Saturday, October 15, 2011

Kundalini & the Ego

Dr. Steiner did give Kundalini exercises to some of his pupils- this was only after a thorough preparation. Working with the Kundalini is part of initiation, only the Western path is a top-down approach (this being the only way true freedom is assured).

H.P. Blavatsky was of course, firmly against any dabbling in Kundalini exercises- as she was against any "sitting for yoga".

Meher Baba and Goethe are given by Tomberg as examples of two paths. We do not admire Goethe because he was the ideal human being but because of the inner power of his striving after the realization of the gods' (Christ's) ideal. Inner striving after repeated failure is the real test of a man, the success of entering Nirvana is not.

We strive towards the temple which Rudolf Steiner speaks of, only by working through our many imperfections.

Meher Baba was not just someone who applied some yoga exercises and became "enlightened". Folk did undoubtedly experience divinity whilst in his presence. There was a spiritual purity around the man - he was a God-man. Considering he took a vow of silence, he must have had more going for him than just spiritual instructions.

His gift, one would say, was oneness with Father God, rather than union with Christ. Though the Gospel says no one comes to the Father but by Christ, there are paths which bypass Christ. This freedom is also a gift of Christ - they use Him "passively".

Tomberg goes into detail about this as well. It is only on Vulcan that the human being will reach its highest ideal of standing only before Father God. So that is a long way off, and by bypassing all that development we miss out on that great ideal which has been the Divine Plan all along.

Those who choose the Luciferic "lifestyle" will not be obliterated. But some extremists will have suicided out from humanity and become less than human. Dr. Steiner talks about them having dragonlike forms with animal heads.

The trouble with all of this is, that right now humanity is not strong enough to resist the temptation of that blissful existence in favor of the work to be done here on earth. That is why we have to be shielded from it in the after death state.

The Christian initiate enters into Nirvana because of need, not because of want. It is a process of activity and rest which is consistent throughout the Cosmos. All activity or all rest are extremes which both lead to decline.

Interestingly, the original purpose of hairshirts was to keep the mystics from disincarnating while they were experiencing times of great bliss.

Most definitely, the ancient Indian philosophy is extremely complex - and not all are in agreement. Not all the Eastern paths are of the "egoless" way - and we know the dangers of egotism. We all know cases of the spiritual student who has become overcome with egotism - which is really the result of a weak selfhood. An extreme of this is when we think that we are totally independent. This is the temptation of turning stones into bread. Normally our need for food tells us that we are not so independent, that the world is not a construction of own.

Rudolf Steiner elaborates on this in his Gospel of Matthew lectures:

A stubborn factor arising in one who is striving for esoteric development is the tendency to occupy himself solely with his own personality. It is precisely in those who want to find their way into the spiritual world that the habit is so often found of loving to talk about their own cherished personality, concerning themselves with it every moment of the day. Whereas in other circumstances people may deliberately refrain from adopting this attitude when they make efforts to develop or perhaps when they first become anthroposophists, they now begin to pay great attention to their own Ego; and then illusions arise on all hands, illusions from which they were formerly diverted by the ordinary demands of life.

Why does this happen? It is because such people are incapable of coping with what rises up from their own inner nature. They are utterly at a loss to know how to deal with what is happening in themselves. Formerly they were alert and readily attracted by the external world; now they are diverted to their own inner world and all sorts of feelings and emotions that were within them begin to rise up.

Why is this? What such a person really wants is to be an 'I', an Ego, entirely independent of the external world. But then he often falls into the error of wanting to be treated like a child who is told clearly what he must do. He wants to be anything rather than a man who sets his own direction and aim in accordance with what esoteric life teaches him. He has not yet begun to reflect about it, but he has the feeling that dependence upon the external world is a disturbing factor, especially when he wants to be absolutely untrammelled and give all his attention to the dictates of his own egoism.

But there is one fact, trivial though it may seem, that prevents him from detaching his bodily life at least from the surrounding world; this fact is that human beings are obliged to eat. It is a trivial fact but it is fatally true. We can learn from it how powerless we are without the world around us. It is a trenchant example of our dependence upon the surrounding world without which we could not live; we are really like a finger on our hand: if we cut it off it withers. A quite trivial consideration can therefore show us the extent to which we are dependent upon the surrounding world.

Egoism at its highest pitch may take the form of the wish: If only I could become independent of the surrounding world; if only I were myself capable of conjuring into existence by magic that which as an ordinary human being I need in physical life but which causes me to be so strongly aware of my dependence upon the world around! Such a wish may actually arise in those who are seeking to attain Initiation. Even hatred may be aroused by the realization that one is dependent on the environment and incapable of conjuring the means of nourishment into existence by magic. It seems strange to say this, but although wishes that soon arise on a small scale when a person is striving to develop appear paradoxical, in their extreme form they become downright absurdity. A man is usually quite unaware that he has such wishes. In point of fact no human being has them so strongly that he is deluded into claiming the power to create food by magic, to sustain life, by something not derived from the external world, from Malkhut. But in an extreme case someone might believe: If only I were able to live so entirely in my astral body and Ego that I could rely for my needs entirely on my own wishes, I should no longer be dependent on the surrounding world!

This form of temptation does arise. And in the case of the One who was to undergo it in its greatest intensity, it is characterized by the saying that the Tempter confronting Christ Jesus bade Him turn stones into bread. This is temptation in its extreme form. The descent into a man's own inner being is described most wonderfully in St. Matthew's story of the Temptation.

The second stage comes after the aspirant for Initiation has penetrated into his astral body and is confronted by all the emotions and passions that could have made him into an utter egoist.

Perceiving all this, instead of resisting and overcoming it, a man would like to cast himself down into the etheric body and physical body. This is a situation that may well be described as hurling oneself into the abyss. And this is how it is actually described in St. Matthew's Gospel: man casts himself down into what he has not hitherto been able to spoil to any considerable extent, namely, the etheric and physical bodies. But the passions and emotions must first have been overcome. The Christ Being knows this and facing the Tempter, having overcome the forces by His own power, declares: Thou shalt not tempt the Being to whom thou should'st surrender thyself!

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