Saturday, March 27, 2010

First Causes & Principles

"In the beginning, my dear, the world was just Being
(sat), one only, without a second. To be sure, some people say: 'In the beginning this world was just Non-being (a-sat), one only, without a second; from that Non-being was produced."

-Chandogya Upanishad, i. 9.1.

The speaker then goes on to contest the idea that Being could arise from Non-being. Thus the debate continues.

These kind of thoughts are not discussed within the Christian Church but it is something Christian initiates have looked at.

In the opening verse of Genesis the Hebrew word BERAESHITH is translated as "in the beginning". If you were to ask a Rabbi he would tell you that the word means "in the principle" or "at-first-in-principle" or "archetypal." Water is already in existence.

Here are the first verses of Genesis translated by Fabre d'Olivet:

"1. At-first-in-principle, he-created, Elohim,
the-selfsameness-of-heavens, and-the-selfsameness-of-earth.

2. And-the-earth was contingent-potentiality in-a-potentiality-of-being; and-darkness-was-on-the-face of-the-deep and-the-breath of-HIM-the-Gods was-pregnantly-moving upon-the-face-of-the-waters.

3. And-he-said HE-the-Being-of-beings: there-shall-be light; and-there-became-light.

4. And-he-did-ken, HE-the-Gods that-light as good; and-he-made-a-division HE-the-Gods, betwixt the-light-and-betwixt the-darkness."

In the first chapter the name of God is Elohim, from the fourth verse onwards, it is Yahweh-IHOAH-Jehovah Elohim.

A book that is a very good primer is Eduard Schuré's From Sphinx to Christ. In it he makes the comment:

"Esoteric tradition holds that, at the same period [the Moon condition of Earth], a certain number of Elohim, who did not wish to take part in the creation of the Earth and of other worlds subject to the laws of condensed matter, left the Sun in order to create Uranus, Neptune and other planets beyond the Saturnine region.....Therefore is Saturn the oldest of the gods, and the one with whom Time began."
Comments by Rudolf Steiner:

"There are still deeper forces which can be active in men, the forces of the outermost planet of our solar system. Modern astronomy does not regard it as the outermost since it has added two more- though even orthodox astronomers are worried because the movement of the moons does not properly fit,* but since it is the spatial arrangement with which they are concerned, they have added Uranus and Neptune. These, however, cause trouble because their moons are a little crazy compared with the ordered moons of Jupiter and other planets. In reality one must say that, for a living, concrete grasp of the planetary system, Saturn is the outermost planet.

* The moons of Neptune and Uranus move in the opposite direction to the satellites of other planets."
This was the argument of the gods which still goes on to this day:

."...It was partly due to this end that the Luciferian supporters maintained that the Earth was born out from a laggard evil; and enough too to calm the purists in their discontent against the notion of evolution and development - given the double distinction against perfection that the two seem to imply. "
But our business on Earth has a great purpose:
"as men we can bring in the holy powers through to our earth element nature as manifested. As men, through Christ, we nurture both the spiritual and the physical realms, when we transmute the Earth sphere with His goodness.
"Lucifer contended that Paradise be kept for all time. He had refused the new futures to come, believing that the beauty of the past offered all of Man's requirements for his subsequent being. However, nothing may keep outwardly without decaying in such preserve. The souls themselves of Man would stultify if withheld in a perpetual paradise that held no inner reality or hard-won substance to it."

- B.Hive

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Soul & Cognition

It can be said that "faith precedes all knowledge". 

In order to come to knowledge of reality, the following conditions must be fulfilled, according to Dr. Steiner: 

  1. Thinking must be possessed of wonder
  2. It must have learned reverent devotion to the world of reality
  3. Know oneself to be in wisdom-filled harmony with the phenomena of the world
  4. Rise still further and enter the region described as a condition of surrender
What is this condition of surrender?:
Now this surrender is only to be attained by making the resolute endeavour again and again to face for ourselves the inadequacy of mere thought. We have to take pains to stimulate and strengthen within us a mood that may be expressed as follows. It must be as though we were constantly saying to ourselves: I ought not to expect that my thinking can give me knowledge of the truth, I ought rather solely to expect of my thinking that it shall educate me....
If we had active divine thinking, if our thinking had something to do with reality, then a false concept would have the result that we should, as it were, stimulate inside us a drying up process in some part or other of our body, a hardening process. You will agree, it would be important to make as few mistakes as possible; for it might not be long before we had made so many mistakes that our body would have become quite dried up and would fall to pieces. We should, in fact, soon find it crumble away if we transformed into reality the mistakes in our thinking.

We actually only maintain ourselves in real existence through the fact that our thinking does not work into reality, but that we are protected from the penetration of our thinking into reality. Thus we can make mistake after mistake in our thinking. If later we correct these mistakes we have thereby educated ourselves, we have grown wiser, and we have not at the same time committed devastation with our mistakes.

As we strengthen ourselves more and more with the moral force of such a thought as this we learn to know the nature of the “surrender” of which I spoke and we come at last to a point where we do not at critical moments of life, turn to thinking, in the hope to gain knowledge and understanding of external things.

- The World of the Senses and the World of the Spirit by Rudolf Steiner 

 Here's a bit of advice we were given:

"We have discussed this many times of course - that the ego of a man may incorporate accordingly as the being of a man ventures out to that 'common' ground, common space, before returning with the experience gained. We are well to be reminded constantly of this process, as the complexities of actual thinking and the narrowing down therewith, are impartial to the success or failure of a man and his ability to protract out from himself sufficiently, to enable greater knowledge.
For the thinking that a man entertains may have little or nothing to do with true knowledge.

Thinking of itself requires containment, thought by thought, and each clings to a man once drawn. The thoughts, like molluscs, attach and congregate in the respective communities and are stubborn to actually make way for the adoption of new and varied thoughts to be brought in.

So a man may labor under the very pressure of those which have amassed and grown as prevalent as weeds. Very simply, one may alleviate this compression by the conscious recognition of this being so, and desire for otherwise knowing that wanton thoughts shall and will be ejected - with time.

They are empowered by our vitality we do give to them by our concentration and use thereof. They are given importance by our employment and are loathe to dissipate, without correction. These thoughts (or more correctly thought-forms) are the eager servants to men and never intentionally injurious. How a man prefers to think directs the nature of those provoked to him; and it is by the essential quality and nature of the man himself that shall direct his thoughts accordingly.

However, there becomes a great blessing should a man come to inquire, to call for such thoughts which are distinctly enlivened by soul-qualities, pertaining to the divine aspects. For then it happens that the benefits are twofold: one being that the former thoughts are loosened, having been disassociated from self as the vitality is directed elsewhere; and the other beneficial aspect is that the more refined and higher a thought the greater its gifts are to Man. In other words, there will be an accentuation from the practice of this thinking, as opposed to the mundane contemplations only bringing more of the same to a man."


'The Sorrowing Soul Between Doubt and Faith' by Elihu Vedder

Here are a couple of papers on the gleaning of knowledge.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Use of Bodily Forces in Spiritual Development

In ancient times there was a link between sex and religion, but there came a time when it could only lead to error and illness -mental and bodily. For some historical information on why this is now decadent read Moses by Emil Bock.

Rudolf Steiner suggested working with the upper chakras only- the root of the nose, throat and heart. This is referred to as seizing the snake by the head rather than the tail; and leads to a free development. It is not asceticism however, it is just that one doesn't access the spiritual by the use of bodily forces such as sex, breathing and narcotics. It is true that in the early days Rudolf Steiner did recommend breathing exercises to some of his pupils, but he preferred that breathing altered itself naturally.

Blavatsky also denounced these practices. I have heard it rumored that the learned Hindu theosophist Subba Row died as a result of tantric practices.

"Just as we cannot feed our physical existence purely by targeting spiritual causality, we can neither invoke the spiritual forces to coincide with us purely by physical means."

A close friend of Rudolf Steiner explained:

The Western way of occult development is not to seek enlightenment by regulating the breathing (yoga), but just the reverse: to bring about a change in the rhythm of breathing by engendering the right thoughts. The breathing is slowed down or halted when the mind is engrossed in contemplation of something that inspires it with admiration!
Or, as Rudolf Steiner himself expressed it in An Outline of Occult Science:

The ultimate ideal is that no exercises of any kind should be done with the physical body as such, not even breathing exercises, so that whatevever happens in the physical will occur simply and solely as an outcome of the exercises for Intution.

-An Outline of Occult Science, Chapter 5, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds (Concerning Initiation) Part 7
It is certainly not our task to tell people what to do, particularly in this Consciousness Soul age where freedom is paramount. It would not be like Dr. Steiner to tell you not to smoke, for instance, but rather just present facts, and then let you make your own decision. All occult exercises can lead to ill health, Dr. Steiner warns, and then gives certain exercises to overcome these problems. Above all one doesn't sacrifice their health for the sake of spiritual development.

I found these lines in Dr. Steiner's lecture cycle "Macrocosm & Microcosm" which shed light on the question:

"In Oriental philosophy the highest member that man, as Spirit-Man, will develop in the future is called "Atma"-a word derived from "Atmen" (breath). He must work at the development of speech and song in which, as a transformed breathing process, there are infinite possibilities.
"Having this in mind we shall realise that as soon as man can produce an actual effect upon his breathing process, this will be a very potent influence. It may therefore all the more easily happen that with his present constitution man is not yet ready for it.

"If exercises that may be undertaken include any that have to do with regulating the breathing process, the utmost caution must be applied to such exercises and the teacher must feel the greatest possible sense of responsibility. For it was the divine-spiritual Beings themselves who in their wisdom modified the breathing process in order to raise man to a higher stage, and because he was not ready they were obliged to place speech outside the control of his individuality.


"Intervention in the breathing process means penetration into a higher sphere and this demands the very greatest sense of responsibility. It may be said quite objectively that all the instructions given so lightheartedly nowadays about this or that mode of breathing really make the impression of CHILDREN PLAYING WITH FIRE. To intervene consciously in the breathing process is to invoke the Divine in man. Because that is so, the laws of the process can be derived only from the very highest attainable knowledge and the utmost caution must be used in this domain.

"At the present time, when there is so little consciousness of the truth that the spiritual underlies everything material, people will believe all too readily that this or that breathing exercise can be advantageous. But once it is realised that everything physical has a spiritual foundation it will also be known that any modification of the breathing belongs to the sublimest of revelations of the spiritual in the physical; it should be associated with a mood of the soul that is akin to prayer, where knowledge becomes prayer.

"Instructions in these profound matters should be given only when the knower is filled with reverence, with the realisation of the grace bestowed by those Beings to whom we must look up, because they send down their wisdom from the heights of the Macrocosm-heights far greater than we, with our ordinary knowledge, can scale."

The ultimate outcome of Spiritual Science is that there rings out like a prayer:

May God's protecting ray of blessing
Pervade my growing soul,
That it may everywhere lay hold
Of strength-bestowing forces.
My soul shall vow
To waken in itself
Life-giving might of love,
To spread God's strength
As seed along life's path,
And thus, with all it owns,
To work God's will.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Edward Bulwer-Lytton & Charles Dickens

 Bulwer-Lytton (author of Vril and Zanoni) influenced Dickens, even to the point of suggesting a new ending for Great Expectations.

"Percy Fitzgerald recalled his first visit to 'Grand Old Knebworth' and his meeting with Bulwer-Lytton in this very room; he was introduced by Charles Dickens who took him upstairs to 'a sort of repaired chamber, where we saw an Eastern potentate sitting on luxurious cushions, with dreamy eyes and reposeful manner, smoking a chibouk'."
A list of links

"A good heart is better than all the heads in the world." - Edward Bulwer-Lytton
Charles Dickens

Bulwer-Lytton's Study