demoner i människoskepnad

Apropå nyliga diskussioner om karma och annat, fick jag förslaget att Steiners utsagor om barn, som egentligen är demoner, borde ha en plats här. Och det kan jag ju hålla med om. Det ena demoncitatet är hämtat ur Steiners möten med lärarna i den första waldorfskolan. Nedskrifter av vad som försiggick under dessa möten används i regel som kurslitteratur för blivande waldorfskolelärare. Steiner talar här om allt möjligt, således också om barn som inte är riktiga människor. Nu finns det förmodligen svenska utgåvor av dessa verk, men jag har inte tillgång till dem. Jag har i stället valt att själv översätta de viktiga styckena till svenska. Envar som är intresserad av kontexten kan lätt informera sig om den; samtliga delar av Steiners Faculty Meetings finns mycket generöst att tillgå, utan kostnad, samlade i en pdf-fil, hos Steiner Books. (Den som föredrar att läsa tyska hittar säkerligen dessa utgåvor på nätet också. GA300.) Antroposofernas invändningar brukar ofta gälla att ditten eller datten är taget ur sitt sammanhang. Men jag kan ju likväl inte citera en hel bok på ett meningsfullt sätt. Däremot uppmanar jag mycket gärna alla att läsa Faculty Meetings. Det är verkligen värt besväret, om man vill veta mer om waldorfskolan. Så här kan det alltså låta, när Steiner har möte med lärarkollegiet:

‘Skolläkaren talar om några medicinska fall.

‘Dr. Steiner: Den lilla flickan L.K. i första årskursen måste bära något allvarligt fel inom sig. Det är inte mycket vi kan göra. Det sker en ökning av sådana fall där barn föds i mänsklig skepnad, utan att egentligen vara människor beträffande sina högre Jag; i stället är de uppfyllda av väsen vilka inte tillhör människoarten. Ett ordentligt antal människor har fötts utan ett Jag sedan 90-talet [1890-talet förstås, min anm], det vill säga, de är inte reinkarnerade, men är människoformer fyllda av en sorts naturdemon. Där finns ett rätt stort antal äldre personer i livet som faktiskt inte är människor, men som är naturväsen; de är människor endast till formen. Vi kan dock inte upprätta en skola för demoner.

‘En lärare: Hur är detta möjligt?

‘Dr. Steiner: Kosmiska misstag är sannerligen inte omöjliga. De individer som kommer till sin jordiska existens har sedan länge haft sina förhållanden bestämda. Det finns även generationer av individer vilka inte har någon önskan om, att komma ned i den jordiska tillvaron och förknippas med det fysiska eller som genast lämnar [det fysiska] redan i början [av livet, mina anm]. I sådana fall, träder andra varelser som inte är riktigt lämpliga in. Detta är något som nu är ganska vanligt, att människor går omkring utan ett Jag; de är faktiskt inte människor, utan har endast mänsklig form. De är väsen såsom naturandar, men vilka vi inte betraktar som sådana eftersom de går omkring i människoskepnad. De skiljer sig också från människorna vad beträffar allting andligt. De kan till exempel aldrig minnas sådana saker som meningar; de har minne endast för ord, inte för meningar.

‘Livets gåta är inte så enkel. När en sådan varelse dör, återvänder den till naturen från vilken den kom. Kroppen förmultnar, men det förekommer ingen riktig upplösning av eterkroppen, och naturvarelsen återvänder till naturen.

‘Det är också möjligt att något liknande en robot kan uppkomma. Hela människoorganismen finns till, och det kan vara möjligt att automatisera hjärnan och skapa ett slags pseudomoralitet.

‘Jag gillar inte att tala om dessa ting eftersom vi så ofta blivit attackerade även dem förutan. Tänk bara vad människor skulle säga, om de hörde oss påstå, att det finns människor som inte är mänskliga varelser. Icke desto mindre är detta fakta. Vår kultur befunne sig inte i ett sådant förfall, om människor hade en starkare känsla för det, att det bland dem finns ett antal personer som, på grund av sin fullständiga grymhet, har blivit något som inte är mänskligt, utan som i stället är demoner i människoskepnad.

‘Likväl, vi kan inte ropa ut detta i världen. Motståndet mot oss är redan tillräckligt stort. Dessa saker är verkligen chockerande för människor. Jag förorsakade tillräckligt stor uppståndelse när jag hade att säga att en mycket känd universitetsprofessor hade inkarnerat som en svart vetenskapsman efter en mycket kort tidsrymd mellan död och återfödelse. Vi bör inte ropa ut sådana saker i världen.’

[Steiner, R. Faculty Meetings with Rudolf Steiner, bd 2, s 649f. Anthroposophic Press, 1998. Tyska utgåvan, se bd 3. (För första styckets ‘naturdemoner’ och ‘naturväsen’ har jag tittat i den tyska utgåvan. Den engelska anger styckets näst sista mening det något kryptiska, eller åtminstone svåröversatta, att dessa varelser ej är ‘human beings, but are only natural’.)]

Det andra citatet är hämtat ur en serie föreläsningar år 1914/1915, utgivna i Art as Seen in the Light of Mystery Wisdom [GA 275; ‘Konsten sedd i ljuset av mysterievisdom’]. Den sjunde föreläsningen har titeln ‘Det framtida Jupiter och dess väsen’. Den här föreläsningsserien finns att läsa online hos Rudolf Steiner Archive. Nedanstående översättning är återigen min egen. Jupiterstadiet är alltså ett evolutionsstadium som ännu ej inträtt, men som Steiner förutspår. Föreläsningen handlar dock lika mycket om innevarande evolutionsstadium och dess förhållande till det som ska komma. Det handlar om att arbeta för, inte mot, Jupiter-människan; för framåtskridandet. Steiner säger:

‘Ni kunde nu fråga, “Omoraliskt beteende då?” Omoraliskt beteende kommer också till uttryck i andningens utformning. Men det omoraliska beteendet förlänar den en demoniskt form. Demoner föds ur människans omoraliska handlande.’

Han går här vidare och jämför andeväsen med demoner. Dessa andliga väsen

‘har grunden som krävs för att motta ett ego, och väsen av denna sort har kvalificerat sig för att genomgå en normal progressiv evolution i kosmos. Den andra sortens väsen, demonerna som tillkommit genom omoraliska handlingar, äger också en astralkropp, en eterkropp och en fysisk kropp, på vätskestadiet förstås, men de har inte grunden för att utveckla ett ego. De är födda utan huvuden, så att säga. I stället för att anamma grunden för framåtskridande längs den vanliga utvecklingsvägen, avfärdar de denna grund. Genom denna handling faller de offer för ödet att avfalla från evolutionen. Men detta ökar endast horderna av luciferiska väsen, för de [avfallna, min anm] kommer i deras makt. Då de inte kan framåtskrida på normalt sätt, blir de parasiter. Detta är vad som sker med alla varelser som förkastar sin normala bana; de måste fästa sig vid andra för att röra sig framåt. Dessa väsen, som uppkommit genom omoraliska handlingar, är särskilt benägna att bli parasiter i människans jordutveckling under Lucifers ledarskap, och att ta greppet om människans utveckling innan hon gör sin fysiska entré i världen. De attackerar människan under det embryonala stadiet och delar hennes tillvaro mellan befruktning och födelse. Några av dessa väsen kan, om de är starka nog, fortsätta att följa människan efter födelsen, vilket kan ses i fenomenet med barn som är demonbesatta.

‘Det som frambringas av de kriminella demonparasiterna, som satt sig fast vid ofödda barn, är orsaken till försämringen i generationsväxlingarna, vilka inte är som de borde vara om inte dessa demoner funnes. Det finns åtskilliga anledningar till familjers, stammars, folks och nationers tillbakagång, men en av dem är dessa kriminella demonparasiters närvaro under människans embroyonala period.

‘Dessa ting spelar en stor roll i Jordevolutionen som helhet, och de får oss också att komma i kontakt med människoexistensens djupa hemligheter. Detta är ofta orsaken till att människor förvärvar vissa fördomar och åsikter innan de föds till jordelivet. Och människor plågas av tvivel och osäkerhet i livet och alla möjliga saker, på grund av dessa demoniska parasiter.’

[R, Steiner. GA275. Lecture VII.]

30 thoughts on “demoner i människoskepnad

  1. Zooey,

    The plot thickens! I was going to help you out with the difficult sentence about the “Naturwesen” you had translated, but then I just discovered that the English version I had been using, which I got from Pete Karaiskos’ blog, is missing that sentence plus two others, including the remarks about “automatic morality.”

    So what I’ll do now is put up the original German, then the English translation Pete has, and then my own new and complete English translation.

    That way, we can not only get a sense of the whole passage, but also see which sentences the earlier translators chose to delete.

    Tom

  2. Here’s what I just translated from the German. The sentences deleted from the old published translation are between {{{***———***}}}

    (As for your translation question, Zooey, about “Naturgeist” I still can’t offer much help, since Steiner uses both “nature” and “spirit” with several different connotations. So they could be “nature spirits” like gnomes, sylphs, etc., but in this context, I don’t think he is referring to elementals — unless they be sub-natural Ahrimanic ones. They could also just refer to natural as “wild” as he would describe the Hottentots in Africa.)

    This conference with teachers took place on July 3, 1923. It’s part of GA 300c

    ———————————————

    DR. STEINER: About that little girl, L.K. in the first grade — there is some kind of terribly sinister obstruction of her whole inner being. And there’s not much we can do about it at all. Such cases are becoming more and more prevalent today — where children are born and they do appear with a human form — but they are not really human beings in regard to their Highest Self; instead, they are chock full of entities that cannot be classified as human.

    Since the decade of the 1890’s, a vast number of egoless people have been born without actually being reincarnated — instead, their human form is crammed full with some species of natural or Nature demon. That means there are now quite a large number of adults walking around who are really not human beings, but whose essence is that of a natural or nature spirit; and they are “human beings” only with respect to their outer appearance. But we are not about to set up a school for demons.

    A TEACHER: How is that possible?

    DR. STEINER: In principle, we cannot rule out the possibility that the Cosmos does make mistakes. It was determined long ago that individuals descending [into earthly life] were all meant to be together. Also, there are whole generations where individuals have no desire at all to come down and take on a physical body, or else they bail out right at the beginning of the process. When this happens, other entities are able to replace them….

    {{{*** But it is really quite common now that egoless human beings are walking around – but actually they are NOT human beings at all; they merely possess an outward human appearance, or have an essence that resembles a normal or natural spirit, but you cannot identify them because they walk around in a human guise. ***}}}

    They are also quintessentially different from genuine human beings regarding everything in the realm of the spiritual. For example, they can never remember things like sentences; they really only possess a memory for words, but not for sentences….

    {{{*** The mysteries of life are not that simple. Whenever such a being dies, it returns to the very same Nature from which it came. The physical corpse will decompose, but a proper dissolution of the ether body will not occur, and this “nature being” will simply be absorbed back into Nature.

    It’s also possible that something automatic or mechanistic can happen. The entire apparatus of the human organism is present. But under these circumstances, a pseudo-morality can be bred into the brain’s automatic processes.***}}}

    We are very reluctant to discuss these things since we are frequently attacked anyway, even without discussing them. Just think what people would say if they ever heard what we are explaining here — that there exist human beings who are not actually human beings. But these are actual facts.

    We would not be experiencing such a decadence of our culture if people would only develop a keen sense for the fact that there are numerous people walking around today who are utterly ruthless — precisely because they have turned into something that is not an authentic human being, but instead they are demons masquerading as human beings.

    However, we don’t want to broadcast any of this out into the world. The antagonism against us is already big enough as it is. Such things shock people to their foundations. I once caused an unbelievable shock when I was compelled to say that a very famous university professor, a person with an enormous reputation, had been reincarnated — after a very short time between death and rebirth — as a Negro doing research. But we just don’t want to advertise these things to the outside world.

  3. This is an interesting passage in an interesting lecture — that makes precious little sense outside of its cosmological context.

    Let’s assume for the moment that RS is right. That there indeed exists people who are not human beings in the sense that they reincarnate, have a personal karma, a highet self etc, but that inwardly are much less complex, more like highly evolved nature beings. Okay?

    Let us also, for now, try to disregard the intrigueing possibility that most readers of this list may indeed themselves BE such beings in human form, so that we undistractedly can take a sober look at the idea itself. Okay?

    SO, WWSD? What Would Steiner Do? I mean in the face of such a person? Try to kill them? Spit them in the face? Put them in a concentration camp?

    I don’t think so. He would most likely be completely polite with them. While it is technically true that he did not mean for the W-school to be a “school for demons”, he does not say one ought to be rude to demons, or even that demons are necessarily evil beings or anything. They’re just not human in the same sense as the humans with a higher self, a karma, a conscience and a destiny involving future lives on earth in a human form. That’s all. That’s not their fault. In fact, it is not necessarily a fault at all. Even though RS indeed does suggest it may be the result of some cosmic mistake.

    But aren’t we all?

    I mean isn’t there a kind of jokish quality about the whole human project? All jokes involve mistakes in one way or another. Mistakes are results of NOT SEEING each factor involved in a choice. So the nature of the Human Predicament, then, is to be a NOT-SEE. Which is kind of a joke, isn’t it… At least enough of a joke to incite an extra look in the mirror of introspection every now and then, just for a good laugh — and a slight reminder not to get so all huffy and puffy about OTHERS being not-sees. Be they anthros or demons, or both, or neither.

    Pappan

    PS: Tom, whatever happend to The Rosicrucian-Manichaean Tale, as told by The Junkyard Dogs? I haven’t seen it online!

  4. Well, this is pretty weird stuff. I think there is a key in the following paragraph (Tom’s translation) to what Steiner was talking about.

    ‘We would not be experiencing such a decadence of our culture if people would only develop a keen sense for the fact that there are numerous people walking around today who are utterly ruthless — precisely because they have turned into something that is not an authentic human being, but instead they are demons masquerading as human beings’

    ‘People….. who are utterly ruthless….’

    I think today we would call these people, whom Stiener says do not have a human ego, PSYCHOPATHS. One could say that their defining characteristic is their LACK OF HUMANITY. Think of Stalin, Hitler, Polpot, Idi Amin – they were the ones who became leaders. Then think of the thousands of the people who carried out their bidding and tortured and put millions of innocent men , women and children to death, – in Nazi Germany, in Stalin’s Russia, in Cambodia etc. Servants of these dictators who lacked humanity!
    Some of those prison camp guards, male and female, may well have been children in the first Waldorf school.
    Think of serial killers like Ian Brady, Fred and Rosemary West, Dennis Nilsen. How do we explain these people who seem to lack the most basic human feeling and morality?

    But I also want to say I agree with Pappan. Steiner does not advocate any attempt to rid ourselves of these people who seem to lack humanity. My guess is he would not only be polite to them but would treat them humanely. We must treat all living beings with respect and compassion. (And unless ego-less people start behaving ruthlessly then they too are ‘innocent’).

  5. Greetings Pappan! Good to hear from you on this topic. (Also, welcome falk, I see that you have commented here as well.)

    First, Pappan, what Steiner is describing here is similar what I heard and read about from my New Age friends outside of anthroposophy 10 or 20 years ago. Do you recall the concept of “walk-ins?” These are ETs or Angelic beings who “shop around” until they find a human being willing to sacrifice his or her human organism, thus allowing the supernatural being to “walk-in” and take over the human body so that they can help out with advancing human evolution. Of course that’s a kind of blissed-out New Age hope that these beings are friendly and helpful. On the dark side, we have the “alien abduction” phenomenon with its terrifying sexual medical experiments and genetic “harvesting” of human DNA — as well as “cattle mutilations,” etc., indicating a belief that the ETs are nasty and want ultimately to either rule us or destroy us or both.

    But back to Steiner’s pronouncements here. Actually, his description of these egoless beings is rather negative in that he calls them demons and “utterly ruthless.” However, in a lecture given 2 years before, he speaks about the positive phenomenon of beings coming down from other planets since the 1880’s who wish to help us along with our human evolution by bringing us anthroposophy, but that we humans reject them!

    This is from a lecture given May 13, 1921 in Dornach, GA 204. In English, it is the 14th lecture in a big 19-lecture cycle called: Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy.
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0204/19210513p02.html

    Remember what I described in my Occult Science — how once upon a time human souls migrated up to the planets and afterward returned to earth existence. I outlined in my Occult Science how the human beings of Mars, Jupiter, and so on came down again to earth. Now, a most important event took place — it can only be described from the facts that are confirmed as truths in the spiritual world — a very important event occurred at the end of the 1870’s. Whereas in ancient Atlantean times these human beings descended to earth from Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, and the other planets — and it was therefore a matter of human soul beings entering the earth existence then — now a time is beginning when beings who are not human are coming down to earth from cosmic regions beyond. These beings are not human but depend for the further development of their existence on coming to earth and on entering here into relationships with men.

    Thus, since the 1880’s, heavenly beings are seeking to enter this earth existence. Just as the Vulcan men were the last to come down to earth, [1] so Vulcan beings are now actually entering this earth existence. Heavenly beings are already here in our earth existence. And it is thanks to the fact that beings from beyond the earth are bringing messages down into this earthly existence that it is possible at all to have a comprehensive spiritual science today.

    Taken as a whole, however, how does the human race behave? If I may say so, the human race behaves in a cosmically rude way toward the beings who are appearing from the cosmos on earth, albeit, to begin with, only slowly. Humanity takes no notice of them, ignores them. It is this that will lead the earth into increasingly tragic conditions. For in the course of the next few centuries, more and more spirit beings will move among us whose language we ought to understand. We shall understand it only if we seek to comprehend what comes from them, namely, the contents of spiritual science. This is what they wish to bestow on us. They want us to act according to spiritual science; they want this spiritual science to be translated into social action and the conduct of earthly life.

    Since the last third of the 19th century, we are actually dealing with the influx of spirit beings from the universe. Initially, these were beings dwelling in the sphere between moon and Mercury, but they are closing in upon earth, so to say, seeking to gain a foothold in earthly life through human beings imbuing themselves with thoughts of spiritual beings in the cosmos. This is another way of describing what I outlined earlier when I said that we must call our shadowy intellect to life with the pictures of spiritual science. That is the abstract way of describing it. The description is concrete when we say: Spirit beings are seeking to come down into earth existence and must be received. Upheaval upon upheaval will ensue, and earth existence will at length arrive at social chaos if these beings descended and human existence were to consist only of opposition against them. For these beings wish to be nothing less than the advance guard of what will happen to earth existence when the moon reunites once again with earth.

  6. Zooey, Pappan, falk,

    I would be remiss if I did not post here the very next section of the lecture, because it is by far the most sensational futuristic dystopian vision Rudolf Steiner has ever given in any of his thousands of other lectures. Yes, indeed this is the section about the “hideous brood of half-animal half-plant SPIDER beings” that will completely take over the earth because of all our abstract materialistic thinking.

    Also, Zooey, this explains why Sune Nordwall is so concerned about your physical and spiritual salvation. He loves you, Zooey and he does not want you to suffer the fate of human beings who will fall victim to the brood of these hideous spider beings. Your fate will be, of course, well, hideous!

    On the other hand, Steiner may actually have experienced a very accurate prophetic vision of the World Wide Web and these hideous spider beings are all the Twitter message connections being made right now!

    This is from a lecture given May 13, 1921 in Dornach, GA 204. In English, it is the 14th lecture in a big 19-lecture cycle called: “Materialism and the Task of Anthroposophy.”
    http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA/GA0204/19210513p02.html
    (I make bold face emphases to relate back to Zooey’s original posting about the egoless humans who are really demons in disguise.)

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    “Nowadays it may appear comparatively harmless to people when they think only those automatic, lifeless thoughts that arise through comprehension of the mineral world itself and the mineral element’s effects in plant, animal, and man. Yes, indeed, people revel in these thoughts; as materialists, they feel good about them, for only such thoughts are conceived today. But imagine that people were to continue thinking in this way, unfolding nothing but such thoughts until the 8th Millennium when moon existence will once more unite with the life of the earth. What would come about then?

    The beings I have spoken about will descend gradually to the earth. Vulcan beings, Vulcan supermen, Venus supermen, Mercury supermen, Sun supermen, and so on will unite themselves with earth existence. Yet, if human beings persist in their opposition to them, this earth existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years. People will indeed be capable of developing their intellect in an automatic way; it can develop even in the midst of barbaric conditions. The fullness of human potential, however, will not be included in this intellect and people will have no relationship to the beings who wish graciously to come down to them into earthly life.

    All the beings presently conceived so incorrectly in people’s thoughts — incorrectly because the mere shadowy intellect can only conceive of the mineral, the crudely material element, be it in the mineral, plant, animal or even human kingdom — these thoughts of human beings that have no reality all of a sudden will become realities when the moon and the earth will unite again.

    From the earth, there will spring forth a horrible brood of beings. In character they will be in between the mineral and plant kingdoms. They will be beings resembling automatons, with an over-abundant intellect of great intensity. Along with this development, which will spread over the earth, the latter will be covered as if by a network or web of ghastly spiders possessing tremendous wisdom. Yet their organization will not even reach up to the level of the plants. They will be horrible spiders who will be entangled with one another. In their outward movements they will imitate everything human beings have thought up with their shadowy intellect, which did not allow itself to be stimulated by what is to come through new Imagination and through spiritual science in general.

    All these unreal thoughts people are thinking will be endowed with being. As it is covered with layers of air today, or occasionally with swarms of locusts, the earth will be covered with hideous mineral-plant-like spiders that intertwine with one another most cleverly but in a frighteningly evil manner. To the extent that human beings have not enlivened their shadowy, intellectual concepts, they will have to unite their being, not with the entities who are seeking to descend since the last third of the 19th century, but instead with these ghastly mineral-plant-like spidery creatures. They will have to dwell together with these spiders; they will have to seek their further progress in cosmic evolution in the evolutionary stream that this spider brood will then assume.

    You see, this is something that is very much a reality of earth humanity’s evolution. It is known today by a large number of those human beings who hold mankind back from receiving spiritual scientific knowledge. For there are those who are actually conscious allies of this spidery entangling of human earth existence. Today, we must no longer recoil from descriptions such as these. For descriptions of this kind are behind what is said to this day by many people who, based on ancient traditions, still have some awareness of things like these, and who would like to surround these ancient traditions with a certain veil of secrecy. The evolution of earthly humanity is not such that it can be veiled in secrecy any longer. However great the resistance in hostile quarters, these things must be said; for, as I have stated again and again, the acceptance or rejection of spiritual scientific knowledge is a serious matter facing mankind. It is not something that can be decided on the basis of more or less indifferent sympathies or antipathies; we are dealing with something that definitely affects the whole configuration of the cosmos.

    We are dealing with the question of whether humanity at the present time will resolve to grow gradually into what benevolent spirits, wishing to ally themselves with human beings, bring down from the universe, or whether mankind will seek its continued cosmic existence in the gradual entanglement, in the spider-brood of its own, merely shadowy thoughts. It does not suffice today to set down in abstract formulas the need for spiritual scientific knowledge. It is necessary to show how thoughts become realities. This is what is so dreadful about all abstract theosophists who appear on the scene and place abstractions before people, for example: Thoughts will become realities in the future. But it does not occur to them to present the full and actual implications of these matters. For the concrete implication is that the intellectual, shadow-like thoughts, spun inwardly by human beings today, will one day cover the earth like a spider’s web. Human beings will become entangled in it if they are not willing to rise above these shadowy thoughts.

  7. What I find most important to remember is that he’s talking about an actual child, a 1st grade girl — possibly 6 or 7 years old — not a psychopath, Idi Amin or Hitler. That’s what makes it horrific. He says she may not be a human being; an actual child, who may not, in his opinion, be a real human being. A child whose parents had entrusted her in the care of this school.

    Tom:

    ‘I don’t think he is referring to elementals — unless they be sub-natural Ahrimanic ones.’

    Possibly. After all, the context is demons, whatever demons are… ;-)

    Falk:

    ‘Well, this is pretty weird stuff.’

    It is, indeed. And not very helpful in the classroom, I might add. He could be talking about psychopaths. But considering what his viewpoints on people who reject the spiritual were, I think that’s one other possible explanation.

    ‘Steiner does not advocate any attempt to rid ourselves of these people who seem to lack humanity.’

    No, but mainly because he assumes the ‘problem’ will sort itself out, as it were.

    Pappan:

    ‘Let’s assume for the moment that RS is right. That there indeed exists people who are not human beings in the sense that they reincarnate, have a personal karma, a highet self etc, but that inwardly are much less complex, more like highly evolved nature beings. Okay?’

    I don’t believe anyone reincarnates.

    But people who believe this don’t have a license to call a child non-human or sub-human. Their personal beliefs in reincarnation doesn’t give them that right.

    ‘I mean isn’t there a kind of jokish quality about the whole human project?’

    May be. But it’s not a fucking joke for the child a waldorf teacher brands as demonic, merely based on bizarre beliefs that have no foundation in reality.

    By all means, everybody is free to believe all those weird things. It doesn’t mean it’s ok to subject other people to it, much less if these others are children. It’s cruel even if the purpose is not to put these children in concentration camps. (I don’t find it plausible Steiner would advocate that, actually.)

  8. Tom — ‘Steiner may actually have experienced a very accurate prophetic vision of the World Wide Web and these hideous spider beings ‘

    Oh, yes. https://zooey.wordpress.com/2010/01/03/spiders/

    Am I the only one to think this sounds pretty cool: ‘hideous brood of half-animal half-plant SPIDER being’?

    I’d rather become one of those than having to do eurythmy again. Not kidding.

  9. Well, that hideous spider brood spinning and weaving around the globe could also be the planet earth’s costume for the coming inter-galactic Halloween Festival! Or maybe even for the Milky Way Carnival! I’m Sirius!

  10. Ah, dear Tom, I read that 20 years ago and have tried to find it ever since. But I remembered wrong and thought it was in “Karma of materialism” and never could find it. So, thank you immensely!

    And dear PASSIONATE Zooey… do you suppose Idi Amin was born old?

    (need I say more?)

    Pappan

  11. Well, Zooey, I agree with you here when you say it would be pretty awful for some Steiner teacher to categorise a child as being demonic and not human.
    For me the problem lies not in Steiner’s description of what I take to be psychopathic personalities but in the arrogance of some teachers who would imagine that they had his powers of insight and think they too can see such things.
    My brother was principal of a special secure school for some of the most disturbed children in england. There were some children who seemed to be already psychopathic, but the hope was that they could be educated, that they would not end up as criminals. It is wrong to say at age 10 or whatever, ‘this child is a psycopath’. Whatever their difficulties, until they have become adult one hopes they will develop as ‘normal’ human beings. I think it is only safe to apply such labels to people when they have become adult and shown by their behaviour that they ‘lack humanity’.
    Steiner made some serious errors of judgement.
    Even if it were true that he could spot a psycopath in the class, to then say this to those gullible people who were the first Steiner teachers, people who noted his every sneeze, scratch and fart as if they were revelations from the spiritual world, this was a colossal misjudgement.

  12. Pappan & Falk

    As far as I’m concerned, demons, higher beings, karma and future lives are fantasy. Adult paracosm is being imposed on real children. As Zooey says, “an actual child”. Pappan, do you suppose Steiner’s “special’ anthroposophic clairvoyance could have predicted Amin’s future behaviour? And that Steiner was able to spot this sort of thing in a child? Just as teacher’s are “trained’ to recognise a child’s temperaments, perhaps they could also recognise a demonic child?

    I’m marveling at the hole you’re digging for all those anthroposophists shuddering at your frankness. There’s something you ought to know- it is not ok , even in your chimera of illusions, to label human beings as demons or mistakes, IT IS NOT OK. It is wrong, so very very wrong, even, Falk, if they are treated with kindness. Good grief.
    This is a perfect example of the anthroposophical perspective- one can label children with temperaments, ignore bullying, change their handedness, use their physical appearance and race to make choices about them, and it appears, say they aren’t really human at all, but if they are treated “humanely” it’s ok, because it’s helping them spiritually.
    Is this a parallel with how anthroposophists view race?

  13. Falk
    Crossed posts. You’ve now elaborated on what you said here here
    “I agree with Pappan. Steiner does not advocate any attempt to rid ourselves of these people who seem to lack humanity. My guess is he would not only be polite to them but would treat them humanely.”

    It’s clear. Until the Steiner waldorf movement opens up, transparently puts in writing what they believe, what anthroposophical tools they use, there is huge leeway for dangerous judgements simply because someone uses what Steiner wrote. Personally, I think being guided by clairvoyance, karma, angels, past lives, physical appearance and temperaments is dangerous in schools.

  14. Cathy:

    ‘Personally, I think being guided by clairvoyance, karma, angels, past lives, physical appearance and temperaments is dangerous in schools.’

    I agree (though that will probably not come as a surprise!). The fact that anthroposophists don’t advocate active extermination of supposed ‘non-humans’ doesn’t change this.

    Pappan:

    ‘… do you suppose Idi Amin was born old?’

    No, of course not? But he was born a child, not a demon. Not a non-human or sub-human. To assume a real child is a demon is cruel, whether this child grows up to be a psychopath, Idi Amin or a great humanitarian. Waldorf teachers should not walk around trying to identify ‘demons’. The whole concept lacks a valid foundation, and the only possible consequence of this belief in child-demons can only be cruelty, since the teachers will act towards the child according to their belief-based prejudices. All under the banner of ‘caring’ and ‘love’ of course.

  15. falk wrote:
    I think today we would call these people, whom Steiner says do not have a human ego, PSYCHOPATHS. One could say that their defining characteristic is their LACK OF HUMANITY. Think of Stalin, Hitler, Polpot, Idi Amin – they were the ones who became leaders. Then think of the thousands of the people who carried out their bidding and tortured and put millions of innocent men, women and children to death, – in Nazi Germany

    falk,
    You are being way too one-sided here, that is to say, you are only “looking on the bright side” in regard to Steiner’s statement about child-demons and frankly trying to excuse them. Since anthroposophy is some species of upgraded Neo-Manicheaism, then I believe that you should look at least equally on the dark side as well. Then maybe we could reach some equanimity about the esoteric fact that each of us contains good and evil within ourselves — in pretty equal distribution.

    I don’t know if this actually happened, but it could have. Imagine someone attending Steiner’s teacher’s conference where he said the above about non-human beings. Someone German could very well conclude that he is referring here to Jews. You see, Steiner did not qualify his statement about non-human or sub-human creatures being born since the 1890’s without benefit of proper karmic continuity in reincarnation.

    Before Adolf Hitler could implement the “final solution to the Jewish problem,” he first had to lay the groundwork by first dehumanizing the Jews through a very effective propaganda campaign, ably begun in this very same year 1923 by Julius Streicher who published “Der Stuermer” magazine. So if the Jews were not really human in the first place, but instead a kind of vermin masquerading as actual humans, then it would be no big deal to exterminate them.

    So while I agree with you that RS would not have called for the extermination of these demonic children and then by extension the “Jewish vermin” then infesting Germany in 1923, the issue is quite moot, if not totally irrelevant. Why? Because Rudolf Steiner is responsible for this statement and for whatever “aid and comfort” it may have given to the Nazis then coming to power in Germany so that they would eventually implement the “die Endlösung der Judenfrage.” (“final solution to the Jewish problem.”)

  16. falk wrote:
    “I think today we would call these people, whom Steiner says do not have a human ego, PSYCHOPATHS. One could say that their defining characteristic is their LACK OF HUMANITY.”

    Falk, it’s a metaphor. Steiner was not speaking metaphorically. When we say of someone that he or she has a “lack of humanity,” we are speaking of their having forgotten or not understanding what we think it means to be human in the best possible sense; we’re speaking of human ideals and someone who is not living up to them or is acting against them in how he or she treats other people.

    Unfortunately Steiner said some people were literally not human, and when questioned, he was usually at pains to clarify that his statements about spiritual reality were not metaphors or symbols but literal truths.

    Of course you’re trying to excuse him, when really there’s no excuse.

  17. Cathy:
    “I’m marveling at the hole you’re digging for all those anthroposophists shuddering at your frankness. There’s something you ought to know- it is not ok , even in your chimera of illusions, to label human beings as demons or mistakes, IT IS NOT OK. It is wrong, so very very wrong, even, Falk, if they are treated with kindness. Good grief.”

    Oh dear, yes, let’s treat even demons with kindness, that makes it all right to label children demons, I’m sure.
    I’ll never lose my capacity for amazement at anthroposophists’ powers of rationalization.

  18. “Even if it were true that he could spot a psycopath in the class, to then say this to those gullible people who were the first Steiner teachers, people who noted his every sneeze, scratch and fart as if they were revelations from the spiritual world, this was a colossal misjudgement.”

    You seriously need to get over hero-worshipping the guy (or should I say guru-worshipping). Steiner spotted psychopaths? I don’t think so. There’s a case to be made that he was one himself, or at least lacked an ability for certain types of human connections, putting him on a spectrum of personality disorders with psychopaths at one extreme end. (I don’t know of any evidence he was capable of violence, but he certainly kept himself at arm’s length from normal human relations and was sometimes quite unkind.)

  19. Tom — ‘Then maybe we could reach some equanimity about the esoteric fact that each of us contains good and evil within ourselves — in pretty equal distribution.’

    That’s one esoteric fact some anthroposophists seem utterly reluctant to acknowledge. Again the ahrimans, the lucifers, the forces, the guardians of thresholds all appear less than helpful.

    Diana — ‘(I don’t know of any evidence he was capable of violence, but he certainly kept himself at arm’s length from normal human relations and was sometimes quite unkind.)’

    His cosmos is quite violent psychologically, but, no, the everyday kind of physical [violence /edit] just doesn’t seem to have been his cup of tea. (Though all the soft colours and corners and the eurythmy dresses may have provided the perfect front, I must admit… ;-))

    But I agree. It’s unlikely that Steiner talked about psychopaths and even more unlikely he could spot psychopathy in children.

    Re what Cathy wrote earlier in the thread — ‘Just as teacher’s are “trained’ to recognise a child’s temperaments, perhaps they could also recognise a demonic child?’ — Apparently. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/15490

  20. “His cosmos is quite violent psychologically, but, no, the everyday kind of physical just doesn’t seem to have been his cup of tea. (Though all the soft colours and corners and the eurythmy dresses may have provided the perfect front, I must admit… ;-))”

    Bingo.

  21. And parts of the movement sure stinks of passive aggression ready to erupt.

    (Also — I skipped a word in that sentence, it’s supposed to read: ‘the everyday kind of physical violence just doesn’t seem’. But that was probably apparent from the context.)

  22. Ah, yes! In the USA, we call that a “veil painting” because of the layering technique with the water color paints. But they would not dare have those dots in there as stars. Instead. they would wait until a cosmic being of some kind would emerge from the main nebula.

    Now the interesting question that Anthros would debate, is what inside the human organism on earth does that galaxy or nebula correspond to? Steiner taught that everything going on in the universe is also going on inside each one of us. The old “As Above, so below” idea.

  23. OK.
    (almost) without dots, then:

    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap101102.html Spicules: Jets on the Sun
    or
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap101018.html It Came from the Sun
    or
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap030514.html The North Pole of Venus
    or
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap990107.html The Ring,
    at http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1999/01/image/a/

    More to be found at
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/lib/aptree.html
    http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html Astronomy Picture of the Day Archive

    Now, while the anthros are engaged in debate(s), the rest of the world goes by, (for example:)
    http://www.economist.com/printedition/?fsrc=nwl

  24. ‘Now the interesting question that Anthros would debate, is what inside the human organism on earth does that galaxy or nebula correspond to?’

    The brain? But then he said that brain was basically poop. It seems kind of incompatible with a beautiful galaxy.

  25. No, Zooey, the brain is made of beautiful poop — and thus the corresponding galaxies are also beautiful poop — because it is NOT excreted. By staying inside it is rerouted into the head where it is deposited to form the matter of the brain.

    That’s why Steiner referred to the poop that is actually excreted as “premature brain deposit.” See, it had the potential to be re-routed to the head and become beautiful and useful “brain deposit,” but instead it was hastily excreted “before its time,” as it were.

    And even then it’s useless because it has too much ego forces in it to be used as compost. Steiner was very critical of the Asian farmers who use human poop as compost because it’s way too egotistical and weak for the rice or soy beans. The reason why horse manure and cow poop is used in BD is precisely because these animals do NOT have strong ego forces in their residue.

    You know, Prince Charles ought to know all this. But I suppose it would cause quite an international incident and ruin trade relations with China and SE Asia if he ever breathed a word about it on TV.

  26. This, somehow, makes a whole lot of sense. Space is filled with galaxies of undeposited poop. What happens if the re-routing suddenly stops? Is there a role for Lucifer, Ahriman and the Christ impulse in all this?

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