Islam and anthroposophy

Any topics primarily focused on metaphysics can be discussed here, in a generally casual way, where conversations may take unexpected turns.

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Güney27
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Islam and anthroposophy

Post by Güney27 »

Hello everyone :) ,
I've been thinking a lot about religions and especially Islam from an anthroposophical/esoteric perspective over the past few days.
As we all know, Steiner was very close to Christianity, even if his views did not correspond to mainstream theology.
However, according to Steiner, Islam was an Ahrimanic phenomenon.
It doesn't just stay with Rudolf Steiner, but many esoteric-minded people have an aversion to Islam
It is presented as pure dogmatism, hate and untruth.
What is of course completely ignored is the esoteric dimension that Islam has.
From sufis like ibn arabi or rumi to the shiites. They all have initiates and masters. For example, almost 1000 years ago, ibn arabi spoke of a mental world which can be recognized through imaginative perception and an overlying one of pure divine ideas (spiritual world).
or 'Alāoddawleh Semnānī who described man as having 7 mental organs (as in anthroposophy).
Like the Bible, the Koran is a sacred text that requires interpretation.
It is also not a problem for most of the Islamic masters to accept the Christ impulse, many sufis themselves said that Christ is their master.
An important person who brought the esotericism of Islam to the West in the 20th century is Henry Corbin.
I think he didn't get enough attention for his work.
The main question of this topic is, would (esoteric) Islam be compatible with anthroposophy and would you accept Islam as a path of initiation?

greetings
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, simpler.

Friedrich Nietzsche
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AshvinP
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Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by AshvinP »

Güney27 wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:09 pm Hello everyone :) ,
I've been thinking a lot about religions and especially Islam from an anthroposophical/esoteric perspective over the past few days.
As we all know, Steiner was very close to Christianity, even if his views did not correspond to mainstream theology.
However, according to Steiner, Islam was an Ahrimanic phenomenon.
It doesn't just stay with Rudolf Steiner, but many esoteric-minded people have an aversion to Islam
It is presented as pure dogmatism, hate and untruth.
What is of course completely ignored is the esoteric dimension that Islam has.
From sufis like ibn arabi or rumi to the shiites. They all have initiates and masters. For example, almost 1000 years ago, ibn arabi spoke of a mental world which can be recognized through imaginative perception and an overlying one of pure divine ideas (spiritual world).
or 'Alāoddawleh Semnānī who described man as having 7 mental organs (as in anthroposophy).
Like the Bible, the Koran is a sacred text that requires interpretation.
It is also not a problem for most of the Islamic masters to accept the Christ impulse, many sufis themselves said that Christ is their master.
An important person who brought the esotericism of Islam to the West in the 20th century is Henry Corbin.
I think he didn't get enough attention for his work.
The main question of this topic is, would (esoteric) Islam be compatible with anthroposophy and would you accept Islam as a path of initiation?

greetings

Guney,

This is of course a rich topic and one that will require significant study of spiritual science to approach the broader and deeper significance of the World Religions. In terms of the exoteric forms, we should understand them as all other forms which arise through a metamorphic progression. They all had specific qualities which made them arise at certain times and were suitable for the soul-growth of humanity in a specified environment of body-soul-spirit processes. What is most important for a holistic understanding of this progression is not the particular content of any religion, but the soul qualities and capacities which they helped to further. It is the same principle when we are trying to grow higher cognitive skills - we must stop focusing our cognitive efforts on understanding specific content and focus on the activity of cognition itself. Once we orient towards this overarching activity extended in time, we can re-approach the specific content with greater holistic understanding. At the end of the day, all the content of the World dies away, while the spiritual forces, capacities, skills which develop through that content remain.

When we talk about the Lucifer (spiritualizing, emotional) and Ahrimanic (materializing, intellectual) tendencies, we should always understand they are critical in the evolutionary progression of humanity. Without them, there would be no self-consciousness, no inner freedom of will, no intellectual or artistic capacity, no capacity to develop moral virtues. We really need to approach these things as a science and not as ethical judgments about 'good' vs. 'evil', the latter being standard M.O. for exoteric religious thinking. Lucifer and Ahriman are embedded within the Godhead as all other be-ings. Without any such prejudice, we can discern there is an oscillatory rhythm of spiritualizing and materializing impulses throughout cultural history. I think it is clear such an oscillation began occurring from the early Middle Ages to the time Islam began spreading into Europe. We see a clear intellectualizing of spirituality across all the Western religious streams during this time. There is a marked shift from discerning the Kingdom of God within to establishing it from without, which is particularly prominent in exoteric Islam. 

Esoterically, from the inner perspective on these exoteric forms, all Wisdom traditions are compatible with Anthroposophy. It is an evolutionary science of the body-soul-spirit. The initiates and masters of the various spiritual streams have always recognized, to one degree or another, the objective activity of the higher hierarchies which provide the spiritual impulses for human evolution. I am not too familiar with Sufism in particular. On the surface, it does seem to lean towards the collapsing of the spiritual depth structure into God the Father, which comes at the expense of the Christ impulse towards freedom. But to the extent the latter is clearly discerned in any particular Sufi thinker, then there should be value to be gleaned. The real task is to discern which stream is appropriate for the body-soul-spirit constellation of our own epoch of time, and our own cultural, national, and individual life. We could survey the various Wisdom traditions endlessly, just as we can with world philosophies and world-outlooks in general, but this won't do us much good in our own spiritual growth. Rather we need to orient with a stream which promotes greater self-consciousness and then use this living feedback to traverse the path well. It's about the quality of our thinking skill and knowledge, not the quantity. Modern initiation is open to all individuals regardless of religious background to the extent they can sacrifice prejudices and dogma and lay hold of their inner freedom. 
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
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Cleric K
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Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by Cleric K »

One more illustration to what Ashvin said. It should be clear that it’s not a question of some superficial opposition between Islam and Christianity. As a matter of fact, today’s exoteric Christianity has succumbed into the deepest materialism so we can be equally critical about it. We have heard this:
Luke 16:16 wrote:The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it.
So who’s the last prophet? John the Baptist or Muhammad? When posed in such an abstract way, questions like these are at the root of endless conflict and wars. The reason is simple: people cling to pictures of the past and quarrel over whose picture is greater. What’s missing is the attempt to penetrate into living reality.

The verse above signifies a critical transition in the evolution of humanity. What is a prophet? A person that speaks out of inspiration about things that are yet to come. John says “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. That which was prophesied for millennia is now at the doorstep. Once the Word becomes flesh, there’s no need for any more prophecies, because what had to happen already happened. Now the Kingdom literally presses into human souls. It is not somewhere out there in the future. It surrounds and penetrates our ordinary consciousness, it presses into our souls. The story of the last two millennia will be seen as one where this new consciousness presses harder and harder, while people exert greater and greater effort to resist it. Why do people resist it? Because that which presses into our consciousness is no other than the truth of our higher being, the Guardian at the Threshold. All our fascination with technology, with dead metaphysics, with endless amusements of the senses, with pursuit of vain excitements of emotions, seeks to distract us from that which presses into our consciousness from all sides.

In the time of the prophets, the Spirit of God was felt as we relate to auroras – Solar currents that illuminate the skies. We don’t see the Sun but its deeds illuminate the atmosphere of the soul. With the Christ event, Solar currents become Flesh. The Spirit can follow in full self-consciousness the Cosmic currents as they enter the soul and illuminate small auroras that we call thoughts. Of course, humans knew thoughts (inner auroras) for a long time, but they were felt as a mystery. The Greeks saw in them the mysterious work of the Logos, which in unfathomable ways gave order and meaning to the arrangements of auroras. It is very difficult for modern man to grasp how thinking felt for the ancient Greek because today we feel as if we possess our thoughts. But for the Greek thinking still felt (as a slightly exaggerated analogy) as an unceasing stream of dreamy poetry. The soul could feel that it influences and steers that stream but it could by no means feel itself consciously responsible for the rhythmic rhymes that structure the stream (and the difficult thing to grasp is that the soul couldn't stand to the side and reason abstractly about this stream – anything that could be reasoned had to be experienced as intrinsically flowing on the waves of this mysteriously ordered stream, there was no 'secondary' stream that could think about the first). To speak to the ancient Greek that he can be spiritual active in the rhythmic structuring of thinking would be just as incomprehensible, as it would be if someone were to say to us, present people, that we can think the rhythms of our heartbeat. We can of course be open to such a future possibility but at the present time we don’t know how to even imagine that, we don’t know what inner ‘buttons and levers’ of our spiritual activity we should operate for that to happen, we don’t know such inner degrees of freedom.

Today we’re at a stage where anyone can approach the experience of their spiritual activity as weaving along the inner perspective of the Sun’s rays as they enter the soul and ignite auroras in our inner atmosphere (imagination). That which for the Greek was felt to give the rhythmic structure of the stream of thoughts, today are inner degrees of freedom of our spiritual activity.

So we can ask ourselves: Am I willing to let that which presses into me from all directions, flow through me, as the first-person spiritual force that ignites auroras in my soul? Am I willing to accommodate that thinking force and “make its paths straight” such that the higher logic of reality can give impulse to my whole life of thinking, feeling and actions? Or I will steal that spiritual force and use it to satisfy my personal desires, while I resist the pressure?

When we see things in such a way, it becomes clear how wasteful are all arguments about who’s greater than who. Those who resist the pressure will will say that even Muhammad was not the last prophet, they wait for someone else. And this should be understood in a wider sense. Materialists also wait for their prophet. They wait for the star in the East, the next great scientist that will finally resolve the mysteries of the clockwork universe and an era of peace and understanding may reign. Everyone is waiting for something. The Jews wait for the Messiah yet to come. Christians wait for the second coming, new agers wait for the Pleiadians to evacuate them off the Earth, mystics wait for death as their liberation. Who is awake for the fact that that which everyone’s waiting for has already come and is pressing from all sides?

So before arguing about which religion was right and which wrong, we should be clear with ourselves: are we satisfied with watching auroras in our soul, ignited by unseen forces, while expecting at some future time the explanation of the forces to show up side by side with them as a shining orb that laterally ignites the auroras? Or we will realize that the orb has already arrived but “we knew it not”, simply because we didn’t expect it to arrive as the invisible force coming from ‘behind our back’, that can ignite the auroras “I am” in our soul?
Federica
Posts: 510
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Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by Federica »

Güney27 wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:09 pm Hello everyone :) ,
I've been thinking a lot about religions and especially Islam from an anthroposophical/esoteric perspective over the past few days.
As we all know, Steiner was very close to Christianity, even if his views did not correspond to mainstream theology.
However, according to Steiner, Islam was an Ahrimanic phenomenon.
It doesn't just stay with Rudolf Steiner, but many esoteric-minded people have an aversion to Islam
It is presented as pure dogmatism, hate and untruth.
What is of course completely ignored is the esoteric dimension that Islam has.
From sufis like ibn arabi or rumi to the shiites. They all have initiates and masters. For example, almost 1000 years ago, ibn arabi spoke of a mental world which can be recognized through imaginative perception and an overlying one of pure divine ideas (spiritual world).
or 'Alāoddawleh Semnānī who described man as having 7 mental organs (as in anthroposophy).
Like the Bible, the Koran is a sacred text that requires interpretation.
It is also not a problem for most of the Islamic masters to accept the Christ impulse, many sufis themselves said that Christ is their master.
An important person who brought the esotericism of Islam to the West in the 20th century is Henry Corbin.
I think he didn't get enough attention for his work.
The main question of this topic is, would (esoteric) Islam be compatible with anthroposophy and would you accept Islam as a path of initiation?

greetings
Hey Güney,

I think there is a noticeble evolution in your posts, and that you seem to come closer to the topics you ask about/speak about. Do you also feel that? I hope you will be inspired to continue!

In the case of this question about Islam for example, I was wondering if you could tell a little more of how you have come to the question, or maybe, more generally, what is the red thread in the topics you reflect on these days / how are you experiencing your individual way ahead?

“If we understand and feel that here in this life we already have a link with the infinite, desires and attitudes change. In the final analysis, we count for something only because of the essential we embody, and if we do not embody that, life is wasted.” (Carl Gustav Jung)
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Güney27
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Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by Güney27 »

Federica wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:21 pm
Güney27 wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:09 pm Hello everyone :) ,
I've been thinking a lot about religions and especially Islam from an anthroposophical/esoteric perspective over the past few days.
As we all know, Steiner was very close to Christianity, even if his views did not correspond to mainstream theology.
However, according to Steiner, Islam was an Ahrimanic phenomenon.
It doesn't just stay with Rudolf Steiner, but many esoteric-minded people have an aversion to Islam
It is presented as pure dogmatism, hate and untruth.
What is of course completely ignored is the esoteric dimension that Islam has.
From sufis like ibn arabi or rumi to the shiites. They all have initiates and masters. For example, almost 1000 years ago, ibn arabi spoke of a mental world which can be recognized through imaginative perception and an overlying one of pure divine ideas (spiritual world).
or 'Alāoddawleh Semnānī who described man as having 7 mental organs (as in anthroposophy).
Like the Bible, the Koran is a sacred text that requires interpretation.
It is also not a problem for most of the Islamic masters to accept the Christ impulse, many sufis themselves said that Christ is their master.
An important person who brought the esotericism of Islam to the West in the 20th century is Henry Corbin.
I think he didn't get enough attention for his work.
The main question of this topic is, would (esoteric) Islam be compatible with anthroposophy and would you accept Islam as a path of initiation?

greetings
Hey Güney,

I think there is a noticeble evolution in your posts, and that you seem to come closer to the topics you ask about/speak about. Do you also feel that? I hope you will be inspired to continue!

In the case of this question about Islam for example, I was wondering if you could tell a little more of how you have come to the question, or maybe, more generally, what is the red thread in the topics you reflect on these days / how are you experiencing your individual way ahead?
Hello Federica,
Thanks for the motivating words.
I've begun to understand that there is an inner dimension to all of the things we are discussing here.
Before, I put a lot of emphasis on understanding everything intellectually, but I've realized that this doesn't do me much good.
I've started reading TSH and am struggling through part one right now. I have the feeling that Klocek's book WILL help me to get on the path of inner transformation because it is written in a very practical way.
I have tried hard to understand that, for example, our mind is a sense organ for spiritual beings, but now I understand that there is no point intellectually in trying to understand spiritual truths, so I will do my best, with good will and discipline, to commit practice-oriented inner work.
Maybe it's the only way for me to understand spiritual truths.


I chose the subject of Islam because, for whatever reason, I am drawn to the oriental wisdom of Islamic masters.
And here too, Islam also has an esoteric/practice dimension, which is the path to understanding the truths of the scriptures.
I am most concerned with the thought of whether Islam is also compatible with Steiner's teachings and whether it is also a suitable path for initiation.
somehow I find Steiner's very scientific portrayal of spiritual truth too monotonous, and am looking for a more poetic/artistic portrayal.

Kind regards
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, simpler.

Friedrich Nietzsche
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AshvinP
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Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by AshvinP »

Güney27 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:28 pm
Federica wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:21 pm
Güney27 wrote: Mon Nov 21, 2022 8:09 pm Hello everyone :) ,
I've been thinking a lot about religions and especially Islam from an anthroposophical/esoteric perspective over the past few days.
As we all know, Steiner was very close to Christianity, even if his views did not correspond to mainstream theology.
However, according to Steiner, Islam was an Ahrimanic phenomenon.
It doesn't just stay with Rudolf Steiner, but many esoteric-minded people have an aversion to Islam
It is presented as pure dogmatism, hate and untruth.
What is of course completely ignored is the esoteric dimension that Islam has.
From sufis like ibn arabi or rumi to the shiites. They all have initiates and masters. For example, almost 1000 years ago, ibn arabi spoke of a mental world which can be recognized through imaginative perception and an overlying one of pure divine ideas (spiritual world).
or 'Alāoddawleh Semnānī who described man as having 7 mental organs (as in anthroposophy).
Like the Bible, the Koran is a sacred text that requires interpretation.
It is also not a problem for most of the Islamic masters to accept the Christ impulse, many sufis themselves said that Christ is their master.
An important person who brought the esotericism of Islam to the West in the 20th century is Henry Corbin.
I think he didn't get enough attention for his work.
The main question of this topic is, would (esoteric) Islam be compatible with anthroposophy and would you accept Islam as a path of initiation?

greetings
Hey Güney,

I think there is a noticeble evolution in your posts, and that you seem to come closer to the topics you ask about/speak about. Do you also feel that? I hope you will be inspired to continue!

In the case of this question about Islam for example, I was wondering if you could tell a little more of how you have come to the question, or maybe, more generally, what is the red thread in the topics you reflect on these days / how are you experiencing your individual way ahead?
Hello Federica,
Thanks for the motivating words.
I've begun to understand that there is an inner dimension to all of the things we are discussing here.
Before, I put a lot of emphasis on understanding everything intellectually, but I've realized that this doesn't do me much good.
I've started reading TSH and am struggling through part one right now. I have the feeling that Klocek's book WILL help me to get on the path of inner transformation because it is written in a very practical way.
I have tried hard to understand that, for example, our mind is a sense organ for spiritual beings, but now I understand that there is no point intellectually in trying to understand spiritual truths, so I will do my best, with good will and discipline, to commit practice-oriented inner work.
Maybe it's the only way for me to understand spiritual truths.


I chose the subject of Islam because, for whatever reason, I am drawn to the oriental wisdom of Islamic masters.
And here too, Islam also has an esoteric/practice dimension, which is the path to understanding the truths of the scriptures.
I am most concerned with the thought of whether Islam is also compatible with Steiner's teachings and whether it is also a suitable path for initiation.
somehow I find Steiner's very scientific portrayal of spiritual truth too monotonous, and am looking for a more poetic/artistic portrayal.

Kind regards

Guney,

I am sure Federica will be responding, so I just want to share a lecture passage from Steiner in the meantime which could be helpful.

It is unlikely much inner transformation will occur through spiritual practices unless we also decondition from our personalized interests, desires, and preferences. A big one for modern humans is the preference for convenience. We need to be very honest with ourselves on the path of Self-knowledge, and desires for convenience can really blunt our willpower which is necessary for any conscious vertical ascension. It is not about getting rid of the intellectual understanding (which is not other than spiritual understanding), but purifying the intellect of its lower conditioning through dispassionate, equananimous Logic which encompasses our be-ing, as body-soul-spirit, more and more holistically. You will notice that Klocek does not only provide spiritual exercises but also precise intellectual reasoning for why the exercises are being carried out in the context of a bigger picture spiritual evolution. It is critical for every individual on the path to internalize this reasoning for themselves.

Steiner wrote:Now with regard to this question, which has been mentioned here because it is very likely to be asked, all considerations of convenience in life must be put aside; there must be scrupulous self-examination to find whether or not such questions are tainted by that habitual slackness in life which we know only too well; that man is fundamentally unwilling to learn, unwilling to take hold of the spiritual because this is inconvenient for him. We must ask ourselves: Does not something of this fear of inconvenience and discomfort creep into such questions? Let us admit that we really do begin by thinking that there is an easier path to Anthroposophy than all that is presented, for example, in our literature. It is often said lightheartedly that, after all, a man need only know himself, need only try to be a good and righteous human being, and then he is a sufficiently good Anthroposophist. Yes, my dear friends, but precisely this gives us the deeper knowledge that there is nothing more difficult than to be a good man in the real sense and that nothing needs so much preparation as the attainment of this ideal.
...
Why do we need consolation in life? Because something may distress us, because we have to suffer and undergo painful experiences. Now it is natural for a man to feel that something in him rebels against this suffering. And he asks: ‘Why have I to bear it, why has it fallen to my lot? Could not my life have been without pain, could it not have brought me contentment?’ A man who puts the question in this way can only find an answer when he understands the nature of human karma, of human destiny. Why do we suffer?
...
Suppose a young man has lived up to the age of eighteen or so entirely on his father; his life has been happy and carefree; he has had everything he wanted. Then the father loses his fortune, becomes bankrupt, and the youth is obliged to set about learning something, to exert himself. Life brings him many sufferings and deprivations. It is readily understandable that the sufferings are not at all to his liking. But now think of him at the age of fifty. Because circumstances obliged him to learn something in his youth he has turned into a decent, self-respecting human being. He has found his feet in life and can say to himself: ‘My attitude to the sufferings and deprivations was natural at the time; but now I think quite differently about them; I realise now that the sufferings would not have come to me if in those days I had possessed all the virtues — even the very limited virtues of a boy of eighteen. If no suffering had come my way I should have remained a good-for-nothing. It was the sufferings that changed the imperfections into something more perfect. It is due to the suffering that I am not the same human being I was forty years ago. What was it, then, that joined forces in me at that time? My own imperfections and my suffering joined forces. And my imperfections sought out the suffering so that they might be removed and transformed into perfections.’

This attitude can even arise from quite an ordinary view of life between birth and death. And if we think deeply about life as a whole, facing our karma in the way indicated in the lecture yesterday, we shall finally be convinced that the sufferings along our path are sought out by our imperfections. The vast majority of sufferings are, indeed, sought out by the imperfections we have brought with us from earlier incarnations. And because of these imperfections a wiser being within us seeks for the path leading to the sufferings. For it is a golden rule in life that as human beings we have perpetually within us a being who is much wiser, much cleverer than we ourselves. The ‘I’ of ordinary life has far less wisdom, and if faced with the alternative of seeking either pain or happiness would certainly choose the path to happiness. The wiser being operates in depths of the subconscious life to which ordinary consciousness does not extend. This wiser being diverts our gaze from the path to superficial happiness and kindles within us a magic power which, without our conscious knowledge, leads us towards the suffering. But what does this mean: without our conscious knowledge? It means that the wiser being is prevailing over the less wise one, and this wiser being invariably acts within us so that it guides our imperfections to our sufferings, allowing us to suffer because every outer and inner suffering removes some imperfection and leads to greater perfection.

We may be willing to accept such principles in theory, but that is not of much account. A great deal is achieved, however, if in certain solemn and dedicated moments of life we try strenuously to make such principles the very lifeblood of the soul. In the hurry and bustle, the work and the duties of ordinary life, this is not always possible; under these circumstances we cannot always oust the being of lesser wisdom — who is, after all, part of us. But in certain deliberately chosen moments, however short they may be, we shall be able to say to ourselves: I will turn away from the hubbub of outer life and view my sufferings in such a way that I realise how the wiser being within me has been drawn to them by a magic power, how I imposed upon myself certain pain without which I should not have overcome this or that imperfection. A feeling of the peace inherent in wisdom will then arise, bringing the realisation that even when the world seems full of suffering, there too it is full of wisdom! In this way, life is enriched through Anthroposophy. We may forget it again in the affairs of external life, but if we do not forget it altogether and repeat the exercise steadfastly, we shall find that a kind of seed has been laid in the soul and that many a feeling of sadness and depression changes into a more positive attitude, into strength and energy. And then out of such quiet moments in life we will acquire more harmonious souls and become stronger individuals.
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
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AshvinP
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Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by AshvinP »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:40 pm
Steiner wrote:Now with regard to this question, which has been mentioned here because it is very likely to be asked, all considerations of convenience in life must be put aside; there must be scrupulous self-examination to find whether or not such questions are tainted by that habitual slackness in life which we know only too well; that man is fundamentally unwilling to learn, unwilling to take hold of the spiritual because this is inconvenient for him. We must ask ourselves: Does not something of this fear of inconvenience and discomfort creep into such questions? Let us admit that we really do begin by thinking that there is an easier path to Anthroposophy than all that is presented, for example, in our literature. It is often said lightheartedly that, after all, a man need only know himself, need only try to be a good and righteous human being, and then he is a sufficiently good Anthroposophist. Yes, my dear friends, but precisely this gives us the deeper knowledge that there is nothing more difficult than to be a good man in the real sense and that nothing needs so much preparation as the attainment of this ideal.
...
Why do we need consolation in life? Because something may distress us, because we have to suffer and undergo painful experiences. Now it is natural for a man to feel that something in him rebels against this suffering. And he asks: ‘Why have I to bear it, why has it fallen to my lot? Could not my life have been without pain, could it not have brought me contentment?’ A man who puts the question in this way can only find an answer when he understands the nature of human karma, of human destiny. Why do we suffer?
...
Suppose a young man has lived up to the age of eighteen or so entirely on his father; his life has been happy and carefree; he has had everything he wanted. Then the father loses his fortune, becomes bankrupt, and the youth is obliged to set about learning something, to exert himself. Life brings him many sufferings and deprivations. It is readily understandable that the sufferings are not at all to his liking. But now think of him at the age of fifty. Because circumstances obliged him to learn something in his youth he has turned into a decent, self-respecting human being. He has found his feet in life and can say to himself: ‘My attitude to the sufferings and deprivations was natural at the time; but now I think quite differently about them; I realise now that the sufferings would not have come to me if in those days I had possessed all the virtues — even the very limited virtues of a boy of eighteen. If no suffering had come my way I should have remained a good-for-nothing. It was the sufferings that changed the imperfections into something more perfect. It is due to the suffering that I am not the same human being I was forty years ago. What was it, then, that joined forces in me at that time? My own imperfections and my suffering joined forces. And my imperfections sought out the suffering so that they might be removed and transformed into perfections.’

This attitude can even arise from quite an ordinary view of life between birth and death. And if we think deeply about life as a whole, facing our karma in the way indicated in the lecture yesterday, we shall finally be convinced that the sufferings along our path are sought out by our imperfections. The vast majority of sufferings are, indeed, sought out by the imperfections we have brought with us from earlier incarnations. And because of these imperfections a wiser being within us seeks for the path leading to the sufferings. For it is a golden rule in life that as human beings we have perpetually within us a being who is much wiser, much cleverer than we ourselves. The ‘I’ of ordinary life has far less wisdom, and if faced with the alternative of seeking either pain or happiness would certainly choose the path to happiness. The wiser being operates in depths of the subconscious life to which ordinary consciousness does not extend. This wiser being diverts our gaze from the path to superficial happiness and kindles within us a magic power which, without our conscious knowledge, leads us towards the suffering. But what does this mean: without our conscious knowledge? It means that the wiser being is prevailing over the less wise one, and this wiser being invariably acts within us so that it guides our imperfections to our sufferings, allowing us to suffer because every outer and inner suffering removes some imperfection and leads to greater perfection.

We may be willing to accept such principles in theory, but that is not of much account. A great deal is achieved, however, if in certain solemn and dedicated moments of life we try strenuously to make such principles the very lifeblood of the soul. In the hurry and bustle, the work and the duties of ordinary life, this is not always possible; under these circumstances we cannot always oust the being of lesser wisdom — who is, after all, part of us. But in certain deliberately chosen moments, however short they may be, we shall be able to say to ourselves: I will turn away from the hubbub of outer life and view my sufferings in such a way that I realise how the wiser being within me has been drawn to them by a magic power, how I imposed upon myself certain pain without which I should not have overcome this or that imperfection. A feeling of the peace inherent in wisdom will then arise, bringing the realisation that even when the world seems full of suffering, there too it is full of wisdom! In this way, life is enriched through Anthroposophy. We may forget it again in the affairs of external life, but if we do not forget it altogether and repeat the exercise steadfastly, we shall find that a kind of seed has been laid in the soul and that many a feeling of sadness and depression changes into a more positive attitude, into strength and energy. And then out of such quiet moments in life we will acquire more harmonious souls and become stronger individuals.

This is from the same lecture and should have been included:
For it is a delusion to imagine you can discover the divine man in yourself. Only what is experienced in the outer world is stored inside, but the divine man in us can only be found when we search in our soul for the mirrored world beyond the physical. So that those things which can sometimes prove difficult and uncomfortable to learn are nothing else but self-knowledge. And true Anthroposophy is in reality true self-knowledge! From Spiritual Science we receive enlightenment about our own self. For where in reality is the self? Is the self within our skin? No, the self is outpoured over the world; everything that is and has been in the world is part and parcel of the self. We learn to know the self only when we learn to know the world.

These apparent theories are, in truth, the ways to self-knowledge. A man who thinks he can find the self by staring into his inner being, says to himself: You must be good, you must be unselfish! All well and good. But you will soon notice that he is getting more and more self-centred. On the other hand, struggling with the great secrets of existence, extricating oneself from the flattering self, accepting the reality of the higher worlds and the knowledge that can be obtained from them, all leads to true self-knowledge. When we think deeply about Saturn, Sun and Moon, we lose ourselves in cosmic thought. ‘In thy thinking cosmic thoughts are living,’ 55 says a soul who thinks Anthroposophical thoughts; he adds, however, ‘Lose thyself in cosmic thoughts!’ The soul creating out of Anthroposophy says: ‘In thy feeling cosmic powers are weaving,’ but he adds: ‘Experience thyself through cosmic powers!’ not through powers which flatter. This experience will not come to a man who closes his eyes, saying: ‘I want to be a good human being.’ It will only come to the man who opens his eyes and his spiritual eyes also, and sees the powers of yonder world mightily at work, realising that he is embedded in these cosmic powers. And the soul that draws strength from Anthroposophy says: ‘In thy willing cosmic beings are working,’ adding: ‘Create thyself anew from Beings of Will!’ And this will really happen if we grasp self-knowledge in this way. Then we shall really succeed in creating ourselves anew out of world being.

Dry and abstract as this may seem, in reality it is no mere theory but something that thrives and grows like a seed sown in the earth. Forces shoot out in every direction and become plant or tree. So it is indeed. The feelings that come to us through Spiritual Science give us the power to create ourselves anew. ‘Create thyself anew from Beings of Will!’ Thus does Anthroposophy become the elixir of life and our view of spirit worlds opens up. We shall draw strength from these worlds, and when we have drawn these forces into our being, then we shall know ourselves in all our depths. Only when we imbue ourselves with world knowledge can we take control of ourselves and advance step by step away from the less-wise being within us, who is cut off by the Guardian of the Threshold, to the wiser being, penetrating through all that is hidden from those who do not as yet have the will to be strong. For this is just what can be gained by means of Anthroposophy.
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
User avatar
Güney27
Posts: 54
Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2022 12:56 am

Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by Güney27 »

AshvinP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:40 pm
Güney27 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:28 pm
Federica wrote: Wed Nov 23, 2022 9:21 pm

Hey Güney,

I think there is a noticeble evolution in your posts, and that you seem to come closer to the topics you ask about/speak about. Do you also feel that? I hope you will be inspired to continue!

In the case of this question about Islam for example, I was wondering if you could tell a little more of how you have come to the question, or maybe, more generally, what is the red thread in the topics you reflect on these days / how are you experiencing your individual way ahead?
Hello Federica,
Thanks for the motivating words.
I've begun to understand that there is an inner dimension to all of the things we are discussing here.
Before, I put a lot of emphasis on understanding everything intellectually, but I've realized that this doesn't do me much good.
I've started reading TSH and am struggling through part one right now. I have the feeling that Klocek's book WILL help me to get on the path of inner transformation because it is written in a very practical way.
I have tried hard to understand that, for example, our mind is a sense organ for spiritual beings, but now I understand that there is no point intellectually in trying to understand spiritual truths, so I will do my best, with good will and discipline, to commit practice-oriented inner work.
Maybe it's the only way for me to understand spiritual truths.


I chose the subject of Islam because, for whatever reason, I am drawn to the oriental wisdom of Islamic masters.
And here too, Islam also has an esoteric/practice dimension, which is the path to understanding the truths of the scriptures.
I am most concerned with the thought of whether Islam is also compatible with Steiner's teachings and whether it is also a suitable path for initiation.
somehow I find Steiner's very scientific portrayal of spiritual truth too monotonous, and am looking for a more poetic/artistic portrayal.

Kind regards

Guney,

I am sure Federica will be responding, so I just want to share a lecture passage from Steiner in the meantime which could be helpful.

It is unlikely much inner transformation will occur through spiritual practices unless we also decondition from our personalized interests, desires, and preferences. A big one for modern humans is the preference for convenience. We need to be very honest with ourselves on the path of Self-knowledge, and desires for convenience can really blunt our willpower which is necessary for any conscious vertical ascension. It is not about getting rid of the intellectual understanding (which is not other than spiritual understanding), but purifying the intellect of its lower conditioning through dispassionate, equananimous Logic which encompasses our be-ing, as body-soul-spirit, more and more holistically. You will notice that Klocek does not only provide spiritual exercises but also precise intellectual reasoning for why the exercises are being carried out in the context of a bigger picture spiritual evolution. It is critical for every individual on the path to internalize this reasoning for themselves.

Steiner wrote:Now with regard to this question, which has been mentioned here because it is very likely to be asked, all considerations of convenience in life must be put aside; there must be scrupulous self-examination to find whether or not such questions are tainted by that habitual slackness in life which we know only too well; that man is fundamentally unwilling to learn, unwilling to take hold of the spiritual because this is inconvenient for him. We must ask ourselves: Does not something of this fear of inconvenience and discomfort creep into such questions? Let us admit that we really do begin by thinking that there is an easier path to Anthroposophy than all that is presented, for example, in our literature. It is often said lightheartedly that, after all, a man need only know himself, need only try to be a good and righteous human being, and then he is a sufficiently good Anthroposophist. Yes, my dear friends, but precisely this gives us the deeper knowledge that there is nothing more difficult than to be a good man in the real sense and that nothing needs so much preparation as the attainment of this ideal.
...
Why do we need consolation in life? Because something may distress us, because we have to suffer and undergo painful experiences. Now it is natural for a man to feel that something in him rebels against this suffering. And he asks: ‘Why have I to bear it, why has it fallen to my lot? Could not my life have been without pain, could it not have brought me contentment?’ A man who puts the question in this way can only find an answer when he understands the nature of human karma, of human destiny. Why do we suffer?
...
Suppose a young man has lived up to the age of eighteen or so entirely on his father; his life has been happy and carefree; he has had everything he wanted. Then the father loses his fortune, becomes bankrupt, and the youth is obliged to set about learning something, to exert himself. Life brings him many sufferings and deprivations. It is readily understandable that the sufferings are not at all to his liking. But now think of him at the age of fifty. Because circumstances obliged him to learn something in his youth he has turned into a decent, self-respecting human being. He has found his feet in life and can say to himself: ‘My attitude to the sufferings and deprivations was natural at the time; but now I think quite differently about them; I realise now that the sufferings would not have come to me if in those days I had possessed all the virtues — even the very limited virtues of a boy of eighteen. If no suffering had come my way I should have remained a good-for-nothing. It was the sufferings that changed the imperfections into something more perfect. It is due to the suffering that I am not the same human being I was forty years ago. What was it, then, that joined forces in me at that time? My own imperfections and my suffering joined forces. And my imperfections sought out the suffering so that they might be removed and transformed into perfections.’

This attitude can even arise from quite an ordinary view of life between birth and death. And if we think deeply about life as a whole, facing our karma in the way indicated in the lecture yesterday, we shall finally be convinced that the sufferings along our path are sought out by our imperfections. The vast majority of sufferings are, indeed, sought out by the imperfections we have brought with us from earlier incarnations. And because of these imperfections a wiser being within us seeks for the path leading to the sufferings. For it is a golden rule in life that as human beings we have perpetually within us a being who is much wiser, much cleverer than we ourselves. The ‘I’ of ordinary life has far less wisdom, and if faced with the alternative of seeking either pain or happiness would certainly choose the path to happiness. The wiser being operates in depths of the subconscious life to which ordinary consciousness does not extend. This wiser being diverts our gaze from the path to superficial happiness and kindles within us a magic power which, without our conscious knowledge, leads us towards the suffering. But what does this mean: without our conscious knowledge? It means that the wiser being is prevailing over the less wise one, and this wiser being invariably acts within us so that it guides our imperfections to our sufferings, allowing us to suffer because every outer and inner suffering removes some imperfection and leads to greater perfection.

We may be willing to accept such principles in theory, but that is not of much account. A great deal is achieved, however, if in certain solemn and dedicated moments of life we try strenuously to make such principles the very lifeblood of the soul. In the hurry and bustle, the work and the duties of ordinary life, this is not always possible; under these circumstances we cannot always oust the being of lesser wisdom — who is, after all, part of us. But in certain deliberately chosen moments, however short they may be, we shall be able to say to ourselves: I will turn away from the hubbub of outer life and view my sufferings in such a way that I realise how the wiser being within me has been drawn to them by a magic power, how I imposed upon myself certain pain without which I should not have overcome this or that imperfection. A feeling of the peace inherent in wisdom will then arise, bringing the realisation that even when the world seems full of suffering, there too it is full of wisdom! In this way, life is enriched through Anthroposophy. We may forget it again in the affairs of external life, but if we do not forget it altogether and repeat the exercise steadfastly, we shall find that a kind of seed has been laid in the soul and that many a feeling of sadness and depression changes into a more positive attitude, into strength and energy. And then out of such quiet moments in life we will acquire more harmonious souls and become stronger individuals.
Hello Ashvin,
Thank you for your well-intentioned and helpful advice.

You are right, steiner and klocek always explain why a certain exercise bears fruit, e.g. with the section the elemental mandala.
Here's the thing
I'm open minded now and try to be as open minded as possible when reading esoteric/spiritual books. If I weren't open minded, I'd put Steiner's or Klocek's books aside as soon as I read the word soul or ether.
So I would not consider the reason for the exercise. I still don't have a good understanding let alone perception of the ether or astral body. But I trust steiner and don't get involved with this human image, because this is the only way I can possibly come to cognition of these human elements.
In my opinion, however, this is also the point why most people in the present epoch cannot do anything with the teachings because they cannot be understood in the same way as bk or daniel denett's ideas💬

Kind regards
Thoughts are the shadows of our feelings — always darker, emptier, simpler.

Friedrich Nietzsche
User avatar
AshvinP
Posts: 4195
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2021 5:00 am
Location: USA
Contact:

Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by AshvinP »

Güney27 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 10:04 pm
AshvinP wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 8:40 pm
Güney27 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:28 pm

Hello Federica,
Thanks for the motivating words.
I've begun to understand that there is an inner dimension to all of the things we are discussing here.
Before, I put a lot of emphasis on understanding everything intellectually, but I've realized that this doesn't do me much good.
I've started reading TSH and am struggling through part one right now. I have the feeling that Klocek's book WILL help me to get on the path of inner transformation because it is written in a very practical way.
I have tried hard to understand that, for example, our mind is a sense organ for spiritual beings, but now I understand that there is no point intellectually in trying to understand spiritual truths, so I will do my best, with good will and discipline, to commit practice-oriented inner work.
Maybe it's the only way for me to understand spiritual truths.


I chose the subject of Islam because, for whatever reason, I am drawn to the oriental wisdom of Islamic masters.
And here too, Islam also has an esoteric/practice dimension, which is the path to understanding the truths of the scriptures.
I am most concerned with the thought of whether Islam is also compatible with Steiner's teachings and whether it is also a suitable path for initiation.
somehow I find Steiner's very scientific portrayal of spiritual truth too monotonous, and am looking for a more poetic/artistic portrayal.

Kind regards

Guney,

I am sure Federica will be responding, so I just want to share a lecture passage from Steiner in the meantime which could be helpful.

It is unlikely much inner transformation will occur through spiritual practices unless we also decondition from our personalized interests, desires, and preferences. A big one for modern humans is the preference for convenience. We need to be very honest with ourselves on the path of Self-knowledge, and desires for convenience can really blunt our willpower which is necessary for any conscious vertical ascension. It is not about getting rid of the intellectual understanding (which is not other than spiritual understanding), but purifying the intellect of its lower conditioning through dispassionate, equananimous Logic which encompasses our be-ing, as body-soul-spirit, more and more holistically. You will notice that Klocek does not only provide spiritual exercises but also precise intellectual reasoning for why the exercises are being carried out in the context of a bigger picture spiritual evolution. It is critical for every individual on the path to internalize this reasoning for themselves.

Steiner wrote:Now with regard to this question, which has been mentioned here because it is very likely to be asked, all considerations of convenience in life must be put aside; there must be scrupulous self-examination to find whether or not such questions are tainted by that habitual slackness in life which we know only too well; that man is fundamentally unwilling to learn, unwilling to take hold of the spiritual because this is inconvenient for him. We must ask ourselves: Does not something of this fear of inconvenience and discomfort creep into such questions? Let us admit that we really do begin by thinking that there is an easier path to Anthroposophy than all that is presented, for example, in our literature. It is often said lightheartedly that, after all, a man need only know himself, need only try to be a good and righteous human being, and then he is a sufficiently good Anthroposophist. Yes, my dear friends, but precisely this gives us the deeper knowledge that there is nothing more difficult than to be a good man in the real sense and that nothing needs so much preparation as the attainment of this ideal.
...
Why do we need consolation in life? Because something may distress us, because we have to suffer and undergo painful experiences. Now it is natural for a man to feel that something in him rebels against this suffering. And he asks: ‘Why have I to bear it, why has it fallen to my lot? Could not my life have been without pain, could it not have brought me contentment?’ A man who puts the question in this way can only find an answer when he understands the nature of human karma, of human destiny. Why do we suffer?
...
Suppose a young man has lived up to the age of eighteen or so entirely on his father; his life has been happy and carefree; he has had everything he wanted. Then the father loses his fortune, becomes bankrupt, and the youth is obliged to set about learning something, to exert himself. Life brings him many sufferings and deprivations. It is readily understandable that the sufferings are not at all to his liking. But now think of him at the age of fifty. Because circumstances obliged him to learn something in his youth he has turned into a decent, self-respecting human being. He has found his feet in life and can say to himself: ‘My attitude to the sufferings and deprivations was natural at the time; but now I think quite differently about them; I realise now that the sufferings would not have come to me if in those days I had possessed all the virtues — even the very limited virtues of a boy of eighteen. If no suffering had come my way I should have remained a good-for-nothing. It was the sufferings that changed the imperfections into something more perfect. It is due to the suffering that I am not the same human being I was forty years ago. What was it, then, that joined forces in me at that time? My own imperfections and my suffering joined forces. And my imperfections sought out the suffering so that they might be removed and transformed into perfections.’

This attitude can even arise from quite an ordinary view of life between birth and death. And if we think deeply about life as a whole, facing our karma in the way indicated in the lecture yesterday, we shall finally be convinced that the sufferings along our path are sought out by our imperfections. The vast majority of sufferings are, indeed, sought out by the imperfections we have brought with us from earlier incarnations. And because of these imperfections a wiser being within us seeks for the path leading to the sufferings. For it is a golden rule in life that as human beings we have perpetually within us a being who is much wiser, much cleverer than we ourselves. The ‘I’ of ordinary life has far less wisdom, and if faced with the alternative of seeking either pain or happiness would certainly choose the path to happiness. The wiser being operates in depths of the subconscious life to which ordinary consciousness does not extend. This wiser being diverts our gaze from the path to superficial happiness and kindles within us a magic power which, without our conscious knowledge, leads us towards the suffering. But what does this mean: without our conscious knowledge? It means that the wiser being is prevailing over the less wise one, and this wiser being invariably acts within us so that it guides our imperfections to our sufferings, allowing us to suffer because every outer and inner suffering removes some imperfection and leads to greater perfection.

We may be willing to accept such principles in theory, but that is not of much account. A great deal is achieved, however, if in certain solemn and dedicated moments of life we try strenuously to make such principles the very lifeblood of the soul. In the hurry and bustle, the work and the duties of ordinary life, this is not always possible; under these circumstances we cannot always oust the being of lesser wisdom — who is, after all, part of us. But in certain deliberately chosen moments, however short they may be, we shall be able to say to ourselves: I will turn away from the hubbub of outer life and view my sufferings in such a way that I realise how the wiser being within me has been drawn to them by a magic power, how I imposed upon myself certain pain without which I should not have overcome this or that imperfection. A feeling of the peace inherent in wisdom will then arise, bringing the realisation that even when the world seems full of suffering, there too it is full of wisdom! In this way, life is enriched through Anthroposophy. We may forget it again in the affairs of external life, but if we do not forget it altogether and repeat the exercise steadfastly, we shall find that a kind of seed has been laid in the soul and that many a feeling of sadness and depression changes into a more positive attitude, into strength and energy. And then out of such quiet moments in life we will acquire more harmonious souls and become stronger individuals.
Hello Ashvin,
Thank you for your well-intentioned and helpful advice.

You are right, steiner and klocek always explain why a certain exercise bears fruit, e.g. with the section the elemental mandala.
Here's the thing
I'm open minded now and try to be as open minded as possible when reading esoteric/spiritual books. If I weren't open minded, I'd put Steiner's or Klocek's books aside as soon as I read the word soul or ether.
So I would not consider the reason for the exercise. I still don't have a good understanding let alone perception of the ether or astral body. But I trust steiner and don't get involved with this human image, because this is the only way I can possibly come to cognition of these human elements.
In my opinion, however, this is also the point why most people in the present epoch cannot do anything with the teachings because they cannot be understood in the same way as bk or daniel denett's ideas💬

Kind regards

It's interesting because, in a certain sense, our abstract thought is much closer to the higher spiritual worlds than our sense-based thought. So when BK speaks of MAL, dissociation, alters, etc., which is still somewhat sense-based, his thought is definitely reaching upwards into the higher planes of archetypal consciousness. That is even more true of the idealist philosophers like Kant, Hegel, etc. who dealt in even more abstract thoughts-language.

For ex., we could say that "sense-based images and concepts reflect the 'past' activity of Divine beings". But this assertion already gets confusing because linear time flow is implicit, whereas from the higher pespective, Time-flow is not experienced in this linear past to present to future way. So when a philosopher starts using terms like a priori, or necessary, or contigent, etc. they are finding ways to speak of Time-flow which ascends the vertical gradient somewhat, as compared to more sense-based thought which is stuck in fixed spatial and linear temporal sequences. In current day, many more such terms have been precipitated from philosophical-scientific-aesthetic thinking, and even materialists employ them in their models of fundamental dynamics.

So it isn't necessary to speak of different ideas here between BK, Dennett, or Steiner, or anyone similar. Rather we are speaking of different depth layers of the same archetypal Ideas which we are striving to understand. What makes the difference between what depth layer we are viewing the same Idea from? It is the way in which we orient our soul-life towards that Idea - what are we seeking to accomplish with our understanding of these Ideas? If we are seeking them out of mere intellectual curiosity, out of a need for convenience, out of a need to puff up our intellectual reputation, knowledge, status, etc., out of a hedonistic desire for pleasure, or anything similarly conditioned by our lower nature, then we remain in the shallow layers of the meaningful depth structure. When our abstract thought approaching these Ideas becomes completely disconnected from a lawful relation to practical phenomena of the inner-outer worlds we experience from the first-person perspective, then that is a sign it is conditioned by the lower nature.

The most critical way of purifying this lower conditioning is by becoming more self-conscious of how our abstract thinking is reaching up into higher planes of consciousness to manifest its thought-forms on the physical plane. That is why Steiner says as follows about studying spiritual science:
On the other hand, struggling with the great secrets of existence, extricating oneself from the flattering self, accepting the reality of the higher worlds and the knowledge that can be obtained from them, all leads to true self-knowledge. When we think deeply about Saturn, Sun and Moon, we lose ourselves in cosmic thought.
It is through this 'losing ourselves in cosmic thought' that our lower conditioned nature is purified and our abstract thinking forces are fructified by the living, creative Will of the Cosmos. We don't lose any understanding of previous abstract thought-systems, but greatly enrich that understanding with vitality and thereby make them instrumental to our own spiritual development. We end up taking the implications of these thought-systems much more livingly and seriously than the people representing them. They start to actually mean something very concrete for the 'here and now'.
"Two souls, alas, are housed within my breast,
And struggle there for undivided reign.
One, to the earth with passionate desire,
And closely clinging organs still adheres;
Above the mists the other doth aspire
With sacred ardor unto purer spheres.”
-Goethe, Faust
Federica
Posts: 510
Joined: Sat May 14, 2022 2:30 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Islam and anthroposophy

Post by Federica »

Güney27 wrote: Thu Nov 24, 2022 5:28 pm Hello Federica,
Thanks for the motivating words.
I've begun to understand that there is an inner dimension to all of the things we are discussing here.
Before, I put a lot of emphasis on understanding everything intellectually, but I've realized that this doesn't do me much good.
I've started reading TSH and am struggling through part one right now. I have the feeling that Klocek's book WILL help me to get on the path of inner transformation because it is written in a very practical way.
I have tried hard to understand that, for example, our mind is a sense organ for spiritual beings, but now I understand that there is no point intellectually in trying to understand spiritual truths, so I will do my best, with good will and discipline, to commit practice-oriented inner work.
Maybe it's the only way for me to understand spiritual truths.


I chose the subject of Islam because, for whatever reason, I am drawn to the oriental wisdom of Islamic masters.
And here too, Islam also has an esoteric/practice dimension, which is the path to understanding the truths of the scriptures.
I am most concerned with the thought of whether Islam is also compatible with Steiner's teachings and whether it is also a suitable path for initiation.
somehow I find Steiner's very scientific portrayal of spiritual truth too monotonous, and am looking for a more poetic/artistic portrayal.

Kind regards


Hi Güney,

Thanks for elaborating! I believe I understand your position well. In one way or another, we are continually torn between opposites - as in Steiner’s passage Ashvin shared - and one common way it happens is when we are torn between exercising focus, thinking effort, and some relief from that effort.


In me, for example, this wish tends to express itself as ‘nature knows best, I should let it play out, let's not interfere’. If I think calmly about it - to say it with Ashvin, dispassionately - I can see this attitude is indeed very convenient, and not so responsible. It’s a perfect politically correct excuse not to take much responsibility on myself. Quite a subtle one, nice try Federica :)
Another example, in Lou and Eugene - as I see it - the wish is expressed as an impulse to join the Oneness of all reality and rest in its compassionate embrace, that welcomes all imaginable paths. It’s also a great excuse, because it sounds so generous, peaceful, and democratic.
And maybe for you it takes the form of a wish to release the cognitive demand that Steiner, Klocek, in a word present-day esoterism, ask us to sustain? Maybe it comes as the wish to take a break from the effort of concentration? Indeed, concentration is very monotonous, like a narrow tunnel to pass, that only later we are told it will open to the most graceful and luminous variety of Ideas, including infinite expressions of poetic and artistic beauty. But for the time being it remains, well, a monotonous, rather uninviting tunnel to dive into…


As Klocek says at the very beginning of the Handbook - I did not get it at first reading, now I do - we are today, beginning of XXI century, at the teen age of human evolution, and in fact we do behave like obstinate and ingrate teenagers. Either we refuse to recognize the love and care we received, and have no qualms ignoring the ounce of spirit-starter we were gifted, hijacking the faculties we were granted, to satisfy our fancies, technologies or other (materialists) or - like Lou, Eugene, me, maybe you too - we would like to revert back to ‘childhood’, to find some rest and comfort, either in oneness, or in nature, or in beauty and poetry. In any case, we would love to release the tension a little, letting go of the difficult responsibility of using our faculties at the level of their current potential. It's easier to take a break, while others are in charge. But the thing is, we are big now, we have received strong enough thinking arms and legs, and we hardly have any reasonable excuse nowadays to hide under the quilt and remain cozy and warm, while mom and dad go to work, so to say.


Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think we can’t be inspired and enjoy the beautiful and profound verses of the Sufi poets, just as I'm not going to paint all my walls in bright red, to make sure I'm diligent and fight my individual preferences. No, let’s keep them white, and let’s read the Sufi masters too, if we find them moving and inspiring. I would think this is absolutely compatible with Anthroposophy. While they bring attention to something else, I believe Ashvin and Cleric imply that. Indeed, everything should be compatible with Anthroposophy, since it’s living experience of everything (not theory of everything, but experience). So, in the same way as there is no harm in pulling out an old photo album, looking at old family pics from our childhood, so it’s fine to appreciate Sufism, or Greek philosophy, or other ancient civilizations. It’s almost us when we were younger, and it’s fascinating to realize how we grew up from there.


However, as I understand it, the dynamic of evolution is like a sort of relay race. At any given time, there is only one racer, and it would not make any sense to have more than one baton either. The baton represents not the content of a tradition, but the faculty the tradition allowed humanity to develop, just to connect this illustration to the previous posts. So there's one baton at every given time. Nonetheless, the big picture is that the team is one, and all racers are fundamental, and all of them - all of us - hold the baton in one phase or another of evolution, and all phases are equally crucial. And because time should not be considered so linearly and strictly, all the various phases of the progression (race) integrate into each other and are all necessary - ooops, here comes the will-be time-neutral word Ashvin mentioned :)


Still it’s clear that we should harmonize and unite with the present racer. We are teenagers, almost adults now, and this means our efforts should be willed, conscious, thought-out, based on sound rationality, lawful science, spiritual science. So we have to unite with present-day spiritual expression, no matter if with Steiner, Klocek or someone else, it’s not a matter of names, it’s a matter of living up to the type of expression we have been set up to accomplish at our current level of evolution, because we have received the means to that end. What Ashvin and Cleric are pointing to seems very logic to me. The Sufis, the Rishis, the ancient civilizations were completely legitimate in expressing their spirituality in different forms, more dreamy, collective, and poetic. They were living at an earlier stage of humanity in which those paths were the available ones. Those paths were necessary and instrumental to all further progression. We can admire them and be grateful for how well they did their part when the baton was in their hands. But if we ourselves do the exact same thing today, it actually means behaving like teenagers who rest in bed and play little kids, stealing their comfy indolence, while there are so many urgent matters to tackle out there.


In short, we are all tempted, and it’s difficult to remain consistent. However, when you decide to read TSH, for example, when you remain open minded and trust it WILL help you ignite inner transformation, even though now you are struggling - we are struggling - I would say this is a sign that both forces are playing: we want some respite sometimes, but we also want to contribute our due part, without stealing anything. Which force will be stronger?

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