cannibalism at the goetheanum

Great post title, isn’t it? I’m afraid it’s not as exciting as it first sounds, but pretty exciting nonetheless. There was recently a medical conference at the Goetheanum. This description sounds enticing:

‘Die fachgruppenorientierte Jahreskonferenz der Medizinischen Sektion von 13. bis 16. September traf offenbar den Nerv der Zeit, wie er sich in Medienberichten über Attentate, Familiengewalt und Kannibalismus widerspiegelt. Während dort Extremfälle Auslöser des Interesses sind, ging es bei der Jahreskonferenz um eine Bestandsaufnahme des Beitrags der Anthroposophischen Psychiatrie, Psychotherapie und Psychosomatik.’

I do hope they did speak about cannibalism and that they will tell us all about the anthroposophical understanding of this (thankfully) rather unusual problem. I truly do want to know more. (But I’m not sure I want to know if the Vorstand ever feasts on barbecued eurythmists. Bad meat.)

The link is worth following and reading for other reasons too, except the mention of cannibalism. It includes stuff on the various human bodies (and how they relate to psychological and psychiatric conditions) and on karma and fate and the dreadful and destructive modern world gets a mention too (of course, no anthroposophical document concerning disease or suffering would be complete without it).

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9 comments

  1. what does curative eurythmy have to offer the cannibal?

    is there some treatment from Weleda or something anthroposophically homeopathic that might alleviate the cannibal’s suffering?

    I have lots of questions.

  2. Hm. I need to translate this since, not being able to read the German, I have no idea what this might be about. But I will say up front if you are trying to outdo yourself in great thread titles, you’re doing well :)

  3. I always try to do that! Most of the time it’s too difficult to come up with anything at all, unfortunately.

    I suddenly remembered the Berlin waldorf teacher who became the victim of a cannibal (and his cat):

    http://www.independent.ie/world-news/europe/sliced-body-sparks-fears-of-copycat-cannibals-257511.html

  4. curt jansson · ·

    That about the eurythmists (I am one, guess you didn´t know that!) is not too far off the point, given the Vorstand members believe in the old reason for cannibalism, e. g. that the cannibal thereby procures the eurythmists etheric powers and strength (which, in a number of cases, they might need). Cannibalism, as you will see, is not a problem of nutrition, but of power and politics!

  5. No, in fact, I didn’t! It’s a good thing I’m not afraid of eurythmists anymore! (Though I’m still a bit afraid of eurythmy.)

    That is actually fascinating, the stuff about gaining etheric power and strength through eating someone. Apparently, according to some old study, eurythmists have shorter life-spans than other anthroposophists — so perhaps it’s not the Vorstand members who should be eating eurythmists but the eurythmists who should be eating the Vorstand. Well… perhaps not.

    But I once read about a German cannibal who thought his English improved after he ate an English man. That is also an interesting thought. (Though, of course, I wouldn’t recommend trying to eat someone for that purpose…)

  6. curt jansson · ·

    A very good thing indeed (I am normally a very gentle and kind Eurythmist)! You may have heard of Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941) and his study in ancient mysteries and cults named “The Golden Bough”. There is a long chapter on the delicate details and reasons for cannibalism. As for the Eurythmic diet of Vorstand members, I would personally not recommend it, as it is a matter not of etherics only, but especially about spiritual qualities in the intended dinner. There I suspect the said members lack in quality.
    About language skills, my French is in a complete shambles, would you be kind enough to recommend a suitably meaty chef or something of that extraction?

  7. And you’re also a eurythmist with a lovely sense of humour!

    I agree that eating the Vorstand may be a bad idea for the very reason you mention.

    The french cuisine is supposed to be exquisite, it should be a pleasure to cure one’s lack of knowledge of french through cannibalism. I bet they’re all marinaded in garlic and red wine! Who to choose, now, that’s a tricky question…

  8. curt jansson · ·

    I shall make a note of your point there, to marinate the French Dinner in garlic and red wine!
    By the way, did you not know that some eurythmists have a sense of humour? We have to, as our profession is so filled to the brim with bores and intriguemakers (which, between us, is the reason for my worthy self and a number of others not to be active any more). About some colleagues “I could a tale unfold” of Shakespearean horror and drama, but will abstain for now, as it seems you have your own scary reminiscents of certain members of the gang. But at a time, it was not a bad profession to boast, as nobody really knew what it was all about (even som eurythmists did not). I have had great fun with the Finnish group I worked with in the 80ies of the last century (am I really that old already..) and performed on the grand stage at Goetheanum, no less! (As Joukahainen, fighting the mighty Väinömöinen in a few scenes from the Kalevala, my thigh muscles date from those days..).
    The Elk hunt starts here in a few days. Perhaps there will be some French Chef
    in the forest too…Garlic and wine – lovely!

  9. Actually, until not long ago I thought eurythmy incompatible with any humour. I’ve realized that’s not true.

    Eurythmy teachers used to be… Like walking dead… But deadly serious and I suppose the real dead have little reason to be *that* serious. It was like: eurythmy is the Most Important Thing on Earth. And this causes problems for both teacher and students as the latter didn’t understand (or care). Then, at school, we occasionally had visits from professional eurythmy companies. All the eurythmists looked as though they were dying on stage. Not just the movements but their entire demeanour. That seriousness that seems to suck out the oxygen, to kill life.

    I’m now thinking they needed to eat more elk marinaded in garlic and wine…

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