‘the technological kingdom’

On the critics list, discussing this video, Rafael posted a less advertised (ie, by the schools) explanation to the resistance to technology in waldorf education. A discussion that ended up reminding me of an old, funny article by head-anthro Prokofieff. Rafael wrote:

Should not education be about what occurs in the first three life-cycles; the so-called “educational epochs”?

And what are they?

1) Imitation = birth to age seven (physical body)
2) Emulation = seven to fourteen (etheric body)
3) Assimilation = fourteen to twenty-one (astral body)

You see, Waldorf is againt the whole idea of a Technological Kingdom coming into existence between the mineral and the plant. Do you understand the implications of this happening?

(Mineral and plant refers to developmental stages 1 and 1. Minerals are physical, plants have etheric body in addition. The etheric body of the human unfolds at 7.) When another poster inquired further, Rafael (after having quoted Steiner at length) elaborated on the topic

What the previous excerpt attempts to express is that an artifical kingdom has been created by the forces of evil between the mineral kingdom and the plant kingdom. This is the presently constructed technological kingdom, which is the subject of this, and most of the present-day discourses concerning Waldorf’s allegiance to non-technological matters in its pegagogy.

As such, technology exists to keep human intelligence at its present level of “shadow-images” of the astral world. The idea behind its creation, i.e., the technological kingdom, is to hold human evolution to a level that will enable the moon-forces to completely subjugate the human being when the moon re-enters the earth in the eighth millennium.

I’m not sure about this explanation; and am not sure what role explanations of this nature play, directly or indirectly. Is this explanation ‘inevitably’ derived from anthroposophy? Are there other alternatives? (And: what about waldorf schools talking openly about the actual reasons to eschew technology? Oh well, my wish is utopian.)

4 thoughts on “‘the technological kingdom’

  1. Having read a huge amount of Anthroposophic and Steiner stuff over the years I thought I could no longer be surprised but… but… but… ! I guess if Anthros really believed that technology was evil then at least they would not bother using the internet – oh, but that might be a vaguely rational response to their belief and… oh I really do find it all exasperating and kind of insulting too; the idea that the evidence of generations is worth less than the ‘revelations’ of an individual – all too fascistic, exclusive, devisive and antidemocratic.

  2. I hope you didn’t miss the “horrible spiders” quote, Nick …

    ” From the earth, there will spring forth a
    horrible brood of beings. In character they will be in between the
    mineral and plant kingdoms. They will be beings resembling automatons,
    with an over-abundant intellect of great intensity. Along with this
    development, which will spread over the earth, the latter will be
    covered as if by a network or web of ghastly spiders possessing
    tremendous wisdom. Yet their organization will not even reach up to the
    level of the plants. They will be horrible spiders who will be entangled
    with one another.”

  3. I think Rafael’s picture is a very personal interpretation.
    In all my reading of Steiner I don’t find him to be ‘anti-technology’. One can find horror stories like the spider one posted by Diana, but still I don’t see this is ‘anti-technology’. The spidery beings come about because of the influence of Ahriman. But living through and assimilating the influence of Ahriman (without becoming possessed by it) is part of being human. Steiner sometimes calls Ahriman and Lucifer our companions in our destiny.
    Though falling completely under their spell makes us lose our humanity, we need their inspiration in order to fulfill our destiny on the earth.
    The spidery beings can be seen as an image of the internet, which is in itself cold and impersonal, but we can make it warm and human through our genuine interest in each other and what can be achieved for the benefit of humanity via the internet.
    I would rate Alicia’s blog as one of the things that brings warmth and humanity to people via the internet.

  4. falk: There’s nothing in Steiner saying that the spider thing he’s talking about is technology (that’s how Prokofieff tries to make sense of it… but he says so many silly things in that article), as far as I know. But it’s ahrimanic! And modern machines can be ahrimanic — I think he says that. Also modern science. (I have no references, making it up from my impressions.)

    Rafael, by the way, turned out to be someone else… as so often. Playing the devil, perhaps. But his interpretation of technology wasn’t worse than Prokofieff’s… He is an anthroposophist, but I don’t know how much he exaggerated (for the sake of enjoyment or whatever). If he did that.

    ‘I would rate Alicia’s blog as one of the things that brings warmth and humanity to people via the internet.’

    Thank you!!

    We do have a fireplace in the ethereal kiosk, of course. A bit luciferic, so one has to mind the balance.

    Nick: ‘I guess if Anthros really believed that technology was evil then at least they would not bother using the internet’ — have you read Eugene Schwartz’s reply to the Prokofieff article? It’s very funny, he mentions the first computers at the Goetheanum.

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