science

A few nights ago, bored by a sudden attack of sleeplessness, I googled anthroposophy and insomnia. A usual, one finds interesting things — not necessarily about the googled topic but about other things. This newsletter from the Anthroposophical Society’s science group, for example. I learnt, among other things, that there’s a publication called Anthro-Tech News and that it had an article about ‘etheric geography’ and one about old astronomical clocks. But let’s move on.

A conference about Darwinism is discussed in a revealing way:

We would like anthroposophy to be fairly represented at such a conference, and, if possible, for the Anthroposophical Societies in the English-speaking world to be among its chief sponsors. However, this is not intended to be an ‘anthroposophical’ conference as such. For the challenge to Darwinism to be effective, it must be seen as deriving primarily from evidence accessible to ‘conventional’ modes of investigation and from rational argument. The inference of intelligent causation and of the primacy of spirit over matter may be the most reasonable outcome, but it should not be the departure point. We would appreciate feedback on this idea.

In another article, Judyth Sassoon, who is an anthroposophist biochemist at Bern University, writes:

When teaching second year undergraduates about biochemistry, I am bound to use the language and metaphors of modern science. Nevertheless, I try not to be limited by their rigidity and endeavour to introduce concepts that are more fluid and therefore more akin to living processes. Rudolf Steiner said that we use our scientific models to “build explanation on explanation, at the same time abandoning observation“.1 and I heed his warning and encourage students to observe and experience their observations as carefully as possible, before drawing on accepted models. Their response to my process oriented teaching is generally very good and occasionally I am privileged to witness the moment when a student grasps the significance of an experimental observation in a broader context. Some students even manage to achieve a level of understanding that resonates with something within their inner being. They appear to respond to the experimental processes under examination by activating similar processes in themselves, albeit on an unconscious level. If they could only be encouraged to become more conscious of the dynamics between their inner worlds and scientific observations, they might increase their awareness of the spiritual realities within the discipline we call biochemistry.

After Sassoon’s article, we learn about microwave pollution from Sarah Benson, who writes that ‘[t]he wireless revolution has increased electro-smog to the point where there is now nowhere on earth where one can experience consciousness prior to its existence.’ It’s highly alarmist and filled with lovely anecdotes and references to science I can’t judge. To add to the fun, there’s a statement that seems to indicate that Steiner himself has suggested an alternative source (alternative to evil electricity) that can be used to power wireless technology. Benson’s article is what led me to this webpage, because she mentions insomnia:

Insomnia is possibly the most common and immediate symptom of exposure to EMR – an indication of Ahriman’s fundamental intention to cut humanity off from the spiritual realm.

Now, that’s scary, if one’s afraid of Ahriman, but I’m not. Next time I can’t sleep, I’ll talk to him and ask him things. Like, why he messes with my computer when I’m his friend.

In another article, about plants, we learn that ‘plants without context are mental abstractions’ and that ‘moral reflections on plants require a spiritual foundation. Indeed it was clearly evident from them that such a foundation is accessible and communicable to a modern consciousness and that unbiased observation of plants together with deliberate attention to personal intentionality reveal their spatial and temporal contexts which transcend purely sensual qualities and turn out to be relevant for making judgements.’ I’m sure it is very true.

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