Welcome back to Higher  Density Living. In this episode, Alexander and Jason discuss the essence of meditation. Rudolf Steiner is well known as a proponent of the ‘Anthropos’—the wisdom of the human being. Steiner’s philosophy seeks to merge the spiritual understanding of humanity with cosmic laws, positioning humans as central to the cosmos’s purpose. This perspective challenges modern materialistic and environmental narratives that view human existence as a problem to be managed rather than an integral part of the cosmic order.

In this regard we are rejoined by special guest, Dr. Eric Cunningham, Ph.D., a Professor of Philosophy at Gonzaga University. His academic background includes a Master’s degree in modern Japanese literature and a Ph.D. in history, both from the University of Oregon. Cunningham specializes in modern Japanese intellectual history and has research interests in Zen Buddhism, Catholicism, psychedelia, and eschatology. He is also the author of “Zen Past and Present” (2011) and is known for his work in combining traditional scholarly research with more esoteric and philosophical subjects.

Rudolf Steiner was an influential thinker whose ideas spanned a wide range of disciplines, including education, agriculture, and the arts. Born in 1861 in what is now Croatia and later moving to Austria, Steiner initially made his mark as a literary scholar and philosopher, particularly noted for his work on Goethe’s scientific writings. However, he is most famously known for developing the spiritual movement known as Anthroposophy, in his book How to Know Higher Worlds: A Modern Path of Initiation which he described as a form of “spiritual science.” Rudolf Steiner’s prolific image and his significant influence during the early 20th century form profound engagement in spiritual discourse of the human experience. Steiner’s perspectives offered an alternative vision to the materialistic tendencies of his time, emphasizing spiritual science and the development of human consciousness.

His concept of Meta History encompasses a pivotal event in 79, where he posits a fundamental battle between angelic hierarchies, notably involving Lucifer and St. Michael the archangel. This event, drawn from ancient mythologies like the book of Genesis, is situated within secular history, marking the descent of fallen spirits to earth. Interestingly, this aligns with a vision Pope Leo XIII had about demons being cast down to hell during a war.

Steiner’s narrative intersects with mainstream religiosity, particularly Catholicism, albeit from a mystical perspective. He contends that the unleashing of demons in 79 ushered in a uniquely strange era, symbolized by the end of the Kali Yuga, a dark age in Hindu cosmology. According to Steiner, humanity has reached its nadir and is now poised for spiritual ascent, returning to unity and evolution.

Steiner’s significance lies in his presence during key historical junctures, such as industrialization and World War I, and his recognition of the transformative shift post-World War I. He perceives the 1920s as a period of profound change, diverging from the ideals of the Enlightenment and Renaissance into a darker, more twisted reality. Steiner serves as a guide for humanity towards spiritual evolution and unity.

This discussion ties into broader historical contexts, particularly World War I, which Steiner perceived not merely as a terrestrial conflict but as a reflection of cosmic battles, drawing upon the hermetic principle “as above, so below.” He viewed these tumultuous times as the manifestation of spiritual warfare, with implications that stretched beyond the immediate horrors of the battlefield. Steiner suggested that the souls of the fallen soldiers participated in larger spiritual struggles, contributing to the ongoing battle between spiritual light and darkness.

Moreover, Steiner academic background in mathematics, physics, and philosophy profoundly influenced his teachings. Educated in Vienna, his engagement with contemporary scientific theories, including relativity and emerging ideas related to quantum theory, allowed him to integrate these concepts with esoteric and spiritual insights. His dissertation on Fichte’s concept of the self, completed in 1891, reflects his deep philosophical grounding, which he later expanded upon in his spiritual teachings.

Steiner’s transition from a purely academic philosopher to a spiritual teacher began around 1899 when he published “The Philosophy of Freedom.” This work marked a pivotal shift towards esotericism and laid the groundwork for his later Anthroposophical work, which seeks to synthesize spiritual knowledge with practical aspects of life, including education, agriculture, and medicine.

The term “festival of knowledge” which was highly influenced by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe laid the groundwork for Steiner’s later academic achievements. These initial forays into literature, written before he even attained his PhD, primarily focused on Goethe’s interplay with science, a theme that continued to resonate throughout his career.

The core of his scholarly work culminated in his dissertation, which later evolved into a book titled “The Philosophy of Freedom.” This piece not only highlights his academic rigor but also showcases his deep dive into the realms of idealism and consciousness, themes that remain pivotal in contemporary philosophical debates. As we discussed previously, current theories of consciousness and idealism, such as those proposed by thinkers like Bernardo Kastrup and Donald Hoffman, often touch upon concepts similar to those he explored. They discuss the notion of a reality predominantly constituted by the mind, a perspective he had already articulated in the late 1800s using a different vocabulary, one that predated the advent of cybernetics.

Interestingly, his exploration wasn’t confined to pure philosophy; it also embraced an emotive dimension, adding a richer, more holistic layer to his theoretical constructs. This emotional infusion was particularly evident during the period you mentioned, where his philosophical inquiries intertwined with a broader, more sentient approach to understanding human cognition and consciousness. This blend of technical philosophy and emotional insight exemplifies the depth of his “festival of knowledge,” bridging the gap between rational thought and human experience.

He described as the crucifixion of Christ, which he termed the “mystery of Golgotha.” He believed this event marked the turning point in cosmic history, signifying not just a theological or historical moment but a deep, transformative personal revelation. This wasn’t a matter of philosophical debate for him; it was a visceral truth, deeply felt and integral to his understanding of reality. It was during this time that he synthesized a high-level logical comprehension of reality with a convicted, inner awareness of these cosmic truths. Unlike many philosophers who might purely engage in academic discourse, he integrated mystic visions and clairvoyance into his scientific and philosophical explorations.

Steiner was not originally a staunch member of the Theosophical Society; he became associated with it through his lectures to German aristocrats and wealthy patrons. His involvement seems to have been a strategic move to promote a formal integration of spirituality into modern life. However, as the society increasingly embraced Eastern philosophies under the influence of figures like Madame Blavatsky, Colonel Olcott, and Annie Besant, Steiner felt a disconnect. He believed that Western traditions were essential for Western people and advocated for a spiritual understanding that respected cultural roots rather than adopting Eastern identities. This belief, coupled with disagreements over promoting Jiddu Krishnamurti as a new messiah—a notion Steiner vehemently opposed—led to his departure from the society.

In addressing accusations of racism against Steiner, it’s crucial to understand his use of the term “root race,” which in his cosmology referred to stages of civilization development, such as Atlantis, rather than ethnicities. Steiner emphasized that race is a secondary characteristic and spoke of the spiritual importance of national and cultural identities in shaping individual destinies. This perspective suggests that while he recognized human diversity, he did not advocate for racial hierarchies.

Indeed, his unique approach led him to play a significant role in the Theosophical Society, becoming the general secretary of its German section in 1920. However, his strong Christian orientation and his focus on Western esoteric traditions eventually caused a rift within the society. His dedication to integrating science, spirituality, and art for the holistic development of humanity prompted him to found his own society.

By understanding the deep connections between our spiritual journey and the universe, we can foster a more holistic and sustainable approach to both personal growth and global challenges.

Discover more about Dr. Eric Cunningham ground breaking work on ancient wisdom by checking more about his latest best-selling book “The Luciferic Verses: The Daodejing and the Chinese Roots of Esoteric History ” and his  “Hallucinating the End of History: Nishida, Zen, And The Psychedelic Eschaton” available online and physical bookstores.

As always, Higher Density Living reserves no dogma because only the truth prevails in the universe. History is judged by enlightened communities, and the Higher Density Living podcast is committed to the same cause. You are the center of the universe. Thank you for joining us on this cosmic journey, and we look forward to sharing more fascinating topics with you in the future. Stay tuned for more episodes where we delve into the profound principles that shape our existence. Remember to like, share, and subscribe for more mind-expanding content! 🚀🌠 #HigherDensityLiving 

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