Spiders, Dragons and Foxes
by Alicia Hamberg
I have reprinted this from the
website The Ethereal Kiosk
by permission of the author
— R. Rawlings
Sergei Prokofieff, head of the international Anthroposophical Society, explains (link to pdf-file)* how the internet is best understood from an esoteric viewpoint. Rudolf Steiner prophesied that “from the earth will well up terrible creations of beings who in their character stand between the mineral kingdom and the plant kingdom as automative beings with a supernatural intellect, an immense intellect” and they will spread over the world like Ahrimanic spiders weaving a web. There will be evil intent and mankind “will have to unite with these terrible mineral-plant like spider creatures.” Prokofieff — ignoring the very fact he has himself observed in Steiner’s indications, i.e., that this web is to be expected no sooner than about 6000 years from now — writes:
“It is as if Rudolf Steiner, with his spiritual gaze, described today’s Internet from beyond the threshold, categorically warning humanity that in a not too distant future, with the unification of moon and earth, this whole internet-computer-web and in fact everything connected with the development of the artificial intellect will suddenly come alive …”
Technology, thus, means problems, but what is Prokofieff suggesting as a cure? White magic. (Anthroposophy?)
“The frightening picture of an insect caught in the net of a huge and ravenous spider, trying in vain to free itself, outlines an appropriate picture of this future for mankind. And it will be a very special task of white magic to free such people from their bond to these beings.”
Secret occult circles are responsible for speeding up this development and they are also behind the name for the internet: that’s why it’s called www, the world wide web. That aside, it is not until this passage that I seriously begin to question Prokofieff’s sanity:
“This begs the question whether some of the other labels in the world have arisen from the same source e.g. the hotel chain in Germany called 'Sorat' (the largest Hotel being in the centre of Berlin) or the satellite aerials which in the centre of their dish display in big red letters the name 'SatAn;' or as with the latest computer system where one finds demonic pictures and words as for example the internet browser 'Mozilla' which portrays the head of a red dragon etc.”
It’s a fox, dear Mr. Prokofieff, but I’m certain St. Michael can slay foxes too, they’re usually smaller than dragons.
Then we learn that the letter “w” is the spiritual equivalent of the number “6" which is not a good thing at all: “www”, consequently, is “666" — the number of the beast. That is, Satan. But, as Steiner has indicated, Satan will use something man-made for his evil attacks on humanity; let’s return to Prokofieff:
“In my opinion the Internet and everything connected to artificial intelligence are part of this.”
What is going to happen, then, when the occult circles have their ways, and Satan his?
“[T]he aims of the … occult circles not only relate to the spiritual en-webbing of humanity but ultimately in the endeavour to put the whole undertaking into the service of ‘Sorat.’”
But the internet isn’t the only grave problem facing mankind. I bet most people don’t give much thought to the spiritual aspects of discs and data storage devices, more specifically the compression of data; this would be mistaken, because "one has to remember that when the cosmic intelligence guarded by Michael descended from the sun to the earth in order there to become human intelligence, it went through a massive process of compression or contraction.”
Ahriman can interfere in this (of course, Ahriman can interfere everywhere), but if he doesn’t, the intelligence (or data) is set “free after death during the expansion of the ether body in the cosmos”. Ahriman tries to screw up the work of Michael (and his blessed forces) — and he can do this by messing with digitalized information. Like a pathologically jealous husband, he wants to gain control and power, in this case over human intelligence.
“Ahriman finds such favourable conditions especially in the world of the computer and digital industry.”
The digitalization of Rudolf Steiner’s collected works is perhaps paradoxical (the digital German Gesamtausgabe consists of hundreds of his works), as the material is also compressed (and then transferred to laser discs — oh the horror), and can make the spiritually conscious feel physical pain (why physical pain and not spiritual pain, I ask, but I suppose there’s no answer to that one…). This is a big drift into sub-nature.
“Don’t fall prey to the illusion that it is possible to ‘redeem’ the Internet or CD/ DVD in the way Rudolf Steiner indicated for printing. In the realm of sub-nature the obstacles are far greater.”
It is a task for the School of Spiritual Science to “consciously oppose the ahrimanic principle of the duad, which has spread worldwide in particular through computers …”.
For Prokofieff “[i]t follows that the whole computer- and Internet industry is today the most effective way to prepare for the imminent incarnation of Ahriman or at least to allow his earthly task to run as smoothly as possible for him. The net of ahrimanic spider beings developing out of the internet around the earth stands right from the beginning in a direct relationship to Ahriman appearing in a physical body and will serve him particularly effectively and offer him extremely favourable potential to work.”
In addition to the work of Ahrimanic forces, the internet has, according to Prokofieff, enabled vicious and defamatory attacks on the Anthroposophical movement (or maybe these are the Ahrimanic forces? Well, I suppose so…). These “attacks” will become increasingly severe with the spread of Steiner’s collected works in digital form, “because then all alleged ‘vulnerable passages’ in the collective works will be easily and quickly accessible.”
It’s easy to spot the warped logic. When people can read Steiner for themselves — instead of reading or hearing propaganda brochures on Anthroposophy — they will reject much of what he had to say. When people can find out for themselves, they become dangerous. Unfiltered, uncensored access enables people to form their own opinions more easily. (But, contrary to Prokofieff’s bad feelings about this, I think that having the material accessible allows people to find out for themselves that the bad things in Steiner aren’t always as bad as we’ve suspected, and that there are many redeeming qualities about him, too. To know this, you need to read, you need the source. And wasn’t this what he wanted, to some extent — openness? Unlike the relative secrecy surrounding other esoteric or occult movements, groups and their teachings. More on this later, though. Suffice to say that Prokofieff claims that the online publication of the works contributes to an increasing intellectualization of Anthroposophy “through which it will be handed to Ahriman, the Master of Death.”)
This doesn’t mean people have to give up modern technology altogether (had Prokofieff suggested they had to, he would have boldly contradicted Steiner’s recommendations, although Steiner spoke about other types of applications of Ahrimanic science and technology); it’s more crucial who controls whom. For Prokofieff, it’s about noticing what is happening “in reality”. Given the content of this particular article, I very much doubt he knows what “reality” is, but that’s just a side-note. I’m almost blushing when I read about phenomena such as the “Ahrimanic seduction,” though. Probably because I’m so totally under its spell. I am seduced. By the internet, by the glorious spiders offering an Ahrimanic kingdom — I can’t resist! But then, of course, I am “an instrument for alien purposes” who “slowly slides into the sub nature [myself].” Damn it, I am “cut … off from [my] ability to read in the astral light and thus to encounter Michael in the spiritual world.”
Sure, through the internet, people can connect with each other in an unprecedented manner, but instead “mankind becomes increasingly separated from the cosmos and the hierarchies and thus is bound up with what was described above as an ahrimanic spider web.”
“The Michaelic intelligence came to earth from the spiritual world in order for man to achieve freedom through insight.”
Not the insight gained from reading — Steiner’s works? – on the internet, I gather. Intelligence and freedom for mankind — but not to be used intelligently and freely? That’s also quite interesting, a kind of plea for restricted freedom and stupid intelligence? Anyway, the world wide web has enhanced the process of the human intellect becoming shadowy (spiritually speaking).
When anthroposophic works are published online, they “are being put into an occult prison.” Prokofieff is particularly worried about the fate of the so-called class texts (the Esoteric Lessons for the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science — available online, as far as I know, only in German). The class texts supposedly consist of “a substance, which comes directly from Michael himself (out of the Michael-School) and therefore contains imaginations in their original form” and consequently they must be treated differently than other Steiner works, according to Prokofieff (and, I’m certain, many others). However, the lessons are already there, and I’d say it’s good they are: it was inevitable.
Prokofieff speaks of a need of a place “within man and for future mankind, where anthroposophical wisdom is protected from serving adversarial forces.”
Is Anthroposophy too weak to subsist if or when it encounters adversity? Sometimes it strikes me: Anthroposophists have very little faith in Anthroposophy. And I mean faith as in confidence, not as in religious type faith.
And I, I am seduced. By everything bad and evil.
* As often happens when material embarrassing to Anthroposophy is posted at sites like The Ethereal Kiosk, this material apparently has been removed from its original Anthroposophical site. The passages Alicia Hamberg refers to may be found, however, in Appendix 1 of Prokofieff's book RELATING TO RUDOLF STEINER (Temple Lodge Publishing, 2008). The title of this appendix: "The Esoteric Background to Electronic Media".
Photo by Alicia Hamberg.
A sort of long PS, but while I was writing, a friend sent me another link, presenting Eugene Schwarz’s reply to Prokofieff. It’s entertaining. For example, the part about the unmentionable early computer in the Goetheanum’s basement. Schwartz [a prolific and very active promoter of Waldorf education] also writes:
“So timely and important was this information [about the webs] that Steiner was not alone in presenting these inter-related Imaginations of intelligent spiders and world-saving supermen. In her ca. 1915 book, Woody, Hazel, and Little Pip, (Figure 1) the beloved children’s author Elsa Beskow pictured the telephone network as a web spun by a spider … And it is certainly no coincidence that in the 1930s, in the very years that Steiner had spoken of the possibility of humanity participating in the etheric reappearance of the Christ being, the Imagination of the supermen that Steiner had given in the previous decade appeared, in however distorted a form, in the medium of the comic book (the addictive mid-century equivalent of the video game) as figures such as Batman, Plastic Man, the Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and, of course, Superman, the prototype of them all.”
Then Schwarz hints that perhaps Prokofieff’s scare-mongering will please Ahriman, since “such pusillanimity is precisely what Ahriman hopes to sow in us, opening us up even more to his impulses.”
And, of course, as I mentioned, the “dragon” is really a fox:
“It should also be noted that, rather than the ‘head of a red dragon’ that Prokofieff describes, Mozilla’s Firefox browser logo displays the body of a red fox encircling the world. From the time of Aesop, the fox has served as a symbol of cunning intellect and prevarication; somewhat less formidable that the Dragon, for sure, but certainly scary enough! Although I have not seen the SatAn satellite dishes mentioned by Prokofieff, there is the well-known ‘white hat’ hackers’ web site whose acronym SATAN stands for Security Administrator Tool for Analyzing Networks.”
Schwarz notes that the secret occult aren’t very cunning in their concealment of Ahriman’s activities:
“If, as Steiner clearly indicated, the aim of these occult brotherhoods is to hide the approach of Ahriman, why are they doing just the opposite? Indeed, it could be said that the hotel chain, the satellite communications system, the browser, and the World Wide Web are literally advertising Ahriman’s incarnation. And for all of those who still don’t get it, the brotherhoods, through their minions in the ‘entertainment industry,’ provide a never-ending spectacle of movies and video games replete with superheroes, giant insects, alien invasions, demonic automatons, and depressingly dystopic visions of the earth’s future (e.g. Bladerunner, Gattica, and Children of Men, which even portrays a world in which all women are barren). Short of shouting it from the rooftops, the occult brotherhoods that Prokofieff describes could hardly be broadcasting their aims for the future any more blatantly. For groups that consider themselves ‘occultists,’ these brotherhoods aren’t very good at keeping a secret.”
Most importantly, he asks “If Steiner was not inclined to advise people to stay away from the telegraph, a system that was clearly a precursor of the Internet, then why should we assume that he would be so opposed to the Internet itself as a channel for communications about the spirit?”
And he continues to say “let us recognize that anthroposophists are already nestled in the Internet dragon’s skin, albeit semi-unconsciously and in a very advanced state of denial.”
— Alicia Hamberg
For more on the Waldorf view of technology,
science, computers, television, etc.,
Ahriman, as depicted in the design for a ceiling mural
at the Anthroposophical headquarters, the Goetheanum.
[See THE GOETHEANUM CUPOLA MOTIFS OF RUDOLF STEINER
(SteinerBooks, 2011), p. 127.
R.R. copy, 2014.]
The following is from an online discussion,
dated March 21, 2013
Rudolf Steiner and Sergej Prokofiev warned about the EXACT thing this thread is all about. There IS an atavistic force manifesting itself through the internet (remember the blog post).
Ohhh man, there's so much ... Chelley, I hope you are reading this too.
Quotes from Prokofiev's book about Steiner and all this:
"It is as if Rudolf Steiner, with his spiritual gaze, described today’s Internet from beyond the threshold, categorically warning humanity that in a not too distant future, with the unification of moon and earth, this whole internet-computer-web and in fact everything connected with the development of the artificial intellect will suddenly come alive."
"Ahriman finds such favourable conditions especially in the world of the computer and digital industry."
"It follows that the whole computer and Internet industry is today the most effective way to prepare for the imminent incarnation of Ahriman or at least to allow his earthly task to run as smoothly as possible for him. The net of ahrimanic spider beings developing out of the internet around the earth stands right from the beginning in a direct relationship to Ahriman appearing in a physical body and will serve him particularly effectively and offer him extremely favourable potential to work."
A quote from Steiner in Prokofiev's book:
Steiner: "And from the earth will arise a terrible race of beings, in character midway between the mineral and plant kingdoms, as robotic beings of extreme, intense and logical intellect. They will spread and take hold of the earth, overlaying it as with a web of terrible spiders -- spiders of enormous wisdom, whose organization does not however even reach the level of plants. These terrible spiders will interweave and intermesh with each other, imitating in their movements all that human beings have conceived with their shadowy intellect -- without allowing it to be inspired by a new imagination, and all that is to come through spiritual science. All unreal human thoughts of this kind will assume the reality of being. The earth will be covered [...] with terrible, mineral plant-type spiders, which will spin very rational interconnections with each other but with malevolent intention. And the human being [...] will have to merge his being with these terrible mineral-plant spider creatures."
Steiner: There are those [human beings] who are quite consciously allies of the intention to enmesh human existence."
Just like Credo Mutwa said (regarding "preparation" by the allies of darkness).
Now back to Prokofiev ...
"These spider creatures will be distinctly ahrimanic in character [...] in an era of global computer and internet links, you may feel disheartened to realize how quickly this prophecy is becoming a reality on earth."
"If we take Rudolf Steiner's words seriously, there can be no doubt that precisely these occult circles, which know of the above mentioned secrets and yet push humanity further in this forlorn direction, also coined a fitting name for the internet, the most appropriate instrument for achieving this future, and have spread it like a secret code: www -- World Wide Web."
Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=SfZymMqqDJ0C&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=ahrimanic+spider+beings&source=bl&ots=Z8rMlsYkZR&sig=tyEiKhyADKam2AtcIeW3b6njCLI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=kW5KUaO3JMeUrQGB_YCIAg&ved=0CDoQ6AEwAg#v=snippet&q=internet&f=false -- http://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/spiders/
... and there it is in a nutshell.
So here Steiner has warned about these robotic spider organisms somewhere between the plant and mineral kingdom rapidly populating the earth. The term "ghostly" was also used to describe the spiders. The author connects them to the internet AND connects ahrimanic forces to the technological revolution. It fits perfectly.
There are no coincidences, only PROVIDENCE, CHOICE, and SIMULACRA.
WHY ARE YOU HERE, WHAT IS YOUR PATH. CHOOSE.
There is also this book in French — From Jundi Shapur to Silicon Valley — I wish I could find an english copy, I can't even access the French version.
There is also a book I'm digging through called, The Computer and the Incarnation of Ahriman (http://www.steinercollege.edu/node/384), by David Black.
Alright, back to work, see y'all later.
— sorrowfully, angrily —
over our evolution.
Anthroposophy is largely optimistic;
we are headed higher,
to marvelous heights.
But there are no guarantees.
Things can go wrong.
Evil may prevail.
[R.R. sketch, 2014,
based on a painting by Gerard Wagner,
based on indications given
by Rudolf Steiner — see
THE GOETHEANUM CUPOLA MOTIFS
OF RUDOLF STEINER
(SteinerBooks, 2014), p. 93.]
The Waldorf aversion to computers is rooted in Rudolf Steiner's antipathy to modern technology at virtually all levels. The mere use of electricity is potentially demonic, he said:
But electricity is not the whole story. Even totally manual technological devices are suspect, Steiner taught. Think about typewriters, for instance (recalling that all typewriters in his day were non-electric):
Indeed, even the simple abacus is a monstrosity, in Steiner's eyes:
The Waldorf approach is just a smidgen backwards. (The abacus was the latest thing, very high-tech, in ancient Babylon.)
— R. R.
P.S. Is Eugene Schwartz correct that "Steiner was not inclined to advise people to stay away from the telegraph"? The following leaps to mind:
Perhaps telegraphy can be used for good purposes, sometimes. Perhaps the Internet can. But dire possibilities — indeed, portents of the Apocalypse — are conveyed by Steiner's words, which surely constitute a warning. Our technological achievements "do not go unpunished." At the least, Steiner advised us to tread warily — very, very warily. (Be afraid. Be very afraid.)
Steiner taught that we have descended deeply into material existence. This has been needed; it will strengthen us for our re-ascent into the spirit realm. But we must be vigilant and cautious. If we descend too far — as by becoming too enmeshed in modern technology — we may plunge into the abyss, which can spell taps. [See the entry for “abyss” in The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.]
Here is an item from the Waldorf Watch "news" page:
Anthroposophy, which undergirds Waldorf education, is the religion patched together by Rudolf Steiner.
The Anthroposophical headquarters — the cathedral called the Goetheanum — contains a large wooden statue of Christ, identified by Steiner as the Sun God. Also represented are the arch-demons Ahriman and Lucifer. According to Anthroposophical doctrine, Christ mediates between the two demons, converting the temptations they offer us into valuable gifts. Ahriman wants to drag us down into materialism while Lucifer tries to lure us into false spirituality. Christ finds the proper balance between these impulses and thus shows us the way toward our proper evolutionary path.
The central section of the statue. Christ stands erect.
Lucifer hovers in the upper left,
Ahriman crouches in the lower left.
Anthroposophical religious beliefs generally lurk behind even the most innocent-seeming announcements and proposals emanating from Waldorf schools.
The March, 2013 issues of INFORM
— the newsletter of the Association of
Waldorf Schools of North America —
contains the following announcement:
APRIL 29-MAY 5,
On April 29- May 5, children around the world
will celebrate Screen-Free Week (formerly TV-
Turnoff) by turning off entertainment screen
media (TVs, computers, video games) and
turning on the world around them. The
Association for Waldorf Schools of North
America continues to be an endorser of Screen-
Free Week, as do all our Waldorf schools and
communities in North America.
• ◊ •
Multiple items previously presented here, on the Waldorf Watch news page, have discussed the Waldorf/Steiner aversion to high technology and its products, especially televisions and computers. Although there are rational reasons for limiting the amount of time children spend staring at flickering electronic screens, Rudolf Steiner’s followers fear technology for a wholly irrational reason: They associate it with the arch-demon Ahriman.
Below is one rather mild example of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings about Ahriman and technology. Steiner said that most intellectual and technological activities have no place in the spirit realm. When we die, we leave these things behind — we do not even retain clear images or understanding of these things. Likewise, our spiritual mentors, gods one and two levels above us (Angels and Archangels) also have no truck with intellectual and technological matters. The only spiritual beings who really grasp intellect and technology are Ahriman and his minions.
Ahriman and Lucifer are the two chief demons in Steiner’s theology. They are interesting characters. Steiner sometimes described them as thoroughly evil and intent on the destruction of humanity. He taught, for instance, that Ahriman and Lucifer have their own provinces of evil in the spirit realm (which consists of multiple levels and worlds). Ahriman reigns in “the evil Lower Devachan", while Lucifer rules over “the evil astral world.” [See “Evil Ones”.]
During our lives on Earth, Steiner taught, we must be ever-vigilant against the wiles and temptations of Ahriman and Lucifer. Steiner taught that Ahriman is particularly terrible, trying to lure us entirely away from spirituality into the gross emptiness of physical existence, where such delusions as intellect and technology loom so large. If we fall to Ahriman, we will lose our souls.
So, Ahriman is evil. However, Steiner also sometimes taught that the demons are not truly bad, just different. They evolved differently from the good gods, and indeed they can be used for good purposes by the good gods. Thus, for instance, if Angels or Archangels ever want to know how to build a motor car, they can get this information from the Ahrimanic beings who understand such lowly matters.
Demons can serve the good gods, and the demons' knowledge — such as knowledge of automobiles or computers — is not always, wholly tainted by wickedness. The use of technological products is thus not always wrong or soul-destroying. Still, according to Steiner, the things of Ahriman and his tribe are extremely dangerous and we should always be on guard against their vile effects. This is why, for instance, the Archangel Michael fights on our behalf against Ahriman. Michael is a good god and Ahriman is one of his foes. [See “Michael”.] Indeed, the good gods stand confronted with evil and they must wage war against it. Although Ahriman and Lucifer sometimes convey valuable gifts, we must not delude ourselves about the harm demons may inflict. There are good spiritual beings and evil spiritual beings.
For more on Lucifer, Ahriman, and evil spirits, see “Lucifer”, “Ahriman”, and “Evil Ones”. For more on the Anthroposophical conception of Christ, see "Was He Christian?" and "Sun God".
As for the demonic quality of technology, I will repeat a few quotations we saw here recently. ALL technology is potentially destructive, even primitive steam engines.
So switch off your devilish gizmos. Waldorf schools often have "media policies" that direct students' families to severely limit if not wholly reject use of televisions, computers, and such. Likewise, such appliances are almost never found in Waldorf schools. The ban on computer use is lifted slightly, at some Waldorf schools, in the highest grades — but even this small nod to reality in the 21st century is generally grudging.
To consider how things can go wrong,
"All vs. All".
To consider the value of
To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch,
use the underlined links, below.
◊◊◊ 5. THE WALDORF APPROACH ◊◊◊