But now let me come to my own senses to focus on sense #9, HEARING, so please, all: Listen up!
We know that a tone, say, of middle C, has a frequency of 256 cps. But we do not hear any vibrations--- the rarefactions and compressions of the air molecules. Rather, we hear a continuous tone. What is crucial here is that, in order to hear this tone, we must eliminate, erase, or transcend the mechanical / vibrational reality of the sound waves.
Now let's go to sense #10, the Sense of LANGUAGE. To get a feel for this sense, recall hearing a foreign language spoken--- one that you do not understand at all. You know it is a language, yet you know that it is also different from hearing tones in music. In fact, in order to hear the individual words, you must eliminate, erase, or transcend the tonal/musical reality of the language. This sense is also called the Sense of WORD.
Moving on to sense #11, the Sense of THOUGHT, or Sense of CONCEPT, consider listening to a language you DO understand. This allows the sense of understanding the concepts expressed by the language to shine through the language itself. Thus, in order to understand the meaning of the words spoken to you, you must eliminate, erase, or transcend the actual words themselves as they are perceived by your LANGUAGE sense.
Finally, we reach Sense #12, the Sense of EGO. But it is important here to note that this is NOT the sense of your own ego--- that sense perception is taken care of by the 4 subjective Body senses, especially TOUCH (#1) and LIFE (#2). This Sense of EGO (#12) is a sense of the ****OTHER PERSON'S**** ego.
And as you would expect from the progression so far, in order to sense another person's ego, you must eliminate, erase or transcend the concepts, the understanding, the meanings of the words spoken to you by that other person.
(What is most amazing to me about this progression is that conversation, called "more precious than gold" in Goethe's fairy tale, starts with mechanical vibrations in the physical air. Yet through a mysterious 4-stage process of elimination, erasure or transcendence, these mechanical vibrations of air somehow allow us to perceive the spiritual essence of another human being--- provided we can allow that Sense #12 to develop.)
But now, what about us who communicate only through this e-mail medium? There's no sound to hear. We do not see each other in person. So how can we develop that sense of Ego, which is the essence and goal of spiritual science, is it not?
Not to worry. Think of Helen Keller. If she could do it, why can't we? She was blind and deaf, yet she certainly developed a sense of language, a sense of thought and even a sense of Ego. And for Helen Keller to develop that highest sense #12, sensing the other person's ego, when she had grown up living entirely in her 6 lower senses (I assume she could smell and taste) --- well, talk about overcoming lower self-absorption! She ought to be our role model, n'est-ce-pas?
Therefore, is she could develop that real individualized Objectivity, then surely we all can. In fact, I might be bold enough to say that Helen Keller's life was entirely falsified by modern science--- until that magic moment came when she first perceived the ego of her teacher, Anne Sullivan.
Now, what does all this have to do with the problems of <anthropos-science>? My experience of this list over the last 3 years is that everyone on this list scrupulously stops short of even acknowledging the existence of sense #12, Sense of Ego. By virtue of the medium itself, we are locked into senses #10, LANGUAGE and #11, THOUGHT. I believe, and so does Charles Tolman and so do many others that it is crucially important for us to develop sense #12, the sense of Ego.
Why? Because I consider the development of this sense to be the _sine qua non_ of any SCIENTIFIC endeavor that may associate itself with anthroposophy. The Sense of Ego is the absolutely necessary but by no means sufficient condition for developing a truly Objective spiritual science (gold), instead of being satisfied with the lower kind of objectivity (brass) supported by falsifiability and the doctrine of Logical Positivism--- which doctrine completely eliminates Sense #12 from its ontology.
Herein lies the rub. If you are a scientist, and you develop the first 11 senses well, but do not develop #12, then your only sense of self is the sense of your own ego. You are then completely subjective, self-absorbed, Narcissistic, egotistical---- even if you are subscribed to this list and know a lot about anthroposophy!
For if we can all develop sense #12 on this list, then we can establish the foundation of true selflessness--- at least enough selflessness to enter the realm of true Objectivity in science. That realm is where the Temple of Anthroposophy may be built in each of our hearts, the Inner Goetheanum that we are all supposed to build individually because the first external one was burned to the ground.
As it stands now, the people who have built up the <anthropos-science> list over the last few years--- all the while scrupulously avoiding Sense #12---have built a sturdy scaffolding for the construction of those Inner Goetheana, but I believe they have to be reminded that, just as the map is not the territory, so is the scaffolding not the temple.
It's time to start falsifying the scaffolding so that we can then start truifying the Temple. As the old geezer with the lamp in Goethe's fairy tale says: "Es geht an die Zeit!"--- usually translated as: "The time is at hand." Well, it is "about time," don't you think, O polychronic ones? However, I think it is also time for me to translate that German statement into my own native New York City vernacular:
"Hey! It's about fucking time, you know! Jesus H. Christ, wake up and smell the Consciousness Soul--- and do it before you have to reincarnate again, you stupid Intellectual Soul schmucks! Kapish?"
Sense #12, anyone? Es geht an die Zeit, nicht wahr?
Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the word help in the
body of the message to get help with leaving, retrieving archive files etc.
Further Pontifications from Father Tom
Return to Steiner98 Home