Secret Brotherhoods: And The Mystery Of The Human Double ; Seven Lectures Given in St. Gallen, Zurich and Dornach Between 6 and 25 November 1917 (Anglais) Broché – 10 mai 2004
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I neither wholeheartedly endorse nor reject out of hand what's written here, but am looking at it with an open mind. I like being presented with different concepts of spirituality so I can consider them. To be honest, regarding some of Steiner's teachings, I wouldn't have even thought of them.
And I found a few treasures. The part which most impressed itself upon me isn't the highly dramatic Secret Brotherhood or Ahrimanic Double. It was the description of a shift in spiritual energies, spiritual realities, on the planet, in the 1870's. He said, in the course of human spiritual evolution, we have come to that point where we are less 'sheltered', have more responsibility for our own spiritual development and path. This takes the form of being responsible for our self-concept, our world views, our thoughts and imagery. We aren't spiritual children anymore. We don't sit at the feet of anyone. That's very exciting and also very sobering. Because this spiritual development has consequences. It has to, or it wouldn't be as profound and real as it needs to be. Those who grasp and embrace this new spiritual energy can take it very far indeed. Those who don't will be sunk by their very thoughts...
As Steiner says, "... now... the thoughts which human beings make for themselves serve to make human souls become transformed into these thoughts. These thoughts are creative in the life of the soul because human beings are destined in the future to become what they regard themselves to be. This is something that had to come about during the course of wisely guided world evolution so that the human being might really attain to a full and free consciousness of self. One aspect is that the gods had to give the human being the possibility of becoming his own creation.
"The human being has to become what he thinks himself to be. This is a truth that was destined to become known by human beings from the time in the nineteenth century onwards when those important changes came about. Human beings must will to be what they can in reality be, they must be able to think about their being if they are to be that being in their soul. Even now those who have died will be able to announce as a rightful mature truth: ‘The soul is what it is able to think itself to be.’ Yet since the time when it has become necessary to spread the truth ‘The soul is what it is able to think itself to be’, the spirits of darkness have managed to inspire into people what they wish to be represented as the truth.
"If one's thought is that the human being is descended from the animals, to have the living thought about oneself ‘I am descended from the animals, I have originated only out of the same forces that also form the animals’—all this leads souls nowadays to resemble their own inner pictures. It is important to know this! When a soul like this has laid aside its body it undergoes the misfortune of having to see itself as resembling its own inner pictures. Those who believe while in the physical body that only animal forces have played a part in their development are building for themselves a consciousness after death with which they will have to perceive themselves as animals."
The book delves further into the whys and wherefores of this. But it shed new light for me on the Law of Attraction teaching that has become so dominant. Looking back it has been slowly growing since the time Steiner mentions - think of Napoleon Hill, Thomas Troward, William Atkinson, etc. Steiner's explanation gave further credence, and new depth and reasoning to this teaching.
This book is recommended to any spiritual person looking to expand their spiritual reality beyond the mostly mainstream. Steiner is a highly-regarded clairvoyant of the last century and is well worth your time.
The downside of this book is that it was transcribed from speeches he made, and recorded verbatim. He wrote well, but spoke with a lot of redundancy - he repeated things for emphasis. So there is a lot of repetition you have to deal with reading it. I understand why the transcribers didn't want to paraphrase, but it makes for tedious reading in places, even confusing reading, and I began to wish they tried to clean it up a little. That is why I gave this book four instead of five stars.
As to the Ahrimanic Double, which creates such excitability, I don't quite see the same thing as Steiner. I have a different understanding of that shadowed entity. Times are different now, we have further spiritually evolved in 120 years. One of the primary ways is we are more in charge of our personal spiritual destiny, what we allow into our space; ultimately what we 'have to put up with'. The old concept of something forced upon us in that manner is less and less relevant. Unless, of course, you believe in it and allow it. So we are back to the other, more important message in this book - "We are able to be what we think ourselves to be."
Secret Brotherhoods is a set of lectures given by Steiner in November of 1917, and that's what's truly amazing. I can't think of anyone today, who's even come close to the logical intelligence of Rudolf Steiner, and in so many important areas of life, actually, the most important areas of our collective lives.
To sum up how Steiner is important today, is that explains the 2 thoughts that compete for our attention, or soul if you will. One is the Ahrimanic side of our being, and one is the Luciferian side of our being. Now this might seem antiquated to our modern minds, but wait, on the Arhimanic side, you have a pure materialistic view, while the Luciferian side, you have an idealistic view of life. The Ahrimanic side wants you to only see the material things in life, and to strive to towards them is the ideal, with money being the main issue.
The Luciferian side wants you to live in the mind, ignoring the material and striving only towards an unattainable utopia. So how is the relevant today? Republicans(Ahrimanic, material side) Democrats(Luciferian, communist ideals), and wait, there's a balance of both sides, a middle way, and that's the Christ consciousness. We are here not to fight about which way is right, we're here to learn to balance these two sides as Jesus showed us, and that's through love. This is a fight for the very soul of man, not just the vote for a certain party.
Hard to believe that Steiner gave these lectures nearly a hundred years ago, yet still they hold true and except that now, we're so polarized that to even mention that you're a moderate gets you labeled as 'wishy-washy' or too stupid to make up your mind. Well, the joke's on the name-callers, because being in balance is what our task is as a human being.
Here's Steiner's explanation of the Arimanic(could this be where the word manic originate from?) being(which is what is talked about in Faust): "When a human being enters earthly existence through birth he gains on the one hand the possibility of giving means of existence to his soul through his physical body. . . but on the other hand a person does not know his physical body at all well. What an extraordinary number of things go on in our body of which we know nothing . . . we arrive in this world with the garment of our organism without being able to to reach down into it with our soul to any great extent. Instead shortly before we are born, not very long before we are born, there is also an opportunity for another spiritual being, apart from our soul, to take possession of our body, namely, of the subconscious part of our body. This is a fact. Shortly before we are born another being indwells us; in the terminology we use today, we call this an ahrimanic being. It is just as much in us is our own soul.
"So we proceed through our life while having our soul and also a double who is far cleverer than we are, very intelligent, but with a mephistophelian intelligence(see politicians, bankers and lawyers for an example of this). and in addition also an ahrimanic will, a very strong will, a will that this more akin to the forces of nature than it is to our human will which is ruled by our heart and mind. . . Those electric currents are the forces that are introduced into our being by the being I have just been describing. . .They want to conquer the earth, so they need bodies. Having no bodies of their own they use much of human bodies as they can since the human soul cannot quite fill the human bodies."pages 56-57
And here's the catch, these beings can't stand death, so they depart when the body is about to expire. They control our automatic bodily systems, which can explain why we lose those controls when we die, or are even threatened with death(think of how ones loses control when they're severely frightened and you get the idea).
Anyway, that was just one page of a lecture, so if you want to jump into the very deep end of the metaphysical pool, Rudolf Steiner is your man.
As an aside, Stephanie Meyers, the author of the Twilight series, wrote a book called Host, that touches on this subject. It's worth reading.
Anybody with a critical mind can see that so many aspects of the world seem to be created by design to dumb us down and instill in us hopelessness.
However, what if the masters of the planet had in mind something more than ecomomic and political power? That the above forms of power were a material manifestation of a spiritual agenda to which only a small number of priestly initiates are privy?
This book is a truly eye-opening work which inspires the reader to go beyond normal intellectual analysis and reach down into the depths of the soul where the wholistic faculties of our being reside. Those faculties which will enable us to use the evil sprits of opposition as a stimulus to awaken our consciousness rather than plunging further into the abyss.