From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Nov 4, 2003 2:03 am
Subject: Spiritual warfare, politics and religion
Hello new group!
I'd like to start off exactly where I was
when I was muffled by the moderator on another list because anything
related to politics was declared a taboo subject there. That
excludes an awful lot of subjects, like the Threefold Social
Order, the politics of Europe in Steiner's lifetime, current
affairs, globalization and what have you. So I'm very happy to
have found an open anthroposophical list that grants fundamental
First Amendment rights.
The point of departure was a Newsday.com article
entitled, "General: We're in a 'Spiritual Battle' "
The report is about some comments by Army Lt. Gen. William "Jerry"
Boykin. A small excerpt:
In January, Boykin recalled
a conversation with a Muslim fighter in Somalia who had said
that Allah would protect him from U.S. forces.
"I knew that my God was
a real God and his was an idol," Boykin said.
In June, Boykin said, "The
battle that we're in is a spiritual battle. Satan wants to destroy
this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants
to destroy us as a Christian army."
In my humble opinion, general Boykin speaks
like a diosaur on blatant collision course with the Spirit of
the Age (St. Michael). Christ's story about the Good Samaritan
should be a good hint. (Read: The Good Muslim.)
All this rhetoric about "my god is going
to beat your god" is not only infantile (my dad is stronger
than yours), but deeply distrurbing coming from people in leading
positions in the most powerful government in the world, the reincarnation
of the Roman Empire (that nailed Christ to the cross).
This is religious fundamentalism at its worst,
on par with that of the terrorists. What we need is a spiritualized
humanism, with the human _individual_ in the center, regardless
of this individual's ethnicity or religious heritage.
Another concern of mine is that when anthroposophists,
driven by fear of Muslim terror, express the desire to go to
bed with Christian arch-conservative fundies of the most knuckleheaded
sort, they contribute to a certain myth embraced by hardcore
Waldorf critics, namely that anthroposophy is a fascist right
wing movement. As a matter of fact, studies and surveys show
that anthroposophists in Europe have been voting overwhelmingly
Left Wing all along, and they're still voting that way. That's
because anthroposophy is revolutionary and New Age, not reactionary
and Old Age, like that dinosaur general.
And incidentally: claiming God on your side
when maiming and killing your fellow man in our day and age,
Of course, anthroposophy is apolitical, but
this is too sophisticated a challenge for most people to handle.
But Rudolf Steiner held the opinion a century ago that the political
party system and the righ-left polarity in parliamentary politics
should have ceased to exist after the 19th century if social
evolution had moved along a more expedient path, so we're better
off without bigoted slurs like "left wing liberals"
-_especially_ when the Cold War is also over. I cringe when I
see some anthroposophists mentioning "commies", "pinkies",
"liberals" and so on - reminiscent of the 1950's.
There are however anthroposophists who choose
to approach spiritual warfare today in the spirit of Ignatius
Loyola, founder of the Jesuit Order. That is not anthroposophy.
On the contrary, it's a militant system that has been used by
regimes demanding blind obedience.
Let's take that Boykin quote once more: "I
knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." I'll
leave the comments on this to Rudolf Steiner, giving him two
little speeeches. First, here is a quote from
"Behind the Scenes of External Happenings" (13th
When a man's attitude to the
spiritual world is merely that of the "enlightened"
Church today, his relationship to the spiritual world - even
if it is only in his feeling - is of a definite kind; it is simply
a relationship with his Guardian Angel, the Angelos with whom
he is, in fact, connected. And this Angelos - the only Being
with whom he is able to feel related - he calls his God; if he
is a Christian he calls him Christ; he confuses his Angelos with
Christ. This may be difficult to understand, but it is so. Protestant
theologians who claim to be enlightened and inveigh against Polytheism,
urging men to establish direct relationship with the one Being,
Christ - whatever they may preach concerning Christ, the truth
is that what they say has only to do with the relationship of
the human being to his Angelos. Monotheism in our time is in
danger of becoming a worship of the Angelos of each individual
Men are still unwilling to
admit many things that are nevertheless there. Even the crudest
circumstances, however, prove to an objective observer that such
illusions set men well on the path to calamitous ideas. This
worship of man's own Angelos is the reason why each individual
has his own God, merely imagining that he shares with others
a Godhead who is common to them all. The truth is that the monotheist
of today has only his own individual Angelos and because there
is such uniformity in the words with which each human being describes
his own egotistical relation to the Angelos, people imagine that
they are speaking of the Divinity who is the one God of them
all. If this state of things were to continue, individuals would
develop, still more strongly, the tendency that is taking such
a terrible form among the nations today. Although the nations
still theorise about the one universal Godhead, they do not -
and this holds good above all at the present time - really acknowledge
this one Godhead, because each of them prefers to have its own
And here is an even more fitting quote, from
and its Meaning in the World" (Zurich, 17th December,
Besides love there are two
other powers in the world. How do they compare with love? The
one is strength, might; the second is wisdom. In regard to strength
or might we can speak of degrees: weaker, stronger, or absolute
might - omnipotence. The same applies to wisdom, for there are
stages on the path to omniscience. It will not do to speak in
the same way of degrees of love. What is universal love, love
for all beings? In the case of love we cannot speak of enhancement
as we can speak of enhancement of knowledge into omniscience
or of might into omnipotence, by virtue of which we attain greater
perfection of our own being. Love for a few or for many beings
has nothing to do with our own perfecting. Love for everything
that lives cannot be compared with omnipotence; the concept of
magnitude, or of enhancement, cannot rightly be applied to love.
Can the attribute of omnipotence be ascribed to the Divine Being
who lives and weaves through the world? Contentions born of feeling
must here be silent: were God omnipotent, he would be responsible
for everything that happens and there would be no human freedom.
If man can be free, then certainly there can be no Divine omnipotence.
Is the Godhead omniscient?
As man's highest goal is likeness to God, our striving must be
in the direction of omniscience. Is omniscience, then, the supreme
treasure? If it is, a vast chasm must forever yawn between man
and God. At every moment man would have to be aware of this chasm
if God possessed the supreme treasure of omniscience for himself
and withheld it from man. The all-encompassing attribute of the
Godhead is not omnipotence, neither is it omniscience, but it
is love - the attribute in respect of which no enhancement is
possible. God is uttermost love, unalloyed love, is born as it
were out of love, is the very substance and essence of love.
God is pure love, not supreme wisdom, not supreme might. God
has retained love for himself but has shared wisdom and might
with Lucifer and Ahriman. He has shared wisdom with Lucifer and
might with Ahriman, in order that man may become free, in order
that under the influence of wisdom he may make progress.
If we try to discover the
source of whatever is creative we come to love; love is the ground,
the foundation of everything that lives. It is by a different
impulse in evolution that beings are led to become wiser and
more powerful. Progress is attained through wisdom and strength..
Study of the course taken by the evolution of humanity shows
us how the development of wisdom and strength is subject to change:
there is progressive evolution and then the Christ Impulse which
once poured into mankind through the Mystery of Golgotha. Love
did not, therefore, come into the world by degrees; love streamed
into mankind as a gift of the Godhead, in complete, perfect wholeness.
But man can receive the Impulse into himself gradually. The Divine
Impulse of love as we need it in earthly life is an impulse that
came once and forever.
Well now, does this Christ, this God of Love,
remind you of someone slaughtering people, saying, "My Christ
is mighty tough, and your god is a pussy?"
On the contrary, this is a false Christ. The
Pentagon is proclaiming a false Christ, the Christ of war and
mayhem and slaughter and brutality, the god of Caesar and Napoleon.
But as Christ himself said about this god:
"Hereafter I will not talk much with
you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in
me." - Joh 14:30
This god has nothing in Christ, and vice versa.
I'm certainly not saying that the Muslim terrorist
networks are not Satanic (or ahrimanic); quite the contrary.
The point is that the Pentagon is equally ahrimanic, and the
same forces are present there. Behind the masks of the politicians,
the propagandists, the terrorists, and other newsmakers who inspire
fear, awe, attention, adulation, admiration or whatever, stand
the hidden manipulators, and behind those stand spiritual powers,
cosmic beings. It ought to be possible to discern how ahrimanic
powers manipulate events and mold public opinion all over the
planet, and which means they employ to do this, without becoming
entangled and ensnared in nationalistic and chauvinistic emotionalism.
"There is no way to peace. Peace is the
way." - Mahatma Gandhi.
Of course there's spiritual warfare, but what
people are very prone to forget is the lesson taught by Oliver
Stone at the very end of his movie "Platoon," where
Charlie Sheen's character says approximately: "The enemy
was not outside ourselves, in the bushes. The enemy was not the
Vietcong. The enemy was within ourselves; it was our own demons."
This is what is so easily forgotten: In spiritual
warfare, we're off target if we try to overcome our fellow men.
We have to overcome ourselves, because the battlefield is each
In other words, no gun-toting hangman of a
murderous Christian fundy is going to convince me that he's on
the right side in that battle. On the contrary, he's of the same
ilk as the Muslim terrorist fundies, and subject to the same
Critics, and Controversy
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