january 24, 1998 - 9:50am
brock university, st. catharines
annual thomas aquinal philosohpy symposium

> delineation between: Physical / Ether (growth) / Astral (passion) bodies.
> midway lies the EGO > between the transcendent and the immanent.
> then, from the omniscient logos -> archetypal forces -> living thought ->
  spirit beings -> egos -> passion bodies -> growth bodies ->
  which in turn directs the development of the physical organisms.
> gathered together:
  > taking from the bottom-up: physical, ether, astral, ego
  > then discussion of man a member in two worlds: physical/spiritual
  > then taking from the top-down: logos, archetypal realm, spirit.
  > juxtaposing these, we have find a model of the cosmogenesis:
    the outworking of the cosmos as a dynamic function of consciousness.

symposium abstract - by: john roland hans penner, november 1997


> building on the anthroposophical knowledge of the austrian
philosopher rudolf steiner, i would like to demonstrate how an
understanding of the various states or realms of consciousness leads to
a fundamentally different understanding of the origins of the cosmos.

confronted with the task of attempting to explain the anthroposophical
world conception as outlined by the austrian philosopher RUDOLF STEIENER
in only 20 minutes, i find myself unsure how to present such a scope of
material in such a short period. therefore, it has become necessary to
present nothing more than an outline of the ideas of the cosmogenesis
which i have largely derived from steiner's work, and elaborated with
some of mine own speculations.

- ideas concerning the origins of the cosmos generally fall into two realms.
- the first one, the material view - fundamentally assumes that matter is
  primary, and consciousness arises from it.
- the second begins with the premise that consciousness is primary,
  and that matter is the manifestation, or creation, of it.
- a fuller understanding of the nature of cosmos isn't possible without
  an explanation of the role of consciousness.
- a monistic materialism has difficulty explaining the role and fundamental
  nature of consciousness which any questioning being must face as it seeks
  to a way to reconcile their own apparent dualism.
- in order to examine the role of consciousness however, we must
  understand what it is that consciousness is.
- this is done by establishing the differences in levels of consciousness,
  of which there are seven.
- therefore development of the terms: physical-1; etheric-2;
  astral-3 > differences and attributes of.
- development of spirit, which allows possibility of ego-3 - self
  awareness the "i".
- bridge of relationship between physical - conscious deity continues
  with development of: atmic-4; budhic-5; monadic-6; and logoic
  plane - DEITY (7).
- through an understanding of the relationships between the physical
  world and the consciousness that dwells within it, we come to think
  of the universe as a recursively fractal structure of denser and
  denser planes of consciousness beginning with the most subtle in
  nature - pure consciousness - and proceeding to denser and denser
  forms, finally arriving at physical matter.
- from this, we arrive at an understanding of the on-going process
  of creation - the cosmogenesis.

__| introductory material - difference between
__| physical - ether - astral states of consciousness

looking at a plant,
then looking at a stone.
the stone has a physical structure, but it falls apart,
it is unanimated, it has nothing about it that moves it
or holds it together.

the plant on the other hand, grows.
it contains something about it that the brick does
not have - something about it which impels
it to move tiny parts of itself,
to draw up through itself portions of soil and earth
and causes it to grow.
whatever this force is that causes it to grow,
we will call it 'the body of formative forces', or the 'ether' body.

when the ether body leaves the plant, it is said to "die" - it becomes
a dead shriveled up piece of vegetation - life has left it. it's
ether body - that which guides its growth has left it.

thus, we have stone (brick) which has a physical body;
then we have plant which has both physical body,
and also that which causes it's physical body to grow - an ether body.

thus, we have the mineral kingdom - physical body,
and the plant kingdom - ether body.

now a cat walks into the room.
there is something about the cat, about the animal
which causes it to be able to be moved by it's passions,
it's desires, it's instincts. it's limbs and organs are formed
according to this force, and allow this force to express itself
in action.

now compare:

the plant stays in place, but unlike the stone, it grows from the soil,
and moves the soil and water along itself in such a way that it grows. in
addition to this, the animal has something about it which causes it to
move it's place, and follow it's instincts and passions. so are it's
organs formed to serve these instincts and passions. when it is hungry, it
can move itself to obtain food.

the plant must accept it's fate. if it is stepped on, there is nothing
about it that can get itself to move of it's own volition. (it has
mechanical movement that guides it's growth, but this is not the same,
like saying that because a metal expands when heated, that it is therefore
alive (ether&astrally) - not.)

the animal, however, when in danger, can move itself so that it gets out
of danger. this something that causes the animal to move about from place
to place and determine it's course (which the plant does not have) is what
is called it's astral body. the astral body is the seat of the passions,
instincts, and character of an animal.

so now we have physical matter - stone - mineral kingdom. it provides us
with a physical body, our representative here on earth.

then we have ether body, that which causes the physical matter to move and
organise itself to grow. plants have both a physical body and an ether
body. animals also have an ether body, and it is responsible for digestion
and reproduction. as the sap flows through the plant, so does blood flow
through the animal.

in addition to the ether body, animals have an astral body that provides
the animal with forces that shape it's organs, and provides it with
instincts and passions. that animals have an astral body is what
distinguishes them from that which is in a plant.

thus, animals have physical body, ether body, and astral body. these
correspond to the realms of willing, feeling, and thinking, respectively
(nicely symbolised by the claddagh ring btw).

the difference between a living animal creature and a corpse is that the
living creature is still in possession of ether and astral bodies to
animate the physical processes of life within its physical body, whereas
when the body transitions to a corpse, then only the physical body is
present and begins immediately to decay according to natural physical
processes, but the ether body which determined the development of it's
physical organisms - i.e. growth, and it's astral component, which
animated the creature with movement, passion, and desire has also left it.

the difference between a sleeping animal and a corpse is that when in the
state of consciousness known as sleep (which every human on the face of
this planet spends their time in for approximately just under a third of
their entire incarnate life), is that the ether body is still present
together with the physical organism to direct it's growth, and physical
processes related to growth while the animal sleeps - a sleeping animal
more resembles a plant in that only the ether body is active upon its
physical organism during sleep. when the passions and consciousness of
the astral and ego bodies return to a sleeping human form, they become
reanimated, and are said to be once again in an "awake" state of

after > cover development of:
  > physical  - mineral
  > plant     - ether
  > animal    - astral/passions
  * ego       - self-awareness, "i" = ego
  < spirit    - common ocean of collective "egos". spirit unites.
  < elemental - elemental forces - archetypal realm
  < logos     - the word, or creator.

> the development of successive states of consciousness in
world evolution. this part follows an understanding an
esoteric understanding of the development of the cosmos...

of relationship of ether body to astral body
and illustration of architect:

as the workers follow out the design thought out by the architect,
so may it be said that the ether body shapes the physical body
by virtue of currents inspired into it by the astral (thought/passion/
habit/character) body. thus, the ether body differs from the ether
body of an animal.


each and every event that comes to us from our physical senses evokes a
specific feeling or thought within us. the thoughts and feelings that
arise within us by stimulation from outside of us is beyond our control.
we can follow our impulses and instinctual reactions to things, but when
we do not, and form time inside us to contemplate, and compare the
feelings associated with a certain event, occurance, or occasion, then we
call up within us the feelings associated with an event in our lives -
then we invoke the quality of memory. memory of this sort, and the ability
to abstract our thoughts and feelings from our immediate surroundings as a
conscious decision, the fact that we think of ourselves as an
"i" is a function of our ego. or ego is a seed which is
sustained after the death of the physical body - shedding of physical body
- like a snake sheds it's skin - a fresh form emerges that slowly builds
another layer of skin upon itself. thus we have oroboros - the snake
eating it's own tail as a symbol of eternal consumption and eternal
renewal. image of galaxy...

i'm looking at an image of astronimical data which has been compiled to
visualize a physical model of the universe. seen from this point of view -
the enormous galaxy in which we live - made of it's thousands of stars,
and billions of planets, it looks like a great gaseous cloud of spinning
matter composed of suns and solar systems, meteors, and shining and
shimmering, with a nucleous at the centre - it looks remarkably like a
gigantic gaseous cell - like a more gaseous and indistinct version of a
plasma cell of a water amoeba or other single-celled creature. on the same
page are thermal images of the solar flares - the pattern of heat reaches
out its tentacles like a great plant-like organism. now, understand that
just as the physical body we possess is an outward manifestation of an
ether body, astral, ego, and spirit bodies (which continues up to 7th -
logos). the only forms of life is not limited to only plants, and animals,
and the states of consciousness that we are familiar with. there can exist
beings which have an ether, astral, and ego bodies, but have no physical
body through which to express their influences into this world. the sun,
however does have a very great physical presence within our solar system -
it shines out not only great rays of physical heat, and other physically
measurable radiation, but it has corresponding ether, astral, and ego
(soul) bodies as does a human.

to say that the sun is the same as a human because it share these
qualities of ether, astral, and ego bodies is as absurd as saying that
because humans share a physical, ether, and astral bodies with animals,
they are thus the same as, say, a crayfish.

if can admit to forms of life of which we have no conception...
the sun is more than ball of gas only...

if we can admit that there are forms of life that we can have no mental
conception of (but we may if we develop our abilities of mental perception,
and exercise and develop our quality of "will"), but can still
exist nonetheless. the sun and planets are such as these. the physical sun
that we see is only the external physical manifestation of a being known
esoterically as "the sun", just as our physical bodies are not
the whole sum of our being, but our being includes other members in the
ether, astral, and egoic realms - so to does the sun as a being have such
members, although they differ greatly in scope and constitution from the
sun's members as our physical bodies differs from the sun's physical
manifestation. more worlds than can be seen...

if we understand that there are more worlds than can be seen through
physical observation alone, then we can comprehend the thought that there
also exist planets within solar systems which have not yet undergone the
transformation in their development from gaseous-nebulous ill-defined
forms of physical matter - as the inhabitants and the planets which they
are constituents of are not yet fully developed to this point, or
conversely have developed beyond the need for physical vessels in which to

development is cyclic, not a line...

these developments cannot be said to be "one-before the other"
as spread out on a line any more than 3:30 can be said to be ahead or
behind 5:30, depending on which *day*, or number of cycles the clock has
undergone. as the minute hand progresses around the circumference of the
clock, so time proceeds, and as it comes again to the same arbitrary point
relative to the stationary portion of the clock face, the same events and
patterns come to pass, but in a new form - the hour hand has also
progressed, thus the cycles continue and repeat and continue, if we
plotted the movement of the hands of a clock through an X axis, it would
form two spirals along the axis of time. the one rotates 1/60th of the
speed of the other - thus the two spirals stand in a relation of 1:60 in

gross long-term cycles determined by relationship of sun-planets... these
cycles come about from interactions of sun, moon, and planet in
relationship to each other. the length of night and day, the length of the
seasons, all is governed by relationships between the movement of the sun
and the earth. as the earth rotates about the sun, and as the sun spirals
revolves around within our galaxy, there is a fundamental tone which
determines the lengths of the day and night, the seasons, and the
development of growth from one cycle to the next. these have gross effects
on the weather, and the moods of beings within these systems. a rainy day
brings about different feelings within the general population than a sunny
day - you are less likely to find people out in the evening for a walk on
a rainy day than on a sunny day. this governs long term development of
physical evolution of the earth and planet. volcanos, and the heat
contained within the planet come about due to changes in both physical
circumstance of the planet, but also from fundamental evolutionary periods
of earthly evolution. in each of these cycles, specific forces work
towards the outworking of planetary evolution, both on a physical level,
but also on the various levels of consciousness. the earth too has gone a
long and variegated evolution, but this does not only involve a physical
evolution, but a change in the beings in which inhabit it. these
fundamental shifts in development occur in cycles of seven (why seven? do
not have time to go into here - we'd digress too far), evolution currently
in FIFTH stage...

of which we are currently in the fifth "round" or stage of
conscious evolution. this conscious evolution follows parallel to the
physical development of the planet as a whole. the fifth round of
evolution of which we are currently in includes all our current
"written" history. before this time there was no need for
writing, just as there is no need for written communication in a dream.
consciousness evolves as well...

in terms of consciousness in these earlier periods of evolution were very
much different than today. the condition of humans at that time was not at
all derived from apes as darwin has proposed. rather the development of
the species occurs within itself. each species advances within itself into
new forms (similarities in species are due to sharing common forms of
manifestation among the collective-being of that species of creature).

nature of 4th round consciousness...

the conditions of consciousness within humans in the fourth
"cycle" of the earth's evolution (it's "forth
incarnation") were such that people were not as much physically aware
of "seeing" someone as we do now, but rather, they would have
feelings of attraction or repulsion - they would live much more by
instinct than we do now. they had great capacity for memory, but little
for logical thought. it was a manifestation of a shift in world
consciousness that people began to have clearer and more logical thoughts
- and this time is remarked by fundamental changes in thought in the
periods where they were first manifest. long remembered oral histories -
thousands of years old began to be written down, and ability to remember
was traded for an increase in ability for abstract thought, and the
necessity of writing things down on paper to record them became necessary,
they were no longer able to be shared in a common thought among the people
of race of peoples in an oral tradition. increased reliance on external
forms of memory - writing became evident, and decrease in internal ability
to accurately recall long sequences of events was decreased. this is not
to say that some people today do not have the ability to have tremendous
memories - just that in the past, this capability was even greater on
average than it is today - just as an ability to logical (as opposed to
intuitively) form thoughts is now evident than was the case in the distant
past. people's consciousness has grown from a dream-like feeling awareness
to one that demands ever greater and greater physically technical

current age - technological;
1500's  1700's  1100's - different thought...

today is an age of great physical technological development. this is only
possible because at the appropriate periods in history - as we see in the
1500's in the renaissance, and in the 1700's with the development of logic
and thought with it's ensuing "industrial revolution". the life
of thought of someone in the 1100's - the medieval period was very
different than the life of thought of someone coming from the 1700's - an
age when logical newtonian reason prevailed.

current trend to view all things from material-primary view... again
today, we have a gross shift in consciousness towards a greater and
greater tendency to view all things materialistically and only in their
physical/technical aspect, and the effects of our systems's of
organization does not reflect as great a consideration for the effects of
the organization on the spirit of the people, but only if the physical
demands of the people are met - food, clothing, shelter - but there is
generally unsatisfactory offerings from those involved in providing
meaning to one's existence - a gulf which is created by a understanding of
the world based only on physically empirical data. this ommision of
consideration of the role of consciousness, and of the life of spirit.
difference between inner animation and external mechanical animation...

spirit is that which animates dead physical mineral rock and to draw
through itself physical matter and grow as plant, and animates it with
passions as animal, and the eternal sense of "i" or self
embedded in ego - only leads to more and more perplexity as the forms
provided to our examination of the world - especially in it's natural
forms, unregulated by the arbitrary constructions of our technologic
society - are studied and found to have certain characteristics that are
inexplicable by mere physical causes alone. it is then that we must begin
investigation into the relationship of the beings who live within an
environment, and the physical components of which it is constituted. a
field of dead sol and dirt is very different than a field which is
animated by etheric life to contain plants. the source of this life lies
in the activity of that which is life itself - a creative force that lies
outside of our physical measurement and perception - that is very much the
architect in the growth and development of the physical organ.

change in ether body > reflected in change in form of physical
organism... role of mutations if this ether life changes in form, a
different type of plant will be the result. if the being which connects
the instances of these physically manifest versions of it develops or
changes in some way, the plants which derive and are produced during
reproduction, receive a different, or evolved form in their next instance.
the ether body of an organism can be damaged by external influence through
an reciprocal effect of "feeling" in the higher order bodies.
sufficient mutation and damage in a number of the organisms can cause the
entire species over a great number of generations to change it's etheric
form to adapt to changing environmental conditions. <digression:end>
in 4th cycle, both physical organism & consciousness evolve... thus,
we can see how that in the forth cycle of our planetary evolution, that it
was not only possible, but likely that the physical organism of man
differed from today, but also his consciousness and awareness. as
consciousness changes, organs are formed which accommodate these changes.
what we can know of the world in this present age is different than what
we can know through our thinking and feelings than in another age.
differing circumstances come to exert themselves upon the development of
beings in each age. not only differing physical circumstances, but also
differing thought circumstances. dream consciousness leads to
fundamentally different art & attitudes than that of technical
consciousness... you can imagine that people who lived in a time where
they had a more dream-like consciounssness would come to very different
notions of the world, and how they lived in it than those people who have
a very logical, technological understanding of the world that is widely
the case today. compare what is different in the art of today - with it's
increasing use of technological means for its expression with a state of
consciousness is very different in those people who built say, the
monuments at easter island, than those who write computer software today.
although it may be physically possible to reproduce such a stone
sculpture, we cannot restore the thought-atmosphere of that era, just as
we cannot reproduce the thought-atmosphere of a time as recent as say, the

mood of consciousness...

the mood of consciousness that developed the original impulse to create
those forms is generally not possible today. today, the art, music and
speech are very much different from the long sonorous chanting practiced
thousands of years ago. today there is little patience, and even less
understanding of such modes of thought, in general if we compare the
people in the two cultures, we can see that one has a more technical and
abstract mode of thought, while the other has a more intuitive and slower
awareness of the world about them. people at that time were less
differentiated, and had not yet developed the sense of individuality or
ego as is the case today. we see greater efforts and identification of
individuals with specific tribes and groups the further back in their
development we go. differentiated ego and individuality as is especially
evident in america today was not developed in the world until relatively
recently, it has been only becoming increasingly so over the past several
thousand years. this is due to a change in the general nature of
consciousness in the life of our entire planet.

third round - consciousness not yet
identified with physical organism...

the planet itself evolves not only physically, but also in terms of
consciousness. if we move further and further back into time we come to a
third stage of earth evolution in which individuality, the sense of
existence was not absorbed into identity with a single physical body, but
rather felt itself to hover over the physical body and animated it from
outside. a being in this era could not comprehend what was meant by the
term "death" in the sense that we mean it. the identity of the
being remained outside the physical organism, and portions of the physical
organism broke off, and were replaced by new physical form. the notion of
death in this time was as alien to the inhabitants of the world at that
time as the notion of a puppet or marionette dying when we cut loose the
strings and it falls to the floor would not be considered to be the death
of the puppeteer now.

during 3rd round, 5th round awareness inapplicable... in this period, the
order of the physical world was very much different than today, and if we
were to transport our current bodies with it's technical state of
awareness, we would be unable to physically communicate with the beings
there, but would only be able to feel them there, they would interact with
us through physical organs - if they would react to us at all - as if they
physical organs were like puppets - animated by an external source. the
sense of "i am" self awareness had not yet imbedded itself
within the physical organism. life was very unlike it is now, the level of
consciousness was closer to that of an animal in hibernation - active, but
not in as active conscious relation to our bodies as we are today. this
happened only gradually through long spans of time. earlier (1st & 2nd
periods) -> no physically visible manifestation...

gaseous state of saturn

we can continue back even further to a time when we would not consider
there to be any physical evidence of life upon the earth, but it would
instead exist entirely in etheric and astral form, and the development of
beings that form physical bodies for themselves out of the soil - plants,
and then the formation of beings which not only have an ether - plant like
life, but also an astral - passion life come into formation. animals come
into physical existence and form about their ether bodies - whose physical
growth is directed by the forms of their ether bodies, and the functions
of their ether bodies is dependent on the passions, instincts, and
character of the astral component.

  o    \o/   _ o          __|     \ /      |__          o _   \o/    o
 /|\    |     /\    __\o    \o     |     o/     o/__    /\     |    /|\
 / \   / \   | \   /)  |    ( \   /o\   / )     |  (\   / |   / \   / \


now if we may turn around and look at this development from the other end
of things. instead of following development from denser and denser forms
of consciousness, we start from a fully conscious and aware being which
is fully (as the buddha would say) "awake" - a totally pure
conscious being, that collectively may be referred to as GOD - which
currently has so many preconceptions about the word as to be almost
useless (hence neitzsche, who says "god is dead" - our limited
preconceived notions of what god is - this is truly dead. only what god is
himself (for lack of a gender neutral term which would not be related to
sex, but simply to a pronoun which refers to personified *being*) and
knows himself to be - the "i am". originator of causes which
work down into lower levels of consciousness:

from logic -> archetypal -> spirit ->
     ego -> astral -> ether -> physical

it is enough to understand this as the elemental source of all things
through greater level of manifestation, or creation. being the originator
of all the forces and elements in our universe, god is the ultimately
creative being - a dream, or thought of god brings into effect elemental
archetypal beings which in turn spawn "causes" on the archetypal
plane, which cloak themselves in thoughts - living ideas. these living
ideas imbed themselves into sheaths of ego, then astral, then etheric, and
finally physical bodies. the manifest universe, and indeed all of creation
could collectively be said to be nothing less than the manifestation, or
outworking of god. god both *IS* and *IS BECOMMING*. still and active,
matter and spirit interact and cycle. the creator pours himself into the
creation :: a plant pours it's life and future development into seeds,
which through a series of stages of development become another plant.
christ is the vine, and we are the branches. this is a fractal, organic,
iterative view of the world.

drop of water (eternal spirit) is not the ocean... it is important to note
that to say that a drop of water is of the same essence of the ocean is
quite unlike saying that a drop of water *IS* the ocean. so stands our
relation with our creator - from out of himself, a seed of eternal spirit
is deployed into this world, as a drop of water is out of the ocean, and
this seed of eternal spirit takes unto itself sheaths of ego, astral,
ether, and physical being, and in leaving the world of spirit, detaches
itself for a time, and joins the ether and physical bodies in development
in a mother's womb at conception, and incarnates as a separated physical
entity into this world in which we now interact. GOD - attributes of...

now if we term this primary fundamental creative conscious awareness -
with the attributes of: omniscience, and omnipresence if we (perhaps
somewhat dangerously) dare to even give utterance to the name - GOD -
without corrupting and stifling a continuously dynamic alive conscious
being with our limited notions about him (simply by even the language we
use presently), if we can call this entity GOD, this universal *CAUSE*,
from which the manifest created multiverse can be said to emanate from.
cyclic development: from seed > plant > seed... two manifestation of
continuation of single organism at different states. therefore chicken or
egg? both arise as the expression of a single archetype.

oh...to begin again...

we can see within the course of cyclic development, a time in which an
all-knowing omnipotent creator becomes once again innocent (symbol for
this in the tarot = 0 - the fool, the undertaking of new creation - the
naive beginning of a journey/cycle, the garden of "eden" - and
through the seven days, we have a revelation which works on several levels
- the seven days describe a pattern of creation or cycles that are still
in progress. simply by virtue of our living - existing - we are part of an
integral and on-going process of outworking or creation of the
manifestation of god - who pours his eternal spirit out of himself,
emptying himself as it were, into the manifest created universe. this
cycle continues not as beginning and end, but in cycles. time is a circle,
and the development of the cosmos occurs in cycles. the creation or
manifestation of our universe will continue until that which is in the
universe has come to a point of development at which a new seed of a future
universe may spring, as a seed is produced by a plant.

the effect changes the cause...

the manifest and created universe comes to greater and greater levels of
ego-separation, but through WILL is able to come together in the end to
join back into the whole and dream ourselves out again, so that the effect
changes the cause. god both is, and is becoming. we are part of the
process of his becoming. we are his (both/and) instruments of perception
in this world. we need to learn to feel what every thing has to tell us in
this world. to be open and uncritical.


openness and uncritical in order to increase feeling.
to the feeling of what is around us be alive and live in us. to modulate
our soul, like rubber, a shape a feeling inside us. this is feeling,
illumination, spiritual perception. then also there is thinking and
willing. through the feeling (heart), we come to know the world; through
thinking (head/crown) we come to understand the world; through the willing
(hands), we come to act in the world what we have thought about our
feelings. the world of thought is as real as (if not more real than) the
physical world. a thought is a thing. by exercising our will in a mystic
fashion rather than an egoic fashion, we come to grow our will, our soul -
god's eternal spirit within us, and this is the aspiration of christians
and mystics of every religion everywhere. to re-establish the union with
god that we once had in the garden of eden. we cannot reach god, but he
can, and has reached out to us, and this is a choice which involves our
will. to subsume our own desires of ego and ego-satisfying desire for a
greater common will - this is the activity of spirit upon individuals in
our time. in order for our world to develop further, individuals must
learn to voluntarily, in and of themselves offer to use their physical
organism not for the desires that can be gratified to it by external
stimulation, but driven by the inner motivations of WILL and SPIRIT. to be
an instrument of divine will...

but to use the physical organism as an instrument in furthering the
development of a personal sympathy with beings in the world around them,
and act out of empathy derived from an understanding of the life-giving
forces of spirit within us. abstractions, and speculations kill the force
of life within us. empathy and sympathy create a force of life within us.

significance of altruistic thoughts - reality of... altruistic acts and
thoughts (thoughts have their own reality on an astral level, and are as
significant as actual physical acts) further life within the greater
community in which it lives. egotistical and selfish thoughts in the short
term may benefit the organism, but come at the expense of a decreased
amount of life within the greater organism of related beings as a whole.
catering to ego increases individual comfort at the expense of the greater
whole. it is thus precisely the habits of appeal by marketing and media to
personal indulgence that these habits of thought and thinking are brought
are destructive to individuality of true free thought - thought that can
operate independently of physical desire. today it is not uncommon for
people to live their entire lives without a great deal of thoughts that
aren't originated in sensual gratification. the whole of consumer society
sees us primarily as created physical organisms which can be completely
programmed by media behaviour conditioning, and to the extent that people
do not resist the forms of thinking that seek only to gratify the personal
ego, people will increasingly lose the ability to act in a manner that is
independent of external sources and work in a way that is originated in
spirit - see below.


BLADERUNNER AND HUMANITY In an age when many movies have no element of soul about them, bladerunner illustrates for us what it is to be human - to have a soul. and i think that is what this movie is all about. In blade runner, we are presented a situation in the last few scenes where the androids seek to extend their life, and Rick Deckard (who has been commissioned to "retire" renegade robots) hunts them down in order to put an end to them. the question in the whole movie arises - just what quality is it that makes us human? Deckard is the hunter, he is hunting the robots. the best and brightest of them (Roy Batty) has become acquired of a desire to outlive his programmed lifespan - to live longer - to defy the creator's imposition of a certain length of time to his life, and then die. We see the hunter and the hunted. we see batty close to death. He has a purpose in seeking revenge, to take the life of the hunter, and in turn he becomes the hunter, and Deckard the hunted. Now Batty is in the pain of death. To prevent his body from seizing up before he can complete his revenge, he takes a nail and drives it into his hand. In his pain he cries out and howls - something primal. His hands seize up but the spirit in him drives him to suffer the pain and stab a nail through his hand so that he can continue. he is driven with purpose - to hunt down and kill his adversary. The movie proceeds and finally we come to a scene where there is a leap across a gulf between two buildings - this can be seen as a metaphoric leap. On the other side Deckard is close to death and hanging from a precipice. It is now in Batty's power to finally accomplish his purpose and kill Deckard. But at this moment - Batty looks at Deckard, and he sees in him the anguish of death, and speaks it - "ah, what is it like to be the hunted, time to die?" Then comes a very special moment in the movie - something happens. We fully expect Batty to complete his objective of killing Deckard - to kill that which sought to kill him - and complete his revenge, and in this moment - he sees the pain, and he remembers. Memory - a fundamental quality of soul - to recall the feeling that arose within him of the pain of death - when he stabbed himself with the nail in the hand he cried and howled. Now Deckard himself is in pain and howls in agony. A connection is made, which relates directly to the imminent action of the moment. It is at that moment that Batty *sees* himself within the other (Deckard), and in this moment, it is the faculty of *soul* that he receives, and so suddenly, at the moment when the hunter may finally triumph and finish off his opponent, he does not, but instead reaches out his hand, and in his final dying act, saves the one he had been hunting. Why!? Why does do this? I would say that because in that moment he comes to the ability to form this conception within himself to see *LIFE* in that which is not himself, to be part of the same *LIFE* that enables his own existence, and it is this that distinguishes the eternal spirit in man from animal and from the created - from that which merely acts out of impulses that can be traced to external causes of motivation. Thus, it is in that moment that he receives soul into himself and becomes human. His motivation to save ford comes from an outwardly inexplicable source. There is no good external reason or behaviour conditioning that can explain this Saving Action, because it comes from the spirit of life within him that is common to all that LIVES. it is a sense of the immanence of life that impels Batty to thrust out his hand and save the one he was about to kill. His hand reaches out, and he saves the life of Decker. Then he laments: I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... Attack Ships on fire off the shores of Orion. I've watched C-beams glitter in the dark off of Tanhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time...like tears, in rain. Time to die. (Roy Batty, played by Rutger Hauer) then he dies. It seems like his words ring true - that all that he has known fades away like tears in the rain, but then at his death we see a host of birds fluttering up from the site. it is a symbol - his spirit has departed. But what is so unique about this is that in the created - in the android, which is said to be devoid of spirit, of life, through his acquirement of soul consciousness, his last act is a redemptive one, and it is not just Deckard that he saves, but also himself, for in doing so he acquires the fundamentally human quality - that of spirit, and when you have spirit, then a portion of you lives on even after the physical organ dies, and thus we have the symbol of the birds signifying the departed spirit of Batty. And this is so significant because it raises his statement to another level. All that he has seen does not fade like tears in the rain, it continues on in his spirit, which flies up like the birds. In this scene we are presented with nothing less than the bestowing of the eternal life of the spirit on the created. The realisation of what this means compels him to act from within himself against all external reason, and save Deckard's life. Thus, where there is spirit, there is life, and where there is life, all the things that he has seen are not lost like tears in the rain. Profound sadness - tears in rain -> meaningless existence... Batty gives voice to a feeling of a profound sadness - to feel that one's life has had no meaning. but the end is a good ending, because it contradicts external reason - when all seems lost, the immanency of universal life brings hope to what might seem an otherwise despondent film. So i find this a fantastically beautiful scene - for just at the moment when he is able to finish off the one he seeks to kill, when the hunter may finally triumph, another impulse enters him, and in that moment, he makes a connection, he understands something fundamental about life, and therein lies the hope - that in seeing the life in others, we become fully human and alive. In Bladerunner, the most sophisticated androids began to have memory - a faculty of EGO, and consequently, more sophisticated behaviour. In the end - pain gave rise to consciousness. And then consciousness gave rise to something more... It is when Batty recognised the life also in the other, a flash of recognition of just what the other really *IS* - that his hand shoots out and saves him. Tears cried in the rain? Perhaps. But a white bird fluttered up - what happened? it is only by learning to become more social human beings, that we advance... -- The ability to determine *purposes* from within ourselves as a cause to action within our astral character independent of external *causes* is a faculty of *soul*, and it is exactly this that makes man a fundamentally creative being, and in this we share something of the same essence of that which exists as *god* - it is in this realisation that all that is divine and eternal within us begins to operate, and provides us the possibility of freedom. freedom of WILL. it also brings us to an understanding of the world to be part of a dynamic process of creation - of outworking - of cosmogenesis. CONCLUSION OF LECTURE (20 minutes!?) -- ODD BITS AND PIECES... WAVE-LIKE NATURE OF MATTER in 1923 the french physicist louis-victor de broglie derived a deceptively simple equation, eerily implying that every bit of matter is something more than solid, localized reality. bits of matter also undulate: they are waves. de broglie's equation involves momentum, which is a classical property of matter (namely, the product of a particle's mass and velocity), and wavelength, and intrinsic property of waves (the distance between two adjacent wave crests). given a particle with a certain momentum, the equation shows how to determine the particle's wavelength. in so doing, the equation forges a baffling link between particles and waves that still haunts the quantum physics of matter. 24 HOUR DAYS IN GENESIS? "has it any meaning whatsoever in discussing these documents about the creation, to speak in our present manner of days of creation twenty-four hours long? what is the meaning of a day? a day is what results from the mutual relationship between the rotating earth and the sun. we can only speak of days in our sense when we think of the relationship between the sun and the earth with its movement as it is at the present time. but we find in the book of genesis the first narration of any such mutual relationship between sun and earth in connection with the fourth period, the fourth "day" of creation. therefore "days" in our sense could not possibly have had their beginning prior to the fourth day of the history of creation. before that time it would have been foolish to imagine days as we have them now. since only on the fourth "day" conditions arose which made day and night possible, one cannot speak of days in the present sense before that. then came a time when men no longer recognized the spiritual significance of the words day and night, when they were of the opinion that the only kind of time possible was what they knew in connection with physical days. so to the materialistically minded man and even to the theologian, a day of creation also meant a day like our present day, because they knew of no other." (the gospel of st. john, rudolph steiner, p. 22, from a lecture in hamburg in 1908, published antrhoposophic press, hudson, ny, 1940, 1988, isbn: 0-910142-13-0.) BEGIN: PREMISE about "universe is an outworking of spirit": there are two essential world views that we can take: - the first inherently assumes that matter is primary, and consciousness arises from it. this assumption i will call "the materialistic view". - the second inherently assumes that consciousness is primary, and matter is a manifestation of consciousness. > if we think of the universe as a recursively fractal structure of denser and denser planes of consciousness beginning with the most subtle and elementally spiritual in nature - pure consciousness, and proceeding to denser and denser forms, finally arriving at physical matter which is quantifiable by physical instruments and organs. > by examining the essential relationship between one of these planes and another, we can see patterns repeated on a smaller scale that relate directly to patterns manifested in the universe on a larger scale, and this then lead us to a better understanding of the nature of the universe. > such a comparison is made by rudolf steiner, the austrian philosopher, in regards to the relationship between the physical and ether bodies: "it is characteristic of it [the etheric body] that it is composed of various currents that course through it. it is, indeed, the architect, the creator of the physical body. just as ice forms out of water, so does the physical body fashion itself out of the etheric body, which, like the ocean, is flooded through by many currents flowing in all directions." (rudolf steiner, occult signs and symbols, pp. 2-3, from a lecture in stüttgart, deutschland, september 13, 1907 - "the creative cosmic tone".) SYMPOSIUM EXTRA ROUGH BITS - NOVEMBER 28|97 - introduction of non-linearity of time and forward and reverse time. - the creation of the deity out of itself (involution and evolution > like seed > plant > seed). existence as a generator for greater and greater levels of consciousness. - expressed as "the effect changes the cause". the effect in our future, changes the causes in our past. - this works because, as our world moves forward in time to a strange temporal attractor (flowers point all towards sun) of our race uniting into a future deity. nonsense to say that we are deity now, only that we will come to a condition in our far future in which as many individual flowers remain individual yet face a common sun - so shall the collection of we share a common goal, and that goal is dynamically defined as "destiny", and works as a strange temporal attractor for the development of our universe, and to which the ultimate end is a collection of will which comes together to create the next iteration of the manifest universe. following the spiral - the next time around and the next level up (or down, depending of frame of reference). - this is a parallel of seed > flower :: jesus speaks, "i vine, and you are the branches branches". - recursively fractal structure. vine > fruit > seed > vine, not same as, but next generation of. - irrational and rational number planes symposium bit# 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510 the value of pi goes on for-ever if you divide it in decimal notation, yielding an 'irrational' number. but as a ratio of circumference to diameter, it represents a definite real-world amount. benoit mandlebrot postulated fractional dimensions, which gave rise to the field of mathematics known as fractals. within this field, the mandlebrot set is a visualisation of the complex number plane, where the different colours "strata" indicate areas of greater and lesser probability in terms of frequency... - deity in our past that created us, and set forth the causes, the streams of being into which the patterns of our world flows, is the deity that is us in our future. >therefore, the effect changes the cause. - creation works both forwards and backwards in time. causes work backwards; actions work forwards. - we have the reality in which we exist - the world of action, of doing, and then we have the realm of possibilities. causes for things in forwards flow of time happen in reverse. - the effect changes the cause. time not a line, but cyclic. - feedback loop of amplifier and microphone. resonant frequency of system, how long it takes to process an iteration of signal defines fundamental frequency of feedback - a tone. - this is the result of two primal forces intersecting each other, one moving forward and the other in reverse; both; with respect to each other. the interference patterns caused by this union causes manifestations on the (atmic?) plane, which causes harmonic representations in the planes of existence above and below it. like a musical note has harmonics, so does existence on any of these planes of consciousness. a being on one plane has a corresponding representative in the other planes - there being seven in total. - the hermetic maxim "as above; so below" indicates a recursively fractal self-similar structure, one where patterns exhibited in the microcosm are iterated at a macrocosmic level, and vice-versa. - there should be revealed in a self-similar manner in relation to the other states of consciousness. so here, by extrapolation, we can see the essential relation between the created physical world - the material cosmos, and creative, spirit realm. - the spirit world is neither nebulous or abstract, only our vague conceptions of it are such. it is the abiding infrastructure to the physical universe we can empirically test and measure. --| a little poetic license? |--- picard zooms out of the eye, yourself as seen in a mirror. you have a memory, then from beneath the surface of your skin comes a shocking thought - that underneath, you're a manufactured machine - a borg, a cybernetic life organism, connected by externialities, by more made technological machinery. it bursts out of your cheek, and clutches you in the face - such is the shock of thought by borg to picard. what differentiates us from the borg - from the merely made, is that we can overcome the thought for revenge (thus, the moby dick - ahab reference at the end) because as humans, we have a higher thought - one that allows us to follow a reasoning that cannot be traced back to external causes, and these types of thoughts bring us to the realm of will. <FIND: cross-reference to part on human component in bladerunner> in the realm of will is... where we can make decisions independent of external pressures. but this can only be done adequately when in the times we have not set aside for inner quiet thought, that we give the external world our full attention - and indeed, our whole devotion. for if we do not love the external world, then our own inner life of thought will retreat into further and further fantasy, and as far as the real world shall be concerned, we shall no longer matter - we shall be dead - and that is the unpardonable sin: not that it isn't unforgivable, but rather the fact that the pardon isn't received - how can one be forgiven if one doesn't receive forgiveness themself? therefore bear ye anothers' burdens. and gladly receive the forgiveness of having your burden forgiven as well. "bear ye one another's burden, and so fulfill the law of christ" (galatians 6:2) from: beatles - eleanor rigby: ah... look at all the lonely people. ah... look at all the lonely people. why are they lonely? where do they all belong? it is ego - individuality, separate points of view that makes them lonely. if it were possible for them to suddenly share all their points of view and thoughts simultaneously with understanding the points of view and thoughts of everyone else, if we could constantly understand each other's *motivations*, then we would see we would at that moment lose our ability to have individual points of view any longer. we would be dead to individual existence, and alive to a large collective thought existence, and this is exactly what we come to after we pass through the threshold of death - to die to this world, to "pass on" to the otherworld - the realm of infinite possibility. in the transition from corporeal world... an extract of not specific dates, times, and thoughts, and not even memory of speech - but only an extract of the FEELINGS that accompanied those experiences is drawn up from this realm to be bundled with the extract of yourself - your ego - your individuality, your "i" - an awareness of yourself as separate physical entity ceases at the moment of death, and we come to a state of consciousness similar to what is experienced during dream sleep, but much more intensely. in this realm - the thought, or "astral" realm, the "matter" of this astral realm are our thoughts. in order for us to avoid the utter confusion of a delirious set of images a blind man who was suddenly given new physical eyes (without attendant changes in his ether and astral organisms) - we have but a confusing set of images upon entering the astral realm when we are in a dream-state. in order to form a firm "screen" upon which to measure the thoughts and impressions in this realm. in order to "see" clearly in this realm, we must exercise the strictest control of our thoughts and desires - if we cannot calmly observe the effects upon our "feelings" of external events, we will not be able to have a stable point of reference from which to gauge and judge elements within this realm - our sense of perception - "vision" in the astral realm. calm - the overview watch thoughts pass through your mind during your activities of the day like watching waters in a brook intermingle and rage and calm in spots observe the chaotic accord and it's ebb and flow stand back apart and observe your thoughts as if a stranger came to report on your daily activities and thoughts. objectively, and not from a sentimental attachment to yourself. gain a sense of the overview. clear thinking and calm character form the basis for having a good eye-sight in the "astral" sense. TITLE? THE COSMOS IS WITHIN US AND WITHOUT US - being created and creating - involuting and evoluting: i.e. seed->plant and plant->seed - provides continuity, like a candle-flame. - the created is an integral component of what is the creator in a cyclic view of time. thus: the effect changes the cause. explain this. - FIND: develop: mineral, vegetable, animal kingdoms, as per prior. - the people that exist in this world today have two primary states of consciousness. these are waking and sleeping. all people have these two primary modes of consciousness, but there are other modes of consciousness as well. different types of awareness or consciousness arise from a shift in relation between the various bodies. for example, sleeping consciousness arises when the relation of the astral body changes with respect to the physical and ether bodies. - the world of thought, astral (passions, emotions, instincts), lift from our ether and physical bodies when we sleep - there is a shift in consciousness associated by a change in relation between the astral and physical and ether bodies - a person awake is no the same as a person asleep, his passions, or astral body that animates the physical body has left it to a realm of pure thought - the astral plane. this is still connected by threads within the non-physical nervous system to the physical nervous system to retain connection to it's ether body functions of digestion and growth, and those other functions associated with keeping the physical body alive and breathing. these only cease at death with the withdrawing of the ether body. above and beyond this realm of thoughts and passions, is a purely spiritual world that continues to exist, even when the passions and whims of a certain cultural period have come to pass, and this is the realm of spirit, the substrate on which thoughts can even exist. i would say that it is not, "i think therefore i am", but rather it is "i am", therefore i think. thought requires a thinker. the thought organizes habits and actions around it into the guise of character, and these character elements can combine to form into another personality when a physical host becomes available. thus, from the time we are born into this life, we are connected in a common realm of thought only when we are sleeping, the sub- conscious affects and interplays with the conscious. as far as we are able to silence our instinctive critical thoughts in the face of some comment we do not disagree with, we open ourselves to a new piece of knowledge that we might otherwise have closed ourselves off to, and not have had. we must listen with respect and reverence to all those around us. only in this way are we able to increase our cognition of the world. so, we have established that above the astral realm, there is a spirit realm (that has nothing to do with the fantastical and nebulous ideas commonly perpetrated by hollywood movies about the term) that is an actual reality, as clear and definite in it's reality as mathematics. this realm abides, and underlies the beings in this physical world, animals, plants, humans, and uses them to affect changes in this world. when we increase our cognition of the world by advancing in our development in perception of spiritual realities, we become a better instrument of the spiritual world in the physical world. the world becomes informed by both prometheus and the earth (FIND: green man) of physical science and nature. we develop will and spirit in our selves only insofar as we exercise our self will. the person who doesn't use the ability to self-determine their course will lose their ability to self-determine their course, and will become essentially the same as an animal, responding only automatically to pre-programmed pleasurable instinct, and succumb to the mindless consumer gratification of ego now so prevalent in this age. will yield themselves to the beast of ahriman, being only to buy and sell in physically obtainable material qualities, but unable to buy anything of worth like love, compassion, and nobility, which is only the gift of the spirit. there is the seed of the spiritual world within each human being, a seed of eternal spirit, and it is this - the right to self-determine ourselves, this freedom and uncertainty, which gives us the ability to choose, to choose the divine, mystical union of our own free will, or to increasingly choose those actions which satisfy only ego, and indulge sensual desire. each of us contains this seed of spirit, and it may grow, as we work towards our self-development, as we strive towards the common spiritual sun. this seed of development entered us in our creation. (FIND: "...and god breathed life into the dust of the earth" genesis 1) universe a recursively fractal structure for the generation of higher and higher levels of consciousness now, if we think of the universe as a recursively fractal engine. (the effect changes the cause, in regards to the flow of time) for the generation of consciousness... (FIND: engine for the generation of consciousness - in journal). FIND: insert: time not a line - it is more like a circle and cyclic". pick up the thought, and continue it, "...and then like river...see, like this, flowing forwards and backwards at the same time, two flows interpenerating each other, flowing in a circle, like a river, around in a torus, like the branches of a tree coming to meet the roots through the trunk, sap flowing. recursive strands of time and probability... we can see how every incarnate being is a sort of "instrument" for perception and action in the physical world. for a higher incarnate being, the collective source of this higher consciousness, awareness, or orientation forms habits in our animal (astral) selves, which are carried on even after the death of the physical body (i.e. astral and spiritual and ether bodies leave physical body, and not just the astral and spirit bodies leaving the ether and physical body behind). our creation in a higher being which is us gathered like sunflowers at a sun, gathered together creating the past out of the future of *we*. we may then incarnate again in another physical body when the opportunity becomes available through a physical host becoming available through the copulation and fertilization of a human egg (then, as in genesis, the heavenly angels took unto themselves, and entered into relations with the daughters of man - the fall of genesis, the descent into matter in order to continue the procreation of physical hosts. this was a consequence that marked the transition from the fourth antediluvian kingdoms (in terms of states of consciousness) to the fifth kingdom, that time we live in now, in which we have individual, or "ego" consciousness, for the first time, we can call our selves "i", or have an ego in the fifth age. it was possible for some to advance beyond others in age when this was not generally possible, and these where initiates which marked the path to the type of consciousness we generally have in our world today - that of alternating waking and sleeping states. in the fourth (third?) age in the development of consciousness, thoughts would hover over and above, independent of the bodies they had made for themselves in the third age. people had an awareness of each other only somewhat like what we now have in dreams today. through a general evolution of consciousness, these spirits, thoughts and impulses immersed themselves increasingly into the physical forms they had created, and became identified with them, as if a puppeteer could climb inside his puppet, and live life through the puppet of the physical body. in the fifth age, in which we live, the spirit generally entered into the physical body, and the awareness that "i am not my body" became increasingly diminished over the course of human history. this awareness of identification with physical body first came to it's peak during it's introduction in the physical sensuous perfect forms of greek and roman art. everywhere since this time, we see a continuing trend towards greater and greater individuation among individuals, we are no longer citizens and groups, in general large bodies and organisations that we like to be a part of and associated with has died away, now people place more value on individual identity. it conforms with the general shift towards greater ego - ahrimanic materialism, and identification with matter, that is occurring in our time. to correct and compensate for this, there had to be a divine intervention at exactly the right moment in time of the christ impulse to incarnate into the form of a man, to change the stream of thought proceeding out from the springs of one of the strains of culture that had developed as nations became scattered and individualized (symbol = tower of babel). the purpose of the anthroposophical impulse... this thought force in world evolution is that which seeks to impart the truth that there is a hidden world not revealed to our physical senses that does exist, if only we learn to develop the capacities by which we can perceive it. these capacities lie dormant with each of us as a seed of eternal spirit that continues on after death. the anthroposophical impulse seeks to bring this realisation to the full conscious awareness of present day man (i.e. man & woman as a whole). thus, the transcendent, and the imminent are united in man. man is a member of two worlds - the spiritual and the physical. References: this text can be found at: http://home.earthlink.net/~johnrpenner/Articles/SymposiumNotes98.html SUBMIT AN ARTICLE updated: july 19, 2001