Spiritual "science"

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Federica
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by Federica »

lorenzop wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 5:51 pm I didn’t know (but should have) that this question was a Steiner, haha.
I am not opposed to the study of thinking as a science, I’m all in. Other than correlating thinking with electrical impulses and brain imaging I’m not aware of science doing anything with thinking currently
What would be your description of scientific method?

“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)
lorenzop
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by lorenzop »

Science is not my field, I would have to google\wiki
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AshvinP
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by AshvinP »

Anthony66 wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 1:29 pm
AshvinP wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 4:44 am
Anthony66 wrote: Sat Nov 26, 2022 4:06 pm In what way is spiritual science a science?
Anthony,

It's hard to tell what sort of details you are asking about without narrowing down the question more. So my response is an Introduction from an Anthroposophical book I started reading, which will probably be relevant to what you were asking.
As I consume more of Steiner's body of work, I find myself asking the question, "How do you know?" Steiner's works are replete with fantastical claims of knowledge, even down to what some figure in the ancient past said, even though we have no documents recording the utterance.

One of the criteria of science as we understand it is repeatability. Has anyone else been able to confirm what Steiner has declared? What would even constitute a confirmation? Could we in principle falsify a claim of Steiner (or any other spiritual scientist)?

Then there is the question of publicly available evidence. Given a suitable aptitude with appropriate training, the findings of science are open for interrogation by anyone with the will and means to do so. Is this true of spiritual science? It seems like there are uncontrollable factors, keys held by the gods, whereby one never knows whether the doors to the higher worlds will be opened.

The knowledge obtained through SS is via personal experience, which would cause most natural scientists to bristle.

Anthony,

I think the above is why you should consider Cleric's response and his questions to you carefully. These issues won't be resolved until we get clear on what it means for us to attain genuine knowledge of the underlying dynamics of World Phenomena, which should certainly be objectively verifiable. What you are describing above is a limited perspective on 'knowledge' as intellectual replication which only arose in the last few centuries. It isn't science in its rigorous form as the pioneers understood it, i.e. Francis Bacon, Galileo, etc., as well as Goethe, but science which premises its methods on a metaphysical foundation of subject/object dualism. In other words, it is science which feels it can safely ignore the intellect which is doing the investigating when deriving its conclusions, considering it to be a faculty separate from the World Process which only views that WP 'from the side' and then creates conceptual models of it which can be replicated (or proven false) by other people and their conceptual models.

If we are going to limit ourselves to an understanding of "science" which basically means "modern metaphysics", then no Steiner and similar Western esoteric thinkers aren't doing this "science", but explaining why this "science" has come into existence through the real underlying dynamic which includes our evolving spiritual activity. This deeper, more encompassing science is certainly objective and independently verifiable through the proper methods. I have shared quite a few quotes reflecting shared findings from such thinkers, some of whom were independent of Steiner and Anthroposophy/SS. The expanded cognitive-perceptual methods are indeed open to anyone with the will to pursue them, and the means are even more accessible than secular scientific research which requires great funding, access to laboratories, mathematical software, etc. We rarely consider just how much of the 'publicly available' results from secular methods that we take on faith and take for granted in all our scientific contemplation.

Klocek's TSH that we have been discussing lately provides a very accessible means to get started with the deeper scientific investigation, or also what Federica has been translating from Scaligero. We should be clear that spiritual research isn't some orthogonal realm of investigation than the investigation which occurs through the 5 physical senses. It is investigation into the depth structure of the sensory spectrum. There are actually 12 human senses which can be verified to exist through normal healthy reasoning. Normally we are only conscious of 5 to the extent that we can control them to some extent, while the others take place instinctively, entirely independent of our will. Higher cognitive development brings them more within the sphere of our conscious will. Ultimately, all phenomenal appearances we investigate without prejudice and without ceasing our reasoning, will lead us to the reality of the spiritual depth structure. Our intuitive being will attune itself to the spiritual pole of existence which is normally kept in the blind spot. Our healthy reasoning can discern the logical necessities of spiritual scientific research even if we personally have not investigated with higher cognition, just as we do with practically every domain of inquiry in life. The only thing is we shouldn't confuse that discernment for an end-in-itself or true inner knowledge of what we are contemplating.

SS can certainly offer predictions, which could be validated or falsified, and prompts for where to direct further inquiries into the phenomenal world for deeper understanding of its dynamics. But we should remember we are in the very earliest stages of this process - spiritual science, as a rigorous experimental field, is the new paradigmatic shift for humanity and has only began precipitating into human consciousness since the late 19th century, as reflected dimly in the nascent fields of depth psychology, QM/GR physics, cognitive science, and such. Whereas what Steiner accomplished was much more on the vanguard. Here is one example Steiner references:

Steiner wrote:I would like to mention here parenthetically a noteworthy point, through which our spiritual scientific ways of studying have won a little triumph. Those who were present at the eighteen lectures on cosmogony that I gave in Paris in 1906 (see Note 2) will remember that I spoke then of certain things that were not touched upon in my book, An Outline Of Occult Science (see Note 3) (one cannot always present everything; one must not write one book but endless books if one wishes to develop everything). In Paris I developed a point bearing more upon the material, chemical aspect of the subject, as it were. I said that the ancient Moon evolution — which projects itself in present cometary existence, because the comet has remained at this stage and, as far as present conditions allow, expresses those old relationships in its laws — I said that this ancient Moon evolution differs from that of the earth in that nitrogen and certain nitrogenous compounds — cyanide, prussic acid compounds — were as necessary to the beings on the ancient Moon as oxygen is necessary to the beings of our present earth. Cyanide and similar substances are compounds that are deadly to the life of higher beings, leading to their destruction. Yet compounds of carbon and nitrogen, compounds of prussic acid and the like, played an entirely similar role to that of oxygen on the earth.

These matters were developed at that time in Paris out of the whole scope of spiritual science, and those who inscribed them in their memories will have had to say to themselves that, if this is true, there must be proof of something like compounds of carbon and nitrogen in today's comets. You may recall (the information was brought to me during the lecture course on St. John and the other three Gospels in Stockholm) that the newspapers have now been saying that the existence of cyanide compounds has actually been proved in the spectrum of the comet. This is a brilliant confirmation of what spiritual research was able to say earlier, and it has at last been confirmed by physical science. As proofs of this kind are always being demanded of us, it is quoted here. When such a striking case is available, it is important for anthroposophists to point it out and — without pride — to remind ourselves of this little triumph of spiritual science.
"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
Anthony66
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by Anthony66 »

Cleric,

I'm really struggling to understand this paragraph:
Cleric K wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 11:18 am But what if we haven't yet reached the tipping point, where we begin to sense the holistic intuition of the other pole? Then we see reality in the other way - not half empty but half full. Then our present human condition is seen as truly emerging from the darkness of unconsciousness but this darkness is rather grasped as hollowed out consciousness. Thus suddenly our growth in intuitive orientation within reality turns out to be evolutionary restoration to full Cosmic consciousness.
What are the two poles here? I'm not getting at all what "hollowed out consciousness" means. The sense of the paragraph is bad stuff, bad stuff, bad stuff,...., then suddenly full Cosmic consciousness.
Anthony66
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by Anthony66 »

coexistence wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 7:26 am Before getting on to spiritual science It would be better to understand what is science?
Science has now reached a point where we need to really question science itself.
Understanding, experiencing and knowing are activities that happen in reality and science is not able to include them in the sylaabus.
We need to expand the word science to include existential reality of both material and the non material existential concept like
love ,relationship,trust etc.
We need to know them identify them and remove imaginary concepts like hate which is just absence of love and nothing in itself.

Do let me know if this sounds too complicated to comprehend and needs more explanation.
It would be real fun to try and help make this knowledge easier for people to understand.
While not trying to offer a comprehensive answer immediately, we could start with evidence which is the bedrock of science.

As Hume said, "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence."

As the article on evidence from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy notes:
...a central function of evidence is to serve as a neutral arbiter among competing views. For it is natural to think that the ability of evidence to play this latter role depends crucially on its having an essentially public character, i.e., that it is the sort of thing which can be grasped and appreciated by multiple individuals. Here, the most natural contenders would seem to be physical objects and the states of affairs and events in which they participate, since it is such entities that are characteristically accessible to multiple observers.
This view of course in tension with introspective practices and observations derived from private states of consciousness.
Federica
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by Federica »

lorenzop wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 9:49 pm Science is not my field, I would have to google\wiki

That’s fine, Lorenzo, I’m not a scientist either.
But then one could ask: if you don’t have a clear idea what science is/should be exactly, why were you so affirmative that ‘spiritual science’ should not be referred to as science, but as a branch of philosophy or psychology, or that you are all for the study of thinking as a science?

What meaning do you put in the word ‘science' in these statements?

“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)
lorenzop
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by lorenzop »

I am not suggesting 'spiritual science' should not and can not be science, I am saying that at the moment, 'spiritual science' is not within the pervue of science. Put another way, I am not aware of any papers re 'spititual science' being published in scientific liturature, or such papers being reviewed by peers. Being published or reviewed by peers is not a standard for what is scientific - but it is a useful guide.
Science is a moving target - and so yes, 'spiritual science' may one day be considered a science. One could argue that many sciences begin as a philosophy or set of logic, and become scientific with evidence. Science prefers evidence.
Why do you think 'spiritual science' qualifies as a science today? Do you have an example of a finding of 'spiritual science'?
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Cleric K
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by Cleric K »

Anthony66 wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 1:28 pm Cleric,

I'm really struggling to understand this paragraph:
Cleric K wrote: Sun Nov 27, 2022 11:18 am But what if we haven't yet reached the tipping point, where we begin to sense the holistic intuition of the other pole? Then we see reality in the other way - not half empty but half full. Then our present human condition is seen as truly emerging from the darkness of unconsciousness but this darkness is rather grasped as hollowed out consciousness. Thus suddenly our growth in intuitive orientation within reality turns out to be evolutionary restoration to full Cosmic consciousness.
What are the two poles here? I'm not getting at all what "hollowed out consciousness" means. The sense of the paragraph is bad stuff, bad stuff, bad stuff,...., then suddenly full Cosmic consciousness.
Anthony, one of the poles, I believe you grasp fairly well since it is the default for our culture. It is the picture of consciousness emerging from the darkness of unconsciousness. This is how both Schop and materialism see it. Dim instinctive life becomes dream-like and gradually, sparks of cognition begin to flash here and there within which self-consciousness awakens.

The other pole is admittedly more challenging for contemporary man. We can approach understanding through analogies. Picture your current state of being. What you experience now has been gradually reached in the course of your life. Your intuitive orientation in the world has been growing and integrating. For example, if you go far back in your childhood you may be able to reach a point where you didn't yet know that there's such a thing as a wider world, other countries and nations. Imagine that you reverse the flow of time and move from your present state towards your childhood. Picture how little by little holes in your intuition begin to appear. It is as if you little by little forget your present state. And I'm not speaking only of abstract declarative memory. There are so many things that we have gained intuition about even without having concepts. For example, a toddler may learn to play with the light switch even before knowing the words. Yet this is pictorial intuition. Connection has been made between the picture of the switch and the light. So imagine that such trivial intuitions are also being hollowed out.

Now reverse time again and picture that few years from now you'll have even more intuitions. They may not be Earth-shattering revelations (although I wish you with all my heart that they are!) but in any case you'll have more encompassing intuition than your, then, present state. If nothing else, you'll have at least integrated few more years of events into your picture of world history. So it's almost as if now you're your future self but with something hollowed out, with something missing. This is simplified, of course, because our development is not only increase in everything. At every step we also sacrifice things. For example, in your future state you may have sacrificed a bad habit or trait of character. But it's still true that your future intuition will be more complete because you'll encompass also the things you had to sacrifice along the way.

An even further future state of being necessarily knows what death is. The knowledge of crossing the threshold of death is also hollowed out from the consciousness of man of our age, unless he does something about it. Death is one of the events that is connected with a sacrifice - the physical spectrum. The hollowed out intuitions of existence without physical organs are not in some parallel universe. They are separated from us only through time. But this time is flexible. If we train, we can loosen our spiritual activity from the physical organs while still on Earth (it is loosened anyway every night in sleep but without being able to sustain consciousness). Then we live in both worlds so to speak. And this is really the ground from which spiritual science speaks.

Now picture this state going as far as the Divine, who grasps the inner Cosmos as a reflection of grand symphonic intuition. Thus the human state is a hollowed out Divine state, in the process of being filled up with intuition, through the appropriate expansion of consciousness and the needed sacrifices.

Does this make it more clear what the white pole represents? And even if it is more clear, this doesn't mean that you'll find that much appealing. That's why I spoke of that inner conflict, which, if you dig deep enough, will be found to be exactly this – whether we want to feel our ego (even if considered illusionary) to be fully ours, a pile of Cosmic sparks risen from the depths of unconsciousness, or we're willing to conceive in humility that our present state is only the sparsest intuition of what a more mature state of our being will know in much more holistic way. That's also why we speak of a tipping point. And this has nothing to do with being 'converted'. Such dogmatic conversions are useless for humans in our age. Switching from one belief system to another leads nowhere. The tipping point is felt when we're willing to recognize that we don't even know ourselves - the being that pours itself into our thoughts across the threshold of death. We don't know the being that precipitates the thoughts that we simply take for granted on the screen. To grasp this in a more realistic way it is especially valuable to recognize some traits of our character which in an early age were simply the unquestionable feeling of what we are. At a more mature age these traits become more and more conscious until (hopefully) we find the spiritual degrees of freedom through which we can transform them. So what at an earlier age were like channels through which our existence flowed with iron necessity, later become something that we sacrifice and grow out of, like the butterfly sacrifices the cocoon. Then we progressively see what we have been moving through until recently.

This is the key of PoF because in our thinking we’re moving through such channels, as in a cocoon labyrinth. While we seek the laws of thinking in the way we try to understand an electric circuit, we haven’t yet passed the tipping point - we still secretly want to feel on top of things. We begin to cross that point when we recognize that we have to consciously grow into a being that sees our present intellectual life as sparse flashes of light. As we grow into that being we recognize how we have been banging into the walls of our soul labyrinths - our desires, beliefs, sympathies, antipathies, theories, ideologies. Then we find new degrees of freedom through which we begin the endless creative work of organizing our turbulent soul space into a musical flow attuned to the Cosmos at large.
Federica
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by Federica »

lorenzop wrote: Mon Nov 28, 2022 5:06 pm I am not suggesting 'spiritual science' should not and can not be science, I am saying that at the moment, 'spiritual science' is not within the pervue of science. Put another way, I am not aware of any papers re 'spititual science' being published in scientific liturature, or such papers being reviewed by peers. Being published or reviewed by peers is not a standard for what is scientific - but it is a useful guide.
Science is a moving target - and so yes, 'spiritual science' may one day be considered a science. One could argue that many sciences begin as a philosophy or set of logic, and become scientific with evidence. Science prefers evidence.
Why do you think 'spiritual science' qualifies as a science today? Do you have an example of a finding of 'spiritual science'?

It depends what meaning we assign to words, Lorenzo.
When you say ‘evidence’ do you mean evidence in the sense of mainstream worldview? Which is to say, an objective piece of reality that stands there, separate from us the observers, for everyone to acknowledge and measure? If this is what you mean by the word evidence, then you are holding a materialistic view: we are here, searching for evidence, and evidence is out there, fixed, waiting for us to take notice of it. Maybe Hume would agree with that, as it seems, but Rupert Spira would not agree with that, Kastrup would not, the Advaita tradition would not, and Steiner of course would not… he calls this view the naive realist’s view, also called materialist view.

Steiner tells us: notice that you cannot step outside your own organization when you acknowledge ‘objective evidence’. All you can ever get as evidence, comes to you through the tight interplay of your perceptions with the thinking function. There is no ‘evidence’ that we can come to know through any other channels. We only ever know the evidence of our perceptions orchestrated by thinking. Then in the book PoF, through a long, rational, comparative, step-by-step reasoning (that we could call scientific for these reasons) he shows that thinking is primary, and evidence depends on that, cannot exist outside that. So he says: we have to understand thinking first. We have to do spiritual science, as he calls it.

What we call standard science, based on evidence, peer reviews, etc. is useful, but to understand the meaning of its findings, we have to consider how thinking operates first, otherwise we will never understand that evidence can only be found inside our experience of perceptions+thinking.
Notice, this doesn’t mean that materialists do bad science. Great results and ‘evidence’ can be gained and used effectively for defined purposes. But to understand the framework around the results, and their deep meaning, it's necessary to take a step back and look at evidence from the aware, larger perspective of spiritual science. Here ‘science’ means rational and logic analysis of the given (=everything we can ever experience). It does not mean peer reviewing, academic papers, financing experiments, collecting data, doing the PhD life, the professor life, etc.

From the above, it’s hopefully possible to see that, when you (and Anthony) ask if spiritual science can provide ‘evidence’ of its findings, it is an absurd question. Because spiritual science (as described above) is here to guide us to the understanding of how we get evidence, what this evidence means, and how we even ended up referring to evidence and science in the way we do today. Spiritual science is on a preordained plane compared to ‘evidence’. So it doesn’t make sense to ask spiritual science to comply with the habits and customs of a phenomenon - present-day scientific search for evidence - that spiritual science deciphers, contextualizes, explains, and puts in perspective.

I recognize it's a bit of a barbaric explanation attempt I've made here, but was it possible to follow or does my point remain obscure?

“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)
lorenzop
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Re: Spiritual "science"

Post by lorenzop »

This is ‘special pleading’, you are asking for special consideration for ‘spiritual science’ because it sits on some higher plane. Perhaps Steiner justifies this claim philosophically/logically, but does he justify this claim scientifically?
To account for this claim scientifically he would have to account for all existing evidence (one can’t simply throw out prior data) and supply evidence he has at least found this higher plane, and he has a better explanation.
If he or anyone claims he has evidence but it is ‘special’, or only he and a few others can measure it, etc., that’s not science.
Also the meaning of evidence is not within the pervue of science.
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