the Virgin and Mother Earth
by Juan Antonio Revilla
The essential thing about Anthroposophia, what makes it a living being and stand apart from other spiritual movements, is not the what but the how. If it were the what --the conceptual/intellectual content-- it wouldn't matter who brought this content out, it could have been a medium, your next-door neighbor through automatic writing, or a robot coming from outer space appearing in your backyard, or the devil himself: the spiritual virtue is not in the concept but in its shape, its conformation, and in how we relate to it. This is evident in all Steiner lectures and writings; all the power of his will manifest in his thinking is directed toward the proper way in which we arrive at concepts. If we don't pay attention to this way in which it came to be formed, the concept is born dead. Anthroposophia is not the concept, but the life that animates this concept. The Michael impulse resides totally in how we relate to knowledge of the spiritual worlds, not in the accumulated information and gossiping that we repeat in our heads, it is this "how" what makes it alive, it is in the gesture where the real thinking is.
The point in the example of seeing someone from e.g. Mexico praying to the Virgin is how we arrive at concepts or ideas about it, how we can position ourselves in such a way that we can let the experience express itself, how can we hear it in such a way that the contents of our thinking comes from it and not from us, and the starting point of this positioning is to delay our judgement, to let it form itself organically in us over time. We have to "interiorize" the object, we have to be able to touch the object with our soul --or let the object touch our soul--, and allow this "touch" do the working in us in a delayed way. How long is this delay depends on how much training we have in this; eventually the imagination, inspiration, or intuition will come to us immediately, simultaneous with our sense perception, constituting a true spiritual or supersensible experience. But even in this case, although the thinking is present there fully in our enhanced state of mental alertness, we should not precipitate opinions about it: this would kill the life of the object in us and bring sickness to our soul.
If we want to know something deeply, we must take it in our soul first with a feeling of humbleness, respect and veneration, of wonder, with a mental silence. Then the object will act on us, pouring its virtue. This attitude or gesture of the soul requires the full presence of the *I*, it requires that we are able to "touch" the object and that we let it "touch" us. This "touch" is what produces the imaginations, inspirations, and intuitions through which the object reveals itself to us as a gift. This is impossible if we are not "transparent", if we do it with desire, with lust for knowledge, if we don't vibrate with the object, if we don't empty ourselves first. Then, having emptied ourselves and surrendered, everything becomes liquid, we can "touch it" and see it in the eyes, we can hear it, we "know it" through our thinking and our feelings, we know it through the movements of our *I* that flows through it, penetrating it likes waves of continuous, everlasting music resonating inside and outside us both. Then standing up we both say "Now what?" and we respond: "Nothing".
If someone says to me now: "This is only lofty, pretty words, it is not knowledge", or comes with the prejudiced-filled idea of labelling it "mysticisms" and "feelings only" or "subjective", I respond: this is Life and it is knowledge, the most alive and concrete knowledge possible. It is also "living thinking". It is not by any means "scientific" but it is true and beyond subjectivity and objectivity because it is both. It becomes possible only if we let "the other", the object or "things" grow in us, and only if we apply to it the concentrated power of thinking as the observing and inquiring movement of the *I* aided by the concentrated power of feeling. It is a state that may last a fraction of a second, it may come to us only as reflection by means of imaginations, inspirations, and intuitions, it may be as if our head has grown so big that it can no longer remain in our bodies and we expand with our etheric body, yet we are in full control of our sense perceptions and physical body, we are incredibly alert but we have the power of the Sun in us manifesting itself as the action of liquid drops of gold all around us, and we feel that we are pouring ourselves on the object, filling it and loving it as the object fills us and we feel loved in return, while at the same we remain "detached" from all of if, observing and wondering, without questions and without looking for answers.
Every phenomenon of the world, every object of observation, draws a picture of itself in the etheric stream of time. This picture is impossible to observe with the physical senses, which can give us only a fragment of it; to observe it directly we must remove our consciousness from the brain and enter in the stream of our etheric body. Then we realize that the picture never acquires a definitive shape, it is always in metamorphosis from one state into the next, always moving, gesturing, always becoming, revealing itself to us through this movement and gesturing in the current of time, until it eventually dies away or becomes something else. To "know" the object our thinking must follow it and change shape together with the object, assuming the many forms in which the being exists in the world. I we are unable to do this with our thinking, the object disappears to our consciousness.
When we limit or reduce our thinking to concepts, then we are not thinking any more, we are not creating. Thinking is the etheric stream of consciousness that gives birth to concepts, while concepts can be considered as "thoughts" (I think Scaligero would call them "thought thought" --pensamiento pensado, dead or dying thinking). A concept has a definitive shape established by its relationship to other concepts and by the rules of logic, and its content is the result of time/space determinant such as language, culture, personality, "the spirit of the times", etc. Concepts are necessary and play an important role in the world and specially in communication. The problem of Anthroposophy is not working with concepts, the problem is when the association by means of memory and the repetition of concepts produced by Rudolf Steiner substitutes thinking, or pretends to pass as if it were thinking. Then Anthroposophy is no longer a living spiritual being, but a sect of followers that depend on Steiner.