testimonies

I’m not. I do realize the importance of moderation, and finding the middle ground, in thinking, like in everything else. Which by the way is a principle. There are principles, and there are artistic ways to navigate our flow along the principles. 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.


Now, that Cleric did a kind of test, to compare the experience of psychedelics from the past with the one he may have today, at a different level of spiritual development, I can understand. I am not happy with it, but I can understand. The way I understand it is as a one off, not as setting up a practice of microdosing exploratory work. I see a world of difference between these two approaches! In this sense, I deem your words: “Cleric experimenting with mushrooms for spiritual research” on the borderline. Again, I understand the former approach, and even relate to that, to some extent. I will give an example, and I want to specify that by no means I intend it as a comparison. By no means am I “projecting” from this example any conclusions on to Cleric or others. Recently, after a long time with no alcohol consumption, I found myself in a situation where I could have declined it, but I was actually curious and drank three glasses of wine. What would have gone down without any particular notice in the past, became actually a quite bad, entirely different experience, which I obviously used to be fully blind to, in the past. So in a way it was interesting, and one could say, useful, as a test. However, I don’t believe that. I think it was both a mistake and a weakness. I should have known without test. One is not led towards the light by fear of, or by comparison with, the dark. It doesn't work like that, at all. Anyway, I repeat that I don’t mean that the same is true for others with other substances; only that I can relate to the curiosity.

Do you think that the level of inner development and the underlying intentions are irrelevant to what results from ingesting psychedelics?

Of course not. I can easily imagine that the experience is very different when it can be matched - afterwards - with a supra-intellectual understanding of the context in which it unfolds. I can also imagine that the experience can be somewhat different in the moment it unfolds. However, I also have in mind that, in this epoch and time, humans have a mineral body that responds to certain constrained curvatures inherent to our contextual human condition, no matter the level of spiritual development. Miracles are possible, and Judith von Halle has not been eating any food for years. I don't know if she eats light. She drinks some water in any case. Though at this point I don’t see a connection between miracles and psychedelics, I am entirely ready to be proven wrong in my ‘understanding’ of miracles.

MS’s comment does make sense, in the exact same way that Cleric's last comment makes sense - "While today, psychedelics may still have a potentially awakening function for some (not as a tool for prolonged use but as a triggering experience)." This was exactly Matt's point in that comment. So yes, it makes sense.

Indeed, I think that Cleric’s comment here doesn’t make sense either. It’s an arbitrary statement about how it may work for others. I argue that this supposed triggering effect could be a fantasy. Does anyone know anyone who can testify about having experienced this positive triggering effect? If I remember correctly how Cleric described his own case, not even for him it worked like that. Let’s be a little scientific in this matter, I propose. This is such a versatile and convenient thought - that substances may trigger healthy spiritual development. In my opinion, MS's reasons to think that this thought makes sense are different from yours, which are different from Clerics. In any case, I am open to admit that it may trigger healthy spiritual awakening, but bring me some cases then. And if you can’t find any, then let’s explore the possibility that it’s only a convenient thesis, and let's look at the various ways it brings convenience.
"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: Fri Jun 14, 2024 8:57 am
AshvinP wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 10:26 pm Federica,

You are looking for clear, bright-line rules for spiritual development and evolution, and also projecting those onto my past comments, whereas I never intended my comments as such formulas and rules, but rather as artistic testimonies

I’m not. I do realize the importance of moderation, and finding the middle ground, in thinking, like in everything else. Which by the way is a principle. There are principles, and there are artistic ways to navigate our flow along the principles. 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.


Now, that Cleric did a kind of test, to compare the experience of psychedelics from the past with the one he may have today, at a different level of spiritual development, I can understand. I am not happy with it, but I can understand. The way I understand it is as a one off, not as setting up a practice of microdosing exploratory work. I see a world of difference between these two approaches! In this sense, I deem your words: “Cleric experimenting with mushrooms for spiritual research” on the borderline. Again, I understand the former approach, and even relate to that, to some extent. I will give an example, and I want to specify that by no means I intend it as a comparison. By no means am I “projecting” from this example any conclusions on to Cleric or others. Recently, after a long time with no alcohol consumption, I found myself in a situation where I could have declined it, but I was actually curious and drank three glasses of wine. What would have gone down without any particular notice in the past, became actually a quite bad, entirely different experience, which I obviously used to be fully blind to, in the past. So in a way it was interesting, and one could say, useful, as a test. However, I don’t believe that. I think it was both a mistake and a weakness. I should have known without test. One is not led towards the light by fear of, or by comparison with, the dark. It doesn't work like that, at all. Anyway, I repeat that I don’t mean that the same is true for others with other substances; only that I can relate to the curiosity.

You say that you are not, but the bold is, in my opinion, another example of establishing bright-line rules. Calling your admitted 'opinion' and 'aversion to psychedelics' a "principle" does not necessarily make it so. Principles are generally something that can't be argued about, like the principle that reality is only spiritual activity, or the principle that thinking is where spiritual activity meets phenomenal appearance. They will hold true no matter what the circumstances, past or future. They are entirely matters of inner experience that can be verified by anyone with the good will to do so.

The opinion that psychedelic experiments must be "one-off" to qualify as not being "submission to something below us" is not a principle, it is simply an opinion that conveniently purports to transcend all circumstantial considerations. It establishes a hard rule that obviates any need for further intuitive exploration of the phenomena at issue. We have determined that only one-off psychedelic experimentation can ever qualify as fully conscious spiritual work, so now we can avoid any further discussion and ignore anything that suggests the contrary.

As I hope is clear, at this point my main focus in this discussion is not on arguing for some intellectual position about psychedelic use and whether that position is 'right' or 'wrong', but addressing the very way in which we conduct our spiritual activity when investigating these issues. Your last comment to Cleric also helps illuminate the problems with conducting our activity such as to establish bright-line rules. Where does the bright line end within psychoactive substances - do we just go by 'common sense' and say alcohol, absinthe, cocaine, psychedelics, etc. are submission to something below us while caffeine, sugar, theanine, and so forth are OK? Have you experimented with all these to know their precise effects on altering consciousness? Have you tried micro-dosing DMT? Can we say for certain that one 'resets the perceptual spectrum' while others don't?

Federica wrote:
Do you think that the level of inner development and the underlying intentions are irrelevant to what results from ingesting psychedelics?

Of course not. I can easily imagine that the experience is very different when it can be matched - afterwards - with a supra-intellectual understanding of the context in which it unfolds. I can also imagine that the experience can be somewhat different in the moment it unfolds. However, I also have in mind that, in this epoch and time, humans have a mineral body that responds to certain constrained curvatures inherent to our contextual human condition, no matter the level of spiritual development. Miracles are possible, and Judith von Halle has not been eating any food for years. I don't know if she eats light. She drinks some water in any case. Though at this point I don’t see a connection between miracles and psychedelics, I am entirely ready to be proven wrong in my ‘understanding’ of miracles.

That is another bright-line rule and is not in keeping with the principles of spiritual evolution, even as those principles are expressed in our current time. You even mention an example that undermines the rule right after. "Miracles" are simply the higher laws that always govern the experiential flow becoming more manifest within the perceptual spectrum in accordance with Divine (karmic) intents and in proportion with inner development. We all 'eat light', except it is normally encoded within the mineralized conceptual-sensory element that expresses in mineral, plant, and animal life, so we are forced to consume the light by micromanaging these partial transitions in space and time, 'frame by frame'.

To be clear, this doesn't mean we need to establish a rule in the other direction and say "Once we reach a certain stage of development, all harmful effects of psychedelic use are neutralized." It's only that we should gradually learn to think more actively, fluidly, and carefully through these issues, continually considering the phenomenal circumstances anew within the context of our intuitive orientation to ongoing spiritual evolution.

Federica wrote:
MS’s comment does make sense, in the exact same way that Cleric's last comment makes sense - "While today, psychedelics may still have a potentially awakening function for some (not as a tool for prolonged use but as a triggering experience)." This was exactly Matt's point in that comment. So yes, it makes sense.

Indeed, I think that Cleric’s comment here doesn’t make sense either. It’s an arbitrary statement about how it may work for others. I argue that this supposed triggering effect could be a fantasy. Does anyone know anyone who can testify about having experienced this positive triggering effect? If I remember correctly how Cleric described his own case, not even for him it worked like that. Let’s be a little scientific in this matter, I propose. This is such a versatile and convenient thought - that substances may trigger healthy spiritual development. In my opinion, MS's reasons to think that this thought makes sense are different from yours, which are different from Clerics. In any case, I am open to admit that it may trigger healthy spiritual awakening, but bring me some cases then. And if you can’t find any, then let’s explore the possibility that it’s only a convenient thesis, and let's look at the various ways it brings convenience.

Have you reviewed the academic literature on this issue? I will admit that I have not studied it deeply either, but I know it's out there and it has become quite rigorous. Here is a recent post from MS on that - https://substack.com/home/post/p-145306502

At the intuitive level, with some knowledge of spiritual reality, it makes sense that loosening the subtle bodies from the physical and remaining conscious would radically shift one's notion of 'how reality works' at an experiential level, although certainly not in the profound and long-lasting way of proper spiritual training. It would at least provide some inner basis to discard materialistic ideas about consciousness as insubstantial and epiphenomenal products of material processes. Again, that the triggering effect makes sense at an empirical and logical level, especially with some knowledge about the contextual depth of reality, does not mean it overrides all other considerations about whether such awakenings do more harm than good for long-term spiritual development. And, as Cleric pointed out, it doesn't mean the triggering effect will always remain the same no matter what circumstances unfold in spiritual evolution. It could very well be that the spiritual benefits of such an effect are rapidly declining while the spiritual costs are rapidly increasing. We need to remain open and continually survey all these possibilities, not only intellectually but also imaginatively and intuitively, while resisting the formation of any rigid conclusions, one way or the other, that our spiritual activity will be forced to flow through.
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Federica »

Ashvin, I am short of time to reply now, but anyway, that's a lot of distorsion to what I wrote. I am at loss to find out how to justify it.
"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: Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:24 pm Ashvin, I am short of time to reply now, but anyway, that's a lot of distorsion to what I wrote. I am at loss to find out how to justify it.

You accuse me of "distortion" or something similar every time you can't find a way of responding to the logic of what was written. I hope this pattern will eventually stop.
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To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Thu Jun 13, 2024 9:17 pm
Cleric, why doesn't Steiner put coffee (and tea, at this rate) in the same bucket as alcohol, absinthe and cocaine? Why not put sugar in the psychoactive bucket then? It seems to me that there is a blatantly enormous difference in the way coffee, tea, sugar alter waking consciousness compared to a substance that resets the perceptual spectrum to a parallel fantastic dreamscape.

By the way, I believe the triggering effect of psychedelics is more likely to lock the person into limiting ideas rather than unlocking anything. See for example the first comment in the above-linked episode 14. For him, the goal of study and preparation is to enhance the next psychedelic experience!
Of course, I didn't intend to put everything in the same bucket. There are degrees obviously. Coffee can be used to energize our inner activity a little but we should remember that in the longer run we need to address why we need this energizing from without to begin with.

BTW, as someone who uses coffee only occasionally, it has been quite scary when some time ago I saw this:



I guess this doesn't apply to all regular users but still, I never thought caffeine could become such an integral part of one's personality (the tobacco example is more obvious).

So things are not so black and white. Everything we do has some repercussions. Just because we consider our baseline consciousness to be 'sober', it doesn't mean that our life choices don't steer our movie in unknown ways. As a simple example, having a bad relationship with a family member could have an equally hindering effect on our ability to go deeper. Normally we don't think that this relationship takes something away from our waking consciousness, that is, we don't consider ourselves 'drunk' because of it. Yet in the deeper strata of soul life these things are present and elastically steer our flow. For this reason, instead of separating things into buckets allowed/forbidden, we should consider everything in its manifold relations.

With this I'm not trying to leave the door open for psychedelics. 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.

So when we reach the point in our inner life where we breathe and live in the Love flow of the Divine, anything that we place in between is a hindrance. But this doesn't preclude that for someone a psychedelic experience can act like "Wow, look at all these aspects of my inner life that go completely unnoticed." Our present secular life really has the tendency to put us to sleep in the sensory dream. There are plenty of people who are not even aware of their inner dialog. Life simply flows through instinctive pushes and pulls. So for such a person, even becoming conscious of the inner dialog is a kind of awakening. Of course, things get troublesome if one believes that they must keep taking the substance if they are to maintain that level of awareness.

So let me say it thus: In direct communication with a person, I believe that talking, explaining things, etc. has greater power than handing them a bag of shrooms. But I still think that for those who because of their Karma may stumble upon such experiences, they could act like a wake-up call (whether they'll take that call and how, is a different matter). Or put in another way, it's much more likely that one may get a wake-up call from mushrooms than from getting drunk as a log. But if I have direct contact with the person I'll advise neither. I would rather try to converse.
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