Races Disappearing - Steiner on Racial Evolution

From: DByron
Date: Tue Mar 16, 2004 9:13 am
Subject: races disappearing

Perhaps this argument is old territory. My understanding of Steiner's views on reincarnation and human development is that individuals incarnate into different racial lineages in order to eventually develop a full depth and range of capacities. For those who believe in one life only, I suppose an comparable analogy would be the cognitive benefits gained from the study of different cultures and their languages, all of which can be enhanced by travel and friendships with those raised in a milieu different than one's own. It doesn't seem likely to me that incarnating repeatedly in the same hereditary stream would allow for balanced development in the long term, just as living solely within a single isolated provincial community would be a hindrance to living a full life today.

I've always understood Steiner to mean that the reincarnating Ego is not bound to any particular racial group but rather chooses to incarnate into different hereditary lineages in order to grow. Why would Steiner then, or anyone else with a similar regard for the function of the races in human development, want to see any of them disappear? It only makes sense that it is a too-strong attachment or over-identification with any particular blood group over time that is unhealthy, not the spendid variety of human existence made possible by different races and cultures. To lose a race seems to me to be an even more profound a loss for a reincarnationist than for one-life-only thinkers, who are limited as they believe to the experience of only their hereditary line. A worldview that includes this understanding of reincarnation has no place for wanting any race or culture to cease to exist.

My 2 cents,
Deborah

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:49 pm
Subject: Steiner on racial evolution

I think Deborah hit the nail on the head here:

Perhaps this argument is old territory. My understanding of Steiner's views on reincarnation and human development is that individuals incarnate into different racial lineages in order to eventually develop a full depth and range of capacities. [...] I've always understood Steiner to mean that the reincarnating Ego is not bound to any particular racial group but rather chooses to incarnate into different hereditary lineages in order to grow. Why would Steiner then, or anyone else with a similar regard for the function of the races in human development, want to see any of them disappear?

I'd like to offer several passages from Steiner that explain his conception of the relationship between soul development and race development, and that give an indication of why he taught that obsolete racial forms need to disappear. Steiner's basic view is expressed in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds:

"For peoples and races are but steps leading to pure humanity. A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type, the further they have worked their way from the physical and perishable to the supersensible and imperishable. The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation. Man must finally appear in harmonious perfection."

This notion is spelled out in considerable detail in a number of Steiner's other works. Here is a relevant passage from his book Christus und die menschliche Seele, pages 92-93:

"If we want to understand this, we must carefully distinguish between race development and soul development. The two must not be confused. A human soul can develop itself in such a way that it incarnates in a particular race within a given incarnation. If it acquires certain capacities in this incarnation, then in a later incarnation it can incarnate in a different race. Thus we can see that within today's European population there are incarnated souls which were incarnated in India, Japan, or China in earlier incarnations. The souls certainly do not remain in the races. Soul development is something quite different from race development. Racial evolution runs its quiet course forwards. Now in the ancient European development it was the case that the souls were transferred into European races because they were not able to cross over into the Asian races; therefore the souls at that time were compelled again and again to incarnate in European races. But they became steadily better and better, and this resulted in the souls eventually passing over into higher races, such that souls which had earlier been incarnated in completely subordinated races developed themselves upwards onto a higher level and were able to incarnate later into the physical descendants of the leading population of Europe. The physical descendants of the leading population of Europe reproduced and multiplied, became more numerous than they were originally, because the souls increased in this direction. They thus incarnated, once they had become better, in the leading population of Europe. This development occurred in such a way that the physical form in which the oldest European population had originally incarnated died out as a physical race, that is, the souls abandoned bodies of a certain form, which then died out. That is the reason why there were fewer and fewer descendants in the subordinate races and more and more descendants in the higher races. Thus the lowest strata of the European population gradually died out. This is a very definite process which we must understand. The souls evolve further, the bodies die away. We must therefore carefully distinguish between soul development and race development. The souls then appear in bodies that descend from higher races."

Steiner presented this notion, that soul improvement leads to racial advancement, in a variety of contexts, and sometimes offered counter-examples of souls that refused to progress and thus stagnated racially. Here is a passage that expands on this theme:

"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)

Explaining again the function of "lower races", Steiner elsewhere notes that these do not always disappear, if there are still less developed souls that require corresponding physical forms:

"You might now be inclined to say: Is it not an extremely bitter thought that whole bodies of peoples remain immature and do not develop their capacities; that only a small group becomes capable of providing the germ for the next civilization? This thought will no longer disquiet you if you distinguish between race-development and individual soul-development, for no soul is condemned to remain in one particular race. The race may fall behind; the community of people may remain backward, but the souls progress beyond the several races. If we wish to form a true conception of this we must say that all the souls now living in bodies in civilized countries were formerly incarnated in Atlantean bodies. A few developed there in the requisite manner, and did not remain in Atlantean bodies. As they had developed further they could become the souls of the bodies which had also progressed further. Only the souls which as souls had remained backward had to take bodies which as bodies had remained at a lower stage. If all the souls had progressed, the backward races would either have decreased very much in population, or the bodies would be occupied by newly incoming souls at a low stage of development. For there are always souls which can inhabit backward bodies. No soul is bound to a backward body if it does not bind itself to it. The relation between soul-development and race-development is preserved to us in a wonderful myth. Let us imagine race following race, civilization following civilization. The soul going through its earth mission in the right way is incarnated in a certain race; it strives upward in this race, and acquires the capacities of this race in order next time to be incarnated in a higher one. Only the souls which sink in the race and do not work out of the physical materiality, are held back in the race by their own weight, as one might say. They appear a second time in the same race and eventually a third time in bodies in similarly formed races. Such souls hold back the bodies of the race. This has been wonderfully described in a legend. We know, indeed, that man progresses further in the fulfillment of the mission of the earth by following the great Leaders of humanity who point out the goals to be attained; if he rejects them, if he does not follow them, he must remain behind with his race, for he cannot then get beyond it. Let us think of a personality who has the good fortune to meet a great Leader of humanity, let us suppose such a personality confronting Christ Jesus himself, for example; he sees how all his deeds are evidence for leading humanity forward, but he will have nothing to do with this progress, he rejects the Leader of humanity. Such a personality, such a soul would be condemned to remain in the race. If we follow this thought to its conclusion such a soul would have to appear again and again in the same race, and we have the legend of Ahasuerus who had to appear in the same race again and again because he rejected Christ Jesus. Great truths concerning the evolution of humanity are placed before us in such a legend as this."

(Steiner, The Apocalypse of St. John, pp. 79-81)

Emphasizing this point, Steiner explains that it is the failure of some souls to climb higher that accounts for the continued existence of otherwise obsolete racial forms alongside the more developed "higher races":

"People who listen to the great leaders of humankind, and preserve their soul with its eternal essence, reincarnate in an advanced race; in the same way he who ignores the great teacher, who rejects the great leader of humankind, will always reincarnate in the same race, because he was only able to develop the one form. This is the deeper meaning of Ahasver, who must always reappear in the same form because he rejected the hand of the greatest leader, Christ. Thus each person has the opportunity to become caught up in the essence of one incarnation, to push away the leader of humankind, or instead to undergo the transformation into higher races, toward ever higher perfection. Races would never become decadent, never decline, if there weren't souls that are unable to move up and unwilling to move up to a higher racial form. Look at the races that have survived from earlier eras: they only exist because some souls could not climb higher."

(Steiner, Das Hereinwirken geistiger Wesenheiten in den Menschen p. 174)

I encourage comment on these passages. I am leaving town in a few hours for a full week and will try to catch up when I return.

Peter Staudenmaier

Steiner on racial evolution/Ahasver

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From: dottie zold
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 4:56 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Deborah:

I've always understood Steiner to mean that the reincarnating Ego is not bound to any particular racial group but rather chooses to incarnate into different hereditary lineages in order to grow.

Again, Peter, you show you want to hear what you want to hear once again. Read, 'hereditary lineages in order to grow and the idea of not being bound to any particular racial group.

Wanna try looking at it again, this time with your glasses on?

Whew, Dottie

:)
Dottie

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:36 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Peter dodges all my recent questions, completely ignores Bradfords posts, gives vague and flippant answers to Daniel's many inquiries, and then stands up on his Podium and does a convenient hit and run, with the same tired old, twisted, hugely out of context RS quotes that he has been preaching to his captive audience over on the WC list for years.

P:

I think Deborah hit the nail on the head here:

M:

No, I think your hammering on the same old rusty cut-nail that someone else (McCarthy and the like) hammered in a long time ago.

P, Quoting Deborah:

Perhaps this argument is old territory. My understanding of Steiner's views on reincarnation and human development is that individuals incarnate into different racial lineages in order to eventually develop a full depth and range of capacities. [...] I've always understood Steiner to mean that the reincarnating Ego is not bound to any particular racial group but rather chooses to incarnate into different hereditary lineages in order to grow. Why would Steiner then, or anyone else with a similar regard for the function of the races in human development, want to see any of them disappear?

M:

Ahh, HELLO! Are you serious?

I'd like to play you in a game of chess, as it seems that you can only think one or two moves ahead.

Deborah can correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks to me that she is asking a question: "Why would RS want this?" Meaning that he didn't want "Races" to disappear. Which is quite obvious to anyone who can think past there own arrogance. Which is in your case seems to be governed by an robotic dialectic-materialist Collective-ideological twist and bend. Your "Dead Universe" anti-capitalist, anti-monogamy, communal life-style advocacy is a dead giveaway to almost anyone with half a brain and half a heart (and I'm not talking about the pump).

P:

I'd like to offer several passages from Steiner that explain his conception of the relationship between soul development and race development, and that give an indication of why he taught that obsolete racial forms need to disappear. Steiner's basic view is expressed in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds:

Mike:

Yes of course, give us the "several passages" that you can twist into your little pet theory, that is so stuck in that hyper-ventilating brain of yours. You said to Tarjei: "I'm not the manly type." I'm guessing that you mean not the "Macho" type. But what I think that Tarjei was getting at when he said you should "Be a Man" was more in line with showing some honor and Integrity, which is a sign of a certain amount of emotional maturity. So in that sense I think you are right - you are not the manly type. You are honest about what you "Believe," but you do not portray it with any amount of honor or integrity that I can discern. It's intellectual cat and mouse as usual. You show no reverence for metaphorical understanding. If you did you might be able to understand What RS was/is really getting at in one of his lecture series on "the Gospel of ST. John" - especially if one considers the significance of his interpretation of "The Marriage of Cana."

But of course this kind of stuff is all akin the Marxist notion that "religion is a disease" and ought to be politely discarded - and replaced with the disease of intellectualism.

I'll get back to responding to your arrogant ignorance later.

Mike

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From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 7:49 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Mike:

But of course this kind of stuff is all akin the Marxist notion that "religion is a disease" and ought to be politely discarded - and replaced with the disease of intellectualism.

Hey Mike,

I like what you wrote above.

I have been thinking about my heroes Dr. King and Gandhi and the particular culture they were born into. Now, if you are Peter or Diana, I am not including Dugan because I think it is disrespectful to both of them, the idea that a man would choose a particular culture to be born into would seem absurd. The idea that one would choose their particular parents as well would seem completely whacked. And that is true for many people. Although many of the people I know at least take it into consideration that they can not know these things, and they still allow for its possibility. And I can understand this.

What I can not understand is how people with an atheistic outlook can say that 'it is not true'. Just because we were somehow pushed away from religion due to some childhood experience or young adulthood experience does not mean we can not hold an open view on the things we believe we can not come to know, nor make others wrong for their thoughts. Opening the heart and mind to the possibility does not mean surrendering to anyones dogma, what it does mean is that one will not allow some experience another has pushed onto them to be what directs their whole inner life in relations to spiritual possibilities.

Looking at Dr. King, it is clear to me that he was the perfect man to come and not only uplift the black culture but also those who feel oppressed across the world. He showed a way to speak for oneself and to demand a higher form of communication in getting what is rightly ours from birth: dignity.

Gandhi was born into a culture that was oppressed as well and he came to the same road that Dr. King did and lifted an oppressed people up from the bootstraps of their minds to the highest dream one can have for a life: freedom. And along the way he uplifted ours. Both of these men had particular missions through their particular cultures and rocked the world to a better way for brotherhood of man.

Now, both of these men could have been born into another culture and I would have to ask if they could have had the same impact, at that particular time in history on others if they had not been born into that particular culture. I personally think not. Now, maybe Diana, and Peter would disagree with me on this and that is fine. And they may even think it racist to even consider it. But that's just their opinion and it shows an actual unwillingness to think beyond their minds and into their hearts on such matters and should not reflect on the fact that others are willing to look at such matters and that is not a bad thing.

So, is it racist to come from a spiritual understanding of who we are and to recognize what each culture has offered us and to be thankful at that particular time they were born into that particular culture as we live in a better world today because of it. My life has been impacted by these great heroes of mankind who are all physically dead but remain in the atmosphere of our world. People are still brought to tears and greatness by the works left by these two great men who rocked the world from their particular cultural standpoint in history.

My thoughts this morning,

Dottie

p.s. who says being politically correct is right? It feels more like people afraid to dialogue with certain cultures about everyday life. Kind of like 'oh better not to say it lest we have to have an uncomfortable conversation. Ballyhoo to that.

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From: DByron
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 8:34 am
Subject: Steiner on racial evolution

The only way I can interpret Peter Staudenmaier's remark that I have 'hit the nail on the head' is that I have posed a juicy question (why would RS suggest that any race disappear) for which Peter will now provide his answer. I can't imagine that he actually thinks we are in agreement on what Steiner intended. It will all undoubtedly wind up in some grand FAQ appendix to the book he's working on. Right, Peter?

But it does bring up a related point--my growing concern that things said here in the process of working through these highly loaded issues of race and human evolution will end up being picked apart, decontextualized, misconstrued, and then re-published who-knows-where with names attached. At which point one has no choice but to spend hours and hours in a futile attempt at correction, which, as we've all noticed in the mainstream media as well, never seems to merit the front page placement granted to distortions.

I would like very much to go further with this discussion but will have to think about it some more first. A sad state of affairs.

Deborah

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From: dottie zold
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:06 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Deborah:

But it does bring up a related point--my growing concern that things said here in the process of working through these highly loaded issues of race and human evolution will end up being picked apart, decontextualized, misconstrued, and then re-published who-knows-where with names attached.

Hi Deborah,

Sad to say this is the state of affairs with Dugan and company including Peter Staudenmaier. I recall on the critics list Lisa stating that because Dr. Steiner talked on Karma he was advocating letting your children die instead of looking for a cure. That is how far the critics go. It's pretty ignorant and very misleading and on purpose. Lisa is a journalist, at least she should know better but she does not seem to care other than grinding her axe at all cost even unto the loss of integrity. Again, I have to wonder if she is paid as a member of PLANS at this point in time. Which would explain the years and years she has spent misleading others, and on purpose in my opinion, the works of Dr. Steiner.

Deborah:

I would like very much to go further with this discussion but will have to think about it some more first. A sad state of affairs.

Yeah, it's tough knowing that they will only pick out what they want and throw anything that expresses a thing to the opposite conclusion. These are people who care naught for any spiritual understanding and look for 'words' instead of meanings.

All my best,
Dottie

p.s. Peter sees the words 'race', 'racial' as indicative that Dr. Steiner spoke on separateness when that is the actual opposite meaning of his work. And nothing will change this. His mind is set and there is no growing or self reflection of a thing. I am so thankful I am not of this particular stream and that my thinking can rise with each new thought that comes my way. I am thankful I can contemplate a thing and not have it dependant on what I had thought before. Each thought becomes a point of departure of sorts.

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 11:19 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Deborah, I appreciate your calm and concern.You wrote:

<snip>

But it does bring up a related point--my growing concern that things said here in the process of working through these highly loaded issues of race and human evolution will end up being picked apart, decontextualized, misconstrued, and then re-published who-knows-where with names attached.

I think that is, in the style and mannerisms of Agent Smith - "inevitable."

At which point one has no choice but to spend hours and hours in a futile attempt at correction, which, as we've all noticed in the mainstream media as well, never seems to merit the front page placement granted to distortions.

I would like very much to go further with this discussion but will have to think about it some more first. A sad state of affairs.

Deborah

Personally, I have no reputation to lose. I survived the streets of the Boston suburb that I grew up in.

I see the reputation of RS becoming more and more slandered and desecrated, by atheistic intellectuals with all their self important ideas about how other people should think.

I'm getting the feeling that all hell's about to break loose. A propaganda smear campaign is a war of sorts. And if it's a War that they want???

I'm thinking about it too.

It is a sad state of affairs, and sadness has a correlation with anger.

I'm getting really pissed.

Mike

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Mar 18, 2004 10:53 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

P:

I'd like to offer several passages from Steiner that explain his conception of the relationship between soul development and race development, and that give an indication of why he taught that obsolete racial forms need to disappear. Steiner's basic view is expressed in Knowledge of the Higher Worlds:

"For peoples and races are but steps leading to pure humanity. A race or a nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type, the further they have worked their way from the physical and perishable to the supersensible and imperishable. The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation. Man must finally appear in harmonious perfection."

mike:

If belief in the theory of reincarnation as a means of achieving "hamonious perfection" is pure bullshit to you, then deriving your racist label from this passage is much easier, isn't it.

But you do not seem understand that your theory of racism is a "belief" as well, and thus subject to the same "Pure Bullshit" label.

Cultural diversity is a fact, and has been through out human history. That different cultures have pummeled, murdered, raped and abused other cultures it also a fact. The Peloponnesians and the ancient Romans are gone - they disappeared. Sad but true. But in this day and age it is not "Politically Correct " to say that in the future this might happen again, otherwise - shame on you, that's a racist idea. And God (or not) forbid that we mention in the wrong way the idea that some cultures might be more advanced in some ways than others - shame on you again....bad, bad, bad [big shaking finger in the face].

Systematic bullshit denial is often helpful when one seeks personal fame, or is addicted to an ideology that they would like to see advanced. Many a rock star has acquired fame and influence this way.

More Later,

Mike

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From: winters_diana
Date: Sat Mar 20, 2004 7:44 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Mike wrote:

That different cultures have pummeled, murdered, raped and abused other cultures it also a fact. The Peloponnesians and the ancient Romans are gone - they disappeared. Sad but true. But in this day and age it is not "Politically Correct " to say that in the future this might happen again, otherwise - shame on you, that's a racist idea. And God (or not) forbid that we mention in the wrong way the idea that some cultures might be more advanced in some ways than others - shame on you again....bad, bad, bad [big shaking finger in the face].

Some different "cultures" are gone now . . . some "cultures" might be more advanced than others . . . Mike, I notice that when you stand up and shake your fist back at the critics who dare notice racism in Rudolf Steiner, you don't actually have the nerve to write the word "race" in passages like the above, even though Steiner did. Why not?

Are you being politically correct? Or does this racial language make you a tad uncomfortable? Now don't just say, "What Bradford said" like you don't have thoughts of your own. Do you think a race is the same thing as a culture? Do you think cultural differences make one race more advanced than another? Do you think that is my lack of spiritual understanding (a pretty cheap fallback position, no?) - or do you think there might be a (hint: wide as the Grand Canyon) difference in meaning in these two concepts, culture and race?
Diana

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sat Mar 20, 2004 8:45 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

[Diana:]

Mike wrote:

That different cultures have pummeled, murdered, raped and abused other cultures it also a fact. The Peloponnesians and the ancient Romans are gone - they disappeared. Sad but true. But in this day and age it is not "Politically Correct " to say that in the future this might happen again, otherwise - shame on you, that's a racist idea. And God (or not) forbid that we mention in the wrong way the idea that some cultures might be more advanced in some ways than others - shame on you again....bad, bad, bad [big shaking finger in the face].

Some different "cultures" are gone now . . . some "cultures" might be more advanced than others . . . Mike, I notice that when you stand up and shake your fist back at the critics who dare notice racism in Rudolf Steiner, you don't actually have the nerve to write the word "race" in passages like the above, even though Steiner did. Why not?

Because it's my prerogative; because I don't particularly care to take other peoples words for what I'm told that they should mean; because I believe that RS had a much bigger picture in mind when he used the word race; because much meaning can get lost in translation; because the words race and racism have allot of stigma attached to them when talking about A and RS; because I choose to play the written semantical word game by my own rules, like another Anarchist that I know of (thought I would not absolutely label myself an anarchist); because I'm not only interested in nitpicking meaning out of words written in books by a long since dead guy to prove a point that has no motive or intent.

Are you being politically correct?

I hope not.

Or does this racial language make you a tad uncomfortable?

Well no, I love radical language. I just don't particularly care for other peoples interpretations. Especially when they have no regard for another persons personal spiritual understanding.

Now don't just say, "What Bradford said" like you don't have thoughts of your own.

No No. I said that Bradford and I think the same thoughts, not that I think his thoughts. My interpretation of those thoughts are definitely my own.

Do you think a race is the same thing as a culture?

I like to think of human evolution in a broader perspective than that.

Do you think cultural differences make one race more advanced than another?

Well, yes and no, depends on what you mean by "advanced." African bush men don't have computers. But I personally believe that they are born with the same potential as every other human being. And I also believe that that is what RS was saying in his interpretation of the marriage of Cana.

Do you think that is my lack of spiritual understanding (a pretty cheap fallback position, no?)

No. Sounds to me that you have some reverence for other peoples spiritual understanding, and I appreciate that.

or do you think there might be a (hint: wide as the Grand Canyon) difference in meaning in these two concepts, culture and race?

I willing to bet that there might be a big difference for you :^)

Regards

Mike

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Mar 25, 2004 8:59 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

That certainly was an intriguing batch of replies to my post about Steiner's teachings on racial evolution. Remarkably, the only ones who said anything about Steiner's teachings themselves were Bradford and Mike. This is a missed opportunity; the theory of racial progress that Steiner expounds in these passages is central to many of the halting debates we've had here about race.

What Steiner says in the texts I quoted is that individual souls undergo a process of self-improvement via successive incarnations in ever higher racial and ethnic forms, eventually moving toward a perfected human type. In his account, race development is tightly correlated to soul development; as souls become better, they incarnate in more advanced races and peoples. Lower races and peoples gradually die out as the mass of souls moves upward toward perfection, thus requiring more perfected bodies to house them. Souls that fail to develop themselves in a progressive fashion (by rejecting Christ, for instance) incarnate in lower racial and ethnic forms; Steiner names Chinese and Jews as examples. These backward peoples and races still have a residual function, as long as there are less developed souls that need to incarnate in declining and decadent racial and ethnic forms. Meanwhile, small select racial and ethnic groups continue their development upward in order to host those souls that are advancing spiritually and approaching the ideal human type.

Many non-anthroposophists recognize that this theory of racial evolution is racist. Many anthroposophists think that it isn't. This disagreement apparently involves very different conceptions of racism; a lot of anthroposophists evidently believe that the notion of higher and lower races, advanced ethnic groups and backward ethnic groups, progressing races and decadent races, is not itself racist. I have no good ideas about how to move the discussion beyond that peculiar impasse. For now, here are a few responses to particular arguments brought forth by defenders of Steiner's theory of racial evolution.


Dottie wrote:

Again, Peter, you show you want to hear what you want to hear once again. Read, 'hereditary lineages in order to grow and the idea of not being bound to any particular racial group.

Wanna try looking at it again, this time with your glasses on?

Whew, Dottie

I'm not sure why this wasn't clear the first time around, but I agree with the main outlines of Deborah's description of Steiner's teachings on racial evolution. Steiner did indeed say that the reincarnating ego is not bound to any particular racial group but rather chooses to (or refuses to) incarnate into different hereditary lineages in order to grow. That's exactly what he says in the passages I quoted. Several listmates apparently think that this position in itself is somehow incompatible with racism, which suggests to me a rather rudimentary understanding of racist thought.

Dottie again:

So, is it racist to come from a spiritual understanding of who we are and to recognize what each culture has offered us and to be thankful at that particular time they were born into that particular culture as we live in a better world today because of it.

This is only racist if you link particular cultures to particular racial groups, arrange those racial groups into higher and lower categories, and say that individual souls incarnate first in lower racial forms and then, if their souls improve, in higher racial forms. That, of course, is what Steiner taught. If anybody disagrees that this is what Steiner taught, please say so.

Dottie again:

Peter sees the words 'race', 'racial' as indicative that Dr. Steiner spoke on separateness when that is the actual opposite meaning of his work.

Steiner did not promote racial separation.

Mike wrote:

If belief in the theory of reincarnation as a means of achieving "hamonious perfection" is pure bullshit to you, then deriving your racist label from this passage is much easier, isn't it.

No, not at all. Lots of people believe in reincarnation. Relatively few of those people believe in racial evolution, much less in higher races and lower races, racial missions, and so forth. The belief that some racial forms are higher than others, that some racial forms express the pure ideal human type more perfectly than others, is racist. To my mind, this has nothing to do with political correctness; it has to do with recognizing the basic features of racist thought.

Bradford wrote:


The Politically Incorrect seek to understand Races and Racism as if humanity does or does not out grow certain forms and that there is an awful stigma attached to such labels, such as Antisemitism. [...] A world of Beings against a world of bizarre dead actions of matter, called science, and a failure to grasp that evolution does not mean that all things are equal, that everything is equal to everything else is full blown mechanistic ahrimanizaton of thought.

The notion that humanity has outgrown certain racial forms but not others can accurately be described as racist, quite regardless of whether this notion is politically incorrect. Similarly, the denial that all racial groups are equal is the very epitome of racism. People who reject racism do not hold that all people are equal in every important respect. They simply hold that all races are equal in every important respect. Belief in the inequality of races is the cornerstone of racist thinking.

Peter Staudenmaier

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Mar 25, 2004 3:34 pm
Subject: PS on racism (was: Steiner on racial evolution)

At 17:59 25.03.2004, Peter S wrote:

Similarly, the denial that all racial groups are equal is the very epitome of racism.

Ironically, this is a racist statement by Peter Staudenmaier. Allow me to explain:

Today's humanity does not consist of group souls or races per se, but of individuals. The animal kingdom consists of species, group souls, but according to RS, if the term "species" should be applied to humans, then each individual human being is a species all to himself. The individual animal is not conscious, but shares with his species the consciousness of a higher Being, the group consciousness. The consciousness of this higher Being who rules an animal species is comparable, though not yet equal, to the consciousness of individual man.

Individual human beings are not equal; individual characteristics differ to such a degree that we are compelled to conclude that each human being is unique, and therefore unequal to all other human beings, just like every animal species is unique. Human beings have equal rights, however, they live under the same natural laws and endeavor to create moral and legal laws that are valid for all: equal opportunities and equal rights. But it is an insult against the dignity of man and his divine spark and a denial of his free will to say that all individuals are equal.

In our day and age it is also an affront to the Consciousness Soul and the Michael Age to assign individuals to racial groups and then demand that these groups should be equal. Echoes of Woodrow Wilson's idea of national self-determination are heard in the background here - an idea that contributed to you-know-what. It's racism of the most ignoble and sinister kind possible, because it's so damned camouflaged, masquerading under the banner of anti-racism. But it's not only racism; it's also Marxist-Leninism, because a populace divided into racial groups that must be absolutely equal at all costs translates into a malleable grey mass - an obedient mass subdued through politically correct Newspeak into crippling fear of being self-dependent thinkers who speak and act freely and clothe their thoughts in words whose meaning has been bestowed by higher powers. Newspeak re-defines every syllable of the Logos, stripping it of spiritual content and threatening the Children of Liberty with name-calling and pillories if they don't toe the line. Today the name-calling is "racist"; the next may be "pedophile" - anything that can stir the id among the mentally lazy and fearful in the grey anonymous mass.

But the trick won't work. The wannabe manipulators of language and behavior are busted, and their bluffs are transparent.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Harvey Bornfield
Date: Thu Mar 25, 2004 4:51 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Peter:

When I look at the idea of racism from a phenomenological point of view, and take into consideration Shakespeare's warning "Nothing is good or evil but thinking makes it so", I find that to those who cherish and persevere in the challenge of beholding, of bathing the entire One Human Race in altruistic light and noble perspective, the underlying dominant component of thought most odious in racism as an attitude, is arrogance. Arrogance, which defaming, pre-judges the inherent level of capability and moral worth of an individual through resort to affiliation with group identity. Prejudice is malicious stereotyping, the - if I may borrow from the life of imagination, - "Dark Reptile Overlord" which imbues all racism, and nationalism, as well as countless other obsessive-compulsive group diseases with a distinctively offensive spin.

What follows, you'll find to be somewhat maverick'd, orphaned, unlobby'd, divorced as it were, of notions of agenda or policy inherited from some artesian collective stance. I consider thought as what arises when, and only after beliefs are liberated, utterly divested from the vortex magnetisms of spoken, published and dreamt dogma and other fundamentalist forms of blind captivity. And at that moment, thought ceases to be argument, but acquiring a purity, becomes transformed into an offering, an invitation, rather than a clandestine agenda, coercion or a tyranny. And future historians, having attained a breath of detachment not often even aspired to in this metronomically-perfect conveyor-belt culture of well-riveted intellectual and religiously entrenched positions, will no doubt come to assess that an underlying fascination with triumph lies at the heart of every obsession, every desire to dominate, and confuses men, stealing their oxygen, taxing the poor plants, robbing them of their perogatives for dialogue.

This having been said, we'll restate the most underlying pathology which gives racism its reputatation as a projection which corrodes and impedes the healing of the world. This would be, as I judge it, prejudice, with its pre-mental-mold intent upon downsizing the self-worth, the opportunities and privileges of certain groups of people, compressing them and seeing them as somehow "sub-human" and therefore "automatically", unchallengably less or not at all unentitled to honor accorded to those in the so called mainstream of human society.

Such darkness, viewed in the light of "By their fruits ye shall know them", affords just such a phenomenologically sound opportunity to intuitively discern, rather than logically deduce the actual intent of Steiner. It would be valuable and refreshing if one were to look upon the influence Steiner has sired in his teaching and which resides in his infrastructures such as Waldorf, Biodynamic, Christian Community, Banking initiatives, etc, with a view to analyzing and probing the underlying moral intent carried forward into human history by those who employ his ideas and work within his infrastructures. If it be found that Steiner's theories which connect racial identity to metaphysical impulses which source chapters of culture, utterly fail the requisite criteria of malice and arrogance as underwrites the stigma which might be heaped upon those whom we might overtly or tacitly indict with the term "Racist", one would then be free to consider the Noble Doctor vindicated of all trace of moral wrong-doing, and we ourselves, untithed to our sold-separately political crimps, so also be free to proceed to examining the scaffolding of the idea of root races, cultural epochs and the like, under the unsuspected assumption that such notions, far from being a jaded claustrophobia authored by an individual of narrow or even twisted perspective, tell a tale of an underlying and unsuspected benevolence, breathe an innocence, a cool wonder in which such ideas, which truth to tell, are Living Ideas rather than inventory or a ballast of mere intellectual terminology, and so as fairy tales to children, can to speak to us, revealing wellsprings of underlying wisdom and inspiration which can connect to the inner life of men. This is, in a nutshell, why people indulge Anthroposophy. It is simply far more interesting than polemic, for it enables us to explore and embrace imaginative and intuitive ways to scaffold the life of circumstance with the conscious knowledge of the realm usually available to men only through the life of dreams, that is to suggest, "read only" dreams!

Now to get at fathoming another person's intent, requires a pair of eyes, two perspectives, mind's eye and heart's eye, as it were: Said another way, the ability to stereoscopically triangulate two points of view, poses a steep challenge in which one learns to "metaphysically titrate", as it were, what is said or professed against an examination of the legacy of his influence, i..e., deeds which clothed that moral intent, acts actually manifested into society. This because, in the ultimate analysis, or so I imagine, - and you will have to play jury to this speculation, because we are interested in dialogue and bridge-building here, rather than diatribe, - that history looks upon the way in which the ideas sourced by an individual mature into deeds, as probably a more reliable confirmation of their intent than what can be deduced by resort exclusively to the spoken words. We could rephrase the stereoscopic perspective this way: Hamlet might say: "To discern or to deduce - that is the question" Intuition fathoms the first. Logic sires the other. Logic which I suspect most Anthroposophists, or better - anyone possessed of philosophical depth and sensitivity - would, if they reflected come to understand as but the veneer, the epicentral circumstance of more profound, subjectively-arising talents. Vibrant ideas, as all intuition is, that are, at this point in human evolution still dwelling almost exclusively in the province of art and are still considered untrustworthy, a "Persona Non-Grata", which translates to "Subjective Powers Unacknowledged as Worthy to engage, to penetrate, to transact scientific endeavor"

So now, to return to make a point. It does not matter whether one deduces on the basis of what Steiner says that there are grounds for an indictment of racism, for this is but one wing of the bird; failing the other wing, intuitively discerned through phenemonological evidence assessing the moral quality of the deeds of those who carry forth his ideas and influence into the stream of a hundred years of history, sourcing a stereoscopic, that is to say, a reliable judgment is impossible.

Widening scope to a brief overview of the ferocious campaigns which have been waged on this woodless floorboards of this cyberforum, it must be said as in a spirit of promise, that a great deal of joust energy can be sent into exile on both sides of this seemingly Cobra-Mongoose spectacle if interest in convincing and conviction, were to become seen as far less philosophically interesting than in enjoying the ambiguity and the underlying mystery that lives in contradiction. The study of the mysteries begins when questions turn into quests, and learning is more closely related to living within the unentrenched perspective of vulnerability where courage, unrehearsed courage is sourced, rather than from positions of power and the fascination of being at the helm of a well-engineered world view in which all experience which might overwhelm understanding is like a Prospero, excluded from court.

Warm regards,
Harvey Bornfield

On Thursday, March 25, 2004, at 09:59 AM, Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

That certainly was an intriguing batch of replies to my post about Steiner's teachings on racial evolution. Remarkably, the only ones who said anything about Steiner's teachings themselves were Bradford and Mike. This is a missed opportunity; the theory of racial progress that Steiner expounds in these passages is central to many of the halting debates we've had here about race.

<snip>

And to Solomon the power of the swiftly-blowing Wind..... and it sped at his bidding to the lands We had blessed, for We know all things........
Quran

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From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Fri Mar 26, 2004 3:11 am
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

----- Original Message ----- [PS:]
What Steiner says in the texts I quoted is that individual souls undergo a process of self-improvement via successive incarnations in ever higher racial and ethnic forms, eventually moving toward a perfected human type. In his account, race development is tightly correlated to soul development; as souls become better, they incarnate in more advanced races and peoples.

Hi list,
You can see here how a "Paviglianti's head" is able to twist concepts and also to reduce deep and complex issues in a kind of abstract and false scheme , all based on a mistaken picture able to give the impression that Mankind's Evolution is a kind of Ultra-Darwinistic race.

The "Paviglianti's head" is unable to grasp fact as the following.

Several Spiritual path's disciples know very well about the issue of the guys who , before becoming incarnate , choosed, in absolute freedom, to give their bodies, destined karmically to be full of health and power, to someone else , "exchanging" his own strong physical sheat with a weaker and feebler one.
This is the way the I AM works , outside any schematism or command compelling his Freedom.
This is the way that a "computing machine" in "human" form (although "Paviglianti'-like) will never be able to grasp.

A.

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:29 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Harvey, you wrote:

When I look at the idea of racism from a phenomenological point of view, and take into consideration Shakespeare's warning "Nothing is good or evil but thinking makes it so", I find that to those who cherish and persevere in the challenge of beholding, of bathing the entire One Human Race in altruistic light and noble perspective, the underlying dominant component of thought most odious in racism as an attitude, is arrogance.

I partly disagree. While many forms of racism do indeed go hand in hand with arrogance, I don't see a necessary connection between the two, either historically or conceptually, and in any case I don't see the frequent presence of arrogance within racist thought as its most odious component.

Arrogance, which defaming, pre-judges the inherent level of capability and moral worth of an individual through resort to affiliation with group identity. Prejudice is malicious stereotyping, the - if I may borrow from the life of imagination, - "Dark Reptile Overlord" which imbues all racism, and nationalism, as well as countless other obsessive-compulsive group diseases with a distinctively offensive spin.

I don't think that racism and nationalism are group diseases. They're belief systems, ideologies.

This having been said, we'll restate the most underlying pathology which gives racism its reputatation as a projection which corrodes and impedes the healing of the world. This would be, as I judge it, prejudice, with its pre-mental-mold intent upon downsizing the self-worth, the opportunities and privileges of certain groups of people, compressing them and seeing them as somehow "sub-human" and therefore "automatically", unchallengably less or not at all unentitled to honor accorded to those in the so called mainstream of human society.

That is only true of some forms of racism, not all forms. Lots of racists recognize that those they consider racially inferior are human, rather than sub-human, and many racists are quite willing to accord honor to those they consider racially inferior.

Such darkness, viewed in the light of "By their fruits ye shall know them", affords just such a phenomenologically sound opportunity to intuitively discern, rather than logically deduce the actual intent of Steiner.

I don't think that's what we should be doing anyway. Since Steiner isn't around anymore, we can't ask him what his actual intent was. What we can do is read what he wrote and said and try to make sense of it.

It would be valuable and refreshing if one were to look upon the influence Steiner has sired in his teaching and which resides in his infrastructures such as Waldorf, Biodynamic, Christian Community, Banking initiatives, etc, with a view to analyzing and probing the underlying moral intent carried forward into human history by those who employ his ideas and work within his infrastructures.

That's a fine idea. When we look at what some prominent representatives of Waldorf, biodynamics, and the Christian Community said and did before and during the Nazi era, we find a lot of examples of racism, nationalism, and antisemitism. These people thought that they were employing Steiner's ideas.

If it be found that Steiner's theories which connect racial identity to metaphysical impulses which source chapters of culture, utterly fail the requisite criteria of malice and arrogance as underwrites the stigma which might be heaped upon those whom we might overtly or tacitly indict with the term "Racist", one would then be free to consider the Noble Doctor vindicated of all trace of moral wrong-doing

I think that conflates several distinct steps. Whether you think that specific statements about race can be considered racist is one thing; whether you think such statements constitute moral wrong-doing is another. Mixing the two up won't help us make sense of the matter.

and we ourselves, untithed to our sold-separately political crimps, so also be free to proceed to examining the scaffolding of the idea of root races, cultural epochs and the like, under the unsuspected assumption that such notions, far from being a jaded claustrophobia authored by an individual of narrow or even twisted perspective, tell a tale of an underlying and unsuspected benevolence, breathe an innocence, a cool wonder in which such ideas, which truth to tell, are Living Ideas rather than inventory or a ballast of mere intellectual terminology, and so as fairy tales to children, can to speak to us, revealing wellsprings of underlying wisdom and inspiration which can connect to the inner life of men.

I think that is beside the point. Whether specific ideas are racist has nothing to do with whether they arise from benevolent intentions or wellsprings of wisdom and so forth. Lots of racists were and are driven by moral intentions.

Peter Staudenmaier

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From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sat Mar 27, 2004 11:29 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Mike wrote:

If belief in the theory of reincarnation as a means of achieving "hamonious perfection" is pure bullshit to you, then deriving your racist label from this passage is much easier, isn't it.

P:

No, not at all. Lots of people believe in reincarnation. Relatively few of those people believe in racial evolution, much less in higher races and lower races, racial missions, and so forth. The belief that some racial forms are higher than others, that some racial forms express the pure ideal human type more perfectly than others, is racist. To my mind, this has nothing to do with political correctness; it has to do with recognizing the basic features of racist thought.

M:

Some of us like to broaden our perspective and think in terms of the evolution of human consciousness. That consciousness has evolved through different cultures and peoples and the terms "higher and lower" are words used to describe the progress, or digression. Maybe they are not the best "words" that could be used to describe the process. But some of us aren't just looking for "words" to help us "recognize the basic features racist thought."

Mike

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Mar 31, 2004 10:27 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi again Mike, you wrote:

Some of us like to broaden our perspective and think in terms of the evolution of human consciousness. That consciousness has evolved through different cultures and peoples and the terms "higher and lower" are words used to describe the progress, or digression. Maybe they are not the best "words" that could be used to describe the process. But some of us aren't just looking for "words" to help us "recognize the basic features racist thought."

Yes, I can see that. This probably explains why you get irritated when other people, who do pay attention to Steiner's words, point out that some of his teachings are racist. It might also explain why you get irritated when other people, who do recognize the basic features of racist thought, try to describe some of those features for you. You frequently get "peoples" and "cultures" mixed up, and you appear to think that both are essentially synonyms for "race". The belief that some races are higher while others are lower, that some races are progressing while others are regressing, is racist. It remains racist no matter what one thinks about political correctness, morality, or the evolution of consciousness. If you think this belief is not racist, you just need to explain why.

Peter

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From: walkinsnotwelcome
Date: Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:11 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

(1) I was being ambivalent today about buying a magazine called Anarchy, then saw your name in there and knew just what to do. Then it seemed the people in there hated your mode of criticism/analysis/discussion, threw many bad words at it, but your style seemed very straightforward to me, I don't know what to think, I will probably make some effort at resolving this. (2) Have you defined the words "race" and "racism" here yet? It might help, though I doubt it.

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Thu Apr 1, 2004 1:02 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

--- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

... You frequently get "peoples" and "cultures" mixed up, and you appear to think that both are essentially synonyms for "race".

Gidday Peter,

That's a good point. If the doctrine which holds that moving forward in evolution is directly tied to race, was changed - and the word 'culture' replaced 'race' - would that be an acceptable formulation? Up until a century ago the two were virtually synonymous anyway, so the doctrine would remain essentially intact even with this word change. It can easily be argued that 'culture' is in fact what was meant.

See ya, Raymon

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

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Thu Apr 1, 2004 7:50 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hello again Peter, I wrote:

Some of us like to broaden our perspective and think in terms of the evolution of human consciousness. That consciousness has evolved through different cultures and peoples and the terms "higher and lower" are words used to describe the progress, or digression. Maybe they are not the best "words" that could be used to describe the process. But some of us aren't just looking for "words" to help us "recognize the basic features racist thought."

P:

Yes, I can see that. This probably explains why you get irritated when other people, who do pay attention to Steiner's words, point out that some of his teachings are racist. It might also explain why you get irritated when other people, who do recognize the basic features of racist thought, try to describe some of those features for you. You frequently get "peoples" and "cultures" mixed up, and you appear to think that both are essentially synonyms for "race". The belief that some races are higher while others are lower, that some races are progressing while others are regressing, is racist. It remains racist no matter what one thinks about political correctness, morality, or the evolution of consciousness. If you think this belief is not racist, you just need to explain why.

M:

I am a bit irritated but I don't think I am "mixed up." I think that I (and many others) have already explained "why"above. But in brief I'll say it again: Because it has metaphorical significance to those of us who aren't just looking for examples of racist thought to explain in words.

Metaphorical significance is something that I wish that I learned a long time ago, when I used to say things like: "hey, lets go get wasted," or hammered, shit-faced, plowed, stupid, fucked up, plastered, inebriated, polluted, drunk as a skunk, and so on...

I've seen some really dangerous people turn their lives completely around by using a concept like "Elliot the purple dragon" as a higher power, one because he hated to word God, and all the meaningless metaphorical significance that had been attached to it for him over his life time.

RS also frequently mentions the inadequacy of language in trying to describe the world of spirit.

Mike

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Apr 1, 2004 10:25 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Walkinsnotwelcome wrote:

(1) I was being ambivalent today about buying a magazine called Anarchy, then saw your name in there and knew just what to do. Then it seemed the people in there hated your mode of criticism/analysis/discussion, threw many bad words at it, but your style seemed very straightforward to me, I don't know what to think, I will probably make some effort at resolving this.

Yes, the folks at Anarchy Magazine don't like critical scrutiny any more than some of the anthroposophists assembled here. I think one of the interesting parallels between these two otherwise disparate cases is that I do sometimes believe that I know more about the doctrines under scrutiny than some of the advocates of these doctrines themselves. A lot of people see that as arrogant. I see it as a perfectly acceptable aspect of public discourse.

(2) Have you defined the words "race" and "racism" here yet? It might help, though I doubt it.

Yes, I have offered what I think are reasonable definitions of race and racism, but I do not demand that others follow these definitions. What I do expect is that people who differ with the definitions I have put forward offer some sort of argument for their preferred definitions. For those of you who think it is not racist to sort particular racial groups into categories of higher and lower, more advanced and less advanced, progressive and backward, evolving and decadent, I'd like to hear why you think this. For those of you who reject the basic principle of racial equality but disagree that this rejection constitutes the cornerstone of racist thought, I'd like to hear why you think this. And so forth.

Peter

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Apr 1, 2004 10:48 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Raymon, you wrote:

If the doctrine which holds that moving forward in evolution is directly tied to race, was changed - and the word 'culture' replaced 'race' - would that be an acceptable formulation?

It wouldn't be completely "acceptable" to me, but it wouldn't be racist. The formulation only becomes racist when it is explicitly tied to race.

Up until a century ago the two were virtually synonymous anyway, so the doctrine would remain essentially intact even with this word change.

I partly disagree with that. It is true that racists a century ago routinely conflated race and culture (not to mention language and ethnicity). But there were vocal critics of this conflation from the mid-nineteenth century onward. Steiner ignored the critics and swallowed this conflation hook, line, and sinker.

It can easily be argued that 'culture' is in fact what was meant.

You don't need to argue that point with me, as I already agree that Steiner "meant" cultures when he talked about races. But he plainly also meant races in the biological sense. He simply failed to distinguish the two much of the time. That is one of the hallmarks of racist thought, historically speaking.

Peter

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From: raymon_ford
Date: Fri Apr 2, 2004 4:14 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Peter,

You state `…I already agree that Steiner "meant" cultures when he talked about races…'. And you state that insofar as this is the case, the doctrine is not racist – though not completely acceptable to you.

You also state `…But he plainly also meant races in the biological sense. He simply failed to distinguish the two much of the time…'. I see what you are saying here, and will take it up later. For now, I just want to run by you an interpretation of the doctrine as it applies to now and the future.

Steiner does state that `race' now and henceforth does not play the part it formerly did in human `evolution'. While he did not explicitly support the vocal critics you mentioned, who in his time spoke against the conflation of race and culture, does not this statement of his amount to intrinsic agreement?

In line with his statement, it is straightforward to contend that, today and in the future, you are right, and the doctrine does indeed mean culture and not race. For example, in the 7th cultural epoch, the Americans are described as the `seventh sub-race'. But by then their racial heritage will be so mixed that the notion of race makes no sense.

To speak of the `American race', as someone did here a few days ago, is then to confuse `race' and `culture' – and perhaps `race' and `people'. You have already mentioned this confusion. If it were instead held that the `seventh sub-race' is more properly described as, say, the `seventh sub-culture' or `seventh sub-people' – I doubt that many anthro's would have a problem with this re-wording - would this amount to a non-racist formulation of the doctrine?

See ya, Raymon

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Apr 2, 2004 10:52 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Raymon, thanks for your posts. You wrote:

You state `…I already agree that Steiner "meant" cultures when he talked about races…'. And you state that insofar as this is the case, the doctrine is not racist

It isn't necessarily racist, but it certainly can be, if these cultures-cum-races are ranked in ascending and descending order according to cosmic-spiritual-evolutionary criteria. That, of course, is exactly what Steiner does.

For now, I just want to run by you an interpretation of the doctrine as it applies to now and the future. Steiner does state that `race' now and henceforth does not play the part it formerly did in human `evolution'.

Steiner contradicted himself several times on that question. He said that people in the future will be divided into a race of good and a race of evil, for example, and he said that the white race is the race of the future, and so forth.

While he did not explicitly support the vocal critics you mentioned, who in his time spoke against the conflation of race and culture, does not this statement of his amount to intrinsic agreement?

No, of course not. Even if Steiner's statements on the racial future were not self-contradictory, many of his statements on the racial present and the racial past quite explicitly endorse the conflation of race and culture.

But by then their racial heritage will be so mixed that the notion of race makes no sense.

It doesn't even make sense today. So what? Racists aren't people whose usage of racial terms makes sense, they're people whose usage of racial terms is marked by ranking, hierarchy, explicit inequality.

If it were instead held that the `seventh sub-race' is more properly described as, say, the `seventh sub-culture' or `seventh sub-people' – I doubt that many anthro's would have a problem with this re-wording - would this amount to a non-racist formulation of the doctrine?

Good question. I think that replacing Steiner's race talk with straightforward claims about cultural trends (not peoples), unconnected to any doctrine of progressive racial evolution, would go a long way toward achieving a non-racist formulation of anthroposophical doctrine.

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Fri Apr 2, 2004 10:59 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

At 20:52 02.04.2004, Peter S wrote:

I think that replacing Steiner's race talk with straightforward claims about cultural trends (not peoples), unconnected to any doctrine of progressive racial evolution, would go a long way toward achieving a non-racist formulation of anthroposophical doctrine.

You're not even remotely qualified to suggest reformulations or paraphrasing of anthroposophical literature, but if you're so dedicated to your interest in Anthroposophy that you wish to edit all of Steiner's works yourself, you can try asking some anthroposophical publishers to find out if they're interested.

Tarjei

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Apr 2, 2004 11:26 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

You're not even remotely qualified to suggest reformulations or paraphrasing of anthroposophical literature, but if you're so dedicated to your interest in Anthroposophy that you wish to edit all of Steiner's works yourself, you can try asking some anthroposophical publishers to find out if they're interested.

Editing isn't the issue. That would just mean sticking your heads in the sand and pretending that Steiner's racial doctrines aren't really there. What might make sense is a re-thinking and re-working of the concepts at stake, so that anthroposophy can finally grow past the less savory aspects of its origins. You are quite right that I am unqualified for this endeavor, but you and and other anthroposophists could be well qualified for it. I must admit that I am skeptical that such a project would actually succeed, but for what it's worth, I do think it's worth trying.

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Fri Apr 2, 2004 12:03 pm
Subject: Peter S about HPB

At 21:26 02.04.2004, Peter S wrote:

Editing isn't the issue. That would just mean sticking your heads in the sand and pretending that Steiner's racial doctrines aren't really there. What might make sense is a re-thinking and re-working of the concepts at stake, so that anthroposophy can finally grow past the less savory aspects of its origins.

OK, let's start with Detlef's question then:

Were the "yellow and red, brown and black" races ever "main races" for Blavatsky?

As you probably remember, this question arose out of the HPB quotations you posted:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/3374

Detlef summed it up as follows and asked you a decisive question:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/3400

We have seen that Blavatsky writes of the "yellow and red, brown and black" races. (An aside: does anyone know why she puts these in quotation marks?) We have also seen that she speaks of root races. She speaks of the latter as "remnants of the Atlanteans", which is the fourth root race according to Blavatsky. We seem to all agree that, for Blavatsky, "main race" and "root race" mean the same. The question remaining is: were the "yellow and red, brown and black" races ever "main races" for Blavatsky?

I will proceed with my train of thought when this question is answered.

Best regards, Detlef Hardorp

We're all waiting, Peter.

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: raymon_ford
Date: Sat Apr 3, 2004 6:48 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Peter,

You say

It isn't necessarily racist, but it certainly can be, if these cultures-cum-races are ranked in ascending and descending order according to cosmic-spiritual-evolutionary criteria.

R:

Yes. So, if he meant `culture' and not `race' then the question becomes one not of racism but of whether and how a given culture can be considered superior or inferior to another. And it is this that we can address. (I am still talking of today and the future – the doctrine regarding the past is certainly on the face of it racist, albeit by definition, but that's a separate discussion we can take up elsewhere.)

P:

He said that people in the future will be divided into a race of good and a race of evil, for example, and he said that the white race is the race of the future, and so forth.

R:

Well we can dispense of the latter – if someone here believes that then let them speak out. Andrea has pointed out that the 6th sub-race `mission' could potentially fall to the Brazilians, who like the 7th `American' sub-race will have a substantially mixed racial heritage – clearly neither can be described as a `white race'. As to the first point, that of good and evil `races' - race here is a poor choice of wording; I interpret Steiner not to mean `race' in the classic sense, but to mean a categorizing of humanity into `good' and `evil' groups. Can you allow this? The issue then devolves back to the same one mentioned above – whether and how a particular group can be considered superior or inferior to another, and on what grounds, etc. Given that, would you agree this particular aspect can be formulated such that it is not a question of racism?

P:

Even if Steiner's statements on the racial future were not self-contradictory, many of his statements on the racial present and the racial past quite explicitly endorse the conflation of race and culture.

R:

The past, going by some of his statements, yes – but I am confining my current argument to those parts of the doctrine that relate to the present and future. Given that you are prepared to believe that he meant `culture' and not `race', and that if we re-express the doctrine in such (and so less-dangerous) terms as regards now and the future - would not your concerns lie not with racism per se, but with the issue of ranking the various groups as to whether they are `advanced' or `retarded' and so on?

See ya, Raymon

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From: raymon_ford
Date: Sat Apr 3, 2004 6:56 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Peter,

You said

I think that replacing Steiner's race talk with straightforward claims about cultural trends (not peoples), unconnected to any doctrine of progressive racial evolution, would go a long way toward achieving a non-racist formulation of anthroposophical doctrine.

R:

Yes; your suggestion is for the doctrine to assume a different form in some respects. While I would normally cringe somewhat at rolling out a `Steiner Says' quote to bolster my own arguments, the following statement actually supports your call in that it does allow for doctrinal change. Evidently, by his reckoning, the current model should differ from that of a century ago:

`The Dawn of Occultism in the Modern Age', Cassel, 27 Jan 1912:

`…We can only understand the work of rosicrucianism as it is today when we realize that it was never a model laid down once and for all but assumes a different form in every century. This is because rosicrucianism must always adapt itself to the conditions of the times...'

See ya, Raymon

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Apr 3, 2004 9:20 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Raymon, you wrote:

So, if he meant `culture' and not `race' then the question becomes one not of racism but of whether and how a given culture can be considered superior or inferior to another.

That doesn't completely make sense to me. If he said "race" then he couldn't have meant culture and not race; he must have meant both culture and race, in your interpretation. He quite explicitly says that some races are higher than others.

race here is a poor choice of wording; I interpret Steiner not to mean `race' in the classic sense, but to mean a categorizing of humanity into `good' and `evil' groups. Can you allow this?

I not only allow this, it is a crucial aspect of my argument. Steiner did indeed use racial terminology to categorize humanity into good and evil groups. Such usage is racist. Not immoral, not pathological, not politically incorrect, just racist.

The issue then devolves back to the same one mentioned above – whether and how a particular group can be considered superior or inferior to another, and on what grounds, etc. Given that, would you agree this particular aspect can be formulated such that it is not a question of racism?

Yes, it absolutely can be; you might say that good and evil are delineated along gender lines, for examples, and that wouldn't be racist. But Steiner chose race as his marker, over and over again.

Given that you are prepared to believe that he meant `culture' and not `race',

I'm not sure what you mean here. I am not prepared to believe that Steiner meant just culture when he said and wrote "race"; that would be a clear misreading, in my view.

and that if we re-express the doctrine in such (and so less-dangerous) terms as regards now and the future - would not your concerns lie not with racism per se, but with the issue of ranking the various groups as to whether they are `advanced' or `retarded' and so on?

Yes, but I don't see what it has to do with the matter at hand. Perhaps we are talking past one another. The extensive passages from Steiner about racial evolution that sparked this thread all very explicitly concern race. They do not simply discuss culture. If anthroposophists want to re-work these doctrines to render them non-racist, I think they'll have to confront the race stuff directly.

Thanks for a very interesting ongoing discussion,

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sat Apr 3, 2004 9:30 am
Subject: Question about races (was: Re: Steiner on racial evolution)

At 19:20 03.04.2004, Peter S wrote:

Steiner did indeed use racial terminology to categorize humanity into good and evil groups. Such usage is racist. Not immoral, not pathological, not politically incorrect, just racist.

If I have understood you correctly, usage of the word "race" by RS and HPB is always racist without exception, whether one is talking about a distant future good or evil "race" where heredity no longer comes into question, or about the Root Races of the distant past. Which brings us right back to the question Detlef was asking: Were the yellow, red, brown and black races "root races" according to HPB?

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Apr 3, 2004 9:58 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Question about races (was: Re: Steiner on racial evolution)

Hi Tarjei, you wrote:

If I have understood you correctly, usage of the word "race" by RS and HPB is always racist without exception

No, you definitely have not understood me correctly. Steiner's discussions of race are not always racist without exception. His doctrines include several non-racist strands. Only some of his racial teachings are racist, in my view. I've said this many times over, for what it's worth.

Which brings us right back to the question Detlef was asking: Were the yellow, red, brown and black races "root races" according to HPB?

I answered that question last month, I answered it yesterday, and I answered it again today. Do you just not like my answer?

Peter

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From: at
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 8:34 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Mike:

Some of us like to broaden our perspective and think in terms of the evolution of human consciousness. That consciousness has evolved through different cultures and peoples and the terms "higher and lower" are words used to describe the progress, or digression. Maybe they are not the best "words" that could be used to describe the process. But some of us aren't just looking for "words" to help us "recognize the basic features racist thought."

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yes, I can see that. This probably explains why you get irritated when other people, who do pay attention to Steiner's words, point out that some of his teachings are racist. It might also explain why you get irritated when other people, who do recognize the basic features of racist thought, try to describe some of those features for you. You frequently get "peoples" and "cultures" mixed up, and you appear to think that both are essentially synonyms for "race". The belief that some races are higher while others are lower, that some races are progressing while others are regressing, is racist. It remains racist no matter what one thinks about political correctness, morality, or the evolution of consciousness. If you think this belief is not racist, you just need to explain why.

Daniel:

Peter, I can hardly believe that you write this to Mike! You are accusing him of exactly the errors you continually make, namely interchanging the concepts of people, culture and race in Steiner's writing. When Steiner writes of culture, you claim it is race he is referring to and that that makes him a racist. I find it ironic that you then turn and accuse Mike of the same thing.

Daniel Hindes

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From: at
Date: Mon Apr 5, 2004 9:20 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Peter Staudenmaier:

I don't think that's what we should be doing anyway. Since Steiner isn't around anymore, we can't ask him what his actual intent was. What we can do is read what he wrote and said and try to make sense of it.

Daniel:

Peter, I take it that you limit yourself to trying to make sense of it, rather than, say, to try to figure out what Steiner meant, because you find such "objectivity" to be unattainable in theory. Is that correct?


Harvey:

It would be valuable and refreshing if one were to look upon the influence Steiner has sired in his teaching and which resides in his infrastructures such as Waldorf, Biodynamic, Christian Community, Banking initiatives, etc, with a view to analyzing and probing the underlying moral intent carried forward into human history by those who employ his ideas and work within his infrastructures.

Peter Staudenmaier:

That's a fine idea. When we look at what some prominent representatives of Waldorf, biodynamics, and the Christian Community said and did before and during the Nazi era, we find a lot of examples of racism, nationalism, and antisemitism. These people thought that they were employing Steiner's ideas.

Daniel:

I would be curious to hear about the racist representatives of the Christian Community during the Nazi era. Or their pro-Nazi activities. Or their nationalism during this time period. Examples please.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I think that conflates several distinct steps. Whether you think that specific statements about race can be considered racist is one thing; whether you think such statements constitute moral wrong-doing is another. Mixing the two up won't help us make sense of the matter.

Daniel:

Interesting. I find it odd that you are attempting to judge a text without judging it. Perhaps that is why you have such difficulty with judgement.

Daniel Hindes

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 10:49 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

Peter, I take it that you limit yourself to trying to make sense of it, rather than, say, to try to figure out what Steiner meant, because you find such "objectivity" to be unattainable in theory. Is that correct?

No. I focus on making sense of it, instead of speculating about intentions, because intention and ideology are different things.

Examples please.

Rittelmeyer, for starters. Or maybe you don't think he was a nationalist? And perhaps you find his writings on Jews commendable?

Peter:

I don't think that's what we should be doing anyway. Since Steiner isn't around anymore, we can't ask him what his actual intent was. What we can do is read what he wrote and said and try to make sense of it.

Daniel:

Peter, I take it that you limit yourself to trying to make sense of it, rather than, say, to try to figure out what Steiner meant, because you find such "objectivity" to be unattainable in theory. Is that correct?

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 10:11 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

Peter, I can hardly believe that you write this to Mike! You are accusing him of exactly the errors you continually make, namely interchanging the concepts of people, culture and race in Steiner's writing. When Steiner writes of culture, you claim it is race he is referring to and that that makes him a racist.

I take it you have already forgotten the Steiner passages that began this thread. In every single one of them Steiner writes of race, without exception. May I suggest that you try re-reading those passages? You'll find them here:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/3469

Thanks,

Peter

Mike:

Some of us like to broaden our perspective and think in terms of the evolution of human consciousness. That consciousness has evolved through different cultures and peoples and the terms "higher and lower" are words used to describe the progress, or digression. Maybe they are not the best "words" that could be used to describe the process. But some of us aren't just looking for "words" to help us "recognize the basic features racist thought."

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yes, I can see that. This probably explains why you get irritated when other people, who do pay attention to Steiner's words, point out that some of his teachings are racist. It might also explain why you get irritated when other people, who do recognize the basic features of racist thought, try to describe some of those features for you. You frequently get "peoples" and "cultures" mixed up, and you appear to think that both are essentially synonyms for "race". The belief that some races are higher while others are lower, that some races are progressing while others are regressing, is racist. It remains racist no matter what one thinks about political correctness, morality, or the evolution of consciousness. If you think this belief is not racist, you just need to explain why.

Daniel:

Peter, I can hardly believe that you write this to Mike! You are accusing him of exactly the errors you continually make, namely interchanging the concepts of people, culture and race in Steiner's writing. When Steiner writes of culture, you claim it is race he is referring to and that that makes him a racist. I find it ironic that you then turn and accuse Mike of the same thing.

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From: at
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 4:53 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Peter Staudenmaier:

Editing isn't the issue. That would just mean sticking your heads in the sand and pretending that Steiner's racial doctrines aren't really there. What might make sense is a re-thinking and re-working of the concepts at stake, so that anthroposophy can finally grow past the less savory aspects of its origins. You are quite right that I am unqualified for this endeavor, but you and and other anthroposophists could be well qualified for it. I must admit that I am skeptical that such a project would actually succeed, but for what it's worth, I do think it's worth trying.

Daniel:

I've noticed that in this type of post, the existence of Steiner's "Racial doctrines" are taken as a given, and "kindly" advice is given as to what to do with them. I suggest that a proper understanding of the concepts demonstrates that they a long ways indeed from racism, and do not require reworking to avoid Peter Staudenmaier's label. Peter Staudenmaier might consider sitting down with some basic Steiner books and attempting to actually understand an author that he has spent years trying to redefine from a staunch individualist and anti-racist to a hatemongering modernist racist. Try it, Peter. You might even learn something!

Daniel Hindes

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From: walkinsnotwelcome
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 7:27 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

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

(1) I was being ambivalent today about buying a magazine called Anarchy, then saw your name in there and knew just what to do. Then it seemed the people in there hated your mode of criticism/analysis/discussion, threw many bad words at it, but your style seemed very straightforward to me, I don't know what to think, I will probably make some effort at resolving this.

Hi, Peter - It's resolved, as far as I'm concerned. It was suspicious to me how the arguments you got involved in became highly convoluted and twisted and difficult to follow, like some obscurantism was going on, in both the anarchist magazine and this list. But it's clear that your opponents here are creating the confusion themselves and then blaming you for it. I would have thought it so unlikely for that to be the explanation, it's an amazing thing to have witnessed. By the way, how you write reminds me some of Robert Christgau, he writes about music for the Village Voice.

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From: at
Date: Tue Apr 6, 2004 5:28 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymon:

So, if he meant `culture' and not `race' then the question becomes one not of racism but of whether and how a given culture can be considered superior or inferior to another.

Peter Staudenmaier:

That doesn't completely make sense to me. If he said "race" then he couldn't have meant culture and not race; he must have meant both culture and race, in your interpretation. He quite explicitly says that some races are higher than others.

Daniel:

This statement is horribly general. First, it would be helpful to have a quote for reference. In which statment could Steiner not possibly have meant culture when he says race? Further, such a statement seems to assume that words never change meaning over time - a horribly naive position for a historian (though perhaps useful for a polemicist).

Raymond:

race here is a poor choice of wording; I interpret Steiner not to mean `race' in the classic sense, but to mean a categorizing of humanity into `good' and `evil' groups. Can you allow this?

Peter Staudenmaier:

I not only allow this, it is a crucial aspect of my argument. Steiner did indeed use racial terminology to categorize humanity into good and evil groups. Such usage is racist. Not immoral, not pathological, not politically incorrect, just racist.

Daniel:

Interesting. So Steiner's use of the word "race" in a general sense to denote a group of people - as was quite common at the time - is racist! Even if the groups have nothing to do with skin color - as long as it is two groups of people, one "good" and one "bad" then it is racist. Anything to get Steiner to fit the label, I suppose.

Raymond:

The issue then devolves back to the same one mentioned above – whether and how a particular group can be considered superior or inferior to another, and on what grounds, etc. Given that, would you agree this particular aspect can be formulated such that it is not a question of racism?

Peter Staudenmaier:

Yes, it absolutely can be; you might say that good and evil are delineated along gender lines, for examples, and that wouldn't be racist. But Steiner chose race as his marker, over and over again.

Daniel:

If you actually read the entire lecture where this idea is presented, you might notice that the defining characteristic - the identifier - that places individuals into one race or the other is their behavior! Those who DO good, become good. Those who DO evil, become evil. In Steiner's view, at this future point many thousands of years in the future, behavior will actually determine racial affiliation. Race is not the marker, behavior is. Peter, you are utterly incapable of presenting Steiner's ideas properly, and this is yet another perfect example. You have presented Steiner's position to the opposite of his actual stance. This is truly pathetic. Do you actually read the chapter you take your quotes from?

Daniel Hindes

[Continued in the thread NYTimes.com Article: The Public Editor: The Privileges of Opinion, the Obligations of Fact]

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 9:23 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

In which statment could Steiner not possibly have meant culture when he says race?

But I already agree that Steiner did mean culture when he said race. He also meant race, of course.

So Steiner's use of the word "race" in a general sense to denote a group of people - as was quite common at the time - is racist!

Anybody who says that some races are higher and others are lower, that some races are good and others are evil, is using the word race in a racist fashion. If you genuinely dispute this, could you explain why?

If you actually read the entire lecture where this idea is presented, you might notice that the defining characteristic - the identifier - that places individuals into one race or the other is their behavior!

Yes, of course. That's a central part of Steiner's racial theory. In reality, people's behavior does not place them in one race or another.

Those who DO good, become good. Those who DO evil, become evil. In Steiner's view, at this future point many thousands of years in the future, behavior will actually determine racial affiliation.

Yep. That's exactly why his theory is racist. He viewed race as an expression of spiritual status.

You have presented Steiner's position to the opposite of his actual stance.

No, I have presented it exactly as you have presented it. You and I simply disagree about whether this position is racist.

Peter

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From: holderlin66
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 10:43 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

Yes, of course. That's a central part of Steiner's racial theory. In reality, people's behavior does not place them in one race or another.

Bradford;

Peter I know you love the reaction such silly blurts make, it thrills you, but it is also fun to see how silly you can be.

Yes if they remain absolute dogmatic rednecks and fail to penetrate their etheric body of habits with any individiual I AM clarity, their choice, in regards to their next incarnation becomes more and more limited.

This not only reflects karmically into what parental etheric model available, but also the body of habits, beliefs and etheric light or darkness that attracts and supplies a body, a family, a language and a set of beliefs. These all become more and more limited, retarded the less a person discovers the entrance to I AM cognition.

The available and choice situations for deeper individual development within a physical and etheric body becomes more restrictive, dogmatic, fundamenal (take a look over the globe at the amount of fundamentalistic knots and groups that are locked into etheric dogmatic beliefs from west to east) These are bold indicators of how humanity and individuals have failed to break free of group soul etheric habits and find their I AM's. And this reveals failed and retarded etheric substance in the available choice of physical bodies and a "Closed System" that Steiner warned about. Any closed system from Baptists, to Koranizers.

Tarjei has rightly indicated that finding the I AM means that we leave our father's etheric blueprint, leave mother's etheric blueprint and find our own homeless I AM identity out side of Group think or Orwellian Political group think, or hiding in Group Soul ideologies where you don't have to ever call up the I AM to navigate reality.

Oh we can begin to trace and supply numbers of Sunday Church retarded Bible thumpers, Fundamental Islamic Koran, etheric habit knee benders, all gulping at group grope soul teats, as if the religion was a giant cow that souls never had to work for. Eternal Racial milk, etheric body group soul, feel goodness. This also applies to Jewish fundmentalism or Mormon or all of these notions, that you can just do what your daddy done before and now you is GOOD... THAT ETHERIC GOODNESS MUST BE EARNED THROUGH I AM COGNITION is an absolute mandate.

So once again Peter, the future is witnessing the decline of races that gave etheric bodies away. In the past, when you could remember back five or six generations of Biblical group soul there were strong etheric bodies, not in decline. To current Alsheimers disease and etheric loss where you can't remember your name or what day it is. Specific decline and infections in the link between the I AM and the etheric body cut into short term memory.

Fresh forces from Races, fresh etheric life is winding down. The etheric body, memory and the immune system are all intimately related to revitalized I Am health and nourishment as brought forward through concerns of soil and biodynamics sciences. The fresh forces of etheric bodies have to come from individual I AM efforts. What is coming for the future of Race and division of sheep and goats, well this is no symbol or metaphor, this has some real issues of declining, running down and finally splitting into very different types of etheric experience.

It is too bad I can't express this more clearly.

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 11:01 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Bradford, you wrote:

This not only reflects karmically into what parental etheric model available, but also the body of habits, beliefs and etheric light or darkness that attracts and supplies a body, a family, a language and a set of beliefs. These all become more and more limited, retarded the less a person discovers the entrance to I AM cognition.

Right. And according to Steiner, such souls incarnate into lower racial forms. It's not that race chooses the I AM, but that the I AM chooses the race, based on spiritual-cosmic-evolutionary criteria.

(take a look over the globe at the amount of fundamentalistic knots and groups that are locked into etheric dogmatic beliefs from west to east)

Do you mean to say that fundamentalism and dogmatic beliefs have something to do with the race a person belongs to?

THAT ETHERIC GOODNESS MUST BE EARNED THROUGH I AM COGNITION is an absolute mandate.

Okay. But when etheric goodness is distributed along racial lines, lots of people are going to conclude that this idea is racist.

What is coming for the future of Race and division of sheep and goats, well this is no symbol or metaphor, this has some real issues of declining, running down and finally splitting into very different types of etheric experience.

It is too bad I can't express this more clearly.

Sounds to me like you expressed it clearly enough right there. I hate to break it to you, but this is exactly the kind of thing that many folks consider racist. I realize that you disagree, but it might make sense to get over the notion that a handful of militant Steiner haters are the only ones who could possibly see these ideas as racist.

Peter

Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

Yes, of course. That's a central part of Steiner's racial theory. In reality, people's behavior does not place them in one race or another.

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From: holderlin66
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 1:27 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

Do you mean to say that fundamentalism and dogmatic beliefs have something to do with the race a person belongs to?

Bradford comments;

This is the Closed System, a System without walls, like the Michael School is an unclosed system and a system without walls. A closed system attracts souls to a closed perspective. They wish to be led, to be told what to believe. Not having to discover your own thinking but falling back on ready made, fixed, religious or fundamental framework weakens the immune system and soul life of the individual.

If souls, and their number is legion, continue to avoid the encounter with the depth of research of the I Am and the Fact of the I Am and the science of the I AM, how the I am is in the sheaths of astral, etheric, physical and in the core of the I Am are the reproductive and higher transforming forces of Etheric Racial and etheric nutrition and medicinal realities, some depicted in "The Agricultural Course" by Steiner - allows souls, who take up their health, away from the AMA= they learn to not only tranform their etheric bodies but also the Earth's etheric body into LIFE SPIRT.

I recognize you have no idea what Life Spirit is and how the transformation of Etheric forces impacts and comes alive in the higher I Am as Life Spirit, but that is only because you have done so little homework and you have expected us to adopt you, "little Soul" and dance with you, like a spoiled child on the playground.

I may require you to Quid Pro Quo me as an exercise in mutual thought process.

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From: at
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 6:08 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

Peter, I can hardly believe that you write this to Mike! You are accusing him of exactly the errors you continually make, namely interchanging the concepts of people, culture and race in Steiner's writing. When Steiner writes of culture, you claim it is race he is referring to and that that makes him a racist.

Peter Staudenmaier:

I take it you have already forgotten the Steiner passages that began this thread. In every single one of them Steiner writes of race, without exception. May I suggest that you try re-reading those passages? You'll find them here:

Daniel:

First, Steiner does not WRITE of race in all the examples; in several Steiner SPEAKS of race and a stenographer recorded it. Sorry to nitpick this point, but your habitual and gross overgeneralizations get you in trouble in many places, so a little care with your sources is called for.

I have no inclination to go over all the quotes you selected again. I have responded to a number of them already, showing how they are taken out of context and in some instaces are mistranslated.

You would do well to work at an understanding of Steiner's work before you go around calling those who have studied him ignorant.

Daniel Hindes

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From: at
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 4:52 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

Peter, I take it that you limit yourself to trying to make sense of it, rather than, say, to try to figure out what Steiner meant, because you find such "objectivity" to be unattainable in theory. Is that correct?

Peter Staudenamaier:

No. I focus on making sense of it, instead of speculating about intentions, because intention and ideology are different things.

Daniel:

Peter, you seem epistimologically quite naive. In trying to make sense of an author, what is the process? I suspect that you have never examined the question in any depth, because you advocate a postion that I am sure you will also reject, namely that you can simply "know" what an author meant from reading his texts, and will never be wrong. Your various positions on this are logically inconsistent.

Daniel wrote:

Examples please.

Peter Staudenamaier:

Rittelmeyer, for starters. Or maybe you don't think he was a nationalist? And perhaps you find his writings on Jews commendable?

Daniel:

I don't recall any nationalism jumping out at me in reading Rittelmeyer. It's been a while. Perhaps you could refresh my memory with some citations? Nor do I recall reading any statements of his on Jews. I'm sure you have these quotes handy too (and I trust they will be Rittlemeyer's own words, and not some summary by an audience member).

Daniel Hindes

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Wed Apr 7, 2004 10:19 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi again Daniel, you wrote:

I suspect that you have never examined the question in any depth, because you advocate a postion that I am sure you will also reject, namely that you can simply "know" what an author meant from reading his texts, and will never be wrong.

No, that appears to be Detlef's position, but it certainly isn't my position. No reader of a dead author's works can ever "know" what the author meant in that intentional sense. This is precisely why historians distinguish ideology from intention.

Peter

Peter Staudenamaier:

No. I focus on making sense of it, instead of speculating about intentions, because intention and ideology are different things.

Daniel:

Peter, you seem epistimologically quite naive. In trying to make sense of an author, what is the process? I suspect that you have never examined the question in any depth, because you advocate a postion that I am sure you will also reject, namely that you can simply "know" what an author meant from reading his texts, and will never be wrong. Your various positions on this are logically inconsistent.

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From: Harvey Bornfield
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 12:51 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Peter,

It might be of value to triangulate on Bradford's ideas of open and closed systems of thought here, perchance it would be possible to perceive that the difference between blindly accepting definitions and their underlying metaphysical orientations which are handed down through what I call "template" transference, can be distinguished from phenomenological, that is to say intuitively-accessed, intuitively self-evidenced approaches to acquiring self-knowledge.

Peter, in this day and age, people wishing to acquire a handle upon the responsibilities of coming to self-knowledge must enter a process of interior questioning within the sanctuary of self-reflection, rather than merely allowing themselves to blindly fall prey to commonly-accepted and often trivial and stereotypic notions and paradigms which enjoy various degrees of immunity to challenge. The questing of self-knowledge, that is to say, the individual involved in coming to understand the relationship between appearances and how they bridge to fathoming the underlying intent, is a quest, is GRAIL QUEST, and is an epic rather than cosmetic undertaking. Again it is Haut Cuisine, vast food, manna, wise, rather than fast food pit-stop enterprise.

And this reiterates for the many upon this contemporary stage what held true for the pioneers, the initiates of the Ancient Greek Mystery Schools, that the responsibilities for metabolizing ideas at the intuitive level have always, and ever shall preempt in moral scope and metaphysical clarity the far easier and all too commonly accepted norms of inheriting assembly-line definitions and world views.

Anthroposophy ultimately exists in order inspire individuals to create materials sourced within self-reflective activity, in which inspiration, imagination and intuition focus the individual questing out experience which by its nature can never be thoroughly articulated, meticulously externalized, "legalized", as it were to concrete to the razor-sharp 'stop-on-a-dime' Cartesian Coordinates of a literal grasp, which is a most deliciously and often-pursued Tomfoolery. For you and the hosts of many other individuals and group-identities seeking to compress, to materialize, to garbage-compact Steiner's world views in such an efficient, dictionary-perfect cosmetic literal grammar, and within the claustrophobia of such a microscope slide, implicitly accuse this discipline, of evading obligations to what the mind can deduce from sayings and lectures, would be to accuse an iceberg of intentionally lying to the binoculars, of maliciously hiding 9/10th of its size under the surface of the sea. For while it is easy to regard Anthroposophy because of its stupendous and elaborate vocabulary as being but a well-inventoried knowledge system, it is rather a scaffolding for enabling individuals to explore contradictions and mysteries and source wisdom which reconnects striving to meaning.

In a larger scope, and very relevant to an accurate analysis or at least an honest approach to grasping the shortcomings of the scientific attitudes of many contemporary thinkers, there is an unspoken phobia, an unacknowledged terror which regards, and thus far remains in its arrogance unquestioned and unchallenged, namely............. that all of mankind's subjectively talents and experience in whose ethereal topsoil the qualities of imagination, inspiration and intuition blossom, are contaminated with various emotional filth of bias and spin and hidden agenda, and therefore are de facto, by such indictment, inherently and forever criminally untrustworthy as vehicles, as talents to reveal connections between appearance and deeper strata of more mysterious notions which artists have for thousands of years included, rather than exiled from the province of their work. Thus dream and love, and all manner of attitudes which populate the feeling spectrum which spans from ambience to squalor, from optimism and luck and Divine Ancient Favor to utter sarcasm, mockery and nihilism have been treated as inadmissible as factors in investigation cause and effect.

Now the entire basis of your polemic "against" Steiner, is that such factors of intent are not admissible, can never be "state's evidence", in Reason's Court of Law, which would, by thus EXCLUDING the phenomenological fathoming of intent, rest content that it is possible to deduce that the Doctor held, expressed and promulgated views which rendered his teachings and his deeds conduits of racism.

And so you are judging the iceberg by its visible, 'above sea' parameters, naive to the obvious truth that without regarding the projection of malice and arrogance associated with the differentiation of a persons assertion of station, worth and entitlements which make prejudice, prejudice the underlying factor behind all racism the real moral offense, you are playing scrabble with yourself, rather than demonstrating the courage required to diagnose whether there is any overt or implied influence which constitutes moral grounds to accuse the Anthroposophical World Conception of disingenuous agenda.

Here is where the open and closed systems of thought come into play. Northrup Frye, a Canadian literary critic, said in the 60's that belief systems can be catagorized into what he calls "Open" and "Closed" Myth. Frye regarded myth, not in a mere historical sense, as a literary genre which sported a heyday of influence thousands of years ago, and now is confined to the narrows of literary curiosity and its vibrant retelling to young children. Rather, Frye saw Myth is a conduit of influence which is embraced as "operating assumptions", which we will phenomenologically now enhance by coining the term "living paradigms", or "High-Priests-Within" which exerts sway in every culture that ever shall come to pass. Freud's notion of the SuperEgo, the widely prevalent and highly ambiguous idea of the "Self-Concept", the psychoanalytically convenient watershed term of "Scripts", or "Persona", all these echo forth this idea of an underlying strata of influence which both reflects individualized philosophical orientations and more importantly, their expectations and also can define collectively-embraced world-view, from whose clash wars and other competitive campaigns for dominance are hosted.

For Frye, the open myth, requiring courage, is the myth about which individuals and groups are consciously aware, while closed myth represents influences which enjoy an unquestioned immunity from conscious scrutiny, that is, influence us from below the threshold of our conscious access. The Grail Quest Pioneer, as indeed many people within Anthroposophy as well as many more who have no interest in its vocabulary, but resonate and thrill with enthusiasm to the intent of regarding acquiring self-knowledge as more important than inheriting it, to ring it out again, the Grail Quest Pioneer, or what is identified in the Bahai Faith as the "True Seeker", is one who wishes to metamorphosize all closed myth into open myth, who wishes to indicate Socrates' "Know Thyself". In case it has to be mentioned, unhypothetical Death, which offers no rain-checks, has a way of rendering the maxim, "Know Thyself" a thoroughly non-academic, non-theoretical invitation.

The alchemical process associated with this transformation from closed slavery to open consciousness has always been known to initiates as the crystallizing of the diamond from the coal, which is the shift from the intent to absorb and consume light, to the purpose of sharing it selflessly abroad. JFK spoke of this shift from the obssession with ambition, to the invitation to aspiration to when he said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country". Substituting for the word "Country", the alternative words World, God, Love, Humanity yields equally powerful Manichean turnaround impulse. On a more spiritually mature note, one can ascend to an even higher, more pristine nobility by asking not "What your Axis of Evil can or dare do TO YOU, but rather what what you can do FOR your Axis of Evil."

And so, Peter, we are back to the notion of the Double, or the Shadow, of which both Jung and Steiner spoke about as an essential foe, a personal "Rent-a-Satan", an "AntiChrist within" which we, if lucky and blessed with courage not to postpone such adventure in this lifetime, confront and transform in the quest for self-knowledge.

The Christ, of course invited, and continues to be crucified for continuing to invite all of Dear-Ear'd Humanity to ascend to the station of turning the other cheek. And here is grounds to suggest that the Christ is on worldwide back-order, while Christianity, content with being Churchianity, her sails battened down, suffocated in rope purchased by campaign contributions, busy at the pulpit studying and promulgating the life of Mr. Hyde, Mein Kampf, Machiavelli, indulgences, and more recently enjoying a no-ceiling credit limit of get-out-of-jail-free cards freshly minted for American CEO's seems curiously unable to catch wind of His intention. And all this speaks well of the virtues of patience, reverence and devotion sired by a modesty, a modesty dwarfed by the boast and joust of surround-sound braggars that traffick Solomon's seen and unseen temples.

So 'twere easy, convenient as anything American, to blindly buy hook, line and sinker into the closed myth that confining our assessment of Steiner's allegations of racism to what perks up above the waters, excluding from the High Court of Deduction evidence which fathoms intention from his fruits following the paradigm set forth by the Christ,by which we know him, Deduction turns into a sweet and intoxicating fantasy deifying the authority of logic in a metaphysical realms where to most people of integrity it seems intuition alone wields the wherewithal to render judgment. And so what it comes down to is a victory for the undetected abuse of the word "Therefore".

Failing intuited self-evidencing of malice on the level of intention, it is utterly impossible make any case for the existence of manifested prejudice upon which charges of racism can be leveled. On a lighter note, there seems to me abundant signs that within Waldorf and Christian Community infrastructures which, among other Anthroposophically-sparked initiatives, carry Steiner's historically-matured impulses out into the world, we see a perseverance of an enormous and laudable altruism, the open myth which informs and inbreathes throughout the Michael School which muses and underwrites numerous contemporary impulses for spiritual striving.

Peters and other's closed myth, the one place your thinking under a paralyzing house arrest, is in an unchallenged naivety which turns belief into an assertion that it is possible to prove what requires acts of intuitive-self-evidencing. And so however adept and accomplished and formidable your gleaming, bladed powers of reasoning, Peter, you must nonetheless come to know that this supposition that deduction is a trustworthy master-key to penetrate the realm of the moral is one of the scale-pocked, ominous, unavoidable, fire-breathing, prejudice-dismembering dragons which lies on up ahead on your road to enlightenment! One which, happily, just as for the rest of us, Michael cannot slay for you.........

And thus, Earlyfire has reluctantly come to suspect, alas and thankfully, that there be no such indulgence as a "Get out of Courage Free" card.

Warm Regards,
Harvey

At 08:27 PM 4/7/2004, you wrote:

Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

Do you mean to say that fundamentalism and dogmatic beliefs have something to do with the race a person belongs to?

Bradford comments;

This is the Closed System, a System without walls, like the Michael School is an unclosed system and a system without walls. A closed system attracts souls to a closed perspective. They wish to be led, to be told what to believe. Not having to discover your own thinking but falling back on ready made, fixed, religious or fundamental framework weakens the immune system and soul life of the individual.

If souls, and their number is legion, continue to avoid the encounter with the depth of research of the I Am and the Fact of the I Am and the science of the I AM, how the I am is in the sheaths of astral, etheric, physical and in the core of the I Am are the reproductive and higher transforming forces of Etheric Racial and etheric nutrition and medicinal realities, some depicted in "The Agricultural Course" by Steiner - allows souls, who take up their health, away from the AMA= they learn to not only tranform their etheric bodies but also the Earth's etheric body into LIFE SPIRT.

I recognize you have no idea what Life Spirit is and how the transformation of Etheric forces impacts and comes alive in the higher I Am as Life Spirit, but that is only because you have done so little homework and you have expected us to adopt you, "little Soul" and dance with you, like a spoiled child on the playground.

I may require you to Quid Pro Quo me as an exercise in mutual thought process.

"Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind, but mankind cannot comprehend."
Ludwig van Beethoven

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From: winters_diana
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 4:32 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Peter to Bradford:

Do you mean to say that fundamentalism and dogmatic beliefs have something to do with the race a person belongs to?

If I understand him correctly, he says (and I'm sure I could never credit this at all, if I hadn't also read it in Steiner) that if you get into fundamentalism and you hold dogmatic beliefs, you (well first, you undergo some kind of etheric thickening or stiffening process, which sounds very unpleasant) -anyway, you have fewer choices, next incarnation, of what kind of body to incarnate into. You have to make do with a not-so-great one next time, and in fact it's also your fault, in some small part, that that particular race is declining in this way. In some sense, you choose which race you incarnate into (your karma; certain choices, such as dogmatism, too-close identification with race/tribe etc.). I suppose if it's the individual's own fault if they end up in a "lower" race, it therefore can't be racist to point out negative traits about a person's race (such as that it is "declining"; after all, members of this race have only themselves to blame for its decline!). This is similar to thread going on at SJU currently about children choosing their parents.

Diana

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From: at
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 1:38 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi again Daniel, you wrote:

I suspect that you have never examined the question in any depth, because you advocate a postion that I am sure you will also reject, namely that you can simply "know" what an author meant from reading his texts, and will never be wrong.

Peter Staudenmaier:

No, that appears to be Detlef's position, but it certainly isn't my position. No reader of a dead author's works can ever "know" what the author meant in that intentional sense. This is precisely why historians distinguish ideology from intention.

Daniel:

So you'll never "know" what Steiner meant. You can only ever offer you personal version (which you admit elsewhere is biased and influenced by your personal preferences). That certainly explains a lot.

Daniel Hindes

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From: holderlin66
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 7:32 pm
Subject: Steiner on/Admiration of Harvey

Harvey Bornfield wrote:

For Frye, the open myth, requiring courage, is the myth about which individuals and groups are consciously aware, while closed myth represents influences which enjoy an unquestioned immunity from conscious scrutiny, that is, influence us from below the threshold of our conscious access.

<snip>

"True Seeker", is one who wishes to metamorphosize all closed myth into open myth, who wishes to indicate Socrates' "Know Thyself". In case it has to be mentioned, unhypothetical Death, which offers no rain-checks, has a way of rendering the maxim, "Know Thyself" a thoroughly non-academic, non-theoretical invitation.

Bradford comments;

unhypothetical Death, which offers no rain-checks,

My admiration of Harvey is like learning to love a fine wine. Another Pleasure as the Last Supper gathers the Michael School in the quiet of the Eve, was StarBirgarden, Jan. Michael School students, friends, who gather around the meeting place, cum water cooler, well of samaria for cool refreshment, recounts and recovers joyful Streams.. Well love individuals who testify in their very Thought to I Am cognition. I have missed you.

invite all of Dear-Ear'd Humanity

- For the Imagination of those who Eyes to See and Ears to Hear, what sweet music tones from this Harvey.

Christ is on worldwide back-order

- Nowhere, so few, such brothers and Dr. Steiner, such solo courage facing the German Shadow and we fumble with the catalog. Can we order this or is already sold out? Sold out, never! But hand-heart made to order takes more time in the I Am, but once made, offered freely as hearts will. Notice the Victoria Secret Models in the Lucifer pages...and Thinking skull caps, selling like hot cakes and Iron maidens of thought offered by our Ahrimanic distrubutor, Peter Staudenmaier. Iron Maidens made of sold Dialectical Materialism and everyone is wearing them this season.

suffocated in rope purchased by campaign contributions,

= Here dear friends, could Judas be any more clearly depicted. And you wonder why you can't read Harvey. You wonder why you lack the capacity to SEE and hear the undercurrent new coins that are rarely tossed from Harvey's pirate chest? It is because thinking is a hobbled crippled, seeking healing by spit and mud, placed on the eyes to see, the sun word to see behind the WORD.

surround-sound braggars that traffick Solomon's seen and unseen temples.

= Seen and Unseen temples. Walled and Wall less wisdom. Walled by Closed System Religious YISRAEL, their own little hung a land, attracting to their island, the protection of all those in the Imperial West who fear the Truth of Steiner and the Michael School, that bears the Christ Spirit. The Imperial West, guards and supports this isle of destruction, thumped down like a meteror spat out of Europe's rejection of a Great Initiate. What is a closed system? It is dense soup of dogmatic concrete shoes that the Sopranos drop in the east river of the Etheric.

the open myth which informs and inbreathes throughout the Michael School which muses and underwrites numerous contemporary impulses for spiritual striving.

Underwrites, what undewrites? Biodynamics? Cancer Clinics? Waldorf Schools Worldwide? Stray cats and dogs attracted to the neon of some faulty electronic community? What Drama and mythology which I have studied at the Big House? What Architecture, stunning, original organic? What, actual Science of Man and Christ as a fact of Nature, as our I AM's proven, given, held open? What, Water Color conceptions of the Risen One that instantly purifiy Imagination, better even than, Colmar's Grunewald and St. Antonio's fire? (Oh you should study the transformation of the astral body and we should share the meaning of all this someday) But, I stutter.

Oh Harvey, why, why did you swallow Shakespeare, so that you could belch him up in this needed time of trial, this 21st century mystery of dull ears?

"And so, Peter, we are back to the notion of the Double, or the Shadow, of which both Jung and Steiner spoke about as an essential foe, a personal "Rent-a-Satan", an "AntiChrist within" which we, if lucky and blessed with courage not to postpone such adventure in this lifetime, confront and transform in the quest for self-knowledge.

"The Christ, of course invited, and continues to be crucified for continuing to invite all of Dear-Ear'd Humanity to ascend to the station of turning the other cheek. And here is grounds to suggest that the Christ is on worldwide back-order, while Christianity, content with being Churchianity, her sails battened down, suffocated in rope purchased by campaign contributions, busy at the pulpit studying and promulgating the life of Mr. Hyde, Mein Kampf, Machiavelli, indulgences, and more recently enjoying a no-ceiling credit limit of get-out-of-jail-free cards freshly minted for American CEO's seems curiously unable to catch wind of His intention. And all this speaks well of the virtues of patience, reverence and devotion sired by a modesty, a modesty dwarfed by the boast and joust of surround-sound braggars that traffick Solomon's seen and unseen temples.

<snip>

"Failing intuited self-evidencing of malice on the level of intention, it is utterly impossible make any case for the existence of manifested prejudice upon which charges of racism can be leveled.

<snip>

"... the open myth which informs and inbreathes throughout the Michael School which muses and underwrites numerous contemporary impulses for spiritual striving.

<snip>

"And so however adept and accomplished and formidable your gleaming, bladed powers of reasoning, Peter, you must nonetheless come to know that this supposition that deduction is a trustworthy master-key to penetrate the realm of the moral is one of the scale-pocked, ominous, unavoidable, fire-breathing, prejudice-dismembering dragons which lies on up ahead on your road to enlightenment! One which, happily, just as for the rest of us, Michael cannot slay for you........."

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 7:56 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Harvey, you wrote:

For you and the hosts of many other individuals and group-identities seeking to compress, to materialize, to garbage-compact Steiner's world views in such an efficient, dictionary-perfect cosmetic literal grammar, and within the claustrophobia of such a microscope slide, implicitly accuse this discipline, of evading obligations to what the mind can deduce from sayings and lectures, would be to accuse an iceberg of intentionally lying to the binoculars, of maliciously hiding 9/10th of its size under the surface of the sea.

I'm afraid that metaphor doesn't do much for me. I don't say that anthroposophy hides 90% of itself. I say that lots of anthroposophists aren't paying attention to the less savory aspects of the theories they espouse.

For while it is easy to regard Anthroposophy because of its stupendous and elaborate vocabulary as being but a well-inventoried knowledge system, it is rather a scaffolding for enabling individuals to explore contradictions and mysteries and source wisdom which reconnects striving to meaning.

That's completely beside the point. There are many such scaffoldings available. Some of them include racist components. Some of them don't. I think yours does, and that a few of you might want to do something about it one of these days.

Now the entire basis of your polemic "against" Steiner, is that such factors of intent are not admissible, can never be "state's evidence", in Reason's Court of Law, which would, by thus EXCLUDING the phenomenological fathoming of intent

I'm not sure I'm following you, but this sounds like another version of the anthroposophy can't be racist because it's deep and spiritual line. Why would that make the slightest difference?

And so you are judging the iceberg by its visible, 'above sea' parameters, naive to the obvious truth that without regarding the projection of malice and arrogance associated with the differentiation of a persons assertion of station, worth and entitlements which make prejudice, prejudice the underlying factor behind all racism the real moral offense

I disagree that this adequately describes "all racism". I think you have a peculiarly narrow understanding of racist thought. It's a considerably more complex and varied category than you think it is.

Failing intuited self-evidencing of malice on the level of intention, it is utterly impossible make any case for the existence of manifested prejudice upon which charges of racism can be leveled.

I think that is a useless conception of racism. It won't help anyone make sense of the phenomenon. The focus on self-evident intentions is foolish; you'll never recognize racism, in anthroposophy or elsewhere, if you stick to this standard.

Peter

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 8:04 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

So you'll never "know" what Steiner meant.

That's correct, in the sense of "know" and "meant" that you invoked. Instead, we know what Steiner wrote and said. (Well, at least some of us know what Steiner wrote and said, while others pretend that Steiner didn't really write what he wrote and didn't really say what he said...) That is what we can productively discuss: his ideas, his doctrines, his teachings. Not his imagined intentions.

Peter

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From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Thu Apr 8, 2004 4:01 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

At 13:32 08.04.2004, Diana wrote:

In some sense, you choose which race you incarnate into (your karma; certain choices, such as dogmatism, too-close identification with race/tribe etc.). I suppose if it's the individual's own fault if they end up in a "lower" race, it therefore can't be racist to point out negative traits about a person's race (such as that it is "declining"; after all, members of this race have only themselves to blame for its decline!). This is similar to thread going on at SJU currently about children choosing their parents.

You may have missed my recent post, "More about nationalism and racism" - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy_tomorrow/message/4296 - where I quoted a passage from a November 1921 Oslo lecture, "The Soul Life of Man" ( GA 209) As a reminder, I'll repeat the first part of this quote, because I believe it answers your quest:

In a man who has brought through death no idealistic thoughts or feelings, no human love or true piety, something of the soul-and-spirit has perished as a result of the antipathy and chilling reception meted out by the higher world. A man who now again approaches the realm of the Archangels in the right way has received into him the power to work effectively in his subsequent life on Earth, to make proper use of his body; a man who has not brought such experiences with him will be imbued by the Angels with a longing for earthly life which remains more unconscious. A very great deal depends upon this. Upon it depends to what people, to what language - mother-tongue - the man descends in his forthcoming earthly existence. This urge towards a particular people, a particular mother-tongue may have been implanted in him deeply and inwardly or more superficially. So that on his descent a man is either permeated with deep and inward love for what will become his mother-tongue, or he enters more automatically into what he will have to express later on through his organs of speech.

When a soul feels the urge to incarnate in a certain people/nation/race based upon love, i.e. true individual freedom, the result is that he or she will experience a love that begins at home and extends to all of humanity and to all living creatures. Other souls incapable of this kind of love and individual choice will be placed into a people/nation/race automatically through karmic law. Such souls who are automatically placed into a people/nation/race can easily become fanatics, racists, nationalists, chauvinists according to Rudolf Steiner.

It is obvious that the leading Nazis came from the worst and most degenerate of such ranks. They had been automatically put into the German people.

This whole lecture can be read online at

http://wn.elib.com/Steiner/Lectures/GA/GA0209/19211127p01.html

Tarjei
http://uncletaz.com/

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From: raymon_ford
Date: Sat Apr 10, 2004 4:47 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Daniel,

You said on Apr 07

…the defining characteristic - the identifier - that places individuals into one race or the other is their behavior! Those who DO good, become good. Those who DO evil, become evil. In Steiner's view, at this future point many thousands of years in the future, behavior will actually determine racial affiliation…

R:

I don't see what the value is in defining a `race' here. As you say, it is postulated that there will be people who will have one or the other characteristic. Perhaps so. But what, of value to the doctrine, is added by saying - as you do - that such people thereby belong to one or another `race'?

See ya, Raymon

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From: at
Date: Sat Apr 10, 2004 5:07 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Actually, that is my point (though a admittedly not very well made). The word "race" is misleading to describe the concept of two groups of people whose forms are determined by their behavior. The only reason we are discussing it at all is that Steiner, following the custom of the time, designated the two groups "races". Back then it was common to describe groups of people as "races" even in cases where race as we understand it does not apply. Paulina sent in a copy of an article in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica that used the word "race" to describe a specific African tribe. Peter Staudenmaier sees the word "race" and goes rabid about "racism". There is no racism because there is no race as we understand the term.

Daniel Hindes

----- Original Message -----
From: raymon_ford
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004, 7:47 AM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Daniel,

You said on Apr 07

…the defining characteristic - the identifier - that places individuals into one race or the other is their behavior! Those who DO good, become good. Those who DO evil, become evil. In Steiner's view, at this future point many thousands of years in the future, behavior will actually determine racial affiliation…

R:

I don't see what the value is in defining a `race' here. As you say, it is postulated that there will be people who will have one or the other characteristic. Perhaps so. But what, of value to the doctrine, is added by saying - as you do - that such people thereby belong to one or another `race'?

See ya, Raymon

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From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:29 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote to Raymon:

Actually, that is my point (though a admittedly not very well made). The word "race" is misleading to describe the concept of two groups of people whose forms are determined by their behavior.

Yes, it is misleading to use racial terminology in this way. It's also racist. Recognizing this is neither difficult nor rabid. It simply requires you to apply the concept of racism to Steiner's published works on race.

The only reason we are discussing it at all is that Steiner, following the custom of the time, designated the two groups "races".

Aside from the fact that anthroposophists like Bradford continue to do exactly that right here and now, it is not the case that people in Steiner's time customarily talked of a future race of good and race of evil. This particular variant of racist ideology was largely confined to occult groups.

Back then it was common to describe groups of people as "races" even in cases where race as we understand it does not apply.

That is irrelevant. Himmler described groups of people as "races" even in cases where race as we understand it does not apply. That hardly means that Himmler was not a racist.

Paulina sent in a copy of an article in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica that used the word "race" to describe a specific African tribe.

That was Deborah. But yes, using the word "race" to designate ethnic groups was common among both racists and non-racists in the first quarter of the twentieth century, and it remains fairly common today. Steiner himself did so in one of his major statements of racial doctrine, his 1905 lecture on "Basic Concepts of Theosophy: Human Races". In that lecture Steiner explicitly addresses this very point; highlighting the word "race", he says: "Whether the word is used properly or improperly is an open question." (Steiner, Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie, p. 150). He goes on to use the word copiously and without compunctions throughout the lecture, and once again equates "race" with "culture". Had he wanted to distinguish his own usage from racist usages, he plainly failed.

There is no racism because there is no race as we understand the term.

That is once again irrelevant. Steiner used the term to designate physically distinct groups, when referring to the past, the present, and the future. On several occasions he made quite clear that his racial categories were both biological and spiritual. This is how very many racists historically have used the term. Non-racists today recognize that racial categories are not at all spiritual and not really biological either. This obviously does not mean that racist usages of racial terminology retroactively become non-racist. I invite you to explain your logic on this point, Daniel.

Peter

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From: raymon_ford
Date: Sat Apr 10, 2004 9:48 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Daniel,

Thanks for your reply. You say

…The word "race" is misleading …

<snip>

Back then it was common to describe groups of people as "races" even in cases where race as we understand it does not apply ….

R:

This being so, Steiner's usage of the word `race' is not only misleading under a current reading of the texts, but also potentially harmful, albeit of course unintentionally.

I note that what you say is consistent with eg Steiner's `…The concept of race in a proper sense was only useful during old Atlantis…' (December 1909 GA 117). Key to your argument here must be the words `in a proper sense'. Your proposition amounts to saying that his use of the word `race' was not in the `proper sense' when putting forth his doctrine as regards post-Atlantean times. Either that or, as Peter and others say, he was contradicting himself - there is certainly a powerful argument in support of the latter.

When reading a given text it is certainly not clear what he meant. We can put this aside for now. Consider it from a practical point of view: there will of course be those who, when reading texts such as highlighted by Peter, naturally take the word in its current sense. And who then – in the firm belief that they are in possession of an ultimate `truth' - act accordingly. This can be dangerous - for example, consider a Waldorf teacher who in the case of a non-white pupil makes a judgment based on the `proper sense' interpretation of the doctrine. Concerning someone in their care and guidance, perhaps along the lines that the individual involved must have a `backward soul', and so forth. In short, a racist judgment.

If (as I take your post to say) the `proper sense' is not what was meant, then harm must inevitably result. What is to be done to prevent this sort of thing from happening?

See ya, Raymon

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

From: at
Date: Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:26 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Peter,

Your whole argument boils down to: Where there is the word race, there is racism. On one level this allegation can be supported. If "racism" is the presense of the word "race" then under such a definition it would of course apply here too.

If we examine the concept for discrimination, we find none.

In a number of places you have said that we cannot understand Steiner, we can only play with his words. Fine, play with his words. Have fun. Just don't expect me to agree with the outcome when it contradicts his concepts.

Daniel Hindes

----- Original Message -----
From: Peter Staudenmaier
Sent: Saturday, April 10, 2004 12:29 PM
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote to Raymon:

Actually, that is my point (though a admittedly not very well made). The word "race" is misleading to describe the concept of two groups of people whose forms are determined by their behavior.

Yes, it is misleading to use racial terminology in this way. It's also racist. Recognizing this is neither difficult nor rabid. It simply requires you to apply the concept of racism to Steiner's published works on race.

The only reason we are discussing it at all is that Steiner, following the custom of the time, designated the two groups "races".

Aside from the fact that anthroposophists like Bradford continue to do exactly that right here and now, it is not the case that people in Steiner's time customarily talked of a future race of good and race of evil. This particular variant of racist ideology was largely confined to occult groups.

Back then it was common to describe groups of people as "races" even in cases where race as we understand it does not apply.

That is irrelevant. Himmler described groups of people as "races" even in cases where race as we understand it does not apply. That hardly means that Himmler was not a racist.

Paulina sent in a copy of an article in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica that used the word "race" to describe a specific African tribe.

That was Deborah. But yes, using the word "race" to designate ethnic groups was common among both racists and non-racists in the first quarter of the twentieth century, and it remains fairly common today. Steiner himself did so in one of his major statements of racial doctrine, his 1905 lecture on "Basic Concepts of Theosophy: Human Races". In that lecture Steiner explicitly addresses this very point; highlighting the word "race", he says: "Whether the word is used properly or improperly is an open question." (Steiner, Die Welträtsel und die Anthroposophie, p. 150). He goes on to use the word copiously and without compunctions throughout the lecture, and once again equates "race" with "culture". Had he wanted to distinguish his own usage from racist usages, he plainly failed.

There is no racism because there is no race as we understand the term.

That is once again irrelevant. Steiner used the term to designate physically distinct groups, when referring to the past, the present, and the future. On several occasions he made quite clear that his racial categories were both biological and spiritual. This is how very many racists historically have used the term. Non-racists today recognize that racial categories are not at all spiritual and not really biological either. This obviously does not mean that racist usages of racial terminology retroactively become non-racist. I invite you to explain your logic on this point, Daniel.

Peter

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

From: at
Date: Sat Apr 10, 2004 10:41 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymond:

This being so, Steiner's usage of the word `race' is not only misleading under a current reading of the texts, but also potentially harmful, albeit of course unintentionally.

Daniel:

Absolutely. It is potentially misleading and potentially very harmful to misunderstand Steiner - intentionally or unintentionally - by fixating on his words to the exclusion of his meaning. It is important to understand what Steiner intended, and not limit yourself to what you can or want to make of his words based on your own prejudices and predilections. This is equally true whether you are Peter Staudenmaier or a racist from New Zealand (I say this in reference to a pamphlet we discussed last month). I will be the first to admit that given the changes in the meaning and usage of the word "race" in the last century there is a grave danger in this area in particular, a danger that applies whether you are a critic or a Waldorf teacher.

Raymond:

When reading a given text it is certainly not clear what he meant. We can put this aside for now. Consider it from a practical point of view: there will of course be those who, when reading texts such as highlighted by Peter, naturally take the word in its current sense. And who then – in the firm belief that they are in possession of an ultimate `truth' - act accordingly. This can be dangerous - for example, consider a Waldorf teacher who in the case of a non-white pupil makes a judgment based on the `proper sense' interpretation of the doctrine. Concerning someone in their care and guidance, perhaps along the lines that the individual involved must have a `backward soul', and so forth. In short, a racist judgment.

If (as I take your post to say) the `proper sense' is not what was meant, then harm must inevitably result. What is to be done to prevent this sort of thing from happening?

Daniel:

What is to be done? Well, personally I do not support going back through Steiner's texts and changing offending words to avoid possible confusion. Somehow this offends my sensibilities as a historian. I prefer my primary texts as close to the original as possible. However, disclaimers in the text and articles on the subject are certainly a good idea. Pointing out how the usage of the word "race" has changed over the past century and the possible misunderstanding resulting from reading a historical text with modern sensibilities would be quite good.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sun Apr 11, 2004 9:17 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

Your whole argument boils down to: Where there is the word race, there is racism.

That's silly. Many people use the word "race" in non-racist ways every single day. Many people talk about race at length without making racist claims. Nothing about the mere word "race" is racist in itself. Wouldn't it make more sense for you to simply present an argument that the notion of higher and lower races, backward and advanced races, is not racist? If you cannot present such an argument, why do you continue to insist that Rudolf Steiner's reliance on these concepts was not racist? Curious,

Peter

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

From: at
Date: Wed Apr 21, 2004 7:18 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Daniel, you wrote:

Peter, I take it that you limit yourself to trying to make sense of it, rather than, say, to try to figure out what Steiner meant, because you find such "objectivity" to be unattainable in theory. Is that correct?

Peter Staudenamaier:

No. I focus on making sense of it, instead of speculating about intentions, because intention and ideology are different things.

Daniel:

Peter, you seem epistimologically quite naive. In trying to make sense of an author, what is the process? I suspect that you have never examined the question in any depth, because you advocate a postion that I am sure you will also reject, namely that you can simply "know" what an author meant from reading his texts, and will never be wrong. Your various positions on this are logically inconsistent.

Daniel wrote:

Examples please.

Peter Staudenamaier:

Rittelmeyer, for starters. Or maybe you don't think he was a nationalist? And perhaps you find his writings on Jews commendable?

Daniel:

I don't recall any nationalism jumping out at me in reading Rittelmeyer. It's been a while. Perhaps you could refresh my memory with some citations? Nor do I recall reading any statements of his on Jews. I'm sure you have these quotes handy too (and I trust they will be Rittlemeyer's own words, and not some summary by an audience member).

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Thu Apr 22, 2004 2:59 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Peter Staudenmaier wrote:

The questions about Rosenberg and Rittelmeyer, on the other hand, are interesting and relevant, though I must say it does get tiresome after a while to do all your reading for you. But I'm not bluffing on those questions, I simply haven't gotten around to digging up references for you.

Daniel:

If it is tiresome for you to be asked to back up your bald-faced assertions, then you might consider refraining from claims you can't substantiate. You don't have to do my reading for me; as I have said, I have read Rittelmeyer, and did not find the claims you make. You might consider ceasing to make up accusations you can't substantiate. I find it tiresome that you continually imply that I don't know what you know, when I've read the same books and merely question your conclusions about them. If you are going to argue a point, then be prepared, and don't whine about being forced to do so much work.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Perhaps I could remind you that insufficiently thorough citations are not the same thing as implication.

Daniel:

Indeed. The fact you make claims you can't substantiate (something different from merely "insufficiently thorough citations" - what a euphamism!) is entirely independent of your technique of propaganda by implication.

Daniel Hindes

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

From: at
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 5:43 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Steiner on racial evolution

Daniel wrote:

I have read Rittelmeyer, and did not find the claims you make.

Peter Staudenmaier:

Aye, there's the rub. You've also read Steiner, and did not find the claims I make. For a nice cross-section of Rittelmeyer's views on Jews, I recommend Friedrich Rittelmeyer, Rudolf Steiner als Führer zu neuem Christentum (Stuttgart 1933), pp. 83-89; and Rittelmeyer, "Judentum und Christentum", Die Christengemeinschaft, January 1934, pp. 291-298.

Daniel:

Peter, you realize that your citation above looks like it came straight out of a card catalogue. Did you actually read the pieces, or are you offering them after doing a quick lookup for "Rittelmeyer" and "Juden"?

You have said nothing about Rittelmeyer's position beyond that you consider it anti-Semitic. How does Rittelmeyer fare on each of your dozen different standards for determining anti-Semitism? What, precicely, is anti-Semitic about his views?

Daniel Hindes

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Fri Apr 23, 2004 8:01 pm
Subject: still more questions, still more answers

Daniel writes:

Peter, you realize that your citation above looks like it came straight out of a card catalogue.

No, I can't say that had occurred to me.

[From "Reading and Running":]

Second, your snide attitude about implication is unwarranted.

It is? Why? What attitude would you prefer I take?

[From "more questions, more anwers":]

Sometimes it is explicit, sometimes merely implicit. Either way it is rather arrogant.

You think it's arrogant when I point out that I know more about Nazism and the history of antisemitism than you do? Why?

[From "Mind Gambling for Beginners":]

If I misunderstood the exchange, why did you only mention this now?

Uh-oh. Do you mean that question seriously? A strikingly large proportion of what you post to this list consists primarily of your misunderstandings of what other people write, in my estimation. I routinely ignore these instances, for the sake of salvaging whatever little substance still might be had from these exchanges.

You have ignored them all.

Yes, and I plan to continue doing so.

You seem to have a real problem with projection.

Yes, and with transference and displacement. People who think they do not have a problem with these phenomena make very, very interesting interlocutors.

Yours for self-analysis,

Peter

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Sat Apr 24, 2004 4:51 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Peter,

Work pressure has held me up from discussion with you recently. I may resume on the WC list perhaps. Some time ago I was about to join and discuss some of your quotations when – and I had my post half prepared – you posted the very quote on this list!

You said recently that your PhD may take some years. Why is that – you seem to have it all mapped out already.

On Apr 03 you said

replacing Steiner's race talk with straightforward claims about cultural trends (not peoples), unconnected to any doctrine of progressive racial evolution, would go a long way toward achieving a non-racist formulation of anthroposophical doctrine.

And on Apr 04 you said

If anthroposophists want to re-work these doctrines to render them non-racist, I think they'll have to confront the race stuff directly.

You have been applying well-thought and acute pressure towards this. Suppose it was to happen, what would be the benefits?

See ya, Raymon

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sat Apr 24, 2004 1:42 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Raymon,

thanks for your post. I think you'd add a lot to the WC list, so I encourage you to join in there if you're interested, but I won't be on that list much longer either. Packing up my life will take some time, and then I teach all summer before the PhD program starts. But I appreciate the perspective you've brought to these discussions and I hope you'll continue to share it. You wrote:

You said recently that your PhD may take some years. Why is that – you seem to have it all mapped out already.

When I finally caved in and decided to take the academic route, I decided to do it thoroughly, despite my ongoing intense ambivalence. So I'm committed to a standard five year program, though from my discussions with the faculty I get the sense that I might be able to finish up earlier, which might be wise since I'm already a lot older than a typical grad student.

On Apr 03 you said

replacing Steiner's race talk with straightforward claims about cultural trends (not peoples), unconnected to any doctrine of progressive racial evolution, would go a long way toward achieving a non-racist formulation of anthroposophical doctrine.

And on Apr 04 you said

If anthroposophists want to re-work these doctrines to render them non-racist, I think they'll have to confront the race stuff directly.

Yes, I think that's a realistic assessment of the situation. It isn't really my business, since I'm not an anthroposophist, but there are anthroposophists who sense that something is wrong with aspects of Steiner's racial and ethnic theories, and who want to change that.

You have been applying well-thought and acute pressure towards this.

You mean towards changing anthroposophical doctrines? That isn't really what I've been working toward. I mostly write for non-anthroposophists. When I discuss the issue with anthroposophists, however, I think they have a legitimate reason for wanting to know just what I think the necessary changes to the doctrine might involve, and that's why I've said my piece on the matter. But it seems to me that these choices are up to anthroposophsists, not up to me.

Suppose it was to happen, what would be the benefits?

I suppose the benefits to anthroposophy would be a more palatable and sensible set of teachings, as well as a partial move away from the esoteric and toward the exoteric. The benefits for the rest of us might include an easier working relationship with anthroposophist friends and associates, as well as a small step toward more reasonable views on racial and ethnic questions within the broader 'alternative' cultural scene. What do you think?

Thanks for your contributions here,

Peter

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 9:01 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Peter,

You say

…It isn't really my business, since I'm not an anthroposophist, but there are anthroposophists who sense that something is wrong with aspects of Steiner's racial and ethnic theories, and who want to change that…

R:

Yes there are. While it's not your `business', your detachment from the doctrine – you view it from `outside the box' as it were – does allow you an objectivity which can be difficult for those more deeply involved to achieve. Your articulation of these issues presents an opportunity to re-conceptualize portions of the doctrine.

I recall reading of an instance, during the so-called `Goesch affair', when Steiner was reprimanding members for their attitude. (This particular activity of Steiner's – aside from cases regarding doctrinal error – seems to have meanwhile been taken up by those of the WC.) Someone stood up and said words to the effect of `Please do not be angry with us, Dr Steiner, we revere you so'. To which he replied `I do not want to be revered, I want to be understood'.

Reverence has its place in the religious and artistic spheres of anthroposophy, but these are not your domain. In the scientific realm within which you operate, and which can certainly be considered as applicable to spiritual `science', critique has since Steiner's time become an undisputed cornerstone of the method. In a free speech environment this facilitates excellence. Critique that is, of ideas - not the personalities involved, as you have been careful to state. These latter can perhaps best be regarded, in the interests of furthering discussion, as respectable messengers of the various concepts and ideas. Reverence, where ideas are in question, is out of place and can distract from understanding – such is how I understand Steiner's comment above. How do you appreciate the part this reverence – an admirable quality where relevant - plays in the minds of some of your list-mates here?

P:

I suppose the benefits to anthroposophy would be a more palatable and sensible set of teachings, as well as a partial move away from the esoteric and toward the exoteric. The benefits for the rest of us might include an easier working relationship with anthroposophist friends and associates, as well as a small step toward more reasonable views on racial and ethnic questions within the broader 'alternative' cultural scene.

R:

These are all positive thoughts. An easier working relationship with outsiders would enable anthroposophists to make a greater contribution to today's society. Re-conceptualized teachings, including satisfactorily clarified views as to racial and ethnic questions, would favor this. While you and the WC may not state these as your `aims', they seem to me implicit in your actions, beneath all the strife, and are desirable effects of your endeavours.

On a related note, the teachings have been largely ignored by academia, though there is a fair private sympathy in some areas. I understand there may be issues with Steiner's plagiarism (occasional or total, depending on who you listen to) and lack of cited references. And a sensitivity with regard to some issues which often precludes sober discussion with adherents. But what would it take for some of Steiner's ideas to gain influence in the academic mainstream?

See ya, Raymon

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 9:45 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

At 18:01 25.04.2004, Raymond wrote to PS:

In the scientific realm within which you operate,

If PS operates in the scientific realm, this ought to be documented somehow.

Tarjei

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 10:20 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymond:

R:

Yes there are. While it's not your `business', your detachment from the doctrine – you view it from `outside the box' as it were – does allow you an objectivity which can be difficult for those more deeply involved to achieve. Your articulation of these issues presents an opportunity to re-conceptualize portions of the doctrine.

Raymond, are you an Anthroposophist beings you speak of outside the box? And if so or not what aspects of Dr. Steiners work do you feel drawn too if I might ask?

Outside the box gives too much credit to one who has done nothing but misunderstand and mistranslate not to mention paraphrase with his own personal vocabulary understandings, that go against the norm, Dr. Steiners teachings.

And your point of objectivity seems a bit naive. We are speaking of a man who disdains all that Dr. Steiner speaks of regarding the spiritual worlds. Which is not a problem unless you wish to find a way to be objective in your writings and have come up against thousands of others who disagree entirely with your personal conclusions. We can keep saying 'oh it is because you study Steiner that you can not see straight but that is actually the oposite of what the problem is with Staudenmaiers arguments because Dr. Steiners teachings are about freedom from within and this requires one does ones own thinking versus using the teachers as the end all be all. If one has not found the works for himself he can only repeat but if one has found the works for himself one can then begin to understand what stands between objective and subjective thinking.

Staudenmaier is actually not outside the box in objectivity and his subjective understandings show his bias towards anything that speaks of a world he refuses to consider: spiritual (and no we are not speaking of 'sensual spiritual in the way the mind is seduced by Luci, rather we are speaking of a true spiritual reality that Staudenmaier does not and will not contemplate when considering from what point of departure Dr. Steiner was speaking from.

Staudenmaier stands inside the box cemented by his atheistic leanings and that is his choice. So, outside the box, with no understanding is irrelevant to any serious scholarhip or history wannabe with true credentials.

Dottie

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 10:25 am
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymond:

In the scientific realm within which you operate,

Hmm, so now Staudenmaier operates in the scientific realm? Wow. This is getting curiouser and curiouser says the cat. Meowww.......

Scientific? What are you possibly speaking of here Raymond? And wouldn't that require him to be objective? And we are not speaking of being objective from ignorance rather objective for one has been able to discern what is being spoken of by the teacher. Staudenmaier has shown himself to have a serious defect in discerning material that does not fit his world view. His polemical way of writing and reporting is a shod and not only on this subject but others as well. He works from a propagandist point of departure and come hell or highwater he will not depart from it. And this has been seen in other websites where he participates as well.

Scientific? This is pretty astounding.

Dottie

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

From: Peter Staudenmaier
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 11:49 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Hi Raymon, thanks for your post. You wrote:

While it's not your `business', your detachment from the doctrine – you view it from `outside the box' as it were – does allow you an objectivity which can be difficult for those more deeply involved to achieve.

I don't think this is objectivity. I think that what my outside status allows is a more forthrightly critical perspective, not an objective one.

Your articulation of these issues presents an opportunity to re-conceptualize portions of the doctrine.

I hope that's true.

Someone stood up and said words to the effect of `Please do not be angry with us, Dr Steiner, we revere you so'. To which he replied `I do not want to be revered, I want to be understood'.

Yes, I like that aspect of Steiner.

In the scientific realm within which you operate, and which can certainly be considered as applicable to spiritual `science', critique has since Steiner's time become an undisputed cornerstone of the method.

I don't consider history a "science", because I think that term carries too many associations with the natural sciences, whose methodologies are often significantly different from those used in historical scholarship.

How do you appreciate the part this reverence – an admirable quality where relevant - plays in the minds of some of your list-mates here?

You mean their reverence toward Steiner and anthroposophy? I'm not sure. I think there is a range of such attitudes represented on this list.

But what would it take for some of Steiner's ideas to gain influence in the academic mainstream?

Well, I'm not sure that's the route you really want to take (I am not a big fan of large swaths of the academic mainstream myself), but I'd say the foremost prerequisite here would be continuing anthroposophy's development from esoteric to exoteric. I get the sense that there are lots of anthroposophists who oppose this, however. But that's for y'all to work out. Good luck with it!

Peter

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

From: VALENTINA BRUNETTI
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 12:30 pm
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

----- Original Message -----
From: dottie zold
Sent: Sunday, April 25, 2004 7:25 PM
Subject: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymond:

In the scientific realm within which you operate,

Hmm, so now Staudenmaier operates in the scientific realm?

Good!! If PS works in the "scientific realm" I can propose myself as the next Pope!!!

A.

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 1:40 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Dottie,

You say

…Scientific? What are you possibly speaking of here Raymond?

R:

I am using `scientific' to distinguish from practice in the religious and artistic domains, not just in the narrow sense of say nuclear physics. Presenting one's argument in a rational manner, with respect to commonly perceived evidence, backed up by references, is indeed how scientists operate, regardless of the field involved. Standards hold that disagreement is dealt with by debating the ideas, not the personalities, and speculation as to personal motives is kept out of the argument. Being objective here does not mean being `right'. The method successfully avoids private emotional attachments and prejudices playing undue part in accepted theory for any length of time, and it is in this sense that it can lay claim to objectivity. Whether and how it leads to `truth' is another matter…

As for being in a `box', we are all in our respective `boxes'; sometimes those in another can see valid aspects of ours that we are blind to. For that reason, we need their view of ours, whatever our perception of theirs, or of their motives. Peter has learned from your view of his I am sure; that is partly what he came here for.

The considerable religious and artistic aspects of the doctrine are not what I am addressing, nor is Peter from what I can see. But I believe that portions of the doctrine can benefit from debate in the academic style - they will become stronger and healthier as a result.

See ya, Raymon

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 2:54 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymond:

R:

I am using `scientific' to distinguish from practice in the religious and artistic domains, not just in the narrow sense of say nuclear physics.

You don't say.

Raymond:

Presenting one's argument in a rational manner, with respect to commonly perceived evidence, backed up by references, is indeed how scientists operate, regardless of the field involved.

Raymond, you must be kidding me. Seriously. Rational is what you call Staudenmaiers work. Do you have not basis on which to look at whether this man knows of what he speaks or does his rationality fool you? We can all be rational but that has no bearance on the truth.

Raymond:

Standards hold that disagreement is dealt with by debating the ideas, not the personalities, and speculation as to personal motives is kept out of the argument.

Staudenmaier nor you are debating ideas. Diana debates ideas but not you or Peter in this moment. You are calling Staudenmaiers work scientific without anything to back it up in regards to the work of Dr. Steiner. And, no, speaking the language does not give you credit: you must actually think beyond the word Raymond, you must try to discern what a man is saying not just repeat dead letter words with your own personal interpretation.

Raymond:

Peter has learned from your view of his I am sure; that is partly what he came here for.

Raymond, have you even been following the posts here? Staudenmaier came for no such thing as is evident by his polemic style of discoursing. Detlef Hardorp and Daniel have shown his interpretations to be completely off center not to mention almost non existant where he says they are.

Raymond:

But I believe that portions of the doctrine can benefit from debate in the academic style - they will become stronger and healthier as a result.

What doctrine Raymond? What doctrine are you speaking of? And again I ask if you include yourself, as one 'inside' the box as you say, of Anthroposophy? Are you an Anthroposophist just to be clear about the inside the box issue? Thanks.

Dottie

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:26 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Dottie,

You say

…What doctrine Raymond?...

R:

The set of principles presented by Steiner for acceptance. Scientific doctrine is based upon observation and experiment and is subject to revision. Cannot the same be true for Steiner's?

You say

…Are you an Anthroposophist…

R:

I am not interested in labels, but I have been a paid-up member for 30 years. I give substantial financial support to local Anthroposophists who respect me and my views (I had considered doing so for another on this list, but regrettably he talked himself out of it). But what has this sort of thing to do with the debate at hand?

See ya, Raymon

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 4:44 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

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

Gidday Dottie,

You say

…What doctrine Raymond?...

R:

The set of principles presented by Steiner for acceptance.

What do you mean acceptance? Dr. Steiner asked no one to accept what he said. He had no doctrine that I am aware of or have ever seen. Are you speaking of his whole entire works Raymond?

What principles did Dr. Steiner present? I am completely lost by this statement. I have never seen any principles stated by Dr. Steiner for acceptance. What are you possibly speaking of?

Raymond:

R:

I am not interested in labels, but I have been a paid-up member for 30 years. I give substantial financial support to local Anthroposophists who respect me and my views

What are your views Raymond? And where do they connect with Anthroposophy? And if you have been a paid up member for 30 years what doctrine are you following beings you say there is a doctrine?

Raymond:

But what has this sort of thing to do with the debate at hand?

Wanted to know where you were coming from with your comments that seem to point that you think Staudenmaier correct that Dr. Steiner was a racist? Do you consider that to be true? I have other questions but I guess I would like to have these questions answered regarding the doctrine before I go on further.

Thanks, Dottie

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

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:41 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymon wrote:

I give substantial financial support to local Anthroposophists who respect me and my views

Mike:

Hey Raymon...I respect you and your views :) :) :)

R:

(I had considered doing so for another on this list, but regrettably he talked himself out of it).

M:

Reminds me of a bumper sticker that I saw recently that read:

"Don't tell the truth, you might lose your funding."

Mike

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 10:00 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Mike:

Hey Raymon...I respect you and your views :) :) :)

It is nice of you to say so.

Thanks, Raymon

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

From: Tarjei Straume
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 10:15 pm
Subject: honesty (was: Steiner on racial evolution)

At 01:26 26.04.2004, Raymon wrote:

R:

I am not interested in labels, but I have been a paid-up member for 30 years. I give substantial financial support to local Anthroposophists who respect me and my views (I had considered doing so for another on this list, but regrettably he talked himself out of it).

Speaking strictly for myself, I sleep much better after having spoken my mind frankly and honestly than I do after having dished out flattery for financial gain.

Tarjei

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Message 4850 of 5880 | Previous | Next [ Up Thread ] Message Index
Msg #
From: "VALENTINA BRUNETTI" <okcgbr@tin.it>
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 10:19 pm
Subject: R: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

 

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

 

 

that portions

 

WOW People

here we have another guy who believes that Anthroposophy can be divided in "portions" !! Antroposophy is not a cake or a chicken. I can stand a gut like PS who knows basically nothing of Anthrop, but if there is a guy who presents himself like a "30 years trained" one, and claims things like this , well, I'm really astonished.

"Horatius, where are you ??"

Andrea

of the doctrine can benefit from debate in the academic style - they will become stronger and healthier as a result.

See ya, Raymon

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

From: Mike Helsher
Date: Sun Apr 25, 2004 11:06 pm
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Mike:

Hey Raymon...I respect you and your views :) :) :)

It is nice of you to say so.

Thanks, Raymon

Hey Raymon,

I all honesty, I was jokingly sucking up because you said that you contribute $ to those who "respect you and your views."

I do respect you.

I really don't know enough about your views yet though.

Mike

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:02 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] honesty (was: Steiner on racial evolution)

--- Tarjei Straume wrote:

At 01:26 26.04.2004, Raymon wrote:

R:

I am not interested in labels, but I have been a paid-up member for 30 years. I give substantial financial support to local Anthroposophists who respect me and my views (I had considered doing so for another on this list, but regrettably he talked himself out of it).

Tarjei:

Speaking strictly for myself, I sleep much better after having spoken my mind frankly and honestly than I do after having dished out flattery for financial gain.

I have to say this did not sit well with me at all either. Almost as if Raymond was saying 'well if you support me and my views on Dr. Steiner I will pay your way and if you do not you lose out. To hell with that kind of thinking. Either someone offers something or they do not and if it is not in joy or freedom don't do it.

Dottie

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:08 am
Subject: Re: [anthroposophy_tomorrow] Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Raymond:

It is nice of you to say so.

Oooh Raymond you got a little of the Peter Staudenmaier syndrom going on ey? Nice little cut and paste thingy.

Again, if you could enlighten me on some particular doctrine that you say Dr. Steiner asks to be followed I would be happy to check it out.

And what views do others have to suck up to in order to meet your approval?

Dottie

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:12 am
Subject: Doctrine

Hey Raymond, any more on that doctrine that you say Dr. Steiner asks us to accept?

Dottie

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

From: raymon_ford
Date: Mon Apr 26, 2004 4:38 pm
Subject: Re: Steiner on racial evolution

Gidday Mike,

I all honesty, I was jokingly sucking up because you said that you contribute $ to those who "respect you and your views."

Yes I realized that only after I sent my reply. Good jokes. Shows how easily the intent behind an email text can be misunderstood, even with the use of emoticons.

I really don't know enough about your views yet though.

Hmm, I probably think that about everyone I know. Now one of your views I liked was your 'Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. --Shakespeare', and where you mentioned '...the ability to discover good in any situation...'. Has anyone collated these sorts of quotes into a 'Shakespeare's Philosophy of Life' or similar?

Keep the humor coming.

Thanks again, Raymon

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

From: dottie zold
Date: Tue Apr 27, 2004 4:43 pm
Subject: Raymon

Raymond:

But what has this sort of thing to do with the debate at hand?

Dottie

Wanted to know where you were coming from with your comments that seem to point that you think Staudenmaier correct that Dr. Steiner was a racist? Do you consider that to be true? I have other questions but I guess I would like to have these questions answered regarding the doctrine before I go on further.

Raymon, can you answer the question above sometime soon? Do you think Dr. Steiner was a racist? Have you read Staudenmaiers Eco paper? And if so have you checked the references to realities of the Doctors work? And if so have you not noted the two or three word quote with a Staudenmaier interpretation of said quote as if the Doctor stated such himself?

And if you do consider Dr. Steiner a racist what the hell are you doing following such a man? Do you agree with any aspects that you consider racist in Dr. Steiners work? Do you find yourself outside the mainstream of Anthroposophy according to how others view his work? What is the most important aspect of the Doctors work you think serves the future of humanity? How do you feel about Sophia making her reappearance center stage?

Come on Sophia,
Dottie

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