A Critical Review of Waldorf Resources - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 08:52 AM
 
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The sentence above is so wrong in so many ways... You're basically saying - It doesn't matter your external appearance, or your background or your place in the world, your Waldorf teacher can help you transcend your nation, ethnic group or race to stand up and become a member of humanity and world citizens. : Some of us like to think we're already members of humanity.
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How is ".. the development of that essence in every person, independent of external appearances.." saying that ??? I dont get that at all. My understanding is that the essence being referred to stands alone on its own without the relyance of superficial appearance, AND the continuation of the statement is supportive of all culture and race of each student. "
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#62 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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How is ".. the development of that essence in every person, independent of external appearances.." saying that ???
Why else would it be necessary to bring external appearances into it? Why not just "development of the human being"? The statement is saying something very specific here.
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I dont get that at all.
That's why I'm pointing it out. It slips by lots of people who don't have the background to understand the implications of what is being said.
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My understanding is that the essence being referred to stands alone on its own without the relyance of superficial appearance, AND the continuation of the statement is supportive of all culture and race of each student. "
Taken out of context it might seem this way - but when one has the benefit of Steiner's works, it becomes clear what this means. Leave your race behind and join the fraternity of human beings.

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#63 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 11:14 AM
 
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Why else would it be necessary to bring external appearances into it? Why not just "development of the human being"? The statement is saying something very specific here.

That's why I'm pointing it out. It slips by lots of people who don't have the background to understand the implications of what is being said.

Taken out of context it might seem this way - but when one has the benefit of Steiner's works, it becomes clear what this means. Leave your race behind and join the fraternity of human beings.

Pete

I would say that when one studies Steiner's works, one sees that Steiner was pretty well-rounded in that he stated very explicitly that each of us has our background (family, people, nation, etc.) to thank for who we are -- and that in each of us lives what some have called the "universal human". So we have the challenge of living fully out of both -- not just one or the other.

When I look at Waldorf Ed. I see both of these elements represented in the curriculum.

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#64 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 01:51 PM
 
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That's why I'm pointing it out. It slips by lots of people who don't have the background to understand the implications of what is being said.
The background?

It isn't that complicated. If one believes that people in different cultures and races should understand themselves to be profoundly different from one another, that race and cultural differences are the most significant aspect of themselves, that commonalities are less so, and that individual 'selfness' is supposed to adhere to sharply etched cultural and racial group definitions, that all these are good things, then one would have disagreement here with Steiner and Waldorf philosophy.

If one does NOT believe these are good things.....if one does NOT believe people must reinforce these self-concepts that group differences are the most important thing about one's self and one's character as a human being.....if one does not believe it is of utmost importance to continue channeling each person's life into various and specific slots assigned by race or culture? Well, then one would have no need to fight about the "implications" of this passage. To do so anyway would simply be picking a fight for the mere sake of fighting.

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#65 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 02:12 PM
 
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The background?

It isn't that complicated. If one believes that people in different cultures and races should understand themselves to be profoundly different from one another, that race and cultural differences are the most significant aspect of themselves, that commonalities are less so, and that individual 'selfness' is supposed to adhere to sharply etched cultural and racial group definitions, that all these are good things, then one would have disagreement here with Steiner and Waldorf philosophy.

If one does NOT believe these are good things.....if one does NOT believe people must reinforce these self-concepts that group differences are the most important thing about one's self and one's character as a human being.....if one does not believe it is of utmost importance to continue channeling each person's life into various and specific slots assigned by race or culture? Well, then one would have no need to fight about the "implications" of this passage. To do so anyway would simply be picking a fight for the mere sake of fighting.

Linda
Linda, thank you for improving on my thoughts. I guess what I was really trying to get at is that I've never encountered anything in anthroposophy that said we must reject our ethnic or racial background in order to find commonalities with others.

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#66 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 02:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The background?
In Anthroposophy.
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It isn't that complicated. If one believes that people in different cultures and races should understand themselves to be profoundly different from one another, that race and cultural differences are the most significant aspect of themselves, that commonalities are less so, and that individual 'selfness' is supposed to adhere to sharply etched cultural and racial group definitions, that all these are good things, then one would have disagreement here with Steiner and Waldorf philosophy.
Which calls for assimilation of racial and cultural differences by helping people to "overcome" their race and culture.
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If one does NOT believe these are good things.....if one does NOT believe people must reinforce these self-concepts that group differences are the most important thing about one's self and one's character as a human being.....if one does not believe it is of utmost importance to continue channeling each person's life into various and specific slots assigned by race or culture? Well, then one would have no need to fight about the "implications" of this passage. To do so anyway would simply be picking a fight for the mere sake of fighting.
You can characterize it however you like of course, but the idea that people must overcome their race and culture in order to join humanity is, to my view, creepy.

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#67 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 03:10 PM
 
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I've never encountered anything in anthroposophy that said we must reject our ethnic or racial background in order to find commonalities with others.
Thanks Serena. I certainly haven't encountered this idea in the Waldorf school either.

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#68 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 03:35 PM
 
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Which calls for assimilation of racial and cultural differences by helping people to "overcome" their race and culture.
What do you mean "helping people to 'overcome'" their race and culture? Steiner 'calls' for people to "overcome" their race and culture divisions. And he doesn't call for "assimiliation", he calls for a new affinity between individual human beings, one which transcends race or culture relationships.


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You can characterize it however you like of course, but the idea that people must overcome their race and culture in order to join humanity is, to my view, creepy.
Sure it is. It is a creepy idea. However, since the passage doesn't really say that, there is no disagreement there.

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#69 of 165 Old 10-11-2005, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you mean "helping people to 'overcome'" their race and culture? Steiner 'calls' for people to "overcome" their race and culture divisions.
I don't believe I've ever read this in Steiner's works. Do you have a reference to this? Does he actually say somewhere that he is calling for people to overcome their race and culture divisions? If he does, I'd love to see the quote.

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#70 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 02:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't believe I've ever read this in Steiner's works. Do you have a reference to this? Does he actually say somewhere that he is calling for people to overcome their race and culture divisions? If he does, I'd love to see the quote.

Pete
Linda, I hope you will find the time to address this question - otherwise it would seem to make your point rather... pointless. Thanks!

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#71 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 12:39 PM
 
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Linda, I hope you will find the time to address this question - otherwise it would seem to make your point rather... pointless. Thanks!
Pete, you must have more time than I do--you can leave 12 posts to every one of mine, and I don't think it's fair to say my posts are "pointless" if I can't respond to each of yours at the pace you leave them.

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I don't believe I've ever read this in Steiner's works. Do you have a reference to this? Does he actually say somewhere that he is calling for people to overcome their race and culture divisions?
I'm surprised you don't remember seeing this quote of Steiner's many, many times. For one thing, it has appeared in e-texts we've discussed here already, some of them linked by you.

Rudolf Steiner: ""[We] must cast aside the division into races. [We] must seek to unite people of all races and nations, and to bridge the divisions and differences between various groups of people."

http://www.anthroposophy.org/Gov/Sta...nDiversity.php

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#72 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Pete, you must have more time than I do--you can leave 12 posts to every one of mine, and I don't think it's fair to say my posts are "pointless" if I can't respond to each of yours at the pace you leave them.
I wasn't trying to rush you, just hoping this didn't become one of the many topics that are regularly dropped for lack of evidence.

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I'm surprised you don't remember seeing this quote of Steiner's many, many times. For one thing, it has appeared in e-texts we've discussed here already, some of them linked by you.

Rudolf Steiner: ""[We] must cast aside the division into races. [We] must seek to unite people of all races and nations, and to bridge the divisions and differences between various groups of people."

http://www.anthroposophy.org/Gov/Sta...nDiversity.php
Yes, very interesting. I guess I didn't recognize it because that's not the meaning of what he was saying. First of all, he was not saying "We" - as you interjected, he was saying "Anthroposophy" is supposed to do these things. And the reason he was leaving it to Anthroposophy and not himself or the audience, is that this was to take place thousands of years into the future. That's why the collection you have produced has so many one-liner's in it. They have to be taken out of context to disguise that they are really talking about some distant vision. Sometimes ellipsis (...) leave out large sections that change the meanings. Still, I found the following in the text you linked. It pretty much betrays the idea of assimilation Steiner had in mind - even with the ellipsis.

Pete

From THE AKASHIC CHRONICLE (1904)

". . . the beginnings of what we now call 'race' arose. This 'characteristic of race' was retained throughout the times of development in Atlantis, in the fourth main epoch, and onwards into our own times of the fifth epoch. However, at the end of this fifth epoch the word 'race' will once more lose all meaning. The humanity of the future will be organized into groupings which one will be unable to call 'races'. Conventional Theosophical literature has caused much confusion in this respect. . . In it world development is portrayed as if 'races' were to perpetuate themselves in the same way throughout the eternal cycles of the earth. This is absolutely not the case. Even everything worthy of the name 'race' comes into being and also passes away."
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#73 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 03:23 PM
 
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Yes, very interesting. I guess I didn't recognize it because that's not the meaning of what he was saying. First of all, he was not saying "We" - as you interjected, he was saying "Anthroposophy" is supposed to do these things.
He was speaking to and of members of the anthroposophical movement, Pete. What difference does it make? This "we" thing couldn't have confused you earlier--I just now posted it!

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And the reason he was leaving it to Anthroposophy and not himself or the audience, is that this was to take place thousands of years into the future. That's why the collection you have produced has so many one-liner's in it. They have to be taken out of context to disguise that they are really talking about some distant vision. Sometimes ellipsis (...) leave out large sections that change the meanings.
I see. Anthroposophists at the American Society of Anthroposophy are misinterpreting Steiner? The truth, as you see it, is that they have it all wrong. They're supposed to be racists now, because Steiner was only making this urging for people a thousand years from now to read?

If this is simply an academic fussfuss about the "true" interpretation here, I can't be bothered. I'm quite happy with the way that its interpreted by people who actually follow Steiner, and would be *unhappy* if they interpreted it as the critics would like Steiner interpreted. If Waldorf's critics were the ones in Waldorf schools using Steiner to teach my children, I would be concerned about the message as they interpret it.

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It pretty much betrays the idea of assimilation Steiner had in mind - even with the ellipsis.
Again, you insist this passage urges assimilation. It doesn't 'urge' this at all. It 'urges' that people disregard old theosophical texts which presume ancient race groups to be a meaningful way to categorize people now and for all time. The concept that the essential quality of a person is determined by race, Steiner argues again and again, is to be discarded.

This is only a 'scandalous' idea when Steiner says it. The concept that race is a fixed, objectively determined, reality has been tossed in the rubbish bin--certainly so this idea that "race" is a fixed quality of humanity that remains unchanged for all time, as was the position in the theosophist texts Steiner was criticising here.

In Steiner's day, you'd probably have to have looked very hard to find two different definitions of race, and Steiner argued those definitions, those "concepts", were dying ideas that should be left behind. Today, I'd have to look hard to find two different people who give the very *same* definition of race. Even the US census leaves the definition to personal interpretation.

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#74 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 04:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He was speaking to and of members of the anthroposophical movement, Pete. What difference does it make? This "we" thing couldn't have confused you earlier--I just now posted it!
I have never been confused by this aspect - I said I didn't recognize it - as in supporting what you are saying.
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I see. Anthroposophists at the American Society of Anthroposophy are misinterpreting Steiner? The truth, as you see it, is that they have it all wrong. They're supposed to be racists now, because Steiner was only making this urging for people a thousand years from now to read?
Actually, they ARE misinterpreting Steiner, but that's a whole different subject. You, here, are misapplying what he wrote to fend off his comments - just like Sune (the author of the site we are discussing) tries to fend off Steiner's comments about women reading Negro novels by suggesting he was joking. The point is, and it is very valid and displayed here perfectly, that Waldorf resources are not accurately portraying Steiner and sometimes misdirect people intentionally. That's the point of this thread.

As for whether or not Anthroposophists today are misinterpreting this passage, I can suggest that they are not - that they understand that some day far in the future races will be assimilated.
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If this is simply an academic fussfuss about the "true" interpretation here, I can't be bothered.
Nobody is asking you to be "bothered" looking at this academically. You can interpret it any way you like - academically or as part of a belief system.
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I'm quite happy with the way that its interpreted by people who actually follow Steiner, and would be *unhappy* if they interpreted it as the critics would like Steiner interpreted. If Waldorf's critics were the ones in Waldorf schools using Steiner to teach my children, I would be concerned about the message as they interpret it.
I'm glad you are happy with this - but it doesn't change the meaning of the passage. And the document that you have produced, again, has a bunch of one-liners taken out of context intended (I believe) to make an accurate interpretation of the material impossible. That's why people like me have gone to the bother of looking at this material academically.
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Again, you insist this passage urges assimilation. It doesn't 'urge' this at all. It 'urges' that people disregard old theosophical texts which presume ancient race groups to be a meaningful way to categorize people now and for all time. The concept that the essential quality of a person is determined by race, Steiner argues again and again, is to be discarded.
Yes, we hear this time and time again from Steiner, that people can overcome their race or overcome their blood. This has nothing to do with ideas that he applied to races, it simply means that as spiritual beings we have an "essential quality". This notion has nothing to do with the comments he made about the races. And it was his feeling that the races would assimilate, but only after the great war of all against all.
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This is only a 'scandalous' idea when Steiner says it. The concept that race is a fixed, objectively determined, reality has been tossed in the rubbish bin--certainly so this idea that "race" is a fixed quality of humanity that remains unchanged for all time, as was the position in the theosophist texts Steiner was criticising here.
The idea that some races are better than others it the concept that comes into question with Steiner's materials. That's the idea that belongs in the rubbish bin.
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In Steiner's day, you'd probably have to have looked very hard to find two different definitions of race, and Steiner argued those definitions, those "concepts", were dying ideas that should be left behind.
Like the races themselves. I don't want to start pulling up his actual words again, but it is tempting.
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Today, I'd have to look hard to find two different people who give the very *same* definition of race. Even the US census leaves the definition to personal interpretation.
That's why each person should read Steiner's own words in their true context and decide for themselves what he meant. The abreviated examples you provided don't help, I'm afraid, in giving a true picture of his ideas.

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#75 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 05:36 PM
 
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Nobody is asking you to be "bothered" looking at this academically. You can interpret it any way you like - academically or as part of a belief system.
I prefer interpreting it (and the situation) with basic reading comprehension and a dose of common sense.

Using common sense, the argument here looks like this. First anthroposophists (and by extension, Waldorf teachers, and by further extension Waldorf parents) have to be cajoled and convinced that they are wrong in their interpretation, that Steiner meant something other than what they all think he meant.

And after that, anthroposophists (and Waldorf teachers and parents), have to be convinced to reject the ideas just furnished to them in the alternate interpretation you've worked so long and hard to convince them to accept.

I just won't work that hard to find an excuse to be mad at somebody.

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#76 of 165 Old 10-12-2005, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I prefer interpreting it (and the situation) with basic reading comprehension and a dose of common sense.
Common to who?

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Using common sense, the argument here looks like this. First anthroposophists (and by extension, Waldorf teachers, and by further extension Waldorf parents) have to be cajoled and convinced that they are wrong in their interpretation, that Steiner meant something other than what they all think he meant.
I don't think there are two Anthroposophists on the planet who agree on everything Steiner wrote - or come away with exactly the same meaning on anything he wrote. That's why there are study groups everywhere - so that Anthroposophists can get together on Saturday mornings and wrestle with various interpretations and possible meanings of Steiner's works. Maybe they should save their time and just ask you, or Sune, or some other prolific Anthroposophist. But they don't because Steiner himself said it was their work to determine what he said.

Everyone can read the statement as it stands alone or with reference to their own understandings of the body of Steiner's work and come away with their very own interpretation. That's what Steiner wanted and that's what I want too. I've provided my interpretation, you have provided yours. Your interpretation is no more valid than mine. People at this point can decide for themselves 1) if the statement says what I think it says, or what you think it says or something completely different, 2) if your interpretation is part of an overall tendency by Waldorf to hide the true meaning of their philosophy of if my interpretation is part of an overall tendency by Waldorf critics to smear the name of Steiner by taking things he meant one way and twisting them to mean the opposite. I am quite happy to let each person who reads this formulate their own opinion.
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And after that, anthroposophists (and Waldorf teachers and parents), have to be convinced to reject the ideas just furnished to them in the alternate interpretation you've worked so long and hard to convince them to accept.
I'm not trying long and hard to convince anyone of anything. I provided an interpretation of the material posted by Sune. Then you said it means exactly the opposite of what I think it means - and you provided a page of one-line sound-bites from Steiner in support of this. I don't think I have to work hard to convince anyone that this is hardly proof of anything. But again, let each person judge for themselves. This statement we're struggling with is only one of several that Sune provided and that I found fault with.
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I just won't work that hard to find an excuse to be mad at somebody.
Am I mad at somebody that I am not aware of?

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#77 of 165 Old 10-23-2005, 09:37 PM
 
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THe last 3 posts of this thread moved to the Pen for critical review, due to potential for an unnecessary baiting style.

 
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#78 of 165 Old 10-24-2005, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OK, I'll try it again with revisions.

While I suggested I might focus on WaldorfAnswers.com next, a fairly new Waldorf support website has caught my attention:

http://www.americans4waldorf.org/

Since it links extensively to WaldofrAnswers.com, by reviewing this website we will uncover problems with WaldorfAnswers.com as well.

From this site:

"Our purpose is to provide the facts in a fair, balanced and truthful presentation. Our underlying philosophy is to provide information on Waldorf education in a positive light and which is honestly and fairly presented."

OK, let's test that, shall we? They also say:

"We also feel that Waldorf education is sometimes portrayed in the media and on the Internet in a distorted and misinformed way. Waldorf schools and Waldorf teachers deserve to be supported with a fair and truthful presentation, as most schools and teachers do not have the resources to respond to allegations that are sometimes made."

This site is basically here to strongly support Waldorf and to call everything that shows Waldorf in a different light "distorted and misinformed". At least now we know. It's good that they have forewarned us.

I'm going to jump around this website and since it is rather extensive and my time fairly limited, I'll pick a page or two at a time to discuss. The first page that grabbed my attention is about Waldorf and Religion - and not completely unexpectedly, it diverts us to the WaldorfAnswers website - http://www.waldorfanswers.org/NotReligion1.htm

On this, Jean Yeager, Administrative Director of the Anthroposophical Society writes:

"Anthroposopohy Compared with Religion:

1. Anthroposophy has no dogma or creed - the Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society specifically forbid dogma."

So we already know we are going to be in for a rough ride. Anthroposophy, the religious philosophy, and the Anthroposophical Society, an organization, are going to be used interchangably as the writer sees fit. It would be like saying because something is not done a certain way in the Catholic church, this represents all of Christianity. Waldorf teachers don't train according to the Statutes of the Anthroposophical Society, they train according to Anthropospophy.

"2. The Anthroposophical Society does not offer or prescribe any religious practices or sacraments."

Same thing here. And here we see the deception forming. Because the Anthroposophical doesn't prescribe religious practices or sacraments, they cannot exist in Anthroposophical circles. So, for example, according to this statement, the Christian Community churches, which are Anthroposophical churches don't have religious practices or sacraments. This makes me a little uncomfortable because one of my children was baptised in the Christian Community Churche.

"3. Anthroposophy does not claim to lead to salvation. Anthroposophy is concerned with understanding relationship of the human being to the spiritual world."

I think this claim is completely misleading. Anthroposophy IS claiming to lead to salvation, but has redefined what salvation is as the understanding of the relationship of the human being to the spiritual world.

"4. There is no one spiritual guide, teacher or master within the Anthroposophical Society whose statements are beyond questioning."

Here we go again. We've slipped in "Anthroposophical Society" where it's convenient. Because if we are talking about Anthroposophy, and not the Anthroposophical Society, they, yes, of course, there is one spiritual guide, teacher and master whose statements are beyond questioning - namely Rudolf Steiner.

"5. Anthroposophy is not a system of beliefs. Anthroposophy is a path to knowledge based on a spiritual understanding of humanity and our relationship to the spiritual world."

Um... well, that's one way of looking at it. But to be on that path to knowledge, you have to accept a system of beliefs among them reincarnation and karma, spiritual hierarchies, influences of Lucifer and Ahriman, the Archangel Michael, and a complete undermining and revision of the Gospels/Bible.

6. The Anthroposophical Society is not organized as a church. It is a free association of individuals and independent study groups some of whom have sought to be formally recognized by the Anthroposophical Society. This formal recognition is not a requirement for a study group to be publicized by the Society.

There you go. But why is the topic "Anthroposophy Compared with Religion"? I suspect the comparison here was intended to be more about the Anthroposophical Society's role and not Anthroposophy's role as a religion. That's way Jean Yeager produced it - to clarify the Anthroposophical Society's position with regard to religion, not Anthroposophy's position. These statements are being provided here in hopes that nobody will notice the difference.

"7. There are no priests, pastors, ministers or other religious functionaries. Anthroposophy supports religion without interfering with religious practice. Many members of the Society engage in the practice of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Shinto, Buddhism and other faiths. Others are not connected to a particular religious faith."

But again, I wonder who it was that baptised my child. And let's not forget the missionary work that Waldorf schools do - to bring children to an Anthroposophical world view. And while it is comforthing that members of the Anthropsophical Society come from many faiths, it isn't clear in this means these are Anthroposophists or simply people who have taken membership in the society. Certainly, there are many people who enter Waldorf schools, for example, without knowing that they are based in esoteric Christianity/Anthroposophy. I can see people joining the Anthroposophical society without knowing much about Anthroposophy. In fact the only requirement is an affirmation that the Goetheanum should in fact exist. It doesn't surprize me at all that the Anthroposophical Society has members from all faiths. The Anthroposophical Society is not the religion, Anthroposophy is the religion.

"For the view of Rudolf Steiner on this question, see here."

And the "here" is a link to a doctored (...) lecture by Steiner.

It is clear here that some people think that by twisting words, people will not understand what they are reading. It is plain to see how difficult it must be to put a good face on the idea that Anthroposophy is not a religion or at least a religious doctrine.

More from this site in a future post.

Pete
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#79 of 165 Old 10-24-2005, 01:32 PM
 
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Just wondering: is it really the goal of the Mothering Commune to become the host site of what appears to be a zealous campaign of denigration against anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society?

If the subject were the Ethics Society or the Sceptical Society would this be appropriate for Mothering Commune?

And for those who believe anthroposophy is indeed a religion (please note that efforts to prove it is a religion have failed in court) would members be ok with a campaign of denigration against Native American Spirituality, African spirituality, Buddhism, Shintoism, the Southern Baptists, the Catholic Church, Judaism, Wicca, Paganism, Evangelical Christianity and so on?

I wonder....

Serena
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#80 of 165 Old 10-24-2005, 01:35 PM
 
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It is clear here that some people think that by twisting words, people will not understand what they are reading. It is plain to see how difficult it must be to put a good face on the idea that Anthroposophy is not a religion or at least a religious doctrine.
Steiner mentioned numerous times that at its foundation anthroposophy was entirely an “investigation into Christ”. The horse’s mouth is good enough for me Important to note though: most anthropops would call it a “spiritual” philosophy rather than “religious”. That has mostly to do with the specific tenets of the philosophy, in that they’re “esoteric” Christian – significantly different than mainstream Christianity.
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#81 of 165 Old 10-24-2005, 05:07 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Serena Blaue]Just wondering: is it really the goal of the Mothering Commune to become the host site of what appears to be a zealous campaign of denigration against anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society?QUOTE]
I think it is the goal of Mothering.com to provide balanced information,in this case information about Waldorf education for those who might be seeking it for their children.(or those who tried it for their children and are trying to figure out what went wrong) I believe it is very important to get all the information out there, both the good and bad.
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#82 of 165 Old 10-24-2005, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serena Blaue
Just wondering: is it really the goal of the Mothering Commune to become the host site of what appears to be a zealous campaign of denigration against anthroposophy and the Anthroposophical Society?

If the subject were the Ethics Society or the Sceptical Society would this be appropriate for Mothering Commune?

And for those who believe anthroposophy is indeed a religion (please note that efforts to prove it is a religion have failed in court) would members be ok with a campaign of denigration against Native American Spirituality, African spirituality, Buddhism, Shintoism, the Southern Baptists, the Catholic Church, Judaism, Wicca, Paganism, Evangelical Christianity and so on?

I wonder....

Serena
The only interest here is to question whether the promotional materials reflect the truth.

Pete
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#83 of 165 Old 10-24-2005, 10:33 PM
 
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The only interest here is to question whether the promotional materials reflect the truth.
I'm not an anthroposophist, but I'm pretty logical.

So stripping away all the extra ribbons and frills, the logic to the argument is this:

The anthroposophical society isn't qualified to accurately define what anthroposophy is, so ignore what they say and look instead at the Christian Community church for proof. The Christian community has churches and priests, and to my knowledge actually claims to be a religion.

The Christian community does have anthroposophical roots, but so does biodynamic agriculture. So the same logic used here to 'question the truth' of Waldorf promotional materials would go like this: "anthroposophy isn't a religion or a philosophy. It's an agriculture".

The other curious essence of the argument looks like this: Waldorf promotional materials are untruthful because they ascribe to the same definition of anthroposophy as the Anthroposophical Society, which was founded by anthroposophy's founder himself, Rudolf Steiner, a definition which anthroposophists have accepted for 80 years at least. Waldorf should dispense with the Anthroposophical Society as guide, and adopt the definitions, belief structures, rituals and labels of anthroposophy that critics of anthroposophy prefer.

Anthroposophy is similar in many respects to transcendentalism, which is also a spiritual philosophy, not a religion. When I was in high school, we had to study the American transcendentalists and their philosophy pretty thoroughly, and I studied it even more extensively in college. In none of those classes was transcendentalism ever labeled a religion, although many of the figures in the movement were very religious people.

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#84 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 08:57 AM
 
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The other curious essence of the argument looks like this: Waldorf promotional materials are untruthful because they ascribe to the same definition of anthroposophy as the Anthroposophical Society, which was founded by anthroposophy's founder himself, Rudolf Steiner, a definition which anthroposophists have accepted for 80 years at least. Waldorf should dispense with the Anthroposophical Society as guide, and adopt the definitions, belief structures, rituals and labels of anthroposophy that critics of anthroposophy prefer.
The Waldorf promotional materials I’ve read are inaccurate to the point of untruthful and deceptive, in that they: 1. Do not identify Christianity, or esoteric ‘Cosmic Christianity’, as the foundational element of anthroposophy; 2. Do not identify Steiner as the clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master anthroposophists believe him to be (he’s referred to in promotional materials as a ‘scientist’ or ‘philosopher’); and 3: Do not clearly spell out that this clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master’s cosmic Christian intuitions form the basis of all Waldorf child pedagogy, the entire Waldorf curriculum, the festival life of the school, and the manner and way in which the school is run and administered.

The philosophical ‘Is anthroposophy a religion or not?’ question is really of little consequence in relation to these other very real and practical issues.
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#85 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 05:10 PM
 
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The philosophical ‘Is anthroposophy a religion or not?’ question is really of little consequence in relation to these other very real and practical issues.
Well that's progress.

This has all been discussed before here earlier, but maybe it's gone now.

But there is no deception. There is a very thorough discussion about how Waldorf education tackles issues from Christianity and anthroposophy, including an acknowledgement of the Christian aspects of anthroposophy:

"Is Waldorf Education Christian"

Linda
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#86 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One good test for determining whether something is spirituality or religion is the appeareance of "the devil". Whenever there is the existence of "the devil" (or in Anthroposophy's case - two devils - Lucifer and Ahriman) - you can pretty much be sure you're looking at a religion.

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#87 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 06:51 PM
 
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One good test for determining whether something is spirituality or religion is the appeareance of "the devil". Whenever there is the existence of "the devil" (or in Anthroposophy's case - two devils - Lucifer and Ahriman) - you can pretty much be sure you're looking at a religion.

Pete
I've never heard it defined that way in my life, but it's kind of funny. In the recent failed court case, the one which attempted to define anthroposophy as a religion, this was pretty much the tactic taken by those who filed the suit.

Over and over in the court records, this very obscure quote about lucifer was tossed out, as if that were all it took to decide the issue.

As has been mentioned already, this didn't work in court, probably because that is *not* a test to determine whether something is a religion or not. If it were, then Rube Goldberg fans would be part of a religion, since all the inventions were really those of Professor Lucifer Gorgonzola Butts. And metal music ...... wow. The devil is probably one of the most prominent figures in rock.

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#88 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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Well that's progress.
The “Is it a religion?” question comes down to personal opinion. And people tend to hold onto their opinions pretty tight, so what’s the point really of even debating the issue?
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But there is no deception.
I’ve experienced deception with this issue. Generally though, I’d say the real problem is part unconsciousness and part fear with regards to what honesty on that level – full disclosure, in other words – will bring about. I know of teachers who have expressed concern about losing enrollment if they’re too upfront with all this, for example.
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#89 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 08:16 PM
 
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The “Is it a religion?” question comes down to personal opinion. And people tend to hold onto their opinions pretty tight, so what’s the point really of even debating the issue?
So here we are, back at the beginning again.

If there is no point in "really even debating the issue" then why bring it up?

Bigotry against anthroposophists and the philosophy they work out of -- well, I still wonder if that what this board is for? I'd guess not, but I could be wrong.

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#90 of 165 Old 10-25-2005, 09:19 PM
 
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If there is no point in "really even debating the issue" then why bring it up?
I didn’t bring this issue up; and I'm simply taking part in a conversation. And as I posted already:

The Waldorf promotional materials I’ve read are inaccurate to the point of untruthful and deceptive, in that they: 1. Do not identify Christianity, or esoteric ‘Cosmic Christianity’, as the foundational element of anthroposophy; 2. Do not identify Steiner as the clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master anthroposophists believe him to be (he’s referred to in promotional materials as a ‘scientist’ or ‘philosopher’); and 3: Do not clearly spell out that this clairvoyant and elevated spiritual master’s cosmic Christian intuitions form the basis of all Waldorf child pedagogy, the entire Waldorf curriculum, the festival life of the school, and the manner and way in which the school is run and administered.

There are relevant and important issues here that need to be looked at, none of which have to do with “bigotry against anthroposophists and the philosophy they work out of”.
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