Sarah's Introduction

Sarah Stein (pseudonym by request), publisher and editor of the magazine "Jewish Children" (pseudonym by request) where Dan Dugan wrote an article about how anti-Semitic anthroposophy is, makes her intro. She has no beef with anthroposophy at all (except that it may not be suitable for Jewish children), and Dan and dr. Fine chew her out for being a cultist of a different kind, but then we get some more quarrels with Michael Kopp and John Morehead.

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

From: Sarah Stein
Subject: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 03:21:51 -0500

Hello all,

I have been reading this list with interest for a few weeks. I finally have a free moment (well, it's costing me sleep) to introduce myself and join the discussion (fray?), so here goes (my apologies for the great length of this post; in the future I will be brief!):

My name is Sarah Stein. I'm the mother of two small children, and the publisher and editor of a small, independent magazine called *Jewish Children*. I would characterize the magazine as an exploration of the intersection of traditional Judaism with "natural" living. (For example, there is support in the Talmud and Torah for extended breastfeeding, comforting babies during the night instead of leaving them to cry, etc. Jewish law also requires that one guard one's health and cause no harm to the health or safety of another person -- so it makes sense that, according to Torah, one should eat healthy, natural foods, etc. This may seem obvious, but then why are there kosher products that are basically packaged chemistry experiments? <rhetorical>)

I had no knowledge of Waldorf, beyond a few vague references to it in the Natural Baby Catalog, until about a year ago when the topic came up on another list I'm on; the discussion was in relation to WE's appropriateness for Jewish children.

I have no interest whatsoever in criticizing anyone's religious (or atheistic) beliefs. I have no bone to pick with Anthroposophy per se, although I (morally) support the work of those who believe Waldorf has no place in publicly-funded schools. I have strong religious beliefs of my own, but I operate sincerely on a live-and-let-live basis (with the usual disclaimers about nobody getting hurt).

The new issue of Natural Jewish Parenting (NJP) features a special section questioning the appropriateness of Waldorf Schools for the education of Jewish children. (Some of you may have heard about this when it was in the research/writing stage months ago, but the new issue is so late that you may have given up on ever seeing it or forgotten about it completely.)

Since I believe that Jewish children should be educated in a Jewish setting, it follows that I believe WE is wrong *for Jewish children*. I doubt this is a particularly controversial viewpoint (although some Jewish parents would disagree with me -- and their views are included in the special section I mentioned), but I want to state this clearly since it is ONLY in this context that I have any personal interest in WE issues.

(In reading this list, I have learned to anticipate probable objections to even the most neutral of statements, so I will add the disclaimer that I understand that not everyone reading this would agree with me that Jewish children should be educated in a specifically Jewish setting, or that anyone should rightfully hold this view about anyone's children other than their own -- but as Jewish knowledge, practice, identity, and population continue their rapid decline, this is for me and for many others a matter of community obligation. Please do not engage me in a debate about this. Anyone is certainly entitled to disagree, but this is not what I am here to discuss. Thanks...)

A little more personal background: I was brought up in a fairly traditional ("Conservative") Jewish home. I attended a private Jewish day school through eighth grade (great academics, lots of skill acquisition -- fluent Hebrew and all that -- but little sense of personal spirituality, and way too much learning "about" Judaism without putting ideas into practice (as I think John Morehead recently quoted, but without the quotation marks, "ideas have consequences" -- an Alfred North Whitehead expression I learned from my 12th grade physics teacher in high school and never forgot). This inconsistency was unfortunately (and unwittingly) reinforced at home, where we had a kosher kitchen but went out for Big Macs and spare ribs.

I went to public high school, then private university, where I received a B.S. degree in Human Factors Engineering (a hybrid of engineering design and psychology -- a cousin of ergonomics), magna cum laude. I also spent half a year in Israel in a(nother) completely secular university environment. During college I worked on my school's daily newspaper, and as a technical writer/editor for a computer company. After graduation, I worked for three years producing technical publications for a nonprofit organization specializing in universal design (specifically, architecture accessible to people with disabilities). I was a fairly typical (if slightly more goal-oriented), fairly happy, fairly decent-and-moral member of Generation-X.

Shortly before getting married at age 25 (almost six years ago), I returned to a completely Torah-observant lifestyle, together with my then-boyfriend and now-husband (I say "returned" because it is the translation of the Hebrew word "teshuvah" which denotes the process of returning to one's religious roots, coming closer to G-d after having been far away, etc.). I can speak from personal experience about Lubavitch/Chabad (CH-B-D, an acronym for the Hebrew words for wisdom, understanding, knowledge), since that is the community I chose to become part of. In fact, in the interest of accuracy, I think I will speak a bit about it, since Bob Jones brought it up:

In the Orthodox Jewish Community, the Lubovitchers, who are waiting for the re-incarnation of Rabbi Schneeson, are very close to the reverence Anthroposophists show for Steiner and his writings. [Bob Jones: post of reference]

Chabad is one of many Chassidic groups. Chassidism dates back 300 years (exactly), to Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, who started the movement as a reaction to the too-rote practice of Judaism prevalent at that time. Chassidism brings joy, music, intellectualism, a strong sense of personal spirituality, and a down-to-earth mysticism (oxymoron intended) to the Jewish experience. Chabad Chassidism has as its core the philosophy that each individual is responsible for perfecting himself or herself, and also for doing his or her part to perfect the world. (That's an enormous oversimplification, but I'm assuming you don't need or want more info than this, since this whole post is already a digression from your discussion.)

Chabad, like all Chassidic groups, has a rebbe (literally, teacher). Chabad is NOT a cult; it is purely Judaism. A rebbe is also known as a "Grand Rabbi," and is considered to be one's spiritual role model -- because he is someone greatly admired (yes, even revered) for his personal level of spiritual (Torah) understanding and practice. HOWEVER, one does not pray to a Rebbe (although one may ask for his blessing or advice on personal matters), nor give any of one's money or possessions to a Rebbe (he wouldn't accept it anyway), nor is one obligated or coerced to obey him or accept his teachings without question (a major theme in Chassidism is the concept of free will in moral matters), nor does a Rebbe ask anything from his "followers" other than to strive to be true to Jewish law, to Torah, to G-d -- NOT to the Rebbe. A Rebbe is supposed to be humble, a servant of his community (not the other way around) and of G-d. This is precisely what makes him an appropriate role model. A Rebbe inspires one to strive to achieve one's own potential (materially and spiritually).

Many people get a bit hung up on Lubavitch (synonymous with Chabad; Lubavitch is the town in Russia where Chabad originated), probably because it is the most well-known Chassidic group. That's OK; it's well-known because, unlike some other Chassidic communities, Lubavitch is *not* insular (and I'm not knocking insularity either; it has its advantages and disadvantages). It is known for outreach -- to educate Jews about their OWN heritage. Lubavitch does not prosyletize.

Lubavitch has also, of late (no pun intended) become a bit infamous for the differences of opinion among Lubavitchers as to the meaning of the Rebbe's passing, five years ago. (When I say "Rebbe," I am referring to Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the seventh of a line of rebbes dating back 200 years.) Jewish tradition holds that Moshiach ("messiah") has not yet come (apologies to those who believe otherwise, no offense meant), and that in every generation, there is one perfectly righteous person who is a potential Moshiach. When the time is right for Moshiach to be revealed, that "candidate" will become the actual Moshiach, ushering in an era of lasting peace for people of *all* faiths. Many Lubavitchers believe that the Rebbe is our generation's potential Moshiach. There is a precedent in the Talmud for the opinion that Moshiach may be selected even from those no longer living.

(For those who hold radically different views of the world -- thank you in advance for not debating these subjects here... For anyone who has opinions about Chabad/Lubavitch formed through reading the mainstream press, rather than through personal in-depth experience or at least through reading the biographical or autobiographical writings of the Rebbes of Lubavitch, you may be misinformed... e-mail me privately if you'd like another viewpoint.)

That's all I will say on the subject (unless asked to elaborate, preferably off-list). Please don't debate my personal beliefs; I won't debate yours.

Full circle back to my interest in WE, then I'll sign off:

I published the section on the question of Waldorf and Jewish children in order to educate Jewish parents involved in WE of some of aspects of WE/Anthroposophy that they may be unaware of. If you read the magazine (it should be in most Barnes & Nobles and Jewish bookstores by now, or very soon), I would be interested in your response. (If you're not in the U.S., or if you are and can't find it in your bookstore, you can order a single copy if you like; please e-mail me privately. A long-overdue web site is in the works but is not up yet; sorry for the inconvenience.)

That's all. If you don't hear from me for a while, I'm here but lurking -- probably wanting to respond but too busy to sit down to do it. (I'm with my kids full-time during the day, and I do my work at night.) I will try to keep up as much as I can.

I do appreciate a lively exchange of views; I'm not interested in getting personally involved in any negativity (I'll just experience the negativity vicariously, thank you! :) In that spirit, I'll end here for now. Thanks for making it to the end of my novel.

Be well,

Sarah

*****

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

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 06:59:45 -0700 (PDT)

--- Sarah wrote:

Hello all,

<snip>

Shortly before getting married at age 25 (almost six years ago), I returned to a completely Torah-observant lifestyle, together with my then-boyfriend and now-husband (I say "returned" because it is the translation of the Hebrew word "teshuvah" which denotes the process of returning to one's religious roots, of accuracy, I think I will speak a bit about it, since Bob Jones brought it up:

In the Orthodox Jewish Community, the Lubovitchers, who are waiting for the re-incarnation of Rabbi Schneeson, are very close to the reverence Anthroposophists show for Steiner and his writings.

Chabad is one of many Chassidic groups. Chassidism dates back 300 years (exactly), to Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov, who started the movement as a reaction to the too-rote practice of Judaism prevalent at that time. Chassidism brings joy, music, intellectualism, a strong sense of personal spirituality, and a down-to-earth mysticism (oxymoron intended) to the Jewish experience. Chabad Chassidism has as its core the philosophy that each individual is responsible for perfecting himself or herself, and also for doing his or her part to perfect the world. (That's an enormous oversimplification, but I'm assuming you don't need or want more info than this, since this whole post is already a digression from your discussion.)

Chabad, like all Chassidic groups, has a rebbe (literally, teacher). Chabad is NOT a cult;

<snip>

Hello, Sarah

My intention in mentioning the Lubovitchers in connection to "cults" & Steiner was _NOT_ to imply giving away one's money or following someone to destruction. However, the reverence for this particular Rebbe has seemed to many, of all faiths, to be excessive. It is my understanding that, in Judaism, no one may give a *blessing* any more than anyone else. Rabbi Schneerson's voluminous writings are, I have read, taken to be on par with Talmud by many of the Lubovitcher Chassidim. He differs radically from mainstream Judaism in his views of "The Days of the Moshiach" (please make allowances for my spellings, here) and re-incarnation, at least in mainstream Conservative Judaism, is not a tenent. The mystical element of this branch of Chassidim, in the view of many, is divergent from mainstream Orthodoxy (if there is such) and definitely from the Conservatives.

Please excuse any ignorance I may have shown. It was only my intention to draw a parallel between the reverence for one man & his writings that went beyond the usual practices within any given faith.

That said: you are right: there is no place in anthroposophy for a practicing believer of any World Religion. While the Waldorfians will tell you of the Anthroposophical Kibuttz in Israel and the numbers of Jews in Waldorf, they are not telling anyone that the goal of all the *practical* paths of Anthroposophy are alchemical. The goal is to develop inner esoteric & occult sensibilities. It is basically a divergent path to all the montheisms, including those which believe in a Trinity. The New Age spiritualism and eco-awareness is just bait for those of your generation who yearn for a relationship with God & community. Kashruth has moral ethical, & historical elements, as well as elements of obediance and of the "setting apart" of a people. I believe the vague Vegetarians and Organic devotees found in the New Age is simply a way for _them_ to set themselves apart. Without an historical basis for this, moral/ethical/political reasons are substituted.

In 20 years of living among anthroposophically-inclined hippies, Christians, and Anthroposophists I and the rest of my community have noticed that there are no practicing Christians or Jews within the Waldorf School. Those who leave Waldorf often do so because they have found their faith again & realize it cannot be practiced within Anthroposophy. These have been Jews, Protestants, Roman & Orthodox Catholics.

If it is difficult for a mainstream believing Christian to find resonance within Anthroposophy, it is impossible for a believing Jew, IMO. While Judaism professes the singularity of God, denies the Trinity, and is still waiting for the prophesised Messiah, Anthroposophy professes an multitude of spitirual beings in heirarchies and has some confusing tenets that appear to co-mingle a Messianic, Risen Christ with Lucifer or Luciferic elements. The image of Lucifer is that of the "Light Bringer", not a fallen angel.

Please be welcome to our conversation. You bring a needed viewpoint due to your age, education, faith and community. You are to be commended for returning to your roots. I believe this is happening more & more within your generation and will be the salvation of this spiritually deprived society. Only when the hunger for God is assuaged within the younger generation, will the spiritual countrfeit of Anthroposophy be apparent.

To have you _&_ John Moorehead on our list, gives the conversation depth. The secular humanists also bring a dimension of morality and clear thought. Only the Anthroposophists, who have undoubtably written to you off-list to plug their agenda, have prostelyzing goals here.

Will your article be on-line?

If not, could you post it to the list? If broken into segments, it won't overwhelm anyone's mail.

Otherwise, I would like a copy via e-mail, broken into segments if necessary.

BJ

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

From: ckzfrey
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)/Reply(short)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 99 22:27:14 -0400

Sarah writes:

I was brought up in a fairly traditional ("Conservative") Jewish home. I attended a private Jewish day school through eighth grade (great academics, lots of skill acquisition -- fluent Hebrew and all that -- but little sense of personal spirituality, and way too much learning "about" Judaism without putting ideas into practice (as I think John Morehead recently quoted, but without the quotation marks, "ideas have consequences" -- an Alfred North Whitehead expression I learned from my 12th grade physics teacher in high school and never forgot). This inconsistency was unfortunately (and unwittingly) reinforced at home, where we had a kosher kitchen but went out for Big Macs and spare ribs.

Sarah,

It is in these "fairly traditional" Jewish homes that a Waldorf education is often so effective. Many have found (Hebrew-school teachers included) that the reverence and spirituality that a child gains through a Waldorf education gives a deep meaning to the study of Judaeism, and makes "putting ideas into practice" a much more natural progression. I also understand, of course, that more orthodox forms of Judaeism require education to take place in a more specialized setting. The Waldorf school that my son attends is a short walk from one of the largest Chassidic communities on earth, and it is clear to me why none of the members of that community attend Waldorf school.

Shalom,

Charlie Frey

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

From: ckzfrey
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 99 23:07:31 -0400

Bob Jones writes:
there is no place in anthroposophy for a practicing believer of any World Religion.

This is clearly absurd.

Anthroposophy has enabled me, after many years of not being able, to call myself a Christian.

Statments like Mr. Jones's are inflammatory and born of ignorance.

...the goal of all the *practical* paths of Anthroposophy are alchemical. The goal is to develop inner esoteric & occult sensibilities. It is basically a divergent path to all the montheisms, including those which believe in a Trinity.

Although I am not sure I understand your use of the word "alchemical", I will say that the proposal that the idea that the development of "inner esoteric & occult sensibilities" is somehow contrary to religion, is ridiculous.

The New Age spiritualism and eco-awareness is just bait for those of your generation who yearn for a relationship with God & community.

"New Age" is a term that I have never heard used in the context of Anthroposophy, and don't get me started on anything being used as "bait". The only "bait" Anthroposophy offers is the possibility of improving one's self, thereby contributing to the improvement of all. Again---inflammatory and foolish.

Mr. Jones, to his credit, appears to be among the most intelligent and well-informed of all the critics on this list; but, like most of the more outspoken critics, cannot avoid shooting himself in the foot with his own mean-spiritedness.

Peace,

Charlie Frey

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

From: Sune Nordwall
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 21:16:47 +0200

Bob Jones wrote:

To have you _&_ John Moorehead on our list, gives the conversation depth. The secular humanists also bring a dimension of morality and clear thought. Only the Anthroposophists, who have undoubtably written to you off-list to plug their agenda, have prostelyzing goals here.

Dear Bob,

Do you really think any "Anthroposophist" participating on this list participates with the primary goal of _"proselytizing"_ anyone, and especially the WC´s on the list. I think you completely misunderstand and misdescribe the situation.

Regards,

Sune Nordwall
Stockholm, Sweden

http://hem.passagen.se/thebee/indexeng.htm
- a site on science, homeopathy, cosmological cell biology and
EU as a mechanical esoteric temple and threefolding of society

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 17:47:11 +0200

Bob Jones wrote:

there is no place in anthroposophy for a practicing believer of any World Religion.

Charlie Frey replied:

This is clearly absurd.

I agree. I have already mentioned that there are Buddhist monks among the members of the Anthroposophical Society. But again, the compatibility or absence of such is a question to be answered by the believer or practitioner of the religion in question, and by that individual alone. Period. It's like those who say that a Christian cannot believe in evolution - something I've heard innumerable times. Nobody has the right to set boundaries for the spiritual lives of others, or to decide what organizations or movements or philosophies other people may combine with their religion. Absolutely nobody.

Tarjei Straume

Greetings from Uncle Taz

http://www.uncletaz.com/

Anarchosophy, anarchism, anthroposophy, occultism, Christianity, poetry,
plays, library, articles, galleries, marijuana, criminality, death, skulls,
skeletons, banners, links, links, links. Big section in Norwegian.

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 21:33:25 +0200

Bob Jones wrote (to [name removed by request]):

To have you _&_ John Moorehead on our list, gives the conversation depth. The secular humanists also bring a dimension of morality and clear thought. Only the Anthroposophists, who have undoubtably written to you off-list to plug their agenda, have prostelyzing goals here.

Sune has already responded to this pearl of a remark, but I would also like to contibute my 2¢.

I just made it clear in a recent exchange with John W. Morehead that I have never been a proselytizer, because such behavior would mean an infringement of the personal freedom of another person in spiritual matters.

Are you calling me a liar and a hypocrite, Bob?

Your remark above also infers, ever so subtly, that I have no morality because I am an anthroposophist, in contradistinction to secular humanists.

I call that bigotry by the book.

Tarjei Straume

Greetings from Uncle Taz

http://www.uncletaz.com/

Anarchosophy, anarchism, anthroposophy, occultism, Christianity, poetry,
plays, library, articles, galleries, marijuana, criminality, death, skulls,
skeletons, banners, links, links, links. Big section in Norwegian.

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

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 16:42:51 -0700 (PDT)

--- ckzfrey <ckzfrey@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Bob Jones writes:

there is no place in anthroposophy for a practicing believer of any World Religion.

This is clearly absurd. Anthroposophy has enabled me, after many years of not being able, to call myself a Christian.

And which denomination of Christian do you profess?

Statments like Mr. Jones's are inflammatory

I will acknowledge that I seem to have hit a nerve.

and born of ignorance.

You may not agree with my conclusions, which are born of observation & participation.

...the goal of all the *practical* paths of Anthroposophy are alchemical. The goal is to develop inner esoteric & occult sensibilities. It is basically a divergent path to all the montheisms, including those which believe in a Trinity.

Although I am not sure I understand your use of the word "alchemical",

"Alchemical" refers to the metaphor of ancient alchemy where the visible & open search for a "philosopher's stone" that would transmute lead to gold was a reference to the "hidden" (ie: occult)search for inner development in esoteric matters. "Esoteric matters", I believe, was really the practice of white magic based upon Babylonian, Chaldean, and Egyptian cosmologies, with some Christian overtones.

will say that the proposal that the idea that the development of "inner esoteric & occult sensibilities" is somehow contrary to religion, is ridiculous.

Religion. My dictionary defines it as:(from Latin religio) piety; conscientiousness; scrupulousness. From religare: to bind back/to bind together. Refers to acknowledgement of _a_ Divine or superhuman Power or Powers,to be obeyed and worshiped as the Creator(s) & Ruler(s) of the Universe; 2) expression of this belief in conduct & ritual; 3) any specific system of belief, worship,conduct, etc, often involving a code of ethics & a philosophy.

Inner esoteric & occult sensibilities are aimed at elevating humans to the level of God or gods and, thru diligent "inner work", becoming the God within.

The New Age spiritualism an,d eco-awareness is just bait for those of your generation who yearn for a relationship with God & community.

"New Age" is a term that I have never heard used in the context of Anthroposophy,

Then you haven't studied the problem. "New Age" is seen by religious scholars as being hugely influenced by Anthroposophy & Steiner. The New Age folks whom I see involved in Anthroposophy say that they are attracted by the lack of a Supreme Being, a lack of Divine Authority, and the credo:"The whole of the law is do as thou wilt." Perhaps Steiner never said those exact words; I don't know. But those who call themselves New Age find Steiner a verification of what they believe & practice: a pastiche of Buddhism, pantheism, Christianity, Wicca, Shamnanism, and Neo-Paganism.

and don't get me started on anything being used as "bait". The only "bait" Anthroposophy offers is the possibility of improving one's self, thereby contributing to the improvement of all.

Yes. Inner esoteric development. Gnosis: the ability to rise to the level of God (or gods) and to become the God within.

Again---inflammatory

Perhaps.

and foolish.

How so?

Mr. Jones, to his credit, appears to be among the most intelligent and well-informed of all the critics on this list;

Albeit: ignorant, inflammatory and foolish.

but, like most of the more outspoken critics, cannot avoid shooting himself in the foot with his own mean-spiritedness.

I did not mean to offend anyone. I do not see any mean-spiritdness in stating the truth as I have managed to apprehend it from study, observation, and conversation with Anthroposophists who do not hide what they believe or what their goals are. I will grant that such Anthroposophists are few, at least in my experience.

Peace,

And to you.

BJ

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

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 16:49:12 -0700 (PDT)

--- Tarjei Straume wrote:

Bob Jones wrote (to [name removed by request]):

To have you _&_ John Moorehead on our list, gives the conversation depth. The secular humanists also bring a dimension of morality and clear thought. Only the Anthroposophists, who have undoubtably written to you off-list to plug their agenda, have prostelyzing goals here.

<snip>

Are you calling me a liar and a hypocrite, Bob?

No.

Your remark above also infers, ever so subtly, that I have no morality because I am an anthroposophist, in contradistinction to secular humanists.

No. The speaker *implies*; the hearer *infers*. I implied nothing. I am not a subtle man. You have inferred what you wished. You are much subtler than I.

I call that bigotry by the book.

I am neither narrow-minded nor intolerant. I do, however, have a mustache. (see the dictionary)

BJ

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

From: Bob Jones
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 16:57:36 -0700 (PDT)

--- Sune Nordwall <Sune.Nordwall@home.se> wrote:

Bob Jones wrote:

To have you _&_ John Moorehead on our list, gives the conversation depth. The secular humanists also bring a dimension of morality and clear thought. Only the Anthroposophists, who have undoubtably written to you off-list to plug their agenda, have prostelyzing goals here.

Dear Bob,

Do you really think any "Anthroposophist" participating on this list participates with the primary goal of _"proselytizing"_ anyone, and especially the WC¥s on the list.

Often, in the time I have been subscribed, as well as in the archives, when a parent posted doubts or outright problems with Waldorf & Anthroposophy, they were e-mailed off list & told that the problems were minor and that Waldorf would not be detrimental to their child.

On list, many of you have spoken glowingly of the benefits derived from Waldorf and from Anthroposophy, or , at the least, from studying Steiner.

Joel Wendt, who professes having done "the inner work", has constantly exhorted the critics to "do the work", which, in my interpretation translates to *doing* Anthroposophy.

I believe that the agenda of the *defenders* on this list is to engage the sympathy of the undecided lurkers, on one hand, and to make the list a negative and contentious experience, on the other hand, that will quickly deter many people who wish to explore the possibility or not of Waldorf education.

I think you completely misunderstand and misdescribe the situation.

That is entirely possible. However, if taken from a Christian perspective, it seems to me to amount to witnessing & evangelizing.

That is, when you are not heaping abuse upon our ignorant, demented, bullying, foolish, and inflammatory selves.

BJ

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

From: Robert Flannery
Subject: Re: my introduction (long)
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 21:40:47 -0400

Bob Jones, answering a question from Sune Nordwall:

Often, in the time I have been subscribed, as well as in the archives, when a parent posted doubts or outright problems with Waldorf & Anthroposophy, they were e-mailed off list & told that the problems were minor and that Waldorf would not be detrimental to their child.

I've been here a long time, and I don't recall such descriptions in any posts.

Anyway, if I've missed something and it's happening, it's not happening often enough to say we proselytize. I'd be surprised -- it goes against the grain of everything I know about anthroposophy.

If this was a trend in either waldorf or anthroposophy, I wouldn't be associated with either.

<snip>

I believe that the agenda of the *defenders* on this list is to engage the sympathy of the undecided lurkers, on one hand, and to make the list a negative and contentious experience, on the other hand, that will quickly deter many people who wish to explore the possibility or not of Waldorf education.

I like to think that most of the things I post here help people see a more complete and accurate picture of waldorf education. No one has to do a thing to make this list contentious -- as John Moreland pointed out the other day, we're talking about core values here.

When you use the term "agenda", are you implying or suggesting that waldorf supporters on this list are working in an organized fashion, according to some plan?

In any case, what would a waldorf supporter have to gain by driving undecided people away from the schools?

Robert Flannery
New York

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

From: John & Wendy Morehead
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 11:11:31

At 05:47 PM 4/11/99 +0200, you wrote:

Nobody has the right to set boundaries for the spiritual lives of others, or to decide what organizations or movements or philosophies other people may combine with their religion. Absolutely nobody.

And nothing can set a boundary for such decisions? What about critical thinking which we all use?

For example: Hypothetically, let's say that I now announce that I am now both an atheist (believing in the existence of no supernatural or supernormal spiritual worlds or reality), while at the same time affirming that I am an adherent of anthroposophy and spiritual science. Is this claim valid? Well, if nobody or nothing can set a boundary for my beliefs, and if I can combine any elements of the plethora of worldviews, surely this must be valid for me. Right?

But surely this is self-contradictory, and therefore false. To claim that their both is, and is not (at the same time and in the same relationship), a supernatural or supernormal spiritual reality, is to engage in self-contradiction. It is a nonsensical belief, just as the "concept" of square circles, or married bachelors. So while we may not like individuals taking issue with our personal beliefs, perhaps the laws of logical and critical thinking can help fine tune our thinking about such things, and thus set some boundaries for what can and cannot be harmonized.

John Morehead

=========================
John W. Morehead
Executive Vice President
TruthQuest Institute
P.O. Box 227
Loomis, CA 95650

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Sun, 11 Apr 1999 21:59:01 +0200

I wrote:

Nobody has the right to set boundaries for the spiritual lives of others, or to decide what organizations or movements or philosophies other people may combine withtheir religion. Absolutely nobody.

John Morehead wrote:

And nothing can set a boundary for such decisions? What about critical thinking which we all use?

Nobody has the right to define the limits of other people's religious philosophies. Nobody.

For example: Hypothetically, let's say that I now announce that I am now both an atheist (believing in the existence of no supernatural or supernormal spiritual worlds or reality), while at the same time affirming that I am an adherent of anthroposophy and spiritual science. Is this claim valid? Well, if nobody or nothing can set a boundary for my beliefs, and if I can combine any elements of the plethora of worldviews, surely this must be valid for me. Right?

Correct.

But surely this is self-contradictory, and therefore false.

You have no right to to call someone else's religious philosophy false for the sole reason that it contradicts your personal logic. It does not make sense to you - fine. But you must accept that it can make sense to other people.

To claim that their both is, and is not (at the same time and in the same relationship), a supernatural or supernormal spiritual reality, is to engage in self-contradiction.

John Lennon, whom I would call a true anarchosophist (in the second definition of the term), held a view very similar to this description. And his philosophy was beautiful.

It is a nonsensical belief, just as the "concept" of square circles, or married bachelors.

Your metaphors reveal that you don't understand paradoxes.

To paraphraze the apostle Paul: It may be foolishness to the natural man, but wisdom to God. Again, the higher truth may be contained in the apparent self-contradictory paradox.

So while we may not like individuals taking issue with our personal beliefs, perhaps the laws of logical and critical thinking can help fine tune our thinking about such things, and thus set some boundaries for what can and cannot be harmonized.

If your personal opinion about what is logical and compatible and what is not coincided one hundred per cent with objective, inviolable laws of critical thinking and logic, you might have a point. But that does not seem to be the case. You may set such boundaries for yourself, but not for me. I am the judge of the latter - not you, simply because I do not regard your understanding of logic to be better than mine. I respect you for accepting the consequences of your own reasoning what *your* personal philosophy and religion is concerned, but I cannot accept that you judge the thinking of *others* when it comes to the deepest and most intimate riddles of existence. That would be a violation of spiritual freedom, which you have no right to infringe upon.

Tarjei Straume

Greetings from Uncle Taz

http://www.uncletaz.com/

Anarchosophy, anarchism, anthroposophy, occultism, Christianity, poetry,
plays, library, articles, galleries, marijuana, criminality, death, skulls,
skeletons, banners, links, links, links. Big section in Norwegian.

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

From: Sarah Stein
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 03:01:55 -0500

Bob,

Thanks for the welcome. I'll move onto more on-topic things, but I feel I should respond to your comments:

My intention in mentioning the Lubovitchers in connection to "cults" & Steiner was _NOT_ to imply giving away one's money or following someone to destruction. However, the reverence for this particular Rebbe has seemed to many, of all faiths, to be excessive.

I don't really think one should put oneself in the position of judging whether someone else's reverence is excessive. And I disagree with the generalization that "many, of all faiths" judge the reverence for the Rebbe to be excessive. On the contrary, those *of all faiths* who had personal contact with him tended instead to feel that same awe and admiration -- reverence -- for the Rebbe's genuinely lofty level of Torah and secular learning (besides knowing the whole body of Jewish thought inside and out, he spoke at least seven languages fluently, had an excellent grasp of the sciences, medicine, law, etc.), his deep and insightful understanding of human nature and relationships (people from ALL religions and walks of life, from everywhere in the world, including world leaders, came to him or wrote to him for guidance in personal, spiritual, political and business matters), his devout commitment to G-d, to his wife (they had no children, yet their marriage was faithful, peaceful and loving by all accounts, and he had the deepest respect for her opinions), to his mother (he visited her daily throughout her lifetime) and to the welfare of the Jewish people and of all humankind (as one of countless examples: until past his 90th birthday, the Rebbe spent hours upon hours every Sunday greeting and blessing literally thousands of people who stood in line to be face to face with him -- again, people of all types, not just Lubavitchers -- and giving a dollar to each one so that his blessing would be connected to a mitzva, a good deed [it was expected that each person who received a dollar would give it, or more than that amount, to charity], since it is the Jewish belief that spiritual matters are best grounded in physically tangible things), and I could go on but I am starting to go on and on, and I have a feeling my words are going to come back to me!

The point is that it's not just Lubavitchers subjectively or irrationally revering their Rebbe to some arbitrary point of "excess." Judaism doesn't agree with the concept of infallibility as applied to religious leaders, but if there were ever someone who could be called a tzaddik -- a truly righteous person -- the Rebbe is certainly one. I, for one, revere him for the example he sets of what a human being is capable of. And I teach my children to look to him as a role model of what they are capable of striving for: becoming a giving, charitable, moral, devoted, idealistic, committed, capable, confident, vibrantly and joyously spiritual person with a strong sense of their own personal power and an equally strong sense of humility and responsibility to something much greater than themselves. Who do some people revere? Sports heroes, movie stars, academics, artists or musicians... While some of these may be worthy of respect, reverence is an entirely valid feeling and is absolutely appropriate when the object of the reverence is deserving of it. (Some people have similar feelings, I am sure, for the Pope, or the Queen of England??? And I wouldn't dare tell them they shouldn't.)

It is my understanding that, in Judaism, no one may give a *blessing* any more than anyone else.

It's true that anyone may bless anyone else any time they like. But certain people, or people in certain circumstances, are considered to have more powerful blessings and prayers; these include tzaddikim (perfectly righteous people), brides and grooms, women while they are lighting the Shabbat (Sabbath) candles on Friday night, women who are in labor, women in general (who are, according to Jewish thought, innately more connected to G-d; men have to work harder at their connection), anyone on their birthday, and certain others.

Rabbi Schneerson's voluminous writings are, I have read, taken to be on par with Talmud by many of the Lubovitcher Chassidim.

Well, close. The writings of ALL respected commentators, both Chassidic and non-Chassidic, since the time of the Talmud until today, are considered to be part of Torah and are as valid and essential as the Talmud itself. (This is not a Chassidic belief, but a plain-old Jewish one.) Certainly, a Rebbe's Chassidim must learn his particular commentaries, but they also must learn the Talmud until they know it like the backs of their hands, and they also learn everything else! (This is in contradistinction to a group like the Kabbalah Centre, for example, which is a pseudo-Jewish cult based on the very shallow writings of Dr. Philip Berg, whose books are virtually the only source of "Jewish" learning for his Torah-ignorant followers -- who include Madonna and other gullible celebrities who have no clue.)

He differs radically from mainstream Judaism in his views of "The Days of the Moshiach" (please make allowances for my spellings, here)and re-incarnation, at least in mainstream Conservative Judaism, is not a tenent. The mystical element of this branch of Chassidim, in the view of many, is divergent from mainstream Orthodoxy (if there is such) and definitely from the Conservatives.

Where have you read this? This is incorrect. If you are basing your knowledge of what is "mainstream" on the writings of Conservative Jews (and remember, my parents are Conservative and I was brought up Conservative and I harbor a few regrets but no ill-will...), you are getting a very biased education (like the one I got when I was a kid). The Conservative movement is less than 100 years old, and it is already starting to disintegrate from within. There is infighting about how to solve the problem of rising intermarriage, assimilation, and apathy among Conservative Jews, and what do you think the controversial proposed solution is? Going back to the halacha -- Jewish law. The Reform movement (even farther to the left than Conservative) is about 150 years old, give or take, and most Reform Jews' kids don't even stay Jewish; certainly most of their grandchildren are not Jewish. That's why even *they* are inching ever so slowly to the right, toward tradition. The only lasting "form" of Judaism is the original one, which was standardized in the Talmud so that it would endure throughout generations of dispersion. Until my grandparents' generation, this standard was unquestioned, and even non-Orthodox Jews today consider "halachic" (or true-to-Jewish-law) Judaism to be the standard -- albeit the standard they are choosing to compromise or modify. There is also, as you mentioned later in your post, a huge back-to-our-roots movement, as people start to realize the treaure many of their grandparents lost when they left Europe.

Chassidism didn't ADD anything new to Judaism. It merely reinvigorated the element of joy that had fallen by the wayside, and re-popularized ancient mystical concepts by making them applicable to people's personal, down-to-earth spiritual and moral struggles. Even the concept of a Rebbe was not new; Jews have always looked up to a personal spiritual leader, ever since Moses.

Sorry, I digressed -- As far as the "mystical element of this branch of Chassidism," you are misinformed. First of all, all Chassidic groups include a mystical element, based on the Kabbalah, which includes the concepts of reincarnation and life after death. (Not everyone advocates devoting time to the study of Kabbalah, however.) It's not a "tenet" of Conservative Judaism because the Conservative movement edited out all that spiritual stuff when they "modernized." With all due respect to my own parents and anyone else who affiliates with Conservative Judaism, they even edited out most of Shabbat and keeping kosher, among other key elements of Jewish practice, so how can they be the standard for Judaism? Likewise, please do not learn about Moshiach from Conservative sources. Traditional sources -- the Talmud and the Torah and the commentaries on these -- discuss Moshiach extensively, and Lubavitch does not diverge one bit from these traditional sources. You may be familiar with Maimonides; in his famous Mishneh Torah, he codifed the laws of how to recognize Moshiach, and he is considered (not just by Chassidim) to be the most rational and intellectual of Talmud commentators, not a mystic! (You can go right to the source; Maimonides' writings are readily available in English translation.)

Please excuse any ignorance I may have shown. It was only my intention to draw a parallel between the reverence for one man & his writings that went beyond the usual practices within any given faith.

You are forgiven for your ignorance, and I took no offense at all (nor intended to give any in my reply). But please understand that what you are calling "usual practices" is completely wrong, unless what you mean by "usual" is that most Jews today do little if anything remotely related to traditional Jewish practice. Remember, though, this is a very recent phenomenon (about two generations) and it is starting to change. The *standard* hasn't changed in thousands of years. ("Rabbinic" Judaism wasn't invented during the period the Talmud was written down; it was only put into writing, at that time -- and any differences between schools of thought that had arisen because of the Jews' dispersal to several countries and loss of their spiritual center in Jerusalem were resolved through a series of debates among the great rabbis. Prior to that, the laws of Jewish practice were a purely oral tradition that had been faithfully handed down in all its details through the generations since Moses.)

To finish my response to Bob:

While the Waldorfians will tell you of the Anthroposophical Kibuttz in Israel

I know of this through the research done for the NJP articles. It's a very controversial topic; there was recently a conference about using Waldorf methods in Jewish education, but I'm not knowledgeable enough about it to discuss it here.

Please be welcome to our conversation. You bring a needed viewpoint due to your age, education, faith and community. You are to be commended for returning to your roots.

I appreciate the kind words, and look forward to continued dialogue with you and with all others on this list.

Will your article be on-line? If not, could you post it to the list? If broken into segments, it won't overwhelm anyone's mail. Otherwise, I would like a copy via e-mail, broken into segments if necessary.

It's a section made up of several articles and it would be very long and would take a while to get into an e-mailable form. Let me think about it. (Or, why not support a struggling little mag and ask your local Barnes & Noble if they have the new issue? I also mail out single copies personally, five bucks each -- for 64 text-heavy pages, 12 of them about Waldorf.)

Charlie Frey wrote:

It is in these "fairly traditional" Jewish homes that a Waldorf education is often so effective.

This scares me, and is the reason I have published the section on Waldorf in NJP, in order to inform Jewish parents of the elements of Waldorf that are incompatible with Judaism and the education of Jewish children.

Many have found(Hebrew-school teachers included) that the reverence and spirituality that a child gains through a Waldorf education gives a deep meaning to the study of Judaeism, and makes "putting ideas into practice" a much more natural progression.

Well, I have one Jewish friend who does credit her ten years at a Waldorf school with at least helping her be open to spirituality -- but she had to "unlearn" much of what she had learned there in order to become an observant Jew later on. She wouldn't choose such a convoluted path for her children! (Her story is in the NJP Waldorf section.)

I also understand, of course, that more orthodox forms of Judaeism require education to take place in a more specialized setting.

All "forms" of Judaism have their own schools and institutions. But the Orthodox and Chassidic ones tend to be taken a lot more seriously.

I've stayed up too late again, and I've taken up too much space on this list, much of it for an off-topic discussion. I apologize. Unless someone else brings up Lubavitch again, I'll only discuss Waldorf-related issues here from now on. My last word on this subject is that if anyone wants to better understand the Rebbe and what he taught -- whether you are Jewish or not -- you can read a book by Simon Jacobson called "Toward a Meaningful Life." I don't have the publisher info on hand, but it should be in all regular bookstores, and it's geared for readers of all backgrounds.

Last but not least: I haven't found the anthroposophists on this list to be the least bit proselytizing. I have received no private e-mails other than from Tarjei -- and I found his rather nice. (Tarjei, thanks, I will check out the site you mentioned. Feel free to write again and I will try to be of help if you like.)

B'shalom (in peace),

Sarah

*****

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

From: "Tolz, Robert"
Subject: RE: my introduction (long)
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 06:03:29 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Bob Jones [mailto:b2251@yahoo.com]

I believe that the agenda of the *defenders* on this list is to engage the sympathy of the undecided lurkers, on one hand, and to make the list a negative and contentious experience, on the other hand, that will quickly deter many people who wish to explore the possibility or not of Waldorf education.

At the risk of being labeled once again a Defender of the Faith by Mr. Kopp, I suspect that a poll of "undecided lurkers," were such a thing possible, would likely reveal an impression that it is some of the Waldorf Critics who create the most negative and contentious experience.

Bob Tolz

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

From: John & Wendy Morehead
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 14:10:32

At 09:59 PM 4/11/99 +0200, you wrote:

For example: Hypothetically, let's say that I now announce that I am now both an atheist (believing in the existence of no supernatural or supernormal spiritual worlds or reality), while at the same time affirming that I am an adherent of anthroposophy and spiritual science. Is this claim valid? Well, if nobody or nothing can set a boundary for my beliefs, and if I can combine any elements of the plethora of worldviews, surely this must be valid for me. Right?

Correct.

But surely this is self-contradictory, and therefore false.

You have no right to to call someone else's religious philosophy false for the sole reason that it contradicts your personal logic. It does not make sense to you - fine. But you must accept that it can make sense to other people.

Then I submit you are irrational. I pointed out there is no such thing as John's logic and Tarjei's logic. Just logic, period, which you *must* use to deny you can use it, thus ending up with a self-refuting position. We cannot have any further dialogue operating from this foundation, but I have enjoyed our exchanges up to this point.

John Morehead

=========================
John W. Morehead
Executive Vice President
TruthQuest Institute
P.O. Box 227
Loomis, CA 95650

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

From: ckzfrey
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 99 10:56:55 -0400

Bob Jones writes:

And which denomination of Christian do you profess?

I'm sorry. You've got me. I didn't realize that one is obliged to profess a denomination in order to be a Christian. That is precisely the kind of narrow-minded attitude that turned me away from mainstream Christianity.

Religion. My dictionary defines it as:(from Latin religio) piety; conscientiousness; scrupulousness. From religare: to bind back/to bind together. Refers to acknowledgement of _a_ Divine or superhuman Power or Powers,to be obeyed and worshiped as the Creator(s) & Ruler(s) of the Universe; 2) expression of this belief in conduct & ritual; 3) any specific system of belief, worship,conduct, etc, often involving a code of ethics & a philosophy.

Inner esoteric & occult sensibilities are aimed at elevating humans to the level of God or gods and, thru diligent "inner work", becoming the God within.

I don't understand. Is this meant to illustrate something about Anthroposophy vs. Christianity? I am all in favor of your etymological definition of religion. "Ligios"= connection, as in "ligament"--- so re-ligion= re-connection to the spirit. It seems that there was a severance of Man from Spirit, and religion aims to re-connect the two.I feel that Anthroposophy and the inner work to which you refer have assisted me in this process, although I have NEVER harbored any aspirations toward elevating myself to the level of God. That is absurd.

... you haven't studied the problem. "New Age" is seen by religious scholars as being hugely influenced by Anthroposophy & Steiner. The New Age folks whom I see involved in Anthroposophy say that they are attracted by the lack of a Supreme Being, a lack of Divine Authority, and the credo:"The whole of the law is do as thou wilt." Perhaps Steiner never said those exact words; I don't know. But those who call themselves New Age find Steiner a verification of what they believe & practice: a pastiche of Buddhism, pantheism, Christianity, Wicca, Shamnanism, and Neo-Paganism.

If I may be so presumtious as to speak for Anthroposophy:...ahem..... What the heck does Anthroposophy have to do with people outside of it who claim to be influenced by it? John Hinckley claimed to be influenced by Jody Foster. The Rastafarians base their entire religion on worship of Haile Selassie, who knew nothing about his supposed flock; and invoking the name of Rudolph Steiner in order to somehow validate one's beliefs does not an Anthroposophist make. So, please spare us the assumption that Anthroposophy is somehow "New Age".

I do not see any mean-spiritdness in stating the truth as I have managed to apprehend it from study, observation, and conversation with Anthroposophists who do not hide what they believe or what their goals are. I will grant that such Anthroposophists are few, at least in my experience.

I, on the other hand, see a majority of Anthroposophists as being completely honest about their beliefs and goals, although I acknowledge the possibility that you have encountered a different environment. As for myself, I consider myself positively militant about honesty and integrity in everything that I do. If you ever notice me being false to my claim, I invite you to bring it to my attention.

Peace,
Charlie Frey

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

From: Dan Dugan
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 11:58:15 -0700

Sarah, thanks for speaking up on the list. It's always refreshing to have a new point of view. I look forward to reading the NJP articles.

Your description of your guru:

I don't really think one should put oneself in the position of judging whether someone else's reverence is excessive. And I disagree with the generalization that "many, of all faiths" judge the reverence for the Rebbe to be excessive. On the contrary, those *of all faiths* who had personal contact with him tended instead to feel that same awe and admiration -- reverence -- for the Rebbe's genuinely lofty level of Torah and secular learning (besides knowing the whole body of Jewish thought inside and out, he spoke at least seven languages fluently, had an excellent grasp of the sciences, medicine, law, etc.), his deep and insightful understanding of human nature and relationships (people from ALL religions and walks of life, from everywhere in the world, including world leaders, came to him or wrote to him for guidance in personal, spiritual, political and business matters), his devout commitment to G-d, to his wife (they had no children, yet their marriage was faithful, peaceful and loving by all accounts, and he had the deepest respect for her opinions), to his mother (he visited her daily throughout her lifetime) and to the welfare of the Jewish people and of all humankind (as one of countless examples: until past his 90th birthday, the Rebbe spent hours upon hours every Sunday greeting and blessing literally thousands of people who stood in line to be face to face with him -- again, people of all types, not just Lubavitchers -- and giving a dollar to each one so that his blessing would be connected to a mitzva, a good deed [it was expected that each person who received a dollar would give it, or more than that amount, to charity], since it is the Jewish belief that spiritual matters are best grounded in physically tangible things), and I could go on but I am starting to go on and on, and I have a feeling my words are going to come back to me!

sounds a lot like the way Anthroposophists talk about Steiner! Remember, a cult is invisible from inside. From outside Lubovitchers sure look like a cult to ome. But to bring it back to our topic, Lubovitchers don't claim that their schools are "non-sectarian"!

-Dan Dugan

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

From: "Alan S. Fine MD"
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 18:41:19 -0600

-----Original Message-----
From: Sarah Stein
Date: Monday, April 12, 1999 1:09 AM
Subject: Re: my introduction

Well, I have one Jewish friend who does credit her ten years at a Waldorf school with at least helping her be open to spirituality -- but she had to "unlearn" much of what she had learned there in order to become an observant Jew later on. She wouldn't choose such a convoluted path for her children! (Her story is in the NJP Waldorf section.)

Hello Sarah. I enjoyed your introduction, so here is a little about myself. I am a Denver resident, and a parent of one child. My early interests were in theoretical physics and mathematics, but i gave up a promising career in that field to train in psychiatry which i have been practicing for twenty years. Through an interest in psychosomatics, I became involved with individuals with dissociative disorders, many of whom were products of coercive and abusive cults (mainly satanism, white supremist activity, and gangs). My introduction to Waldorf and anthroposophy, came about not through my practice but purely through a few personal relationships.

Having spent a considerable amount of time in discussions both with Lubovitcher chassidim and Anthroposophists I have come to the conclusion that both movements can generate what I would call a cult mentality. This troubles me because I have seen much psychological damage among my cultist patients. Although I have not found either of these movements to espouse anything overtly destructive, being psychologically minded I am more concerned with patterns of thinking and relating than the content of the thought itself. I honestly believe that a cult mentality carries potential for problems within the individual as well as for society as a whole, no matter how beautiful and inspiring the content of the doctrine may be. I will be honest that I have been strongly critical of the Lubovitch movement.

However I do feel that Chabad education (and its entire public facade for that matter) is far more open about its spiritual underpinnings than Waldorf schools. In this regard I would like to know what of her Waldorf education your friend had to unlearn in order to enter her chosen path. I will be looking for the article, but in the meantime your comments would be appreciated.

To contribute to answering your question about the appropriateness of Waldorf education for Jewish children, I have been looking for a recently published book by Rene Querido on the spiritual basis of Waldorf education. I think you may find it relevent. Can anyone tell me how to get a copy?

Alan S. Fine MD

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

From: Robert Flannery
Subject: Querido's Latest Book
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 22:22:53 -0400

To contribute to answering your question about the appropriateness of Waldorf education for Jewish children, I have been looking for a recently published book by Rene Querido on the spiritual basis of Waldorf education. I think you may find it relevent. Can anyone tell me how to get a copy?

Alan S. Fine MD

I will bet bottom dollar that what you're looking for is:

"The Esoteric Background of Waldorf Education: The Cosmic Christ Impulse", by Rene M. Querido, Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1995 (ISBN 0-945803-25-7).

This one's a hum-dinger. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. The Anthroposophic Press or Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore or Amazon.com should carry it. Considering Rene lives in your neck of the woods, it might be found at one of the local waldorf schools.

Robert Flannery
New York

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

From: "Alan S. Fine MD"
Subject: Re: Querido's Latest Book
Date: Mon, 12 Apr 1999 23:07:27 -0600

That's the one thank you. I did read most of it a year ago. Robert Flannery is kind (and bold) enough to give us the title. I recommend it to Sarah and anyone interested in appreciating the spiritual valence of the Waldorf curriculum.

Alan S. Fine MD
-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Flannery
Date: Monday, April 12, 1999 8:31 PM
Subject: Querido's Latest Book

To contribute to answering your question about the appropriateness of Waldorf education for Jewish children, I have been looking for a recently published book by Rene Querido on the spiritual basis of Waldorf education. I think you may find it relevent. Can anyone tell me how to get a copy?

Alan S. Fine MD

I will bet bottom dollar that what you're looking for is:

"The Esoteric Background of Waldorf Education: The Cosmic Christ Impulse", by Rene M. Querido, Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1995 (ISBN 0-945803-25-7).

This one's a hum-dinger. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. The Anthroposophic Press or Rudolf Steiner College Bookstore or Amazon.com should carry it. Considering Rene lives in your neck of the woods, it might be found at one of the local waldorf schools.

Robert Flannery
New York

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 01:21:20 +0200

At 09:59 PM 4/11/99 +0200, you wrote:

For example: Hypothetically, let's say that I now announce that I am now both an atheist (believing in the existence of no supernatural or supernormal spiritual worlds or reality), while at the same time affirming that I am an adherent of anthroposophy and spiritual science. Is this claim valid? Well, if nobody or nothing can set a boundary for my beliefs, and if I can combine any elements of the plethora of worldviews, surely this must be valid for me. Right?

Correct.

But surely this is self-contradictory, and therefore false.

You have no right to to call someone else's religious philosophy false for the sole reason that it contradicts your personal logic. It does not make sense to you - fine. But you must accept that it can make sense to other people.

Then I submit you are irrational. I pointed out there is no such thing as John's logic and Tarjei's logic. Just logic, period, which you *must* use to deny you can use it, thus ending up with a self-refuting position. We cannot have any further dialogue operating from this foundation, but I have enjoyed our exchanges up to this point.

Now you're at the very core of your religious-philosophical fascism, John. You are saying that nobody can be a Christian Buddhist or an anthroposophical Catholic because it is contrary to objective logic that should rule everybody's thoughts, not just your own. But I submit that you are confusing objective logic with personal sentiment, which makes you intolerant of religions and philosophies that don't suit you. That is why I call it *your* logic, valid only for your own head and for the heads of those who choose to go along with you.

Cheers

Tarjei Straume

Greetings from Uncle Taz

http://www.uncletaz.com/

Anarchosophy, anarchism, anthroposophy, occultism, Christianity, poetry,
plays, library, articles, galleries, marijuana, criminality, death, skulls,
skeletons, banners, links, links, links. Big section in Norwegian.

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

From: Sarah Stein
Subject: cults
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 00:03:56 -0500

Dan posted:

Your description of your guru:

I object to the use of the word 'guru' to describe a Chassidic rebbe. I don't think even skeptical, anti-religious Jews would think it an appropriate label. By using that term, you are putting Chassidic rebbes on the same level as, say, Dr. Berg of the Kabbalah Centre. Or Guru Dev of Kripalu. The term loses meaning when used as a perjorative catch-all.

I wrote:

I don't really think one should put oneself in the position of judging whether someone else's reverence is excessive. And I disagree with the generalization that "many, of all faiths" judge the reverence for the Rebbe to be excessive. On the contrary, those *of all faiths* who had personal contact with him tended instead to feel that same awe and admiration -- reverence -- for the Rebbe's genuinely lofty level of Torah and secular learning... <snip description of the Rebbe's admirable qualities

And you wrote:

sounds a lot like the way Anthroposophists talk about Steiner!

I don't think people of all faiths have expressed similar admiration for Steiner (correct me if I'm wrong). And I don't see the problem in having great admiration for someone who one feels genuinely lives up to the highest ideals of humanity. It's inspiring. Isn't there anyone you look up to and try to emulate? Perhaps not; but it's a natural and useful human desire to aspire to greatness (which I would define as a kind of quiet spiritual strength -- but maybe that's just because I'm the quiet type) and to seek inspiration from role models -- in this case, a role model for spiritual growth in the context of traditional Judaism.

Remember, a cult is invisible from inside. From outside Lubovitchers sure look like a cult´to some.

I don't form opinions based on what "some people think." I make my own decisions; I go to primary sources. Anyway, my parents, old friends, extended family, etc., have an intimate knowledge of my present lifestyle and no one has felt remotely that Lubavitch is a cult, G-d forbid! Cults are *strictly prohibited* by Jewish law, since they constitute idolatry, one of the three gravest transgressions a Jew can commit (the others being adultery and murder). People who are well-informed -- even from "outside" -- see Lubavitch for what it is: a Chassidic community -- a community of "orthodox" (I dislike that term) Jews who have chosen to try to live up to very strict standards of Jewish practice in an atmosphere of joy, and who are inspired to continue to do so in the face of external obstacles or internal struggles by their Rebbe -- their rabbi, their teacher. Chassidism is NOT cultism; it never was, and it isn't now.

That said, I have no problem at all "agreeing to disagree" with you on this subject; after all, I am a Lubavitcher and you're not, and I respect your right to your views about my chosen affiliation, whether or not you are well-informed in those views. But I do object to having Lubavitch classified as a cult, which, as I have already explained in a previous post, it is not. If you insist on labeling it that way, you must also label adherents of Catholicism cultists (and the Pope a guru), as well as any sincere small-town guy who goes regularly to his synagogue, mosque, or church and asks his highly-respected clergyperson for advice, listens attentively to his clergyperson's sermons, tries to live up to his community's moral standards... you get my point. It's not really fair to slap the word "cult" on a religious group -- large or small -- just because, well, it's a religious group. Not all religious leaders are gurus; the word is insulting when it's misused.

But to bring it back to our topic, Lubovitchers don't claim that their schools are "non-sectarian"!

You're absolutely correct; they don't. Even parents of non-Lubavitch kids can (and do, in large numbers) send their kids in good faith and with informed consent to Lubavitch schools and summer camps, because they *know* their kids will be getting a Torah-true Jewish education, in a Lubavitch Chassidic environment (which in Jewish circles is known for being warm and homey, with small classes, dedicated teachers, etc.). They also *know* there will be no coercion -- overt, subtle, or invisible -- to "become" Lubavitch, and that the sole purpose of Lubavitch schools is to provide a thorough and joyful Jewish education to any child whose parents desire that.

B'shalom,

Sarah

*****

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

From: Sarah Stein
Subject: Re: Digest waldorf-critics.v001.n1217
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 00:46:02 -0500

Hi Alan,

You posted:

Having spent a considerable amount of time in discussions both with Lubovitcher chassidim and Anthroposophists I have come to the conclusion that both movements can generate what I would call a cult mentality. This troubles me because I have seen much psychological damage among my cultist patients. <snip> ... a cult mentality carries potential for problems within the individual as well as for society as a whole, no matter how beautiful and inspiring the content of the doctrine may be.

Anyone who develops a "cult mentality" about Chabad has completely misunderstood what a Chassid is. This is wrong and I would also worry about such a person. I do think certain (rare) people are vulnerable to this type of reaction to *any* spiritual system.

I will be honest that I have been strongly critical of the Lubovitch movement.

Not based on articles you've read in the New York Times, I hope. And not based on Chabad's theoretical *potential* -- in the wrong person's hands -- for becoming a venue for cultist tendencies. Sports fans can also acquire cult-like behaviors; are you strongly critical of sports? I repeat, Lubavitch is not a cult, and the vast majority of its Chassidim understand this and act accordingly. Please don't let your professional psychological orientation lead to you generalizing, oversimplifying, or pathologizing. Lubavitch is a respected, worldwide religious movement that has been around for hundreds of years, with very *positive* effects both on individuals and their communities. (Dwindling Jewish populaces in remote areas frequently *request* that a Lubavitch family come to live among them and set up a Chabad House, school, classes, camp, etc. in order to revitalize their communities. Groups of Chabad Chassidim are often the first to offer food and assistance to victims of natural disasters, refugees such as those from Kosovo, the children of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, etc. -- no religious strings attached whatsoever [tzitzis pun not intended!]. Chabad strongly stresses community service, including a responsibility to the larger community. Lubavitchers, like all Jews, must -- by Jewish law -- abide by all laws of the country, state, etc., in which they reside. And so on.)

May I ask what your personal background is, if that's relevant to how you have developed this critical view of Lubavitch? Has someone in your family had a negative experience? (Maybe something traumatic happened in your childhood... <g>)

Please don't take offense at that last joke! It really was a joke. (I have nothing against psychology or psychologists; I was a member of Psi Chi in college, and won the Psych department's scholarship prize when I graduated -- in the interdisciplinary field of Human Factors Engineering, otherwise known as Engineering Psychology.)

However I do feel that Chabad education (and its entire public facade for that matter) is far more open about its spiritual underpinnings than Waldorf schools.

It is completely open.

In this regard I would like to know what of her Waldorf education your friend had to unlearn in order to enter her chosen path. I will be looking for the article, but in the meantime your comments would be appreciated.

I don't know. Maybe after you read her (brief) article, you might write a letter to the editor, or directly to her?

To contribute to answering your question about the appropriateness of Waldorf education for Jewish children,

It's not really a question for me at this point. My opinion is that it is inappropriate for Jewish children.

I have been looking for a recently published book by Rene Querido on the spiritual basis of Waldorf education. I think you may find it relevent. Can anyone tell me how to get a copy?

There is a book by Querido entitled, "The Mystery of the Holy Grail: A Modern Path of Initiation." I don't know when it was published (the latest would be 1993, so maybe there is a more recent title from him). You can try Amazon.com.

I would be very happy to continue this discussion with you, on this list if it's of interest to others, or off-list if that's more appropriate. Thanks for responding to my intro.

Be well,

Sarah

*****

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

From: John & Wendy Morehead
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 13:54:21

Now you're at the very core of your religious-philosophical fascism, John. You are saying that nobody can be a Christian Buddhist or an anthroposophical Catholic because it is contrary to objective logic that should rule everybody's thoughts, not just your own. But I submit that you are confusing objective logic with personal sentiment, which makes you intolerant of religions and philosophies that don't suit you. That is why I call it *your* logic, valid only for your own head and for the heads of those who choose to go along with you.

Tarjei, you're very good at applying negative labels to those that don't agree with you, but poor in responding to even the simplest of inquiries regarding rational thought. Perhaps the best evidence demonstrating the irrationality of your views is the responses you've provided in your posts. I've provided arguments demonstrating that an anthroposophical Catholic and a Christian Buddhist are just as contradictory as the notions of square circles or married bachelors. You've responded with notions of a "higher logic," whatever and wherever that might be.

I am not intolerant of non-Christian religions and philosophies. I simply ask that when statements are made in the public arena that they be accurate and that we be allowed to weigh the evidence for or against them. You have been unwilling to allow for either. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, to find common ground for dialogue between other anthroposophists who might hold your epistemology and Waldorf critics.

John Morehead

=========================
John W. Morehead
Executive Vice President
TruthQuest Institute
P.O. Box 227
Loomis, CA 95650

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

From: Dan Dugan
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 11:18:46 -0700

Alan Fine, you wrote,

To contribute to answering your question about the appropriateness of Waldorf education for Jewish children, I have been looking for a recently published book by Rene Querido on the spiritual basis of Waldorf education. I think you may find it relevent. Can anyone tell me how to get a copy?

The Esoteric Background of Waldorf Education: The Cosmic Christ Impulse by Rene Querido. Fair Oaks, CA: Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1995.

also

The Spiritual Basis of Steiner Education: The Waldorf School Approach by Roy Wilkinson. London: Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996.

I'm sure both are available from the RSC bookstore 916 961 8729.

-Dan Dugan

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 01:20:23 +0200

John Morehead wrote:

Tarjei, you're very good at applying negative labels to those that don't agree with you, but poor in responding to even the simplest of inquiries regarding rational thought. Perhaps the best evidence demonstrating the irrationality of your views is the responses you've provided in your posts. I've provided arguments demonstrating that an anthroposophical Catholic and a Christian Buddhist are just as contradictory as the notions of square circles or married bachelors. You've responded with notions of a "higher logic," whatever and wherever that might be.

Comparing a Christian Buddhist or an anthroposophical Catholic to a square circle or a married bachelor is nonsense. It has nothing do do with objective, rational logic.

<snip>

Tarjei Straume

Greetings from Uncle Taz

http://www.uncletaz.com/

Anarchosophy, anarchism, anthroposophy, occultism, Christianity, poetry,
plays, library, articles, galleries, marijuana, criminality, death, skulls,
skeletons, banners, links, links, links. Big section in Norwegian.

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

From: Ezra Beeman
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 19:22:53 -0700

Hello Sarah,

I have a question for you. If a given religion contains instructions for the education of youth, should practitioner's of this religion automatically be disqualified from teaching at public institutions?

I ask this question because it struck me that if you affirm anthros can't help but indoctrinate children, then what is to keep you from condemning a Jew's ability to instruct gentiles? Do you believe Jews should not teach in public education?

Once the anthros are driven out of the public schools, then they will come for the gays. After the gays are cast out of the schools, then they will come for the insane. When the insane are driven from the schools, then they will come for...

Regards,

e

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

From: Michael Kopp
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 19:22:31 +1200

Ezra Beeman writes:

Hello Sarah,

I have a question for you. If a given religion contains instructions for the education of youth, should practitioner's of this religion automatically be disqualified from teaching at public institutions?

I ask this question because it struck me that if you affirm anthros can't help but indoctrinate children, then what is to keep you from condemning a Jew's ability to instruct gentiles? Do you believe Jews should not teach in public education?

Michael KOPP butts in:

Ezra, you probably weren't paying attention, because you have vowed, after my challenge to you on the HIV/AIDS issue and your advice for an infected person, not to read any more of my posts. (But then, you've replied to another one just today, so it can't be that ...

But I addressed this issue in my comments on the discussion between John Morehead and Stephen Tonkin, in a post excerpted below:

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

From: Michael Kopp
Subject: Re: Defining Religion; Including Anthroposophy (2 of 2)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 1999 22:38:38 +1200

Stephen Tonkin:

Somewhat tangential to this is the following question: If keeping in mind the spiritual nature (above) whilst preparing and delivering public school lessons is found to be contrary to the US constitution, how, in practice, can it's exclusion be ensured if there is no outer evidence of its inclusion? Or, put another way, how is it possible to legislate against that which cannot be detected?

KOPP:

It can't. The Constitution does not prohibit a teacher from "keeping in mind the spiritual". It only prohibits the _expression_ of anything spiritual in the teaching. If a teacher strays, and includes spiritually-oriented matter -- say, "creation science", then the teacher is in violation. The inclusion of spiritual thought or information or inference IS "detectable" -- even by ordinary folks like myself.

If the school suborns this behaviour, or if a local body or state of the union (they control education in the U.S., not the federal, or national, government) legalizes it, then they are in contravention of the federal Constitution, which is paramount when it comes to the First Amendment and the separation clause. And they will be sued, usually successfully. Especially where the supposed "science" is in fact nothing but a religion or religious or spiritual belief dressed in emperor's new clothes.

(Unfortunately, in New Zealand, teaching religion in a state-integrated private school is legal, as long as it is part of a recognized, separate, "special character" curriculum. But the state-mandated secular curriculum must also be taught. Unfortunately, in our former Steiner school, for all the five years of its integrated status, the state school inspectorate found it to be inadequately delivering the state curriculum. And *I* found the state curriculum to be riddled with Anthroposophical spirituality, as I have detailed elsewhere.)

BEEMAN:

Once the anthros are driven out of the public schools, then they will come for the gays. After the gays are cast out of the schools, then they will come for the insane. When the insane are driven from the schools, then they will come for...

Regards,

e

KOPP:

Sorry, Ezra, it's not the Anthroposphists the critics want kept out of public schools. It's the religion of Anthroposophy pervading the curriculum, and Rudolf Steiner's pedagogy that is steeped in his religion.

Anthroposophists are perfectly free to become public school teachers -- as long as they understand the Constitutional separation of religion and state. I hope my quoted remarks above have helped you to understand this distinction.

As to gays and insane ... well, Ezra, you are known for hyperbole. Or maybe thats perabole. Or ellipsole. Or ...

(I'll eschew another bad joke at your expense about who they come for next, Ezra.)

Suggesting that the PLANS or Waldorf Critics agenda is fascist is demagoguery.

Cheers from Godzone,

Michael Kopp
Wellington, New Zealand

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

From: Robert Flannery
Subject: Re: PRIVATE -- SUGGESTION Re: my introduction
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 06:15:43 -0400

Michael Kopp says:

Flannery, as a Waldorf teacher, has been extremely defensive and unforthcoming about his own teaching and the inner realm of Waldorf education.

Some months ago (it may have been as early as last summer), you posted a request to the list. You called it a survey of teachers--I was the only teacher who answered it. My post, if I recall correctly, was pretty detailed, and took up a lot of different aspects of my teaching and where my personal views fit in the waldorf movement, generally. I believe I wrote about aspects of working with children as a waldorf teacher, the issue of waldorf teacher training in areas like science and math, and distinguishing anthroposophy and mainstream science. In my answer, I raised the issue of waldorf teachers with a weak background in science having the potential to confuse science and anthroposophy.

As soon as I posted, you replied to the list with a request that no further dialogue follow with regard to the comments that I had made. You said all subscribers should refrain from "cross-posting" so that any forthcoming responses to your survey could remain untainted by a continuing thread. You said I had raised some interesting points that you would address in a post that you were in the process of preparing.

Nothing further happened. No more responses came to your survey, your response never appeared. It died a'borning.

Another critic (perhaps it was Deby) more recently put forth another request for a survey. She asked waldorf teachers to describe a typical day in their classrooms, and asked for specifics about verses, songs, nature tables and other aspects of classrooms and class life. I responded to that in some detail, along with Stephen and Bruce.

The only point I wish to make here is this: I don't think the evidence at hand supports your claim that I have been less than open. I have responded to every request for information that has ever been made of me personally, or waldorf teachers generally. I'm sorry to say that I have no studies or statistical surveys available to support this claim, but the archives support me.

The only request for information anyone's made to me directly that I have not acted on would be the request you made yesterday about Goethean science and the four elements (which is pending).

So, Michael, I would appreciate it greatly if you could provide examples of where I have ever "been extremely defensive and unforthcoming about [my] own teaching and the inner realm of Waldorf education."

I doubt you'll be able to find any such instances, so feel free to ask me those questions now.

Robert Flannery
New York

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

From: "Tolz, Robert"
Subject: RE: my introduction
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 11:05:40 -0400

-----Original Message-----
From: Michael Kopp [mailto:mkopp@xtra.co.nz]

(Unfortunately, in New Zealand, teaching religion in a state-integrated private school is legal, as long as it is part of a recognized, separate, "special character" curriculum. But the state-mandated secular curriculum must also be taught.

For those of us unfamiliar with the New Zealand system, could you enlighten us a bit more, as to how a "state-integrated private school" works, and what New Zealand's approach is to the separation of church and state in such an environment. I don't need you to spend a lot of time on the answer. A short precis would do.

Bob Tolz

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

From: Sarah Stein
Subject: Jewish public school teachers
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 1999 23:34:24 -0500

Ezra Beeman writes:

Hello Sarah,

Hello! How's Harvard Square, my old hang-out? :)

I have a question for you. If a given religion contains instructions for the education of youth, should practitioner's of this religion automatically be disqualified from teaching at public institutions?

I ask this question because it struck me that if you affirm anthros can't help but indoctrinate children, then what is to keep you from condemning a Jew's ability to instruct gentiles? Do you believe Jews should not teach in public education?

Interesting question, but basically moot. Religious Jews are usually found teaching in religious schools, and if they are in public schools, they are, by definition, not there to teach religion -- but rather math, English, etc. To my knowledge, there is no "Jewish" approach to teaching secular subjects (unless you want to create one for the sake of integrating a secular curriculum with the Jewish one in a Jewish school).

And as Michael Kopp said:

<snip> The Constitution does not prohibit a teacher from "keeping in mind the spiritual". It only prohibits the _expression_ of anything spiritual in the teaching.

I agree; applies equally to people of all religions who teach in a public school setting.

B'shalom,

Sarah

*****

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

From: John & Wendy Morehead
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 09:34:15

At 01:20 AM 4/14/99 +0200, you wrote:

Comparing a Christian Buddhist or an anthroposophical Catholic to a square circle or a married bachelor is nonsense. It has nothing do do with objective, rational logic.

Nonsense? Then I guess "mundane" logic does apply, not simply a "higher logic," otherwise we cannot arrive at sense or nonsense.

Contradictory notions of married bachelors or square circles are just as nonsensical and contradictory as Christian Buddhists or Anthroposphical Catholics. For example, an orthodox Christian affirms the existence of a Personal transcendent God. A Buddhist may affirm the non-existence of a personal God in favor of the Void, or perhaps a deified Buddha. At any rate, these foundational notions *which define the essence of Christianity and Buddhism* are contradictory. To affirm the coherency of a contradiction is nonsense. You have every right to do it yourself and to believe it is possible, but this does not make it correct, and you have certainly not demonstrated that it is not irrational.

John Morehead

=========================
John W. Morehead
Executive Vice President
TruthQuest Institute
P.O. Box 227
Loomis, CA 95650

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Subject: Re: my introduction
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 20:29:39 +0200

At 01:20 AM 4/14/99 +0200, you wrote:

Comparing a Christian Buddhist or an anthroposophical Catholic to a square circle or a married bachelor is nonsense. It has nothing do do with objective, rational logic.

Nonsense? Then I guess "mundane" logic does apply, not simply a "higher logic," otherwise we cannot arrive at sense or nonsense.

The point is that innumerable intelligent, highly educated, hard working, productive people all over the world enjoy some combinations of religions or philosophies that you say are incompatible because they don't agree with *your* logical definitions and analyses. Anthroposophists, who are indeed Christian Buddhists, myself included, are only a small part of this diverse group.

Contradictory notions of married bachelors or square circles are just as nonsensical and contradictory as Christian Buddhists or Anthroposphical Catholics. For example, an orthodox Christian affirms the existence of a Personal transcendent God. A Buddhist may affirm the non-existence of a personal God in favor of the Void, or perhaps a deified Buddha. At any rate, these foundational notions *which define the essence of Christianity and Buddhism* are contradictory. To affirm the coherency of a contradiction is nonsense. You have every right to do it yourself and to believe it is possible, but this does not make it correct, and you have certainly not demonstrated that it is not irrational.

That's what you make out of it, but millions of others think differently. You may call them all irrational and illogical all you want. It doesn't make it so.

Tarjei Straume

Greetings from Uncle Taz

http://www.uncletaz.com/

Anarchosophy, anarchism, anthroposophy, occultism, Christianity, poetry,
plays, library, articles, galleries, marijuana, criminality, death, skulls,
skeletons, banners, links, links, links. Big section in Norwegian.

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


Click to subscribe to anthroposophy_tomorrow
 

 

The Uncle Taz "WC Posts"

Tarjei's "WC files"

Anthroposophy, Critics, and Controversy

Search this site powered by FreeFind