The path of attaining to Rudolf Steiner's objective of Pure Thinking, or alert and aware clairvoyance (what Barfield terms Final Participation and I have dubbed Primary Thinking) is something I have often seen described as a practice of 'strengthening' our thinking.
This is usually approached by a series of exercises devised and prescribed by Steiner - which amount to exercises aimed at single-mindedness, concentration and broadening of subject matter.
But, the history of Anthroposophy indicates that these exercises are a failure. At the very least; the results are slow and modest - and they seem not to lead to a transformation of thinking.
I would advocate discarding the language of strengthening, and indeed any 'effortful' attempts at deepening thinking; because the effort is almost-inevitably coming-from and directed-at the wrong thing/s.
There is no need for strength, there is no need for concentration; Primary Thinking is quite natural, it is always going-on - we 'merely' need to attend to it... That 'merely' is in fact usually very difficult to do, but this is not the kind of difficulty that can be overcome by conscious-striving; more by 'allowing'...
Allowing the Real Self's thinking to come to awareness and deciding that its natural and spontaneous thinking is valid. Is - indeed - direct knowledge of reality.
Read the whole thing at the Owen Barfield Blog
The time for focus and determination is when we are acting on the moral imperatives we discover from contemplation. But the nature of contemplation requires openness and relaxed submission.
We need not empty ourselves entirely of critical faculty, but to bring a spirit of criticism to the search for revelation makes us a judge where we should be an audience.
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