The surpassing strangeness of Rudolf Steiner

What a hornets’ nest one brings about one’s ears when trying to write honestly and rationally about Rudolf Steiner and some of the more difficult issues of interpretation concerning his speeches and writings.

When in my last posting on this blog I suggested that Steiner was not seen at his best in the comments he made on French language and culture during his meetings with the teachers at the first Waldorf school, this provoked reactions all round among both pro- and anti-Steiner factions. Some of the pro-Steiner people adopted a tone of regret that I had been so naïve as to go into such troubled territory. One commenter said: “He (Steiner) gives his usual thorough attention to the concern of switching from French to Russian.  The remark in question, concerning the transplanting of the black race into Europe, is being misunderstood.  Unfortunately, it is Jeremy that is instigating it as an indication of Steiner’s racial prejudice”.

Of the anti-Steiner people, Tom Mellett was gleeful to see that there were one or two anthroposophists who were prepared to acknowledge that Rudolf Steiner was a fallible human being as well as a high initiate, while struggling to conceal his relish that there was dissension in the Steiner camp. The real attitude of the antis, however, was displayed by their intellectual guru, Peter Staudenmaier, who commented: “When the denizens of the more clueless corners of the English-speaking anthroposophical world profess themselves shocked, shocked! at discovering some rebarbative passage by Steiner, they have no idea how much else they are missing. Until they learn more about what their founder actually taught, it will be hard for them to make basic sense of their own ideological inheritance”.

Well, mote and beam, Staudi, mote and beam. Though I have in the past expressed gratitude to him for his genuinely useful work in bringing little-known (to me, at least) information about the history of anthroposophy and anthroposophists, Staudi’s weakness is that he does not seem able to move beyond his antipathy towards Steiner so as to see the man as a rounded whole, in his greatness, his strangeness and his humanness.

Add to this Staudi’s unfortunate habit of treating anthroposophists with contempt and scorn when they do not know or agree with everything he knows or thinks he knows, and we end up with very little chance of a reasonable dialogue – which is quite a missed opportunity.

I wonder why it is so difficult for people to take on board the fact that Steiner was not only a remarkable phenomenon, a truly great man with a huge range of achievements but also a human being, which by definition implies fallibility? Human beings are dualities, as Steiner himself taught; that is to say, each one of us has a light side and a dark side. Why is there such a need, among both pro- and anti-factions, for Steiner to have been a perfect human being, incapable of error? Is it an impossible paradox that someone, whose formative years were in the latter part of the 19th century in Central Europe and whose main work was in the early years of the 20th century, should be at one and the same time not only a high initiate with access to extraordinary knowledge and wisdom but also a man of his time, with some of the attitudes of his age and nation?

steiner-marie-rudolf

Marie and Rudolf Steiner

I don’t agree with those anthroposophists who engage in all sorts of casuistry to demonstrate that Steiner didn’t have any racism in his outlook. I do agree with Dr Adrian Anderson, who in his paper Opponents and Critics: Criticism of Steiner and Anthroposophy, says the following:

“… Anyone who can discern the spiritual integrity of Steiner, as evidenced in his teachings on ethics and spirituality, is aware that he was certainly not a person who harbours dislike, and encourages hostility of, people based on their racial characteristics. Those who study Steiner carefully, encounter ideas which have a profoundly spiritual nature. But this argument is of little weight with those who cannot, or do not want to, see the integrity of Steiner.

For example Steiner mentioned, in what amounts to a direct and total breach of modern anti-racism criteria, that the colour of the skin itself is an expression of various etheric and astral energies, and that these give a specific tone to the way the human mind manifests. It is true that when he was talking about this, he emphasised that the worthiness of the human being itself, of any racial origin, is not the theme, and is not being assessed in his lecture. But despite these words, any person today in assessing Steiner’s works against the modern definition of racism, has no option other than to conclude that they are to be defined today as racist; for logically viewed, this is simply the fact of the matter. And students of Steiner need to note this fact well”.

As I said in the previous posting, readers today need to come to their own conclusions about which Steiner they are meeting when they read any of the forty volumes of his writings or the thousands of lecture transcripts. Are they reading Steiner the initiate, or Steiner the man of his time, or Steiner the fallible human being? For myself, there are many times when I feel exalted, inspired and humbled by what Steiner has written or spoken and those passages are the ones that I take to have come from Steiner the high initiate. There are other times, but only a few, when I find passages by Steiner to be simply bizarre, plain wrong or even offensive. On occasion, when one looks more deeply into the matter, it’s possible to see that Steiner is unfolding some really interesting and difficult ideas that challenge our present-day attitudes and opinions; and sometimes one thinks he is just way off-beam and the sheer strangeness of his thought seems very remote from our life and times. But my overriding impression is of Steiner’s great love for all humanity, his vision of our future, his genius and his wisdom.

There are some people, of course, who for whatever reason, can never begin to approach the surpassing strangeness and visionary genius of Rudolf Steiner with anything other than antipathy or hatred. Marie Steiner wrote about this after his death:

“… On 30th March, 1925 Rudolf Steiner passed away.

His life, consecrated wholly to the sacrificial service of humanity, was requited with unspeakable hostility; his way of knowledge was transformed into a path of thorns. But he walked the whole way, and mastered it for all humanity. He broke through the limits of knowledge; they are no longer there. Before us lies this road of knowledge in the crystal clarity of thoughts …. He raised human understanding up to the spirit; permeated this understanding and united it with the spiritual being of the cosmos. In this he achieved the greatest human deed. The greatest deed of the Gods he taught us to understand; the greatest human deed he achieved. How could he escape being hated with all the demonic power of which Hell is capable?

But he repaid with love the misunderstanding brought against him”.

186 Comments

Filed under Anthroposophy, Marie Steiner, Rudolf Steiner, Staudenmaier

186 responses to “The surpassing strangeness of Rudolf Steiner

  1. Hello Jeremy,

    you wrote:
    “I wonder why it is so difficult for people to take on board the fact that Steiner was not only a remarkable phenomenon, a truly great man with a huge range of achievements but also a human being, which by definition implies fallibility? Human beings are dualities, as Steiner himself taught; that is to say, each one of us has a light side and a dark side. Why is there such a need, among both pro- and anti-factions, for Steiner to have been a perfect human being, incapable of error?”

    Well, I for one have no objection to this, and no difficulty taking it on board.

    Best wishes,
    -alicia

    Like

  2. Thomas J.

    Jeremy states:

    “Why is there such a need, among both pro- and anti-factions, for Steiner to have been a perfect human being, incapable of error?”

    Steiner said many times that he had achieved the necessary criteria that he laid out for being an Initiate. He was German and a man of his time so of course he did not state it as in, “I have achieved thus and thus”, but he did clearly state what it requires and he was very clear that he would not be speaking and teaching if he did not meet that requirement.

    Thank you for this thoughtful posting,

    Thomas

    Like

  3. j.f.

    Hello,

    I am of the opinion that Steiner was much more of a human being than is ever acknowledged by his enemies or orthodox supporters.

    That goes in both directions; he had an active shadow that isn’t recognized and he had much more generous heart than can be seen via the high-powered goggles worn by his supporters.

    Most importantly, I believe he experienced the deep existential terrors (reading his early letters and other such comments) that we humans are known to experience, especially the sensitive ones. If his orthodox supporters even acknowledge that Steiner ever was shaped by such terror, they quickly make clear that he overcame it via his Initiation (based on no evidence); therefore, there is absolutely no aspect of his movement that looks into and studies how his spiritual perception would have been shaped by such human processes.

    But, I’m always on the hunt for counter-examples, so:

    Can somebody show me any aspect of Spiritual Science’s “ground floor” that has undergone reevaluation in the last 100 years? In every other field of *actual* science we see the way that the ground floor is always changing shape in all sorts of fascinating ways. In religion the ground-floor, by definition, never changes. Or, rather, when it does it is unacknowledged.

    Has there been any such thing in Anthroposophy?

    Like

    • Thomas J.

      j.f.

      Please acquaint yourself with Steiner before making such uninformed comments. I am happy to send you a collection of links/books that will help you understand why in anthroposophy there have been no such ground-floor- as you put it- changes in the Anthroposophical movement. It is hard to know where to even begin. It will take you some time to catch up. But it will be worth it. I assume you come to this question with an open mind.

      Thomas

      Like

      • j.f.

        Thomas, I’ve been collecting the spectrum of responses that I receive anytime this topic comes up. I share them with various groups who are interested in the way reasoning/observation gets filtered. Of course I delete any names and take out any information that can be used for personal identification. Even though your response adds nothing new to the pile, it is wonderful and I thank you for it.

        j.f.

        Like

    • Thank you for this very interesting comment, j.f.

      There is an essay by Jost Schieren, “The scientific credibility of anthroposophy”,which you might enjoy reading. There is a link to it below:

      https://www.academia.edu/17910767/The_scientific_credibility_of_Anthroposophy

      Here is a very telling passage:

      “The problems with its cultural profile that anthroposophy habitually encounters do not normally stem from Steiner’s works; they are “home-made”. They reside withanthroposophists, not with anthroposophy.
      A serious problem demanding mention is that of the uncritical use of Steiner’s utterances, with no attempt made on the part of users to test them for themselves or to bring their own observational ability to bear upon them. Here what counts is belief in Rudolf Steiner’s words, rather than any personal striving for knowledge. When this then leads to the issuing of compilations from Steiner’s works embellished with speculations arising from them, the sure ground of scientific rigour has been entirely vacated. A large proportion of the publications of anthroposophical authors treat the utterances of Rudolf Steiner as indubitable facts. There is much musing done upon such subjects as reincarnation sequences and conditions in the so-called spiritual world, with no apparent concern about the obvious lack of any independently thought-out contribution to the content. Even worse: the decades-long habit of studying Steiner leads to the belief that one is completely clued up and in the picture about the things he presented and consequently can (and should) instruct others about them. Through years of reading Rudolf Steiner’s works the individual ability to reserve judgement with regard to their knowledge content is usually undermined. This is rather like spending a lot of time in galleries and as a consequence fancying that one could paint like Raphael. This lack of awareness of the rational detachment necessary in relation to the utterances of Rudolf Steiner is not the source of anthroposophy’s being regarded as unscientific, it is what actually makes it unscientific.”

      The whole article is very worthwhile reading.

      Best wishes,

      Jeremy

      Liked by 2 people

    • Steve Hale

      j.f.,

      We have likely had this conversation from before when you challenged about how can Steiner’s assertions be proven to the outer-external element that works in present-day sense perception and logic. This is the current standpoint of natural scientific investigations. So, we did an experiment which proved that modern-day science cannot look within any being in order to discern what is going on in inward mobility. You even acknowledged the fact that modern-day science has only instruments of outer measurement and calculation.

      So, from the standpoint of spiritual-scientific research, here is the very first criterion in which work from the inner-side is made possible as an initiative of effort:

      “Anyone who occupies himself with an exposition of occult science will soon see that through it concepts and ideas are acquired that previously he did not possess. Thus he also acquires new thoughts concerning his previous conception of the nature of “proof.” He learns that for an exposition of natural science, “proof” is something that is brought to it, as it were, from without. In spiritual-scientific thinking, however, the activity, which in natural-scientific thinking the soul employs for proof, lies already in the search for facts, These facts cannot be discovered if the path to them is itself not already a proof. Whoever really travels this path has already experienced the proving in the process: nothing can be accomplished by means of a proof applied from without The fact that this is not recognized in the character of occult science calls forth many misunderstandings.”

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/English/AP1972/GA013_c01.html

      The many misunderstandings is our current dilemma, or rather, yours in which the typical logical-empirical evidence is all that matters. Any cowhand from Missouri can see that a bull is patiently waiting for an incentive, even if old and rather domesticated 😉

      But, what does it prove?

      Like

      • j.f.

        First let us deal with your psychosis, Steve. I will send $100 to the charity of your choice when you show me your “proof” of this claim:

        “You even acknowledged the fact that modern-day science has only instruments of outer measurement and calculation.”

        I’ve never said nor believed that modern science has no ways of measuring “inner experience”. If you are going to put your words into my mouth, please, don’t avoid this question. Show me when I said that. I give you permission to go into whatever email you need to and copy my words that say the above. You won’t. You lie. It is connected to many of your other filters, of which you know nothing.

        As to the other thing:

        You are making a very simple logical error that is widespread among those who live in this kind of scientific denial.

        You will not be able to reconcile this, but it should be said for the record (other people observe these conversations and need to see that not all who appreciate Steiner have drunk the psychotic Kool-Aid).

        The quote you shared above makes perfect sense. That reasoning did not begin with Steiner. It had already been stated by the early and proto-phenomenologists, and I believe that we even have a lecture in which Steiner very clearly indicates the way in which his teacher/mentor Brentano came to the same insight. It will take a slightly different shape given the methodology, but the principle is the same.

        However, you are clearly using it to maintain the very blindness that forces you to believe anything Steiner said, even the clear mistakes.

        Because Steiner also said that an external proof can and should be used to demonstrate the errors in spiritual research. Do you disagree with him? Oh, please respond to my first request above before you tell me why Steiner was wrong about external sense-observation being a valid way to correct spiritual claims.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thomas J.

        j.f.,

        Rudolf Steiner was the first person to articulate the way Spiritual Science is different from modern science. Pay attention. You are wrong when you say that others also recognized the way the inner method must already contain the facts.

        You are also wrong when you say that Steiner said that a spiritual fact can be contradicted by a sense-perception. Can you read? Did you not read what Steve shared? When we begin to perceive the spiritual not only do we obtain new “facts” but our “proof” changes. This means that your sense-perceptible “proofs” are based on your inability to understand the fundamentals of spiritual science.

        Why would Steiner would have contradicted what he says in Steve’s quote by claiming the opposite? I look forward to it.

        Thomas

        Like

      • Steve Hale

        Your whole method is based on gaining survey data from the outside. Thus, when I said, “You even acknowledged the fact that modern-day science has only instruments of outer measurement and calculation”, it was in reference to the data collection/statistical analysis you use to get your facts. And all of it is outer-external. And from this, you make your judgments.

        You do not apply or test anything from the inside, which is why I sent a few words about “proof” as a matter of inner certainty. Your clinical studies are based on instruments of outer measure/calculation and then you assess what it means when 45 people say this or that, and what its probability curve indicates.

        That is one approach in getting answers, and it is the one you use. But it can hardly suffice for assessing real inner experience. Your tool, which is inductive reasoning, only serves to derive empirical data which falls far short of what spiritual science achieves.

        Like

  4. Steve Hale

    Jeremy wrote:

    “One commenter said: “He (Steiner) gives his usual thorough attention to the concern of switching from French to Russian. The remark in question, concerning the transplanting of the black race into Europe, is being misunderstood. Unfortunately, it is Jeremy that is instigating it as an indication of Steiner’s racial prejudice”.

    If you are referring to my comments, I am sadly disappointed. For one, I never addressed Steiner’s fallibility/infallibility, but rather what seems to me to be the larger issue. To summarize my input above in your own words was not what my comments were about at all. I think some of that anti-steiner rhetoric slipped over to great effect and caused confusion,, which of course, is the intent of the propagandists from the dark side.

    Here is what I wrote you on April 11th.

    Dear Jeremy,

    This is another very compelling essay of interest. I am very glad that you thought immediately about Steiner’s lecture to the Waldorf teachers on February 14, 1923. Yet, I believe that Paxman’s denunciation of the French is entirely different than Steiner’s. While Steiner sees the degradation in the French language, the same can be said for the English language. Yet, Paxman sees English as needing to become the normative voice in the world. Of course, he is wrong. But, that doesn’t make Steiner wrong.

    No, what Steiner is addressing is a concern brought up by Dr. Richard Karutz, an ear doctor, who had children in the school. He felt that the teaching of French should be replaced by Russian. Steiner went into great detail about how the French language had degraded over time, and how superior the German language was for knowing with internal security, and yet, the teaching of French should remain for the present time. This was Steiner’s well-considered assessment, and it would do well for everyone to read that lecture in its entirety, for it has certain superlative qualities. At no time can it be adjudged that Steiner was responding to the French occupation of the Rhine/Ruhr with acrimony.

    For those that think that Steiner was lashing out at the French with this lecture, let the facts be told. The Treaty of Versailles allowed for a 15 year occupation of the area around the Rhineland. This was extended to the Ruhr region in 1923 because Germany had fallen behind on its reparations to the United States for causing the war. The amount, some 33 billion dollars, couldn’t be paid, and so the occupancy was extended into the Ruhr district, which had the effect of creating extreme agitation, and loss of life. Thus, in early 1923, Steiner had been dealing with the enormity of the situation for some four years.

    Here is a brief background article, followed by three links for further inquiry into what stood behind Rudolf Steiner’s always positive and loving mind.

    “In the bitter struggles that attended the early enforcement of the Treaty of Versailles in western Europe, perhaps the most surprising and certainly the most treacherous weapon which France and Germany mobilized against each other was that of race. To be sure, many weapons (economic, political, educational ,etc.) were available to the antagonists and many were employed, but of the latter none was as destructive as the attempt by each nation to exploit its opponents’ fears and prejudices regarding French colonial soldiers in the Rhineland. Originally, the French had begun the process by assigning “Africans” to the occupation at least in part in order to demonstrate to the enemy the extent of his defeat. Before long, the Germans had retaliated with a concerted propaganda effort, attempting to utilize the “black horror on the Rhine” to discredit France and the occupation in the eyes of the “civilized” world. For almost three years, until the Ruhr crisis had radically altered the international situation, both sides clung doggedly to policies which could only result in increasing recrimination and widespread ill will.

    It is true, of course, that colonial troops had constituted a sizable portion of the Allied military establishment for some years previously. During the war, both Britain and France had supplemented and strengthened their armies with vast amounts of African and Asian manpower. India alone had provided 800,000 soldiers and 400,000 laborers, while the French colonies had supplied more than half a million combatants and 200,000 workers.”

    Ref. The “Black Horror on the Rhine”: Race as a Factor in Post World War I Diplomacy, Keith L. Nelson, University oif California, Irvine, The Journal of Modern History, Vol. 42, No. 4 , Dec. 1970

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Rhineland
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhineland_Bastard
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occupation_of_the_Ruhr

    Like

  5. T.S.

    I agree with JF, the anthro movement seems to me very much rooted in the last century (even the language such as the derision towards the “materialists”), unable to come to terms with the possibility that RS was not a perfect human being and capable of errors and mistakes. So I gladly welcome Jeremy’s post.

    I think a core problem is the anthros belief that RS was clairvoyant. This can be used as an excuse for everything that does not make sense, as “we” do not have RS’s insight and cannot therefore truly understand.

    As for Anthroposophy and science, they are just not compatible. There is nothing scientific about Anthroposophy, it is better to look at it in terms of philosophy not science. Steve Hale’s list above of RS “science” courses nicely demonstrates the point.

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      You might consider nicely demonstrating the point by simply opening up one of these courses and see what it contains for the evolution of science.
      Take the Astronomy course, or 3rd Scientific Course,

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA323/English/LR81/AstCrs_index.html

      it starts from the basis of the Universe as Macrocosm, and the human cell; cellular embryology as the Microcosm. Please look at this and then tell me it is not scientific. Remember, Philosophy is the Father of Science.

      Steve

      Like

  6. j.f.

    By the way, one of the very useful things that comes about in posts such as Jeremy’s (and especially in the previous one), is that we get to see in detail the consequences of a movement that utterly refuses to look at itself and its founder with real human compassion, curiosity and intelligence. Caring about Steiner and the movement in such a way takes a courage that simply has yet to manifest.

    So; we get all the various kinds of expressions that we are seeing. The certainties, the “teachings”, the justifications of deep immoralities, the denial of things right in front of our face and, always, the finger of blame pointing to the outside ill-intent and lack of understanding. This is universal with such groups. One way you know you are dealing with this kind of dynamic (when a group claims to based on research) is to ask what has changed on the ground floor in the last ten years or so. With anthroposophists you can generously ask about the last 100 years. You will be met with a kaleidoscopic set of non-sequiturs.

    Again, for context: I believe Steiner made many breathtakingly practical and utterly original observations. I have no ill will towards the man, despite my belief that he was worthy of everyday human compassion and observation.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jeremy,

    I would like to salute your wonderful literary acumen and trenchant ingenuity when you sum up the work of the following Anthroposophist in not just one short sentence, but also in just one word within that sentence! I quote your literary gem below.

    Jeremy wrote:
    I don’t agree with those anthroposophists who engage in all sorts of casuistry to demonstrate that Steiner didn’t have any racism in his outlook.

    ———–
    Definition of Casuistry

    specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, especially in questions of morality; fallacious or dishonest application of general principles; sophistry.
    ———–

    On the basis of the last synonym, Jeremy, I wish to pay tribute to that Anthroposophist with a single word that you inspired me to create:

    Steven Hale, I consider you to be the finest practitioner of Anthroposophistry that I have ever encountered in all my 20 years on the wider Steiner Internet.

    Thank you Jeremy!

    Tom

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      If Jeremy is invoking me again with the ‘casuistry’ remark he is wrong again. I did not take up the racism issue except to send again the so-called “forbidden color lecture” for Jeremy’s own careful reading. My input was to take certain issues of the occupation into account. Others, like yourself, chose to focus on the racism. As well, others agreed that the French language is in a poor condition, especially Daniel (who is French). So, please notice the input of others, especially yours, Tom, which is what proves to be persuasive to Jeremy on Steiner’s racism.

      In today’s world, Steiner’s analysis of race characteristics would be largely unacceptable to the ears. Again, my input concerned the terrible conditions which created the African-German bastard children, and the very real threat of it occurring in France.

      I see that reading for content is not high on your list, Tom. What is high is a kind of ‘Anthropsychopitry’ in which you relish in manipulating, distorting, and otherwise putting your corruptive touch on these conversations. This is also casuistic activity.

      Like

      • Dear Steve,
        The “casuistry” remark was not aimed at you or anyone else in particular, but at a tendency that is there among some anthroposophists to find convoluted explanations for remarks Steiner made, so as to justify them in ways that will be acceptable today.
        In purely pragmatic terms, if anthroposophists are feeling the need to do this, then we have already lost the argument; it is far easier for the critics to play “Steiner said” in a headline than it is for us to give a long and detailed explanation, which few people will have the time or inclination to go into.
        The challenge for us,surely, is to find ways of making anthroposophy relevant in finding solutions to today’s problems. This will not come from quoting Steiner, I suggest, but in demonstrating how applied anthroposophy can make a difference. The huge growth of interest in biodynamic wines is perhaps the best example, but there must be many others. Anthroposophists have to step up to the plate in showing that we can make a difference in ways that make sense to ordinary people. This is a huge task but an exciting one!

        Best wishes,

        Jeremy

        Like

      • wooffles

        Jeremy,
        You mention biodynamic wines as the best example of the impact applied anthroposophy can have. For me, even more impressive and, I think, more important in its impact, and more revealing perhaps in its own way about how anthroposophy relates to the larger culture, is Community Supported Agriculture. I first became aware of it as a biodynamic movement; it dropped off my radar screen for a decade or so. When I became aware of the movement again, it was huge, and its anthroposophical origins had been completely obliterated. That was a process of appropriation and erasure that is fascinating in its thoroughness. Here’s an article from the Rodale Institute that gets the story correct: http://newfarm.rodaleinstitute.org/features/0104/csa-history/part1.shtml

        Best wishes,

        Like

      • Thanks for this comment and the great link. Of course, you are quite right to point out that my example of biodynamic wines was not a good one, but what I had in mind is that BD wines are making waves in the conventional wine world right now and, as I’ve said before, it seems likely that in the next few years BD wines will introduce more people to biodynamics and Steiner than any other aspect of applied anthroposophy.

        As someone who is very involved with a couple of CSA farms, I think you’re spot on about their importance in relating anthroposophy to the wider culture. This is what really interests me and I’m currently involved in a project with a film-maker in the USA to document the early history of the farms, together with looking at issues of succession, community ownership and access to land for young farmers and growers. It’s possible that I may be coming to Santa Fe in November to attend the BD conference in connection with this project.

        I would like to look at anthroposophy and how to connect it with the wider culture in other posts on this blog – any ideas you or others may have for this will be very welcome!

        Best wishes,

        Jeremy

        Like

      • wooffles

        Along those lines you mention, out of curiosity, I once googled “barfield saving the appearances”. It was impressive how many people found that book helpful, over a wide range of topics. Interesting too, what they engaged with and what they left alone.

        Best wishes

        Like

  8. wooffles

    Jeremy,
    I’m very glad that you’re raising this issue. It never occurred to me not to read Steiner critically. He’s often inspired and profoundly true, but how often he is literally true is another question. I know enough true believers who are genuinely inspired teachers, artists, humble purveyors of life wisdom, etc., to know that, at the very least, his work can still be transmuted into impressive results.

    Nonetheless I was taken aback to discover how resistant anthroposophical culture was to critical approaches to Steiner. The unspoken rule was you only talked or wrote about what you were trying to understand, or shared how your understanding was deepening, or how you were applying it to new and contemporary topics, or your own life.

    I chafed at it and my involvement in the movement is minimal now. But I’m no longer so sure that in the total scheme of things that this unspoken rule is a bad thing. What happens if you turn the perennial question of why are there so few members on its head and ask why are there still so many, given how weird and leaderless anthroposphy is? And why does the movement continue to punch well above its weight, culturally?

    Tom’s point about once you start questioning, when do you stop seems to me a good one. The centrifugal forces could get irresistibly strong once that unspoken rule dissolves away.

    When I started as a Waldorf teacher, I thought the “der Doktor hat gesagt” types were the bane of Waldorf. But when I started to realize how susceptible schools were to societal pressures and how susceptible a lot of teachers were to the winds of fashion without thinking carefully about what made a Waldorf school Waldorf, they looked a lot more necessary.

    That isn’t a perfect state of affairs, but it might be better than the alternatives.

    Best wishes

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ton Majoor

    Often, Steiner compares his strange thought and ground floor rather with mathematics per se than with natural science, e.g.:
    “Just as the mathematician advances from thought to thought without the unconscious or autosuggestion playing a role, so — I told myself — spiritual perception must advance from objective imagination to objective imagination without anything living in the soul but the spiritual content of clear, discerning consciousness.” (GA 13, Preface 1925)

    Like

  10. Gemma

    The remark in question, concerning the transplanting of the black race into Europe, is being misunderstood.

    The main point of my comment is to look at Rudolf Steiner’s abhorrence of the presence of black people in the areas occupied by France in the early twenties of the last century.

    In Anglo-Saxon cultures, slavery was commonplace. Great cities like Bristol and Liverpool were founded on the horrific suffering of Africans. To the British slave owner, they were nothing less and nothing more than the Untermensch. Something unhuman that could be sold like cattle to the highest bidder. To the English speaking world, it is well known that Wilberforce made this illegal, albeit that in America, it was still practiced widely, even after the so-called abolition.

    What is less well known is that Germany never needed to abolish slavery, because they never had any. Only people like Adolf Hitler – who acted more like an Englishman than ever he did a German man – saw slavery as an appropriate economic measure, just as the freedom-loving Allies did after the war.

    Rudolf Steiner grew up in a community where slavery was beyond comprehension.

    That the French brought Africans into Germany will have brought the horrors of slavery to Rudolf Steiner’s mind. He will have only known of slavery as another way to make more money by making people suffer, and you cannot think of him as an Englishman. He was part of the German culture, which is still bafflingly egalitarian to most of the English who live there.

    Rudolf Steiner spoke of nutrition in the March of 1911, and said the following: “When we look at the skin, which finally shuts man off from the outside world, and when we observe the nutritive substances that bring about that external enclosure which in itself certainly provides man with his surface structure, but which could not of itself produce the human form, it then becomes clear that this sort of nutritive process which is active in the skin is the most recent one in the human organism.”

    This is true for all peoples, be they white, yellow or black. Few of those reading the last passage will understand the full implications of what he was saying, however, one cannot think of such subtleties without a full realization of what makes a human being human.

    I wonder why it is so difficult for people to take on board the fact that Steiner was not only a remarkable phenomenon, a truly great man with a huge range of achievements but also a human being, which by definition implies fallibility? Human beings are dualities, as Steiner himself taught; that is to say, each one of us has a light side and a dark side.

    The whole point of initiation is to lighten that darkness, bring it into full consciousness. The more a person has walked the path, the more that darkness will have been transformed. That darkness is our challenge – and any antipathy that a person feels for anything that Rudolf Steiner says will be a part of that darkness. It needs to be said that nobody can do this for you, and no amount of reading the lectures will make any difference unless the reader has practiced the verses and arrived at meaningful results, as Rudolf Steiner encouraged them to.

    In short, if there is any one person who showed what it was to have transformed the dark side of their life into the light, it is Rudolf Steiner.

    Why is there such a need, among both pro- and anti-factions, for Steiner to have been a perfect human being, incapable of error?

    In this one statement, it is clear that those desiring perfection of one human being have no idea of what initiation entails.

    The closer one looks to Steiner the man, the more one will find the initiate. The closer one looks to Steiner the initiate and the more one will find the man. Now to most people this will simply mean that he has to be perfect – that in itself implies they have not dealt with their antipathies. Those who have will know why, those who have not [practiced the verses] will not. My point is that modern initiation implies that the person becomes more human, not less. However, this implies that the person has worked with their antipathies – Rudolf Steiner cleansed himself of his antipathies in the manner required of a neophyte.

    It is our human lot to be limited, not only in our present incarnation, but in eternity. Rudolf Steiner is no different and it must be emphasized that if someone sees this as him expressing antipathies, they must take this as them seeing a mirroring of their own antipathies in the world around them. Only a person who has worked with and understood their own antipathies [practiced the verses] will be able to appreciate what it is that makes the human an individual.

    It is this which I refer to when I state that “the closer one looks to Steiner the man, the more one will find the initiate. The closer one looks to Steiner the initiate and the more one will find the man.”

    Anthroposophy means nothing if the student has not practiced their verses and striven to lighten the darkness of their antipathies. There are very good reasons for practicing the verses, and they have never been more apparent than they are today.

    Like

    • T.S.

      Gemma,

      You make some sweeping statements.

      “What is less well known is that Germany never needed to abolish slavery, because they never had any. Only people like Adolf Hitler – who acted more like an Englishman than ever he did a German man – saw slavery as an appropriate economic measure, just as the freedom-loving Allies did after the war.”

      Just for the record Hitler was Austrian not German – also a non smoking vegetarian, a bit like someone else we know 😉

      Germany did not exactly act do much to curtail slavery in practice in its own colony
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_East_Africa

      So I have no idea what you mean when you say Hitler acted like an Englishman as did the Allies after the war,

      It also seems you have taken on the role of deciding what RS actually thought!

      “That the French brought Africans into Germany will have brought the horrors of slavery to Rudolf Steiner’s mind.”

      Like

      • Gemma

        I have no idea what you mean when you say Hitler acted like an Englishman

        Do the exercises as Rudolf Steiner encouraged you to, and you will come to see what I mean. You may also begin to see the positive qualities that the English have – but perhaps that would mean you would then be making sweeping statements about them, too…

        Like

      • T.S.

        Gemma,
        I am well aware of the positive qualities English men have ;). But I assumed that when you said “Adolf Hitler – who acted more like an Englishman than ever he did a German man” you had something specific in mind that was relevant.

        Like

      • Gemma

        I am sure you are aware of the positive qualities of the Englishman. The English are very good at believing they are the best.

        But it was rather a mistake of yours to say

        Just for the record Hitler was Austrian not German

        Because I never suggested otherwise; you misread what I had written, which is perhaps the commonest mistake Anthros make. But then, they haven’t done the exercises, have they?

        And since they are fully aware of their positive qualities, it’s the best excuse for not doing the exercises, isn’t it? You have them all already, don’t you?

        You see, if you had done the exercises, you would know why my comment about Hitler was specific. You see, Rudolf Steiner spoke of how the British lambasted the Germans for being warlike. I’m sure as a good anthroposophist, you will know the chapter and the verse.

        What saddens me most is that you completely missed the point of my comment.

        Like

      • T.S.

        Gemma,
        I am not an anthroposophist nor have any plans to be one and I am quite happy to admit to mistakes I make. I am less than perfect.

        If the point you were trying to make re Hitler was about how “Rudolf Steiner spoke of how the British lambasted the Germans for being warlike” it would be simpler if you just stated it directly.

        Like

  11. Caryn Louise

    We experience the laying aside of our etheric body so as to feel: ‘Now you have not only abandoned the densest substantiality of the earth which prevented you from hearing the music of the spheres. You have lost the habit (this is perhaps the last impression, and a very important one, which then remains constantly) of allowing the external light to throw light upon you and your environment.’ In parenthesis, I wish to say that it is a very foolish idea to think that, in flying away from the earth to the sun, we always fly through light. Materialistic scientists have this fantastic notion. The belief that the sun spreads light in the manner described in physics, that the light passes through the world’s spaces and falls upon the earth, is one of the worst superstitions. After death we realize this, for when we grow aware of the fact that we have abandoned our etheric, we know that the light of the sun, which exists here, in physical life, only exists in that sphere which belongs to the earth. We have the perception: ‘you are no longer disturbed by that light’. Now it is the inner conviction of this light which begins to spread in the world which is at first filled with sounds. The inner light can only shine because the external light no longer disturbs the inner light.

    Life Beyond Death, Inward Experiences After Death, 23rd November 1915, Stuttgart, page 107

    Daily I die in Christ

    Like

    • T.S.

      Thank you Caryn,
      Your quote from Steiner is a good example why as I said in an earlier post that Anthroposophy and science are not compatible!

      Like

  12. Caryn Louise

    Well, it depends on the knowledge. Copernicus describes the Lemniscate in his Revolution of the Heavenly Spheres, Book Three, 2. History of the Observation Confirming the Irregular Precession of the Equinox and Solstices & 3. The Hypothesis by Means of Which the Mutation of the Equinoxes and of the Obliquity of the Ecliptic and the Equator are Shown (Ptolemy, Copernicus, Kepler – Britannica Great Books vol.16, University of Chicago, 1952)

    3: “Accordingly it seems clear from this (2) that the solstices and equinoxes change around in an irregular movement. No one perhaps will bring forward a better reason for this than that there is a certain deflexion of the axis of the Earth and the poles of the equator. For that seems to follow upon the hypothesis of the movement of the Earth, since that the ecliptic remains perpetually unchangeable – the constant latitudes of the fixed stars bear witness to that – while the equator moves. For if the movement of the axis of the Earth were simply and exactly in proportion to the movement of the centre, there would not appear at all any precession of the equinoxes and solstices, as we said; but as these movements differ from one another by a variable difference, it was necessary for the solstices and equinoxes to precede the positions of the stars in an irregular movement.

    The same thing happens in the case of the movements of declination, which changes the obliquity of the ecliptic irregularly – although this obliquity should be assigned more rightly to the equator. For this reason you should understand two reciprocal movements belonging wholly to the poles, like hanging balances, since the poles and circles in a sphere imply one another mutually and are in agreement. Therefore there will be one movement which changes the inclination of those circles by moving the poles up and down in proportion to the angle of section. There is another which alternately increases and decreases the solstitial and equinoctial precessions by a movement taking place crosswise. Now we call these movements “librations” or “swinging movements, because like hanging bodies swinging over the same course between two limits, they become faster in the middle and very slow at the extremes. And such movements occur very often in connection with the latitudes of the planets, as we shall see in the proper place.

    The differ moreover in the periods, because the irregular movement of the equinoxes is restored twice during one restoration of obliquity. But as in every apparent irregular movement, it is necessary to understand a certain mean, through which the ration of irregularity can de determined; so in this case too it was quite necessary to consider the mean poles and the mean equator and also the mean equinoxes and points of solstice. The poles and the terrestrial equator, by being deflected in opposite directions away from these mean poles, though within fixed limits, make those regular movements appear irregular. And so these two librations competing with one another make the poles of the earth in the passage of time describe certain lines similar to a twisted garland.”

    Diagram showing this movement – known as the Leminiscate. (I have tried to find this particular diagram on the internet but so far I have not been able to. So I can scan it in or describe the movement in detail if you are interested.)

    The above is a brief description of Copernicus’ third axiom.

    In Spiritual Science, Man’s relation to the Universe is not left out and in – The Relation of the Diverse Branches of Natural Science to Astronomy (GA323) particularly lecture nine and the Man: Hieroglyph of the Universe, lecture course (GA201), in particular lecture four – an enormous amount of insight knowledge is gained in particular with waking and sleeping in connection with the leminiscate movement.

    “Man can find nothing in the universe unless he finds it in himself first”

    Caryn

    Like

  13. Tom H Shea

    It seems to me that the people who want it to be impossible for Steiner to be wrong want him to be their Pope, an INFALLIBLE authority, and then it seems that they feel it to be sinful to question or doubt Steiner’s statements. I think that in trying to characterise his revelation as a science, Steiner was trying to avoid just this scenario where he is regarded as an infallible authority.

    True science is not and never can be an infallible authority. Its results are always provisional and can in principle be disproven, or shown to be mistaken, by subsequent research and the discovery of new evidence.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Caryn Louise

    You are welcome to take it or leave it Tom H. Shea, most people do prefer to live on sensations rather than intelligence.

    Caryn

    Like

  15. Tom H Shea

    I am not sure exactly what you intend by your comment Caryn. Maybe you find my suggestion that some people want Steiner to be infallible (to be a kind of Pope), to be offensive. If so, It would help us to understand each other better if you said so. Perhaps you would explain. Thank You, Tom

    Like

    • Tom,

      Let me suggest that Caryn is offering examples of how anthroposophy is fully scientific, and yet you say it proves that “anthroposophy is not science”. What could be more scientific than the offerings from Steiner’s course, “Man: Hieroglyph of the Universe.” It is very readable, and yields to the furtherance of the already known.

      You have acknowledged as not being an anthroposophist, and yet have decided opinions about a discipline you are not studied in. This fact could certainly influence your opinions, such as the Steiner infallible pope nonsense. In reality, you and all of the other critics, in order to be truly honest with yourself, have to admit that you do not know spiritual science for the simple reason that you have not studied and assimilated it.

      Steiner dealt with a great deal of science, and always appreciating the findings of natural science today. But, as well, he wanted to ‘push the envelope’ in which contemporary science must go further into the underlying causal aspects which join the phenomenal with the noumena of its origin.

      Here is the simple solution. By actually taking the time to study the findings of spiritual science, rather than relying on the opinions of the sceptics, which could certainly also involve a head teacher in a state school in England, who also saw fit to be a trustee in a Steiner school itself, it could prove to show that present-day logic is far beneath where it needs to be in this Consciousness-Soul age. There is nobody more logical than a teacher in today’s public school system. Yet, the logic is of the Intellectual Soul must needs advance into the future.

      Teaching today resists the future for the simple reason that it is enclosed within a worldview that is entirely related to death. Modern science is descriptive of what is an appearance only, and therefore, temporary and subject to disappearing and becoming history. Thus, what is past has only made way for the present, and which leads to the future.

      Today’s education needs to acknowledge these three elements of past, present, and future in its overall scope, and then ask and encourage the question: Where do we go from here?

      Steve

      Like

  16. Tom H Shea

    Dear Steve, thank you for your thoughtful response but you are confusing two correspondents. ‘T.S’, is not the same person as ‘Tom H Shea’.
    T.S is the person who says he is NOT an anthroposophist.
    I am Tom Hart Shea (abbreviated to Tom H. Shea on the blog). I have been a member of the anthroposophical society for over 30 years and the School of Spiritual Science for over 20 years. I have studied Steiner (and done the inner work!) and paid for both my children to be educated at a Steiner school (and indeed am now helping to pay for my grandchildren!).
    It was me who made the (admittedly abrasive) comment that people who want Steiner to be infallible are making him into their Pope.
    In regard to Steiner’s teachings, I believe that some things can be objectively true without laying claim to their being scientific. Most of the truths of mathematics are objectively true (there are still areas which are under investigation). We could not understand someone who denied that 2+2 always equals 4. Similarly with euclidean geometry, boolean algebra and many other aspects of mathematics. There is no evidence for 2+2=4, only our daily experience and logic. I say that this is not evidence because no-one could provide counter evidence. In a court of law when anything is produced as evidence it is, in principle, always possible to produce counter evidence.
    Similarly with contemporary scientific knowledge. It is evidence based – and that means that everyone can understand in any given situation what would count as counter evidence to a particular statement or theory.
    But if we look at Spiritual Science/Anthroposophy we find people who don’t want to consider evidence and counter evidence. They don’t want to look at it in that way at all. They say, ‘Do the exercises’. (One correspondent says ‘verses’ – I guess she means the mantra of the School of Spiritual Science). Well, there are many people who have done the exercises and the verses and still have different thoughts to Steiner on such subjects as race, or whether it can ever be right to make the judgement on a child that he/she does not have a human soul.
    Nick Thomas said that he believed that the fundamental mood for apprehending the truths of maths was ‘gnosis’, that is – learning/understanding through ones own soul forces. I believe this to be largely true of Steiner’s revelations. One has to do the exercises, to meditate in order to develop ones soul forces. In contrast the fundamental mood of modern science is empiricism. The truths of modern science can in principle be understood by anyone without developing any special soul forces (except the intellect).
    The truths of Steiner’s revelation are more like the truths found through art, through poetry, music, painting, sculpture, architecture… They may be life-changing, they may bring healing, confidence and steadfastness to ones feeling life, inspiration to ones thinking and strength to ones will, but they do not attain to the logical certainty of Mathematics, nor the evidential certainty of Science.
    If they did it would compromise everyone’s freedom to acknowledge them or not.
    And in the age of the consciousness soul one is free to take the notion of spiritual revelation with a pinch of salt if one wishes. There is no compulsion, neither from logic, nor from experience to believe anything Steiner says.
    If he were infallible would this still be so?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Hale

      I would only assert that studying spiritual science for 30 years, without any speculation on Steiner’s personal foibles, has convinced me that his findings serve to increase the limits of present-day science. Everyone is free to make that effort and possibly see where knowledge has been extended, or resort as you did to the Steiner infallibility issue after Caryn’s well-considered input which demonstrated very well that science was always a major part of anthroposophical knowledge. I likely have you and the other t.s. confused, yet the similarities of opinion and timing are noteworthy.

      Steve

      Like

    • wooffles

      Tom,
      I agree with what you are saying about the difference between anthroposophical truth and scientific truth, but I’m not sure, and I haven’t been, almost since I started reading him, that Steiner would have.

      I’m thinking of quotations like:
      “A clear knowledge of the feeling of certainty accompanying the use of mathematics will lead us to acknowledge the necessity that a spiritual science must come about with an equivalent degree of certainty” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA324/English/MP1991/19210316p01.html

      or
      “the trustworthiness of such [spiritual] observations is certainly far greater here than in the outer world of sense; and those communications which, bearing on history and prehistoric times, can be given out by the various Initiates, agree in their essence.” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA011/English/TPS1911/GA011_c01.html

      or
      “Through simple thought exercises we acquire greater ability for factual thinking concerning the Saturn, Sun, and Moon evolutions.” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/English/AP1972/GA013_c05-02.html

      And then there are Steiner’s ubiquitous references to “objective imaginations” and the like.

      If I dug around more, I’m sure I could come up with a lot more places where Steiner with his stress on facts, certainty and objectivity appears to be making a much closer identification between what he is doing and what scientists do, especially as science was understood in the early twentieth century, than you do.

      That closer identification in turn might explain, at least in part, the amount of push back you are getting. A really good scientist of the invisible is far more trustworthy, Steiner is saying, in what s/he communicates than a really good scientist of the visible. Although that isn’t the same thing as a claim of infallibility, it can be heard, not unfairly, as something similar.

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        “If I dug around more, I’m sure I could come up with a lot more places where Steiner with his stress on facts, certainty and objectivity appears to be making a much closer identification between what he is doing and what scientists do, especially as science was understood in the early twentieth century, than you do.”

        Here is one that came up this morning:

        “It is the conviction of anthroposophical Spiritual Science that doubts cast from one side or another upon the scientific exactitude of its research are based entirely upon misunderstanding. Anthroposophy does not wish to be a matter of amateurish talk but a path of knowledge along which the higher, super-sensible worlds are approached with the same scientific exactitude the same methodical and disciplined thought with which natural science has for so long approached the laws of Nature. If, however, the aim is to reach the super-sensible worlds with the same strict exactitude with which natural science reaches its results, it is necessary both in regard to the results themselves and the methods of investigation, to go beyond what is universally recognised as ‘scientific’ today.

        Anthroposophical Spiritual Science is founded upon the same fundamental principles which have helped to make modern science great. Modern science has achieved greatness through scrupulous observation of the material world, through experiment, through the reasoned deliberation of what is yielded by sense-observation and experiment.

        While going beyond the results as well as the actual modus operandi of authentic scientific research today, anthroposophical Spiritual Science wishes to proceed hand-in-hand with everything that can be learnt from modern research. This ‘going beyond’ is founded primarily upon the knowledge that man’s power of investigation, in so far as it has developed in the sphere of natural science, comes up against certain boundaries. Every scientific researcher is aware that the great problem concerning the eternal nature of the soul — it is usually known as the problem of immortality, of destiny, in the widest sense, therefore, as the problem of the higher worlds — every scientific researcher is aware that this problem lies beyond the boundaries of modern science. Moreover it is recognised that the whole mode of thinking, the faculty of cognition, the power of knowledge itself, have all been evolved from investigation of the material world of sense and that at a certain point an impassable barrier is reached. Anthroposophy is in complete accord with modern scientists when it is a matter of affirming that these boundaries do indeed exist, so far as the everyday consciousness of man is concerned.”

        The Reality of Higher Worlds, 25 November 1921

        Like

      • Hello Woofles,

        Your evocation of Steiner’s “objective imagination” inspires me to interrupt this thread for a special announcement about a colloquium going on tomorrow in Stuttgart about that very idea of Steiner’s “objective imagination.” – or is it really his “subjective imagination” and thus a mere fiction, a myth or just nice metaphors describing inner psychological states?

        The title of this colloquium is
        The Spiritual World: Reality or Metaphor?

        I’ve translated the flyer and post that below. Click on the PDF button to read the original German
        http://www.akanthos-akademie.de/tagungen-1/

        I have kidded Christian Clement that he is “going into the Lion’s Den” there,
        https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/waldorf-critics/conversations/topics/30868
        especially with “Ravenous Ravagli” and Frank Linde set to devour him and his heretical idea that Steiner’s clairvoyant imaginations are simply to be taken as metaphors.

        After all, how else would Christian Clement’s now famous “Steiner Critical Edition” have any appeal whatsoever to serious academic scholars if he ever took Steiner’s imaginations literally or even objectively real, as so many do here reading Jeremy’s blog?

        Tom Mellett

        ============================
        THE SPIRITUAL WORLD: REALITY OR METAPHOR?

        A Colloquium with the Editor of Critical Edition of the Writings of Rudolf Steiner

        on Saturday, April 23, 2016
        at the Rudolf Steiner Haus in Stuttgart

        These presentations concentrate on the following two questions within the context of the Critical Edition for the Writings of Rudolf Steiner.

        [1] Does the spiritual world described by Rudolf Steiner exist apart from the Ego that knows it?

        [2] What is Rudolf Steiner’s understanding of imagination?

        ————————-
        List of presenters and their topics:
        ————————-

        Wolf-Ulrich Klünker:
        “You’ve seen an image: but only your will can really change it.” Subject and Object in Cognition

        Lorenzo Ravagli:
        The Spiritual World — Myth or Reality?

        Christian Clement:
        The Anthroposophical Imagination and its Literary Portrayal. On L. Ravagli’s and F. Linde’s Fruitful Misunderstanding of the Introduction to Volume 7 of the Critical Steiner Edition

        Frank Linde:
        Imagination as the Gateway to the Spiritual World

        Christoph Hueck:
        “You wanted to see the divine creative force” — Mental Picture, Projection and Spiritual Reality.

        Renatus Ziegler:
        Realism of Ideas and the Self-Realization of the Ego

        =======================

        Like

    • Gemma

      Mr Shea,

      when you say

      But if we look at Spiritual Science/Anthroposophy we find people who don’t want to consider evidence and counter evidence. They don’t want to look at it in that way at all. They say, ‘Do the exercises’. (One correspondent says ‘verses’ – I guess she means the mantra of the School of Spiritual Science).

      Firstly, I have a name and can be addressed by it. Do you understand?

      Secondly, are you aware of what ‘evidence’ is, in terms of thinking, feeling and willing – the three essential ingredients of the human? If you do not, I suggest, as I did previously, that you do the exercises. It is what they are for: to bring enlightenment. You may choose those you wish to begin with, that is understood; the most important exercise one can do is the Rückschau, the evening reflection. I am sure you are aware why this should be done in reverse.

      But that is something one cannot prove, one can only experience it – doing the exercises helps.

      They may be life-changing, they may bring healing, confidence and steadfastness to ones feeling life, inspiration to ones thinking and strength to ones will, but they do not attain to the logical certainty of Mathematics, nor the evidential certainty of Science.

      Rudolf Steiner was a mathematician himself, and when he spoke of Spiritual Science as a science, that is precisely what he meant. If you look to Goethe’s Farbenlehre, you will see the yellow-red spectrum as “light darkened”. Look at the sun setting on a summer’s evening and it is there for all to see – in the colours the sun takes as it is ‘darkened’ by the atmosphere from bright lemon yellow to a magnificent crimson.

      That, in short, is a fact – albeit one that cannot be proven logically (unless one happens to believe in wavelengths and that sort of clap-trap). There are many who say that such things are subjective because it relies on the person’s own perceptions rather than an independent measuring tool – but these are people who have not come to terms with their own antipathies. Or, for that matter, done the exercises.

      So there is no compulsion to believe what Rudolf Steiner says; but that doesn’t make the colours of a setting sun any different. This makes his infallibility an irrelevance: he was speaking about facts that all can see with their own two eyes.

      Like

  17. Caryn Louise

    THS: the logical certainty of Mathematics

    Mathematics is not commensurable though. The mathematical process arrives at incommensurable numbers. Mathematics, in a certain sense, can be likened to ‘meditation’.

    Caryn

    Like

  18. Caryn Louise

    Tom H. Shea, I am surprised after professing you have been a member of the anthroposophical society for over 30 years and the School of Spiritual Science for over 20 years all you have learnt is how to do exercises and meditate? The society and school must be in very poor shape if this is the case.

    “One finds today advocates of a renewal of the spirit who explain to people that they need only lie down on a couch and relax and the higher ego, God, and heaven knows what else will awaken in them and then there will be no need to wrestle with these terrible concepts of anthroposophically orientated spiritual science. One need only listen to one’s inner voice, surrender passively, then the higher mystical ego will manifest itself and one will feel and experience the presence of God in oneself.” The Supersensible Element in the Study of History (GA185)

    Considering your grandchildren are in a Waldorf School have you read the Faculty Meeting with Rudolf Steiner transcripts: https://www.rsarchive.org/Download/Faculty_Meetings_with_Rudolf_Steiner-Rudolf_Steiner-300.pdf

    This is the document where Jeremy gleaned his French language script from and I wonder why you, Jeremy, decided to concentrate on this particular part, which is well documented in the meetings, and not the remarkable insight Rudolf Steiner had on the advancement of education?

    Caryn

    Like

    • “Tom H. Shea, I am surprised after professing you have been a member of the anthroposophical society for over 30 years and the School of Spiritual Science for over 20 years all you have learnt is how to do exercises and meditate?”

      You’re right, Caryn. Thirty years of anthroposophy, and one gets the impression that Tom barely knows how to copy-and-paste from Steiner’s lectures! Neither has he (it would appear) managed to shut off his faculty of independent thinking. Rather a failure and a scandal, one must admit.

      Luckily there are other anthroposophists here who can impress us (pitiable outsiders, like myself) with their copy-paste skills and literal-mindedness.

      Happy Saturday to all!

      -alicia

      Liked by 1 person

  19. T.S.

    I didnt think my handle T.S. would lead to confusion, but I can see that with Tom having the same initials it might and I will change it if I post in future. Let me assure everyone we are not the same!

    I will not go through all the points mentioned as I think many posts are already way too long. But I will just quickly explain why I said Anthroposophy and science are not compatible with regards to Caryn’s post of 20/4 which is a quote from RS.

    I could perhaps go no further than the very first sentance, when Steiner talks of the etheric body, for which there is no evidence, but lets ignore that
    and look at:

    “Materialistic scientists have this fantastic notion. The belief that the sun spreads light in the manner described in physics, that the light passes through the world’s spaces and falls upon the earth”

    Ermmm I really dont know what to say, but it seems to me RS might be wrong!

    Then Steiner goes on to make claims about what happens to you when dead. That’s impressive, shame it is not backed up by anything credible or scientific.

    Like

    • Gemma

      So tell me, how does your Newtonian, evidential science speak about Magenta?

      After all, it doesn’t actually appear in the rainbow, which is a demonstration that all visible light lies in the spectrum between 400-700nm – and all colours must be contained in this, because this is visible, not invisible.

      Yet we can all see the colour magenta. And it isn’t just the after effect on the eye (which to a scientist is a little too subjective for comfort anyway) – so how do modern scientists prove magenta exists?

      Goethe’s Farbenlehre gives a very simple demonstration as to how magenta can be produced in scientifically reproducible expefiments.

      Like

      • Truth Seeker (TS)

        Gema,

        You are going off tangent by introducing the colour magenta into the mix. This is separate to if you believe that the Sun emits light which travels through the vacuum of space to reach Earth. Which is true, even if it contradicts RS. If you want to live in a virtual world where the laws of physics do not apply that is your choice, but it does not advance humanity.

        Here is rather a good explanation for magenta
        http://twistedsifter.com/videos/magenta-doesnt-exist-heres-why/

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        ‘Unique red’ (invariant red) appears to be a non-spectral color in unique hue experiments. And the non-spectral color purple is separately represented in the human visual brain area V4 ….

        Like

      • Gemma

        There is an aspect to colour that is neglected by the Newtonian view, and it is this aspect that inspired the young Rudolf Steiner as he sorted through Goethe’s papers in Weimar.

        It was the quality inherent in each colour that made his ears prick up. The quality of red as opposed to the quality of blue, magenta as opposed to green (its literal opposite). You see, beyond the threshold these qualities remain where the colour itself may dwindle.

        Now you can argue that the threshold, in material terms, doesn’t exist. That it is a psychic illusion or a hallucination… to the serious seeker of truth, these arguments are spurious and irrelevant (save that they indicate a person who is uninterested in their own future – and are thus a sign that one need spend no more time with them).

        The qualities inherent in colour – just like the twelve qualities of thinking – are those things that are our guides in a distant world that would otherwise be very, very confusing. This is the key message of Anthroposophy, for apart from this, one need only one’s own ability to make a decision based only on the events that unfold before your eyes – be they spiritual or material.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Hello Gemma,
        In ‘The Boundaries of Natural Science’ (GA 322) Steiner specifically referred to Goethe’s ‘Theory of Colors’ and to the qualities beyond perception that can be experienced “with the whole man” on “the inner path of contemplation”:

        “Read the last chapter of his Theory of Colors, entitled “The Sensory-Moral Effect of Color”: in every color-effect he experiences something that unites itself profoundly not only with the faculty of perception but with the whole man. He experiences yellow and scarlet [rot] as “attacking” colors, penetrating him, as it were, through and through, filling him with warmth, while he regards blue and violet as colors that draw one out of oneself, as cold colors. The whole man experiences something in the act of sense perception.” – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA322/English/AP1983/19201002p01.html

        Like

      • Gemma

        Ton Majoor,

        your quotation from Rudolf Steiner’s lecture spoke of “He experiences yellow and scarlet [rot] as “attacking” colors, penetrating him, as it were, through and through, filling him with warmth,”

        If one has digested this inwardly, it is possible to see the ‘yellow spectrum’ as expansive. This has immense importance, and it is worthwhile spending some time in digesting not only the outward facts, but in coming to terms with the implications. Not only the psychological implications – which I discussed with Steve Hale on the last post, and to which he could do nothing but agree (after all, facts are facts and after a while there is no getting around them) – but the broader implications for nature as a whole.

        Now my real question is this: how does the ‘blue’ spectrum compare to the yellow?

        This is an understanding that is essential if one is to have any safety beyond the threshold; for nothing happens there that does not come to pass on earth. Such understandings go far further than Newton’s simple-minded interpretation of the rainbow. (Please remember that Newton spent much time and effort trying to understand Alchemy: three quarters of his written notes concern the subject. And yet the door stood open before him! Newton, like most modern people, wanted the world to behave as he imagined it should, not as it does. Newton would have been well served had he taken note of your earlier comment where you quote from Occult Science, rather than dreaming his own dreams).

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        how does the ‘blue’ spectrum compare to the yellow? It draws and pulls, like the blue sky does.

        Like

      • Gemma

        Thankyou.

        I think now you can see what made Goethe so cross at everybody for believing what Newton peddled…

        after all, if yellow is expansive and blue is contractive, it means there are the spectra have their own character – and the qualities of each colour will be an extension of this.

        I’m sure you can take this further?

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Well, for one thing you can check hue shift with increasing intensity (Bezold-Brücke effect) or the exact hue of blue or yellow, which is invariant with increasing lightness i.e. unique blue and unique yellow.

        Like

      • Gemma

        Ton Majoor,
        I was hinting more in the direction of the qualities exhibited by the colours of the yellow spectrum (light darkened), compared to the qualities of the colours of the blue spectrum (darkness lightened).

        This then takes us into the realm of psychology.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Sure, in a next step the qualities of the Goethean vertical axis of the green and the purple spectrum (Magenta, Peach Blossom) are to be experienced. They are represented by the other two invariant hues: unique green and (extraspectral) unique red.

        Like

      • Gemma

        Ton Majoor,
        I presume you are aware of how green is formed, not as a lightening or darkening – but as what one might loosely term a ‘closure effect’. This will give you the process whereby at sunset, it is possible to see a green ray as the last light from the sun.

        However the main thrust of my comments is not to expand on colour, but to look at the two spectra – yellow and blue – and see in them that which Goethe alluded to. It is this which brought Rudolf Steiner to the awareness that his childhood visions of the spiritual worlds could be comprehended through reasoning and thought, for Goethe had done precisely that.

        The qualities of the yellow spectrum are clear and distinct from the blue one. Furthermore, they arise through two processes that are not only distinct, but utterly foreign to each other. It is an understanding of this which is essential if one is to have any hope of laying the foundations for work beyond the Threshold.

        As a side note, these two processes are in complete and irreconcilable contradiction to the ideas of Newton, who merely looked at the surface of the issue and derived his flawed concepts from them. I will add that this is much easier to understand (“get your head around” as the saying has it) than the things Goethe was speaking about.

        But then, Goethe was speaking in metaphors – the kind of thinking a book learned person is untrained in and cannot therefore perceive – this means his ideas are only open to those who have grounded themselves in the realities that Rudolf Steiner spoke of at length. To the ‘normal’, every-day mind, there is the ready excuse that Goethe’s theory is merely a different expression of the “objective truths” that Newton dreamed up.

        Understanding Goethe wasn’t meant to be easy; but then the challenges of crossing the Threshold consciously are far from easy. It is easy enough to do this unconsciously – and this is spoken of at length on my private blog – the problem is that since it is unconscious, you cannot be aware of its happening. When people watch TV or read books – or numerous other activities – they have crossed the threshold without knowing it. This is a very real danger, and should be regarded as a challenge. Anthroposophy is for those who are prepared to accept this.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        The appearance of the etheric body resembled an extra-spectral, peach blossom colour to Steiner (1904):
        “This is the etheric duplicate body. This luminous picture appears in a colour which is not included in our usual spectrum from infra-red to ultraviolet. It resembles possibly the colour of the peach-blossom. You find such an etheric duplicate body with every plant, with every animal, generally with every living being.” – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0053/19041013p01.html

        Like

    • Steve Hale

      Truth Seeker TS, when you say:

      “I could perhaps go no further than the very first sentence, when Steiner talks of the etheric body, for which there is no evidence, but lets ignore that
      and look at:”

      No, let’s not ignore that because it is very important. You are the first person to abjectly deny the existence of the etheric body for some time now, and it really shows a profound ignorance of what we are talking about. Even the most debased deniers of Steiner’s science of the spirit acknowledge an etheric body in the scheme of life. They even see that a physical body, made up of mineral bones and calcium-construct, must need a life force in order to breathe a kind of further movement into an animate condition, which proves that an “astral body” also combines with these three elemental bodies. This brings forth the Ego, or entirely spiritual member of our being; three in one.

      So, what would it mean if the etheric body left a physical body? Answer: a lifeless corpse. Does that make sense now?

      Steve

      Like

      • Truth Seeker

        Hello Steve, I wanted to ignore the part about the etheric body because I felt it wasnt relevant to the points we were discuss and not really the subject of Jeremy’s post. But it seems to of struck a raw nerve for you so very quickly.

        If I look at any standard medical or scientific text book on the body there will be no mention of an etheric body. If you have some evidence for its existence please present it. If we are talking about a life force (though again hard to define and quantify) I think it would be better (especially for Anthros if they want to be taken seriously in the wider world) to drop the archaic/ occultist language of etheric body and just say life force.

        Like

      • Gemma

        After all, the ignorant are those who care only for the areas of the truth that please them, and are therefore at the mercy of gurus who will give them precisely what they want.

        The problem is that such gurus can abuse this for their own immoral ends. It is why Rudolf Steiner didn’t want to be a guru – for those who took him for such would only care to know the things he spoke of that suited them. What’s more, because of their lack of striving, they would not have understood Steiner properly, and thus misquote him… thinking it to be the truth!

        Ah! The wiles of Ahriman…

        Like

      • Gemma

        So, what would it mean if the etheric body left a physical body? Answer: a lifeless corpse.

        I was reminded of a far more impressive argument, and one that is far less easy for the materialist to avoid (or make excuses for).

        The fact is that our brains weigh around three pounds. Pick up a large book – one of your chemical reference books, or a volume of the Oxford English Dictionary, for example – and they will be about the same weight. Now: put it on top of your head.

        It’ll feel really heavy!

        If, as materialists think, that the brain is just a lump of neurons and so-forth, without anything else, it would sit on the base of the cranium. In doing so, it would crush itself under its own weight!

        So why doesn’t our brain feel heavy?

        Well, the principle of Archimedes is the answer. Because to us, our heads are all but weightless. But materialists simply don’t think of these things, do they??? Because it’s something they’re not aware of, they need take no account of it (just as they use this spurious argument as to why the etheric body itself cannot exist. It’s like them saying they don’t have a bottom because they cannot see it.)

        Only when it comes to bedtime do our heads get heavy… – but we are still in the material realm.

        The point is that thinking – even the most intellectual and abstract of thinking which is divided from the soul’s activities – is dependent on the fact that our brains are weightless.

        As Rudolf Steiner says:

        We think with that which flies away from the earth.

        Those who understand the ethers will know what he is talking about.

        Like

  20. Caryn Louise

    Ah! Mr TS Faust you have done it and my understanding is realised and Gemma I understand this is what you are saying: “… as well the evening reflection. I am sure you are aware why this should be done in reverse.”

    Earth Light is the Etheric Body

    The complete sentence is:

    “The belief that the sun spreads light in the manner described in physics, that the light passes through the world’s spaces and falls upon the earth, is one of the worst superstitions. After death we realize this, for when we grow aware of the fact that we have abandoned our etheric, we know that the light of the sun, which exists here, in physical life, only exists in that sphere which belongs to the earth.”

    The light of the sun only exists in that sphere which belongs to earth and it does not pass through the world’s spaces and falls upon the earth.

    From Astronomy, Lecture 14:

    Here we are in the Earth-sphere, in the Sun-sphere, in the Moon-sphere, and in others too.

    Here is the Earth-sphere, — the solid sphere of Earth. And now the Lunar sphere: I must imagine this, of course, of very different consistency and kind of substance. And now I can go further. The space that is permeated by these two spheres, — I can imagine it permeated by a third sphere and a fourth. Thus in one way or another I imagine it to be permeated by a third sphere. It might for instance be the Sun-sphere, — qualitatively different form the Moon-sphere.

    I then say I, am permeated — I, man, am permeated by the sun — and by the Moon-sphere. Moreover naturally there is a constant interplay between them. Permeating each other as they do, they are in mutual relation. Some element of form and figure in the human body is then an outcome of the mutual relation.

    Now you will recognise how rational it is to see the two things together: On the one hand, these different cosmic substantialities permeating the living body; and on the other hand the organic forms in which you can well imagine that they find expression. Form and formation of the body is then the outcome of this permeation. And what we see in the heavens — the movement of heavenly bodies — is like the visible sign. Certain conditions prevailing, the boundaries of the several spheres become visible to us in phenomena of movement.

    “We realise this, for when we grow aware of the fact that we have abandoned our etheric,”

    The Festivals and Their Meaning, Ascension and Pentecost,
    The Whitsuntide Festival

    The Cosmos is woven through and through by a Divine element that is at work in it, and we can distinguish from this Divine element in the Cosmos that which is present, on the Earth in our immediate environment, as the physical world. We can also distinguish that which, in this cosmic, divine-spiritual world reveals itself as the Etheric, namely that which gazes down upon us in the blue of the sky.

    Light — is it Sunlight? — out from Spirit-deeps
    struggles to shine;
    translated into lively strength of will
    clear through the cloudiness of sense it burns,
    releasing energy that turns
    passionate drives into creative thrust
    that ripens into work amongst mankind.

    Like

  21. Tom H Shea

    Caryn quotes Rudolf Steiner, “The belief that the sun spreads light in the manner described in physics, that the light passes through the world’s spaces and falls upon the earth, is one of the worst superstitions”.
    By calling this belief a superstition he has not demonstrated that it is not true.
    Since Steiner’s death human beings have traveled to the moon and they experienced the light of the sun in the same way we do on earth.
    Unmanned space craft have traveled beyond Jupiter recording images using visible light and sending them back to earth as radio signals.
    The scientific assumptions about the nature of light emitted by the sun all worked as expected so that these functions could be carried out.
    Steiner’s comment that the belief that light passes through space and falls on the earth is a ‘superstition’ tells us nothing at all.
    What observations would have actually demonstrated that the belief is false, i.e, a superstition?
    Having said this I am not dismissing what Steiner goes on to say about the etheric. That also may be true.
    My point is that his dismissive comment does not succeed in showing that the point of view of contemporary physics (as it was then in his life time), is false.

    Like

    • Caryn Louise

      But it is still dark in space. When footage is shown on television from the international space station the view from outside their window is dark and the shuttle is not flooded with light as we are on earth.

      The study of light pulses is a worthy one that I need to do.

      Caryn

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Don’t worry, it is all good because you have pushed a very important fact, i.e., the darkness of outer space. Just look at the most recent THS comments, and see where he believes that light somehow shines from here to Jupiter. How can that be?

        Here is where Steiner describes how we humans are the source of light, which then extends outward to the focal-point of the Sun-Logos, which then reflects back to us as a globe of light and heat.

        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA202/English/AP1958/19201218p01.html

        “Think of how greatly our responsibility is increased when we realize: If here on the earth there were no soul capable of being with enthusiasm for true and genuine morality, for the spiritual moral order in general, nothing could be contributed towards the progress of our world, towards a new creation; our world would be led towards its death.

        This force of light that is on the earth (Diagram VII) rays out into the universe. This is, to begin with, imperceptible to ordinary vision; we do not perceive how human moral impulses in man ray out from the earth into the universe. If a grievous age were to dawn over the earth, an age when millions and millions of men would perish through lack of spirituality — spirituality conceived of here as including the moral, which indeed it does — if there were only a dozen men filled with moral enthusiasm, the earth would still ray out a spiritual, sun-like force! This force rays out only to a certain distance. At this point it mirrors itself, as it were, in itself, so that here (Diagram VIII) there arises the reflection of what radiates from man. And in every epoch the initiates regarded this reflection as the sun. For as I have so often said, there is nothing physical here. Where ordinary astronomy speaks of the existence of an incandescent globe of gas, there is merely the reflection of a spiritual reality in physical appearance.”

        Like

  22. Tom H Shea

    Steve Hales quotes Steiner, ‘to go beyond what is universally recognised as ‘scientific’ today.”
    i would agree with this.
    By following the path of inner development described by Rudolf Steiner it is possible to go beyond what is universally recognised as ‘Scientific’ today.
    So! Better not call it science then!
    Call it instead, “Objective knowledge of the Spirit”.

    Like

    • Caryn Louise

      Objective knowledge of the Spirit has a good ring to it yet at the same time the study of the knowledge is a science that requires the same applied discipline. Although I know the word may seem to sound rather sterile. Objective knowledge of the Spirit is lovely and Steve is right.

      I beg your pardon for my impertinence towards you Tom, it has been weighing on me and was uncalled for on your part because the study of what we know as Science today is just as awesome. The discoveries that are made in their essence are spiritual and contribute to helping us understand the world we live in.

      Caryn

      Like

      • Tom H Shea

        Thank You, Caryn. We may have different thoughts but i feel our intentions are in harmony – that we acquire a better understanding and appreciation of Rudolf Steiner’s great gift to the world.

        Like

    • Gemma

      By following the path of inner development described by Rudolf Steiner it is possible to go beyond what is universally recognised as ‘Scientific’ today.
      So! Better not call it science then!

      If you go beyond what is universally accepted as ‘Scientific’ today (much of which is the kind of excuse you saw in the link TruthSeeker posted) you will meet a few challenges, all of which will undermine your current view as to what this material earth actually is.

      Making excuses and so arriving back where you started won’t help this, as excuses do not challenge your current view; it only allows you to reside within your ‘comfort zone’.

      The sun setting and seeing it turn from yellow to deep red is something all normally sighted* humans can see. This is what Goethe termed (one of) ‘God’s Holy open secrets”. By any other name, a true fact that needs no evidence to prove it because anybody looking at it will see it.

      Just as they will see the colour magenta if they do Goethe’s experiment properly, irrespective of whether they concoct a plethora of excuses as to why it can only be an illusion (the usual excuse of the materialist scientist to anything that lies outside the offical canon of the Church of Newton and latter day apostles).

      (*I had to add this disclaimer in case you sought to slip through this by saying that some humans have monochromatic vision or are blind. Most people will spend a great deal of time discussing the trivial details rather than look directly at the facts presented them).

      Like

    • Ton Majoor

      Isn’t that why Steiner refers to science as ‘natural science‘ – in contrast to spiritual science – in the first half of the sentence? (… with the same strict exactitude with which natural science reaches its results…).
      Cf. his article Philosophy and Anthroposophy (1908) on the same theme:
      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Articles/GA035/PhlAnt_index.html

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Yes, but then he went on to define the further boundaries of natural science some twelve years later with this course:

        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA322/English/AP1983/BndSci_index.html

        Herein, in this course, he makes the difference between the natural and the spiritual very clear. They represent an harmonious balance, which no one should object to unless they are of the opinion that natural science is somehow differentiated from its source in spiritual science. By this time, c. 1920, it was made clear. The lower exists, and expresses the higher.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Represent the natural and the spiritual in GA 322 a harmonious balance, or does the spiritual surpasses the natural in two ways: outer and inner, thinking and perception?

        Like

  23. Tom H Shea

    Dear Gemma, I have no problem with Magenta, or with Goethe’s descriptions of colour phenomena. You seem to be making a lot of assumptions about my thoughts and world view.
    Rudolf Steiner described 12 fundamental ‘world views’. And what is wonderful to me is that he went on to say that there is truth to be known from each and every one of them. So I can stand in Spiritism, the world view of Anthroposophy and see the truth from that standpoint. But I can also cross the circle and stand in Materialism and see the truth from that standpoint. Indeed I can move to any one of the 12 world views and see the truth from each one if I am willing to make the effort to forego my natural sympathies and antipathies and be open minded to what the universe will reveal to me.
    By the way, my natural sympathies lie very much with Phenomenalism which includes both the ‘inner’ and the ‘outer’ world.
    Goethe was a variety of Phenomenalist.

    Like

    • Gemma

      Tom Shea.

      if I am willing to make the effort to forego my natural sympathies and antipathies and be open minded to what the universe will reveal to me

      If you had foregone your natural sympathies, you would not have said that I seemed (or not seemed) to have been assuming things about you. You would have said it directly, as I do, without the need to pull your punches.

      Like

      • Tom H Shea

        Dear Gemma, I am not interested in punching anyone. I use words like ‘seem’ because I don’t know you, I find it difficult to understand the point of some of the things you write and I may be misinterpreting the tone of your comments. I would not wish to inadvertantly cause offence.

        Like

    • Caryn Louise

      Tom! Rudolf Steiner spoke about the twelve outlooks in Human and Cosmic Thought so how can you say that Anthroposophy stands in only one outlook – when we say spiritual science working towards Anthroposophy 🙂

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Anthroposophy can be found in the materialism of Cancer, the mathematism of Gemini, the idealism of Aries, the realism of Libra, and so forth. Spiritism in Capricorn seems essentially to be Anthroposophy in its purest form of spiritual expression because herein is the zodiacal sign of Cardinal Earth. Earth is undergoing transformation/metamorphosis right now, and Anthroposophy exists to give everything earth-bound a corresponding spiritual outlook.

        Like

      • Tom H Shea

        Dear Caryn, you say,’Rudolf Steiner spoke about the twelve outlooks in Human and Cosmic Thought so how can you say that Anthroposophy stands in only one outlook…..’
        Because I have a degree in Philosophy this collection of lectures interested me greatly. Nick Thomas and I discussed them on a number of occasions. The question I had was, “In which ‘world-outlook’ does Anthroposophy stand?” There are three which clearly posit a spiritual world. Monadism, Spiritism and Pneumatism. The others can all be thought without reference to ‘spirit’.
        One thing which distinguishes Anthroposophy from many other spiritual revelations or philosophies is its recognition that the spiritual world is a world of Beings – Spiritual Beings, – the Angelic Hierarchies, the Spirits of the dead, etc. This would clearly place it in Spiritism though there will be links and resonances with other points of view.
        Another thing we discussed was whether when Steiner was giving these lectures he was speaking from within a ‘world-outlook’. Nick thought not. He thought that Steiner was speaking out of his initiated consciousness, enabling him to give this panoramic picture of ‘Human and Cosmic Thought’.

        Like

      • Steve Hale

        Tom S,

        Didn’t Nick Thomas extend the scientific credibility of anthroposophy a great deal? Also, there was an anthropos-science group in Britain for a number of years doing interesting research. Especially in the realm of etheric-formative forces, which is an extension of the impressive work of George Adams and Olive Whicher.

        It seems to me that Steiner’s three scientific courses could be taught at Emerson College, or Alanus University, where these subjects would be of interest. They certainly meet the criteria of educability, which makes the Schieren article so disappointing. Why criticize what you can teach when it is your [Schieren] profession?

        Steve

        Like

      • Hello Tom Shea,

        I first want to comment about the late Nick Thomas because he was for me the brightest shining light in the firmament of anthroposophy as I have experienced it so far. I fondly recall the 3 weeks I spent in the summer of 1999 taking Nick’s Projective Geometry course at the RS Summer Institute, at that time, held on the campus of Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. I had just started a 4 year stint as an adjunct instructor in the undergraduate physics laboratories at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee and Nick and I had long discussions about the ways projective geometry could inform modern physics, NOT in the usual qualitative artistic way, but in the quantitative mathematical way.

        I’m glad to see that the Goetheanum has taken over Nick’s website which everyone should visit here:
        http://nct.goetheanum.org

        Regarding your question to Nick about which world view anthroposophy is closest to, I believe your question is not well-formed. It would be like going to a sporting event and asking which team the referee or umpire might be better suited to play for. Let me explain by first quoting Steiner from Lecture 3 (Jan. 22, 1914, Berlin, GA 151)
        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA151/English/RSP1961/19140122p01.html

        You see, it is not true to talk in terms of one cosmic conception, but of 12 + 7 = 19 + 3 = 22 + 1 = 23
        cosmic conceptions which all have their justification. We have twenty-three legitimate names for cosmic conceptions. But all the rest can arise from the fact that the corresponding planets pass through the twelve spiritual signs of the encircling Zodiac. And now try, from what has been explained, to enter into the task confronting Spiritual Science: the task of acting as peacemaker among the various world-outlooks. The way to peace is to realize that the world-outlooks conjointly, in their reciprocal action on one another, can be in a certain sense explained, but that they cannot lead into the inner nature of truth if they remain one-sided. One must experience in oneself the truth-value of the different world-outlooks, in order — if one may say so — to be in agreement with truth.

        ==========

        Anthroposophy has to be like the referee or umpire; it cannot “play in the game,” because it is a mediator, a peacemaker, an arbiter between and among the 23 conceptions. Thus I suppose, it becomes the 24th and final world view, the one that encompasses all the others because it resides at a meta-level above the other 23 “teams” playing the game on the ground level.

        On second thought, it may not be a world conception at all, but the cosmic “gluon,” if I may become crassly quantum-mechanical, that holds the other 23 conceptions together.

        Like

  24. Caryn Louise

    When man confronts something he does not know or understand it will be somewhat of a shock for him and, in this regard, spiritual science is a preparation for the time when the hands of the cosmic clock moves towards the hour when, through the arrangement of the constellations, the etheric body of the human being will gradually be able to be seen.

    “I have a plant before me. It is an invisible system of forces that absorbs mineral principles from the mineral kingdom. The result is that the mineral aspect occupies the space also occupied by the invisible system of forces. I see this mineral aspect, though it is merely something the plant, which is not perceptible to the senses, has absorbed. When we talk about plants today we are really talking only of the minerals contained within them and not about the plants themselves. It is important that we clearly understand this for it also applies to animals and humans, only more so.” Polarities in the Evolution of Mankind, 5th March 1920

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.”
      Genesis, 2:7

      Like

  25. Caryn Louise

    I agree with Nick Thomas. To say that Anthroposophy stands in one outlook is one sided and confines the eleven other points of view to a very limited perception if any at all. I would not bring astrology into the twelve outlooks either, although we immediately know Realism is Air and Rationalism is Earth for example, the outlooks are distinctly different from nativity astrology and, following upon this, the twelve outlooks cannot be applied in the same manner that the precession of the equinox is.

    THS: One thing which distinguishes Anthroposophy from many other spiritual revelations or philosophies is its recognition that the spiritual world is a world of Beings – Spiritual Beings, – the Angelic Hierarchies, the Spirits of the dead, etc. This would clearly place it in Spiritism

    I understand the rationalism behind this thought but it confines the expressions of the outlooks to continually gaze upon itself instead of the realisation of the expression.

    It is similar as if I were to continually stand in front of mirror and say I am human, I am human.

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      Caryn wrote:

      “I would not bring astrology into the twelve outlooks either, although we immediately know Realism is Air and Rationalism is Earth for example, the outlooks are distinctly different from nativity astrology and, following upon this, the twelve outlooks cannot be applied in the same manner that the precession of the equinox is.”

      Yet, Steiner specifically refers to the corresponding signs in lecture III:

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA151/English/RSP1961/19140122p01.html

      Sorry I can’t paste it in wordpress, but you’ll easily see that Cancer is to Materialism as Capricorn is to Spiritism, and so on.

      Steve

      Like

  26. Tom H Shea

    I have found both Tom Mellet’s and Caryn Louise’s comments very helpful in this context of the ‘world-outlooks. Thank you both.
    Tom quotes Steiner, a statement which I really resonate with – ‘One must experience in oneself the truth-value of the different world-outlooks, in order — if one may say so — to be in agreement with truth.’

    Like

    • Gemma

      Tom quotes Steiner, a statement which I really resonate with – ‘One must experience in oneself the truth-value of the different world-outlooks, in order — if one may say so — to be in agreement with truth.’

      The people you will learn most from are those you do not agree with. That they may (or may not be) wrong means nothing, it is still possible to learn from them, even if they do not. Should they take offence at the things that are said to them, it is a sign that they have no interest in what you have to share with them – that is to say, your view of the world, your perspective of the truth.

      Even if you find it difficult to understand the point of some of the things I write, that does not mean they cannot be understood. All it means is that you need to understand a differing point of view, a different perspective.

      Like

  27. Caryn Louise

    The quote is true and thanks for pointing that out Steve but I could just as well said Libra is Air and Taurus is Earth. The zodiac is not only synonymous with astrology though and is also referenced in astronomy. In retrospect I have been thinking how can one not bring astrology into the outlooks but what I was trying to say is the Twelve Outlooks seem to rise above the traditional interpretation of astrology and is placed more in the realm of projective geometry which Taddy has fortuitously posted:

    It is interesting that the obliquity of the ecliptic is currently at 23.4 degrees. Taddy, thanks for pointing to Nick Thomas’ work on projective geometry it is interesting – mathematics moves into geometry. I am trying to find a correlation between this work and Rudolf Steiner’s lectures on Astronomy. In the Faculty Meetings the movements of the planets are discussed:

    “A teacher: Would you say something more about the planetary
    movements? You have often mentioned it, but we don’t really
    have a clear understanding about the true movement of the planets
    and the Sun.

    Dr. Steiner: In reality, it is like this [Dr. Steiner demonstrates with a
    drawing]. Now you simply need to imagine how that continues in
    a helix. Everything else is only apparent movement. The helical
    line continues into cosmic space. Therefore, it is not that the
    planets move around the Sun, but that these three, Mercury,
    Venus, and the Earth, follow the Sun, and these three, Mars,
    Jupiter, and Saturn, precede it. Thus, when the Earth is here and
    this is the Sun, the Earth follows along. But we look at the Sun
    from here, and so it appears as though the Earth goes around it,
    whereas it is actually only following. The Earth follows the Sun.
    The incline is the same as what we normally call the angle of
    declination. If you take the angle you obtain when you measure the
    ecliptic angle, then you will see that. So it is not a spiral, but a helix.
    It does not exist in a plane, but in space.

    A teacher: How does the axis of the Earth relate to this movement?

    Dr. Steiner: If the Earth were here, the axis of the Earth would be
    a tangent. The angle is 23.5×. The angle that encloses the helix is
    the same as when you take the North Pole and make this
    lemniscate as the path of a star near the North Pole. That is
    something I had to assume, since you apparently obtain a
    lemniscate if you extend this line. It is actually not present because
    the North Pole remains fixed, that is the celestial North Pole.

    A teacher: Wasn’t there a special configuration in 1413?

    Dr. Steiner: I already mentioned that today. Namely, if you begin
    about seven thousand years before 1413, you will see that the angle
    of the Earth’s axis has shrunk, that is, it is the smallest angle. It
    then becomes larger, then again smaller. In this way, a lemniscate
    is formed, and thus the angle of the Earth was null for a time. That
    was the Atlantean catastrophe. At that time, there were no
    differences in the length of the day relative to the time of year.

    A teacher: Why should the celestial pole, which is in reality nothing
    other than the point toward which the Earth’s axis is directed,
    remain constant? It should certainly change over the course of
    years.

    Dr. Steiner: That happens because the movement of the Earth’s axis
    describes a cone, a double cone whose movement is continuously
    balanced by the movement of the Earth’s axis. If you always had
    the axis of the Earth parallel to you, then the celestial pole would
    describe a lemniscate, but it remains stationary. That is because the
    movement of the Earth’s axis in a double cone is balanced by the
    movement of the celestial pole in a lemniscate. Thus, it is balanced.

    A teacher: I had changed my perspective to the one you described
    regarding the movement of the Earth’s axis. I said to myself, The
    point in the heavens that remains fixed must seem to move over
    the course of the centuries. It would be, I thought, a movement
    like a lemniscate, and, therefore, not simply a circle in the heavens
    during a Platonic year.

    Dr. Steiner: It is modified because this line, the axis of the helix, is
    not really a straight line, but a curve. It only approximates a straight
    line. In reality, a circle is also described here. We are concerned
    with a helix that is connected with a circle.

    A teacher: Can we derive the spiral movements of the Sun and the
    Earth from astronomically known facts?

    Dr. Steiner: Why not? Just as you can teach people today about the
    Copernican theory. The whole thing is based upon the joke
    made concerning the three Copernican laws, when they teach only
    the first two and leave out the third. If you bring into consideration
    the third, then you will come to what I have spoken of, namely,
    that you will have a simple spiral around the Sun. Copernicus did
    that. You need only look at his third law. You need only take his
    book, De Revolutionibus Corporum Coelestium (On the orbits of
    heavenly bodies) and actually look at the three laws instead of only
    the first two. People take only the first two, but they do not
    coincide with the movements we actually see. Then people add to
    it Bessel’s so-called corrective functions. People don’t see the stars
    as Copernicus described them. You need to turn the telescope, but
    people turn it according to Bessel’s functions. If you exclude those
    functions, you will get what is right. Today, you can’t do that, though,
    because you would be called crazy. It is really child’s play to learn it and
    to call what is taught today nonsense. You need only to throw out Bessel’s
    functions and take Copernicus’s third law into account.”

    I am sure Nick understands what is been discussed in connection with Bessel’s functions. And I am still trying to find the diagram on the internet where Copernicus describes the leminiscate in connection with the precession of the equinox.

    Like

  28. Ton Majoor

    What seems to be lacking in Anderson’s paper, is Steiner’s basic notion of ethnic groups as ‘modifications’ of a common human form, not as distinct human groups having different qualities.

    In its most mature form this view was expressed by Steiner in 1910 (GA 121): all continental ethnic groups are abnormal modifications of a normal development (with a normal/abnormal ratio of 6:1), which have become hereditary in an epigenetic way (Lamarckian genetics). In the same logic, Steiner’s characteristics of different ethnic groups can only be valid for 1/7 or 15% (intergroup variation). The rest, 85%, would be innergroup variation of human abilities and qualities.
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0121/19100612a01.html

    Like

    • wooffles

      Ton,
      How does claiming that there was originally a primordial common human form change matters in terms of Anderson’s argument?

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Because Anderson’s argument is a simple declaration that Steiner had racial views that by today’s standards are considered racist. Any attempt to go into further clarification, as Ton is doing, is outside the scope of the Anderson paper.

        Worth noting in regard to the paper by Adrian Anderson is that he spends a great deal of time discussing Friedrich Benesch as his final salvo in which to expose a kind of Nazi influence which took a Protestant theologian into the inner circle of German national socialism, and then led him to the Christian Community after the war for some 44 years of faithful service in the spirit of Christ, c. 1947-1991.

        Anderson’s paper, to me, seems to be more of a kind of front in order to attempt to expose and declare the negative side of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy. That is what I meant when I said that I have read it, and also the book by Robert Rose. I would give the Rose book a much fuller support for the simple reason that he goes into depth and detail that Anderson simply leaves out of his brief account.

        Like

    • Caryn Louise

      The Being of Man and His Future Evolution
      The Manifestation of the Ego in the Different Races of Men
      3rd May 1909
      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA107/English/RSP1981/19090503p01.html

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Caryn,

        It is fairly well-regarded in today’s world that Steiner’s racial theory appears as “racist” for the simple reason of the differentiating characteristics themselves, as indicated in this key passage from the cited lecture:

        “These were the basic conditions necessary for the coming civilisation that has developed roughly since the beginning of our era. The ego had to reach a certain point of development, as it were, but not overdo it in either direction. And it is our task today to understand this in the right way. For all spiritual science has in a certain respect to appeal to what we call the development of a higher ego from out of the lower. When we look back over the ages we can learn from the fact that certain sections of the earth’s inhabitant’s did not find it possible to keep pace with earth evolution in the development of their ego, how many mistakes can be made in regard to the development of the higher ego out of the lower. In ancient Atlantis, for instance, there were peoples who dropped out of the earth population so to speak, and they became Red Indians. What would they have said if they had been able to put the facts of their development into words? They would have said: Above all I want to develop my inner being, which I find to be the highest thing within men when I look within myself. And they developed this ego so strongly that it affected even the colour of their skin, and that is how they became red. Their development led them into decadence. Among the people of Atlantis in whom everything still went directly into the body, these were the ones who cultivated what we might call inner brooding upon the ego, and they were so to say convinced that they could find within themselves everything that had to be developed. At the other extreme were those people who said: Oh, the ego is of no significance. The ego must lose itself entirely, it must dissolve altogether, and only listen to what the outside world says! They did not really say this, because they did not reflect in this manner. But those are the peoples who denied their ego to such an extent that they went black, because the external forces coming from the sun to the earth made them so. Only those peoples that were capable of holding the balance with regard to their ego could develop into the future.”

        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA107/English/RSP1981/19090503p01.html

        Like

      • Caryn Louise

        Ton, I am curious as to why you decided to post this which was obviously for my attention. Has it something to do with what Tom Mellett said on the egoisten board about me being half-Jewish? Honestly Tom, you make such a sweeping statement like that while I was in the middle of my absolute rant against you and conversing with Herman at the same time and whose personality I rather adore. As I stand today, I am not half-Jewish. I am 7th generation British settler to South Africa on my Mother’s maternal side who married my Dad, who through the Royal Marines, came to Rhodesia to work for the British South African Police and then later my Mom and Dad work at the Tobacco auctioneers in Rhodesia. We left Rhodesia in 1970 for England and in 1974 returned to South Africa.

        But would it have made a difference if I was? It is just awful the way people are categorized into boxes without taking account of the individuality.

        Caryn

        Like

      • Gemma

        The key to anthroposophy is the notion of balance – and this presupposes the concept of metamorphosis.

        Steve Hale, in the quote from one of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures, it speaks of how the egoism of certain Atlantean peoples turned them red. Indeed, we can see this same process today when the blood flows to the face when the boss is angry with people who do not do as they are told. He is being egoistic. This person is clearly out of balance.

        Yet – and this is where it all ties in so beautifully with Goethe’s Colour Teachings – where the ego is balanced, the skin tends to the colour of peach blossom*. What we call ‘white skinned’. (*Such a balance is easy to demonstrate experimentally). This colour is maintained whilst the person is physically and emotionally ‘balanced’.

        However, if one is to understand why such realities that Steiner spoke of are described as racist, one has to do a little reverse engineering in the psychological realm. Usually this is because the white skinned person wants everybody to be white skinned. This implies that people with other skin colours have to behave as white people, and accept the ways of the white people. Hence, they are no longer a threat, and can become part of the white-skinned flock, for all their not being white. All is now safe; looking inwards to the flock, the balance cannot be disturbed by outsiders.

        The problems this creates are subtle, and I describe it in the following way: it is like asking a right handed person* offering a left handed person their rights. To the lefthander, this is clearly unacceptable! A left handed person wants their lefts. (*I leave out the clearly stated issues of cross dominance that Rudolf Steiner spoke of in his education lectures, which lead to left-handedness).

        In the same way, a black person needs to be accepted for who he is, not just as a nominal white person because he has accepted all the mores of white society. Like a left handed person being forced to write with their right hand. That is to say, the white skinned people assume that when all the black skinned people become nominal whites, there can be no more racism.

        The problem here is that the so-called solution has not addressed the reality of the situation. Nor has it addressed the needs of the white person properly: for had this ‘solution’ done so, the whites would be happy to live in a world where people are black, and express their blackness in a truly pluralist society. A society where the white person needs no inward-looking flock – or the razor wire fences one sees adorning the house perimeters of the Gauteng.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Hello Steve,
        Why would the normal human development be ‘outside the scope of the Anderson paper’? He discusses the Mission of Folk-Souls on p.7…

        Caryn,
        I haven’t read anything on the egoistenblog about you. In GA 107 (1908) the Europeans don’t seem to represent the normally balanced ethnic group (Primal Semites, Sun people), but more the ethnic group with ‘a strong ego-feeling’, a ‘strong feeling of personality’ (stereotyped Jupiter people in GA 121). Maybe, the Semites are represented by Steiner’s Primal Akkadians in GA 11. But all of Steiner’s ethnic groups are ramifications of a normal development, according to GA 121 (1910).

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Gemma,
        In GA 349 Steiner further differentiated between stereotyped cheese-white (atlantean?) Europeans and peach blossom (postatlantean?) Europeans. The peach blossom colour apparently being due to the circulating blood, which is an expression of the spirit in all atlantean ethnic groups (most obvious in the hands …).

        Like

    • Steve Hale

      Anderson, indeed, leaves a great deal of relevant consideration out of his paper, choosing instead to simply indicate that Steiner’s racial theory would be considered “racist” in today’s day and age.

      Now, in considering the ethnic groups as modifications of a ‘common human form’ [primal semite], we have an excellent example here which comes from a lecture some nearly 12 years after the excerpt given to Caryn’s citing of GA107. By this time, the “Red Indian” sub-race had migrated west to the American continent. We are now within the post-atlantean cultural epochs.

      “You will not be able to understand what I have to tell you unless you have a true picture in your minds of the nature of these Indian peoples [American Indian race] who were gradually exterminated by the colonists from Europe. They were not, of course, cultured people in the sense in which we think of culture today. But there was a certain quality in these souls which expressed itself in a universal, pantheistic form of religion. Their hearts were turned in aspiration to a great Spiritual Being and their religion was thoroughly monotheistic. I am speaking here of the leading stock, not of the more degenerate branches. These people had a living and vivid experience of one great Spirit Universal behind the world of nature and the deeds of men. We must try to understand this mood of soul and altogether get rid of the preconceived notion that these Indian peoples were the half animal savages which they are generally supposed to have been.

      Broadly speaking, the souls once living in those exterminated Indian peoples are incarnated today in the men of Western Europe, Middle Europe and on towards Russia. We shall never get to the truth if we cannot accept what seems so strange and improbable a statement. These were souls who had had no contact with Christianity in former incarnations and because of this it follows that the souls of a large proportion of Europeans today had not received the impulse of Christianity before their present birth. Christianity is something that has been acquired from outside, assimilated as it were with the sounds of language and speech. Before we can understand the way in which Christianity lives in the souls of Europeans today we must realize that, broadly speaking, it was not a Christian impulse at all which lived in these souls in an earlier incarnation, but a pantheistic impulse, connected with the worship of one great Universal Spirit. Here and there among these European peoples there are, of course, other souls, whose earlier incarnations during the first centuries of Christendom were in the more Southerly regions of Europe and in Northern Africa. And of these two categories of souls, the present population of Western and Central Europe and the lands well on towards Russia mainly consists. The way to study these things is to observe how the souls of men express themselves in our present age, what their aspirations are and in what way they think. We shall never understand these European peoples until we realize that although the blood kinship runs back through the consecutive generations, say to the age of Charles the Great and even earlier, the souls now living in these European bodies were once incarnated in far-off America, in the bodies of a race which was conquered by colonists from Europe.”

      http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/PasInc_index.html

      2nd of 18 lectures from: Man’s Responsibility for World Evolution through His Spiritual Connection with the Planet Earth and with the Stars Above

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        Ton, would you mind translating that into human language because it sounds like you are talking about the oil gauge meter and tyre pressure of your car.

        Caryn

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Caryn, e.g. in mechanical language: “That is the fundamental difference between the European and the Asiatic [atlantean] peoples. Manu, with his group of normal men, was wedged in between them.” (in ‘your’ lecture, also quoted by Rose p.101). Then, who are these ‘normal (wo)men’?

        In an astronomical image (see above): the straight line of normal human development is modified and becomes more curved in ethnic groups (cf. the development curve in lecture 4 in the ‘Folk-Souls’). What is meant by this normal development, then?

        Like

    • Ton Majoor

      Hello Wooffles,
      Well, when Steiner’s ethnic groups are abnormal modifications and ramifications of a normal human form (monogenism), the differences in their ‘especial abilities and qualities’ (Anderson p.5) can only be superficial. But when they are distinct groups (i.e. polygenism), they would have ‘different qualities’, and that would be clear stereotyping, as Anderson argues.

      Caryn, this lecture from GA 107 is also interpreted by Rose (p.100 f.): Steiner’s ‘normal men’ can not be the Europeans.

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        What GA107 is basically saying is those who leave the development of their soul in hands of those old religious traditions and do not take the responsibility of their own development may stand the chance of going black and those who prefer to let the divine speak in them may stand the chance of going red.

        “Thus we see that conditions which a man can fall into today are only so to speak modern, more spiritual versions of what we met with in Atlantean times. Even then men came under these three categories: There were those who really wanted to develop their egos, and who were always taking in new things, and by so doing they really became the bearers of post-Atlantean civilisation. Then there were those who only wanted to let the divine speak in them, and their egos made them red.
        And the third group turned their minds exclusively outwards, and these people became black.”

        Like

      • wooffles

        Ton,
        I’m understanding you to mean that you have worked out to your own satisfaction that by “Lamarckian genetics” the different racial groups can only vary by 15% and therefore the differences are of necessity, in your words, “superficial.”

        Two observations:

        1) You would have a very difficult time, and rightly so, trying to persuade people that some of the physiologically-based differences that Steiner claimed to find between different ethnic and racial groups count as superficial.

        2) You might also have had a very difficult time if you had tried to persuade Steiner himself that what he was talking about when he discussed the relationship between racial and ethnic group characteristics and physiology was superficial, although he would agree entirely of course that it did not get to anyone’s individuality. For example,in the German version of The Inner Life of Music I was struck enough by the following passage to make a note of it: “A Chinese is again a different person than a European. A Chinese still has many connections between the physical body and etheric body, etheric body and intellectual soul, intellectual soul and consciousness soul and so forth in himself that have totally disappeared in European people.” That really does not sound like Steiner was envisioning racial differences as superficial, quite apart from the specific things he said about Asians. [It’s in the “Fragenbeantwortung Dornach, 30. September 1920” section; a google search will locate it]

        I’ll pass over passages from other lectures that I assume that anyone who follows the debate about Steiner and racism is familiar with.

        I’m not sure what you were driving at with “Lamarckian genetics” and the 15% figure, given that the genetic difference between humans and chimpanzees is barely over 1% (but the amount I understand about genetics wouldn’t fill a thimble).

        I’m sure you know that the monogenism/ polygenism debate has a long history and that avowed racists could take either position.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Wooffles,
        – I pointed at Lewontin’s original genetic analysis:
        In 1972, Richard Lewontin performed a FST statistical analysis using 17 markers (including blood-group proteins). He found that the majority of genetic differences between humans (85.4 percent) were found within a population, 8.3 percent were found between populations within a race and 6.3 percent were found to differentiate races (Caucasian, African, Mongoloid, South Asian Aborigines, Amerinds, Oceanians, and Australian Aborigines in his study). Since then, other analyses have found FST values of 6–10 percent between continental human groups, 5–15 percent between different populations on the same continent and 75–85 percent within populations. (wiki/Race_and_genetics)

        – Lamarckian genetics (inheritance of acquired characteristics, nowadays Epigenetics) is the evolutionary theory Steiner seems to defend in Riddles of Philosophy (GA 18, cf. GA 30) and in Cosmic Memory (GA 11, Foreword) against Weismann’s Neodarwinism.

        – My main point is that Steiner’s ethnic groups are ramifications of a ‘normal development’ (‘universal human form’), as expressed in GA 121 (1910). One cannot ignore this normal background.
        Second, these superficial modifications remain stereotypes of course, but an intragroup variation is at the core.

        Like

      • wooffles

        Ton,
        Sorry that I’m struggling with your terminology, but is my understanding below of what you are saying roughly correct?

        Steiner does engage in racial stereotypes but the universal human form is more important in his scheme of things than those stereotypes. You base this on your application of the genetic distribution worked out by Lewontin, since that distribution is implicit in Steiner’s idea of Lamarckian evolution.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Wooffles,
        In my understanding, Steiner’s ethnic groups in Mission of the Folk-Souls (lecture 6) are abnormal ‘modifications’ (one abnormal spirit) of the ‘universal human form’ (six normal spirits): an implicit weight of 15% against 85% (cf. Lewontin’s intergroup vs. intragroup variation). This universal human form (Homo Sapiens?) is six times more important than the special forms.

        The ‘special modifications’ and their stereotyped characteristics have become hereditary in an epigenetic way (lecture 4: “Hence the possibility is given that a man should not only be dependent in this way on the place where he is born, but that the attributes he thus receives may also be inherited by his successors…”). E.g. see wiki/Epigenetics.

        Like

      • wooffles

        Ton,
        Now I think that I understand you, I still don’t see how this affects Anderson’s point.

        What difference does it make that, by your understanding, the universal human form is six times more important than the special forms? Since the special forms are racist, by the modern definition of racism, as Anderson puts it, saying that the ratio of universal form to special forms is one to six is beside the point. Maybe if you are talking to someone who knows so little that they think that Steiner can be compared to Hitler, it matters. But otherwise, I don’t see where you are going with this argument.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Wooffles, how would you describe this relationship between normal and abnormal form in Mission of the Folk-Souls?
        In my view, Steiner’s ethnic stereotypes do not apply to the normal human form, neither does he recognise separate ethnic groups, as Anderson supposes he does.

        Like

      • wooffles

        Ton,
        I think it is safe to say that most people would think that Steiner was describing an ethnic group or a race when he says something like“A Chinese is again a different person than a European, etc.” [full quote above]. What term or phrase would you substitute for ethnic group or race in this case?

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Wooffles,
        That’s why I raised the question in the first place: Are Steiner’s ethnic groups described as separate (sic) ethnic groups, as Anderson suggests, or are they a specialized form of a ‘universal human form’ (GA 121)?

        Thus, in your example (GA 283): are the Chinese (or the Europeans) described as a polygenistic (distinct, separate) ethnic group or as specialized, but monogenistic ethnic group (monogenism, common origin)?

        Like

      • wooffles

        Ton,
        I still have absolutely no idea what point you are trying to make,

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Well, say, Anderson skips the common origin of Steiner’s ethnic groups ….

        Like

      • wooffles

        Ton,
        My only previous encounter with the polygenistic/monogenistic distinction was with slaveholders in the American South debating whether Africans were descended from Adam and Eve. Each side was racist, although the polygenetic side was obviously more extreme (to avoid the chance of any misunderstanding, I’m not comparing Steiner to American slave holders!).

        All Anderson is trying to do in his essay is explain to fellow anthroposophists why some of Steiner’s ideas are racist, nothing more. I can’t see any other agenda in the essay. He isn’t putting Steiner on trial for degrees of racism. If he were, then your polygenistic/monogenistic distinction would be relevant. But since he isn’t, why does it matter?

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Wooffles,
        Indeed, we can categorize Steiner’s 19th century evolutionary view as scientific monogenism, not biblical monogenism (see Rose p.44). Herein Steiner’s normal/abnormal distinction (Folk-Souls, lecture 4) could be relevant.

        Like

  29. Caryn Louise

    Gemma, one thing that annoys all South Africans is when people overseas make these comments thinking they know what the ground situation is like.

    Sir George Grey, Governor of the Cape of Good Hope 1841 – 1845, had a clear understanding of how to keep the balance in South Africa. He was contending with the Dutch settlers, the British settlers, the German settlers, French Huguenots and the various and numerous African tribes. There were fractions between everyone. So Sir George Grey eventually managed to get the representatives of each group around a table and they hammered out an agreement to turn South Africa into a Federal State. It was all worked out in detail and the various representatives were happy with the plan.

    Sir George Grey then wrote to England with the agreed negotiation of a Federal State for South Africa and promptly received a reply back from England saying under no circumstances South Africa must be a Union. Sir George Grey was devastated as well as the various groups. Chaos and fraction revved up resulting into seven Frontier Wars and two Anglo-Boers wars. If England had agreed to Sir George Grey’s plan right back then South Africa would have been on the right road to development.

    Like

    • Gemma

      Isn’t it so annoying when a person doesn’t refer what they say to the authority of Rudolf Steiner? After all, he is the authority of choice around here…

      … and without that, how can one know if it is the truth or not???

      😉

      Like

  30. Caryn Louise

    Thanks for your reply Ton –

    Ton: What is meant by this normal development, then?

    Rising above the folk-soul – from collective consciousness to individual consciousness

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      Here’s the key. When Ton says: “That is the fundamental difference between the European and the Asiatic [atlantean] peoples. Manu, with his group of normal men, was wedged in between them.”

      Now, with this we can understand what is meant. Manu is the Sun Oracle who initiated members of the Primal Semites [fifth sub-race] into Central Asia some time before the deluge that ended the Atlantis epoch. With the flood, we have Noah and his descendants migrating to India, where maps indicate the regions of Shem, Ham and Japheth.

      When Abraham was initiated, c. 2000 BC, by the Sun Oracle, through the etheric body of Shem, in the ceremony of Melchizedek, this established the Hebrew cultural stream, and their ancestry can be traced to the Primal Semites of Atlantis. They are the direct descendants of the Primal Semites as the first cultural/ethnic group forming from this sub-race.

      Thus, ‘normal man’ and his development equates to the Hebrews, whose trek to the promised land of Israel was intended to be rather straight-line until they fell into the problems associated with “the graven image”, and spent 400 years as slaves in Egypt, and other captivities that diverted their original direct path.

      Steve

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        The Two Initiates of Zarathustra – the Great Initiate Zarathustra who incarnated into Jesus of Nazareth.

        Hermes, also known as Thoth, received the astral sheath of Zarathustra, and was instructed into The Mystery of Space, as it is spread around us, and therewith the mystery of all things contemporaneous. The teachings of The Sun-Mysteries referred to the external sunlight and the external physical light-body of the Sun as the outer sheath of an exalted Spiritual Being.

        Moses, received the etheric body of Zarathustra and was instructed into The Mystery of Time. Upon him had been bestowed the secrets of the passing of Time. The wisdom concerning Time was then able to blossom within him; he gave this wisdom to his people is a series of pictures of Genesis, those imaginations dealing with the wisdom of Time, of the ages as they succeed one another. He had to experience within himself the conflict between the old and the new, how in evolution something was active as opposition, as polarity. Moses received Earth-Wisdom.

        Earth wisdom was indirect Sun wisdom.
        It derived its life from the Sun, yet was of the Earth.

        Moses declared the mystery of the Earth’s origin, of the formation of the solid Earth after the withdrawal of the Sun, and told how man evolved on it.

        These two streams of wisdom had to meet; the Earth-wisdom of Moses had to encounter the Sun-wisdom of Hermes, and although separated from the sun, the earth still contained, if weakened, something of the nature of the sun.

        This is shown in the initiation of Moses in Egypt, where he came in contact with the Hermes-wisdom. The conflict between Moses’ people and the people of Hermes is the reflection in external life of the clashing of Earth-wisdom and Sun-wisdom.

        Both had originated with Zarathustra and though they followed entirely different courses of evolution they had to work together and to coincide.

        The Gospel of Matthew (GA123)

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Steve,
        the only thing is, this would be in contradiction to other descriptions in GA 54 and 93a: the Primal Semites were ‘in no way similar’ to the present Semites.

        Maybe, with the Primal Semites from the neighbourhood of Ireland are meant the Old Celts.
        Steiner’s Primal Semites (Old Celts) can be stereotyped as ‘Sun men’, Primal Akkadians (Semites) as Moon/Vulcan men, Primal Mongolians as ‘Mars men’, described in Occult Science. ‘Moon men’ were not mentioned (but compare with the Semitic peoples in GA 121), although ‘Vulcan’ is: ‘in the environment of the earth itself’. Apparently, the stereotyped atlantean groups in Cosmic Memory can be arranged in time, following the days of the week.

        Like

    • Ton Majoor

      But this individual consciousness would only have been reached at 21, if one had followed a ‘normal development’ without earthly modifications:

      “… at about his one-and-twentieth year, would man really wake up. Then only would he arrive at the ‘ I ’-consciousness. If he followed a normal development he would only then come out of himself and survey the outer world in that representation of it which is the one familiar to us.” – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0121/19100610p01.html

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Individual consciousness is really a very recent development born out of the fifth cultural epoch, and wherein the fourth cultural epoch is first recapitulated in the forms of the Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods. Then, in the last third of the 19th century, intellect and individuality are bestowed as evolutionary advancements.

        1) Intellectual Soul as the fruit of the 4th cultural epoch (Greco-Roman)
        2) Re-enactment of the Mystery of Golgotha in the Etheric World (Angel proxy for Christ endures suffocation of consciousness)

        These are the two instrumental occurrences that brought forth the individual consciousness we have today. With the year 1900, we enter the greater Consciousness Soul age, and the advent of Spiritual Science. According to Steiner, Michael’s victory in the War in Heaven, c. 1841-1879) assured that the Cosmic Intelligence would come down to earth.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Steve,
        Doesn’t individual consciousness goes hand in hand with Steiner’s ‘universal human form’ (GA 121, 4th lecture) from the middle of the Atlantean epoch onwards?

        Like

      • Steve Hale

        Ton wrote:

        “Doesn’t individual consciousness goes hand in hand with Steiner’s ‘universal human form’ (GA 121, 4th lecture) from the middle of the Atlantean epoch onwards?”

        and:

        “Nevertheless, the original Semites ‘were in no way similar’ to the present Semites.”

        We need to first differentiate between instinctive clairvoyance in the collective consciousness of the Atlanteans long before the faculty of thinking arose as the true earth faculty. Thinking leads to individual consciousness. The Sun-initiate, Manu, initiated certain of the original [Primal] Semites because this sub-race prefigures thinking as a potential. Then much later, Manu, initiates Abraham via the Etheric body, and thinking actually becomes a capacity with the physical organ of the brain. So, the Hebraic Semites represent the middle Semites. Their original mission involved unitary/undivided thinking which was entirely related to measure-weight-number. They also were the first cultural group to lose the instinctive clairvoyance in favor of thought. This fact is symbolized in the sacrifice of the two-horned ram, indicative of clairvoyance, and saving Isaac for the future generations of Jacob and the 12 sons, etc.

        The present Semites refer to the result of what caused division in thinking from the original unitary form, and this was due to the warning against the “graven image”. The Hebrews were to worship the one God, and do so as an invisible entity; thus, without imaginative content of any kind. This was violated with the Hebrew enslavement in Egypt for 400 years. The specific task of the Egypto-Chaldean cultural epoch is to bring the faculty of Imagination down, and further evolve the astral body into the Sentient Soul.

        Freedom from Egypt also entailed the loss of the original mission, and that is why the development of the faculty of thinking had to now pass over to the fourth cultural epoch, and the Greco-Roman periods. The original and unitary brain of the Hebrews had now divided into hemispheric regions via the corpus callosum, or “river of imagination”. The present Semites are a consequence of this revision.

        Manu exclusively initiated the ancestors and their direct descendants; the original Semites as the fifth sub-race, and the Hebrews via Abraham as a cultural stream, c. 2000 BC.

        Steve

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Steve and Caryn,
        ‘the faculty of thinking arose as the true earth faculty’
        In my understanding, for Steiner individual consciousness was due to the Primal Semites (atlantean Sun men). They developed ‘the part of the brain on which thought depends’ (GA 93a). The atlantean Semites, though, were ‘a special modification of humanity’ in whom Moon-forces cooperated with Mars-forces in the blood, in heredity (GA 121). In a sense, they were a stereotyped Moon people, since these Moon-forces are comparable to the separated Earth-moon.

        Later, Abraham developed a ‘physical organ of thought’ for ‘the contemplation of divinity’ (GA 123, cf. GA 117), i.e. a heritable Earth-moon-organ, which could receive Sun-wisdom. Moses and Solomon developed this synthetic thinking further (GA 118).

        Like

  31. Steve Hale

    Of course, any reference to present Semites would be owing to their continuing disavowal of the Christ as the Messiah they were “supposedly” waiting for. That is why much of the Jewish Talmud is vacated in favor of the Torah, or first five books of Moses. The Talmud largely concerns the story of the Prophets, who prophesied the coming of Christ, and paid for it.

    Now, let’s look at these points of interest. I begin with a very specific quote from the Gospel of Matthew lectures, and then end with a general survey of where Steiner told about what the mission of the Hebrews was all about.

    “In order that the wisdom of Moses might be fruitful and bear seed in the right way, this seed had to be implanted in the race that had Abraham for its progenitor. Abraham was the first who acquired the organ through which the Jehovah consciousness could be evolved, but he had to realize that the God who spoke in him through his physical powers of comprehension, spoke with the same voice as the eternal all-pervading God of the Mysteries; only that He revealed Himself to Abraham in a more restricted manner, that is, in a way Abraham was able to understand.

    For such a mighty Being as the great Atlantean Sun-initiate it is not immediately possible to speak in comprehensible words to those living in some age who have a special mission. A Being so exalted — one who in his own individuality leads an eternal existence, and of whom it has been rightly said (indicating his eternal nature) — that he was without name or age, without father or mother — such a great guide of human existence could only reveal himself; to those whom he sought, by assuming a form that could bring him in contact with them. Therefore in order to give Abraham the appropriate illumination, the individual who had been the teacher of the Rishis and of Zarathustra, assumed a form in which he was clothed in the etheric body of a forefather of Abraham — this was the etheric sheath of Shem, the son of Noah — a forefather of Abraham. In the same way as the etheric garment of Zarathustra had been preserved for Moses, this etheric body of Shem had persisted, and was used by the great Sun-initiate so that he might make himself known to Abraham. The meeting of Abraham with the great Initiate of the Sun-Mysteries is described in the Old Testament. It is the meeting of Abraham with the King, the Priest of the Most High God, Melchisedek or Malekzadik. This meeting of Abraham with the great Sun-initiate is of the greatest, the most universal importance. Lest his presence might overwhelm Abraham this great Being only showed himself in the etheric body of Shem, the ancestor of the Semitic race. Most significantly something is here hinted at in the Bible which is, unfortunately, seldom understood; it refers to whence that something came which Melchisedek was in a position to impart to Abraham.”

    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA123/English/RSPC1946/19100904p01.html

    Three pre-figuring lectures on the deeper secrets of the Hebrews from November 1909, and leading up to the above:

    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA117/English/APC1957/DepSec_index.html

    Like

    • Caryn Louise

      The Two Initiates of Zarathustra – the Great Initiate Zarathustra who incarnated into the body of Jesus of Nazareth.

      Hermes, also known as Thoth, received the astral sheath of Zarathustra, and was instructed into The Mystery of Space, as it is spread around us, and therewith the mystery of all things contemporaneous. The teachings of The Sun-Mysteries referred to the external sunlight and the external physical light-body of the Sun as the outer sheath of an exalted Spiritual Being.

      Moses, received the etheric body of Zarathustra and was instructed into The Mystery of Time. Upon him had been bestowed the secrets of the passing of Time. The wisdom concerning Time was then able to blossom within him; he gave this wisdom to his people is a series of pictures of Genesis, those imaginations dealing with the wisdom of Time, of the ages as they succeed one another. He had to experience within himself the conflict between the old and the new, how in evolution something was active as opposition, as polarity. Moses received Earth-Wisdom.

      Earth wisdom was indirect Sun wisdom. It derived its life from the Sun, yet was of the Earth.

      Moses declared the mystery of the Earth’s origin, of the formation of the solid Earth after the withdrawal of the Sun, and told how man evolved on it.

      These two streams of wisdom had to meet; the Earth-wisdom of Moses had to encounter the Sun-wisdom of Hermes, and although separated from the sun, the earth still contained, if weakened, something of the nature of the sun.

      This is shown in the initiation of Moses in Egypt, where he came in contact with the Hermes-wisdom. The conflict between Moses’ people and the people of Hermes is the reflection in external life of the clashing of Earth-wisdom and Sun-wisdom.

      Both had originated with Zarathustra and though they followed entirely different courses of evolution they had to work together and to coincide.

      The Gospel of Matthew (GA123)

      Like

    • Ton Majoor

      So, for Steiner ’The wisdom of Moses was two-fold‘, Chaldea and Egypt, Zarathustra and Hermes: ‘the northern stream which came from Atlantis met the southern stream which passed through Africa, an extraordinary mixture … from which later the Hebrew people sprang.’(GA 123).

      Nevertheless, the original Semites ‘were in no way similar’ to the present Semites. (http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0093a/19051105p01.html)

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        All the Hebrews were baptised in the River of Jordan by John the Baptist; Elijah-John

        Being is ranged by Being in the widths of Space,
        Being follows on Being in the courses of Time,
        Remain’st thou in widths of Space, in courses of Time,
        Then art thou, O man, in the passing world alone.
        But above them with power thy soul itself upraises
        When, divining or knowing, it beholds what passes not;
        Beyond the widths of Space, beyond the courses of Time!

        Whitsun, The Festival of the free Individuality

        Like

  32. Hello Tom Hart Shea,

    I would like to refer back to the very beginning of this thread when you pushed back strongly against my use of the term PC = Political Correctness. I realize that I did not articulate to you a good meaning for the term PC, but now I have discovered a wonderful article that helps explains it well and puts it into an epistemological context relying as it does entirely on the moral ideas of Friedrich Nietzsche, the man who “fought against his time,” according to Rudolf Steiner’s book title about him.

    I quote from the article below but I first advise reading the article and getting familiar with his elegant 3-D “Influence Matrix” at the bottom.

    Political Correctness is All about Slave Morality
    by Gregg Henrique
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/theory-knowledge/201604/political-correctness-is-all-about-slave-morality

    After detailed study of many cultures, historical contexts, and various philosophies, Nietzsche articulated the view that there are two broad moral views or moral frames of mind, that of master morality and of slave morality.

    Slave morality is concerned with issues of justice, fairness and protection of the weak. It is called slave morality because its emphasis and focus is on those who are powerless, controlled or in positions of minority. From my unified perspective, especially that of the Influence Matrix (see below), slave morality can really be thought of as “horizontal”, red line, or affiliative-love morality. The emphasis is on placed on equality, sensitivity and connection.

    However, what Nietzsche realized is that this is not enough to encapsulate all of morality. There must also be a vertical dimension to morality, one that emphasizes strength, courage, accomplishment, virtue and merit. This relates deeply to what honor cultures emphasize and certainly is a strong element in Aristotle’s virtue ethics. This Nietzsche called master morality, because it referred to individuals who were in a position to rise above the herd of society and be judged on their own terms. Relationally, this is captured by the blue line on the Matrix and relates, on the positive side, to dominance, status and pride.
    —————————

    So, Tom H-S, what I see is that you exhibit exclusively the Nietzschean “slave morality” (Horizontal Axis) in your relationship to anthroposophy, which makes anything Steiner teaches into your own totally subjective whim, based on your emotions focused on justice, fairness, protection of the weak, etc. Therefore, you also champion Steiner’s racial statements about the Universal Human as the only one with any validity

    On the other hand, everything else Steiner says about race which of course IS racist, because it smacks of hierarchy, superiority, inferiority, etc. , you and Jeremy reject as repugnant expressions of Steiner’s “all too human” side, or his lower self or whatever term you need to stay stuck in your horizontal axis universe of the “Affiliation-Hostility” axis, meaning you are stuck in your sympathies and antipathies.

    But in the Nietzschean scheme – which is also Steiner’s — there is the equally important Vertical axis of Dominance-Submission, in which Steiner’s statements about the Inequality of races is just as important and true as the Equality of humans.

    Now the only person I see commenting here who is at home with this Vertical axis is Gemma. Steve Hale should be with her, but for whatever reason, he succumbs to the PC demands of the horizontal axis.

    Of course there is a 3rd dimension and that is the Christ Impulse, which Prof. Henrique calls the Freedom Axis because it is the freedom from the influences of the other 2 axes.

    Let me summarize and let’s argue over which axis is Luciferic or Ahrimanic

    X-axis = Love Axis = influence through altruism/cooperation = (Luciferic)
    Y-axis = Power Axis = influence through competition/Control = (Ahrimanic)
    Z-Axis = Freedom Axis = freedom from influence (of X & Y, i.e. of L&A =the Christ Impulse)

    Tom Mellett

    Like

    • Gemma

      Do please remember that those who are comfortable with power are those who are happiest to relinquish it. This is quite distinct from the kind of power described in the essay you linked to that leads to competitiveness (which is a direct result of fear – see below).

      In more Steinerish terms, the confident person is happier to allow the person they are engaging with to exert their ego OVER that of the confident person who is listening. Such confidence allows the speaker to take control – at least for the time that they are expressing themselves (in pure psychological terms for the listener this can be characterized as ‘yellow’, the astral quality that comes towards one). When the other speaks, in a true conversation, the process is reversed. When a person has a ‘blockage’ due to their Ahrimanic double (like the boss described below), they cannot relax and listen: they can only speak. True conversation is a process of breathing (which can also be described in terms of yellow and blue – light darkened and darkness lightened, two clearly distinct phenomena that shoud NOT be confused in the way Newton did).

      This is in clear contrast to the insecure person – characterized by the ‘Boss’ figure who needs everybody to do exactly as they are told. In terms of breathing, they are always exhaling (blue). This is far from healthy! The underlying fear that leads to this is, of course, not conscious (Ahriman, ‘Satan get thee behind me’) – and therefore invisible in every manner perceivable. So, watch out for the things you cannot see! There is one way to discern such things… for the moment, I’ll leave you to guess what it is. The clues are lined up for you.

      As a final note, please remember that by the late 1880s Friedrich Nietzsche was on the path to complete and irrevocable madness. And yes, I have walked barefoot to his house on the Weingarten.
      (Actually, I went by bicycle, but it’s more poetic to describe a pilgrimage being undertaken with bare feet 😉 ).

      Like

    • Tom H Shea

      “strength, courage, accomplishment, virtue and merit.”

      Dear Tom, you list these as the virtues of the ‘master morality’. I can’t see that people who seek power and dominance over others have a monopoly on these virtues. To give a personal example, my sister’s husband is dying of cancer. She has rheumatoid arthritis which gives her constant pain and limits her physical movement. Yet she daily shows tremendous strength through her fortitude, struggling to do all that she can to nurse her husband at home and ease his suffering. Living in the west of Ireland they have a 90 mile trip each way to the hospital which she drives with her hands sometimes barely able to hold the steering wheel. She shows great courage, waking every day determined to support her man right through to the end. She would never describe herself as any kind of hero or superwoman, she does not think of herself as superior to ‘the herd’, she takes no pride in what she is doing, but would never relinquish it. She sacrifices her own health and energy for the man she loves and promised loyalty to.
      Nietzche was an interesting thinker and polemicist and grew a giant mustache. I am not aware that he ever sacrificed anything for love.
      My engagement with the kind of approach to human beings which is here being characterised as ‘politically correct’ arises from two sources – 1. what I understand christian love to be, and 2. from what the Buddha characterised as right speech. I understand right speech to be – avoiding untruthfulness, eliminating the desire to wound, not slandering any person, place or thing, and avoiding triviality.
      One can exercise power ‘generatively’ without dominance, superiority or tyranny.
      I am not convinced by your two axes any more than I am convinced by Nietzche’s writings. Christian love transcends codified moralities.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Hale

      Tom M wrote:

      “Now the only person I see commenting here who is at home with this Vertical axis is Gemma. Steve Hale should be with her, but for whatever reason, he succumbs to the PC demands of the horizontal axis.”

      Let me suggest that your opinion of the Vertical axis, as seen in Gemma, is partly based on her posting from April 26th, wherein she states:

      “However, if one is to understand why such realities that Steiner spoke of are described as racist, one has to do a little reverse engineering in the psychological realm. Usually this is because the white skinned person wants everybody to be white skinned. This implies that people with other skin colours have to behave as white people, and accept the ways of the white people. Hence, they are no longer a threat, and can become part of the white-skinned flock, for all their not being white. All is now safe; looking inwards to the flock, the balance cannot be disturbed by outsiders. The problems this creates are subtle, and I describe it in the following way: it is like asking a right handed person* offering a left handed person their rights. To the lefthander, this is clearly unacceptable! A left handed person wants their lefts. (*I leave out the clearly stated issues of cross dominance that Rudolf Steiner spoke of in his education lectures, which lead to left-handedness). In the same way, a black person needs to be accepted for who he is, not just as a nominal white person because he has accepted all the mores of white society.”

      Thus, in your mind, this viewpoint coincides with the so-called “master morality”, which should be Steve’s viewpoint, yet he subscribes through PC pressure to the horizontal axis of the “slave morality”.

      In truth, I have always subscribed to the so-called, “Freedom Axis”, or z-particle, in which racial distinctions/stereotypes are utterly meaningless in favor of the equality of all human beings. This must be what the “Universal Human” is all about. Being centered in the Christ, I can go to the left or the right easily, and stay clear of Lucifer and Ahriman.

      You should try that, Tom. It helps make for less affiliation with Lucifer in the personality, and less cold and heartless intelligence, owing to Ahriman. But then, there is always that sneaky Asuras that invades the ego, and helps make for these displays. Don’t leave out the Asuras in relation to Lucifer and Ahriman.

      Steve

      Like

      • Gemma

        It helps make for less affiliation with Lucifer in the personality, and less cold and heartless intelligence, owing to Ahriman. But then, there is always that sneaky Asuras that invades the ego, and helps make for these displays. Don’t leave out the Asuras in relation to Lucifer and Ahriman.

        We all know that the fallen ethers – that is to say, the things Lucifer, Ahriman and Sorat dragged down with them when they were expelled from heaven – are sub-earthly. In psychological terms, this means they lie in the subconscious.

        How then is one to have less affiliation with Lucifer if one is unaware of the affiliation? One can say the same thing for Ahriman – but as for the Asuras, that is another matter altogether.

        There is no getting away from the fact that in the initial stages at least, we cannot deal with evil by working within ourselves alone. Such awareness is of great use, but only when one has understood and worked with one’s subconscious.

        Which, since we cannot see it, or perceive it in any way, means it’s far from easy to do – mainly because it’s so easy to believe it doesn’t exist. But that’s Ahriman for you, and without knowing how to deal with him, one will be forever running around the same circles. In this respect, one can categorize Ahriman as ‘blue’, the comfort zone. Working with ‘yellow’ – the astral, everything that lies outside one – is the key to unravelling the paradoxical nature of evil.

        Like

      • Steve Hale

        “There is no getting away from the fact that in the initial stages at least, we cannot deal with evil by working within ourselves alone. Such awareness is of great use, but only when one has understood and worked with one’s subconscious.”

        This is true. The larger issue is one of getting out the message that the existence of Evil is as real as the fact that Christ relates to the good. Christ brings Lucifer and Ahriman down with love and compassion. Why? Why does Steiner describe so eloquently how he plans to sculpt his “Representative of Man” two years [1915] before he even begins?

        This is a good question because in 1917, when Steiner was actively sculpting this work, he also was forced to admit that Michael’s victory in Heaven, c. 1841-1879, had served to expel a group of Ahrimanic (spirits of darkness) down to earth in order to serve both the expansion of materialism, as well as the anti-Christ, Soradt, who mixes with these fallen beings in order to create clever weapons of war due to their very cold and clever intelligence, which is now on the earth. Lucifer justifies a war/Ahriman makes the weapons of destruction.

        So, while Rudolf Steiner sculpts his “Representative of Man”, which is an homage to the sacrificial deeds of Lucifer and Ahriman, he also is compelled to state that the “event of 1879”, ref, GA177, is also an inevitable occurrence. Thus, a reverse sculpture could also have been produced at that time, in which Soradt is conveyed as the central figure in the resurrection of both Lucifer and Ahriman in bringing about the wars of the 20th century, which caused some 187 million deaths in total.

        Reverse engineering is a nice way of expressing how the so-called “fallen ethers” are made to rise again and make havoc out of the sub-earthly domains that Christ had put these three. Yet, Michael is the one responsible for causing it. The Heavens must be kept pure for those that cross the Threshold, and this means expelling those inferior spirits down to earth, where they have their consequences. Michael, in realizing his victory and what it means for mankind, conducts a sacrifice which is no less important than the Mystery of Golgotha from nearly two thousand years before. He is compelled to impress His Image on the human etheric body, which serves to prevent Ahriman’s first strategy, which is to permanently imprison the etheric body within the physical.

        This coincides with the Mystery of Golgotha, in which Christ dies on the Cross in order to compel the etheric body to remain connected with the physical body, even unto death.

        Steve

        Like

      • Gemma

        Steve Hale,
        when you say “Christ brings Lucifer and Ahriman down with love and compassion.”

        How do you do this, given that none of us can see Ahriman. It is not for us to leave such things to Christ, for He has better things to do.

        So, if you cannot see Ahriman in any shape or form, perceive him in any manner – how can you perceive him? This riddle stands at the centre of Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom.

        Let me know.

        Like

      • Gemma

        If Steve wants the truth, he’s going to have to become very humile and contact me through my own website, because I can’t speak through the concrete walls of the Goetheanum.

        Massive, solid and a defence to all that stand outside anthroposophy!

        Anthroposophical thought is the panorama of its own narrow niche.

        Like

  33. Caryn Louise

    Post 365 … a leminiscate will be formed at this rate Jeremy.

    Spirits of Freedom of Spirits of Love the Trinity becomes a Quaternary

    Like

    • Gemma

      If a leminscate is to be formed – as in the turning of the year – this needs to be embarked upon consciously.

      Otherwise one might find that 365 railway lines begin to form lemniscates, and that might not make them so useful.

      Like

  34. Tom H Shea

    Tom Mellett says, ‘But in the Nietzschean scheme – which is also Steiner’s …’
    I am not sure that Steiner was a Nietszchean at all. Daniel Hinds has assembled a number of statements made by Steiner where he is at pains to distance himself from being seen as a follower of Nietzsche. Daniel Hinds ends with this summary, ‘So we see Rudolf Steiner as an early scholar of Nietzsche; someone who made great efforts to understand Nietzsche’s thought, but at the same time someone who distanced himself from Nietzsche’s conclusions, and from the bands of enthusiasts who took up the cause in Nietzsche’s name.’ Here is a link to the page I am referring to.

    http://www.defendingsteiner.com/articles/rs-nietzsche.php

    Like

    • Caryn Louise

      “Friedrich Nietzsche: a Fighter Doing Battle against his Times”

      Is this not true, one does not fight for freedom but one loves for freedom

      Like

      • Yes. Steiner only began to take an interest in Nietzsche’s work after his collapse in early January 1889. Six years later, he was meeting the philosopher, now silenced, but still working behind those bright shining eyes, and Steiner wrote a book which he felt would stand the test of time in being the best objective work on Nietzsche, the man and the spirit.

        In November 1917, Steiner gave two lectures which describe the unique situation involving Friedrich Nietzsche, and how his sensitively susceptible soul needed the supporting bulwarks of Schopenhauer from 1860 to 1879, and then Richard Wagner, after his death in 1883. Lectures of Nov. 10 & 11, 1917 here:

        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Psych/English/AP1946/PsyAnt_index.html

        Nietzsche was particularly susceptible to the attacks of the ahrimanic spirits cast down to earth after Michael’s victory. This is how his work in the period 1879-1889 gradually became a kind of “ahirmanic authorship”. This is because Nietzsche had showed himself to be the veritable “adversary of his age” by opposing how the German Empire had formed by the clever subterfuge of Kaiser Wilhelm I, and Count Bismarck in attacking and defeating France in the Franco-Prussian War, c. 1871-1872. Nietzsche had the courage to speak of the “tawny beast”, and this eventually drew the downfallen “spirits of darkness” directly to him in order to attempt to break him down.

        Steve

        Like

    • Gemma

      Rudolf Steiner was a scholar of many philosophers and luminaries.

      To the intellectual mind, this can only mean that he regarded them as authorities on the things they spoke of.

      If a person has the capacity to think for themselves – reason things out for themselves – they can be a scholar of many things, and yet remain independent of their influence.

      The intellectual cannot do this.

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Gemma wrote:

        “Rudolf Steiner was a scholar of many philosophers and luminaries. To the intellectual mind, this can only mean that he regarded them as authorities on the things they spoke of. If a person has the capacity to think for themselves – reason things out for themselves – they can be a scholar of many things, and yet remain independent of their influence. The intellectual cannot do this.”

        To think for oneself is the aim of our present Consciousness Soul age. Thus, while the intellectual rests within a domain that accepts the outer-external world as “real”, and then propounds the great findings of modern natural science, the one who wields Michael’s Sword is able to literally rend the veil of outer seeming, and make it transparent. Thus, the ‘maya’ of the outer world is penetrated in order to reveal the underlying real beings. Appearance is owing to the fact that the Eighth Sphere exists, and contains “densified imaginations”, which yields a world of spectral content, which is this outer-external world that the sentient body and intellect acquaint with every day, when we wake up and turn our attention to it.

        The result is materialism in its progressive stages of: theoretical, practical, and technological, which encompasses the period from 1800 to 2016.

        Gemma, I have noticed that your blog makes a nice case for this fact of material progression, and how it has gained great power while completely failing to see what is truly important about its existence as a merely temporary event in the scheme of phenomena. I wrote earlier in the muse of your moving to the Netherlands in order to make the case for a rather ascetic life without the normal provisions, and in order to simplify life in the H.D. Thoreau tradition. I liked it, but the moderator threw it out for possible incendiary reasons. No matter. I like this response better.

        Your work is well-worth considering, even if we somehow didn’t acquaint so well. You know how “likes repel” as “opposites attract”. I saw too much of my own kind, and my initial enthusiasm got the better of me. Sorry for that, but we could actually be making strides here on Jeremy’s wonderful place to correspond with feeling. Thanks, Jeremy.

        Steve

        Like

      • Gemma

        I liked it, but the moderator threw it out for possible incendiary reasons

        I learn a little each day, even if it is by the things others cannot learn for themselves.

        Like

  35. Gemma wrote:

    “When you say “Christ brings Lucifer and Ahriman down with love and compassion.” How do you do this, given that none of us can see Ahriman. It is not for us to leave such things to Christ, for He has better things to do.
    So, if you cannot see Ahriman in any shape or form, perceive him in any manner – how can you perceive him? This riddle stands at the centre of Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom.”

    I know through many years of experience exactly how both Lucifer and Ahriman operate. Anyone forced to “turn stones into bread” for a livelihood knows that Ahriman rules, and many a “luciferic personality” upholds this rationale. Our intelligence is forced to be cold-calculating materialism until spiritual science has the possibility of entering.

    It is Rudolf Steiner that attempts to convey Christ bringing Lucifer and Ahriman down with loving compassion here:

    “Some day when the building in Dornach that is dedicated to the spiritual sciences is completed, it will contain, in a significant spot, a sculpture dominated by three figures. In the center of this group a figure will tower as if it were the manifestation of what I would call the most sublime human principle ever to unfold on earth. Hence, one will be able to experience this representation of the highest human principle in the evolution of the earth-the Christ, who in the course of this evolution lived three years in the body of Jesus of Nazareth. A special task in the portrayal of this Christ figure will be to make two ideas visible.”

    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/ChrLuc_index.html

    Like

    • Gemma

      Sorry, Steve, i’m the wrong kind of anthroposophist to be allowed to post comments here.

      Only the right kind of anthros are allowed to do that.

      It’s a tragedy of the first order, and I pity those who know no better.

      Like

      • Gemma

        I wrote this in a message to a friend this morning:

        Give it a few years, kid. Believe me, there are people out there who ARE striving, and they WILL listen to you. Because I’ve been through this “long, dark night of the soul” – part of which is to experience what you are right now – and it is grim. There will be light at the end of the tunnel, as they say, and it will be daylight. When you start meeting people – at the supermarket, library or in town – and they are both interesting and bright eyed, you will begin to realize WHY humanity needs to go through these awful times of depression. It is to weed out the ones who are too lazy, too weak-minded to do anything else but indulge themselves and their selfishness. Remember that you have the strength to get through this. It doesn’t make it any easier, it doesn’t make it any lighter. Just remember that you are one of the few people who can handle it.

        The surpassing strangeness of Rudolf Steiner is made the stranger because he had the courage to face his challenges, the challenges so few people were ever willing to meet. The challenge of meeting people who seemed strange because they did NOT meet their own selfish, egoistic needs.

        The long dark night of the soul is to weed out the weak-minded who can only quote the translations of the transcriptions of Steiner’s lectures as if they were Gospel Truth.

        Like

      • Dear Gemma,

        Since I’ve had occasion to write to you privately in the past with some advice (apparently without effect) about your comments, I thought another attempt might be helpful:

        1. Try to stay on topic. Of course, the thread may meander in all sorts of interesting directions, but it would be good if the original topic is addressed at some point.
        2. Try to be concise.
        3. Avoid personal abuse of other contributors.
        4. Do not constantly post links to your own blog.
        5. Do not state that after Easter Sunday you will never return to this blog but then a few days later, continue with the usual barrage of comments as though nothing had happened.
        6. Do not write comments in language other than English in the vain hope that the moderator does not know how to use Google Translate.
        7. Do feel free to abuse the moderator for unfairness, for being a lackey of Dornach, for favouring some commenters over others and for being generally unsatisfactory; but don’t then be surprised if some of your comments don’t get through.

        Kind regards,

        Jeremy

        Like

      • Gemma

        My apologies, Jeremy, but I am human.

        All I need of you is to recognize your own humanity too.

        1. Try to stay on topic. Of course, the thread may meander in all sorts of interesting directions, but it would be good if the original topic is addressed at some point.

        Well, of course your friends may do so. I am not allowed such indulgence. There is plenty of off-topic comments from your friends on this very post.

        2. Try to be concise.

        I will do my best, but there are times when a person has responded to something I mentioned, rather than responding to the main point of my comment that it needs explaining in a different way. That is not always easy. I note that other people do not find themselves upbraided for their lack of conciseness.

        3. Avoid personal abuse of other contributors.

        Again, it is fair enough for members of your flock to abuse those outside the hurdles.

        4. Do not constantly post links to your own blog.

        My apologies, Jeremy. Perhaps if Steve Hale did this, he’d not need four paragraphs to explain something that is off topic.

        5. Do not state that after Easter Sunday you will never return to this blog but then a few days later, continue with the usual barrage of comments as though nothing had happened.

        See above.

        6. Do not write comments in language other than English in the vain hope that the moderator does not know how to use Google Translate.

        I was assuming that either you knew how to employ something as universally known as Google Translate – after all, it is useful for translating the transcripts of Steiner’s lectures for yourself.

        7. Do feel free to abuse the moderator for unfairness, for being a lackey of Dornach, for favouring some commenters over others and for being generally unsatisfactory; but don’t then be surprised if some of your comments don’t get through.

        Thankyou, I will do so in future. I doubt if this would make any difference to my comments being moderated or not – that depends on motives that lie in your subconscious. Or the fact that you find the comment offensive (in the way you find some of Steiner’s thoughts offensive) because it lies outside your comfort zone and makes you feel uncomfortable (usually this is the result of an unrecognized antipathy).

        And the upshot of all this is that my response to several conversations are still left unmoderated. Had you been able to comprehend what was being spoken of with the assurance that knowing ones own sympathies and antipathies brings one – you might have caused a little less frustration from those who have undertaken this painful process.

        You see, there is always the temptation to think that someone might just understand what dealing with one’s antipathies actually means in reality. That’s why I came back…

        … as I say, we are all human. It’s more a matter of whether the person is conscious of why they are writing something.

        Like

  36. Ton wrote:

    “In my understanding, for Steiner, individual consciousness was due to the Primal Semites (atlantean Sun men). They developed ‘the part of the brain on which thought depends’ (GA 93a). The atlantean Semites, though, were ‘a special modification of humanity’ in whom Moon-forces cooperated with Mars-forces in the blood, in heredity (GA 121). In a sense, they were a stereotyped Moon people, since these Moon-forces are comparable to the separated Earth-moon. Later, Abraham developed a ‘physical organ of thought’ for ‘the contemplation of divinity’ (GA 123, cf. GA 117), i.e. a heritable Earth-moon-organ, which could receive Sun-wisdom. Moses and Solomon developed this synthetic thinking further (GA 118).”

    This is nearly correct, except we have no “special modification of humanity” between the Primal Semites and your “atlantean Semites”.

    The confusion might arise because the earth-moon system exists out of the Old Moon condition, i.e., 3rd Sphere, and then passes over to the Earth. The separation of earth-moon occurred in the Lemurian epoch, and this is when the era of the “fallen adam” begins, ref. Genesis 2:4.

    Steiner gave a lecture which really helps in understanding what we are dealing with here. It is from GA124, and was given on 13 March 1911. It describes how the Hebrews (post-atlantean) came to worship Jehova as the moon-god, and especially in His presentation in the Full Moon aspect.

    Steve

    Like

  37. Caryn Louise

    Ton Majoor: ” In my understanding, for Steiner individual consciousness was due to the Primal Semites (atlantean Sun men). They developed ‘the part of the brain on which thought depends’ ”

    Ah, the Primal Semites, may also be known as the Sons of the Sun, when during the Polarian epoch the Sun Men were able to form this specially favoured race while the Sun was still united with the Earth.

    Then, during the Hyperborean epoch the Sun separated from the Earth-Moon.

    “The separation of the Sun takes place because higher Beings – for their own evolution and for that which they have yet to do for the Earth – can no longer endure the matter which is now condensed as far as water. Out of the whole Earth-mass they separate the substances which alone are suited to their use, and take their departure to make themselves a new dwelling-place in the Sun. Henceforth, they work on to the Earth from without, from the Sun. Man, on the other hand, needs for his further evolution a scene of action where matter will condense still more.” (Occult Science – an outline pg 166)

    The six leading Spirits of Form made the sun their sphere of activity through the separation of the warmth-air substances from the Earth and they developed ‘the part of the brain on which thought depends’ – consciousness of the Ego; Ego-consciousness.

    The Ego was the gift to humanity of the six leading Spirits of Form who made the sun their sphere of activity. They sacrificed their substance, the Cosmic Ego, and gave man a ‘drop’ of the ego. The totality of these six Sun Beings is called in our age, Christ.

    The seventh Spirit of Form stayed on Earth with men.

    It was at this time Day and Night came into being, where man is brought into alternating states of consciousness. It is day when the surface of the Earth where man is evolving is turned towards the Sun and night when the Earth is turned away from the Sun and man’s life is entirely a life of soul.

    This is a repetition of the Ancient Sun stage of evolution when the Archangels, who were going through their human evolution on Ancient Sun, breathing out was their Sun’s day and breathing in was their Sun’s night.

    Like

  38. Ton Majoor

    Steve,
    Besides this full moon aspect, Steiner often stressed the earth-like aspect in Jewish religion, as Caryn indicates: the earth-moon beings separated the moon from the earth (GA 13) on the fourth day of creation, when the lights appear (GA 122). These earth-moon forces work in pregnancy (GA 353) and in geology (GA 149). The atlantean Semites (Moon) between Primal Semites (Sun) and Mongolians (Mars), I link to the stereotyped Primal Akkadians (as Moon people) in Cosmic Memory (cf. The Migrations of the Races):

    The Hebrews felt themselves in close relationship to forces rising from the Earth below and bound up with the Earth. – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0149/19131231p01.html

    When observed spiritually it can be said that the spiritual beings who withdrew the moon from the earth and united their own existence with it, thus becoming earth-moon beings, caused a certain configuration of the human organism to take place by sending forces from this cosmic body down upon the earth. Their activity was directed upon the ego acquired by the human being. – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/English/AP1972/GA013_c04-06.html

    … the Jewish religion was really pointing to this dependency of the human being upon the forces of the Moon when he is entering earthly existence. http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0353/19240313p01.html

    This places the fourth “day” of creation at a point in the Lemurian age, after the exit of the moon, – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0122/19100825p02.html

    Another branch of colonists went to the West and came upon the remains of the Atlantean Primal Semites — those who had been chosen out in the first place — and these form what is known as the ancient Semitic stock: Chaldeans, Babylonians, Phoenicians, and Arabians. They constitute a Neo-Semitic civilization. – http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/19040000p01.html

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      Ton,
      You fail to consider that the entire first chapter of Genesis is about the Creation in God’s Mind. Thus, we have the careful description of the six days, and then the seventh day of rest, which can be considered to be the pralaya for what comes next.

      You wrote:
      “This places the fourth “day” of creation at a point in the Lemurian age, after the exit of the moon.” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0122/19100825p02.html

      This is not correct for the simple reason that no material representation had occurred until the Lord God appeared in chapter 2, which exhorts the material manifestation here;

      4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made earth and heaven. 5 Now no shrub of the field was yet in the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprouted, for the Lord God had not sent rain upon the earth, and there was no man to cultivate the ground.

      This clearly demonstrates the difference between the initial fourth day, and what now becomes a material manifestation in the last third of the Lemurian epoch under the guidance of Jehova [the Lord God].

      Like

      • Caryn Louise

        The Fourth Day of Creation is Earth Evolution.

        The First Day of Creation is Ancient Saturn evolution where consciousness was that of deep trance. A very dull deep condition of consciousness which humanity hardly knows today. Only persons with a special mediumistic tendency can still have this consciousness today which once upon Saturn was possessed by all men. Mediumistic persons can come into such a consciousness, which is known to the modern psychologist. All the other states of consciousness have been deadened in them and they appear practically lifeless. But then, if from memory or even in this condition they sketch or describe what they have experienced, they bring to light quite extraordinary experiences, which do not take place around us. They make all sorts of drawings which, although they are grotesque and distorted, yet agree with what we call in theosophy cosmic conditions. They are often entirely incorrect, but nevertheless they have something by which we can recognise that such people during this lowered condition have a dull but a universal consciousness; they see cosmic bodies and therefore their sketches are of that nature. A consciousness that is dull like this but in compensation represents a universal knowledge in our cosmos, was once possessed by man on the first incarnation of our Earth, and is called “deep trance consciousness.” There are beings in our surroundings who still have such a consciousness — the minerals. If you could talk with them, they would tell you what goes on in Saturn — but this consciousness is entirely dull and insensible.

        The Second Day of Creation is Ancient Sun evolution where consciousness which we know, or much rather, do not know, since we are then asleep, is that of ordinary sleep. This condition is not so comprehensive, but in spite of its still being very dull, it is clear in comparison with the first. This “sleep-consciousness” was once the permanent state of all human beings when the Earth was “Sun”; at that time the human ancestor was in a continuous sleep. Even today this state of consciousness still exists; the plants have it, they are beings who uninterruptedly sleep, and if they could speak they could tell us how things are on the Sun, for they have Sun-consciousness.

        The Third Day of Creation is Old Moon evolution which is still dim and dull in relation to our day-consciousness, is that of “picture-consciousness”, and of this we have a clear idea since we experience an echo of it in our dream-filled sleep, though it is but a reminiscence of what on the Moon was the consciousness of all human beings. It will be well to start from the dream in order to get a picture of the Moon-consciousness. In the dream-life we find indeed something confusing, chaotic, but on closer observation this confusion nevertheless displays an inner law. The dream is a remarkable symbolist. In my lectures I have often brought forward the following examples, which are all taken from life. You dream that you are running after a tree-frog to catch it, you feel the soft, smooth body; you wake up and have the corner of the sheet in your hand. Had you used your waking consciousness you would have seen how your hand was holding the bed-cover. The dream-consciousness gives you a symbol of the external act, it forms a symbol out of what our day-consciousness sees as a fact.

        The dream of the present-day man symbolises events which are both external and within. But it was not so when this third state of consciousness was that of the Moon humanity. At that time man lived entirely in such pictures as he has in the modern dream, but they expressed realities.

        The Fourth Day of Creation is Earth evolution. This consciousness is that which all men now have. The pictures which man formerly perceived as colour pictures floating freely in space, wrap themselves, so to speak, round the objects. One might say they are laid over them, they form the surface and seem to be upon the objects, whereas formerly they seemed to float in freedom. In consequence, they have become the expression of the form; what man earlier had within himself has come out and fastened itself on the objects and through this he has come to his present waking day-consciousness. We call our present consciousness the objective consciousness or the waking day-consciousness. It consists in man’s turning his senses towards the outer world and perceiving objects and hence we call it objective consciousness.

        Human Consciousness in the Seven Planetary Conditions (GA099)
        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA099/English/RSP1966/19070601p01.html
        http://wn.rsarchive.org/RelArtic/BobbetteRSW/steineraz.html#I1904

        Like

    • Ton Majoor

      Steve,
      isn’t this about visibility of early Leumuria, no eyes being developed?
      “If you read on, after the description of the seven days, you find it mentioned that there were still no herbs, no shrubs, on the earth, although it had been said earlier that the forms of the plants had arisen in species form. Etc.” – (GA 122, Lecture IX)

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Yes, Lemuria begins the visible process of outer manifestation. The Bible conforms to the Samkhya system of evolution, wherein Purusha, the Creator God, or Father, creates the World in Seven Days as a cosmic/Mental construct. Then, “in the day the Lord God (Prakriti) created earth and the heavens”, we have the beginning work of the Creative Spirit in forming the material world itself. The Bible is revealed as expressing a spiritual-evolutionary system when taken on the lines of the Samkhya, which is its metaphysical template. What makes the Bible so uniquely esoteric is that it clothes the metaphysics in real stories with real people, and real history.

        Like

    • Ton Majoor

      Steve and Caryn,
      Above, I quoted Steiner (1910) on the moment of separation of the moon (“This places the fourth “day” of creation at a point in the Lemurian age, after the exit of the moon…”). This account suggests
      that the exit of the moon still was an invisible process. Thus, visibility of sun and moon gradually developed after the invisible moon separation in the first creation.

      “It was during the time lasting from the end of Lemuria right on into Atlantis, the time when a state of mist developed in the periphery of the earth, and then gradually grew lighter, that what previously had been etheric became transformed into a condition somewhat resembling what we know today. The etheric became more and more physical.” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0122/19100825p01.html

      Like

  39. Steve Hale

    Genesis – Macrocosmic and Microcosmic

    Evolutionary Macrocosm:

    “The Fourth Day of Creation is Earth evolution. This consciousness is that which all men now have. The pictures which man formerly perceived as colour pictures floating freely in space, wrap themselves, so to speak, round the objects. One might say they are laid over them, they form the surface and seem to be upon the objects, whereas formerly they seemed to float in freedom. In consequence, they have become the expression of the form; what man earlier had within himself has come out and fastened itself on the objects and through this he has come to his present waking day-consciousness. We call our present consciousness the objective consciousness or the waking day-consciousness. It consists in man’s turning his senses towards the outer world and perceiving objects and hence we call it objective consciousness.”

    Evolutionary Microcosm:

    “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.” Genesis 1: 14-19

    Like

    • Caryn Louise

      After posting the hefty five days of creation I hear what you are saying Steve and Ton: (sorry I tend to become linear in my thinking)

      Ton: (“This places the fourth “day” of creation at a point in the Lemurian age, after the exit of the moon…”). This account suggests that the exit of the moon still was an invisible process. Thus, visibility of sun and moon gradually developed after the invisible moon separation in the first creation.”

      “It was during the time lasting from the end of Lemuria right on into Atlantis, the time when a state of mist developed in the periphery of the earth, and then gradually grew lighter, that what previously had been etheric became transformed into a condition somewhat resembling what we know today. The etheric became more and more physical.” (GA0122)

      Thus, the separation of the Sun … the formation of the sound-ether … occurred during the “second day” (correction to my wording: the Sons of the Sun were not termed race but species) and at the same time the human soul-spirits withdrew into the formation of the other planets because the “third day” of creation was that dreadful age of the physical hardening. Adam and Eve were the first couple who were able to come down and endure the hardening earthly matter. Therefore they were on earth before the moon separated.

      If we look at the cycle of the smaller rhythms within the greater rhythms:

      There are the seven days of creation:
      Old Saturn, Old Sun, Old Moon, Earth, Future Jupiter, Future Venus, Future Vulcan

      And within the Earth Day there are seven epochs (the sixth and seventh as far as I know before future Jupiter): Polarian, Hyperborean, Lemurian, Atlantis, Post-Atlantis, Sixth epoch, Seventh epoch.

      You see, if Lemuria is the “fourth day” was there an epoch before Polarian or was the “third day” in between Hyperborea and Lemuria (was it an ice age?)

      Like

    • Gemma

      So what has Genesis to tell the modern thinker?

      It isn’t just that in the earth incarnation we know as “Old Sun” that the sound ether appeared – I mean, how many of us consciously understand the nature of the sound ether? That also implies we are conscious of how we abuse the fallen sound ether…

      Taking this point of view will lead to a fundamentally different understanding of what the words of Genesis mean, and that will allow the rational thinker (not the logical thinker who pins his concepts to boards and labels them in the way they study living butterflies) the rational thinker to see how the words of Genesis can lead to a better understanding of modern economics. Science too, naturally – and no few other things too.

      After all, this is creation we’re talking about here… and it affects us all.

      But the main point of Genesis isn’t to figure out the history. The point of Genesis is that it happened in such a way that it should dawn on humanity that each and every one of us has a purpose – a job, if you will – in heaven. Knowing how to do this will allow one to look forward into the Astral, not back into the Etheric and history. Our problem is that since this is entirely free, nobody’s going to tell us, nobody’s going to help (save the occasional rational thinker, that is).

      It leaves most people thinking that it doesn’t even exist, leaves many others thinking it’s all about looking into history…

      Like

  40. Ton Majoor

    So, in the future a reverse process (the moon uniting with the earth) can take place:
    “Supersensible cognition not only observes such future changes in which the earth alone takes part, but it is also aware of changes that occur in co-operation with the heavenly bodies in its environment. A time will come when the evolution of the earth and mankind will have advanced so far that the spiritual powers and beings that had to sever themselves from the earth during the Lemurian age, in order to make possible the continued progress of the earth’s beings, will be able to unite themselves again with the earth. The moon will then reunite with the earth. This will occur because at that time a sufficiently large number of human souls will possess so much inner strength that they will use these moon forces for the benefit of further evolution. …The good humanity will through its development acquire the use of the moon forces and thereby so transform the evil part also that, as a special realm of the earth, it may participate in further evolution.”
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA013/English/AP1972/GA013_c06.html

    Like

    • Gemma

      Ton Majoor, in the passage you quoted, it said:

      The good humanity will through its development acquire the use of the moon forces and thereby so transform the evil part also that, as a special realm of the earth, it may participate in further evolution

      As you know, the moon will reunite with the earth towards the end of the Sixth Great Epoch (we live in the Fifth Epoch of the Fifth Great Epoch – just to add a little fun to the confusion, don’t you think?).

      That should give us nine minor epochs – eighteen incarnations, give or take – to live through and learn from.

      My question is then: how can humanity transform the evil part of the moon when we can barely get our act together when it comes to transforming the evil part of the planet we live on?

      After all, the colossal amounts of pollution we pump into the environment is a direct result of our indulging in the evil part of our planet, rather than taking the wiser course of trying to transform it – which in and of itself would guide us as to how to deal with the evil beings on the moon.

      The moon is going to follow its course quite happily for the next nine minor epochs whether there is a humanity there to watch it or not.

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Gemma wrote:

        “After all, the colossal amounts of pollution we pump into the environment is a direct result of our indulging in the evil part of our planet, rather than taking the wiser course of trying to transform it – which in and of itself would guide us as to how to deal with the evil beings on the moon. The moon is going to follow its course quite happily for the next nine minor epochs whether there is a humanity there to watch it or not.”

        The separation of the moon is a big deal; a very real event that has made our earth evolution the process wherein repeated earth lives began, and an organized structure along the lines of a mineralized earth sphere. Thus, we are not looking at evil beings on the moon at all; just ourselves, and the dual reflective of sun and moon. As such, the greater and lesser lights in the sky formed the fundamental duality which would have both good and evil to work with. Today’s pollution is a very solvable matter in the light of anthroposophy, or even a very conscientious person living in the humility of soul and spirit on a small scale. It has been done, and still is being done. These are the baby-steps of a higher resolution.

        Watch for tomorrow because it is a new day in the light of forward progress.

        Like

      • Gemma

        Steve Hale,

        Today’s pollution is a very solvable matter in the light of anthroposophy, or even a very conscientious person living in the humility of soul and spirit on a small scale.

        Yet anthroposophists squabble amongst themselves about this or that quotation from Rudolf Steiner… and it is this which has been done, and still being done. Rather than being conscienscious of their own deeds as Rudolf Steiner would have wished them to.

        With Ahriman thus in full control, how is the light of anthroposophy to shine through to this world?

        There is one step that any serious esotericist needs to take, and it is in line with your description of humility. For none of us can see that which lies in our subconscious – how then can we bring it to our consciousness?

        Without this, how can one know if Ahriman rules or not? It is the very humility that comes with the question “how do I know what is enough?” that I am looking for.

        Not quotations, not ramblings about how Steiner’s thoughts ought be understandable to the common mind, but the ability to converse and listen.

        There, I’ve given you the answer – but as with some of the lectures I read, it may be a case of saying “did you” when Rudolf Steiner says “I spoke of this in the last paragraph”.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Gemma,
        ‘Evil part’ above was referring to the future ‘evil humanity’. Steiner’s evolution of the earth and mankind is about human groups, which have a common origin and a common future. Here is talk of two future humanities and their metamorphoses (like Steiner also discussed two stereotyped Lemurian groups). The irregular moon beings brought the possibility of freedom, error and evil; the earth-moon beings bestowed a universal mirror of knowledge (GA013_c04-06).

        ‘Inner strength’ may point to the transforming Manichaean principle: ‘The good would not be so great a good if it were not to grow through the conquest of evil. Love would not be so intense if it had not to become love so great as to be able even to overcome the wickedness in the countenances of evil men.’ (GA 104, lecture VIII).

        Like

      • Gemma

        So, Ton Majoor.

        What, then, is this ‘evil humanity’ and how can we recognize it today? I will add that out and about on the back streets of Alkmaar, I met it, face to face – and believe me, it cannot handle the assuredness that comes with knowing the truth.

        When you say “‘Inner strength’ may point to the transforming Manichaean principle” – there is no ‘may’ about it. If you knew how to transform using the Manichaean principle, you would have the inner strength that arrives with having transformed it. Which also means you’d not use words like ‘may’ unless you are dealing with some future event – and nobody can foretell the future with any accuracy, so the use of the word ‘may’ is fully justified.

        ‘The good would not be so great a good if it were not to grow through the conquest of evil.’ Transform the Ahriman within and the image this phrase evokes will resonate through you from head to toe.

        So: it’s no longer a question of what transforming evil is, but how of to do it.

        Practically.

        After all, each one of us is individual and that implies our challenges – and the path we tread through successive incarnations – is unique and individual. A group can help, but only if that group is prepared to challenge the other members; if they do not, they only help evil by allowing it to remain dormant, and cannot transform it.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Gemma,
        I just say ‘may’, in order that you yourself may feel free to interpret the source text.
        Characteristic for the above mentioned kind of ‘evil’, it seems to me, is a sense of freedom i.e. ‘feeling free’ to do anything you like to do, without thinking or restrictions, in stead of just feeling an inclination to do something evil (yetzer hara).

        Like

      • Gemma

        Fair enough, but there is always an eerie silence when the practical – and personal – aspects of dealing with evil are mentioned.

        As to your thought “Characteristic for the above mentioned kind of ‘evil’, it seems to me, is a sense of freedom i.e. ‘feeling free’ to do anything you like to do” – that is a person who indulges in the ‘moon’ evil you speak of, who has not the remotest idea what ‘earth’ evil is. Tackling the latter requires a very great deal more than mere awareness of one’s responsibilities towards others.

        It is a good start, and we live in the age of the consciousness soul; nevertheless, given the situation we are facing as a species, it is simply not enough.

        Like

      • Ton Majoor

        Gemma,
        Indeed, not enough. The other evil or subconscious, at the other threshold would be: ‘feeling fear’ and don’t do anything, but stay lonely (see Steiner, Occult Science).

        “… since the beginning of the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, evil tendencies are subconsciously present in all men. It is precisely this influx of evil tendencies into men that marks his entrance into the fifth post-Atlantean epoch. Expressed somewhat radically one could say with every justification: he who crosses the threshold of the spiritual world discovers that there is not a crime in the calendar to which every man, in so far as he belongs to the fifth post-Atlantean epoch, is not subconsciously prone.” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0185/19181026p02.html

        Like

      • Gemma

        I was talking about subconscious evil; conscious evil is Luciferic and is extraordinarily hard to work with for the simple reason that most people like doing the things they like doing… and see no evil in doing so.

        The reason for this is the evil they are unaware of, the subconscious evil.

        I will ask again, putting it in a different form: if one is unaware of something one has done, how can one know this????

        Like

  41. Tom H. Shea

    Today I found this passage from Rudolf Steiner, about St. Francis of Assissi, which I think bears on the question of whether Steiner could make mistakes, whether Steiner could, on occasion, speak out of his lower self –
    “Your eyes will be opened if you allow yourselves to experience vicariously all the humility, the devotion, and the Christian love that was part of Francis of Assisi. You will then know how to look at him as a person prone to make mistakes—because he possessed his own ego—and as a great individual because he carried a copy of the astral body of Jesus of Nazareth within his own astral body. All the humble feelings, the profound mysticism, and the spiritual soul life of Francis of Assisi become comprehensible if we know this one secret of his life.”
    The quote is from, a lecture given on 6th April 1909 and to be found in the collection ‘The Principle of Spiritual Economy’ publ. 1986.
    If St. Francis, bearing a copy of the astral body of The Christ, could be “prone to make mistakes – because he possessed his own ego….”, this fact confirms me in thinking that Rudolf Steiner could also make mistakes – because he too possessed his own ego.
    And I do not think that Steiner, who was a great soul and knew how to live with his lower self, would have denied that he could make mistakes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Gemma

      It is one thing to make mistakes in the course of one’s life and to learn from them.

      It is quite another to mis-inform those with whom you are conversing. I will add that the worlds beyond the threshold are so strange that they cannot be described in words of any form – hence the danger of a reliance on terminology alone – and so the only recourse left to Rudolf Steiner was to speak using imagery.

      Which to those still to develop the cognitive skill to interpret, means that his words could be mis-construed; for his lectures were intended to be a challenge to those listening to him.

      The threshold is not a place for the timid or the book-learned.

      Like

    • Great find, Tom – and right on-topic, too!

      Thanks,

      Jeremy

      Like

      • Steve Hale

        Speaking of topic, how about a new one, Jeremy? Hasn’t this one really pealed its rind with some 179 posts that ran the gamut of exclamation to Steiner’s strange, and yet definitive authority, and yield now to the fact that he was human, by all means. What strikes me as important is how the living humans interacting on this blog feel the affiliation with such strangeness, as if it really lives within them as a vital living force that beckons what is alive and real today, and sees into the future hope for our planet, and the next stage.

        As Gemma always harps on, it is about making the subconscious a matter of conscious awareness, and that is certainly true. As well, the factor of empathy, which allows sympathy to acquaint with antipathy, and resolve its dilemma, is noteworthy in this latest blog thread. As such, it is a classic representation of human interaction from beginning to end.

        I look forward to the next opportunity with the same assuredness of purpose.

        Regards,

        Steve

        Like

      • Hello Steve,

        You’re right, it is time for a new post. I’m working on an extended post at the moment, which I hope to be able to put up on Sunday.

        Best wishes,

        Jeremy

        Like

  42. Hello Ton Majoor! Thank you for citing Apocalypse Lecture 8 (GA 104) because you have neatly expressed here what I like to call the “Primal Phenomenon of Rudolf Steiner’s Racism.” (das Urphänomen des Steiners Rassismus.)

    But first I direct your attention to the famous lecture on the “Universal Human” given in Munich on December 4, 1909, GA 117
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/UniHuman/19091204p02.html

    There you will see the stupendous German word Gruppenseelenhaftigkeit mentioned 17 times. It is translated there as “group-soulness.”

    And here I want to acknowledge Caryn Louise for excerpting from this same lecture in the previous thread. I copy part of her quotation
    https://anthropopper.wordpress.com/2016/04/10/jeremy-paxman-and-rudolf-steiner-on-french-language-and-culture/#comment-914

    We are now living in a period of transition. All group-soulness must gradually be stripped off. Just as the differences between nations are gradually disappearing, and the factions within them come to understand each other better, so also will other group-soul qualities have to be shed.

    Instead, the individual nature of each person will be pushed to the fore. We have here characterized something essential in evolution. From another point of view, we can also say that in the course of evolution the concept of race, by which group-soulness is chiefly expressed, gradually loses its significance.
    ========

    Thus, what I find important here is to note that whenever Steiner speaks of “group-soulness,” he is speaking predominantly of human racial characteristics.

    Now let us turn to what he says about the future of group-soulness:

    Even if human group-souls are more refined than those of the animals, they are still group-souls. People of an earlier age would not have considered this a regression because they were just in the process of developing from group-soulness to the individual soul.

    However, if group-soulness is retained today, people will consciously experience this falling back into group-soulness. In the future, this will create an oppressive feeling in those who cannot catch up with the development of the individual I, either in the present incarnation or a later one; they will feel their falling back into group-soulness.
    […]
    There will be people who have acquired I-hood; they will be scattered over the earth, and their countenances will be very diverse. Yet, in this diversity the individual I is expressing itself even in the person’s gestures. However, those who have not developed their individuality will bear the imprint of group-soulness in their countenances.”

    [TRANSLATOR NOTE: the word Steiner uses for “countenance” is Antlitz which is “face” but not restricted to the literal physical face (as in Gesicht) but also includes the entire image of the being, its “visage” thus to include the rest of its body.]

    And now Ton Majoor, I wish to quote from the Apocalypse lecture that you cited above.
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA104/English/APC1958/19080625p01.html

    The most capable must be chosen and prepared to live beyond the period of the great “War of All against All” when men will confront those who bear in their countenances the sign of evil; they must be so prepared that as much good force as possible will flow into humanity.

    It will still be possible for those bodies, which are to a certain extent soft, to be transformed after the “War of All against All” by the converted souls, by the souls who will still be led to the good in this last epoch. In this way much will be accomplished.

    The good would not be so great a good if it were not to grow through the conquest of evil. Love would not be so intense if it had not to become love so great as to be able even to overcome the wickedness in the countenances of evil men.
    =========

    So what will be this “sign of evil” and “wickedness in the countenances of evil men?” The ancient group-soulness returns with a vengeance — that group-soulness predominantly being expressed as the return of the darker colored racial characteristics in the faces and bodies of these evil men. The black, the brown, the copper-red and the yellow, and as Steve hale points out to us, the mixed races as well..

    On the other hand, what will be the color of the countenances of the morally advanced race of the Good Christ-Jesus Men?

    Imagine all the beings of the earth who up to that time have been able to express what is good, noble, intellectual and beautiful in their external material form; who will bear an expression of Christ Jesus in their countenances, whose words will manifest Christ Jesus, for they will ring out as resounding thoughts . . .

    Their color will be the purified white skin color of Peach Blossom. This new race will be the Peach-Blossom Christ-Jesus People of the future, having refined and sloughed off the evil wicked group soul characteristics, including the darker degenerate skin colors and their mixtures: yellow, brown, black and copper-red.

    These purified and sanctified Peach-Blossom Christ-Jesus People will be an elite group, the “1%” — if I may use that number as the modern metaphor of elitism — while the other “99%,” the evil, wicked darker race, will not “make the cut” to the spiritualized Jupiter Stage of evolution.

    Hence we can see that behind the equality-driven or democratic – thus non-racist — concept of the “Universal Human,” so touted by Anthroposophists today as proof that Steiner could NOT be racist, turns out to be just as elitist and as racist as the original ancient classifications into the 5 racial groups out of Lemuria ad Atlantis! La plus ça change, la plus c’est la même chose!

    Indeed it is only this exquisitely elite, i.e. racist group, whose individuals develop full Ego-hood, that can earn the designation of Universal Human, while those who hold on to their group-soulness become the race of Evil Men whose countenances show the wickedness of the darker skin colors.

    Therefore, Jeremy, I consider this “Primal Phenomenon of Rudolf Steiner’s Racism” to be the most surpassing of all the strangeness we can attribute to Rudolf Steiner, because it actually “surpasses” so far that it brings us right back — indeed we come full circle, as it were — back to the original racial differentiations of the ancient past in Lemuria and Atlantis.

    Thus these racial characteristics are just as strong and important in our future as they were in our past.

    Thank you, Jeremy, for allowing me to distill this thread so alchemically, as it were, at its culmination. You have thus enabled me to find the “Anthroposopher’s Stone” at the end of a long and arduous spiritualizing process that almost reached 200 Comments, the new Anthropopper record! For that I thank you profusely and I look forward to your brand new posting tomorrow.

    Tom Mellett

    Like

    • Steve Hale

      Of course, Tom Mellett is utterly and blatantly assuming Steiner’s thought when he opines the following:

      “So what will be this “sign of evil” and “wickedness in the countenances of evil men?” The ancient group-soulness returns with a vengeance — that group-soulness predominantly being expressed as the return of the darker colored racial characteristics in the faces and bodies of these evil men. The black, the brown, the copper-red and the yellow, and as Steve hale points out to us, the mixed races as well.”
      “On the other hand, what will be the color of the countenances of the morally advanced race of the Good Christ-Jesus Men?”

      Herein, Tom is clearly delineating his own racial prejudice and affixing it to Steiner’s carefully crafted words concerning group-souls becoming individual souls. The assumptions are his, and clearly indicate a narrow-minded and racist posture. Thanks for informing everyone of how you think, Tom, and putting words into Steiner’s mouth. I’m sure any reasonable person would find fault with your assessment of what the future holds in terms of who might remain behind.

      Steve

      Like

      • Why, thank you, Mr. Steven Hale for your ringing endorsement of my thesis here. Your analysis is so totally 100% ad hominem against me that it therefore offers prima facie evidence that I am correct in my assessment of Rudolf Steiner’s timetable for “group-soulness” and for pointing out the elitist nature of his concept of the Universal Human (The 1%) and the group-soul qualities of the Evil Race.(The 99%).

        Now here is a rare and remarkable quote by Steiner because it is so spontaneous. Steiner allowed a Question-Answer session at the end of this 1907 lecture and someone asked him about the cleavage in humanity in the future. Thus we hear Steiner “unplugged,” as it were, since he had no time to prepare this answer. It’s right “off the Akasha cuff,” as it were, and speaks directly to the issue of the Universal Human.

        Lecture: The Animal Soul
        March 16, 1907, Leipzig, GA 97
        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0097/19070316p01.html

        Question: Will further cleavages come in human evolution?

        Answer: Yes, and in fact that is what is called in Theosophy “going through the Crisis.” We now stand in the Fifth Root Race. The Sixth Race will see quite another race, noble and beautiful, in contrast to the thrown off, decadence which will be a race of men, horribly ugly, animal-like, sensual, vicious, far more horror-provoking than our present humanity, because these will go on developing downwards.

        It is shown quite clearly in the Apocalypse how the division will occur in the so-called Last Judgment. He who is quite selfless can even now become ripe for the Sixth Race. He may still indeed continue to incarnate, but only in order to help the others. Many may perhaps find that the Judgment sounds harsh, but they have, as we know, the choice. Understand me aright, not for reincarnation, but for the Sixth Race.
        ==================

        So, Mr. Hale, what is the 6th Race? Clearly it is the Race that achieves the Universal Human by that time, the Race that will be noble and beautiful, especially with its outer countenance color of Peach Blossom.

        By contrast the Evil Race will be “horribly ugly, animal-like, sensual, vicious” in their deeply degenerating racial devolution.

        And now, Mr. Hale, may I reiterate a quote from Universal Human lecture given 2 and a half years after this Q&A session in 1907:
        December 4, 1909, GA 117
        http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/UniHuman/19091204p02.html

        We are now living in a period of transition. All group-soulness must gradually be stripped off. Just as the differences between nations are gradually disappearing, and the factions within them come to understand each other better, so also will other group-soul qualities have to be shed.

        Instead, the individual nature of each person will be pushed to the fore. We have here characterized something essential in evolution. From another point of view, we can also say that in the course of evolution the concept of race, by which group-soulness is chiefly expressed, gradually loses its significance.
        ====================

        Surely, Mr. Hale, you must agree with Dr. Steiner here, that group-soulness is chiefly expressed through racial characteristics. Or is this a Steiner quote that you wish to cherry-pick and then discard? Please allow me to ask you this question: For which group in the future does the concept of race, by which group-soulness is chiefly expressed, lose its significance or meaning?

        I’ll answer for you: obviously, it is uniquely the race of those people who develop their ego-individualities well enough to qualify for admission into the Race of the Universal Human which is destined to become the noble and beautiful Peach-Blossom Race in the future, whose refined and purified members keep on enhancing themselves as the spiritually elitist “1% remnant,” as it were, all the way to the magnificent Jupiter Evolution Stage.

        But what about the other group? The 99% destined for perdition? Obviously, for them the concept of race — by which group-soulness is chiefly expressed – does not lose its meaning. In fact, since nothing is ever lost in the course of evolution, then the group-soulness — chiefly expressed by race – can only intensify in its meaning and significance .

        Thus their wicked evil countenances will be much darker, denser and more opaque in stark contrast to the pristine whiteness (purity) of the Peach Blossom Race because these racial characteristics of group-soulness will “come back with a vengeance,” as it were, and become far more disgusting, repugnant and repulsive than they ever were during the ancient Lemurian and Atlantean Epochs.

        And indeed Mr. Hale, I have you to thank for my insight here because it was your very trumpeting of exogamy as the solution to overcoming racism in the past that made me realize that in the future, this very racial mixing or exogamy would undergo a kind of Umstülpung = (eversion, inversion, turning inside-out or upside-down) to become the very alchemical mechanism whereby the the degeneration (putrefaction) of the Evil Race would come about as the necessary consequence of the spiritualization (purification) of the Blessed Race — the “new chosen people” or perhaps the “chosen new people.”

        Finally, Mr. Hale, to end on a personal note, I wonder if your absolutist adherence to the Doctrine of Rudolf Steiner’s “Inracistibility” (my neologism for the belief that Rudolf Steiner could not possibly be deemed racist in any way — analogous to the Catholic doctrine of papal infallibility) is the expression of a “guilty conscience” whereby you feel unconsciously guilty or ashamed about the fact that you and a select few others like Gemma will join the exclusive elitist “1%” Good Race at the end of the 7th PA Epoch? That might explain your “protesting too much” about Steiner not being racist.

        Tom

        Like

    • Ton Majoor

      Tom,
      I would like to stress some other strange points in Steiner’s evolutionary account:
      – The stereotyped archaic American Indians and advanced Europeans had the same origin and then possessed comparatively soft human bodies of jelly-like substance (GA 100). In Atlantean times both groups had been united in a ‘normal human development’ with a ‘universal human form’ (GA 121_c04).
      – To Steiner, stereotyped ethnic groups were an intermediate stage. The Europeans are an archaic group as well, before they are woken up by ‘simple’ Irish colonists or ‘sun men’ (GA013_c04-06 and 07).
      – The individual peach blossom colour of all stereotyped ethnic groups (not only Europeans) comes from the blood, and is most conspicuously expressed through the skin in the palm of the hand (cf. GA 349).

      “Both peoples have the same origin, both spring from the population of Atlantis, which had a monotheistic faith that originated from a spiritual clairvoyance. … If we go back from the point in Atlantis when the Europeans and North American Indians were still united with one another, we arrive at a period when the human body was still comparatively soft, of jelly-like substance.” http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0100/19071122p01.html

      Like

  43. rag mars

    Steiner is an amazing Human overcoming tremendous obstacles. That alone is astounding. Is there any contemporary alike? Can there be? He was forced to study so hard – no one would so today. The intellectual competition in the 19th century was crushing. He was driven to work all time. We need to work today even much more and harder – we enjoy the myriads of excuses…

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s