belief in life before birth and after death

… is an important belief in waldorf education, confirms German waldorf education journal Erziehungskunst (ever so candidly!):

… Der Gedanke des Weiterlebens nach dem Tod wird für immer mehr Menschen zu einer Selbstverständlichkeit. Den Gedanken der Präexistenz (Leben vor der Geburt) dem des Weiterlebens nach dem Tode hinzuzufügen, ist ein wichtiger Kulturimpuls Rudolf Steiners und der Waldorfpädagogik.

[…]

Im gleichen Sinn sprach auch Rudolf Steiner vom »Geist des Christentums«, ja dem »Geist des Christus«, der in aller Erziehungskunst leben möge. Die Waldorfschule hat er für die Zukunftsideale der Menschheit gegründet. Zum Abschluss des ersten Schuljahres der Waldorfschule in Stuttgart sprach Steiner dies auf folgende Weise aus:

»Noch etwas möchte ich heute sagen … Das ist dasjenige, was ich nennen möchte: Der Geist der Waldorfschule! Er soll wieder zur echten Frömmigkeit ausbilden. Es ist im Grunde genommen der Geist des Christentums, der durch unsere Räume weht, der von jedem Lehrer ausgehend, zu jedem Kinde hingeht … Dieser Geist, der von Liebe, von wahrer Menschenliebe durchweht ist.«

Diese Worte fallen aus dem heutigen Sprachgebrauch heraus, und doch liegt in ihnen eine neue Perspektive und ein neuer Beitrag für die ewige Frage des Menschen nach Leben und Tod. Sie sprechen deutlich eine Hoffnung aus, die heute Menschen in aller Welt und in den verschiedensten Kulturen in sich tragen: dass das Leben und die ganze Zivilisation auf neue Weise aus den großen menschheitlichen und im überkonfessionellen Sinne christlichen Idealen getragen und gestaltet werden möge. Aus diesem Geiste heraus dankte Rudolf Steiner in der schon genannten Ansprache den Schülern (!) »im Namen des Geistes der Menschheit, den wir versuchen zu pflegen in unserer ganzen geistigen Bewegung«. Er dankte für alles, »was Ihr geleistet habt für die Zukunftsideale der Menschheit«.

Read more.

This, by the way, is the brand of education which, according to many of its proponents — at least when they speak publicly about it and in desire to attract customers –, is not a school based upon religion. They, then, neglect to define and explain ‘spiritual science’.

Funny.

Reincarnation is sometimes mentioned, but often in quite obscure ways, open to interpretation. Unlike waldorf proponents in other countries, Erziehungskunst appears remarkably upfront.

5 thoughts on “belief in life before birth and after death

  1. Alicia, it is nice to see these quotes on your blog, especially for one who through many years only in clandestine ways have been able to convey to parents and other people those same things (in my way and words, of course). The colleagues would have none of it, for reasons never told. Of course I suspect they had not the courage to stand for it, or they did not stand for it at all. Any of the two. As a eurythmist and old teacher, I have many times asked the board of colleagues what they think is the foundation of our school form, tragically few have been able to give an intelligible answer to that question. Well, we have discussed those matters before, but thank you again for bringing it up.

    If you don´t mind, I think the things and thoughts, the arguments and the brainstorming you give room to on your blog, ultimately will do the school movement a dashed lot of good. The truth hurts more often than not and as the old antro ladies used to say (with cupped hands and a shy heavenward glance: “..durch Leiden lernt man..”. Be Good!

  2. Thank you Curt.

    ‘Of course I suspect they had not the courage to stand for it, or they did not stand for it at all. Any of the two.’

    Agreed. Either one.

    For some reason many anthroposophists seem reluctant to speak about anything that might put people off. I’ve tried to explain many times that if people are put off, then anthroposophy or waldorf is not for them. It’s actually better that people are put off before they get angry because they feel they didn’t have full information when they made the choice, because school administration and teachers did everything not to mention any contentious issues and brushed concerns aside when they occurred. (On thing I’ve heard from so many former parents turned critics.) Actually, the phenomenon of angry parents (and students and others, for that matter) expressing their views and their criticism online these days is, in a certain sense, the movement’s karma.

    ‘As a eurythmist and old teacher, I have many times asked the board of colleagues what they think is the foundation of our school form, tragically few have been able to give an intelligible answer to that question.’

    It’s tragic, and quite pathetic. It’s not that people need to believe everything in anthroposophy or be fundamentalists or anything but not to know and not even wanting to know… it’s unbelievably silly. I know I’ve explained it before, but I’ll say it again: I don’t think knowing what things are about makes a waldorf teacher more fundamentalist or unable to remain ‘free’, with regard to the teachings; I think the opposite is true.

    ‘…will do the school movement a dashed lot of good.’

    Oh, darn!

  3. Alicia, sorry if that last twist put you off, but I really think and hope so. Sort of cleans the air, you know, an lets people breathe freely, thus enabling them to express themselves better and bolder! At least that remains a pious hope…..

  4. Haha, you meant that twist (couldn’t see it earlier, because the app on the phone only displays the latest comments easily).

    I actually think it’s quite funny and I also don’t see why there couldn’t be, to some extent at least, some truth in it. Not that I have any intentions in that direction, but I do think it is usually good when things are aired openly, when there’s open questioning re important issues, no matter who benefits.

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