The Word, our Larynx, and Creation

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In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  And God said, “Let there be…” Genesis 1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were created; without him nothing was created that has been created.  John 1

We step aside now to consider Harold’s quote from our last post, “If man is child, he will outgrow his present garment, his mental and physical vesture.” ImageTo do so we will again turn to look at what Rudolf Steiner had to say about this possibility. In a previous post here we considered what Steiner had to say considering the past conditions of humanity. In this post we will look to see where his spiritual scientific imaginings lead him in ruminating on man’s future.

The quotes from Genesis and the Gospel of John at the beginning of this post, telling us that everything that exists came into being through the word, point the way for Steiner’s understanding of humanity’s future. I will let Steiner speak for himself. From his lecture on June 28, 1907 in Kassel, Germany:

Imagine that we can transform air into a liquid and then into a solid. Already today, it is possible to solidify air. You know that steam, the gaseous form of water, liquefies when it cools and is transformed into solid ice when it freezes. Now imagine that I pronounce the word “god” in air-filled space. If you could solidify the air at the very instant these sound waves are present, a shape –perhaps a shell-like shape, for example – would fall to earth. The word “world” would produce a different shape. You would be able to capture my words, and each word would correspond to a shape made out of crystallized air.

This analogy was used in the Christian (esoteric) schools. Each object first exists as a thought concealed within a being, a thought that is then spoken and solidified. Christians imagined that the creation of the universe began with the thoughts of things, which were then pronounced by the divinity and sent forth into space. The plants and minerals you see are divine words that have solidified. Everything we see… is a divine word become solid…

If you bear all this in mind, you realize that the word was once a creative force. Today, we human beings are still mere beginners at what our forefathers once did. Today’s sexual procreation, whether by plants, animals,
 or humans, is simply a transformation of the divine creative word of former times… Our most nearly finished aspect is sexuality, while the beginning of a new means of procreation exists in the human larynx… The larynxImage we now use to produce words will become an organ of procreation that brings forth increasingly denser and more exalted creations. In the future, what is now air will be the substance of beings… In future evolutionary stages of the earth, what we can now only say, will then emerge in forms that endure. Ultimately, the larynx will become the organ through which human beings reproduce their own kind.

Steiner also suggests that the transformation of the larynx is just the tip of the iceberg:

Much more could be said about such organs, which we have incorporated into our respiratory system here on Earth but which actually belong to the heart system. They are present in the body as mere potentials now, but will gradually evolve further.

So what will the future human garment look like, which Harold posits we are growing into? If Steiner is right and earthly conditions will change so a new biology and subsequent forms are needed, what will they be? What will be the actual appearance of a human who can reproduce via the larynx? Whose cardio vascular and respiratory systems are transformed? One hint I’m getting from Steiner in this quote is that what are now involuntary functions within us will in the future become voluntary. But I’m afraid there can be no rock-solid answers at this point. Only our imaginations can suggest what we might become. I’ll leave that to each of us!

Until next time, peace…

Empathy’s Impetus

Harold follows up his questions that ended our last post by explaining how Jesus’ teachings must become yeast for the future of humankind:

Jesus, giving voice to man’s Authority-Ego when the time had come that man must take an unprecedented turn, gave the commands that point the way, the only way, to bring about the transformation of man and of society that humankind seeks.  The first and greatest command, “Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” turns man’s vision inward to grasp God-being within himself, as individual, and points him toward individualism and individual effort – the second command, He said to be like unto the first, “That ye love one another” and “thy neighbor as thyself,” poses the concept that cooperation, good will, decency, and the high ethic of love at work in human affairs is in the highest possible interest of individual, nation, and species.  Slowly but surely realization of this fact, as the command is handed from generation to generation via the word, is creating a higher type society in which the “new command” will eventually take over from the permanent hostility animals exhibit towards territorial neighbors, their hostility reborn in each year’s offspring; and in time these two commands must produce a new type man fully conscious of himself and empathetic enough to create a satisfying society.

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“A new type man fully conscious of himself and empathetic enough to create a satisfying society.”  Here Harold equates empathy with being fully aware of oneself.   In other words, the more self-conscious we become, the more we grow in empathy.  And from this empathy will be birthed a more satisfying society. But what about those who are satisfied with the way society is today while at the same time lacking a good amount of empathy?  ImageWhy change things if not caring about others is putting one at the front of the line? Why does our society seem to reward ruthlessness and egocentrism in an exponentially lopsided way? Only each individual can answer this perplexing question for him/herself.  Society will improve overall when individuals become transformed and expectations are raised one person at a time.  This is commonly known as “maturing.”  Fortunately we do see people standing up publicly and working behind the scenes for righteous change all the time.  Yes, humanity is growing and struggling towards something better…

Jesus said this generation of man is child.  Thus, he projects that Homo sapiens must and will change in body, mind, consciousness, awareness, and capacity to experience. Today, men tend to believe that Homo sapiens is man in very nearly finished form – that biological evolution has all but ceased – forgetting that “ a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday….”  When they view life everlasting in terms of life’s being forever vested in Homo sapiens’ garment, they come in the end to find the prospect of it appalling. If man is child, he will outgrow his present garment, his mental and physical vesture.

What might this vesture look like? We’ll explore that in our next post. Until then, peace.

Mankind’s Inner Envoy

The true origins of the human being remain a mystery to this day.  Darwinists and materialist evolutionists using the scientific method are constantly making new discoveries and creating new theories, but their self-imposed materialism limits what they will conclude.  Religious creationists make literal the poetry and mystery of the scriptures to satisfy their own ultimately rational minds.  But the authors of scripture bear witness to a great mystery they call “God,” understanding that this mystery can never be fully probed by the rational mind. At the same time, the scriptures also witness to something in the human being that is leading it to a full revelation of the mystery of God and existence.  Preston Harold begins:

The idea that man has incorporated in his being from one-cell creature onward a knowing Authority-Ego in an unconscious domain may seem fantastic. But the concept that the unconscious may have played a role in man’s biological evolution from some point in the past to the present has been voiced.  Dr. von Franz writes… ‘The physicist Wolfgang Pauli has pointed out that, due to new discoveries, our idea of the evolution of life requires a revision that might take into account an area of interrelation between the Imageunconscious psyche and biological processes.  Until recently it was assumed that the mutation of species happened at random and that a selection took place by means of which the “meaningful,” well-adapted varieties survived, and the other disappeared.  But modern evolutionists have pointed out that the selections of such mutations by pure chance would have taken much longer than the known age of our planet allows.”

So if random chance and mutations can’t adequately answer the origins of the human or it’s ultimate purpose, what can at least lead us in the right direction?

God-sense voicing itself in man insists that something other than chance had brought about the housing of his soul: “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it…”

ImageMan’s evolutionary journey could come of his having to know all being and form in order to be representative of the tree of life itself.  The last and most highly developed of all life forms, man yet possesses a sense of being before creation was.  This sense tells him that all he partakes of is the flesh of God, coming into being before him to prepare the way, and that everything that lives is living through God’s being, even as he, himself, is.

Harold says that because of this sense, the human being practices theophagy, a ritual of “feeding on a god, or God.” In the Christian Communion rite, this ritual enfolds the power, glory, art, and grace of God, of life. In the Gospel of John, at the Last Supper Jesus says,

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit… Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches.” 

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 Harold ponders these words of Jesus during the Last Supper:

Jesus, as symbol of Son of man – which is to say, as symbol of Adam become one with his knowing Authority within – indicates that man represents in his being the whole of the tree of life which his consciousness longs to know, and the vine of it is still growing – “I” go on to prepare a place from which “ye” spans of knowing may branch out higher in every direction while the a priori “cell of Father-being,” love and truth in action within each one, acts as a husbandman: truth purges and prunes, love restores and is fruitful. But toward what is the vine growing? And how is man’s growth accomplished?

 Provocative questions indeed! Let’s see where they lead. Until next time, peace…

The Factor of an Open System

Why has the human being taken the irrational path?  What is it about mankind that makes him an “open system,” not closing off at a particular point in evolutionary development?

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From Ardrey’s summary of man’s specialness, it looks as though this one creature has possessed from his beginning a presence, or God-sense, that acts as a lamp unto his feet and a light to his path.  The Genesis legend says this presence was in man’s garden-being and that it has never left him.  It would have required a knowing Authority within to guide ancestral-man-cell along the irrational path that led to the pinnacle.  If from the beginning this presence guided ancestral-cell into and through every necessary step by blinding the creature to much in the outer world while giving it inner vision, this would make all the difference there is between man and other forms of life.  This Authority would have had to insist upon a selection not of more sensory, but of more mental equipment than the creature needed…

But what sort of factor would be a true and sure guide?

This must be a factor which beforehand had known every form and being, the way into and out of each mode of life.  ImageOne cannot give this factor a satisfactory name.  One can only say that it is the Self-sense of the Creator, the “I-sense” of being, or “God-being” in the one-cell creature that became man, a cell resembling amoeba but different from the amoeba that man knows today; for such a cell would be and would evolve into a form like unto but not identical to any other form of life, because an essential ingredient abstracted from the creature’s consciousness and hidden within would chart its course.

 We will further explore this factor of “I-being,” “God-sense,” in our next post.  Until then, peace.

Two Sides of Original Nature

Humans have long contended and struggled with the two sides of our nature.  Theologically speaking, there is Ireneaus’ and St. Augustine’s “Original Sin,” and more recently Matthew Fox’s “Original Blessing.”  ImageScripture tells us that all of creation, including humans, was created “good.”  But after eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge, humans and therefore the rest of creation “fell” from the original created “goodness.”  Preston Harold riffs on this dichotomy from the evolutionary viewpoint:

If man is in bondage to his original nature, he is bound to expression in material being, for he was raised up from matter, from cosmic dust – and he is bound to immortality as is the one-cell creature.  Ardrey says: ‘If man is a part of the natural world, then he possesses as do all other species a genetic inheritance from an ancestry as long as life itself.’  Man can use his big brain to attenuate the errors he has acquired throughout his evolutionary journey so that in time knowledge of them will serve to inoculate him against their deadly peril.  He appears to have just enough of Cain’s virulent strain within him and more than enough brain power to do this.  If he is bound to his original nature, he is bound to whatever it is that caused him, alone among all creatures, to speak the one original word, “I.”  And he is bound to that which Ardrey offers as his one redeeming feature: 

‘The command to love is as deeply buried in our nature as the command to hate.’

Harold then goes on to indirectly invoke the preamble to the Gospel of John and the prophecies of Isaiah and Joel :

Through the guidance of the Self-presence that gives man the power of the word, “I,” the power of speech, and the power of love, of truth, Imagehe may come in time to lay down and beat into “ploughshares” his perfected weapons – a move unprecedented, save in his own history.  Once, long ago, he relinquished weapons, his fighting canines, and picked up a tool.  And again he may make this move, a move “irrational” in the “view” of any other creature, for “rationality” has led all others to evolve and perfect their means of offense and defense and then to utilize these means to the fullest extent.

In our next post we will continue to explore man’s irrationality.  Until then, peace…

Happy birthday!

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Today is the first birthday of The Shining Stranger blog!  Hard to believe!  Thank you, readers, for coming along for this ride which began a year ago today.  We still have a long way to go through Preston Harold’s challenging and powerful masterpiece.  I’m looking forward to both sharing and learning more as we take “the road less traveled.”  Here’s to a great year’s past and an even better year ahead!

From Seth to Jesus

The third offspring of Adam and Eve is the oft overlooked Seth.  Of Seth Eve says, “God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.” So essentially Seth is Abel’s replacement in the legend.  Preston Harold says

If one elects to tell the story of evolution in terms of the Genesis legend, he cannot overlook Seth, meaning compensation, replacement seed, third son of Adam-Eve, his life paralleling Cain’s in the wilderness.  From Seth come the beings the legend calls truly human for “to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos (meaning mortal); then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.”

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From an evolutionary viewpoint, what would Seth have been like?

Seth, in Adam’s own image and likeness, must have inherited nakedness, must have been an unspecialized omnivore, who needed tool and weapon; but to triumph in the evolutionary play, he must have a superior brain, or cortex, and a superior power such as speech is.

Current thoughts on who along the chain of man’s evolution Seth represents are not totally agreed upon and more time will be required to come to terms accepted by the majority of anthropologists.  But Genesis does tell us a bit more about him.  Our author continues…

Although the Genesis legend indicates that man is Seth’s child, it does indicate also that there was a crossing of Cain’s progeny and Seth’s: the type called by the name Lamech, meaning wild man, is in the line of both Cain and Seth.  Enoch, teacher, appears both as son of Cain and son of Jared, descendant of Seth.

It is here that we run into the first “end of creation,” as Lamech begets Noah.   Genesis tells us that Noah was “perfect in his generations,” apparently steering clear of Nephilim, or “giant” genetics, which resulted in “great wickedness” and “hearts and thoughts set on evil continually in the earth.”

Noah, meaning rest, may be seen to represent Cro-Magnon man, for his progeny take over the earth.  The legend indicates that in the Noah Imagetype or Cro-Magnon man there was awareness of mortal error in shedding human blood, in eating human flesh, and that this type man developed into a great hunter of the beasts so beautifully depicted by some ancient Nimrod on the walls of the Cave of Lascaux.

So how do we get from Seth to Jesus?  Harold ruminates

According to the legend, Seth’s progeny, adulterated by Cain-type genes, cane to rest in the Noah type.  Man’s brain and chin were there, in evolution’s play compensating him for lack of a coat, and for lack of a true killer instinct which mankind at large does not unanimously possess.  Man, however, has not come through the years uninvolved in Cain’s crime of brother-murder.  The legend says men bear Cain’s trace – Cainan, meaning acquisition, appears on the family tree but on it there is no trace of Abel – purely carnivorous? – whose name means transitoriness.  The legend says that all races evolved from an ancestral type in whose genes lay the specialness man exhibits, making all humankind brothers, equals in being.  This truth Jesus sought to establish.  In His words, one confronts man’s original endowment: the kingdom of God within him.  The Eden legend may be trying to say that the garden man must tend is within himself – was so from the beginning.

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Until next time, peace…

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