Monday 18 February 2019

This Ahrimanic age and the End Times

Rudolf Steiner's idea that evil has two faces and natures - the unconscious/ instinctive/ spiritual Luciferic, and the systematic/ bureaucratic/ materialistic Ahrimanic - is one that has lodged permanently in my mind (although I don't use the terms exactly as Steiner did).

Steiner foresaw that the Ahrimanic tendency was dominant and increasing in our age - and he was absolutely correct; including within the Anthroposophical Society which he founded. Indeed, the history of Steiner's movement is worth studying from the perspective of just how pervasive, how inevitable-seeming, the Ahrimanic tendency is in our age. here we have a movement studying, and officially opposing, the Ahrimanic tendency but using highly Ahrimanic methods!

Such is, however, almost universal in our time. Whenever any human and individual priority or problem is highlighted; the 'solution' is always to set-up institutional, bureaucratic mechanisms that are supposed to deal with it: task forces, surveys, committees, conferences, statistical reports, agenda-items, targets...

(The middle sixties is a clear example; because the 'sixties impulse' was Luciferic - but this dominated for only about one year - from the summer of 67 to the summer of 68; and everything radical/ leftist/ progressive we have seen since, has been ever-more-thoroughly Ahrimanic. Nowadays, the sparks of individualistic Luciferic instincts - especially sexual and transgressive - merely feed the Leviathan of bureaucracy.)  

These are all both tools and manifestations of Ahrimanic thinking; and implement and sustain that cold, rational, spirit-denying materialism. This is specifci totalitarianism. Then the individual Ahrimanic bureaucracies link-up to make the Single Totalitarian Bureaucracy, centrally controlled - and Ahriman is triumphant.

It matters not one whit if the 'ends' and objectives are spiritual, heartfelt, animistic - because the means by which they are approached ensures that spirit-denying materialism is the medium of discourse.

We see this everywhere, except in small family or friendship groupings; every institution is not just contaminated but corrupted and inverted by Ahrimanic thinking; and it is this which makes me ever more convinced that our future must be post-institutional - involving a return (but with a major spiritual distinction) to that world built on loving personal relationships rather than formal organisation.

However, first-time-round; this personal world was Luciferic - and therefore unconscious, instinctive, 'given', immersive, unindividual. It cannot be Luciferic again - even if some would wish for that; because history is linear and a developmental process.

So the future personal world will be conscious, self-aware, deliberately-chosen - therefore individually-based. 

This prospect ought to be welcomed; but even though it is not welcomed, and is indeed opposed vigorously (even/ especially among most Christians), it will very likely happen. It will happen because corrupt institutions cannot sustain the modern world, and the corruption runs so deep and has already done such damage that there is no possibility of institutional reform. There is grossly too-little of the true source from-which a reform might be initiated and sustained.

Our institutional corruption is terminal - the cancer of Ahrimanism has overwhelmed the host; and there is not enough healthy tissue remaining for the cancer to be cut-away. The cure will kill us - more exactly; if the cancer does not kill us first, the cure will kill the institutions.

To put it differently: cancer is dysfunctional, and will kill the host; yet the global organism is almost-all cancer tissue: so either way, there can be no cure. 

A world of seven billion people without formal institutions seems impossible - and presumably is impossible. And if the vast population cannot be sustained, then it will not be sustained.

So this will be something like the End Times - even when examined purely in a material sense; although I have no doubt that its ultimate causes are spiritual.    


Seijio Arakawa said...

> A world of seven billion people without formal institutions seems impossible - and presumably is impossible. And if the vast population cannot be sustained, then it will not be sustained.

Here, as with prior discussions about the planetary hospital / dependency ratio, the tricky part is that we do not know what solutions may be possible when people create new ideas from a different consciousness level. The constraints may be bad, but it is also possible that we perceive them as even worse, because of learned helplessness / inability to imagine how things may be done otherwise.

On the other hand, the learned helplessness endemic in the current situation is precisely what will prevent any solutions that might work for seven billion people from being applied anywhere near that scale when they are discovered.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Seijio - Thanks for adding that vital point.

We can't (will not) continue along the present line, and therefore the only hope is a step into the unknown.

As you say, that unknown - if approached with teh proper attitude and motivation, may contain the answer; but if so, we cannot know that answer until/ if we get there.

Seijio Arakawa said...

It's also important to clarify that a 'solution' means completely different things depending on one's level of consciousness.

Most broadly speaking, a creative solution is "you think of something you want (desire) to do about the problem and then do it". There is no guarantee that this will solve the problem but it probably will, in collaboration with all the other divine and/or creative minds in the universe, if you actually do the italicized words.

For the Ahrimanic mindset a "solution" would be some kind of procedural blueprint, implemented by an institution. In practice, the "solution" does not involve anyone really thinking, no one desires to solve the problem or wants to do the procedural steps identified as the solution, and the steps are not actually doing anything about the problem in question even if faithfully implemented.

When a family of several people manages a house, they may write a to-do list. They don't say 'I know X is more important to do but the to-do list says to do Y first'. But this behaviour is taken as a matter-of-fact for large institutions. However, these kinds of mental tics will become unthinkably ridiculous one way or another.

Either enough people will reach a level of consciousness that correctly perceives what's going on and is therefore unable to participate... and we see what happens next.

Or enough people will reach (due to mutation accumulation, population replacement from less-developed countries, and other forces) a primal level of consciousness that's too simple or innocent to sustain the complex self-deceptions involved in institutional behaviours. Impersonal bureaucratic rigidity becomes personal transparent brutality which no one can pretend to respect (or that's easily subverted, e.g. by bribery or negotiation) and the institution collapses.

A lot of the push towards AI may be based on a desire to sustain bureaucracy and an anticipated severe shortage of people with the necessary consciousness (one way or the other) to impose functioning bureaucracy on others. AI does not need to be autonomous, it just needs to work well-enough as a force-projection tool for the increasingly small number of people with exactly the wrong kind of thinking to desire to use it. If population collapse is an apparent consequence of institutional collapse, this work is even justifiable as "well intentioned".