understanding antisemitism

 

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Feb 27, 2004 11:20 am
Subject: understanding antisemitism

In light of Linda Clemens's uncomprehending reply from yesterday, I'd like to address once more the question of how to make sense of antisemitism from a historical perspective. I have the impression that many listmates are beholden to a series of general misconceptions about this topic, which then distract from our more specific discussions of how and whether some of Rudolf Steiner's doctrines relate to this theme.

It is certainly true that there was a vigorous debate over assimilation in Steiner's day. But the terms of this debate were very different from what Linda and others appear to think. The very meaning of the term "assimilation" was under dispute at this time, to such an extent that some historians try to avoid the term entirely due to its built-in ambiguity. There are a number of excellent scholarly studies of this phemonenon.

One of the classics is the book that Daniel quoted extensively (thanks, Daniel), Uriel Tal's Christians and Jews in Germany. Tal's book examines "the double aspiration of the Jews in the Second Reich to integrate into the dominant society and at the same time retain their Jewish identity. This endeavor on the part of German Jews was part of a larger struggle of men to achieve freedom in modern society without forfeiting individuality." (p. 290) But as Tal notes, "this twofold aspiration of German Jewry did not meet with approval." (ibid.) One of the reasons it did not meet with approval was that many non-Jewish thinkers rejected this conception of assimilation as integration plus retention of Jewish identity, and insisted instead on a conception of assimilation as the disapearance of Jewish identity.

Historian David Sorkin explored this fundamental divide between contrary understandings of "assimilation" in his important article "Emancipation and Assimilation: Two Concepts and their Application to German-Jewish History" (Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook XXXV, 1990). Sorkin distinguishes between "broad" and "narrow" conceptions of assimilation, the first shared by those non-Jews whom Sorkin labels "illiberal Liberals" and the second shared by liberal and pro-assimilationist Jews. Using several German terms that were current in the 19th century -- "Amalgamierung" or amalgamation and "Verschmelzung" or merger -- Sorkin notes that the broad conception of assimilation "assumed that 'Amalgamierung' and 'Verschmelzung' meant the disappearance of the Jews through conversion." (p. 20) In contrast, the narrow conception promoted by Jewish reformers explicitly rejected the disappearance of the Jews as such. Sorkin concluded: "The more scholars excavate the complex layers of the process of integration, the less adequate will an undifferentiated concept of assimilation appear." (p. 30)

Such distinctions are crucial to understanding how antisemitic thinking operated in German-speaking Europe in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many of the most prominent antisemites of the era championed a model of assimilation that meant the disappearance of the Jews. From Richard Wagner to Heinrich von Treitschke to Paul de Lagarde, this sort of assimilationist antisemitism played a powerful role within German culture. These figures were vigorously opposed by many pro-assimilationist Jews, as well as by philosemitic gentiles. It was not at all uncommon for antisemites at this time to praise ancient Hebrew culture, have Jewish friends, and explicitly reject racial and ethnic hatred while nevertheless taking a firmly negative attitude toward Jewish existence in the modern world and calling for Jews to disappear into the German people. This was, in fact, one of the most common patterns within the antisemitic thinking of the era. It is essential to keep this historical background in mind when considering Steiner's various statements on the "Jewish question".

I encourage responses from anyone and everyone, even those who think it is not antisemitic to hold that the existence of Jews as a people retards the healthy development of humankind. I will be blissfully away from computers all weekend and will return to the fray on Monday evening.

Peter

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From: Linda Clemens
Date: Fri Feb 27, 2004 4:20 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism

--- Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

In light of Linda Clemens's uncomprehending reply from yesterday, I'd like to address once more the question of how to make sense of antisemitism from a historical perspective. I have the impression that many listmates are beholden to a series of general misconceptions about this topic, which then distract from our more specific discussions of how and whether some of Rudolf Steiner's doctrines relate to this theme.

Before continuing, I'd like to interject a question: Why do you insist on using the term "antisemitism" to explore "this theme", when it's been born out that the "general" everybody fails to understand the term as you prefer to define it, thus "distracting" from your meaning?

The only explanation which comes to mind would be that you prefer using the term because it is emotionally explosive and implies Steiner is somehow implicated in Germany's "Final Solution" without necessarily having to argue the case with more dubious evidence such as the nichts weniger als. I'm sure you'd have a better reason that this so I look forward to your answer.

PS again--

It is certainly true that there was a vigorous debate over assimilation in Steiner's day. But the terms of this debate were very different from what Linda and others appear to think. The very meaning of the term "assimilation" was under dispute at this time, to such an extent that some historians try to avoid the term entirely due to its built-in ambiguity. There are a number of excellent scholarly studies of this phemonenon.

I can appreciate that. It doesn't change the point. The point is that disputes about "assimilation" and what it implied were the historical context in which Steiner's remarks were made. They were contributions to the debate. I submit you're perhaps overcomplicating this. In this country, we have disputes about immigration and what it means to "be an American", and controversial opinions over the "melting pot" idea. France is engaged in a debate now over their immigration issues, and to what degree cultural identity must be given up to a common French identity. These are highly charged issues that only become more polarized and incomprehensible when one side tries to identify the other as "racist" or anti-whatever. There's even less value in doing so in the context of some kind of exploration or dissertation on an historical issue.

It was not at all uncommon for antisemites at this time to praise ancient Hebrew culture, have Jewish friends, and explicitly reject racial and ethnic hatred while nevertheless taking a firmly negative attitude toward Jewish existence in the modern world and calling for Jews to disappear into the German people. This was, in fact, one of the most common patterns within the antisemitic thinking of the era. It is essential to keep this historical background in mind when considering Steiner's various statements on the "Jewish question".

Could you be more specific about what you think Steiner was advocating? That they be converted to Christianity?

PS--

I encourage responses from anyone and everyone, even those who think it is not antisemitic to hold that the existence of Jews as a people retards the healthy development of humankind.

Well, Mr. Staudenmaier....having spent considerable amount of time on the WC's list reading opinions which implied the world would be better place if people were irreligious altogether (the Christology, Catholic and LDS bashing raised nary an eyebrow there), I wonder that Steiner wasn't guilty of failing to anticipate the unhealthy developments of a humankind anxious to rid themselves of Jews. People make remarks like this in other contexts all the time even now--in America, there are certain social progressives who think that humanity will be healthier when we no longer have black, brown, and white people. This is an objectionable idea to others. Some (you?) look forward to the day when we no longer consider ourselves part of a national identity. Both of those ideas would take a completely different cast to future generations if, during the intervening years, harsh actions were taken against certain people in order to secure these utopian dreams.

Rudolf Steiner, regardless of how well-meaning his remarks were, really blew it on this one. There were innumerable Jews on the other side of the debate who predicted the future much better than he did. Clearly, mankind was not "retarded" because Jews weren't willing to give up their culture. Jews in that day knew very well that giving up their "Jewishness" wouldn't positively impact the world or how the world viewed them. Their Jewishness wasn't going to go away through "assimilation".....they were being persuaded to give up their thousands of years old "national" identity as Jews for what? A German identity? That didn't play out well, did it?

It's ridiculous today to maintain that his ideas on this subject hold real value today. You have to shut your eyes to too much -- it's beyond stupid to willfully ignore it now to reexplore any such concerns over Jewish identity and "the future of mankind" when the evidence shows it to be the German/Aryan identity which unleashed some of the most unspeakable evil the planet has ever seen.

L

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Feb 28, 2004 9:13 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: understanding antisemitism

At 01:20 28.02.2004, Linda Clemens wrote:

Well, Mr. Staudenmaier....having spent considerable amount of time on the WC's list reading opinions which implied the world would be better place if people were irreligious altogether (the Christology, Catholic and LDS bashing raised nary an eyebrow there), I wonder that Steiner wasn't guilty of failing to anticipate the unhealthy developments of a humankind anxious to rid themselves of Jews.

[2nd repost]

Although Steiner did not foresee the holocaust in Europe against the Jews specifically, he may have had forebodings, especially when he mentioned the year 1933, when Adolf Hitler came to power, as the rise of the apocalyptic Beast. This is what he said in one of his very last lectures before his fatal illness put an end to it all, in September 1924:

The Beast will be let loose from its imprisonment in the earth; that is what the comet is in the cosmic sense. that the Beast will be let loose is significant for the development of human beings. Such things are exceedingly powerful realities, great and significant points in the evolution of humanity and of the earth.

In 1933, dear friends, there would be a possibility for the earth and everything living on it to perish if there did not exist also that other wise arrangement that cannot be calculated. Once comets have taken on other forms calculations can no longer be accurate. What needs to be said in the sense meant by the apocalyptist is: Before the Etheric Christ can be comprehended by human beings in the right way, humanity must first cope with encountering the Beast who will rise up in 1933. This is what the apocalyptic language tells us. Here a view of spirit unites with a view of nature. What is there in the cosmos becomes clear to us in its fundamental spiritual character. Take the way the peasants described what they saw in 1872 as they stood and watched the shower of light, and add to it what the spirit tells us as I have described it, and compare this with many of the descriptions in the Book of Revelation, and you will see that even the very words used match one another. You will see that the Book of Revelation is speaking of actual natural events.

- "The Book of Revelation and the Work of the Priest" (Lecture 16, Dornach 20 Sept 1924, GA 346 )

People make remarks like this in other contexts all the time even now--in America, there are certain social progressives who think that humanity will be healthier when we no longer have black, brown, and white people. This is an objectionable idea to others. Some (you?) look forward to the day when we no longer consider ourselves part of a national identity.

It is quite possible that Peter Staudenmaier has some key ideals in common with Rudolf Steiner because he is an anarchist. Steiner spoke of the necessity for someone pursuing the path of initiation to become a "homeless soul".

"A nation's separate individuals are recognizable through their common habits and temperament. An individual who is to achieve a higher spiritual development, to unfold his higher nature, must change his disposition and basic habits. Such a man is called “homeless” in the terminology of spiritual science, because he is obliged to change his etheric body, through which he has been, except for this higher development, connected with his nation."

- The Lord's Prayer, Berlin, January 28, 1907, GA 96

"There is one stage, for instance, which is soon reached if a serious effort is made to advance on the path of knowledge. That is the stage of the so-called Homeless One - the man who outgrows the prejudices of his immediate environment and throws off the various constraints by which he is surrounded and kept, as it were, in leading strings. This does not necessarily make him irreverent; he may even become more reverent. But the ties which bind him to his immediate surroundings must be loosened."

- The Gospel of St. John, Lecture 2, Cassel, 25th June, 1909, GA 112

Both of those ideas would take a completely different cast to future generations if, during the intervening years, harsh actions were taken against certain people in order to secure these utopian dreams.

Thank you! You may have hit the nail on the head here concerning the difference between dialectical, political anarchism on the one hand, and the brand of individualist anarchism that I have chosen to call anarchosophy on the other. John Lennon, who in my humble opinion was an anarchosophist of sorts, spelled it out in his Beatles song "Revolution":

You say you want a revolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
You tell me that it's evolution
Well you know
We all want to change the world
But when you talk about destruction
Don't you know you can count me out
Don't you know it's gonna be alright
Alright Alright

You say you got a real solution
Well you know
We'd all love to see the plan
You ask me for a contribution
Well you know
We're doing what we can
But when you want money for people with minds that hate
All I can tell you is brother you have to wait
Don't you know it's gonna be alright
Alright Alright

You say you'll change the constitution
Well you know
We all want to change your head
You tell me it's the institution
Well you know
You better free your mind instead
But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
Don't you know know it's gonna be alright
Alright Alright

The point is that the only revolution you can justifiable make is within yourself. If you can succeed in the effort to evolve into something you've never been and show others that this is indeed possible, the battle is half won. Gandhi is a good example of this, and so is Steiner. It's one thing to chant the slogan "Power to the people"; it's quite another matter to allow people to wield that power the way they see fit, not as puppets of your own ideological dreams.

Rudolf Steiner, regardless of how well-meaning his remarks were, really blew it on this one. There were innumerable Jews on the other side of the debate who predicted the future much better than he did.

Ironically, we have the Nazi regime and the Holocaust to thank for the establishment of a Jewish state in Palestine in 1948. Ever since the Zionist concept of a Jewish state emerged in the 1890's, most Jews were opposed to the idea and believed that such a state would enhance anti-Semitism. They preferred to live as ordinary citizens in the nations where they were located. It's also terribly ironic that the Palestinians experienced what they've been referring to as "the catastrophe" in the 1940's - a catastrophe that began while Jews were still perishing in Nazi death camps. It's so awful that while the Jews of Europe were going through the most horrible nightmare imaginable under the clubs of the Nazis, Zionist Jews were literally clubbing Palestinians down and shooting them out of their homes in an act of ethnic cleansing.

Clearly, mankind was not "retarded" because Jews weren't willing to give up their culture. Jews in that day knew very well that giving up their "Jewishness" wouldn't positively impact the world or how the world viewed them. Their Jewishness wasn't going to go away through "assimilation".....they were being persuaded to give up their thousands of years old "national" identity as Jews for what? A German identity? That didn't play out well, did it?

You must have missed what I tried to explain in another post about what Steiner may have had in the back of his mind when he said these things about humanity retarding unless Jews assimilated: That humanity needed a full share of the Jewish element. This is speculation on my part, of course.

It's ridiculous today to maintain that his ideas on this subject hold real value today. You have to shut your eyes to too much -- it's beyond stupid to willfully ignore it now to reexplore any such concerns over Jewish identity and "the future of mankind" when the evidence shows it to be the German/Aryan identity which unleashed some of the most unspeakable evil the planet has ever seen.

We'll have to ask the question then why this unspeakable evil, the Holocaust, happened. I'll repeat here a quick outline of occult history the way I see it, how the outbreak of WW I in 1914 prevented RS from continuing his spiritual research into certain mysteries of the Gospels. A friend of mine in Texas held the view that Steiner's mission on German-speaking soil was so important for the evolution of humanity that not only WW I, but also WW II, were direct results of his activities. I'm inclined to agree with this perspective.

My Texan friend also thought that one of the reasons why the Jews were targeted for such unspeakable murderous cruelty under Hitler, was that the archangel Michael was the folk spirit for the Hebrew people in the Old Testament times, and in 1879 he had returned as the Time Spirit, Zeitgeist, Michael, the very countenance of Christ leading humanity into the New Age. So to get at Michael, Ahriman went for his children of old, the Jews. And the person who made Christ-Michael such a threat to Ahriman's ambitions to hijack the evolution of humanity through ultra-rationalism was none other than Rudolf Steiner. (My most recent thought on this subject is that Ahriman wanted to destroy the Jewish genepool through the Holocaust in order to prevent the rest of humanity from getting its share of it in the years to come.)

The whole thing is a lot more complicated, of course, precisely perhaps because much of this ahrimanic ultra-rationalistic thinking (materialist thinking) was common among Jews educated in medicine and law and so on, and this is what Steiner had in mind when he criticized "Jewish" thinking. For this reason, RS may have seen assimilation as a long term benefit for Jews and gentiles alike.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: eyecueco
Date: Sat Feb 28, 2004 12:10 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei Straume wrote:

It is quite possible that Peter Staudenmaier has some key ideals in common with Rudolf Steiner because he is an anarchist. Steiner spoke of the necessity for someone pursuing the path of initiation to become a "homeless soul".

"A nation's separate individuals are recognizable through their common habits and temperament. An individual who is to achieve a higher spiritual development, to unfold his higher nature, must change his disposition and basic habits. Such a man is called “homeless” in the terminology of spiritual science, because he is obliged to change his etheric body, through which he has been, except for this higher development, connected with his nation."

As exemplified by Goethe, perhaps, but certainly not by communism, of the big or little "c" variety.

"Homeless soul", ala Steiner does not mean living in a commune, obtaining one's vital goods via a co-op where one stands in lines around the block with a ration book defining what one is allowed, or having decisions made about what one does, labor-wise, to obtain that ration book by committee meetings deciding not only what, but where one make this labor contribution, and when.

Goethe exemplifies the degree of homelessness appropriate for this time period. He owned property, determined his path in life, and elected with whom he had social intercourse, but, he did not subscribe to the nationalist spirit that was beginning to take hold of the "volk" in his homeland. He is an example of the man making appropriate strides on the Consciousness Soul path.

Peter's writing appear to me to demonstrate an externalization process which underscores a psychological tear so often found at the heart of those who crave unity with their fellow man, but, find themselves adrift in distrubing, unbounded lonliness and a disconnectedness of spirit. Such souls often seek answeres in externalizing solutions to the problems of the world. They would change others, even to bringing down govenments, rather than work on themselves. Their ideologies are nothing more than versions of the blame game. How much easier for such immature souls to fret upon the stage of of their outwardly dircted lives then to focus on individual responsibility. Only the wise man, the mature man knows there is no such thing as Utopia nor any ideal situation on earth.

"The negation of the sanctity of the individual obstructs direct conduct not only between man and man, but, also between man and his ideals. for if the worth of the individual and its increase by his life's process be not itself a cardinal ideal, any ideal to the realization of which the individual devotes his lie and energy must be more or less external to him: not, of course, entirely external since the ideal must fine expression in the individual, but external to the individual's broad humanity"
[Butler, THE ROOTS OF NATINAL SOCIALISM].

Paulina

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From: Linda Clemens
Date: Sat Feb 28, 2004 6:08 pm
Subject: RE: understanding antisemitism

me

Clearly, mankind was not "retarded" because Jews weren't willing to give up their culture. Jews in that day knew very well that giving up their "Jewishness" wouldn't positively impact the world or how the world viewed them. Their Jewishness wasn't going to go away through "assimilation".....they were being persuaded to give up their thousands of years old "national" identity as Jews for what? A German identity? That didn't play out well, did it?

Targei

You must have missed what I tried to explain in another post about what Steiner may have had in the back of his mind when he said these things about humanity retarding unless Jews assimilated: That humanity needed a full share of the Jewish element. This is speculation on my part, of course.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to muddy these various perspectives even further, but I think I did. Your speculation may be valid, but let me try to make my point more clearly. If, as this writing suggests to me, Steiner respected and honored the "Jewish element", so too did he unreservedly argue that the preservation of this "Jewish element" (which I believe he went on to describe in his Homunculus essay as religion, spirit and manner of thinking) persisting as a "self-contained entity" was anachronistic and no longer served a greater purpose. Since a large part of the reason that Jews managed to survive for centuries in Europe was the strength, bond and tenacity this "self-contained entity" provided, later events in Germany during the coming century would only reinforce any deep-seated distrust or animosity toward ideas of giving it up.

Anachronistic or not, this cultural model protected Jewishness in Europe the way a shell protects the tortoise. And Steiner seemed to be saying "The shell has served its purpose. But mankind is ready for it to be cast away!" But as events unfolded, it is clear mankind wasn't ready. Mankind was raging pellmell down a path to obliterate every last trace of the Jews.

targei

We'll have to ask the question then why this unspeakable evil, the Holocaust, happened. I'll repeat here a quick outline of occult history the way I see it, how the outbreak of WW I in 1914 prevented RS from continuing his spiritual research into certain mysteries of the Gospels. A friend of mine in Texas held the view that Steiner's mission on German-speaking soil was so important for the evolution of humanity that not only WW I, but also WW II, were direct results of his activities. I'm inclined to agree with this perspective.

Perhaps so. The way I see it, however, is that WWI and WWII happened for reasons that aren't exactly unique in history. War is powerful--to a leader, wars are one of the easiest ways going to remake the world to your liking, if you haven't the self-restraint to behave yourself and refrain. And if someone is determined to make war with you, there are relatively few options available to you. One of most effective, unfortunately, is to make war back. The human urge to boss others around, hurt them when they make you mad, and help yourself to their things may come from such cosmic influences--but I don't see why they would have to, and I don't quite see how this makes it any more explicable. Yes, it's perplexing why such urges are part of our nature. But it's just as perplexing why cosmic beings would have them as part of their nature, wouldn't it? Why would they be any more driven to boss one another around (and involve us) than we are?

This may sound stupid, but I have to ask. Wouldn't there have been easier ways to intervene and interrupt this work than starting a World War? Wouldn't a diabolotical train "accident" have been just as effective, if not more so? After the war, what prevented Steiner from resuming the work? Maybe I've read too many detective novels, but I can better wrap my mind around a plot like that in the DaVinci Code, where dangerous truths are effectively silenced with assassins, but not international wars.

targei

My Texan friend also thought that one of the reasons why the Jews were targeted for such unspeakable murderous cruelty under Hitler, was that the archangel Michael was the folk spirit for the Hebrew people in the Old Testament times, and in 1879 he had returned as the Time Spirit, Zeitgeist, Michael, the very countenance of Christ leading humanity into the New Age. So to get at Michael, Ahriman went for his children of old, the Jews.

Doesn't this view tend overlook the fact that there had been a long pattern of unspeakable, murderous cruelty toward Jews throughout European history? They suffered innumerable cycles of massacres, expulsions, and the like, at the hands of Christians most often, and it would seem to be going the long-way-round to "get at" the countenance of Christ. I admit I'm totally confused by this argument. I don't quite understand why the Holocaust would be a departure from this pattern. The Holocaust killed more Jews than these previous massacres, and introduced new and ever more horrific ways to accomplish this, but the impetus seems no different to me than it was, say, during the Middle Ages when some King or other decided to give his kingdom a little "shot in the arm" by eliminating the Jews and taking their belongings (which actually happened many times). The Nazis may have applied 20th century methods, but they did so for the same reasons so many other Europeans did so before them, or so it seems to me.

L

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 12:17 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] RE: understanding antisemitism

At 03:08 29.02.2004, Linda Clemens wrote:

Your speculation may be valid, but let me try to make my point more clearly. If, as this writing suggests to me, Steiner respected and honored the "Jewish element", so too did he unreservedly argue that the preservation of this "Jewish element" (which I believe he went on to describe in his Homunculus essay as religion, spirit and manner of thinking) persisting as a "self-contained entity" was anachronistic and no longer served a greater purpose. Since a large part of the reason that Jews managed to survive for centuries in Europe was the strength, bond and tenacity this "self-contained entity" provided, later events in Germany during the coming century would only reinforce any deep-seated distrust or animosity toward ideas of giving it up.

Anachronistic or not, this cultural model protected Jewishness in Europe the way a shell protects the tortoise. And Steiner seemed to be saying "The shell has served its purpose. But mankind is ready for it to be cast away!" But as events unfolded, it is clear mankind wasn't ready. Mankind was raging pellmell down a path to obliterate every last trace of the Jews.

You have a very good point, and that's one of the things that make this topic so extraordinarily complicated, and it looks like it will continue to be very, very complicated for a long time to come. When I take into account that there were many Jews among Steiner's circle of friends and acquaintences, I'm inclined to believe that he supported assimilation not only because it was best for society, but because it was best for the Jews also. It would enhance individual freedom in the sense that some Jews may experience the pressure and the obligation to marry exclusively Jewish and maintain the old traditions - even when they're not religious at all or attracted to Buddhism, Christianity, or Theosophy - as a restraint of sorts.

It wasn't until recently that I began to understand the tension that has existed over the years between Jews and Christians. I was doing some research on Anne Frank and came across an essay written by a Protestant theologian who set out to prove that Anne Frank became a Christian. This Christian influence on Anne and her father Otto had to do with the fact that the family that was hiding them in Amsterdam was Christian, and Otto gave his daughter a Christian Bible for Christmas, something that seems to have been met with some disapproval among the other Jewish family members. To a certain extent, it was also an issue between Anne and her boyfriend Peter.

Some Jews find it offensive that anyone should suggest that Anne Frank was a Christian or in the process of becoming one, because she represents the very personification of Holocaust victims; she is the flower personified of the Jewish European people under the brutality of the Nazis with her extraordinary talent and maturity and loving heart and intelligence and sympathy for others. Those Jews feel that the gentiles are trying to steal this flower, this important symbol and legacy, from them by calling her a Christian. And that's why it's so interesting to see what this Protestant theologian writes at the end of his essay, namely that no anti-Semitism is intended with his argument. In other words, what is implied her is that saying Anne Frank was a Christian may by some be construed as an anti-Semitic statement!

Personally, I have never comprehended a well-known argument against Jews by some hostile Christians, namely that "Your people killed our God." Never. I usually try to avoid the word "stupid" because it's so banal, but if this isn't stupid, there's no such thing as stupid. Here they are, these "Christians," claiming to have received the salvation that according to St Paul was given first to the Jews, and then to the Gentiles also. They proclaim a Jewish Savior and his twelve Jewish apostles and quote the Jewish Pharisee Paul up and down, and then they go and hate the Jews for killing their God!

Like I said, if that ain't stupid, stupidity doesn't exist..

But it's an extremely complex and delicate and sensitive topic, this thing about the Mystery of the Jews, the Mystery of the Christ, the Mystery of humanity, the enigma of anti-Semitism and the assimilation question and so on. It's very, very complicated. I believe I may be in a position to address some of this, perhaps because I've been very blessed in this life by not being encumbered by any kind of ethnic bias or bigotry, and because I've always had this inexplicable awe and reverence and affection for for the Jewish heritage, which has always fascinated me. (Some so-called critics have expressed strong distain against awe and reverence of any kind and say that it's symptomatic of unhealthy cultism and lack of critical thinking and so on, but I disagree. Some other time perhaps.)

From an orthodox or ethnocentric Jewish point of view, I may be accused of a Christian bias here - the same bias of which all Christians are guilty as charged. In my case, the Christian bias in question is expressed through the fact that I am especially fascinated by Jewish Christian thinkers, including the very young Anne Frank. Jewish-Christian poets like Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan have been extremely important contributors to our understanting of the complex mystery at hand, and freewheeling loose cannons like the late Jewish-Buddhist poet Allan Ginsburg play interesting second fiddles here. Ginsburg was influenced by William Blake, who was a Christian anarchist of sorts, and he put Blake's poems to music with an old-fashioned instrument that was a replication of what Blake himself had been using when he sang his own songs.

Bob Dylan, undoubtedly the poet of poets in the Michaelic Age so far, with a rich variety of jests, wild dreams, tall tales, and esoteric themes that attract anthroposophists to Dylan like bees to sugar - see http://www.uncletaz.com/thiefspoke.html - the poet who seems to remember himself as a 13th century Italian poet (Tangled Up in Blue) and as one of those who put St. Augustine to death (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine) - the composer and performer with a 'voice of sand' whose gaze was always fixed upon the Golgotha Mystery - long, long before his "Damascus experience" of sorts in 1979 when he declared himself a born-again Christian and became, temporarily, strangely influenced by popular Christian fundamentalism. He also had his pro-Israel period with songs like "Neighborhood Bully", but Bob Dylan, who descended from Russian Jewry just like Irving Berlin and George Gershwin, is a poetic and musical genius who defies categorizations and labels. He is a homeless soul in the real sense of the word, an honest outlaw in his own right, with an early biography reminiscent of initiates and absolute top artists, leaving home and hitting the road at age 16.

With the controversy about Anne Frank's Christianity in mind, it appears that the Christian religion is blaspemous or offensive to the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Islam. To some Muslims, the very notion that God, Allah, should have a son who was human is an affront, a blasphemy. And to some Jews, Christianity is an adversary because of its claim that the promised Messiah has already arrived. If the sole raison d'étre for Jewry is to await the arrival of a Messiah who has already been here, their very existence would be, as Steiner put it, a mistake of history. With this in mind, every Jew who abandons his or her inherited religion is in a sense an ex-Jew or simply an ordinary individual who just happens to be born Jewish, and this is regarded as some kind of ethnic treason in some quarters. But the Jew becoming a Christian may be more disconcerting in these same quarters precisely because they believe that the Jewish Messiah has already arrived.

When I listened to the album "Slow Train Coming", there was one song in particular - apart from the fantastic smash hit "Gotta Serve Somebody" where Dylan proves to be the maestro of Gospel Rock - that caught my attention and brought a tear to my eye. I'm talking about "I Believe in You." But I didn't understand it. It contains these words:

They show me to the door,
They say don't come back no more
'Cause I don't be like they'd like me to,
And I walk out on my own
A thousand miles from home
But I don't feel alone
'Cause I believe in you.

What I didn't understand was why Dylan felt that people were turning their backs to him, freezing him out, because of his declared Christian faith. On the contrary, during the Reagan years, Christian America was embracing him and applauding him, although old friends like Allan Ginsgurg and John Lennon were somewhat clueless, but they respected him nevertheless, and they didn't freeze him out. And then all of a sudden when the age-old tension between Christianity and Jewry began to dawn on me, I realized that he might be talking about the Jewish community here. Because although many of us feel that we are homeless souls, we still feel rooted in certain nationalities and ethnicities and so on, and that's how Dylan has always felt Jewry as a familiar warm place he likes to come home to once in a while.

I've only touched the tip of the iceberg here with regard to the mysteries surrounding Jewry. I apologize if I've sidetracked the discussion with this, but I have to approach it from a personal angle based upon my own take, my own understanding. But it seems to me that what I call my awe and reverence for the Jewish heritage is something I have in common with most anthroposophists, including my listmates here. And I also see it as a riddle, and the historical happenings over the last century have indeed amplified this riddle and made it even more complicated. And that is why I find it so offensive when so-called "critics" - I don't consider them proper critics because their criticism is not rational or constructive or truthful - when these "critics" keep arguing time and time again that Rudolf Steiner was an anti-Semite based upon a surface-approach to some select utterances. To me, the question of assimilation is a Jewish questions for Jews to answer. It's like a family affair. But if I had Jewish friends who felt bewildered about this question and asked me what I thought about it, I would tell them what I'm telling you here. And I believe Rudolf Steiner did the same thing as a "friend of the family" so to speak.

The way I see it, however, is that WWI and WWII happened for reasons that aren't exactly unique in history. War is powerful--to a leader, wars are one of the easiest ways going to remake the world to your liking, if you haven't the self-restraint to behave yourself and refrain. And if someone is determined to make war with you, there are relatively few options available to you. One of most effective, unfortunately, is to make war back.

Point noted. You're opening a whole new issue here. I do have a great deal to contribute to this, I think, but I'll have to postpone it for the time being. I'm glad you brought it up, and I hope I'll find the opportunity to discuss it.

The human urge to boss others around, hurt them when they make you mad, and help yourself to their things may come from such cosmic influences--but I don't see why they would have to, and I don't quite see how this makes it any more explicable. Yes, it's perplexing why such urges are part of our nature. But it's just as perplexing why cosmic beings would have them as part of their nature, wouldn't it? Why would they be any more driven to boss one another around (and involve us) than we are?

This may sound stupid, but I have to ask. Wouldn't there have been easier ways to intervene and interrupt this work than starting a World War? Wouldn't a diabolotical train "accident" have been just as effective, if not more so? After the war, what prevented Steiner from resuming the work? Maybe I've read too many detective novels, but I can better wrap my mind around a plot like that in the DaVinci Code, where dangerous truths are effectively silenced with assassins, but not international wars.

The topic doesn't get less complicated and enigmatic when we approach it from a cosmic-spiritual perspective with higher beings involved. Quite the contrary! I said that it may have been in Ahriman's interest to annihalate Jewry through the Holocaust in order to destroy their genepool, but this is not necessarily the case. We're only doing speculative guesswork here. Ahriman's purpose was apparently to severely damage the German national soul, and the "final solution" may have been a side-effect, but it was so extraordinarily obscene that it must have come from somewhere. On the other hand, a mode of thinking had also evolved in Jewry that would have served Ahriman's intentions very well indeed; it's the kind of thinking that Steiner criticized - the thinking that evolves within certain professions within science, law, and medicine. It's the breeding ground for a kind of materialism that Ahriman wishes to spead around as much as possible while he prepares for his own physical incarnation. This sinister aspect of Jewish development, which is a direct result of an overdeveloped intellectualism - the intellect is the gift of Ahriman to humanity, and the danger lies in the fact that this Being is also the Liar and the Father of Lies spoken of in the Gospels as the World Prince:

"He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
- John 8:44

This Ahrimanic element within Jewry was addressed by William Shakespeare when he wrote "Merchant of Venice" and created Shylock. Shylock is a type of Jewish human being who has probably contributed to anti-Semitic reactions. (That does not justify such reactions, because they are stupid. To judge a whole population on the basis of some bad apples is stupid.) If you remember this Shakespearean play, the outcome of the court case is that Shylock does not get his pound of flesh in collateral, but must promise to become a Christian!

Personally, I think that William Shakespeare possessed spiritual insight comparable to that of Rudolf Steiner, and I don't think for a minute that he was thinking about religion or theology when he wrote that Shylock needed to become a Christian. What he had in mind was the Christ Impulse that Portia expressed when she spoke about Mercy (dressed up as a man).

The Jewish culture has however become significantly Christianized in the esoteric sense here implied. The battle for Jewry has been fought between Ahriman and St Michael for 125 years. After World War II, St. Michael has been gaining the upper hand in this battle to a degree by channelling the Jewish genius into the arts. It is humanity's task to capture the intellect from Ahriman and give back as a sacrificial gift of sorts to Christ-Michael. And this is precisely what the Jews are doing when they become theater managers, directors, composers, singers, poets, playwrights, painters, philosophers, etc. That's how Broadway and Hollywood and American music came into being, and that's how we see the Jews of modern times in all their glory - from Danny Kaye to Steven Speiberg and Barbara Streisand and the late Michael Landon and so on. The Jews represent the very backbone of Western culture, and our civilization would be unthinkable without them.

Doesn't this view tend overlook the fact that there had been a long pattern of unspeakable, murderous cruelty toward Jews throughout European history? They suffered innumerable cycles of massacres, expulsions, and the like, at the hands of Christians most often, and it would seem to be going the long-way-round to "get at" the countenance of Christ. I admit I'm totally confused by this argument.

That's understandable.

I don't quite understand why the Holocaust would be a departure from this pattern.

It's not necessarily a departure from it. Ahriman may have been after the Jews with a vengeance ever since the Golgotha Mystery took him by surprise and challenged his hope of stealing our planetary evolution for himself.

The Holocaust killed more Jews than these previous massacres, and introduced new and ever more horrific ways to accomplish this, but the impetus seems no different to me than it was, say, during the Middle Ages when some King or other decided to give his kingdom a little "shot in the arm" by eliminating the Jews and taking their belongings (which actually happened many times). The Nazis may have applied 20th century methods, but they did so for the same reasons so many other Europeans did so before them, or so it seems to me.

Another thing that worries me is how Ahriman seems to have succeeded in militarizing the Jews as a result of the Holocaust, and how the presence of a Jewish state in the Middle East and Jewish clout in Washington plays a vital role in fostering hatred among the Arabs, who in turn pursue a religious doctrine that is apparently still totally out of synch with the Christ influence and carries within it a channel for the apocalyptic Beast as well as the sun demon, Sorat.

Cheers,

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 2:50 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei Straume wrote:

I've only touched the tip of the iceberg here with regard to the mysteries surrounding Jewry. I apologize if I've sidetracked the discussion with this, but I have to approach it from a personal angle based upon my own take, my own understanding. But it seems to me that what I call my awe and reverence for the Jewish heritage is something I have in common with most anthroposophists, including my listmates here.

Bradford winks;

Apology not accepted! Along with how you and Linda worked this out, and the depth of getting into Dylan and the whole Troubadourian problem...as well as my own pet understanding of Augusitine, This is one heck of a piece of stunning writing...

This was intimate and loving and full of real examples where the 21st century paradigms of new waves of souls, are dealing with things in the nature of brotherhood and global Initiation in clear and stunning ways. This is exactly what I hold as the stunning new paradigms where Anthrosoposophy and Spiritual Science is not afraid to look at any aspect of our biographical structure to see just how Initiation and biography brought about inner changes.

19th century dialecticians burdened with the karma of a toppling university system of deformed thinking patterns, does not mean that I don't recognize the unresolved karma of the intellectual soul development, but the observations gained through the New paradigms of the Michael School carry thinking into new regions, just as Tarjei has outlined them. It is not that Chomskian thinking or the opposite, P.S. thinking isn't valid. It is part of the complex edifice of elaborated and inherited Nominalistic and Realistic as well as Scholastic, School Men passion that entered the Intellectual Soul with or without the foundation of a residue of humanism left. Completely extinquishing this residue of humanism becaue it stinks of hypocrisy, depends on if Ahriman is smelling hypocirsy or the Michael School and the 21st century Youth, smell hypocrisy. A rose by any other name might smell like a dead fish to Ahriman our resident alien of the cosmos.

The influx of those who have died in WWI and the French Revolution, have been coming in on strong waves of incarnation. There are changes in the whole constitutions to thinking, partly due to how souls have been able to approach both the Earthly Michael School and the transplanting of that Michael School on the neighboring shores of the Earthly threshold. Bits, pieces and fragments of rich lore, mysteries and intellectual research and stunning witness testimonies that Christine has recently shuttled in, that Andrea presented, approach the nihilistic soul content as a very bad smell. Ahriman smells the New paradigms and there will be no Luciferic/Troubadourian joint smoking on his watch. Tarjei had rightly mentioned the whole area of 'smell' and indeed here we know the depth of Scorpio and Eagle.

(incidentally, sometimes it appears I speak in code phrased words that are not open to others who stand outside the Michael School. That is just too damn bad for those who refute and hate the smell of the Michael School)

But the thinking style and the entire WW's dual and extended crisis past Viet Nam into dumb ass Iraq and the bomb are the continued extentions of a karmic initiation of the failed 5th Post Atlantean intellectual soul. This failed intellectual soul experience smothers our universities enough so that people, well educated souls, imagine that 19th century Darwinian and Marxian arguments are the barometer of the soul condition. Imagining that the massive work of the Dead and the Living in transforming and offering ourselves to meeting the Initiation passage of those stuck in Saul like corners of thinking, has not been enhanced since the 19th century, is missing a large chunk of real soul ripening. Missing Reincarnation and Karma, as well as the world of the dead.

That does not mean that examples of Intellectual soul ripening are not visible to the organs used for the perception of thought. It is visible. But not to the undeveloped inner eye of the soul that fancies itself clever, intelligent and cunning and an ace chess player in the mind games of the intellectual soul. The blind spot is the failure to see who is whispering the cunning and diverting the humanness that Tarjei presented here, on Dylan, with such clear connection to the real paradigms of the 21st century. Moldy old paradigms stink. But the rotting smell doesn't offend those yet who have waited to "hit the Wall" surrounded by philosophic friends.

"The Wall" and for those who felt the music in Pink Floyd at one time, the Wall was the very image of this soul threshold and god forbid that someone presses it all the way to the point of overdose, suicide or madness. No, that does not mean that I predict all those who think in the old paradigms are headed for certain disaster but the 5th Post Atlantean Initiation signature is written in bold letters and cautionary tales for those who have eyes to see it.

While all that one is repelled by, as hypocrisy, is centered in sentient soul unripeness and Fundie, George Bush, 'born againness". Fundie Islam. Fundie Jewery! Fundie anything are locked paradigms that are harboring, holding zones until humanity can give itself permission to be human beings and citizens of the Spiritual World. Earning and giving oneself permission to be a Citizen of the Spiritual World, on Earth, means one has to overcome a whole inner set of guilt ridden paradigms that refuse to allow that the mistakes you won't forgive yourself for, are merely models of the general Initiation process. Clear cut models that Ahriman refuses to allow you to see as measures of a real 'human' karmic biography.

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 4:11 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism/Iskariot

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,

"Arise, arise", he cried so loud
With a voice without restraint
"Come out ye gifted kings and queens
And hear my sad complaint
No martyr is among ye now
Whom you can call your own
So go on your way accordingly
But know you're not alone".

Tarjei Straume wrote:

Bob Dylan, undoubtedly the poet of poets in the Michaelic Age so far, with a rich variety of jests, wild dreams, tall tales, and esoteric themes that attract anthroposophists to Dylan like bees to sugar - see http://www.uncletaz.com/thiefspoke.html - the poet who seems to remember himself as a 13th century Italian poet (Tangled Up in Blue) and as one of those who put St. Augustine to death (I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine) - the composer and performer with a 'voice of sand' whose gaze was always fixed upon the Golgotha Mystery - long, long before his "Damascus experience" of sorts in 1979 when he declared himself a born-again Christian and became, temporarily, strangely influenced by popular Christian fundamentalism.

Bradford's answered request:

"Did we stop, and find ourselves in awe when Steiner talked about Iskariot and the isle where Judas was found? When Iskariot became the houseman next door to Pilate? How Iskariot then murdered his own Father, right next door to Pilate. Did we ponder more deeply St. Augustine?"

"I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine"

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive as you or me
Tearing through these quarters
In the utmost misery
With a blanket underneath his arm
And a coat of solid gold
Searching for the very souls
Whom already have been sold.

"Arise, arise", he cried so loud
With a voice without restraint
"Come out ye gifted kings and queens
And hear my sad complaint
No martyr is among ye now
Whom you can call your own
So go on your way accordingly
But know you're not alone".

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive with fiery breath
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones
That put him out to death
Oh, I awoke in anger
So alone and terrified
I put my fingers against the glass
And bowed my head and cried."

Bradford concludes;

I have such a poem by on Judas that is so powerful how Christ waited for Judas to cross the river of dred and carried his own hung body around with him until like a fevered wolf he rejoined the Christ after passing the whole gamut of experiences past the Threshold..dealing with lines like, "it was the body of Judas Iskariot", and "it was the soul of Judas Iskariot" and all the events that we encounter as we cross the threshold in Kamaloca; and in this particualar connection, that those who have not understood the inner nature of following Karmic threads, St. Augustine was Judas.

Steiner describes how Judas literally was found on the island of Iskariot by a rich woman, taken in a home adjacent Pilate's house and later, killed the Father and married the woman, who was in fact, his mother...This brings Judas to the circle of disciples as the only soul capable of betraying a God. You may not have yet the understanding of how rich, and unselfish it is to look into these astonishing, incredible connections. But I offer you all this for the price of admission.

To think how we could tell the story of Judas, from his Iskariot island biography to his working in Pilates house, as a houseman and the next door neighbor, his mother...To Judas, to hanging himself and the discovery by Peter and Magdalene Potters field..here Maria Corelli comes in strong. To how Judas goes through his after life experience.. I have the poem and the potential book and film is just sitting there, right now on the tip of my tongue. How Judas/Augustine is given the etheric body of the Christ and now and now, integrated in all this, the symphonic expanded structure of Dylan, Bob Dylan's song as the music swelling underneath the whole film.

This whole structure is so easily clear in my mind's eye at present, I just am astonished. It lay as seed in my soul every since I was asked to recite the poem I offer, as part of my Goetheanum experiences. I just hadn't put all the pieces together, as I have them now thanks to Tarjei, brother in the Michael School. Why? Why because we all research and offer the pieces and fragments of the Michael School to each other and those mature enough to be part of the Michael School and its subsidiaries benefit in the rich depth, where others are paralyzed.

So if we take Dylan's 'coat of solid gold', think of the money paid for the Christ Being. 30 pieces of silver turned to an etheric garment of gold. Now running to all those lost and forlorn with the message that Christ offered to us all. We just have to imagine the transformation. We use even the images of the song to see how those awesome thirty pieces of silver turn to the shimmering etheric gold cloak of Augustine that Dylan sees. This shimmering gold cloak is non other than the witness to the fact that St. Augustine as Judas was given a model of the etheric body of Christ in exchange for fulfilling what even the Gods could not bring themselves to do.

Just listen to this clear cut Movie line:

The Ballad of Judas Iscariot
Robert Buchanan

'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
Lay in the Field of Blood;
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Beside the body stood.

Black was the earth by night,
And black was the sky;
Black, black were the broken clouds,
Tho' the red Moon went by.
'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
Strangled and dead lay there;
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Look'd on it in despair.

The breath of the World came and went
Like a sick man's in rest;
Drop by drop on the World's eyes
The dews fell cool and blest.

Then the soul of Judas Iscariot
Did make a gentle moan --
'I will bury underneath the ground
My flesh and blood and bone.

'I will bury deep beneath the soil,
Lest mortals look thereon,
And when the wolf and raven come
The body will be gone!

'The stones of the field are sharp as steel,
And hard and cold, God wot;
And I must bear my body hence
Until I find a spot!'

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot,
So grim, and gaunt, and gray,
Raised the body of Judas Iscariot,
And carried it away.

And as he bare it from the field
Its touch was cold as ice,
And the ivory teeth within the jaw
Rattled aloud, like dice.

As the soul of Judas Iscariot
Carried its load with pain,
The Eye of Heaven, like a lanthorn's eye,
Open'd and shut again.

Half he walk'd, and half he seemed
Lifted on the cold wind;
He did not turn, for chilly hands
Were pushing from behind.

The first place that he came unto
It was the open wold,
And underneath were prickly whins,
And a wind that blew so cold.

The next place that he came unto
It was a stagnant pool,
And when he threw the body in
It floated light as wool.

He drew the body on his back,
And it was dripping chill,
And the next place be came unto
Was a Cross upon a hill.

A Cross upon the windy hill,
And a Cross on either side,
Three skeletons that swing thereon,
Who had been crucified.

And on the middle cross-bar sat
A white Dove slumbering;
Dim it sat in the dim light,
With its head beneath its wing.

And underneath the middle Cross
A grave yawn'd wide and vast,
But the soul of Judas Iscariot
Shiver'd, and glided past.

The fourth place that he came unto
It was the Brig of Dread,
And the great torrents rushing down
Were deep, and swift, and red.

He dared not fling the body in
For fear of faces dim
And arms were waved in the wild water
To thrust it back to him.

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Turned from the Brig of Dread,
And the dreadful foam of the wild water
Had splashed the body red.

For days and nights he wandered on
Upon an open plain,
And the days went by like blinding mist,
And the nights like rushing rain.

For days and nights he wandered on,
All thro' the Wood of Woe;
And the nights went by like moaning wind,
And the days like drifting snow.

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Came with a weary face --
Alone, alone, and all alone,
Alone in a lonely place!

He wandered east, he wandered west,
And heard no human sound;
For months and years, in grief and tears,
He wandered round and round,

For months and years, in grief and tears,
He walked the silent night;
Then the soul of Judas Iscariot
Perceived a far-off light.

A far-off light across the waste,
As dim as dim might be,
That came and went like the lighthouse gleam
On a black night at sea.

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Crawl'd to the distant gleam;
And the rain came down, and the rain was blown
Against him with a scream.

For days and nights he wandered on,
Push'd on by hands behind;
And the days went by like black, black rain,
And the nights like rushing wind.

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot,
Strange, and sad, and tall,
Stood all alone at dead of night
Before a lighted hall.

And the wold was white with snow,
And his foot-marks black and damp,
And the ghost of the silvern Moon arose,
Holding her yellow lamp.

And the icicles were on the eaves,
And the walls were deep with white,
And the shadows of the guests within
Pass'd on the window light.

The shadows of the wedding guests
Did strangely come and go,
And the body of Judas Iscariot
Lay stretch'd along the snow.

The body of Judas Iscariot
Lay stretched along the snow;
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Ran swiftly to and fro.

To and fro, and up and down,
He ran so swiftly there,
As round and round the frozen Pole
Glideth the lean white bear.

'Twas the Bridegroom sat at the table-head,
And the lights burnt bright and clear --
'Oh, who is that,' the Bridegroom said,
'Whose weary feet I hear?'

'Twas one look'd from the lighted hall,
And answered soft and slow,
'It is a wolf runs up and down
With a black track in the snow.'

The Bridegroom in his robe of white
Sat at the table-head --
'Oh, who is that who moans without?'
The blessed Bridegroom said.

'Twas one looked from the lighted hall,
And answered fierce and low,
''Tis the soul of Judas Iscariot
Gliding to and fro.'

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Did hush itself and stand,
And saw the Bridegroom at the door
With a light in his hand.

The Bridegroom stood in the open door,
And he was clad in white,
And far within the Lord's Supper
Was spread so broad and bright.

The Bridegroom shaded his eyes and look'd,
And his face was bright to see --
'What dost thou here at the Lord's Supper
With thy body's sins?' said he.

'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Stood black, and sad, and bare --
'I have wandered many nights and days;
There is no light elsewhere.'

'Twas the wedding guests cried out within,
And their eyes were fierce and bright --
'Scourge the soul of Judas Iscariot
Away into the night!'

The Bridegroom stood in the open door,
And he waved hands still and slow,
And the third time that he waved his hands
The air was thick with snow.

And of every flake of falling snow,
Before it touched the ground,
There came a dove, and a thousand doves
Made sweet sound.

'Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
Floated away full fleet,
And the wings of the doves that bare it off
Were like its winding-sheet.

'Twas the Bridegroom stood at the open door,
And beckon'd, smiling sweet;
'Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Stole in, and fell at his feet.

'The Holy Supper is spread within,
And the many candles shine,
And I have waited long for thee
Before I poured the wine!'

The supper wine is poured at last,
The lights burn bright and fair,
Iscariot washes the Bridegroom's feet,
And dries them with his hair.

(From Miscellaneous Poems and Ballads, 1878-83.)

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:04 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism/Iskariot

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,

Who was Bob Dylan that we understand such things? I don't know. But find out what Steiner researched and in that research see how the pieces fit into something of a cohesive whole. Even the way Leonardo attempted to paint Judas in his Last supper. Below please find Dr. Steiner's incredible and truly stunning elaboration of just one of the Biblical characters and important in the Corelli novel.

holderlin66 wrote:

Bradford's answered request:

"Did we stop, and find ourselves in awe when Steiner talked about Iskariot and the isle where Judas was found? When Iskariot became the houseman next door to Pilate? How Iskariot then murdered his own Father, right next door to Pilate. Did we ponder more deeply St. Augustine?"

"I Dreamed I Saw St. Augustine"

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive as you or me
Tearing through these quarters
In the utmost misery
With a blanket underneath his arm
And a coat of solid gold
Searching for the very souls
Whom already have been sold.

"Arise, arise", he cried so loud
With a voice without restraint
"Come out ye gifted kings and queens
And hear my sad complaint
No martyr is among ye now
Whom you can call your own
So go on your way accordingly
But know you're not alone".

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine
Alive with fiery breath
And I dreamed I was amongst the ones
That put him out to death
Oh, I awoke in anger
So alone and terrified
I put my fingers against the glass
And bowed my head and cried."

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/19090704p01.html

"There is a legend which, though not in the Gospels, is none the less a Christian legend and a Christian truth. It runs as follows:

There was once a couple who for a long time had no son. It was revealed to the mother in a dream (note this well) that she would have a son, that this son would kill his father and wed his mother, and bring terrible misfortune upon his whole tribe.

In this legend we have a dream, as with Oedipus there is an oracle — that is, a remnant of the old inherited clairvoyance. The events to come were revealed to the mother in the old way. Does this suffice to give her an insight into the affairs of the would, so as to prevent the evil which had been foretold? Let us consult the legend, it tells us further:

Under the influence of this wisdom coming to her through her dream, the mother brought the child, to which she had given birth, to the island of Kariot and deserted it there. It was found, however, by the queen of that country who adopted it and brought it up herself, she and her husband being childless. After a time a child was born to this couple. The foundling son felt himself displaced and, being of passionate temperament, slew the son of the royal couple. Thereupon, being unable to remain, he fled and reached the court of the Governor Pilate in whose household he soon rose to the rank of overseer. Here he became involved in dispute with his neighbour and, not knowing that his neighbour was his own father, slew him. Thereupon he wedded his neighbour's wife — his mother. This foundling was Judas of Kariot.

Then, having become aware of his terrible situation, he fled once more and found compassion in Him alone who had compassion on all who approached Him; who not only sat at table with publicans and sinners but who, in spite of His universal insight, received this great sinner also into His company; for it was His mission to work, not alone for the good, but for all men, and to lead them away from sin to salvation. Thus Judas of Kariot came into the environment of Christ Jesus. And now he brought the curse which had been foretold and which now necessarily came into effect in the circle round Christ Jesus; as Schiller says: `Therein lies the curse of the evil deed, that, continuing to generate, it must ever bring forth evil.' He betrayed Christ Jesus. Fundamentally the fate which was to be fulfilled in him had already been fulfilled in the murder of his father and the union with his mother. But he remained as an instrument, we may say, the evil instrument which was to be the cause of good, in order, so to speak, that he should accomplish yet anther deed beyond the fulfilment.

The Oedipus legend presents us one who, having become aware of the evil he has wrought, immediately loses the sight of his eyes. But the other, who has the same fate through his connection with the old inherited wisdom, does not lose his sight; in fulfilment of fate he is destined to accomplish the deed which leads to the Mystery of Golgotha and causes the physical death of Him who is the Light of the World, and who brings about the light of the world in the healing of the man born blind. But He dies through one who, like Oedipus, was to exemplify the gradual extinction of the ancient wisdom in mankind and its inadequacy henceforth to bring peace, blessing, and love to men. That these might come, the impulse of Christ and His death on Golgotha were necessary. That, also, was first to be enacted which appears to us at the marriage at Cana as the external image of the relation of Christ Jesus to his mother. And something else was yet necessary which the writer of the Gospel of St. John describes as follows:

At the foot of the Cross stood the mother; there too stood the disciple `whom the Lord loved', Lazarus-John, whom He had Himself initiated and through whom the wisdom of Christianity was to descend to posterity, through whom the human astral body was to be influenced in such a way that the Christ-principle could dwell in man. There, within the astral body of man, the Christ-principle was to live, and John was to direct its flow into that body. To this end it was necessary that the Christ-principle should first be united, from the Cross, with the etheric, maternal principle. Therefore Christ spoke these words from the Cross: `From this hour, behold thy mother, and behold thy son!' That is to say, He binds together His wisdom with the maternal principle.

Thus we see how profound the Gospels are, indeed, how profound all the circumstances are, which are related to the practice of the Mysteries. for the old legends bear the same relation to the annunciations and Gospels of later times, as prophecy to fulfilment. One thing is most clearly shown us in the Oedipus and Judas legends: There was once a divine ancient wisdom. But it came to an end. And a new wisdom is needed. And this new wisdom will lead mankind whither the ancient wisdom would never have brought it. The Oedipus legend tells us what must have come to pass without the Christ-impulse. The Judas legend teaches us what was the antagonism against Christ — the stubborn clinging to the ancient wisdom.

But the wisdom of which the old legends and myths had said that it was inadequate, is proclaimed to us in a new light in the `new annunciation' in the Gospel. The Gospel gives the answer to the wise imagery of the old legends. These had declared that the future needs of mankind could never be satisfied by the ancient wisdom. But the Gospel brings us the new wisdom, for it says: I proclaim to you that which mankind needs, and which could never have come without the influence of the Christ-principle, without the Event of Golgotha!"

understanding Iskariot

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Sun Feb 29, 2004 5:19 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism/Iskariot

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com,

Bradford looks at the riddles upon riddles:

http://www.gnosticweb.com/judas.php

"One of the Masters of Gnosis who for centuries has been wrongly judged by the world is the Venerable Master Judas of Kariot, due to the mission he had to carry out in betraying the Master Jesus (Jeshua Ben Pandira). The betrayal was in fact a part of a divine plan, which had a higher purpose, to portray in the world what initiates go through in the tests of the higher dimensions. This page is dedicated to him in order to bring justice to the work he has done for the benefit of humanity and to his sacrifice to leave for the world true living teachings for those who genuinely yearn for enlightenment.

The book "The Flight of the Feathered Serpent" is a book directly dictated to a journalist by the Venerable Master Judas himself. This book has three parts which are called "books". The first book contains the accounts of how the journalist met Master Judas. The second book contains teachings from the Venerable Master of everlasting knowledge of the undercurrent of gnosis throughout the centuries. In the third book, the Master Judas relates his experience at the side of Nicodemus and his Master Jesus. In it he also relates the events, which took place at the time, when he was chosen to play a role in the Cosmic Drama of the Holy Land, which caused him immense sorrow and pain so many years ago.

Below is the account of the Master Rabolu, who, through his knowledge and direct experience talks about the Master Judas.

"Across religious sects or creeds, Judas has always been considered to be a bad, harmful, perverse individual. In reality, however, before the Cosmic Hierarchies (and I can testify to this) what the Apostles had to play was a Cosmic Drama in order to give us a living Teaching and which each of us has to undertake within ourselves. In reality, of all the Apostles of the Master Jesus, the most advanced, or let's not say advanced, the one of a superior category, was Judas, who had to play the most terrible role. I remember when the Master Jesus compelled or destined Judas to play that role and Judas did not feel capable of performing it. Then he knelt before Master Jesus and, weeping, he asked not to be given such a role because he did not feel capable of it. However, Jesus responded: You have to do it, you are the only one prepared for this".

"Judas is now in the Infernal Worlds fulfilling a mission. Just as Jesus renounced the Absolute for the love of us, Judas also renounced Absolute Happiness and he is in the Abyss, labouring in the Work of the Father, accomplishing his Mission there until the last spark of this Creation is liberated. It is from there that Judas will set out towards the Absolute, the same way as Jesus, because they are two beings who are outstanding in Wisdom".

"I was quite amazed when many years ago I went down to the Abyss, with Master Samael Aun Weor. We descended and arrived where Master Judas was. We found that he was a resplendent Light which illuminated everything around him. His disciples were receiving many teachings from him, teachings, which we could say were truly esoteric".

"He fights to bring souls out of the Abyss, so that here (in the physical world) they revolutionize. This is one of the most serious and difficult tasks I have seen. In truth, I am not capable of undertaking something like this. Judas, however, is carrying it out".

"He is a Being, but he feels every word pronounced against him by the religious people and believers here. There he feels it all: the harmful phrases as when someone betrays another and is called "Judas". He feels this and he feels it in raw flesh. Just imagine the whole of humanity talks about him, because his elevated Hierarchical position is really unknown!"

"Now, there is a book … In this book a journalist relates everything concerning Judas, dictated by Judas himself. He appeared to this journalist, yet without telling him that he was Judas, he did not want to say his name. The account contains a Great Teaching".

… "He appeared to the journalist momentarily and they became friends. Judas did not want to give his name, but whenever the journalist was in trouble he helped him. For some time, quite regularly, he appeared in flesh and blood to him. I am talking about a concrete reality, not a ghostly apparition".

… "The journalist is neither a Gnostic nor an Esotericist; however, he had the privilege of meeting him and therein relates all the help he received. Those writings contain an extremely accurate account. I do not know the journalist, who penned it, but I do already know the life story of Judas and I believe that the Master related the same thing that I know, or that which the Master and I have investigated. In comparing the esoteric investigation with this book, we found it to be exact, in other words, there was not difference at all".

… "To me it is very beautiful, because I know a great deal about the life story of Judas, of his process and all those things. There is nothing to cross out of this book".

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 12:18 pm
Subject: Re: understanding antisemitism/Iskariot

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, holderlin66 wrote:

Bradford looks at the riddles upon riddles:

http://www.gnosticweb.com/judas.php

"One of the Masters of Gnosis who for centuries has been wrongly judged by the world is the Venerable Master Judas of Kariot, due to the mission he had to carry out in betraying the Master Jesus (Jeshua Ben Pandira)."

Bradford comments;

No, not Jeshua Ben Pandira. So here we are looking at how the entire world would like to transpose beings. It started with Krishnamurti who was supposedly Jesus back for round two. No. False, proven false. Next there is running massive confusion as to Jeshua Ben Pandira. If it wasn't that Steiner was a steady beacon, the mangled esoteric trails into the spiritual world would and currently does find souls, all over the map.

Now I am not against looking all over the map. My confidence in Steiner's clarity is won on very specific grounds. In dealing with a Dream that Bob Dylan had and dealing with how he thought he might have been incarnated at the time of Augustine, (that is if I am following this correctly, Tarjei?) Is very much like the much pondered statement of Thoreau that he lived at the time of Christ but missed Christ altogether. American details in the lives around us begin to shape themselves, largely due to the New 21st Century research School of Michael.

http://www.geocities.com/temptations_page/DylGuide2.html

So I turned to the Confessions of St. Augustine and wanted to compare some references to how Dylan - setting out on his own at 16, made many interesting Biblical references...(see above link) When I think of Dylan I don't get this glitzy, astral experience of rock bands, but something lone, John the Baptist like and very much wrestling with inner etheric fields. I may be projecting here.

Partly I re-check the flavor and honesty of Augustine and I weigh out the metamorphosis of a man like Dylan. No conclusions drawn but to let it sit in my soul life as I may or may not see connections. Rough cut, rugged, chiseled and a massive shift but still a prophet like feeling running through it. No. Dylan was no pretty boy that is forsure.

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 1:30 pm
Subject: Architecture and Music (was: understanding antisemitism/Iskariot)

At 21:18 01.03.2004, Bradford wrote:

Partly I re-check the flavor and honesty of Augustine and I weigh out the metamorphosis of a man like Dylan. No conclusions drawn but to let it sit in my soul life as I may or may not see connections.

There may not be any real connection, or there may be. We don't know. The poet usually doesn't know. A poet doesn't have to make a claim, and he or she doesn't need to be fully conscious of the connection if there is any.

Paul Simon blew me away the first time I heard "You Can Call Me Al." He blew me away with his third verse because I had recently read a lecture by RS where he talks about how talents and abilities and interests are interrelated from one incarnation to the next, and somewhere he explains - to the best of my recollection - how an active interest in architecture evolves into something we bring across the threshold and all the way into our next incarnation, where it is transformed into music, musical composition. I may be wrong about this, because I don't remember so good, but if it has any merit, it means that an architect may easily become a composer in the next life. And because Paul Simon is a first rate composer, he stunned me with the following piece of lyric:

A man walks down the street
It's a street in a strange world
Maybe it's the Third World
Maybe it's his first time around
He doesn't speak the language
He holds no currency
He is a foreign man
He is surrounded by the sound
The sound
Cattle in the marketplace
Scatterlings and orphanages
He looks around, around
He sees angels in the architecture
Spinning in infinity
He says Amen! and Hallelujah!

If you'll be my bodyguard
I can be your long lost pal
I can call you Betty
And Betty when you call me
You can call me Al
Call me Al

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Mar 1, 2004 7:46 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: understanding antisemitism

Hi Linda, you wrote:

Before continuing, I'd like to interject a question: Why do you insist on using the term "antisemitism" to explore "this theme",

I use the term philosemitism as well. Surely this did not escape your notice?

when it's been born out that the "general" everybody fails to understand the term as you prefer to define it, thus "distracting" from your meaning?

What I presented are not my personal preferences. I urge you to consult the existing historical literature on antisemitism.

The only explanation which comes to mind would be that you prefer using the term because it is emotionally explosive and implies Steiner is somehow implicated in Germany's "Final Solution"

That makes no sense, Linda. I explicitly reject the interpretation you just imputed to me. Steiner was not implicated in the Final Solution.

The point is that disputes about "assimilation" and what it implied were the historical context in which Steiner's remarks were made.

No kidding.

They were contributions to the debate.

Indeed. Some of his contributions to this debate were philosemitic and others antisemitic, in my view.

These are highly charged issues that only become more polarized and incomprehensible when one side tries to identify the other as "racist" or anti-whatever.

I disagree completely. In both the French case and the US case, racist beliefs play an important role within anti-immigration discourse.

Could you be more specific about what you think Steiner was advocating? That they be converted to Christianity?

Steiner wasn't clear about this, though conversion was part (an ambivalent part) of Thieben's proferred "solution". For other assimilationist antisemites at the time, intermarriage was more important than conversion. Steiner did hold it against Jews that "they marry among themselves"; he neglected the fact that non-Jewish Germans also overwhelmingly married among themselves.

People make remarks like this in other contexts all the time even now

Indeed. Some of those remarks are antisemitic. Some are racist. Some are neither of these things.


Peter

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Mar 2, 2004 10:59 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: understanding antisemitism

 

Linda:

They were contributions to the debate.

Peter:

Indeed. Some of his contributions to this debate were philosemitic and others antisemitic, in my view.

Tarjei:

In other words, Rudolf Steiner spoke about positive and negative aspects of the Jewish culture. Why does this make him philosemitic and antisemitic? Isn't it possible to speak about Jewry at all without earning such strange labels?

Linda:

Could you be more specific about what you think Steiner was advocating? That they be converted to Christianity?

Peter:

Steiner wasn't clear about this, though conversion was part (an ambivalent part) of Thieben's proferred "solution".

Tarjei:

Somewhat like Shakespeare perhaps? Or like the apostle Paul?

Peter:

For other assimilationist antisemites at the time, intermarriage was more important than conversion.

Tarjei:

Individual freedom of choice in affairs of the heart?

Peter:

Steiner did hold it against Jews that "they marry among themselves"; he neglected the fact that non-Jewish Germans also overwhelmingly married among themselves.

Tarjei:

Isn't that logical for an overwhelming majority to do, when there are so few minority mates to choose from?

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Mar 2, 2004 7:21 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: understanding antisemitism

Hi again Tarjei, you wrote:

In other words, Rudolf Steiner spoke about positive and negative aspects of the Jewish culture.

Yes, as well as the very existence of "Jewry as such".

Why does this make him philosemitic and antisemitic?

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Isn't it possible to speak about Jewry at all without earning such strange labels?

Sometimes. But sometimes the things that various people say about "Jewry as such" can indeed be characterized as philosemitic or antisemitic.

Peter

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

From: at
Date: Wed Mar 3, 2004 2:13 pm
Subject: understanding antisemitism

Tarjei:

Why does this make [Steiner] philosemitic and antisemitic?

Peter Staudenmaier:

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Daniel:

So basically, Steiner was not an anti-Semite, he just held views that today can be characterized as anti-Semitic during certain periods of his life.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Mar 4, 2004 3:27 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: understanding antisemitism

Hi Peter, you wrote:

You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Are you supporting the notion that beliefs have lives of their own that are entirely detached from the persons uttering them, and that they are therefore independent living beings?

Tarjei

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

From: at
Date: Fri Mar 5, 2004 10:05 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

I notice this has gone unremarked. The implication is that if we are to remain consistent, it is not possible to speak of Steiner as an anti-Semite, or even to speak of Steiner's anti-Semitism. We can only talk about certain ideas of Steiner's that may appear anti-Semetic. The same, by extension, applies to racism. Since Peter Staudenmaier has been so kind as to bring this to our attention, I certainly hope he holds himself to this excellent advice.

Daniel Hindes

----- Original Message -----
From: at
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2004 5:13 PM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Tarjei:

Why does this make [Steiner] philosemitic and antisemitic?

Peter Staudenmaier:

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Daniel:

So basically, Steiner was not an anti-Semite, he just held views that today can be characterized as anti-Semitic during certain periods of his life.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 5, 2004 3:25 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Hi Daniel,

I notice this has gone unremarked. The implication is that if we are to remain consistent, it is not possible to speak of Steiner as an anti-Semite, or even to speak of Steiner's anti-Semitism. We can only talk about certain ideas of Steiner's that may appear anti-Semetic.

I think you skipped several steps in reaching that conclusion. Talking about who or what a person is is different from talking about what they say and write. It scarcely follows that we can only talk about the latter. The point is simply that it sometimes makes sense to keep the distinction in mind. It is entirely accurate to describe Heinrich von Treitschke as an antisemite, based on the antisemitic things that he said and wrote. (If you disagree, now would be a good time to say so.) Yet Treitschke never considered himself an antisemite. This does not by itself prevent historians from doing so. Alternatively, it would be a bad idea to label every person who ever made a single antisemitic remark an antisemite. I hope that clarifies things.

Peter

Why does this make [Steiner] philosemitic and antisemitic?

Peter Staudenmaier:

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Daniel:

So basically, Steiner was not an anti-Semite, he just held views that today can be characterized as anti-Semitic during certain periods of his life.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Fri Mar 5, 2004 6:21 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Daniel wrote:

I notice this has gone unremarked. The implication is that if we are to remain consistent, it is not possible to speak of Steiner as an anti-Semite, or even to speak of Steiner's anti-Semitism. We can only talk about certain ideas of Steiner's that may appear anti-Semetic.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think you skipped several steps in reaching that conclusion. Talking about who or what a person is is different from talking about what they say and write. It scarcely follows that we can only talk about the latter. The point is simply that it sometimes makes sense to keep the distinction in mind. It is entirely accurate to describe Heinrich von Treitschke as an antisemite, based on the antisemitic things that he said and wrote. (If you disagree, now would be a good time to say so.) Yet Treitschke never considered himself an antisemite. This does not by itself prevent historians from doing so. Alternatively, it would be a bad idea to label every person who ever made a single antisemitic remark an antisemite. I hope that clarifies things.

Daniel responds:

Your points here are quite valid (and you will certainly not find me defending Treitschke from charges of anti-Semitism). Talking about who or what a person is is indeed different from talking about what they say and write. And of course, it does not automatically follow that we should therefore not label them.

So we agree that it is possible to label someone an anti-Semite. The question remains, what is required for someone to earn the label? You have suggested that a single anti-Semitic remark is generally not sufficient grounds to earn the label (though I'm sure there are some who would disagree). The difficulty is coming up with a standard. Absent a standard, it is easy to be quite arbitrary with the label.

There are some who argue that we should never label another person with anything, either good or bad (this is one of the key points of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication). Rosenberg argues that we should only ever describe behavior, and that this makes for more open exchanges. A similar theory is derived by Carol Dweck in her study of the learning behavior of school children. Dweck has found that the label "intelligent" has a number of negative consequence for the children upon whom it is affixed. I have found the research sufficiently convincing to attempt to change my own behavior in this regard.

When you responded to Patrick's question, I thought you might be operating from a similar background. Another possibility is that you were just playing a game with his honest question, and getting a cheap jab in as well, suggesting that his understanding is blocked because he is somehow fixated on labels. The key "wiggle" word is "necessarily". You seem to be saying that it does not require us attach the label, sidestepping the fact that you probably will affix it anyway, not because it is required, but because you choose to. The put-down of Patrick is really gratuitous, since you are not actually making a counter-claim.

Daniel Hindes

The original exchange (thanks Peter!):

Why does this make [Steiner] philosemitic and antisemitic?

Peter Staudenmaier:

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Daniel:

So basically, Steiner was not an anti-Semite, he just held views that today can be characterized as anti-Semitic during certain periods of his life.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Mar 6, 2004 9:06 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

At 00:25 06.03.2004, Peter S wrote:

Alternatively, it would be a bad idea to label every person who ever made a single antisemitic remark an antisemite. I hope that clarifies things.

On the contrary. It makes your witch hunt against RS even more enigmatic.

Tarjei

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Mar 6, 2004 11:05 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Hi Daniel,

I'm a little reluctant to do this, because I think the recent digressions about proper netiquette are a distraction from the topics we ought to be discussing, and because I don't want to provoke you on a subject that appears to be somewhat touchy. But it seems to me that the post below makes a good case study of our very different ways of engaging in email discussion, and perhaps it might help dissuade you from the view that I am trying to distort your meaning. I'd like to ask you to carefully re-read your post below, which I've preserved in its entirety, as you prefer. Please note that Patrick and Tarjei are different people, as far as I know. For context, you can consult my original post, quoted at the bottom of yours; you'll find that post here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/2698

If you think that I misunderstood Tarjei's stance on the relation between persons and beliefs, I encourage you to say so. Thanks,

Peter

Daniel wrote:

I notice this has gone unremarked. The implication is that if we are to remain consistent, it is not possible to speak of Steiner as an anti-Semite, or even to speak of Steiner's anti-Semitism. We can only talk about certain ideas of Steiner's that may appear anti-Semetic.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think you skipped several steps in reaching that conclusion. Talking about who or what a person is is different from talking about what they say and write. It scarcely follows that we can only talk about the latter. The point is simply that it sometimes makes sense to keep the distinction in mind. It is entirely accurate to describe Heinrich von Treitschke as an antisemite, based on the antisemitic things that he said and wrote. (If you disagree, now would be a good time to say so.) Yet Treitschke never considered himself an antisemite. This does not by itself prevent historians from doing so. Alternatively, it would be a bad idea to label every person who ever made a single antisemitic remark an antisemite. I hope that clarifies things.

Daniel responds:

Your points here are quite valid (and you will certainly not find me defending Treitschke from charges of anti-Semitism). Talking about who or what a person is is indeed different from talking about what they say and write. And of course, it does not automatically follow that we should therefore not label them.

So we agree that it is possible to label someone an anti-Semite. The question remains, what is required for someone to earn the label? You have suggested that a single anti-Semitic remark is generally not sufficient grounds to earn the label (though I'm sure there are some who would disagree). The difficulty is coming up with a standard. Absent a standard, it is easy to be quite arbitrary with the label.

There are some who argue that we should never label another person with anything, either good or bad (this is one of the key points of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication). Rosenberg argues that we should only ever describe behavior, and that this makes for more open exchanges. A similar theory is derived by Carol Dweck in her study of the learning behavior of school children. Dweck has found that the label "intelligent" has a number of negative consequence for the children upon whom it is affixed. I have found the research sufficiently convincing to attempt to change my own behavior in this regard.

When you responded to Patrick's question, I thought you might be operating from a similar background. Another possibility is that you were just playing a game with his honest question, and getting a cheap jab in as well, suggesting that his understanding is blocked because he is somehow fixated on labels. The key "wiggle" word is "necessarily". You seem to be saying that it does not require us attach the label, sidestepping the fact that you probably will affix it anyway, not because it is required, but because you choose to. The put-down of Patrick is really gratuitous, since you are not actually making a counter-claim.

Daniel Hindes

The original exchange (thanks Peter!):

Why does this make [Steiner] philosemitic and antisemitic?

Peter Staudenmaier:

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Daniel:

So basically, Steiner was not an anti-Semite, he just held views that today can be characterized as anti-Semitic during certain periods of his life.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Sat Mar 6, 2004 2:57 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Peter,

Thanks for your time and consideration. I am curious why you have chosen this for an example. In this particular case, I do not think you have distorted my comments, nor have I claimed this. My wish is that all our exchanges were this straightforward.

Daniel Hindes

(Sorry to Diana for including the entire discussion below, but I think it will remain useful for reference).

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Staudenmaier
Sent: Saturday, March 06, 2004 2:05 PM
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Hi Daniel,

I'm a little reluctant to do this, because I think the recent digressions about proper netiquette are a distraction from the topics we ought to be discussing, and because I don't want to provoke you on a subject that appears to be somewhat touchy. But it seems to me that the post below makes a good case study of our very different ways of engaging in email discussion, and perhaps it might help dissuade you from the view that I am trying to distort your meaning. I'd like to ask you to carefully re-read your post below, which I've preserved in its entirety, as you prefer. Please note that Patrick and Tarjei are different people, as far as I know. For context, you can consult my original post, quoted at the bottom of yours; you'll find that post here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/2698

If you think that I misunderstood Tarjei's stance on the relation between persons and beliefs, I encourage you to say so. Thanks,

Peter

Daniel wrote:

I notice this has gone unremarked. The implication is that if we are to remain consistent, it is not possible to speak of Steiner as an anti-Semite, or even to speak of Steiner's anti-Semitism. We can only talk about certain ideas of Steiner's that may appear anti-Semetic.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think you skipped several steps in reaching that conclusion. Talking about who or what a person is is different from talking about what they say and write. It scarcely follows that we can only talk about the latter. The point is simply that it sometimes makes sense to keep the distinction in mind. It is entirely accurate to describe Heinrich von Treitschke as an antisemite, based on the antisemitic things that he said and wrote. (If you disagree, now would be a good time to say so.) Yet Treitschke never considered himself an antisemite. This does not by itself prevent historians from doing so. Alternatively, it would be a bad idea to label every person who ever made a single antisemitic remark an antisemite. I hope that clarifies things.

Daniel responds:

Your points here are quite valid (and you will certainly not find me defending Treitschke from charges of anti-Semitism). Talking about who or what a person is is indeed different from talking about what they say and write. And of course, it does not automatically follow that we should therefore not label them.

So we agree that it is possible to label someone an anti-Semite. The question remains, what is required for someone to earn the label? You have suggested that a single anti-Semitic remark is generally not sufficient grounds to earn the label (though I'm sure there are some who would disagree). The difficulty is coming up with a standard. Absent a standard, it is easy to be quite arbitrary with the label.

There are some who argue that we should never label another person with anything, either good or bad (this is one of the key points of Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication). Rosenberg argues that we should only ever describe behavior, and that this makes for more open exchanges. A similar theory is derived by Carol Dweck in her study of the learning behavior of school children. Dweck has found that the label "intelligent" has a number of negative consequence for the children upon whom it is affixed. I have found the research sufficiently convincing to attempt to change my own behavior in this regard.

When you responded to Patrick's question, I thought you might be operating from a similar background. Another possibility is that you were just playing a game with his honest question, and getting a cheap jab in as well, suggesting that his understanding is blocked because he is somehow fixated on labels. The key "wiggle" word is "necessarily". You seem to be saying that it does not require us attach the label, sidestepping the fact that you probably will affix it anyway, not because it is required, but because you choose to. The put-down of Patrick is really gratuitous, since you are not actually making a counter-claim.

Daniel Hindes

The original exchange (thanks Peter!):

Why does this make [Steiner] philosemitic and antisemitic?

Peter Staudenmaier:

It doesn't necessarily make him anything at all. You'd have an easier time understanding this if you could distinguish persons from beliefs.

Daniel:

So basically, Steiner was not an anti-Semite, he just held views that today can be characterized as anti-Semitic during certain periods of his life.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sun Mar 7, 2004 9:58 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Hi gain Daniel,

Thanks for your time and consideration. I am curious why you have chosen this for an example.

Because you mixed up Patrick and Tarjei. Trying to put this as gently as possible: you sometimes seem to have difficulty keeping track of what I wrote, what other people wrote, and occasionally what you wrote yourself. That isn't necessarily a big deal; I have the same trouble myself from time to time. But when that happens, I think the best thing to do is simply say 'you misunderstood me' instead of saying 'you distorted my meaning'. Thanks,

Peter

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From: at
Date: Sun Mar 7, 2004 3:08 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] understanding antisemitism

Peter,

Ok. I mistakenly attributed to Patrick something Tarjei wrote. My apologies to all three of you, and the rest of the list as well.

Does that change anything of the meaning of what you say or what I have said? My biggest complaint with you is not that you make occasional errors of attribution, but that you systematically distort the point of view that you are responding to. In email this is usually by snipping the text of your interlocutor to where it is unrecognizable and then responding to that. On occasion you even argue their point back to them, making them by implication (yes, yes, we know that you never, ever, work by implication) hold a position to the opposite of what they actually did.

If I make further such errors, please point them out to me. I know that in this case your intent is to demonstrate that since I am capable of error, then by extension everything I say is potentially in error. Aside from the epistemological fact that everything I say is potentially in error anyway (this is a given), showing me to be less than infallible does not say anything about your own behavior. I still stand by my accusation of distortion in your works (both articles and e-mails) and encourage anyone who agrees or disagrees to respond here.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Mar 7, 2004 3:34 pm
Subject: erroneous attributions (was: understanding antisemitism)

Hi Peter, you wrote to Daniel:

Because you mixed up Patrick and Tarjei. Trying to put this as gently as possible: you sometimes seem to have difficulty keeping track of what I wrote, what other people wrote, and occasionally what you wrote yourself.

Daniel has already commented on this himself, but here are my 2c: Making mistakes in attributions is common; I once confused Dottie with Mike. Losing track of what is being written is not the same thing. We see all the texts, but we don't see the persons who write them, and sometimes clumsy formatting contribute to the confusion of who wrote what.

What you're trying to "put as gently as possible" to Daniel looks like a desperate struggle to gain the upper hand and get the last word at any cost. It looks like he is keeping very good track of what is being written in the threads he participates in.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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