AltAnthroInfo

Still Yet Another Attempt at 7fold Thinking

June 2013

PREAMBLE:

I regret taking so long to get this post up. Somehow, this turned out to be about the hardest of all my attempts at 7fold thinking. Believe it or not, I started around mid-October. But even after more than half a year, I still haven't brought it to a satisfactory conclusion. I've been looking at my own text for so long now that I can hardly see it. I guess this means it's about time to go with what I have. So, I'm pretty much resigned to showing as much as I have done, and to hoping that something more adequate might somehow result.

I feel that I should have finished this post long ago, but somehow it kept dragging out. I had to keep going over it and over it. I've had some health problems, but I can't really blame them for the delay; I have to blame my own disorganization and time-wasting for a great part of the delay. Really, the whole thing took a long time to "come together". And some of the things that I had written didn't quite ring true after a while, and I had to change or scrap them. And . . . for much of the time I simply couldn't get my mind to work.

Around Christmas, I thought that I had a report almost ready to post, but then I decided that I would have to rewrite much of it -- and then it seemed that I would have to rewrite almost all of it, nearly starting all over. And for a while I thought that I might give up the intention of posting at all on this subject. Then, around the middle of January, things started to change within me, I got more ideas for positive action, and the logjam on my previous attempts at outside action started to break -- or so I thought for a while. So, I had a lot of work and re-working to do.

But then, some diversions came up. One thing that took a lot of time was a re-consideration of the chronology of the life of Jesus Christ. More, I had some other ideas about actions to take, and I tried to do some things, but I kept running into blockages. And more health problems. Then tax time. (US-Americans will know what that means.) And more online diversions; Beinsa Douno and all that. The whole thing just kept dragging on and on.

In my last major post on this theme I left with this question unanswered: "What is the best way to counteract the WC ['Waldorf Critics'] and suchlike activities?" By those "activities" I mean the relentless online opposition to Anthroposophy, accomplished mainly through e-lists and blogs.

I took this question as the starting-point for my next (and now present) attempt at 7fold thinking. That was only a starting-point; the question began as almost more of a feeling than a thought in my mind. I assumed that the question would be refined as I went along. -- One difficulty was that in this case I was not only trying to answer a factual question; I was trying to work out a course of action for myself. And that can get really complicated: a lot depends on my capabilities and on the practical possibilities in my environment -- and these are hard to pin down, especially for an habitually impractical person such as myself. Another difficulty was that I wasn't only trying to think out a simple theme; I was trying to solve a real problem, trying to get "new ideas". It's hard enough just trying to think, really *think*, simple, easily surveyable thoughts, but trying to think out more complicated, innovative thoughts is . . . well, a "real bear".

(The reader can find links to my previous struggles with 7fold thinking here: http://www.altanthroinfo.9f.com/index.htm
Scroll down to the section on "Wrestling . . ." The present post might not make much sense if the reader will have not have gotten at least some of this background.)

I am trying to make this post more readable than were my previous posts on this theme. This time, I will lead with a brief summary of the essentials and results, then I will follow with a couple of appendices, which the reader can either take or leave. The first will be an outline of a suggestion for a simple course of action that everyone can take. The second will be a report on my own long, messy "process": I will let the reader see much of my "process" in approaching this question, with a barely-refined record of my "musings".

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THE SEVENFOLD DIALECTIC (a summary in this case) According to Bondarev, the seven stages of dialectic are as follows:

1. thesis
2. antithesis
3. synthesis
4. beholding (Anschauen)
5. perception of the Idea
6. individualization of the Idea
7. unity of this individual and the general (in another formulation, Bondarev says: "The cycle is completed with the return of the idea with which it began, to all-unity. . . . This is the concluding, seventh element, or the seventh stage." )

(1-2:) THESIS-ANTITHESIS

The question with which I started was this: "What is the best way to counteract the WC and suchlike activities?"

I had, at first at least, to take this as a moral question for me personally; the question is far too big for me to consider in general, for everybody. As a moral question for me, it takes the form: "What do I choose to do?" But what I would want to choose to do would be to take the "best way" -- the most effective for the forward development of the whole Cosmos. The question of what is "best" is not a matter of my *doing*, of taking a course of action, but it is a question of fact: there does exist a "best" way for me, and the exact nature of this "best" way is a question of objective fact. Taken thus, the question isn't merely "personal" for me; it isn't merely a "matter of opinion". It is as much a question of objective fact as is the question of the number of giant squid on Earth. Somewhere, in the great objective World of Truth, the answer exists.

But the immediate problem for me is that I don't know this objective fact about the "best" way. Here, it seems, is the "antithesis". The "thesis" would be that there does exist an objectively "best" course of action for Robert Mason, but the "antithesis" would be that he doesn't know what this course is.

(3:) SYNTHESIS

So I tried, by ordinary cogitation, to find out what this "best" course is for me. And, as far as I can see, my ordinary thinking doesn't show me the "best" way of responding to the WC and their ilk.

I have in the past entered the WC e-list and tried to engage in discussion. But it quickly became evident to me that such an effort was futile, unproductive, doomed, useless. My only hope became that the discussion might be useful for some of the lurkers on the WC, but the lurkers continued to lurk. They were silent, and I saw no point in going on; I got out. Since then, it has been clear to me that I don't want to do *that* again. I don't want to play the WC game: endless, futile arguments going nowhere. That much is clear, and my opinion on that has not changed in years. -- But that is only a negative "response"; I have yet to come up with a better, more positive one.

In a time of extremity, I did get some key information about myself: my main, heartfelt reason for living is to learn how to think better. -- What this means for my response to the WC is that, whatever else this response might be, it must first of all meet my need for learning to think better. This is simply a fact about working effectively with the "tools that I have". In this case my primary tool is myself.

(4:) BEHOLDING

I tried to take the question into a higher realm of thinking. There must exist, objectively, a "best", a most effective, way of of countering the WC-ish resistance to Anthroposophy. I don't know what exactly this "best" way is, and I sought some guidance, from the Gods or from wherever or whatever, in the form of mental pictures -- hopefully some pictures that I can understand.

I got a lot of mental pictures, but seemingly none that mapped out an optimal course of action in detail. It seemed that the Gods were not showing me in pictures exactly what to do; instead They were mostly reading me the riot act about my character flaws. I was not shown a chart of my "best" course of action in any visible, material sense; rather I was shown some glaring defects that I need to correct in myself, and some qualities that I need to develop in myself.

It seemed that I was shown that I need to become more reverent, more innocent and blameless, more respectful, more sober and serious, more mild, more serene, more grateful, more trusting, and indeed: more industrious. It seemed that I needed to acquire these qualities and especially to take them into my actions toward or about the WC.

Does all this add up to "beholding" in Bondarev's sense? -- I did get some mental pictures that, it seems, helped me to approach the problem, though hardly in the way that I had hoped. That's about the best "beholding" that I could come up with. Beyond that, as to whether this meets Bondarev's criteria, I'll leave it to the reader to decide.

(5:) PERCEPTION OF THE IDEA

I think that I got a big hint about the Platonic Idea that is relevant here. It is none other than the Archetype of Man Himself, the Christ. In this case it is Man as moral agent, as a free spirit, such as Steiner tried to teach us in *PoF*. And in this case I am merely a human being trying to make a moral choice about what course to take in response to the WC-ish opposition to Anthroposophy. I didn't want merely to do as I "felt like" doing; I wanted to find the optimal, the cosmically "best" course of action for me. I presumed that this optimal course is not merely a matter of opinion; it does exist objectively as a matter of fact. But the big problem was for me to know exactly what it is.

In general, I believe that "the Idea" here is the Archetype of Man Himself as a loving, free spirit facing a moral decision. A Man, any human being, is only a limited being with limited knowledge of the consequences of any action, so any moral decision cannot be based upon a calculation of the full consequences of an action. At best, a moral decision can be based upon one's most comprehensive information about the consequences.

-- The archetype of Man as/in Jesus Christ must include the quality of "innocence", since Jesus was without sin. Whatever the Human Archetype does in response to any problem must be done with complete absence of guilt -- i.e. an open, clear soul.

I infer that the Archetype of Man, since it includes the qualities intrinsic to Man, must be such that an individual human being who conforms to that archetype should naturally have a perfect "soul", and therefore should have a basic mood of "faith". -- I gather that a pure "astral body", or "soul" of a human being who conforms to the Archetype of Man, who is "without sin", "innocent", would naturally feel all those feelings which Steiner groups under the fundamental mood of "veneration", for all these flow from "faith" -- which itself flows from the knowledge that lies deep within the soul herself, as an inherent possession of the human soul.

Therefore, Man, as an archetype, is a spirit of freedom and love, but more, is a spirit of faith, of healthy, reverent, trusting feelings. But real freedom requires, first of all, real thinking. A True Man must be a true thinker.

Since Christ is the Archetype of Man, opposition to Christ is also thereby an opposition to the possibilities of Man, to what Man can be. Essentially, Man is a Spirit of Freedom and Love. A True Man will be free in his actions, and such freedom depends, in the first place, on consciousness, on the attainment of true thinking. As Steiner said, and as experience proves, thinking is the spiritual form of love -- and in a True Man love will become so thorough that it permeates his whole organism, so that he becomes "harmonious" in all his feelings. (In anthro-speak: so that the astral body becomes transformed into Spirit Self.) But there is more: on this Earth only Man, in contrast to the animals, can *speak*. And a True Man will speak, and speak only that which is true. -- So I gather that, in opposition to the opposition of the WC and the like, it behoves me first of all to work upon myself, to become a better approximation of the Archetype of Man. I need to think better, and I also need to purify my feelings; thus I might *do* better. And as a big part of this doing, I want to speak better, to speak more effectively and more truly.

(6:) -- INDIVIDUALIZATION OF THE IDEA

So, how is this general Idea, of Man Himself to be applied in this particular case? -- The particular moral agent is none other than myself (I am not trying to delineate the "right" moral decision for everyone here), and the moral problem is about my response to the WC-ish opposition to Anthroposophy.

So I try to think clearly about the problem at hand: how am I to best counteract the WC-ish opposition to Anthroposophy. I try to see under the surface, past the superficial appearances, to the real force behind the WC activity, and I see at the base: hatred of the Christ. Rudolf Steiner was merely the foremost public representative of Christ in modern times (that is, the most educational one who got the most publicity, as far as I know), and Anthroposophy is the most powerful Christ-revelation, powerful enough to infuse and transform all aspects of modern culture. So, this opposition to Anthroposophy is ultimately a way of "getting at" the Christ. Steiner faced fierce, even murderous, opposition in his day, as did Christ when He was on Earth. The devils of Hell have always hated Christ and worked against Him, and the WC-ish opposition is ultimately a continuation of that ancient struggle. Perhaps this reality is mostly unconscious to the WC people, nevertheless it is the reality.

Steiner has told us what is the most effective way to counter opposition to Anthroposophy: not to waste time and effort trying to reach people who are not reachable, but to move forward with positive Anthroposophical work. I think that for me this means first of all to work upon myself. I'm trying, still, to learn how to *think*, really. This I take to be my primary task in life now, and if I can put even one more true thinker into this world, that would be a defeat for the WC and their ilk. Not that they likely care what I do, even if they might take notice of me -- but the devils who inspire them do notice that sort of thing, and the emergence of a real thinker would be a defeat for them and a victory for Christ, even if only a little one.

And more: RS admonished the student that he should realize that inner work is at least as important as outer work. Work upon oneself, work in the non-physical worlds, really *is* work for the whole world, including the physical one.

I did try to do a little more "physical" work on the Internet, but that didn't come to much. And I did come up with a plan to "cast out demons" from the WC-ish cyberspaces. But that plan is only borderline "physical", at best.

I feel that I still need to do more in the outer world. But I still don't know exactly what or how. In fact, I've been casting about for something to do and some way to do it, but so far I haven't come up with much. I don't know what else to do now but to keep looking, hoping that something will turn up. -- Really, my knowledge of cosmic effects is very limited; my knowledge of "moral techniques" is limited; and I'm not getting much "moral intuition" either. My energy is very limited, and so is my power. But I still feel that there has to be something more that I could do; I just haven't found it yet.

And since I can't answer the cosmic question about the "best" way, I can turn to a lesser, more answerable question: what would Robert Mason love to do in this case? This question follows in the spirit of Steiner's *PoF*, but once again, asked in this way it is a question of objective fact. Unhappily, it is also a question about myself, and if I want to approach the matter in a practical way, it is also a question about the realistic possibilities. The "facts" about both these aspects are hard for me to ascertain. -- About the only handle I can get on these immediate questions is to try to find (in practice?) what gives me "joy in the doing".

(7:) ALL-UNITY (THE UPSHOT)

What did the 7fold thinking process add up to in this case?

It's hard to say; I still haven't worked it all out. The main thing about my response to the WC and their ilk is not to play their game but to do my work. (But I want to make my work playful, enjoyable, even childlike. If I find the right course of action for me, then it will inherently be joyful.) At this point, it seems that my work is firstly to work upon myself: to work upon my thinking, upon my feelings -- and then upon my actions. And I need, ever and again, to understand that work upon myself, inner work, is in itself real work for the whole world. But I also feel that I want to do more *in* the outer world, and that's mostly what I haven't figured out yet.

CONCLUSION:

What is different now compared to the situation before I started this exercise?

Before I started, I didn't know what I was going to do about the WC and the like. I knew that I wanted to do *something*, but I didn't know what. I knew that I didn't want to enter and take part in their endless discussions. That hasn't changed; but what has changed? -- I had some ideas for activities in the physical world, but those haven't worked out yet; maybe they will work out better in the future. I had the idea for "exorcising" the WC and similar cyberspaces, and that can be done by almost anyone from anywhere. I also had a lot of ideas about what I needed to do to improve myself, especially my feelings.

But mainly I had the idea that I wanted and needed to become a better thinker. I was already working at that anyway, but now I have come to the realization and the intention to intensify my efforts in that direction. It has become my first reason for living. And I have progressed to the point that thinking for me has become a holy sacrament: This is a real experience. I enter a state of mildness and reverence; I expand into the thought-world, which is the spiritual world in its most "abstract" form of experience, and I experience the thoughts as they live out their own lives and impulses. It is not so much a "revelation from above", but an entrance into the "above" and a sharing in the life there. -- I don't do this very often, only at rare moments. But I try to do this more often, and to spread out these moments over more of my life.

And to the extent that I succeed, this will be a serious defeat for the opponents of Anthroposophy, in the WC and elsewhere. It will be more of a defeat than they know -- or can know, given their rejection of and derision at what they consider to be "magical thinking". The existence of even one more real thinker in this world is a serious defeat for them in their opposition to Anthroposophy, and if they don't know that, then at least the devils who inspire them know that.

Even external science is starting to catch on about the effects of "meditation". For instance, as David Wilcock recently reported:

". . . . 50 different scientific studies have confirmed the Meditation Effect is real.

"7000 people get together and meditate -- and global terrorism goes down by 72 percent.

"Similarly dramatic decreases were seen in war, fatalities and violent crime.

"Even if skeptics want to argue about whether or not this is 'real,' the fact is that all other variables have been ruled out -- including weekends, weather, holidays, et cetera.

"This effect has been documented in numerous peer-reviewed publications, including the Journal of Offender Rehabilitation."

Yes, even "science" is confirming what Steiner said long ago: inner work really is effective work for the whole world. So I say to the WC and the like -- My opposition to your opposition is this: love over your hatred. You can argue as much as you want; I partake of the sacrament, which is an act of love. As Steiner said, thinking is love in its spiritual form, and insofar as I am a true thinker, my thinking will defeat your hatred and opposition to the Spirit, in ways you don't even know. This defeat is not an activity of opposing hostility to your hostility; it is an activity of love, which is for you as much as it is for anyone. Maybe I don't love you well enough, but that is my failing, not a failing of love, or of Anthroposophy. You don't have to remain stewing in your hatred; you can accept and find the love, and so come over to the side of the Truth; the way is wide open.

Robert Mason


APPENDIX 1

ABOUT EXORCISM

I had the idea that I, or anyone, could drive out the devils from the cyberspaces of opposition to Anthroposophy, just as one can exorcise a physical space, such as a house. The thing is, one doesn't really drive out the devils through one's own power, but by calling in the power of Jesus Christ. The devils of Hell know Christ, fear Him, and yield to His spiritual power. Christ on Earth told us this. -- What Does the *Bible* Say About Exorcism?

"And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons . . . ." (Mark 16:16 ESV)

"The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, 'Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name!'" (Luke 10:17 ESV)

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay." (Matthew 10:8 ESV)

"And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction." (Matthew 10:1 ESV)

"Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you." (Luke 10:19 ESV)

"For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed." (Acts 8:7 ESV)

"John answered, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.' But Jesus said to him, 'Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.'" (Luke 9:49- 50 ESV)

"Paul . . . turned and said to the spirit, 'I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.' And it came out that very hour." (Acts 16:18 ESV)

"Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, 'I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.' . . . . But the evil spirit answered them, 'Jesus I know . . . ." (Acts 19:13-15 ESV)

-- Those are only a few quotes in this vein. The point is that human being can tell the devils to "come out in the Name of Jesus Christ", and they will come out. The power comes from the Name of Jesus Christ, and I don't see any reason why that power should be limited to a localized physical space.

It is apparent that the cyberspaces of the WC, the Quackometer, Zooey's blog, and the like, are infested with devils and demons inspiring the devilish hatred of and opposition to Anthroposophy. And "we" can cast those devils out. If the human denizens of those cyberspaces keep inviting the devils back in, even unconsciously, then we can keep casting them out. The human dwellers and visitors in those cyberspaces might well still be subjected to the poisonous ideas there, but at least those people would be less subject to obsession and possession by the devils that might otherwise be hanging around.

-- The question bothered me: Where do the devils go after they have been "cast out"? If they are just left to roam, that's probably bad news for somebody. Jesus cast out the "legion" of demons, and they entered the swine and drove them to destruction. That was good for the possessed man, but hard on the swine. And, as Steiner relates, when Jesus saw Lucifer and Ahriman fleeing from the gates of the Essenes, Jesus realized that the other people were worse off, because Lucifer and Ahriman had only gone and oppressed those others all the more. -- The *Bible* records Jesus as saying:

"'When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. Then it says, "I will return to my house from which I came." And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.'" (Matthew 12:43-45 ESV)

-- This indicates to me that a devil who is merely "cast out" is not therefore rendered harmless; he is still free to do mischief, and he will do that if he gets the chance. So, I always make a point of telling the devils whom I adjure to "come out" that they don't have to remain as devils, that they can go into the Light and become spirits of Light. And why not? If even Lucifer and Ahriman can be redeemed, then the way to redemption should be open for all lesser beings.

The point of this Appendix is just to make some suggestions to the reader of some simple actions he can take to remedy the situation. He can instruct, in the Name of Jesus Christ, the devils to come out of the infested cyberspaces, and he can remind the devils that they don't have to remain devils.

The reader can find his own way to do this; I'm not saying that my way is the best. This note is just to give some hints, some food for thought.


APPENDIX 2

MY PROCESS -- MUSINGS:

(What follows in this section is an idealized recording of my "process" in approaching this question. This process was of course disorderly, meandering, and sometimes repetitive. If the reader wishes to see the route I took, here it is, somewhat cleaned up, but still muddled and floundering. I did eventually try to bring some order in the results. This recounting of what led up to the results is only for the very patient, and maybe for those who want to attempt their own 7fold thinking --)

To my perception, I don't see much difference among the online opponents of Anthroposophy (at least in English); they all seem to be pretty much the same as the WC. And I had already made an attempt to work within the WC. And I did, more recently, attempt to draw some people from "Zooey's" blog and the "Quackometer" into conversation, but my attempts didn't even get posted.

Here is the message that I tried to post on those blogs:

>>To all who might be getting tired of playing the usual games here:

>>I invite any and all to come over to an Anthro discussion group, such as or (I hang out here, cyber-virtually, and post sometimes.)

>>Here's the deal: If you are not satisfied with this forum and wish to try something else, then I'll try to engage in dialogue with you, within some limits. I don't get a lot of time online, and I am slow, but I am willing to spend some time where it might do some good.

>>I don't intend to discuss recondite details about Anthro history or Waldorf education, or whatever -- but I am willing to discuss something more meaningful and effective, i.e. the fundamentals of Anthroposophy. And really, the fundamentals are just that: fundamental. They must be grasped before discussion of recondite details could ever be useful. And I believe that such a fundamental discussion can be useful for everyone who is sincere -- for somewhere, deep down, everyone knows the Truth and can recognize it when he sees it.

>>What is fundamental about Anthroposophy is a positive change in consciousness, a deepening of thinking and feeling, leading to better actions. In the basics of Anthroposophy there is information about the fundamentals of life and the world, and of death. This information can be recognized by all with normal minds and good will. And this information can be put into effect, so that people can overcome sickening materialism, and live and die as human beings.

>>Hoping for a real discussion, of something real,<<

(But that post never made it onto the blogs. I presume that the moderators intercepted it and hid it. -- Many of the WC people already know where I am in the cyber-world, but anyone reading this essay may feel free to post that little offer to the WC. But now, I have even less inclination toward "arguing"; I'm more likely to spend my time only in real *dialogue*. But I doubt that most of the WC people know the difference.)

Actually, someone did come out of the WC to ask some basic questions in Steiner12. And I answered, giving it about the best shot that I could. But that person apparently just wanted to argue. And I quickly bailed out; I've had too much of online arguments doomed to futility. People who want to obstruct can always find ways to argue; people who want to progress will find ways to work. At this point in my life, I don't want to engage in endless arguments; they seem useless to me. What would be more useful is for people to make up their minds that they really want to progress. But I can't force people to make that decision, and I wouldn't even if I could; I respect free will. And I am coming to see the incorrigible perverseness of perversity. -- Yet, maybe somewhere there is some "corrigibilty"? . . . I still want to *do* something, but what?

I had earlier joined the WC e-list and tried to enter into dialogue there. But I got nowhere; I ran into stone wall after stone wall, and when I tried to turn the discussion to the basics of Anthroposophy, no one there responded meaningfully, not even a lurker. So I gave up and left; I didn't see any point in spending my time and energy in a doomed effort. But I didn't leave it alone altogether; I couldn't, it seemed. I kept peeking in and trying to figure out what was really going on over there. And it seemed to me that what was *really* going on was not what was happening on the surface. On the surface there were mostly denunciations of Steiner's alleged "racism" and picking away at alleged deficienies in Waldorf education. But that was merely "surface stuff"; under the surface I perceived repressed racial feeling, and even deeper, hostility to Christ Himself.

And I became more and more "freaked out" by the whole thing; I had a hard time understanding how such a thing as the WC could even exist. I tried to work out some understanding in my last major post on this theme. And . . . so I next faced the question of what was I going to *do* about it. To my ordinary thinking, I don't see any need for changing this much of my previous approach: just to stay out of the WC and not let them waste my time and energy, and otherwise to continue on with my own Anthro "work", such as it may be. But now I see that some people do go into the online opponents' territory and try to work in there. And I haven't really decided whether my reaction through ordinary thinking actually shows me the "best" way of responding to the WC and their ilk.

Someone who has tried that more recently than I did came to this conclusion: "But what I've found is that people that won't follow reason - wherever it takes them, which can be past their own prejudices and pre-expectations - aren't worth debating with." And: "Sheesh, wonder why anyone bothers having these discussions." -- Yes: I think: Why bother? It's a waste of time. Maybe some people on the fringes might be reachable, but the hard-core WC people, and the like, are hopeless. -- But I think again, and still I want to *do* something.

***

Stumbling back toward the beginning:

I seem to be working toward a contrasting thesis- antithesis, as a way of beginning a 7fold thinking approach to this problem. Perhaps the thesis would be that an objectively "best" way of counteracting the opponents does exist, somewhere in the great Platonic World of Ideas, but the antithesis would be that I don't know what that course of action is -- and that I know only my floundering, groping, inept take on the situation, and I have only my weak tools to work with?

It seems that here I have gotten about as far as I can get with ordinary thinking. I've gotten the thesis-antithesis and the synthesis. I see the contradiction between the existence of an objectively optimal response from me to the WC and suchlike opponents, and I see my lack of knowledge of that "right", cosmically "best", response -- and I have "reasoned" about it all by ordinary means: I don't want to play the usual games of the opponents and waste my time on endless arguments about obscure Anthro details; I want to deal only with something *real*, the fundamentals of Anthroposophy and what the WC people are really doing, under the surface: working from their hatred of the Christ and of what He brings to Mankind, freedom and knowledge. I want to bring to people what they really need: the information for living and dying as human beings. And I want to work on myself, to improve myself such as I can with the tools and abilities that I have. And . . . I want to be realistic about all of this, to do what is really possible; I'm likely not going to convince the core WC people, not going to convert them. At most I might reach some of the fringe people, but I've tried that before and didn't see any evidence of a response. So I try to follow RS's advice as I understand it: not to waste my time in arguments with the opponents, and to try to work positively at Anthro achievements. For me, lately, that has been to work with 7fold thinking. Maybe now I might "branch out" into some other type of activity, but I'm not sure what.

So, that's about as far as ordinary thinking has taken me. But I gather that all this is not enough; I need to go further. There does exist an optimal course of action for Robert M; I don't know it, but I would like to presume that the Gods know it. It's not a "should", a commandment, but a fact, a cosmic quantity. In this approach a moral question becomes a question of fact. I am not so much looking for a course of action that will please me; I am looking to find the objectively "correct" course of action for me.

STEINER SAID: (from *Anthroposophy -- An Introduction*: Lecture VIII: Lecture: 9th February, 1924; Dornach; GA 234)

[referring mainly to Man's life after death:)

"Whether a man is being helped or injured is for ordinary consciousness to recognise; but the effect of a deed, be it good or evil, wise or foolish, in the spiritual world - its warming or chilling, lightening or darkening action (there are manifold effects) - all this arises before imaginative consciousness and begins to be there for us. And we say to ourselves: Because you did not know all this when you let your ordinary consciousness function in your actions, it does not follow that it was not there. Do not imagine that what you did not know of in your actions - the sources of luminous and warming rays, etc. - was not there because you did not see or experience it. Do not imagine that. You have experienced it all in your sub-consciousness; you have been through it all. Just as the spiritual eyes of your higher consciousness see it now, so, while you were helping or harming another by your kind or evil deed, your sub-consciousness experienced its parallel significance for the spiritual world."

"There is so much in life that we cannot fulfil on earth. In a sense, we must incur a debt to the future, admitting that life sets tasks which we cannot absolve in this present earthly life. We must owe them to the universe, saying: I shall only be able to experience that when I have passed through death. The Science of Initiation brings us this great, though often tragical enrichment of life; we feel this unavoidable indebtedness to life and recognise the necessity of owing the gods what we can only experience after death. Only then can we enter into an experience such as we owe to the universe."

"With ordinary consciousness we see we are incurring debts, but cannot read the 'promissory note' we ought to write. With initiation- consciousness we can, indeed, read the note, but cannot meet it in ordinary life. We must wait till death comes. And, when we have attained this consciousness, when we have so deepened our human conscience that this indebtedness is quite alive in us, we are ready to follow human life farther, beyond the retrospective tableau of which I have spoken and in which we reach back to birth. We now see that, after a few days, we must begin to experience what we have left un-experienced; and this holds for every single deed we have done to other human beings in the world. The last deeds done before death are the first to come before us, and so backwards through life. We first become aware of what our last evil or good deeds signify for the world. Our experience of them while on earth is now eliminated; what we now experience is their significance for the world."

"Thus, in undergoing all he has previously left unexperienced, man [after death] feels all around him beings far higher than himself. They unfold their sympathies and antipathies towards all he now lives through as a consequence of his earthly life. In this experience immediately after death we are within a kind of 'spiritual rain'. We live through the spiritual counterpart of our deeds, and the lofty beings who stand above us rain down their sympathies and antipathies. We are flooded by these, and feel in our spiritual being that what is illuminated by the sympathies of these lofty beings of the higher hierarchies will be accepted by the universe as a good element for the future; whereas all that encounters their antipathies will be rejected, for we feel it would be an evil element in the universe if we did not keep it to ourselves. The antipathies of these lofty beings rain down on an evil deed done to another human being, and we feel that the result would be something exceedingly bad for the universe if we released it, if we did not retain it in ourselves."

(from *Anthroposophy -- An Introduction*: Lecture IX; lecture: 10th February, 1924; Dornach; GA 234:)

"There is no single experience whose spiritual counterpart is not engraved into the spiritual world in which we are ever present, even while on earth. Every hand-shake we have exchanged has its spiritual counterpart; it is there, inscribed into the spiritual world."

". . . . it is a part of this [after-death] experience to feel that beings whom, for the present, we may call 'superhuman', are participating in it. Pressing onwards through these spiritual counterparts of our experiences, we feel as if these spiritual beings were showering down their sympathies and antipathies upon our deeds and thoughts, as we experience them backwards. Thereby we feel what each deed done by us on earth, each thought, feeling, or impulse of will, is worth for purely spiritual existence."

"We [after death] now feel: There is something I have done on earth, in thought or deed; it has its corresponding spiritual worth, and this is engraved into the spiritual cosmos. The beings whom I now encounter can either do something with it, or not; it either lies in the direction of their evolution or of the evolution for which they are striving, or it does not. We feel ourselves placed before the beings of the spiritual world and realise that we have acted in accordance with their intentions or against them, have either added to, or subtracted from, what they willed for the evolution of the world."

-- What I gather from all this is that everything that I do on Earth has an objective, factual value for the whole Universe; the true quantity and quality of this "value" is not merely "a matter of opinion"; it is a question of fact. This "significance for the world" seems to be known to the High Beings, the "Gods", and after death we, like it or not, run into the consequences of what our Earthly deeds "signified" for Them and the whole world.

So . . . my course of action in response to the WC does have an objective effect on the whole world, whether I know it or not. Ergo, it seems to me, there must exist an optimal, a "best" course of action for me -- "best" in the sense that it is most helpful to the forward progress of cosmic evolution. But . . . I can't possibly calculate all the effects of my deeds for the whole Universe, forever. Such a calculation is simply beyond my knowledge and my capabilities.

And so, it seems, I need some information from Above; I need to get the facts, from the Gods, I hope. Bondarev says that the next step in 7fold thinking is "beholding"; Steiner says that spiritual inspiration comes first in "fantasy", in the creating of mental images in consciousness. So, so, so . . . I try to wipe the slate clean, to erase all my opinions and prejudices, to allow that these might all be wrong, and to open myself up to teaching from Above. And I try to do this in mental picturing.

But I'm not getting any pictures; they don't "come to" me.

I try to start off by creating some. I visualize myself with bowed head and folded hands walking reverently under a sky filled with the onlooking Higher Beings, the "choirs of angels". I seem to be walking toward a city (known to me, that I recently passed by) from the southeast, along the river that runs through it. (I didn't plan this; this is just the way the imaging worked out.) I see ahead of me, in or around the city, the Dragon, writhing. I get scared, and look around for help. To the left, south of the river, I "see" Micha-El with His sword. And then I visualize the Christ somewhere above, somewhat to the right. I hope for help and protection from Them. But as I advance into the city, the Dragon gets bigger and bigger, surrounding me, and I get smaller and smaller.

Next step: I did some more asking the Gods for help in finding the optimal path for me in dealing with the WC and their ilk. Asking for pictures. Got some imagery of experiences over a (nearby tidal) river and environs, in a sky-like dome, with Russian-like saints and higher beings in view. Expansive, good feelings, but I still had the question: what does this have to do with the WC and so on? Is it that I must seek for reverence and sincerity from any WC people who want to "talk", or what? Got pictures alright, but not sure whether they were relevant.

-- In another session, trying again: The next image that I get (one that seems relevant; there are many, many that do not) is that of my face with the "blessed" smile that comes from pure thinking and reverence. The thought that I get now is that, whatever I do in relation to the WC etc., I must maintain my "innocence", that is, I must act toward them in a way that is completely free of blame (against me), that is helpful to them. I had the thought that I might make them the "offer" for them to come out of the WC, or at least of suspending their activity there, and trying to find the way out of their evident unhappiness. They do seem so unhappy, and the way to greater happiness is so clear, and so available. The way is plain enough to find to the kind of reverence that RS talks about in the opening pages of *KoHW*, or at least to make the moral decision to seek Truth over one's prejudices. Of course, to do this, really and not merely by talk, requires self-awareness, which requires work and sometimes some pain. But having made at least that little moral decision, then one (with the consciousness normal in technological-scientific culture) can do the kind of self-aware thinking that RS taught in *PoF*. Most of the WC people and that ilk do seem to have enough modern intellectual consciousness to be able to do this much at least, and this requires no belief, just a doing. And if one really does this, then one inherently thereby also feels blessedness, love, in pure thinking. And thinking is most immediately available experience of "spirit" for most of us in modern consciousness. With that experience of the blessedness of thinking, then the way forward is clear toward Anthroposophy; it's just a matter of maintaining that feeling, and that consciousness, while taking in the concepts of the results of spiritual-scientific investigations. Perhaps one might have to pass through a little pain because of the increased flow of life energy dissolving the prejudices right down into the physical organism, but that little pain is so minor compared to the great gain in happiness and self- reality.

I had the thought that childhood in modern society is so much harder even that it was when I was a child, and getting harder all the time. The stresses are so much greater: especially the stress of early puberty bringing sexuality to mere children, the stress of the sexualization of society pushing children to sexiness younger and younger, the stress of the collapse of family life (hardly knowing their mothers, much less their fathers), the stresses of the influx of modern technology (TV, cell phones, computers, etc., etc.), and the stresses of wrong education -- the earliness of intellectualization, the transportation, the crowding and dehumanization, the violence, etc., etc. . . . and so on and on. Children need some relief so desperately, and Steiner education tries, and is able, to bring some relief, even a little. But the WC people try to deny children even this little relief. The WC campaign is so stupendously cruel -- cruel not only to the living and the dead, but especially cruel to children, who need Waldorf education so desperately. It is so hard to live as human beings in modern society, especially for children, and the WC campaign is to deny people the information and the methods that they need to live as human beings. The WC people are mostly unconscious of all this, but their cruelty is still, effectively, so tremendous. The WC people, through fear and hatred and prejudice, fight so hard against the Reality in Anthroposophy; they live in such unhappiness, and they try to make the rest of the world as unhappy as they are. And all this is so cruel. The WC people need a way out, and I should (?) offer them the way out, such as I can, and such as however many or few of them will accept.

-- Another thought: it seems that a lot of very advanced human spirits are coming into incarnation now. There is this huge influx of children who not only "trail clouds of glory" behind them; they bring the glory with them. They see the heavens; they know the love; and they give out the love in many ways, with amazing skills that bring new beneficial inventions to humanity. But at the same time, there is a huge influx of very bad human spirits; they are, as Steiner said, those who seek to push the spirit into the cesspool. In these times the good is getting so much better, and the bad is getting so much worse, that it seems that a tremendous battle is coming, even more of a battle between good and evil than we have seen on earth in recent times.

And again, it is so hard especially for young people to live human lives. So much works against the good that these advanced spirits would bring: such hindrances as technology, family breakdown, economics, and particularly the "educational" system. The good are put down, hindered, and maybe even dosed with Ritalin. Waldorf education is just a faint glimmer of hope, of help, for these incoming spirits. And that's why the crime of the "Waldorf critics" is so great: they try to deny even this little relief to the good incoming spirits, and thus to deny to the wider society the good that these advanced spirits might bring.

I suppose, maybe, I could come to the WC and the like, not to play their usual game, but to offer them a way out of their misery. At the least they could see that the idea that Anthroposophy is a crock is itself only a thought, and it came about though some kind of thinking. From that, it is but a short step to see that thinking itself is the activity that needs to be investigated. Thinking is the bedrock, and a deeper experience of thinking is needed before any other conclusions. If one can come to a deeper experience of thinking, the spirituality and the blessings of thinking become a matter of experience, and all else can follow from that. The experience of the blessedness generates a true reverence for Truth, for Reality, and the path to Anthroposophy is wide open from there. -- And most of the WC people have at least enough of modern consciousness that they could, with a little goodwill, move to that deeper experience of thinking. The trick is, it all depends upon that little bit of goodwill. And that requires some sincerity. Can I find any sincerity there?

-- In another meditation: Asking the Gods again to show me in pictures the optimal path for me in dealing with the WC people. Go a lot of images of parents and elders in my youth and childhood to whom I did not show enough respect, not only "not show", but not have inwardly. I blamed them for their faults without appreciating enough their goodness and achievements. Translating that picture to my question about the WC: maybe I don't have enough respect for them; not only don't I show it, but I don't have it. Maybe I need to understand that, despite their faults, still their achievements and strivings deserve respect, because these, for all I know, might be real achievements. Maybe they are more sincere than I give them credit for? Maybe they're doing the best they can with the tools that they have, given their life-paths? Maybe? Can I judge at all, or do I have to give them the benefit of the doubt? Maybe I should apologize to them for "condescending", as one of them said to me????

(And maybe, as Steiner said, many of them might, deep down, actually have a longing for Anthroposophy:

("It often happens in life that a man deadens himself to what lies in the subconscious; there are people who may have an intense longing for Anthroposophy - but they deaden it. By raging against Anthroposophy they deaden this longing and delude themselves by repudiating it. But after death the longing asserts itself all the more forcibly. The most ardent longing for Anthroposophy often shows itself after death in the very people who have raged against it in life." [Links Between the Living and the Dead (10th October, 1913; Bergen; GA 140)] (I am aware that some in the WC already know of this idea and sneer at it. But, somehow, if the right way of bringing up this longing could be found before death, then maybe these "Sauls" might become "Pauls"?)

-- Another session, trying again to get some message from the Gods about my optimal course in relation to the WC etc. -- Got an image of my recent visits to a restaurant where I was getting food for someone sick and dying; had more of my feeling in this session in relation to what I went through back then, with the sickness and death. Had the thought: I need to have more of an earnest, serious, somber, even tragic feeling in relation to the WC people; being freaked out isn't nearly good enough; it isn't serious enough, given what I have gotten in experience from the Gods. I must have more respect for the WC people; I don't have enough knowledge to determine that they -- all -- are not sincere at some level. More: not only respect, but seriousness and sobriety; being freaked out trivializes the situation and demeans myself; it is a sign of my own un-development. Maybe pity is condescending; I need rather to have respect and seriousness? However, I resolve not to let them snow me; not to let them waste my time or set my agenda. But at least I can't let myself merely be freaked out.

-- Yet another session: Still asking the Gods for a visualization about my optimal path in response to the WC etc.; not getting any pictures that seem meaningful for this question, just scenes from everyday life, with maybe a dome of Beings overhead. But I did get the idea from all this, somehow, that I was not being gentle and mild enough in relation to the WC people. Being freaked out is not mildness; being freaked out is a sign of my own underdevelopment. Seems that I need to regard the WC inwardly with not only respect but mildness, and not only outwardly but deeply, inwardly. This is what I gathered from the thought of the Manicheans and their pacifism; I need to be not only peaceful in my outward actions but especially in my inward thoughts and feeling. Still, I can't let the WC people waste my time or determine my work; they are still hostile and their game is designed, perhaps unconsciously, as a spider's web to ensnare the Anthro and entangle him in futility. But, for me . . . mildness, mildness.

-- Trying yet again: There can be no "desperation" in seeking the 4th stage or any stage of the 7fold dialectic, if -- one regards one's "lower self" from the vantage of the "higher self". That is, if one lives in one's eternal being ("spirit"?), then one sees one's striving for 7fold thinking like all other strivings of the lower self, the transitory self, the illusory self. Desperation must be out; only the serenity and calmness, the clear-sightedness, of the view from the eternal can prevail. To the eternal self it is not a matter of desperation as to whether or not the lower self achieves 7fold thinking; it is a matter of objective viewing, like all else transitory as seen from the eternal, the inherently unchanging.

-- Still yet another session: Took a nap, kinda, this afternoon, then as awoken, tried to meditate; trying to experience more fully the meanings themselves and the activity of thinking. Didn't do very well at that; then had the thought that I needed to accept and recognize that which I had already been given from the spiritual worlds: the information of Anthroposophy. And I needed to recognize that I did "know" it already, in way, deep down, subconsciously, just as everyone deep down already knows the Truth. And I can recognize it when I see it, just as I had the experience "I have always known this" when I first read *KoHW*. And there's no excuse for not acknowledging this "knowledge"; it's unreal not to. I couldn't say that no one ever told me; I have been told, and that really is enough, if I'm honest with myself.

So . . . tried again to ask the Gods to give me some pictures in answer to the question about my cosmically optimal course in dealing with the WC etc. Got a picture, a scene from my daily life of the past few years, and the feeling from the picture was that of coldness, bleakness, tiredness, almost despair. And I had the thought: "I have to work with the tools that I have." I had almost had this same thought at the scene pictured. And that seemed to be a kind of answer to my question: in dealing with the WC I can at best work only with the tools that I have. And I have only modest tools; I'm tired; I don't have a lot of time, even though I'm getting more time online than I have over the past few years. I don't have access to all the minutiae that the WC want to discuss. I tried years ago to get a discussion going in the WC about the basics, and no one there wanted to talk about that, really; not even any of the lurkers came forward. So, this is about all that I can do with the tools that I have: talk about the basics with people who are sincere and willing to listen. I can't let the WC people sap my time and energy playing their usual games. I can do only that which I *can* do, with my tools. To try to do anything else would be unrealistic, and to be unrealistic is to be ineffective. And my question was about the most effective way of countering the WC.

My way might not be the right way for everyone, but I think that all Anthros need to at least ask those same questions: Are the WC and their ilk merely wasting my time in endless discussion of minutiae, while the real questions are much more basic: the need for reverence for truth, and the moral decision to choose objective thinking over a preference for one's own prejudices. And reverence for Truth sometimes entails a demand for self-awareness, and that demand sometimes entails some pain. I think that the real problem with the WC and their kind is not as much what is discussed on the surface as what lies beneath the surface. And one can get under the surface only by going into the basics, and in a real way, not merely by talking. One must appeal for sincerity and self-awareness.

-- Another session, trying to think objectively. The concepts, not I, do the thinking. Expanded. Asking the question about the WC. Mental pictures of my recent travel to/from a family funeral. Got the idea: the best path for RM is not only to help most effectively the living, but also the dead. Do the dead need endless discussions of the WC agenda? Or something more basic?

-- And: the need to help the animals and all creation, which "groaneth and travaileth". Does the WC discussion do this, or is something else needed?

-- Not only do I want to "talk" to help "others", but I crave the human contact. I am the most immediate tool which I can work with, and this is a condition of that tool. I must work with the tools that I have.

-- Yet again thinking, asking again about my optimal course, trying to get some "beholding" visualizations. Got the image of my aunt's and uncle's home area in the country; got the feeling of the slowness, the simplicity of the faith there, even the "backwardness", and the serenity. These were not sophisticated people, but the kind of decent, honest, hardworking people who are the "backbone" of civilization. I remember my uncle saying, in reference to the ongoing crisis in the Middle East: "God has it under control." Or words to that effect. Got the idea that no matter what course I take in relation to the WC, if my intentions are right, then "God" will give me course corrections, if necessary. The main thing for me is to have the right intentions and to be making my best efforts; and to have faith that God will work it out for the best for all concerned. After all; His hand is not short. As STEINER SAID: ". . . the truth is what leads to the highest and noblest impulses for human evolution; the truth should be dearer to us than we are to ourselves. If our relationship to truth is guided by these words and we still make a mistake in this life, the truth will be strong enough to draw us to itself in the next incarnation. Honest mistakes we make in this incarnation will be compensated and redeemed in the next. It is better to make an honest mistake than to adhere to dogmas dishonestly. After all, our path will be lit by the promise that truth will ultimately prevail, not by our own will, but by its own inherent divine power."

I gather that if I make an honest mistake in my response-actions to the WC etc., after all my best efforts at trying to find the cosmically right course, then I need to have faith that the Good will prevail, not by my actions, but by Its own inherent Divine power.

-- And again: woke up in the morning, trying to think objectively, asking the Gods for some images of "beholding" in answer to my question about the optimal course for me in dealing with the WC and their ilk. Somehow I got the idea, and the image, of the Christ Himself, as Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Had the thought: the Christ is the Archetype of Man, the Platonic Idea of the Human Being. Rudolf Steiner was the foremost public representative of Christ in our time, and Anthroposophy was/is the most specific implementation of Christ's working in modern society/culture. RS was implementing the impulses of Micha-El and the "Michael School", and Micha-El was/is the "countenance of Christ". (Martha Keltz says that the Name of the spirit- individuality who incarnated as RS is "Brunnen von Christus", the "Fount of Christ".) That is essentially what RS was "about", and Anthroposophy is the expression of Christ as He wants to work into modern culture. When the WC oppose RS and Anthroposophy (specifically, mostly as "racist" and bad educationally in "Waldorf"), this is really, at base, an indirect way of fighting against the Christ. If I want to counteract the work of the WC most effectively, then I must "promote" the Christ Himself -- most specifically in Anthroposophy, but behind that, the Christ Himself. I haven't done this well enough, so far; I need to do it more so.

So, the "archetype" at work here seems to be the Idea of Man himself as free spirit and "spirit of love". This Idea is, literally, the Cosmic Christ Himself, Who was incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth. So, in this case, in Bondarev's sense (as I understand it), the Idea at work here is the Archetype of Man Himself as Spirit of Freedom and Love; and RS taught us the path to real freedom, and hence love, in *PoF*. My optimal course in response to the WC is to act as RS taught in *PoF*, as a free spirit, from "moral intuition". And the action that I would "love to do" is to take the most effective course, cosmically, in response to the WC. But I can't calculate all the cosmic effects of my actions; I need some "beholding" or some kind of information from Those Who know better than I do, from the Gods. Essentially, behind and beneath the surface, the WC and their ilk, are opposing Christ, by opposing Anthroposophy specifically. So, my "task", it would seem, is to promote -- somehow, in the "best", most effective, way -- the Christ and Anthroposophy especially. How to do that most effectively, in my situation, with my "tools", is the more specific question.

The rules of the WC prohibit "ad hominem" attacks; this rule makes it impossible to enter that e-list and talk about anything real, for to talk about something real, not playing the usual superficial games, necessitates talking about what people there are really *doing*, and that would likely be considered to be "ad hominem". And I have tried to talk about the more basic principles of Anthroposophy in the WC before, and gotten nowhere, with not even a real response from the lurkers. So, I can't see any way for me to "join" the WC list again and accomplish any real work there. My optimal course would seem to lie somewhere else, doing something else.

-- And trying still yet again: overnight I had the thought: I'm asking the Gods about my optimal path etc., because I can't calculate all the cosmic effects and ramifications. But -- maybe the Gods don't know them all either? These Gods are not infinite Beings, so maybe they don't know everything, and hence don't know ALL the ramifications of my actions. Maybe they "know" enough to judge me after my death, according to how my actions help or hinder their cosmic plans and their own evolution, but still maybe they don't know perfectly all the ramifications. Maybe at some point they must have "faith" in the Supreme Gods, just as I do. So maybe it's unfair of me to ask them that question in any absolute sense. Heck, maybe even Jesus Christ doesn't know everything; maybe even He at some point can only have faith in the Supreme God? JC as the Archetype of Man must (?) be a limited being, just as Man himself, any man, must be only a limited being. So, really, I might ask the Gods for "beholding" pictures as some kind of indication of Their thoughts, but I can't ask them for knowledge that even They don't have. They surely know a lot more than I do, but still not everything. -- So, then . . . what do I do, even just trying to work out the question 7foldedly? I just try to think objectively, accepting help from wherever I can get it, but still, at some point, I must realize that I can't have a certain answer, that I can at best have "faith" that the Supreme God will work it out for the best, if I have pure intentions toward doing the real, ultimate, absolute best. Maybe I won't get it right, but I can have faith that God will, somehow, make it right.

-- Another attempt, overnight: trying to think objectively; not a vision, but an insight: the WC couldn't waste any more of my time than I do. I need to stop wasting my own time. That's part of my "optimal path". Mainly I waste time by letting my mind run away, and by slipping into diversionary activities. I need to stop that.

-- As I concluded in my last post on this theme, evil (such as that in the WC) must be in the world; the world would be incomplete without it. It does no good merely to fret about its existence; a more useful course would be to find effective ways of counteracting it. That's what I'm trying to do here and now, for myself at least. -- So, what do I do? Preach Christ? Evangelize? But others are already doing that; I'm trying to find a course of action more suited to my particular abilities and to the immediate problem of the WC and the like.

***

-- I tried to pursue the problem with "7fold thinking": In my first attempt at "beholding" I imagined the scene of my approaching the city with the dragon etc. But I didn't get, understand, any particular course of action from this picture. I was still floundering, casting about for guidance from feeling, from "joy in the doing" or whatever.

In my next attempt I got a mental picture of the sky-dome with the saints etc., suffused with a feeling of reverence. The picture didn't seem to me to be very meaningful in pointing out a path of action, but the feeling did seem more meaningful as an indicator I got the idea that whatever course of action I might take, that course should be one such that it could and would be filled for me with a feeling of "reverence". -- Not exactly a mapping-out of a course of action, but a clue about its quality.

Trying again, I got a picture of myself with an "innocent" smile. Again, not exactly a map of a course of action, but a clue about its needed quality, a quality that would allow and bring about a feeling within me, a feeling of "innocence". Whatever course of action I take in relation to the WC and their ilk, I should maintain my own "innocence". Instead of just blaming them for whatever their failings might be, I must be blameless myself. And so far, I haven't been quite blameless. -- I followed that imagery with thoughts about the difficulties of modern childhood, and about the cruelty to children of the WC campaign and the unavoidable misery that must fall upon those campaigners, etc. I thought that I might do well to offer the WC people a way out of their misery, a way that if taken might thereby help some children.

This was followed by another picture, of people in my life whom (it seems to me now) I did not respect enough. (These were mostly people in my early family life. As I suppose is usual for a child, I took the good for granted and whined and complained, perhaps silently, about the bad. Indeed, I blamed these people for their shortcomings and did not respect them enough for their achievements, even their achievements in relation to me.) And from that followed the thought: perhaps I do not respect the WC people enough; perhaps my attitude should be not merely pity, which might be condescending, but also more respectful for their struggles and achievements. After all, I don't have enough knowledge to see into their souls, to know what their struggles and life-paths have been; I don't know that all of them are not doing the best that they can with what they know. Maybe their opposition to Anthroposophy really is a forward accomplishment for them, from where they came?

And another mental picture evoked in me the tragic feeling that comes from closeness to sickness and death. And again, not a picture that mapped out precisely a course of action, but more information about my feelings. My feelings in relation to the WC had been deficient, and needed improvement. Merely being "freaked out" by the WC isn't good enough; this is more a sign of my own failings than of the failings of the WC. Whatever course of action I might take, I need to be more sober and more serious. Indeed, the spectacle of the WC and their like is tragic; I see them digging themselves deeper and deeper into their holes in Hell, and that really is serious.

From another picture: not very specific, but again I got the idea that my feelings in relation to the WC were wanting. My feelings were too rough; they were not mild enough. Even the slightest violence within me, in the realm of feeling, is a fault. Whatever I do about the WC, my actions must be completely free of even a hint of violence; they must be wholly mild.

Still trying to get a picture that would be more "meaningful" for me -- I mean, one that would show me exactly what to do. Instead, got the thought that maybe I was trying too hard, with too much desperation. I needed to be more serene about the whole thing, more objective.

Failing again to "get" a mental picture that was satisfying to me, I instead got the idea that I needed more to appreciate what I had already been given from the literature of Anthroposophy.

After some time I did "get" a picture that seemed to tell me how very tired I was, and how limited are my abilities. Once more, I got the idea that the best I could do was simply to work within my limitations; there is no good in trying to do more than I can realistically do.

Another picture seemed to tell me that I needed to take a course that would help not only the living but also the dead. And more, to help not only people but also the animals, even the whole of creation. I needed to widen my view of the effects that my actions might have.

And still another mental picture seemed to tell me that I was striving for too much certainty about my course of action. Complete, detailed certainty about everything is not given to human beings; at some point a mere human being must rely on faith that the beneficent Higher Powers will work it all out for the best, whatever the "merely human" weaknesses might be.

At last: a mental picture of the Christ Himself. But this picture, it seems to me, is not merely a "beholding" of the question at hand, but leads directly to the next stage of the 7fold dialectic.

And finally, not a vision, but an insight about one of my worst character flaws. Neither the WC people nor anyone else could waste more of my time than I do. Wasting my time is a lifelong bad habit that I need to correct in myself, and not to look around for other people to blame for it. I might blame my "attention deficit disorder", but still that's a defect that could be corrected, or at least ameliorated, through my own efforts.

Perhaps when, or if, I correct those defects, then my "best" course of action will become more clear?

-- But the problem of the lack of knowledge of cosmic consequences is not peculiar to this particular question; that problem could be said to exist just as much for any moral decision. And my limitations of knowledge would, in principle, be the same for any moral decision that I might want to make. So, what do I, as a free agent, but also as one very limited in knowledge, do?

That could be a general question for any human being, in any moral situation. It seems to me that the answer lies in looking toward the Archetype of Man, to the Christ. Man, archetypally, is, and can only be, a limited being: limited in knowledge and limited in power. Surely Man, at a certain stage of consciousness, is free, but he is also, to some extent, ignorant and weak. Even the Archetype of Man Himself, the Christ as He appeared on Earth, is a limited being. It is reported that Jesus Christ said:

(*Matt*. 24: 36) "But of that day and hour knoweth no *man*, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

This seems to imply fairly clearly that even Jesus Christ doesn't know everything. Even the Archetype of Man has limits to His knowledge, so also must I, as must any human being.

So, this is a general problem: Man, anyone, even if he has reached the status of *free spirit*, must have limits to his knowledge of the complete implications and effects of his actions. Steiner tells us that the free spirit acts only from love of the action, but could anyone really *love* an action unless he were convinced that it were somehow the "best" for the world? I couldn't love it, but neither could I have that knowledge. So . . . what do I do?

As STEINER SAYS, the "Tenth Hierarchy", Man, is to comprise spirits "of freedom and love". And the incarnated Archetype of Man, Jesus Christ, was surely an incarnation of Love. What does "freedom" have to do with "love"? -- As RS teaches in *PoF*, real freedom requires genuine thinking, which itself is love in its spiritual form. For most of us, I suppose, it's hard to see the connection. That's because, again I suppose, most of us have no experience of real thinking. Once one has that experience, it's not so hard to see the connection. For one thing, real thinking *feels* like love; for another, real thinking requires self-abnegation and self- sacrifice, as does, it would likely be readily acknowledged, love. One might love as a feeling, without really thinking, but one cannot truly think without love.

-- To consider further the question of what is the Platonic Idea at work here:

What exactly does it mean to be "without sin"? We might take it for granted that this means that one is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, but we need to go beyond the ordinary notions of "doing". As Steiner teaches, the actions, the "doings", in the soul and spiritual worlds are just as important for the esotericist as are actions in the physical world, if not more so. Ergo, one who is completely innocent, as was Jesus Christ, must be innocent also in thoughts and feelings. To be innocent in thoughts must mean, at the least, to think truthfully and only truthfully, but what does it mean to be innocent in feelings?

Steiner gives us some fairly clear suggestions in the first pages of *KoHW*. There he states that *veneration* must be the fundamental mood in the student. RS mentions "veneration, respect, adoration, and wonder", also "devotion" and "admiration and homage", and again "veneration, homage, devotion". He says that these feelings should begin with thoughts: "It is not enough that I [as an esoteric student] show respect only in my outward bearing; I must have this respect in my thoughts. The student must begin by absorbing this devotion into his thought-life. He must be wary of thoughts of disrespect, of adverse criticism, existing in his consciousness, and he must endeavor straightaway to cultivate thoughts of devotion." Further, RS enjoins "thoughts evoking in us admiration, respect and veneration for the world and for life". -- We might surmise that, at the least, one who is "without sin" would have such feelings to the exclusion of the contrary. And if Jesus Christ was the incarnated Archetype of Man, then that archetype must include not only "freedom and love" but also innocence in the physical, soul, and spiritual worlds. This innocence might entail true thinking and feelings which could be gathered under the heading of "veneration".

More, the very nature of the "soul", the "astral body", is such that in its natural state it inherently feels "faith". STEINER SAYS:

"The important point is not whether we believe or not, but that the forces expressed in the word 'faith' are necessary to the soul. For the soul incapable of faith become withered, dried-up as the desert."

"If we do not possess forces such as are expressed in the word 'faith', something in us goes to waste; we wither as do the leaves in autumn."

"This something, which immediately makes itself felt if we fail to bring it fresh life, is the human sheath where the forces of faith are active. We may term it the faith-soul, or - as I prefer - the faith-body. It has hitherto been given the more abstract name of astral body. The most important forces of the astral body are those of faith, so the term astral body and the term faith-body are equally justified."

(from "Faith, Love, Hope: The Third Revelation"; 2nd December, 1911; Nuremberg; GA 130)

But faith is not a mere feeling, locked in itself, as it were. It goes beyond merely subjective feeling; it is based upon and leads to "knowledge". For this feeling of "faith" is grounded in the knowledge that is inherent in the subconscious depths of the soul. STEINER SAYS:

". . . . all knowledge of the worlds of soul and spirit slumbers in the profoundest depths of the human soul. We can grasp, however, not only what we ourselves have brought to light, but also what someone else has brought up from the depths of soul. This is so even when we have ourselves not yet made any preparations for the treading of the Path of Knowledge. Correct spiritual insight awakens the powers of comprehension in anyone whose inner nature is not beclouded by preconceptions and prejudices. Unconscious knowledge flashes up to meet the spiritual fact discovered by another, and this 'flashing up' is not blind faith but the right working of healthy human understanding." [Theosophy; p.156]

(Does all this fit together with some kind of "intuition" about the applicability of the quality, the Platonic Idea, of "Goodness"?)

-- Trying to reach the stage of "invidualization":

It happened that during the course of this present attempt at 7fold thinking I became ill, and it seemed to me that I might be dying. At least death seemed close enough that I had to ask myself, for real, why didn't I want to die just yet. What was my justification for being alive on this Earth a while longer? -- The answer that came from my heart was that I need to learn how to *think*, really think. I can already think some; I can even, sometimes, a little, think in the "present" as Steiner taught in *PoF*. But I need to reach a deeper, fuller, more effective experience of thinking, of thinking not just simple thoughts but more difficult thoughts, such as would enable the solving of real problems. -- Later I realized that I do, at some level, wish most of all for the "happiness" of all beings; this is my most most basic, general wish. But the elemental desire, coming from from my innards, in a time of "extremity", was the craving to think better. I can allow that if I am a better thinker, then I can be a better worker for universal "happiness"; after all, right action depends upon thinking correctly, creatively, and realistically. Still, it is a fact about myself that I crave to learn how to think; this is the most basic, elemental fact about myself, regardless of all other wishes. This is the most salient quality about the major "tool" with which I have to work: myself. -- As it turned out, that death scare was just that, a false alarm; I hadn't really been near death after all. Still, I had found out something essential about the main "tool" with which I have to work.

What all this means for my response to the WC is that, whatever else this response might be, it must first of all meet my need for learning to think better. This is simply a fact about working effectively with the "tools that I have".

I wanted first of all to find the right course of action; "right", that is, meaning the course of action that most helps the forward evolution of the whole world. But I cannot calculate, cannot know, all the effects any action might have for the whole world. So I went to a Higher Source, trying to get some information in picture form from the Gods about the "best" course of action in this case. But I didn't get a precise, exact map of any particular course to take; mostly I got pictures that seemed to point out some of my personal defects. And I must allow that maybe even the Gods Themselves don't know the *full* answer to my question; perhaps even They can't calculate *all* the effects of an action. But, again, I must allow that They know a lot more about it all than I do.

So, once again I am thrown back on myself. I try to act as my best self, conforming as nearly as I can to the Archetype of Man, and a human being is necessarily a limited being, especially limited in knowledge and power. I can act based only on my limited knowledge and power, and I try to act fulfilling as nearly as I can the human archetype. I got some rather pointed hints about how I *don't* usually conform to that archetype: I don't have enough innocence, respect, seriousness, reverence, mildness. More, I am just plain tired, lazy, and disorganized. Still more, I wasn't thinking widely enough about the effects of my actions. -- My "beholding" didn't really tell me what to do about the WC and their like; it seemed to tell me that I really need to do something about myself.

I presume that if I would better conform myself to the Archetype of Man, then my personal failings would be much lessened. I know, from self-observation, that I have a big problem with my feelings, maybe even more than with my thinking and doing. Steiner's description of the feelings that are necessary for the esoteric student are the very opposite of my natural feelings. For almost every requisite soul- quality that Steiner lists, the opposite is more natural for me. I've been working on this very problem for years and years, but . . . it's not usually going very well.

I had the thought: after long years of trying, it seems to me that the most effective approach is when I don't try to generate the positive soul-qualities, but when I try to eliminate the bad ones. If I can be "innocent", that is, for me, if I eliminate my usual feelings of anger, fear, despair, egotism, etc. -- then the positive feeling seem to come to the fore *of themselves*. And I know of no more effective way of being innocent or blameless than to think truthfully, and then to try to carry over that truthfulness into my life in feelings and actions. I gather that if I can get to the point that I don't distort my own soul with hurtful feelings and false thoughts (that is, if I am "innocent"), then my soul assumes her natural shape automatically, as it were. As Steiner says, the soul is by nature a "faith body", and as long as I do not force my soul into an unnatural shape, then my soul naturally feels those healthy feelings that come under the concept of "faith": devotion, respect, gratitude, etc. This is my experience anyway (sometimes): my job is only to make sure that I am blameless, even temporarily, then the rest of the job takes care of itself -- those healthy feelings that Steiner says are food for the soul arise almost inevitably. (I had that thought, but it seems not to hold all the time; it seems that I also need the devotional life that comes from the teachings and examples of the "Masters".)

If I can get far enough to make my feelings healthy, then I am on the way to conforming myself to the pure Archetype of Man. To go further I must become a "spirit of freedom and love". And to do this I must think clearly; I must always attain to that kind of "living thinking" that Steiner teaches in *PoF*. As Steiner says, such real thinking is indeed love in its spiritual form. And this kind of thinking is necessary for me to pull myself free of unconscious causes of action and to thus become my own cause of action, i.e. to become a free spirit. But, as I concluded in my previous 7fold-attempt, such evil (as that manifested in the WC) must be in the world; the world would be incomplete without it. It does no good merely to fret about its existence; a more useful course would be to find effective ways of counteracting it. That's what I'm trying to do here and now, for myself at least. -- So, what do I do? Preach Christ? Evangelize? But others are already doing that; I'm trying to find a course of action more suited to my particular abilities and to the immediate problem of the WC and the like.

How to oppose the WC? I could go into their e-list, and/or those like them, and try to argue some sense into them. But I have already tried that once, and didn't get very far. And others have tried that too, with not much progress to show for it. The WC is like a brick wall; one can beat one's head against it, and one's head will break before that brick wall does. So, I've decided at least this much: I'm not going to play their game; the game is rigged; I can't "win" no matter what I do. Their game is to draw the Anthro into endless discussions of the details of Anthroposophy, without ever engaging on the fundamentals, and to create endless, convoluted distractions, without ever giving an inch or grappling with the essentials. No; I tried once, and I don't want to do that again. I'm not playing that game; it's a waste of time and energy, and I don't have much of either to waste.

I did try to lead the discussion in the WC around to a consideration of the fundamentals of Anthroposophy, to the nature of thought. Here is some of that discussion:

(Peter Staudenmaier had been saying that he doesn't "study the spirit of anthroposophy, I study anthroposophy", that "Historians do not enter into the spirit of their objects of study. Doing so abolishes the critical distance necessary to scholarship.")

I wrote back, in part:

"A word, if it really be a *word*, is not meaningless; it has a meaning. The meaning is something added to the pixels, to the sound, to the squiggle. The meaning of a word is something *over and above* the physical entity of the literal word. If it were not for this 'something over and above', the literal 'word' would not really be a word; it would just be the physical entity: the pixels, the sound, the squiggle, etc."

"What strange things these meanings are! I can't see them, hear them, touch them -- but they have wills of their own, and they can *act* in my mind. In fact, if they don't act in my mind, I can't think at all, I can't understand anything."

"So, to understand any word, to think truly in consonance with its meaning, I must and do in fact 'enter into' its 'spirit'. Or I might say I "contact" that spirit, I 'commune with' that spirit, I 'have intercourse with' that spirit, and so on."

"What I have seen of the 'study' of Anthroposophy done by the veterans and protagonists of this e-list amounts to a refusal to enter into the Spirit of Anthroposophy. Mr. Staudenmaier might describe this refusal as *necessary critical distance*, but *this* kind of distance makes understanding impossible."

"Man is a spiritual being. In our ordinary consciousness Spirit manifests most directly as thought. Man is, in a real sense, a being of thought. Thinking is the activity of meanings, of spiritual beings. The way for Man as a thought-being to contact, to commune with the Being of the World is in thinking, in the spirit."

"So, please: may we get down to basics? I wonder: has anyone here tried, for instance, to practice the 'living thinking' that Steiner taught in *The Philosophy of Freedom*?"

Mr. Staudenmaier's response to this was not to discuss the question about meaning; he considered my post to be 'gibberish', 'disjointed nonsense', and 'virtually unintelligible'. Instead, he dredged up some of his old posts that were beside the point in question, as well as being tendentious in themselves. (If anyone wants to check up on me, the thread starts here:
http://lists.topica.com/lists/waldorf- critics/read/message.html?mid=1720067211&sort=d&start=31043)

No one else there would engage on this question, not even any of the lurkers, so I decided to bail out. I hesitated when Diana Winters confused me with what seemed maybe to be a hopeful response, but I did soon leave anyway. -- The whole experience left me with the feeling of disheartened frustration, and this feeling has never left me with regard to the WC. Indeed, what I have seen of others' attempts to engage in dialog there have only confirmed this feeling.

-- So, I decided not to spend my time and energy on the WC; I got that far, to that decision, with just ordinary thinking, and I tried to go into a higher consciousness to find some directions about more positive actions to take. I didn't get specific directions about overt actions; I got more "directions" about what I needed to do to correct my own character defects. In relation to the WC and the like I seem to be shown that I need to do more within myself than merely to gape in horrified amazement. I need firstly to reform my own feelings; just to pity the WC people isn't good enough. I need to respect them more (whether or not they are really people), still not falling into delusions about what they are doing. I need to have more positive feelings about the whole situation; anger of any kind is completely out of place. And if anger and consternation are removed, then my soul naturally takes on the shape of a "body of faith", with the attendant positive feelings --sometimes, anyway. (Still, this conclusion isn't quite satisfactory. I still have the feeling that I could find a better way to give them love so that they could comprehend and accept it. Yet I haven't found this "better way".)

-- Trying to find "the upshot"; "the all-unity":

The thought with which I began this investigation was that the WC (and the like) is actively opposing Anthroposophy, and I was asking what I could do to most effectively oppose this opposition. I didn't get any specific, positive answers initially; I mostly got admonitions about what I needed to change in myself, especially about my attitude to the WC and my feelings about the whole question. Later, I "got" more specific ideas for positive actions. -- So, what does all this mean for the world?

I wasn't trying to answer this question for everyone, nor for all Anthros, but just for myself. Given what I have been through, given what I am trying to do, and given my capabilities, I decided not to spend any more of my time and energy engaging directly with the WC and their ilk, on their territory, by their rules; at least not for now. But I suppose that some Anthros don't really have this option: I suppose that some, such as Waldorf educators, might not have much choice but to spend a lot of time "engaging" directly with the WC, at least in legal proceedings. But would it be worthwhile for some other Anthros to get *into* the oppositional websites and e-groups and argue?

Some have, and some still do. It seems that many or most get the result of a feeling of frustration. I understand the feeling. I quickly got tired of all that work to no avail. But maybe some Anthros still do feel that it is worth their while to go into the "snake nests" and to try to instill some understanding into the snakes. I dunno; maybe, just maybe, that might work with a few, just a few, of the "snakes"; more likely it might work with some of the lurkers or onlookers. But I would ask those Anthro-optimists this question: Are you really doing your best to promote Anthroposophy, or are you getting suckered into wasting your time? If you use their (the WC's) terminology and let them set the agenda for discussion, then you have already given away half the battle. -- I think that I've pretty much answered this question for myself; I can't answer it for everyone; I'm trying now to get others to think about it and to answer it for themselves.

By means other than through 7fold thinking, I have gotten the ideas of drawing participants out of the "snake nests", and again, of exorcising the devils that work therin.

-- But (I ask myself) what about the dictum that "the feeling of joy in the doing is the sign of divine leading"? This, as far as I know, is not an Anthro principle, but one that appeals to the leading of the heart. The heart is the center of feeling, and the heart is the organ of divine wisdom in the human being. Even our language itself seems to suggest this. But it's hard to tell the difference between true spiritual joy and mere pleasure. I might want to choose the path of dealing with the WC that gives me the most joy, but how would I tell the difference between real joy and mere pleasure? Must I go back to *PoF* and read it all over again about "moral intuition" and "moral fantasy"? Bondarev's "beholding" might in this case correspond to Steiner's "moral fantasy", but . . . what? What is the relation?

Is this how one tells the difference between real joy and mere pleasure: Joy is the feeling that I get from pure thinking, light and expansive; pleasure is point-centered and semi-conscious with the mind running away on its own; pure thinking is peripheral and self-aware, universal and not particular? -- Perhaps: if I can get that same feeling from a course of action that I get from pure thinking, is that the touchstone of Divine leading????

Maybe this principle is Anthroposophical in that it is almost the same as Steiner's idea of a free action being one that is carried out solely because of one's love of the action (by a "particular moral principle"). (*PoF* [pp. 132- 3; Wilson], Chpt. 9) But I can't love an action unless I can believe, or hope, that it is the most effective in a cosmic sense, that it helps all creatures and creation along toward the goals of greater happiness and greater self- fulfillment. And to 'know" or really believe that, I would need to know all the ramifications of the cosmic causation, both physical and spiritual. But I don't know that; such knowledge is super-human; maybe the "Gods" don't even know *all* the ramifications?

Yeah, maybe not. After all, the "Hierarchies" might well have charge of us after our deaths, but still They are not infinite beings. Maybe only the Supreme God Himself knows "all the ramifications"?

So what can I do but act according to the "best" knowledge that I have? But such "knowledge" as is derived from ordinary thinking is inadequate; I need to move to a higher level of thinking. According to Bondarev (as I understand him), this "move" is needed for the completion of the 7fold thinking-dialectic.

-- There is joy in the creating of real thoughts, but only if one is paying attention, is conscious of the act of creation. And there is joy in free action; Steiner called it "love for the action" (*KoHW*, Chpt. V). I will try to act toward the WC in a way that gives me joy. Joy-in-the-doing is the sign of Divine Leading, more so than any cogitations about the complete effects of an action on the spirit/soul/physical cosmos?

-- I have to suspend judgement about the WC people, simply because I am not competent to judge.

-- I don't see much difference between the WC and Alicia's ("Zooey"'s) blog, or with the "Quackometer". I've looked, and I surely haven't read them all, but as far as I can see, they're all pretty much the same: playing the same game: endless arguments about Anthro details: "racism", Waldorf techniques, etc., etc. It goes on and on and on. -- So, what I say here about the WC applies pretty much to the "suchlike" also. I focus on the WC because that's where I've had most of my experience with that sort of thing.

-- Arguments in the WC might be useful for a few people, but I think that they must be relatively few. Those few would likely be those who already have accepted the Anthro basics and are seeking to expand their understanding. They are likely not the "critics" who reject Anthroposophy for other, deeper reasons and are looking for ammunition to destroy it in the wider culture. Most people, I think, don't need and can't use extended arguments about the arcane details; they need something much more basic: the fundamentals of Anthroposophy.

I'm too old, and I've been through too much, to spend my time belaboring the obvious. It's OBVIOUS from Steiner's basic writings that he aims at the "universal human", the individual as FREE SPIRIT. He seeks to pull people out of the group and racial differences up to the stature of the free, individual human spirit. (And eventually up to the status of an "initiate" who has at least passed the tests of the "Lesser Guardian". Only such a one has taken his karma into his own hands and pulled completely free of the guidance of Higher Spirits, including race spirits. See *KoHW*, Chpt. X) That's *obvious* to anyone who has read more than a few pages of the basic works, as surely the core WC people have. The arguments against Anthroposophy's alleged "racism" are simply not real. Something else is going on, something unsaid and unacknowledged.

I try to see past the superficial, the putative, to the deeper, to the Real. In the WC and their ilk something is going on under the surface, something unspoken. One can see it from their "fruits", their deeds. "Actions speak louder than words." That something is hatred of the Christ and what He brings to people: freedom, consciousness, Reality. IMO the fight against the Christ is what really drives the WC and their ilk; all else is smoke and mirrors. I want to spend my time dealing with realities, not with unrealities.

-- What does *best* mean in this instance? At first I am only reacting, wanting to *do something*. The question is inchoate and needs to be formulated more precisely in order to be treated with thinking. -- *Best* could mean the best for me, personally, or it could mean something more general, for everyone. Does it mean the most effective in stopping what the WC people are trying to do? Does it mean something more cosmic, what anti-WC activities would be to the Gods? Does it mean the best for me personally, to help me along my way of self- development?

It could mean some or all of this, maybe more. I haven't worked out even the question that I want to ask. Right now, I just look at the WC and their ilk, and I want to do something, but I don't know what, and I don't even really know exactly for what purpose.

But what do most people really need? Do they need endless arguments about "racism" or whatnot, or do they need something more fundamental? -- It seems to me that they need to find the way to live as human beings in a society that conspires and works to make them into zombies. And not only to live as human beings, but to die as human beings. Anthroposophy has been given from Above as a Divine response to those needs. People in general need to get the *basics* of Anthroposophy far more than they need endless arguments about the fine points. And the WC game is essentially to obscure the basics with endless arguments about the fine points, on and on and on, never giving an inch and eating up the time of Anthros who are drawn into the WC web.

I made a brief foray into the WC, and I left when it became obvious that they had no intention of discussing anything fundamental. I saw no point in spending my time and energy playing their game. And I don't see that the game is very different over at Alicia's blog; that's just a spin-off of the WC.

What is fundamental about Anthroposophy is a positive change in consciousness, a deepening of thinking and feeling, leading to better actions. There is information about the fundamentals of life and the world, and of death. This information can be recognized by all with normal minds and good will, for deep down, somewhere, everyone knows the Truth. This information can be put into effect, so that people can overcome sickening materialism, and live and die as human beings.

That, under the surface, is what the WC and their ilk fight against, and that is what I want to promote in the best way. And somewhere, deep down, the WC people know that they are fighting against the Truth, for somewhere, deep down, everyone knows the Truth and can recognize it when they see it. The core people at the WC surely have "seen" the Truth, for they have read the basic writings of Anthroposophy. At some level they know the Truth, assuming that they really are human people. But maybe we can't make that assumption? What then? -- Then, I suppose, we are dealing with inhuman devils, and how do we deal with those?

If *best* means *most effective* in social interaction, then the question would seem to be one of "moral technique". An answer to that question would require a knowledge of the "laws" that govern the situation, the social milieu. And these laws are deep and wide, and hardly known by me.

About the best that I can do is to work with such tools as I have. Other people may have other tools.

I don't want to get sucked into playing the WC game, for the game is "fixed"; even if I win, I lose, for I would waste my time doing something that is far less effective than what I might be doing otherwise -- *might*, that is, if I am working as well as I hope to do. Steiner already gave us some general advice about how to deal with the "opponents". He said this soon after the Fire:

(from "Knowledge Pervaded with the Experience of Love", translated by Sabine H. Seiler. Dornach, February 18, 1923 GA 221)

"Today there are many people who are opponents of Anthroposophy without knowing why; they simply follow those who lead them. But there are nevertheless some who know quite well why they are opponents of Anthroposophy; they know it, because they see that out of the anthroposophical foundation come truths which call for that inner jerk which has been characterized above. This they refuse. They refuse it for many reasons, because these kinds of truths were always to be preserved within more restricted circles, in order to emerge from the rest of mankind as small groups forming a kind of spiritual aristocracy. Consequently their hatred is directed particularly towards that person who draws out the truths from the spiritual world for all human beings, simply because this is in keeping with the present age. At the same time these opponents - I mean, the leading opponents - know that truth as such cannot be touched, for it finds its way through the smallest rifts in the rock, no matter what obstacles it may encounter. As a rule, they do not therefore attack these truths: for the truths would soon discover ways and means of ousting the foe. Observe the opponents, indeed in our anthroposophical circles it would be most advisable to study our opponents carefully: They renounce attacking the truths, and lay chief stress on personal attacks, personal insinuations, personal insults, personal calumnies. They think that truth cannot be touched, yet it is to be driven out of the world, and they believe that this can be done by personal defamation. The nature of such an opposition shows how well the leading opponents know how to proceed in order to gain the victory, at least for the time being.

"But this is something which Anthroposophists above all should know; for there are still many Anthroposophists who think that something may be reached by direct discussion with the opponent. Nothing can do us more harm than success in setting forth our truths in the form of discussion; for people do not hate us because we say something that is not true, but because we say the truth. And the more we succeed in proving that we say the truth, the more they will hate us.

"Of course this cannot prevent us from stating the truth. But it can prevent us from being so naïve as to think that it is possible to progress by discussion. Only positive work enables us to progress; truth should be represented as strongly as possible, so as to attract as many predestined souls as possible, for these are far more numerous in the present time than is generally assumed. These souls will find the spiritual nourishment needed for the time when no destructive, but constructive work will have to be done, if human development is to follow an ascending, not a descending curve."

Not everything said there applies directly to the WC; they do not exclude "personal" attacks upon Steiner, but they do also attack the substance of Anthroposophy. And RS does seem to distinguish here between the more knowing opponents and the less knowing ones. I assume that he meant that the more knowing ones are the dark esotericists, and I think that the WC and their ilk are mostly among the less knowing. Perhaps some on the fringes are not so hardened and thus are reachable, but from what I have seen, the core people don't seem reachable. They have read Anthro literature thoroughly, and they still fight against Anthroposophy. At some level, mostly subconscious I presume, they must know what they are doing. Exactly how knowing and how hopeless they really are ultimately, I can't say; but from what I have experienced, they are as a practical matter unreachable. I have tried to reach them, as have others, to no avail. It might be easier to spend my time and energy trying to reach people who are reachable; they must be out there somewhere.

Perhaps for practical purposes the core WC people and their ilk can be treated like the esoteric opponents: they can't be reached with the Truth, for that is exactly what provokes their hatred. Steiner tells us what is better for us to do: proceed with positive work, and speak the Truth to those who might receive it. And that is what RS did by his own example. He continued expanding and elaborating Anthroposophy; he didn't waste a lot of his time arguing with the opponents of his day.

Now, today, there is no lack of Anthro information that could lead seekers of good will into Anthroposophy, giving them what they need for living and dying as human beings. But the core WC people and their ilk already have that information, and they reject it. From this, it seems fairly obvious that trying to bring them more information isn't going to help; for them, what is lacking seems not to be information but good will. And no one has the power to instill good will into them, and no one should have such power: human beings should be free in these times, and free will should be respected.

The thing to do, it seems to me, is to give the information to those who have good will, or to those whose nascent good will can be appealed to.

(And yet, some part of me clings to the hope that the "opponents", some of them, might be reachable if only one used the right means.)

***

Maybe at least the WC and the like might prevent the Anthro publishers from getting away with any PC bowdlerization of Steiner texts. When it becomes known that the WC people are looking over the publications with eyes sharpened by hatred, then the publishers should know very well that they can't get away with any bowdlerizations. These will be exposed, and it would be futile and foolish even to try. -- Maybe also the criticisms of the WC might prompt Waldorf educators to be more careful and to improve their work. Of course, the WC people are not trying to improve Waldorf education; they are trying to destroy it -- but even so, maybe some of their specific complaints might lead to improvement. For example: the criticism is made that some parents feel deceived about the spiritual- Anthroposophical foundations of Waldorf education. Well, maybe those making such complaints weren't really paying attention, but perhaps the Waldorf educators could be more forthcoming about those foundations to prospective Waldorf parents? -- Maybe, just maybe, some good could come from the WC activities, even if "good" is not intended?

***

In a previous post I already touched upon the general question of calculating the effects of actions. Here is part of what I wrote then: "Seemingly, I would have to calculate the sum of the resulting harmfulness and harmlessness in all the Universe over all time . . . . But I simply don't have the knowledge and the ability to make this calculation; only God could. So: can I answer this question at all? . . . .

"-- But in fact, we do not need to make such impossible calculations in order to act morally, and I do not believe that Steiner was asking us to. And I similarly doubt that Steiner would expect us to make such calculations in order to judge the objective worth of the actions of others (or of ourselves). [Asking the question: "Is a particular action objectively "good" for the world?" . . . ] If the term *good* is to have not merely a subjective, emotive meaning but an objective meaning, then it must be connected to a 'Platonic Idea' of The Good. (And, ultimately, this Idea is a being.) And therefore, we can understand this Idea much as we can understand any other Idea, through what Steiner calls *intuition*."

"One might object, I guess, that different people have so many differing, conflicting judgments about 'goodness' that The Good could not be an objective Platonic Idea as, for instance, is The Triangle. But a Steinerian might reply that all that this sociological fact proves is that people generally are too emotional and subjective to think as objectively about goodness as they do about triangles, and that if they did think objectively, then they would be in as much agreement about goodness as they are about triangles.

"Still, it seems that we, most of us, individually and *a fortiori* collectively, are far from being able to think with 'mathematical clarity' about goodness, in general and especially in particular instances which are controversial. And yet, in practical experience, it does not seem that we are therefore bound to be 'moral idiots'; we do, or at least can, make moral decisions (at least the obvious ones) and carry them out. How is this fact possible, given that we don't (usually) think clearly about goodness?

"I propose that this fact is possible because we have an elementary, elemental capacity to grasp the reality of moral facts about goodness, despite our lack of clear, systematic thinking about it."

". . . . I might say that in some cases, in very many cases, the belief in the goodness or badness of some action is simply, factually, *more real* than any thought-out doubts about it. To deny this fact is honestly *unreal*. To lack a thought-out rationale for this fact is not to lack a real apprehension of it. -- If one does want to 'think it out', one might go down the philosophical road that affirms that we, in such cases, come into an intuitive relation with the intelligible being of the [physical] 'objects'. (Compare the discussion of Thomas Reid in Ernst Lehrs" *Man or Matter*.)

"And my proposal is that our intuitions about moral facts are very comparable: we do come into intuitive relations with the Platonic Idea of The Good, in many cases."

[for the full discussion see An Attempt at 7fold Thinking]

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