it’s not my life

Life is a gist – a tremendous freedom to live, learn and contribute to the cultural stream of our time. But life can also be fraught with problems and challenging questions.

No! You don’t say! Well, here’s Emerson College’s six month anthroposophy course that starts in January 2012. You can study the geometry of crop circles with holocaust denier and conspiracy theorist Nick Kollerstrom! (Another post about him, by the way. And, yes, Emerson does indeed spell his name wrong. It is that same Nicholas Kollerstrom nonetheless.) The application form [pdf] mentions a brochure, but I haven’t found one. The application form, however, is interesting in itself. They want you to submit a photo of yourself. (Why on earth?) And then you have this:

I accept that the habitual use of drugs and alcohol is incompatible with the aims of the course.

It seems to me there must be seasoned and accomplished anthroposophists who might fail to meet the requirements. Anyway, it’s good to know that bat-shit crazy crop circle junk presented by a conspiracy loon is not only compatible with the aims of the course but is a part of the course, while drinking wine disqualifies you. Talk about a lack of focus on sanity and reason. I’d probably need something strong to get through this alive. But it’s not my kind of life, so I won’t even try.

(If someone locates the brochure, please post a link in the comments! I’d love to see it.)

18 thoughts on “it’s not my life

  1. Six months of abstinence and crop circles. That ought to take superhuman powers to survive.

    But if you’re in the delusion business, it’s probably wise to abstain from drugs. As to not push yourself over the edge. If you’re not already there.

    ‘Life is a gist – a tremendous freedom to live, learn and contribute to the cultural stream of our time. But life can also be fraught with problems and challenging questions.’

    Am I the only one who thinks this is somewhat… banal? It’s the kind of ‘wisdom’ that could fit perfectly in children’s cartoons. Like Donald Duck trying to be philosophical for some usually inexplicable reason.

  2. ROFL again!! This is hysterical.

    >It seems to me there must be seasoned and accomplished anthroposophists who might fail to meet the requirements.

    You think? :)

    >Anyway, it’s good to know that bat-shit crazy crop circle junk >presented by a conspiracy loon is not only compatible with the aims of >the course but is a part of the course, while drinking wine >disqualifies you.

    Nothing else to add here, just chortling …

  3. In the earlier post about Kollerstrom (April 2010), you wrote:

    “The last article by Kollerstrom published by an anthroposophic organisation is from the year 2008, according to UK Anthroposophy. It would be interesting to know more about his present status in anthroposophic circles. What are other anthroposophists thinking? Are they rejecting his views in silence?”

    It would seem not.

  4. There is a possibility that if you’re sufficiently out of it on drugs, you might see more crop circles than Nick Kollerstrom. And then he’s got nothing to teach you. Just think! You yourself would be able to lecture on crop circles that don’t even exist! (No matter who made them. Extraterrestrials, humans or your own imagination.)

    ‘You think? :)’

    I’m positive!

  5. did an ex-Waldorf student write the description? It’s life is a GIFT not gist (I think you get my gist) and there are other spelling mistakes. This should ring a few warning bells – aside from anything else the writer has clearly been drinking.

  6. That was not the only spelling mistake either. I suppose it might be waldorf ;-)

    I saw they had a job description out seeking a new employee. It was in a pdf-file. Maybe looking for a better speller. There were hints about it. Literacy and numeracy were mentioned…

  7. Yeah, life is a gist … don’t that sum it up.

    The Pessoa quote comes to mind, Alicia, about how being spiritual is no excuse for mistakes in punctuation, or in this case spelling …

  8. I thought about Pessoa too…

    Anyway, I actually first thought they meant to say ‘gist’. Like in ‘life’s the point of existence’ or the other way around. Which made it all the more trite, of course. Or rather pointless. It’s like saying the point is the point. Not really a good course description. Of course, assuming they meant to write ‘gist’, the language of the first sentence is rather odd, because you also have to assume that the gist that is life… consists of these examples. Somehow it doesn’t make sense. But so much didn’t, so I just thought, well, they think life’s a gist. Oh dear Dog. And they, being anthroposophists, should think there’s a gist to death too, right?

    It’s odd I thought this, because some people really go about insisting ‘life is a gift’ — it’s not like I haven’t heard it a 1000 times — as if that was some kind of profundity. Life just happened, is more my philosophy. Or the gist of it.

  9. They misspelled geometry too, and, of course, Kollerstrom. (But that’s good for them, because people won’t find it via google searches!)

    Edit: Kollerstrom seems to much like a Swedish, or at least Nordic, name, but it must have been generations, because it’s lost its dots over the o’s. In Swedish it would be Köllerström, I think. Or if it was Danish it would be ø’s.

  10. I am saddened to find an anthro. inspired institution supporting Kollerstrom in any way. I will be wriring to the trustees of Emerson asking them if they are aware of Kollerstrom’s published views and how they have allowed this to happen. Thank You for drawing attention to it, Alicia.

  11. Falk:

    “I am saddened to find an anthro. inspired institution supporting Kollerstrom in any way. I will be wriring to the trustees of Emerson asking them if they are aware of Kollerstrom’s published views and how they have allowed this to happen.”

    Great! I will plan to follow up with you. I would like to see a copy of the letter you send and their response. I will be happy to publicize your efforts for you by posting this to the critics list as well. I’m sure you will want all of this to be public.

  12. Good idea, Falk! And, although I guess they may not care (or be too embarrassed to reply, I don’t know which is the most likely outcome), if they’ve been made aware of it, explicitly, they can’t claim they weren’t aware of it.

    I’m sure there are quite a few people, even at Emerson, who are aware of Kollerstrom’s activities though. Unless they live in a parallel universe. I guess courses on crop circles suggest that to an extent they do. I’m not sure why anyone would do courses on crop circles.

    This is said about his crop circle book:

    ‘Nick Kollerstrom’s latest title, Crop Circles: The Hidden Form, published by Wessex books, offers a new way of experiencing the crop circle mystery, through the geometry of the forms revealed in crops.’

    It’s highly likely that crop circles aren’t a ‘mystery’ in the first place.

    Anyway, I’m not sure if I did, I think I did though, link to this blog posts about Kollerstrom in my earlier post about him:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/06/crank_magnetism_in_action.php
    http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2008/04/debate-the-kollerstrom-question/
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2008/06/23/astrology-sure-crop-circles-yeah-holocaust-denial-buh-bye/

    If I didn’t it’s worth linking again, because there are further links in these posts.

  13. I have recieved news that Emerson college has removed Kollerstrom from their speaker-list and that he will not be teaching there in the future. His name is still listed on the course description of the course mentioned in the post, but as far as I understand it, he won’t be among the lecturers on that course either.

    This after they have been made aware of Kollerstrom’s views and activities.

  14. good for Falk if so – Kollerstrom I believe behaved in a way that distressed certain victims of the London tube bombings – as well as (I understand) being a notable holocaust denier which EMERSON SHOULD HAVE KNOWN ABOUT BEFORE.

    But as I say, great that someone acted.

  15. Diana — I think that may have made them change their mind. I can’t exclude, of course, that other people have alerted them to it as well.

    They should have known, but I guess he’s an old anthro who’s been active in anthro lecturing and stuff for many years. Maybe they don’t check the backgrounds of the lecturers then. I’m not sure why they offered crop circle nuttiness in the first place.

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