S.S.R.Year 0  nr.1
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Spiritual Science Review

By Bruno Abrami & Mark Willan / http://space.tin.it/scienza/babrami

Year 0 Issue 1 December 1999

Contents:

Why Spiritual Science.

For Beginners: Sense World and the Super-Sensible.

It is a Matter of Approach.

Thinking Concentration.

Meditation.

The Threshold of the Spirit World.

 

 

Translator’s Certificate

I, the undersigned, Mark Nazzari di Calabiana WILLAN, translator of these texts into English do hereby certify that the translation I have made is a true and faithful rendition of the content of the orginal texts.

I am further in a position to assure the reader, that whilst I have not drafted these texts myself, that every word they contain has been borne out in actual fact in the course of my life, over the last twenty-five yeasr of personal research into the spirit worlds.

During that time, I have been in contact with Bruno Abrami, despite thousands of miles of distance, and have been able to indepednantly verify the accuracy of the observations contained in these texts.

This has been carried out both on my own, and with other groups of individuals with whom I have co-operated mainly in England, France, and Italy, and irregularly with others in Germany, Switzerland and Russia.

 

Why Spiritual Science.

Bruno Abrami

For thirty years the author has trodden several paths of spirit knowledge which are accessible to our culture, or at least all those in which he has been able to note a certain affinity with his won being. He has additionally monitored similar research carried out by friends and acquaintances trying constantly to understand and find the general rules that were demonstrated in experience. This position which initially was very "homely" gradually developed into a truly scientific method applied to the research into spirit realities.

He owes much to those who have been along this path before him, who have indicated it and prepared it before him. To these Masters of thinking and the spirit, with whom he is currently in relations of friendship and co-operation goes all his gratitude, love and friendship:

Mimma Benvenuti, a Roman, and powerful indicator of the impersonality of the Higher I and of its infinite potential for love and to make fertile - in freedom - other people’s spirit faculties.

Giovanni Blason, from Trieste, an impassioned propounder of Spiritual Science and inexhaustible fighter against its deformation or deviations. A painter- seer and friend ever ready to give, support and encourage.

Massimo Scaligero, a Roman, and codifier of the method of the path of thinking, inexhaustible indicator of the potential for spiritual development which lies in the human couple. A steadfast friend, ever ready to take you by the hand and lead you, at the times of deep crisis of existence, in those Spirit Lands where, as Homer sang:

Winds never shake
Nor the rain never wets
Nor ever does the snow encumber
But a clear serene sky pervades
Offended by no clouds
And a living pure light
Surrounds everything, In which
The Gods live happy
Forever blessed.

Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian, the Initiator. Founder of Spirit Science, luminous joiner of the wisdom of the east and West. A person who by his presence alone, in non-time, shows you your state as "fallen" man, your original dimensions and the real possibility - if you only want to and are prepared to apply yourself - of your spirit victory.

The writer of these lines also owes a great deal to other friends he has not listed, but by whom he has been helped, has learned virtues unknown to him, and has received countless hints for research.

Spiritual science applied the methods of experimental sciences to the spheres of the elements, of the soul and of spiritual existence and to that of the human I, with the single difference that the tool for investigations is man itself. How this is possible and using what disciplines, will be the subject both of the articles that we shall publish from time to time, and of the bibliography, which we will point to in due course.

For the time being, it should be enough to mention the fact that, in the author’s experience, the results of spiritual science are such that they configure themselves to form the conquest of those goals to which, in the depths of their being, every man and woman aspire if they are modern enough to see their inner freedom as their most precious asset.

Spiritual science is not a religion, nor should it be thought of as something which wants to replace religions, but it can nevertheless offer religious men and women the components for living the contents of their respective religions more consciously and to greater effect.

The contents and results of spiritual science have practical value, and refer to the relationships which the human I can have with itself and with the physical, elementary, soul and spiritual spheres of existence. They can be achieved - only - through individual inner work. Inner strength, clarity and great courage are required.

Strength, because a large part of what lives in us is opposed to the birth of our self: a struggle is necessary from the very first steps, and it is an inner war.

Clarity, because we always need to be able to distinguish between those thoughts which have objective scientific foundation and those which are suggested by our pride, by our passivity, by our will to delude ourselves and by our fear.

Courage, because in the stages where we realise the contents of spiritual science we meet beings which we believed belonged to the realms of mythology or the popular imagination, but which in spiritual realms, where the human I becomes aware of itself and wants to guide itself in accordance with its own outer being, these are indeed real and powerful in their challenging the human I for the mastery of itself and for the right to guide the outer being.

In these pages the writer has no intention of starting controversy with anyone who believes that it simple madness or the greatest non-science to consider the spiritual as a component of reality, nor does he wish to challenge various interpretations of the spiritual. Anyone who is convinced of something and wishes to maintain any conviction does so for reasons which have nothing scientific about them, whether they be psychological or a matter of character, and by doing so places him or her self outside the field of free experimentation. Free experimentation is the pre-condition for every scientific conquest.

From these pages, the author shall turn to those persons, who, having experienced the inanity of sciences and doctrines when faced with the issue of the human I, that is of what they are in their own deeper nature, wish to try another path in complete honesty and sincerity, based only on themselves, without conceding or challenging the modes or models which do not derive from the clear and autonomous elaboration of self- or world-experience made in complete awareness.

  

Minimum Recommended Bibliography:

1.    Wolfgang v. Goethe. From "Knowledge of Nature". Experiment as the Relation between Subject and Object.

2.    Rudolf Steiner. The Philosophy of Freedom (aka the Philosophy of Spiritual Activity)

3.    Massimo Scaligero. Logic Versus Man

4.    Massimo Scaligero. Techniques of Inner Concentration

5.    Rudolf Steiner. Initiation (aka Knowledge of Higher Worlds and How to Obtain it)

6.    Rudolf Steiner. Occult Science

  

For Beginners: Sense-world and the Super-sensible

Part I

We continuously live in the super-sensible, since it is in this world which we, unconsciously, have our highest value. We do not know this because we do not have a culture that is able to give a correct name to the things we experience. The author refers anyone who wants a historical and phenomenology treatment of this subject - to the works by R. Steiner and M. Scaligero in which this topic can be found dealt with under various points of view. The author believes it is pointless to repeat what others have already said.

There are some very simple observations, which anyone can make for themselves, and which lead to the start of the path of knowledge which leads one to stating what has just been said. The most simple and repeatable ones start with the observation of our life of thought.

Experiment N°1.- Sit down comfortably and evoke before your inner vision the image of something very heavy; for example a car or a hammer. Already by placing ourselves in this position we can make the most elementary observations: one can ask oneself what is the nature of the object - the image which we are observing and what is the organ of perception we are using to see it.

The following observations can be made about the nature of the object:

a.   It has a sensory - material aspect and form, but:

b.   It is not subject to gravity, it does not fall unless we imagine it falling; it is only subject to the force of our will and imagination, which can besides change its form and colour;

c.    It is not subject to the laws of non-penetrability of bodies: we can easily imagine two cars, one within the other, or two hammers which occupy the same volume in space.

Conclusion: the object observed is not made of molecules and atoms; it presents itself unmistakably as something with a sensory - material appearance but it does not belong to the dominion of matter.

On the nature of the organ of perception, the following observations can be made:

a.   That it is as obvious an organ of perception to our self-perception (animadversio) as it is unknown to the natural sciences,

b.   Its location corresponds to the pituitary gland, between the eyebrows and the centre of the head,

c.    It is an organ of perception that has to take part in the production of what it sees.

Natural sciences only exist thanks to this organ of perception. Without this organ, they could not exist, simply because without this organ we would not be able to see thinking relationships.

Conclusions: we have available to us an inner organ which is not catalogued by the natural sciences as such, which organ is able to see realities which demonstrate no material nature.

In order to find a name for this kind of organ we have to go far back in the history of humanity up to the Veda culture and to Yoga. In those cultures in addition to the sense organs turned towards the material world, organs turned towards the spirit realities were acknowledged.

These organs were called "chakram" or "lotus flowers" and in this specific location, the presence of a chakra called " ajña chakra" or - surprise, surprise - the knowledge chakra. Such chakram or super-sensible organs of perception were not acknowledged as being immediately usable for spiritual work, but special disciplines had to be undergone with the intention of making them active.

 

It should be said, that by quoting this, the author has no intention of referring to those practises or to those paths of knowledge, but simply to point out that the knowledge of the existence of organs of perception which add to the experience of life supplied by the physical senses alone forms part of the cultural heritage of mankind.

The soul -spirit constitution of modern Western man is fundamentally different from that of Vedic man. So different that the practise of those disciplines offers, for the psychophysical balance of modern Western man, more contra-indications and dangers than advantages.

It should further be said that what we experience in experiment N°1 is not immediately recognisable as the ajña chakra but should rather be seen as a king of ante-chamber to it. If you wish to develop the ajña chakra, in a way that is free from danger and suitable for modern man, you will find the required indications in the book "Initiation" by R. Steiner which has already been referred to at the end of the first article.

   

It is a Matter of Approach

Part I

We picture the world to ourselves in thoughts, and the thoughts we think are the form of our conscious actions, but we are not the masters of our world of thought. In order to develop the ability to enter consciously into the higher worlds of existence, and therefore to be able to observe them, we must first of all become the masters of our own thinking.

We are not masters of our own world of thinking if we have a relationship of dependence with that world of thinking, or if we prefer one explanation of things to another. Scientific education teaches us to look for, in each phenomenon observed, that explanation which best fits the facts, whether we like it or not. Whoever is not disposed to discipline thinking in this way will go up against grave dangers when starting any path of spiritual self-realisation.

In our relations with the physically perceptible world we are helped by the nature of those facts themselves: we cannot by our will, influence the fall of an object by making it, for example "fall" upwards; or make a car go without fuel. The physically perceptible world educates our thinking based on rigour and impersonality, into a thinking that develops based on the contents of things and not based on our desires, hopes and fears.

This help disappears, as soon as we shift our field of observation from the physically perceptible world to our inner world. In some way the "objects" of our inner nature present themselves woven into thoughts in which the cohesive logic of those contents (the I of those thoughts) is in fact our desires, our hopes and our fears.

The problem arises from the fact that the organs we use for observing our inner world are not only organs of perception but also of volition and that before we can use them for spiritual research we must become aware of the will component of those organs and subject it to the discipline of impersonality.

In order to start a spirit discipline which takes us without danger for our soul and with full awareness and consciousness into the dominions of the soul and spirit, it is necessary at first and for a long time to observe our thinking, treating them like objects in space, distinguishing in ourselves those thoughts which are the expression of our subjectivity from those which on the other hand we acknowledge to be the expression of a reality independent of ourselves.

The fact that we usually live painfully those realities which manifest as independent of our desires, fears and hopes clearly indicates where the large obstacle lies which is to be overcome by anyone who wants to start on the path of spiritual science: it is necessary to develop the power to eliminate oneself in the moments of knowledge. This does not mean that one should no longer enjoy life, but that in the moments where spirit knowledge is formed, one must be able to "switch off" one’s own psychological nature and become a pure organ of perception.

The very attitude alone of becoming the observers of one’s own world of thinking can lead far, but in order to be able to world as an instrument of development, it must be backed up by a precise moral attitude: that of truly wanting to sacrifice oneself, or better our own psychological nature, choosing to bring into the world as action only those thoughts which belong to the world’s objective reality. One must give up acting on the basis of thoughts, which have been shown to originate in our desires, hopes and fears. This attitude is a very fertile ground for the process of self-knowledge a (cognitio sui ipsius) which makes up the load-bearing structure for our progress towards a real and conscious experience of spirituality.

 

Thinking Concentration

Part I

The scientific conception of the world that arises from the thinking activity of the human spirit, does not know anything about the engine of its existence: thinking. It does not know what it comes from and like a kind of Oedipus it wants to kill its father - thinking - by assigning to it a "non existence" connected with the secretion of - supposed - appropriate cells. And if Oedipus punished himself by depriving himself of sight, materialist-scientific thinking by denying its own pre-cerebral reality blinds itself to spirit reality.

However, thinking also exists when, not knowing anything about itself, it denies its own existence. Indeed, it lives in the very act of making the denial of its own moment of reality true. The technique of thinking concentration wants to take the human subject to experience the objective reality of thinking outside the physical organism within which it is naturally experienced, and beyond the concepts and ideas through which thinking expresses itself.

The experience that arises from the mastery of the process of concentration leads to acknowledging the full evidence of the nature of inanimate reflection in the thought that we use normally to assign meaning to the world. The technique of concentration, suitable for modern man, has been codified by Massimo Scaligero (see "Logic Versus Man" or "Techniques of Inner Concentration" referred to at the start). It consists of placing before one’s own conscious attention a thought image relating to a very simple man-made product (like a match, a pin, a button, etc.), describing accurately to oneself the appearance and use of the object until on produces a kind of summary image of the object.

Once we have achieved a summary image we must keep it before our attention for at least five minutes, taking care to see nothing but it. An interruption of attention, when for example we remember we have to pay a bill, or when the good-looking boy or girl we saw at the bus stop comes into our mind; it makes the exercise pointless.

The exercise of concentration has several goals that can be realised gradually, even if the sequence of realisations does not necessarily have to follow the order indicated in summary from below:

a.   The first is developing the inner force needed to keep our attention still on what we have chosen,

b.  The second is arriving at the conscious perception of concepts, that is of concepts as objects experienced,

c.   The third is arriving at the experience - perception of the power from which the links between concepts and pure thinking arise,

d.  The fourth is achieving the experience of living thought or the thought which grasps itself before any determination, and which has within itself the power of its own actuation.

Repeating the fact that the above is only a rough outline, one can nevertheless say that the realisation of each of the stages stated corresponds to a precise transformation of the experience which we ourselves have in our own inner world. Such transformations are allowed for in spiritual science and are identical for everyone who follows this path.

 

Meditation

Part I

Concentration is important because if its process is not mastered at least as far as sense-free thinking, there can be no meditation that works, or better there is no meditation which can be carried out without danger for one’s own inner balance. Not having liberated thinking available, no matter what meditation it is, it will be, in the best of cases, a pure waste of time.

In the worst cases, that is when meditation gives "results", in the sense that in its course changes are experienced in the normal soul - spiritual position, we will then witness, outside the meditation, the breakdown of the personal balance due to the appearance of obsessive forms, uncontrollable feelings of fear, and a disproportionate dynamisation of feelings and instincts.

These pathological alterations may appear also in subjects who have never practised any inner techniques during the current life. In these cases they can be seen as the result of the gradual development of the power of the human I. This development of the power of the human I has been foreseen by spiritual science, and has been brought about by natural spiritual development guided by Spiritual hierarchies. Healing comes by finding the autonomous power of the I with respect to the psychophysical body, which is the end result of the technique of concentration.

The human I is a spirit being and it lives in a spiritual world, even if it does not know it. The birth of its power corresponds to the possibility of unconsciously perceiving spiritual realities (which can be helpful or hindering) which spirit realities have the feature of being alive. The I experiences within itself something which it does not know how to think, and much less master (reflected thought is impotent even when faced with simple manifestations of character) and identifies with it and makes itself act. Healing goes through the human I becoming the actor in accordance with itself… but precisely here the work of concentration and meditation are required.

Once the process of concentration has been mastered the path of meditation can be undertaken. By this I do not wish to say that before then some meditational approach should not be attempted, but at least in the initial stage, the concentration - meditation ratio should be about 7 to 1.

In its most common use meditating is the soul-spiritual equivalent of living in the physical world: one is born, one dies, one meets, one loves, one reproduces, one learns, one works, one works, one invents, one earns and loses, one has fun and one despairs. Whoever meditates has a twin citizenship: he lives in the physical world, in the way of the physical world, and at the same time he lives in a soul-spirit world, in the ways of such worlds.

One can begin to become familiar with meditation, by taking a motto, or a phrase from one of the great teachers of humanity and concentrating on it by excluding all else from one’s own conscious attention: sense perceptions, memories, thoughts, etc. Like what you do when you try and understand any law of geometry or the development of a mathematical content, with the sole difference that in the second case thoughts are sought out which have a descriptive-quantitative function for what is experienced in the physically perceptible world, and in the former on the other hand ideas taken from the expression or observation of the super-sensible worlds are dealt with.

Let us take for example, the following sentence from Laertius Diogenes:

The boundaries of your soul, on your travels,
You will never discover them,
Even if you go down all the roads:
That is how deep the Logos (expression) is
Which manifests through it.

This should be learnt by heart, and then one should sit down comfortably, and try and exclude sense interference as much as possible, and it should be pronounced, out loud or inwardly, as best you think, allowing it to echo through our inner world, evoked from the living wording as intensely and for as long as possible. The extract can be repeated several times.

The living content of the phrase is what is immediately felt, or better, this is so, on condition that one has sense-free thinking available or some karmic qualifications. A person who has not developed the faculty of sense-free thinking and who lacks the karmic qualifications on meditating this sentence could feel a great unease, or even outright fear, so much so as to say to him or her-self: "I really do not want to face a path which leads I know not where, and I prefer to remain amongst things I know, within the world I see with the senses". And with this a promising spiritual career (promising because the subject is indeed able to perceive spiritual reality) is cut short at birth for the lack of tools (liberated thinking).

 

The Threshold of the Spirit World

Part I

When we speak of the "threshold of the spirit world" we are indicating a place which is not present within space, but which is instead present in the inner world of every man and every woman. It is a place unknown and unexperienced by the sense-bound intellect, but which is nevertheless real. We find ourselves before a kind of darkness which some may feel is alive with disturbing presences, and driven by the fear of those presences her or she may state that that world does not exist, but it is fear alone that speaks.

In order to consciously pas over the threshold we must be masters of the technique of sense-free thinking. It is precisely in that place that the degree of liberation actually realised in thought can be verified: a thinking which is conscious of itself, which keeps all its power to understand even when faced with objects of perception which have never before been encountered.

However, even in this way the experience is not exactly free of pain because this is a living process in which all our being is drawn in, that is to say our real being. Before the sense world we can put on show what we seem to be, or what we want our being to appear to be, even in good faith, through the lack of knowledge of ourselves, and at worst we run the risk of derision or humiliation. Faced with the threshold the first spirit perception we have is of our own real being: it is never a pleasant event.

This painful experience is nevertheless necessary because it tells us: "look you do not have suitable tools", it shows us what we have to change in ourselves before we can access the knowledge of higher worlds.

If we search out in our Western culture a reference to an event of this kind, we find it in Dante’s Divine Comedy, where he describes an other-worldly journey as a true Bard - Poet: he who sings of the invisible:

In the midst of the path of our life
I found myself in a dark wood
Where the straight path was lost

As Dr Steiner was the first to point out, ancient writers, who belonged to ages before the coming of the conscious soul, in their accounts passed "inavvertita altera parte" (unawares to the other side), from the sense world to the soul-spiritual world, because their inner constitution was such that they could not clearly distinguish between the two spheres. Naturally Dante speaks an imaginative, non-conceptual language which was furthermore common in the literature of the time. In the cycle dealing with the search for the Holy Grail, we find just this very language. With a certain frequency it is told that a certain knight is found during the quest without any way out: before an impenetrable forest, with a lake on one side, and a mountain on the other:

The impenetrable forest is an image for the situation with no way out in which the soul or the personal psyche if you prefer (the lower astral according to spiritual science) struggles, the lake is the symbol of the sea of life (the etheric / elementary world according to spiritual science) by which one is carried away or overcome; the mountain is the symbol of the spirit world, which is "seen", of whose presence one has obscure inklings, but which one doesn’t know how to climb.

The dark wood is therefore the poetic image of a real inner situation in which the soul feels it has no way out, a painful experience for the soul:

Oh how to say how hard a thing it was
This hard and dark and wild wood
That just thinking of renews the fear

So bitter it was that death is little more
But to deal with the good I found there
I will tell of the other things I saw there.

Nevertheless what uproots the weak, is food for knowledge for the strong, and he observes his inner world without letting himself fall into despair whilst trying to understand. We come into life unawares, and we live unaware for a long time, asleep to the contents of reality. It seems to us that we are awake, because we give credence to what we think. We have built for ourselves, in our subjective thinking a tailor-made dream:

I don’t know how to tell how I came there
I was so full of sleep at the point
When I abandoned the true Path.

But when Isis sounds the sistrum… then there is re-awakening, and suddenly our dream dissolves, and facts force us to acknowledge that we have been asleep: pain is the reality our dream was keeping us away from. However looking into the pain sincerely, without trying to run from it, we can see its power, we can have an inkling that behind that power is a greater power which speaks to us with inner language and says to us: "You were dreaming…the time has come to wake up": this is the language of the spirit world:

But since I had arrived at the foot of a hill
There where the valley ended
Which had pierced my heart with fear

I looked up and saw its shoulders
Clothed in the rays of that planet
Which elsewhere leads straight through every valley

 

Something in us has the inkling that in that direction - the spirit world - there comes a light which can illuminate earthly life, that once we have become familiar with that light we can "go straight through every valley" in every place in life. This can calm us, give us perspective where before there was only anguish and discomfort.

 

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