Archive for the ‘Mystics’ Category

(John Martin-Le Pandemonium)

Lots of people know about Lucifer. Some people picture him with red horns and a pointy tail, sitting on a steamy rock throne in hell. Others picture a white guy lurking on lonely roadsides waiting for a country boy with a fiddle or a guitar to come by for a healthy competition. Then there’s Lucifer as a fallen angel, used to be God’s right-hand-man, but went to the dark side instead.

Rudolf Steiner had a slightly different take on the devil and his purposes. I don’t think I can say this any more succinctly than Bobby Mathurne in his review of Steiner’s book The Influences of Lucifer and Ahriman:

In Christian theology the forces of Christ are set against the forces of the devil who represents in one figure all that is evil, and one is exhorted to abjure all that is of the devil. This might lead one to wonder, “How is the knowledge of good and evil bad? Isn’t that what the devil in the Garden of Eden wanted to share with Adam and Eve?”

Steiner divides the devil into two beings, Lucifer and Ahriman, and shows us how neither is bad per se, each provides gifts to human beings that further our evolution, and that it is us who must learn to balance these gifts in our individual lives. His recommendation for a solution to the problem of the devil is to transcend the tendency towards either Luciferic frenzy or Ahrimanic tedium by creating a spirit-filled synthesis of the two in our lives from now on.

Luciferic Traits, Attributes Ahrimanic Traits, Attributes
frenzy, hyperactivity tedium, boredom
unification, generalization diversity, particularization
one language many languages
gnosis, speaking and thinking statistics, proof, literal Gospel reading
qualitative quantitative
fantasy, illusion, superstition concrete sensory-based, materialism
spirit-permeated cosmology mathematical astronomy
eating & drinking w/o spirituality un-read knowledge stored in libraries
unified vision [United Nations] individual vision [Chauvinism]
flexibility, airy solidification, granite-like
the high flight of Icarus the humility of Francis Bacon
pagan wisdom technological advances

(table taken from Mathurne’s review)

In short, Lucifer embodies passion, overindulgence, expansion, beauty, hedonism, bigger, better and more, more more!! Ahriman, on the other hand embodies coldness, separation, exactitude, control, contraction, compartmentalized, tighter, smaller, and less, less, and less.  Steiner said that Lucifer was incarnated onto the earth (into a human form) during the third millennium before Christ was born (2000 BCE) in the far East of China. Since Christ incarnated in Middle East, Steiner foretold that Ahriman would incarnate onto the earth in the West during the third millennium after Christ’s death (2000 CE).

So who is this philistine fellow who is purportedly presently walking amongst us? The idea of Ahriman originally came from Zoroastrian religious text written in ancient Persia. He he was called Angra Mainyu by Zarathustra, the ancient Iranian prophet who brought Zoroastrianism to the Middle East. Zarathusthra taught that there are two competing forces in the world. The first is Ahura Mazda, the benevolent instrument of “Bounteous Principle,” and the second is the malevolent force of Ahriman/Angra Mainyu, the destructive principle. Steiner modified this character a bit. He chose to turn the duality into a trinity, with Christ in the middle, holding the balance.

Whether or not you choose to believe that Ahriman is born again as Steiner prophesied, there does seem to be a decidedly Ahrimanic force seeping ever stonger into our cultural frame work. Whether you label it “tea party movement” or “defense of marriage act” or “880+ billion dollars spent on the military during the fiscal year of 2010,” there’s an awful lot of cold-hearted, over literally translated compartmentalization going on here. These types of examples gathering speed alongside a huge population of disheartened and apathetic masses who use denial their main method of coping certainly could portend a growing oppositional force in the Western world today.

So what’s to be done to head off the evil spectre of Ahriman? Steiner has some suggestions, which I will summarize in a later posting. Thoughts on this?

(Rudolf Steiner-Representative of Man)


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Bodhi Tree (Ficus religiosa)

Recap of a past posting in the form of a question: If potential violence is around me but I choose to not collapse the potential into reality (i.e. choose not to be conscious of it), would I be injured anyway? (This after the realization that if there isn’t pair of ears and ear innards, a sound is just a vibration…like everything else. Without a conscious observer (ears) to collapse a violent vibration, would it just wiggle on by?)

I’ve been thinking about this problem quite a lot lately, and I thought that a good way to view it would be through the eyes of folks who have apparently learned how to master violence on the physical plane–>Jesus and Buddha.

You’ve all seen the bracelets: WWJD? In a world full of crazy, Jesus is our rock. We’ve heard how he helped poor, crazy Mary-the-Fallen-Cat-Lady exorcise her seven demons (what’s that? Mary Magdelene was a business woman who financed Christ after her exorcism? and she wasn’t really a prostitute? Hm. I smell a whiff of patriarchy here…)

Anyway, if anybody could avoid violence in this world by thinking positively, it would be Jesus, right? Well, read the title of this post. Jesus was kidnapped by political criminals and murdered. He was resurrected, so it all worked out in the end, but still. I suppose there is the possibility that he did it all for humanity, and that he could have made a different choice…he “took one for the team,” so to speak.

So then there is Buddha. I twiddled around a little bit and discovered that the Buddha actually had a bodyguard after one of his followers got beaten on a mountain path. Ok, it was really a “personal assistant” but really the same sort of idea. Furthermore, I read this Buddha quote in the book The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker:

People should learn to see and so avoid all danger. Just as a wise man keeps away from mad dogs, so one should not make friends with evil men.

There it is. Buddha says that you should be aware of (conscious of) dangerous things in the world, so that you can avoid them.

Sigh. I’m not convinced. I still dunno what to think about it…

Guess I’ll have to find a Bodhi Tree of my own.

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Once, when I was a kid, somebody told me about the fight between creationists and evolutionaryists. I looked up some information in my red Encyclopedia Britanica. I couldn’t figure out who was right. So I asked my mom, who usually knew the answers. She said both were right.


Can you believe it? Two totally opposite viewpoints which, on the surface, seem to be completely contradictory, are simultaneously right. Her simple explanation was that God started the Big Bang. To my young mind, the answer was genius. Why couldn’t everyone else see that?

John Dee (13 July 1527-1608 or 1609) was a noted mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, occultist, navigator, imperialist, and consultant to Queen Elizabeth I. He devoted much of his life to the study of alchemy, divination, and Hermetic philosophy.

Dee straddled the worlds of science and magic just as they were becoming distinguishable. (from Wikipedia) (I like that last sentence.)

John Dee, in between his algebra lectures and his medical practice, was involved with alchemy and the art of calling angels. He used a black crystal stone (given to him by a boy-shaped angel)  and an obsidian mirror for scrying, although he preferred to let his friend Edward Kelly do the scrying while he took notes.

The angels taught Dee the ‘language of Enoch,’ which was supposedly spoken by Adam before the Fall. Kelly, in a trance, dictated to Dee The Book of Enoch, which revealed the mysteries of creation. (from The Encyclopedia of Witchcraft Magic, by Susan Greenwood)

Dee’s life ended poorly. He broke off connections with Kelly when Kelly told him that the angels wished for Dee to share his wife with his friend. His benefactor, Queen Elizabeth died. Her successor James I had no sympathy for divination and provided him no respite. His books and property were stolen. He died a pauper. But he had lived with a vision. His vision was to see the ultimate truth.

Dee did not draw distinctions between his mathematical research and his investigations into Hermetic magic, angel summoning and divination. Instead he considered all of his activities to constitute different facets of the same quest: the search for a transcendent understanding of the divine forms which underlie the visible world, which Dee called “pure verities.”

His ultimate goal was to help bring forth a unified world religion through the healing of the breach of the Catholic and Protestant churches and the recapture of the pure theology of the ancients. (Wikipedia)


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