Re: Pietro Archiati-Re: Thomas A'Kempis- no saint
- Dear Elaine,
I would like to confirm your observations with a quote from my essay:
"Listening to the World Song: a report on the Experience of an Idea", on my
"As an aspect of this work, and in preparation for a coming 35th anniversary
celebration of the Faust Branch, I worked over several nights during meditation
at forming pictures of the history of the Faust Branch. It was during this work
that a particular image arose in my consciousness.
The picture was divided in half vertically into a left and right image. The
left image was like a blue line drawing and the right image like a red line
drawing. In the blue line drawing there was central figure, whose form was
similar to the European individual mentioned above. This figure was about three
feet off the ground, and was surrounded by two or three other figures, who were
portrayed in postures of adoration. They were also off of the ground, as if
somehow following upward the central figure.
In the red half of the picture there was a parital foundation of a building,
with a few weeds growing around it here and there. Sitting on part of this
foundation was a central figure, this one similar in form to Carl Stegmann. He
sat in the posture of Rodin's Thinker. Around him were several other figures,
in various states of repose, either sitting and laying down.
The whole picture was static in nature, except that the left hand picture, the
one in blue lines, gave the effect of some kind of upward motion.
My understanding of the meaning of this picture is as follows: When the European
soul comes to America the Earth forces here push that soul off of the Earth,
ungrounding it. If the American soul attempts to follow this soul, to live in
its mental pictures and the understanding and imitation of its soul life, this
will unground the American soul as well. For the American to imitate the
European is to court disaster. Even such a personality as Carl Stegmann, who
had permiated his own soul forces with deep aspects of America over almost fifty
years could not bring his will into play, could not bear fruit.
Eventually I came to understand, through this and other experiences, that the
anthroposophical movement in America is not connected to the American Soul, but
rather, because of the lack of consciousness in the integration and working
together of these two soul gestures, anthroposophical centers in America have
the characteristic of being ungrounded spiritual colonies of European soul and
This is a disasterous situation for anthroposophy and for the world which needs
something from anthroposophy. It cannot be overstated."
I also stuck a small comment in [brackets] below.
elaine upton wrote:
> From: "elaine upton" <elaineupton@...>[This is a remarkably common act, for Anthro-Euros to tell Americans about
> Hello Bruce and all,
> Thank you, Bruce, for the referral to the website featuring the article by
> ex-anthroposophist, Pietro Archiati, wherein we read his version of the
> story of his expulsion from, or denounciation by, the Anthroposophic
> Society.--I don't know the Anthroposophic Society President's version of the
> story (have not seen the issues of _Das Goetheanum_, etc. wherein this is
> all supposedly printed). It would be helpful to see just what the President
> did say. Is Archiati quoting the President in a fair way?
> Is what Archiati says about his expulsion, or his being denounced, by the
> Society true?
> 1)Archiati says that the President of the Society deemed Archiati to
> be--approximate words: "more destructive than helpful"--something like
> 2) Archiati says, that his (A's) expulsion from the Society is based on his
> making certain comparisons between the Catholic Church's demand for
> unquestioning acceptance of its authority (because it presents itself as one
> with Christ) and the Anthroposophic Society's demand--in practice, if not in
> theory-- for unquestioning acceptance of its authority (because it presents
> itself as karmically one with Rudolf Steiner).
> He also says that there is a "grave paralysis" in the Anthroposophic
> Society, just because of this practice of power that demands unquestioning
> acceptance of the authority of the Society.
> Moreover, Archiati is quite concerned that not even one member or branch
> spoke up about the President's denunciation of him (of A).
> Thus, he publishes on the internet, in hopes that the wider membership will
> see what is going on, and that we will, as a matter of conscience, question
> our membership in the Society.
> Now, I must say that my own experience in these matters shows that Arhiati
> certainly has a point that is well worth looking into.--I heard Archiati
> speak in the U.S. (when I lived in the Washington, D.C. area in 1996 or so,
> when Archiati was touring the U.S.; he spoke to the Washington Branch, of
> which i was a member). I remember that his talk was very controversial. He
> spoke about the role of Anthroposophy in the U.S., about the race question,
> and about the Threefold Social Order in relation to life in this country
> (the U.S.). Lots of people took issue with things he said, though i don't
> remember the details. What i do remember is my own discomfort with someone
> coming over from Europe, telling us who we are and what course we might
> take. I felt discomfort, yet sought to be open to what he said.
America. Two ways to counter this in the flesh if you find yourself again in
such a situtation. a) ask them how they would feel if we marched into one of
their Branch meetings and spoke about who they were etc; and, b) quote Steiner
from the East West lectures that central Eurpeans have no business exporting
spiritual matters to other peoples as the lack the capacity to enter into the
inner life of other peoples (I got this one from Marjorie Spock, by the way)]
> For the
> rest, I do not remember contents of his talk (at least not consciously,
> except that he talked about his excitement and good feeling in visiting
> James Redfield, the author of _The Celestine Prophecy_. I guess someone's
> enthusiasm is what I remember.) Whatever he said about the U.S. and the
> Threefold Social Order was probably rather ungrounded (in my experience, at
> least;--so, not to say that this is the objective fact, but rather is my
> experience), and thus left no (conscious) impression on me.
> I remember Archiati as a thin, ascetic-priestly looking fellow with an
> English that didn't flow from the tongue, and I remember an audience that
> was suspicous, not of his "foreign English" but of his topic, an
> audience that was at times even hostile (in that subtle way that anthopops
> can be).
> I say all this to say that from that one time of hearing him, I am not
> predisposed to sympathy or agreement with Archiati. To sympathize, and to do
> as Steiner taught: go *beyond* sympathy and antipathy to an objective seeing
> is my aim here. I find that from what Archiati reports in this internet
> article (parts 1 and 2), I question the Anthroposophic Society and its
> President. ( I have been involved with the Society since 1973--which makes
> 27 years--on three different continents). My own experience of the Society
> is that there is a power structure that has trouble with anyone's
> questioning of its authority. My experience of the Vorstand in Dornach (in
> the years I experienced it) was that there were among them those on the
> Vorstand who were more in pursuit of their own pride and power than in the
> furtherance of Spiritual Science.--I do not say that this is true of all
> Vorstand members, but certainly what appeared of several of them (and even
> so, i do not condemn them or say they must stop what they are doing; perhaps
> they need to behave as they do; yet, i don't need to support this behavior).
> Moreover, I do find, day after day, that the Society in America (the U.S.,
> that is) suffers from what Archiati is calling a "grave paralysis." As we
> have already mentioned in the "Out of Africa" thread, the Society in America
> is woefully lacking in dealing with questions of race and of the karma of
> the Society in the U.S and the Americas. Not all, surely, but many people,
> leaders, here are still stuck in Europe. Oh, there have been panels and
> lectures on the Society's role in America and on race; but beyond talk,
> little is done. The Society is run by Europeans or first generation
> Americans, whose parents are from Europe. Go to Branch meetings or Camphill
> (around the Washington,D.C.-Virginia Maryland-
> -Pennsylvania-New York state area) and you will see that this is so.
> There is a paralysis here, an inability to incarnate on American soil.
> Perhaps the president would "excommunicate" me if I were to say these things
> in his hearing. Well, so be it. I care not.
> Like Archiati, I can say that Steiner has taught me a lot --in fact, more
> than i can measure, more than i need to measure. Steiner has, in effect,
> saved my life. Yet, R.Steiner is , for me, *not* the Anthroposophic Society
> (and it stands open to question what is meant by saying that he united his
> karma with that of the Society, and i wonder if he, "groans in his grave",
> so to speak, over that one!)
> I often wonder if that being who was Steiner, that soul, is now
> reincarnated, and if so, in what form, to what particular mission in this
> life. Or does that being work from another plane? Many anthoposophists are
> still stuck in an old image of Steiner. Steiner was a great man, though
> human and subject to error. He, too, however great, is still evolving,
> whether on this planet or another. I think we would do well not to be stuck
> in his past, not to be stuck in the past of Europe, and not to be stuck in
> our own pasts.
> To fail to question is to be stuck in the past, is, in fact, to experience
> what Archiati calls a "grave paralysis".
> All this is not to say that wonderful things don't happen in the Society.
> They do, here and there. But the nature of these wonders is, for me,
> fragmentary, and a much more vital, comprehensive, and radical healing
> action is needed!--Here we learn from Parsifal, to ask the healing question.
> To question...
> And here, I ask: what is the question for the Americas? What is the
> question, as we have been discussing, for Africa? For Australia? For Japan?
> For Native Americans? and so on...(All these questions will affect the
> dominant question of the Anthroposophic past in Europe...)
> If ever i teach again in a Waldorf High School, I will ask, for example: why
> the European story Parsifal as a requirement in the eleventh grade? Yes,
> Parsifal is a wonderful story, but so are "American" stories wonderful for
> our young people. Why not Moby Dick, a truly American story of capitalism,
> race, etc.? --And, if ever I talk again with Anthoposophists here, which i
> expect to do, one question I will have, for example, is "what is the meaning
> of the *consciousness soul* in light of America's destiny--with all its
> races and cultures?"
> To answer these questions may take us beyond the authority of Dornach, the
> President, the Vorstand, even beyond what Steiner said in the past. If so,
> so be it. It is truth/love we are after, not the glorification of
> individuals, groups, institutions.
> Thank you, Bruce, for this attachment on Archiati and the Society.
> May All Be Fed,
>Moreover, I do find, day after day, that the Society in America (theU.S.,
>that is) suffers from what Archiati is calling a "grave paralysis." Aswe
>have already mentioned in the "Out of Africa" thread, the Society inAmerica
>is woefully lacking in dealing with questions of race and of the karmaof
>the Society in the U.S and the Americas. Not all, surely, but manypeople,
>leaders, here are still stuck in Europe. Oh, there have been panels andDear Elaine,
>lectures on the Society's role in America and on race; but beyond talk,
>little is done.
Thank you for your firsthand report on Pietro
and your earnest talk.
Anthroposophy's daughter movements are well known for their "doing" out
in the world. Here in Australia the spread of biodynamics is unmatched
anywhere else in the world. Then we have the education and curative
education. These things are quite healthy when "out there" in the wider
community. It's when they become separatist, and a "closed circle" that
the problems start- cultistness, conceitedness, paralysis etc.
We had Hartmut, the Christian Community priest from Melbourne, over for
lunch a couple of days ago. (He doesn't like being called "Hartmut" BTW,
but we are fiercely egalitarian in Australia- in Germany it would
definitely be "Mr."- well, Herr- or Rev.)
I asked him whether he was on the inter-Church Council and he told me
they don't recognise the Christian Community- there is a problem with
the wording in the Baptism. So it's not for lack of trying. Keep up the
OK so far so good, but what about the Anthroposophical Society itself?
How does it reach out? Perhaps in reaching out it will reach out to the
American soul. It's not surprising that your society has many members
from Germany and the countries surrounding Germany- it's like "if you're
Greek you're Greek Orthodox."
We can understand how certain groups might wish to "maintain purity" by
carefully vetting and locking out those who might sully that purity.
This is why
it is quite natural to find that groups narrow down into smaller groups.
My old mentor said that in forming and going to study groups we're doing
the one thing that Rudolf Steiner ever asked us to do to. She didn't
like the idea of advertising at all, but I think giving notice is not in
the same category. We don't have to go the extent that AMORC has. The
other alternative is hiding- for many years you couldn't find the
Melbourne society in the 'phone book.
(I'll be posting Dr.Steiner's suggestions on operating study groups and
lecturing at a later date.)
A preist I knew- who was incidently, influenced by Steiner - often
talked about "doing the good"- I think he nicked the phrase from
Lievegoed. There is a difference between doing the good and talking
Just a few disjointed thoughts...
Oh.. Tom 'A Kempis:
According to ecclesiastical law the "Reliquiae pii Thomae a' Kempis"
(his bones) cannot be kept inside the church owing to the fact that he
has not been canonized or even beatified. The relics are in the sacristy
of the Church St. Michael the Archangel, Nieuw Straat, Zwolle the
Netherlands- if you can go by my 100 year old book.
Love to All,