pre-theosophical steiner (re-post)

Steiner, 1897, before becoming a theosophist:

[A]ctually, it’s not a good idea just to up and leave them [the theosophists] as soon as they make such pronouncements. Rather, I advise anyone who meets with a Theosophist to stand fast, look him in the eye and with total sincerity, genuinely endeavor to glean something from the revelations of such a consummate “enlightened one” who radiates Eastern wisdom from “his inner being.” You will of course hear absolutely nothing, nothing but hollow phrases lifted from the Eastern scriptures, without even a hint of content.

These “inner experiences” are nothing short of hypocrisy. After all, it’s not much of a trick to pull phrases out of a profound literature and then use them to declare that the sum and substance of Western expertise is totally worthless. […]

But the way they speak of the highest knowledge — which they do not possess — the mystical way in which they assert incomprehensible foreign wisdom actually seduces a fair number of their contemporaries. […]

It also proves advantageous to the Theosophists that they are able to stay on good terms with the Spiritualists and other off-beat, like-minded seekers of the spirit. […] [T]hey are not above walking hand in hand with the Spiritualists when they deem such an alliance to help them wage war on the unfettered science, the straightforward science of the modern era, which is solely supported by reason and observation.

This was a few years before he turned to theosophy. Obiviously. He changed his mind (which is good in general, but in this case perhaps rather unfortunate). Translation by Tom Mellett, read the entire quote here.


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