Reading and Falsehoods

 

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:15 pm
Subject: reading and falsehoods

Last week I wrote the following to Deborah about Steiner's 1910 Oslo lectures on national souls:

Did you notice that in these lectures Steiner says that the Negro race is substantially determined by childhood characteristics, and that the American Indians died out because they were destined to do so, not because of persecution by Europeans?

If I understood the subsequent exchange properly, then it sounds like Deborah hadn't actually read the book. She now says, apparently referring to some part of this text, that she has "just read it for the first time", and that the published text "doesn't support, in any way, Peter's description."

It isn't entirely clear what Debroah is getting at, but if this is indeed a reference to the published version of the 1910 lectures, then Deborah's claim is what she likes to call a "falsehood". In the book in question, Steiner does indeed write that the Negro race is substantially determined by childhood characteristics, and that the American Indians died out because they were destined to do so, not because of persecution by Europeans. Here is Steiner in his own words:

"The black or Negro race is substantially determined by these childhood characteristics. If we now cross over to Asia, we find a point or centre where the formative forces of the earth impress permanently on man the particular characteristics of later youth or adolescence and determine his racial character. Such races are the yellow and brown races of our time."

(Rudolf Steiner, The Mission of the Individual Folk Souls in Relation to Teutonic Mythology, London 1970, p. 75)

"The forces which determine man's racial character follow this cosmic pattern. The American Indians died out, not because of European persecutions, but because they were destined to succumb to those forces which hastened their extinction." (ibid. p. 76)

I once again encourage any and all listmates, including those who consider critical public discussion of anthroposophy a nuisance and an irritation, to explain why they find these ideas congenial.

Peter

Thank you for the link to the lecture. I just read it for the first time. Interesting picture of the history of humanity over about 10,000 years. And no, it doesn't support, in any way, Peter's description.

[Continued in "why me?"]

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From: at
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 2:58 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] reading and falsehoods

So we're down to this alone now, the only basis for calling Steiner a racist in the entire book is the statement that the negro race evinces predominently the forces of youth. No paens to the superiority of the Aryan race (not even the word superiority in the entire book). Nothing about the (non-existent) nodic-germanic sub-race. Indeed, no hatemongering at all.

Notice how Mr. Staudenmaier loves to accuse others of not having read the book, something he obviously had not done when he wrote the article Anthroposophy and Ecofascism.

Let us look at another point. Steiner wrote:

"Nicht etwa deshalb, weil es den Europäern gefallen hat, ist die indianische Bevölkerung ausgestorben, sondern weil die indianische Bevölkerung die Kräfte erwerben mußte, die sie zum aussterben führten."
(GA 121, page 75 in the 1962 German edition).

Translated (by me):

"The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out.""The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out."

This sentence does not make a lot of sense on it's own. It is part of a larger though of Steiner's, expressed over several pages, on how the geography of the earth influenced the formation of racial characteristics. In the west, said Steiner, the forces that lead to the overcoming of the influence of racial characteristics are strongest, and this he tied to the physical weakness behind the death of so many Native Americans. Though not explicitly mentioned in this context, this weakness was immunological, as research from the last 40 years has indicated. Steiner strongly deplored the behavior of the Europeans towards the Native Americans, but the simple fact remains that most of the inhabitants of the Americas in 1491 would not have survived the contact with Europe even if not a single Indian was murdered directly at the hands of a white man. Steiner intuited this even though the science of his day had no concepts to express why. (For an excellent summary on the issue, read the article below). The translator (A.H. Parker) changed the sentence and added the word "persecutions", yielding the quote Peter Staudenmaier bandies about. Steiner's thought is no more racist than the article by Charles Mann or the research of Henry Dobyns.

Daniel Hindes

1491 - by Charles C. Mann (The Atlantic Monthly, March 2002)
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/03/mann.htm

"His argument was simple but horrific. It is well known that Native Americans had no experience with many European diseases and were therefore immunologically unprepared—"virgin soil," in the metaphor of epidemiologists. What Dobyns realized was that such diseases could have swept from the coastlines initially visited by Europeans to inland areas controlled by Indians who had never seen a white person. The first whites to explore many parts of the Americas may therefore have encountered places that were already depopulated. Indeed, Dobyns argued, they must have done so."

"One reason is that Indians were fresh territory for many plagues, not just one. Smallpox, typhoid, bubonic plague, influenza, mumps, measles, whooping cough—all rained down on the Americas in the century after Columbus. (Cholera, malaria, and scarlet fever came later.) Having little experience with epidemic diseases, Indians had no knowledge of how to combat them. In contrast, Europeans were well versed in the brutal logic of quarantine. They boarded up houses in which plague appeared and fled to the countryside. In Indian New England, Neal Salisbury, a historian at Smith College, wrote in Manitou and Providence (1982), family and friends gathered with the shaman at the sufferer's bedside to wait out the illness—a practice that "could only have served to spread the disease more rapidly.""

"Indigenous biochemistry may also have played a role. The immune system constantly scans the body for molecules that it can recognize as foreign—molecules belonging to an invading virus, for instance. No one's immune system can identify all foreign presences. Roughly speaking, an individual's set of defensive tools is known as his MHC type. Because many bacteria and viruses mutate easily, they usually attack in the form of several slightly different strains. Pathogens win when MHC types miss some of the strains and the immune system is not stimulated to act. Most human groups contain many MHC types; a strain that slips by one person's defenses will be nailed by the defenses of the next. But, according to Francis L. Black, an epidemiologist at Yale University, Indians are characterized by unusually homogenous MHC types. One out of three South American Indians have similar MHC types; among Africans the corresponding figure is one in 200. The cause is a matter for Darwinian speculation, the effects less so."

"In 1966 Dobyns's insistence on the role of disease was a shock to his colleagues. Today the impact of European pathogens on the New World is almost undisputed. Nonetheless, the fight over Indian numbers continues with undiminished fervor. Estimates of the population of North America in 1491 disagree by an order of magnitude—from 18 million, Dobyns's revised figure, to 1.8 million, calculated by Douglas H. Ubelaker, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian."

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:09 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] reading and falsehoods

Daniel wrote:

<snip>

Though not explicitly mentioned in this context, this weakness was immunological, as research from the last 40 years has indicated. Steiner strongly deplored the behavior of the Europeans towards the Native Americans, but the simple fact remains that most of the inhabitants of the Americas in 1491 would not have survived the contact with Europe even if not a single Indian was murdered directly at the hands of a white man. Steiner intuited this even though the science of his day had no concepts to express why. (For an excellent summary on the issue, read the article below).

<snip>

Hi Daniel, and thanks for your summary and the article.

I remember reading about a very similar situation that happened to the native Hawaiians. I think that it was around the time that the US colonized it, so there is allot of actual documentation available. It was a sad story. A major portion of what was described as a well functioning egalitarian society, where most people only had to work about two or four hours a day (this is all from an old memory) was wiped out by diseases after contact with Europeans or colonials.

Mike

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From: holderlin66
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 4:03 pm
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

at wrote:

Finally, finally some actual substance to all this. Oh and feel free to ask about African Americans and the infusion of new etheric forces in America, anytime. It is easy to put this P.S. nonsense to bed. Thanks, thanks and thanks again for at least getting off the word crumb method.

1491 - by Charles C. Mann (The Atlantic Monthly, March 2002)
http://www.theatlantic.com/issues/2002/03/mann.htm

"His argument was simple but horrific. It is well known that Native Americans had no experience with many European diseases and were therefore immunologically unprepared—"virgin soil," in the metaphor of epidemiologists. What Dobyns realized was that such diseases could have swept from the coastlines initially visited by Europeans to inland areas controlled by Indians who had never seen a white person. The first whites to explore many parts of the Americas may therefore have encountered places that were already depopulated. Indeed, Dobyns argued, they must have done so."

"One reason is that Indians were fresh territory for many plagues, not just one. Smallpox, typhoid, bubonic plague, influenza, mumps, measles, whooping cough—all rained down on the Americas in the century after Columbus. (Cholera, malaria, and scarlet fever came later.) Having little experience with epidemic diseases, Indians had no knowledge of how to combat them. In contrast, Europeans were well versed in the brutal logic of quarantine. They boarded up houses in which plague appeared and fled to the countryside. In Indian New England, Neal Salisbury, a historian at Smith College, wrote in Manitou and Providence (1982), family and friends gathered with the shaman at the sufferer's bedside to wait out the illness—a practice that "could only have served to spread the disease more rapidly.""

"Indigenous biochemistry may also have played a role.

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From: DByron
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 5:13 pm
Subject: reading and falsehoods

I'm wondering if the immunological argument by itself doesn't leave out the effect fear and terror had on Native Americans during colonial times. There's the idea I've read about somewhere that the fear engendered by Ghengis Khan's exploits were directly responsible for he plague in Europe. Of course we now know more about how powerfully stress affects the immune system. I suppose that was a prime reason European colonists were so sick themselves with smallpox, etc. But there also seems to have been a mental or soul sickness as well that allowed such inhumane actions towards Native people, even to the extent of genocide.

DeborahB

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From: at
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 6:59 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] reading and falsehoods

Daniel wrote:

Though not explicitly mentioned in this context, this weakness was immunological, as research from the last 40 years has indicated.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Sadly, this text was written more than forty years ago, thus your interpretation makes no sense. Steiner says nothing at all about immunology or about disease in the passage you quoted. He says that Native Americans died out because of their racial character and because they were destined to do so.

Daniel:

Peter, I am forced to point out (for about the 8th time) that you have snipped my post beyond recognition and then in an immense display of obtuseness completely missed the point. Sometimes I have to wonder if you purposely play dumb, or if such stupidity is inadvertent. Here, again, you are simply avoiding any substantive discussion of the issues you claim interest you. Allow me to repost my argument:
-----------------------------------------------

Let us look at another point. Steiner wrote:

"Nicht etwa deshalb, weil es den Europäern gefallen hat, ist die indianische Bevölkerung ausgestorben, sondern weil die indianische Bevölkerung die Kräfte erwerben mußte, die sie zum aussterben führten."
(GA 121, page 75 in the 1962 German edition).

Translated (by me):

"The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out."

This sentence does not make a lot of sense on it's own. It is part of a larger though of Steiner's, expressed over several pages, on how the geography of the earth influenced the formation of racial characteristics. In the west, said Steiner, the forces that lead to the overcoming of the influence of racial characteristics are strongest, and this he tied to the physical weakness behind the death of so many Native Americans. Though not explicitly mentioned in this context, this weakness was immunological, as research from the last 40 years has indicated. Steiner strongly deplored the behavior of the Europeans towards the Native Americans, but the simple fact remains that most of the inhabitants of the Americas in 1491 would not have survived the contact with Europe even if not a single Indian was murdered directly at the hands of a white man. Steiner intuited this even though the science of his day had no concepts to express why. (For an excellent summary on the issue, read the article below). The translator (A.H. Parker) changed the sentence and added the word "persecutions", yielding the quote Peter Staudenmaier bandies about. Steiner's thought is no more racist than the article by Charles Mann or the research of Henry Dobyns.

Daniel Hindes

Post Scrip, I changed the thread title back to the original for consistency.

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From: at
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 1:32 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] reading and falsehoods

Daniel was snipped to:

Peter, I am forced to point out (for about the 8th time) that you have snipped my post beyond recognition and then in an immense display of obtuseness completely missed the point.

Peter Staudenmaier:

In that case, we apparently disagree about what the point was. I thought the point was your proffered interpretation of Steiner's sentence about American Indians dying out. You think, following your usual practice of reading by inference, that Steiner somehow implied or intuited some connection to immunology and disease. I think that reading is absurd. Steiner says nothing at all about either immunology or disease. He says that Native Americans died out because of their racial character and because they were destined to do so. If that wasn't the point you had in mind, what was it?

Daniel:

My thought is as follows (and I know it might be a bit difficult for someone who can only think in words, and not concepts, so try to follow it):

A significant number of Native Americans died of diseases brought from Europe (estimates vary widely).

Many of those who died did so without ever seeing a white man.

Why did they die in such numbers?

If you lived in 1910, you had no concepts such as immunology. You lacked the scientific fact of genetic similarity and immune response. You had only the fact that many more Native Americans died than would have if it were Europe exposed to the same diseases. How do you explain this in 1910? One possibility is that you say that the predisposition lived within them as part of their being, as part of thier being of Native American genetic stock rather than European. This actually describes, in different words, the same reality that is acknowledged 50 to 90 years later with more detail as an immunological weakness born of genetic similarity. There is no contradiction of concept, only different words.

Daniel Hindes

more questions, more anwers

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From: winters_diana
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:51 pm
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel:

If you lived in 1910, you had no concepts such as immunology.

No, but Steiner had something better, right? Clairvoyance?

Steiner's thought is no more racist than the article by Charles Mann or the research of Henry Dobyns.

Daniel, get a clue. To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist (and if one reads that entire article, this thesis is a bit more complex than the passage cited would show). To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers, whether through purposely, karmically, sickening themselves or through outright genocide, yup, hon, that's racist. Races don't try to extinguish themselves on purpose, Daniel, and theories that suggest this about particular races, again, yup, quite likely to be racist.

Diana

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From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:59 pm
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

[Diana:]

To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers, whether through purposely, karmically, sickening themselves or through outright genocide, yup, hon, that's racist.

Bullshit.

Diana:

Races don't try to extinguish themselves on purpose,

And you know this how Diana? ????

Diana:

and theories that suggest this about particular races, again, yup, quite likely to be racist.

According to who Diana? You, Peter, PLANS???? Given any thought to this or is this just a proclamation of sorts that you and Peter and PLANS know this to be true? Ever talked to any Shamans??????? Maybe???

d

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From: at
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 3:22 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel:

If you lived in 1910, you had no concepts such as immunology.

Diana:

No, but Steiner had something better, right? Clairvoyance?

Daniel:

I don't know if it is better or not. I am merely pointing out that there is no contradiction between immunology and clairvoyance on this issue. Both explain the same phenomenon.

Daniel:

Steiner's thought is no more racist than the article by Charles Mann or the research of Henry Dobyns.

Diana:

Daniel, get a clue. To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist

Daniel:

Indeed. Saying that they died out because their bodies did not contain the ability to fight off diseases is not racist.

Diana:

(and if one reads that entire article, this thesis is a bit more complex than the passage cited would show).

Daniel:

Which is precicely why I posted the link.

Diana:

To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers,

Daniel:

You've misunderstood the argument (why is this so depressingly frequent with you?). The forces they acquired did not come from their dying in large numbers. According to Steiner, the forces came from living in North America. The dying was a side effect. Living in North America was necessary. Dying was a side effect, and a regrettable one.

Diana:

whether through purposely, karmically, sickening themselves or through outright genocide, yup, hon, that's racist.

Daniel:

Well, it would be. But that is not what Steiner claimed. Karma is not mentioned. Nor did Steiner say anything about them sickening themselves. Where did you come up with that? (You might want to read the book before talking so expertly about its contents).

Diana:

Races don't try to extinguish themselves on purpose, Daniel,

Daniel:

Who said anything about people extinguishing themselves on purpose?

Diana:

and theories that suggest this about particular races, again, yup, quite likely to be racist.

Daniel:

Likely would be. But that is not the theory we are dealing with here.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 4:02 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

At 23:51 22.04.2004, Diana wrote to Daniel:

To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers, whether through purposely, karmically, sickening themselves or through outright genocide, yup, hon, that's racist. Races don't try to extinguish themselves on purpose, Daniel, and theories that suggest this about particular races, again, yup, quite likely to be racist.

You're beating a dead horse.

Tarjei

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From: winters_diana
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 7:30 pm
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel said:

If you lived in 1910, you had no concepts such as immunology.

I said:

No, but Steiner had something better, right? Clairvoyance?

Daniel:

I don't know if it is better or not. I am merely pointing out that there is no contradiction between immunology and clairvoyance on this issue. Both explain the same phenomenon.

You were saying he couldn't explain correctly, merely hinted, at the reasons for the native Americans dying out, that he was vague in this manner because, in 1910, immunology was not a field of study. I'm saying, if he was clairvoyant, why couldn't he know about immunology? Why would he express himself so murkily if he really had all this insight?

I realize, in general, it's hard to reconcile Steiner's clairvoyance with the serious sorta historical stuff you picture yourself doing, Daniel. I'd be interested in a general way if you'd care to share how you work that out, in your own mind.

I said:

To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist

Daniel:

Indeed. Saying that they died out because their bodies did not contain the ability to fight off diseases is not racist.

Okay, thanks for repeating what I just said.

[Diana:]

(and if one reads that entire article, this thesis is a bit more complex than the passage cited would show).

Daniel:

Which is precicely why I posted the link.

Yes, and thanks. I had read it before, it's in a yearly collection of "Best of" science essays from 2003. Believe it or not, when I read that essay, I'd never have dreamed there'd by any way an anthroposophist could read it as something Rudolf Steiner foretold. You'd think I'd get this by now!

[Diana:]

To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers,

Daniel:

You've misunderstood the argument (why is this so depressingly frequent with you?). The forces they acquired did not come from their dying in large numbers. According to Steiner, the forces came from living in North America. The dying was a side effect. Living in North America was necessary. Dying was a side effect, and a regrettable one.

You may be right this time I didn't get the argument. I do not in fact have the whole context here. But what your translated quote above says, and what you say here, don't quite seem to mesh. The quote says:

Translated (by Daniel):

"The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out."

This is to explain why they died. They died not for this reason, but for that one. Right? It does not say they lived in North America to acquire these forces. It says they died to acquire these forces. That is the point of that sentence. Now what good did dying out do them, in terms of acquiring forces, if they got these forces from living in this particular land. (Can't relate much to this notion of acquiring "forces" from the land you live on, but okay, accepted for purposes of argument.) Wouldn't they acquire more forces from living there than from dying there? Or am I missing something? I read this as a spiritual statement. I am assuming he means that these individualities were acquiring forces for future incarnations. Obviously acquiring forces and then promptly dying is not much use in life. It only makes sense in the context of reincarnation. So it does look to me like the point is about acquiring forces by dying, yes. And he is referring to "the Native American population" per se. It sure looks to me like it's about a race dying out on purpose – isn't that what karma is. Isn't that what "acquiring forces" is. It is phrased as an active thing, a thing they did on purpose on some higher "I Am" level, yes? Which they might not have chosen as individualities, as none of us wants to die, but on a higher level where we are all choosing the events of our lives and deaths, this was chosen. The notion that someone did this to them, is specifically rejected in favor of the proposal that they did it to themselves, for a reason.

To me, yes, it's racist. Entire peoples do not choose to die out, bring it on themselves on purpose. When you claim this for an individual, it can perhaps be accepted or rejected, it makes sense in a very particular worldview (one I don't share, obviously). When you claim about an entire race or people that they needed and chose to die out, is likely to be suspected of working from a racist framework, of justifying the actions of those whose interests it served that that people die out. Hate to break it to you, but this isn't just the views of a couple of bitter people who don't like Rudolf Steiner, it's a common understanding.

Diana:

whether through purposely, karmically, sickening themselves or through outright genocide, yup, hon, that's racist.

Daniel:

Well, it would be. But that is not what Steiner claimed. Karma is not mentioned. Nor did Steiner say anything about them sickening themselves. Where did you come up with that? (You might want to read the book before talking so expertly about its contents).

"the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out." That's what you said it says.

So who did it to them then? Remember that the point is to exonerate the Europeans. The Europeans didn't do this to them, Steiner says. And (you say) he also says they didn't do it to themselves. I think that's what it does say, but if neither of these is true, then . . . what? They "had to acquire such forces." Steiner said we choose our misfortunes, often exactly to "acquire forces" for things we need to do either in this life or in future lives. Now, presumably, if they acquired these forces and then died, it must be for a future life. If we aren't talking about karma and reincarnation here, I'll eat my hat. You really don't have to condescend to me, I do know what Steiner's basic theories consist of, Daniel.

Yo – karma is not mentioned. Karma is understood - context yes? You know, "immunology" is not mentioned either!

Diana

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From: at
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 8:06 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Diana:

To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist

Daniel:

Indeed. Saying that they died out because their bodies did not contain the ability to fight off diseases is not racist.

Diana:

Okay, thanks for repeating what I just said.

Daniel:

Glad you got it this time. That is exactly what Steiner said, too. Clear now?

Diana:

You were saying he couldn't explain correctly, merely hinted, at the reasons for the native Americans dying out, that he was vague in this manner because, in 1910, immunology was not a field of study. I'm saying, if he was clairvoyant, why couldn't he know about immunology? Why would he express himself so murkily if he really had all this insight?

Daniel:

First read the book in question. Get clear on what Steiner did and did not say. This will facilitate things greatly. Perhaps you will understand it better than when I present it. You seem not to really get anything I say, so perhaps the original will help.

Diana:

I realize, in general, it's hard to reconcile Steiner's clairvoyancewith the serious sorta historical stuff you picture yourself doing, ...

Daniel:

I haven't had much difficulty. This statement seems to represent a preconception of yours. If that is how you want your reality, then I'm sure everything you see and hear will only ever support this.

Diana:

...Daniel. I'd be interested in a general way if you'd care to share how you work that out, in your own mind.

Daniel:

I'm not clear on what you're missing here, Diana. I thought I had explained it rather clearly. Not once, not twice, but three times. But you are asking me to explain it again?

Diana:

(and if one reads that entire article, this thesis is a bit more complex than the passage cited would show).

Daniel:

Which is precicely why I posted the link.

Diana:

Yes, and thanks. I had read it before, it's in a yearly collection of "Best of" science essays from 2003. Believe it or not, when I read that essay, I'd never have dreamed there'd by any way an anthroposophist could read it as something Rudolf Steiner foretold. You'd think I'd get this by now!

Daniel:

Clarity, Diana, seems not to be your forte. Steiner did not "fortell" anything. He described a past event, and offered an explanation. The explanation he offered is exactly the same as the one Dobyns puts forth, only worded slightly differently. You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding every aspect of this.

Diana:

To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces" that could only be acquired by their dying out in large numbers,

Daniel:

You've misunderstood the argument (why is this so depressingly frequent with you?). The forces they acquired did not come from their dying in large numbers. According to Steiner, the forces came from living in North America. The dying was a side effect. Living in North America was necessary. Dying was a side effect, and a regrettable one.

Diana:

You may be right this time I didn't get the argument. I do not in fact have the whole context here. But what your translated quote above says, and what you say here, don't quite seem to mesh.

Daniel:

You are correct that you do not have the entire context. You have to read the entire leture, or at the very least several paragraphs before and after the sentence in order to properly understand it. On its own, the sentence does not make a lot of sense. I have said this several times, but you persist in jumping to conclusions about it without trying to understand things first. This is curious, to say the least.

Diana:

So who did it to them then? Remember that the point is to exonerate the Europeans.

Daniel:

Since when is the point to exonerate the Europeans? This is nowhere in Steiner or in Dobyns. Both are simply describing the causes of a past event. Really, Diana, I don't know where you come up with this stuff! If you want to pontificate on Steiner's views, it would help to read them first.

Diana:

The Europeans didn't do this to them, Steiner says.

Daniel:

This is also not what Steiner said. I gave you the exact quote. It is delicatly phrased, and very precice. The Europeans did a lot to destroy the Native Americans, and Steiner spoke out strongly against this (in other books). He is saying that regardless of the Europeans intentions (which were, to a large degree bent on eliminating the Native Americans) the Natice Americans possessed a weakness in their physical bodies that would lead to their dying out either way. Whose fault is it? Steiner never assigned blame. If you want to play the blame game, you are speculating.

Since you know Steiner so well, you know that in Steiner's view, not everything that befalls you is deserved - the result of past karma. Many things are undeserved, and will be repaid in the future. There is no reason in Anthroposophy why a Native American who died from an epidemic "deserved" it or "earned" it. It could just as well have been accidental, in which case karmic recompense is due in a future life. Every death, like every life, is individual. Each cause is unique. I don't think you will get very far trying to generalize the causes of millions upon millions of deaths. Just my 2 cents.

Daniel Hindes

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 1:30 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

[Diana:]

No, but Steiner had something better, right? Clairvoyance?

[Daniel:]

Steiner's thought is no more racist than the article by Charles Mann or the research of Henry Dobyns.

[Diana:]

Daniel, get a clue. To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist (and if one reads that entire article, this thesis is a bit more complex than the passage cited would show). To say that spiritually they had to "acquire forces"

Is it so difficult to understand that this RS's picture is only the other side of the coin of the topic that today we call "immunology desease " precisely concerning the links between the "I" and the physical body ? (It'd be enough to pick up some "Anthro-medicine" book., maybe V.Bott's ones to realize it) But the "critics" got no time to study with open mind and HEART any Anthro-issue......

or through outright genocide,

Oh yes we all know that Steiner was a genocides' supporter !!!

A.

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From: winters_diana
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:05 am
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel, I see you decline to speculate on why, if Steiner was clairvoyant, he couldn't have already known all about immunology. Oh well.

I said:

To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist

Daniel:

Indeed. Saying that they died out because their bodies did not contain the ability to fight off diseases is not racist.

Diana:

Okay, thanks for repeating what I just said.

Daniel now says:

Glad you got it this time. That is exactly what Steiner said, too. Clear now?

I truly must be missing something, Daniel. He said nothing at all about their dying of disease! I understand you think that's what he meant but surely it is obvious even to you that to claim it's "exactly what Steiner said too" is preposterous.

Daniel:

Clarity, Diana, seems not to be your forte. Steiner did not "fortell" anything.

Not clear, I agree. I meant "foretell" that it would someday be theorized that it was disease that caused their deaths in great numbers.

He described a past event, and offered an explanation. The explanation he offered is exactly the same as the one Dobyns puts forth, only worded slightly differently. You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding every aspect of this.

You can't be serious. You go on and on about historical acccuracy, use of sources, etc., and you seriously want me to agree that he is saying the same thing only worded slightly differently. Wow. Steiner never said nothin' about the native Americans and disease, Daniel.

Daniel:

Since when is the point to exonerate the Europeans?

Because the sentence says they didn't die because of the Europeans, they died because they had to "acquire forces." It was not the Europeans' fault therefore. Not really, if you have spiritual vision, you realize that even if the Europeans were fairly brutal to the people they encountered on this continent, actually these events had a deeper meaning and purpose and the usual suspects, the Europeans, therefore aren't truly to blame if one sees beyond superficial events to spiritual causes blah blah. If you have spiritual sight you will see. If you accept "materialistic" explanations you will blame the Europeans.

This is nowhere in Steiner or in Dobyns.

I'm sorry if you don't see it right there in that sentence, Daniel. The point of the sentence is that it was not the Europeans' fault!

Both are simply describing the causes of a past event.

No. The syntax of the sentence suggests not description of an event, but a refutation of a prevailing theory about the cause of an event, a theory which, apparently, the audience is presumed to hold, in favor of a new theory which the speaker will now put forth. Prevailing theory: Europeans did it, or were at least pleased by it. New theory: a spiritual one, acquiring of "forces," presumably meaning spiritual forces, if one has, in fact, read much Steiner.

Really, Diana, I don't know where you come up with this stuff! If you want to pontificate on Steiner's views, it would help to read them first.

Oh, really, really, Daniel. Don't be such a jerk.

I said:

The Europeans didn't do this to them, Steiner says.

Daniel:

This is also not what Steiner said.

Okay, not quite, he says it didn't happen because it pleased the Europeans. That's your translation. I don't know how else to read that except to exonerate the Europeans. If something happened because it pleased them would it not mean they had arranged for it to happen? That it served their ends? This is what he is refuting. If it did not happen in order to please them does it not mean they are not responsible? Who thought they were responsible? Obviously, Steiner is expecting at least some in the audience to hold the opinion that the Europeans did this, and he is setting them straight, that that is not why it happened. Do you have some other interpretation for the statement that they did not die out because it pleased the Europeans? Please tell.

I gave you the exact quote. It is delicatly phrased, and very precice. The Europeans did a lot to destroy the Native Americans, and Steiner spoke out strongly against this (in other books).

Yes, very nice, but he takes it all apart with one blow, with statements like this. This negates that anything they did, no matter how brutal, actually caused any problem. Spiritual causes on some other plane are the explanation, you may think genocide is a terrible thing, I'm sure Steiner agreed genocide is a terrible thing, but in fact, these things happen for a reason, this is a spiritual explanation. Spiritual causes are the ultimate explanation and trump historical observations. Yes?

Excuse me, Daniel, but this is the kernel of the entire worldview, practically, and I am not the slightest confused on this point. I know that anthroposophists do not like to see this spelled out when it applies to messy little points like genocide, it is considered tacky, it is better to be discreet etc. Please refrain from any more of your condescending crap about how I should read before pontificating etc.

He is saying that regardless of the Europeans intentions (which were, to a large degree bent on eliminating the Native Americans) the Natice Americans possessed a weakness in their physical bodies that would lead to their dying out either way. Whose fault is it? Steiner never assigned blame.

Oh, very open minded of Steiner. And is a physical weakness not also a spiritual weakness? (If you're confused on this point, see my lengthy discussions with Tarjei about why it was necessary for Jesus to have a healthy body. An unhealthy body would indicate spiritual weakness. Tarjei found any claim to the contrary very distressing. Again, understandably, since this claim is fundamental in anthroposophy.) In other words, the point is to blame the native Americans themselves, and let those who committed atrocities against them off the hook. Nobody can commit atrocities against you and get away with it if your gig isn't up, karmically. Y'all are always on and on about how critics miss the context. Y'all are missing "context" so big it fills the room. The context of announcing that native Americans died becuase they needed to acquire spiritual forces is that it lets the Europeans off the hook for genocide. And the context of claims about people dying to acquire needed spiritual forces is karma. Yet you want to needle me that this isn't about karma. Of course it's about karma.

Since you know Steiner so well, you know that in Steiner's view, not everything that befalls you is deserved - the result of past karma. Many things are undeserved, and will be repaid in the future. There is no reason in Anthroposophy why a Native American who died from an epidemic "deserved" it or "earned" it.

Whoa. Talk about dragging in stuff that is not there. Did I say that? Did I say they deserved or earned it, or even that Steiner said so? Wow. This looks like your way out of the karma thing, which you know darn well is crucial to what Steiner is saying here, and is exactly the point of "acquiring forces" – for future lives, future tasks or missions or something. Actually, it is you who has forgotten what karma means in Steiner. It does include things that befall you that will be repaid later. That is not something separate from karma.

It could just as well have been accidental, in which case karmic recompense is due in a future life.

Now there's a breathtakingly confused statement, from someone advising me that I don't have my Steiner straight. Accidents are karma. You don't get repaid later for an "accident" outside of karmic accounting. It's all karma.

Anyone want to back me up here? I'm suspecting sadly once again virtually every anthroposophist reading this knows I've got it right but isn't going to say so.

Now surely you don't want me to take from this that the genocide of the native Americans was "accidental."

Diana

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:37 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

----- Original Message -----
From: winters_diana
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel, I see you decline to speculate on why, if Steiner was clairvoyant, he couldn't have already known all about immunology. Oh well.

Oh well??? Oh bad (for ya)

(Apologize to Daniel for jumpin' in)

If you or somebody else had an idea about Anthoposophical medicine, especially about its development, you should also been aware how RS gave basic indication how to treat diseases from the standpoint of the investigations on the links of the different "bodies" of Human Being. Inside these standpoints many physicians found several insights in order to heals also the so-called "immunological" diseases. For instance there are studies that gave good results about the capacity of "Viscum Album" to enforce the "immunitary" defenses. But, I'm sure, all the nominalism-obsessed wished to find out the "word" immunology 40 years before its specific use...........,.

Well if someone wants the example of some "performances" of "Steiner as a prophet" he has only to get a a look, for instance, at the Gospels-Essenes. Qumran-Nag Hammadi matter..........

Oh Didimos how many followers you have had till today!!

A.

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From: winters_diana
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:29 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

[Diana:]

Daniel, I see you decline to speculate on why, if Steiner was clairvoyant, he couldn't have already known all about immunology. Oh well.

Andrea:

If you or somebody else had an idea about Anthoposophical medicine, especially about its development, you should also been aware how RS gave basic indication how to treat diseases from the standpoint of the investigations on the links of the different "bodies" of Human Being.

Steiner was a master at phrasing things in mysterious vague generalities that could be interpreted by his followers, of his own time or ages to come, in virtually any way the listener liked. It's hard to imagine a scientific or historical development that Steiner's followers today wouldn't believed is hinted at in vague phrases like "they had to acquire forces." This is not, in fact, intellectually inconsistent, since karma means that whatever happens was meant to happen. The beauty of is that anything that did happen you are free to declare was obviously what Steiner thought was going to happen. (And anything he missed, you can always just say the time was not right then for him to speak about such things.)

Diana

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:57 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

: Friday, April 23, 2004 2:29 PM
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

[Diana:]

Daniel, I see you decline to speculate on why, if Steiner was clairvoyant, he couldn't have already known all about immunology. Oh well.

Andrea:

If you or somebody else had an idea about Anthoposophical medicine, especially about its development, you should also been aware how RS gave basic indication how to treat diseases from the standpoint of the investigations on the links of the different "bodies" of Human Being.

[Diana:]

Steiner was a master at phrasing things in mysterious vague generalities that could be interpreted by his followers, of his own time or ages to come, in virtually any way the listener liked. It's hard to imagine a scientific or historical development that Steiner's followers today wouldn't believed is hinted at in vague phrases like "they had to acquire forces."

Pls can I ask you what is your knowledge about the Anthroposophical Medicine? BTW I live in a country that, on a specific Anthop. standpoint got a strange feature. About 150 of the "official members" of GAS in Italy (1850 individuals) are physicians. If you need some help I can give you some good address.

This is not, in fact, intellectually inconsistent, since karma means that whatever happens was meant to happen.

If this is YOUR idea of Karma, I can only complain you, madame.

The beauty of is that anything that did happen you are free to declare was obviously what Steiner thought was going to happen. (And anything he missed, you can always just say the time was not right then for him to speak about such things.)

This is only dialectical bullshit, madame.

Again. Why an individual who is unable to grasp anything about a matter goes on and on and on and on and on to dicsuss about it???

A.

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From: winters_diana
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 6:21 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Andrea:

Pls can I ask you what is your knowledge about the Anthroposophical Medicine?

I'm afraid I will have to decline an invitation to discuss anthroposophical medicine. Life is short. Perhaps I will be told I've "run away" from an argument, on the other hand you've already announced I know nothing about it, so I suggest we drop it there. I'll just note that the lecture we were discussing makes no mention of any topic pertaining to anthroposophical medicine, it was Daniel's clever idea that that's what it was really about. In fact, Daniel has now convinced himself that that's "exactly what Steiner said" (immunological explanation for native Americans dying out) and seems genuinely amazed that I don't see anything about immunologic weaknesses mentioned.

This is not, in fact, intellectually inconsistent, since karma means that whatever happens was meant to happen.

If this is YOUR idea of Karma, I can only complain you, madame.

Whatever you say, Andrea. No, it is not my idea of karma.

This is only dialectical bullshit, madame.

I agree it's bullshit, though it is not my bullshit. I've been trying to figure out the idiosyncratic meaning that the term "dialectical" has taken on on this list. Somebody apparently remembers Marx used the term, and it's paired with "materialism," so it must be bad, and Peter's some kind of communist/Marxist something or other, we're not sure what only we know it's scary, so we can always say he's doing something dialectical. So probably other critics are dialectical/diabolical too. Or perhaps you think it means replying point by point. (That would be "dialogue.") Any reply that is specific to the point that was actually made is dismissed as "dialectical." Replies that include poetry, song lyrics, or general rude statements about critics of anthroposophy are considered automatically to show a greater spiritual understanding, so it doesn't matter if they address the point that was made, in fact it is preferable if they don't.

Again. Why an individual who is unable to grasp anything about a matter goes on and on and on and on and on to dicsuss about it???

I don't know. Why do you go on and on about it?
Sorry. Couldn't resist. :)
Diana

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:48 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

----- Original Message -----
From: winters_diana

Andrea:

Pls can I ask you what is your knowledge about the Anthroposophical Medicine?

I'm afraid I will have to decline an invitation to discuss anthroposophical medicine. Life is short. Perhaps I will be told I've "run away" from an argument, on the other hand you've already announced I know nothing about it, so I suggest we drop it there. I'll just note that the lecture we were discussing

Well, there is the kernel. You ignore again and again that Anthroposophy is a "Symphony" and you can't discuss on and on only a single note or movement without a true knowledge of the whole!!

makes no mention of any topic pertaining to anthroposophical medicine, it was Daniel's clever idea

The cleverness (actual cleverness, no idiot irony about it pls, ask a certain PS whipped every day by Daniel) of Daniel is rooted also on his basic knowledge of the "Symphony" (see above)

If this is YOUR idea of Karma, I can only complain you, madame.

Whatever you say, Andrea. No, it is not my idea of karma.

No? And whose is, now ?

Again. Why an individual who is unable to grasp anything about a matter goes on and on and on and on and on to dicsuss about it???

I don't know. Why do you go on and on about it?

Wow people here we see "WC's twist" in action !! So Diana's problem (bla bla about Anthro matters ) becomes mine! And you ask me "why I go about it " ? Well , if you wish.....

I said that I live in a country off Anthro physicians. and you ACTUALLY seem to me to need some medical help about such a strange disease (No joke at all and no Scaccabarozzi 's therapy)

Andrea

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From: winters_diana
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:00 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Andrea:

The cleverness (actual cleverness, no idiot irony about it pls, ask a certain PS whipped every day by Daniel) of Daniel is rooted also on his basic knowledge of the "Symphony" (see above)

Well then, why when I suggested karma was also relevant to the discussion, did he act like that was the craziest thing he ever heard - why, karma is not even mentioned in that lecture! (Immunology isn't either, of course . . .)

You guys say critics don't understand enough about anthroposophy, broadly, to address small points. When we demonstrate that we do, you say, that's not what that lecture is about, Steiner doesn't mention that in that lecture. Hard to imagine a topic in anthroposophy where karma wouldn't be relevant, wouldn't be part of the background understanding Steiner assumed in his audience. (Many of the lecture transcriptions say he assumed such background understanding in his audience.)

I don't know. Why do you go on and on about it?

Wow people here we see "WC's twist" in action !! So Diana's problem (bla bla about Anthro matters ) becomes mine!

Calm down, dearie, it was a little joke. You can really dish it out, Andrea, but don't seem to enjoy it returned, even in mildest form! :) Enjoy your day, or evening, or whatever time it is in Rome!

Diana

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 9:51 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 6:00 PM
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

The cleverness (actual cleverness, no idiot irony about it pls, ask a certain PS whipped every day by Daniel) of Daniel is rooted also on his basic knowledge of the "Symphony" (see above)

- why, karma is not even mentioned in that lecture!

Excuse me, but the topic here is not about "karma" in its overall meaning, but about your untruthful statement about a quite determinist concept of the word!

You guys say critics don't understand enough about anthroposophy, broadly, to address small points. When we demonstrate that we do,

Pls can you help me? I actually missed a "demonstration" like this. PS "himself" told on and on to be interested only in a little slice of the apple (the invented topic of "racism") you say to know nothing about Medicine (that is , in itself, a real synthesis of the Whole) and I see no use to ask you more infos about your practice of KOHW or about Philosophy Cristology, Angelology, Evolution and History, Architecture,Byofrarming, Eurythmy and so on-. Sorry but I have to say again that I believe that the basic problem lies in the fact that the WC knows really nothing of Anthroposophy in spite of the fact that somebody here and there got some smattering of different single topic.

you say, that's not what that lecture is about, Steiner doesn't mention that in that lecture. Hard to imagine a topic in anthroposophy where karma wouldn't be relevant, wouldn't be part of the background understanding Steiner assumed in his audience. (Many of the lecture transcriptions say he assumed such background understanding in his audience.)

I don't know. Why do you go on and on about it?

Wow people here we see "WC's twist" in action !! So Diana's problem (bla bla about Anthro matters ) becomes mine!

Calm down, dearie, it was a little joke

Uhu I like to joke via both words and pictures as you know. (On Rome there is now a "sinefiasmeni paraskevi" evening, tks:)

A.

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From: winters_diana
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:05 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Excuse me, but the topic here is not about "karma" in its overall meaning, but about your untruthful statement about a quite determinist concept of the word!

Uh-oh, more untruths, slippery, slippery those critics! Good thing you are vigilant. :)

you say to know nothing about Medicine

I didn't say that. oh no! Untruths from your side now.
Diana

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:48 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 8:05 PM
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Excuse me, but the topic here is not about "karma" in its overall meaning, but about your untruthful statement about a quite determinist concept of the word!

Uh-oh, more untruths, slippery, slippery those critics! Good thing you are vigilant. :)

Yes I'm paid a lot for this

you say to know nothing about Medicine

I didn't say that. oh no!

True you said a different thing (no time to discuus it) and I apologize.

Andrea

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From: holderlin66
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:02 pm
Subject: reading and falsehoods

"All this suggests that, although the causes of collapse or decline may seem to be quite obvious, there is really an important distinction to be made between cause and effect.

Although the first dark age of the ancient near east has a clear association with invading barbarians, the question still to be answered is whether they initiated the dark age or whether economic and political retrenchment occurred for other reasons and created the conditions that allowed them in.

And in ancient Greece, the enervating philosophies of people like the Sophists, who taught that notions such as truth and justice are merely relative, have sometimes been blamed for the loss of ideals and noble commitment which is associated with the failure of classical civilisation.

Yet it has also been argued that teachings of this nature could only succeed where people were ready to receive them. In Kipling's parable The Mother Hive, the son says that you cannot blame the bees because their hive is infested with wax moth. The Bee Master replies, "Aren't you confusing post hoc with propter hoc? Wax moth only succeed when weak bees let them in"."

http://website.lineone.net/~marc.widdowson/Part1/Chapter03.html

"If the stock had not been old and overcrowded, the Wax-moth would never have entered; but where bees are too thick on the comb there must be sickness or parasites. The heat of the hive had risen with the June honey-flow, and though the farmers worked, until their wings ached, to keep people cool, everybody suffered. A young bee crawled up the greasy trampled alighting-board. "Excuse me," she began, "but it's my first honey-flight. Could you kindly tell me if this is my--"

"--own hive?" the Guard snapped. "Yes! Buzz in, and be foul-brooded to you! Next!"

"You hear?" said the Queen. "I know the Hive!"

"Quite between ourselves, I taught them that," cried the Wax-moth. "Wait till my principles develop, and you'll see the light from a new quarter."

"You speak truth for once," the Queen said suddenly, for she recognized the Wax-moth. "That Light will break into the top of the Hive. A Hot Smoke will follow it, and your children will not be able to hide in any crevice."

"Is it possible?" Melissa whispered. "I-we have sometimes heard a
legend like it."

"It is no legend," the old Queen answered. "I had it from my mother, and she had it from hers. After the Wax-moth has grown strong, a Shadow will fall across the gate; a Voice will speak from behind a Veil; there will be Light, and Hot Smoke, and earthquakes, and those who live will see everything that they have done, all together in one place, burned up in one great fire." The old Queen was trying to tell what she had been told of the Bee Master's dealings with an infected hive in the apiary, two or three seasons ago; and, of course, from her point of view the affair was as important as the Day of Judgment.

http://www.geocities.com/nuelow/ficbees.html

Bradford comments;

Evolution and decline of cultures and the changing aspects of the karma of groups, languages and races are deeper than we suppose. But we suppose to ourselves that we don't have to go deeper than our swollen, phlegm coated intellects. That sloshing sound when we shake our heads is not water on the brain, there isn't enough thinking here to call it a brain. Go to Oz or do something to bring thinking into your dumb souls.

Once again, a new civilization of the Breath arose. We must needs discover if the old civilization of materialism isn't sentenced for extinction as well. I offer you once again something strange. It must be remembered that by merely breathing on a culture that had not experienced the type of etheric infections, and immune system confrontatons that Europe had, the Hawaiians, Polynesians, Easter islanders, Aztecs and Mayans had test tube and isolated immune systems that had no etheric memory or white cell defense against what was carried as disease by merely breathing on someone.

Now here I present again the case of a new breath and a new culture which carries a different kind of healing. Materialistic culture and thinking should look at this statement and marvel, that something new has entered as breath of the Holy Ghost and with it a different kind of infection. An infection and healing of the I AM. What I present requires people to think, and think what such a walking breathing forces of the Holy Ghost means, in contrast to the walking breathing smallpox carrier of Pizzaro and the Conquestidors. What if the modified Holy Ghost Breath that wafts in Spiritual Science is already destroying the civilization of materialism? You should really, really examine this carefully for profound meaning is here and it ain't even hidden.

"Again, a passage which Luke omits, but which John presents, may next be connected with these words. It is to the following effect: "Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained."

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From: at
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:07 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Diana,

Thank you for your thoughts on this. I think I understand well where you are coming from, and what you are trying to say. I won't waste your time any further by repeating what I have already said. I doubt we will ever agree on this, so perhaps we can agree to disagree.

Daniel

----- Original Message -----
From: winters_diana
Sent: Friday, April 23, 2004 8:05 AM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

 

Daniel, I see you decline to speculate on why, if Steiner was clairvoyant, he couldn't have already known all about immunology. Oh well.

I said:

To say they died out because they didn't have immunity to diseases the Europeans brought is not racist

Daniel:

Indeed. Saying that they died out because their bodies did not contain the ability to fight off diseases is not racist.

Diana:

Okay, thanks for repeating what I just said.

Daniel now says:

Glad you got it this time. That is exactly what Steiner said, too. Clear now?

I truly must be missing something, Daniel. He said nothing at all about their dying of disease! I understand you think that's what he meant but surely it is obvious even to you that to claim it's "exactly what Steiner said too" is preposterous.

Daniel:

Clarity, Diana, seems not to be your forte. Steiner did not "fortell" anything.

Not clear, I agree. I meant "foretell" that it would someday be theorized that it was disease that caused their deaths in great numbers.

He described a past event, and offered an explanation. The explanation he offered is exactly the same as the one Dobyns puts forth, only worded slightly differently. You seem to be deliberately misunderstanding every aspect of this.

You can't be serious. You go on and on about historical acccuracy, use of sources, etc., and you seriously want me to agree that he is saying the same thing only worded slightly differently. Wow. Steiner never said nothin' about the native Americans and disease, Daniel.

Daniel:

Since when is the point to exonerate the Europeans?

Because the sentence says they didn't die because of the Europeans, they died because they had to "acquire forces." It was not the Europeans' fault therefore. Not really, if you have spiritual vision, you realize that even if the Europeans were fairly brutal to the people they encountered on this continent, actually these events had a deeper meaning and purpose and the usual suspects, the Europeans, therefore aren't truly to blame if one sees beyond superficial events to spiritual causes blah blah. If you have spiritual sight you will see. If you accept "materialistic" explanations you will blame the Europeans.

This is nowhere in Steiner or in Dobyns.

I'm sorry if you don't see it right there in that sentence, Daniel. The point of the sentence is that it was not the Europeans' fault!

Both are simply describing the causes of a past event.

No. The syntax of the sentence suggests not description of an event, but a refutation of a prevailing theory about the cause of an event, a theory which, apparently, the audience is presumed to hold, in favor of a new theory which the speaker will now put forth. Prevailing theory: Europeans did it, or were at least pleased by it. New theory: a spiritual one, acquiring of "forces," presumably meaning spiritual forces, if one has, in fact, read much Steiner.

Really, Diana, I don't know where you come up with this stuff! If you want to pontificate on Steiner's views, it would help to read them first.

Oh, really, really, Daniel. Don't be such a jerk.

I said:

The Europeans didn't do this to them, Steiner says.

Daniel:

This is also not what Steiner said.

Okay, not quite, he says it didn't happen because it pleased the Europeans. That's your translation. I don't know how else to read that except to exonerate the Europeans. If something happened because it pleased them would it not mean they had arranged for it to happen? That it served their ends? This is what he is refuting. If it did not happen in order to please them does it not mean they are not responsible? Who thought they were responsible? Obviously, Steiner is expecting at least some in the audience to hold the opinion that the Europeans did this, and he is setting them straight, that that is not why it happened. Do you have some other interpretation for the statement that they did not die out because it pleased the Europeans? Please tell.

I gave you the exact quote. It is delicatly phrased, and very precice. The Europeans did a lot to destroy the Native Americans, and Steiner spoke out strongly against this (in other books).

Yes, very nice, but he takes it all apart with one blow, with statements like this. This negates that anything they did, no matter how brutal, actually caused any problem. Spiritual causes on some other plane are the explanation, you may think genocide is a terrible thing, I'm sure Steiner agreed genocide is a terrible thing, but in fact, these things happen for a reason, this is a spiritual explanation. Spiritual causes are the ultimate explanation and trump historical observations. Yes?

Excuse me, Daniel, but this is the kernel of the entire worldview, practically, and I am not the slightest confused on this point. I know that anthroposophists do not like to see this spelled out when it applies to messy little points like genocide, it is considered tacky, it is better to be discreet etc. Please refrain from any more of your condescending crap about how I should read before pontificating etc.

He is saying that regardless of the Europeans intentions (which were, to a large degree bent on eliminating the Native Americans) the Natice Americans possessed a weakness in their physical bodies that would lead to their dying out either way. Whose fault is it? Steiner never assigned blame.

Oh, very open minded of Steiner. And is a physical weakness not also a spiritual weakness? (If you're confused on this point, see my lengthy discussions with Tarjei about why it was necessary for Jesus to have a healthy body. An unhealthy body would indicate spiritual weakness. Tarjei found any claim to the contrary very distressing. Again, understandably, since this claim is fundamental in anthroposophy.) In other words, the point is to blame the native Americans themselves, and let those who committed atrocities against them off the hook. Nobody can commit atrocities against you and get away with it if your gig isn't up, karmically. Y'all are always on and on about how critics miss the context. Y'all are missing "context" so big it fills the room. The context of announcing that native Americans died becuase they needed to acquire spiritual forces is that it lets the Europeans off the hook for genocide. And the context of claims about people dying to acquire needed spiritual forces is karma. Yet you want to needle me that this isn't about karma. Of course it's about karma.

Since you know Steiner so well, you know that in Steiner's view, not everything that befalls you is deserved - the result of past karma. Many things are undeserved, and will be repaid in the future. There is no reason in Anthroposophy why a Native American who died from an epidemic "deserved" it or "earned" it.

Whoa. Talk about dragging in stuff that is not there. Did I say that? Did I say they deserved or earned it, or even that Steiner said so? Wow. This looks like your way out of the karma thing, which you know darn well is crucial to what Steiner is saying here, and is exactly the point of "acquiring forces" – for future lives, future tasks or missions or something. Actually, it is you who has forgotten what karma means in Steiner. It does include things that befall you that will be repaid later. That is not something separate from karma.

It could just as well have been accidental, in which case karmic recompense is due in a future life.

Now there's a breathtakingly confused statement, from someone advising me that I don't have my Steiner straight. Accidents are karma. You don't get repaid later for an "accident" outside of karmic accounting. It's all karma.

Anyone want to back me up here? I'm suspecting sadly once again virtually every anthroposophist reading this knows I've got it right but isn't going to say so.

Now surely you don't want me to take from this that the genocide of the native Americans was "accidental."

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:18 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel wrote:

If you lived in 1910, you had no concepts such as immunology. You lacked the scientific fact of genetic similarity and immune response. You had only the fact that many more Native Americans died than would have if it were Europe exposed to the same diseases. How do you explain this in 1910?

Peter Staudenmaier:

If you're Rudolf Steiner, you explain it by reference to the ostensible racial character of Native Americans themselves and by claiming that they had to die out. That's what a lot of people consider racist nonsense. How about you?

Daniel:

And if you're a biologist, ethnologist or medical doctor, you explain it by reference to the actual racial character of Native Americans themselves and by claiming that they had to die out.

I suppose this is racist as well?

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:04 am
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel dismisses me:

Diana,

Thank you for your thoughts on this. I think I understand well where you are coming from, and what you are trying to say. I won't waste your time any further by repeating what I have already said. I doubt we will ever agree on this, so perhaps we can agree to disagree.

Oh, I don't feel my time is being wasted. I still have questions for you. These points are unresolved. Please explain:

1) How the statement: "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" can be read as saying "exactly the same thing" as the thesis of the Atlantic Monthly article describing the possibility that the Native Americans succumbed to European germs rather than European genocide

2) How karma is not relevant, in Steiner, to a people dying out (whether by genocide or germs); I ask because when I mentioned karma in this context, you dismissed it as simply not mentioned in the article, as if that was enough said. And since you see immunology as relevant, "not mentioned in the article" is obviously not a strong enough criterion to dismiss karma

3) How you can interpret the statement "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" as not exonerating the Europeans for their dealings with the native Americans

4) How the statement that "native Americans possessed weaknesses in their physical bodies" can be interpreted, in anthroposophy, as not also a statement describing their spiritual condition or describing a spiritual situation

5) Whether in anthroposophy, accidents are karma or not (not directly relevant to the native American question, since certainly Steiner does not think either epidemics or genocide are "accidents"; but relevant tangentially, since this seemed to be an argument with which you hoped to convince me that karma was not necessarily relevant to our discussion)

Thanks,

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:30 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

--- winters_diana wrote:

Daniel dismisses me:

You know what Diana, this is not a game. Patrick is interacting with you as a person interested in checking something out and you keep taking on this confrontational tone. Okay if you want to continue this but it is really getting old. Why not just do a one on one versus snide comments like the above when Patrick has been since the beginning been on the up and up without any kind of ignorance.

There really is no reason for Patrick to continue debating or relating to you if all you are looking for is what you can debate against. I get that gets more of a rise from your critic fans but does nothing towards loooking for a little true understanding. Why not just wait on the critics list for people to join and jump on them if you want to continue in this manner. Or maybe just maybe you may want to engage in some real dialogue versus the Staudenameir tricks.

Really this is just getting ridiculous. Maybe it is what you know after so many years over at the critics. Why not try to get some information from here agree or debate or disagree or whatever but to continue this nastiness is just not right.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:36 am
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Dottie, you're a laugh a minute considering your interactions with Raymon this morning :) Do you realize that you asked Raymon for the information that you are now jumping all over him for providing?

Incidentally, you're in the middle of a discussion betw/ me and Daniel there, that wasn't Patrick.
Diana

You know what Diana, this is not a game. Patrick is interacting with you as a person interested in checking something out and you keep taking on this confrontational tone. Okay if you want to continue this but it is really getting old. Why not just do a one on one versus snide comments like the above when Patrick has been since the beginning been on the up and up without any kind of ignorance.

There really is no reason for Patrick to continue debating or relating to you if all you are looking for is what you can debate against. I get that gets more of a rise from your critic fans but does nothing towards loooking for a little true understanding. Why not just wait on the critics list for people to join and jump on them if you want to continue in this manner. Or maybe just maybe you may want to engage in some real dialogue versus the Staudenameir tricks.

Really this is just getting ridiculous. Maybe it is what you know after so many years over at the critics. Why not try to get some information from here agree or debate or disagree or whatever but to continue this nastiness is just not right.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:50 am
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Diana:

Dottie, you're a laugh a minute considering your interactions with Raymon this morning :) Do you realize that you asked Raymon for the information that you are now jumping all over him for providing?

Hey Diana, I am not jumping all over Raymond. I am asking him to provide this doctrine he is speaking about that he says Dr. Steiner asks us to accept. Do you know what he is talking about maybe?

And, I am talking to him and not the 'crowd' as in your 'Patrick dimisses me' comment. You are doing the same thing you and I commented about Bradford earlier. It's funny isn't it, just a round about. Whew.

Diana:

Incidentally, you're in the middle of a discussion betw/ me and Daniel there, that wasn't Patrick.

Oooh then I will have to apologize if this is correct. You have been rude with Daniel since the beginning. You two have a special relationship going on :) and I really thought it was to Patrick you responded. I will have a look see.

Dottie

...................................................................................................................................

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:05 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

I second Diana's questions to Daniel (or was that Patrick?), but I also have my own question for both of them. Diana referred to

the thesis of the Atlantic Monthly article describing the possibility that the Native Americans succumbed to European germs rather than European genocide

This is not how I read the Charles Mann article, and I'm wondering what others made of it. I don't see any "rather than" argument in his piece, or certainly in Henry Dobyns' work. To my mind, there is no question that enormous numbers of Native Americans died from diseases that arrived with European settlers, particularly smallpox and typhus. But this scarcely means that there was no genocide, much less that Native Americans "had to die out". Enormous numbers of Europeans died during the Black Plague, for example, but European populations then recovered, rather than being forced off their lands by invading colonists who weren't shy about relying on tactics of wholesale slaughter. Obviously terrible epidemics do not mean that specific ethnic or racial groups "had to die out". More to the point, it is hard to see what any of this might have to do with "racial character".

Peter

[Bradford's response in "Peter on Race/Bradford on I AM"]

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:02 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

1) How the statement: "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" can be read as saying "exactly the same thing" as the thesis of the Atlantic Monthly article describing the possibility that the Native Americans succumbed to European germs rather than European genocide

Diana, I have written three posts on the subject. If you don't understand what I am saying, that is your perogative. I have mentioned several times that you would be helped in you understanding by reading the original concept as printed in Steiner's book. This should clarify greatly the mysterious "forces" and their role in the issue. Once you understand Steiner's thesis, look at the Atlantic article again, then re-read my posts on the subject. If you still don't get it, I can't help you.

2) How karma is not relevant, in Steiner, to a people dying out (whether by genocide or germs); I ask because when I mentioned karma in this context, you dismissed it as simply not mentioned in the article, as if that was enough said. And since you see immunology as relevant, "not mentioned in the article" is obviously not a strong enough criterion to dismiss karma

See my answer to number 5.

3) How you can interpret the statement "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" as not exonerating the Europeans for their dealings with the native Americans

Let me reverse the question. How does that exonerate the Europeans? The Europeans did terrible things. I deplore their acts, and Steiner did too. Steiner also mentioned a second, unrelated fact, that many Native Americans would have died anyway. This does not excuse killing under any moral code.

4) How the statement that "native Americans possessed weaknesses in their physical bodies" can be interpreted, in anthroposophy, as not also a statement describing their spiritual condition or describing a spiritual situation

Not all aspects of the present are inherited from the past. Some are, some are not. Also, see answer to number 5.

5) Whether in anthroposophy, accidents are karma or not (not directly relevant to the native American question, since certainly Steiner does not think either epidemics or genocide are "accidents"; but relevant tangentially, since this seemed to be an argument with which you hoped to convince me that karma was not necessarily relevant to our discussion)

Not everything in the present is determined by the past. If this were not true then there would be no free will. The individual human being has to be free to do both good and evil to be truly free. If he or she chooses evil, they may very well harm another person who did not "deserve" to be harmed. Karma only states that they must make it right in a future life. If something bad happens to you, there are two possibilities: One: you deserved it - you did bad things, and this misfortune is the past coming back to you. Two: you are the victim of someone elses bad choices (bear you fate as best you can, and rest assured that no bad deed goes unpunished). Unless you are a clairvoyant, you will never know what caused a particular misfortune - the past (karma) or the free will of the present. Finally, forgiveness is the highest spiritual good; if someone owe's you for a past misdeed and you forgive them - either by forgoing your natural revenge or by renouncing the recompense that is due to you (so that it may be used for those who need it more) - then you are performing one of the most powerful deeds a free human being can accomplish. In Anthroposophy there is simply no excuse for harming others (weakness is an explanation, but not an excuse - and yes, we are all weak). Steiner would never condone genocide or war.

This is the picture of karma that Steiner repeated numerous times. In anthroposophy karma is not some cheap excuse for ignoring other people's suffering. Nor is it an easy answer for all of life's questions. Life retains as much mystery with karma as without it.

Natural epidemics are more likely to have spiritual causes because they happen without human will causing them. Genocide, in as much as it is the result of conscious human actions, are human responsibility. Everything a European did to a Native American is the full responsibility of the European (and vice versa). We are all, always, responsible for our own actions. We are not always responsible for our circumstances, but we are responsible for how we respond to our circumstances.

I hope this helps,

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:23 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Please, Peter. I really suspect you haven't read the article or the quotes I selected from it. The plague killed up to 30% of the European population. The other 60% survived and recovered. The Native Americans were hit with multiple infectious diseases, simultaneously, and did not know how to deal with them - their treatment methods spread the infection. Further, the MHC types were considerably more homogeneous - dramatically increasing all the diseases' vectors. Some estimates figure that these diseases alone killed up to 95% of the North American population - all this before the Europeans finished off the other 5%. Mann cites conjecture that the entire Atlantic seaboard, the south, midwest and plains were virtually depopulated between 1500 and 1600 (before the European settlements) - with almost all Native Americans who died there not having seen a European. None of this is to in any way excuse what the Europeans did to the remaining 5% - I'm sure we both agree it was horrible.

Read the article again.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:56 pm
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

I referred to:

the thesis of the Atlantic Monthly article describing the possibility that the Native Americans succumbed to European germs rather than European genocide

Peter:

This is not how I read the Charles Mann article, and I'm wondering what others made of it. I don't see any "rather than" argument in his piece, or certainly in Henry Dobyns' work. To my mind, there is no question that enormous numbers of Native Americans died from diseases that arrived with European settlers, particularly smallpox and typhus. But this scarcely means that there was no genocide, much less that Native Americans "had to die out". Enormous numbers of Europeans died during the Black Plague, for example, but European populations then recovered, rather than being forced off their lands by invading colonists who weren't shy about relying on tactics of wholesale slaughter. Obviously terrible epidemics do not mean that specific ethnic or racial groups "had to die out". More to the point, it is hard to see what any of this might have to do with "racial character".

No you're quite right, that is not the thesis of the article, and no theory is put forward on what caused the population decimation, though various possibilities are mentioned. The article is about the arguments over "what the Western Hemisphere was like before Columbus," "how many people lived in the Americas at the time of contact" and their impact on their environment, and the significance of disputes about these questions for ecological battles today. If the numbers of Indians and the impact of their agricultural and other practices on the landscape were greater than previously recognized, some see this as calling into question the "pristine myth" of the Americas before Columbus. (Or some people are afraid some other people will see it that way. something like that) So it became an ideological battle. If we are not morally obligated to restore some "long-ago, putatively natural state," "developers will be told they are entitled to operate without restraint." This is the context in which the article discusses what decimated the native Americans. (Decimated is the wrong word too, isn't it?)

There is certainly no discussion of "racial character" as contributing to the lives or deaths of the populations of the Americas, before or after contact with Europeans. I don't think there are many academics today earnestly discussing "racial character" as a factor in either genocide or epidemics of disease, or their impact on history. Daniel is confused about this only because he believes that genetics and race and, apparently, immunological constitution are synonymous or at least tightly linked causally. It hasn't been possible, so far, to get anywhere near this belief of Daniel's with facts or logic. He simply believes that if you don't see that these things are synonymous, you just didn't read the article. Daniel, however, missed every single point made in the anthropological position papers you referred us to, including the point of citing them. He does not, apparently, take in the information that there's no such thing, scientifically, as race. (Race doesn't predict immunologic status or predispositions, and it doesn't predict "genetic make-up" either.)

On these points the paper provides the following tidbits (which are not summed into an argument to explain the epidemics):

"It is well known that Native Americans had no experience with many European diseases and were therefore immunologically unprepared — "virgin soil," in the metaphor of epidemiologists. What Dobyns realized was that such diseases could have swept from the coastlines initially visited by Europeans to inland areas controlled by Indians who had never seen a white person. The first whites to explore many parts of the Americas may therefore have encountered places that were already depopulated."

I guess this is the sort of thing our friends read as saying the native Americans "had to die." There is nothing resembling a claim that this "immunologic unpreparedness" pertained to their "race," and certainly not that "immunologic unpreparedness" meant they "had to die." Genetics is a component of immunological preparedness, but only that, a component. (Simple exposure to pathogens is a large part of it.) Immunological unpreparedness, in turn, does not mean you will get a disease; does not mean you will die of a disease; does not mean someone with a greater degree of immunological preparedness will not get the disease; does not mean someone with a lesser degree of "preparedness" will get the disease; does not determine what kind of treatment you receive or how you will respond to the treatment; may or may not contribute to the severity or prognosis; etc. Obviously, it does not mean either an individual, let alone an entire people, "has to die."

Colonists also were sometimes "immunologically unprepared":

"Because smallpox was not endemic in the Americas, colonials, too, had not acquired any immunity."

So, Daniel, if these colonials didn't have immunity either, how come they weren't destined by their "racial character" = "genetic make-up" to die out in these epidemics? (Notice the word "acquired" in connection with "immunity"?)

"The virus, an equal-opportunity killer, swept through the Continental Army and stopped the drive into Quebec. The American Revolution would be lost, Washington and other rebel leaders feared, if the contagion did to the colonists what it had done to the Indians. "The small Pox! The small Pox!" John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail. "What shall We do with it?" In retrospect, Fenn says, "One of George Washington's most brilliant moves was to inoculate the army against smallpox during the Valley Forge winter of '78." Without inoculation smallpox could easily have given the United States back to the British."

Furthermore:

"Unlike Europeans, Indians did not live in close quarters with animals" (transmission of disease from animals as well as, or even more than, from humans probably a major factor)

And:

"Having little experience with epidemic diseases, Indians had no knowledge of how to combat them. In contrast, Europeans were well versed in the brutal logic of quarantine. They boarded up houses in which plague appeared and fled to the countryside. In Indian New England, Neal Salisbury, a historian at Smith College, wrote in Manitou and Providence (1982), family and friends gathered with the shaman at the sufferer's bedside to wait out the illness—a practice that `could only have served to spread the disease more rapidly.'"

Following that, Daniel? (Since I started writing this you have quoted these same passages back to Peter, without seeming to grasp the implications.)

Knowledge of how to combat disease (public health measures, quarantine, staying away from the sick person's bedside); not living in close quarters with animals; vaccination: Are those things "racial character"? (And do any of those things suggest inevitability to you?) I'll spell it out: those factors pertain to education, culture, public attitudes, customs, scientific advances with impact on public health and sanitation. They aren't related to a person's race.

I'm afraid that because Daniel linked to this article as providing corroboration for Steiner's "racial character/Native Americans had to die out" arguments, I began misremembering the article, which never had much to do with the topic under discussion here in the first place. The confusions just piled up thick and fast, based on Daniel's conflating of ideas such as "genetic make-up," "immunologic weakness," and "racial character." (And "had to die.")

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:12 pm
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel:

Mann cites conjecture that the entire Atlantic seaboard, the south, midwest and plains were virtually depopulated between 1500 and 1600 (before the European settlements) - with almost all Native Americans who died there not having seen a European. None of this is to in any way excuse what the Europeans did to the remaining 5% - I'm sure we both agree it was horrible.

Just a couple more minor points, Daniel, it seems that you like the "high numbers" argument since it means that "almost all Native Americans who died there [had not] seen a European." They didn't need to see them to catch diseases from them, you know. Mann's point was not that Europeans were not the source of the problem. His point was that it may have been disease brought by a very small handful of early European explorers, or even their animals, that set off these major epidemics which happened before the bulk of settlers arrived a century or more later. If you want to think this has something to do with karma, you can't have it both ways, it is still the Europeans who started the problem.

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: Deborah
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:26 pm
Subject: Reading and falsehoods

Dear Diana,

Most of the conflating that has been going on is yours, not Daniel's.

Cheers,
Deborah

The confusions just piled up thick and fast, based on Daniel's conflating of ideas such as "genetic make-up," "immunologic weakness," and "racial character." (And "had to die.")

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:37 pm
Subject: Re: Reading and falsehoods

Deborah:

Dear Diana,

Most of the conflating that has been going on is yours, not Daniel's.

What do you think I have conflated?

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: Deborah
Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004 6:39 am
Subject: Re: Reading and falsehoods

Dear Diana,

I could make a selection of your posts to use as illustration in a class on defective methods of argumentation. Not just your posts to Daniel but also your posts to Patrick, Tarjei, myself, Jo Ann.

However, I don't particularly want to improve your skills in discussion since I think any gain in that area would be a loss to the world in general.

To sum up my take on things:

I think Peter Staudenmeier is slippery, clever, manipulative and dishonest to the core.

I think you are honest, not self-reflective or self-aware and very bad at presenting arguments. In discussion (in my opinion) you are illogical, inconsistent and very bad at reflecting back the actual content that people present.

And no, I'm not going to go over your entire discussion with Daniel and explain all the points at which you distorted his ideas and distorted the single sentence of Steiner's which is all you wanted to work with.

I read both sides of the discussion. You won an argument against yourself...

I'm not usually either this frank or this mean. But I think when it comes to discussions with anthros you have developed a fairly thick skin. Hopefully you'll have no difficulty at all either disregarding or rewriting my remarks.

Cheers,
Deborah

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004 7:01 am
Subject: Re: Reading and falsehoods

Deborah, that is one huge cop-out. Anything you'd like to point out where my argumentation is wrong, inconsistent, defective, etc., would be fine. I am up for it. All you wrote is a long list of insults. Speaks for itself.

I have to laugh at the notion that I am bad at "reflecting back" what people present. That makes sense to do when you agree with it, when you don't, well obviously it is not my intent to merely reflect it back. Unbelievable you say I am working with a "single sentence" of Steiner's. Unbelievable you aren't actually going to tell me what you think I conflated. Disappointing.

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: Deborah
Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004 9:33 am
Subject: Re: Reading and falsehoods

Diana:

I have to laugh at the notion that I am bad at "reflecting back" what people present. That makes sense to do when you agree with it, when you don't, well obviously it is not my intent to merely reflect it back.

Deborah:

Excellent summing up of the problem. Thanks

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Wed Apr 28, 2004 1:52 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel:

Mann cites conjecture that the entire Atlantic seaboard, the south, midwest and plains were virtually depopulated between 1500 and 1600 (before the European settlements) - with almost all Native Americans who died there not having seen a European. None of this is to in any way excuse what the Europeans did to the remaining 5% - I'm sure we both agree it was horrible.

Diana:

Just a couple more minor points, Daniel, it seems that you like the "high numbers" argument since it means that "almost all Native Americans who died there [had not] seen a European." They didn't need to see them to catch diseases from them, you know. Mann's point was not that Europeans were not the source of the problem. His point was that it may have been disease brought by a very small handful of early European explorers, or even their animals, that set off these major epidemics which happened before the bulk of settlers arrived a century or more later. If you want to think this has something to do with karma, you can't have it both ways, it is still the Europeans who started the problem.

Daniel:

So you point out that the Europeans "caused" the deaths of all Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to North America along with the Europeans. And this is absolutely correct. Now most codes of ethics differentiate between intentional and inadvertant acts. In this particular case, I find it hard to argue that Europeans ought never to have visited North America because they should have known that doing so would virtually exterminate an entire group by the illnesses that they didn't know they were even bringing with them. Note: I still deplore every single intentional act of malice, cruelty and murder perptrated by a European against a Native American (and vice versa).

You also wonder if I think that susceptibility had something to do with karma. Personally, I don't know if susceptibility had anything to do with karma, in general or in any specific instance. Nor did Steiner say one way or the other that I can remember. Karma probably played a role in some instances, and likely did not play a role in other instances. If I ever develop clairvoyant capacites sufficient to such an investigation, I'll let you know for sure. Steiner did say that by being a Native American they were, by virtue of the bodies they inhabited, susceptible to certain unnamed forces of decline and decay. I have been trying to reconcile this inspecific indication with subsequent knowledge of medicine. I understand that you feel my efforts are not convincing. Hence my earlier offer to agree to disagree.

Daniel Hindes

The original again:

"Nicht etwa deshalb, weil es den Europäern gefallen hat, ist die indianische Bevölkerung ausgestorben, sondern weil die indianische Bevölkerung die Kräfte erwerben mußte, die sie zum aussterben führten." (GA 121, page 75 in the 1962 German edition).

Translated (by me):

"The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out."

This sentence does not make a lot of sense on it's own. It is part of a larger though of Steiner's, expressed over several pages, on how the geography of the earth influenced the formation of racial characteristics. In the west, said Steiner, the forces that lead to the overcoming of the influence of racial characteristics are strongest, and this he tied to the physical weakness behind the death of so many Native Americans.

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Sat May 1, 2004 6:09 am
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Here's some more stuff for Daniel that's been sitting around a few days waiting for me to finish it. I originally asked Daniel:

[Diana:]

How the statement: "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" can be read as saying "exactly the same thing" as the thesis of the Atlantic Monthly article describing the possibility that the Native Americans succumbed to European germs rather than European genocide

[Daniel:]

Diana, I have written three posts on the subject.

Yes, I know you have, Daniel, but not one of them explicates this; you just kept saying that they are the "same thing" in amazement that others cannot see that these words that seem to say different things, to you, say the same thing. Can you show me that it's the same thing, rather than just insisting that it is?

What you are doing is stating a particular spiritual interpretation of historic events, or medical events, and stating that it is the same thing as the historical facts.

I have no problem with your spiritual interpretation, honestly, although as I suppose you know I don't share it. A world in which things happen as driven by spiritual forces etc.; in which it is obvious, plain as day, that if something happened to someone it happened because of their character or their being or some spiritual essence. Whatever happened to the native Americans "had to happen" of course because whatever happens to anyone has to happen. It would be obvious that their "immunology" (article uses the term "indigenous biochemistry," a phrase probably chosen because neither "race" nor "genetics" covers it) was an expression of their spiritual nature or pertained to certain assigned tasks etc. (Isn't this what Bradford's on about all the time? Actually, Bradford seems quite annoyed that some of you make such slow progress understanding this . . . which gives me hope . . )

I wonder if this will ever sink in on you. Y'all think the rest of the world is materialistic; but in anthroposophy, biology is destiny. If I am reading you correctly, Daniel, you are determined to defend the notion that the Indians' "indigenous biochemistry" meant that they "had to die out," and even when you yourself cite the role of treatment and public health measures, you don't notice that these things invalidate the "racial character" argument.

So there is not just racism at the core of anthroposophy but also a kind of spiritualized biological determinism.

I asked:

2) How karma is not relevant, in Steiner, to a people dying out (whether by genocide or germs); I ask because when I mentioned karma in this context, you dismissed it as simply not mentioned in the article, as if that was enough said. And since you see immunology as relevant, "not mentioned in the article" is obviously not a strong enough criterion to dismiss karma

[Daniel:]

See my answer to number 5.

Your answer to number 5 would appear to suggest that karma is relevant. Not sure why you blew me off on that point, earlier.

3) How you can interpret the statement "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" as not exonerating the Europeans for their dealings with the native Americans

Let me reverse the question. How does that exonerate the Europeans?

It exonerates the Europeans because it explains that the cause of the population decimation was not their actions. Not guilty. Vindicated. Off the hook. Not their fault. Someone, or something, else's fault. They did have a bad record where atrocities are concerned, but you can't pin this one on `em. They were in the neighborhood, and they might have knocked some heads together, but the brutal crime that was committed the same night? Someone else got there before them. (Germs.)

The Europeans did terrible things. I deplore their acts, and Steiner did too. Steiner also mentioned a second, unrelated fact, that many Native Americans would have died anyway.

Very convenient. And hardly unrelated.

This does not excuse killing under any moral code.

Perhaps not, but it sure takes the heat off, doesn't it? It makes their actions irrelevant historically and karmically. Don't thoughts and theories have a life in anthroposophy too? Aren't they even "beings"? Better look at what this one is up to.

4) How the statement that "native Americans possessed weaknesses in their physical bodies" can be interpreted, in anthroposophy, as not also a statement describing their spiritual condition or describing a spiritual situation

Not all aspects of the present are inherited from the past. Some are, some are not. Also, see answer to number 5

Okay. I'll buy that.

I asked whether accidents are karma. You wrote a long explanation of karma, which I appreciated, but it didn't address the status of accidents. You mainly explain that it is karma whether it is the result of a person's past actions, or the stage being set for future actions, if I understand correctly. Accidents are karma, right? (I've repasted it below knowing you would miss it if I snipped it.)

Thanks, yes it did help,

Diana

[Daniel:]

Not everything in the present is determined by the past. If this were not true then there would be no free will. The individual human being has to be free to do both good and evil to be truly free. If he or she chooses evil, they may very well harm another person who did not "deserve" to be harmed. Karma only states that they must make it right in a future life. If something bad happens to you, there are two possibilities: One: you deserved it - you did bad things, and this misfortune is the past coming back to you. Two: you are the victim of someone elses bad choices (bear you fate as best you can, and rest assured that no bad deed goes unpunished). Unless you are a clairvoyant, you will never know what caused a particular misfortune - the past (karma) or the free will of the present. Finally, forgiveness is the highest spiritual good; if someone owe's you for a past misdeed and you forgive them - either by forgoing your natural revenge or by renouncing the recompense that is due to you (so that it may be used for those who need it more) - then you are performing one of the most powerful deeds a free human being can accomplish. In Anthroposophy there is simply no excuse for harming others (weakness is an explanation, but not an excuse - and yes, we are all weak). Steiner would never condone genocide or war.

This is the picture of karma that Steiner repeated numerous times. In anthroposophy karma is not some cheap excuse for ignoring other people's suffering. Nor is it an easy answer for all of life's questions. Life retains as much mystery with karma as without it.

Natural epidemics are more likely to have spiritual causes because they happen without human will causing them. Genocide, in as much as it is the result of conscious human actions, are human responsibility. Everything a European did to a Native American is the full responsibility of the European (and vice versa). We are all, always, responsible for our own actions. We are not always responsible for our circumstances, but we are responsible for how we respond to our circumstances.

...................................................................................................................................

From: winters_diana
Date: Sat May 1, 2004 6:17 am
Subject: Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel:

So you point out that the Europeans "caused" the deaths of all Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to North America along with the Europeans.

I didn't really say that. I just thought it was interesting that you seemed eager to make sure the Europeans had nothing to do with it, and I was just pointing out that it was the Europeans whether it was genocide or communicable diseases, and surely from a karmic standpoint, this matters. (Peter also mentioned passing out smallpox blankets, I'm not sure where that information came from, but if true, that's no accident, and certainly more in line with the genocide theory than a plague you can't blame on anyone, karma schmarma.) I guess I mean, I'm not sure why, if these things have spiritual causes, they are off the hook, so to speak, if they did it by accident rather than on purpose.

And this is absolutely correct. Now most codes of ethics differentiate between intentional and inadvertant acts.

Yes, but karma doesn't really, does it? (From the individual's point of view, yes, because you'll eventually have to pay. From the standpoint of history, no.) That's why I kept asking you whether accidents were karma. (This is my big problem with these theories. They don't explain anything.)

In this particular case, I find it hard to argue that Europeans ought never to have visited North America because they should have known that doing so would virtually exterminate an entire group by the illnesses that they didn't know they were even bringing with them.

We're certainly agreed there.

Note: I still deplore every single intentional act of malice, cruelty and murder perptrated by a European against a Native American (and vice versa).

I understand that, I believe you.

You also wonder if I think that susceptibility had something to do with karma. Personally, I don't know if susceptibility had anything to do with karma, in general or in any specific instance. Nor did Steiner say one way or the other that I can remember.

He said plenty on karma and epidemics in general. Not at my fingertips, but I can find it later.

Karma probably played a role in some instances, and likely did not play a role in other instances. If I ever develop clairvoyant capacites sufficient to such an investigation, I'll let you know for sure. Steiner did say that by being a Native American they were, by virtue of the bodies they inhabited, susceptible to certain unnamed forces of decline and decay. I have been trying to reconcile this inspecific indication with subsequent knowledge of medicine.

Okay, not to torment you too much further, but on what basis do you feel this is indicated by Steiner – pursuing this angle that it may have been a medical weakness he had in mind in referring to forces of decay? Just a hunch? Just a particular interest of yours? Or if it is not indicated by Steiner, why do you feel the need? I don't know what kind of criteria one uses, if one considers oneself to be doing historical research, and one is trying to find confirmation, historically, for something predicted, or explained, by someone claiming to be clairvoyant. There are really no standards for this, as far as I know, so I'm still curious how you understand, in a general way, what you are doing when you make arguments like this. And why is it necessary, if you accept that Steiner was clairvoyant? When you try so hard to find evidence for things Steiner said, in things that can be shown factually, through historical sources, etc., does it not bother you even a tiny bit that Steiner himself didn't bother with this sort of research? That Steiner actually considered such methods "materialistic"?

I understand that you feel my efforts are not convincing. Hence my earlier offer to agree to disagree.

I'm sure it looks crazy that I keep arguing with you, I just think it's interesting. Thanks!

Diana

...................................................................................................................................

From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Sat May 1, 2004 9:20 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Andrea's 2cc here:

There are also a third and a fourth possibility.. You don't deserve to be harmed neither you are someone else's victim. The third is about the fact that you, by the mean of bearing someone else's burden, do a "graceful" action towards him. There are cases like the following: A guy before his birth "exchanges" a body full of healthy-rooted possibilities with another one feeble and inclined towards illness.

Fourth: You don't "deserve" the bad event, but you will receive a good "pay for it" in your next life.

In the karmic issues we must ask ourselves on and on if the "bad event" is only a "mask" and the "bad" is really as it seems to be.....

As a matter of fact the study of own's one karma is one of the most important features inside the Spiritual Development's Path of Spiritual Science.

Massimo Scaligero entitled a chapter of his book "Reincarnazione e karma" as "Metaphysical Identity of Karma and Freedom". He wanted to throw light over the fact that there is a Consciousness's level, the I AM one, where the "why" and "how" of the karmic background are eventually clarified, and the Anthroposophy's scholar is called walking such a path of inner "clarification".

This was to say, Diana and all, that in ordrr to a proper understanding of karma we have really to be free from rigid,deterministic, static, ways of thinking more, as possible, than in other spiritual issues

To Diana: Anthroposophy is just the opposite of the "bio-deterministic-spiritualistism" that you think She is.

Andrea

[Daniel:]

Finally, forgiveness is the highest spiritual good; if someone owe's you for a past misdeed and you forgive them - either by forgoing your natural revenge or by renouncing the recompense that is due to you (so that it may be used for those who need it more) - then you are performing one of the most powerful deeds a free human being can accomplish. In Anthroposophy there is simply no excuse for harming others (weakness is an explanation, but not an excuse - and yes, we are all weak). Steiner would never condone genocide or war.

This is the picture of karma that Steiner repeated numerous times. In anthroposophy karma is not some cheap excuse for ignoring other people's suffering. Nor is it an easy answer for all of life's questions. Life retains as much mystery with karma as without it.

Natural epidemics are more likely to have spiritual causes because they happen without human will causing them. Genocide, in as much as it is the result of conscious human actions, are human responsibility. Everything a European did to a Native American is the full responsibility of the European (and vice versa). We are all, always, responsible for our own actions. We are not always responsible for our circumstances, but we are responsible for how we respond to our circumstances.

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Sat May 1, 2004 12:23 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Diana asked:

How the statement: "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" can be read as saying "exactly the same thing" as the thesis of the Atlantic Monthly article describing the possibility that the Native Americans succumbed to European germs rather than European genocide

[Daniel:]

Diana, I have written three posts on the subject.

Yes, I know you have, Daniel, but not one of them explicates this; you just kept saying that they are the "same thing" in amazement that others cannot see that these words that seem to say different things, to you, say the same thing. Can you show me that it's the same thing, rather than just insisting that it is?

Daniel:

It goes back to the nature of the forces that the Native Americans "had" to acquire. These are related to the forces behind immunology. You would really be helped by reading the whole lecture in question rather than trying to guess an entire philosophy off a one-sentence quote.

Diana:

Whatever happened to the native Americans "had to happen" of course because whatever happens to anyone has to happen.

Daniel:

If this is indeed your take on Anthroposophy, Diana, then you don't know much about it at all. Nothing could be further from the teaching of Karma the Steiner repeated in numerous books and articles.

Diana:

I wonder if this will ever sink in on you.

Daniel:

And I might wonder if you will ever understand Anthroposophy properly, or if you will remain forever indignant against a worldview that is exactly the opposite of Anthroposophy.

Y'all think the rest of the world is materialistic; but in anthroposophy, biology is destiny.

Sorry, this is simply not true.

If I am reading you correctly, Daniel, you are determined to defend the notion that the Indians' "indigenous biochemistry" meant that they "had to die out," and even when you yourself cite the role of treatment and public health measures, you don't notice that these things invalidate the "racial character" argument.

I'm sorry, I don't follow your logic here.

So there is not just racism at the core of anthroposophy but also a kind of spiritualized biological determinism.

In the worldview you have constructed and projected onto Anthroposophy, this is true, but it is not true of actual Anthroposophy.

Diana asked:

3) How you can interpret the statement "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" as not exonerating the Europeans for their dealings with the native Americans

Daniel:

Let me reverse the question. How does that exonerate the Europeans?

Diana:

It exonerates the Europeans because it explains that the cause of the population decimation was not their actions. Not guilty. Vindicated. Off the hook. Not their fault. Someone, or something, else's fault. They did have a bad record where atrocities are concerned, but you can't pin this one on `em. They were in the neighborhood, and they might have knocked some heads together, but the brutal crime that was committed the same night? Someone else got there before them. (Germs.)

I disagree. Europeans killed millions in the most horrible ways. Disease killed tens of millions beyond that. For me, the ones dead to disease in no way ameliorates the truly horrible things Europeans did to the millions of Native Americans they did maim, torture and slaughter. I have studied the history in depth, and it simply boggles the mind. So to me the additional fact that disease killed more than Europeans does not in any way change the way I think about the genocide. For an interesting parallel, the 1918 influenza pandemic killed more people in Europe than the entire First World War. Nobody suggests that this in anyway changes the horrors of that war.

Daniel wrote:

This does not excuse killing under any moral code.

Diana:

Perhaps not, but it sure takes the heat off, doesn't it? It makes their actions irrelevant historically and karmically. Don't thoughts and theories have a life in anthroposophy too? Aren't they even "beings"? Better look at what this one is up to.

Daniel:

Well, all I can say is that I hope you never sit on a jury trying a capital case.

Diana:

I asked whether accidents are karma. You wrote a long explanation of karma, which I appreciated, but it didn't address the status of accidents.

Daniel:

Sorry if I wasn't clear. Accidents fall under the same rule. Some are karmically caused, some are accidental. Steiner got a lot of questions on this type of thing in the early days, and the issue is addressed from many angles in his early lecture cycles, such as Cosmogeny, The Temple Legend, Theosophy of the Rosicrucians, and At the Gates of Spiritual Science.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: at
Date: Sat May 1, 2004 2:55 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Daniel wrote:

So you point out that the Europeans "caused" the deaths of all Native Americans who died of disease because the diseases came to North America along with the Europeans.

Diana:

I didn't really say that. I just thought it was interesting that you seemed eager to make sure the Europeans had nothing to do with it, and I was just pointing out that it was the Europeans whether it was genocide or communicable diseases, and surely from a karmic standpoint, this matters. (Peter also mentioned passing out smallpox blankets, I'm not sure where that information came from, but if true, that's no accident, and certainly more in line with the genocide theory than a plague you can't blame on anyone, karma schmarma.)

Daniel:

I suppose this may seem rather quaint, but I am trying to hold people responsible for the things they did intentionally, and not confuse things by suggesting that the responsibility is in any way changed by other things that might have happened. Smallpox blankets, which date from the mid 1700's, are an intentional act with karmic consequences. The large die-off that is supposed to have happened in the 200 years prior did not start with intentional acts. I see a difference, but I do not see the second as excusing the first. You do, and I'm not sure how you get there, but I suggest that it is not very logical.

Diana:

I guess I mean, I'm not sure why, if these things have spiritual causes, they are off the hook, so to speak, if they did it by accident rather than on purpose.

Daniel:

You seem quite fixated on assigning guilt and determining innocence. We are dealing with millions of individuals and hundreds of years over two continents. I don't think much is gained by oversimplifying things to a simple, single verdict of "guilty" or "innocent".

Diana:

(This is my big problem with these theories. They don't explain anything.)

Daniel:

I thought that you big problem was that they do explain things, and in a way that you dislike. Your present statement is closer to the truth. Anthroposophy offers a lot of novel possibilities, and no certainty. Those who demand certainty will either leave unhappy or misunderstand the theory.

Daniel wrote:

Karma probably played a role in some instances, and likely did not play a role in other instances. If I ever develop clairvoyant capacites sufficient to such an investigation, I'll let you know for sure. Steiner did say that by being a Native American they were, by virtue of the bodies they inhabited, susceptible to certain unnamed forces of decline and decay. I have been trying to reconcile this inspecific indication with subsequent knowledge of medicine.

Diana:

Okay, not to torment you too much further, but on what basis do you feel this is indicated by Steiner – pursuing this angle that it may have been a medical weakness he had in mind in referring to forces of decay? Just a hunch? Just a particular interest of yours? Or if it is not indicated by Steiner, why do you feel the need?

Daniel:

The lecture sets the sentence up with a complex picture of forces that are at work. Combining it with other things that Steiner has said about similar forces, I believe it is not unreasonable to link the two. But it is a hypothesis.

Diana:

I don't know what kind of criteria one uses, if one considers oneself to be doing historical research, and one is trying to find confirmation, historically, for something predicted, or explained, by someone claiming to be clairvoyant.

Daniel:

Well, this is an interesting question in general. In this specific instance there really isn't any historical research being done. We have some historical evidence, and a few theories to explain them. In this case I am pointing out that the leading theory accepted by academics also happens not to contradict an explanation Steiner put forth. I understand that you object, but that is simply where we disagree.

Diana:

There are really no standards for this, as far as I know, so I'm still curious how you understand, in a general way, what you are doing when you make arguments like this.

Daniel:

I am trying to take logic and integrate information from various sources. It is all anyone every really does when they try to understand anything.

Diana:

And why is it necessary, if you accept that Steiner was clairvoyant?

Daniel:

Just because he was clairvoyant does not mean that he was never wrong, nor does it mean that I have to accept verbatim everything he says. Clairvoyant is not a synonym for omniscient. I mentioned earlier that I do not hold Steiner to be infallible, nor do I worshipfull accept everything he said (nor do most Anthroposophists that I have met - there are plenty of "fundies" but they are not a majority). Some things Steiner says I find I can verify, other things seem strange, some even appear highly unlikely. To me it is an interesting way of looking at things, not a religion.

Diana:

When you try so hard to find evidence for things Steiner said, in things that can be shown factually, through historical sources, etc., does it not bother you even a tiny bit that Steiner himself didn't bother with this sort of research?

Daniel:
Actually, that is exactly what Steiner asked all his listeners and readers to do. He most emphatically did not ask them to accept his statements on faith. He repeatedly demanded that people attempt to verify his claims by any means available to them. And Steiner was familiar, into the tiniest detail, with all the historical research of his day. It is completely mistaken to claim Steiner had no knolwedge of historical research. He read extensively, and in his written work cited extensively from other authors. It appears that you are not very familiar with the real Steiner.

Diana:

That Steiner actually considered such methods "materialistic"?

Daniel:

He said no such thing. See above.

I'm off for a long vacation. But I'm sure we will meet again.

Daniel Hindes

...................................................................................................................................

From: Deborah
Date: Sat May 1, 2004 3:30 pm
Subject: : Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: reading and falsehoods

Dear Diana,

Following are some examples of your faulty argumentation. Daniel was nice enough to collect them. The actual quotes from you and Daniel are at the bottom of the e-mail.

#1 Insistence that one sentence is more than enough to build an argument on.

#2 Creating your own version of anthroposophy and then arguing against it.

#3 Arguing against a position which neither Daniel nor Steiner actually stated, on the basis that it was implied by what they said.

Taking number 3, which Europeans do you think are getting off the hook, or to reverse it, which Europeans do you think need to be held responsible for these epidemics.

a) Everyone living in Europe or Asia at the time (1492 and thereafter) because they were all riddled with diseases? Diseases that the Native Americans were vulnerable to?

b) The Europeans who were pushing for exploration? Not sure exactly who fits this definition, but they were probably wealthy and hoping to get more by going out and taking over the world. A greedy but undefined sector of the population.

c) Christopher Columbus? He thought he was heading towards China, or maybe India, but I'm guessing that geographical incompetence won't get him off the hook either.

d) The sailors on the various ships. Generally common sailors had not control over their lives and may not even have chosen to be sailors but I don't see why they shouldn't be blamed.

e) The captains and other officers serving on the ships? The Spaniards who went inland to try to conquer and get gold? Now we are getting on to something substantial, however we have passed the point of first contact and now we're getting into the historically recorded nastiness.

f) We could blame the Jews and the Moors who had been expelled from Spain. It was their money which had been stolen by Ferdinand and Isabella and used to finance CC's expedition.

Anyway, I don't like vague stuff like blaming the "europeans." Too general. I mean, after all it was the Spaniards who made the first landing and therefore, if we want to get specific, it was the Spaniards who brought the diseases that caused millions of people to die. Will that do?

Deborah

Example 1

Daniel:

It goes back to the nature of the forces that the Native Americans "had" to acquire. These are related to the forces behind immunology. You would really be helped by reading the whole lecture in question rather than trying to guess an entire philosophy off a one-sentence quote.

Example 2a

Diana:

I wonder if this will ever sink in on you.

Daniel:

And I might wonder if you will ever understand Anthroposophy properly, or if you will remain forever indignant against a worldview that is exactly the opposite of Anthroposophy.

Example 2b

Diana:

So there is not just racism at the core of anthroposophy but also a kind of spiritualized biological determinism.

Daniel:

In the worldview you have constructed and projected onto Anthroposophy, this is true, but it is not true of actual Anthroposophy.

Example 3

Diana asked:

3) How you can interpret the statement "The Native American population did not die out because this pleased the Europeans, but because the Native American population had to acquire such forces as lead to their dying out" as not exonerating the Europeans for their dealings with the native Americans

Daniel:

Let me reverse the question. How does that exonerate the Europeans?

Diana:

It exonerates the Europeans because it explains that the cause of the population decimation was not their actions. Not guilty. Vindicated. Off the hook. Not their fault. Someone, or something, else's fault. They did have a bad record where atrocities are concerned, but you can't pin this one on `em. They were in the neighborhood, and they might have knocked some heads together, but the brutal crime that was committed the same night? Someone else got there before them. (Germs.)

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