Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

From: golden3000997
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 6:23 am
Subject: Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

Good Morning Michael,

A couple of points I would like to speak with you about. : )

Michael wrote:

And then we have "A Philosophy of Freedom", which gives us ideas like: Intuition; Moral imagination; thinking with the power of Love in spiritual form; and my personal favorite:

"My neighbors want to live out their intuitions, I mine. If we really draw from the idea, and follow no external (physical or spiritual) impulses, then we cannot but meet in the same striving, the same intentions. An ethical misunderstanding, a clash, is impossible among ethically free human beings."

I think that I understand this quote and that you do too, but oh, how such a quote can be misunderstood if taken out of context apart from the whole process of Philosophy of Freedom that leads up to it! Only if the two "neighbors" involved have totally penetrated to the core of what Steiner means by Intuition could the second sentence be true. Among two or more fully concious (in spirit) individual such agreement would be a matter of course. Think of two or three chemists in a laboratory seeking a particular formula together. If each one is fully trained and knows exactly what chemical A and chemical B will do when mixed together and exactly what chemical C and chemical D will do when mixed together, they can probably agree on what chemical B and chemical D will do when mixed together and act accordingly. But if a college freshman taking his first course in chemistry were put side by side with an experienced, super PhD level chemical researcher and both individual's opinions were given the same weight, well, BOOM goes the laboratory!! Ethics, to me is a lot like chemistry. It is a matter of actions vs reactions vs consequences. What I think is good, what is the right way to live and act has to "mix" with what my "neighbor" thinks is good and right. Only if we both can fully understand through a spiritualized, Christ filled (meaning "I" filled) conciousness what the "other's" reaction will be and the long term (karmic) consequences will be to us and anyone else in our vicinity, so to speak, can we come to a real agreement. Otherwise, one or both of us will be thinking and acting from cultural or intellectual teachings or our own emotional make up. And the potential for a "blow-up" is very high.

Dr. Bernard Lievegood, an Anthroposophical doctor from Holland wrote a marvelous book called "Toward the 21st Century - Doing the Good." It is a marvelous treatise on the difference between being "right" and doing "good". He says (I'm summarizing from memory right now) that most people equate "good" and "right" but in fact, they might not be the same. A person may decide to act based on what he or she thinks is "right" whether according to a law or even an ideal, but it might not produce "good" in a given situation or for a given person or group. What is really interesting is that he says that we really won't know if what we do is good or not until we actually do it! We can determine what is "right" beforehand, but not totally what is "good."

Which leads me to a response to your other quote

Obviously I am not yet "ethically free" when it comes to my marriage. But the process of getting there is amazing; as well as emotionally painful, which is sometimes a consequence of truth. I forget who said that "Love is the Pain of being truly alive".

I can understand this quote, too, but prefer the passage from Madeline L'Engle's "A Wind at the Door." Meg, a schoolgirl is in the middle of a life or death, spiritual test along with a Cherubim named Progo (Proginoskes). Meg has to identify her school principle, Mr. Jenkins (who she detests) among two other copies created by evil entities called Echthroi. In order for her to "Name" Mr. Jenkins, she has to love Mr. Jenkins.

"Progo! Help me! How can I feel love for Mr. Jenkins?"

Immediately he opened a large number of eyes very wide. "What a strange idea. Love isn't feeling. If it were, I wouldn't be able to love. Cherubim don't have feelings."

"But-"

"Idiot," Proginoskes said, anxiously rather than crossly, "Love isn't how you feel It's what you do. I've never had a feeling in my life."...

**************
"Love isn't how you feel It's what you do." That statement has made so very much difference in my life. To do what is needed in a situation, even if it involved someone you "hate" emotionally, or at least have a very strong antipathy toward or to do what is needed even if you don't FEEL like it is the key. Waiting until mushy, gushy feelings are present, until one is in a loving mood, to do what is needed is futile. One must first ACT love and then if one is fortunate perhaps good feelings will come as a result. But not guaranteed. And the act of love is doing what is called for when seen from the "other's" point of view.

Example, I have a running feud with my actual neighbor in my apartment building due to my cats, which she hates. I can't stand her and she can't stand me. What would I do if she had an accident and needed help? Ignore her? or get her to the hospital (at least call 911?) You might say, well of course, anyone would do the right thing. But I know from experience that people, including myself do NOT always do the right thing. They do NOT always conquer their antipathy and act for the good of another, especially if they think no one is paying any attention, that no one will realize how self-centered they are being. Doing it for show or to prevent other people from criticizing is not the same as doing it out of a clear conciousness of the "other." There are much smaller daily examples and much larger, world-event examples to be had.

Perhaps you could take this into consideration while you are examining your marriage. We are taught in this culture to build all sorts of expectations on how we "feel" love. We get married because of the powerful feelings we have of "being in love." Then often, turn around and treat each other like mortal enemies! And when after a time those feelings begin to fade or turn to antipathy, we want "out" of our vows made in the heat of passion. Tremendous pain and discomfort sets in and most people that I have known, including myself (married twice, single now) go to a counselor really looking for a "magic love potion." Some idea or concept that will bring back the lovey-dovey feelings they once had. But nothing really changes because the two people are usually more committed to self-love than love of the other. Perhaps that is why arranged marriages were not always a bad thing. Since the two people involved did not expect to have those lovey-dovey feelings, they were more committed to acting rightly toward the other person. And strangely, those actions often led to wonderful, deep feelings over time.

Do you remember the musical "Fiddler on the Roof?" There is a wonderful song in which the father asks the mother, "Do you love me?" He asks it over and over and she replies, "After 25 years of raising his children (washing his clothes, cooking his meals, etc.) he asks me this now???" They had an arranged marriage and they never before had asked that question of themselves.

I am not offering this idea as a "fixer". The whole question of marriage is truly complex and involves karma, both the couple's and their children's and many other issues. I have a wonderful Christian Community booklet on Marriage that I could fax to you if you want to give me a fax number off list. It is a struggle, but one that can be very worthwhile.

I recently interviewed for a job at a Waldorf school that is looking for a 7'th grade teacher. When they asked me to give a biography, I couldn't help crack a shit-eatin-grin on my face; I knew that I was going to tell the truth. As you may know I've been on this new kick about my own vanity, so I gave them a good blood and guts war story. Oh the look of awe in some of those nice ladies eyes. I'm telling this story because it is a fresh experience that I have had wrestling with truth, self knowledge, and courage.

Into self-sabotage, too, eh? Been there, done that, probably will again. : )
Christine

.............................................................................................................................

From: Joel Wendt
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 2:26 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

On Sun, 2003-11-30 at 07:23, golden3000997 wrote:

I think that I understand this quote and that you do too, but oh, how such a quote can be misunderstood if taken out of context apart from the whole process of Philosophy of Freedom that leads up to it! Only if the two "neighbors" involved have totally penetrated to the core of what Steiner means by Intuition could the second sentence be true.

Dear Christine,

I don't believe this is an accurate interpretation of Steiner's Philosophy of Freedom (PoF).

When the word intuition appears in PoF, he does not mean Intuition and initiation, but rather our ordinary thinking, which has latent in it a certain capacity.

Human soul life has been developed over the eons in such a way that when the time came for humanity to leave its spiritual childhood (now), the I-am would possess the capacity, as a matter of Grace, to know the Good directly (and thus be free of the prior Ages' outer given moral rules - the Ten Commandments etc).

Steiner is very clear in PoF, that while concepts when experienced in their essential nature are universal, moral intuitions, that arise from the practical application of the teaching about moral imagination, are individualized. A true moral imagination is always particular, and is precisely related to the real situation that the intuiting human being faces as a moral dilemma.

We can't therefore KNOW what another person should do as a moral act, we can only KNOW what is moral in our own lives.

The capacity to know as regards our personal moral questions is in the I-am already as a matter of Grace. And, it is the functional purpose of the trials of this part of the Age of the Consciousness Soul, to evoke in the human being those crises within their biographies that move the soul to those inner gestures that slowly bring this capacity into active conscious thought.

This moral knowledge appears in consciousness when a question rises from the heart of the soul. It is the response of the higher ego (which is in the long term process of integrating itself with the lower ego) to the question. The yearning of the heart to meet the moral dilemma rises upward from a movement in the soul of the will. This will gesture rises through the heart region due to its yearning to know the truth and the moral (the Good), bringing ethereal warmth to the thinking, so that when the question is asked, the ethereally enriched thinking becomes a vessel or chalice in which the answer is received. "Ask and ye shall know, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you".

In PoF, as regards moral imagination (which is kind of a foundational stone in the whole edifice which is the initiation path that PoF clearly represents) it is just one way in which the truth about this Grace given capacity has entered modern life. In both the 12 Steps of AA, and the What Would Jesus Do movement, the same inner gesture potential is given a form appropriate to those particular classes of individuals - addicts and drunks in the one case, and in the other, people of faith. PoF represents this truth in its Johnine form (esoteric gnosis form), while WWJD has it in its Pauline form (faith based form)(to know more about WWJD you have to read the original intuition as described in Charles M. Sheldon's 1897 book, In His Steps).

These three actually represent a threefold presentation to modern humanity of this potential for the I-am. In WWJD we have the simplest version. In the 12 Steps,there is a more complicated version, which includes indirect practices with regards to the Double, for it is the Double which so troubles addicts and drunks. In PoF, we have an even deeper practice, where one who travels that path will clearly meet the Double in its role as the Lower Guardian of the Threshold.

Humanity being a complicated collection of individuals, with a variety of spiritual needs, is not kept from this truth, but in each instance it is presented in a way appropriate to that particular level of already attained spiritual development.

Sheldon's book, which is a work of imagination, takes the question and considers its nuances from many different directions in the form of dialogs among individual characters. As the simplest version of this truth it could be said to be a bit superficial, but when you penetrate to the essential aspects of its Idea, it is clear what has been offered via this individuality (Sheldon).

The essential question asked is what does it mean to be a Christian and follow Christ, to follow in His Steps. This then transforms itself very specifically into an inner question, which is first fully elaborated in the book as follows, by a pastor (who has just had a very transforming experience himself), as follows:

"I want volunteers from the First Church who will pledge themselves, earnestly and honestly for an entire year, not to do anything without first asking the question, "What would Jesus do?". And after asking that question, each one will follow Jesus as exactly as he knows how, no matter what the result may be."

then later:

"After we have asked the Spirit to tell us what Jesus would do and have received an answer to it, we are to act regardless of the results to ourselves."

With the 12 Steps of AA, the whole process begins with a very intense moral crisis, which is accompanied by the inability of the I-am to cognize (raise into conscious perception) or meet the Double. This meeting with the Double cannot be dealt with in such an unconscious fashion without the help of the higher ego, so the first Steps involve admitting our helplessness (before the "disease" of addiction) followed by a surrender to our higher power. This semi-threshold experience is then elaborated in the remaining Steps in a very exact way, so that through a trial by fire the consciousness (soul) is purified by a series of moral/spiritual acts (challenges). Here are some details: http://www.12steps.org/Brochure/12step/STEPS/STEP2.htm

With PoF, we have the same inner gesture (moral imagination) as a part of one of the most modern paths of Initiation.

In moral imagination the soul seeks knowledge of the Good and the True as that applies to life dilemmas, which is the essential gesture and potential of the Age of the Consciousness Soul (see Theosophy). The capacity for this knowledge is present in modern humanity as a matter of Grace. What Steiner describes as the Good and the True (the Eternal) in Theosophy is simply another way of writing of the reality of Christ as an active Presence. So when a practitioner of WWJD seeks to know what Christ would do, he basically seeks knowledge of the same thing, and expects the Holy Spirit (in this case the higher ego - which is in contact with the Holy Spirit) to provide an answer in the inner forum of his private consciousness. Which in practice will mean the creation of an individualized moral concept.

Steiner, of course, couldn't explain everything, but at least knew that people would ask the question of how it was that we had individualized moral concepts - wasn't morality something universal in nature (the modern form of that question is to imply that the individual sense of moral right is some form of moral relativism)? He also couldn't take the very large side trip to explain to people that the comparing of our moral crises, with other people's moral crises, simply doesn't work, because while there will always be superficial similarities (abortions are obviously abortions) the moral dilemma of each individual has many more particular characteristics than it does similar ones.

So two women having an abortion can't form the exact same moral question, although the more and more congruent any moral question is to any other moral question, the more the answer offered from Above will be the same. Where any confusion usually arises is out of ourselves, when we think we can judge another's moral activity. If we can overcome that temptation and learn to get rid of the beam in our own eye, instead of focusing on mote in the Thou's eye, then these apparent moral contradictions disappear, because we begin to find out how to live inside the Thou, seeing their life from their eyes, instead of evaluating (judging) it from externals and on the basis of our own values and beliefs.

Livegood's statement, while sounding true (being a truism) in a certain sense, does not in my mind represent accurately either PoF, or the Grace given potential in the I-am at this time. It seems almost (I read this myself many many years ago) as if he is actually addressing the question on the basis of incomplete experience. What we might call the pragmatic experience and practice of PoF, while not exactly difficult, does not seem well known in the Anthroposophical Movement. I read a lot of intellectual discussions of what it means, but few representations of its reality that are clearly based upon many years of introspection. As a map, PoF is excellent, but the actual territory is considerably different. I've seen many wonderful discussions of the map, but few presentations from which it was obvious that the speaker or writer had studied his inner life as carefully and exactly as PoF (and Theory of Knowledge Implicit in Goethe's World Conception) propose.

People seem to forget that the "motto" of PoF is: "Some results of introspective observation following the methods of natural science".

While the above is nonetheless true, most individuals in the Consciousness Soul Age do not encounter either PoF, WWJD, or the 12 Steps, so it is a valid question: How do they gain this insight?

I believe this varies somewhat according to folk characteristics in the soul, so that we could say that Livegood's statement is an accurate representation of his personal learning about how to approach the Eternal (the Good and the True), even though it is not an accurate representation of the results of practicing PoF. He has an individualized understanding of moral imagination in practice, but not an understanding of PoF and its relationship to that same moral imagination.

In the United States, the model for anthroposophical development is not any European, but rather Emerson, who practiced his own deep introspection before Steiner was born. I have written about the relationship between Steiner's and Emerson's thought in "developing individual insight" at http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/stgfr9.html and in a little speech I gave on the occasion of Emerson's 200th birthday, which is at: http://ipwebdev.com/hermit/emerson.html

Basically Emerson recognized that we have what he called an "instinct" for the spirit, and that: "In self trust all virtues are comprehended.". One doesn't have to read Emerson by the way, for if we understand his work, we can see that he is basically making a report on his investigations of his soul life. This report is also very much representative of what might be called the deeper American Character or Soul. People of this Folk then find their way to the essential moral truths of the Age of the Consciousness soul in an instinctive, and somewhat natural (organic) way, which is exactly as Steiner described.

For example, he said, in a lecture that can be found in Challenge of the Times, that English speaking peoples are instinctively in the Consciousness Soul as an aspect of their participation in the Life of Rights (translation - questions of equity in America and England are experienced as moral questions, and because we are so strongly individualized, we trust our own instincts - see Emerson above - as to what we think is right, over any other kind of judgment).

He is also quoted in several places (but I don't know where he said it, that Americans are natural anthroposophists. This instinct for the Good native to this particular people (the People of Peoples - or those whose culture is developing in a direction free from strict Old World influences of culture, race, language and religion), is also prefigured in the very intuitive America the Beautiful - "...And crown thy Good, with Brotherhood...".

All this seems quite paradoxical, when we think of modern politics in the U.S., except we recognize George Bush as someone who failed at a true recovery from his addictions, and thus is lost in his battle with the Double (through which he then becomes an unconscious minion of Ahriman). His partner in crime Karl Rove however, is one of those who seems to have consciously chosen the Dark Side. Neither is representative of the best natural character of the People here (something certainly true elsewhere, such as among Islamic Peoples), which is why Bush and Rove were able, through quite cold and calculated and almost supernaturally intelligent deceit, to rise to power (again a situation common throughout the world, wherever Ahriman freely offers his gifts via the Double).

warm regards,
joel

.............................................................................................................................

From: holderlin66
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 4:41 pm
Subject: Re: Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Joel Wendt wrote:

Dear Joel;

Mighty fine work on your unfolding on the intuition process going back to Grace, the Fall and Knock and it shall be opened. Those were profound roots, clear roots and well grounded things you unfolded regarding the PoF. It was rich and wonderfully well thought out as usual.

Joel wrote with wonderful Emersonian clarity;

"When the word intuition appears in PoF, he does not mean Intuition and initiation, but rather our ordinary thinking, which has latent in it a certain capacity.

Human soul life has been developed over the eons in such a way that when the time came for humanity to leave its spiritual childhood (now), the I-am would possess the capacity, as a matter of Grace, to know the Good directly (and thus be free of the prior Ages' outer given moral rules - the Ten Commandments etc).

Steiner is very clear in PoF, that while concepts when experienced in their essential nature are universal, moral intuitions, that arise from the practical application of the teaching about moral imagination, are individualized. A true moral imagination is always particular, and is precisely related to the real situation that the intuiting human being faces as a moral dilemma.

We can't therefore KNOW what another person should do as a moral act, we can only KNOW what is moral in our own lives.

The capacity to know as regards our personal moral questions is in the I-am already as a matter of Grace. And, it is the functional purpose of the trials of this part of the Age of the Consciousness Soul, to evoke in the human being those crises within their biographies that move the soul to those inner gestures that slowly bring this capacity into active conscious thought.

This moral knowledge appears in consciousness when a question rises from the heart of the soul. It is the response of the higher ego (which is in the long term process of integrating itself with the lower ego) to the question. The yearning of the heart to meet the moral dilemma rises upward from a movement in the soul of the will. This will gesture rises through the heart region due to its yearning to know the truth and the moral (the Good), bringing ethereal warmth to the thinking, so that when the question is asked, the ethereally enriched thinking becomes a vessel or chalice in which the answer is received. "Ask and ye shall know, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you".

In PoF, as regards moral imagination (which is kind of a foundational stone in the whole edifice which is the initiation path that PoF clearly represents) it is just one way in which the truth about this Grace given capacity has entered modern life. In both the 12 Steps of AA, and the What Would Jesus Do movement, the same inner gesture potential is given a form appropriate to those particular classes of individuals - addicts and drunks in the one case, and in the other, people of faith. PoF represents this truth in its Johnine form (esoteric gnosis form), while WWJD has it in its Pauline form (faith based form)(to know more about WWJD you have to read the original intuition as described in Charles M. Sheldon's 1897 book, In His Steps)."

.............................................................................................................................

From: Michael Helsher
Date: Sun Nov 30, 2003 3:29 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

Hi christen:

It seems to me that you responded to my post yet for some reason I did not recieve it. Could you send it to me off list?

thanks

Mike


On Sun, 2003-11-30 at 07:23, golden3000997 wrote:

I think that I understand this quote and that you do too, but oh, how such a quote can be misunderstood if taken out of context apart from the whole process of Philosophy of Freedom that leads up to it! Only if the two "neighbors" involved have totally penetrated to the core of what Steiner means by Intuition could the second sentence be true.

.............................................................................................................................

From: Michael Helsher
Date: Thu Dec 4, 2003 5:02 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

Hi Joel, you wrote:

<snip>
With the 12 Steps of AA, the whole process begins with a very intense moral crisis, which is accompanied by the inability of the I-am to cognize (raise into conscious perception) or meet the Double. This meeting with the Double cannot be dealt with in such an unconscious fashion without the help of the higher ego, so the first Steps involve admitting our helplessness (before the "disease" of addiction) followed by a surrender to our higher power. This semi-threshold experience is then elaborated in the remaining Steps in a very exact way, so that through a trial by fire the consciousness (soul) is purified by a series of moral/spiritual acts (challenges). Here are some details:
http://www.12steps.org/Brochure/12step/STEPS/STEP2.htm

With PoF, we have the same inner gesture (moral imagination) as a part of one of the most modern paths of Initiation.

In moral imagination the soul seeks knowledge of the Good and the True as that applies to life dilemmas, which is the essential gesture and potential of the Age of the Consciousness Soul (see Theosophy). The capacity for this knowledge is present in modern humanity as a matter of Grace. What Steiner describes as the Good and the True (the Eternal) in Theosophy is simply another way of writing of the reality of Christ as an active Presence. So when a practitioner of WWJD seeks to know what Christ would do, he basically seeks knowledge of the same thing, and expects the Holy Spirit (in this case the higher ego - which is in contact with the Holy Spirit) to provide an answer in the inner forum of his private consciousness.

<snip>
Mike:

Thank you for a very concise post, this part of which really speaks to the essence of why I fell in love with the POF. I have experienced some of the "trial by fire" you mentioned, which started with the writing of my first "searching and fearless moral inventory". I went on to ponder what it might mean to have my so called "defects of charactor" removed, only to find that they get removed by a transformation prosess that involved (for me)an excrutating amount of what I can only call raw self awareness, where for a time, every little action was accompanied by the thought of - "what in God's name am I doing?" It was like watching myself playing a part in a stupid movie. So here I would guess is what you would call "meeting the double".

This painful process went on until I started to ponder what it might mean to really "make ammends" for all the stupid stuff that I had done. When this ammends process actually started to happen for me, I experienced the first glimps of a working inner reality present within myself. Next came the process of taking a daily inventory (which Steiner reccomends). Then came the pondering of what it might mean to have "conscious contact" with "Knowledge of Gods will, and the power to carry it out". This idea brought me from being a God fearing athiest, to having reverence for the idea of truth, as I have experienced it. I then relapsed back into painful awarness for a while until I realized that "carrying the message" didn't mean that I had the one-and-only right idea about what the truth might be.

So all this happened and I really did not have a practical way of understanding it until I found the POF.

I used to think that I had a shitty life, and that if only I had a time machine... Now a days I wouldn't change a thing (well, maybe just one of those really pretty girls that got away)

Truth and Love

Mike

.............................................................................................................................

From: Joel Wendt
Date: Fri Dec 5, 2003 8:09 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Response to Michael re Love & Freedom

Dear Mike,

Amen!

joel

On Thu, 2003-12-04 at 18:02, Michael Helsher wrote:

Thank you for a very concise post, this part of which really speaks to the essence of why I fell in love with the POF. I have experienced some of the "trial by fire" you mentioned, which started with the writing of my first "searching and fearless moral inventory". I went on to ponder what it might mean to have my so called "defects of charactor" removed, only to find that they get removed by a transformation prosess that involved (for me)an excrutating amount of what I can only call raw self awareness, where for a time, every little action was accompanied by the thought of - "what in God's name am I doing?" It was like watching myself playing a part in a stupid movie. So here I would guess is what you would call "meeting the double".

This painful process went on until I started to ponder what it might mean to really "make ammends" for all the stupid stuff that I had done. When this ammends process actually started to happen for me, I experienced the first glimps of a working inner reality present within myself. Next came the process of taking a daily inventory (which Steiner reccomends). Then came the pondering of what it might mean to have "conscious contact" with "Knowledge of Gods will, and the power to carry it out". This idea brought me from being a God fearing athiest, to having reverence for the idea of truth, as I have experienced it. I then relapsed back into painful awarness for a while until I realized that "carrying the message" didn't mean that I had the one-and-only right idea about what the truth might be.

So all this happened and I really did not have a practical way of understanding it until I found the POF.

I used to think that I had a shitty life, and that if only I had a time machine... Now a days I wouldn't change a thing (well, maybe just one of those really pretty girls that got away)

Truth and Love

Mike

.............................................................................................................................

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sun Dec 7, 2003 11:26 am
Subject: Love & Freedom (belated)

Hi Christine: I have been meaning to respond to your in-depth reply, and I do appreciate your taking the time to write it; you wrote:

Good Morning Michael,

A couple of points I would like to speak with you about. : )

Michael wrote:

And then we have "A Philosophy of Freedom", which gives us ideas like: Intuition; Moral imagination; thinking with the power of Love in spiritual form; and my personal favorite:

"My neighbors want to live out their >intuitions<, I mine. >If we really draw from the idea<, and follow no external (physical or spiritual) impulses, then we cannot but meet in the same striving, the same intentions. An ethical misunderstanding, a clash, is impossible among ethically free human beings."

I think that I understand this quote and that you do too, but oh, how such a quote can be misunderstood if taken out of context apart from the whole process of Philosophy of Freedom that leads up to it! Only if the two "neighbors" involved have totally penetrated to the core of what Steiner means by Intuition could the second sentence be true. Among two or more fully concious (in spirit) individual such agreement would be a matter of course. Think of two or three chemists in a laboratory seeking a particular formula together. If each one is fully trained and knows exactly what chemical A and chemical B will do when mixed together and exactly what chemical C and chemical D will do when mixed together, they can probably agree on what chemical B and chemical D will do when mixed together and act accordingly. But if a college freshman taking his first course in chemistry were put side by side with an experienced, super PhD level chemical researcher and both individual's opinions were given the same weight, well, BOOM goes the laboratory!! Ethics, to me is a lot like chemistry. It is a matter of actions vs reactions vs consequences. What I think is good, what is the right way to live and act has to "mix" with what my "neighbor" thinks is good and right. Only if we both can fully understand through a spiritualized, Christ filled (meaning "I" filled) conciousness what the "other's" reaction will be and the long term (karmic) consequences will be to us and anyone else in our vicinity, so to speak, can we come to a real agreement. Otherwise, one or both of us will be thinking and acting from cultural or intellectual teachings or our own emotional make up. And the potential for a "blow-up" is very high.

I agree, this is why I think Steiner makes a good case for working with and penetrating our "charactoroligical dispositions".

Dr. Bernard Lievegood, an Anthroposophical doctor from Holland wrote a marvelous book called "Toward the 21st Century - Doing the Good." It is a marvelous treatise on the difference between being "right" and doing "good". He says (I'm summarizing from memory right now) that most people equate "good" and "right" but in fact, they might not be the same. A person may decide to act based on what he or she thinks is "right" whether according to a law or even an ideal, but it might not produce "good" in a given situation or for a given person or group. What is really interesting is that he says that we really won't know if what we do is good or not until we actually do it! We can determine what is "right" beforehand, but not totally what is "good."

Kind of like the difference between sympathy and Justice?

Which leads me to a response to your other quote

Obviously I am not yet "ethically free" when it comes to my marriage. But the process of getting there is amazing; as well as emotionally painful, which is sometimes a consequence of truth. I forget who said that "Love is the Pain of being truly alive".

I can understand this quote, too, but prefer the passage from Madeline L'Engle's "A Wind at the Door." Meg, a schoolgirl is in the middle of a life or death, spiritual test along with a Cherubim named Progo (Proginoskes). Meg has to identify her school principle, Mr. Jenkins (who she detests) among two other copies created by evil entities called Echthroi. In order for her to "Name" Mr. Jenkins, she has to love Mr. Jenkins.

"Progo! Help me! How can I feel love for Mr. Jenkins?"

Immediately he opened a large number of eyes very wide. "What a strange idea. Love isn't feeling. If it were, I wouldn't be able to love. Cherubim don't have feelings."

"But-"

"Idiot," Proginoskes said, anxiously rather than crossly, "Love isn't how you feel It's what you do. I've never had a feeling in my life."...

**************
"Love isn't how you feel It's what you do."

Yes, I agree, but what about How you experience what you do, i.e.the pain that enlivens our 'Life sense".

Perhaps you could take this into consideration while you are examining your marriage. We are taught in this culture to build all sorts of expectations on how we "feel" love. We get married because of the powerful feelings we have of "being in love." Then often, turn around and treat each other like mortal enemies! And when after a time those feelings begin to fade or turn to antipathy, we want "out" of our vows made in the heat of passion. Tremendous pain and discomfort sets in and most people that I have known, including myself (married twice, single now) go to a counselor really looking for a "magic love potion." Some idea or concept that will bring back the lovey-dovey feelings they once had. But nothing really changes because the two people are usually more committed to self-love than love of the other. Perhaps that is why arranged marriages were not always a bad thing. Since the two people involved did not expect to have those lovey-dovey feelings, they were more committed to acting rightly toward the other person. And strangely, those actions often led to wonderful, deep feelings over time.

Do you remember the musical "Fiddler on the Roof?" There is a wonderful song in which the father asks the mother, "Do you love me?" He asks it over and over and she replies, "After 25 years of raising his children (washing his clothes, cooking his meals, etc.) he asks me this now???" They had an arranged marriage and they never before had asked that question of themselves.

I am not offering this idea as a "fixer". The whole question of marriage is truly complex and involves karma, both the couple's and their children's and many other issues. I have a wonderful Christian Community booklet on Marriage that I could fax to you if you want to give me a fax number off list. It is a struggle, but one that can be very worthwhile.

I like your Ideas. My wife and I have had a great experience with these people http://www.heartworkcenter.com/index.htm and the practice of a technique called "open hearted listening". Kind of like "living Thinking" in action.

I recently interviewed for a job at a Waldorf school that is looking for a 7'th grade teacher. When they asked me to give a biography, I couldn't help crack a shit-eatin-grin on my face; I knew that I was going to tell the truth. As you may know I've been on this new kick about my own vanity, so I gave them a good blood and guts war story. Oh the look of awe in some of those nice ladies eyes. I'm telling this story because it is a fresh experience that I have had wrestling with truth, self knowledge, and courage.

Into self-sabotage, too, eh? Been there, done that, probably will again.
)
Christine

Actually, It was taken quite well. I should have mentioned that I have done allot of speaking over the last 15 years in jails and other institutions on recovering from an addictive lifestyle. So I have become pretty good at telling my story.

But I can understand what I think you mean: there's a fine line between truth and justice sometimes?

sorry for the belated reply

Truth and Love

Mike

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Click to subscribe to anthroposophy_tomorrow
 

November/December 2003

The Uncle Taz "Anthroposophy Tomorrow" Files

Anthroposophy & Anarchism

Anthroposophy & Scientology

Anthroposophical Morsels

Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy

Search this site powered by FreeFind