waldorf tales ii

this is it: you can never escape from a past like that. There’s a before and there’s an after. That which has changed you never releases its grip. People think, once you’ve left, you’re free, you can go back to being yourself, and your own personality can be allowed to reemerge; but, in fact, you become your own tormentor, your own oppressor. You apply onto yourself everything that was formerly applied to you by others. Your sense of self-worth — or rather the lack thereof — is ingrained. There is no escaping. There is no strong inner individuality which can make its appearance on the canvas of your life and rectify what has been wrong; whatever is there, is weak and remains in hiding, the spirit having become a hermit. I know other people have pasts too. But I do wonder whether people with nice pasts are equally influenced by them — their pasts having been constructive forces in mental growth, not ghostly powers contributing to the destruction of their selves. They’ve been able to savour the good, discard the bad and moved on with living.

So you can walk away, but you can never be free.

I left, and at first, I was relatively fine. I had daily headaches, my insomnia was as bad as always. But otherwise, I was ok, that is, I didn’t reflect, I continued to exist without being alive.  I was asleep to life, even as an insomniac. I was, for the first time in my life, in a structured environment where grown-ups acted reasonably. Where effects could be predicted from causes. Where violence was as rare as gnomes are in reality. Being safe and free — from an objective viewpoint — I began to understand that I would never be free enough to be happy, but I was free enough to die. I wasn’t psychologically as repressed anymore as I had used to be — I could choose to end any pains I was in. And my feeling — my feeling that I ought to do just that — lasted as long as the waldorf experience: perhaps it lasted even longer, and with more devastating effects. I needed to be resuscitated; I needed rescuing, as much from myself as from anything or anyone else.

In place of what used to be a constant struggle for mental survival, ensues a state of delayed panic — of being ridden by the very nightmare that should belong to the past but still manages to fool you through its vivid reenactments of memories. The impact on mind patterns have been so deep there’s no sense of ‘normality’ left. There’s no sane self to return to once the material and immaterial nightmares subside. I kept populating my mental universe with torture and terrors both imagined and remembered. Having the past I had, disabled — at that time — any rational approach to dealing with mental anguish.

The relationship to other human beings becomes tainted by the fact you carry with you unconscious pre-conceptions: your default perspective still being that others will stab you in the back, that humans are basically evil and harbour bad intentions, that you can trust nobody and that the world is an inherently bad place. If you ever had any connection to humanity, you’ve let it devolve in order to protect yourself from pain.

6 thoughts on “waldorf tales ii

  1. The point about having a positive past is that you can create a constructive future. You’re not dragged back as you are, zooey to that formative time where there were daily threats to your child self. ‘There’s no sane self to return to’: you can only build one.

    We can be reassured about normality though, since it’s fiction. But isn’t it hard enough to find a way through life without an imposed layer of shadows and spectres, monsters and archangels, imaginary pasts on unnecessary islands or moons; like an omnipresent middle-ages? Any interference with my imagination (in the true sense, unassaulted by anthroposophical phantoms) would no doubt have driven me crazy. And who would I be without it? As developed, freely, with access to books and history and ideas: images, films, cartoons, TV ads, all that toxic detritus though I can assure readers I had a relationship with nature too without the benefit of any guardian angel.

  2. Yes, it’s true — I am dragged back. Of course, I know that there wouldn’t have been normality even if I had had different experiences. It’s harder to say what would have been. I don’t know.

    And that’s probably (partly) the root of my ambiguous feelings. I can’t take things away — and I can’t be entirely negative — because then I feel I don’t have a past at all or that it was all just completely wasted.* And if I’d choose to be constructive about my current self… well, that’s all good. If I can, it’s good. And, indeed, things are complicated enough without archangels and the old Atlantis or the astral bodies.

    (*Then I feel I’m a bad waldorf critic because I don’t do what I can to express the bad stuff. And I dote too much on that Steiner guy.)

  3. you’re a more than sufficient waldorf critic because the Steiner guy and you have a cordial relationship.

  4. It’s cool to be anonymous sometimes, says mr Dog and puts on his fake moustache and the sun-glasses. Walking incognito among cats and bunnies.

    Yep, we do have a cordial relationship, that’s why he likes to hang out in my ethereal café, having drinks with Saul and Michael and the other guys of other realms and those between death and re-birth.

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