Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Riddle of Race

The Riddle of Race

Races and Racism

This topic has become relevant because of the present turmoil with regard to neo-Nazism, white supremacy and violent hostility being expressed in a threatening and hateful manner by certain groups. It is also relevant because of the racial prejudices that are common among many people in more subtle ways in everyday life. It's easy to say that this has to stop and try to end it with anti-racist clichés and slogans about love not hate etc. and massive rallies and demonstrations, but in order to understand the riddle of race and the anachronistic nature of the pathological racism we have seen in recent centuries and are witnessing at the present time, it is necessary to take a look at human evolution from a spiritual point of view as described in the works of Rudolf Steiner.

Rudolf Steiner himself has been accused of racism by opponents of anthroposophy, and there are several quotes justifying this charge, especially when taken out of context. I am not engaging in this debate here; I shall only repeat very briefly that against every single such racist quote I can respond by pointing to at least ten quotes that testify to the exact opposite. And we're talking about a corpus consisting of 350 volumes.

Regarding racism proper, or hostility between ethnic groups, Steiner's following remark from a lecture he gave in Zurich in 1919 hits the nail on the head:

And so, in order to create dissensions, Ahriman also makes use of what develops from the old conditions of heredity which man has really outgrown in the Fifth Post-Atlantean Epoch. The Ahrimanic powers use all that is derived from old circumstances of heredity in order to set men against each other in conflicting groups. All that comes from old differences of family, race, tribe, peoples, is used by Ahriman to create confusion.
(--Rudolf Steiner: The Ahrimanic Deception, Zurich, 27th October, 1919. GA 193)


Races and Epochs

Ahriman, whose name originated with Zarathustra in ancient Persia, is the cosmic being whose influence runs contrary to that of Ahura Mazda and the spiritual progress of humanity. But the important thing in the quote above is that man has really outgrown the old conditions of heredity, namely race, in the Fifth Post-Atlantean Epoch. This is the present cultural epoch that began in 1413 and will last until 3573. But Steiner went much further when he said that the very notion of races among human beings is meaningless in the post-Atlantean epoch, i.e. the fifth Root Race which began about ten to twelve thousand years ago:
If we want to grasp it from another side, we can say: That idea whereby the group-soulness chiefly expresses itself loses meaning ever more and more in the evolution of mankind, i.e., the idea of race. If we go back beyond the great Atlantean catastrophe, we see how the human races are prepared. In the old Atlantean age human beings were grouped according to external characteristics in their bodily structure, far more strongly than today. What we call races today are only the relics of those important distinctions between human beings as were customary in old Atlantis. The idea of race is only really applicable to old Atlantis. Since we deal with a real evolution of mankind, we have never employed the idea of race in the most eminent sense for the post-Atlantean age. We do not speak of an Indian race, a Persian race, etc., because that is no longer correct. We speak of an old-Indian period of civilisation, of an old-Persian period of civilisation, etc. And it would be utterly devoid of sense if we would speak of our time preparing a sixth race. If relics of the old Atlantean distinctions, of their group-soulness, are still existing in our time, so that one can still say the racial division continues to work on — that which is preparing for the sixth period of time consists just in the character of race being stripped off. That is the essential. 
( -- Rudolf Steiner: The Ego -- The God Within and the God of External Revelation, Lecture 1, Munich, 4th December, 1909, GA 117)

What did Rudolf Steiner mean by "preparing for the sixth period of time"? Humanity is currently going through the Fifth Sub Race (1413-3573) of the Fifth Root Race (7227 BCE-7893 CE), using classic theosophical terminology where "race" means "epoch." The future Sixth Sub Race, or post-Atlantean cultural epoch, will arise out of present-day Russia and last from 3573 until 5733. The Sixth Root Race will arise some time after the destruction of the current Root Race, which will occur during the latter half of the eighth millennium. During the present period of human evolution, humanity is in the process of outgrowing the last vestiges of race in the sense we usually attribute to this word. The very concept of race as such is already inapplicable to human beings but not to animals like dogs and horses where one talks about breeds. The reason for this is that animals live in group souls while humans have outgrown their group souls to such an extent that when comparing animals to humans and talking about species, each individual human being must be classified as an independent species.

The view that man is destined to become a complete, self-contained, free individuality seems to be contested by the fact that he makes his appearance as a member of a naturally given totality (race, people, nation, family, male or female sex) and also works within a totality (state, church, and so on). He bears the general characteristics of the group to which he belongs, and he gives to his actions a content that is determined by the position he occupies among many others.

This being so, is individuality possible at all? Can we regard man as a totality in himself, seeing that he grows out of one totality and integrates himself into another?
Each member of a totality is determined, as regards its characteristics and functions, by the whole totality. A racial group is a totality and all the people belonging to it bear the characteristic features that are inherent in the nature of the group. How the single member is constituted, and how he will behave, are determined by the character of the racial group. Therefore the physiognomy and conduct of the individual have something generic about them. If we ask why some particular thing about a man is like this or like that, we are referred back from the individual to the genus. The genus explains why something in the individual appears in the form we observe.

Man, however, makes himself free from what is generic. For the generic features of the human race, when rightly understood, do not restrict man's freedom, and should not artificially be made to do so. A man develops qualities and activities of his own, and the basis for these we can seek only in the man himself. What is generic in him serves only as a medium in which to express his own individual being. He uses as a foundation the characteristics that nature has given him, and to these he gives a form appropriate to his own being. If we seek in the generic laws the reasons for an expression of this being, we seek in vain. We are concerned with something purely individual which can be explained only in terms of itself. If a man has achieved this emancipation from all that is generic, and we are nevertheless determined to explain everything about him in generic terms, then we have no sense for what is individual.
( -- Rudolf Steiner: The Philosophy of Freedom [1894], Chapter Fourteen: Individuality and Genus, GA 4)


Ethnic Inbreeding and Memory

In pre-historical times, ethnic inbreeding had some peculiar characteristics. The most interesting of these was the capacity to remember the experiences of one's forebears; memories were inherited through the blood -- the origin of ancestry cults.
Even in the first post-Atlantean time man could remember what his father, grandfather, and ancestors had experienced. There was no sense in saying that between birth and death there was an ego. The ego reached back for centuries in the memory. The ego reached as far as the blood flowed down, from the remotest ancestors to the descendants. At that time the group-ego was not to be thought of as extended in space over the contemporaries, but as proceeding upward in the generations. Therefore, the modern man will never understand what appears as an echo of this in the tales of the patriarchs: that Adam, Noah, and others grew to be so old. They counted their ancestors through several generations upward to their ego. The modern man no longer can form any conception of this. In those days there would have been no sense in giving a single man a name between birth and death. In the whole series of ancestors the memory continued upwards for centuries. As far as man could remember through the centuries, so far was he given his name. Adam was, so to say, the ego that flowed with the blood through the generations. Only when we are acquainted with these actual facts do we know how things really were. Man felt sheltered in this series of generations. This is what the Bible means when it says, “I and Father Abraham are one.” When the adherent of the Old Testament said this, only then did he rightly feel himself as man within the line of ancestry. Among the first post-Atlanteans, even among the Egyptians, this consciousness was still present. Men felt the community of the blood, and this caused something special for the spiritual life.
( -- Rudolf Steiner: Egyptian Myths and Mysteries, Lecture 12, The Christ Impulse as Conqueror of Matter. Leipzig  September 14, 1908, GA 106)


Cognitive Evolution and the Gospel of St. John

The ability to remember the experiences of past generations began to fade through ethnic interbreeding, which enabled the development of the self-aware individuality. This again gave birth to the self-dependent intellect and to science as this began to evolve in the fifteenth century. But the actual mixing of blood through ethnic intermarriage dates back at least to the beginning of our era, when it was marked with a specific stamp of approval by Christ Himself at the wedding in Cana where He performed his first sign or miracle by making wine from water.

In the following excerpt I am only including the parts of the text that are immediately relevant to the topic at hand, separated by (....................), but the lecture can be read in its entirety by clicking on the hyperlink at the end of the quotes.
Why are we told, for instance, with such emphasis, in the first of the signs, that the marriage took place at ‘Cana in Galilee’? Search as we will, there is no other Cana in Palestine, in the regions that could be known at that time. Is an additional appellation necessary for a place which is the only one of that name? Why does the Evangelist, in speaking of this miracle, insist that it took place at ‘Cana in Galilee’? Because it was essential to emphasize that the event in question must necessarily have occurred in Galilee and nowhere else. That is to say, Christ could not have found the persons necessary for this event in other regions, but alone in Galilee.


Christ could not have performed His first miracle within the Jewish community itself; but it was quite possible for Him to do so in Galilee, a district in which the most diverse peoples and tribes were mingled together. Precisely on account of this mixture of races from far and wide, there was far less blood relationship in Galilee than in Judea, in the more strictly Hebrew circles. The people of Galilee were a medley of races. But what was the mission to which Christ felt Himself especially called, by virtue of His impulse?

We have pointed out that one of His weightiest sayings was given in the words: ‘Before Abraham was, was the I AM!’ And that other: ‘I and the Father are One!’ The meaning of these words is as follows: Among people who cling to the old forms of life, the Ego remains ensconced in the brotherhood of blood relations.


But the time having come in which this state of consciousness was no longer suitable to man's stage in evolution, it was gradually lost. Christ could not go to those who had lost the ability to work by that magic force inherent in the ties of blood, and who yet retained an exclusive faith in their community with Father Abraham. For He could not find among these the faith which He Himself needed, so that His power should pass from His soul into the soul of the others. Hence He had perforce to go to those who, by reason of their mixed blood, no longer clung to the old belief — the Galileans. His mission necessarily began there. Though the old state of consciousness was generally on the decline, He found precisely in this people a mixed race which stood at the beginning of the mixing of blood. Different tribes, which had previously been under the sway of the old blood-ties, assembled there from all parts. They had come in order to find the transition from the old order to the new. The feeling was still alive in them, expressed in the words: ‘Our fathers still possessed the old state of consciousness, they still possessed the magic forces which act from soul to soul.’ Among these people Christ could inaugurate His mission, which consisted in giving to man an Ego-consciousness which could say: In myself I find the communion with the spiritual Father — with the Father whose blood does not flow physically through the generations, but who sends His spiritual force into every individual soul. The Ego that is in me, and is in direct communion, with the spiritual Father, it was before Abraham was. It is for me then to pour into my soul a force which is strengthened by the consciousness of my connection with the spiritual Father-Power of the world. ‘I and the Father are One,’ not, ‘I and Father Abraham,’ an ancestor in the flesh, ‘are One!’ And Christ came to those who had just reached the point at which they could understand this, to those who, having broken down the ties of blood, stood in need to find, in the individual soul, the power which enables man by degrees to give expression to the spiritual in the physical. Do not say: ‘Why do not such things happen now, as in those days?’ Apart from the fact that anyone who is willing to see such things can do so, we must realize that the human race has advanced beyond this state of consciousness, and that men have descended into the world of matter. Those times marked the boundary between two epochs, and Christ reverted to the last representatives of a humanity which was in a state of transition, in order to demonstrate the power of the spirit over physical matter. The signs that were wrought at that time were to serve as a pattern and a symbol — as a symbol of faith for men, while the old state of consciousness, though still present, was in the act of disappearing.


What must people have felt in very ancient times in a similar case, in times when consanguineous marriage prevailed, or what may be called, in the sense of spiritual science, ‘near marriage’. The explanation of the near marriage lies in what I have already told you. You will find the same usage among all ancient peoples; marriage outside the tribe or family would have been a breach of tribal law. Intermarriage within the tribe and among blood relations was the rule, and this consanguineous marriage brought about that wonderful result which can be ascertained at any moment by spiritual scientific research — namely, the power to exercise great magical force. The descendants of a tribe of blood relations, by virtue of this consanguineous marriage, possessed magic powers which worked from soul to soul.
( -- Rudolf Steiner: The Gospel of St. John in Relation to the other Gospels especially that of St. Luke, Lecture IX, The artistic composition of the Gospel of St. John. The climax of power in the signs and miracles, Cassel 2nd July, 1909, GA 112)


Racist Fears

Aggressive and hostile racists like the neo-Nazis and the KKK, the "alt-right," express deep fears and anxieties. What terrifies them so much? Racial integration and assimilation! Ideological racists are worried about the fact that nobody can control the ethnic makeup of his or her great-great-grandchildren. Racial differences have been in the process of disappearing for millennia, and this development has been accelerating in recent times. Nobody can intervene in the lives of young people and dictate who they're going to have children with and extend such a dictate for many generations. White supremacists call this racial assimilation "white genocide," although it has nothing to do with murder. They scream "Blood and soil!" because they've lost the magic touch with their ancestors that existed prior to race-mixing, all because of a Jew from Galilee who did a water-and-wine trick. The most absurd and nonsensical statements accrue from such a rationale, such as the bizarre tweet from Congressman Steve King:
(Dutch Presidential candidate Geert) Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can't restore our civilization with somebody else's babies.
Steve King elaborated on this statement on the alt-right Breitbart Radio by going on some rants about culture, that white people are superior contributors to culture compared to other ethnic groups. But what is culture? It's musical compositions, poetry, theater, literature, scientific research, education, language, social learning etc. If King had excelled in any of these fields, he might have had something to say about culture worth listening to. Instead, he talks about raising "someone else's babies" as if children are born with their fully developed cultures intact, especially foreign and undesirable cultures. This means that if a white man is married to a black woman, their colored children are born with non-Western cultures that are threatening the white establishment. The notion that the black wife is as Western as the husband doesn't occur to King because he is blinded by the racist ideology of skin color.

Racism is frequently linked to nationalism. This is best known as patriotism, and in the United States, patriotism is still considered a virtue in mainstream culture, but among the notorious synonyms we have chauvinism, jingoism etc. and fanaticism is often a companion to all of the above. I live in Norway, and I've never met a self-proclaimed patriot or nationalist in this country who wasn't a racist, xenophobe or neo-Nazi. Language is always in the process of changing dynamically, and a century ago it would be absurd to suggest that patriotism was something pathological, but in this respect Emma Goldman was ahead of her time with her famous essay from 1908, What Is Patriotism? where she quoted Dr. [Samuel] Johnson, who said "Patriotism, sir, is the last resort of scoundrels." Rudolf Steiner made a distinction between patriotism, which was something idealistic and positive, and nationalism, which was destructive and fanatical. And he talked about a certain point in time between death and rebirth when the individual gets to choose his next birth, how he is drawn to a specific nationality, culture, language out of love. Those who have no such love for a nation and race don't get to make their own choice but are automatically assigned to an affiliation, and those are the ones who become fanatical nationalists and racists.

 Assimilation and Genocide

Let's revisit the bizarre "white genocide" notion. To the best of my knowledge, there hasn't been any effort to wipe out WASPs (White Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the US) anywhere. The Nazis introduced systematic genocide against European Jews, who are white, in order to exterminate them completely, but there has been no endeavor by non-whites to kill off white people. And regarding Jews, there was a rabbi in Israel a few decades ago who said assimilation was genocide. I thought that was a shocking choice of words because the Jews had been subjected to the most brutal and heinous genocide in history. Genocide means murdering people. So when this rabbi says assimilation is genocide, i.e. death, he is saying that a person who happens to be Jewish actually dies, or is murdered, when he marries a non-Jew and stops going to the synagogue. This sentiment is rooted in an identification with a religious tradition so strong that life without it means death. In the case of the white supremacist who talks about "white genocide," he identifies his individuality with the color of his skin while worrying about the future when present-day races will be anthropological phenomena of the distant past.

These people are all imprisoned in gross materialism. This term is often understood as the desire to accumulate wealth and material things, but it really means a specific worldview irrespective of personal beliefs, religious or otherwise. Their hatred is a cry for help. They need our compassion and healing, not ridicule and contempt. Many of them are trying to be religious, but they can't find any connection with higher powers so they resort to old traditions like Nordic pre-Christian mythology to get away from the Judeo-Christian influence which they despise as an alien Semitic cultural intruder. Their ideal teachers and spiritual guides would be the homeless souls described by Rudolf Steiner,

Perhaps you will better understand what we mean if you remember, that at a certain stage of mystic or occult development one is called a ‘homeless man.’ This designation is a technical one, and if we wish to characterize without further ado — as we are not now speaking about the path of knowledge — what is to be understood by the term ‘homeless man,’ we may briefly say, that a man is called ‘homeless’ when, in his knowledge and grasp of the great laws of humanity, he cannot be influenced by all that usually arises in a person through living in his native country. A ‘homeless man’, we might also say, is one who is able to identify himself with the great mission of humanity as a whole, without the various shades of the particular feelings belonging to this or the other home-land playing any part. This will show you that a certain degree of maturity in mystical or occult development is necessary, in order to have a liberal point of view regarding something which we otherwise rightly consider great, which, in contradistinction to individual human life, we describe as the Mission of the several Folk-spirits, as that which brings, out of the foundations of a people, out of the spirit of the various peoples, the separate concrete contributions to the collective mission of humanity.

We shall therefore describe what we may call the greatness of that from which the ‘homeless man’ must in a certain respect free himself. Now the ‘homeless’ men of all times, from primeval ages down to our own day, have always known, that if they were to characterize in all its fullness that which is described as the character of homelessness, they would meet with very, very little understanding. In the first place a certain prejudice would be brought against these homeless men, which would be voiced in the reproach: ‘You have lost all connection with the nation from which you have sprung; you have no understanding for that which is usually most dear to a man’. This, however, is not really the case.

Homelessness is in reality — or at least it may be so — a détour or roundabout way, so that, after this sanctuary of homelessness has been attained, the way may be found back to the folk, in order to be in harmony with what is permanent in the evolution of mankind. Although it is necessary to begin by drawing attention to this, on the other hand it is also not without reason, that just as the present time, that which we call the Mission of the several Folk-souls of humanity, should for once be spoken of quite impartially. Just as it was right that, to a certain extent, silence should be maintained regarding their mission until the present time, there are good reasons why one should now begin to speak of this mission. It is especially important, because the fate of humanity in the near future will bring men together much more than has hitherto been the case, to fulfill a common mission for humanity. But the individuals belonging to the several peoples will only be able to bring their free, concrete contributions to this joint mission, if they have, first of all, an understanding of the folk to which they belong, an understanding of what we might call ‘The Self-knowledge of the Folk.’ In ancient Greece, in the Apollonic Mysteries the sentence ‘Know thyself’ played a great rôle; in a not far-distant future this sentence will be addressed to the Folk-souls; ‘Know yourselves as Folk-souls’. This saying will have a certain significance for the future work of mankind.
( -- Rudolf Steiner: The Mission of Folk-Souls In connection with Germanic and Scandinavian Mythology, Lecture 1, Christiania 7th June, 1910, GA 121)

The Christ Impulse

Humanity is currently struggling with enormous challenges and difficulties regarding the evolution of consciousness -- spiritual evolution -- and racism is one of those hindrances to progress. In the United States, the term "progressive" has acquired the meaning of left-wing liberalism on the political scale, but when the adjective is applied to the higher hierarchies, the gods, it gets a different meaning: The progressive deities are those who seek to influence humanity in such a manner that people voluntarily choose to follow the Christ Impulse while the Opposing Powers -- without whom there would be no human freedom -- strive to push man into error. The tension between these influences is not a duality but a trinity: The Opposing Powers are characterized as luciferic and ahrimanic forces comparable to positive and negative electricity, and in the center, between those two, is the Christ Force -- the Christ Impulse -- charged with the task of keeping the balance. Evil does not originate with the cosmic beings themselves in spite of the fact that they are opposing the Christ; the cause of evil is in man himself as a result of his failure to maintain the balance between Lucifer and Ahriman, like a scale or a pendulum.

Progressive spiritual evolution is spearheaded by a Cosmic Being whose might and substance consists exclusively of unconditional love for absolutely all living creatures without exception. Unfortunately from the looks of it, very few self-proclaimed believers in any creed or variety of the Christian religion would subscribe to such an idea, which is why we ought to make a distinction today between faith-based Christianity on the one hand, and the Christ Impulse which is independent of traditional beliefs. The fact that the KKK and Christian Identity are Christian organizations should make that clear. Religious faith has been a decreasing power at least since the sixteenth century and needs to be replaced by the certainty of knowledge through anthroposophically oriented spiritual science.
No real understanding of the Christ can be gained if one relies merely on the Gospel, especially in the form in which it has been handed down. There exists nowhere today a less true understanding of Christ than in the various faiths and confessions.


These very people who swear by the Gospel alone and reject every kind of real spiritual knowledge, form the beginning of a flock for Ahriman when he appears in human shape in modern civilization. From these circles, from these members of confessions and sects who repulse the concrete knowledge brought by spiritual endeavor, whole hosts will develop as adherents of Ahriman. Now this is all beginning to come into existence.

( -- Rudolf Steiner, The Ahrimanic Deception, Zurich 27th October, 1919, GA 193)
The most prominent representatives of Protestant Christianity in the United States, the Evangelists, are promoting president Donald Trump as a holy leader sent by God -- a man who is waging war against the poor, the sick, the handicapped, and non-white minorities (because they're afraid they'll become majorities) and has the support of the KKK and neo-Nazis. Nothing more needs to be said.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017


We're investigating the occult secrets of the underworld that stand behind the underground secrets of the triple letter agencies in Washington when they're investigating the president and all his hoods.

There's a big difference, you know, between the underground and the underworld -- not the criminal underworld in the usual sense (although there's plenty of criminality involved), but the underworld as understood in classical  mythology, namely the occult threshold of consciousness that only initiates are privy to; the rest of us depend on intel from such initiates. The plot is evolving and thickening and ticking and plugging along -- well, not at breakneck-speed exactly, but very slowly with stalls and obstacles, and yet quite meticulously to make sure we don't miss a beat, triple-checking and verifying everything before dropping the big bombs on you.

One of the big questions is this: What we're investigating, is it secret or just hidden? Is it so occult that we need top-notch occultists to look into it? Before we can answer that we need to explore our personal idiosyncratic definitions of certain words. Some people seem to think there's a little controversy involved here:

In 1909, Rudolf Steiner published his first edition of the major book, Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss, usually translated into English as Occult Science, an Outline or An Outline of Occult Science. Now it seems that some anthroposophists wish to change the title in future editions. Because the word "occult" has negative connotations for many people, so the argument goes, they wish to call it Esoteric Science instead. 

My German is rather rusty, so I'm looking things up. The word geheim is invariably translated as secret in the online dictionaries, and Geheimwissenschaft is always translated as occult science. Scandinavians may have noticed that Die Geheimwissenschaft im Umriss tends to be translated as Vitenskapen om det skjulte (Science of the Hidden), indicating that geheim means hidden instead of secret. There is a difference:

If something is hidden, it means I can't see or hear it, and I wouldn't know where or how to find it. My late beloved Significant Other who passed away a little over a year ago, -- well, she always blamed lost or hidden items on the gnomes. She said the gnomes don't like messy clutter, so they hide things and put them back when you've cleaned and tidied up. Well, when you clean up your cluttered home, you find those lost or hidden things but it's nice to be thankful to the gnomes anyway.

Sølvi-Ann Aarøy (1948-2016)

But now for the fun part: I've always been culturally conservative, especially what language is concerned. Occult is one of my favorite words, and occultist even more so. And I'm very pleased that the word can be used as a scarecrow against religious fundamentalists, the Christian Taliban, the Moral Mafia. It's like saying boo to them, and they run away after threatening you with hellfire and brimstone.

I would highly recommend that Waldorf schools use this word frequently, as much as possible, in order to prevent such fundies from sending their kids to Waldorf and then, after discovering that the founder was an occultist. suing them in court and smearing all anthroposophists in the media afterwards, including quiet philosophical ones like myself who have nothing to do with Waldorf but read Steiner by candle light deep in the woods somewhere -- in utter occult secrecy. The stuff I publish is only anthrotainment, and only anthro-fundies and anthro-wackos would argue with that.

It has been pointed out to me that esotericism is no dabbling, which is absolutely true; the Doctor used the term frequently, especially to distinguish the esoteric from the exoteric, like in the title of one of his lectures, Exoteric and Esoteric Christianity. It's the distinction between dogmatic church doctrine (exoteric) on the one hand, and the endeavor to explore the deeper substance of religious mysteries (esoteric) on the other hand. The latter insights have been kept secret from the public through the centuries by certain heretical groups hiding from the church, which would subject esotericists to severe punishment if discovered.

So I would never describe esotericists as dabblers, but it needs to be said that when esotericism is subjected to academic analyses in theses, treatises, dissertations, expositions, the objectivity that works so well in other types of studies dries up, becomes drenched of all life, and ends up in dabbling mode. If it is claimed in the first chapter of a syllabus book on the history of religion and spirituality that the most important thing is to define our key concepts and then analyze these definitions, we have killed it before we begin. And that is why the study of esotericism at a standard university is doomed to failure. The same can be said of poetry. Our poet hit the nail on the head:

Now I wish I could write you a melody so plain
That could hold you dear lady from going insane
That could ease you and cool you and cease the pain
Of your useless and pointless knowledge
                   ( -- Tombstone Blues, Bob Dylan)

So let's have some fun while I'm doing my own type of dabbling by rambling about analyzing my own definitions of the terms we're talking about here to explain why the English translation of Geheimwissenschaft should remain as it is.

It seems to me that an esotericist is no match for an occultist. An esotericist is a person who likes esoteric literature and develops his views that way. He's a philosopher, meditator, bookworm. An occultist, on the other hand, is an active, empirical investigator of the hidden, he's lurking in and out of the shadows, he's FBI's James Comey of the Underworld (which the threshold is called in classical myths).

Because the Norwegian rendition of geheim is skjult (hidden) in the book title, I was left with the impression that occult means hidden. However, the dictionaries say that geheim means secret, which may indicate that occult should mean secret instead of hidden. If something is hidden, I can't find it without effort, but if it's secret, I know all about it but won't tell anybody. So hidden means where-do-I-find it while secret is hush-hush.

Incidentally, comments are disabled for this blog because of anthro-wackos, but if you feel like expressing something, just publish your groan on your own cyberterritory or do like our above-mentioned poet:

Now I got a friend who spends his life
Stabbing my picture with a bowie knife
Dreams of strangling me with a scarf
When my name comes up he pretends to barf
I’ve got a million friends!
       ( -- I Shall Be Free No. 10, Bob Dylan)

Back to our discussion: Let's say Geheimwissenschaft is investigating a topic, and the occultist says he'll publish a report when the investigation is done, just like Comey. Now, there are left-handed and right-handed occultists. This is a technical term that has nothing to do with being left- or right-handed. My point here is that I've never heard of left- or right-handed esotericists.

The bottom line is that anybody can claim to be an esotericist, but only spiritual investigators can call themselves occultists. So Occult Science tells us that it's been written by an occultist, a spiritual-scientific investigator. An esotericist is just a bookworm in a library somewhere, an absent-minded professor who forgot to tie his shoes or something.

Hidden Science may be the best English rendition of Geheimwissenschaft. But then again, that would make me think of a lost object, like the science of how to find my keys or wallet on my way out the door. Roman Catholics have a saint for lost objects, don't remember his name. But this means that hidden science may be about an occult technique to communicate with the saint who knows where all lost and hidden objects are: Vatican Science as practiced by sinister Jesuit left-handed occultists.

And what are we going to do about "Lucifer Gnosis"? Call it Morning Star Knowledge because the Taliban doesn't like Lucifer?

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Thursday, January 08, 2015


On several occasions in the past, I have called attention to a certain conversation between Rudolf Steiner and Friedrich Rittelmeyer as told in the latter’s autobiographical account (Meine Lebensbegegnungen mit Rudolf Steiner, 1928, translated as Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life). Of particular interest is the last part below, when Rudolf Steiner says, "If humanity does not accept what is now being offered, it will have to wait for another hundred years." 

In this brief excerpt, Rittelmeyer cites several conversations with Steiner, all of which apparently took place during 1915. One of the conversations about the Christ sculpture, The Representative of Man, took place “at Midsummer, in the year 1915, with the thunder of the cannons rumbling from neighbouring Alsace, and the searchlights playing over the countryside by night.” 

Another conversation about the sculpture, which Rittelmeyer calls “a grotesque happening” (concerning its alleged resemblance to the German Crown Prince) is not dated. Then he mentions a discussion about the Great War and how it may end – also not dated, but 1915 is most plausible. There is also a conversation about the need for grace in the context of Protestant Christianity (Rittelmeyer was a Lutheran minister), and then there is this:

"Did you always think of Christ as you think to-day, even in your scientific days?" I asked him. "I remember that in a conversation in the middle of my twenties I spoke of Christ like this," he answered. "But then of course it fell temporarily into the background. I had to pass through all those other phases. It was a karmic necessity." "Why was it that in spite of all you must have known even in those early years, you were so completely silent about occult matters until your fortieth year?" I asked. "I had to make a certain position for myself in the world first. People may say nowadays that my writings are mad, but my earlier work is also there, and they cannot wholly ignore it. And, moreover, I had to bring things to a certain clarity in myself, to a point where I could give them form, before it was possible to talk about them. That was not so very easy. And then - I admit it frankly - it needs courage to speak openly about such things. I had first to acquire this courage."

"Do you really think that Anthroposophy will succeed in becoming more than a strong impulse in our civilisation? Do you think it can really strike through as new culture?" - He became amazingly serious. "If humanity does not accept what is now being offered, it will have to wait for another hundred years," he said. He seemed to be deeply moved. It was not merely emotion, but something like the thunder of the Judgment. He said no more. Never before or since have I seen how the soul of a whole age can tremble in one man."

The first paragraph is relevant to the nonsense produced from certain quarters about Rudolf Steiner being an atheist in his younger years who “converted” to Theosophy at the turn of the century. Steiner was in his twenties in the 1880s, and in 1886 (at the age of 25), he wrote TheTheory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception (GA 2), which is an overview of Goethe’s scientific epistemology. The conversation described by Rittelmeyer, which is a primary source, makes it clear that there was no change in Steiner’s world view or spiritual philosophy from his twenties to his fifties.

The second paragraph may be of tremendous significance if Steiner was a genuine ‘prophet’ in regard to his own movement and mission. Many aspects of humanity’s evolution still remain to be seen during the centuries ahead, such as the growth of the new, self-conscious clairvoyance. ‘Prophet’? Here is the rub: According to Rudolf Steiner, the age of prophets and revelations is over. What is needed today is not a new revelation but a new science; not prophets but spiritual investigators. The very paradigm of religion is in the process of becoming outmoded. Religious beliefs are becoming increasingly superstitious and fanatical, more and more divorced from reality. Atheists think that religion will be replaced by science. Those who truly understand anthroposophy think exactly the same; the difference is that while the former mean only materialistic natural science, the latter have spiritual science in mind – or to be more precise: Spiritually extended science enhanced by nothing less than the science of seership.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Statistics and opinions and riots and......

They're doing statistics on people's religious views. The number of Muslims is outpacing the number of Catholics and so on. People are counted like sheep, not just in thousands and millions, but in billions. There's also statistics done, I would think, about how many atheists, agnostics, Buddhists, Hindus and so on there are worldwide, and how many of each group in various geographic regions.

Back in the Middle Ages, and perhaps even more so after the Reformation in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, religious views and beliefs were a public and political concern. That's no longer the case; we live in a secular culture, which means that opinions of a philosophical or spiritual nature (or anti-spiritual for that matter) are private, personal matters. The question of what religion or philosophy a person identifies with is like what political party one votes for. Well now, the ballot is secret, at least optionally so, and the same is, or should be, the case with convictions and beliefs and soul-orientations. Besides, labels are bad and misleading things. I submit that nobody who volunteers such a label in surveys hasn't been thinking things through. Otherwise, we wouldn't get such preposterous claims that so-and-so many Muslim children are born here, so-and-so many Lutheran children are born there and so on. It makes one wonder how many agnostic and atheist children were born in the same countries or cities -- say, in the same year, -- as if those kids don't get to develop their own minds and do their own thinking when growing up.

That's why I decided long ago to defy all such labels and say 1) none of the above, or 2) none of your business; no concern of the public or of any institutes or governments. Who wants those stats and why?

Once upon a time, many years ago, I decided I wouldn't call myself an anarchist and not an anthroposophist either because I didn't fit any of those molds, so I coined a couple of new words, new terms: Anarchosophy and Tazism. And believe it or not, it didn't take long for certain people to write me emails and tell me what kind of views I should have in order to be an anarchosophist, so I had to ditch that too, my very own homespun label!

On my fb profile, however, I've still listed "Heterodox Anarchosophist" as my "Religious Views" and "Neo-Tazist" as my "Political Views" because nobody has proposed to understand any of that -- yet. And they're not supposed to. It goes like this: If you're ever questioned by the police or by intruding reporters or aggressive salespeople or anybody else who tries to control the conversation by asking all the questions, you should give them plenty of mumbo jumbo. That usually leaves them in total bewilderment, because they're use to hear "No comment" or "I wanna talk to my lawyer." And if you have some experience with anthroposophy, you can take this one step further by giving them anthro-babble. Believe me, they'll be at such a total loss you might as well be speaking an obscure Klingon dialect.

The problem is, people love to engage in small talk, to shoot the breeze, on every imaginable subject and shade of personal opinion and strictly private concerns, even when there are cops present who remember or even write down or record everything they say. And then the politicians get together and discuss how to influence or alter public opinion, as they call it, wherever they see this as expedient or necessary. It would be a lot better for the balance of power in the world if people would be much more reticent and reclusive and shy, to speak and act in such a way that those who wield power and influence can't figure out where they've got you, where you're coming from, what your paradigms are. In other words, keep your cards closer to your chest.

I can understand there are times when it's felt that people should show up in great numbers on the street in order to shout slogans to the rhythm of a drummer -- remember they used drummers on the battlefields too -- and fight with the cops, the riot squads, the Delta forces, which always stand ready to intervene, beat some of them up and haul them to jail. They often use horses. And I say, if the demonstrators were really well-organized, they should counter those horses with cattle, lots of cattle, and arrange stampedes. Right in the middle of the city, downtown. Now that's what I would have done, but I'm never in charge. I'm only being invited as a mindless follower from time to time, and I'm not into that sort of thing. It's like Carl Jung once said:
"Resistance to the organized mass can be effected only by the man who is as well organized in his individuality as the mass itself."

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A Super Bowl of Love -- Dornach 2013

Michael and the New Isis Mysteries -- Lifting the Veil

Nine days have passed since I returned from an absolutely incredible conference in Switzerland, lasting four and a half days from 8 AM till late at night (February 21-25); most of the events took place in the Schreinerei next to the main Goethanum building. This is where Rudolf Steiner and his friends continued their work on January 1, 1923, the day after the devastating fire that completely destroyed the first Goethanum.

Schreinerei Entrance

Some 40 or 50 people from all over the world participated, people from the US, Canada, Scotland, England, the Netherlands, Belgium, South Africa, Australia, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia and more. Lectures, eurythmy, song and dance, speech and drama, group work, late night chats in the dining room at the guesthouse nearby -- my camera wasn't working, but some of the others, notably Ara, Danica, Rozanne and Изис-София took plenty of photographs and made them publically available on Facebook, and Ara even made some videos!

And in Steinerland, up on that hill in Dornach, even the street signs are in anthro-fonts, like "Rudolf Steiner Weg" for instance. That was a real trip and treat. I'm still stoned, not from weed or any chemicals, but from the aftermath of the conference.

The Representative of Man

I want to thank Adriana and Rozanne for guiding us through the Representative of Man. It's on the sixth floor of the main building, kind of squeezed into a corner for safekeeping, which makes proper access somewhat awkward, but there are miniatures on display at the entrance that can be scrutinized more closely from all sides.

 I was especially fascinated by his mouth, and this is why:

In his wonderful and moving autobiographical account of his friendship with Steiner, Friedrich Rittelmeyer writes with regard to this sculpture:

' Without saying anything in detail about these observations, I asked Rudolf Steiner: "Is it really possible, simply by meditation upon the words of Christ, to come to the point of being able to say anything at all about His actual appearance?" "And what do you think He looked like?" came the quiet counter-question. When I began to say certain things, Rudolf Steiner took up my description and led it - I can only say - to clarity. It was the same picture which he afterwards gave in his lectures: A brow unlike that of a modern thinker, but one upon which reverence for the deep mysteries of existence was written; eyes that did not gaze upon men as though in observation but penetrated their very being in the fire of self-sacrifice; a mouth - "When I saw it for the first time I had this impression: this mouth has never taken food, but has been proclaiming divine truths from all eternity." In astonishment I asked: "Yes, but if you know what Christ was really like, is it not right to make this picture of Him in some way accessible to mankind?" "Yes, indeed," was his answer. "And that is why I have told an artist in Dornach to make a model of Christ according to my indications."

' At that moment I made up my mind that my next free time would be spent in Dornach in order to let this model of Christ work upon me from nearer at hand. I did not yet think of joining the Anthroposophical Society. Rudolf Steiner never gave me the least hint in this direction. He invariably gave me the unlimited freedom of a guest. But he knew, too, that I was not being held back by trivial motives. '
( -- Friedrich Rittelmeyer: Rudolf Steiner Enters My Life)

For me, this says it all, about the mouth: ".... this mouth has never taken food, but has been proclaiming divine truths from all eternity."

We did some talking about a related subject in the dining room late evening, Dottie and I, something from Knowledge of the Higher Worlds (GA 10) where one of the disciplines to be acquired is never to utter anything through speech (or writing for that matter) that hasn't been thoroughly purged in thought. And there's this very significant passage in Matthew, when the scribes and Pharisees criticize Jesus' disciples for not washing their hands before eating:

"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." ( -- Matthew 15:11)

Or take the sharp word from James, also in the New Testament:

"Behold , we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed , and hath been tamed of mankind : But the tongue can no man tame ; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be." ( -- James 3:3-10)

That's why I found it so amazing to see that mouth on the Representative of Man. And all those of us who have long and ample experience with the internet, discussions and arguments and flame wars and so on, know that "tongue" or "mouth" can be replaced with "keyboard" (or "fingers"?) in any of the above quotes, but I have to admit that it would be extremely comical to put a keyboard under the arm of the Representative of Man and say that... well, something like "This keyboard has never played video games or done any online banking or ordering of plane tickets, but proclaimed divine truths from eternity."

I even got to participate in a play -- The Being of Art!

The Destruction of the First Goetheanum

Frankly, I wasn't paying too much attention to Dornach 2013 as Dottie was trying to recruit me, and Adriana too, because I was tied up full time with absolutely no money or possibility to travel anywhere, and then Dottie emails me the two way ticket, an offer I couldn't refuse, and after that it's been gradually dawning on me that I've been pulled into the very heart of Anthroposophia -- The fact that the entire conference took place in the Schreinerei was mind-boggling, the very place where Rudolf Steiner carried on the day after the devastating fire. And that's another weird thing: I've been reading Steiner's works and everything about his life since the sixties when I was barely out of adolescence, a whooping fifty years ago, being thoroughly familiar with the burning of the first Goethanum and its effect on Steiner's health, leading to his premature death. But when this fire was mentioned by Peter Selg in his lecture on Unbornness and the Michael Community, I was hit by a painful sting in the chest, because we was in the very room where this pain and sorrow had been experienced, and it was experienced as an honorable gift that the spiritual beings would share their pain with me at that moment. Heavy. Rozanne says she felt it too during Selg's lecture, feeling that The Schreienerei still holds etheric memories.

Peter Selg lecturing

I was also deeply cognizant of having reached the chronological age -- I'll be 64 in a couple of months -- that Steiner had reached when he was at the very end of his physical journey, right there where we were. Plus the fact that 2013 marks the centennial of the Goetheanum itself, when the property was chosen and acquired. We talked about this, and the description I recalled was this one:

Stewart C. Easton tells us:

"After Steiner’s death his widow described how she and Rudolf Steiner visited the Grossheintz in their own home, and how delighted she had been with the area with its cherry trees and its vineyards in the bright autumn coloring, expecting the same enthusiasm from Steiner. But the morning after their arrival his mood was inexplicably gloomy, and for once this unaccustomed mood did not quickly disappear. As a rule he could change his moods almost in the twinkling of an eye, so controlled was his life of feeling. In time the mood gave place to one of pleasure and delight which he was able to share with Frl. von Sievers. But she always believed that he had experienced what in other people would have been a simple foreboding, but with him was a definite experience of what was to happen later on this very site when the irreplaceable first Goetheanum, on which so much love, labor, and treasure had been expended was burned to the ground in a single night. If Steiner had indeed known in advance the fate of the building which undoubtedly hastened his own premature end, one may legitimately ask the question, could he not have taken some action to forestall it?

"According to the laws of the spiritual world, as others as well as Steiner have explained them, no initiate may ever take any action in the personal realm, least of all an action from which he may draw profit, as the result of such a vision. Everything hitherto planned must be carried out exactly as if there had been no prevision. It can scarcely be doubted, as will be discussed later, that Rudolf Steiner foresaw the Great War, and even knew a long time in advance exactly when it would break out. Yet he and Marie von Sievers and a group of friends paid a visit to Bayreuth to see Parsifal just before the War, and only by remarkably good luck was the whole party able to return to Switzerland without trouble at the frontier. Steiner also must have known that a fifth Mystery Drama scheduled for 1914 would never be presented. Yet the theatre had been booked for it as soon as it was known that the building in Dornach could not possibly be ready in time.

"Frau Grossheintz in a memoir published some years later was to describe how to everyone’s surprise Rudolf Steiner stayed on in Dornach for some time after he had first seen the site and examined the entire area, including even the underground grottos to be found in the neighborhood of Arlesheim. Then he went to see the Grossheintz in Basel and asked them what they proposed to do with the land they had acquired. When they expressed some uncertainty Steiner began to talk about the possibility of a ”Bayreuth,” and told his hosts of the difficulties being experienced in Munich as a result of the attitude of the municipal authorities. Dr. Grossheintz then told him that no building regulations were in force at Dornach, and offered him the land if he wanted it. Thus when the Munich authorities finally gave the verdict against the building as it had been proposed, an alternative was available and it seems certain that Rudolf Steiner had already made his own decision and he knew that the Dornach hill would be the site chosen."
 ( -- Stewart C. Easton, Rudolf Steiner, Herald of a New Epoch, chapter 8)

The First Goetheanum

The Future of Anthroposophy

Another thought came to mind which I initially put forth a decade ago when launching the Yahoo group "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" (which is closed but is still on lit de parade for those who may wish to access the archives).

' "Do you really think that Anthroposophy will succeed in becoming more than a strong impulse in our civilisation? Do you think it can really strike through as new culture?" - He became amazingly serious. "If humanity does not accept what is now being offered, it will have to wait for another hundred years," he said. He seemed to be deeply moved. It was not merely emotion, but something like the thunder of the Judgment. He said no more. Never before or since have I seen how the soul of a whole age can tremble in one man. ' ( -- Friedrich Rittelmeyer: Rudolf Steiner Enters my Life)

This conversation was taking place in Dornach in 1915. And the case may indeed be that anthroposophy will enter mainstream culture during the course of the next decade or so. I would like to add a word of caution here though, because I sense a certain caveat attached to it: If anthroposophy becomes a popular movement, it may easily dissolve into a watered-down, feel-good sort of thing. The paradox is that although the above conversation indicates that anthroposophy is destined to go mainstream, Rudolf Steiner once said -- it's stuck like glue in my memory but I can't seem to find the reference -- that anthroposophy can never be a popular movement because it rests upon the profound recognition that all existence arises out of pain and suffering. And we all know that's not what humanity wants to hear. Instead, they listen with great enthusiasm to those who make them feel good, whether they be preachers or politicians, movie stars or industrialists or other types of role models or authorities.

It may indeed be so that we've been given the overwhelming task in the very near future, of vouchsafing, preserving, the pristine genuineness and authenticity of anthroposophically oriented spiritual science as it begins to blend into popular feel-good culture and all the inner laziness and complacency that this entails.

 Here's almost everybody -- about 45 of us or something.

Bradford and the Arthurian Connection

Bradford and Dottie keep making me blush with their loving remarks on Facebook, making me glad I'm not on webcam. I've known Bradford for 10 years online, Dottie for 13 years, and Bobby for 15 years. And Bradford wrote this deeply touching and elegantly poetic piece about me and him going back to the Arthurian days, linking me to the Welsh and the Celts and what have you.

Bradford (the big guy) and Yours Truly 
(with scarf and hat) in the Schreinerei

And I have to take a few steps back with regard to Bradford's magnificent poetic imagination. Point taken, however, he may indeed be on to something with regard to the Celts and the Welsh and all. Thirty-five years ago in Phoenix, after an excursion into the desert at night where we'd been looking at the stars, there was this lady, an experienced past life regressionist. And the session she did with me was abrogated, interrupted in mid-session, which I think was a good thing, because I've always been apprehensive and wary with regard to such things; I'd rather do my own hard-earned spiritual work than participate in that kind of astro-psycho-therapy. There's always a strong possibility of a materialistic-psychic approach to the spiritual blending with luciferic illusions imho, but it got so far that I saw a moat around a castle from the air -- right here we should pause, and right here the session was fortunately discontinued. Such imagery is far too physical and could come from anywhere and blend with expectations. But I do know for certain that my acquaintance this time around with the Mystery of Golgotha was a recognition and not a first encounter, which means as a matter of consequence that I probably had a former physical existence in Europe during the early or high Middle Ages.

Me and Bradford talking at lunch in the guesthouse dining room

The idea of the British Isles is just a vague hunch that should not be overestimated, but it's intriguing nevertheless. From a historical perspective, there were no castles and such on those islands before the Norman invasion in 1066, but if I should be placed in that area in the high Middle Ages (when the Arthurian legend was actually written down in Old or Middle French), I accept the hypothesis while keeping iun mind that it's ONLY a hypothesis. But having appeared in the physical some, say, eight centuries ago give or take, would be in line with the Platonic Year and the principle of each individuality incarnating twice during the course of 1/12 of this, once as a male and once as a female, during a sub-epoch of 2160 years (the time the sun rises in a given constellation of the Zodiac seen from the Northern hemisphere at the vernal equinox, a duration also equivalent to one cultural epoch). In other words, we incarnate once per millennium on the average, spending far, far, more time in the spiritual world, a principle that distinguishes anthroposophy from other New Age movements, where people are often thought of jumping in and out of physical bodies.

Speech and Drama with Christine Burke from Santa Barbara

Back with Good Ol' Ahri

Being back with my stationary computer at home, you all know what happens then: Interacting again through them ahrimanic elementals & getting full of mischief in the process. When I saw there was an internet access area in the Goethanum, I said to Dottie and afterwards also to Bradford that we ought to go in there and send a joint greeting to the Hole, also called (by Yours Truly) the Abominable Abyss, the Unthinkable Facility, the Unplumbable Toilet and so forth -- something we cleaned up later on by calling it Sugarland and its residents, The Sugar Cherubs, because what we really want to do is shower them with love.

Das Goetheanum

We didn't do any such thing, of course; it was too wonderful -- for me anyway -- to be totally off the grid for a week with none of Ahri's gadgets like TV and radio and internet, but those of you who perhaps don't know what I'm talking about should be informed that the Sugar Cherubs are the Waldorf Critics. As for details, check out my blog article (at this site) from September 2010, titled The Abominable Abyss / The Unthinkable Facility. (Those who google shall find as the Holy Book of Taz saith; I shouldn't link this up directly coz it's got nasty images in it -- a "Dottie don't look" kind of thing.)

And talking about Ahri, when they built the Goethanum, Rudolf Steiner arranged for a special home for him. This is Ahri's Dornach pad, with all kinds of clutter in the windows!

Parsifal's Cave and Eurythmy

On the first day (Thursday February 21) we made an excursion to Parsifal's Cave, a place of initiation of great significance to the spiritual history of Europe -- right here in the very center of Europe!

At Parsifal's Cave

When we did the eurythmy with Rozanne Hartmann and Patries Orange, I had this aha-moment when we were moving the arm of the person next to us and vice versa. It gave me a living experience of how we are actually put together in the etheric -- collectively and individually.

A little Shakespeare: King Lear

I've always been a Shakespeare buff, and I remember talking to Mary Stewart Adams after she'd lectured about the Ptolemaic-Copernican paradigm shift in the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries centuries that it's a very good idea to take a close look at King Lear -- especially, in this case, Act I, Scene II (in The Earl of Gloucester's castle). The play was written between 1603 and 1606 and later revised, i.e. relatively late in Shakespeare's life; it's where one should look for the deeper underlying wisdom and observations often between the lines, in the subtext as it were, perhaps most of all in his very last play from 1610, The Tempest.

Back in 1974, I had the great pleasure of playing Edmund, the scheming and villainous and lustful bastard son of Gloucester, in London,in his original magnificent Elizabethan English, and his introductory monologue is still stuck like glue in my memory:

Thou, nature, art my goddess; to thy law
My services are bound. Wherefore should I
Stand in the plague of custom, and permit
The curiosity of nations to deprive me,
For that I am some twelve or fourteen moon-shines
Lag of a brother? Why bastard? wherefore base?
When my dimensions are as well compact,
My mind as generous, and my shape as true,
As honest madam's issue? Why brand they us
With base? with baseness? bastardy? base, base?
Who, in the lusty stealth of nature, take
More composition and fierce quality
Than doth, within a dull, stale, tired bed,
Go to the creating a whole tribe of fops,
Got 'tween asleep and wake? Well, then,
Legitimate Edgar, I must have your land:
Our father's love is to the bastard Edmund
As to the legitimate: fine word,--legitimate!
Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed,
And my invention thrive, Edmund the base
Shall top the legitimate. I grow; I prosper:
Now, gods, stand up for bastards!

Edmund, Gloucester's bastard son, is scheming for power and wealth, and as an important part of his strategy, he seeks to deprive his half brother Edmund, Gloucester's legitimate son, of his inheritance by fooling their father ino thinking that Edgar is making such a plot against him, through a forged letter from Edgar. ("Well, my legitimate, if this letter speed, And my invention thrive, Edmund the base Shall top the legitimate.")

The Earl of Gloucester is extremely gullible, and in fact so spiritually blind that he gets his eyes torn out by the Duke of Cornwall and his wife Regan, one of King Lear's wicked daughters who along with her sister Goneril are both having affairs with Edmund -- no wonder I loved that part! Anyway, here's the bit about the old relationship to the stars being replaced by the new: Gloucester's reaction to Edmund's forged letter from Edgar goes as follows:

These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend
no good to us: though the wisdom of nature can
reason it thus and thus, yet nature finds itself
scourged by the sequent effects: love cools,
friendship falls off, brothers divide: in
cities, mutinies; in countries, discord; in
palaces, treason; and the bond cracked 'twixt son
and father. This villain of mine comes under the
prediction; there's son against father: the king
falls from bias of nature; there's father against
child. We have seen the best of our time:
machinations, hollowness, treachery, and all
ruinous disorders, follow us disquietly to our

When left alone, Edmund characteristically mocks his father's superstition as expressed in "These late eclipses in the sun and moon portend no good to us" in the following monologue:

This is the excellent foppery of the world, that,
when we are sick in fortune,--often the surfeit
of our own behavior,--we make guilty of our
disasters the sun, the moon, and the stars: as
if we were villains by necessity; fools by
heavenly compulsion; knaves, thieves, and
treachers, by spherical predominance; drunkards,
liars, and adulterers, by an enforced obedience of
planetary influence; and all that we are evil in,
by a divine thrusting on: an admirable evasion
of whoremaster man, to lay his goatish
disposition to the charge of a star! My
father compounded with my mother under the
dragon's tail; and my nativity was under Ursa
major; so that it follows, I am rough and
lecherous. Tut, I should have been that I am,
had the maidenliest star in the firmament
twinkled on my bastardizing.

Here is a link to that scene.

We also had a fantastic clown, hilarious! -- Dawn!

This is extremely interesting, because as you can see, this is also a liberation from perceived iron law necessity as dictated by the heavens; it's a release of free will, which in the case of Edmund and his ilk is being abused for egoistic purposes, hand in hand with ahrimanic arrogant mockery of the old spirituality that has retrograded into superstition. And what poetry! I have to take a few steps back when I see the claim made by very many historians, perhaps most of them, that Shakespeare was a Catholic, which of course had to be hidden in his writings because of the political power struggles at that time, but to my way of thinking, Shakespeare seems to stand way above the entire Reformation division. Rudolf Steiner also addressed some of the nonsense that's still with us today, even in anthro-circles, that his plays were written by Francis Bacon, who according to RS was the reincarnated Haroun al Raschid and belongs therefore to the so-called Arabic stream (along with Charles Darwin and many others), -- or by Christopher Marlowe (who died in 1593). I don't care who was a Rosicrucian and who was a Freemason and so on in those days -- those are only affiliations that say very little about the individuals themselves and what they brought forth.

Two incredibly sweet souls from Bulgaria

Incidentally, I may have mentioned this in the past to some of you on the internet, but I should repeat it here anyway while we're on this subject of Shakespeare, because it may explain some of my shenanigans and mischievous trollings and things I used to do in the forums, especially with the critics (Sugar Cherubs) but also with the Adorable Darlings (a euphemism for the Anthro-Wackos, you know, very nutty anthros), and it may have a certain relevance to something Steiner said about Napoleon -- and I'm sorry, Marisa, for forgetting to do that Napoleon pose at the Zurich Airport I had promised to do --

Vlad, Bradford, Dorina, and Yours Truly

About Napoleon, Steiner said people get it wrong when they think he became such a militant general and emperor because his mom had walked across battlefields when he was an embryo in her belly, -- and Steiner claimed it was the other way around, namely that the unborn Napoleon Bonaparte DROVE his mom through these battlefields.

You see, I grew up in the theater, both of my parents being stage actors and my dad manager twice, and when I was an embryo, she played Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream -- a part that can easily be played by a male or a female. And my mom sometimes said that's the reason I'm so trollish and such. But all of this makes me speculate, of course, whether I, as the yet unborn but already attached to the physical, managed to influence the director to cast my mom in that role?

Mom (Julia Natalie Bock) as Puck in 1948, 
with the Yours Truly the Embryo in her belly

And there's something else weird about my late mom (who passed away in 1997) -- you see, she was born in New York in 1922, to Scandinavian parents (Danish dad, Norwegian mom, both naturalized US citizens), and during her childhood and youth she kept crossing the Atlantic back and forth (by ship in those days) to stay with her maternal grandma in Oslo, who was such a wicked piece of work -- she passed away in 1945, years before I was born -- well, she was my great grandma, and in Norwegian fairy tales, the Devil lives with his great grandma, so there's always this repeated reference to the Devil and his Great Grandma -- but the reason my mom put up with her was she wanted to live in Norway and be a Norwegian.

Now I've often wondered if my mom was one of those spirits seeking incarnation that Rudolf Steiner actually saw -- You see, in one of his lectures, and especially if this one was in the early twenties it may make sense -- he talked about observing human spirits seeking incarnation on earth, and he said, and this is exact from memory, they'll be in America one second and in Europe in the next, and another weird thing is I've never quite figured out my own ambivalence here with regard to my strange karmic connection with America that's played out in my own life in a rather chaotic fashion.

Ara, Bradford, Vlad, the Friesland dude(?), and Bobby

Pay special attention to everything the Fool says in King Lear. He's the closest, I think, to Shakespeare's own voice and comments.Mark therefore the following, keeping this suggestion in mind. It's not as simple as it seems at first glance; the confusion of seven and eight planets (or stars) belongs, to the best of my recollection, to a certain highly advanced stage of initiation; which means that Shakespeare's own seership is very cleverly disguised in his texts.

KING LEAR: I will forget my nature. So kind a father! Be my horses ready?
Fool: Thy asses are gone about 'em. The reason why the seven stars are no more than seven is a pretty reason.
KING LEAR: Because they are not eight?
Fool: Yes, indeed: thou wouldst make a good fool.
( -- King Lear, Act I Scene V)

Dottie Zold and Michaela Glöckler

The Foundation Stone, the Seed, and the Arts (Drama)

To get back to our unforgettable Dornach conference, our very Super Bowl of Love: We had some very gifted lecturers, first on Thursday (Feb 21) when we listened to a guest lecture by Peter Selg -- I call it that because he came and went -- and during the days that followed, we had several lectures by Adriana Koulias from Sydney, who actually taught spiritual science along with a very neat use of the blackboard, with colors and all, very Steiner-like, and that was sooooo cool.

 Adriana's Blackboard

We also heard a couple of lectures by Mary Stewart Adams from Michigan -- where are the photos of her? -- who spoke about astrology, astronomy, astrosophy and the Ptolemaic-Copernican paradigm shift, and helped me understand what The New Isis is all about. And if I've got it right, it goes like this: When the Ptolemaic, geocentric astronomy was replaced by the Copernican-Galileian heliocentric system, the connection between European humanity and the gods was broken, which means that Isis was cut into pieces and scattered all over the Cosmos. It's the task of Anthroposophia, being guided by Michael, the Time Spirit since 1879, to put Isis back together again and thereby restore communion between humanity and divinity. That's the New Isis.

Selg's lecture contained a lot of pain, not only through the brief mention of the fire towards the end, but the deep and bitter split inside the Anthroposophical Society that followed Rudolf Steiner's departure, involving strong hostilities between the camps. So I felt that his lecture ended on an interesting note before he headed for the door immediately afterwards, at least what my own inner ear is concerned, namely: Is the glass half full or half empty? And Rudolf Steiner himself was always the optimist, even in the face of extremely harsh opposition and challenges and misfortune towards the end, even reaching the point where he wanted to dissolve the entire Society because there was sectarianism, sectarianism, everywhere around him.

Rozanne and Adrinana

This group, however, has also been going through the Foundation Stone Meditation (in addition to acting out the play, The Being of the Arts), and we all took a seed home with us. What this means for me is that I've discovered where I've always really belonged. In other words, I have committed myself, dedicated myself to the Movement in a way that has been truly life-changing, and I'll rejoin the Anthroopsophical Society, i.e renew my old membership that expired over two decades ago.

Into the Schreinerei

I was a member for a few years in the late eighties when living in Houston and participating in a study group there (the PoF), but then there was a lot of moving and turmoil in my life during the years that followed so I didn't maintain the membership; it expired. But this experience in Dornach has made me realize in a most profound way that I have always belonged there -- thanks to Dottie Zold in the City of the Angels (L.A.)!

Dottie, I'm telling you, is a soul full of sunshine. The fact that she pulled this thing off -- my jaw was gradually dropping to my chest day by day as I realized that all those active people, including eurythmists and lecturers and the young guys leading us in song and so on, well, they all knew Dottie and they were there because they knew her, or at least most of them were; that was my impression and understanding. Now I realize that when Dottie said that "we" did it, she meant the planning committee, and here they all are:

Our program in Dornach February 21-25, 2013:

Michael and the New Isis Mysteries ~ Lifting the Veil


Thursday February 21, 2013

9:00am Good Morning! Singing with Caleb Buchbinder
9:30am Eurythmy with Rozanne Hartmann
10:00am Welcome by Christine Burke
10:45 am BREAK
11:15 am Journey to Parsifal's Cave
1:15 pm LUNCH
3:15 pm Introduction of the Presenters and Friends!
4:15 pm Journey to the Representative of Man with Adriana Koulias
5:30 pm DINNER
7:15 pm Welcome Caleb Buchbinder
7:30pm Dr. Peter Selg ~ Unborness and the Michael Community
9:15pm Eurythmy Offering with Patries Orange
9:30pm Foundation Stone Meditation with Christine Burke

Friday February 22, 2013

9:00 am Good Morning! Singing with Caleb Buchhinder
9:20 am Considerations on Ita Wegman & the Michael Community 10:00 am Eurythmy with Rozanne Hartmann
10:30 am BREAK
11:00 am Artistic Collaboration In the Round
Sculpture ~ Kilian Voss
Eurythmy ~ Patries Orange
Speech ~ Christine Burke
Seeing ~ Adriana Koulias
12:30 LUNCH
2:00 pm Mercury and the Laying of the Foundation Stone ~
Our Celestial Signature with Mary Stewart Adams
2:45 BREAK
3:00 pm The Foundation Stone Meditation ~ Healing the Word
4:15 pm Eurythmy and Transubstantiation with Patries Orange
5:00 pm DINNER
7:00 pm Michael and the New Isis Mysteries with Adriana Koulias
8:30 pm BREAK
8:45 pm Spoken Word with Bradford Riley and the Yippies
9:15 pm Eurythmy with Patries Orange
9:30 pm The Foundation Stone Meditation with Christine Burke

Saturday February 23, 2013

9:00 am Good Morning Singing with Caleb Buchbinder
9:30 am An Open Conversation ~ reimagining our relationship with the Society led by Caleb Buchbinder and Christine Burke
10:30 am BREAK
11:15 am
Artistic Collaboration in the Round
Sculpture ~ Kilian Voss
Eurythmy ~ Patries Orange
Art ~ Brigitta Gallaher
Speech ~ Christine Burke
Seeing ~ Adriana Koulias
1:15 pm LUNCH
3:15 pm Eurythmy with Rozanne Hartmann
3:30 pm Michael and the New Isis Mystery II with Adriana Koulias
5:00 pm DINNER
7:00 pm Welcome Dr. Michaela Glöckler
7:45 pm Calendar of the Soul ~ Mary Stewart Adams
8:30 pm The Being of Art ~ A Play
9:30 pm Foundation Stone Meditation ~ Christine Burke
9:45 pm Eurythmy Patries Orange

Sunday February 24, 2013

9:00 am Good Morning Singing ~ Caleb Buchbinder
9:30 am Artistic Collaboration in the Round ~
11:00 am Foundation Stone Meditation Together
11:30 am Mandala
12:15 pm LUNCH
1:15 pm Journey to Representative of Man with Adriana Koulias
2:00 pm Michael and the New Community A Conversation Led by Adriana Koulias & Dottie Zold
3:00 pm Plenum led by Caleb Buchbinder and Christine Burke
4:30 pm Michael Community Dinner in the Round

Monday February 25 2013

9:00 am Journey to the lta Wegman Clinic
Working out of the Fundamental Social Law shared forth by Rudolf Steiner and embodied in the work of lta Wegman and her endeavors towards creating 'islands' of health sanctuaries in the world. What more can we do to be a benefit to the tasks of Christ Michael Sophia for man?

Die Schreinerei (built in 1913)

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