Friday 30 October 2020

Experience is more important than proof - a prophetic remark by Rudolf Steiner (1919)

Edited from a lecture of Rudolf Steiner in 1919 - a point of vital relevance to life in 2020 in our global world of Big Lies, systematic disortion and manipulation, and compulsory virtuality

...Once it is realized that conflicting political party programs can be proved equally correct, our attitude of soul will be that we do not set out to prove things, but rather to experience them. For to experience a thing is a very different matter from attempting to prove it intellectually

Deep penetration of the Gospels is necessary through spiritual science. The literal, word-for-word acceptance of the Gospelspromotes Ahrimanic culture. 

Even on external grounds it is obvious that a strictly literal acceptance of the Gospels is unjustified. For as you know, what is good and right for one time is not right for every other time. What is right for one epoch becomes Luciferic or Ahrimanic when practiced in a later one. 

The mere reading of the Gospel texts has had its day. What is essential now is to acquire a spiritual understanding of the Mystery of Golgotha [i.e. the work of Jesus Christ] in the light of the truths enshrined in the Gospels. 

Listen to a modern socialist speaking about social questions and then, immediately afterward, to a Catholic preacher speaking about the same questions. It is very interesting to find two levels of culture existing side by side but using the words in an entirely different sense. The same word has quite a different meaning in each case. 

You can read countless treatises today about what is needed in social life. It is often said that without the spirit nothing is achieved, that the very course of events shows that the spirit is necessary. 

Yes, but what does such a man really achieve? He gets as far as to utter the word “spirit,” to pronounce the abstract word “spirit;” but he refuses to accept, indeed he rejects, anything that endeavors to make the spirit really take effect. 

For that, it is essential above all to realize that wallowing in abstractions, however loud the cry for the spirit, is not yet spiritual, not yet spirit! Vague, abstract chattering about the spirit must never be confused with the active search for the content of the spiritual world pursued in anthroposophical science [i.e. by personal, direct, intuitive experience]. 

Abstract talk of the spirit is a deviation from sincere striving for the spirit and that by their very talk, people are actually removing themselves from the spirit. Purely intellectual allusion to the spirit leads nowhere. 

What, then, is “intelligence?” What is the content of our human intelligence? I can best explain this in the following way. Imagine yourself standing in front of a mirror and looking into it. The picture presented to you by the mirror is you, but it has no reality at all. It is nothing but a reflection. 

All the intelligence within your soul, all the intellectual content, is only a mirror image; it has no reality. And just as your reflected image is called into existence through the mirror, so what mirrors itself as intelligence is called into existence through the physical apparatus of your body, through the brain. 

You are intelligent only because your body is there. And as little as you can touch yourself by stretching your hand toward your reflected image, as little can you lay hold of the spirit if you turn only to the intellectual — for the spirit is not there! 

What is grasped through the intellect, ingenious as it may be, never contains the spirit itself, but only a picture of the spirit. You cannot truly experience the spirit if you get no further than mere intelligence. 

The reason why intelligence is so seductive is that it yields a picture, a reflected picture of the spirit — but not the spirit itself. It seems unnecessary to go to the inconvenience of penetrating to the spirit, because it is there — or so, at least, one imagines. In reality it is only a reflected picture — but for all that, it is not difficult to talk about the spirit...


Comment: When intelligence and proof lead nowhere but to arbitrary ideological contradictions, they become (have become) mere intruments of social and psychological manipulation. 

A better solution cannot be found externally, because all human institutions are - here-and-now, especially since 2020 - obviously (yes?) corrupted to the evil Global Establishment agenda. 

And this applies to any type of supposedly-literalistic reading of any Scripture. 

A way-out-from mere intelligence and demonically-poisoned arbitrariness only be found in our own personal spiritual, intuitive experiences. For Christians, these must take priority, or else we have de facto changed sides and will be supporting Satan et al. All church tradition, theology, authority and scripture must be evaluated by experiential spiruality - which discernment is now primary. 



MagnusStout said...

A very thought-provoking post.

The mirror analogy is very powerful. Intuition and experience are routinely denigrated today. The Birdemic reveals our values: personal experiences and intuition are summarily denied, excluded and mocked in favor of “mere intelligence and demonically-poisoned arbitrariness.”

Perhaps this is part of the link between the increase in demonic activities in the world and the explosion of “virtuality” and technology. Perhaps that is the “final step” in the System: to not only link all other systems into TheSystem, but, finally, the human mind. Traveling “into” the mirror?

If we are all ultimately accountable for our actions this mortal period, then we cannot be excused for choosing Evil—even if we relied upon (“well-meaning”) external authorities. If we seek God and open up our hearts completely, then the gift of the Holy Spirit is the one, essential guide we need. I think this is essentially your point that “All church tradition, theology, authority and scripture must be evaluated by experiential spiruality - which discernment is now primary.”

While I do think there is enormous treasures contained in the writings of the Church Fathers, my instinct is to rely upon what people do, rather than what they say (even Satan quotes Scripture and can cloak himself as an Angel of Light). Thus, authority should flow from right actions and right actions should flow from right discernment. Conversely, failing to discern leads to immoral action. And, you’ve rightfully pointed out that the vast majority of priests and pastors simply bent the knee to Caesar without any outward discernment of Good and Evil.

We must choose. And, I think most people—if they really listen to that voice of conscience—should simply “know” (and “see”) that this is Evil. “Discernment” today is like the wearing of the “sunglasses” in that 1988 American science-fiction campy action horror film written and directed by John Carpenter, “They Live.”

Bruce Charlton said...

"“Discernment” today is like the wearing of the “sunglasses” in that 1988 American science-fiction campy action horror film written and directed by John Carpenter, “They Live.”"

Yes, except there are more aliens than humans, nowadays.