Here goes - thoughts and feelings on Waldorf and Anthroposophy and Anthroposophists - Page 6 - Mothering Forums
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Waldorf > Here goes - thoughts and feelings on Waldorf and Anthroposophy and Anthroposophists
Deborah's Avatar Deborah 10:47 PM 08-24-2008
Hi Bczmama,

What a perfect example of misunderstanding where Steiner is coming from. That entire set of books (all of the ones with titles like from _______ to _________ are based on conversations he had with the workmen who were building the Goetheanum. They are filled with crazy stuff like that. Do anthroposophists treat every word of these casual conversations as exact prescriptions to be followed to the letter? None of the ones I know do. Which doesn't mean that there aren't some gems amidst the dross, but it does take judgement to sort them out.

Those books are very popular with critics of anthroposophy, not surprisingly.

I could, of course, go and dig up 10 or 15 Steiner quotes which make it clear that he did understand heredity and saw it as playing a role in human life, but I don't think I'll bother. I have more interesting things to do.

littleanniesky's Avatar littleanniesky 12:25 AM 08-25-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
Actually, "marking" is not just a superstition, but also part of Rudolf Steiner's beliefs. I googled out of interest and google books popped up "From Comets to Cocaine" (previously published as "Health and Illness") by Steiner. On page 160 he states that what a woman does with her mind during the pregnancy will effect the fetus -- "She shapes and forms the child with what she imagines, feels and wills." On page 161 he also states that a pregnant woman who is startled by a man with an unusually crooked nose will have a child that has an unusually crooked nose, the feature appearing in mirror reverse.
eda adama, you asked what "predictions" I was refering to in my last long post, it was to beliefs such as these.
karne's Avatar karne 12:45 AM 08-25-2008
Why, I'm wondering, would one assume that the conversation was casual? Would it be context, in that conversation didn't occur in a lecture format? Is that what makes the idea "crazy", that it was presented to workmen versus the more initiated? One set of ideas is presented to one group, another to another group? That's really interesting. I always find these moments so interesting because it seems there are some who feel strongly that we should minimize the "crazy" or offensive statements, and others who deeply live with conviction about such ideas. However, I too am uninterested in quoting chapter and verse of steiner as it never seems especially productive.
bczmama's Avatar bczmama 01:09 AM 08-25-2008
"What a perfect example of misunderstanding where Steiner is coming from. That entire set of books (all of the ones with titles like from _______ to _________ are based on conversations he had with the workmen who were building the Goetheanum. They are filled with crazy stuff like that. Do anthroposophists treat every word of these casual conversations as exact prescriptions to be followed to the letter? None of the ones I know do. Which doesn't mean that there aren't some gems amidst the dross, but it does take judgement to sort them out."

Well -- as we have seen from what others have posted, there are a number of anthros. that do take Steiner's views on pregnancy seriously. The language I quoted makes clear how this viewpoint becomes integrated by some anthros. into their belief system.

This is another one of those points that drove me nuts about Waldorf. You try to understand what this philosophy is, run across the "crazy stuff" (as you so accurately call it) and are left trying to assemble coherent meaning which is virtually impossible. Then you have people telling you that the plain english meaning of the words, isn't the plain english meaning, or Steiner didn't mean what he said, etc., etc.

Also, I'm confused why the audience for this even matters. Are you saying Steiner lied to the workmen in these lectures?

I ended up googling this issue because I felt that those pooh-poohing it as being Steiner's viewpoint were likely wrong. The issue felt congruent (to me) with Steiner's emphasis on the interconnection between the physical and the spiritual.

And Deborah -- I'm finding it hard to believe you weren't aware of this, as the most incendiary version of this thought (that white women who read "negro books" will have "mulatto" babies) seems to be one of Steiner's points that waldorf skeptics most use to criticize Steiner.
bczmama's Avatar bczmama 01:17 AM 08-25-2008
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ema-adama's Avatar ema-adama 05:20 AM 08-25-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by bczmama View Post
Actually, "marking" is not just a superstition, but also part of Rudolf Steiner's beliefs.
Unfortunately I cannot comment on Steiner quotes, but my take on this issue is that just because you can find it written that he said such and such does not automatically mean everyone believes him and that this is in some way fundamental to anthroposophy and Waldorf.
I can understand how tempting it is to find the totally wacky stuff to discredit everything that was ever said or written by Steiner. I find that a bit sad. I personally think there are things he did get right (elements in child development) and things that he also got horribly wrong. I chose to use my common sense to find what makes sense to me and reject what does not.
Quote:
I googled out of interest and google books popped up "From Comets to Cocaine" (previously published as "Health and Illness") by Steiner. On page 160 he states that what a woman does with her mind during the pregnancy will effect the fetus -- "She shapes and forms the child with what she imagines, feels and wills." On page 161 he also states that a pregnant woman who is startled by a man with an unusually crooked nose will have a child that has an unusually crooked nose, the feature appearing in mirror reverse. In fact, he disputes the concept of heredity in its entirety. All "unusual" characteristics (including "red skin tone" per his example) are deviations from some unexplained norm and are not inherited from the traits of the parents but are rather the result of a mother's thoughts and actions during pregnancy.
All of the above I would categorise as nonsense.

Quote:
So apparently telling the mother of an autistic child "its all your fault" would be in line with anthro beliefs per Steiner.
I think this is a bit of a leap... Anyone who I knew would be very seriously challenged on such a horrendous belief/theory

Quote:
No wonder a lot of special needs kids and their families might find Waldorf a hard row to hoe.
Do you have personal experiences through friends who have been abused in this way, or are you working on an assumption?

Again, I am going to repeat that if people would like to discuss quotes on Steiner that another thread be opened. I do not find it very helpful and am more interested in peoples personal experiences with Waldorf and Anthroposophy - not theoretical debates.
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