Updated: Jan 8
Threshold of Spiritual Development
“At the doorway Sin is crouching; and unto you it directs its desire; and thou shalt rule it!”
(God to Cain before he kills his brother, Genesis chapter 4:7)
Alongside the real human being in each one of us lives its opposite:
the personal, inherent anti‐ human.
It is always there in us, the source for everything that we humans do which is inhuman on all levels: personal, social, professional, global.
We call it the Human Double.
We do not see it. We become it – or not. It becomes us – or not.
That is the threshold of awakening to our true being through confronting its opposite.
In part 1, I described the human Double, awakened by Rudolf Steiner’s description of it, as a soul‐ parasite, which, at the same time,
is a hidden potential colleague or trainer of human moral development.
The Double provides a second option and therefore freedom of choice.
In this capacity the Double works into human consciousness from behind that consciousness. We experience consciously – and painfully ‐ the results of its influence upon us,
but normally not the sources of it, not the Double itself.
I call it ‘The Inner Jacob Dark Angel’.
The same applied to the real human being at the core of every human soul:
it is working from ‘behind’ our normal consciousness into our consciousness and our actions. We experience it in the drive to become more human and in the expressions and action of which we are proud, as they represent our true being.
But in normal human life we do not encounter directly
the source of our true being, our link to universal human nature. We act out of it.
I call it ‘The Inner Moses Burning Bush’.
At some special points in our personal development,
acting on these impulses unconsciously as they come from ‘behind’ us,
is no longer enough as guidance for our life.
At these points, which occur in several stages of our biography,
the need arises to encounter both directly:
the true sources of our humanity and the true source of our anti‐humanity;
our true spiritual being and our Double.
The ‘Inner Dark Angel’ and ‘The Inner Burning Bush’ throw surprising light upon each other. At these points, the Double reveals its higher function:
the threshold of spiritual development.
Indeed, it is through the direct encounter with our Double that
we wake up to the reality of our spiritual nature.
That awakening IS spiritual development.
These points are thresholds of spiritual development, big or small.
We are left alone there with no external guidance.
A free choice is required, and that choice
forms the next stage of our biography.
For there is freedom about choices, but there is no freedom about
the consequences of choices.
Most often it is through the consequences of our choices that we discover for the first time where the choices came from:
from our true being or from our Double.
That is how we learn.
That is the law of karma.
That is the slow‐lane process. It is not the only way.
Conscious cultivation of self awareness is the faster lane.
The enigmatic guidance given by Christ for distinguishing true from false prophets was:
Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit,
neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Mathew 7: 16‐20)
If the tree knows itself – it does not have to wait until the fruit manifests outwardly.
Therefore, the alternative for the law of karma is self knowledge.
If we wake up to the potential sources of our action before we act, we can distinguish between the human and the anti‐human sources of action in us
before we act on them.
A solid process for self awareness is the pre‐requisite for that,
because the intellect alone, being just an instrument,
cannot distinguish the human from the anti‐human in oneself.
Both use the same brain, but not the same heart.
On the threshold between the two options for action,
is the personal initiation place.
Up to a certain point we can conduct a decent level of morality between these two options on the basis of the spiritual strengths that the majority of humanity has already achieved: Compassion, Logic and Conscience.
As established in part 1, there are
three capacities human beings normally possess
which the Double does not: Heart, Truth and Freedom.
The Double, in its true character is the opposite: a heartless being, a congenital liar and a predictable controller.
The spiritual dimension of the human heart is compassion:
the impulse to care, to help, to alleviate the suffering of another.
The spiritual dimension of human truthfulness is logic:
the objective criteria for the truthfulness of
an argument, a conclusion, an explanation, a reason for action.
The spiritual dimension of human freedom is conscience:
the internal compass indicating the difference between a moral and an immoral action.
All three can be applied either before or after the act as an internal moral compass.
Consulting our own compassion, logic and conscience before action
can secure the exposition of both our true being and our Double as two options for action. However, conscience is the strongest of the three in exposing the Double after the action.
Conscience forms the beginning of individual spiritual development.
On record, it first came into human civilization through the moral struggle of
King David (1040– 970 BC), the second king of Israel,
wrestling with duality in his soul. He fell in love with a woman who was married to one of his army officers. He took her secretly and made her pregnant while her husband was on a military campaign with King David’s own army. When concealment failed, he caused her husband to be killed on the frontline, and took his widow, Bathsheba as his wife.
Nathan the prophet – and David’s older son ‐ chastised him.
David confronted his own inner moral deviation and repented.
The baby was dying in Bathsheba’s womb while the king, his father,
in the midst of a national war, laid on the floor for 7 days
praying for forgiveness (2nd book of Samuel 11:1‐12:25).
The child died but David was forgiven, and the second child from Bathsheba was conceived and born healthy: Solomon, the builder of the future Temple.
What David did on the floor was the birth of human Conscience.
This is probably the first time in recorded history
that a man wrestled with his conscience alone and fully consciously.
There are early echoes of it in the story of
Yehuda and Josef (Genesis 37) and Yehuda and Tamar (Genesis 3),
and even before in the temptation of Adam and Eve in Paradise.
But the first evidence of a man wresting with his conscience is David.
That threshold of conscience; that wrestling with his Double,
became his personal initiation.
You can read about it in his poetry, Psalm 52.
The Greek word for conscience is
syneidesis, meaning: ‘with knowledge’;
in Latin it became conscientia: ‘knowledge within oneself’.
The first time this word appeared was in European literature in
Euripides play Orestes (408 BC).
Orestes, son of Agamemnon, killed his mother Clytemnestra
in revenge for her murder of his father.
The furies chase him into the temple of Artemis,
where his sister Electra is caring for him.
Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra’s sister appears, asking Electra to do for her
the ritual of honouring the dead at her sister’s grave in Argus:
“Helen: Would you go to my sister's grave for me?
Electra : My mother's grave, you mean? Why?
Helen: To do the honours ‐ take a lock of my hair, and pour the offering.
Electra: Are you banned from visiting the family graves?
Helen: No, but I am embarrassed to show my face in Argos.
Electra: You've left it a bit late for that:
where was your conscience last time you left home?
Helen: That's harsh ‐ but fair, I suppose.
Electra: So what's this problem you have with facing the people?
Helen: It's the fathers who lost their sons at Troy.
I'm frightened of them. “
And thus the concept of conscience was born in Europe.
In the course of human evolution, inner moral guidance
shifted into the inside of human souls.
Moses still spoke to the ‘I’ as outside him, in the form of the Burning Bush (1391‐1271 BC). Jacob confronts his own Double in the form of the ‘Dark Angel’ (Genesis 24) who blocks him from crossing
the River Jordan westward into the Promised Land.
They wrestle all night, and as morning came the ‘Angel of Darkness’ pleaded with Jacob to let him go because he cannot stand the light. Jacob refused until the angel blessed him. The angel was forced (!) to give him his initiation name:
Israel together with its meaning:
‘for you have wrestled with man and with gods and overcame them’.
Moses ’ Burning Bush who named itself ‘I Am who I Am’
is now inside of our souls.
Jacob’s ‘Dark Angel’ is now inside of our souls.
They became our personal ‘I’ and our personal ‘Anti‐I’.
Both are entirely our personal, moral responsibility now.
We have grown into further individuation over the course of human history
since the 16th century, it accelerated since the 18th century, and
became a normal standard since the threshold of the 50s.
As the individual ‘I’ has grown – so did the individual ‘Anti‐I’.
The ‘I’ and the Anti‐‘I’ grow together.
Everyone is alone on this threshold now.
The time of parental guidance for adults is over.
We have grown up. The ‘I’ is inherent now. So is the Double.
If the ‘I’ confronts its own double, as Jacob wrestled with his dark angel –
there is a blessing and a reward on the other side:
personal initiation and the capacity for making a significant contribution to humanity.
But if we fail to confront our own Double – it takes over and
we become the Double.
We either become the representatives of our true human being or
we become the representative of the Double.
The human Double provides the opportunity for the ordinary human being
to be initiated into our higher potential human being.
But the Dark Angel is dark. It will destroy us if we let it.
That is how the Double is the threshold for spiritual development.
Published in Slovakia as:
Psychofonetika ‐ Ľudský dvojník
Vitalita Magazine, Bratislava Slovakia. Yehuda Tagar, March 2015 (pp.52‐53)
Article in PDF-form here: