Steiner on Semitism and Antisemitism

 

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 11:40 am
Subject: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

A couple weeks ago I noted that Rudolf Steiner had endorsed Richard Wagner's antisemitic writings. I cited Steiner's book Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen (GA 92) pp. 138-139. For some reason, both Daniel and Andrea surmised that this reference was actually about Steiner's supposed fondness for Wagner's music, a topic I did not address. Below is the passage in question, from Steiner's lecture in Berlin on May 19, 1905, part of a series of lectures on "Richard Wagner in the Light of Spiritual Science". I think this passage is especially interesting in view of the recent claims on this list that Steiner's racial doctrines could not possibly have included a racist strand because of his emphasis on the "I" and on the development of the soul. Here Steiner employs the very same faulty logic to argue that Wagner, one of the most infamous antisemitic authors of the nineteenth century, could not possibly have been an antisemite.

Peter

"The feeling that a new impulse was needed also lead Wagner to his remarks about the influence of Jewry on contemporary culture. Wagner was not an antisemite in the unreasonable and spiteful sense that one sometimes experiences today, but he felt that Jewry had played out its role, that the semitic influences on our culture must die out and that something new needed to take their place. Thus his call for renewal. This is related to how he conceived of our present race. He said to himself: We must distinguish between racial evolution and soul evolution. This distinction is necessary if one wants to comprehend evolution as such. All of us were once incarnated in the Atlantean race. But whereas the souls evolved further and rose upward, the race fell into decadence. Every advance is linked to a decline. For every one who improves himself there is another who sinks lower. There is a difference between the soul in its racial body and the racial body itself. The more a person becomes similar to his race, the more he loves that which is temporal, transitory, and tied to the attributes of his race, the more he belongs to the decline of the race. The more he frees himself, the more he raises himself out of the attributes of his race, the more his soul has the opportunity to incarnate higher. A spirit like Wagner, who distinguishes between soul development and racial development, cannot possibly be an antisemite. He knows that it is not the souls that have played themselves out, but rather the races have played out their tasks in the great cosmic evolution. That is what Wagner expresses again and again in his writings when he discusses "semitism". Wagner senses a downfall, a racial decline, and the need for souls to climb higher."

Rudolf Steiner, Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen pp. 138-139.

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 1:15 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Peter S quoted Rudolf Steiner:

The more a person becomes similar to his race, the more he loves that which is temporal, transitory, and tied to the attributes of his race, the more he belongs to the decline of the race. The more he frees himself, the more he raises himself out of the attributes of his race, the more his soul has the opportunity to incarnate higher.

I told you Steiner's lectures were self-explanatory. The more a person forgets about race and frees himself from everything racial, the better he evolves. Something to think about. Obsession with this topic can lead to severe retardation :)

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 12:00 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Peter shares a Dr. Steiner quote:

"The feeling that a new impulse was needed also lead Wagner to his remarks about the influence of Jewry on contemporary culture. Wagner was not an antisemite in the unreasonable and spiteful sense that one sometimes experiences today, but he felt that Jewry had played out its role, that the semitic influences on our culture must die out and that something new needed to take their place. Thus his call for renewal. This is related to how he conceived of our present race. He said to himself: We must distinguish between racial evolution and soul evolution. This distinction is necessary if one wants to comprehend evolution as such. All of us were once incarnated in the Atlantean race. But whereas the souls evolved further and rose upward, the race fell into decadence. Every advance is linked to a decline. For every one who improves himself there is another who sinks lower. There is a difference between the soul in its racial body and the racial body itself. The more a person becomes similar to his race, the more he loves that which is temporal, transitory, and tied to the attributes of his race, the more he belongs to the decline of the race. The more he frees himself, the more he raises himself out of the attributes of his race, the more his soul has the opportunity to incarnate higher. A spirit like Wagner, who distinguishes between soul development and racial development, cannot possibly be an antisemite. He knows that it is not the souls that have played themselves out, but rather the races have played out their tasks in the great cosmic evolution. That is what Wagner expresses again and again in his writings when he discusses "semitism". Wagner senses a downfall, a racial decline, and the need for souls to climb higher."

Rudolf Steiner, Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen pp. 138-139.

You just do not get it Peter. You just do not and the more you post to show your point the more we become aware of your complete ignorance on this topic in regards to Dr. Steiners work.

You have convinced me that indeed you truly believe your explanation of a thing. You believe you are correct and the rest of us don't want to see it. You may have propaganda like ways of trying to prove your point and sometimes there is a fine line between truth and lying but on the whole I do think you think what you are reading above is racist. I actually do not believe you are lying rather you are unable to grasp the spiritual teachings of Dr. Steiners work. If he was to say one group was better than another and so forth you may have a case. But, Dr. Steiner spoke on all cultures and not only one or two. He gave outlines to his understandings of the universe and its workings. You can not understand and it is truly beyond anyone here to bring this any further as your mind is made up as is Dianas it seems. Okay.

I do wish however that you would respond to the latest post by Mr. Detelf. And I do wish you would do it in good faith even if... well, please respond as I would really like to see this come to a conclusion. He truly brought it back to the needle.

Sincerely,
Dottie

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From: holderlin66
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 4:47 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Peter Staudenmaier illustrated that:

A spirit like Wagner, who distinguishes between soul development and racial development, cannot possibly be an antisemite. He knows that it is not the souls that have played themselves out, but rather the races have played out their tasks in the great cosmic evolution. That is what Wagner expresses again and again in his writings when he discusses "semitism". Wagner senses a downfall, a racial decline, and the need for souls to climb higher."

Rudolf Steiner, Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen pp. 138-139.

Bradford comments:

We have previously discussed Wagner about and around 2071 in that area from this list. I have duly noted that Wagner was an unconscious Initiate but as flawed as he was, attempted in his Art a Michael Impulse. The above sitings reveal the 1879 New Blood of the Parsifal mystery that would indicate, as Parsifal's Initiation in 869, was the flower of something new in the cultural life of humanity. Previously Wagner/Merlin had worked under Old Star knowledge to merge various incarnation streams into the Arthurian and further Magna Carta development that would serve as the foundation for Freedom and the I AM.

It has been further indicated that Wagner more richly raw and associated with the Grail; and later Tolkien under the next wave of the 1999/2003 Christ pattern impulse, brought a further Consciousness Soul Imagination in new Wagnerian clothing. "Lord of the Rings" and Wagner's work are inner imaginations of a Celtic and British origin. Wagner was destined to offer his imaginations for the idealism that was supposed to have arisen with a Michael like Flavor out of the German Cognition of I AM school. Steiner's Karma lectures reveal the inner streams that Wagner was holding in his unconsciousness. But Nietzsche, Wagner and industrial strength Nazi ethnic murder attempted to attack the very foundations of the Race that produced the Christ. Wagner's mighty impulse was spun in the opposite direction of the celebration of the I AM.

[long url]

"Wagner, who wanted to prepare the soil for a new mental impulse by its artistic work, was surely the central shape under the "homeless souls". In the year 1851, when he worked on the draft ' ring of the Nibelungen ', he hoped still that South Germany could become center of a new Mysterienkultur:

"at the Rheine I break then a theatre open, and invite to large dramatic celebrations: after one year preparation I specify my whole work then in the course of four days. With him I give humans to the revolution then the meaning of this revolution to recognize after its noblest sense. This public will understand me; the current cannot do it."[ 1 ]

These "homeless souls" with their often tragic fates lived in the expectation of something large one, which could not become on earth reality at that time... At the beginning of of 1833 drove the 20jaehrige (year old) Richard wagner from peppering castle to Bamberg; it heard its fate it of by nine months the older (nine months older than Wagner) Kaspar Hauser, on peculiar way deeply moved (Kaspar was murdered in the December of the same yearly.)

It later even imagined itself "the child of Europe" on this journey to have seen. Something of the shape Kaspars flowed anyhow into wagners conception of the parentsless Parsifal, "pure gates", searching for the nut/mother.

The fate led wagner 1857 to Karlsruhe, where the 45jaehrige (the 45 year old Kaspar Hauser would have been the one to meet Wagner) Kaspar could have received it as a Grand Duke. Now however it was Grand Duchess Luise of Prussia, who required to to its works. The plan was discussed, ' Tristan and Isolde ' in Karlsruhe, "at the Rheine" to specify. Here also wagners fruitful co-operation began with the extraordinary tenor Ludwig Schnorr of Carolsfeld. But the fate remained unfulfilled. Wagner unsatisfied left the city 1862, by two years later in Ludwig II., the cousin of Kasparto find its largest sponsor."

Bradford concludes;

Here is the core of the Euro Tragedy. 'Child of Europe' and 'Son of Man'. Wagner would have met the Grand Duke Kaspar Hauser in the flesh. Europe would have had a whole different feeling and the philosphy of the I Am along with the artisitic work of Wagner would have led the way onwards to the Michael School. The I AM and the deep roots to the Consciousness Soul would have been seen through what ancient Merlin had shuttled over into his Art."

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 9:25 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

The more a person forgets about race and frees himself from everything racial, the better he evolves.

Yes, that is what Steiner says. He also says that people who fail to free themselves from everything racial do not evolve further, and therefore incarnate in lower racial forms, such as Chinese and Jews. That's the racist part.

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 9:54 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

At 18:25 06.04.2004, PS wrote:

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

The more a person forgets about race and frees himself from everything racial, the better he evolves.

Yes, that is what Steiner says. He also says that people who fail to free themselves from everything racial do not evolve further, and therefore incarnate in lower racial forms, such as Chinese and Jews. That's the racist part.

That's nonsense. You quote Steiner on Wagner as "evidence" of the only song you know, and Steiner actually repudiates the racist mentality we find in Nazism (where race is of paramount importance), you say that Jews and Chinese think like Nazis according to Steiner, by refusing to elevate themselves above the racial. In this manner, you constantly paint yourself into a corner, trying to dig through the brick wall behind you.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: winters_diana
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 10:11 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

tarjei to Peter:

you say that Jews and Chinese think like Nazis according to Steiner, by refusing to elevate themselves above the racial.

(I'm fairly sure Peter didn't say that, but never mind.)

What would "elevating" oneself "above the racial" consist of? This is the crux of the differing thinking going on here between anthroposophists and non-anthroposophists. It seems that in anthroposophy elevating oneself above the racial means, although you accept as a given that your race has certain spiritual traits, you realize that, because you reincarnate and can be a different race next time, you yourself, as an individual (an "I Am"), are "above" those racial traits. Those who don't understand reincarnation are stuck with those racial traits and are actually even causing the race itself to decline. Bizarre!!

"Elevating oneself above the racial," to me, would mean no longer even believing the junk about so-called racial spiritual traits. Changing your attitude about race, in other words, rather than what amounts to basically trying to be better than other people of your race, like overcoming a handicap. You gotta free your mind instead . . .

Diana

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 10:45 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

I wrote:

You quote Steiner on Wagner as "evidence" of the only song you know, and Steiner actually repudiates the racist mentality we find in Nazism (where race is of paramount importance), you say that Jews and Chinese think like Nazis according to Steiner, by refusing to elevate themselves above the racial.

To spell it out: The most decadent souls in the first half of the 20th century who identified most strongly with race incarnated not among Jews or Chinese, but among Germans and Japanese. The Swastika became the emblem for these souls who sank more deeply into the sewer of racial ideals than any others known to history. The rise of the Nazis was Ahriman's rebellion against the Michaelic directive to help humanity outgrow everything racial. Ahriman's next move is to call this anti-racist movement, a racist movement. And when in an effort to accomplish this, an intellectual clown who loves ping-pong enters the stage to play with words like "philo-Semitism" and "anti-Semitism" like a juggler to the point of total meaninglessness, it is clear that Ahriman is losing this battle.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: holderlin66
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 5:31 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Tarjei Straume wrote:

The rise of the Nazis was Ahriman's rebellion against the Michaelic directive to help humanity outgrow everything racial. Ahriman's next move is to call this anti-racist movement, a racist movement. And when in an effort to accomplish this, an intellectual clown who loves ping-pong enters the stage to play with words like "philo-Semitism" and "anti-Semitism" like a juggler to the point of total meaninglessness, it is clear that Ahriman is losing this battle.

Bradford kisses the sky;

Now, my friends, that is the greatest summary of history that you are likely to encounter. That is what Spiritual Thinking and I AM cognition offers to dead history. A history of living beings in a real struggle for true Consciousness.

Gripping onto failed, unconscious, blood, tribe and racism, were the mark of Hitler and company. Peter just don't go there. You are neither an expert, nor do you understand history. The Angels frown on such things, at least the kind of Angel I am talking about. Don't get stuck in failed ideologies that you pin your double to. But, you have lots of time to run head on into the catastrophe of your thinking, in the mean time The Education of Little Soul, Peter Staudenmaier can continue with all your wonderfully typical responses.

They are so, so, so 19th century. C'mon Peter, you can do better, catch up to the rest of us.. I have a POD with your name on it... Sleep Peter, Sleep, your getting sleepy. (Quick put the pod in his biodynamic garden next to the carrots.) Sleep Peter, Sleep!

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 6:58 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

I wrote:

[Steiner] says that people who fail to free themselves from everything racial do not evolve further, and therefore incarnate in lower racial forms, such as Chinese and Jews. That's the racist part.

and Tarjei replied:

That's nonsense.

Here's what Rudolf Steiner had to say on the matter:

"Everyone who works in this way prepares the ground for the human bodies of the future, for the bodies that souls will later need. There is a word that beautifully expresses this work toward the future, which we will understand when we clarify the difference between soul development and racial development. All of you were once Atlanteans, and these Atlantean bodies looked very different, as I have already described. The same soul that was once in an Atlantean body somewhere is now in your body. But not all bodies have been prepared, in the way yours have been, by a small number of colonists who long ago migrated from the West to the East. Those who remained behind, who bound themselves up with their race, they degenerated, while the advanced ones founded new civilizations. The last stragglers on the way to the east, the Mongols, still retain something of the culture of the Atlanteans. In the same way, the bodies of those people who do not develop themselves in a progressive fashion will continue into the next era and will constitute the Chinese of the future. There will once again be decadent peoples. After all, the souls that inhabit Chinese bodies are those that will once again have to incarnate in such races, because they had too strong an attraction to that race. The souls that are today within you will later incarnate in bodies that come from people who work in the way I have indicated, and who beget the bodies of the future, just as the first colonists from Atlantis once did. And those who cling to the ordinary, who do not want to join with the movement toward the future, they will become fused with their race. There are people who want to stick to the familiar, who want nothing to do with progress; they refuse to listen to those who lead the way beyond the race to newer and newer forms of humanity. The myths have preserved this intention in a wonderful manner. The best way they could portray this is by pointing to one of the greatest ones, who spoke the words: “Whosoever does not leave father and mother, wife and child, brother and sister, cannot be my disciple”; and by depicting, in contrast, the tragedy of the person who says, I want nothing to do with such a leader, and rejects him. How could one express this more clearly than in the image of the person who rejects the leader, and who is incapable of advancing! That is the legend of Ahasver, the Eternal Jew, who sat there and pushed away the greatest leader, Christ Jesus, who wanted nothing to do with evolution, and who therefore must remain in his race, must always reappear in his race. These are myths that have been given to humankind for its eternal memory, so that humankind knows what it is dealing with."

(Steiner, Menschheitsentwickelung und Christus-Erkenntnis pp. 186-187)

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 10:20 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

At 19:11 06.04.2004, Diana wrote:

What would "elevating" oneself "above the racial" consist of?

Putting down your swastikas for starters.

Tarjei

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 12:47 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

At 03:58 07.04.2004, Peter S wrote:

I wrote:

[Steiner] says that people who fail to free themselves from everything racial do not evolve further, and therefore incarnate in lower racial forms, such as Chinese and Jews. That's the racist part.

and Tarjei replied:

That's nonsense.

Here's what Rudolf Steiner had to say on the matter:

What Steiner says about the matter makes sense. What you say about what Steiner says is nonsense. Steiner is talking about how souls who reject the spiritual sink into the racial and become decadent in the future:

[Steiner quoted by PS]

Whosoever does not leave father and mother, wife and child, brother and sister, cannot be my disciple”; and by depicting, in contrast, the tragedy of the person who says, I want nothing to do with such a leader, and rejects him. How could one express this more clearly than in the image of the person who rejects the leader, and who is incapable of advancing! That is the legend of Ahasver, the Eternal Jew, who sat there and pushed away the greatest leader, Christ Jesus, who wanted nothing to do with evolution, and who therefore must remain in his race, must always reappear in his race.

In other words, those who refuse to believe in progressive spiritual evolution will sink into decadent identification with a race and thus form a decadent future race. And this warning is embedded in a Jewish legend.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 9:42 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hi again Tarjei, you wrote:

Steiner is talking about how souls who reject the spiritual sink into the racial and become decadent in the future:

Yep. Saying that souls who reject spiritual advancement therefore incarnate in certain less advanced races is racist.

In other words, those who refuse to believe in progressive spiritual evolution will sink into decadent identification with a race and thus form a decadent future race.

Yep. Saying that some races are decadent while others are highly evolved is racist.

And this warning is embedded in a Jewish legend.

The myth of Ahasver is not a Jewish legend, Tarjei. It is a legend about Jews invented by non-Jews. I recommend you read up on it. A good place to start is George Anderson's 1965 book The Legend of the Wandering Jew, as well as the 1986 collection edited by Galit Hasan-Rokem and Alan Dundes, The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend.

Peter

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From: holderlin66
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 2:10 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

The myth of Ahasver is not a Jewish legend, Tarjei. It is a legend about Jews invented by non-Jews. I recommend you read up on it. A good place to start is George Anderson's 1965 book The Legend of the Wandering Jew, as well as the 1986 collection edited by Galit Hasan-Rokem and Alan Dundes, The Wandering Jew: Essays in the Interpretation of a Christian Legend.

Bradford;

Here Tarjei, read up on it.

"Steiner geht nicht weiter auf Ahasver oder irgendwelche Konnotationen dieser Gestalt ein, die im zeitgenössichen antisemitischen Diskurs möglicherweise eine Rolle spielten. Er gibt dieser Gestalt eine völlig neuartige, allmenschliche Deutung, durch die er sie aus jedem antijudaistischen Kontext herauslöst. Steiner hätte ebenso gut die Gestalt des Fliegenden Holländers anführen können, die einen vergleichbaren symbolischen Gehalt besitzt.

Er spricht von Ahasver nicht als dem „ewigen Juden", sondern als von einer symbolischen, mythischen Figur, deren Bedeutungsgehalt in einem präzisen Sinn er auslegt. Er ist der symbolische Ausdruck eines seelischen Verhaltens, das in jeder einzelnen Menschenseele liegt, unabhängig von ihrer etwaigen religiösen oder ethnischen Zugehörigkeit.

Eine rekonstruktive, sinnerschließende Hermeneutik wird sich darum bemühen, den Gesamtzusammenhang zu erfassen, in dem die betreffenden Äußerungen Steiners stehen. Sie bilden einen erläuternden Exkurs im thematischen Kontext einer Erörterung über die sogenannten Elementarwesen, Wesen, die von der abendländischen Tradition als Gnome, Sylphen, Undinen und Salamander bezeichnet werden. Steiner entwickelt ein komplexes gedankliches Modell, um diese Elementarwesen in die gegliederte Struktur des Kosmos einzuordnen, ihre Herkunft und ihr zukünftiges Schicksal zu beschreiben.

So wie die gegenwärtigen Elementarwesen aus „Gruppenseelen" von Tieren hervorgegangen sind, werden in der künftigen Evolution aus der Menschheit Elementarwesen hervorgehen. Der Mensch ist als geistiges Wesen ausgespannt zwischen seinen verschiedenen Leibern (physischer Leib, Ätherleib, Astralleib), die das Ergebnis eines vergangenen Evolutionsprozesses sind und einer künftigen Existenzform, in der das Ich, die von den Schöpfermächten geschaffenen Leiber zu seinem freien geistigen Eigentum umgewandelt haben wird.

Das Ich steht gegenwärtig vor der Aufgabe, den Astralleib in ein solches geistiges Eigentum, in das Geistselbst umzuformen. Menschliche Vervollkommnung bedeutet in diesem Zusammenhang, Triebe, Begierden und Leidenschaften zu veredeln und sie in Willensstärke, Enthusiasmus und selbstlose Tatkraft umzuwandeln.

Steiner versucht, die Frage zu beantworten, wo der jeweils höhere Grad an Vollkommenheit eigentlich herkommt. Er ist nicht Ergebnis eines vom Menschen und seiner Verantwortlichkeit unabhängigen Prozesses, sondern liegt in der Verantworung des Einzelnen. Die sittliche Höherentwicklung lässt sich nur in einer Reihe von Inkarnationen erreichen, durch die sich der Mensch als geistiges Wesen hindurchbewegt. Er nimmt die Früchte der vorangegangenen Inkarnation in die folgende mit. Er gestaltet seine folgende Inkarnation, ihre Form, ihre Fähigkeiten und ihr Schicksal mit.

Die Wirkungen seiner Handlungen in der Außenwelt kommen als Schicksal zu ihm zurück; was er sich durch das vergangene Leben selbst einprägte, metamorphosiert sich in seine Fähigkeiten und Begabungen. Er ist also für die Gestaltung seines Schicksals und seiner „inneren Organisation" mitverantwortlich. Die menschliche Vervollkommnung besteht darin, dass der Einzelne immer mehr mit dem göttlichen Grundwesen der Liebe verschmilzt, das seit der Zeitenwende in den Tiefen der Menschheit wirkt, um diese in die Gestalt einer neuen Schöpfung überzuführen.

Diese neue Schöpfung ist die aus dem Auferstandenen wiedergeborene Menschheit. Je mehr der Mensch von der göttlichen Liebe in sich aufnimmt, um so mehr vermag er diese Liebe auch in seine Umgebung auszustrahlen und ihr eine menschliche, solidarische, freiheitliche Form zu geben. Vervollkommnung besteht letztlich darin, dass sich der Mensch immer mehr seinem Erdenvorbild angleicht (theosis) und zum Heiler all dessen wird, was als Folge der paulinischen „katabole" den Status der Schöpfung geprägt hat."

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 2:40 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

At 18:42 07.04.2004, PS wrote:

Yep. Saying that souls who reject spiritual advancement therefore incarnate in certain less advanced races is racist.

Yep. Saying that some races are decadent while others are highly evolved is racist.

We're getting an idea about your definitions of "racism". We'll have to give up on most of your other definitions. There is obviously nothing to be done about your twisted misunderstandings of "highly evolved" and "decadent" and so forth.

The myth of Ahasver is not a Jewish legend, Tarjei. It is a legend about Jews invented by non-Jews.

You're missing the point. It doesn't matter how many legends you read or how much you learn about their literary origins if they don't tell you anything. A myth or a legend contains a spiritual truth. Your latest claim is that you do not consider spiritual things to be nonsense, so perhaps you're confused, I don't know. The point is that sinking into the racial element by rejecting Christ is tantamount to sinking into racism. Racism arises from clinging to the racial instead of outgrowing it. The reason why the Jewish context has been especially interesting here, also in Shakespeare, is that the very salvation from the racial came from the Jews, to the Jew first and then to the gentile (i.e. all non-Jews) also, as the Jewish Pharisee Paul put it.

This salvation from the racial through Christ is also explained by Steiner in the 9th lecture of the cycle "The Gospel of St. John And Its Relation to the Other Gospels" (GA 112):

http://www.uncletaz.com/steinchrmar.html

"For this purpose, He had to turn to those who, owing to their mixed blood, no longer clung to this old belief: to the Galileans. That is where His mission had to commence. Even though the old state of consciousness was gradually on the wane, still He found in Galilee a medley of peoples that stood at the beginning of the era in which blood became mixed. From all quarters tribes assembled here that had previously been governed solely by the forces of the old blood ties. They were on the point of finding the transition."

(................................................)

"Such were the people to whom Christ turned, people who had just arrived at the point of understanding this, people who, having broken away from the blood ties by intermarriage, needed to find the strong force - not in consanguinity, but in the individual soul, the force that can lead man gradually to express the spiritual in the physical."

(................................................)

"It was in Galilee that the ancient blood ties were severed, that mutually alien bloods came to mingle. Now, Christ's task was intimately connected with this mixing of blood. So, we are here dealing with a union having the object of creating progeny among people who are no longer related by blood."

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 7:46 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

A myth or a legend contains a spiritual truth.

Lots of myths contain spiritual truth. But some myths are essentially devoid of truth, spiritual or otherwise. The Aryan myth is one example. The myth of Ahasver is another. I urge you to consult the books I recommended.

The point is that sinking into the racial element by rejecting Christ is tantamount to sinking into racism.

That might be, but so what? The notion that those who sink into the racial element therefore appear in certain races, in lower racial forms, is itself racist.

Racism arises from clinging to the racial instead of outgrowing it.

Racism also arises from saying that Chinese and Jews cling to the racial instead of outgrowing it.

Peter

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From: at
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 3:52 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

The more a person forgets about race and frees himself from everything racial, the better he evolves.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yes, that is what Steiner says. He also says that people who fail to free themselves from everything racial do not evolve further, and therefore incarnate in lower racial forms, such as Chinese and Jews. That's the racist part.

Daniel:

Please. Just where does he say exactly that? I love how Peter Staudenmaier makes the huge, general claims with no sources.

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From: at
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 3:41 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

There is only one slight problem here. These words are not Rudolf Steiner. True, they are printed in GA 92, but if you read the title page, it makes clear that these are listener's notes of the lectures, and not a stenographic reproduction. This particular lecture is reconstructed from the notes of two participants: Walter Vegelahn and Eugenie von Bredow (this is stated on page 181). It was first put into coherent form and published in the 1930's, almost 30 years after the fact. From these notes, what Steiner might have said was reconstructed and put into a coherent form, edited for this edition by Helmuth von Wartburg at the Steiner Archive, and only published in 1999. What Steiner's actual, carefully-formulated exact words on the subject we can only guess. He obviously spoke about the topic of Wagner's racial views. Whether actually uttered the words "Wagner... cannot possibly be an anti-Semite" simply cannot be known. Certainly at least one of his listeners came away with the impression that he said something to this effect when they later sat down to write their notes, and then much later when the lecture was reconstructed the sentence was written. But we cannot know how much the issue is contaminated with the personality of either Walter or Eugenie. Nor can we correlate this to any other statements of Steiner's on the same theme, as this is the only place the issue is mentioned. Further I must not that even as these words stand, it is hard to call them an endorsement of Wagner's anti-Semitic statements. They are a description of Wagner's views and an explanation of their origin, not praise thereof.

Peter Staudenmaier appears not to have actually read the book that he is relying on to make his statement. If he had read the whole book, he would not go running around claiming these to be Steiner's actual words. He has thus demonstrated an incredible carelessness with historical sources for someone claiming to be working as a historian, and shown once again why he is not qualified to call himself a Steiner scholar. There is really no excuse for such sloppiness.

Daniel Hindes

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Staudenmaier
Sent: Monday, April 05, 2004 2:40 PM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

A couple weeks ago I noted that Rudolf Steiner had endorsed Richard Wagner's antisemitic writings. I cited Steiner's book Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen (GA 92) pp. 138-139. For some reason, both Daniel and Andrea surmised that this reference was actually about Steiner's supposed fondness for Wagner's music, a topic I did not address. Below is the passage in question, from Steiner's lecture in Berlin on May 19, 1905, part of a series of lectures on "Richard Wagner in the Light of Spiritual Science". I think this passage is especially interesting in view of the recent claims on this list that Steiner's racial doctrines could not possibly have included a racist strand because of his emphasis on the "I" and on the development of the soul. Here Steiner employs the very same faulty logic to argue that Wagner, one of the most infamous antisemitic authors of the nineteenth century, could not possibly have been an antisemite.

Peter

"The feeling that a new impulse was needed also lead Wagner to his remarks about the influence of Jewry on contemporary culture. Wagner was not an antisemite in the unreasonable and spiteful sense that one sometimes experiences today, but he felt that Jewry had played out its role, that the semitic influences on our culture must die out and that something new needed to take their place. Thus his call for renewal. This is related to how he conceived of our present race. He said to himself: We must distinguish between racial evolution and soul evolution. This distinction is necessary if one wants to comprehend evolution as such. All of us were once incarnated in the Atlantean race. But whereas the souls evolved further and rose upward, the race fell into decadence. Every advance is linked to a decline. For every one who improves himself there is another who sinks lower. There is a difference between the soul in its racial body and the racial body itself. The more a person becomes similar to his race, the more he loves that which is temporal, transitory, and tied to the attributes of his race, the more he belongs to the decline of the race. The more he frees himself, the more he raises himself out of the attributes of his race, the more his soul has the opportunity to incarnate higher. A spirit like Wagner, who distinguishes between soul development and racial development, cannot possibly be an antisemite. He knows that it is not the souls that have played themselves out, but rather the races have played out their tasks in the great cosmic evolution. That is what Wagner expresses again and again in his writings when he discusses "semitism". Wagner senses a downfall, a racial decline, and the need for souls to climb higher."

Rudolf Steiner, Die okkulten Wahrheiten alter Mythen und Sagen pp. 138-139.

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 10:06 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hello Daniel,

I think your post below is a picture-perfect example of why you and I have such difficulties discussing historical issues. You understandably don't like it when my responses are snide and condescending, and in cases like this one, I don't see how any reply I might make could not be one or both of those things. Virtually everything you say below is wrong, and many of your claims are genuinely dumb, in my view. I get the sense that you are an earnest person who is very interested in history, and in a lot of ways that keeps me from being even more snide toward you than you often deserve; one of my primary goals is to make history a subject that all people can engage with, regardless of whether they're historians themselves. But there are times, quite a few of them in your case, where it actually does make a difference. I think you simply don't know what you're talking about on questions of sourcing, the relation between spoken and written testimony, what constitutes corroborating evidence, what it means for one author to endorse another author's views, and so forth. In light of all this, maybe I should simply ask for some guidance from you: do you prefer that I condescend in such instances, or do you prefer that I drop it and 'run away from the argument', in your terms? I'm afraid I probably don't have it in me to come up with a third option, though I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks for your thoughts,

Peter

There is only one slight problem here. These words are not Rudolf Steiner. True, they are printed in GA 92, but if you read the title page, it makes clear that these are listener's notes of the lectures, and not a stenographic reproduction. This particular lecture is reconstructed from the notes of two participants: Walter Vegelahn and Eugenie von Bredow (this is stated on page 181). It was first put into coherent form and published in the 1930's, almost 30 years after the fact. From these notes, what Steiner might have said was reconstructed and put into a coherent form, edited for this edition by Helmuth von Wartburg at the Steiner Archive, and only published in 1999. What Steiner's actual, carefully-formulated exact words on the subject we can only guess. He obviously spoke about the topic of Wagner's racial views. Whether actually uttered the words "Wagner... cannot possibly be an anti-Semite" simply cannot be known. Certainly at least one of his listeners came away with the impression that he said something to this effect when they later sat down to write their notes, and then much later when the lecture was reconstructed the sentence was written. But we cannot know how much the issue is contaminated with the personality of either Walter or Eugenie. Nor can we correlate this to any other statements of Steiner's on the same theme, as this is the only place the issue is mentioned. Further I must not that even as these words stand, it is hard to call them an endorsement of Wagner's anti-Semitic statements. They are a description of Wagner's views and an explanation of their origin, not praise thereof.

Peter Staudenmaier appears not to have actually read the book that he is relying on to make his statement. If he had read the whole book, he would not go running around claiming these to be Steiner's actual words. He has thus demonstrated an incredible carelessness with historical sources for someone claiming to be working as a historian, and shown once again why he is not qualified to call himself a Steiner scholar. There is really no excuse for such sloppiness.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 1:24 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

A myth or a legend contains a spiritual truth.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Lots of myths contain spiritual truth. But some myths are essentially devoid of truth, spiritual or otherwise. The Aryan myth is one example. The myth of Ahasver is another. I urge you to consult the books I recommended.

Daniel:

What is truth? (And why is Peter Staudenmaier so sure that he possess it?)

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 7:11 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Peter,

The below is a picture-perfect example of why you have such a difficult time passing yourself for a historian. I have pointed out to you a specific and important issue with a source that you are relying on to "prove" your point. Any serious historian knows the difference between an exact recording of the exact words of a historical figure and a secondary statement of what that figure might have said. I am trying to point out to you that the words you have quoted have been reconstructed by three different people decades after they were spoken. Rough notes were worked into a draft that is stylistically similar to the way Steiner spoke. All three people involved were at pains to point out that these words only approximate what Steiner might have said. Remember, they were working DECADES after the fact. All of this is stated in the book itself. But you treat it exactly the same as the later lectures that really are stenographic recordings of Steiner's exact words. When I point this out to you, you fail to see any relavance. This is because you are not a historian.

I understand that your primary goal is not to be a real historian or to behave in a manner that behooves a serious historian, but rather to make exciting reading for a popular audience. I'm sorry that I am causing you so much difficulty by pointing out that you are confusing and misrepresenting your sources. I am terribly sorry that my standards for accuracy make your crusade difficult. And I'm sorry that I can't really follow your argument below. Supposedly I don't know anything about "sourcing". Sorry Peter, it is you who is being careless with your sources. You have dismissed my point without even acknowledging it, and ramble on about how hard it is not to be snide. Just try to pay closer attention to your sources.

Daniel Hindes

----- Original Message -----

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Sent: Thursday, April 08, 2004 1:06 AM
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on semitism and antisemitism

Hello Daniel,

I think your post below is a picture-perfect example of why you and I have such difficulties discussing historical issues. You understandably don't like it when my responses are snide and condescending, and in cases like this one, I don't see how any reply I might make could not be one or both of those things. Virtually everything you say below is wrong, and many of your claims are genuinely dumb, in my view. I get the sense that you are an earnest person who is very interested in history, and in a lot of ways that keeps me from being even more snide toward you than you often deserve; one of my primary goals is to make history a subject that all people can engage with, regardless of whether they're historians themselves. But there are times, quite a few of them in your case, where it actually does make a difference. I think you simply don't know what you're talking about on questions of sourcing, the relation between spoken and written testimony, what constitutes corroborating evidence, what it means for one author to endorse another author's views, and so forth. In light of all this, maybe I should simply ask for some guidance from you: do you prefer that I condescend in such instances, or do you prefer that I drop it and 'run away from the argument', in your terms? I'm afraid I probably don't have it in me to come up with a third option, though I'm still open to suggestions. Thanks for your thoughts,

Peter

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