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Archive for the ‘Rudolf Steiner’ Category

I’m reading an interesting book at the moment entitled The Incarnation of Ahriman: The Embodiment of Evil on Earth. It is a collection of lectures by Rudolf Steiner about Ahriman, the specter of ultra domination who has already incarnated or will be incarnating soon, here in the West.

In the first lecture, which is all I have read til this point, Steiner speaks about a mistake that folks in the modern world make, namely the idea that we live in a dualistic world. Steiner makes the point that in ancient times, people believed in a trichotomous cosmology. In other words, humans were made up of three parts–body, soul and spirit. Your body is your physical body, your soul is your intellect and your spirit is the supernatural part of you that interacts with spirit realm.

It isn’t too difficult to see why the Catholic church would work really hard to nix that last little bit about every human having his/her very own link to God…the priests wanted a corner on the God market. At some point during the 8th or 9th century it became heretical to believe in three parts. This was enforced rather vehemently by some powerful groups.

Steiner points out that this switch to an erronious dualistic view is apparent in most popular modern work. He points to Milton’s Paradise Lost and Goethe’s Faust to show the how conflict has taken on the duality of good v. evil. This duality is also present and prevalent in the even more modern stories by JK Rowling, Tolkien, Stephen King, Stephanie Meyer, Philip Pullman, etc., etc., etc.

In Steiner’s world view, things are a bit different. Rather than one horrid source of evil striving to possess the souls of the multitudes fighting against one source of goodness, Steiner believes that there are two sources of evil, Lucifer-who urges humanity to throw caution to the wind and be free from the annoying rules and ethical boundaries and self discipline…”let them eat cake!”–and Ahriman–whose goal is to divert power away from the “natural” divine sources toward himself, a task that can only be completed by divorcing a human being from her own beliefs and intuitions.

Between these two powers of decay is the balancing point. For Steiner, the balancing point is Jesus. Jesus personifies the calm compassion that it takes to remain unswayed by ultimate hedonism or by ultimate domination of spirit. Steiner is not the first to corollate Jesus with the fulcrum between two parts. Here is the ancient symbol of the vesica piscis:

Notice the (for lack of better term) football shape between the two circles with equal radiuses. That shape is the pictorial form of the middle path. The dualism (two circles) automatically creates a third form, the point that lies in the middle of the two. Between any two poles (heaven/hell, good/evil, black/white, Lucifer/Ahriman, etc.) lies a middle point. The trichotomy can’t be escaped, no matter how hard those fundamentalists try.

(Grønbæk Kirke-Jesus in a vesica piscis surrounded by symbols)

Personally, I prefer to think of the vesica piscis as the middle path, rather than labeling it Jesus right away. It is the point that is neither too far in one direction or too far in the other. Our job as humans is to always check for drift and adjust course if necessary.

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(Watermelon Monster from the Buson YŌkai Emaki-1754)

We see nature around us, and we see also that man enters into his physical existence through the forces of this same nature. We know through our study of Spiritual Science that we do not rightly regard nature if we only pay attention to its external physical features. We know that divine forces permeate it and we only become aware of our origin from nature in the true sense of the word when we perceive this divine element that weaves and works within it. -Rudolf Steiner

I was camping this weekend, wading around in these big rock bowls carved out by the flowing water. If I stood in the same place long enough little tiny fish came over and nibbled on my skin (a little disturbing, but cute). My partner pointed out the St. John’s Wort growing by the waters edge. I got a little sunburnt on my pasty neck. When the sun went down a bat flew by my ear and I heard strange rustlings in the grass. It was super fun.

I’ve had to quit drinking alcohol. And quit smoking cigarettes. And, since “the Great Liver Cleanse” of summer 2010 I can’t even drink a proper cup of coffee anymore. I find myself searching for the next best mood mender, or whatever you want to call it. It apparently needs to be something that doesn’t harm me or make me irritable. I’ve decided that my next vice will be to become obsessed with finding God.

No, no…that will never do! says the guru in my head. One who is obsessed will never reach enlightenment! You must touch God lightly, for she is like a watermelon seed–once you squeeze…squirt, gone!

This afternoon I went to my favorite Rosen bodywork practitioner. I’ve told her about my quest to find God and to become like Jesus. (She does Vipassana meditation. I don’t know exactly what that is, but it sounds serious). I told her I’d like her to help me release the anger that’s trapped inside my body. I told her my latest favorite quote from the Brahma Kumaris anger management handout: How can there be peace on earth, if the hearts of men are like volcanoes? (This is one of those instances where the word man=humanity, in case you wondered if women could have volcanic hearts as well. There is a well known study–ok it’s an article I found online–that says that girls are getting more and more aggressive. My favorite quote: “And it spoke to me about how this new American girl is wrestling with the same issues the American boy has been.” Gosh! What an insight! Amazing. I wonder if they might even someday find that girls from other countries experience similar things as boys from their same countries too? The world is wild and strange.)

Anyway, I said to my Rosen practitioner “how can there be peace on earth, if the hearts of man are like volcanoes?”

“That is why there will never be peace on earth,” she answered quickly with a wry, Vipassanic smile. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t joking.

There is peace in nature though. I know that animals can be vicious (I’m glad those crazy fishes didn’t have teeth!). That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about balance. I feel top heavy. My head is way bigger than my body and I have to walk really fast to keep up with it, so that gravity doesn’t make it smash to the ground.

I will practice slowing down. I will practice slowing down. I will practice slowing down.

A human being is a part of the whole, called by us Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest-a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty.-Einstein

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