travelling lightly

If anthroposophy is a journey, it may be advisable to purchase return tickets.

Anthroposophy is a journey, not a codified, inert body of knowledge. Its insights are intended as an inspiration and guide for the traveler, not as an encyclopedia for the curious.

I’m worried, though, that just as there is no map for the curious, there aren’t any flights back to reality. You may never return from this journey, but instead risk remaining perpetually stuck on a supersensible airplane accompanied by gnomes and archangels. And possibly a eurythmist or two — do they at least play board games to pass time? What a trip!

Finally, one’s journey leads to the complete loss of personal ego and the realization of the universal self, which permits one to live as one with the spiritual realities and beings of the cosmos.

Without a bistro and a bar, not to speak of comfortable chairs, this spiritual travelling may soon prove unbearably tedious. Also, I think I prefer to keep my personal ego — if I have one: it’s probably a lower, unsophisticated model — and my boundaries intact. Even among beings of the cosmos, I want my particularity. Besides, in the ethereal kiosk, spiritual reality is a superfluous concept. However, we firmly believe in the reality of champagne, cheese and bunnies. First things first.

Goetheanum Meditation Initiative.


14 thoughts on “travelling lightly

  1. “Traveling light” and “traveling lightly” have slightly different connotations in English. “Traveling light” is the more colloquial phrase meaning literally not carrying a heavy load with you when you travel, and the symbolic meaning is obvious.

  2. I like this, whichever word you used.

    This is an illustration of why only anthroposophists can understand anthroposophy, according to anthroposophists. Or actually why, according to certain anthroposophists, only certain anthroposophists understand anthroposophy.

    To the cynical secular humanist, mired in materialism and desperate for a bacon sandwich, there’s the suspicion that what is really happening on this journey is that a fellow is burrowing deeper and deeper into his own navel, or exploring to the nth degree the content of his own narcissistic personality type.

    And yes – I want to keep my personal ego. I’m stuck with it anyway (anything else is just let’s pretend) the best thing is to try to behave decently and keep a sense of humour. Which is why it’s so important to keep the light burning above the door of the ethereal kiosk (here, on this very blog), which is small enough to fit on a plane or boat, kitted out with beverages and with a fully working bistro. Manned by gnomes. Or should that be gnomed by gnomes.

  3. True, Thetis!

    With ‘lightly’ there’s this mix-up for me with ‘taking something lightly’ — not too seriously. Which is why it felt appropriate to keep it. (Though the online dictionary, which I consulted, said unequivocally that as far as (physical) baggage is concerned, it’s supposed to be ‘travelling light’.)

  4. Alas, Alicia, there are just as many eejits in the Goetheanum as there are outside it.

    ‘Finally, one’s journey leads to the complete loss of personal ego and the realization of the universal self, which permits one to live as one with the spiritual realities and beings of the cosmos.’

    The way I understand Steiner’s teaching what is described in Bodo von Plato’s words here is in fact a Luciferic Fantasy. Someone under Lucifer’s influence might well imagine they have lost their personal ego, but in reality it is always there until we die. Even Rudi himself had a personal ego which is why he was capable of errors of judgement.

    And I know he enjoyed the ice-cream in the ethereal kiosk very much and was frequently to be seen munching on a spicy bean-burger.

  5. Oh, I never noticed it was Bodo von Plato’s words! From what I’ve read by or about him, he seems to be reasonable and agreeable guy. As for this particular text, it isn’t spectacular (I mean, not spectacular as in surprising or chocking or anything like that). It’s rather basic presentation of a few anthroposophic ideas. Anyway, all this journeying, on which he slightly overdosed, has some comical qualities. If one browses anthro or other spiritual websites (even waldorf education websites), one realizes everybody is on a bloody journey, and everything is a bloody journey. In the end, the concept seems rather trite.

    As Rudi would say (I’m sure), you don’t have to be on a journey all the time. Sometimes it’s a better idea to relax with an ice-cream in the ethereal kiosk.

    Speaking of losing egos, I remember Tom wrote a hilarious April 1st joke about the Vorstand going to Israel to lose their egos.

  6. Oh, tomatoes! And even worse: concentrated tomatoes!! Which reminds me of one of my favourites:

    ‘The tomato does not want to go out of itself; it does not want to depart from the realm of strong vitality. It wants to remain therein. It is the most uncompanionable creature in the whole plant-kingdom. It does not want to get anything from outside. Above all, it rejects any manure that has already undergone an inner process. It will not have it. The tomato’s power to influence any independent organisation within the human or animal organism is connected with this, its property.’

  7. Ketchup is practically the same thing, with added sugar. I think the tomato science still applies. What about onions though? I’m sure he must have said something about onions.

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