Love and the World – a guide to Conscious Soul Practice
Robert Sardello
This piece is taken from Chapter 5: Grieving, Love and the Soul
I have never seen such clarity in expressing the differences between the ego and the I. It appears as something quite tangible for your being to work with, on and through.

“What then, is the nature of self-love if it is not the same as the affirmation ” I love myself”? It is not a consciousness of oneself from the outside, looking, as it were, at oneself and affirming what one sees as good and worthy. Rather, self-love is equivalent to self-consciousness, and self-consciousness is not a consciousness of the self but a consciousness in the self.

Clarifying the true meaning of self-love helps to bring understanding to the relation between the ego and the I. Ego and I in fact refer to the same quality, the quality of self-consciousness, which can function in two directions; the I gives and the ego takes. The I is creative, turned outward, while the ego is possessive, turned inwards. The I knows itself through its capacity to create awareness. The ego knows itself through the desire to feel it’s own awareness, the desire for self-feeling, which must come from the outside. Because it comes from the outside, this feeling can never be guaranteed, and when had it lasts only for a short time and has to be repeated endlessly. This is what makes the ego by its very nature an addict. Self-love, seen from the side of the I, on the other hand, is nothing more than a description of the operation of the I in its awareness of others and the world; that is to say, self-love is self-consciousness that encompasses the world. What then determines whether self-consciousness is turned creatively toward the world or addictively toward feeling itself?

The ego is always orientated toward the past, trying to hold on to what it has received from the past. It acts like a “finished” structure of consciousness, one that is complete; but since it is really not complete, it must continually seek affirmation that it is by acting like an is rather than a becoming. The I lives as an orientation toward the time current from the future, and thus knows only awareness, but not an awareness of itself. The ego is habitual, repetitive, and uncreative. The I can be imagined as a capacity rather than an entity, functions through improvisation, has no fixed form, and creates what it knows.

In other words, a strengthening of love is needed within consciousness. This strengthening must come from within consciousness and not from outside, which then would be a strengthening of the ego. Such a strengthening can come about only indirectly, through learning to work with fear and grieving.”
Page 101-102 [emphasis in the original]


These aphorisms are published at the back of

    West and East Contrasting Worlds

by Rudolf Steiner
Script courtesy of the Steiner E-lib

We lose the human being from our field of vision if we do not fix the eye of the soul upon his entire nature in all its life-manifestations. We should not speak of man’s knowledge, but of the complete man manifesting himself in the act of cognition. In cognition, man uses as an instrument his sense-nerve nature. For feeling, he is served by the rhythm living in the breath and the circulation of the blood. When he wills metabolism becomes the physical basis of his existence. But rhythm courses into the physical occurrence within the sense-nerve nature; and metabolism is the material bearer of the life of thought, even in the most abstract thinking, feeling lives and the waves of will pulsate.
* * * *
The ancient Oriental entered into his dream-like thinking more from the rhythmic life of feeling than does the man of the present age. The Oriental experienced for this reason more of the rhythmic weaving in his life of thought, while the Westerner experiences more of the logical indications. In ascending to super-sensible vision, the Oriental Yogi interwove conscious breath with conscious thinking, in this way, he laid hold in his breath upon the continuing rhythm of cosmic occurrence. As he breathed, he experienced the world as Self. Upon the rhythmic waves of conscious breath, thought moved through the entire being of man. He experienced how the Divine-Spiritual causes the spirit-filled breath to stream continuously into man, and how man thus becomes a living soul. The man of the present age must seek his super-sensible knowledge in a different way. He cannot unite his thinking with the breath. Through meditation, he must lift his thinking out of the life of logic to vision. In vision, however, thought weaves in a spirit element or music and picture. It is released from the breath and woven together with the spiritual in the world. The Self is now experienced, not in connection with the breath in the single human being, but in the environing world of spirit. The Eastern man once experienced the world in himself, and in his spiritual life today he has the echo of this. The Western man stands at the beginning of his experience, and is on the way to find himself in the world. If the Western man should wish to become a Yogi, he would have to become a refined egoist, for Nature has already given him the feeling of the Self. which the Oriental had only in a dream-like way. If the Yogi had sought for himself in the world as the Western man must do, he would have led his dream-like thinking into unconscious sleep, and would have been psychically drowned.
* * * *
The Eastern man had the spiritual experience as religion, art, and science in complete unity. He made sacrifices to his spiritual-divine Beings. As a gift of grace, there flowed to him from them that which lifted him to the state of a true human being. This was religion. But in the sacrificial ceremony and the sacrificial place there was manifest to him also beauty, through which the Divine-Spiritual lived in art. And out of the beautiful manifestations of the Spirit there flowed science.
Toward the West streamed the waves of wisdom that were the beautiful light of the spirit and inspired piety in the artistically inspired man. There religion developed its own being, and only beauty still continued united with wisdom. Heracleitos and Anaxagoras were men wise in the world who thought artistically; Aeschylos and Sophocles were artists who moulded the wisdom of the world. Later wisdom was given over to thinking; it became knowledge. Art was transferred to its own world. Religion, the source of all, became the heritage of the East; art became the monument of the time when the middle region of the earth held sway; knowledge became the independent mistress of its own field in man’s soul. Thus did the spiritual life of the West come to existence. A complete human being like Goethe discovered the world of spirit immersed In knowledge. But he longed to see the truth of knowledge in the beauty of art. This drove him to the south. Whoever follows him in the spirit may find a religiously Intimate knowledge striving in beauty toward artistic revelation. If the Western man beholds in his cold knowledge the spiritual-divine streaming forth below him and glancing with beauty, and if the Eastern man senses in his religion of wisdom, warm with feeling and speaking of the beauty of the cosmos, the knowledge that makes man free, transforming itself in man into the power of will, then will the Eastern man in his feeling intuition no longer accuse the thinking Western man of being soulless, and the thinking Western man will no longer condemn the intuitively feeling Eastern man as an alien to the world. Religion can be deepened by knowledge filled with the life of art. Art can be made alive through knowledge born out of religion. Knowledge can be illuminated by religion upheld by art.
* * * *
The Eastern man spoke of the sense-world as an appearance in which there lived a lesser manifestation of what he experienced as spirit in utter reality within his own soul. The Western man speaks of the world of ideas as an appearance where there lives in shadowy form what he experiences as Nature in utter reality through his senses. What was the Maja of the senses to the Eastern man is self-sufficing reality to the Western man. What is the ideology constructed by the mind to the Western man was self-creating reality to the Eastern man. If the Eastern man finds today in his reality of spirit the power to give the strength of existence to Maja, and if the Western man discovers life in his reality of Nature, so that he shall see the Spirit at work in his ideology, then will understanding come about between East and West.
* * * *
In hoary antiquity the humanity of the Orient experienced in knowledge a lofty spirituality. This spirituality, laid hold upon in thought, pulsated through the feeling; it streamed out into the will. The thought was not yet the percept which reproduces objects. It was real being which bore into the inner nature of man the life of the spiritual world. The man of the East lives today in the echoes of this lofty spirituality. The eye of his cognition was once not directed toward Nature. He looked through Nature at the spirit. When the adaptation to Nature began, man did not at once see Nature; he saw the spirit by the way of Nature; he saw ghosts. The last residues of a lofty spirituality became, on the way from East to West, the superstitious belief in ghosts. To the Western man, a knowledge of Nature was given as Copernicus and Galileo arose for him. He had to look into his own inner nature in order to seek for the spirit. There the spirit was still concealed from him, and he beheld only appetites and instincts. But these are material ghosts, taking their place before the eyes of the soul because this is not yet inwardly adapted to the spirit. When the adaptation to the spirit begins, the inner ghosts will vanish, and man will took upon the spirit through his own inner nature, as the ancient man of the East looked upon the spirit through Nature. Through the world of the inner ghosts the West will reach the spirit. The Western ghost superstition is the beginning of the knowledge of spirit. What the East bequeathed to the West as a superstitious belief in ghosts is the end of the knowledge of spirit. Men should find their way past the ghosts into the spirit — and thus will a bridge be built between East and West.
The man of the East feels “I” and sees “World”; the I is the moon which reflects the world. The man of the West thinks the “World” and radiates into the world of his own thought “I”. The I is a sun which irradiates the world of pictures. If the Eastern man comes to feel the rays of the sun in the shimmer of his moon of wisdom, and the Western man experiences the shimmer of moon-wisdom in the rays of his sun of will, then shall the will of the West release the will of the East.
* * * *
The ancient Oriental felt himself to be in a social order willed by the Spirit. The commandments of the spiritual Power, brought to his consciousness by his Leader, gave him the conception as to how he should integrate himself with this order. These leaders derived such conceptions out of their vision in the super-sensible world. Those who were led felt that in such conceptions lay the main directions transmitted to them for their spiritual, political and economic life. Views regarding man’s relationship to the spiritual, the relationship between man and man, the handling of the economic affairs were derived for them from the same sources, commandments willed by the spirit. The spiritual life, the social-political order, the handling of the economic affairs were experienced as a unity. The farther culture progressed toward the West, the more relationship of rights between man and man and the handling of economic affairs were separated from the spiritual life in human consciousness. The spiritual life became more independent. The other members of the social order still continued to constitute a unity. But, with the further penetration of the West, they also became separated. 3y the side of the element of rights and the state, which for a time controlled everything economic, there took form an independent economic thinking. The Western man is still living amidst the processes of this last separation. At the same time, there arises for him the task to mould into a higher unity the separated members of the social life — the life of the spirit, the control of rights and of the state, the handling of economic affairs, if he achieves this, the man of the East will look upon this creation with understanding, for he will again discover what he once lost, the unity of human experience.
* * * *
Among the partial currents whose interaction and reciprocal conflict compose human history, there is included the conquest or labor by man’s consciousness. In the ancient Orient, man labored in accordance with an order imposed upon him by the will of the Spirit, in this reeling, he was either a master or a worker. With the migration of the life of culture toward the West, there came into human consciousness the relationship between man and man. into this was woven the labor which one performs for others. Into the concepts of rights there penetrated the concept of the value of work. A great part of Roman history represents this growing together of the concepts of rights and of work. With the further penetration of culture into the West, economic life took on more and more complicated forms, It drew labor into itself when the structure of rights which this had hitherto taken on was not yet adequate for the demands of the new forms. Disharmony arose between the conceptions of work and of rights. The re-establishment of harmony between the two is the great social problem of the West. How labor can discover its form within the entity of rights, and not be torn out of this entity in the handling of economic affairs, constitutes — the content or the problem, if the West begins to advance toward this solution, through insight and in social peace, the East will meet this with understanding. But, if this problem generates in the West a stand in thinking which manifests itself in social turmoil, the East will not be able to acquire confidence in the further evolution of humanity through the West.
* * * *
The unity between the spiritual life, human rights, and the handling of economic affairs, in accordance with an order willed by the Spirit, can survive only so long as the tilling of the soil is predominant in economics, while trade and industry are subordinate to agricultural economics. It is for this reason that the social thinking of the ancient Orient, willed by the Spirit, bears with reference to the handling of economic affairs a character adapted to agricultural economics. With the course of civilization toward the West, trade first becomes an independent element in economics. It demands the determination of rights. It must be possible to carry on business with everyone. With reference to this, there are only abstract standards of rights. As civilization advanced still farther toward the West, production in industry becomes an independent element in the handling of economic affairs. It is possible to produce useful goods only when the producer and those persons with whom he must work in this production live in a relationship which corresponds with human capacities and needs. The unfolding of the industrial element demands out of :he economic life associative unions so moulded that men know their needs to be satisfied in these so far as the natural conditions make this possible, To discover the fight associative life is the task of the West. If it proves to be capable of this task, the East will say: “Our life once flowed into brotherhood. In the course of time, this disappeared; the advance of humanity took it away from us. The West causes it to blossom again out of the associative economic life. It restores the vanished confidence in true humanness.”
* * * *
When the ancient man composed a poem, he felt that spiritual Power spoke through him. In Greece the poet let the Muse speak through him to his fellowmen. This consciousness was a heritage of the ancient Orient. With the passage of the spiritual life toward the West, poetry became more and more the manifestation of man himself. In the ancient Orient, the spiritual Powers sang through man to men. The cosmic word resounded from the gods down to man. in the West, it has become the human word. It must find the way upward to the spiritual Powers. Man must learn to create poetry in such a way that the Spirit may listen to him. The West must mould a language suited to the Spirit. Then will the East say: “The divine Word, which once streamed for us from heaven to earth, finds its way back from the hearts of men into the spiritual world. In the human word mounting upward we behold with understanding the cosmic Word whose descent our consciousness once experienced.”
The man of the East has no understanding for “proof”. He experiences in vision the content of his truths, and knows them in this way. And what man knows he does not prove. The man of the West demands everywhere “proofs”. Everywhere he strives to reach the content of his truths out of the external reflection by means of thought, and interprets them in this way. But what is interpreted must be “proven”. If the man of the West releases from his proof the life of truth, the man of the East will understand him. if, at the end of the Western man’s struggle for proof, the Eastern man discovers his unproven dreams of truth in a true awaking, the man of the West will then have to greet him as a fellow-worker who can accomplish what he himself cannot accomplish in work for the progress of humanity.
* * * *

imageHow often is heard the disparaging words! – “Oh I don’t do Social Media”. As ever a real cop out when you see and hear regular constructive comment derived from Twitter. A specific example: British newscasters are comfortable now delivering comment referenced to Twitter.

So for those still avoiding the connective tissues of social media I present evidence of the centrality of this form of communication now within Government circles. In this survey (picture) from UKTI the British Government’s trade promotion body their information requirements are: Name, Company Name, Email address & Twitter handle.

“I don’t do Social Media.” Sorry you folk but this is really mainstream now. Get involved, lurk if you have to but do investigate, do engage. Fence sitting is no longer allowed – there are no fences.

On the entry for “doxa” Pierre Bourdieu is quoted on Wikipedia as follows:

“Pierre Bourdieu, in his Outline of a Theory of Practice,[9] used the term doxa to denote what is taken for granted in any particular society. The doxa, in his view, is the experience by which “the natural and social world appears as self-evident”.[10] It encompasses what falls within the limits of the thinkable and the sayable (“the universe of possible discourse”), that which “goes without saying because it comes without saying”.[11] The humanist instances of Bourdieu’s application of notion of doxa are to be traced in Distinction where doxa sets limits on social mobility within the social space through limits imposed on the characteristic consumption of each social individual: certain cultural artifacts are recognized by doxa as being inappropriate to actual social position, hence doxa helps to petrify social limits, the “sense of one’s place”, and one’s sense of belonging, which is closely connected with the idea that “this is not for us” (ce n´est pas pour nous). Thus individuals become voluntary subjects of those incorporated mental structures that deprive them of more deliberate consumption.”

Petrifying social limits? Is that actually the case today?

Sometimes it's good to just get away!

A quotation used by Thomas Friedman in The World is Flat showing how Marx was already on to the impact of capitalism for the nation state.

All fixed, fast-frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind.
The need of a constantly expanding market for its products chases the bourgeoisie over the entire surface of the globe. It must nestle everywhere, settle everywhere, establish connexions everywhere.
The bourgeoisie has through its exploitation of the world market given a cosmopolitan character to production and consumption in every country. To the great chagrin of Reactionists, it has drawn from under the feet of industry the national ground on which it stood. All old-established national industries have been destroyed or are daily being destroyed. They are dislodged by new industries, whose introduction becomes a life and death question for all civilised nations, by industries that no longer work up indigenous raw material, but raw material drawn from the remotest zones; industries whose products are consumed, not only at home, but in every quarter of the globe. In place of the old wants, satisfied by the production of the country, we find new wants, requiring for their satisfaction the products of distant lands and climes. In place of the old local and national seclusion and self-sufficiency, we have intercourse in every direction, universal inter-dependence of nations. And as in material, so also in intellectual production. The intellectual creations of individual nations become common property. National one-sidedness and narrow-mindedness become more and more impossible, and from the numerous national and local literatures, there arises a world literature.
The bourgeoisie, by the rapid improvement of all instruments of production, by the immensely facilitated means of communication, draws all, even the most barbarian, nations into civilisation. The cheap prices of commodities are the heavy artillery with which it batters down all Chinese walls, with which it forces the barbarians’ intensely obstinate hatred of foreigners to capitulate. It compels all nations, on pain of extinction, to adopt the bourgeois mode of production; it compels them to introduce what it calls civilisation into their midst, i.e., to become bourgeois themselves. In one word, it creates a world after its own image.

From Wikipedia

“In Greek mythology, Psyche was the deification of the human soul. She was portrayed in ancient mosaics as a goddess with butterfly wings (because psyche was also the Ancient Greek word for ‘butterfly’). The Greek word psyche literally means “soul, spirit, breath, life or animating force.”

Sent from my iPad