sixth esoteric lesson

I have continued reading the english translation, so here’s another one of the important lessons, the 6th esoteric lesson for the first class, published by Southern Cross Review (sporting a naked lady on the front page as usual):

‘And when we feel our relationship with the world’s water, with the water elements, then we realize: as far as water is concerned, we should not be human, but vegetables.  And our feelings, which have a dream-like nature, as I have often explained, our feelings have a continuous tendency to be vegetable-like. Just try to think seriously about your innermost feelings and you will feel the vegetative nature of the life of feeling. And then you will have the feeling that you are not only in danger of descending to animality, but also of living on with a lamed consciousness, like a vegetable – sleeping, dreaming. But this feeling of lameness, which lies deep in the [sub]conscious, must be transformed into the feeling of awakening to humanity. Fear of animality must be transformed into the courage to raise yourself to humanity. The feeling of vegetable lameness must be transformed into an awakening call to inner strength, to develop into a fully awake person in the world.’

It’s partly odd, odder than the previous lesson. I wondered how we’re going to square that Steiner says that man, on earth, is an animal. So, alright, man is more than animal, more than plant, more than what’s present in the other ‘kingdoms’ of nature. But some anthroposophists seem to object to the idea that man is animal at all. Have I misunderstood this? It’s been discussed on the critics list, I believe, this anthroposophical difficulty seeing the human as an animal, related to other animals.

But the human is still not a dog, mr Dog reminds me. Or even related to dogs, infinitely superior as they are. Perhaps the human is a kind of dumb cat or perhaps a lazy cactus. Chasing bunnies, mr Dog often complains I’m duller and slower than a vegetable. He agrees with Steiner:

‘There is something in you that is as sleepy and as dreamy as the plants.’

‘Your running ability and your predatory instincts’, he adds (mr Dog, not Steiner, who, to my knowledge, never chased bunnies or cats, only other spiritual entities). Well, straying off the path here and into the dreamy jungle, so I’d better stop. Though, of course, canineosophy is the one true path. (Also for anthroposophists in Minnesota.)

4 thoughts on “sixth esoteric lesson

  1. Canineosophy is surely more developed and intelligent than anthroposophy. That is obvious. Though the mother in weirdness still thinks we are from interstellar stock. And she teaches that stuff.

  2. Yes, absolutely ‘All dogs have been handknitted with cosmic yarn by the great Dog in heaven.’

    Now if you were a Platonist or happen to be an anthroposophist from St. Paul’s Mineesota you would know this to be true! There is an Orphic fragment which says, ‘I am the child of the earth and the starry heavens, but heaven is my origin……’ In dog terms, owooooo… with nose pointing heavenwards.

    You say, referring to the Class lesson, ‘It’s partly odd, odder than the previous lesson. I wondered how we’re going to square that Steiner says that man, on earth, is an animal. So, alright, man is more than animal, more than plant, more than what’s present in the other ‘kingdoms’ of nature. But some anthroposophists seem to object to the idea that man is animal at all. Have I misunderstood this? It’s been discussed on the critics list, I believe, this anthroposophical difficulty seeing the human as an animal, related to other animals.’

    What you are referring to here is a human difficulty, not a difficulty in anthroposophy, the same difficulty which prevents some anthroposophists from seeing Steiner as a normal human being with failings and weaknesses.

    We have in common with the animals, a physical body which, while it is living, is permeated by life forces – which are called the etheric forces – and by consiousness, which ranges from awareness of all the we get from our senses through a range of feelings and impulses to a sense of our own ego. The animal lacks a sense of its own ego. Its memory doesn’t have the same quality as ours, it may have a language of sorts but it will be primitive.

    So yes, we are animals, but animals with something more!

    The problem for living human beings is being mindful of what we are. I personally don’t care whether someone gets anthroposophy or not. What matters to me is that people do not deny who and what they are. By that I mean recognising that we have an animal nature but also something more, a more which makes us capable of aspiring to great ideals of compassion and freedom etc., and also capable of behaving with more cruelty and destructiveness than any animal. Animals are not capable of evil in the way human beings are.

    Quite right says Mr. Dog, no Polpots, Fred Wests, or Anders Breiviks in the animal world.

  3. Another reason to aoowooo heavenwards is that according to canineosophy the moon is made from cheese! Cheese is worthy of our reverence.

    (Not to ruin your theories but what mr Dog wants to do to cats is quite Pol Potian.)

    Amyway — yes, absolutely. What you write follows from anthroposophy, of course, and is also compatible with what he says in the lesson. I’ve found it quite strange that he and followers have also made such a huge number out of the separateness of humans vs animals. Because in general I think they give more weight to the difference, but maybe it’s got more to do with tone than with content.

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