nostradamus & steiner

I don’t have much time to blog now (I can’t think when I’m at home — this place is unbearable, because of the weather and the noice from the construction works going on), but here’s an article from hpd. It, strangely, compares Steiner with Nostradamus — concluding that the latter does no damage anymore, while believers in Steiner’s doctrines do. I’m not so sure Nostradamus is so harmless; belief in what he taught is certainly irrational enough. Perhaps even more so. (Not that I’ve ever read Nostradamus. But there must be more appropriate historical figures in the area of irrational beliefs to compare Steiner with?)

In gewisser Weise erklärt das, warum beide bis heute ihre Anhänger finden, wenn auch in unterschiedlichen Kreisen. Nostradamus-Anhänger sind heute eher leicht beeindruckbare und manipulierbare Menschen mit etwas Bildung, der durchschnittliche Steiner-Fan ist ein überdurchschnittlich gebildeter Künstler oder Unternehmer auf Sinnsuche. Im Kern streben sie nach ein- und demselben. Der leicht fassbaren Erklärung der Wirklichkeit, nach (emotionaler) Sicherheit in einer Welt, die immer komplexer wird. Beide brauchen eine messianische Gestalt, auf die sie sich beziehen können – und von der sie so gut wie nichts wissen. Was sie wissen müssen, beten ihnen die vor, die mit den messianischen Gestalten Geld verdienen. Sei es ein Nostradamus-„Forscher“, der sein jüngstes Werk verkaufen will, sei es der Weleda-Konzern, seien es die Waldorf-Schulen oder der Rudolf-Steiner-Verlag. Von den Sehnsüchten nach einer einfachen und harmonischen Welt lässt sich ganz gut leben. Je mehr man diese Sehnsüchte rationalisiert, desto besser.

Read more.

Edit, July 12, 2011: A translation of the article, by Tom.

23 thoughts on “nostradamus & steiner

  1. it’s quite funny though: the reason Steiner has more followers is that he hasn’t been dead so long. True – the mixture of clairvoyance and opaque prose makes Steiner a difficult figure to compare to anyone – the extreme post-modernists don’t claim to be clairvoyant – although who would know if they were claiming it? Divine sparks manifest elsewhere but generally at less length. You can only really compare him to other occultists, luckily Mr G didn’t start a string of schools – instead of eurythmy children might have enjoyed (!) long games of musical statues and advanced fleecing of the gullible ie the parents of students at the local Waldorf school. It would have been a grand cosmic joke. And now a toast, children! To the Idiots!

  2. Jesus has been dead for quite some time; still has ridiculously many followers. God never existed; same thing there. Zeus and Odin when out of fashion. The replacement gods are not any better.

    Dog, naturally, has lots of followers, though not among cats.

    Blavatsky’s baboon might have founded a school system, had he (she?) had the chance. Steiner was very productive.

  3. I think the old nordic gods would be pretty popular with children too. Compared to the christian god. They’re like humans only more extreme. They have adventurous lives and, since they’re many, there’s the dynamic between personalities. The christian god created the world, turned to passivity, and blah that’s it. Not much entertaiment value. Also, gods whom humans aren’t crazy or fanatical about are generally more agreeable.

  4. I am amused at the idea of comparing Steiner and Nostradamus. I’ve never thought of Steiner as a “prophet” – but he certainly did make some predictions. Nostradamus, through occult means (and/or drugs), divined what he believed to be future events and because of the times he lived in, documented his visions in the form of four-line poems called quatrains – supposedly filled with anagrams and symbolism. To make matters worse, he often wrote in somewhat convoluted French.

    By comparison, Steiner looked mostly to the past and tried to explain it. His prophesies for the future generally were there to support his ideas about the past… to tie things up with a nice bow. He was clear about the fact that he did NOT speak in metaphors and that he meant exactly what he said. I can’t say he wrote in convoluted German… but he’s about as easy to read as Nostradamus… ;)

    In reading a fun book about Nostradamus years ago, I ran into… Rudolf Steiner. I talk about it here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/15414?o=1&d=-1

  5. There’s certainly that difference between them. And Steiner conceived of a complete worldview with lifestyle guidance and all kinds of things. Really not the guru only predicting the future, whether with help of the stars or a crystal ball.

    Miriam Gebhardt’s book is called ‘RS a modern prophet’ (from memory — but modern and prophet is in its title); I thought, isn’t prophet sometimes used to denote ‘wise man’ or guru? As not necessarily one who makes forecasts for the distant future (only)? Nostradamus was that kind of prophet of course. Buy RS is another type.

  6. I was editing Diana’s comment, well not the comment, I was supposed to make Anonymous » Diana. In the process I managed to delete the content of the comment. It said something about grade school children still liking Zeus.

    Sorry…

  7. Feel free to add it again, Diana… It didn’t occur to me to check that the message was still there after editing the name. There’s no good reason for it to disappear (we might ask ahriman about this).

  8. Don’t worry about it, it was unimportant! :) sorry to mess up your blog all the time.

  9. Nothing to worry about, Diana. It is really easy to edit the name. In usual circumstances.

    Thetis — it’s your clairvoyancy. It works!!!!

  10. pray come hither to the ethereal kiosk, friends. Mme Blavatsky’s baboon is doing the tarot, I have champagne and canapes & a nice bone for Mr Dog.

  11. Mr Dog hopes that they are lamb bones. He’s on a diet eliminating other types of meat. Thus, in the weeks (months!) to come he can chase bunnies but not eat them. Come to think of it, a bunny diet might have been a better choice. I don’t know how we’re going to survive this. Might require lots of champagne in the ethereal kiosk… for me. And lamb chews for mr D…

  12. Is this the thread where we make our predictions for Waldorf.

    I predict that by 2025, there will be less than 300 established Waldorf schools world-wide… still lots of initiatives – but I predict the bigger schools will suffer over bad publicity that has gained tremendous momentum over the past 10 years. It very well may be the WWW (666?) that kills off Waldorf education. Bad publicity is everywhere… and government officials are being forced to get off the fence about public Waldorf… The tide has swung… and Waldorf is on the decline.

    Here’s a little fun I had with the imaginary Sunshine Waldorf School http://i55.tinypic.com/abjx9z.jpg

  13. All threads are for such predictions!!

    I think there will be fewer too — they aren’t so popular, there are many better options for education, with tax-funding (where this applies) comes official requirements… (that they can’t live up to). The bigger schools may have their scandals, but on the other hand they’re big. And they will attract new customers due to geography or other factors (such as being close to an anthro community). The very small waldorfs will go. Any scandals would hit them much harder (because they are on the brink of extinction anyway).

  14. And: ROFL! A smurf house on a city waste dump. Oh, it’s a school not a smurf dwelling?!? ;-) well, were it a smurf house (or a gnome hut?) it wouldn’t be there.

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