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.)