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

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

Post by Federica »

Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 3:25 pm 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.

Ok, Cleric, thanks.
Regarding the supposed triggering effect, however, the question was not whether psychedelics can trigger a "Wow, look at all these aspects of my inner life that go completely unnoticed", but whether it can be the initiating event of a healthy spiritual development. That is what I question, and I am still not convinced there are good reasons to believe so (and I still await to be proven wrong). Do you know anyone for whom it worked that way? Or have you heard of or read about anyone?


Regarding caffeine, there seems to be a big variance in sensitivity from person to person. For my part, though I have never avoided it for three months, I can easily concentrate, read, write, work, without a morning coffee. I am sure about that, since I do it regularly. For my part, the slight invigorating effect that I can indeed distinguish from coffee is minor compared to the one produced by physical exercise, for instance. I guess I'm not alone in this, and in this sense these "genetic" variations seem relevant. So I don't "use" coffee with premeditation, to enhance mental capacities, and I could conceive to pause it for a certain time, as a test.
"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 »

AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:43 pm
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.


I don't need to accuse you, Ashvin, it's all there under the sun, and you have written it.

Regarding the convenient question that makes sense, that psychedelic could trigger good stuff, you say:
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.


I have not reviewed the literature. I am ready to read the article you have linked (and other literature) but only if it contains some evidence, or account, that people have tested mushrooms and, as a consequence, have engaged a healthy (in the sense we intend "healthy" on this forum of course) spiritual development. Does it contain it?

All your further considerations are theorizing that does not at all answer the very simple question that I have asked:
Do you personally know, or have you heard of, read about, anyone who has started a healthy spiritual development as a consequence of taking psychedelics?
Everything else is chatter that does not "make sense" other than as an arbitrary speculation, a thought that is indeed convenient for a variety of purposes, but doesn't qualify as a legitimate supporting argument for psychedelic practice.
"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"

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Federica wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 5:39 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 1:43 pm
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.


I don't need to accuse you, Ashvin, it's all there under the sun, and you have written it.

What is there under the Sun, as Cleric put it, is "separating things into buckets allowed/forbidden". I don't think you are quite conscious of how often your comments on these issues follow that pattern. And that is only to be expected because you often approach the issues with antipathy, irritation, suspicion, or something similar. The 'middle ground' you speak of is only on paper in those cases, whereas your reasoning through the issues follows clear binary lines.

When we say there is another option for our conceptual activity, as Cleric put it, to "consider everything in its manifold relations", you say this is not possible because you haven't developed clairvoyance yet. You can't trace the influences of particular brain regions, of particular psychedelic substances, etc. etc., so the only other option is to continue relying on binary judgments. You are 'stunned' when I express more nuance on the topic and acknowledge when others make valid points.

I am simply trying to help you see this underlying pattern. Much of what we have written here recently, and the core theme of my essays, has been the overlap of living conceptual activity and higher-order spiritual activity. The former is perfectly capable of resisting the quick binary judgments and patiently tracing the manifold relations. And I know you are perfectly capable of understanding this and engaging that living activity, as evidenced by your comments on the essays. It is only when you approach the content already in a mood of antipathy, irritation, suspicion, etc. that your conceptual movements and conceptual understanding correspondingly suffer.

Federica wrote:Regarding the convenient question that makes sense, that psychedelic could trigger good stuff, you say:
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.


I have not reviewed the literature. I am ready to read the article you have linked (and other literature) but only if it contains some evidence, or account, that people have tested mushrooms and, as a consequence, have engaged a healthy (in the sense we intend "healthy" on this forum of course) spiritual development. Does it contain it?

All your further considerations are theorizing that does not at all answer the very simple question that I have asked:
Do you personally know, or have you read about, anyone who has started a healthy spiritual development as a consequence of taking psychedelics?
Everything else is chatter that does not "make sense" other than as an arbitrary speculation, a thought that is indeed convenient for a variety of purposes, but doesn't qualify as a legitimate supporting argument for psychedelic practice.

Is there no one who has used psychedelics and, from that experience, decided to pursue esoteric development who would have otherwise remained comfortable in materialistic dreams? I am not going to try to 'prove' to you that our spiritual activity should remain more fluid and open-ended, that it shouldn't set impossible standards of proof before it allows itself to resist the binary judgments and trace the manifold relations.
"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: Fri Jun 14, 2024 6:07 pm What is there under the Sun, as Cleric put it, is "separating things into buckets allowed/forbidden". I don't think you are quite conscious of how often your comments on these issues follow that pattern. And that is only to be expected because you often approach the issues with antipathy, irritation, suspicion, or something similar. The 'middle ground' you speak of is only on paper in those cases, whereas your reasoning through the issues follows clear binary lines.



You are reading what is not there, Ashvin. To use your expression, you are projecting on me patterns that you have decided (since a long time) to be my modus operandi. Cleric wrote:

"The more I ponder the question, the more I think that something similar [to the effects of meat consumption] holds with psychoactives (yes, caffeine included)."


Consequently, I asked why put them in the same bucket (as per explicit content in the sentence above) while Steiner doesn't. What I asked does not in the least suggest that I am inclined to put psychoactive in buckets. It's simply an expression that I have used to question the inclusion of caffeine in a group of (if you don't like the word "bucket") psychoactives, for which something similar to meat consumption happens.

So basically, and factually, Cleric has put psychoactives, including coffee, in the bucket of substances whose intake's effects can be compared with meat's, but, for some reason that you should explain, you have reversed that, and now it's like I am the one who implied buckets. The French would say: we are walking on our hands here.


Besides, I don't know what to do with your other considerations about me, which practically mean that you think I suffer from DID :)
"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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Cleric K
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

Post by Cleric K »

Federica wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 5:15 pm Ok, Cleric, thanks.
Regarding the supposed triggering effect, however, the question was not whether psychedelics can trigger a "Wow, look at all these aspects of my inner life that go completely unnoticed", but whether it can be the initiating event of a healthy spiritual development. That is what I question, and I am still not convinced there are good reasons to believe so (and I still await to be proven wrong). Do you know anyone for whom it worked that way? Or have you heard of or read about anyone?
I think you are trying to see things in an overly simplistic way.

I remember I read an article about lab research attempting to develop a psilocybin analog that does not have psychoactive properties, yet preserves therapeutic properties like overcoming addiction, trauma, etc. In other words, they hope that they can make a pill that heals the brain from addiction without the patient feeling anything. He just awakens the next morning and the addiction is gone. Someone in the comments had written something like "What fools... The treatment is effective precisely because of the inner experience."

And this was a very simple and correct observation. What the researchers wanted to accomplish is the crudest materialism of all. It's no different than wanting to sedate the patient, open the skull and excise the faulty neurons (if that was possible). Then the patient wakes up addiction-free, without moving a finger and without knowing how he got cured. He simply 'forgot' about the addiction. Yet the therapy can have an effect exactly because the person goes through an inner experience. The usual grooves are shaken and he may realize the downward direction he's moving and also that there are many other things to live for. These experiences are rarely pleasant. But that's also why people agree that the so-called 'bad trips' turn out to be of the greatest value in hindsight. Facing our fears, seeing ourselves from a new angle (of which we have been so far blind) can be traumatizing, but at the same time this can motivate us to change something in our life.

Once again, I'm not advertising psychedelics but trying to say that the chemical activity is only a condition. What makes the experience is primarily the way the "I" reacts to these changed conditions. Think about your alcohol experiment. We often imagine that being intoxicated feels in a particular way, we become more talkative, loosened, bold, loud, we dance, etc. But is it really the alcohol molecule that does this? Or it is simply because we have grown up in a society where this is what people do under the influence? Imagine that you don't know what alcohol is, how it affects people, etc. You accidentally ingest some and begin to experience effects. Do you think that this will make you dance and laugh? Or you would rather be terrified, wonder what's going on, and think that maybe you are dying? Actually, there's a real-life case that is similar to this. Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD. He didn't know that it has psychoactive properties, nor that it is absorbed through the skin. Needless to say, his accidental experience has been terrifying.

My point is that what happens with these substances depends vastly on who the person is. I don't know if I'm an example of someone on a healthy spiritual path but as I have said before, my interests in spiritual matters have grown out of cannabis use. I'm not saying in the least that cannabis leads to spiritual interests. This is even much less the case than it is with classic psychedelics. It's just that I had interests in the brain, science, consciousness, artificial intelligence, even before I had tried cannabis. Thus the experiences were for me occasions to introspect and seek understanding. This is not caused by the plant itself. None of my peers were triggered in such a direction.

So we can safely say that no substance in itself triggers spiritual interests. Even NDEs don't. However, if the karmic circumstances are such that the person already has some dormant predisposition for such things, then such experiences may ignite the interest. And this ties with what I said in the previous post. If a person has such a predisposition then it is likely they will be triggered by simply talking and thinking about certain ideas. If the person doesn't already show at least some interest in science, philosophy, the brain, etc. it is unlikely that a trip will be a stimulus in that direction either.

Where psychedelics become unnecessary and even detrimental is that they may help to realize only things that are already more or less in the vicinity of our conscious horizon, the low-hanging fruit, so to speak. To progress further than that we need real efforts.
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AshvinP
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Re: GA 13 - Rudolf Steiner's "Secret Science in Outline"

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Federica wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 7:02 pm
AshvinP wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 6:07 pm What is there under the Sun, as Cleric put it, is "separating things into buckets allowed/forbidden". I don't think you are quite conscious of how often your comments on these issues follow that pattern. And that is only to be expected because you often approach the issues with antipathy, irritation, suspicion, or something similar. The 'middle ground' you speak of is only on paper in those cases, whereas your reasoning through the issues follows clear binary lines.



You are reading what is not there, Ashvin. To use your expression, you are projecting on me patterns that you have decided (since a long time) to be my modus operandi. Cleric wrote:

"The more I ponder the question, the more I think that something similar [to the effects of meat consumption] holds with psychoactives (yes, caffeine included)."


Consequently, I asked why put them in the same bucket (as per explicit content in the sentence above) while Steiner doesn't. What I asked does not in the least suggest that I am inclined to put psychoactive in buckets. It's simply an expression that I have used to question the inclusion of caffeine in a group of (if you don't like the word "bucket") psychoactives, for which something similar to meat consumption happens.

So basically, and factually, Cleric has put psychoactives, including coffee, in the bucket of substances whose intake's effects can be compared with meat's, but, for some reason that you should explain, you have reversed that, and now it's like I am the one who implied buckets. The French would say: we are walking on our hands here.

If I had approached that same 'explicit content', and initially read it as assigning substances into the same bucket to make a firm conclusion about their effects, my reasoning process would go somewhat as follows:

"That is odd, because I know that the bucket mode of conceptual activity is one of the root problems in modern thinking. For ex. dualism is born from people taking some phenomenal experiences (sensory impressions or their measurable mathematical abstractions) and putting them in the bucket of 'objective reality' and taking others (inner experiences) and putting them in the bucket of 'subjective reality', and then making that division into a firm conclusion. Cleric would not be engaging this bucket mode of conceptualization, but rather, from the whole context of what I know about his intuitive approach, he would be artfully expressing his underlying fluid intuition about the spiritual influences of various physical substances with these concepts. Therefore my initial bucket impression must be something that I am projecting into his words, a reflection of my own thinking-gestures, rather than his."

Then, if I still could not hone in on the intuition he is painting (from one limited angle) with those concepts, I would start thinking about how I may still be ignorant of many spiritual influences and evolutionary trends that would help me make better sense of it (for ex. those expressed by Steiner here). That would be especially the case once he wrote a follow-up comment further clarifying the intent and meaning of the post. The point is that I would first look for the most obvious reasons for my confusion, which almost always reside within my own soul tendencies and/or ignorance or misconceptions or expectations, rather than those of people with a much better intuitive orientation to spiritual reality than myself. (which is not to say such people cannot ever be in error... of course, they can be).

I discussed this briefly in Part II:

How often do we simply assume what other people think and feel is either similar to what we think and feel or in opposition to it, based on our own mysterious sympathy and antipathy for them? We make these projective assumptions because we seem to have no other choice in the course of normal sensory life; our conceptual activity simply cannot penetrate into the inner depths of outer appearances. Most of these appearances are increasingly meeting us as a Rorschach test into which our conceptual activity projects its subconscious assumptions, beliefs, tastes, and preferences to reach firm conclusions about ‘what they are’. How many of our intellectual opinions about the ‘state of the world’ say more about our own current state of being? To be clear, the projected thoughts and feelings are not completely arbitrary – they have some relation to the inner depths, just as the overtones are related to the subharmonics, which in turn are both related to the underlying rhythms of a musical composition.
Federica wrote: Besides, I don't know what to do with your other considerations about me, which practically mean that you think I suffer from DID :)

I understand why you say this and it points to a key issue. What we become sensitive to with imaginative development is how our default soul configuration is like a ship with a weak hull, whenever we patch a leak up at one place it comes to expression at another place. Moreover, we realize how generally helpless we are to strengthen the integrity of the hull. Even when we feel we have understood the source of the leaks at a deep level, they keep springing from new places. We are in the most vulnerable position when we start to feel certain thinking habits are 'things of the past', i.e. we practically lose sight of the fact that the integrity of the hull is still compromised. Gradually we will strengthen the integrity, but it takes a long time, with work on multiple fronts and multiple different levels of being.

Of course, all of this can be rationalized away if we convince ourselves what is being written is simply an example of the principle at work, i.e. my comments about projective assumptions and so forth is itself an ongoing projection. I am projecting my past ideas about you into almost every comment you write and this has been going on across several different threads and across many different comments on those threads, and once in a while, Cleric joins in the projection too when talking about "buckets", "black and white", "overly simplistic", and so forth. The intellect can certainly make that conclusion and it is a perfectly rational one. It can be endlessly clever in that way. There is no way for me to 'prove' the case is otherwise.

At the end of the day, I know of no other way to address these suspicions than (a) Time (coupled with our efforts at inner development) and (b) to experiment with unwavering trust in the evaluation of others whom we have reason to respect. We don't have much to lose with such trust and we have much to gain. I have not once taken this trusting approach with Steiner, Cleric, or anyone similar and then realized my initial suspicions were correct all along, they were expressing substantial contradictions with themselves or with others and I had spotted the discrepancy on the first read-through. That has never happened.
"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 »

AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 12:14 am At the end of the day, I know of no other way to address these suspicions than (a) Time (coupled with our efforts at inner development) and (b) to experiment with unwavering trust in the evaluation of others whom we have reason to respect. We don't have much to lose with such trust and we have much to gain. I have not once taken this trusting approach with Steiner, Cleric, or anyone similar and then realized my initial suspicions were correct all along, they were expressing substantial contradictions with themselves or with others and I had spotted the discrepancy on the first read-through. That has never happened.

I also want to add here, just to be clear, in no way am I suggesting it is bad to comment on these issues, push back on ideas, express doubts, question claims that are made, etc. Sometimes we may want to refrain from that but, other times, it is a great way of intuitive experimentation. That is provided we are receptive to the feedback that results from the experimentation.

As a crude comparison, we could imagine a QM scientist who is suspicious of the superposition of histories for a particle that collapses into a particular history via human spiritual activity, so he devises a very clever experiment to test that narrative. When the results come back and reinforce the narrative, however, he throws them in the trash and starts from scratch, saying "I will devise more and more experiments until the results meet my preference and expectations."

We should always try to remain receptive to the feedback we receive from the intuitive experimentation, even if it cuts across our previous opinions and expectations. We shouldn't be stunned that the results don't exactly match our initial ideas about the topic.

The other thing to mention , which may be related to the DID comment, is that the surfacing of unruly and independently meandering thinking and feeling habits is actually a positive sign of inner development. I discussed that in Part III with the clock metaphor:

When we cross this inversion horizon into the imaginative state, something similar to the three clocks in different rooms begins to happen within our soul experience. Our thinking, feeling, and willing soul activity begins to split apart such that we experience these streams more distinctly and have to manage their respective flows more independently than we did during our instinctive phase of existence. We sense how each of these activities ‘stir’ our soul space in unique ways and then seek to harmonize their ‘vibrational frequencies’ like we are tuning a musical instrument. It is like we are actively seeking the conjunction points where the hands on the clock completely overlap, thus producing what we experience as ‘insights’ into the experiential flow, instead of simply waiting for them to happen as a matter of course. Now we are tuning an instrument not only for our personal pleasure or for economic reasons, but because we freely desire that the spiritual Cosmos should have a properly tuned human instrument when orchestrating its morally enriching streams of destiny.

Normally the clock hands are kept somewhat in synchronization for us and, when they go out of sync, we are 'spared' knowledge of their unruly behavior. We only dimly perceive their surface-level effects in negative emotions and disorderly thoughts, but even those may not register because we are so merged with them. But on the inner path, we delaminate the psychic layers and become more responsible for managing the emotional and mental spaces for ourselves, and this can initially be experienced as an irruption of feeling/thinking habits and impulses that were otherwise kept in check or merged into the background. We may find that certain types of sensory content trigger these inner impulses much more quickly and intensely than before. The key is to become ever-more conscious of this new state of affairs and receive the unruly mental and emotional tendencies as constructive feedback for how to steer our efforts going forward.
"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 »

Cleric K wrote: Fri Jun 14, 2024 8:19 pm I think you are trying to see things in an overly simplistic way.

I remember I read an article about lab research attempting to develop a psilocybin analog that does not have psychoactive properties, yet preserves therapeutic properties like overcoming addiction, trauma, etc. In other words, they hope that they can make a pill that heals the brain from addiction without the patient feeling anything. He just awakens the next morning and the addiction is gone. Someone in the comments had written something like "What fools... The treatment is effective precisely because of the inner experience."

And this was a very simple and correct observation. What the researchers wanted to accomplish is the crudest materialism of all. It's no different than wanting to sedate the patient, open the skull and excise the faulty neurons (if that was possible). Then the patient wakes up addiction-free, without moving a finger and without knowing how he got cured. He simply 'forgot' about the addiction. Yet the therapy can have an effect exactly because the person goes through an inner experience. The usual grooves are shaken and he may realize the downward direction he's moving and also that there are many other things to live for. These experiences are rarely pleasant. But that's also why people agree that the so-called 'bad trips' turn out to be of the greatest value in hindsight. Facing our fears, seeing ourselves from a new angle (of which we have been so far blind) can be traumatizing, but at the same time this can motivate us to change something in our life.

Once again, I'm not advertising psychedelics but trying to say that the chemical activity is only a condition. What makes the experience is primarily the way the "I" reacts to these changed conditions. Think about your alcohol experiment. We often imagine that being intoxicated feels in a particular way, we become more talkative, loosened, bold, loud, we dance, etc. But is it really the alcohol molecule that does this? Or it is simply because we have grown up in a society where this is what people do under the influence? Imagine that you don't know what alcohol is, how it affects people, etc. You accidentally ingest some and begin to experience effects. Do you think that this will make you dance and laugh? Or you would rather be terrified, wonder what's going on, and think that maybe you are dying? Actually, there's a real-life case that is similar to this. Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD. He didn't know that it has psychoactive properties, nor that it is absorbed through the skin. Needless to say, his accidental experience has been terrifying.

My point is that what happens with these substances depends vastly on who the person is. I don't know if I'm an example of someone on a healthy spiritual path but as I have said before, my interests in spiritual matters have grown out of cannabis use. I'm not saying in the least that cannabis leads to spiritual interests. This is even much less the case than it is with classic psychedelics. It's just that I had interests in the brain, science, consciousness, artificial intelligence, even before I had tried cannabis. Thus the experiences were for me occasions to introspect and seek understanding. This is not caused by the plant itself. None of my peers were triggered in such a direction.

So we can safely say that no substance in itself triggers spiritual interests. Even NDEs don't. However, if the karmic circumstances are such that the person already has some dormant predisposition for such things, then such experiences may ignite the interest. And this ties with what I said in the previous post. If a person has such a predisposition then it is likely they will be triggered by simply talking and thinking about certain ideas. If the person doesn't already show at least some interest in science, philosophy, the brain, etc. it is unlikely that a trip will be a stimulus in that direction either.

Where psychedelics become unnecessary and even detrimental is that they may help to realize only things that are already more or less in the vicinity of our conscious horizon, the low-hanging fruit, so to speak. To progress further than that we need real efforts.

"My point is that what happens with these substances depends vastly on who the person is."

I don't see why you felt it was useful to develop this point. In the unquoted part of my post I referred to just that, that there is big individual variation to what happens with substances, and I certainly agree when it comes to alcohol too, and other substances. Anyway the relevant thing for me is that you deem that for you psychoactives had that positive triggering effect. I had a wrong memory of previous posts then, which I may have interpreted, as Ashvin says.
"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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Location: Sweden

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

Post by Federica »

AshvinP wrote: Sat Jun 15, 2024 12:14 am If I had approached that same 'explicit content', and initially read it as assigning substances into the same bucket to make a firm conclusion about their effects, my reasoning process would go somewhat as follows:

"That is odd, because I know that the bucket mode of conceptual activity is one of the root problems in modern thinking. For ex. dualism is born from people taking some phenomenal experiences (sensory impressions or their measurable mathematical abstractions) and putting them in the bucket of 'objective reality' and taking others (inner experiences) and putting them in the bucket of 'subjective reality', and then making that division into a firm conclusion. Cleric would not be engaging this bucket mode of conceptualization, but rather, from the whole context of what I know about his intuitive approach, he would be artfully expressing his underlying fluid intuition about the spiritual influences of various physical substances with these concepts. Therefore my initial bucket impression must be something that I am projecting into his words, a reflection of my own thinking-gestures, rather than his."

Then, if I still could not hone in on the intuition he is painting (from one limited angle) with those concepts, I would start thinking about how I may still be ignorant of many spiritual influences and evolutionary trends that would help me make better sense of it (for ex. those expressed by Steiner here). That would be especially the case once he wrote a follow-up comment further clarifying the intent and meaning of the post. The point is that I would first look for the most obvious reasons for my confusion, which almost always reside within my own soul tendencies and/or ignorance or misconceptions or expectations, rather than those of people with a much better intuitive orientation to spiritual reality than myself. (which is not to say such people cannot ever be in error... of course, they can be).

I discussed this briefly in Part II:

How often do we simply assume what other people think and feel is either similar to what we think and feel or in opposition to it, based on our own mysterious sympathy and antipathy for them? We make these projective assumptions because we seem to have no other choice in the course of normal sensory life; our conceptual activity simply cannot penetrate into the inner depths of outer appearances. Most of these appearances are increasingly meeting us as a Rorschach test into which our conceptual activity projects its subconscious assumptions, beliefs, tastes, and preferences to reach firm conclusions about ‘what they are’. How many of our intellectual opinions about the ‘state of the world’ say more about our own current state of being? To be clear, the projected thoughts and feelings are not completely arbitrary – they have some relation to the inner depths, just as the overtones are related to the subharmonics, which in turn are both related to the underlying rhythms of a musical composition.



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. But you are wrong that, speaking of buckets, I was trying to push my confusion onto him. Saying that Cleric put psychoactive in buckets, I was only re-presenting the fact that he said “yes coffee included”. Included in what? After all, we can only write posts in concepts, and I was repeating - referencing - what he expressed. I could have just said “why do you say that coffee is included?” That’s what I did, only I had the misfortune to use the word ‘bucket’. ‘Bucket’ can be read as the evil problem of modern thinking as you describe, but can also be read simply as ‘concept’, though I acknowledge it’s not very artistic. Obviously the depth of understanding evoked by the same concept, even the same words, is different for each of us, but if we are here exchanging words and concepts, it is given, understood and accepted that this is the way things are. But despite that difference, there is a shared interest in the exchange, until there is one. And I remind, this happens through the limiting channel of asynchronous, written communication (and I also acknowledge that this mode limits the sense of I in different ways for different people). So you can certainly dislike my writing, and can even give me a lecture of humility, precisely because I have much to improve in soul consciousness among other things. But what you can’t do is box me (this time, yes) into your constructed reading of my own words.


BOXING MEDLEY:


“You are looking for clear, bright-line rules for spiritual development and evolution”

- You don’t know.


This one is particularly bad:
“Calling your admitted 'opinion' and 'aversion to psychedelics' a "principle" does not necessarily make it so”

- I didn’t call it 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…”

- I didn't express such opinion.



““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.”
That is another bright-line rule and is not in keeping with the principles of spiritual evolution"

- Here I was implicitly referencing something Cleric wrote, possibly in the Symphony thread (I am not finding it just yet, but perhaps you remember it) about the limitations we are submitted to, however we progress with inner work, given to human constitution in our epoch.



“Have you tried micro-dosing DMT? Can we say for certain that one 'resets the perceptual spectrum' while others don't?”


- This one really requires no comment...



And to wrap it all up:
"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."

Excuse me... after all the above, this makes me laugh
"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 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 :)
"A secret law contrives,
To give time symmetry:
There is, within our lives,
An exact mystery."
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