The Lion is About to Roar

 

From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:44 pm
Subject: The Lion is About to Roar

"Mandated" Waldorf education Diana Winters
Feb 10, 2004 09:50 PST

Here is a fascinating dialogue from Anthroposophy_Tomorrow. Christine speaks against Waldorf in public schools, as she has done before, seeming to "get" where these problems lie:

"Whether the methods and techniques of a private school system are 'good' universally, the very existence of a 'religious' or 'spiritual' background is enough to justify keeping them out of the public school classroom."

But then she loses control for a moment and suggests that . . . (YOU HAVEN'T SEEN LOSING CONTROL, YET, B***)

"Perhaps some day far in the future, Waldorf Education will be so universally desirable within society at large, that it will be mandated for all schools."

Whoa . . .

In this Christine actually echoes Eugene Schwartz, who also opposed Waldorf's move into the public system in the US, though mainly, if I understand him correctly, on the grounds that society isn't ready for Waldorf yet. Leaving open at least the hope that some day it will be, presumably. (HER INTERPRETATION)

But Christine is called on her slip of the tongue by new member Linda (who has previously enjoyed sneering at critics on the WC list and thinks critics of Waldorf education are "nutty"; anyway even stalwart Waldorf supporter Linda has the good sense to be a wee bit discomfited by "mandated" Waldorf education):

"Could you elaborate on this idea? I understand your point that public education today rejects the all religious or spiritual elements, and that one day this may relax. But then you seem to leap to suppositions about which 'spiritual elements' would win out and ultimately become mandatory in public education.

Surely, the idea that any one particular view could or would become 'mandatory' is reason enough to dissuade society from 'moving in a more spiritualized direction' in public education. I'm not sure I understand why it needs follow, why making a particular view 'mandatory' would be the inevitable outcome. And speaking for myself, I wouldn't be at all reassured about any 'spiritual' mandates in education just because they were Waldorf-brand spiritualisms."

(Go, Linda. Thanks for summing up the arguments for separation of church and state, particularly in schools. Exactly because to some people it is a breathtakingly quick leap from Maybe-society-will-get-more-spiritual-someday, to And-then-my-spiritual-beliefs-will-be-mandatory-for-everyone.) (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS)

Christine attempts to soften her statement:

"I meant in a few more centuries, when (hopefully) the entire view of the human being will have matured. I certainly don't mean the infantile, egotistical views of 'spirituality' that many people entertain today."

Oh! Don't worry, this is centuries away! (But we could always get a head start, and open a few charters.) (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS)

Note the certainty that someday, everyone will accept a particular version of spirituality. The literally hundreds of religions and spiritual beliefs and practices, the millions on millions of fervent believers worldwide today, are "infantile." Someday we'll all be anthroposophists? (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS)

Linda (understandably not quite reassured but trying to be a good sport):

"I'm a little troubled at the idea that in the future our 'spirituality' may mature to the point where society would mandate Waldorf education in public schools. Mandating any particular public education system because it is 'perceived' to have the Best Spirituality component seems a major step backwards to me."

Now Christine redefines the word "mandate," perhaps realizing it does carry some unpleasant connotations:

"Sorry again - to clarify - not mandated by Government- but by the totality of the social environment."

Oh much better. (sarcasm) The "totality" of the social environment. Whew. You really don't understand why some people are scared of totalistic spiritual visions imposed on an entire society? We aren't all anthroposophists, Christine. Yes, you would have to make a "total social environment" from anthroposophy before some of us "get it." Put it in the drinking water, or in the air we breathe, perhaps. (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS)

"Please try to understand I am fantasizing a very different human community than what we live with today."

Exactly, Christine - you are fantasizing about a world where everyone agrees with you, and if a few don't, "mandates" will keep them in line. (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS)

"You are trying to fit it into today's world and social/ political reality. That is not what I was trying to say. It's like French schools teach in French because the people in their society speak French. The government doesn't have to 'mandate' it by law. Schools in a more 'spiritual' society will teach in a more 'spiritual' way because that will be the 'language' of the people in that society."

Christine, if Waldorf is some day perceived as "universally desirable," then where would "mandating" it need to come into the picture? Interesting slip. (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS)

(Linda also noted that the language example was a poor one, in fact governments do sometimes try to officially regulate language use; that has happened in the US, where in some cities it became illegal for government workers to speak Spanish to each other while on the job, and in fact the French, also, are pretty keen on "official" use of French.) (PRETTY KEEN AND MANDATING BY GOVERNMENT ARE TWO DIFFERENT THINGS)

(Linda ends up deciding to get comfy with all this, after all she's new on the list, and any problems from mandated spiritual education are centuries in the future.) (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT LINDA'S STATEMENTS)

Look at what Christine originally said one more time: She dreams (HER INTERPRETATION - NOT MY STATEMENTS) of a day Waldorf is "mandated" in "all schools."

Diana

DO YOU ****** BELIEVE THIS???? THIS WOMAN IS PUBLISHING WHOLE DIALOGUES OF
MINE ON ANOTHER WEBSITE AND DOING HER OWN ***** INTERPRETATIONS OF MY ATTITUDES,

WHAT I MEAN, WHAT I AM "DREAMING ABOUT" WHAT I AM "FANTASIZING" ABOUT - AND I HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS DOING THIS!!

DOES ANYONE KNOW A GOOD LAWYER, BECAUSE THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF THEM IN MIAMI AND I AM GOING TO GET ONE NOW!

NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO DO WHAT THIS B****** IS DOING AND IT IS GOING TO STOP. YOU CAN QUOTE ME ON THAT DIANA.

CHRISTINE

[see reference in "Fwd: In Your Neck of the Woods"]

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From: Linda Clemens
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 6:35 pm
Subject: Re: The Lion is About to Roar

Christine

Just a guess. Choleric?

I'm teasing you. I don't blame you for being angry.

Back at the WC list, Dan Dugan should appear shortly to serve you notice. "Administrative Warning: 'you are a SNAKE'" is an ad hominem argument. Please direct your remarks to the arguments, not the person".

And I can be fairly sure that Diana won't be getting one herself. I'm not sure I why, but arguing (often more like "heckling" than arguing) against misrepresentations or misperceptions of another's personal "motives", "feelings", "dreams", and "schemes" doesn't qualify as "remarks against the person"--unless, of course, the person making using this in argument is a Waldorf ed supporter.

L

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 6:50 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Lion is About to Roar

I don't give a flying rat's ass WHAT kind of warning Dan Dugan wants to give me!

I have 6 - count'em 6! planets in Leo, One in Taurus and One in Scorpio - you're damned right I'm angry and if they don't want me to say so on their site,

I'll say it in court and call Diana every name in the book under oath!

I am cc'ing both groups and will continue to do so until one or both kicks me off. (on this particular topic).

There has to be an objective truth to all of this, and I intend to pursue it until it is brought out into the open and recognized by all parties concerned. If it takes a court case to do so, I will pursue it as far as the system will allow. There are both precedents and precedents yet to set.

Innocent bystanders better get off the sidewalks.

Christine

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 8:48 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Lion is About to Roar

I just forwarded the whole post that states my unequivocal position on that issue. I do not think they are legal and I do not think they should be there. I have elaborated on why.

Christine

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From: Linda Clemens
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 9:36 pm
Subject: Re: The Lion is About to Roar--Dang!

--- Linda Clemens wrote:

Back at the WC list, Dan Dugan should appear shortly to serve you notice. "Administrative Warning: 'you are a SNAKE'" is an ad hominem argument. Please direct your remarks to the arguments, not the person".

----and at Feb 10, 2004 20:47 PST Moderator to WC List wrote:

"Admin: ad hominem warning [Fwd: The Lion is About to Roar] [to Christine] You wrote:

NO ONE HAS A RIGHT TO DO WHAT THIS B****** IS DOING AND IT IS GOING TO STOP.

SHOUTING is discouraged, but it's OK occasionally, everybody understands that this is a subject people devote their lives to, and feel strongly about. But name-calling is not OK at any time."

It was the B*****? And not snake? My miscall would warrant a minor deduction at most.

Despite finding myself involved on that board in some of the kookiest discussions I've ever had anywhere (and having lived on a radical college campus in the early 70's, I suffered more than my share), I have to say that the these "warnings" were probably one of the most bizarre elements to the mix.

Monty-Pythoned up but only just a bit, they look something like this:

"Hello. Rudolf Steiner was a fake, a flake, a flack and a fluke. Waldorf is a parochial school for Anthroposophy, an illegitimate religion based on fakery, flakery, flackery and flukery. You're either a fake, flake, flack, fluke OR you have been brainwashed into believing fakery, flakery, flackery, flukery isn't employed to torture children. Waldorf f's are sadists who abuse children in an endless
variety of ways! If you can't admit this, then you're duped!"

To which one might reply "Will you listen to yourself? You're acting like a lunatic!"

And then, like a familiar sounding bell, comes the "Administrative warning. Lunatic is ad hominem. Please keep your remarks to the subject "

Hard not to laugh, isn't it?

L

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From: b m
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 6:31 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] The Lion is About to Roar

There's something so utterly pathetic in not having anybody to argue with in your own WC that you have to get messages from other lists to comment on. This goes to show how poorly frequented and desperate for ideas the WC has become. As for Diana, it proves that the only way she can come across as having made a point is by making sure the message's author is not around to rebute her silly smartass remarks. How sorry. It shows lack of guts and character. If I ever said anything nice about Diana, I would like to use this opportunity to take it back. The lady is obviously a tramp.

Bryan

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From: b m
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:03 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] apology

I shouldn't write before running, I'm afraid, since I am usually not at my best behaviour. After a wonderful 5 miler, I realise I wasn't very nice to Ms. Winters and would like to apologise for calling her a tramp. She's not a tramp, I am sure. I stand by what else I wrote.

As for the toilet talk she made reference to, I suggest they change their group's denomination if they want the jokes to end, although I personally believe the name is amazingly appropriate.

Bryan

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 7:42 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] The Lion is About to Roar

Bryan Writes:

If I ever said anything nice about Diana, I would like to use this opportunity to take it back. The lady is obviously a tramp

To which Mike responds:

Dude, thats harsh man. :-O

I think Christine is quite a a lady though (hey weren't we talking about some kind of "ladies" recently?). So if your accusation is true, we could have quite a different version of The "Lady and the Tramp" story starting to unfold...

Truth and Love

Mike

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 8:26 am
Subject: Lady Is a Tramp

At 17:03 11.02.2004, Bryan wrote:

I shouldn't write before running, I'm afraid, since I am usually not at my best behaviour. After a wonderful 5 miler, I realise I wasn't very nice to Ms. Winters and would like to apologise for calling her a tramp. She's not a tramp, I am sure. I stand by what else I wrote.

As for the toilet talk she made reference to, I suggest they change their group's denomination if they want the jokes to end, although I personally believe the name is amazingly appropriate.

Bryan

b m wrote:

There's something so utterly pathetic in not having anybody to argue with in your own WC that you have to get messages from other lists to comment on. This goes to show how poorly frequented and desperate for ideas the WC has become. As for Diana, it proves that the only way she can come across as having made a point is by making sure the message's author is not around to rebute her silly smartass remarks. How sorry. It shows lack of guts and character. If I ever said anything nice about Diana, I would like to use this opportunity to take it back. The lady is obviously a tramp.

Uncle Taz museth:

Well now, the context at hand makes the apology understandable, and I applaud you for it. But if it were only the statement alone, "The lady is obviously a tramp," it might have been the greatest compliment any lady could possibly receive - especially if it came from an anarchosophist.

Let me explain: I love the legacy of Frank Sinatra, Chairman of the Board, Jilly, the crooner of crooners, one of the extremely rare saloon singers (besides Tony Bennett), and a nice movie actor too. The man who made his own rules and lived by them. The honest outlaw who *never lied*. The guy who took a firm stand against racism when it really counted and was included on McCarthy's list of suspects because of it. And if you ask me for a favorite Sinatra song, "Lady Is a Tramp" is a clear winner. Why? Not just because the tune and the song is so dynamite, but the lyrics are so anarchist! This lady is a tramp because she refuses to kiss ass; she is too honest to sell her integrity to anyone. She'd rather be broke and free:

Lady Is a Tramp

She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight
She loves the theater, but doesn't come late
She'd never bother, with people she'd hate
That's why the lady is a tramp

Doesn't like crap games, with barons and earls
Won't go to harlem, in ermine and pearls
Won't dish the dirt, with the rest of those girls
That's why the lady is a tramp

She loves the free, fresh wind in her hair
Life without care
She's broke, but it's o'k
She hates california, it's cold and it's damp
That's why the lady is a tramp

Doesn't like dice games, with sharpies and frauds
Won't go to harlem, in lincolns or fords
Won't dish the dirt, with the rest of those broads
That's why the lady is a tramp

Writer(s): rodgers/hart

In other words, if Diana is THAT kind of a tramp, she's truly a lady I have underestimated.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: b m
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:33 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Lady Is a Tramp

Running is just another path to the Truth, I am convinced. Impossible not to face your limits and limitations while doing it, it humbles me more than anything else, every time. I will add another piece of truth here, a result of the natural soul searching that occurs whilst putting one foot after the other at a fast pace: Diana broke my heart when she left this list. It was like she was admitting defeat, after fighting so valiantly. I admired her fighting and her leaving kept me wondering if she wasn't, after all, the smart, brave lady she seemed to be. But, I was only wondering until now. She went on to "dish the dirt, with the rest of those girls" in the WC and now I'm not wondering anymore. I feel betrayed. She is not a Sinatra's tramp, and that's sad.

Bryan

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From: holderlin66
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:57 am
Subject: Re: The Lion is About to Roar--Dang!

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Linda Clemens wrote:

Well Linda, if Christine is not in the mood to laugh or to look at Paulina's magnificent research, I loved both. This, this wonderful piece of work has be rolling on the carpet.. My dog doesn't give me much room, besides he seems to be staring at me rather funny as I howl.

Monty-Pythoned up but only just a bit, they look something like this:

"Hello. Rudolf Steiner was a fake, a flake, a flack and a fluke. Waldorf is a parochial school for Anthroposophy, an illegitimate religion based on fakery, flakery, flackery and flukery. You're either a fake, flake, flack, fluke OR you have been brainwashed into believing fakery, flakery, flackery, flukery isn't employed to torture children. Waldorf f's are sadists who abuse children in an endless
variety of ways! If you can't admit this, then you're duped!"

Bradford concludes;

This was simply great!

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From: golden3000997
Date: Thu Feb 12, 2004 5:24 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Waldorf Concerns

Hello Walden,

I am going to try to paste in my reply from a Word Document. I don't know if I will be able to send it with the formatting intact. If this doesn't work, I can try again to do it a different way.

Subj: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Lion is About to Roar
Date: 2/11/2004 2:39:54 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: walden
Reply-to: waldorf-critics@topica.com
To: waldorf-critics@topica.com

Christine wrote:

What else would you like to know about what I think? Just ask me - but don't take anyone else's word for it!

OK. We seem to be on the same page regarding Waldorf and the public purse. Waldorf schools should not be public - do I have that right?

Yes, I agree with this statement.

There also seems to be agreement that parents (in private Waldorf schools) should be made fully aware of the spiritual nature of Waldorf education. Do I have that right? I think we might have more in common than we realize.

Yes, I agree with this statement.

I am curious, Christine. Why do you think there are so many Waldorf Critics (as opposed to Montessori critics, Sudbury Valley critics, etc.)? Why is there a Waldorf Survivors support group (most of whom do not post here) and what really lies at the root of this problem? When our family finally pulled out of the school, I had two phone calls in the same week from ex-Waldorf parents expressing their support because we had "left the cult." Their words, not mine. Some weeks later I bumped into another ex-Waldorf mom who I barely knew. She asked if we were still at the Waldorf school. I told her we had left and she then said she believes Waldorf is "like a cult." This scene has repeated itself after those first few weeks. These people had no knowledge of PLANS and have no interest in on-line discussions. And then there is the Internet....

This is a rhetoric "why" question, regarding other school systems. There may be critics of those other schools. This is not in my personal experience database. I understand that there are reasons why your family and other families have chosen to leave Waldorf Schools.

Christine - in the spirit of reaching common ground I urge you to imagine you are the parent of a 3 year old and you have very real concerns about her future education. You do not want your special little toddler bumping into a coke machine at school, nor do you want her tested or forced to be around computers or televisions at an early age. Your family eats mainly organic veggie food and you are not part of what you consider a society gone mad with consumerism, materialism and other "isms" to horrid to contemplate. You are VERY concerned about finding the right school for your child - a place that might reflect at least a few of your own values. Imagine your relief when you learn about... Waldorf education! You poke around the Internet and visit a local Waldorf school and you cannot believe how lucky you and your daughter are to have found a community of like-minded people.

An oasis peace in a desert of chaos.

The information given you by those who promote Waldorf education points to an arts based education with no tests and plenty of nature - from food to play. You ask about the founder - a Dr. Rudolf Steiner - and are told over and over and over (check web sites and/or ask at Waldorf schools) that the founder was a "scientist, educator, philosopher, artist, thinker..." You ask about this new word - Anthroposophy - and you are told it simply means "wisdom of Man." You have never heard of "Eurythmy" and are told it is a form of dance or movement. (2) You are told the children make their own "main lesson" books and you are given an outline of a typical day in the school. For many parents it seems too good to be true.

All of the above points of your personal introduction to a Waldorf School sound true to me so far. Question - since your child was so young, you must have walked into the Kindergarten. Did you or did you not see a picture of Raphael's "Sistine Madonna" on the wall? If not, then I have an issue with that particular school. If you did, then did you ask any questions about it? If you did, what kind of answer did you get? If you didn't, then why not?

As time unfolds you try so very hard to accept those parts of the education you were unaware of at the start. Nobody ever mentioned a morning "verse" which is obviously more like a "prayer" and you start to feel uneasy that your child must recite this prayer every day. (1) You start to hear the word "soul" and "karma" at various meetings and around the school. You begin hearing about "reincarnation" and words like "impulse" keep popping up and all the while the name of "Steiner" can be heard - Steiner quotes open virtually every meeting and his "indications" are mentioned on several occasions. You wonder about Eurythmy as your child does not enjoy this "form of dance or movement" and many other parents have concerns about the nature of this exercise but you do not want to show disrespect - especially because you are reminded time and time again that the wonderful teachers put in so many hours and are underpaid (I agree with this observation, btw).

Morning verses and eurythmy are observable very quickly in any Waldorf school experience (assuming a particular school is lucky enough to have a Eurythmist on its faculty and be able to provide Eurythmy.) Why "over time"? Also, if your child was three when you put him or her in the school, I don't think they could have been doing very extensive "Eurythmy" with him or her. I would have to ask what exactly was being taught and why your child "didn't enjoy it."

One day you realize that what you were lead to believe about Waldorf education and what your experience (and that of your child) has been ... are very different, indeed. During your time looking into these schools (when your child was 3 years old) there was nothing about karma, reincarnation, soul work, occultism, etc. Yet, these concepts form the foundation of the "impulse."

1. I used to have lots of discussions with parents (from widely different backgrounds) about subjects like karma and reincarnation. These conversations usually were initiated by the parent asking general or specific questions. I always gave answers that were honest and open to the best of my ability.
2. If you are implying that concepts such as karma, reincarnation, soul work and occultism are discussed with the children at a young age, then I would disagree. One example would be our birthday story (with several variations) that
we use when celebrating birthdays in class. First, I always had at least one parent come in for the whole morning to participate and I have photographs to prove this. Two, the birthday story is about a little angel who is brought down to earth to particular parents because they see them from "Heaven" and love them. The story ends with the Guardian Angel kissing them in their cradle and making them forget their journey down, while keeping their memories safe for them and standing by to guard and guide them through their life on earth. This story is told as a story, not as a catechism. It pre-supposes a pre-natal existence, which is a belief that we generally subscribe to. In my article posted at Anthroposophy Tomorrow, "Religion in the Waldorf Schools," I use William Wordsworth extensively, both his poem "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality" and his writing about that poem as an illustration outside of Rudolf Steiner's writings of the existence of this belief in pre-natal existence or at least it's consideration. Yes, this pre-supposition does set Waldorf schools apart from any other schools that I am personally aware of. I do not believe, based on my personal experience that we attempt to hide or disguise this belief in any way. On the contrary, with the kinds of artwork and stories that we readily share with parents, we tend to me more concerned that we don't overdo the information and make it seem like proselytizing (to the parents). We generally do not discuss these issues direct with children, but we allow room for them to make their own observations, which I have heard them do many times among themselves.

Rudolf Steiner and anthroposophy mean one thing when reading about Waldorf education and a completely different thing to anthroposophists.

All Waldorf Teachers are not, by definition "Anthroposophists" although there must be some degree of agreement with many basic ideas of anthroposophy (for example, the idea of pre-natal existence as described above) in order for a person to choose to become a Waldorf Teacher in the first place. There is certainly room for a wide variety of interpretations of many of these basic ideas, however.

A couple of years ago I looked at Waldorf school web sites - starting at those beginning with the letter "A." I used the first 11 schools and saw a clear pattern:

Incredibly, at each school web site there was no mention of Rudolf Steiner's connection or belief in Occultism, reincarnation, karma or soul work. In short virtually everything Steiner believed in and worked from and towards with regards to Anthroposophy and Waldorf Education - the essence of the man - is missing from these sites. Instead, from the sum of eleven Waldorf School web sites, we are told that Rudolf Steiner was a - teacher (mentioned 1 time), an architect (1), thinker (1), scholar (1), educator (5), artist (6) and a scientist (7).

Are you saying categorically that Rudolf Steiner was NOT
a. a teacher
b. a thinker
c. a scholar
d. an educator
e. an artist
f. a scientist

Because if you are saying that he was not any one of these things, you are factually wrong.

This misrepresentation of Rudolf Steiner and his work seems to be at the root of the Waldorf communication problem. We find a much more accurate portrait of Rudolf Steiner at other sites on the Internet.

Only a few Anthroposophy sites are needed to find a completely different description of the same man.

From the Anthroposophical Society of America:

"Rudolf Steiner was born in Austria, and grew up with the clairvoyant certainty of a spiritual world . . . Rudolf Steiner shared the results of his spiritual research in 40 books, and in 6,000 lectures (approx.) now available in 300 volumes. He is increasingly recognized as a seminal thinker of the 20th century and one of humanity's great spiritual teachers."

How is this description different from the statements above?

From the Rudolf Steiner Archives:

"Foremost amongst his discoveries was his direct experience of the reality of the Christ, which soon took a central place in his whole teaching."

From the Rudolf Steiner College...

"Fundamental to all of his work is the view that the human being is composed of body, soul and spirit, and that the Christ event is key to the unfolding of human history and the achievement of human freedom." From the Anthroposophical Society, Dornach, Switzerland...

"Born in Austria, Steiner was the leading esoteric researcher of the twentieth century, ground-breaking in the realms of the nature of the human being, karma research, spiritual cosmology, and the occult research into Christianity and European cultural history."

From the Anthroposophical Society in Florida...

"Steiner (to the first Waldorf teachers) 'we shall only be able to achieve our task if we see it as not only to do with the intellect and feeling-life, but with the sphere of the moral and spiritual in the highest sense.' The task was the following: to help the soul-and-spirit being of the child, which has at birth descended to earth from a pre-earthly existence, to find its place in the physical world and to make it competent for life . . .
Rudolf Steiner shows how the developing human being on the long and arduous path into the physical world passes through a series of clearly defined stages, which make definite inner and outer demands. Both the curriculum and the methods of teaching of the new school, as he now described them, were designed to meet these demands as well as possible through the right pedagogical measures . . . This was Waldorf pedagogy. The campaign for a new social order had been especially well received in the big Waldorf Astoria cigarette-factory at Stuttgart."

And then there is Eugene Schwartz who tells that about the religious nature of Waldorf Education, etc.
http://www.waldorfcritics.org/active/articles/schwartz.html

His description, based on my experience and that of many other parents, is much more accurate than that given us by Waldorf public relations.

Are you saying that in your opinion, if Rudolf Steiner's work concerns itself with anything religious or spiritual, he cannot by definition be:

a. a teacher
b. a thinker
c. a scholar
d. an educator
e. an artist
f. a scientist ?

I find nothing contradictory in any of the passages cited above, or anything in them that Waldorf Schools try to hide from prospective or current parents in any way. As I said before, I have always experienced a concern that we were "overdoing" the information in the sense that we might be too enthusiastic in the amount of info we were offering.

Christine, I disagree with you when you say, "There is no place for "us" (WE & Anthros) to move to to "avoid" this particular group of people that we disagree with about educational principles and practices and who we might find laughable. The slurs and defamations reach world wide through the internet and will follow us anywhere and eat at the worldwide system like a virus."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/1834

I gave many lectures when I was a teacher and I have letters to prove this. I always took Rudolf Steiner and his basic ideas (especially pre-natal existence and Threefold Man) as my starting point. Much, though not all, of what I spoke with parents and public about is in the articles posted at Anthroposophy Tomorrow. There is lots more that I simply haven't gotten written yet. I have also heard many other Waldorf Teachers lecture to their school parents and public on all related subjects. I also know that not all of the parents in the school took time to come to those lectures or to read the recommended books.

I also believe that we have a perfect right to establish Waldorf schools and to openly state and apply certain "spiritual" beliefs about the nature of the human being as a spiritual being in those schools. However I agree (and have stated this agreement before) that:
a. Waldorf Schools should remain private schools
b. Waldorf Schools and educators should be honest and forthcoming about the basic ideas behind Waldorf Education principles and practices
c. It should be recognized by the public at large that there is no "church" or other religious organization to join and therefore, no attempt is being made to recruit either parents or children to such an organization. We honor fully the many and diverse belief systems of the parents and children who come to our schools within the parameters that I define in my article "Religion in the Waldorf Schools" namely, the adherence of any particular parent to the level of atheism or fundamental religion of any kind that would prevent them from being able to honor and respect the diverse religious backgrounds of the rest of
the school population and the diversity of religious history that is contained in our eight year class curriculum.

When those who are involved with and promote Waldorf education take it upon themselves to share the essence of their philosophy/religion/beliefs and stop pretending to be everything to everyone, your so-called "virus," I suspect, will fade into history.

You state: "What else would you like to know about what I think?"

I would like to know what you think about what I have written above.

Thanks.

-Walden

(1) "We will also talk about a prayer. But there is just one thing I should like to ask you. You know, with these things the outer form is of the utmost importance. Never call the verse a 'prayer' but a 'school opening verse'. Do see to it that people do not hear the expression 'prayer' used by a teacher. This will go a long way towards overcoming the prejudice that this is an anthroposophical school."
Steiner, Rudolf. Conferences with the Teachers of the Waldorf School in Stuttgart 1919 to 1920: Volume One: The First and Second Years of the Waldorf School, Stuttgart. (1920) Forest Row, U.K.: Steiner Schools Fellowship Publications, 1986, p. 45

I have never used the morning verse as a "prayer". Prayer and meditation are, to my understanding, inner activities and the reciting of such in a group is a different activity. A longer discussion would be needed to fully explore this difference.

(2) "If we work creatively out of knowledge such as the spiritual science of Anthroposophy, in which the direct object is to gain knowledge about the spiritual world and to receive this spiritual world into ideas and thoughts, into feelings, perceptions and the will, then we shall prepare the right soil for an art which will be a sort of synthesis of experiences before birth and after death. (...)
The limbs are the part of the human body which more than any other part passes over into the life of the next incarnation. They are the part that points to the future, to what comes after death. But how do we form the movement of the limbs in eurythmy? In the realm of the senses and in the supersensible realm we study how the larynx and all the organs connected with speech have brought over from the previous life and formed through the intellectual capacities of the head and through the feeling capacity of the breast. We link directly that which precedes birth with that which follows death. From earthly life we take in a certain sense only the physical material, the human being himself, who is the tool, the instrument for eurythmy. But we allow him to make manifest what we study inwardly, what is already prepared in him as a result of previous lives; this is transferred to his limbs, which are the part of him in which life after death is being shaped in advance. In eurythmy we present in the form and movement of the human organism a direct external proof of man's share in the life of the supersensible world. In causing people to do eurythmy we link them directly with the supersensible world"

Steiner, Rudolf. Art in the Light of Mystery Wisdom. Lectures from various dates and cities. Trans. Gandell and H.B.M. Anthroposophic Press, 1935. First English Edition.

This discussion of eurthmy also requires a much longer discussion than I can begin here at this time.

Christine Natale

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

From: golden3000997
Date: Thu Feb 12, 2004 6:38 pm
Subject: Re: Waldorf Concerns

In a message dated 2/12/2004 5:01:34 PM Eastern Standard Time, feetapparel writes:

but I am very uncomfortable with the notion of Steiner as scientist. As far as I can tell his academic qualifications were in philosophy not science, he never worked as a scientist (eg in any sort of laboratory), he published nothing in the standard scientific literature (no peer reviewed publications in Nature or Physical Review or ...), no book or lecture has been taken up by the scientific community as a contribution to science.

There is a wondeful Greek movie made in 1960 called "Never on Sunday." An American man named Homer comes to (what was in 1960) modern day Greece with his mind set on discovering the "true Greece" - the fantasies that lived powerfully in his soul through extensive study of ancient Greek drama. This man is a true intellectual. He is certain that the remnants of the glory of Ancient Greece must somehow still be alive in the people of modern Greece, although buried under their modern facades. He meets Ilya, a beautiful and independent prostitute who enjoys her work close to the harbor of Piraeus, but won't allow herself to be controlled by any man.

Homer decides to "reform" Ilya by teaching her all about the glories of Ancient Greece and its drama. He tries to convince her to give up her joy in life for more serious ideals. One night, he is in a taverna with Ilya, listening to bouzouki music and to Ilya singing and entertaining. At one point, he becomes jealous of some of her admirers' attention and a fight breaks out. Homer loudly berates everyone around him for not being "Greek" enough, even though he is the only one among them who is not Greek. At one point, he turns to the bouzouki player and yells, "Look at him - he isn't even a REAL musician! He can't even read music!" At this the bouzouki player locks himself in the bathroom and refuses to come out and play, because he is no longer a "real" musician. No one can cajole or threaten him to come out. Finally, Ilya whispers through the door, "Niko, what about he birds? What about the birds, Niko? Can birds read music?"

The bouzouki player comes out and goes back to the joy of his playing. Everyone else goes back to the joy of their living. Everyone except Homer.

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Fri Feb 13, 2004 10:01 am
Subject: Re: Waldorf Concerns

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, golden3000997 wrote:

At one point, he becomes jealous of some of her admirers' attention and a fight breaks out. Homer loudly berates everyone around him for not being "Greek" enough, even though he is the only one among them who is not Greek. At one point, he turns to the bouzouki player and yells, "Look at him - he isn't even a REAL musician! He can't even read music!" At this the bouzouki player locks himself in the bathroom and refuses to come out and play, because he is no longer a "real" musician. No one can cajole or threaten him to come out. Finally, Ilya whispers through the door, "Niko, what about he birds? What about the birds, Niko? Can birds read music?"

The bouzouki player comes out and goes back to the joy of his playing. Everyone else goes back to the joy of their living. Everyone except Homer.

Bradford says, bulls eye baby!

Christine et all, while Harvey and I appreciate the wealth of research we are getting out of all of this, it is the ability to see with the imagination that Christine just demonstrated so well that is lacking in some snobby, intellectual quarters.

It is the fear of seeing with the heart that scares the crap out of so many souls. Seeing with the heart, learning of the invisible symptomology, that we SEE, that cannot be weighed and is as light as Angel air, but as solid as a thought scares the crap out souls. like Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778) we have to extend our insights into etheric and elemental worlds where new categories and lexicons of insights can be gathered that place sentient soul - intellectual soul - consciousness soul and differences between etheric and astral data on par with early advances of science, that scares the crap out of people.

Here stood before us a True Homer. A real Greek. A being who had swam up stream in time, and didn't land in some past dry lake bed of deserted perception, of what is Greek. Phidias was Goethe and Steiner was Aristotle and you know what, the ahrimanized intellect loves to fight on deserted, dry and barren plains of depleted intellect.

Here before us, Tarjei and Jo Ann and Frank and those who understand these things, was living Pauline Aristoteleanism, bringing water to dried up sciences. Certainly depleted urnaium and depleted, dried out husks of intellect deserve the same fate... They poison everybody and everything they touch. Homer in this case was as wise as Leo Strauss. But forgive us Oh Lord our ability, as Christine, Linda, Paulina and Daniel have done - sometimes Joel - to show how magnificent is the science that is clearer to us than the tinted nonsense and stunted eyes of soul that some critics must maintain to see.

It is not that Steiner can't take care of himself, it is the dignity of the entire development and the Courage of the heart in the qualified members of the Michael School who carry on the reality of lifting Michael Intelligence that is worthy fighting for.

Thanks you, you A- typical bad ass Leo! As they said to Ripley in "Alien" 'ease back, ease down, you broke the trans axel, your running on metal girl friend'

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