Someone in the local study group was talking about the The Philosophy of Freedom
written by Rudolf Steiner in 1893.
He is the creator of Anthroposophy. Wikipedia defines this as "a spiritual philosophy [that]... postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world accessible to direct experience through inner development — more specifically through cultivating conscientiously a form of thinking independent of sensory experience."
Among Steiner's many controversial ideas, here is one:
There are two powers that tempt us. Sometimes they are hand-in-hand, but most the time they oppose each other. Neither is evil, per se.
One is the influence of Lucifer and the other is the influence of Ahriman.
Your job is not to flee from either, but to strike a balance between the two.
The 'community' is a great lens through which we can look at the distinctions between the Luciferic tendencies and the Ahrimaniac tendencies:
L: Idealizes individuality, arrogance, and grandiosity.
A: Idealizes sameness, unity, and a sense of being part of a larger whole.
L: Loves technology, technique, mathematics, and algorithms.
A: Loves pagan wisdom, the law of attraction, language, and cosmology.
L: Uses communication that is "solid" and "airtight."
A: Uses communication that is flexible and airy.
L: Obsesses over quantitative results; objective measures of value and status.
A: Obsesses over qualitative experiences; subjective things like destiny and serendipity.
L: Has a tendency for frenzy.
A: Has a tendency for tedium.
Remember Rudolf Steiner suggests - as a lifestyle choice - to find the middle ground.
"But the truth of the matter is that Lucifer and Ahriman must be regarded as two scales of a balance and it is we who must hold the beam in equipoise. And how can we train ourselves to do this? By permeating what takes Ahrimanic form within us with a strongly Luciferic element." -Steiner (1919)
So here's the question:
Are you deifying something or someone? Is it perhaps either Lucifer or Ahriman?
I've played with the 'guru' role a bit. I found that praise from other men doesn't excite me like praise from women. (That led to certain self-reflection and balance; and a tale to tell another time.)
I also realized what's going on as far as men getting off on the "ego stroke" of other men.
In short: Men are exploiting other men to impress/chase women.
This is what we call the "game higher than game."
Insidious, for sure. And effective. Look around you - exploiting other men to impress/chase women is the dominant paradigm. Subjugating yourself to women is what is never questioned. This subjugation is the jewel in the crown of capitalism.
--Guy has corporate job (making consumers of fellow men), saves to buy flat screen and nice car in an attempt to impress women.
--Guy takes on role "teaching men to become better men," writes an ebook, charges men for it, puts himself in front of a crowd, and charges men for it. Buys a flat screen and a nice car in an attempt to impress women.
Like I said, this is the dominant model - even with community gurus. There is either a Luciferic tendency (technique, tactics, linear causation, etc) or a Ahrimanic tendency (law of attraction, seductive language, finding your higher self, etc).
The "game higher than game" is selling these ideas to men, then using the primal/primary strategy of displaying resources to actually attract women.
Check it out.
--There are 'Pick Up' instructors that are virgins. I kid you not. (Remember that to instruct
is just to transfer an idea intellectually - a vision. To coach
is to transfer passion, wisdom, and the subtleties of hard-earned experience.) Yet, I can see that they are motivating men to get off their asses and talk to women. Cool.
--Many of the monetarily richest guys to ever exploit the community have deep intimacy issues. They are caught up in the status-game and trappings of using wealth to chase women. Yet, they are providing value and motivating men to get off their asses and talk to women. Cool.
It has taken some compassionate reflection, but I am comfortable with these examples. Here's why:
Value is subjective. Value is relative. You get to decide what is valuable to you.
You get to chose your lifestyle, your profession, your mentors, your entertainers, and your lovers. You chose your paths, pursuits, and passions. You chose what results you want, what they mean, and how you'll measure them.
You find the balance. You 'hold the beam in equipoise.'
I think a useful attitude to adopt toward community gurus and information marketers is called *for entertainment only.*
You can be a *fan* of something without it changing your life or expecting it to.
I look at community 'gurus' the same way most of us look at authors, actors, musicians, etc.
You're a fan or you're not. That's it. There's varying degrees to which you can be a fan, of course, but you're not trying to BE this person or expecting this person to fix you.
Don't become a fan of something or someone just because a lot of people are following it. Don't become a fan of something or someone just because a lot of people are NOT following it.
Find what resonates with you, find your unique tastes, enjoy them, have fun, support the artists you love, connect with people that share similar tastes, etc.
Let yourself be amused. Seek originality. Seek novelty. Or not. Find your niche.
Enjoy his perspectives, his insights, his frame of mind. Relate to the things he says, connect them with your own experiences, and perhaps develop a whole new assessment on an idea or a situation.
Support him as an artist.
Support him just as you do the bands you like by buying their albums and going to their shows.
You don't have to hinge on an artist's every word. You don't read into (or even notice) every lyric of every song. Some songs stand out, some don't.
My choice to be a fan is based on the music and the message. I don't question a band's motive for making music. I am prone to notice Luciferic or Ahrimanic tendencies, but that does not impact my decision
to become a fan.
If they are trying to make it big and have an adoring fanbase, then more power to them. It is really no different than liking a band because they have this passionate need to create (whether recognized or not), when you find music you like.
Just give me something original, something remarkable (worthy of telling a friend about), something to make me smile.
I will never burden an artist
with the task of changing my life.
Notice what motivates people to go to concerts. Really think about it. Bonus question for wannabe instructors:
Why are CD and mp3 sales falling, AND concert sales continually rising?