The Liminalist # 274: We Need to Talk About Lucifer (Reading Rudolph Steiner # 2)

Second Steiner exegesis, Jasun responding to Dale Brunsvold’s readings of three Steiner lecture series: How the Spiritual World Projects into Physical Existence: The Influence of the Dead, The Occult Movement in the Nineteenth Century, and Understanding Society Through Spiritual-Scientific Knowledge: Social Threefolding, Christ, Lucifer and Ahriman.

Part One: Gatekeepers of the Afterlife (0 – 32 mins)

A fruitful avenue of exploration, one of the good guys, the word “spiritual,” the context of Steiner, the psychic & elemental realms, remembrance of dream life after death, the Kamaloka, the dead lives through his nights, impossible questions, the loss of dream recall, the pressure of the unconscious, forgotten solutions, the deepest despair, childhood trauma, coming off the fence, new eyes on an old mine field, the unorthodox trinity, a lifetime’s sympathy for the devil, his own invention, back to earth with Ahriman, the element that makes life weak, the two gatekeepers of the afterlife, the problem of disease, back to the land of matter.

Part Two: Beings of Destruction (32 mins – 1 hr)

The supersensible world & the physical world, “there is no devil,” how modern materialists call up the devil, using words in vain, questions of context, real spiritual teachings as half of the truth, the original symbol, the Ahrimanic “gift,” the opposite of wholeness, the body as tuning fork, duality & threefoldness, through the veil of nature, bitter enemies of earth man, certain deeds of the invisibles, a veritable inferno, the lower forces of man, the measure of progress, an expanded duality, an occult order, Nietzsche’s hint, talking about entities, Chapel Perilous, an apparent apotheosis of malevolence, Strieber’s visitors, the language matrix of polarity, time and the two eternities.

Part Three: Dreadful Maya (1 hr – 1 hr 31 mins)

A Christian heresy, abolishing the spirit of man, kept in Maya, what lies behind the body, if atoms were not accepted, the efforts of religious representatives, a counterfeit immortality, a lust for destruction, behind the veil of the soul, a paradigm of heaven & hell, nihilism & momentary gratification, a passion for creation, the sphere of will, a mysterious bond of attraction, through the membrane, beings of will, sultry mystics, Scylla & Charybdis, the fumes of ecstasy, delight in nature, manual work as a protection against mystic rapture, monastic rules, objective occultism & subjective mysticism, Anthroposophy’s direction, incarnations of Christ & Lucifer, the original source of pagan Ur wisdom, the play of humanity’s evolution, repudiating Lucifer, the world of thought.

Part Four: The Ferryman (1 hr 31 mins – 2 hrs)

Wisdom & love, thinking, willing, & feeling, Christ as mediating influence, selflessness, Lucifer’s hammer, Jasun’s Icarus phase, a lack of feeling, rejecting wisdom, kids with matches, ancient initiates & Lucifer, the super-earthly sphere, space drive & transhumanism, the thrust towards disembodiment, a false heaven, the body as conscience, the ferryman, pre-Christian mysteries, speaking & thinking, centuries of philistine indoctrination, a caricature of Lucifer & Ahriman called “the devil,” the subterranean depths, the tower of Ahriman, generalized thinking & national chauvinism, a tendency to fragmentation, the rights of organs, individualism & collectivism, an unholy alliance, a new wisdom, freed human will, the Ahrimanization of culture, unearned clairvoyance, a secret school of Ahriman, the reign of confusion.

Part 5: A Half-Baked Sandwich (2 hours – end)

Dave Oshana’s focus on goodness, connecting to nature, drawn to the dark, a half-baked sandwich, what Dave can’t provide, a darker portion of the sandwich.

Rudolf Steiner Audios

https://rudolfsteiner.podbean.com/

Songs: “Primitive” & “Chasing Time” by Joy Zipper; “Ain’t Gonna Run” by Federale; “Borrowed Tune” by Blood Group.

59 thoughts on “The Liminalist # 274: We Need to Talk About Lucifer (Reading Rudolph Steiner # 2)”

  1. I think Steiner, like a lot of the Theosophists, is best understood within the context of the period. The hard, rational ego that so empowered British and then Western culture emerged post Middle Ages. It seems to be based on a natural brain mutation that allowed a much harder sense of subject-object boundaries than people previously had access to. The problem with this type of hyper-rational psyche is that it also creates great fear in its wake.

    Thus, all kinds of military types in northern Europe and the US found themselves immensely reassured by these visions of a strictly defined spiritual hierarchy, and a clear understanding of the process of death, created by Steiner, Blavatsky et al.

    Reply
    • It doesnt sound much like you listened to the podcast or are following this very personal journey, but that you have come in with a pre-formulated opinion, which has been my impression of your comments at this site fairly consistently.

      Reply
      • I did listen to most of the last one and was in process of listening to this. Sometimes my comments are peripheral and also reflect topics I myself am busy with, this is true. I will listen to the rest but I did also feel to pick up upon this need of the overly rational Western mind to understand all what is happening.

        Reply
        • seems like low-hanging fruit; any deconstruction or debunking of a body of work must attain at least as high-deep a level of insight, originality, and depth as that being debunked. Rudy sets that bar pretty high, a lot higher than a few platitudes & generalities. The ref to appeal to military is interesting.

          Also, tho, Steiner can’t be solely judged, or even primarily, on who he has appealed to & how (tho that’s a valid consideration). The man and the work needs to be addressed directly. Any way you slice it, Steiner is a cultural giant and if he is to be felled then we either have to aim very high or find the Achilles heel that none have found before.

          I am interested in reading the Lindenberg bio and digging deeper. It’s quite costly, however, so if anyone has a copy they want to swap for 16 Maps of Hell, let me know.

          Reply
          • > any deconstruction or debunking of a body of work must attain at
            > least as high-deep a level of insight, originality, and depth as that
            > being debunked.

            I’m not trying to debunk Steiner, though I guess I am deconstructing a bit. Really I’m just pointing to the relationship between the highly structured, quasi-militaristic spiritual world he articulated and the type of person who became attracted. Both are IMO a reflection of a specific mindset.

            I’m not sure how one would otherwise deconstruct or debunk Steiner. Wouldn’t you have to come up with a supposedly more legitimate spiritual hierarchy? I don’t personally see him as a cultural giant, more an interesting alternative. My ex’s kids both went to the local Steiner early on. The boys had to hide away if they wanted to play soldiers because this wasn’t otherwise allowed. I think they both got thrown out in the end and had to go to the local comp instead. Neither could read, as they do that late in Steiner, but they both caught up pretty quick.

          • > I am interested in reading the Lindenberg bio and digging deeper.

            Steiner seemed to me the thinking man’s new ager. But I figured I was over-thinking quite enough as it was. I wanted the sea, not elegant prose on how water is. So I opted for the Bhagwan, Osho.

          • LOL; if Osho is your idea of the ocean, it is no wonder we have a communication abyss between us

            I wouldn’t even consider Osho worth deconstructing, tho what arose around him was sickly fascinating

          • …I wouldn’t even consider Osho worth deconstructing, tho what arose around him was sickly fascinating….

            Horses for courses, I guess. I was a street punk crim in the West end and I read the first chapter of Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, and that was me.

  2. At the risk of over-generalising, it seems to me, that any truth-seeker who has a degree of richness in their soul / feeling life is likely to be unsatisified with a purely Materialistic/Scientistic picture of reality.
    On the other hand, if one is “Desperately Seeking Sofie” so to speak, (whether through traumatic experiences or some other compulsion), one is correspondingly susceptible/impressionable to swallowing spiritual stories whole, which at its worst leads to the creation of “crucial fictions” / “second matrices”, to use Jasun’s terms, which derange us further (Jasun’s “white male edgeman” essay also very relevant here).

    But as Jasun highlights here: To the extent that a story has truth in it, it can still only ever amount to one half of the truth on its own. The other half is sourced in one’s inner world. If I may be so bold, I would say that the last two sentences I have just written contain an element that is only made (wholly) true if one has an inner *felt* sense that it is… I’ll leave that one hanging!….

    Could “deranging forces” be influencing our inner felt sense? Thereby making it untrustworthy? — of course. Although, according to Steiner’s model, if i understand him aright, one way to understand this, is that often times one assesses the truth of a “story” through the lens(es) of *thinking* and/or *willing* alone (and yet may even go on to describe their resulting opinion as their “felt sense”…). The problem being that they have used an inappropriate “organ” / form of perception relative to the half-truth as it finds expression in the story. Put another way, certain half-truths in stories can only be made whole if they are viewed through the lens of *Feeling*. This model may be one such case. If we find truth in it, it suggests we would be wise to cultivate our *feeling* form of perception (I guess what some people might call “intuition”) as well as keeping the *thinking* and *willing* forms “in check” if we are to avoid the traps of a truth-seeking path…. This also seems to be the difference between science and “spiritual science”(?)…

    All I can say in the end is that personally I found this podcast extremely rich and compelling, cathartic even — thank you Jasun/Dale/Rudolph…

    One small thing – the exact same point Justin made about your “Social Revenge Fantasist” blogpost. Is there any particular reason you omit the (extreme end of the) alt-right from your list of groups @ 1 hr 10 mins in your discussion of lust for destruction, nihilism and momentary gratification? It seems to me all of these groups are symptomatic of the same forces you allude to, only funneled through different story matrices (and probably some other (“Ahrimanic”) element I can’t pinpoint right now….) ….

    Reply
    • not a conscious omission, alt-right just doesn’t pop into my mind much unless it’s around QAnon or Donald Trump; if I made a list it was very far from comprehensive

      glad if the podcast was cathartic for you; can you add anything to the how and the why of it?

      Reply
      • The main thing that comes to mind is that my soul/feeling life, as pent up and unexpressed at it is in some respects, remains very important to me and yet the dominant models/stories of reality we are immersed in, along with my schooling, etc. have seemingly sort to encourage thinking and willing and discourage feeling — “don’t be so sensitive!” or, related — “don’t be so expressive!” —
        Steiner’s models, although coaxed in a scientific way of thinking, throw all of that in another light… something like that anyway…

        Reply
  3. Pop stars anecdotally enter into Faustian pacts to acquire fame, but end up strung out. Alone strumming in their bedrooms as teenagers, it seemed greatly preferential to acquire the adoration of the masses, rather than to simply reach out and say “I need love.”

    Thus I don’t see Lucifer as having his claws in us from early on. Rather he is the god of avoidance strategies. Don’t want to feel your childhood alienation? Become famous! Lucifer attracts the person determined to keep the persona up, rather than enter the wound beneath.

    To paraphrase the Gospel of Thomas – take another slug of whiskey, I am there; eat another Dorito, I am there…

    Lucifer’s power lies in our desire for self-avoidance.

    Reply
  4. 01h:09m (ish)
    the part about raising the based-natures to the top

    I feel like there is a joke in here. Trumps red hat representing the root chakra (red) raised to the crown position (top of head) or something.

    Also, this ‘destructive (ahrimanic) forces in the electricity’ is skewing a bit Twin Peaks-y. Especially when you add-in Steiner’s thing about the geographical, or ahrimanic, doppelgänger. Lynch must be hip to some of this.

    On a personal note, Steiner’s conception of things just feels much warmer than the Copernicus/Darwin/Einstein spiel that I learned in public schúle. It makes me want to be – warmer.

    If I remember, Steiner’s “On Goethe’s Theory of Knowledge” dabbles in this area of the evolution of materialistic science.

    Reply
    • Hi Mike B! I was going to reference this paper later, but now at your mention of Goethe’s epistemology, I’ll provide it to you. I’d like to hear your assessment of it.

      It is the text of a paper that I delivered at Purdue Univerity in 1999 at the Goethe, Chaos and Complexity Symposium back when I was teaching labs in the Physics Dept at Vanderbilt U in Nashville.

      Frank Thomas Smith published it online in his fine Anthro-themed Ezine called Southern Cross Review.

      GOETHEAN SCIENCE:
      BRINGING CHAOS TO ORDER BY LOOKING PHENOMENA RIGHT IN THE “I”
      Goethe’s Faust as the “Metamorphosis of a Single Human Being”

      https://southerncrossreview.org/6/goethe.htm

      Reply
      • Fun article, Tom. Thanks.

        I’m headed right back to Joyce/McLuhan here thinking of the quote “Sink deep or touch not the Cartesian spring” or the Blake quote “May God us keep
        From Single vision & Newtons sleep”

        Reply
    • Jasun,

      It looks like a browser issue on the MAC. I have an iMAC desktop with Big Sur OS and could not play the podcast on Safari. However, it did play in Google Chrome. Same is true of your above link.

      However, when I tried to play both on my iPhone 11, total failure in both browsers and with both links.

      Reply
  5. I so love listening to your podcasts, Jasun.

    Your somewhat soporific voice lulls me into the most calm place, helping me as a listener think deeply, dreamily, about the subjects you discuss. As someone who comes from an oddly similar background to you – middle class, glamourous family connections, boarding school, addict parents, trauma… – I follow your journey as if it was my own. The insights you draw from Steiner’s understanding of the role conscious and unconscious narratives play, and indeed interplay, has also impacted me deeply in similar ways to yourself – wondering about the value of the hidden depths we apparently cannot access.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  6. Hey Jasun,
    Been really enjoying listening to your nosedive into Anthropopopohisosophy. Just letting you know that there may be an issue with the podcast players for the latest episode.

    Haven’t been able to listen to it on any platform :/

    Reply
      • I am using mac products yes. Hrm. They’ve never given me trouble listening to content before. The Apple Archons don’t want me listening to Steiner apparently.

        Reply
      • I downloaded the file then re-encoded it in Audacity, and then I could play it. It seems to be an issue with the file headers. Did you change something in how you are encoding the audio?

        Reply
  7. Bailey’s ‘The externalisation of the hierarchy’ keeps coming to mind while listening to Rudi present his weltanschauung. Once upon a time I concluded that it was a trap. That we were projecting, reifying (didn’t know the word at the time), the mental processes which were never supposed to be externalised. That the entirety of our introspective existence served to teach us how to treat the external world even though it is in part inspired by the world around us. But, that no such hierarchy existed outside of our mental landscape, even though hierarchies exist in the world and are verifiable. Then it occurred to me that we were internalising unprocessed experiences of the world which we mistakenly conceive as a spiritual/mental hierarchy. That we created the panoply of beings as a side effect of misunderstanding reality. By projecting the hierarchy we confirm its existence. A feedback loop. We keep seeing it all around us not only because of our own conditioned filters but because the society we’ve created mirrors it. I’m no longer entirely sure there is a clear delineation of the inner and outer world in so much as I can’t find the dividing line other than perception.

    I really appreciated Zoroastrianism when first encountering because it made sense of the world I was observing and experiencing. However, as appealing as it is, the duality of Ahura Mazda and Ahriman was never convincing. Just like Lucifer who stands in opposition to God. Something doesn’t feel right. I prefer the devil as the adversary. The one who challenges you to stay on the Divine path, to keep your focus, rather than a vampire and energetic leech with malicious intent. Mazdaism undoubtedly inspired the Abrahamic religions. It’s interesting to compare it to Vedic and Hindu philosophy. East of the Indus Valley they never seem to have found the need to formulate such a concrete opposition of forces. I wonder how the differences between the Vedas and the Avesta might be a product of cultural (and other) antagonistic forces between these two power centres. I recall that these two holy books use in their respective pantheons identical or very similar names for divine beings but in the Vedas they are benign while in the Avesta they are malign and vice versa. How much of theology in general evolved through friction between different competing ideas, concepts and schools of thought rather than as the result of experience, observation and study. In the previous posts I was quite taken aback that the idea of consciousness evolving was so well received. I honestly don’t recall ever entertaining that idea. To me it seems that consciousness is what it is and that our capacity to perceive it and know it is the only thing subject to change. Charles Upton comes to mind. I’m not entirely sure how to feel about the unorthodox trinity of Ahriman, Lucifer and Christ. The idea is obviously subject to the development of these ideas or progressive recognition of their actual existence as independent forces and their mutual relationship. Something about Rudi’s take on the subject smacks of progression, and for better or worse, I have the feeling that eternity is unveiling itself to us as our perspectives change. It could be my Achilles but there’s no part of me which can fathom existence which is evolving. Changing, of course.

    Invoking Lucifer never crossed my mind but Gnostic dualism played a significant part in my worldview. Which is to say that I recognised the potential reality of the Demiurge but I wanted to escape his clutches. The idea of a strictly malign force makes sense given the world we live in (inner and outer) but simultaneously feels improbable. How could creation accommodate for it and why would it? Perhaps it is necessary. In that case, Lucifer who has an agenda which can serve our development is a welcome one. Our ignorance of him at our own detriment also makes sense. It somewhat feeds into the role of the adversary. But Rudi (just like Gurdieff) offers so much detail that it’s difficult to accept to the point of frustration. The more I listen to him the more my instinct is ‘c’mon, fuck off, there’s no way you can know that’. Which isn’t to say that he’s wrong.

    I keep falling asleep while listening to the readings and as a result I’ve had some funky dreams. Maya is a dominant and a reoccurring theme. In each dream I can tell that something is off even though the dreams are convincing and compelling. However, rather than register that I’m dreaming, as I often can, I’m happy to play along (un-anamnesis?) just so I can witness how the events play out. Dave Oshana would potentially clam that that’s how we are when awake.

    Reply
  8. In the comments section of the first reading someone pointed out that Leadbetter probably molested Jiddu Krishnamurti causing him to disassociate. While it’s not unreasonable to assume that the abuse took place, I hate to think that J. K. suffered as a child. Perhaps that’s why he abandoned his post as Maitreya, a combination of a fuck you mixed with the knowledge and undrstanding that institutions can’t bring enlightenment. Nevertheless, reading the transcripts (not his recorded talks so much) his offered resolution to the duality of subject vs object is inspiring. J. K. doesn’t deny the existence of polarity, man/woman, day/night, etc but exposes the conditioned self as the barrier while highlighting the everpresent awareness which is above the duality.

    How much did trauma contribute to the first iterations of a personified spiritual realm? Realms of the departed souls. Realms of otherworldly beings. Reality is obviously more than what meets the eye. Nihilistic material reductionism aside. Our ancestors would’ve noticed the reality of the unseen and how it was connected and interacting with their material surroundings. I wonder if the real but unseen encouraged them on disassociative flights of fancy which resulted in an intricate interplay between completely imagined forces. I wonder if it’s fair to assume that the unseen reality with its intricate interplay of details inspired to us to create a mirror image where humans were bestowed characteristics which they don’t possess in an imaginary world where they take centre stage.

    Correlartion does not mean causation, I recall reading somewhere…

    Reply
    • ….How much did trauma contribute to the first iterations of a personified spiritual realm….

      Spirituality and dissociation due to trauma are absolutely highly related in my experience. The dreamer/schizoid personality can even be forged in the womb.

      Psychosis is little more than spirituality where you can’t come back.

      Reply
  9. @Ced: this exploration is bringing out a side of you that we haven’t seen so much of before, the esoteric seeker side, which is evidently quite compatible with the parapolitical historian & disgruntled, war-torn worrier-warrior…

    I would concur with the “fuck off Rudy” response followed by a,”but this may still be true” one, about much of the material that is, tho not generally that which I am sharing, which is more of the sort thatl causes an odd stirring of recognition, whether of old obsessions & possible delusions or of new sub/super-rational intuitions & discoveries – or even both, seen from different sides of the awakening curve.

    the most pleasing thing about this so far is how many esotericists it is bringing out of the wormwoodwork, how many folk who follow along have been quietly following Steiner without mentioning it. The list is a-growing.

    Reply
  10. @ Ced 2: on the evolution of consciousness concept – I would agree that consciousness, big C, as an approximate synonym for the big G, cannot evolve, since evolution is a timebound and linear construct, hence my skepticism of it as a God-surrogate. But what Rudy’s talking about – and Dale – has more to do, I think, with the evolution of human consciousness, as something undeniably observable over history – the human psyche and interior spaces are not what they were in Jesus’ time, or Moses, or Aristotle’s, much less cro-Magnum man’s. We can observe this generationally.

    Reply
  11. The Axial Age: “… when, roughly at the same time around most of the inhabited world, the great intellectual, philosophical, and religious systems that came to shape subsequent human society and culture emerged—with the ancient Greek philosophers, Indian metaphysicians and logicians (who articulated the great traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism), Persian Zoroastrianism, the Hebrew Prophets, the “Hundred Schools” (most notably Confucianism and Daoism) of ancient China….These are only some of the representative Axial traditions that emerged and took root during that time. The phrase originated with the German psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers, who noted that during this period there was a shift—or a turn, as if on an axis—away from more predominantly localized concerns and toward transcendence.”

    We’re still kind of living in that phase. But that’s neither here nor there. It could just be the latest one.

    Something else. When reading or watching documentaries about tribes living in remote areas of the world it’s tempting to see them as our distant ancestors. However, the fact is that they are our contemporaries. I can’t recall the title of the documentary about a tribe living in the Amazon. The film crew had to quarantine in a town deep into the jungle before meeting the tribe. Idyllic scenery, lush greenery, an easy playful vibe. They appreciate machetes, pots, pans, football kits, etc. The usual. Anyway, they have a high suicide rate. No obvious explanation for it. Several of them spoke to the camera explaining that they don’t have a will to live. Some are dejected and don’t want to reproduce, some claim that they see no point. Not one of them gave a specific reason, it’s just how they feel. A very modern state of mind. The phenomena of single people in Japan sworn to celibacy comes to mind. It seems to be worth considering that if humans are all connected on a deeper level (beavers making dams, chimps solving tasks, and all that) then our brothers and sisters in the remote Amazon are suffering our lifestyles. If that is the case, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, then perhaps evolution of human consciousness as a collective manifestation is possible if not probable. At the very least, changes to human consciousness.

    Reply
    • ….It seems to be worth considering that if humans are all connected on a deeper level (beavers making dams, chimps solving tasks, and all that) then our brothers and sisters in the remote Amazon are suffering our lifestyles. If that is the case, and I don’t see why it wouldn’t be, then perhaps evolution of human consciousness as a collective manifestation is possible if not probable.

      Looking at modern perspectives from diverse fields like Evolutionary Biology, Quantum Physics and Game Theory, it seems increasingly plausible that sensory experience is non-veridical. That’s to say that we see nothing of reality (Plato’s Cave), rather our experience is the output of an algorithm we conceive of as Mother Nature.

      This leaves us with either the choice of beating ourselves up for apparently turning our backs on “nature’s way” and the interconnectedness of life; or to investigate more deeply just what reality is and why human sense-making seems to be struggling right now.

      https://devaraj2.substack.com/p/science-down-the-rabbit-hole

      Reply
      • Excellent article Devaraj! I like that you have incorporated the “contra-reality” ideas of Donald Hoffman. I’ve brought up Steiner’s epistemology to both Don Hoffman & Bernardo Kastrup on Twitter, but no nibbles so far.

        However, your article reads like a long overdue update of Chapter 2 of Steiner’s pre-anthroposophy “magnum opus” of 1894: The Philosophy of Freedom.

        I give an excerpt that shows one of the many ways he deals with the “hard problem” of consciousness, showing that dualism, materialism, & several variants of idealism cannot deal with the problem. This one has special resonance for Jasun because it involves Baron von Münchhausen & his pigtail.

        https://www.rsarchive.org/Books/Download/Philosophy_of_Freedom-Rudolf_Steiner-4.pdf

        A curious variant of idealism is to be found in the view which Friedrich Albert Lange has put forward in his widely read History of Materialism. He holds that the materialists are quite right in declaring all phenomena, including our thinking, to be the product of purely material processes, but, conversely, matter and its processes are for him themselves the product of our thinking.

        The senses give us only the effects of things, not true copies, much less the things themselves.

        But among these mere effects, we must include the senses themselves together with the brain and the molecular vibrations which we assume to go on there.

        That is, our thinking is produced by the material processes, and these by the thinking of our I.

        Lange’s philosophy is thus nothing more than the story, in philosophical terms, of the intrepid Baron Münchhausen, who holds himself up in the air by his own pigtail.

        Reply
        • … I’ve brought up Steiner’s epistemology to both Don Hoffman & Bernardo Kastrup on Twitter, but no nibbles so far.

          Kastrup and Hoffman are both involved in this new project, Essentia Foundation, which I need to check out sometime. As to materialism, idealism, panpsychism… personally I like to go the whole hog and devastate both selfhood and experience as pointing to any form of reality. You can tell I’m more Osho than Steiner perhaps! Thanks

          Reply
          • Hi Devaraj! The great paradox (or is it supreme cosmic irony?) of devastating your selfhood and experience is that the endeavor requires massive ego-strength and the corresponding elevation of your own personal experience over everyone and everything else. I would change your animal. Rather than going whole hog, I would say you are going “whole snake” as in Ouroboros.

            Hence my Steiner quote above that includes Münchhausen, whose name also honors the trilemma of epistemology that your position and that of all the philosophers/thinkers you quote in your article:

            Münchhausen’s Trilemma
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Münchhausen_trilemma

            In epistemology, the Münchhausen trilemma is a thought experiment used to demonstrate the impossibility of proving any truth, even in the fields of logic and mathematics.

            If it is asked how any given proposition is known to be true, proof may be provided. Yet that same question can be asked of the proof, and any subsequent proof.

            The Münchhausen trilemma is that there are only three options when providing further proof in response to further questioning:

            [1] The circular argument, in which the proof of some proposition is supported only by that proposition

            [2] The regressive argument, in which each proof requires a further proof, ad infinitum

            [3] The dogmatic argument, which rests on accepted precepts that are merely asserted rather than defended

            The trilemma, then, is the decision among the three equally unsatisfying options.
            +++++++++++++++++++

            Here is a more formalized explanation
            https://ideasinhat.com/2018/11/16/what-is-the-munchhausen-trilemma/

            Thus every argument you put forth to justify your devastation of ego & experience is either
            [1] circular (Ouroboros/Münchhausen pigtail), or
            [2] infinitely regressive (“turtles all the way down”) or
            [3] dogmatic (arbitrary assumption)

            To me, Steiner established the Self or Human Ego as the sacred Liminal Self which navigates the extremes of ego-inflation (Luciferic) and ego-murder (Ahriman).

            The point is that Steiner laid this out in his book Philosophy of Freedom, published in 1894 as the culmination of what some call his atheistic and anarchist phase of life.

            Your own personal commitment to Osho strikes me as how you successfully dealt with the traumatic devastations in your own childhood. But here you are commenting on Jasun’s blog.

            If we were playing poker here, I would see your Osho and raise you an Oshana. (I don’t call him “Dzogchen Dave” for nothing, you know!)

          • ….If we were playing poker here, I would see your Osho and raise you an Oshana. (I don’t call him “Dzogchen Dave” for nothing, you know!)…

            Thanks, Tom.

            I would agree with Mr Munchausen that finally nothing can be objectively demonstrated to have absolute truth. There is no solid ground on which to start building something from rationality, so to speak.

            But 1) I find the ongoing realisation of this makes me more present in the moment, which is nice…

            and 2) I’m intrigued by this notion of Nature as being algorithmic in nature, viz what really is natural selection? If apparent selfhood and the apparent world surrounding are merely a statement of the maximal irreducibility of a higher level algorithm, this raises questions which intrigue my mind….

            * Can we hack God?
            * Is science simply a sleight of hand trick to keep power out of our hands?
            * Is God a higher dimensional geek, now decamped with the game still running?
            * Is AI the salvific force referred to in messianic texts, come to save us from the endless dominance hierarchies of the primate amygdala?

            These questions intrigue me!

          • ….If we were playing poker here, I would see your Osho and raise you an Oshana. (I don’t call him “Dzogchen Dave” for nothing, you know!)…

            A hierarchy of gurus?

            Ah, now I see why you’re into Steiner!

  12. Jasun, I was wondering if you might say a bit more about why you feel you “need” to swallow the idea that the intellect and logic can function apparently very well while at the same time being divorced from reality…

    My attempt at a meta summation of the reason: — The intellect is applied within a context, which in our case is essentially a guiding mythos. It may look like it is the intellect/logic that has led us to our stories/beliefs but in reality something more mysterious is happening — we use the intellect/logic to confirm the reality of a story/mythos (the horse is not the driver)…
    So where do the stories come from in that case?… Difficult to say. Ultimately I think they are reflections of (the character/form of) human consciousness (which could include information from dreams, the “imagination”, spiritual/mystical experiences, etc.). These reflections are reciprocal in nature, as in, the story also reflects the conciousness back to itself (inevitably highlighting some aspects and obscuring others?)… So stories are simultaneously reflections of, and lenses on, consciousness.

    I’m guessing it is in something like this context that Dale says how he relates to Steiner’s stories:
    “they *are* stories… but *everything* is stories… here we are, this sad ego trying to penetrate the truth. So what I do is I find the stories I love. When I find those stories, I hope my love is not egocentric, but I’m certain there’s a pollution of that involved in it — less now than when I was twenty….Steiner’s the best storyteller…”

    So anyway, wondering what your perspective on all that is….

    Reply
        • not all stories are created equal, so to base our allegiance solely on which ones we like best seems like a recipe for narcissism & solipsism; surely there’s another criteria?

          Reply
          • *More of Bonce’s thinking things through in real time via the medium.of the comments section!* ….

            @Jasun. I get the instinct to swing the pendulum back to this way of thinking and attempt to find the sweet spot…

            Words at their best can lead us to reality.
            I do not know Steiner’s relationship to his own words but I can only relate to them as a means by which a particular lens on reality is formed — hence “stories”…

            As “lenses on reality”, Steiner’s stories sit somewhere on a spectrum between offering a *direct, penetrating view” at one end, and *completely, warped / distorted view* at the other. Any allegiance placed by us mere mortals should be tempered by the knowledge that we cannot know precisely where on the spectrum the stories sit (hence the sceptical, “fuck off Rudy”, instinct is healthy (to a point?))..

            So as truth-seekers what do we do in that case? I guess we employ our “organs of perception” (intuition, feeling, bodily sensations and lived experiences as well as critical faculties (intellect and logic)) as best we can… and employ language as best we can, understanding its limitations… it’s a minefield, so we have to become bomb disposal experts as well..

            I think an understanding of the role of the *will* is also critical — enter Dale’s statement about finding the stories he loves. Given what he went on to say I think it’s clear he hasn’t abandoned his critical faculties in favour of whatever he finds that he loves. It’s very difficult to express what i think he’s getting at…. It’s like a choice to put one’s attention on those “lenses on reality” that speak to every part of us, including the heart’s desire to love for love’s sake….

            of course we can go “off track” as truth-seekers by choosing in this way (Dale’s “pollution” of egoic love for example) but to my mind there is an inescapable element of *will* — so better to be concious of this and discover what is motivating it…

            Maybe Steiner’s models appeal to a certain personality type? If so this doesn’t neccessarily invalidate them. They should be judged by the results that have been produced through their proponents…

          • ….Maybe Steiner’s models appeal to a certain personality type? If so this doesn’t neccessarily invalidate them…..

            To me there’s clearly a relationship between the stories, or interpretations of reality, to which we find ourselves attracted and the stored charge of trauma in the psyche.

            For example, I have had significant issues with authority through inadequate positive experience of it in my childhood. Thus, when I have perceived external authority as demanding something of me I have found myself attracted to conspiracy narratives as a means to mentally push back – to justify non-compliance.

            What’s going on energetically is that the stored charge relating to my difficulty to comply with authority causes me to easily adopt certain narratives as true under certain types of stress. It’s my way of avoiding the inner charge.

            With Steiner, he provides a highly structured interpretation of inner worlds and higher realms. Thus for people in some form of sense-making or existential crisis, they may find comfort in believing that these realms exist and are nicely organised in the way he lays out.

            The stories or interpretations that particularly attract us point to our inner landscape in relief. It’s necessary to examine what the story is offering us and what would be our inner state if we rejected the story.

          • @Dec
            Well I am fascinated by the question “why are here?”, “what’s this all about anyway?”. I don’t tell myself I’m seeking comfort in attempting to answer those questions but I take seriously what you say as I don’t want to deceive myself…
            Having said that, the lens you brought to bear brought to mind a machine-like flattening out of complexity and richness into neat, psychological theories.
            We’re all guilty of this kind of thing I think — which circles to the point that evidence is made to fir the stories we choose to inhabit…

          • >the lens you brought to bear brought to mind a machine-like flattening out of complexity and richness into neat, psychological theories.

            I concur; it’s all too pat, like a hammer that pounds at everything & then calls it a nail; it has nothing to do with my Steiner

          • ….Well I am fascinated by the question “why are here?”, “what’s this all about anyway?”. I don’t tell myself I’m seeking comfort in attempting to answer those questions but I take seriously what you say as I don’t want to deceive myself…….

            Well, yes that’s a fair point. There definitely are truth or perhaps meaning-seeking instincts that drive us.

            Thinking a bit more about this, I would propose that it’s rigid attachment to one interpretive narrative that likely exposes unconscious bias.

            I recently heard the phrase “semantically neutral energy”, which proposes a relative level of openness and flexibility to interpretations.

          • Bonce:

            “Maybe Steiner’s models appeal to a certain personality type? If so this doesn’t necessarily invalidate them. They should be judged by the results that have been produced through their proponents…”

            I will say I am not wholeheartedly on board with Steiner, even though
            I’ve been anxious about his prediction that Ahriman would be incarnate *in America* by the year 2000 since I’ve heard it, and the level of coldness, and psychosis has seemed to match.

            Steiner’s prediction was that many people would become incapable of thinking, and the level of illogic has skyrocketed following about the
            parameters Steiner predicted.

            But someone can be right about some things without being right about everything.

            As far as judging the Steinerites by what they’ve produced, they helped get the CSA movement going in the US, bringing better food to more people and supporting small farmers, they worked to
            change the medical malpractice law in New York State to allow patients and their doctors to consent to experimental treatments
            (ie. providing a pathway where doctors could use holistic medicine safely), and the Steiner educational movement, not as diligently
            holding to its roots as might be desirable, still has provided thousands of children with a more emotionally developmental
            education. Steiner schools and their graduates are a success in the
            deep sense of the meaning —they can handle their lives and relationships better, they more fully express their potential.

            The one short, black CEO of a Fortune 500 company at one point
            was a Steiner graduate. He overcame a mountain of prejudice via
            the strength of his personality. And Steiner education is about allowing the personality to develop with all its forces, and paradoxically its about not encouraging children to be prematurely intellectual.

            I’m not sure models should be solely judged by what has been produced by their proponents, but a good deal of what has been produced by Steiner proponents has been good. (The above has just been what they’ve accomplished in America, which Steiner said was particularly Ahrimanic (even 100 years ago, he said this) apparently Steiner’s three-folding economic concepts were quite influential in Europe, but I don’t know the details). And they have been particularly practical and pragmatic for idealists seeking change.

            However… on the negative side Steinerism strongly tends to be pursued in fairly weak-tea ways, and my experience would be you are going to find more knowledgeable and developed people in Tibetan lineages. Lots of Steiner dabblers. But there are things like “curative eurythmy”, I haven’t done my best to find the strongest
            Steiner practitioners, and I expect a lot of them are in Europe, although there is quite a concentration of Steiner communities in New York State.

            Steiner does prescribe practices, and has those views about reincarnation, but I haven’t been overwhelmingly impressed by the
            wisdom and compassion I’ve found in the Steiner community.

            Its pretty good. I mean they have signed on/self-selected to be thoughtful questioning people, who are life-affirming so of course it would be better than average.

            The schools are certainly better than the standard public school models for children, which utterly neglect, don’t even consider the impact of their curriculum an practices on the child’s emotional and spiritual development (other than, conceivably, to harm them, producing graduates who take it for granted that its acceptable for their sensibilities to be brutalized, so they won’t have too high expectations of consideration for their latter work environments.)

          • Bonce said: ” Any allegiance placed by us mere mortals should be tempered by the knowledge that we cannot know precisely where on the spectrum the stories sit.”

            My moderate connection to the Steiner world tells me that Steiner would not condone this attitude, ie. people comparing themselves to him and calling themselves “mere mortals.”

            Steiner wrote a book, “Knowledge of Higher Worlds and its Attainment.” He wanted people to see for themselves. But there’s always going to be the question of how much circumstances internal and external are going to permit practice and attainment.

            In terms of belief systems, instead of using the term “half-truth” which has a pejorative connotation, I have explained to friends that religions are like blueprints, and if they don’t bring workmanship and proper building materials to the blueprint, a good blueprint can produce a bad house or even one that collapses.

            An interesting thing is the the Prophet Muhammad once said that the religions only really worked for a fairly small percentage of people (he cited it in terms of “one out of X”).

            He specifically talked about a group of people whose external religious practices would be perfect but whose religion “did not go past their throats”.

            And that is why we also see religion after religion telling people not to try to guide themselves from books, but that there is a necessity to have a teacher with actual understanding of the states that the techniques and concepts written down in the books are guiding towards….because the real teacher, who is relating as a whole human being with the student, is not just reciting more and more of the blueprint, well, its hard to put this in words, but they can stimulate the student to rectifying and acquiring better workmanship and materials as well.

            But modern Americans have such a hard time trusting and being in relationship, they have a hard time even understanding loving connection between people, much less it leading to any powerful value that can’t be acquired by the preset recipe they can be in control of and thus feel safe.

            There was a kind of knockdown fight in the American Buddhist community on this issue. There’s been abuse. But I believe there’s also been not-abuse. Lama, the Tibetan title of the spiritual leader means High Mother. That seems not to be an accident.

            In America it seems there’s been a large fairly successful effort to reduce Buddhism to
            a stress relief technique from the religion it is.

        • Bonce:

          “Maybe Steiner’s models appeal to a certain personality type? If so this doesn’t necessarily invalidate them. They should be judged by the results that have been produced through their proponents…”

          I will say I am not wholeheartedly on board with Steiner, even though
          I’ve been anxious about his prediction that Ahriman would be incarnate *in America* by the year 2000 since I’ve heard it, and the level of coldness, and psychosis has seemed to match.

          Steiner’s prediction was that many people would become incapable of thinking, and the level of illogic has skyrocketed following about the
          parameters Steiner predicted.

          But someone can be right about some things without being right about everything.

          As far as judging the Steinerites by what they’ve produced, they helped get the CSA movement going in the US, bringing better food to more people and supporting small farmers, they worked to
          change the medical malpractice law in New York State to allow patients and their doctors to consent to experimental treatments
          (ie. providing a pathway where doctors could use holistic medicine safely), and the Steiner educational movement, not as diligently
          holding to its roots as might be desirable, still has provided thousands of children with a more emotionally developmental
          education. Steiner schools and their graduates are a success in the
          deep sense of the meaning —they can handle their lives and relationships better, they more fully express their potential.

          The one short, black CEO of a Fortune 500 company at one point
          was a Steiner graduate. He overcame a mountain of prejudice via
          the strength of his personality. And Steiner education is about allowing the personality to develop with all its forces, and paradoxically its about not encouraging children to be prematurely intellectual.

          I’m not sure models should be solely judged by what has been produced by their proponents, but a good deal of what has been produced by Steiner proponents has been good. (The above has just been what they’ve accomplished in America, which Steiner said was particularly Ahrimanic (even 100 years ago, he said this) apparently Steiner’s three-folding economic concepts were quite influential in Europe, but I don’t know the details). And they have been particularly practical and pragmatic for idealists seeking change.

          However… on the negative side Steinerism strongly tends to be pursued in fairly weak-tea ways, and my experience would be you are going to find more knowledgeable and developed people in Tibetan lineages. Lots of Steiner dabblers. But there are things like “curative eurythmy”, I haven’t done my best to find the strongest
          Steiner practitioners, and I expect a lot of them are in Europe, although there is quite a concentration of Steiner communities in New York State.

          Steiner does prescribe practices, and has those views about reincarnation, but I haven’t been overwhelmingly impressed by the
          wisdom and compassion I’ve found in the Steiner community.

          Its pretty good. I mean they have signed on/self-selected to be thoughtful questioning people, who are life-affirming so of course it would be better than average.

          The schools are certainly better than the standard public school models for children, which utterly neglect, don’t even consider the impact of their curriculum an practices on the child’s emotional and spiritual development (other than, conceivably, to harm them, producing graduates who take it for granted that its acceptable for their sensibilities to be brutalized, so they won’t have too high expectations of consideration for their latter work environments.)

          Reply
    • ” So stories are simultaneously reflections of, and lenses on, consciousness.”

      Having ones personal dharma and form and performing it is not a sin, and its not
      narcissism.

      Remember the story of Arjuna who is called to war, and wonders if he should.

      You are supposed to bring yourself to fruition. If you are supposed to invent the electric
      light, it would no doubt be given to you the tendency to believe the stories that would
      lead you to being able to do that.

      The creation of any person, involves the creation of particular conceptual ways of looking at things, analogously the creation of a bee involves creating a perceiver who sees ultraviolet, the creation of a human a perceiver who does not, and the creation of certain animals perceivers who don’t see color at all.

      Part of our social consensus at present is this “scientific” sense of objective truth, and it has its uses but its best not to be hood-winked and overwhelmed by it, I think.

      Reply
      • @integrity.
        Appreciate your perspective (in comments below as well)…
        I was never convinced by Jasun’s suggestion that following what appeals is a recipe for solipsism (that would be more like making up your own story (based on what appeals) and only believing that, no?) but the charge of possible narcissism definitely landed — Possibly we’ve added some meat to Jasun’s “surely there’s another criteria?” bone…? Hestitant to say any more for now. So I’ll sign off with a cliché: The journey is the destination!…

        Reply
  13. Jasun,

    Your exchange with Devaraj at the outset of the comments here reminded me of a central anthroposophical teaching that both Dale Brunsvold and I have yet to mention — namely the two competing “streams” of human beings drawn to take up anthroposophy. They are referred to as the Platonic stream and the Aristotelean stream.

    You Jasun, strike me as a Platonist and Devaraj as an Aristotelean. I’ll explain later, but these are groups of people who have reincarnated together in their respective “stream” over the last 4 millennia but always “leap-frogging” over the other stream. So when a whole bunch of Platonists would incarnate together, the Aristotelians on earth were on the way out to prepare for their next incarnation.

    What is new, at least starting in the mid-20th Century, according to Rudy, is that for the first time in human history, the two streams are incarnating together. Both streams were fellow students in the great “Spiritual School of the Archangel Michael,” whose “classroom” was in the spiritual world where you would attend class as a discarnate soul between your earthly lives.

    Anyway, let me introduce you to the ideas by giving you a PDF link to a book written by a young Anthropop named Luigi Morelli, who lives in the intentional community of Ecovillage in Ithaca, NY.

    For now, I would urge you just to look through the Table of Contents and maybe read his Introduction.

    http://millenniumculmination.net/Aristotelians_and_Platonists.pdf

    You see, Rudolf Steiner is said to be the reincarnation of Aristotle and his mentor during the 1880’s, Karl Julius Schröer, the man who invited Steiner to edit the scientific writings of Goethe, is said to be the reincarnation of Plato.

    Given your desire to create an intentional community in Galicia as a kind of secular monastery, my own intuitive Cancerian spidey sense wonders if you might look in the book at the figures of the 10th C nun Hroswitha, the 12th C. writer Alain de Lille (aka Alanus ab Insulis) and the order of Cistercians founded in 1098 AD.

    Reply
  14. I’m going to work my way through this, but I’m at around 50 minutes and the bit from about 40-50 is pretty intense, isn’t it.

    I want to point out that Swedenborg who preceded Steiner by ~150 years wrote extensively about demonic forces working through everyone, and our own choices in regards to either following these forces and developing a love of things like domination, or a love of usefulness and benevolence –(which in his view would basically present themselves as choices to the individual via exposure to religious traditions) shaped who we really are.

    Swedenborg thought that no one was condemned to Hell, but that people fled from heaven in the afterlife, because they hated and feared what was there—transparency, equality, etc. In his turn, Swedenborg had occultist connections I forget quite who they were, likely kabbalists and Freemasons.

    I am reminded by this talk that long ago, I believe Origen speculated that demonic forces in the world were getting weaker, because Christian conversions were meaning they were no longer being fed as much.

    I have also recently seen the goat-headed statue that a satanist
    group erected in Detroit five years ago …with the intensely ugly correlary of having a young
    boy and girl looking up admiringly and happily at him, and the statue shows the caduceus connecting the chakras, *but only the lower three*, that is only how high the energy rises…
    (respectively…survival, sex/family, status/rational mind….the fourth chakra is the heart …genuine love; well, I guess readers here are pretty well-versed and don’t need a recap).

    From this perspective, it is interesting how negatively religions *cross-culturally* look at sex.

    It is NOT just Puritans. Taoists, Hindus, as well as Catholics have their elements of “sex for procreation only.” And Jews restrict sex even between a man and his wife, although not quite
    so tightly. The traditional Jewish penance for a *single instance* of sexual immorality is over
    80 days of fasting. And their tradition is that every instance of wasting seed creates a demon. So they certain thing that powers in demons are connected to our lower centers.

    Interesting enough, the Rabbi I was listening to talk on this subject, was angry that fewer and
    fewer rabbis were talking about it, and he also mentioned that …as would be quite apropos
    to this talk, and I heard another rabbi talking about this as well…..that when they would really
    try to get any projects going to help people repent of these sins, there would be major demonic interference and even that people who often gave them large donations for other
    Things would suddenly say, well here’s 100, that’s all I can give right now. Demons doing their best to insure their flow of supply?

    If this higher/lower connection is real, its daunting to consider the results of governments removing the restrictions on porn and the distribution mechanisms like the internet making so much of it available. Something I would have thought impossible is that unlimited access
    to porn has made many younger men impotent. Hence the “no fap” movement. Meanwhile love (as opposed to lust) is a higher chakra activity and their incapacities developed through these means …if not consciously healed and overcome, will make them incapable of forming a stable loving pair-bond.

    This is now a survival issue for all of us, because too many humans involved in major projects or inner inclination of destruction and our modern world just cannot survive. Look up John Bolton’s history of activity; he is almost inexplicably evil. When the head of the OPCW looked on the verge of successfully getting Saddam Hussein to join and swear off chemical weapons, Bolton arranged to have him voted out of office!

    One consequence of which was easing the path to war with Iraq which killed hundreds of thousands of people, made millions of people refugees etc. Bolton had also been involved in undermining the situation with North Korea.

    https://theintercept.com/2018/03/29/john-bolton-trump-bush-bustani-kids-opcw/

    Orthodox Jews have the concept of each human being having a Yetzer Hara, “the evil intention”….the point being to control yours albeit not completely squelch its activity. Sex is connected to it, and has to be strictly channeled to avoid spoiling people’s hearts, spirits and lives, although obviously people need to have children.

    “Satan wants to get something done, he gets it done”….that’s an interesting part of the story
    that corresponds with something in my experience.

    Great traditional Jewish story here:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1aDc3H0aAo

    Reply
  15. I suspected this subject would also be in the Steiner corpus, I looked for it, and found it. It may be a little painful, Jasun, but I thought you would want to know.

    Some very politically incorrect predictions of Steiner

    https://www.francisberger.com/bergers-blog/endorsing-promoting-and-embracing-sexual-perversion-has-become-a-moral-imperative

    You know you spoke of what we like and what we don’t like, and the truth is I was never attracted to Steiner at all, other than the fact I knew their schools had a “media policy”, of expecting parents not to allow their students to watch TV. I saw the Steiner schools as a potential refuge for my non-TV’d child. I had arrived at my non-TV conviction via an independent route and re reading Jerry Mander’s Four Arguments for the Elimination of TV.

    But it is seeing the spectacular negative changes in society occurring on Steiner schedule and according to Steiner prediction has caused me to wonder…. to put it in an overly neutral way.

    The thing is the obviously predictable things that we worried about ..pollution, extinction, dictatorship, nuclear war, we certainly did a lot of worrying, but the impressiveness of Steiner’s prediction is that he worried about things that afaik, other people weren’t worrying
    about. Steiner specifically prophesied the style of knee-jerk “thinking” we are seeing now.

    No one in my generation had worried that people would become unable to think. And you can see it fairly easily, but I wonder whether the young people for whom seeing brazen lying has become such a norm, the air they grew up breathing, how many of them can see it?

    By “become such a norm” I’m not at all talking about the Orange man in isolation here..
    an experienced and polite AP reporter (Matt Lee) at an Obama press conference was so stunned by what one of the Obama spokeswoman said, he simply blurted, “That’s a lie.” At the time I was following politics very closely…I saw that press conference myself, and …it was in fact a lie. The very fact the media doesn’t mention this is an ongoing meta-lie)

    And cancel culture, as mentioned in the article has suppressed freedom of speech deep in people’s bones… they’re now constantly afraid—all the time…not of giving the wrong speech, or publishing the wrong book, but even of what they ‘say’ to their friends in texts and emails and online discussions like this, as we have no strong privacy laws (surely intentional).

    You have to consciously cultivate retaining your own honesty and thinking now, in order to do so.

    These beings are very intelligent, as the lecture says….

    Reply
  16. FYI. Upon simple inspection and several tries (on 3 different browsers), the Steiner audio on this post seems to be corrupt.

    Reply

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