on rudolf steiner — in 1943

This is an excerpt from Cults of Today, published in 1943, in the The Expository Times! On Steiner:

… he brought, to the elucidation and the championship of its doctrines, mental powers at once versatile and penetrating, with a philosophical acumen more virile than that of Mrs. Besant and a large acquaintance both with European literature and with the results of wide scientific studies. … Such was his influence over German theosophists that when, in 1913, he broke with Theosophy and proclaimed himself the herald of a new movement, Anthroposophy, most of the theosophical societies in Germany followed him. There was in him something of-the prophet, with his mass of black hair, his clean-cut ascetic features, his flashing eyes …

These were striking qualities. But he was not without his share of their defects. ~It is seldom that a mind so intent on synthesis will be either critical or (to use a word that was then finding its way into the jargon of philosophy) dialectic. To sum up all things into one is a task too great for any individual, however richly equipped ; and the attempt to reconcile into one all-embracing system the world’s divergent hopes and faiths runs the risk of ending in reconciling opposites (as was said of a greater than Steiner, though more appropriately to Steiner himself than to Hegel) by the apotheosis of a negation. But Steiner was not formed to work with others. … He looked for disciples, not for colleagues. Nor did he look in vain. …

Relying on his mystical sources, the Akasha Claronicles, details of which have never been given to the world, and which I suspect are now, eighteen years after Steiner’s death, irrecoverably lost, he joined to the foregoing a third doctrine, called by the picturesque name of the seven lotus flowers.

The account makes quite a nice summary of the Christ–Sun thing and ends:

If you should ask how the sun, being lower down on the heptarchal ladder, can thus, like Mithras, shedding the blood of the bull, rejuvenate the earth, I can only refer you to the Akashic sources once more.

On the Goetheanum:

Its architecture, bizarre and even uncouth to non-anthroposophical eyes, embodied all its founder’s principles of rhythm, harmony and illumination. Its critics pointed out that it had no straight lines and no windows.

Interesting article, simply because it’s from another era, but it also includes stuff about waldorf and biodynamic agriculture. Slightly christian tinge, at times, but still worth reading.

(This, also, was a repost from my Posterous blog, by the way.)

3 thoughts on “on rudolf steiner — in 1943

  1. reference:
    The Expository Times 1943; 54; 285
    W.F. Lofthouse
    Cults of To-day: IV. Anthroposophy
    DOI: 10.1177/001452464305401102

    Written by THE REVEREND W. F. LOFTHOUSE, D.D., WOODSTOCK, OXFORD apparently. (Not screaming, just copy-pasting…)

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