not helpful

I have been reading Anthroposophy Worldwide, March 2011 edition. This is a rather peculiar text, written by Elena Boldina, who’s (it is said) educating parents. It’s like the dots don’t connect. (The quoted passages are intact — I have not excluded stuff to make it seem this disconnected. If you don’t trust me, read it here.) It’s like various (mostly) unintelligible sentences are jumbled together in a seemingly random fashion.

Our societies have lost their guiding ideals. That can be seen in the fact that nobody knows any more how and for what a child is raised.

And they know this… how exactly? Is it true? I always figured people who had children knew these things. Another question I have is — do anthroposophical insights lead to a better knowledge of how (and why) to raise a child?

Every child holds the whole world within itself which does not only belong to it and its parents, but to all mankind.

What does this mean? The child has something inside himself that belongs to humanity?

If parents do not see themselves as social beings…

I thought procreation — actually the whole idea of becoming parent — was a kind of social act. Which would require that parents see themselves as social beings, in the usual sense of the words. (This might differ from the anthroposophical understanding I guess.)

… neither will the child be able to develop social skills.

I’m not sure exactly what kind of asocial parents she’s picturing. I don’t think anyone questions that parents’ social abilities — and the child’s social environment while growing up — impact on the child.

The world impoverishes.

The world impoverishes? Really? The world is that bad? Oh, damn, here we are again, in the world. How depressingly realistic! Pray tell, what are the alternatives? Life on Mars? (The answer is, naturally: having your own ethereal kiosk!!)

It doesn’t help to argue that the child is given to society or society to the child.

No, quite true, that doesn’t help, because these are just trite, practically senseless, statements. It’s like saying lalalala. It’s simple tune, but gets us nowhere.

Neither is the large information overload helpful on child psychology, behavioural peculiarities in its development or about society and its organisation.

Aha! Behavioural peculiarities — you’d think someone’s been visiting the anthroposophical subculture! And with respect to the information overload — no, Dog forbid we base our decisions on information, that we use information, facts and knowledge to make our lives a little bit better. All this availability of information everywhere is really kind of a bad thing for people who have information to conceal. I’m not sure anybody else has much to worry about, though.

It would be easy to publish many books and thus increase the wave of information material which is of little interest to experts and depletes our energy.

Again, Dog forbid we deplete our energy writing books. It’s interesting how it’s assumed that experts have little interest in information. You thought that information was what made them experts, but I guess that’s another  mistaken assumption. It would be easy to publish books — but why bother? All that intellectual garbage bogging down our spiritual progression. Get rid of it! Phew!

An education of the senses helps people of every age to gain more social skills.

I hope that doesn’t deplete our energy. Social life can be rather exhausting, if you ask me.

If one tries to achieve an ideal of the sense world, one gains the basis for social encounter by meeting a tangible counterpart.

I just don’t even know what to say, to be honest. Achieving an ideal of the world of our senses? Is this some kind of exercise in imagination, whereby we imagine that the world is something (ideal) other than what it appears to be (to our senses perceiving it)? How would this form a basis for social encounter — and what on earth is a ‘tangible counterpart’? If the encounter is social, I suppose it has to be another living being.

This leads to an inner balance.

Now, if I keep pondering what this all means, I might not find inner balance. Ever.

Thus one gains an inner, individual compass for the stormy information stream.

Sometimes I have this insight that strikes me, I won’t pretend it’s profound, but… anthroposophists seem to have severe issues navigating in the modern world. This world of lots of information, books that deplete your energy (here’s an instance where you could reasonably blame the prolific Steiner), not to speak of the ahrimanic, and infinitely vast, internet.

Thanks to this, one can use ones life forces for «reaching ones destination» unimpeded.

Are we supposed to make something of the fact that ‘reaching ones destination’ is put within quotation marks? What is the destination? And is any destination ever reached unimpeded — is that even a ‘journey’ worth having? Well, maybe, but you wouldn’t expect people who strive and struggle spiritually — or claim to be doing so — to admit that what they want is an easy, comfortable ride.

Whosoever has gained his/her individual orientation via the senses, will be able to serve society as a moral compass.

Dog help us. Even in anthroposophical publications, it’s rare to find a text this disoriented. It’s almost as though it lacks a compass of some kind. I wonder if there’s a reason she holds that texts deplete our energy. I think we ought to get ourselves some better navigation equipment than the one used by the author. Preferably one that can help us find our way out of texts that make no sense, only nonsense.