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American Anthroposophy

- an introduction a celebration of the American Soul's unique
ability to contribute to the future of Anthroposophy,
and to the future of world culture
by Joel A. Wendt
social philosopher...and occasional fool

"...one can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy
in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a natural way..."
Rudolf Steiner, from a talk to the workmen
at the Goetheanum, Dornach, March 3, 1923

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cover art bead-work by the author

Dedication
This book is dedicated to you, immortal spirit, who were at one time
known as Rudolf Steiner, and without whose presence on this Earth for
about 64 years, the essays in this book could not have been written. I am
grateful to you for wearing that name and bearing the burden of being
thought of as a great initiate. Thank you old friend and may you
continue to sail on to ever greater wonders and delights, with as little
suffering as necessary. Hopefully, the content of this book may over the
years of the future, serve to break the chains by which great aspects of
your spirit are currently bound to the Earth, due to your having chosen
to join your karma to ours. In all our names, I beg your forgiveness for
our many errors and numerous follies connected to our having
misunderstood much of the essence of your teachings. With greatest
affection and love, your pupil, Joel A. Wendt

the Contents of this Book
introductory materials
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forward by the author - what is meant by American Anthroposophy?
preface for the neophyte - for the readers to whom Anthroposophy is quite
new.
an apology (of sorts) - to the more experienced anthroposophical reader
introduction
the main themes of this book

The Challenge
American Anthroposophy begins to come to maturity in the situation of a
given place and a given time. The dominant characteristic of this time,
outwardly, is the Incarnation of Ahriman. As a consequence the first
essay concerns Ahriman's Incarnation:
Outrageous Genius - Discovering the in-the-Present Incarnation of
Ahriman in America through the Signs of the Times (Michaelmas*
2007) part 1: Honoring the Teacher and the Teaching; part 2) The WiseEarth as Counter-force to Ahriman's Incarnation; part 3) Brother What
Ails Thee?; and, part 4) Waking the American Anthroposophical Society
and Movement for their true tasks in the 21st Century.
*[The dates of writing here and below are the time at which the original
essay was produced out of the spiritual-thinking activity described in the
essay: In Joyous Celebration...]

Orientation
The dominant characteristic of this time, inwardly, is the True Second
Coming of Christ.
"From the kingdom served by Michael himself Christ descends to the
sphere of the Earth, so as to be there when the intelligence is wholly with
the human individuality. For man will then feel most strongly the impulse
to devote himself to the power which has made itself fully and completely
into the vehicle of intellectuality. But Christ will be there; through His
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great sacrifice He will live in the same sphere in which Ahriman also
lives. Man will be able to choose between Christ and Ahriman. The world
will be able to find the Christ-way in the evolution of humanity." R.S.
Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts.
The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul
(winter - spring 2006)
In Joyous Celebration of the Soul Art and Music of Discipleship (late
summer 2006)
The Methodology Necessary for a New Social Science - a brief
introduction (written for this book during the Season of Michaelmas,
2007)
The Natural Transformation of the Anthroposophical Society in
America (Michaelmas 2007)
The Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil: the relationship of the Shadow
(the threefold double-complex) to the American Soul (Michaelmas 2007)

Encountering the Mystery of America
What distinguishes the now emerging natural Anthroposophy of the
American Soul, from the anthroposophical work of the Twentieth Century
Present Day American Culture - four archetypal personalities (after the
Holy Nights, 2008)
Recollecting the True Roots of the American Soul - America's aboriginal
Peoples and the Hopi Prophecy (after the Holy Nights, 2008)
Anthroposophy and the Russian Soul - a lesson from life: instruction for
all three world-aspects of Anthroposophical activity, in the West, the
Center and the East - (written over Christmas Eve and Day 2006)
The New, and profoundly human, Mysteries of the Earth (written in the
remaining Holy Nights just after Christmas 2006)
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Rudolf Steiner's Own Path - The Philosophy of Freedom or Spiritual
Activity - a brief re-imagination (written for this book just after the Holy
Nights 2007-8)
a letter to a young anthroposophist (2003)
The Redemption of Eros: - Seeking Comfort and Companionship in a time
of increasing Social Chaos - or, Sex and the Individual Anthroposophist
(Michaelmas 2007)
The America Soul - an evolving synthesis at its moment of birth: - much
has been written above - here a small effort at a summary, with a few
additional insights offered as the concluding theme. (written in the Season
of Easter, Spring 2008)

End Stories
America: The Central Motif (by Patrick Dixon)*
*reprinted without permission (haven't been able to contact him), but at
the same time it must be shared, so with a great deal of gratitude that this
exists, I dare to offer it anyway...
Bicycles: a Children's Christmas Story for Adults
some final verse: the Gift of the Word
***************************************
Ultimately, all questions of truth and goodness come down to the
application of individual art and imagination - that is the creation of
beauty. It isn't so much that the Universe has or is an answer that we seek
and struggle to find, but rather that the Universe is an unfinished
symphony in which we are one of the creative sources. Each individual iAM is a song - continually knowing itself only in the moment of its
becoming...
***************************************
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forward by the author
- what is meant by American Anthroposophy To place the modifier "American" in front of the noun Anthroposophy,
may seem to some a rather curious, perhaps even defective, construction.
What about Anthroposophy, apparently authored by Rudolf Steiner and
mostly taught in Europe, could ever be called American? Even so, the
problem comes in large part from Steiner himself, who said a great deal
about America, including suggesting this very idea - that there is to come
an American Anthroposophy. Having gathered* together much of what he
wrote and spoke about America, I'll just start with some of this material
and basically leave it to Dr. Steiner himself to help us start to understand
why there could be something quite real about an American
Anthroposophy. I'll also weave among the comments of Steiner various
other materials as seems appropriate [these will be in brackets so as to not
confuse anything].
*[with the help of the America Steiner library in New York - ask them for
their list]
One last introductory point...
There is an excellent question as to what is truly America and/or
American, given that there is a North and South and Central America of
which we routinely speak. I would say in general that most of what is
indicated by Steiner, and explored more deeply by me in this book, refers
principally to the United States of America. To look at the wider
questions has not really been attempted here, although in the appendix in
Patrick Dixon's essay: America: the Central Motif, an introductory
perspective on some of these wider questions is given. Hopefully - in the
future - others, native to these wider regions of the Western Continents,
will be inspired by what is here to add their insights and their voices, for
no one should doubt that all the Peoples of the Western Continents have a
great deal to offer to the world.
*
here now, from Dr. Steiner...
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"...America is the place at which races or civilizations die." R.S. The
Mission of the Folk Souls, lecture 6.
[This phenomena is discussed more fully in an essay below.]
"The Indians then took over with them to the West all that was great in the
Atlantean culture. What was the greatest thing of all to the Indians? It
was that he was still able dimly to sense something of the ancient
greatness and majesty of a period which existed in the old Atlantean
epoch, in which the divisions of the races had hardly begun, in which men
could look up to the Sun and perceive the Spirits of Form penetrating
through a sea of mist. Through an ocean of mist the Atlantean gazed up at
that which to him was not divided into six or seven, but which acted
together. This co-operative activity of the seven Spirits of Form was
called by the Atlanteans the Great Spirit...He clung firmly to the Great
Spirit of the primeval past." R.S. Lecture 6 above.
[While we might think that the Native Americans have a degenerate
spirituality as a consequence of this, it would be a mistake to take this
view. A Mohawk healer (a woman friend of mine) is also a seeress, and it
is clear to her vision that when she holds a healing circle it is Christ in the
form of an Angel who does the actual healing. Another Native
acquaintance of mine described her first experience of a most sacred
ceremonial enacted by her Chief and spoken in the Cherokee language. In
this ritual he had used the word Christ several times, and she asked him
following this ceremony why he had mixed that particular word in with
the Cherokee in this way. His reply was that Indians had always known
there was an Earth Spirit, but now they know His Name.
The Saturn (Native American) Mysteries still produce initiates (as it
were), whose development takes a course similar in kind to the Symbol in
Tarot of the Hanged Man. Their visionary capacity comes from having
given over their will (which is why the Hanged Man is pictured upside
down) to the Celestial Influence. It is a spiritual capacity based upon
voluntary obedience to the Sky People (the ancestors and spirit guides of
the Native Americans) before whose judgment the seers, Chiefs and
healers tend to place all crucial questions of life. It is not a blind
obedience, but something more on the order of recognizing that the Sky
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People have a superior vision of matters, and that as a result their wisdom
is to be given great weight in reference to all significant questions.
By the way, many anthroposophists treat Steiner in the same way, and
with the same potential dangers to our personal and individual
development of inner freedom, so it perhaps should suggest to us that we
not cast stones.
The potential marriage, within the free choices of the individual American
Soul of this veneration of all that was great in the primeval past of Atlantis
with the New Sun Mysteries (in its initial form as Anthroposophy) is very
important for the future (for details see the essay below: Recollecting the
True Roots of the America Soul - America's aboriginal Peoples and the
Hopi Prophecy).]
America was discovered in order to provide a counter-balance to the Asian
Great Spirit (luciferic lightness). America leads man to heaviness and
materialism. (R.S. paraphrased from Lecture 2, Inner Impulses Working
in the Evolution of Mankind)
"...American civilization, on account of the special organization of its
people, is particularly exposed to the temptation offered by what the eagle
speaks (1)....Central Europe...is particularly exposed to what is uttered by
the lion (2)...Oriental civilization is preeminently exposed to what is
uttered by the cow (3)."
(1) "I give thee the power to create a universe in thine own head"
(2) "I give thee the power to embody the universe in the radiance of the
encircling air."
(3) "I give thee the power to wrest from the universe measure, number and
weight." R.S. Lecture 8, Man as a Being of Sense and Perception
[Not surprising then the importance of the Eagle as a symbol both to
Native Americans and the United States of America.]
If European and American civilization retain their present character, a
materialistic cosmogony will cover over the Christ Event. (R.S.
paraphrased from lecture 9, Man as Hieroglyph of the Universe.)
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[The antidote to this is the Christ centered cosmogony presented in my
book: the Way of the Fool: the conscious development of our human
character and the future* of Christianity - both to be born out of the
natural union of Faith and Gnosis.]
The past brings fermentation that leads "Europe to the brink of the Abyss,
which will array Asia and America against each other." R.S. Lecture 3,
The Mission of Archangel Michael
Emigration to America is greater than all other movements of peoples.
(paraphrase, R.S. Lecture 4, Mystery Centers)
[The People of Peoples (the Beacon of Hope) continues to draw the world
to itself, even during times of great distress (witness Latino movements in
the present, and Asia movements following the Vietnam War).]
The Anglo-American victory over Europe in WWI will lead to a
domination of European spiritual-cultural life in an external fashion.
(paraphrase R.S. lecture 3, The Mysteries of Light, Space and Earth.)
The threefold social order is needed in order to overcome the influence of
Anglo-American secret societies (paraphrase lecture 4 above).
"...I believe that in the future my book [The Threefold Social Order]
should be read in the West and in Russia, but that it has no chance of
becoming effective in Germany. The West, for instance, can learn much
from this book, for in a non-utopian manner it simply states how the three
spheres co-exist and should interact. For the West the moment in time
does not matter, for much is still to be done for the right interaction of the
three currents, the spiritual life, the economic life, the political-legal life."
R.S. Threefolding as a Social Alternative. [emphasis added]
In 1924, for a time, some in America showed that stars were hollowed out
spaces (paraphrase, R.S. lecture 3, The Evolution of Earth and Man and
the Influence of the Stars)

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Following the American way of thinking, an attempt was made to extend
the mechanical over human life itself. It will be an American Mystery to
make use of the magnetism of the Earth, its double-ness. (paraphrase, R.S.
lecture 12, The Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric.)
"Europeans prove, Americans affirm" R.S. lecture to workmen 3 March
1923.
When the sun is in Aquarius: "only then will the true American
Civilization come." (same lecture).
"We in Europe develop Anthroposophy out of the Spirit. Over there they
develop something that is a kind of wooden doll of Anthroposophy.
Everything becomes materialistic." (same lecture)
"But for one who is not a fanatic, there is something similar in American
culture to what is anthroposophical spiritual science in Europe. Only
everything there is wooden, it is not yet alive. We can make it alive in
Europe out of the spirit, those over there take it out of instinct..." (same
lecture)
"The time will one day come when this American woodenman, which
actually everyone is still - when he begins to speak. Then he will have
something to say very similar to European Anthroposophy*. One can say
that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the
American develops it in a natural way." (same lecture, emphasis added)
*[here is where I told you that Steiner clearly suggested there would come
to be an American Anthroposophy.]
"The American is a young materialist...So too will the American's blatant
materialism sprout a spiritual element." (when the Sun rises in the sign of
Aquarius). (same lecture)
[As to the Sun rising in Aquarius, its actual date is mostly anyone's guess.
I asked an astrosopher, and he suggested any where from 2376 to 3575,
with lots of if ands and buts and complicated details - I tried to get an
exact answer, but sorry, none could be had. Wikipedia says 2600, and if
you get on Google you can find just about anything. As we know, popular
American culture thought that this was happening in the 1960's (This is the
Dawning of the Age of Aquarius... from the rock musical Hair). If we
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accept the role of spiritual inspiration in the arts, then perhaps we can see
that while Steiner referred to the Sun rising in Aquarius, a dawning is
something that signals the coming rising of the Sun. I would place this
book in that category - the previously dark sky is gone, the stars recede
from sight, and bands of light illuminate the horizon, even though the Sun
has yet to fully appear. A transition of this kind, as is also clear from
Steiner's indications regarding the various epochs of the post-Atlantean
Age, is a gradual development that takes place over many decades if not a
few centuries. No fixed date has any real meaning. The present then in
America is a dawning, but the Sun has not yet risen.]
"But genuine Americanism will one day unite with Europeanism, which
will have taken a more spiritual path." (same lecture) [emphasis added].
[I have spent some time contemplating Steiner's use of the adjective
wooden in describing the American's instinct for Anthroposophy. Clearly
he could have used an even more material metaphor, such as crystalline.
That he did not, but chose instead to us a term from the world of plants,
particularly of the higher plant which is the tree, can give us something to
help our understanding. The tree, while rooted in the earth, in making its
wooden pillar makes the earth itself into a living form which then raises
the tree's leaves and blossoms much further in the direction of the cosmos
than those plants that remain nearer the earth on the forest floor.
Our physical nature, as Americans, is of the earth, and to the extent that
we remain instinctive, so is our soul life captured by this earth bound
existence. Thus our thinking is also earthly and material, unless we
spiritualize it, unless we bring moral forces into it consciously. The more
our native goodness penetrates our thought life consciously (instead of
instinctively), the more we do what the tree does when it spreads its leaves
and blossoms (on its way to bestowing its fruit for our benefit) into the air
far above the earth. Here is what I wrote in the essay below on conscious
thinking out of the American Soul (In Joyous Celebration of the Soul Art
and Music of Discipleship): The purified will (an appropriately moral
intention and attention) creates heart warmth in the soul-soil of feeling,
out of which the light and life filled flower of thought is born. ]
Subterranean forces possess the American body - a geographical force, not
a spiritual force. They chain man to the earth. Something from the human
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head streams toward magnetic and electric currents, neutralizing them this is the human will. What overcomes these dependencies, which are
part of karma, so that our inner life (if not our outward form) can come to
freedom? The answer: the Mystery of Golgatha. (paraphrase of R.S. long
discussion lecture 1, Anthroposophical Life Gifts.
*
Not everything Steiner taught about human inner life applies to
Americans, and here again is what Steiner said indicating the existence of
something that has to be called American Anthroposophy: "The time will
one day come when this American woodenman, which actually everyone is
still - when he begins to speak. Then he will have something to say very
similar to European Anthroposophy. One can say that we in Europe
develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual way; the American develops it in a
natural way." [emphasis added].
Steiner was a very precise and exact thinker, and as a consequence we can
look carefully at his words, expecting such characteristics. Here he has
predicted a time when the American would speak, and say something very
similar to European Anthroposophy - not the same, but similar. He also
points out that we develop anthroposophy in a natural way, while the
European develops it in a spiritual way. What precisely and exactly does
that mean?
We should not expect to answer such a question by looking to Steiner,
however. The answer to this question is not his to give. The American
has to speak the truth and beauty and goodness of this question out of his
own soul, and this book is one American's answer to that riddle.
American Anthroposophy is similar to European Anthroposophy, but
different, because our basic soul gesture and relationship to the world is
fundamentally different. It will do no good to compare the two, but all
manner of good to struggle to see how these two approaches to
Anthroposophy fit together, for harmonize they do. Please keep this in
mind as you read the text below: to look not for the contrast with what
Steiner has offered, but rather to appreciate how what is offered seeks to
complement his work.
This in general can be added here. The American is more of the Earth
than any other people. His youthful culture is also of the future, whereas
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the mature European culture is mostly of the past (see the images of the
Elder and Younger Brother in the Hopi Prophecy essay below). Their
individual limitations may be overcome in the present by their mutual
respect and cooperation. At present, unfortunately, the spiritual potential
of the American Soul is not even decently respected in the circles of the
Anthroposophical Society and Movement here in America. How then can
the two work together without first raising into the light of consciousness
the true soul and spiritual nature of the American?
This condition of self-ignorance, tragically fostered in anthroposophical
circles, is strongly encouraged by Ahriman through our unredeemed
shadow nature, for no people is more dangerous to his future plans than is
the American. Whatever my personal flaws that have influenced this
work, I offer it in full knowledge that Christ wishes for the American to
find his way to his own true nature, and from out of that discovery to
become, as is our task: the most formidable, spiritually endowed, leader of
the social healing gesture needed to counter the terrible coming
consequences of Ahriman's earthly reign.
Jesaiah Ben-Aharon did not write his book on America (America's Global
Responsibility: individuation, initiation and the threefolding) on a lark.
Nor did Rudolf Steiner point to this place, this people and this time, in any
kind of superficial way.
In the end, we come upon a second riddle to add to the one of just what it
means to come to Anthroposophy in a natural way. At its core,
Anthroposophy is an act of service to others. Who then is American
Anthroposophy to serve? Our instinct, which even Emerson would find
correct had he known formally of Anthroposophy, has so far been to be
devoted to Rudolf Steiner and to the cultural forces streaming from
Europe.
We understand through Rudolf Steiner that in this moment in Time the
cultural Center of the world is weakened, the two poles of East and West
are too polarized, and as a consequence the whole is unable to find their
right inter-relationships precisely because the attack on the Center in the
20th Century has been so successful. Out of our freedom as Americans
then we can continue to follow our instinct in support of the spiritual
insight pouring over humanity from the Center. At the same time,
however, we need to not do this while living in a state of confusion as to
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our own yet unrealized soul forces and potentials. If Americans want to
truly foster Anthroposophy as a working partner in a threefold world, they
have to come to far greater self knowledge than is presently the case. This
book seeks to serve that effort.]
a preface for the neophyte
- for the readers for whom Anthroposophy is quite new If you are new to Anthroposophy, or if this is one of the first books related
to Rudolf Steiner you have picked up, then you need to realize that in
certain degrees the book you hold in your hand was written mostly for
serious students of Rudolf Steiner, and further that it represents a view of
Anthroposophy not common among most anthroposophists. At the same
time this book might be quite useful, for it hopes to restore the essential
foundational impulse to anthroposophical spiritual science from the
confusion into which it fell in the 20th Century, after its founding spirit
had died - had crossed over into the world of pure spirit.
As a consequence, each essay below will have its own brief introduction
for the neophyte, by which words I hope to make it more accessible to
those to whom most of anthroposophical thought is new. For example, the
term Anthroposophy is a kind of unnecessary affectation - given that what
it refers to it could possibly be expressed using many different words.
Generally speaking if we look at the root meanings we have anthropo
(man) and sophy (wisdom), thus: the wisdom of man.
Among Steiner students this itself has been poorly understood, and as
many new to this discipline may have already discovered there is a certain
kind of unnatural worship, among the members of the Anthroposophical
Society and Movement, of all the Rudolf Steiner said and wrote. The fact
is that Steiner was not (ultimately) grounding Anthroposophy in the results
of his research into spiritual reality, but instead referring to a latent
capacity potential in all human beings. We could, therefore, also speak of
Anthroposophy as the new cognition, for it refers to what happens when
any individual, with a more or less intact mind, seeks to transform,
through their own will, their given cognitive ability. With our will we
take hold of our cognitive faculty and cause it to undergo a profound
metamorphosis, not unlike the transition from caterpillar to butterfly. Our
ordinary or given capacity for thinking, seemingly bound to the brain and
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to physical causes, can out of our own inner-will-activity become
transformed into a capacity for direct spiritual knowledge - what at one
time was called: gnosis.
This is why Rudolf Steiner, near the end of his life, wrote a summary of
his work which was called: Anthroposophical Leading Thoughts. In this
work the very first Leading Thought begins (as it should have):
"Anthroposophy is a path of cognition from the Spiritual in the human
being to the Spiritual in the universe." [emphasis added] Anthroposophy
then is a spiritual Way, rooted in the will of the individual, yet when well
understood it (the path or Way) is entirely empirical and objective
(scientific). The main text for this science of the new cognition is the
book called: The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (or Freedom), and the
neophyte will find the significance of this book discussed extensively
below.
Now among the various translations of the First of the Anthroposophical
Leading Thoughts you will find that German word Erkenntnis often
translated as knowledge, not as cognition. This has led to great confusion,
for many today in the movement mistake this indication as one connected
to the requirement in Knowledge of Higher Worlds for study. Thus the
unceasing study of Steiner's writings, rather than the objective and
scientific introspection of ones own mind, soul and spirit - that is: the
reading of Steiner's works is erroneously assumed more necessary and
significant than the thinking about thinking or the cognition about
cognition.
This also means that in that Anthroposophy is also the wisdom of man, it
is not a content given forever by Steiner to which everyone must owe
allegiance (thus the mistaken impulse to over emphasize the study of this
content), but rather a method of active and awake thinking-cognition that
shows each individual how to be wise. Would that the leaders of the
Anthroposophical Society and Movement better understood this in
practice, which lead us next to....
an apology (of sorts)
- to the more experienced anthroposophical reader -

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It is possible that certain portions of what is in this book might be seen as
potentially critical of individual efforts within the Anthroposophical
Society and Movement. Such is not really the mood in which this book's
essays were written. My principle studies and research have concerned
the social world, and in support of this it became necessary to learn, from
Steiner's writings on the science of objective philosophical introspection
(A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, and
The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom), how to properly
discipline my soul and spirit in order to achieve the best results for this
research goal. At the same time, the Anthroposophical Society and
Movement are systems of complicated and multiple social forms, and so it
was natural for me to look at them out of the impulses connected to my
social research. In addition, it became obvious over the years of these
studies that very few in the Society and Movement had penetrated deeply
into true introspective life. The absence of success in that endeavor has
enormous consequences for the ability of the Society and Movement to
incarnate the New Mysteries via the New Thinking.
Here is Steiner himself, from Awakening to Community (lecture three),
on the consequences of failing (which has happened) to take up The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (or Freedom): "The way it should be
read is with attention to the fact that it brings one to a wholly different
way of thinking and willing and looking at things....The trouble is that The
Philosophy of Freedom has not been read in the different way I have been
describing. That is the point, and a point that must be sharply stressed if
the development of the Anthroposophical Society is not to fall far behind
that of anthroposophy itself. If it does fall behind, anthroposophy's
conveyance through the Society will result in its being completely
misunderstood, and its only fruit will be endless conflict!"
Let me make this last a bit more explicit with a little symbolism (only
partially presented), based on my 35 years of introspective self
observation:
sense world < soul < A/d (i-AM) L/d > soul > spiritual world
human double (or karma of wounds)
I have kept in the threefold Shadow elements (the double-complex):
< A/d
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L/d >

human double (or karma of wounds)
as it is very much an aspect of American Anthroposophy to need to face
the Shadow in a fully objective fashion. A/d above refers to the ahrimanic
double and L/d to the luciferic double. Steiner describes the reason for
this in Lucifer and Ahriman, at page 21: "...the very purpose of our Fifth
Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should become increasingly conscious of
what takes effect through him in earthly existence. [emphasis added]
What this means is that the opposing forces enter into the social world of
humanity only through the human soul, which then makes it such that the
real struggles involved in the Mystery of Evil take place within our souls,
and only indirectly in the outer world. Our souls are also the doorway
through which the Good enters the social world, and understanding this
reality and our related freedom on the Earth, in practice, is a core necessity
for the future development of Anthroposophy in the 21st Century (as to
the exact manner of the entrance of the Good, see the essay in this book:
The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul).
Rudolf Steiner has made it clear that there is a considerable difference
between his personal path (The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, or
Freedom), and the path outlined in Knowledge of Higher Worlds. In the
latter we make our passage toward the spirit through the sense world
[sense world < soul < A/d (i-AM)] , and in the former we enter directly
into the spiritual world [(i-AM) L/d > soul > spiritual world], through a
highly disciplined introspection. In the practice of a scientific objective
philosophical introspection, we begin already in the soul/spiritual world as
an active spirit.
Both the New Thinking and the New Mysteries are extraordinary treasures
much needed by humanity. Because of this reality, it becomes necessary
to ask how well the Society and Movement are doing in bringing to
incarnation the New Mysteries and the New Thinking, given that only a
very few are actually seriously and successfully following the path of
cognition (The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom) that Rudolf
Steiner himself discovered and followed: [(i-AM) L/d > soul > spiritual
world]. Does this mean something is being missed?
Here is Steiner on some of the differences between the two paths
(indirectly through the sense world and directly through the soul/spiritual
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world), from near the end of the 5th Chapter of his book Occult Science:
an outline:
The path that leads to sense-free thinking by way of the communications of
spiritual science is thoroughly reliable and sure. There is however
another that is even more sure, and above all more exact [emphasis added,
ed,]; at the same time, it is for many people more difficult. The path in
question is set forth in my books The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in
Goethe's World-Conception and The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity.
These books tell what man's thinking can achieve when directed not to
impressions that come from the outer world of the physical sense but
solely upon itself. When this is so, we have within us no longer the kind of
thinking that concerns itself merely with memories of the things of the
sense; we have instead pure thinking which is like a being that has life
within itself. In the above mentioned books you will find nothing at all
that is derived from the communications of spiritual science. They testify
to the fact that pure thinking, working within itself alone, can throw light
on the great questions of life - questions concerning the universe and man.
The books thus occupy a significant intermediate position between
knowledge of the sense-world and knowledge of the spiritual world. What
they offer is what thinking can attain when it rises above senseobservation, yet still holds back from entering upon the spiritual,
supersensible research. One who wholeheartedly pursues the train of
thought indicated in these books is already in the spiritual world; only it
makes itself known to him as a thought-world. Whoever feels ready to
enter upon this intermediate path of development will be taking a safe and
sure road, and it will leave with him a feeling in regard to the higher
world that will bear rich fruit in all time to come.
It is because of the practical understanding from experience, of this quality
of surety and exactness in the thinking developed along the following of
Steiner's own path, that I urge the reader (if they have not already) to
renew their interest in The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom.
Also, as a result of the practice of this discipline on the nature and quality
of thinking, when I turn my attention as a spiritually oriented social
scientist to the status, nature and structure of the Anthroposophical Society
and Movement, certain difficulties become apparent. Some of these
observations enter into the work below.

18

All that said, this should be made clear. While some of what is here can
be interpreted (and will be by some) to be negative and against this or that,
the fact is that what is in this book is not against anything. It is for the
truth about the history of the Society in the 20th Century. It is for the truth
about our real tasks as regards inner development. It is for understanding
the Love which surrounds us in earthly social existence. It is for
preserving Rudolf Steiner's true legacy. It is for helping American
anthroposophists find freedom of spirit in the soul. It is for illuminating
the Mystery of America. And, mostly it is for moving the
Anthroposophical Movement forward toward its real potential role as the
serving-the-Thou source of the New Thinking and the New Mysteries so
desperately needed by humanity.
Then, in being for and in serving, we are on our way to becoming one with
the Good.
*

*

*

[those very few readers of the previous edition of this work, which bore
the title "Dangerous Anthroposophy", will by now have noted that there
have been substantial changes. These changes are due in no small part to
the many thoughtful comments I received during the early stages of the
publication of this book, such that I reconsidered a great deal of that
material and made significant changes. Because I am self-publishing this
book (which is only printed when ordered on-demand), it was then
possible to update the file and make many corrections. I here want to
thank those who were so generous with their observations of various
weaknesses and excesses in the original text (and I am grateful for the
many kind things that were said, as well). A new edition of Dangerous
Anthroposophy, with a slightly different emphasis and edge, will be
published in the next few months after this present book is released.]
introduction
I must begin by confessing that I don't like the way that Dornach and the
Councils in America model Anthroposophy (for the most part, the Central
Regional Council in America is an exception, but seems not properly
supported by the rest). Don't like is of course a sign of antipathy, but not
all antipathy is unredeemed, some comes from discernment. Recently, in
19

conversation with a friend (Tom Last) concerning observations of Rudolf
Steiner in the lectures collected under the title: Awakening to Community,
I came to understand that Steiner had seen that significant differences
existed at that time and would continue among the members and friends,
which led him to providing us with a metaphor to aid our understanding. I
have interpreted it to mean today that we should think of each other as
sister souls, finding it necessary to travel different but parallel paths,
hopefully toward the same end: the bringing alive for the future the New
Mysteries and the New Thinking.
At the same time, I am confronted by a peculiar moral dilemma, one that
was faced by Irina Gordienko, when she wrote her book: Sergei O.
Prokofieff: Myth and Reality. First, after carefully presenting her version
of the same argument as above, concerning the significance of Steiner's
science of knowledge (objective philosophical introspection), she said
next in her Author's Forward:
"When a false or non-proven assertion appears in the scientific press, this
is taken as a signal for the opening of a scientific debate, which continues
until the matter is resolved, even if further research has to be carried out.
It is quite a different situation in the Anthroposophical media. There one
can write whatever one likes, provided no interests are put at risk and the
familiar terminology is used. Any attempt to criticize such printed
assertions is condemned out of a false ethical principle: tolerance towards
a person is confused with tolerance of his mistakes. The ideal of brotherly
love comes to mean little more than the maintaining of 'diplomatic
relations' with ones neighbor, while remaining indifferent to his spiritual
destiny.
"This is, in our opinion, by no means a sign of irresponsibility - this is only
secondary - but is rather the expression of a materialism that is deeply
rooted in the unconscious [the Shadow, see above and below, ed],
inclining one to experience inter-personal relations in the present as
absolutely real, while the working of the counter-forces which stand
behind every lie is ignored or is at best passed off as an abstract theory,
about which one can hold clever discussions, but which, as soon as one
returns to the reality of life, will be forgotten. ' "An incorrect result of
research in the spiritual world is a living being. It is there; it must be
resisted, it must first be eradicated"[R.S., ed.] ' (22.10.1915, GA 254)"
[emphasis added]
20

The consequence for me then is this: If I discern flaws (errors of thought)
in the work of the Society and Movement, what is my obligation toward
that work and toward those personalities who make such errors of
thought? This has been made all the more acute by the fact that during the
period in which several people had opportunities to review the earlier
version of this work, it was common to hear expressed some form of:
Don't you think you need to treat in a more kind way, those who. in your
opinion, have made errors of thought.
The consequence of such a "materialistic" (as suggested by Gordienko)
approach is twofold: First, we collectively deny that Anthroposophy has
anything to do with science - that is, there is no real meaning for us to
exactness and rigor in the processes of cognition, and certainly not in
holding each other to such standards. And second, that we actually do
each other a kindness by treating so politely each others statements that
clash with our own understanding, particularly when such statements are
publicized throughout our communities as the expression of those
presumed authorities, who hold positions of trust in our institutional social
forms (Dornach, the Councils in America and so forth).
When I first read this in Gordienko, I realized that she was emphasizing
the Truth as the sole ideal, which is understandable given that she was a
practicing mathematician. I even wrote in that moment in the margin of
my copy of her book this question: What about Beauty and Goodness?
It is my view that the latter ideals, in practice, do justify temperance with
regard to how we treat each other when we find ourselves convinced of an
error of thought living in the other. In terms of The Philosophy of
Spiritual Activity or Freedom, we enter here the realm of moral technique
- that problem which follows after we have practiced moral imagination
and moral intuition. This comes down to: What do we actually say (or
write or do - what is the moral art or our technique), when we are
convinced our brother or sister in Anthroposophy is in error? In some
places in the above book, Steiner used the term tact as an indicator of the
social technique of incarnating a moral intuition.
There is an aphorism from the Middle-East, as follows: There are three
gates to speech: Is it true? (truth) Is it necessary? (beauty) And, is it kind?
21

(goodness) Where below I have felt it necessary to concern myself with
the errors of thought in others, I have tried to tactfully follow this advice.
Now suppose, for example, that I correctly discern that what is encouraged
among the membership, by those in leadership positions, is a misleading
(erroneous) path. Suppose that the general direction of the Society, in how
it understands and practices Anthroposophy, is weak, lame and mostly
inadequate. Suppose the practices that are encouraged cause us to miss
our real tasks. Suppose that the Society got so far off the track during the
20th Century that we are not even close to truly bringing alive the New
Mysteries.
Let us pause for a moment and consider what I mean by the above term:
lame. In a nutshell it comes down to this: Those who do not know, cannot
teach what they do not know. If the vast majority of those in leading
anthroposophical positions do not know what lives within the experience
that comes from truly penetrating the meaning and significance for our
inner life of a proper study of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or
Freedom - of Rudolf Steiner's own Path (see essay far below), and, if in
this sense they don't know, again as an experience, true and exact living
thinking (the New Thinking), then they cannot teach that which can be
learned in no other way. Further, if they do not know that, then they
logically also do not appreciate what the absence of that knowledge will
mean for their comprehension of the rest of what Steiner gave to us.
Let us repeat this last point, in a slightly different way. Steiner's books on
the science of objective philosophical introspection lead to knowledge of
the inner life of the human being that cannot be obtained in any other way.
Certainly one can travel such paths without these books, but to acquire the
near mathematical precision and exactness of introspective knowledge that
Steiner himself developed through "...introspective observation following
the methods of natural science", means something those who have not
succeeded at this cannot imagine or understand. There are considerable
consequences to the thinking of any individual not self-trained in this
fashion, which consequences will often lead to errors of thought.
The reader here is perfectly entitled to wonder, that if the author of this
knows all that much, where is the evidence. Certainly not just saying
things like the above can count for much. To the extent possible, the
essays that follow are the evidence, are the demonstration - the product as
22

it were - of the New Thinking. Ultimately, of course, the reader will have
to form their own judgments.
Steiner gave us what he gave out of his having himself first achieved the
goal he sets before us in The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom
and A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception.
These are not books about some matter that has nothing to do with
Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science. On the contrary, these books are the
foundational heart and soul of everything Steiner later did in his life. They
are the Key to the Kingdom of the New Thinking. In the absence of
knowing the experiences to which these books point, we simply cannot
truly and fully understand, or appreciate, all the rest.
That failure then lames (in different degrees) all our work since Steiner
crossed over. We stumble around in an inner darkness of soul, that only
the science of objective introspective philosophy can illuminate. We do
not know ourselves as knowing doers, the first and essential goal of
spiritual development which enables it to be scientific. [In the essays in
this book, the details of these problems will be laid out from a number of
directions and within a number of different contexts.]
Where this leads is to the necessity of our recognizing that the Shadow
forces have been having their way with us (from inside our own souls, via
the threefold double-complex), while we've been trying to pretend that all
the opposition only comes from the outside. And, we also need to realize
that this state of being is exactly where karma was meant to lead us - to a
fallen condition. Rudolf Steiner crossed over, the Vorstand fell into
conflict, and the various National Societies took sides and split away from
the General Anthroposophical Society. Even though this split was healed
in a kind of political way on the horizontal plane of social existence
following the second Great War, it was not healed in a spiritual - vertical way.
Here is Ben-Aharon, from the forward to his book on the Second Coming,
The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth Century: "...those forces of
hindrance that brought about Rudolf Steiner's premature death in the first
third came to an outward victory in the events of the twelve years 1933-45,
both in the Anthroposophical Society and the world at large." [emphasis
added]
23

Since this seemingly negative view is not being said by those who
organize events, and run around the world giving lectures or writing big
long books (none of which activities are socially permitted to be publicly
and critically examined), it would appear that what I discern seems
completely off the mark. Everyone acts as if what we are doing is just
fine, while over here in the corner, mostly ignored, Wendt (and others such as Gordienko, and Ben-Aharon) are saying things like: Wait a minute
guys, this is all wrong. Isn't it really possible that we are failing our
Teacher, we are failing humanity and we are failing Christ?
Couldn't be true, right?
Clearly people are trying to do the right thing. Or so it seems, if we put
the best face on it. Most of our publications are self congratulatory, and
my experience is that when you suggest they should be otherwise
(critically honest and scientific), people get very defensive. And, of
course, Christ does forgive us; and our Teacher, well he joined his karma
to ours, so that must mean something, must it not? Then there is that
famous near magical (and fantastic and probably false) semi-consciously
shared mental picture of the Meaning of the Christmas Conference we all
speak of as if in a dream, so we can't be all bad, can we? As for
humanity...well all kinds of folks are bringing their kids to Waldorf
Schools - that must count for something, yes?
Lets try this. Imagine Rudolf Steiner in front of you and ask him if he
thinks that its all peaches and cream in the Society and Movement,
nothing is wrong, everything is perfect and there is no room for
improvement. If you really believe he will answer yes to this question,
then don't buy or read this book.
If you know in your heart that he'll have to say no, its not all right, its not
fine and somebody needs to wake up, then ask yourself: How do we know
what next right thing to do is? Maybe this book can provide some of the
answers to that question, or if not that, then at least some better questions.
*

*

*

Let me begin this part of the introduction by returning for a moment to an
appreciation of what has been and is being done. It is entirely possible
and reasonable to look at almost everyone working in the Society and
24

Movement and find a struggling and striving human being, often one full
of a great heart, who gives and bears much (something one can find all
over the world in many people, not just anthroposophists).
For example, all we have to do is to think of the many Waldorf teachers,
who work for so little for such long hours. Everywhere in the Society and
Movement we see much that justifies our confidence and trust.
Yet, we are also required to cultivate the ability to look at ourselves as a
stranger (Knowledge of Higher Worlds). Do we in the Society and
Movement practice such objectivity about our own activities? Part of the
purpose of this book is to do just that. I may completely fail in such an
effort, but not for want of trying.
Let me conclude by adding two considerations to what I am certain are
major matters of spiritual import that are not yet clearly seen by our
leadership and therefore not brought as strongly as is necessary to our
attention. These are in addition to the errors that arise because so few
have penetrated to the kind of self knowledge only possible through an
objective study of the own soul based on the science of knowing as
developed by Steiner (A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World
Conception, and The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom).
The second matter (besides the above introspective activity and books),
left in the dust heap of our confusions following the split in the Society,
and what followed in the 20th Century, was the Reverse Cultus. It was
not that this was presented to us by Steiner as an off hand remark, by the
way. It came about this way. Almost immediately following the Burning
of the Goetheanum, Steiner began giving a series of lectures (starting
January 23rd, 1923) in Dornach and Stuttgart, which has been collected
under the title Awakening to Community.
In Lecture VI, he takes up a significant subject, which he begins to
approach by discussing the need for religious renewal that was to be met
through the creation of the Christian Community. He then paraphrases Dr.
Rittelmeyer, who had recently said that the development of community in
the Christian Community is potentially one of the greatest threats to the
Anthroposophical Society possible.

25

Steiner then describes how a rite (and certainly this includes the Rite of
Consecration of Man that is to be celebrated in the Christian Community)
brings down into those present in the Rite (cultus) a spiritual presence: "a
shared comprehensive memory of spiritual experiences". This, he goes on
to say, is a powerful community building force.
Steiner then adds: "The Anthroposophical Society also needs just such a
force to foster community within it". He then elaborates the underlying
spiritual principles that lead to the necessity for the Society to learn to
enact a reverse cultus, in which spiritual presence does not descend via
the Rite into the community, but the community learns instead to rise up
toward spiritual presence through a rite of its own, in the nature of its
groups and their cultivated feeling life and qualities of conversation.
Now an honest (as of a stranger) appraisal of the Life of our Society
reveals that in comparison with the community feelings one can
sometimes experience in Christian Community social gatherings, the
Society has not achieved the same level of fellow-feeling. In fact, most of
the goals Steiner set for us in his collection of letters written to the Society
members in 1924, and published as The Life, Nature and Cultivation of
Anthroposophy, have not been achieved.
As a place where one can find deeply felt warm fellow-feeling, the
Christian Community often succeeds where the Society does not, and the
danger to the Society predicted by Dr. Rittelmeyer almost a century ago
has come to pass. What is worse, in my view, is that the priests of the
Christian Community, at least among their leadership, ought to have
known this and apparently have done nothing about it. In fact, it began to
greatly disturb me about 10 years ago, when I found more and more
people in the Society who had never even heard of the reverse cultus or of
this most crucial problem for the community life of the Society.
Now this error of thought (not recognizing the need for the reverse cultus)
is in a very few places now being overcome (the Central Regional Council
in American is trying, for example), but at the same time its significance
has to be brought into the foreground over and over again, until we
understand our loss, and our potential.
In addition to the loss of the reverse cultus, there is a further difficulty for
which Steiner had given warnings (sorry, I can't put my finger on a quote
26

at the moment, but most readers should be able eventually to appreciate
this). This danger is the intellectualization of the Michaelic Cosmic
Intelligence.
When Steiner wrote and lectured, Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence lived into
the room. Where he was, It was. But once this Intelligence entered the
minds of his readers and listeners, a difficulty was encountered over which
Steiner had little control. This Living (experienced) Wisdom dies when
brought into incarnation in words, and this death can only be overcome by
the inner activity of the reader and listener. We have to meet what he
offered in the right way, and he spoke of this directly and indirectly over
and over again (see the introductions to both Occult Science and
Theosophy).
If we look honestly back upon the work of the 20th Century in the Society
and Movement and see how it is developed into its present form, we will
not find this living Intelligence, but mostly its lifeless intellectualized
corpse. Anthroposophy (the Wisdom of Man, which discovers how to
encounter and work with the Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence) has become
in far too many souls mere Steinerism, a philosophy (world view)
attributed to the authority of the Great Initiate and Genius, Rudolf Steiner.
Over and over again, in conversations with others (deep sincere people)
and on Waldorf websites etc. one finds something similar to this form of
expression (here taken from an actual Waldorf website): Anthroposophy is
a spiritual philosophy that reflects and speaks to the basic deep spiritual
questions of humanity, to our basic creative needs, to the need to relate to
the world out of a scientific attitude of mind, and to the need to develop a
relation to the world in complete freedom and based on completely
individual judgments and decisions.
What could be wrong with this? Well, its not true in a living way,
although it is more or less intellectually (materialistically) accurate. The
flesh has been stripped away, and all we have is the bones. Recall now
what Steiner wrote in the First Leading Thought:
"1. Anthroposophy is a path of cognition*, to guide the Spiritual in the
human being to the Spiritual in the universe. It arises in man as a need of
the heart, of the life of feeling; and it can be justified only inasmuch as it
can satisfy this inner need. He alone can acknowledge Anthroposophy,
who finds in it what he himself in his own inner life feels impelled to seek.
27

Hence only they can be anthroposophists who feel certain questions on the
nature of man and the universe as an elemental need of life, just as one
feels hunger and thirst."
*[As previously noted, this is generally translated as knowledge, but it
appears that the better English word for the German word Erkentnis or
Erkennen is cognition.]
The two quotes above almost seem the same don't they? But the fact is
instead of quoting what Steiner himself wrote, the mind of the writer on
the Waldorf website intellectualized the meanings, and lacking a
connection to his own feelings on this matter, then subtly and
thoughtlessly took away the heart of it, probably completely
unconsciously and in connection with how the corpse of this once Living
Wisdom is taught among us today.
Like any error of thought, the whole misstep starts right at the beginning,
where "Anthroposophy is a path of cognition..." becomes "Anthroposophy
is a spiritual philosophy...". Something that I do out of my will and
feelings and needs (a path I walk), has become, as a consequence of the
intellectualization, a mere point of view - something that I study in books
and learn as a content (a spiritual philosophy).
The core difficulty is rooted (as the reader now should understand) in the
absence of an appreciation in practice of The Philosophy of Spiritual
Activity or Freedom. For example, a scientific introspective life comes to
recognize that there is a considerable difference among those activities of
spirit that lead in the soul to such states as: belief, understanding and
knowledge. In the essay below: Anthroposophy and the Russian Soul, I
go into a number of details as regards this problem.
The consequence of this intellectualization of the once Living Michaelic
Cosmic Wisdom has led to the displacement of the Living element of this
stream of Wisdom, away from the Society and Movement (what BenAharon, in his remarkable Imagination of the Second Coming: The
Spiritual Event of the 20th Century, conceives of a conscious Michael
Community to what Ben-Aharon describes there as an unconscious - or
instinctive - Michael Community). When I write in the essays below on
such themes as Civil Society, the Hopi Prophecy and the Bioneers, it is
this displacement to which I am referring.
28

The Anthroposophical Society and Movement, having lost a connection to
The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom and the reverse cultus,
failed to find their own way to the Living Spirit and thus to true Michaelic
Cosmic Intelligence. Since the movement among humanity of forces of
the Living Spirit is not defeated by our failures, this wind or breath of
[holy] spirit (see the Gospel of John) moved elsewhere. Mainly It
abandoned the institutional structures of the Society and Movement where
the Living Wisdom had been intellectualized, and entered into humanity at
the level of the social commons, which is why we can still sense Its
Presence in our own anthroposophical communities, not from the top
down, but rather from the social below upward (a general trend in all
social forms in the present, by the way, not just the Society).
We actually come into contact with It when we participate as individuals
in what the larger society is doing in such activities as the environmental
movement or in political struggles (see the work of Ben-Aharon and
Perlas). For details, read Ben-Aharon's book: America's Global
Responsibility: individualization, initiation and threefolding.
How do we once more become a truly conscious Michaelic Community on
the Earth, carrying forward the tasks set before us by our teacher, Rudolf
Steiner? How do we overcome the intellectualization of the Michaelic
Cosmic Intelligence (the reduction of acts of will in the soul, to the mere
study of Steiner books)? We do this through re-awakening interest in the
New Thinking (The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity or Freedom) and the
New Mysteries (the reverse cultus). Hopefully this book will also help
point the way.
To come at this from a slightly different direction, it can also be pointed
out that most of Steiner's books and lectures (except when he could lecture
in England) had to be put in the language of the Intellectual Soul. His
basic European audiences were by education and cultural influences not
yet in the Consciousness Soul, and as a consequence Steiner found it
necessary to use certain forms of language and to often speak indirectly or
metaphorically as his listeners lacked the capacity (at that time) to observe
the needed soul phenomena of the Consciousness Soul.
This book you hold in your hand, dear reader, is for example written
entirely in the language of the Consciousness Soul, which in fact in many
29

instances had to be invented in order to express Consciousness Soul
experiences (see The Meaning of....for example). This is why there will
be for some readers an apparent disconnect between what Steiner said and
what is said here. This is not a disconnect at the level of the truth,
however, but entirely a consequence of the fact that only now is it possible
to write so openly concerning that which Steiner had to approach
indirectly and often with a great deal of circumlocution.
*
Lets wind up this discussion in the introduction with a picture of the
situation in America with respect to Anthroposophy.
America is a battleground of the spirit. It is where there is more
individualism presently than anywhere else on the planet. This makes
possible both Light (the Life Forces of Christ entering through the
thinking of the heart) and Darkness (the Shadow forces out of the
threefold double-complex). Both will be present, in spite of the New Age
dream of an Age of Light.
The actual battleground is within the soul and only indirectly in the outer
world. And, at this time only Anthroposophy truly understands this (there
are a few whispers out there, but they could use our support).
In America, from the Cultures of the East, comes mostly decadent and
luciferic spirit ways, wearing the seductive guise of the mysterious (thus
all the more lucifericly attractive) satori or sudden enlightenment. From
the Culture of the Center, via scientific materialism, comes the ahrimanic
to join with the natural materialism of the youthful American culture. But
also from the Center comes an Ideal of the new Life of Christ in the New
Thinking and in the community work of the reverse cultus (the New
Mysteries).
At the same time, the American Soul has unique (nowhere else in the
world) forces, and these must be awakened and applied within the soul - in
the battleground between latent and natural Christ forces of the heart (the
true American Spirit) and the mostly decadent spiritual life of the Cultural
East, which has been coupled to the excesses of the Ahrimanic Deception
(materialism) given birth in the Cultural Center at the heights of Western
Civilization in the 19th Century.
30

The American Soul stands as a mediating soul-space between a luciferic
ungrounded spirituality of the East, and the ahrimanically rigid belief in
scientific materialism born in the Center. While the Society and
Movement are focused on the Center, in a social-spiritual sense this Center
failed (in the same way an overstressed beam fails) during the crisis events
in the 20th Century. Recall Ben-Aharon above: The Spiritual Event of
the Twentieth Century: "...those forces of hindrance that brought about
Rudolf Steiner's premature death in the first third came to an outward
victory in the events of the twelve years 1933-45, both in the
Anthroposophical Society and the world at large." [emphasis added]
This book seeks to illuminate that battleground of the American soulspace, and the special role Anthroposophy can play in its future resolution.
In particular, we have to begin with the Challenge presented by the fact of
Ahriman's actual incarnation in America, in the present. For out of this
incarnation the battle has now become fully joined, and as in much else
the membership of the Society and Movement are here far too asleep.
I noted above how the Spiritual World's chosen displacement of the
Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence meant that It became a spirit breath
weaving mostly among the awakening social commons (the millions* of
souls Steiner is said by some to have hoped would be anthroposophists by
the end of the 20th Century - alas a dream that was apparently not to be).
Nevertheless, it is in this awakening social commons that instinctive
consciousness soul processes have burst forth within our declining
civilization among Civil Society, the environmental movement and so
forth.
*[see the essay below: The Natural Transformation of Anthroposophical
Society in America, for a discussion of the so-called Michaelic millions]
Many anthroposophists find a kinship with these social gestures. In them,
for example, has begun the opposition to Ahriman's incarnation so
necessary at this time. Yet, what about the Anthroposophical Movement
and Society? Is it to do something different than that which is happening
in Civil Society?
Yes!
31

We hold the keys to the kingdom of the New Thinking (in the Philosophy
of Spiritual Activity) and the New Mysteries (in the form of the reverse
cultus), matters never before possible on the Earth. While these are
appearing instinctively everywhere today, only anthroposophists have
been given (at this time, if we don't catch the bus now it is gone!) the
opportunity to foster in the School and Society a scientific spiritual life.
At present, the main thrusts of the spiritual life in the planetary culture are
unable (again, in the moment) to connect to the true nature of the Sun
Intelligence living inside Natural Science. If you will recall from Steiner's
biographical statements, he was only able to enter the Sun Sphere of the
Spiritual World after he had brought deeply into his soul the real impulses
underlying the scientific enterprise.
If we, as anthroposophists, are unable to make the core of our practices
scientific, we will leave the greatest of Steiner's gifts orphaned. He said,
as we all know, that the future would know him more for The Philosophy
of Spiritual Activity or Freedom, than any other deed. Why?
Because, in this book of Steiner's is the process by which a human being
becomes freely awake as a knowing doer of the spirit in a scientific way.
If we drop this ball, the present may lose sight of it, which then means the
future will have to wait for another time, perhaps even another age, to
discover this sublime treasure. Rudolf Steiner's greatest legacy is in our
hands. What are we going to do?
*********************************

The Challenge
American Anthroposophy begins to come to maturity in the situation of a
given place and a given time. The dominant characteristic of this time,
outwardly, is the Incarnation of Ahriman
[A brief introduction to the neophyte: For some it will come as a strange
surprise (perhaps quite off putting) to find this book begin with the
following discussion concerning the present day incarnation of a spiritual
Being of whom they have perhaps never heard anything. Ahriman is
apparently first known to outward history as a figure in Persian religious
32

myths. Rudolf Steiner discussed this Being in great detail, and
represented both human nature and the general structure of the social
world as being threefold in its most universal all-human characteristics.
As represented artistically in Steiner's sculpture: the Representative of
Humanity, we find above was Lucifer, who stood between the human
being and his experience of the divine spiritual worlds. Below was
Ahriman, who stood between the human being and his experience of the
world of the senses. In the Middle, as the balancing gesture, stood Christ
as the Representative of Humanity (what our true higher nature is to
become, as St. Paul had noted: Not I, but Christ in me). This arrangement
should be viewed as something not easy to understand and as something
that needs to be approached carefully and without succumbing to any
temptations to sensationalize or exaggerate the real nature of Mystery of
Evil, the main structural Mystery surrounding humanity in the present.
This much should be recognized. The social world consists of two parts,
the first of which is an outer structural aspect - a Stage Setting, the maya
of nature, history and social-political facts and processes. Here in this
outside structure Ahriman is a main feature. More essential is the
inwardness, what is not visible to the senses. All our outer actions (and
inner actions) have a consequence for our soul and spirit. This inwardness
is not maya, but truth. But to arrive at truth requires a rite of passage.
The governor of this rite of passage is Lucifer. As we progress in inner
development, we come to learn that the real essential aspect is Christ. He
is the predominant feature of the truth of the inner world (Lucifer
commands an inner world of temptation and illusion, while Christ is the
Way, the Truth and the Life - what receives our approach (the Way), in the
middle becomes the means (the Truth) leading us through this rite of
passage to its culmination (the Life).).
As the essay below progresses, certain facts about this structural Mystery
will be illuminated, and other related facts will come forward as the reader
gets deeper into the rest of this book. The neophyte, who wants to go
further into this Mystery - particularly what is called: the opponents, may
want eventually to read Steiner's works on the subject of Lucifer and
Ahriman very carefully.]
Outrageous Genius - Discovering the in-the-Present Incarnation of
Ahriman in America through the Signs of the Times
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first, some necessary preliminary considerations
Honoring the Teacher and the Teaching
"And, just as there was an incarnation of Lucifer in the flesh, and as there
was an incarnation of Christ in the flesh, so will there be, before even a
part of the third post-Christian millennium will have passed, an actual
incarnation of Ahriman in the West: Ahriman in the flesh." [emphasis
added] R.S. lecture, 1 November, 1919
"The thing that will matter, though, will be for people in the age of
Ahriman to know that John William Smith* is only what appears before
them outwardly, and that inwardly Ahriman is there; they must know what
is happening and not succumb to any deception in the drowsiness of their
illusions." [emphasis added] R. S. 28 December 1919 [*a name Steiner
made up]
The first and essential thing to realize is that in thinking about the
Incarnation of the near-god Ahriman, as a human being on the cusp of the
change from the 2nd Millennium to the 3rd, we must not conceive of this
as an incarnation of Evil. What Rudolf Steiner has called the "opponents"
play a necessary and ordained role in the Creation. They are the density
and weight we are to meet and learn to carry (in both the inward heavenly
realm as well as the outward earthly realm), otherwise our own
incarnations would be too easy, and we would never really learn anything.
Macro Evil (the opponents) are different from the Beast from the Abyss, or
collective and conscious micro (human) evil. The tempters and confusers
tempt and confuse, they sow seeds of fear and doubt and judgment and
cynicism, but they do not bring true evil into the social world. We do that
when we give into their urgings, instead of the wise (though challenging
and often difficult) promptings of our own hearts. The more consciously
we choose the dark, the more the Beast from the Abyss has free play in
human social existence. The more we consciously seek and choose the
Good, the more evolution moves forward in a balanced and harmonious
direction.
"...the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should
become increasingly conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly
34

existence." [emphasis added] R.S. Lucifer and Ahriman, lecture II, 2
November 1919.
Some anthroposophists create pictures within their inwardness, in which
they view the opponents as more or less extremely powerful, and thereby
capable of overwhelming humanity (especially in connection with the
hardly spoken of Soradt - the Sun Demon - and the Asuras). Simple logic
refutes such an assumption, for if these Beings had the power some
anthroposophists believe they have, progressive evolution would already
be over. The fact is they are constrained, principally through the office of
the Divine Mother, whose golden realm is found on the other side of the
Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth (the Spheres of the Fallen Hierarchies).
As we more and more become able to do research into the Feminine
Mysteries (something Steiner could only hint at in order not to get caught
up in the web of the Mary Cult of European Catholicism), we will
discover that there is not only a male trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit),
but also a feminine trinity (Mother, Daughter and Holy Soul). Steiner
could only point out to us a few facts about this golden realm, and also the
significance of the return of the Imagination (the Holy Sophia) and as well
the significance of Anthroposophia. Some of the best present-day
research on the Divine Mother can be found in Tomberg's Meditations on
the Tarot, in the 11th Arcanum: Force. It is through Hell to the realm of
the Holy Mother (the Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth) that Christ
descended on the Saturday following His crucifixion, whereby he obtained
the forces necessary for resurrection. [See Proverbs viii, 22-30 for some
hints.]
More detail will be developed on this problem in my essay below: The
Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil: the relationship of the Shadow (the
three-fold double-complex) to the American Soul, wherein knowledge of
the Shadow obtained after 35 years of introspection will be described.
This much can be said presently: Ahriman and Lucifer enter directly into
human affairs through us - through our giving into the Shadow, the threefold double-complex. We are the gate by which the effects of the
opponents enter the world social order. In a like fashion, it is also only
through us that Christ (and the Divine Mother - but that is, as noted above,
a whole other theme) can directly enter into the social order.* The Fifth
Cultural Epoch (the Age of the Consciousness Soul) is the era in which
greater and greater aspects for the responsibility for earthly social affairs
falls to human beings.
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*[Obviously, both Christ and the Divine Mother appear sometimes to
make a physical contact with individuals in various forms. This is one of
the means through which they influence a particular time, but still this is
always done with great respect for human freedom, and still keeps to the
same rule: the influence enters the social world through us. The recipient
of such effects is not made into a passive tool in any sense of that word.]
Ahriman in reality is a gift to humanity, a two-edged gift to be sure, but a
real treasure. His very onesidedness teaches us, and this is teaching we
need to face squarely, for it not only teaches us about ourselves, but also
about an essential aspect of the real nature of the Creation. We all contain
within our souls the ahrimanic potential, the possibility to be calculatingly
cold and heartless, and if we are as brutally self honest as our conscience
would encourage, we have all made and will make judgments that have
such a quality - that are, from a human perspective, callous and
indifferent.
Do we not walk through the world turning a blind eye away from all
manner of suffering and pain, fully aware that we do this in order to
preserve our self interest, our comfort and our far easier lives?
To fill out this picture, think on Nature. In tooth and claw, in flood and
earthquake, in all that seems as powers of death and radical sudden
change, we see in the processes of Nature what appears as an absence of
either compassion or love. The Natural World (as against the Social
World*) is a world of profound and complicated laws, which seem in their
results to have not at all the same consciousness that one human being
might bear, out of compassion and love, toward another. In this
indifferent power of Nature and nature's lawfulness, lives Ahriman as he
manifests as an aspect of the sense world.
*[From another point of view this distinction, separating the mineral, plant
and animal kingdoms from the human kingdom, does not work. But we
have different purposes here, if the reader will accept that reality (as
Steiner himself pointed out) is frequently paradoxical. Our bodies are of
this Nature, but our Spirit, in its freedom, stands outside those rules. See
Owen Barfield's remarkable book Worlds Apart to explore some of the
logical problems here in a deeper way.]
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Yes, Nature (as meant here) contains beauty - it is a divine work of art, but
in its processes and laws it is basically finished, fixed and complete. It is
essentially done. That human beings may in the future have the possibility
of lifting Nature up out of this fixed and finished condition is a whole
other story. That Anthroposophy can yet teach humanity mysteries of
Nature unimagined by today's mankind is a necessary step in laying the
groundwork for this lifting up. Humanity must learn to truly see, and it is
a mission of Anthroposophy to enable this seeing. All the same, Nature is
Created (past tense), in which the last act was the arising of thought.
"Thought is the last member of a series of processes by which Nature is
formed" [emphasis added] R.S. A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in
Goethe's World Conception. This is why the path of Anthroposophy is a
path of cognition. To see the real secrets of Nature requires the
metamorphosis of thinking, a task not as well advanced as it should be in
anthroposophical culture (more later). What we haven't truly understood
in practice, we cannot teach.
Our social-political world has almost completely emancipated itself from
Nature. As we more and more developed, we more and more separated
away from Nature, so that today the Social World is a world essentially all
of its own, in which callous indifference and compassion and love operate
along side each other. The Social World has out of instinct come to sit
astride the Natural World, using it for our egoistic benefit. We can now
choose whether to continue that course, whether to continue to embody
dominion over or to transform and metamorphose that into communion
with (see my book the Way of the Fool). We can go to sleep and let raw
animality (callous indifference and appetite) rule us (instead of us ruling
it), or we can wake up.
Ahriman in entering into our world confronts other powers than those
which would be normal to his realm - his usual place in the Creation. As a
human being he now enters this world of choice, a world not of essentially
fixed processes and laws.
Part of what bothers us, and will bother us about this Cosmic Being, now
to be seen as a human individual, is not how much he has done that we see
as wrong, but how much he is just like a certain part of us. For example,
many people have and will in the future like and admire this individual.
Even so, as a human being, to the extent that he does evil, he does it as a
37

human being. Elements of his cosmic powers are restrained by being
incarnated, just as are ours.
In addition, recall that Rudolf Steiner explained how our antipathy to
another really acquires its strength and passion from the fact that we semiconsciously know just how much we ourselves are like that which we
observe in others as failings. Ahriman incarnate is a mirror to a common
human failing, a failing to which everyone living today in the world is
prone. If we want to avoid this, we must strive to know the true nature of
our heart, and at the higher levels of inner development, think our way to
an experience of the Ethereal Christ. This requires us to work properly
and consciously at soul metamorphosis, and not just whine and complain
about how awful the world is, and about how much everyone but us is
wrong, evil and dumb.
It is also important to realize that Ahriman incarnates in a specific place
and time in order to accomplish something as a more or less ordinary
human being (with extraordinary intelligence - one-sided spirit-thinking)
he can only achieve at this specific place and time. Outside the social
world of incarnate human beings, the cosmic power Ahriman can only do
certain limited things, and these mostly indirectly through our Shadow
(the three-fold double-complex). Inside the Social World, when with us as
a human being, he can do directly things he was unable to do before.
All the same, to act directly on the world, as a member of the social order,
he must still surrender some of his capacities - some of his genius, that is
operate as a extremely gifted human being, not as a nearly divine power
incarnate (what in ancient times might have been called an avatar).
In this, Ahriman's teaching is harsh - it is not for wimps, and his influence
on our social existence is necessarily profound, regardless of how dark we
may be tempted to seek to portray it. A cosmic power is on the earth
living as a human being, and this is a power that can only be called
Outrageous Genius.
Ahriman also belongs to America (the true West), in the same way Lucifer
belonged to the East and Christ to the Center. American anthroposophists
need to recognize that he is ours. Our materialistic society, mostly of our
own making through our choices in terms of comfort and appetites, is
ahrimanic because we opened the door to his influence and have benefited
38

from it. For example, we have computers and all that goes with this
electronic world, because of him. The genius of cold heartless calculation
provides many gifts, and we have had to become awash in it - buried up to
our necks in it - so that we will soon be forced to decide whether or not we
really want it to rule us, or us to rule it.
Our task then in coming to knowledge of this power is to recognize a part
of ourselves in its nature, and to also understand how fine and exact is the
shape this power seeks to give to our social life. This shape, crafted by
outrageous genius, can tell us a great deal. In so doing it reveals to us, we
who would foster the good - that is we who would be balanced instead of
so extremely one-sided - just what we need to do and how we need to act
in the social world to bring into that world just the healing that is needed.
Ahriman would overbalance the world in a certain direction, and it will be
up to that portion of humanity, willing to be awake to him consciously, or
instinctively, to strive to restore this balance.
In a peculiar sense, he also points directly at the true Second Coming, as
began in its initial ethereal world dynamics in the years 1933 to 1945, by
pointing so strongly away from it. He (Ahriman) comes to distract us, to
move us away from our true heart, and this is his temptation - to cause us
to loose ourselves in the world of the senses, and never look within at the
own soul and discover what lies there, for as Christ told us in Luke: "the
kingdom of heaven is within you". Ahriman would have us be so
absorbed in the Stage Setting, that we never notice that the real battlefield
is within - that is: It is within this inner battlefield of soul that we as
individuals act most powerfully as creative authors in the Play.
Yet, by this very distraction and its strength, he points the other way. He
speaks into our lives and says to us: go here, for you will like it, for all
your lower impulses will find there their satisfaction. He wants to pull us
down into too much self-gratifying gravitas. Even the excess of
seriousness in anthroposophical circles tends to have this ahrimanic
character. We have to engender the counter-levity out of our selves. We
have to overcome the cold-hearted and calculating materializing lower
senses tendency in our soul that otherwise remains sub-conscious, and
replace that with the ethereal forces of consciously moralized thought.
Only our wills can do this, and we have incarnated just in this time
precisely to learn this lesson and to accomplish this task, which Rudolf
Steiner has called: the unfolding of the Consciousness Soul.
39

Moreover, if we learn to perceive the real dynamics of social existence
correctly, we will see that already, in spite of Ahriman's incarnate
activities, we have been instinctively engaged in much that is already
transforming the worst that he would accomplish were we not to learn to
understand his teaching. We are learning even now from this teaching
how to make its countering healing gesture. Everywhere there is a
waking up, and now it is time for Anthroposophy to step forward and find
a way to serve the world's hunger to wake up all the way. However, first
we need to rouse ourselves by facing the mirrored shadow of our worst
qualities as these manifest not just in American and World Culture, but
more importantly, as an absolutely necessary crucial first step, in
American (and world-wide) Anthroposophical Culture.
Were we simply to look at the outer culture, without first looking inwardly
and squarely at ourselves, we will fail utterly. We must meet the Shadow
in ourselves or we will be nothing but the hypocrites to which Christ
referred when he said in Matthew 23: 25-28:
"Woe to you canon-lawyers and Pharisees, you fakes, for cleaning off the
rim of your cup and saucer while on the inside you're bursting with greed
and wild appetites. Blind Pharisee, wash out the inside of the cup and
saucer first, if you want the outside to end up clean! Woe to you canonlawyers and Pharisees, you fakes, for being like dusty monuments that
look pretty on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of corpses
and all kinds of rot. You likewise from the outside appear to the world to
be decent, but inside you're full of hypocrisy and ways around the law".
It is the thesis of this essay then that Ahriman incarnated in the West in the
latter part of the 20th Century, and that his activity as an incarnated human
being can be found in various phenomena of social existence. He
leaves/left a trail, as it were, in events that mark his passage, and this
paper means to discover that trail, and mark that passage, so that we know
who he is/was and what he did, and can then begin to counter-balance this
influence. Not erase it, or eliminate it, but consciously counter-balance it.
Moreover, we must start to look also at its examples that are nearest at
hand in our Society and Movement (a great deal in the collection of essays
that follows does this). We look outwardly to understand it, and then
inwardly to correct it; for we have nothing to teach anyone about this if we
40

have not first understood it, and mastered it within ourselves and within
our own circles.
Anthroposophists are faced in this trial - of coming awake to Ahriman's
Incarnation - by the problem of the mote and the beam on a very large
scale (See Matthew: Chapters 5-7).
Those wanting to consider more details, as regards the indications of
Rudolf Steiner, are encouraged to read and ponder the essay in the
appendix to the book: The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New
Millennium, which appendix was called: When did Rudolf Steiner Expect
the Incarnation of Ahriman? by Hans-Peter van Manen. This is, of
course, in addition to the obvious books Steiner wrote specifically on
Lucifer and Ahriman.
In order to fully appreciate this incarnation of a near-god, we have to have
a proper inner picture of modern existence - to learn to perceive that Earth
Events also have Cosmic Meaning. What can seem to some, to be merely
historical confusion and social evil, has to be perceived by the
anthroposophical living picture thinking as Divine Drama, in which
certain unusual Actors enter Stage Left, cross the Stage, and leaving
behind their Effects exit Stage Right. I use the term Actors, because
Ahriman does not incarnate alone - many others are drawn to this place
and time precisely because of the unique characteristics Ahriman has
stamped upon it.
We also need to ask good questions about where to look. Do we look in
the Cultural Sphere that is: Religion, Art or Science, or in the Economic
Sphere (Production, Distribution and Consumption), or in the Life of
Rights (State, Media, People)? Where would Ahriman work?
I am going to suggest the Life of Rights, because if we read Steiner's The
Inner Aspect of the Social Question, we will come upon the
understanding that while the Cultural Sphere and the Economic Sphere
have spiritual world counterparts, the Life of Rights is completely Earthly.
It is our Earthly existence to which Ahriman wishes to bind us (while
Lucifer would take us to a world of unearthly and illusory spirit).
Nonetheless, nothing here should be taken to confine the reader to coming
to a different understanding.
41

Why the Life of Rights?
Humanity now possesses considerable freedom with respect to the
happenings in the human social life of the Earth, as well as with regard to
our relationship to the natural world. We can build bombs that we believe
make a small sun of death inside a city. We can alter biological life in
ways we can't predict out of an almost cultivated arrogant ignorance
(callous indifference). We can consciously spread horrible diseases,
perhaps killing all human life, all animal life, all plant life.
We can also control the economy by the hidden secret levers behind the
issuance and management of currencies, and then using the power that this
concentrated wealth can buy, the holders of these hidden levers subvert
politicians and media outlets so as to hold great temporal power in a few
hands, which hands cannot be challenged or often even named. A secret
cabal tries to rule mankind, and seems to direct through money (stones
into bread) most of the scientific research of our great industries. All this
inside a world view dominated by ideas and concepts that make little or no
room for the reality of Spirit. All to what end?
At this climatic point in world history, one Nation State is behaving as if it
is the main center of political, economic and technological power - the
United States of America. The entire social and natural spheres of earth
existence are spread out before this power like live prey waiting to be
devoured (Americans literally consume far far more than a fair share of
the world's wealth). Since the United States Government is a nexus of
these powers, those who seek to rule from out of the economic and
financial circles still must work through the Life of Rights.
If then someone were to be inside this nexus of power conduits, they
would be able to sit astride all those flowing streams of power running
from the economic, and the cultural (as in that which is controlled by
corporations - television and movies etc. and also the dangerous oversight
of the State in education) in and through the Life of Rights - the middle
Sphere of the emerging Threefold Social Organism.
Recognize also that of the threefold nature of the Life of Rights (State,
Media, People - see my essay Waking the Sleeping Giant: the Mission of
Anthroposophy in America http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/wkslg.html), these
streams of power are currently dominated by the State alone.
42

We could place then Ahriman's human incarnation right inside the current
Bush II Administration and not be far off the mark in our efforts to see if
some kind of heartless calculating force is/was radiating from there
outwards into the political life of the United States, tilting it and the world
in certain directions. We should also expect that Ahriman will not
incarnate alone, but will bring with him (or along side him) those who
have some karma to work out with respect to such Genius. His cold
calculating genius does not need to be perceived as just localized in him,
but needs to be seen as distributed - as spread out among many many
individualities around or near him (and also throughout the world).
We also need to recognize that there will be those intimately within these
circles (although more will be outside), who oppose him and these
tendencies. Christ is the Lord of Karma, and through His Art as the
arranger of the relationships of all human biographies, He has allowed in
the circles around Ahriman not merely his closest allies, but also those
who have the remarkable strength needed to thwart much that he would
otherwise like to achieve. Michaelic warriors will be right next to those
who have chosen to be the Dragon's earthly spawn.
Moreover, Ahriman has no need to hold directly any reins of temporal
power, for the use of such power is not his genius. His genius is to see
how number relationships can be gripped and thus give an excessive
strength of fixed-like order to the normal living and fluid nature of social
existence. He knows better than anyone, human or divine, what power
lives in number, and earthly temporal power has no attraction to him at all.
second, a presentation of the relevant context in the form of a
contemplation on the social organism
The Wise Earth* as Counter-force to Ahriman's Incarnation
*c.f. Paul Hawken's http://wiseearth.org/
We need now to revisit the above themes, but from an even higher and
more picture-like level. It is important for the reader to realize that our
conventional conceptual frame of reference as regards political-social
themes, in particular the Life of Rights, does not adequately take account
of the related spiritual reality. To speak or think of the political-social
using the same terminology as conventional media is to "materialize" our
43

mental pictures, concepts and ideas. In this next section I will endeavor to
help the reader overcome these habits of mind.
First, we should step back a little, and see if we can see earthly events in
the more mythic or imaginative form. Events in the social organism are
also a story, or perhaps better said a Cosmic Tale as it were. Just like
nature speaks in its appearances, so does the logos nature of Christ speak
into social events, which He artistically arranges through His role as Lord
of Karma (see my essays below: The Meaning of Earth Existence in the
Age of the Consciousness Soul; and, The Methodology Necessary for a
New Social Science).
Picture the surface of the Earth sphere, that narrow spherical physical band
in which unfolds all the visible phenomena of human lives and cultures.
Literally, dear reader, consciously form this picture of a huge spherical
band, perhaps only twenty miles in height, that at its upper limits is airless
space (beyond which we cannot breath), and at its lower limit solid near
impenetrable rock. Six billion plus people spread over the surface of the
Earth, all held dear by the Divine Mystery. Waves of change move
through this sphere of social existence, which in the 20th Century became
truly global economically, at the same time it became more self-aware
globally (via the Internet). In fact, if we think away the mental pictures we
have of this world that are derived from the senses, and begin to substitute
more imaginative, more fluid and dynamic pictures of the social world as
the interplay of downward and upward flowing will forces of Cosmic
Beings, in which the human being moves through fields* of thinking,
feeling and willing born in the hierarchies, we will come closer to the
truth. The apparently material earth sphere, in which the social world
seems to have emancipated itself from Nature, is in fact a nexus of
dynamic and inter penetrating cosmic spiritual activity. Rudolf Steiner
gave us a very necessary picture of this activity, when he said that "man
was the religion of the Gods". There is a reason so much activity is
directed from the Cosmic Spiritual Heights and from the Earthly Spiritual
Depths, at this in between center - at this narrow material-like spherical
band where human beings unfold their biographies. The Hierarchies
conceive of us as their religion, because inside us, in the i-AM that is the
human spirit, exists something that can't be found anywhere else. Rudolf
Steiner wrote of this in his youth, in A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in
Goethe's World Conception:
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"Man is not behaving in accordance with the purposes of the Guiding
Power of the world when he investigates one or another of His
commandments, but when he behaves in accordance with his own insight.
For in him the Guiding Power of the world manifests Himself. He does
not live as Will somewhere outside of man; He has renounced his own will
in order that all might depend upon the will of man." [emphasis added]
*[See the lessons of the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science.]
We are the father and mother of all human action.
Within the consciousness of these many billions of human beings, whose
true mystery we are hardly ready to acknowledge, exists struggles, which
we call in general the Evolution of Consciousness. In the current phase of
this evolution, which we call the time of the Consciousness Soul, the I
seeks to awake in the encounter with other I's. Within the soul, moral
challenges appear out of these encounters, as each biography confronts its
necessary karma and destiny. First, as if radiating outward in waves from
the Western Democracies (where individualism is most fully developing),
while at the same time appearing homeopathically in smaller communities
world-wide, the Consciousness Soul begins its unfolding. From out of the
totality of the invisible inner world of humanity the I faces both outer and
inner challenges (for the most part lost from the insight of our thinking in
an inner darkness of coagulated concepts, such as rigid and arid religious
beliefs, or a spiritless materialistic natural science, or even to the
Anthroposophical Society and Movement via the intellectualization during
the 20th Century of the Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence).
Meanwhile, unknown to most, the Christ works in between. He is able to
work in between because having arranged our karma - our integrated and
finely interrelated biographies - to the extent that our social relationships
are informed with moral qualities (even the most tentative impulses of the
heart), these moral acts in the Epoch of the Consciousness Soul also
amount to an encounter with the Eternal. In that we seek the Good, and
draw even a weak tea intuition of it into our social relationships, Christ
can be present precisely because of that qualitative vertical inner gesture
we make in our souls in order to seek knowledge of the Good in the
dramas of the moral challenges in modern life. (For every one step in
spiritual development, we must take three steps in character - moral development)
45

In the outer stage setting, which we believe we know through our
materialized conceptions of present world history, itself a kind of polar
opposite to the inner world of spiritual awakening and moral challenge,
gestures of change seek to warp the slowly unfolding threefold social
organism to their own uses and needs. A Dark Prince of the World seeks
to dominate the Stage, while the Lord (Artist) of Karma weaves the
biographies into a musical-like harmony of inner conscious spirit
evolution. The I, under the influence of Christ, tends to become We.
While we, under the influence of Ahriman, are pushed to remain only I.
[The Rastafarians - a mostly now Jamaica based religious impulse - speaks
interesting enough of the idea of I 'n I - we - as something different from
the idea of I and you. The idea of I and you comes from the devil,
according to their instinctive wisdom, while the truth is that we are both I's
- that is we are the same, "I 'n I".]
Ahriman divides communities into smaller and smaller groups, ultimately
to become isolated I's. Christ unifies I's into communities through His in
between support of the healing resolution of our karmic moral challenges.
Let us look for a moment closer at the threefolding of the social organism
of the world social order.
Many in anthroposophical circles will tend to believe threefolding is
something we have to create and is not the present condition of the social
world. This is partially true, but at the same time we need to recognize
that the dynamics of social life have been active in the history of
civilizations for thousands of years, and the slow evolution of the social
organism has been set on a progressive course for a long time. For
example, in the third cultural age the Cultural Sphere (the ancient
Mysteries) ruled the social order. In the fourth cultural age, a Rights
Sphere impulse was added at the foundations of Greek and Roman
civilization in the idea of the State on the one hand and of the Citizen on
the other. As the fifth cultural age emerged from the fourth, the rights life
itself threefolded (State, Media, People - or citizen), just as the cultural life
had already threefolded into Science, Art, and Religion. At the same time
that the on-looker consciousness appears (as did the deepest aspects of the
Ahrimanic Deception, namely materialism in all its virtues and defects), so
began the birth time of the economic life, which now struggles to
46

differentiate into an inner threefolding of producers, distributors and
consumers.
Clearly we live in a time when the concept of the threefold social
organism had barely begun to be present and was at the same time never
more needed. Threefolding manifests itself instinctively, but if we are to
properly birth it in a healthy social way, we have to know the Idea of it
consciously. as well as choose to embrace it consciously. Here again is a
teaching task which anthroposophists may fail entirely to bring into our
shared social life.
With Ahriman's incarnation, powerful dividing forces entered into the
nature of the Stage Setting - the stream of historical events and its
structurally embryonic threefold relationships. America (as a political
power ruled by an essentially unelected elite) under this influence isolated
itself on the world Stage, taking the attitude that it could stand alone
(Ahriman's attitude). Within America, groups were set against groups,
communities against communities. Hate and mistrust was fostered, for to
some at least this was seen as an advantage. This we know from the
News, but other impulses were simultaneously at work.
At the same time that this isolating gesture pushed against the instincts of
the human spirit for community, the instinctively developing
consciousness soul produced its counter-gesture. People did not really
want separation, and felt in their hearts the social poverty of this tendency.
As this situation ripened, it brought with it a certain developments in
technology, which also contained both potentials - one for isolation and
one for community building. This was woven into the the whole world's
social fabric - a means of connecting across previously disconnecting
boundaries. Someone in China could now meet and work with someone
in Sweden, instantly in the moment.
Out of the earth, human intelligence, guided in part by Ahriman's genius,
raised up from the world of metallic substances a network, perhaps a
spider web of inter-connectivity. A great power oozed out of its previous
sub-natural condition and took on form in metal and plastic, spreading its
arms all over the world.
Yet, Ahriman was not the only inspiring genius, and other impulses from
human beings took hold of this transformation of substance and sub-nature
47

and gave it higher potential uses. It was after all capable of being only a
tool, and the real meaning of this tool was in the hands and hearts of those
who created how to set it to work.
One kind of work was the turning of human beings into number.
Everything that could be counted was being counted and every fact that
could be converted to data was being converted. Human beings became
capable of being known as mere cyphers. As a result, when Ahriman
incarnated, he could take hold of this number meaning of human beings
and use that tool to create a top down driven political power machine,
filled with the callousness of cold calculation exactly in the center of the
social organism: the Life of Rights.
A kind of social heart attack was created in the instinctive relationship of
Americans for the Consciousness Soul (English speakers are instinctively
in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights - R.S. The Challenge of
the Times). Just when the most egregious terrorist attack of modern times
shattered the world's divisions and united them in a shared sense of loss
and tragedy (remember the Towers were centers of international financial
activity), the political power elite of America turned away from this warmhearted world-wide joining, and used this situation in the most callous and
calculated fashion. Centered in the most powerful Nation State in the
history of humanity, this heartless thinking flowed outward as a political
foreign policy out over the world, encouraging division and in the lie of all
lies, everywhere (domestically and internationally) suppressing freedom in
the name of freedom.
But, again as we have already seen, Ahriman had not incarnated with only
his minions as companions. Michaelic warriors, some very aware but
most only instinctive, entered into incarnation as well. At their insistence
and from their genius, the tool of metal, plastic and sub-natural forces was
put to other uses. Reacting, the Consciousness Soul took on a world-wide
social form in thousands upon thousands of new kinds of communities of
association, something it had been slowly preparing to do for a long time.
Civil Society was born, and the tool - the Internet - was placed in the
service of heart-warmed thoughts. In so doing we need to emphasize that
this Sphere of heart-centered activity (the Wise Earth) tended to arise on
the Internet as individual expressions of community service. The I's
sought out other I's and many kinds of We's were born.
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The same tool Ahriman used to create a social machine for the
manipulation of political power in America, was used by others to create a
living organism of communities world-wide in scope, while at the same
time concentrated in America and active on all political fronts. Above, in
the top of a now decadent elite political hierarchy, Ahriman worked, while
below, spread out across the social commons, the Consciousness Soul the Wise Earth - spoke back.
In the Wise Earth impulse all manner of spiritual voices are heard. The
excesses of the Ahrimanically driven assault via the Life of Rights on
social order and individual freedom has become so plain and so obvious,
that communities of opposition are everywhere being formed. As a prime
incarnate opponent, Ahriman does his duty, driving individuals toward the
necessary moral dilemmas and challenges. You could say that one of the
aspects of the Ahrimanic Incarnation is a kind of heating up of social
chaos - an inflaming of disorder. This engenders in morally awake human
hearts the will to do battle. The dragon forces circle social life
everywhere, and the knights of Michael, themselves no doubt students of
the spiritual world Michael School before incarnation, take up their earthly
social tasks. (see the book Blessed Unrest, at:
http://www.blessedunrest.com/)
Ahriman's teaching is harsh, and the I must stand up within itself and in
relationship with others, or succumb to soul failures it would otherwise be
unwilling to tolerate in what we call: good conscience. Inwardly, in the
deepest aspects of the soul, invisible to outer sense experience, the
presence of Christ in the Ethereal (the realm of human thought) is met
with a hunger to know the Good on the part of the I. This moral need for
knowledge of the Good (in order to know what is right to do in the face of
challenges forced upon humanity by Ahriman's intensification of the heat
and pace of social crisis) - this moral need instinctively hungers for the
Eternal, the experience of the Consciousness Soul. There, inside the soul,
this hunger for knowledge of the Good, coming in the time of the Second
Coming, leads to a Second Eucharist - a communion of the I with the
Being of the Good (for details see the next essay: The Meaning of Earth
Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul).
What an amazing teacher and teaching is this Outrageous Genius, we
know as Ahriman, forcing us to awake to the Good by driving into the
Center Stage of social existence, in the principle nation state in the world,
49

obviously powerful impulses of callous and calculated indifference to
human suffering and need.
third, an entry more into the material, in the sense
of ordinary political and social language
Brother What Ails Thee ?
In the following discussion it is very important to keep in mind that we are
now mostly using a quite materialized way of speaking and writing about
something whose true essence remains entirely spiritual in its most
significant meaning.
Such a personality as Ahriman incarnate, in my view, can be found just
here then in the American Life of Rights (working from there upon the
whole world), for after all these preliminaries we must begin to name him.
The question for us, however, is: Will we recognize this "human" being as
a brother?
Karl Christian Rove (birth name), was born December 25th 1950. Karl's
biological father abandoned him early on, his adoptive father left home
when Karl was 18, and it later became known that this second father was a
homosexual. His mother committed suicide when he was 30. Karl
described himself in high school this way: "I was the complete nerd. I had
the briefcase. I had the pocket protector. I wore Hush Puppies when they
were not cool. I was the thin, scrawny little guy. I was definitely uncool"
[facts and quote from Wikipedia].
[There will be a few quotes below about Rove-Ahriman (hundreds could
easily be provided). The reader should realize that Rove has had such a
strong influence (which Outrageous Genius certainly would) that while
Google only shows 630,000 entries for him and about 8 million for
George W. Bush (and 1.5 million for Dick Cheney), all that is said about
Rove recognizes that his influence from behind the scenes is the real
dominant feature of the Bush II Administration. He is the riddle and
puzzle that many have commented on seeking to penetrate his real nature
and activity in order to understand the policies of the Bush II White
House. His hand prints are everywhere, and no historical political figure
has ever inspired such interest, both positive and negative.
50

We could also keep in mind this idea from Rudolf Steiner. In the lectures
published under the title The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness, he presents
the following for our understanding. Just like what happened after the
mid-point of the various ages of Atlantis, we in this the Post-Atlantean
Epoch are past the mid-point as well. Spiritual capacities and impulses
that are up-building and progressive in the first half of an Epoch become
in the second half forces of degeneration. Decay sets in and the course the
Evolution of Consciousness takes must be unfolded in the context of this
decay. In addition, with the Battle in Heaven between Michael and the
Dragon, which Michael had won by 1879, the Spirits of Darkness were
pushed down into the realm of the Earth.
These spirits have to be recognized as being everywhere, in particular
working with the dead and with the various occult brotherhoods. So when
we recognize in social phenomena the prevalence of human evil, we have
to see that the tendency for this immorality to dominate social existence
cannot be avoided. In fact, our ability to properly work with the times,
requires we not be asleep and have fantastic visions of unrestrained
potentials for utopias. Our thinking has to root itself in reality, and social
reality cannot in our Age be forced into an illusion of some kind of
universal domain of freedom and happiness. These facts then all the more
call to us, who receive Spiritual Science, to develop our own soul life so
that we will be able to find the down to earth healing social ideas that can
actually be brought into incarnation.]
Now we must tell a more detailed story of certain changes in social life
that have come at the same time as this incarnation entered deeper and
deeper into a core aspect of the Life of Rights in America. Let us begin by
considering certain changes in law and other governmental emphasis that
have accompanied the 7 plus years so far of the Bush II administration (at
the time of writing these paragraphs). While doing this we need to keep in
mind how crucial is this moment in the Evolution of Consciousness. A
great deal is being decided by individual human beings just now, and we
cannot blind ourselves by assuming that the struggles for the future of
America, and as a consequence the whole World, are simply passing and
insignificant moments in history. These events are profound in the deepest
sense of that concept.
Not only that, we, living today, are in the middle of them. It is no accident
we too have incarnated in the Time that Ahriman is to be discovered as
51

our most significant outer-world teacher. What Ahriman could not do,
while excarnate through the Shadow - the three-fold double-complex, he
could now do as a human being having incarnated just in this time into the
heart-center of human social life: the Life of Rights, and giving birth there
not to heart-warmed thoughts, but rather the most cold and calculated
conceptions possible.
Over the course of activity of this Administration, several structural
changes have occurred, which changes by the way are not just confined to
the time of the Administration, but were authored further in the past, and
then matured and polished off in the time since the 2000 election, the
election, remember, at the cusp of the New Millennium. Let us list a few
of those.
The Executive Branch, mostly through the exercise of raw power has been
able to achieve a certain freedom from restraint by the other two Branches
(the Legislative Branch and the Judicial Branch). This breaking down of
the threefold balance of the U.S. Constitution gives to the will force, of
those addicted to power, extraordinary latitude in its conduct (this is how
we must see Cheney and Bush, as addicts to the most addictive temptation
of all - earthly power). This executive power has become so freed of any
restraint that it neither must feel (the significance of the Legislative
Branch - the People's House) nor be wise (the import of the Supreme
Court). The American Government, during Rove's strongest period of
influence, had no wise head, nor any open heart. Nor would it do to see
this as a reflection of just the Republican Party. The Ahrimanic confusion
and the influence of the Spirits of Darkness is everywhere, and we have
now mostly raw will forces owning the Executive Branch of the dominant
Nation State on the Earth, which from there radiates out into the whole
world social organism heartless cold and calculating thought and will.
The Bush II administration's definition of the meaning of the War on
Terror has taken hold of the political consciousness of both major
American political parties. No major candidate currently running for
President wants to appear weak in the War on Terror (a complete illusion
by the way, once critically examined as is being done out of the social
commons by the Wise Earth appearance of Civil Society).
Thus also has torture become officially permitted in the conduct of selfinterest by the U.S. government (using the identical language of the Third
52

Reich in its justifications for torture). Included in this are the powers to
remove any claim of citizenship of a natural or naturalized Citizen.
Anyone anywhere in the world (including Americans in America) can be
kidnapped and taken anywhere anytime to places of prison and torture
(extraordinary rendition). To call these Imperial Powers, akin to that of
Rome at its most decadent, is to severely understate the case, for the
United States has far greater powers than ever Rome could dream of.
There is a quote, falsely attributed to Alexis de Tocqueville: America is
great because she is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, she will
cease to be great. While it turns out the great French thinker never wrote
this, the fact that it is constantly quoted in public life suggests that it
nevertheless has deep meaning for Americans.
Civil liberties, once taken for granted in the United States have been
neatly and nearly castrated. Since there is nothing to require the
government to admit to even possessing the body of a single human being
(habeas corpus exists as a rule, but is consciously ignored and obstructed
by the Bush II administration at every turn), we have no idea how many
have disappeared into the hidden bowels of this out of control will. This is
all the more problematic if we recognize that to a certain extent America is
very much a cradle for future spiritual development, so that the unopposed
emasculation of major components of the Life of Rights in America is a
significant victory for Ahriman.
The power radiating out from the imbalance in the State (the out of control
Executive Branch), has been joined by an ahrimanic corporate control of
the Media (the heart of the heart of the social organism). Thus it has come
about that the threefold social organism's inner core (the Life of Rights),
itself is out of balance such that (or so it appears) that the polar opposite to
the State - the People - is completely dominated through so much fear and
hopelessness, that many of the People have come to believe themselves to
be completely powerless.
"He [Rove] could carve up constituencies with the best of them, and divide
the country as easily as columns on a spreadsheet -- and with no more
thought" diarist "Hunter" DailyKos Aug.2007.
Yet, here is where the counter-pole begins to appear, for recall that Rudolf
Steiner spoke in a lecture collected in The Challenge of the Times:
53

English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life
of Rights. Ahriman's incarnation arouses the Consciousness Soul to
action. Rove, by pushing forward the callous and indifferent to
consequences unconscious will forces of Cheney and Bush II (and others),
stimulates in those who strive to follow their political conscience the
opposite reaction.
This administration has made of the lie an art never dreamed of even in the
time of National Socialism (see Steiner's The Karma of Untruthfulness).
They have lied so successfully that large portions of the People of
America have bought elements of it for years, and still buy into it (polls
still show that large numbers believe Iraq was connected to 9/11).
Granted the culture of the lie is everywhere, from daily advertising to
individual human biographies, nevertheless the callous, calculated and
repeated nature of these lies offered by a United States government is
staggering. The only matter more staggering is how much they have
managed to simultaneously hide from view.
The art of secrecy is equally adept in this government. No one knows
what it is doing, and so clever has been the manner of this hiding, that it is
carefully layered such that even if you think you have caught them out,
they have a backup plan - lies within lies, as it were. As time has gone on,
and various members of the administration became more publicly
vulnerable, they have easily blocked every effort to have them removed
from office (Rumsfeld and then Gonzales, for example), until it was time
to cut them loose and then install an even better buffer in between public
interest and the truth. For example, nearly every military general officer
who would not spin and lie about Iraq has been systematically removed
until all that is mostly left in positions of power are career military general
officers who are themselves essentially politicians and sycophants.
The pure outrageous nature of the nerve of this administration is
extraordinary. They lie, and then they act, and then even when caught
out, continue to lie and lie. Holding powers stolen from the other
Branches (and to which these Branches acquiesce) there is no motive to
come clean in any fashion, for almost no human heart forces are really
present in this home in which Ahriman created for himself and his priests
to incarnate.

54

"That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're
an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while
you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again,
creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how
things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be
left to just study what we do" Senior white house official, assumed by
everyone to have been Karl Rove, summer 2002. [An earthly socialpolitical act comparable to materialism - a kind of political-social
Ahrimanic Deception.]
"The great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as if they
were realities" Machiavelli
At the locus of this center of power of Earthly streaming forces, he has
come to rest, with his aides, in order to imprint with his nature, the most
earthly aspect of the potential and unfolding threefold social organism: the
Life of Rights.
One of Ahriman's qualities is hardening. He desires that things become
fixed, immobile.
This means that one Party in the United States strives to achieve
continuous dominance. Not only was a world dominating power to radiate
from the United States as a center, but it was to have within itself a loss of
what had been an otherwise self-correcting fluidity - that more than one
Party would hold power, which would mean that no longer could any
Ahrimanic excess of the Right be balanced out through the pendulum
swing by any Luciferic excess of the Left . So it was desired that this
swing of the balance be stopped for a while, especially at a particular
Moment in Time; AND, if this unbalancing gesture was to take into itself
an also rigid and arid religious impulse, then the knowledge of the social
effects of Christ's True Second Coming could be hidden, if not completely
blocked for centuries, in that the otherwise good effects on the social
world of humanity, this Second Golgotha offered, were obscured and
interfered with.
Consider: Already, the Anthroposophical Movement and Society had been
eviscerated from within, and led in its centers into great confusion (any
honest rendering of our history in the 20th Century shows this - for details
see the essays below), so that basically unopposed and unknown Ahriman
55

could now undertake the task to boldly assert temporal powers as an
obstacle to spiritual inspiration [for example, the New Freedom Act which
enables the government to test all for mental illness and require medicine
to be given to those who fail this examination]. In addition, granting
political power to an arid and rigid religious cult, calling itself Christian,
could do much to convince the world that Christ and Christianity had
nothing to offer. So drawing this already decadent religious impulse
deeper into politics does a great deal which is far more than just to secure
votes at a crucial moment, for whatever the outer world press sees of the
effects of this genius that radiates out of the White House, you can bet this
outer world press is completely clueless to what is truly at stake.
The ahrimanic Christianity of the Religious Right hates all that it judges
(all beam and no mote), and speaks into world culture in such a way that
more and more the world is pushed to hate such Christianity back. What
better way to turn minds away from the true Second Coming, than to raise
up a such a false and foolish alternative, that seemingly* rational people
cannot but think of the idea of Christ and the Second Coming as some
kind of insanity. How do we bring into such a world, a true appreciation
of Christ's Second Coming, and the related Second Eucharist, when
ahrimanic Christianity has gained such temporal power in the Bush II
administration to the dismay of so many intelligent people. Ahriman is
clever beyond our imaginations.
*[See Sam Harris's The End of Faith; Christopher Hitchens' God is not
Great: how religion poisons everything; and, Richard Dawkins' The God
Delusion, where what are called the New Atheists have taken (hopefully
briefly) center stage in the public dialog on religion and Christianity.]
Craig Unger*, In an interview with Amy Goodman, mid-November 2007:
Well, LeHay** is one of the founders of the Council for National Policy.
Now, this is a not-very-well-known group, but it’s an umbrella group that
oversees dozens of Christian Right groups, like Focus on the Family,
which is James Dobson’s group. The Moral Majority was part of it, and so
on. And within it was a much smaller group called the Arlington Group, of
about fifty religious leaders. Now, they were in regular contact with Karl
Rove. And what you have in the Christian Right is as many as 80 million
adult evangelicals. You have about 200,000 pastors, and they operate
almost as precinct captains did in the labor unions for the Democratic
Party. So this is a vast populist movement that operates as part of the
56

Christian Republican Party, and they have regular contact with the White
House. [emphasis added]
[*author of: The Fall of the House of Bush: The Untold Story of How a
Band of True Believers Seized the Executive Branch, Started the Iraq War,
and Still Imperils America's Future. **one of the authors of the Left
Behind series of novels on Armageddon.]
Christianity is not alone in being so publicly compromised by the
materialization of religion.
"The grim truth is that when George W. Bush declared "a global war on
terror", he was really announcing a jihad of his own - a struggle to
convert the whole world to American-style capitalist democracy....Here
lies the peril for the future. For how can "the Axis of Evil" and "the Great
Satan" negotiate a businesslike compromise on the basis of live-and-letlive?" from the article: Bush the Jihadist: How the world was plunged into
an apocalyptic war, by Correlli Barnett, Daily Mail, Sept. 2007.
"...these ahrimanic powers are present wherever disharmony comes about
between groups of people..." R.S. lecture, 2 November 1919
Another matter to recognize is that after 9/11, the ahrimanic forces
radiating out of the temporal power center that is Washington, were able
to bring about a Crucifixion of the Imagination of America as a Beacon of
Hope for the poor and disenfranchised the world over. Previously
America (which is at root itself a Mystery) stood in the imaginations of the
world's downtrodden as the place of dreams, where one could go and find
freedom (spiritual-religious, as well as political and economic). So RoveAhriman not only created and encouraged a debased Christian Meaning in
the World, but also cast down the single most important aspect of the
American Mystery in the present - its meaning as a Beacon of Hope.
Let us now take a necessary but small side trip here, and fit in two of
Ahriman-Rove's chief allies: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Both are
addicted to power, but in two entirely different ways. At the same time,
let us keep in mind the title to this section: Brother what ails thee?. These
are flawed (as we are all flawed) human beings, placed by the Lord
(Artist) of Karma, in their biographies into very special places in
relationship to all of us. Like Ahriman-Rove, they participate in the
57

creation of the heating and speeding up of social chaos - conditions
necessary for the development of the Consciousness Soul through the I's
necessary encounters with real existential moral crises.
Bush appears to be what is called a dry drunk. That is, while he is not
actively drinking or drugging (we assume) he still displays all the
behaviors of a serious alcoholic or addict: bouts of extreme anger (kept
mostly secret from the public, but well known to West Wings staffers),
coupled with a psychological need to never admit he is wrong - the
problem always lies with someone else. In taking up the outward (fake)
posture of recovery, he adopted the attitude of someone who has been
saved by Christ. No doubt encouraged by Rove (all the way back in
Texas), Bush courted the Religious Right, and here found fuel for his own
(hopefully sub-conscious) megalomania - a religious conviction which
included him as being an active and dominant world player in the End
Times fantasy. So rigid is his faith, as he constantly demonstrates by his
unchanging behaviors, that only this mega-illusion has meaning - the truth
has been banished from his consciousness.
"Mr. Greenspan described his own emotional journey in dealing with Mr.
Bush, from an initial elation about the return of his old friends from the
Ford White House - including Mr. Cheney and Donald H. Rumsfeld,
secretary of defense - to astonishment and then disappointment at how
much they had changed." New York Times book review describing Alan
Greenspan's (former chairman of the Federal Reserve) book: The Age of
Turbulence: Adventures in a New World "...much to my disappointment,
economic policy making in the Bush administration remained firmly in the
hands of the White House staff.” He was clearly referring to the political
team led by Karl Rove at the White House. Mr. Rove was a neighbor of
Mr. Greenspan in a leafy enclave near the Potomac River, but the two
men almost never had a conversation." [emphasis added]
"Rove's method is to plot out elaborate strategies well in advance of the
campaign, and stick to them vigilantly. John Deardourff, Rove's media
consultant for races in Texas and Alabama, says, 'This rap Bush has of
never changing his mind and never admitting a mistake-that's Karl! That's
where it comes from.' It is a tribute to Rove's strategic skill that he is so
often right." Joshua Green Atlantic Monthly 2007.

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Already long before his incarnation, Ahriman-Rove had cultivated the
illusory religious impulse that has at least captured the sub-conscious of
Bush, probably through the help of Lucifer's legions, for in its rigid End
Times world picture and rigid and fixed morality, it has hardened all that
was once Life in these aspects of Christianity, and turned that Life into a
fixed and vain system of beliefs in the soul.
The fixed nature comes from Ahriman, and the vanity (pride of belief in
ones moral righteousness) comes from Lucifer. Both these, however, arise
indirectly in the soul through the three-fold double-complex (see the essay
on the Shadow below).
Then comes Cheney. Already a hard line cold-warrior, well connected
and supported by the elites of industry and banking throughout his
political career (Cheney won his spurs here, while Bush was born into
these circles), Cheney (again no doubt encouraged by Rove) became Vice
President, and having an intellect of far more depth than Bush's,
discovered that the child of privilege had little interest in actually
understanding and wielding the reins of governmental power (Bush loves
to playact as president). These then fell by default to Cheney, and gave to
his addiction more temporal power than any human being has had in
history, and of such a nature that as a behind the throne power he could do
much that was unseen and thus experience as all the more delightful its
private pleasures (the addictive payoff). Think on it! No one could really
oppose his actions always taken in secret. He could tell any lie he wanted
and change them at will for everyone else was asleep. Every urge and
impulse to dominate his political enemies and reward his rich friends
could be immediately indulged. Nothing stood in the way of this will to
excess, while at his side, and in his aid was the most clever of minds ever,
able with just a word or two to encourage Cheney's every desire, and at the
same time to likewise with silver tongue encourage the child of privilege
to believe he was god's chosen to stand in the world just in this time.
[Recall Tolkien's character Wormtongue in the Lord of the Rings!]
So then we have around Rove, two personalities, the one lost in a luciferic
dream of egoistical historical place, and the other, given the opportunity to
wield enormous earthly temporal powers, becomes instead the creature of
those very powers - possessed by them. Recall from above Greenspan's
dismay to discover the changes in his old friends. Rove's truest and more
profound contributions, however, are of a whole other kind, even though
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he played a significant role in the transformation of a child of privilege,
from out of the culture of Texas oil and wealth, into a public persona that
doesn't actually bear any relationship to the underlying human
personality*. See: "Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove made George W. Bush
Presidential" by Wayne H. Slater and James C. Moore.
*[To appreciate this even more, just consider how frequently it is now
observed that Bush seems so often inappropriately happy as his term of
office nears its end (or culmination?). A President, who honestly bore the
necessary wounds of leading American into such a state as it is today,
should be gray headed, careworn and full of melancholy.]
At the same time, we have to remember the title to this section: Brother
what ails thee? It is essential (as will be discussed in later essays) to
recognize in such personalities that we are observing wounds of soul.
Certainly there can be venality, and even conscious choosing of evil, but if
we were to be able to live through the details of the biography of such men
as these, and see how their inner life developed over this long period of a
lifetime, we would discover how the soul has been wounded by life
experience.
We all bear such wounds. It would go too far here to go into details, but
the question Brother what ails thee? is directed exactly at discovering the
mystery of the wounds that lie behind choices and actions, so as to be able
to perhaps help heal our brothers and sisters in life. With this thought in
the background, let us continue our examination of what has flowed out of
the center of the American government, and into our shared public life.
In order for a single Party to dominate, certain possibilities inherent in our
Time in relationship to technology have become applied to the political
process. Computers are turned into ballot boxes. The striving for power,
which had taken possession of the Republican Party, found a crucial
inspiration in all that Ahriman had prepared before his incarnation, and in
all that he was about to accomplish during his incarnation. Win at any
cost is the goal, and the corruption of the ballot box by electronic means
provides an easy tool in a war in which number is to play such an essential
role.
Data is accumulated, not just State by State, or city by city or
neighborhood by neighborhood (voting precinct by voting precinct), and
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when possible individual by individual. Profiles are created showing,
through the accumulation and use of well tracked commercial purchases,
just what attitudes each individual who is potentially a voter is likely to
possess. The out-of-strict oversight computer powers, of the United States
intelligence community (and willing corporate allies), is through secret
process turned on its own citizens, and further data accumulated, such that
there now is in place and in the hands of a single party, exactly which
voters to encourage, and which to discourage in order to place in power
and keep in power a single political party as the dominant political force in
America, itself (at a crucial time) the dominant Nation State in the World.
Nor is this done with any sense of the individual itself, as an I. It is only
their general characteristics as a set of numbers on a spreadsheet that
matter. One young woman, who had worked with Rove the human
incarnation of Ahriman, described in a televised interview how remarkable
it was to watch him pick up a newly generated spread sheet from a
computer, glance at it and then immediately begin to issue instructions,
down the well oiled machinery intended to coerce an election effect, from
the inside of the White House out into a neighborhood and then
surrounding an individual home.
In addition was perfected what became called: the Republican talking
points. Spreading out from the political center of the West Wing of the
White House, a well controlled and perfected set of lies and spin was
distributed throughout Party officials (elected and otherwise) and among
the cooperative media, such as Fox News and the widely listened to
conservative radio talk shows. If one listened across this spectrum, as well
as to the President himself and his chief spokesman the White House Press
Secretary, the same reality was presented. Remember that Rove's idea of
the power of deception is remarkable. Set the agenda, set the tone of what
is to be claimed to be true. Create our own reality (an earthly political
ahrimanic deception), and never ever give an inch.
Radiating from the imbalanced and unhealthy will force of the Executive
Branch had been created a huge manipulative mechanism for coercing the
vote, precinct by precinct, drawing certain voters in, keeping certain voters
out, and all the while ignoring places, neighborhoods and communities
that could be seen by this cold calculating genius as having no meaning or
worth at all. Coupled with this was an enormous publicity machine, never
seen before, creating in that Nation State that believed itself most virtuous
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to have unlimited free speech, a propaganda mechanism quite beyond that
known even in the time of National Socialism or Communist Russia.
This lie machine is all the more devious (and clever) for it was
accomplished in what thought of itself as a non-totalitarian state. In the
center of the Life of Rights, this calculated number driven process came
into existence, in which data streams about voters were turned into
numbers on a spreadsheet. and false ideas about social reality merely items
on a sheet of talking points. What genius created such a work!
"President Bush's powerful adviser is one part spreadsheet-carrying, votecounting political wonk, and one part no-holds-barred, brass-knuckled
political operative" Dan Froomkin.
"I'm looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at four or five public
polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally, but that do not impact the
outcome -" Karl Rove in a radio interview late October 2006. "You may
end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math. I'm entitled
to the math." same interview. [emphasis added]
In all this, the Legislative Branch was compliant. Even so far as to pass
legislation requiring all States to issue common-in-nature drivers licenses,
that individual States could then require be presented in order to vote.
This process of making voting more and more difficult was another part of
the grand scheme, which then makes it possible to eliminate those most
inclined to vote for the Party that is not to dominate - namely the Party
whose fundamental traditions connected it to the poor and disenfranchised.
Remember, Ahriman incarnated with a community of like-minded, already
disposed through all his preparations to their own weakness and selfinterested heartless cold calculating judgments. All he had to do was enter
into the center of these streams of downward radiating powers, take hold
of the number relations, and polish off the machinery that was to permit a
solidified rule from the top down, during one of the most significant
moments of emergence of the Consciousness Soul (the Dawn of the Third
Millennium), with its natural impulse to bring in social reform out of the
social commons - out of the social below.
Now in this work, he was not unopposed. As a human being, his will was
bound by many earthly laws. He could not force those around him to
serve his will. He could only, with extreme cleverness, encourage their
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weaknesses and inclinations, thus the personality changes that can be
observed in those he influenced while in (and on his way to) this center of
temporal power (from which he himself recently resigned, which is, of
course, just an appearance - another kind of clever lie, his influence is
undiminished).
At that same time as all this ahrimanic success, we need to come to
understand that his very genius in its one-sided nature was also a
blindness. This blindness came to the fore in the 2006 general election in
America. Rove fully expected to win, his spreadsheets told him so.
However, human beings are in fact not numbers, and not really predictable
at that level. Rove's numbers told him only of general characteristics,
which were all based on specific assumptions. When many of these
people walked into the polling booth, something happened (and will
continue to happen) which can't be reduced to number. People, when they
vote, are faced with what to them is essentially a moral choice (English
speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of
Rights).
This righteous impulse, invisible to number driven perception, expressed
itself strongly in the 2006 election, reacting in large part to all that was
being experienced as the callous indifference radiating from the White
House, and as political impotence, corruption and incompetence in the
Legislative Branch. The Democrats won the House with far more seats
than expected by any pollster (whose immature science suffers the same
perceptual limits as Ahriman), and further won the Senate as well,
something not expected by either Party. Since this victory gave the
chairmanship of the various House and Senate committees to the
Democrats, a very large shift in power occurred in the Life of Rights in the
United States of America (in the People's House especially, with it role as
regards "feeling"). While such a shift of power is not able to manifest in
a rapid fashion (in spite of the hopes of the Left), this expectable timedelay has enabled the White House to continue to act out its disdain for the
People, treating them as number-cyphers instead of as real human beings.
"Rovism is not simply a function of Rove the political conniver sitting in
the counsels of power and making decisions, though he does. No recent
presidency has put policy in the service of politics as has Bush's. Because
tactics can change institutions, Rovism is much more. It is a philosophy
and practice of governing that pervades the administration and even
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extends to the Republican-controlled Congress. As Robert Berdahl,
chancellor of UC Berkeley, has said of Bush's foreign policy, a subset of
Rovism, it constitutes a fundamental change in 'the fabric of constitutional
government as we have known it in this country.'"Neal Gabler The Los
Angeles Times Sunday 24 October 2004.
"The whole art of war consists in a well-reasoned and extremely
circumspect defensive, followed by rapid and audacious attack." Rove
campaign memo from the early years in Texas.
"Rove is the greatest political mind of his generation and probably of any
generation. He not only is a breathtakingly smart strategist but also a
clever tactician. He knows history, understands the moods of the public,
and is a visionary on matters of public policy. But he is not a magician."
Fred Barnes, conservative commentator, editor The Weekly Standard.
"Dubbed the “architect” and “Bush’s brain”, Rove plotted the rise of
George W Bush and departed the White House after the disastrous 2006
mid-term elections. Successful punditry is a combination of real political
experience, intellectual nimbleness, a provocative turn of phrase and a
coherent point of view. Rove, a Fox News commentator and contributor to
Newsweek and the Wall Street Journal, has all these qualities.
"Democrats may protest that they would rather see him in jail than on
their television screens but they can’t help noting what he says. Whether
outlining what the Democrats should do or outlining John McCain’s rocky
path to victory (and McCain has followed his advice almost to the letter),
Rove’s take is important and often surprising. Expect the name Rove to
come up frequently on the campaign trail – and in coverage of it."
Comments in the British newspaper The Telegraph, who ranked Rove
(since leaving the White House) as the number one (of the top 50) pundits
in U.S. Politics, Friday, May 2nd, 2008.
Ahriman-Rove's genius is seen by many, and his incarnate influence is far
from over. He has left the realm of the State now, and is taking up his
mature biographical position in the real heart of the Life of Rights: Media.
From here he can continue his influence, for his very success is attractive.
Because of the influence of the ahrimanic shadow on people, many will
succumb, for that same callous and calculated indifference toward which
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they are inwardly tempted, will now reside in those aspects of Media open
to making such views widely known and justified.
It is not an accident that Rove now works for two major Rupert Murdoch
Media companies, Fox News and the Wall Street Journal. Many will read
him, and his clever genius will guide and teach, all who will listen, into a
life without any moral center at all - only the cold calculus of intellect, and
its anti-human world views and impulses of will.
Ahriman-Rove has now risen to the celebrity heights of the social world as
a Media personality, respected and trusted by many, for he reflects back to
them all the justifications they need for their own ahrimanic tendencies.
A quite neat fit, if you think about it. The Shadow of Ahriman within, and
the Stage setting influenced by Ahriman without. Even so, the individual
I in the Age of the Consciousness Soul would chart its own course. His
very presence arouses something in the I that needs just that presence as a
goad to its own awaking.
*
finally, a look at the challenges to the role of the Society and Movement as
a consequence of recognizing Ahriman's present day incarnation
Waking the American Anthroposophical Society and Movement
for their true tasks in the 21st Century
The above then is what happened on the macro scale of modern human
history. What then on a micro scale has happen in the internal makeup of
the Anthroposophical Society and Movement? Were we somehow free of
this influence? Did Ahriman incarnate and just ignore us in the process? I
think not, and in the next essays it will be unfolded just what needs to
happen within our circles in order for us to be able to speak first honestly
among ourselves, before we can earn the moral authority to truly bring
Anthroposophy further into world incarnation. The greatest potential for
leading the instinctive Consciousness Soul into full awakening lies in
Anthroposophy, and by implication in the Society and Movement. But
these problems are not simple and many of the essays below are required
of anyone wanting to really learn what is needed to be learned in order to
meet the Challenge of Ahriman's Incarnation on the Cusp of the New
Millennium.
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We have one last task,however, which is most essential. Having
discovered Ahriman's incarnation, how are we to treat the living man, now
and into the future? Ahriman-Rove has a family - a wife and a son: should
they think of him as evil? Of course not, he is a genius, he is a cosmic
power incarnate, who will at the final judgment weep at the feet of the
Mother and beg forgiveness for all that he had, out of his given nature, the
responsibility to author.
Those seduced by Ahriman-Rove are to be pitied. Our problem then is not
to assume evil and seek to rub it out, but to see clearly the social processes
so that we, who would do the good, can discover how our work can be
applied in the right places. Many already are working in such ways, albeit
instinctively, and others will want to hate Rove, Cheney, Bush and their
friends. Should we follow such an example, or create another? How do
we redeem what Ahriman-Rove has done and properly honor it?
We are also frustrated by the scope of the debacle - Ahriman-Rove has
spread chaos in the world in a huge way, and this is not yet finished, for
much worse may yet be done by those who have succumbed to his
influence. This Ahrimanic Impulse, living throughout the social world of
humanity, has pushed that world toward its breaking and fracture points in
a quite precise fashion through the influence of Ahriman-Rove within the
excesses of the Bush II administration. The whole social order of Western
Humanity is breaking down. Wherever we look, whether at global
warming, the crisis in the food supply, the corporate theft of the water
supply, the spreading of technological means of biological destruction, the
machinations of those in the banking and finance industries and the
interference with the genetic code itself, - all stands on the brink of even
further decay, while the political life by its everywhere pursuit of
dominance, engages all structure in war, at a time when in order to
survive humanity needs instead of war to develop the greatest skills at
cooperation.
One of the worst effects, as previously noted, is the crucifixion of
American Dream. All over the world, that which had once been a Beacon
of Hope to many people living amidst poverty and despair, has now been
tarnished, perhaps beyond repair. Is this not then the next goal for
America, to discover how to restore what has been defiled? Who will lead
here? Who will understand this need for the imagination of the
66

downtrodden the world over to have once more a Beacon of Hope? Can
there be a resurrection of what was crucified? What kind of moral forces
could bring this about?
We are also right to be concerned whether the political machine that has
been created will live on into the future inside the core of the America
Government. Already, many wonder whether the Democrats will roll
back some of what has been done, should they win the White House in
2008. A lot of people believe many of the worst of the changes introduced
by Rove and friends will be permanent.
All kinds of debris live as the after-effects of Ahriman-Rove's incarnation.
The situation and consequences will not go away, but reverberate on into
the future, and we have to not just come awake, but must learn how to stay
awake.
Into the world the power, the tone, the sound of number, and the searing
light of geometry incarnated, with its naturally given mission to draw
downward the heart of the developing social organism into rigid form and
lifeless brilliance - what Rove called "the math". Here too was "mission
accomplished", because while the Anthroposophical Movement and
Society lost themselves in a massive forgetting of the true significance of
Steiner's scientific introspection (The Philosophy of Freedom, and A
Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception), and in
ignoring the beauty and potential for community life given by Steiner in
Awakening to Community as the Reverse Cultus, we also took the living
Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence given to us by Steiner through
Anthroposophy and converted it to dead intellectualized content, without
any life at all: the Steinerism displayed constantly in the excesses of
Steiner-said.
There are no redeeming powers in Steinerism, such that without The
Philosophy of Freedom (Spiritual Activity) and the Reverse Cultus, with
which to meet the deeper spiritual after-effects of Ahriman's incarnation,
the Movement and Society are impotent. At the same time, American
Anthroposophy (which this book seeks to illuminate) offers just those
needed antidotes and inspiration for all of Anthroposophy world-wide.
The American Soul must awake now, and the best leaders for this will be
those American Anthroposophists who have the will and the courage to
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find the truth of who they are, as a separate but equal soul force in the
threefold world.
For example, Ahriman accomplished a great deal during the weaknesses
of the 20th Century into which the Society and Movement fell, such that
all kinds of wisdom was lost and buried in Ahriman's "preserving jars",
locked up either in books stashed in libraries, and in books allowed to go
out of print. Hundreds of significant works, by early students of Steiner,
have been allowed to go out of print, while the anthroposophical
publishing houses reprinted again and again Steiner's lectures, erroneously
leaving aside almost all the work done by others during the 20th Century.
Let me take up just one other theme left in the dust heap of the 20th
Century, along side The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity and the Reverse
Cultus: namely Projective Geometry. Nothing else has quite the ability to
give to the Life of the Mind the forces necessary with which to meet
Ahriman's one-sided: "...power, the tone, the sound of number, and the
searing light of geometry incarnated...".
Let us begin with an obscure out of print essay by George Adams
Kaufman: Space and the Light of Creation: a new essay in cosmic
theory. Just in the Chapter headings of this essay we can feel/see the
redemptive force of the new thinking as it penetrates the very realm of
Ahriman and lifts it free through the art of thought of the tendency to an
excess of gravitas: Chapter I: Radiation of Space; Chapter II: Music of
Number; and, Chapter III: Burden of Earth and Sacrifice of Warmth.
One of the tasks of American Anthroposophy will be to rediscover and
ingest the art of others besides Steiner, which has been given to us by
European anthroposophical endeavors during the 20th Century. This is
something far beyond what Steiner had provided, but which he certainly
inspired. In the essay far below: a letter to a young anthroposophist, you
will find details.
Olive Whicher's book: Projective Geometry: Creative Polarities in Space
and Time, should never be out of print, and ought to be on the same shelf
with every anthroposophist's copy of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
and Awakening to Community. By the way, little or no abstract thought
is called for in this way of study - as all that is essential is taught through
drawing.
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The significance of Projective Geometry can be found here, quoted by
Olive Whicher in her introduction to Adam's remarkable Physical and
Ethereal Spaces: "Confirmed by Rudolf Steiner in the knowledge that the
quality of thought prevailing in the new geometry is in reality
indispensable both to the scientist in his quest of world-reality and to the
individual on a path of spiritual development..." [emphasis added].
The living (heart) thinking, to which many anthroposophists today aspire
(but believe comes far easier than it actually does), needs to remain
scientific and picture-like in all its qualities. Nothing aids this need better
than the study through drawing of Projective Geometry, which teaches the
I how to move and weave living pictorial thought, through and from one
metamorphosis to the next, all the while never losing the exact and precise
quality of scientific thinking.
To truly meet and contain Ahriman-Rove, we also need a living spiritual
social science, whose scientific qualities can only be found through
pictorial thought trained in the disciplines of Projective Geometry and
Goetheanism (A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World
Conception). We meet his powers, with those of our own. Then out of
this soul training, the I can hear the World Song in which is contained the
logos speaking of the Christ into the social world of humanity (as the Lord
- the Artist - of Karma). Just as Goethe learned to listen to the speech of
Nature, we must now learn to listen to the speech of the social world, and
then out of our own forces of art and story telling, render this logos
speaking into pictures we share with each other.
Let me end by bringing forward one last matter, which in its details can be
found below in the discussion of the true soul roots of the Mystery of
America. This will be there developed much more fully - here I only want
to hint at its dimensions.
The roots of the American Soul, by the way, are not found in Europe, but
in America's Aboriginal Peoples. The soul is determined by two main
influences of which the most earthly is the local geography, while the
most heavenly is the incarnating spirit. Spirit and place interact, and the
soul is born.

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Among the various Nations of Indians, there is one who has a very special
relationship to the whole: the Hopi. All the Elders of the other Nations
recognize this. It is from a Hopi that we received the idea in the 1990's:
we are the people we have been waiting for.
The Hopi Prophecy anticipates the arrival from the East (from the rising
Sun), of the True White Brother. This influence is to come at a time when
the Nations of Indians will be in dire need, for world conditions will have
brought about their near destruction. Only one or two individuals may
still be alive that are true to their deepest teachings. In the most crucial
words of the Prophecy we find this statement: "This third event will
depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the four
forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun."
You can find details below, but let me just render my best interpretation of
this phrase in the language with which anthroposophists are familiar (it
will be well worth repeating in greater depth later).
At the time of great crisis, the World will be three times rocked into War.
It is the last, the third event, which is the most crucial. The outcome of
this third event (Ahriman's Incarnation) will depend upon the Red Symbol,
or the People of the Rose-Cross. These People of the Rose-Cross, the
True White Brother (true in the sense of also being awake to the living
Being of the Earth Mother and the Father in the Sky, as once were all
Aboriginal Peoples), will then take command, setting the four forces of
nature in motion. These are the forces of the Four Directions (honored in
the Pipe Ceremony of the Lakota Sioux), or the Cosmic Ethereal Forces
(and their elemental servant beings in Nature), which even Steiner
recognized when he laid the Foundation Stone for the original
Goetheanum in the Earth, and then later the Foundation Stone Meditation
in the hearts of those who attended the Christmas Conference.
All this for the benefit of the Sun. To understand this all we need to
remember is that the Hopi Prophecy originated in a People who
remembered Atlantis (see below). At the time of Atlantis, where was
Christ? He was in the Cosmic Sun Sphere! What then does all this come
to mean, especially given that the Prophecy also recognizes that this
needed work of the True White Brother can fail to manifest?

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The outcome of the Third Event - the third time the World is rocked into
War (Ahriman's Incarnation) depends upon the People of the Rose-Cross
bringing forward a scientifically based knowledge of the Ethereal Cosmic
Forces, not just in the living aspects of the sense world, but in the life of
thought itself. Moreover, all this in service to the Christ, by announcing
His True Second Coming in the Ethereal, with all its majesty (a Second
Crucifixion, a Second Resurrection, and a Second Eucharist).
Are anthroposophists up to such a task? Apparently that remains to be
seen.
*******************************

Orientation
The dominant characteristic of this time, inwardly is
the True Second Coming of Christ
"...one can say that we in Europe develop Anthroposophy in a spiritual
way; the American develops it in a natural way..." R.S. lecture to the
Workman at the Goetheanum, March 3, 1923 GA-349
[For the neophyte: Ahriman's incarnation as Karl Rove in the socialpolitical world, really only effected the Stage Setting, which serves as a
background to our individual biographies. Granted this Stage Setting is
far more realistic than the cardboard and paint of a theater, nevertheless
the relationship, between our individual lives and the historical backdrop
in which those lives unfold, is captured quite neatly by the Bard's
metaphor of Stage Setting and Actors in a Role. Ahriman is a significant
ruler of the characteristics of the Stage Setting, but as regards the soul and
spiritual element of the human being (our inner world and life), Ahriman,
through his influence via our Shadow (the double-complex), is but a small
though significant part, while we ourselves can be the Star.
Ahriman is also not the Author of the Play, Christ is - Christ as Lord
(Artist) of Karma, and we as free choice makers. Just as the East
sometimes talks of there being something that might be called (in the
human being) a Buddha Nature, so we in the West can speak of a similar
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characteristic of being human - the Christ Impulse. Out of the Buddha
Nature of the human being comes Compassion, and out of the Christ
Impulse of the human being comes Love. So the two combine: Christ
Himself as Lord (Artist) of Karma, who works with our freedom, so that
we can out of that freedom ourselves author human love in the form of the
Christ Impulse.
In this realm (the inwardness) Christ can have far more influence if we
know how to choose to make that possible. The inwardness belongs to our
will (we know this instinctively), but for the individual I to become the
proper steward of all the potential capacities hidden in this inwardness
does require that we wake up there and begin to be active. In this next
essay I lay out just how Christ has made himself available to us directly
when we strive to be moral - that is when we seek to know and do the
Good (or as Rudolf Steiner would say: become knowing doers).
As such the essential lesson from the story of Ahriman's incarnation can
be seen in that his activities push many people in the direction of such soul
pain that they are confronted by a choice as to whether to remain asleep or
actually wake up to the conditions of inflamed social chaos and insane
speed of life. Modern existence, for all its seeming unnecessary
difficulties is actually a blessing. Just as physical illness is a
transformative blessing, so are today's illnesses in the social existence of
humanity.
Of crucial importance is to keep in mind what was mentioned above, in
that religious fundamentalism (Christianity forced into arid and dead
doctrines and dogmas, by the influence of the ahrimanic double) acted in
the world in recent years in such a way that made a mockery of the True
Second Coming. Nothing Ahriman has accomplished is a potent as this
misdirection, which has made people shy of the promise Christ made to
come again. This essentially fake Christianity is simply a modern version
of what a similar impulse among the Hebrew people accomplished at the
time of the Incarnation - that is: People in that time were lead away from
the truth by those who sought to maintain their own power and stature as
religious leaders, rather than understand that Love begins with Service to
the Thou (washing the feet), and then leads ultimately through trials to
Love as a total Sacrifice of self for other.

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We live in a time in which a similar gesture permeates the Christian world.
Religious leaders tend to prefer themselves over others, and being more in
love with their own thoughts of what is the truth, they keep their flocks
(and those who hunger for spiritual enlightenment) from knowledge of the
True Second Coming. In the essay below (and those that immediately
follow) I offer to the reader precise instructions as to how to experience
the True Second Coming, first as a Sacrament in the Soul - a Second
Eucharist in the Ethereal - in the world of thought, that arises when we
authentically seek to know the Good, or what I also call: discovering the
experience of Love Engendered Free Moral Grace as that arises out of the
spiritual activity of the own I.]
This next essay was abstracted from my book, the Way of the Fool, in
order to submit it to the Newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society in
America in the winter-spring of 2006, where, as is typical of my offerings
there, it was ignored. For this book it has been carefully rewritten, with
entirely new material added in certain places. By the way, the Way of the
Fool is, at its core, the beginning of a courtship between that reality
referred to by the terms esoteric and exoteric Christianity - between
Gnosis and Faith (Kings and Shepherds), and this essay is the final
thought-picture in the main body of that book.
The Meaning of Earth Existence
in the Age of the Consciousness Soul
*[John 16: 12-15 "I have much more to say to you, but you can't bear it
just yet. But when the other comes, the breath of truth, he will guide you
in the ways of all truth, because he will not speak on his own, but will
speak what he hears and announce to you what's coming. He will glorify
me, because he will take of what is mine and announce it to you.
Everything the Father has is mine: that's why I said he will take of what is
mine and announce it to you."]
*
from the book: the Way of the Fool:
There yet remains a small effort to make a synthesis this work - to make a
whole out of seemingly disparate parts. I will try to be brief.
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A principle aspect of the great Mystery of our Time is the Mystery of Evil,
both outwardly in the structural backdrop to the shared social world of
humanity, and inwardly in the depths of our own souls. I have tried above
to point out how it is that the essential matter is not the outer social world,
but the inner soul world, and the trials and education of the i-AM, in the
biography. The context, which we need to call the maya of history and
current events, and which is receptively held everywhere from below by
the Dark Mystery of the Divine Mother, all passes away, and only what is
Eternal, that is what becomes an aspect of the developing i-AM, continues;
and, this inner realm (the whole Inwardness of the Creation, which
includes human souls and spirits) only exists because of the Heavenly
Mystery of the penetrating thoughts of the Father, while the whole (the
outer social maya and the eternal inner mind) is created, loved, overseen
and mediated (wherever two are more are gathered...), in all its Grace
filled and Artistic interrelationships, by the Earthly [new Sun] Mystery of
the sacrifices of the Son.
We (humanity) now begin to move out of our spiritual childhood, and in
making our way through the Rite of Passage that is Life as it leads us
toward our spiritual maturity we need to take hold of the complex of the
doubles and the karma of wounds, as these thrive within our souls, and
which encourage human evil through temptation and inner prosecution.
Even so, this task of meeting the Mystery of Evil within the soul is not as
heavy as we think, for through the Shepherd's Tale [Charles Sheldon], the
King's Tale [Rudolf Steiner], the Healers' Tale [the community-created
Twelve-Steps] and the Sermon on the Mount, we have all the practical
instructions that we need.
In seeking to understand in ourselves these three: moral grace, freedom
and love [each of these is elaborated in great detail in the book], we set
before ourselves what is required to be learned in this Age and it is with
these three naturally unfolding capacities that we are Graced and
strengthened so as to be able to meet with courage the Mystery of Evil. If
we do dare this path, and seek for the deepest instruction in Christ's
Sermon on the Mount, then will come to us a change in the nature of our
biography, such that it more and more takes on the pattern, described in
the John Gospel, as the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ (the washing
of the feet; the scourging; the crowning with thorns; the carrying of the
cross; the crucifixion; the entombment and the resurrection) (for a careful
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exposition of these Seven Stages, see Valentin Tomberg's
[anthroposophical] book: Inner Development).
Whereas Christ lived this in an apparently mostly physical way, those,
who truly follow In His Steps [the name of Sheldon's book, as well as a
critical phrase** in Ben-Aharon's The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth
Century - a profound Imagination of the True Second Coming], will in the
main feel these trials in their souls, as aspects of the joy and suffering in
the human biography.
**["Now when they identified themselves with the situation of earthly
humanity, the souls who remained true to [Archangel] Michael prefigured,
in their planetary Earthly-Sun life, the great Sacrifice of Christ. They
walked again in His steps [emphasis added] as they did in former earthly
lives, only now the order of following was reversed. They went before
Him, showing Him the way, acting out of free and self-conscious human
decision, and He followed in their steps [emphasis added] only after they
fully united themselves with the divided karma of Earth and humanity.
Only then could He offer His sacrifice as the answer to the new, future
question of human existence: the question concerning the mission and fate
of evil." Jesaiah Ben-Aharon, The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth
Century.]
These trials may seem difficult, but the truth is they are merely human. It
was Christ becoming human that went to the Cross, for how could He
place an example before us we could not do out of our own humanity (just
as Sheldon wrote in In His Steps). [something written by a Shepherd (a
pastor) in America, at the same time Steiner (a King) was writing his The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (Freedom)] It is the human in Christ that
asks in the Garden of Gethsemane that the cup be taken from him, but if
not, He accepts the Father's will. While later it is the even deeper human
in Christ that says on the Cross: "My God, my God, why did you abandon
me?". Who among us, in the trials and sufferings of life, has not uttered
these same thoughts? [That Steiner teaches an esoteric meaning for the
end of life statements of Christ, in no way contradicts their exoteric
meanings, which are also true.]
It is here that Christ's teachings strongly diverge from the Wisdom of the
Buddha, for the Buddha would have had us overcome suffering by
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learning not to know it (one version of the third Noble Truth of the
Buddha reads as follows: " ...concerning the Cessation of Suffering;
verily,it is passionless, cessation without remainder of this very craving;
the laying aside of, the giving up, the being free from, the harboring no
longer of, this craving.", whereas Christ asks us to embrace our human
pain so that we can pass through the Narrow Gate of suffering to then
know our deepest self, the true i-AM, and then through this burning trial of
knowledge of the true-self, ultimately come to Him. If we would follow
In His Steps then we too must take on ourselves the errors (sins)*** of the
world, and the tasks of forgiveness and love, for every love engendered
free act of moral grace takes up a small part of Christ's suffering, so that
we too participate in the deepest creative acts of the Seventh Day of
Creation - the transformation of evil into love. [This is for
anthroposophists the teaching attributed to Mani, but the reason such a
personality even knows this is because the transformation of evil into love
is modeled for us in the deepest felt actions of the Divine Mother and the
Son. When we know intimately these actions of the Divine Mystery, we
know the true spiritual meaning of the Mystery of Evil, and that this
Mystery is Itself the real source of the earthly doctrine connected to it that
is sometimes called Manichaeism.]
***[The word sin does not appear in the original Greek, from which the
Gospels were translated into the other languages. The Greek word
hamartia, misused to indicate sin, actually means "missing the mark" (it is
a term from archery). See in this regard the Unvarnished Gospels by
Andy Gaus.]
Is this foolish? Of course, but we need not fear this Way of the Fool, for
our Faith in Christ's Promises will always be fulfilled, as we ourselves can
learn to become the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Yes, this Way
is full of trials, but whoever has lived life, and reflected upon their
experience, knows that in the meeting of our biography's trials with
courage we discover what it truly means to be human: to struggle, to fall,
to get up and to learn - and, through this process, gently and humbly,
begin to take up along side and with Him, Christ's kind and light, Yoke of
Love.
Having said all this, it becomes necessary to make one last picture for the
reader, for clearly, in that we read the news and hear of the horrors of
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man's continuing inhumanity to man, we ourselves face a terrible trial.
How are we to understand a world seemingly so filled with Evil?
Picture, for a moment, the surface of the Earth. Below dense matter and
fiery substance, while above, airless space. Humanity lives out its Earth
Existence only in this narrow spherical band of Life, whose diameter is
just under 8,000 miles (and whose height is just three to four miles,
because above 15,000 feet above sea level, the atmosphere starts to not
contain enough oxygen to support our breathing). The total surface area
of the Earth is 196 million square miles, and the habitable land area 43
million square miles Six billion plus human beings must find all that they
physically need, which when we consider actual available arable land
(land that could be cultivated for food, and other necessary resources),
means that each individual only has a square 161 feet on a side from
which to grow what they need. This then is the physical spacial aspect of
the social organism of the whole world.
Yet, we know that this spherical space is itself often unwisely distributed,
for human social arrangements, whether rooted in dominance and
selfishness (dominion over) or generosity and sharing (communion with),
these social arrangements seem to determine this social order. This stream
of moral gestures (choices), of good and/or of evil, moves out of and
through human beings, organizing the physical one.
As to this moral aspect of the social organism of the whole world, it has
reached in this Time a kind of climax of development, and it will be
important to appreciate the true nature of the logos order in which Christ
has set modern human existence, through His creative powers as the Artist
(Lord) of Karma (the precise and love based placement of individual
biographies in relationship to each other). Here is something Natural
Science cannot do, for the meaning of existence is beyond the weaknesses
of their yet fanciful and spirit-empty images. This will also help us to
understand why so many (falsely, but with some degree of reason) believe
we live in the End Times.
In the Twentieth Century the world was woven together into a single
social organism, not just via the globalization of economic matters, or the
personal interconnections offered by the Internet, but most centrally by the
Media. At the beginning of the 20th Century, few knew what went on
elsewhere the world, in any detail or with any immediacy. At the end of
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the 20th Century, at the same time that the returned Kings' were unfolding
the New Revelations of Christ [the story of the 20th Century involves a
return of the meaning-essence of the Three Kings of the Gospels - that is a
return of the knowledge of Gnosis, hungering to be woven again into a
single whole with true Faith - an event which clearly had to accompany
the True Second Coming], the world itself was woven into a whole in the
sense that no macro social event was not to be almost immediately known
everywhere the same day (if not the same hour) that it happened.
We live in a time when has arisen a Culture of Media - a kind of
knowledge commons, in which vast resources are used to create for us
pictures of the meaning of the world and of events. The more developed
the country, the greater our daily experience can be saturated with the
messages coming from this Culture of Media.
Moreover, great effort and expense is gone into by those who would force
us to believe what they want us to believe. Between advertising, political
propaganda, outright lies, weak or lame reporting, and other similar
failures to reach the truth, this saturation of the soul by the Culture of
Media would seem to fail to offer us any service at all. What is not
appreciated is that the Christ is far wiser than even the deepest believers
imagine. Every evil is eventually turned to good, and next we will explore
the prime example for our time.
Recall what has been pointed out many times now, that the individual
biography is the central reality of life on the Earth. What happens inside
us as we experience life is much more important and enduring than the
outer events which surround us. That Stage Setting (all the world's a
stage....) is but epiphenomena to the reality of the life of the soul. To help
us appreciate this then, let us explore these matters from the point of view
of the individual biography.
In this time, there are over six billion plus of these biographies woven into
the tapestry of the social organism of the whole world. Six billion lives
held delicately and exactly within the Love and Divine Justice of the
Mystery. Within these biographies, all the individual i-AMs experience
that precise and personal instruction that hopes to lead them to the
realization of their own divinity and immortality of spirit. [The epoch (rite
of passage) of the Consciousness Soul is 2100 years long, going from the
time of the beginning of the on-looker separation (and the creation of
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Natural Philosophy - Science) in the 1400's, until the years around 3500
AD.]
To understand this we need to think it from the inside out, and not from
the outside in. The Culture of Media only provides context, never
essence. True, life is hard, even harsh, even terrible. The naive
consciousness wants to turn away from this suffering, and cannot
understand how God (the Divine Mystery) could allow such things as
torture, child abuse and the genocidal acts which are dumbed down by the
terms: ethnic cleansing.
The reality is that what the Divine Mystery does is to allow for freedom.
This most precious gift is essential to the immortal spirit during its Rites
of Passage we are calling: Earth Existence. Moreover, the Mystery also
makes certain there is a true Justice through the post-death passages of
kamaloka and lower and higher devachan, in a manner no human social
structure can provide. Christ has told us this in the Sermon on the Mount:
"to what sentence you sentence others, you will be sentenced". All this
should be kept in mind as we proceed.
As a single ego, I wake in the morning. From the night I bring the
remainder of yesterday, perhaps worked over. Surrounding me, as I live
the day, are the lives of those with whom I have a karma of wounds - with
whom I have a debt of meaning to creatively work over. This we carry
together, each bearing a part, each bearing their own wounds. These are
wounds from the past, from the present and from the future.
To observe the world of today, as we walk the walk of our lives, is to
observe trials of fire and suffering - rites of wounding and being wounded.
But not just this, for also there is healing. Where we let love thrive,
wounds become healed.
Thus flow all our days, often too fast to even notice the beauty and wonder
of the sea of personal relationships and shared trials. Yes, there is
misfortune, and evil deeds. But do we really imagine Christ and the
Divine Mother lets this evil happen without recourse or justice? We may
not know this directly through Gnosis, but we also can have Faith. Gnosis
without Faith is empty of Life; and, Faith without Gnosis is empty of the
Truth. Only when we join them together, do we get: the Way (the Mystery
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of living the Good), the Truth (the Mystery of knowing the Good) and the
Life (the Mystery of union with the Good).
This then is the wonder of the outer and inner biography, for often the
wounds are not visible. Yes, sometimes the wounds are visible to our eye
or ear for we see people too fat, too thin, too lamed in body, too poor, too
physically or mentally deficient. Often, however, so many of us suffer in
silence that we really do not know the nature and personal meaning of
their wounds - only our own are visible to the eye of our heart, unless we
first learn to exercise and unfold certain powers of soul and spirit.
Amidst all this visible and silent suffering, we find ourselves woven into
the Culture of Media. Images and sounds flow around us, pictures of a
world on the verge of chaos and madness. Yes, we have the intimacy of
our personal biography, but through the Culture of Media we are drawn
into the painted backdrop of the whole world - a backdrop we all share.
War in Iraq. Global warming. Governments out of control. Pandemics
waiting in the wings. Local economic recession, and even world-wide
depression.
What lives in this painted backdrop - in this Stage Setting - in the wise
relationship of the Culture of Media to the unfolding of our personal
biographies?
The answer is this: the mirror of our own inner darkness and light...
Inside us the double-complex - our feelings of judgment, our temptations,
our addictions and our sense of failure. Inside us the darkness that belongs
personally to us, and outside us, carried to us by the Culture of Media, the
mirror of that darkness. But also inside us the Good that we would author.
Think on it. Do we not experience the images and sounds brought to us by
the Culture of Media as something that is filled with what we like and we
dislike? We live our biographies and the Culture of Media confounds our
souls with pictures of dark and light to which we all respond individually.
The great masses of humanity do not make the News. The great masses of
humanity experience the News.
What is News? News is exactly what the reporters and television
personalities call it: stories. The Culture of Media provides us stories
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(tales) of the world, which are often presented as if these stories are true,
something most of us have come to know they are not. News stories
reflect all kinds of bias, and in some cases the bias is deliberate.
Moreover, news stories reflect conditions of commerce living in the
agency reporting them.
For example, it is well understood that in the last third of the 20th Century
in American television the news divisions of the major networks
disappeared, and the entertainment divisions took over the responsibility
for the news. The opportunity to inform and educate the receivers of news
stories became secondary to the need to keep them interested so as to be
able to sell commercial time and make a profit. In addition, the stories are
mostly about dire and tragic events, and little is investigated or reported
that is about the positive and the creative.
We are right then to wonder sometimes about the News, about its harsh
nature and artless excessive attention to the dark deeds of many.
Humanity in general bears within it the beam that is not seen, while the
mote is exaggerated. But the world itself is not this beam, is not this
darkness. The greater part of darkness is inside us - in our own souls, and
from there projected onto the world. The Culture of Media exaggerates
this darkness further, at the same time it gives us much that also arouses
our own unredeemed antipathies and sympathies.
Once more for emphasis...
The world in its reality is not this Media generated excess of darkness (so
out of balance with the light that is also everywhere present), which we all
project from within the soul - the beam. Yet, in the Culture of Media this
whole processes of dark projection is exaggerated so that the mirroring
nature of the social world itself begins to bother us. This logos order of
the social world is complex and rich, and worth a deep study.
Pictures of a distorted and untrue meaning of the world abound, and while
we share these pictures, we make personal and individual our reactions.
Just as the intimate events of our biographies have a personal meaning, so
does the shared stage setting have a personal meaning. In a more general
sense, for example, many Christians today are confronted, via the Culture
of Media, with pictures of individuals whose actions as self-proclaimed
Christians either inspire us to imitation or cause us to turn away in shame.
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The same is true in Islam. The terrorist who frightens us in the West, also
causes many ordinary Muslims to turn away in horror. Everywhere
fundamentalism rises, to continue the example, the great mass of
humanity, that are not so tied to such arid rigidity, shrink away in
antipathy. Do we not assert quietly, inwardly to ourselves: this is not me, I
am not that - I will not be that!
In our biographies then, we are confronted in the intimacy of our personal
relationships with what are sympathetic and antipathetic reactions to that
which we would choose to admire and imitate, and that which we would
shun and refuse to be like. Via the Culture of Media, we are met with that
which approaches us in the same way, yet on a larger scale. Just as we as
individuals have a Shadow (a double-complex), so nations, religions and
peoples have a Shadow, and the Culture of Media puts in our faces these
pictures and meanings with which we can identify or from which we can
turn away, often in shame.
Christ has arranged, in this particular moment in time (the cusp of the 20th
to 21st Centuries, which is also the Dawn of the Third Millennium) to
place in the dying away hierarchical social forms of humanity, those
biographies which do two main forming gestures within that history. This
is all connected to a process in which social chaos arises in order to cause
these old hierarchical [third cultural age] social structures to let go their no
longer valid hold, and in many instances be eventually replaced with new
social form arising out of the social commons [fifth cultural age].
In the first instance, these biographies living in the decadent social
hierarchies (such as government, corporate and church organizations)
portray strong images, via the Culture of Media, to which we react equally
strongly out of our likes and dislikes. For example, one of America's wise
women, Doris (Granny D) Haddoch, has said that we should be grateful
for such as George W. Bush, because he causes us to awake from our
sleep as citizens. As a consequence, in our individual biographies we
react to the extremes of these dominant religious, business, cultural and
political personalities, and this brings about in us as individuals certain
inner judgments and calls to action.
The second effect of those biographies unfolding in the now decadent
institutional social hierarchies is to drive the social order further into a
needed condition of chaos, something all 6 billion plus biographies require
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in order to birth the moral dilemmas necessary for the Age of the
Consciousness Soul. This social chaos sweeps traditional moral authority
aside, and forces us as individuals into situations where we must rely on
the own I in order to properly face the moral crisis. In that human beings
are incarnating in massive karmic communities in order to have these
sometimes shattering moral experiences, this causes the present world
social organism to have the strong tendency to completely dissolve into a
condition of near total social conflagration [thus my website: Shapes in
the Fire].
The moral aspect of the logos ordered social organism of the world
requires crisis in order for the individual biographies to live, not just
intellectually, but fully and dynamically and existentially into dilemmas of
moral choice. Only true moral choice can awaken in us what is offered in
this Age to the development of the Consciousness Soul.
Nothing in the world is not touched by the Art of Christ, who as Lord of
Karma - Lord of the Satisfaction of Moral Debt and healer of karmic
wounds, arranges in majestic harmony all the biographies so that even
from the smallest detail to the grandest historical event, meaning is put to
the service of our development - the leaving behind of our spiritual
childhood followed by our birth into spiritual adulthood.
The world historical crises of this time are a complex and rich Stage
Setting, against which 6 billion plus souls live out the dramas of their
individual biographies.
Thus, in this birth from spiritual childhood to spiritual adulthood, the Time
- the Age of the Consciousness Soul - is a Rite of Mystery, a Baptismal
Mass for all of humanity, just as was told to us by John the Baptist. [in
Matthew 3:11] "Now I bathe you in the water to change hearts, but the
one coming after me is stronger than me: I'm not big enough to carry his
shoes. He will bathe you in holy breath and fire." (emphasis added)
Consider now more closely what happens inside us as we experience the
intimacy of our biographies, and the shared pictures that come via the
Culture of Media.
Choice confronts us. Do I be like that, or like this? From what place
inside do I choose? In a time so filled with chaos that rules no longer
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apply, I discover that I can rely only on myself. Out of myself I must
author the Good in response to the world of meaning that surrounds and
confronts me. So powerful, in its personal immediacy, are these
experiences, images and meanings, that we cannot turn away from them.
It is as if the World itself is on Fire, wanting to burn and burn and burn
until we run from it in terror, or stand up to it and give the fullest of our
participation to its moderation and its healing.
Yet by Grace, I contain the means to know the Good that my biography
and membership in the shared fate of humanity draws out of me. What I
source becomes a part of the world, and I know that this is so. I know my
freedom to enact the moral grace that my heart comprehends in its deepest
places. Deep inside my soul my very own heart hungers to sing: Love will
I give. Love will I create. Love will I author.
So now we think away the physical - the maya of the sense world, and let
our picture thinking gaze only upon this inner, invisible to the physical
eye, moral act. An act more and more emerging everywhere, for while in
America, and the Cultural West, the Consciousness Soul is first widely
appearing, it will and must appear everywhere that human beings let the
world touch their wounds, while they seek to share with others the trials
by fire of their biographies.
Invited by the Love and Art of Divine Circumstance to look within and to
reach into the depths of our own being in order to source and author that
Good which we know to be right, we touch something spiritual and are
Touched by something Spiritual. In this time of the True Second Coming,
in the inwardness of our souls and invisible to all outer seeing, a Second
Eucharist is being enacted - the Good offers Itself - Its own Being - to us
(Moral Grace). For the Good we know is not just known in the soul as
what we tend to think of as a mere thought, but if we attend most
carefully, it is true Spirit, just as the John Gospel writer told us that Christ
spoke: [John 3:6-8] "What's born of the flesh is flesh, and what's born of
the breath is breath. Don't be amazed because I told you you have to be
born again. The wind blows where it will and you hear the sound of it, but
you don't know where it comes from or where it goes; its the same with
everyone born of the breath."
[The existence of a Second Eucharist, to accompany the True Second
Coming, in no way means to diminish or change the Original Eucharist.
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On the contrary, we will find that via the Second Eucharist our
understanding of the meaning of the Original Eucharist (the
transubstantiation of matter) will deepen. See in this regard, the small
pamphlet: Radiant matter: Decay and Consecration, by Georg
Blattmann. From the transubstantiation of matter we are being led onward
to learning how to participate also in a transubstantiation of thought.]
Thus we are being truly and continuously born again today (each act of
moral grace is another Second Ethereal Eucharist and birth), from out of
our spiritual childhood and into our spiritual adulthood, baptized
outwardly by the fires of the times in our biographies, and by holy breath
within - a Second Eucharist where Christ gives of His own Substance that
biblical knowing of the Good - His own Being. For us to truly know the
Good, requires we join our own soul to the Good. Our yearning to author
the Good out of ourselves is how we participate in the Baptism of being
truly born again, and how we participate in the sacrament of the Second
Eucharist. Christ also participates by giving to us, out of Himself, this
very Good - this Moral Grace. When having received within ourselves
this sacrament of the Second Eucharist, an act that only arises because we
seek it and form its actual application, we remain free - we create moral
law - we author the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Given to us
within by Christ as a capacity, we then author its incarnate nature and pass
it on to the world of our biographies, - from out of us thence into the outer
world (or into the inner world), do we then ourselves author this Good:
love engendered free moral grace.
But how does Christ do this? Is this Good offered to us in this Second
Sacrament as if it was a thing, passed by hand from one to another?
No. Christ as holy breath breathes upon the slumbering burning embers of
our own good nature, just as we breath upon a tiny fire in order to increase
its power. He sacrifices His Being into this breath, which gives Life to the
tiny ember-like fire of our moral heart. The holy breath becomes within
the soul of each human being who asks, seeks and knocks a gift of Living
Warmth that enlivens our own free fire of moral will.
The Narrow Gate opens both ways, making possible thereby the intimate
dialog and conversation of moral deeds and thoughts that is woven
between the i-AM, the Thou and the Christ (wherever two or more are
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gathered...), which intimate conversation leads ultimately to the
consecration - the character development - of the soul.
In this way our thinking can now behold the Meaning of Earth Existence
in the Age of the Consciousness Soul: A macro-cosmic Rite, a Second
Ethereal Eucharist, in which we give birth out of ourselves in the most
intimate way possible, knowledge of the Good, not as mere thought, but as
Life filled moral will, breathed into greater power by the sacrifice of the
true ethereal substance of Christ's Being in the form of holy breath.
The outer world is but a seeming, and what is brought by the Culture of
Media mere pictures of the Stage Setting for the World Temple that is
home to our biographies. When we think away this outer seeming - this
logos formed and maya based sense world, and concentrate only on the
Idea of the moral grace (Life filled holy breath) we receive and then enact
out of the wind warmed fire of individual moral will - as individual law
givers, as the fulfillment of the law and the prophets - we create this
Meaning of Earth Existence. Every act of moral grace, given greater Life
within in the deepest intimacy of our life of soul, is an ethereal
communion with Christ, even though we may only experience it as what
to us is a mere thought of what is the Good at some moment of need in the
biography.
Christ gives us this Gift, by Grace, freely out of Love, and with no need
that we see Him as its Author. We hunger inwardly to know what the
right thing to do is, and when this hungering is authentic, we receive
Christ's Holy Breath. This does not come so much as a thought-picture of
the Good in response to our questing spirit, but rather as the contentless
breathing substance of Christ's Being. We are touched (inspired) by Love,
and at this touch we shape that Breath into the thought that we then know.
The nature of its application and form in which we incarnate this thought
is entirely our own. We shape the thought completely out of our own
freedom - our own moral fire of will, for only we can apply it accurately in
the individual circumstances of our lives.
As the Age of the Consciousness Soul unfolds accompanied by this
Second Eucharist, the Social World of human relationships begins to light
and warm from within. For each free act of moral grace rests upon this
Gift of Christ's Being to us - an ethereal substance received in the
communion within the Temple of the own Soul, freely given in Love
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whenever we genuinely: ask, seek and knock during our search for the
Good. Our participation in this Rite, this trial by Fire leavened by Holy
Breath, leads us to the co-creation of new light and new warmth - the
delicate budding and growing point of co-participated moral deeds out of
which the New Jerusalem is slowly being born.
This co-creation is entirely inward, a slowly dawning Sun within the
macro Invisible World of Spirit. Moreover, we do it collectively (as
humanity). While each of us contributes our part, it is our collective
conscious celebration of the Second Ethereal Eucharist (creating the
Good) that begins the transubstantiation of the collective (presently
materialized and fallen) thought-world of humanity into the New
Jerusalem.
Thought is real, and it is as equally real as is matter. The Original
Eucharist transforms the already divinely given now-dying substance of
earthly matter into Life-filled Spirit through our ritual invitation of the
active Grace of the Divine Mystery; and, our participation in the Second
Ethereal Eucharist transforms dead thought into living ethereal Substance,
through the mystery of our individual spirit's active and embryonic grace,
that becomes united into the collective co-creation of humanity.
In the Invisible World of Spirit, we co-participate, out of the own moral
fire of will, in the Dawn of the New Sun that is to become the New
Jerusalem.
Let us now slow down here for a moment, and take a deep breath, for
these last thoughts above may seem almost too big - too idealistic - to be
easily contemplated. To ease our understanding and gently ground it, let
us consider this situation once again in it most ordinary aspects.
The world of our biographies places each individual into the fires of
experience. These are remarkable gifts that lead us toward moral
questions - often deep and troubling. We yearn to know what to do, and in
this circumstance we may ask, seek and knock. What has been called
earlier in this book Moral Grace is available to us, yet the mystery of this
practice of inner activity is where we ourselves create moral law - where
we become the fulfillment of the law and the prophets.

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In the King's Tale, we saw that Rudolf Steiner's book The Philosophy of
Spiritual Activity showed how to come to this knowledge through the
practices of Gnosis - to knowledge - in the form of moral imagination,
moral intuition and moral technique. In the Healers' Tale, we saw how the
12 Steps helped us to master the soul through the elevation of the spirit,
and in this way come to know God's Will as we understand it. Finally, in
the Shepherd's Tale we came to understand that by asking What Would
Jesus Do out of Faith, we could also come to the needed individual moral
beliefs.
Three different paths (among perhaps many more) all leading to those
individual invisible depths that each of us must uniquely experience,
which we have now seen must be properly called: the Second Eucharist of
Holy Breath. So we come now to perceive the Time - this Age of the
Consciousness Soul - where, if we seek it, we have made ourselves
available to be baptized with Fire and Holy Breath, just as John the
Baptist us told Christ would do, 2000 years ago.
Even so, we still have to truly want to know the Good - to authentically
ask, seek and knock.
***************************************
[For the neophyte: So far we have seen how with Ahriman's incarnation,
humanity was driven deeper into moral crisis - the opposing beings, by
trying to create a world in which evil triumphs, also create a tension in the
social reality that causes people to resist. Refusing to submit to this
pressure, human beings reach into their own depths and draw out of those
depths previously hidden capacities. Life makes a demand, and some fold,
and some stand up. This is nothing new in human existence, except that in
this instance we have come to see how, even though the Prince of Earthly
Dark can incarnate in a human being, and from that place in the center of
our social existence create all kinds of troubles, many people refuse to
bow down to this Prince. Instead, they turn to their own inner resources
and to each other, bringing out of the secret aspects of their own will
moral qualities perhaps they didn't even know they had. If we start to look
around us, we will see that more people do this - reach to the deep inside than those who fall deeper into the dark. Who does this? Who stands up?
Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. The salt of the earth
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refuse to stand by and let evil prevail. In them the seed of the Father
resides, and this mystery we will take up next.
Below is an in depth look at one of the possible processes by which our
own thinking can be changed in profound ways, through the application of
moral grace to our own inner activity. Instead of just acting in the outer
world, we wake up and become an actor in our inner world. It is this
transformed thinking that enabled me to come to the knowledge that stands
behind my ability to write the above two essays. Many who read this will
recognize that much of what is described they already do, to some extent
or another. Recall that the American Soul as an natural instinct for
Anthroposophy and for the Consciousness Soul, such that every time a
reader of this says to themselves: I already try to do this, you are
recognizing this healthy instinct.]
In Joyous Celebration of the
Soul Art and Music of Discipleship
- a moderately serious introductory sketch unveiling
a mostly American way of understanding the New Thinking first some necessary context
Recently in the News for Members of the Anthroposophical Society in
America (late 2005), was published a wonderful lecture given by Dennis
Klocek, elaborating the alchemical foundations living in Rudolf Steiner's
spiritual scientific work. The essay below means to be something from
just one voice out of another of the streams that seeks to find its home
within the Anthroposophical Society and Movement - the stream of
discipleship, of those who are karmically related to the original Twelve
and the direct participation in certain aspects of the Mystery of Golgotha.
[See the essay above (The Meaning...) for why I write in this way.]
In the essay that follows, it might help the reader to understand that it is
mostly written for, and out of, the American Soul. About this Soul,
Rudolf Steiner spoke in different places and in the following ways, which
I will paraphrase: The American comes to Anthroposophy naturally.
English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life
of Rights. There is a hidden and unique form of Anthroposophy that is to
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develop in America in the future, and one should look to Emerson and his
circle of friends to appreciate it.
The reader, of whatever Soul background and gesture, who would seek
inner stimulation from actively engaging this essay, should understand that
for the American Soul much of what is described below is already
instinctively present. This instinctive relationship to the art and music of
discipleship appears first in the American Soul in the dominant tendency
to be directed outwardly toward the world, fully engaged in social reality,
and sometimes (often more frequently than appears on the Evening News)
seeking to heal the social world's wounds. Part of the hidden mystery of
this Soul is that it is possible to take what is so present instinctively, and
awaken it by gradual degrees into full consciousness. This task may turn
out to be far easier for the American Soul, than has so far been imagined
within Anthroposophical circles.
To fully inaugurate this gradual awakening, however, does require turning
from the outer world and its worries and wonders for a bit, and to look
within - to practice introspection. When looking within becomes a normal
part of soul life, American anthroposophists should not be surprised to
find that they already live instinctively in their wills in ways with
considerable kinship with the path of discipleship - the path of moral
action in the world through renunciation and love. With the addition of
this introspective looking within, we add to the thinking we already do
about the field of outer-world social moral action, a complementary and
much needed thinking about the soul-field of inner moral action. Outer
world thinking and action are enhanced by everything we learn from the
practice of looking, thinking and acting within.
By the way, it is not the point of this essay to encourage any divisive
distinction, such as might be assumed because of the emphasis on matters
American. Nor is it being suggested here, for example, that Americans are
any better at Anthroposophy in any way. On the contrary, we are just
different. Each Soul gesture in the Threefold World has unique gifts to
offer, and this essay means to serve the potential freeing of those yet
untapped American gifts from a kind of child-like imitation of things
European. This tendency, to model our soul practices on a kind of
European anthroposophical idealism of the soul, was a natural impulse
connected to our admiration of the work of our European brothers and
sisters. It is time to grow past this however, to discover our far more
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earthly and pragmatic way to the Spirit. And, to do this not only for the
benefit of the American Soul Itself, but also for the benefit of the
Anthroposophical Movement world-wide.
There are then two themes, which while related are also quite separate.
The relationship of the Alchemical stream and the Discipleship stream is
one theme, and the relationship of the American Soul to the wider world is
another. The point of intersection, between the Discipleship stream and
the instinctive capacities of the American Soul, shows only that the
Rosicrucian and Manichean streams of the Old World, and their
connection to Initiation, does not quite have the same meaning for the
American Soul as does the natural Christ Impulse inspired in Americans,
and revealed by their relationship to the outer world of social need (in part
a consequence of the fact, that due to its rampant individualism, the
Consciousness Soul is developing faster here - See Ben-Aharon's
"America's Global Responsibility: individualism, initiation and
threefolding").
The Alchemical stream is a stream of studied spiritual knowledge and of
initiation. It is more of the Kings and of Gnosis than of the Shepherds and
of Faith. The Discipleship stream is more related to that moral work in
life that comes from following the Teachings of Christ, and thus is more of
the Shepherds than of the Kings. The disciples, who were meant to be
fishers and shepherds of human beings, were not (in general) of the old
mystery streams as were the Kings (St. Paul, remember, was not a
disciple, but began was an enemy of Christ prior to his initiation on the
road to Damascus). The Shepherds belong to what was being newly
created - to the future Mysteries that are to arise from the social commons.
These future Mysteries are not to flow out of the old, now impotent and
dysfunctional hierarchically organized Mystery Centers, but from finely
and homeopathically distributed Branches and Discussion Groups - that is
the New Mysteries are to be born out of and in ordinary social life where
groups of individuals draw together (wherever two or more are
gathered...).
At the same time, while the America Soul is more naturally of the
Shepherd stream, - of the discipleship stream, because of its orientation to
outer world moral action, it can by turning inward and seeking a pragmatic
introspective life, begin to draw from the wisdom-well of renewed
European spiritual life. Rudolf Steiner, in his works on objective
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philosophical introspection ("A Theory of Knowledge Implicit In
Goethe's World Conception"; "Truth and Knowledge"; and "The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity") gives us a quite useful generalized map
to this introspectively investigated inner territory - a territory that for the
American Soul has many different and unique characteristics. With
Emerson, we get a similar map, not as exact and scientifically rigorous,
but one which nonetheless is more in harmony with the actual landscape
of the American Soul.
We can then read Steiner to initiate us into our introspective soul voyages,
in the most objective and scientific fashion; and, read Emerson for that
travelogue, which is more attuned to the unique scenic beauty to be
actually found there, given that the American Soul, like the other soulgestures of the Threefold world, is differently oriented in its fundamental
nature.
I have tried here to distinguish two problems that ought not to be
confused. This article is not saying that the American Soul and the
Discipleship stream are identical, only that there is a definite kinship.
What is also being said is that for those in this discipleship stream (of
which there are no doubt many - Americans and otherwise - within the
Society and Movement, and for whom this article also aims to provide
greater self-understanding), they will tend to be less attracted to exercises
aimed at spiritual development, and more called to moral action in life,
which incidental to its true deeds, produces the after effect called:
character development.
"For every one step in spiritual development, there must be three steps in
character development". Rudolf Steiner: "Knowledge of Higher Worlds
and How to Attain It".
[Keep in mind, when thinking about character development, this question:
To what aspect of character development do we relate a good sense of
humor, laughter, foolishness and dance? Please also note that at one time
the word silly meant to be possessed by the sacred.]
This is not to suggest that specific spiritual developmental exercises are
unimportant, but rather just to point out that if the moral (character)
development lags behind, it more and more becomes a danger that
spiritual experience will come toward us in a one-sided way. Further, we
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need to understand that true heart thinking is almost entirely a
consequence of the extent to which the will to do the Good (that is to be
moral) is the foundation for all feeling and thinking activities.
To make some of this a little more concrete, we might notice that it would
not be uncommon for those drawn to the Discipleship stream to find that
their biography involves a need to encounter the 12 Steps of AA, or to
have to undertake some similar deep moral-Trial work. Challenges to
character development are common in biographies with a strong kinship
with the discipleship stream. Which thought then leads us to the essential
point. Moral or character development does not result from spiritual
exercises, but only from inner and outer actions in the biography, and their
related moral dilemmas. The practice of exercises builds capacities in the
Soul, while moral actions, both inward and outward, apply these capacities
in life (which then purifies the Soul). Christ puts it this way: Blind
Pharisee, wash out the inside of the cup and saucer first, if you want the
outside to end up clean [for the whole theme, see Matthew 23: 25-28]
Let us review a bit: From a certain point of view, the Alchemical stream
is very European, and thus has a tendency to put forward the incarnation
of an Ideal as a goal, leading to the emphasis on spiritual exercises,
knowledge and initiation. Americans, on the other hand, tend to face the
social as a problem to be solved through moral action. This is very
pragmatic, for it is not the purity of an ideal that matters as much as being
able to do something to help others. In this sense, the stream of
Discipleship is more natural to Americans because, in harmony with our
engagement with and in the world, as social helpers, discipleship is rooted
in moral action - in doing the Good ("...and crown thy Good, with
Brotherhood...").
[Isn't this Brotherhood also partly related to our ability to help each other
experience the katharsis of laughter, especially under dire circumstances.
Conversation does have a higher function than light, but then what about a
well encouraged giggle? The Shadow cannot abide humor, and runs away
when we make fun of it.]
In a sense, the idealism of the European anthroposophist has blinded the
American anthroposophist, first by suggesting there is only one way to be
anthroposophical (a European soul idealism), and second by failing to
appreciate that the American Soul is considerably different. The result is
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that instead of coming to true self knowledge, we (in America) have been
pursuing what is at best a temporary illusion (a goal we really can't
achieve), instead of our developing, more consciously, the earthly
(including humorous and joyous), socially oriented and pragmatic instinct
that is our given nature.
I hope the above has not been too confusing. Mostly I just wanted to point
out certain contextual themes, and leave to the reader's own thinking
precisely what to make of these ideas. In what comes next, where we get
more deeply into the pragmatic and the concrete, I hope then that these
contextual matters will, as we proceed, begin to make a more practical,
and a less abstract, sense.
*
[a brief biographical note: My interest in introspection began around 35
years ago, in 1971, as a result of a kind of spontaneous awakening in my
31st year. I didn't call it introspection at that time, but I had become quite
awake inwardly, and was only able to orient myself to these experiences
using the Gospels. Seven years later, in 1978, I met the work of Rudolf
Steiner, and gravitated to his writings on philosophy, particularly A
Theory of Knowledge..., and The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity. I also
became very interested in Goethean Science, projective geometry and all
the Steiner material on the social problem, which was my own main outerworld interest. It was over 25 years later, in 1997, that I wrote my first
effort at describing what I had learned about the moral nature of the Soul
under these two influences: the Gospels and Steiner's writings on objective
philosophical introspection. That essay was called "pragmatic moral
psychology" and can be found on my website . At that time, however, I
did not yet know enough about the Shadow, and only now, almost 10
years later, can I write the immediately below with some confidence in my
appreciation of the intricacies of these problems in the light of an intimate
experience of the threefold double-complex.]
substance, or better yet,
selling water by the river*
*[The river of the soul lies inward in everyone. To teach, as it were, about
the soul, is to sell water by the river, to give to someone something that is
already right in front of their own true face. In spite of all that exists, for
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example in our home libraries of Steiner texts etc., there are really only
two essential books for the study of the soul: the Book of Life, and the
Book of our Own Soul. Learn to read those, and you'll know the core of
what you need to know. A text, even this text, can at best be a word-map
describing a territory you'll only really know by direct experience,
however many other books you ever read. The reality of matters spiritual
is, however, not found in reading, but only in action. We can acquire a lot
of concepts by reading, but we need experience (the consequences of
action) more.]
We should keep in mind as we begin, that what is described below is
essentially very human and very ordinary. It is one possible descriptive
word-map, as it were, of the soul engaged in the dynamics of inner
awakening via the path of discipleship. As a map, it will be somewhat
abstract and defined. The actual territory is something else altogether human, messy, inconstant, prone to emotional ups and downs - that is all
the wonders of ordinary consciousness. All a word-map tries to do is to
point out various significant features. Look out for these mountains,
notice those valleys. Here is a pure spring, there is a hard and dangerous
rock wall. It is my hope that the reader will find below some guidelines
which will help them to chart their own path through the pristine forests
and dark swamplands of the soul. Keep in mind it takes courage to
explore there, but at the same time there is no other adventure quite like it.
Recall then what Dennis Klocek gave in his lecture to the 2005 AGM, and
then published shortly thereafter in the News for Members (or if you
didn't hear or read it, try to find a copy as soon as you can): On the
blackboard a mandala: a circle, expressing a series of alchemical
relationships: earth (freedom); water (phenomenology); air (silent
practice) and fire (dialog). The circle form suggests a return to earth
(freedom) at some new or higher kind of level. But before considering
that, first some deep background.
If, from a certain point of view, we think of the above four elements in
Dennis Klocek's lecture as notes in a rising scale, we could also find that
in between each note is an interval. While the note is in itself more of a
step in spiritual development supported by spiritual exercises, the use in
life (the interval) of the acquired spiritual skill/capacity is more of a moral
act - an aspect of the process of character development. The soul is fallen
- it is an out of tune instrument, yet we hunger to return, to rise up and to
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experience reintegration, and to give voice to the joy of coming Home,
which the Story of the Return of the Prodigal Son tells us leads to
celebration and feasting.
Because the spiritual development exercises are so well known, and so
completely covered elsewhere in Steiner's basic books, as well as Dennis
Klocek's books, I will not be discussing them here. This essay assumes a
general knowledge of that work, and some practice in their use. Here we
are looking at the development of the Soul solely with regard to its
struggles with the so very messy, personal and human moral questions of
the biography.
In case there is some confusion here, in Steiner's Knowledge of Higher
Worlds, the moral is approached mostly through a series of admonitions,
encouraging the student to orient him or her self in life in certain ideal
ways. Only in The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, with the discussions
of moral imagination, moral intuition and moral technique, did Steiner
confront the moral problem directly and exactly.
The details that follow I have derived from my own (naturally messy and
human, stupid and silly, and when I really get serious - pretentious)
introspective investigations of the moral dimensions of the soul, but it
should be kept in mind that while it is prudent to describe these phases and
Trials as if separated in time in the soul, they are much more likely to be
layered over each other - and often simultaneous in a variety of ways. It
also needs to be clear that what is to follow wishes only to add another
dimension - another view from a different direction - to what Dennis
Klocek gave, and not to contradict it in any way whatsoever.
It is particularly crucial to note here that we are mostly discussing those
moral acts that take place in the Soul, not those in the outer biography.
There is a relationship to be sure, but it will help to understand that we are
moral in both worlds: the outer world of our biographies, and the inner
world of Soul practice and art.
I emphasize the word Trial to add another quality to our understanding.
Moral development takes place in the biography through Trials. These
challenges to the life of soul and spirit are meant to be difficult. We
become deeply engaged in our karma of wounds with others in these
Trials. Moreover, these are called Trials precisely because there is great
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pain, suffering and effort (as well as not enough fun) connected to them,
and because the Shadow plays such an important and often decisive role.
Furthermore, various aspects of the Seven Stages of the Passion of Christ
(as described in the John Gospel) are enacted in the Soul via these
biographical Trials: the Washing of the Feet, the Scourging, the Crowning
with Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross, the Crucifixion, the Entombment,
and the Resurrection. There is nothing abstract about these difficult
processes of soul transformation, and this should be kept in mind as we
go forward, namely that: every time I use the word Trial I am speaking of
quite human, difficult and sometimes years long life-crises.
There is, in this regard, something of a kind of spiritual law involved. Just
as the world of the senses has its laws of gravity and color, so the soul
world has its laws. The ones to keep in mind here are the karma of
wounds in the outer biography, as well as the outer and inner moral Trials
to be faced there, which bear an exact and direct interrelationship. To face
a challenge in life, to face a Trial, means to engage in just that personal
teaching which belongs specifically to that baptism by biographical fire*
most needed for the development of our individual character.
*[see previous essay]
Consider a marriage for example, or the children to be raised there. These
relationships are not trivial distractions to any spiritual development, but
rather are precisely those riddles and mysteries of life belonging
particularly to our own ego's character developmental needs. One can
read all kinds of spiritual books, practice all manner of spiritual exercises,
and still not advance because the biographical tasks are ignored. To begin
to awaken within, and to appreciate that we are surrounded in our
biography with just those moral tasks and Trials we individually need, is
to recognize just how precisely and miraculously has Christ, as the Artist
of our karma of wounds, woven us into the world of personal
relationships. So when Christ advises that unless we become again as
little children, we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven, He is, among other
matters, telling us precisely who our deepest spiritual teachers in life often
are.
This world of personal relationships, and their corresponding moral Trials,
whether of family or work, or even wider world challenges, is also very
elastic in a sense. We are quite free in it, and it has a quality that can
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respond rather exactly to only those tasks which we choose to take up.
Part of true Faith is to accept what comes to us as challenges, yet at the
same time to recognize that our freedom also allows us to choose at every
juncture, which way to turn, what burden to carry and when to laugh at
ourselves.
For example, the interval from earth (freedom) to water (phenomenology)
involves the skill: thinking about. This skill we receive as a natural aspect
of living in this age, in that we are inwardly free to decide what to think;
and, in accord with the Age of the Consciousness Soul, we are also
becoming more and more able to form individual free moral ideas as well.
The Consciousness Soul really just means that if we inwardly wish to
know the Good, in any particular moment of moral demand, crisis or need,
we can in fact know what the Good is. Yet, in order to have this
knowledge, we first have to ask, seek and knock. We have to inwardly
form the question, and struggle there to let ourselves answer from the
higher nature of our ego. The Good is what we make it to be, and as this
essay proceeds, we will get deeper and deeper into this Mystery. This is
why my book (found for free on line at
http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/twotf.html or which can be purchased at
www.lulu.com) "the Way of the Fool" calls this capacity to know the
Good: Moral Grace.
[As an aside, for those more familiar with Steiner's terminology, you
should keep in mind that by necessity he was required to cognitively form
his research and understanding into the language of the Intellectual Soul,
as that was the condition of his audiences. In this book we are writing out
of the language of the Consciousness Soul itself (something toward which
American's are instinctively gifted). So, for example, when in the opening
lecture of the book The Challenge of the Times Steiner speaks of the need
for people to work out of an experience of the threshold, he is using
Intellectual Soul terminology. In the essay above, where I have elaborated
carefully on the Second Ethereal Eucharist experience, this has been a
quite concrete and exact picture of human intercourse across the threshold
in the language of the Consciousness Soul. I also mean to suggest here
that it is quite possible to take many of Steiner's works and translate them
from Intellectual Soul language into Consciousness Soul language. The
attentive reader of this text, who takes to heart the suggested practices,
will in fact eventually find themselves able to do this translation process
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themselves. Once able to do this, the reader will be able to confirm not
only their own experience, but all that is written here in Steiner
themselves, for nothing here is contrary to what Steiner offered.]
Now in this thinking about there is the object of our interest, in
relationship to which we are the subject. As subject, we think about this
object. This thinking is also essentially (and initially) discursive to our
inner experience. We appear to inwardly talk to ourselves. Our spirit
seems to inwardly speak that which our soul then hears.
It is with the skill thinking about that we first enter on the problem of the
Water Trial of phenomenology. Thinking about naturally contains
something of the shadow forces of the soul, in that our feeling life is, in
the beginning, dominated by antipathies and sympathies*. These natural
likes and dislikes of our individualized soul color all that we think about.
Through them what we think about acquires an individualized (nonobjective) meaning for the spirit - the i-AM, in the soul.
*[see R.S. lecture 4, Social and Anti-social Instincts, in The Challenge of
the Times, where you will find the following discussion approached
indirectly through the language of the Intellectual Soul.]
[The use of this form of the term "i-AM", is meant to lessen the emphasis
on the being nature of the ego - its noun-like aspect, and to place more
emphasis on the action nature - on the verb-like aspect of the ego. The
being nature of the ego tends to be more related to the teachings of the
Buddha, while the action nature of the ego tends to be more related to the
teachings of Christ.]
In the light of Steiner's The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, the
experience (the percept) is, in the beginning, distorted in its meaning (the
thought, the concept) by the shadow elements lingering in the yet
unredeemed antipathies and sympathies. By the way, the reader should be
clear that only their own personal introspective observations can
adequately discern what is going on within ones own soul. We have little
business believing we can make such determinations about, or for,
another.
Noticing these excessive and unredeemed aspects of antipathy and
sympathy will give us our first vague perceptions of the work of the
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threefold double-complex, the Shadow in the Soul. Thought is a flower
rooted in the soul-soil of feeling, and filled from within by the blossoming
life of the will-in-thinking. Where an excess of unconsciousness infects
this soil and this life, the Shadow is given free play.
In order to progress properly through the life passages that comprise the
Water Trial, we have to learn to renounce the unredeemed antipathy and
sympathy. This is the central moral act that makes possible the
transformation via the Water Trial from thinking about to thinking with.
We enter the Water Trial knowing how to think about, and we can leave
the Water Trial knowing how to think with. The essential moral nature of
this Trial is outlined in the Gospels in the Sermon on the Mount, in the
teaching concerning the mote and the beam. In the biography, when we
learn to struggle with the covering over (or painting in thought via the
unconscious Shadow driven creation of mental pictures) of the persons
that we meet with our individual unredeemed antipathies and sympathies,
we are learning about the beam in our own eye. We see not the person,
but our own soul as that lives in our projected sympathies and antipathies.
To learn to see past the beam, to meet the true phenomena of the other, to
learn to think with them rather than about them, this is the moral craft to
be discovered during the Water Trial.
The biography gives us just those experiences that challenge this learning.
The spouse, the child, the co-worker, the boss, the neighbor, the relative,
or the stranger-other, all will evoke the beam, the unredeemed mental
pictures. We must learn how not to paint our experience with this already
unconsciously given thought-content, and instead learn to let the
experience itself speak into the soul, and to become consciously active as
a creator of the free thought in relationship to the experience.
Again, one way to banish the Shadow influence here (when we discover
our thinking to be possessed by the beam) is to laugh at ourselves - to see
the essential silliness of our dark inner depictions of others, as well as
those depictions which are too sympathetic (that is where we raise another
up to the level of a kind of minor deity, such as how too many view
Rudolf Steiner - and others - out of a soul mood of ungrounded and
unrealistic admiration).
Sobriety, for all its virtues, must be balanced with play, otherwise the soul
becomes an arid desert.
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So, for example, when we look at another person and recognize that they
are, in themselves, not just that which we observe in the moment, but
rather that they are their whole history - their whole biography (in fact a
sequence of biographies), and when we learn to consciously set aside the
reactive feelings of antipathy and sympathy, only then can we start to
think with who they truly are, and not just about them. Our folk wisdom
calls this learning to walk in another's shoes.
This thinking with can of course be applied to anything living, anything
that has a life element to its nature, not just human beings, plants or
animals. This includes the history (the story) of a social form, such as a
family, or even an Anthroposophical Branch. When we recreate in the
imagination, free of antipathy and sympathy, the story-picture of
something, we are then learning to think with the object of our thought.
Goethe taught himself to think with the plant, and to this organic way of
thinking Rudolf Steiner later gave the name: Goetheanism, which is a
thinking that leaves behind the discursive aspect of thinking about, and
replaces that with a thinking with - a qualitative characterizing picture
thinking (Tomberg's formulation). We do this by learning to make inner
images (mental pictures) consciously. We still retain the ability to think
discursively about these inner images - thinking about does not disappear,
but remains a skill which can be applied when we choose and where we
feel it is appropriate (which is why I wrote earlier of the layered nature of
these soul phenomena).
Two additional aspects of soul phenomena need to be understood here the attention and the intention and their relationship. The moral act of
renunciation is more related to those actions of the will-in-thinking that
determines on which particular object we focus our attention. When we
are lost to the beam in our own eye, part of our attention is unconsciously
focused on our own soul's reactive feelings of antipathy and sympathy. To
the act of renunciation of these interfering aspects of our attention, we
need to join the intention to love the object of this phenomenological
(story-picture) thinking. After subduing the impulse to live imprisoned
and in the thrall of the beam in our own eye (reactive feelings of antipathy
and sympathy), we use our first stage (necessarily awkward and tentative)
understanding of how to love the other in such a way so as to redeem them
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in thought. We consciously create a new picture to replace the old
unconscious and reactive one.
As part of the Water Trial, we don't just set aside the reactive feelings, but
we learn how to create in the soul cultivated feelings. We create freely
chosen cultivated moods of soul - that is intended feelings of reverence,
wonder and so forth, which then have a salutary effect on the thought
content that is to be produced according to where we let our attention
come to rest. This is an example of where the exercises bear fruit. If we
have practiced these exercises, this will be a great help when we then need
to apply the newly learned ability to form cultivated moods of soul, as a
prelude and foundation for thinking with someone in a new way.
With a cultivated feeling we transform the soul-soil from which the
thought is born and then flowers (which is also why the ideal is expressed
as: thinking with the heart).
In a certain sense, what is renounced, love replaces. What is given up,
becomes transformed. What is dark, is turned to gold. What is evil - our
dark habits rooted in the unconscious fear and mistrust of the other - the
Thou, are beginning to be transformed into love. And, best of all, what is
too sober, particularly in our Self, can - as is necessary - be made silly.
The renunciation of unredeemed antipathy and sympathy does not,
however, mean their elimination. The will acquires the capacity to master
this somewhat base song of the soul. We cease attending to it
unconsciously, and turn that attention (and the related intention)
elsewhere. We master the unconscious soul gesture that leads antipathies
and sympathies into the forefront of the soul, and like a good choir
director, silence it so that we can concentrate on other instruments of soul
potential, other voices. Transformed and conscious feelings of antipathy
and sympathy become a valid means of discernment. But we need to be
awake to the arising and becoming of these feelings, if we wish not to give
the shadow element free play.
The will-in-thinking (an awake and more and more morally pure intention
and attention) fills the thought with life (which is why I add to the ideal of
thinking with the heart, the ideal also to will the good).

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In this way we also refine the gold that is latent in antipathy and sympathy
- their capacities for discernment and truth are enhanced, because we
apply them with more consciousness - a more awake attention and
intention. In the teaching on the beam and the mote, Christ, in Matthew
7:5, ends it this way: You fake, first get the log out of your own eye and
then you can see about getting the splinter out of your brother's
eye.[emphasis added]
Again, one of the best ways to eliminate the log is to learn to laugh at it.
The log arises from the Shadow side of soul life, and in the light and
warmth of our learning to laugh at ourselves, the Shadow's hold dissolves.
In Steiner's The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, we are taught the
importance of the moral basis for our actions, whether outwardly in the
sense world, or inwardly in the soul. Only that action, which is preceded
by a self-determined moral reason (intention), is truly free. Even so, no
one should be surprised to discover that they are already trying to do these
activities in some fashion or another. Emerson said this: In self trust all
virtues are comprehended. The purpose of this essay - this word-map - is
to help us raise out of the realm of instinct, step by step into full
consciousness, our already existing natural goodness.
[Another brief biographical note: As I shared previously, I underwent a
kind of spontaneous awakening at age 31, and one of the by-products of
this inner infusion of light, was that I became hyper-aware of judging
people. I could see myself putting them into various boxes and categories,
and being now awake to this beam in my own eye, I could also see that
this was not right - it violated conscience, so that I struggled to learn how
to not do it. That said, learning how not to do it, does not mean that we
always apply this newly learned moral craft. On the contrary, I often fell
back into old ways many times over the years, although there did slowly
dawn a kind of sensitivity, that let me see that I had been again in thrall of
the beam. Stepping outside the prison of the beam does not become
automatic - a habit, but must always be applied, in the moment,
consciously, with intention and attention (the will-in-thinking).]
After we have learned to renounce (consciously and for specific and
individually freely chosen moral reasons) our soul gestures of yet
unredeemed antipathy and sympathy, in order to learn how to think with
that object of thinking which we are learning to love, do we then move out
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of the Water Trial, via more necessity, to the life passages of the Air Trial.
This movement from water (phenomenology) to air (silent practice),
which before (at the entrance to the Water Trial) began with thinking
about, now begins with the newly learned craft of thinking with. We start
with that which we have now discovered as a spiritual development in the
course of the Water Trial, and then apply that new level of moral craft
(capacity of the will) of renunciation and love to the Air Trial. The will-in
thinking, which has learned to master the unredeemed aspects of feelings
of antipathy and sympathy, and to replace these with thoughts born out of
cultivated moods of soul, is now strengthened. It is this strength that then
lends itself to the life lessons of the Air Trial.
Dennis Klocek described the Air Trial as a learning to think backwards of unraveling, or unrolling, the thought content produced by thinking with.
The Discipleship stream sees it from a slightly different direction, one
which, however, is not in opposition, but which instead is once more
intended to be complementary.
Via the Water Trial we have learned how to think with, and that has
produced a thought content in the soul. It is this content that must now be
renounced in the Air Trial. When Steiner wrote of this he called it:
sacrifice of thoughts. We learn how, again in meeting people, to not have
a thought content at all. We become inwardly silent. Strong forces of will
are needed in order to subdue the already achieved thought content, which
we have wrapped around another person (or any other object of thinking),
even if this content now lives free of unredeemed antipathies and
sympathies. We can also renounce, during the life passages of major
aspects of the Air Trial, those thoughts produced only by thinking about.
Further, in the feeling life there live attachments to the thought content.
We have, after all, produced it. It is our creation, and we like it (most of
the time - where the Shadow has unconsciously produced the thought
content, we can learn to relate to this soul phenomena out of a healthy
antipathetic discernment - we can come to not liking it that we have such a
thought). Sometimes, however, we can't even separate our own sense of
self from this thought content. Nonetheless, to traverse the Air Trial we
need to renounce our collection of mental pictures (thoughts). Remember,
the self development that accompanies the sequence of alchemical Trials
is not just related to spiritual exercises, but also to moral or character
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development; the chief features of which are acts of sacrifice - acts of
renunciation, and acts of love (the beginnings of: Not I, but Christ in me).
Steiner also calls this attachment to our thought content, in certain
circumstances: being in bondage to the concept "One must be able to
confront an idea and experience it; otherwise one will fall into its
bondage" (The Philosophy of Freedom, last sentence of the original
Preface). It can be a savage inner struggle - this Air Trial - to learn to
forcefully set aside our favorite pictures of the world, a seemingly
negative artistic act, sometimes taking months to accomplish. At the same
time, their essential nature does not disappear, for the very same
qualitative aspects of our true nature - our true i-AM - can once again call
them forth. Thought does not disappear, it only becomes latent and goes
into a kind of pralaya (the state of being uncreated, unformed). The willin-thinking is strengthened by this act of renunciation, and when we
choose to think again concerning this same object of our thought, the
penetrating new powers of the will-in-thinking (attention and intention)
can call forth from this pralaya an ever deeper understanding of the
underlying meaning and truth of that about which we have chosen to
think.
[another biographical note: I first explored this process during my many
long years of the Water Trial, which really began when I discovered that I
had become captured by a psychological paradigm, or world picture. I had
come to view everyone, after a time, through the lens of this
psychologically based world picture. I discovered that the best way to
become inwardly free of this capture, was to undo any relationship to this
paradigm, an activity that took several months. A year or so later, I let
myself be captured by a similar world picture, this one connected to
Tibetan Buddhism. Again, many months were needed to become inwardly
free - to break the chains of the teaching - to be able to only experience
these thoughts when and if I consciously called them forth. Subsequently,
upon encountering Anthroposophy, I gave myself wholly to it - became
intoxicated with it in a way, and spent three years drinking in all that I
could manage, eventually once more finding myself inwardly lacking the
spiritual freedom before the concept that I knew by then was essential.
Only after many months of work at sacrifice of thoughts, was I able to
stand in relationship to the massive and marvelous thought content of
Spiritual Science, inwardly free. Through this activity of sacrifice of
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thoughts, I eventually stood in relationship to concepts, acquired from
Steiner, in such manner that they only appeared in my consciousness when
called forth. From this free perspective (which I was then able to survey
as a whole), I then could see that Anthroposophy was not a thought
content at all, but rather just the method of awake, and fully conscious
(intended and attended) free thinking I had been instinctively seeking for
many years.]
As the shadow elements (unredeemed antipathies and sympathies - Water
Trial, and emotional attachments to our self-created thought content - Air
Trial) are being let go, we now begin to have another experience
connected to the Gospels. This is again related to the Sermon on the
Mount, specifically the beatitude: "blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs
is the kingdom of heaven".
The rolling back, the sacrifice of, the renouncing of the previously created
thought content, makes the soul inwardly poor in spirit. As we empty out
the soul, we begin to learn a new spiritual activity, which might be called
thinking within. The Air Trial passages of life are taking us from thinking
with toward thinking within. This opens us to the delicate first stages of
the conscious experience of the kingdom of heaven as It begins to appear
with greater clarity out of the general background noise of the soul, and on
the wings of our natural instinct for the embryonic New Thinking. The
Air Trial is developing that which is meant to take us upward and onward
to the Fire Trial, or dialog. When we are poor in spirit, empty of the
previously given thought content (and master of silent practice*), then we
can, to a degree, experience directly the inside of the object of our thought.
In personal relationships, this is the capacity for the beginnings of true
empathy.
*[Tomberg, in his Anthroposophical Studies of the New Testament
writes: Exercise thy forces so thou mayst create thine inner Kingdom.
Surrender this kingdom after thou hast created it. Resign thyself as a
beggar to the Spirit!"]
In a sense, the base elements of unredeemed antipathy and sympathy are a
foundation in the soul. They are of the earth. In the Water Trial, we rise to
a more subtle and plastic condition in the soul. To think with, to know the
phenomenology of the object of thought, is to bring the thinking into
movement with its object. The earth aspect is more solid and crystallized,
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while the water aspect more fluid and more mobile. The discursively
produced thought is dead (the instinctive living element necessary for any
thought remains in the unconscious), while the consciously created
picture-thought is more living. With the air element, the soul becomes
more expansive. Thought that is renounced in the Air Trial dissipates,
disperses and dissolves into the general spiritual background of the soul the previously noted pralaya (uncreated, unformed) condition. The willin-thinking does not any longer call it forth, nor does it let the thought call
itself forth. When we are in bondage to an idea, it calls itself forth, and
the Air Trial teaches us to break the chains by which we have let our
unconscious feeling attachment tie us to the concept/idea. We break these
chains of feeling by dissolving them, and Dennis Klocek's metaphor of
rolling back the thought is quite apt. We untie it from its attachment to the
soul, and without doubt the practice of the spiritual exercise of the
Ruskshau is a great help here.
Only then, when we are truly empty, can thought, in the sense that it is the
true inside of our object of thinking, come toward us. The true idea of the
object moves toward us, as we learn to open ourselves to it, such that it
then thinks in us. As Christ says in Luke 17: 20-21 "Asked by the
Pharisees when the the kingdom of God was coming he answered: "The
kingdom of God doesn't come with the watching like a hawk, and they
don't say, Here it is, or There it is, because, you know what? the kingdom
of God is inside you."
Steiner writes at age 25, in "The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in
Goethe's World Conception", published in 1886, that: What takes place in
human consciousness is the interpretation of Nature to itself. Thought is
the last member in the series of processes whereby Nature is formed.
While Emerson writes at age 33 in the essay "Nature"", published in 1836,
50 years before Steiner wrote the above: Nature is the incarnation of a
thought, and turns to a thought again, as ice becomes water and gas. The
world is mind precipitated, and the volatile essence is forever escaping
again into the state of free thought.
Thus, having mastered (to a degree) silent practice (learned how to be
poor in spirit), we are at the beginning of the Fire Trial, and similar in kind
to our previous renunciations, the soul now begins to discover how
thinking can be in deepest kinship with its object, by abandoning the Self 107

by no longer seeing ourselves as the center of the universe. Instead we
begin to love the object of thinking more than we love ourselves. This
deepening intention to love, in that our own i-AM learns to stand out of the
way, allows the i-AM of the other more room in the soul - we begin to see
them not just from their inside - true empathy or thinking within, but as
them, united with them. Again, anything living that can be thought
empathically, can also be even more deeply known when we learn to unite
with it in thought. But this requires more than our own action. The art of
true empathy, or thinking within, now, as we let go our own centrality of
being, becomes the chalice in which It can think in us - and the life
passage of Fire Trial begins to unfold.
This is the fruit of the Air Trial now carried further - the spiritual
developmental capacity to have dialog with the realm of the invisibles, for
true empathy free of self importance and rooted in inner silence, now lets
the inner being of the other - the Thou - speak. Having understood how
we become in bondage to the concept, and emotionally attached to it, we
no longer repeat those actions, with the result that thought tends not to
come to rest in the soul, to coagulate there. Instead, thought now passes
through the soul - flows like a living stream.
[In 1999, seven years ago, I wrote this: My method basically now consists
(when life circumstances allow it) of sitting at my desk and writing
descriptive passages of social and political realities. Inwardly the
experience is analogous to looking at a clear stream. The surface of the
stream results from my inner activity in sacrifice of thoughts, fact
gathering, picture forming and artistic expression (more or less done
simultaneously). At the same time as my thinking sees this clear surface, I
can perceive that there arises, on the other side of that surface, activity
which does not belong to my own will, but which appears there
spontaneously of its own accord. The clear surface is then a product of
two activities acting in concert. With my writing I record what appears
there.]
With this art (thinking within), which was earlier merely a skill (thinking
about) and then a craft (thinking with), we now are in the midst of the Fire
Trial. But before discussing this Trial more deeply from the point of view
of Discipleship, we need to look ahead a bit and understand what lies on
the other side of the Fire Trial. We need to have a picture of what happens
in between - in the moral interval between fire (dialog) and the new earth
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(new freedom), as the circle gesture spirals around in a kind of
completion, before moving on to a new level of experience.
[a bit more biography: the material next to be presented, regarding what
can happen after the life passage of the Fire Trial, is a little bit speculative
on my part. While I have had quite definite experiences of the kind:
Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition (mostly by Grace from Above), I am
neither naturally clairvoyant nor an initiate. I am not even sure most of us
need anymore to strongly seek such a goal, at least certainly not in a single
lifetime. When I get deeper into the Fire Trial material itself (below),
especially given the layered nature of the soul capacities and experiences
of all the Trials, and as well the true mystery nature of ordinary
consciousness, why I encourage a consideration of the more modest goal
of a kind of sacramental thinking (as against initiation) especially for
Americans, will be made more plain.]
This culmination of the Fire Trial is described in Steiner's John Gospel
lectures, in lecture twelve, as: The Nature of the Virgin Sophia and of the
Holy Spirit (when reading this lecture, keep in mind that it was addressed
to the Intellectual Soul, not the Consciousness Soul). The previous
spiritual developmental tasks, interwoven with the moral and character
developmental intervals, or Trials, produces a katharsis, or purification of
the astral body, such that the Rite of Initiation may now be enacted, and
the seed organs of clairvoyance may now be impressed on the etheric
body. I emphasize the term may, because while a great deal of the
development leading to this stage is rooted in our own actions - our own
will-in-thinking, as the Fire Trial progresses we become more and more
interdependent with the will activity of the invisibles.
We do not, as I understand it, so much initiate ourselves, but instead are
initiated in a cooperative dance necessarily involving Another.
On the other side of the Fire Trial, if initiation is to be the result, we have
acquired new faculties of perception. The spiritual world is now there to
be experienced directly, and the soul has fully developed that spiritual
freedom, which The Philosophy of Freedom (or Spiritual Activity)
contemplates, for we have renounced unredeemed antipathy and
sympathy, we have renounced our emotional attachments to a given
thought content and we have renounced even the significance of our own
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i-AM in relationship to others; all the while learning to love ever more
deeply the objects of our perception (beholding) and thinking.
[From this point onward, I will be often using the term beholding instead
of perception (in certain cases) and for this nuance I am grateful to
Clifford Monks, who provided this in a recent conversation between the
two of us.]
Now before us stand new objects of inward beholding. The world of
Imaginations is faced with this new freedom, but it stands inwardly over
there, as it were, such that once more we have something which we think
about, only this time it is not a sense object but a spiritual object.
Moreover, the perceptual element of an Imagination has required our coparticipation; and, the thought content produced by our cognitive capacity,
during the experience of the supersensible, arises simultaneously with the
experience. Contrary to a sense object, which has as an aspect of its
nature what Steiner called the necessary given, a spiritual Imagination as
an object of clairvoyant beholding does not exist independently of our
own will-on-fire in thinking. We have authored and sourced (for this
language, grateful thanks to Harvey Bornfield) it in cooperation with
spiritual beings.
Our new thinking about has participated in the creation of the Imagination.
We experience the Imagination in infinite internal space (ethereal and
peripheral space) as an object, whose existence comes about because our
own activity is coupled with the by Grace activity of higher beings. The
intention and attention are involved in a Parsifal question* to which the
Imagination is an answer (producing a kind of wordless knowledge).
Subsequent in time to this wordless knowing experience (which includes a
conceptual element), cognition then produces the word forms, either
written or spoken, in which the living Imagination dies into a crystallized
word-picture**, such as what is given to us in many of Steiner's lectures
and writings. When we actively (not passively) read these word-pictures,
recreating them in our own picture-thinking, the soul harmonizes with the
Imaginative aspect of the world of spirit, creating out of this harmony a
rudimentary chalice in which later spiritual experiences can arise.
[*A Parsifal question is a question that if we didn't ask it when we could
have, we may have to wait a long time to later receive an answer.
**Steiner's many notebooks offer evidence of the first stage of this
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process, by which he incarnated into language his sublime supersensible
experiences. He has the experience, with its wordless conceptual element,
and then makes a record in language (or drawings) in the notebooks.
There reason there needs to be a record is that the sublime experience
does not enter earthly memory - it can only be known again by returning
to the Source.]
So we begin then to repeat at a higher level the previous Trials, but this
time facing experiences we have never before had. We travel once more
around the mandala of the circling spiral of soul metamorphosis, learning
in new ways to think about (Imaginations), then on to new thinking with
(Inspirations) and finally to new thinking within (Intuitions). [There
would seem to be here a great mystery, about which I have not (yet) any
experience, but at the same time a great curiosity: do angels etc. tell jokes
or laugh and dance?]
This full new thinking, however, is itself at a higher stage. It is thinking
transformed into willed creative and participatory beholding. The normal
thought content, which we know as an aspect of our original state of
consciousness (earth and freedom, in discursive thinking about), only
arises in the soul after the clairvoyant thinking perceiving/beholding. This
thought content falls out, as it were, during the period of time the spiritual
experience is fading away. The spiritual experience does not continue in
earthly memory, but at the same time, the thought content produced (that
is, how the experience was initially cognized as it fades away) does
remain in earthly memory.
Let us now return to a deeper appreciation of the life passages we are
calling: the Fire Trial.
All the work we do, through the various Trials and passages of our
biography, more and more purifies the soul, making it ready for
clairvoyant spiritual perception. At the same time, there is constant
spiritual music in the soul - the song of the wind and of the breath - even
as far back as when we are only being newly born out of the first Trial of
earth and freedom.
Ordinary consciousness is already full of spirit. Our problem is how do
we pick the gold out of the dark shadowy and leaden dross of the soul,
normal to its given fallen state of earth and freedom. Two factors are
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clues. These are discovered during the early stages of introspection in the
idea of needs and the idea of choices. The wind - the breath - the living
river of thought - blows through the soul constantly, but always in accord
with need and most often in accord with other-need, that is the needs not
of the Self, but of the Thou. To live into this Grace given always present
intuition-like breath, we need to choose. When we do choose service to
other-need, then true, good and beautiful intuitions flow on the wind of
Grace into the soul, even in its ordinary and fallen state of consciousness.
How else are we to understand the natural and harmonious state of grace
always potential in such relationships as: mother and child, comrades at
arms and true lovers.
Other-need also helps keep our ambitions in check. One of the
temptations that the Shadow offers to us is to let us believe we can, for
example, out of reading a Steiner text speak with authority about matters
concerning which we have had no other experience than the text. Absent
the real experience - the percept - true thought (the concept) cannot arise.
Only in conjunction with actual clairvoyant experience can we, in full
conscience, speak of such matters with the same confidence as did our
Teacher, Rudolf Steiner. Yet, in the face of other-need, and our choice to
devote ourselves to this need, spiritual contact (experience) does appear in
the soul. The spiritual percept (experience) arises within the soul as a
response to the Parsifal question which our intention and attention have
created out of our relationship to other-need; and, the modest nature of
our choice to serve this need makes our soul a suitable chalice to receive
that thought content which then serves this need.
For example, we have no need (besides a vain curiosity) to know who was
the 20th Century Bodhisattva incarnation of the future Maitreya Buddha.
Yet, on the other hand, there is a deep need to know how to love those
intimate others in our biography, so that we can learn to heal our shared
karma of wounds.
With this in mind (and also keep in mind the layered nature of soul
development, as against the one-sided idea that it is a mere linear
progression) let us look at the Fire Trial, which Dennis Klocek has
described also as: dialog; and which he related to meeting with the dead,
who come to us through our encounters with others. From the standpoint
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of the Discipleship stream, this is once more perceived a bit differently,
yet again in a complementary fashion.
Having passed through the previous Trials, our will-in-thinking now
possesses certain capacities, certain inner arts, the essence of which are
moral in nature. The self development spiritual exercises are secondary to,
but supportive of, the character (moral) developments. We have learned
in the Water Trial to renounce unredeemed antipathies and sympathies and
to replace those with a redeemed thought-content produced in a chalice of
freely chosen cultivated feelings - that is we have learned to think with the
object of thought. In the Air Trial we have renounced as well even this
self-produced thought-content, in order to live in the silence, that is poor
in spirit - thus beginning the experience we have been calling: thinking
within.
In Fire Trial, which begins with its capacity of thinking within won in the
Air Trial, we now enter into dialog on the wings of a renunciation of self
importance. That which is not-Self is to become more important than that
which is Self. Love of the other fills the attention and intention, and the
work toward Not I, but Christ in me matures. In this case, the dialog
element for the Discipleship stream is more accurately characterized as
Steiner's "it thinks in me", albeit this form of expression is lacking a
certain artistry (Intellectual Soul, not Consciousness Soul). A more
beautiful phrase would be: the delicate and subtle presence of Fullness
and fullness of Presence (Holy Breath).
[another biographical note: I learned, over many years of hard experience,
that the essential matter was the Parsifal question - the deeply felt
question, coupled with the absence of personal ambition in this question.
The knowledge I seek must be consciously intended to serve others, not to
serve my vain curiosity. In fact, my success in my researches into the
social (see other essays in this book), seems to have been entirely related
to my renunciation of the possibility of initiation in order to more deeply
be led to an understanding of the social, an act which occupied my prayer
life for a number of years in the mid-'80's. As a consequence, I began to
experience this wind, this delicate and subtle presence of Fullness and
fullness of Presence in response to my Parsifal questions concerning an
understanding of the social, which I had sought in order to serve otherneed. My biography led me to working, from my mid-thirties onward, as
a member of the working poor. I cleaned toilets, washed dishes in
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restaurants, worked in mental hospitals, and the last three years of my
work life (59-62), I worked in a factory. This led me to not only a
personal, but a shared experience of the suffering in the world due to the
Age of Materialism, which has led the i-AM not to appreciate itself or the
causes of its suffering, and which gave me such pain of soul that the only
way I could think to alleviate this was to seek, via the New Thinking, the
ability to tell a new story of the world and of human meaning. This was
my Parsifal question in its broadest form, and the wind would come at
anytime It choose as I lived out these experiences, so that I had to learn to
be sensitive to this wind, and to serve It, even by pulling off the road when
driving and taking notes, or getting up from bed at night and writing when
called. The success of this inner work also made me on more than one
occasion, an obnoxious moral nut case, filled with excessive moments of
grand hubris - my own Shadow intoxicated and inflamed. Fortunately, the
Trials would knock me down whenever I got too drunk with the
seriousness of any luciferic fantasies of having a mission.]
The moral art of thought not only comes to the truth of the object of
thinking, but also knows its goodness and its beauty. In intimate
relationships, where we learn to love the will of the other - the Thou, and
to see the beauty, not of their physical appearance, but of their deeds - in
this selfless perception we then start to live in their true Fullness and
Presence.
Thinking within, as it traverses the Fire Trial, begins to experience the
spiritual world as a thought world, via a pure thinking, which is a
cooperative art - Grace will be present. This purity is three-fold. It is pure
in the sense that it is only thought - that is it is sense free. The attention is
so focused only on thought, that the outer sense world recedes far into the
background of consciousness. That is one aspect. The second kind of
purity is moral in nature. The soul is pure in its intention and attention.
The intention and attention are chaste, as it were. Modest, or moderate.
Without ambition of any kind. Not even seeking initiation or
enlightenment. Insight increases in the soul, but each time as a surprise as a wonder.
The third kind of purity is as regards the thought - the concept itself. It is
only pure concept or idea and in this it is thought as Being, as Presence
and Fullness. Our earthy grasping of the thought, which in the beginning
tends to render it into mere mental pictures or generalized concepts, has
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been gone beyond. We have sensed thought unconsciously in this
beginning, and caused it to fall into our earthly and darkened
consciousness from out of its original living environment. When we learn
how to return thought to its true realm and nature, then our sense-free
thinking, and the purity of our intention and attention now lets the pure
nature of the Being of the Thought think in us (dialog).
At the same time, this conversation has what seems at first blush an odd
quality to it, in the sense of our freedom. As discussed in the essay above,
on The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness
Soul, just as Christ gives his Being to our need for knowledge of the Good
as an act of Grace in such a way that the thought of the Good is entirely
ours to shape, so also that which thinks in us does not answer our knock
with any authority whatsoever. This Holy Spirit (the wind in the soul)
spends (exhausts) Its will into us in a way. Its participation with our i-AM
in the nature of the thought's form is such that, while the Holy Spirit
elevates our perception of truth, we remain the final author and source.
The Holy Spirit's participation is also a gift and becomes the wind to the
wings of our soul. Borne on this wind we see from whatever height, depth
or breadth that must be there for other-need. We serve the Thou and the
Holy Spirit serves us both.
The soul is now grateful for whatever wills to dialog with it, and has no
need for anything other than the occasional, but profoundly nourishing,
experiences of Grace, all of which it had already begun to know, even
coming in the beginning in the wonderful mystery of ordinary
consciousness, and in accord with other-need and choice.
Yet, in this same beginning, the karma of wounds, and the unredeemed
aspects of the astral or desire body move us forward in life, and we are
guided by the Shadow into and toward our necessary biographical
experiences. In the processes of the Fire Trial, we learn to let go these
drives, to move with and within the stream of Providence in Life. The
soul now tends to want only to be content and at rest, no longer driven.
We love the necessity that Providence brings us, and devote ourselves to
that task, recognizing that the Great Whole of Life is in Other and far
more competent Hands (Christ's Love).
There can be, by the way, either (or both) an outer necessity and an inner
necessity. Self observation, with an evocation of conscience applied to the
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question of whether we are being truthful to ourselves, will reveal whether
an inner necessity is to have the same weight as an outer one. This essay,
in fact, was very much produced out of an inner necessity in connection
with the delicate and subtle presence of Fullness and fullness of Presence,
brought into the stream of Time, because of a Parsifal question that
occurred to me regarding the pending conference on Ben Franklin (August
18-19, 2006), where I lived in Fair Oaks, California. Yet, even in this
work, I encountered Fire Trial elements, for latent and unredeemed
ambitions limited and distorted my first versions of this essay. Only after
I had recognized these ambitions and laughed at myself for them, did
matters begin to acquire a satisfactory to conscience moral clarity.
We need to keep in mind that we remain of the earth, even when the wind
- the kingdom of heaven - is blowing through the soul. In our earthly
dialogs, one with the other, we need to learn to just listen and not to
always impose our own opinions upon the others' freedom of thought (for
parents of children and others in a teaching necessity, this will be
different, sometimes). We can let the soul rest in wonder at what the Thou
will say and do. So also with the invisible other-presence in the soul. In
this way the outer biography and the inner biography more and more
consciously harmonize their naturally interwoven music.
Life itself - the biography - will demand of ordinary layered
consciousness, and in harmony with the necessities of our karma of
wounds, those experiences to be faced in which other-need and choice
appear. If we think with the heart and will the good, Grace will come in
the form of those other-needed intuitions - the deepening consciousness of
what other-presence wants to say into our inwardness, in concordance
with our slowly growing and developing capacities, as is necessary for
service to the Thou.
This is the essence of the Fire Trial - a burning away purification of self
for other. Just as in the Air Trial we set aside attachment to a given
thought content, so in the Fire Trial we give away our attachments to our
own meaning - we dissolve the self descriptive concepts with which we
previously adorned our i-AM, as if wearing a costume. Instead, we just
are. In all our actions and choices, we are (if we think on it) always: "In
the Beginning...".

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We no longer are this or that, but just are (i-AM). Each favorite self-name:
father, mother, anthroposophist, alchemist, lawyer, ditch digger - all these
names of self are let go, using the craft and art acquired in the Air Trial.
We do this in order to get ready for the first part of Not I, but Christ in me
- the Not I part. We burn away the I concepts, which by their very nature
are limiting and mark us as not-free and are a beam in our own eye-inside,
directed at ourselves.
We don't have to think of ourselves as a father or mother, for example,
since the necessity of the biography places those tasks before us already.
The inner biography too, with its ambitions, hopes, dreams and wishes,
pulls us forward as well.
There is as yet no traditional clairvoyant spiritual perception - the astral
body is still being purified during the Fire Trial. What was the lower ego,
or that which begins its path accompanied by the Shadow or threefold
double-complex, has more and more merged and identified itself with the
higher ego - the self-participated aspect of conscience.
When we live purely in Parsifal questions (that is, poor in spirit), in the
artistic mastery of our antipathies and sympathies, having set aside selfimportance and attending to the object of thinking with the intention to
love, then thinking is meet with other-presence, as needed. This is the
quite definite inner experience of the delicate and subtle presence of
Fullness and fullness of Presence, which is described in the John Gospel
as follows: What's born of the flesh is flesh, and what's born of the breath
is breath. Don't be amazed because I told you you have to be born again.
The wind blows where it will and you hear the sound of it, but you don't
know where it comes from or where it goes; it's the same with everyone
born of the breath John 3: 6-8
This Fire Trial is all the more painful, because we have become exposed
via the previous layers (stages) of spiritual and character development, to a
much deeper introspective understanding of our own desire body - our
own astral body. We can now not only think within the other - the Thou,
but also we can now think much deeper within our own soul - we are
naked before our own introspective clarity of perception. That which
remains unredeemed, and still yet outside the full and completed Fire Trial
of purification, lies inwardly exposed to us. The descending conscience
(like the descent of the dove in the Gospels) meets the rising lower ego,
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both seeking union and marriage; and this light from above, a kind of deep
moral Grace, illuminates and warms all that is yet shadow in the soul.
Emerson has put the bare bones of it like this in his lecture, The American
Scholar: "For the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what
he thinks. He then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own
mind he has descended into the secrets of all minds..."
*
Just as we learned to think about, with and within the other - the Thou, so
we learn to think about, with and within ones own soul. Each skill, craft
and art of thinking emerges from its corresponding Trial. The Earth Trial
is a given, it is where most of us start. The Water Trial requires our first
struggles with renunciation and the beginning, and delicate, expressions of
love. The Air Trial takes us even further, to the abandonment of our
favorite thoughts. Then we also renounce our excessive sense of Self, in
the process of facing the Fire Trial. There we are also most exposed to our
own other-Self, - the Shadow - which is now fully illuminated - no secrets
whatsoever.
Let us consider, briefly, some hints on the encounter with the Shadow,
from the point of view of the Discipleship stream.
When Valentin Tomberg was writing as an anthroposophist, he described
in his book "Inner Development", three aspects to the Shadow: a luciferic
double, an ahrimanic double and a human double. Later, in his profoundly
Christian "Meditations on the Tarot: a Journey into Christian
Hermeticism" he wrote of the tempter, the prosecutor and of egregores that is of self-created psychic parasites in the soul (Steiner called these
latter creatures, in Man as Symphony of the Creative Word: cancers or
tumors of the soul).
When we think discursively - talk inwardly to ourselves, the unconscious
works into the soul. That is, both the higher and the lower unconscious
are present. No true thought, for example, can arise in the soul except for
its having come to us via the living stream of thought (see Kuhlewind
here). But, because in ordinary and fallen soul consciousness, we are
bound (intentionally by the Gods so as to give us true freedom on the
earth) into an inner darkness of spirit, we only can know thought as it falls
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out and down into the soul from its original living element. In discursive
thought the living element has died.
Conscience, another higher element of the unconscious, also speaks into
the soul via discursive thought, as that whispering still small voice.
At the same time, the Shadow is active here as well. When we struggle
with our own temptation or tempt others (the luciferic double), or when
we hurt ourselves, or others (prosecute ourselves or others) with mean
thoughts (the ahrimanic double), these too come from the unconscious into
discursive thinking. When we fall, over and over again into temptation
such as addiction or alcoholism, part of the soul becomes excessively free
of the ego, for the ego is weak in many ways. This part can be called an
egregore or a tumor of soul.
However, since all manner of bad habits (an ill temper, an abusive tongue)
are also connected to tiny tumors of soul, I have began to feel that this
language lacks what art and a sense of beauty needs to give to our
conceptions, so above I wrote only of wounds, of our karma of wounds. In
the case of egregores or serious tumors or cancers of the soul, we can call
these self-generated wounds.
What the life passages of the Trials give to us is ever greater
consciousness. We draw out of the unconscious, through a more and more
awake intention and attention, not only its lower elements, the Shadow
and darkly cold side of temptations, prosecutions and wounds, but also the
Light and heart warmed side, the stream of living thought and participated
conscience.
So, in facing the Water Trial of the mote and the beam we begin the work
of discipleship, the work of seeking reintegration and reunion with the
Divine Mystery Itself. So also with the Air Trial and the Fire Trial. Bit by
bit we perceive and then let go what is dark in the unconscious, thereby
separating and drawing into the light the gold of our growing will-inthinking.
The fruit of each Trial remains with us, and at each passage becomes
deeper. The soul becomes a rich texture of layers of inner song and music
in the form of ever unfolding capacities of will, in the corresponding
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creative cultivation of sublime elements in the feeling life, all interwoven
with the arising and passing away of the breath-stream of living thought.
The purified will (an appropriately moral intention and attention) creates
heart warmth in the soul-soil of feeling, out of which the light and life
filled flower of thought is born. And, because we are first born into this
process out of the Earth Trial of freedom, our whole passage in these Life
Trials goes forward in freedom. It all evolves out of our choices. Recall
Emerson: In self trust all virtues are comprehended.[emphasis added]
Nothing renounced has disappeared, but rather the soul becomes an
instrument, which the i-AM in freedom learns to play. The notes and
intervals become primal dynamic expressions of soul forces and
capacities, many generated out of spiritual exercises. Just as we must
practice the use of a material musical instrument, so we must practice the
capacities of the soul. At the same time, many forces and capacities (if not
more) have a quality that comes only from the moral tone of the soul. We
purify the instrument of the soul as much as we learn how to use it. Both
are needed, both are necessary. The spiritual exercises, that is the how as
in technique, has more kinship with the teachings of the true Alchemists the stream of the Kings, while the moral purity of the soul has more
kinship with the teachings of Christ - the stream of the Shepherds.
Steiner's The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity is the modern
transformation of the Christ-in-me moral essence of the John Gospel,
while Knowledge of Higher Worlds is the modern transformation of the
Rosicrucian Ideals of spiritual developmental exercises. While the latter
has more kinship with the soul nature of Central Europe - the seeking to
incarnate the Ideal, the former has more kinship with the soul nature of the
American - the need to act morally in the world. Both are present
everywhere in the world, it is just the mix and their proportions that vary
from one soul gesture to another, in the wonder and mystery of the
Threefold World.
Let us now seek to make a whole.
We become more and more inwardly free as we renounce and transform
sympathies and antipathies, then as well the very thought content itself,
until finally we sacrifice our own importance. Each act of renunciation is
accompanied by a corresponding and deeper capacity to love. Each act of
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love, beginning with the most simple appreciation of the other - the Thou,
creates inner purity: inner light and warmth. We are in the process of
learning to make of the soul a temple, and to fill it with created and
cultivated feelings of reverence and wonder at not only the world of
nature, but also the world of social community - the stream of karmic
wounds and free destiny meetings with our companions in life.
Ultimately, this inner and outer moral work leads us to becoming fully
inwardly naked to ourselves in the Fire Trial (where there is no longer the
possibility of escaping the Shadow), and as well fully and consciously
naked to the other-Presence (the kingdom of heaven is within you). But
even in the face of the other-Presence we are nevertheless completely
free. The nature of the breath (the other-Presence) is to bring not only a
new depth of comprehension, but ever more freedom, for we never stop
being the principle willful agent of the thought-content that arises in the
soul. Overtime we become even freer and more creative - a true artist in
thought.
The creation of a human thought content is the sole province of the 10th
Hierarchy. Only in us, and through our love, does the Cosmos know Itself
in the beauty of human thought. We were told this as long ago as Genesis
2:19-20, with the symbolic picture that unto Adam is given the power of
naming every living creature. We name the world, give it its human
meaning, with every thought we source and author.
Here we can now come to understand more deeply the truth, beauty and
goodness hidden in Christ's comments in response to the question of what
is the most important commandment: He said to them, "You are to love
your lord God with all your heart and all your spirit and all your mind.
That is the important and first commandment. [love other-Presence] The
second one is similar: You are to love those close to you as you love
yourself. [love the Thou, the companions in life] All the law and the
prophets hang from these two commands" . Matthew 22: 37-40.
What we really learn is to participate sacramentally in the arrival of the
thought-content in the soul, which becomes then ever new each time we
truly think. We are, in this, inwardly born again and again and again.
This living thinking is a perpetual rebirth of thought, which comes into
being and dies away - a constant dying and becoming. We learn to unite
with this living stream of thought, the living stream of breath within. We
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give ourselves over to it, in a participatory Rite - an artistic soul dance of
sacred-heart thinking, and then discover the true secret of the Fire Trial,
which has been hidden out in the open in the Gospels, just in this: Now I
bathe you in the water to change hearts, but the one coming after me is
stronger than me: I'm not big enough to carry his shoes. He will bathe
you in holy breath and fire. John the Baptist: Matthew 3:11
leading us, through His Grace (holy breath within)
and His Love (as Artistic arranger of the Karma
of the Fire of Trials in our biographies), to:
Not I, but Christ in me.
********
[As I was going through a final revision of the whole text of this book, the
following statement appeared in an essay, by Michael Howard, in the
News for Members:
"This brings us to see another primary reason why Rudolf Steiner
gave such emphasis to the role of the arts. In Rudolf Steiner's view, the
fundamental discipline for each art has to do with learning to perceive the
moral qualities inherent in each artistic medium. The same discipline can
be surmised from Rudolf Steiner's view of spiritual development as serving
the transformation of the human astral body into Spirit Self. Here too is
an avenue for cultivating another dimension of the art of the spirit, what
we might call the Art of the Spirit Self. This Art of the Spirit Self precedes
all others because the art of building community, the Social Art, and the
art of balancing and harmonizing all dimensions of the living earth, the
Ecological Art, depend on the art of self-metamorphosis.
"The Anthroposophical Society will find new life and purpose
insofar as it fosters not only the Science of the Spirit, but also the Art of
the Spirit and its different dimensions: the Art of the Spirit Self, the Social
Art, and the Ecological Art.
"For the Art of the Spirit is the Art of the New Mysteries."
It is my hope that this essay, In Joyous Celebration of the Soul Art and
Music of Discipleship, has made a contribution to this vision.]
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*************************************
[For the neophyte: Having examined briefly the essential moral nature of
inner work, following on our appreciation of how it is that the Stage
Setting, while managed by darker forces, is not the essential meaning of
Earth Existence (itself a moral communion with Christ), we now begin to
get more into the concrete thinking skills necessary for the right
perception of human social life in general. As we saw in the first three
essays, conventional thinking does not bring to us the spiritual reality
underlying our shared social existence. In addition, since
anthroposophists are members of a Society and Movement, that is they are
involved socially with each other and as a community with the wider
social world, it becomes prudent think with more depth about this Society
and Movement itself. Yet, in order to do that with conscientiousness, we
must first consider how it is that the new thinking can objectively create a
new social science, so that our considerations concerning the social in
general, and the social in the Society and Movement in particular, are
grounded in a true knowledge-seeking discipline and not just vain
opinions.]
The Methodology Necessary for a New Social Science
- a brief introduction (written for this book in the Season of Michaelmas, 2007)
One of the potential capacities, of those who seriously follow in the
footsteps of Rudolf Steiner, involves the ability to give birth to the New
(Living) Thinking. However, merely reading Steiner, or joining the
Society, does not bring about this birth. Moreover this birth, when
accomplished, does not just arise in the abstract, but realizes its deepest
self-awareness when this Living Thinking is applied to a specific field of
knowledge. In fact, the New Thinking very much needs earthly
application in order to have a proper moral grounding. In this earthly
connection a kind of training occurs, which has the consequence that when
a will thus trained enters on spiritual experience, it brings with it capacities
not otherwise obtainable.
Now within the anthroposophical movement, the dominant field of
knowledge in which an embryonic version of the New Thinking has
appeared is what is called Goethean Science. We also find its mature birth
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in the works produced by such individuals as Owen Barfield, Georg
Kuhlewind, Bruno Abrami (a member of the overlooked Italian School)
and Jesaiah Ben-Aharon.
Thus, in the Goethean Scientific work of such as Schwenk (Sensitive
Chaos: the creation of flowing forms in water and air); Schad (Man and
Mammal: toward a biology of form; Grohmann (The Plant vols. 1 and 2)
and the related institutions, such as the Nature Institute
[http://www.natureinstitute.org/index.htm] featuring Craig Holdrege, the
goetheanistic application of the embryonic version of the New Thinking is
slowly taking its proper place in the world. The methodology of such a
science is developed in its basic form and structure in Ernst Lehrs' book:
Man or Matter: Introduction to a Spiritual Understanding of Nature on
the Basis of Goethe's Method of Training Observation and Thought.
Rudolf Steiner unveiled these first (embryonic) steps of the path of a
knowing doer of the spiritual in Nature, in his book: A Theory of
Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception. We also owe to
Steiner the revival of an interest in Goethe himself, and in particular
Goethe's scientific works such as The Metamorphosis of Plants and A
Theory of Color. Anyone wanting to develop their thinking, such that it
can be prepared to work within a New Social Science, will want to
become well acquainted with all these books, but in particular with A
Theory....
In moving from the embryonic aspect of the New Thinking, to its maturity
via The Philosophy... there appears a boundary condition, which this New
Thinking can encounter during its development. This is where the
phenomena being studied lacks a definite physical sense world existence.
Thus, Goethe's idea of exact sensorial phantasy (the use of the
imagination to recreate inwardly in the soul a sensory experience as it
occurs over time) can reach a limit when the phenomena sought to be
studied is only available in the soul as a purely abstract mental picture or
concept and has no corresponding appearance in the world of the senses.
This is a problem that Owen Barfield certainly had to meet in his studies
of language, which he clearly thought about imaginatively and in
movement over time (see for example his remarkable: Speaker's
Meaning, as well as his World's Apart). Once we no longer have a sense
world necessary given (see Steiner's A Theory of...), thinking acquires an
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additional responsibility, for the object of its considerations now only
arrives in the soul out of our own activity in the creation of mental pictures
and the apprehension of concepts.
In a proposed answer with an apparent awareness of this problem, the
anthroposophical mathematician Lawrence Edwards, in his book Fields of
Form, suggested that in addition to a kind of Goethean thinking, there is a
thinking which needed to be called: polar-Goethean thinking. As this
essay proceeds, I'll be trying to develop such ideas in a deeper fashion, so
that the reader can find their way to understanding the kind of thinking
needed in order to be able to behold the living and spiritual elements of
human social existence, in all its dynamic expression (see my The
Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul, for a
demonstration).
One last point of reference concerns the study of projective or synthetic
geometry. This geometrical discipline will be very helpful to anyone
wishing to find their way into the New Thinking. Working with this
geometry exercises our inherent picture thinking qualities in such a way
that we can behold and transform mobile imaginative pictures without
losing any quality of exactness. The development of this geometry among
anthroposophists (by such as George Adams Kaufman, Lawrence Edwards
and Olive Whicher - to name just a few) is very much a consequence of
the polar-Goethean thinking to which Edwards pointed, and this as well
needs to be appreciated. The best book, in my view, (which is, of course,
out of print) is Olive Whicher's: Projective Geometry: Creative Polarities
in Space and Time.
The reader interested in projective geometry should also know that its
study in the above book is not done through abstract proofs, but entirely
through drawing. We discover the rules of projective geometry with a
piece of paper, a ruler, a pencil and our own imagination.
As a cautionary tale, so as to not forget that is possible to follow paths that
can lead to errors of thought, we will also here take a look at what has
been called (among anthroposophists) symptomatology, which is a well
intended effort to apprehend with the thinking the deeper aspects of the
social and historical, but has (alas) led instead to much confusion.

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And finally, we need to recognize that it is Steiner's The Philosophy of
Spiritual Activity or Freedom, that resolves the dilemma posed by the
transition from working directly with sense experience, to working solely
with mental pictures and concepts (abstractions) that have no definite
exact reference in the world of the senses. This resolution is made
available when we understand the practice of pure thinking.
Let me remind the reader here of the threefold nature of pure thinking as
described above in In Joyous...
First the thinking is essentially sense free, which mean that the
consciousness is focused on the thinking to the exclusion of sense
experience (as much as possible). Second the thinking is selfless, that is
pure in the moral sense. Third, the thinking is only of concepts and mental
pictures themselves.
*

*

*

As we begin to get into details, I want to share with the reader that what is
to be written here was not by me understood in the beginning. I wandered
in many strange places and down a number of false paths, before I slowly
came awake to the real inner processes and activities. If there was a
guiding light, it was that as I proceeded thoughts would arise in my
consciousness that clearly revealed a deeper than before understanding of
my riddles (the social). In effect, I would have small successes, and this
would lead me on.
I say this here so that the reader will not think that they have to have
arrived at some kind of inner state first, before taking up their riddles. It is
clearly true that it is the riddles themselves that guide us on our personal
path to the discovery of the secrets of the New (Living) Thinking. We
hunger to know, and are thus drawn forward into the adventure that
awaits.
I will also below have to make additional references to my previous
essay: In Joyous Celebration of the Soul Art and Music of Discipleship,
in which I have laid out certain moral arts that I found it necessary to
develop in order to acquire the capacities to enter more deeply into a
contemplative picture-thinking of the social. These capacities first arose
as a consequence of learning how to think more consciously about my
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fellow human beings, but the polished development of these capacities
was in the work of seeking answers to my riddles. In that essay I placed
human relationships in the foreground, but at the same time everything
said there can be applied to problems of knowledge in general, as will be
made more clear as we proceed.
*
Lets begin with the riddles.
We have an experience that we want to know something. We may also
have the experience that knowing what we want to know might be a bit
harder than we think. This latter experience usually comes in the
biography in the form of failures. We think we know, only to discover
from experience that we do not know.
After a time we might come to understand that the seeking of knowledge
comes to our consciousness first in the form of a question, or a riddle. In
its higher sense we can sometimes think of this as a Parsifal Question - a
question that if we don't seek to answer it when the answer is nearby and
available, results in our having to undergo trials that may have been
unnecessary and avoidable. What we are likely to discover over time is
that these riddles really present themselves as a series of nested questions.
We move deeper into our riddles by moving from question to question,
following a trail in the world of thought.
At the same time, the above books can help us understand from various
directions this inner process, its dimensions and how we can find our way
into the world of pure thinking in a scientific fashion. At least a few
scientists understand this is possible, because (in particular) of the nature
of pure mathematical thinking. At the same time their understanding of
the art of thinking itself is weak. It was Rudolf Steiner in his A Theory ...
that laid out the basic rules underlying this discipline of the soul by the
spirit, which was later revisited with another and deeper emphasis on the
moral element in The Philosophy....
For example, the mathematician Roger Penrose, in his book The
Emperor's New Mind, makes this remarkable admission: "...I cannot help
feeling that, with mathematics the case for believing in some kind of
ethereal, eternal existence, at least for the more profound mathematical
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concepts, is a good deal stronger..." (pp. 97). There is other evidence that
Einstein and Godel (as well as Penrose) are considered by some to be
modern Platonists, because of their views on the independent existence of
ideas (see Incompleteness: the Proof and Paradox of Kurt Godel, by
Rebecca Goldstein).
Once we understand that the thinking process is drawn forward by riddles
and nested questions, then we can take a more careful look at some aspects
of thinking itself.
Generally thinking has an object, in relationship to which we are the
thinking subject. In Joyous... above, I wrote of a moral process connected
to renunciation and love (Tomberg speaks of learning to think on your
knees), wherein thinking about gave birth to thinking with, which in turn
gave birth to thinking within, and then that to thinking as. In this slowly
unfolding process (about > with > within > as), the relationship between
the object of thinking, and our subjectivity slowly becomes more intimate
- the separation narrows. Eventually "it thinks in me", and the subject
object nature of the conversation can disappear.
Now in A Theory... Steiner takes us carefully toward organic thinking and
then through that toward spiritual thinking. Lets look at the problem of
organic thinking first, which is more accessible in a way. Sometimes this
thinking is called phenomenology, and above I have called it thinking
with. This is a kind of thinking very suited to coming to knowledge of the
living or organic aspects of existence, which is why this process of
Goetheanism gives birth to works in the field of Goethean Science.
For Goethe, the matter concerned the world of perceptions (the sense
world), which Barfield sometimes called the world of appearances (see
Barfield's Saving the Appearances: a study in idolatry). Goethe
discovered that the world of appearances, which Natural Philosophy
(science) was at that time beginning to dismiss (it was thought the truth
had to be found somehow and somewhere other than the realm of the
senses), could be read. He called it: reading the Book of Nature.
For example, using microscopes and telescopes led Natural Philosophers
to realize that there was enormous detail not apprehended by the therefore
limited human sense organs, which then suggested to them that the
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unaided senses would not lead to the discovery of the truth. Goethe
thought otherwise, which was a kind of act of faith.
Goethe's researches led him to conclude that the sense world spoke, and if
we studied it in the right way (various rules of thinking discipline needed
to be applied - see Man or Matter above), then Nature Herself would
teach all that we needed to know. My work has shown to me that not only
does the natural world speak, through its phenomenal appearances, but so
also does the social world. There is not only a Book of Nature, but also a
Book of the Social World.
For those who would like a bit of explanation for this, you might consider
the following: Picture that the Creation has come to rest in a living
equilibrium. Although it is true from a spiritual-historical view that the
senses experience a world of maya - an illusion. A more modern view
(Goetheanism),which has arisen since the Incarnation, realizes that this
maya is not disorganized. What appears to us as the illusion reveals its
own nature, because the Word Itself is embodied in it. The Word has
clothed Itself in the Creation, and when thinking wakes up in its true
nature, the speaking of the Word in the appearances becomes capable of
being beheld within human consciousness by the I ("it thinks in me"); or as
Steiner has pointed out in The Philosophy...: knowledge (the speaking of
the Word through the Creation) is the union of percept (experience) and
concept (thought).
As said above, Steiner put it this way in A Theory...: "Thought is the last
of a series of processes by which Nature was formed". Or Emerson, in his
essay Nature: "Nature is a thought incarnate, and turns to thought again
as water becomes vapor and then gas. The World is mind precipitated,
and the volatile essence is forever escaping into the state of free thought".
If there is a caveat, it is this. We must be active inwardly. Our thinking
needs to become disciplined - ordered in a way, yet remain artistically
open. Our will-in-thinking needs to awaken. Only the I can bring about
this metamorphosis in the soul, which leads the thinking from its given
state, through an organic qualitative picture-thinking, to an awake and
pure (living) thinking.
Let us return once more to the subject / object aspect of thinking.
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What Goethe discovered was that if he recreated the gestures of Nature,
particularly of the Plant, in his imagination in as exact a fashion as
possible, that which was within the appearances made itself known to his
inward picturing. This is why we are introduced to such disciplines in the
contemplation of changes in leaves over the becoming cycle of a particular
plant. We collect or draw the various kinds of leaves made by a plant over
the course of its life, and then recreate inwardly with our imagination, this
series of form gestures the plant has made over time. We think with the
plant's expression in the sense world.
In doing this thinking with we open ourselves up to that which stands
within the different forms that arose over time, but which was all the while
continuously living behind each individual form. Such work is, however,
merely an appetizer for the real work, which is why I encouraged the
reader to become well acquainted with such books as Sensitive Chaos.
From such reading we can come to understand how much detail can be
gone into while exploring this relationship between ourselves as thinking
subject and the objective world of changing form.
A major aspect of the needed discipline involves realizing that we must
hold back our own gesture of thinking in that it tends to want at once to
bring a ready made concept (a thought) to our experience. We instead
give our consciousness over to the experience - live in the perception and
let It speak - and then will arise the true related thought. We do not want
to impose an already thought thought or mental picture or concept on the
phenomena, but wait, holding back the cognitional gesture, until the
phenomena Itself leads us to the thought-concept.
Only practice, which is carefully self-aware, will understand this.
Learning this is something that can't really be known as a mere thought
from reading a text. We must develop the tools of introspection, so that
we can make inner observations of our own activity. We not only study
the phenomena of the sense world, but the phenomena of the own soul as
well.
There is a bit of a trick here, in that when we are thinking, we can't self
observe. What makes self-observation possible is that our inner activity
leaves behind it a kind of fading away impression in the soul, such that
after a certain inner activity, we can for a time observe this slowly
disappearing mirror image of our own activity. Again, this is an
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experience which must be gained directly, and cannot really be understood
as a mere thought from reading.
Now when we move from thinking about sense world objects (or other
kinds of the necessary given), to the pure thinking in mental pictures or
concepts of objects which have no necessary given, a certain problem
arises. How do we trust the mental picture or concept which we have
abstracted from our experience? The necessary given aspect of the sense
world is obvious, but when we think about, with or within a non-sense
world object (such as the concepts: biography, community or family),
there is no true sense percept (no true sense experience). The abstract
concept has already been taught to us by our culture. In fact, our ordinary
consciousness has many such abstract concepts, for which there is no
sense world percept.
The solution to this is to understand something which is part of the
discipline of Goethean Science, namely to learn to be purely descriptive.
So we can then ask: What is a biography, a family or a community? (to
continue the examples).
These are such simple abstract concepts that we have no problem at all
with them. We were raised (most of us) in a family. Aspects of our
biographies are lived in communities made up of many families. We can
say all manner of things about biographies, families and communities in
general, and in particular, out of our own experience. We also know that
such a term (word) as family can be used metaphorically, as in: the family
of man. Or, a community of related types of plants. Or even the
biography of a social form such as a Branch of the Anthroposophical
Society.
To help us further understand this, let us next look briefly at two kinds of
errors which arise in thinking in relationship to social questions, one of
which is mostly part of the anthroposophical movement
(symptomatology), and the other mostly part of conventional social
science.
The error in conventional social science arises in the tendency to emulate
the past of physics, a problem true also in conventional economic theory.
This is the tendency to reduce complex phenomena to number, and then to
seek to find laws of the phenomena in the number relationships
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(statistics).This was not always the case (and is still being resisted in some
quarters), witness, for example, C. Wright Mills: The Sociological
Imagination, but there lies a whole other story. In Goetheanism, that is in
learning to Listen to the World Song, or to behold the speaking of the
Book of the Social World, we live into the appearances, and do not try to
analyze for some kind of hidden behind-the-appearances rule or law.
Instead of seeking number relationships among large populations for our
understanding of the social, we carefully practice description (for more,
see below).
The error in symptomatology (as done by anthroposophists) is as follows:
First, one studies Rudolf Steiner, and acquires from Steiner certain
concepts. Then one looks at the social-political world as if it presented
symptoms, to which we attach the already thought concepts we acquired
from reading Steiner. In the last phrase just above we come to the
problem. There is in this activity no phenomenology and the socialpolitical world is not allowed to speak, for we already have the concept
(borrowed from Steiner) which we attach to the contemporary historical
phenomena.
In addition, our experiences of the social world may be driven by
unconscious feelings of antipathy and sympathy. Any thought arising out
of an unconscious (shadow driven) feeling has lost its objectivity. Such
that when an anthroposophist, who is trying to work with
symptomatology, is reacting unconsciously out of antipathy to the
phenomena being observed, this further distorts away from any objectivity
the falsely practiced joining of the pre-thought Steiner thought that is now
being attached erroneously to the social phenomena.
Thinking in this case is then not listening, but instead is a bringing to the
phenomena of social existence a pre-thought thought, which has the effect
inwardly in the soul of placing a ghost (Barfield called these idols) in
between our thinking and the phenomena. Similar kinds of things exist in
contemporary social science as well, when certain points of view are
elevated to near-eternal verities (dominant world views), and are then used
to interpret all social phenomena in accord with that particular view.
Here, for example, we see today the use of Darwinian evolutionary theory,
especially in the form of evolutionary psychology, as a main interpretive
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meaning given to understanding humanity's social life in the modern
world.
In both cases, whether it is the application of pre-thought concepts
borrowed from Steiner, or from modern theories of human nature, the
result is the same. The phenomena are not experienced - not heard. Only
the pre-thought ghost (the idol) is known in the soul.
So then, what is the incipient, striving for the new (living) thinking, social
scientist to do?
Describe!
No theory, no conclusions, no idols, no ghosts. Simply pure description,
which is not an easy craft at all by the way.
About 12 years ago, I went through old files, and made a throw-away pile
on the floor of my bedroom/office of years of descriptive writings set
down on loose leaf notebook paper. The stack of individual sheets of
paper was higher than my knee.
Of course at that time I was only guessing as to method. I had discovered
that when I carefully described, new perceptions of the social would arise,
which new thoughts led me on (nested questions and riddles). I also had
the advantage of a deeper introspective life, such that when thinking about
the outer and inner aspects of social existence, my sense of the inner was
more accurate and less confused by contemporary and false conceptions of
the nature of mind, assumed by modern social scientists to stand behind
human behaviors.
I also held back on publishing, such that I had, by the time I threw out that
stack of paper, offered for publication (to the Threefold Review) only one
paper: Threshold Problems in Thinking the Threefold Social Order
[http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/thpts.html]; and self published another Song
of the Grandfathers: real wealth (wisdom) and the redemption of social
and political existence (civilization)
[http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/sggfr.html]. The first was written in 1991 or
so, the second in 1995) and both remained basically unpublished until
1997 when I begin to construct my own website. After being available for
a time on that website, the Threshold essay did receive some recognition
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on anthroposophically oriented aspects of the Internet. I have been, during
my biography, mostly a father (five children, two marriages) and a
member of the working poor (but never an academic), so my offerings
never really had a chance of receiving much recognition in traditional
ways, and the research was always being done in fits and starts.
At the same time this was a blessing, because I didn't have to fight against
the tide of contemporary thought. I share this, by the way, so as to
encourage others to do such work in whatever circumstances of life they
find themselves, knowing that it is the questions and riddles and work that
has the most meaning, not success or achievement or notoriety.
Some may recall that Steiner held back on publishing his research about
the threefold form of the human being for 17 years! Much can be gained
by letting our work in the world of organic and pure thinking mature over
time.
Let us go forward now, continuing our examples with the biography, the
family and the community.
Using the imaginative faculty, and our related carefulness with regard to
the fact that we are working with what can become an idol (an illusory
abstraction), we make descriptive pictures of each over time. Here I'll be
brief, but many texts by social anthropologists contain important data, just
not yet developed in full consciousness in a Goethean fashion.
At the same time we need to keep clearly in mind that these themes being
described here take the form of pure abstract concepts, and not anything
that exists as a necessary given in the sense world.
Let us begin with the biography. We each have one, and this itself can be
something to carefully contemplate, for it contains both individual and
universal phenomena. While a great deal of understanding given to us by
Rudolf Steiner can illuminate certain details, it is actually unnecessary to
borrow his concepts, when instead we can carefully observe and describe,
using quite ordinary language, the nature of a biography.
We are born, we die. We are raised and educated. We come into a
specific time and place, as well as language and culture. We make choices
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and have meetings of destiny (spouses, work situations and so forth). We
suffer illnesses and meet all kinds of challenges.
If we look within at our own soul life, we will come upon a world view
that belongs to us, but was/is strongly influenced by all the above factors.
We also have emotional habits and strong desires. The more detail we go
into in our own biography, the greater will be our ability to recognize not
only the universal elements of all biographies, but even more important
the individual nature of this organism - our personal Tale (the biography
as a thing in itself).
We also have significant tendencies that arise in the personal nature of our
thinking, but which are due to outside influences. If we are willing, we
can through conversation with others, become more deeply aware of how
they too have such characteristics as do we. Emerson wrote this as
pointed out above, for his Harvard lecture, The American Scholar: For
the instinct is sure, that prompts him to tell his brother what he thinks. He
then learns that in going down into the secrets of his own mind he has
descended into the secrets of all minds...
This picture can then be made...
From my self as a center, I peek out at a world of sense experience. I
interpret this world according to those experiences that arose during my
biography, and while the details of those interpretations of the meaning of
my experience are rich, they often represent influences I have not worked
over on my own. My world view is shaped by family and community (in
its widest sense). These influences also determine the conceptions by
which my self conceives of my inner life. My I swims in a sea of meaning
I may have had little influence determining on my own, and I also seem to
be the tail wagged by the dog of emotions over which I have little control.
These are the general or universal characteristics of the biography. What
is also crucial to realize is that the individual characteristics result in each
biography being essentially unique. This observation is a little harder to
obtain, because one of the influences to which we may have submitted has
shaped our thinking to perceive others only by their general characteristics
and not their individual and unique natures. I have to actually strive to
learn to "walk in another's shoes", that is to see their biography from its
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inside, rather than from the outside (to think with and within them, instead
of just about them).
Next, let us take up the family...and simultaneously, the community. Here
again we have general or universal characteristics, and when we get into
the fine details, quite individual and unique characteristics. Remember we
are also going to work with this as something in movement over time.
Take an old world village, perhaps about 500 years ago (at the beginning
of the Age of the Consciousness Soul), for example. Many large families.
Often a dozen births for each mother, not all of them live. Many relations,
as well. An old world village might contain any number of large extended
families (a few grandparents, many parents and several dozens of children
and related cousins). Rules as to marriage across these complicated lines
of blood existed for very practical and obvious reasons.
Such a village (community) would often have one language, one general
culture, one religion and social political structure. Different villages in
different locales in Europe would have differences of language, culture,
religion and social political structure, but all would have large extended
families as the dominate basis of the community.
Everyone would know most everyone else. Children born into such
families would have destinies almost fixed in nature (the son becomes like
the father, the daughter like the mother). No one violates social norms
without severe consequences. Individualism is generally unheard of.
People almost do not have a thought outside the standard and shared point
of view. Most are uneducated, and few can read and/or write.
Now let us jump forward a bit - say New York City in the mid to late 19th
Century.
Here we have neighborhoods. Large extended families continue, but not
as large or as extended as an old world village. As immigrants, parts of
families were left behind in the Old World. It is harder now to keep
tradition alive. Religions, cultures and languages butt up against each
other, often in conflict (mirroring in a small way the frequent wars in
Europe rooted in the same differences). Children are less inclined to
follow in the footsteps of the parent. Marriages across lines of religion,
language and culture are frequent. Individualism increases, and the ability
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of the community (now fractured from within, and attacked from without)
to cause conformance to its dominate values lessens.
During the transition from the older isolated villages to the neighborhoods
in the great cities, two important changes have appeared - natural science
and industrialization. Religion, as a family and community cohesive
forming force, is weakened by natural science; and, the family and
community by the industrial revolution (the father is driven from the home
and into the factory, along with many of the children, as people leave the
villages to find work in the growing cities).
Flash forward now into the present - Los Angeles 2007.
An inner core and an outer rim. Mere vestiges of neighborhoods, mostly
racial ghettos in the inner core, with smaller families. Better education,
similar poverty. In the outer rim, a different racial mix, tiny (nuclear)
families. In neither place does a coherent community exist as once did in
the Old World village.
A staggering increase in homelessness. None of these individuals has a
place to call home. Even the family has fractured into individual splinters.
The I is alone even there (c.f. Riesman's The Lonely Crowd). Children
wouldn't think of following in their parents footsteps. Individualism
triumphs and the old world cohesive nature of community and family is
near dissolved.
What happens in our consciousness when we move these pure abstractions
through time? What happens when we recreate in the imagination the
gesture of social form over the last 500 years in Western Civilization?
In addition, what happens if we add to this social form movement an
understanding of the evolution of consciousness, or at least the pictures we
have made of the biography? This is something hardly known to the
ordinary social scientist, and while indicated by Rudolf Steiner it was
proved in three books by Steiner students: Lehrs' Man or Matter (a history
of science), Barfield's Saving the Appearances: a study in Idolatry (a
history of language and meaning) and Richter's Art and Human
Consciousness (a history of art). In each instance a phenomenological
examination was made, which shows that the phenomena themselves
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(history of science, language and art) reveal that consciousness itself was
not static, but in movement.
We discover that not only was outer social form in movement, but so was
human consciousness in the biographies. Social reality has not just a
mobile developing outside, it has a transforming inside as well.
One of the things that becomes apparent is that we begin to see that
something from the inside of the human being is driving these changes.
Yes, there are huge transformations of outer circumstance, but
individuation is itself a force moving from within outward into social
existence, transforming it.
Now this idea is not entirely new (its obvious to some degree to many
ordinary social scientists), but a Goetheanistically oriented organic and
pure thinking begins to behold something which ends up speaking of the
death and the becoming of civilizations. A great metamorphosis at the
level of social order is in process. However, to pictorially think this
transformation requires that we combine, in a single whole, a variety of
individual threads, including not only the kinds of general trends we can
observe in changes in biographies, families and communities, but wider
social phenomena as well. One such is the arrival of what seems to be a
tendency to a post-literate culture, that is the loss of interest in books
among the young. Another is the frequency with which artists of various
kinds create novels and films of a post-apocalyptic near future, such as the
1992 novel by P.D. James that later became the basis for the 2006 film
Children of Men.
Once we have become sensitive to these kind of phenomena, we discover
they are everywhere. In addition, not only is there phenomena reflective
of the breaking down or a descent into social chaos, we can also find
phenomena indicative of the emerging new civilization. Tragically, while
our dreams are haunted by visions of darker times, they remain (in many
circumstances) yet absent any sense that redemptive powers are also at
work.
One of the early ways I wrote of this logos speaking of the world song,
was that as the loss of social form increased (family and community
becoming less coherent) such was necessary for moral freedom to arise.
The outer social form had previously coerced the I into conforming to
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social values, and as the I pressed itself outward from within, it reached a
point where it had overwhelmed the morally coercive effect of the family
and the community (the family-community nexus itself disabled by natural
science and the industrial revolution), enabling the I to act as an individual
determiner of what was moral (this has been called by some - who
understandably could only think in a finished and fixed way instead of an
organic way - moral relativity, the family values crisis and the culture
wars).
A number of social phenomena reveal this - I'll just point to one. In the
1950's in America, it was not unusual for a parent to say to a child: you
should do what is right, with right meaning the shared value of the
community. As the transition through the 1960's to the 1970's took place,
do the right thing became do your own thing.
Now above I used the phrase: logos speaking of the world song. I had
years ago (1984) written a first version of: Listening to the World Song. In
these last years, as my thinking penetrated more deeply into this Song, I
began to behold inwardly that Christ was the Author of this situation (as
He told us in Matthew 10:34-40: "Don't think I came to cause peace
across the land. I didn't come to cause peace, I came to wield a sword..."
In some of the essays below (or above) you will see such language in the
newer pieces, while the older ones do not have it. The culmination of my
research via pure living thinking was, of course, published in the essay
The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the Consciousness Soul.
At the same time that a degree of social chaos was necessary for the
inducement of the opportunity for moral freedom, this moral freedom
itself has become productive in social existence in the form of the various
Civil Society and culturally creative movements all over the world. In
these latter phenomena will be found the up-building and renewing
processes of the new civilization that is emerging from this long term
metamorphosis. We need, however, to keep in mind that this is a process
spread across centuries, and that what appears on the surface as social and
political phenomena is simply symptomatic of far deeper currents (see
Steiner's lecture cycles: The Challenge of the Times, and From Symptom
to Reality in Modern History).
Let me offer one final picture, to reemphasize certain matters suggested
above.
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When we think the social world, it is crucial to think it from the individual
biography outward, and not from the Stage Setting inward. That is, our
picture of the Logos Speaking of the World Song needs to move from
where Christ's Love focuses on each individual, instead of seeing the
world as consisting only of the horrors of current history and politics.
We need to have clear in our minds the difference between the context in
which the biographies are embedded, and the essence of that biography,
which is the development of the individual i-AM. The context serves this
development, and is itself, in its higher nature, another expression of
Christ's Love.
Each individual, of the six billion plus now incarnated, has their own
karma, fate and destiny. Christ, being outside of Time and Space, has
eternity in which to focus on us one at a time. In support of this is the
whole symphony of the spiritual world's incredible variety of
communities. Down and into the finest details of our day to day existence,
creative powers pour their love. The i-AM swims in a sea of love that
crafts for each individual a unique and individual biography, physical
body, astral body and ethereal body. The poor farmer in deepest despair
in South Korea is just as important as the struggling striving head of the
pedagogical section of the School of Spiritual Science.
Each of us bears individualized concepts through which we interpret the
meaning of the world, which concepts are precisely and exactly those
concepts which we need in order to experience our biographies. Each of
us has just those individualized bad and good habits and unique
configuration of temperaments, that play their necessary role in our karma
and fate. Not only this, but the living nature of the Logos Spoken World
Song is malleable. It constantly adjusts, stretches and contracts, moves
and dances in accord with our free destiny decisions that are made
moment to moment.
Our conceptions of linear time and fixed space are maya. The real social
world is far more dynamic. It is a living womb to the song of the
becoming of each unique individual i-AM.
*
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Above I have tried to indicate, through both ideas and a minimal level of
demonstration, the existence of certain questions, about the thinking
processes and observational process of a new science of the social, such
that stands behind my research work on the social. I fully expect the
above to be inadequate, and that others, who in following their own riddles
and nested questions, are likely to discover much that I have overlooked.
Hopefully the above will provide an adequate beginning.
Most of the details that have been hinted at above will be found scattered
throughout my writings in many places. When opportunities permit I
expect to publish in book form my essays on various themes that can be
found on my website Shapes in the Fire. The main reason for this brief
introduction was to make explicit certain aspects of method, while in the
other essays it was much more important to bring forward the product
produced by the method.
After all, the resulting thought content is the reason for the activity of the
thinking in any event.
*********************************************
[For the neophyte: The Society and Movement contain a number of
different, often conflicting, ideas and actions flowing from members and
friends as regards how it should move into the future. Here, as a first look,
is an effort to highlight one of these dimensions and perhaps show how its
present-day ill effects can be redeemed. This essay is an application of the
thinking (both organic and pure), as described above, to the general social
situation of the Anthroposophical Society in America.]
The Natural Transformation of the Anthroposophical Society
in America (Michaelmas, 2007)
Some, who take an interest in the future of the Society in America,
generally have an idea about what it should become. Some ideas could be
called "continuing to develop matters along more traditional lines", and
other ideas could be described as "taking the development of matters on
more progressive lines". The use of neither of those terms here is meant to
suggest anything fixed, but rather represents an endeavor to point out
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something that can be observed in the patterns of the thought-background,
as it were, of the concepts being advocated by others. Such a pattern
would not necessarily appear on a specific page of text, or in a lecture
itself, but would hover in the contextual structure of concepts of the whole
of any writing or lecturing concerned with the themes of development or
change.
The recent article in the News for Members of the Anthroposophical
Society in America, based on material created by former Vorstand
member Heinz Zimmerman, was actually a fairly good representation of
the kinds of ideas coming from both a traditionalist and progressive
direction. Zimmerman gave us an intelligent summation of both sets of
concerns. That Zimmerman couldn't really arrive at any conclusions or
answers to questions, he himself posed, is also significant. To borrow a
term from astrology, the direction of the Society might be called, in the
way that he expressed it: void of course - that is absent clear direction.
To come at this from another direction, I'd like to share something from an
experience I received by Grace during a group contemplation (from about
20 years ago), where a member who had just died was being remembered.
The perception given to me was as follows (I have worked with it since
that time, and this understanding is the most current):
There were basically two dominant soul gestures in the Society. The
larger gesture (in terms of numbers of members) focuses mostly on a kind
of golden past, on the great heights to which the Society had risen during
Steiner's lifetime, and with respect especially to the Christmas Conference.
Everything in the present in the Society is seen by this thinking as though
through a kind of highly sympathetic haze colored by this spirit
recollection of a golden past.
The second basic gesture of soul, but smaller in number of members, was
from those who imagined a future. Their inner perception was not focused
on the past, but on the possible future - the potential they experienced as
latent within the Society. This spirit vision was then the point of view out
of which they experienced the present, and by this vision the present was
antipathetically judged.
The former I would call the traditionalists, and the latter the progressives.
The traditionalists tend to want and urge preservation, while the
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progressives tend to want and urge transformation. Sympathy says this is
good, let us hold to this. Antipathy says this is not good, we must change.
Of course, no single individual or small group (such as a Branch) is
wholly in one gesture or the other, so here we are just trying to delineate
the patterns of thought that can be observed and their general nature and
direction.
This essay hopes to place itself inside neither pattern, that is, to see the
present not out of spirit recollection or spirit vision, but with spirit
mindfulness.
*

*

*

As beginner spiritual social scientist, I strive to perceive what is actually
happening in the world and within the Anthroposophical Society. An
essential matter, or at least a reasonable place to start, is a certain
somewhat controversial theme which concerns the so-called Michaelic
Millions. A long essay researching this theme was written by Joel Kobran
and published in the Threefold Review for the Fall, 2000.
On the surface, that article represents a kind of traditionalist criticism of a
kind of progressive point of view. Kobran took exception to the
discussions ongoing among some anthroposophists as regards the concept
that Steiner had suggested there were to be in the world six or seven
million anthroposophists at the end of the 20th Century, who had been
within the supersensible Michael School before incarnating.
In his descriptions of the history of this concept, who is using it, what
statements of Steiner's or others can serve as a reference point - in general
as something requiring a great deal of careful research, Kobran's article is
superb. All that needs to be kept in mind is that he did conclude that the
use of this idea, of there being many members of the Michael School
presently incarnate who were not yet members of the Anthroposophical
Society and who were instead members of what is called Civil Society - a
view taken by both Perlas, Ben-Aharon and their co-workers in the Global
Network for Threefolding, - the use of this idea was (according to Kobran)
defective in several different ways.
I'll not go into details here, but I just wanted to note the existence of this
thorough research by Kobran and the existence of the views of others,
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such as Ben-Aharon's reflections in his The Spiritual Event of the 20th
Century concerning the existence (or not) of an large unconscious or
instinctive Michael community among humanity (whose language we
don't yet know how to speak), as well as a much smaller more conscious
Michael community.
To remain within observable social phenomena of the Society a bit longer,
I'd like to comment a little bit on a recent discussion among a few of the
members of the Social Science Section in America, at a meeting I attended
in Berkeley, California in late summer 2007. An initiative was there
proposed that certain actions be taken via the creation of a website, on
which would be various articles and other materials, provided by
anthroposophists (and vetted by some kind of committee) that might serve
as a support out of Spiritual Science for the work of many nonanthroposophists, who are engaged in creative social work in the world. It
is not the details of this proposal that matter to us here, but simply the fact
that such a discussion took place and was seriously considered.
In a similar vein, a group was formed, by Society members in the
Berkeley, California, area more than a year before, that sought to engage
in outreach. If one does an Internet search for the terms
"anthroposophical" and "outreach", many hits turn up. We could say that
in the Movement and Society, all over the world, there is a common will
to connect to others outside of anthroposophical communities, and to
participate in the great issues of the day. There was even a book
published in 1999, by Temple Lodge, offering many essays on such
questions: The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New Millennium.
As a social scientist, it has been a part of my work to seek to observe in
the phenomena of the social world facts representative of the appearance
of the Consciousness Soul, which according to Steiner is the Soul
transformation that is to be the signature development of the evolution of
consciousness from around 1400 to 3500 AD. Various observations I
have made of the activity of this Soul can be found throughout this book.
I would like the reader to take it as a given, that once one learns to really
appreciate in the own soul the real nature of the Consciousness Soul, it
becomes clear how much of an instinctive Consciousness Soul activity is
present in the world. It is everywhere, and if it remains unseen to any
reader of this book, I urge them to make more careful observations of their
own free moral life, and where in the world they see others expressing this
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free moral life. There is no free moral life, without a corresponding moral
intuition of the Good (see my essay The Meaning of...), which moral
intuition of the Good fits exactly Steiner's description of the
Consciousness Soul in his book Theosophy:
"By causing the self-existent true and good to come to life in his inner
being, the human being raises himself above the mere sentient-soul. A
light is kindled in her which is imperishable. In so far as the soul lives in
this light, she is a participant in the eternal*. With the eternal she unites
her own existence. What the soul carries within herself of the true and the
good is immortal in her. Let us call that which shines forth in the soul as
eternal, the consciousness-soul."
[*the Second Eucharist in the Ethereal.]
For those who wonder about the true, and who may accept that large
portions of humanity could be finding their way toward free moral
intuitions of the good, I suggest that you consider that the perception of
the true necessarily has to be preceded by an ability to perceive the good.
If people, for example, are to have at least two incarnations in the epoch of
the Consciousness Soul, then it is my view that the first (our present) will
bring forward the good, which then becomes a basis for the soul's reaching
for the true. In the discussion that follows, I'll try to develop this further,
and especially the possibility that in this present time one can do both, as
long as it is the good that is understood first. The social
phenomenological observation is, however, that people are in the present
finding the good more easily than they are finding the true.
For the moment, let me suggest this. Part of knowing the true is rooted in
the inner ability to distinguish the true from the false. The inner organ in
the soul, for making such a distinction in a conscious way, is founded on
the ability to intentionally ask ourselves inwardly whether what we think
we know as the true, we do in fact know to be true. We must place before
the eye of our conscience, by asking that express question, the matter of
our relationship to knowledge of the true. To ask such a question is to
take a moral point of view regarding our own inner actions, that is to first
be living out of the good. It is the goodness in our hearts that enables us to
honestly consider whether or not we do in fact know something to be true.
The more conscious we are of how to know the good, the better will our
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soul and spiritual life be able to form a right relationship to the knowledge
of the true.
*
To round out our discussions, I'd like to add another nuance - this
concerning the lectures of Steiner called: Awakening to Community, in
which the concept can be found called the reverse cultus (see lecture 6).
In Awakening to Community (also in lecture 6) Steiner remarked about a
conflict then living in the Society between oppositely disposed groups
(those who had duties to continue the past, and those who felt no
relationship to such an impulse). Steiner then stated that it might be better
if the Society divided itself into two organizations, and that these
organizations would then see themselves as sister-souls, taking different
paths toward reaching what was essentially the same ideal goal.
A recent conversation with a friend gave rise in me the following
archetypal imagery in connection with the above distinction between what
I am calling the traditionalists and spirit recollection, and the progressives
and spirit vision, yet which also seems related to what Steiner described in
Awakening to Community as the sister-souls.
My friend thought that the two sisters could be visualized as being in the
same relationship as Martha and Mary as revealed in the Gospels (search
the Internet for "Gospels Mary and Martha"). Martha, the older sister, saw
the world out of tradition and in action took care of the household, while
Mary, the younger, pursued freedom and a devotion to the spirit. One
writer calls Mary the active gesture, and Martha the contemplative gesture.
Now lets not make too much of this, or too little. I do believe, however,
that we can find here something very important.
In different places Rudolf Steiner spoke of the Mystery of Golgatha as
being an enactment of a central Cosmic Mystery taking place on the Earth
in a kind of earthly tableau. All the events connected to this moment are
not just unusual historical events, but are rather a kind of Divine Speaking
in which great mysteries are represented through the many actors and
dramas in this Play.

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For example, Christ's death and resurrection, to my thinking, could be
seen as the Great Archetype of dying and becoming that moves among all
that is living in earthly existence, such that when Goethe discovers the
principle of metamorphosis of plants he is finding a reflection of this Great
Archetype as it expresses itself across time in all manner of phenomenal
existence, both cosmic and earthly .
In a like fashion, I suggest the relationship of Martha and Mary is an
archetype, one which we find folded and blended into the very nature and
living structure of the development of the Anthroposophical Society (as
well as elsewhere). Nor is what I am suggesting an entirely new thought.
The sometimes conflicting impulses between preservation and initiative
are common everywhere and others have written of them in regards to our
Society.
What I am trying to suggest is that these sister-soul impulses, which
manifested in a conflicting way in the article by Kobran that had criticized
the work of Perlas and Ben-Aharon, are both healthy and needed. The
meeting place then of those who on the one hand take seriously the duties
that evolve from an emphasis on spirit recollection (and are drawn inward
into contemplation), and of those who take seriously the duties evolved
out of spirit vision (and are drawn outward into action), can be reconciled.
The two can learn to understand each other, and to see in the other a
necessary part of the whole, which understanding may then lead to the
Natural Transformation of the Anthroposophical Society in America (and
by implication world-wide).
With this background, let us come at this from a slightly new direction,
following out more carefully the concept: natural.
Recall that Steiner said, which I paraphrase: the American develops
Anthroposophy in a natural way.
I cannot say that I have experienced all that is anthroposophical in
America, but I do not doubt that my experience (of now almost 28 years)
is broad enough to give me a representative phenomenal picture.
Everywhere in America there are traditional institutional social forms,
such as Branches, study groups, Waldorf Schools, Camphill Communities,
Eurythmy Schools, teacher training facilities and on and on and on.
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In such Centers of activity (which would also include many conferences),
the practices are traditional in the best sense of that word. What is done is
mostly what has been recognized as the best practices born out of our
experience of the past. In these Centers of anthroposophical activity
members draw inward to meet each other as a community, and then
afterward go back to their very busy lives.
At the same time, in many of these busy lives, the moral freedom and
individuality consciously fostered as a member of the Society and
Movement leads people into action as participants in the wider nonanthroposophical life. In the Center, we are concentrated together, at the
Periphery we have no edge, but are dispersed and interwoven with all that
is happening in the wider world.
In the Center we recognize each other as sharing an unusual common
interest, focused on Rudolf Steiner's personality and teachings, and at the
Periphery we are one with the rest of those in humanity that seek to heal
their shared karma of wounds and move thus progressively forward into
the future. In American, in particular, with its special soul characteristics,
we find that while few know of Steiner, many yet live instinctively out of
the individual moral freedom (English speakers are instinctively in the
Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights - R.S.). Whether it is just a
natural foods co-op, or a political group such as the Greens, or reading of
and giving money to causes such as Doctors without Borders, many
anthroposophists fully participate, as brothers and sisters, with those
seeking the progressive advancement of the human condition, out of less
conscious - that is instinctive - free moral activity.
When we draw inward into our Centers, we are glad to have the comfort
provided by the Martha Impulse, to have a sense of coming home. And
then, when we breath outward into the larger society, we join with the
naturally arising Mary Impulse which can be found everywhere, in both
conscious and instinctive forms.
Yes, I know, for many in our circles this is not true. The last thing many
of those, who are more filled with the Mary Impulse, want to do is hang
out with the Martha folk. Meanwhile, many of the Martha Impulse find
that what the Mary folk do is incomprehensible and a violation of all the
rules of tradition (particularly anything Steiner said).
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Now one of the rules of polarity, that can be studied in may places where
life processes provide organization, is that in the inside of one pole is its
opposite, as a small but concentrated essence. This means that the Martha
folk have a Mary Impulse in their core and that the Mary folk have a
Martha Impulse in their core.
As a consequence, the traditionalists in their contemplative gesture must
naturally always seek to actively deepen it. Our inner developmental tasks
we always recognize as incomplete, although the outer form of our activity
tends to remains constant (traditional). For the progressives, their
transformational gesture must naturally always seek order, or an
unrestrained urge to constant change will lead to chaos. Activists are
always building social new form, so that the community of the Mary
Impulse has a well formed structure or social foundation from which to
act.
In the Society confusion arises when the Mary Impulse wants to change
the traditional form in the Center, or when the Martha Impulse criticizes
the inner work of the activists on the Periphery as not properly grounded
in Steiner. The Mary Impulse in its own field of activity has to move
beyond Steiner and traditional Anthroposophy (so as to be compatible
with the wider world), while the Martha Impulse has to maintain in the
Center its concentrated devotion to Steiner.
Sister-souls, sharing the same ideal goal, is what Steiner indicated in
Awakening to Community. What is this goal?
I suggest it is the furthering of the life of the spirit in humanity, which act
of furthering is rooted in a new Way, a Mystery Way made compatible
with natural science.
The Martha Impulse preserves the Steiner core, while the Mary Impulse
has to forge allegiances with that which does not, and need not, recognize
Steiner. In this sense, I believe Ben-Aharon is right in his conception of
two communities, a conscious Michael community and an unconscious
(instinctive) Michael community. At the Periphery of anthroposophical
activity, where the Mary Impulse has to integrate itself with the wider
world, brotherhood and sisterhood means that one cannot stand apart on
the basis of doctrine, but must find real inner compatibility. For the Mary
Impulse this is done in recognizing the free moral nature (Consciousness
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Soul) instincts in others, and that this inner free moral nature can be shared
across any fancifully imagined division of doctrine or path.
From the Center, in the natural realm of the Martha Impulse, Kobran was
correct to suggest that, to the extent the Perlas Ben-Aharon group seemed
to see the Consciousness Soul only in Civil Society and not in the world of
banking, politics or corporate life, this view had to be false. Thus, the
Mary Impulse can be aided, out of the work of the Martha Impulse, to
struggle to see more deeply into the World, and perhaps observe that an
individual's membership in any group cannot be used to define the state of
their inner moral freedom (which observation includes the
Anthroposophical Society and Movement - membership in either or both
is not necessarily a sign of the achievement of ethical individualism).
The contemplative gesture can inform in a good way the active gesture.
Of course, in order to really do this, the contemplative gesture will find its
help ignored if it is rooted in a non-objective criticism; and likewise, the
active gesture will lose something very precious if it removes itself too far
from the Mother Source carried more strongly by the contemplative core.
The Kobran article, in its criticism of the Perlas Ben-Aharon idea of where
are the so-called Michaelic Millions, also was concerned with the question
of whether it was accurate to see Civil Society as a cultural gesture of
threefolding in the world social organism. This dispute then would
suggest that a rethinking on the part of both the Martha core and the Mary
rim needs to be done as regards the state of threefolding of any new
cultural life in the wider world. As this is a significant question, I'll try to
contribute to its resolution next. It is, in addition, my view that learning to
perceive these aspects of modern social existence will be very helpful for
everyone in Anthroposophy, whether they more strongly identify with the
Martha or the Mary Impulses.
The basic intuitions of the Mary Impulse as regards threefolding are
represented quite strongly in Ben-Aharon's remarkable (and quite
important for Mary Impulse anthroposophists) book: America's Global
Responsibility: individuation, initiation and threefolding. A part of this
view could be stated briefly as follows:
In the course of the 19th and 20th Centuries, the general condition of
human societies encouraged greater human freedom and individuality. As
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a consequence, out of this freedom non-governmental organizations arose
and became after a time more effective in delivering aid to those human
needs that governments were becoming less and less able to provide. The
State (that is one aspect of the political-legal sphere) was not able any
longer to be devoted to goodness out of freedom, and into this vacuum
stepped a Consciousness Soul response that was world wide: Civil
Society.
At the time then of the arrival of the global economy, with its huge raw
forces and influences, a counter-pole came into being as a necessary
balance - a new cultural impulse (the Wise-Earth, see first essay above).
So effective was this counter-pole, that the institutionally supported and
hired minds of those seeking to rule economic life recognized it long
before most thinkers on threefolding in the anthroposophical Society and
Movement recognized it. Civil Society, a free moral (Mary Impulse)
gesture that organized social forms for the purpose of solving humanitywide social problems, represents to such thinkers as Perlas and BenAharon the coming into being of a world-wide transformation of the
Cultural Sphere of humanity. Kobran seemed to disagree, and I am certain
he is not alone.
The difficulty lies not, in my experience, in one or the other being more
correct in their views, but in the fact that the Martha Impulse tends to
think about the threefold social order through a different inner process
than does the Mary Impulse. Since the method (or gesture) of thought is
different, the resulting thoughts and conclusions will of course be
different.
One of the phenomena that can be observed in the anthroposophical
Society and Movement is that there are two major and quite different paths
of development: the Knowledge of Higher Worlds path, and The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity path. In several essays in this book I
make reference to this, and I will not be repeating myself here about this
in any great detail (all of which can be found elsewhere).
A major characteristic of the former is that it seeks the spiritual indirectly
through the world of the senses, that is through the world were Ahriman
has a certain influence, both within the soul and outside it in sense reality.
The latter seeks the spiritual directly, through self observation
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(introspection), and here encounters the realm of Lucifer, again inside the
own soul and then at last at the Threshold.
Both paths influence the development and awakening of more conscious
thinking. As the Society and Movement developed over the 20th Century,
the inner core of Martha folk (who are far more numerous) became quite
involved with Knowledge of Higher Worlds. Those who followed The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity tended to the edges, and thus we find
such as Barfield, Kuhlewind and Ben-Aharon on the Periphery of the
Society, where the Mary folk are gathering.
The thinking, as practiced and modeled in the Center, tended toward a
kind of European idealism of the soul. While on the Periphery there was
an instinct for a more pragmatic (almost American) introspective life. The
Martha folk looked at threefolding as an ideal to be incarnated, and the
Mary folk as a phenomena of social existence to be perceived (a division
rooted in the difference between the Aristotelians and the Platonists?). So
we find Kobran, for example, carefully reading Steiner, and vetting any
thoughts about world threefolding development against the ideal of
threefolding given out by Steiner. On the other hand, such as Perlas and
Ben-Aharon tried to live into the phenomena of social existence and listen
to that social-forming spirit speak into their thinking.
Where this takes us next is something we have to be very careful about
understanding.
The knowledge that comes into thinking, from that which we have called a
kind of progressive spirit vision process, is out of the future. While the
knowledge that comes into thinking, from that we have called a kind of
traditionalist spirit recollection, comes from the past. The former pulls us
forward, and the latter anchors us to our necessary roots. It is only
through spirit mindfulness, in the present, that we can meld the two poles
together into their natural unity and harmony. Too much sympathy for the
past make an idol in the present, and too much antipathetic measuring of
the present against a vision of the future ungrounds us.
Paradoxically, the threefolding idealists are living in that aspect of the
Mary Impulse which is the core inside of the Martha folk. So to perceive
the ideal of that which is not yet fully incarnated is to have a vision of the
future. While the threefolding phenomenologists, fixed in their thinking
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on the present, are really only seeing the past in the present - what has
already become, for that which is living (changing) in the present is not
fixed in form, but is rather invisible or hidden as it were. Their inner core
of the Martha Impulse tends to fix the views being developed by the Mary
folk.
At the same time, those on the edge, in meeting the rest of humanity at the
Periphery of anthroposophical (the conscious Michael community)
activity have to set aside the Steiner idealism in presenting threefolding.
The unconscious Michael community has no use for what would appear to
them as a dogma, so the Steiner given idealism in the conception of
threefolding has to be stripped away, otherwise its presentation will be
sterile (see the work in the world of Gary Lamb for a healthy example of
this). What the Martha folk want to present out of traditional
Anthroposophy has no use for the wider world, and Steiner even pointed
this out in suggesting that when Anthroposophy truly entered social life it
would disappear.
The movement from the Center, out of the contemplative Martha aspect of
the sister-souls, outward toward and through the Periphery and as a gift to
humanity through the actions of the Mary aspect of the sister-souls,
involves the disappearance of Anthroposophy, at least as presently
conceived. The Martha folk conceive of Anthroposophy as the substance
and content of Rudolf Steiner's works, which need (correctly) to be
preserved and kept linked to his name. The Mary folk conceive of
Anthroposophy as the method of cognition, the will to spirit in the soul
that leads to living thinking. Such living thinking is not owned by Rudolf
Steiner by the way, who was only one of those who discovered it (for
example, Coleridge and Emerson discovered it before him).
Christ is the creator of the human potential for living thinking, and its
major co-participant when we are able to engender it out of ourselves. At
the Periphery of the Society and Movement, where the rest of humanity is
encountered, it will be Christ who is ultimately linked with this living
thinking, for it is Him that is the Life that comes into us when we learn to
think in this new way.
It would be possible to say then that the Martha folk would view the
current world conditions as lacking something of the ideal as represented
by Steiner in his books on the social organism. The Mary folk would view
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the world of social phenomena as a logos speaking of macro threefolding
(the appearance of Civil Society) into a cultural dynamic as an opposite
pole to an economic dynamic (Elite Globalization). However, if you read
carefully what Ben-Aharon has written in his book on America's Global
Responsibility, his presentation is understandably incomplete (he can't
cover all relevant themes) on certain levels. As this is important I am
going to take up this subject next. That is we are going, for a time, to look
at the present day threefold conditions of the social world out of spirit
mindfulness, rather than out of spiritual recollection or spirit vision.
*
Years ago I wrote of this theme and offered an article on it to the
Threefold Review which choose not to print it. Several years later I was
able to publish it on my website, where aspects of it drew the attention of
the English anthroposophist Terry Boardman, and he wrote of these ideas
in an essay called: The Idea of the Threefold Society at the Dawn of the
Third Millennium, which was first published in the book referred to above:
The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New Millennium.
Here is some of what Terry Boardman wrote:
"In his lectures to the West-East Congress in Vienna 1922, Rudolf Steiner
spoke of Europe-Asia as 'the problem' of modern times and EuropeAmerica as 'the solution'. By this he meant that Europeans were
preserving the dessicated remnants of an ancient Asian spirituality in the
dusty abstractions of their intellectual, political, and religious systems.
The future lay rather with the will to create out of nothing. And this
willingness he saw in the youthful energies of the Americans. It is no
surprise therefore to learn that it is an American anthroposopher, Joel
Wendt, who has articulated best this need for Anthroposophy to enter the
belly of the Media. Wendt has written: (13)
"What else have politicians, terrorists, single interest groups, businesses
etc. been fighting to control and manipulate? Within Media the People
come to common (equalized) self knowledge and mutual understanding.
Within Media the idea of the State and of the rights and duties of
citizenship come to common form. Media shines light on the activities of
the State, and media personalities (with varying degrees of consciousness
and moral integrity) believe they act thus for the People. However we turn
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our thinking, if we remain pictorially descriptive of the dynamics of social
life as these actually play themselves out in the political-legal sphere we
will come to the perception of the threefoldness of State-Media-People.
"It is a risk, Wendt says, to enter this realm, but a risk that should be
taken, a nettle that should be grasped if the Media serpent is not to
continue merely to slide in the dust.
"Media, if its present condition is clearly understood, is young; i.e. it is
still undergoing formative developments, and functions today with a kind
of moral or spiritual immaturity. In this sense Media may take one of two
different courses of future development. It may become a kind of moon
center, rigid, arid, not light originating, but rather only able to reflect those
impulses which come to it from the outside. Or, it may become a sun
center, a source of warmth and understanding, a medium of creative forces
flowing into the social order and carrying both in deed and in word a true
image of man as a being of soul and spirit. I imagine then, Media
becoming a sun, a true heart of the heart of the social organism, so that the
common understanding of the People will find a renewed vision of the
State. In Media a song can yet be heard, the song of the truly free man, the
moral man. In this way the rigidification, the mechanization, the image
spell-binding of the word will be overcome, and a true understanding
given to Western civilization of the Idea of the Threefold Social Organism
as a dynamic social form already latent in human social existence in the
West....There is of course no predicting how events will proceed, yet it
seems clear to me that this historic moment is pregnant with certain kinds
of potential. Just as there is great risk of a further fall into materialism, so
as well there is much possibility for spiritual transformation. If we do not
blind ourselves with a kind of threefold dogma (for example, that the first
need is to free the spiritual cultural life), but instead truly perceive the
actual dynamics. Then as far as I am able to hold in pictorial thought, the
ripe moment lies in bringing moral trans-formative forces to the thinking
active within the Media - to bring a song to life just here in the heart of the
heart of the social organism.
"Here speaks a true American voice - a voice of idealism and the will to
courage."
Leaving aside Mr. Boardman's kind words, let us consider then the
concept that during the development Western Civilization, a kind of
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natural threefolding occurred in the newly being born Life of Rights
(which arose when the Greeks and the Romans began to see the State as
one pole of the Life of Rights, and the Citizen as the other pole). During
the course of this unfolding of the Life of Rights, it threefolded within
itself, not unlike the natural threefolding of the Cultural Sphere into
Science, Art and Religion (or what is latent in the Economic Sphere:
production, distribution and consumption). Only with the Life of Rights
we have a natural threefolding into: State, Media and People (or Citizen).
This makes Media to be the heart of the heart of the social organism.
Since the middle realm of a threefold organism (such as the human being,
which is the Archetype of the Social Organism) is, in part, a melding
together of the two poles, yet which seeks to be the selfless servant of
both, we can see in modern media the struggle between economic and
cultural impulses. Like the rest of the social organism, Media is
dominated today by the cold calculations of profit and power seeking
motives. Yet, this is the outer Media and it is now being enriched deep in
its interior core by that free moral spirit currently inhabiting the Internet.
The Internet is to a great degree that natural anarchy in which is hidden
beneath the surface Steiner's instinctive Consciousness Soul idea of ethical
individualism. We find this individual and natural anarchy in the Open
Source communities and their various services given away for free to the
Internet, and in the struggles between the free exchange of ideas and art
that is giving fits to those who cling to the old Roman idea of property
rights under the current term: intellectual property rights (which wants to
own the products of spirit, by the way - but that is a whole other story). In
any event, between the millions of blogs and millions of individual
websites, the Internet is an extraordinary development of a free Media
process as it works deeply within the middle of the threefold nature of the
Life of Rights: State, Media and People.
This was the means, as was noted by Ben-Aharon in his book on America,
that enabled Civil Society to defeat the introduction of a horrible attack on
the economic life of the world social organism in the guise of a treaty
called: the Multilateral Agreement on Investments, which would have
turned all economies world wide into prey for the concentration of wealth
among speculators and huge financial capital institutions. The Internet has
become the physical apparatus of a living social reality: free Media, which
is the free moral heart of the heart of the social organism, and it was
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absolutely necessary for people to become informed of this attack (and
essential to the use this same resource - free Media - in repelling this
attack). The whole confrontation, against the Multilateral Agreement on
Investments by Civil Society, would have been impossible without a truly
free Media in its current form of development.
If I was to point toward the most special place for the Mary Impulse to
work, it would not be so much in Civil Society itself, but within free
Media on the Internet. This free Media is the beating heart of the
lifeblood of the community of wisdom that is Civil Society, or the
instinctive Michael community. This heart is built up out of the streaming
intelligence, from below and above, yet is that one place were the
opposing nature of these streams can be mediated.
We confuse ourselves if we turn away from the Internet because it is based
on an ahrimanic tool, the computer. It is the uses this tool is put to that
are important.
From above, out of a somewhat luciferic Civil Society comes those ideals
and dreams that represent an active and instinctive free moral intelligence,
while from below, out of the ahrimanic economy, with its technological
excesses comes the tool - the Internet. Somewhere some people have to
be wise enough to consciously serve this confluence of downward
streaming wisdom as it intersects with upward streaming wisely authored
earthly formations. Here is the point from which to alter the world
conceptions of the community of human beings meeting on the Internet.
At the same time, it is not the Martha Impulse that will function best here,
but the Mary Impulse.
The ideal (but unpracticed) living thinking, cultivated in the contemplative
core where the Martha Impulse struggles to nurture the Mother Anthroposophy, has to move out through the Mary Impulse into the
beating heart of free Media, and from there into the social periphery where
the instinctive Consciousness Soul of humanity can come to collective
self-consciousness. Only in free Media can the living nature of social
threefolding, of the reverse cultus, and of a scientifically based new gnosis
come to conscious world-wide understanding. Here, in this periphery,
lives Christ. In the interactions on the Internet, world-wide in scope and
crossing all former barriers of culture, race, language and religion, the
Michael gesture predominates. Individual uman beings seek each other as
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individual human beings, no longer as Jews or Arabs or Americans or
Chinese. Then, in the interweaving exchanges, carried by a human created
physical structure no less significant than the cosmos created physical
structure which is necessary for speech, Christ lives in between. All is, of
course, crude and barely workable, but even so, if we look at the drivers
behind much of the human activity on the Internet, it's use is forged by
hundreds of thousands of human intentions to create bonds of contact
across former boundaries, which ultimately leads to face to face
interactions (from the world's Social Forums such as FaceBook to
Moveon's American meet ups, to individual love affairs and marriages).
Let us look a little more closely at one very odd, yet quite compelling
Internet phenomena: YouTube. YouTube is a website where anyone
anytime can post home-made videos. Hundreds of thousands, if not
millions of people world-wide go daily there to look at these individually
created picture stories born frequently in the impulses of instinctive
consciousness soul activity. Whereas mainstream culture, such as
television and movies is mostly dominated by corporate culture and
impulses of greed, YouTube, a representative phenomena spilling upward
out of the social commons, lets everyone be a TV producer or film-maker.
Short films to be sure (some less than a minute), but if it strikes a cord, in
a short time it can be viewed by millions.
What if the creative arts and selfless thinking of anthroposophists, as
individuals, were to join in this world-wide artistic community dialog.
Instead of thinking (as the Martha folk tend to) that people should come to
us, we (as the Mary folk are inclined to do) go to them - to where they are.
Far too many anthroposophists are so focused on the rightness of what
they are doing, that they often miss what the rest of the world is doing. In
case the reader of this doesn't want to be asleep, they should read; Blessed
Unrest by Paul Hawken; and, World Changing: a user's guide for the
21st Century, edited by Alex Steffen, Forward by Al Gore.
*
Let us now weave back in a previous theme: Steiner is the one, who in
The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity found the way to this living thinking
through the application of the methods of natural science to the processes
of introspection. That deed will remain linked to him for a very long time.
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In a certain sense, the Mary folk are the mediating principle between the
inner core of anthroposophical tradition and Steiner study held dear by the
Martha folk, and the wider world of humanity. Martha strives to keep the
treasure house pure, while Mary tries to distribute the treasure freely to all,
humbly and without need for credit, just as Christ gives Himself away
without needing any acknowledgment.
As American anthroposophists (and perhaps others in the world) wake up
to this conception of the sister-souls and their natural relationship, this
waking up may foster in both realms impulses toward a greater clarity of
activity. For the Martha folk this may arrive in the form of a desire to
deepen their relationship to Anthroposophy by taking up more firmly the
inner work of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity - that is to approach
the spiritual more directly (instead of indirectly) through a scientifically
based introspective activity. For the Mary folk this may bring about in
them the desire to deepen their practices of the reverse cultus, for they will
find that not only does the wider world have an instinctive relationship to
free moral action, but also to deeper group practices rooted in the spirit.
After a century of anthroposophical work, it seems to be the time in which
the belief, that The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity is too hard, has to be
overcome; and, that Knowledge of Higher Worlds, while a quite definite
path to the spirit, has to be seen as Steiner saw it, as lacking the same
surety or exactness as The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (see Steiner's
remarks toward the end of the fifth Chapter of Occult Science: an
outline). Out of such a change of emphasis in its contemplative
directions, the Martha Impulse, in the core of the Society and Movement,
will find itself able to achieve much that before was impossible. They will,
by such an act, remove from the dust heap of the 20th Century the most
important work Steiner created, and return it to its throne as the true ruler
of anthroposophical spirit activity, since it represents Steiner's own path of
development (which Knowledge of Higher Worlds does not).
At the same time, the reverse cultus too must be rescued from that same
dust heap into which the understandably spiritually immature activity of
anthroposophists in the 20th Century discarded it. Let me create for the
reader an Imagination of such a Rite in action, as an aid to appreciating
what has been lost. For this Rite - the reverse cultus - is the Queen of the
New Mysteries, just as The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity is the King.
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* * *
The Circle gathers, with one shared intention - to consciously work with
the spirit. No member of the Circle is more important than any other
member. First in silence they recall what Steiner taught about why Judas
had to kiss Christ. The truth at that time in Palestine was that when
crowds gathered to hear teaching, the teaching came from all those in the
circle around Christ. The Christ spirit spoke through all, first one and
then another. For this reason Judas had to kiss the One who was the
center, otherwise the Centurions would not know whom to arrest.
After this mood is engendered, in which each recognizes in the other a
true source of spirit presence, the members of the group begin to speak.
What they offer is not a pre-thought theme, about which one may be more
expert than another, but rather the simple feelings of their hearts in the
moment. These heart-felt concerns are the sharing to each other that
opens the hearts to each other. The Circle meets each other in this art of
coming to know each others deepest concerns, which can (and often will)
be entirely personal. This knowing of each other is a great gift to give and
to receive.
In this brief sharing will begin to emerge the spirit music latent in the
coming conversation, for the co-participating spirit presence knows the
truth of our hearts, and is drawn to these concerns out of the darkness
represented by the Threshold and into the light and warmth of the sharing.
Thus, in acknowledging each other in silence as also true speakers of the
spirit, and then in sharing the true matters of the heart as exists for each
at that moment in time, the Chalice is born in the Ethereal - in the
mutually shared world of thought.
Now comes the Art of Conversation, the Royal Art.
Here too no one is better than another for as Christ is quoted in the John
Gospel: "What's born of the flesh is flesh, and what's born of the breath is
breath. Don't be amazed because I told you you have to be born again.
The wind blows where it will and you hear the sound of it, but you don't
know where it comes from or where it goes; it's the same with everyone
born of the breath".
The breath of spirit blows where It wills, not where we will It.
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The Royal Art is deep indeed and begins (as Tomberg expressed it) by
learning to think on our knees. At the same time, these inner skills of
thinking and listening will have little effect on where the wind blows, and
while the study of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity may make us
individually more awake inwardly, the will of the spirit presence in the
conversation belongs to that spirit presence, not to us.
So the conversation proceeds in the heart-warmed Chalice of the shared
experience of the world of thoughts. Each contributes what is thought in
them. Together a weaving of a whole is sought, but no one can judge
whether anyone else's contribution is a needed thread or not. Often, for
example, something, which on the surface seems antagonistic or
oppositional, is precisely what is needed in the moment to stimulate
another in the offering of their part of the whole.
It is possible then for this circling weaving conversation to rise, in the
nature and the substance of its overall meaning, nearer and nearer to
spiritual other-presence. It will not do, however, to believe that as the
conversation of the members of the group draws near this other-presence,
that It will tell us what is true and good. That would violate our freedom.
The true touch of the wind in the soul is otherwise in its nature.
In each soul lie latent embers of spirit recollection, spirit mindfulness and
spirit vision. We are already as thinking spirits, in the spiritual worlds.
What is fostered in the Chalice is something rooted in the teaching of
Christ: Wherever two or more are gathered in my name, there I am.
He is with us.
Moreover, He is very interested in what we choose to think, not in our
obedience to Him. Our obedience we owe to our higher self, not to Him that is to the Not I, but Christ in me. He loves everyone in the Circle
equally, and observing the latent embers of recollection, mindfulness and
vision within each separate soul, He aids our communion by breathing on
these embers. He gives to each, according to that individual need, that
aspect of His Life which is His Breath - what John the Baptist in Matthew
3:11 called holy breath. ["Now I bathe you in the water to change hearts,
but the one coming after me is stronger than me: I'm not big enough to
carry his shoes. He will bathe you in holy breath and fire."]
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With His Breath, during the communion that is the conversation in the
Chalice, the latent embers of our own soul are given Life. Within the
thoughts of each arise that which belongs to each, but which is also seen
by the Love of Christ, and enthused with His Life. We rise on the moral
quality of our will in recognizing the spirit presence in each other, and in
the sharing of the concerns of our hearts; and, as we do this, the weaving
of the thoughts into a whole - still resting on our own insight and will - is
given Eternal Life, in the form of the good and the true.
Thus revealing the truth that: "I am with you every day, until the
culmination of time." Matthew 28:20
* * *
What does this mean for the sister-souls, the Martha Impulse and the Mary
Impulse?
In the Center, where the Martha folk strive to keep the work deep, in
addition to their renewed studies of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity,
can be added a renewed interest in the reverse cultus. At the Periphery,
where the Mary folk strive to integrate with the wider world, they will find
everywhere, just as they had previously observed an instinct for free moral
action, an equal striving for the spirit in conversation. Whether it is in a
formal setting such as the striving in 12 Step Groups or the study of Nonviolent Communication, the instinctive path of spiritual communion
through conversation is everywhere - for again: Wherever two or more are
gathered in my name, I am there; and, I am with you every day, until the
culmination of time. Christ does not make a distinction between
anthroposophist and non-anthroposophist, nor from a certain perspective
should we.
The Martha Impulse recognizes the treasures that Rudolf Steiner spent his
life forces to give to humanity. The Mary Impulse recognizes the need to
meet people where they are. Turning everyone into anthroposophists is
not the mission of Anthroposophy.
The deeper is the contemplative core (Martha Impulse) of the conscious
Michael community, the richer and more practical will be the realization
of what Steiner taught, especially in all the daughter movements. The
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more other (thou) directed is the active rim (Mary Impulse) of the
conscious Michael community, the more will the wider world be able to
receive the dying into becoming of Anthroposophy as that metamorphosis
of spirit is transmitted from the Center, through the mediating Periphery
thence into service in the world.
There is a direction of movement in the horizontal social, from left to
right:
>Center-Martha Impulse <(Michael)> Periphery-Mary Impulse
<(Michael-Christ)> World>
which as a social impulse (in the horizontal) eventually loops around (a
cross within a circle) and pours itself into the individual biographies, from
within (this, from the vertical-spiritual), or: Fires in the Biography,
upward and downward.
holy breath
/\
\/
free moral activity (instinctive and conscious)
/\
\/
reverse cultus groups (instinctive and conscious)
/\
\/
sharing of trials in the group creation of the chalice
(instinctive and conscious)
/\
\/
trials by fire in the biographies
where it once again spreads out in the horizontal-social, the whole
inwardly a lemniscate gesture on the one hand, and outwardly a circlecross gesture on the other. This creates in the in between, where Christ
lives, the spiral-like gesture of development of which we all should now
be well aware.
In appreciating these movements, it is not so much an inner geometric
picture of lemniscate, circle-cross and spiral that is essential, but the
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imaginatively felt movement. The life forces move*, and if we can feel
this movement imaginatively, then we drawn near the movement in living
thinking. In fact we can co-participate in it, through the gesture
(movement) of our own will-in-thinking.
*[Various gestures of the plant give a sense world expression of these
movements, for example where the branches of a particular plant leave
(branch out from) the stem in a rising spiral like form-gesture.]
It is in the fires in the trials of the biographies that the outer gesture of our
baptism by holy breath and fire appears. Outwardly we are baptized in
trials by fire in our individual biographies (through Christ's Art as Lord of
Karma), and at the same time we are inwardly baptized by the Living
Christ via holy breath.
Thus does the future and the past, via Anthroposophy both in its
concentrated form (conscious Michael community - the sister-souls of
Martha and Mary) and distributed form (unconscious Michael
community), homeopathically pollinate the present social world of
humanity in a natural way. Through the shared gesture of free moral
activity, and conscious conversation (whether fully awake, instinctive or
somewhere in between) humanity is united in spiritual communion with
and via Christ.
For anthroposophists, this creates significant responsibility. If they fight
among each other, unable to recognize the value of the different Impulses,
they will cripple their own work. Only by walking side by side, each
honoring the other, may the two gestures - the sister-souls - accomplish
the work that neither can do on its own.
The Class, the School of Spiritual Science, the work of the Sections, the
work of Branches and Group - all this concentrated Steiner focused
activity, essentially contemplative in nature, is one kind of work. It
supports and enables the other kind, the active in the world work - the
work of outreach. Some will prefer to limit their work to one sphere, and
others will move back and forth. All that is really needed is for the two to
understand each other, instead of judging each other. On the success of
that seeking after understanding, a great deal depends.

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For the real challenge in the end is whether the Martha folk and the Mary
folk can combine their ideal intentions in such a way that humanity is
served - such that something begins to come to light in free Media - that is
Anthroposophy leaves the Society and Movement and dies into the living
world social organism as a fully awake and conscious gesture of service.
We are not meant to create a new philosophy or a new sub-group of spirit
practitioners - that is to spread the idea of Anthroposophy - but to instead
purely and simply serve the needs of humanity through the practice of
Anthroposophy.
[As I was going through my final review of the whole text of this book,
the following is a second statement (the first is above at the end of In
Joyous Celebration....) that appeared in an essay, written by Michael
Howard, in the News for Members: "A crucial aspect of the Social Art is
the question: how do communities and institutions metamorphose? If the
Anthroposophical Society is to play a leading role in the cultivation of the
Social Art, then what better starting point than for the members of the
Society to take up action research regarding the ways the
Anthroposophical Society will metamorphose." On reading this statement
I had the hope that the essay above, written some time before, might make
a contribution to this riddle.]
********************************************
[for the neophyte: we next enter here a great and central mystery of our
Age. We have touched this previously, but now it becomes necessary to
look at this more closely and with a certain personal intimacy. We are to
look at the dark within, discover its real meaning and significance, and
begin to learn how to master it.]
The Mystery of Macro and Micro Evil
and the relationship of the Shadow
(the threefold double-complex) to the American Soul
[warning for all readers...facing the fact that we are the door through
which evil enters the world can sometimes be a shattering experience, for
often our general attitude of mind is that evil is in the other, not in
ourselves. This is why the teaching of Christ on the mote and the beam is
so crucial. Below the reader will be led directly into some of the deepest
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aspects of the beam in their own eye. At the same time there is a danger
that we will apply this beam in judgment of ourselves - we will be tempted
and encouraged by the double itself, to look upon this fact (that we have a
shadow being so intimately within our souls) as a defect or flaw.
This is not the case. As was pointed out far above in the discussion of
Ahriman's Incarnation, the opposing beings are a gift and a treasure.
Further, in our biographies we are watched over by the Divine Mystery at
all times, and whatever our state of soul - whenever we are in the deepest
despair and pain, that is the time when we can turn to the Mystery in
prayer. The 23rd Psalm is a quite exact description of our real condition
in any given moment of time in our biographies, and even harsh
conditions of soul pain and despair are as much a part of our development
of any other experience we are to meet in life. Rudolf Steiner advised us,
and experience itself proves, that the hardest experiences are the most
fruitful, even though we may not like them at all. To labor in an inner trial
of life is to do a spiritual developmental work that can be accomplished in
no other way. The opponents and the shadow beings are a gift, and the
Divine Mystery is always ready for and open for us to surrender, just as
was captured by Michelangelo in the Pieta. The not I but Christ in me will
in these trials go though passages much like death, as the trials strip away
from us our excesses of egotism. When the unredeemed aspects of the
soul dies through these experiences into a new becoming, we are always
held in such moments by the Mother, exactly as is depicted in this
remarkable work of art: the Pieta.]
*
I recently had a discussion with a leading anthroposophical doctor, who
was also many years a leader in the Society as well, and who on the
question of the Shadow said to me that it was his view that I could not
speak of such things, without first discovering and mastering everything
Rudolf Steiner said about the Double and about (I believe) Lucifer and
Ahriman.
I found this to be a most incredible statement, for it seemed to assume that
if one was to take up any subject Rudolf Steiner spoke about, the first path
to knowledge of the matter had to go through him. Since Steiner himself
had urged us again and again to not make him into any kind of authority, I
wondered just what was being said to me by this doctor who has been seen
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for many years to be a deep anthroposophist. I found this all the more
peculiar in an anthroposophical doctor, for at the end of the lecture cycle
Spiritual Science and Medicine, Steiner was asked by a doctor/student
what should one do with Paracelsus, whom Steiner had recommended be
studied. Steiner replied that one should think out things for themselves
first, and then go to Paracelsus for confirmation. My view has been that
this is a good approach to Steiner as well.
This doctor's attitude was also not something new to my experience, for I
had run into similar views many times during my 25 plus years as an
anthroposophist. Basically this view was that all that we could think, had
to be tested against what Steiner had said.
This is, of course, logically impossible. If taken to the extreme of what it
implies, it would suggest that no one can have a thought about anything
since Steiner incarnated. Further, it represents a view that imagines
thinking to be incapable of having its own direct spiritual connection,
independent of Rudolf Steiner, while at the same time assuming that
Steiner never made an error, never could make an error and ought not ever
to be questioned. (At a recent Branch meeting, a Christian Community
Priest said to me: we are never to doubt Rudolf Steiner.)
Given the logical absurdity of the doctor's statement to me, what was in
fact living in this point of view? I would say that it was in fact the
Shadow itself speaking to me, trying mightily to rise out of the doctor's
sub-conscious soul on streams of anxiety and doubt and thus to keep its
nature hidden. The Shadow cannot not bear the light of reasoned
examination, or the true heart-warmth of genuine humor, and will trick us
at every turn whenever we let ourselves sleep inwardly. But this is getting
ahead of ourselves.
Where did the doctor's unconscious anxiety come from? It came from the
fact that he did not know me, and even though he had read some of my
writings, had no basis in his experience to have confidence in me. But he
was asleep as to this lack of confidence, otherwise that is what he would
have said. He would have said, that if I was to write of the Shadow, I
needed to explain how it was that I felt qualified to speak, for people (such
as himself) would need to be able to have some trust right from the
beginning, otherwise they will believe that all that is said is theory and
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Steiner-said - everything but something actually grounded in direct
experience.
This then is where I will begin - with my experience.
I have practiced introspection for over 35 years now, ever since at age 31
when I underwent a remarkable, unexpected and spontaneous change of
personality. From one evening on going to sleep to the next morning on
awakening, a light - a new small flame of self-awareness - awoke in my
soul that had not been there before, such that I began to see inwardly (into
my own inwardness) where previously all had been enfolded in the normal
darkness of ordinary consciousness. Lest one think this was a godsend, let
me set the record straight, for it separated me from my fellows and has
since lead to all kinds of troubles and challenges. To be awake where
others are sleep is not always a good thing.
Fortunately, the personality that I was before the change was grounded in
a kind of simple faith, and so in the beginning I turned to the Gospels in
order to understand the meaning of what I began to observe in my inner
life as a consequence of this spontaneous inner and brighter self
awareness.
Seven years later, I met Rudolf Steiner's writings, and became attracted
almost at once to his works on the science of objective introspection (A
Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception, and The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity). Already naturally introspective
(inwardly awake to the processes of my soul), I now found the way to
make this very alone journey with the aid of scientific thinking. The main
trouble that followed (these things never take a straightforward course),
was that among other anthroposophists, I found almost no one that was as
inwardly awake and as carefully studying their soul life out of the impulse
of an introspection following the methods of natural science.
Oh, people did read the books on epistemology, but mostly they absorbed
the concepts from the books, such that they thought about the content of
their souls through the lens of the indications of Steiner, and did not in fact
actually look to their own souls as a book itself that can be studied. Slowly
over time I found myself again at odds with what I had assumed were my
fellow students in Anthroposophy, because we were not actually studying
the same material. I was studying my soul and they were reading books.
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About ten years ago, I ran into a wall in these studies. I knew a great deal
in practice and had written about it in my essay pragmatic moral
psychology (see my website), but I had not yet met the double (in any kind
of obvious way such that I felt any confidence in describing it as
experience that had become knowledge in my soul). I had read much
about the double, and had all kinds of concepts, but no adequate
experience. I even stopped completely writing a book I was writing at that
time because I did not know what clearly was the next thing to know. I
wasn't even sure that introspection, for all that I had learned there, could
provide this experience, which seemed to require actual clairvoyant
perception.
In this I was wrong. The fact is that my experience was full of evidence
of the double, but this had eluded me because I had made certain
assumptions about what I was to experience as an aspect of introspection,
such that a matter that was the most intimate aspect of my inner life - the
introspective experience of the Shadow, I had assumed to have one
quality, when it in fact possessed another entirely.
This quality was hidden in the process we call our inner voice, or subvocalization, or which others call discursive thinking (the spirit speaks,
the soul hears). The plain fact was that unless I was consciously directing
this inner speaking (the throat chakra), the unconscious (in part the
threefold double-complex) was using it. To experiment here, simply count
inwardly to yourself up to 23, and then stop and go on to some other
activity, possibly involving movement. While you are doing this other
activity, this inner speaking (the mental chatter we mostly conceive of as
thinking) will continue on its own. There is a kind of endless
commentary about everything that is going on, and unless we are
consciously directing this inner speaking, it is speaking out of itself, or
more precisely out of the presently hidden sub-conscious and superconscious elements of soul life.
For someone to whom this is a new idea, and has little experience with
introspection, let me add this concept. We all know how it is that we can
place iron filings on a piece of paper, underneath which is a magnet. The
filings will form patterns on the paper to line up with the influence of the
magnet's magnetic field. In a like way the double-complex and other
aspects of the soul, both sub-conscious and super-conscious, make
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patterns in soul phenomena - patterns that can be observed. When we
think about these patterns, after a time it is this thinking reflection itself
which sees (recognizes) the meaning of the various phenomena as
described in this essay.
Now this unconscious soul life is not just the double-complex (the subconscious), for the conscience (the super-conscious) speaks here as well.
In addition, what the John Gospel calls the wind (the Holy Spirit) also
speaks into our thinking (recall above the essay: In Joyous Celebration of
the Soul Art and Music of Discipleship). The whole soul is in fact a kind
of inner mystery temple*, and requires that we pay attention to it (be
scientific about our introspective experiences), otherwise we will miss a
great deal that can be observed in the soul. As another example, just
notice the next time someone seems to have made you angry. Up in
intensity goes this inner chatter, which then tends to take the character of
all kinds of thoughts which are unkind and destructive. If we act out of
these thoughts, we will usually make a mess of things.
[*Once we recognize the soul as an inner mystery temple, we can
approach it with the care and art that we might make with regard to a
physical temple. How often do we clean it? How often do we air it out?
What rites do we celebrate there? These are just a few of the dozens of
questions we can take up, once we orient ourselves toward our soul in this
way.]
If we think it through, we will now recognize why Steiner so frequently
spoke to us about learning control of thoughts. Our will needs to awake in
this realm, so that the unconscious influences become more conscious, the
access to our I by the Shadow is reduced, and our ability to consciously
co-participate with the Holy Spirit (the wind) is able to emerge out of the
general background noise in the soul, because thought is no longer
allowed to be driven out of the hidden depths (instead becoming a
conscious act of the own I). This then is a basic and essential task in
achieving the Living Thinking or what is sometimes called heart thinking:
control of thoughts.
Some will have good instincts about holding back this endless mental
chatter (which the Tibetans call: the oscillation of the citta). We will also
here come to a sense of the difference between the lower ego and the
higher ego. That which appears to introspection in ordinary consciousness
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as the seemingly endless flow of mental chatter is a phenomena of the
soul. I am not, by the way, in the immediate above trying to solve all of
the relevant problems. Instead I am simply pointing directly at soul
phenomena that if studied objectively will lead to experiences of the
threefold double-complex in the soul.
All that said, let us now step away, and come at this more abstractly for a
while, instead of so intimately, for this outer view, with its generalized
mental pictures, is needed in order for us to have a context in which to
place the meaning of why we need to have such an intimate inner
companion, the shadow or double-complex, who appears to be able to use
our own inner voice as a vehicle for temptation and prosecution and other
problems, while at the same time the conscience and the wind have a
similar access to our deepest inner soul realities. In the sense of the soul
as an inner mystery temple, while it has many general characteristics, this
temple is also quite distinctively individual and unique.
Also, keep in mind that once we obtain to a certain degree of control of
thoughts (the will-in-thinking) it then becomes possible (again see my
essay In Joyous...) for us to begin to learn how to perceive inwardly the
voice of temptation - egotism (the luciferic double), the voice of inner
prosecution - lies (the ahrimanic double) and the influence of the selfcreated egregorial beings (or better said: the self-generated wounds) in the
soul (these wounds by the way, can so weaken the I that it becomes
permeable for the influence of the Asuras). Further, the lower ego (the I
surrounded by the threefold double-complex) becomes able, via the willin-thinking (control of thoughts), to begin to consciously co-participate
with the conscience (the higher ego - which is itself never really separated
from the Mystery).
Here is a diagram from my book the Way of the Fool:
Christ Jesus
Guardian Angel
i-Am
[sense world < soul (A/d) < i-AM > (L/d) soul > spiritual world]
human double
(Asuras)
the Divine Mother
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Here is another diagram, isolating part of the first one for special attention:
i-AM
(A/d) < i-Am > (L/d)
human double
We need to keep in mind that the symbols (the map) is not the territory.
The first diagram represents our general experiential relationship to the
worlds, both inner and outer. The second diagram represents the
structural nature of the lower and higher egos as they sit within this world
of experience.
From within our biographies we experience the world, mediated on the
sense-world side by the ahrimanic double and the sensory parts of the
soul, and mediated on the spiritual-world side of experience by the
luciferic double and the higher inner perceptual parts of the soul. We are
far more awake to the former (in the sense-world) in this stage of the
evolution of consciousness than we are to the latter (the spiritual-world).
This is an important point, and one of the reasons the study of Steiner's
The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity is far more important for the future
of Anthroposophy than the study of Knowledge of Higher Worlds. Only
via actual introspection following the map that is Philosophy do we begin
directly with an encounter in the spiritual worlds. In KoHW our approach
is indirect, through the sense world (a world more informed by Ahriman,
who is, in a way a stronger opponent than is Lucifer).
Further, not one of the spiritual powers, whether it is Christ, the Divine
Mother, Ahriman or Lucifer have direct access to the social world of the
tenth hierarchy. Their only access is through us. "...the very purpose of
our Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch is that man should become increasingly
conscious of what takes effect through him in earthly existence." R. S.
Lucifer and Ahriman [emphasis added]. This both insures our freedom
and our capacity to in the end master the influence of the Shadow forces,
as these pour out of ourselves onto the shared social world of humanity.
As pointed out above in my article on Ahriman's Incarnation, his power in
Nature no longer quite influences us as directly as before, for the social
world has emancipated itself from the natural world. [It could come to
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pass that this situation will change as Western Civilization passes through
its death and then toward a rebirth - such that humanity could find itself
once again deeply integrated with the natural world, albeit one badly
damaged by our excesses.]
The main thing that goes on in the social world is the biographies of six
billion plus human beings. These are artistically arranged by Christ as
Lord of Karma, so that each of us lives our biographies in the company of
those with whom we have special and very much needed shared striving.
Once we incarnate into the social world of humanity, we are set free of
direct spiritual-world influence, except for the fact of partial excarnation
every night during sleep. This is where needed adjustments can be made
to keep us on track with regard to the goals we have agreed to experience
in our biographies. Here is a great mystery, and everyone should really
only make a judgment about what this means for them individually, and
not concerning any other person.
The threefold double-complex plays a special role here, for much that the
double does is needed in order for us to experience our karma, fate and
then eventually (perhaps) to form our free destiny. We need the Shadow
in earthly life in the same way we need a physical body. Granted aspects
of the double-complex are similar in kind and nature to immense spiritual
powers, yet Steiner also describes this as a hierarchical structure of gloves
within gloves within gloves - a stepping down of the original Power into
something much smaller and more in balance with the real I. While the
double is like Ahriman and Lucifer, it is ordained to be in a kind of
harmonious relationship to the ego, for the freedom of the I is the essential
matter.
In the heart-center of the soul is a realm the double cannot touch.
In the last Lecture to the John Gospel cycle, Steiner also speaks of the
result of properly passing through the trials of The Philosophy of
Spiritual Activity (becoming able to reproduce the meaning content of that
book out of our own thinking, feeling and willing) as producing a
condition of katharsis (or purification) in the astral body. This purification
is what makes the soul (the astral body aspect) more permeable to the
Light and to the Life, and this forms the necessary basis out of which the
Rite of Initiation can later be enacted.
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Every incarnate human being is thus accompanied in the biography by a
relevant Shadow (threefold double-complex), which is rich and just in its
essential nature (the justice element comes from Christ's influence as the
Lord of Karma). We can begin to observe the field of play of these beings
by studying (with scientific objectivity) our own inwardness, especially
the phenomena of discursive thought. Because of the laws of karma and
reincarnation, the astral body also contains (in addition to the ahrimanic
and luciferic doubles) the human double, we will explore this in more
detail next.
In my writing I used to speak of the human double as various kinds of
egregorial beings. This is an ancient term, and refers to a kind of selfgenerated psychic parasite in the astral body or world (the heroin addict
calls it: the monkey on my back - a quite suitable imagery). Many times
these beings are formed collectively by a group, but they also can be
formed individually as well. Such artificial beings are created by our
giving into a prompting of either or both of the ahrimanic and luciferic
doubles, except that the egregore requires an almost rite like-repetition for
its creation. The ritual by which the heroin using shots up is one such rite.
The result of the rite is a kind of forbidden pleasure (the payoff to the rite),
and a kind of separation occurs in the astral body such that the egregorial
being becomes more and more independent of the will of the I as the rite is
repeated. Steiner hinted at such beings in the last lecture of the cycle
called: Man as Symphony of the Creative Word, where he called them
cancers or tumors of the soul.
I have taken to dropping the term egregore, and replacing it with selfgenerated wound. I believe this is more accurate if we want our
conceptions about such matters to not only be true, but also good and
beautiful. Steiner also referred to such beings somewhat indirectly when
he described the processes of excarnation and incarnation (in between
death and a new birth) in a way that suggested that as the astral body
expands (excarnates) into the cosmos, it leaves behind pieces of itself,
which later during the following incarnation process are picked up once
again.
Now such beings are of varying degrees of harm. Many of us will have
had the experience of driving on a freeway, and because there was little
traffic we let our minds go into a kind of reverie, such that 20 miles down
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the road our ego consciousness (our attention) returns from the daydreaming with a kind of shock that we did not at all notice what we did as
a driver for the lost time. Who drove the car while our conscious ego
attention was participating in the experience of reverie? A modern
thinker, using computer terminology, might speak of a sub-routine, which
is not entirely inaccurate since a sub-conscious habit was driving the car.
We have many such sub-conscious habits (physiologists also speak of
muscle memory, as if the physical body itself could self-direct its
complicated activities). What else is the training for certain dancers,
gymnasts and others, but the creation of a whole community of subconscious habits. Experience in fact teaches us that many such activities
require of the ego that it not over-think the activity, otherwise we become
awkward and clumsy. Also, if we come to understand that the ego is
much more than where our I directs our attention at any given moment, we
can see that in the sub-conscious and super-conscious of the will are rather
remarkable capacities.
It is really only in thinking that the activity of the will can become the
most conscious (see again In Joyous...).
Now as we know, the more dangerous and problematic self-generated
wounds (addiction, alcoholism, etc.) have in the 20th Century become
more treatable. A great aid came into existence at the beginning of the
most intense period of the True Second Coming of Christ in the Ethereal
in 1933, when Bill W. was visited, while detoxing in the hospital for the
umpteenth time, by Christ in the form of an angel, and the impetus was
given for the later community development of the 12 Steps. There is no
present day spiritual discipline better suited for healing self-generated
wounds than the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
I'll not lay out the Steps here in detail, but I will do a kind of overview,
and point out their threefold nature. The beginning gesture of the Steps is
one of surrender. We recognize our powerlessness before the selfgenerated wound (the monkey on my back, my disease, demon rum etc.),
and we turn to the Divine Mystery (as we individually understand this our spiritual freedom remains fully intact) for help. Here is some Novalis
which touches this process quite directly:
The heart is the key to the world and of life.
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We live in our helpless condition
in order to love, and be obliged to others.
Through imperfection we become ripe for the influence of others,
and this outside influence is the aim.
In illness we must be helped by others and only others can help us.
From this point of view, Christ surely is the key of the world.
What actually happens in a spiritual technical sense is that by our act of
surrender the forces of the Divine Feminine (which oversee, from the
other side of the Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth, the Hierarchies of the
Left) are able to enter for a time into the soul and stand in between the I
and the self-generated wound, as well as in between the I and the
ahrimanic and luciferic doubles as these through inner prosecution and
temptation encourage the flaw in our character that has led to the selfgenerated wound. We surrender to our helpless condition, and in so
humbling ourselves make it possible for the soul to have enough
embryonic purity (humility) that the Mystery can come to our aid.
In the middle elements of this 12-Step process we enter into community.
We confess to another. We admit our flaws to the Divine, and we get
ready to make amends to those we have harmed. We start to shoulder, on
our own, acts of purification rooted in the slowly unfolding of this practice
of true humility.
In the final elements of this process we then act in the social community
world so as to transform our character flaws, and build out of this a
conscious spiritual practice that keeps us awake in the moment to our next
potential fall from grace. As we do this it becomes less necessary for the
Divine Feminine to provide direct inner support, as long as we can remain
on the path of humility and service to others. The ego is strengthened in
the very best way (beginning with and remaining in: washing the feet).
This process, which I call the elevation of the spirit for the mastery of the
soul is as follows: 1) surrender; 2) entrance (naive membership) in the
community of like-wounded; and, 3) then becoming a self-transforming
example and actor (through service) in this same community.
Lets now look a little more deeply at the ahrimanic double and inner
prosecution - lies (we hear in our inner voice the repeating tape of: you are
such a loser!). This is not all the ahrimanic double does, for it is a kind of
cold and calculating intelligence. In fact, precisely because it is so cold
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and calculating it has (in a way) a higher order intellect. Heart-warmed
thoughts are wise and generally far less clever in making life decisions.
Further, heart-warmed thoughts often selflessly involve us with others,
such that they can often lead to troubles and difficulties (see the film Pay
it Forward), whereas clever thoughts are quite selfish and enable us to
avoid more easily messy life situations.
Now in extremis, inner prosecution is often accompanied by what we tend
to call depression, using conventional psychological terms. We have lost
ourselves in self-negative feelings, and out of this inability to control our
life of feelings, the inner prosecutor (the lying ahrimanic-double) is given
a kind of free reign to provide us with negative thoughts (remember from
above the need to learn to control thoughts). Here the problem involves
the mastery of feelings. The Shadow during much depression is in charge
of the feeling life (yes, there are physically based physiological problems
that can lead to depression, but we need to learn to work within our own
soul first, before we turn to a pill. The pill can weaken the I, because it
fails to wake up within and then face the Shadow-in-the-soul out of the I's
own forces.
By the way, do not go around giving advice to any of your depressed
friends, unless you have clearly mastered the following practices yourself,
and they (your friends) already have a general spiritual understanding of
their own life of soul and spirit. What is being said here requires that it
remain within its necessary context, and if abstracted out of that context it
will lead to harm.
In effect in much depression we are in the grip of the ahrimanic double.
Our life of feeling is not mastered, nor are our thoughts within our control.
Also remember that this being is very clever, so one must begin by
recognizing (as in the 12 Steps) our fundamental helplessness. The best
advice I have ever practiced in this regard, apparently came from Dennis
Klocek (indirectly attributed to him through another), and involves taking
hold of our inner voice, and saying inwardly: Who are you? This should
be repeated two or three times, with the accompanying thought (remember
that context) that we are waking up in the realm of soul and spirit and
speaking to a being in the still somewhat inner darkness of ordinary
consciousness.

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This being cannot give us its name, and is compelled, upon being asked to
provide its name, to withdraw from its activity as a contributor to the state
of depression. Part of what is going on is that during depression we are
experiencing a related paralysis of the will. When we activate the inner
will by asking the question, we take from this being a power it has tricked
us into allowing it to have, which power really belongs to us.
Don't expect immediate relief. Feelings linger, and the depression
(especially if quite strong) will not fly away (unless a higher being
intervenes, an experience I have also had, but which requires petition prayer - followed by grace from above)*. Sometimes we just need to lie
down, ask the question a few times, and then rest. The being must
withdraw and the depression will lessen. At this point, however, we are
not yet done.
*[The best time I have found for petition and prayer is on going to sleep.
We pray to the Holy Mother for help with our depressed state, and in the
morning on waking, there should be a kind of small gap between our I and
the shadow presence.]
Just as in the 12 Steps, when during surrender there arises a gap in
between the I and the self-generated wound, so the question (who are
you?) creates a gap between the I and the ahrimanic double (the inner
prosecutor). Into this gap now we must assert further inner activity. The
best activity I have found is to then consciously create a mental picture of
this being and its cohorts. I make a picture of three such beings (really
seeking thereby to effect the whole threefold double-complex, for these
tend to cooperate), imagining them being somewhat like the character
Gollum in Lord of the Rings, but instead of being rounded in shape as in
the film these are actually quite angular with very sharp features as
described in the early lessons of the First Class.
We imagine these beings kind of gleefully dancing, holding hands, and
moving in a circle. Then to this picture we add something humorous.
Perhaps we picture cold maple syrup pouring over these beings, making
them slippery and causing them to pratfall. We, of course, don't want to
imagine harm coming to them, but we do need to make an inner picture in
which their activity is seen as quite silly and ineffectual. Maybe we
picture that they get depressed and then start to eat all kinds of ice cream
until they get sore of stomach because of the excess.
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By this activity we have first dismissed the being by asking the question of
their name, and then second made a counter-picture to those negative self
images the Shadow has been urging on us. The final (or third step) is to
become physically active. We rise from the sofa or bed where we have
lain down, and take up some activity (cleaning is good, if we otherwise
because of weather can't go for a walk). Nature is certainly a good
experience here, or if we are housebound for some reason, then music,
made by ourselves (singing, playing a recorder, or listening to a CD).
Something like the Gregorian Chant music that was popular some years
ago is also helpful. Whatever choices we make, it is movement that is
essential.
The depression has paralyzed the will, and now after we have first asserted
the will inwardly by asking the question and then developed it further by
creating the humorous counter-picture, we must then press this will
gesture all the way into the physical body and into movement. With the
state of depression lifted, the more harmonious thoughts that we need will
come to us, and we can return to life.
On the basis of a picture from Tomberg's book Inner Development, I have
also taken to imaging my will working from the crown of my head
downward, pressing the ahrimanic double out through the soles of my feet.
This is the last act before rising from rest (or from inner meditative
activity) to begin movement. I also try to image this being not having the
capacity to enter another, or cause harm there, but once pressed out it has
to return to the realm proper to it in the Eight Inner Spheres of the Earth.
Experience, by the way, shows that this being does not leave us
completely in the beginning. We are learning to exercise a certain
capacity of soul, and the threefold double-complex remains present until
we have accomplished all that we need to develop in the soul, through the
activity of our own I. Just as there is no instant mastery of the physical
body, there is no gain without pain in the purification of the temple of the
soul.
Next lets look at temptation - egotism, a principle arena of the activity of
the luciferic double. Again, this temptation comes to us via our own inner
voice, which we have, mostly by habit and lack of development, allowed a
kind of independence from the I. Our attention is on listening to the
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tempting inner voice to our egotism, and not on control of thoughts or
mastery of feelings. At the same time we need to keep in mind that the
luciferic double is also a voice of a kind of wisdom. We sometimes need
this wisdom in life, even though it will tend to be a bit ungrounded.
Luciferic wisdom takes us off the Earth, while Ahrimanic cleverness
drives too deep into a mood of gravitas. Keep in mind also, that Steiner
has said that often the cure for Ahriman is Lucifer, and the cure for
Lucifer is Ahriman.
Essentially the same problems as above apply, except that we are not
generally depressed (although often in states of depression we are more
easily tempted). The root of the temptation is generally a mood of soul.
So lets come at this from the problem of mastery of feelings (something a
bit different from control of thoughts). Obviously the six supplementary
exercises are an essential preliminary support here as well.
There is some imagery from the middle-East, Persian or perhaps Sufi,
which I have found useful in understanding this problem. The soul and
spirit can be described as consisting of a charioteer, a chariot and a horse.
The charioteer is the I. The chariot is the self constructed mental world our collection of ideas and concepts which we use to travel through life.
And, the horse is our feelings or emotions (e-motions).
The charioteer is most in balance when he has consciously created and
maintained his chariot, and is able to tame and direct the energies of the
horse (the mastery of feelings). As regards the chariot, we have the need
to control thoughts, and to not be in bondage in the experience of an idea
(unable to distinguish our I from an idea). As regards the horse, we have
to be able to step aside from unredeemed (sub-conscious) feelings of
antipathy and sympathy, and develop the ability to be able to replace these
with cultivated feelings (such as reverence, equanimity etc.).
A temptation is generally a selfish (egotistical) desire (which Steiner
speaks about from many directions in The Philosophy of Spiritual
Activity). It is a want, perhaps experienced as a need: sex, hunger,
revenge, etc. Lets just work with hunger and sex, to keep things simple.
Hunger is often a need of the body, as is sex. The I experiences the need,
and in fact often identifies with it, having already identified itself with the
body. We feel/think: I need food or sex (when it is really the body). In
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the Philosophy Steiner has put the question this way: Can I want what I
want? Can a desire be an act of will, or am I powerless before it?
His answer is that we can will what we want, if we put before the want a
self-chosen moral intuition. We put in front of the want, a self-determined
because. Not after the want, in front of the want. Just like with
depression, the first step is actually to create the gap in between the want
(the temptation) and the action. And the same rules can apply. We
experience the want, the temptation, which will often appear in discursive
thought as if our own inner voice was saying: oh boy, I was so good today
with what I didn't eat at lunch, I can take my dinner hunger and satisfy it
with ice cream (a friend of mine humorously calls this an ice crime).
If we notice the temptation, and then we can say: Who are you? There is
also an old folk remedy from Europe, where we cross ourselves three
times and spit over our left shoulder.
Of course there are all kinds of temptations and desires, this is just an
example. Lets look at sex as well, since there is a lot in common with
other inner soul gestures that can make these questions of soul (inner
temple) management (control of thoughts and mastery of feelings) stand
out.
Generally with sex and hunger we also deal with inner pictures, and also
the lower chakras. These images are not insignificant. Further, our
culture through advertising is constantly stimulating desire. This (sex) is a
bit of a different problem for men than for women. The temptation for
men is to see a women just as a women and not as an individual. A man
just wants to get laid (is the cliche), and is often in-discriminant about who
is the object of his desire. The temptation for women is more of one
toward immodesty in dress and action.
The man is stimulated by the culture to make women into sex objects, and
the woman is stimulated by the culture to dress provocatively, forgetting
that (or asleep to the fact that) men are intoxicated by such stimulation
(intoxication being a kind of surrender of the I to the aroused passion). No
one in these circumstances is free, because they are in fact in bondage to
the idea (the related mental pictures), and mastered by the feelings (the
passion) instead of being their master.
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So the first problem, as noted above with depression, is to awake to the
situation, in this case the temptation. The second problem is to create a
gap in between the desire and the action, so that before it sparks across
that gap, a freely chosen moral choice can be inserted in the front of the
desire. Willed thinking can do this in accord with the teachings contained
in The Philosophy of Freedom. [With this understanding we also get an
idea of the deeper nature of the Freedom contemplated by this book.]
Again, since the chariot - the mental construct - is relevant, we can create
an alternative mental picture to the one prompting the desire. We can shift
from a picture of an ice crime, to one of another food choice, which our
thinking helps us recognize as more healthy. We can also try to self
observe the feeling life which has prompted the desire. We can then ask,
where did this mood of soul come from, and how can I substitute another
mood (take the reigns of the horse through the conscious willed creation of
a cultivated feeling).
The most significant matter is to have in our world view of our inner life a
quite concrete and accurate understanding of the relationship of the
Shadow (the threefold double-complex) to the I. With this understanding
we now shift the battle with evil into that realm were we are most able to
meet it. We understand that evil (and the good) enter into the world
through us, and since this is the case, we are then able to meet it, and more
and more slowly render it impotent out of the own developing I. We don't
change the world, we change ourselves.
As a corresponding element of this understanding, we also need to
recognize (as pointed out in the essays above on the mote and the beam)
that what we observe in the outer world (the Stage Setting) is more beam
than mote. Yes, we can in the outer world oppose evil, but first we must
master the beam ("You hypocrite, first you must get the beam out of your
own eye, before you can help your bother with his splinter" Christ Jesus,
the Sermon on the Mount).
Another thing the tempter (luciferic double) can do is cause us to live too
strongly in fantasy and reverie. This is a use of the imagination (picture
making capacity) that wastes its energies in the realm of illusion. A
fantasy is not real, and when we give into this day-dreaming subconsciously, we retreat into that inner realm which the luciferic dominates.
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At the same time, there is a great deal that the imagination can do, if we
but give it the lightest direction and guidance.
Here the artistic impulse finds a great source for its work. The question
that is helpful to ask ourselves is: Toward what purpose has my I directed
my assent into inner reverie? Recall, for example, that in The Philosophy
of Freedom a crucial step involves a moral imagination. The impulse to
Goetheanism also finds its powers in the use of the picture thinking. We
routinely rehearse our coming conversations with people in order to be
ready for what is to happen there. All of this kind of inner picturing
activity can be lightly directed by the I along directions that are less and
less illusory, and more and more lending themselves to real spirit vision.
Day-dreaming takes only a little nudge from the I to become meditation
and thinking contemplation. Reverie is a step that lets us calm the soul,
especially when outer events may tempt us to anger and away from peace.
Picture thinking is strong in us today precisely because the Sophianic
impulse lays there, and wants to find itself in our souls once more. If we
feel a need to understand better someone who is disturbing our calm, what
better soul quality do we have than the capacity to strive, using the picture
thinking, to see the world from their point of view. The opportunities to
grace the temple of our soul with new inner pictures are ever present, if we
but wake to them.
Let us now return to the consideration of Macro Evil, for one of the
characteristics of the Stage Setting (the cultural historical background to
individual human biographies) is that because the relationship between the
opponents (Ahriman, Lucifer etc) takes the shape of gloves within gloves
within gloves, giving thus a common and general yet specific nature and
character to the threefold double-complex, a whole culture (even a
Civilization) can be turned in a certain shared direction because each
individual double expresses to a small degree the same time-related
impulses originating in its Hierarch (or ruler, such as Ahriman).
For example, scientific materialism (an aspect of the Ahrimanic
Deception) arises in Western humanity in large part because the individual
doubles are able to be coordinated, and consists (in part) of inner
temptations and prosecutions designed to cause natural scientists (natural
philosophers at the beginning of the scientific age) to make the same
(common) error of judgment. The whole of Western Civilization pivots in
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the direction of a spiritless (all matter no spirit) world view because most
all the threefold double-complexes are moved in sync with this basic
impulse* originating in the realm of the Hierarchies of the Left.
*[For a discussion of certain details of the some of the more common
errors of thought induced into this period of development, see Barfield's
World's Apart, and Cruse's Evolution and the New Gnosis.]
William Blake called the effect of this generalized confusion: "single
vision and Newton's sleep". The natural scientist lost confidence in his
senses (which Goethe said never lie, only the judgment - discursive
thinking moved from out of the sub-conscious - lies), and so the natural
scientist believed he could only find the truth of the world through
instruments and mathematics. Thus arose a spiritless world-view, which
while itself seems a terrible thing, was actually turned toward the good by
Beings more powerful and wise than Ahriman and his minions.
In the stream of earthly world events, a central theme is the evolution of
consciousness. Humanity evolves by being offered precise tasks in each
cultural age. While not every biography achieves what is offered it, at the
time it is offered, the possibility is always there. In terms of the evolution
of consciousness, the Ahrimanic Deception enabled humanity to become
(more or less) free of the Gods. The human being was to feel spiritually
alone, until bearing a hunger for a return to the spirit, it awoke enough to
begin to strive once more for reintegration. Even faith was to become arid
and dead (thus the appearance of spiritual materialism everywhere as a
kind of rigid - ahrimanized - dogmatic fundamentalism).
As we saw above in the essay on Methodology, that the processes in the
social that gave rise to the potential for moral freedom (the development
of individualism and the loss of the cohesive nature of the family and
community), were accompanied in large part by the effects of natural
science and the industrial revolution. The social effects of Ahriman's
character, as stamped on present day civilization, served the good - the
evolution of consciousness, by causing the I to have to stand on its own
(leave its childhood behind), and begin to draw from the deeper inner
wells of its nature a true - self-created - knowledge of the Good, or moral
freedom (see also above: The Meaning of...).

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Christ even told us to expect this effect, when He said in the Gospels,
Matthew 10:34-40: "Don't think I came to cause peace across the land. I
didn't come to cause peace, I came to wield a sword, because I came to
divide a man against his father and a daughter against her mother and a
bride against her mother-in-law, and to make a man's servants his
enemies. Whoever prefers father or mother over me is not worthy of me;
and whoever prefers son or daughter over me is not worthy of me; and
whoever does not take his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me.
Whoever found his life will lose it, and the one who lost his life because of
me will find it. Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives
me, receives my Sender."
Rudolf Steiner called aspects of this effect of the Christ Impulse: the loss
of the blood ties that at one time bound us into various forms of group
soul.
This then is how we need to see (from this point of view) the Mystery of
Evil. Macro-evil, the Stage Setting, is one aspect of the living and
evolving social organism of the whole world. It is context, not essence.
Essence is micro-evil, which occurs in individual human biographies in
the nature of the relationship of the I to the threefold double-complex - the
Shadow. The counter to the Shadow is the own I. We are the key to the
Mystery of Evil, for real evil (along with the good) only enters the world
through us. By unfolding within ourselves the Christ Impulse (free moral
grace via the Second Eucharist), we start to learn to tame evil and subdue
it at the only point it has through which to enter the social world.
We will also gain something by noticing from Lecture Five, of From
Symptom to Reality in Modern History, a hint from Steiner about the
Mystery of Evil, where he says that what we think of as evil is a secondary
effect of something that is more important and part of the Good. He uses
there the metaphor of a train and the rails that train travels upon. The train
engine and the direction it travels are important, but the indirect effect of
this travel is that it wears out the rails. When all we notice is the wear and
tear on the rails, this is the human conception of evil. Yet, this concept
misses the main point, which is that the engine and its direction are an
important and necessary part of human development and existence.
In the essay below on sexuality, we'll come at this again, but let us here
just notice that without sexuality and desire there is no procreation, no
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stream of heredity. Without physical bodies there is no earth existence for
our development. Without the hunger for food there are no forces for that
same body's use. In the so-called lower chakras are the true Mystery of
Evil, the engine that takes us where we need to go. That this conscious
and semi-conscious giving into appetite wears out the body and wounds
the soul, through leading us to excesses of temptation and addiction, this is
a side effect of the true purpose of what we, in human terms, call Evil.
Again, and to conclude: "...the very purpose of our Fifth Post-Atlantean
epoch is that man should become increasingly conscious of what takes
effect through him in earthly existence." R. S. Lucifer and Ahriman
[emphasis added] As well: You hypocrite, first you must get the beam out
of your own eye, before you can help your brother with his splinter.
*******************************

Encountering The Mystery of America
- what distinguishes the now emerging natural Anthroposophy
of the American Soul, from the anthroposophical work
of the Twentieth Century [For the neophyte: The social world of humanity can be divided into three
general regions of soul activity (observable with the own thinking, and
indicated by Steiner). These are East, Center and West, and mostly can be
observed in concrete form in the nature of the general cultural influences
that emerge from these somewhat distinct soul characteristics. Below in
various places I will go into details. For the moment we need only be
concerned with this general observation. Central Europeans tend to live in
the ideal in their thinking, and in that they seek to effect the social, attempt
to incarnate this ideal into social reality. In the West (England and
America), and particularly even more so in America (what I call the true
West), the soul lives more in the outer circumstances of life, and desiring
to be a helper there, and then uses thinking to discover how to practically
and pragmatically solve social problems.
In the one case the soul lives more in the vertical (thus Steiner's indication
that Europeans come to Anthroposophy in a spiritual way) and in the other
the soul lives more in the horizontal (social), and comes thereby to
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Anthroposophy in a natural way - as a product of its engagement and
desire to be a social helper. If we couple this with Steiner's indication
(which again can be confirmed through observation of the social) that
English speakers are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life
of Rights (their striving in the great political-social issues of the day leads
them to moral choices), then we can see even more clearly this distinction
between Center and West.
Sadly, my experience of European anthroposophists is that when you seek
to point this out, they won't have any of it. It seems beyond their
capacities (in not all cases) to recognize that another's inwardness is
fundamentally different. As a possible help for this, let me digress for a
moment into the following...
The American is said to wear his heart on his sleeve (something connected
to his instinct for brotherhood - more later). This is also connected to
America being a product of Western Civilization, in the sense of being the
womb of the successor civilization. Western Civilization is dying into
becoming (a metamorphosis), and in America we find the youthful (and
raw) organism of the new civilization (the dawning of the Age of
Aquarius). For example, in Central Europe (in Germany in particular),
social life is more formal (they do not wear their hearts on their sleeves).
So in German there are two words for you: sie and du (you and thou). The
first is more formal, the latter far more intimate.
As a necessary consequence, in anthroposophical circles in America, the
European wants to remain formal, and the America can't bring himself
into a social setting where he cannot wear his heart on his sleeve.
In any event at the beginning of this section I am going to undertake to
reveal some of the unrecognized depths of the American Soul. This is
made especially crucial by another tragic fact, which is that in
anthroposophical activity in America, not only is there the general
tendency (common all over the world) to walk backward into the future
(lean far too much on Steiner-said, and thus be blind to huge aspects of the
present*), American anthroposophists are almost universally ignorant of
their own culture and can't seem to put together a conference which
doesn't consist of equal parts worship of the past and worship of the
culture of the Old World (all in full ignorance of the American Soul's rich
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evolving cultural achievements. Below in various places I'll write more
directly on the details of this problem.
*In spite of all that Steiner indicated on this subject, it seems to never
really penetrate anthroposophical consciousness that the world of spirit
and of inspiration does not rest or remain fixed in its nature, such that
there has come to be an unconscious assumption in our circles that
everything Steiner said is a written in stone vision of the activity of
unchanging spiritual beings. The spiritual hierarchies evolve constantly,
and as humanity struggles, they too adapt and change so that fresh and
vital spiritual impulses are constantly made available to us if we can get
out of the way in our minds of this excess of past Steiner said (too much
spirit recollection and not nearly enough spirit mindfulness or spirit vision
- see the Foundation Stone Meditation).
First some observations of America that are of the present...]
**************************************
Present Day American Culture
- four archetypal personalities Some years ago, I was in a conversation at a small anthroposophical
conference, and I used the term: American culture. The European
anthroposophist sitting next to me snorted, and clearly looking down his
long nose at us poor unenlightened Americans, offered this terse
commentary: What culture!?!?! Shall we see? Keep in mind that this
which is being described is youthful and raw, as against the mature (but
dying) European Culture, which had clearly reached remarkable heights of
achievement in the 17th, 18th and 19th Centuries.
*
I'd like to start with someone who is certain to raise a lot of antipathy in
those who haven't bothered to think about these things: Clint Eastwood.
Here is a man, not only associated primarily with movies, but with violent
movies. Clearly movies are not great literature or opera or symphonies of
the masters. Worse, Steiner has indicated certain problems that can arise
when one sits and views cinema. It is a singular experience, often passive
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and lacking in all the greatness and natural co-participation of the high arts
of Western Civilization. All the same lets see what can be observed if we
do not automatically close our minds right from the beginning.
Born in 1930, Eastwood begins his career in television, and is most often
remembered by the older American generation as a character in a
television series called Rawhide, centered around the practice of driving
cattle to market in the West in America and set in the late 19th Century.
Subsequently he is tapped by the Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone for three
operatic Westerns that essentially made Eastwood into a Hollywood star.
As a star Eastwood then makes a number of Westerns, as well as a series
of police detective films (the dirty Harry films), which if we use our
imaginative faculties are really just Westerns set in modern times. These
observations lead us to asking the question: Just what is the significance of
the Western for the American Soul, for it once dominated film and
television, has its own special place in American literature, and still (as
can be seen by recent films such as the remake of 3:10 to Yuma) captures
the imagination of the American Soul.
We know that in the background of European and other world cultures
there are Myths, often profound in nature and quite revealing of the
character of the people whose myths are being studied. For the New
World and for the American Soul, the Western is our Myth - our
archetypal story that reveals a great deal about our character. Now this
Myth is rich, deep and wide. It encompasses, for example, a quite
dramatic change overtime in how Native Americans are depicted. Early
Westerns took the more European view that Native Americans had no
culture and were primarily savages. Steiner even uses that term (savages)
in a lecture. Eventually, beginning with such films as Little Big Man,
Jeremiah Johnson and then Dances with Wolves the whole bigoted view
of America's aboriginal peoples begins to be stood on its head.
In this rich field of activity - the story telling of the primal Myth of the
American Soul, Clint Eastwood emerges not only as its master, but in such
films as Pale Rider and Unforgiven he uncovers in the former film quite
spiritual dimensions, and in the latter the incipient reflections of the
Consciousness Soul.
Consider now the basic aspects of this Myth: Evil takes hold of a
community, and fear paralyzes the members of this community. Then
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comes the individual, the one (whether a member of the community or a
stranger-other) who has the courage to face down evil, even when the
community itself (out of its fear) stands in his (or her) way. In the early
years these themes were painted in stark contrasts of black and white, even
to the color of the hats the bad guys and the good guys wore. As the Myth
is worked with over the years, the stories become more and more
sophisticated, and at a certain point the same Myth gets transferred into
literature in the genre of detective fiction. The hard boiled detective, often
himself an anti-hero (as are many Western film characters), has to wander
in the dark underbelly of society in order to right a wrong.
The Western writer Zane Gray begins to include spiritual elements in his
works, but is mostly yet unknown outside small circles of fans. It is really
Eastwood who starts to explore these aspects in the more popular art of
film, first in the movie: High Plains Drifter (1973). In an interview years
following the film, he offers in his laconic way of speaking, that he
thought that his character could either be played as an avenging spirit
come to this town, or as a dead man brought back to life in order to right
the wrongs committed in the community. Later, in the film Pale Rider
(1985) [Revelation 6:8: "And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his
name that sat on him was Death...")] which Eastwood directed and starred
in, he plays a dead man brought back to life (there is a scene were another
character sees this man, who has come to town wearing a priestly collar,
with his shirt off, and his back is covered with a half dozen scars of
gunshot wounds).
In fact, the opening sequence of Pale Rider has a young girl, who is
burying her dog that the evil doers killed in a raid on the community,
praying to god for an avenging angel to come. Needless to say, the
Eastwood character kills the bad guys, saves the town and so forth.
As Eastwood matures, both as an actor and a director, he finally creates
his Western masterpiece: Unforgiven (1992). The film wins four Oscars,
with Eastwood receiving two: as best director and for best film. The main
character is a former killer and drunk, now widowed, who in the beginning
(in order to make some money) leaves his small children alone (they are
perhaps ages 10 and 6) and goes off to kill (as in paid to commit revenge)
a couple of cowboys who had badly cut up the face of a whore. Nobody
in this film is a mister good guy. Everyone is wounded and troubled.
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None of the moral questions (which are fundamental to the films themes)
are unambiguous.
Eastwood has here instinctively found the core of the questions being
faced by the Consciousness Soul (moral dilemmas in an age of ambiguity,
which force the I to rely fully on its own inner resources). Yet, he
continues to mature and more precisely understand and observe human
beings, and the next two significant films are modern and face the
Consciousness Soul questions squarely (it is unnecessary in any Epoch of
the Evolution of Consciousness for those participating in it to use the
terms Steiner created. They only have to see the core of the human
questions, and then portray them in their art).
The first of these is Mystic River (2003), based on a novel by Dennis
Lehane, and directed by Eastwood. The film wins two Oscars for its
principle actors (Sean Penn and Tim Robbins), and Eastwood is again
nominated for Best Director and Best Film.
The story begins with a flash back to a time when two young boys watch a
third (they are friends in Boston) be abducted by a unknown man who
subsequently abuses the third. Then we come to many years later, and the
three become involved in a horrible crime (one's daughter is killed - he is a
local petty criminal, another is the lead detective in this homicide, and the
third (the abuse survivor) becomes - erroneously - a principle suspect.
Every character (including the wives and friends of the principles)
confronts moral questions, each unique to their personal biography. Few
make what might be good choices in the abstract (idealistic), but between
the novelist's vision and Eastwood's film rendition, the confusion and
moral ambiguity seeps out of every corner of the film and almost every
scene. Nothing ends with clarity - no nice wrapped up package. It is all
too real, and the audience well knows that this is a slice of life they
themselves have faced at one time or another at least in part.
Then Eastwood directs and stars in: Million Dollar Baby (2004). The film
wins four Oscars, Best Film, Best Director and two best acting awards for
two of the principles (Hillary Swank and Morgan Freeman, besides
Eastwood, who was nominated but did not win best lead actor).
Eastwood's character, a boxing coach, becomes faced with a horrible
moral choice, one that most of us would hope never to have to face. He is
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also a practicing Catholic, who goes to Mass almost everyday, although he
constantly fights with his priest about whether any of this religious stuff
means anything anymore. Based on a short story by F.X. Toole, the film
leaves behind the multiple moral dilemmas of Mystic River and focuses
precisely on one character and one principle question. The character
eventually denies his Catholic background, makes his own choice (clearly
making a Consciousness Soul decision) and afterward goes on into (for the
movie goer) a kind of unknown limbo which we can only imagine never
leaves this character for the rest of his last few years of life (he is quite
mature).
Not content with these triumphs, Eastwood next takes on the issue of war,
in a time of the Iraq war, and directs two more wonderfully related films:
Flags of our Fathers, and Letters from Iwo Jima. In the first we see the
Battle for Iwo Jima from the side of the Americans, and in the second the
same battle from the side of the Japanese. Letters sees Eastwood
nominated (but not winning) for Directing and for Best Picture once more,
while Flags is less successful in that department. Since Flags actually
tells a story about the American military in the Second World War, that is
not heroic in its nature, the movie is not so easily popular. In both,
Eastwood once more highlights moral questions and their resolution, and
most interestingly in Letters we see the struggle between the group soul
and individualism portrayed, as a couple main characters try to step
outside Japanese military tradition, and make in the moment individual
moral choices.
Eastwood is, of course, not the only director in film to deal with
Consciousness Soul questions, but he is easily one of the most gifted and
focused (again never needing to do anything more as an artist but see the
human world in which he lives).
*
Next lets look at the work of Neal Stephenson. Stephenson is a novelist,
and a genius. Born in 1959, Stephenson is mostly seen as writing science
fiction, about which he says: The science fiction approach doesn't mean
it's always about the future; it's an awareness that this is different.
[emphasis added, ed.]

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Coming from a hard science background (family and early college), he
makes a name for himself with imaginative novels of a unique character
(Snow Crash, the Diamond Age and Cryptonomicon) and is nominated
for and wins several awards in this field. The latter, Cryptonomicon,
actually explores a whole new field of literature (he is basically inventing
this), which while unique, is still not yet recognized for what it contains
and what it portends.
Cryptonomicon is part novel, part exploration of code cyphers and
computers, part real history and part imagined history. It is over 900
pages long and actually succeeds in being quite educational. In this novel
we get a glimpse of the later works, which do something with history that
so far has only been imagined.
Owen Barfield, a significant anthroposophist and researcher into the
mysteries of language (and what they can say about the Evolution of
Consciousness) once remarked about the works of R.G. Collingwood
(author of The Idea of History), suggesting that Collingwood was onto
something special when he (Collingwood) said that all history is a history
of thought. It is, according to Collingwood, not so much that a certain
event happened at all (such as Caesar's crossing the Rubicon), but more
crucially what Caesar thought when doing this that the historian must
discover. Steiner's spiritual science gives us much of this kind of history,
and Steiner himself suggests that in the future individuals will be able to
do this - that is give us a history of what was thought - of the insides, not
just a usual history of events - of outsides.
It is my view that Stephenson is able to do this instinctively, although no
one really yet recognizes the significance of his genius in this regard.
Now I could try to demonstrate this with long quotes from his books, but
sadly they really must be experienced (just as Eastwood's films must
eventually be experienced). All I can do here is present the idea of this
kind of new instinctive cognition as regards the representation of history,
and suggest that Stephenson is able to do this. It will be up to the reader to
engage his works, in particular those I go to next, in order to satisfy
themselves as to how successful Stephenson has been.
Stephenson, after Cryptonomicon, took on the subjects of certain aspects
of the history of the world, in particular mostly Europe, during the time
(about 1670 to 1730) when Newton and Leibniz were arguing quite
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fundamental questions, whose resolution was essential to the future of
physics and scientific materialism. While this scientific debate was
ongoing, there were also struggles among bankers and traders and buyers
and sellers of financial instruments (stocks etc.), concerning the real nature
of money, of trade, of currencies and the relationship between government
and private individuals as to finance and banking. A great deal that lives
in modern civilization was being given birth in those years, and
Stephenson has written six novels, collected in three volumes, for a total
of 2700 plus pages, in which he recreates an imaginative picture of what
was thought by the principles (real and fictional) regarding these and
related questions.
Called the Baroque Cycle, the three volumes are also rich in story-telling,
adventure, passion, secrets, plots and counter-plots. Where a particular
question might puzzle the reader, Stephenson invents fictional dialogs of
explanation. For example, a young princess (a real historical figure),
travels by horse drawn coach for several weeks across much of central
Europe in the company of Leibniz and another, who in response to the
naive questions of the young princess are required to explain the nature of
the arguments among the savants (the leading natural philosophers of the
day).
In one such dialog, we find a fictional character and Leibniz explaining
the significance of the counter ideas over the nature of matter (Leibniz
wants to have his monads have consciousness, and Newton wants to have
his atoms be mere things without consciousness). In a later dialog they
recognize in this moment that the course science takes as a result of these
dialogs among the leading savants, will have enormous consequences for
the future. This later dialog is remarkable, and deserves some detailed
hints as to its contents (it can be found beginning on about page 672 of the
last novel: The System of the World).
The Hanover princess Caroline (a historical figure) brings to her drawing
room in England two other historical figures (Newton and Leibniz) and a
fictional character, Daniel Waterhouse. She sets them the task of trying to
settle a certain argument of which she has become aware (during the
processes of education in her youth), concerning the relationship of matter
and of spirit, or in another way: what is the nature of substance and what is
the nature of free will. Both of these were significant questions of the
time among the leading thinkers, and Caroline is portrayed as being
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concerned with what kind of cultural future is to be born out of a
resolution of these questions that leans too far in one direction at the
expense of the other.
The ensuing dialog is delightful - that is it is a pleasure to read, and makes
the modern arguments between such ideas as evolution and intelligent
design (for example) seem lost and confused, because they have failed to
keep in mind the more fundamental questions as Stephenson has so ably
recreated them for his readers. Steiner, of course, has not lost sight of this
question, for his The Philosophy of Freedom (or Spiritual Activity) fully
embraces the question of free will in the spirit of natural science.
The same methods of illumination are applied by Stephenson to finance,
trade and the creation of money. At various places fictional characters
interact with real historical figures, and the underlying principles of these
matters (which effect us now greatly) are examined in quite plain and clear
language (something we have a hard time getting today).
In addition, the reality of the times and places are portrayed starkly. The
lives of the poor are not whitewashed to any degree. We get to attend
hangings outside London, wars in the fields of Europe. slave ships
prowling the Mediterranean, parties at the Chateau of Versailles,
arguments in the English Parliament, what it means to be a soldier for
Kings of all kinds, what Cairo was like at that time, what the Alchemists
(including Newton) were pursuing, how women had to dress during the
winter in order to keep warm at the French Court, and on and on and on.
The world of Europe (and elsewhere) is so fully realized, in all its rich
detail, that we can't help but feel we are there. The novels are never
boring (as history often can be), and over and over again we find language
used in such a way that we go: oh, that's where that word came from that
we use today.
There will no doubt be those modern historians or cultural anthropologists
who want to argue with Stephenson, but they will really be jealous, for he
makes us live in the time, intimately know the times, and most importantly
understand the thinking (just as Collingwood suggested was necessary for
history) that was giving birth to the world we live in today.

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Most significant is that because of what Stephenson had been writing, and
who his readers most ofter were and are, we can come awake to an
instinctive Consciousness Soul teaching and teacher. Stephenson cares
about his subjects and his readers. He has mastered all manner of
questions and historical details, and then rendered for his readers (often
the very geeks we recognize as responsible for the best in modern
technology and advanced green biology) a true living history of the world
in which we stand today.
Consider the titles to the three volumes, which should not be seen as
arbitrary in any sense: Quicksilver (not only does he here recognize the
strange world of early chemistry, but also the mercurial nature of the
changes going on at this time in history; The Confusion (everything has
become indefinite, unformed, ready for new form); and, The System of the
World (the questions are resolved, and science and finance and much else
has now to move forward based on the questions asked, and then
answered, during this period of European history (whether correctly or
not).
Those familiar with the lifeless sense of the history that stands behind our
present world conditions, will be graced with a great gift in these books,
which are always entertaining, always informative and always
intellectually engaging in the highest sense of those terms. A lapse in
conventional education regarding recent history, which had probably
confused many young minds today, is in these books overcome. To read
them is to become more awake to the world that surrounds us.
*
Let us now take up another novelist, this time a woman, Ursula K. Le
Guin, born in 1929, a half year before Clint Eastwood. She has written so
much and for so long, that it is almost impossible to categorize her work.
Much, as with Stephenson, seems to be in the realm of science fiction and
fantasy, but as with Stephenson this is really a field of literature (relatively
new) where one can invent stories in which to clothe ideas. For example,
rather than writing a philosophical treatise on the nature of gender
sexuality, Le Guin writes an award winning novel (The Left Hand of
Darkness - 1969) in which she creates an imaginary world through which
she can not only raise the issues, questions and ambiguities, but
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demonstrate, through the imagination, how these matters might play out in
life.
Here is some Steiner and Tomberg on social life and images and pictures:
From Rudolf Steiner's Education As A Force For Societal Change: In
the future, social life will depend upon cooperative support between
people, something that happens when we exchange our ideas, perceptions,
and feelings. This means that we must base our general education not just
upon ideas taken from science or industry but upon concepts that can
serve as a foundation for imaginative thoughts. As improbable as this
may seem now, in the future we shall be unable to interact in a properly
social way if we do not teach people imaginative concepts. In the future,
we shall have to learn to understand the world in images.
From Valentin Tomberg's Anthroposophical Studies of the Old
Testament: At the present time, the mission is different (the mission being
the method correct for the average student of mystery wisdom in a
particular epoch). It consists in a thought knowledge endowed with vision
achieved through the development of the forces of the conscience in order
then to live powerfully in the creative word.
Remember, here we are coming to know Americans who arrive at
Anthroposophy naturally, and who are instinctively in the Consciousness
Soul in their life of rights.
In Le Guin we have another instinctive Consciousness Soul artist, who
examines the depths of human existence and potential using the
imagination. Now some may suggest that the classic novel, or even the
modern more ordinary novel does this well, but in those cases we have a
kind of spirit recollection (past looking gesture) coupled with a bit of spirit
mindfulness (present oriented gesture). It is human nature seen most often
as fixed, settled and unchanging that novels outside the fields of science
fiction and fantasy often consider. In Le Guin (and others) it is spirit
vision that is significant, as well as the ability to illuminate the present by
changing the context imaginatively.
Similar in a way to Owen Barfield, Le Guin loves language. She not only
employs it with profound grace to render her thought into pictures
(stories), but many of her stories focus on the significance of language
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itself (such as The Telling - 2000). Moreover, she is quite interested in
the spiritual dimensions of existence.
For example, while her Earthsea stories and novels seem to be about
wizards and magic, in fact they are morality tales. Her question often is in
these works: what do you do with power and why do you do it. The
power can be the great power of a king or a wizard, or the simple power of
gossip and lies in a small community. In The Farthest Shore, the old
mage tells the young man, who doesn't know he is about to become a king
(and thus have a lot of power), more or less as follows: The important
thing to recognize is the balance: When you lift a rock, while the ground
underneath is lighter, your hand is heavier. If you change the weather
here, the weather elsewhere is also changed. Every act has consequences
far beyond what seems to be immediately true. Would that modern day
political leaders had such an education!
In the world of Earthsea, the fundamental power comes from knowing the
true name of something. Names are important, and this is a theme of
significance throughout Le Guin's works.
In what I consider her greatest achievement (she might disagree but like
The Left Hand of Darkness it won several awards), the Dispossessed: an
Ambiguous Utopia (1974), she creates two contrasting worlds that are
neighbors to each other. One world is the large moon of the other, a
planet. This moon is not airless and bears life. At some time in the past, a
group of people, in disagreement with the direction of the main planet's
cultures. were asked to leave and go live on this stark and hardly habitable
moon. There they consciously created a society of anarchists (what would
be a natural consequence of Steiner's ethical individualism). To do this,
their leader (a woman) invented a whole new language. Taking the power
latent in naming, she sculpts a new language that can not only carry their
political ideals, but also the quite naturally more awake soul
(psychological) realities of ethically free human beings.
Now Le Guin only instinctively does this herself, but as she just imagines
that it can be done, she then works out bits and pieces of what this new
language might be able to do. Mostly she works with her characters,
making the vision she has of a society - of people trying to raise children
to be ethical individualists - live in the reader through her depiction of
their thoughts and actions.
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She is also, like Steiner and Barfield, a quite subtle thinker. Consider the
title, for example: the Dispossessed. The world she imagines has a very
definite set of ideas concerning the relationship of human beings to things
- to personal property. In fact, a common epithet in this community of
free individualists is to call another a: propertarian - that is someone who
sets more store in things, than in relationships. Further, as children are
raised, they are encouraged to be more other-directed by being challenged
as egoizers or committing the act of egoizing - that is being self-centered.
In essence, as conceived by her, this community finds some degree of its
freedoms by becoming dis-possessed - free of possessions. In the first
chapter, the main character - a man from the Moon, says this to someone
who is from the home planet: "You see, I know you don't take things, as
we do. In your world, in Urras, one must buy things. I come to your
world, I have no money, I cannot buy, therefore I should bring. But how
much can I bring? Clothing, yes, I might bring two suits. But food? How
can I bring food enough? I cannot bring, I cannot buy. If I am to be kept
alive, you must give it to me. I am an Anarresti, I make the Urrasti behave
like Anarresti: to give, not to sell...".
As a genius at story telling. Le Guin also tells her tale by alternating
chapters from one world to the next. In the first chapter, her main
character is leaving to go to the planet-world from which his fellow
anarchists once fled (200 years before). There, as the novel unfolds, we
get to see what he sees of what is essentially our modern culture, but from
the point of view of someone raised in an entirely different fashion. In the
alternating chapters on the moon, we get the back story, to who he is and
why he went on his journey.
Using the contrast between the two worlds, and the awake consciousness
and moral sensibilities (not always certain at all, but quite ambiguous just
as the Consciousness Soul age requires) of her main character, Le Guin
not only comments on our contemporary society and its many flaws, but
also on a possible ideal society and its many flaws (remember it is an
ambiguous utopia). Also, at the core of the whole thing she puts the
problem of language and of meaning. A great question arises here, for we
are confronted with the idea of what could we do if we changed our
language itself. How could we take hold of our communities and our
cultural life if we took a firm grip on the fundamentals of the meaning of
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words, and instead of letting their development take place subconsciously, we intentionally craft all of it anew.
In this envisioning, Le Guin has shown us just what we might be able to
do if (as I suggest), Western Civilizations is dying, and we are on the
transition from a literate culture to once more an oral culture. This may
seem for some a degeneration, but if we take hold of this transformation
and introduce into it new stories, stories carrying the true spirit of our age
(as born out of Anthroposophy), we might just discover how to be far
more creative than we yet imagine in our application of the new picturethinking.
Le Guin has done this for us to a degree, albeit instinctively, for she has
set the past and the future along side each other (the old no longer socially
vital planet-world and the new more socially vital moon-world) enabling
us, by this contrast, to see both with greater clarity and not too much vain
idealism. Yes it is utopian in its hunger, but ultimately human and
ambiguous in its true nature.
If I was to teach a course on Steiner's threefold social ideas, I'd include, as
necessary reading, Le Guin's social masterpiece: the Dispossessed: an
Ambiguous Utopia. Why? Because while Steiner's threefolding ideas are
quite significant, they are too ideal for the American Soul, with its quite
practical down to earth need to solve problems. Le Guin isn't advocating
an ideal utopia, but she is imagining the concrete and human reality of
such a social experiment (as ethical individualism), in a remarkably wise
fashion.
*
Last, I want to introduce David E. Kelley, a writer of television scripts,
who I call: America's Shakespeare. Of the four, he is the most fully awake
to the Consciousness Soul. He is the principle writer (and later producer)
of several television series: L. A. Law; Picket Fences; Chicago Hope; Ally
McBeal; The Practice; Boston Public; and now Boston Legal. In Picket
Fences (about 1995), for example, he actually has a character say (the
sheriff) at the end of a hard and morally ambiguous day for everyone: "you
know, there are no rules anymore, we are all on our own". It would be
hard to imagine a non-anthroposophist more clearly characterize the
human question at the center of the Age of the Consciousness Soul.
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Kelley is a former lawyer turned Hollywood TV writer, and first comes to
public attention in the late 1980's (1986-1994) as a major writer on L.A.
Law. When that show had a special 100th episode (it was extremely
popular and won many awards) instead of a drama, this episode consisted
of cast and crew interviews. Richard Dysart, a lead actor, was asked about
being in a drama where there weren't just a couple stars anymore, but
rather a large ensemble cast. His reply was surprising. He said, in essence,
that the actors were not the stars of the series, but the scripts. It was the
ideas in the scripts that made the show what it was. There was also a brief
interview with Kelley as a principle writer, and he talked as follows about
his practice: I like to go into a room, alone, with a lot of legal pads and
pencils, so I can be there undisturbed with my characters.
This bears some thinking about so as to not miss the special nuances.
Those who read this who write fiction will know this better, but when one
is living dynamically in the imagination, the plot and the characters (when
this art is at its best) take on a life of their own. We write and record what
passes before the eye of the imagination, but are frequently surprised.
Yes, we do some work in the beginning setting up the situation and the
structural context, but once we set them free the characters begin to take
on a life of their own. The more we set them free, the more human they
become and the more real.
It is also important to realize that most television writers might pen four to
eight scripts a year and feel quite productive. It is not uncommon for
Kelley to do twenty to thirty, sometimes writing (or supervising)
personally all the scripts for a series. When Ally McBeal and The Practice
were running simultaneously on two different major networks for a time, it
was thought that in one or two of those years he wrote over forty scripts
personally.
Three other characteristics of Kelley's work need to be noted. One is how
much actors like to play his characters. Not only do they win all kinds of
awards (for example, the lead female - Kathy Baker - in Picket Fences
won a best actress Emmy for three of its four year run; a major supporting
actor - Ray Walston - won twice in the same series, which ran from 19921996. In more recent times, James Spader has won three Emmys - 2004,
2005 and 2007, playing the same character - lawyer Alan Shore - in two
series, The Practice and then when that had finished out its 7 year run, in
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Boston Legal), and you can actually see their love of this work as they get
to speak the words Kelley has given them to speak.
The second characteristic, and probably the most important, has to do with
an indication of Steiner's where he said that: English speakers are
instinctively in the Consciousness Soul in their Life of Rights. Kelley, as a
former lawyer and an artistic genius, as he developed his craft more and
more placed his characters in courtrooms. Picket Fences, for example,
frequently spent the first half to two thirds of its plot setting up a court
case, where the moral and legal issues being dramatized could be
discussed both legally and philosophically.
Lest we think Kelley is advocating a point of view (which he is not afraid
to do), in the 100th episode of L.A. Law referred to above, it was described
of him how he was able, through his characters to see every side of an
issue. No point of view was overlooked, or weakly presented. Often the
judges who had to rule (which is why Ray Walston as Judge Bone in
Picket Fences won two supporting actor Emmys) could come off as
modern day - yet quite human - Solomons (or as needed, Falstaff-like
fools).
Consider a plot line from Picket Fences, with which the third or fourth
year of the series began. The town in Picket Fences, Rome Wisconsin, is
a basically white rural community not too far from a large urban city. A
black federal judge in this large city decides to bus 400 inner city youth to
Rome for the purposes of desegregation. Kathy Baker, playing the town
doctor, who has recently been elected mayor, decides to resist. This crisis,
and its implications for all the characters in Rome (as well as for the
judge) is given four episodes to work itself out, with the final episode
mostly consisting of the judge and the mayor, sitting in her jail cell (the
judge jailed her for resisting his order), arguing (with great intelligence
and passion) all the underlying moral and legal issues.
The third major characteristic of his work is his fascination with comedy
as well as drama. In Picket Fences he would often weave humor into the
opening set-up leaving the serious matter for the courtroom at the end.
For example, in one story he had the town sheriff and doctor (who were
married in the series) discover that outside town was a farm where cows
were being used as surrogate wombs for human babies. A little scifi (and
certainly funny), but with Kelley one can justly assume he read
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somewhere about this being considered as possible (all his writing is very
contemporary, and very sound in its understanding of the technical
background to any story - of course his success lets him no doubt hire all
kinds of research people). In any event the embryos in cows is played
broadly and a bit for laughs, until we get to the human question of what to
do. That decision lands on judge Bone's shoulders, for the issues of do we
let them get to term and so forth are not simple questions.
When Ally McBeal and The Practice were on the air at the same time, he
split the comedy off into the former and the drama off into the latter. Both
involved law firms, and Ally would often deal with somewhat silly legal
issues, but mostly with sex, love and just plain strangeness (a supporting
character in Ally had tourette's syndrome - the one where one can't stop
from swearing in public, and/or other uncontrollable nervous tics and
gestures). The main character in Ally (the Ally McBeal) often saw strange
visions and had a love life that had more ups and downs than a yo-yo.
While The Practice took on every serious issue of law it could, but mostly
concentrated on what it means to defend criminals (rapists, drug pushers
and all the worst our society produces). Getting people off for murder
(especially one they committed) requires of a lawyer a very odd moral
character. None of these questions were down played, and many of them
had serious consequences.
For example, different lawyers at different times in the series, were
attacked physically by clients (sadists, crazies, you name it) and often in
the hospital and near death. The relationship between lawyers and
prosecutors was explored over and over again, as well as with judges.
People had affairs, got married, got divorced. One lawyer's teenage son
got caught dealing drugs. Another main character, whose lawyer wife was
being stalked by a crazy sadist, hires a former client (a murderer) to
intimidate the crazy, but instead the crazy gets the client to murder him, so
that the lawyer himself now gets charged with murder for hire.
At the same time, no social issue that can be made a legal drama is
ignored. Law suits are filed to stop pollution, to reform political
processes, to force corporations to do the right thing. In one remarkable
episode, a woman is arrested for resisting the police when they try to
remove her from her place of protest at a political event, and make her go
to one of these free speech zones that have become so common in
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America as a way of keeping protesters' activities away from the television
coverage of politicians.
This woman, not a liberal by the way (her issue is more tangible and less
ideal), is also somewhat foul mouthed and unlikeable. She is something
like a waitress who lives in a trailer (or some such job and life). She
actually punches out the officer who tries to force her to move from the
place where she is holding her sign. All this as a set up for her to be able
to say from the witness stand, with great passion and clarity: "I thought the
whole country was a free speech zone!!!"
In the final couple of seasons of The Practice, Kelley finally invents his
most unusual character, the lawyer Alan Shore, played by James Spader
(and winner so far of 3 Emmys for best leading actor in a dramatic series,
as noted above). This character is so significant a creation, that when The
Practice ended as a series, the character became a member of the law firm
in the successor series: Boston Legal (currently still on the air).
Shore is whimsical and seldom serious of demeanor (even in court). He
finds the ethical rules of the legal profession often at conflict with his own
moral sensibilities (a classic Consciousness Soul question). He is also
flawed and troubled and a bit oversexed. His office repartee with the
female lawyers is frequently bawdy, but more clever than coarse.
Spader plays him with an out thrust lower jaw, and a posture that
represents his aggressive willingness to say and do anything to make a
point or win for a client. If you get him as your lawyer, you are getting a
thunderbolt inside a jar, who cracks jokes to show up legal hypocrisy. If
he needs to open it in court, out it comes, and judges, other lawyers,
witnesses and juries beware. At the same time, he is very very smart (or
written that way, we should say). He won't get angry, but intense and
pointed. Since legal ethics doesn't hold him down, he skirts the edges of
those rules all the time, and when he can get away with it (usually out of
sight) he ignores them.
[see, for example, the fictional speech Shore gives before the United
States Supreme Court, that can be found on YouTube, at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GG7sj2APpc ]

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He is, oddly enough, an ethical individualist in training, who still lacks all
the self knowledge that is possible, but is not unwilling to learn. Kelley
has also given him, in the actor (a ham getting to play a ham) William
Shatner - what is essentially Shore's Fallstaff - lawyer Denny Crane. So
we have the prince - Alan Shore, who can't quite always figure out what
the right thing to do is, and who can't quite tame his own impulses in
many instances, but who if you have him on your side, will die for you.
Then as a partner in crime and sometimes in weirdness unimagined,
Denny Crane, outrageous in sexual behavior, loves a good drink, a good
cigar, and a good gun (plays a parody of a conservative to Shore's parody
of a liberal).
The two fall in love. Not sexual love, but the deep brotherly love of men
for men which is seldom explored so openly in dramas, and certainly not
so obviously as Kelley has these two do (they have sleepovers). Shatner,
by the way, wins an Emmy as well.
Having only one series on at this time, Kelley has both comedy and drama
mixed together, and the usual collection of strange characters. At least
one legal issue in every episode is socially aware. Nothing going on in the
current political climate of America is ignored, and Shore, and other
lawyers or characters, are often given remarkable speeches to make
(during summation to the juries) in which the basic moral issues of war,
politics and their social consequences are examined. As well, the other
side's view is equally represented and cogently expressed. The only
problem lies with the fact that a lot of what constitutes politics today is
based on lies and tricks, so it is hard to write something that makes these
lies and tricks sound not quite like what they really are.
Part of what Kelley teaches us is that if politicians were forced to give
their speeches in a court of law, where rules of proof and logical
coherence were required and examined, most of what is said today would
fail those obvious rational tests. He is also, by the way, beginning to be
fed up, for the amount of time devoted to commercials has expanded since
he first began to write for television, and he has publicly stated that if this
goes much further, he will not be able to write in such a restricted time
environment. I suspect he loves his characters too much to continual cut
them down in order to abide by the rules of commerce.
*
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So now we have examined four American personalities - four artists
working in the youthful unpolished dawn of American Culture: Clint
Eastwood, Neal Stephenson, Ursula K. Le Guin and David E. Kelley.
They all use the imagination with instinctive consciousness, and moral
intention, and demonstrate for us precisely what Steiner had in mind when
he said that Americans develop anthroposophy in a natural way.
Hopefully the reader will now begin to see that these are but the tip of an
iceberg, and that if anthroposophical institutions in America do not begin
to turn toward and study what is going on in American Culture, we will
not discover the deeper truths of our own souls as Americans.
*
I do want to make one small addendum here, concerning the Dune series
of science fiction novels by Frank Herbert. Because of their remarkable
social wisdom, I recently reread all six and was quite struck by how
clearly observable was the fact that he is a natural Goetheanist. The
novels have as a subtext Herbert's ideas concerning the nature of thinking,
and the disciplines that should be brought to bear there (see, for example,
his discussions concerning the disciplines of the "mentat". He comes at
this from many different directions, speaks explicitly of pictorial thinking,
and the main reason I haven't added it here is that to do justice to his work
almost requires a whole book. All the same, I didn't want to pass this by
without making a brief reference to his genius.
***************************************
[for the neophyte: Having started with a few observations of modern
American Culture (so as to see its present dynamics a little bit), we next
need to step back quite further in time, for the Mystery of America finds
its true roots in the Saturn Mysteries, and these should be our next theme
if we wish to penetrate to the essence of the Mystery of America.
What are the Saturn Mysteries? Rudolf Steiner called the Red Indian
peoples the Saturn Race, in his discussions of the meaning and
significance of the hereditary line of physical bodies (which must be
distinguished from the more significant line of incarnations of individual
spirits in these different physical streams, otherwise we will evoke a false
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racism). In this he meant to suggest that this was the oldest racial line,
which he linked to the Saturn Incarnation of the Earth (a very ancient
period of physical and spiritual evolution - see Occult Science: an
outline). Those of us doing research on the Wisdoms of the Peoples of
this most ancient line of bodily inheritance, have taken to calling these
Wisdoms: the Saturn Mysteries. There is more that can be discussed here,
but it would take us too far afield. Anyone wanting to begin this deeper
research should go to my webpages, to the work of Stephen Clarke there:
http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/clarke4.html]
Recollecting the True Roots of the American Soul
- America's aboriginal People's and the Hopi Prophecy Part of this story is very personal in nature, so I hope the reader will not
mind if I include certain aspects of my biography as these are an important
aspect necessary for appreciating the Saturn Mysteries.
I grew up in central Montana. In the late '40's and early '50's I went to the
movies a lot, a staple of which was the Western [recall Eastwood above,
and the Western as the American Myth]. Indians were to us savages, as
portrayed in these films. Ill spoken, prone to violence, the enemies of
America's Manifest Destiny.
Tribal peoples were nearby, but they lived in a quite separate slum, a
collection of shacks out in the open on "hill 57". We were told that at one
point the town (Great Falls) fathers, as a gift, had installed indoor
plumbing in this shanty-town, only to discover it had been shortly
thereafter taken out, sold for scrape and converted into money for liquor.
To the extent "Indians" made the local news, it was as drunks involved in
motor vehicle accidents, and as petty thieves, prostitutes and murderers.
There was one native American girl in my high school class (our town was
then about 50,000 people and my senior class was about 400 plus). She
wore the same black skirt and white blouse to class everyday, which she
probably hand laundered and ironed every night. Mostly she was ignored
socially. She left school a couple of months before graduation, and the
rumor that followed her was that her grandfather had made her leave
school and go to work to support the family.

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As the '60's emerged from the '50's, these images, of America's aboriginal
peoples within American culture, began to change, albeit quite slowly.
Books started to appear that began to celebrate Native Culture, for a
culture-wide spiritual awakening was in process, and the Native
Americans were being recognized has having much to teach.
In the mid '70's I read for the first time the book Seven Arrows, by
Hyemeyohsts Storm*. I was not prepared for this experience, and as I
entered through this beautiful book deeply into the spiritual teachings and
Native Cultures of the Plains Indians - the Indian Peoples that lived in and
around Montana, whose names were familiar to me - I was stunned to
tears by the tragedy of our crimes against these Peoples and these
Cultures. A great lie had been planted in my soul, and now it was being
torn out through a process that required a lot of pain and a profound
experience of guilt.
*[This is a somewhat controversial book in Native circles, because the
author is supposedly not a Native America. As an anthroposophist, I am
not sure he wasn't one in his most recent past life. In any event, most
readers of this book found it extremely remarkable.]
No doubt others had discovered the truth of Native Culture and Wisdom
before me, but this was for me the time of a significant wrenching of my
soul into a new healing orientation toward something that had been
infecting it since my childhood. I actually broke into sobbing tears and
grief multiple times while reading this book.
Thus began a long journey to struggle to find a true relationship to these
Peoples who had lived so gracefully in the American Landscape for
millennia before the white races came and nearly destroyed them. It was
in this mood of searching that I first came upon the stories then circulating
about something called: the Hopi Prophecy. Soon I found a little booklet,
which contained an original talk given in January of 1970, by Hopi Sun
Clan Chief, Dan Katchongva, and then originally published in 1972 under
the title: "From the Beginning of Time to the Day of Purification". In
the late '70's, not too soon after first reading this booklet, I subsequently
discovered the writings of Rudolf Steiner and began the journey of
Anthroposophy.

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Among the ideas contained in the Hopi Prophecy is an expectation that at
a time of deep crisis, the True White Brother would appear to the Hopi,
from the East, from the direction of the rising sun. Eventually in 1984 I
was to write in the anthroposophical study letter (fostered by Carl
Stegmann) America in the Threefold World a short essay: Anthroposophy
and the Hopi Prophecy of the True White Brother. Subsequently, over the
Easter weekend of 1985, at the insistence of a Native American woman
studying Waldorf Education at Rudolf Steiner College, I actually went to
the Hopi Mesas in northwestern Arizona were I met and spoke to a Hopi
Elder named Grandfather David Monongye. This is a quite sad but
revealing story, so I will tell it next.
It took some time upon reaching the Hopi Mesas to find Grandfather
David's home. I was a white man, and so suspect right from the
beginning. There were in this brief rite of passage some interesting
adventures, but nothing as significant as this short meeting, which took
place the late afternoon of the Saturday of that Easter Weekend. [When I
shared these stories with the woman in Fair Oaks who had sent me, she
said: You learned in three hours what it takes most white people three
years to understand." I don't attribute this, by the way, to myself, but to
the spiritual - Easter - character of the three days journey (Friday,
Saturday and Sunday) within which these events were nested.]
When I finally found the right "house" (a flat roofed multi-room cinder
block structure, sharing common walls with a number of other such
structures, not at all resembling a conventional American house), there
were two little boys playing outside in the dirt with metal cars. Upon
explaining myself, they jumped up and ran inside shouting for their
Grandfather that he had a visitor. They also invited me in.
In the cool of the house there were two people. A older man was lying
down on a short bench, and beside him sat a much younger Hopi (I
assume), who was dressed in jeans, western shirt and cowboy boots and
hat. The younger man stood up and stepped between myself and the older
man, who also was now standing.
For the next five minutes I was cross-examined by the younger man, who
would speak Hopi to the older man, and then turn back to me and speak in
English. Why did I come? What was my interest in the Hopi Prophecy?
Was I writing a book? Did I expect to make money from this book? Who
sent me?
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Apparently my answers were more or less satisfactory, and the young man
stepped aside and I walked up to the older man who extended his hand
toward me. After I took it to shake it, he did not let go, but gently insisted
we remain in contact through our hands, for he was (as I knew before
coming) 106 years of age and blind in both eyes.
Somehow Grandfather David ended up sitting back down on the bench, I
was kneeling, and he was talking to me in English. We were still holding
hands, and like some blind people do he was rocking side to side a bit.
Just then, however, the room began to fill up with people, some native
some white. A public Hopi Ceremony had apparently just finished, a
younger native woman was scurrying around making a baking tray filled
with pigs-in-a-blanket (hot dogs wrapped in pastry dough), that was soon
in the oven.
I knew then that I had but just a few minutes to make my point, so after a
short silent prayer and a big hope for the necessary courage, I said first to
Grandfather David (and of course the whole room heard me): "I think I
know who the True White Brother is". At this he became quite still and
the whole room became silent. I then said something like the following (I
don't remember my exact words):
"Native Americans know that the Earth is a living being. Western Science
has decided not to believe such a thing is possible. I am associated with a
spiritual movement that comes from Europe, from the East, from the
Rising Sun, and we are showing the way to rediscovering that the Earth is
a living being, while at the same time doing this out of the true principles
of natural science."
What happened next was quite shocking, and it was years before I
understood the full implications of this act.
The young woman stepped in between myself and Grandfather David,
broke the connection of our hands, and said to me in a tone of voice that
would brook no opposition:
"I don't need you disturbing this old man's dreams. You are to leave.
Now."
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Which I did. I returned to my car, drove off the Hopi Reservation, parked
that night behind a road sign on the Navajo Reservation (which totally
surrounds the Hopi lands) and went to sleep. I woke at dawn on Easter
morning, and began the long 1100 mile drive home.
Some points to ponder. She didn't have faith in the Prophecy or the Hopi
Religion anymore (she was essentially a materialist). This much was
obvious. It took me years of further encounters with Native cultures to
realize how tragic was the reality of her act of disrespect to her
Grandfather, however. That was really unforgivable. Never, if she had
been fully traditional in the best sense, would she have interfered with a
conversation an Elder was having with someone else. I have since
wondered what might have happen had I been more fully awake to their
culture, and been able to face her down, and call her out on her disrespect
in front of everyone else (yet in a proper way). On such small acts turn
consequences we cannot imagine.
I could have stood and said to him: "Grandfather David. Someone has
forgotten something important. Perhaps you would be so kind as to go
outside with me, or if possible to the kiva, and if you are willing, I can
continue to speak to you, a Hopi Elder, on such important matters for both
our ways of life. I am sorry I am in the way here at dinner time, and if you
wish it as well I will leave.
It would be important not to criticize her directly (someone), or even
clearly describe the absence of respect. It would be enough just to glance
at her quickly and then away, and remain focused on Grandfather David,
leaving to her own conscience a sense of what would have been right. By
suggesting we go outside, I take the matter also from her well understood
traditional domain (the home is under the woman's stewardship, while
males care for the outer world), and take our conversation to a place that
belongs to the Elder and myself, while still recognizing that she does have
the right to manage that home environment. By bringing in the kiva - the
prayer room - I emphasize the religious/spiritual aspect, and by using the
terms "if possible" I have not asserted any right of mine to go beyond
where I have been invited.
With the last sentence as an apology (again indirectly related to the young
woman and her domain responsibilities), I have also shifted the matter to
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Grandfather David's realm. I respect his role as Elder. I should also have
brought a gift to Grandfather David, perhaps some tobacco.
Now in making this alternative picture I am not so much trying to do over
what had been done, but to suggest how little non-natives understand
traditional culture, or know how to properly behave in its contexts. You
also should not expect that the above revision is right behavior on my part,
either. I'm not a good source here, but I have learned enough over the
years to realize how ignorant one can be, and how important it is not to be
such a fool if it can be avoided.
I will go deeper into the Hopi Prophecy later in this essay, but next I want
to write more about the path that led me to an appreciation of the Saturn
Mysteries.
One of the strange aspects of being an anthroposophist, and an American,
was running into the writings of European anthroposophists explaining
America to me. There is Carl Stegmann's The Other America: the West
in the light of Spiritual Science; Detrich V. Asten's America's Way and
then F. W. Zeylmans van Emmichover's America and Americanism. If
you look to anthroposophical literature, these were what for a long time
you would mainly find - Europeans explaining America to Americans and
others.
Now a peculiar aspect common to all three above books (and pamphlets)
is the dismissal of Native Americans as a factor of any significance for the
understanding of America. For these assumed deep thinking European
anthroposophists, America really doesn't begin until Europe invades, thus
continuing that same bias and assumptions that led originally to the near
genocide of the Native Peoples. Except in this case it is a kind of cultural
genocide that European anthroposophists seem to favor. Culture to the
European is what they do, and the rest of us can at best be poor imitations
(recall what I wrote above about the European who asked me "what
culture", when I spoke about American Culture at a conference).
The only counter to this I discovered that was in anthroposophical
literature in America (besides my piece on the Hopi Prophecy, although I
am sure there are others hidden out there), was a little paper written by one
Sylvester M. Morey: American Indians and our way of life. This was an
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address given in a Waldorf School in 1961, not published until the end of
the '60's.
Morey essentially brings forward (and describes) this remarkable
observation: Most of the general characteristics of Americans (as to
character and tendencies) are not found in Europeans, but in Native
Americans. That is, we Americans are more like the Aboriginals in many
ways, than we are like our principle blood ancestors, the Europeans.
Rudolf Steiner would have no problem understanding this, for in his
lectures he is clear that while the hereditary line of the body follows the
blood relations, the influence of the body on the soul follows the
geographical relations. The body is born in a region of specific
geographic earth forces and powers (which vary considerably from one
place to another on the Earth), and where we are born is a major influence
on our general characteristics of soul. Steiner also says this, which is quite
significant for our purposes: "...America is the place where races or
civilizations die..." Mission of the Folk Souls, lecture six.
Now both these observations can be confirmed by clear and thoughtful
considerations of American History. As Europeans came to America and
became Americans, they shed their cultural history. This did not happen
all at once, but even in our language we speak of first, second and third
generation Americans, because we recognize that with this passage of
time, as the new generations were born in the land, the cultural traditions
lost their hold. Even today, the anti-immigration sentiments of many
come from people who two or three or four generations before were
Italians, Germans, Swedes and the like.
America has been called "the melting pot", and some resist this image as
inadequate and want to substitute "mosaic" instead. Both are true and
false, for a more accurate rendering of the process would show that the
immigrating peoples actually edit their culture. This shows us that the
culture (or civilization) had certain characteristics in the land (geology) of
its origin, such that then in America these have all undergone a
metamorphosis. This metamorphosis is both a result of the influence of
the land (the influence of the geography on the souls of second etc.
generations), and the influence of the individuality which chooses to
maintain certain cultural values of the family, itself something that erodes
over the coming generations.
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In addition, the blood and hereditary lines dissolve through intermarriage something that is accelerated by the close proximity of different races
offered by America. Races and civilizations do die (disappear) in
America.
We can add another quality to this by recognizing that the phenomena of
social life in America, and its cultural icons support another of Steiner's
observations. In this case his description of the threefold nature of the
world, with an emphasis on the East being more alive in the Cultural Life,
the Center in the Life of Rights and the West in the Economic Life. This
arose because the general soul characteristics of the East involved
freedom, in the Center equality and in the West fraternity or brotherhood.
In America, the deepest poetic song is: America the Beautiful, whose
refrain in the first case goes: and crown thy good with brotherhood. We
can circle around again to Native Wisdom, and find in Seven Arrows that
the Plains Indian's mystery wisdom was also called: the Brotherhood Way
(as well as the Way of the Shields, and the Medicine Wheel Way), for its
purpose was to reach across the distinctions of Nations and find a spiritual
means by which the Cheyenne, the Crow and the Sioux (whose true names
are the Painted Arrow, the Little Black Eagle and the Brother People).
Here we see, as Morey noticed, that Americans are more akin to the
Aboriginal Peoples in their general characteristics than they are to
Europeans. Add to that Steiner's indication of one of our tasks being
connected to brotherhood (the underlying virtue of the Economic Sphere),
which in combination with the above suggests something of the Mystery
nature of America in that in the heart of America (the great Western Plains
which extend from the Rockies on the West to and across the River
systems that join into the Mississippi) the most modern spiritual way was
also know as the Brotherhood Way. Also, that the Sioux, whose Pipe
Ceremony in Celebration of the powers of the Four Directions is echoed in
Steiner's ceremony in the laying of the Foundation Stone for the first
Goetheanum, and in the Foundation Stone Meditation - this Sioux Nation
(which was forced by the European invasion to travel at various times all
the way from the Eastern Forests to the Western Rockies) is in their
language called the Brother People.

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In this and many other ways, once we have understood this key, we can
begin to see that the Mystery of America goes in an unbroken line from
the Native Peoples that lived here for uncounted generations before the
invasion of Europeans all the way toward a distant future Epoch - the
Epoch of the triumph of the American Soul - which Steiner called
Philadelphia (itself a word meaning from the Greek: brotherly love!)
America then is one constantly struggling-to-incarnate Ideal, extending
from Native Wisdom (the Brotherhood Way, the Brother People) then
through the founding spiritual impulses of America, captured in poetic
verse in crown thy good with brotherhood, all the way to the future Epoch
of Philadelphia or brotherly love. Should we be surprise then that we are
going to discover that the Hopi Oral History and Prophecies remember
Atlantis, and speak of two migrations one by a younger brother going to
the West, and the other by the elder brother who disappears into the East,
only to return at a time of great crisis, then to be known as the True White
Brother?
Perhaps we should. Perhaps we should be amazed in fact, that we live in a
world were such Mystery enfolds our ever striving modern natures and
struggles. In the present, we only have a glimpse of these struggles to
realize brotherhood, but clearly they are there in the modern social
problems of race and immigration.
Something is in the process of being born, and we as American
anthroposophists have the potential to contribute to this, with perhaps far
greater awareness of the real spiritual foundations and issues than most of
our contemporaries. Sadly, we must soon explore whether the Society and
Movement is actually facing this so very important task. First, however,
let us unfold the Hopi Prophecy in full, so that we can then see far deeper
into the Mystery of America.
There is a lot of detail that could be gone into here, but I will just reveal
some highlights. The reader can find a number of these details in my
essay: The Mystery* of the True White Brother - an interpretation of the
meaning of the Hopi Prophecy by a member of the Elder Brother People
[* sacred rite of initiation] http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/eldbr.html, which
has also been published in my collection of essays called: Dangerous
Anthroposophy.]. This, however, should be kept in mind in reading any
versions of the Hopi Prophecy:
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There are a number of differing versions of the Prophecy. The Hopi
themselves are divided, into different Clans and Villages. It is clear from
reading several of these versions (including the main one I rely upon) that
modern events have polluted the language being used. Like any myth
holding culture, making its prophecies fit current circumstances is not
uncommon, something well know to ethnographers. It also should be
understood that any essentially oral history is going to undergo what might
be called drift of meaning over time. As one speaker passes to the next
speaker the stories, the meaning will not remain stable.
If we were to only rely on the Hopi memory (as it were) we could not
come to any useful conclusions. But we have a second source for factual
information, Rudolf Steiner. Now we don't precisely have to accept as
knowledge all that he taught as someone doing research into the spiritual,
but we can still bring those teachings into contact with the Hopi Oral
History and Prophecies, and in this way find our way to that higher
meaning which emerges when the two visions are brought into contact
with each other.
Earlier I had said that the Hopi remembered Atlantis - lets start there.
Obviously they didn't remember Atlantis by that name. What their oral
history tells us is of having to flee a land that was being destroyed by the
acts of evil two-hearted people. Here is some language from the Oral
History, concerning a time deep in their past: The inventive ones, clever
but lacking wisdom, made many destructive things by which their lives
were disrupted, and which threatened to destroy all the people.
We have heard through Rudolf Steiner a similar story about Atlantean
times. Then later in the Oral History we find: "The Kikmongwi gathered
the high priests. They smoked and prayed for guidance toward a way to
solve the corruption. Many times they gathered, until finally someone
suggested that they move, find a new place, and start a new life."
As Steiner has told us, various priests of the Mystery temples in Atlantis
led the migrations to the East and the West from Atlantis. We could go on
into this in greater detail, but here I only wanted to suggest how we can
combine the two pictures: one an Oral History carried for perhaps
thousands of years, and the other the research of a modern spiritual
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scientist, an activity Steiner engaged in many times in resurrecting the true
meaning of many ancient myths.
Another part of the Oral History speaks of two brothers, who were given
different stone tablets. Before the first people had begun their migrations
the people named Hopi were given a set of stone tablets. Into these tablets
the Great Spirit inscribed the laws by which the Hopi were to travel and
live the good way of life, the peaceful way. ... The older brother was to
take one of the stone tablets with him to the rising sun, and bring it back
with him when he hears the desperate call for aid. His brother will be in a
state of hopelessness and despair. His people may have forsaken the
teachings, no longer respecting their elders, and even turning upon their
elders to destroy their way of life. The stone tablets will be the final
acknowledgment of their true identity and brotherhood. Their mother is
Sun Clan. They are the children of the sun.
In myths we recognize the existence of imaginative pictures or symbols.
At best, my thinking regarding the meaning of this aspect of the Oral
History suggests that the stone tablets refer to their wisdom. It may also
be literally true in the sense that some of their traditions are written in
symbols on rock. We know certain people are commissioned to bring
about the Purification. It is the Universal Plan from the beginning of
creation, and we are looking up to them to bring purification to us. It is in
the rock writings throughout the world, on different continents. [This is
from further ahead in the Prophecy. Later we will come back to the idea
of the Purification.]
The stone tablets, this symbol of wisdom, is connected to a story
concerning two brothers. While the Oral History perhaps seems to
confuse this, from Steiner we get the idea of migrations from Atlantis to
the West and to the East. My view is that the story of the two brothers in
the Oral History refers to this which Steiner has related. In a sense the
Hopi remember (after a fashion) that, as Steiner tells it, two kinds of
destiny and consciousness migrated from Atlantis, leading to two different
evolving patterns in the evolution of consciousness.
One form (my interpretation) had a destiny to mainly live connected to the
world of the senses, and to see in the world of the senses the speaking of
the divine through nature. Thus we have one of the common elements of
much of the Aboriginal teachings of the Americas - a traditional
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recognition of the Spirit manifesting through the Natural World. This then
is the younger brother, and we can find in these traditional wisdoms
something that perhaps has been lost to the destiny of the elder brother the brother that went to the East. We will revisit this a little later.
Those who went to the East, of this the Oral History knows nothing. The
elder brother is simply understood to be waiting for the time when the
younger brother needs him. Only from Steiner are we given a picture of
the work of the elder brother - those who went to the East out of Atlantis and thus of the founding then of all the post-Atlantean civilizations, first in
the Far East, and then the Middle East, and finally Europe and England,
until the time comes when the Americas are rediscovered.
The civilizations of the elder brother had a different task and a different
kind of consciousness. They more and more sacrificed the traditional
connection to nature over time (which Taoism remembers as: be at one
with nature), eventually becoming able to give birth to individualism (the
end of the group soul) and materialism. The evolving (physical and then
ethereal) Incarnation of Christ needs this stream of consciousness in which
to express its primal birth as the Christ Impulse in the world.
If we think into modern life in the right way, we will see that
individualism comes at the expense of community (recall the essay above
on Methodology, and the pictures there of the development of
individualism in relationship to family and community). In order for
freedom to arise for the individual, the traditions of community and family
had to dissolve, a process developing for a long long time in Western
Civilization.
Among the traditional peoples of the Americas, this has unfolded at a
much slower pace and with quite distinct characteristics. Just in reading
the whole of the little booklet From the Beginning of Time to the Day of
Purification, one can find in the language and the descriptions a way of
seeing the world fully at odds with the invading white races. Yet, for all
this the Prophecy expects that the Elder Brother will still be Hopi:
"The older brother was to take one of the stone tablets with him to the
rising sun, and bring it back with him when he hears the desperate call for
aid. His brother will be in a state of hopelessness and despair. His people
may have forsaken the teachings, no longer respecting their elders*, and
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even turning upon their elders to destroy their way of life. The stone
tablets will be the final acknowledgment of their true identity and
brotherhood. Their mother is Sun Clan. They are the children of the sun.
"So it must be a Hopi who traveled from here to the rising sun and
is waiting someplace."
[*recall what Grandfather David's granddaughter did when he and I were
speaking together.]
Here is what the idea of a person who is Hopi means, according to the
Oral History: "Hopi means not only to be peaceful, but to obey and have
faith in the instructions of the Great Spirit, and not to distort any of his
teachings for influence or power, or in any way to corrupt the Hopi way of
life."
If we synthesize these ideas, we will come to realize that the Prophecy
expects the elder brother to have a deep spiritual kinship with the younger
brother, and to have the wisdom (the stone tablet), or life plan for the
future. This is what it will mean, in terms of the Prophecy, for there to be
a True White Brother - this spiritual kinship.
Now let us turn to the meaning of the Day of Purification. Here is a
lengthy element of the Prophecy:
"We have teachings and prophecies informing us that we must be alert
for the signs and omens which will come about to give us courage and
strength to stand on our beliefs. Blood will flow. Our hair and our
clothing will be scattered upon the earth. Nature will speak to us with its
mighty breath of wind. There will be earthquakes, floods, and strange fires
in different places causing great disasters, changes in the seasons, and in
the weather, disappearance of wildlife, and famine in different forms.
There will be gradual corruption and confusion among the leaders and the
people all over the world, and wars will come about like powerful winds.
All of this has been planned from the beginning of creation.
"We will have three people standing behind us, ready to fulfill our
prophecies when we get into hopeless difficulties: the Meha Symbol
(which refers to a plant that has a long root, milky sap, grows back when
cut off, and has a flower shaped like a swastika, symbolizing the four great
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forces of nature in motion), the Sun Symbol, and the Red Symbol.
Bahanna's [the White race's] intrusion into the Hopi way of life will set the
Meha Symbol in motion, so that certain people will work for the four great
forces of nature (the four directions, the controlling forces, the original
force) which will rock the world into war. When this happens we will know
that our prophecies are coming true. We will gather strength and stand
firm.
"This great movement will fall, but because its subsistence is milk, and
because it is controlled by the four forces of nature, it will rise again to
put the world in motion, creating another war, in which both the Meha
and the Sun Symbol will be at work. Then it will rest in order to rise a
third time. Our prophecy foretells that the third event will be the decisive
one. Our road plan foretells the outcome.
"This sacred writing speaks the word of the Great Spirit. It could mean the
mysterious life seed with two principles of tomorrow, indicating one,
inside of which is two. The third and last, which will it bring forth,
purification or destruction?
"This third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take
command, setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the
benefit of the Sun."
In the above you can see how the Prophecy was adapted to events in the
20th Century, linking the Meha symbol to Germany and the Sun symbol to
Japan. This is understandable, and not necessarily accurate (or perhaps it
is accurate - take your choice). Since we do not know whether or not the
Clan leaders actually have stone tablets with symbols on them and what
those symbols are in fact, it is difficult to appreciate what might or might
not be the truth here. There is, however, Prophecy Rock and its
interpretations (see: http://www.crystalinks.com/hopistonetablets.html ).At
the least this picture is given: There will be three great events (wars?) and
at the last great event (another war?) this will happen: "This third event
will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command, setting the
four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the Sun.".
Earlier in this book I wrote about this last phrase, interpreting it as follows
(quoting myself):
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"You can find details below, but let me just render the my best
interpretation of this phrase in the language with which anthroposophists
are familiar (it will be well worth repeating in greater depth later). At the
time of great crisis, the World will be three times rocked into War. It is
the last, the third event, which is the most crucial. The outcome of this
third event (Ahriman's Incarnation) will depend upon the Red Symbol, or
the People of the Rose-Cross. These People of the Rose-Cross, the True
White Brother (true in the sense of also being awake to the living Being of
the Earth Mother and the Father in the Sky, as once were all Aboriginal
Peoples), will then take command, setting the four forces of nature in
motion. These are the forces of the Four Directions (honored in the Pipe
Ceremony of the Lakota Sioux), or the Cosmic Ethereal Forces (and their
elemental servant beings in Nature), which even Steiner recognized when
he laid the Foundation Stone for the original Goetheanum in the Earth,
and then later the Foundation Stone Meditation in the hearts of those who
attended the Christmas Conference.
"All this for the benefit of the Sun. For this, all we need to remember is
that the Hopi Prophecy originated in a People who remembered Atlantis
(see below). At the time of Atlantis, where was Christ? He was in the
Cosmic Sun Sphere! What then does all this come to mean, especially
given that the Prophecy also recognizes that this needed work of the True
White Brother can fail to manifest?
"The outcome of the Third Event - the third time the World is rocked into
War (Ahriman's Incarnation) depends upon the People of the Rose-Cross
bringing forward a scientifically based knowledge of the Ethereal Cosmic
Forces, not just in the living aspects of the sense world, but in the life of
thought itself. Moreover, all this in service to the Christ, by announcing
His true Second Coming in the Ethereal, with all its majesty (a Second
Crucifixion, a Second Resurrection, and a Second Eucharist).
"Are anthroposophists up to such a task? Apparently that remains to be
seen."
To sum up...
When we unite the Hopi oral history and prophecies, with the indications
of Rudolf Steiner (as well as the various observations regarding the
evolution of consciousness as described in several of the first essays of
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this book), we come upon a quite exact description of present day times.
Native American culture (the same in most of the Americas as well) is
nearly destroyed. The people live, while huge aspects of the culture are
nearly lost.
Great changes prowl the world. If we look both at the stage setting and
the invisible inner world of soul, we can see that intense transformations
are unfolding in everyone's life - in all biographies. These transformations
take the form of trials of fire, and the result can be an encounter with the
Second Eucharist as people seek within to know and do the good.
Thinking can perceive that this condition will only deepen and become
richer in the sense that more and more we will not be able to live
comfortable existences. Life will demand more.
This is the future we now enter, which the Hopi call: the Day of
Purification.
Will the people of the Rose-Cross find their way to doing what is right?
How many will it take? Just one or two? Will they find the one or two
Hopi (Native Americans) still practicing the deepest traditions? Who will
choose to appreciate and understand just what true spiritual brotherhood is
really about?
Is it possible to understand the Mystery of America, and the role of service
Anthroposophy is supposed to play in this regard, without appreciating the
Hopi Prophecy? How can it be that in America, where brotherhood is to
develop, that anthroposophists mostly only know how to talk to each other
about these deep spiritual questions which all of us share?
**************************************
[To the neophyte: we have so far examined the roots of the American Soul
as that can be found in the Native Peoples. We have also discovered the
existence there of a well known Prophetic Tradition, that would seem to
strongly suggest that Anthroposophy (the True White Brother) was
expected to arrive in America just at the time of gravest crisis, not only for
the Hopi, but for the whole world. What graver time could there be than
the time which follows the earthly work of Ahriman's incarnation?
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The whole world lies on the brink of social chaos, a process greatly
accelerated by Ahriman himself. What is it that anthroposophical spiritual
science is to do in the face of this almost overpowering social catastrophe?
In order to answer this question, it will help if we first make an honest
assessment of what skills anthroposophists already possess that might be
of use. Let me remind the reader here of the tasks that were not
accomplished in the 20th Century, and thus remain undone. Perhaps they
show the direction we can take. There were three major problems: A
failure to appreciate and practice the teachings of Steiner's The
Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (also known as the New Thinking); a
failure to appreciate and practice the teaching of the Reverse Cultus (also
known as the New Mysteries); and, a failure to notice that these other
failures have led to an intellectualization of the Michaelic Cosmic
Intelligence - the creation of a weak tea spiritual philosophy most aptly
called: Steinerism.
Before trying to move forward, let us first probe deeper at these defects,
for the better we understand them, the easier it will be to correct them.
This leads us then to:]
Anthroposophy and the Russian Soul
- a lesson from life: instruction for all three world-aspects of
Anthroposophical activity, in the West, the Center and the East introduction
This is a another essay that wanted to be written just for this book. I
should not have been surprised, but I was. In fact, it was on the evening of
my 66th birthday, that it became my choice to rise or not from bed and
write. Having trusted such impulses now for many years, how could I
refuse. So, with a cup of hot chocolate for company, and in the quiet of
the midnight hour on December 23rd - 24th, 2006, I wrote the first words
of this essay.
While this essay was originally set in the section of the earlier version of
this book (Dangerous Anthroposophy) in the section on Critical
Anthroposophy, it would be an error to assume that in any way antipathy is
involved here. The only authentic motive for writing any of these essays
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has always been the same - love. Love for the object of the thinking,
whether it is earthly personalities, Anthroposophy itself, America, Rudolf
Steiner, or any aspect of the Divine Mystery - the motive is the same love.
It is not a pleasure, however, to have to write words that some are certain
to consider an unkindness. Love is not always easy, as the reader will
know. It often requires of us difficult tasks. It frequently requires
courage, and without doubt a willingness to appear foolish, or even to
expose ones own being to another's excesses of antipathy. However, there
are acts that must be done, or the soul loses something of itself that in the
beginning we can only call self-respect, and in the end we will have to
recognize as a love of the true and the good, at whatever cost to the I.
main body
In other places I have written concerning a man that has to be considered a
giant in our work: Sergei O. Prokofieff. His genius as a reader of Steiner,
and his efforts to re-ignite our appreciation for the Christmas Conference
are graces of soul well deserving of our admiration. But, as he himself
said to me at the Ann Arbor Conference in August 2005, when I spoke to
him for several minutes regarding the Gordienko book, as well as my own
thoughts concerning his work: "None of us are perfect".
Now this can be both a self-serving observation (an excuse), and
something wise as well. I had asked him if he was knowledgeable and
practiced with regards to certain texts and aspects of soul life, and instead
of directly replying, he offered his comment. In effect, it appears he was
saying no in answer to my question. Even if we just assume this, we still
have the wise observation that each of us can be discovered to have holes
in our character, for he didn't say "I am not....", he said "None of us are
perfect."
Anthroposophy is something with which we all strive, but will probably
never fully attain in a single life time; and, the questions next to be
addressed concern grave matters of direction in our Movement and as
regards the future of the Anthroposophical Society. Given the seriousness
of the problem and the need for the greatest discernment, I ask the reader's
forgiveness for whatever human errors enter into the following discussion.
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I would be wrong not to address these matters, and just as wrong to
assume that I will get all of it right.
In order to place some context around the theme of this essay, I have
broadened it beyond Prokofieff, and set out to include a number of those
who work out of the Russian Soul in their contributions to the Life of
Anthroposophy. Some readers will perhaps not consider this important,
but Steiner certain did, for his considerations of the threefold nature of the
world were numerous and extensive, sometimes involving whole lecture
cycles. In fact, if there is a finger pointing to this, it can be found not in
the presence of deep and wise considerations of the different primary soul
gestures in the world in modern anthroposophical literature, but rather in
the absence of their discussion among modern anthroposophists. These
matters are hardly ever discussed in our circles, which relegates their
perception into the sub-conscious, a soul place that frequently subverts our
best intentions. It is time to be honest and forthright about the fact that not
only are none of us perfect, but we are quite different in fundamental soul
nature, whether we are of the East, the Center or the True West.
In America in particular, we still suffer greatly from confusion in our
circles where Central Europeans and Americans work side by side. We
remain asleep to the soul differences and are unable thereby to effect the
consequences of those differences. Strife arises, errors of judgment are
made, assumptions practiced. Many Europeans, living strongly in the soul
gesture which seeks to incarnate the Ideal, as a consequence don't actually
perceive the soul life of their American brothers and sisters, who do not
live in the same soul gesture.
When Americans imitate this gesture, harm arises for all of
anthroposophical work, for the American is not a European. What is
sometimes worse, is the habits European anthroposophists have fallen into
while believing they could explain the spiritual nature of Americans to
Americans. They are fascinated with us, and have thought about us, and
written about us (I mentioned above: Carl Stegmann's The Other
America: the West in the light of Spiritual Science; Detrich V. Asten's
America's Way and then F. W. Zeylmans van Emmichover's America and
Americanism.) To really appreciate this, we have to consider what it
would feel like to Central Europeans, for example, for Americans to go
there and lecture them on their folk soul characteristics, and the meaning
of their lives. Clearly this would not be tolerated, for how could someone
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who doesn't have such a soul, really appreciate its depths or its cultural
expressions.
At the same time, we do know that as individuals, we learn a great deal
about ourselves from others, and perhaps this principle has some meaning
in terms of folk soul and cultural characteristics. It is useful for the
American that the European wonders about us and expresses his
wonder.The reverse should also be true. So we should be cautious and not
assume that it is a black and white situation, for as much as it helps
Americans to find their reflection in the thoughts of others, we must also
deepen our self understanding to levels far more penetrating than done so
far. In fact the whole of this book tries to deal with this kind of problem
from multiple directions. Here, in this essay, we come at it from one more
point of view.
The Anthroposophical Movement and Society have encountered a number
of Russian Souls, of which I will refer to four: Valentin Tomberg,
Gennady Bondarev, Sergei O. Prokofieff and Irina Gordienko. Each has
their following among anthroposophists, and each is controversial, some
more than others.
It is my observation that the Russian Soul loves tragedy. I don't mean this
in the sense that this Soul seeks out tragedy and encourages it, but rather
that this Soul finds earthly existence to be a veil of tears, which one should
not only expect, but to a degree embrace. In a way, this Russian soul - this
soul of the East - is the opposite of the American Soul, with its endless
romantic belief that all problems have a solution (all movies must have a
happy ending), and its heart on its sleeve efforts to solve, pragmatically
and practically, social problems.
Even the most cursory examination will reveal that pain of soul when
engaged in life is celebrated in Russian literature and poetry. This Soul of
the East is not yet very awake to the Consciousness Soul (toward which
the American Soul has far better instincts), but bears within and behind its
outer tragic countenance the dreaming seeds of the Spirit Self - of the 6th
Cultural Epoch. This embrace of expected suffering builds a camaraderie
which will ultimately form the basis for that aspect of the Spirit Self,
which is to find that it can not feel whole unless it forges true empathy
with the suffering of others.
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This dreaming tragic Soul of the East then encounters in the Center:
Anthroposophy. The Russian Soul's deep yearning for the Christ
Mysteries (themselves partially Mysteries of great suffering) cannot but
lead it to the flame of new spiritual Life being born in the Center. A
powerful hunger to not only understand, but to embrace and meet, fills this
Soul, and Anthroposophy becomes the object of its spiritual passions.
Tomberg, to begin the examples, arrives in Dornach (in the early 1930's)
where the premature death of Steiner has led to the serious internal strife
on the Vorstand (which was ultimately to lead to the split among the
national societies). Here is spiritual tragedy on a grand scale. Gifted
inwardly with remarkable genius, Tomberg pours his whole soul into a
striving to contribute to the struggling Spiritual Scientific Impulse. His
passions, however, are too much for many in the Center, who had lived for
a long time with Steiner's, relatively speaking, more restrained force of
personality. As a consequence, Tomberg makes enemies, and by 1939 has
been encouraged to leave the Society, which he does. Ultimately he finds
a place for his genius and his passion in what he calls: Christian
Hermeticism, yet still carries with him a whisper of anthroposophical
tragedy, for many in the Movement and Society refuse (wrongly) to accept
his later work as spiritually valid.
Because Tomberg is the more successful in his spiritual endeavors, it is
likewise more difficult to perceive his real weaknesses with respect to
Anthroposophy. In his book Meditations on the Tarot: a Journey into
Christian Hermeticism, we can find his love of tragedy, as regards
Anthroposophy, further developed into a serious blindness. He does not
see or recognize in that book Steiner's achievement as regards objective
philosophical introspection (for details see the next essay). Nor does he in
this book appreciate Goethe's scientific works or the follow on Goethean
Science being developed out of Anthroposophy (Goetheanism). This is
not all he does not see in Anthroposophy, and it would seem that his sense
of tragedy regarding the fall of the Society and its capture by an excess of
fascination with the hierarchies of Evil (a whole other story) has blinded
him to the real meaning of Anthroposophy in the world. For all the
breadth of Tomberg's observations of the riches of the spiritual life in the
Center (as laid out in this book), he was unable (or unwilling) to really
include in his survey of Western spiritual life the full nature of the positive
developments of Anthroposophy.
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But Tomberg is not the main lesson here, so we must move on.
Many years later, Bondarev follows the flame of Anthroposophy, and
absorbs Steiner's writings as if he has spent the early parts of his life in a
spiritual desert. He too has genius, and becomes a master of Steinerthought. Yet, his Russian Soul finds the world following the second great
war to be full of tragedy and evil, and applies his anthroposophical
learning to the task of painting word pictures of this evil in the world on
large canvasses - books full of anthroposophical terminology. He
mistakes his passions in a number of cases for truth (not having mastered
and transformed in his soul the impulses to antipathy and sympathy), and
offers such a critical view of the Jews and of the Holocaust, that the
Anthroposophical Society is eventually forced to officially reject him.
Not to long thereafter comes Prokofieff, who as a youth too senses a great
tragedy in the Anthroposophical Movement in the form of a general
failure of the members to appreciate, with his same passion, the Christmas
Conference. He too has genius, and like Bondarev absorbs the writings of
Steiner to a degree few would consider possible. But this striving is
rooted in a great flaw, to which we will later return.
Finally comes Gordienko, who is not only a contemporary of Prokofieff,
she is also rumored to have been romantically attached to him. The
tragedy that calls to her is her perception of Prokofieff's fall from grace,
and using her youthful genius of spirit (she is a mathematical adept in the
field of topology), she writes an astoundingly detailed book (Sergei O.
Prokofieff: Myth and Reality) criticizing Prokofieff's works, and the
Society and Movement in general as failing to understand what it means
for Anthroposophy to be a science. Shortly after its publication, she dies
alone on a mountain road, apparently struck by a vehicle that did not stop.
This then is the movement from the East, from the Russian Soul, as it
pours forces perhaps not yet fully in the Consciousness Soul into and onto
the Center - the Anthroposophical Movement and Society mostly as it is
configured in Europe. Deep passion and openness to the tragedies of life
burn in this Soul and direct its light.
What are we to make of this, if we wish not to be asleep ourselves to the
truth being written here?
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Consider for a moment an approach of Goethe, who looked at certain
phenomena of nature as representing an archetypal instance worth a
thousand - a single gesture of nature which explains much deeper and
more general conditions. In this light then let us consider Prokofieff. It is
not his personal flaws that are to help us understand something, but rather
that particular flaw which is so typical of the Movement and the Society,
that in understanding how this arises in Prokofieff, we acquire great
insight into the deepest weaknesses of our shared work. His genius makes
this typical flaw not only very visible, but the flaw itself becomes a
remarkable teaching, and we should be grateful that: "None of us are
perfect".
In becoming aware of this, we also become aware of how a certain law of
karma reveals itself to us. Many biographies, in that they stir us to
excesses of antipathy or sympathy, are in that instance a sacrifice - a gift.
The more public and outstanding the flaw, the greater the lesson to those
who learn to observe its truths. Prokofieff, in this sense, then displays his
flaw (which normally in biographies are usually private) on a grander
scale, as perhaps a sacrifice chosen before birth, so that not only do we
learn from each others genius, but we can also learn from each others
mistakes.
In this way the Russian Soul then gives us not only its genius out of its
fascination with life's suffering, but as well the sacrificial example of its
own tragedies and failings. What then does Prokofieff teach us out of this
sacrificial and public display of his own (and our) imperfections?
First, of course, he teaches this lesson itself - that grand errors made in
biographies also teach. There are many public figures in the world toward
whom we feel antipathy (or an excess of sympathy), who have made
similar sacrifices. [See the latter part of the essay earlier in this book: The
Meaning of...., as well as the discussion concerning Ahriman's incarnation
and the role of his helpers.]
Second, he confronts us with a personal question, as to whether we can
receive such a lesson without making the compounding error to turn his
natural feet of clay (which we all have - "None of us are perfect", which
by the way has to include Steiner) into a reason to question all the rest that
his life has given. There is a deep challenge here to practice discernment to distinguish the true from the false, the essential from the non-essential 229

in such a way that (to borrow a horrible but apt cliche) we don't throw the
baby out with the bathwater.
What then is Prokofieff's flaw that teaches, in that it is a weakness so very
typical of far too many modern day anthroposophists?
It is the failure to have taken up the objective philosophical introspective
practices of Steiner's The Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's
World Conception and The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (Freedom),
with the consequence that we do not know how to distinguish in the soul
the difference between belief, understanding and knowledge. [Lest
someone believe there is no basis for this conclusion, Gordienko's book
carefully examines the evidence for whether Prokofieff knows the
philosophical material, whether he knows Goetheanism or whether he
knows the Consciousness Soul. The result of her examination is that he
does not know any of these quite important matters of soul life. In
addition, during my conversation with him in Ann Arbor, I specifically
asked him if he felt he knew these matters. I explained Gordienko's views,
and my own views (made on the basis of reading his book on Tomberg).
After which I asked him directly if he knew these three (the scientific
philosophical introspection, Goetheanism and/or the Consciousness Soul),
to which question he replied: "None of us are perfect".]
When this confusion about the difference between belief, understanding
and knowledge is coupled with the ongoing idolatry (excess of sympathy)
regarding Steiner-said, the result is a religion of Steinerism, full of dogmas
that are never questioned and seldom even understood. Prokofieff then
becomes, as far too many also have become, a mere theologian of
Steinerism, and not a true practitioner of Anthroposophy (the New
Thinking) or the New Mysteries, both rooted in the highest impulses of
science.
Many anthroposophist have devoted hours upon hours (totaling perhaps
years of their lives) to the reading of Steiner's books and lectures. Few
appreciate, however, the consequences for the soul of filling it to the brim
with the thoughts of a single individual, without developing the conscious
ability to stand in relationship to such a enormous world view in an
independent (free) and objective fashion. The soul drowns in such a
excess of concepts, and the I is unable to breath freely in such an
atmosphere, flooded as it is with almost nothing but undigested and
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weakly understood words from Steiner. This is not to suggest at all that
we not pay attention to Steiner. On the contrary, we need to pay the most
careful attention, but at the same time recall that Steiner said in the last
sentence of the original preface to The Philosophy of Freedom, that we
can end up in bondage to an idea.
What is worse is that this defect in the introspective discernment of our
own soul activity causes our work to acquire an excess of either of what
we ourselves call the luciferic or the ahrimanic. Prokofieff, already full of
Russian passion for tragedy, writes frequently out of luciferic flights of
fantasy and a vague mysticism, such that the gold he does produce is
buried under a burden of excesses of concepts - flocks of ungrounded
thoughts (long long books), when what might have been much more useful
was a few tight lines of verse (his best book by far, on Forgiveness, is
quite short).
Some others in our Movement, suffering the same inability to distinguish
belief, understanding and knowledge, reduce Steiner to rigid rules of
conduct, giving to the public face of Anthroposophy the ahrimanic
tendency to dogmatic moral judgments, such that drives others to think we
are nothing more than a fundamentalist cult.
Yet, such gestures within the Movement and Society are not without their
higher purpose, for the Russian Soul calls out to the American Soul - the
East calls across the Center to the true West. This then brings forward that
earthly pragmatic Consciousness Soul sensibility of Americans, as the
right counter-balance to the dreamy, mystical and somewhat premature
flirtation with the Spirit Self that Prokofieff unwisely promotes.
[This essay and this book may more be read in America than elsewhere. If
American Anthroposophists take up these indications, then much will be
set right in the Movement and Society as the 21st Century continues to
unfold.]
Even so, we now need to address what it means that so many do not
appreciate in practice the difference between belief, understanding and
knowledge, for this is the typical state of soul of most anthroposophists,
for which Prokofieff is being offered as the archetype. [the following was
written Christmas Morning, 2006, when I found time to return to this
work]
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The core question is to what extent do we have self knowledge of how
concepts arise in the soul. If this self knowledge were easy to come to, it
would not have been necessary for Steiner to write his books on objective
(scientific) philosophical introspection. At the same time, there is an
initial decision that has to be taken, and that is the decision to self-observe.
Merely reading the books, A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's
World Conception or The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (Freedom) is
not enough. We have to be willing to become objective as we look within.
For the human being to have knowledge, they must be able to unite in the
soul two elements of soul life: the experience (the percept) and the thought
(the concept). In the absence of the experience (the percept) there is no
knowledge. To read about Michael, or Christ, is quite different from
having an experience of either. Reading may lead to understanding, but
only experience can lead to knowledge (in the sense Steiner has used this
term).
The true study and practice of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
(Freedom) is to lead to a practical appreciation of monism, not just its
idea. [Monism in the sense being used here means that for every
experience there is an Idea - a Being. Gravity, for example, is not an
abstract force due to mass, but rather the will of Cosmic Beings. On the
simplest level this means that for every object of experience there is a
corresponding complex of concepts or an Idea. Experience and thought
are two sides of one coin.]
The 19th Century left behind a strong residue of materialism in
philosophical thought, such that it was held that the human being could
not know "the thing in itself". Steiner showed how to discover in ones
own experience, that thought bears within itself the inside of its object.
Thought can know "the thing in itself." But this does not happen
automatically. It is not a given aspect of thought, but comes only into
being if the I itself calls it forth, and this calling is an inner act that is
essentially moral in nature (thus The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
speaks so exactly of moral imagination, moral intuition and moral
technique).
Most of what is read by those reading Steiner produces only concepts
(thought), without the related percepts (experience). This means that
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when we read, for example, about the various incarnations of the Earth in
Occult Science: an outline, we do not acquire knowledge, as we lack the
relevant experience. It is also possible we have not intensely enough read
the material, or worked it over, so that the concepts we do create out of
reading the text are a kind of weak tea in relationship to the concepts we
could create were we to be more active inwardly.
If we are sufficiently active inwardly (consciously awake to our recreation
of the pictures, instead of passive) during the concept formation process of
reading, the deeper will these texts (such as Occult Science: an outline)
give us understanding. If we read carefully the introductory material to
both Occult Science: an outline and Theosophy (for example) we will
find there that Steiner repeatedly uses the term understanding and never
uses there the word knowledge. Only in the books on objective
philosophical introspection does he use the word knowledge in the
particular way a practical monism requires.
With the fall from grace of the Society and Movement that followed
Steiner's death and then the internal wars on the Vorstand leading to the
split in the Society, it slowly became an unquestioned habit of soul for
many to act as if the reading of a Steiner text gave knowledge. People
began to treat the texts as a source of spiritual knowledge, such that
recently I heard a lecture given by the head of the pedagogical section of
the School of Spiritual Science that had this phrase: "We know through
Rudolf Steiner that...". This sentence cannot be true. It could be said: "we
might understand through Rudolf Steiner that...", but not that we know.
Real knowledge never comes through another, but only out of our own
activity such that we are able to unite experience (percept) and thought
(concept), which is a major reason why Steiner repeatedly insisted we not
use him as an authority (the other major reason is that we are not to make
our thinking dependent on him, otherwise we are not inwardly - spiritually
- free).
What this social process (the almost universal assumption that a reading
of a Steiner text provides knowledge) means is that not only have we failed
to appreciate the true value of these texts for enlivening our
understanding, but we may have allowed this material to enter the soul as
mere belief. In this way then the teachings of Spiritual Science become in
the soul religious - not scientific, which is why I have been forced to use
the term Steinerism to describe this system of beliefs.
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This process also has led to the intellectualization of the Michaelic
Cosmic Intelligence given by Steiner, but that is a theme better related
elsewhere.
This problem is exacerbated by the habits of conduct within the
institutional social forms of the Society and Movement, wherein the books
about objective philosophical introspection are read, but not practiced (if
they were practiced, we'd get a whole different kind of activity out of the
Vorstand and Councils). Instead people seem to concentrate on the Six
Exercises and Knowledge of Higher Worlds. This substitution will not
achieve the same inner result. It is the Vorstand itself that tolerates the fall
from grace that has made of Spiritual Science a system of beliefs. And it
is Prokofieff, with his Russian mystical passions who has made vast
aspects of Spiritual Science into Steinerism in his soul and released it over
our Society and Movement filled with a hypnotizing beauty and power not
unlike that of Lucifer.
So that we may be clear about this, let me state it quite plainly: Much of
what Prokofieff writes and teaches is not true, not knowledge and not
based on understanding. Those who read his works and treat them in the
same way they already treat Steiner, have just added another layer of mere
belief (Steinerism has become Prokofieffism). For details, as to what
Prokofieff misrepresents that Steiner wrote and spoke, read Gordienko's
book.
Absent the profound, necessary and intimate understanding of his own
soul-life through introspection, Prokofieff teaches a Lucifer-like visionary
Steinerism (a near ecstatic system of mere beliefs), and has set himself up
as its chief theologian. This is what Gordienko discovered, which is why
she criticized anthroposophists in general for their failure to be scientific,
and Prokofieff in particular in that his luciferic visionary and mystical
mixture of beliefs and understanding that falsify what Steiner actually
taught. [Gordienko, by the way, demonstrates considerably more selfunderstanding via introspection, than did her countryman, Prokofieff,
which is what enables her book, Sergei O. Prokofieff: Myth and Realty,
to be so essentially sound. This is evident from the descriptions of her
approach in her book.]

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This problem is made all the more difficult, in that much of what
Prokofieff gives is filled with some degree of understanding (but seldom,
if ever, knowledge), which is why it resonates so strongly with the
membership, who share this confusion of understanding mixed with
belief. With all of them lacking the needed deep introspective knowledge
of their own souls, the result is that the vast majority of the Society and
Movement are unable to distinguish that which in Prokofieff's theological
teachings of Steinerism is true from that which is false in the
understanding, or to separate out what is mere belief.
Some may assert to themselves: I understand myself. I know myself,
Wendt is a nut job! Obviously I cast a wide net here. At the same time,
thinking which has come to know itself, also recognizes when such
thinking is absent in another, or when our institutional leaders speak and
behave in ways that essentially demonstrate they do not know, in a
practical fashion, what is to be learned by a many years practice of the
science of objective philosophical introspection. The proof is not to be
found in any ones assertions. It only appears in deeds. The New
Thinking leads to inner and outer action, and is not a mere thoughtcontent.
As Steiner predicted, karma will hold sway. What was sown in the 20th
Century is now being reaped. Further, as he also predicted in The
Challenge of the Times, there would come a time when the East would
come to discover and to regret its own tragic failures in that its overreaching into the Center actually harmed the spiritual life of that Center.
Is it the point of this essay to blame Prokofieff for this? Not really. He
entered an anthroposophical social environment which had already fallen
away from its scientific principles. He was taught an unscientific standard
of the practice of Anthroposophy, as this unscientific standard had already
taken possession of the Society and Movement. When he offered his first
work (Rudolf Steiner and the New Mysteries) in his late twenties, he was
not met with the same skeptical resistance as was Tomberg, whose first
offerings were at age 31-33. In Tomberg's case, Marie Steiner had
insisted that Tomberg violated a spiritual law (attributed to Steiner) that
said one could not teach original contributions to Spiritual Science before
age 42. In the case of Prokofieff, this assertion seems never to have been
made, perhaps in part because so many are unconsciously confused as to
what in Prokofieff's writings is original and what is derivative. I doubt
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even Prokofieff could separate out his beliefs and understandings that are
rooted in what he has read in Steiner, and those original thoughts that
arose in his own soul. There is no evidence he has produced his vast
corpus of work with the necessary degree of self awareness.
Another way to appreciate this, but which requires some self observation,
is to recognize in our own minds the nature of associative thinking. This
is a kind of thinking that is normal and characteristic of our time, in which
we (without any discipline) allow concepts to move more or less of their
own accord into various new groupings. For example, one can read
something on one Steiner book, and then another thing in a different text.
Following this we join these two (beliefs, or weak tea understandings)
together, that is we bring about their association.
Because we do this without any real self awareness or discipline, we don't
notice that the product of bringing these two concepts into association is a
third concept, the result as it were of a kind of conceptual intercourse. In
forming this association, rooted in two different experiences, in two
different texts, of concepts drawn from Rudolf Steiner, we have made
something that can be entirely fictional.
The joining (the association) makes sense to us, because our associative
activity does function with a kind of instinctive logic and intelligence, but
this satisfaction of our instinct cannot be a basis for believing the resulting
associative thought is true. We will hear each other express this in our
group work, where someone says something on the order of: "I imagine
that ...". This is a sign to us that the speaker has made a semiconscious
association of two or more separate facts understood or believed from the
works of Rudolf Steiner. Were a natural scientist to speculate in this
fashion, they would be soundly criticized.
We find a lot of what is written and said in the Society and Movement,
and certainly in Prokofieff, to be rooted in this unscientific associative
speculation. Prokofieff (and us) simply cannot author sentences about
higher spiritual realities solely because we read something in Steiner. We
have no experience which justifies us in pretending to this higher
knowledge.
Also with respect to Prokofieff's works, just consider and contrast that
work with the work of Jesaiah Ben-Aharon, as appeared one after the
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other in the book: The Future is Now: Anthroposophy at the New
Millennium.
First in order in this book, was Prokofieff's essay, The End of the Century
and the Tasks of the Anthroposophical Society. This essay was largely
confusing and rambling, with its main focus a kind of self justification for
Prokofieff's already favorite theme, The Christmas Conference. Again
and again Prokofieff urges us to believe what he believes, namely that
from the spiritual world one can hear today (suggesting he himself hears)
"...this call of the Guardian of the Threshold, this voice from the land of
the spirit sounding to us from the entire esoteric essence of the Christmas
Conference..." such that this "...leads a person to actually laying the
Foundation Stone in his heart, ...". Without doubt a most wonderful
sentiment, but is it the truth?
Clearly these thoughts are the result of loose associative thinking
propelled by Prokofieff's semi-conscious Russian mystical passions.
Moreover, these are typical of a kind of religious, unscientific thinking
common in the Society and Movement.
Contrast this then with Ben-Aharon's essay that immediately followed :
The Global Situation at the End of the Century. Here we read that a true
development* of the "...way to higher worlds, brings one to the time-place
in which Rudolf Steiner and the anthroposophical work was striving to
enter rightly into world evolution in 1922/3/4/5. This place-of-time, this
very specific sought-for entrance (though not, of course, the eternally
relevant content of the First Class) is wholly past. Its place has been
taken by subsequent esoteric and exoteric history".
*[Ben-Aharon established his developmental credentials with his
remarkable The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth Century, a most
amazing three panel Imaginative Cognition of the Second Coming, as well
as his book The New Experience of the Supersensible.]
One says turn to the Christmas Conference and follow me for I know its
value for the present, and the other clearly says that "This place in time...is
wholly past. Its place has been taken by subsequent esoteric and exoteric
history." We could ask ourselves whether the Christmas Conference,
shortly to be followed by the death of Steiner and then the Vorstand's
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descent into disarray, can in any way have the same esoteric significance
for the 20th Century as the Second Coming of Christ in the Ethereal.
Prokofieff writes and writes and writes huge long books preaching the
Christmas Conference as the main spiritual and esoteric heart of the 20th
Century, becoming a star in the tiny firmament of the Anthroposophical
Society, while Ben-Aharon writes very little, and does far more in the
contemporary world of activists and members of Civil Society, living his
life in the quite dangerous world of Israel. Who do you think knows more
about the esoteric truth of the 20th Century?
It is a fair question to ask how I know what is asserted here, concerning the
nature of belief, understanding and knowledge. The simple fact is that the
confused mixture of belief and understanding (as well as the problem of
loose associative thinking) was also taught to me by the social
environment through which I meet the Society and Movement. My own
soul, in its efforts to imitate what it assumed was a healthy
anthroposophical practice, eventually found itself lost and in prison captured by the excess of not-experienced (percept-less) concepts.
Further, I had also assumed (incorrectly) that my fellow anthroposophists
took the science of objective philosophical introspective teachings
seriously. As a result, I had to learn to untangle this confusion of belief,
understanding and knowledge (as well as undisciplined associative
thinking) on my own, for the Society and Movement knew not this
problem or its significance. Otherwise, we would be taught these dangers
from the beginning, instead of being feed the so-called basic books, and
have modeled for us in lecture after lecture the approach that essentially
teaches that Steiner has given us knowledge.
As a result, Prokofieff is as much a creature of the anthroposophical
community that accepted uncritically his youthful Russian passions, as he
is the victim of those same passions. The two unscientific impulses, one
social and surrounding and the other inward and unfolding, married each
other, with the result that the Vostand accepts and supports beliefs mixed
in a confusing fashion with understanding, all the while ignorant of the
real necessity for knowledge.
[The following was written after attending Mass late on Christmas Day.
Why do I go to Mass, by the way? Am I another anthroposophist seduced
by Tomberg into joining the Church? I go there, every once in a while,
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because Christ is always there (as He told me He would be - see my book
the Way of the Fool), and it is a wondrous experience to open the soul in
prayerful meditation in the social environment in which the Mass is
celebrated.]
Is there a way out for anthroposophists as regards the problem of learning
to distinguish in the soul mere belief, from true understanding and both of
these from real knowledge?
Oddly enough the way out is Faith. The soul is not meant to only be of the
Kings and of Gnosis, but also of the Shepherds and of Faith. We are
entitled to have Faith in the New Revelations of Christ given to us in the
form of anthroposophical Spiritual Science as taught by Rudolf Steiner, as
long as we are conscious of this acceptance and do not mistake, as an
experience and activity within our own souls, what is mere belief for true
understanding or either of those for real knowledge.
What does this mean in practice for both the individual and the group?
For the individual this requires of us an introspective observation of our
own soul life, in order to with almost brutal self-honesty admit that we are
acting as if we know something, when in fact we may only believe it,
and/or may not entirely understand it. We have to carefully and with
discernment, tease apart the collection of concepts we hold concerning the
spiritual and its relationship to the material. We have to honestly ask
ourselves: What do I in fact know? What do I have that is both concept
and percept (experience and thought) united?
What cannot pass that first test, which for most will be almost everything
they ever read in a Steiner text, we have next to more carefully examine.
Of this large collection of concepts, we then need to ask what do I hold as
mere belief (all of which should be held at a distance from the I, in order
to not be imprisoned by the concept: "One must be able to confront an
idea and experience it; otherwise one will fall into its bondage." R.S. The
Philosophy of Freedom), and what then finally remains that I can honestly
say I understand of what Steiner gave. This then we can draw nearer, and
contemplate carefully. Yet, in this last category there again may well be
little, for understanding in the sense that it was offered to us by Steiner
requires inner activity and not mere passive reading.
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As to the group, when we do this it will also become necessary to change
the social environment of the Society and Movement itself. We need to
introduce into our shared vocabulary these three words: belief,
understanding and knowledge. We need to speak in this way to each other
with modesty, and admit that this which we have read I believe, this which
we have read I understand, and of this which we have read I do or do not
have knowledge.
Only in this way will Prokofieff's sacrifice, so as to model our most fallen
ways, serve our need. It is not Prokofieff who needs change as much as
us. The fallen nature of the Society and Movement cannot be redeemed
by those in the institutional hierarchies, but only from below out of the
social commons where the New Mysteries are meant to be practiced in the
Branch and Group work (via the reverse cultus).
*
Let us finish this contemplation by adding one more nuance. As we have
come to understand, real knowledge, as conceived by Steiner and as is
potential in the soul, requires the union of experience (percept) and
thought (concept). Yet, in the literature of Anthroposophy, in part as a
result of certain necessities faced by Rudolf Steiner and today as often
practiced (especially by Prokofieff), we have an excess of concepts for
which we have little real experience.
This excess of concepts really needs to become grounded in experience,
otherwise it floats free of the earthly element of life (becomes luciferic).
In the East, where the ancient mysteries of Light were produced, the soul
finds its more natural state above the Earth. Gautama Buddha sought and
achieved Nirvana - the Way of Enlightenment - the leaving behind of the
cycle of reincarnations for the surrender of ego to the experience of the
heights. The East elaborates its intercourse with the Divine via this
Enlightenment into profound pictures of Cosmic Existence, which then
have slowly become remarkable systems of belief. For the East, the belief
in Cosmic Truth alone is the center of the spiritual element of earthly
existence, while freedom from the wheel of karma is the ultimate goal.
The Russian Soul bears an aspect of this impulse within, thus its tendency
to religious mysticism.
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In the Center, where the ancient mysteries of Man found a home in the
social life of Western Civilization, the striving to fully leave behind earth
existence is tempered by the Way of Initiation, which seeks to bring down
from the heights into earthly social life, via Art, an understanding of the
Divine Mystery. Here the Ideal is sought to be comprehended, and then to
the extent possible, incarnated. All is to be made into Beauty. (which is
why so many of Steiner's lectures and books are really works of art, with
some of the deepest truths rendered into verse - the Calender of the Soul,
and drama - the Mystery Plays.) Think also of the remarkable Statue of
the Representative of Humanity.
In the true West, under a whispering influence of very ancient mysteries of
the Earth (the Saturn Mysteries), social life is most fully sought to be
realized in practical ways. Science as a means of knowledge takes root
quite easily here. Enlightenment and Initiation are less important, and the
center of earthly social life is found in character, which is what becomes
the founding ideal impulse of the United States of America - the citizen as
incarnated Virtue, or Goodness.
So we have then in the poetic vision of the song America the Beautiful, a
profound truth expressed in these words: "...and crown thy good with
brotherhood...". It is out of this striving for earthly virtue that union with
all other humans flows as an impulse into earthly social existence, first
appearing most strongly in America, and now reaching across the Center,
from the true West, and toward the East. In spite of the wanderings and
flaws of politicians, the true West wants to Love the Center and the East,
yet only out of its own - pragmatic and earthly - genius; that is: because of
the Goodness of such Love. It is in this spirit that this essay was written.
[For hints on the New (as contrasted with ancient) Mysteries of the Earth,
see the next essay.]
*****************************************
[for the neophyte: let us continue on this theme of deepening our
understanding of anthroposophical work in practice, looking now more
toward the future.]
This essay, was written just for this book during the Holy Nights,
2006-2007, after Christmas had passed.
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The New, and profoundly human, Mysteries of the Earth
Many years ago, in 1919 to be exact, Rudolf Steiner gave some lectures on
the Cosmic New Year, in which he elaborated on three somewhat ancient
mystery streams: The Mysteries of Light (from the East via Greek
civilization); The Mysteries of Man (from the South via the Egyptian
civilization) and the Mysteries of the Earth (from the North via the
Scandinavian Peoples). These three mysteries combined in a way in the
social order of Central Europe. [An significant discussion of this can be
found on Bob and Nancy's Waldorf website (bobnancy.com), by going to
their section on Anthroposophy, and then within that section to the
translators corner and there to the essay: Kraft, the Passive Voice and the
Three Mystery Streams.]
Since the time in which Rudolf Steiner gave those lectures something new
happened - the Second Coming. The older mystery streams had come into
being via an older initiate consciousness and in hierarchical (top down)
social form, but with the Second Coming and the deepening of the Age of
the Consciousness Soul, the moral authority of the individual is beginning
to discover its sure capacity for creating new social form. Something is
surging upward from the social commons, albeit stronger and sooner in
America. On a world-wide level, Civil Society has entered into world
affairs and begun to successfully challenge the hidden aristocracy of
concentrated wealth.
Might it be possible, perhaps even necessary, to speak of New Mysteries
of Light and of Man and of the Earth? This essay means to suggest this,
without forcing the matter. The reader, who wants to know, should weight
this question in their own active soul [for a better sense of this term active soul, see the quote from Emerson in the next essay.].
I have thought, for example, that it would be wise to think of Rudolf
Steiner's work as fostering in the Center the New Mysteries of Man. Such
that as these impulses radiate out into the world, the East will out of its
own intuitions foster the New Mysteries of Light, and the true West (the
Americas) would foster out of its own intuitions the New Mysteries of the
Earth.
Steiner sometimes called Anthroposophy the wisdom of man. He also
created books such as The Study of Man and Man as Symphony of the
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Creative Word. Most crucially, he begins the panels of the Foundation
Stone Meditation: "Soul of Man!"
America, as expressed earlier in this book, is to have its own version of
Anthroposophy, as remarked by Steiner in his lectures to the workman at
the Goetheanum. What could be meant by such a statement? What could
be meant by the New Mysteries of the Earth?
I have suggested in previous essays the need in America for the New Sun
Mysteries to marry the very ancient Saturn Mysteries. This is not
marriage in the sense we think of as a social form created of two separate
individual human beings, but marriage in the sense of individual inward
mystical union. Those who have read Ben-Aharon's The Spiritual Event
of the Twentieth Century (the Imagination of the Second Coming), will be
aware that this Event is described as the birth of a New Sun in the Earth.
In my essay on The Meaning of Earth Existence in the Age of the
Consciousness Soul, I described the moral act leading to individual
human knowledge of the Good as an ethereal Eucharist - a second
Eucharist, which begins that process of creating the New Jerusalem, the
future ethereal Jupiter incarnation of the Earth.
The Hopi Prophecies conceive (from their point of view) of this marriage
of Sun and Saturn Mysteries as a meeting between two once separated
brothers - two bearers of what was once a united wisdom, leading to the
inauguration of what they call: The Day of Purification.
I have also suggested that Anthroposophy was to take its mostly earthly
social form in America.
As the reader should now be able to see, there is a common thread
weaving in all of these themes, or perhaps a central idea, seen from many
different perspectives.
The American finds himself on the Earth faced with trials of a social
nature (a call from the surround of his biography) requiring moral actions
in the world. As the Consciousness Soul Age moves through the present
birth trial of the beginning of the 21st Century, an increasing chaos in the
social will force moral choice upon almost everyone in Western
Civilization. As this transformation spreads throughout the world it will
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seek to dissolve the remaining social traditions throughout that same
world still binding the I to the group soul.
This does not mean that there are no Consciousness Soul gestures in the
wider world, only that more people are coming to this sooner in the
Western Democracies. At the same time in the wider world, especially
where we see Civil Society and the like, we see the Consciousness Soul
emerging.
Most social forms will expire, under the pressure of the still increasing
chaos (it will end after a time, when the metamorphosis of Western
Civilization reaches a new steady-state). During this process,
communities will either dissolve completely or collapse into some seedlike form, and this includes all those social forms in the Anthroposophical
Society and Movement. Social tradition will be of no avail. Deep will
then be the hunger for new social form - for wise social form - for new and
more conscious understanding of the nature and structure of community in
this Age (this hunger too can be found emerging everywhere). The
egotism of the I is to be made to face its choices to accept moral trials (or
not) as an individual; and, to be offered the opportunity to join with others
in new ways. These possibilities and potentials are given to us by Christ
as the Artist (Lord) of Karma through the manner in which individual
biographies are woven into communities.
Recall once more what Christ said in Matthew 10:34-40: Do not think that
I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a
sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter
against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and
a man's foes will be those in his own household. He who loves father or
mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or
daughter more that me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his
cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it,
and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. He who receives you
receives me, and he who receives me receives him who sent me. [emphasis
added]
On the other side of this process, of the breaking down of traditional
community all the way into the family, we will have the choice to form
new bonds (new social forms) as free individuals.
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Some anthroposophists will seek to root such new social forms in Steiner's
ideas about threefolding. While this gesture is not entirely unworthy, it
assumes there is a power to be found there that factually cannot be found
there. Social life is immensely complicated, and we are far from even
knowing what the best questions are, much less drawing near to
discovering useful and practical answers.
But a wise Providence does not ignore our need. The Saturn Peoples of
the Americas were not only stewards of the lands on which they lived
lightly, but they have also kept faithful care of deep and profound wisdom
regarding social forms and needs. The humanity went to the East from
Atlantis had slowly sacrificed its ancient social wisdom in order to
produce a new partial wisdom (natural science and the flirtation with the
forces of death - see Steiner's From Symptom to Reality in Modern
History) leading to the birth of individuality and ego consciousness. The
humanity that remained in the true West of the Americas, sacrificed that
same potential for an early individuality and ego consciousness, in order to
preserve their partial aspect of the deepest social wisdom. Recall what
was written earlier about the broken stone tablets in the Hopi Prophecy two parts to the ancient wisdom - one going to the East from Atlantis, the
other to the West.
In order not to confuse what is being said here, the suggested mystical
union between the ancient Saturn Mysteries and the New Sun Mysteries
takes place in the individual soul, not in an institutional sense. It is
entirely a consequence of individual free spiritual choices. No one
commands such work be done, nor can any group or individual insist it not
be done. Only the individual, out of their work in the social commons,
can author and source this union in their individual way.
Just as those coming to the New Sun Mysteries have read Steiner and met
with many of the Daughter Impulses, so the ancient Saturn social
Mysteries can be read of and met. Throughout Civil Society, for example,
the influence of aboriginal peoples is seen everywhere. The union of the
New Thinking with the ancient social wisdom, as it takes place in
individual souls, produces something new, and is already active where
people are waking up.
The influence already of that ancient social wisdom on the American
Articles of Confederation and the U. S. Constitution is well known (see
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the book Forgotten Founders, for example). And, when we look at the
poetic inspiration of the song America the Beautiful, we arrive at: "...and
crown thy good with brotherhood...". The moral freedom of the fully
developed ego consciousness of the human being is now bringing about
the ability to unite the I within the soul with the eternal - that is with the
Good, while at the same time this reaching for goodness is meant to be the
soul and spirit foundation for true brotherhood - for the new healthy social
life.
It is no accident of history that America exists, or that the roots of the
American Soul are in the Aboriginals here. It is no accident of history that
the individualism that is the ripe fruit of Western Civilization has emerged
most prominently where the memory - where the spirit recollection - of the
oldest social truths has left its mark. It is no accident of history that the
Hopi Prophecy exists to help point the way.
Nor, sadly, is it any accident of history that the vain spiritual imperialism
of an idealistic shadow captured European spiritual life seeks to impose its
personal karma of wounds in opposition to this potential. This is not, by
the way, a consequence solely of Europeans. This spiritual imperialism is
the semi-conscious, shadow driven, effect of flaws of both European
anthroposophists and American anthroposophists. Ahriman wants to keep
Anthroposophy in American lame, and works from within outwards,
through the shadow, toward this goal.
Europeans contribute to this process by assuming their soul idealism is
common to other souls in the threefold world. Americans contribute by
their worship of European culture, while ignoring American culture. Both
contribute by their absorption in the three basic flaws of the 20th Century:
the failure to grasp the personal significance of The Philosophy of
Freedom, the failure to grasp the community significance of the Reverse
Cultus, and the common descent into the intellectualization of the Cosmic
Michaelic Intelligence.
The needed Marriage of the New Sun Mysteries and the Ancient Saturn
Mysteries is vehemently opposed by that Spiritual Power, which would
define the world of human meaning through continuing the Ahrimanic
Deception beyond its true place in the evolution of consciousness. This
Power would also seek to rule the coming social order out of a corrupted
American military and economic might. This battle, between the
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European soul idealism and the pragmatic natural spirituality of
Americans, within the Anthroposophical Society in America, is as a result
profoundly relevant to world events and decisions. In a very real sense,
this battle here to free the American Soul to find its true inner calling is at
the spiritual heart of future world events.
The world economy, under the forces we call globalization, has reached a
certain stage of development. At the same time, with the dawning of the
first century of the Third Millennium the Lords of Finance - the
aristocracies of concentrated wealth - are having an increasingly difficult
time ruling the world with the same degree of license as they had for most
of the 20th Century.
The American People are central to the next steps to be taken in world
historical events, which is why Ben-Aharon wrote: America's Global
Responsibility: individuation, initiation and threefolding.
The Dark Powers went out of their way at the beginning of the 21st
Century to bring about the crucifixion of the American Dream in the
minds and hearts of the world's peoples. It was important to these Powers
to falsely represent America more and more as a deranged and degenerate
society, and to accomplish thereby as much as possible the ruination of
this needed imagination of the Beacon of Hope in the minds of the poor
and disenfranchised the world over.
These same Powers, by also encouraging a shadow driven European
spiritual imperialism, have also lamed the American Anthroposophical
Society. They want to hold at bay the new Life Forces of Christ from
entering into the course of world events in the way it is possible for them
to do if the awake Marriage of the New Sun Mysteries and the Ancient
Saturn Mysteries can be brought about in individual souls. They also
desperately need to keep the future development of the world economy
from being confronted in America by these same new goodness-filled Life
forces of Christ - Life forces seeded directly in the yet unrealized potential
of the New (living heart) Thinking and the New Mysteries (the reverse
cultus).
This potential power of individual moral freedom is the gravest danger to
an emerging new form of ahrimanic group soul via the demands for
Corporate Allegiance, which seeks to ensnare the moral nature of the I by
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seducing that I with extraordinary material (sense world) rewards. It is
this that stands behind all the effort expended to repress this moral Life's
emergence, through the very subtle inner misdirection of the
Anthroposophical Movement in America. This misdirection does not
come from without, but from within, through our failures to recognize and
practice: the New Thinking; the true Nature of the New Mysteries (the
reverse cultus); and, the slow and necessary mastery of the reality of the
threefold double-complex and its influence on our shared spiritual life.
While it is true that this Marriage of ancient Saturn Mysteries and the New
Sun Mysteries is already instinctively happening in Civil Society, and in
such groups as the Bioneeers, here we must be concerned with the very
sleepy American Anthroposophical Society, whose task it was to bring in
these new Life forces of Christ in a more awake way.
In the face then of these awesome and crucial challenges in the present
conditions of the world, what will the anthroposophists in America, and
world-wide, do? They are supposed to know of the New Thinking, of the
potential for the New Mysteries out of the Social Commons of Branch and
Group work via the Reverse Cultus and of the returning understanding of
the need for human beings to take up the personal battles with the Shadow
in the Soul. This is dangerous knowledge, for it is a truth at odds with
present day social norms, especially secular humanism, scientific
materialism and religious fundamentalism. In a time when certain secular
humanists attack Waldorf Pedagogy and try to equate Steiner's folk soul
teachings with National Socialism, and when Science and Religion fight
over the meaning of evolution, and when humanity hungers and needs new
insight and revelation, one has to wonder where the needed Michaelic
Courage, to present to the world this dangerous knowledge, is hiding out.
The Anthroposophical Society and Movement seem to be sitting on the
sidelines, watching its collective navel, while the great issues of the day
are decided by others. This does not have to continue. However, for it not
to continue requires a series of choices, choices that begin with brutal self
honesty about the real history of the Society and Movement in the 20th
Century, about the nature of the Mystery of America and about how well
we are moving forward in the tasks set before us by Rudolf Steiner with
regards to the New Thinking, the New Mysteries and the shadow forces in
the soul.
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But we anthroposophists are individuals. Even our social forms are in
decay. So who will act? Who will choose? Who will find deeds out of
which to incarnate the Good that Lives in Anthroposophy? Those choices,
those deeds, birth for the future something that can come in no other way;
and, these are social deeds that I can only think to call, in that they are
meant to emerge from the social commons: The New, and profoundly
human, Mysteries of the Earth.
America is uniquely placed to be able to step into the social life of
humanity carrying the essential nature of the New Mysteries and the New
Thinking in the Branch and Group work. Profound premonitions of the
reverse cultus exist here. The ancient social wisdom here rooted itself in
numerous circles of conversation among equals, in kivas and around
campfires. The Transcendentalists intuited this theme in their deep
recognition of the meaning of friendship. Circles of Care arose in Boston
in the mid-1800's, birthing the first sense of the need for a different
approach to the care of the developmentally disabled. In 1933, under the
inspiration of an encounter with the ethereal return of Christ, the impetus
was given to the founding, out of a circle of friends, of the profound work
with the shadow forces via Alcoholics Anonymous. In the last half of the
20th Century we saw the birth of the group work called: non-violent
communication, born in the American Soul and becoming world-wide in
scope.
Yet, in the American Anthroposophical Movement, the American Soul is
held captive, its major prison built by us in our own souls out of the hard
and rigid stones of Steiner-said, coupled with an excessive admiration of
things European. American anthroposophists carry now a special capacity
and potential, which can be lost if not exercised. Dynamic living
spiritual communities hover over our work, waiting. Recall from above
these remarks from Ben-Aharon's Imagination of the Second Coming:
"Now when they identified themselves with the situation of earthly
humanity, the souls who remained true to [Archangel] Michael
prefigured, in their planetary Earthly-Sun life, the great Sacrifice of
Christ. They walked again in His steps [emphasis added] as they did in
former earthly lives, only now the order of following was reversed. They
went before Him, showing Him the way, acting out of free and selfconscious human decision, and He followed in their steps only after they
fully united themselves with the divided karma of Earth and humanity.
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Only then could He offer His sacrifice as the answer to the new, future
question of human existence: the question concerning the mission and fate
of evil." Jesaiah Ben-Aharon, The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth
Century [emphasis added]
The communities of spirit related to Michael and Christ wait on our
choices. They have committed themselves to trusting human beings. We
know the reality of earthly existence in a way they do not, and to us they
look for leadership in this time. They honor our freedom above all else,
and this makes our choices ever more acute and poignant. I too wonder:
What will my fellow anthroposophists do?
Well, I do have three wishes, if you have read that essay on my website
(or in the book Dangerous Anthroposophy), so let us end this with that,
for these are really simple matters. These are:
1) That we create a true history of our movement's activity in the 20th
Century (spirit recollection); 2) that we take an deep interest in the
Mystery of America as it comes toward us out of the future (spirit vision);
and, 3) that we stop saying: Steiner said (a gesture only possible out of
memory), and instead begin to share our own in the moment heart
thoughts (spirit mindfulness).
These are not difficult acts, and I can promise you that where they are
carried out, the Opposing Powers will back away, forced to make room for
the Life forces of Christ as these flow into human beings via the Moral
Grace that is the Second Ethereal Eucharist. Small acts of courage are
asked for in these wishes, acts which are much needed in the Branches and
Groups - the social commons of the Society and Movement. Small acts of
rebellion are these as well, against the sleepy social traditions in which we
dream and from which we need to awake. Small acts, coming from
ordinary people, in celebration of the mystery of ordinary consciousness.
Small acts of individual first steps toward the new heart thinking, birthing
in the only way possible the New Sun Mysteries as the New, and
profoundly human, Mysteries of the Earth.
More than anything, these small acts of moral courage are the most
profound spiritual power that can enter our circles. It is not inspiration
from above we need as much as inspiration from out of the social
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commons of a shared struggle to birth the New Thinking and the New
Mysteries in the Chalice of the Reverse Cultus.
Visualize now, for a moment, Raphael's Madonna and Child. Here
obviously portrayed is a truth not yet well known or understood. The
Christ is held in the bosom of the Mother. The moral order of the social
world, in which Christ works out of and through freely chosen human
moral deeds, is held in the bosom of the Earth - the Mystery of the Divine
Mother. Christ in us is the Flowering Heart of the social world, but the
Mother is the Root, Stem and Branch of the social world. And where is
this Root, Stem and Branch most remembered, most spirit-recollected in
America? In the ancient Saturn Mysteries, that's where - among those
who knew Her directly - and spoke of Her as: the Earth as Mother
(Mother Earth and Father Sky).
Down to the Root of the social world we must go, deep into the Mysteries
of the Americas. Down, down into the dark moist of Earth, through the
spheres of lies and evil, to the other side where waits the Golden Realm of
the Divine Feminine. Like Christ on the Saturday of His crucifixion we
must descend into Hell, and through Hell to Her. This is the work of
confronting the Shadow in the Soul, which as a social or community
process has been best practiced to date in the group work centered on the
Twelve Steps.
As He told us: "he who loses his life for my sake will find it". Visualize
next the Pieta. Christ dead, yet held by the Mother. We die into the
Mother - we surrender, we give up, we put down our burdens, our woes,
our karma of wounds, our despair. The soul dies to its collections and
attachments to the past, whether old thoughts or old feelings or old
impulses of will.
We actually do this every night when we go to sleep. Every night!
What are little children taught in many places to pray? Isn't it some
version of: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
But if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.
We surrender to the Mother every night in prayer. We sleep and cross the
threshold. We die the little death. Then we are reborn each morning, new.
At which point, if we wish to awake to the Second Ethereal Eucharist, we
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begin each day seeking Moral Grace, seeking to practice Love - to take up
Christ's kind and light Yoke of Love.
The changes we seek to inaugurate out of our freedom can be very small,
very much our own to author, and very human. Like the great oak that
grows from the tiny acorn, remarkable spiritual changes can flow out of
the simplest of deeds.
What is called for then is simple and dangerous rebellion against illusions
living in the worship of things European, and the homogenization of
thought in the Branches and Groups in America. One must have a hunger,
a need that must have freedom from the mental chains of Steiner-said. But
best of all, a recognition that the heartfelt thoughts of the own I are exactly
and precisely what needs to be uttered in our work for the New Mysteries
to appear. Into the Branches and Groups we pour ourselves - a small, but
very great, deed.
We are not being an anthroposophist when we quote Steiner. Only our
own thoughts, which are rooted in soul soil of the seeking for the Good,
can have Life. And that Life can be, in the social context, filled from
within by personally authored and sourced goodness, beauty and truth.
And, because it can appear superficially at odds with its social
surroundings (while in its reality it gives deepest healing to these same
social surroundings), this Life has to be called in the 2nd Century of
anthroposophical endeavors, not just dangerous Anthroposophy, but
American Anthroposophy.
***********************************
[For the neophyte: It has been mentioned above that most of those in the
Anthroposophical Movement and Society concentrate on the study of
Knowledge of Higher Worlds to the exclusion of The Philosophy of
Freedom. Knowledge of Higher Worlds is not representative of Steiner's
own path. In this next very brief essay I will endeavor to shed some light
on Steiner's own path as an aide in understanding this matter, and as well
the light it can shed on certain other problems we have been addressing
above.]
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Rudolf Steiner's Own Path - The Philosophy of Freedom
or Spiritual Activity - a re-imagination
(written for this book after Epiphany, 2008)
Rudolf Steiner wrote only very limited commentaries on his inner life.
We know facts of his biography and certain indirect things he said about
his inner experiences, but in the main he did not put that aspect of his
personality forward. We have hints, and from some comments in other
circumstances we can (like a detective in a murder mystery) infer certain
particulars.
For example, he spoke of inner trials having come at certain points in his
inner work, but did not elaborate or describe. He often spoke in a way that
suggested that language could not even carry the reality of spiritual
experience, which provides a further reason for an understandable
reticence on his part.
I am not, by the way, trying to rewrite his biography, for others have
already done that with great skill. It is just that in listening to various
anthroposophist speak and write over the years, it is fairly clear that many
have not given much thought to his real experience (we know what he
thought about his experience, but not the experience itself). It is after all a
sublime and mysterious world of experience in which Steiner often lived,
and unless one themselves knows such experience, it is often difficult for
someone unfamiliar to really appreciate what is involved. An Internet
friend of deep experience once said that just as one could not give to a
virgin any idea of what making love was really like, it was impossible to
describe for others (who have never had such moments) the real nature of
spiritual experience. With this essay I hope to shed some light on this as
well.
I am also going to contradict somewhat the general consensus on certain
aspects of Steiner's life, but given what has already been written by me,
this should come as no surprise. My views here will try to show exactly
on what they are based, but the reader should expect that I will be saying
things not generally said in Steiner biographies, and perhaps left out of his
own as well.
To give a concrete example, let us begin with the clairvoyance of his
youth, which most biographies tend to portray as having arisen around his
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eighth year and continued from there on, to and through the rest of his life.
If we look at other things he has said about the subject of these kinds of
clairvoyant experiences (those which arise naturally in young people), he
often used the term atavistic, meaning apparently something that was of
the past of the soul and not related to its the present potential.
Clearly, if we think it through, Steiner did not earn this youthful
clairvoyance in his current biography in the same way he spoke of when
he said on other occasions that even initiates have to re-earn that
achievement in every life - it does not come automatically. We can
perhaps imagine all kinds of causes for his youthful clairvoyance, but that
speculation will not serve us. Instead then, let us simply maintain these
questions of whether: a) the early clairvoyance was atavistic; and, b)
whether it did continue throughout his life (or did something else happen)?
Another clue for us can be found in the last verse of the John Gospel,
wherein it is said: There are many other things that Jesus did, such that if
they were written down one by one, I don't think there would be room in
the world for all the resulting volumes.
There is in this verse something that can be applied analogously to Steiner,
in that we hardly know at all this inner life of his, and what deeds arose
there. In Steiner we have someone who has been having spiritual
experience throughout most of his life. We also know of (but these are
apparently not yet published) the existence of many many notebooks
Steiner created over the years, in which can be found material additional
to the books and lectures already published. What deeds stand behind the
production of these notebooks?
Recently in thinking-meditation I realized that Steiner did more than
lecture when he spoke to an audience. I was re-reading the first of two
lectures collected under the title Geographic Medicine (given in St.
Gallen, November 15th, 1917). It was a curious lecture after a fashion,
for it kept circling around and repeating its basic themes. When I recalled
the lecture during thinking-meditation (a way to increase ones
understanding of Steiner's offerings), I was suddenly struck with the fact
that he was not just speaking to the audience, but simultaneously to the
dead then also present before his spiritual vision.

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This lecture takes place around the end of WWI, and the themes being
repeated in it are basically two: 1) when one dies a sudden violent death in
youth, in the next biography around the middle of that life, a gift is
received; and 2) many of the dead, having taken in an excess of
materialistic thought, have a great deal of difficulty finding the spiritual
world (the afterlife), for these materialistic thoughts bind them to the
earth. But if they can find other thoughts, then this binding can be
overcome.
With this insight it all of a sudden occurred to me that almost any lecture
might have just such components, for before his spiritual vision almost
anything could be happening. Years ago, for example, I had been reading
a lecture and found therein a thought quite personal to me. Upon rereading the lecture later (several times I tried this) I could never find the
thought there in words. Is it possible on occasion that Steiner saw through
the veil of time to future readers, and spoke not just to the audience but to
these future readers whose intense interest in what he was writing and
saying may have bridged across time as well? I have heard it said that he
would sometimes speak to quite specific members of the audience, able to
see that everyone else was essentially asleep but this one person.
I write these things because I want us to look upon his work and recognize
that it contains Mystery. Even though much is rendered into seemingly
fixed conceptual structures, there is more going on there than we can
imagine, for even if I could not bridge time, who is to say my angel
cannot, and that he spoke to angels as well the dead when he lectured.
We need to keep in mind that Steiner was doing something that the other
nine hierarchies could not do, which is to render into human concepts the
truths of their realms. Some of you will have heard something on the
order of: The stars once spoke to man, and now it is time for man to speak
to the stars.
Next I want to take up an important subject, that is certain to be
controversial. I did not, by the way, invent this material on my own, but
first heard these ideas on an Internet discussion list where individuals of
deep wisdom were gathered together. This is the story that eventually
became told over time, as I have come to understand it with my own
thinking. Also, in the brief narrative below don't pay too much attention
to the suggested ages. My thinking finds the general nature of the story to
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be true, but just exactly during which years of his life this story unfolded,
and the precise character of the details, this I do not know.
Here is the story: In his teens, as Steiner was becoming awake to his own
thinking, and to the philosophical views of the 19th Century on the
problem of knowledge. He then came to realize that his present
clairvoyance had certain weaknesses and limits, and so he consciously
(perhaps with some guidance) set out to destroy this youthful atavistic (in
the blood) clairvoyant ability. He did this by beginning in his late teens to
regularly, on a daily basis, drink alcohol. As we understand from his
indications, alcohol causes a separation of the ego or warmth body from
the blood, so we can see just how this might work.
Once then freed of the atavistic clairvoyance, he undertook to apply his
will to thinking in a new way (a risky step into the unknown - one no
doubt of many which we have not appreciated), and to see what can be
accomplished there. He already knew spiritual experience was possible,
but the question was what might happen if thinking was developed out of
its own forces. As a result of this activity he achieved, sometime between
perhaps age 19 and 22 his real modern initiation, apparently over the Holy
Nights.
[To those who may know more details here, please understand that it is
simply not possible (or even desirable) to read everything, so you need to
appreciate that I already know that what I have written may be elsewhere
elaborated in a far better fashion.]
We also know that Steiner was by nature cautious. He kept a great deal to
himself, and did not offer something to the world until he had worked it
over many times. In addition, he would step outside the personal element
of his spiritual experience, and seek to behold it objectively (as if he was a
stranger to himself). As a consequence we get what was achieved first as
a direct experience by Steiner on the cusp of his adulthood, but worked
over again and again until it was ripe enough to be presented to us in his
book The Philosophy of Freedom. He actually says quite clearly that the
book was written in the order that follows exactly the path that he had
taken. So when we read this book, we should also realize that the
problems he has been discussing in that book, came before his thinking
conscious experience many years earlier, in precisely the order in which
they are presented in that book.
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First he has the experience. Then he works on it, finally taking out the
personal elements and objectifying it. This is consistent with everything
he wrote about the problem of knowledge, namely that first we have the
experience, and then we exercise the cognitive faculty. We know too that
in The Philosophy of Freedom there is no mention at all of his later
spiritual research. Yet, whenever necessary he reminds us that the book is
the foundation for all the later work - without the training of the cognitive
faculty, with the exactness and precision available through introspection
following the methods of natural science, it is not possible to take sublime
spiritual experience and render it into the language needed for the modern
Age. [See Ben-Aharon's first chapter in his book The Spiritual Event of
the Twentieth Century, for more details.]
Understanding this then gives us a key for realizing that what he speaks of
later often tells us indirectly something of what actually happened to him
personally earlier, such as likely occurred during the period of his real
modern initiation. For example, in the last lecture of the John Gospel
series, Steiner writes of how The Philosophy of Freedom path leads to a
purification (katharsis) of the astral body, preparing it for the initiation
experience. We need to realize that he is not here speaking of his theory
of initiation, or out of something seen imaginatively (or told to him by
spiritual beings), but rather directly from his own experience, and now
separated from the personal and objectified.
Further, when he suggests in the same lecture that the student of this book
should at a certain point begin to think (with the developed cognitive
capacity won through the own introspection) on the first 14 verses of the
John Gospel, he is again relating something he knows from direct
experience. Having followed Steiner on this path now for many many
years, and come to an experience of the living thinking, I can confirm his
indication as regards the thinking-meditation on these verses, having had
recently my own Holy Nights (on Epiphany) experience after working
intensively with these verses for some time (which as an experience was
by the way completely different from anything I had even imagined speculated - it might be like).
Part of what I am suggesting here is that we can find, sprinkled throughout
Steiner's writings and lectures, objectified statements actually derived
from his personal meditative and spiritual experiences. As a final
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example, let us take up just one set of lectures, which are collected under
the title The Fifth Gospel.
We should know by now the care with which Steiner offers his findings,
and that for him to apply such a name to this material (The Fifth Gospel),
is not something to be taken lightly at all. Here I only want to ask a
question: What cost, in terms of pain of soul and trials, did Steiner have to
pay in order to acquire the ability to give such an intimate report on the
conversation between Jesus and his mother?
We could think that the so-called akashic record is out there in spiritual
space somewhere in a kind of condition where one can pick it up like part
of a encyclopedia in a library and read what one wants. We should not do
this. We could also think that Steiner has these meetings with various
spiritual Beings and they tell him stories which he can then relate to us in
his lectures and writings. We should not do this either.
The encounter with a Cosmic Spiritual Being (and I speak here from
experience) shakes you to the roots of your own nature. You are stripped
bare of all pretension, and all sense of ones self as a person of
accomplishment. While we like to talk of Steiner's great deed, and of him
as being a great initiate, we really have no idea how small one becomes in
the face of Cosmic Spiritual Beings.
Now oddly enough it is not that we are diminished in any way, or even
made less free. It just becomes impossible to think of ones self in a
human comparative way anymore. We know, for example, that while
Christ Loves us, we are just one of billions that are the object of such
Love. The English rock group The Moody Blues have a wonderful bit of
verse in one of their songs:
"With the eyes of a child
You must come out and see
That your world’s spinning round
And thru life you will be
A small part of a hope of a love that exists
In the eyes of a child you will see."
(Eyes of a child by Moody Blues, 1969) [emphasis added]

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The reader would be surprised, for example, how essential failure is as a
preparation for spiritual experience. One can find people in the Society
and Movement who want to think of Steiner as somehow morally perfect,
never realizing not only that no one human being is morally perfect, but
that it is as someone incomplete, a failure, weak, ignorant and otherwise
all too human, that we are best prepared to meet Higher Beings. So when
Steiner speaks or writes of trials, he is not referring to something that is
easy, or which one comes through by some kind of superior mastery.
The Cross has a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. The vertical axis has
an upward gesture, and a downward gesture. We travel in our life of soul
both up and down. Christ dies on the Cross and descends through Hell to
the Mother's Realm on Saturday, before the Resurrection can occur.
When we die the many little spiritual deaths that lead to various soul
transformations through trials, we also travel down, before we can go up not once but many times.
Remember, it is the purification of the astral body that must arise on the
path to initiation. Nor is Crossing the Threshold the end of purifying
necessity. All that initiation means is that one not only now struggles in
earthly conditions rife with the possibility of failure, but now also in
spiritual realms where the same possibilities of temptation and failure
exist.
We also need to realize that while Steiner gives us an incredible
conceptual content, and demonstrates remarkable intellectual faculties of
his own, none of these qualities of being have any meaning in trials of
purification. What is the theme as stated by the Alchemists? We are
purified in a crucible! The dross is burned away in fire.
I have hoped with these words to suggest a somewhat richer picture of
Steiner's path, trying to connect it in particular to the thinking-initiation,
and also to what he himself on more than one occasion tried to remind us processes of soul pain are required. In effect, we need to embrace our
trials and to realize that in them lies a richness otherwise unobtainable.
The Christian-Rosicrucian Path of Initiation is described as following
Christ's path as laid out in the John Gospel: the washing the feet, the
scourging, the crowning with thorns, the carrying the cross, the
crucifixion, the entombment and the resurrection. Does any of that sound
pain free?
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For a wonderful contemplation of Steiner's life in relationship to this path,
one should read Tomberg's anthroposophical Inner Development,
especially the last sections where he expressly takes up Steiner's path as an
example of the Christian-Rosicrucian Path of Initiation.
So also we must view Steiner's life and recognize, as has been suggested
by Ben-Aharon in The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth Century, that we
ourselves need to take responsibility for many of Steiner's trials, and for
the fact that his life ended early. When he joined his karma to ours, the
possibility of error by his students, also became a responsibility he
accepted. This is a two way street.
This question then remains: If we truly wish to see ourselves as students of
Rudolf Steiner, how can we not follow his path - the path of The
Philosophy of Freedom (or Spiritual Activity)?
******************************
[for the neophyte: this is probably something quite important for those
new to Anthroposophy - those not so new either know this, or have
ignored it.]
a letter to a young anthroposophist
this essay was written in the spring 2004, and is self explanatory
I received an e-mail the other day, from a young anthroposophist. As I
contemplated my answer, I found living in my soul certain ideas and
ideals wanting to be pointed out to many such young people. These then
have found expression in this essay.
Here we have a classic situation in a way - the young seeker in her early
twenties, asking something from a virtual stranger, who it turns out is
passing beyond age 63, supposedly no longer quite so strongly subject to
karma. What can be said across such boundaries? My life, in the sense of
most of its experiences, is past. Not only that, most of what I have
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experienced will not be something this young person will experience at all.
What I lived in the 1950's, '60's, '70's and so forth, for example, during my
late teens, twenties and thirties, are not what the young person of today
will experience. The times are vastly different. What is even more true is
that my imagination really can't take hold of the life the young are to live
in the next decades. The beginning of the 21st Century, coupled as it is to
the Dawn of the Third Millennium after Christ's Death and Resurrection,
will certainly be a time of great change, and great challenge, all joined to
the potential for even greater folly.
The author of the e-mail that prompted this essay was responding to a poll
I had written over seven years before, and published on the Outlaw (rebel)
Anthroposophy portion of my main website: Shapes in the Fire. The poll
was an addendum to a two essay journal, that I had created and had had
distributed at an anthroposophical conference in Ann Arbor in the summer
of 1997, which journal was called: Outlaw Anthroposophy - the journal.
While the main two essays were quite serious, the poll was a bit tongue-incheek, for I wanted to leaven the previous material (the serious essays)
with something containing a hint of levity. Of the dozen or so folks that
have responded to the poll over the intervening years, however, most have
treated it seriously, as did this young anthroposophist.
This has made me believe my sense of humor is a bit too subtle. In any
event, in what follows this poll should be considered part of the
background context. The poll and the other essays can be found on-line
at: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/oajnr.html
There yet remains the question: does a 63 year old man have something to
say to a young anthroposophist? Well, there would be little point to this
essay if I were to answer this question no, so let us assume that such might
be possible, and I will indulge myself in what comes next with the writing
down of such thoughts and feelings as arise in the soul in contemplation of
such a question.
*
Between 1861 and 1925 Rudolf Steiner lived, mostly in Europe. He was,
by any standard, an unusual man. The terms genius, great initiate, and
scientist of the invisible have been spoken regarding him. He also has his
detractors (see for example: the Waldorf Critics). He left behind a vast
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corpus of works: over 30 written books and 6000 lectures, the majority of
which were recorded and have since been published. In addition, he
founded, or inspired, several social movements which live on beyond his
death: Waldorf Schools, Biodynamic Agriculture, Goethean Science,
Camphill Communities, The Christian Community, the Anthroposophical
Society (with its international and national groupings), to name but a few.
Many of those who study his life and works have themselves become quite
productive - some rather famous (Saul Bellow, and Owen Barfield, for
example).
Many others, who take in some of this work (both Steiner's and those who
follow his lead), stand in awe of it and for good reason. I am one who
stands in such awe. The plain fact is that much of what I have been able to
accomplish in life, particularly my studies of the social and political
aspects of human existence, would not have been possible without Rudolf
Steiner's influence and mentoring (as well as the work of many of his
students). I owe him (and them) a great debt, and to honor this debt is
(and has been) one of the main motives in much of my work since my late
50's.
At the same time, there is One who stands above us all, and Who cannot
be ignored if any sense at all is to be made of Steiner's life, my work, or a
great deal else that appears in modern times that is progressive in a
spiritual sense. This is: Christ Jesus. The natural scientist and the secular
humanist may not appreciate this, but those who have had the kinds of
direct experiences of Christ, available in the present Age, are forever
changed, and can in no way forget to acknowledge that Encounter.
To aid those seeking such an Encounter is the whole point of the modern
spiritual work that Steiner created and fostered. Yet, the Anthroposophical
Movement, which Steiner founded, has fallen on hard times and fails
anymore to wisely promote this possibility, so that it then becomes the
unavoidable responsibility of those who understand this to outline, for the
younger people who are drawn to Steiner, the realities and complexities of
this dilemma.
And, at the same time, we must live our own biographies. Neither Christ
or Steiner mean or want to live our lives, but rather know full well that we
must live them and make the choices there to be found. Whether to seek
an Encounter with Christ, or to become a student of Steiner's - these too
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are choices we must make and for which we must accept personal
responsibility.
What I write here is, as well, my own choice.
History teaches us that spiritual movements often suffer a kind of decay
when the founding genius dies. This is true also of the Church founded
on the Rock that was Peter, and defined by the Heart that was Paul.
Everything that is human must endure the forces of the Fall (that is,
become Earthly), before they can rise again and realize their deepest
possibilities. Such are the rules of existence (including our own
biographies), and the Anthroposophical Society and Movement are not
free of these same realities.
Anyone who reads a true history of the Movement and Society following
on the death of Steiner knows this to be the case.
History also teaches that what Falls can become lifeless, and its
institutional forms rigid, dogmatic and sectarian. As the counter to this,
individuals arise within such institutions who bring the forces of
resurrection - who bring new life and new inspiration. So it has been with
the Church (St Francis, Luther, and so forth), and so it has been with the
Anthroposophical Society.
At the same time, these forces of renewal seldom find sure purchase in the
main institutional body, which really only tolerates them, for the
institution itself becomes more of a home to bureaucrats and theologians
(spiritual bean counters and theorists) than it does to true creative genius.
So we can see in the Anthroposophical Society and Movement a
succession of personalities that come by, but yet find no true connection to
the main institutional structures (Tomberg, Barfield, Kuhlewind, and BenAharon to name but a few).
Yet, the fire of genius that created the original impulse lives on in such as
these, far more than it does in the institutional forms and its favorite
personalities. Those young anthroposophists, who want to become current
on such matters (as of 2004, the time of the writing of this essay), need to
read Irina Gordienko's book: Sergei O. Prokofieff: Myth and Reality, for
the heart center of the institutional form of the Anthroposophical Society
in Dornach is currently possessed with a cult of personality. Filled then
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with bureaucrats and anthroposophical theologians, Dornach cannot
provide either the life giving spiritual inspiration that young
anthroposophists need, nor can the light of true anthroposophical insight
flow out from there to take its right place in the wider world.
This last is a great tragedy, in a time of great tragedies.
[So that understanding can be clear, let me illuminate what I mean by the
bureaucratic and theological impulses as they live in Dornach (and other
places in the anthroposophical world were institutional processes
dominate). The bureaucratic impulse sees great value in preserving all
that Steiner said and wrote - it focuses on the past, and influences the
institutional structures in such a way that what ought to be living and vital
becomes dead and empty tradition (things are done in the present mostly
because they were done in the past). Even the smallest acquaintance with
life processes would suggest that social forms should also evolve, live and
die, and undergo metamorphosis. But the bureaucratic impulse holds tight
to what was done, and thus strangles that inspiration that might come from
a truly living breath of spirit.
In a somewhat analogous fashion the theological impulse takes what
Steiner said and elevates it to Eternal Truth. Once elevated to this illusory
state, the masters of Steiner-thought then comment endlessly on the great
teacher's insights and indications, strangling in this way all current and
future insight living outside the corpus (bible) of what are called the basic
books. Someone such as Prokofieff then buries his own mystical
interpretations within long recitations of Steiner-thought, that become to
the reader and listener a kind of sorcerous enchantment of their minds.
Where the bureaucrat kills the social forms with rigid traditions, the
anthroposophical theologian kills the living spirit of their readers and
listeners by promoting the idolatry of a worship of Steiner through an
endless repetition of Steiner-thought.
Here is some Emerson that is fully relevant: from his lecture at Harvard in
1837: The American Scholar:
Books are the best of things, well used; abused, among the worst. What is
the right use? What is the one end which all means go to effect? They
are for nothing but to inspire. I had better never see a book than to be
warped by its attraction clean out of my own orbit, and made a satellite
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instead of a system. The one thing in the world, of value, is the active
soul. This every man is entitled to; this every man contains within him,
although in almost all men obstructed and as yet unborn. The soul active
sees absolute truth and utters truth, or creates. In this action it is genius;
not the privilege of here and there a favorite, but the sound estate of every
man. In its essence it is progressive. The book, the college, the school of
art, the institution of any kind, stop with some past utterance of genius.
This is good, say they - let us hold by this. They pin me down. They look
backward and not forward. But genius looks forward: the eyes of man are
set in his forehead, not in his hindhead: man hopes: genius creates.
Whatever talents may be, if the man create not, the pure efflux of the Deity
is not his; cinders and smoke there may be, but not yet flame. There are
creative manners, there are creative actions, and creative words;
manners, actions, words, that is, indicative of no custom or authority, but
springing spontaneous from the mind's own sense of good and fair.]
What then, given the empty spiritual-calorie nature of institutional
Anthroposophy, is a young anthroposophist to do?
Live your biography. The moral heart of spiritual development is only
found there. Life itself is the greatest gift and the greatest teacher, for in
every meeting between ones own I-am, and the I-am of the Thou lives the
potential for the presence of the Third (wherever two or more are gathered
in my name, there also I am). Christ is found most directly in life, in
between I and Thou; and, in seeking to meet our biography, out of our
own moral insight, we do the essence of the great work of spiritual
development. No text, or written work, nor the words of any teacher, can
give us what is to be learned in our own biography.
Yet, if you want the best of what is written that Christ can give at this
stage, then read the Gospels and, most crucially, work at applying them in
practice in life. There is no better understanding of the center of moral
life than that found in the Sermon on the Mount (e.g. Matthew, Chapters
5-7)
If you want the best that Steiner can give in aid of our soul nature
(consciousness soul) in these times then read and practice the works on
objective philosophical introspection: The Theory of Knowledge Implicit
in Goethe's World Conception; Truth and Science; and The Philosophy
of Spiritual Activity (Freedom). Self-knowledge in our time depends
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upon serious and brutally self honest introspection. We must come to
know both the universals of our own minds (soul-spirit nexus), and the
particulars in which can be found the expression of our individuality.
What is involved in the act of thinking is one of the great mysteries of our
time, and the path to that mystery lies entirely within our own work at
self-knowledge. Moreover, this cannot be rushed. We don't learn what
needs to be learned reading the books which Steiner wrote. We only learn
it by looking within - that is by reading the book of the own soul.
We read then two books: the book of life, and the book of our own
inwardness. There is no substitute for this work, and that this is not said
from Dornach, over and over again, reveals clearly how little has been
learned there or is taught there.
In support of such work is this admonition also from Ralph Waldo
Emerson: In self trust all virtues are comprehended (also from his lecture:
The American Scholar).
For those who feel a need to read more than just the books of their own
life and mind, and who like a book you can hold in your hand, here are
some other works and their relevance.
Inner Development by Valentin Tomberg. Here we find, among much
else, a discussion of the Seven Stages of the Passion of the Christ, as
outlined in the Gospel of John (washing the feet; , the scourging; the
crowning with thorns; the carrying of the cross; the crucifixion; the
entombment and the resurrection). The more we live a self-determined
moral life in our biographies, the more the biography takes the shape of a
mini-version of the Seven Stages of the Passion of the Christ. What Christ
lived during Holy Week, we will live out in the course of our many
incarnations, blessed in that we only have to endure that smaller degree of
suffering which arises more gently because it is spread out in these
multiple lives, thus reducing the intensity of any particular experience.
This consciously chosen moral life then becomes an alchemical crucible of
development that takes the same shape as the Passion of Christ.
[For some people, Valentin Tomberg is a controversial figure. S.O.
Prokofieff has even written a critical book about him (The Case of
Valentin Tomberg). The problem has to do with a book that Tomberg
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wrote and which he had published anonymously after his death:
Meditations on the Tarot: a Journey into Christian Hermeticism. This
book, besides looking favorably on the Catholic Mysteries, and taking a
quite different approach to spiritual development than Anthroposophy,
was also critical (in a way) of certain aspects of the anthroposophical
movement. Critics comparing the two approaches, from an
anthroposophical viewpoint, found Meditations wanting in many regards.
In my view this criticism failed in that it was a comparing of apples and
oranges, or to put the matter more directly, Steiner's teachings were meant
for one group of human beings, for whom reason (thinking) was more
important, while Tomberg's final work was meant for an entirely different
group, for whom devotion (willing) was more important than cognitive
work. I could say more, but here I only wanted to acknowledge that for
some Tomberg is not liked, which in my view is not really justified, this
disliking being based upon a false assumption. What Christ hopes for
humanity cannot possibly be carried by just one teacher and just one
stream. His Love is too profound. At the same time, it needs to be
remembered that Inner Development was written at a time when Tomberg
was a practicing anthroposophist.]
Becoming Aware of the Logos: The Way of St. John the Evangelist by
Georg Kuhlewind. Another, but beautifully different, look at some of the
same problems by someone who also (as was Tomberg) is able to speak
from authentic spiritual experience.
The Spiritual Event of the Twentieth Century by Jesaiah Ben-Aharon.
This book serves two clear purposes. Early on in our biography it gives us
an imaginative picture of the Return of the Christ, as that has already
occurred in the years 1933 to 1945 - something with which we very much
need to become acquainted. As we ripen in our development (which only
occurs over time), this same text can then begin to serve its truer purpose,
which is as a set of instructions for meditation practice that is meant to
lead us to our own direct experience and participation in this Event. Yes,
that is right: participation. This Event, being Timeless, is always ongoing.
As more and more people learn to actually develop their thinking in the
way pointed to by Steiner, this thinking then transcends its time and space
limitations to become capable of becoming part of the Event. The Light
that is there then becomes richer and richer over time, as each of us learns
to transcend time and offer our own thinking-light to the Event, which not
only reveals the Return of the Christ and the Second Golgotha, but also
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reveals the participation of humanity in its unfolding. Yes, there is a
paradox here, but it is not something about which we need worry.
These then are books which help us orient our inner development within
the current stage of the stream of the evolution of consciousness. Yet, as
we all know, our moral life requires our participation also in the shared
social life of all humanity. We only develop that moral character in life, in
conjunction with how we meet and deal with each other, and how we met
and deal with the life of nature upon whom our own existence depends. In
support of this outer social development, here then are some other texts,
which might serve to help orient us in our understanding of our shared
social existence.
In approaching this we need to keep in mind the modern folk wisdom
found in this saying: think globally, act locally. We need to understand
the whole (think globally), in order to see how to play our part (act
locally).
America's Global Responsibility: individuation, initiation, and
threefolding by Jesaiah Ben-Aharon. Clearly the modern social political
world is dominated by something that has found a center and an entrance
into humanity's affairs that is most strongly localized in America. Here is
an excellent consideration of modern social conditions, with some
historical background. If you want to think globally, this is a good start.
Saving the Appearances: a study in idolatry by Owen Barfield. Here is a
study concerning the nature of natural science, its historical background
and the place of all of this within the ongoing evolution of consciousness.
Just as we need to appreciate the outer historical context in our thinking
globally, we also need to understand how the history of ideas, and the
evolution of consciousness play into that social context.
In addition, Barfield's Speaker's Meaning is a most remarkable small
book, one which I have read many times given the wonder of its
understanding of language, meaning and their significance for
appreciating the current condition of scientific materialism.
Also the books of Dennis Klocek should be considered. Here is a link
introducing his writings:
http://www.steinercollege.org/consciousness.html , and one should also
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seek on Google a link to Doc. weather, an important website he created
and maintains.
I am next going to refer to my own work. In defense of the obvious
charge that this is somewhat egoistic, I can only offer this: It is a poor
artisan who doesn't appreciate the true nature of his or her own skills and
craft.
Being human, my work is flawed (as no doubt are others' efforts), but
nonetheless there are some valid questions I have asked (and struggled to
answer), and while my work is often incomplete, here are two whose
structure is intended to illuminate our inner and outer social present.
My main website is Shapes in the Fire, and basically concerns the death,
and the resurrection, (the metamorphosis, the dying and becoming) of
Western Civilization.
The Way of the Fool: Along side the general tendencies regarding the
metamorphosis of civilization, there is also an ongoing metamorphosis of
Christianity, wherein the previous top down hierarchical form of the
Church is passing away, and the next stage of development of Christianity
is to appear bottom up and individualized in the Body of Christ, born out
of the work of individual practitioners of Christ's Teachings. In this next
stage (there will be several more), the once separated Ways of Faith and of
Gnosis will re-unite within the I-am itself, as it begins to realize itself in
individual acts of moral grace, freedom and love.
Here also is a recent essay of mine on the new thinking: In Joyous
Celebration of the Soul Art and Music of Discipleship (found at the
beginning of this book).
While the young anthroposophist will naturally find their own matters of
interest and concern (and related books and teachers), there are some
additional matters, developed by the healthier parts of the
anthroposophical movement, that ought to have some attention addressed
to them.
In his autobiography, Steiner pointed out that he was not able to move
from the Moon Sphere of clairvoyant research onto the Sun Sphere until
after he had formed an appropriate relationship to modern natural science.
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While natural science is materialistic in its fundamental paradigms (points
of view), it remains essentially moral in its recognition that one should
only offer to another as true, that for which one can also offer the means to
discovering it for ones self. In the age of the consciousness soul, truth
must come to us accompanied by the appropriate means by which we may
ourselves replicate its discovery. This is why, for example, Steiner's
works on objective philosophical introspection, with their emphasis on a
careful and methodical introspective practice, are so crucial.
For this reason, those works out of the anthroposophical movement
dealing with natural science and extending it (sometimes called Goethean
Science) are very important. I recommend the following: Man or Matter:
Introduction to a Spiritual Understanding of Nature on the Basis of
Goethe's Method of Training Observation and Thought by Ernst Lehrs;
The Plant (vols I and 2) by Gerbert Grohmann; The Nature of Substance
by Rudolf Hauschka; Radiant matter: Decay and Consecration by Georg
Blattmann; Man and Mammals: Toward a Biology of Form by Wolfgang
Schad; Sensitive Chaos: The Creation of Flowing Forms in Water and Air
by Theodor Schwenk; and Weather and Cosmos by Dennis Klocek.
These are, of course, but a few of what could be studied, but to which I
add the following collection of essays: Evolution and the New Gnosis:
Anti-establishment Esssays on Knowledge, Science, Religion and Causal
Logic by Don Cruse with Robert Zimmer, as these essays concern a
detailed study of the errors in reasoning and logic which lead to those
processes by which scientific materialism (especially in the form of a
theory of evolution) as a paradigm, was enchanted into our shared world
view.
I don't use the word enchanted merely as metaphor by the way. The
young anthroposophist will find, as they grow into a deeper understanding
of the natural and social worlds, that enchantment is a very accurate word
for exactly that means by which much that exists has come to be.
One last encouragement: Rudolf Steiner led us forward in our
development with his scientifically based teachings on objective
philosophical introspection, wherein we are shown how to have an exact
and reproducible means to this deep philosophical question of
introspective self knowledge. But philosophy is itself incomplete, without
an appropriate mathematics in the sense that number ratios and the like as
stand behind the aesthetic in nature. This means even that a true earthly
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vision of higher worlds perhaps can even be found in music, and in the
often strange and paradoxical ways in which human social and political
processes transform over time. For us to learn to appreciate this, we need
to add to our self education - to what Steiner points out for us in his
philosophic studies - the study of projective geometry.
The mind (soul-spirit nexus) knows first of itself through an introspection
that is coupled with a philosophic discipline. But the mind only knows
part of its whole through such means. Thomas Taylor, in his wonderful
18th Century text, The Theoretic Arithmetic of the Pythagoreans, tells us
of his distress that the teaching of young minds has begun to exclude the
theoretic aspects of natural numbers, and is replacing that study with what
only concerns itself with accounting and surveying - no true theory, only
the practical. This is unfortunate to Taylor, for he says that the
arithmetical cannot be found in nature, and is therefore, in that it exists to
our minds, only a product of our soul and spirit. This being the case, what
we then find in mathematics and geometry that is of the sublime and the
beautiful is really a reflection of the true nature of the mind itself. This
means that when we study projective geometry we study that higher
element of our self in which true beauty arises.
Not to make my tale longer, but again to help the young anthroposophist
appreciate the importance of this, let me add the following story.
Abraham Lincoln is said, upon deciding to take up his own education, to
have spent many many hours, days and months in the study of Euclid's
Elements, the basic building blocks of the older geometry. He thought
thereby to train his thinking, and give it discipline.
We today have an even greater opportunity with the study of projective
geometry, for here the true mathematics of life can be seen, and thus that
within the mind (soul-spirit nexus) that is akin itself to life, comes before
us in geometric forms and movement (if you know of the work of the
American Frank Chester, you will have some familiarity with potential
results). We need greatly to step beyond mere abstract concepts, to the
living forces within ourselves and the natural and social worlds. Here then
is the first step: the study of projective geometry.
The best book, in my view, is currently out of print, but is worth being
sought out and photocopied endlessly until those responsible get off their
sorry behinds and return this text to general availability: Projective
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Geometry: Creative Polarities in Space and Time by Olive Whicher.
Here we engage the study of projective geometry, not by the dry methods
of abstract symbolism and proofs, but by the living processes of drawing
and inner imagination. There is no better training for our thinking than
this study, with its exact and precise disciplines regarding the free and
metamorphic movement of form in space and time.
If this is not to be found, then one can substitute Physical and Ethereal
Spaces by George Adams Kaufman. This is very introductory, but it will
do in the absence of Whicher's book.
A few final words...
Everyone is engaged in spiritual development, and we dare not let
ourselves suppose we know better what another person should do. I really
do not know what is best for the young anthroposophist, but rather have
simply indulged myself, in the way an older man wants, in the giving of
advice to the young.
The most important matter here, however, is to understand that I am a
product of the 20th Century, and the young anthroposophist will find that
their lives will be fully engaged in the 21st. At the best the above may be
a bridge from the one Century to the next.
Even so, I am very grateful for the e-mail correspondent whose questions
led me to such expression, for it is entirely possible that one or two
matters presented here might be useful for this or that person. And, that is
all the justification such an exercise needs.
**************************************
[For the neophyte: As it is my view that we can have in the Society and
Movement an excess of ahrimanic gravitas (as well as some luciferic
ungroundedness) , I am approaching the end of this book with an item that
is to a degree meant to be more in the vein of levity. Not exactly
humorous, but done for fun, as it were. Life is meant to contain joy, and
certainly sex is something that we do because we enjoy it - because it
gives us pleasure. Eros (something far more complicated than the mere
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act of sexual intercourse) is in fact an very high art - an art best expressed
for the love of its doing.
Another way to see this is to appreciate that the American, being firmly of
the Earth, is likewise by necessity placed in a situation where his most
earthly appetites and desires need ultimately to become spiritualized by
thought.]
The Redemption of Eros
- Seeking Comfort and Companionship in a time of increasing Social
Chaos; or, Sex and the Single Anthroposophist Those carefully observing modern social processes will have become well
aware that an era of increasing social chaos has been with us for some
time. These are necessary developments arising as a consequence of the
current stage of the Evolution of Consciousness. In order for human
beings to confront, in their biographies, the needed moral dilemmas
belonging to their individual consciousness soul development, a degree of
social disorder is required. This has two effects. One is that it further
weakens the ability of the social order to require conformance to moral
rules, whether rooted in social tradition or religious instruction. The
second is that the I is meant to be thrown onto its own resources as much
as possible. It is not to be able to rely for its moral determinations on
community support, or any outside set of rules, but only on its own
intuitions.
This process can be very isolating. Such isolation, however, is not
necessary if the I is a member of a community that recognizes the
significance of individual moral choice. The Anthroposophical Society
and Movement are meant to be one such community, but it is clear from
what is written and said today in anthroposophical media that this situation
is little appreciated or understood within our circles. We simple fail to
honestly observe our own activity, and treat it instead with a kind of happy
talk illusory conceptual process that lives mainly in denial of the real
events in everyone's lives.
An appreciation of the rhythmic elements of time, as this increasing social
chaos intensifies, suggests that one peak will be around 2012 (the end of
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the first third of the first third of the 21st Century, as well as the end of the
current great cycle of the Mayan Calender). Anyone following the news is
well aware of how fragile the world social order has become, and that
there are far more ways in which this increasing disorder can intensify,
than there are ways in which it can moderate. Students of complex
systems are aware that such systems occasionally undergo massive
transformations, which generally take the form of increasing disorder until
a kind of condition of chaos* ensues, after which a new equilibrium
emerges. Such is what the near future of the social organism offers to all,
including anthroposophists.
*[A proper understanding of the ancient idea of chaos is that it represents
the unformed, the uncreated state, from which everything that is to have
form must eventually emerge.]
While this transformative chaos serves the needs of the developing
consciousness soul, that aspect of this process which leads in the direction
of isolation is really meant to make us more aware of our need for
community. We suffer the isolation precisely in order to appreciate all the
more the accompanying loss of the old and tired traditional community,
such that we may then find within ourselves the will forces out of which to
engender new community. Such a creative process is, however, far more
difficult that we imagine, for the I has to forge the new community out of
freedom, and this leads to all kinds of challenges.
Among the social traditions that have fallen into distress, because of the
increasing individualism, is the institution of marriage. While the
Christian Community tries to maintain to a degree the Sacrament of
Marriage, it is not really yet able to provide true community building
forces outside its own circles, and this includes the Branches and Study
Groups which are the core social element of anthroposophical life (in fact
the Christian Community is destructive of community building in the
Society and Movement- see Lecture Six: Awakening to Community). We
all know this. Marriages. and other long term relationships, everywhere
increasingly fail, following which people are unable to provide for
themselves the natural spiritual-soul-physical intimacy that belongs to a
healthy psychological (or soul) life. The whole of Western Culture
exhibits stress and fracture lines just in this realm, and if we are to
consider ourselves to be true bearers of new wisdom, then certainly we
ought to be able to address these issues.
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What did Christ mean when He said in Matthew 19: 3-5 that husband and
wife are to become one flesh and cleave? How can we bring this, in a
living way, into modern life and the language of the Consciousness Soul?
Lets approach this in a deeper way by first engaging in spirit recollection
and remembering some recent history.
In the 1950's in America, there arose what was soon to be called the sexual
revolution (aided considerably by contraception in the form of the pill).
This had many positive and negative social effects. Women's liberation
emerged from this transformation, and ultimately gay activism. These
were social and political challenges to the status quo of Western Culture,
that were feared by many and embraced by many. Social dancing
changed, such that erotic movements became more in style, which today
in the commercially driven Pop and Rap Music Culture can be seen to
have achieved a kind of level of clear excessive absurdity. There is no Art
in these dances, only an excess of individual expression and animal
energies. In my book the Way of the Fool, I have called this social
condition, that dominates our culture: Fallen Eros.
The true significance of that aspect of love, which was once understood as
Eros, has become culturally degraded in the extreme. For more about the
basic four aspects of love [selfless human love (Agape), nurturing love
(Storge), brotherly and sisterly love or comradeship (Phileo) and erotic
and sensual love (Eros)], that discussion will be found in the book the
Way of the Fool.
Following this sexual revolution there arose a period in which sexual
activity increased, with many people frequently engaging in many casual
sexual encounters. As might be expected, this led to an increase in
sexually transmitted disease, one of which has reached epidemic worldwide proportions: AIDS. The excessive freedom of casual sex in the 60's
and 70's became in the 80's a place of grave danger. People had to think
more carefully (if they cared to) about casual sexual encounters.
Something new came into the world with the generation born in the later
years of these changes. Where in the 1950's, the focus was on going
steady and monogamous relationships, by the beginning of the 21st
Century young people incarnated with a different ethos. They stayed
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away from forming couples and began to go out in groups. They recreated
casual sexual encounters, but gave it a new name: hooking up. Protective
devices against sexual transmitted diseases were encouraged, as well as a
great deal of birth control. Prompted by a backlash from traditional
Christian sources, abstinence and virginity become an ideal for some.None
of this was, of course, perfect by any means. Even so, something had
changed. The social aspects of the sexual revolution engendered a period
of chaos (the 1980's), which appears to be seeking to find a new
equilibrium in the emerging ethos of the young.
In the wake of this, more mature people still carried some baggage from
the past. Tradition demanded couples, casual sex was dangerous, and in
terms of the soul needs, the idea of a relationship and commitments
remained dominant. If one needed physical intimacy and touch (being
held, or nurturing love often was only available through the rite of passage
into a sexual relationship), there were few clear social rules, and much
confusion. Television and film dramas express these social phenomena
quite well (c.f. Ally McBeal, Sex and the City or Desperate Housewives).
What woman or man could ask a different sex friend to come over for the
night just to hold each other and be comforted (cleave), as a healthy
psychological response to enduring the stress of modern life (something
common in the marriage bed, but unavailable to single people)? The need
to be nurtured by touch could only be met through casual sex, often too
much in the thrall of Fallen Eros.
In point of fact, among both women and men there is a great deal of
confusion about the true significance of the erotic and sensual aspects of
our human nature. Eros has fallen far indeed. It is just here in our self
understanding of our more primal natures (the lower chakras: when we
think about all our issues with food and nutrition, rampant obesity, and
various addictions for example, we are quite involved in these lower
chakra dilemmas, not just when we think about sex) that our civilization
exists in a chaos of confusion and essentially bad information about what
it means to be a woman or a man. One could say that this is also
necessary for the development of the I, via the consciousness soul, but in
the absence of new wisdom in the culture nothing here will turn out to the
good. While Rudolf Steiner had a great deal to say in many areas of life,
about this he clearly avoided the issues (no one was then ready).

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Steiner, by the way, had a few troubling problems with the questions of
Eros. His basic response was to hide from assertive feminine energies in
marriage. Not that these were especially personal problems, but it was not
an easy subject to take up in the culture in which he was teaching (see in
this regard the essay by Catherine MacCoun: "Work on what has been
spoiled" http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/ktmc1.html (It is well worth reading,
but not for the faint hearted.). Can you imagine him trying to deal with
American women in the early 21st Century, after the sexual revolution and
women's liberation? Maybe you can.
Here is Steiner himself on the problem of the differences between higher
development and more ordinary social interaction (as quoted in
Catherine's article above):
"The force that enables us to understand the spiritual world belongs only
in the spiritual world; this same force causes all kinds of harm if it is
directly and thoughtlessly transferred to the physical plane. For what is
the nature of this force? It consists in making ones thinking independent of
the physical plane. When this capacity is applied to the physical plane
itself, it turns into deceit and dishonesty. Thus, people who were called
upon to disseminate spiritual science have always seen great danger in
doing so, because what is needed for understanding higher planes of
existence is harmful when applied directly to the physical world."
Steiner also writes quite explicitly of sexual desire in The Philosophy of
Spiritual Activity, and I've included a great deal of what was expressed
there, below (including a few comments of my own).
Anyway, here is the problem as I see it. As anthroposophists, with our
increasing individuality and moral freedom, we have seen (as has the
greater general social order) difficulty in maintaining relationships,
whether in marriages or outside a marriage. The elements of desire, the
nature of love, the significance of Eros and sensuality, - a thousand
questions can bloom once we start to ask them; and, in our Society we
have many many single people, all of them with various emotional and
physical needs. What makes this matter harder for us is that we are deeply
involved in our spiritual Way, and this is so important to us that forming
any level of intimate relationship with another person, not of the same
Way, becomes quite difficult (many do, but many more do not).
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We also live, as we have seen, in a quite over-sexualized culture (Fallen
Eros). Everything is sexually stimulating (from the obvious
advertisements to the more subtle curves of many commercial products,
for example), and women are in constant states of undress (much
immodesty), or wearing clothes that are too tight fitting. Men generally
don't understand themselves as sexual beings, and probably most women
as well. There is more bad information than good out there about our
sexuality.
We naturally seek partners in life, someone who is both attractive and
interesting to us, and whose soul life is on the same page as our own. Yet,
we also often seek sex when what we really want is to receive nurturing
touch (comfort) and other related physical intimacies. Something
indefinable, called "the relationship" is frequently a goal, when our actual
needs are otherwise.
At the same time, the Way of Anthroposophy, even our quite
individualized version of it, reaches deep into our souls and touches
almost every aspect of how we live life. In Waldorf, for example, we
know of many there who as parents have lost the marriage to
disagreements over Waldorf and/or Anthroposophy. As socially
responsible human beings, struggling to form communities with each
other, can we any longer fail begin to have conversations with each other
in which we seek together for wisdom, for new ways of being human with
each other in regards to our most intimate needs and passions?
Presently we have to go outside our circles for such conversation, to
therapists or to the priests of the Christian Community, all of whom may
be quite skilled and many of whom can no doubt help us with problems.
But what if our questions are not about problems, but about just being I'm
okay and you are okay too? Don't we get to come at this from a position
of just plain folks and adequacy instead of having to define ourselves as
having a problem first?
Perhaps our Branch life has not kept up with our human needs. Perhaps
we need more purely social gatherings were individuals can meet each
other, especially single individuals can meet single individuals. Perhaps
we need to take these kinds of questions out of the closet of our fears and
anxieties, and put them squarely in front of us in the realms of social
(horizontal) conversation, where we share our hearts with each other, and
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seek together for inspiration to move within our circle so that something
we cannot think of alone, we might be able to think of together. This
social (horizontal) conversation is not meant, by the way, to be the same
as the reverse cultus (a vertical conversation).
This, however, brings once again the mystery of the quote above:
"The force that enables us to understand the spiritual world belongs only
in the spiritual world; this same force causes all kinds of harm if it is
directly and thoughtlessly transferred to the physical plane. For what is
the nature of this force? It consists in making ones thinking independent of
the physical plane. When this capacity is applied to the physical plane
itself, it turns into deceit and dishonesty. Thus, people who were called
upon to disseminate spiritual science have always seen great danger in
doing so, because what is needed for understanding higher planes of
existence is harmful when applied directly to the physical world."
What does this mean in practice? Here is a very good starting question for
conversation, for who among us can give a concrete example of this force
which Steiner has only represented in the most vague fashion.
Who then has the courage to begin to explore these questions of the rite of
passage that comes prior to adult play and intimacy. Yes the details are
private, but doesn't the community have an interest in the psychological
health of the lives of its members? How do we as a community foster a
healthy human environment where people can learn to understand
themselves and each other; and, where people make those first steps
leading to getting their intimacy needs met as single people, and yet
remain involved in the wonderful anthroposophical life of personal
development and freedom? Does anyone reading this think that we are all
supposed to be celibate, and that sex is only for marriage? If there is a
rule - a moral rule - that some think should apply to all, where is our
human freedom?
Here are two more paragraphs from Catherine's article:
"Now the great initiate, if he wishes to avoid being pestered night and day
with such questions, would be wise to shrug and respond, "Beats me." But
Steiner, it seems, never met a question he didn't like. The shrug was not in
his repertoire. He complained repeatedly that members of the Society
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were failing to take initiative, that they were wearing him out by insisting
on his participation in the most trivial administrative matters. He had
become an esoteric micro-manager, unable to delegate even when he
wanted to. And this can be traced to the fact, that despite his avowals,
there was no horizontal matter that he or his students regarded as strictly
horizontal.
"In the social life of a spiritual community, a strict separation between the
horizontal and the vertical cannot be maintained. Community life is moral
life, and the moral is the meeting point of vertical and horizontal. While
failure to conceptually isolate one dimension from another is a cause of
much craziness, failure to bring them together is a cause of stagnation.
Healthy spiritual life, both for the individual and for the community, is a
matter of circulation - fluent movement from one dimension to another,
and within each dimension according to its own laws."
I can only compare our weak approach (to these significant elements of
community life) to those amazingly healthy traditional approaches in
Native American communities. If we were to discover how to listen to
this sometimes still living wisdom, one yet deeply rooted in its own spirit
recollection, we will notice that as their children mature into adolescence,
a number of social processes of initiation into the mysteries of adult
responsibilities and behaviors are undertaken. The community has a deep
interest in there being healthy soul (psychological) life among all its
members, and to ignore that we are beings of sensuality and erotic
impulses is to ignore reality.
Granted a strong remnant of the group soul clings to these traditional
social and community ideas/ideals, but if we trouble ourselves to listen
carefully, we will find in the community wisdom of the Saturn Mysteries
(the younger brother's half of the stone tablet) a quite valuable resource.
There is a soundness to this ancient wisdom, and while we have to update
it for the situation of human freedom, it has much to teach us. The secret
here is to turn the tradition into a question. For example, the ideal of the
Five Nations Peoples (the Iroquois Confederacy) is that there is only one
law, which is the seven generations law - otherwise all is dependent upon
individual freedom.
This self perception of modern Natives overlooks the social coercive
effect of community living in the need of the individual to be liked and
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accepted, but other than that freedom is the ideal. For us, who want to
engage in the marriage of the Ancient Saturn Social Wisdom and the New
Sun Mysteries of Love Engendered Free Moral Grace, we take this social
law, of keeping in mind what will be the consequences of our actions unto
the seventh generation, and we turn it into a question. Instead of a law, we
have a question. I'll give another example later, concerning the idea of
dominion and surrender in the marriage relationship.
*
I have often felt at anthroposophical meetings that there was an
undercurrent of sexual energies, repressed and unacknowledged, that
would burst forth as such energies do, into tiffs and minor arguments
between individuals that are attracted to each other, but have chosen (for
reasons of karma, or out of just plain confusion) to join a spiritual
community that wants to remain asleep to fundamental human impulses
and needs.
These are not matters for some book, by the way, or some lecture, but
rather correctly and acutely belong to any community that wants to bring
conscious wisdom to its human relationships. Steiner has suggested
strongly to us that social difficulties have to be solved in site - in the actual
community concerned, from out of its internal resources, not from the
outside. The whole outer society of Western culture has been in dialog for
decades now on these issues, but where among anthroposophists, in the
clear light of shared conversation, are they addressed?
the problem of desire as seen from the point of view
of The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity
Next are some quotations from Steiner's The Philosophy of Freedom
(Spiritual Activity), which then could form the background for our shared
considerations of these so very important matters. Steiner has attempted
to face these matters squarely and there is here much food for thought.
All the same, if we vainly believe that he has said everything, and that
there is no room for any other thought that could be truer or wiser or more
beautiful, then it would seem that the Gods have made a very strange error
in letting anyone else, after Steiner-said, think. If Steiner is to be the
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authority to which all other minds must bow down, then why do the rest of
us have minds at all?
Out of such an obvious impulse then, I urge the reader to look at what is
below with two additional thoughts in mind: 1) Christ loves us, whether
we are unfree or not, filled with desire or not, and He has artistically
woven together our mutual karma fully aware of the nature of appetite and
desire*. 2) the Divine Mother, who rules the dark of humanity from
below, has placed in the powers of sexual attraction the grace and gift of
procreation. Eros overcomes moral/ideal resistance all the time, precisely
in order to make it possible for the stream of heredity to create the bodies
needed by everyone (EVERYONE!) to incarnate. Below, where Steiner
seems to have had to forget this (and other aspects of horizontal
existence), I have inserted a few comments in [brackets].
*[While this was mentioned above, we should return once more to this
theme... In the lectures From Symptom to Reality in Modern History
(Lecture Five), Steiner writes of the Mystery of Evil in such a way that he
suggests that what we as human beings see as evil is a secondary effect of
spiritual forces, whose primary purposes are not the production of evil.
He doesn't elaborate, but my own work with this question in meditation
suggests that perhaps it is the spiritual forces behind desire and appetite,
whose primary purpose is procreation and the maintenance of the human
physical body - that is giving us earthly bodies in which to incarnate and
thus unfold that development that can only take place on the Earth. These
forces (which seem to produce pain avoidance and pleasure seeking) then
have a secondary effect, in that we are free to engage in excess, such that
evil can be a result. The metaphor Steiner has used in this lecture is that
of a train engine that incidentally to pulling the train to its destination
wears out the rails. The wearing out of the rails (evil) is not the primary
purpose of the engine (desire and appetite?), which Steiner below often
characterizes as an instinct. What is the true purpose of the lower chakra
forces? Why does the I remain their potential victim? Could Steiner have
spoken more plainly about these questions? Certainly in the Age of the
Consciousness Soul, where the book The Philosophy of Freedom
encourages us to learn to place in the front of the impulses of desire and
appetite a freely chosen moral ideal, we find our way toward this Mystery
in a more sane fashion. Perhaps only American Anthroposophy can
accomplish the necessary synthesis of Steiner thought and earthly human
experience that enables us to comprehend this. As noted in the
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introductory materials to this book, Steiner was required to render much of
what he taught in the language of the Intellectual Soul. Perhaps the
language of the Consciousness Soul, which this books hopes to inspire in
our circles, we will find the next steps to take.]
From Chapter 1:
"On no account should it be said that all our action springs only from the
sober deliberations of our reason. I am very far from calling human in the
highest sense only those actions that proceed from abstract judgment. But
as soon as our conduct rises above the sphere of the satisfaction of purely
animal desires, our motives are always permeated by thoughts. Love, pity,
and patriotism are driving forces for actions which cannot be analyzed
away into cold concepts of the intellect. It is said that here the heart, the
mood of the soul, hold sway. No doubt. But the heart and the mood of the
soul do not create the motives. They presuppose them and let them enter.
Pity enters my heart when the mental picture of a person who arouses pity
appears in my consciousness. The way to the heart is through the head,
Love is no exception. Whenever it is not merely the expression of bare
sexual instinct, it depends on the mental picture we form of the loved one.
And the more idealistic these mental pictures are, just so much the more
blessed is our love. Here too, thought is the father of feeling. It is said that
love makes us blind to the failings of the loved one. But this can be
expressed the other way round, namely, that it is just for the good qualities
that love opens the eyes. Many pass by these good qualities without
noticing them. One, however, perceives them, and just because he does,
love awakens in his soul. What else has he done but made a mental picture
of what hundreds have failed to see? Love is not theirs, because they lack
the mental picture."
[If I have a need for physical intimacy, what saves my seeking that from
being merely bare sexual instinct? It would seem that I can actually
admire the spirit of the person with whom I am to dance the dance of the
rite of passage from casual social intercourse into a more intimate sensual
and erotic experience, and thus remain free (not driven by my appetite). I
do this by consciously forming a mental picture of the truth of who they
are - see really what they will - not how they look. If I live in a
community that develops a vocabulary and an understanding of such free
social processes between individuals, then how much healthier is my soul
life, my psychology? If the community has discussed what is a healthy
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relationship and what is not, yet without attempting to create standards or
coerce our freedom, that discussion becomes a basis in the life of the
community for honest and straightforward verbal play among adults who
discover consciously that they are seeking a same or similar intimacy,
whether just a single night of emotional satisfaction and shared comfort, to
something more in the nature of courtship perhaps leading to marriage and
children.
"The healthy social life is found when in the mirror of each human soul
the whole community finds its reflection, and when in the community the
virtue of each individual can live". Observation of community building
processes reveals that as people in any community have conversation with
each other, they create a shared vocabulary of meaning. Right now in
anthroposophical circles this process remains semi-conscious, resting then
far too much on our instincts (and Steiner-said). In the time of the
Consciousness Soul it becomes important to take a more active interest in
this process of shared meaning creation, keeping in mind the need to
balance the community and individual impulses. Steiner's social motto
above contains that ideal. Realizing that ideal in practice, particularly in
America where the basic social gesture is not to incarnate the ideal (the
European gesture), but to solve immediate social problems in a pragmatic
fashion, will take some effort and care.]
From Chapter 9:
"The first level of individual life is that of perceiving, more particularly
perceiving through the senses. This is the region of our individual life in
which perceiving translates itself directly into willing, without the
intervention of either a feeling or a concept. The driving force here
involved is simply called instinct. The satisfaction of our lower, purely
animal needs (hunger, sexual intercourse, etc.) comes about in this way.
The main characteristic of instinctive life is the immediacy with which the
single percept releases the act of will. This kind of determination of the
will, which belongs originally only to the life of the lower senses, may
however become extended also to the percepts of the higher senses. We
may react to the percept of a certain event in the external world without
reflecting on what we do, without any special feeling connecting itself with
the percept, as in fact happens in our conventional social behavior. The
driving force of such action is called tact or moral good taste. The more
often such immediate reactions to a percept occur, the more the person
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concerned will prove himself able to act purely under the guidance of tact;
that is, tact becomes his characterological disposition".
[Not to make to much of it, but this commentary made me wonder whether
Steiner was a virgin. I don't mean this in a critical way, just that without
actually having had sexual experience, how could he not see that precisely
one element of desire is necessarily the letting go of thinking in the
direction of a state of not thinking at all. Of course, I have heard and been
told that Steiner was sexually active. He certainly was married. But did
he know how to be a lover? Did he understand the nature of sensual
abandonment? What would seem necessary, in order to remain morally
free, is that one enter this rite of passage seeking intimate companionship
with a great deal of wide awake conversational play, in which an
agreement is reached, without one person invalidating or dominating the
other*. This agreement is one of ultimately and mutually surrendering
into the abandonment of almost any and all restraint rooted in thought. At
the same time, we all know (who are not virgins) that thought never really
leaves us. The truth is that we are more like the rider of a horse, who
more and more gives free rein to this animality, yet never actually stops
paying attention - never loses conscious awareness of what is happening.
Yet, without frank adult conversations, how are we to learn from each
other that necessary vocabulary that enables us to meet each other in the
pursuit of sensual and erotic experience, which satisfies many emotional
and intimacy needs quite beyond the mere moment of the so-called climax
- the moment of presumed deepest surrender. What I think he is doing
above is actually laying the foundation for a healthy social life in which
human sensual and erotic desire is seen as fully capable of being moral,
yet he had to go at this from such a round about set of circling phrases and
sentences, that we almost lose the true train of thought. He lived among
people who were not in any sense sexually liberated, nor were the women
seen as more than subservient to men. In such a social environment,
circumlocution is essential in order that the heart of the message not get
lost in some sensationalism connected to a particular (though significant)
detail. This sense then of "tact", or "moral good taste", is the insight
leading to the how that speech and gesture in ordinary social intercourse
can lead to that agreement and consent to move beyond verbal flirting,
into verbal foreplay, and then into the sensual and erotic on the basis of a
true encounter with Unfallen Eros. By discussing this in a community, we
enable the male and female natures - the active and receptive gestures,
which are not actually confined to physical gender - to express their
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practical sense of such tact and good taste. We teach each other
something very important and needed by all. Until we take up such a task,
it remains undone, and we remain in social darkness and confusion.
*Obviously the use of intoxicants, can render us essentially unconscious,
due to the effect of many of them in causing the ego to loose its hold on
the blood. All that I have written here assumes a state of normal (unintoxicated) consciousness. Although love making is an intoxication of its
own kind.]
From Chapter 9:
"There are many who will say that the concept of the free man which I
have here developed is a chimera nowhere to be found in practice; we
have to do with actual human beings, from whom we can only hope for
morality if they obey some moral law, that is, if they regard their moral
task as a duty and do not freely follow their inclinations and loves. I do
not doubt this at all. Only a blind man could do so. But if this is to be the
final conclusion, then away with all this hypocrisy about morality! Let us
then simply say that human nature must be driven to its actions as long as
it is not free. Whether his unfreedom is forced on him by physical means
or by moral laws, whether man is unfree because he follows his unlimited
sexual desire or because he is bound by the fetters of conventional
morality, is quite immaterial from a certain point of view. Only let us not
assert that such a man can rightly call his actions his own, seeing that he
is driven to them by a force other than himself. But in the midst of all this
framework of compulsion there arise men who establish themselves as free
spirits in all the welter of customs, legal codes, religious observances, and
so forth. They are free in so far as they obey only themselves, unfree in so
far as they submit to control. Which of us can say that he is really free in
all his actions? Yet in each of us there dwells a deeper being in which the
free man finds expression."
[Again, it is obvious is it not, from our vantage point, that custom is not to
restrain free men and women (ethical individualists) from understanding
their carnal nature - the gifts woven into having incarnated in a physical
body. The problem, as seen from the point of view of The Philosophy of
Spiritual Activity, is that we learn how to ride the horse of desire in a
manner in which our conscious free moral intention never forgets that it is
holding the reins of the lower impulses, and can direct them out of higher
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motives, thus redeeming what seems merely animal and making it
something that can justly be called human. In the Age of the
Consciousness Soul we are challenged to face all of carnal desire and
inform it from out of the own I with freely chosen moral goodness]
From Chapter 13:
"By a very different argument von Hartmann attempts to establish
pessimism and to make use of it for ethics. He attempts, in keeping with a
favorite tendency of our times, to base his world view on experience. From
the observation of life he hopes to discover whether pleasure or pain
outweighs the other in the world. He parades whatever appears to men as
blessing and fortune before the tribunal of reason, in order to show that
all alleged satisfaction turns out on closer inspection to be illusion. It is
illusion when we believe that in health, youth, freedom, sufficient income,
love (sexual satisfaction), pity, friendship and family life, self-respect,
honor, fame, power, religious edification, pursuit of science and of art,
hope of a life hereafter, participation in the progress of civilization - that
in all these we have sources of happiness and satisfaction. Soberly
considered, every enjoyment brings much more evil and misery into the
world than pleasure."
[This last sentence - as well as most before it - would seem to be von
Hartmann, not Steiner - in any event the reader is cautioned here.]
Again, from Chapter 13:
"I can speak of pain only when desire runs up against the impossibility of
fulfillment. Even when an enjoyment that I have had creates in me the
desire for the experience of greater or more refined pleasure, I cannot
speak of this desire as a pain created by the previous pleasure until the
means of experiencing the greater or more refined pleasure fail me. Only
when pain appears as a natural consequence of pleasure, as for instance
when a woman's sexual pleasure is followed by the suffering of childbirth
and the cares of a family, can I find in the enjoyment the originator of the
pain."
[Is Steiner here giving the counter argument to von Hartmann? This is a
chapter on pessimism, and von Hartmann would seem to be a pessimist,
such that Steiner is showing us how carnal desires and pleasures, even
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though they can in excess lead to moments of pain, the pleasure remains
itself. Read the first sentence above again, especially the word: only.]
More from Chapter 13:
"Anyone who follows fairly closely the line of thought of such thinkers as
Eduard von Hartmann may believe it necessity, in order to arrive at a
correct valuation of life, to clear out of the way those factors which falsify
our judgment about the balance of pleasure and pain. He can try to do this
in two ways. Firstly, by showing that our desire (instinct, will) interferes
with our sober estimation of feeling values in a disturbing way. Whereas,
for instance, we ought to say to ourselves that sexual enjoyment is a
source of evil, we are misled by the fact that the sexual instinct is very
strong in us into conjuring up the prospect of a pleasure which just is not
there in that degree at all. We want to enjoy ourselves; hence we do not
admit to ourselves that we suffer under the enjoyment. Secondly, he can do
it by subjecting feelings to a critical examination and attempting to prove
that the objects to which our feelings attach themselves are revealed as
illusions by the light of reason, and that they are destroyed from the
moment that our ever growing intelligence sees through the illusions."
[Again, is Steiner agreeing with von Hartmann, or disagreeing, especially
in the last sentence where Steiner writes: attempting to prove. I believe
Steiner is disagreeing, but again in the style of circumlocution necessary to
not losing the main message in something that others might sensationalize.
We are the judges of our pain and pleasure, and the eventual masters (out
of freedom) of our choices in this regard. To argue that carnal (bodily)
pleasures are illusions is to mistake the medium for the message. Illusions
abound, but they are not without meaning, for everything that is maya
instructs us, and gives us choices. If there is any comment that needs to be
brought here, it is this (and it is from Tomberg in his book Meditations on
the Tarot). Tomberg there makes the observation that pleasure, pursued
for itself, is sterile. That is it is unproductive. I suggest this is an
excessive judgment on his part. It is true that pleasure for itself's main
flaw is that you have to go back to it again and again. It does not remain.
Yet, the physical body we are told is the most perfected of all aspects of
our organism. Not seeking the pleasure potential in the carnal body would
justly seem insane. Again, here is a point of view, if we leave it
unexamined, that would make of all of us perpetually chaste monks and
nuns, such that no children would come into the world, and there would be
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no bodies in which people could incarnate and seek out their karma.
Tomberg has hidden in his judgment a moral ideal to which he seems to
think all should agree. Has Steiner in his book on Freedom done anything
similar?]
From Chapter 14:
"It is impossible to understand a human being completely if one takes the
concept of genus as the basis of ones judgment. The tendency to judge
according to the genus is at its most stubborn where we are concerned
with differences of sex. Almost invariably man sees in woman, and woman
in man, too much of the general character of the other sex and too little of
what is individual. In practical life this does less harm to men than to
women."
[Is this here the seed of understanding out of which was to be grown
women's liberation? We are led then to wondering what would happen
today, in anthroposophical circles, where adult women are liberated, and
the adult men more sensitive (and I say both of those with a bit of irony understanding that such is only partially true), we took up among
ourselves frank discussions of that which general human culture has been
debating for years. Without dialog, all remains unspoken and potentially
prey to the Shadow out of the unconscious. This essay is much more of a
warning, than it is an advocacy of some kind of sexual excess in our
Society and Movement. My experience is that we are more in danger
from the consequences of repression - of keeping such matters in the
closet, than we are in danger from the consequences of enlightened
conversation. Individual members of the Anthroposophical Society and
Movement - that is members of our social community - have, for example,
on occasion mistreated members who were gay men and women, in
circumstances where unredeemed antipathies and sympathies were
allowed to lash out at particular individuals. We have a long way to go as
a community, and once more this essay merely seeks to suggest that it is
time to take the bull by the horns and get on with it. It will be messy in
any event, but the longer we wait, the more likely that something of these
carnal forces and powers will join together with the Shadow and make of
our work something far more chaotic than any of us need.
Years ago I discovered a principle. I found that I had created whole piles
of undone deeds, because I saw them as difficult and set them aside for
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later. Doing only the easy matters first, I soon had too much of the hard
and difficult ones on my plate. Then I began to look at any day, and select
for the first deeds of the day the most difficult or otherwise uninteresting.
I soon found that these were quickly done, and that their apparent terror
(in the form of anxiety) was greater in my mind than in the doing.
Moreover, the rest of the day was much easier, for the hardest tasks had
been cleared away, and I was no longer bothered by them. In our social
and community life as anthroposophists, we face similar problems - not
only mistaking much that is non-essential for the truly essential, but also
never doing the truly essential because it appears to be too difficult.]
{an aside: many thanks to Tom Last for providing me with the Steiner
quotes from The Philosophy of Freedom. Tom knows this book better
than anyone I know, and his website at
http://www.philosophyoffreedom.com/ is easily the most significant
Internet source for the study of this book}
One last comment here, before going onward...
We ought to keep in mind the precise nature of Steiner's thinking, and
realize that in his mode of expression above he took great pains to speak
on animal desires on the one hand and human choices on the other.
Elsewhere in his spiritual research he was careful to speak of what we
share with the rest of Nature, such that the animal kingdom, especially the
mammals (see Shad's Man and Mammals, please) is described as bearing
a physical body, and ethereal body and an astral body, just as do we. It is
no wonder then that materialistic science describes us as the human
animal, without perhaps recognizing just what that phrase actually means.
Clearly, in that we have an I (which the lower animals do not) means that
we bear the capacity to rise above and rule that which is animalistic in our
corporeal nature. This is, by the way, not meant to demean or suggest we
experience shame, with respect to the necessity of our lower impulses and
chakras in that they contribute out of their perfection to our experience of
earth existence. I suspect, in fact, that we must not only learn to rule these
passions, but also more importantly, come to understand them. Only
through such understanding will we be able in the future to reach down
into the animal kingdom, recognize the sacrifices made there for our
benefit, and then discover how to raise our brothers and sisters there up to
the human level of existence, as is our potential destiny.
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Let us now come at this from another direction entirely...
There is much confusion in the Anthroposophical Society in America, far
more that people would imagine. The main source of this confusion is
because we live so strongly under the influence of Ahriman here. This
comes to us through our three-fold double-complex - we are very
ahrimanic out of the influence of the double. Now the form this takes is
very interesting, and somewhat obvious at the same time. What American
anthroposophists tend to do is to take in the teachings of Rudolf Steiner in
such a way that makes them quite comfortable. We can take these ideas
into us and make a kind of very comfortable world view out of them.
For example, we may see various kinds of aspects of modern social life
that will evoke in us a kind of horror. We see these terrible things, and
then we explain them away by seeing that these horrors arise because of
the work of the opponents. We have explained that which we have
observed away and actually not made much contact with it at all. Now not
everyone does this. Some, who are of the Mary Folk (see the essay above:
The Natural Transformation of the Anthroposophical Society in America),
react more strongly, are more disturbed in their feeling life and find they
have to enter into the wider social world process more directly. But for
many others, they have this explanation using the opponents-idea, and this
makes them comfortable.
A similar kind of thing happens when anthroposophists look at our Society
and Movement. Here the gesture for comforting thoughts is more
powerful. All our media are full of happy talk about the Society and the
leadership of the various Councils in America and about Dornach, as if
everything was wonderful, and there were no problems at all. So our
thinking experiences our own social life and makes these very comfortable
inner pictures. Yes, we say to ourselves, nobody is perfect, but at the
same time everything is just fine. We are well led and nurtured from our
institutional leadership. They give us all the right guidance (when of
course they should give us no guidance at all, for that harms us).
Of course, one has to fail to notice there is no growth in the Society - the
number of new members more or less equals the number who drop away
out of disinterest, and few young people are drawn into the work. We
have less membership today than we did five years ago. We have to fail to
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notice that Waldorf in America is falling apart socially (the schools are
full of social problems), or that Anthroposophical Medicine is held
entirely at bay - no growth at all in America.
Those who criticize, as this quote from Emily Dickenson reveals - "Assent,
and you are sane; Demure; - you're straightway dangerous and handled
with a chain", are ignored, their thinking put in the chains of don't listen to
him, he is dangerous. Don't bring us bad news says the comforting voice
of the ahrimanic double, we don't want to be troubled by the prospect of
any kind of failings.
That is just one part of it, for the other is the luciferic influence. We have
this very dreamy relationship to what Steiner taught. We follow it like
some kind of old favorite story-book play of which we never get tired.
Our Society walks backwards into the future, and has yet to even get on
the ground in America. Among the most recent major sponsored
conference events here (in the year 2007) were remembrances of
something Steiner did a hundred years ago (the Arts Conference), and
what the Templers did 800 years ago. We are trapped in a cul de sac of
spirit recollection, a very luciferically fascinating study of everything
Steiner every did and said. But the spiritual present, what the spirit wants
to show us today, to that we don't yet know how to listen. We can't hear
this inwardly because we have woven around ourselves this world of rigid
(old) comfort that is disconnected from any thought that might make us
wake up in the present and really begin to take responsibility for the
spiritual future.
We also have lost to the present a great deal of what was healthy and done
in the past - in the 20th Century, by anthroposophists other than Steiner.
Over and over again Steiner's books are republished, while the books of
genius by others, who where inspired by Steiner, are allowed to go
completely out of print. How often does a Study Group take up one of
those books, instead of something by Steiner?
Most anthroposophists actually don't know how to experience the world
directly into our thoughts. Instead we dip into memory - what did Steiner
say we ask ourselves. I had a very brief discussion this last summer
(2007) with a leading anthroposophical doctor about the double (I
mentioned this above in the essay on the Shadow). He said to my face that
I couldn't say anything about the double until I had read and mastered
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everything Steiner said about it. It didn't seem to occur to him that
someone was sitting across the table from him who had spent ten years
working on this question of the shadow and who had a rich inner life full
of experiences. He believed everyone he met in Anthroposophy thought
like he did, and had to rely on Steiner. What an easy way to dismiss
another, by comparing them to a dead authors words from 100 years ago
as if the spirit spoke only once to only one man and never had anything
original or true to say to any other human being.
Of course, for me to speak to an anthroposophical doctor about the double
was challenging to him, albeit probably unconsciously. Steiner had
pointed clearly at the double and its relationship to health (see Geographic
Medicine), and if one asks anthroposophical doctors about this subject, we
find that, in all of the 80 or 90 years since Steiner and Wegman began this
work, no new knowledge about the double and illness has susequently
come forward. There are just some hints, but no research. Moreover, the
double is hardly spoken of at all in the medical literature out of
anthroposophy.
Now what's the point here. Well, if we read Steiner (and there are a lot of
reasons to read Steiner for inspiration) we will come upon the idea in his
writings on Lucifer and Ahriman, that the cure for the luciferic is the
ahrimanic, and that the cure for the ahrimanic is the luciferic. This idea is
then what stands behind this essay on sex, and which is almost the end of
the main text of my book on American Anthroposophy, because we here
are on our way now to coming nearer the earth.
In order to overcome the unground luciferic tendencies in the Society here
(the walking backwards into the future in this dreamy way - too much
spirit recollection), we take up in the social the encounter with the sensual.
We begin to meet each other in the social as beings who have lower, sense
oriented (pleasure and pain) chakras, not just higher (dreaming luciferic)
chakras. We have appetites. We celebrate the life of desire by seeing its
oh so very human qualities and their necessity (what Steiner called the
train engine, and the Sufi's the horse). We make the journey down the
vertical axis into the Realm of the Dark (the Realm ruled by the Divine
Feminine by the way). We think together about what it means to be
beings of desire and appetite. When is the last time, for example, that an
anthroposophical group in America had a backyard barbecue or a cocktail
party - that is something typically American as a social gathering. Too
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much of our social life is ruled by ungrounded idealistic European
assumptions that are never questioned.
To cure the ahrimanic, the world of rigid (old) comforting thoughts we
have woven around our conceptions of our work as if it was all right and
everything was perfect, we have to consciously dream (imaginatively seek
spirit vision). We have to embrace luciferically imaginative pictures of
what we could be if we were truthful about our real state of being as a
Society. We seek visions of the future from a point of view that is honest
about the present. How do people think the future arises? It comes from
the dreamers, the ones who trouble themselves to be discontented (not
comforted) with the present. We have to be first discontented with the
Society, in order to properly dream its betterment.
I am, by the way, not advocating lecture courses at Branch meetings where
the learned hold forth on their views of sexuality, or other aspects of the
lower chakras. This would not be a healthy social environment - it would
be too formal. Much better would be small groups, such as a study group,
gathering together in a social way - over food and in a relaxed atmosphere.
We want to avoid too much gravitas.
Imagine as follows: the study text has been set aside (our usually weekly
diet of anthroposophical thought), and once a month we are just social. At
the same time our conversation takes a more intimate and earthly turn.
Everyone can share stories from life here, and as you'll see next below
there are principles from the Twelve Steps that can be fruitful.
We can, of course, remind ourselves of the very first questions of Steiner's
The Philosophy of Spiritual Activity (or Freedom). Can I want what I
want? Am I the prisoner of my desires, or can I be free before them?
Can the higher chakra's rule the passions of the lower chakra's, without
disabling the real and necessary functions of appetite and desire? Can my
conscious spiritual activity, in seeking to place in front of any action a self
determined moral reason (a sacrament of the Second Eucharist in the
temple of my own soul), grant me that ideal state of true human inner
freedom toward which Rudolf Steiner's every deed pointed?
men and women as sensual beings

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The next material is offered as inspiration and stimulation for
conversation, not to set out great truths to which one must bow down. All
of this material can be found repeated in different degrees in my little
book: Seven Dates - erotica transcending. That book represents an
attempt at the art of erotica, yet at the same time informing it with what
wisdom about love I have been able to acquire in my life. Below I will
just cover certain basic principles in a somewhat linear fashion, as are
expressed more fully in Seven Dates, and surrounded there by an
imaginative story. You could, if you want, think of Seven Dates as my
version of a mystery play, only this time it is about the mysteries of Eros,
that which in the human being is of the dark moist earth, and the life of
passion, mutual sensual and erotic intoxication, and submission.
Starting with the obvious: men and women are different. The individual
spirit that inhabits the male and female bodily forms is even more different
- uniquely individual in fact. However, the spirit is influenced by the
body, and of course by culture and upbringing. As a consequence there
are patterns which we share that can and ought to be called: general
characteristics (what Steiner in The Philosophy of Freedom called genus).
Steiner spoke often of these matters from different perspectives, and in the
book: Sexuality, Partnership and Marriage, by the Christian Community
priest Wolfgang Gadeke, Gadeke describes the male as attracted to the
female by his physiology (an impulse originating in the gonads
apparently) and the woman attracted to the male by her recognition of
something in his soul. The male is drawn to the physical and the woman
is drawn to the soulful (to put it in perhaps a too simple way). Yet,
Gadeke seems to suggest that this attraction is mostly semiconscious.
My experience confirms this observation, to a degree (the differences in
our points of view are significant, however).
For example, introspection often reveals things others have not yet
understood. While beauty is in the eye of the beholder (which Steiner
referred to above when he talked about the mental picture we have of the
spirit of the other), there is to my self-observation a sense related
experience common to men, and which is rooted in the aesthetic of the
female form. Steiner has given us to understand that the male form is
more incarnate and the female form less so. To my experience, the shape
and curves of the female are akin in their expression to that art and craft of
the Divine Mystery as expressed in the beauty of Nature. That this is a
common experience of men is stamped all over our culture of Fallen Eros,
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which culture is itself dominated by men. A whole book could be written
about pornography for example, which earlier ages just considered erotic
art of a high order (it seems to some recent analysts that the Victorians
created the idea of pornography, and that in many cultures there is no
shame at all attached to the creation or experience of erotic art). To me
the instinctive drivers of the attraction of the male to the female (in the
sense of genus, disregarding for the moment individuality) are far more
complicated than Gadeke's observations. The reader should understand
here that I haven't said even a part of all that could be said.
Gadeke does point out that sexual gratification for gratifications sake is
ultimately fruitless (Tomberg's notion of the sterile nature of pleasure).
People can become lost in what Steiner describes as animality (meaning,
as I have suggested, that which we share with the kingdom of nature just
below us, in that we have carnal bodies).
At the same time, social reality is far more complicated in fact, and we
have to be very careful about our generalizations. For example, last
evening (of the morning I first wrote these paragraphs) I watched an HBO
special on the pornography industry of Southern California (11,000 full
and part time sex workers, billions of dollars in income). The women sex
workers (not all are as exploited as critics of this industry like to imagine)
described that the main danger to their careers (incomes of $8,000 to
$10,000 a month were normal) was falling in love. Once you fell in love,
the ability to engage in the art of sexual expression before a camera,
became a moral problem. Those exact words were used: moral problem.
Here, of course, is again a consciousness soul phenomena in the individual
biographies of people working in an industry that folks with too much
beam in their eyes look down upon.
Anyway, to return to men and women as sexual beings, keeping in mind
the danger of over-generalizing...
In the Age of the Consciousness Soul, in America, there is a general
instinct for seeking the good, for acting out of ones personal moral
compass. While there is everywhere the stimulation of Fallen Eros, there
is also the return of UnFallen Eros - mostly in the form of a renewed
interest in romance. The woman, having an instinct and a hunger for a
soul to soul and spirit to spirit relationship, wants men to be sensitive to
their needs. A man who approaches a potential lover today, solely for his
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own gratification, will only be received by a similarly imbalanced female
nature. A great deal of this is also connected, no doubt, to karma.
Our language talks of what are called: chick flicks - movies where one is
stimulated to feelings of sympathy, and in which the male/female dynamic
is one of dreamy hope and passionate completion. If we step back from
this, and similar cultural phenomena, we might be able to see that, in spite
of the sexual revolution, much remains semiconscious. We grope toward
something higher, having a sense of it, but can't quite find our way. What
is this higher?
Eros!
Yet, Eros is a partnership - the man bears within himself one aspect of this
Mystery, and the woman another. They can only find its deepest truths
together, and that only in the selfless adoration of the other - the Thou.
My little book, Seven Dates - erotic transcending, could be a help to
couples who read it to each other. Not as something to imitate, but as
something to stimulate and inspire their thinking. Here are a few of its
basic thoughts, although they are here expressed in isolation (in a linear
fashion absent a needed imaginative context).
Men don't understand their own sexuality, for Western Civilization and
culture is full of bad information. Women don't understand themselves
either. What they don't understand is not the same thing, however. The
general characteristics of misunderstanding are different, yet related.
From Native Americans we might find the idea of dominion and
surrender. While this is a Saturn Mystery - a spirit recollection of a prior
time when individuality was less important and the group soul more
normal, this idea is still useful to contemplate for the questions it raises are
significant. In this idea in the marriage, the woman gives the man
dominion over her body, and surrenders to his expression of passion and
erotic intoxication. He's the active principle, she the receptive. They are
in a way the archetypes of the Father Creator and the Mother Creator. He
is the spreader of seed from above, and she the dark earth into which the
seed is received and then nurtured. Father Sky and Mother Earth.
There is a reason I make a distinction between the sensual and the erotic.
The man is more drawn to the sensual in a certain respect, and the woman
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to the erotic. The male lives strongly in his earthly senses, while the
female lives strongly in her emotional experiences. The senses give us
sensuality, and the emotions eroticism.
Again, keep in mind that this is a generalization, and that each partner in
love making bears something of the needs and wants of the other in the
deepest aspects of their individual being. A woman, properly loved
emotionally, experiences and feels her sensuality all the more strongly,
while the man properly loved sensually can experience his feelings more
deeply. What Seven Dates goes into is that idea that woman tend not to
understand very well how to be good lovers to men, to the same degree
that men do not understand how to be good lovers to women. The film
Don Juan Demarco is a wonderful examination of how a man can be a
lover of a woman, yet our culture lacks a corresponding expression of how
a woman can be a good lover of a man, taking hold of his real sensuality
and so strongly giving him what he hungers for there, that his feelings,
carried on the winds of her erotic passions, open him up emotionally in
ways he never knew possible.
Women need to stop thinking that men should be like them. The main
male character in Seven Dates teaches the woman about his own nature,
which instruction invites her to instruct him as well. It took me ten years
to begin to unravel my own confusion as a man (a process that is always
ongoing), due to the bad (immature) information in my culture (a project
that was inspired in me by a meeting with a Native American woman).
In order to appreciate these matters it is useful now to add some
vocabulary. Here I am going to borrow from other sources. First, from
Catherine MacCoun's remarkable On Becoming an Alchemist, we can
find the idea that one way to view spirit is as energy, but that to appreciate
its individualized nature we need to add the idea of style. Steiner spoke of
energy in this sense as enthusiasm, and MacCoun has added the idea of the
individual expression of this energy of spiritual enthusiasm as being
reflected in style. Each of us has our own unique style of being, from the
way we dress and walk and speak, to the art of our biographies and on into
the finest details of our lives. This will include our sensual and erotic
expressions.
Consider Tomberg's Meditations on the Tarot - a journey into Christian
Hermeticism, in the discussion in Arcanum Eleven: Force. Here Tomberg
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introduces two ideas (not particular his own words, but certainly he has
unfolded the surrounding explanations in a quite original style): Bios and
Zoe. Bios we might see (in the context of our human sexuality) as the
electrical chemistry of sexual attraction or those arts connected to getting
turned on, for the man mostly in the physical plane and for the woman
mostly in the soul/spiritual plane. Zoe is (in the erotic realm) the
emotional merging and bonding made possible by the process we call:
getting to know each other. Now both Zoe and Bios are far more
complicated and actually penetrate all of existence (see Tomberg's
discussion for details, it is very enlightening), but here I just wanted to
apply the general idea to the subject of our discussion.
The male carries more the mystery of Bios, of the electrical chemistry of
attraction in his hunger for dominion, which is expressed in his seeking
out the woman in an active way, and in his effort to turn her on. The
female carries more the mystery of Zoe, of the emotional merging and
bonding, which she expresses in surrender and receptivity, but also by
erecting the rite of passage of getting to know each other.
The secret for both (in a situation that is not animalistic - i.e. where the
raw sexual hunger is ruled from out of the human I) is the: getting to know
each other. The female will make an error if she assumes that what the
man wants is for her to get to know him in the same way that she wants to
be known; and, the male will make an error if he assumes that what the
woman wants is for him to get to know her in the same way he wants to be
known. The male wants his efforts to turn on his partner to be met by her
efforts to turn him on, all leading to physical intimacy. While the female
wants to have her interest in being known intimately emotionally to be met
by an equal interest in sharing from the side of her partner (she wants him
to express his feelings too*).
*[See, for example, the climactic emotional scenes in the movie As Good
As It Gets, starring Helen Hunt and Jack Nickelson. What ultimately
melts her resistance - the rite of passage - is his finally expressing and
confessing what she means to him.]
The solution to this dilemma, in practice, is found in (what for some is a
very odd place) the Fifth step of the Twelve Steps of AA, which reads: "5.
Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact
nature of our wrongs." [emphasis added]
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This practice of mutual confession, inspired by the Second Coming of
Christ in conjunction with the gradual re-emergence of the Feminine
Mysteries (as noted in the essay on the Shadow, the Steps begin with the
creation of a profound mood of surrender, then go on to a journey through
their social heart - which is community confession ["hello, my name is
Joel, and I am an addict"] - thence to their fruit, which is service), takes
away from the excesses of Roman Catholicism a quite profound human
spiritual art. No longer is an ordained priest, ruled from above by a
hierarchical social structure, to be seen as the only place in which
confession and absolution (divine forgiveness) can arise.
In my book the Way of the Fool, I described the potential social future as
having the individual home as a Temple of Love, in which the bedroom is
a Temple of Eros. In the Temple of Eros, this place of profound physical
and social intimacy, the core practice can be mutual confession. We share
the deepest places inside ourselves with each other through confession,
and receive from each other this gift: listening without judgment. If we do
this while recognizing the presence of the Third, of Christ, then the basis
for forgiveness is ours.
We also prepare the ground for this in our anthroposophical socialcommunity practices, which rooted in the ideal of the social motto* also
lead us right into the Reverse Cultus. What is a first principle of the
Reverse Cultus, as elaborated by Steiner in Lecture Six of Awakening to
Community? The sharing of each to the other of our heartfelt concerns of
the moment.
*[The healthy social life is found when in the mirror of each individual
soul the community finds itself reflected, and when in the community the
virtue of each one is living.]
Now not all our most intimate secrets are or ought to be the subject of
community knowledge, but at the same time all of us need at least one
place where we can have moments of some degree of deepest mutual
confession and to be received into the arms of one offering us, at the least,
nurturing love. Who can really deeply confess, and not sometimes need to
be held.

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And, if we idealistically (and falsely) confine this gesture in the Temple of
Eros only to the marriage bed, we create great psychological harm. Not
all of us are to be so lucky as to find just that one person with whom to
form a partnership leading to marriage. For the rest, there is no reason to
assume we have to be denied that physical and spiritual intimacy our true
soul health needs. Thus, the somewhat tongue-in-cheek part of the subtitle
to this essay: Sex and the Single Anthroposophist.
Years ago, a friend of deep instinctive spiritual life, spoke to me of the
movement from more ordinary social relations to one of deepening
emotional and physical intimacy as a rite of passage (as noted above).
This concept is, I believe, crucial. There is little possibility of renewing
this art - of redeeming Eros - without some shared intimate discussion
among friends in a social setting. For men and women, who are also
anthroposophists, to gather and share with each other their thoughts and
feelings about this rite of passage, inside and outside of marriage, can
become a very profound socially creative deed. A larger community (such
as a Branch), in which there are a number of little gatherings engaged in
seeking such human understanding, will soon see, in its wider social
relations, the presence of a vivifying life, born out of both Bios and Zoe as
these become the natural and conscious expression of the individual
human beings of which that community is formed.
That the male tends to be naturally more gifted with Bios energies, and the
female tends to be naturally more gifted with Zoe energies, simply means
that the order and organism of social existence, as Created, reflects also
the higher order Cosmic relationships within the Divine Mystery.
It might be useful, to make this all a bit more concrete, to conceive of it
this way. When two individuals find themselves at the cusp of both
wanting deeper intimacy, there are three paths (see my Seven Dates). The
starting point is to be awake in the moment, and to share what is wanted
and desired. To hold the passion at bay for a moment and make sure that
which path taken is one that is mutually agreed upon.
The path of Bios alone is the path of mutually turning each other on
(intentionally moving forward on the chemistry of the attraction). The
path of Zoe alone is the path of deeper mutual confession. In Bios, for
example, we are physically touching and undressing - getting rid of any
physical barriers to intimate physical contact. In Zoe, to continue the
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example, we are touching and caressing with words, perhaps even lying
down fully clothed and talking to each other, but with a physical gap, all in
order to pass through the normal psychological barriers to intimate
emotional contact.
The middle way lies in awake conversation, and moving from one to the
other. Some Bios and some Zoe, with the conversation mediating in
between.
What is crucial is that each partner recognize in the other - the Thou - the
fact that the dominant need is other. Just as one is male and one is female,
the drive for intimacy is also polar, different yet mutually bonded - one a
key, its urge to penetrate obvious; the other the lock, its secrets hidden and
needing to be coaxed cautiously and carefully into revealing its inward
depths. Neither alone is complete. Both together are a miracle.
Welcome, dear friends, to the upward and downward gestures of the
vertical axis of the Cross, the dark moist Earth, Fallen Eros and the Realm
of the Shadow, all to be healed by the Zoe of the Feminine Mysteries of
the future through spiritualized conversation (The Redemption of Eros), in
collaboration with the Second Coming of Christ, the Second Eucharist in
the Ethereal and the dawning of American Anthroposophy.
"I reason, earth is short,
And anguish absolute,
And many hurt;
But what of that?
"I reason, we could die:
The best vitality
Cannot excel decay;
But what of that?
"I reason that in heaven
Somehow, it will be even,
Some new equation given;
But what of that?"
So writes Emily Dickinson,
but what of that? What indeed.
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********************************
The America Soul an evolving synthesis at its moment of birth:
- much has been written above here is a small effort at a summary, with a few
additional insights offered as a concluding theme
An interesting point to note at the start here is to consider that the
American Soul is a work in progress - it appears not to be finished in any
way similar to other soul gestures in the world. The processes that are
forming this soul have barely begun, would be one way to look at it. To
think carefully about this, however, requires that we think first about the
soul itself, how it arises, and in what way can it be observed. We also
have to reflect on the term "folk soul", something Steiner mentions.
While I have referenced a few of Steiner's indications throughout the text,
my main effort has been to remain phenomenological: that is, to discover
the characteristics, and past and future nature, of the American Soul
indirectly though the observation of various social phenomena. If I
succeeded in this endeavor, the reader should expect to have a lot of good
questions, but only a few definite answers. This will hopefully leave to
the reader the task of forming their own conclusions, or perhaps even
better, their own questions.
*
First, let us recall some aspects of the themes as laid out above.
Steiner expected America to have its own, yet similar, version of
Anthroposophy, which he characterized as initially wooden (plant like and
dreaming), but nonetheless natural and instinctive. He also expected
Ahriman to incarnate prior to the 21st Century, and that he should be
discovered and named. This then is where this book began, with the
questions as to what would this American Anthroposophy be like, and how
that might be influenced by the Challenge of Ahriman's incarnation.
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Steiner also thought that the counter-force to the too earthly aspects of the
physical organism of Americans would be from the head, and in the form
of knowledge of what he called: the Mystery of Golgatha - a Mystery that
is always ongoing. This we took up in learning of the Second Eucharist in
the Ethereal - the inward baptism of human beings by Christ through holy
breath (the Holy Spirit - the Mystery of the Three in One) and fire, where
out of our freedom we come to knowledge of the Good.
But the problem of freedom is not simple, so next we took up the question
of method, of how we create the metamorphosis of thinking called for by
Steiner in his books: A Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World
Conception, and The Philosophy of Freedom (or Spiritual Activity).
Here we discovered that Americans have a natural and instinctive affinity
for the stream of Discipleship - the stream of the Shepherds, and are less
drawn to the stream of Rosicrucianism and Alchemy - the stream of the
Kings. We are drawn into the social world as social helpers, and this call
for moral deeds in the world reflects deeply on the nature of our souls.
We deepened this understanding of moral inner work by learning to apply
the new thinking to the general social conditions of humanity, not just in
the specifics our our individual relationships. This methodology of a new
- cognitively spiritual - social science then enabled us to take a profound
look at the institutional expressions of our mutual work, and at the Martha
and Mary impulses to be found there. But this was not enough, so as a last
open secret of our understanding of The Mystery of Golgatha in practice,
we took a look at that most intimate aspect of our soul life: the Shadow which work begins with the problem of the mote and the beam.
Now we had the tools with which to counter the Challenge of Ahriman's
Incarnation.
It then became our task to deepen our appreciation of the Mystery of
America itself. First by recognizing with spirit mindfulness the
remarkable spiritual creativeness of our youthful culture in the work of
four contemporary living artists.
Second, we then went down into the roots through deep spirit recollection,
to discover not only a previously unrecognized relationship to the First
Nations Peoples here, but also how, via the joining of Steiner's research
and the Hopi Prophecy, we can create a picture of the extraordinary task
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this Mystery of America faces - the trials of creating true brother and
sisterhood, not in an idealistic way, but down in the crucible of life, in
issues of race, of immigration, and ultimately across the fundamental
differences between men and women.
Along the way, we looked briefly at the threefold soul nature of the social
world, at positive and negative aspects of East, Center and West. We also
tried, through spirit vision, to get a glimpse of the future Mysteries,
particularly the New Mysteries of the Earth and their relationship to
America.
All of this was woven together, as much as possible, in a way that made
these themes companionable with Steiner's fundamental legacy and work.
American Anthroposophy ought to complement all that Steiner did, which
we have inherited, and for which we are now the stewards (The
Philosophy of Freedom, i.e. the New Thinking-Cognition; the Reverse
Cultus, i.e. the New Mysteries of Community; and, through these two
means we discover how to restore the missing Life forces of Christ to the
Michaelic Cosmic Intelligence which needs to flow through all the
Daughter Movements born so far in Anthroposophy).
What then is the American Soul?
*
The Soul arises as a mediating principle in between unique conditions of
the Earth, and the Immortal Spirit or i-AM, on its path to earthly
incarnation. In the ancient traditions of the East, for example, only the
undifferentiated Ocean of Spirit is thought to be real, while all astrality, all
ethereal forces, and all earth existence and karma are but illusions. In the
true West, however, matters are far different - in fact, as might be
expected, completely opposite or polar to that of the East.
In the true West, where there is a remarkable natural talent for
Cosmogony, the so-called world of Maya is/can be known here to be the
Creation, the product of the sacrifices of the Son, in which He has
embodied Himself - in which He has come to rest in living equilibrium.
Thus has arisen the profound Mystery of the Christ as the organizing
principle which Goethe discovered Speaks in Nature, and which we are
learning to realize also Speaks in the Social World. The Word is made
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Manifest in such a way that our imaginative faculty can learn to
hear/perceive all the Creation as symbol - as the Logos Speaking in
images, what one science writer (David Bohm) called implicate order.
This manifestation is not only outside and surrounding us, but more
crucially is to be found inside us, for thought also is of the Creation. We
too are the Word made Manifest. The Kingdom of Heaven is within, and
in all that can be discovered there inside us, through scientific
introspection, we will also experience the Logos Speaking. No one comes
to the Father except by me, and so as we learn to experience the Good, the
Holy Breath of Christ within, we begin the journey through the Narrow
Gate to the core of the Divine Mystery Itself.
In the prologue to the John Gospel, it is there written: And in the darkness
the light is shining, and the darkness never got hold of it. This is our
condition today. Where once (out of spirit recollection, via Steiner's
research, we have come to understand that) the inner world was light
filled, and the outer world dim, the condition today has evolved into its
polar opposite. The outer world is now light filled, and the inner world is
dark. We even assume, because of this, that the inner world is less
important, so fascinated have we needed to become with the world of the
senses.
Thus the basis of our freedom, for the Fall has brought us to a very special
state of consciousness. Coming to Earth has turned us inside out, as it
were, enveloped us in a world of physical sense experience just so that we
would feel ourselves to be lost to the gods. If we turn around inside
ourselves and away from the sense world, when we struggle to birth the
scientific introspection of our own inward gateway to the spirit, all that we
experience there is dark - or so it seems.
Without our own activity in the mind - in the soul, via our spirit - there is
no sound, no light, no being, no meaning. The Christ Impulse, the Word
within the i-AM, in thinking brings this missing light. We bring this
missing light. All introspection, all looking within, shines light where first
there was darkness. We are that light - our will is that light. Even in
ordinary discursive thinking, the inner speaking which our naive
consciousness knows as first stage thinking, is a sounding in the darkness
within.
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For example, if we sit quietly in meditation, simply observing the flow of
mental images that pass before our concentrated attention and intention,
there will be a rising and falling away of pictures we do not create, but
only observe. Yet, from what mystery comes the light by which these are
seen by the inner eye of the spirit? Our own I is the source of that light.
By our attention and intention in the inner world we created the light that
is there, and which illuminates the mental picture.
Materialism - that is the Ahrimanic Deception - causes us to believe that
this inner nature - our Soul - is bound to the brain, confined to the head,
and cut off from the life and light filled world of outer and inner nature, as
a subject never to know the truth of its object. The sense world enchants
us, and we are fascinated with all its pain and pleasures.
Yet, in The Philosophy of Freedom (or Spiritual Activity), Steiner
provides a map to the narrow gateway to heaven within. Wake up here, he
sings. Look within, scientifically. Objectively. Shine the light of Reason,
the own Logos Nature - the own Word - in that darkness the Ahrimanic
Deception would have us believe is a dead end.
Sense Free Thinking. Pure Thinking. By these disciplines we then know
out of our own willed action (Emerson's active soul): And in the darkness
the light is shining, and the darkness never got hold of it.
Soul of Man!
*
Races and civilizations come to die in America because America is the
womb of Philadelphia - of the ultimate brother and sisterhood of all human
beings. There is no American Soul in the same way there has been a
French Soul or a Russian Soul or a Chinese Soul. The American Soul is
basically a void, unformed uncreated chaos waiting that form to be given
to it not by beings of the hierarchies of Folk Souls, but by the own i-AM
itself.
What the world experiences of the American Soul is the latent force of the
unformed, the uncreated - of individuality unleashed. The American is
perceived as different because he is not like that which perceives him.
The French do not recognize themselves here, nor the Germans, although
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many would like to do just that. It would be far more comfortable for
many to see in the American a mirror of what they believe to be their own
highest natures. The unformed can be made to do that, precisely because
it is unformed. In a like fashion many will see in us that which they most
despise, even in their own souls.
At the same time the unformed is receptive. It amalgamates that which
seeks to impress itself upon it. Thus, we so easily take in European
Anthroposophy and imitate it. We hunger for spirit, and sensing the high
idealism there we pull it in - water for a dry sponge. It is our youth that
does this, the same way the child imitates its parents and then its teachers.
Ultimately however, this is not enough, for precisely because we are
essentially unformed (no real folk soul characteristics in the Americas in
the same sense as the rest of the world - races and civilizations die in
America), we now bear within our individuality a special capacity with
respect to the Christ Impulse. We would will the Good, out of our own I.
*
the temple within...
Waking up to the Narrow Gate, and the truth of our own spirit activity
within, we come upon a temple, half built, with dusty cobwebbed corners,
many windows empty of art and color, and locked boxes of thoughts,
feelings, impulses of will - all contained by the prison-like nature of our
previous unconscious and sub-conscious states of soul.
Yet, wherever our heart has touched this temple, there the dross is made
into gold. In this temple we seek the Good, and on the altar of our heartfelt thoughts born naturally and instinctively in the Sacrament of the
Second Eucharist in the Ethereal, we know/are/create the Good and then
manifest it in the Creation, both outwardly and inwardly. Out of us flows
the Good into the shared Social World, the shared womb of evolution for
all of the billions of i-AMs. Where we love, we add our love to that of
Christ. We take up along side and with Him Christ's kind and light yoke
of Love (Matthew 11: 28-30).
Yes, this is not easy. It is a Path full of dangers and sidetracks and pitfalls.
We can be too serious (an excess of gravitas), and/or too ungrounded (not
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concrete enough in our thinking). The Soul moves from one excess
through the heart center and then to the next excess, for we must never
forget just how human we are. Even Prokofieff has this right: "None of us
are perfect."
All the same, the American Soul has something unique to offer, something
in the Art of the Social, the Royal Art. To find this we must clean up the
temple, open some of the locked boxes, and let in the fresh air of our own
thinking. We can also find a great deal of important inspiration in other
places than just the books of Rudolf Steiner...
The Shakers, an ecstatic Quaker community, had this as a song, from their
American Elder Joseph Brackett in 1848:
Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
to bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
which tune was used by the English Quaker poet Sydney Bertram Carter,
to write his The Lord of the Dance in 1963:
I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the Moon & the Stars & the Sun
I came down from Heaven & I danced on Earth
At Bethlehem I had my birth:
Dance then, wherever you may be
I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!
And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be
And I'll lead you all in the Dance, said He!
(...lead you all in the Dance, said He!)
I danced for the scribe & the pharisee
But they would not dance & they wouldn't follow me
I danced for fishermen, for James & John
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They came with me & the Dance went on:
I danced on the Sabbath & I cured the lame
The holy people said it was a shame!
They whipped & they stripped & they hung me high
And they left me there on a cross to die!
I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black
It's hard to dance with the devil on your back
They buried my body & they thought I'd gone
But I am the Dance & I still go on!
They cut me down and I leapt up high
I am the Life that'll never, never die!
I'll live in you if you'll live in Me I am the Lord of the Dance*, said He!
*[Or, as Steiner (and I) would like to put it, not having quite the same
poetic inspiration as Carter: Christ is Lord (artist) of Karma]
Last here, a more modern American (and unique voice): Harvey
Bornfield*
*[Harvey was born into this veil of tears Friday May 4th, 1945, called
back to the Source, Sunday January 8th, 2006, passing unnoticed by the
world which had no place for him, except in the smallest of ways among
family and friends. Here is what I wrote in my collection of his
prose/poems from many years of e-mail discussion groups, to be called:
Silent Passage:
" - imagine what might happen if the Sufi poet-mystic Rumi, and the deaf
composer Beethoven, decided to write together (as dance partners) some
seeming prose as an organic (spontaneously alive and evolving) sequence
of jazz riffs -"
Harvey's works are best felt in the heart when read aloud, with occasional
trills of passion. The collection Silent Passage should be available on my
website for free, and in book form on lulu.com for cost, at the end of
Summer, 2008.]
RONDO
310

Name is but clothing, Thought’s the weaver
and I but Footprint, a moment of snow
Let the River write the book, make us her sailors
She our voice, We her words
so upon her ways shall we widen, join tide,
and singing, soar like flame.
All these are stairs, thinks he,
Upon such rungs are fairy tales spun
the same that ancestor the nations,
and straightaway the Nomad set sail upon a Swerve of Wave
and was silver–seated atop crown and swell of diamond crests.
Spearless, robed in white and swim of winter verse
He descended into the roar of the world
Fire, Air, Earth, Water
welcomed him to this Theater of Chameleons
dressed him in reach of Sun and swelling Wind,
in Floor of Rock and Sprawling Sea
He donned the glove of the elements
Chaste of Presence, dare not even hover
Even silence was louder, grass loftier than he
for he had no flowering song
no floating dream, no piercing deed
to bestow upon the planets.
And when he had made such stairs his food
was made chameleon,
diverse with fractures, quilted in shadow
he thinks, Song is but travel, man her flute
and I but mirror, a moment of sun
Thus downstream he wove a tale
And it was as bedrock,
undetected, the same on which worlds glide ropeless round
The Owl ushered him into glowing night
loaned him his talons, his Branches of the Dark
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the Dove, Her Kingdom of Breathless Poem
Inlaid like the rungs of a ladder
between molten core and icy rim was he.
Fire, Air, Earth, Water orphaned him in camouflage of seasons
made him volatile, delivered him into a cradle of war
Along the way he met the Carver of Rivers
Saw her pouring strands of hair
Sweep down from crisp perch to swallowing valley
Like a caress of unoutspoken waterfall
downstream stretches forth, stretches out her lute strings,
offering her crystal braids to the thumbs and fingers of the wind.
Hears her tremble, hears her whisper in some unpaved dialect
“Now the Father of Ballads, the Author of Chords may strum me!”
for Name is but Mask, Thought’s the Jailer,
and I, your Locksmith, a Century of Sand.
Downstream of Sky, somewhere between dust and flight he dwelled,
and at long last, sailed into salt sorrow
for along the way he chanced to meet the Mother of Mysteries
Named her the sea, for mermaid–green she was
spacious and unrelenting, large of mercy, cruel of justice
Saw her ferocious claws of tide
ribbon the cliffs in chains of bursting tears,
while all the while she kneeled like a psalm,
for he was Uncrowned, Hollow of Presence,
Even Mirror was more announced than he.
for he had no flawless Dream, no Flaming Deed
to leave behind where worlds glide ropeless round.
Into broad lanes of sea he was wove,
held fast as a star in a cave
and lived in the caress of a sword
The Dolphins clothed him in crevasses
outfitted him in the husks of the world,
obscured him in an alphabet of atoms,
For Name is but tread, life’s the whirlwind,
and He the dancer, a shadow of the Sun
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Till, when he drowned and was as jewel kissed,
summoned into raging dark
unmentioned, unknown even to Fable,
sunk to a place none could find him,
saying ‘Now no longer shall I be orphan, be island
Then Mother of Mystery sings to him,
Her showers steal away his Shadows,
Then she choreographs him in leap, Knights him a River
and doubtless outposts him at the far corner of a distant rim
in a Morning Kingdom
Where I believe on the spine of a diamond’s eye
he spins well–woven songs, rising dreams, and searing deeds
For life is but street, thrilled by a star
and I am but cirrus, a moment of Swan.
Harvey Bornfield, Keams Canyon, Arizona, December 11, 1994
****************************************
"Are we having fun yet?"
the American cartoonist Bill Griffith's character
Zippy the Pinhead, expressing the core riddle of the Zeitgeist
****************************************
end stories
1) America: the Central Motif;
2) Bicycles: a Children's Christmas Story for Adults;
and the poem:
3) the Gift of the Word
first
America: the Central Motif (by Patrick Dixon)*
*reprinted with permission and with
a great deal of gratitude that this exists...
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1.
It could be said that the American Dream has lived within and
accompanies the generalized westward motion of those civilizations that
are collectively known as the Post Atlantean Epoch, comprising seven
cultural ages (from 7227 BC 7894 AD)
The impulses for the Post-Atlantean (Aryan) Root Race were taken east;
and from a region in the Himalayas the sowing of the seeds of those
cultures that would begin their long westwarding sun-following journey
was brought about by the Seven Rishis; who were the bearers of the seven
Higher senses, as I’lands that would descend upon an arising humanity in
the future.
The five Islands sunk as the five senses became immersed in the physical
plane and the human being began to rise above the sea of pre-individual
clairvoyance; to see the Promised land of ego-based consciousness. This
condensation of and separation between the watery and aerial mantles of
the Earth (this fall of the sea out of the sky) paralleled the fall of the
Etheric body of the human being, into closer proximity with the densifying
physical body that was rising into differentiation as the less defined etheric
body was sinking. This division between the water and air elements
reverberated deeper and higher, both densifying the earth as a receptacle
for the more gravity-bound water and dividing further the sub- and superterrestrial fires. Levels that were clearly defined to higher beings then
began to form into the Jacob's ladder that would be experiencable to
beings bound to a sense world losing consciousness of its supersensible
origins.
The great sequence of civilizations that unfolded as the Post Atlantean
moved generally in a westward direction, focusing and converging
towards the Incarnation in the Middle East. The voyaging of the Sun
against the eastward turning motion of the Earth's material body was a
reflected image of the Solar Logos as it moved across the Earth, both
entering more and more deeply into matter, whilst also becoming more
and more committed to strive against it and transform it. This reached a
climax in the event of the Incarnation, in a body so constituted that it
would be able to lead the newly formed Ego being of humanity out of the
dark severance into which it had fallen.
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The western experience (for people on all landmasses) became
archetypally associated with the setting of the Sun. This picture has
several meanings, one being the sinking of consciousness down into the
dark unconscious region of the Will, deeper than the feeling realm of the
heart, into a place from where there can arise either the light magical acts
of an awakened being, or the nightmarish deeds of the self-darkened self.
The dawn is a daily remembrance of the time when the Sun left the Earth,
just as dusk is a presentiment of that future state when with all its
transubstantiating powers it shall rejoin our planet; and that which has
poured light into the eyes of physical sense shall dawn out of new eyes as
a Spiritual and soul Sun, new eyes that shall become one I that shall
bestow life and consciousness on all that it shines upon.
For this 'all seeing eye' to become an all being I' it must set into the
darkest, most separate place, die to itself as the seed in the soil, give itself
to the deepest purpose of all, then by a mysterious alchemy, the Will of all
shall surrender to the one, and there shall arise a type of human being who
will perceive the Universe as being an Individual while they and other
human beings are experienced as being universes within themselves.
2.
The landmasses of Eurasia and Africa extend from the Arctic to well south
of the Equator but the greatest area of land unfolds in an east west
direction. The northern Hemisphere is the one dominated by dry land; the
southern is more fluid, womblike and feminine, as the metabolic region of
the body; and like the interior depths of the body, it lives below the
perception of normal sense faculties or thought.
The dry land of the north was a basis for the development of objective
consciousness (the dryness of thought rising as a continent above the seas
of feeling). The Afro-Eurasian landmass spoke of the Eastern past and of
the Western future; it neither completely remembered the one nor foresaw
the other. The Americas are the arriving at the future and the returning of
the past out of it.
The Americas stretch from pole to pole linked by an almost continual belt
of mountains. In Central America it could be said the Eastern Pacific
overreaches itself to almost touch the Western Atlantic as it flows into the
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Caribbean. In this place the meeting of the great eastern Water and the
great western Sea and the touching of the Northern Continent and the
Southern landmass describe an immense planetary cross of the earth and
water elements. Here, also, there rise in the chain of mountains many that
are firetopped instead of snowcapped, and blowing to and fro across these
and up and down their length are winds from every quarter It is a heart
formed by the rhythms that pulse into it, and like the heart in the human
being it receives and passes on influences from the upper to the lower pole
and back; and like the heart, it is located above the planetary, bodily centre
of gravity of the Equator. It could be called a dynamic centre of levity.
The North polar ice cap, like a skull enclosing, frozen over the more fluid
brain, or, in another way, like thought crystallized out of feeling, carries its
cold conditions south by way of the high spine of mountains that reaches
down through the Americas; and in this one can see how two conceptions
of height and upwardness are united, the upper pole of the Earth with its
drier nerve sense extremity, and the polar conditions that are found above
a certain height on all mountains. Special influences are received by the
Arctic from the constellations that are above it; the condition of the water
beneath the ice cap is highly receptive to cosmic influences because it is
far removed from the rapidly turning Equator and its burgeoning life;
these waters like a finely tuned instrument pass tones of infra- and ultrasonic frequency that are received by the myriad fish and marine mammals
that disperse down into the warmer waters; also along the spinal cord of
metals and minerals that are contained within the backbone of mountains
that straddle the Earth through the Americas are passed magnetic forces
and resonances not detectable by present instrumentation; these are those
received by the Poles from the Cosmos, that advance and retreat,
according as to whether the Pole is tilted away from or toward the Sun.
At the other, Southern Pole, it is not an enclosing of fluid, rather it is a
rising out of it by solid land, just as the solid bones of the limbs descend
out of the soft fluidity of the metabolic abdominal region. the cold of the
upper pole is in a spiritual sense the cold of thought, withdrawn and aloof,
the cold of the lower pole is the cold of the will that goes its own way that
separates and asserts itself against life; it is a cold that denies and rejects
the existence of others. The Antarctic is colder, stormier and more
desolate than the Arctic; in human and spiritual terms it could be said that
one is as an inner cold of the self, the other a far more dire and active cold
that spreads beyond the self and makes all others as itself.)
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The primary polarity of the poles to the Equator is again divided in itself
into a secondary polarity as to the unique qualities of the North and South;
in the great land bridge of the Americas and along its length cross and
mingle the currents of these opposites. America was to be the place where
human beings would be able to bring harmony and equilibrium between
the pole of Thinking and that of Will and this made possible through the
development of the Heart center of Feeling. The longitudinal alignment
indicates that no longer journeying toward the Promised Land of
reconciling these extremes into a new conscious balance, the American
will have arrived. This is the real American dream, where each either
attains mastery over and harmony between the opposing tendencies of
human nature, or is torn to pieces by the conflict between them.
3.
Now we must enter upon a dark passage in American history, that has cast
its spectral shadow over all levels of' manifestation, a tunnel that had no
light at the end of it, which could have brought the Fifth Epoch to a dead
end. It takes a special light to see in this darkness, but see in it we must, if
we are to illuminate with new understanding many of the difficulties and
trials that America has had to and still will have to face.
In Central America at the time when the Solar Logos was incarnated in the
Middle East there arose as a counter Mystery of the heart, the practice of
human sacrifice expressed in the ritual of cutting out the heart and
sometimes the stomach, and there was also widespread ritualized
decapitation; these practices vanished and reappeared from then on in
Central America right up to the time of the landing of the Spaniards.
However they were initially inspired and for a very specific purpose at the
turning point of Time (c.1-33 AD). The being that instigated these dark
mysteries knew full well that anti-spiritual and materializing forces flowed
most powerfully from West to East; an attempt was made to sacrifice,
remove the hearts, and shed the blood of as may human beings as had
been involved in the lines of descent of the Hebrew people up to the
Incarnation; and this quantity of murders had to be performed within a
limited amount of time if they were to have the desired effect, for the
initiator of this was diabolically attuned to the Divine Mystery that was
unfolding itself in the Middle East, and through this was holding, as it
were, a shadowy mirror up to those events that would bring forth a
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reversed image of all that was purposed in the deed of Christ. If this Adept
of the dark path had been able to work unhindered and deflect all the light
streaming from the acts of Christ into the reversing mirror, the humanity
of the future would more and more have become a shadow, a benighted
reflection, an inverted image of itself, where all good intentions would be
twisted, polarised outwards and manifest as actions of evil effect.
However this being was hindered and caught in his own mirror and all the
intended effects were reflected back upon their initiator, for another, a
forerunner of those humans of the future who will balance all the sides of
their nature and solve the equation of the Poles came with the Great
Dream and with that fought the American Nightmare so that the Dream
could be realised in the prophesied American Awakening.
Advancement on the sinistral path means the decision to avoid self
sacrifice, and the evasion of this, inevitably leads to the sacrifice of others,
for the giving out of what has been developed inwardly is a process
essential for the evolution and movement forward of all systems. The
primal aim of these rituals was to prepare, through deliberate desecration,
a climate, location and milieu in which the Ahrimanic entity could work
its purposes most powerfully; this Being destined to incarnate and by this
we mean, to bring together in embodiment on the surface of the Earth,
members of its being that had previously been separated and formerly
worked out of different spheres; this incarnation would act as a lens that
would bring into focus the unified beam of its Will and its Intellect. But
there was one great obstacle to this, and that was the phenomenon of
human Feeling which at the time of the Incarnation of the Solar Logos was
to receive an irresistible strengthening. So the realm of Feeling had to be
cut out, removed from the inner Sanctum from where it was ordained to
bring about the transformation of the external world from the Soul
outwards. The heart is destined to 'come out' of the body when it has
evolved from its present physical objective noun state, in which it is
subjected to all the pressures and oscillations that work upon it from the
terrestrial and sub-natural planes, when it has again become etheric, no
longer bound by a physical form, but then become a spiritual force, a verb,
as it were, able to subject the world of dead objects to its own ensouling
powers that will raise the Physical condition of Form and Mineral
condition of life into higher states of conscious communion.

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Had the light hierarchies only been involved in our evolution, the internal
organ systems of animals and particularly of human beings would never in
their finished work-state have been revealed to outer perception, but it was
the activity of the Luciferic that caused an enclosing away from and
separating out of life forms from their cosmic origins, and also a turning of
the senses outward while sealing off the organism from consciousness and
vision of what Divine cosmic Beings were bringing about within.
Therefore it became increasingly difficult for humanity to live in the lap of
the Gods, to bathe in the creative light by looking within; the consequence
of this was that the hierarchies began their withdrawal, sacrificing a part of
their being to become the foundation principle of the more deeply
incarnated human body. The ensuing opacity brought forth that severance
inherent in a physical and materialized condition of there being one
dimension that was visible and one that was invisible; cutting in to, or
bringing to the light of the human senses that interior physical world
(which can only be safely done by Christ consciousness), removing it from
its hidden matrix, meant endangering or bringing to an end the life of that
beingness. Exposing the Life pole to the untransformed Consciousness
Pole would bring about a divisive death impulse, the converse exposure
would bring about madness arid chaos. Wherever there is confusion, order
has been taken away; wherever there is death, life has been taken away,
somewhere else, stolen into another realm that has no legitimate order or
life of its own. One of the signatures of the Adversaries is that they
interfere with the rhythmical time aspect of World development. And so,
the heart was taken out prematurely in a material state not brought forth in
due time as a redeemed power by individuals from within themselves, but
cut out by an entity outside themselves. This was so that the sacrificers
could grasp hold of the organ which had come to a completion as far as
the Higher creative Beings were concerned. Because these latter had
withdrawn, leaving the fruits of their Wisdom in its structure, the Lords of
the Dark Face knew that now was the time to unseal it, to tear it out,
before it was too late, before it changed from being an organ of Cosmic
Divine Wisdom to being one of Human Divine Love.
The after-effects, echoes and reverberations from these blood rites have
been many and varied and will continue to work so long as we do not
bring any heightened awareness to bear upon them: first, the removal of a
rhythmical integrator; then, a closing of the gap left, the creation of a Ring
of power so that, in the present world, the atavistic clairvoyance of an
earlier state of feminine oneness (which the Mexican Mysteries wished to
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preserve in the Solar Plexus of the Amazon to the south) and the
premature onesidedness of masculine intellectuality, as found in the
modern United States, would have no mediating influence that would heal
them both into a new relationship. Rather the head pole would impose its
rigidifying logic of the inorganic upon the life pole; and that, in answer,
would react with natural catastrophes and disasters, diseases of the Earth's
metabolism.
The Middle East above the Equatorial midline, was the place for the
initiating of the evolution of the Heart as being the heart of Evolution.
Central America was the location where the Heart won for itself, after a
fearful attack had been launched upon it, that magical capacity for
reconciling the polarities that is the essence of being human. Although the
battle for the heart has been won for the light, the preparation for the
Incarnation of Ahriman goes on, and though the full intention behind the
Ritual murders was not realised, many things were achieved through them,
that can be felt in every aspect of contemporary life.
4.
The history of North America and its peoples reveals initially a
tremendous activity of the Will in the pioneers, but a will asserting itself
against Mother Nature, and then a correspondingly great activity of
Thought, to devise the sciences that would enable the imposition of the
technological over the biological and natural.
America is also the story of different Races and how they have all been
subject to the American Nightmare, how they have all lived in the Dream
and shall all participate in the Awakening. It is a building with many
stories and they are all interconnected; it is the story of the Metals, how as
Atlantis was sinking, the Etheric essence of the seven planetary Oracles
was taken East, and the seven related metals sank further into a physical
condition in the West. The way cosmic forces were transmitted through
the planetary oracles of Atlantis reappears as the physical properties of
electricity and magnetism, which are residues of cosmic powers from
earlier times that have fallen under the influence of matter and gravity.
America is a Nation of Races at the present time. Before the arrival of the
European, America was a Race with many nations. The situation of a
Nation overarching different Races (some of which are again under
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different Folksouls) marks the beginning of the end of the present Races:
each can play their part in attuning to the new moral and social
imaginations that are proceeding out of the Second Manifestation of
Christ. The Red Indian, the Saturn Race, in living closely within the cycles
of Nature, helped to insulate North America, from many of the harmful
residual influences, that worked northwards out of the darker Mexican
Mysteries: when the white Man came and largely displaced the Indian and
their relation to the land, these influences could begin to infect North
America more strongly: some of the Folksouls of the Black Race, in a
gesture of sacrifice, allowed their peoples to be enslaved, and as it were to
be inserted between the newly forming Nation of North America and these
Mexican forces: the Black Race absorbed these in being subject to slavery;
and like a new string in the great instrument, did much to heal the
damaged rhythmic system of the Continent.
The Indian Folksouls loosened a part of their being from the physical
Plane, sacrificing their oneness with nature, and rose - transforming into a
Time Spirit, that now and into the future, will bring to all the Earth, in full
wakefulness, the harmony in which they lived as in a dream in a part of
the Earth. Now in the Happy Hunting grounds, they seek as the Spirit of
the Echo - Logos, awakened echoes in the Ego-sphere, awakened Egos in
the Ecosphere.
5.
There are certain events and phenomena in the American story that are as
it were templates that have already and will further appear in other parts of
the world; there is now a kind of eastward flowback of social and
consciousness forces of the American Experience. The activities of souls,
who are open at this threshold of the West and East that is California, will
occur as human acts of light and darkness in the future all over the Earth.
The American state goes beyond its Western margin, and via the state of
Hawaii closes its ring of power through its influence upon Japan. On a
deeper level the war that involved Japan was brought about as part of the
Adversary's plan to permeate and inoculate the Orient with those
Institutional, Social and Economic structures that would later facilitate the
incarnation of a World Government. On a profounder level, this plan is
merely part of a much vaster one: the world Unity expressed in one Legal
system, one Currency, one Language, one Military, provides those things
that Ahriman shall attempt to enforce upon humanity prematurely from the
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outside, having first created the world situation that seems to justify those
measures. This imposing of future forms prematurely (on a smaller scale
the introduction of intellectual abstract thinking into the education of very
young children) is actually initiated to prevent the integration of the Ego
into the Human Being within those rhythms of development that alone
make it possible for the person to come to self-possession and
responsibility to others. One language and Religion would have within it a
reemergence of Ancient Egypt; one Legal and Military would recapitulate
the Centralized power of Rome; one Currency would replay the Hebrew
and Mosaic Laws of property and the Babylonian application of Number
and work which on a small scale was used in connection with slaves.
Before the Incarnation all humanity was in a sense becoming enslaved to
the Physical plane, and the enslaving of others was the turning outwards of
the idea of work. Both the receding of consciousness of the spiritual
behind Nature and the darkening and hardening of substance turned work
from being led by and inspired by semi-Divine Beings, to being something
that was enforced by beings becoming demonic: from inspiration to
perspiration. Yet this slave-driving and wringing of sweat from large
groups of people had its place, because through this suffering and toil the
astral body was purified and was prevented from either falling asleep on
the physical plane or becoming completely diverted by it. This pain drew
the I closer to the embodied state and prepared the house to receive its
dweller. After the Incarnation, the idea of work was to become more
structured, more differentiated and individually chosen. Under the
influence of the Second Manifestation of the Logos we can expect the
meaning of work to evolve again to an understanding of the individual's
place in the Great Work. Outer work will become in the sphere of
Agriculture, Architecture, Chemistry and Medicine and many other areas,
both the conscious transformation of the self, and of the planet, into higher
conditions of Form and Life. The work of one incarnation will also be
remembered and picked up in the next; the sense of purpose and fulfilment
will extend beyond the limits of one lifetime and expand beyond the
bounds of one dimension; work will become being, inner and outer work
will become one in a way, as never before; and so masculine and
feminine, work and recreation will unite in joy and this Joy is the seed that
will be contained within the Love that is the fruit of this Earth-incarnation
of the Earth, this fruit to be formed on the Tree of Wisdom that grew out
of the living soil of the Old Moon state of our Planet; the seed is the Joy of
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those human beings who will have mastered the forces of Life and Death,
and out of this seed will arise the joyful creation of Jupiter.
The mission of the Earth-incarnation of the Earth is essentially to bring
about a harmony between Thinking, Feeling and Willing; the basis of what
would later manifest as human Will being laid down upon the Ancient
Saturn incarnation of the Earth, that of Feeling upon the Old Sun
embodiment and that of Thinking on the old Moon, these three stages also
laying down successively the germs of the Physical, Etheric and Astral
Bodies. This triangle and the other ones of Goodness, Beauty and Truth;
Religion, Art and Science; and Bull, Eagle and Lion, represent principles
that once balanced and attuned will turn what is now being composed, into
a living symphony of Love that will be received into the Cosmos as a new
Music of the spheres; out of the great Pralaya, into which the Earth's
planetary body shall be carried by a Humanity changing its Earthly Form
into a Universal Force, the Planets, their solid body being leavened, being
spiritually potentised as it expands into the sphere of what was its orbit,
(this being the result of human beings loving in full awareness across the
threshold of Death), so the spiritual worlds shall become as full of
conscious human individuality as the Earth existence is imbued with
spiritual Community. There will come a point when the veil shall be lifted
and we shall see clearly where we have come from and where we are
going; physical sensations shall become soul experiences, all subjective
states shall be seen objectively for what they are, and all that was
previously the immovable dead world of outer objects shall be subjected
to an inner life so powerful that it will raise them to a living inwardness in
which there will seem to be No-Thing, nothing but Being, no things only
Beings. This will be a Pralaya of the second order: this will be the womb
out of which the Jupiter incarnation of the Earth will be born.
The preparation of this distant future state is active now and asks that we
wake up more and more and participate in it.
In this preparation, the purpose of pain is partly to draw our consciousness
to a certain area of our body or being because that part needs healing,
which means transforming; for whenever we are healed, at whatever level,
our condition is not simply returned to what it was but returns on a higher
curve of the spiral; we re-cover, closing ourselves to the Healing activity
of others (again able to take up the full responsibility for our own health);
we re-cover processes that must remain hidden until our consciousness is
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strong enough to enter into them and take them over. The premature
uncovering of certain soul and bodily faculties before they have truly
become our property, that is before we have awakened to the seeds within
us and how they should be nurtured, allows these seeds to be taken and
grown for other purposes.
This prematurity is one of the hallmarks of America, having found the
wealth of all the world, before having found one's own soul America
jettisoned the old forms of Church and State and growing synchronously
with the new forms of Technology, the steamboat, railways and telegraph,
it proceeded westward at an ever increasing rate leaving first villages, then
towns, and finally cities in its wake. This first great wave determining the
pattern of the next, the establishing of trade routes, the arrival of the
internal combustion engine, the laying of roads, the American Engine
shifted into a faster gear: mineral resources from one part of the country
were freighted to another involved in manufacturing some product; this
was transported to a third place; the endless never sleeping circulation had
begun. The question of how to do things overtook the question of why
they should be done; it seemed unnecessary to ask why any more, that was
of the Old world. The New world knew what it had to do and only asked
of itself how it should be done. A tide of humanity was surging in from the
East; half of Europe seemed on the move. As if in anticipation of this, the
West had to be opened up. Forests had to be cleared. The Indians had to
conform or be fought. The coming of motorized transport, mass
production, aviation and the manifolding power of Electricity spun the
web into completion; the nerves of the State now reached into all the
muscles of the Nation; but what of the land? Did it have and was it having
surgery performed on it? Were its vital organs being removed? Was its
heart being cut out to make room for a transplant from another part of the
World? Modern America was now embodied, as a new vehicle
constructed, a new house built, but would something try to steal that
vehicle and drive it off the High-way of evolution, into a cul-de-sac for
humanity; some landlord take over the house, and demand a rent the
tenants could not afford to pay? The voice of the Land, the Red Indian,
was not heeded or even heard amidst the noise of the accelerating drive of
the New America. If it had, it would have sounded a warning: to transplant
the living heart forces from one part of the Earth to another may be
possible and necessary, to bring about new life, but to remove the Heart of
a land, then manufacture one of materials that have not evolved within a
body and implant it as an artificial heart, will bring about either the
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rejection of that heart or the death of the body into which the organ is
introduced or both.
A great image of the desecration of the land can be seen in much that has
been done in the name of agriculture; the deforestation of much of the
broad-leaved deciduous forests that stretched for hundreds of miles
westwards from the Appalachians, similar to the cutting down of the larger
part of Europe's deciduous temperate forests; this did much to the
rhythmic system of North America.
The natural zones that traverse the landmasses of the Northern
Hemisphere appear in belts or rings that modify effects and influences that
proceed up and down between the poles and the Equator. This is seen very
clearly in the Continent of America with its pronounced North-South axis.
The Arctic Ice cap and Ocean yield to the Permafrosted Tundra; this
surrenders to the coniferous Taiga which in turn capitulates to great Plains,
Evergreen rainforest to the west, wooded hill country to the east; then into
what was the vast wooded region of the Forest Indians; this area then
bows down along all its varied front, gradually defeated by the vast tracts
of scrubland and semidesert to the west and the warm temperate wood and
grassland to the east, this region falls away through Mexico giving in to
the superior power of the Tropics, and running up and down through all
these changing zones, rise the mountains, varying in their foothills as they
stride from north to south, but little changed in their heights on their
peaks. From these serene and lofty heights a vision of Eternal America
may perhaps be beheld, a deep gaze and a high seeing, that could stretch
from the time of the American Sleep when it lay beneath the sea of seeing
before it rose to become a Land of Being, through the American Dream,
unperturbed, through the American Nightmare, to the American
Awakening when all gold that is trapped, stolen out of the life into
material darkness shall be dematerialised and rise up as an inner Sun force
dawning out of the transformed hearts of human beings.
6.
Now we must descend again from such poetic elevations, to the present
time and those broadleaved forests. Their partial removal has meant that
cold air from the Arctic has been able to descend further south less
warmed than it should be and warm air from the Caribbean has been able
to go further North, less cooled than it could be; though the great plains
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are a band that stretch almost from the edge of the Boreal forests to the
coastal plains in the South, the grasses of the Eastern plains are generally
taller and more luxuriant. This factor like the Broadleaved forests of the
East, moderates movements of air and temperature within the day and
night and seasonal cycles. The interference with these is an afterworking
of the Dark Magician of the Mexican Mysteries; where the unmodified
effects of one Pole, the cold, are brought inappropriately and prematurely
into relationship with the hot Pole. This has definitely enhanced the
activity of what is known as Tornado Alley, (where approximately 700
tornadoes swirl annually, collectively equal to the power of one
hurricane).
The tornado is an external image of the way in which forces work in the
human being, when the modifying activity of the heart-lung system is
unable to relate the inner with the outer and that which is below with that
above, in the normal balanced way. The tornado is a kind of
meteorological heart-attack, also stroke with the heat of the Metabolic
system spiralling upwards on one side and the cold of the Nerve sense
system spiralling down on the other; this, transferred within the human
being, is similar to what precipitates a heart attack*. The conception of the
heart as being merely physical, has the effect of taking it out of the soul
rhythms; this makes the middle system more subject to external
temperatures and pressures and the oscillations of the Earth's
electromagnetic fields which start to affect it adversely. And this is
intensified by removing the life cover of the outer environment, forests
and such like, which through the Etheric connect the Earth with the
Cosmos. The drive towards the denudation of the life realms of the
Planet's surface, is part of the Adversary's plan to bring about a uniformity
of environment causing a withdrawal of the Risen Ethers and a
corresponding exposure and surfacing of the fallen etheric matrix, which
compels all organism towards mechanism, denying the threefold
lemniscatory movement which socialises the innate antisocial tendencies
of both the Metabolic and Nerve sense Poles.
This polarity is expressed in two of the most recent developments in
technology, that of Nuclear Fusion and that of Superconduction, the one
needing tremendous heat, the other requiring intense cold.
Superconduction through the use of newly discovered materials with
certain impurities is getting warmer: Fusion, it was recently claimed, was
getting colder (this has temporarily been denied - it may yet be achieved).
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What is the significance of this? It can be described as a convergence
towards the temperature of human blood, the two poles of a Being coming
towards incarnation. The incarnation of Ahriman focuses and compresses
into one body and one locality. The idea of Fusion and Superconduction
are part of the American archetype in many ways. Through the activity of
Christ we are all participants in the great Fusion programme, the fusing of
the indestructible individualities of humanity into a new Spirit of Form, a
Cosmic Pralayic chrysalis, out of which the imago of future states will
arise. All these self-important programmes of scientific endeavour, to
draw more energy out the material world for material purposes, are only
caricatures, parodies compressed into the mode of substance and
mechanism, of those nearly silent mighty processes of evolution through
which the superstances of Higher Beings are drawn upon by the inner
work and moral development of human beings for the transformation of
the Earth. The Sun is silent and yet without it there would be no Music, no
Sound, and no noise on this Planet.
*(the seed of the spiritual heart wishing to open, meets the resistance of
the Adversary, that aims to hold it back, out of the stream of evolution, so
that it remains bound in the physical condition of Form & Mineral
Condition of Life. It is this meeting of the stirring seed, with the present
conditions, that is behind much Heart Disease)
7.
The fourth Occultism can really be called that of the Musical (the
Mechanical being more connected with Saturn, Hygienic with Jupiter and
Eugenic with the Moon respectively of the West, the Central and the East).
The Musical is of the Sun, and is of the whole world harmonising the
other three. And it was this Occultism from the Sun Lodge (transformed
from the Sun Oracle of Atlantis) which held the mysteries of the Etheric
body and its transformation into the Life Spirit. It was this knowledge that
lived in Vitzliputzli, Sun Hero initiate of the sixth degree. In growing up
he would have learned to attune himself to the experience of the soul as
music within the body, and how out of the being of humanity there would
arise that which would raise the Americas into a mighty monochordal
instrument, strung and fretted with mountains, forests, plains and rivers, in
which and across which resounded the Elementals orchestrations of air,
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water and light; how the Sun plucked the different zones into motion as it
moved daily from East to West and yearly North to South; in a fusion of
the mystic and the ecstatic he learned to hear the Music of the Spheres
echoing both in the depths of his inner self and in the elementals behind
outer Nature.
This Echo Logos (who was able to be and echo the deed of Christ) would
bring a tone to the Americas, that would be sought in the Vision Quest of
the North American Indians; and arise again in a materialised form as the
modern superhero, bringing harmony to a society out of tune.
The human being as a bridge and a conductor between the elementals and
nature Devas and the creator Beings of the Hierarchies, this was
Vitzliputzli. Christ was the bridge for the human soul back to the Spirit;
the future mission of Vitzliputzli could never be realised without the deed
of Christ coming to fulfilment, so the Light Magician of Mexico was
drawn in to ensure the success of Christ's task.
The deed of Vitzliputzli in overcoming the Dark Magician, was one
preeminently of timing, that is of Music. Christ said not my will but Thine,
and sacrificed Himself into the discords of the whirling sympathies and
antipathies of the Whirled and stepped into the rhythm of the Passion in
Harmony with the Father Force. Vitzliputzli communicated this
stupendous performance, to "the dance of the elementals."
The Dark Magician tried to tap into the discords of the Sixth interior
Sphere of the Earth, which is connected with the Earth's volcanism.
Volcanoes in the Tropics, particularly in Central America (because of the
prevailing wind system patterns), have a property unlike volcanoes in
higher latitudes, of spreading the plume of their effluvia over the entire
Earth. The aim was to excite such an intensity of hatred, such an
outpouring of human selfishness, that this would have reacted upon the
sub-physical Fire Earth of the sixth interior level so that this would have
answered with a massive volcanic eruption that could have cast a mantle, a
pall of dust and debris, around the entire globe. This would have been the
dwelling place of dark elementals, cutting out the Sun and the Cosmos,
and making it impossible for human beings to become anything but
expressions of what had existed in the interior of the Earth, but now
enclosed it.( When the first Atomic Bomb was tested in Alamogordo, New
Mexico, the same being was at work, constrained then and for the rest of
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Earth's evolution to work through human minds benighted by Materialism;
both Nuclear winter and the words of the Revelation that speak of the Sun
being darkened are all related to this.)
What happened in Mexico was one great attempt at this: the Aztecs
feeding of the Sun with human blood was brought about by a fear of the
Sun going out if it was not nourished. This fear was kindled by the Dark
Magus - "the De-sol-ator"; in a counter mystery of the Etherisation of the
Divine Blood given by the Solar Logos as eternal nourishment for
humankind. The False Prophet, another name for the Magician, through
causing this new Atmosphere to rise out of the interior of the Planet would
also have gained for himself, a new sphere-encompassing sheath to his
body.
Vitzliputzli, through the presence of Christ on Earth, was able to
Orchestrate the elementals of earth, air, fire and water, and the Devas of
the mountains, the forests, the rivers and the plains, and the Guardians of
wood and metal to resound together and subdue the sixth interior Sphere.
The anti-Christian feelings that surrounded the Solar Logos during the
Passion were to be the fuel which from the Sixth Sphere, would have
enabled Ahriman to have been sucked out of and blasted through the
Mineral Sphere, coming to power, in turning the world inside out. The
many murders performed by the desolating One" had enabled him to
project and incite such a blasphemy of hatred, half away across the world
in the Middle East. This power and the knowledge of its use had been
gained through a long established pact with Ahriman.
The supreme moment had arrived, between the Crucifixion and the
Resurrection, before the entrance of Christ into the planetary Etheric. It
was then that the Earth's dark Shroud was intended to come forth from the
interior: but as in all suspenseful drama, at the last minute of that eleventh
hour, such a chorus resounded from the Poles along the mountains, setting
in motion chords resonating through the great rings of forests, plains and
metals, along the mountain spine, (as notes of changing pitch moved the
Devas linking North and South, East and West, inspiring the sylphs of the
rivers and streams, and of the rising and falling airs), that the mighty
American Cross of the Elements reverberating through the Being of
Vitzliputzli as Echo-Logos for an eternal moment set into vibrant
sympathy the Rings of Mineral, Plant and Animal, elemental being and
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Deva around the entire Earth, the Rings that remembered the encircling of
Cosmic Creator Beings, as they were whirling the World into being, the
whirled into seeing, (because of the fall, the landmasses had separated the
rings had broken, the peoples consciousness had fallen apart into locality).
This moment was both a memory, of the time before the One Song had
fallen into the many Languages, and also a prophecy, of a time when the
Rings shall again be reforged, by a world-encircling human Imagination;
when the broken rings shall be united and human feeling shall girdle the
Earth, as it did then in Vitzliputzli; when human awareness shall
encompass the sphere, and the Suffe-ring become a spiral.
The power of the creator beings flowed through him into their estranged
offspring, the Elementals, and these answered with a music that in its
composing brought about the decomposition of the Dark Magician's plan,
so that what would have been the terrible noise, which could have finally
deafened the world, and brought the Deaf-end of the planet, in which the
Music of the Spheres might never have been heard again, instead became
the glorious hymn of the Resurrection.
It was the love of Vitzliputzli for the elementals and Nature spirits (this
love made possible through the Being of Christ) that brought to these
Beings the idea of sacrifice and heroism, which enabled them to
participate with a human being, as they would with all who would rise to a
true Ecology in the future.
*
America struggles with its shadow and dark reflection: this landmass was
rediscovered, settled and established synchronously with the descent from
the higher worlds of the great dispensation of Music that is based upon the
interval of the Third; this an image of the Devachanic descending to the
Earth. The transformation through Bach into Beethoven offers a kind of
Memory of the deed of Vitzliputzli; and a foretelling of the higher human
being of the future, who will bring Harmony between the rhythms of
world communities and the Melodies of Eternal Individuality.
**************************
second
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BICYCLES
- a Children's Christmas Story for Adults This story is dedicated to Gabriella, Catherine Rose, Ross Gregory, and
Adam, who were on my mind Christmas Eve, 1996, as their fathers (of
which I must confess I was one) were absent from home for the Season. It
was written the following Christmas Morning.
There once was a girl, who found herself weeping in the dark, alone in her
room.
This is nothing unusual. Many people, not just children, can be found
weeping, alone with their pain in the dark of the night.
But there was a difference. Although it was not a difference as infrequent
as we might imagine.
And the difference was this. While she was weeping an Angel appeared,
sitting quietly at the end of her bed.
It was quite a while before the girl noticed the Angel. Yet, this did not
bother the Angel, who had been, if we do not mind, created out of patience
and joy.
After a time the girl stopped weeping, and the two simply looked at each
other for a while.
Finally the Angel reached out and touched the girl on the shoulder, and
asked: "What is troubling you child?".
Now it is true that the Angel already knew the answer to this question, but
the Angel also knew that the girl needed to talk about her grief.
This was the girl's answer.
"It is Christmas Eve." she said, "My father and mother have quarreled and
my father is not here. I don't even know when, or if, he is coming home."

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At this the girl, who was at that very awkward age between being a child
and being a young woman, began to weep again, even more deeply then
before.
After a while she stopped, looked at the Angel and asked: "Why?" and,
then began weeping some more.
Now you may wonder why the girl wasn't troubled or confused by
someone being in her room at night. The fact is that when you meet an
Angel there is no question about what is happening. No doubt, no
confusion. Angels aren't like anything else except Angels.
This is how the Angel answered the girl.
"Are you ever bad?" asked the Angel.
"Yes", she said, a bit hesitantly.
"Are you ever bad on purpose, knowing you are being bad?"
"Yes", she said, almost whispering now.
"Are you ever bad by accident, not having thought about what might
happen?"
"Yes", she said, a little more confident.
"Do bad things ever sometimes happen even though you were trying as
hard as possible to do something good?"
"Yes", she said, back to herself finally.
Then they sat together for a while. She was thinking and the Angel just
was.
"O.K.", she eventually said. "Mother and father aren't trying to hurt me,
and I didn't do something wrong."
"Right", said the Angel.
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"But", she said, having just reinvented philosophy, "Why is the world such
a terrible place?"
After a very long pause the Angel said, "It's because of the bicycles."
Now this was said with a straight face, as much as an Angel can be said to
have a straight face, their normal countenance being filled with patient
joy.
Even so, the girl's dark mood broke and she laughed, and then caught in
this odd feeling she tried to stop and ended up almost falling out of bed
because she was giggling so much.
Again there was a passage of time, so that the girl could ask her next
question without breaking up. It actually took several attempts before she
could get the question out.
"What do you mean by "it's the bicycles"?" she said, pulling up the hem of
her nightgown, as much to distract herself as to dry the tears of both
suffering and mirth.
"Well", said the Angel, "As you have guessed the bicycles are invisible,
being made out of ideas and dreams, hope and despair, all stuck together
with bits of conscience and just plain stubbornness.
"Everyday people wake up and ride around on their invisible bicycles,
forgetting the bicycles are there and then because they have forgotten
them, people just keep banging into each other.
"Soon all the bicycles are in great disrepair. Some with flat tires, some
with crooked wheels, and some without even handlebars to steer by.
"It takes a great deal of courage for people, for mothers and fathers, to get
up in the morning and ride their bicycles out into life each day. A great
deal of courage."
Then the Angel was quiet again and so was the girl.

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After a while the girl, having graduated from philosophy to theology,
asked: "Why does God let this go on? Why doesn't he fix the bicycles or
make people learn how to ride them without banging into each other?"
"Hmmm." said the Angel
Now before you imagine the Angel is pausing to think, I should tell you
that is not what was happening. Angels do think, but when they do
something happens. For Angels thinking creates. The reason the Angel
said "Hmmm" was so the girl would first reflect a little about what she had
said, before the Angel answered her.
"Do you ever talk to God?" asked the Angel.
"I think so," said the girl, tentative again, and rightly so.
"You should you know.", said the Angel. "You can't interrupt him, or
bother him when he's doing something else. He always listens. Always.
And when you talk to him he never interrupts you, never tells you he's
heard it before or done it himself or knows more than you. You couldn't
ask for a better listener. And when you're done he doesn't give advice, or
tell you what to do, or criticize what you've done or tell you, you aren't
adequate. He just listens, and accepts you and loves you, whatever you
have to say."
Then the Angel asked another question.
"Do you ever get angry at God?"
"What!" exclaimed the girl. "Get angry at God !?!"
"Of course." said the Angel. "God loves you and wants your love. People
who love each other get to be angry with each other. It's a way to care.
God doesn't mind your anger. Now your indifference? That's another
matter."
"O.K." said the girl, now a little more in touch with her own frustration.
"But you still haven't said anything about repairing the bicycles or giving
lessons on riding them."
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"Didn't need to" said the Angel. "All kinds of excellent repair and riding
manuals already out there. There's the Bible, and the Vedas, and the
Torah, and the Koran, and the Sutras, and the..."
"O.K.. I get it." she said, interrupting the Angel, who didn't mind at all.
Then she paused and thought a little.
"All right." she said. "This is what you've said. The reason the world is so
difficult is because we all have our own ideas and dreams and conscience
and stubbornness, and when we go out and ride these "bicycles" in life we
bang into each other, or ride over each others feet, because we have
forgotten about these invisible things. But if we want riding lessons and
repair instruction, that information is already there. We just have to use it.
Right?"
"Right." said the Angel.
"O.K." said the girl, after a very deep sigh, "Just one more question."
"Granted God is the best listener in the world, always available and never
critical. But how come he never answers me?"
This last was spoken with a great deal of anguish, as only the very young
can feel at the impossible burdens they sense when they contemplate
growing up and being really free and responsible for themselves.
Again the Angel waited for a while, as silent and beautiful as a starry
winter night.
"How well do you listen?" the Angel answered. "He always answers you,
always. You just don't always hear him. He answers in many ways. With
the continued breath of life, or with a fading sunset. With the touch of a
breeze on the cheek or a crash of thunder. In the most quite place inside
yourself he whispers to you. More softly then the endless beat of your
heart he sings to you in the voice of the dancing colors that delight the eye.
You eat his answers for breakfast and when you walk barefoot through the
dew wet grass his answers touch your feet.
"Do you have eyes, ears? Or if not even these, you have the thoughts you
choose. You believe or not. Is that not a great gift itself? To have faith or
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not, hope or not, charity or not, according to your own will. God does
answer. With life, with freedom. And yes, with sorrow and with pain. Are
these not gifts as well?"
Again there was a harmony of silence between the two of them. Then the
girl smiled and looked mischievously at the Angel.
"Do you have a bicycle?" she asked.
Then the Angel laughed. And outside the girl's window the birds sang to
greet with joy the first hints of dawn on Christmas morning.
**********************************
third
"the gift of the word" very much wants to be read aloud, with some
passion and the occasional rush of words. It also likes to have someone
read it to us, so that we may concentrate only on "hearing" it.
the gift of the word
Speech, / Words, letters, sounds, / heard by both the inner ear and the
outer.
Letters, sounds, words, / linked invisibly to ideas and thoughts.
Ideas, thoughts, letters, sounds, words, / a woven tapestry of meaning,
carried by Speech, / sometimes with grace, / but most often just carelessly.
Meaning, / a weaving of thoughts, sounds, words, letters and ideas,
spoken into the air and left there, / abandoned.
Words, spoken and heard. / Meaning intended. / But what is heard?
That which is heard is also intended. / Two intentions, two purposes, two
meanings.
How difficult then communication, / suffering as it does the contrary pulls
of multiple intentions, purposes and meanings.
I speak, you listen. / I mean, you grasp. / Somewhere in this delicate dance
of words, sounds, letters, thoughts, ideas and purposes; / understanding is
sought after.
Perhaps. / Sometimes.
Voice. / Speech reveals the unspoken. / Anger, fear, pride, arrogance, true
humility.
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The ear of the heart hears what is hidden in voice.
Posture, gesture. / Speech is more than sound. / The eye hears things the
ear cannot, just as the ear sees things the eye cannot.
One mind. / Two minds. / Speech a bridge of woven light between two
minds, and sometimes, although rarely, / between two hearts.
Speech, rich and full of flavor, / a light bridge, / joining two separate
beings.
Speech denatured, / No sound, no gesture, no posture, no voice.
Speech reduced to lines of dark on light. / Written. / A treasure map in
code spilled across a page
Words, letters, ideas, thoughts, sounds, / reduced to marks upon a
parchment. / Speech dying.
Yet, / even in death, murdered by pen or pencil mark, / some essence of
Speech still.
Meaning embalmed. Understanding buried. / Until read.
Reading. / Words, sounds, letters, thoughts, ideas, meaning, purposes,
intentions,
Speech resurrected in the silence of another mind.
Speech. / Light bridge dying into print, / reborn when read in the inner
quiet of another soul.
Speech, / The Spoken Word. / Writing, / The Word entombed. / Writing
read, / The Word resurrected.
That this is so, / that human beings live in such an exalted state having
Speech, this is Grace.
The spoken word, the written word. / Things so ordinary, so taken for
granted, so pregnant with possibility.
The emptiness between two souls is always / chaste, virgin, pure, / waiting
for Grace, for the bridge of light, / for Speech.
The Gift of the Word, originally called Speech, was written on
Epiphany, Jan. 6, 1997, in the evening, in about a third of an hour.

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