hello, gnome speaking!

Steiner explained gnomes, where they are and what one needs to perceive them:

States of consciousness can lie in all four forms of the physical plane while the body of such a being lies in the astral. We must think of the consciousness in the solid Earth, the body in the astral; or a being that has its consciousness in the water and its body in the astral; then such a being with its consciousness in the air and its body in the astral and one with its consciousness in fire and its body in the astral. Present-day man knows but little of such beings; in our time it is only through poetry that they are known. Miners (of minerals) however know such beings very well. A gnome is only visible to someone who can see on the astral plane, but miners frequently possess such an astral vision; they know that gnomes are realities. Thus, on our Earth there exist various forms of consciousness, and what the natural scientist today calls laws of nature are the thoughts of beings who think on the physical plane but have their bodies on the astral plane. When in physics we have to do with laws of nature we can say: these are the thoughts of a being who has its body on the astral plane. The forces of nature are creative beings and natural laws are their thoughts.

According to the BBC Swiss bankers are called ‘gnomes’; and those gnomes don’t inhabit mines. Gnomes are not (only) mine-dwellers or decorative pieces for the garden,

gnomes emerged from medieval fascination with the secrets of wealth, especially gold, buried underground and mined by mysterious beings. Goethe writes about them in his epic Faust – ambiguous characters creating wealth which others, depending on their morals, use for good or evil.

(Maybe that’s what they were doing in the mines, what Steiner was talking about? Stashing away gold? Mining gold? Were the mines gold mines? I wonder what’s buried under the Goetheanum!) Many years ago

[s]ome Zurich bankers took to answering the phone to British callers with “hello, gnome speaking”. Others retaliated mischievously by suggesting that trade union power – “the gnomes of Transport House” – rather than currency speculation, was weakening the British economy.

Swiss bankers lost influence over the years and

[g]nomes in modest, discreet buildings were dwarfed, so to speak, by the skyscrapers of the City of London, New York and, more recently, Dubai and Shanghai.

But they are still there, still holding enormous private and commercial fortunes. And Jurg Conzett, of the Zurich Money Museum, where they proudly display a Swiss gnome sculpture, says today’s bankers sometimes see the gnome label as “almost a noble title”.

A guy with a noble (?) purpose: being a waldorf school gnome. (Yes, true. But this one isn’t saying anything. He’s not even reciting poetry.)

20 thoughts on “hello, gnome speaking!

  1. OK help me out please, what is the issue with gnomes? I’m lost on the general argument regarding gnomes and the threat of believing in them.
    Does anyone want to jump in?

  2. Was your child enrolled in a waldorf preschool? If he was then I am sure he can tell you all about gnomes. It is the silly illusional world of waldorf that reinforces such fantasy and confuses young children as to what is real and what is not real. In waldorf teachers force their belief onto children that gnomes exist and they exercise power.
    How completely confusing to a young child!

  3. Thanks Margaret, my kids have gone through waldorf pre-school, (parts were lovely, parts were not -primarily the demented teacher, which prompted us to move schools). I thought the gnomes were sweet.

    “How completely confusing to a young child!”

    We also tell kids that Santa and the tooth fairy are real (we being the royal we, I don’t know what is in anyone else’s home)… they eventually learn themselves that this is not true. I get that Steiner believed them to be real, but my daughter in 3rd grade says they aren’t mentioned anymore. maybe they make a resurgence in science class in the upper grades? It’s just so curious to me, why some magic is ok and some is not.

    thanks

  4. I don’t think they’re that bad, or that confusing, not necessarily more so than other fantasy creatures. Some waldorf teachers take gnomes, fairies, archangels and elves with way too much seriousness, and then this may be to the detriment of everybody. I remember that when we were already quite old — 9 perhaps — we had this music teacher who appeared in class telling us about the elves he’d seen in the morning as he walked to school (it was fog, which everybody knew, of course…). And in 5th, or was it even 6th, grade we had a teacher who talked to dead people via butterflies. That was slightly more confusing than fairytales.

    I can’t say I was harmed by the gnome thing; I was bored though. And I think they could have spent more time teaching real school subjects than going on about gnomes. But overall, the gnomes aren’t the worst thing about waldorf. Not by far!

  5. Zooey quotes Steiner saying:
    Thus, on our Earth there exist various forms of consciousness, and what the natural scientist today calls laws of nature are the thoughts of beings who think on the physical plane but have their bodies on the astral plane. When in physics we have to do with laws of nature we can say: these are the thoughts of a being who has its body on the astral plane. The forces of nature are creative beings and natural laws are their thoughts.

    Please allow me to give an example of how modern science does not see gnomes when the gnomes are right in front of them, mocking such august scientists.

    You’ve all heard of the “Human Genome Project,” where scientists are cataloging every gene in the human chromosomes, making a kind of giant “Yellow Pages” directory for our genes.

    But the truth is, behind each gene is a specific gnome. How can we perceive this super-sensible reality? Easy. Just drop the first “e” from Genome and what do you get?

    You got it:

    THE HUMAN GNOME PROJECT

  6. Well, of course, Tom! This is quite obvious, if I may say so. At least in the English language.

    If we take Swedish as an example the link suddenly becomes much less apparent. (It’s there, beyond linguistics, but kept properly occult!)

  7. I think it’s possible to add a like/unlike-thingy, but I envisioned Sune and his companions (imagined or real) spending 55 hours a day clicking unlike on every post and comment they didn’t like. Which would end up looking rather depressing.

  8. Yes. All your comments would receive 97 g)-clicks from Sune and his aliases. Eva would click 4 times, but she’s busy being an imaginary waldorf mum. Mycroft would be the most manic and click 48 times.

  9. “THE HUMAN GNOME PROJECT”

    Tom, you certainly appear to know your molecular biology.

    I worked for a while at one of the places where much of the work for the HGP was done. It was known as the “Gnome Campus”, according to a nearby road sign.

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