Welcome to the results of our study group on Theosophy. I am posting various exercises we do on the form and content of the book.
George O'Neil first cracked the form years ago and Florin Lowndes has made a first rate edition of Theosophie in his Code-X book series. Lowndes has produced excellent scholarly notes about all of Steiner's Theosophy editions and their alterations by Steiner himself. It is simply a fantastic contribution to the heart-thinking work. In particular Lowndes clarifies the chapters and sections, the particular punctuation, and numerous other techniques Steiner employed his writing and thought-art. We are basing our study group on his new edition! Thank you Florin!
One way to study a chapter by Scott F. It is amazing to see Scott come to grips with the essence of the written and unwritten content, and to follow him in his steady mastery of a Steiner text.
We will be posting various synopses and questions about how Rudolf Steiner composed his book Theosophy. Our first online meeting will be on January 7th 2018.
Scott gave us this copy of the A Rosicrucian Soul, Paul Marshall Allen. Paul seemingly studied with George O'Neil. Some really nice quotes about the type of study.
January 21st assignment: Going from the whole to the parts
Make synopses for each section of the Introduction. I gave one example online at organicthinking.org.
There are 13 paragraphs in the Introduction. Make synopses for paragraph 1 thru 7, and for paragraphs 7 thru 13.
Break it down again. Make synopses for paragraph 1 thru 3, and 4 thru 7, for paragraph 7 thru 9, and 10 thru 13.
Why do this? So you can see how the thought-form unfolds more clearly and gradually. We could also make a synopsis of the whole 13 paragraphs and thereby give the Introduction a new title.
The next step is to see the two parts, and then the four parts, and then the 13 paragraphs. This is an important heart-thinking exercise. You will learn to master any text very quickly by breaking it down in this mathematical way.
For the 21st of January: Choose one of the assignments. And prepare it to present to the group.
1) Please see if you can see how what is said in paragraph 1/4 (Fichte’s new teaching requires a new sense organ) is repeated in paragraph 2/4 (Fichte’s Blind vs. good will to open eyes). What is the common idea?
Just like in the archetypal plant where each stage of a plant is a leaf e.g. a fruit is an expanded leaf, a flower is a highly differentiated leaf, a seed is a contracted dried leaf, see if you can follow how the same idea reappears in each paragraph.
There should be one idea repeated again and again in all 13 paragraphs. See how the perspective changes. In other words there are no new ideas in the chapter, only new perspectives of the same idea.
2) Find the polarities in paragraphs
1 and 7
2 and 6
3 and 5
or do as many as you want! (7 and 13, 8 and 12, 9 and 11)
When searching for polarities first compare perspectives:
For example, Outer vs. inner
Then compare key words
Then compare grammar (voice? Syntax?)
How does what Steiner writes in paragraph 1/4 transform in paragraph 7/5?
For example, in paragraph one, Fichte’s new science can’t be seen by the blind, but in paragraph 7/5 the blind people are the ones who are immersed in science!
Or in paragraph 1/4, Fichte says ordinary man and senses can’t comprehend, but in 7/5 steiner says ordinary men can develop spiritually!
See the polarities!
Example of ONE WORD SYNOPSIS
Synopses of Chapter Two, Theosophy
The Essential Nature of the Human Being
1/2 What? Goethe points to essential nature: aware of objects he judges them – necessary and full of errors
2/4 How? Task undertaken desires for knowledge observe objects in and of themselves, seek what is as a true botanist.
3/4 Why? Goethe directs our attention in three ways: 1) objects with 5 sense, 2) impression of objects, 3) secrets of objects
4/2 Who? Three divisions in life: human being aware of world in 3 fold way
5/3 Why? three types: 1) given facts, 2) own affair, 3) goal one ought to strive
6/4 How? Why three fold? Explanation: walking and see flowers – color is fact.
7/15 What? 1) rejoicing and thereby connecting to flowers 2) Joy becomes a memory, 3) notice same laws in flowers reappearance, 4) joy in me, laws in world.
8/8 How? Human being connects to world in three fold way: three terms “body” (connects to things), “soul” (not observable), and “spirit” (higher world in physical world)
9/1 Why? Human being consists of body, soul, and spirit
10/4 Who? Body as a vehicle to connect to things, soul as retaining impressions, spirit reveal “ding an sich”
11/11 Why? Bodily world from without in observation, soul not observed by sense, spirit outer world in higher world Starry heavens 3fold connection: facts, delight, eternal laws
12/2 How? Citizen of 3 worlds: belong to world, own world, exalted world.
13/1 What? obvious three modes of observation for three worlds
Section 2. The Physical-bodily Being of the Human Being,
1/6 What? Human being observed: related to mineral (body), plant (growth) and animal (perception/impression) thus 3 types of existence.
2/7 How? 3 different structures: shape, man’s nervous system unequal in man: macro cephalic; beautifully developed form is condition for higher cognition.
3/2 why? Human body relates to 3 forms of existence – distinctively human form= a kingdom
Section 3. The Soul Being of the Human Being
1/11 What? Soul nature is unto itself: we perceives sensations differently e.g. we both see some read table but not someone else’s
2/2 How? sensation belongs to the Soul, not to brain processes
3/12 why? Feeling - sensation causes pleasure or pain
Will - inner being on world
Soul - confronts the world
Section 4. The Spiritual Being of the Human Being
1/8 What? Soul nature – not only determined by body
We reflect on our actions and see inter-connections of life; natural necessity and laws of thought
2/7 How? become member of a higher order (spiritual) not particals but I taste
Soul is the basis of spirit
3/2 Why? Biologist, psychologist and spirit investigator.
Synopses Theosophy Chapter II, Section 5 Mark Riccio
1/9 What? Brain size: To understand human being you must know the role of thinking: Brain has to have proper form to be an organ of the thinking spirit. Morphology: Frog, mammals to human being’s brain is largest in proportion to rest of the body.
2/8 How? Prejudice reply: Higher knowledge is better attained thru warm feeling but highest feelings come from highest thoughts!
3/3 Why? Design of the body: Body and forces help thinking manifest definition of physical body
4/10 How? Growth of structures: Structure of mineral with brain as central is propagated i.e. quartz and Oaktree
5/7 What? Heredity: spontaneous generation? Species determines materials and life force determines species of plant and animals
6/8 What? Bodily senses: man perceives mineral forces: no eye, no light as is the case with simple organisms i.e. your organs allow for perceptions.
7/4 How? See life force: Ordinary sense can’t see life forces but no right to deny analogy of the blind.
8/4 Why? New world: unfolding supersensible organs you can see “life force” as spirit form. Ether body preserves physical body!
9/4 How? Nature of Life body: it is an independent force not a consequence of physical materiality but a maker of the living.
10/2 What? Opened spiritual eye: you can see the life body in other beings: or simply accept it existence on logical grounds.
11/6 what? Ether-body sizes: don’t take offense at the word “ether” from physics: Ether body is different in form in various plants and animals.
12/5 How? Various worlds: Man belongs to physical and ether world and at death the bodies go back to their respective worlds. The word “body means formation and can be applied to soul and spirit forms.
13/3 Why? stimuli/sensation: life body is external to man, stirrings of sensation are reactions to stimuli of the inner being.
14/6 How? Sentient Soul: color arises in the soul. Sensation arises as a response to stimuli is the sentient soul.
15/9 What? What spiritual eyes see: physical organs can’t see but that what is inner becomes an experience of vision just like seeing the ether body.