Posts Tagged ‘freedom’

John 5

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

My Father works until now — and I too work. (John 5: 17)

Everything we do builds on the past. Our bodies are the products of our heritage, and of age-long evolution; our memories and the capabilities we have learned earlier in life serve us; even our thinking rests on patterns of thought we have grown accustomed to.

This is why statistical predictions are so depressingly accurate. If you move the waste-bin by the entrance to the station concourse, the flow of people will adjust. When the manager decides to put strawberries instead of raspberries on the end of the aisle, sales will go up.

Then there are the things that cannot be predicted. Where does inspiration come from, that helps me to think anew about a knotty problem? What makes me decide to take my loved one a present for no reason at all (assuming it wasn’t on the end of the supermarket aisle!) What makes me give my time to a project no-one will hear about, but which mattersĀ to me?

This could be what is meant by the working of the Father being joined by the working of the Son. Deterministic pictures of scientific evolution share with some dogmatic religious pictures the idea that there is no free will. Then Christ only continues the work of the Father, and everything continues on the track that the Father has set for it. The context for this statement is the complaint made by the Jewish authorities that Jesus has healed a man on the Sabbath day. Of course, the bequest of creation does not stop because it’s Sabbath. However, in the hiatus of the memorial of the first creation, Christ proclaims a new creation — “I too work”. We can experience a faint echo of this whenever we find the power within us to do something new and unpredictable. An audit of the day will show that there usually are not many such moments. Such an audit may also stimulate the desire to bring a few more into the day.

two extremes

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

We can be in rebellion against reality, in which case we may take refuge in fantasies of omnipotence. Or we can decide to be victims of reality — in which case we will fantasise that we are powerless.

Both are distractions and maybe refuges from the painful reality that I and only I am responsible for my experience of reality. The only question that is of interest is what in my here and now do I want to do?

Quotation on Freedom

Tuesday, February 8th, 2011

[The words of the Guardian of the threshold]

Yet my Threshold is fashioned out of all the timidity that remains in thee, out of all the dread of the strength needed to take full responsibility for all thy thoughts and actions. As long as there remains in thee a trace of fear of becoming thyself the guide of thine own destiny, just so long will this Threshold lack what still remains to be built into it. And as long as a single stone is found missing, just so long must thou remain standing as though transfixed; or else stumble. Seek not, then, to cross this Threshold until thou dost feel thyself entirely free from fear and ready for the highest responsibility.

From Knowledge of Higher Worlds, The Guardian of the Threshold

I am amazed how clearly Steiner sees the Guardian being connected to our freedom. I am reminded of Bruce Irvine speaking of our profound longing to find something outside of us that is responsible for our experiencing reality as we do; and of the terrifying liberation that comes when we realise that we ourselves are responsible for our experience.