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A READER'S JOURNAL
David's Question "What is Man?"
Edward Reaugh Smith
Terms and Phrases Volume II
An Anthroposophical Commentary on the Bible
Published by The Anthroposophic Press in 2001
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2002
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The title comes from Psalm 8, verse 4: "What is man that thou art mindful of him,/And the son of man that thou dost care for him?" When I first saw this quote, I was reminded of the famous quote, which Gregory Bateson liked to cite, that originated from the famous mathematician, Warren McColloch, "What is a number that a man may know it: and what is a man that he may know a number?" The first part of David's question is asked of God about the nature of a man, and the first part of Warren's question is asked of man about the nature of a number.
In my review of The Gospel of St. Matthew by Rudolf Steiner, I wrote:
To understand the next important point that Steiner makes, one must come to understand the meaning of the words "Son of Man". The Greek words did not have the restricted meaning that we take to mean the son of a father, but rather had the more general meaning that "signifies the successor of a living being, an entity that evolves from a living being like the blossom or flower of a plant on which hitherto there have been leaves only." [page 189] This blossoming flower of one's "Son of Man' reaches up to the spiritual world to the Spirit-Self, Life-Spirit, and Spirit-Man that together stream down towards one.
In my review of From Beetroot to Buddhism by Rudolf Steiner, I wrote:
In the Bible we find variously the titles of "Son of God" and "Son of Man" applied to Christ Jesus, without any apparent distinction between the two titles.
[page 31] 'You do not become a son of God, a child of the spirit, through another person. Everyone becomes this through God himself. It is only a matter of being aware of this. You have the seed of the divine in you, and you merely have to make the effort and you can find it in yourself.'
We can see that David's twofold question of God was about the dual nature of the human being: one as a being living during the Earth epoch, i.e., a "man" and two as a being who will undergo a transformation into a higher spiritual realm with the coming evolutionary changes of a future epoch, past Earth, "when suns shall rise and set no more," i.e., a "son of man." In the page 31 quote, Christ Jesus tells us that we become a son of man, a son of God, or a child of the spirit because of a seed of the divine within us that we each must make the effort to find and nurture.
Examine McColloch's question, a twofold question whose very structure may have been inspired by David's question. We are "men" who can know a number, he seems to be saying, but what is that which can know us as we know a number? Perhaps it is only, in a future epoch, when we become a son of God that we will be able to answer the second part of McColloch's question— when as a child of the spirit we will know what it was for us to have been a human being during an earlier epoch. Can anyone give an answer to the question, "What is a human being?" that is independent of the epoch or stage of evolution of the human being? Here's the author's answer:
[page 8] A central thesis of this book, and of the series of which it is a part, is that the human being is neither the result nor the sum total of an aggregation of minerals but is rather a state of consciousness merely clothed for a time, sojourning if you will, in the mineral kingdom.
The human being had a physical body from the very first stage of evolution, Old Saturn, as shown in my Table of Evolution. If you look down the column marked Old Saturn (column 1) [Note: this is the same as Saturn "Condition of Consciousness" shown in the I-1 of the authors Charts and Tabulations section, page 439.], you'll find that humans had only a physical body which existed solely in a condition of warmth. In the succeeding Old Sun stage, an etheric body was added, and in the Old Moon phase, an astral body was added. Still, no minerals had been added to the phantom form of the physical body, and the human remained invisible in the sense we know visibility today. As we entered the Earth phase, minerals began to accumulate in the physical body and slowly the human body began to lose its stretchability and to become more and more rigid as bones began to form inside the physical body's form and the framework of the human body approached closer and closer to the one we know and live inside of today. Thus, if you now look across row 4 from left to right, you'll find that a human being today consists of a physical body, etheric body, astral body, and Ego body (1). Looking down column 4, you can see that the human's physical body is in mineral form during this current Earth epoch, whereas in the Old Sun epoch (col. 2), it was in an airy condition, and in the Old Moon epoch (col. 3), in a watery condition. If you now move to column 5, the Jupiter epoch, you'll find that humans no longer have a mineral form, and thus we may rightly consider ourselves as "sojourning in the mineral kingdom," until we become spiritual beings.
[page 9] While we, as human beings, say "I am," we still ask who we are, and only when the higher "I am" of Christ lives fully in us will we attain to the ultimate consciousness of being that constitutes the human as a god, that is, a spiritual being.
The common thread of evolution runs through the answer to the eponymous question of this book, and how evolution has proceeded is the inverse of the process promulgated by Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution. While full of insights and a boon to our understanding of the process of evolution for the first time, there is one aspect that Darwin got backwards, and, interestingly, the undoing of this mistake is not possible using the only evidence that modern materialistic evolutionist hold as valid: the bones and stones(2) . Both bones and stones are the long-lasting precipitates of previous lifetimes of humans and animals. Such evolutionists look at the earliest bones (possibly petrified in stone) and say, "These were the earliest human beings." It is if they were excavating ancient schools and, finding the earliest slates on which lessons were written, they were to proclaim, "These were the earliest thoughts of humankind." Like scribbling in chalk on a slate, thoughts are not capable of leaving a trace in bones or stones. Neither were the earliest human beings, rightly understood, who lived in states of being of warmth, air, and water before the Earth evolution.
The earliest humans had a physical body or form that consisted of heat or warmth in the Old Saturn epoch. (See column 1 of Table of Evolution.) Eons passed during which humans arrived at the Old Sun epoch (column 2) with a physical body or that had attained an airy state of being and an etheric body had been added on to the physical body. Eons again and in the Old Moon epoch we acquired an astral body. At this point in human evolution, there were no long lasting minerals in the human form, only with the advent of the Earth epoch, did bones begin to form. Plants and animal dropped into materiality before humans did and became imprisoned in their form. Thus, it came about that the testimony of bones and stones holds the evidence of plants and animals preceding humans, and Darwinians have unwittingly fallen into the "followed by, therefore caused by" fallacy. Since the bones and stones show that humans appeared after the animals, animals must have evolved into humans, they proclaim. Their deduction is correct from their premises, but their conclusion is not true. They have committed an egregious error when they claim that humans evolved from animals. Rightly understood, animals evolved simultaneously with humans(3) until they fell into materiality while humans maintained a plastic form for which no fossil record can ever be, since the plastic form's materials do not survive for very long, not as long as bones and stones.
With the process of cloning well underway in this new century, nearly everyone has heard of "stem cells". These are the cells inside the fertilized egg in the early stages of cell division before the cells have established a specialized form. They are useful in medical applications because being non-specialized if they are inserted into an organ of the human body they become cells of that organ.
[page 11] The human being is the "stem cell" of earthly evolution. It did not evolve from any "specialized cell" (any already-materialized lower kingdom), but had its own independent origin, still reflected in the mystery of embryology, which mirrors the heavenly bodies.
Animals on the other hand took an earlier fall into materiality and became "imprisoned in their form." The evolutionary processes which came after that led to a "higher specialization and imprisonment." Notice how our spiritual institutions, our churches, have also taken a dive into materiality and have fostered an imprisonment in their flocks, as if the Shepherd had gathered the sheep into a pen and locked the gates to keep them from wandering freely. Inside each pen is the tribe or congregation of the church held captive and told what to believe and what to do by the tribal leader. While there are some churches for which this description doesn't fit, the majority still fall under this traditional rubric, up until now.
[page 12] the post-Atlantean sub-epochs, of which ours is the fifth, have it as their task to develop, from the original clairvoyance of man, clear objective consciousness, and from the tribe-bound will of early times to evolve the free activity of self-consciousness individuality.
With the advent of "self-consciousness individuality" and "free activity" of the individual, it should not surprise one to find churches failing who today continue to imprison their flock in doctrinal pens. Thus, both science and religion have fallen together into materiality, a materiality that covers the eyes of their adherents like opaque cataracts and blocks their view of the spiritual world, up until now. The removal of those cataracts requires a scientist of the spirit who is able to burn away the cataracts by a laser beam of focused spiritual truth.
[page 17] One can investigate the libraries of both evolutionary science and theology without finding any significant reference to the intuitive revelations of Rudolf Steiner. But if the understandings of evolution imperative for our age are to be had, they must begin to move toward what this early twentieth-century prophet disclosed.
If one takes a holographic photograph of an object and cuts it in half, then shines light through one piece of the hologram, the original object appears as if unaffected by the halving except for a slight diminution of focus or clarity. Successive halving will lead to a similar result. It is as if the smallest part of the hologram contains the whole of the object's image. Fractal diagrams have a similar characteristic: at whatever level we view the fractal, we see a vision of the original fractal design. Holy scripture has this characteristic also, as the author informs us.
[page 25] Scripture, to be holy, must be of the same character, true at infinitely different levels or dimensions. Christ's parables have this holy character, none more so than the one we call the "parable" of the Prodigal Son, where its higher meaning is expressed by allegory. It is the same fractal as the entire canon, portraying the creation, descent and reascent of the human being.
We can only understand the above passage if we understand that Smith is talking about the evolution of the human being from column 1 of the Table of Evolution to column 7. Created in the Old Saturn epoch, we descended into minerality in the current Earth epoch where we are now beginning our re-ascent into the spiritual realms. The Table gives the Alpha (col. 1) through the Omega (col. 7) of our human existence. "At Omega the human being takes its place in the heavenly pantheon." (page 29) "Then the question 'What is man?' will have its full answer." (page 30)
Now that we have seen the beginning and the end, the author directs our attention to the things of interest that lie in between. Like sex. Originally every human being was androgynous, not so much having the characteristics of both sexes as existing before the division into two sexes had occurred. Christ talks about this as recorded in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark.
[page 35] This original androgynous human being is what Christ meant in his comment about divorce when, referring to Gen 1,27 and 5,1-2, he said, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female..." (Mt 19,4; Mk 10,6; italics mine)
These human beings who were not yet divided into two sexes lived an existence that would be invisible to our eyes today if we were to be placed back then as we are today. During the seven days of creation, humans remained invisible and in the spiritual world (what Steiner calls elementary existence in the quoted passage below).
[page 43] For the events there described really took place in the sphere of elementary existence, so that a certain degree of clairvoyant knowledge, clairvoyant perception, would have been needed for their observation. The truth is that the Bible tells us of the origin of the sensible out of the supersensible, and that the events with which it opens are supersensible events, even if they are only one stage higher than the ordinary physical events which proceeded from them and are familiar to us.
It can be said that we humans are born out a womb that is supersensible to us at the time of birth, as it also can be said that, on a fractal or holographic level, we humans in the beginning were born of the supersensible world. These thoughts, as I read and pondered them, led me to write the following poem entitled One, Two:
Two is born out of one.
We are born out of a womb
that is supersensible to us
Because we are at one with the womb
until we are borne out of the womb.
Two is born out of one.
Allways the sensible is born
out of the supersensible.
Two is born out of one.
To understand our origins
we must look to the womb
out of which we were borne.
Two is born out of one.
Allways the sensible is born
out of the supersensible.
Two is born out of one.
Our mineral bones were born out of spiritual bones
that are supersensible to us
because spiritual bones dissolve into the supersensible world
while mineral bones dissolve into the sensible world.
Two is born out of one.
Allways the sensible is born
out of the supersensible.
Two is born out of one.
To understand our sensible bones
we must look to our supersensible bones
the womb of our sensible bones.
To study only the product of the womb and not the womb
is to find a product without a sensible beginning.
Products without sensible beginnings
have supersensible ones.
Two is born out of one.
What was happening in the spiritual worlds to the supersensible human being during the seven days of creation as outlined in Gen 1? Steiner says that on the first day, the Sentient Soul was developed out of the light ether, on the second day, the Intellectual Soul was developed out of the sound or chemical ether, on the third day, the Consciousness Soul was developed out of the life ether, on the fourth day, the astral body was created along with the Sun, Moon, and planet's physical bodies. On the fifth day, the etheric body was prepared. On the sixth day the physical body of human beings was prepared by the Elohim as a form or phantom that would later become saturated with the minerals of the Earth and over time acquire the form we know today. On the seventh day, the Elohim rested in a state of pralaya or timeless rest before the mineralized state of the Sun and planets began. After all this process is completed, life was breathed into the first man who dwelled in the Garden with the tree of knowledge and the tree of life.
The astral body was the air that was breathed into Adam, the first man, the first crystallized human being, i.e., a human being with a mineral or hard body. (The word adam can be recognized as the root of the word adamantine which means very hard.) The etheric body is the rivers that go out of Eden watering the trees there. Thus, Genesis gives us the evolution of the human being in its first three bodies, physical, etheric and astral, both in the spiritual conditions of consciousness preceding Adam's creation and then in the Garden itself. Meanwhile the Ego remained undescended into human bodies -- this is what the Bible means when it refers to Adam and Eve being naked. When Lucifer (whose name means "light bringer") approached the two innocents in the Garden they made a decision based only on their astral body (their Ego not being descended) to accept the premature knowledge offered by Lucifer. We know it was premature because they were told not to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The two innocents, Adam and Eve, received this knowledge but along with it came "pain, toil, and death, the divine cures for the astral, etheric and physical bodies, respectively (Gen3,16-19)." They were innocent because their decision to follow Lucifer's advice was an animalistic one, made by their astral body, over which their Ego had as yet no control.
Lucifer is the fallen Archangel known as the Devil esoterically, and Ahriman the fallen Archai known as Satan. These two are not properly distinguished in current translations of the Bible. When an overprotective parent tries to shield a child from life, often the child is driven to an excess of the very deeds the parent was shielding it from. Lucifer's deed was like that of such a parent. Instead of humankind learning about its spiritual nature first, it fell prematurely into materiality so far and so fast that it became deceived about its spiritual nature, experiencing maya, illusion, instead. This overshoot played into Ahriman's hands. Interestingly, Lucifer repented at the time of Christ's crucifixion and Ahriman did not(4). This is reflected in the following passage of the two thieves who were crucified alongside Christ:
Luke 23, 39 And one of the malefactors that were hanged railed on him, saying, Art not thou the Christ? save thyself and us. 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, Dost thou not even fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said, Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom. 43 And he said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.
As Smith points out, many "Luciferic spirits remained unconverted and still menace human beings today." Ahriman is the dark lord of materialism and mechanisms and Lucifer is the light bearer carrying premature or false spirituality. The three benefits from a job may be summarized as MPG: Money, Power, and Glory. Ahriman's forte is Money. Lucifer's realm is Glory. And jointly they share the third area, Power. As Steiner points out, the three temptations of Christ Jesus in the desert align with the three categories of money, glory, and power. The Tempter duties were first taken by Ahriman, then by Lucifer, and lastly by them both. See The Fifth Gospel review.
To paraphrase Smith's last sentence of the Creation section: Steiner's original work stands ready to open up to any seeker that wills to knock on the door.
The four elements of fire, air, water, and earth all play a vital part in the creation of the cosmos as we know it. The author's chapter covers this subject in detail, but I want to share my poetic paraphrase of the passage from page 97 taken from Schwaller's work The Temple of Man, which begins with: "The master builder said to the disciple: 'You come from the earth, it has nourished you, and you will return to the earth. This element holds and keeps the other elements. Know that everything that, of itself, diffuses outward without form needs a receptacle.' " Like we needed a receptacle in the womb of our mother in order to survive in gestation. In the poem below I focus on how each element is born out of the element that preceded it to act as a container for that element. [ Poem also includes material from page 140.]
The Four Elements
Air was born out of fire
to contain the fire of the universe.
In air we have the images of fire.
Water was born out of air
to contain the air.
In water we have the images of air.
Earth was born out of water
to contain the water.
In earth we have the images of water.
Thus, Earth is the container of us all.
The next chapter takes as its title the famous dictum that Hermes Trismegistus began his Corpus Hermeticum with, "As Above, So Below." Smith tells us everything we need to know about this phrase thus:
[page 98] Ringing down to us from the ancient mysteries, this phrase declares that nothing has ever existed in all of creation that was not first prefigured in the patterns of the spiritual world.
In my view this dictum is the first ever statement of the bootstrap paradox, which simply stated is this: "Before you can load a program into a computer, you must first load the program loader." Seems simple, doesn't it? And easily glossed over without thinking, a leisure none of my readers will be allowed. Think of it: a "program loader" is a program that loads other programs. It is a program ! How do you get a program into a computer for the first time if the first program you want to load is the program that loads other programs? That is the paradox, the bootstrap paradox.
Why "bootstrap"? Because it's like trying to lift your self by your own bootstraps — you can try and try and no matter how strong you are, you will never do it. And yet every time you "boot up" a computer, that process occurs: the program loader gets loaded and then the rest of the programs can load and run. That's why it's called "booting" or "rebooting" — short for "bootstrapping."
How do computer makers overcome the bootstrap paradox? Simple: they apply Herme's dictum: "As Above, So Below." They have a person, a coder, who exists outside of the computer who does the job of loading the very first program, the program loader. This coder's job is to create in machine code the very first program loader and place it in a secure, non-destructible portion of computer memory that is activated every time the computer is powered on. It reads the first sector of the hard drive, the boot sector, and from there the loading and running of programs proceeds. Note carefully in my description that the first computer of a new model computer can not load a program or do any useful function without intervention from outside the computer! Something from above the hardware and software level of computerdom must intervene or else the computer will suffice only as a night light or a space heater.
In this everyday example we see embodied the concept that Smith describes as "nothing has ever existed in all of creation that was not first prefigured in the patterns of the spiritual world." To the computer, the coder in the factory is an agent of a supersensible world, the spiritual world to it. The coder is but the last link in a chain of spiritual agents to the computer: the computer designer, the chip manufacturer, the case designer, the assembly line designer, etc., all these play an essential part of world that must exist before the computer boots up on your desktop. In the simple process of booting a computer we can see that what happens "above" in the computer factory, happens over and over again "below" in a cascade of program loading operations that at each level become more complex, but are all based on the bootstrap loader of the coder. "As Above, So Below."
In computers, the first program loader may be thought of as coming from the "hand of God" as far as the computer is concerned, as it appears out of nowhere or nothing happens in the computer. In a similar sense we are told by the Bible that all creation comes from "the Word of God", the ultimate "Above."
[page 103] Heb 8,5: They [the gifts offered by priests in accordance with the law] serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary; for when Moses was about to erect a tent, he was instructed by God, saying, "See that you make everything according to the pattern which was shown you on the mountain."
For computers the "mountain" would refer to the place where the coder lives who writes its first program loader, i.e., in a spiritual realm. A simple meaning of mountain can be inferred from its abundant usage in the Bible and other places in literature. To climb a mountain was understood to mean to come close to God, and when one listens to mountain climbers today, they express an awe and reverence that speaks of closeness to God.
[page 103] It is very important that we understand the meaning of a mountain in spiritual writings. It is universally recognized by the enlightened as meaning the condition in which one has an experience beyond or above that of the world of the senses. The metaphor is so apt that even in common parlance we understand this to be the meaning of the phrase mountaintop experience. It is not necessary to be on a physical mountain in order to be on the mountain in a spiritual sense. Physical location is irrelevant.
When I founded my Good Mountain Press, which publishes all these reviews and other books, it was this type of mountain that I envisioned. A good mountain for me means one that is easy to get to, no matter where on Earth you live. And the easiest mountain to get to is one that appears when you open a book.
Now for a little baseball. I doubt that in the next passage Smith was thinking about American baseball, but read it and think of the five stages of offense in baseball: you begin at home plate, and if you get a base hit or a walk, you leave home for first base. You arrive at first base and you float off the base as far as you can, sort of floating adrift. Next batter at the plate roils things a bit; trouble is brewing for you — a hit to the Shortstop or Second Baseman can put you out of the game, or a hit can take you safely to second base. For better or worse the next batter swings and may advance you to third base. Finally something will happen that may take you back to home plate where you will be welcomed as a prodigal son returned safely to home. Here's the passage:
[page 107] First a departure from what had previously been one's base or "home," so to speak (leaving home is a prevalent theme in both the Old and New Testaments). Then a feeling of being in a new experience, as though adrift on the waters. Next some sort of trouble arises, a "storm or tempest." for better or worse it is resolved so that one has clarity of mind (thought). Finally, from the entire experience one sees the light (wisdom). These are the five stages in the spirit world.
"Where is the tree from which comes the fruit that appears in mind's basket?" Jane Roberts asked in one of her books that I read some twenty years ago. This question haunted me for many years before I found the answer in Rudolf Steiner's works. In my review of Karmic Relationships, Volume 3, I wrote:
Before the 14th Century people considered themselves as living in an ether of thoughts just as we today consider ourselves as living in an atmosphere of oxygen. We know that we breathe in oxygen to live as they knew back then that they breathed in thoughts to think. If we breathe in thoughts, where do the thoughts come from? From the out-breathing of others.
[page 17-18] What then is this out-breathing? It is the very same, my dear friends, of which we speak when we say: In the three days after death the etheric body of man expands. Man looks back upon his etheric body, slowly increasing in magnitude. He sees how his thoughts spread out into the cosmos. It is the very same, only it was then conceived — if I may say so — from a more subjective standpoint. It was indeed quite true, how these people felt and experienced it. They felt the cycle of life more deeply than it is felt to-day.
In the next passage, Smith quotes Steiner from his book Theosophy, p. 123:
[page 108] A thought appearing by means of a human brain corresponds to a being in the country of spirit beings as a shadow on the wall corresponds to an actual object casting the shadow.
The story of Christ's cursing the fig tree has puzzled many people. He said that the fig tree would never again bear fruit. Christ's meaning is clarified if we consider the fig tree represents the bodhi tree under which Buddha sat to reach enlightenment.
[page 109] What is meant by it is that Christ was bringing in a new method of initiation. The old method . . . was passing away, never again to produce fruit. The story of Buddha gaining enlightenment "under the bodhi tree" is illustrative of this point . . . When one reaches the level of spiritual insight represented by having attained enlightenment "under the tree," one can go back in his or her "house" (soul) and see the karma there from prior incarnations.
The heavens above, the Earth below. The stars above, we humans below. Pervasive in our language is the metaphor of the spiritual world of heaven which abounds in planets and stars above and with us humans on the ground below. That is how it is true for us in our earthly condition, but in the spiritual world, things are reversed: we are above and the Earth is below. We descend to Earth to enter a body for a new incarnation, and as we descend, the planets and stars arise to take their place in the heavens as their shadows or images are embodied in us as we take our place on Earth.
[page 113] Earlier in the same lecture he [Steiner] had shown how our Ego-being was spread over the vastness of the universe and how these planetary forces, as they applied to our specific karmic being, were to become our bodily organs (see I-21) just as the spiritual beings were to become (for our earthly perception) planets or stars.
All these meanings are reflected in the writings of the Bible in many ways. Smith has done today's Christian a huge favor by assembling these pieces of the Bible and providing an esoteric interpretation along with each one. An interpretation without which one would wonder why the Bible contains stories like the cursing of the fig tree in the first place. Applying the dictum "As Above, So Below" is essential to understanding very many parts of the Bible.
[page 115] What is there would never have been written had its lower meaning been primary. Always we must seek the higher understanding that it reflects.
Baptism by complete immersion was practiced in biblical times, why is it not universally practiced today? This is an example of a question that cannot be answered by recourse merely to the Bible. The reason for the change is the result of the evolution of humankind, of changes in the constitution of the human body in the thousands of year since the Bible was written. What were these changes specifically?
[page 121] The practice of baptism at the time of Christ, which even then was not a new procedure, having been practiced as we now know by the Essenes and others of an earlier time, served a very important function that cannot be served today. The etheric body in human beings has drawn progressively more and more into the confines of the physical body. It is this evolutionary process that over the ages has caused us to lose our conscious presence with the spiritual world (what the Bible sometimes calls God's "hiding his face").
Along with losing our direct view of the spiritual world came our ability to think clearly. Something lost for something gained. Back when the etheric body was not so firmly impressed into the physical body, total immersion would free the etheric body and humans were able to experience their life spread out before them as a tableau, time converted into space. The baptism of water that led people to repentance after viewing their entire life as a whole was to become the basis for the baptism by fire that Christ was bring to Earth as predicted by John the Baptist.
[page 123] . . . the pathway to the future was opened by Christ, and it was the pathway of fire. Only through that fire could the Prodigal Son return home to the spiritual world.
What is fire? Smith spends an entire chapter on Fire and I can only provide a brief summary of what he covers. To fully understand fire one would need to study the Warmth Course of Rudolf Steiner. Here's a quick summary of what I learned from Smith's coverage of the subject in this book. I majored in physics and came across the concepts of heat of condensation, heat of evaporation many times. I was told that if you applied heat to a solid that the temperature rose proportionately to the heat applied until a certain point at which you continued to apply heat, but "nothing happened", the temperature stayed the same as you applied more heat. Rather than explain what happened to the excess heat, my teachers gave that unusual condition the name "transition point" for the place between solid and liquid states, i. e., the melting point. A similar thing happened at a higher temperature and it was called a boiling point. What Steiner says is that the heat applied enters the spiritual world at those two points. The fire becomes fire ether. When the substance cools down and passes those two points, the fire ether becomes fire again and re-enters the substance. Two ways of talking about the process, but the physics way of talking requires us to accept a metaphysical explanation of the process by simply assigning it a name. Steiner's explanation allows us to understand the process in which spiritual stuff and material stuff change places. It will be helpful to keep in mind that the words fire and warmth refer to the same process in its various conditions of revelation to our senses.
[page 127] Fire is the only one of the four elements where spirit and matter remain in touch. This is why fire is always present in the Bible when the earthly apprehends the heavenly. They can only meet at the state where the unmaterialized etheric condition of fire dwells.
One place where the earthly apprehends the heavenly is when we humans view the Sun and certainly no one would deny that a huge fire presents itself to us in the Sun. So it should not be surprising to find that great spirits including the Christ take residence in the Sun. Steiner's view is directly opposite of astronomers about the nature of the Sun. The Sun, astrononmers claim, gets denser the further you go into the center, notwithstanding the fact that no one has gone into the center of the Sun, no will any electromechanical probe ever be able to do so. Steiner says that interior of the Sun is empty, in fact, he says it is less than void of matter, it is negative space. I remember a calculation someone did to show that the entire output of energy of the Sun could be calculated as derived from an electromagnetic generator effect of the Sun's huge negative electrical charge as the Sun moves through intergalactic space. If that were so, then one would expect a much higher temperature for the Sun's outer atmosphere or corona than its surface temperature, a fact that has since been ascertained. Thus, an empty Sun filled with spiritual beings can be shown to still generate the same amount of energy based on laws we already know about in physics. Is the interior of the Sun a black hole or is a black hole simply a crude mathematical description of the less-than-empty interior space of stars that are inhabited by spiritual beings?
As part of the study of fire, Smith takes up the Egyptian pyramid, which one can see readily the relationship to fire if we note that the name derives from pyre which means fire. The pyramid with the eye atop it on the US dollar bill refers to the "I" or Ego which is mostly clearly seen in the eyes of a human being. Steiner notes somewhere in his work that if you don't see a friend for many years and his facial looks completely change, it is in his eyes that you will recognize the individual that you once knew, the eyes contains the "I" of an individual.
Next he shows how the phoenix myth incorporates the elements of gold, frankincense and myrrh, which three elements feature strongly in the birth of the Jesus child in the Matthew Gospel.
In this interpretation of the phoenix, we see the ashes of the phoenix representing life on Earth and the beautiful "scarlet and gold" plumaged bird as the immortal "I am" in spiritland.
[page 191] The time cycle of the phoenix is of interest. It coincides very closely with the average cycle of reincarnation, according to Steiner. And just as the majority of that time period is spent on an Individuality's journey between death and rebirth (see I-33), we note that the life of the phoenix also illustrates the path of the soul (the Ego, "I Am," or Individuality) between lives rather than during an earthly life. Aside from the relatively short time of its purification in the astral world, the soul's sojourn in spiritland (devachan) in the company of the heavenly host must be described as incredibly beautiful (like the bird) in comparison with life on Earth. The fashioning of a nest as its pyre (fire) portrays what the Ego does as it approaches physical birth, selecting appropriate parents and circumstances in accord with its destiny, then entering the birth canal through the narrow isthmus where the etheric fire meets the earthly fire in a newly born human body. But the fire itself must rage during the entirety of the earthly life and perhaps even through the "purifying fire" of the ensuing astral world before birth into spiritland is again accomplished.
Smith also notes the connection between phoenix and the palm tree because phoinix in Greek means palm tree. In The Goblet of Fire, the fourth and by far the best so far of the Harry Potter books, near the end of the book, and in the most dramatic part, Harry Potter is saved by the "phoenix's song." When Harry got his wand in Book 1, the wand maker told him it had a phoenix's feather incorporated into it. During various episodes of the first three books, the phoenix makes an appearance leading up to the climatic moment in Book 4. The head of Hogwart's head has a phoenix bird in his office. In the Catholic churches the branches of the sago palm are blessed on Palm Sunday. The acceptable way to dispose of such blessed palms is to burn them. The ashes from these burnt palms are applied to the foreheads of Catholics on Ash Wednesday and the remainder of the ashes are left in shallow bowl at the entrance of the church as a reminder of our ashen mortality during the rest of Lent. There in that ancient ritual of the Catholic church is the phoenix, the palm, and the ashes all tied in together. Plus it helps to one to see the deep spirituality that Rowling has imbedded in the stories of little Harry Potter, the quintessential Ego, a young kid taking on the ancient dark forces of evil and conquering them.
When I read Max Freedom Long's work on the huna code I learned about how he discovered that the Polynesian language had an ancient code hidden within it that ensured the designers, the bootstrap coders, of the language, that the Polynesians would forever have access to their secrets of healing. The coders stored the secrets, not in hidden texts, but hidden within the structure of the language itself. For example, the word for priest in Hawaiian today is kahuna which translates into keeper (ka) of the huna code. The original kahunas were exactly that — they were healers who applied the healing truths stored within the language. As I read the many etymological mysteries and knots that Smith untied in this book, I began to feel that our language has that same kind of structure. For example, our simple word alphabet. I had known for a long time that it was composed of the first two letters of Greek, alpha and beta. They are almost identical to the first two letters in Hebrew, aleph and beth. What I learned new is that Alpha means the "all" and beth means "house." Thus alpha-bet becomes the "house of all" which is appropriate for the 26 letters that can be used to create every word.
The insights are not only in the etymology of languages but in the meaning of seemingly mundane events. Moses killed an Egyptian at the start of the exodus -- this slaying takes on a greater meaning when one realizes that Egyptians possessed an ancient clairvoyance.
[page 202] The meaning of Moses' killing the Egyptian is that he was to kill the capacity in his people that characterized the ancient clairvoyance of the Egyptians. They were to transform that into the hardening of the human brain for intellectual thinking (the two tablets of stone being the two mineralized sides of the human brain with its twelve pairs of cranial nerves). Moses was the last to carry this ability of "seeing God face to face." That quality could not be carried over into the earthly promised land.
One of the recurrent themes in science fiction has been the story of the invisible man. As I read the following passage I suddenly realized a serious flaw in the story of the invisible man. Light is invisible while it is in flight. In order to be perceived, light must fall on a visible object. If a man is invisible the light will pass right through every cell of his body including the cells of the retina of his eyes thus rendering him completely blind. To be invisible would mean to be completely blind! In exchange for no one being able to see him, the invisible man would not be able to see anyone or anything else in the world.
In the chapter Light Smith covers many aspects of light that were new to me. Like the fact that the eye has living and non-living parts and our ability to see involves these two parts working together.
[page 251] Tracing the comparative development of the eye, the tissue of the outer parts, the aqueous humor and lens are formed from neighboring organs, not from within outward, while the vitreous humor grows from within outward to meet them. This is the noteworthy thing. In fact the outer light is at work bringing about that transformation whereby the aqueous humor and lens originate, to which the living being then reacts from within, thrusting outward a more living, vital organ in the vitreous humor.
Everyone has had the experience of waking up bleary eyed in the morning, rubbing one's eyes in order to get things into focus. What we're doing at such a time is helping the living and the almost non-living parts of our eyes to get into step with each other.
[page 252] During the day, objects appear sharp and clear. But in the morning when you first awaken you sometimes see the outlines of surrounding objects very indistinctly -- with a little halo. To what is this due? It is due to there being two different kinds of things in our eye, namely the vitreous body and the lens. The lens is formed from without and the vitreous humor from within. While the lens is rather unalive, the vitreous body is full of vitality. In the moment of awakening they are not yet adapted to one another. Each tries to picture objects in its own way.
In my novel The Spizznet File, I give an analysis of human vision that allows one to confirm that the process of seeing is not just an input process but a dual input/output process which proceeds like this: Light bounces off of objects in one's surroundings, enters the eye, is transmitted to the brain where a 3-D holographic image is formed and transmitted outward so as to align with and cover the objects the light originated from. Oliver Sacks described the case of Virgil, a fifty year old man who was blinded from shortly after birth by severe cataracts, and had his sight restored by an operation. Virgil had been a fully functioning blind adult, and suddenly with the advent of sight, he became a handicapped sighted person. With his eyes opened all he saw was a maze of lights and patterns in no coherent form. His brain had missed the crucial step of early development we all go through where our brains learn to paint the image it creates onto specific objects. [A recent movie starring Val Kilmer as Virgil did a rather confusing job of illustrating the key difficulty that beset Virgil, but full details are given in Oliver Sacks' book, An Anthropologist on Mars.] Read in the next passage how the idea of vision as a projection process is reflected in writings in and about the Bible.
[page 253] Christ speaks of the eye as providing light: "The eye is the lamp of the body" (Mt 6,22; Lk 11,34). Commenting on Mt 6,22, 8 New Interpreter's Bible 210 says, "In contrast to the modern understanding, which regards the eye as a window that lets light into the body, the common understanding in the ancient world was that the eye was like a lamp [citing, among other, Prov 15,30 and Dan 10,6; see also Rev 1, 14], an instrument that projects the inner light onto objects so that they may be seen."
For Virgil to see objects he had to first learn to construct their forms independently inside his mind before he was able to "see" them outside in the world. This is a process we all went through by the age of three, and thus we have no recollection of having learned these things. Note how similar this process is to the one described by Einstein, "It seems that the human mind has first to construct forms independently before we can find them in things." (quoted from page 253)
[page 278] In the eye we have a kind of monologue. The eye always proceeds as you would do if you were listening intently and, to understand what you were hearing, you first repeated it aloud. Etherically we are talking to ourselves when we are seeing. With hearing alone, we have a single factor of the dual process.
In The Spizznet File, I describe how dolphins have two phonation apparatuses, one for hearing and one for speaking. They use their hearing phonation device to create visual images of their environment in the following way: they emit ultrasound signals (similar to the ones doctors use to image babies in the womb) and the reflected signals are sent to their auditory cortex (which is as big as our human visual cortex) where it is processed into a 3-D visual image of their environment and aligned with it similar to how our human visual images are projected on our environment when we see. When dolphins speak, they use their speaking phonation device to speak visual images. They can do this because they are able to recapitulate what they "heard" when they "saw" something previously and by "speaking" what they heard, they are able to re-create a visual representation from their cognitive memory. To separate the two distinct processes semantically, I had to create "phizualize" for the process of "phonate-visualize" whereby dolphins send signals to enable them to see. And "spizualize" for the process of "speak-visualize" whereby dolphins speak sounds that create visual images from their memory. I offer these comments here because in examining how dolphins see and speak we have a metaphor for the human process of seeing of which we would otherwise be unconscious.
[page 278] When I am seeing, the same thing happens in my eye as happens when I hear and speak at the same time. In the eye we have a kind of monologue. The eye always proceeds as you would do if you were listening intently and, to understand what you were hearing, you first repeated it aloud. Etherically we are talking to ourselves when we are seeing. With hearing alone, we have but a single factor of the dual process.
In Oliver Sacks' story of Virgil we have evidence of a person who had not learned the "repeating aloud" part of the human seeing process, and how that lack operated in his life upon recovering only the "hearing" aspect of his twofold seeing process.
In the process of building a paradigm — a pervasive way of interpreting the world around us — it is initially credibility that builds credence, but as time goes on, credibility is replaced by credentials. Soon the credentials you have become more important than the credibility of your content. As Thomas Kuhn explained in his 1962 landmark book on the philosophy of science The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, a paradigm, once formed, cannot be overturned by a mere pointing to its anomalies or unexplained items. Each of these alone is not sufficient, until a complete turning about occurs in human thought, overturning the old paradigm and generating a new one. In the field of theology with its verba magistri, i. e., the proclaimed holiness of its school of wisdom, Steiner's views are outside of their paradigm. Steiner has no credentials acceptable to them. And in spite of the credibility, the sheer believability of Steiner's views, rightly understood, few theologians will leave their comfortable positions, in which they won their credentials, to wander afield, no matter how much credibility such variant views would have. As Smith describes below, paradigmatic blinders are not new to theologians of our time, but have been around for thousands of years. To paraphrase Einstein from page 253, replacing forms by paradigms, "It seems that the human mind has first to construct paradigms independently before we can find any evidence for their existence."
[page 287] Most of our theologians, from ultraliberal to ultraconservative, have not advanced so far, but still wrestle in the arid deserts of either documentary hypotheses or literal, parochial understanding and welter in the same type of moribund, institutionalized scriptural interpretation that afflicted the scribes and Pharisees at the time of Christ.
In summing up his chapter Light, Smith writes a statement with which I would agree most wholeheartedly as it matches my own experience in so many ways.
[page 287] In what I have just written to open this summation, I make no personal claim to intuition, nor to any divine insight other than, as a result of a lifetime of study of the Bible and whatever unknown karma I represent, having recognized in the works of Rudolf Steiner insights deemed higher than any other I've encountered about the meaning of the entire biblical message.
In The Goblet of Fire, we encounter a scene during which a black cloaked Dementer sucks the soul out of one of Harry Potter's adversaries to keep him from revealing secrets about the dark lord. In the character of the Dementers, Rowling has embodied the epitome of darkness and evil.
[page 268] The feeling in relation to a light-filled space is that of a kind of in-drawing of the light, as though our soul were sucking in the light. We feel an enrichment when we draw the light into ourselves. How is it then with darkness? Precisely the opposite. We feel the darkness sucking at us. It sucks us out — we have to give something of ourselves to the darkness.
In the next chapter Darkness, he explains the concept of darkness further, summarizing it in the following passage:
[page 312] We are in our mineral-physical condition because of darkness. Just as matter blocks light in the phenomenal, the mineral-physical world, so also does every thought or deed that conflicts with the Christ Spirit either create or feed evil spirits, the spirits of darkness, and block the spiritual light that must fill human souls if they are to follow the upward path.
The final term to be dealt with before the title question "What is Man?" is Blood. What is this red liquid that flows in our arteries and veins, this "life's blood" which we know that we can not live without? Smith's chapter Blood spans almost one hundred pages, which is what he means when he suggests we "pause and reflect deeply" in the quoted passage below. One can only read the entire corpus of Steiner's written work to get more information than that which Smith has extracted for us on the subject of "Blood" in his penultimate chapter. Certainly reading the brief summary of his material on blood in this review will not suffice.
[page 317] Because warm blood, like the fire it nurtures, is, in a very real sense, where heaven and earth meet -- the agent of the soul, the patron of the heart, the altar upon which the soul and the Christ are wed -- we dare not deal with it too lightly and miss its immense significance. We would be presumptuous to believe we here lay bare all of its wonderful mysteries. But Rudolf Steiner has made available such a wealth of insight on the subject that we must not be remiss in our undertaking out of the desire for an unjustifiable brevity. So let us here pause and reflect deeply.
In several stories and parables in the Bible such as the one about the Samaritan woman at the well, the Good Samaritan, and the wedding at Cana, the key element turns on the presence of those of mixed blood. (Samaria and Cana were places of mixed blood.) The importance of mixed blood can easily be lost in the maze of other details in each story taken separately, but as a whole a distinctive pattern emerges which Smith makes explicit here.
[page 323] What was here indicated is the earthly establishment of the clear demarcation line between the spiritual validity of the historical group soul (i.e., blood-based love) and the newly christened "I Am" of the individual Christ-inspired Ego whose love billows out henceforth to those of mixed blood, even to the entirety of humanity and creation.
In the Harry Potter stories, those of mixed-blood are called "mud-bloods" as a derogatory term to refer to those Hogwarts student born of parents where only one of the parents was a certified wizard. In the course of her stories J. K. Rowling plays out the struggle of the pre-Christian pure bloods with the Christian mixed-bloods in a way that Christians ought to be proud to have their children read her Harry Potter stories instead of removing her books from their schools.
In January of this year I went tuna fishing off the coast of Louisiana south of here. It was my first time catching tuna, and I was so surprised to find that the lovely flesh of the tuna fish that I found when I opened up a can of tuna fish was no where to be found during the trip. What I found instead was a bloody mess. Every tuna fish we caught, both the blackfin and the yellowfin, had to be bled immediately while it was still alive. The explanation the old hands gave me was that "the tuna didn't taste right if you let it die before bleeding it." When I read this passage in Smith's book, I found that this procedure was one that was practiced since biblical times.
[page 324] An animal that died other than through the spilling of its blood was, according to the scriptures, still deemed to have its life within it until the blood was spilled out. Until then, it could not, for that reason, be eaten by God's people.
The explanation for the blood sacrifice of animals given in the American Bible Dictionary is that "by placing a hand on the animal sinners passed their essence on to it," so that bleeding the animal before it died brought the sinner back to life. (paraphrased from page 327) This brings to mind for me the woman in the crowd who touched the hem of Christ Jesus' garment, and how He turned immediately to tell her that she was "made whole."
Blood was also the carrier of memories from parents to children as long as the blood line stayed pure. Thus biblical marriages were endogamous, within the bloodline, rather than exogamous. This makes the events of the marriage at Cana, where Christ Jesus did his first recorded miracle, all the more significant. Cana was in the region of Galilee where people of mixed blood lived and married each other.
Looking inside the human body, Smith describes for us how the rhythm of the blood is orchestrated with or impedance matched to the distinctly different rhythm of eating and drinking. There is a special bodily organ whose job is exactly that.
[page 347] This organ is the spleen. It is really a transformer given to counterbalance the irregularities in the digestive canal in order that they may become regularities in the circulation of the blood.
Animals do not blush in shame nor do they pale when confronted with danger, and yet we humans do. Given that the Ego of the human being lives in the blood, it is easy to understand why this might be so — something in the external world affects the Ego and the blood responds accordingly.
[page 350, 351] The blood's action in rushing to the surface to escape from its embodied Ego when one blushes in shame, or fleeing inward to protect such Ego when one pales from outer danger, are observable manifestations of the spiritual reality of the perceiving Ego's presence in the blood.
The following verse from Matthew contains a truth that anyone who has attended a banquet can readily confirm, "Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man." [Mt 15,10-20] We live in a world in which material things are considered to be the only reality. If someone gets sick from eating, it is blamed on the food. If someone gets sick for no apparent reason, it's blamed on a bacteria, a virus, or a genetic defect, whatever is or will become the latest fad for a materialistic explanatory agent. What is missing in the materialistic fallacy is the function of Ego, the "I am," that operates inside the person who becomes sick. A bacteria that kills one person can have no effect on another person. A virus that creates a cold in one person can have no effect on another. Always illnesses seem to come for one of two reasons: permission or protection. Either a person gets sick in order to have permission to rest for a couple of days or a person gets sick to have a reason to give for not doing something for a couple of days. Seems like there's an agent inside of each person with its finger on the pulse of when to get sick and when not to get sick. That agent is the Ego. And that Ego can determine whether something gets a person sick (defiles them) or not. The Ego can determine whether such and such a decision to eat or not eat something occurs and thus the Ego has control at another level. This type of control over what defiles one is described in the Bible, in Mk 16,17-18 as Smith points out:
[page 371] And these signs will accompany those who believe: . . . if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them..." From this we may reasonably infer, as is indeed keeping with all the foregoing, that the individual human organism, but most especially its blood, is so built up or constructed by the Ego that only diseases, germs and the like that it sees as befitting its purposes will affect it. One individual will be grievously affected, another but little, and another one not all by ingesting or inhaling certain noxious elements.
Somewhere Steiner spoke about the indication one can get from the way one feels immediately from awakening in the morning. He said that, on the one hand, a moral person will awaken refreshed, immersed in good feelings from pleasant dreams, but, on the other hand, an immoral person will awaken troubled from upsetting dreams. In the passage below Smith gives us the reason for this dichotomy:
[page 387] When a man is awake, the intellectual element streams upward from below in the form of currents of light, and what is of moral-aesthetic nature streams downward from above. At the moment of waking or going to sleep, these two currents meet, and in the man of low morality a violent struggle between the two streams takes place in the region of the pineal gland. In the man of high morality and an outstreaming intellectuality, a peaceful expansion of glimmering light appears in the region of the pineal gland.
How have things changed for humanity since the Mystery of Golgotha during which the blood of the living Christ flowed into the Earth to remain there in etherized form for all time? It has become possible for "the activity of the etheric blood of Christ to flow together with the streaming from below upward, from heart to head." But this union of flowing does not happen automatically, it requires conscious cooperation by the individual. [The passage below is from Reappearance of Christ in the Etheric by Rudolf Steiner.]
[page 389] A union of these two streams can come about, however, only if man is able to unfold true understanding of what is contained in the Christ impulse. Otherwise, there can be no union; the two streams then mutually repel each other, thrust each other away.
Smith ends the Blood chapter by explaining how the Second Coming of Christ -- when "He will come again in Glory," a clear reference to a re-appearance in a glorified or etheric body -- has occurred already in the 20th Century, to those who have "unfolded true understanding".
[page 389] We have now reached the moment in time when the etheric Christ enters into the life of the earth and will become visible, at first to a small number of people, through a natural clairvoyance. Then in the course of the next 3,000 years, He will become visible to greater and greater numbers of people.
"Man was made in the image and likeness of God." Who does not know these words? And who, from the inculcation of those words, has not imagined an anthropomorphic God, traditionally viewed as a bearded patriarch sitting on a huge throne? Smith has us look at the forms that the Elohim circumsubscribe in the sky, the form of an opened ended lemniscate (which looks like the small Greek letter alpha standing on its two legs), and reminds us that it was the Elohim in Gen 1,26-27 who said, "Let us make the human being in our image, after our likeness."
[page 420] Instead of understanding this passage rightly, classic theology has looked downward instead of upward. It has anthropomorphized the Elohim. That is, it has attributed the human shape to the gods rather than seeking the human from the nature and character of the gods. Our task in ages to come is to reverse this process and see in the human being the reflection of the higher spiritual nature.
What it is we see when we look up at the stars? We see bright points of light and feel uplifted. What do astronomers see when they look up at stars? They see huge balls of fire. They analyze their constituent gases and elements, their shape, their structure, their gravitation forces, their electromagnetic emissions, their movements in space. What did Steiner say stars were in his book, At Home in the Universe? The below passage quoted in a footnote is taken from pages 56-57 of Steiner's book.
[page 431] When we observe a star with our physical eyes, there is, in fact, a community of spiritual beings at that place in the cosmos. The physical star we see shows us only the direction — a signpost, or chart. Conventional scientific descriptions of stars have very little meaning, because they deal only with those signposts, or charts to orient our vision.
Imagine that an alien being comes to Earth. An alien for whom human beings are invisible, but who can see inanimate objects such as cardboard. He chooses to attend a political convention and sees all those placards being waved in the air. The alien proceeds to analyze the cardboard of the placards and develops a report on the constituency of the material of which they are composed, describes their waving motions in the air accompanied strains of unusual air vibrations (music), and he returns to his home planet to publish his findings. Such a report might tell his people as much about our political conventions as the report on the stars in the sky by one of our astronomers would tell us about the spiritual beings who inhabit those stars.
In Bill Moyers' interview with Joseph Campbell, Part I of the "The Power of Myth" series, Campbell spoke of the native American Black Elk who talked about the central mountain of the world. I close with this short poem based on Black Elk insights:
Black Elk spoke of
the Central Mountain of the World,
the Good Mountain,
where I am sitting,
where you are sitting,
where I am my I am,
where you are your I am,
where the Axis Mundi is,
the still point around
which all else
I paraphrase slightly what Smith said in his Preamble to Blood on page 317 (see above), "We would be presumptuous to believe that we here lay bare all of the mysteries of the world." In this review, we have looked briefly at only some of the points that Smith raised, clarified, and annotated in his research into David's question of "What is Man?" If someone wishes to pause and reflect deeply into the matters I have raised here, certainly a complete study of Smith's book is a minimum investment of time and money that one should make. If someone would take a personal meditative journey into the Bible to investigate "What is Man?", Smith's book would certainly be a useful roadmap to take along on that journey.
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~ footnotes ~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~
1. In using the word "body" in the phrase "Ego body" I mean nothing more than what is implied in the expression "Ego organization". The two word phrase is useful to help distinguish the "I am" or "Ego" of the human being from the Freudian or Jungian uses of the single word "ego."
Return to text below footnote.
2. I owe this phrase to Immanuel Velikovsky who used it to describe his approach of using archaeology (bones) and geology (stones) to prove his thesis in Earth in Upheaval that he had earlier used comparative mythology to establish in his popular book, Worlds in Collision.
Return to text below footnote.
3. Rightly understood, humans do not evolve from animals, but devolve from humans. Humans were the only beings to obtain a physical body during the Old Saturn Epoch, and animals originated from the subset of human beings who lagged back in their development during each Epoch. Check my review of Spiritual Hierarchies and the Physical World by Rudolf Steiner for more details of this process.
Return to text below footnote.
4.These three paragraphs are a brief summary of the material that spans pages 48 to 52.
Return to text below footnote.
~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~^~NOTE: My reviews are not intended to replace the purchasing and reading of the reviewed books, but rather to supplant a previous reading or to spur a new reading of your own copy. What I endeavor to do in my reviews is to impart a sufficient amount of information to get the reader comfortable with the book so that they will want to read it for themselves. Click on the title below to order a copy of David's Question "What is Man?" for your personal reading.
Or go to: http://www.anthropress.org/BooksPages/DavidsQuestion.htm
Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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