by William Arkle
I am convinced by the overall validity of Rudolf Steiner's 1918 prophecy concerning the spiritual future of Western Man:
The bottom line of this insight is that within a Christian context the number one priority for modern Western Man is to expand and enhance consciousness such that we become aware of the spiritual world beyond the 'five senses', including the divinity of our fellow Men.
This enhanced consciousness aimed-at is not a matter of the kind of hallucinatory, dream or trance-state we associate with shamans and other mystics of former eras - but is to be achieved in and by lucid, alert and purposive thinking.
Overall, not so much about seeing new (and previously unseen) things, so much as seeing old things anew (see Arkle's painting above).
In other words, it is a particular kind of thinking which is to provide us with valid knowledge - but not just abstractly 'knowing about' stuff; but actual experience of the reality of knowledge.
(Why? My understanding is currently that there is a kind of thinking which is primary, spontaneous, and does not depend upon perception or any other kind of 'input' - and this comes form God-within-us, that which makes is children of God: and that is the reason why it is intrinsically valid thinking.)
The 64,000 dollar question is how do we do this? How do we raise our thinking to this level, and keep it there? Where do we even start on this task?
Having been reading Colin Wilson's Beyond the Occult recently, I think one general answer may be that we should start with any of the spiritual, paranormal or enhanced types of consciousness that we personally spontaneously experience. These go by many names, but could include peak experiences, synchronicity, self-remembering, clairvoyance, fore-sight, the sense of being transported to another time or place (what Wilson termed Faculty X)...
Or (especially) those 'magical' (or holiday) times of several or many minutes when we seem to be living inside a narrative or story or tableau, and in a state of awareness of connections and a providential unfolding...
In a nutshell, we can start with those moments or times when the ordinary and the everyday are felt to be meaningful, purposive and we are engaged by them.When this happens, we are inside the kind of thinking we are aiming-at, the kind of thinking we most need - these phenomena are (often) a sign that this is it.
That is the kind of thing we start-with, and what we need to remember, take seriously, and endeavour to build-upon.
Nothing we might do is more important - the task deserves our best efforts.