what haiti needs?

over the past days, I’ve read about homeopaths and scientologists who are travelling to Haiti to “help” with the aftermath of the earthquake recently. This is perhaps somewhat less disturbing, but it still makes me think something is quite wrong going on: Waldorf-Krisenteam nach Haiti (Waldorf crisis team to Haiti). NNA reports that the Freunde der Erziehungskunst Rudolf Steiners plans to send a waldorf pedagogical crisis intervention team, to aid children who are experiencing psychological trauma as a consequence of the earthquake.

Perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea. Perhaps they can really do something good. (Here I have the irresistible urge to say something utterly sarcastic about anthroposophists and their capacities for handling crises. I envision eurythmists who can’t even stop kids from hitting each other during eurythmy lessons. I hope they don’t send any eurythmists. There’s too much crisis on Haiti for that. But the quote below actually suggests eurythmy as a crisis intervention method.)

Die Menschenkunde der Waldorfpädagogik, ihr Verständnis seelischer Prozesse und ihre vielfältigen rhythmischen und künstlerischen Methoden lösen seelische Verkrampfungen und stärken den Menschen von innen. In gestalteten Unterrichts- und Spielphasen, im Freispiel und in Phasen kreativ-künstlerischer Gestaltung sollen durch das Trauma verschüttete personale Ressourcen freigesetzt und aktiviert werden. In der waldorfpädagogischen Notfallpädagogik kommen insbesondere plastisches-therapeutisches Gestalten, die Mal- und Zeichentherapie, Eurythmie sowie weitere waldorfpädagogisch-verwandte Methoden zum Einsatz, die den Betroffen ermöglichen, ihr Erleben non-verbal zu artikulieren.

So — is it likely that Haitian children can or will benefit from waldorf pedagogy’s anthroposophical knowledge of the human being, from its understanding of spiritual processes and so forth? Maybe this knowledge can be comforting to children who have suffered loss of homes and loved ones:

“… in human beings who perish as a result of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions one notices, during their next incarnation, inner qualities which are quite different. They bring from birth great spiritual pre-dispositions because, through their death, they were brought in touch with forces which showed them the true nature of reality and the illusion of material life.” Steiner, lecture June 12, 1906.


Edit: Jan 28, 2010 — NNA news in English: Waldorf crisis intervention team to head for Haiti.

The international Waldorf organisation Friends of Waldorf Education is to send a crisis intervention team to Haiti to help traumatised children there come to terms with their terrible experiences.

“The Friends of Waldorf Education intend to send a crisis intervention team, consisting of educationalists, psychologists, therapists, physicians and translators, into the disaster area in mid-February to stimulate the children’s natural self-healing processes and counter possible delayed reactions,” the group said in a statement.

The concept of the human being underlying Waldorf education, its understanding of psychological processes and its many different rhythmical and artistic methods can release psychological strain and strengthen the human being from within.

Structured phases of teaching and play, free play and phases of creative and artistic activities are intended to release and activate personal resources which have been buried by the trauma. Waldorf education in crisis situations makes use in particular of therapeutic modelling, painting and drawing therapy, eurythmy as well as other Waldorf methods which allow the affected children to articulate their experiences in a non-verbal way.

19 thoughts on “what haiti needs?

  1. @ zooey

    very good quote: “… They bring from birth great spiritual pre-dispositions because, through their death …”

    A stand alone feature of Anthroposophy: “If you die – don’t worry be happy!”

    It’s always that Anthroposophical Karma option, no matter if it’s the Holocaust http://www.planetwelti.ch/2009/03/31/anthroposophie-holocaust-und-das-karma-der-juden or dying through illnesses like measles http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_f9OE2HcZ4

  2. He also said, though

    “But it should never so much as occur to anyone to attach an iota of guilt to the victim of such a calamity or to withhold compassion in the fullest measure. It must be absolutely clear to an anthroposophist that the karma of these individuals has nothing to do with the guilt to which the catastrophes are due and it should never occur to him to withhold help from anyone because — to put it trivially — he believes in karma and therefore assumes that this destiny was brought on by the man himself.”


  3. @ zooey

    is this a summary done by somebody else? Or an original Steiner-quote?

    Who is “he”? “The Anthroposophist”? Or Steiner?

    Anyway even if the term “guilt” is not applied the fact remains the same:

    “he believes in karma and therefore assumes that this destiny was brought on by the man himself”

    Conclusion: man produced the earthquake … who in particular caused the earth-quake?

  4. @ Andreas,
    there was a link you know, click on it. There you have the source.

    “He” refers back to the hypothetical (ie, not a specific individual) anthroposophist Steiner speaks about — this is apparent gramatically, if not otherwise. Steiner says, in this quote, that it would be wrong of the anthroposophist to assume the earthquake was caused by the karma of the specific person/-s hit by its consequences. He says that the anthroposophist should not make this assumption because he (the anthroposophist) believes in karma.

  5. @ zooey

    got s.th. else to do than researching all day long into insane Rudolf Steiner …

    Anyway I see a contradiction: If s.th. is brought about by Karma, somebody must have produced this Karma …

    Karma is always produced by man, isn’t it?

  6. @ Andreas,

    I somehow find it implausible that you have something else to do than “researching” Rudolf Steiner. Rudolf Steiner is in your karma, that’s for sure.

  7. @ zooey

    “Rudolf Steiner is in your karma”

    can’t you simply stop that nonsense? Do you really have to behave in this ridculous way?

  8. It is good karma to be silly once. It is bad karma to be silly twice. Second time repeat-silly cancels what was good in silly number one. It has to do with divine plans being thwarted and what shouldn’t happen happening anyway and in the end it was just all meant to be because double-silly just had bad karma and the cosmic forces knew all about it all along.

  9. getting worse with every comment you write:

    “derailed crap thread” Noumber ?

    I lost my count

    (by the way: “Every wall is a door”)

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