Automaton; I Am (not)

A woman unravels Rudolph Steiner's view of evil, while battling internet addiction.

Automaton; I Am (not)
Believe, Midjourney Art, Reivin Alexandria

The words of Rudolph Steiner haunt me. The reality of his warnings gnaw at me relentlessly.

Yet for many years, I’d almost forgotten Steiner. I'd put his material aside for almost three decades, with only the occasional reminder of his words when I shuffled boxes of books and papers.

"People may shy away from the notion that Angels want to call forth in them ideals for the future, but it is so all the same."

A pair of eyes glance in my direction, blank, as though they barely live, peering over a cloth mask. Grey, like the cartoon memes populating social media feeds in recent months. An army of characters without expression. Eyes dead ahead, no smile, just a straight line representing the mouth. A hypnotized, stratified populous of joyless, uncoloured, barely biological figures summarized in one word: "Automaton." 

"We are living in the age of the Spiritual Soul, and in this age the Angels work in the astral bodies of men as I have described. Man must gradually come to understand this in his wideawake consciousness."

Endless junk spans my inboxes. I open my computer with a plan, then immediately become distracted by an array of tabs, flashing numbers and notifications (Gmail box:23, MSN:36 in junk, 20 in "focused"). Too many topics, so few of which I'm actually interested in pursuing. My brain is full.

I glance at this year's astrology report. My moon is in the third house, and this realization sparks a mixed stream of messages from the conscious and unconscious minds, adding to the onslaught of words that seem to pounce faster than I can hit delete or open.

Never mind. It's time for lunch. I close the computer, my initial task still incomplete.

"But as you know, there are other beings working in world-evolution, beings who are interested in deflecting man from his proper course: these are the Ahrimanic and the Luciferic beings.*"

I scroll feeds and become distracted by items on Facebook. I recall I'm on the hunt for a pair of cowboy boots; I open a favourite shopping site, and dive deep into an endless array of products that once again pull me in for hours, my plan forgotten:: to review my decades-old notes on The Work of the Angels in Man's Astral Body by Rudolph Steiner.

"Automaton." I am far too attached to this technology, in danger of merging biology with silicon. After an hour at the keyboard, my GPS watch buzzes, face screaming that, "It's time to move!" I close the computer lid, having still not completed my tasks, and go for a run. Outdoors, I set my watch to "running," and curse how long it's taking to connect to an overhead satellite.

"Lucifer desires that there shall be goodness, spirituality, in man — but automatic goodness, automatic spirituality — without free will. Lucifer desires that man shall be led automatically, in accordance with perfectly good principles, to clairvoyance — but he wants to deprive him of his free will, to remove from him the possibility of evil-doing. Lucifer wants to make man into a being who, it is true, acts out of the spirit, but acts as a reflection, as an automaton, without free will."

How quickly we have moved through the digital age. The acceleration became evident at the time Steiner predicted, at the beginning of the Third Millennium:

"The third millennium begins with the year 2000, so it is only a short time ahead of us. It might still happen that the aim of the Angels in their work would have to be achieved by means of the sleeping bodies of men — instead of through men wideawake."

"Firstly, something would be engendered in the sleeping human bodies — while the Ego and astral body were not within them — and man would meet with it on waking in the morning ... but then it would become instinct instead of conscious spiritual activity and therefore baleful." 

When I first read these words I was optimistic that the Angels would convince humanity to take the higher path of awareness. Unfortunately, as I re-read this lecture today, it is ever more apparent that the bulk of humanity is taking the "baleful" route: the sleep of Automata.

Midjourney Art, Reivin Alexandria

Can we hold out hope for the bubbling up of a new human, quietly emerging from the shadows and into the light? Have the Angels saved enough humans from permanent central nervous system damage? Will our DNA remain intact for this next stage of evolution?

“Ahriman is in truth the teacher par excellence of materialistic Darwinism. He is also the great teacher of all those technical and practical pursuits in Earth-evolution where there is refusal to acknowledge the validity of anything except the external life of the senses.”

"Ahrimanic beings too are working to obscure this revelation. They are not at pains to make man particularly spiritual, but rather to kill out in him the consciousness of his own spirituality." 

Are the Angels still getting through to me, or have I become one of the humans subjected to the baleful outcome of excessive technology and a rejection of the natural spiritual evolution that took off with a vengeance twenty-three years ago? My head is not clear, feeling instead like a mass of neurons and synapses flooded with too much information—deep breath.

I cringe at where we exist on the timeline and the prospect of the worst possible outcome. The contacts I had from an otherworldly intelligence told me in 1989 that "we will win." At the time, I was naive to the nature of the battle and precisely what "we" were supposed to win. Now I know.

"Let us draw from anthroposophical Spiritual Science not only teachings, but resolutions as well! They will give us strength to be vigilant and alert. We can season ourselves to be watchful human beings by paying heed to many things." 

I glance outside at the blue sky and brilliant greens of the cedar and fir trees beyond the window. My watch isn't buzzing on my wrist this time, but I'm deciding without it; it's time to move.

Excerpts from Rudolph Steiner, The Work of the Angels in Man's Astral Body

9 October 1918, Zurich, Switzerland

Entire document: The Work of the Angels in Man's Astral Body:

*A Glossary of terms

  1. Luciferian Forces: According to Steiner, Luciferian forces represent aspects of light and spirituality, but in an imbalanced and extreme form. These forces are associated with intellectualism, creativity, and consciousness but can lead to self-centeredness, illusion, and spiritual detachment from the physical world. Luciferian forces, in Steiner's view, encourage spiritual development but can lead to a loss of grounding and a disconnect from reality when taken to an extreme.
  2. Ahrimanic Forces: On the other hand, Ahrimanic forces, named after Ahriman (a Zoroastrian spirit of darkness and evil), represent materialism and physicality. These forces are tied to the physical and material aspects of existence. While they are essential for understanding and interacting with the physical world, an overemphasis on Ahrimanic elements can lead to materialism, loss of spiritual connection, and a denial of the spiritual aspects of life.

Susan is the writer and co-author of two books, The Compassionate Equestrian (2015) and The Iridescent Silence of Pacific Shores (2015.) Susan also writes for Concordia Equestrians, a digital magazine based in the U.K., and is an administrator for Facebook groups: The Compassionate Equestrian, Equesse For Women Who Love Horses, and the Equine Assisted Mental Health and Resource Network. She is an artist, coach, and a top Masters competitive runner. In her previous life, she was the drummer for an extraterrestrial contactee band in Arizona, UFAUX.