timespace coordinates: 18th century Europe / America
An Entertainment for Angels, rather than for Men, one observer called electricity, and it proved to be the most significant scientific discovery of the Enlightenment. Lecturers attracted huge audiences who marveled at sparkling fountains, flaming drinks, pirouetting dancers, and electrified boys. Flamboyant experimenters made chains of soldiers leap into the air, while wealthy women titillated their admirers with a sensational electric kiss. Optimists predicted that this strange power of nature would cure illnesses, improve crop production, even bring the dead back to life. An Entertainment for Angels tells the story of how electricity charged the eighteenth-century imagination. With contemporary illustrations and engaging prose, Patricia Fara vividly portrays the struggles to understand the unusual and exciting effects that electrical experiments were producing. (goodreads)
“Large temptations will emanate from these machine-animals, produced by people themselves, and it will be the task of a spiritual science that explores the cosmos to ensure all these temptations do not exert any damaging influence on human beings.” —Rudolf Steiner
In an increasingly digitized world, where both work and play are more and more taking place online and via screens, Rudolf Steiner’s dramatic statements from 1917 appear prophetic. Speaking of “intelligent machines” that would appear in the future, Steiner presents a broad context that illustrates the multitude of challenges human beings will face. If humanity and the Earth are to continue to evolve together with the cosmos, and not be cut off from it entirely, we will need to work consciously and spiritually to create a counterweight to such phenomena.
In the lectures gathered here, edited with commentary and notes by Andreas Neider, Rudolf Steiner addresses a topic that he was never to speak of again–the secret of the geographical, or ahrimanic, Doppelganger. The human nervous system houses an entity that does not belong to its constitution, he states. This is an ahrimanic being that enters the body shortly before birth and leaves at death, providing the basis for all electrical currents needed to process and coordinate sensory perceptions and react to them.
Based on his spiritual research, Steiner discusses this Doppelganger, or double, in the wider context of historic occult events relating to spirits of darkness. Specific brotherhoods seek to keep such knowledge to themselves to exert power and spread materialism. But this knowledge is critical, says Steiner, if the geographical Doppelganger and its challenges are to be understood.
goodreads / amazon
timespace coordinates: dystopian 1984. war-torn London ruled by Oceania, a totalitarian superstate
“Under the spreading chestnut tree / I sold you and you sold me”
Nineteen Eighty-Four, also known as 1984, is a 1984 British dystopian science fiction film written and directed by Michael Radford, based upon George Orwell‘s novel of the same name (published in June 1949). Starring John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, and Cyril Cusack,
the film follows the life of Winston Smith, a low-ranking civil servant in a war-torn London ruled by Oceania, a totalitarian superstate. Smith (Hurt) struggles to maintain his sanity and his grip on reality as the regime’s overwhelming power and influence persecutes individualism and individual thinking on both a political and personal level. The film, which features Burton’s last screen appearance, is dedicated to him. (wiki)
imdb / Newspeak
Staying Connected: How to Continue Your Relationships with Those Who Have Died is a collection of selected talks and meditations (1905-1924) by Rudolf Steiner, edited by Christopher Bamford.
“We are the books the dead read. Our thoughts and feelings are the works of art that brighten and instruct their lives.”
goodreads / rudolfsteineraudio
52. ARCHAEOLOGY. … Wondrous religion … —antiquities are at once products of the future and of the distant past—Goethe contemplates Nature like an antiquity.
Notes for a Romantic Encyclopaedia: Das Allgemeine Brouillon / “Universal Notebook,”(pdf) – Novalis