Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Islam and Anthroposophy: An approach.

People who are influenced in their habits of thought, philosophies, historical perspectives etc. by anthroposophical studies, don't always agree. On the contrary, they quite often collide on specific issues, concepts, and perspectives. This is inevitable, because anthroposophy is not an ideology, it's not a religion, it's not a lifestyle (although some lifestyles have been associated with it, perceptually), and it's not a political agenda, the idea of the Threefold Social Order notwithstanding. It may however be classified as a doctrine, or a set of doctrines -- not really comparable to religious doctrines, but more to scientific doctrines, say like the doctrine of heliocentrism that was introduced by Copernicus and Galileo in the 16th and 17th centuries -- a theory that was officially prohibited by the Church in 1616 but is now so absorbed and widespread that anything that contradicts it is heresy. Thus it may be argued that the anthroposophical worldview is a relatively new heretical theory that may replace Copernicanism, Newtonianism, Darwinism, and Einsteinism in the future.

But that's not my point. My point is that some anthroposophical students gravitate towards vegetarianism and animal rights, opposition to militarism and war, a preference for the political left etc. while others are more or less hawks, hang-'em-high-and-fry-'em-good death penalty supporters. On lifestyles, there are all varieties from anti-tech anthros who chop wood, shun electricity and stay off the grid while others are gadget nerds and cybertrolls.

What it all boils down to, however, is that anthroposophy is nothing but a path to the Spirit available to everyone and basically compatible with any cultural or religious background, including secular humanism. As a matter of fact, humanism is the basis, the point of departure, for the epistemology that is the backdrop of anthroposophy and therefore also its backbone.

Religions and Anthroposophy

If one takes the entire body of Rudolf Steiner's works into consideration, it should however be pointed out that in the religious realm, anthroposophy shows a clear preference for Buddhism and Christianity, in equal measure, with an appreciative and affirmative glance into the pre-historical past through Hinduism and Judaism, as indications of humanity's true spiritual origins and roots.

This, of course, leaves Islam relatively out of the equation, untouched by anthroposophy, from the looks of it. One person with an excellent grasp of these connections, the links and common ground between anthroposophy and Islam, is Peter Normann Waage. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be an article by him on this subject in English available on the web, so I'll have to cite one by him in a separate note or blog in Norwegian a little later.

Peter Normann Waage has a good understanding of Islam because he has been fascinated by the Prophet Mohammed and his teachings since his school days -- as a matter of fact, since he was a Waldorf student. He became equally intrigued by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner and those of the Prophet and claims that his own personal vantage point is independent of both of these.

On On March 4, 2004, I attended a lecture by Waage on the topic at hand: "Anthroposophy and Islam". And like I've said, his grasp of Islam is a keen one, but although I'm less knowledgeable in that particular area, I positively disagree with his idea that anthroposophy and Islam are two very harmoniously compatible systems, or paths to the Spirit -- two sides of the same coin so to speak. I see sharp differences and even collisions, and I find these problems evident in many of Rudolf Steiner's remarks on the subject.

The Cultural Soup

Before I get into that, I need to clarify something. In response to all kinds of passionate and obstinate prejudices, ignorances, antipathies, hostilities, extremisms and intolerances in the realm of cultures and religions in an increasingly multi-ethnic global community, we are being served something resembling a tasteless soup. I'm talking about all these often hyper-intellectual comparisons being made between religious doctrines and so on, that seek to collect all the common denominators in a pretty bag and undermine or ignore the differences in the hope that this would stop people from bickering and hating. In this process, however, every religious tradition involved, every spiritual mode of consciousness, loses its flavor and becomes tepid, toothless, colorless, as it's stirred into the cultural soup -- a soup with no recipe, no spices, no chef, no plan.

And this soup is the lifeless approach embraced by all kinds of pundits in public debates these days, and especially by politicians who don't have the slightest inklings of spirituality, religion, culture, or historical forces in human evolution.

This is why it's so refreshing and invigorating to read the words of Rudolf Steiner when he says that what's important when we compare religions is not their similarities but their differences. Thus it's only possible, for instance, to embrace Christianity and Buddhism simultaneously when one understands how fundamentally different, dissimilar, they are -- not only the teachings themselves, but also the times and the cultures where they arose.

The Father God and the Son God

But going into that would take us beyond the scope of this article. We're talking about Islam, and Rudolf Steiner rarely mentions this religion without emphasizing its dramatic contrast, opposition, to esoteric Christianity, or "anthroposophically oriented spiritual science." On the other hand, the contrast between Islam and exoteric (orthodox) Christianity is essentially illusional. What we're talking about here is monotheism, the so-called Father God.

And if we compare the religion of the Father God to that of the Son God, namely divinity-in-man, every human being as a god-in-the-making, The Word made Flesh in the self-dependent individual liberated from all external authority, we find that Rudolf Steiner may indeed be comparing this type of religiousness, the Father God religion, with agnosticism, which is interesting.
"In the pre-Christian four and one half centuries there was bestowed upon the human being, like a preparation for the Mystery of Golgotha, the last ramification of the ancient Mystery culture, which has settled like a head-memory of this ancient culture. And in our modern age, the human being passed through four and one half centuries of preparation for a new spirit direction, for a new kind of Mystery culture. But in order that these two might be connected in the historical evolution of mankind, the Mystery of Golgotha had to take place as an objective fact in mankind's evolution. Internally, however, this evolution takes its course in such a way that human beings grow and develop until, beginning with the fifteenth century A.D. they receive the new impulse which I have characterized as an Ahrimanic impulse, and through which they will feel more and more: we need the possibility of building a bridge between the two periods.

In this way we may inwardly comprehend the threefold human being. And we shall comprehend him still more accurately if we join to what I have said today something which I have repeatedly mentioned. It was impossible for the ancient Greeks who retained the remnants of ancient Mystery culture to be an atheist — although it happened in a few abnormal cases, but not to the degree it occurs today. Atheism has only arisen in more recent times, at least in its radical form. For the Greek who was really imbued with dialectics felt the Divine holding sway in thinking, even in thinking void of content.

If we know this and then look upon the appearance of atheism, upon the complete denial of the Divine, we shall find the reason for this atheism. Only those human beings, my dear friends — naturally, we need the methods of spiritual science in order to recognize this — only those human beings are atheists in whose organism something is organically disturbed. To be sure, this may lie in very delicate structural conditions, but it is a fact that atheism is in reality a disease.

This is the first thing we have to hold fast: atheism is a disease. For, if our organism is completely healthy, the harmonious functioning of its various members will bring it about that we ourselves sense our origin from the Divine — ex deo nascimur.

The second point, to be sure, is something different. Man may sense the Divine but may have no possibility to sense the Christ. In this respect we do not differentiate carefully enough today. We are satisfied with words, also in other spheres. For, if we test today the actual spiritual content of the view of many human beings of the occident and are not influenced by their words — they say they agree with Christian precepts, they believe in the freedom of the will, and so forth — we shall find that the whole configuration of their thinking contradicts what they thus express. Only through their participation in cultural life have they become accustomed to speak of Christ, of freedom, and so forth. In reality, my dear friends, a great number of human beings living among us are nothing but Turks; for the content of their faith is the same as the fatalistic content of faith of the Mohammedans — although this fatalism is often described as a necessity of nature. Mohammedanism is much more prevalent than we think. If we do not focus our attention upon the words but upon the spirit-soul content, we shall find that many Christians are Turks. They call themselves “Christians” even though they cannot find the transition from the God they sense to the Christ.

I only need to draw your attention to the classical example of a modern theologian, Adolf Harnack, who wrote the book, Wesen des Christentums. {Essence of Christianity.} Please, make the following test: scratch out in this book the name of Christ wherever it occurs and replace it by the name of God, this will change nothing in the content of this book. There is no necessity that what this man states should refer to the Christ. What he states refers to the general Father god who lies at the foundation of the world. There is no need at all that he should refer to the Christ with what he states. Wherever he proves something it is externally and internally untrue as he borrows the various communications from the Gospels. In the way he elaborates these communications there can be seen no reason whatsoever for connecting them with the Christ. We must acquire the possibility of conceiving of the Christ in such a way that we do not identify Him with the Father god. Many of the modern evangelical theologians are no longer able to differentiate between the general concept of God and the concept of the Christ. To be unable to find the Christ in life is a different matter from being unable to find the Father God — You know that it is not here a matter of doubting the Divinity of the Christ. It is a matter of clear differentiation, in the sphere of the Divine, between the Father God and the Christ God. This comes to expression in the soul of man. Not to find God the Father is a disease; not to find the Christ is a misfortune. For the human being is so connected with the Christ as to be inwardly dependent upon this connection. He is, however, also dependent upon that which has taken place as a historical event. He must find a connection with the Christ here upon earth, in external life. If he does not find it is a misfortune. Not to find the Father god, to be an atheist, is an illness. Not to find the Son God, the Christ, is a misfortune.

And what does it mean if we do not find the Spirit? To be unable to take hold of one's own spirituality in order to find the connection of one's own spirituality with the spirituality of the world signifies mental debility; not to acknowledge the Spirit is a deficiency of mind, a psychic imbecility."

( -- Rudolf Steiner: "The Mission of the Archangel Michael", IV: "The Culture of the Mysteries and the Michael Impulse. Self-knowledge and its Permeation of the Three Strata of Consciousness", Dornach, 28th November, 1919, GA 194)

By "Turks" Rudolf Steiner obviously means "Muslims." Which is very interesting indeed. Islam is a very heated topic in public discussions these days, and all kinds of irrational passions are playing in. On the one hand, of course, there are hot-headed Islamists who get very upset, sometimes even murderously so, whenever their faith is criticized, attacked, blasphemed, or made fun of -- something that culminated with the Mohammed cartoons some years ago. And on the other hand, we have the passionate so-called islamophobes. Many in the latter group are, of course, atheists and agnostics, but let's concentrate on the Christian islamophobes for now.

So we're talking about people of the Christian faith, church-goers and so on, who fear and loathe Islam and feel the need to combat it, often by political means. And here is the rub: At heart, by their mode of thinking and feeling, by the very manner in which they relate to the world of Spirit due to the disposition of their souls, those who call themselves Christians are in reality Muslims. We have to look beyond all the external wrapping papers, the rituals and diets and holidays and customs and what have you, although all of the passions involved get hung up on superficial things like clothing and hats. We're talking about a certain disposition of soul here, as opposed to esoteric Christianity, anthroposophy, which is closest to humanism, secularism, and natural science, claiming to be nothing less than a science of the Spirit.

And on the other hand, we have the monotheistic faith in external authority, where some old Scripture -- like the bible or the Quran -- is used as a set of instructions to be blindly obeyed.

Freedom and Independence

This is how Rudolf Steiner describes individual freedom and autonomy in his major work, The Philosophy of Freedom (1894):
"The naïve man, who acknowledges as real only what he can see with his eyes and grasp with his hands, requires for his moral life, also, a basis for action that shall be perceptible to the senses. He requires someone or something to impart the basis for his action to him in a way that his senses can understand. He is ready to allow this basis for action to be dictated to him as commandments by any man whom he considers wiser or more powerful than himself, or whom he acknowledges for some other reason to be a power over him. In this way there arise, as moral principles, the authority of family, state, society, church and God, as previously described. A man who is very narrow minded still puts his faith in some one person; the more advanced man allows his moral conduct to be dictated by a majority (state, society). It is always on perceptible powers that he builds. The man who awakens at last to the conviction that basically these powers are human beings as weak as himself, seeks guidance from a higher power, from a Divine Being, whom he endows, however, with sense perceptible features. He conceives this Being as communicating to him the conceptual content of his moral life, again in a perceptible way — whether it be, for example, that God appears in the burning bush, or that He moves about among men in manifest human shape, and that their ears can hear Him telling them what to do and what not to do.

The highest stage of development of naïve realism in the sphere of morality is that where the moral commandment (moral idea) is separated from every being other than oneself and is thought of, hypothetically, as being an absolute power in one's own inner life. What man first took to be the external voice of God, he now takes as an independent power within him, and speaks of this inner voice in such a way as to identify it with conscience.

But in doing this he has already gone beyond the stage of naïve consciousness into the sphere where the moral laws have become independently existing standards. There they are no longer carried by real bearers, but have become metaphysical entities existing in their own right. They are analogous to the invisible “visible forces” of metaphysical realism, which does not seek reality through the part of it that man has in his thinking, but hypothetically adds it on to actual experience. These extra-human moral standards always occur as accompanying features of metaphysical realism. For metaphysical realism is bound to seek the origin of morality in the sphere of extra-human reality. Here there are several possibilities. If the hypothetically assumed entity is conceived as in itself unthinking, acting according to purely mechanical laws, as materialism would have it, then it must also produce out of itself, by purely mechanical necessity, the human individual with all his characteristic features. The consciousness of freedom can then be nothing more than an illusion. For though I consider myself the author of my action, it is the matter of which I am composed and the movements going on in it that are working in me. I believe myself free; but in fact all my actions are nothing but the result of the material processes which underlie my physical and mental organization. It is said that we have the feeling of freedom only because we do not know the motives compelling us.

We must emphasize that the feeling of freedom is due to the absence of external compelling motives ... Our action is necessitated as is our thinking. (see fn 1)

Another possibility is that a man may picture the extra-human Absolute that lies behind the world of appearances as a spiritual being. In this case he will also seek the impulse for his actions in a corresponding spiritual force. He will see the moral principles to be found in his own reason as the expression of this being itself, which has its own special intentions with regard to man. To this kind of dualist the moral laws appear to be dictated by the Absolute, and all that man has to do is to use his intelligence to find out the decisions of the absolute being and then carry them out. The moral world order appears to the dualist as the perceptible reflection of a higher order standing behind it. Earthly morality is the manifestation of the extra-human world order. It is not man that matters in this moral order, but the being itself, that is, the extra-human entity. Man shall do as this being wills. Eduard von Hartmann, who imagines this being itself as a Godhead whose very existence is a life of suffering, believes that this Divine Being has created the world in order thereby to gain release from His infinite suffering. Hence this philosopher regards the moral evolution of humanity as a process which is there for the redemption of God.

Only through the building up of a moral world order by intelligent self-conscious individuals can the world process be led towards its goal. ... True existence is the incarnation of the Godhead; the world process is the Passion of the incarnated Godhead and at the same time the way of redemption for Him who was crucified in the flesh; morality, however, is the collaboration in the shortening of this path of suffering and redemption. (see fn 2)

Here man does not act because he wants to, but he shall act, because it is God's will to be redeemed. Whereas the materialistic dualist makes man an automaton whose actions are only the result of a purely mechanical system, the spiritualistic dualist (that is, one who sees the Absolute, the Being-in-itself, as something spiritual in which man has no share in his conscious experience) makes him a slave to the will of the Absolute. As in materialism, so also in one-sided spiritualism, in fact in any kind of metaphysical realism inferring but not experiencing something extra-human as the true reality, freedom is out of the question.

Metaphysical as well as naïve realism, consistently followed out, must deny freedom for one and the same reason: they both see man as doing no more than putting into effect, or carrying out, principles forced upon him by necessity. Naive realism destroys freedom by subjecting man to the authority of a perceptible being or of one conceived on the analogy of a perceptible being, or eventually to the authority of the abstract inner voice which it interprets as “conscience”; the metaphysician, who merely infers the extra-human reality, cannot acknowledge freedom because he sees man as being determined, mechanically or morally, by a “Being-in-itself”.

Monism will have to recognize that naïve realism is partially justified because it recognizes the justification of the world of percepts. Whoever is incapable of producing moral ideas through intuition must accept them from others. In so far as a man receives his moral principles from without, he is in fact unfree. But monism attaches as much significance to the idea as to the percept. The idea, however, can come to manifestation in the human individual. In so far as man follows the impulses coming from this side, he feels himself to be free. But monism denies all justification to metaphysics, which merely draws inferences, and consequently also to the impulses of action which are derived from so-called “Beings-in-themselves”. According to the monistic view, man may act unfreely-when he obeys some perceptible external compulsion; he can act freely, when he obeys none but himself. Monism cannot recognize any unconscious compulsion hidden behind percept and concept. If anyone asserts that the action of a fellow man is done unfreely, then he must identify the thing or the person or the institution within the perceptible world, that has caused the person to act; and if he bases his assertion upon causes of action lying outside the world that is real to the senses and the spirit, then monism can take no notice of it.

According to the monistic view, then, man's action is partly unfree, partly free. He finds himself to be unfree in the world of percepts, and he realizes within himself the free spirit.

The moral laws which the metaphysician who works by mere inference must regard as issuing from a higher power, are, for the adherent of monism, thoughts of men; for him the moral world order is neither the imprint of a purely mechanical natural order, nor that of an extra-human world order, but through and through the free creation of men. It is not the will of some being outside him in the world that man has to carry out, but his own; he puts into effect his own resolves and intentions, not those of another being. Monism does not see, behind man's actions, the purposes of a supreme directorate, foreign to him and determining him according to its will, but rather sees that men, in so far as they realize their intuitive ideas, pursue only their own human ends. Moreover, each individual pursues his own particular ends. For the world of ideas comes to expression, not in a community of men, but only in human individuals. What appears as the common goal of a whole group of people is only the result of the separate acts of will of its individual members, and in fact, usually of a few outstanding ones who, as their authorities, are followed by the others. Each one of us has it in him to be a free spirit, just as every rose bud has in it a rose.

Monism, then, in the sphere of true moral action, is a freedom philosophy. Since it is a philosophy of reality, it rejects the metaphysical, unreal restrictions of the free spirit as completely as it accepts the physical and historical (naïvely real) restrictions of the naïve man. Since it does not consider man as a finished product, disclosing his full nature in every moment of his life, it regards the dispute as to whether man as such is free or not, to be of no consequence. It sees in man a developing being, and asks whether, in the course of this development, the stage of the free spirit can be reached.

Monism knows that Nature does not send man forth from her arms ready made as a free spirit, but that she leads him up to a certain stage from which he continues to develop still as an unfree being until he comes to the point where he finds his own self.

Monism is quite clear that a being acting under physical or moral compulsion cannot be a truly moral being. It regards the phases of automatic behavior (following natural urges and instincts) and of obedient behavior (following moral standards) as necessary preparatory stages of morality, but it also sees that both these transitory stages can be overcome by the free spirit. Monism frees the truly moral world conception both from the mundane fetters of naïve moral maxims and from the transcendental moral maxims of the speculative metaphysician. Monism can no more eliminate the former from the world than it can eliminate percepts; it rejects the latter because it seeks all the principles for the elucidation of the world phenomena within that world, and none outside it.

Just as monism refuses even to think of principles of knowledge other than those that apply to men (see Chapter 7), so it emphatically rejects even the thought of moral maxims other than those that apply to men. Human morality, like human knowledge, is conditioned by human nature. And just as beings of a different order will understand knowledge to mean something very different from what it means to us, so will other beings have a different morality from ours. Morality is for the monist a specifically human quality, and spiritual freedom the human way of being moral."

( -- Rudolf Steiner: The Philosophy of Freedom. The Basis for a Modern World Conception. The Reality of Freedom, Chapter 10: Freedom — Philosophy and Monism. GA 4)

It should be crystal clear from the above that humanistic monism, which postulates that one's free will should be liberated even from the tyranny of conscience, is totally incompatible with any theism that postulates blind obedience to an external being. And even if beings higher and more powerful than man are believed in -- or to put it more accurately: perceived as realities -- monotheism in any shape or form would be a denial of human freedom.


Here is Rudolf Steiner's best critique of monotheism and the definition of God:
"Besides love there are two other powers in the world. How do they compare with love? The one is strength, might; the second is wisdom. In regard to strength or might we can speak of degrees: weaker, stronger, or absolute might — omnipotence. The same applies to wisdom, for there are stages on the path to omniscience. It will not do to speak in the same way of degrees of love. What is universal love, love for all beings? In the case of love we cannot speak of enhancement as we can speak of enhancement of knowledge into omniscience or of might into omnipotence, by virtue of which we attain greater perfection of our own being. Love for a few or for many beings has nothing to do with our own perfecting. Love for everything that lives cannot be compared with omnipotence; the concept of magnitude, or of enhancement, cannot rightly be applied to love. Can the attribute of omnipotence be ascribed to the Divine Being who lives and weaves through the world? Contentions born of feeling must here be silent: were God omnipotent, he would be responsible for everything that happens and there could be no human freedom. If man can be free, then certainly there can be no Divine omnipotence.

Is the Godhead omniscient? As man's highest goal is likeness to God, our striving must be in the direction of omniscience. Is omniscience, then, the supreme treasure? If it is, a vast chasm must forever yawn between man and God. At every moment man would have to be aware of this chasm if God possessed the supreme treasure of omniscience for himself and withheld it from man. The all-encompassing attribute of the Godhead is not omnipotence, neither is is omniscience, but it is love — the attribute in respect of which no enhancement is possible. God is uttermost love, unalloyed love, is born as it were out of love, is the very substance and essence of love. God is pure love, not supreme wisdom, not supreme might. God has retained love for himself but has shared wisdom and might with Lucifer and Ahriman. He has shared wisdom with Lucifer and might with Ahriman, in order that man may become free, in order that under the influence of wisdom he may make progress.

If we try to discover the source of whatever is creative we come to love; love is the ground, the foundation of everything that lives. It is by a different impulse in evolution that beings are led to become wiser and more powerful. Progress is attained through wisdom and strength. Study of the course taken by the evolution of humanity shows us how the development of wisdom and strength is subject to change: there is progressive evolution and then the Christ Impulse which once poured into mankind through the Mystery of Golgotha. Love did not, therefore, come into the world by degrees; love streamed into mankind as a gift of the Godhead, in complete, perfect wholeness. But man can receive the Impulse into himself gradually. The Divine Impulse of love as we need it in earthly life is an Impulse that came once and forever.

True love is not capable of diminution or amplification. Its nature is quite different from that of wisdom and might. Love wakens no expectations for the future; it is payment of debts incurred in the past. And such was the Mystery of Golgotha in the world's evolution. Did the Godhead, then, owe any debt to humanity?

Lucifer's influence brought into humanity a certain element in consequence of which something that man had previously possessed was withdrawn from him. This new element led to a descent, a descent countered by the Mystery of Golgotha which made possible the payment of all debts. The Impulse of Golgotha was not given in order that the sins we have committed in evolution may be removed from us, but in order that what crept into humanity through Lucifer should be given its counterweight.

Let us imagine that there is a man who knows nothing of the name of Christ Jesus, nothing of what is communicated in the Gospels, but that he understands the radical difference between the nature of wisdom and might and that of love. Such a man, even though he knows nothing of the Mystery of Golgotha, is a Christian in the truest sense. A man who knows that love is there for the paying of debts and brings no profit for the future, is a true Christian. To understand the nature of love — that is to be a Christian!"

( -- Rudolf Steiner: Love and Its Meaning in the World, Zurich, 17th December, 1912, GA 143)


The Arabic Stream

The diametrical contrast between anthroposophy and Islam should be clear from the above, but in order to perceive the reality of this contrast, we need to begin closer to home, namely in orthodox Christianity. This Christianity of the West, especially in the United States, is a conduit for the Arabic stream; it's Islam masquerading as Christianity. And this means that every aspect of the Islamic mindset that has caused it to be feared, despised, and opposed by some people in the West, have their mirror counterpart in this Western Christianity. What is this? It's aggression, violence, terror, the death penalty, warrior mentality and so on. Christian theologians call Islam "the religion of the sword," and in defence of Islam against such charges, references are often made to medieval Europe with inquisitions and witch hunts and so on. But what is often ignored is precisely those kinds of Islamic elements in present-day Christianity. In America, the military-industrial complex with its 750 military bases around the globe, constant invasions and bombings, imperialism and so on that has been in the process of crushing the nation's economy for a long time, is fuelled by the fear and loathing that comes from the so-called Religious Right: The Christian fundamentalists who believe in an eye for an eye, fry 'em good and.hang'em high. It's the Arabic stream talking through the CIA and the Pentagon. And that's the same Arabic stream that hurled Europe into the chaos of the 20th century through Woodrow Wilson, whose individuality was none other than the one who also lived as Mohammed's successor Muavija in the 7th century.

So from the West to its origins in the East and striking back again, like a snake biting its tail, Islamic terrorism has been brought about by the fact that certain people in the West, with tremenous power and influence, are very well aware of these connections, and they've been exploiting and abusing them for a long, long time -- in fact, from generation to generation.

I'm including the following excerpt from one of Rudolf Steiner's lectures because it needs to be shared for the context at hand. although I admit it's extremely challenging when taken out of context like this. He is actually talking about how powrful people in Western countries have been striving to develop certain occult capacities in the future for the peoples in their own lands, while hindering the development of occult capacities in certain target countries:
"For example, in the case of the people of the Central countries and the Eastern lands it is an important hindrance to the evolution of these capacities, especially their evolution in a knowing way, when strong antipathies against the people of the Western countries are active within them. Then these things cannot be viewed objectively. This is a hindrance in the evolution of these capacities.

But the potentiality of developing another occult capacity is also even strenghtened in a certain way if it is developed out of a certain instinct of hatred. This is a strange phenomenon. We often ask ourselves, and we are dealing here with something that must be considered quite objectively, why such senseless abuse has been practiced in the Western countries. This also comes out of the instinct leading toward these capacities. For what constitutes the profoundest impelling forces in Western occultism is fostered by nothing more powerfully than by the development of feelings that are untrue but are sensed as in some way holy, and that can represent the people of the East and especially those of the Central countries as barbarians. The potentialities of material occultism, for example, are fostered by the attitude of mind constituting the so-called crusading temperament in America. This consists in the feeling that America is called to spread over the whole earth freedom and justice and I know not what other beautiful things. Of course, the people there believe that. What I am saying here has nothing to do with fault finding. The people believe that they are engaged in a crusade, but this belief in something false constitutes a support working in a certain direction. If a person should consciously make an untrue statement, he would not have this support. For this reason, what is now happening is tremendously helpful on the one side and a hindrance on the other in the development of those capacities that we must assert to be still latent at the present time in the case of most individuals who bear within themselves the will toward evolution in the future and are destined to influence profoundly the social structure of humanity.

Just think how everything that is happening at the present time is rendered luminous and transparent with understanding and insight when you fix your attention upon those backgrounds, and realize clearly that the subconscious instincts dealt with in our reflections lie back of everything that is constantly uttered today in a conscious way.

The most important fact in this connection, however, is that it is precisely the English-speaking peoples who, by reason of quite special evolutionary processes, possess occult centers where these things are known.

It is also known what capacities they will possess in future as members of the English-speaking population, and what capacities they will lack. They know how they must arrange the social structure in order that they may be able to subject to their purposes what is deficient in them.

It is the instincts that work in the direction of such things, and these instincts have already exerted their influence. They have exerted an enormous influence, a highly significant influence.

One especially useful means that can be set in motion by Western occultism when things are to be directed into the wrong channels consists in so influencing the East that it shall continue to hold fast in the future to its ancient inclination toward the development of religion alone without science. The leaders of Western secret circles will take pains to see that nothing shall exist in their own regions constituting mere religion or mere science, but that there shall be a synthesis of both, the reciprocal influence of knowledge and faith. They will also take pains to see that this science shall worl only in secret, that it shall permeate, for example, only the more important affairs of humanity and the political guidance of the world through the achievement of world dominion by the British. Contrariwise, if the East refrains as completely as possible from permeating religious conceptions with science, this will be enormously helpful in the spread of this world dominion."

( -- Rudolf Steiner: The Challenge of the Times, December 1, 1918, GA 186)

Historical Influences

So much for the conspiracy of the West against the East through the medium of the Arabic stream. Let's get back to a discussion of present-day Islam itself. There are some very interesting notes about this in GA 346, and I'll share a few of them.
"After the conclusion of the Zachariel age humanity was fundamentally sick in soul. Humanity was really quite ill, and substances of disease spread from East to West, terrible substances of disease that endangered Christianity because they stemmed from materialism, for it was materialism that pushed its way into Christianity. Because the age of Jupiter wisdom was finished it became possible for materialism to make itself felt within Christian culture.

Something remarkable that was present on the earth only as a projection was behind all this. Behind all these remnants that were like sickness there was something remarkable in the age that followed that of Zachariel from the tenth, eleventh century onwards, the age of Raphael, the physician among the archangels. This was the age in which healing took place behind the scenes of world history, not visibly in public but very much within. Much was healed with regard to rescuing certain moral qualities that were about to perish. In opposition to the substances of disease that had been brought to Europe through Mohammedanism, something else was called for that also had to come from the Orient but in another form, something steeped in the Christian principle. Behind the Crusades—and in fact in principle this was the cause of the Crusades—one must look for the will to heal humanity, to cure it of the materialism threatened both by Mohammedanism and by Roman Catholicism. Basically it was Raphael, the physician among the archangels, who inspired those who first taught humanity to look to that Orient towards which the Crusades were directed.

In this, dear friends, we find ourselves in the fourth smaller age that fell within the fourth larger post-Atlantean cultural age, the Greco-Latin age. This fourth larger age was destined to have within it the Mystery of Golgotha. The fourth smaller age, the Raphael age, is intimately related to the whole basic structure of the fourth larger age. We see how the Archangel Raphael—by inspiring human beings to undertake the Crusades, turning their attention powerfully towards the Orient in order to find the Mystery of Christ there in the Orient—we see how Raphael took up the impulses of Christ, how a spiritual atmosphere floated above the ground, floated above all that was happening. Those who were able to look behind the scenes of external happenings even only a little bit were separated from the immediate spiritual world by the merest gossamer web, just as we were when Michael began to work visibly on the earth in the last third of the nineteenth century.

Outstanding spirits were alive in that Raphael age, among them Joachim of Floris and Alanus de Insulis.They were able to observe Raphael’s work, this work of healing humanity carried on behind the scenes of external happen­ings. This was the background to that age when the spirit was substantially sick. Witness to this is also the fact that precisely at this time people began to gain an understanding specifically for the Gospel of Luke, the Gospel of Healing. Thus when we look at the times in accordance with the secret of numbers we gain important knowledge to help us understand the significance of events."

( -- Rudolf Steiner: "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest", Lecture 6, Dornach, 10 September 1924, GA 346)


John's Apocalyptic Vision

From what we read above, there was a sickness over Europe caused by Islam and Catholicism. There is another very interesting connection between these two influences that we'll come back to. Steiner is talking, of course, about John the Apocalyptist and his vision.
"We should try to imagine what it means when the apocalyptist turns his prophetic vision towards Christianity preparing itself in Rome, and sees how at the very moment when the culture of ancient Rome declares itself in favour of Christianity, Christianity takes on the ancient Roman forms. This is the aspect we see: On the one side there is the controversy between Arius and Athanasius, and on the other ancient Rome converting to Christianity. But in travelling eastwards, Christianity takes on the form that has been left behind in Rome, the Roman state structure, and becomes, also in the way it works externally, a continuation of ancient Rome.

We will now leave on one side for the moment certain things that we shall have to explain at a deeper spiritual level, and turn instead to history. The apocalyptist foresaw in a grand and powerful manner what history would bring. Although he did not express it clearly, he had it in his feeling life, and it underlay the composition of his Book: He showed how the growth of what was to take place both within humanity and externally in history would need 333 years after the Mystery of Golgotha, and how a strange semblance of development would then take place in Christianity. The soil on which everything was to be prepared that would then take another 333 years up to the year 666—this soil was that Christian Romanness, uprooted and moved eastwards, and that Roman Christianity which had comfortably adjusted itself to those Roman forms.

Dear friends, call up before your souls once more what we said yesterday about someone still inspired by the ancient Mysteries, such as the apocalyptist, becoming immersed in numbers. You see the apocalyptist contemplating the next 333 years, in which Christianity will seem to be flourishing externally, but in which it will in fact have to develop while shrouded in mist on two sides, driven eastwards in Constantine's day and preserving something old and ahrimanic from the West. Something is being prepared in the womb of evolution, something that had been left over from non-Christian ancient Romanness.

What was this non-Christian Romanness? If we look into the Mysteries, we find that in the greatest, most developed Mysteries the trichotomy, the sacred number three, was deeply significant. So let us have a closer look at what this meant. People thought of being born into the onward flowing stream of heredity; this was how the human being was thought of in, for example, the world order of the secret Hebrew doctrine. People thought of the human being with the capabilities and characteristics he had brought with him through heredity, through his ancestry. People imagined human life as a development going in a straight line with which nothing important interferes except what comes about through the impulse of heredity: You stem from the physical powers of your parents; in you the spiritual impulses of your physical parents are at work. That, essentially, was the doctrine of the ‘Fathers’ in the ancient Mysteries. This is as far as this dogma went, for example in the secret Hebrew doctrines, but also in other secret doctrines.

In the higher Mysteries, however, something else was added. These Mysteries spoke of the human being carrying the impulses of heredity and developing through them. But they also spoke of how during physical existence between birth and death the human being can take in another impulse as well, the impulse that enables him to extricate himself from heredity, to find his way out of this in his soul life. This is the Son-Impulse, the Christ-Impulse. These Mysteries said: The impulses of heredity are within the human being and bring about an evolution between birth and death that runs in a straight line. They come from the Father, from the Father who is the ground of everything. The impulses of the Son, however, do not enter into the forces of heredity. They have to be absorbed by the soul and worked on by the soul, they must expand the soul to such an extent that it becomes free of bodily forces, free of the forces of heredity. The impulses of the Son enter into human freedom—in the way freedom was understood in those times—they enter into freedom of soul, where the soul is free of the forces of heredity. These are the forces that allow the human being to be reborn in soul. They enable the human being to take himself in hand during the life given to him by the Father. All those ancient Mysteries saw the Father Human Being; they saw the Human Being who is the Son of the Father, the Brother of Christ, who takes himself in hand, who takes into himself what is in a sense free of the body, who has to bear within himself a new kingdom that knows nothing of physical nature, that represents an order different from that of nature: the kingdom of the spirit.

In speaking of the Father God in this sense, we would be entitled—although not in the external, materialistic way we do today, but more after the manner of the Hebrew teachings—to speak of natural phenomena that are also spirit phenomena, for the spirit is everywhere at work in natural phenomena. Science as we know it today, in the way it came into being not so very long ago and in the way it works, is only a one-sided science of the Father. We must add to this the knowledge of the Son, of Christ, that knowledge which relates to how the human being takes himself in hand, how the human being receives an impulse that can only be taken in through the soul and that does not come from the forces of heredity. That the human being enters into this is at first without any law, without the force or effectiveness of any law. The effectiveness comes in for him through the spirit, so that in the sense of the ancient Mysteries we have two realms: the realm of nature which is the realm of the Father, and the realm of the Spirit. The human being is carried from the realm of nature into the realm of Spirit by the Son, by Christ.

When we become properly aware of how such contemplations still ruled the apocalyptist and indeed the souls of his contemporaries, then we shall be able to see into his prophetic soul which was able to survey the future in broad outlines. This will enable us to understand how he now saw what came down upon Christianity—degenerating as it was in two directions into a semblance of its true self—round about the year 666.

His prophetic glance now fell on those teachings which were coming into being around the year 666 and which harked back to those Mysteries that knew nothing of the Son: the Mohammedan teachings. The Mohammedan teachings do not know the structure of the world I have just been speaking about, they do not know the two realms, that of the Father and that of the Spirit; they know only the Father. They know only the rigid doctrine: There is one God, Allah, and none beside him; and Mohammed is his Prophet. From this angle, the teachings of Mohammed are the strongest polarity to Christianity, for in them is the will to do away with all freedom for ever, the will to bring about determinism, for nothing else is possible if you can imagine the world solely in the sense of the Father God."

( -- Rudolf Steiner: "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest", Lecture 7, Dornach, 11 September 1924, GA 346)

So Rudolf Steiner is approaching the apocalyptic mystery of the number 666 here, which has been subject to so much nonsensical speculation among latter-day theologians and eschatologists. We'll get into that, but before we do, let's pay attention to what is being said about Islam here: ".... the teachings of Mohammed are the strongest polarity to Christianity, for in them is the will to do away with all freedom for ever, the will to bring about determinism, for nothing else is possible if you can imagine the world solely in the sense of the Father God."

Now for the mystery number 666. In the Apocalypse it says:
"Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six."
( -- Revelation 13:18)
According to Rudolf Steiner, this number refers to years, to periods of 666 years. Sorat, the Sun Demon, a much more powerful opponent of Christ than Ahriman (Satan) or any other Cosmic Being. Christ is the Sun God, and he is being opposed by the Sun Demon, Sorat, who strikes every 666 years with increasing strength.

The Mystery of the Sun

Rudolf Steiner:

"We must become profoundly aware in our soul that in the fight against Christianity what is being fought against is the fact that the real spiritual element of Christianity is connected with the Sun. Nothing would please the opponents of Christianity more than if human beings entirely lost their vision of the Sun as a spiritual being and retained only the view of the Sun as it is in physical existence—as I have already mentioned elsewhere during these lectures. When Arabism broke in upon humanity it brought with it the immense danger of humanity forgetting the Mystery of the Sun as the Mystery of Christ. The whole of human evolution would then be sent off in a direction different from the Michael direction which has the task of preparing the Christ-Evolution in a way that would make it comprehensible for human beings.

The apocalyptist who can see behind the scenes of external history realizes that what is happening externally in the order of the world is taking place on the foundation of supersensible processes. So let us have a look at these supersensible processes perceived by the apocalyptist as standing behind external happenings.

Every star in our planetary system, including the sun, has a collection of beings within it. On the earth we have the collection of human beings in their evolution. If we want to gain a very profound view of human beings on the earth we could take a look at a later point in evolution when humanity will have attained a much higher stage than the one we occupy today. We could look, for example, to the Vulcan condition, which will follow later after the Earth condition.

Dear friends, imagine what kind of a picture someone would have of the earth if he were to see before him a cosmic body containing a collection of Vulcan human beings. Yet this would still be the earth with its human beings, only it would be in a different stage. It is most important for the human soul to imagine the earth as a totality in this way, to imagine not only humanity in its present stage on earth but what is already present today in seed form, to look at what the human being carries within him and therefore what he also is: the human being at the Vulcan stage. The other planets everywhere also have a collection of beings living in them. To the earth has been assigned the task of being the place where the human being evolves, which is why it stands in the middle. We also have other planets, for example today’s Jupiter which shows us quite clearly that its beings are entirely different. After all, we meet these beings when we are working out our karma between death and a new birth. If we take the totality of all the beings who are at work in connection with the individual planets including the Sun, we have what was seen right up to the fourteenth century as the spiritual Intelligence of each of the planets; even by the teachers of the Catholic church it was seen as the Intelligence of the planets. We can speak about the Intelligence of the planets as a reality, just as we can speak of humanity on earth being the earth’s Intelligence. Every such planet possesses not only its Intelligence but also its Demon. The teachers of the church knew this right up to the fourteenth, fifteenth century. The totality of all the opponents of the Intelligences on a planet are Demons. And thus it is also on the Sun.

If we regard Christianity primarily as an evolution that accords with the Sun Genius, the Sun Intelligence, then we have to see that which is opposing this evolution of Christianity as the Sun Demon. The apocalyptist saw this. He saw what was happening behind the scenes when Christianity fled eastwards from Rome, and he saw Christianity taking on different ways of knowing. He saw the mighty counter-principle of Arabism bursting in on a Christianity that was threatened from two sides by illusion. And what he saw behind the scenes of external Arab and Mohammedan deeds made him realize that the Sun Demon was working there against the Sun Genius, against the Sun Intelligence. So he had to depict the Sun Demon as working and living counter to the Christian principle in the human being in such a way that if a human being succumbed to this Sun Demon he then no longer wanted to make contact with the divinity of Christ but wanted instead to remain in the sub-human realm. If asked, the apocalyptist would have called the representatives of Arabism in Europe ‘human beings who have surrendered to the Sun Demon’ in their soul nature. It was clear to him that from this Arabism everything arises that brings the human being close to animal nature, first of all in his views but gradually also in his will impulses. Who could deny that this also lives in the will impulses? With things that happen as realities in the world one does not always have both cause and effect side by side; one does not see the purpose nor that towards which the purpose is directed.

We may therefore ask ourselves: What would happen if Arabism, the teaching of the Sun Demon, were to be entirely victorious? Humanity would be withdrawn from being able to experience conditions that human beings must experience if they are to comprehend the working of karma from earlier incarnations or if they are to comprehend the Transubstantiation. In the final analysis, that which flowed from Arabism was directed against an understanding of the Transubstantiation. Certainly external facts do not look as if this were the case, but by allotting validity only to the old Father Principle, to the natural world-order, the Sun Demon does indeed intend to sweep away from human view that kind of union which is active in the very highest degree in a sacrament such as the Transubstantiation.

For the apocalyptist, then, the Sun Demon was particularly active around the year 666. He describes him in a way that allows any initiate to recognize him. All such spiritual beings, the Intelligences of the planets, the Intelligences of the Sun, and the Demons of the planets and the Demons of the Sun, have their key sign within the Mysteries where they are present during important ceremonies, and the Sun Demon has this sign:

The apocalyptist describes the Sun Demon as the two-horned beast. In the Latin era, during which Greek and Latin were joined together in the language of the Mysteries, the kind of reading that involved reading in numbers had already become external to some extent, but nevertheless, people did still read in numbers. The apocalyptist used the special mode of reading that was current in his day. He wrote the number 666 using Hebrew characters.

He wrote the characters by giving their number values, and he wrote them to be read from right to left. The consonants, to which the appropriate vowels must be added when speaking, give the name of the Demon that has this sign of the Sun Demon: Sorat. Sorat is the name of the Sun Demon at that time, and the apocalyptist describes this sign which we can easily recognize.1 The apocalyptist sees everything that works against Christianity in this way—such as Arabism—as an outflowing of that spirituality which is represented by Sorat, the Sun Demon.

Dear friends, the number 666 was there in one instance at the time when Arabism was flowing into Christianity in order to impress the seal of materialism on to western culture. But it was there for a second time after a further 666 years had passed, in 1332, in the fourteenth century. At that time once again the Beast rose up out of the waves of world events. To one whose vision is like that of the apocalyptist, world events appear as continuous waves of timespans measuring 666 years. The Beast rises up to threaten Christianity in its search for true humanity; beasthood asserts itself against humanhood: Sorat stirs. In the fourteenth century we see Sorat, the adversary, rising up once again.

It was the time when—out of the deepest depths of soul much more than out of orientalism—the Order of the Knights Templar2 wanted to found a sun view of Christianity, a view of Christianity that looked up again to Christ as a Sun Being, as a cosmic being, a view that knew again about the spirits of the planets and stars, a view that knew how in cosmic events Intelligences from worlds that lie far apart from one another work together, not only the beings of one particular planet, a view that knew about the mighty oppositions that are brought about by such obstinate beings as Sorat, the Sun Demon, who is one of the most mighty demons in our system. What is at work in the materialism of human beings is, fundamentally, the demonic work of the Sun Demon.

It is of course difficult now to consider what might have become of European civilization if that powerful, that externally powerful Order of the Knights Templar—their riches were confiscated, as we know—had been able to achieve its goals. But in the hearts and souls of those who could not rest until the Order had been destroyed in 1312 and until Jacques de Molay3 had met his death in 1314, in the hearts of those who were the adversaries of the Christ who looked to the cosmos, in these hearts Sorat lived again, not least by making use of the Roman Church’s attitude of mind at that time to bring about the death of the Templars. The appearance of Sorat was more visible than it had been the previous time, and the demise of the Templars is shrouded in a stupendous secret. When you can see into what went on in the souls of the Templars while they were being tortured you can gain some idea of how what lived in their visions was instigated by Sorat. As a result they slandered themselves, providing their enemies with a cheap indictment through what they themselves uttered. People were confronted with the terrible spectacle of seeing individuals being unable to speak about what they genuinely represented, while different spirits from among the cohorts of Sorat spoke through them instead, accusing the Order of the most disgusting things out of the mouths of its own adherents.

The number 666 has twice been fulfilled. And now the time has come in the spiritual world when Sorat and the other opposing demons are preparing to prevent the Sun Principle from entering into the earth. Michael, on the other hand, preparing for his new regency, is fighting with his hosts for this entry of the Sun Principle. Michael was regent of the earth before the time of the Mystery of Golgotha, around the time of Alexander. The other archangels then in turn took over from him: Oriphiel, Anael, Zachariel, Raphael, Gabriel. Since the last third of the nineteenth century he has again been regent of the earth in order to continue working in his way for Christ, for whom he worked until his previous regency ended, approximately until the end of Alexander’s rule. Michael is on the earth once again, this time in order to serve here on earth the preparation for Christ and for the deeper comprehension of the Christ-Impulse.

As time has gone on I have spoken here and in various other places about how Christianity has been introduced spiritually through Michael. I mentioned one aspect of this two days ago when I spoke in a lecture4 about Michael’s regency in the time of Aristotle and Alexander, during which a genuinely Christian impulse was already introduced, and when I also pointed to the year 869 in which a kind of supersensible Council took place. This continued further. And at the beginning of the new era, when the consciousness soul is beginning to take effect, we now have—if we look up to spiritual events belonging to earthly humanity and running parallel with earthly events—the wonderful sight of a supersensible school with Michael as its teacher. Those who were to work towards a real development of Christianity—souls not at the moment incarnated on the earth, and also other spiritual beings—were gathered in great numbers around Michael, from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, as though in a great, supersensible school in which those souls were being prepared who were to appear on earth at the beginning of the twentieth century during Michael’s regency. When we look at what was being prepared there we find that it was the anthroposophical world view, which wants to work for this evolution.

From what the ancient Mystery wisdom saw, and through the prophetic sight of future Mystery wisdom, we gather that human beings who take in what we call the inner Christianity, the spiritualized Christianity, those who look to the Genius of the Sun with regard to Christ: these individuals will experience an acceleration of their evolution and reappear on the earth again at the end of the twentieth century. Dear friends, everything we are able to do now in our time by way of taking in the spirituality of these teachings is of great significance, for we are doing it for the human beings who are, sub specie aeternitatis, alive at this time. It is a preparation for what is to take place at the end of the century, initially in the form of great, all-embracing, intense deeds of the spirit, after a great deal will have happened that is inimical to a spiritualization of modern civilization. The great revolutions that came about in Europe as a result of the Crusades belonged under the sign of the second occurrence of the number 666. This fact found its expression in the demise of the Templars. Sorat continues to work on and on [IMAGE 04] against the forces coming from the Genius of the Sun that are battling for a genuine Christianity.

Before us lies the time of the third number 666: 1998. At the end of this century the time will come when Sorat will once again raise his head most strongly out of the waves of evolution to become the adversary of that appearance of Christ which those who have been prepared for it will already experience during the first half of the twentieth century when the Etheric Christ becomes visible. Only two thirds of the century have still to run before Sorat once again raises his head most mightily.

During the first 666, dear friends, Sorat was still hidden away inside the evolutionary process of events; he was not seen in any external form, for he lived within the deeds of Arabism,and initiates were able to see him. When the second 666 years had passed he showed himself in the thinking and feeling of the tortured Templars. And before this century is out he will show himself by making his appearance in many humans as the being by whom they are possessed. Human beings will appear of whom it will be impossible to believe that they are real human beings. They will even develop externally in a peculiar manner, for outwardly they will have intense, strong dispositions with savage features and furious destructiveness in their emotions. Their faces will be like the faces of beasts. The Sorat human beings will be recognizable by their external appearance; in a terrible way they will not only scoff at everything but also oppose and want to push into the pool of filth anything that is spiritual. This will be experienced, for example, in the way something that is at present concentrated into a small space in seed form as today’s Bolshevism will become incorporated into the whole of human evolution on earth.

( -- Rudolf Steiner: "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest", Lecture 8, Dornach, 12 September 1924, GA 346)

Because the dual assault of Roman Catholicism and Arabism against European humanity caused sickness earlier, it's easy for an anthroposophist to conclude that because Sorat's second strike in 1332 -- 666 years after the first strike in 666 -- went through a certain element, a specific niche, inside Roman Catholicism that facilitated such a strike by the Sun Demon, a comparable niche inside Islam was found by Sorat in 1998 (666+666+666), and that this strike is intimately related to Islamic terrorism, although we already know that this Islamic niche for Sorat has also gone through the Pentagon and the CIA and the Christian Right, where there is a major concentration of modern Islamic forces.

On the other hand, modern atheism -- fanatical, religious, aggressive atheism resting upon the natural-scientific illusion -- also seems to play a vital role in Sorat's third strike. His fourth strike will come in 2664, some time after the physical incarnation of Ahriman (i.e. Satan or the World Prince, the father of human intelligence) during the first third of the third millennium (before 2333). When we take into consideration that Sorat's strikes become considerably more powerful each time, and that the effect of Ahriman's incarnation will probably be at its peak in the centuries immediately following his earthly Deed, we may conclude that this is indeed the time to prepare for the future in order to meet such enormous challenges.


The problem with Islam in Europe today is that children and young people who migrate to the West are in pursuit of spiritual freedom and individualism. Instead, they meet a society that is thoroughly grey, lifeless, and secularized through atheism. All this atheism and agnosticism creates a spiritual vacuum, and because the immigrants from Muslim countries, whose descendants, according to ethnographic statistics, may be in majority in 4, 5, or 6 generations, it would be a shame if the people in the West fail in their true spiritual mission, which is to liberate the rest of humanity from the anachronistic and decadent forces of heredity with some omnipotent dictatorial Father God to be obeyed blindly.

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