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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”,...