The Idols of America
The work of opposition forces on this continent is palpable, and grows more so with time. Their striving towards aims opposed to those of Christ can be met with equanimity by those who have grasped, out of spiritual-scientific meditative-contemplative activity, the way in which their striving is justified when it keeps its place, when it fulfills its necessary role in the unfolding of human spiritual evolution in harmony with the laws of karma. A “mighty concentration of forces” continues to pour itself out, also, towards the end of lifting this evolution into the new relationship to karma that is pointed towards in the idea of Christ as the Lord of Karma.
The declaration needs to be made that, beginning in 1933, Christ in the etheric made His presence felt there, the realm nearest to the world of our sense-perceptions. He appeared to Sun Myung Moon on a hillside in Korea in 1935, when Moon was fifteen years old. He manifested himself to L. Ron Hubbard in ways of which Hubbard could not be as conscious, in the culture of materialism that had given rise to his mission. He inspired the Flower Children, the Christ-side of the sexual revolution; He was there at Stonewall, when a marginalized group of souls, mourning the loss to them of one of their unfathomably sensitive and truth-ful kin, Frances Gumm (known as Judy Garland), were attacked by police and found welling up within them an irresistible force of innocence that had to resist the armed intrusion upon the mood of their devotion to her. His agent, Christian Rosenkreuz, worked in Martin Luther King, Jr.; His original human vessel, Jesus of Nazareth, moves about the Earth, incorporate today as a vessel for the Bodhisattva--an American--whose movement spreads very slowly across the globe.
These are dramatic statements; this book, of course, has been filled with them. What value it, or they, can have to anyone who comes to read them depends firstly upon their truthfulness, and secondly upon the receptivity of the reader to whatever there is of that moral and spiritual quality in them.
What is essential, however, if anything is to be done from anthroposophical quarters to bring the culture of the Center to bear in the world-dialogue and world-crisis that is its object, is that we Americans with the sensibility to serve Michael can grasp the way in which anti-Christian forces are at work, as ever, to undermine:
1. Our physical health
2. Our etheric health
3. Our astral health
The source of physical health is higher worlds. These are a source of inexhaustible strength for those who have gained access to this strength by the right kind of moral development--three steps for every one of consciousness development--and the right kind of consciousness development on its foundation. There is no greater example of this principle than Marjorie Spock, who, in the early years of her second century, radiates the energy of a thirty-year-old woman.
Nothing works more strongly to undermine physical and moral health than the love of ease that is the hallmark of all things American. The insane rush for convenience, convenience, convenience: this is the first of the Idols of America. A character in the acclaimed Hollywood film of some years ago, “American Beauty”, when being pressured to do something against his better judgement because it was pragmatic, said it best because the line was filled, also, with humor: “Oh, OK. Let‘s all sell our souls to Satan because it‘s more convenient that way.”
Technology can help us. It more readily makes us lazy, in ways that serve to undermine both our physical and, on its foundation, our mental and spiritual stamina.
The source of etheric health is respect for life in all its forms. Attention to the unfolding processes of life results in respect for age. The worship of youth is the second of the Idols of America. Nothing impedes a consciousness of Christ’s return in the etheric and His on-going work ever increasing in power there more than the cult of beauty that sends powerful inspirative images across the globe whose power derives purely from the way in which the etheric forces of youthful individuals are made the object of a vampire-like desire to draw upon their life energy, rather than cultivate one‘s own out of a consciousness that “beauty is only skin deep.”
The source of astral health is the form of mental exercise that permits one to make careful and nuanced distinctions among realities that are, in fact, distinct, unique and different from one another. Our awareness of an “other”--whether that “other” is human, animal, plant, or mineral--is a superficial one if it is not an awareness of the uniqueness that inheres in the most diverse features, such as, in the case of humanity, race, gender, sexual preference, religious heritage, and ethnic-linguistic background. The third of the Idols of America is a demonic conception of equality, where everyone is “equal” to everyone else in just the way that two apples are “equal” to two oranges. The fuel for this mathematical conception of what is the least mathematical of realities (because most distant, in the earthly sphere, from the laws of physics)--the incarnation of human souls--is the fear that the making of distinctions by its nature suggests the making of “value judgements.” Only Michael‘s impulses for a truly cosmopolitan civilization can heal the disease of mathematical thinking applied to the wrong objects, because only they can inspire the love of difference that arises when difference has indeed been correctly apprehended.
Behind these three outer “Idols” are discrete and powerful occult forces that are known by certain names to students of Rudolf Steiner‘s work:
1. Love of ease--Sorat
2. Worship of youth--Lucifer
3. Demonic conception of equality--Ahriman