Franz Brentano

Franz Brentano

“Those who knew Franz Brentano, even if only through his work, saw him as representing modern man, struggling with the riddle of the universe … he was first and foremost a thinker, one who did not allow his thinking to wander at random … Franz Brentano himself estimated that his work on psychology would fill five volumes, but only the first volume was published. It is fully understandable to someone who knew him well why no subsequent volumes appeared … In order to find answers to the questions facing him after the completion of the first volume of Psychology he needed spiritual knowledge. But spiritual science he could not accept and, as he was above all an honest man, he abandoned writing the subsequent volumes. The venture came to a full stop and thus remains a fragment.” — Rudolf Steiner, from Aspects of Human Evolution, Lecture Five, 1917.

Introduction:

Now I See … is a page and an opportunity for Anthroposophists to present reviews of non-anthroposophical books in such categories as non-fiction, scholastic or academic, history, science, biography, autobiography, and the paranormal.  The books do not need to be current or recently published, and most should raise the disturbing question as to why Rudolf Steiner’s name — or Anthroposophy or Spiritual Science — is not included in the index and in the contents, and when the absence of these resources or answers is felt to be something of an acute or tragic loss, or at the very least as a serious omission. Another kind of book appropriate for review will be of interest to Anthroposophists due to its timely and relevant subject (such as Soul Survivor: The Reincarnation of a WWII Fighter Pilot, by Bruce and Andrea Leininger, about their son, James Leininger).

The reviews submitted should not be critical, but should be written with a thoughtful, deeply questioning and sympathetic point of view, similar to Rudolf Steiner’s quotation about the work of Franz Brentano, above.

Anthroposophy and the Philosophy of Freedom:

Anthroposophy and Its Method of Cognition:

The Christological and Cosmic-Human Dimension of the Philosophy

by Sergei O. Prokofieff

Temple Lodge Press, June 1, 2009. Buy This Book!

Some people’s path to Anthroposophy leads them directly to Rudolf Steiner’s early work Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path: A Philosophy of Freedom, which becomes the philosophical basis for further exploration. Steiner referred to this as a “safe” approach. However, the destiny of many leads them directly to Anthroposophy itself, perhaps through one of its practical initiatives such as Waldorf education or biodynamics, sometimes making it difficult to relate to the cognitive basis of Anthroposophy.

In this unique study, Prokofieff offers a fresh approach to Steiner’s crucial book, Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path. He shows why the book is so important to Anthroposophy as the work in which Steiner lays a foundation for his method of spiritual research. In Steiner’s own words, “One who is willing can indeed find the basic principles of Anthroposophy in my Philosophy of Freedom.”

Prokofieff discusses the Christian nature of the anthroposophic means of cognition and how it is integral to freedom and love. This in turn reveals the deeply Christian roots of Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path and its importance for modern Christian esoteric work.

In considering its multifaceted cosmic and human dimension, Prokofieff discusses Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path in relation to the mystery of the Resurrection, the work of the hierarchies, the being Anthroposophia, the “Fifth Gospel,” Steiner’s path of initiation, the Rosicrucian and Michaelic impulses, the life between death and rebirth, the Foundation Stone, the Christian mysteries of karma, and the science of the Grail. Review by Kristina Kaine

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February 23rd, 2017 | Tags:

The Counselor . . . as if Soul and Spirit Matter

 

Inspirations from Anthroposophy

 

by William Bento, Edmund Knighton and Roberta Nelson

Edited by David Tresemer

 

Paperback $35.00 Published by Steiner Books, March 2015 ISBN 978-1-62148-127-0 369 pages
http://www.amazon.com/Counselor-Soul-Spirit-Matter-Anthroposophy/dp/1621481271

 

The Counselor

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Psychology continually awakens to new dimensions of mental health; this book explains that there are many more rungs on the ladder. At the center of every chapter is the recognition that every human being has the capacity for self-generation and self-healing.

Importantly, the authors recognize that the Counselor can be anyone who listens to another person describing their difficulties. In this regard, this book is important reading for everyone.

I am not a Counselor but have worked with people all my life in medical sales, recruitment and in my own business which is recruitment based. I have also studied and written about the work of Rudolf Steiner for over thirty years. I know the importance of understanding that we are not just physical beings but rather beings of soul and spirit who have a body. Until we approach all areas of human knowledge on this premise we will never understand who we are, much less be able to be of assistance to those experiencing difficulties.

This book is not a text book, it comes from presentations at seminars, transcribed, edited and amended. This may not suit some people but for me these presentations gave the book life. This is in keeping with the whole philosophy of Anthroposophy; to be human is a living activity, humanity continually evolves through different stages of conscious awareness.

The word Anthroposophy itself can be challenging for those not familiar with this philosophy, yet the way this word is described in this book gives a wonderful sense of freedom – “the possible and becoming human” as part of the whole creation. To see ourselves as a work in progress is most liberating and this book reveals that the stumbling blocks are just that. “We are all entangled in the pathos (suffering) of life to some extent or another. Too much pathos makes us dysfunctional; too little means we are not prodded to grow.”

The fact that human consciousness evolves forms the scaffolding on which the ideas in this book are supported, and the current mental health crisis can be explained in the light of this idea. Describing the evolution of consciousness to those who see the physical world as the only reality can be challenging because the present stage in this evolution involves crossing the threshold between the physical and spiritual worlds. When we ask ourselves what this might mean we immediately lose our footing and want to slide down the ladder and feel our feet firmly on the ground.

As this book explains, to understand what it means to be mentally healthy means to understand the true nature of our human being. When we are able to catch a glimpse of this true nature, we become aware of times when we cross a threshold in our consciousness expanding our consciousness beyond our everyday understanding. Crossing the threshold does not mean a change in location, nor does it mean an altered state of consciousness, it simply means that the current boundaries of our awareness are dissolving. Read more…

December 7th, 2014 | Tags: , , , ,
Cornmother

Cornmother

By Mark Haberstroh
A Christmas Special, From Lessons Along The Way, Mark Haberstroh, 2012

Reverie

There ought to be a mathematical relation between every breath we take and an increased measure of gratefulness. Perhaps it can be quantified by writing B²=2G, where G, with few exceptions, is ever greater than B. However, having made the point, the point is thereby missed. No moral perception can or should be quantified, thank Goodness, although we often take the simplest things for granted and miss their moral lessons. From the other side those simple things are our miracles in the everyday. The linearity of logic clears a singular and straight path to the goal, but excludes Life through its passage. This is the sacrifice for freedom. The taproot draws directly the earth’s cool water, yet the root system increasingly differentiates and refines its branching into a smallness so delicate and minute as to approach the invisible. Here life flows through root tips in waves that cannot be touched or measured on a dial. This, the secret place of incipient transformation, is where matter leaves matter behind and so loses itself, leaving an echo that allows the impress of spirit, of receptivity to the divine. The shadow of what was becomes filled with the New. Somewhere a distant trumpet sounds in the depths of worlds, not heard by outer ears but by the devoted heart, marshalling elementals in that first movement of life in rivers of spirit flowing toward physical manifestation. Growth becomes musical experience.

Of like nature are those ever-so-quiet whispers of thoughts into the mind, hardly heard … as if in a dream where the reticent unicorn flees from the periphery of vision. Having barely touched with silver hoof our dream’s soft edge, he leaves us with longing for pure and noble deeds. Those whispers are the shy voices of Angels who await our opening, who await our efforts to raise ourselves into a shared resonance, a crescendo of soul and spirit gliding into more light-filled spaces, born aloft by the breath of a gratefulness that builds wings bearing us to higher things. This might be Grace.

It is a miracle that I can place one foot in front of the other while breathing in the cool night air, lovely Sylphs and all. Their interpenetration can be felt as a gentle shock, yet setting fear aside, the message becomes clear through mutually conscious assent, and in unison we chime, “We are one, yet know we are not. Thank you.” Striding forth in consciousness overcomes the Maya of separateness and aloneness, which is the beneficent darkness that must be endured to know who we are. This welcoming darkness is of the earth, our Mother, and the healing bosom of sleep. We work toward the light of the Father that irradiates and activates … and with the Help of the Son we bind ourselves in freedom, bearing Witness as the three cast their healing shadows in the human soul and through the world, giving us the rose, the honeybee, or a hummingbird as well as Piety, Truth, and Virtue. And along this path of cognitive metamorphosis the soul’s heart becomes inwardly lit, and the dark is not so dark anymore. – Mark Haberstroh

Lessons Along The Way

[http://lessonsalongtheway.weebly.com]

A Safe Haven: Harry S. Truman and the Founding of Israel

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By Allis Radosh and Ronald Radosh
Published by Harper Collins Publishers, New York, NY, 2009 Buy this Book!

The authors, both associated with the City University of New York, Allis as teacher and Ronald a professor emeritus of history, have written a thorough history of the founding of the nation of Israel, from its early beginnings, when during World War I the League of Nations awarded Britain a Mandate over Palestine, to its recognition as a nation by President Harry S. Truman (1884 – 1972) on May 14, 1948. Although expositions of the outstanding contributions of many personalities and organizations are detailed throughout the book, the authors have centered their work around the biography and the role of Harry Truman, revealing that his motives in carrying much of the weight for this achievement were fundamentally, unmistakably humanitarian. The authors add cautionary emphasis in several places, of course, that Truman was also a politician, and faced at times with seemingly unending frustrations, became disgruntled with the Jewish people (see the Truman Wikiquotes referenced below). The Nazi atrocities had been made public through newspaper articles in May and June of 1945, and Truman, who had also seen the harrowing newsreel footage of the concentration camps, said in 1964 to CBS News: “It was a horrible thing. I saw and I dream about it even to this day.”

Truman as vice president became the 33rd president of the United States following the sudden death by stroke of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on April 12, 1945. Truman had been vice president for only a few months, and had been a compromise choice over the alternative candidate, Henry A. Wallace. Roosevelt had kept Truman at arm’s length, out of the loop, and when Roosevelt died, Truman, who had never expected or wished to become president, found himself immediately confronted with the enormous and pressing problems of a nation still at war. Though the decisive, down-to-earth, straight-talking Truman left office with the lowest popularity polls of any American president to date, “eventually the public as well as professional historians would rate him as one of the greatest American presidents… Harry Truman was insecure about many things when he became president, but he was confident he could handle the issue of Palestine in a just way. He did not anticipate the maelstrom he was about to enter.” The task “would consume him from the day he became president to the day he recognized Israel… The story of why he made the decisions and took the actions he did is the subject of our book.”

Because the Introduction and the 428 pages of this book are packed with facts, many of which will either be new or a new point of view for readers, a few stops at Wikipedia along the way will be helpful. For example, the information given by the authors on page 5 regarding the “British Mandate over Palestine” or the “Balfour Declaration” established by the League of Nations, and its later ill-destined amendment called the “White Paper,” are two critical events in the history of Israel that are continuously referred to throughout A Safe Haven. On November 2, 1917, Lord Arthur James Balfour (1848 – 1930) wrote a letter to Lord Rothschild: “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country. I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.” Since Balfour’s consultations with Jewish leaders regarding this decision are noted, these must surely have involved one of Israel’s most outstanding founders, Dr. Chaim Weizmann (1874 – 1952), who later was appointed First President of Israel. Balfour and Weizmann had first met in 1906. David Lloyd George (1863 – 1945) supported the creation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine, but only because it would help secure post-war British control of Palestine, a strategically important buffer to Egypt and the Suez Canal. Palestine was later to serve as a terminus for the flow of Petroleum (Wikipedia). The Mandate was amended in 1939 by the “White Paper.” From page 6 of the book: “In 1939, Britain adopted a White Paper that limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 over a five-year period, to be continued only with the consent of the Arabs, who were unlikely to grant it. Britain also sought to halt the growth of the Yishuv [the Jewish community in Palestine] by limiting land sales to Jews. This meant that at a time when many Jews were trying to escape from Hitler’s clutches, the door to Palestine was closed to them, condemning multitudes to death.”

In May of 1939, Truman, then a senator, wrote remarks in a newspaper article, printed as an appendix in the Congressional Record, to the effect that the British government “has made a scrap of paper out of Lord Balfour’s promise to the Jews, which amounted to nothing less than another addition to the long list of surrenders to the axis powers.” From page 47: “Truman drew on the Bible as a source of knowledge of the history of ancient Palestine. And in the Bible he read of the Jewish people’s longing to return to their ancient homeland and God’s desire for them to do so. His favorite Psalm was number 137: ‘By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.’ ” Truman, like earlier presidents before him, sympathized with the aspirations of Christian Zionism. However, add the authors: “John Adams had supported the idea of the Jews’ returning to Judea as an independent nation, although he thought that they would possibly in time become liberal Unitarian Christians.”

Chapters four through eight detail Truman’s initial call in 1945 for immediate action in relocating an estimated 100,000 Jewish refugees to Palestine, where most of them wanted to go as soon as possible.” But the maelstrom began, caused in large measure by British obstinacy and ultimately resulting in Britain’s request that Palestine be put on the United Nations General Assembly’s agenda for the 1947 fall season. Truman had been galvanized by the Harrison report (Earl G. Harrison was the U.S. commissioner of Immigration) that “the situation at many of the camps… was practically as bad as it was under the Germans,” and considered the suffering of the Jewish concentration camp survivors in particular to be of the “highest humanitarian importance and urgency.” (The refugees in Germany and Austria were the responsibility of the United States.) He did not believe that a Jewish state was “in the cards yet,” but had personally written to Clement Attlee (British Prime Minister, 1945 – 1951) urging action for immediate transport of the Jewish refugees to Palestine. Truman was very disappointed with Attlee’s response and considered it “devoid of all human and moral considerations.” Probably for secretive reasons in the interests of elect groups (the authors hint at such activities on page 140), the British were determined to adhere to the restrictions of the White Paper and would not agree to any amendment of it.

The authors describe the harrowing march of painful and tragic events from April 1946 to May 1948, including the Black Sabbath in Tel Aviv – the Jewish insurgency of June 1946 as a result of the British announcement to undertake major military operations against the Yishuv; the Truman-supported Morrison-Grady Plan calling for partition of Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs; the refusal of the Arabs to cooperate in any way; King Ibn Saud’s (King of Saudi Arabia) publication of the promises given to him in February 1945 by FDR; the British finding themselves behind barbed wire in Palestine; the smuggling of European Jews into Palestine; and finally the British appeal to the United Nations resulting in the establishment of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP), the prelude to a partition that seemed the only solution. Truman, with the assistance, among others, of Chaim Weizmann, James G. McDonald, David K. Niles, Clark Clifford, and Eddie Jacobson (Truman’s good friend from Missouri who also happened to be Jewish), put his seething moral indignation and the full weight of the White House behind what finally became a favorable outcome for Israel: the securing of the majority of United Nations’ votes for the establishment of the new nation.

From Chapter Twelve, A New Country is Born: Truman Recognizes Israel: “The last British official quietly boarded the cruiser Euralysus at Haifa Harbor and slipped out of Palestine.”

Harry S. Truman is highly regarded in Israel today. There has been a commemorative Israeli stamp in his honor. On May 25, 1948, Dr. Chaim Weizmann presented him with a Torah, at which time Truman quipped: “I’ve always wanted one.” “Truman later said it was one of his most prized possessions.” From the legend accompanying another photo: “Eliahu Elath (Epstein), the Jewish Agency’s representative in Washington and later Israel’s first ambassador to the United States, presenting an ark to President Truman, October 26, 1949.”

From Truman Wikiquotes (address below): “I never gave anybody hell. I just told the truth and they think it is hell.” “The Republicans favor a minimum wage – the smaller the minimum the better.” “Whenever you have an efficient government you have a dictatorship.” “The only thing new in the world is the history you don’t know.”

I am Cyrus.” (address below)

[http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Harry-S.-Truman]

[http://www.kavehfarrokh.com/cyrus-the-great/president-harry-s-truman-i-am-cyrus/]

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June 7th, 2014 | Tags: , , , , ,
Proof of Heaven

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By Dr Eben Alexander, M.D. published by Simon and Schuster 2012. Buy this Book!

While this book is an account of Dr Eben Alexander surviving a serious life-threatening illness, it is also a revelation of human consciousness. In the book, we find an account of a neurosurgeon’s experience of the kind of disease he himself has treated during his career. This places him in a most advantageous position to explore why he survived such a fatal illness.

Chapter by chapter the book swings between the family’s account of their experience, and what the doctor was experiencing (as far as he can remember). His account of seeing things and knowing things while out of his body is extraordinary. Whether the things he saw and heard have meaning for us is another matter. Experiencing God or heaven, is a very personal matter. Therefore, Dr Alexander’s experience may fall into the category of phenomena for us. This need not detract from the valuable information contained in this book.

What interests me most is the way this scientist was able to understand consciousness. We would expect a specialist brain doctor to understand the brain. Dr Alexander’s experience showed him that he had little understanding of the brain in relation to consciousness prior to his illness.

He says, “The brain itself doesn’t produce consciousness.” Dr Alexander explains that the brain actually filters our perceptions so that we can manage them. Then he says something that in my experience is a fact, “True thought is pre-physical.” In my own book, which examines human consciousness, (published in 2007) I say, “Our consciousness is expressed using our physical body, primarily our brain. Hippocrates observed that the brain was the messenger of consciousness, not the consciousness itself. So our brain is a tool through which we express our consciousness. The livelier our consciousness is the better its vehicle.” Kristina Kaine, “I Connecting: The Soul’s Quest” These ideas about consciousness come some way towards helping us to experience ourselves as beings of body, soul and spirit.

Dr Alexander’s experience of the will is also extremely interesting. “We are free beings hemmed all around by an environment conspiring to make us feel that we’re not free.” In my understanding, we are at a point in the evolution of humanity where we must work on our will with conscious awareness. Understanding freewill and individuation has reached a critical point in the world today. We hear cries for freedom everywhere. In fact, sometimes it seems that people who are already free are crying for even more freedom. To my way of thinking they are crying for something more and it could be the freedom that Dr Alexander experienced when we was in a coma and near death.

So Dr Alexander’s experience recorded in his book is timely. His conclusions in Chapter Fifteen are inspiring. For a neurosurgeon to write the words, “The brain itself doesn’t produce consciousness.” is quite breathtaking. Dr Alexander explains that the brain actually filters our perceptions so that we can manage them. If we think about this it really makes sense. In this multi-tasking world, we are continually filtering the information that comes towards us so that can manage our daily life. The same could easily be true of information about the spiritual worlds.

This book left me with one hope. Why can’t we be open to ideas that challenge our knowledge instead of dismissing them? Being open to possibilities is the only way to come to the truth. The truth always hides from limited minds. As Dr Alexander says of people who think that they know, “They believe they know the truth without needing to look at the facts.”

It is clear to me that Dr Alexander experienced the human spirit as something different from the human physical body. This is an awareness that I continually strive for. He observes that, “Much of what people have had to say about God and a higher spiritual world has involved bringing them down to our level, rather than elevating our perceptions up theirs.” I applaud Dr Alexander for producing this book; it has given me hope that as a human race we will increasingly experience the truth that we are spiritual beings inhabiting a physical body. – Review by Kristina Kaine.

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