new book

Ansgar Martins, former waldorf student and author of the interesting Waldorf Blog, has written a book about Steiner’s race doctrines:

Demnächst erscheint das Buch “Rassismus und Geschichtsmetaphysik. Esoterischer Darwinismus und Freiheitsphilosophie bei Rudolf Steiner”. Darin versuche ich, die Verankerung und Systematik von Rassentheorien im Denken des Esoterikers darzustellen.

Read more here. The book will be published by anthroposophical Info3.

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Addendum: read Peter Staudenmaier’s excellent review here.

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380 comments

  1. curt jansson · ·

    It would be on time that this matter is thoroughly dissected and discussed, as the allegations on racism against Steiner and other anthroposophists seem to pop up from some quarters all the time. I do sincerely hope this author will do his homework better than his predecessors regarding the theosophical terms used by Steiner in the years before 1912. It will then become clear that the expression “Wurzelrassen” or in the original English “root races” is a term used to describe humanity in its development process. We, who live in present times, are the 5th root race, including “every hottentott and every eskimo” as well as those before us from the 15th century onward. After us will follow the 6th and 7th, whereafter planet earth will enter what the hindus call a “pralaya”, an inversion of all our cosmos which eventually, with some luck, comes into being again as a new planet, where we toddle on with new jobs and further personal and social development. As for Steiners expression “the passive Negro soul”, read in context, points to the tranquility with which parts of the african peoples contently stayed on a stone age level, busy with love- and warmaking, as the other peoples on the planet struggled to get somewhere else. Their inferiority is a purely technological one, as any person from the middle ages would be inferior in his knowledge compared to us. And only in the amount of knowledge. In craftsmanship he would be our superior, with knobs on. And the old Doc stresses the fact that today (even in his day) this tranquility is no longer the case, as a l l humans now must deal with all the problems of the modern world. Race is no longer an issue, as humanity should rise to knowledge of reincarnation and karma, making it clear to all that we all go through all races on our path to higher ends. The black man today may well be the white scientist of the last century. The white man today most certainly started his journey through the ages in Africa or thereabouts. Alas, this enlightenment did not come about.
    Sorry about the many words and the angry tone but i am sooo tired of this racist stuff from people who have the ability but not the wits to inform themselves properly.

  2. curt jansson · ·

    And, of course, the abovestanding is a little piece of information to clarify things. Any factual errors should be blamed on me exclusively. Read the stuff yourself and do not trust the angry eurythmist! Grrrrr!

  3. Anonymous · ·

    “As for Steiners expression “the passive Negro soul”, read in context, points to the tranquility with which parts of the african peoples contently stayed on a stone age level, busy with love- and warmaking”

    “Their inferiority is a purely technological one, as any person from the middle ages would be inferior in his knowledge compared to us. And only in the amount of knowledge. In craftsmanship he would be our superior, with knobs on.”

    Extraordinary.

    Statements like this never cease to amaze me.

    What is your involvement with Steiner Waldorf Curt? I sincerely hope it’s purely academic.

    What is your involvement with Steiner Waldorf Curt? I sincerely hope it’s purely academic and yo

  4. Oh this is… Oh well.

    I suppose that, for a eurythmist, anthroposophy is never purely academic.

    I, of course, think the issue of races is one that anthroposophy needs to deal with. I’ve written about it and discussed it so often before that I won’t delve on it now. I personally think any anthroposophist who wants could ditch the race stuff, even as a historical explanation. (I’m afraid that Curt’s explanation of it is known to many, but also that such an explanation doesn’t make people more inclined to be accepting towards the race stuff — rather the opposite.) Not everybody wants to (which can be a bit surprising). However, anthroposophy as a whole — it’s still there, it needs to be openly talked about (because if it isn’t, only non-anthros will be talking about it).

    I’ll try to get back to this later, I must run…

  5. curt jansson · ·

    Dear Anonymous, my connection to anthroposophy goes back three decades, whithin which I have gone through all the stages of doubt, rage, disappointment and whatever in relation to this peculiar Doctor of Philosophy and his works. My personal opinion on the race question as of the present is exactly as I described it above. Being also a skilled historian I take the liberty to n o t take seriously the current positions of those who claim the sins of “colonialism” and “orientalism” over the heads of the western part of humanity, though I am fully aware that
    too many a deed of darkness was done during the 19th and 20th centuries
    (and, of course now, in the 21st).
    Historical theories (and that is what these notions are) are not identical to historical facts.
    I do not hold conspiracy theories in high esteem, both of the abovementioned are of such nature and propably therefore popular among the younger set. And I want seriously to have a positive outlook even on the most distressing things, such as Steiners words on races and development. Those who claim to be seriously disturbed by these words very seldom have the necessary scholarly background to utter an opinion, if they do, they belong to the phalanx of historical materialists of the marxist variety that even believe in ghost stories like “communism” and such.
    As for the aforementioned historical facts; we cannot know, as we were not there as things were actually happening, historical sources give us but rudiments of an alleged intention which does not have to be the real one. This factor is a growing concern the later the episode or chain of events takes place. You know yourself fully well how a simple TV-program nowadays can set off a deluge of reactions, totally irrelevant to the actual positions.
    As I try to deal with History scientifically, I plainly refuse to take a stand and defend it whatever the cost. History is not politics, as long as we do not know for certain (and when do we?) we must keep all possibilities open. When and if we find an answer to our our questions it will as often as not be contrary to what we thought or wanted. If we then stick to our own, we have become politicians, not worthy of the name of scientists. With this said, I hope you will give me some leeway even on the race matter, I am fully prepared any day to abandon my position if I am proven wrong.

  6. curt jansson · ·

    Anonymous, by the way, you write:”Extraordinary. Statements like this never cease to amaze me.”
    Would you kindly inform me on the nature of the “extraordinarity” and the reason(s) of your amazement? Just to still my childish curiousity….

  7. I’m deliberately keeping my mouth shut. No, my fingers away from the smartphone. This could be interesting, or catastrophical, and I won’t try to steer it…

  8. Oh, dear Lord. It will never stop.

    ““the passive Negro soul”, read in context, points to the tranquility with which parts of the african peoples contently stayed on a stone age level, busy with love- and warmaking, as the other peoples on the planet struggled to get somewhere else.”

    “The black man today may well be the white scientist of the last century. The white man today most certainly started his journey through the ages in Africa or thereabouts.”

    Urrrrrrrkkkkgggg.

    Obviously, you find these statements of yours to be quite enlightened.

    Fine. Dandy! How come, then, there is such hesitation to discuss Steiner’s racial views with prospective and current Waldorf parents?

    Please explain to all your incoming parents, or to inquiring parents at an open house or information session, that “african peoples contently stayed on a stone age level, busy with love- and warmaking, as the other peoples on the planet struggled to get somewhere else,” and that if they will only please make a study of karma and reincarnation, they will understand that these statements should not offend anyone. After all, even white people started our journey – spiritually speaking – in Africa.

  9. curt jansson · ·

    :) I see, It is my words,then, that anger you. The words, as they are, cover the picture drawn up by Steiner, but in my poor English, alas. I fail, however, to see clearly what you are protesting, as I can only see my own words quoted, trying to depict another man´s idea.
    What or where is the f a c t that would lay the statements dead?
    I took care to write “..partS of the African peopleS..”, hoping this would make clear that I myself do not accept Steiner´s generalisations. The form “the other peoples on the planet struggled to get somewhere else” obviously include the Africans not busy with those other things. That may not have been clear and I am sorry for that blunder. As you may know (or not) quite a few of the Africans had mastered metalwork at the beginning of the so called “Bronze Age”, like the rest of us.
    Clearly they cannot be included in the lot who lived on in stone age fashion. The tribes are of different names, but they are all of the same genetic structure as ourselves. I simply ask the forbidden question here: Why is this? A question Steiner did not answer too well, it seems, as no one seem to care about the answer, only about the (to the modern mind) shocking impertinence of asking why some do this while others do that. I wrote as I did because, though totally aware of the ugly faces of racism in our societies, it is an item we m u s t lay to rest, if humanity wants to move on. Racism today is quite another matter than a hundred years ago. To some, it seems to be the last defense system for a morbid feeling of superiority (e.g. WASPs, Russians and Arabs), for others it is a chance to score points in the field of political correctness. Neither makes any sense in a struggle for human development into a better future.

    Now to info to the parents and others. There I have no say, as I have not set foot in a school since 2003 (for 9 years) for exactly the reasons you (and our honoured hostess) complain about. I was never allowed to take those talks. So I am as mad as you are at this rather sorry chapter in the Waldorf schools. It should be said, though, that some schools deal with these questions in a very straightforward and good way (often those who have an ethnically heterogenous student mix), while it seems those with a poorer foundation of experience do not do so well.
    Dear Alicia, thank you for your sensitivity here. I hope I have not made a too disastrous mess of your blog!

  10. Oh, no problem. Besides, I’m not sure if it’s possible to make this blog into a disastrous mess. Perhaps it’s already arrived at that state ;-)

    Anyway. This race question is, of course, a huge stumbling block. It makes some anthros uncomfortable (and not rarely turns them into hypocrites) and it appalls people. Clearly. And the explanations don’t really help to convince non-anthros and anthros run away screaming thinking of PR damage and so forth… Well, this aside: how essential components of anthroposophical spirituality are the race question and the question of the spiritual evolution of mankind? How necessary? I would say it would be hypocritical not to acknowledge that these teachings exist, but is it possible to ‘buy’ anthroposophy without them or do they leave a gap that can’t be mended?

  11. Daniel Perez · ·

    “What is entering humanity through the anthroposophical movement concerns every human being regardless of race or nationality. This movement speaks only to the new humanity, the new human being — not to an abstract concept “human being,” but to every individual. This is the essential point. Anthroposophy proceeds from the individuality, the innermost core of the human being, and it speaks to and touches this core of a person’s being. We usually speak to each other only as one surface to another and mostly about things not connected to our innermost being. Full understanding between individuals is hardly possible today, except when what is to be communicated comes from the center of one individual’s being and speaks to and is understood rightly by the center of another. Thus, in a certain way, anthroposophy speaks a new language. Even if we are still obliged to speak in the various national languages, the content of what is said forms a new language.” – The Universal Human, Rudolf Steiner.

    I am a Hispanic American, an Anthroposophist, Waldorf educated and a member of the Anthroposophical Society. I can find nothing in the statements of Steiner that give rise to questions about his worldview. His view of race is millennia beyond the most politically correct politicians in the world. How can anyone read what is written above and find racism an issue for Steiner’s worldview? “Regardless of race or nationality” is very clear. We are here on the earth as “individuals” and race and nationality are meaningless. We mistakenly see ourselves, “one surface to another “ (ie skin deep). Why would you tell prospective Waldorf parents there is an issue with racism when you have such a clear contrary statement?
    I will never forget facing racism when I was younger. I remember being in a pizza restaurant with two college friends (they were of northern European decent), and a person came up to me without a word between us, slapped me across the face and said, “Go back to Arabia”. Clearly this person confused my colorings with that of a Middle Eastern individual, but I got the point. That is racism!

    A philosopher musing about what an African vs. an American Indian brings to the global melting pot of humanity is not racism; it is at worst speculation, even incorrect speculation. It may even hurt someone’s feelings until they realize the holistic worldview of the philosopher. Yes, I have read all the controversial statements and some of them are “hard to explain” in this modern over-race centric politically correct environment. Yet I can explain them to my personal satisfaction, and then actually come to the opposite conclusion.
    Even beyond the point of reincarnation, there is the ultimate goal of races, which is for all of them to go away! Steiner does not favor any race in the future of humanity. The marriage in Cana of Galilee is the start of interracial marriage, the blending of all races, and the beginning of the end of the “system of blood relationships”. (The Gospel of St. John And Its Relation to the Other Gospels)

    I am biting my tongue when it comes to supposed “progressive views” and racial understanding in America, as I don’t find modern people to be so developed as they see themselves. Instead I find this statement to be true: “Full understanding between individuals is hardly possible today “. And as Steiner rightly implies, this is because we are not seeing the individual, but the race. This problem is very much alive in America. We shall see where this discussion goes…

  12. curt jansson · ·

    Alicia, to your question “how essential components of anthroposophical spirituality are the race question and the question of the spiritual evolution of mankind? How necessary?” one could easily, with one´s back covered by Daniels excellent dissection of the matter above, say: absolutely not essential at all, nor necessary in relation to the spiritual evolution of man. Unfortunately not even many anthroposophists have the degree of what the Germans call “Bildung” to see what Daniel states, that the question is outdated.
    In this “modern over-race centric politically correct environment” that present Sweden (and, it seems, the US of A) is, race continues to be an issue, as the race centrism, like the gender dicussion, has become a job and a food ticket for too many people. Also we must count in all the well-meaning ordinary people who just follow trends, physically and mentally. The trend is strongly into race issues right now. How to meet the problem (if there is a problem) I cannot say. There, too, it is every man/woman for him/herself who have to deal with it as best they can. If they can.

    Daniel, thank you for your brilliantly clear statement of your wiews. There is nothing to add from my side, I wish I could have said something like it to Diana, maybe she would calm down a little…

  13. That the question is outdated — if it is — is not, however, the same as it being irrelevant. Steiner’s take on history and evolution — is it irrelevant, even if what he says about supposedly historical occurances, due to their historical nature (being the past and all, eh), are outdated. As an spiritual-historical account, it’s still taken seriously.

    I’m quite certain this won’t satisfy Diana — she’s heard all of it before! Baaically, none of what’s been said takes care of the problem: that anthroposophy sees mankind going through a sort of racial-hierarchal spiritual evolution.

  14. you can believe anything you want privately. Once an organisation runs schools – especially at taxpayers’ expense – they face public scrutiny. It is absolutely right that Diana feels strongly. Patronising her will not help your cause.

  15. curt jansson · ·

    Not my cause – I, personally, have none. Diana´s in her full right to react at whatever troubles her. But it seems she and I have spoken to one another like two ships passing on contrary courses whithout really meeting. She doesn´t hear me, I misunderstood her reactions. However, I think it is a good thing that people like yourself and Diana seriously question the Anthr. views on Race, as those with (presumable) answers normally duck from the answering. Only by persisting in asking, one can envisage them at long last officially bringing about their opinions.
    I doubt, however, that any great number of the anthroposophists actually will have an answer of their o w n, the question is not in the front line of their struggle, if I may put it that way.
    To people who work in schools, the race Qu. is too close and embedded in the everyday balance between ideals and realities for them to treat it purely intellectually, in order to make the map comply with the terrain. The normal attitude will be to let the map speak, partly because you have not the time, strength nor interest to bore into it to understand the map, whatever the terrain. Steiner quotes are hoped to take them, jeep-like, through tough land, and “in the Doc we trust”, more or less. A bad attitude, for sure, but I have seen it in action too many times to be concerned. It will change ultimately, because it must but will take its time. Human minds are not like clay, easily changed in form (regrettably?). I could also put it this way: there are too many schools and too few teachers/anthroposophists (people with the answers, willing to give them freely) around to man them properly. That is a bad thing, mostly for the scools themselves, seen as an alternative pedagogical drive.

  16. “Why would you tell prospective Waldorf parents there is an issue with racism when you have such a clear contrary statement?”
    Well, for one thing, Steiner never EVER believed in racial equality. Neither do Waldorf teachers who accept Anthroposophy. So there’s clearly a problem there. Putting one race over others is racism, and that’s exactly what Anthroposophy does. Why would you tell prospective parents there is *no* issue with racism in Waldorf schools, when it’s obvious to everyone that there IS?

  17. We have some clarification about the translation in “the Universal Human” here by Peter Staudenmaier:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/23437

    As I explained several days ago, the sentence Dennis quoted is mistranslated.
    The original does not say that race has already ceased to have any meaning in
    our time. It says that this process is currently underway. The original reads:
    “daß der Rassenbegriff aufhört eine jegliche Bedeutung zu haben gerade in
    unserer Zeit.” (Rudolf Steiner, Die tieferen Geheimnisse des Menschheitswerdens
    im Lichte der Evangelien, 152) A more accurate translation would be “the concept
    of race is ceasing to have any meaning in our era.” Steiner says the same thing
    in a variety of other contexts as well. The dawn of the sixth epoch, according
    to Steiner, is still more than 1500 years in the future.

    Part of the reason why anthroposophists are often confused about this topic is
    that Steiner’s statements about it were contradictory. Sometimes he said that
    “the stripping away of race” would come thousands or millions of years from now.
    The Dutch anthroposophist commission on “Anthroposophy and the Race Question”
    reports that “according to Steiner, the word ‘race’ will no longer have meaning
    in 5,500 years.” Steiner also taught that “the transition from the fifth culture
    epoch to the sixth will bring about a violent struggle of the white and yellow
    races in the most varied domains.” (Steiner, “The Christ-Impulse as Bearer of
    the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily”)

  18. I’m sorry I started this (well, I guess I didn’t exactly start it) but I won’t have time to really discuss it in the next few days. I wanted to just point out quickly that 1) it’s ironic, the almost meeting-of-minds between anthroposophists (like Curt) who are willing to openly and actively endorse Steiner’s racial views and critics – we both want the schools to be open about the racial material in Steiner, and we’ve both had the experience, apparently, of being quietly guided by the elbow out of the room by one of the Big Dragon anthroposophists when we tried to discuss such matters with anthroposophy-naive parents present.

    And 2) it’s quite mistaken to believe that Steiner thought racial differences no longer mattered. For one thing, if your entire theory of human evolution, going back many eons, ties race to development of spirituality, then heck yeah, it matters, and it will always matter. Reincarnation, remember? We aren’t different people today than the people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago – remember??? We’re the same people and Steiner has told us we evolved according to racial/spiritual categories. Get it? The significance of this is not going away any time soon, no matter how much pseudo-progressive rhetoric you heap on top.

    Also, when Steiner spoke of race no longer mattering, he was speaking of millions of years in the future. Not today, or a century from now . I don’t have time to go look up this citation at the moment, but if anyone’s interested a search of the critics archives would probably turn it up. I believe it’s in the Rosicrucian Wisdom lectures. It’s also cited in Peter S.’s dissertation.

  19. Oh, sorry, I see it’s actually mentioned right above, in the quote from Peter S.

  20. “A philosopher musing about what an African vs. an American Indian brings to the global melting pot of humanity is not racism; it is at worst speculation, even incorrect speculation.”

    It is not musing about what different people bring to humanity that is racist. That would cover most books of history, sociology, anthropology, etc. It is racist to suggest that what a people “bring” to humanity is tied, spiritually, to their race. Look up what racism means! It doesn’t mean “musing about people.”

  21. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Daniel,

    As a fellow anthroposophist, I am quite dismayed at your failure to acknowledge the truth of Steiner’s racism. Instead, you act quite defensively, a tactic meant to protect your own bedruffled ego-feathers rather than contribute something new and substantive to the ongoing discussion.

    In short, you are practicing the very same Ahrimanic materialistic thinking that you accuse the Steiner critics of — namely: binary, black-white, all-or-nothing thinking, which is not really thinking at all, but more a submerging of real thinking into the emotional morass of denial.

    You are thus exhibiting a bad case of “either-or” emotional posturing instead of the more anthroposophical “both-and” thinking you should be cultivating.

    You see, Daniel — and I also address Curt — you are more concerned with denying the racist side of Steiner instead of acknowledging and embracing it as co-existent with the non-racist side of Steiner.

    So, instead of polarizing yourself and others with the argument: Steiner is EITHER racist OR non-racist, why don’t you argue: Rudolf Steiner is BOTH racist AND non-racist – and both simultaneously? That is the real anthroposophical truth now, isn’t it?

    Take it right from The Philosophy of Freedom: Steiner is racist insofar as he looks at the generic, general, (and today genetic) aspects of humanity as a group or species or tribes or ethnic groups and yes, races, and he is not racist insofar as he contemplates the individual human being who “crystallizes” out of the generic/genetic collective.

    I have every confidence, Daniel and Curt, that you are both eminently capable of chewing gum and walking — at the same time.

    Fr. Thomasius

  22. Daniel Perez · ·

    Diana,

    Yes, Steiner is like an anthropologist. I have never seen Steiner “tie” what a people bring to their race. It is as though you are reading different lectures. If he says there is this or that trait in a race, it is much like an anthropologist would speak to the ethnic and cultural differences of a region. Where you appear to get confused is between a spiritual being and an incarnation. Spiritual beings incarnate into different races, not the other way around. So the spirit defines the incarnation, not the race. Races instead are derived from actions of spirit.

    So let’s say Steiner points to some trait of a particular race. These are transient outcomes of spiritual activity. No individual is defined by the traits of a race. He is instead pointing to variation within the human population; much like each of us looks different from each other, even within the same race. Is it racist to say we look different from each other? Do we all have to look and act the same? The same is true of races. They have differences, and there is nothing wrong with that. You attempted to “school me” on what racism is defined to be, so I went to the encyclopedia:
    “The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept “race”, and because there is also little agreement about what does and doesn’t constitute discrimination.”

    The key here is “discrimination”. Steiner was a philosopher. He did not value one race over another, rather he valued the spirit. That is absolutely clear from the quote I posted.

    And why would any of these theoretical, historical considerations (or musings) be applicable to Waldorf teachers today? Can you give me one concrete example of how a Waldorf teacher would be racist? I can tell you from personal experience that this is grossly absurd! In fact, I’ll give you my example in the opposite:

    I went to a public school for 3 years, then to the Waldorf School. I also was in Cub Scouts. Out of these three institutions I personally experienced the greatest racism in the Cub Scouts and none in the Waldorf School. And the Waldorf School was the only place of the three where there was another child who was a minority, African American in this case. (This was back in the ‘70s so there were fewer minorities, particularly in the suburbs). As for the Cub Scouts, it was the parents that brought racism, not the institution.

    If you or Peter wants to make a point out of this race issue, show us where you find racism today? What Waldorf school in America or elsewhere is racist? How does it manifest? I can tell you in the greatest detail the racism I experienced as a child outside of the Waldorf School, and exactly in every way how it manifested. So be detailed and clear about some examples.

    You see for me this is a completely erroneous and theoretical exercise to blame Steiner for racism. I have never seen it in any Waldorf school or other anthroposophical organisation, and because I’ve been on the board of Trustees of several Waldorf Schools I speak with direct experience. In my experience and role as Treasurer, I am certain race played no role in any Board decisions or the operation or pedagogy of any of these schools. And if there was racism, why would three different Waldorf schools eagerly recruit a Hispanic for their board and others for their faculty?

  23. Daniel Perez · ·

    Brother Tom,
    I was awaiting your arrival! I know you have a different perspective and view of spiritual science and anthroposophy than I do. But the confused nuances you are pointing to are only to be lost on Diana and Pete. You of all people should know this, as you have karma with them!

    If we are to debate, then we must get clear on some definitions. What is racism? Is racism acknowledging that races played a role in the evolution of mankind? Or is that anthropology? Steiner is above all else interested in the spirit. You would not deny this. So if Steiner is interested in the spirit, not only during the Earth incarnation, but Saturn, Sun and Moon, then how can he be racist?

    You see, I am not here to protect “ego-feathers”, but to understand the issue at hand. There are several:
    1) Does racism exist in Waldorf Schools?
    2) Was Steiner promoting one race over another, and was this the root determinant of the individual’s worth for him?
    3) How do you reconcile Steiner’s body of work where he clearly emphasizes spirit above material existence, and the accusation of racism?

    I think you also may be confused with my defense of Steiner. He was a man and I don’t look for his infallibility. But it is illogical to go from wanting to point out his fallibility to branding him racist. It is even a more absurd leap to go from his being racist to Waldorf teachers being racist!

    So I have to ask you, if you are so open minded and able to hold opposite postulates simultaneously, then are you admitting that you as a Waldorf teacher are therefore racist? After all, that is the accusation being waged by Diana and Pete.

  24. “Steiner is racist insofar as he looks at the generic, general, (and today genetic) aspects of humanity as a group or species or tribes or ethnic groups and yes, races, and he is not racist insofar as he contemplates the individual human being who “crystallizes” out of the generic/genetic collective.”

    Tom is quite mistaken here. Steiner is NOT a racist for examining groups, tribes, genetic traits – indeed lots of scientists do exactly this. Steiner IS a racist for teaching that a hierarchy of races exists with some progressing while others are in decline. Steiner put the white race at the top of the racial hierarchy. These teachings are what make him a racist (among other things).

    To imagine the “non-racist” side of Steiner, you still have to *presuppose* a few Steiner “truths” – that people reincarnate (in the first place) and that they reincarnate through the various races (in the second place). You also have to imagine that evolution went backwards as part of this framework, and that little devils (Lucifer and Ahriman) have been influencing our evolution (otherwise, there wouldn’t have been multiple races living simultaneously). That framework is a huge pill to swallow… better take that one as a suppository, Tom.

  25. 1) Does racism exist in Waldorf Schools?
    ABSOLUTELY! Steiner’s racist teachings are even being taught as science.

    2) Was Steiner promoting one race over another, and was this the root determinant of the individual’s worth for him?

    Steiner put the white race above other races. The “individual”, according to Steiner, is a spirit. He’s only not a racist if this happens to be true. Lacking any solid evidence that we are individual spirits, Steiner must ONLY be considered a racist.

    3) How do you reconcile Steiner’s body of work where he clearly emphasizes spirit above material existence, and the accusation of racism?

    It represents his set of beliefs… and they are racist unless you accept ALL that he said as truth. Maybe that’s what Anthroposophists don’t get – that Steiner probably wasn’t right about what he taught.

  26. I am with Father Thomarsius on this one.
    I see Steiner holding racist views, he was, in that, a man of his time.
    What is really interesting to me is not how he reflects the views of an era but how he qualifies and undercuts them in harmony with an over-arching spiritual imperative.
    He also saw that every individual is an expression of the divine (The Work of the Angels in the Astral Body), and that conceptions of race, or gender, or class should never be used to control, diminish or in any way determine how we deal with any person or group.
    The individual is the ultimate value.
    We are to be free in the realm of the spiritual, equal before the law and mindful of each other’s needs in the economic realm – and that applies to every individual on the earth.
    All this can be found in Steiner’s oeuvre, plus all the nonsense about races and their development.

  27. I’m sorry I don’t have time to do this today … I would just like to point out that it is exhausting to argue with anthroposophists because they are often so inept at debate. There are numerous things both Curt and Daniel say that are either simply not true – not factual and it is easy to find out the facts with a bare minimum of research – or are not an response to what has been said but a tangent. A couple of things are imputed to me that I didn’t say. It really helps, if you want to have a real debate, to try to deal with facts, and with what the other person actually said, not with unwarranted extrapolations. For instance Daniel, you say that I am “waging” a particular “accusation”; you might want to look back at my post and see what I actually said. And if you have never seen Steiner tie what a people “bring” to their race, then you haven’t got a foot in this debate yet, because you apparently haven’t read very much of Rudolf Steiner.

  28. Pete: “It represents his set of beliefs… and they are racist unless you accept ALL that he said as truth. ”

    This is one point where I disagree with you Pete – we don’t have to accept any of Steiner’s pronouncements about the spirit world to recognize racism in some of his doctrines. Whether a doctrine is racist does not depend on whether a spirit world exists, whether reincarnation is true, etc. (Daniel has no idea how many times I’ve had it explained to me that if I just understood that we reincarnate in different races, I would realize that comments about different races aren’t racist! This is plain idiocy.)

    It is a fond notion of anthroposophists – that if you just believe in their spirit world you have to forgive them just about everything – and I think it’s unfortunate when critics accept the premise (even if it’s in order to then say that we DON’T believe in their spirit world). It is one of anthroposophy’s worst mistakes: their belief that because they are spiritual people, they (and their guru) are above reproach on some higher level. It may be comforting, but it’s false, and potentially very evil.

  29. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    OK, Daniel, I agree that we must have some clear cut definitions about what racism is and isn’t. I’ll get into that right after I inform you of a procedural matter here. Alicia has put up two links to Peter Staudenmaier’s response to what you and Curt have posted above. Peter does not post here on Alicia’s blog. He hangs out at Dan Dugan’s Waldorf Critics Yahoo group. So, if you wish to address him directly, then you’ll need to join the WC group and enter into discussion with him there.

    Let me start with your own definition of the word “racism” I quote from you:

    I will never forget facing racism when I was younger. . . . slapped me across the face and said, “Go back to Arabia”. Clearly this person confused my colorings with that of a Middle Eastern individual, but I got the point. That is racism!

    You are expressing a commonly accepted notion of the term “racist” today which does not distinguish between racist thought and racist action. The best word I have found is bigotry. For example, when that guy slapped you, he was indeed being racist, but he was also being bigoted. Another person might hold the same racist ideas as your assailant, but if he/she does not act on those thoughts, then I would say that person is racist but not bigoted. So I define bigotry as racism in action.

    Peter Staudenmaier has come up with a good definition of racist belief. I quote him from a 2004 posting, but I’m sure he’d write the same today.

    I think the most sensible definition of racist belief is something along these lines: a way of thinking that sorts human groups into racial categories, accords essential meaning to these categories, delineates specific differences between them, associates these differences with significant cultural, spiritual, or intellectual traits, and ranks the resulting constellation of categories in some hierarchical order of higher and lower.

    So, Daniel, if I apply Peter’s definition to Steiner and anthroposophy and take a page from Cinderella, I have to conclude that the racist slipper definitely fits Steiner’s foot. Therefore, Steiner holds racist beliefs and so do just about all the anthroposophists who follow him, whether they are conscious of it or not.

    Now I don’t deny that some anthroposophists are bigots and do apply these racist beliefs in their actions, especially in Waldorf schools and Camphill, but that is an entirely different arena from this discussion, which I would like to see focused on the racial beliefs of Steiner and Anthroposophists that fit or do not fit Peter’s definition above.

    But be of good cheer, Brother Daniel! There is a method to my madness. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of madness to slog through first. I apologize for that, but I simply can’t help it. It’s my karma, you know! ;=)))

    (And on that note, I should like to preview coming attractions by noting the lecture I call “The Forbidden Colored Lecture” that Steiner gave on March 3, 1923 to the workmen in Dornach, GA 349.)

  30. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Daniel,

    If you consult your copy of the Workmen’s Lectures called “From Limestone to Lucifer,” you will notice that it contains 12 lectures. The original German edition of GA 349 contains 13. The lecture deleted by the RS Press in London with no explanation is the one I call the “forbidden colored lecture.”

    Here is the title

    “Color and the Human Races,” lecture 3 of 13 given March 3, 1923 in Dornach, GA
    349

    I quote from my translation of the second paragraph. Peter Staudenmaier has provided his translation of the same passage in the link Alicia provided above.

    But now, in addition to this European skin color [white], we also have four other major skin colors. And we want to investigate that today a little bit, because, in reality, we may only understand all of history and the entire [past] social life, as well as today’s social life only if we can really delve into the racial characteristics of human beings. And only then will we be able understand everything spiritual in the true sense of that word, if we occupy ourselves first and foremost with how this spiritual essence in human beings functions precisely through skin color itself.

    Now I quote what you said to Diana because it really expresses the converse of what Steiner said to the workmen.

    Spiritual beings incarnate into different races, not the other way around. So the spirit defines the incarnation, not the race. Races instead are derived from actions of spirit.

    I bring this up to amend your statement that it is “not the other way around.” According to Steiner, it IS the other way around, because he states that skin color itself is a literal marker for the essence of the spiritual in that particular human being.

    Thus I would rewrite your statement like this in order to show that the causality arrow goes both ways.

    Spiritual beings incarnate into different races, and vice versa. So the spirit defines the incarnation by the race just as the race expresses the spirit. And thus races are derived from actions of spirit and in turn, actions of the spirit create racial distinctions.

  31. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Sorry, I need to correct my last statement. Where I wrote “create,” I want to replace that by “are informed by.” So it should read:

    Spiritual beings incarnate into different races, and vice versa. So the spirit defines the incarnation by the race just as the race expresses the spirit. And thus races are derived from actions of spirit and in turn, actions of spirit are informed by racial distinctions.

  32. “This is one point where I disagree with you Pete” – and yet I kinda think we agree in a way. Maybe I was unclear… I’m not saying people who believe Anthroposophy is truth are to be excused… I’m saying it’s really stupid to believe the framework Steiner had to invent in order to produce the racist nonsense he produced…(“hard pill to swallow).

  33. Daniel Perez · ·

    Diana,
    You never defined racism, and now you continue to ignore the absence of a definition. You also made this statement, “How come, then, there is such hesitation to discuss Steiner’s racial views with prospective and current Waldorf parents?” This is an accusation. It is an accusation that Waldorf teachers are either supporters of racism or part of a racial cover-up. You may think you are being gracious by using the euphemism “hesitation”, but let’s not beat around the bush: your statement is, “Waldorf teachers refuse to reveal Steiner’s racism”. Implied in this is that Steiner’s views are the basis for the pedagogy, thus the entire basis of the school derives from racism. – If I am misunderstanding your perspective, then by all means correct me! This is as much as I could get from your statements.

    It appears you have been debating the race issue in anthroposophy for so long, that you have developed strong presuppositions, or what you believe to be settled arguments. Perhaps you have posted for years on other sites? If so and you have great arguments, then make them, they should be crisp and ready. But if you are too tired of discussion to make any sense, then don’t blame others for your shortcomings.

    For my part, I am open to pointers to some passage I may have missed and I’m more than willing to discuss them wherever they lead. Tom is actually helpful in pointing out specific lectures and passages. However, until we agree on a definition of racism, we will not get very far.

    Curt wisely wrote, “As for the aforementioned historical facts; we cannot know, as we were not there as things were actually happening, historical sources give us but rudiments of an alleged intention which does not have to be the real one.” Are you expecting every Waldorf teacher to review hundreds of Steiner’s lectures to find something revolting, and then bring that to parents like going to a confessional? Have you considered that teachers can think for themselves and therefore reject anything revolting? Why would they need to bring something to parents that they do not hold to be true for themselves?

  34. Tom posted a useful definition. But we don’t really need a definition to see that some things Steiner said were racist. Instead of figuring out how to change the label so it doesn’t fit Steiner’s ideas on race, why not see them as they are and try to deal with them in such a way that they no longer have to be a problem or an embarrassment.

  35. “Are you expecting every Waldorf teacher to review hundreds of Steiner’s lectures to find something revolting, and then bring that to parents like going to a confessional? ”

    How about start by being honest about what’s in Waldorf TEACHER TRAINING materials? The racist stuff is there – you don’t really have to look that hard. If they don’t think Steiner’s racist ideas were important – are STILL important, then WHY DO THEY CONTINUE TO TEACH THEM TO TEACHERS? Somebody thinks this stuff is relevant TODAY!

  36. Daniel,
    You’re correct I have been discussing this topic for a long time, here and elsewhere. Unfortunately right now I don’t have the time to really unpack the whole huge topic. If you knew me a little, you’d know it’s pretty funny to suggest I might be trying to be gracious about the topic, or beat around the bush. When I ask how come there is hesitation to discuss Steiner’s racial views with Waldorf parents I am not making an accusation, I am asking a question. I personally think the answer is multifaceted. I have long experience discussing the question with current, former and prospective Waldorf supporters and faculty and there is no doubt a percentage of them actively agree with Steiner’s racial doctrines. The two greatest concerns are that the racist material still informs teacher training, and that the leadership in Waldorf education – not necessarily the rank and file of faculty – is still to a very worrisome extent fanatically adherent to orthodox Steiner – not interested in updating or refuting a single word of Steiner. That does not necessarily tell us what many or most Waldorf teachers believe or do in the schools. If the leadership is still fundamentalist anthroposophists, the issue is of great concern.
    If you can parse the above I think you will see that it is not an “accusation” regarding what is going on in any particular Waldorf school. There are Waldorf teachers who have little or no knowledge or interest in the racist Steiner. There are even brave souls, I would like to think an increasing number – how about being brave enough, yourself, to join them? – who agree openly and fearlessly that Steiner held some racist views that must be completely repudiated. The matter remains of serious concern in Waldorf education overall.
    I’m sorry but it is not news that Steiner’s views are the basis for the pedagogy in Waldorf … if you consider that an “accusation” I’ll agree that’s what I’m accusing them of!
    “Are you expecting every Waldorf teacher to review hundreds of Steiner’s lectures to find something revolting, and then bring that to parents like going to a confessional?”
    That’s a rather petulant and childish way to put it, but basically yes. It seems to me that if you sign up for a career training, such as Steiner teaching, that is based almost exclusively, and in fanatical devoted style, to the teachings of one man, it would only be the responsible thing to be pretty sure you’ve read a great deal of what the man wrote. (I don’t know if anyone can claim to have read EVERYTHING he wrote, even the most dedicated anthro, but maybe there are a few!) If there are controversies around his teachings, it’s irresponsible to play dumb about it – find out what the controversy is about, read the material for yourself, and be prepared not just to discuss it with parents, but to “bring it” to parents – yes. Parents put their children in your care. It is a great responsibility. Man up.

  37. I think we do agree, Pete, I just like to be very clear with anthroposophists that their pet loophole isn’t one. (The notion that “if you believe in reincarnation,” it’s okay to say stupid things about different races, as if somehow the idea that we’ll all cycle through different races personally nullifies or obliterates the noxiousness of … the stupid things you’re actually saying about races.) It’s a sort of peculiar anthroposophist-customized version of “Some of my best friends are … why, I may have been one once myself! [black, Jewish, etc.].”

  38. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Diana,

    Thank you for your concise and compassionate exhortation to Daniel. I like it so much that I am going to copy it for myself and just change the last word so that we can provide Daniel with the basis on an informed decision that he and other Anthros must eventually make regarding the reality of Steiner’s racist thought.

    Now besides my imitation of your sentence as being the “sincerest form of flattery,” I have a specific reason for copying it verbatim. I do so to let Daniel know that I am in complete 100% agreement with you about the need for Anthros to acknowledge and accept the reality of Rudolf Steiner’s racist thought. Where we diverge is what action is to be taken after the full acknowledgment of the racism is made — hence the change in the very last word.

    In the spirit of warm-hearted Waldorfian imagination, I now construct a mental picture (Vorstellung) of Daniel as a man not unlike Faust who has a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other, each one whispering mutually exclusive advice into his respective ears. (We can argue later which one of us is Ahriman and which one is Lucifer.)

    NOTE TO DANIEL: Before you get to the decision point, you must first acknowledge the reality of the racist thought of Rudolf Steiner in anthroposophy. I realize that, at this point in time, awareness and confluence of destiny streams, you may not yet be ready for that acknowledgment. But, on the other hand, I intuit that my informing you of the clear-cut decision may actually help you along toward the necessary prior acknowledgment of the racism. As an engineer, you are well aware of the importance of a negative feedback loop for establishing the stability – even “learning” — of a system, so that’s what I offer you here.

    With no further ado, may I now present the two “horns,” as it were, of your difficult anthroposophical dilemma.

    DIANA EXHORTS DANIEL FROM THE LEFT:
    There are even brave souls, I would like to think an increasing number – how about being brave enough, yourself, to join them? – who agree openly and fearlessly that Steiner held some racist views that must be completely repudiated.

    TOM EXHORTS DANIEL FROM THE RIGHT:
    There are even brave souls, I would like to think an increasing number – how about being brave enough, yourself, to join them? – who agree openly and fearlessly that Steiner held some racist views that must be completely respected.

  39. Fuck off, Tom.

  40. Daniel Perez · ·

    Alicia,
    Your point is well taken, but there is a deeper reason I am interested in definitions of racism. There is a raging river between a pejorative view of racism and the elevated view that Tom is pointing towards. That river must be crossed in a way that human dignity is preserved. Historically, we all know that what I call “pejorative racism” was real and led to the abuse and enslavement of many groups of people. After slavery ended pejorative racism kept people from pursuing education and other forms of freedom.

    If Tom states that Steiner was racist and that is to be “respected”, he is speaking of “elevated” racism, not the pejorative form. Thus we have the “Diana from the left”, and “Tom from the right” and a raging river between them. On the left is the hurt and pain of the abuse of people based on their race. On the right is the freeing of people from the shackles of bodily determinism (or the reality that there is a direct interaction between body and spirit).

    Steiner’s banned lectures have been repressed because we have not built the bridge from the one side to the other. If a materialist reads Steiner’s banned lectures, they can take those ideas and act on them in bigotry. If a spiritual scientist reads Steiner’s banned lectures, those same lectures can lead to a positive and elevated view of humanity.

    The definition of racism is meant to start building that bridge. If you look at the definition Tom posted, I would change it to:
    A way of thinking that sorts human groups into racial categories in their bodily existence, accords manifest meaning to these categories as reflections of spirit, delineates specific differences between them, and associates these differences with significant cultural, spiritual, or intellectual traits.

  41. Daniel Perez · ·

    What the definition implies is as follows:
    We all can overcome (or use to our benefit) the different racial qualities of our physical envelope. But these qualities are not integral to our real being any more than our age, gender, weight, height, language,etc. For Steiner, race is way down on the list of who a person is and it is not the limiting factor for the individual.

  42. ‘For Steiner, race is way down on the list of who a person is and it is not the limiting factor for the individual.’

    And this is why anthroposophists who believe Steiner’s characteristics of the races was not racist — they believe the spirit is not bound to race, so of course, the ‘individual’ (the reincarnating spirit) is not limited by race. We already know that. I’m afraid that does not make the characteristics less racist. By the definition — even the way you changed it (I’ve not compared closely) — it still makes Steiner’s racist ideas racist.

    Now, of course, there are all the other things Steiner said, and there’s the race nonsense — as Tom H-S put it — and my thinking is, why not deal with the nonsense and reject it? Somehow what I see from so many anthroposophists is an attempt to resurrect the nonsense by the virtue of all that seems good and nice in the rest of Steiner’s body of work. Resurrecting, justifying, et c, instead of rejecting and replacing. Or, heck, just reasoning intelligently about it.

    Does anyone actually think Steiner would have adopted the theosophical root race doctrine had he been alive — and lecturing as an enlightened guru — today? I know there are idiots among these supposedly enlightened new age gurus of today, but I’m quite certain Steiner had some brain power.

    ‘If a materialist reads Steiner’s banned lectures, they can take those ideas and act on them in bigotry. If a spiritual scientist reads Steiner’s banned lectures, those same lectures can lead to a positive and elevated view of humanity.’

    You may believe so. I’m less sure this is true. The ‘wisdom’ we see from spiritual scientists doesn’t lead one to believe they’re more capable than anyone else. And, what’s more — it does not change the content either these passages and lectures or the hierarchal root race theory. The content is still the same. You’re only advocating, it appears, the use of racism for benign means — to do or think good (or what appears to be good, from that perspective). Which, of course, is ‘better’ than to use racism to motivate things like slavery, genocide or murder. So what?

    By the way — I agree with Diana. Which is practical, because she already said so many good things.

  43. John Lennon:

    Instant Karma’s gonna get you
    Gonna knock you right on the head
    You better get yourself together
    Pretty soon you’re gonna be dead
    What in the world you thinking of
    Laughing in the face of love
    What on earth you tryin’ to do
    It’s up to you, yeah you

    Instant Karma’s gonna get you
    Gonna look you right in the face
    You better get yourself together darling
    Join the human race
    How in the world you gonna see
    Laughing at fools like me
    Who on earth d’you think you are?
    A superstar? Well right you are

    Well we all shine on
    Like the moon and the stars and the sun
    Well we all shine on
    Every one, come on

    Instant Karma’s gonna get you
    Gonna knock you off your feet
    Better recognize your brothers
    Every one you meet
    Why in the world are we here?
    Surely not to live in pain and fear
    Why on earth are you there?
    When you’re everywhere
    Come and get your share

    But we all shine on
    Like the moon and the stars and the sun
    And we all shine on
    Come on and on and on on on

    Yeah yeah, alright, ah haa, aaaahh

    But we all shine on
    Like the moon and the stars and the sun
    And we all shine on
    On and on and on on and on
    But we all shine on
    Like the moon and the stars and the sun
    But we all shine on

  44. Racists always believe they’re helping to elevate humanity, strive toward noble ideals etc. Rhetoric like that tells you nothing about whether the theory is racist.

    Daniel demonstrates a common mistake anthroposophists make about what racism is: Racism is not about your beliefs about *individuals* (they can overcome their race, we all reincarnate in different races in different individual lifetimes, etc., etc.). Racism refers to beliefs *about races*. When you claim spiritual qualities pertain to certain races, that is racism.

    Noble rhetoric, an intent to “elevate humanity,” does not pretty it up. Racism stinks *worse* with noble spiritual ideals attached. And racism is not less dangerous in these guises – arguably more so, because beliefs like this give it a comfortable hiding place and a defense from educated people who ought to know better.

  45. “We all can overcome (or use to our benefit) the different racial qualities of our physical envelope. But these qualities are not integral to our real being any more than our age, gender, weight, height, language,etc. For Steiner, race is way down on the list of who a person is and it is not the limiting factor for the individual.”

    This is not a nonracist belief system. “Overcoming” alleged racial qualities is not needed, given that racial spiritual “qualities” don’t exist in the first place, and it is propagating such nonsense that is racist.

    So you make a list of possible qualities about an individual that aren’t “limiting factors” – sex, height, weight, language etc. Then you feel, because you’ve asserted that these are not limiting, that you have a pass to make statements about these characteristics of an individual, impute qualities or meanings or spiritual rankings to them, and this is “okay” because you’ve prefaced it with “It is not limiting.” That is the mistake. It is THOSE STATEMENTS that are racist, and your wrapping it round with “But it doesn’t limit you” doesn’t change the CONTENT of those statements.

    So for instance, when Steiner suggested that Asians are spiritually adolescent, Africans have “qualities associated with childhood,” or “boiling blood,” “Red Indians” are a dying race spiritually, etc., it is the content of those statements that is racist. It does not matter if you look at a particular individual and decide not to “judge” them on this basis because their individuality has incarnated in this race only in this one lifetime. That just isn’t relevant to the content of what you said about Africans, Asians, whomever.

    Doctrines ABOUT RACES are racist or not – not your opinions about an individual. (You might hold a racist opinion about an individual, also, of course, but that is not how we would judge whether your beliefs about a particular race are racist. Even the most extreme racists will sometimes tell you certain individuals “overcome their race,” etc., just as anthroposophists often say. In a more benign form this is also the basis of the old canard, “Some of my best friends …”)

  46. Thanks Diana. That’s exactly it. I agree wholeheartedly.

    Perhaps Frank, once he’s stopped singing, can explain why certain anthroposophical junk is so difficult for anthroposophists simply to ditch — does it leave too wide a gap in the theory? Or in the wisdom of the great initiate?

  47. The latter, I believe.
    Removing the racism – adopting a new anthroposophy in which the racial pronouncements of Rudolf Steiner have been removed – is not impossible. It would create some theoretical complications, I don’t want to underestimate that (Steiner’s tales of all of prehistory are based on racial/spiritual evolution) but this problem, although thorny, pales in comparison to the problems anthroposophists would have in acknowledging that some of Steiner’s clairvoyant pronouncements *weren’t*. That causes a far greater problem.

    Conversely, however, if they could get past that problem, making structural changes to anthroposophy would be very simple in comparison. It’s the emotional attachment to the guru, and the need to believe that he can’t have been wrong, at least not on any important point, that hobbles them, and hobbles anthroposophy.

  48. I wrote: “adopting a new anthroposophy in which the racial pronouncements of Rudolf Steiner have been removed – is not impossible”

    Let’s clarify: That would not be the same thing as reprinting new editions of his works with the racist material LEFT OUT. (Oy.) We’re talking about some actual intellectual/spiritual WORK – not evading the problems, hiding the problems from the public, or pretending the past didn’t happen or that Steiner didn’t say what he said. We’ve certainly seen this approach from anthroposophists! We saw it most recently here on the thread with Jan Luiten about Driegonaal – Jan’s decision to pretend that Holocaust denial material was simply not present in his beloved publication.

    How about that, anthroposophists: anyone willing to consider the reckoning with Steiner’s racial pronouncements as a spiritual challenge? Instead of treating it as a PR problem for anthroposophical institutions, such as Waldorf schools, consider it a spiritual challenge.

  49. It’s why I keep asking. I really do wonder. If they ever want to do anything more than deny it (or justify it, or do all the things we’ve seen here and elsewhere numerous times).

    What surprises me even more than an unwillingness to work with it (which I guess can’t interest everyone), is the unwillingness to regard it — explicitly — as irrelevant nonsense. I mean, individual intances of stupid things he said can be more easily disregarded, but even with the idea of spiritual/racial evolution, it can’t be impossible.

  50. “The blood of people from Europe is more evolved than the blood of people from African and Asia.” This was taught DIRECTLY to my son in physiology class. This is just one example of how Steiner’s racist ideas manifest in Waldorf schools. Steiner’s racist ideas are important to Waldorf teachers TODAY – and they are being slipped into Waldorf lessons TODAY. Thousands of children are being spoon-fed Steiner’s racist ideas DAILY. When this finally hits the public spotlight, I think Frank may actually see some of that “instant karma” happening.

  51. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    The Divine within Diana moved her to write:

    Fuck off, Tom.

    Oh, Diana, you are sooo Quaker when you get angry!

    Makes me want to go out and find a Friends Church, but then I suddenly realize that I am already part of a Friends Meeting House — only it is online right here and it is called Zooey’s Ethereal Kiosk.

    Now, Diana Dearest, I see your imperative outburst as a sure signal of “divine leading” so that the divine within you may reach out and touch the divine within me (and now the Divine within Frank) and thus we may all achieve a higher unity of true human community right here in the Kiosk.

    Now I hope you don’t mind me translating your divine words into the dialect of Classical Anthroposophese, as Daniel is new here and when he reports your sentiments to his anthroposophical elders in Spring Valley, Sacramento and Dornach, I would not want him to shock unnecessarily the sensibilities of his elders.

    Therefore, Daniel, please report Diana’s outburst with these words:

    “Dear Tom, I warmly advocate that you submit your earthly 3-fold vessel to a vigorous process, as it were, of self-fructification.”

    This is so amazing Diana, all you have to do is say the magic f-word and look who appears like a genie (from the Arab stream?) out of the golden 3-fold lamp — Frank Thomas Smith.

    Again, pardon me while I inform Daniel about Frank.

    (Daniel, the man who posted the John Lennon “Instant Karma” video is none other than the absolute dean of Pan-American Anthroposophy, the Polyglossal Impending Octogenarian, Frank Thomas Smith, a native born Brooklynite who is now living in Argentina where he and his wife have founded a Waldorf School somewhere outside of Buenos Aires. Frank is famous for his e-zine Southern Cross Review
    http://southerncrossreview.org/
    which, because of his cover photos, I affectionately call: “Anthroposophical Pussy Riot.”)

    Now back to your peevishness with me, Diana. I wonder if you are upset because I implied that you might be either Lucifer or Ahriman in my decision scenario for Daniel. If so, then I take back any such designation, and instead I will re-write the Anthrposophist racism dilemma by referring to you as an angel and me as a devil. That way, I remove any possible Anthroposophical stigmata (that’s actually the Greek plural of “stigma.”) from you. (We’ll talk about Judith von Halle another time.)

    Now please consider the horns of the dilemma as I repeat them and then we can get on with the divine discussion here in the Ethereal Kiosk Meeting. I make it more inclusive as I challenge not just Daniel, but all anthroposophists to pass through this karmic barrier.

    DIANA THE ANGEL EXHORTS DANIEL AND ALL ANTHROPOSOPHISTS:
    There are even brave souls, I would like to think an increasing number – how about being brave enough, yourself, to join them? – who agree openly and fearlessly that Steiner held some racist views that must be completely repudiated.

    TOM THE DEVIL EXHORTS DANIEL AND ALL ANTHROPOSOPHISTS:
    There are even brave souls, I would like to think an increasing number – how about being brave enough, yourself, to join them? – who agree openly and fearlessly that Steiner held some racist views that must be completely respected.

  52. Cheesus. May I just say I like Frank’s cover photos.

  53. oh dear, anonymous is me.

  54. I couldn’t possibly do that, Alicia. Too deep. I can only assume that Scandinavians(in general but especially anthroposophists) think they are racially superior (or at least different) because they have bluer eyes than more southerly types. I think they may be right. (I had a Norwegian grandfather.)

  55. No, it’s me now. What’s goin on?
    Frank

  56. Ahriman, clearly. (In co-operation with WordPress.) I’ll edit the names…

    I think I’ve seen anthroposophists of all eye colours who think they’re superior. Although one rarely know the eye colour online, of course.

    (Mine are predictably, northernly blue.)

  57. I think the most sensible definition of racist belief is something along these lines: a way of thinking that sorts human groups into racial categories, accords essential meaning to these categories, delineates specific differences between them, associates these differences with significant cultural, spiritual, or intellectual traits, and ranks the resulting constellation of categories in some hierarchical order of higher and lower.

    The above is what Tom M. dug up as Peter S’s definition of racism. Actually I like it, because it clearly shows that Peter must have played left field for the Mets in a previous incarnation. He considers that way of thinking to be a symptom of racism – because it’s “racist belief”. Assuming that Peter has a colleague or two who are anthropologists, he should ask them if they “sort human groups into racial categories, accord essential meaning to these categories, delineate specific differences between them, associate these differences with significant cultural, spiritual, or intellectual traits, and ranks the resulting constellation of categories in some hierarchical order of higher and lower.” When they answer yes, and Peter accuses them of racism and they bop him with a bottle of Maneschewitz communion wine, he can’t say I didn’t warn him. To deny, fe, that the European racial culture which produced Bach (and, later, Alicia’s blue eyes and Google) was more advanced and therefore in that sense superior to native American or African racial culture of the time is ludicrous. Yes, Anglo-American-Teutonic culture also produced the atomic bomb and the holocaust, but I don’t refer to “moral” superiority. So to the bullpen with you Peter!

  58. This anonymous is me again. Sorry. What am I doing wrong?

  59. just stopping in · ·

    Frank is that you just above? If so, you are smarter than this.

    “To deny, fe, that the European racial culture which produced Bach (and, later, Alicia’s blue eyes and Google) was more advanced and therefore in that sense superior to native American or African racial culture of the time is ludicrous.”

    The problem with all of this is the mixing of racial + culture. Races don’t have cultures. Why? Because there is no such thing as race. Its a social construct; we’re all like 99++% genetically the same and descended from the same man and woman in Africa. Its true groups of people in certain epochs have cultures and those groups of people produce things…ideas…whathaveyou. Anthropologists do describe these products and also compare groups existing at the same time to each other. They make hierarchical value judgements about this cultural production less than you would think. Not something that is done much today. Truly, read some recent anthropology.

    This thread is very frustrating. Steiner’s statements and worldview are very, very often misconstrued in these discussions. But in this case, both Frank and Daniel’s arguments are appalling. It could very well be that there is some grand spiritual meaning to the different haplogroups that make up the children of earth. The body and the spirit may interpenetrate each other in ways we don’t understand today. I am open to that possibility. The problem is that the evidence for any of that right now is minimal at best. What we do know is that human beings have a long and nasty history of racist thought that has resulted in subjugation and oppression rather than love. The wounds are open. There is nothing to be gained by trying to give life support to any part of it until the day that true consensus can be built about what these superficial differences among us might mean. Sometimes, anomolies and differences have no meaning and we shouldn’t feel the need to imbue them with one. Rationalization is a huge problem for we human beings. Sorry for the rant. Steiner was a righteous dude in many ways. Seems to me that some of the arguments put forth here are worse than anything he may have said or could be construed as having said. He died almost 90 years ago but everyone here has the benefit of that many years of the evolution of human consciousness. I would argue that learning to see ourselves as “one” may be the single most remarkable thing that has happened over this time period. Stop straggling behind.

  60. “To deny, fe, that the European racial culture which produced Bach (and, later, Alicia’s blue eyes and Google) was more advanced and therefore in that sense superior to native American or African racial culture of the time is ludicrous.”

    No Frank – to believe that is what is ludicrous. It’s sad that you still believe something like that.

    How could one show you the error of this? I don’t see it as possible. You’re far too intelligent to \believe this, yet you do believe it – ergo you cannot be reasoned with.

    There’s no such thing as “racial culture” and even if there were – no, the one that “produced Bach” is not superior to others. Blinkers, blinkers, blinkers …. consider takin’ ‘em off some day.

    No, it’s nothing like what anthropologists say. Consider reading some anthropology and finding out what anthropologists say about culture. They don’t rank cultures. I like Bach too, yet I’m aware there are people/cultures who can’t or don’t appreciate Bach. They grew up in different cultures than me!! By the way, there is no “racial culture” that produced google.

  61. just for the record, until Alicia sorts us out, the last two “anonymous’s” aren’t me.

  62. “Steiner was a righteous dude in many ways. Seems to me that some of the arguments put forth here are worse than anything he may have said or could be construed as having said.”

    I agree. I think more and more Steiner would be holding his head in his hands and weeping to read much of what passes for “thought” on the anthroposophical message boards. Steiner was of his time, not a Great Initiate blah blah, but he wasn’t dumb. He held some ignorant views about races, since his own experiences were largely limited to European whites. But the desperate contortions that are necessary to go on defending outdated racial views – the hypocrisy and cowardice and mental laziness and deliberate refusal to open one’s mind to new knowledge – I think would sincerely distress him.

    He would also be quite aware that the only reason his followers don’t update his views, 100 years later, is guru worship, and he wouldn’t be amused.

  63. Daniel Perez · ·

    On a technical note, please make sure you fill out the top two lines when you post. Email first, then name. If you don’t enter a name then I believe you get “Anonymous”.

  64. just stopping in · ·

    Hi, Daniel. I’m signing off for now but I just wanted to say that I re-read your posts and I think perhaps I shouldn’t have used the word “appalling” in reference to you. It was Frank’s comment about “racial culture” that set me off after lurking for a while. Although, I’m not sure what you’re up to in responding to the bad angel/good angel thing. That bit was suspect for me. Anyway, to reiterate my position, the whole idea of race needs to be kicked to the curb. Its an untenable and unworkable concept. Its unsalvageable. The idea of “race” is too laden with abuse, pseudo-science and false assumptions about biology that if we want to talk about “peoples” or “cultures” or “ethnicities” we should just do so or create a new concept to better express what we mean. Anyway, cheers. Sorry for being overly harsh.

  65. Daniel Perez · ·

    ” ‘The blood of people from Europe is more evolved than the blood of people from African and Asia.’ This was taught DIRECTLY to my son in physiology class.”
    I find this claim highly suspect. I went through Waldorf high school, as did my wife, both my children and a half dozen of my extended family. This would have come up somewhere in all those experiences. I never heard anything even remotely like this. If it did happen, I agree it should be addressed as completely inappropriate. But I find it almost impossible to have been presented as claimed. How would a high school student have the background to know what “evolved blood” is? This is an esoteric concept! We never learn esoteric content in the Waldorf school. When I studied evolution, we started with Darwin. When we studied human physiology, we related it to the animals, never touching on races at all.

    The reason the given example would be inappropriate is that this is highly esoteric spiritual scientific information, whether valid or not. In contrast, what is appropriate are the inclusion of the epochs of human evolution and the cultures of those epochs. These are all in parallel with existing traditional teachings on these same cultures. What Waldorf education brings is an understanding of the context of historical civilization. For me, this broader context has never clashed with the historical record.

  66. Daniel Perez · ·

    To “just stopping in”, Please put your name in the second line, not a subject! It is email on first line, then name in the second line (or box), then website or something else. I really don’t like replying to lots of words on a page that do not have a name attached. In fact, I scan and barely read posts that do not have a name. The internet is impersonal already, let’s try to be a little bit human. :-)
    Anyway, have a good sleep, whoever you are…

  67. Frank (I believe) wrote: ‘This anonymous is me again. Sorry. What am I doing wrong?’

    I don’t know (I’ll edit it), but check that the boxes are filled in before submitting a comment. I think the system (whatever that is) is supposed to remember these things, so that commenters don’t have to fill it in every time, but occasionally it’s like it loses everything it knew. And then everybody suddenly appears as ‘anonymous’.

    As for ‘just stopping in’, I agree with Daniel that it’s easier if people use a name or a pseudonym, but as long as it’s possible to tell commenters apart, it’s fine with me.

    As for myself, I’ve got to run.

  68. Daniel Perez · ·

    Diana,
    It has gotten late for me as well, just like “just stopping in” (are we at the Belmont Stakes by any chance?)

    What I want to address in a more precise way is the question of traits and if they can ever be discussed without the term “racism” being applied? It just seems so knee-jerk to yell “racism” whenever we discuss differences in traits. You wrote this:
    “So you make a list of possible qualities about an individual that aren’t “limiting factors” – sex, height, weight, language etc. Then you feel, because you’ve asserted that these are not limiting, that you have a pass to make statements about these characteristics of an individual, impute qualities or meanings or spiritual rankings to them, and this is “okay” because you’ve prefaced it with “It is not limiting.” That is the mistake. It is THOSE STATEMENTS that are racist, and your wrapping it round with “But it doesn’t limit you” doesn’t change the CONTENT of those statements.”

    So tomorrow, lets see what your objection is, as I don’t understand this statement. I am not ranking any traits. I am also not claiming I agree if Steiner was ranking them (and I don’t believe that he was, but lets put that aside for now). I have simply asserted that different races have differences. Do you deny that different races have differences? Is it racist to acknowledge that there are differences? We are back to the anthropology argument. Again, I am not stating that we will remain in the domain of anthropology, but lets start there, because that is mainly where I stand.

    I have a different take than Tom. I am not ready to call Steiner’s lectures “racist” because I am not yet happy with what racism is defined to be, and the relation of this definition to Steiner’s work. Racism has an accepted pejorative meaning that I do not find present in Steiner’s legacy.

  69. ” ‘The blood of people from Europe is more evolved than the blood of people from African and Asia.’ This was taught DIRECTLY to my son in physiology class.”
    I find this claim highly suspect. I went through Waldorf high school, as did my wife, both my children and a half dozen of my extended family. This would have come up somewhere in all those experiences.

    Don’t talk to ME about it – Talk to Highland Hall – they DEFENDED the lesson after several meetings ensued. Talk to Merrily Lovell, who taught the lesson… she’s at Lake Champlain Waldorf school – still teaching this nonsense.

    The lesson was DEFINITELY taught as I described it – and several meetings ensued. You need to understand – that THIS IS WHAT WALDORF TEACHES – whether directly or indirectly – it’s part of the lesson students will learn.

    Read Gregoire Perra’s testimony sometime. It’s right here: http://thewaldorfreview.blogspot.com/2012/09/the-indoctrination-of-students-to.html

  70. Daniel, I take it that you WOULD find the comments above to be racist – under ANY definition of racism, right?

  71. “What Waldorf education brings is an understanding of the context of historical civilization. For me, this broader context has never clashed with the historical record.”

    So you believe the *Waldorf-approved lesson* that the white race is more evolved than other races clashes with the historical record? Or is it just the stuff they taught you in YOUR Waldorf school that you agree with?

  72. “The reason the given example would be inappropriate is that this is highly esoteric spiritual scientific information,”

    Um no – teaching that ‘whites have more evolved blood’ is inappropriate is because it’s WRONG AND RACIST – not because it’s “highly spiritual.”

    So wait – you’re acknowledging that you believe such teachings are highly spiritual? You attached a qualifier “whether valid or not,” but you seem to be saying that at least hypothetically, such a teaching would be “highly spiritual.” YUCK

  73. Yes, spiritual ideas cannot be racist… there can be no racism to spiritual “truths”… so why not teach these spiritual truths to children, right? LOTS of people teaching in Waldorf schools find nothing wrong with this… how could there be something wrong with teaching spiritual truths?

    Unless, of course, somebody was lying about their ability to divine spiritual “truths” through clairvoyance… in which case, they would be nothing more than great big lying racist who started a school system. Let’s see… which is more believable… somebody who has special magical powers with the ability to see the spirit world… or somebody who has the very common ability to lie convincingly to people?

  74. “What I want to address in a more precise way is the question of traits and if they can ever be discussed without the term ‘racism’ being applied?

    Of course. If you talk about an individual’s traits, that’s not racism. My son just took a personality test, and got back scads of descriptive labels of his “traits.” The test is not racist, and describing his traits is not racist. We all have traits. Alicia has blue eyes – that’s a trait. Alicia is a gifted writer – that’s a trait. There’s no racism in such statements.

    It’s simple to grasp really Daniel – if we tie a person’s traits to race, that’s racist – perhaps not absolutely always, as there are a very few traits tied to race, such as skin color, although even those are extremely variable and not very interesting. The fact that Alicia is a gifted writer is not tied to her race. It’s tied probably to some innate abilities, and also to her upbringing, education, social class, and life experiences. And to her wise embrace of canine wisdom :)

    “So tomorrow, lets see what your objection is, as I don’t understand this statement. I am not ranking any traits. I am also not claiming I agree if Steiner was ranking them (and I don’t believe that he was, but lets put that aside for now).”

    Steiner ranked not individual traits but races, claiming that the white race was the “spiritually creative” race, the “race of the future” etc.

    “I have simply asserted that different races have differences. Do you deny that different races have differences?”

    Yes, of course I do. The entire concept of race is scientifically debunked, without value. If any “racial differences” remain uncontested, it’s a few very minor things like skin color. That’s an observation of such superficiality that it is not interesting to anyone. I remember when my son was little he used to describe people based on their clothing, “Mommy, there’s an orange lady,” for a woman wearing an orange blouse, for instance. That’s what descriptions of different skin color amount to.

    “Is it racist to acknowledge that there are differences?”

    It’s racist to assert that there are spiritual differences between races, yes. (You can’t “acknowledge” this, technically, because it isn’t true.)

    “We are back to the anthropology argument.”

    We’re back to your uninformed claims about “the anthropology argument,” but you’d do well to learn a little about anthropology so that you stop making this claim in arguments about race, because it’s going to be shot down. Anthropologists don’t assert that there are spiritual differences between “races” – really. Anthropologists generally don’t even work with your category “race,” as it’s been shown to have no meaning.

    “Racism has an accepted pejorative meaning that I do not find present in Steiner’s legacy.”

    Of course not, because Steiner didn’t mean anything pejorative by his racial classifications at all. As you say, he held noble ideals for the advancement of humanity, and he believed everyone, regardless of race, was capable of spiritual progress. That’s not related to whether his racial pronouncements were racist. (They’re racist because he asserted that spiritual progress would be reflected in your skin color.) Racism does not always have a pejorative meaning. Many racists, in history, have asserted their racism proudly, in the belief and noble intention of helping humanity, including all races.

    Actually, looking back, you did rank individual differences. You stated that race would be way down on your list of traits that matter about an individual. You don’t get why that’s racist. Race doesn’t belong ANY WHERE on a list of traits that matter about an individual. Whether you put it at the top because you believe it’s the single most important feature about a person, or at the bottom because you believe that “reincarnation makes it okay” doesn’t matter. You should cross it off your list. It’s no more relevant than, say … well, I was trying to think of a physical quality that we would all agree has no significance, but it’s hard because Steiner actually said that a great many seemingly trivial physical differences among us carry spiritual meaning. (Hair and eye color; left and right handedness; states of health or illness, deformity or disability, etc.) — Note that this stuff, too, would be called into question if the central significance of race in Steiner’s theory of human development were abandoned. No wonder it is difficult for anthroposophists …

  75. Racism has no historically accepted “pejorative meaning,” Daniel. It hasn’t been maybe a couple of decades since even the educated classes began to find racism uniformly unacceptable; and even now quite a few educated people are very willing to defend racism, even if not to embrace the label because it’s socially unacceptable. Some anthroposophists, unfortunately, are found in this subset.

    But I can think back to my own childhood and later – actually to more like the mid-1980′s – my husband and I were just discussing an uncle of mine who held openly racist views – probably still does, though he now has advanced dementia and probably can’t talk about them very well. He refused to hire blacks in his business as late as the mid- to late 1980′s. He wanted to help blacks – he had also been a minister earlier in his life and had done a lot of good works aimed at helping the condition of blacks. (This was in the deep South.) But he held very distinct notions about their abilities and character traits and felt it was his right not to hire them, as they would be a disadvantage to his business. He’d give them money, he’d counsel them, he might hire them to do odd jobs around his own home or properties, but they did not belong in his business. My uncle is a highly educated man, and a kind man; at least, I observed him as being kind to many people in many circumstances, and he was certainly very kind to me when I was a child.

  76. Daniel Perez · ·

    “So you believe the *Waldorf-approved lesson* that the white race is more evolved than other races clashes with the historical record? Or is it just the stuff they taught you in YOUR Waldorf school that you agree with?”
    I am only speaking to my experience and the principles I know of in Waldorf education. Keep in mind I know directors of Waldorf teacher training programs. I also interacted with AWSNA as part of being a board member. If what took place at your school is true, then I find it inappropriate. If I was there and knew more about what this teacher was saying, I might even condemn it. But I am not going to judge a statement made by a complete stranger over the internet when it is out of context and they are not here to defend themselves. I was NOT defending any of these statements, which is why I qualified them with “valid or not”. My point was that even if there was a true and valid “esoteric statement”, then it would be inappropriate. So settle down on the “YUCK” front.

    I have also not studied passages of Steiner that would be the source of the statement you claim took place. Can anyone give a reference to the source of this?

    Let me explain further. I have only read the “banned” lectures in the last few days. I have not judged those lectures one way or another. I am not sure I understand what he was trying to say in those lectures, but they would be seen as racist for a materialist. And I do not intend to defend what I have not experienced as true, or even the context or meaning Steiner gave in them. That may be disappointing for both you and Tom, but that is where I stand. I don’t take Steiner as infallible, and I read and experience what is true for me in his writings, and put aside what I either don’t understand or don’t find true.

    I would also say this, I could remove the “banned” lectures and it would make no difference to my anthroposophical worldview, or even my anthroposophical library! I don’t have these lectures in my library now. Most anthroposophists don’t know about these lectures. The basic books of Steiner is the real content of anthroposophy.

  77. Daniel Perez · ·

    Diana,
    You just admitted there are differences between races: skin color! That is a difference, is it not? My “list of traits” is totally factually true and you agree with them! Age, gender, weight, height, language, skin color (based on race) are all traits that do not determine the individual.

    Here is the definition of anthropology:
    Anthropologists study topics including Homo sapiens origin and evolution, the organization of human social and cultural relations, human physical traits, how humans behave, the variations among different groups of humans, how the evolutionary past of Homo sapiens has influenced its social organization and culture, and so forth.

    Steiner adds a spiritual scientific understanding and context to these anthropological facts.

  78. Bell Paynter · ·

    Hi. Its “just stoppin in” here. Belmont Stakes indeed! :) Anyway, I didn’t and don’t plan to stay but I simply had to stand up and make a comment about what Frank said because this isn’t the usual mess of what Steiner did or didn’t say. He is misunderstood/missatributed in many ways and I sympathize with anthropops when it comes to this situation. But that doesn’t excuse anyone from being wrong of their own accord. You say

    “I have simply asserted that different races have differences. Do you deny that different races have differences? Is it racist to acknowledge that there are differences? We are back to the anthropology argument.”

    No. Different races *do not have differences*. Why? Because there are no such thing as races. There are groups of people who share environment/geography, culture, history, religion, and perhaps certain external physical traits that Steiner himself points out as superficial. Taking any one group and categorizing them based on these superficial traits is nothing more than scientism. It creates a category that is meaningless for comparison because this group is likely to be highly heterogeneous on a host of factors. Often there is more heterogeneity within a group than between groups. When this happens, we know we have created a meaningless category.

    Is not “racism” to acknowledge differences between peoples. This comparing and contrasting only gets to be racism when you 1) make hierarchical judgements about difference and 2) base these judgements on categories that have no validity. Again, “race” as a category is blown apart by the fact of within-group heterogeneity. It seems reasonable but it in fact may not be much more accurate than Diana’s example of “orange sweater wearers.” If we want to talk about “peoples” we need to find a different method of categorization to do it. Gotta run. Sorry for writing long posts and not humanizing myself like other people here. Its nice that you do. I was lurking…would prefer to stay that way…but I find it difficult to see people stumbling over this issue. I could suggest some books to read if people are interested in how anthropologists, sociologists and biologists have confronted this issue in their course of comparing groups and why, upon further review, the *concept* of race obscures rather than illuminates.

  79. Daniel Perez · ·

    Now let me return to the description Tom gives which I will shorten to be “repudiated” vs. “respected”. I described a raging river between these two views and the need to build a bridge. Keep in mind that I don’t agree with Tom in terms of calling Steiner’s views “racist but respected”. But I do agree with the idea that they could be “respected”. So lets construct two areas of land: one is the land of materialism, the other is the land of spirit. But this dualistic view is actually false. What is true is that matter manifests spirit. Nevertheless, there are two poles, where Plato would say the “land of shadows” vs “light” (or fire). In both worlds light is the determinant. The world of shadows is simply a reflection of light. I’ll give another analogy before I proceed. There is a physics experiment where you create a box filled with light. But the “box” is constructed so that there is no shadow possible, no edges anywhere. When you look into the box you see total blackness. There is no experience of light at all. If you then move a stick into the field of view, so that a shadow is created, then the box is filled with light in your human experience. Now I have not seen this box experiment, so I’m going off descriptions, but it serves my conceptual needs and rings true (it is described by a respected physicists so I’m taking his word for now).

    I understand that a materialist will only see the blackness of the box, not the light, even though the entire box is filled with light. I can try and bring the stick into view for them, but this may never be seen. So all we can do is try and find common ground. We both agree that discrimination is wrong and there are laws we both support to enforce this. I have also never found a racist anthroposophist in my entire life. My experience of Steiner’s work, prior to the “banned lectures” has nothing but positive views of humanity and ones I do not find “racist”. I am not saying the “banned lectures” have a problem, but simply that I have not worked through their meaning and context. So for now, I put them aside. Yet I will never convince you of what you do not see. It may always be darkness, so instead I look for where we agree. We agree that no individual should be seen as determined by their race or any traits of race.

  80. “I am only speaking to my experience and the principles I know of in Waldorf education. Keep in mind I know directors of Waldorf teacher training programs. I also interacted with AWSNA as part of being a board member. ”

    OK, so you seem to be very much “in the know”. Do you know John Brousseau? He directed the Waldorf teacher training program at Highland Hall while this particular teacher was teaching racism as science. He didn’t attend the racism conferences, but he sent his assistant, Alex Houghton who sat in on them. The school defended and continues to defend that lesson – with the approval of Waldorf teacher training. AND, AWSNA is VERY aware of this situation – Patrice Maynard of AWSNA is right at Highland Hall’s WISC program, training teachers. Joan Jaeckel is also at Highland Hall frequently and also knows of this.

    “If what took place at your school is true, then I find it inappropriate.”

    Maybe you should get back on the board of AWSNA then.

    “If I was there and knew more about what this teacher was saying, I might even condemn it. But I am not going to judge a statement made by a complete stranger over the internet when it is out of context and they are not here to defend themselves.”

    I’m not a stranger to any of them… and my story has been circulating for years now… no defense… more importantly, NO DENIALS – AWSNA members just run away when I bring it up.

    I’ve given you enough information to research this for yourself. Make a few phone calls… shall I provide the phone numbers to you too? Hey, even your buddy Tom knows all about this particular situation… he taught science at Highland Hall… ask him about it.

  81. Daniel Perez · ·

    Bell,
    Glad you could “drop in”! I think you bring some good points and I’ll incorporate these ideas into my study of the “banned” lectures. I have always experienced Steiner’s “cultural epochs” as being focused on “culture” not race. But I have a question, if you can return from “lurking”. Do you have a background in anthroposophy? If so, what is your view of Steiner’s works with regard to the race question? Do you think Steiner was ever mistakenly referring to races or simply to cultures?

  82. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete,
    I have got to go do other things, but I will look further into this. In particular, I intend to meet with a director of another teacher training program and ask about this situation when I have more facts. I am not promising, but I do intend to do this.
    One correction: I never was on the AWSNA board, I simply worked with AWSNA as a Waldorf school board member.

  83. “I understand that a materialist will only see the blackness of the box, not the light, even though the entire box is filled with light.”

    ” What is true is that matter manifests spirit.”

    Where have you read this?

    For there to be light, there must be a source of that light. What is the source of light in the sealed box? If there is no source of light, any object placed in the box (that isn’t itself a source of light) will appear as dark as the box. Something different may “ring true” for you, but the reality is as I have described.

    “Yet I will never convince you of what you do not see. ”

    I think you’ve got this backwards…

    “I would also say this, I could remove the “banned” lectures and it would make no difference to my anthroposophical worldview, or even my anthroposophical library! I don’t have these lectures in my library now. Most anthroposophists don’t know about these lectures. The basic books of Steiner is the real content of anthroposophy.”

    Of course not… these are just the worst lectures. Steiner repeats the same sentiments throughout his works – much of it is reflected in Waldorf teacher training materials. Is “The Fifth Gospel” in your library? How about “Knowledge of Higher Worlds”? How about “The Mission of Single Folk Souls”? Is “The Lectures to the Workmen” series part of your library? “The Evolution of the Earth and Man and the Influence of the Stars” is another good one to read. These are all part of the real content of Anthroposophy. If you don’t get what racism is, you definitely won’t notice it in your own library. Let me know if you need me to point out the juicy parts for you.

  84. “I intend to meet with a director of another teacher training program and ask about this situation when I have more facts.”

    I’m not sure how many “facts” you’ll uncover, but thanks for the effort. Here are a few more books that are probably in your library that you may not have read too thoroughly: “Cosmic Memory”, “The Occult Significance of Blood”, “The Apocalypse of St. John” and let’s not forget “Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner”. I’m sure your teacher trainer will be familiar with the last one at least since it’s on every Waldorf teacher in training’s required reading list.

  85. “You just admitted there are differences between races: skin color! That is a difference, is it not?”

    Yes, that is a difference between races. I can see that that provides you some comfort, some way. But it’s fairly meaningless. Very roughly and unreliably, skin color gives you a clue to a person’s racial background. It doesn’t really correlate very closely. I was sitting on a train the other day looking at a couple of guys sitting across from me and noticing that one was white and one was clearly African American, but the white guy was darker skinned (bronzed by the sun, probably someone who works outdoors). The other guy was definitely of African or possibly Caribbean extraction but very light skinned; several shades lighter than the white guy. Color of their skin could not be used to sort them out by race. Granted there are other physical features that I was relying on in concluding that one was black and one was white, technically, but the point is most of the superficial, visible physical differences actually do not reliably correlate with race. You think you know what makes a person a certain race, but when you try to pin it down, it actually turns out to be about a lot of things that aren’t distinct or characteristic physical differences after all. At least in the city I live in, it’s safer to sort people out by “race” on the basis of things like style of dress, makeup, hair style, tattoos and piercings etc. There is no one single physical characteristic that you could point to and say “All blacks look like this” or “All whites look like this.” Hair texture might come a little closer than skin color, but it’s still not reliable, at least in cities and other areas where whites and blacks have a fair degree of overlap in style and presentation. (Certain black hairstyles have really caught on here, among non-blacks, and they tend to be things that are easier to do with “black hair,” but not impossible for some whites.) Then throw in Hispanics, and veiled Muslim women, and the rest of us are completely confused. Again, I look at people I see on the bus or on the street and can probably usually quickly say “That person is Hispanic,” but exactly what features I’m assessing I’m not sure I could tell you – again I think it is a question of style rather than clear physical characteristics.

    Furthermore, these physical distinctions that we are all making quickly and unconsciously when looking at strangers, even when they are roughly accurate are hopelessly undifferentiated when it comes to meaningful information about the person’s actual background. I can look at two people and quickly say this one is black and this one is white, but what in the world does that information even mean? Blacks in America come from dozens of different countries in Africa, the Caribbean, South America, etc. Their skin color is really a key to virtually nothing, other than stereotypes. Hispanics too – I couldn’t begin to tell apart Puerto Ricans from Spaniards from Brazilians from … (I have a vague idea what Mexicans look like – the Mexican consulate was in the building I used to work in, so Mexicans were always in the lobby of that building – but there too, “Mexicans” are highly heterogeneous, some of greater European extraction and others of the indigenous peoples of Mexico, so whatever it is I even think I know about what “Mexicans” look like is probably mostly wrong.)

    But at any rate, please keep clear that we aren’t complaining about Steiner pointing out that people do have different skin colors or different hair textures etc. These are trite and obvious observations, routinely made by 3-year-olds. Steiner said that skin color REFLECTS SPIRITUAL DIFFERENCES. He said this very literally. There isn’t a mistake about this. The former is equivalent to my son calling people by the color of their sweater. Attach “spiritual qualities” to any of this and you’ve got yourself a racist doctrine.

  86. Bell Paynter · ·

    “Do you have a background in anthroposophy?”

    I am interested in the practical movements and I have read Steiner ad hoc…no group study and no systematic study of particular works or collections of works. I do think I have done the necessary work to understand Steiner’s overall worldview. I think I am like Alicia in that things come up in the course of my everyday life and I wonder “What did Steiner have to say about that?” So, I check it out. That makes some of my understanding patchy and ad hoc but I wouldn’t say that about the overall thrust of the worldview. I go through periods where Steiner’s way of seeing things really resonates and I also have times when he frustrates me to no end. Overall, he had interesting things to say and tried to do good things in the world. I like people like that. For no real reason, I like him too.

  87. Bell Paynter · ·

    “If so, what is your view of Steiner’s works with regard to the race question? Do you think Steiner was ever mistakenly referring to races or simply to cultures?”

    It would take me much longer than I have today to respond to this as precisely as I would like. That was why I was lurking!! But the short answer is yes, I do think that his worldview is focused on the evolution of cultural epochs (as you say) and that this is the correct interpretation. I think his central point about the ephemeral nature of our outer beings provided a real rationale for his audience to conceptualize oneness rather than division among the world’s peoples. In many cases it’s a misinterpretation to impute a materialist definition of “race” back into certain lectures. I also think that specific sentences with the word “race” are misinterpreted to mean “race” in the strictest materialist sense when he was clearly using it according to the colloquial conventions of the time. We don’t speak today of “the Irish race” or “American race” doing this or that.

    All that being said, I do think that there is very often a Eurocentric bias when he is comparing peoples either alive in his era or immediately preceding it historically. He seems utterly unwilling to abandon the notion of decadence/decline. I see no reason why history or reality having a cyclical nature also has to imply decadence other than the writers who were most associated with that viewpoint made it a central element of their telling of history. He could have abandoned that part of it. When he doesn’t the result is very often a disparaging assessment of non-Europeans. I am also very upset with passages that end up naturalizing what should otherwise be viewed as instances of oppression. I don’t get the impression that he means to overlook suffering but his focus on the long view, as he sees it, encourages him to do this. In those instances, he should have set the long view aside and spoke about the need to always alleviate suffering in the here and now. At several points, however, Steiner seems to be on the verge of breaking through the Eurocentric conception of civilization when he uses phrases like “so-called savage” or discusses the relative gains and losses of peoples in moving from pre-modern to modern forms of civilization. He’s right there on the precipice but not able to jump off. From the vantage point of Western Empire looking out, many places in the world would have looked primitive and backward. The people in those other places didn’t have steam trains, Bach, the Prussian army, an elaborate system of record keeping and taxation. It would have been “crazy” to see those peoples as having any kind of advanced society. I think its easy for us, today, to fail to appreciate what a major hurdle it was to be able to step outside all of that power and be able to see that societies without steam trains weren’t ipso facto “backward” and declining, just different. It’s a major accomplishment in the development of human consciousness to have done this, IMO. I don’t fault Steiner for not getting all the way there on his own. Steiner had to communicate his ideas using the language and frameworks of his time. So we see him deploying the notion of decadence/decline and, frankly, being lazy by essentializing ideas he should have proven by relying on “commonsense” notions of race. He was a subtle thinker but he tended to move quickly through stuff that could be grounded in “common sense.” He failed to realize that “common sense” can be culturally and historically dependent so you have to scrutinize those claims even more than the others!

    Despite the length, this is a broad brush summary of my general viewpoint. I am still struggling with the colors lecture. If it wasn’t completely off the cuff, it seems to be a new idea that was percolating in him. Or, a new way of communicating older ideas. And, its from an informal Q & A session, no? Did he ever review and edit it for publication? So, as a text I am having trouble placing it. He doesn’t seem to have gone strongly in the direction of these statements afterwards in formal lectures or essays. That makes it have a somewhat anomalous quality for me. But it does show that Steiner was aware of what we now call “scientific racism” scholarship and didn’t dismiss it out of hand. It looks like he trying to “improve” it. What do they say about polishing turds?

  88. Hey Just Dropping In: So there’s no such thing as race? You forget Alicia’s blue eyes and my grandfather’s blond beard being characteristic of the Scandinavian race – and/or its 3 sub-races – Sweden, Norway and Finnland, each with its own racial culture. Frank

  89. Tom advises that Steiner held some racist views which should be repudiated and some which should be respected. I’ll buy that, of course as always depending on what one means by “racist”. Btw I find that those who most often accuse others of racism are the worst racists. Guess who. To be found right here.

  90. Bell Paynter · ·

    “So there’s no such thing as race?”

    Yep. No such thing. [The following courtesy of the American Anthropological Association]: The concept of race does not provide an accurate view of human genetic diversity. The actual patterns of genetic diversity as observed from analyses of human DNA and the genome do not correspond to the concept of “race” as it is understood in the United States. Racial groupings based on visible physical traits, such as skin color, nose shape or hair texture, tend to be arbitrary distinctions, as traits do not aggregate into categories that can be described as races. History has shown that perceptions of race change over time. Further, people culturally self-identify differently than others would categorize them.

    And, Sweden, Finland and Norway are nation states. If race doesn’t exist, then the these nation states can’t have a “racial culture.” They can have culture, just not a racial culture.

    Ethnicity is a better concept for the kinds of things you refer to. A nation-state usually has many ethnicities in it. You might like the terms macroethnicity and microethnicity as well. The point is race biologizes differences that either don’t matter, don’t exist or are too different within groups to make valid comparisons across groups.

  91. I just saw this on twitter. Haven’t read more than the first passages, but thought it might be of interest. http://www.swans.com/library/art18/barker115.html

  92. Bell:

    “I think his central point about the ephemeral nature of our outer beings provided a real rationale for his audience to conceptualize oneness rather than division among the world’s peoples.”

    I totally agree. He absolutely had a vision of oneness for humanity, and wanted all peoples to get along, did not intend to encourage divisiveness (rather just the opposite).

    The problem is that the “oneness” he envisioned was white, male, and “middle European” (the peoples he touted as having reached the highest degree of spirituality thus far). It was not a oneness that encompasses differences, rather one in which those differences are erased as everyone “progresses” to basically be more German, spiritually speaking.

  93. Daniel:
    “I have also never found a racist anthroposophist in my entire life.”

    Huh? You’ve met a couple right on this thread – Tom, for instance, calls himself racist openly and proudly. So much for the notion that the term “racism” is always pejorative – Tom embraces it.

    Do you think they’re the only ones? Just happened to pop up on this blog at this time?

  94. Frank:

    “So there’s no such thing as race?”

    Frank, seriously? How many years you have been listening to this debate? This is a new notion to you?

    “forget Alicia’s blue eyes and my grandfather’s blond beard being characteristic of the Scandinavian race ”

    Come on, Frank, you’re smarter than this. Or are you just baiting Tom?

  95. Let me spell it out for you, Bell. You can use ethnicity, macroethnicity, culture or any other name that smells the same. However, a very short yime ago the word “race” was most commonly used. Whitman even raved about an “American race”. An how about the “human” race. The point is that Steiner’s use of the word race is time and place oriented. Hypersensitive hypocrites are quick to invent new words and accuse others.

  96. As if the word itself is what people react to rather than the content of the teachings.

  97. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Alicia,

    Thank you so much for this link!
    http://www.swans.com/library/art18/barker115.html
    It is so timely for this discussion because I was about to recommend to Daniel that he read Peter Staudenmaier’s PhD thesis and now here comes Michael Barker with a great one page summary of Peter’s work.

    In fact, allow me to quote Michael quoting Peter about Steiner’s banned lectures.

    Additionally, many previous historical studies of Steiner’s esoteric movement have been over-reliant upon (largely uncritical) anthroposophical sources, a problem that is further aggravated (for English-speaking readers) by the fact that “a number of current translations of Steiner’s published works have been bowdlerized, with the more conspicuous instances of racist and ethnocentric content surreptitiously excised.” (7) Staudenmaier’s study thus provides a welcome intervention, taking his readers beyond the simplistic conflation of sinister occult practices and the rise of the Nazism. (8)

  98. Frank, I simply don’t believe you are not capable of paying attention.

    Race does NOT mean culture. Seriously just go look up the words in the dictionary. When someone says people of a particular RACE do such and such, they are NOT saying that they do this thing as a result of their culture; they are saying it is INNATE. The terms are more or less opposite, in their function of describing or reporting human behavior and characteristics.

    We ALL do things that are recognizably a result of the culture we grew up in or now live in and are influenced by. This is not the same thing as saying we do these things as a result of our race. We eat certain foods, we dress a certain way, we like a certain type of music, we speak a certain way etc. … these are CULTURAL DIFFERENCES. They result from education and experience and social influences – NOT from skin color, genetic differences etc. I honestly believe you can grasp this. Sorry to sound so exasperated but it’s like you deliberately play dumb.

    I like cheesesteaks, pretty much as a result of living in Philadelphia for 30 years (home of the cheesesteak). Acquired taste. I don’t like cheesesteaks because “the white race” likes cheesesteaks.

    Steiner was absolutely not trying to say that certain characteristics he admired in his beloved “middle Europeans” were the result of, say, growing up in Bavaria. You cannot have read Steiner and taken that point away. The whole frickin’ point is that these people evolved this way AS A PEOPLE – SPIRITUALLY. Innately. As a race. Developing together cosmically over many eons, measured in occult terms. Why, for instance, do you think he was disturbed by the idea of “Negroes” being transplanted to Europe, otherwise? If all this is about “cultural differences,” then wouldn’t the Negro (sic) just adapt culturally, just as I have acquired a taste for cheesesteak? The point was the Negro didn’t belong there. The black RACE did not belong there in his scheme, and his scheme was intricate, detailed, predictive and formulaic – in no way historically or culturally contingent. Your level of spiritual progress is revealed in your skin color. If you were born with dark skin, that didn’t put you in “Middle Europe” – for a reason. (All written down in the Akashic Record.) You could batter Steiner’s misplaced Negro with all the culture/schmulture you want and he wasn’t going to somehow magically belong in middle Europe. That is why Steiner considered it ludicrous to even discuss “transplanting” “Negroes” to Europe.

    I suppose we could say some people who aren’t really quite literate toss around terms like “race” and “culture” without knowing what they mean. I think you do know what they mean, and I’m very certain Steiner did.

  99. Bell Paynter · ·

    Frank, I realize that there is a lot on this thread and its getting increasingly tedious. You say “A very short time ago the word “race” was most commonly used…The point is that Steiner’s use of the word race is time and place oriented.” I AGREE. I said so in my comments to Daniel about people finding, and misinterpreting, some uses of the word “race” in Steiner’s works. This, however, has nothing to do with your use of the world “racial culture.” I felt compelled to point out that such a thing doesn’t exist and that in this day and age people who are interested in scientific discoveries and conceptual precision when it comes to talking about a complex and historically laden subject find many possibilities using different words. But, its not just about the words its about having labile concepts too. I argued that Steiner was working with the mental frameworks of his day—even as he tried to push past them—but we don’t have to.

    As for this new development in the conversation, I find the portrait of Steiner as someone to be placed somewhere in the pantheon of volkisch nationalist idealogues really bizarre. I realize that is quite the minority opinion here but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t have the time or inclination to discuss why I feel this way here but I will offer one way to understand where folks like me come from, should anyone wonder. Personally, I find reading books/articles falling under the heading of “History of Ideas” are immensely helpful when it comes to this subject. You can ask yourself: “where do new ideas come from”? How can we trace ideas and could we show that they change over time? What would be involved? How can we tell an “affinity” from a “difference?” In short, there is a whole discipline about this with theories and ideas about methods. I would take some of the approaches…again these are by people totally indifferent and maybe even ignorant of the issues at hand…and apply their approach to this particular topic. Which interpretation (and in a book length piece there are many) stand up and which need to be reconsidered?

  100. Tom-a-hawk thanks Zooey for a link to a review of Saint Peter’s thesis. I thank both, for the review convinces me that the thesis is such boring gobbledegook that it will only be read by Peter’s confessor and a few anthroposophical flagellants.

  101. Perhaps you should try read it, Frank!

  102. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Well, Frank, what else would you expect from such a skillful and hardened, as it were, “Master Baiter” as myself? (Pun intended! Soitenly! Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!)

  103. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Hey, Curt Janssen! Where the hell are you? You made 7 of the first 15 comments on this thread and then you suddenly disappear.

    Since you say that you are a skilled historian, then I would like to know what you think about the historical scholarship of Herr Doktor Professor Peter Staudenmaier as it relates to the question of race and anthroposophy that you were discussing here. After all, you did make Comment #1 on this thread. And this is comment #104.

  104. Frank:

    “the review convinces me that the thesis is such boring gobbledegook that it will only be read by Peter’s confessor and a few anthroposophical flagellants.”

    You announce at regular intervals that you have decided not to read Peter’s dissertation and that no one will find it important. You seem to be trying to convince yourself of this. Why don’t you just read it and get all your angstiness about it out of your system and you will also have more credibility proclaiming it not important if you have actually read it.

  105. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Diana,

    I was thinking yesterday that had I become convinced of Steiner’s racism 5 or 10 years before I actually was, that I would have very likely taken a stand and repudiated those racist ideas.

    However, my conviction— or is it conversion? — occurred around 2006 and with the help of Pete K, whom I got to know as a parent at HH in 2004-05 and James Marshall Knight, a black former Board member of HH who told me that I was a racist but not a bigot. And then if you look back over the archives of both WC and AT Yahoo groups in the 2007-2011 period, you will see that I was like a kid in the candy store excitedly translating sections of Steiner’s “forbidden colored lecture,” arguing with Frank over the proper translation of “shifty-eyed Negro,” and because of my connection with Michael Eggert and his Egoisten blog in Germany, I also translated many news articles and blogs and commentaries about Steiner’s racial ideas, especially since the young Anthro generation in Germany is far more open to acknowledging them.

    But simultaneous with this development in my life was the development of new research in new academic fields such as evolutionary biology and psychology, new discoveries in archaeology and paleontology, but most important of all was the completion of the DNA-sequencing of the Human Genome Project in 2003.

    Now if I may quote you above:

    We ALL do things that are recognizably a result of the culture we grew up in or now live in and are influenced by. This is not the same thing as saying we do these things as a result of our race. We eat certain foods, we dress a certain way, we like a certain type of music, we speak a certain way etc. … these are CULTURAL DIFFERENCES. They result from education and experience and social influences – NOT from skin color, genetic differences etc.

    Diana, that is an excellent statement about the classical view of human differences. But it is looking more and more probable that genetic differences indeed DO influence cultural differences if not outright determine them. See, it all depends on the scale of your investigation.

    To cut to the chase here in 2012, some of these new research findings in the above evolutionary labeled fields are now leading to new re-evaluations of old data and new hypotheses that cultural differences, even group social behavior and possibly even the taboo topic of race itself are genetically ordained.

    Now I’m not saying that your scientific beliefs about race and cultural differences are wrong. They are not. So I am not asking you to repudiate them. I am only asking you to extend them, to broaden your perspective. Please let me explain from my background in physics.

    When I sat in my quantum physics class, the professor did not demand that I repudiate the seemingly quaint classical ideas of Isaac Newton. No, he showed the correspondence between the two theories — how it all depends on the scale of your investigation. Indeed, it is called the Correspondence Principle in physics. No need for a Repudiation Principle.

    I see something similar with Steiner’s ideas about race. If indeed, cultural differences, possibly including race — are social constructs at the classical scale of investigation (still true as you say!!!!) it is looking more and more likely that these classical constructs may be rooted in a genetic foundation — something which could not have occurred before the Human Genome was decoded in 2003. (I find it fascinating that this milestone is not unlike the quantum physics milestone of 1905 when Einstein published his 3 papers, one of which explained the photoelectric effect by quantum reasoning.)

    If race is a social construct at the classical level of investigation, and I believe it is, then there may be a correspondence with genetics that influence race, ethnicity, social group behavior and other cultural differences. It’s for the scientists to work it out.

    So I hope that helps explain to you why I do not repudiate Steiner racial ideas, but simply respect them. I chose the word “respected” carefully, Diana, not just because it makes a nice alliterative ring with your word “repudiated,” but mainly because it is NOT an antonym of “repudiated.” Notice I did not choose opposite words like “venerate, revere, worship, idolize, admire.” We know of many Steinerites who do venerate and admire his ideas about race. (All I need do is say the name Bondarev and you know what I mean. )

    Rather, I chose the word “respected” in order to zero out the high psychic charge and emotional investment of the “repudiate-venerate” polarity. I mean that Steiner’s racial ideas need to be respected in the same sense that any phenomena in nature should be “respected,” i.e., to be looked into, observed and studied as objectively as possible — which also means removing any strong emotional projections or beliefs about the phenomena, positive and negative.

    So, let me be clear, Diana, that I am not asking you to repudiate your present scientific beliefs about cultural differences having no genetic basis. Rather, I am simply asking you to entertain the possibility that there might be something akin to the physics “Correspondence Principle” at work here. That possibility also may include that — at the Steiner scale of investigation, some of his racist ideas and pronouncements may turn out to be true — because they are rooted in the partial genetic determination of cultural differences. And if it turns out that race differences may also be encoded somehow or somewhat in the genes that determine other cultural differences, would you then be willing to change your beliefs about the science that you stand by today?

    I know it’s not a question of intelligence Diana, as you sometimes imply it is when you harangue Frank. And if it’s any comfort to you, I simply don’t believe you are not capable of paying attention.

    So how about it, Diana, will you join with me and possibly with others out there who fully acknowledge Steiner’s racist ideas, and yet do not need to repudiate all of them, but simply afford them a little … respect.

    So on that note, will you please join me in singing along with the great Aretha Franklin in her original 1967 version of R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

    Tom TCB, “sock-it-to-me! sock-it-to-me! sock-it-to-me! sock-it-to-me! . . .

  106. Alicia & Diana: Believe it or not, I am not interested at all in Peter’s thesis; that’s why I don’t read it. Why do I trash it then? Haven’t I served time – many years – in the Waldorf Critics WC listening to Peter sound off to have earned the right? In fact I was kicked out 3 times – in a threefold ouster.

  107. Oh, certainly you have every right to sound off. It’s just interesting how interested you are in something you aren’t interested in.

  108. Quite so. So you see, Diana, a minor baiter me couldn’t possibly outbait a great Master Baiter like Tom. In fact, I’m here against my angel’s advice because of the Great One.

  109. Tom: I mean that Steiner’s racial ideas need to be respected in the same sense that any phenomena in nature should be “respected,”

    Why? Are Steiner’s racial ideas a natural phenomenon? Should you also respect my idea that I have unicorns in my garden? Stupid ideas require no respect. Harmful ideas require repudiation.

  110. Daniel Perez · ·

    “For there to be light, there must be a source of that light. What is the source of light in the sealed box? If there is no source of light, any object placed in the box (that isn’t itself a source of light) will appear as dark as the box. Something different may “ring true” for you, but the reality is as I have described.”

    Pete,
    I am not sure you got the experimental setup. I said, “There is a physics experiment where you create a box filled with light”. This means there IS a source of light. It is part of the experiment. I am not sure if you’re being cute, or if you missed this? If you really missed it, then lets proceed on that assumption. When there is a source of light, and as I said the box is FILLED with light, human beings see darkness. This is an actual experiment, not a trick, and you don’t have to be a clairvoyant. All human beings with working eyes, see darkness until an obstruction is also in the box. – Now, I also said I have not experienced this for myself (but I’m going to be meeting with the physicist at some point and hope to). Unless you are arguing against this physicist’s experiment, we should be in agreement up to this point.

    Then we go from the physics experiment to my analogy. My analogy is that the light represents the spiritual. A materialist does not see the light with or without the obstruction (they simply can not create the obstruction). A spiritual scientist sees the light, but only with the obstruction. The “obstruction” in the analogy is the experience of the spiritual in the physical world. You could say the “best” obstructions are the newly formed organs of clairvoyance. So in this analogy, certain individuals see black always, while other individuals see light.

    Ok, so up to this point is not part of any debate. I have simply presented a scenario. The debate comes in if you were to say, “the analogy is false because there is no spirit within matter, so there would therefore be no light in the box.” In anticipation of that argument I say, it doesn’t matter if there is light or not in the box, because the materialist only sees darkness in either case!

    A materialist may then argue that they “know” that the spiritual scientist doesn’t see the light either. This is an invalid argument. – I won’t point that out to you unless you actually go in that direction. Then I’ll show you how that is a false logical assessment.

    There is a greater reason to this analogy, but unless we can get through this first part it won’t make sense.

  111. Daniel Perez · ·

    A couple of small clarifications to what I just posted, the phrase “while other individuals see light.” should be changed to “while other individuals see from darkness to light and shadow”. Also the last line should be “reason for…”.

  112. Daniel Perez · ·

    Peter,
    Last point for your posts: I am exceedingly well read on Steiner. I have read all of the references you posted, but I have a different experience of the contents than you do. Until we get through the physics experiment, it doesn’t make sense to start studying anthropsophy together.

  113. Daniel Perez · ·

    “In many cases it’s a misinterpretation to impute a materialist definition of “race” back into certain lectures. I also think that specific sentences with the word “race” are misinterpreted to mean “race” in the strictest materialist sense when he was clearly using it according to the colloquial conventions of the time. We don’t speak today of “the Irish race” or “American race” doing this or that.”

    Bell,
    Yes, I like this! I believe that we are misunderstanding each other on this blog precisely for this reason. This is why I talk about needing to “build bridges” and “raging rivers” between points of view. I am not sure a bridge can be built, but maybe we can define the shoreline.

  114. Daniel Perez · ·

    “I’m here against my angel’s advice because of the Great One”
    You are not the only one Frank. But while you’re here, good to “see” you again!

  115. Daniel Perez · ·

    Diana,
    Ok, I am going to try and advance the dialogue by attempting a summary of our common ground. We both agree that there are only superficial traits to “race”. We also agree that the word “race” has a meaning related to our genes, while “culture” is tied to social norms and practices. So as you point out, you actually create a composite picture, some drawn from culture and some from race, to define a “category”.

    But now that I write this, what is the “category” that you are creating and why? – Actually, I think this may be a key to our different views. You are bringing a modern interpretation to Steiner’s work. I think Steiner WAS talking about cultures, because genes for Steiner were like a writing tablet. You changed genes according to your will. So when he talked about a geographical region, he was referring to the culture of the people in that region. This view gains even more strength with what Bell has been posting.

  116. Daniel Perez · ·

    Also, as Frank and Bell pointed out, and many others, our genes are 99.9% the same. We know scientifically that we are really all “one”. So what we are really talking about are cultures. I’ll have to go back through Tom’s post to see where he is going with this…

  117. Daniel Perez · ·

    “If race is a social construct at the classical level of investigation, and I believe it is, then there may be a correspondence with genetics that influence race, ethnicity, social group behavior and other cultural differences. It’s for the scientists to work it out.”
    Tom,
    I am with you for the first part of the above sentence, but not the latter. How do you propose “genetics” influence race? We know we are 99.9% the same in genetics. The remaining 0.1% would be things like skin color. You have to be more specific here.
    I get the concept of the dynamics of scale. But you have not defined what happens in your “quantum” world.

  118. Bell Paynter · ·

    Daniel, I am glad you like what I say about the term “race” in some of his lectures. But, that is only one part of my reflections on the topic. I do feel there is Eurocentrism and I do feel that the concept of “decline” was a structural feature of his retelling of history. To the extent that he said any contemporaneous peoples were in decline that was a negative value judgement, and often presented with little proof. There is also the issue of how peoples dying out or assimilating away doesn’t seem to bother him because he is on cosmic time. In the case of Native Americans, the ceasing was absolutely advanced by genocide although I don’t know if anyone framed it that way in Europe between 1900-1920…so I can cut him some slack there. I think anthroposophists have to concede that the idea of ethnicity falling away can be experienced as very hurtful by people whose families have been persecuted. One can say that the enlightened viewpoint is not to get mired in ethnicity but people’s ethnic heritage is usually a source of pride. Its hard to give that up, especially if there has been a history of forced giving it up and if you feel as if your distinctiveness will be washed away and others’ won’t when everything gets thrown into the proverbial melting pot. In the abstract, breaking down ethnic barriers is a good thing but in practice we may be 1) not ready for it and 2) it can be perceived as a very threatening idea (for the reasons I mentioned.) None of this makes Steiner a bad man, or even in many senses a “racist”…and certainly not by the standards of his time…but I think it would be a mistake to gloss over the existence of these themes and how they might legitimately cause pain to people who come across them.

    There’s one other aspect of this discussion that I would like to note and I don’t have the anthro chops to work it out convincingly. There seems to be some dispute about what Steiner indicated about how reincarnation happens. I am literally talking the mechanics here. The way some people argue, its as if he said somewhere that if you are “spiritually advanced” in your lifetime you come back next time as a white person whether or not you are currently one now. (Lets set aside what “spiritually advanced” may or may not mean.) Skin color is like a reward. You keep whiteness if you stay spiritually advanced. You don’t get white skin next time if you do not leave a spiritually advanced life. I have looked for an outline of the technical mechanism but I have never found any, not to mention any support for this particular view. My understanding is that Steiner made no indication as to what you would definitely look like if you came back after a spiritually advanced life (or not). In a sense, no one would really know because the form you choose to take in your next incarnation comes in part from the wisdom gained between lives. The whole thing is the province of the soul as it tries to achieve its destiny. The physical body…and where and when it incarnates…is part of the “raw material” for accomplishing the next item on the soul’s agenda (although its probably wrong to see it so linearly). Sorry to everyone if I haven’t done justice to “your” side. This issue seems to a major sticking point and perhaps if some consensus on the technical mechanism could be established then something good might happen.

  119. Daniel Perez · ·

    Bell,
    I am going to use the term “culture” in place of “race” until we can agree on a better word or definition. So following up on your statement: “‘spiritually advanced’ in your lifetime you come back next time as a white person”, I will rewrite as, “‘spiritually advanced’ in your lifetime you come back next time in the ‘white’ or ‘European’ culture.”

    Now, using that new phrasing, you can still be “spiritually regressive” in the white culture! In fact, Steiner says the white culture tends toward materialism. I think the pain and suffering around each culture’s “goodness” is spread wide. – All cultures have pros and cons. Only a specific individual can shine as part of humanity at large. In other words, there is only individual achievement that separates a man from his culture.

    In the past when group souls held greater sway, there were group cultures, and whole cultures might advance together in more unity. In modern times it is up to the individual, as the Michaelic intelligence has been passed to the individual together with the ego.

    Just as we are 99.9% the same in genetics, we are now becoming less and less alike in our spirits. I think that is part of the anxiety we are experiencing. It is comforting to say we are all 99.9% the same, because we don’t have to face the fact that on some level we are not. The idea that we are not the same in spirit feels wrong, but not until you realize that it is born of effort. If you don’t want to change and advance in spirit, then you do not.

    Now this can seem cold to some, but it is the hard truth. It is why in some sports good sportsmanship has gone to extremes where the point is not to have someone win. However, on the other hand the reality is that there is some truth to our unity as well, because we are only happy when we all win. So before I sound contradictory, let me explain: We can only advance when as individuals we work on ourselves, but we can only be happy when we ALL work on ourselves and help global humanity.

  120. “When there is a source of light, and as I said the box is FILLED with light, human beings see darkness.”

    This is where you keep losing me. What makes you believe you will see darkness in a room filled
    with light? I get that somebody told you this… but doesn’t your critical mind kick in at some point?

  121. “Peter,
    Last point for your posts: I am exceedingly well read on Steiner. I have read all of the references you posted, but I have a different experience of the contents than you do. Until we get through the physics experiment, it doesn’t make sense to start studying anthropsophy together.”

    Yes, I suspect it may be a waste of time. Right out of the gate, you’re asking me to put critical thinking aside. In the presence of light, there cannot be darkness… That’s what I count on when I shine my spotlight on Waldorf education. The cockroaches run for the hills…

  122. “I am going to use the term “culture” in place of “race” until we can agree on a better word or definition.”

    “On the one hand there is the black *culture*, which is the most earthly. When this *culture* goes toward the West, it dies out. Then there is the yellow *culture*, in the middle between the earth and the cosmos. When this *culture* goes toward the East, it turns brown, it attaches itself too much to the cosmos and dies out. The white *culture* is the *culture* of the future, the *culture* that works creatively on the spirit.” (Rudolf Steiner, “Farbe und Menschenrassen”, lecture in Dornach March 3, 1923, in Steiner, Vom Leben des Menschen und der Erde, Dornach 1993, p. 67)

    Um… OK… now let’s replace black with purple, yellow with green and white with magenta… Whatever it takes to take the sting out of it… LMAO!

  123. Anonymous · ·

    “I get that somebody told you this… but doesn’t your critical mind kick in at some point?”
    Yes, I am an engineer. I perform experiments all day. In fact right now I’m working on advanced optical technology for a 10X leap in storage technology using holograms. One terabyte on a DVD.

    I take it from this you are not very technical and you know little about optics? Have you ever seen an Escher or Goethean optical illusion? Or perhaps given your confidence you are a tenured quantum optics professor from Amherst College?

  124. Daniel Perez · ·

    Sorry, that was me talking about the quantum optics professor.

  125. Daniel Perez · ·

    “Whatever it takes to take the sting out of it”
    No, it really is about cultures. Perhaps Bell is correct in saying that there was a localized bias in preference towards his own culture. You have a bias towards your own materialistic thought, so it is quite a universal human trait.

  126. “I take it from this you are not very technical and you know little about optics? Have you ever seen an Escher or Goethean optical illusion? Or perhaps given your confidence you are a tenured quantum optics professor from Amherst College?”

    I’ve disassembled Roy Rife’s Universal Microscope to (successfully) reverse engineer and reassembled the optics in a new way so that a new patent could be filed on this technology… I have a bit of savvy in this field. I sense, however, that the problem is not in the lack of understanding of science, but rather a language barrier. Do you understand the terms “light” and “darkness” in a different way than everyone else? A light source provides light… if you fill a box with light, it isn’t dark. There is NOTHING special within the field of optics that changes this. This isn’t about revealing something new, it’s about obfuscating what Steiner said. You’re putting up a smoke screen pretending to have some higher level of understanding of Steiner – and I can see right through it. I’m pretty sure everyone else can too.

  127. “No, it really is about cultures”
    NO, it’s really about playing the word game. We critics have played this game a million times with Anthros. “Well, if we change a few words here and there, look, Steiner doesn’t seem like a racist after all…” READ HIS FUCKING WORDS! Then get back to me. Nobody is interested in what ideas you can come up with when you change the words Steiner said… SERIOUSLY!

  128. “Perhaps Bell is correct in saying that there was a localized bias in preference towards his own culture.”

    Is not clairvoyance supposed to overcome this? What is clairvoyance, anyway – what use is it if “localized bias” interferes?

  129. Hey Bell, re your question about what you’re gonna come back as. If I had my druthers, I’d be a black 7-foot basketball player – or maybe a Mongolian empress.

  130. ” There seems to be some dispute about what Steiner indicated about how reincarnation happens. I am literally talking the mechanics here. The way some people argue, its as if he said somewhere that if you are “spiritually advanced” in your lifetime you come back next time as a white person whether or not you are currently one now”

    LOL. Sorry no time for a reply to many of your points above but will come back later. This made me laugh. It is not surprising that Steiner was a little vague on the technical mechanism. If you haven’t ever actually noticed, let me point out that there is no “technical mechanism” anyone has ever discovered for any aspect of reincarnation (or karma). I, too, have mused over this, though more over possible “mechanisms” for karma, and it doesn’t take 5 minutes to realize it can’t work.

    It never ceases to fascinate me that highly educated people like an engineer working on advanced optics technology are not troubled by the sheer nuttiness of Steiner. How do you read Steiner for many years and set aside wondering about the “technical mechanisms” of ANY of it, when what you do all day long is muse over technical mechanisms? Doesn’t it bother you that what Steiner said can’t WORK? That, for instance, there WASN’T a place called Atlantis or Lemuria, or that reincarnation doesn’t HAPPEN?

  131. Daniel to Pete: “I take it from this you are not very technical and you know little about optics”

    LOL

  132. OTOH, I’m not sure if I have the strength for round #49999 of “when Steiner said race he meant culture,” especially when there is no reply to posts pointing out the preposterousness of this claim. The terms are simple, and Steiner, an educated and well-read man, knew what they meant. The claim that his use of these terms was somehow just a small misguided error based on “localized bias” (the “Steiner was a man of his time” or “Everybody talked that way then” argument) conflicts, embarrassingly, with the notion that he was an advanced spiritual seer giving forth clairvoyant visions for the betterment of humanity in future cosmic eons. Then, um, he might have noticed his terms reflected prejudices particular to the time and place? Just didn’t notice that? well, ok, but then he wasn’t such a genius after all, I’m afraid.

  133. Of course Steiner knew. He spoke about race. He spoke about culture. There’s no reason to think that as a rule he confused the two. Amazing, sometimes, how his admirers consider him both a great teacher of eternal wisdom and at the same time slightly daft.

  134. He basically said one is reflected in the other. He was unabashedly a believer in innate qualities according to race, which of course manifest in different cultures. The different cultures develop as they do BECAUSE of the qualities of the different peoples of the world. One derives from the other of necessity (karma); one explains the other. Steiner wasn’t writing ethnographies. He believed the origin of the differences was innate, determined in the spirit world. That’s spiritual racism. Steiner was describing the evolution of the cosmos according to its underlying spiritual “meanings.” There’s a reason that certain peoples “advanced” and others (allegedly) didn’t – an innate, underlying reason, a cosmic “meaning” or principle at work – and there’s a reason you incarnate in this or that race accordingly as the innate characteristics of that race match your own spiritual progress.

    There’s no confusing a theory like this with “anthropology” or with some theory of historical or cultural contingency, like the “guns, germs and steel” theory. There’s no point lamely insisting Steiner “really meant culture.”

  135. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Daniel wrote:
    Sorry, that was me talking about the quantum optics professor.

    How synchro-dipitous of you Daniel! Or do I mean prescient? The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics was just announced for two scientists’ work in the field of Quantum Optics. One of them is Dapper Dave Wineland at NIST in Boulder, CO.

  136. Daniel Perez · ·

    Tom,
    You invited Frank and I down this rabbit hole, and I didn’t know what I would find, but there is little sign of intelligence from some participants. Even modern physics is beyond the scope of possible discussion. Here are materialists, and they can’t follow modern physics!

    For anyone who can follow some very elementary modern physics, please look at this link:
    http://quantumperception.net/html/discusion.htm

    If you need more tutorial background, start here:
    http://quantumperception.net/index.htm

    From there you can click through a quick history of modern quantum theory. For those that can follow the complexity of this non-debatable, factual summary of modern physics, we can go forward from there.

    I expected to argue about spiritual science, not physics.

  137. Daniel Perez · ·

    Tom,
    It is kind of synchro-dipitous that we are both converging on quantum theory from different starting points. I had not planned on this, but once you open the Pandora’s box of perception, I think you either go there or towards philosophy, or both.
    What I’m realizing is that the materialist argument fails in the face of modern physics as well as modern philosophy. It is easier for them to dodge philosophy in some cases (it is actually stronger than physics, but without easily reproducible experiments it appears less so), but they can’t dodge physics as that is the grand-dad of materialism in our age.

  138. Bell Paynter · ·

    Thanks for your answer, Daniel. I guess there is no chance of going back to lurking! I agree “cultural epoch” or something like that is the appropriate word to describe this process. I also realize now that one really has to be clear about what “spiritually advanced” means. I am taking your response to mean that a spiritually advanced (emphasis on the advanced) soul will reincarnate into the “peoples” or “culture” doing whatever is at the vanguard of human development at the moment. Right now its supposed to be Europe until it changes again. (I forget the cycles.) I think a word like “culture” is right because this would have to encompass what the peoples are doing technologically, spiritually, health-wise, artistically, etc. Yet if you think about globalization and the dominance of the western mindset I wonder how much of the world is *not* of that culture right now.

    What you said made me think of Nelson Mandela. I think recent history has provided us with a great many people who have offered the world what W.E.B. DuBois referred to as an insider-outsider perspective. So its no longer a clash of worldviews we confront in humanity but having the principles of liberte/egalite/fraternity plus LOVE rise up from under this western mindset topsoil to create something new and better. If I had to point to anyone who is on the vanguard of spiritual development these days I would say its the people who have this insider-outsider perspective and are doing things to expand the freedom of all peoples. Nelson Mandela got a traditional English-style legal education but what he did with it is apply it to injustices he could see just by virtue of being a man subject to apartheid.

    I think what people object to (and rightly so if this is not an incorrect understanding) is that there is any teaching in anthroposophy that would allow you to look at a picture of Nelson Mandela and Anne Coulter side by side (not knowing anything about them) and have any sense of what spiritual advances their souls have made previous to this incarnation.

  139. Daniel Perez · ·

    Also, go to this link and do the spinning girl experiment:
    http://quantumperception.net/html/illusions.htm

    You should be able to see her spin clockwise AND counterclockwise. If you have trouble getting the switch to happen, look quickly away and return, or read some text while keeping the image in the periphery. Your mind will tend to lock in one direction. Can you “will” the switch?

  140. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Daniel wrote:
    I expected to argue about spiritual science, not physics.

    All right Daniel, then let’s get to it, shall we?

    Now I must confess to indulging in a lot of gleeful schadenfreude at your awkward distress here, Daniel. But I am confident that you will work through it. Therefore, I shall cease my self-indulgence and get down to the serious matter of arguing spiritual science with you.

    I presented you with the repudiation/respect challenge. However, your level of discomfort, as expressed in your earnest efforts at “damage control,” precludes you from making the decision at this time. If I may use a baseball analogy, I have scouted you and brought you up to the major leagues in Steiner Criticism. I have given you the opportunity to stand in the batter’s box and face the major league fastball of Lady Diana and the fluttering knuckle balls of Pistol Pete K., sometimes known as “Yosemite Sam.”

    But instead of stepping up to the plate, instead you are wandering around the parking lot outside the stadium rationalizing away Steiner’s racism. So what I’m telling you Daniel is that you seem to want to play in the major leagues, but you’re not even in the friggin’ stadium yet!

    So please allow me to play the role of your esteemed anthroposophical elder. (I like to see myself as the Sean Connery father to Harrison Ford as Indian Jones although I’m probably more like Yoda in the other Lucas movie.)

    You have hit upon and now latched onto the usual rationalization of Steinerites who are willing to begrudgingly concede that Rudolf Steiner may have said some things that some people might construe as racist, but . . . here’s the big BUT . . . he was just a product of his time and thus he may be totally excused from the charge of racism.

    Fine. You are correct. Rudolf Steiner was a product of his time and he expressed the attitudes of his own culture or nation. He did. So please allow me then to call this kind of racism by the term: CULTURAL racism. I myself express a cultural racism because I grew up Irish Catholic in New York City in the mid 20th Century. Frank expresses a similar cultural racism because he was born 16 years before me and raised in Brooklyn.
    Thus Frank and I, like Steiner, as well as Steiner critics, we are all products of our respective times and geographies and we express our cultural racism in different ways.

    But just this morning Lady Diana brought up the essence of Steiner’s racism that you are still refusing to acknowledge, let alone confront. She brought up the phenomenon of Steiner’s SPIRITUAL racism, something that is quite independent of his cultural racism and indeed is quite irrelevant to it, since many people can be cultural racists without necessarily being spiritual racists.

    And I have proof in your own words, Daniel, that you are loath to face this aspect of Steiner.

    Early in the thread, I quoted Peter Staudenmaier’s definition of racism. Here it is:

    I think the most sensible definition of racist belief is something along these lines:

    a way of thinking that sorts human groups into racial categories, accords essential meaning to these categories, delineates specific differences between them, associates these differences with significant cultural, spiritual, or intellectual traits, and ranks the resulting constellation of categories in some hierarchical order of higher and lower.

    You then based your own definition on Peter’s

    If you look at the definition Tom posted, I would change it to:

    A way of thinking that sorts human groups into racial categories in their bodily existence, accords manifest meaning to these categories as reflections of spirit, delineates specific differences between them, and associates these differences with significant cultural, spiritual, or intellectual traits.

    OK, you made a couple of word changes, which we could discuss later, but the most significant change you made was your deletion of Peter’s last phrase:

    “ . . . and ranks the resulting constellation of categories in some hierarchical order of higher and lower.”

    Yet that is exactly what Diana means by Steiner’s SPIRITUAL racism.

    And that is exactly what I put forth to you as the necessary AND sufficient condition to make the decision about whether you then go the repudiation route or else take the “respect” path.

    So you can start with this question Daniel, based on your deletion of Peter’s clause:

    Why do you deny that Rudolf Steiner ranks human beings in a hierarchical order of higher and lower races (using the 5 basic races he distinguishes as: white, black, yellow, brown, red)?

  141. Daniel Perez · ·

    Bell,
    I think your last post ending with “to look at a picture of Nelson Mandela and Anne Coulter side by side (not knowing anything about them) and have any sense of what spiritual advances their souls have made previous to this incarnation.” is entirely true. This last sentence is why I can’t accept as true the “forbidden” lectures. I don’t reject them, I simply do not understand the context and meaning in a way that I can accept. I have ideas I am formulating on how they could be understood, but they are just starting to emerge. What I do know is that Mandela is not limited in any way by skin color or any other “trait” someone might apply. There is no limitation of an individual by necessity by any trait that have genetics as their origin (there could be a genetic defect leading to disease, naturally, which can happen to anyone).

    So I see your ending sentence as the issue. An individual can incarnate into any race and be spiritually “advanced”. I have no question this is true. So what was Steiner pointing towards? Perhaps without having been there or able to ask him questions we will not know.

  142. Bell Paynter · ·

    Daniel. I apologize for repeating this but my my study has been rather ad hoc and I have wondered if I missed the technical aspects in the sheer volume of words!! (BTW: What Diana said about Steiner and the lack of technical details was funny.) So…just to be clear…An individual soul can incarnate into any “race” or “racial form” and also be “spiritually advanced.” This is apart from the fact that people of any “race” can and do use their lives to advance spiritually. I would say Anne Coulter generally making an ass of herself in this lifetime (at least in public anyway) would suggest that the next time she comes around (oy!) a wise choice would involve becoming someone who follows a guru with a vow of silence. I am only half joking! It would be such an experience…conditions ripe for humility let’s say…that would most strongly indicate where Anne ought to appear next because that is what is needed…an experience that is literally more than skin deep. In contrast, Nelson Mandela’s soul wouldn’t automatically come back as a white person. His soul would do whatever it needed to do next in whatever form was conducive for doing it…just like it was for Anne.

    I really want to make sure I get this right. That is to say, I really want to make sure I understand whatever parameters Steiner set for how individual souls will appear and reappear. Thank you.

  143. Daniel Perez · ·

    “Why do you deny that Rudolf Steiner ranks human beings in a hierarchical order of higher and lower races (using the 5 basic races he distinguishes as: white, black, yellow, brown, red)?”

    Because I see these as cultures. The reason I use the word “culture” is because it is a truer representation of the mechanism’s at work.

    Ok, so you think I’m on the DL? Well, I’m not so sure you are the Babe either, or Koufax as a fellow Brooklyn-ite! I’ve made plenty of runs. In fact, they need to replace Pete with someone from the bullpen because he threw his arm out.

    Now you’re asking for a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th. I’ll do what I can. We need some good pitching, however, otherwise I’ll just get walked.

    And I think you struck out on this idea of “cultural racism”. Just because you are more comfortable with the drawl of the Brooklyn-ite doesn’t have anything to do with your “culture” being superior. But if you did see it that way, then you would be a behaviorist. If the source of culture is spiritual, and given that the source of all spirit is one God, then the only ranking of cultures can be based on human activity, but derived from the spirit. I do accept this as a reality.

    Race is another matter. I don’t believe you have gotten into the batters box on this either, or if you did it was a 1-2-3 inning. You stated, “If race is a social construct at the classical level of investigation, and I believe it is, then there may be a correspondence with genetics that influence race, ethnicity, social group behavior and other cultural differences. It’s for the scientists to work it out.” Sounds to me like a bunt at best. This is far too vague.

    What I would like to see from you Tom, is to post some passages of Steiner, and relate what is “cultural” and what you see as “genetic” in what he is pointing to.

  144. Daniel Perez · ·

    “ . . . and ranks the resulting constellation of categories in some hierarchical order of higher and lower.”
    Tom,
    I do not have a problem with rankings on the spiritual dimension. I have a problem with rankings on the incarnate, physical dimension. As I already said, you want to big “Big Papi”, so then put out some passages and show the two dimensions to your quantum racism.

    I have no issue with Diana calling out “spiritual racism”. There is no such thing as racism in the spirit, by DEFINITION. What does “spiritual racism” mean? If it means that there are those who have become more spiritual than another, then I am all for it! That is the very essence of Buddhism. We are all far “beneath” Buddha, and I’m very happy to admit that.

    Is that view considered “bad”?

  145. Daniel Perez · ·

    … or, where Diana is probably going is that once we have ranked spirits, what happens when they incarnate into physical bodies? That is where I bring in Tom for the DH position. He seems to have worked this out further than I can claim. I will now wait for Tom to respond, because it is his turn at bat.

  146. Daniel, where’s the link to the experiment where light in a box becomes darkness?

  147. Bell Paynter · ·

    When she says “spiritual racism” she means a system in which skin color/”race” signifies, corresponds to or equals your stage of spiritual development. It is a kind of racism; one where the ranking isn’t on intelligence (that might be another form of racism) but on spiritual qualities. That’s my understanding anyway.

  148. Daniel Perez · ·

    Bell,
    Thanks for the clarification. If that is what she means then I don’t agree that is Steiner’s intention.

  149. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete,
    I do not have a link to the actual light in a box experiment, but the book where it is described is here:

    It was not intended to be controversial (and need proof), but part of an analogy. There are many light experiments that cause trouble for a materialistic worldview. That one in particular is a good way to describe our different views on material / spiritual perspectives.

  150. Daniel Perez · ·

    Consider this: The Bodhisattva attained Buddah status in a dark Indian body. The Christ body, Jesus, was prepared by the Israelites in a Middle Eastern body. Body color or ethnicity does NOT determine “rank” in Steiner’s worldview. Steiner is the one who describes the purification of these bodies by the spiritual beings that incarnated into them. These are the greatest, highest ranked beings who have ever incarnated on the earth! None of them were Aryan.

  151. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Fuck the Buddha!

  152. Tom, I suspect all this spiritual racist stuff is getting to you. So here’s news: You know Ichiro Suzuki, lately of the Yankees? I quote Nick Swisher: “That just Ich doing his stuff.” With names like that, Swisher and Ich, they should be anthroposophists. Don’t you think?

  153. I mean Steiner said that only Ich can say Ich to myself. But here’s Swisher saying Ich about someone else. My gosh, that changes everything.

  154. “I do not have a link to the actual light in a box experiment, but the book where it is described is here:”

    So, you have neither witnessed the experiment, nor a video of the experiment. Yet, you have no trouble accepting that light in a box is the same as darkness. This analogy worked out better than I thought it would… You’re the perfect Anthroposophist! Not a critical thought in sight…

    Now, please stop wasting everyone’s time with this nonsense.

    “Steiner is the one who describes the purification of these bodies by the spiritual beings that incarnated into them.”

    Why did these non-aryan bodies require “purification”? Not white enough?

  155. Consider this: The Bodhisattva attained Buddah status in a dark Indian body. The Christ body, Jesus, was prepared by the Israelites in a Middle Eastern body. Body color or ethnicity does NOT determine “rank” in Steiner’s worldview.

    Daniel, it’s becoming apparent to me that you don’t even know your Steiner.

    “Thus preparation for the Messiah of the Fourth Subrace is made in concealment, removed from Judaism, in Galilee. Judaism had never had a strong footing in Galilee, had never really penetrated there. The racial character of the Galileans was very mixed. (See note 3.) He (the Messiah) must have nothing of the Galilean element in him. He must come from a hidden source. Hence the Apocryphal writings allege that he was a “mothers child.” (See note 4.) This was Jesus of Nazareth, the Galilean. He was a Chela of the third degree of Initiation. It was now a matter of making him into the highest Initiate for all that was to be fulfilled on the physical plane. This was achieved through the whole personality being taken possession of by another Being, the Christ, who represents the whole Fifth Root Race. The whole Fifth Root Race emerged in the Fourth Subrace. This is represented symbolically by the descent of the Dove. Only the most sublime imagery could be used to express the truths which apply here.” Steiner, R. (1904; GA?). Lecture: The Migrations of the Races

  156. Steiner explains why all black people look alike to him:

    “At one point of human evolution, man stood far closer to the group soul. Tacitus, one hundred years after Christ, gives us a picture of the different tribal groups. All members of a group then felt themselves belonging together, naturally with gradations, for everything in human evolution is in stages. All members of a group then looked alike. The markedly individual physiognomies are the sign of this freeing of the individual souls from the group soul. You still find today, among savages, more or less the same features. We must hold fast to this fact, that the physiognomy coming to expression is the proof that the individuality works formatively on the body.” Steiner, R. (1907; GA97). Lecture: The Animal Soul (link). In the series of lectures: The Christian Mystery.

  157. Daniel Perez · ·

    “And so, among the spiritual beings who hold sway over human happenings, there are the normally evolved Archai in possession of the world of thoughts as well as backward Spirits of Form, backward Elohim Beings, who still retain some sway over the world of thoughts. Hence in the stream of spirituality holding sway above humanity, the Archai and the Spirits of Form, the Elohistic Beings, work together. The position is therefore as follows: A man, who through his karma is rightly qualified, receives the impulses at work in his thinking through the Archai. The result is that thinking, although it remains objective, becomes his personal asset. He elaborates the thoughts more and more as his own personal possession. Other individuals do not reach this point; they take over the thoughts either as the legacy bequeathed by their parents and ancestors, or accept them as conventional thoughts prevailing in their national or racial community, and so forth.” (The Driving Force of Spiritual Powers in World History – R. Steiner).

    Without understanding this paragraph, you will never understand Steiner’s position on race, nationality, or culture. From the time of Christ, there is a specific and significant shift in human cultural evolution. Historically, thinking is a force held mainly by the spiritual worlds, and perceived by groups of people and tribes in geographical regions. A materialist will already be lost by this concept. After the time of Christ, the Elohim Beings turn over this spiritual treasure to the Archai. The Archai then have the task of bestowing the thinking force on the human being.

    The only way this bestowal of thinking can take place, is through the individual. The Archai are associated with individuality. The human being was prepared for this event with the development and incarnation of the human ego. So the human being is ready, and the Archai are ready, and the transfer proceeds during the Middle Ages. The human beings who are able to receive this force do so and take possession of it as a personal asset. But there are other individuals who are not ready or willing to let go of their passive minds. These individuals are held by the grip of heredity, conventional (politically correct) thoughts, national group-think, or their racial (cultural) community.

    Steiner continues:
    “To this supersensible fact which I have sketched for you is to be traced the whole interplay between individual personalities — who appear more and more frequently in that era of vanishing antiquity and the dawning Middle Ages — and those currents of thought which sway whole groups of men. This trend becomes apparent in actual geographical areas. Certain spiritually minded personalities in the Near East, belonging to Arabian culture, were the first to be influenced by the Archai, the Primal Powers. The gist of these thought-impulses spread especially across Africa, over to Spain, to the whole of Western Europe. This great stream of thought moves across Africa, through Spain, also influencing Southern Italy, and up into Western Europe. It is a highly stimulating current of thought, stemming from the impulses described. This current of thought lays hold of the Arabian-Spanish culture which then, at a much later period, still exercises a strong influence upon thinkers such as Spinoza, for example. It is an influence which still persists in nature-knowledge and can be observed in the thought-impulses of Galileo, Copernicus, and others.”

    Here we see arise the importance of the personality for carrying forward the individualized force of thinking. The trend displays itself in geographical regions, but it is in spite of the nation, tribe or inherited characteristics of the individual. Groups of men historically thought alike, but this now dies away.

    Steiner continues:
    “Whereas the impulses of the Archai are contained in these currents of thought, and in what becomes history as a result of them, we also see, forcing its way into world-happenings everywhere, trends which lie more under the influence of the backward Spirits of Form, who now, on their side, send impulses into men. And again we see a different stream of thought and happenings moving from Asia towards Europe. This current of thought found its extreme expression only later on, when the Turkish hordes surged over from Asia.”
    This type of characterization seems to upset some people. He is pointing out that historically there were nations or tribes that had more influence from the “backward Spirits of Form”. Those times are long gone, but it was true for its day and age. In all these cases, even back in the Middle Ages, no individual is tied to his race, nation, tribe, or inherited characteristics. There is absolutely no way anyone can say this or that particular person is solely a product of his environment, unless through his actions he displays that tendency. Thus there is no judgment of particular individuals based on race.

    Steiner continues:
    “Thus European life from the 4th century A.D. onwards is the scene of a continuous spiritual struggle. The Archai contend with the backward Exousiai, the Spirits of Form who had remained behind, for the possession that had once been rightfully allotted to them in the course of world-history. Everything that happened in the Middle Ages in a West-to-East direction and also in an East-to-West direction, all the surging migrations of the peoples, all the mutual antagonisms and hostilities from the Hunnish wars to the Turkish wars, from the tribal migrations to the Crusades, where everything always takes either a West-to-East or an East-to-West direction — all this is the physical, the historical reflection of a spiritual struggle taking place behind the scenes of world-history. Historical happenings on Earth can be understood in their reality only when we see them as reflections of what is being enacted in the supersensible, spiritual world between the Beings of the Higher Hierarchies.”

    Whenever Steiner speaks of “peoples” he is never excluding individuals who rise above their people. There are always individuals who are not part of the masses. There may be an overall characteristic, but it can never be used to discriminate towards any particular person. Individuals are simply not determined by environment, culture, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

    Steiner continues:
    “Thinking of one aspect of this fact, we can speak, to begin with, of two currents or streams. One which I shall mark yellow in the diagram [note 2], brings about the manifold movements again from West to East; the other stream presses forward and again back, so that these two streams constantly interpenetrate. A reflection of what was taking place in the spiritual world is to be seen in the struggles arising from migrations of the peoples, in the struggles whereby ancient culture was partially destroyed but in which that culture was permeated now by human individuality.

    We can devote ourselves to the following study, by asking: What would have resulted from civilization if the different peoples had not begun their migrations, surging over into Europe from Asia and frequently settling in Europe, and if in these wanderings the factor of individual personality had not asserted itself — many a time with violence?

    We see how within these migrations, whole tribes were permeated by a common spirit. But if we follow history we find that everywhere within these separate, yet homogeneous tribes inspired by one common spirit — Ostrogoths, Western Goths, Lombards, Heruli, Franks, Marcomanni, and so on — single personalities were stirred by the impulses of individuality. Everywhere we see happenings which on the one side represent the continuing stream of the impulses of the old, no longer really lawful Spirits of Form, and on the other, the now lawfully established Spirits of Personality, the Archai.
    If history were related accurately, with more attention given to the influence of spiritual forces in what is for the most part described merely as tribal warfare, then it would be clear how these two forms of thought-impulses in humanity actually dominated life in the days of the folk migrations.”

    Here is the key: There are Spirits of Form and Spirits of Personality. The “Spirits of Form” propagate a fixed and group way of approaching the world. They bring political correctness, conventional thought, cultural stagnation, religious extremism. The “Spirits of Personality” bring freedom and diversity. The individual carries imagination, flexibility of thought, tolerance (not politically correct tolerance), and renewed cultural impulses.

    These mixing of ethnicities, cultures, and personalities help enhance the path towards individual, free thinking. In some cases he points out where he thinks this interpenetration has gone too far, but in the balance the migrations are good and move humanity forward.
    When you read passages from the “banned” lectures, Steiner is speaking about those parts of a population that were under the control of the “Spirits of Form”. There is no way to discriminate against any individual, because skin color or any other trait is not the revelation of the spirit. It is the revelation only of the legacy of their having been groups and tribes in past history. In some cases there may be individuals who still are held by the Spirits of Form, but by this point in history it would be the minority and there would be no basis for identifying who was subject to this force.

  158. ” From the time of Christ, there is a specific and significant shift in human cultural evolution. Historically, thinking is a force held mainly by the spiritual worlds, and perceived by groups of people and tribes in geographical regions. A materialist will already be lost by this concept. After the time of Christ, the Elohim Beings turn over this spiritual treasure to the Archai. The Archai then have the task of bestowing the thinking force on the human being. ”

    Um… what part of this, if any, isn’t make-believe? Are you saying Steiner wasn’t a racist because Steiner was delusional? Yep… that’s REALLY what you’re saying.

  159. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete,
    The only thing that is becoming clear is that you can’t get the point of postings.
    1) I tell you about an experiment, tell you I HAVE NOT SEEN IT FOR MYSELF, tell you why I’m telling you about it (for ANALOGY), and then you say, “You haven’t seen a video of this experiment?” Now maybe you got confused because I called you out on not knowing anything about optics. That was because the experiment is entirely PLAUSIBLE. I had already told you by this point that I had not seen it.

    2) The point about Christ was that he was in a MIDDLE EASTERN body. That was the point. If it makes you feel better because I made a technical error in describing this, fine. I was not worrying about such technicalities.

    Now I get that I hurt your feelings, but you did get ridiculously stuck on that light experiment.

  160. Daniel Perez · ·

    “Are you saying Steiner wasn’t a racist because Steiner was delusional?”

    Pete,
    Again, you are not getting the point of these posts. It doesn’t matter what you think of Steiner, it matters what Steiner’s logic was. He is the one being accused of being racist. This is the evidence of a proper interpretation of of what he thought, not you.

  161. Daniel Perez · ·

    Tom,
    This is really tedious. I am taking a break to do some other pressing things. Please send me an email when you post something that moves this topic along.

  162. “1) I tell you about an experiment, tell you I HAVE NOT SEEN IT FOR MYSELF, tell you why I’m telling you about it (for ANALOGY), and then you say, “You haven’t seen a video of this experiment?” Now maybe you got confused because I called you out on not knowing anything about optics. That was because the experiment is entirely PLAUSIBLE. I had already told you by this point that I had not seen it.”

    So, you intended to use something you pulled out of your ass as an analogy? The WHOLE point of an analogy is that it is something the reader or listener can relate to. I find no end to (my amusement at) what Anthroposophists find “plausible”.

    ” 2) The point about Christ was that he was in a MIDDLE EASTERN body. That was the point. If it makes you feel better because I made a technical error in describing this, fine. I was not worrying about such technicalities.”

    Yet, Steiner couldn’t see him in a “middle-eastern body” because… (drum roll…) Steiner was a racist. That’s not exactly a technicality… but it IS reality.

    “Now I get that I hurt your feelings, but you did get ridiculously stuck on that light experiment.”

    No, not stuck… I’m waiting for you to defend what you claim… that a box full of light is actually filled with “darkness”. Someone who holds such contradictions as truth could never hurt my feelings… but I understand why you want me to stop asking you about it. You’re full of smoke and mirrors… or if you prefer the more Platonic shadows and light… but I’m hoping one critical thought will cross your mind someday… that’s why I keep bringing up the magic light box.

  163. “Again, you are not getting the point of these posts. It doesn’t matter what you think of Steiner, it matters what Steiner’s logic was. He is the one being accused of being racist. This is the evidence of a proper interpretation of of what he thought, not you.”

    You are quite mistaken about this. Steiner IS a racist – whatever justifications he had for his racism notwithstanding. It REALLY doesn’t make one bit of difference WHY he believed the things he did about the races, ALL that is required to satisfy that his doctrines were racist is to read their content. Justifying racism by constructing a belief system that permits it is nothing less than RACISM! You REALLY don’t seem to get this. Nobody cares WHY Steiner was a racist.

  164. “thus there is no judgment of particular individuals based on race.”

    Was my point lost on you that racism is not about your judgment of individuals? It’s about your judgment of races.

    You believe that if you say [something nice, or anything at all] about a person’s race, and then when speaking of the individual you tack on the phrase “in spite of” [their race], that you’ve ditched any responsibility for an assessment of what you said about their race. That’s wrong. It’s what you said ABOUT THEIR RACE that we judge as to whether it’s racist.

    Second point, in 20 words or less: Whether the speaker is a “materialist” or not has nothing to do with whether a particular comment is racist or not. No relation.

    Third point in 20 words or less: Whether the speaker is a “materialist” or not has nothing to do with whether they can understand Steiner, so when you insist that others here cannot understand Steiner, you don’t score points. That’s a dodge.

  165. “It is the revelation only of the legacy of their having been groups and tribes in past history.”

    Another point I made that appears to have been lost: The long-gone “past history” can’t be dismissed as irrelevant. Those people are the SAME PEOPLE alive today – reincarnation, remember? It doesn’t work to say it was okay to say [whatever nasty or simply stupid thing about their race] and then say this isn’t racism because it was so long ago. You’re talking about the SAME PEOPLE. If their race mattered yesterday it matters today. They’re not gone. If you insult my ancestors you’re insulting me :)

  166. Daniel to Tom:

    “Tom,
    This is really tedious. I am taking a break to do some other pressing things. Please send me an email when you post something that moves this topic along.”

    You’re going to be waiting awhile.

  167. “It REALLY doesn’t make one bit of difference WHY he believed the things he did about the races, ALL that is required to satisfy that his doctrines were racist is to read their content.”

    Many anthroposophists seem to have trouble with this point. They are so enthralled by the vivid tales of a heroic-cosmic prehistory, populated by a lot of Spirits with Capital Letters, that they end up basically arguing, But he wrote this amazing (and so detailed!) dramatic narrative of prehistory that explains why there had to be races blah-blah! So therefore whatever he said about races wasn’t racist. It’s got a story behind it, don’t you see! The story is important to me! If you aren’t impressed by that story, the way I am, then you shouldn’t be judging my guru. — This is what the argument amounts to. It’s a big distraction – take your eyes off the racial doctrine and think about the swirling mists of cosmic yesteryear, meditate on the clash of the archangels’ swords at the dawn of time, and all will be well. Yes, nasty “materialists” will still be muttering that there are some problems with some doctrine, but it doesn’t matter, they’re not one of “us.”

  168. ‘It’s a big distraction – take your eyes off the racial doctrine and think about the swirling mists of cosmic yesteryear, meditate on the clash of the archangels’ swords at the dawn of time, and all will be well.’

    That’s very well put.

    (I’m sorry for my lamentable and embarrassing absence from this thread, although it’s doing fine without me ;-) I’m ok, but tiredness, building problems, delays, no access to computer (just cured though), swedish waldorf related annoyances that I don’t know what to do with, emails, messages, et c. Too much, feel confused, don’t know where to start.)

  169. “Many anthroposophists seem to have trouble with this point.” Their silence will indicate they finally got it. ;)

    Alicia, I had the lovely distraction of hand-writing a few pages in French… ;)

  170. In french, chien chère! That sounds more like a complication than a distraction! Though I bet an important one.

  171. Hi Daniel, Your BIG mistake was trying to converse with Pete K as though he were a rational being – which he is not, at least when it comes to anthroposophy, when he becomes a self-confessed sociopath.

  172. Bell Paynter · ·

    “It’s got a story behind it, don’t you see!…It’s a big distraction – take your eyes off the racial doctrine and think about the swirling mists of cosmic yesteryear, meditate on the clash of the archangels’ swords at the dawn of time, and all will be well.”

    I see the importance of the backstory differently. Its not just that it may be meaningful for some people. We can ignore things that are meaningful to others and, besides hurting their feelings or being rude, no real harm is done in ignoring it. But I think if one is interested in this subject the backstory is important because its the only way you can thoroughly and credibly understand the more straightforward claims “at the surface” as it were. Obviously, anthroposophy is deeply esoteric. Some of it is jargon but also there are concepts and ways of framing certain ideas. It all builds upon each other. I can see that even if I can’t describe what’s involved all the time. Knowing that this is deeply esoteric material (NB: I am not saying “deeply meaningful”!), you can’t quite go at it head-on with whatever knowledge you’ve got from exoteric studies. You’ve got to kind of crawl inside it and then look out…and then crawl out and look back in…and then probably repeat the process a few times more.

    This isn’t an apologia. Personally, I can only take esoteric materials in small doses!! I do like learning about different world views, though. For example, Mormonism has been in the news a lot lately due to the US election. The conversation surrounding it has a lot of the same features. I’m not a Mormon (or a critic) but I have noticed what often happens after someone without a broad understanding of the religion offers a criticism. Someone with a deeper (and not necessarily sympathetic) understanding says the statement isn’t *exactly* true. Partially, maybe, but not exactly. Its always more complex. Sometimes it involves knowing about certain scriptures or the community’s practices or a combination of the two. While I don’t personally believe those scriptures…and maybe even scoff at them…I can still see that they matter for understanding the issue at stake. Again, this is just an example. I have no relation (pro or con) to Mormonism. But I do value pluralism and I am concerned by orthodoxies of all stripes. I think for people who hold this value, its important to understand how alternative worldviews/religions/philosophies see themselves and wish to be seen. We don’t, of course, have to see them as they wish to be seen. But, before disallowing it I think one should be very clear about what they are disallowing and that often requires diving deep into a bunch of stuff that seems irrelevant, weird, untrue, nonsensical, etc.

  173. the book that started this thread: http://waldorfblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/rassismus-und-geschichtsmetaphysik-erschienen/ — it’s published and there’s a table of contents.

  174. “the only way you can thoroughly and credibly understand the more straightforward claims ‘at the surface’ as it were.”

    I assure you, you’re talking to folks here who thoroughly and credibly understand the claims Steiner made.

    What we have a disagreement about is not whether the backstory (the esoteric material) is necessary to make a judgment about whether certain doctrines are racist. It is not. Obviously, it aids in creating a full picture of the context of anthroposophy. It is quite often used, however, to dismiss people who have a problem with any of the doctrines, by claiming they “don’t understand.” Of course, there may be times you’re talking to people who don’t know the backstory. That’s not the case right here, with Pete, me, and Alicia. Trust me – we’ve got the backstory down pat.

    “you can’t quite go at it head-on with whatever knowledge you’ve got from exoteric studies. You’ve got to kind of crawl inside it and then look out…and then crawl out and look back in…and then probably repeat the process a few times more.”

    I know what you mean. Two points: 1) The three critics you’re talking to here have indeed crawled inside and back out – we’ve got close to a century of crawling through the mud of Steiner among the three of us – Alicia spent her formative early childhood years literally being bonked over the head by devotees of Rudolf Steiner; that’s a REALLY inside look, wouldn’t you say? and 2) this crawling-inside-and-back-out process is still not necessary to make a judgment about whether doctrines such as “the white race is the spiritually creative race, the race of the future” are racist. Anyone can see that. Sometimes, in fact, people who HAVEN’T been crawling around in the primeval anthroposophic ooze for awhile can see the doctrines BETTER.

    “its important to understand how alternative worldviews/religions/philosophies see themselves and wish to be seen. We don’t, of course, have to see them as they wish to be seen.”

    Exactly.

    “But, before disallowing it I think one should be very clear about what they are disallowing and that often requires diving deep into a bunch of stuff that seems irrelevant, weird, untrue, nonsensical, etc.”

    Yup. Been around the block on that a few times. Just trying to save you some time. Every time we have this discussion with anthroposophists, they offer to explain the prehistoric anthroposophical backstory to us. Just telling you, WE KNOW THAT.

  175. Indeed. It’s part of our karma, apparently.

    Now, they often say it’s complicated and seemingly irrelevant, weird, untrue, nonsensical… well, untrue, I’ll buy that, yes on the whole it seems untrue. But *within* its own framwork it’s not irrelevant, weird or nonsensical. He did, after all, try (more or less successfully) to construct an entire system around his various claims. It seems to me that occasionally (or often) anthroposophists think that once someone sees that things ‘connect’, then this someone will also see that it all makes sense. And in a limited sense, it does make sense. It’s just that to most of us, it doesn’t make sense in the way anthroposophists think it oughtto, whereupon they must dismiss our understanding as incomplete… and everything repeats itself.

    It’s true I have something of an inside perspective — although I wouldn’t exaggerate its importance when it comes to understand what Steiner taught. The consequences of it, in that particular setting, sure. But as Diana points out, you need no inside perspective to understand what Steiner said about race. I can understand it, or try my best to, entirely without connecting it to my own experiences in waldorf (in fact, I have to do that, because they’re separate things).

  176. Bell Paynter · ·

    Diana, I do see where you are coming from and I agree in one way and disagree in another.

    “this crawling-inside-and-back-out process is still not necessary to make a judgment about whether doctrines such as “the white race is the spiritually creative race, the race of the future” are racist. Anyone can see that.”

    So this is what I mean by a “top level” statement. Taken at absolute face value, yes this is a racist statement. There is no need to call anyone a “materialist” or anything like that for seeing it this way. Everyone in 2012 reading this statement at face value should identify this as a racist statement. So, anthros must concede that there are many statements in Steiner’s work that anyone coming at it in the regular way, as in “see words…apply dictionary definitions…arrive at meaning” will see as racism. This is not their fault; this is a problem with the material. On the other hand, having done something to understand this worldview (ie its principles, its terms, its goals) I think there is an interpretation of these words that is more appropriate than a dictionary-level, face-value reading. There is a context. So in this case, I would argue he is speaking about “the white race” in terms that are more cultural in nature. So, first we’ve got the colloquial language layer in that it was customary in that time period to talk about peoples as a race. And, this was not considered to be a pejorative way to describe a people. Also, at this point there were few if any white Europeans who avoided essentializing some characteristic or other into their conception of “a people.” I know that sounds like a cop out…everyone did it…but I think its important to keep in mind the historical context of not only the word, but the concept because (as I noted above) we’ve rejected that now. We’re standing in a different place now. On top of this, there is a kind of “cultural epoch” layer in the sense of a group of people in a certain time and place who are doing certain things. This is the reason he brings this up at all. So, we’ve go to be attuned to the temporal orientation of his use of the word “race.”

    Ironically, I think it is the term “spiritually creative” that is the most troubling for this sentence because what I think Steiner means here is a people working with their various “bodies” more fully (to put it succinctly). Will some bodies always offer more advantages in this work than others? He’s certainly walking the line with this issue. I haven’t decided what I think. Nevertheless its clear he’s arguing that this people, at this moment, is making use of more faculties…or at least signifying they’re heading in that direction more so than other peoples. If I’ve summed this up reasonably, I do think that there is a comparison between peoples going on, and an assessment of who is (in general) making the most use of the human faculties available to humankind at this moment, or at least showing more likelihood of heading in that direction. So, you could stop here and say “Proof! He compared peoples, and one is viewed more favorably than the others. That is hierarchical. The grouping of the peoples is based in part on what they look like and not just where they live on the earth. That is racism.” So, if that is your viewpoint I would agree that there’s something to that. On the other hand, the materials for the quality he so values (“spiritual creativity”) is not only already inside all of the peoples but he also assumes it is the inevitable course of events that all peoples will take, no matter what they’re doing at the moment. Thus, this difference he notes is not an everlasting innate biological difference but a temporary difference in how groups of people are using their “instrument” at that moment. In the future, all the groups can and will use their instrument in the same way and so the basis of the current comparison will be gone. It seems to me that his goal in saying any of this is really to describe how the instrument can be used, that its in all people, and how to start doing it.

    So that’s my more contextual read. I am open to hearing viewpoints on it. But I really do think a more contextual read is required, even if mine is not it. And, I am not trying to “explain away” the problematic nature of this. Were he trying to express these ideas today I would hope that an educated man would talk about human capacities without taking a racial detour. But in a way that is my point. Today one wouldn’t have to. Not necessarily because one isn’t a racist but because its relatively easy for us to look at our fellow human beings and see similarities rather than difference. The starting place is different. Some of this is learning to see racism and the horrible things it has done to us and some of it is scientific advances and globalization. But I think he needed to, in some way, confront the biases engendered by the fact that steam engines (for ex) only existed in some parts of the world. These “civilization” differences had to be rationalized, explained or confronted in some way. It would be “crazy” not to and he was already being accused of a little crazy! :)

  177. I think this is one of the best and clearest discussions around Steiner’s racism that I have ever seen, with all parties expressing significant view points, and a couple of jokers to wind everyone up a bit. I like Bell’s explanations and Diana’s counterpoints very much.
    I find it puzzling when anthroposophists cannot simply admit that even though Steiner was an initiate he was human and got things wrong. Is an initiate someone who cannot be wrong? Like the Pope speaking ex-cathedra?
    One of the things he got wrong was the stuff he said about race. Another example would be the stuff he said about conditions on Mars!

    this so they will know the context for what I s

  178. This bloody box thing!!!

  179. The posting should end at the word ‘Mars’.

  180. I agree, context is everything…

    “In the future, all the groups can and will use their instrument in the same way and so the basis of the current comparison will be gone.”

    In the future, Steiner predicted, there will be a war of “all against all” – of “white mankind” versus “colored mankind”. Since the white race is the “race of the future”, it’s pretty obvious which side Steiner thought would win the war. So, after the colored people are subdued, or wiped off the face of the earth perhaps, “race” will have no meaning. Clearly, for Steiner, race has meaning until then.

  181. “Hi Daniel, Your BIG mistake was trying to converse with Pete K as though he were a rational being – which he is not, at least when it comes to anthroposophy, when he becomes a self-confessed sociopath.”

    Anthroposophists, on the other hand, are known for their social skills…

  182. Misuse of the term “sociopath” has become really prevalent. Particularly on the Internet, it means “someone who disagrees with me and won’t stop posting even after I’ve let them know that I get upset when someone disagrees with me.”

  183. Tom H-S, this is a tangent and there are a half-dozen points I meant to respond to in this thread and have now lost track of, but I’ve long been fascinated by the question of what is supposed to make someone clairvoyant, how it’s supposed to WORK. In my experience, anthroposophists aren’t terribly interested in these questions – at least they aren’t interested in discussing it with *me* LOL.

    Namely, how many mistakes can a person make (and how serious can the mistakes be) and still be considered clairvoyant? Can’t clairvoyants have a bad day? Is clairvoyance affected by things like hunger, mood, physical illness, bad weather, upsetting events in their lives? It would seem unreasonable to insist a clairvoyant can’t make any mistakes at all, or that everything they say is discredited by certain mistakes. I mean, it is supposed to be a HUMAN ability and human performance is always affected by things like catching a cold or not getting enough sleep. It seems to me that people who believe in clairvoyance ought to be interested in some definitions, or regulations. I don’t believe in it, but if I did, I’d want some accountability and some reliable performance indicators – some way to sort out who is real and who is faking, also. Some regulation of the business, some credentialing! Even people who truly believe in clairvoyance agree that there are plenty of fakes out there, right?

    In my personal opinion Steiner’s gaffes and misstatements were way too many, and way too serious – too substantial, and on too many important topics- for us to conclude that he was clairvoyant. There are too many systematic things wrong with anthroposophy, and too many topics on which he spoke where some in-depth knowledge of the field clearly reveals him to have been highly wrong. I would like to think that even if I did believe in clairvoyance, I could keep my wits about me well enough to see that this guy couldn’t have been.

    Like whether race is spiritually significant? How wretched, how historically tragic, to get that wrong – to claim to have clairvoyant abilities and use them to reinforce racial prejudices.

  184. And I feel it’s important in the race discussions, to point out that Steiner said “way wrong” things about the sexes, as well, and spun a preposterous tale of the original oneness of the sexes in cosmic prehistory that is analogous in many (and equally goofy) ways to the tale of the original unity of the races and subsequent divisions.

    So, he got race wrong and he got sex wrong, and his ideas about child development are direly at odds with what child development experts today say. For instance, his “clairvoyant vision” told him that children shouldn’t develop their intellect before age 14. That’s wrong. He thought children shouldn’t learn to read before their baby teeth fell out. That’s completely silly.

    His clairvoyance suggested numerous health remedies, most of which don’t stand up to medical testing.

    Hm, clairvoyant? Which of Steiner’s beliefs were right enough, or produced good enough results, to suggest clairvoyance?

    Biodynamic wine, maybe? I’ve heard it tastes good.

  185. I my last post above, in which I said that Pete K is a self-confessed sociopath, someone (not I) added “Anthroposophists, on the other hand, are known for their social skills…” Just clarifying. Alicia?

  186. It was sarcasm – just clarifying… Everyone knows Anthroposophists aren’t social people – they isolate themselves and their children from the rest of the world. And so, they grow up with ridiculous ideas AND without adults to tell them how silly those ideas are.

  187. Of course. That’s why I wanted to make sure it was clear (clarified) that I didn’t write that nonsense about anthropops being known for their social skills. Thanks for clarifying, Alicia.

  188. Frank — someone added something to (in?!) your comment?! I don’t understand. I don’t have access to a computer now, but I will try to find the comment (and to understand what this is about) when I have a computer later today.

  189. Oh, now I saw the later comment. I still don’t understand a thing but will try to later…

  190. No, Frank is just having a bad day. No one added anything to his comment. Look above, it’s totally clear. Pete quoted his comment – complete with quote marks in all the right places – and replied to it.

  191. Oh, good, thanks. Started to panic a bit there… I’m so lost when it comes to this thread.

  192. Sorry, my mistake.

  193. Bell Paynter · ·

    “I find it puzzling when anthroposophists cannot simply admit that even though Steiner was an initiate he was human and got things wrong.”

    Some can, some can’t. But with respect to these issues, I can empathize with how someone who is deeply attached to this spiritual philosophy feels when they see him and his work placed together with the horror show of ultra-right nationalism, eugenics, etc., as if his work is the other side of the same coin or “the missing link.” Such a person would be inclined not to give an inch.

    Personally, Steiner’s all-too-human flaws cause me to become more interested in him. I am fascinated by how I think he is aiming to be anti-racist but then ends up using racial frameworks as he tries to work his way out of the box. When I read the lectures, the nature of the problems he encounters as he tries to get out of the box give me a good sense of what that box is. I also get a lot out of his lectures just by looking at the structure of his arguments. Even though he appears to breeze through things as if they were a classical “proof” you can see the struggle there. I find that struggle rather inspiring in terms of how do you convince people to swim left, when the tide is pulling right? How can you be a contrarian in modern society? And, why did he feel the need to take so much on to himself? He seemed so confident when you know he knew what some people thought of him. How does one continue on with self-respect and kindness in such a public way? Contemporaries describe him personally as a very kind man. And he (or his friends) named his yappy little dog Mussolini! (I am assuming “yappy” but I can’t tell the breed. Anyone know the breed?) Yes, there is a lot to learn and think about from Steiner’s “human” gifts and flaws.

    But speaking of dogs, we have yet to hear from the canineosophists, the true bearers of wisdom.

  194. Yes, speaking of dogs, Steiner said dogs lose the ability to bark when separated from humans after only one generation.

  195. ‘He seemed so confident when you know he knew what some people thought of him.’

    He also had a large entourage of followers who clung uncritically to and in awe of every word he uttered.

    ‘And he (or his friends) named his yappy little dog Mussolini!’

    I’d be very interesed to see a source for or more information about this!!

    (To hear from the canineosophists, you must first be ready to listen… then you will hear… occult messages in the woofs and howls.)

  196. “I intend to meet with a director of another teacher training program and ask about this situation when I have more facts.”

    How’s that coming along?

  197. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Daniel has left the building.

  198. Bell Paynter · ·

    On page 80 of the book A Man Before Others: Rudolf Steiner Remembered: Personal Recollections by Those who Knew Him Dr. Grete Kirchner Bockholt writes this

    “After that the work took on a rather different shape. For the most part, Dr Wegman, after having discussed everything else with us in the morning went off with Dr Steiner in his studio, working there with him until about 11 o’clock. They then came together to the clinic in the little dark blue Ford, generally accompanied by a small shaggy dog given the name ‘Mussolini’ by Dr Steiner; this little dog was always reluctant to give up his place in the car.”

    Seems like the same small shaggy dog Steiner draws and describes in the lecture.

  199. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    All righty then! Now that Daniel has slunk away to lick his ego-organization wounds, I thought it would be a good time to get back to square one here and focus on the subject of this thread which is the publication of Ansgar Martins’ new book on Steiner and racism.

    What I find highly significant about this book is the fact that Ansgar Martins is a young man who just celebrated his 3 x 7 = 21st birthday! Imagine that! A total “babe in the ego woods!”

    [NOTE: For those not aware of the anthro sequencing, after the 7 year staggered births of the physical, etheric and astral bodies, then the Ego-organization is born at age 21 and actually takes another 21 years to settle in so that life truly begins at 42, which is why Douglas Adams called 42 the meaning of life.]

    A birth year of 1991 makes Ansgar a member of the Millennial Generation, right? (Not necessarily an indigo child, but if I may tell an inside Anthro joke here, he’s more likely a “peach-blossom child.” Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!)

    Ansgar is notable enough already to have his own Anthro-Wiki page, which I translate below
    http://wiki.anthroposophie.net/Ansgar_Martins

    Ansgar Martins (born Sep 2, 1991 in Kirchheimbolanden) attended several Waldorf schools in Berlin and Mainz as the son of a Waldorf teacher [his mother] and is currently studying philosophy of religion, sociology and history in Frankfurt/Main. He works as a publicist and journalist, among other things, publishes critical observations and critical reviews of anthroposophy and Waldorf education. Along with other co-authors [4 in the Info3 cabal], he wrote [parts of] the recently published satirical and critical book about Anthroposophy entitled “Endstation Dornach: The Sixth Gospel.” [Other operative English title translations are: “Last Stop Dornach: ” and “A Streetcar named Dornach: the 6th Gospel.”]

    See a thumbnail photo of Ansgar here on the Authors page of Endstation Dornach.
    http://www.endstation-dornach.de/die-autoren/

    He has listed the Table of Contents on his blog here, which I now translate below.
    http://waldorfblog.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/rassismus-und-geschichtsmetaphysik-erschienen

    (Notice how prescient — nay, dare I say clairvoyant? — is Diana in her recent evocation of the term “Spiritual Racism,” as you see Ansgar’s section 12.1 with its title: “The Spiritualization of Racism.”

    Diana, your prescience has inspired me to honor you with a title. May I now humbly declare you to be:

    Lady Diana, the Searing Seeress.

    Your humble and admiring spiritual scientific servant,

    Fr. Thomasius, ever the Judas Priest of Anthroposophy

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    RASSISMUS UND GESCHICHTSMETAPHYSIK.
    Esoterischer Darwinismus und Freiheitsphilosophie bei Rudolf Steiner.

    RACISM AND THE METAPHYSICS OF HISTORY
    Esoteric Darwinism and The Freedom Philosophy of Rudolf Steiner

    By Ansgar Martins

    ——————————-

    CONTENTS

    INTRODUCTION:

    The “Racism Accusation.”
    A Brief History of the Conflict.
    Research on the Subject of Anthroposophy and Racism

    I. STEINER THE GERMAN

    1.1 Habsburg Nationalism
    1.2 “The Sinister Jehovah.” Early Commentaries on Judaism.
    1.3 Darwinism and the Philosophy of Freedom
    1.4 “Hyper-sensitive” Jews and “Anti-Semitic Elephants:” Steiner and the Jews 1897-1901.

    II. “HIGHER KNOWLEDGE” AND SPIRITUAL RACISM

    2.1 Modern Esotericism and the Origin of Theosophy
    2.2 From the Chymical Wedding to Fabre d’Olivet: Highlighting Esoteric Racial Imagery
    2.3 The Seven Races of Theosophy

    III. THE INTEGRAL EVOLUTION. STEINER THE THEOSOPHIST (1902-1904)

    3.1 The National Rebirth of Theosophy
    3.2 Steiner’s Takeover of the Root Races
    3.3 The Fragment of Occult [Esoteric] Science
    3.4 Our Atlantean Ancestors
    3.5 Differentiation. Racial Studies in Lectures

    IV. BREAKING AWAY FROM THEOSOPHY (1905-1908)

    4.1 A Fivefold Racial Typology
    4.2 Rosicrucians and the Cultural Epochs

    V. FROM “STAGES” TO “TYPES” (1908-1910)

    5.1 Degeneration and Divine Typology
    5.2 Balance, Polarity and Enhancement
    5.3 The Outline of Esoteric [Occult] Science

    VI. KRISHNAMURTI AND THE ETHERIC CHRIST

    VII. THE MISSION OF THE INDIVIDUAL FOLK SOULS (1910)

    7.1 Spirits of Form and Racial Geometry
    7.2 The Mystification of Astrology

    VIII. “RACES” AND DEMONS (1912-1916)

    IX. THE FIRST WORLD WAR

    9.1 Der Johannisbau (The John Building in Munich) as a Symbol of Internationalism
    9.2 Ethnic Psychology
    9.3 Nationalistic Alliances

    X. THE SPIRIT AND THE SPIRITS OF DARKNESS. STEINER’S CRITIQUE OF NATIONALISM (1917-1920)

    XI. BETWEEN THEOCRACY AND EMANCIPATION: THREEFOLDING

    XII. “THE BLACK RACE DOES NOT BELONG IN EUROPE” (1920-1923)

    12.1 The Nature of Colors. The Spiritualization of Racism
    12.2 “Negro Novels” and French Teachers
    12.3 “Whiteness” and Humanity

    XIII. THE FINAL YEARS

    XIV. RECEPTION

  200. Alicia: “They then came together to the clinic in the little dark blue Ford, generally accompanied by a small shaggy dog given the name ‘Mussolini’ by Dr Steiner; this little dog was always reluctant to give up his place in the car.” Many moons ago an Italian friend in Madrid told me that Steiner had a dog named Mussolini. I thought he was joking and laughed: Why would RS name his dog Mussolini. That must have been in the early 20s of the past century and Benito didn’t arrive on the world scene until the thirties…I think. But he was quite serious. I asked him how he knew and he just smiled.

  201. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Frank,

    That is definitely a Joe Biden worthy gaffe — to say that Benito didn’t come on the scene till the 30′s. Actually, he became Prime Minister in 1922, although he didn’t become Il Duce until 1925.

    I’m sure that Herr Doktor Professor Peter Staudenmaier will provide much more detail and at least a dozen book references for you to fill in the seemingly wide gaps in your knowledge of European history.

  202. It is absolutely hilarious. I bet it was a terrier, a shaggy jack russell or something.

    Benito Mussolini became prime minister in the mid 20s, but published important stuff in 1919 and 1921 (I had to check…) which Steiner must have been familiar with. Oddly, the only time he seems to mention Mussolini, it is about the dog. (Even more odd is I don’t find any mention at all in German: http://www.steinerdatenbank.de/Titelseite/Titelseite_Frameset.php.)

  203. Daniel Perez · ·

    I did a quick read through the postings. How prolific you all have been! I am impressed. Is it really true that Steiner had a dog named Mussolini? Anyway, I’ll wait with Alicia for that reference.

    Frank, Thanks for the advice. I had to learn the hard way that there are bombastic people who are not really interested in discussion. I am a bit rusty on the internet blog world.

    Bell, I liked your postings, and Diana I understood you a bit better. So here is my latest attempt at expressing my relationship to anthroposophy:

    In every field of study there is the theoretical and the practical. The theoretical study starts with contemplative thinking, a logical framework, and thought experiments. Experimentation and observation in the physical world form the basis for confirmation of the theoretical, or necessitate adjustments to the theoretical or possibly the rethinking of the basis of the theory. In Mathematics the theoretical pole consists of axioms, postulates and theorems. The applied mathematics pole is concerned with mathematical methods and confirmation of mathematical principles.

    Anthroposophy is similar, in that there is the axiomatic pole and the applied pole. The axiomatic consists in the epidemiological work of Steiner. The pragmatic pole can be termed “applied anthroposophy”. Some people call the most pragmatic, physical manifestation of applied anthroposophy “daughter movements”. The term “applied anthroposophy” includes thoughts, ideas and perceptions that are the result of working with the axioms of anthroposophy in the physical world or human behavior in the physical.

    Steiner gave lectures on all areas of anthroposophical thought, from the axiomatic to the applied. Most of his lectures he did not wish to be published. He developed the axiomatic area of anthroposophical thought for public consideration and use. Those who followed the truth of the axiomatic were encouraged to develop applied anthroposophy. Many individuals approached Steiner with ideas for applications of anthroposophy, and many initiatives grew from those collaborations.

    Steiner also gave lectures, to certain groups of individuals, from his own work on applied anthroposophy (in the technical world “calls for papers” are then compiled into proceedings). Many of these lectures were works in progress and not fully developed. In most cases he did not review the recorded content, unlike in official scientific papers. However, I do not view that as a blanket means of explaining issues with this body of work. I simply view these works as either attempts to relate ideas that were not readily accessible, are historically unclear as to context, and in some cases were possibly failed attempts at applying anthroposophical principles. As in any other field of study, the applied pole is the one where there are successes as well as potential failures or mistakes, and more importantly, possible mistakes in interpretation.

    The individual is always the final judge on what to accept as true. “If, then, we wish to find the true paths into the spiritual world we must first undergo certain definite experiences which serve to guide and direct us. The ordinary mystic looks inward. Through introspection he sets up an emotional ferment compounded of God, the universe, angels and devils. At best his introspection leads to normal dream states where it is impossible to tell whether they come from the sexual or the intellectual plane. As a rule the experiences are confused and chaotic. This is the vague and nebulous mysticism which does not illumine the dream, but, as only the Initiate can understand, makes confusion more confounded.”
    “Such experiences, so instinctively with wonder and poetry as described by Catherine of Siena and others, can only be understood by the Initiate, for only he knows what they really experience. Hence, if we pursue our Initiation with the same clear and lucid consciousness with which we calculate, or study geometry, if we penetrate with full consciousness into these things, we are on the right path.” (“True and False Paths in Spiritual Investigation”, 11-22 Aug, 1924. Steiner). It is in my hands as an individual to “penetrate with full consciousness” as though I study “geometry”. This means I am not a passive receiver of content and information from Steiner. I read his lectures as a path to learn an approach, but test for myself along the way.

    There is so much real world evidence that skin color has nothing to do with reflections of spiritual development that this specific applied research I cannot confirm. More importantly, it does not appear consistent with the broader body of Steiner’s work. In addition, in Steiner’s practical efforts race, gender, social status, political persuasion, and in most cases religion did not matter for membership (clearly if you are joining the Christian Community you have to embrace the Christian faith). So there is absolutely no evidence of discrimination, which is usually a central pillar of any racist doctrine.

    In mathematics, if you can perceive the axiom then you make the theoretical your own. If you can perceive the universal human in anthroposophy, you make that your own. If as an individual you tend towards racism, sexism, or any other bias, then you will either read into applied anthroposophy those ideas, or else accept as true something that is not necessarily so. Thus the interpretation says more about the individual than the lectures content.

    As an anthroposophist I can’t claim to know the thinking behind every applied anthroposophical lecture. I study axiomatic anthroposophy, and I work at applied anthroposophy with my colleagues. I am always responsible for that which I encourage and foster in the world, whatever the original source.

  204. OTom, please don’t sick (sic) Staudenmaier on me. And please explain why Rudolf named his shaggy dog Mussolini – if it isn’t a mere shaggy dog story.

  205. Do you think he saw – occultly – that Benito would soon become il Duce? If so, why didn’t he name him il Duce? Ha, gotcha!

  206. He only needed to see the dog’s temperament. Had he been truly, extremely clairvoyant enough to see exactly what would happen, he wouldn’t have named a dog ‘Mussolini’… as it is clearly an insult to the wisdom of dogs.

    I think some serious research needs to be made with regard to the question of Mussolini il Cane (if that is Italian…).

  207. Daniel Perez · ·

    I just discovered that my spell checker changed epistemological to epidemiological! LOL Please correct my last post (I wish we could edit our posts). Perhaps this is a sign that the outer body, or applied anthroposophy is in need of a physical checkup?

  208. Daniel Perez · ·

    I googled, “why do we see darkness in the presence of light” and got a million hits. For example, “in the classroom, once the lights are turned on there is usually no area that appears dark because the room is filled with reflecting objects — the walls and everything else — so that light is impinging on our eyes from all directions. In the emptiness of space, light (from the Sun) may be present but, with the absence of objects to reflect it to our eyes, we see darkness.” This is a grade school explanation for the experiment I described. You don’t need a physicist to describe it, just google it. Or do you argue that there is no space in the empty box filled with light?

  209. Daniel Perez · ·

    I had quite a karmic event today. I posted regarding axiomatic vs. applied anthroposophy, and then went to a lecture and Jesaiah Ben-Aharon, an anthroposophist visiting from Isreal, gave a talk on what I call “applied anthroposophy”. He talked about how we have to carry forward all the good work of Steiner (what I call axiomatic anthroposophy), but stop being stuck in only Steiner’s results (or applied anthroposophy).

  210. Daniel Perez · ·

    Diana wrote, “If you insult my ancestors you’re insulting me :)”.
    And what makes you believe they are only your ancestors? They could have been my parents or siblings or child at one point in my incarnations. – I know, a scary thought! :-)

  211. Daniel Perez · ·

    I have another thought experiment (I may not have made it clear, but the box of light experiment is also a thought experiment). Let’s say in a galaxy far, far, away there were two races where one race was twice as intelligent as the other. Let’s say the first race was blue, and the second race was green. An anthropologist from earth visits in his space-warp machine and tests the two races and finds the blue population has twice the IQ of the green population. If he reports his findings back on earth is he called a “racist”? Or because his results are objective and true he is called an “alien-ologist”?

  212. dear Dog.

    Mormons. Similar problem. Mr Deity explains:

  213. “This is a grade school explanation for the experiment I described. You don’t need a physicist to describe it, just google it. Or do you argue that there is no space in the empty box filled with light?”

    So, you have a grade school understanding of the experiment? I’m arguing that there is no DARKNESS in a box filled with light. Don’t dismiss me to Google… Prove me wrong or otherwise or retract what you said… it’s that simple.

  214. “He talked about *how* we have to carry forward all the good work of Steiner”

    Did he happen to mention WHY?

  215. “An anthropologist from earth visits in his space-warp machine and tests the two races and finds the blue population has twice the IQ of the green population.”

    Do you REALLY THINK that’s what Steiner did when he came up with his race theories? SERIOUSLY? You think he tested black people? He NEVER MET a black person. Daniel, you’re REALLY, full of crap about this. You should quit while you’re WAY BEHIND!

  216. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Melanie, this video is so spot on for Daniel that you should be given some kind of award. Since this is the Ethereal Kiosk, initials EK, perhaps an Eekey Award? We’ll let Mr. Dog decide on the name.

    Moreover, watching Mr. Deity quote the Book of Mormon for its dark skin passage has inspired me to make my own video starring my Twitter avatar, Mr. Spook. I shall credit you profusely with the inspiration — unless you don’t want to be associated with me, which I understand. Meanwhile, I give you — and especially Daniel — the link to my posting on the WC Yahoo group 5 years ago which was the birth of Mr. Spook for the benefit of Frank Thomas Smith.

    Daniel, please watch the Mr. Deity video and then read this posting because the Big Quiz is coming up, and I don’t want you to fail it.

    My posting made on WC, dated: December 22, 2007
    Title: “Brown-Nosing and Nigger-Lipping.”
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/1994

  217. you’d better credit Mr Deity, he is, after all, ‘god’.

    It’s pretty worrying that someone with that book as the basis of their belief system is running for President. And of course no one is clairvoyant, including Joseph Smith or … you know what I’m saying.

  218. Bell Paynter · ·

    Well, I think it depends on one’s definition of “similar.” Joseph Smith is considered a prophet and revelation plays a big role in the religion. The Book of Mormon is believed to be the work of revelation. Thus, the current church elders can’t just pick and choose anything from it. Interpretation can only go so far as to not question the book’s status as a work of revelation. Polygamy and allowing men with dark skin to be priesthood holders show this principle at work. Polygamy was introduced by revelation. Eventually, it had to be disallowed through revelation. Black men were prohibited from holding the priesthood by virtue of the “drop of Cain” scripture, but could join the church and be received into the religious community as members. This exclusion from the priesthood also had to be overturned by revelation.

    Revelation is the basis through which things get in and out of Mormonism. This “revelation mechanism of change” is also institutionalized in their church’s hierarchical structure. Disavowing Smith’s revelation in the book of Mormon as it concerns the two races in early America is difficult from this perspective. The elder (or elders) would have to basically pray over whether or not Smith was divinely inspired in this portion and would have to come up with another divinely inspired thing to replace it. I think the official position is akin to “their hands are tied” because that hasn’t happened yet. They feel they can’t undo unpopular things written in the Book of Mormon just because. The priesthood policy, on the other hand, wasn’t in the scripture. It was a longstanding interpretation, but it could be overcome by revelation.

    Thus Mormonism is belief in a specific body of scriptural writings and their continued revelation through the body of LDS church. Change within the church comes from revelation by elders that can in turn be “studied out” by faithful members. Not surprisingly, “the faithful” will validate the revelation. Anthroposophy, on the other hand, is axiomatic as Daniel described. Its totally ok to hold various viewpoints on the quality of what Steiner said. There is no creed or catechism. People pick and choose what they focus on and what they are interested in from amongst his ideas. They are not believed to be sacred works of revelation or prophesy, nor do Anthros generally use the texts as rules that must be followed to receive some kind of spiritual benefit for yourself. Rather one seeks to understand and then apply the axioms as they relate to the real world that the anthroposophist confronts as a human being. However, the application part is a fundamentally social process. For anthroposophy, the “mechanism of change” happens there and not from some centralized authority that is doing the interpreting for them and then asking the members to validate it or not. This is a fundamental difference in the way these two groups are working with (for lack of a better term) “what they hold dear.” Thus the way you engender change as an outsider is different in each case.

    For the Mormons, you can present topics on which the church elders might be willing to seek out revelation. For Anthros, you’d have to identify the problematic axioms (ie., not merely “textual passages”) and challenge how usefully these axioms are being applied in real world contexts. Much, much harder. And this is my problem with the racism thing as it applies to what’s going on today. If you go into a group of Anthros just talking or trying to do something and you say, “Hey! Steiner said this! Its awful.” They’ll probably look at you weird because its besides the point of what they are doing. They’re not even using that. Its not informing what they are doing. They didn’t bring it into the realm of things to consider. So, you’ve got to identify the times when the “bad” stuff Steiner said is being considered and then applied in some way. I would say it happens much less than critics suggest mostly because racialized concepts hold such little practical usefulness in this day and age. How do they help you solve problems? Get initiatives going? Not much I would say. I’m not denying they’re there but they are clearly not akin to a scriptural passage, believed to be the work of divine revelation and that cannot be disavowed in any other way than through a new divine revelation.

  219. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Yes, but we’ve had a Catholic president in JFK. And Richard Nixon was our latest Quaker president. So why not a Mormon president? And given that Joseph Smith was born in 1805 and Rudolf Steiner 56 years later in 1861, then why not have an Anthroposophist President by the year, let’s see: 2012 + 56 = 2068? Ever hear of . . . manifest . . . destiny?

  220. Bell Paynter · ·

    PS: I am assuming that anyone who has read the above has also read my previous comments. I have no relationship (pro or con) to Mormonism. I have only read RS works on an ad hoc basis. I don’t claim to be an expert on either and I am open to others’ views. I do however value pluralism and see the potential danger orthodoxies (of all stripes) can pose to people seeking to pursue their own spiritual, religious, non-religious or anti-religious views and values with freedom and dignity.

  221. we’ll have a King who has at least dabbled in anthroposophy, from the evidence. We can’t even un-elect him! Occasionally we cut off their heads. Not often enough imo.

    Bell – ‘They didn’t bring it into the realm of things to consider.’ and this is why every thread about Steiner’s race doctrines is so long – it never occurs to anthros to give the thorny problem of their existence a second thought?

  222. Bell Paynter · ·

    ‘They didn’t bring it into the realm of things to consider.’

    I do see your point, however I was thinking situations for which that would be nothing more than navel gazing. I’m a feminist but I don’t reevaluate everything about feminism if I’m in a group of women trying to do something. We make use of whatever ideas are most applicable to the situation at hand. Thats not to say introspection should never occur but that as a practical matter it usually happens in some settings and not others.

    If I were the boss of everything anthro, I’d recommend that guidelines concerning interpretation of certain passages be crafted so that there is no confusion as to where the current leadership at the Goetheneum stands with regard to racism and human rights. There is a historical lag between what RS wrote and the situation today for people who wish to be progressive, open-minded and anti-racist. But so long as its unclear the difference between what was written down and what people are actually doing today exists, speculation can run rampant as to how racist or not racist the society and its members are today. Some kind of white paper discussing the concept of race, how it has evolved since RS was alive and how it relates or does not relate to the work of the society today would be immensely helpful to close that gap. It might also help set a framework from which to separate their work from anyone who might want to misappropriate it towards ends they don’t support.

  223. ‘Thats not to say introspection should never occur but that as a practical matter it usually happens in some settings and not others.’ it had better happen whenever anthros are involved in education.

    Mr Deity (not the actor’s real name) said he didn’t think most Mormons were racist, the Book was racist. While Mormons imagine Smith was clairvoyant, this is a problem.

    It isn’t impossible for anthroposophists to distance themselves from the evident beliefs of their guru. But if they do that – what’s the point of any of it? The best of this is historical curiosity, Rudi on the sofa in the ethereal kiosk with his hairy Mussolini. At least he had a sense of the ridiculous. Rudi too.

  224. Tom Mellett wrote: Tom Mellett wrote: My posting made on WC, dated: December 22, 2007
    Title: “Brown-Nosing and Nigger-Lipping.” This is the post that caused Tom to be banned from Anthroposophy Tomorrow and cast into the darkness of the WC – aka Waldorf Critics. Not by my choice, in fact I mercifully tried to defend him. Eventually he was also kicked out of the WC (I think, at least I don’t see him there). So now, Lucifer-like, he has no place to go except this Infernal kiosk.

  225. Bell Paynter · ·

    Whats with the racial epithets, Tom?!? How can this possibly encourage productive conversation? This is offensive and juvenile. Many people have spoken their minds and even disagreed without acting this way. You can too. I am not surprised to hear this behavior was banned elsewhere. It should be.

  226. The Infernal kiosk is, of course, the best place on earth! Melanie knows where the champagne is, and the ice-cream. (Do we have enough? Do we need to send Michael to the supermarket again?) I’ve lost orientation a bit lately. And Rudi, as always, is nodding off in the corner of one of the velvet sofas.

    Cheers!

    *

    Ps. I don’t ban people pr delete posts unless I feel I have to. In normal circumstances, I count on people to behave themselves, even if they’re being silly while doing so. With very few exceptions, this actually works splendidly. Although, admittedly, I’m not in control of this situation at all. I have a lot of catching up to do, and too little time at the moment. I know that particular comment by Tom as well as the link, and I’m not doing anything about that. But if someone finds something else that is inappropriate, offensive, criminal — whatever — feel free to alert me to it (via email: zzzooey@gmail.com — I usually read all comments, but in this thread I know I’ve missed quite a few).

  227. Bell Paynter · ·

    Thanks for responding quickly, Alicia. I realize you’ve been having computer problems. Apart from the fact that racial epithets are generally offensive, I feel their use is doubly insulting to the many individuals who have behaved like adults and contributed their time and energies to create a civil discourse on a difficult topic. All of us could have invested our time and patience elsewhere. So, with the tides turning this must be my cue to go off into the sunset. Adios.

  228. .. do remember to take your horse with you.

  229. Bell Paynter · ·

    Ha, ha. Sorry if my horse is too high for the kiosk. I will take him with me so as not to bump into the chandeliers or accidently run over any unattended little dogs in my absence. Seriously, though, who doesn’t appreciate it when people are able to disagree and defend their positions but also maintain civility? It makes participating worthwhile. I thank everyone here who has done so. Maybe I am on a high horse. All I know is that I don’t like provocative uses of racial epithets and such. Its hardly ever called for and causes me step away in real life on the rare occasions such things happen. My ethereal being is no different in that respect. Riding off into the sunset now…

  230. But, Melanie, we could have asked the horse about equinosophy!

    I agree about civility and worthwhile discussions all of that (though I’m speaking generally now, not about this thread in particular). Not that I’m always succeeding myself, but anyway. I am, on the other hand, adverse to moderating and policing visitors and discussions. I actually find it boring — boring and difficult decisions to make, decisions that take time and energy, because you don’t want to be unfair. It’s perhaps mostly out of personal convenience, but I rather leave people free to discuss and hope that it runs smoothly and that people are able to ignore any ‘hick-ups’… Basically, though, no solution is perfect. There are disadvantages with tight moderation, there are disadvantages with leaving discussions as unmoderated as I do.

    (And in the case of this thread, it took off when I was spending time away from home and without a computer — and trying to read comments that were often long on a 3,5 inch phone screen, well, it’s just difficult! And they kept coming so fast at times.)

  231. I said nothing about the height of the horse. If anything it was more like a donkey.

  232. I adore donkeys. I think their equineosophy is superior to that of horses. Much more of a stubborn wisdom. I like stubborn.

  233. Martins seems quite admiring of Staudenmaier and not that keen on publishing criticism of him, like a comment I made two days ago, not yet published, on his Intervew with Staudenmaier:

    “Es fehlt im Interview ein Diskussion der varierende und
    nicht sehr seriöse Beschreibungen Staudenmaiers der
    Steinerquellen auf der er sich beruft am Anfang sein
    Steinerkommentatorkarriere, siehe z.B.
    http://thebee.se/comments/PS/Staudenmaier.html

    http://thebee.se/comments/PS/OnPS2004Paper.html zeigt
    dass er mindestens 2004 noch nicht die grundlegende
    Begriffe bei Steiner verstanden hat über die er so viel
    schreibt und argumentiert.

    http://waldorfanswers.org/ThreeConcepts.htm gibt ein
    Einführung zu die grundlegende Begriffe, die ich noch
    nicht gesehen habe dass er verstanden hat.

    Oder hat er?”

  234. Good for you, then, that I’m willing to let you shoot yourself in your anthroposophical foot, dear Sune!

  235. What about your avatar?

  236. Maybe a translation is in place here:

    “The interview lacks a discussion of the varying and not very serious descriptions by Staudenmaier of the Steiner sources he claims to describe as basis for what he writes at the beginning of his career as commentator on Steiner, see for example http://thebee.se/comments/PS/Staudenmaier.html

    http://thebee.se/comments/PS/OnPS2004Paper.html shows that he at least 2004 had not yet understood the basic concepts of Steiner about which he writes and argues so much.

    http://waldorfanswers.org/ThreeConcepts.htm gives an introduction to the basic concepts, that I have not yet seen that he has understood.

    Or has he?”

  237. as the closest thing here to the Lady of the Lake (and considering my relative proximity to Tintagel) I’m glad that at least he hasn’t removed it from the Stone. And don’t try either, Sune – you’ll give yourself a hernia.

  238. Not happened yet. I just park it in the stone in between.

  239. ha! Well parried. Bear in mind though that if you chuck it at Alicia, she generally catches the handle.

  240. Tom Mellett wasn’t thrown off critics. He will go away on his own when it stops being fun for him. When his narcissistic parade is rained out he will just take his show on the road and hope that in the next town they haven’t seen it yet.

  241. Sune provided an English translation to his illumnating comment in German — it got held up in moderation, but I’ve let it through (5 comments up, from this one).

    I thought Tom was finally banned, but I may be wrong.

  242. Not that it matters, but Tom wasn’t banned, so my memory was wrong. But he hasn’t been heard from on the list since this:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/20444

    I remember some rather appalling things that happened before this (Tom’s behaviour towards Diana was vile, and not the least bit fun). I assumed he had been banned from the list then. That was apparently not the case.

  243. Waldorf social skills at work here…

  244. sounds truly disastrous…

  245. He rejoined critics this morning, within an hour or so of my comment above.

  246. This post:

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/20340

    … is where, I think, Tom’s antics became not worth ever reading. He can be funny, but he is without scruples. The post makes light of a case of child abuse in China – a child held as a slave – suggesting that Waldorf critics might somehow (falsely) use it to score points making claims about abuse in Waldorf schools. Again, however, he wasn’t kicked off the list, though Dan said he would consider it. He just caught on that no one was laughing, and he went away.

    So just be clear, Tom, you’re not going to post a bunch of crap on critics again. Not happening. Feel free to call me silly names here if it amuses you; it’s Alicia’s blog, not mine, but on critics I do hold moderator controls, in my Nazi-like way, and you won’t be wasting my time over there again.

  247. There will be no name-calling by Tom of Diana here, that much is clear. If there is, and I have missed it, I’ll happily do something about it immediately. When I say I don’t want to moderate that does not mean I’ll accept anything.

    That post was utterly tasteless. I have some difficulty squaring Tom’s personality, I have to say. It probably amuses him to hear.

  248. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Wow, Lady Diana, you are sure living up to the latest epithet I bestowed upon you . . . The Searing Seeress.

    Why no sooner did you correctly diagnose my narcissism and uncanny knack for knowing when to “get out of Dodge,” as it were, that I happen to slink back to WC after an absence of 15 months!

    Now I did submit a posting this morning and it has not appeared yet, so I assume that I must be on Moderation Status, but no matter. It feels good to be back. I hope you missed me, Lady Di. It would be such a blow to my narcissistic ego-organization if you didn’t.

  249. Around the same time, he suggested that critics should try to tie the Norwegian serial killer Anders Breivik to anthroposophy (knowing that there is no connection, of course). It just stopped being funny and became just endlessly nauseating. Yes, he compared me to Adolf Eichmann, but that was off list and you have to do worse than call the moderators Nazis to get kicked off critics! (On the other hand – you can keep the person on moderation and only allow posts that don’t simply irritate or bait the moderator. Just sayin’.)

  250. I think I’m convinced now – I will just boot you. I am not up for it.

  251. Just so it’s not lost among the 250 other comments here:

    My comment with some links to comments on Staudenmaier’s not always that serious comments on Steiner is found above at

    http://zooey.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/new-book/#comment-19348

  252. Yes, there was (were) email(s) including the Eichmann reference, and it was plain nasty. It’s a pity. I actually hoped that Tom had understood he went way too far that time, that his humour was actually not fun anymore, simply offensive and hurtful. Perhaps he would like to explain.

    Maybe you should stop it with the epithets, et c, just for a moment, Tom? The fact that you can be very funny doesn’t mean it’s always funny and that it works in every situation.

  253. It will soon be lost anyway, Sune. And, unfortunately, the whole thing looks rather lost in so many ways…

  254. No, don’t worry Alicia, I’m sorry to have hijacked your blog over this. I just removed him from critics after a very quick perusal of the post submitted – it did not appear worth anyone’s time, just more of the same.

  255. I suspect, for Tom, there’s significant entertainment in testing how far he can push people. For me, the suggestion that critics would fabricate evidence to support their criticism was disgusting and pointed out clearly that Tom isn’t here to advance any discussions, he’s her to amuse himself. It’s a shame because he knows Anthroposophy very well. He could be a wise old owl, but chooses to be an annoying peacock instead.

  256. Diana, do not worry about ‘hi-jacking’. In a way, I’m the one who should say sorry. Despite tolerating Tom’s other pranks, I’m not sure I’ve ever said, forcefully enough, how unacceptable I found his behaviour that time when he made the Eichmann reference. (I still have the email thread, and looked it up. I called both his and Charlotte Cowell’s emails ‘despicable’, but that was pretty much it. There was never any remotely serious response.)

  257. Oh, it was all posted on critics as well. And that thread was longer than I had realized.

  258. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete wrote, “Prove me wrong or otherwise or retract what you said… it’s that simple.”
    I already proved you wrong. If someone else doesn’t understand, then I’ll explain it to them, otherwise you don’t appear able to follow the concepts so I can’t help you.

  259. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete wrote, “Did he happen to mention WHY?”
    Because most people try and carry good work forward.

  260. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete wrote, “Do you REALLY THINK that’s what Steiner did when he came up with his race theories? ”
    No, I never said it was. If you read what I write then you won’t add words to my posts.

  261. I’m ignoring Daniel. In ref to Pete:

    ‘He could be a wise old owl, but chooses to be an annoying peacock instead.’ It’s a pity, really.

    Most of this must have escaped me, except that Diana was understandably hurt and offended and that particular behaviour seemed inexplicable. And you might remember, Tom, a comment of Alicia’s on DC’s blog – about something which repelled me too:

    http://www.dcscience.net/?p=3853#comment-8998

    I wrote: ‘not even mentioning the threat of karmic retribution to be suffered by the apostate.’ And oddly enough (and you can laugh at my sympathy, it was the season of good-will) I was appalled at that insinuation.

    It reminds me that even though you’re very good at puncturing the pomposity of anthroposophists, what’s at the base of this huge cosmic joke isn’t very funny. To quote Hitchens – ‘religion poisons everything’. And anthroposophy makes everything worse.

  262. Daniel Perez · ·

    Tom wrote, “Daniel, please watch the Mr. Deity video and then read this posting because the Big Quiz is coming up, and I don’t want you to fail it.”
    Tom,
    I gave you the Mr. Deity link on 9/25/12, so why would I not know about it? I direct your attention to 3 minutes into this video. Mr. Deity explains that the good book of Mormon is an infallible revelation. Steiner’s lectures are not infallible revelations, so I fail to see a connection.

  263. ‘Steiner’s lectures are not infallible revelations, so I fail to see a connection.’

    so you admit Steiner wasn’t clairvoyant, didn’t have access to some fantasy akashic record and made up a lot of nonsense as he went along? Now we’re getting somewhere.

  264. “Pete wrote, “Prove me wrong or otherwise or retract what you said… it’s that simple.”
    I already proved you wrong. If someone else doesn’t understand, then I’ll explain it to them, otherwise you don’t appear able to follow the concepts so I can’t help you.”

    Baloney Daniel. You’ve proved you don’t understand what an analogy is (twice) and you’ve proved you know nothing about optics… despite your claim otherwise. Tom is a physics teacher, I don’t see him rushing to your defense here. A box filled with light cannot be filled with darkness… and that you think otherwise is proof that you’re the one not understanding something. You can neither link to the experiment that suggests this, nor explain what you mean by it. Everyone reading this thread can see this for themselves.

    “Because most people try and carry good work forward.”

    Yes, but most people do this automatically… that is, they don’t have to be TOLD by someone else to do this… if it’s REALLY good work that is. How many of Steiner’s followers have stopped to question WHY it’s so important to bring Steiner’s work forward? He wasn’t infallible – in fact, he was wrong most of the time he produced information which could be disproved. In fact, he was wrong almost every time he encountered a scientific fact… and yet, Anthroposophists seem to take his word for it on such basically human ideas as race, intellectuality and thinking, human development and the future of humanity. The huge question is WHY? Why do you consider Steiner’s work “good work” – when it shows itself to be nonsense? Why do you feel you are moving this nonsense “forward” without examining it or altering it in any way?

  265. Daniel Perez · ·

    Melanie wrote, “so you admit Steiner wasn’t clairvoyant, didn’t have access to some fantasy akashic record and made up a lot of nonsense as he went along? Now we’re getting somewhere.”
    Steiner was clairvoyant, but clairvoyance is another sense, it is not infallible. There is a distinct difference between reading from the Akashic record and applying spiritual archetypes to physical phenomena. In the case of reading from the Akashic, it is much harder to be in error, but even there it is possible.

    I look at it this way, lets say 99.9% of people were born blind, but along comes someone who is not blind. That person describes what everyone else can feel and taste but not see. That knowledge and insight is therefore invaluable! But lets say this person who can see watches a solar eclipse and incorrectly thinks the sunlight was extinguished. He may have seen the event clearly, but misunderstood it.

    This was true for Steiner, and we anthroposophists should not take it otherwise. Does that mean I disregard everything he said that is true?

  266. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete wrote, “Tom is a physics teacher, I don’t see him rushing to your defense here.”
    That is because he understood the experiment and the analogy. If he didn’t, do you think Tom of all people would sit on the sidelines!? :-)

  267. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete wrote, “Why do you consider Steiner’s work “good work” – when it shows itself to be nonsense?”
    Because it is not nonsense. – Pete, we disagree. You don’t see the value in Steiner’s work, but I do. I don’t expect to convince you otherwise. It would be impossible to convince you otherwise. Even if I proved it to you your mind is made up.

    What Steiner wrote about Mars is wrong. I can see that directly. He applied spiritual principles, and got the wrong result in this case. What critics don’t appear to understand is that what drives our intense love of anthroposophy is what we actually get out of it that is true. Wisdom and truth drives initiatives like Medicine and agriculture and Camp Hills. We see the good in these movements and it inspires us.

  268. “That is because he understood the experiment and the analogy. If he didn’t, do you think Tom of all people would sit on the sidelines!? :-)”

    Yes, I do. If there isn’t a gag in it, Tom’s not interested. If a conflict is already going, Tom isn’t interested in resolving it… he’d rather watch from the sidelines if he can’t perpetuate it.

    “Because it is not nonsense. – Pete, we disagree. You don’t see the value in Steiner’s work, but I do. I don’t expect to convince you otherwise. It would be impossible to convince you otherwise. Even if I proved it to you your mind is made up.”

    It would be impossible to convince me otherwise because Anthroposophists HIDE THE NATURE OF HIS WORK to the public. They go to great lengths to do this – controlling Wikipedia for example, taking his quotes out of context and claiming they say the opposite of what they say (Waldorfanswers and AWSNA), lying to parents about what they teach in their schools and so forth. If Steiner’s work is worth moving forward, why be dishonest about the very content of the work itself? This is the kind of dishonesty Steiner himself promoted… It makes NO SENSE that his work might have value if this is the means by which it must be promoted.

  269. Daniel Perez · ·

    Plato and Aristotle accepted that comparisons, metaphors and “images” (allegories) could be used as arguments, and sometimes they called them “analogies”. I did not utilize this type of analogy.

    Wikipedia starts with this description, “Analogy (from Greek ἀναλογία, analogia, “proportion”[1][2]) is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another particular subject (the target)”.

    The source may be a grade-school physics experiment that expresses the relationship of light to dark and the objects in between. The target may be one who perceives the spirit vs one who is blind to the spirit (as compared to light vs dark), and what comprises an object. Thus there is a function, or mapping from one domain to the other. Light is to an object as Spirit is to clairvoyance. Darkness is the absence of the perception of light in the experiment, compared to lack of perception of spirit in the target.

    There is no requirement that the source be proven, only understood. You could create a science fiction world and then use it as an analogy for something in the real world. They would then be “analogous”.

    Now if you attempted to create an argument or proof out of an analogy, then that is always fraught with dangers. In the above case of the light experiment, this was what is termed a “benign analogy”. It is meant for the purpose of communication only, for relating ideas and concepts.

    The other type of analogy (analogy for argument) is generally frowned upon by logicians as it is too easy to make a deductive leap from the source to the target. But as a method of communicating meaning it is very useful. You do not have to agree with the derived conclusions of an analogy to understand the writer. You disagree with his point, not his analogy.

  270. Daniel Perez · ·

    Pete wrote, “Anthroposophists HIDE THE NATURE OF HIS WORK to the public.”
    We disagree here. In Steiner’s time he was opposed (by racists) because he was not racist. In our time he is opposed as being racist by critics.

    Either way it does not matter. Steiner is dead! He does not run the Waldorf schools. The people who run the Waldorf schools are not racist. That is what matters. If you think they are racist then bring them to court for their discrimination. Where are the court cases that have been successful?

    Steiner was fallible and we do not carry forward anything we do not see as valid for ourselves.

  271. “You could create a science fiction world and then use it as an analogy for something in the real world.”

    But it doesn’t work the other way around. You’re trying to get me to take seriously the “analogy” that “the cow jumped over the moon” in the same way that “pigs fly” – nobody but an idiot would follow you down that rabbit hole.

    “We disagree here. In Steiner’s time he was opposed (by racists) because he was not racist. In our time he is opposed as being racist by critics. ”

    Yes, you also seem to disagree with the historical record. Steiner was NEVER opposed by racists for not being a racist. Where did you read that nonsense?

    “Either way it does not matter. Steiner is dead! He does not run the Waldorf schools. The people who run the Waldorf schools are not racist. That is what matters. If you think they are racist then bring them to court for their discrimination. Where are the court cases that have been successful? ”

    Odd you should mention this… because I’m doing exactly that. You should make your phone calls to Highland Hall. ;)

    “Steiner was fallible and we do not carry forward anything we do not see as valid for ourselves.”

    Yet, you don’t see his racism as racism. That makes what you are carrying forward very dangerous. You don’t get that you’re racists Daniel… That’s one reason why I have to take Waldorf to court. They taught racism DIRECTLY to my children as science. Somebody didn’t get the memo.

  272. @Daniel ‘In the case of reading from the Akashic, it is much harder to be in error, but even there it is possible.’

    Daniel, there’s no such thing as the akashic record. Think about what that means.

    ‘Wisdom and truth drives initiatives like Medicine and agriculture and Camp Hills. We see the good in these movements and it inspires us.’

    Anthroposophical medicine adds very little to real medicine, about which anyway ‘wisdom’ and ‘truth’ are a bit dramatic since it’s an inexact process, involving a variety of human experience.

    If religious movements are involved in working with the vulnerable they had better be honest about their motives and beliefs.

  273. I wrote: ‘I called both his and Charlotte Cowell’s emails ‘despicable’, but that was pretty much it. There was never any remotely serious response.’

    Serious response from Tom that is. (Mine was serious, but too lame.)

    Tom wrote last night on twittter that, not to worry, he won’t foul my blog. I replied, this morning, that fouling my blog is not the issue, not the problem.

    *

    Melanie wrote: ‘If religious movements are involved in working with the vulnerable they had better be honest about their motives and beliefs.’

    And accept scrutiny.

  274. Re: Tom, there was never any reason anyone else should have said anything in particular. The nasty remarks he made about me were made off list – he didn’t ever intend for me to read them. That’s why it was so telling. To my face he had always been very friendly. It revealed him as a snake. There’s no substance to him, what he is doing re: anthroposophy is just games. He’s charming in the moment to whoever he thinks will be helpful to him. He lacks sincerity. There is no way to know his true beliefs, and no real reason to think they’re worth listening to anyway. It is only about getting attention for himself. He can be entertaining, but when you realize there is a hollow core – no belief or point of view behind it at all, it’s just a show – then what is the point of listening to it anymore? If he had something substantial to contribute, I would be more inclined to tolerate it, but the posts are lengthy, and there’s no content in them that advances any argument or any helpful contribution either to anthroposophy or to criticism of anthroposophy. Why listen to it, especially knowing that behind your back he’s trashing YOU as well as anyone else, when it’s handy?

  275. Sure, he’s a very likeable guy, but when the chips are down, he doesn’t have a single person in his life who he can call “friend”. It has to do with integrity.

  276. ‘The nasty remarks he made about me were made off list – he didn’t ever intend for me to read them. That’s why it was so telling.’

    That’s one reason it was particularly bad. I think it was Charlotte Cowell who, for some reason, forwarded the emails to the rest of us. Possibly without knowing what she did.

    I don’t mind show, if it’s good show. The trolling behaviour is not. Neither is instigating intrigues and conflicts behind people’s backs.

  277. I don’t mind “show” either – coming from either side. I often found Tarjei quite hilarious, even when he was insulting critics. Tarjei is a person of integrity – he has beliefs, and he sticks to them. IMO quite a few of them are wrong but I much more admire somebody who stands for something than someone like Tom who has seemingly arrived at a place in his life where he has nothing to believe in and nothing left but cynicsm, and nothing matters other than seeing if you can start a fight or shock people or just create chaos playing people against each other etc. I hope he got a big kick out of getting booted from critics by me and then being admitted by Dan just a couple of hours later. That seems to be the sort of thing he lives for. What a waste!

    Even Sune stands for something

  278. The question is what.

    The difference between Tom and Tarjei on the one hand and Sune on the other is that for the first two — and most of all for Tom — everything is a joke. For Sune, NOTHING is a joke. Especially not if anthroposophy is involved. And other than through his activities ‘furthering’ anthroposophy (or ‘defending’ it) it’s impossible to know anything. But, sure, with anthroposophy he stands for something. Undying devotion for Steiner, if nothing else. Right Sune?

    I actually got very tired of Tarjei. I didn’t read AT. I couldn’t stand it, and, yes, he could occasionally be funny, he even occasionally says interesting things, but I don’t want to read abusive crap like the stuff that was so common there.

  279. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Well, Diana and Pete, thank you both for giving me the recognition that I am REALLY seeking. Which is — someone who finally sees through my bullshit and bears witness to the utter and absolute emptiness at the core of my being! What a feeling of relief you give me!

    Moreover, I commend you both for recognizing that I don’t take a stand either for anthroposophy or against anthroposophy, which of course is the flip side of that emptiness at the core of my being. (Paradoxically, though, I find myself now taking a stand for not taking a stand. Go figure!)

    Now, Diana, as far as the Adolf Eichmann episode goes, I really do owe you a deep and heartfelt apology for these words I wrote to Charlotte in private after she unsubbed WC.

    “Anyway, didn’t I tell you about Diana? Yes, she is vile, kind of like a female Adolf Eichmann in some ways, so consummately bureaucratic.”

    But because of the next sentence I wrote, I will NOT be tendering you any apology whatsoever. Let me explain why.

    Here is Charlotte’s farewell message to WC on April 1, 2011, with her use of the epithet “vile.”
    ————————
    Diana: There’s no room at all in this process for you to be simply WRONG.
    Which makes this mode of knowing, excuse me, but it’s entirely and totally
    fucked up.

    Charlotte: You’ve bored the hell out of me and your language is vile, I’m unsubscribing before I lose another week out of my life.
    ————————–

    After she unsubscribed, I taunted her with my Ode to Schadenfreude and agreed with her about the vileness of Diana.

    ———————
    Hi Charlotte,

    It looks like you unsubscribed before I posted my “Ode to Schadenfreude” in your honor.

    You can still read it here
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/18381

    Anyway, didn’t I tell you about Diana? Yes, she is vile, kind of like a female Adolf Eichmann in some ways, so consummately bureaucratic. But recall I told you she is that way because of her vile and nasty mother-grandmother relations — all ensconced in the world view of Christian Science.
    ——————

    So, Diana, since you once wrote on WC about the abuse your mother suffered from her mother all in the name of Christian Science, I think I can safely assume that you are steeped in the knowledge and wisdom concerning Cycles of Abuse, Co-dependency, Karpman Drama triangles, and other related therapeutic ideas dealing with dysfunctional family dynamics.

    I know that you know that if I were to tender you an apology, no matter how sincere or heart-felt, you would recognize it immediately as a sham — as merely the next stage of the abuse cycle. And thus the cycle would continue.

    Therefore, in an attempt, however halting or feeble, to break the cycle of abuse at play here, I steadfastly refuse to offer you an apology. And I do so not out of innate cruelty or sadism on my part, but to acknowledge your recognition of my exploitation of many people at all stages of the abuse cycle.

    Indeed I also acknowledge your statement that my Eichmann reference caused you to take some counsel within yourself. If any good came of that for you, then I am sorry about the reference the way a nurse or doctor would apologize for giving you a needle. “Little bee-sting, sorry!”

    As I wrote in the beginning, that’s the recognition or attention that I have been really seeking all along. So thank you very much for your perception. I really do appreciate and sincerely offer you much gratitude for your perceptual acuity and compassion.

    And you too, Pete, since you astutely recognized that after my recent 15 month hiatus, I am right back at square one, or is it home plate of the latest cycle.

    Steinerites say: Karma. But I like what the French say: La plus ça change, la plus ça même.

  280. I’m not in the mood for this nonsense.

  281. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Alicia, just say the word and I’ll go away again.

    The only reason I returned is because Daniel Perez contacted me after being out of touch for 10 years and — after catching up on a lot of things, especially Steiner’s racial ideas — he asked the fateful question: “Where should we discuss Steiner’s views on race?”

    I had already written this to Daniel for his friend Kristin Agudelo who writes the “Notable Women
    in the Waldorf curriculum and beyond…” blog
    http://notablewomen.wordpress.com/

    “Alicia is the foremost anthroposophical (and canineosophical) blogger in the entire Steiner Internet world today.”

    Then I discovered this thread in its early stages when Curt Janssen was posting and I invited Daniel to jump down this rabbit hole with both feet, and he did! And the rest is Kiosk history as I note this is comment 286.

    As I said before, I’m more than willing to load up my mule and mosey off into the sunset, following the trail blazed by Bell Paynter.

    And I declare Daniel Perez to be now officially fully initiated into the best damned discussion of Steiner’s views on race anywhere on the World Wide Web..

    So thanks to you and Mr. Dog for providing the Eternal Ethereal Kiosk.

    Auf wiedersehen!

  282. Tom – you’re out in right field… you haven’t a clue what inning this is or even what team you’re playing for. I think you’ve spent so much time in the BULL pen… you couldn’t find home plate to save your life. Better to sit back down on the bench before you hurt yourself.

  283. What? Please be assured, Tom, that I don’t have the mental capability to follow conversations like this anymore, with all the double negatives and circular logic. The only thing I can get out of the above is that you are in a bad way, and I’m sorry about that.
    I’d like to correct a couple of misimpressions you’ve floated here. I’m not a Quaker and never was, and neither my mother nor her mother were Christian Scientists (that was my father).

  284. I’m thinking I should have left it at “Fuck off.”

  285. Daniel Perez · ·

    Melanie wrote, “If religious movements are involved in working with the vulnerable they had better be honest about their motives and beliefs.”
    We agree, and as a Waldorf school board member that was always my goal.

  286. Daniel Perez · ·

    Alicia,
    Pete wrote, “you’re racists Daniel” and you only rebuke Tom? Now I understand that Pete struggles to control himself, which is why he has the problem with Highland Hall in the first place, but it appears hypocritical that you ignore his antics. Many of the Waldorf Critics resort to insults when they run out of arguments, or are proven wrong. It is hard to continue civilized discussion when there is no attempt at moderation, or in this case a very lopsided attempt.

  287. Not that Pete in any way needs defending, but I have to say I’ve known him awhile now, and other than a little mouthiness sometimes, I don’t have the impression that he has the SLIGHTEST trouble controlling himself. I am sure Highland Hall spreads all kinds of rumors about him, but keep in mind these are the same people who spread the rumor that his daughter was possessed by a demon. The stories of the things they ADMIT to doing, openly and in writing, will make your skin crawl. Pete’s troubles at Highland Hall do not originate with HIM but with people who abused his children.

  288. Daniel, why do you think someone shouldd be rebuked for telling someone else they`re racist? You seem to think alicia should have scolded someone? Not really how it works here.

  289. “Pete wrote, “you’re racists Daniel” and you only rebuke Tom?”

    A racist is someone who holds racist beliefs – which you admit you hold – you just don’t acknowledge that they are racist. That makes no difference, of course – with you as with Steiner. Just because you don’t believe you’re a racist doesn’t mean you aren’t one. If you believe what Steiner believed, and Steiner was a racist… well… what does that make you?

    BTW, you have every right to believe anything you like… but don’t be mad when people call you on those beliefs. And for Dog’s sake, don’t teach that nonsense to other people’s children without their knowledge… that would make you monster on top of being a racist.

  290. ” Now I understand that Pete struggles to control himself, which is why he has the problem with Highland Hall in the first place, but it appears hypocritical that you ignore his antics.”

    You have no problem making up crap about me at Highland Hall and what you imagine must have caused the problems there. Yet you think it’s insulting for me to point out what YOU have already been established right here in this thread?

    “Many of the Waldorf Critics resort to insults when they run out of arguments, or are proven wrong. ”

    Well, neither one has happened here… so now what?

  291. ‘Pete wrote, “you’re racists Daniel” and you only rebuke Tom?’

    I have no idea where he wrote this or why; I presume — unless shown otherwise — that if he did, he had a reason. I told Tom what I think because he — wanting to be funny, wanting to make intrigues, really believed what he said, I don’t know — wrote what he wrote about Diana (in a private email which was last year). And then, somehow, had to keep going with this show when Diana told him she wasn’t up for it, here and now.

    I notice in his latest comment that perhaps I did get through. I like Tom. I think he went way too far and that it’s a pity he seems to need to go to far to amuse himself sometimes. He certainly knows how to be funny without actually trying to hurt people who care(ed) about him.

    I don’t think I scolded him. And I’m not going to scold Pete.

  292. Tom, I do not want you to go away. I think — and you know this already — that what you wrote about Diana was awful. I’m not sure why you have to try to make it worse, which kind of seemed like what you were doing. Or why, to speak more generally, the there are these attempts to stir things up, often between people’s backs. This doesn’t mean you aren’t welcome here. You are.

  293. I think Pete is extremely calm in the circumstances. Don’t confuse cap-locks with axe-wielding.

    I don’t think you’ve made a cogent case for anything, Daniel – it just sounds like nonsense. But I’m glad you admit at least that anthroposophy has a religious nature, and that its practitioners should be honest about their motives and beliefs when they run schools and minister to the vulnerable and take public money and talk a load of bollocks to local newspapers about ‘holistic education’. But they’re not honest, so that utopia is still far away.

    Tom is a monkey-puzzle. You used to see them outside English suburban houses and wonder how they got there, and why. When they disappeared (which oddly, they did) you wondered where they’d gone.

  294. As far as I know, the idea that I was “bureaucratic like Adolf Eichmann” came from my feeble attempts to co-moderate the critics list, which as in most forums does involve sometimes warning and/or ultimately booting people who can’t refrain from either continual brawling or continually posting off topic. (Critics is actually *extremely* tolerant; you really have to be a relentless asshole to actually get kicked off.) I guess if you’ve got nothing much else going on, having to put up with petty rules like that feels like you’re being sent to the gas chambers. It’s a MAILING LIST, Tom – you weren’t exactly having your human rights violated. Anyway, I’m sure the “vile bureaucrat” remark was heartfelt, but it wasn’t the nature of it that was upsetting – anyone who has followed the topic for awhile knows I’m routinely called far worse than that. It was the revelation that he was one way to my face and quite another way when he thought I wasn’t listening.

  295. “It was the revelation that he was one way to my face and quite another way when he thought I wasn’t listening.”

    And this behavior is different from every Waldorf teacher you’ve ever met in which way, exactly?

  296. The same behaviour appears in different shapes; basically it’s about using others to further their own ends, using others as tools and with disregard for them as human beings. And unfortunately that’s part of what I’ve often seen too.

  297. “this behavior is different from every Waldorf teacher you’ve ever met in which way, exactly?”

    Point taken. I wouldn’t say it of *every* Waldorf teacher I’ve known, but duplicity and shallow relationships are certainly a pattern.

  298. Definitely not every. Or every anthroposophist. Definitely not. It’s kind of interesting, though, how common it seems — given that anthroposophists themselves would describe anthroposophy as leading to a greater sense of concern for others… You might get the impression that anthroposophy is supposed help people gain more insights, more humanity, more compassion, et c, rather than less. Of course, all religious or spiritual beliefs have such a view of themselves and then reality shows something different.

  299. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Well, duh, Diana! If I’m going to call you Adolf Eichmann, of course I’m going to do it behind your back. Double Duh!!! You know goddamn well that if I had called you that on WC, Dan would have consigned me to the cooler in a heartbeat. Jeez Louise, Lady Dee, I may be a CAS (Classical Aspergian Sociopath), but even I am astute enough socially to know what needs to be said behind someone’s back as opposed to right to their face.

    But now that I have reconstructed the events leading up to that fateful April Fools Day of 2011, I can actually explain to you — and hopefully to your satisfaction and Alicia’s — exactly why I went “full Nazi” on you.

    As you are well aware, Diana, context is well nigh everything, especially involving satire. If you were to click on the link I sent to Charlotte right before referring to you as vile AE, you would read my Ode to Schadenfreude which I meant for her to read before calling you AE .

    =========================
    Hi Charlotte,
    It looks like you unsubscribed before I posted my “Ode to Schadenfreude” in your honor. You can still read it here
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/18381
    Anyway, didn’t I tell you about Diana? . . . (vile AE. . .)
    ====================

    Here is the opening, then a and then my actual ode

    =============================
    Hello Charlotte!

    Before you get too distracted from contemplating your eternal damnation here on
    the WC list, known to Lightworkers as The Hole, I would like to chant in your
    honor, the “Ode to Schadenfreude” for the benefit of celebrating your arrival
    here and thus simultaneously taunting our beloved brethren and sistern on the
    other side of the Great Manichean Divide, namely our loyal opposition, the
    Lightworkers over at A_T. . . .

    Here we go: (Chant three times please, one for each fold of the social order)

    ———————————-

    NANNY NANNY BOO BOO!!

    CHARLOTTE’S IN THE HO-OLE!!!

    NANNY NANNY BOO BOO

    THE HOLE HAS CLAIMED HER SO-OUL!!!

    NANNY NANNY BOO BOO

    TARJEI IS A POO-POO HEAD!!!

    NANNY NANNY BOO BOO

    SO ARE FRANK AND TE-ED!!!

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

    (Wow I’m a regular TS Eliot. Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!)

    So, Diana, this is the exact prelude to my AE statement about you, since your “vile language” in 3 postings before this drove Charlotte to unsubscribe WC. You told her shitty this and fuck that and were in full ABG mode (Acerbic Bitch Goddess) with her. At this point of taunt, therefore, I had to paint you as dastardly as possible for the sake of spooking Charlotte to the max, and so I called you a vile AE. I was wildly successful as Alicia can attest because of the nasty emails that Charlotte started sending her, even ascribing black magician practices to me.

    (excerpt of Charlotte to Alicia about me)

    “ . . . It is utterly despicable to employ black magical methods in a public place filled with vulnerable people and lost souls, whilst ostensibly claiming to be a crusader against spiritual beliefs to fulfil an atheist ‘manifesto’. That would be pure deception and could have disastrous or tragic consequences for anyone placing their trust in that individual. It is a very dangerous game to play and a guardian of the mother church might well say anathema maranatha to anyone employing such tactics. . . .”

    (Oh, Diana, thank you for correcting me about your father and Christian Science, but my mistaken attributions of CS to your mother and grandmother did not interfere with my spooking of Charlotte, so no harm done.)

    To set more context, also remember that Charlotte had been posting for 2 months on AT before I enticed her over to WC. She is British so she made fast friends with Ted Wrinch on AT. And finally, I need to tell people here just who Charlotte is.

    She is the Dan Dugan, as it were, of the Valentin Tomberg movement, which is the REAL religious arm of anthroposophy. (NOT the Christian Community as is so often misconstrued. But more on that another time.)

    Charlotte is the moderator of the Yahoo group devoted to Tomberg’s magnum opus, The Meditations of the 22 Major Arcana of the Tarot. This book is the “Bible” of the esoteric Catholic religious movement that goes by the name: “Christian Hermeticism.”

    See, Diana, it’s a Catholic thing and I know it’s well nigh impossible for non-Catholics to understand, but I’ve tried my best to explain it to you since I feel I owe you an explanation no matter how inscrutable it may be.

  300. ‘…for the sake of spooking Charlotte to the max…’

    Thing is, Charlotte was extreme enough even without being spooked. The things she posted… dear Dog.

    ‘…even I am astute enough socially to know what needs to be said behind someone’s back as opposed to right to their face.’

    Clearly.

  301. why would you want to spook someone who was already so .. spooked?

  302. So, as far as I can tell, here’s where the boys are as of this afternoon:
    Rudy – was a racist – saw his racist beliefs as truth.
    1) Tom – is a racist, admits he’s a racist and sees nothing wrong with being a racist.
    2) Daniel – is a racist but won’t admit he’s a racist – because he sees racism as something bad.

    I think most Anthroposophists fall into category #2.

  303. Daniel Perez · ·

    Alicia wrote, “I have no idea where he wrote this or why; I presume — unless shown otherwise — that if he did, he had a reason.”

    Here is the crux of the problem. I started posting to this blog on the basis that there was some interest in making progress towards the truth, wherever that led. Also, that there was a shared interest by those posting to this topic to debate the issues, and be accurate about it. What I found is that there is more interest in name calling then in establishing positions. Individuals who do not have the ability to debate issues, or even follow the concepts, have shown they gravitate towards inaccurate designations of others. It is human nature. Pete does not have a basis for his above statement, because he either doesn’t understand my position or is making up his own definition for racism. Perhaps he threw that statement out there because he was attempting to be insulting. If others on this blog were interested in the truth they would be interested in following if someone like Pete knows what they are talking about.

    In short, I am surprised that you don’t know if there was or was not a basis to his statement, either way. I expected we were all following the entire debate. I know I read every post, even ones off topic. I also expect that if there is an error in someone’s position, that everyone participating calls it out for what it is, or at least quietly recognizes it. Perhaps I was wrong to view this forum as a more intimate study of the issues, where we all followed the various threads.

    Alicia, if you do not understand my position, I would appreciate knowing that. At least then I know that a rational person has reviewed my position. Now if calling Pete “irrational” is name-calling, there is a difference. – He made a statement that was attempting to characterize MY position. So he has a high burden of proof to put words in someone else’s mouth.

    To be very clear, there are multiple problems with Pete’s statement. It is rude and infantile to label someone unless you have irrefutable proof of your position. Second, Pete’s statement is absurdly broad to characterize my position. If you take even the most basic definition of racism it does not fit my position: “the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race” (Websters). We already went further with the definition to talk about “spiritual racism” (the belief that traits of a race reflect how evolved a spirit is), “discriminatory racism” (taking action towards others based on race), and “racist belief” (believing individuals are defined in some significant way by the traits of their race). If he had qualified where he thought I had fit a particular definition, and why, then he would at least appear rational.

    My position does not meet the dictionary definition of racism, or any of these other definitions that we discussed. I specifically posted stating in how many ways I differ from Steiner’s positions. I posted about axiomatic anthroposophy and applied anthroposophy, and how Steiner was fallible. I posted about the counter-evidence to spiritual racism (that shows traits like skin color do not reflect spiritual development). If someone was confused or took exception to my points, they then have a responsibility to ask decent questions, and start by reading my posts on the position.

  304. Hi Daniel, I have learned through long experience that wherever Pete K is present, the conversation is toxic. Another name for his contributions is “hate mail”. The only possible action is to ignore him, not even read his posts. People like Alicia and Dan tolerate him, to their shame.
    Frank

  305. Daniel,

    ‘I expected we were all following the entire debate.’

    I can without hesitation say that I’ve read about 10% (perhaps, just roughly estimating it now) of the comments in this thread. It took off a while after the original post was posted and I must say I wasn’t expecting such a long discussion thread after posting a short post about a coming book!

    Now, I’m happy you all wanted to discuss these things here — I’m perfectly happy to host such a discussion. My main problem — and it was a rather huge one — was that the thread took off when I was unable to follow it. And even more unable to participate in it (except by interjecting a short comment every now and then… and apologizing for my absence). It was impossible. I’ve been ill. I’ve had no computer because I had to stay in our country cottage for most of the weeks, returning to the city only at weekends (this finally took an end last week, but I’m still rather tortured by building works where I live). And now the thread is 300 comments long — and many of the comments are very long too. I have not caught up and, unfortunately, I’m at the moment unable to do so, although I have followed the latest comments in this thread. There’s so little time for the blog and for me to engage with anthro topics and at the same time as this comment thread has been active there’s a been campaign here in Sweden for state-funding of waldorf teacher training. A government decision is to be expected in a few weeks. This is a highly alarming and of more urgent importance (to me and to swedes, although I can understand it is of little interest to international readers of this blog). The topic of race in anthroposophy and Steiner’s work, however interesting, is not so urgent — moreover, it keeps returning. Whenever there’s a long Steiner discussion, it’s always about race. I’ve been through so many of these discussions. They keep reincarnating, but they rarely seem to evolve.

    Basically, as far as I’m concerned (if you wonder about my viewpoint, I think I may have stated it somewhere above, and in any case I’ve done so in numerous earlier posts, comments, et c), Steiner said things that were racist. The root race teaching which he adopted from theosophy is racist. It being ‘spiritual’ doesn’t change that. I don’t see a huge problem with any of this, however, because anthroposophists who don’t think Steiner was right when he said, e g, that black people are on the spiritual developmental level of children, can simply choose to believe he was wrong when he said so. Oddly, instead they too often choose to entangle themselves in various intricate and silly justifications for it all.

    I think there are things Steiner would not have said, had he lived today. Some of these race things are among them.

    Again, unfortuntely, I have not followed the entire debate, and I apologize for not being able to do that. You’re all very welcome to carry on though. Towards the truth (or up in the clouds or anywhere you like).

  306. ” I started posting to this blog on the basis that there was some interest in making progress towards the truth, wherever that led. ”

    But you started by presenting BULLSHIT (the dark light in the box) -assuming (I imagine) that anyone who would accept this nonsense to begin with would be ripe for a finding the “truth” in Steiner’s work. The path to actual truth is beset on all sides by exactly that kind of bullshit.

  307. “The only possible action is to ignore him, not even read his posts.”

    Yeah, so… how’s that working out for the Waldorf world?

  308. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Hey Pete, I was going to ask you: how’s that lawsuit of yours against HH working out?

    I’ve been away for 15 months and as far as I can tell, you haven’t announced any progress with it. Has your attorney finally set a court date? Or are you settling out of court now?

    You know, I just remembered that Daniel is a former board member of a Waldorf school of comparable size to Highland Hall, so maybe you could apprise Daniel of the details and the history of your lawsuit and perhaps he could tell you how the Board members at his his school would have handled the threat of your lawsuit.

    Are you still seeking $100 million in damages? Are you also suing AWSNA as well as HH?

    Here’s a message on WC from you dated March 2009 where you say that you are going to file the lawsuit in June 2009. Did you do that? And what was the result?
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/9579

    .

  309. No rush Tom… I’m still well within the statute of limitations…

  310. “Individuals who do not have the ability to debate issues, or even follow the concepts, have shown they gravitate towards inaccurate designations of others.”

    Here’s the problem Daniel. You can’t be an Anthroposophist and not be a racist. It’s part of the definition of Anthroposophy… just like you can’t be a Nazi without being an anti-Semite. Anthroposophy is built on a racist philosophy – like Nazism… and in that regard, there is NO difference. I know it sounds terrible when you come to grips with it… but those are the facts. Anthroposophy is racist at its core… there is no denying this… or debating it.

  311. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Thank you for confirming the rate of progress of your lawsuit. But when I begin to extrapolate that rate of progress, I wonder if you have made contingency plans for reincarnation?

    You see, at this rate, Pete, not only will any statute of limitations run out, but even more importantly, all of your attorneys, witnesses and defendants will have died out and will be preparing for their new bodies in their respective next lives.

    So have you thought of tracking them into their next incarnations so that they may testify when your lawsuit finally gets to court in the 6th post-Atlantean epoch? And what if Rudolf Steiner himself would be part of that reincarnated group? He could then be your star witness. Or would you be able to have him arrested then? Interesting legal questions!

    There is precedent for it, Pete. You know that when the Dalai Lama dies, the monks around him immediately start looking for his next incarnation in some baby in the general area.

    And don’t worry about the memory of the witness testimony. I recall reading somewhere about some Anthros around Steiner who were upset that they could not remember their past lives. Steiner chided them about it, but then gave them this hope. He said that if they would study anthroposophy diligently and learn all about karma and destiny in this life, then in their NEXT life, they would be able to remember what went on in their immediately preceding life.

    So therefore, Pete, why not send out instructions to all your prospective witnesses and defendants to have them start studying anthroposophy diligently. Otherwise, when they finally take the stand and — probably speaking Russian like Frank — they won’t have to say: “I’m sorry, I cannot recall.”

  312. Save it for someone who’s interested,Tom… I know what I’m doing… and I’m right on schedule.

  313. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Well, so is the 6th Post-Atlantean Epoch. Starts 3573 AD.

  314. Translate: Making clever cutting remarks to Diana stopped being fun; time to find someone else to mock and feel superior to.

  315. Tom has had ample opportunity to speak out against a system he’s intimately familiar with – a system that harms children every day. Instead, he makes a big joke out of the harm they do.

    When I look at the courage of someone like Gregoire Perra – the former Waldorf teacher from France, who spoke out against Waldorf, and I look at Tom’s wasted postings… I see Tom as a very small man by comparison. It’s the old saying “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything”. Not that Tom would have any credibility on the world stage at this point… he secured his own testimony’s worthlessness many years ago.

  316. One suggestion I have is that if Tom wants to post something off topic that is intended only to stir things up, for entertainment purposes or whatever, then perhaps he could do it on a blog of his own.

  317. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Alicia,

    You know I appreciate you and your blog, and I especially appreciate the vote of confidence you gave me here a few days ago, but once again you are making noises like you would like me to go away and not mix with “your people” here. Again I say to you, if you want me to leave and not comment here again, please say so and I will quietly withdraw and honor your request. After all, I was away for 15 months and only came back here because Daniel had asked me: “Where is the best place to discuss Steiner’s views on race?” Where else but the Kiosk?

    Now as for going off topic, I’m somewhat puzzled about it. I assume now that you mean my reference to asking Pete about the status of his lawsuit. All right, I apologize if that was the off-topic issue. But the only reason I felt it was on topic is that Daniel had been a board member of his Waldorf school in the East and therefore, could put himself in the place of the Board members of Highland Hall, who are the people who would have to deal directly with Pete’s lawsuit. Therefore, I surmised that Daniel might have more of an interest in Pete’s lawsuit than the typical Steiner defender/admirer who visit here.

    Now as for the issue of stirring things up, was it my reference to reincarnation or the 6th Post Atlantean epoch in my tweaking of Pete? You see, I brought those issues up for a reason because I am actually endeavoring to show direct evidence to Daniel that Pete K is entirely correct in his evaluation of Rudolf Steiner as a racist and that racism is at the foundation of anthroposophy.

    And I claim to be on topic, because the actual topic of this thread is Ansgar Martin’s new book on Steiner and racism, whose Table of Contents I translated here.

    http://zooey.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/new-book/#comment-19295

    As you can see, Ansgar’s treatment of the issue is quite comprehensive and since Daniel still exhibits a tremendous reluctance to read the original FCL (Forbidden Colored Lecture) of March 3, 1923, GA 349, I decided to set him up now to read this lecture of 1915 which is essentially “forbidden” or “banned” because it only exists in English translation by Mabel Cottrell in an old typescript single lecture format at the RS Library in upstate NY with the title: : “The Christ-Impulse as Bearer of the Union of the Spiritual and the Bodily”

    Steiner gave this lecture in Stuttgart on Feb 13, 1915. The original German appears in GA 174b , Die geistigen Hintergründe des Ersten Weltkrieges, (“The Spiritual Background of the First World War”)

    In this lecture, Steiner specifically focuses on the “final race war” set to commence at the transition of the 5th to the 6th epoch. (Ca. 3573 AD) And that is the exact time frame that I set for Pete’s lawsuit, in case it dragged on into the next life for the people involved.

    I now quote from Peter Staudenmaier’s translation of the important passage that Daniel needs to read in order to realize the racial foundation of anthroposophy, and how much skin color is important for the future of humanity.

    “This carrying down, this thorough impregnation of the flesh by the spirit, this is characteristic of the mission, the whole mission of white humanity. People have white skin color because the spirit works within the skin when it wants to descend to the physical plane. That the external physical body will become a container for the spirit, that is the task of our fifth cultural epoch. [...]

    But when the spirit is held back, when it takes on a demonic character and does not fully penetrate the flesh, then white skin color does not appear, because atavistic powers are present that do not allow the spirit to achieve complete harmony with the flesh. [...]

    But these things will never take place in the world without the most violent struggle. White humankind is still on the path of absorbing the spirit deeper and deeper into its own essence. Yellow humankind is on the path of conserving the era when the spirit will be kept away from the body, when the spirit will only be sought outside of the human-physical organization.

    But the result will have to be that the transition from the 5th cultural epoch to the 6th cultural epoch cannot happen in any other way than as a violent battle of white humankind against colored humankind in myriad areas. And that which precedes these battles between white and colored humankind will occupy world history until the completion of the great battles between white and colored humankind.

    Future events are frequently reflected in prior events. You see, we stand before something colossal that – when we understand it through spiritual science – we will in the future be able to recognize as a necessary occurrence.”

    Now I do believe, Alicia, Pete and Diana, that this is the kind of stirring up that you would actually applaud me for. So how about a nice round of applause for your favorite Narcissist at the Kiosk?

  318. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Here is a deep question I have about the designation of “colored humankind” in the above passage.

    By “colored,” does Steiner mean only yellow? Or does he allow for a “Rainbow Coalition,” as it were, of yellow subsuming the black, brown and red races as part of the opposition to white humanity?

    Since this event is not supposed to commence for another 15 centuries, then I can argue for yellow only because, in other lectures, he specifically designates the black, brown and red races as degenerate and dying out, so that over the course of the next 15 centuries, they will have had more than enough time to die out completely, thus disappearing from humankind, and therefore leaving only the white and yellow races to duke it out.

  319. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    OK, Daniel, time for a reality check here.

    Because you are such an earnest seeker of the truth, and I have presented you with several verbatim quotes from Steiner about race and skin color, then the following famous courtroom movie scene applies to our situation.

    The movie is “A Few Good Men.” You are the Tom Cruise character, the Navy JAG officer prosecuting the Marine Colonel played by Jack Nicholson, who is l’il ole me.

    You want the truth, Daniel? Are you sure?

    Here is a 10 second clip of the exchange

  320. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Daniel,

    I know what a quick study you are, so I am confident that, two days after I taunted you with the “Few Good men” scene, that you are now ready to handle the truth.

    So, as you familiarize yourself with the contents of the various banned Steiner lectures and passages, I would like to zoom out and give a short historical perspective on the situation of anthroposophy and its critics.

    Rudolf Steiner died in 1925 at the age of 64. If we add those two numbers, we get 1989. That is the year I designate as the year that anthroposophy died. Whatever was living in the anthroposophy wrought by Steiner and the “daughter movements” especially Waldorf education, simply died then and there.

    Now what happens when a body dies? It starts to rot, so it’s no accident that 5 years later in 1994, Dan Dugan inaugurates the Waldorf Critics Mailing List on this newfangled thing called the World Wide Web. What does a rotting corpse attract in Nature? All the carrion eaters. (Now I’m not saying we make Dan “Lord of the Flies” even though the author of the novel was an ex-Waldorf teacher who won the Nobel Prize in Literature) but there are any number of carrion consuming creatures to chose from: maggots, buzzards, vultures, jackals, hyenas, etc.

    So this has been the important and crucial, not to mention hygienic function of the Waldorf Critics as I have seen them operate over the last 18 years. They root out, forage and consume the rotten stuff that Steiner gave us. So why get upset with them? Why get all bent out of shape that they are desecrating anthroposophy? Quite the opposite. They are clearing away the nasty stuff until we can gaze in awe and wonder at the skeleton that remains underneath all those racist passages, etc. everything that came from Steiner as a product of his time. Rotten anthroposophy needs to be desecrated!

    (Oh what killed anthroposophy? Couple of things, but mainly the racism that the Critics point out so well. So don’t ask me about it. Ask Pete. He’ll be glad to tell you. ;-))

    Now the only issue here for me to direct your attention to is how much more carrion is there left to consume? I happen to think the skeleton is clearly in view and just needs some final gnaws at the bones, a thorough washing and then a drying out and bleaching in the sun.

    Now what that means is that there are no more surprises to come out of Dornach concerning anthroposophy. All the bad stuff is out there and the carrion crew has done their job well. From the point of view of a new Waldorf school flourishing today, that means that Dan Dugan has taken his best shot and the Waldorf movement has survived and now thrives in these new and unpredictable evolutionary forms. (Whoever would have predicted Waldorf Charter Schools in 1989?)

    So, whatever doesn’t kill ya makes ya stronger. For awhile there, AWSNA was bouncing on the ropes from some wicked Dugan body blows, but now, Dan can take a well-deserved retirement because there’s nothing more he can do that’s new — outside of renewing or recycling the Same Old Stuff, which has been the situation in the “trench warfare” for the last 4 to 5 years or so.

    (On that note, I must designate Peter Staudenmaier as not a carrion consumer, but rather as a very thorough coroner or medical examiner who performed a much needed comprehensive autopsy on the exquisite corpse of Anthroposophy. His report was filed in 2010 as his PhD thesis in European History from Cornell. If you like, I can send you the PDF file which he graciously supplies to any who ask him for a copy.)

    So even though you may be shocked and distressed by all this Steiner carrion, know that it is by now 99% consumed and the skeleton is brightly visible all over the Internet.

    The only reason Anthros are upset with the Critics is that the Anthros are in denial about the death of Anthroposophy in 1989. I would tell them: Hey duh! Before you can have resurrection, let alone reincarnation, you first gotta have death! So stop treating anthroposophy as if it’s something alive and sacred coming from Dornach or dead Steiner’s lectures and then stop vilifying the critics as if they are not an integral part of anthroposophy at work in the world.

    Recall what Steiner said about the distinction between the Anthroposophical Movement and the Anthroposophical Society. He said that the Society was supposed to be the “Vessel” to carry the movement forward. But if the vessel got broken, then the movement would have to find other ways to enter human evolution, mainly from all around the periphery. Well, isn’t that your experience, Daniel? Look at all the Waldorf schools that are proliferating and thriving, working with all the good impulses Steiner gave — mostly unrecognizable from the old dead Steiner carrion stuff.

    As for the bad impulses of Steiner, let the Waldorf Critics finish their necessary job, now 99% complete, which is to consume and digest them. At this time, behold the wondrously formed skeleton of anthroposophy that they have so studiously and efficiently prepared for you.

    Finally, back to my Anthroposophy death year of 1989. What evidence can I put forth for you? Peter Staudenmaier was awarded his PhD in August 2010. 2010 – 1989 = 21.

    You know all about Steiner’s 3 times 7 year cycles, how they mark milestones along the way of progress and development from an initial seeding event. I have already mentioned Peter as the man who performed the autopsy on the exquisite corpse of anthroposophy.

    Now his coroner’s report is out and ready for you to read.

    Tom

  321. Tom is not often right, but in this case, he’s wrong again:

    “Now what that means is that there are no more surprises to come out of Dornach concerning anthroposophy. All the bad stuff is out there and the carrion crew has done their job well. ”

    Really? No more surprises? Every day we’re discovering more NEW things. There are always new reports of some fresh Waldorf scandal to be discovered. Why just last week, I reported on a former Waldorf teacher who suddenly snapped and murdered his pregnant girlfriend (and his own unborn child). The bad reviews keep flowing in at my blog… and then there’s the recent testimony of Gregorie Perra to rock Waldorf’s world – and now translated into English to further rock their world. Wella and Weleda are beginning to catch heat overseas while Steiner schools and initiatives are being closed down. And closer to home, Highland Hall is NUMBER ONE in unvaccinated children. They haven’t heard the last of that I’m sure. If there wasn’t such a steady flow of fresh meat for Waldorf critics to consume… we wouldn’t be so busy… and trust me, Waldorf critics are VERY busy.

  322. Mr Dog likes the bone-chewing references.

    But, no, waldorf is hardly thriving. It looks like it is struggling. In this country, where waldorf education receives full public funding, the fresh meat, as Pete calls it, doesn’t seem to offer itself so willingly, anymore, to the hungry jaws of anthroposophy. One school had to close recently, and others have been struggling. And this despite being dishonest — it’s not because these schools advertise anthroposophy that they’re avoided, quite the contrary, because they don’t even mention it.

  323. to clarify, it looks like I might be saying that they are avoided because they don’t even mention it, which of course is wrong. What I was going to say was that they aren’t avoided because they are open about anthroposophy; how could they be avoided on that account, as they aren’t even mentioning it. (That it is deceptive takes far longer to discover.)

  324. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Well I’m honored and grateful that Mr. Dog would peruse my comment and find it edifying — or is it ossifying? Now I would like to ask Mr. Dog what is his favorite carrion creature in the whole genus of Canis? Is there one species he would like to be in his next life?

    You are exactly right about the state and plight of Waldorf schools everywhere. And Rudolf Steiner himself predicted it!

    30 years ago, when I was at Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, CA, the president was Rene Querido, who used to love quoting this rather radical and enigmatic statement of Steiner’s about the future destiny of Waldorf schools.

    It goes something like this:

    “Waldorf schools will exist as separate independent schools only until the time arrives when the deeper impulses living within Waldorf education permeate ‘education-at-large’ — at which point, separate independent Waldorf schools become unnecessary.”

    So Steiner had an expiration date stamped on all the schools. Now 30 years ago, I could not conceive of how such a thing would ever transpire, but now, like you, I’m seeing it happen all over the world.

    The separate independent schools that identify with old anthroposophy (to me that’s pre-1989) are all crumbling away and you and all the Critics are helping that process along.

    My Waldorf imaginative picture is that the separate schools are like separate grains of table salt. Each crystal has a definite form and an identity. But the salt doesn’t do any good until it is sprinkled into the soup — and in order to permeate the whole soup, the salt crystals have to dissolve away their form and identity in order to make the whole soup tasty.

    (I’ll make it a ham and bean soup so Mr. Dog can savor getting the hambone after the soup is cooked.)

  325. Problem for waldorf is that it isn’t the salt in the soup of education at large.

    As for the bones… That’s a complicated question. Different bones for different chewing purposes.

  326. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Hola, Tomfortas!

    Interesting account of the ‘trench warfare’, apparently now over – did anyone win? Well, not the critics and certainly not Peter Staudenmaier! But, you say, as a sober, critically distanced scholar he had no interest in ‘winning’. Hah! Your account of his magnum opus, his doctoral work, is as biased as Staudenmaier’s work itself. Yes, he may be the expert on racism and that may be your and the critics’ focus but, as you’ll know, there’s a hell of a lot more and more important and interesting things than that in Steiner’s life’s work. Science for one. Staudenmaier’s treatment of this topic is dreadful – ignorant, arrogant and evasive (well, he’d say ‘polemical’, thinking there’s no problem mixing polemics with ‘history and scholarship’; but he’s as wrong on that score as most topics he’s essayed to cover). No news to you, I hope, but you can compare, for example, Staudenmaier’s treatment of Steiner’s coverage of Newton with what Steiner actually said and meant in my appraisal (which is only ‘for the record’ – as the war is over no one is expected to reply to, or possibly read, what I’ve written) here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/steiner12/message/319. As I say in my posting, there’s a plethora of equivalent topics one could have chosen to show what shoddy, biased scholarship Staudenmaier has in general offered up to Steiner’s thought. For those that are willing to think it out for themselves (and that’s not many, it seems, judging by the responses on critics), Staudenmaier is as irrelevant as the now complete war.

    As a side note – congratulations to Alicia for hosting the kiosk, where it seems people of differing viewpoints wrt Steiner can sometimes actually communicate, rather than just shouting past each other.

    But for now, hasta la vista baby!

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  327. ‘ignorant, arrogant’

    Interestingly enough, that’s exactly my impression of your rants and explications.

  328. That you have the nerve, Ted, to come here. And to come here to badmouth Peter with your ignorance and arrogance. An abundance of it. You have not read Peter’s work, much less have you have understood it, as much has been clear. Your belief in your own spiritual superiority, however, doesn’t stop you from being a nasty prick, nor does it stop you from pronouncing your uninformed viewpoints. Quite the contrary. It does what it usually does to ignorant and arrogant people — it boosts their confidence further.

    I was unusually charitable when I wrote this about Ted’s idocies:
    http://zooey.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/current-health-issues/

  329. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Well, Teddy Boy! Fancy meeting you here — especially in light of Pete K’s theory that you and I are one and the same person.

    Do you realize, Ted, that if we were indeed the same entelechy, then that would be one of the most striking examples of Multiple Personality Disorder in the annals of anthroposophical psychiatry, er, psychosophy?

    How about it, Ted? Would you like to be me? See, I’ve already got the Narcissistic PD covered, but if you became me then I could add MPD to my karmic resume, which in turn would enhance my narcissism all the more. See, it’ll be a win-win situation — at least for me anyway, but that’s all that counts, right?

    Teddy Boy, come to Hollywood and I’ll make you — and me — famous!!!

  330. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Alicia,

    We’ve never really hit it off, have we? You have your views and I have mine and there’s not much apparently between them. But my criticism of your responses to what I’ve said in the past was mainly that you don’t – respond to what I’ve said. As you aren’t here (vile language notwithstanding). Insulting me doesn’t really address anything. But, of course, post hostilities, as I’ve said, perhaps what we say is for the record only. Though I would have to say that on ‘arrogance’ it isn’t me that’s been claiming scholarly superiority for four years.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  331. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Tom, Tom,

    What can I say? A marriage made in heaven. Well, if we follow Wiiliam Blake, a marriage of heaven and hell: you can be mine and I’ll be yours! But I think I’d find Hollywood too hot: how do you fancy a trip to rainy Winchester (the history’s hot stuff)?

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  332. Ted, you’ve been hostile all the way through; your appearances on the critics list were nothing but unpleasant. Your posts about me on the AT list were simply vile. When I wrote about one of them on this blog — I just linked to that post above — I was much nicer than you deserved. If you don’t get that, you’re clueless. Which comes as no surprise at all.

    Anyone who wants to familiarize themselves with your style and your posts (not to say your views, confused as they are) can easily find them on these lists (waldorf critics and the crap-filled anthroposophy tomorrow).

    YOU come HERE telling me about my supposedly ‘vile language’ and about me insulting you? The nerve. No, that was not a question. ‘Hit it off’ — you’re kidding me. You have burnt your bridges with me long ago. Not interested.

  333. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Disagree almost entirely, of course (hence my comment about divergent viewpoints), with your view of me (obviously) and your view of your own behaviour (simply indicated by the fact that I have never insulted you).

    You are right, however, about a certain abrasiveness in my behaviour on critics; not towards you but certainly towards Peter Staudenmaier and I have apologised for this in the past. But the experience for people defending Steiner there has been described as ‘hell’s kitchen’ by others and wasn’t something I was used to. For this reason, it took me a while to find my voice there.

    “Not interested”

    No, never thought you were.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  334. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Oh Teddy Boy, you and Sune Narwhal each have such a cute peri-adolescent schoolgirl-like “man crush” on Herr Doktor Professor Peter Staudenmaier! But it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re gay or anything kinky. It just means that you and Sune both have a severe case of EPE = Etheric Peter Envy. (pun intended on his name as a colloquial synonym for the MOOF = Male Organ Of Fructification). Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

  335. Ted, YOU spread vicious lies about me as a person, how on earth can you come here and expect ME to be nice? If you at least had apologized for spreading lies about my health — which, by the way, is neither here nor there when it comes to anthroposophy — perhaps then I could have accepted that, on that particular occasion, you had made a mistake. But no. You don’t even seem to acknowledge that it is wrong to spread lies about someone’s personal life. You think that it is just fine, if it can protect your beliefs from negative opinions. Apparently some anthroposophists think that spreading nasty rumours about critics as persons can make anthroposophy look better. It can’t.

    The worst kind of anthroposophical low-life.

    Crawl back to those vicious anthroposophical mailing lists, is my suggestion.

  336. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Well, I don’t know about a ‘crush’ but it was certainly an unusual experience, that I’d never encountered before. I’ve spent (done?) time in the university system but not really come across the politico academic before (not sure why, as part of my ‘time’ included a year at Warwick uni, taking courses, in part, from the second year politics curriculum). You don’t have a problem with him being ‘clever, slippery and manipulative’? I think he’s welcome to etherically out fructify me in that manner as much as he likes (though, as I recall, he claimed modestly in our penis size competition on WC!).

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  337. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Alicia,

    More insults and vile language – oh well, it’s your blog. You needn’t be ‘nice’, civil would do.

    On your claim: as usual, we disagree and, as I explained on the ‘vicious …mailing list’, those were, more or less, bar inaccuracy in my recall, your words about your health from your blog, not my words. No ‘lies’ or ‘beliefs’ or ‘rumours’. But, like you, I’m tired of wasting my time over this sort of stuff.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  338. Civil? Get lost. Do you think what you wrote only hours ago about Peter was ‘civil’? Do you think what you’ve written about me is ‘civil’?

    And, no, you made it up. Of course I had not written that I was suffering from current health issues, which was what you claimed — BECAUSE I WAS NOT! If you got that false ‘information’ from somewhere, it wasn’t me.

    Really, you do take the biscuit as far as anthroposophical nastiness goes.

  339. Why on earth do I even allow this shit on my blog? It’s like bringing in a filthy, stinking carcass and let it rot in your livingroom.

  340. Tom reminded us: ‘“…Rene Querido, who used to love quoting this rather radical and enigmatic statement of Steiner’s about the future destiny of Waldorf schools. It goes something like this: “Waldorf schools will exist as separate independent schools only until the time arrives when the deeper impulses living within Waldorf education permeate ‘education-at-large’ — at which point, separate independent Waldorf schools become unnecessary.”‘
    Looks like der Doktor is right again, or at least on the road to being right – although we’re not there yet. I don’t know about Sweden, but in Germany there’s so much demand that there’s no room for my grandchildren in Berlin, where there are several Waldorf schools. Also the schools are springing up South America all around – without state financing. There would of course be many many more if they weren’t so damned expensive, something which makes then essentially elitist. HOWEVER the charter school phenomenon in the U.S. looks like the path Steiner meant. Public(state financed) schools without state control. I understand that they are already causing problems for private Waldorf schools where they are close to a charter Waldorf school. Who wants to pay a lot when it’s free around the corner? Frank

  341. Ted Wrinch · ·

    I can’t respond to your health thing anymore.

    Do you think that the various (violently unpleasant) things Peter has written about me are civil? But, more than that, why do you defend him, or bother to get angry about what I say about him? It’s not about you, it’s about him, and, as has been suggested, there’s a fair bit of history behind that item.

    “It’s like bringing in a filthy, stinking carcass and let it rot in your livingroom.”

    No comment (how could there be?).

    “Why on earth do I even allow this shit on my blog? ”

    Because you value freedom?

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  342. “Public(state financed) schools without state control.”

    Dream on. Sums up the whole anthroposophical mindset. Everything belongs to us, or should, and nobody should ask questions.

  343. The ‘problem’, however, is that state funding comes with state control, to varying degrees, but still; it would be reckless to hand out tax-payers’ money without assuring there’s some value in the services the money buys. (Not that politicians aren’t often too happy to hand out money for misunderstood nonsense. But they shouldn’t. People should ask where the money goes.)

    It used to be like that in Sweden — unbelievable really (in my opinion), but when I was a child there was a lot of demand, at least for kindergarten and early grades. Now they struggle to fill the schools, especially the smaller ones. I suspect that the problem is that they have tried to expand too much — there aren’t enough competent teachers (oh, laugh) and not enough interested families to fill up all these schools. Regardless of them being entirely free of charge (the same applies to all schools, and other schools offer a more attractive education). So the schools, in turn, have to tone down their character. If you don’t have enough customers, it’s even more important not to repel anyone. It didn’t so much matter that waldorf schools were odd and weird and anthroposophical when I was a kid, there was demand anyway. (There were almost only state schools back then.) But there were less than ten schools then, if my memory is correct; today there are 40 (or 39, as one just closed).

    Sure, you can have a bland, diluted version of waldorf. At one point, though, it ceases to have a point. It’s just (not a very good) school without any special character. People have no idea why they should choose it. Unless they really like knitting and pink walls. But then… you have people choosing it for no good reason. It’s quite boring and meaningless. But seriously, you do have proponents of waldorf saying that things like extra knitting are the point. Extra knitting is how waldorf is different. It’s all about promoting the stupidly superficial differences. I think it’s waldorf’s downfall. A major one, almost on par with providing an often bad education (parents might accept academic deficits if something else is offered instead, but when it isn’t… they have no reason to).

  344. Ted’s comment above got stuck at the gate, in moderation, and I seriously considered leaving it stuck.

    I guess he can’t respond because there’s really nothing to say, and he won’t understand that it is a huge blunder to do what he did.

    As for Peter, he has responded to the various ridiculous and usually uninformed arguments Ted has made. Unfortunately, Ted does not see the difference between attacking and picking apart an argument and attacking someone as a person, to attack character and personality and to use other personal and to use other personal aspects against someone.

    As for freedom — this is my blog, and no, I don’t ‘value freedom’ for just any kind of idiocy. People are free to do what they please, within the boundaries of what’s legal, but they aren’t free to do it here. Mind, I think even idiocy has a right to exist, but it has to find its own place — I’m not obliged, by any loyalty to ideals of freedom, to allow it in my home, on my walls, on my blog, or in my book if I were to write one.

    So, no, wrong answer. I allow it because I’m too lazy (and have too little time) to moderate comments. Perhaps I need to start, though. I’m not sure I want to offer space for some of what’s been going on lately, and not only on this thread. It’s a waste of my time and energy. This entire thread is out of hand, and I don’t even know when it happened.

    (Edited because of odd writing.)

  345. Alicia wrote: “Sure, you can have a bland, diluted version of waldorf. At one point, though, it ceases to have a point. It’s just (not a very good) school without any special character.” That’s what the anthroposophical purists say. Shame on you, Alicia, getting in with that crowd.

  346. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Alicia,

    Well, on reflection I can say one last thing: I do apologise If what I said on AT offended you – that’s only civil.

    On Peter Staudernmaier: we will never agree. You just don’t see the whole picture, the content is too close to your own (negative) experiences. You’d like to think that he hasn’t attacked me – with accusations of anti-Semitism, affiliation to far right politics and all the rest – but he has. And, after a while, a constant diet of ‘Ted believes’, where the things supposedly believed are invidious, suggests, even implies, that the person conforms to the beliefs. To put it simply, as someone once said: if a person tells lies (the argument) then the person is a liar (the character).

    Time to go, I think. It was only supposed to be a quick drop-in anyway.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  347. Ted about Peter:

    “Do you think that the various (violently unpleasant) things Peter has written about me are civil? ”

    Peter has not written violently unpleasant things about you. He is certainly snide with you, but it’s hard to imagine how one could avoid a snide reply to some of the more muddled thoughts you come forth with and your faux-erudite tone, lists of courses you’ve taken etc. He has never written anything to you that a reasonable person would consider “violently unpleasant,” unless perhaps the two of you have conversed privately, which I doubt.

  348. Maybe you could consider just not blogging for a brief while, Alicia, in hopes these people will go away. You surely don’t deserve all this crap. This thread, I agree, went right out of control when you weren’t looking.

    Ted: you might as well get over it. The very first post you ever wrote on critics was to explain to us how mistaken we were to say that the Jews did not kill Christ. You were bewildered at the very notion that anyone did not understand that the Jews killed Christ, and you were there to set us straight on that. It did not get better from there, and you can hardly expect to shake off the association with antisemitism any time soon, after introducing yourself in that fashion. It was quite stunning at the time, yet years later, you seem still unsure exactly why anyone might have such a notion about your beliefs.Years of idiotic defenses of Steiner’s blatant antisemitism … um, did you think that would work AGAINST this impression?

  349. Frank — I think they have a point, these purists. Not that their approach is necessarily better — that would depend — but blandness is only temporarily successful, until you entirely lose your identity. The only thing that could attract masses of people — as waldorf schools in some countries, if not all, would want to do — is a bland, diluted version of waldorf. I honestly wonder what the point of that would be. Ultimately the result would be what I mentioned: identity loss.

    But — in theory, at least (practice is a whole other matter), it should certainly be possible to keep a lot of special character without anthroposophical puritanism. In theory.

    Why would the choice be between blandness (and pointlessness) and puritanism (and fundamentalistically applied anthroposophical ideas)? If those are the two options — perhaps it’s waldorf proponents who lack competence and fantasy to envision something else!

    Sure, the options seem to be blandness and puritanism. I wonder if that’s not too simplistic, though.

  350. Ted Wrinch · ·

    You’re too much, Diana!

    I know what I experienced with Peter Staudenmaier – some of the most unpleasant interactions anywhere with anyone. But I don’t think it’s worth taking any further, especially as, Tomfortas being right, the war is over!

    “Ted: you might as well get over it. The very first post you ever wrote on critics was to explain to us how mistaken we were to say that the Jews did not kill Christ….”

    Get over yourself, Diana! All this has been chewed over for years and we will never agree what really happened. “War is over (for a while); give peace a chance.”

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  351. Ted — thank you. Unfortunately (for you) I do think I have the whole picture, or at least a more whole (no, one can’t say that, I suppose) picture than you. I read the exchanges between you and Peter on critics. I completely agree with what Diana writes above (#19544). Like her, I also remember how you entered the stage, as it were, with that very odd (to say the least) post entitled ‘The Jews Crucified Christ’. (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/5171)

    Diana — ‘Maybe you could consider just not blogging for a brief while, Alicia, in hopes these people will go away. You surely don’t deserve all this crap. This thread, I agree, went right out of control when you weren’t looking.’

    Yeah, that’s the creepy thing. Not that threads haven’t derailed before, but usually I’ve known about it (and sometimes been complicit…). Maybe. Or I could moderate comments for a while.

  352. ‘I know what I experienced with Peter Staudenmaier’

    … you know what you experienced. Maybe your experiences don’t match what actually happened. Maybe you’re interpreting them in a skewed way.

    ‘All this has been chewed over for years and we will never agree what really happened.’

    We don’t need to agree. We can just read your post!

  353. Ted Wrinch · ·

    “…you know what you experienced. Maybe your experiences don’t match what actually happened. Maybe you’re interpreting them in a skewed way.”

    Sure! And, nope! But, as I’ve said, our viewpoints diverge on many things; best to just leave it, I think.

    “We don’t need to agree. We can just read your post!”

    Sure, and then all my other posts on the list, for the nest two years, explaining it? Nope, you’re not gonna bother to do that. But without this context (and the post had errors in it too) what I meant by that stumbling first post is not clear. And I stumbled for quite a long time: I’d been out of the academic milieu, or anywhere one needs to express written ideas clearly, for a couple of decades by then. I’d been writing software instead, to keep the family fed and clothed, and the ‘writing’ in software is very far from the art of human communication!

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  354. “I know what I experienced with Peter Staudenmaier – some of the most unpleasant interactions anywhere with anyone. ”

    Yes, you know what you experienced. I really do not doubt it was unpleasant for you. And people reading the posts know what they read, that is, the words that are actually there.

  355. ‘Sure, and then all my other posts on the list, for the nest two years, explaining it? Nope, you’re not gonna bother to do that.’

    I have read them. Remember, I was there. I read virtually all posts back then. I participated in the discussions.

  356. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Hmm, you’re pushing quite hard on what is not really a very interesting topic, and one that seems tangential to me. And I’ve said all that I’m now going to say so many times before, when it was apparently ignored. But, once again, since you seem to want to know: I made that post but explained later what I’d meant: the Sanhedrin convicted Christ and so condemned him to death (Matthew 26:57); the Roman’s crucified him. That’s it. Really not very interesting, I’d have thought, but apparently enough to convict me as ‘anti-Semitic’ (I am aware how the idea had been abused in the Middle Ages by various fanatical and non-Christian Christians, but their’s was not my view).

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  357. Nobody here is pushing you on anything, nor particularly interested in your views. You wondered how-could-it-possibly-be that you were thought to have antisemitic views, and I explained, as I have numerous times, how posting, as your personal introduction, a bold screed entitled “The Jews crucified Christ” kinda works that way.

  358. As an introduction of Ted Wrinch it was epic.

  359. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Diana said:

    “Nobody here is pushing you on anything…You wondered how-could-it-possibly-be that you were thought to have antisemitic views…”

    Here we go! No – ‘anti-semitic’ was just one of the dozens of appellations I’d received from Peter Staudenmaier (try reading my post). You think you’re ‘not pushing’ when you focus only on a post that is allegedly anti-Semitic? Can’t help you there but this is the kind of go-round, that you like, that I can’t be bothered with.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  360. Ted Wrinch · ·

    “As an introduction of Ted Wrinch it was epic.”

    Can’t deny that! But, in a somewhat small defence, and as I’d also said several times on the list – it was (maybe foolishly) designed to be inflammatory (though, also slightly in my defence, the title wasn’t mine and was a complete mistake)!

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  361. Well then, all is well. Something good came of it all. You realize you were mistaken that the Jews killed Christ.

  362. Ted Wrinch · ·

    “Well then, all is well. Something good came of it all. You realize you were mistaken that the Jews killed Christ.”

    Never thought they did. But if you’re happy that’s good.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  363. The most important raison d’etre for Waldorf schools, Alicia, is to serve as models for public education (imho). So there is no reason why Waldorf pedagogy, which is, after all, a method, cannot be taken over in toto by public schools, as is the case with charter schools (I’m told). If in Israel or Japan, or even the USA, they don’t do a Christmas celebration, fe, that’s OK – whatever works there. That doesn’t mean that all schools would be obliged to use Waldorf pedagogy. We’re talking here about freedom in the cultural sphere.

  364. “We’re talking here about freedom in the cultural sphere.”

    Get this through your THICK skull Frank… there can be NO FREEDOM as long as Waldorf LIES about its nature and its intent. Freedom would require freedom FROM Waldorf’s dishonesty. There is NOTHING Waldorf can offer the world of education through dishonesty! Waldorf started out dishonest and it has remained that way. The “Waldorf model” is what NOT to do.

  365. “I know what I experienced with Peter Staudenmaier – some of the most unpleasant interactions anywhere with anyone. ”

    Well, Ted, that’s because you’re trying to pretend you’re brighter than you are… It’s never pleasant to discover that everyone KNOWS you’re dim.

  366. Hollywood Tomfortas · ·

    Frank,

    In preparing a response to Pete K. and his blustering blowhard buffoonery, I was going to include a link to a classic Yosemite Sam cartoon, where I of course play Bugs Bunny to Pete’s Yosemite. But after watching him blow his stack at you just now, I had to put up this modernized version of Yosemite Sam blowing his stack in a modern setting that is set to music.

    Here’s a Steiner quote for you, Pete, from the Mystery play: “Oh, Pete, know thyself!”

  367. No, I’m sorry, Ted, but it is false to say that you did not believe the Jews killed Christ. This is a very common maneuver with anthroposophists, but rewriting the record won’t work. The post, although already posted by Alicia, is right here, for anyone who would like to know what you thought (though your views have apparently changed since then):

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/5171

    The post was titled: “The Jews Crucified Christ.”

    You wrote:

    [quoting Peter S.]: “It may be worth noting that Percedol, our erstwhile anthroposophist
    listmate, also believed that the Jews crucified Christ. This is a remarkable error.”

    To which you replied: “This is puzzling and I would like to comment later.” And when you got to commenting, you said: “Now back to that strange quote from Mr Staudenmaier. The most obvious reply to this is ‘Poppycock, they most certainly did kill Christ’.”

    Hm. But you didn’t think they killed Christ? Yes, you did think they killed Christ.

    You thought so because, as you told us: “I went to the Winchester (UK) Passion at Easter and saw Pilate washing his hands of the execution the Roman state was about to carry out,” and based on this goofy argument, you conclude, a paragraph later: “So the Jews did kill Christ.”

    Um, so what you thought was that the Jews killed Christ.

    Granted, you did then opine that it was unreasonable to blame ALL the Jews, as a people, down through the centuries, for killing Christ. But the thesis of your post was that the Jews were indeed to blame.

  368. “In preparing a response to Pete K. and his blustering blowhard buffoonery, I was going to include a link to a classic Yosemite Sam cartoon”

    You’re the buffoon Tom… now STFU… your cartoon bullshit adds nothing to the discussion. You’re the cartoon…

    The point I made is absolutely legitimate. Waldorf lies to prospective parents about their intent. Frank makes some claim about “cultural freedom” here – and that’s some serious nonsense that Anthroposophists hold dear… that they are offering freedom while being deceitful to everyone outside the cult. Frank and Daniel and a few thousand other Anthroposophists need to actually *get* this.

  369. Ted Wrinch · ·

    Still keeping the balls the air, Diana – but then that’s what you like to do isn’t it? But this still isn’t interesting and is tangential to the topic. Those quotes were still me in inflammatory mode (though you’ve chopped my description of the passion play) and I had also said at the time “in a manner of speaking”. My target in the whole thing was Matthew 26:57. Peter Staudenmaier denied that the episode described in the New Testament passage had happened; I said, as far as we knew anything about the event, this was the best record we had and it said that they had. The episode says that the Sanhedrin convicted him and the Romans executed him.

    Pete: nice to hear from you, in all your old irascible manner. How’s the law suit going?

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  370. Ted Wrinch · ·

    ” I said, as far as we knew anything about the event, this was the best record we had and it said that they had”

    should say:

    ” I said, as far as we knew anything about the event, this was the best record we had and it said that the event had happened”

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  371. Ted Wrinch · ·

    On “in a manner of speaking”: I had also said at the time that we say that the “romans” crucified him when, to be exact, we should say “Pilate and the army” did so; my (somewhat silly) idea was that one could similarly say “The Jews” when one meant “The Sanhedrin”.

    T.

    Ted Wrinch

  372. Ok, everyone. I’m going to do some moderator magic and close this thread down.

    I find that Diana thoroughly and sufficiently described what happened in the thread where Ted announced that the jews killed christ. Whether or not it was inflammatory is quite beside the point — his messsage was not unclear, and can be read by anyone who wants to find out more about it. (See the link.)

    Anyway, I’m going to move the waldorf discussion to a new post. If anyone wants to continue that discussion, you’re welcome to do so in the new comment thread.

  373. Don’t miss Peter Staudenmaier’s excellent review of the book:

    http://waldorfblog.wordpress.com/2012/12/22/staudenmaier-rezension/

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