Warp and woof of a Goethean holistic psychology

warp-woofThe warp and woof of a Goethean science; including, Goethean holistic psychology, was probably visible by 1985 or 1990. My apologies it took us Waldorf weirdos so long to spell this out in more accessible language.

Warp and woof are weaving terms; they indicate the two directions of threads in cloth. When woven together, warp and woof create whole cloth, regardless of the raw material.

Not a precise or rigorous metaphor, “warp and woof” may still clarify a Goethean holistic psychology.

The warp, one major direction-pattern contributing to whole-cloth, is the multiple, stable, logical levels, both physical and non-physical, of brain function.

To grasp the warp of brain function, we have to release the minimalist fantasy that waking brain function is primarily characterized by the triune brain, best characterized for self-healing as reptile brain, flock brain and cognitive brain. That Triune Brain was the primary, leading logical level of brain function was disproved many times by the early 2000s using real-time MRI scanning of live brains thinking and feeling. In use, our physical brain lights up in rather unpredictable ways if you expect it to light up according to the Triune Brain model.

Triune Brain is a valid logical level of brain function AND YET NOT the major, leading, primary logical level of waking brain function.

If one reads enuf Rudolf Steiner, he makes clear the place to look for the major, leading, primary logical level of waking brain function ought to be found in etheric structures of some kind, unknown as of 1925.

To grasp the warp of brain function, we have to release the maximalist fantasy that waking brain function is primarily characterized by electrochemical and/or genetic interactions.

This fantasy fuels Hospital-pharma research and may produce more useful drugs; or at least, create more drugs corporations can promote for sale. However the maximalist fantasy is obfuscation, promoting the endless dark light, Faustian glamour of if only we knew more, had more knowledge, we could understand how our brain works.

The main problem with the maximalist theory of brain function, however conceived, is you can enumerate tens of thousands of electro-chemical-genetic interaction and still fall way short of a convincing picture-explanation of quality thinking, ethical thinking, creative thinking; let alone, Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition.

If one reads Rudolf Steiner and his students, and perceives the quality of their thinking, their efforts make clear intelligence is “where it’s at” nothing less.  Articulating and expanding understanding of intelligence is big.  The theme is also present in Jung and Einstein’s thinking. The quality of thinking in Steiner and his students makes clear the place to look for the major, leading, primary logical level of waking brain function ought to be found in etheric structures of some kind. These structures, quadrants, were uncovered by Bertrand Babinet, the first inkling of the design of the Fractal Psyche, around 1985.

The warp of waking brain function is best-perceived as a convergence of multiple logical levels, perhaps 12, working together, inter-dependently, just like any smart phone appliance or video game console. Some of these logical levels are physical-material, most are in slightly higher frequencies and therefore never showing up in autopsies.

If 12 logical levels inhere in waking brain function, it may make more sense why Michael Talbot was so influential with his book, Holographic Mind (1984, 2013). Our mind is so complex, it requires multiple interfaces, which we see reflected in the visible and hidden interfaces of smart phone and video game console design. Continue reading

Goethean science as a big tent for science and psychology

tent_bigThe idea of a “big tent” in psychology goes like this:  what theory of psychology is sufficiently broad and inclusive so that it could embrace, support, shelter and nurture diverse techniques-methods under a single roof?  A “big tent” is a big idea under which subordinate ideas can gather, identify common ground, find support and engage constructively.

In the 20th century, scores of competing models of the human psyche, each attempted to uncover strong therapeutic direction, what to do with this client in this circumstance.  This intention was healing, even tho many times between models, “the words got in the way.”

Academic psych texts, God bless them, often compounded this problem by comparing and contrasting psychological models.  This emphasized the individuality of each tree in psychology at the cost of a sense of direction and purpose of the whole forest.  This is why Gerald Corey’s Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy, latest edition, is so well-respected.  He minimizes the conflict between facets of the field, emphasizing a synthetic and collaborative approach.

It’s September, 2014 now as I write this.  After 45 minutes of search and reading, Mr. Google has convinced me while the topic of a “big tent” in psychology does indeed exist, the issue is no longer of much interest, addressed mostly in brief remarks to build consensus in opening talks at live, in-person, psychological conferences.

I agree, we do not want to return to the 1850s when primitive ideas about the human psyche, where humans fit compared to animals and how humans were or were not “spiritual” resulted in knock-down, drag-out fights and much heated debate.  Looking back, that seems no more productive than many other unnecessary wars fought by men.

Mr. Google persuades me today the foundation on which a big tent for psychology can be erected—if it can be erected—has nothing to do with psychology per se.  It has to do with science.  In psychology we are, it seems, arguing with very different assumptions about science and physics; let alone, metaphysics.

Mr. Google suggests where most thinkers on big tents in psychology get stuck is in defining science.  They want to define science.  They want one science, with these principles, these values and their definition.  They want a one-pointed science as their big tent in science.  Then they attempt to shoe-horn the human psyche into this mental definition of “science.” Continue reading

Review of Man or Matter: Ernst Lehrs, the Einstein of astral-etheric forces

bk-man-or-matterReview of Man or Matter: Ernst Lehrs, the Einstein of astral-etheric forces

Review of Man or Matter, Understanding of Nature on the Basis of Goethe’s Method of Training Observation and Thought.

This reviews only the most accessible edition of Man or Matter, the one most readers here will have or can get immediately for free. Because of a copy right oversight, the entire first edition of Man of Matter is free online at Gutenberg Project and Books.Google with illustrations here: http://books.google.com/books/about/Man_or_Matter.html?id=33zS4gsDopEC

The 1957 edition revised by Lehrs is of unknown additional value. Please comment below if you own a copy.
The 1985 edition revised and expanded by two other authors is of unknown additional value to this author. Please comment below if you own a copy.  The book image is third edition.

Editions with other years are “fictitious,” mere reprints of the original free 1951 edition.  Don’t pay more than $8.00 for a paper version of the first edition.

I can find no other useful review of Man or Matter. If you have read or have a copy of Owen Barfield’s Review of Man or Matter in Anthroposophy Today 1 (Summer 1986): 86-87, please comment below.

In 25 words or less, Man or Matter is a history of science revised in light of and incorporating astral and etheric forces.

Because it stands alone in revising the history of science in light of the activity of astral and etheric forces, Man or Matter remains one of the deepest books written in the sciences, ever.

Man or Matter is also one of most forgotten of seminal books. Undoubtedly the unfortunately title contributes to this. We focus here on the benefits reading this may have for you. I believe these can be considerable.

Man or Matter stands almost alone for those wishing an operational understand of astral-etheric forces within and external to mankind. The only other works capable of standing next to Man or Matter are his other books and Gunther Wachmuth’s Etheric Formative Forces, which is also free on Scribd.com. Both books are still read and highly regarded by virtually all “fringe” science enthusiasts of every stripe.

Lehrs was a radical holistic thinker whose only easy comparisons are Rudolf Steiner and Goethe. Wikipedia informs us, “Lehrs was a senior teacher at the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart. In 1935, he emigrated to the Netherlands where he participated in a Waldorf school and then later to Britain. In 1952, he returned to Germany and worked as a lecturer at the newly established course in anthroposophical curative education in Eckwälden, where he remained until his death in 1979.”

Lehrs is very aware of how the history of science follows and reflects the evolution of human thinking. For this reason, Man or Matter is largely organized around his responses to the history of science in roughly historical order. Lehrs’ language is geared to junior high and high school students. We are spared useless technical jargon and academic hoo-hahing but we are not spared the immense vista and critical challenge Lehrs offered his students.

Lehrs is acutely aware of the errors, detours and dead ends human thinking has taken on its slow progress a more light-filled and humanistic stance.

In his critique of science history, Lehrs provides a more pointed and imaginative critique than any other history of science I can think of.

Lehrs has nothing less in mind than a reconfiguration of how we view nature, the Cosmos and our own internal process of thinking, feeling and willing.

He takes readers on a journey similar to Lewis Carroll in Alice into Wonderland and to the protagonist in Flatland. In little steps, a wondrous unforeseen landscape is gradually uncovered.

The big picture is how Nature, the external world, and all the forces within it, are created out of gravity and levity. For Lehrs all the other polarities arise out of the primary polarity of gravity~levity. In the world Lehrs describes, gravity~levity are constantly at play and in play. Their meeting is the motive energy behind heat, friction, electricity, magnetism, radiation, you name it. Lehrs does not emphasize how all forces he mention devolve from gravity~levity in the first edition. It may help to keep it in mind if you attempt a read.

Also worth mentioning is the modern idea, perhaps coined after Lehrs’ death, of “strong and weak forces.” I think Lehrs might agree that on Earth, gravity is the stronger force, levity is the naturally weaker force. This is worth bearing in mind as Lehrs allows readers to imagine both gravity and levity as a 50-50 proposition, in the sphere of the Earth. This is clearly not the case in the earthly human experience.

I don’t pretend to understand all of Lehrs’ insights and vision. It’s taken me 25 years to educate myself to the point where I am attempting a second reading.

We also need to keep historical perspective here. What Steiner and Lehrs considered “spiritual” stems from thinking around the year 1900. What was “spiritual” in 1900 was correctly observing, without abstractions, and understanding the workings of astral-etheric forces. This is why Einstein was a big public deal between 1900-1930.

Einstein was a leap forward of insight into invisible forces shaping our world. Lehrs is the Einstein of astral-etheric forces.

Contrast this with what we think is “spiritual” in 2014, addressing and resolving blocks and obstacles to health wealth and happiness; and ultimately, to loving and soul transcendence. Evolution keeps evolving.

A closer view of what Lehrs hopes to convey to readers follows:

Original meaning and value of the earliest alchemy, Original Alchemy

Revised and paraphrased for clarity from CHAPTER XI, “Matter as Part of Nature’s Alphabet” (first edition).

Lehrs clearly sketches the original meaning and value of the earliest alchemy. Earlier humanity received genuine Original Alchemy as a gift. It was intended to preview and provide a way of working with what was coming in human evolution: the development of what we now call the “intellect.”

“Intellect”? The fictional Sherlock Holmes is the epitome of our intellectual capacity complete with its treasures and new vulnerability to loneliness and to multiple addictions.

If you can, try to imagine humanity before the advent of Sherlock Holmes intellect.

At the least you will be able imagine living, life and Nature were much more of one whole.

The precise and rigorous distinctions about the workings of Nature, afforded us by second-order Cartesian-Newtonian science, were absent. For example, it was believed houseflies were born wholly from rotting meat. Superstition was also widespread.

Human evolution on Earth was always destined to progress from this fuzzy thinking to the rigor and precision afforded us by our Sherlock Holmes intellect.

Rudolf Steiner points out over and over again how when a new human capacity becomes publicly operational, other capacities have to fade into the background and fall behind us into history.

Original Alchemy was meant as a means to stay connected with the whole of Nature and not slip one-sidedly into the clutches of only-intellectual-thinking.

The value many students find in Goethe’s scientific ideas lies this direction. Goethe is perhaps the last alchemist, the last thinker of an era to actively attempt to reunite his intellect with the whole of Nature and Her operating principles. Steiner did us the service to preserve and expand upon this impulse.

Lehrs states the gift of the Sherlock Holmes intellect this way: a division was set up in our soul-life which was to give us:

On the one hand, an abstract experience of our own self, divorced from the outer world, the possibility of thinking for our self alone, independent thought.

On the other hand, this “gift” was to give us a mere onlooker’s experience of Nature inside us, and outside us externally. Hence all the difficulty and excuses people have for ignoring their own “child within.”

Original Alchemy was meant to “reign in the modern horses,” a means, method and language to prevent humanity from falling headlong into the clutches of a merely intellectual view of mankind and Nature (man as external matter only, hence the title of Lehrs’ book).

At the least, Original Alchemy was intended to slow humanity’s descent into only thinking based on external matter, based only on second-order-science, divorced from first- and third-order science.

Fans of “even evolution itself is evolving” will grasp how likely it was from the start how overuse and abuse of second-order science was predictable; and, how its excesses pave the way for those few souls who wish to go forward into self-mastery, whole-brainedness and using all three forms of science daily—which we do daily–if unconsciously.

Q: What would have happened if Original Alchemy had become more widespread?

A: The onlooker-consciousness would have been moderated; leading to, the development of an intuitive relationship of the soul with the world of the senses. Natural science experiments and observations would have been recorded IN TANDEM with how the experimenter was growing in self-mastery.

This would have led to appreciation of Nature as both within and without the human being, not just Nature observed at arm’s length and thru instrumentations, observing as an end in itself, apart from personal responsibility, apart from moral and ethical matters.

Original Alchemy intended to inform human beings of astral-etheric functions in two fields, in two frequency levels of Creation:

– the archetypes of astral-etheric substance operating inside us, in individual thinking; and,
– the archetypes of astral-etheric substance operating OUTSIDE us, in Nature, gravity, levity and the lesser archetypal polarities.

Q: When in history was Original Alchemy practiced?

A: I believe Hermes Trismegistus in ancient Egypt was the first on Earth. Language itself was too undeveloped for us today to make sense of these teachings, even with excellent and accurate translations. Hopefully the teachings made more sense back then, to initiates.

I’m no alchemy historian. Readers will be most familiar with alchemy from the period 1200-1500 AD. Lehrs cautions us not to confuse Original Alchemy with pagan-wiccan activities which later paraded under the name of Alchemy. Steiner also point to elements of Rosicrucian thinking as compatible with what we call Original Alchemy here. Lehrs does this with clarity amplified one hundred-fold.

Q: What did a practitioner of Original Alchemy experience?

A: The alchemist who used the concepts sketched in Man or Matter, thought of them first as illuminating the processes of his own inner life, Original Alchemy as a path of healthy self-awareness and healthy self-mastery.

Second he thought of the interaction of these polarities and qualities as illuminating the workings of external organic and weather processes.

Thirdly, as Goethe expresses so well on occasion, he thought of the phenomena of nature in plants, clouds, geology as a “book of Nature” that could be read to illuminate processes that must be occurring in his own inner life because the astral-etheric forces active external and internally were identical.

In this way the Original Alchemist came to gratitude and appreciation for how the external world of Nature reflected and informed him of the internal world of astral-etheric formative forces.

In 2014 we no longer care much for astral-etheric phenomena. The high drama of mental-emotional activity entrances us today: TV, movies, technology.

However prior to WW I, the natural world and its “book” of how astral-etheric forces play out externally in Nature and internally in our thinking, was the subject of poetry, painting and writing for several hundred years.

In other words, prior to 1860, prior to being hypnotized by technology, humanity’s imagination was still learning from and taken with Nature.

The later phases of this, the passing of Nature as a mother to humanity’s imagination into history, is summarized in the art history topic, “the beauty of ruins and the ruins of beauty.” This still interests many today.

Lehrs points to both Goethe and Ruskin as two of the last carriers before the closing of the European mind around the intellect, of some awareness of the union of inner and outer development.

Q: What was the original meaning of the famous substances of alchemy?

A: Lehrs: “When speaking of Salt, he meant the regulated formative activity of his thinking, based on the salt-forming process in his nervous system.

When he spoke of Mercury, he meant the quickly changing emotional life of the soul, the corresponding activities of the rhythmic processes of the body.

Lastly with Sulphur, he meant the will activities of his soul and the corresponding metabolic processes of the body.”

The Original Alchemist wished to increase awareness of these functions within himself. He understood re-establishing harmony between them inside himself was a highway to greater self-mastery of soul-as-choice in the human experience.

He understood harmony had been theirs in the beginning, before human choice erred and disrupted the balance of the three elements. He felt, mankind had deviated from harmony between these elements, over the course of civilizations.

Externally the alchemist hoped to come to an understanding of the counterparts of these elements in Nature, stars and Creation; and, what balance-harmony might be like and what could be done to restore more balance-harmony; or at least, not make things worse.

In older alchemical writings we find written prescriptions for chemical manipulations. Because they resemble chemical formulas, we mistake them for such—then criticize them for their obvious real-world impossibility.

We only read the prescriptions of Original Alchemy correctly when we grasp they are partly or wholly to be read as instructions for certain exercises of the soul, or as advice for the redirection of out-of-balance conditions in the body.

“For instance, if an alchemist gave directions for a certain treatment of Sulphur, Mercury and Salt, with the assertion that by carrying out these directions properly, one would obtain Aurum (gold), he really spoke of a method to direct the thinking, feeling and willing activities of the soul in such a way as to gain true Wisdom.”

Lehrs does not represent basic alchemical concepts primarily for their historical significance. Original Alchemy is meant to remind us a functional conception of nature did once exist. If the language of Original Alchemy is not to the liking of a Sherlock Holmes, that’s just how things go.

The intent of Original Alchemy assumes new significance in a science Rudolf Steiner and some Rosicrucians hoped for, which seeks to develop, from different starting-points, a similar conception. The kind of thinking today which warms up to an evolved Original Alchemy is a forward-looking, not backward-looking, Goethean Science. Also the natural complement in thinking to this radical holistic world-conception is whole-brained thinking.

Health Intuitive Bruce Dickson http://www.healingtoolbox.org supports people with Health Intuitive sessions by phone-Skype. Initial gift sessions on request. He writes on Best Practices in Holistic Self-Healing (15 books) available http://www.amazon.com/Bruce-Dickson-MSS/e/B007SNVG46

Written by Bruce Dickson

The human being lives between gravity and levity, not gravity alone

BABY-SMILE-levityPlants demonstrate BOTH gravity and levity. This especially observable in seeds sprouting n the Earth.

The root shoots downward. Above ground the stems and leaves are drawn skyward.

Given this clear demonstration of TWO equal forces, in the birth of new terrestrial life, why do we think the human being is defined and bound by gravity alone?

We imagine human beings are defined and bound by gravity alone if we look at the human being with only our intellect.

Our intellect, “Man’s Presumptuous Mind,” is ‘gravity mind,’ our ‘death thinking.’

If we do not also view our life thru the wisdom of the heart, there is only “death is the end,” there can be no ‘resurrection thinking’ no Easter.

The human being is not bound by gravity alone.  Only the intellect believes this, perceives this way.  The human being lives BETWEEN gravity and levity.

Secret Life of Plants 117, Goethe section, inspired the above thinking.  Treat yourself to this chapter if you have not read it.  The whole book is online.  For paper copies try your library or AllBookStores.com for best price.

Written by Bruce Dickson

Future of Energy Medicine thru the lens of Goethean Science

abstract-flower-bowl86kFuture of Energy Medicine thru the lens of Goethean Science

Goethean Holistic Science is the “friend” of cell-level-intelligence. Using any method from the Skill Ladder of Energy Medicine Methods, anyone who wishes to, can validate and verify the reality and activity of their own cell-level-intelligence.

Experiencing your own cell-level-intelligence, verifying and validating its reality for your self has a wonderful side effect.

In the mind of the experimenter the reality of your cell-level-intelligence dissolves a major objection of Cartesian-Newtonian scientific materialism; that, subjective energy is unreal and invalid.

This can be a healing revolution, in the domain of individual experimenters.

Once we get comfortable with the limitations of cell-level-intelligence; how, it’s primarily valid only in the domain of one person, the question is no longer, “Is invisible human energy real?” Rather the questions become:

– How will we measure invisible energy?
– What scales will we use?
– Where is my energy flowing optimally?
– Where is my energy flow obstructed?
– How best to safely move and heal my energy flow disturbances?
– What constitutes adequate and sufficient psychic self-protection for working with invisible energy in my self? With clients?

Ultimately we get around to asking:

“What self-development gains do I accrue by experimenting with this method?”

I believe this is a truly Goethean question.

Exploring this way, the difference between Cartesian-Newtonian spectator-onlooker science and Goethean holistic participatory science begins to dawn.

Your comments and sharing this on social media is very valuable to spreading this Good News.

Muscle testing is probably the most widespread practice of Goethean Science worldwide today. The other possibility is use of the internet; specifically, use of internet search engines–if used for self-development of the explorer–is the most widespread practice of Goethean Science worldwide today.

Self-muscle-testing would seem to be the most interesting GS method because of its direct effect on the development of individual users.

Not only that. Self-muscle-testing can be applied directly to questions of personal-spiritual growth.

Even more precisely: Self-muscle-testing can be employed to locate blocks and obstacles to personal growth, as they arise.

This is one reason self-muscle-testing occupies the middle rung of the Skill Ladder of Energy medicine Methods-Techniques-Arts.

The 20 or more methods of self-muscle-testing appear to have unparalleled effectiveness for personal development.

This train of thought leads to how out of date current training methods are for conveying competency in self-muscle-testing, since 1990.

Find an attempt to up-level muscle testing training in two places:

The 15 CCT videos at ttps://www.youtube.com/channel/UCV_fRTd-Cz5J85uz5WXhx0g/videos?view=0

The forthcoming book: Muscle Testing as Spiritual Exercise, Building a Bridge to Your Body’s Wisdom
– Muscle-Testing Redesigned for ‘God is my Partner’
– How to tune into the “bigger you”
– Making healthier choices is for everyone

Written by Bruce Dickson