Rhythmical Thinking: “Think of the What – Think Still More of the How” Consciousness and Civilization - Macrocosm and Microcosm Vol.1 by G.A. Bondarev The Events in Ukraine and Possible Future Scenarios G. A. Bondarev – Organon of the New Cultural Epoch Vol. 1 & 2 About the Initiative for Anthroposophy The Anthroposophical Research WIKI G. A. Bondarev – Macrocosm and Microcosm Vol. 1 (selections) A Short Introduction to the Topic of Anthroposophical Methodology

A Short Introduction to the Topic of Anthroposophical Methodology

– G. A. Bondarev

Rudolf Steiner is known as a scientist of the supersensible world. The task which he accomplished is without precedent in human history. Thanks to him humanity has for the first time received a complete picture of a unified sensible-supersensible reality.

Knowledge of the true character of reality fundamentally changes generally accepted conceptions about development. On the stage of historical development beginning at a certain time the progress of science with its strict methods of the knowledge of sensible-physical reality, and with it the broad social progress of the whole life of humanity contributed to the acutely individualized character of the development of man’s personality, the crystallizing-out of its I-consciousness, of the capacity for self-determination out of which was born the striving for freedom.

Today this personality through the further course of the cultural-historical process has been brought to a new task of development which significantly exceeds in complexity all that which it has had to deal with thus far. The process of the further individualization of man takes place on a qualitatively new level, it of necessity requires the metamorphosis of the very form of human consciousness, and the first step of such a metamorphosis is the ascent from reflection to a ‘beholding’ thinking capable of perceiving the idea in the object of cognition.

On the plane of human culture Goethe possessed such a capacity in his time, which he called the “power of judgment in beholding”. All his creative work grew upon its basis. But the better part of mankind passed by this, in essence, unique phenomenon, having proven incapable not only of comprehending, but even of noticing it.

It was Rudolf Steiner who first was able to explain the essence of what was active in the individual spirit of Goethe and to develop it further. He elaborated and systematically expounded the means of realizing further steps of the metamorphosis of consciousness: the ascension to imaginative, inspirative and intuitive forms of consciousness.

Wielding the capacity of freely carrying out his investigations in both parts of unified reality, Rudolf Steiner erected a bridge between them, over which each human being can now cross, and with time all of humanity will cross over it, for such is the path leading it into the future.

A metamorphosis of the form of consciousness bears, in essence, an evolutionary character. It leads both to a raising of the self-consciousness of the personality, as well as to the changing of all factors of its soul-spiritual life. It leads to the renewal of the whole of human civilization, its spiritualization which in the situation prevailing in our time also constitutes a condition for its harmonious exit from the danger of the deepening crisis. Therefore we should speak about the creation by Rudolf Steiner of a general united methodology of knowledge and life.

Also the science of “half-reality”, so to speak, zealously strives toward the establishment of a methodology of this kind, but it will not be able to create it on the basis of its own materialistic principles of knowledge, since for this is required scientific criteria which lead beyond the boundaries of sensible reality (for example, the factor of the supersummativity of system objects, of the inequality of an integral object to the sum of its parts, etc).

The unified sensible-supersensible reality is at the same time the unity of world and man. In it the progress of knowledge is impossible without progress in the individual development of the cognizing subject. This was known in the Mysteries of antiquity, as well as among the Rosicrucian alchemists of the Middle Ages, but by measure of proximity to our times the process of cognition took on an ever more one-sided character, until the human being became completely lost in it.

It is true, this development held an objective necessity. Due to the laws of world evolution man is first able to acquire ‘I’-consciousness only in the conditions of sensible-physical reality, and in order for the process of such as acquisition to be simultaneously as intense as possible and not overwhelming to the human being’s level of strength, direct perception of supersensible reality was, for a time, hidden from his view. It was given only in reflection, having become the basis of man’s earthly “I”. In shadowy, reflected actuality, having lost conscious connection with the divine world, man received the possibility of developing himself freely, relying only upon himself and in this, however, exposing himself to the danger of losing himself, for the true being of man is rooted in the spiritual world.

This gigantic step in the development of the human species as Homo sapiens was completed (at least in European culture) in the last third of the nineteenth century, and the time has come for the development of Homo liber – of the free human being. And today there is no more urgent or vital task for the human being than mastering knowledge of universal sensible-supersensible reality. For in such a reality he will further have to consciously live and individually develop himself in conscious partnership with the gods towards the realization within himself of his own higher ideal – the divine Anthropos.

For all this is required the realization through man of the metamorphosis of the form of his consciousness by the strength of his individual self-knowing spirit.

The disinclination of mankind to solve this evolutionary task brings forth its social crisis, which could gradually grow into an evolutionary crisis. This isn’t difficult to comprehend, for everything in development which is unable to go forward is doomed to stagnation, decline, and dying away.

While an overwhelming number of the directions of human knowledge indeed took it for granted that everything is subject to development, to qualitative change, thus –  also the form of human consciousness, in practice this axiom is time and again not taken into account, especially when it comes to consciousness. In the development of the individual spirit the main focus is given merely to the growth of its quantitative characteristics. And this ruinously affects the sphere of knowledge and the understanding of the very principles of human genesis.

Anthroposophy shows us the path to overcoming the crisis thanks to an evolution of the form of consciousness which infinitely expands the boundaries of knowledge. Rudolf Steiner performed a deed which is truly fateful for the human spirit in introducing into the theory of knowledge the principle of evolutionism. Because of this philosophy, which came forth from the Mysteries, once again enters their gates, but now on the basis of individual self-consciousness.

Thus closes the great circle (spiral) of the earthly evolution of man in which he, descending as a group being from divine spheres onto the Earth, then came out of the gates of the Mysteries into the world of earthly individual becoming, developed in the process his lower “I” and now, entering the gates of the new Mysteries, can take the task upon himself of individually finding a conscious relationship to his own higher, eternal I, to commence the higher evolution of his I-Spirit.

Philosophy, epistemology, taken in the sense of spiritual-scientific knowledge, merges with the science of initiation from which it branched off in the era of the Greek thinkers. It is interesting that already the systematic study of the methodology of Rudolf Steiner is composed of a great system of esoteric philosophy, wherein it acts not as that peripheral, almost universally rejected division of general philosophy called metaphysics, but rather taking up the place of that general philosophy itself, being capable of playing the role of the universal worldview of our age. In it theoretical philosophy (epistemology) forms the foundation, the basis of practical philosophy, taken here not in its traditional meaning (as ethics, politics, etc), but rather in the sense of the School of Methodology, in the practice leading man to the real mastery of higher forms of consciousness, from the first of which man comes into contact with the power of beholding thinking, judgment. The evolutionism of epistemology turns in this way into the evolution of the human species which is realized on this level already not naturally, and not naturally together with the human being (in cultural-historical development), but through the self-knowing personality alone.

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Mankind is in need of a radical renewal (not a refurbishing) of the spirit which will give the strength to renew all of civilization and to contrapose its dying away with life-sustaining metamorphosis. Humanity will be in the condition to realize all of this, if its—in the spiritual sense—most progressive part will unite the knowledge accumulated in the course of the cultural-historical process about sensible reality with knowledge of supersensible reality, and do so not in the spirit of popular “computer science”, but on the basis of anthroposophical methodology. This will allow the renewal and metamorphosis of all areas of the practical life of our materialistic civilization which has already exhausted its possibilities for progressive development.

Goethe taught: “Consider the what,  but consider the how still more.”

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An understanding, founded on a deep and systematic study of Anthroposophy, of its decisive role in the further destiny of humanity, as well as an understanding that the methodology of Rudolf Steiner constitutes the primary core of his system of knowledge have been the motivation for initiating this website (Russian: http://anthroposophie-methodologie.org – English: http://initiativeforanthroposophy.org). It has the goal of attracting the attention of those who manifest an earnest, deep interest in Anthroposophy and who would like to acquire a certain freedom in working with its content. In this case questions concerning the methodology of Anthroposophy play a decisive role.

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