This is what Diana Winters and other "Waldorf Ctritics" say about me on the WC list - in a thread even bearing my name. It deserves no comment:

Black and white magic, left and right hands, Tarjei
Diana Winters
Apr 15, 2002 19:18 PDT

I recently posted some comments on material on Tarjei (Uncle Taz's) website about "right-" and "left-handed" magic. - Here's the link again:
http://www.uncletaz.com/hubbstein.html

Tarjei has in turn commented on his website about my comments. I'll post my comments again (this was my summary of his essay) and his response. I wrote:

Right-handedness is associated with white magic, left-handed with black magic. With right-handedness, we have moral purity, advanced moral and spiritual development, selflessness, patience, endurance, and association with the "Christ impulse." With left-handedness, you have . . . the opposite of all that. The right-handed initiate has spent many lifetimes getting there, so I guess it seems actually charitable to try to help lefties along a bit on their spiritual path by switching their handedness.

In the interests of space I am only re-posting parts of the original from Uncle Taz:

'Left-handed' and 'right-handed' are technical terms borrowed from Western occultism . . . Western occult tradition speaks of a right-handed and a left-handed occultism, which means, strictly speaking, white and black magic. The right-handed path, which it is called, is an extremely difficult and time-consuming approach, requiring enormous patience and endurance. It is based upon the moral purification of body, soul and spirit and the cultivation of total harmlessness and unconditional selfless love toward all living creatures. Because of the very lofty and difficult demands the candidate must make upon himself, it takes many life-times, or incarnations, to develop such spiritual-moral capacities to the point of intitiation, or modern clairvoyance. The black magician, or the left-handed occultist, seeks to strengthen the power of egoism. <etc.>

About my post, Tarjei now says on his website - my comments interwoven:

This is an outright lie. Right- and left-handedness is not associated with white and black magic.

Nonsense. That was the point of your essay. The terms "right-" and "left-handed" are explicitly connected to white and black magic respectively. If there is no "association" why use the terms? I understand they are "technical" terms, but the terms derive from ancient superstitions about actual handedness, from a time when lefties were viewed with suspicion and fear simply because left-handedness is not as common as right-handedness. This and many similar superstitions are alive and well in Waldorf today. Waldorf teachers have traditionally tried to convert left-handed children to right, something no other educator would have done in the past 50 years.

So we have these two facts: 1) This left- and right-handed crap is part of the occult tradition studied by Waldorf teachers (and not studied by any other respectable educators). 2) There are numerous reports from around the world of Waldorf teachers attempting to switch left-handed children to their right hands. (Steiner said that left-handedness is a sign of having been a weak person in a previous life.)

Readers can judge for themselves whether there is any reason to suspect a connection here (or whether I am a dirty liar).

This is a lie, not an innocent error. It's as ridiculous as suggesting e.g. that political left-wingers are all left-handed.

It's not an innocent error, because it's not an error at all. Nnobody uses the term "left handed" to refer to "left-wingers." But I would imagine the use of "left" in politics does have the same origin, associated with going against an established order or tradition, being "different," causing trouble. (Just a guess.)

The reason why it is a lie (i.e. the critics know the truth but choose deliberately to distort it) is that they wish to combat what is perceived to be "the Waldorf policy" of converting lefties to righties at a young age among children.

There ya go. We wish to combat that. Guilty as charged - our aim is to combat these practices. Forcing children to switch hands is a barbaric practice. And please examine your own logic above, Tarjei - the reason it is a lie is that we wish to combat a Waldorf practice? Okey dokey. I thought something was a lie by virtue of not being true.

Apart from the fact that the reasons this was done in the past, by Waldorf schools and other schools as well, have nothing whatsoever to do with this topic of magic or good vs. evil. In other words, this is a classic example of "playing dirty" to get the Anthroposophists and their ideas at any cost and with any means, where anything goes.

Sure. "Anything goes" - like quoting and publicizing their own writings, with commentary. What an evil thing to do. That's what you mean by "anything goes"?

Research has shown that the practice of converting lefties into righties among young children is not to be recommended. Michaela Glöckler, head of the medical section at the Goetheanum, has strongly distanced herself and anthroposophy from such practices.

Note that no one else is "distancing" themselves from this practice nowadays, since no one else is using this practice. This is long since resolved. I'm sure glad Michaela Glockler has noticed.

Contrary to notions cherished by critics, this is not Waldorf policy.

This has been Waldorf policy for decades in many schools. This is not a notion "cherished" by critics but a matter of what has been reported worldwide from Waldorf schools, and it clearly continues in some schools today. If they are re-thinking it, it is partly thanks to being exposed by people appropriately appalled by the practice. Like to think I've done my little part.
Diana


Re: Black and white magic, left and right hands, Tarjei
walden
Apr 15, 2002 19:48 PDT

Walden:

First - both of my left handed children were forced against their will (and unbeknownst to me or my wife at the time) to switch to their right hand with at least two different teachers a few years apart at their Waldorf school.

The kids had a very difficult time switching and eventually were allowed to continue with their left hands. They are both left handed still and have no problems writing, drawing or performing magic tricks.

Second - Diana, were you asked permission by this fellow, Tarjei, to put your name and words on his web site?


Re: Black and white magic, left and right hands, Tarjei
Diana Winters
Apr 15, 2002 20:02 PDT

Walden:

both of my left handed children were forced against their will (and unbeknownst to me or my wife at the time) to switch to their right hand with at least two different teachers a few years apart at their Waldorf school.

There you go Tarjei - it takes, what, 5 minutes to find someone who has seen this done in a Waldorf school? (Call Michaela Glockler, quick.)

Tarjei is the one deliberately lying. He knows this is done in Waldorf schools, and he knows that ignorant occult superstitions such as the one he promotes on "left-" and "right-handed" magic, explain the origin of this practice.

Diana, were you asked permission by this fellow, Tarjei, to put your name and words on his web site?

No, but I do not object. He quoted me accurately, and I wrote it for public consumption, or else I wouldn't have posted it here.
Diana


RE: Black and white magic, left and right hands, Tarjei
Perc-@netscape.net
Apr 15, 2002 22:04 PDT

Diana Winters wrote:

Tarjei is the one deliberately lying. He knows this is done in Waldorf schools, and he knows that ignorant occult superstitions such as the one he promotes on "left-" and "right-handed" magic, explain the origin of this practice.

P······································································
There are Tantra of the right hand and Tantra of the left hand.

They are not black magic. They use different techniques. One example of left hand Vajrayana siddha was Padmasambhava [born from the lotus], adoptive son of Indrabhuti, king of the Uddiyana. He began his life committing crimes and transgressions, and eventually he arrived to the initiation, that he received from the hands of the females goddesses Dakini, in the Cetavana churchyard. The Dakini transformed Padmasambhava in the mantram HUM and while the HUM vibrated in his lips conferred to him the initiation of Amitabha. He then swallowed the HUM and received the initiation of Avalokitesvara (this is a symbolic tale). Essentially, the sadhaka tends to bring the proband to a trauma at the psychic level, that allows the revealing of the forces of depth of his being, bearing the element vajra-dhara (rdo-rje-ac'an) and sunyata (ston-pa-nid). Eventually, after he accomplished his mission, through every sort of dangers, Padamsambhava disappeared.

The left-hand Vajrayana, called vamacara, implies practices that are not approved by standard moral, like sex (yab-yum) and use of alcoholic beverages, etc. Given this and also the dangers related to such practices, maybe came the idea of 'black'. Among the greatest siddha that followed the left-hand Tantra, there were Padmasambhava and Milarepa and those in between, belonging to the sect called bKa'-rgyud-pa.

The vamacara allowed possibilities of inner realization that were not lesser than those of the right-hand Tantra.

 

Re: Black and white magic, left and right hands, Tarjei
mysplum
Apr 16, 2002 06:10 PDT

Walden:

There you go Tarjei - it takes, what, 5 minutes to find someone who has seen this done in a Waldorf school? (Call Michaela Glockler, quick.)

Sharon: At our ex-school, one of the teachers sent a flyer home to her her class parents discussing the need to change left handedness. I know of several parents at our old school being told by the teacher that their child must change hands. Sometimes when I'd ask "Is'nt this a bit outdated" I would hear, no, "this is new".


Re: Black and white magic, left and right hands, Tarjei
Diana Winters
Apr 16, 2002 08:07 PDT

Sharon: At our ex-school, one of the teachers sent a flyer home to her her class parents discussing the need to change left handedness. I know of several parents at our old school being told by the teacher that their child must change hands.

And Sandra also said she was required to change hands.

That's three on this list. There can be no doubt the practice persists, though I'm sure not by all Waldorf teachers. It seems Michaela Glockler still has work to do, to "strongly distance" the movement from this practice.

I believe a year or so ago Robert Flannery checked in and told us he was researching this question. Robert, if you are listening, it would be great if you'd update us on what you've found or what your view is on this question today.
Diana

 

See also Daniel Hindes' well-informed treatment of this topic in a discussion with Diana Winters at Anthroposophy Tomorrow:

http://uncletaz.com/at/janfeb04/todaniel.html

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