An open letter to Frank Thomas Smith

Dear Frank,

You have asked for comments on your “Apologia” for publishing your translations of the lessons of the First Class of the School of Spiritual Science and making them available for anyone to read in your Southern Cross Review.

When you first began publishing your translations, I wrote to say that I did not on the whole agree with what you were doing and now that you have completed this very long task, which must have been a labour of love on your part, I would like to add a few more thoughts.

I will refer here to what Steiner himself wrote about the First Class for people who were not members of the School of Spiritual Science. These comments were set out in various letters published between January and June 1924 and originally printed in the News Sheet issued by the Goetheanum. Steiner had very clear guidelines for both how the content of the lessons should be received and also for what was expected of people who wanted to become members of the School. I would like to look at these indications of Steiner’s, to see which of them might still apply today.

We could start by looking at what Steiner said were his intentions for the School:

“…what we need is the place which gives what is given nowhere else: namely, that which can guide man into the spiritual world. And that is intended to be the content, in the strictest sense of the word, of the School of Spiritual Science.” (Lecture at Dornach, 18th January 1924)

Steiner also gave an outline of the nature of the classes:

“… the aim is to give insight into the experience of the ‘threshold’ between the sensory and supersensible world. For those who really seek knowledge of the human being it is necessary to understand how everything that ‘nature’ reveals in the way of beauty, grandeur and nobility cannot lead to the human being. The inner human being, working in the external world, does not have his source in the natural but in the spiritual world. But into the latter the senses and the brain-bound intellect cannot penetrate. These inevitably cease their activity where the human being seeks to engage with the world of his origin. But where this activity ceases the human being initially finds himself incapable of perceiving anything. He gazes into his surroundings and, as though it were ‘nothing’, the darkness appears to him that is present due to this incapacity. This incapacity can only give way to spirit-beholding capacities as the human being becomes aware of higher forces within himself which form the ‘spiritual senses’ in the same way that the physical forces of the organism form the body’s senses. This depends on a complete transformation of the inner life from one form of existence to the other. In this transformation, a person must not lose the one form of existence before he acquires the other. A proper process of transformation results from the right mode of experience at the ‘threshold’. Knowledge of the human being in his true essence is only possible from a perspective beyond the threshold. Someone who wishes to absorb with healthy human reason the communications of a seer that come from the realm beyond the threshold must also have a picture of what the seer experienced at the threshold. He only becomes able to properly judge the supersensible realm when he is also aware of the conditions under which knowledge of this supersensible realm is gained.

One will only be able to give content to the words with which the results of supersensible vision are expressed when one understands what the seer underwent before he acquired the power to form such words. If one does not understand this, it appears as if the words do not signify supersensible but sensory things – and this leads to confusion. The words become deceptive, and instead of knowledge, illusion arises.” (GA260a)

Was Steiner trying to keep these things secret?  Definitely not; he said that the Anthroposophical Society is “an absolutely public Society like any other Society…not in the least hedged-in from the outer world…we must not be in the least bit narrow-minded when it comes to the admission of members.” When speaking about the relation of the individual member to the Society, he emphasised: “What we may call the teaching and spiritual impulses of this Society can be understood by every one if only he will use his everyday human intelligence…you do not need any kind of initiation or the like.”

But Steiner also said that most people “do not like to admit that the spiritual can be clearly seen and understood. Most people have not the necessary courage. They find it comforting to say: ‘The spiritual world is that which a man divines but cannot understand – it is the great secret.’ Now spiritual science always consists in the unveiling of this secret – so that the secret is made manifest before the world.” (30th January 1924)

So from the foregoing, it is clear that Steiner did not wish to prevent anyone from knowing about, or finding access to the spiritual world – quite the contrary. This would seem to accord, Frank, with your desire for openness about the text of the Class lessons. But this does not mean that it was right for people to come to these lessons with no preparation.

On the contrary, he advised that only those people who had been members of the Anthroposophical Society for two years should apply to join the First Class:

“… for two years, one should endeavour to find one’s bearings in all that the Anthroposophical Society already contains…Whoever has not been in the Society for two years will not be well advised to enter a Class at once.”

Steiner’s reasons for saying this seem to have had at least some of their foundations in what he perceived as the necessity for community: “…you must go into the Society, or into its several groups, not merely in order to learn what is there said or even debated, but simply because the human beings are there. You must be able to go there for the sake of human beings…The human being needs the human being.” (ibid)

As far as applicants for Class membership were concerned, Steiner addressed those who were involved with what he called ‘playing at esotericism’ and the creation of cliques: “You find it too difficult to get to grips with the esoteric content of life itself; you find it comfortable to talk about the esoteric. When esotericism passes from mouth to mouth, no matter with what unction, then it is idle esoteric chatter…this among other things does untold harm… Therefore within the Classes, in future, the question of trust and confidence will have to be taken most earnestly. It will be quite invalid for people to say: ‘Having been in the Society for two years, I now have a claim to be received into a Class.’ “ (ibid)

If members of the General Anthroposophical Society (GAS) were inclined to cliquishness and esoteric chatter, then Steiner and the Society leadership reserved the right not to admit them to the Class: “Whoever wishes to gain entry merely for the sake of curiosity, or in the hope of hearing something different in the Classes than he can hear in the General Society, should therefore think again and rather decide not to seek entry…The point is that those who are in the Class should become the true representatives of the anthroposophical cause…The care of the anthroposophical cause will be in the hands of the School…the School of Spiritual Science must consist of those who feel themselves through and through as representatives of the anthroposophical cause.” (ibid)

Steiner felt that the GAS provided people with spiritual knowledge, and anyone could become a member of this without taking on further responsibilities. But he also felt that: “…we must have a group of people who penetrate through the exoteric to the esoteric, and this cannot be achieved unless one shoulders definite responsibilities. For if none could be found to take on these responsibilities, then…anthroposophy would not be able to exist…it will be essential that all members of the Class also state their complete willingness to cultivate anthroposophy in the world and to stand as its representatives.” (3rd February 1924)

So, Frank, it seems to me that by publishing on the internet the Class lessons, you have done several things which could be unhelpful:

  • You have short-circuited the two-year period of preparation that Steiner thought was necessary and which could be done by joining the Society
  • By putting them online, you have taken the Class lessons outside the context of human community which Steiner thought was essential
  • You have made the texts available to people who may not be ready for such esoteric concepts and thereby could be “put off”; and by so doing, have perhaps deprived them of an opportunity to benefit from these lessons within the proper and supportive context of a group.
  • You have given scoffers and opponents the chance to quote these lessons, which are bound to seem fantastic and absurd to those who have as yet no understanding of the spiritual world from which we all come
  • You have given opportunities, specifically warned against by Steiner, for spiritual tourists to engage in esoteric chatter without getting to grips with the esoteric content of life itself.
  • The lessons are steeped in esoteric knowledge and require much background preparation from the student. They are not to be read or talked about like stories from a newspaper, or thought about with our everyday kind of thinking. So these texts are not for intellectual or casual reading, but require a certain cast of mind, as well as preparation and commitment, before engaging with them.

Do you still feel that publishing the Class lessons was a good idea, Frank?

Yours sincerely,



Filed under Anthroposophy, Rudolf Steiner, School of Spiritual Science, Spiritual Science

269 responses to “An open letter to Frank Thomas Smith

  1. Jeremy,

    I would like to translate Michael Eggert’s opening paragraph of his new posting on Egoisten about the Youth Circle because he bestows high praise on you and the Anthropopper blog.

    The Youth Circle

    In several international forums and on Facebook, Tom Mellett has initiated a discussion about the youth circle founded by Ernst Lehrs and Wilhelm Rath in 1923 — with intensive discussions of some prudence, depth and explosiveness, especially on the Anthropopper blog [gives link].

    Even though I myself cannot abide Jeremy Smith’s political positions in any way, nonetheless, the internal discussion level on his blog is always impressive. The listed links and references provide comprehensive insight into the internal esoteric structures of the Anthroposophical Society as well as their associated benefits and risks.


    • Jeremy,

      Do you have any idea of what this remark means, coming from ME:

      “Even though I myself cannot abide Jeremy Smith’s political positions in any way,….”

      And, what of it, anyway? As long as politics rules the heads of people, whether leftist, rightist, or ‘betweener’, the vitriolic rhetoric will be all that happens. Nothing action-oriented ever takes place other than violent protests.

      The anthropopper is a very dynamic blog, and always looking to the future out of present potential. One of these events just occurred, which is a very healthy sign of UK eventual independence from the EU. Its fact is stirring more talk amongst the other allied nations of Europe to seek a better representation of their own independent means. Of course, keeping the European continent strong and intact is a vital part of these early talks.



    • Tom, I’m puzzled that Michael Eggert has formed an opinion about my political positions, since this blog hardly touches upon them. Perhaps, in view of my voting for Britain to leave the EU, he thinks I’m some kind of devotee of UKIP, Nigel Farage or right-wing Conservatives. If so, that only shows that he hasn’t read my reasons for voting to leave; and he obviously hasn’t read my call for an end to capitalism. If I had to define my political position, I would say that the closest I could come to it is that I am an anarcho-syndicalist with a distinct green tinge.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ottmar

    An answer to Anonymous January 27, 2017 at 5:58 pm I didnt find a reply button, sorry

    I didnt bring up the theme Second Class, I reacted to this point which was brought up.
    What nonsense that Rudolf Steiner gave an introductory lesson for the second class on his sickbed! Absolute nonsense for many reasons and it would be a waste of time and force to explain it any further.

    I had said before that there was talk about the Falter Meditation being a mantram for the Second Class. Catch the butterfly is the translation of it. IAOUE are old mantras/exercises, see the material from the Esoteric School; there are also long explanations for it.
    Catch the butterfly or Fange den Falter is from an ES from Oct. 1923, printed in CW 265. This mantra was given for the so-called Wachsmuth-Lerchenfeld-Group. For further information on this „group“ and on the mantram see CW 265, pages 455 and following. CW 265 was published in English 10 years ago! That is so easy to check and you think you get away with it because nobody speaks German and nobody knows and nobody cares.
    You seem to be in love with conspiracy, secret groups and ultra secret groups, always hoping to discombobulate.

    There is a long history of conspiracy happy folks in anthro circles, some in good faith, some to stir up suspicion and unrest. You may very well know names in the anglo-american world and in German speaking countries.
    More disturbing are those who fabricate texts for their own „political ambitions“ and I must admit that I fell victim to some fabricated or forged texts in my „anthro youth“. Lothar Arno Wilke from Hamburg for example circulated warmed over ideas from then unpublished lectures of Rudolf Steiner on letter paper from the AASR, a Scottish freemasonry lodge; this way he tried to create a link between the AASR and Rudolf Steiner. And and and.

    The rest of your comment shows -half-truths and -totally unfounded opinion (presented as facts) and -sheer nonsense. You better give reference to authorized texts of Rudolf Steiner, Ernst Lehrs or others.

    Mr Anonymous, in intellectual circles there is the habit of name dropping when you want to show off, when you want to be regared as highly well-read; here on the anthropopper list some try to present themselves as „experts“ by knowing most secret groups in the AS, by claiming to have known well known persons etc. I prefer to draw a line between facts and my own ideas, presumptions.
    As for the Catch the Butterfly you can go to the archive in Dornach and they will certainly show you the original handwriting of Rudolf Steiner. Before starting a rumour: study the records!


    • wooffles

      Thanks for explaining the source of Catch the Butterfly.


    • Bravo Ottmar, you have analyzed and described Herr Anonymous (aka Douglas Gabriel) and his bullshit concisely and wisely.


      • Anonymous

        Ottmar. I am afraid that your attitude, like Franks, is a hindrance to true discussion. Also, for those who wish to keep playing the “Name the Anonymous Person Game” – it is getting old.

        First: CW 265 appears in English as: The Misraim Service Freemasonry and Ritual Work, SteinerBooks, 2007. A compilation of information about the “supposed” Second Class can be found in Part III, starting on page 448 and goes through 500.

        In these pages you will find all that you need to know to see that the last Esoteric Lessons Steiner gave to the Wachsmuth-Lerchenfeld Esoteric School group (which included the Vorstand) –who were the very people cited at the top of the page I provided. Thus, the people present according to the post, were the people he gave that meditation to. You will also note that I “said that I was told” that the Second Class effects the etheric body. On page 475 it states: “The imagination of the Butterfly Meditation has an etheric effect.”

        Marie Steiner is quoted on page 455: “He [Steiner] was not of the opinion that one could practice esotericism as in former times, in deep isolation and with strictly binding vows.” And again later: “In Class II much of what he had given us in the Mystica Aeterna would flow into it imaginatively and that in Class III this would have been transformed into moral strength.”

        Part of the Mystica Aeterna (cognitive ritual work – freemasonry- Misraim Lodge) work was transformed into the Foundation Stone Meditation (see page 461-463) and pieces of the Esoteric Lessons can be seen transformed into the Cognitive Ritual Work. Steiner’s Theosophic Esoteric Section work began his “secret” lessons that transformed into masonic work, and then into Rosicrucian work, then the founding of the Free Religion lessons in the first Waldorf School through Herbert Hahn (Youth Circle Member) which later flowed into the Sunday school lessons of the Christian Community. These lessons were called “Wellsprings of the Soul” and there is a working group of people who study these together- I used to be a member. The founding of the Free High School of Spiritual Science incorporated many elements of previous work and the “Tableau – O Man Know Thyself” was used in numerous groups including the Circle and the First Class and other groups. It is not uncommon at all that Rudolf Steiner shared meditations between groups.

        I say this because I believe that Ottmar is incorrect to assume that an Esoteric School lesson could not be the new “open” Class II. Even Marie Steiner said Rudolf had already given indications on the Class II meditations (taken from the Mystica Aeterna and Esoteric School lessons) and the content of the lessons (about the School of Michael) and stated clearly that it will not require the types of vows and secrecy that Class I (First Class) require. The Second Class was to be open and working with imaginations of the previous schools. The Butterfly Meditation is exactly that. And if you add the other verses that were said before and after the Meditation (found in the book) – you have a complex set of rituals and meditations that go beyond any other Esoteric Lesson.

        Therefore, if you read the full set of mantras, the Butterfly Meditation, and the closing mantras – and then add the content of the three Esoteric Lessons given to the Vorstand and the others (Wachsmuth-Lerchenfeld group), you have the “beginnings” of where the Second Class was going.

        Steiner pointed out that he had tried to start up the Esoteric School after the war but members of the groups kept doing inappropriate things – especially sharing the lessons without the proper instruction from a qualified person. It was Ita Wegman who was tasked with helping the First Class members spiritually grow with the meditations. Steiner personally oversaw the Esoteric School. That was not working well, and thus Steiner’s disappointment with many students both in the Esoteric School and the First Class.

        I believe that the founding of the Esoteric Youth Section (Circle) was an attempt similar to the “beginnings” of the Second Class which used similar mantras and had a similar impulse to take esotericism out of the exclusive realm of the Anthroposophical Society and share it more openly with the world – especially since members were revealing the lessons to others. Circle members didn’t not have to be members of the Anthroposophic Society. Perhaps the second class was to be similar.

        It seems obvious that the content of the Butterfly Meditation focuses on the etheric body. It is an alchemical imagination that takes the reader through various stages of alchemy.

        Sorry Ottmar, but all that I said before I stand behind completely. I will also add that when I was brought into the Second Class by a Vorstand member in Dornach in 1976, I was then introduced to numerous other people, including other Vorstand members, who believed that the full set of meditations was certainly the “beginnings” of the Second Class. There were no vows or promises and the material was not secret and could be shared with others as long as the “full instructions” were provided so that the meditation might have its full effects. I have discussed this Second Class with many Anthroposophists.

        So, I don’t know what else I could say to show that Ottmar’s opinions are uneducated and presented in a rather abrupt and condescending fashion. I came here to offer my direct experience – not opionion – as a help in the discussion. I am sorry if Ottmar can’t accept my offerings. Perhaps he should talk with more “older” Anthroposophists – and I don’t mean grandpa Frank. Now I am beginning to see why neither Ottmar nor Frank ever made it into these groups.

        The points is, all of these groups have weird secrecy around them, including the First Class. Printing these materials without the support of a qualified person to oversee and help make the meditations more effective is not a good idea. Look at Edith Maryon’s notes and you will see what I mean. This particular meditation is an open secret that you cannot figure out without the oral instructions. Even the full text from pages 451-500 only scratch the surface of what the Butterfly meditation is saying. I dare say that it is nearly unintelligible without the secret translation. In one part of the meditation you are supposed to enter the stream of the etheric and go forward and backward in time. This is, in fact, a way to enter the Akashic Records. I don’t think the casual reader- Ottmar and Frank – will find much use in this most profound Steiner mediation. Many nay-sayers like them accuse Steiner of stealing the Butterfly Meditation from Novalis.

        Novalis Poem, trans. John Barnwell

        He who hears butterflies laugh,
        he knows how clouds taste,
        he will in moonlight,
        undisturbed from fear,
        discover the night.

        He’ll be a plant, if he will,
        an animal, a fool, a wise man,
        and can in one hour
        cross the entire universe.

        He knows that he doesn’t know anything,
        as all the others don’t know either,
        He knows, though, what all the others,
        and himself, still have to learn.

        The one who feels strange shores in oneself,
        and has the courage to stretch out,
        he will bit by bit,
        undisturbed from fear,
        discover himself.

        He takes off
        downwards to the heights of himself,
        he pits oneself calmly
        against his own underworld.

        The one who hears butterflies laugh,
        knows how clouds taste,
        he will in moonlight,
        undisturbed from fear,
        discover the night.

        Who lives in peace with oneself
        will die exactly so,
        and is then even more alive
        than all his heirs.

        Though I can see similarities, once I add to the Butterfly Meditation the oral instruction I received along with it that reveals the meaning of the Meditation, I find it a bit of a stretch. But “all knowing” Anthroposophists still say Novalis was the source.

        Personally, I find the Comte de Saint Germain’s poem even more aligned with the alchemical symbols in the Butterfly Meditation.

        PHILOSOPHICAL SONNET by Saint-Germain
        “Curious scrutator of all nature,
        I have seen gold thick in the depths of the double mercury.
        I have seized its substance and surprised its changing.
        I explain by that art the soul with the womb of a mother,
        Make its home, take it away, and as a kernel
        Placed against a grain of wheat, under the humid pollen;
        The one plant and the other vine-stock, are the bread and wine.
        NOTHING was, God willing, NOTHING became something,
        I doubted it, I sought that on which the universe rests,
        NOTHING preserves the equilibrium and serves to sustain.
        Then, with the weight of praise and of blame.
        I weighed the eternal, it called my soul,
        I died, I adored, I knew NOTHING more.”
        –trans. Manley Palmer Hall in Sages & Seers, from original ms. in British Museum

        This poem is, in my opinion, an alchemical doorway to our higher selves – but only if the reader understands the full meaning of the symbols. The same is true, in my opinion, with Steiner’s Butterfly Meditation. I believe that it is the “beginnings” of the Second Class and that many Anthroposophists have been using this meditation as the Second Class since it was given.


      • Hello, my name is Tom Mellett, and I approved the above message of Deep Larynx.


    • wooffles

      Anonymous, you wrote:
      “Many nay-sayers like them accuse Steiner of stealing the Butterfly Meditation from Novalis.”

      If the “Novalis poem” you included is the evidence they use, then they have no leg to stand on. That Novalis is the German 1970s rock band. The lyrics themselves were written by Carlo Karges.

      One controversy resolved.

      The curious can learn more here:

      Liked by 2 people

      • This made my day. Hilarious.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Anonymous

        That’s what makes it so funny and why I offer the only “wellspring” that reminds me of the Falter meditation – St. Germain’s poem – which was certainly before Steiner’s time. The Falter meditation is somewhat unusual and distinct for Steiner meditations and the “oral instructions” on how to enter the seven year time-stream of the etheric is unique. Novalis is a great band but Novalis the Romantic Poet is my favorite writer. Steiner mentioned that Novalis was an inspiration for his work. That is very evident when one studies Novalis.

        Novalis, trans. Anonymous

        We have mysteriously
        Flowed forth ever on this tide
        Into life’s expanse of ocean,
        Deeply into God.
        Forth from His heart’s outward streaming
        We return to our own circle,
        And the spirit of highest striving
        Dives into our inmost vortex.

        “We return to our own CIRCLE”

        So true. I hope everyone finds their own Circle.


      • Yes, good one, Wooffles! The modern Novalis poem by Carlos Karges (1951-2002) which became the signature song of the Novalis band in 1972.
        Wer Schmetterlinge Lachen Hört= “Whoever hears butterflies laughing.”

        (But even more rock’n’roll history here because Carlo left Novalis in 1975 and in 1981 he joined the band Nena and Carlo wrote their runaway #1 hit song in 1983 called “99 Luftballons.” Remember that one?)

        But now look at the fine print in DL’s comment. Who translated this poem of Carlo Karges from German into English? None other than the foremost expert in the history of the relationship of Freemasonry to Anthroposophy, and a close friend of Deep Larynx — John Barnwell!

        And Frank will be especially pleased at the mention of John Barnwell’s name here, because if there is one person in the Steiner Facebook Internet community that gives Frank more heartburn than DL does, it is John Barnwell!

        So, my question to you, my dear twin brother DL, is 2-fold: was Rudolf Steiner himself a Freemason? And, what are the influences of Freemasonry that helped Rudolf Steiner formulate everything to do with the First Class and the Kreis?


        • Anonymous

          Well Hollywood – Barnwell is a mason, and so am I, and so was Steiner, and many other Anthropos, even on the Executive Council. And Barnwell plays blues guitar with some of the greats. So what can you expect – he had to translate it himself. I am glad you got the joke that some people argue over fallacious ideas, red herrings and uninformed opinions – like Ottmar and Frank concerning the Circle or the Second Class (which they are not part of and yet speak in encyclicals), let alone the Freemasonic work in Anthroposophy. Barnwell’s book on the Arcana of the Grail Angel is marvelous and is the antidote to Tomberg’s Meditations on the Tarot. His translation of the poem is similar to the Falter poem and makes one wonder which came first. That is the point.

          I might have forgotten to clearly point out that in the volume on Steiner’s Misraim cogintive-ritual work there are passages from masonic rituals that are similar to the Foundation Stone Meditation. For Instance the calling out of the Brothers & Masters of Ages Past, Present Time, and Future. Even some of the rhythms are similar. From page: 463

          Masters of the Ages Past:

          Shaking in awe
          The eye of my spirit
          Perceives your radiant wisdom
          May the aim of my soul
          Be to enter your regions
          To build with you the world-building of humanity.

          Master of the Present Time:
          In willing devotion
          May the ear of my soul
          Hear your creative universal word
          So that human beings be not forever lost
          To the world-aims
          And succumb to Lucifer.

          Master of the Future:
          In love-filled will
          I unite my individual “I”
          With your universal will
          Humankind’s strength of will
          Must unite with the universal Word
          Engendering strength.

          In love-filled will
          May my individual “I”
          Unite with your universal will
          Only through that may it hope
          To find itself protected
          From Ahriman’s coldness of soul.

          And sorry Ottmar – these verses are from the Mystica Aeterna – which means they came from ANOTHER SECRET GROUP within Anthroposophy that you and Frank are not members of. Also, please note the “call from the Masters” is similar to the “call from the brothers” used in the “supposed” Second Class materials. Also, please note that the verses are much like the Foundation Stone Meditation. Also remember, as in the quotes above from Marie Steiner, that Steiner had said the Second Class would include some of the content of the Mystica Aeterna – Steiner’s Freemasonic rituals adapted from the original Memphis Misraim rites that originated with the founder of Rosicrucianism, Ormus the follower of St. Mark.

          Therefore, again, the above verses are from a secret group that required secret vows. Some Anthroposophists were invited to participate and some were not. Once again, an opportunity for people’s feelings to get hurt from the seeming rejection.

          I could go on and on about Freemasonry, but let’s end it with another name dropping to bolster my own credibility and authority (as I was accused of in previous remarks). Manfred Schmidt Brabant was a freemason and he was the Chair of the Anthroposophical Society from 1984-2001. We were good friends. He once saved me from being kicked out of the First Class for being a freemason. The good “all knowing” European elite were sure that I had committed a sin against the spirit but were stopped by Vorstand members coming to my rescue and giving the First Class old guard a lesson in Steiner”s freemasonry. I was saved, and then hated even more.

          People really get mad when they find out there are secret groups around them that they are not part of – we can hear it in Ottmar and Frank’s remarks quite clearly. There is a strong feeling of rejection that overwhelms a person when they are the last person picked to play. It must hurt a lot. Rejection is one of the most powerfully painful emotions to deal with. There can also arise a sense of betrayal, two-faced behavior, cheating, lying, controlling, and having been manipulated when the truth of the existence of a secret group, that you don’t belong to, comes to your consciousness. Secrecy carries these types of karma.

          Thanks again Hollywood for following along. I love people who actually read the post before commenting. LOL


        • Hey, Tom, how about changing the subject less often in order to avoid your pseudo-anonymous character actor embarrassment. Just one more nail in the coffin: I have before me GA265 (cited by DG.anon) open to the page where Steiner’s Moth (Falter) meditation is. I see without doubt that there is no similarity between that and the Novalis (Karges) Butterfly (Schmetterling” song, except that they’re both about bugs.


      • “Frank will be especially pleased at the mention of John Barnwell’s name here, because if there is one person in the Steiner Facebook Internet community that gives Frank more heartburn than DL does, it is John Barnwell!”

        Here they are together; two old buddies.


      • Here is Steiner’s apologia for that little bit of business, i.e., the Mystica Aeterna lodge of Menphis-Misraim:

        “Some years after the beginning of the activity in the Theosophical Society, Marie von Sievers and I were entrusted by certain persons with the leadership of a society similar to others which have been maintained in preservation of the ancient symbolism and cultural ceremonies that embody the “ancient wisdom.” I never thought in the remotest degree of working in the spirit of such a society. Everything anthroposophic should and must spring from its own sources of knowledge and truth. There should not be the slightest deviation from this standard. But I had always felt a respect for what was historically given. In this lives the spirit which evolves in the human process of becoming. And so wherever possible I also favoured the linking of the newly given to the historically existent. I therefore took the diploma of the society referred to, which belonged to the stream represented by Yarker. It had the forms of Free Masonry of the so-called high degrees; but I took nothing else – absolutely nothing – from this society except the merely formal authorization, in historic succession, to direct a symbolic-cultural activity.

        Everything set forth in content in the “ceremonies” which were employed in the institution were without historic dependence upon any tradition whatever. In the formal granting of the diploma only that was fostered which resulted in the symbolizing of anthroposophic knowledge.”


      • Excuse me, Frank, but the only reason I was changing the subject was to follow the advice that Ernst Lehrs gave to Kreis members when speaking about their inner Circle group to outsiders:

        It is much rather a question of tactful discretion steering a middle course bet­ween secrecy and indiscriminate broadcasting.

        So you see, I was exercising “tactful discretion” in not indiscriminately broadcasting the deeper spiritual secret about the original Novalis (1772-1801) and Carlo Karges (1951-2002) of the rock group Novalis.

        But now that you have chided me for my tactful circumspection, I will now reveal the secret to you. John Barnwell perceived that the original Novalis reincarnated directly, with no intermediate lives, as Carlo Karges who would then create that poem.

        And since Deep Larynx doesn’t know any German, he naturally trusted John’s translation and yet still correctly attributed the true authorship of the poem to the first Novalis, who, by anthroposophical standards, is the same spiritual Entelechy as Carlo Karges.


        • OMG what a revelation, Tom! With all due respect I ask you one question: Why didn’t Novalis write the poem when he was Novalis instead of waiting until he was Karges. Just one more thing: don’t you regret that you introduced that anonymous (ha ha) screwball here?


  3. wooffles

    Anonymous, you write:
    “People really get mad when they find out there are secret groups around them that they are not part of – we can hear it in Ottmar and Frank’s remarks quite clearly. There is a strong feeling of rejection that overwhelms a person when they are the last person picked to play”

    Ottmar once made exactly the same argument you make here. If you read this thread through, it should be clear that the dominant objection to secrecy on this thread, including by Tom, is that it makes for disfunctional working environments. As far as I can tell from your posting, your response is also the same as Ottmar’s– karma, shrug shoulders. Is there more to it?


    • Wooffles, I was going to draw attention to this before, so I’m glad you brought it up again. Ottmar has NOT made the exact same argument as Anonymous!!

      Here is what you have chosen to impute to Ottmar, which is standard boiler-plate anthroposophical criticism.

      From January 25th:

      “In other words, this isn’t about what the Kreis is for; it’s about the effect that the Kreis can potentially have on an institution, and about what Tom said did happen at Spring Valley. Ottmar acknowledged that the issue is certainly possible and said that karma sorts it all out eventually, which is a not unheard of invocation in anthroposophical institutions to avoid grappling with hard problems.”


      I challenge you to prove that Ottmar meant any of that kind of weak apologia in anything that he has said. Rather, isn’t it your own assessment for some reason?



      • wooffles


        “Shoulder shrug” was probably not the most productive choice of words, but this is what I was responding to.

        For the sake of argument, say that Tom was right about the situation in Spring Valley.

        This is Ottmar’s response:

        “Given it was unjustice done: It will of course bear personal karma/reponsability; the small group of people directly involved will share responsability; being in one esoteric group the whole Circle will share the karma or responsability; and you can widen the circles of responsability as far as to the Karma of total mankind.”

        Here is an additional response that Ottmar did not make:

        Advocate for steps that would change the situation that created this injustice to insure that it doesn’t happen again, which means facing the issue of the Kreis’s secrecy head on.


      • Ottmar’s response was multi-dimensional in dealing with the Kreis issue, and should be reviewed again for its wide-awake approach to the problem of secrecy within, and without, the Order of the Circle. Karma was never indicated as the sole solution.


      • wooffles

        Your eyes are sharper than mine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Wooffles,

        I have a feeling that you didn’t notice my reply to your post 4 days upstream

        (As a practical matter, to keep track of new comments now that there are 190, I check the notification box to get email reminders of every new comment.)

        There I indicate the Urphaenomen of this Kreis controversy, which Steve and Ottmar are completely oblivious to: follow the money!!!

        What I mean is that every single non-Kreis person I ever talked to — whether Spring Valley, Sacramento, Garden City — who had or heard of a terrible experience with the Kreis members, invariably pointed an accusing finger at the Kreis members who were in charge of the institutional power structure that signed the respective paychecks of the non-reis members — whether it was their own livelihood or those of others in the community who were deeply adversely affected by the complete lack of accountability of the Kreis structure that Tom Hart Shea described so well as a dictatorship of the oligarchy.

        So to the lofty theoretical Idealism of Steve and Ottmar, I offer this pretty bitter dose of practical Realism.


      • For the record, I have not expressed any kind of idealism toward the Kreis, and precisely because of the element of secrecy and authority. We all should know by now that there is a shadow government of anonymous figures who stand above the Executive Council [Vorstand] of the General Anthroposophical Society. They have a definite agenda which traces back to the burning down of the Goetheanum, which was a combined effort of the Masons and the Jesuits, where for one time they collaborated on this evil act. Ref. “The Tragedy of 1 January 1924”, from the book, “May Human Beings Hear It!”, Sergei Prokofieff.

        As well, all evidence of Kreis control of material and economic concerns is indicative of the profit-making arm of the society, known as the Goetheanum Building Association, who possess the various identified anthroposophical institutions, and incorporated as the so-called “association General Anthroposophy” on 8 February 1925. This is the organization that now controls the paragraphs and statutes of the original Christmas Conference of 1923.

        So, no idealism, real or theoretical, exists in my estimation of the Kreis; ever.

        Liked by 1 person

      • wooffles

        Thanks for this second posting. I’m protective of my email inbox in ways that might be somewhat antisocial, and I’m not really used to this whole commenting business. I’ll check the box you suggest.

        I understand a secret group if it is any good, by definition, won’t leave traces. At the same time, if I don’t need secret or sinister motives to explain why things turn out in a certain way, why assume that these secret, sinister motives must be there? There’s enough in itself in that whole in-group/out-group, more spiritually developed/less spiritually developed, hush-hush dynamic to lead people astray and account for the behaviors that you note, isn’t there?

        Liked by 2 people

      • Let me clarify my statement which implies the non-Kreis member problems were only with their paychecks.

        I would say it better this way: all non-Kreis members I spoke with said that the problems with the Kreis members were always connected either with non-Kreis members being directly financially dependent on the institutions where the Kreis members were in charge (including signing the paychecks), or else the Kreis members in charge made decisions that directly affected the financial investment or stake that non-Kreis members held in various institutions or initiatives involving the whole community.

        (A classic example of the latter is the redirection of Carl Stegmann’s “America-Work” Institute into Rudolf Steiner College.)


      • wooffles

        Thanks for the clarification, but my question to you in my previous comment still stands.

        On the other hand, what do I know? The anthroposophical movement that Anonymous portrays sounds like something out of a Dan Brown novel.


  4. Anonymous

    I know these guys.
    Yes, Frank freaks out when these two dudes chat with him on the Anthroposophy FaceBook group. I have watched it for years. And when John Harris gets involved it is hysterically funny. The Faust of Facebook I believe he called them and Frank almost always looses it and cusses them out. Beatrix and Adriana just let Frank cuss people out because he is really, really old and I think they allow it because he is senile or has Alzheimers. I monitor many FB groups and I think Frank has been kicked off a few sites. Barnwell really is an expert in freemasonry. Gabriel is a prolific writer who is all over the Internet through many news outlets. The two are a dynamic duo like Hollywood and I. Hey, Frank, maybe you and Ottmar could start a band and get some music in your heart.

    Frank, to see the similarity in the poems one must have music in the heart. I didn’t expect you would appreciate the humor or find much in either poem except bugs. That is so sad that you have such a limited perspective on the topic. You are not addressing what I keep bringing up – that you were wrong to ever print the First Class. Stop distracting from the topic like a troll.

    Under what authority do you “represent” Anthroposophy as a Class Member and yet share the mantras with the public? You lied here online when you said you didn’t use “not being a member” as your excuse for breaking the vows involved with the First Class when you first printed them. You can’t have it both ways Frank. Either you are a member and broke your vow or you are not a member. You just said here that you were a member since 1972 – then you broke your vow. Why did you break your vow Frank? That seems to be the point of this thread. What justification can you give except you wanted attention, wanted to be the first to print it on a public platform for some reason, or perhaps you just like breaking solemn vows. Or perhaps you have some other excuse. I haven’t seen you address the issue yet.

    Again, using a distractors does not answer the question. Answer the question and then, we can hear all the complaints about Barnwell and Gabriel that you have.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Someone on the Egoisten blog about the Kreis gave this link to an enlightening article that Ernst Lehrs wrote in 1956. It should actually be posted on the 3-folding thread because it was published in the German 3-folding Magazine called die Dreigliederung, and, in it, Ernst Lehrs describes how the constitution for any institution of the cultural sphere should be Republican, in the rights sphere, Democratic, and in the economic sphere, Associative.

    The title: Republikanisch, nicht demokratisch “A Republican one, not a Democratic one” refers to the constitution Steiner indicated that a Waldorf School Collegium should have because it is in the cultural sphere.

    Lehrs writes about the problems his own Waldorf School had in balancing the aristocratic-Republican needs (vertical) against the common-Democratic needs (horizontal).

    One passage that leaped out at me:

    Freiheit opfern um einer höheren Freiheit willen”, hat Rudolf Steiner einmal als ein Motto für geistig verpflichtendes menschliches Zusammenwirken ausgesprochen. Ohne dieses ist eine wahre Republik, oder, wie wir nun auch vielleicht wagen können sie zu nennen, eine rechte Aristo-Demokratie nicht möglich.”
    To sacrifice freedom for the sake of a higher freedom,” is what Rudolf Steiner once spoke as a motto expressing a spiritually committed human collaboration. Without this, a true republic, or, as we may perhaps dare to call it, a Rightist Aristo-Democracy, is not possible.”


    • Tom,

      As you know, I’m not a German speaker – but surely your translation of “rechte Aristo-Demokratie” as “rightist” is a deliberate mis-reading on your part. Wouldn’t a more accurate translation in this context render it as “correct” or “appropriate”? Your usual mischief-making, I assume?


      • Ottmar

        You are right, Jeremy, mischief-making and highly malicious as usual. In a previous letter I had already written about this method of his, by taking Rudolf Steiner s or other s remarks out of context, fabricating wrong connections etc. This here is just wrong and he knows that it is.
        Here a “rechte Aristo-Demokratie” doesnt mean right-wing or so but right, truely, correct, veritable.
        As a servant to truth, a helper to strengthen the ability to judge yourself, TM could have translated a larger part of that long text, where there is an explanation of what Ernst Lehrs means by a “truely Aristo-Democracy”. Perpaps he will do so now, but I doubt it. But that is typical for those stirrers, take a look at a text of 5 pages, search for incriminating phases and if you dont find such a phrase, well then create one of your own and disguise it as a translation.


        • Anonymous

          Steve. Wow. I didn’t realize that you had uncovered the secret to the burning of the first Goetheanum. After looking at all these url’s you added I assume you are saying that Gabriel was the Jesuit in Arlesheim who preached the sermon demanding the “burning” of the Goetheanum because it is evil – Hollywood Tom is the hunchback who set the fire – and Barnwell is the Freemason who showed the hunchback where to set the fire. Did I get that right? And you are here to unveil the karmic threads that have brought them back together in this life? Hollywood Tom walks awful straight and tall this incarnation – so are you sure? Maybe you are the hunchback and not good old Hollywood Tom. I think Tom is getting a bad rap. Man, I wish you had a good role for me in all those machinations. Can I be Ita Wegman or Marie Steiner please? I wonder how you sleep at night being the only one who understands these karmic insights.

          Unfortunately, I couldn’t follow the whole stream of consciousness accusations and implications Steve. Sorry.

          Hollywood makes a good point though – before you lifted the lid off of the Anthrosoposophical conspiracy theory stew.

          I would be happy to discuss this topics if you could be clear with what you are saying. In the volume in English CW265 that I keep referring to there is an insinuation to the true “cause” of the burning of the Goetheanum and it had to do with the first Christian Community Act of Consecration of Man Steiner performed before the first CC priests in a hall of the First Goetheanum. I have known four of those original priests and they have all confirmed the story I am about to tell you. This is only slightly referred to in writing in obscure “secret” CC papers that I have seen and read.

          Steiner insinuates in CW265 that the cause of the fire was because he used the incensor, candle holders, snuffers, and other “regalia” that had been used in the freemasonic rituals of the Mystica Aeterna in the Act of Consecration. The elementals of the precious “old rituals” should not have been carried forward into the
          rituals of the Christian Community. This point has been verified by the priests I mentioned.

          On the way from his house to the Goetheanum on the day of the first Act of Consecration of Man, four priests were walking with Steiner. One of them asked why Steiner had chosen such a difficult day, according to planetary transiting aspects, to enact this first Act of Consecration. Steiner answered that it was a difficult day that he chose because if something new can overcome negative aspects it will live for a long time. Then after that, a slate tile from the roof of the Goetheanum was blown off and flew down toward Steiner and came so close to his head that if cut part of his hat off. Steiner was unaffected and continued to walk. The wind was blowing wildly. When they entered the hall where the altar was set up, a workman was attaching security chains to a massive window that was directly above the altar. The priests told the workman to get down and finish the work later. Steiner told him to stay and finish. He did. Then the service started and during it the window was blown open and fell out the frame. Had the security chains not been attached, the huge window would have killed Steiner.

          The priests believed that the forces working against the founding of the Christian Community attempted to kill Steiner twice that day but did not win. But, because of the mixing of elemental forces from the regalia, the Goetheanum would be sacrificed in fire instead of Steiner’s life.

          Now, how is that for a Steve Hale conspiracy? That’s worth getting worked up about. I am sorry to keep bringing up new stuff but again the misdeed of Frank Thomas Smith in printing secret materials that he had to have vowed to not reveal when he became a First Class Member (he says now that he is a member) released elemental beings who will take their toll. Just look at this thread. Frank has yet to tell the truth or even attempt to justify his wrong deed. Revealing secrets is a powerful deed that many are not ready to be responsible for. T. H. Meyer in his printing of the First Class materials tries to justify his betrayal by using a fake quote of Marie Steiner’s to justify his actions. I think Frank, Meyers, and all the people on Dornach hill that release secret texts will suffer elemental karma that they probably won’t understand. That Frank is not ashamed and apologetic just shows his elemental turmoil that is part of the source of his nastiness. I have yet to talk with Meyers, but when I do I will say the same thing. And just look what Dornach has become. A hollow shell – a building – a tomb for an unknown soldier. Very sad but easily understood.

          Vows of secrecy are not relinquished because of personal, petty interests. The Furies (the human conscience) will chase the moral soul until the elementals are consciously meet and dissolved. Otherwise, good luck.

          The Second Class was an imaginative attempt to embody freemasonic principals, as CW 265 clearly points out. Another source of inspiration for the Second Class was Novalis’ novel, Heinrich von Ofterdingen’s Kingsohr’s Fairy Tale. Even a superficial reading of this most marvelous of fairy tales shows that Novalis used alchemical and freemasonic images and themes to display the transformation of the human that is found in the Falter mediation. It is worth a life-time of study.

          Also, the quote someone provided of Steiner’s indicating that he took nothing of freemasonry into his form of freemasonry (cognitive rituals) called Mystica Aeterna (not an original name or ritual) came principally from the Memphis Misraim Lodge work that is ancient. Anyone who is a freemason can see that the form and much of the content was quite similar to the original. I could bring many examples.

          Also, the butterfly meditation sounds quite similar to a few poems of A. E. (George W. Russell) a well-known Theosophical leader who exhibited paintings and poetry at the Theosophical Congress that Steiner was involved in with him. Steiner would have been quite familiar was A. E.’s works because of their prominent place in the Theosophical Society.

          Again, I could bring many examples.

          But one of my favorite Goethe poems that address the question of human alchemical transformation is found in this lovely poem by Goethe.

          The Holy Longing, by Goethe: trans. Robert Bly

          Tell a wise person, or else keep silent,
          Because the mass man will mock it right away,
          I praise what is truly alive,
          What longs to be burned to death.

          In the calm of the love night,
          Where you were begotten, where you have begotten,
          A strange feeling comes over you
          When you see the silent candle burning.

          Now you are no longer caught
          In the obsession with darkness,
          And a desire for higher love-making
          Sweeps you upward.

          Distance does not make you falter,
          Now, arriving in magic, flying,
          And, finally, insane for the Light,
          You are the butterfly and you are gone.

          And so long as you haven’t experienced
          This: to die and so to grow,
          You are only a troubled guest
          On the dark earth.

          My question for the group is: Why are we still beating the “dead horse” of Frank’s indiscretions when he is unrepentant and slippery as the old serpent, the father of lies. I have never got a straight answer from Frank on his newsletter site and I don’t expect one now. I expect more verbal abuse – thus, I jest with Tom because he is actually addressing the point.

          And Steve, I remember you now from the Waldorf site where you commented as if you were a Waldorf expert. Then, I found out you have little to no experience as a Waldorf teacher. My question for you is: Besides finding conspiracy theories everywhere – what is your point? And why do you consider yourself an expert in all things Steiner? I don’t know of your Anthroposophic work. Perhaps you could share why you are more informed than others on these topics.

          The Circle was indeed filled with Jews who, in fact, did run things around Waldorf schools and teacher training institutes. They also had the habit of “inviting” rich donors into the Circle though they weren’t very experienced with Anthroposophy and the rules were broken in their manner of entering the Circle. I saw this happen in America and Europe.

          But to insinuate that the Circle runs the Society is incorrect in my opinion. The Circle may be in charge in some casual way but certainly not consciously. The Circle is a small group of insiders much smaller than the First Class. And the Second Class “beginnings” is completely informal and open. That is why I share it here.

          Liked by 1 person

      • Jeremy and Ottmar! Thank you so much for catching my mistake. Indeed, my word “Rightist” is wrong and I should have used a word like “right, correct” or even your suggestion, Jeremy, “appropriate.” Therefore, I apologize profusely for making such an egregious translation error, but as a good Anthroposophist, I will of course offer the following explanation for my misdeed: “The Devil made me do it!”

        Now you guys already know that, but unfortunately, where you went wrong is in attributing my motivation to the wrong Devil. So now that I have admitted to my mistake, will you two guys admit to your respective devilish mistakes?

        Jeremy, by pointing to my mischief-making, and Ottmar, by judging me malicious, you are both attributing my motivations to the Devil Lucifer who would have inspired my conscious egotism to put the word “Rightist” in there. However, in actuality, the word “Rightist” was already provided to me by the Devil Ahriman himself and I neglected to take it out and correct it. So, where you attribute conscious malfeasance to me, I claim unconscious neglect. Let me explain.

        In the last year or so, Ahriman’s online Google Translate golem has made a quantum leap of improvement because they switched to a new AI algorithm that essentially “crowd-sources” the translations, a lot like Wikipedia “crowd-sources” our knowledge of anything we look up online.

        Because of that improvement, I as a translator, can now copy and paste the GT version as a rough 1st draft and edit it. Because my once fast fluency in German is so slow now, it saves me a lot of time to edit GT instead of translating on the spot.

        Now let me display the original German, my translation, and the GT translation with highlights of the word in question.
        „Freiheit opfern um einer höheren Freiheit willen”, hat Rudolf Steiner einmal als ein Motto für geistig verpflichtendes menschliches Zusammenwirken ausgesprochen. Ohne dieses ist eine wahre Republik, oder, wie wir nun auch vielleicht wagen können sie zu nennen, eine rechte Aristo-Demokratie nicht möglich.”
        TOM: “To sacrifice freedom for the sake of a higher freedom,” is what Rudolf Steiner once spoke as a motto expressing a spiritually committed human collaboration. Without this, a true republic, or, as we may perhaps dare to call it, a Rightist Aristo-Democracy, is not possible.”
        GOOGLE TRANSLATE: “To sacrifice freedom for a higher freedom,” Rudolf Steiner once said as a motto for a spiritually binding human interaction. Without this, a true republic, or, as we may perhaps dare to call it, a rightist democracy is not possible.”

        You see how much of GT I left intact. But you may notice that GT failed to put Aristo- with Democracy. So I had to step in and correct that and I also noticed GT’s choice of “rightist” was wrong. I was going to correct it later, but I was in a rush for time and had to work to change the one problematic phrase of GT “binding human interaction” and replace it with “committed human collaboration.” But that took more time than I expected and in my rush to post, I neglected to correct the word “Rightist” to “right.”

        So now the question is: how is it Jeremy and Ottmar, that you both misidentified the Devil that made me make my mistake? Admittedly, Jeremy, you were much more tolerant than Ottmar because you only attributed the devilish causality to my rather mild luciferic mischief, whereas it well nigh precipitated a severe inner existential crisis in Ottmar, to the extent that he even employed a concept known in Anglo-Saxon jurisprudence as “fruit of the poisoned tree.”

        For example, if the police search a person’s house without a proper warrant, then no matter what evidence they find, even if incriminating, cannot be used at trial. So since the “tree” is poisoned, then any fruit of that tree will also be poisonous.

        Therefore, Ottmar, I call attention to your comment of January 13, where you praised my translation of Steiner’s verse concerning the 2nd Beast:

        @Tom Mellett
        I appreciated very much your contribution on the translation of Rudolf Steiner’s verse: Dein Haß auf Geistes-Offenbarung . . .


        Ottmar, for your own health and sanity, I would really appreciate it if you would stop appreciating whatever I translate because all of it is “fruit of the poisoned tree” and you must reject such poisoned fruit in order to keep your own path of anthroposophy healthy and safe.

        So thank you for finding and identifying my original poisoned fruit in the Lehrs translation. Do you have any good antidotes to such poison? That’s another topic, I suppose.


        The “Gift” that keeps on giving. (cute German to English pun.)


        • As Queen Gertrude might have observed to Hamlet: “The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.”


        • You know guys, I believe Tom when he says he called Steiner a rightist by mistake, simply because he’s much too egotistic or rather proud of his half-ass German language training at the U.S. Army Sabotage Center at Monterey, Calif. Institution of which I am also an alumnus (although not in German). They concentrate on interrogation technique there, so you learn a lot about how to interrogate the enemy – in case you know who he is – but Goethe? Forget it. But Tom deserves the embarrassment for translating Steiner with Google Translate, which is not only dumb but also almost sacrilegious.


      • wooffles

        Tom is right that this is how google translate deals with it, but given how obviously wrong it is, the spiritual powers-that-be might have been sending Tom a gentle warning about confirmation bias.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Jeremy for acknowledging in your typically Anthro-passive-aggressive but nicely whimsical way that I Gotcha! back.

        Now, are you ready to discuss the motto of Steiner that inspired my posting the Lehrs piece in the first place?

        “To sacrifice freedom for the sake of a higher freedom.”

        That motto is essential in understanding what Lehrs means by Aristo-Democracy in Waldorf schools, but the real reason I brought it up here was to show that he applied this same idea of Aristo-democracy in developing the group we know as the Kreis.

        As usual, Jeremy, I find the most vivid online source to give as first example is either in your own bailiwick or else in your own biography. Here, from the blog of your former SWSF is a 2006 review of a 2005 book by David Woods about Waldorf governance that should be both Republican and Democratic. In the passage I quote below, I ask Tom Hart Shea to note the mention of oligarchy at the end.

        Early on in Lehr’s essay[3] he adds a footnote about the apparent conflict between his argument & Steiner’s use of the phrase “republican-democratic” (see Conferences January 16th 1921). Lehr’s notes this phrase, dismissing it, however, on the grounds that “this formulation was meant to be used for the ‘general public’”, a strange solipsism given that Steiner was speaking to an internal meeting of the faculty.

        In fact, Lehr’s has to qualify his dismissal of democracy later by characterising it in terms that show he is thinking of “the modern concept of parliament with its various systems of representation of group interests by elected representatives based on majority vote”[4]. He then goes on to describe a democratic process whereby “officers” of the school are elected: “the faculty thus creates a hierarchy of officers, but subsequently abstains from further democratic relations with them” (my italics).

        In this way, Lehr’s argues, the quality of “aristos” (“the officers constitute an aristocracy by whose decisions the ‘folk’… [demos]…have to abide”[5]) is established & with it the republican character of the constitution. Thus for Lehrs, a republican median is to be found between “democracy” (rule by all – “folk-rule”) & “oligarchy” (rule by the few):

        …”there is the danger on the part of the officers that their rightful aristocracy degenerates into oligarchy, since in order to safeguard their freedom of action, they may not sufficiently inform the community, or evade discussion[6]”


        • I wonder if I can help you, Tom, with your lack of understanding of the Steiner phrase you quote. Here is an extract from an essay by Adriana Koulias which I hope you will find insightful:

          “Feeling must through will and through thought become ordered and controlled. Passions and drives must conform to the dictates of moral reason – feeling begins to think – the heart is the thinking organ of the future. This requires a sacrifice of lower desires needs and wants of the Ego for a selfless love that encompasses all beings of the world and of the cosmos. This feeling life will become so acutely sensitive that the well being of the individual will depend entirely on the well-being of the whole and the whole of the individual. At the sight of a hungry person, another will feel the hunger right down into his physical body.

          Thinking must become at times inwardly suppressed. It must stop developing its own thoughts. Thinking that comes from the self must be suppressed. The result is thinking that sacrifices a lower logic for a higher one, then the thinking is freed from the bonds of the physical brain and grows beyond itself to encompass cosmic truths – Universal ideas, common universal interests of the cosmos. In such a way will it become warmed through by feeling and so developed, through bringing about a co operation of the will.

          Will must become conscious and permeated by the warmth of goodness. In this way it is freed from its sleep, and sacrifices its reliance on the physical limbs. It gains courage and begins to act out of love of moral feelings and thoughts. Then the personal opinions of the I are sacrificed for the truths that are eternal. This means that the Consciousness soul as far as it is fashioned from external impressions must be suppressed. Only then can imaginations begin to arise in it. Then will the consciousness soul be transformed into an organ of Imagination. This brings about freedom of the I which is the first step towards its task of taking into itself Manas or spirit self.”

          Now, I think we have talked about the Kreis quite enough on this thread. As you know, I had never heard of it before you raised the topic, and I am grateful to have learned something. But this thread is about the publication of the lessons of the First Class, and it is already over 200 comments long. So from now on, I will only be accepting comments that are on-topic.


      • The Devil you say, Wooffles!!!

        But not MY confirmation bias; rather, the confirmation bias of Google Translate! Yet the very fact that GT has a “Bayesian Confirmation Bias” now is a good sign. Before the AI algorithm change, it couldn’t even rise to that level of sophistication. Now it can and does.

        To demonstrate, let me take 2 sentences from the same Lehrs article where the adjective “rechte” appears and run them through GT. Then I add the infamous “rightist” sentence as #3.

        Im Erleben und Erleiden dieses Ringens konnte auch deutlich werden, worin die Schwierigkeiten für eine rechte Lösung dieser Aufgabe bestehen.
        In experiencing and experiencing this struggle, it was also possible to see the difficulties for a proper solution to this problem.

        und die zu erkennen und in die rechte Lebensgewohnheit zu bekommen
        And to recognize and to get into the right life habit

        Ohne dieses ist eine wahre Republik, oder, wie wir nun auch vielleicht wagen können sie zu nennen, eine rechte Aristo-Demokratie nicht möglich.
        Without this, a true republic, or, as we might venture to call it, a rightist democracy is not possible.

        Notice how “rechte” is properly translated in [1] and [2] as “proper” and “right” indicating correctness or appropriateness, not political philosophy.

        But the Bayesian algorithm in [3] — that is to say GT’s “crowd-sourced” confirmation bias — calculates that, in sentences where political words like democracy and republican appear, there is a much higher probability that “rechte” will mean “rightist.” And so you see the word “rightist” in [3].

        Of course, very few of the crowd sourced in the algorithm were students of Steiner, so GT went with the majority rule.


      • Excellent timing, Jeremy! I know that the Kreis discussion has run its course here and I’m glad I could be your “cyber-hierophant” in initiating you into the Mysteries of the Kreis Existence.

        But now it turns out that, like you, Michael Eggert of the Egoisten blog in Germany also had never heard of the Kreis before and thus he has invited me to be a guest blogger on Egoisten in order to inform him and his readership about the Kreis.

        So I will take much of what has been posted here in the comments and put it all into a coherent summary and narrative for Egoisten. But I will be writing the blogpost in English, so that we can all continue the Kreis discussion over there in English, which is the only other language Michael allows on his German blog.

        In the meantime, you can look at his recent entry on the Youth Circle which is in German but be of good cheer because Ahriman has made some great improvements in Google-Translate:


    • wooffles

      ‘Republican, not Democratic” is in English and the American Waldorf association has strongly encouraged people to read it. I don’t have a copy to hand, but what I took away from it as its central point was that everyone did not have to be involved in every decision (hence the title). I didn’t pick up any undertones of a plot behind this suggestion, only the all-too-true observation that with all the second guessing that takes place, it can be well nigh impossible to get anything done in a Waldorf school.


  6. Anonymous

    Ottmar and Steve. Be happy brothers. Be vulnerable – that is your strength.

    Also, if you two keep it up – Adam Michaelis might show up.

    I offer a bit of love to you both from A. E., surely one of the inspirations of Steiner’s poetry and art.

    George William (“A. E.”) Russell (1867–1935). Collected Poems by A.E. 1913.

    Divine Visitation

    THE HEAVENS lay hold on us: the starry rays
    Fondle with flickering fingers brow and eyes:
    A new enchantment lights the ancient skies.
    What is it looks between us gaze on gaze;
    Does the wild spirit of the endless days
    Chase through my heart some lure that ever flies?
    Only I know the vast within me cries
    Finding in thee the ending of all ways.
    Ah, but they vanish; the immortal train
    From thee, from me, depart, yet take from thee
    Memorial grace: laden with adoration
    Forth from this heart they flow that all in vain
    Would stay the proud eternal powers that flee
    After the chase in burning exultation.

    Be extraordinary – be a Happy Anthroposophist.

    I have interviewed many Anthroposophists who knew Steiner and I always asked: What impressed you most about Steiner. Every one of them answered something to the effect of — HIS HUMOR.


    • “You really have two occult directions, one pole carries the cosmic Christian character, the other carries the Church Christian character. Just as with the Freemasons you have to reckon with the cosmic Christian character of the symbolic brotherhoods, so with the Jesuits you have to reckon with the Church symbolic branch, because the Jesuits are led through three grades with a certain symbolism and learn to acquire precisely through this symbolism a great effect in their speech. Hence the Jesuit speakers are so very effective because they know how to build a speech up in such a way that one can work upon the uneducated masses. They gradually learn to insert certain intensities one after another into their presentation. These people go through their three grades in their own way.

      Now, all occult brotherhoods are not Freemasons. There are all sorts of varieties such as the Illuminatum in Germany, and in addition to the three lower grades, you have the three upper grades. In certain brotherhoods you have members who are in the upper grades forming a sort of communion with members in the upper grades of other brotherhoods. You know that the Jesuits battle against the Freemasons and vise versa. However, the upper orders of the Freemasons and the upper orders of the Jesuits build a special brotherhood; they build a state within a state. Just imagine what you can work in the world where on the one side you have the upper grades of a Freemason community which serves as an Instrument in order to produce certain work, setting up an understanding with the upper grades of a certain Jesuit community and and then working together in order to produce certain objectives. Such an apparatus was set up in the land which exists Northwest of Europe between Holland and France. This did not happen recently but some time ago special effects went out which used the one stream as well as the other, and was able to produce a great deal of effectiveness.”

      —-Secrets of Freemasonry, GA167, 4 April 1916


      • Anonymous

        Steve and others interested in Steiner’s freemasonic work.

        To believe that Rudolf Steiner “invented” his own freemasonic work without building on the work of the Memphis & Misraim Lodge is simply naïve. No doubt Steiner changed the rites to serve his purposes but the rituals he used are very similar to those of the Misraim Lodge. Note the connection between the OTO and the Misraim Lodge in Germany with T. Reuss. These quotes can be verified through other sources also. I thought it might be helpful to see what we are talking about.

        And be assured that Steiner’s use of the Misraim Lodge material was secret. I imagine some members got in and some were left out.

        From: The Compleat Rite of Memphis, Allen H. Greenfile Hon. 95 Ritus Memphis et Misraim, Luxor Press, 1998.

        The principle seat of the ancient mysteries was at Memphis. They were of two kinds, the greater and the lesser; the former taught by the Priest of Isis and Serapis, the latter by those of Osiris.

        The mortal who shall travel over this road alone without hesitancy or looking behind, shall be punished by fire, by water and by air, and if he can surmount the fear of death he shall emerge from the bosom of the earth.
        (Similar to the images of the Falter meditation which is a summary of the Mystica Aeterna freemasonic work)

        Upon the legacy of the Egyptian Rite of Cagliostro arose the Rite of Mizraim, the Ancient and Primitive Rite of Memphis.

        (The Misraim Lodge first appeared as): The Rite of Mizraim, possesses 90 degrees, divided into 4 series, and was established in 1805. The initiations are an imitation of the Egyptian mysteries and enclose a pure morality.

        Samuel Honis of Cairo established the French Primitive Rite of Philalethes, the Mizraim Lodge, at Montauban on April 30th, 1815.

        The Franco-Haitian and Spanish branches of the Rites of Memphis and Misraim, in 1921, completely gave up the Masonic ritual degrees in favor of considering these to be ecclesiastical empowerments associated with ordination and consecration rather than ritual initiation.

        On September 24, 1902 E. V. Yarker (John Yarker) and Associates Chartered a Grand Lodge of Memphis & Misraim for the German Empire, with Theodor Reuss (96th degree) as Grand Master. Yarker’s designated leadership for this body coincides and overlaps with the original leadership of the OTO or Ordo Templi Orientis, which Reuss incorporated into the Rites of Memphis and Misraim.

        The Rites of Misraim and Memphis (28th degree) claimed absolute sovereignty over all others, and the system adopted closely resembled that of the ancient Egyptian mysteries.


      • Unfortunately, I cannot respond to this kind of masonic contention concerning Rudolf Steiner’s very original work, and as he has stated very plainly in his autobiography, ref. chapter 36, it is a moot point. Freemasonry may be older than Steiner, but it is not better. Please remember that.

        Looking back at the original intent of this thread, I weighed in heavily with this comment:

        This was written after due consideration of Frank Smith’s reasons for publishing a new translation of the First Class Lessons, under his own copyright. Ottmar gave the history, wherein a very “bootleg” edition of the FC came out in 1977, which was entirely unapproved by the GAS. Then, after 15 more years, it was negotiated in 1992 to make the FC Lessons available to the public as a general concession. Four volumes at a very costly price. In 1995, T.H. Meyer first presented his edition, which lowered the cost by making it a one-volume study, and which appears to have been recently republished.

        This leaves Frank Smith’s own effort in the pages of his journal, Southern Cross Review, wherein according to my records he began publishing the First Class Lessons in January 2012. So, in my opinion, what was sacred, secret, and originally vouchsafed for posterity, was eventually undermined and compromised in typical fashion.

        In other words, nothing really secret remains today, except the secret rituals, ceremonies, and handshakes of the freemason brotherhood. Making the First Class Lessons available to the public hurts no one. Why? Because they have access to them in whatever format they choose. Those that choose to wait, I appreciate very much. Those that see these lessons available for review, also hold a high accord.

        Why? Because of freedom of choice, which is very important today, and a definite sign of progress in human evolution.



        • anonymous

          Steve. Then, with your logic I would ask- What “freedom” did Stener have when Frank used his “freedom” to make something steiner wanted secret public?” Your logic is seriously flawed. And, you are dead wrong about the Masonic rituals. Steiner built on existing traditions and to say he was totally original flies in the face of reality. Obviously again, you speak from little experience and more from opinion. We are all entitled to our opinions but when they do not link up with reality then one might expect contention. There is no growth with contention, resistance, and gravity- not just Luciferic levity. Dynamic tention between poles creates growth. I hope you can listen as well as speak.


  7. Ottmar

    Sorry Tom, like the former German minister for foreign affairs, Fischer, who told Bush s war minister Donald Rumsfeld, who wanted the support of the German government for the Iraq war, I also have to say: I m NOT CONVINCED.

    There were only 4 lines which you or google translated. And that gross error, totally distorting the meaning, making Steiner and Lehrs a semi-fascist, fell victim to a rush of time? It was you, Tom, who changed the google translation! „Rush of time?“ You put „rightist“ in capital letters, thus high-lighting it INSTEAD of deleting just 3 letters and you had the time to change democracy to Aristo-Democracy.
    Sure you hate to be unmasked, Tom. But with what I saw from you before and with your reaction in the latest letter (see „good trees“ further down), I must say: I m not convinced.
    (A translation of the complete article as a sort of compensation would have convinced me more than a „rush of time“.)

    After analyzing the present (reinforcing the mistake instead of correcting it) and the past („usual mischief-making“) it is imperative to open up the chance for a positive future. I will gladly revise my „not convinced“ when I dont see any further „mischief“.

    Appreciating, checking translations is one of the few things I can do and will do for this list and why should I ignore your translations? Do you hope more „rightist“ mistakes should remain unnoticed? Benevolent translators, „good trees“ should welcome and invite „crowd-sources“!

    Gift is an interesting word indeed, it is a very old word, more than 1000 years old, see the etymology of it. In German it is not only poison, but the old sense is still in the word „Mitgift“, dowry, the present of the bride, gift and give are related. Goethe still used Gift with the same meaning as in English. English: gift give German: Gift Gabe geben (Mitgift, That s a gift – Das ist eine Begabung)


  8. Caryn Louise

    “Lucifer desires that man shall be led automatically, in accordance with perfectly good principles, to clairvoyance — but he wants to deprive him of his free will, to remove from him the possibility of evil-doing. Lucifer wants to make man into a being who, it is true, acts out of the spirit, but acts as a reflection, as an automaton, without free will.

    This is connected with certain specific secrets of evolution. As you know, the Luciferic beings have remained stationary at other stages of evolution and they introduce an element that is foreign to the normal evolutionary process. They are deeply interested in so seizing hold of man that he does not unfold free will, because they themselves have not acquired free will.

    Free will can be acquired only on the Earth but the Luciferic beings want to have nothing to do with the Earth; they want only Saturn-, Sun-, Moon-evolution, and to remain at those stages. In a sense they hate the free will of man. Their manner of acting is highly spiritual, but it is automatic — that is a point of great significance — and they want to lift man to their own spiritual heights, to make him an automaton — a spiritual, but an automatically spiritual, being.

    Thereby on the one side the danger would arise that prematurely, before his Spiritual Soul is in full function, man would become a being whose actions are those of a spiritual puppet and he would sleep through the impending revelation.” (GA182)


  9. That is “without” contention. We need levity and gravity to grow. I will bring the gravity this time.


    • “Steiner built on existing traditions and to say he was totally original flies in the face of reality.”

      What do you mean when you say, “That is “without” contention”? Are you indicating that the cited lecture [GA182] is inaccurate, or maybe, not proven?
      What can be proven is that his claims/assertions are original. As well, it can be proven that Steiner’s one condition for getting into the movement for spiritual science was that he required the freedom of complete independence to conduct his own spiritual research with the faculty of exact clairvoyance.

      This was agreed at the so-called “Chrysanthemum Tea Party” of November 17, 1901, when Marie von Sivers asked the key question, and received what it would require for successful achievement.


      • Anonymous

        Without contetention – refers to the idea that any experienced mason would see the similarities between the original Misraim Lodge and Steiner’s Misraim Lodge. That is without contention. You are not a mason so perhaps you would not notice.


      • Looking westward – RS gave some interesting commentary about what to expect from America. “An impulse that will not prevent communication, but make it very difficult” – “That Anthroposophy will protrude as a cartoon comic”. – “That Americans live in the soul of their instinctive consciousness.”
        For several years, I and others have followed with Social Media, as the teaching of different people has conducted a debate that has been conducted with great accuracy as to what data concerns. The interest is just this deep insight into Steiner’s work, but the ways in which the roads are separated are in the conclusions that are drawn on the basis of these data.
        I have previously named a few in this network.
        We meet people like Peter Stoutemyer and C. R. Clement. Douglas Gabriel and John B. Tom M and S. O. Prokofieff. With out any way of comparison these individuals.
        Peter S and C. R Clement are academically educated. Douglas G presents himself as converted Jesuit, Mason and Anthroposophist or together with John B represents an “authentic” Rosy Cross stream. Tom M as I see it is a “wild card” going in all directions. Looking for recognition.
        From what side these perceptions are presented, I see an attempt to undermine Steiner as an individual – either as a character or as a scientist.
        The work of Rudolf Steiner before 1900, is overlooked or rejected.
        Second, we are facing his relations to the world of Initiations of the Mahatma Gurus of HPB and the OTO or T. Reuse, who had nothing to do with the MM of John Yarker, who were the MM contact to R. Steiner’s work in Berlin . The messe with Alister C and T. Reuss is what a pity.
        Third, we have the many attempts at character murder against Steiner.
        In all three cases, I found in the early Class Lessons, an answer to what is lacking in the recognition process of these people if we do not talk about psychological problems. But it is not the place to go into these questions here and now.
        In the first class lessons, Steiner opens for a definition of the Thinking as the power of spiritual creation, whose imagery he describes as a “thought plague” or a ghost’s thoughtful thinking.
        Steiner defines thinking as a threefold process, consisting of Vision, Logic and Memory imaginations. These three features are a mirror of the First Hierarchy – Angels, Archangels and Archai.
        It is from this perspective that we must foresee his work with Philosophy of Freedom, as a book of the Great, or “I am a Book.”
        Steiner persuaded through class lessons to train us to unite or unite the living thinking or what he called “a modern conscious mindset”.
        The problem I have seen is that most in their realization striving can not come free to their dualistic thought constructions and speculations.
        As said, Class lessons were already made public in German by Dornach in 1992. The American speaking world was more concerned with copyright, thought control or the creation of a “new mystery center” in Dornach.
        Against this background, the American world should be Frank Smith deeply grateful for these Class Lessons to be available online, as well as for recent studies by T.H. Meyer.
        The attempt to make publication as something irregular seems to be pathetic that it is a breach of an oath.
        The 26 june 2012, Cara St. Louis made a Face First Class Study Group, but as said the lessons in English war “secret” – and no one wanted to share. I came to think of the words of F; Bacon “Knowledge is Power However personally German was Ok with me. The process was first made possible when Frank Smith shared his translations for free and open sources.
        Some experiences individuals joined the FB group and I renamed it as C1 (Class One) – however I realized that no one of these experienced really wanted at “Text Study group” – and I saw the beginning of a “FB Talkshow” or tendencies to sidetrack the issues – constant talking around the integration all kinds of “relevant” informations.
        Concerning the idea of a “Second Class” – I saw the indications in the Ritual text of 1,2 and 3 Grade. I made a FB named “C2” – not to praxis any kind of Ritus, but as a forum for collection data concerning that work.
        In the book by T, H. Meyer “The new Cain” you will find a qualified assessments, relating to the The three archetypical imaginations of the Three grades: 1) Paradise lost. 2) Chymical wedding or the Grail. 3) The new Cain,


  10. Caryn Louise

    Thinking is not there to rehash the sense-perceptible but rather to penetrate what is hidden to the senses. Sense perception provides only one side of reality. The other side is a thinking apprehension of the world. Now thinking confronts us at first as something altogether foreign to perception. The perception forces itself in upon us from outside; thinking works itself up out of our inner being. The content of this thinking appears to us as an organism inwardly complete in itself; everything is in strictest interconnection. The individual parts of the thought-system determine each other; every single concept ultimately has its roots in the wholeness of our edifice of thoughts. (Rudolf Steiner: The Science of Knowing, Chapter 11, Thinking and Perception)

    But it is not a question of our penetrating mystically into our Body through our soul-spiritual phenomena; rather, it is a matter of penetrating through our material phenomena, the phenomena of the sense world. (GA199, 8th August 1920)


  11. Ottmar

    Freemasonry and Rudolf Steiner

    Talking about Freemasonry and Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy is rather fruitless. What are the known facts, though?

    Rudolf Steiner never attended a „work“ in another lodge than his own. I dont know of any documents that give prove of the opposite.

    Rudolf Steiner bought the „patent“ from Reuss, so that he was entitled to start free-masonry work. He did not use the rituals of the Memphis-Mizraim work, that were used in theosophical circles under Annie Besant s jurisdiction.

    I havent seen a comparative study on the ritual texts, as far as they are known from Rudolf Steiner and other Memphis-Mizraim lodges.

    Rudolf Steiner changed the rituals several times, because parts were made public by former members, best known the case of the Goesch papers.

    It is in the nature of things that there were similarities between the rituals of the Memphis-Mizraim work in the succession of John Yarker and the work of Rudolf Steiner. The three altars of wisdom, love and strength are a spiritual reality, how would you change that? To state that Rudolf Steiner copied other rituals by using the 3 altars is just misleading.

    At the beginning of WWI Rudolf Steiner destroy the patent, that he had from Reuss and he ended freemasonry work for good.

    Vol 265, which contains texts on the FM work, but it leaves much room for improvement. The few transcripts, that exist, were not printed in a chronological order, but they were torn apart and presented under different headings like clothes, symbols, etc.

    Beside CW 265, there are the coherent texts, which are cirulated privately and we have a few memoires concerning the FM work, the best I think if from Andrej Beljy, in Verwandeln des Lebens (I cant tell whether this has been translated). And there are the long texts by Goesch which were published at his time and in the 80s in an obsucre esoteric magazine; I dont think this has been translated.

    After WWII Fred Poeppig was encouraged by Marie Steiner to write or develop (freemasonry) rituals. There is a small group in Germany that works with the rituals of Fred Poeppig.


    • Anonymous

      Thank you for making my point again in your comment above – “It is in the nature of things that there were similarities between the rituals of the Memphis-Mizraim work in the succession of John Yarker and the work of Rudolf Steiner.” That is what I said and then you argued and said no. Now you say yes.



      • Ottmar

        Is it my poor command of English that created this misunderstanding??

        „He did not use the rituals of the Memphis-Mizraim work“ „It is in the nature of things that there were similarities“ „The three altars of wisdom, love and strength are a spiritual reality, how would you change that? To state that Rudolf Steiner copied other rituals by using the 3 altars is just misleading.“
        I m not a freemason, but I think there are 3 altars in all(?) or most(?) rituals. Rudolf Steiner couldnt possibly invent the wheel again. The 3 altars in the east, south and west are given realities.
        So I put it in other words: Rudolf Steiner didnt copy existing rituals, but he wrote the rituals along the lines of spiritual realities.
        Did I now make myself clear or havent I got your point yet?

        The „Poeppig freemasons“ use the 3 altars as well. They allow non-members to attend the rituals, what I did a few times.
        I got a copy of the German text of the Memphis-Misraim rite, which was practised by the Reuss group, but I havent compared this text with Rudolf Steiner s text in detail. But I would appreciate very much if somebody did this study.

        @ Falter Meditation
        Just one minor point. The Falter Meditation was given for the Wachsmuth-Lerchenfeld-Group, not for Edith Mayron. However Rudolf Steiner wanted his close co-worker and esoteric student Edith Mayron to know this meditation as well, so he wrote it down, added a few explanations and brought it to her sickbed. This is what you find in CW 265 and Eggert reports this correctly. (No comments on Eggert s opinion from my part!)


  12. One should never attempt to cross the threshold without the proper development of the soul’s organs of perception in every regard. Plus, without advanced preparation required by Dr. Steiner, the instructions would be ridiculed by the lay person who would be incapable of understanding the descriptions in the correct light. This should never be posted on the internet!


    • Emanuel Blosser

      Hi Bill,

      You write:

      ‘One should never attempt to cross the threshold without the proper development of the soul’s organs of perception in every regard. Plus, without advanced preparation required by Dr. Steiner, the instructions would be ridiculed by the lay person who would be incapable of understanding the descriptions in the correct light. This should never be posted on the internet’

      Nice to hear a new voice in this conversation and one that is on topic.

      Steiner gives instructions in ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’ for coming to the perception through observation and logic that thinking can’t possibly have its source in the brain and that when one is engaged in pure thinking one is in a purely spiritual realm outside the body. In the last chapter of ‘Riddles of Philosophy’, part 2, chap 8, GA18, he makes if very clear that an unprejudiced study of philosophy leads to genuine experiences outside the body.

      “In this way, a view of a reality is opened up for the soul that is inaccessible to the senses. What is experienced in the soul through the penetration into this reality, appears as the true entity of the soul. How is it related to the external world that is experienced by means of the body? The soul that has been thus freed from its body feels itself to be weaving in an element of soul and spirit. It knows that also in its ordinary life it is outside that body, which merely acts like a mirror in making its experiences perceptible. Through this experience the soul’s spiritual experience is heightened to a point where the reality of a new element is revealed to the soul.”

      The Michael Words given in the School also give instruction on how to move from the sense world, across the soul world/abyss, through the gate into the field of knowledge. Are these 2 descriptions of the same threshold?

      Another question:

      When I joined the School of Spiritual Science in 1992, I was asked to swear to keeping the lessons private. I was also, told with the agreement of the Executive council in Dornach the public publication of the lessons and mantras in German had already occurred and that an English edition was being prepared. and that because of this the mantras were expected to lose their power so that there might not be a School any more. I asked at the time why am I to keep private something that isn’t private? I told that is what the leadership has decided to do so far.

      So I received the lessons and mantra orally and wrote down the mantra. I also, received the lessons and mantra from the books that the Class reader put on the public library shelf at the Steiner house in Ann Arbor. Later I bought the books myself, delivered to me by the Class reader. I have therefore received the lessons two ways, one private behind locked doors and one public, from the same person. Now both in German and in English they are available from the big library that we call the internet. Since there are public and private transmission streams already as facts do you see the internet as a additional stream of transmission or is it essentially the same as having the books on the shelf of a public library?



      • Ottmar

        „…an English edition was being prepared and that because of this the mantras were expected to lose their power so that there might not be a School any more.“
        What was your personal experience or that of friends? Was there a change, when the mantras had been published?

        I talked to a priest on the Christain Community about the publication of the courses for the priests. He said that he could live with the publication of the courses, but the publication of their breviary had been a blow.


        • Emanuel Blosser

          Hi Ottmar,

          You ask:

          „…an English edition was being prepared and that because of this the mantras were expected to lose their power so that there might not be a School any more.“
          What was your personal experience or that of friends? Was there a change, when the mantras had been published?

          As I said, at the time I joined in 1992 the lessons and mantra had already been published in German. So I don’t have personal experience of the transition. I have a letter somewhere in my files from Virginia Sease that details known times when the hand written mantra were in the hands of non-members. The oldest item on that list was 1928 at Russian customs a member’s mantra book was seized. The following decades each had significant failures to maintain the privacy of the mantra.

          The admonition that is stated in the lessons is that when another mantra that had previously been given to an unnamed group came into the possession of someone outside that group it lost its power. The mantras of the first Class have a long history of being in the hands of people outside the membership. At this point in time they also have a long history of being committed to printed media along with the lessons. Now there is the new question of have they changed any because of being committed to circulation, first in German and then in English, over the electronic transmissions of the internet?

          This needs to be broken down into several distinct questions. Foremost, what is the power of these mantra? Has it been lost? Secondarily, is transmission via electronic pulses any more Ahrimanic than transmission over great distances through printed text? The lessons themselves raise the question that some of the people holding membership cards are not rightfully present and will in the future be removed from membership. In this context the lesson goes on to say that in the end only those that use the mantra for its true purpose will be the members of the school. So what is the true purpose and who has used the mantra for that purpose? Do the mantra still have the strength to achieve that purpose?

          In the mantra the spirit messenger who alone can shed light upon your path states that he is the only gate to knowledge. If one has carefully considered the steps of logic and observation presented in Steiner’s ‘Philosophy of Spiritual Activity’ that thinking is a universal human activity not a subjective one, it should not be a difficult step to accept that there is only one gate to knowledge in contrast to the concept that every individual has their own truth and so their own path to that truth. This the first stumbling block on the way to answering the questions what is the purpose and power of the mantra and who are the rightful members. Next come the admonitions to have courage on the path of knowledge, fire in the knowledge quest and creative work on the path of knowledge. These are the first instructions given by the Guardian to prepare the soul forces so they become wings instead of being beasts. It is stated in the lessons that the beasts described in the mantra are one’s own soul forces in their undeveloped state. To get from the subjectivity, individuality and transitoriness of the sense world over to the objectivity, universalness and
          eternalness of the field of knowledge one has to turn these beasts from burdens that pull one back to the gravity of the sense world to wings that soar across the abyss.

          I have learned this purpose and power of the mantra and lessons from reading the texts and find no difference between the printed and electronic media to arrive at this communication from the spiritual world. From attending the rituals of oral communication that I have attended so far behind the locked doors, I haven’t found anything nearly as clear and powerful. The mantra and lessons state that their purpose is to develop the soul forces to cross the threshold. They still have the power to do this. Who has used this power?



  13. My counterpart in Germany, Michael Eggert, has been diligently following this Anthropopper thread and he just posted about the Falter (Butterfly/Moth) Meditation on Egoisten.

    Rudolf Steiners Falter-Meditation oder: Das Denken muss ein Tasten werden

    Rudolf Steiner’s Butterfly/Moth Meditation, or: Thinking must become a Groping.

    Michael notes that Rudolf Steiner created the Butterfly/Moth Meditation for Edith Maryon and I quote the sentence that explains the “groping” in the title.

    Wir sollen uns erleben wie eine Schnecke, die ihre Fühlhörner ausstreckt. Das Denken muß ein Tasten werden!“

    We should experience ourselves as a snail, whose feelers are stretching out. Thinking must become a groping.

    [Note: “groping” is meant in its positive connotation of “groping forward” or “feeling out for” or however you would describe navigating a furnished room in the dark.]

    Michael also mentions Edith Maryon’s notes where we find the same individual vs. collective polarity that Ernst Lehrs expresses in his 1956 essay about the “Republican not Democratic” dynamic in Waldorf school governance.

    Zudem wird in dem Mantram der Pendelschlag zwischen der „Demokratie mit den Mitmenschen“ und der tragischen, einsamen „Aristokratie des Denkens“ angesprochen, wenn man den Notizen Maryons folgt.

    If you follow Maryon’s notes, the mantram also speaks to the pendulum swing between “democracy with your fellow man” and the tragically isolating “Aristocracy of Thinking.”


    Finally, Michael mentions the Wachsmuth-Lerchfeld group where Steiner indicates the cause of the Goetheanum fire which is the source of Steve Hale’s recent comment:

    We all should know by now that there is a shadow government of anonymous figures who stand above the Executive Council [Vorstand] of the General Anthroposophical Society. They have a definite agenda which traces back to the burning down of the Goetheanum, which was a combined effort of the Masons and the Jesuits, where for one time they collaborated on this evil act.

    And the indomitable Frater DL answers Steve’s comment with much more detail here:


    • Indomitable, huh? I found the remarks rather insipid and typical of someone playing a game with much satire, irreverence and Steiner’s precious “humor”.

      So, let us look at a kind of chronology of facts from the so-called “beloved humorist” of spiritual science, who could also be so deeply solemn and serious:

      “You know that the Jesuits battle most fiercely against the Freemasons and vise versa. However, the upper orders of the Freemasons and the upper orders of the Jesuits build a special brotherhood; they build a state within a state. Just imagine what you can work in the world where on the one side you have the upper grades of a Freemason community which serves as an Instrument in order to produce certain work, setting up an understanding with the upper grades of a certain Jesuit community and then working together in order to produce certain objectives. Such an apparatus was set up in the land which exists Northwest of Europe between Holland and France. This did not happen recently but some time ago special effects went out which used the one stream as well as the other, and was able to produce a great deal of effectiveness.” GA167, 4 April 1916

      “At a certain point in time beginning with the end of the eighteenth century, the Masonic orders bounded with the Jesuits, and they were in charge of the higher orders for certain degrees. Thus, you find Jesuitism not only where Freesmasonry is maligned, or sermons are given against it; but rather in the upper degrees you find a lot of the purest Jesuitism.” GA198, 3 July 1920

      “More than once, I have pointed out how Catholic clerical factions, especially here in Switzerland, are now resorting to a web of lies in order to destroy spiritual science. Those of you who have been here have witnessed a number of examples of what the Catholic Jesuits come up with in the attempt to destroy anthroposophy. Consider the attacks made by Jesuit seminarists with weapons that are certainly not nice. Switzerland and Central Europe, where these things happen, are all part of the world. So, too, is America. I recently received a magazine published in America in which anthroposophically oriented spiritual science is characterized, while, at the same time, the Jesuits in Europe denounced spiritual science as a threat to the Catholic Church and to Christianity. You know by now that Reverend Max Kully [Arlesheim] stated that there are three evils in the world. One is Judaism, the other Freemasonry, but the third — worse than all of them, even worse than Bolshevism — is what is taught here in Dornach. This originates from the Catholic side, and is how anthroposophy is characterized.” GA199, 6 August 1920

      “The co-operation of Lucifer and Ahriman had brought things to such a pass at the time of the Mystery of Golgotha that man would have died out on the earth. But, by what was accomplished through this great Mystery, he was saved from the forces of destruction. The invigorating forces of which the physical body had need were imparted to it once more. This was the result, the entirely real result, of the Mystery of Golgotha. I spoke of this in lectures given in Karlsruhe, in a cycle entitled, “From Jesus to Christ”, ref. GA131, October 1911. The greatest hostility was aroused by these lectures because, out of a sense of esoteric duty, certain truths were presented which many people wish to keep concealed. Indeed it can be said that from a certain quarter [Catholic-Jesuits) the hostility to Anthroposophy started from these very lectures.” GA224, 7 May 1923

      “I have long since had to point out how, arising from a very subordinate side of freemasonry, and then repeatedly in all kinds of astrological works, and snatched up by all opponents some time ago, the sentence was put out the world over that spiritual sparks of fire aplenty had flown into the Goetheanum in Dornach; the time would come when the physical spark of fire will fly into this Goethenaum.” GA224, 23 May 1923

      “Hiram Abiff was reborn as Lazarus and thus became the one first to be initiated by Christ. With him began the stream of the centre which stood between the Cain – and the – Abel stream. In the course of time the Cain-stream found its main representatives among the Freemasons, whereas that of Abel found its expression among the priestly stream of the Catholic church. Both these streams of humanity remained sternly hostile to each other. Only once they united in concord – in their hatred against the stream of the centre. The result of this harmonious unity of both otherwise hostile directions was the destruction of the Johannes-Bau (Goetheanum).” GA265, 27 May 1923



      • I was drawn rather quickly to Frater DL’s previous posting about Jesuit spies in anthroposophy, which he also leads:

        I guess we all learn our lesson in what it means to masquerade in the ‘anonymous’ format. As an anthroposophist, I say: “Bring it on”. Tell us what you think you know. Then, we get to find out in a a very objective way.

        For example, look at the Gabriel’s in their respective portraits. The one exudes levity in full frontal, while the other, in profile, utterly reeks of dark gravity. I think he even already said it with a kind of significance. Get a haircut and shave, and you might even be presentable for a video 😉



      • wooffles

        BTW, Steve’s “quite a ping” link goes to a Douglas Gabriel blog post in which Gabriel says at the beginning that he agrees with with Anonymous’s posts here, then reproduces them, and then at the end reiterates his agreement by copyrighting them.


      • Well, Steve and Wooffles, may I be the first to congratulate you both on your successful initiation into the Temple of Wisdom of Neo-Anthroposophy. You are to be commended for taking the first step along the true Neo-anthroposophical path that first demands awakening to full consciousness from your previous dreamy state of Luciferic enchantment which we might call: Paleo-Anthroposophy.

        Tyla and Douglas Gabriel are the digital architects of Sophia’s Temple of Wisdom. You are now visiting , a place where we explore anthroposophy as it unfolds in today’s world, something we call neoanthroposophy.

        Temple of Wisdom

        Discover “new insight” into Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy as we offer you a contemporary approach to understanding and applying Steiner’s spiritual science. Always honoring the traditions and foundations of Steiner’s prolific works, our writings and presentations seek to help the modern day spiritual aspirant discover and explore his or her “next level” in spiritual awakening.

        Frater Tomfortas,

        Maverick Hierophant of Neo-Anthroposphy
        Germanic Curator of Paleo-Anthroposophy


      • I would encourage everyone to look at this video, and judge for yourself whether Novalis was the first source of influence for Steiner’s anthroposophy. As well, Steiner was a “card carrying member” of the original TS of HPB, and continued it in 1905, in Berlin, with his wife Marie von Sivers! Yet, they did not marry until 1914.

        Please feel free to blow holes in this ridiculous discourse. Sure, our Anonymous and Douglas Gabriel are copacetic in the copyright domain. Why not? As well, neoanthroposophy fully embraces the work of RS, which rather nullifies any notion of a “paleo-anthroposophy” needing to be rejected. Who came up with that idea 😉


  14. Pingback: The Secrecy of the First Class, the Circle, and Steiner Freemason – Our Spirit

  15. Ottmar

    @ Emanuel Blosser, February 8, 2017 at 12:06 pm
    On the First Class and its mantrams

    It is true that the mantras fell into „unauthorized“ hands very early, it began, as you know, in Rudolf Steiner s time, when the hand written mantras were lost in the street or forgotten in the Glashaus, and he was not amused about it. Many steps followed until the present state, now anybody can get them any time, for free (no money, no study required, no moral qualification), both in German and in English.

    I think one important aspect/step is not so much in the mind of anthroposophist, not today, not in the past. And that is the esoteric judgement of Marie Steiner after Rudolf Steiner s death: Now the Christmas Conference has become historic! What did she mean, what does this imply?
    The Christmas Conference with the 3 Classes at its heart were meant to be a living, functioning body or organism of initiation and the Anthr.Soc. should, with the help of this spiritual substance, fertilize all fields of life.
    After a good study of anthroposophy and the necessary moral level, the members could join the First Class.

    A complete body or school of initiation must work on 3 levels (Manas, Buddhi, Atma) and all 3 levels or aspects must be „present“, if a work is in the highest sense successful. The Classes 2 and 3 were not yet revealed, incarnated, present in teachings, mantras and rituals, but they were present in the person of Rudolf Steiner. We could say that the second and third class, which must spiritually be present „in the atmosphere above“ the first class, was present in a veiled form, in the person of Rudolf Steiner.

    So after the death of Rudolf Steiner, the teachings and mantrams of Class 1 were left, but the living, fully-conscious connection with the spiritual world, with the Christ was cut or lost. There was the highly valuable heritage of Rudolf Steiner, the books and lectures, the (complete?) First Class, but the members were left like orphans. Ita Wegman, who had received a special „training“ to lead the First Class, felt responsible for it, but the First Class was spiritually incomplete without Rudolf Steiner or the revealed and working Class 2 and 3.

    The First Class should have given direction, lead, orientation for the AS. But the first Class would have needed „the blessing“, the force of the Second Class and behind the Second Class there was to be the „backbone“, the insurmountable, always present vertical holding power.

    This is what Marie Steiner meant when she said the Christmas Conference had become historic. Historic not in the sense of an event, that has happened in the past, but that the spiritual continuance was gone or lost. And so, in a very long time perspective, this judgement included the possibility to publish the First Class.

    But of course any „meditation effort“ will have its results, so the mantras and the First Class still serves a good purpose. I only wanted to question that the First Class is still the same as it was when Rudolf Steiner led it.
    Sincerely Ottmar


    • Ottmar wrote:
      “The First Class should have given direction, lead, orientation for the AS. But the first Class would have needed „the blessing“, the force of the Second Class and behind the Second Class there was to be the „backbone“, the insurmountable, always present vertical holding power.”

      Yes, and a month ago I wrote about this. Consciousness, Past-Present-Future, must become simultaneously beheld in all three aspects; thus, objective consciousness. Anthroposophy, Psychosophy, Pneumatosophy. Spiritual Science at its highest level [third class] = Pneumatosophy, or Science of the Future; Psychosophy [second class], or Science of the Present; and Anthroposophy [first class], or Science of the Past.

      Spirit-Recollection = Pneumatosophy [Thou Livest in the Limbs]
      Spirit-Contemplation = Psychosophy [Thou Livest in the Pulse of Heart/Lungs]
      Spirit-Awareness = Anthroposophy [Thou Livest in the Resting Head]


  16. Ottmar

    @ Emanuel Blosser, February 8, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I dont see so much a problem in the „transmission“ of the mantras by electronic means. But I see a problem say when you read the mantram in your meditation from a screen.

    Would you do your meditaion with a kalashnikov on your lap? Why not? Perhaps it is your „feeling“ that forbids it, but what is the esoteric reality behind this feeling? There are elementals connected to everything in nature and also to every object, created or produced by men. There are some clearvoyant anthro researchers (and perhaps others) who have examined this. Their results like my „feeling“ say that it is not a good idea to have this around when you meditate or these electronic gadgets make it much more difficult to enter into meditation and reach a pure and high level in it. (That sounds a bit materialistic in my poor English but you can try yourself.)


    • wooffles

      It is surely relevant that there are plenty of studies now showing that you don’t read anything as well from a computer as you do from a hard copy. For a discussion:


    • Emanuel Blosser

      Hi Ottmar,

      Good I’m glad too hear that transmission of the lessons and mantra by electronic means is not a problem for you.

      On using the mantra, I have known the 19 mantra by heart since 1993. I didn’t get my first computer until 1994. So I don’t have any personal experience of meditating while reading on the screen. Before I memorized the mantra I did find reading my hand written mantra rather clumsy for mediation. Reading involves the sense world, while meditation does not. So I memorized the words. I had this same experience with the Foundation Stone and the Soul Calendar. They became much richer when I didn’t have to go to the sense world to read the words.

      Whether one perceives the words from sense life through reading or takes hold of them from memories imprinted on the etheric body, meditation is a matter of what one does with the words once one’s consciousness is fully focused on them. They speak of light and time and space in two other worlds above the sense world. If one uses the words to first learn to move and consciously exist in those to other worlds, second to meet the beings of those worlds with awaking consciousness so that one can discern the light beings from the dark and third take on the tasks the Christ beings want to send down into the sense world, then one has a meditative life. As the lessons say, if one memorized the words and only re-cited them from memory nothing would be accomplished. Only when one follows the words to their source, re-coginizes the beings speaking, and devotes oneself to the mission and deeds of those beings is anything accomplished by having the words. In the case of reading a newspaper the words lead to the personality of the reporter. Prior to the post-truth age newspaper words were also supposed to lead to an actual event in the sense world, but that was then this is now. In the Class mantra and lessons we meet words that don’t have their source in the sense world or in an individual human subjective soul experience, but come to us directly from the universal cosmic intelligence of Michael. They shine light on the Christ as he is working and living in the earth sphere now and on the dark counterforces that roam in the unawake human soul life.



      • Ottmar

        Hi Manny,

        I fully agree with what you had to say. I can see that you have a longtime experience in meditating mantras. And this is what the spiritual world wants us to do and what our world so desparately needs to slow down the speed on the highway to hell.

        „I memorized the words“ At the first moment I thought: Well, that is not enough, but then I was glad to read: „As the lessons say, if one memorized the words and only re-cited them from memory nothing would be accomplished.“ and „Only when one follows the words to their source, re-coginizes the beings speaking…“

        (By the way, there is a school of conscious music listening, called Musicosohpia. They follow the same line in music: The composer „takes“ the music or is inspired from a spiritual sphere where the music lives/exists. The composer translates this music into musical notes. The musician then should not only play the musical notes but should also get to the sphere where the music originates and „play from there“. But the whole musical process is only completed when also the listener can reach this sphere while listening and doesnt only listen outwardly, waiting for a virtuoso perfomance. The loud shouting and clapping afterwards, even before the last tone is gone, only shows that they havent reached or entered this „holy process“.)

        Memorizing or reading, open or closed eyes, these are matters of personal experience and I think there is no right or wrong here. Doing it, experiencing it, that is what matters and I m sure you will agree. Then there is the question of how often, when, where, standing, sitting, which position of hands and arms, facing which direction and many more questions. We have to find out ourselves, in years and years of practise, change and develop our ways in „meditation“.


  17. I would just inform you that we for 5 years have been working online in an FB study group – by the name “C1”. Thanks to the translation of Frank. Personal I was studying them in German before that. In 1980 I was an member of the Nordic AS Council, and Jørgen Smit, Norway, at a seminar in Denmark, spoke of Three Ritual Grades from MM and their relations to the later Three Classes. And “free class readings”. I began at that time to study this aspect of Sciences of Invitations. My first meeting with Steiner was in 1968, and was initiated by what I later came to call my “DAMAR experience.” Later followed two “Sophia experiences” and in 1982 came what later came to call my “Personal-Steiner online experience.” – Natural the situations from 1923 to 2017 (93 years) have changed. So much that some do not care about this esoteric lessons anymore. What a Pity. However, I would say that they will last until the end of the Michael period 2250. I see it as a natural process of evolution. The form is changing but the essences remain the same.
    I would add that Steiner indicated that the Ritual Text of 1st. 2nd and 3de Grade, night become a work of the future. I am preparing that work in and other FB study group “C2”. Thank you.


    • Emanuel Blosser

      Hi Soren,

      You speak of two Sophia experiences. Would be able to tell about these experiences and why they have this name? Also, personal-Steiner experience, can you tell about that?



      • Gratefully,; why gratefully? You have just written about a so-called “post truth era”, and then Ottmar writes, “slow down the speed on the highway to hell.”

        So, what is that supposed to mean? Personally, I have just been reminded of something I said eight years ago, when Julius Evola was in the limelight. He still is, for the discriminating student.



        • Emanuel Blosser

          Hi Steve,

          With the commemt about the post-truth era, I was describing how thoughts that we read in the newspaper now don’t necessarily have their source in observation of an actual event in the sense world, but instead have their source in the personality of the reporter. I presented this as a contrast to the Michaelic words of the First Class lessons and mantra which when one follows them back to their source one leaves the sense world and is carried into two other worlds, soul and spirit, to meet the beings of those worlds.

          Soren spoke of experience with Sophia and Steiner. I am grateful to hear these brief initial descriptions and will be grateful to hear more if he wishes to share more.

          On the internet there are many thoughts that people just make up. What means do you have of discerning whether you are reading about truths or about something someone just made up?



      • Hi Manny,

        Okay, I realize that we have a so-called “post-truth era” with fake news and alternative facts, owing much to the present POTUS, and his highly indiscriminant style of thinking and speaking, but he is only making aware what has been in existence for at least an entire century, ref. the 20th century. So, one with a keen sensibility can see, smell, hear, and even taste the mendacity all over, and it goes back many years for the discriminating student. Here is what you wrote that really struck me:

        “Prior to the post-truth age newspaper words were also supposed to lead to an actual event in the sense world, but that was then this is now. In the Class mantra and lessons we meet words that don’t have their source in the sense world or in an individual human subjective soul experience, but come to us directly from the universal cosmic intelligence of Michael. They shine light on the Christ as he is working and living in the earth sphere now and on the dark counterforces that roam in the unawake human soul life.”

        So, what does this mean? It means that if you have studied the FC lessons, and even memorized the 19 mantras over the course of the last 25 years, you should never be talking in such a trivial fashion about “post-truth”, but about the veneration of truth and knowledge. And is this not really the first step?

        There is a term in Indian philosophy, “saccidananda”, which expresses exactly what these 19 lessons and mantras should achieve. It makes one a bearer of truth and knowledge in one’s own time. Thus, one can live very effectively and peacefully at the same time, and also ridicule and laugh at notions of a so-called “post-truth era”, which is nothing more than the continuing machinations of Sorath, the anti-Christ.

        Look at the threefolding threads here. We are talking about this very thing. Sorath hates the trinity, and opposes it with dualistic thinking and clever argumentation. Leave out the Trinity, and you lose the truth.



        • Emanuel Blosser

          HI Steve,

          ‘Post-truth’ is now a word in the Oxford dictionary that has a specific definition. Is this the meaning that you read in my words? Or is there another meaning of post-truth in your usage?

          post-truth; ADJECTIVE

          Relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief:
          ‘in this era of post-truth politics, it’s easy to cherry-pick data and come to whatever conclusion you desire’
          ‘some commentators have observed that we are living in a post-truth age’

          I was trying to make the point that if I read words in the newspaper and follow them back to their source I only meet the personality of the reporter (or editor or corporate policy) compared to if I read the words of Michael and follow them back to their source I meet the cosmic intelligence of Michael. I’m sorry but I’m not yet understanding what you mean that this is a trivial way to speak about the Michael words.



      • Manny, all I am referring to is that “post-truth” has existed long before it became a dictionary definition. But one can discern the “real truth” if the veneration and devotion to it exists in the quest for knowledge, temporal and eternal.

        With this post-truth era we are forced to be made aware of what has been in use for many years, i.e., lies and propaganda. Thus, for the sake of consciousness, it is a good thing that people are now distrusting what they read and hear. Maybe they will strive harder for the real facts. Steiner’s symptomological approach to history and social issues is a means to train the mind to go deeper into underlying causes. Pragmatism is a superficial way of thinking because it remains on the surface of things and events. We are trained in school to think this way.

        So, I wasn’t criticizing you or doubting your veracity. Just that “post truth” has been around for a long time, and accomplishes a great deal in the hands of the media who distort many of these facts. A great deal of no good.




  18. I don’t understand the criticism. I read them in German and they’ve been available for some time, so what’s the danger of publishing them in English? If people are out to portray Steiner as a lunatic they will find lots of material to help them on their way as it is.

    I don’t think that these lectures (or his lectures in general) are a good starting-point for anyone interested in anthroposophy, but to be honest rarely do anthroposophers I’ve met have a firm grasp of the philosophy and spiritual methodology behind his ideas, even though they are deeply interested in what he has to say about angels, reincarnation and Jesus.

    I think what Steiner has to say about spiritual subjects in general can and would be just as alienating as the first class lectures, because reading spiritual literature out of curiosity or out of a need to be an authority on “otherworldly” things, really only works to cover up the need for spirituality. And spirituality isn’t in a book, however well the author writes, it’s in the reader’s heart.


    • Anthroposcope, you wrote:
      “to be honest, rarely do anthroposophers I’ve met have a firm grasp of the philosophy and spiritual methodology behind his ideas, even though they are deeply interested in what he has to say about angels, reincarnation and Jesus.”

      Then, they likely weren’t anthroposophers, but anthroposophists. This is a distinction that an anthroposcopist could make with a fine lens. Personally, I am an anthroposopher first and foremost. But, this also allows eventual corroboration with the more supersensible findings, such as Hierarchies, Karma and Reincarnation, and the reason for the two Jesus children in preparing for the Christ.

      I have two large essays on the fourfold root of the principle of exact clairvoyance. Here is an excerpt, and if you are interested, I could post it on your blog in full measure:

      “It would seem that the whole evolutionary sphere of the earth gives compelling indications of a perennial striving for objective representation in a world of natural phenomena wherein the analysis and description of finite form and substance prevails. This prevalence has given rise to that faculty of human evolution capable of such precision of description – the faculty of thinking. All indications are that this faculty has been formed and initiated for the sole purpose of enabling mankind to attain to the knowledge within, and possibly behind, the universe itself.

      The developmental history of thinking spans a 2500 year duration from the time of the idealist Greeks until the last quarter of the nineteenth century, which saw the firm entrenchment of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reasoning serving to limit cognition of things to their logical abstraction in relation to sense perception alone. With this came a premature culmination of that human endeavor dedicated to making a coherent world.”




      • Emanuel Blosser

        Hi Steve,

        I would like to read your essays on the fourfold root of the principle of exact clairvoyance.

        In ‘Riddles of Philosophy,’ Steiner follows the 2500 year history of philosophy from when the 3 mothers of the world became 3 principles of the world, Zeus, Chronos and Chthon. The last quarter of the 19th century finished sterilizing these into the concepts of space, time and matter, with no thought of the evolution of thought that created these concepts. This history of philosophy closes with a description of Einstein’s special relativity, published in 1904 which adds energy to the description of reality. Space, time, matter and energy now dominate human activity as the fundamental philosophy of reality and this philosophy of reality excludes all soul and spiritual activity of human beings or any other beings independent of space, time and matter.

        Steiner, however, makes the most powerful comment about special relativity. “It will not be possible to evade the theory of relativity for the physical world, but precisely this fact will drive us to a knowledge of the spirit. What is significant about the theory of relativity is the fact that it proves the necessity of a science of the spirit that is to be sought in spiritual ways, independent of the observation of nature. That the theory of relativity forces us to think in this way constitutes its value within the development of world conception.”

        What is it about special relativity (general relativity was published in 1916) that forces us think of the necessity for spiritual science? Anthropops and natural scientists have all missed this conclusion. Is it real or not? Steiner goes on to write the final chapter of ‘Riddles of Philosophy,’ describing how from this conclusion of natural science showing the limits of its assumptions to grasp reality, science can enter spiritual out of body experience without losing any of its logic, observation or objectivity foundations. The concepts of space, time, matter and energy, as defined in special relativity, prove the necessity for stepping outside the body in our experience.

        As we take that step, these four fathers are inadequate to cognize our new experience and have to be changed to the four mothers of living thought. What have you got Steve as the four principles of exact clairvoyance?



      • Yo, Manny! Back in the days when I was more Anthro-Savant than Idiot, I answered your question with this article published in the Journal for Anthroposophy, issue #60, Spring 1995, pp. 51-63 and living online now in Frank’s Southern Cross Review (Issue #8) but also on Art Ross’s Swedish Jaerna Bridge site which has a little better formatting.

        by Tom Mellett

        If you follow my comparison of the Greek myths of “Prometheus Bound” and “Tantalus Condemned” as well as my “fisherman’s net” analogy earlier in the article, then my conclusion is that Einstein’s theory sets up the necessary — but of course not yet sufficient — conditions for perceiving the Universe as at least a living organism. (Universe as a conscious living organism I cover in another Journal article on American Cosmogony.)

               What Albert Einstein showed us was the finite barrier to our perceptions, not the infinite essence of our being. He really pointed out the illusion of the external world created by our “I am” consciousness in trying to measure infinite light.

        When Rudolf Steiner speaks of Albert Einstein forcing us to look for the spirit in a “realm transcending Nature,” he is telling us to develop a higher form of “perceiving in thinking and thinking in perceiving,” a path of knowledge that leads not to the abolition of the ego-consciousness, but rather the fulfillment of ego-consciousness.

        From now on, Western humanity can refill the emptiness of desolate Promethean space with the substance of true imaginations, a fulfillment of the old mythological picture consciousness. And the longing of Tantalus can be fulfilled by a direct perception of the living essence of time in true metamorphosis and morphology — or the entire universe as a living organism.


        • Emanuel Blosser

          Hey Hollywood,

          That’s all well and good and very dramatic. Trumps the dullness of science any day. But it’s not an activity that maintains the logic, observational objectivity of science.

          The key for science is rather special relativity demonstrates that there is a velocity, the speed of light, that is independent of all objects and their relative motion. Special relativity begins with the assumption that all we can know about space and time is based on the comparison of 1 object measuring another. That assumption works fine until you study light which has no mass and is therefore not an object. Light has a constant velocity independent of all objects. Being a philosopher and not a physicist like my dad, I see that as a contradiction of the assumption its derivation is concluded from. Velocity is distance (space) traveled in time. If there exists a velocity independent of all objects then there exists a space and time independent of all objects. The rub for the physicists is that space and time then go back to being philosophical realities that must exist prior to the observation of objects and that measurement only comes after objects are already defined in space and time.

          This is just the point that Steiner published in 1894 in ‘Philosophy Is Spiritual Activity’. (my translation of the title). In pure perception there is no color, space, time or objects. To differentiate in a moment of perception 1 object from another one has to apply from thinking the relationships of space and time. The concepts of perception, space and time have to exist before anything can be isolated and connected to the concept ‘object.’ So what 4 philosophical foundations are there to define space and time independent of all objects? Steve?



      • “As we take that step, these four fathers are inadequate to cognize our new experience and have to be changed to the four mothers of living thought. What have you got Steve as the four principles of exact clairvoyance?

        Essentially, since we have now entered the so-called “Renewed Abraham Epoch” with the advent of the third millennium, the goal is to regain that which was once unitary and undivided as the special mission of the Hebrews. Abraham, as the earthly Manu, and progenitor of the human race as “Thinker”, was bestowed with a brain designed to measure, weigh, and calculate. It would soon begin to become much more.

        “Philosophy’s task in the modern era of the twentieth century has been largely reduced to the role of archiving dead concepts, glorifying its old schools and systems of thinking, and justifying science in its phenomenological pursuits. Thus, philosophy today exists in a rather stagnant posture, with further thinking developments effectively nullified. Little known is the fact that 100 years ago, at the height of theoretical science, philosophy’s next advancement in the developmental evolution of the faculty of thinking was proffered. In The Philosphy of Freedom, written in 1893, Rudolf Steiner outlined for the first time the concept and function of thinking as it pertains to the spiritual development of man. By describing thinking as an activity of spiritual origin, Steiner was able to reveal how thinking has applied itself to making the world of efficient causation a cognizable experience for mankind over these past 2500 years.

        It was Rudolf Steiner’s sincere goal to build a system that would serve to convey the truth of the existence of higher worlds knowable through two methods: 1) a fully developed faculty of thinking, and 2) the ability to access, as a consequence therefrom, the eternal record of truth generally termed The Akashic Chronicle. From these two methods, developed over the course of his life, Rudolf Steiner attempted to express the body of knowledge that he came to call Anthroposophy, or “the wisdom of man”. Starting with The Philosophy of Freedom, written as the outcome of an adult life spent in the unquenchable pursuit of knowledge gained from all sources available to him, he began to meticulously fashion the concept and function of thinking as that activity of soul-spiritual development necessary for the acquisition of the knowledge encompassing the universe, earth, and man himself.

        The chief feature of Steiner’s main philosophical work was his discovery that inseparably bound to the activity of thinking there also exists the concept known as the ego, or the “I” of human self identity. The ego, in its continual striving to improve and enhance its existence, expresses itself in this very act of thinking. Therefore, thinking evolves in the very act of evolving the ego. This impetus to evolve through thinking activity arises in the ego as a consequence of its origins in the spiritual world; thus, thinking, by virtue of its intimate association with the ego as its instrument for development, is an entirely spiritual activity.”


      • Emanuel, you wrote:

        “The concepts of perception, space and time have to exist before anything can be isolated and connected to the concept ‘object.’ So what 4 philosophical foundations are there to define space and time independent of all objects? Steve?”

        I quote a key passage from the Epistle to the Ephesians, chapter 3:

        “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

        So, in definite respect: breadth, length, height, and depth are philosophical foundations. Running throughout the Greek epoch of philosophers, who all had the innate perception of, “Michael Thinks in me”, was also the guiding prophecy of Isaiah, who arose at the same time that the Fourth Cultural Epoch began in 747 BC. His command to the Greek epoch was: “Make straight the way of the Lord; make His planes level”. As such, Length, Width, Depth, and Height were all philosophical constructs developed in order to assuage space and time for the proper entry of the Christ.

        A horizontal plane of subject-object distinctions was what Christ entered into 2000 years ago. The beginning of three-dimensional objective being based on: point, line, plane, angle. Today, we traverse these dimensions in the course of the first three seven-year developmental life periods; the so-called “educational epochs”.



        ps- Manny, I would love to send you and anyone else all of this lengthy material which is really not suited to this blog, except in snippets.


        • Emanuel Blosser

          Hi Steve,

          Jeremy has set up the rules of his blog so that personal email addresses don’t circulate on the blog. Google my name. Go to the link on Anthroposophical Society in Canada website. Send me the file.

          Your comments bring us back to the topic of what is happening with Michael and his School in the new age. Since the dawn of thought in the Gabriel age prior to the previous Michael age which contained the peak of Greek thought life, big changes have happened. Personal intelligence has appeared. At the beginning of the intellectual soul age intelligence and the dawn of thought in human beings was perception of the Michaelic cosmic intelligence. Then 869ad happened. Decisions were made on earth in the church, in heaven between the archangels. Guidance of the intelligence fell away from Michael and was taken over by the individual egos incarnated on the earth. I think, you think now, not we see Michael’s thoughts. Michael decided to be dumb. We are stuck now in our subjectivity and have to build the objective realm up out of our subjectivity. Under the guidance of the new Garbiel age we started that task by devoting our thinking to what can be observed as laws of dead material substance that all observers that set up the same conditions can measure for themselves. We have then in our soul life have the Ahrimanic problem that concludes that such study contains all there is to know about everything, and the Luciferic problem that we as human beings have the power of the gods in our hands.

          1842 to 1879 Michael comes over to the earth battling to again join together with the other archangels in the cycle of cultural guidance. The thoughts of the ‘Philosophy Is Spiritual Activity’ are published. The thoughts of ‘Theosophy’, ‘Knowledge of the Higher Worlds and Its Attainment,’ and ‘Occult Science: An Outline’ are published. Relativity is published proving the necessity of an objectivity not based on the objects of the sense world. World War begins proving that subjectivity isn’t going to go down without a fight. Post-truth begins and now we live in a world of alternate facts and are still in a state of world war that ‘might destroy civilization as we know it.’

          Space, time, matter and energy are the reigning foundations of objectivity. Breadth, length, height and depth were dethroned and have no power over space, time, matter and energy. ‘Philosophy Is Spiritual Activity’ offers us: perception, thinking, self-activity, and mental -pictures as the foundation of objective certainty that one can find and know things that are valid for every human soul. If we think, observe, practice and accumulate our experience of these 4 foundations of our being we can establish an objective higher self in place of our subjective lower self.

          Now the thoughts of the Michael School are published. They say the same thing and everyone needs to read them. May human beings hear it. Practice spirit re-membering, practice spirit-mindfulness, practice spirit-vision, and out of head and heart accumulate deeds with single purpose of will. Where on earth foundations color upon color life creative manifests itself. Where from earthly substance thoughts die into the brain and become form on form creating the lifeless world, where sentient beings powerful in will envision their existence. Where you accumulate out of earth, air and light your body. Observe in the light, think the forms, live in sentient joy, build the new body.



      • Hi Steve,

        a search for spiritual knowledge is always a fight against oneself and so distinctions can be made on the basis of one’s own spiritual experiences. What makes Steiner so special is that (in theory) he isn’t biased towards one spiritual worldview, but rather thinks of those worldviews as manifestations of one spiritual world and although that worldview can’t be read out of his philosophy, it is consistent with his philosophical writings.

        In practice he is biased towards Christianity, but for good reasons seeing how his (mystical) peers neglected traditional Christian mysticism. In addition, and on this point I’d love to be proven wrong, he oversimplifies Islam’s contribution to spiritual life. This is something that I think anthroposophers today could work on, among other things. But hey, there are no authorities, right?

        I’m not very interested in your fourfold whatever, but if you can refute the main points of Steiner’s philosophy I’d like to hear that. But I don’t need an essay, I’ll just think it through for myself. If I was biased I’d just shake my head at your essays anyway, so why bother writing them.

        Best regards,



      • Hi Brian,
        My “fourfold whatever” does not refute but upholds Steiner’s philosophy, and likely improves upon it by being more direct in its intention. Intelligence is power, and to capacitate thinking fully is the goal once the parameters are set.

        How do you perceive that Steiner “oversimplified Islamic spiritual life”? I don’t see it, and can’t find it. Mohammed is acknowledged as hugely important with his Koran in facilitating the necessary buffer against early efforts to inoculate a premature consciousness soul era in the 7th century. Of course, Steiner invokes Christianity to the maximum, but that is because Christ represents real evolutionary power; living being. And this is beyond any Teaching, no matter how magnificent.

        Best regards,



    • Tom, you wrote:

      “What Albert Einstein showed us was the finite barrier to our perceptions, not the infinite essence of our being. He really pointed out the illusion of the external world created by our “I am” consciousness in trying to measure infinite light.
      When Rudolf Steiner speaks of Albert Einstein forcing us to look for the spirit in a “realm transcending Nature,” he is telling us to develop a higher form of “perceiving in thinking and thinking in perceiving,” a path of knowledge that leads not to the abolition of the ego-consciousness, but rather the fulfillment of ego-consciousness.”

      Yes. In fact this constitutes the theme of Steiner’s introduction to PoF. His small book, a reworking of his doctoral dissertation to Heinrich von Stein, professor at the University of Rostock in Southern Germany, who was a keen student of Plato, and Steiner was prepared to meet on that level, only had to prove that Kant’s epistemology was weak and limited. As such, Steiner wrote about how limits of present experience must be extended.

      The relativity of Einstein is a definite limitation, which Steiner had already predicted in 1901. So, who gets the accolades as an icon today? Indeed it is true that light cannot be measured in an artificial instrument at 186.000 mps. Rather, it is ever-present as the illuminating value for the “light that shines into the darkness”. But, the Earth is awakening to this darkness because of Christ.


      • Hi Steve,

        what’s your source on Islam as buffer, I just want to read up on it myself. I don’t think Steiner is wrong as far as Islam is concerned historically, but Islam’s focus on the Father can only be seen as problematic from a Christian point of view. From the viewpoint of Islam there is no problem, and therefore I find it curious that Steiner does not raise the question of how an awareness of the Christ can arise within Islam. I’d say probably because there weren’t many muslims in anthroposophical circles.


      • This here represents the Islam buffer. Read up on it.

        And Abraham said to God, “Oh that Ishmael might live before You!” But God said, “No, but Sarah your wife will bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; and I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. As for Ishmael, I have heard you; behold, I will bless him, and will make him fruitful and will multiply him exceedingly. He shall become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. But My covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this season next year.” When He finished talking with him, God went up from Abraham.

        Then Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all the servants who were born in his house and all who were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s household, and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the very same day, as God had said to him. Now Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. And Ishmael his son was thirteen years old when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin. In the very same day Abraham was circumcised, and Ishmael his son. All the men of his household, who were born in the house or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

        Genesis, chapter 17


      • Brian, I realize my reference from Genesis on the Islam buffer likely looks weak and obscure, but here is one that will hopefully explain all your concerns about how Christianity escaped both the monotheistic systems of the Jews and the Muslims. This continuing resistance to Christ is why they still fight today for that little patch of ground once called Palestine.

        Title: The Moon Religion of Jahve and its Reflection in Arabism.


  19. Ottmar

    Hi Brian,
    you asked where you can find more about Islam as a „buffer“ against Gondishapur and Sorat.
    Here you find more: CW 184 Oct. 12, 1918; CW 182, Oct. 16, 1918;
    and related to this CW 237, July 1, 1924; CW 325, May 16, 1921


    • Hi Ottmar,

      Indeed, it can be shown that Steiner warned against the Islamic incursion into the west. Maybe diagrams are meaningless, and even the associated words. But finding more useful references doesn’t hurt a bit. It is even welcome in order to make the case.



  20. Ottmar

    Dear Frank,
    I hope this short letter will reach you. We had a private mail exchange among others on our late common friend Gerhard von Beckerath; I lost your mail address so I write here.
    I want to draw your attention to a new book in German on the work with the first class. There are dozens, perhaps a hundred groups who work outside the „official“ class of the AS. A number of new ways to work with it, beside reading and impromtu lecture have developed. It is interesting reading this book, so when you come to Switzerland or Germany next time try to get it.
    Elisabeth Wutte, Günter Röschert Herausgeber Perspektiven freier Hochschularbeit 23 Autoren – 23 Gesichtspunkte ISBN 978 3 941 664 65 4 Novalis Verlag
    Best regards from Lake Constance


  21. ¨

    The EMC – Evangelica Militia Crucis was an RC organization. Now the First Class MS – and the MM 3 ritual text via RS – was what RS tried to regenerate – however – when he left without appointing any successor as the Sorat attack had blown up the whole project – leaving RS as a “walking dead man” according to IW – RS returned all his authorizations to the original sources of Mikale and Kyriotes – it is all now in the hands of the Sephirot’s and the rest is a light night talk show. Thx frank .- all copy is welcome if not for sale


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