The Internet, Ethernet and the Consciousness-Soul
comments from various students of anthroposophy
from Gottfried Straube’s “The Computer – A Technological Manifestation of the Spiritual Threshold" (www.gottfried.no) [Norway]
…Again, it is made perfectly clear that Rudolf Steiner, as opposed to some of his keen followers, never intended to proclaim opposition against these technological inventions: «This intelligent technology is something that must never be treated as something to fight against. That is an entirely wrong point of view… Man’s union with the machine-being will be a great and significant problem for the rest of earth’s evolution.»
The crucial point in this decade (1990’s) is therefore not to reject or praise certain technological landmarks, but to understand them. The completion of this third technological wave shows that mankind has passed the spiritual threshold unconsciously. All initiative from now on is placed on each individual. This being-like computer-intelligence should therefore be looked upon as a welcomed illness, whose overcoming is of the utmost importance. It is so to speak the last call for mankind to either open up for the etheric thinking, Michaelic intelligence, or to become the servant who buries the talents with all its consequences. We may then regard the technological development as a natural attempt by the spiritual world, carried out in man’s subconscious, to gain recognition for the Michaelic-Aristotelian impulse belonging to our Michaelic era. And it must be totally clear that this illness is not evil in itself (on the contrary, it is there to liberate us from the ‘Latin’ routine), but the evil is allowed to propagate through each individual who doesn’t overcome it in his relationship to his own thinking.
Computer technology should therefore be a phenomenon that not only fascinates or creates fear. Here schools have a great challenge, and the subject ‘technology’ can be used as the appropriate context in which to deal with this. The approach used in the public schools on this issue, tends to place the student in the role of uncomprehending users of ready-made software and hardware packages. This approach seems inappropriate if the goal is to bring understanding of the computer phenomenon as such. But then again, simply describing the pure functioning of a computer doesn’t seem appropriate either. A pure atomistic knowledge of how a computer operates, is, if left at that, nothing but another type of Maya.
Spektrum der Wissenschaft 3/1990
1 Rudolf Steiner: Rhythmen im Kosmos und im Menschenwesen - Wie kommt man zum Schauen der geistigen Welt? June 28 and June 30, 1923.
2 Rhytmen im Kosmos..., June 28, 1923.
3 Der Goetheanismus, ein Umwandlungsimpuls und Auferstehungsgedanke. Dornach 1919 - GA 188.
4 Scientific American, November 1987, Martin Schulz, expert at developing supercomputers.
5 Marvin Minsky: Psychology Today, January 12, 983.
6 Handbook of Software & Hardware Interfacing, Jeffrey P. Royer
7 Der Spiegel January 13, 1991 page 236
8 Rudolf Steiner: Die soziale Grundforderung unserer Zeit - In geänderter Zeitlage, GA 186, Dornach Dec. 20,1918.
9 Rudolf Steiner: 'Wie erlangt man Erkenntnisse der höheren Welten?' in the chapter about 'Die Spaltung der Persönlichkeit während der Geistesschulung'.
10 Rudolf Steiner: Der innere Aspekt des sozialen Rätsels. GA 193
11 Published in GA 182
12 Well described by e.g. Neil Postman’s i 'Laughing ourselves to death'
13 Still: Was tut der Engel in unserem Astralleib.
14 Matthew 24.42, but also Luke 12.39
15 Die Philosophie des Thomas von Aquino. 1920
16 August 4, 1924
17 Rudolf Steiner: Der Weg des Christus durch die Jahrhunderte. Gehalten am Oktober 14, 1913, 8 GA 152
18 Thoroughly treated in "Individuelle Geistwesen und einheitlicher Weltengrund", especially November 25, 1917, Dornach
the internet got such a misnomer, it was known as the ethernet, and was first
exploited for military applications back in the 1960's for purposes of
If we take the 1950's "cold-war era" in which satellites were put into
space, beginning with 'sputnik' in 1957, we have the makings of the so-called
"space race" under the guise of placing man-made objects into the
etheric body of the earth for purposes of creating interference channels for
the instreaming forces of the planetary hierarchies.
Thus, by 1965, the ether network was formed for the purpose of military
communications, and was used for this purpose. In 1979 the decision was made to
extend the properties of the etheric world, and its inherent power of
information gathering and retention, into the public domain for its ability to
extend commercialization interests.
In so doing, a decision was made to lift the *ether* out of the domain, and
replace it with the *inter* duce for public consumption.
In reality, the internet is fully a function of the redemption of the etheric
world by Christ Who evolved within the earth's atmosphere for nearly two
thousand years after rising up on the Day of Ascension.
And this can be proven by the fact that the gateway into the internet comes by
way of a chip of silica, the most plentiful substance of the earth, i.e., the
crust of the earth itself. What makes it so important as the essential
ingredient of the micro-chip processor that allows entry into the so-called
"information super-highway" is that it has been enhanced, enriched,
by the moralizing power of the Etheric Christ. There can be no other
explanantion for this ability of mankind to forge this particular network of
comes through Christ, and is the proof that Christ exists for human evolution
Thus, it is our challenge in how we want to use this network of communication,
which now extends across the world. This is also a function of the global
Christ today. Ahriman, sure, ahriman is present in this domain. But armed with
the knowledge of what the ethernet really means and contains for a conscious
and dynamic interchange of thoughts and feelings, we truly meet and express its true purpose as a gift from the Etheric Christ.
Francis Paul Emberson (The Etheric Dimensions Press)
Already in 1920 Rudolf Steiner said of Western technology which was as yet
untouched by binary techniques:
Today's "enlightened" minds consider it superstitious to look for
spiritual powers in natural phenomena. They have not the least idea that
demonic spirits are active in the whole world of technology created by the
human race. Nor will they find it easy to see this, because those powers are
acting on the will – and I have often told you that the will is asleep. They
work at an unconscious level, taking hold of the unconscious human mind. The
consequence is as follows. In the past, human beings had at least some
awareness of demonic powers. Today demonic powers are restively stirring in all
products of technology: their activities extend into the sphere of the human
will, but human beings are not yet inclined to accept this… The spirits
perceived in the phenomena of nature in older times were Luciferic by nature;
the spirits active in machines, in all products of technology, are Ahrimanic in
nature. Human beings are thus surrounding themselves with an Ahrimanic world
that is growing completely independent of them.
You will perceive the trend in human evolution. From a Luciferic world that
still influences their conscious minds and determines their destinies, human
beings are drifting into an Ahrimanic world. And at present this is happening
at quite a fast pace. This Ahrimanic world acts on the human will, and the
intellectualism of modern science does not enable people to gain immediate
conscious awareness of the will. The great danger is that the Ahrimanic world
will take hold of the human will and human beings will completely lose their
bearing among the demonic powers that are present in the products of
Since Steiner's time, two tendencies have become apparent. On the one hand, an
increasing number of people have become interested in spiritual science and are
looking towards it for solutions to problems produced by technology. On the
other hand, technology itself was precipitated into the binary form during the
Second World War, and has advanced along that path at unbelievable speed. Human
beings are indeed losing their bearing among the demonic powers that are
present in it.
The last part of the twentieth century was characterised by the rise of the
"Academy" of Silicon Valley, which
provided the anti-Michael demons with a very strong foothold in human life,
from which they launch their attacks on the Michael Movement to greater effect
than many members of that movements are willing to admit. True followers of
Michael are called upon at the present time to penetrate deeply into this
demonic stronghold with their thinking, and "offer up to Gods the secrets
wrested from demons".
The beginning of the third millennium (from our 21st century onwards) bears the
signature of the historical event described by Rudolf Steiner in the following
…before even a part of the third millennium of the
post-Christian era has elapsed, there will be, in the West, an actual incarnation
of Ahriman: Ahriman in the flesh. Humanity on earth cannot escape this
incarnation of Ahriman. It will come inevitably. But what matters is that men
shall find the right vantage-point from which to confront it.
Wherever preparation is being made for incarnations of this character, we must be alert to certain trends in evolution. A Being like Ahriman, who will incarnate in the West in time to come, prepares for this incarnation in advance. With a view to his incarnation on the earth, Ahriman guides certain forces in evolution in such a way that they may be of the greatest possible advantage to him. And evil would result were men to live on in a state of drowsy unawareness, unable to recognise certain phenomena in life as preparations for Ahriman's incarnation in the flesh. The right stand can be taken only by recognizing in one or another series of events the preparation that is being made by Ahriman for his earthly existence. And the time has now come for individual men to know which tendencies and events around them are machinations of Ahriman, helping him to prepare for his approaching incarnation.
The overwhelming spread of binary computer technology, which did not yet exist in Rudolf Steiner's time, has been the most influential factor paving the way for incarnation of Ahriman in that mighty Aspect of his cosmic being which we call the Sorat, the Binary Beast. Indeed, we may say this incarnation of Ahriman is the incarnation of the Binary Beast.
Ahriman comes from remote realms alien to human evolution on
the earth. His interest is to divert this evolution from its natural path into
other, inhuman forms of existence utterly removed from that which was intended
for man by his Creators. Through unwholesome occult arts combined with dark
technology, the physical incarnation of this alien divinity has been made
This Ahrimanic incarnation cannot be averted; it is
inevitable, for men must confront Ahriman face to face. He will be the
individuality by whom it will be made clear to men what indescribable
cleverness can be developed if they call to their help all that earthly forces
can do to enhance cleverness and ingenuity. In the catastrophes that will
befall humanity in the near future, men will become extremely inventive; many
things discovered in the forces and substances of the universe will be used to
provide nourishment for man. But these very discoveries will at the same time
make it apparent that matter is connected with the organs of intellect, not
with the organs of the spirit but of the intellect. People will learn what to
eat and drink in order to become really clever. Eating and drinking cannot make
them spiritual, but clever and astute, yes. Men have no knowledge of these
things as yet; but not only will they be striven for, they will be the
inevitable outcome of catastrophes looming in the near future. And certain
secret societies – where preparations are already in train – will apply these
things in such a way that the necessary conditions can be established for an
actual incarnation of Ahriman on earth.
Although they are not yet common knowledge, these things have indeed been discovered by materialistic science. The role of artificial intelligence in these preparations for Ahriman's incarnation need hardly be stressed. Today there is scarcely a major research institute on earth that does not rely heavily on computers. Indeed, much research is done today not by experimenting with real substances and processes under investigation, but by investigating computer simulations of them!
Ahriman will not only draw into his power the out and out
materialists. Many of those who incline to the spirit without actively pursuing
spiritual development are falling victim to his supreme intelligence:
Through certain stupendous arts he would bring to men all the clairvoyant knowledge which until (previously) they can (could) be acquired only by dint of intense labour and effort. Men could live on as materialists, they could eat and drink – as much as may be left after the war! – and there would be no need for any spiritual efforts. The Ahrimanic streams would continue their unimpeded course. When Ahriman incarnates in the West at the appointed time, he would establish a great occult school for the practice of magic arts of the greatest grandeur, and what otherwise can be acquired only by strenuous effort would be poured over mankind.
Let it never be imagined that Ahriman will appear as a kind of hoaxer, playing mischievous tricks on human beings. No, indeed! Lovers of ease, who refuse to have anything to do with spiritual science, would fall pray to his magic, for by means of these stupendous magic arts he would be able to make great number of human beings into seers – but in such a way that the clairvoyance of each individual would be strictly differentiated. What one person would see, a second and a third would not see. Confusion would prevail and in spite of being made receptive to clairvoyant wisdom, men would inevitably fall into strife on account of the sheer diversity of their visions. Ultimately, however, they would all be satisfied with their own particular vision, for each of them would be able to see into the spiritual world. In this way all culture on the earth would fall prey to Ahriman. Men would succumb to Ahriman simply through not having acquired by their own efforts what Ahriman is ready and able to give them. No more evil advice could be given than to say: "Stay just as you are! Ahriman will make all of you clairvoyant if you so desire. And you will desire it because Ahriman's power will be very great." – But the result would be establishment of Ahriman's kingdom on earth and the overthrow of everything achieved hitherto by human culture; all the disastrous tendencies unconsciously cherished today would take effect.
Looking beyond the early centuries of the new millennium we see the whole of humanity gradually becoming naturally clairvoyant. Physically man will be weaker. The decline of his physical forces is a necessary part of evolution. It is not essentially a decline of man himself (unless he remains bound to the body), but only of his physical organism:
But now, in the Fifth Post-Atlantean epoch, he is on the
path of decline, he is a being growing physically weaker, and to perceive the
world in the way the Greek perceived it would be too much for his strength.
The physical senses, sight, hearing, etc, will fade and will be replaced, on the one hand – in the case of those who follow the spiritual path – by ever clearer clairvoyant perception, and, on the other hand, by artificial perception based on simulation devices. Digital image processing, computer simulation and the implantation of microprocessors in the human body are precursors of techniques which will largely replace physical sight and hearing for much of humanity. Even today people look at the world through television, electron microscopes, radio telescopes with computer images, digital-imaging medical diagnostic apparatus, and so on. Military pilots are trained in "flight simulators" – moderns of fighter-plane cockpits with windows and instruments that are television screens. The images react to the controls exactly as, in real life, the view out of the cockpit would change as the pilot manoeuvred his aircraft. And this dials of the instruments give the appropriate readings.
All this is leading to the replacement of real-world situations by simulations adapted to the needs and wishes of the individual. Such techniques are naturally open to abuse of all kinds, and bring with them the temptation to create imaginary worlds of artificially produced sensuous experience in which people can take refuge from the painful realities of life. Such worlds will be, after all, nothing more than the logical ultimate development of what began at the end of the nineteenth century as the cinema.
The true clairvoyance of the spiritual race may well be imitated, in caricature, by the use of "clairvoyance machines". The forerunners of such probable devices are the so-called "meditation machines" already in use in America, and in some parts of Europe. These first-generation meditation machines are designed to produce altered states of consciousness by applying stimuli to the brain. They are based on techniques developed over the years in medicine, principally in the field of electro-encephalography. It is reasonable to suppose that later generations of such machines will be more sophisticated and powerful, as manufacturers and users gather experience in the methods of influencing the mind by altering the electrical state of the brain.
In 2004 the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reported in its Technology Review that neuroscientists and engineers were developing methods to allow the brain to interact directly with computer networks, by implanting a microprocessor into the brain tissue. A specialist company in the United States called Cyberkinetics has received government approval for clinical trials of a brain implant intended to enable the minds of paralysed patients to communicate directly with their personal computers. Other research on similar lines is under way. The initial intention is to enable patients to relate to the real world through the computer. But, obviously, it is equally possible to enable them to relate to virtual worlds as though they were actually living in them. Indeed, to a considerable degree they are already living in them.
Human beings will separate progressively into two races, the spiritual race using the new clairvoyance in a moral way, the materialistic race rending more to look into the spiritual forces within matter and those of the sub-physical realms. Then, as the Anglo-Saxon Germanic civilisation continues, new faculties will appear spontaneously in man. He will learn to influence electrical processes directly by thought. He will also gain mastery over the physical and life processes involved in conception and birth, and will learn to determine what kind of souls shall incarnate. Genetic engineering, which has already taken its first faltering steps in work on clones and the manipulation of stem cells, will acquire advanced techniques of altering the physical body. This, too, is a necessary development, which also is open to abuse and will produce strange mutants. Behind the longing to control the coming into being of the physical form of man lies the occult knowledge hinted at in Goethe's Faust, in the creation of Homunculus, and the desire for physical immortality.
Advanced genetic manipulation, combined with the techniques that Rudolf Steiner called eugenic occultism (control of conception and birth so that only selected types of souls can incarnate) will have very far-reaching effects on social life. Medicine, too, will assume forms quite different from the present ones and will become very highly spiritualised in both good and evil ways.
During this fifth post-Atlantean period of culture, artificial intelligence will reach a very advanced stage of development, and men will grow together with machines. From the clumsy first beginnings of robotics that we know today, the most remarkable machine-beings will develop and will begin to assert their physical superiority in certain realms of outer life. Men will become increasingly conscious of the dead, and the souls who have passed through the gate of death will play an important role in all these developments. They will either work inspiringly from the spiritual world out of their own impulses, or will be drawn by evil arts into the web of artificial intelligence.
A further product of artificial intelligence, which will be brought progressively into relation with the cosmos and which will analyse cosmic influences in a materialistic way, will be that men will master new energies of immense power, far greater than that of nuclear fission or fusion. Through the misuse of vibratory energy, they will overreach themselves and set forces in motion that they cannot control. By that time, earth humanity will have reached out into the solar system through the on-going space conquest.
In all this, the greater part of humanity will suffer itself to be drawn into the life-style of the materialistic race, as science and technology become more and more incomprehensible to the man in the street. The direct coupling of man and computer – the implantation into the brain of microprocessors linked by ratio to the Internet – will allow those in power to program human minds. The Western occult brotherhoods and other leaders of the materialistic humanity will exercise increasing domination over mankind in general. As for the spiritual race, its members will gather in communities based on Christian brotherhood and freedom. Their own science and technology will take quite other forms from that of the materialistic race. They will do all in their power to help and protect those who seek to escape from the work of dark technology. It will remain possible for the members of the materialistic race to join those who follow the spiritual path of evolution.
Publié par Le Collectif Contre Goliath à l'adresse 21:32 dimanche 30 septembre 2007