the tasks of humanity

an article originally from magazine Steiner Education:

Man as evolving being of body, soul and spirit stands at the centre of Anthroposophical work. The Waldorf teacher must permeate himself with knowledge, learning to recognize, if not experience, the presence and power of divine beings in world evolution and in the development of every human being. …the teacher’s task could never be properly carried out if he were not aware in the depths of his own being of the role of Christ in world evolution and in the life of every human being. Ultimately, it is this awareness that renders the teacher incapable of indoctrinating his pupils. Christ’s mission on earth was an intervention aimed at preserving human contact with the divine …

If Christ is the supreme spiritual entity in connection with the earth, and if each human being enters earthly incarnation from spiritual origins, then it follows that mankind, wishing it or not, has a relationship to Christ.

It may even be so that the rift between religion and science could be healed if the artistic were allowed to work strongly in each realm.

On being asked science or fact questions by a child, this is the advice:

Answers removed from the child’s experience will tend to alienate her, drawing her from her priest-artist reality. Keeping this in mind, we can act in two ways: Find answers that are true, while speaking to the budding artistic-religious being. Or, say to the child, “Suppose you tell me why”.

On teaching mythology in school: “The curriculum is rich in subjects that could be considered religious in nature: Old Testament Stories, Norse Mythology, Greek Mythology, and so on. Each of these is in the curriculum for one reason only – they all have to do with child development.”

In this article there is also a novel (?) way of categorizing children: ‘the “scientist”, “artist” or “priest” in each youngster’… which appears to be a continuation of the thinking behind temperaments.

Teachers work on themselves:

The very young child will experience this in quite a subconscious way, appreciating the teacher for her priestly nature. The child of the middle period will benefit because of the artistic work every class teacher undertakes, gifted or not. Only the High School pupil will ask the question, now out of the “scientist” mentality, what is this Anthroposophy? What keeps you going, teacher?

Isn’t the last student questions a form of concession… of what really takes place, what has really taken place during the last 12 or so years?

On the waldorf teacher:

By striving to serve this higher being, the teacher is aware that he serves the spiritual world at large. He recognizes the human being as a spiritual being, part of a whole hierarchy of beings. And he knows that the Christ Being, belonging to the realm of the highest gods, is now united with the earth. This being can be served, perhaps surprisingly, in ways that are in no way connected to any sacrament,dogma  or sect. A teacher striving to serve the needs of the incarnating child, and basing his work on a concrete knowledge of man, ultimately serves the Christ.