‘du går till en handling som skall lyfta din själ till världens ande’

En läkepedagogisk blogg som ironiskt nog kallar sig för insikt skriver:

‘När vanliga, snälla människor möter en sådan kultur, så är man först förskräckt sedan passiv och i värsta fall efter en längre tid delaktig. Institutionskulturen avtrubbar oss och det som ur moralisk synpunkt är förkastligt blir till en själslivets brutalisering om inte en korrigering infinner sig. När något gått för långt, har blivit institutionaliserat är nog den enda möjligheten att bryta en nedåtgående destruktiv ström att lägga ner eller radikalt riva hela huset.’

Hmm. Aha!

Men allvarligt. Maken till självgratulerande smörja får man väl leta efter. Jag tror inte ett skvatt på att de läkepedagogiska hemmen är tillnärmelsevis så fantastiska som man kan få intrycket av när man läser insikts blogginlägg (jämför, e g, läkepedagogikens egenberöm med vad Nina Cernold skriver om sin tid på Dormsjö). Återigen ett exempel på hur man skapar sitt eget goda rykte inte genom kvalitet i verksamheten utan genom att skryta ohejdat om sin egen förträfflighet.

Insikt igen, här om den andelyftande kulthandlingen:

‘Ett exempel på detta är barnhandlingen som genomfördes på söndagarna klockan tio. Denna kulthandling som är förankrad i en andlig syn på livet har en alldeles tydlig inverkan på barn med neurotiska diagnoser. Barnhandlingen äger rum i ett för stunden inrättat och gestaltat rum. Rummet omges av röda gardiner från golv till tak. I ena fonden finns ett altare med tända ljus och en bild av Kristus. Det är endast de tända ljusen som ger ett svagt sken i handlingsrummet. Barnen samlas utanför i en hall, var och en tas i hand innan de går in och tilltalas med orden ”Du vet att du går till en handling som skall lyfta din själ till världens ande”.’

Och detta finansieras alltså offentligt. Och inbegriper barn varav somliga nog inte har kapaciteten att förstå vad de deltar i; än mindre har de möjlighet att välja bort det. Att ens starta ritualen genom att säga ‘Du vet att du…’ är beklämmande manipulativt. Det är nog inte många vuxna — icke-antroposofer — som ens skulle förstå fortsättningen om en ‘handling som skall lyfta din själ till världens ande.’ Hur kan man då föreställa sig att utvecklingshindrade barn ska förstå innebörden i det de får höra att de ‘vet’?

In i dimman. Vid randen av Judarnskogen, sista oktober 2010.

32 thoughts on “‘du går till en handling som skall lyfta din själ till världens ande’

  1. Zooey,

    Translation question: Google translates Swedish “handling” as “document,” but my sense is that the Swedish would be close to the German “Handlung” which means “action” or “deed” and that seems to fit here much better than “document.”

  2. Exactly! ‘Act’ or ‘action’ or ‘deed’ (‘a criminal act/deed’ is translated as ‘en kriminell handling’, for example). In other contexts, it can mean ‘document’ — as in official documents, for examples. Those are the typical ‘handling’ as a document. (Sidenote: Interestingly, a file of collected documents (‘handlingar’) is ‘en akt’! Similar to German again, I believe.)

    In this context, they’re clearly referring to a ritual either performed within or at least inspired by the Christian Community. So, a ‘barnhandlingen’ is a [ritual] act for children.

  3. “So, a ‘barnhandlingen’ is a [ritual] act for children.”

    And “Morgonspråket” is “The morning prayer” (“språket” means “language” or “saying”).
    Zooey, perhaps you can help? (ex: “ut med språket!” would mean “saying”, “the thing you have to say”).

    (I have commented on that several times: I call it “twisting of terms”.
    An other endemic part of the anthro/steiner/waldor system.)

    It IS a prayer, and within the school I was part of for a while, I was introduced into “executing it” in (for me) rather peculiar way. It was as some of the waldorf teachers wanted, while others did not want, to let me know there is a prayer (at all).

    (Roger Rowlings comments on it in the thread “Not Part of Any Church” http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/15431 at wc-list)

  4. It’s interesting that they chose the word ‘språk’ instead of ‘vers’ (= verse) in Swedish.* I can’t think of another translation than ‘verse’ though. A saying is, I think, usually shorter than Steiner’s prayers. Though coming to think think about it, I wonder if in Swedish they did a pretty direct translation of the German word ‘Spruch’, even though a Swedish ‘språk’ in the context of a verse makes little sense to Swedes not involved in waldorf education.

    [*Började (men avslutade inte!) läsa en förfärligt lång utläggning i SAOB över ordet ‘språk’. Det har ju visst också en del i dag utdöda användningar. Om du är intresserad se http://g3.spraakdata.gu.se/saob/ — välj ‘modern eller ursprunglig’ därefter sökning på ‘språk’.]

  5. Zooey: ” a Swedish ‘språk’ in the context of a verse makes little sense to Swedes not involved in waldorf education.”

    But that’s the point – ist’t it?

  6. @ all:

    Just look at Zooey as an example, Zooey as she appears from her blog, her interests, her abilities.
    A Waldorf school was roughly the last place suite for her, even not mentioning the bullying that she was submitted to from her very first day there.
    WHY didn’t they just tell her parents “move her elsewhere”, even in a rough way, revealed the facts?
    The anthro/steiner/waldorf wouldn’t reveal the facts, thus enabling the parents to do a qualified judgement. That alone is enough for running out of there, the quicker the better.

  7. ‘You know you are going to a service which will lift up your soul to the spitirt of the world.’ The word ‘handling’ is best seen as ritual/service in this context.
    A useful translation of ‘handling’ is ‘happening’, or ‘event’ eg,
    ‘sånt händer andra kvinnor’, = ‘such things happen to other women’ (Benny and Bjorn)

    I would hazard a guess that the original german does not mean, ‘you (already) know that you are going to the service…’ It would be clearer if the phrase started, ‘Know that you are going to…’. meaning, ‘ (I am telling you), this service will lift up your soul etc,…’

    The google translator makes a terrible mess of Zooey’s post here.

    Another alternative for ‘‘språk’ would be ‘saying’. In english a ‘saying’ , is a piece of folk-wisdom, e.g., ‘many hands make light work.’, or ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’. A Swedish example would be, ‘ En sträng krävare är en slät betalare.’ or ‘ Gott lära av andras fel, eftersom man inte hinner begå alla själv’.

    Maybe the intention is to characterise the morning verse as a ‘saying’, meaning, ‘ ordspråk’. Though these ‘sayings’ are more like prayers.

    Regarding Dormsjö, as with any situation, the adults involved may have evil intent, or they may mean well and feel that what they are doing is healing for the handicapped children/adults in their care. This can apply in state institutions as well as Anthro. settings.

    What seem to me to be the biggest problem here is that the anthro. approach has not been open and explicit enough about what they do and why they do it, and this is a geneeral problem with anthro. initiatives.

  8. Connecting to the thread ”Karmic violence”:

    Look at this:
    A child comes home from a kindy/school with some scratches, so, the parent asks the teacher next day: “what happened?”
    The answer: “s/he deserved it.“. (*)
    What may the parent think, how will s/he interpret this information?
    Roughly, “there was a fight at the kindy/school, and my child was the one who started, and the other child responded”. The parent may feel guilty, may feel “better I don’t argue too much …”. The non-anthro parent thinks in terms of the language of the world s/he is a part of, where the happenings belong to this life on the earth, here and now.

    ! The twisting of terms causes the victim being presented as the guilty one. !

    The Waldorf teacher’s answer is given in another language, a language belonging to another frame of reference where the terms are twisted, which the listener isn’t aware of.

    The existence of another frame of reference is not revealed in the information brochures, though, as some parents may run away, and the school will get less voucher money (or state-funding, as it is called in the UK).

    * the big dot is a part of the answer

  9. Falk: “Maybe the intention is to characterise the morning verse as a ‘saying’, meaning, ‘ ordspråk’. Though these ‘sayings’ are more like prayers.”

    Morgonspråk ÄR en bön. The morning verse is a prayer.

    https://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/du-gar-till-en-handling-som-skall-lyfta-din-sjal-till-varldens-ande/#comment-5221
    Zooey: “a Swedish ‘språk’ in the context of a verse makes little sense to Swedes not involved in waldorf education.”

    The point is to deceive the ones not involved in the waldorf education, the ones who do not understand that the anthro/steiner/waldorf operate in an other frame of reference.

    Connecting to the thread “Karmic violence”:
    https://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/10/25/karmic-violence/#comment-5198

    Diana:
    “This explains, I think, not only what was done to Zooey, and why the bully needed to be invited to her home, but also why teachers, such as Falk, have to pretend not to really quite get what we’re talking about here.”

  10. alfa-omega — ‘But that’s the point – ist’t it?’

    Yep, and it was the point in German as well, and is the point in English (although in English, the word ‘verse’ is of course used in language in general). Steiner said, don’t call it a prayer, call it a verse. Don’t talk about it as a prayer.

    ‘WHY didn’t they just tell her parents “move her elsewhere”, even in a rough way, revealed the facts?’

    Indeed. It’s quite simple, really. Waldorf schools will continue to cause resentment when they take this approach. When it’s apparent that the school does not fit a particular child, why not say so? I don’t think they do this even today. There’s NOTHING on waldorf school website, or on the W Federation’s website, indicating which children won’t be happy in waldorf. And, again, it’s quite simple: why not openly advertise that this is not a school for intellectual children, for children who want to learn to read and write, who want to learn maths and science? These schools are for children who are, excuse me, content with much less. For children who are happy playing a little tune on the flute, knit a gnome and paint watery blob paintings. Everyone else will be bored out of their wits. But when will the waldorf schools admit this? When will they begin to dissuade parents of more intellectual children from entering their child in waldorf education? But read their websites; there’s nothing there that indicates the schools won’t fit these children. Nothing! They continue to boast about an education fitting the individual needs of children, an education that is age appropriate, even of providing an education that will ‘rescue childhood’. Then, when they mess up someone’s life, they say: ‘oh, bummer, but waldorf isn’t for everyone’. Yeah, ok!? It was overwhealmingly obvious waldorf education wasn’t suited for me. But they continue to delude themselves that I was just happy there. My year reports even say that I’m happy. My parents had to force me there, screaming! That’s happy?

    falk Google sometimes does quite well, and sometimes messes it all up totally. (And occasionally the result is simply hilarious. But that usually means messed up as well.)

    The word ‘handling’ is also used in the context of Christian community rituals. ‘Happening’ or ‘event’ sounds wrong in the context. ‘Service’ works fine, however, I think what they’re talking about is basically a spiritual service. ‘Saying’ is clearly wrong too, because the morning verse (the ‘morgonspråk’) is clearly not a ‘saying’.

    There is probably a German version of the words said as an intro, ‘You know…’ But in Swedish it does say ‘Du vet…’ (‘You know…’) not ‘Vet att du går till…’ (‘Know that you are going…’). The latter would certainly be possible, and would alter the meaning slightly, i e, what the ‘know’ refers to becomes more nondescript, definitely open to the interpretation ‘I inform you so that you will know…’ or ‘This is to tell you you’re entering…’. A sort of: ‘I’m making you aware of what’s ensuing.’

    As for Dormsjö, some of what they did there was illegal, that was the problem. I think you’re right though: the lack of openness about the anthroposophic approach is a problem too, in my opinion an even worse problem. (And an indirect consequence of this anthroposophical approach was a general lack of accountability. Again: doing something for a good cause, a higher purpose, doesn’t ensure quality. And indivudal rights become less important than ideological gains.) One excuse was that these kids were difficult and that they didn’t want to give up on them, thus they used prohibited force. However, this is not ok (and inspection authorities clearly said so). If they don’t have the required competence to handle certain difficulties, it’s their duty to inform social authorities about it, so that the children can be transferred to another institution. It’s true though that these care facilities, anthro and non-anthro, have been criticized. (Also, Nina Cernold, who worked at Dormsjö, has not focused solely on Dormsjö.)

    A particular problem with the anthroposophic institutions is the lack of transparency. I have been informed that they are very eager to ‘tidy up’ before inspections — and inspections are (virtually) always announced beforehand. I’ve even been informed that some (more problematic and unhappy) children are locked up — so that inspectors won’t see them or communicate with them, and thus be able to form an impression of how the staff handle them. I also know there are individuals who have been forced to remain in these anthro institutions against their will, and that nobody have listened to their complaints.

    Also, inspectors are not allowed to watch certain parts of the curative program. For example, nobody is allowed to see what goes on in curative eurythmy — apparently it would disrupt the children’s healing. Though I suspect the real reason is something else: inspectors would quickly realize this curative ‘method’ is basically spiritual, and can’t have any scientific validity. They would also immediately realize that a number of children find the method utterly unpleasant and that the eurythmists have to force and threat the children to comply. (Much like in any waldorf school, though I suppose these kids are perhaps more difficult to motivate to do something so pointless. And, yes, I know: waldorf teachers and proponents want to believe children enjoy eurythmy and find meaning in it! ;-) I would say, however, that this is a grand illusion.)

  11. alfa-omega Your two comments appeared while I was writing a reply!

    ‘What may the parent think, how will s/he interpret this information?
    Roughly, “there was a fight at the kindy/school, and my child was the one who started, and the other child responded”. The parent may feel guilty, may feel “better I don’t argue too much …”. The non-anthro parent thinks in terms of the language of the world s/he is a part of, where the happenings belong to this life on the earth, here and now.’

    True. I think this happens a lot: waldorf parents (who are not anthroposophists themselves) reinterpret what waldorf teachers say, and they reinterpert it in such a way that it makes sense from their frame of reference (which isn’t the anthroposophical).

    I believe my mum thought there was something to it — she thought it was true I, through my behaviour (my unresponsiveness), had provoced the attack. I was a peculiar child in some ways, because I avoided other children. I didn’t want to be around children. I’m sure this is a ‘provocation’ to some. Though, of course, it doesn’t justify allowing me to become a target for their anger and aggression. But in addition — she didn’t understand what was going on. I was an awful child. Professionals (supposedly, they were trained and experienced) ‘explained’ to her, helped alleviate her worries. Everything was really fine, despite what had happened. Or that’s what they convinced her of.

    Another interesting twist is that it was really quite difficult to get into waldorf education back then. They could have easily filled my spot with another kid, had I been allowed to leave. So it really wasn’t about money. (Unless you count the extra, voluntary donations by parents.) But as I (my soul) had decided waldorf was my karmic destiny, and the waldorf classes and teachers are bound together karmically, well… that’s another dimension to it.

  12. This is clearly describing a religious event: it should be described as such, of course. It’s hard to imagine that this isn’t understood by those involved, unless you’ve had a connection with anthroposophical initiatives. What we are really talking about here, I suspect, is Steiner’s doctrine regarding people with learning difficulties. In other words, karma.

    There is sadly a long history of poor treatment and worse within such settings – I don’t mean anthroposophical settings – it’s quite understandable that any alternative to these looks attractive. We would like these anthroposophical communities to be as benign as they seem. But Camphill, for example, here in the UK, does not in my experience have a good record within our network of social care providers. It is perhaps better understood than it believes. No one wants to be the first to blow the whistle.

  13. Zooey: “These schools are for children who are, excuse me, content with much less. ”

    AND for the parents who are content with much less!

  14. @alfa-omega — ‘Zooey: “These schools are for children who are, excuse me, content with much less. ” AND for the parents who are content with much less!’

    While (falsely) believing the get much more!

  15. came in in the middle – I got the impression the original blog described a ‘curative’ initiative? Not a regular school? I’m reading it thro a fog of course ;)

  16. @thetis — ‘There is sadly a long history of poor treatment and worse within such settings – I don’t mean anthroposophical settings – it’s quite understandable that any alternative to these looks attractive.’

    When these anthroposophical alternatives were started, long ago now, they probably were really attractive. For real. On the other hand, back then the state institutions for the disabled were in general truly horrid. I have a feeling almost anything could be conceived of as a better option than the status quo.

    But while anthroposophical institutions have remained laregely the same (e g, still using the same methods, still believing the causes of disability to be what they believed then), the rest of society has moved on.

  17. @thetis — yep, it’s about curative education. Camphill settings. Where the disabled persons live and go to school (and when they’re adults: work). The ritual referred to is the Sunday service, a religious service. I say religious because it’s clear from the description that it is religious, even apart from the prayer (or verse).

  18. Zooey: “Also, inspectors are not allowed to watch certain parts of the curative program. For example, nobody is allowed to see what goes on in curative eurythmy — apparently it would disrupt the children’s healing. Though I suspect the real reason is something else: inspectors would quickly realize this curative ‘method’ is basically spiritual, and can’t have any scientific validity.”
    in https://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/du-gar-till-en-handling-som-skall-lyfta-din-sjal-till-varldens-ande/#comment-5230

    The facts:
    the voucher for a child in compulsory education is (average!) roughly 50000 Skr/child/school-year;
    the voucher for a child with a statement of special needs (for example: an Autism spectrum diagnosis) in compulsory education is (average!) roughly 200000 Skr/child/school-year.

    It won’t be good to reveal what is achieved for the money received, would it?

  19. In response to https://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/du-gar-till-en-handling-som-skall-lyfta-din-sjal-till-varldens-ande/#comment-5235

    Thetis, in Sweden, a child with a statement of special needs can be placed either in a special setting (anthro or non anthro), or in a “särskola” (a special needs school, only day-school) which is situated at the same campus as a regular school, possibly sharing teachers. Such a setting (särskola) can be anthro or non-anthro, too. Also, a child with a statement of special needs can be included in a regular school, in a special little group, or as the only child with a statement of special needs within a regular class. Also here, this option can be either anthro or non-anthro.

  20. And the special needs schools can mix children who live at home, who live in an institutional setting and who transfer between home and institution. I think this is true also for anthro special needs schools. No doubt, the children who live in these (anthro) institutions are more vulnerable to abuses than those who live at home and attend the (anthro) special needs schools.

  21. ‘It won’t be good to reveal what is achieved for the money received, would it?’

    Exactly. What is truly scary though is not the cost but the lack of any objective evaluation of the benefits — if there are any, which I doubt — of these treatments.

  22. Re the money — it’s very different now, I think. There were fewer waldorf schools back then. More importantly, there were hardly any alternatives to state education — except waldorf. Parents who didn’t want state school were pretty much stuck with waldorf school. (And a few private — private in the real sense, i e, you had to pay — schools.) No wonder waldorf schools could attract people — their target group was practically all those families who wanted to opt out of public (state) education. These days they can’t compete with the alternatives, i e, the multitudes of free schools. The non-state-school argument is useless as a selling point.

    So nowadays they’re depending entirely on the voucher money, and on the children enrolled to remain. Or they’ll have to shut down. There are no long waiting lists of families anymore.

  23. But while anthroposophical institutions have remained laregely the same (e g, still using the same methods, still believing the causes of disability to be what they believed then), the rest of society has moved on.

    Zooey,

    It’s been building up for awhile now, but as soon as I read the above sentence, the eurythmy veils of my semi-conscious sub-consciousness lifted and I caught a glimpse of your Higher Self in the spirit and it was revealed to me by the cherub on your left shoulder that YOU are truly the reincarnation of Rudolf Steiner, not this Wibke Reinstein impostor in Germany.

    It all makes sense now. You are here now to correct all the mistakes you made as RS, but right now your greatest challenge is first to convince all your previous followers that they were mistakes. I mean, they mistake the mistakes for anthroposophical truths! No wonder you were bullied in Waldorf kindergarten!

    Of course you claim to be Steiner’s one and only doggie, Pschulek, which of course makes Mr. Dog the reincarnated RS. Now I am open to that possibility as RS has described mysterious karmi-cosmic “switcheroo” phenomena whereby souls can flip around their entelechies with each other.

    However, to ascertain the truth of this karmic switcheroo, you must query Mr. Dog as to whether or not he subscribes to the caninosophical doctrine of the “Two Jesus Puppies.”

    If so, then there is another dog involved who, when discovered and identified, will save the wonderful world of Waldorf from anthroposophy itself.

  24. ‘There are more than two Cheeses’, says mr Dog. ‘In fact, there are thousands of them. The moon is the biggest Cheese of all. That’s why canineosophy teaches all puppies to revere the moon. There are also more than just 2 puppies that have a special connection the divine moon being, that is, they are the earthly incarnations of the Big Cheese Force. ‘

    He adds: ‘This is all too complicated, so I shall have to remain silent for a while. Waiting for the world to catch up with the Higher Truths.’

  25. ‘Don’t know why Steiner talked about the sun, really. Get too close to the sun, all the cheese melts. Turns into a cosmic fondue. Of course, this may not be a bad thing… hmm. And shouldn’t the ‘being’ be a ‘bone’? The Cheese Bone Impulse. Sounds mighty. I have it. I feel it.’

    [Transcript of mr Dog’s ponderings.]

  26. “Morning verse”, “morgonspråk”, “Morgenspruch” etc should probably best be understood as what is nowadays referred to as a positive affirmation.

    And no, the “You Know” is most likely NOT a misunderstanding of “(I Want You To) Know”, but an affirmation adressed to the higher self of the student.

    One reason for not admitting non-human entities in human form, thus, is that they would not get this.

    Pappan

  27. Sorry, Pappan, your comment got stuck in the filter.

    ‘And no, the “You Know” is most likely NOT a misunderstanding of “(I Want You To) Know”, but an affirmation adressed to the higher self of the student.’

    Makes sense. I mean, the rationale makes sense, seen in the anthroposophic perspective.

    Though personally I’d call that indoctrination rather than affirmation. It’s ‘attaching’ something to the student that isn’t necessarily true and that the student isn’t (always, or perhaps ever) capable of accepting or rejecting. It entirely depends on anthroposohic notions about the organisation of the human being.

  28. Of course it does. Why shouldn’t it?! Are you saying anthros ought to be apologetic about their thing?? Now that would not do, would it.

    Pappan

  29. No. They can apply whatever theories they very well please on themselves. As long as they leave others out of it. As long as they don’t use tax money to subject people who don’t really have a proper choice to it.

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