Seeking the Truth

 

From: Joel Wendt
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 3:24 pm
Subject: seeking the truth, was: understanding rabid denial

Dear JoAnn,

I was there, but have little concrete memory of the discussion other than the fact that someone (who apparently was Malcolm) was willing to disagree, but not willing to stand behind this disagreement strongly enough to offer this material to be published on my website along side Catherine's article. As to whether he proved anything or not, my memory is of not being satisfied with what was said, and that the main reason I was not satisfied was what I would call the "quoting out of context" syndrome, by which a critic takes a small part of the meaning of a writing, restates it, and then argues against the out of context restatement.

Catherine's essay had a number of issues, and again, if memory serves, Malcolm had a rather narrow focus (as did Targei), such that the most essential questions (regardless of Catherine's version of the answer) get lost in the noise.

Also, if memory serves, the discussion took place in a forum where Catherine did not participate, which basically means the author's "defense" to the criticism remains unavailable.

Are there public archives, or do you have this discussion archived? I'd be glad to revisit the matter.

As a simple point of logic, however, whether Malcolm succeeded or not has nothing whatsoever to do with Targei's or Andrea's remarks. Nor, by the way, with the underlying basic question of whether we treat Steiner's product in the way he wanted it treated, or do we give it an authoritative weight that effectively lames our own development as independent and spiritually free thinkers.

Also I am not saying Catherine is unaccountable, only that if someone wants to call her to account (as with Steiner) they should have their facts straight and their emotions and antipathies well disciplined. Please keep in mind I have not defended her (something I couldn't do in any event), but rather have simply asked that we honor the effort and the work the essay represents as a whole, for to my view (for whatever value one wishes to give to it) the underlying problems, of "authority" and our own spiritual freedom, are far more important than trivial remarks that take much offense at those who see a human being in Steiner instead of some remote and unreachable Master of the Spiritual Cosmos.

For example, after over 25 years of meeting those who style themselves as "anthroposophists", I am still saddened by the "worship" of Steiner's lectures, and the related failure to understand one's own soul life sufficiently (via the practicum of the epistemology) to appreciate why the mere reading a text does not lead to knowledge, but only to belief.

I was dismayed many years ago when this became clear to me, and I remain convinced that of all the troubles that exist today with bringing Steiner's legacy forward, this (in the paragraph immediately above) is the dominant (or leading) cause of problems in the Society and in the Movements. This is why the WCList sees us as mere believers instead of as "scientists", and this is why when parents in Waldorf have questions of meaning, they receive such clearly poor answers. Too many teachers are true believers, and don't know their own soul life well enough to appreciate the social consequences to which this lack of rigor and discipline necessarily leads.

Steiner did not foster a "belief system", but rather a path of knowledge. Only as knowledge can Anthroposophy participate in the transformation of scientific materialism, and then participate in healing the effects of the resulting social Darwinism. As a belief system anthroposophy is completely impotent before the Opposition, and useless to the Hierarchies of Light.

As Harvey wrote privately to me recently, we each have to pull our sword out of the rock, before we can wield it.

j.

On Tue, 2004-02-10 at 12:41, Jo Ann Schwartz wrote:

--- Joel Wendt wrote:

Oh come off it Targei. The question is not the words, but what Steiner did. The question is not what Catherine wrote, but what Steiner did. Catherine says he mistreated a woman in his remarks about her in his lectures. This is a question of fact - did he or did he not.

All I have done is have the essay on my website, for which act you berate me. You don't know what he said in those lectures. When you care to quote what he said (which is the real factual issue), then we can talk about whether Catherine was a gossip or not. Your asserting it does not make it so.

Dear Joel,

So, Rudolf Steiner can be held accountable for what he said in a lecture but Catherine MacCoun can NOT be held accountable for what she said in an essay?

I believe you were not only present for, but also participated in, the extensive discussion of this subject on Anthroposophical Views in 1999 during which Malcolm Ian Gardner showed that Catherine's interpretation of events was incorrect, complete with extensive quotes from the relevant lectures, which had (at that time) only recently appeared in English. If quoting from the lectures did not convince you then, why should one believe that quoting from the lectures will convince you now?

Musing on just the facts, ma'am, just the facts,

JoAnn
--
Joel Wendt

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From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Feb 10, 2004 4:07 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth

In a message dated 2/10/2004 6:31:38 PM Eastern Standard Time, hermit writes:

For example, after over 25 years of meeting those who style themselves as "anthroposophists", I am still saddened by the "worship" of Steiner's lectures, and the related failure to understand one's own soul life sufficiently (via the practicum of the epistemology) to appreciate why the mere reading a text does not lead to knowledge, but only to belief.

I was dismayed many years ago when this became clear to me, and I remain convinced that of all the troubles that exist today with bringing Steiner's legacy forward, this (in the paragraph immediately above) is the dominant (or leading) cause of problems in the Society and in the Movements. This is why the WCList sees us as mere believers instead of as "scientists", and this is why when parents in Waldorf have questions of meaning, they receive such clearly poor answers. Too many teachers are true believers, and don't know their own soul life well enough to appreciate the social consequences to which this lack of rigor and discipline necessarily leads.

Joel, have you read some of the stuff that I have been writing in response to "questions" whether veiled attacks or not?? I am certainly trying to make an effort to respond to our critics "in kind" and I am certain that most questions can be very well answered as such. Daniel has done a great job also, as have others. As I said recently, it can be difficult for those "in the field" to take the time to do the research necessary to field some tough questions, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they haven't put much thought into what they are doing - it just takes time and focus to formulate good answers and sometimes it is wise not to attempt to answer certain questions if one hasn't the time and resources to do it well. Partial or unsupported answers can cause more trouble than no answer at all.

Again, I say, as I said to the WC, that I deeply resent the widespread labeling of Waldorf Teachers as "believers" or unquestioning followers of hearsay. I haven't known anyone like that personally and if there are such, I am quite certain they are exceptions rather than the rule.

Since the work of Rudolf Steiner is so wide and varied, sometimes one has to save the "deep delving" for a particular niche that one is working in and sometimes give agreement to other fields simply on the strength of the fact that what you have learned for yourself so far would give credence to the idea that he has given objective value in other areas. I am not a Eurythmist, but I don't have to take the four year course to have experienced something of value in it or to have a basic understanding of its principles and potential as an art form.

Every Waldorf teacher may not be able to give you a detailed explanation of sensitive crystallization, but that doesn't mean he or she doesn't know VOLUMES about fairy tales or the Middle Ages. And it doesn't mean that he or she won't know volumes about Organic Chemistry when the time comes to teach it.

I still hear in the above excerpt from your e-mail the quality of judgement that allows you to believe that you know who does and who does not understand Steiner via "...the related failure to understand one's own soul life sufficiently..."

If you want to give specific examples of things that people have said or done (respecfully, given that those people may not be present in the discussion) that show a lack of understanding of some information that Rudolf Steiner has presented and discuss why such statements or even behaviour contradicts his writings or lectures, then fine. But blanket generalizations like the one you have given us are egotistical in the extreme. Rudolf Steiner himself would NEVER have said "that person does not agree with me because he or she does not understand his or her own soul life sufficiently." Or even worse, "that person agrees with me ONLY becaus he or she does not understand his or her own soul life sufficiently." What he might have said and did say in other contexts was something like," I can understand why this person (always specific references) says (or said) or does (or did) thus and so, because certain impulses (always specific references) are very observable as being a part of his or her soul nature." These kinds of statement, examples of which can be most clearly found in the Karmic Relationships lectures, are not given as judgements of those individuals, but only to assist those listening to develop their own capacities for objective observation, mostly of themselves. To begin to be able to discern patterns of behavior, ideas and "soul capacities" and to be able to approach human biography with even greater compassion and openness, not because of some wishy-washy lovey dovey feeling, but because everything in human history and the development of mankind as a whole MAKES SENSE - it begins to fit, to weave discernable patterns. And being able to begin to recognize those patterns with clear, everyday powers of thought helps the individual to begin to see the threads which weave in and out of his or her life more clearly.

Thank goodness that Steiner never spoke with the kind of judgmentalism that you frequently do. I would certainly be an avid member of an Anthro-Critics group if he had.

Christine

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From: Joel Wendt
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 9:45 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth

Dear Christina,

I can fully understand your point of view. It would help if you could understand mine.

There is nothing judgmental about it, I am simply stating observable facts.

Many anthroposophists do not take the admonition to "know thyself" to heart. To a large degree this is understandable because it is seldom taught. What is mostly taught is the acquisition of a degree of skill using the material in the lectures and books - one reads and then creates mental representations, which become an aspect of memory. As memory, in its widest sense, these mental representations become part of our world view - we look at something and our inner activity is a gesture that calls forth the relevant mental representation from memory.

This act of calling forth a self created mental representation (based upon the reading of a text) from memory is not "thinking", but "remembering". Nor is such a mental representation an accurate reflection of the spiritual reality - it only "represents", that is "stands in for" the text. Steiner gives lectures, thereby creating various imaginations, and we read and create mental representations. The Steiner created imaginations are not spiritual reality (at best they are accurate maps), and the self created mental representations are a further dilution (a map of a map) of what originally lived in the imaginations created by the spiritual researcher.

It is possible to give rather remarkable lectures based upon the manipulation of memory pictures of self created mental representations, which are then to the listener of these lectures a further dilution (a new map created out of parts of maps of maps). All the same, each dilution draws further and further away from spiritual reality, and becomes, to the I-am of the listener, not knowledge but an elaborate system of beliefs. This is frequently what we get when we listen to a "wonderful" lecture by a leading anthroposophist - a beautiful map of maps of maps.

The healing counter to this getting lost in maps of maps of maps lies in the fact that we do frequently confront reality, whether in sense experience or in self observation. A Waldorf teacher is faced with students, a parent with children, a doctor with patients, and a farmer with the land and sky and all the various forms of life.

The question is what goes on in the consciousness of someone who reads Steiner books, when they confront reality. Do they "think", or do they live in the memories of mental representations. Because "thinking" is not well taught (you have to understand it to teach it), and playing with maps of maps of maps is more frequently taught, conscious "thinkers" develop a "sense" for the difference as that appears in speaking and writing.

A person living in mental representations has a certain kind of blindness, and also other characteristics that mark them in their speaking and writing. Many people do both - that is they sometimes think and somethings live in their beliefs. Frequently, however, their thinking remains semi-conscious, and this as well appears in the phenomena of their speaking and writing, usually in the form of a kind of inability to distinguish the two. Once we know the difference in ourselves with clarity, the difference in others is obvious. Knowledge comes from thinking, and beliefs from memory.

There is a wonderful movie called Dogma, by Kevin Smith. In it is some dialog about the difference for religious people between a belief and an idea. When we think we have ideas, and when we live in memory we have beliefs. The film makes clear that wars are fought over beliefs (but not ideas), and one such war is going on today on the WCList, with a certain amount of leakage onto this list.

One of the main problems with mental representations that live in memory is that they arise frequently in the mind without any effort of will on our part. In fact, the more full of Steiner lectures we are, the more these somewhat independent memory pictures have a life of their own in our minds. When we read lectures over and over again, we do something akin to what makes an "obsession" - that is we reinforce through repetition the memory picture, and it grows stronger and stronger the more we do this. Steiner speaks of this problem in The Philosophy of Freedom when he describes how it is possible to become "captured by the concept". When we live strongly in a belief system (it fills our memory and from there determines our world view), the I-am is not spiritually free.

A person who is not spiritually free in this way tends to dogmatism and sectarianism. These two characteristics are widespread in the Society and the Movement. Dogmatism is characterized by a fixed view of something (only X is true), and sectarianism by a kind of social collective adhesion (us vs. them).

The potential for this spiritual freedom is something new for humanity. It is not surprising then that the Society and Movement have had such a hard time manifesting it. For the I-am to learn to free itself inwardly from the socially reinforced mental habit of clinging to mental representations lodged in memory is not easy. This is the sword in the stone problem. Our thinking, our sword, is lodged in the stone of fixed views held in the memory matrix.

To the extent that the stone has been created out of maps of maps of maps derived from Steiner lectures, this has the effect of killing the legacy of Steiner, which really only can live when we pull the sword out of the stone and learn how to use it ourselves in the vast and remarkable world that lies within. Only after learning how to use it there (use the sword to reduce to a compost of sawdust the beam in our own eye), have we any business offering as a service to others to help with their mote.

In 1933, or thereabouts, the Society and Movement felt the presence of a remarkably gifted individual, who they rejected (Valentin Tomberg). Since then other remarkable individuals have appeared in the Movement and Society, and it is clear that real talent of this nature does not rise to the top (as it should), witness the current Vorstand.

In the main this rejection of gift is due to the fixed adherence to certain views. Mind compares what the gifted person is offering, and since this doesn't match with the "belief", it is impossible for the offering to be received. [by the way I am using the term "gift" here to refer to talent created in a particular I-am by the Divine itself] Thus the Society and Movement suffer from a kind of sclerotic dysfunction (the beliefs become "hardened" over time).

One of the characteristics of "thinking" is its feminine aspect, its "receptivity". It lays itself open to receive, and sacrifices its own fixed nature constantly in order that "life" may flow toward it. It is what we don't know (by an act of will) that lets us learn.

For the last decade of the 20th Century, various gifts were gently knocking on the door of the Movement, minds in which the sword had been removed from the stone. But these minds, open to life, with its fluidic and flame-like nature, could only be rejected because the Steiner lecture-obsessed minds within the Society and Movement lacked any receptive ability.

What this means is that at the moment - at the beginning of the 21st Century - the legacy of Steiner cannot be carried within the Movement or Society, but only outside of it, in other kinds of activities. Spirit goes where it wills, and where it can be received. It does not reside in books, in memory, or in the worship of false idols such as "great initiates".

warm regards,
joel

--
Joel Wendt

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 12:17 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth, was: understanding rabid denial

At 00:24 11.02.2004, Joel wrote:

For example, after over 25 years of meeting those who style themselves as "anthroposophists", I am still saddened by the "worship" of Steiner's lectures, and the related failure to understand one's own soul life sufficiently (via the practicum of the epistemology) to appreciate why the mere reading a text does not lead to knowledge, but only to belief.

Regardless of how well you have understood Steiner's epistemology, the fact remains that you'll run into difficulties if you deny that your "knowledge" about life on Atlantis, or on the Moon, is based upon belief. It may have been science to Rudolf Steiner, but is it science to you?

I was dismayed many years ago when this became clear to me, and I remain convinced that of all the troubles that exist today with bringing Steiner's legacy forward, this (in the paragraph immediately above) is the dominant (or leading) cause of problems in the Society and in the Movements. This is why the WCList sees us as mere believers instead of as "scientists", and this is why when parents in Waldorf have questions of meaning, they receive such clearly poor answers.

You seem to imply that you consider yourself a scientist, and not a believer in anything. In other words, if you know something to be true that RS knew to be true, it's because you've investigated it clairvoyantly just like he did, and seen it for yourself. And the problem with the WC list is that anthroposophists like myself have admitted that belief in Steiner's honesty and truthfulness is the basis for many of our notions, and that we cannot claim on behalf of ourselves that this "knowledge" is based upon scientific affirmation, am I right?

Too many teachers are true believers, and don't know their own soul life well enough to appreciate the social consequences to which this lack of rigor and discipline necessarily leads.

I don't know if I understand you correctly, but it looks as if you see an urgent need for iconoclasm what Rudolf Steiner is concerned, for the purpose of putting an end to this lecture-worship among Waldorf teachers, into whose soul lives your insight is impressive - derived, no doubt, from scientific investigations. So in order to rescue the Anthroposophical Society from remaining stuck in the quicksand of blind faith in the unquestioned authority of Steiner, MacCoun's sado-masochism story might do some of the trick?

Steiner did not foster a "belief system", but rather a path of knowledge. Only as knowledge can Anthroposophy participate in the transformation of scientific materialism, and then participate in healing the effects of the resulting social Darwinism. As a belief system anthroposophy is completely impotent before the Opposition, and useless to the Hierarchies of Light.

Basically, RS said the same thing. But the only thing you can do about it is to stop believing and start knowing and investigating. You can't make anyone else do that. You can't control the actions, thoughts, or paths of other people, whether they call themselves anthroposophists or not.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Joel Wendt
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 3:53 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth, was: understanding rabid denial

Dear Targei,

I've made some comments below in [brackets].

warm regards,
joel

On Wed, 2004-02-11 at 13:17, Tarjei Straume wrote:

At 00:24 11.02.2004, Joel wrote:

For example, after over 25 years of meeting those who style themselves as "anthroposophists", I am still saddened by the "worship" of Steiner's lectures, and the related failure to understand one's own soul life sufficiently (via the practicum of the epistemology) to appreciate why the mere reading a text does not lead to knowledge, but only to belief.

Regardless of how well you have understood Steiner's epistemology, the fact remains that you'll run into difficulties if you deny that your "knowledge" about life on Atlantis, or on the Moon, is based upon belief. It may have been science to Rudolf Steiner, but is it science to you?

[This could start an excellent discussion. When we read a Steiner text, how to we make it our own, particularly if its contents are references to concepts for which we have no related percepts (or using the vocabulary of Theory of Knowledge, thoughts without the related experience)? Now personally I am not much interested in life on Atlantis or on the Moon (unless I wanted to read science fiction, which has far better authors than Steiner creating it).

When I first came to anthroposophy I was fascinated by all the material in the lectures, but after a time they did not scratch my particular itch, so I mostly lost interest. The epistemology was more fascinating because I could behold in my own soul, in a very immediate fashion, what was there described. But stuff about Buddha on Mars, well it was vaguely interesting, but my American Soul wanted to know what the heck I could do with the information.

Eventually, as I looked around inside the soul, I discovered the distinctions described (among many others) between thinking, belief and memory. I also noticed that a "belief" seemed something like an "object" in the soul, somewhat like the sense world as "objects" in it. So mental representations, concepts and ideas all slowly became self evident "objects" of internal observation, each connected to various kinds of my own activity - that is my will had certain effects in this inner landscape.

I also observed how "feelings" produced effects, so that liking and disliking (antipathy and sympathy), which seemed to arrive from the realm of the unconscious in the soul, lead thinking in a certain way, especially if my I-am did not actively guide it with conscious will. I also learned to distinguish different kinds of "feelings", for example "emotions", which might be said to be instinctive (fear, anger), and moods of soul (reverence), which could be "cultivated", that is "willed".

At a certain point what St. Paul writes about in I Corinthians 13 about charity, faith and hope began to light up inside me, because these were clearly "cultivatable" feelings (moods of soul), and when cultivated had an effect upon the qualitative nature of mental representations, concepts and ideas.

But more powerful than all that was "moral intention", wherein Steiner's discussion in PoF about freedom, moral imagination, and the freely chosen duty began to appear in my soul as experiences. A thought content could then be observed to be clearly the product (in its qualitative nature) of my cultivated moral intention. Later I began to distinguish, as regards the activity of will here, a difference between intention and attention - the former being self chosen purpose and the latter the willed focus upon the object about which I "thought" (mostly in my case this involved attempts to create a Goetheanistic social science).

All of this learning was over time turned again to the question of the lectures of Steiner. Now that I had some practical experience in mastery of the soul, what does it mean to read a text? Out of this understanding, which had taken many years to appreciate, I wrote my essay on the epistemological swampland of the anthroposophical movement.

In the latter part of that essay I discussed how this problem worked itself out in practice in teachers, doctors and so forth. Here is what I wrote:

"Addendum: It may occur to the reader to wonder what do Waldorf teachers, or anthroposophical doctors do, for example, who study anthroposophy and make use of the many indications that Steiner has given. What is the nature of their knowledge?

"Again, it depends upon the individual soul relationship to the concepts, the degree to which that individual soul is awake inwardly, and the nature of that soul's practice of epistemological discipline. In both the above cases, as well as other callings of a like nature, the soul can make a clear distinction between what Steiner has directed it to pay attention to and the actual phenomena of experience.

"For example, the doctor is encouraged to see behind the various degrees of health and illness, which each patient brings to him or her, the activity of the subtle bodies, i.e., the etheric, the astral and the warmth or ego body. The experience generated by treating the patients with these ideas in mind creates the constant possibility of confirming the given indications. The same is true of the teacher, who will see, in the phenomena presented by the children, evidence confirming all that material about development and so forth which has been previously studied. As well, each discipline is directed to be awake to the intuitions formed inwardly in response to these sense phenomena; intuitions which are themselves an inward experience-phenomena, towards which one can have an objective and free relationship (i.e. philosophically disciplined).

"This is also true for those of us who do not answer a professional anthroposophical calling. We know children, we follow the health and illness cycles within ourselves and within our families, and there is no reason not to make practical use of all the indications Steiner has provided over the many years of his life's work. But to do this in a truly anthroposophical way, we need to be awake to what is knowledge, and what, in reality, is an act of faith.

"An act of faith is not a bad thing. All that Spiritual Science really calls for is for us to know the difference between the two and when we act on the basis of one, and not the other.

"Science orients itself in the world through the application of doubt, even Spiritual Science. Science says, this is what I know objectively, and this is how I came to know it. Religion orients itself in the world through the application of faith. "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." John 20:29.

"The healthy soul can (and should) contain both impulses, and be awake to and know the differences. They are not a contradiction, but rather complete and compliment each other. In fact, we could say that the art (imaginative core) of soul life is to integrate and unite the impulses toward science (reason) and religion (devotion)."]

[Joel:]

I was dismayed many years ago when this became clear to me, and I remain convinced that of all the troubles that exist today with bringing Steiner's legacy forward, this (in the paragraph immediately above) is the dominant (or leading) cause of problems in the Society and in the Movements. This is why the WCList sees us as mere believers instead of as "scientists", and this is why when parents in Waldorf have questions of meaning, they receive such clearly poor answers.

[Tarjei:]

You seem to imply that you consider yourself a scientist, and not a believer in anything. In other words, if you know something to be true that RS knew to be true, it's because you've investigated it clairvoyantly just like he did, and seen it for yourself. And the problem with the WC list is that anthroposophists like myself have admitted that belief in Steiner's honesty and truthfulness is the basis for many of our notions, and that we cannot claim on behalf of ourselves that this "knowledge" is based upon scientific affirmation, am I right?

[You are putting words in my mouth here, always something to be cautious about doing. I have carefully investigated (and am still investigating) two things: my own soul life, and the social world. When I speak with anthroposophists, who want to use the vocabulary of Steiner, such as Lucifer, Ahriman, and the Asuras, I can relate to that having read many lectures, but I try to only speak of what I know, either having observed something within, or in the social world. People can believe what they want, I just don't want to call a world view based upon "beliefs", anthroposophical. And, as a life long student of social life, it is observable that when people exchange views just how "emotional" they get over the collision of "beliefs", as opposed to ideas.

I also notice that some anthroposophists like to throw around the word "clairvoyantly", as if that was some kind of magic talisman. Usually it is used by people who don't have a clue what it means as experience. Having had Imaginations, Inspirations, and Intuitions, in the sense that Steiner used those terms, I have no trouble assuring you that the word "clairvoyance" hardly touches the matter. At the same time, since it has not been my "work" to pursue "spiritual research", I seldom offer those insights, trusting Steiner's admonitions in True and False Paths regarding holding back for many years the sharing of the product of one's inner experiences.

I am not claiming (god what an awful term) to be an initiate (another word becoming more and more useless). I would prefer the term: faithful thinker. Following on Emerson, I "trust" what is developing in me as a thinker, and I have faith in the relationship of that willed heart thinking as a means of meeting and knowing the Divine - faith which is occasionally confirmed by experience.]

Too many teachers are true believers, and don't know their own soul life well enough to appreciate the social consequences to which this lack of rigor and discipline necessarily leads.

I don't know if I understand you correctly, but it looks as if you see an urgent need for iconoclasm what Rudolf Steiner is concerned, for the purpose of putting an end to this lecture-worship among Waldorf teachers, into whose soul lives your insight is impressive - derived, no doubt, from scientific investigations. So in order to rescue the Anthroposophical Society from remaining stuck in the quicksand of blind faith in the unquestioned authority of Steiner, MacCoun's sado-masochism story might do some of the trick?

[You really betray yourself by the constant references to Catherine's work, as if somehow by trashing that you somehow throw some mud on me. You really should examine more carefully this activity on your part.

I'd love to help the AS renew itself, but I also know from life that such help has to be wanted, and there is little evidence that the main institutional forces even think such a need (renewal) exists. The problem comes from another direction.

My researches into the social reveal that we are in a transition from one form of civilization to another. This transition seems to be coupled with "environmental" consequences. No longer believing in "magic", modern humanity doesn't appreciate that a rise in immorality has ripple effects upon the material understructure (the Earth). The worse our moral perturbations get, the more unstable the Planetary environment. The linkages can be found in Quantum Mechanics theory, but those folks don't know how to expand properly the scale from the micro to the Macro.

If humanity doesn't take more of a "hand" in this metamorphosis of civilizations, the environmental effects will be greater. Ben-Aharon's and N. Perlas's work on threefolding and civil society represents the best possible way of dampening the perturbations (our need is for more consciousness soul activity). The AS was created with this crisis in mind, it appears, but much could not be stated by Steiner (an affront to our freedom was at issue), and could only be discovered by our practicing the proper inner disciplines.

So it is not so much Waldorf that I'd like to reform, but rather the underlying thought pattern which treats Steiner's indications on education as a formula that can be applied without "thinking". Applied that way, such activity just increases the imbalances (e.g. the WCList and the flow from that list onto this list which is becoming very excessive). Consciousness Soul thinking is infused with moral imagination, itself something not all that hard to do (its what I talk about when I speak to people about Moral Grace). This thinking needs no "beliefs", and therefore does not lead to "wars".]

Steiner did not foster a "belief system", but rather a path of knowledge. Only as knowledge can Anthroposophy participate in the transformation of scientific materialism, and then participate in healing the effects of the resulting social Darwinism. As a belief system anthroposophy is completely impotent before the Opposition, and useless to the Hierarchies of Light.

Basically, RS said the same thing. But the only thing you can do about it is to stop believing and start knowing and investigating. You can't make anyone else do that. You can't control the actions, thoughts, or paths of other people, whether they call themselves anthroposophists or not.

[Why would I want to control anything? All any of us can do is shine the light of the truth that we have acquired in life. Sometimes, however, we don't shine light, we shine darkness, which is why "beliefs" (dead thoughts) lead to dogmatism and sectarianism, and conflict is the social result.]

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

--
Joel Wendt

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Feb 11, 2004 10:16 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth, was: understanding rabid denial

At 00:53 12.02.2004, Joel wrote:

When we read a Steiner text, how to we make it our own, particularly if its contents are references to concepts for which we have no related percepts (or using the vocabulary of Theory of Knowledge, thoughts without the related experience)?

One of the benefits of reading about Old Saturn, for instance, is that we have to create for ourselves images that have no counterparts in the external physical world nor in ordinary memory. Thie contributes to the awakening of sense-free thinking.

Now personally I am not much interested in life on Atlantis or on the Moon (unless I wanted to read science fiction, which has far better authors than Steiner creating it).

Science fiction is fantasy, fabrication. So you regard what RS calls spiritual facts and realities, based upon his science of seership, as fantasy?

You seem to imply that you consider yourself a scientist, and not a believer in anything. In other words, if you know something to be true that RS knew to be true, it's because you've investigated it clairvoyantly just like he did, and seen it for yourself. And the problem with the WC list is that anthroposophists like myself have admitted that belief in Steiner's honesty and truthfulness is the basis for many of our notions, and that we cannot claim on behalf of ourselves that this "knowledge" is based upon scientific affirmation, am I right?

[You are putting words in my mouth here,

Wrong. I am giving a summary of the impression I'm left with after reading your texts here, asking if I got it right. Don't you see the question mark at the end of the last sentence?

always something to be cautious about doing.

I suggest you save those admonitions for your private students or your personal congregation.

People can believe what they want, I just don't want to call a world view based upon "beliefs", anthroposophical. And, as a life long student of social life, it is observable that when people exchange views just how "emotional" they get over the collision of "beliefs", as opposed to ideas.

Semantic drivel. People fight passionately over colliding ideas too, and a belief and an idea may often be synonymous.

I also notice that some anthroposophists like to throw around the word "clairvoyantly", as if that was some kind of magic talisman. Usually it is used by people who don't have a clue what it means as experience. Having had Imaginations, Inspirations, and Intuitions, in the sense that Steiner used those terms, I have no trouble assuring you that the word "clairvoyance" hardly touches the matter.

You probably have very good reasons to be condescending towards mere believers then, surrrounded as you are by so many profane ignoramuses.

At the same time, since it has not been my "work" to pursue "spiritual research", I seldom offer those insights, trusting Steiner's admonitions in True and False Paths regarding holding back for many years the sharing of the product of one's inner experiences.

Got to be quite a product. Can't wait. Apart from "looking around inside the soul", this product doesn't involve the secret of the Resurrection body, Lemuria or Atlantis or life on the Old Sun? (Sorry, I shouldn't have asked.)

[You really betray yourself by the constant references to Catherine's work, as if somehow by trashing that you somehow throw some mud on me.

On the contrary. When challenged to defend MacCoun's article, you immediately repeat that uncritical worship of St. Rudy and his lectures needs to be overcome to save the mission of the AS, as if iconoclasm is the purpose of the article.

You really should examine more carefully this activity on your part.

Another admonition for your private students or your personal congregation, of which I have no ambitions to be a member.

I'd love to help the AS renew itself, but I also know from life that such help has to be wanted, and there is little evidence that the main institutional forces even think such a need (renewal) exists. The problem comes from another direction.

If you "know from life that such help has to be wanted," why then do you keep telling so many people on this list how to think, how to meditate, how to pray, what soul activity within themselves they should examine more closely and so on, when they have not asked for it?

So it is not so much Waldorf that I'd like to reform, but rather the underlying thought pattern which treats Steiner's indications on education as a formula that can be applied without "thinking".

So you're a reformer of thought patterns? Is that your science?

[Why would I want to control anything?

Take your own advice: You really should examine more carefully this activity on your part.

All any of us can do is shine the light of the truth that we have acquired in life. Sometimes, however, we don't shine light, we shine darkness, which is why "beliefs" (dead thoughts) lead to dogmatism and sectarianism, and conflict is the social result.]

Many beliefs are very much alive and do not lead to dogmatism. Idealists out in the field saving lives among earthquakes and flying bullets are full of such beliefs.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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

From: Sophia
Date: Thu Feb 12, 2004 2:14 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth, was: understanding rabid denial

Dear Joel,

You wrote:

(e.g. the WCList and the flow from that list onto this list which is becoming very excessive).

The security of this list is not at stake, although your concern is noted and appreciated.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you all of the list rules: Free speech reigns and any topic goes, and the only restricted item is list management:

http://www.geocities.com/anarchosophia/listrules.html

"List management is off-topic. Anything goes here what topics related to anthroposophy is concerned, and literature and movies and politics or whatever, but please don't start threads about list management."

You're welcome to counsel other subscribers about what to post, but you will probably receive more cordial responses if they have asked for it first.

Faithfully,

Sophia (moderator)
http://www.geocities.com/anarchosophia/

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

From: Joel Wendt
Date: Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:29 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] seeking the truth, was: understanding rabid denial

Dear Targei,

Not being interested in continuing what seems very unlike "conversation", and more like "debate" (one of the reasons I have no interest anymore in P.S. and the WCList), I'll leave you the last word (which I expect is not what is below, but rather some reply to this, which I will not be answering).

warm regards,
joel

On Wed, 2004-02-11 at 23:16, Tarjei Straume wrote:

At 00:53 12.02.2004, Joel wrote:

When we read a Steiner text, how to we make it our own, particularly if its contents are references to concepts for which we have no related percepts (or using the vocabulary of Theory of Knowledge, thoughts without the related experience)?

One of the benefits of reading about Old Saturn, for instance, is that we have to create for ourselves images that have no counterparts in the external physical world nor in ordinary memory. Thie contributes to the awakening of sense-free thinking.

Now personally I am not much interested in life on Atlantis or on the Moon (unless I wanted to read science fiction, which has far better authors than Steiner creating it).

Science fiction is fantasy, fabrication. So you regard what RS calls spiritual facts and realities, based upon his science of seership, as fantasy?

You seem to imply that you consider yourself a scientist, and not a believer in anything. In other words, if you know something to be true that RS knew to be true, it's because you've investigated it clairvoyantly just like he did, and seen it for yourself. And the problem with the WC list is that anthroposophists like myself have admitted that belief in Steiner's honesty and truthfulness is the basis for many of our notions, and that we cannot claim on behalf of ourselves that this "knowledge" is based upon scientific affirmation, am I right?

[You are putting words in my mouth here,

Wrong. I am giving a summary of the impression I'm left with after reading your texts here, asking if I got it right. Don't you see the question mark at the end of the last sentence?

always something to be cautious about doing.

I suggest you save those admonitions for your private students or your personal congregation.

People can believe what they want, I just don't want to call a world view based upon "beliefs", anthroposophical. And, as a life long student of social life, it is observable that when people exchange views just how "emotional" they get over the collision of "beliefs", as opposed to ideas.

Semantic drivel. People fight passionately over colliding ideas too, and a belief and an idea may often be synonymous.

I also notice that some anthroposophists like to throw around the word "clairvoyantly", as if that was some kind of magic talisman. Usually it is used by people who don't have a clue what it means as experience. Having had Imaginations, Inspirations, and Intuitions, in the sense that Steiner used those terms, I have no trouble assuring you that the word "clairvoyance" hardly touches the matter.

You probably have very good reasons to be condescending towards mere believers then, surrrounded as you are by so many profane ignoramuses.

At the same time, since it has not been my "work" to pursue "spiritual research", I seldom offer those insights, trusting Steiner's admonitions in True and False Paths regarding holding back for many years the sharing of the product of one's inner experiences.

Got to be quite a product. Can't wait. Apart from "looking around inside the soul", this product doesn't involve the secret of the Resurrection body, Lemuria or Atlantis or life on the Old Sun? (Sorry, I shouldn't have asked.)

[You really betray yourself by the constant references to Catherine's work, as if somehow by trashing that you somehow throw some mud on me.

On the contrary. When challenged to defend MacCoun's article, you immediately repeat that uncritical worship of St. Rudy and his lectures needs to be overcome to save the mission of the AS, as if iconoclasm is the purpose of the article.

You really should examine more carefully this activity on your part.

Another admonition for your private students or your personal congregation, of which I have no ambitions to be a member.

I'd love to help the AS renew itself, but I also know from life that such help has to be wanted, and there is little evidence that the main institutional forces even think such a need (renewal) exists. The problem comes from another direction.

If you "know from life that such help has to be wanted," why then do you keep telling so many people on this list how to think, how to meditate, how to pray, what soul activity within themselves they should examine more closely and so on, when they have not asked for it?

So it is not so much Waldorf that I'd like to reform, but rather the underlying thought pattern which treats Steiner's indications on education as a formula that can be applied without "thinking".

So you're a reformer of thought patterns? Is that your science?

[Why would I want to control anything?

Take your own advice: You really should examine more carefully this activity on your part.

All any of us can do is shine the light of the truth that we have acquired in life. Sometimes, however, we don't shine light, we shine darkness, which is why "beliefs" (dead thoughts) lead to dogmatism and sectarianism, and conflict is the social result.]

Many beliefs are very much alive and do not lead to dogmatism. Idealists out in the field saving lives among earthquakes and flying bullets are full of such beliefs.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

--
Joel Wendt

 ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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