On Saturday 9thJanuary 1915, the 32-year old Virginia Woolf and her husband Leonard took a walk from their home in Richmond along the River Thames towards Kingston. Virginia recorded in her diary:
“On the towpath we met and had to pass a long line of imbeciles. The first was a very tall young man, just queer enough to look twice at, but no more; the second shuffled, and looked aside; and then one realised that every one in that long line was a miserable ineffective shuffling idiotic creature, with no forehead, or no chin, and an imbecile grin, or a wild suspicious stare. It was perfectly horrible. They should certainly be killed.”
This is quite shocking from someone who was herself no stranger to mental illness; but Virginia Woolf’s attitude to people with learning disabilities was typical of the intellectuals of her time. Today, we associate such sentiments with the Nazis, who came up with the phrase Life Unworthy of Life as justification for the murder of at least 250,000 disabled people (this figure from the German government, which in 2005 issued an apology to their relatives). Many consider this figure to be a gross underestimate, with the true total being nearer to one million disabled people, if one takes into account all the murdered children and disabled people who were not in “Greater Germany” or the occupied territories.
Drawing on the ‘science’ of eugenics, in 1933 Adolf Hitler and the Nazis instituted measures for the compulsory sterilisation of men and women suffering from hereditary diseases. This in turn led to seven propaganda films and many advertisements preparing the German population to give up their mentally disabled family members for ‘mercy killing’. Adverts showed a German worker weighed down by the burden of having to pay 50,000 Reichsmarks to maintain a mentally disabled person until the age of 60. Such was the effect of this propaganda that Hitler was even petitioned by some parents to kill their disabled children.
In October 1939 after war had been declared, Hitler issued a secret decree to expand the authority of physicians to examine patients who were considered incurable and after critical evaluation of their condition grant them mercy killing. Six so-called Euthanasia Centres were set up throughout Germany and also in many hospitals; here the killing of the disabled by gas and lethal injection was developed and these techniques were then refined and applied within the concentration camps, continuing until the end of the war in 1945.
But from where did Hitler and the Nazis draw these ideas about the people they called “useless eaters”? I’m afraid they came from Britain and in particular from ideas deriving from Charles Darwin.In 1859 Charles Darwin published his groundbreaking book Origin of Species which expounded his theory of evolution by natural selection. It wasn’t long before scientists and political theorists began to apply Darwin’s theory to human beings. With the spread of ideas about “the survival of the fittest”, social Darwinists started to question the wisdom of providing care to the ‘weak’ on the grounds this would enable people to live and reproduce who were not meant to survive. They feared that offering medical treatment and social services to disabled people would undermine the natural struggle for existence and lead to the degeneration of the human race.
Such views took hold not only in Germany but also particularly strongly in America and Britain. The existence of disabled people was increasingly seen in the UK and USA as a threat to social progress. Darwin himself wrote in his 1871 treatise, The Descent of Man, “We civilised men…. do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed and the sick… Thus the weak members of society propagate their kind.”
It was Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, who in 1883 first came up with the term ‘eugenics’. Galton became obsessed with Origin of Species, especially its chapter on the breeding of domestic animals. This inspired him to spend much of his life studying the variations in human ability. He wrote: “The question was then forced upon me. Could not the race of men be similarly improved? Could not the undesirables be got rid of and the desirables multiplied?”
Galton wrote in his 1869 book Hereditary Genius: “Let us do what we can to encourage the multiplication of the races best fitted to invent, and conform to, a high and generous civilisation, and not, out of mistaken instinct of giving support to the weak, prevent the incoming of strong and hearty individuals.” He argued that early marriage between healthy, mentally strong families should be encouraged by financial incentives, and reproduction by the ‘feeble-minded’ should be curtailed. In his mind, superior mental and physical capabilities were advantageous not only to an individual but essential for the wellbeing of society as a whole.
Galton’s views were not regarded as eccentric or offensive at the time and in fact he received many awards during his career. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1860 and was knighted shortly before he died in 1911. His writings played a key role in launching the eugenics movement in the UK and America. Supporters of eugenics called for government policies to improve the biological quality of the human race through selective parenthood. They linked physical and learning disabilities to a range of social problems including crime, vagrancy, alcoholism, prostitution and unemployment.
Eugenics quickly gained many backers on both sides of the Atlantic, including leading politicians and opinion formers – and not just figures on the far right of politics. Some of the British Left’s most celebrated names were among the champions of eugenics: Sidney and Beatrice Webb (the founders of the Fabian Society), Harold Laski, John Maynard Keynes, even the New Statesman and the Manchester Guardian. George Bernard Shaw wrote: “The only fundamental and possible socialism is the socialisation of the selective breeding of man.” Bertrand Russell proposed that the state should issue colour-coded ‘procreation tickets’ to prevent the gene pool of the elite being diluted by inferior human beings. Those who decided to have children with holders of a different-coloured ticket would be punished with a heavy fine. HG Wells praised eugenics as the first step towards the elimination of “detrimental types and characteristics” and the “fostering of desirable types” instead.
This brings us back to that distinguished socialist and convinced atheist, Leonard Woolf. Fifty years after that walk along the Thames with his wife Virginia, Leonard wrote in the fifth volume of his autobiography, The Journey Not the Arrival Matters:
“The passionate devotion of mothers to imbecile children…always seems to me a strange and even disturbing phenomenon. I can see and sympathise with the appeal of helplessness and vulnerability in a very young living creature – I have felt it myself in the case of an infant puppy, kitten, leopard, and even the much less attractive and more savage human baby. (…) But there is something horrible and repulsive in the slobbering imbecility of a human being. Is the exaggerated devotion of the mother to this child, which nearly always seems to be far greater than her devotion to her normal, attractive children, partly determined by an unconscious sense of guilt and desire to vindicate herself and her child?”
So it seems that even in the 1960s, after all the experience of the Nazis and the murder of countless numbers of disabled people, an intellectual such as Leonard Woolf still could not find a way to understand and empathise with people with learning difficulties or the fact that they are loved by their families. This to me illustrates the great danger of allowing such bleak and bony atheists and intellectuals anywhere near public policy and law-making on social and health issues; their failure to understand what is really going on and their characteristic attitudes such as lack of empathy and thinly-veiled disdain for the “devotion of mothers to imbecile children” makes them unfit to pronounce on other people’s lives.
Their disdainful attitude would of course be extended also to Rudolf Steiner; this is a pity, because if instead they were to take a little time and trouble to study anthroposophy they might actually find some insights into phenomena such as learning disabilities and how these can only be understood properly in terms of multiple lifetimes and karma. Through his spiritual research, Steiner was able to reveal some vital information about the invisible structure of health and illness. In the course of lectures titled Pastoral Medicine given in September 1924 to a mixed audience of priests and physicians, Steiner showed the interweaving of medical and spiritual issues and how these need to be understood if one is to care for suffering human beings.
In Lecture 5, describing what he calls psychopathological impairment, Steiner says that:
“In most cases a person brings it along as his or her karma … Already at birth, the person is in an abnormal condition because of some unusual stress in putting together the etheric body before entering the physical body. An etheric body was formed that does not want to penetrate the physical body completely, does not want to enter heart and stomach in the proper way but wants to flood them: in other words, an etheric body that carries the astral body and ego organisation too strongly into the various organs. Already at birth or very soon after, we see facial or bodily deformities that can give us deep concern. This is called congenital mental retardation – but there is no such thing! There is only karmic mental retardation, related to the child’s entire destiny. We will also speak about this more fully, so that you will see how an incarnation spent in such mental dullness can, under certain conditions, even have a beneficial place in a human being’s karma, although it may mean misery in that one incarnation. There is need, after all, to regard things not merely from the point of view of finite life, but sub specie aeternifrom the point of view of the immortal life of a human being. Then we would have a compassionate charity (caritas)and a wise one as well”.
There is much more that could be said to describe the wholly humane and wise approach of anthroposophy to these issues and the impact that Steiner’s observations subsequently had on people such as Karl König and Thomas Weihs and the birth of curative education, the Camphill movement etc. But the reason why I am writing about this issue now is because eugenics is starting to raise its ugly head again.
In China, a scientist, He Jiankui, has just claimed to have altered the DNA of twin girls before birth. He, an associate professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, described how he used gene-editing technology known as Crispr-Cas9 to modify a gene called CCR5 in a number of embryos created through IVF for couples with HIV-positive fathers. The modification was intended to mirror a natural mutation found in a small percentage of people which makes them resistant to the virus. Two girls, named Nana and Lulu, were born with the genetic changes, he said.
So the eugenics genie is now once again out of the bottle. In academia, the word ‘eugenics’ may be controversial but the idea is not. To Professor Julian Savulescu, former editor and current board member of the Journal of Medical Ethics, the ability to apply ‘rational design’ to humanity, through gene editing, offers a chance to improve the human stock — one baby at a time. “When it comes to screening out personality flaws such as potential alcoholism, psychopathy and disposition to violence,” he said, “you could argue that people have a moral obligation to select ethically better children”. Francis Galton could not have put it better himself.
Meanwhile, the scientific pursuit of “ethically better children” is advancing rapidly. Since Louise Brown was conceived in a laboratory 40 years ago — the world’s first IVF baby — the treatment has become mainstream, and between 1991 and 2016, there were more than 1,100,000 treatment cycles in UK licensed clinics. Developments in IVF mean that, today, several embryos can be fertilised and screened for diseases, with the winner implanted in the uterus.
It is, however, the genetic modification of human embryos that causes most concern. But here, and at each point in the new eugenics, advocates will argue: where is the moral problem? There are no deaths, no sterilisations, no abortions: just a scientifically guided conception. This is all about the potential avoidance of disease and the benefit of humanity. So who could possibly complain?
Well, I can, for one. If you are using science to choose the most favourable genes to hand down to your children, that is the application of eugenics. This is just the latest example of humans acquiring God-like powers without the God-like wisdom to know how to use them properly. And the idea of consumer eugenics is already with us: sperm banks claim that they screen for everything from autism to red hair and in India, women desperate for a boy will pay for ante-natal screening to identify – and abort – girls. One can imagine a future situation in which parents who do not go in for genetic modification of their offspring will be labelled anti-social, rather like those parents who choose not to vaccinate their children today.
We have opened the door to an era of high-tech consumer eugenics, with affluent parents choosing the best qualities for their offspring and creating a new form of genetically modified human being. Once again the idea of perfecting humanity through eugenics is back, and once again it is coming with the assumption that the processes involved are limited to chemical, physical and biological ones and with no awareness or recognition of the spiritual dimension. This is not going to end well.
105 responses to “Life Unworthy Of Life”
Well said, Jeremy!! Eva
Changes in Humanity’s Spiritual Makeup
“In 1912 a science called eugenetics was established in London. [ Note 9 ] People tend to use high-falutin’ names for anything which is particularly stupid. The ideas you find in eugenetics really came from people’s brains and not from their souls. What are the aims of this science? To ensure that only healthy individuals are born in future and not inferior ones; economics and anthropology are to join forces to discover the laws according to which men and women are to be brought together in such a way that a strong race is produced.
People are really beginning to think in this way. The ideal of the London congress, which was chaired by Darwin’s son, [ Note 10 ] was to examine people of different classes to see how large the skulls of the rich were compared to those of the poor, who have less opportunity for learning; how far sensibility went in rich and poor; how far the rich could resist getting tired and how far the poor would do so, and so on. They want to gain information on the human body in this way which may at some future date enable them to establish exactly the following: This is how the man should look, this is how the woman should look, if they are to produce the true human being of the future; he should have such a capacity for getting tired and she such a capacity; this size skull for him, and a matching size for her, and so on.
Those are the rumblings, natural rumblings, in brains which are emptied of soul; ideas rumbling about which had reality in the Atlantean age. Then there really were laws which enabled people to determine size, growth, and all kinds of things by cross-breeding and the like. It was a science that was widespread in Atlantean times….”
9. ‘Eugenetics’ or, more commonly, ‘eugenics’, a term coined by Francis Galton (1822–1911) in a series of articles on ‘Hereditary talent and genius’ published in 1865. The term is now generally only used in the applied sense, whilst the scientific discipline is now called genetics.
10. Leonard Darwin (1850–1943) was Chairman of the Eugenics Education Society from 1911 to 1928; his book The Need for Eugenic Reform was published in 1926.
I have been saying since the glut of advertisements for DNA kits as Christmas presents last year that those who sent off their DNA to entities they do not know are complete damned fools. I have had so many internet friends (including Anthroposophists) hotly defend themselves for participating in this. But what they say about what they discovered doesn’t seem like anything they didn’t really already know. I will admit some use of DNA testing in connection with an actual disease, done by a doctor and sealed under the HIPPA (?) laws. But to send it off to god only knows who god only knows where is idiocy. All of it is going into a massive database. As you said, “This is not going to end well.”
What “they” (those in power globally) are looking for and have been looking for for more than a century is how to develop a virus that can wipe out select populations without hitting the preferred ones. They did a great job in 1918 with the “Spanish Flu”. It DID target exactly who it was supposed to target – healthy young adults. The target was the German army of WWI. Unfortunately, it escaped from the lab in Kentucky (articles once posted on Wiki, etc, now taken down) and had its fun run amok among the general population. They couldn’t quite figure out how to make it stick with the German soldiers. But they learned a LOT from the attempt. They need the massive DNA database to continue to work their calculations for the next “natural” and “unexplained” pandemic. Merry Christmas!
Characteristics of Historical Symptoms in Recent Times
“Just as modern history fails to penetrate to spiritual realities, so modern medicine, modern hygiene and medical health services fail to penetrate to the symptoms which are of cosmic provenance. I have often emphasized the fact that the individual cannot help his neighbour, however deep his insight into current problems, because today they are in the hands of those who are looking for the wrong solution. They must become the responsibility of those who are moving in the right direction. Clearly, just as the external facts are true that the outward aspect of James I [King of Britain, 1603] was such and such, as I pointed out earlier, so, from the external point of view it is also true that a certain kind of bacillus is connected with the present influenza epidemic. But if it is true, for example, that rats are carriers of the bubonic plague, one cannot say that rats are responsible for the plague.
People have always imagined that the bubonic plague was spread by rats. But bacilli, as such, are of course in no way connected with disease. In phenomena of this kind we must realize that just as behind the symptoms of history we are dealing with psychic and spiritual experiences, so too behind somatic symptoms we are dealing with experiences of a cosmological order. In other cases the situation of course will be different! What is especially important here is the rhythmic course of cosmic events, and it is this that we must study. We must ask ourselves: In what constellation were we living when, in the nineties, the present influenza epidemic appeared in its benign form? In what cosmic constellation are we living at the present time? By virtue of what cosmic rhythm does the influenza epidemic of the nineties appear in a more acute form today? Just as we must look for a rhythm behind a series of historical symptoms, so we must look for a rhythm behind the appearance of certain epidemics.”
GA185, 20 October 1918
Indeed, the flu virus escaped from the lab where it was genetically engineered in order to bring an end to WWI. Gina Kolata wrote the seminal book on it, entitled: Flu. It killed 500,000 Americans, and then was sent to Europe with the American Expeditionary Forces of General Pershing, and killed some 20 million or more, mostly in Asia. So, the defeat of Germany at the hands of Wilson’s fourteen points was a foregone conclusion from the very day the U.S. set foot on European soil.
Steve (and Christine),
Where is your evidence that the flu epidemic of 1918 was genetically engineered in order to bring an end to WW1? In the OUP leaflet you link to, there is no mention of this and I don’t believe that viruses were known about or understood at that time, let alone capable of being manipulated in a laboratory. So I suspect you are in danger of succumbing to conspiracy theory, which is going to do anthroposophy no good whatsoever!
The AIDS virus came really, really close to staying on the mark. But they didn’t realize how many “heterosexual” married men were carrying on with the rent boys. Whoops! So sorry, women and children!
The AIDS virus began in Africa and proliferated among heterosexuals first.
Another thing about HIV. Its proliferation is related to the topic of worthy vs unworthy life. A group of white male “desirable types” incorporated themselves and went into Africa to buy blood from sick, dirt-poor black people for pennies. Then they made a fortune spreading that blood all around the world.
That’s a fact. Here is a conspiracy theory: Corporations are superior, false human beings designed to control, exploit and destroy real human beings. There is a line from a famous old country song about coal miners in Appalachia: “I owe my soul to the company store.” How do we fight the despair that comes with that admission? One way is to invent conspiracy theories and compete for whose is most fantastic. Eugenics is a conspiracy theory. It’s hypothesis is that the inferior are conspiring against one – and might win. Its driving force is fear of fundamental inferiority and one’s finite-ness…I think…
For the American side of eugenics, the book “Across the Great Border Fault” by Kevin Dann is very good, and contrasts its development with the birth of the anthroposophical summer school in Spring Valley, NY.
This topic also raises the question: are anthroposophists behind the curve on raising formerly esoteric fundamental questions? Is the topic of karma and reincarnation now a necessity to advance openly?
One point is that the “new age” movement with which anthroposophists failed to connect has now left behind adult children of “new age” advocates for whom karma and reincarnation are familiar ideas (“my mom was into that”) but for which there is not adequate content. Anthroposophy has the content.
A recent column in the NY Times by Michelle Alexander shows how this topic can be opened: “what if…” — “What If We’re All Coming Back?”
It also raises the problem side: trivialization of K&R. But the topic can expand one’s thinking no matter what way it’s approached. “I am planning for things on the level of humanity’s life, not just this one I identify with now.”
it is interesting how this blog-post has kind of gotten off its original topic of eugenetics, and yet, Steiner had much to say about its sinister implications in the lecture from GA177, previously cited here. He also told, in another excerpt, of how the pan flu epidemic of 1918, had stood in a rather benign condition in the 1890’s. Then, it was unleashed on the world in 1918, and according to Rudolf Steiner, because of the accumulation of the so-called “European Karma” over the period from 1413 to 1913.
Now I know for a fact today that scholars dismiss and utterly laugh at the notion of a “European Karma” that had to be paid, and thus made the first world war unavoidable. Yet, if we consider how 1899 represented the end of Kali Yuga, which was a very long age of ever-descending and increasing darkness, c. 3101 BC – 1899 AD, then it can be shown that a way out of the darkness to the light was in the offing with the work of Rudolf Steiner in the first quarter of the 20th century. This was the slim margin that he was given, and it also included the first world war, and the pan flu epidemic from America, which tried to show who was boss. Yet, Steiner always kept his demeanor because he had a task to fulfill. It was to bring anthroposophical spiritual science into the world theater amongst the chaos of the wars of the twentieth century.
Now, if we consider the two major pandemics of the twentieth century, they both occurred in America. The first in 1918, and the last in 1981. Both were strategically targeted attacks, and killed thousands before they were then spread across the world. What kind of beast could have instigated such a thing? Steiner would have easily said that it was Sorath, the anti-Christ, and yet, with 1998 a buttress can be felt, much like a threshing-floor that has been swept in order to separate its wheat from its chaff. This was the fatal destiny of the 20th century, and yet, it serves those born in the second half to exclaim the new beginning in the first quarter of the 21st century.
Thanks, Steve. Yes, the 20th century should be a contained threshing floor… It will be if we have learned enough from it.
My thought about karma and reincarnation is that eugenics immediately becomes dubious at best once the reality of a human individual is seen to extend beyond “the limits of my page, blue as tomorrow morning’s haze.”
With “European karma” I have simply thought that, after devastating all the great civilizations of the world from the 1400s up to 1900, Europe turned and destroyed its own special multi-national, multi-lingual culture 1914-1918.
I read this article you provided by Michelle Alexander, and I think it typifies the keen kind of intellectual skills possessed by people today. Thus, to see a kind of morality in reincarnation is a step forward. Yet, of course, America as a culture lags far behind the European nations in recognizing even the existence of Anthroposophy. If Rudolf Steiner had not made ten trips to Britain in order to give lectures between 1902 and 1924, I seriously doubt that much of anthroposophy would be known at all in the English language.
Now, you made a comment concerning the “new age” movement in America, which I find very important. You said:
“One point is that the “new age” movement with which anthroposophists failed to connect has now left behind adult children of “new age” advocates for whom karma and reincarnation are familiar ideas (“my mom was into that”) but for which there is not adequate content. Anthroposophy has the content.”
Anthroposophy, indeed, has the content, but people today, maybe mostly in America, rather disdain these kinds of detailed explanations. Their idea of “new age” consciousness is certainly directed toward the Spiritual Soul, but you will find that it is very much influenced by the Indian spirituality of a much earlier time period. That is why so much of what got started in the 1960’s, and called “new age”, concerned Vedanta philosophy, Samkyha evolutionary theory, and Yoga practice here in America.
Rudolf Steiner gave a quite unique lecture here on the “Past Incarnations of the People of Today”, and I have previously cited from it concerning the present-day Europeans, and how their present karmic travails consist in the fact, according to Steiner, that they are the rather quick reincarnation of the native Americans who were rather forcibly exterminated to a great extent with the European colonization program that began with King James I in the early 17th century.
Now, I know for a fact that Europeans today, and maybe those of the British Folk Soul especially, take umbrage with this kind of description, and this really gets into the heart and soul of why anthroposophy is so unpopular and seemingly antithetical to human culture on a progressive scale. It is because it tells the truth, which can be hard to swallow.
With America, it is even more forthcoming. Steiner asks: “Where can we find the present-day American in past history?” What he says is really quite extraordinary. He says that if we go back two thousand years, we can find present-day Americans living on the Indian continent at the time of Christ, and following the teachings of Krishna, who made Arjuna a hero out of his former weakness and indecision.
So, the simple contrast that Steiner gives is that the European colonization that effectively exterminated a race of humanity had the karmic effect of causing the original Americans to reincarnate quickly as Europeans. On the other hand, those who lived in India and worshipped Krishna at the time of Christ, although knowing nothing of the actual incarnation of Christ in Palestine, spent longer periods in the higher worlds between death and rebirth, with maybe just two incarnations between then and now.
And that is why America’s “New Age” movement since the 1960’s is so drawn to Indian spirituality. I myself studied Vedanta, Samkyha, and Yoga, the three great spiritual streams of Krishna taught to Arjuna, for several years but was never satisfied. Then, I heard the name Rudolf Steiner for the first time in 1986, and my life was transformed. I had found the man I was looking for, much in the way I suspect it was when Plotinus met Ammonius Saccas, the mystery man of Alexandria, in 233 AD.
Thank you Steve, very helpful!
Steve Hale says, quite rightly: “the truth…can be hard to swallow.” But before that, he had written: “native Americans who were rather forcibly exterminated to a great extent with the European colonization program that began with King James I in the early 17th century.” There are several problems with this. Though there were certainly some massacres of native Americans by white settlers, beginning with European colonization after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors from 1492 and NOT beginning with James I from 1603 (!), most of the large-scale deaths of native Americans (let’s not forget south and central America!) seem to have resulted from the diseases that Europeans brought with them. Those killings were *not intentional* – not before the 19th century at any rate. By speaking of ‘forcible exterminations’ – which again, certainly did occur, especially in the 19th century when so-called ‘scientific racism’ took off – Steve helps to spread the false notion that Europeans or white people have been uniquely wicked in world history and were solely focused on exterminating native peoples in the Americas and elsewhere. But let’s remember a few other salient historical points that bear upon the vexed question of what in this thread has been called “European karma”:
1) from the time when Islam began to spread, many non-Muslim peoples, including many, many Europeans, were taken as slaves by Muslim raiders and continued to be until the 19th century. The “white slave trade” was no small affair over that period of 1200 years.
2) The Black Death spread to the rest of Europe – killing approx. 1/3 of the European population – from *Sicily*, where in 1347 Genoese ships had docked that had fled from the siege of the town of Caffa in the *Crimea* that had been besieged by Mongol armies under Jani Beg. The Mongols had bombarded Caffa by catapult with the disease-ridden corpses of their own infected soldiers: one of the first cases of biological warfare? Here was another example of the effects of a devastating pandemic disease resulting from the clash of two very different cultures, only in this case, it was the result of deliberate action – and by non-Europeans.
3) Until approx the 5th century BC, European peoples were ‘minding their own business’, as it were, in Europe, when the first of a whole series of bloody invasions of Europe began by peoples coming from Asia, the first significant one being the Persians c.490 BC, the last being the Turks in the 1680s AD. From 711 AD, when the Muslim armies led by Tariq al Ziyad (aka Charles Darwin) landed in Spain, there was no let-up in Muslim efforts to conquer the whole or parts of Europe – until 1683, when the Turks were defeated before the walls of Vienna by King Jan III Sobieski of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. That’s over 1000 years of Muslim encroachments, raids, and/or large-scale invasions of Europe. Clearly, that would have extensive karmic consequences. Among them was the spread by Muslims of the *largely Christian Nestorian* sciences of the Academy of Gondishapur via Spain to Paris, Oxford and other European centres of learning.
These historical facts may be hard for some white European and American bleeding hearts to swallow, but they are facts nevertheless and should be borne in mind the next time European and American whites are tempted to bring out the flagellum. Before they went round the world from the 15th cent. onwards and in effect created global consciousness, Europeans had been the victims of many devastating invasions of their homelands from Asia and N. Africa. Western Europeans (and Americans) have been less aware of this history than eastern and southern Europeans whose homelands were directly affected by it. Along with the very necessary acknowledgment of European depradations on other continents from the Crusades to the 20th century, the devastations wrought on Europe by non-Europeans over an even longer period (490s BC – 1683 AD) should also be kept in mind when considering “European karma” and reincarnations into and out of European cultures.
Thanks, Terry. Good information. You might know Doris Lessing’s Shikasta, which along with a gentle presentation of purposeful incarnation leads on to a trial where guilt of less-than-human(e) behavior is recognized to be quite widespread. “Bleeding hearts” ought to be better informed, but _conscience_ is perhaps our last general link to higher consciousness.
Another thanks while I’m at it. Found my copy of your Mapping the Millennium recently and looking forward to rereading. So much more in that little story of the travels of “Truth” — who discovers that s/he is to be under attack. How thoroughly “there” we are now: Truth trampled in so many ways, and yes “colored.” Notable that the Spirit of Truth is identified in the John gospel as the Comforter, and elsewhere we know the Comforter (the “strengthener on all sides”) is the Holy Spirit. And the “unforgivable sin” in the gospels is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit…
“Steve helps to spread the false notion that Europeans or white people have been uniquely wicked in world history and were solely focused on exterminating native peoples in the Americas and elsewhere.”
That is not true. My point was to simply indicate that RS had said that present-day Europeans were the rather quick reincarnations of the native Americans, and how odd that appears, don’t you think? As for the near extinction of the aboriginal race of the Americas, and yes, I am aware of the Spanish conquests of Central America after Columbus, it was specifically to the colonization of what is now the United States of America, that I was referring when I named King James I. And Steiner, as well as many other historians, have called this an extinction program, or genocide, for what it’s worth. So, no contradiction there.
As for the burden of the so-called “European Karma”, which again, RS said had to be played out, at least with the first world war, the historical symptoms are neatly given with his lectures, “From Symptom to Reality in Modern History”, which I am sure you are at least familiar with. This course certainly traces the building up of the ‘European Karma’ to its inevitable breaking point with WWI, and it begins with a very interesting characterization of James I and the birth of the Consciousness Soul.
The AIDS story was a Russian fake story, as the recent NYT-video shows: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/12/opinion/russia-meddling-disinformation-fake-news-elections.html, 7:37
“In the early 1980s, the Aids virus seemed to emerge from nowhere. There was no cure and its origins were a mystery. But one theory began to surface – that it was the product of secret US military research at the Fort Detrick Laboratory. What was the source for this piece of fake news? The answer was the KGB, the Soviet intelligence service.”
When AIDS showed up in the early ’80s, it was less than 10 years after the infamous Tuskegee experiments, in which black men with syphilis went untreated so scientists could study how the disease ravaged their bodies.
John, I, too, think that failing to grasp the workings of karma and reincarnation is central to how mankind wanders off track so easily. Also, failure to grasp movement through successive epochs. Steve I disagree that this takes us off the topic of eugenics. The pie-in-the-sky for the supremacist is that the meaning of life is wholly reduced to the human being as he is here and now in the 3D world. He cannot foresee what can compose future epochs. He aims to achieve perfection (immortality) materialistically, here and now.
Also, Steve, AIDS did not kill thousands in America before spreading across the world. It came to America because it was already spreading across the world. HIV has an approximately 100 year history. It began as SIV (Simian Immunodeficiency Virus) in the common chimpanzee in West Equatorial Africa and began circulating, and killing in Africa by 1920. In 1968 it arrived in the United States by 3 routes: through international blood supply, through African immigrants and through physicians who served in Africa.
During its 100 year history it’s been mutating (which is what viruses do, and not because of evil scientists or alien beings). In 2005 an HIV strain was identified and linked to rapid progression. By 2015 the new strain had progressed from HIV to AIDS within 2-3 years. More people are getting sick before they know they are infected. Here are the current U.S. stats: 1.1 million have HIV, 1 in 7 don’t know it.
So, Kathy, were you actually serious when you said, concerning HIV and its proliferation, “A group of white male “desirable types” incorporated themselves and went into Africa to buy blood from sick, dirt-poor black people for pennies. Then they made a fortune spreading that blood all around the world.”
If so, then that would likely be the cause of its finding a target group of homosexual men in New York in 1981. But, I can’t find anywhere that this causation that you suggest even exists as a conspiracy theory! Help me out.
Steve, I think the primary “conspiracy” is the quest for money and power – at any cost to mankind. The “desirable type” is whoever is most successful at it. The conspiracy-theory-of-the-day is a distraction – a misdirection – to turn “undesirables” against each other. I’m sorry to report the latest conspiracy theory circulating in my sad neck of the woods: U.S. Navy Seals, under orders of the “Deep State”, lit the recent deadly fires in California to force people into believing in climate change.
Some previous posts brings to mind a rather sobering and worrying perspective regarding the current climate of increasing fake news and conspiracy theories, spread to millions around the globe through e.g. social media, which arises from Steiner’s lecture of August 15 2007: “The Influence of Spiritual Beings on Man” which shows the spiritual effects of the lies and half-truths that people disseminate.
“Today we shall learn of another effect of lying, slandering, although these words are not used here in the ordinary crude sense. When more subtly, out of convention, for instance, or out of all sorts of social or party considerations, people colour the truth, we there have to do with a lie in the sense of spiritual science. In many respects man’s whole life is saturated, if not with lies, yet with manifestations bearing an untruthful colouring. The enlightened materialist can at any rate see that an impression is made on his physical body if he receives a blow on the skull from an axe, or if his head is cut off by the railway, or he has an ulcer somewhere or is attacked by bacilli. He will then admit that effects are produced on the physical body. What is not usually considered at all is that man is a spiritual unity, that what happens in his higher members, the astral body and ego, has positive effect right down into his physical nature. It is not considered, for instance, that the uttering of lies and untruthfulness, untruth even in the affairs of life, has a definite effect on the human physical body. Spiritual vision can experience the following: If a person, let us say, has told a lie during the day, its effect remains in the physical body and is to be seen by clairvoyant perception while the person sleeps. Let us suppose this person is altogether untruthful, piling up lies, then he will have many such effects in his physical body. All this hardens, as it were, in the night, and then something very important happens. These hardenings, these “enclosures,” in the physical body are not at all agreeable to the beings who from higher worlds must take possession of the physical body in the night and carry out the functions otherwise exercised by the astral body and ego. The result is that in the course of life and by reason of a body diseased — one might say — through lies, portions of those beings who descend into man at night become detached. Here we have again detachment processes and they lead to the fact that when a man dies his physical body does not merely follow the paths which it would normally take. Certain beings are left behind, beings which have been created in the physical body through the effect of lying and slander, and have been detached from the spiritual world. Such beings, detached in this circuitous way, now flit and whir about in our world and belong to the class that we call “phantoms.” They form a certain group of elemental beings related to our physical body and invisible to physical sight. They multiply through lies and calumnies, and these in actual fact populate our earthly globe with phantoms. In this way we learn to know a new class of elemental beings.”
Sorry for the mistake in the above post. The
lecture is from June 04, 1908.
Yes, Rambler: what’s being produced through a communication system out of control and ungrounded is sobering – and exhausting. We are becoming masters of mistaking illusion for truth. In his lecture on Aug. 25, 1913, Steiner speaks to this also. As I understand it, because we use the “ostrich strategy” we remain unconscious to both the spiritual world and the fact we are spiritual beings. We mistake the “picture” of reality (3D) for the reality. By practicing illusion as if it were truth we create phantoms. I had never thought of such a process: that human beings could autonomously create an order of non-physical beings. But Steiner stresses that they are not spiritual beings. Maybe they are an etheric version of gnats or mosquitoes?
I have a number of friends – kind and talented – who seem to seek comfort?…fortitude? by embracing conspiracies – the most common reason seems to be that they know they are being screwed but can’t be sure, or agree on, who’s doing the screwing. From time to time I use humor to highlight the theories’ flitting nature – when I’m up for it. Lately I’m thinking maybe the increase in phantoms is a remedy for the old iron-fist of the church (which is also strong around here). Maybe something similar to how the world-wide communications system is breaking down racial and national barriers…hence the uptick in authoritarianism and hate crimes. What do you think???
Thanks Kathy – What your important question raises for me firstly is how do we as individuals come to decide what is true. Some factors of influence we can trace through examination of our biographies – Where we were born, our race, the life circumstances of our childhood, the influences of our parents, and school and friends we are drawn towards, the books we read, the religious background to our lives if any, our jobs, partners, skills and what fate has thrown at us and particularly the people who have inspired us deeply to change our lives. Then there are the unconscious influences, that for whatever reason we have pushed down, and the mainly unknown legacy and influence of our karma from past lives.
When it comes to how larger groups decide on what is true together collectively , and what spurs them to action gets much harder and more complex.
Groups with a crowd-mentality, where the individual egos get supressed, are more open to manipulation and false inspirations and one of the problems of knowing what is true in today’s instant media world, where many of the participants can be in effect, be part of an increasingly global crowd, is the speed and ease with which a new accusation or conspiracy, usually involving an “enemy” who is scapegoated – e.g. the deep state, the democrats, the immigrants, the church, the elite, the Davos group, can take hold.
In the same lecture of June 04, 1908.quoted above, RS continues:
“Think only how the modern man for the most part wants to over-rule the mind of another, how he cannot bear someone else to think and like differently, how he wants to work upon the other’s soul. In all that works from soul to soul in our world, from the giving of unjustifiable advice to all those methods which men employ in order to overwhelm others, in every act that does not allow the free soul to confront the free soul, but employs, even in the slightest degree, forcible means of convincing and persuasion, in all this, forces are working from soul to soul which again so influence these souls that it is expressed in the night in the astral body. The astral body gets those “enclosures” and thereby beings are detached from other worlds and whir through our world again as elemental beings. They belong to the class of demons. Their existence is solely due to the fact that intolerance and oppression of thought have in various ways been used in our world. That is how these hosts of demons have arisen in our world”
I think we can see through recent history how some of these “demons” can be propagated, using sophisticated propaganda techniques and ideologies, into autonomous psychic entities of huge force and influence. Think of the demon of national socialism, that was created and nurtured by systematically harnessing the dynamic collective will of a whole nation, fired with an intoxicating imagination of Darwinian power, greatness and national destiny, promulgated by a charismatic leader, elevated to god-like status, which somehow subjugated the true ego of many disciplined and law-abiding folk who became unquestioning disciples. Some had the discernment to see through it, but they were attacked and persecuted.
To return to your question, to which I realise I haven’t given a very good answer, I think in these days where new theories are springing up almost daily, usually with a conscious aim of convincing and persuading an increasingly global audience regarding a particular situation, and frequently pointing the finger at who is responsible, it is a huge challenge for us to know and discern what is true, and whether angels or demons are involved. Who has time to check all the facts and the evidence and the integrity of who is putting them forward, and the real intent behind them ? The reaction of your friends is quite understandable – one tends to believe who one trusts, and trust in the institutions that people until recently looked up to is dwindling due to various scandals. However, if they are kind and talented, maybe they don’t take them too seriously ?
Interested to know how others deal with knowing what is true which seems to be one of the key issues of our times .
Well, here is what Steiner had to say some thirteen years after those rather direct words cited from the lecture of 4 June 1908. Please let it be a plead to what had to happen:
“Since the last third of the nineteenth century, we are actually dealing with the influx of spirit beings from the universe. Initially, these were beings dwelling in the sphere between moon and Mercury, but they are closing in upon earth, so to say, seeking to gain a foothold in earthly life through human beings imbuing themselves with thoughts of spiritual beings in the cosmos. This is another way of describing what I outlined earlier when I said that we must call our shadowy intellect to life with the pictures of spiritual science. That is the abstract way of describing it. The description is concrete when we say: Spirit beings are seeking to come down into earth existence and must be received. Upheaval upon upheaval will ensue, and earth existence will at length arrive at social chaos if these beings descended and human existence were to consist only of opposition against them. For these beings wish to be nothing less than the advance guard of what will happen to earth existence when the moon reunites once again with earth.
Nowadays it may appear comparatively harmless to people when they think only those automatic, lifeless thoughts that arise through comprehension of the mineral world itself and the mineral element’s effects in plant, animal, and man. Yes, indeed, people revel in these thoughts; as materialists, they feel good about them, for only such thoughts are conceived today. But imagine that people were to continue thinking in this way, unfolding nothing but such thoughts until the eighth millennium when moon existence will once more unite with the life of the earth. What would come about then? The beings I have spoken about will descend gradually to the earth. Vulcan beings, Vulcan supermen, Venus supermen, Mercury supermen, sun supermen, and so on will unite themselves with earth existence. Yet, if human beings persist in their opposition to them, this earth existence will pass over into chaos in the course of the next few thousand years. People will indeed be capable of developing their intellect in an automatic way; it can develop even in the midst of barbaric conditions. The fullness of human potential, however, will not be included in this intellect and people will have no relationship to the beings who wish graciously to come down to them into earthly life.
All the beings presently conceived so incorrectly in people’s thoughts — incorrectly because the mere shadowy intellect can only conceive of the mineral, the crudely material element, be it in the mineral, plant, animal or even human kingdom — these thoughts of human beings that have no reality all of a sudden will become realities when the moon and the earth will unite again. From the earth, there will spring forth a horrible brood of beings. In character they will be in between the mineral and plant kingdoms. They will be beings resembling automatons, with an over-abundant intellect of great intensity. Along with this development, which will spread over the earth, the latter will be covered as if by a network or web of ghastly spiders possessing tremendous wisdom. Yet their organization will not even reach up to the level of the plants. They will be horrible spiders who will be entangled with one another. In their outward movements they will imitate everything human beings have thought up with their shadowy intellect, which did not allow itself to be stimulated by what is to come through new Imagination and through spiritual science in general.
All these unreal thoughts people are thinking will be endowed with being. As it is covered with layers of air today, or occasionally with swarms of locusts, the earth will be covered with hideous mineral-plant-like spiders that intertwine with one another most cleverly but in a frighteningly evil manner. To the extent that human beings have not enlivened their shadowy, intellectual concepts, they will have to unite their being, not with the entities who are seeking to descend since the last third of the nineteenth century, but instead with these ghastly mineral-plant-like spidery creatures. They will have to dwell together with these spiders; they will have to seek their further progress in cosmic evolution in the evolutionary stream that this spider brood will then assume.
You see, this is something that is very much a reality of earth humanity’s evolution. It is known today by a large number of those human beings who hold mankind back from receiving spiritual scientific knowledge. For there are those who are actually conscious allies of this spidery entangling of human earth existence. Today, we must no longer recoil from descriptions such as these. For descriptions of this kind are behind what is said to this day by many people who, based on ancient traditions, still have some awareness of things like these, and who would like to surround these ancient traditions with a certain veil of secrecy.”
And so it goes in this day and age, even as we attempt to emerge it,
And with the gigantic demonic clouds created by something like National Socialism the actions of even a few are significant. I’m just now reviewing a new book, “Long Live Freedom! Traute Lafrenz and the White Rose,” which illustrates that very well.
As an historian who assesses matters from an anthroposophical perspective, which is an extremely rare talent in today’s age, you are certainly to be commended for your efforts. Yet, I truly believe you were misunderstanding my sentiments concerning the so-called “European Karma” that Rudolf Steiner was talking about concerning the cause of World War I. This is not a conspiracy theory that I have created. Rather, it can be clearly indicated in the following excerpts. You wrote:
“Along with the very necessary acknowledgment of European depradations on other continents from the Crusades to the 20th century, the devastations wrought on Europe by non-Europeans over an even longer period (490s BC – 1683 AD) should also be kept in mind when considering “European karma” and reincarnations into and out of European cultures.”
Now, I certainly think you are aware of how much Steiner’s lectures, GA177, on “The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness”, from October 1917, are riddled with indications of how the ‘European Karma’ was the cause of the war, but I want to cite two earlier indications from 1915, in which this is also is clearly indicated. I give the url for the complete lecture, and then the specifically relevant citation below.
“There will be a time when people will speak about the present events differently than they are doing now. You will have to admit, the entire war literature contains something rather unpleasant. True, some valid statements are made, but there are also many disagreeable ones. Above all, there is one thing that is disagreeable. There is much talk about how it is still too early to discuss the question of who has caused the war and so on. People delude themselves about the facts when they say that at a later date the documents in our archives will surely bring to light who is to blame for the war! In reference to the external events, however, the matter can be resolved fairly easily, provided one judges dispassionately. Chamberlain [Houston Stuart], in his War Essays is correct (even though he is in error about the details) when he says that it is possible to know the key issues of this war. All that is without a doubt accurate, but it leaves the proper question unasked. For example, there is but one question that can be answered unequivocally, if only it is properly posed, and this question is: Who could have prevented the war? — The constantly recurring question: Who is to blame for this war? and many other questions just are not appropriate. Who could have prevented the war? The answer to this question can be no other than that the Russian government could have prevented the war! Only in this fashion will it be possible to find the appropriate definition for the impulses that are at work in each situation. Of course, war had been desired by the East for decades, but had it not been for a certain relationship between England, Russia and France, it could not have broken out. Therefore, one might ascribe the greater blame to England. Yet all these conjectures do not take into consideration the underlying causes that made this World War a necessity. It is naive to believe that war could have been avoided. People these days talk as if it did not have to come about when it was, of course, destined by the European karma.”
“A great and terrible symbol stands before the eyes of the world. Think of the two states where the war had its starting-point. On the one side, Russia with the Slavic world in general, declares that the war is based on brotherhood of blood, and on the other side, there is Austria, which comprises thirteen distinct peoples and thirteen different languages. The mobilization order in Austria had to be issued in thirteen languages because Austria encompasses thirteen racial stocks: Germans, Czechs, Poles, Ruthenians, Rumanians, Magyars, Slovaks, Serbs, Croatians, Slovenes (among whom there is a second and separate dialect), Bosnians, Dalmatians and Italians. Thirteen different racial stocks, apart from all minor differentiations, are united in Austria. Whether the implications of this are understood or not, it is obvious that Austria consists of a collection of human beings among whom community can never be based on blood relationship, for what its strange boundaries contain shoots out into thirteen different lineages. The most highly composite state in Europe stands in opposition to the state that strives most intensively for life in a group soul, or for conformity. But this striving for life in a group soul brings a great many other things in its train. This leads us to another matter, the significance of which we will think about today.”
Thanks for that Steve. Are these indications from 1915 the ones you had in mind when, in your post of 8 Dec (6:58), you wrote the words: “in another excerpt”:
“it is interesting how this blog-post has kind of gotten off its original topic of eugenetics, and yet, Steiner had much to say about its sinister implications in the lecture from GA177, previously cited here. He also told, **in another excerpt**, of how the pan flu epidemic of 1918, had stood in a rather benign condition in the 1890’s.”
I had been wondering whether that “other excerpt” was from the October 1917 lectures in GA 177 or from somewhere else.
I don’t think you were trying to ‘create a conspiracy theory’, Steve. My only concern was that in the exchange between you and John, you were both, perhaps unwittingly, in danger of adding to the notion, which is quite widespread in the world today in certain circles, that Europeans are somehow uniquely wicked and to blame for most of the evils in the world. For example, take John’s statement of 9 Dec (1:06 am):
“With “European karma” I have simply thought that, after devastating all the great civilizations of the world from the 1400s up to 1900, Europe turned and destroyed its own special multi-national, multi-lingual culture 1914-1918.”
By “great civilizations of the world” John may well have had in mind the Aztecs, Incas, Moghuls, Chinese and Japanese. Now Europe – and Steiner clearly regarded the USA as the extension of Europe – certainly did devastate the Aztecs’ and the Incas’ civilisations because after the European conquest there was no more Aztec or Inca civilization and Europe and the Americans also did serious damage to China and Japan up to 1900, though it cannot be said they *devastated* them (i.e. laid waste). However, Europe did NOT “devastate” Ottoman Turkey, which was certainly one of the world’s great civilisations, nor did Europeans really “devastate” India, though again, they damaged it severely, culturally, politically and economically. Indian culture survived the Raj for the most part, and that includes the caste system, with which India is still afflicted today. I wonder if John was also thinking of the Thais and the Koreans? But neither of them were colonised by Europeans. The Koreans were repeatedly hammered by both China and Japan over the centuries. He may also have been thinking of the other peoples of SE Asia, and there certainly, European colonialism and imperialism was aggressive and exploitative.
Or take the second part of John’s statement: “….Europe turned and destroyed its own special multi-national, multi-lingual culture 1914-1918.”
In what sense was John meaning that “Europe” had a “multi-national, multi-lingual culture”? Switzerland and the Austro-Hungarian Empire are obvious cases and the larger states (Germany, Italy, Russia) had significant minorities, Romania too. But there were other European states that had very few or no minorities and were effectively mono-lingual, mono-ethnic states. This is precisely the wonderful thing about Europe – that is has all this variety, or ‘diversity’, to use the modern buzzword. It is neither *all* mono-lingual, mono-ethnic nor *all* multi-national, multi-lingual. Nor should we want it ALL to be one or the other.
I just think we should beware, especially in today’s fraught socio-political context, of making overly generalised statements about racial or ethnic responsibility. I would be grateful, if you have the information at hand, if you would point out where exactly in GA 177 Steiner uses the phrase “European karma”, as I don’t have time right now to search all through those remarkable lectures. Is that his phrase or yours? When, for instance, we consider the role of Francis Bacon in the growth of materialism in Britain and Europe as a whole, and reflect that a) he was previously Harun al-Rashid and b) that *HE* (and his ‘Counsellor’, mostly likely Yahya bin Khalid bin Barmak) decided, in or after 869, to reincarnate into Europe as Bacon and Comenius, can that be considered a case of “European” karma?
Hi Terry. No, the reference to “another excerpt” is from this comment:
Relative to the term “European Karma”, I first saw it in the lecture of 18 May 1915, and if you would read Peter Mollenhauer’s very useful introduction to the lecture, he points to all the relevant spots where this karma can be discerned.
With regard to GA177, well I have to say that the entire lecture-course is about European and World Karma. But, just as an example, here is something that seems a pertinent example from the first lecture: “The Driving Forces Behind Europe’s War”.
“What is the characteristic element to be found day by day, hour by hour, when we take note of what people think, or rather pretend to think and pretend to want? It is that, fundamentally speaking, no one in the world knows what they want, and no one realizes that people’s perfectly justifiable aims, whichever form they may take in the minds of individual nations, would be achieved so much better if they did away with these terrible wars in which so much blood is shed. People do not realize that these terrible events with their bloodshed are really not necessary as a means of helping them to achieve their aims.
These events have a mysterious background, but if you consider some of the things said in our anthroposophical lectures over the years, even if they have only been touched on lightly, you will find perfectly clear statements, also with reference to the most significant of recent events. Consider also what has been said in these very rooms, especially in the last few years, on the character of the Russian people and the difference between the Russians and the peoples of Western and Central Europe. You will find that you need the things which have been said here to gain understanding of an event that appears to have come in with such vehemence. It has burst forth as though it were a karmic vengeance, the inner meaning of which is quite clear, though the word ‘vengeance’ must be taken as a technical term and not at all in a moral sense.”
This first lecture would be well worth your time in reading because it sets the tone and the focus of the entire course as a karmic necessity that simply had arrived at its time for active engagement.
“When, for instance, we consider the role of Francis Bacon in the growth of materialism in Britain and Europe as a whole, and reflect that a) he was previously Harun al-Rashid and b) that *HE* (and his ‘Counsellor’, mostly likely Yahya bin Khalid bin Barmak) decided, in or after 869, to reincarnate into Europe as Bacon and Comenius, can that be considered a case of “European” karma?”
Yes, it can, and especially with Bacon and Comenius, because according to RS, they went on to be influential, after their deaths, in the formative spiritual stages of two later historians of the 19th century, Leopold von Ranke, and Friedrich Christoph Schlosser. Bacon also is indicated here in this 2nd lecture of volume II of Karmic Relationships as having an unnamed Initiate working behind him who inspired all of his philosophy, and this only began after James VI also became King James of England in 1603.
Have you read, “Who Wrote Bacon”, by Richard Ramsbotham from 2004? It is one of those really rare works of originating spiritual science on the part of a modern researcher. In it, he refuses to name Bacon’s past life, but only alludes to it; maybe because he wants to keep the focus on James I as the Initiate, who he claims also stood behind Shakespeare, Jacob Bohme, and the Jesuit, Jacob Balde. Steiner knew this but never named the Initiate. Ramsbotham does in a very compelling way, and even throws in King Solomon!
Terry, hi —
When I speak of Europe’s “own special multi-national, multi-lingual culture” I mean what I say: Europe, not the individual countries. Did Asia ever think and speak of itself as “Asia”? Did “Africa”? Or either or both “Americas”? There was an “idea of Europe…”
And “Europe” quite uniquely presented the esoteric spectacle of a chorus of archangels who (despite constant internal conflicts at the baser levels) felt and moved together to a significant degree across several centuries.
Perhaps my view is colored by Dostoevsky, not the only Russian to feel that he was carrying the feeling of “Europe” more than those to the west. Americans saw it the same way–that “Europe” was richly composite but a unity, until the first war.
With all the competition, which became too destructive in the 20th century, there was still a European sense of purpose with regard to the rest of the world; this had begun to crumble by the end of the Great War. And Steiner’s cry in December 1916 came when he saw the British and French deciding that this war would end with permanent losers (in Central Europe). With that decision, the confidence in the “idea of Europe” was broken, and the will and power to lead was thrust out progressively onto the European wings, Soviet Russia and the USA.
John, you bring up something very important here, and I know that Terry knows it because he has already referred to Steiner’s course on “The Karma of Untruthfulness”, ref, GA173. You wrote:
“With all the competition, which became too destructive in the 20th century, there was still a European sense of purpose with regard to the rest of the world; this had begun to crumble by the end of the Great War. And Steiner’s cry in December 1916 came when he saw the British and French deciding that this war would end with permanent losers (in Central Europe). With that decision, the confidence in the “idea of Europe” was broken, and the will and power to lead was thrust out progressively onto the European wings, Soviet Russia and the USA.”
In December of 1916, Germany and Austria proposed a peace settlement to the war, and this was greeted with approval by both Kaiser Wilhelm II, and President Wilson. Of course, Rudolf Steiner was in full agreement for peace, and he tells of this in the the last lecture of GA173. Yet, the several Allied nations uniformly said, ‘No’. And you know why? Because they all held Austria and Germany to be the cause of the war, and by proposing peace at this time, they were only admitting that their backs were up against the wall and admitting guilt. So, the Allied nations were not going for it.
Was that a mistake? I think it was a mistake because any effort toward peace can end a conflict and save lives. In this case, we are looking at many thousands of lives saved because the United States wouldn’t have gotten involved, and the influenza epidemic would not have occurred.
Instead, 50,000 more lives were lost, and the U.S. eventually got to draw up the Treaty of Versailles, which really put Germany under for many years. And so, this helps to create the pretext for the much bigger war when Germany was only holding out its hand in poverty, and trying to make good the Weimar Republic. And we know what became of that.
So, the Hitler era was a foregone conclusion in the 1930’s, and especially when he saw that the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles had lapsed without opposition. Roosevelt was too busy working on his “New Deal” to keep Germany in check, and that is why he sent Charles Lindbergh to Berlin in 1936 to attend the summer Olympic Games, and also to inspect the airplane factory of Herman Goering. Of course, by this time, Britain had already struck a deal that allowed the production of German gunboats and submarines. And, of course, Wall Street investors were big on helping to rebuild the so-called, ‘Hitler War Machine’. Hjalmar Horace Greeley Schact was Hitler’s finance minister, and he did a nice and very clever job of advertising in the New York Times whenever possible about the renewal of Germany. It worked, and the bucks needed for manufacturing tanks, guns, airplanes, ships, and whatever else, flowed in. FDR couldn’t pay attention to all this because he was trying to get his own nation out of the depression.
Yet, we all know that war is good for the economy.
Good thoughts, thanks.
Germany’s pre-1914 fleet-building and rapid economic growth was the obvious exoteric reason Britain could not tolerate it and had to have a way; its whole power rested on naval dominance.
And with the second war the “appeasement” at Munich is (intentionally) misunderstood. Chamberlain did only what British leaders had been doing for generations: try to set the two great powers on the continent against each other, and pick up the pieces.
Britain’s army could not match other nations alone, and the expectation of “appeasement” was that Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia would cause each other massive damage. The Czechs had to be sacrificed for this to happen. But of course Stalin was smart enough to stand back as long as possible…
For Steiner I believe the “war guilt” and the reparations and the dismemberment of Austria-Hungary wounded Central Europe so that it could not take the next cultural step of anthroposophy. In 1914 the culture of Europe had been ready to take this next step; consider only the painters and composers. But the political and military and economic competitions had become too brutal.
“… the Russian government could have prevented the war!” (Steiner 1915).
Contrast that with the paranoid conspiracy thinking on genetically engineered flu, on laboratory-made Aids, and even on the use of poison. In a weird article, Boardman (BA in history) is aligning with Russian state propaganda, casting doubt on the recent Russian state poisoning cases and blaming ‘the BBC and other British media’.
“The BBC and other British media were soon laying the blame for the attacks directly at the door of President Putin himself.” http://threeman.org/?p=2667
LikeLiked by 1 person
I can only point out here that in replying to Steve’s post of 18 Dec (9:52) Ton Majoor deliberately elides from discussion of the causes of WW1 to making an attack both on myself and on Putin and the Russian state, and I can’t help wondering why he does that? Could it be some particular desire to attack the Russian state? I’ll leave that to him to elucidate. As for Steve’s original point about Russian responsibility in 1914, he and Ton Majoor will surely know that Steiner rarely subscribed to monocausality in historical cases as complex as WW1. We can also find Steiner referring (Karma of Untruthfulness lectures Dec 1916-Jan 1917) to the single sentence that the British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey could have used to prevent WW1 but chose not to,and chose not to because of the long-term plans in British occult circles (going back to the 1880s at least) for a great war in Europe – occult circles which (as Steiner himself says, see KoU Vol. 1 lectures above) ) spoke through the mouth of Lord Rosebery, the political mentor of Grey and of his close friends Asquith, the Prime Minister and Haldane the War Minister. Furthermore, we can also find Steiner severely criticising Germany and Austria-Hungary for their roles in the July Crisis of 1914, though in their cases, it was more a matter of stupidity than long-term malice. Finally, in the very lectures Steve first mentioned, GA 177 (The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness), we find in the last lecture (14) Steiner drawing his listeners’ attention to the revelations of the French Socialist Francis Delaisi in his 1910 book “La Democratie et les Financiers” that France was in reality ruled by 55 individuals and that under their thumb was Raymond Poincare, the President of France in 1914 and man who all his life had burned to recover Alsace Lorraine from Germany. Historical research has established that Poincare too, and the men behind him, and those alongside him (such as the French ambassador in Russia, Maurice Paleologue, and the French Prime Minister, Rene Viviani, not to mention the former Foreign Minister, Delcasse, all bear responsibility for the outbreak of WW1. In sum, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and Austria-Hungary all bore responsibility, but Russia, France and Britain had had intentions for war that went back to the 1880s and 1890s and must therefore bear the prime responsibility.
Turning to Ton Majoor’s attack on myself and my article on my website, please notice how Ton Majoor directly connects me with the Russian state and with “paranoid conspiracy thinking on genetically engineered flu, on laboratory-made Aids, and even on the use of poison.” The topic of my website article was none of the subjects quoted. He claims my article is ‘weird’ but doesn’t say why and then claims that I am “aligning with Russian state propaganda, casting doubt on the recent Russian state poisoning cases and blaming ‘the BBC and other British media’.” “Aligning” is a suitably vague word isn’t it, that can suggest all kinds of things e.g. deliberate intent or accidental agreement. In my article, I wrote: “The BBC and other British media were soon laying the blame for the attacks directly at the door of President Putin himself.” That is a fact.They WERE soon laying the blame on Putin. Just as, after 9/11, the US media were soon – the very same day in fact – laying the blame for the attacks on Osama Bin Laden. The same Establishment and media who supposedly had utterly failed to see the attacks coming, then, right after the attacks, somehow became brilliantly informed and knew exactly who was behind everything – those guys hiding in Afghan caves thousands of miles away had organised the whole event!
Ton Majoor accepts, with ZERO evidence from the media or the British government, that Salisbury WAS a case of poisoning by the Russian state. In an earlier mail, he offered as ‘evidence’ of Russian cupidity links to articles by the BBC and NPR – both of which, on major matters of foreign policy do not tend to diverge from the lines taken by the British and American governments! To my mind, such sources should not be accepted on face value. The British government case in the spring of this year on the Salisbury poisonings, and on which it based its subsequent actions against Russia, was utterly threadbare. No serious policeman or lawyer would accept such ‘evidence’ for a moment. But as Steiner said re. WW1 with regard to claims of German guilt, it was a case of the old saying “the Jew will be burned” i.e. the Jew will be put to death whether or not he is innocent: the German will be found guilty of causing WW1 whether or not he is guilty, and today that applies to the Russians as far as many in the western media are concerned.
Certainly, there are suspicious aspects to the behaviour of the two Russians who themselves admitted that it was them caught on CCTV footage in Salisbury – footage which, by the way, it took the British authorities, for whatever reason, *6 months to reveal* – I myself would want to see, for example, the photos of Salisbury Cathedral which they claim they went twice from London all the way to see and which, if they had, they surely would have taken photos of. Such photos have not been revealed despite the RT interviewer asking them to send in such photos – which they themselves said they had taken. But that still does not PROVE that they tried to KILL the Skripals. They may indeed have been agents, but may have been there to contact Skripal, or to pressure him, or just to observe him. We do not know. And until we do, we cannot, in all justice, claim that those two men, or the Russian State, or Putin, were guilty of attempted murder. What we DO know is that it suits the UK and US authorities to spread that message, because since 2014, and the Ukraine coup d’etat carried out with the assistance of the US government – for which there IS evidence – and Russia’s subsequent response in taking the Crimea in order to deny to NATO access to the naval port of Sevastopol which the putchist Prime Minister Yatsenyuk and his neo-fascist-supported regime would no doubt have granted to NATO, the US and UK have reopened the Cold War with Russia, and Britain in particular, month by month, has produced some new form of accusation against Russia to maintain the pressure and keep Russia ‘excommunicated’, as the US/UK foreign policy elites see it.
This anti-Russian agenda is a much older agenda than the era of Putin or even the era of Cold War 1.0, and it can only be understood with the aid of spiritual science, as Rudolf Steiner made clear in various lectures during and after WW1, with reference to “the socialist experiment” that was planned in the West for Russia and the fabricated “Testament of Peter the Great”. If Ton Majoor is unaware of what Steiner had to say about those things, I suggest he should soon inform himself and cease to rely, if indeed he is doing so, on US/UK or Dutch? Belgian? establishment media for his interpretations of relations between the West and Russia.
LikeLiked by 1 person
CORRECTION: In my previous reply to Ton Majoor, I wrote: “In an earlier mail, he offered as ‘evidence’ of Russian cupidity links to articles by the BBC and NPR…” the word ‘cupidity’ should have been *culpability*.
‘The topic of my website article was none of the subjects quoted.’. Well, the Salisbury poisoning was a prominent subject. In my view your article is suspicious of the conspirational Anglo-American secret services, but not of the Russian FSB (of which Putin was director) or the military GRU, and that is weird:
“The possibility then, that there was a third explanation for the Salisbury incident – that it was arranged by the British secret service apparatus as part of an ongoing anti-Russian campaign – was, however, not considered by the mainstream media nor, of course, by the government or even the political class; …”.
My objective is not an ‘anti-Russian campaign’ or agenda; it is pro-Russian, but directed against the corrupt Russian government including their secret services (or occult circles) GRU and FSB. The present Russian regime is waging a hybrid war, i.e. force (annexation) combined with propaganda (desinformation), ever since Vladimir Putin is in power. They try to divide Europa by supporting extreme political movements in Britain and in all European countries. It is a cyber war and a cultural war at the same time.
This Russian imperialism was already described in the fourteen points of the political ‘Testament of Peter the Great’ (see also Steiner and Polzer-Hoditz) and it was effectively renewed by Putin in the 21st century, using new technologies (see his Millennium Speech). Putin and his circle deny, ly and sow doubt as a political strategy (see the MH17-disaster).
This is in response to the post by Ton Majoor 19 December 2018 (6:52 pm):
The introduction to my article may have referred to the Salisbury poisoning case but the topic of the article was the antipathetic narratives directed against Russia and Germany by the elites of the West for over 100 years.
Ton then writes: “In my view your article is suspicious of the conspirational Anglo-American secret services, but not of the Russian FSB (of which Putin was director) or the military GRU, and that is weird:”
You could argue that it is “one-sided”, but not that it is “weird”, which means “strange, mysterious, even spooky”. I am well aware that the Russians have very capable secret services, which have got up to some appalling things over the past century and a half at least, for example, murdering and kidnapping Russians who were alleged enemies of the Russian state and had fled abroad. But Ton should recall that British expertise in the field goes back much further, to the time of Elizabeth I and Sir Francis Walsingham,and has engaged in equally appalling things and deceptions of the lowest order. Putin, by the way, was director of the FSB for less than a year (25 July 1998 – 29 March 1999).
Furthermore, in this epoch of history, the Consciousness Soul epoch (1413-3573), it is the English-speaking peoples who have a vanguard role, so to speak, according to Rudolf Steiner. I would say that is in both the good and bad senses. Steiner made it clear on countless occasions that the luciferic forces were stronger in Russia and the ahrmanic forces in Britain and the USA. It is Ahriman’s ‘foot’ that is on ‘the accelerator of history’ in our epoch, not Lucifer’s. The Russians, and Putin, and other peoples south of Russia are only *reacting* to the imperial impulses proceeding from English-speaking elites. And in the 20th century the Russians were consistently – apart from a few secret intelligence successes – outdone by the Anglosphere: WW1, Marxism transplanted to Russia, failure to save the Russian Royal Family, exploitation of USSR by US businesses between the wars The English-speaking peoples therefore, I would argue, have a particular responsibility for becoming aware of how Ahriman works through their culture in order to prevent ahrimanic influences from getting out of hand.
As for the strategy of the current Russia state and Putin, Ton should recognise:
a) that it was the policy of the West to undermine and destabilise Russia in the Yeltsin years
b) that two years before Putin came to power, Zbigniew Brezeinski wrote his book “The Grand Chessboard” which lays out the intentions of the Western elite for Eurasia, following the directives which the British geopolitician Halford Mackinder laid out in 1904-1919. It is clear from this book that it was always the western intention to use Ukraine to make trouble for Russia in accordance with Mackinder’s maxim:
He who rules eastern Europe controls the Heartland (i.e. central Eurasia)
He who rules the Heartland, controls the World Island (i.e. all of Eurasia)
He who rules the World island controls the world.
quoted in Brzezinki’s book p. 38.
No way was Putin going to allow Yatsenyuk to let NATO put its forces in the naval base of Sevastopol following the crypto-fascist, US-supported coup in Ukraine, hence the annexation of Crimea in 2014, subsequently overwhelmingly approved by the people of Crimea (cf. Kosovo).
c) that both Russia and China are SURROUNDED by states with US bases, of which there are some 700-800 around the world. This encirclement is ominously similar to the encirclement of Germany before WW1 by Britain, France and Russia, only more comprehensive. Furthermore, that troops of USUK and their allies are hard up against the Russian border and that the West has moved steadily toward it since 1991.
d) that the US military budget outstrips the Russian by a factor of 10
e) that Ton’s views of Russian policy are essentially no different from those of western propaganda outlets.
Re. Ton’s statement: “This Russian imperialism was already described in the fourteen points of the political ‘Testament of Peter the Great’ (see also Steiner and Polzer-Hoditz) and it was effectively renewed by Putin in the 21st century, using new technologies (see his Millennium Speech). Putin and his circle deny, ly [sic] and sow doubt as a political strategy (see the MH17-disaster).”
Ton is right about the (fabricated) Testament of Peter the Great (see the book “Das Wirken der okkulten Logen und die Aufgabe der Mitte zwischen Ost und West” (The Activity of Occult Lodges and the Task of the Middle between East and West) by Erdmuth Grosse (1987, not translated).
I hold no candle for Putin. I do not regard him as good for Russia in the long run and would not welcome a permanent presidency by him, but I regard him as having given his people a “breathing space” from the depredations of western predatory and Russian oligarchic capitalism in the Yeltsin years. He has helped to restore to his people some sense of self-respect after the humiliations and disasters of the 90s. This is not a bad thing. But it is something western elites are not happy about. Though his sometimes crude use of language when speaking in Russian, usually to Russians, apparently sometimes leaves something to be desired, he and Lavrov are certainly two of the few “adults” in the current European foreign policy room. Most of the rest, including Merkel, are but US puppets. This has been shown by their actions since 9/11.
Terry, the Russian Federation is called a ‘guided democracy’ (guided by the oligarchic Russian FSB and GU-elite): it is not a parliamentary democracy with civil rights and freedom of the press, though Russia is still a member of the Council of Europe.
Dugin published his influential Russian book on geopolitics, the counterpart of Brzezinski’s book, in 1997 as well. In the 21st century, warfare is not about ‘encirclement’ and ‘military budget’ but it has become a low budget hybrid warfare (disinformation, the Russian Gerasimov doctrine). Russian military aggression and maskirovka is mainly aimed at dividing Europe’s heartland (Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Crimea etc.). Merkel and May don’t obey Putin; Trump clearly does deny, lie and sow doubt because of kompromat.
Steiner (1919) foresaw the appearance of Ahriman in the flesh in the western world (not in China, not in Palestine) `before even a part of the third millennium of the Christian era has run its course’, i.e. on New Year’s Eve 1999 (which happens to be the evening of Putin’s rise to power).
Response to Ton Majoor’s post of 23 December 2018 (8:29 am)
“Terry, the Russian Federation is called a ‘guided democracy’ (guided by the oligarchic Russian FSB and GU-elite): it is not a parliamentary democracy with civil rights and freedom of the press, though Russia is still a member of the Council of Europe.”
Called by whom, Ton? As for parliamentary democracies, please look at how much – or rather, how little – ‘democratic parliamentary’ discussion there was in Parliament before the British government took this country to war in 1914, a decision which profoundly altered the destiny of this country for the next 100 years, until today in fact. I refer you to “The Darkest Days” (2014) by Douglas Newton. In total there were about 2.5 hours of discussion in the Parliament after the Cabinet finally – and for the only time before the declaration of war – presented to M.P.s its view of the situation on 3 August 1914, *one day* before declaring war. Those 2.5 hours were not even a proper debate on the substantive issue of the prospect of war, but a mere adjournment debate. After making a short statement near the beginning, Sir Edward Grey the Foreign Minister left the chamber accompanied by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, Bonar Law, so the most significant individuals didn’t even bother to be present for this SINGLE debate prior to the declaration of war! There was no vote after the debate. No Cabinet Minister spoke in support of Grey; it was a backbenchers’ debate. Only 3 speakers spoke in favour of British intervention in the war – and yet the next day, Asquith and Grey took us into it. I don’t think this is common knowledge in this country. It was even worse than the shameful way in which Blair’s government took us into the Iraq war in 2003. This was supposed to be the Mother of Parliaments, Ton!
You seem to have quite an animus about Putin and Russia. I think this is dangerous in the age of nuclear weapons. This is not 1939. Hitler had no nukes. Anyone trying to stir up antipathy between nuclear-armed states – irrespective of their political systems – in this day and age contributes towards the risk of an outbreak of nuclear war and thus the genocide of the human race. Putin, Trump and their governments are mere epiphenomena in the great passage of history, but the extinction of the human race through nuclear war is no epiphenomenon.
Ton: “Dugin published his influential Russian book on geopolitics, the counterpart of Brzezinski’s book, in 1997 as well.”
Dugin is another dangerous geopolitical influence, like the late Brzezinski, though Dugin was only 35 when he wrote his 1997 book, which could be seen as the work of a young(ish) hothead, whereas Brzezinski was 69, at the height of his powers when he wrote “The Grand Chessboard” in the same year. The last time I looked, Ton, I didn’t see Russian tanks and airbases on French soil opposite Britain. Russians, however, see NATO forces on the other side of their borders.
Ton: “In the 21st century, warfare is not about ‘encirclement’ and ‘military budget’ but it has become a low budget hybrid warfare (disinformation, the Russian Gerasimov doctrine).
Incorrect, Ton. Warfare IS still very much still about encirclement. Why do you think the US has surrounded Russia and China with its bases and allies? What do you think the Chinese are doing in Africa and in Latin America? Military budgets are necessary for supercomputer systems and satellites as well as weapons. Any idea where that $2.3 trillion went that Rumsfeld announced was missing from the Pentagon’s budget the day before 9/11?
Ton: “Russian military aggression and maskirovka is mainly aimed at dividing Europe’s heartland (Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Crimea etc.). Merkel and May don’t obey Putin; Trump clearly does deny, lie and sow doubt because of kompromat.
Last time I looked, Europe’s heartland was NOT Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, Crimea but Germany, Czech, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary Italy. No, Merkel and May don’t obey Putin; they obey Washington and Wall St. What is your actual evidence about Russian ‘kompromat’ on Trump? ALL governments involved in major geopolitical affairs “deny, lie and sow doubt”.
Ton: “Steiner (1919) foresaw the appearance of Ahriman in the flesh in the western world (not in China, not in Palestine) `before even a part of the third millennium of the Christian era has run its course’, i.e. on New Year’s Eve 1999 (which happens to be the evening of Putin’s rise to power).”
This implication of yours that Putin is Ahriman’s pawn is further evidence of your particular animus against the man. I would suggest rather that you look to the period August 1999 – May 2000 for the period of “the arrival”. The vehicle would thus be experiencing his first Moon Node *right now*.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I’ve been engaged with Russian culture since age 10, but they have not had good fortune with leaders. Putin may have been open at first to a partnership with the USA, but we’re not good at partnership. (Read John LeCarré on UK/US intelligence partnership.) I feel that he is now ideologically aligned with oligrachism.
And I’ve encountered the phrase “fire hose of lies” as a Soviet/Russian disinformation technique. Not original perhaps to them, and a good term for what the current US president tries to do singlehanded. (He learned from Roy Cohn who was a key player in our 1950s “McCarthyism.”)
Now the three Gospels (Matt, Luke 12; Mark 3) speak of a “sin which will not be forgiven, blasphemy against the Holy Spirit.” Aquinas described six dimensions of this, but not exactly enlightening. When one adds the John Gospel’s statement that “the Comforter (another title of the Holy Spirit) is the Spirit of Truth” — then the deeper struggle going on around Untruthfulness begins to emerge.
“What is Truth?” Well, there is the “a-lethe-ia” of “the truth shall make you free” — the un-forgetting of our divine origins. But there is also Truth as the structural substance of cosmic reality, the world created from out of the Logos. When this “truth” is attacked, the result is the disorientation of human beings relative to higher reality. Is this why the “sin against the Spirit of Truth” is unforgivable?
Terry, you’re a serious man, but apparently your paranoia is this conspiracy theory of Anglo-American World Dominance. Rumsfeld didn’t say ‘miss’, but: we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions [within the Pentagon]. My animus is not at all against Russia, but against Putin’s authoritarian government (‘guided democracy’ is Surkov’s term). In contrast, Britain has a vivid parliament, though not a constitution, regulated by the separation of powers and controlled by a free press.
‘Europe’s heartland’ rather indicates Mckinder’s East Europe (Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland) and Snyder’s Bloodlands, not Central Europe. Besides modern disinformation (maskirovka), an aggressive encirclement of Europe by Russian nuclear naval bases in the Arctic Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea (cf. the Testament of Peter the Great) is one of Putin’s goals you hesitate to mention.
Putin (almost 20 years in power) and his asset Trump deny, lie and sow doubt: as a political strategy of mass suggestion, followed by many authoritarian world leaders.
Dear Ton, Terry and Steve,
I am not used to thinking in terms of conspiracy theories and have little belief in the real power of dark occult forces. The more spiritual aware people are, the more simple they become. Negative collective behaviour is usually rooted in real suffering, less in hidden “bad guys” who manipulate us. Elimination of suffering addresses the causes of war, destruction of the environment or wrong political reasoning and decisions.
Both options “the Russian government was responsible for the poisoning” and “the British secret service staged the attack” lead to the same result: sharper divisions in Europe (taking into account that the governing part of Russia is in Europe). If creating and worsening divisions is an intentional (or unintended?) common goal of these powers in the state, what is the deeper cause of the way they formulate their strategies? What do they really want to achieve in the long term? And, how are these strategies affecting Brexit and its divisive impacts?
Where can we perceive a spark of hope about a positive role of Central Europe towards world peace and prosperity, as predicted by Rudolf Steiner?
“Where can we perceive a spark of hope about a positive role of Central Europe towards world peace and prosperity, as predicted by Rudolf Steiner?”
Well, we can start by telling the truth about the way things are. Hans, please understand that this is not a finger-pointing exercise on the part of the people involved here on this blog, but rather, very sincere seekers for the truth. As a participant, I can feel it in these communications with John, Terry, Ton, Kathy, and Midnight Rambler. I see it as hope for a better way out of all the unjustness of the recent past, which in large respects encompasses the egregious history of the 20th century, and its sad continuance today, some nearly twenty years into the Third Millennium. Now, for me, this 21st century is really important. We need to lock down the truth as soon as possible. And that is why these conversations have been escalating in the direction of truth this entire year on the Anthropopper. You, yourself, have stimulated some very important communications from September and October.
Yet, here is a very sobering contrast to your own vaunted feelings toward the Peace Conferences at the Hague. Rudolf Steiner’s frustration and disappointment is marked here when he speaks about the two peace conferences held in 1899 and 1907, both instigated by Czar Nicholas II. And we know that France paid some 20 billion francs in order to establish an alliance with Russia for the specific purpose of deeming Germany the enemy.
“The way in which events are connected is different from what people can imagine; the karma in the world takes its course in a different way. It is the task of spiritual science to replace fantastic notions with spiritually true ideas. For example, we can hardly imagine something more fantastic and untrue, from a spiritual perspective, than what has taken place in the last few decades. Let us ask what has been accomplished by the (Hague) Peace Conference which aimed at replacing war with law, or international law, as it was called. Since the Peace Conferences were held, wars have never been more terrible. During the last few decades this Peace Movement counted among its special patrons the very monarch who has waged the bloodiest and most cruel wars ever known in history. The launching of the Peace Conferences by the Russian Czar must therefore be considered the biggest farce in world history; it is also the most abominable. This must be labeled a luciferic seduction of the East; the details can be easily traced. No matter how one may view the situation, the human soul is shocked by the fact that in the beginning, when the war impulses made their way into Central Europe, the people there made few comments about the situation, even in places where they gathered for the purpose of discussion, such as the German Parliament in Berlin. Little was said, but the events spoke for themselves. In contrast, there was much talk in the East and West. The most shocking impressions come from the debates among various political parties in the St. Petersburg Duma. Representatives of these parties uttered, with great fervor, endless variations of absolutely meaningless phrases. It was terrifying to see the luciferic seduction at work. The fires raging in this war, however, are intended to warn and admonish the human race to be on guard.”
These remarks are from the lecture Steiner gave on 18 May 1915, GA159, and this lecture deals with very much of a profoundly important spiritual content. So, Hans, you simply cannot sum it up as the Buddhists and their simple spiritual ways vs. the anthroposophists, who are overwrought in their intellectualism, and resort to finger-pointing even their own kind. Attention was brought to this possibility in your earlier blog posts from September and October 2018.
What really strikes at the heart of Jeremy’s essay here on “Life Unworthy of Life” is the fact that there is actually an evil being who opposes the Christ as an adversary, and it considers human life its mission to destroy. Thus, we have a history of the anti-Christ working in the world since 666 AD, and this lecture from GA346 exposes it in the only place where the three periods: 666-1332-1998 are given the necessary weight in order to judge what we are up against today. In fact, the whole course of eighteen lectures was a special call to the Priests of the Christian Community to create a fourth mystery epoch in our time, in which the Apocalypse of Saint John would be fully exposed in order that we could fight it with the Power of Michael.
As Rudolf Steiner would tell Marie in a letter just a few days after his collapse in late September 1924, it was the course that put him over the edge into complete exhaustion. He felt their neediness.
This is in response to Steve’s post of 19 December 2018 (8:11 pm) and 9:45 pm.
Thanks for the clarifications, Steve. Do you know when Peter Mollenhauer wrote this introduction to the Linz lecture 18 May 1915? It may have been before 2011 because I don’t think the following statement of his really holds: “few [historians] would accept Rudolf Steiner’s statement from his Linz lecture that World War I was “destined by the European karma” or, to state it more concretely, that it was unavoidable.” Since the publication of Christopher Clark’s book “The Sleepwalkers” in 2012 and a number of other very good studies that have come out since, I don’t think it’s still true to say that “most historians” would deny that the war was “unavoidable”. Because publications since 2011 (incl. Sean McMeekin’s “The Russian Origins of the First World War” 2011) have tended to back off from the previously conventional view (especially in the Anglosphere) that Berlin and Vienna were primarily to blame. There’s more of a sense now that ‘responsibility’ for the war was ‘shared’ among the Great Powers and that thus WW1 was indeed due to profound problems in European civilisation, or to use Steiner’s phrase, “European karma”. There’s also a sense, especially in view of what’s happened in Europe since the early 1990s until today, that many issues from before WW1 have *still* not been resolved.
There are, however, some problems with Mollenhauer’s introduction: for example, he says:
“In suggesting that the Russian government and possibly England, could have prevented the war, Steiner simply deals with possibilities outside the realm of what had to happen according to European karma.” In what sense
“outside the realm of what had to happen according to European karma”? The British and Russian peoples are European peoples. Some Britons and Russians may sometimes have referred to “Europe” as “over there” but the two cultures have been intimately bound up with Europe nevertheless; they are part of Europe.
He goes on: “Europe and Russia’s instigation of the two Peace Conferences in the Hague (1899 and 1907) was indeed self-serving and hypocritical, for it was Russia that, in 1914, mobilized its armed forces without considering British proposals for peace negotiations.”
First, Grey’s “peace proposals” (24 July) were not really serious and were not regarded as such by other diplomats because they would have meant 4 Power talks on the Austria-Serbia quarrel: Germany, Britain, France and Russia i.e. 1 against 3!
Russia mobilised its armed forces AFTER it had been given a signal by the British that they were prepared to intervene on the Franco-Russian side; this signal was the order given at the weekend 26-27 July by the First Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill, for the Royal Navy to concentrate its fleets – the world’s most formidable piece of military ‘kit’ at the time – *in readiness for war*. ‘Conveniently’, the Royal Navy had already assembled 400 war ships at Portland Harbour on 16 July. That order on 27 July was given before any declaration of war or any fighting. The Russians had already commenced their partial – and secret – mobilisation on 24 July, but this British move by Churchill – who was gung-ho for action – 2 days later, emboldened the French and the Russians that Britain would probably stand with them. Then on 28 July Churchill ordered the First Fleet to its war stations at Scapa Flow – 7 days before Britain declared war. This too was noted by the French and by the Russian government, which ordered general mobilisation of the Russian military (= de facto declaration of war, according to the common understanding of military men across Europe in those days) on 29 July.
Re. your post of 19 December 2018 9:45 pm: When I wrote about Harun al Rashid reincarnating as Francis Bacon and asked whether this can be considered “European karma”, it’s obvious that his European reincarnation as Bacon deeply affected *subsequent* European karma, but I meant: what in the *past karma* of *Harun al Rashid* himself led him to reincarnate *in Europe*?
Yes, I read Richard Ramsbotham’s “Who Wrote Bacon?” in 2004 when it was published. He’s a friend and he was living here in Stourbridge when he was writing it.
This is in response to Steve Hale 20 December 2018 (10:20 am):
Steve wrote: “….the several Allied nations uniformly said, ‘No’ [to the German peace proposal 12 Dec 1916 – TB]. And you know why? Because they all held Austria and Germany to be the cause of the war, and by proposing peace at this time, they were only admitting that their backs were up against the wall and admitting guilt. So, the Allied nations were not going for it.”
In fact, the Germans offered peace at this time because they felt in a good position. Although they had failed to take and hold Verdun in 1916, they had recently defeated Romania, the ally of the Triple Entente, entered Bucharest and now had control of Romanian oil fields at Ploiești. This victory had given a great boost to German morale. Meanwhile, Russia was very much on the back foot on the huge Eastern Front at the end of 1916, and the U-boat campaign in the Atlantic was proceeding apace so, all in all, the Germans calculated they should offer peace from a position of relative strength. As Steve notes, if the Allies had responded positively and peace had been negotiated, the consequences for the 20th century would have been immense; not least: no power for Lenin, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin and Mao.
Terry, you wrote, concerning the peace proposal of December 1916:
“In fact, the Germans offered peace at this time because they felt in a good position. Although they had failed to take and hold Verdun in 1916, they had recently defeated Romania, the ally of the Triple Entente, entered Bucharest and now had control of Romanian oil fields at Ploiești. This victory had given a great boost to German morale.”
So, indeed, this peace proposal was a good opportunity to negotiate on equal ground in order to end the war. And yet, the some ten allied nations refused it with the previous charges that Austria and Germany were to blame for the war. Yet, by now, we all know that WWI’s causation was due to reactive and contributory effects due to the assassinations in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia on 28 June 1914. We could call it the domino- effect of certain conflicting alliances within the entire European theatre.
Back in 2014, when we were approaching the centennial discussion of World War I, Professor Staudenmaier wrote a kind of review of the many indications in which anthroposophy takes its stance on WWI. One of his assertions concerns how any belief that Steiner was in favor of a peace proposal in December 1916 didn’t still mean that Steiner wasn’t in support of German nationalism, and its ultimate right to victory because of Germany’s inherent supremacy due to its legacy of Idealism.
Response to Steve Hale 22 December 2018 (8:41 am): Staudenmaier is no academic expert on the First World War. It’s not his field. What IS his ‘field’, from his position at one of the USA’s largest Jesuit universities, Marquette, in Milwaukee (founded 1881) in the USA, is “modern history”, with his specialism being occultism, Nazism and the origins of the ecological movement, and in his case, for over 20 years, from before his professorship, this has usually included attacking Anthroposophy, Waldorf education and Rudolf Steiner from a radical Far Left and materialist perspective, usually on the basis of false accusations of racism. The man is one of the most indefatigable opponents of Anthroposophy. Steiner was not a nationalist. Readers are referred to the book “Rudolf Steiner ueber den Nationalismus” (RS on Nationalism) (by Karl Heyer, 1949-50, republished 1993, unfortunately not yet translated). This book contains most if not all of Steiner’s main statements about nationalism. Far from Steiner believing in Germany’s “ultimate right to victory because of Germany’s inherent supremacy due to its legacy of Idealism”, Steiner felt that Germany *should not win the war*, so that the bankrupt worldview of the Prussian aristocracy should not continue to dominate in Germany. He welcomed the prospect of the end of the German Empire and looked forward to the emergence of new values (i.e. Threefolding) taking hold in Central Europe.
In hindsight Steiner (CW 185a, Nov. 1918) referred to the occupation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary in 1878 (and 1908) as cause of WW1.
Lets not forget British intelligence activity in Serbia in the 1870s and 1880s.
Steiner (1916) on Russianism and the Serbian Narodna Odbrana in Karma of Untruthfulness (google BSq5byop0rwC, p.62 f.).
Peter Mollenhauer wrote this introduction to the single lecture, Christ In Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman, for its 1978 publication. This lecture is part of the larger cycle, “The Mystery of Death”, GA159, given over several months beginning in January 1915.
So, indeed, his assessment at the time has likely been expanded to include more modern interpretations, e.g., Clark, McMeekin, as you suggest. Yet, one of the more current academic historians, Peter Staudenmaier, still holds to the notion that Steiner blamed the secret brotherhoods for causing WWI. Here is my response to his remark to this effect, coming almost exactly one hundred years after the Linz lecture from 18 May 1915.
Relative to the past karma that could/would have caused Haroun ar-Raschid to reincarnate in Europe, along with his counselor, in the 16th century, let us simply look at your own description of how the forces of Arabism that arose in 666 AD carried the impetus to migrate westward across Africa, and then over the Rock of Gibraltar into southern Europe. Therein, we have the forces teeming with the wisdom of the Academy of Gondhi-Shapur, seeking to conquer Europe with a kind of premature Consciousness Soul. As well, it is worth knowing that the Caliph at the time in which Sorath descended upon the Academy was Muavija, of Damascus, who would eventually reincarnate as Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States, c. 1913-1920.
Now, what makes Haroun and his counsellor quite susceptible candidates for significant reincarnations in Europe in the fifth cultural epoch is the fact that the young prince Haroun was a seeker of wisdom, and having been born almost one hundred years after the Academy had reached its apex in 666, he implored his counsellor to invite several noteworthy academics and priests from the Academy into the court of Baghdad. Yet, this also had its more dire consequences while achieving the golden age of the Baghdad Empire. Much of fabled folklore of the so-called “Arabian Nights” refers to Haroun, his counsellor, Aladdin, the “double”, and other mysteries which spiritual science can explain.
Lecture X of GA235, on Karmic Relationships, gives an account of what occurred, but also independent biographies of Haroun, and how he became a man who led a double life; the Prince of Wisdom and Benevolence during the day, and the evil debaucher during the night, going out in disguise, aided by his counselor, and his executioner, to ravage the wicked side of himself, i.e., the luciferic double. This was also a consequence of the Academy of Gondhi-Shapur.
Steve (December 22, 2018 at 7:41 am) wrote:
“Peter Mollenhauer wrote this introduction to the single lecture, Christ In Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman, for its 1978 publication. …So, indeed, his assessment at the time has likely been expanded to include more modern interpretations, e.g., Clark, McMeekin, as you suggest.”
If Mollenhauer wrote his introduction for a 1978 publication, Steve, then it couldn’t have taken into account the change in historians’ views of the outbreak of WW1 since 2011. Meekin’s book was published in 2011, Clark’s in 2012. Then there were also Terence Zuber’s “The Real German War Plan 1904-14” (2011), John Cafferky’s “Lord Milner’s Second War” (2013), Meekin’s “July 1914” (2013), Douglas Newton’s “The Darkest Days” (2014 – excellent on the UK government moves), “The Hidden Perespective” by David Owen (2014) and “Hidden History” (2013) and “Prolonging the Agony” (2017) by G. Docherty and J. McGregor. In the 90s and up to 2008, i.e. the high point period of US unipolar imperialism, USUK academics tended to take an anti-German line, but after 2008 the tide finally began to turn in favour either of a more nuanced discussion or of a more critical view of the actions of the Entente governments.
Re.Staudenmaier, please see my previous post of 22 December.
Re. Haroun al-Rashid, thanks for your comments Steve, but I don’t see that that was his “European” karma; on the contrary, it was surely his *Middle Eastern* karma.
Interesting also is the fact that a major split between Muslim Arabs and Muslim Persians dates from Harun; his son al-Mamun was born to a Persian mother whereas his son al-Amin was born to an Arab. On his death (809) Harun divided the empire between these two sons. Civil war broke out between them which went on till 827 and thus began the weakening and eventual disintegration of the Abbasid Empire.
Rudolf Steiner ultimately came to the conclusion that while the overall cause of WWI was due to the various European invasions that would build upon the so-called “European Karma” over time, e.g., the Bosnian, and Serbian attacks instigated by Austria-Hungary, and Britain, as indicated above by Ton and John, he was particularly perplexed by another phenomenon that occurred quite suddenly. It involved the diminishment of consciousness in the several European leaders at the time of the fateful events leading up to the war, beginning with the assassinations that occurred on 28 June 1914.
This is from the 5th lecture of “The Mission of Archangel Michael”, 29 November 1919:
“In the year 1914, this war catastrophe broke in upon us. One had to ask oneself: How did an event overtake European mankind which it is impossible to gauge as to its causes in the way that is customary in regard to previous historical events? The one who knows that not more than thirty or forty people participated in Europe in the decisive events of the year 1914, and who also knows the soul condition in which most of these people were, will be confronted by this significant problem. For most of these people, as strange as it may sound today, my dear friends, most of these people had a dulled, obscured state of consciousness. During the last few years much has occurred that was caused by a dulled human consciousness. In the decisive places of the year 1914 we see everywhere that the most important decisions of the end of July and the beginning of August were reached with an obscured consciousness; and this has continued on right into our present day. This is a problem, terrifying in its nature. If we investigate it spiritual-scientifically, then we find that these obscured consciousnesses were the gateways through which precisely these will-beings were able to take possession of the consciousness of these men; they took possession of the obscured, veiled consciousness of these human beings and acted with their consciousness.”
Steiner indicated this very same issue in a lecture from 12 June 1919, entitled: “Some Characteristics of Today”. I won’t recite it but the lecture indicates very clearly how this man showed the strain in his face:
Relative to Peter Mollenhauer, who wrote that introduction in 1978, it is also interesting to look at the introduction that Anna Meuss wrote in 1987 for her translation of Steiner’s course, “The Destiny of Nations and Individualities”, GA157. I think this is still looked upon as the logical flow of events, however much more the learned and nuanced current historians are in giving their new wrinkle to the past.
“The year 1914 saw the collapse of many hopes. Austria declared war on Serbia on 28 July, and further declarations of war followed at a rapid pace. Germany declared war on Russia on 30 July and on France on 30 August. Great Britain then declared war on Germany on 4 August, Austria-Hungary declared war on Russia on 6 August, and Great Britain on Austria-Hungary on 13 August.”
Terry, would you say that the current crop of historians who have analyzed and written about World War I recently, and many new books have been published on the subject since the centennial of 1914, have actually extended their more nuanced viewpoints into the arena of historical symptomatology. That, of course, would require going below the surface of external events, and evaluating the undercurrents.
Re your comment Dec 21 8:06. Apparently Rudolf Steiner was deeply disappointed that despite the Peace conferences in The Hague, WWI had broken out.
His earlier assessment was much milder, though critical:
It seems he even lost confidence in arbitration, which in fact is meant as an expression of mutual support as he describes in this 1905 lecture ‘Riddles of the World and Anthroposophy’, held in Berlin (where he probably met Bertha von Suttner, the Austrian initiator of the Peace conferences).
So we see Steiner initially optimistic, though critical, in 1905; disappointed in 1915; and after the failure of the Threefolding movement which he had started formulating from 1915 onward (later compensated by a strong social innovation impulse by means of Waldorf education, and other initiatives in professional fields including the protection of persons in need of special care) towards a Steiner in a more and more apocalyptic mood after the burning of the first Goetheanum in 1921.
His later work also becomes less and less ‘verifiable’. Steve, can you personally verify all these statements whether by conventional or spiritual science?
In my opinion the younger, optimistic, Steiner is more a guide for the 21st century than the older one who left a strain of conflicts among his heirs, only gradually solved by new generations including the very recent rehabilitation of Ita Wegman and Elisabeth Vreede.
The First Peace Conference in 1899 created the Permanent Court of Arbitration which is still functioning today and ‘works’ for those countries who seek solutions for their conflicts, including most recently the disputes around the South China Sea (West Philippines Sea). Unfortunately, China rejected the arbitration, but still, the procedure went on and the verdict was clear and has significant standing in the context of international law. China continues militarizing and occupying the sea.
Indeed, half a century and two world wars were needed until the United Nations could be established and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted.
Today an impulse for UN renewal is needed, maybe comparable to the massive Women’s Peace conference staged in 1915 in The Hague, the year of Steiner’s lecture you linked us with. It was organised by civil society where nation-states failed.
The “Hague Principles” on Responsibilities for Human Rights and Earth Trusteeship were adopted on 10 December 2018 at the Peace Palace
I thank you for your response, and while it is certainly clear that Rudolf Steiner indicated disdain for the Hague Peace Conferences of 1899 and 1907, it is from the perspective of 1915, and not 1905. In 1905, Steiner was just 44 years old, and by today’s standards, yes, a young man filled with idealistic thoughts and a vision for the future. It was in September of 1905 that Steiner gave his seminal 35 lectures on “The Foundations of Esotericism” in Berlin. At the time, he had nobody other than Marie von Sivers, his assistant, to take down his notes as best she could.
Now, what Steiner is angry about in 1915 is the fact that these peace conferences in 1899 and 1907 had the effect of extending a war that could have been ended very early with the defeat of France in the Battle of Marne. Yet, because of the Russian alliance with France, German troops had to be re-deployed from the assault on France to the eastern front, where Russian troops were supposedly mobilized. This was the advice that was given to Grand Field Marshal Helmuth von Moltke by his general staff, and this became the basis for a potentially short war becoming an extended trench war on both the western and eastern fronts.
Yet, of course, Steiner seems to have never acknowledged the fact that the imperialist aims of King William I, and his counsellor, Bismarck, of the state of Prussia, had sought to establish an empire of their own, and this led to the Franco-Prussian War, c. 1871, which rather easily formed the German Empire. France was even forced to pay a penalty of several million francs for their defeat, and yet, it was all based on fraud. The whole affair was fabricated in order for Prussia with its larger military force, thanks to Bismarck, invading France, and gaining a kind of supremacy in middle Europe. So, what happened is that France, in its hatred of Germany for what it did, looked to find an ally in Russia, and eventually the Franco-Russian Alliance was struck in the early 1890’s by the French President, Felix Faure.
The rest is history, and that is not to say that Peace Conferences don’t have their really sincere sentiments, but only that with 1899/1907 there was a false notion working in these conferences that left out the important element of a true Russian-German relationship. As previously indicated, when war appeared imminent in 1914, Czar Nicholas II and his cousin (by marriage), Kaiser Wilhelm II, were frantically sending telegrams to each other to stop it.
Now, here is the test to your testimonial, and I suspect it is because you have ascertained something of importance between Buddhists and Anthroposophists. You wrote:
“His [Steiner’s] later work also becomes less and less ‘verifiable’. Steve, can you personally verify all these statements whether by conventional or spiritual science?”
Well, what if I could? What would that mean amidst all your admitted doubt? Do you remember that lecture previously cited concerning how important it is for Anthroposophists to confess the findings of Buddhism, and how important it would be to have that come back from the Buddhists in equal measure?
I likely did not make myself very clear to you when I gave Steiner’s assertions about the Hague Peace Conferences in 1899 and 1907, both of which were sponsored by Czar Nicholas II. History certainly reflects the travesty of such an alliance, and yet, it was France who first proffered, at a great expense, the idea of allying with Russia, and against their neighbor, Germany. Yet, what was the reason? Well, it was certainly sabotage against France on the part of Prussia, c. 1871, and yet, Steiner never seems to have admitted that such a relationship could be the eventual outcome of the Franco-Prussian War.
You see, Steiner never actually admitted much of what really represented the era of Kaiser Wilhelm II, or his predecessor, William I. Yet, this is why the alliance with Russia was struck in the 1890’s. Please review my correspondence with Terry Boardman for further indications.
Of course, the reason why Steiner wanted to stay out of all this political history was in order to propagate spiritual science into the world in the first quarter of the twentieth century. This he did, and also very effectively for many years, until the third phase of Anthroposophy, which arose with WWI in 1914, forced him to explain more of the antecedent conditions behind the war.
Now, leaving that as explanatory matter in its own right, let’s look at the situation today, wherein Peace Conferences take place at the Hague. Would any honest anthroposophist deny the human rights decree invoked at the Hague Conference of 10 December 2018? I doubt it. Yet, they might wonder about this entity known as “The United Nations”.
So, this only leaves open the issue of verifiablity, which you suggest, Hans. You wrote:
“His [Steiner] later works also becomes less and less ‘verifiable’. Steve, can you personally verify all these statements whether by conventional or spiritual science?”
Yes, I think it is possible to do so, and with Kathy’s latest remark, it becomes imperative to be responsible for what one says. As such, I take
every consideration as important. Just look at how much we have garnered in this very post. Let that be the blessing for the New Year.
Response to Terry Boardman 22 December 2018 (5:24 pm)
I am well of Peter’s qualifications, having had many discussions with him in defense of Rudolf Steiner and Anthroposophy since 2011. Yes, he is a professor of Modern German History at Marquette, and often ridicules you for being a conspiracy theorist, and maybe especially concerning your defense of Helmuth von Moltke’s actions in your essay on the book by Annika Mombauer here: http://threeman.org/?p=1496
Relative to Steiner’s non-nationalism, this can indeed be documented, and it was fortunately done for us back in June 2011 by Ted Wrinch, who you might know. Now, whether he had consulted the book by Karl Heyer in giving this useful presentation, it becomes a kind of pocketbook that I am sure Steiner would have approved of with a sigh of relief.
Let me first present the rather scathing attack from Staudenmaier, which involves much from the lecture we have currently been addressing, i.e., Christ in Relation to Lucifer and Ahriman, and then the outstanding references from Mr. Wrinch in the second citation which was posted on Tarjei Straume’s forum, Anthroposophy Tomorrow, back in June 2011.
Will we ever tire of the history tomes and quotes and editing each other’s “facts”? I’m afraid when I engage in this blog I often feel trapped in a professor’s office back at university while he mentally masturbates. If Steiner did to me what thus blog persists in doing, his work would never have become the gift it is for this sad world. Can we try to speak more from our hearts in the year to come???
LikeLiked by 2 people
My experience is that much comes from the Heart and then gets expressed through the Head for the common purpose of communication. This thread has been a noteworthy example. Life Unworthy of Life can only have its source in deep karmic issues, and wherein man’s inhumanity to man becomes a sad history that it takes courage and care in order to speak about. This is the momentum felt here.
Rudolf Steiner’s fourth verse of the Foundation Stone Meditation, which was stated for the first time on the morning of 25 December 1923, expresses it very well how the heart founds what the head expresses.
At the turning point of time
Cosmic Spirit Light descended
Into the earthly stream of being.
Poured into the souls of men.
Light that gave warmth
To humble shepherds’ hearts,
Light that enlightened
The wise heads of Kings.
O Light Divine!
May Thy warmth fill our hearts,
Enlighten our heads,
That good may become
What we from our hearts would found,
And from our heads direct
With single purpose.
I think we persistently confuse heart and head functions and this very confusion compels us to choose among the “worthy” and the “unworthy” in life. For me, one question raised by this part of the Foundation Stone Meditation is: how do we distinguish between “what we from our hearts would found” and our addiction to what we direct solely “from our heads”? Judging what is unworthy of life is more of an ongoing preoccupation with thinking over feeling – than being a strictly karmic issue. The human penchant is to repress/deny our fears, concoct rationalizations (theories) and project blame outside ourselves. We can’t persistently feed our unconscious, without pointing a finger away from ourselves. We are compelled to identify an enemy.
Also, I don’t embrace the assumption that what our “hearts would found” relates in a logical fashion to the head’s communication function. What the heart founds is experiential, not abstract. Steiner cautions us to guard against abstraction. The heart’s function is more one of lived experience: identification with its object. What would our communications on this blog look like if we were to speak more from our hearts?
Well, I hear the message coming loud and clear. Yet, it can be shown that Steiner always spoke from the head to the heart. This is because spiritual-scientific concepts are oriented to the inward dimension, and to give the necessary contrast to the outer-external, which is the domain of inductive reasoning. We live at a time in which we need to be oriented to both. The problem is that expressing spiritual-scientific findings can appear abstract, and thus, somehow oriented to the outer-external. The resolution is simply one of discrimination.
Now, let me give an example. Steiner gave two fundamental revelations in his life, and the first involved the death of his father, and the second involved the death of his mother. I give these in order to indicate how truly heart-centered spiritual science is. In fact, we can go back to the year 1900, which was the pivot-point in the firm establishing of the spiritual-scientific movement. Steiner speaks about this in the second lecture to GA254, which I have often encouraged scholars of western esotericism to study closely. Herein, he talks about what he was doing at the outset of 1900, which was entirely related to studying Schelling and Hegel for a book on nineteenth century philosophy. And yet, while he did accomplish writing this book, his attention was taken away in the summer of 1900 by the passing of two very key figures of philosophical inquiry and demeanor of the 19th century, i.e., Vladimir Soloviev, and Friedrich Nietzsche, who died on 31 July and 25 August, respectively, that year.
Well, Steiner, who had developed the ability to experience human beings after their death since he was a little boy living in Pottschach, had two profound experiences here wherein he was able to follow the soul and spirit of these two entities into the spiritual world. So, he gained something in following Soloviev across the threshold on 31 July 1900, and also gained something in following Nietzsche across the threshold on 25 August 1900. What he learned on both occasions was what had driven these two entities in their life on earth, and this pertained to their respective folk souls, i.e, the Russian and German Folk Souls.
And this is how Rudolf Steiner was driven in the summer of 1900 from his previous mission to further elaborate German philosophy, and to seek to find a means to coordinate what he had learned in following Soloviev/Nietzsche across the threshold. This is what led him to theosophy, which he had never before suspected to be in his future.
Now, of course, these indications from 1900 can all be elaborated in detail, and they are worth doing so, but what I feel is important today is to indicate a revelation that Steiner gave nearly exactly 100 years ago,in late December of 1918. This is when his mother died, and he followed her soul and spirit across the threshold in order to receive this revelation contained herein:
So, this is what Steiner learned from his mother after she crossed the threshold. It tells of how the Exusaia had completed their mission and task as original regents of earth evolution, and had passed the task on to the Spirits of Personality. But, this is also how it has become possible to experience the divine life in a human body between birth and death. This is the great achievement of ‘saccidananda’ in our time. Sri Aurobindo realized it in his life in Pondicherry.
Now, Steiner’s father died in late January 1910, and this is when Steiner first received the revelation of the imminent Second Coming of Christ in the second third of the twentieth century. He continued on with this message, but his mother’s message is less well known.
I send these thoughts on to Hans and Kathy, who might consider them in the realm of space and time. Words on paper seem to mean little today, and yet someone once said, “the pen is mightier than the sword”.
Well, I certainly would hope so, and yet the barbarism that exists today would cut the head off of the nearest believer.
Kathy, these are very sound thoughts from a certain standpoint, and yet, what Rudolf Steiner is declaring in this fourth verse is how it is important for the Head to issue thoughts with spiritual-scientific clarity, and not the normal abstractions that pertain to the outer external world of Maya.
So, that is the difference. Normal, brain-bound abstractions leave the Heart cold, and yet, if thoughts imbued with the warmth/fire of the Science of the Spirit become our means of communication, then the ‘single purpose’ becomes one of sending these forces of thought back to the Heart, where a renewal occurs in the human Gemut.
Maybe this prior verse will help in understanding what is involved:
Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the limbs
Which bear thee through the Space-expanses
Into the ocean of Spirit-Being.
In depths of soul,
Where, in the power of World-creator-Beings,
Thy Self takes origin from Self Divine
And thou shalt live in Truth
In Human-Cosmic Being!
For the Father Spirit of the Heights doth reign
In the Depths of the world, begetting Being.
Ye Spirits of Strength! Seraphim, Cheribum, Thrones
Let from the Heights ring forth
What in the Depths its echo doth find,
From the Divine springeth mankind. [Ex Deo Nascimur]
Spirit Beings hear it in East, West, North, South;
May human beings hear it!
Happy New Year!…I love this verse, Steve, but I think it’s important to connect it with what follows it. Standing alone, it speaks only of the first third of our task: we are born in God and can recognize that patterns that originate in the spirit are reflected in the brain and emerge as what we call “thinking”. The operative word here is “reflected”. Thinking does not stand alone because feeling develops between thinking and willing. (Study of Man). Steiner stresses that it’s critical to understand that until feeling and willing are fully developed, thinking is “untrustworthy”…”sorely incomplete”. It appears to me that before thinking is legitimized and rescued from abstraction we need to die to what we THINK we know. This is the second task of three: (forgive the spelling) En Christo Morimur.
Letting go of intellectual certainty is threatening. It feels like death. We “know” the spiritual world is behind and within everything. Our Teacher says that thoughts disconnected from experience are barren. But in how many moments of our waking life are we CONSCIOUSLY living in the Spiritual World? For me they are so fleeting. And I get angry when I fall away from them. Why am I offered just one taste at a time? And yet I know the answer: I can only sustain one taste at a time. It feels as though the treat is withdrawn. I would love to hear about your “moments” and how you cope with them – and those of others who participate in this blog
Hi Kathy, and Happy New Year to you. I think that what I am attempting to gain here is how the abstraction that plagues present-day life, which is oriented to the outer-external dimension only, is expanded profoundly by the deep meditative value of the Foundation Stone Verses. Indeed, the first Verse, which is actually appealing to the Will element in life to become more conscious, leads to the other two, and therefore, we should write them out, as well.
Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the pulse of heart and lungs,
Which leads thee through the rhythm of Time
Into the feeling of thine own soul being.
Within Soul’s even balance,
Where the world-evolving deeds upsurging
Unite thy very Self with Cosmic Selfhood
And thou shalt feel the Truth
In human Soul-Endeavor!
For the Christ-Will encircling doth reign
In the rhythms of the world, blessing Souls,
Ye Spirits of Light! Kyriotetes, Dynamis, Exusaia
Let from the East be enkindled
What in the West taketh form,
In Christ death becomes life. [In Christo Morimur]
Spirit Beings hear it in East, West, North, South;
May human beings hear it!
Soul of Man!
Thou livest in the resting head,
Which from eternal sources
Unlocks world thoughts to thee.
In stillness of thought,
Where eternal aims divine grant Cosmic Being’s Light
To thy very Self, to use as it wills
And thou shalt think the Truth
In depths of human Spirit
For the Spirit’s Cosmic Thoughts do reign
In Cosmic Being, Light imploring,
Ye Spirits of Soul! Archai, Archangels, Angels
Let prayers arise from the Depths
Which in the Heights will be heard,
In the Spirit’s Cosmic Thoughts the soul awakens, [Per Spiritum Sanctum Revicisismus]
Spirit Beings hear it in East, West, North, South;
May human beings hear it!
So, in reality, the first verse concerns the Will, which is the most unconscious part of us, and the second verse concerns the Feelings, which tend to be fleeting moments, which drift into the subconscious. Only the third verse refers to what is actually conscious, and this involves “stillness of thought”, which is difficult for most people today. You see, by practicing what concerns sense-free thinking, which leads to pure thought, and then the more intensified thinking of meditation-concentration, the veil between illusion and reality can be pierced.
We need to get behind the reflection in the looking-glass. The image in the mirror is, indeed, a reflection of the true self, but only by getting behind the mirror can we experience the true self, which is “Man”.
Now, let’s look at your final paragraph, Kathy:
“Letting go of intellectual certainty is threatening. It feels like death. We “know” the spiritual world is behind and within everything. Our Teacher says that thoughts disconnected from experience are barren. But in how many moments of our waking life are we CONSCIOUSLY living in the Spiritual World? For me they are so fleeting. And I get angry when I fall away from them. Why am I offered just one taste at a time? And yet I know the answer: I can only sustain one taste at a time. It feels as though the treat is withdrawn. I would love to hear about your “moments” and how you cope with them – and those of others who participate in this blog.”
Well, my current “moment” involves you killing an important discussion by calling it “male mental masturbation”. Do you not know how important history is to understanding the present situation? Steiner was fundamentally about the past, and so when we get to hear from Terry Boardman here in order to further pursue discussion, well… Kathy, you killed a real item of momentum. You did it in one stroke!
I still wonder if you know what “head-to-heart” really means. Because it involves Terry Boardman and Ton Majoor [even if they tended to disagree]. It involves pulsating life today when the seams of the world are seemingly coming apart. I loved that conversation that you so easily killed. It never even got close to what it could have become, and especially when 9/11 was broached. That event proves the litmus test for today’s environment. And who caused it? That is the real question; and why.
In response to Steve Hale 2 January 2, 2019 at 10:14 am
New Year’s Greetings to you, Steve! Actually, soon after that exchange with Ton Majoor, I went down with a heavy cold over Christmas and then towards the end of the year experienced some computer problems for a few days. But I was in any case intending to ignore Kathy’s angry intervention on Christmas Eve for the reason that I’ve noticed that, again and again, it’s people who go on and on about ‘heart’ and ‘love’ and ‘peace’ and social this that or the other who are often those who make the most antipathetic, the most anti-social, the most wounding and vicious attacks on others. I’ve often wondered why this is.
The following was a response I wanted to make to a question you asked on 24 Dec. but couldn’t get round to because of the problems mentioned above:
Steve wrote on 24 December 2018 at 8:16 am:
“Terry, would you say that the current crop of historians who have analyzed and written about World War I recently, and many new books have been published on the subject since the centennial of 1914, have actually extended their more nuanced viewpoints into the arena of historical symptomatology. That, of course, would require going below the surface of external events, and evaluating the undercurrents.”
By “historical symptomatology” (see the lectures in GA 185), Steiner meant events on the surface of history that reflect the deeper *spiritual* currents under the surface; we need to look beyond outer appearances, he says, to “the inner impulse of the [historical] personality” so that we can penetrate to “the inner pattern of reality”. From this perspective, Steve, to answer your question, I don’t think any of the latest – non-anthroposophical – historians “have actually extended their more nuanced viewpoints into the arena of historical symptomatology”, because they don’t take into account the spiritual factors in history. What recent academic historians of the First World War like Christopher Clark, Sean McMeekin and Douglas Newton *have* managed to do, however, to a greater or lesser extent, is free themselves from being locked into dominant academic paradigms with regard to the origins of the war, and this ‘liberation’, this challenge, has had a significant effect in breaking through the wall of unilateral explanation that had become solidified in Anglosphere historiography about the Great War between the late 90s and about 2008 – with one or two honourable exceptions e.g. Niall Ferguson’s “The Pity of War” (1998) and E.E. McCullough’s “How The First World War Began” (1999). More recent research since c.2010 has achieved this breakthrough by, for example, looking in directions where conventionally-minded academics don’t look and by asking questions that the majority don’t ask. In other words, they’ve been able to do what any self-respecting scholar in the natural or social sciences ought to be doing all the time, namely, keeping their minds open and wide-ranging and not just accepting conventional explanations, for whatever reason.
This thread has turned into a debate about Anglo-American conspiracy theories (Spanish flu, AIDS, causes of WW1, 9/11, MH17). But to Steiner (1919) the future Anglo-American world dominance was not about the hegemony of all-powerful secret societies:
“Consider the present Anglo-American spiritual life. In this you have two things very sharply differentiated from one another. First, you have everywhere in the Anglo-American spiritual life, more than anywhere else on earth, the so-called secret societies, which have considerable influence, much more than people know. … Side by side with this there is a spiritual life which does grow entirely in economic soil, but hitherto it has produced only very small blossoms, and these in abundance. Anyone who studies such things and is able to understand them knows very well that Locke, Hume, Mill, Spencer, Darwin, and others, are nothing but these little blossoms springing from the economic life.” GA0194/19191215
In the case of the causes of WW1, the series or rhythm of historical symptoms was manifested in 1878 and thirty years later in 1908: the occupation and annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria-Hungary), as mentioned above (CW 185a, Historical-Developmental Foundations for Forming a Social Judgement, Nov. 9, 1918, not translated).
Ton, the only person who has raised the issue of conspiracy “theories” (a deliberate slur on your part) with regard to WW1 is yourself. Though he did not put *all* the causes of that complex event down to the machinations of occult groups, Rudolf Steiner was the original conspiracy “factist” when it came to the causes of WW1. For example, he repeatedly drew his hearers’ attention to plans on the part of occult forces in the West, known about before 1900, for a European war that was a) intended to bring about a socialist revolution in Russia and b) intended to unify the English-speaking world. Unfortunately, he never referred to the name of the individual from whom stemmed that information about the occult plans for a socialist revolution in Russia, but we now know that he knew of that man from his old Theosophical Society friend of his younger days, Friedrich Eckstein, who was very well informed about occult activities in the English-speaking world. The British individual concerned was C.G. Harrison. You can read all about this in “The Transcendental Universe” (1993) (ed. C. Bamford) – in which Bamford gives a very helpful introduction to 6 lectures given by Harrison in London in 1893, 21 years before the war broke out. There Harrison speaks very clearly (in lecture 2) about the coming war and its aim to create a ‘socialist’ (i.e. Marxist) regime in Russia.
This self-described occultist, Harrison, very much approved of a movement called ‘Lux Mundi’, which was an intellectual movement from the early 1890s to reform the Church of England, to ‘modernise’ it and make it more ‘scientific’ so that it could defeat the challenges from both Theosophy and Marxism. Harrison was associated with the High Church (Anglo-Catholic) wing of the Church of England. The founding meeting of that Lux Mundi movement was held in the London home of Lord Salisbury (of the powerful Cecil family,which had always, since the time of Elizabeth I, been associated with the High Church stream of the Anglican Church). Salisbury was three times Prime Minister, including the period 1895-1902, when the Anglo-German antagonism got going. With regard to the 33 year rhythm that you mention, it was *Salisbury*, who was then then Foreign Secretary, who suggested to his boss, Prime Minister Disraeli at the Congress of Berlin in *1878*, that Bosnia-Herzegovina should be given to Austria-Hungary to administer, which led to the Bosnian Crisis 33 years later. Salisbury, whose ancestors William and Robert Cecil were, respectively, Secretaries of State to Queen Elizabeth I and King James I, was one of the most secretive Foreign Secretaries Britain has ever had; he was known at the Foreign Office for keeping matters to himself and not letting his subordinates deal with them.
By associating the Spanish flu (which should more properly be called the American flu), and AIDS with the causes of WW1, 9/11, and MH17 – putting all these together under the rubric of ‘conspiracy theory’, you have created a ‘conspiracy theory’ of your own. The causes of WW1, however, are now beyond theories, and Steiner’s comments about them are more and more being borne out by historical research as the years go by and research uncovers things not available in Steiner’s lifetime. The physical *facts* of the attacks of 9/11 contradict the ‘findings’ of the official 9/11 Commission Report, but the mainstream media refuse to deal with that contradiction and continue to insist on the veracity of the official ‘conspiracy theory’: it was all down to Bin Laden and his men in caves in Afghanistan. Absurd.
Your statement – “But to Steiner (1919) the future Anglo-American world dominance was not about the hegemony of all-powerful secret societies:” is not supported by the Steiner quote you cite. On the contrary, in the lecture and the passage you quote – available to English-speaking readers in the book “Ideas for a New Europe” (RSP 1992), Steiner actually points to the *significance* of secret societies in the life of the West, which he calls “alien plants the further we go westwards”. It is the ideas and practices of these “alien plants” (the “filtered Mystery teachings”) that run alongside and actually dominate the “tiny flowers” of economic thought that have managed to grow in the West. All of those, like most of the English-speaking mainstream media, the academic publishing houses (OUP, CUP et al) and those individuals who associate with the Anthroposophical movement like yourself who try to downplay the influence of secret societies, occult influences etc in the past and present of life in the West are either deliberately or unwittingly pulling the wool over the eyes of the English-speaking peoples, distracting them from the existence of a very important but deeply regressive element in their culture that seeks to hold them back in modes of life that are based on elitist authoritarianism and lack of transparency. Such distraction only serves the interests of the ahrimanic powers. I refer you to Ahriman’s last statement in Steiner’s 4th Mystery Drama: “Now is the time to leave his [Benedictus’] soul’s horizon most hurriedly, for when his vision can *think* me as well in my own truth, then soon there will come to being in his thinking about me a part of the force that will eventually destroy me. (Ahriman disappears).”
Christine and Steve brought up the conspiracy theme (the Flu and the end of WW1) here.
Terry, I have relativised the significance and influence of the Anglo-American occult societies and have addressed Russian-Slavic imperialist circles, like Steiner has done during and after WW1 (CW 173 on Narodna Odbrana, Peter’s Testament, Russianism and mass suggestion; CW 337a, CW 337b and CW 185a on the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina).
Austria and Germany have played their own role in WW1, which can’t be reduced ad absurdum to dominating secretive Anglo-American circles. Nor can 9/11, MH17 and other Russian themes of the present age.
On a completely ordinary level of common sense, the fact that Germany 1) decided to built a mighty fleet, and 2) had reached parity in trade by 1914 with the entire British Empire, tells us that Great Britain must expect second class status in coming decades, or take out the German threat to its empire. The naval threat was existential: the UK never had the land forces to compete except by sea power. It might hope for US support, but until 1917 the large middle area of the USA was very pro-German culturally. (Helps explain why Germany was so demonized in the war.) And the US West had no interest in European wars.
And on a completely ordinary common-sense level, it was obvious that Germany had no great political leaders since Bismarck; and when Ferdinand was gone, Austria-Hungary would continue to have very poor prospects.
So the German and Austro-Hungarian contribution to the war was mostly stupidity and incompetence (the German military excepted). Sending cables via London and *neutral* Washington in late 1916 (with an “unbreakable” code that the Brits of course broke) — sending the message to have your ambassador in Mexico to tell the Mexicans that they and the Japanese would divide up the US Southwest and West Coast — does anything in history get stupider than that?
Instead of secret societies, it might be well to speak of superior intelligence, planning, and foresight — because that’s what it amounts to. From the Steiner side, there is higher intelligence yet — but it must always be related to the needs of humanity as a whole and all individual human beings.
John Beck (3 January 2019 at 9:07 pm), another one who – against Steiner’s own repeated indications – denies the importance and influence of secret societies – seeks to argue that the origins of the greatest conflict in the history of the world to that point come down to “common sense… superior intelligence, planning, and foresight” i.e. to rationalist and materialist thought. John, have you actually read the 25 lectures of “The Karma of Untruthfulness” (GA 173c, 174), because if you had, you would know that Steiner clearly stated that he had knowledge of occult plans in the West as far as back as the 1880s – beyond that he could not say, and in those lectures he refers repeatedly to the influence of secret societies in the build-up to the war. Furthermore, anti-German polemics began to appear in the British Press (The Times et al) from as early as the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), way before the Prussians/Germans had a navy anywhere approaching the size of the British.
Even in 1895 the Germans had no such navy, yet in 1895, 96 and 97 three articles in the influential ‘Saturday Review’ called for the complete destruction of Germany (‘Germania est delenda’) not because the Germans were building an effective navy – they didn’t *begin* to do that until 1898-99, but because the British saw them – in Social Darwinist biological terms – as their next commercial rival and as their next historical rival, who like the Spanish and the French, must be extinguished as such a rival. What does that tell you about the motivations of the English ruling elite?
John writes: “The naval threat was existential: the UK never had the land forces to compete except by sea power.” Wrong on two counts, John. 1) the naval threat was never existential – the threat was just propaganda and fake news for British media consumers; Germany never came close to outstripping British naval supremacy. Germany’s finances were always too weak to sustain a real naval competition with Britain. This is well-recognised today. By 1912 Germany had given up any notion of naval competition, as Britain pulled far ahead. 2) “the UK never had the land forces to compete” – why then do you think the British had effected a diplomatic revolution between 1887-1907 and allied themselves first with the French and with the Russians, the two countries whose massive armies more than compensated for the size of Britain’s small professional army and together were considerably larger than the German army? Remember too that since 1870-71 both the French and the Russian armies had had experience of serious warfare. The Germans had had none. You also forget the very considerable Indian Army, John, and the vital service it rendered Britain in Mesopotamia and on the Western and other Fronts. Finally, you forget the size of the army the British raised in 1915 through volunteers and the huge army raised through conscription from 1916-1918. No John, the Germans built very good ships and were very good gunners, as the Battle of Jutland proved in May 1916, but the “naval threat” was always fake news to fool the public with “invasion scares”. See A.J.A. Morris, “The Scaremongers – the Advocacy of War and Rearmament 1896-1914” (1984).
Sorry I didn’t make myself clear, Terry. I didn’t mean to disparage the idea of “secret societies”; I’ve thought long and hard about how they operate, on a practical level, and Noam Chomsky’s observation about their influencing from the sidelines is very apt. Steiner’s own remark somewhere that of course for your open position (in the State Department or Foreign Office, e.g.) you will choose a fellow lodge member. (Used to be “brother” lodge member.) I’ve also read Carroll Quigley’s books etc. And of course Karma of Untruthfulness several times. And a good bit more from the previous end of the century.
Thanks for your other information Terry. I know you devote great time to this, and the results are very helpful. I’ll stick with my sense of the naval threat, even it was far from realization, and we agree about the commercial threat. Invasion scares were fake news, but loss of dominance of the sea lanes was not. Sea dominance, promoted by an American officer to all the leaders of Europe in the late 19th century, was what air and space dominance is today.
(For the secret societies, of course, the real issue was the future development of humanity: stuck in the consciousness soul age, or moving forward? This is why they are not just power seekers of the imperialist or globalist stripe; they see and intend much farther… And they can be much more patient. No, I just wished to show that there are many easily visible reasons for these things, even behind the propagandized ones. But to talk of secret societies in ordinary politics muddies the waters, imho; “astralizes” the conversation. Save them for the level of their own real concerns.)
Getting France and Russia ganged up against Germany is, yes, of course, a reflection of British population limitations. “Let them fight it out on the Continent until everyone is weakened, and then our influence can prevail.” I rather think this is the true backstory of Munich and Chamberlain; “appeasement” sounds less cynical. And of course no one should dare suggest that the USA was happy to stay out of both wars until the others, UK included, were seriously weakened.
And (secondary) sense impressions are part of this limb system (cf. Study of Man):
“The fact that chalk is white to us is a result of the application of the will, which by way of sympathy and imagination has become picture form. … in assimilating the light and its colours I am uniting myself with that part of Nature which is being carried on into the future…”
One of the things that will continue to prove effective in denouncing the real applicability of the work of Rudolf Steiner is the fact that he died nearly 94 years ago, and no real successor was appointed in his place; nor has anyone come along in order to continue his legacy, which in reality, has a vast future.
Now, tonight, I had occasion to look back upon the history of the 33-year generation cycles involving the life of Rudolf Steiner. He was born in 1861, and if we continue this cycle until he reached 33 years of age, it coincides with the publication of his seminal philosophical work, “The Philosophy of Freedom”, in 1894. So, 1894 represents the cornerstone in the life of Rudolf Steiner.
And yet, in order to give these cycles of 33 years some relevance, we should look not only forward from 1894, but also backward from the time Steiner was born, and wherein we come to the year 1828. Now, herein we come to some very important figures who influenced the life of Rudolf Steiner.
First, I give the 33-year cycles involving the life of Rudolf Steiner, from before his birth, and extending after his death. My emphasis, of course, is on the persons who influenced him from birth, and these are denoted. After 1927, a certain continuation occurred, and it made effort to sustain the drive, which likely was killed when Carl Unger was murdered on 4 January 1929. This, then, would lead to the Purge of 1935, which saw the expulsion of the British and Dutch members of the GAS, and lead to the writing of a friendly letter to Adolf Hitler on 17 November 1935, signed by Marie Steiner, Albert Steffen, and Guenther Wachsmuth. What must they have been thinking?
1828 + 33 = 1861
1861 + 33 = 1894
1894 + 33 = 1927
1927 + 33 = 1960
1960 + 33 = 1993
1993 + 33 = 2026
Robert Zimmermann = 1824 – 1898
Karl Julius Schroer = 1825 – 1900
Fercher von Steinwand = 1828 – 1902
Felix Kogutski = 1833 – 1909
Franz Brentano = 1838 – 1917
Eduard von Hartmann = 1842 – 1906
Of course, Steiner was influenced by all those born in his time, and caring about the science of the spirit. He even went overtime in order to care for their needs.
Steve wrote: “This, then, would lead to the Purge of 1935, which saw the expulsion of the British and Dutch members of the GAS, and lead to the writing of a friendly letter to Adolf Hitler on 17 November 1935, signed by Marie Steiner, Albert Steffen, and Guenther Wachsmuth. What must they have been thinking?”
That is an important question, Steve. Maybe you should have stopped there, before starting a play with numbers which may be satisfying but has no real meaning.
We are herewith approaching the question of the cause of the Second World War.
What I understand from Kathy’s desperation (and maybe anger), which should not be ignored and certainly not vilified, is that it seems we muse endlessly about external facts and assumptions about “who did it” without adequate self-reflection on the role of the anthroposophical movement.
According to a report of Liesel Schuenemann in the Dutch biography (2006) of Elisabeth Vreede by Ed Taylor, Elisabeth anticipated the 1935 purge nervously and said “This should not happen!” In a time of crisis as in 1935 “when (…) a spiritual movement makes a choice (on its own direction) for a negative solution that won’t remain without impact.” Elisabeth Vreede said: “In that case the Anthroposophical Society has to be held responsible for a new war.”
I understand that Jeremy raises the question whether a new interest and tolerance for eugenics is a signal of a new “war” (in whatever form) looming; and whether we see it coming and get our act together.
Of course it is very important and helps to analyse the causes of previous wars, but do we draw conclusions sharp as a sword (or are we satisfied with the intellectual exercise for its own sake) on our own role as individuals and members of a movement in preventing a new tipping point towards catastrophe? What extra is needed on top of our routine anthroposophical studies, discourses and keeping up the challenges of our daily work – including preventing the bankruptcy of the Goetheanum?
Hans, good question: what are we doing or failing to do that may bring about or fail to prevent the next catastrophe.
I recall Steiner saying that *the third attack will be the most sophisticated and will be reserved for the West.*
A drive for a “new eugenics” has fertile seeds in a certain elite Silicon Valley mentality which looks for endless life for the rich and tech-connected, AI and robotics running the world so much better for all of us, and most human beings becoming unnecessary — no jobs for them.
Anthroposophy, with a little common sense, has huge things to say to humanity. It isn’t about pointing to secret societies, not because they may not exist, but because that produces the wrong effect in the astral body.
So what might produce the right effect?
Michelle Alexander in the NY Times asked recently, “What if we’re all coming back?” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/29/opinion/climate-change-politics-john-rawls.html
She said she doesn’t “believe” in reincarnation, but she asks how things would change if we thought we were preparing our own futures. She thinks it would be big, so do I.
And what was Steiner’s “core mission”? To bring karma and reincarnation. Why? Because it changes everything, once we begin to feel that we may be living in a lawful, meaningful cosmos, and that our part it in will continue.
You and I have had a few very positive discourses, and I would like to reiterate one concerning the Michelle Alexander article, which you cite again to Hans here:
I previously wrote of this in regard to what might be considered typical american spirituality today:
Now, here is my assessment. Michelle doesn’t believe in reincarnation, but it could be true. She simply knows nothing about it other than it is a theory/belief/concept that she has heard of. Yet, she firmly believes in the power of human potential to achieve whatever it wants. Now that says a lot, and then you said something about Steiner’s “Core Mission”, which is an obvious reference to Meyer’s take on the Karmic Relationships of Rudolf Steiner, ref. GA235-238.
Good stuff for further consideration, although I think America lags very far behind what Europe has taken in over the last 118 years. So, as an anthroposophical writer and editor, why don’t you simply say it!
Why try to accommodate people with notions of ‘common sense’ when you know that they lack the ability to accept spiritual science on any level. Yet, in America, you see the dilemma with a certain alacrity of spirit, and I suspect that goes toward the editing of the journal, “Being Human”, for the Anthroposophical Society in America.
“That is an important question, Steve, ref. [Purge of 1935]. Maybe you should have stopped there, before starting a play with numbers which may be satisfying but has no real meaning.”
Oh, I think that little exercise in ‘mental muscle’ had a great deal of meaning. It was designed to indicate that after almost 94 years since Rudolf Steiner’s death, in which some three further generations have taken place, that few people relate today to the science of the spirit with the alacrity of the original audience. We all know that nobody on the street relates to Spiritual Science today. They never even heard of it, and this is a far cry from Steiner’s hope for a worldwide anthroposophical movement by the end of the twentieth century.
What I *actually* wrote you about was in response to your very affirmative, ‘hear hear’, and which you chose to conveniently ignore.
For my part, “what extra is needed” is just to talk without undue acrimony, as if we are in competition. Have I said anything that would cause you to doubt my sincerity in any way? Your guest posts were treated with great love and enthusiasm, and they still remain today.
Steve, indeed I missed this post of you. Sorry about that. Thanks for the link and I will read the “Mother” lecture first with great interest as usual. I do not doubt your sincerity or dedication at all.
But I fundamentally disagree with your statement:
“We all know that nobody on the street relates to Spiritual Science today.”
It may be true for your interpretation of spiritual science. My experience is that every person always has a notion of spirituality, and it is rather the way you ask about it, and the way you listen, that determines whether you can connect it with a more studied content. Is this very specific concept of “science” developed over time (often demonstrating belief in loads of unverifiable content) and which closes off from what ordinary people deeply moves, maybe one of the reasons that anthroposophy remains inaccessible (and often something scaring) for the many who are our potential allies?
Are we accountable for the impacts of that?
Agreed, Hans. What I wanted to distinguish is between you and me, and what the man on the street experiences. From my experience this means:
“We all know that nobody on the street relates to Spiritual Science today.”
Now, that comes from someone who lives in the Pacific Northwest of Washington State in the USA. BTW, this latitudinal coordinate can be traced exactly to the Pacific Northwest of Switzerland, and the region of Dornach.
In other words, I am not missing one bit of the spiritual incentives that you work with in Asia, but only accounting for what one also has to experience living in the more farther western regions. This is also true. So, please allow that I am giving you my perspective from the west, in the same measure that you give your perspective from the east.
Of course, spirituality is working in the world, and on every individual human being. But, all the same, Spiritual Science is still largely unknown and neglected today, while the active engagements of the Buddhists demonstrate their simple ways and faith.
It’s all good, and maybe that is what I was really saying.
In another comment I mention Steiner’s description of three steps one takes in becoming an anthroposophist. “Spiritual Science” is indeed not on everyone’s (or anyone’s?) tongue in the USA today, but those three steps are identical with “how you become a cultural creative,” from the 1999 book.
So, much of the problem may be language. (I’m a communications guy, so yes, everything to me is communications. Blush.) And “Spiritual Science” is a real problem. It’s a 1910 translation of German “Geisteswissenschaft” — and in 1910 “Christian Science” was a big deal and Theosophy was still prominent and neo-Rosicrucians were springing up. Around 2010 an Emerson-friendly nephew of mine asked, “Is anthroposophy is like Christian Science, or Scientology?” (We have had CS in the family as well as MDs.)
German “Geisteswissenschaft” arose in German to translate J.S. Mill’s “moral science,” in the 1840s, and in 1883 Dilthey called for this “Geisteswissenschaft” to become a foundational science for history, psychology, sociology — for which Bacon’s natural science was not appropriate. No one made “Geisteswissenschaft” into that foundational science unless it was Steiner, but the word itself became the German term for what in the UK-US we call “the humanities.”
How I wish we were arguing for a deepening and heightening of the humanities — rather than inviting people to “spiritual science.” Suddenly we would have millions of professional humanities people listening with some respect to pitches for a universal foundation under history, philosophy, psychology, theology, noetics… Few would just jump aboard, but most would be able to grasp some of the idea.
I’d hardly call Kathy’s comment a conversation ‘killer’ but one that needed to be said. The constant nitpicking over historical ‘facts’ does feel like the intellectual self-indulgence of a gentleman’s club where those involved are sat in armchairs swilling down gin and tonics…
The comment made by Terry Boardman is rather alarming ‘I was in any case intending to ignore Kathy’s angry intervention on Christmas Eve for the reason that I’ve noticed that, again and again, it’s people who go on and on about ‘heart’ and ‘love’ and ‘peace’ and social this that or the other who are often those who make the most antipathetic, the most anti-social, the most wounding and vicious attacks on others. I’ve often wondered why this is.’…
I found Kathy’s comment to be neither ‘angry’ or was she ‘going on and on’ about ‘heart and love’… it came across to me as a simple request to speak in a way that some of us lesser mortals can relate to… as Steiner did when addressing the Goetheanum workers for instance… Happy New Year all.
In response to Jeremy’s original question – “But from where did Hitler and the Nazis draw these ideas about the people they called “useless eaters”? I’m afraid they came from Britain and in particular from ideas deriving from Charles Darwin.” Indeed they did, as Jeremy goes onto discuss. For further information about how Hitler and the Nazis saw the ideas and habits of the British ruling elite as their model in many things, including eugenics, I’d also recommend Manuel Sarkisyanz, “From Imperialism to Fascism – Why Hitler’s “India” was to be Russia” (2003) and “Hitler’s English Inspirers” by the same author; text here: https://www.slideshare.net/mufufufu/introduction-1-hitlers-english-inspirers-emanuel-sarkisyanz
In response to John Beck (3 January 2019 at 9:07 pm) who wrote: “Instead of secret societies, it might be well to speak of superior intelligence, planning, and foresight — because that’s what it amounts to. From the Steiner side, there is higher intelligence yet — but it must always be related to the needs of humanity as a whole and all individual human beings.”
Yes John, Steiner always said that spiritual science (higher intelligence) must be put at the service of “the needs of humanity as a whole” but frequently warned that the occult knowledge of the secret societies of the West was dedicated to the interests only of a particular ethnic group, namely the English-speaking group – and I would add, dedicated to the interests only of *the ruling elites and classes* of that group – and THAT is precisely why the occultly-based “superior intelligence, planning, and foresight” of the secret societies of the West were and are so dangerous to mankind as a whole. You only have to look at what the ruling groups of the English-speaking peoples have wrought in the world since 1945, the countries they have devastated, the millions upon millions they have killed, the coups and revolutions they have organised, the economies of other countries they have ruined – to see how dangerous these elites’ self-interest is. And what are they about to impose upon us next, claiming it is “inevitable”? Transhumanist genocide through A.I. and the Singularity. Over 100 years after 1914, we have to stop merely endlessly quoting Christopher Fry’s “Sleep of Prisoners” and actually WAKE UP to what has been going on since 1900.
Yet gc-photo-art (3 January, 2019 at 5:00 pm) has the gall to talk about “constant nitpicking over historical ‘facts’ …like the intellectual self-indulgence of a gentleman’s club where those involved are sat in armchairs swilling down gin and tonics…”! People are talking about enormous events that have affected the lives of millions – as did 9/11 – and “gc-photo-art” reduces it to an armchair and a gin and tonic? It’s because people are so easily fooled by the deception strategies of the mass media, by their own astral inclinations and by their ethnic proclivities (e.g. the ‘English, who like to think they are ‘down-to earth’ and ‘no-nonsense’ – what Steiner called “practical people” : “there’s only the 5 sense reality that I can perceive. If I can’t perceive it, it doesn’t exist. That’s common sense! There are no ‘secret societies’ – I don’t see them and have heard nothing about them, so they don’t exist.”) that the world is in the mess it is in now. Nothing is more important than the truth, said Steiner countless times. “….and the truth will set you free”, said one far greater than him. Those who don’t care about historical ‘facts’ are already on their way to not caring about the truth.
What I agree with is the fact that we need to have the tolerance and love to hear the other’s viewpoint. If I drew Kathy out for a “moment”, it was only to say that some people could have been hurt by that remark, and it did appear to kill the conversation. Personally, I like to weigh every remark and consideration, and rather than fighting back, instead, say something which might prove useful to the topic, and its argumentation.
So, my first impulse is to recite the 40th verse in this year’s Calendar of the Soul:
And when I live in spirit depths
And dwell within my soul’s foundations,
There streams from love-worlds of the heart,
To fill the vain delusion of the self,
The fiery power of the cosmic Word.
Und bin ich in den Geistestiefen,
Erfüllt in meinen Seelengründen
Aus Herzens Liebewelten
Der Eigenheiten leerer Wahn
Sich mit des Weltenwortes Feuerkraft.
Now, Steiner drew a diagram here which depicts quite accurately the situation in which the over-arching economic order coming from the west creates havoc in both the middle and eastern regions of Europe. Note that he draws it with the asuric west on the right, and the ahrimanic east on the left. This, of course, leaves the luciferic middle alone to deal with their confused legal-political-juridicial conundrum. The accompanying text is very insightful. This is from GA194, 15 December 1919.
Some can even see the precursor to Adolf Hitler in this picture.
Thanks Steve. I do of course agree with you in aiming to weigh every remark and consideration and in wanting to “say something which might prove useful to the topic, and its argumentation”. When, however, one sees or hears something that one knows to be either untrue or factually incorrect, one is obliged to point it out. With regard to the diagram in the lecture of 15 Dec 1919, you refer to “the asuric west…the ahrimanic east [and] the luciferic middle…” You probably weren’t implying that these directions are *always* associated with these beings. Indeed, in this lecture Steiner deals with this subject in an unusual and unexpected way, given what he says in other contexts about east, middle and west, namely, that the East is the place of Lucifer’s incarnation and was profoundly affected by it, and that the West is the place of Ahriman’s incarnation and has been/is being/will be profoundly by it.
Then there’s the question of north and south, the spaces of hard winters and warm summers, the spaces of contraction and expansion respectively. Take, for example, the invasions of the European mainland in the 8th/9th centuries by the Vikings from the North and the Muslims from the South, and the efforts of the Merovingian/Carolingian Franks and the other European statelets to deal with these two challenges. The ahrimanic economic and, I would argue, also asuric (entirely destructive) impulse came down from the North, reaching westwards around Britain and Ireland and penetrating the Med via the Straits of Gibraltar, while also reaching the Med via the rivers of ‘Russia’, the Black Sea and Constantinople: the Vikings thus encountered the Muslims in both West and East. This Nordic impulse is that of the ego in both a good and bad sense. From the South an ahrimanic impulse of a different kind – non-destructive – had emerged from the South long before, from Egypt. Steiner links this in the lecture Steve cites with the state-building and civilisational principles of the Mysteries of (physical) Space i.e. of physical bodies which entered European culture via the Roman Empire and the Roman Church. But in the Muslim invasions of Europe in the 8th/9th centuries, and later with the Ottomans, we see a *luciferic* impulse moving north across the Mediterranean. In what sense is this ‘luciferic’? Because it emphasises the principle of Oneness and uniformity in the realm of thinking: submission to Allah as expressed in the Koran. By contrast, the Vikings were moved by the ahrimanic impulses of Plurality and atomistic egoism in the realm of will: “I go where I want and I take what I want”.
In the ‘middle’ between these two impulses was the nascent Christian culture of Europe underlying which was Greco-Roman habits and practices as continued by the Roman Catholic Church, and also Celtic paganism and Celtic Christianity, as well as even more ancient, pre-Celtic neolithic traits. This nascent Christian culture led in the 9th century by the Franks on the Continent and the Anglo-saxon kingdoms in England was also influenced by the etheric Mysteries of the Far West, of Ireland, and by contact with the Orthodox world of eastern Europe and the Byzantine world. From this direction came the astral forces of the Mysteries of Light, or Spirit. From the North, the self-assertion of the ego (light and dark), forged in a world of hard elements; from the South, the outwardly enforced unity of thought and the unity of the physical social space; from the West, the intangible breath of the etheric, which was contained in the Celtic culture of druids, abbots, saints and Arthur; and from the East, the light of spirit that can bring catharsis to the astral feelings, and which would later appear in the Grail Legends. The east/west/middle picture can always be complemented by that of the north and south.
Terry, you wrote:
“With regard to the diagram in the lecture of 15 Dec 1919, you refer to “the asuric west…the ahrimanic east [and] the luciferic middle…” You probably weren’t implying that these directions are *always* associated with these beings”.
I think that Steiner is more than implying here that in the aftermath of the Versailles Treaty, c. 28 June 1919, that the West has the power of the Azuras in hand in such a way as to cancel out Christ in the Middle, and replace with Lucifer. This then has the effect of bringing Ahriman over to the East.
In January 2017, this diagram was used in order to express some ideas about Threefolding in response to a guest post by Michael Spence. Possibly, the comments might still be useful, but I see in Steiner’s diagram, then and now, the forecasting of a new paradigm, which certainly still exists today.
In response to Steve Hale (5 Jan. 2019 at 7:01)
Thanks Steve, that was a very helpful clarification.
Elisabeth anticipated the 1935 purge nervously and said “This should not happen!” In a time of crisis as in 1935 “when (…) a spiritual movement makes a choice (on its own direction) for a negative solution, that won’t remain without impact.” Elisabeth Vreede said: “In that case the Anthroposophical Society has to be held responsible for a new war.”
There is no risk for a purge of board members and great numbers of members as was decided by the Society in 1935. Nor for a – futile – betrayal of the movement as in the letter to Hitler written by the remaining board members after the purge (translated in a post of 2016 by Tom Mellett).
But we have cultivated and are cultivating anthroposophy in such a way that the number of members remains far below what was expected by Rudolf Steiner, and probably needed to make a real difference, in proportion to the threats.
I am optimistic. But maybe we should ask ourselves what we are doing wrong that makes our membership stagnate. In terms of social outreach? In terms of spiritual quality? What are the lessons we could have learned from the past (including our analysis of history); and what can we learn from the present?
In response to Terry… prior to Kathy’s ‘masturbatory’ comment here are a few things you said…
“In the 90s and up to 2008, i.e. the high point period of US unipolar imperialism, USUK academics tended to take an anti-German line, but after 2008 the tide finally began to turn in favour either of a more nuanced discussion or of a more critical view of the actions of the Entente governments.
Re. Haroun al-Rashid, thanks for your comments Steve, but I don’t see that that was his “European” karma; on the contrary, it was surely his *Middle Eastern* karma.
Interesting also is the fact that a major split between Muslim Arabs and Muslim Persians dates from Harun; his son al-Mamun was born to a Persian mother whereas his son al-Amin was born to an Arab. On his death (809) Harun divided the empire between these two sons. Civil war broke out between them which went on till 827 and thus began the weakening and eventual disintegration of the Abbasid Empire.”
Frankly, it is meaningless and what this has to do with 9/11 and other world events is beyond me. I need a G&T when I read this kind of stuff otherwise I get a headache… furthermore, the anthroposophical society can’t come to a consensus regarding its own history and considering the criticisms meted out for a couple of harmless comments, I’m not surprised.
GC wrote to Terry:
“Frankly, it is meaningless and what this has to do with 9/11 and other world events is beyond me. I need a G&T when I read this kind of stuff otherwise I get a headache… furthermore, the anthroposophical society can’t come to a consensus regarding its own history and considering the criticisms meted out for a couple of harmless comments, I’m not surprised.”
I can certainly agree that history takes a long time, and we only seem to comprehend it in hindsight. So, indeed, the present events unfolding since 9/11 should be the “tempest in the teapot”, and this I wanted to further explore in this earlier post from 2017. Why do the historians wait for events to pass in order to write about them ‘after-the-fact’? Does it help to make them more an item of precise analysis?
9/11 is a good example of knowledge and facts that have progressively unfolded over these recent years. We now know more than we knew in 2001. Yet, can anybody tell me how Tony Blair got re-elected as British PM after supporting George Bush in the war declared on Iraq, c. 3 March 2003? British citizens were outraged and protested to such an extent that the news of this was suppressed from us Americans. Yet, both Blair and Bush were re-elected.
At any rate, the further facts come out in this interesting presentation from 2012, during the first Obama administration, and coming from Holland, and wherein the very first Breakthrough Energy Conference was held.
Hans, you wrote:
“I am optimistic. But maybe we should ask ourselves what we are doing wrong that makes our membership stagnate. In terms of social outreach? In terms of spiritual quality? What are the lessons we could have learned from the past (including our analysis of history); and what can we learn from the present?”
You are likely aware of the initiative this past year to restore Ita Wegman and Elizabeth Vreede. This initiative, which garnered some 1400 signatories, was approved and supported by the GAS at the Annual General Assembly (AGM) in late March of 2018. This means that they realize that issues involving the Purge of 1935 were wrong, and still to be made known today.
Thomas Heck has continued the results of this successful initiative because he is the instigator of it. I had occasion to correspond with him about it in the lead-in to the AGM of 2018, and wherein I reminded him not to forget the murder of Carl Unger on 4 January 1929.
He has a website here with free access to important documents, and a newsletter very much worth reading. His latest newsletter, 18 December 2018, contains very important information about the real possibility of achieving anything in our day and age. It is sobering material, indeed.
Now, for me, and maybe you might acquaint with this as well, Hans, is what Rudolf Steiner offered in the rather direct aftermath of the fire that burned down the Goetheanum. Thomas Heck promises to say more on this in the New Year, c. 2019, but we know how Steiner dealt with this tragedy, and how it needed to be responded to. He gave the lectures on “Awakening to Community”, ref. GA257, and pulled no punches in giving the necessary criticism owing at the time.
So, let’s consider this first overture, which occurred some eleven months before he felt rather spent by November. Even then, all it took was an encouraging word borne out of fire and enthusiasm. The rest is what makes for the history of the GAS.
Thank you Steve for reminding about the “Awakening to Community” lectures. The one of Feb 3, 1923 has been especially enlightening for me. He describes three stages in becoming and anthroposophist. 1) the heart indicates that the world is not as it should be; 2) one turns to search for higher truth; and 3) one takes what one has learned back into the world to heal it. He points out as a problem that newcomers (stage 1, heart) who are met out of (stage 2, head), are repelled. My experience is that the Society has had many members whose life goals are about study and perfection of knowledge; unfortunately they may meet newcomers with little heart-interest in the other, so that the newcomers either just move on to the initiatives and forego the Society, or draw away from anthroposophy as a whole…
Regarding the “constitution question,” though I am culturally very Euro-friendly (my main “teachers” having been Dostoevsky, Mahler, and Steiner), I’m also US-American and it seems obvious to me that one works out the objectives and develops corresponding forms; to attempt to recover lost forms is baffling to me. (In Steiner terms it sounds “old mysteries” to me rather than “new mysteries.”) “Well, we follow Rudolf Steiner,” the other may say; “No, my US-American voice says, _his_ will was always toward the future. I will not make idols of particular deeds, not even his; rather I will try to follow his constant way of doing things.” — I specify my background here because I don’t claim to be “right” about anything, but I’m quite sure that many especially US-Americans feel pushed away by the form question. If we need the Building Association consciousness, then let us make it now, as we need it.
Jeremy’s original eugenetic/HIV topic also alludes to the modification of the human form, which is central to Steiner’s christology and evolutionary view. See e.g. CW 131 on the phantom, and CW 26 on the physical human shape (GA026_c17).
In response to gc-photo-art (4 Jan. 2019 at 4:42 pm)
gc-photo-art picked up on Kathy’s comment about ‘mental masturbation’ on this blog and applied it to me. He focused on 2 points I’d made, presumably,
in his view, as ‘examples’ of the said ‘mental masturbation’ and then claimed that these were “meaningless” and unrelated to “9/11 and other world events”.
The first point I’d made: “In the 90s and up to 2008, i.e. the high point period of US unipolar imperialism, USUK academics tended to take an anti-German line, but after 2008 the tide finally began to turn in favour either of a more nuanced discussion or of a more critical view of the actions of the Entente governments.”
This relates to the period of unilateral US hegemony from the end of the Cold War to the Crash of 2008. If gc would like to use the Web to revisit the period c.1997-2004 s/he will find that during that time, pro-Establishment writers and programme-makers in the English-speaking media increasingly began to wax enthusiastically about a “new kind of imperialism”, a new (American) Roman Empire, a new Pax Americana, the American 21st century, the doctrine of “liberal interventionism”, “ethical imperialism” etc etc, historians like Niall Ferguson were urging Americans to recognise that they were an empire, an imperial power, and to behave like one, just as Britain had done 100+ years before, he said.
In the brave new world context of this neo-Anglo-imperialist era, when Putin had hardly established himself yet and China was not yet in the WTO, it was striking that USUK historians also began to argue that Germany had been just as responsible for WW1 as, it was argued, it was for WW2. A whole slew of publications and programmes came out in this direction, whereas during the Cold War and in the first decade of its aftermath, USUK historians had tended to play down the notion of Germany’s sole responsibility for WW1. Now, however, in the new glorious era of Clinton and Blair, when the USUK would lead the world into the 21st century paradise of technology-driven “turbo-capitalism” (remember that?) “free markets, democracy and human rights”, German support was no longer needed so much. Endless reams of bombast and self-glorification poured from the USUK MSM in those days: the 20th century had been a ‘great age of Anglo-American liberal capitalist triumph’ and what had underpinned that more than anything, apart from victory in the Cold War, it was said, was victory in the two world wars. To boost the moral image of the USUK even further, it was convenient to paint the former adversaries in ever darker colours – in both world wars. The Germans were to be reminded of their guilt for *both* conflicts and of their subservient place in the western pecking order.
Now all of this was a question of historical truth, just as 9/11 and the Iraq War and WMD were, and are, questions of historical truth. Indeed, the entire 20th century can be said to have emerged from WW1. After 9/11, many people across the world began not only to demand the truth about 9/11 but also, first to sense and then *discover* that they had been lied to by the USUK Establishments about many other key historical events as well, incl. WW1 and WW2. Using the Internet, they had begun to investigate. This ‘Truth Movement’, so much pilloried by Establishment apologists, is precisely in line with the prime impulses of the Michael Age (since 1879) and with the Consciousness Soul epoch (since the early 15th century) – the search for the truth about reality: the reality of oneself, the reality of nature, of the spiritual world, and of history. This Truth Movement and the refusal to accept anymore the lies and propaganda fed to us by the USUK Establishment media for over 100 years now, especially in relation to foreign affairs, is still very much ongoing today and underpins much of the resistance to current Establishment media narratives about what’s going on in the world and what WAS going on over the previous 100 years. This is the significance of WW1: that so much of our world today emerged from the cauldron of that time, and not least WW2 and the Cold War. Like me, Gc has lived through the events of the past 20 years; I don’t see why s/he needs a G&T to understand these things, but each to his/her own…
The second point I’d made was about the karma of Harun al-Rashid, who, according to Steiner, later reincarnated as Francis Bacon, one of the prime ideologues of *modern materialism*, the ‘patron saint’ of natural scientific thought in the English-speaking world, and the ‘pioneer’ of binary computer ‘thinking’ (he saw all thought in terms of As and Bs). Given bacon’s historical role and subsequent influence, and given the considerable subsequent influence of Semitic (i.e. Jewish AND Arab/Middle Eastern) cultural influences on western culture AND given the fact that a key factor in modern developments in the Middle East is the difficulties between the Iranians (mostly Shi’ites) and the Arabs (mostly Sunnis) and the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia AND the fact that that problematic relationship ‘just happened’ to begin with the sons of *Harun al-Rashid*, again I don’t see why gc needs a G&T to comprehend the relevance of talking about the individuality of Harun al-Rashid/Francis Bacon in relation to modern events, especially on an *anthroposophical blog*, when one of Rudolf Steiner’s key impulses in his life, indeed his ultimate mission, was to bring to the West a modern understanding of reincarnation and karma.
IF gc feels, as s/he says, a headache coming on when reading such things, there’s a simple solution: stop reading! And, I would also urge, please stop demanding in effect that other people should not express themselves on issues and in ways that you – at this point in your life for whatever reason – find difficulty following.
Finally, with regard to Gc’s parting ‘swipe’ – “furthermore, the anthroposophical society can’t come to a consensus regarding its own history and considering the criticisms meted out for a couple of harmless comments, I’m not surprised”, it is not the task of the Anthroposophical Society to come to a consensus view on anything. Consensus is a concept from the political sphere. We are all trying, or in my view should be, to help each other improve our own individual understandings of things; we are not seeking to come to a consensus view or any uniform dogma.
One of you asked “do you not know how important history is to understand the present situation?” I understand it is each of our immediate, personal histories that are most important – and the only sphere in which we have power to impact what is unfolding in this suffering world. We are to develop the will to cease stuffing what we fear to look at, to admit, into our subconscious. We feed the Double and give it power – then we act like innocent bystanders as we relax in our club (thank you, gc-photo-art, for a good metaphor). Of course, that’s the fewer of us. The greater us have no clubs. They are in continual, conscious pain much of the time. Pain: you know, that stuff us antisocial, vicious people talk about? I know some of you guys don’t like to be disturbed in the middle of your meanderings – but all you need to do is ignore me. And, Terry – did you know that in the few minutes it took to write this entry, another polar bear died trying to reach solid ice?
Terry, thank you for your detailed response. I wasn’t having a go at the content as such but rather the intellectual headiness of it which is difficult to follow. And though I can’t be sure, I think Kathy’s initial comment was implying the same… the reason I commented was I found Steve’s kill kill kill rather harsh and thought it totally unfair that you by insinuation suggested Kathy belongs to the worse kind of people. This was my gripe, solely that… in fact, I have attended your talks, read your essays in New View and on Threeman. And whilst in Sarajevo read the Ludwig Polzer book which you translated. I appreciate your work and also Steve’s whose contribution to Jeremy’s blog is huge… so yes, I do take an interest in history and world events, I quite like Noam Chomsky and David Irving for instance. But picking up on something you said, I think it is almost impossible to be reliant on so-called ‘historical facts’ because they are open to various interpretations and can be seen from multiple points of view. For me, after I have spent a lot of time looking into something, I just have an inkling as to whether it is true or not… 9/11, The Holocaust, Sandy Hook, the Tube bombings, the banking systems, the demonisation of Hussein, Gathafi, Putin and Assad amongst others, my inner narrative is not the same as the one taught in classrooms and voiced in the media. And if I may move on to something that will sound outlandish to many, I read in a lecture by Steiner that the shape of the earth is not a globe but is, in fact, a rounded tetrahedron. Rounded at the edges where the four triangles have come together and along these seams is where volcanoes are located. At the apex of the tetrahedron is Japan with I think, the Atlantic Ocean at the base. I trust Steiner and as a consequence believe the images of the earth are composites, nobody has been to the moon (how Armstrong lived his life is testimony to this) and the entire NASA programme with images coming from Mars is nothing but a huge money-making deception… so there you go, history for me is a quagmire and a work in progress… and at the end of the day, does it really matter? We can only tend our own gardens by being truthful loving and kind with those around us.
I am grateful to everyone who has left a comment. There have now been over 100 responses to the original post, which is of course encouraging – but very few of them have actually dealt with the subject of the post, which is the re-emergence of eugenics in our times. Personally, I blame the moderator for his laissez-faire approach to staying on topic : )
In the process, we have had some interesting digressions along all kinds of side roads and alleyways but what I have missed (and I tend to sympathise with Kathy and gc-photoart on this) is any kind of sense that anthroposophy has engendered real living thinking in us. If a non-anthroposophist had happened upon this blog and had read through many of the comments, would they have come away with the sense that anthroposophy had something to offer them in terms of speaking to the dilemmas of our time?
What is it that anthroposophy has done to us in terms of our own personal development – has it, for example, made us better, kinder people? Has it given us the tools to find really useful insights into dealing with the multiple crises the world is facing? I leave those as open questions for all of us.
In my next post, I am going to be writing about free deeds of love – and I would appreciate it if any comments draw upon your own personal experiences and insights resulting from anthroposophy.
With best wishes for 2019,
I regret not addressing the reemergence of eugenics in our time more directly. I was thinking, as I fell asleep last night, how the powers that be (corporate powers – given the status of human beings by the Supreme Court), no longer needing real human beings to work in fields and factories are busy at work eliminating the many while fine-tuning the few they want. It also occurred to me that the only way corporations – defined as artificial beings who profit from exploitation and slave labor while whole populations of real beings, human and animal, suffer and die – can do their deeds is to deny, reject, obliterate the possibility of a real spiritual world. This, in turn, accounts for the wholesale exploitation, rape and destruction of women – and the Earth Mother. If, as Steiner says, women do retain more of the awareness of the spiritual world – a free woman who knows and radiates that awareness is the last thing the Corporation – economic or religious in nature – wants. Now we may have reached what some call a period of mass extinction on the planet. The Earth, herself, is rising in furious fires and overwhelming floods of tears. It gives another slant on #Me Too!
And. Jeremy, thank you for your last post. I am looking forward to learning of others’ personal experiences and insights. Finding Rudolf Steiner when I was 17 – 18yo, saved my sanity. Somebody knew! Somebody saw! I wasn’t alone in the world anymore. It didn’t matter he was 100 years gone – he is alive to me.