Epistemology and the Double

From: holderlin66
Date: Mon Jan 12, 2004 9:40 pm
Subject: Epistemology and the Double

Joel wrote;

The Study of Rudolf Steiner's Lecture Cycles, and the Problem of Cognition - musings on the epistemological swampland of the Anthroposophical Movement (Das Studium der Vortrage Rudolf Steiners und das Problem der Erkenntnis)

The sad thing is how simple this is. People could easily discuss all this stuff using the vocabulary of the books on the science of knowing (epistemology), but guess what? They don't use that vocabulary, and don't contradict me on that level. Instead they try insults, question my motives, make what are often personal attacks, all at the same time as not really addressing the questions I have been raising.

What is Spiritual Science? How do you practice it? Is it being practiced here? How would we know?

Bradford comments;

The epistemological ground rules used in cognition, in developing Eyes to See and Ears to hear are very interesting in their cleansing philosophical discipline. Chilling the brain and passion is part of the epistemological process of maturing into cognition. I support the discipline of Chilling the Soul - Revenge is best served Cold - I support the side of chilling a wine so that it can be served. We might have a nice conversation over the wine or we might open the windows, put on a cd and discuss Dylan with the same epistemological taste as the wine we chilled. It is good wine and I wish to give us a sample of this wine.

But before I do it is important for me to SEE and not shy away from the Language of our culture and TIME, just because part of our higher training is Epistemelogical. Is there an Idolotry grown to monster in S.O.P.? Or is this the case of inflated youth in premature adoration of Steiner? Has the Goetheanum and Spiritual Science as a world movement become trapped again in a hunger for a fascimile of Rudolf Steiner to worship?

I'd like to dedicate this Epistemelogical Song to Joel who apparently complained to the management because he couldn't find his song amongst the selections in the jukebox and god knows, the rest of us have no friggin taste. So here goes Joel.


"From the point of view of Nicolas [ or Joel] therefore, one cannot say that there is only one kind of cognition. Cognition, on the contrary, is clearly divided into what mediates a knowledge of external things, and what is itself the object of which one acquires knowledge. The former kind of cognition rules in the sciences which we acquire concerning the things and processes of the sensory world; the latter kind is in us when we ourselves live in what has been acquired. The second kind of cognition develops from the first.

Yet it is the same world to which both kinds of cognition refer, and it is the same man who shares in both. The question must arise, How does it come about that one and the same man develops two kinds of cognition of one and the same world? — The direction in which the answer to this question is to be sought was already indicated in our discussion of Tauler (cf. above). Here this answer can be formulated even more definitely with regard to Nicolas of Cusa.

First of all, man lives as a separate (individual) being among other separate beings. To the influences which the other beings exercise upon one another, in him is added the faculty of (lower) cognition. Through his senses he receives impressions of the other beings, and he works upon these impressions with his spiritual faculties.

He directs his spiritual gaze away from external things and looks at himself, at his own activity. Thus self-knowledge arises in him. As long as he remains upon this level of self-knowledge he does not yet look upon himself in the true sense of the word. He can still believe that there is some hidden entity active within him, and that what appears to him as his activity are only the manifestations and actions of this entity. But the point can come at which it becomes clear to man through an incontrovertible inner experience that in what he perceives and experiences within himself he possesses, not the manifestation, the action, of a hidden force or entity, but this entity itself in its primordial form. He can then say to himself: All other things I encounter in a way ready-made, and I, who stand outside them, add to them what the spirit has to say with regard to them. But in what I myself thus creatively add to things in myself, in that I myself live, that is what I am, that is my own essence.

But what is it that speaks in the depths of my spirit? It is knowledge that speaks, the knowledge I have acquired about the things of the world. But in this knowledge it is not some action, some manifestation which speaks; something speaks which keeps nothing back of what it has in itself. In this knowledge speaks the world in all its immediacy.

But I have acquired this knowledge from things and from myself, as from a thing among things. Out of my own essence it is I myself and the things who speak. In reality I no longer merely express my nature; I express the nature of things. My "I" is the form, the organ through which things declare themselves with regard to themselves. I have gained the experience that I experience my own essence within myself, and for me this experience becomes enlarged into another, that in me and through me the universal essence expresses itself, or, in other words, knows itself.

Now I can no longer feel myself to be a thing among things; I can only feel myself to be a form in which the universal essence has its life. — It is therefore only natural that one and the same man should have two kinds of cognition. With regard to the sensory facts he is a thing among things, and, insofar as this is the case, he acquires a knowledge of these things; but at any moment he can have the higher experience that he is the form in which the universal essence looks upon itself. Then he himself is transformed from a thing among things into a form of the universal essence — and with him the knowledge of things is changed into an utterance of the nature of things. This transformation however can in fact be accomplished only by man himself.

What is mediated in the higher cognition is not yet present as long as this higher cognition itself is not present. It is only in creating this higher cognition that man develops his nature, and only through the higher cognition of man does the nature of things come into actual existence. If therefore it is required that man should not add anything to the things of the senses through his higher cognition, but should express only what already lies in them in the outside world, then this simply means renouncing all higher cognition. —

From the fact that, as regards his sensory life, man is a thing among things, and that he only attains higher cognition when as a sensory being he himself accomplishes his transformation into a higher being, from this it follows that he can never replace the one cognition by the other. Rather, his spiritual life consists of a perpetual moving to and fro between the two poles of cognition, between knowing and seeing.

If he shuts himself off from seeing, he foregoes the nature of things; if he were to shut himself off from sensory knowing, he would deprive himself of the things whose nature he wants to understand. — The same things reveal themselves to the lower understanding and to the higher seeing, only they do this at one time with regard to their external appearance, at the other time with regard to their inner essence. — Thus it is not due to things themselves that at a certain stage they appear only as external objects; rather it is due to the fact that man must first transform himself to the point where he can reach the stage at which things cease to be external.

It is only with these considerations in mind that certain views natural science elaborated in the nineteenth century appear in their proper light. The adherents of these views say to themselves: We hear, see, and touch the things of the material world through the senses. The eye, for instance, communicates to us a phenomenon of light, a color. We say that a body emits red light when, by the mediation of our eye, we have the sensation "red." But the eye gives us this sensation in other cases too. If it is struck or pressed, if an electric current passes through the head, the eye has a sensation of light.

Hence in those instances also in which we have the sensation that a body emits light of a certain color, something may be occurring in that body which does not have any resemblance to color. No matter what is occurring in outside space, as long as this process is suitable for making an impression upon the eye, a sensation of color arises in me. What we perceive arises in us because we have organs that are constituted in a certain way.

What goes on in outside space remains outside of us; we know only the effects which external processes bring forth in us. Hermann Helmholtz (1821–1894) has given expression to this idea in a clearly defined way. "Our perceptions are effects produced in our organs by external causes, and the way such an effect manifests itself is of course substantially dependent on the kind of apparatus acted upon. Insofar as the quality of our perception gives us information about the characteristics of the external influence by which it is caused, it can be considered as a sign of the latter, but not as a likeness of it.

For of an image one requires some kind of similarity to the object represented: of a statue, similarity of form; of a drawing, similarity of the perspective projection in the field of view; of a painting, in addition to this, similarity of colors. But a sign need not have any kind of resemblance to that of which it is a sign. The relationship between the two is limited to this, that the same object, exercising its influence under the same circumstances, calls forth the same sign, and that therefore unlike signs always correspond to unlike influences ... If in ripening berries of a certain variety develop both a red pigment and sugar, then red color and sweet taste will always be found together in our perception of berries of this kind." (cf. Helmholtz: Die Tatsachen der Wahrnehmung, The Facts of Perception, p. 12 f.)

I have characterized this way of thinking in detail in my Philosophie der Freiheit, Philosophy of Spiritual Activity, and in my Rätsel der Philosophie, Riddles of Philosophy, 1918. — Let us now follow step by step the train of thought which is adopted in this view. A process is assumed in outside space. It produces an effect upon my sensory organ; my nervous system transmits to my brain the impression produced. Another process is effected there. I now perceive "red." Now it is said: The perception of "red" is thus not outside; it is in me. All our perceptions are only signs of external processes, the real character of which we know nothing. We live and act among our perceptions, and know nothing about their origin.

In line with this way of thinking one can also say: If we had no eye there would be no color; nothing would then transform the external process, which is unknown to us, into the perception "red." For many this train of thought is something seductive. Nevertheless it rests upon a complete misinterpretation of the facts under consideration. (If many contemporary natural scientists and philosophers were not deluded to a truly monstrous degree by this train of thought, one would not have to talk about it so much. But this delusion has in fact vitiated contemporary thinking in many respects.)

Since man is a thing among things, it is of course necessary that things should make an impression upon him if he is to find out anything about them. A process outside of man must give rise to a process in man if the phenomenon "red" is to appear in the field of vision. One must only ask, What is outside, what inside? Outside is a process which takes place in space and time. But inside doubtless is a similar process. Such a process exists in the eye and communicates itself to the brain when I perceive "red." I cannot directly perceive the process which is "inside," any more than I can immediately perceive the wave motion "outside," which physicists consider corresponds to the color "red."

But it is only in this sense that I can speak of an "outside" and an "inside." Only on the level of sensory perception does the contrast between "outside" and "inside" have any validity. This perception leads me to assume a spatial-temporal process "outside," although I cannot perceive it directly.

And, further, the same perception leads me to assume such a process within me, although I cannot perceive it directly either. But, after all, I also assume spatial-temporal processes in ordinary life which I cannot directly perceive. For example, I hear a piano being played in the next room. Therefore I assume that a human being with spatial dimensions sits at the piano and plays. And my way of representing things to myself is no different when I speak of processes within me and outside of me."

Bradford concludes;

Now firstly, Joel should feel free to bring Gordienko by way of discussion, without having to rip up the furniture and tear down the front door to get his point out. Gordienko and our current Young Idol sitting on the Throne of STeiner says, [read Simon says] our very own contemporary certainly has preached the gospel of 'I can sure quote Steiner real good' or bad. [S.O.P].... and like anybody else here on this list, connecting intuition to the vast body of work that Steiner brought, have we allowed the Anthro Society to create another Idol to worship so it won't have to digest and Eat the Book of the Michael School out of individual development?

For if we are all Ring Bearers; We all approach hearing the Tone that Magdalene heard; We all have doubles etc.. etc.. and hovering in our present and future is meeting our I AM face to face. We are that! But how do we accurately bring a picture of our That to that which is us? How close have writers and our culture come to seeing this? Do we go out into the wide world and see the reality of what STeiner indicated or do we see our fellow sheep in the society following a Demon master?

We know from the trials of Oscar Wilde that he certainly allowed for what Joel is meaning to come to light. His "Portrait of Dorian Gray" is a moldy mixture of the deformity of both the Luciferic and Ahrimanic mass, like the Brazen King eaten away by Will-O-wisps, and as Tarjei has recently said, the Dragon with the horns made Oscar do it. But are the followers, all followers of Steiner sick? Or just those who fail to investigate Spiritual Science and prefer some Idolized leader to refry STeiner beans and call it lean cuisine? We always come back to they did this and they did that, but what does my own I tell me without anyones permission except my own schooled discernment? What Beings are out gunning for Spiritual Science? Doesn't Gordienko insist that there is a Luciferic take over of the Christ Impulse? We arrrive once again at an undetermined loop of defining symptomology and tangling with Personality cults.

We could use Gollum or Lytton as projections of inner portraits of our own slobbering obsequiousness as we slavishly follow Steiner and into the world of Precious my Precious..Dr. STeiner.. my Precious. Is this what we have become as the so called Anthro society? Is this what I have become to my own thinking? Do I grovel and crawl to the words and ideas of S.O.P. are do I draw from a vast picture of nature, science, culture and verify Steiner on my own with my own I?

To see with eyes of compassion is to see our own coiling and uncoiling weaknesses..and it can cripple the very will. So what is the intent here? To go over and over again if the society has failed me? Or have I been left to fend for myself? Are Mommy and Daddy the blame for my addictions?

Dwelling on the Dweller of the Threshold is witch hunting to a difinitive conclusion as Gordienko has done. It doesn't purge those who need purging, they don't wish to think for themselves in the first place. Besides it is my I and my discernment that must be schooled.

Joel has rightly said, that we need this double to continue with us along our path. It comes with the territory of our magnetic and flesh incarnation. However in studying John Nash.. "A Beautiful Mind" we could examine and share a very particular emancipation of this double that happens without the help of Anthroposophy. It is just an Occult Fact. The unacknowledged materialism and the abstract numbers and formulas of a universe devoid of moral spine, or I Am conscience, leaves the I Am prone to being overtaken.

Spiritual Beings and Creation, can be so solidly unthought, removed, that the dense double can come right out of the box and start walking around with us. These facts can be observed and no Cult of Spiritual Science or S.O.P. has made them happen. These observation can be made without Dwelling on whether S.O.P. has betrayed me, but rather how I have searched for what STeiner indicated as facts of development on my own.

Shall we take apart Michael Jackson and discuss what god awful thing has happened to this human being? Shall we examine the Luciferic double as it has become known to us and distinquish between the Ahrimanic and luciferic dominating doubles.. Or is the clan of the followers of S.O.P. and the AP unable to overcome their Luciferic craving for someone to do the work for them. God forbid it should have been Tomberg. There we are back at creating rock stars, People magazine Idols, Personality cults that harm the very personalities that allow such Luciferic idolotry to enwrap them. Ah but you see, Gordienko and I would agree that it would tend to the Luciferic double.

Anyways, there is nothing to fear in looking and evaluating the dimensions of insight that Dr. Steiner or rather, (removing it from the double of Dr. Steiner), to say, what the Michael School that I am part of has researched from all its members and all its parts. That naturally includes the threshold testimony of Gordienko. A dramatic testimony to say the least.

But I am not prone to Personality worship, except myself..but I certainly have developed my own style of discernment that I built without the help of S.O.P. However I have never been a groupie or a follower and neither are those who I recognize as clear thinking and spiritual striving individuals. But I could be terribly wrong...

Groucho Marx and I agree. I'm not sure I want to be a member of a club that would have me as a member. So, like all of us who love the Michael School I have never managed to convince my ego that I am really worthy of the kind of clubbiness that was rumored in such a group worship of Michael as the "Kreis". I have always been a renegade and follow my own intution. This has never helped my case. Therefore my respect for the research of the Michael School sees it reflected in every aspect of life, from top to bottom and I can prove it even without quoting Dr. Steiner.

This is what I see in some of the wonderful souls from around the world who now are free from the bondage of the games of the Society and can share with each other the childlike wonders we have all experienced in our different ways. I trust my discernment to detect those wonderful souls....and I can't wait to meet them in life as well as in the phantasmagora of electronic fallen intelligence.


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