Spiritual warfare, politics and religion


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, is obscene.

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 November, 1917):

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 human being.

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 special God.

And here is an even more fitting quote, from "Love and its Meaning in the World" (Zurich, 17th December, 1912):

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 human soul.

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 ahrimanic manipulations.

Tarjei Straume


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