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Cultural Epochs

I have noticed of a number of critics of Anthroposophy on the Internet that (wonder of wonders) they have not actually understood that which they attack. For example, to an Anthroposophist, to say that “humanity” has evolved means that a group of individuals, collectively called “humanity” has incarnated in different races at different times, and each individual has grown and learned as a result of their experiences. The same individuals, different races. To take a hypothetical example, let us imagine any person currently alive, and imagine that an individual had lived his last life as a Chinese around the time of Marco Polo, previous to that she lived in Africa, before that in pre-Columbian America and before that in Palestine as a shepherd in the time of King David. Now in this hypothetical situation, however improbably the average critic might find it, our hypothetical individual would hopefully have learned a few things, so it could be said that he/she evolved. Taking the racial characteristics into account, it could be said that this individual “evolved through races.” However it is not to imply a hierarchy, that the individual is now at some peak of perfection (which implies – with nowhere to go but down) either in his/her racial characteristics or any of his/her personal characteristics; it only implies that he/she has lived in different races, and grown as a result of what he/she has learned. Anthroposophy recognizes that there have existed in the world, and continue to exist different races. Anthroposophy does not categorize the races into a sort of hierarchy, with one race at the bottom, and another at the top. Some critics, with a heightened sensitivity to racism, read this into the statement “humanity has evolved through races” inferring the hierarchy and every other backwards misconception that they so despise. But were they were to take the time to understand what is meant, as opposed to instantly finding that which they would so righteously attack, they would perhaps see that the statement is to be understood differently. Reincarnation and Karma are THE central beliefs of Anthroposophy. If an Anthroposophist talks of evolution, it is ONLY in this context. And if some Anthroposophist says that he believes in the Anthroposophical theory of evolution, a critic would do well to understand that theory before attempting to lynch an Anthroposophist on account of it.

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