Society Minder's journal

Lionizing is not a part of Anthroposophy

Submitted by Society Minder on Tue, 07/21/2009 - 3:44pm.


The benefits that would accrue to an esoteric movement from a really rigorous exclusion of sympathetic and antipathetic attitudes are beyond estimating. This would eliminate the harm done by lionizing, which is sympathy-gone-overboard.

To lionize means to form a Luciferic claque around supposedly special personalities. This not only tends to cut off those so venerated from non-claque members, thus lessening their fruitfulness: it swells heads much better left life-sized while at the same time reducing the claque's members to non-entities.

Furthermore, it works strongly counter to the greatly-needed insight that all human beings have unique personalities which deserve and require developing. To fail to develop them leads to waste more wanton than any human enterprise can allow itself and still entertain the hope of prospering.

Lionizing is thus in all three aspects illness -- illness moving toward a fatal outcome in that it gradually drains away the strength of the organism, while certain of its parts suffer from gigantism. Is this not cancer of the body social?
Refections on Community Building by Marjorie Spock

Community of Spirit
We are firmly grounded in our understanding of things of the spirit only when we do not rest content with abstract spiritual concepts and a capacity to express them theoretically, but instead grow into a sure belief that higher beings are present with us in a community of spirit when we engage in spiritual study.
Awakening to Community by Rudolf Steiner

Harmony of Intentions
It is only because human individuals are one in spirit that they can live out their lives side by side. The free human being lives in confidence that he and any other free human beings belong to one spiritual world, and that their intentions will harmonize. The free human being does not demand agreement from his fellows, but expects to find it because it is inherent in human nature. I am not here referring to the necessity for this or that external institution, but to the disposition, the attitude of soul, through which the human being, aware of himself among his fellows, most clearly expresses the ideal of human dignity.
9-10 Philosophy of Freedom by Rudolf Steiner

Youth Section brings Philosophy of Freedom principles to Goetheanum

Submitted by Society Minder on Mon, 07/20/2009 - 10:30am.

Youth Section brings Philosophy of Freedom principles to Goetheanum

As we enter the 21st century the principles in The Philosophy of Freedom have been taking hold throughout the world lead by a youth movement who recognizes the value of the individual, diversity of views, and community building that arises upward through free communication between the many rather than downward from the top ranks of authority.

The most dramatic example is the rise of Barack Obama and his respect of the value of individuals. His election was the result of a vast hi-tech communication network manned by the younger generation who understand and support diversity. It is happening in Iran and elsewhere as youth fight for social forms that support the individual. Now the revolution has reached all the way to the Goetheanum.

Amazing sign of change happening at the Goetheanum: Conversation. Several months ago the Section for Social Sciences at the Goetheanum met with the Youth Section and --listened. Through this conversation it became clear: the activity of conversation itself was important. Out of this conversation an event came into being called Youth Section Weekend in which the organization of the event itself expresses the ideals of The Philosophy of Freedom..

“It is our hope that many different generations, nationalities, professions and points of view can come together at this event. We aim to create a space where each human being can be valued for their uniqueness, where we can develop an active empathy, and where we can recognise that each one of us is an important piece of ‘the puzzle.’”

The traditional one way flow lecture is being replaced by the group insight possible in interactive conversation groups. Time will even be permitted for individuals to bring up their own topics. The traditional lecture will be renewed as short conversational” contributions.

“There will be conversation groups on a range of social topics (including social three-folding, economics, social sculpture, and more). There will also be space for you to bring the topic you are currently passionate about. In addition, there will be short ‘conversational’ contributions from Elizabeth Wirsching, Paul Mackay, Seth Jordan, Shelley Sacks, Ulrich Rösch and Katie Dobb.”

The Youth Section Weekend organizers understand that powerful ethical impulses can result from conversation that empower commitment to action.

“We hope that you join us as we attempt to leap from speaking about social commitment to entering a conversation, with commitment!”

The Youth Section Weekend will be held at the Goetheanum Nov. 27-29. More info here.


Vow of Silence

Submitted by Society Minder on Wed, 07/15/2009 - 9:43am.

The position of Marie Steiner-von Sivers within the Anthroposophical Society

Submitted by Society Minder on Mon, 07/13/2009 - 11:33am.

PhD project, University of Groningen, Netherlands
The position of Marie Steiner-von Sivers within the Anthroposophical Society by Katharina R. Brandt
(a German)
In 1900 the actress and artistic reciter Marie von Sivers (1867-1948) met Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) amongst the members of the Theosophical Society in Berlin. Soon she decided to work together with the scholar. In 1900 Steiner was appointed as general secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society. He made it a condition that Marie von Sivers became his partner. Together they founded their own Anthroposophical Society in 1913.

 Marie von Sivers
Most people that are concerned with Anthroposophy today, think that Marie von Sivers was merely Steiner`s assistant who admired him. This is not true. Marie von Sivers, who eventually became Steiner`s wife in 1914 pointed out that it was her husband`s progressive attitude towards gender politics that encouraged her to work with him. She had hoped to enter an equal professional relationship with a man in a leading position.

Rudolf Steiner took an active interest in the Women`s Liberation Movement at the turn of the century. While writing his most substantial philosophical work The philosophy of freedom (Die Philosophie der Freiheit), which came out in 1894, he intensely corresponded with Rosa Mayreder (1858-1938), the most prominent figure of the Women`s Liberation Movement in Austria. The exchange inspired him to work on a special chapter, in which he displays a very progressive attitude concerning the position of women in society. (see chapter 14)

When he became the general secretary of the German Section of the Theosophical Society in 1902, he entered an environment, in which not only the leadership was female, but crucial questions of the Women`s Liberation Movement and a critical way of thinking about the relationship between the sexes were present. Like other occult groups of Steiner`s time, the Theosophical Society addressed many issues women were concerned with. Furthermore the occult scene anticipated some of the ultimate goals women desperately desired. For example, women could function in high positions within some occult groups, which was the case with the Theosophical Society. Though Steiner eventually grew apart from this intellectual environment he had been stimulated by the prominent female leaders.

Nevertheless, the Anthroposophical Society is often considered narrow-minded in terms of gender politics. The recent literature in particular accuses the Waldorf-School-Pedagogy, that was introduced by Steiner in 1919, of being regressive. While Marie Steiner-von Sivers serves as a point of connection with the Women`s Liberation Movement at the turn of the century, my project offers a new approach to the subject. On the one hand her biography constitutes an example of an emancipated woman. On the other hand she contributes something to the development of an occult movement. This might be a chance to reintegrate the Anthroposophical Movement into a broader context beyond the boundaries of exclusive occult groups.

Does the Anthroposophical Society need to catch up to the 21st Century?

Submitted by Society Minder on Sun, 07/05/2009 - 10:38am.

When a student of Rudolf Steiner’s Philosophy of Freedom learns the principles of freedom they will naturally look for people and places where these principles are expressed. They may become interested in the Anthroposophical Society because it was founded by Rudolf Steiner and expect to find these principles living there.

Some are disappointed by what they find. They say that members sound like they have all memorized the same dogma, in many society groups members have little say in the selection of Society officers, and criticism and non-traditional views are censored from its websites and publications; overall it hasn’t changed much from its formation over 75 years ago, still continuing the authoritative lecture format. The result has been a decline in membership and donations raising doubts to its ability to interest younger generations. Historically, those who have called for change have been shunned or expelled.

One is better able today to find striving toward Steiner’s freedom philosophy in new groups springing up today than the Society which some say is an indication the Society may have fallen behind anthroposophy itself, speaking an insider theosophical language not understood by the rest of the world. All the principles of anthroposophy are in the Philosophy of Freedom using more familiar terms, so it is possible to present anthroposophy and be understood.

Steiner warned that if the Society would fall behind, “anthroposophy's conveyance through the Society will result in its being completely misunderstood, and its only fruit will be endless conflict”.

Two common approaches to this problem is the harsh criticism of the Dualist who points out the contradiction between the Society and Steiner’s freedom principles and the superficial Monist who tries to deny this contradiction, blind themselves to it, or even worse have not studied The Philosophy of Freedom so don't even know what these principles are. Society criticism is even assumed to be an attack from some theorized demonic force the defender had read about in some lecture. None of these approaches have lead to any progress.

Does the world need an Anthroposophical Society that embraces the principles of The Philosophy of Freedom and the 21st century or is maintaining long standing traditions more important?

Local Anthroposophical Society Branch Pities Skeptic

Submitted by Society Minder on Fri, 07/03/2009 - 10:59am.

Fair Oaks, Ca—Craig Anderson, 32, a Sacramento-area engineering consultant, has earned the pity of friends and acquaintances for his tragic reluctance to embrace many of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures, sources reported Monday.

"I honestly feel sorry for Craig," said long time Anthroposophical Society member Brunhilde Heilbronn, 96, who knew Steiner. "To live in this world not believing in clairvoyant visions of Lemuria from the akashic record, doubting that Christ is a sun god—that's such a sad, cynical way to live. I don't know how he gets through his day."

Branch Supreme Council member Klaus Heinrich, who spends roughly 30 percent of his annual income at SteinerBooks, similarly extended his compassion for Anderson. "Craig is a real gentleman," Heinrich said. "It's just too bad he's chosen to cut himself off from the world of the supersensible, restricting his beliefs to the limited universe of what can be verified through his own personal experience."

Also feeling pity for Anderson is his former girlfriend Aimee Svenson, a holistic and homeopathic healer who earns a living selling tonics and medicines diluted to one molecule per gallon. "Don't get me wrong—logic and reason have their place," Svenson said. "But Craig fails to recognize the danger of going too far with common sense to the exclusion of alternative New Age remedies like chakra cleansing and energy-field realignment."

"I admit, science might be great for curing diseases, exploring space, cataloging the natural phenomena of our world, saving endangered species, extending the human lifespan, and enriching the quality of that life," Aimee said. "But at the end of the day, only gurus can tell us about the human soul, and that's a critical thing Craig is missing.

Gina Hitchens, a lifelong astrology devotee, blamed Anderson’s lack of faith on an accident of birth.

"Craig can't entirely help himself, being a Gemini," Hitchens said. "Geminis are always very skeptical and destined to feel pain throughout life as a result of their closed-mindedness. If you try to introduce Craig to anything even remotely hard to believe, he starts going off about 'evidence this' and 'proof that.' If only the poor man were open-minded enough to stop attacking everything with his brain and just once look into his heart, he'd find all the proof he needed. But, sadly, he's unable to let even a little bit of blind faith drive his core beliefs."

Goetheanum Video

Submitted by Society Minder on Thu, 07/02/2009 - 11:21am.

Rudolf Steiner architectural design

High On Biodynamics

Submitted by Society Minder on Tue, 06/30/2009 - 11:12am.

While biodynamic grape growers apply the knowledge given by Rudolf Steiner to produce an alcohol high, not to be left out, the Biodynamic Cannabis Growers Association (BDCGA) applys biodynamic method to produce a drug high. The BDCGA has launched a new website to help growers of marijuana apply the methods of biodynamic farming. After a (smoke filled?) brain storming session they came up with some things they can do as an organization.

  • help to develop & disseminate special preps for & possibly from cannabis
  • create/maintain a ganja apprenticeship listings open to “sustainable” producers, trim scenes, dispensaries, seed-breeders, ganja tourism, etc
  • contribute to the support and development of members’ ganja tourism / education activities: “learn to grow, learn to trim, learn to dispense, etc the BDCGA way on your vacation”
  • how about a “research apartment” / time-share (s) in Amsterdam, Jamaica, Malawi, etc !
  • sponsor scholarships (cultivate tomorrow’s BDCGA). send a young adult to Emerson on a cannabis scholarship
  • support production of films, events, etc promoting bd + cannabis
  • in terms of education: to elucidate both biodynamics as a holistic life-way, and its realization in terms of farms which value cannabis, on a level useful to dedicated professionals

note: The short-term effects of marijuana can include problems with memory and learning; distorted perception; difficulty in thinking and problem solving. A 2008 Australian study says long-term marijuana use causes brain damage that is equivalent to mild-traumatic brain injury or premature ageing.

SteinerBooks Spiritual Research Seminar

Submitted by Society Minder on Thu, 06/04/2009 - 7:46pm.

The theme of this year’s weekend SteinerBooks Spiritual Research Seminar was Esoteric Christianity And The Inner Life Of The Earth: A Path For Earth And Humanity. This is a seminar for the presentation of anthroposophical spiritual research by popular leaders in the field of anthroposophical spiritual science. This research requires deep insight derived from the higher clairvoyant thinking attained through disciplined training exercises given by Rudolf Steiner.

The weekend spiritual research seminar had eight lectures on difficult esoteric topics with five speakers to share the findings of their spiritual research challenging the audience to be at their best to receive this high knowledge. An example was astrologer Robert Powell’s lecture Friday night on challenging esoteric topics such as; The Etheric Christ, The Interior of the Earth, the Awakening of the Divine Feminine, the Significance of the Year 2012, and The Mysterious Realm of Shambhala. He writes, "We cannot answer such questions without first understanding certain supra-sensible events."

After Dr. Powell’s lecture a wine and cheese reception was held. While you might expect wine at a gathering of intellectual academics at a university, is it something to expect among serious spiritual researchers? Rudolf Steiner and most anyone with any experience with clairvoyance knows that wine or any other alcoholic beverage deadens clairvoyant ability, so this question comes to mind:

Is it appropriate to serve alcohol at a spiritual research seminar and still be taken seriously?