Turning Points
Being Human article December 2023




Turning points are inevitable in the progress of our collective human development. Sometimes these turning points are guided by initiates who can perceive the needs of the future. At the Christmas Conference, we are shown a turning point that is needed for the future growth and development of anthroposophy in the world. Other turning points come through the decline or dying of predominating systems whose relentless efforts towards continuing their domination proves their inability to create a new future. All of what the dying systems impose upon the collective induces further decline, and we saw this old system reveal its inability to create the future Good for all through the divisive and authoritarian Covid response.

As the old systems of governance are surpassed in our collective development, the greater effort towards the centralization of power is being witnessed as the threat to the very change that is needed. The capacities of intellectual thinking will be and are being made manifest outside of ourselves in the various forms of artificial intelligence. As this happens, we know that the so-called pinnacle of our civilization, the capacity to “intelligently” comprehend the world, is being surpassed for a reason. The great machine of bureaucracy that promises change but repeats the same fundamental narrative is being observed by the people. Out of itself, the system does not perceive problems but rather problematic people who do not fit into “Rome’s agenda” of the centralization of power.

We are faced, both individually and collectively, with the imperative need to extend beyond the content of intellectual thinking as a dominant leading force in our lives. Progress is being made towards understanding consciousness. Many want to understand the consciousness they are awakening to by means of the capacity of thinking, but the multitude of systems currently being utilized—systems that aim to produce power over others and self-gain for the few—lead us further away from spiritual understanding, or at least away from a future benefitting the collective Good, which, in contrast, the initiation path leads us towards.

During Covid, we had a chance to see how the “head system” functions in its best and worst ways. And although we could see many points of view and battle our way towards figuring out how we can head up the situation differently in light of all we have learned through the mistakes, still we fundamentally had to realize that the system itself is not working. . . . Why is this “head system” no longer capable of being the sole leader for the spiritual future of the world? As the collective rebels against the dying system’s past deeds, it may well turn more attention to the dead forms in anthroposophy, and the Anthroposophical Movement’s survival will therefore be challenged all the more.

The nature of the head has for so long been the most productive method. As a director and administrator, the head system is still a useful tool; but as a life-giving organ, it no longer leads. It preserves and re-imagines the past into the future, and this will always be a useful function. But for new life—something that is not a re-imagining of the past but a new life coming into being—the heart is needed. At the great Turning Point of Time at the Mystery of Golgotha, the Being of Love was crucified for this new spiritual future for all of humanity. At the Christmas Conference, we were shown how the movement from head to heart is now necessary. The change of the distribution of leadership into the hearts of all is echoed in the last verse of the Foundation Stone Meditation:

Divine Light,
Christ Sun!
Warm Thou
Our Hearts,
Enlighten Thou
Our Heads,
That Good may become
What from our Hearts we would found And from our Heads direc
With single purpose.

The heart of the human being is central to all that will come to life, all that will come into being in the whole living organism of the body. Its relationship to the periphery through the blood is not a one-way system. All that lives in the periphery comes back to the center—not for the benefit of the center, but for the sake of what the center can offer the periphery through the returning blood.

The heart as a sense organ knows, through the blood’s movements from far and wide, what is needed for the harmony of what is perceived as separate parts yet united as a single whole through the life-blood. Its role is not like the head, which appears as an instrument of seeing and re-seeing over and over again what has been—of perceiving and re-imagining what is perceived in a new way in order to envision, in the next movement of time, the next way to maintain itself. Although this is a necessary and needed capacity, it is not capable of the new that the heart of life can bring and that the future stands in need of. The heart of the soul is more a faculty of hearing far and wide what is speaking and who is speaking so that it may unite the periphery with another aspect of the periphery, the part with another part. It is not pumping; it is receiving and giving through endless circulation of the blood.

The heart beats only in order to hear from beyond its own walls. It has to beat, as its need is to hear beyond itself. The heartbeat is found at the center and just as well at the periphery. It is hearing from the furthest reaches of the whole being. Hearing is its perceptive capacity; this sense is known as the most spiritual of all the earthly senses. Hearing beyond itself is the beginning of the heart’s awakening.

In hearing the periphery, it cognizes needs and receives knowledge from the most distant parts of the whole. The heart learns to speak from hearing and the wider its hearing scope, the more what it speaks carries outward. If the centers of anthroposophy are not hear- ing the whole movement, then perhaps it’s not yet a fully functioning heart.

The hearing heart speaks in quite different ways than the head. The heart does not want to impose itself upon the other, like the ego etching itself upon the world or the other on account of its platform or position. The ego may do this in order to know that it exists and can grow in the knowledge of its own existence. However, the heart speaks what all who can hear hope to speak…

How different is the heart’s speech. It is not seek- ing to re-imagine what has already been imagined. The head may do this and thereby convey the truth it per- ceives in today’s thoughts and language. But the heart wants to add to this speech not a re-imagined picture, but words that inspire our souls through love. In order to bring the being of love through words, it seeks to love the other while we develop towards the future. The heart’s speech does not wound or create debt. It is not prideful or self-serving or self-preserving, but it seeks to serve the other’s growth and development. And yet, as it is itself the center, its service is not in contradiction to its own nature. The needs of the self and of the community are one.

The greatest gift awakened on the path of thinking is the perception of the higher ‘I’ or second self. This second self begins to be present to our awareness in the objective ability to look upon ourselves, to be a witness or observer of our everyday self. This “witness” self is perceived by us in the space of thinking where the content of our thoughts is quietened or extinguished altogether. The greater our ability to do this, the stronger the onlooker is perceived. This higher ‘I’ is now available, in its beginning perceptions, to very many in today’s world. Look around and it is obvious that it’s now here in the collective as a common capacity. In a sense, this fortunate initiation process that was previously available only to the chosen few is now available to the many. All that is needed is that each utilize the thinking capacity, not the thought content that is offered as part of living life in our age. It is possible to witness this awakening throughout the world. We hear it sounding from well-known comedians, from corporate CEOs, from tech geniuses in Silicon Valley, and from everyday encounters; very many people are aware of the consciousness that exists at the boundary of, and goes beyond, the content of thinking.

This was bound to be our next step: that we should grow into this consciousness of self and be in the pres- ence of the second self; and yet, we are still unable to reform the systems of power that dominate over others. Still, even in the “awake ones” there are ideas that in- volve seeking power in one or another place or position of leadership. It is so because it is so in each of us. The path towards the awakened ‘I’ will lead us into the free spirit within, but we are taught by the Mysteries to take heed of the strength of ‘I’ that must increase in order to maintain itself in the other realms. Strength of ‘I’ is on the increase as the power of the capacity for presence is increasing. The protective inner guide is seeking the being of love. But this is not apparent in the solutions that those who are generally seen as “awake” offer us! How will this understanding come to the many as we step towards the future?

Will anthroposophy continue to promote the path of mere head-oriented thinking as the singular way, when the results of this thinking are already dominating the mainstream quality of awareness?

What is yet to develop but is in need of our initiation is the awakening of the Heart Mysteries as the new center of initiation within each human being. It is of course essential and it is taught in genuine schooling that the first stage of initiation, the awakening of the “I am” consciousness, occurs first. That is the necessary step to guard against loss of sovereignty and to know that the love which is being developed on the path is in alignment with freedom and leading to spiritual progress and not mixed with the desires that bind us to greater egotism. Even then, as we are guided to this sovereign presence within ourselves, we are warned that moral development must go hand in hand with this first awakening.

Why is it that this onlooker consciousness—full of presence and able to perceive errors—can, upon encountering the pain of others, simply look on, remaining un- moved and not stirred to action? We can remember from the inner schooling that we perceive the world differently from the point of view of the spirit. The spiritual view is a necessity for spiritual development, but it can be a source of harm for social development if it does not include love. If the heart does not awaken, then the spiritual insights we may gain will have little to do with the needs of the wider community. It is the spirit of the heart that perceives the needs of humanity.

However, if the sovereign spirit does not awaken first, then the heart will fail to function, as intended, as a bridge between the heavens and the earth. Instead, it will bring about utopian or fantastical ideals and great proclamations of universal love that do not stay in touch with the living needs and reality of all or with the step by step progress of our collective journey. But we do need to stay in touch with the living needs of all. This appears all the more pressing in our age, and we are being shown that we cannot act for ourselves alone. How can we proceed if we do not awaken the heart center and begin to learn all about the true being of love and its ways?

Anthroposophy has given so much to all who have found it living within themselves. I often wonder: Who would I be if this great body of knowledge were not made available to my path? It is because of this deep appreciation that I, along with many others, want to see it stay alive in the world. We want more people to find this extraordinary gift. I often say: If you have found anthroposophy, you will be fine. We may be lazy, but if we just keep studying and inwardly working, we will be just fine. Life will unfold differently because you will be different.

I, like so many, have found my own way with the body of knowledge offered as anthroposophy; and yet, through this inner path of awakening, I have been shown the way towards the heart as the new Mystery center. This has not happened through the welcoming soul-sun of the Society. I have not found these Heart Mysteries established there. The Society continues the Head Mys- teries to hold up the dome of the temple, but the pillars are still left for Rudolf Steiner to bear upon his shoulders. I, like so many, have been on the periphery and we have not been welcomed or embraced as genuine seekers. If it were not for our own inner work and commitment to anthroposophy, we may not have been able to withstand the criticisms and accusations coming from many in central positions in our movement.

I don’t know if our movement will embrace the Heart Mysteries even with all the warnings and knowledge that tell us that without love, spiritual science could become harmful. We are seeing this today; the leaders of our collective future in Silicon Valley are proving this. Many are somewhat awake, they meditate daily, they know that the power of thinking leads to a greater con- sciousness of self. Do we not see that the world now knows the first steps to the second self and that, if we are to light the way to the next steps, it is not enough to offer this path of thinking alone? The Heart Mysteries are needed, and all that belongs to the heart can guide us in how to work into the future. The Turning Point has been offered within the anthroposophical world three times: by the great spiritual event of Golgotha revealed in the Mysteries through the work of Rudolf Steiner, by the living soul-sacrifice of Rudolf Steiner at the Christmas Conference, and recently by the dying system’s response to Covid, the crises presently upon us, and the crises yet to come.

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