The Founder of Anthroposophy

 

From: golden3000997
Date: Mon Mar 8, 2004 6:35 pm
Subject: The Founder of Anthroposophy

Dear Lisa et al,

It is pronounced "mi-cha-el" just like you would say "ga-bri-el" and "ra-pha-el". The "el" at the end of each name means "God". Michael means "countenance of God".

The Archangel Michael, as we take him to be, is "The Founder of Anthroposophy" because he is the supreme champion of the development of Human Freedom and the "I" or Individuality of each Human Being. He slays the dragon of the falsehood of materialism and protects the Eternal Feminine who gives birth to the New Human Being.

Rudolf Steiner spoke of a "Michael School" which took place in the 1800s in which many, many individualities who were about to come into physical incarnation were "enrolled". This "school" brought souls together who had been pursuing many different paths to the Spiritual World and taught them (literally) how the piece of the cosmic puzzle through the long ages of time fit together and how crucial it is for each Human Being to find his or her own direct way to the Spiritual World and to the Christ Being from with in their physical life. This was not an "indoctrination" - it was a bringing together of people who had sought truth and love throughout the ages and united them in knowledge and purpose.

Rudolf Steiner was a great teacher of this "Michael School" - not a guru, not a "cult leader", not a person interested in interfering with or directing other people's free will. But a true teacher - one who made himself available to the Spiritual World and to the Human Beings now living in the material world. Not as a "channel" or "sleeping prophet" but one who worked to be able to perceive Spiritual reality as concretely and objectively as any person can perceive the physical world. And he worked to make not only the knowledge about this objective reality available to people, but a safe, moral and fully concious path to knowledge of this spiritual reality so that they would be able to develop the "tools" of spiritual perception in a healthy and verifiable way.

All of the work of Rudolf Steiner is directly inspired by the Archangel Michael as the "countenance" or "representative" of the Christ Being - the Archetype of all Humankind - ALL. Not one word is meant to be or expected to be or really, allowed to be taken on "faith" or because "he said so." Every word is given in Freedom and can ONLY be taken in Freedom or rejected in Freedom. By the same token, every word and every spiritual impulse behind those words is given to Humanity as a Whole - not one person excluded, not one person judged for "worthiness" or even for capacity to understand. Just as the Sun shines on every person who steps out of his or her house, so does the Light of Truth shine for all who choose to open their "eyes" - their hearts and minds.

How each person chooses to do this; why each person chooses to do this; what results in each person who chooses to do this is entirely their own business. No one judges or has a right to judge. Even when ideas or interpretations of ideas get misinterpreted or distorted - unintentionally or intentionally - often others do not interfere, exactly because of the great respect every person who is a student of Rudolf Steiner has for the "I" of the other person and the responsibility that each one carries for what lives inside his or her true individuality. This can create problems, due to the fallability of people, but it stands in opposition to the "dogmatic" view of "religious truth" that has carried humanity through up to now. We stand at the Threshold of an age in which we cannot and will not be led "blindly" by churches, governments or any other social institution. Mankind faces the challenge of having to "stand on our own two feet." We see in our time mostly tragedy occuring when people try to go back to various forms of "group conciousness" in their spiritual strivings. There can be a community of the heart involved in Anthroposophy, but never one which expects the Individual to "surrender" his or her own knowledge, discernment and freedom of thought, word or deed.

What is it that the Archangel Michael is "trying to achieve" through Rudolf Steiner and all who choose freely to take up a work such as Waldorf Education? It is always and absolutely that each and every individual shall find an environment, a community and a vocation that allows as much as possible (given the limits of space, time and the wider social fabric of our time) that person to fulfill the intentions that he or she came into this earth existence with. That each human being, to the best of whatever the circumstances will allow have a childhood which allows him or her to develop in as healthy a way as possible; that allows for a gradual sequence of unfolding of abilities, talents and interests; that strives to work for harmonizing potentially harmful tendencies; that seeks the kind of balance of Form and Freedom that gives the growing human being both encouragement to grow and healthy boundaries; that works to nurture in each developing human being a profound respect for life, for the earth, for every form of life on the earth, for each other and for him and her self; that brings to each child the as many of the infinite names and faces and manifestations of God as possible, so that he or she may discover the "door" in his or her own heart that opens easily to God in whatever form or manifestation that person desires and requires.

Perhaps you and others have encountered "Anthroposophists", "Waldorf Schools", "Waldorf Teachers" etc. who fail miserably to live up to the statements above. Have you ever known a "Christian" to fail to live up to the teachings of Christ? I know that I have failed, pretty much every day of my life and may continue to fail for several more lifetimes. Without the hope of and knowledge of and experience of Forgiveness, I know that I could never try again. I believe that there are others who would feel the same way. Have we failed you and your children in some way? I do not doubt it if you say so. Speaking for myself, I feel it deeply and I know it from every side. I have been on the receiving end of unkindness and lack of understanding as well - from my "fellow" Steiner people and Waldorf people.

But I have also seen and heard and experienced those moments of love and understanding and true acceptance such as I have never seen or experienced anywhere else. I have had my moments, too when real, viable good was accomplished, even by me - moments I can attest to and carry with me with pride for my efforts and reverence for the guidance that I received in the process.

Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely! We are still in the infancy of the work. There are still a many years and many "miles" to go. The Archangel Michael guides us and helps us when we ask for help, but he does not do the work for us. He does not expect us to "surrender" our wills. He expects us (all human beings) to strengthen our Will and through our Free Will to work for the Power of Love and Truth that lives within each and every one of us.

With respect,
Christine

Rudolf Steiner - found at the end of "Study of Man"

Teacher's Verse at Faculty Meetings

Imbue thyself with the Power of Imagination
Have Courage for the Truth
Sharpen thy Feeling for Responsibility of Soul

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

From: holderlin66
Date: Mon Mar 8, 2004 8:22 pm
Subject: Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy

golden3000997 wrote:

Dear Lisa et al,

Let it ring forth to all hearts! Thank you so much Golden! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-yu!

Not one word is meant to be or expected to be or really, allowed to be taken on "faith" or because "he said so." Every word is given in Freedom and can ONLY be taken in Freedom or rejected in Freedom. By the same token, every word and every spiritual impulse behind those words is given to Humanity as a Whole - not one person excluded, not one person judged for "worthiness" or even for capacity to understand. Just as the Sun shines on every person who steps out of his or her house, so does the Light of Truth shine for all who choose to open their "eyes" - their hearts and minds.

How each person chooses to do this; why each person chooses to do this; what results in each person who chooses to do this is entirely their own business. No one judges or has a right to judge. Even when ideas or interpretations of ideas get misinterpreted or distorted - unintentionally or intentionally - often others do not interfere, exactly because of the great respect every person who is a student of Rudolf Steiner has for the "I" of the other person and the responsibility that each one carries for what lives inside his or her true individuality. This can create problems, due to the fallability of people, but it stands in opposition to the "dogmatic" view of "religious truth" that has carried humanity through up to now. We stand at the Threshold of an age in which we cannot and will not be led "blindly" by churches, governments or any other social institution. Mankind faces the challenge of having to "stand on our own two feet."

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

From: golden3000997
Date: Tue Mar 9, 2004 3:41 pm
Subject: Fwd: The Founder of Anthroposophy

From: Peter Farrell
Date: Tue Mar 9, 2004 1:05 pm
Subject: Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy
To: waldorf-critics@topica.com

Nicole wrote:

I agree with Lisa that accepting what Steiner said as truth must be a matter of faith as there is no way to verify it. You either believe that he was a clairvoyant Master and therefore had privileged access to the Akashic Record (the cosmic memory of all human existence according to Steiner), or you do not. This 'fact' cannot be investigated independently and objectively.

Peter F. adds:

I don't agree with this. It seems to me that at least some of what Steiner said and claimed does fall into the class of those things that can be tested independently of this faith. Much of biodynamic practice, Anthroposophical medical practce, aspects of the educational approach, and much of his writings on scientific matters can be examined with a view to verification or to falsification. My own opinion is that a great deal of what Steiner had to say is evidently incorrect. If what he had to say on issues that we can independently test is wrong, why should we not make a skeptical judgement of what he had to say which is harder or impossible to test.

See you, Peter

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

From: golden3000997
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 4:50 am
Subject: Fwd: The Founder of Anthroposophy

From: Dan Dugan
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 12:15 am
Subject: Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy
To: waldorf-critics@topica.com

Christine, thank you for your moving testimony of faith. If anyone here doubted that Anthroposophy was a religion, your essay should erase that doubt. I have a few questions on the details.

It is pronounced "mi-cha-el" just like you would say "ga-bri-el" and "ra-pha-el". The "el" at the end of each name means "God". Michael means "countenance of God".

Pronounced by whom? Why, in Waldorf schools, is the common English name "Michael" pronounced "mi-cha-el"? Why is it necessary to make a distinction? Is it because that's the way it's pronounced in German? Why would that matter?

The Archangel Michael, as we take him to be, is "The Founder of Anthroposophy" because he is the supreme champion of the development of Human Freedom and the "I" or Individuality of each Human Being. He slays the dragon of the falsehood of materialism and protects the Eternal Feminine who gives birth to the New Human Being.

When and where do we see this "New Human Being"?

Rudolf Steiner spoke of a "Michael School" which took place in the 1800s in which many, many individualities who were about to come into physical incarnation were "enrolled". This "school" brought souls together who had been pursuing many different paths to the Spiritual World and taught them (literally) how the piece of the cosmic puzzle through the long ages of time fit together and how crucial it is for each Human Being to find his or her own direct way to the Spiritual World and to the Christ Being from with in their physical life. This was not an "indoctrination" - it was a bringing together of people who had sought truth and love throughout the ages and united them in knowledge and purpose.

Rudolf Steiner was a great teacher of this "Michael School" - not a guru, not a "cult leader", not a person interested in interfering with or directing other people's free will. But a true teacher - one who made himself available to the Spiritual World and to the Human Beings now living in the material world. Not as a "channel" or "sleeping prophet" but one who worked to be able to perceive Spiritual reality as concretely and objectively as any person can perceive the physical world. And he worked to make not only the knowledge about this objective reality available to people, but a safe, moral and fully concious path to knowledge of this spiritual reality so that they would be able to develop the "tools" of spiritual perception in a healthy and verifiable way.

The above is a statement of doctrine. It's based solely on revelation from divine sources.

All of the work of Rudolf Steiner is directly inspired by the Archangel Michael as the "countenance" or "representative" of the Christ Being - the Archetype of all Humankind - ALL. Not one word is meant to be or expected to be or really, allowed to be taken on "faith" or because "he said so." Every word is given in Freedom and can ONLY be taken in Freedom or rejected in Freedom.

But if it's "directly inspired" by a supernatural source, who could doubt it? That's the problem with criticizing Steiner. If he got his teachings from the spiritual world, only another "researcher" in the spiritual world would be able to argue whether he got things right or not. But there are very few who claim to be able to study the spiritual world as Steiner did. So that leaves Anthroposophists with only one thing: faith. All the talk about "freedom" may make you feel good, but it's meaningless in practice. It's a trick Steiner played on you, a guru trick.

By the same token, every word and every spiritual impulse behind those words is given to Humanity as a Whole - not one person excluded, not one person judged for "worthiness" or even for capacity to understand. Just as the Sun shines on every person who steps out of his or her house, so does the Light of Truth shine for all who choose to open their "eyes" - their hearts and minds.

Religions do claim to have "the Light of Truth."

How each person chooses to do this; why each person chooses to do this; what results in each person who chooses to do this is entirely their own business. No one judges or has a right to judge.

Sounds good, but in practice, in Anthroposophical institutions there's a whole lotta judgin' goin' on. Those who can quote Steiner to justify their positions win.

Even when ideas or interpretations of ideas get misinterpreted or distorted - unintentionally or intentionally - often others do not interfere, exactly because of the great respect every person who is a student of Rudolf Steiner has for the "I" of the other person and the responsibility that each one carries for what lives inside his or her true individuality. This can create problems, due to the fallability of people, but it stands in opposition to the "dogmatic" view of "religious truth" that has carried humanity through up to now. We stand at the Threshold of an age in which we cannot and will not be led "blindly" by churches, governments or any other social institution. Mankind faces the challenge of having to "stand on our own two feet." We see in our time mostly tragedy occuring when people try to go back to various forms of "group conciousness" in their spiritual strivings. There can be a community of the heart involved in Anthroposophy, but never one which expects the Individual to "surrender" his or her own knowledge, discernment and freedom of thought, word or deed.

Nonsense. Anthroposophical communities expect total surrender to Steiner's revelations. They can't survive otherwise.

What is it that the Archangel Michael is "trying to achieve" through Rudolf Steiner and all who choose freely to take up a work such as Waldorf Education? It is always and absolutely that each and every individual shall find an environment, a community and a vocation that allows as much as possible (given the limits of space, time and the wider social fabric of our time) that person to fulfill the intentions that he or she came into this earth existence with. That each human being, to the best of whatever the circumstances will allow have a childhood which allows him or her to develop in as healthy a way as possible; that allows for a gradual sequence of unfolding of abilities, talents and interests; that strives to work for harmonizing potentially harmful tendencies; that seeks the kind of balance of Form and Freedom that gives the growing human being both encouragement to grow and healthy boundaries; that works to nurture in each developing human being a profound respect for life, for the earth, for every form of life on the earth, for each other and for him and her self;

High ideals that everybody would agree with. But does Waldorf education actually "allow him or her to develop in as healthy a way as possible"? How would you know that Steiner's indications from the spiritual world actually lead to those results?

that brings to each child the as many of the infinite names and faces and manifestations of God as possible, so that he or she may discover the "door" in his or her own heart that opens easily to God in whatever form or manifestation that person desires and requires.

Indeed, as Eugene Schwartz said, he wants his daughter in Waldorf because it is a religious education. Wouldn't it be more honest to stop covering that up?

Perhaps you and others have encountered "Anthroposophists", "Waldorf Schools", "Waldorf Teachers" etc. who fail miserably to live up to the statements above.

I'd say that's inevitable, given the state of Waldorf teacher selection and training. How will the movement reform itself? Criticism is suppressed, there's no feedback loop, therefore no correction of wrong directions, no growth.

Have you ever known a "Christian" to fail to live up to the teachings of Christ? I know that I have failed, pretty much every day of my life and may continue to fail for several more lifetimes. Without the hope of and knowledge of and experience of Forgiveness, I know that I could never try again. I believe that there are others who would feel the same way. Have we failed you and your children in some way? I do not doubt it if you say so. Speaking for myself, I feel it deeply and I know it from every side. I have been on the receiving end of unkindness and lack of understanding as well - from my "fellow" Steiner people and Waldorf people.

But I have also seen and heard and experienced those moments of love and understanding and true acceptance such as I have never seen or experienced anywhere else. I have had my moments, too when real, viable good was accomplished, even by me - moments I can attest to and carry with me with pride for my efforts and reverence for the guidance that I received in the process.

Waldorf teachers are the devotees of the cult. The enterprise only goes on when you sacrifice yourselves to the cause. It makes you feel noble, and special.

Do we have a long way to go? Absolutely! We are still in the infancy of the work.

After 80 years I'd expect a little more confidence.

There are still a many years and many "miles" to go. The Archangel Michael guides us and helps us when we ask for help, but he does not do the work for us. He does not expect us to "surrender" our wills. He expects us (all human beings) to strengthen our Will and through our Free Will to work for the Power of Love and Truth that lives within each and every one of us.

Why do you capitalize Will here? What does that mean?

-Dan Dugan

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

From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:40 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Fwd: The Founder of Anthroposophy

Dear Christine,

that's the same old story. These guys who "pretend" to be "critics of Anthroposophy" demonstrate on and on, in case they were "goodfaith" people to know nothing at all about Steiner's insights. How is it possible to carry on and on the hoax of "anthro-cult" ignoring, for instance, that Anthroposophy is, first of all, a path of cognition and not a "system of beliefs" ?

How is it possible to ignore that between "blind faith" ( this is the only kind of "faith" that the W(ater) C(loset) herd is able to grasp ) and "perfect clairvoyance" there is a whole lot of middle degrees described not only into Steiner's works about Spiritual training but also by lots of Spiritual researchers all along a century, namely Stein, Unger, Zeylmans, Wegman, Polzer Hoditz, Colazza, Scaligero, Lievegood, Ben Ahron, Mayer, Kuhlewind and many others ?

It's quite impossible to be so dull. So those guys are NOT goodfaith nuts (at least most of them) and like our dear Charalatanmaier they are only performing a job coinsisting in "scream your lies the loudest you can and you'll make them become truths!"

Let's give them the deserved "pay" for such a job here in the web and everywhere we'll be able to catch them!

Andrea

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

From: at
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 3:58 pm
Subject: Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy

Peter F. adds:

<snip>

My own opinion is that a great deal of what Steiner had to say is evidently incorrect. If what he had to say on issues that we can independently test is wrong, why should we not make a skeptical judgement of what he had to say which is harder or impossible to test.

A perfect case of seeing only what you want to.

Here is a simple and logical test. If so much of what Steiner said is empirically wrong, why is the movement in his name growing worldwide? What sort of fools would finish medical school and then spend time learning anthroposophically extended medicine? (Yes, finishing medical school and becoming a board certified physician is a prerequisite for practicing anthroposophically extended medicine, both in the US and in Europe). What idiot farmer would go for a technique that consistently doesn't work, and why are there more and more of them (farmers) every year? And what fools send their kids to a school that obviously does nothing to educate them, year after year? And under such circumstances, why is it the fastest growing independent school movement in the world?

Just as an FYI, I went to a Waldorf open house last weekend just to check it out. In the first grade class room all the books were out, and all of them had writing in them! Writing done by the students, no less! and it was in complete sentences! In First Grade! To read things over at the WC, this is impossible. No Waldorf School does this, supposedly. Reality check?

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Wed Mar 10, 2004 4:25 pm
Subject: Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy

Dan Dugan:

Why, in Waldorf schools, is the common English name "Michael" pronounced "mi-cha-el"? Why is it necessary to make a distinction? Is it because that's the way it's pronounced in German?

Actually, no. In German the CH is soft (more like HE). A major difference in the consonant. Perhaps it is to be clear that the Angel is being referred to.

Sounds good, but in practice, in Anthroposophical institutions there's a whole lotta judgin' goin' on. Those who can quote Steiner to justify their positions win.

I'd be more inclined to believe you if you gave examples.

Nonsense. Anthroposophical communities expect total surrender to Steiner's revelations. They can't survive otherwise.

That, my friend, is an opinion rather than a fact. And a not-very-well informed opinion either, for that matter.

High ideals that everybody would agree with. But does Waldorf education actually "allow him or her to develop in as healthy a way as possible"? How would you know that Steiner's indications from the spiritual world actually lead to those results?

80 plus years of experience? Beyond your small circle of (perhaps justifiably) disgruntled friends are thousands upon thousands of people who are quite happy with the results of Waldorf Education.

Waldorf teachers are the devotees of the cult. The enterprise only goes on when you sacrifice yourselves to the cause. It makes you feel noble, and special.

Really? Every last one of them? No exceptions?

[Christine:]

There are still a many years and many "miles" to go. The Archangel Michael guides us and helps us when we ask for help, but he does not do the work for us. He does not expect us to "surrender" our wills. He expects us (all human beings) to strengthen our Will and through our Free Will to work for the Power of Love and Truth that lives within each and every one of us.

Why do you capitalize Will here? What does that mean?

-Dan Dugan

It means that free will is important to Anthroposophists. What do you think it means?

Daniel Hindes

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

From: winters_diana
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:52 am
Subject: Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy

Daniel asked rhetorically (about Waldorf):

why is it the fastest growing independent school movement in the world?

What is the basis of this claim? Where are these data found?

Just as an FYI, I went to a Waldorf open house last weekend just to check it out. In the first grade class room all the books were out, and all of them had writing in them! Writing done by the students, no less! and it was in complete sentences! In First Grade! To read things over at the WC, this is impossible. No Waldorf School does this, supposedly. Reality check?

No one has claimed they do not "write" in first grade in the mechanical sense of putting letters on paper. Most of first grade is usually devoted to learning to copy the alphabet.

If you want a reality check on this, Daniel, it may be difficult, since many Waldorf schools do not like to do this, but you would need to ask if you may observe in the classroom for a morning or two, where these sentences are being written by these children in these books.

Not all Waldorf classrooms or teachers are alike, and it is possible these children are learning to read and write. I have talked to a number of Waldorf teachers who think it is total nonsense to try to hold kids back from reading in first grade, or even earlier, if they are ready. It is also probable that a certain percentage of the children whose books you were looking at already know how to read and write because they learned before they got there. There is ample evidence, however, that in many Waldorf first grades, what they are doing is copying these sentences written by the teacher off the board. Another reality check might be for you to inquire of the children who wrote these sentences what they say, and see if they can read them. Of course, they are not likely to want you to do this. A display of beautiful books at an open house may leave you with quite a different impression than you might gain from sitting in that classroom.

Another technique I've heard Waldorf teachers share, intended to prevent or at least delay children learning to get their own thoughts on paper via written language, is that the class will invent sentences together, and then everyone is required to copy those. The important thing to understand is that it is considered generally a good thing to delay a child's understanding of the alphabetic code (because it is "abstract" and therefore damaging to children), and that unlike most other first grade teachers world over, Waldorf teachers are not likely to encourage their students to view writing as a means of expressing their own thoughts by use of this code (because that makes them "self-conscious" and "awakens" them). Making it a group event where everyone copies the same thing, preferably without understanding it, is considered desirable.

Diana

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From: Patrick
Date: Thu Mar 11, 2004 4:11 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: The Founder of Anthroposophy

Dear Diana,

It is not true that most of first grade in a Waldorf school should be spent learning to copy the alphabet. If the teacher is doing this he or she is not well-trained or is idiosyncratic. The children should receive: (1) an artistic introduction to the 26 letters of the alphabet -- children of course copy the letters in order to make them correctly; (2) the presentation of each letter must include the sound that the letter generally makes and this sound symbol relationship must be rehearsed and reviewed in order that the children make the connection; (3) the teacher then makes or chooses a little verse that contains the letter and sounds being recognized or rehearsed and the process of discovery and learning of symbols and words begins; (4) words and sentences are not taken out of context-- the children learn a sentence or verse by heart, see it written on the board, hear it spoken as they follow the words with their eyes, read it together, and copy it. This process of relating to the symbol and sound with active human feeling, a learning to recognize the gestalt of the word, the phrase, and the sentence through writing and reading what you have heard and learned by heart is the basis of the Waldorf approach to reading. This is done over the course of a year. We also work with phonetics as we help children learn to spell. The group writing technique that you mention is done not in order to keep the children from learning to write on their own, but just the opposite! It encourages the children to be active in oral composition, to discuss and discover different ways of expression, and to learn from each other. Done repetitively and with enthusiasm, this method helps children to learn to write on their own. There are, of course, subsequent steps. The next step, having modeled it in group composition exercises, is to form smaller groups and so on until individuals are writing on their own. By the end of first grade it was Steiner's intention that children could write simple sentences on their own. Of course, not all children will achieve this: but many can and do. Children are always encouraged to do as much as they can do. Waldorf education trains the thinking; it merely avoids abstractions and definitions while doing so. Any Waldorf teacher with a good training and good mentoring works in this manner. I know this because I have been a Waldorf teacher for 20 years and now, for the past seven years, also train teachers.

Sincerely,

Patrick

To Diana

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