An Appreciation of Piero Cammerinesi's "Preconceptions and Free Thought"

Submitted by rcmcm on Mon, 08/08/2011 - 10:32am.

Piero Cammerinesi renders contemporary students of Anthroposophy great service with his essay “Preconceptions and Free Thought: Reflections on Judith von Halle.” I appreciated hearing about his meeting with Judith von Halle and the content of her lecture on the Karma of the Anthroposophical Society. I assume she is the woman in the photo by the blackboard.   More important to me, however, was that Cammerinesi brought a new voice that invigorated me to keep on grappling with the spiritual scientific juggernaut of overcoming ones’ habitual sensing and thinking

He recounts personal observations of pre-conceptions and prejudices in the Anthroposophical circles he has known. He is not the first to note that this “pre-packaged” habit of thinking contradicts the intrinsic tenets of free thought. In short, The Philosophy of Freedom has not been put into practice. And time is running out for this to happen. The success or failure of the Michaelic mission is at stake.  Rudolf Steiner stated in London on August 27, 1924 (GA 240):

‘I am preparing for the new Age leading from the 20th into the 21st century!’…it is thus that a true Anthroposophist speaks. Many forces of destruction are at work upon the earth! All culture, all civilized life shall fall into decadence if the Michael Impulse’s spirituality does not take hold of men that they are capable of elevating civilisation, which is hurrying downhill…

His careful rhetoric and clear language evidence Cammerinesi’s scholarly background in philosophy. This alone is refreshing today, when “the social network” vitiates against making the necessary time and effort.  However, he has none of that overbearing aura many scholars convey. He presents three essentials for those of us seeking spiritual wisdom and the power to act in accordance with it.
First, humans must learn how to live with the necessity of endlessly restructuring their conceptions as they seek truth. “Truth will never be conclusive or fixed, and this can only lead us towards a profound respect for the other’s truth (p 2).” 
Second, the Golgotha event “must be central in our lives” with the Resurrection as “the climax of Christ’s mission (p 5).” Although Cammerinesi says this in the context of Judith von Halle’s works and experience, I note his use of the plural pronoun. I also happen to believe this. But he adds that “we must be able to overcome and set aside dogmatism of all kinds.”
Third, vigilant exactitude is required in discerning what is going on in the world and the [General Anthroposophical] Society (p 9).  

“The solution is not a ‘general caring for each other’ but an acute awareness of the opposing forces, given that they do not sleep. We must remain acutely aware as we view things, both in the world and in Society, adopting a standard. This is in fact the motto of tripartite division.” Judith von Halle: “We must wonder what forces are showing themselves in the initiatives undertaken within Society. We must wonder if they are forces acting towards the Threefolding, i.e. freedom on the spiritual level, equality under the law and brotherhood in economic life. If this is the case, we are talking about Christian initiatives. If not, then certainly not. We have the means to discriminate, although this is certainly difficult (p 9).”

The difficulties in achieving discrimination, perseverance, equanimity as we engage in truth-seeking and truth-finding are intrinsic to the process. The effort is essential, as Steiner and others have pointed out, including Massimo Scaligero, revered mentor of Piero Cammerinesi.  

“The spiritual path is not the number of books we have read, the ‘revelations’ that inflame our hearts, or wise discussions with friends, but the impervious and lonely transformation of our thinking, feeling and will. In other words, of our whole earthly being (p 2).” Cammerinesi does not point out in this essay what Judith von Halle does tell readers: one’s relationship with the Christ increasingly brings joy, light and strength to bear the difficulties. This gradual transformation and the growing relationship with the Christ have also been my experience.

Thank you, Piero Cammerinesi, another clear, present, personable and illuminating Italian Michaelite.