‘what higher beings have done before birth’

In a publication [pdf] by the pedagogical section at the Goetheanum, there’s an article by Christof Wiechert on ‘An Education for our Time’. In it I read:

‘It is pointed out [by Rudolf Steiner] that the religions tend to focus on the after-life as the time where everyone’s future lies while forgetting about the time before birth. It is the teacher’s task to explore the life before birth: ‘Our form of educating can have the correct attitude only when we are aware that our work with young people is a continuation of what higher beings have done before birth’.2

‘How can this be achieved in practice? Think of a child study: the first step is the forming of a picture of the pupil as he or she appears in space and time. In order to understand this picture we have to go a step further. How did the pupil come to develop in this way? It is easy to find out as long as one avoids the temptation of applying superficial psychology (which never leads to any insight or knowledge). We come to an understanding of the inner essence of a pupil if we ask how ether body and physical body, for instance, relate to one another; or how the soul (astral) works on the ‘learning body’ (ether body).’ [The footnote (2), refers to: Rudolf Steiner, The Foundations of Human Experience (CW 293), Lecture 1, 21 August 1919.]

Wiechert then goes on to talk about meditating on students and to say that a teacher’s inspiritation ‘arises out of the interest in the pre-earthly aspects that reveal themselves in the different parts of the human organisation.’ It’s a highly interesting article, for many reasons. Read!

15 thoughts on “‘what higher beings have done before birth’

  1. Education for placentas! In the same newsletter, on pp 20-1, another article, on a conference:

    ‘At birth a part of the human being gets lost (placenta), which is the reason we experience ourselves as a fragment our whole life through. […] Schad described the placenta as the great role model for all educators: it prepares the development of the human being, provides for him, sets off the birth and then steps back!’

    Heiner Ulrich spoke too, p 21:

    ‘In Ulrich’s view Waldorf education is made use of primarily by a social class, the so-called post-materialistic bourgeoisie.’

    (It fascinates me they invited him — that’s a good sign!)

    On p 27 we can learn that some anthroposophists don’t hold Steven Pinker in high regard, and require a few exclamation marks to drive home the point.

    On the following page, troubling aspects of new technology are considered:

    ‘… the prospects of its commercial use on the internet are rather alarming to contemplate. It will add a tactile element to the realm of cyber-sex. On the same tack, life-like human robots, programmed to be “emotionally responsive”, are being seriously considered as sexual partners.’

    Artificial insects and ‘semi-robotic hybrids’ are mentioned too. Strangely, clairvoyance or meditating on children’s previous earth-lives don’t bother them… But oh the horror:

    ‘there is no question but that the simulation processes going on in the machines are essentially the same as those going on in the human subjects they are to merge with.’

    P 29:

    ‘Since its inception, it has been the essence of Waldorf education to be the midwife of the modern Self.’

    While eschewing everything modern? Not seeing the potential of new technology but instead the dangers of cyber-sex and machines merging with humans?

    On pp 37-8 there’s a report on the Hague circle, the Dutch representatives told the meeting about the Dutch situation (this should be relevent to Brits and Swedes actually):

    ‘The interference of the Dutch government with the pedagogical work of the schools turned out to be a particularly sensitive point. The Association’s representative spoke about the strategies with which they are planning to increasingly counteract these assaults by the state on the freedom of the schools (tests, excessive administration).’

    Quality requirements reinterpreted as assaults. Basically. That’s how I read it. I wonder, do waldorf schools deserve special treatment? Would the same requirements count as ‘assaults’ it they were only applied to other schools?

  2. Thanks fort posting this Zooey. I have attempted to read it but it seems like nonsense piled upon nonsense to me; frightening to think that some teachers actually believe in it.

  3. Hey, cool beans, mule! Wynstones is the alma mater of Tom de Havas, who just won the “Best Debut Performance on a Waldorf Critical Blog” for his rousing rookie appearance on the recently closed DC blog (that not only censored Sune, but also censored Zooey’s 2 responses to Sune at the end there. )

    Anyway, Thetis, Zooey, can you get in touch with Tom de H. and invite him to comment here on this Wynstones exemption even though the blog post itself was put up over a year ago (Sept. 2009)?

  4. mule — Attacks, assaults et c… it’s not far from Sune’s crusades, witch-hunts, hate-campaigns and whatnot. Always the same.

    Tom — ‘Tom de Havas, who just won the “Best Debut Performance on a Waldorf Critical Blog” for his rousing rookie appearance…’

    He did, indeed.

    ‘…on the recently closed DC blog (that not only censored Sune, but also censored Zooey’s 2 responses to Sune at the end there. )’

    Though, to be honest, closing a thread or not wanting certain comments on one’s blog is hardly censorship. DC is not the government or any similar institution. If it were, I’d be ‘censoring’ you-know-who. What Mumsnet did wasn’t censorship either. It’s their website, their property, their responsibility, their decision what to allow and what not to allow. However, their decisions tell us something about their priorities, and this in turn could either attract or repel members and potential members. If people don’t like the way the forum is run, they’re free to leave (or be kicked out). They’re also free to have an opinion about how MN acts — reprehensible for such a large community, in my opinion. MN was spinless, but the fact that they decide which members they want and which types of posts they want, that’s not censorship. If DC doesn’t want shit with potential legal implications posted by Sune on his blog, then that’s not censorship. Sune can post his crap elsewhere — where bears the responsibility for it. B t w, try post a comment on Sune’s blog. Most likely he won’t let it through. Try one about Steiner’s lecture on the human races and skin colour.

    ‘Anyway, Thetis, Zooey, can you get in touch with Tom de H. and invite him to comment here on this Wynstones exemption even though the blog post itself was put up over a year ago (Sept. 2009)?’

    It doesn’t seem to me he’s interested in commenting here. He hasn’t been so far.

  5. Well, it’s just that both Sune and I have such a fine flair for melodrama that we easily “bombast” the cyber-landscape with word-bombs like censorship because it does make for better “B” movies or anthroposophical theater. I mean, Zooey, these issues are greater than life-or-death. Don’t you realize that the whole future of human evolution is dependent on what we do here on the Steiner Internet? No other human activity could possibly be so important and serious as what we do here! Hence the melodrama!

    As for Tom de Havas, maybe I can entice him here by posting what Steiner quote I imagine his Anthro father would have told him upon learning that his son was an atheist.

    Oh, Thetis, you’ll appreciate this word play.

    We say about someone who has sold out or sold his soul to the devil as making a “Faustian pact with the devil.”

    But considering the melodramatic bombast of both me and Sune, then you might say thay we have made a “Fustian pact with the devil.”

    Soitenly! Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!

  6. ‘… these issues are greater than life-or-death. Don’t you realize that the whole future of human evolution is dependent on what we do here on the Steiner Internet?’

    Yes, of course. Not that Sune has time for theater or play of any kind. He’s fighting a war. All of his drama is reality, he imagines. And apparently it isn’t theater, because if it were, he figures, he’d be the director and people would obey him. So it’s war. Real war on anthroposophy. Which, if you believe in it — this war, that is — is the biggest possible dramas of all dramas conceivable.

  7. Of course, it’s the beginning of what Steiner predicted for the end game destruction of our Aryan culture epoch:

    The War of All against All

    So just as fire destroyed Lemuria and water destroyed Atlantis, so will this War of all against all be the denouement of our Aryan Root Race.

    So get your jihad ready. But there’s still lots of time. According to the latest Akashic timetable, we got 5,882 years before the end and also when those nasty half-plant, half-mineral spider beings will have spun their glorious Ahrimanic webs around the war casualties. But don’t forget the Great Race War of the future, which will take place between the White Race and the Yellow Race in circa 4,000 years from now.

    Now do you see why Sune is so serious about all this?

  8. ha. There was one moment where the commenter mentioned said he’d been on DC’s blog for – I think it was 9 hours.

    I have to be honest with you, Tom, I don’t remember what was in zooey/alicia’s comments. Apparently there was profanity, so unlike her ;) On the Guardian it says: ‘comments may be deleted by the moderator, replies may also be deleted’. Or some such. It would be pointless leaving her swearing at herself…

    Smart Mama in the US decided that Sune was ‘douchey’. Douchey is against her rules. If the internet is a playground, he likes to shove people off swings. And then get on himself.

    Well maybe so, but your pact is funnier. My favourite Faust btw is Marlowe’s. “..But that was in another country, and besides the bee is dead.”

  9. ‘we got 5,882 years before the end’

    Sune is ahead of his time.

    ‘I have to be honest with you, Tom, I don’t remember what was in zooey/alicia’s comments. Apparently there was profanity, so unlike her ;)’

    Well, yes. But upon profanity followed reasonable stuff. Then, as Thetis points out, if DC wanted to close the thread and wanted to ditch Sune’s two comments before doing it, then he had to take my two as well, since they were replies to Sune’s.

    ‘If the internet is a playground, he likes to shove people off swings. And then get on himself. ‘

    That’s him, yes.

    ‘My favourite Faust btw is Marlowe’s. “..But that was in another country, and besides the bee is dead.”’

    Oh, masterpiece!

  10. All very accurate.

    Does anyone believe this stuff? It’s like a Star Wars convention where people learn Klingon. Is it really any different to this? – http://www.kli.org/

    When Klingons come asking for their Free Schools, I’ll be the first to say “yIDoghQo!”*

    *Don’t be silly

  11. ‘When Klingons come asking for their Free Schools, I’ll be the first to say “yIDoghQo!”*’

    Don’t be silly = be more reasonable, more dog, open canineosophical schools?

  12. No – that was Star Trek! They learn to be Jedis at Star Wars conventions. Or in the film “The Men who Stare at Goats”, which was in the end rather poignant.

Comments are closed.