As for the Steiner philosophy overall, there is a insiders-club vibe about it, card-carrying members and such.
THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CHRISTIAN COMMUNITY AND ITSRELATIONSHIP TO THE ANTHROPOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT INGENERAL, FROM AN ESOTERIC POINT OF VIEW.A lecture delivered to Anthroposophists in the UK on June 14 1942 by DrAlfred Heidenreich
Dear FriendsDuring Dr. Steiner’s lifetime it was a regular custom that descriptions of theaims and reports of the work of the Christian Community appeared from timeto time in the “Goetheanum” and in the “Anthroposophical News Sheet”. Rudolf Steiner himself contributed repeatedly to these articles on theChristian Community in these two representative Anthroposophical Journals. After Dr. Steiner’s death this natural and helpful custom was allowed tolapse, as so many others. It may not be possible to revive it again. But Ishould like this lecture to be understood as belonging to those endeavours ofmutual contact and information which Rudolf Steiner considered necessary,and which he himself inaugurated.
About 12 years ago I gave a lecture in similar circumstances which was thenpublished in duplicated type-script with the title “The Origin of the ChristianCommunity”. In that lecture I described the origin and early history of theChristian Community from an exoteric point of view. Today I will speak onthe significance of the Christian Community and its relationship to theAnthroposophical Movement in general from a definitely esoteric point ofview.
The New MysteriesIn his lectures during the last war, and especially towards the end of the lastwar Rudolf Steiner spoke grave and earnest words about the influence of theChurches in Western Civilisation. Two sets of lectures which touch on thissubject stand out: “The Karma of Materialism” and “Gesunder Blick fuerheute und wackere Hoffnung fuer morgen” (not translated).
In themsentences like these in which Rudolf Steiner summarises his critical analysiscan be found: “The Church has been more an institution for notunderstanding the Mystery of Golgotha than for understanding it”; - “If onewishes to understand the historic psychological origin of modern materialism,one must seek it in the Church”. – In the cycle on the Karma of Materialism hestates openly that in the 9th century a lodge was founded in Sicily whichbegan to work towards turning the Church, to all intents and purposes into aSociety for the Prevention of Christian Knowledge.
But in these lecturesRudolf Steiner held out also a definite hope. The time will come, he said,when the meaning of the old Mystery Religions will be understood; when themeaning of the time which has been something like an interregnum betweenthe Ancient Mysteries and today will also be understood; and then the timewill come when the New Mysteries can be founded.Out of this tragic insight into the fall and decline of the traditional churches,and their perversion for other purposes, and out of the knowledge that thetime for the New Mysteries is at hand, the Christian Community was born. Itis rooted in the New Mysteries, and it is an essential part of their realisation.
In fact, Rudolf Steiner’s last farewell to the priests of the ChristianCommunity in 1924 were the words:
“Yours is the task to fulfill part of theNew Mysteries”.If I endeavour, as I must, to cover the ground of my vast subject in a shorttime, and if I try, as I intend, to speak today not on the history and exotericaims but on the esoteric significance of the Christian Community, I believe Icannot do better than to concentrate what I have to say round the central actof corporate expression of the message and work, and indeed the being of theChristian Community, The Act of Consecration of Man. I shall consider firstits objective cosmic significance, apart from its direct relationship to thehuman being, and then in the second part its significance for Mankind.The Objective Cosmic Significance of the Act of Consecration of ManThe objective significance of the Act of Consecration of Man lies in the factthat it keeps alive and revivifies the etheric body of the earth. Without it,Rudolf Steiner compared the etheric light which it creates with a sunrise. Somuch as the light of the sun is lighter than the darkness of night, he said, somuch is the light that rises on the altar lighter than the light of the sun. Out ofthis light the foundations for the future Jupiter state of our earthly planetform themselves. The alchemistic process enacted in the Act of Consecrationof Man produces Jupiter substance. In their objective significance theelements of bread and wine are alchemistically transmuted into what isknown as the body and blood of Christ which is the seed and leaven of thefuture planetary evolution.
In this respect the Act of Consecration of Man acts from the centre of Rosicrucian Christianity.The institution of this Act of transubstantiation is derived from the ChristHimself.
Rudolf Steiner explained that it does not go back directly to the LastSupper, but was inaugurated by the Risen Christ during the 40 days afterEaster. Historically it was foreshadowed in the Samothracian and MithraicMysteries, and found its first fulfilment in the early Christian Mass. In theAct of Consecration of Man it has been renewed for our time, through the Rudolf Steiner held out also a definite hope. The time will come, he said,when the meaning of the old Mystery Religions will be understood; when themeaning of the time which has been something like an interregnum betweenthe Ancient Mysteries and today will also be understood; and then the timewill come when the New Mysteries can be founded.
Out of this tragic insight into the fall and decline of the traditional churches,and their perversion for other purposes, and out of the knowledge that thetime for the New Mysteries is at hand, the Christian Community was born. Itis rooted in the New Mysteries, and it is an essential part of their realisation.
In fact, Rudolf Steiner’s last farewell to the priests of the ChristianCommunity in 1924 were the words:
“Yours is the task to fulfill part of theNew Mysteries”.
If I endeavour, as I must, to cover the ground of my vast subject in a shorttime, and if I try, as I intend, to speak today not on the history and exotericaims but on the esoteric significance of the Christian Community, I believe Icannot do better than to concentrate what I have to say round the central actof corporate expression of the message and work, and indeed the being of theChristian Community, The Act of Consecration of Man. I shall consider firstits objective cosmic significance, apart from its direct relationship to thehuman being, and then in the second part its significance for Mankind
.The Objective Cosmic Significance of the Act of Consecration of Man
The objective significance of the Act of Consecration of Man lies in the fact that it keeps alive and revivifies the etheric body of the earth.
Without it,Rudolf Steiner compared the etheric light which it creates with a sunrise. Somuch as the light of the sun is lighter than the darkness of night, he said, somuch is the light that rises on the altar lighter than the light of the sun. Out ofthis light the foundations for the future Jupiter state of our earthly planetform themselves.
The alchemistic process enacted in the Act of Consecrationof Man produces Jupiter substance. In their objective significance theelements of bread and wine are alchemistically transmuted into what isknown as the body and blood of Christ which is the seed and leaven of thefuture planetary evolution. In this respect the Act of Consecration of Manacts from the centre of Rosicrucian Christianity.The institution of this Act of transubstantiation is derived from the ChristHimself.
Rudolf Steiner explained that it does not go back directly to the LastSupper, but was inaugurated by the Risen Christ during the 40 days afterEaster. Historically it was foreshadowed in the Samothracian and MithraicMysteries, and found its first fulfilment in the early Christian Mass. In theAct of Consecration of Man it has been renewed for our time, through theinstrumentality of Rudolf Steiner. The Act of Consecration of Man is thetransmutation of this Mystery Act for our time, but in its essence – in RudolfSteiner’s own words – it is “nothing that is only temporary which should oncebe replaced by something else. It is something eternal, as far as one can speakof something eternal on earth”.Previous to the Spiritual Act in which the Act of Consecration of Man wasinstituted, Rudolf Steiner made, over a period of years, certain definiteobservations in attending the traditional forms of the Eucharistic Service indifferent countries of Europe. I cannot help comparing these journeys in mymind with the wanderings of Jesus before the Baptism in the Jordan, of whichRudolf Steiner speaks in the 5th Gospel. Jesus then visited the MysteryTemples of Asia Minor, but instead of a Divine Presence he found a DemonicPresence at the altars. Rudolf Steiner found that only in rare cases did theaura which manifests the reality of the Divine Presence still appear onChristian altars. (In certain churches in Italy he could still find it, he said.)
Therefore he had – to use again his own words – “To take the courage”,according to the will of the Divine Spiritual World, to renew the Central Actof the Christian Mysteries.
The first celebration of the Act of Consecration ofMan in September 1922 in the South Transept of the First Goetheanum –carried out by Dr. Friedrich Rittelmeyer under Dr. Steiner’s guidance – wasan Act of Universal Cosmic Significance.
It is only comparable with those actswhich are described in “Occult Science” as initiating a new period within oneof the former planetary evolutions of the earth.
Any initiate who will once onJupiter look back and describe the earth evolution, will mark it as one of thevital events since the Mystery of Golgotha.No wonder that the fire which so tragically destroyed the first Goetheanumwas laid in the very room where the first celebration had taken place. Theinauguration of this part of the New Christian Mysteries touched theAdversary to the quick. It is also understandable that in view of thetremendous reality of the Present of the Spirit in those sacred rites RudolfSteiner could speak the following grave words:Quote
“I know, my dear friends, how much there is in the heart of modernmen which speaks against the sacramental. But whoever hasexperience in these things may also say something different. It mightbe thought that what may be called the emotional antagonism(Erbostsein) to ceremonial which so easily arises in modern people,reveals something in them that might be the outcome of Christian,evangelical consciousness.
"But I must confess to you that I have never really yet seen anyone in whom emotional antagonism to the sacrament has arisen out of love or goodness, but always out of the secret wickedness in human nature. This is a personal, but actual observation. It is certainly a manifold process which we see emerging.today, but that which is first irritated is really the Opposing Tendenciesin human nature, which work against salvation. It is a goading on bythe same forces which say in the Gospel: “We know you”, and whichthen begin to fight against Christ, because they “recognise” Him.”"
The Act of Consecration of Mancan also be enacted by the celebrating priest without a visible congregation. In reality, so Rudolf Steiner pointed out, the Act of Consecration of Man isnever without a congregation. There are always present the dead who co-operate. According to those who have experience in these matters the dead present are by no means confined to the deceased members of theCommunity.Quote
It is perhaps one of the deepest secrets of the sacrament to see how closely it isknit with the sphere of karma. Rudolf Steiner summed this up in onesentence:
“The process of transubstantiation and the working of karma belongtogether; they follow the same laws.”
And he even indicated that the verycelebration of the Act of Consecration of Man has an effect on the existence ofkarma and its defence against the ahrimanic and luciferic powers. It is a factof the cosmic strategy of Ahriman and Lucifer, in particular of the ahrimanicpowers, to intercept the working of karma and to bring it to a standstill. Ifthey succeeded in their stratagem, mankind would start each life with a cleanslate, but the consequences of his or her misdeeds would be welded in thehands of Ahriman into a terrible weapon with which he would dislocate thecosmic order.
The preservation of karma is therefore one of the main objectsof Christ and the heavenly hosts in His service. Rudolf Steiner explained thatthe sacrament is an instrument to this end. Those men and women who livein the sacrament can carry – so Rudolf Steiner gave to understand – throughtheir own spiritual momentum and enthusiasm other men and women withthem, so that the operation of karma from life to life is safeguarded in sufficient degree. Here again the work of the Christian Community is woveninto the cosmic evolution as an integral part.
from the forum/aka letters to the editor of Gnosis: A Journal of the Western Inner Traditions, Issue no 14 Winter 1990
A correspondant wrote in response to an earlier issue of Gnosis published in May-June 1988 concerning an article about what the correspondant termed the 'Apocrophia' of Rudolph Steiner:
I think that in the future...you should get clearance, approval, (so to speak)with regard to printing such voluminous
I think in the future: you should get clearance, approval (so to speak) with regard to printing such voluminous(author's italics--Corboy) amounts of Dr. Rudolph* Steiner's Aprocrophia* frin Dornach Switzerland, as was done in your May-June 1988 issue of GNOSIS.
'In California, people are not integrated into their bodies due to the energy of the subterranael* foces in the Earth out there...and the particular currents of the Pacific waters. The School of Michael is ....not to be talked about!
---from (name omitted for privacy, written from a place on the East Coast of the United States
Anthroposophists, however, believe that archetypes and mythical figures are actual spiritual beings (not mere archtypes in the Jungian sense-Corboy) who can be encountered as such. It then remains to discover the exact nature of one's relationship to such a being. On a spiritual level, one can "see" it (imagination), "hear" it (inspiration), or receive impulses directly into one's will from it (intuition). Since anthroposophists also believe that such beings sometimes incarnate into living humans, one might conceivably also be the being.
The spiritual being of Sophia is pictured symbolically as a circle encompassing the triangle which represents the Holy Trinity, and figuratively as a woman clothed with the sun and standing on the moon, her head encircled by twelve stars. This spiritual being is believed to have incarnated into Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the Whitsun event. In addition to this celestial imagining of Sophia, there an "underground Sophia" expressed in pre-Christian times in the Eleusinian Mysteries-mysteries of descent associated with the figures of Demeter and Persephone.
That Sophia has been largely forgotten is blamed on a deed of Lucifer, the light-bearer, who stole her power to work directly on earth, appropriating her light to himself. This victimized Sophia is the Mater Dolorosa, the wan and suffering Madonna depicted in Russian icons.
Rescuing Sophia so that she can again reveal herself to human beings is a task of her champion, the knightly archangel Michael. Steiner saw anthroposophy as the School of Michael on earth, the setting in which Sophia would finally begin to manifest through human thinking.
"Anthroposophy isn't actually taught at the schools ( this is the pat answer when asked about it) but it informs each and every decision."
"Baking bread, singing, painting, making candles, walks in the woods can all be done for free - one doesn't have to subscribe to a belief system that requires certain conditions or seeks to fetishize nature to gain followers."
10 December 2008 5:39PM
Disillusioned with mainstream testing and lack of creativity, we too sent our children to Steiner school. It was the biggest mistake we ever made. Rather than the creative progressive education described in their promotional material and websites, it is in fact a rigid pedagogy, hinged entirely on Rudolf Steiner's bizarre pseudo religion anthroposophy.
The curriculum follows stringently Steiner's more than strange belief system, culled from his own personal clairvoyant visions.
Most people are completely unaware that the education is about helping the children incarnate, not about educating in the sense most would understand it; in fact, Steiner believed that stimulating the intellect between the ages of 7-14 damages the astral body. Therefore, most work is copied, rote style, from the board, there are no books to speak of, certainly not before the age of 7, or when the milk teeth come in (spiritual reasons), no text books- they only have one main teacher for 7 years, no other aural or visual stimulation, their class teacher has a "sacred task" in directing the children away from the apparent world to concealed levels of "truth".
During teacher training, Steiner teachers are taught to direct parents and other "outsiders" from asking questions about anthroposophy; they are well versed in the art of evasion, obfiscation and deflect from the true core of this cult-like belief system.
I think a lot of people choose Steiner schools for what they aren't, not for what they are, because if they really knew about the anthroposophy underlying the education system, I suspect they would run a mile.
10 December 2008 8:35PM
Hi ladyad- I think the anthroposophical movenment, far from being shambolica hippy types, have at their helm some fanatical protectors of the faith; part of their "task" in this "Michaelean age" is to promote spiritua science- or anthroposophy; as I wrote- the teachers , and also anthroposophical press agents, camphill organisation and bio dynamic farming, all part of the umbrella group of anthroposophical organisations, are advised to be "economical" with all the facts when talking about these things, in order to recruit more followers.
Cult orgaisations are well aware of this.
But I agree- it is a scandal, for instance - that hereford steiner school has received millions of pounds of government money as an academy, ( when the money for local schools is scarce), when they aren't upfront about anthroposophy in their literature.
Read those links- they are a complete eye opener.
And if you really want a mind boggling experience- read Rudolf Steiner himself at the Rudof Steiner Archive. He's in there with the scientologists. An he also has some repellant things to say about race.
10 December 2008 8:55PM
After sending my eldest child to a Steiner school and living in a steiner community I am very sad to say there are many dangerous and cult like qualities to the movement.
Behind the Steiner Waldorf movement is a belief system called anthroposophy and underpinning anthroposophy is its central theme of karma. I didn't know any of this 8 years ago and I refused to listen when friends voiced their concerns. As far as I was concerned I had found the holy grail! If only all schools could be like this!
I understand you have done the very best for your child with all the information you could find at the time, and there lies the problem, they make it very very hard to find this information and when you do, they will tell you its too difficult for you to understand, or you have misinterpreted it. They wish it to remain hidden under many layers of mystery and pontification until they believe you and your child are spiritually ready, at which point you may be invited to a study group.
Gradually many parents become terrified or scornful of the outside 'materialist' world and drop friends, family, and rely very heavily on the community. Expect a radical transformation, not necessarily for the better. Many parents forget education is for the child, its not about them.
The schools are beautiful but understand that every object, gesture, movement and word uttered is a spiritual communication. You may have noticed that everything is round at the school, as Steiner believed the circle was the perfect embodiment of the astral body.
I have included the following extract from the Rick Ross Cult Education Forum, the posters name was Erasmus:
"The most disturbing thing I ever read about Steiner was from a short lecture given in 1946 at the Threefold Community in NY state. I always thought Steiner was the rational one during the Krishnamurti fiasco of the Theosophical Society. From what I understood, Steiner completely rejected Theosophical attempts to pass a boy off as the reincarnation of Maitreya. However, then I discovered this little gem:
"The threefold social order of Rudolf Steiner is particularly a preparatory work to bring about a future incarnation of Manes. I once discussed with Rudolf Steiner the question of when would be the proper time for the application of etheric forces for technical uses. He said that this would be when the threefold order is established. He said that Manes could not find a suitable body yet, that all the forces he would be able to bring to an incarnation would be destroyed by modern education. Therefore he said that Waldorf education needed first to come into being and that the threefold social order must also come into being.
Therefore I would see it as our immediate task to bring about this threefold order first through thought and then through action, so that Manes can incarnate. By karma, Manes' incarnation would be due by the end of the century. Whether this will be possible I do not know, but if the threefold social order and Waldorf education were established he could incarnate. I see it as our task to make the preparations so that he can incarnate again."
THE TASK OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL
And to confirm this, I also quote Bernard Lievegoed from his THE BATTLE OF THE SOUL ( 1993 ):
"Rudolf Steiner once said to Pfeiffer that he had started the Waldorf school and the threefold social order to make the incarnation of Manu and his helpers possible. Let us hope there are enough active anthroposophists to accomplish what Manu needs for his development. And let us hope anthroposophists will recognize him once he is here."
My question is this: How many people who are involved in Waldorf education, whether they be teachers, parents, students, etc, are aware that the grand purpose of Waldorf is to create a culture conducive to the incarnation of a spirit being named Manes/Manu??"
I have friends still at the school oblivious to anthroposophy, usually having a quiet child helps as quietness is equated with goodness. Some parents can go through the whole school without ever having to challenge what anthroposophy is. I have seen the most horrific bullying and was told the children are getting what they need, they are working out their karma, or have difficulties incarnating. It excuses the most terrible behaviour as every action including violence is seen as a spiritual lesson.
I am sorry to burst the bubble, I wish I had access to the internet when I first began asking questions. There are many of us that have come through the other side. Baking bread, singing, painting, making candles, walks in the woods can all be done for free - one doesn't have to subscribe to a belief system that requires certain conditions or seeks to fetishize nature to gain followers.
10 December 2008 9:33PM
Ladyad, with reference to comments being deleted, I have recently come across this on a chat board.. I found out the movement even has its own anthroposophical lawyer. Other parents with similar experiences to mine have told me that Wikipedia is monitored constantly so there is no negative press on the web.
11 December 2008 4:30PM
It may also be worth adding there was a large presence of the Landmark Education/Forum at the Steiner school my child attended, many parents were completely caught up in the spiritual development and personal growth industry, it was a competitive environment in a much more subtle way - how you and your child looked, moved, talked, wore, ate, how you approached illness, what they played with and how they played were all things that were under the spotlight.
11 December 2008 7:17PM
"Many parents were completely caught up in the spiritual development and personal growth industry, it was a competitive environment in a much more subtle way - how you and your child looked, moved, talked, wore, ate, how you approached illness, what they played with and how they played were all things that were under the spotlight."
I wonder how many of these business spring up in these towns or villages once these schools have opened. I think it would make it much harder for parents to have any open discord once this has happened.
11 December 2008 8:02PM
Ladyad, absolutely right. There are anthropsophical villages in some parts of europe including the UK, I understand the transition town movement also has links with anthroposophy.
11 December 2008 9:03AM
adharanandfinn - thanks for replying...
We were entirely seduced and captivated by the Steiner community, we thought it was the answer to our educational needs.. I still think that there are many good things actually- the music and gardening, some of the craft aspects.
I know a few who have come through the system well; I also know a huge ammount more who have been miserably failed by it, academically and socially. Children who can't read at 12 yrs old, who have their dyslexia or ahdd ignored because it is a past life issue, or to do with the forces of death( ?) or something,. Of children rejected because they have special needs- incarnation problems- "they don't deal with children like that".
So apart from the anthroposophy and craziness, I would seriously think about how BORED the children can get. How bullying is ignored. How , in some schools, they are so adamant that the children shouldn't be exposed to reading before their milk teeth have come in, that theyt COVER UP the fire exit signs with silk drapes.
And ask questions. Ask as many questions as you can. Ask about the medieval temperaments- which strangely, they aren't that secretive about. Ask about eurythmy- why it is so important.
Ask about the Advent Spiral- what it signifies, and why it is such a revered ritual at Stein er school. Ask why St Michael is so important- all those st Mich a -el songs( they pronounce it in a special "anthroposophical way too) And why are there pictures of St Michael slaying the dragon in the schools? And Raphael's madonna?
11 December 2008 1:56PM
Sending your child to a Steiner school does not imply that you think other schools or other parents are deficient in any way. its a choice you can make if you are lucky enough to have one, or any other type of alternative school in your area and can afford. Its a choice like any other. I've noticed lots of my friends becoming defensive about my choice and as hostile as some of the bloggers on here.
I am a reluctant Steiner parent in many ways - hate the cultishness of it all, am wary of the spiritual aspect and disagree with lots - but for me its a question of the results and I look at the 11 year olds in the school - a remarkably cheerful, colourful, off-beat and uncool bunch and rather like them all. Of course I rather like lots of other 11 year olds from other schools, but as I myself am colourful, occasionally cheerful and defiantly uncool, then I suppose I want my son to turn out like that.
The way it has worked out unfortunately is that my son has read since the age of 3 and is more interested in books and learning than anything else and has been telling me for ages that he wants to go to a learning school, so I've decided to take him out and send him to a regular school where hopefully he will flourish.
I was a primary school teacher for many years and have a lot of problems with testing and the curriculum, but we'll see how it goes.
11 December 2008 2:02PM
In my previous life back in Holland one of my friends was very close to an anthroposophical couple, and I visited them regularly. They were very nice people, don't get me wrong, but I found the way they were bringing up their daughter quite disturbing. She was nearly 7 and surrounded by books in the home, constantly asking what the letters and the words meant, and was constantly fobbed off. She was also not allowed more than a very small range of about 5 colours of pencils or crayons with which to do her drawing - I never did get to the bottom of that one. What I was seeing there was not a happy child learning through play and expressing her creativity, but a bright child who was being stifled every time she tried to move or think in a direction her parents did not approve of. Steiner education - no way!
Meanwhile my experiences with state primaries in the UK have been excellent - my girls are happy, have lots of friends, love to learn and when my older daughter did her KS1 SATs last year her only comment was that they did a brilliant activity that day! OK, I understand that KS2 SATs are quite different, am opposed to them and if they are not scrapped my daughters will develop a mysterious week-long illness in SATs week, but so far they're doing fine. And they have crayons in more colours than I can imagine, some with glitter in, so their astral bodies will be colourful and sparkly.
11 December 2008 3:16PM
I have to agree with darkgirls, after spending two years on Bio-Dynamic agriculture training I got to see the dark side of the Steiner movement and how obsessed they are with training children to see the steiner point of view at all costs. I have seen many examples of how the community behaves having stayed and worked at some of the top Steiner schools in the UK including the Village at Botton. I would not send any child to a Steiner school.
11 December 2008 5:39PM
Hairymaclary, you mentioned your observations about the children at your Steiner school being a cheerful, colourful, off-beat and uncool bunch. I would like to add that I also know some lovely people that went to Steiner school, and I also know some lovely people that didn't.
I've seen many parents fall under the Steiner spell, (I once heard the term brides of steiner and it rings very true) they can become very attached to the teachers and the community, the certain refinements and aesthetics together with its mystical spiritual leanings are so enchanting to the newcomer. We mustn't forget as parents that surely we can take some of the credit for who are children are and not hand over all our power to a school.
I would like to hope that a child is more than the school they go to, I think the people we are both talking about would be lovely, cheerful, colourful etc. no matter what school they attended, but I also understand what you are saying, a bad school can have a devastating affect on a child that they may never recover.
11 December 2008 9:25PM
Thanks for phrasing this so clearly. It strikes me that anthroposophy is a form of faith, which would make a Steiner school a faith school. How can people make informed choices if a school will not admit what it really is? I would be horrified if the government gave Steiner schools state funding without subjecting them to the same scrutiny that other state-funded faith schools (like the C of E schoo my children go to) are subject to.
I don't care how many hugely successful people came through Steiner schools. Many more hugely successful people did not.
11 December 2008 10:19PM
Ladyad, yes the schools are riding the green wave at the moment so I know the problem isn't going to go away. I would just prefer them to be called by their true name - anthroposophy schools.
If you want to do permaculture, as part of TT (Transition Town) or something else, take care to run Google searches in which biodynamics is excluded.
To get citations concerning JUST permaculture, I had to run a google advanced search in which I put biodynamics into the exclude slot.
If biodynamics is not excluded from a google search on permaculture, many citations will come up in which the casual reader will be easily led to assume the two are the same.
They actually originate from quite different persons Bill Mollison and Rudolf Steiner.
Biodynamics has a religious belief system behind its creation, though many may practice some or part of it, not having been told this and be quite unaware of it.
Or the vaguely inspirational nature of the scene in which Biodynamics is taught and often slushed together with permaculture may be soothing.
joeybell - thanks for your comment; the "dark side of steiner schools2 is so appropriate; and there is a great deal of effort to hide it.
Bio dynamic farming and camphill also hide their anthroposophical side too. Camphill are renound among NGO's and charities as being one of the most efficient fundraisers around- their drives at christmas to raise money are phenomenal. Do they EVER mention anthroposophy intheir leaflets with people with lkearning difficulties feeding lambs and making Steiner dolls? NO. Do they even mention anything spiritual, or about reincarnation- of course not.
The link I gave at the beginning- to chase.co.uk, has a breakdown of anthroposophical charities and how wealthy they are. It's very surprising, when the schools make parents spend an inordinate ammount of time fundraising.
This is a good article about biodynamic wine growers- who are big business now. Note the paragraphs which in essence say there's no need to explain the full background- it would put people off.
The state is already funding Hereford sSeiner school- it got state funding this last sept as an academy. There's an article here in the guardian about it
The government report comissioned into looking at steiner education- called the Woods Report, seems to be overly biased towards anthroposophy and spiritual areas of education. It appears to have been written by a husband and wife team ( and one other) who agree with anthroposophical ideas, tho I may of course be wrong. Bearing this in mind, it is very easy to avoid much of what has been talked about here- and perpetuate the promotion of a creative child lead "freer" education, when so many here have said it is the opposite.
Anthroposophists are at great pains to say it isn't a religion- it is a science- a "spiritual science" because they believe spirit worlds, angels, nature spirits, astral and cosmic forces are REAL- therefore- SCIENTIFIC........
Yes- we, and a great many other people have been deceived by Steiner schools.
So- your experience is visiting the schools and meeting lots of children. Ours was three children, who were at a Steiner school for average 2.5 - 3 years each. As lapwing says- "visiting" a school is an entirely different thing altogether. The schools open days , for instance, are geared up to recruit new people.
If you've read my posts, you'll see that I do also know children who have come through comparitively unscathed. I don't actually think it's all bad.
What I do think is bad, is the deception about anthroposophy, (and certain writing about race, which anthros don't seem to feel the need to jettison. But that is another thread altogether.)
These schools, MINUS anthroposophy, could be good.
I'd be interested to hear the positive aspects of steiner a seen by you- because even those who have discussed here who have children at Steiner- one is moving their child to a "learning school" and another is a fierce critic at their school I think they said.
No one has actually written anything in favour of the anthroposophy which forms the core of the schools.
12 December 2008 7:56PM
I don't think darkgirls is being obsessive at all - I think she raises some very challenging points. OK, so perhaps not all Steiner schools turn their pupils into unhappy staring little drones, but what about the issues raised around teacher training in Steiner schools? I would not want my child taught by someone with no teaching or subject qualifications. I would also not accept anyone telling my child what is beautiful and what is not - cf issues around identical paintings and children being told which colours should go with one another. Children should explore the world for themselves and that includes aesthetics.
I also notice that you are pointedly not addressing the points raised about the covert nature of the religious indoctrination at the heart of Steiner schools - what are they so afraid of?
13 December 2008 8:22AM
"I also notice that you are pointedly not addressing the points raised about the covert nature of the religious indoctrination at the heart of Steiner schools - what are they so afraid of?"
Perhaps one needs to look a little further: it seems to me that people need to have some more info on anthroposophy, the informing "wisdom" driving the pedagogy.
It's lovely that you had a happy education. I'm sure you are not alone despite others having had some devastating experiences.
Its intriguing that you were never aware of the underlying philosophy.A quick example of the intigue ?
Was it ever indicated to you that in your German classes, every time you said "Ich", you were, according to anthroposophy, uttering the name of Christ?
When your eurythmy sessions came along, did anyone ever indicate that your copper rods were acting as conduits between you and the Spirit World?
In anthro circles, Christmas Trees ususally only appear on Christmas Eve. Did you ever see one? What was at the top, how was it designated?
What about the other symbols thereon: Alpha, Omega, Tao, Taroh, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Sun, Moon, Squre and Triangle?
I guess my point is that while there may well have been little of overt indoctrination, your school career supported a belief of a philosophy you probably knew little or nothing of.
Most of us have little problems with others beliefs- just so long as they are upfront about it before asking us to fund them.
13 December 2008 5:01PM
Teacher training reading list:
[RUDOLF STEINER COLLEGE]
FOUNDATION YEAR BOOK LIST 1993-94
Psych 101 The Nature of the Human Being: Microcosm/Macrocosm
Rudolf Steiner, Theosophy*
Rudolf Steiner, Calendar of the Soul*
Rudolf Steiner, The Younger Generation
Lit 100 Parsifal
W. von Eschenbach. Parzival (Mustard and Passage translation)*
Rene Querido, The Mystery of the Holy Grail: A Modern Path of Initiation*
Steven Roboz, ed., The Holy Grail
Rudolf Steiner, The Search for the Holy Grail
SS 101 Biography, Life Cycles and the Meaning of Existence
Bernard Lievegoed, Phases*
Beredene Jocelyn. Citizens of the Cosmos
Gisela and George O'Neil, The Human Life
SS 104 The Festivals
Rudolf Steiner. The Cycle of the Year as a Breathing Process
Rudolf Steiner, The Festivals and Their Meaning
Rudolf Steiner. The Four Seasons and the Archangels
Hist 102 Rudolf Steiner: His Life and Work
Rudolf Steiner. The Course of My Life
Robert A. McDermott. ed.. The Essential Steiner
Stewart Easton, Man and World in the Light of Anthroposophy
Stewart Easton, Rudolf Steiner: Herald of a Modern Consciousness
Hist 103 Evolution of Consciousness through Art
Gottfried Richter, Art and Human Consciousness*
Psych 100 Knowledge of the Higher Worlds
Rudolf Steiner, Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and its Attainment*
Rudolf Steiner, Foundation Stone*
F.W. Zeylemans, The Foundation Stone
Phil 103 World Evolution and Spiritual Development
Rudolf Steiner, Occult Science*
Rudolf Steiner, The Spiritual Hierarchies*
Lit 160 English and American Literature
An anthology of readings is provided for the class.
Phil 102 Christology
Rudolf Steiner, Spiritual Guidance of Man*
Rudolf Steiner, Christianity as Mystical Fact
Phil 100 Philosophy of Freedom
Rudolf Steiner. Philosophy of Freedom*
FA 100 Eurythmy
Rudolf Steiner, A Lecture on Eurythmy
Rudolf Steiner, An Introduction to Eurythmy
Marjorie Spock, Eurythmy
Ed 100 Introduction to Waldorf Education
Rudolf Steiner, Kingdom of Childhood*
Rudolf Steiner, Education of the Child in the Light of Spiritual Science*
Hist 110 America in the Light of Spiritual Science
An anthology of readings is provided for the class.
Psych 102 Karma and Reincarnation
Rudolf Steiner, Manifestations of Karma*
Rudolf Steiner, Reincarnation and Karma*
Rudolf Steiner, Karmic Relationships, Volumes 1-8
Rene Querido, Questions and Answers on Reincarnation and Karma*
14 December 2008 5:53PM
Steinerkid- I know so much NOW because when we realised the entire schooling was based on anthroposphy, I reasearched.
And I can assure you, I have ploughed my way through reams and reams of Steiner's writing, and I still am; the more I read of his work, the more I realise it is a pseudo religious cult like belief system.
I've corespomned with teacher training colleges, and read pieces by Steiner trained teachers- ( I linked to it earlier).
I would wonder which areas of Steiner's anthroposophic belief you were encouraged to discuss when you " were old enough"- the areas your teachers suggested?
This is from a current UK teacher training course
These studies aim to provide a grounding in the general principles and capacities you will need in a career as a Steiner Waldorf Teacher. The background ideas of philosophy and anthroposophy are introduced which are fundamental to Waldorf Education
As a student, you would spend three years studying modules on:
Philosophy & Anthroposophy
The focus of the study in this respect will be the teacher's own self-knowledge and development. At significant points comparisons will be made across a spectrum of views about human nature and ideas about evolution. Ideas derived from anthroposophy will also be related to contemporary social issues,
The Image of the Human Being derived from Anthroposophy
These modules consider the Image of the Human Being derived from Anthroposophy and the way it informs the Steiner Waldorf curriculum and methodology. The module has as its focus sessions on Gymnastics and Games together with Eurythmy, a movement art embodying ‘visible music and visible speech."
The phrases " the way it informs the Steiner Waldorf curriculum and methodology" and the word "evolution" are the warning signs....(his evolutionary beliefs are bizarre- and based on root races, and that man evolved on the legendary island of atlantis, and was around the same time as dinasours. Steiner rejected Darwins theory, and instead of eveloving from animals, before he emerged on Atlantis, man was a jelly like being on Saturn and the moon- I think I remember it right- it's all at the Rudolf Steiner Archive- this lecture-
"On the Moon the Group-soul was active, which then appeared on the Earth in such an attenuated form as Folk-soul; hence the whole Moon-globe had a common consciousness in a high degree
For the floating, swimming motion which man had both in the Moon period and during the repetition of the Moon period when the Fire-mist forces were still present in the environment, he needed a kind of swimming bladder, and this was actually a part of man's composition, as is the case with the fishes of the present day"
Hi DavyD- I would be interested to know what all those symbols on the Christmas tree represented. Ans I can't remeber what was on the top- can you remind us?
I always thought the advent spiral and the St Michael songs and rituals were very significant too for less than subtle anthroposophical indoctrination. The reall significance is never in the open.
14 December 2008 6:03PM
Oh- Steinerkid- I forgot to answer this question- about bizarre rituals- ! No- I'm not suggesting that. But haven't you heard of "first class"? It's the secret, esoteric highest anthroposophists group; you can only belong after years of esoteric climbing the ladder, you are given a book with the secret clairvoyant knowledge of spirt worlds.
This is from and American who left anthroposopohy behind, talking about "first class"
"It is the next step towards being able to have clairvoyant vision into the spirit world and is a course on how to do this. You must be mentored by another member who has at least that level status and who is your direct guide. A man in my town has the actual books associated with this level of study.
I was told by a member of First Class that one applied to belong, but of course had to be approved based on his/her mentor, regional group head, and ASA (Anthroposophical Society of America) and of course, the Goetheanum (World Headquarters in Switzerland) itself to be approved...
The Spiritual Science (First Class course) books are definitely not available for public view and are guarded heavily by the few who own them. They are blue green and quite large.
The man who heads the Anthroposophical study group in my town owns them and I have seen them, but wasn't allowed to "touch" it or read it freely on my own even in his presence. He read to me from it like a lecture.
A really creepy experience to say the least, and pretty insulting really."
Anyway, as I said, it would be highly unlikely your school or teachers would have let on anything about anthroposophy they didn't want to. But , if you've read Steiner yourself, I'm surprised you didn't know.
14 December 2008 10:43PM
I have ploughed my way through reams and reams of Steiner's writing, and I still am; the more I read of his work, the more I realise it is a pseudo religious cult like belief system.
I've corespomned with teacher training colleges, and read pieces by Steiner trained teachers
You're not obsessive? You sure? What do plan to do with all the knowledge you've gain of something you really don't believe in? Wouldn't it be better to put all that effort into something more positive?
Anyway, I fail to see anything sinister in the passage you quote from in your latest posting. "Informs the Steiner curriculum"? Yes? What's wrong with that?
The theory of humans coming from jellies on saturn, I grant you, is far out - I haven't heard this before and, if it's true, I must say it would worry me a bit.
However, I think it's a bit condescending to SteinerKid to doubt his entire educational experience on account of your own interpretation as to what's going on in the Steiner world. You go on about some huge conspiracy that teachers are keeping secret.
15 December 2008 10:12AM
I read Steiner to try to understand what my children were put through for three years and why.
I don't think it's obsessive; and I would dearly hope no one else makes the same mistake. The positive which comes out of it is that the schools will be forced to be open about anthroposophy, and not deceive people as they do now. There are hundreds of people who have had similar experiences as us, and who feel, as we do, very strongly, that the movement should no longer be allowed to get away with their deception.
As to humans evolving from jelly beings- that is mild; I haven't touched on his theories of race yet. Here are some Steiner words which also might worry you ( note how late these books have been re published btw- one in 2005. Worrying? Our family are darkish, with a mix of roots, and yes, thes things really worry me, particularly since right now, on discussion lists, such as Anthroposophy Tommorrow, amd waldorf Critics, anthroposophists try to argue around these theories of race, of dark races being low on the spiritual ladder, rather than denounce them outright. It is extremely worrying.
"If the blonds and blue-eyed people die out, the human race will become increasingly dense ... In the case of fair people, less nourishment is driven into the eyes and hair; it remains instead in the brain and endows it with intelligence. Brown- and dark-haired people drive the substances into their eyes and hair that the fair people retain in their brains. [Rudolf Steiner, HEALTH AND ILLNESS, Vol. 1, (Anthroposophic Press, 1981), pp. 85-86.]
.. centre of cosmic influence [is] situated in the interior of Africa. At this centre are active all those terrestrial forces emanating from the soil which can influence man especially during his early childhood ... The black or Negro race is substantially determined by these childhood characteristics. [Rudolf Steiner, THE MISSION OF THE FOLK SOULS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2005), p. 75.]
"White mankind is still on the path of absorbing spirit more deeply into its essence. Yellow mankind is on the path of preserving the period when the spirit is kept away from the body ... [T]he result will have to be that [mankinds next step upwards] cannot happen differently than as a violent fight between white mankind and colored mankind in the most varied areas ... You see, we stand before something so colossal that, if we regard it through the diverse perceptions of spiritual science [i.e., Anthroposophy], we will in the future recognize it as a necessary occurrence. [Rudolf Steiner
When lapwing says the tachers werfen't trained, they were probably only trained with Steiner training At the school our kids went to this was the case- no other training- no degree, not even A levels- just a Steiner training
15 December 2008 4:21PM
Dhar1- you asked about Steiner teacher's ultimate goal other than to deceive people. This is a Steiner teacher talking about their task
" In waldorf, every tiny detail is intentional and purpose driven. Once you start studying Anthroposophy--beyond the basic few books read by most who send their kids to a waldorf school-- then you start to see just what a good job the waldorf curriculum has done reflecting anthroposophy in every fiber of the school's life, and reflecting Rudolf Steiner's view of reality and his hopes for the larger social structure of the future.
Basically, when I was teaching waldorf, we operated out of the following assumptions:
~The children in a waldorf school are there because their destiny brought them there.
~Children in a waldorf school are more than likely a part of the Michaelic School in the spirit world, meaning they were/are loyal to the archangel Michael (aka St. Michael who conquered the demon in the 3rd grade stories and St. George who conquered the dragon in the 2nd grade stories) meeting with him between their last life and birth into this one. Michael is currently the leading spirit/angel of our time period (300 years) and his devoted followers are on earth serving him, and working towards the redemption of humanity.
~Waldorf education serves as a way to gently guide these children, these followers of Michael, into incarnating properly, healthfully, and gently waking them to their destiny."
and this is from a question and answer article in The Independent 2005
"How do Steiner schools compare with traditional state schools?
What makes them different is the vision we have for the children. We see them as incarnating spiritual beings having not only physical bodies but also subtle bodies governing emotions and desires, and energy bodies controlling the growth of the physical body. From Steiner's lectures, we have a huge volume of work that talks about how these subtle bodies develop and how the child slowly incarnates from the spiritual world into the physical matter of their bodies. Teaching needs to be aware of where the child's consciousness is, how the child is incarnating, and to be aligned with that. The understanding of the human being and the changing consciousness of the child is the vital seed from which the educational methods come."
Of course, you can choose to ignore all this, they would far rather you did, and let them get on with their job really.
15 December 2008 4:24PM
This is by a Steiner teacher too
From: baandje <bangus nb.sympatico.ca />
Subject: RE:'Childhood is not magical' ~ Diana
Date: Thu, 7 Dec 2006 16:39:16 +0000
IMO and as I said, Anthroposophical Waldorf often fails to address the
needs of the individual child and family. Diana's comments regarding
childhood, joy and magic touch upon a major problem that's at the heart
of Anthroposophical Waldorf in general.
The reason many Anthroposophical schools exist is because of the
Anthroposophy, period. It's not because of the children. It's because a
group of Anthroposophists have it in their minds to promote
Anthroposophy in the world. That's the Michaelic spiritual task.
Educating children is secondary in these schools; or, it's the means by
which these many Anthroposophical and cosmic Christian impulses are
In Anthroposophical Waldorf schools, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING centers
around the task of implementing Steiner's spiritual scientific theories.
Educating children is looked upon in much the same way Anthroposophical
spiritual concepts are embraced: children are "temperaments" or "stages
of human development"; they're vessels for purpose of receiving cosmic
wisdom in the form of an Anthroposophical curriculum. One could go even
further and say children in an Anthroposophical Waldorf school are
looked upon as "the future initiators of the Christ Impulse". Again,
EACH INDIVIDUAL CHILD'S EDUCATION takes a back seat to the spiritual
scientific and cosmic Christian tasks and ideals of the Anthroposophical
The idea of "magical childhood" is more than just a banal
generalization; it's simply more spiritual theory and word play along
the lines of all those many other typical Anthroposophical spiritual
sayings: We must "strengthen our will" or we must "overcome our fear of
the future." But what does any of it really mean, other than something
having to do with the way Anthroposophists conceptualize?
Does any of this spiritual conceptualizing and generalizing actually
have anything to do with the individual child, and with educating the
individual child? Maybe "the individual child in relation to
Anthroposophical theory and pedagogy", or in relation to "the cosmos" or
"the Christ". But that's the issue here -- that all of these grand
"magical" sayings and words are first and foremost about instilling and
reinforcing Anthroposophical spiritual theory, and nothing more. It is
not about educating the "individual child".