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Back from a break…

Well, I’ve taken some time off of this blog for the summer, and that stretched to the autumn as well. But I’ve been buisy with various things. Among others, I finished my site Defending Steiner. I will present a few things from there over here in the next couple of weeks.

Anthroposophy and Propoganda

Rudolf Steiner had some interesting views on the relationship of Anthroposophy to the methods of propaganda. “Anthroposophy – for this very reason – cannot find its way through the world by ordinary agitation or propaganda, no matter how well meant. Agitation kills true Anthroposophy. Anthroposophy must come forward because the Spirit impels it to come forward. It must show forth its life because life...

Professional skeptics

The professional skeptic makes an interesting study. A little skepticism is generally a healthy thing in this day and age. For most self-identified skeptics, it is the mood of skepticism, which borders on the cynical, that they seem to identify most strongly with. It is out of a mood that their thinking operates. The problem is that their thinking is not consistent. If skepticism is taken to it’s logical extreme, it...

An exercise in observation

Below is something I wrote for a workshop. The assignment was to stand outside for 15 minutes and note everything that you percieved with your senses. The loudest sound I heard was a sound between a plop and a plunk that came from my shoulders. Some of these sounds were louder than others. It was rain hitting my jacket. The larger drops made an almost popping noise as they hit the wet canvas surface of my coat. In closer to...

Some more thoughts on how to define ‘Anthrop...

Another way of approaching the question would be to ask, “Who would Anthroposophists recognizes their own?” Those who qualify would be those who in general accept the greater portion of Rudolf Steiner’s teachings, or at least are among those who don’t actively reject significant portions of it. This disqualifies those who pick and choose and make their own philosophy of racial superiority out of bits...

Some thoughts on how to define ‘Anthroposoph...

The case of Rudolf Hess raises the question of what constitutes an Anthroposophist. The first point is to consider who is applying the term and what they hope to accomplish with this. In the case of polemical authors attempting to tarnish the Anthroposophical movement as a whole by the actions of a few individuals, an excessively broad definition will serve well. Such a broad definition might define as an Anthroposophist as...

Steiner’s Last Words?

In a discussion recently, someone wondered what Rudolf Steiner’s last words were. The discussion started when someone remembered that someone said that Steiner’s last words were on the relation of John the Baptist to Lazarus, or something to that effect, and that the attending doctors had this notarized. It seemed incorrect to me, so I did some checking. My Christoph Lindenberg biography of Steiner (1000 pages in...

Judging Authors

I was discussing recently with someone how to find truth. The question was how an “ordinary” person could judge whether Steiner was likely correct or incorrect in some of his more far-out descriptions of spiritual beings. It was suggested that we could start with the things we could easily verify, namely how Steiner treats other authors. Is he fair to other authors? That is, in agreeing or disagreeing with...

What is anti-Semitism?

Anti-Semitism has many forms. Some are blatant, others subtle. Defining an anti-Semitic statement is not always easy. Here are some preliminary thoughts on working towards a definition: A pro-assimilation stance is sometimes anti-Semitic, and sometimes not. Apparently it depends on: Who said it. When they said it (micro context as well as macro context – that is, the immediate context as well as the historical...

Anthroposophy vs Theosophy III

Yesterday’s quote was written while Steiner was still General Secretary of the German section of the Theosophical Society, and would continue to be for another 6 years. Pages 61-64 of the same book also contain a discussion of Blavatsky from a letter written in 1905. It appears that Steiner’s opinion of Theosophy was more or less unchanged from 1902 up to his death, and is hardly unflattering. Potentially...

Anthroposophy vs Theosophy II

The criticism by Steiner of Blavatsky that I posted yesterday is from 1923, that is, after Anthroposophy parted ways with Theosophy. But this type of criticism was hardly new for Steiner. Writing for Eduard Schure in 1907, Steiner said: “The Theosophical Society was first established in 1875 in New York by H.P. Blavatsky and H.S. Olcott, and had a decidedly Western nature. The publication “Isis Unveiled”,...

Anthroposophy vs Theosophy I

From a distance the similarities between Anthroposophy and Theosophy will be the first thing a researcher would notice. This is especially true because of the shared vocabulary. Approaching the question from another angle, I have noticed that Steiner repeatedly distanced himself from Theosophy. So the question naturally arises, was Steiner attempting to rewrite history after the Anthroposophical Society parted ways with the...