(Because I can’t call people stupid on the list once again in such a short time, lest Dan shall have to boot me. Also, writing this at all is against my better knowledge. I should just leave it. I know I should just leave it. But I can’t. Sorry. It’s not the first time.) ‘Zurueck’ wrote:
There is a lively discussion going on at Ruhrbarone: [link]
I’m sorry to say it makes me sick to read. Any worthwhile messages, if there are any, drown in the ‘steiner was insane’-shit — a stupid old routine that keeps playing on repeat. People who are ‘insane’ can’t possibly have anything to say, huh? Interestingly, one of few in this discussion, who seems to have managed to press that button on his brain that says ON before publishing his comments, happens to be a (former) waldorf student, this is Ansgar Martins. (Also found at here.) I suspect some of these more or less anonymous commenters are in reality identical. The rest of the thread may be lively — and there are some decent comments from Steiner critics — but intellectually speaking a dead-end, unfortunately, at least from the moment when the question of Steiner’s mental health rears its ugly head (and it actually does already in the Ruhrbarone-post itself, to return in full force on comments p 2). Pathetic and tragic. Rudolf Steiner is not mentally ill; anybody can answer that question. He’s dead and buried. Unless we’re to believe he’s present as an insane ghost. (That would be utterly bonkers.)
And Steiner being wrong has nothing to do with his mental health, and his mental health has nothing to do with him being wrong or right or whatever. Lots of people who are highly intelligent and who have many true things to say suffer from mental illness. Some people who are fully sane have nothing interesting to offer whatsoever. Being sane doesn’t mean you can’t be mistaken. So let’s say Steiner was 100% insane. Does this somehow render his pronouncements about life on Atlantis more wrong than they’d otherwise be? If so, how on earth is this possible? Let’s say he was the epitome of sanity — not that I think he was, but for the sake of the argument, let’s say he was — does this make his statements about potatoes causing materialism anymore believable? If Steiner was sane, were his statements about the spiritual characteristics of human races any less appalling? Also, to connect again to the thread, madness doesn’t preclude creativity. Quite obviously not.
I’m not saying Steiner’s psyche isn’t interesting. It is highly interesting, in many ways. Its possible pathologies are too. It just isn’t at all interesting in this context. Revolting prejudices about mental illness aren’t very pleasant either, and should better be kept away from all kinds of contexts.
If saying Steiner’s insane is all there is to Steiner criticism, then it plainly isn’t worth anyone’s attention. Luckily this isn’t the case. It’s not all there is. Reading certain discussions makes you wonder though. If anthroposophy succeeds at anything, it is at bringing out the worst in practically everybody. Even in some of its critics. Oddly enough.