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Re: American soil-Re:American Anthroposophy

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  • John Massengale
    ... Because you specifically contrasted the superiority of some African gifts with some European qualities you liked less, and you would probably be mad if I
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 8, 2000
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      > This is not an issue of superiority, and never has been for me. So, no, I am
      > not even close to saying that. I wonder why it is that when someone speaks
      > enthusiastically about the gifts of some group, then that is judged to be
      > any thing other than what is expressed --namely, just that: enthusiasm for
      > the gifts of that group.

      Because you specifically contrasted the superiority of some African gifts
      with some European qualities you liked less, and you would probably be mad
      if I were as critical of African culture as you can be of European culture.
      If I had that post on the computer, I would quote it. But I'm not interested
      in a "yes, you did, no I didn't" discussion because I fundamentally agree
      with what you said. And as I also said, America is and should be a place of
      different cultures and different perspectives. My point is that you and
      Starman both have a tendency to present a particular viewpoint as the best
      viewpoint.

      It's obvious why you talk about the Eurocentric world we live in. But 1)
      it's natural for many Americans to be Eurocentric, and properly done, it is
      no worse than IF (emphasize "if") you were to be Afrocentric; 2) America is
      the most liberal society in the history of the world -- to give but one
      small example, Martin Luther King's non-violent policies depended on a
      receptive establishment, and if you look at the authors and supporters of
      the Civil Rights Act, you will find that most of them were white males; 3)
      Political Correctness, another creation of white European males, in practice
      usually says that the minority is superior to the majority, which must shut
      up and take its medicine. This is the modern, neurotic side of Liberal
      society, a la Walter Benjamin, trickle-down Marxism and Deconstruction. It
      looks on mankind as inherently weak and bad, and the individual as even
      worse. It likes to punish itself and make itself feel bad. It has very
      little to do with the anthroposophical view of life and divinity.

      > Even the reference to and the term "classical music" has a Eurocentric bias.
      > Handel and Mozart and Bach and Beethoven and Mahler are "classical"?-??--
      > Yes, in Europe and with Eurocentric Americans they are "classical." But to
      > me "classical" American is just as important (not superior, but certainly
      > important, and since I live here, on this soil, of great importance). Thus,
      > classical American is blues, "negro spirituals", native american drumming,
      > native american flute, country western music, and the like. These are
      > important, and not forms inferior to Mozart or Vivaldi.
      >
      > (Of course, nothing is purely "American" or purely "European". Country music
      > has great Irish influences, or Scots-Irish, and jazz and blues have great
      > African influences, and even Irish influences...Yet, still these forms
      > emerge as distinctly American. Even the "native american" is related to
      > certain Asian streams...)

      This is Modernism's misinterpretation of "Classical" -- it does not mean
      "the best and the highest" but is actually the earthly expression of a
      divine archetype. And, one should add, an archetype which is somehow
      connected to Europe and America rather than Africa and Asia.

      Neo-classicism is a style, but Classicism is what Thomas Jefferson or
      Palladio or Vitruvius would call an expression of Nature. When you criticize
      the Euclidean nature of Classical architecture and urbanism, you are
      expressing your personal or cultural preference for other types of design,
      although you explicity said in a different form that Euclidean design is bad
      (when you said something about how we need to get away from grids and
      straight lines).

      Similarly, Feng Shui expresses divine archetypes connected to China, and it
      tells us something about China versus Europe that quite a few Feng Shui
      principles directly contradict Classical principles, even though both are an
      expression of Nature. We are all connected, but where we choose to
      reincarnate affects how we experience life and the universe.

      Musically, Mozart is the highest earthly expression of Classicism that
      mankind has produced. That does not mean that there has not been an Asian or
      African composer who has been his equal.

      John Massengale
    • Spindi111@aol.com
      Dear Elaine, I guess this is my opening as you asked if there are any women on this line. I m cindi and brand new to Waldorff as well as Anthroposophy. All I
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 8, 2000
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        Dear Elaine,

        I guess this is my opening as you asked if there are any women on this line.
        I'm cindi and brand new to Waldorff as well as Anthroposophy. All I know is
        tat I brought my daugher to a May day event and was mesmerized. For now I am
        taking it all in and appreciate the dialogue.

        Regards, cindi gray
      • John Massengale
        ... John Massengale http://www.massengale.com John Montague Massengale AIA Architects & Town Planners Commoditas o Firmitas o Venustas
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 8, 2000
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          > Neo-classicism is a style, but Classicism is what Thomas Jefferson or
          > Palladio or Vitruvius would call an expression of Nature. When you criticize
          > the Euclidean nature of Classical architecture and urbanism, you are
          > expressing your personal or cultural preference for other types of design,
          > although you explicity said in a different form that Euclidean design is bad
          > (when you said something about how we need to get away from grids and
          > straight lines).

          BTW, this is what I was referring to:

          > Our very architecture in Europe and North America, the design of our lives
          > --buildings, streets, etc. are so straight or rectangular and rational, and
          > very dull and deadening. Where i teach, we are told to make the teaching of
          > writing a rational, systematized thing. That has its place, of course, but
          > it is also limited, and by itself, it will leave the soul dead!

          John Massengale


          http://www.massengale.com

          John Montague Massengale AIA
          Architects & Town Planners

          Commoditas o Firmitas o Venustas
        • elaine upton
          Dear John, I will not go into the details of your post, because it would not be productive, as i think you have already said, to say you said this; i said
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 9, 2000
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            Dear John,

            I will not go into the details of your post, because it would not be
            productive, as i think you have already said, to say "you said this; i said
            that kind of thing". Rather, I would ask you to discontinue telling me what
            i mean, discontinue putting YOUR slant onto what i say. If you wish to
            accuse me of putting forth African things as superior, or of "coming close"
            to doing so, that is your problem. Don't make it mine.
            elaine


            >From: "John Massengale" <john@...>
            >Reply-To: anthroposophy@onelist.com
            >To: anthroposophy@onelist.com
            >Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] American soil-Re:American Anthroposophy
            >Date: Tue, 08 Feb 2000 16:23:13 -0500
            >
            >From: "John Massengale" <john@...>
            >
            > > This is not an issue of superiority, and never has been for me. So, no,
            >I am
            > > not even close to saying that. I wonder why it is that when someone
            >speaks
            > > enthusiastically about the gifts of some group, then that is judged to
            >be
            > > any thing other than what is expressed --namely, just that: enthusiasm
            >for
            > > the gifts of that group.
            >
            >Because you specifically contrasted the superiority of some African gifts
            >with some European qualities you liked less, and you would probably be mad
            >if I were as critical of African culture as you can be of European culture.
            >If I had that post on the computer, I would quote it. But I'm not
            >interested
            >in a "yes, you did, no I didn't" discussion because I fundamentally agree
            >with what you said. And as I also said, America is and should be a place of
            >different cultures and different perspectives. My point is that you and
            >Starman both have a tendency to present a particular viewpoint as the best
            >viewpoint.
            >
            >It's obvious why you talk about the Eurocentric world we live in. But 1)
            >it's natural for many Americans to be Eurocentric, and properly done, it is
            >no worse than IF (emphasize "if") you were to be Afrocentric; 2) America is
            >the most liberal society in the history of the world -- to give but one
            >small example, Martin Luther King's non-violent policies depended on a
            >receptive establishment, and if you look at the authors and supporters of
            >the Civil Rights Act, you will find that most of them were white males; 3)
            >Political Correctness, another creation of white European males, in
            >practice
            >usually says that the minority is superior to the majority, which must shut
            >up and take its medicine. This is the modern, neurotic side of Liberal
            >society, a la Walter Benjamin, trickle-down Marxism and Deconstruction. It
            >looks on mankind as inherently weak and bad, and the individual as even
            >worse. It likes to punish itself and make itself feel bad. It has very
            >little to do with the anthroposophical view of life and divinity.
            >
            > > Even the reference to and the term "classical music" has a Eurocentric
            >bias.
            > > Handel and Mozart and Bach and Beethoven and Mahler are
            >"classical"?-??--
            > > Yes, in Europe and with Eurocentric Americans they are "classical." But
            >to
            > > me "classical" American is just as important (not superior, but
            >certainly
            > > important, and since I live here, on this soil, of great importance).
            >Thus,
            > > classical American is blues, "negro spirituals", native american
            >drumming,
            > > native american flute, country western music, and the like. These are
            > > important, and not forms inferior to Mozart or Vivaldi.
            > >
            > > (Of course, nothing is purely "American" or purely "European". Country
            >music
            > > has great Irish influences, or Scots-Irish, and jazz and blues have
            >great
            > > African influences, and even Irish influences...Yet, still these forms
            > > emerge as distinctly American. Even the "native american" is related to
            > > certain Asian streams...)
            >
            >This is Modernism's misinterpretation of "Classical" -- it does not mean
            >"the best and the highest" but is actually the earthly expression of a
            >divine archetype. And, one should add, an archetype which is somehow
            >connected to Europe and America rather than Africa and Asia.
            >
            >Neo-classicism is a style, but Classicism is what Thomas Jefferson or
            >Palladio or Vitruvius would call an expression of Nature. When you
            >criticize
            >the Euclidean nature of Classical architecture and urbanism, you are
            >expressing your personal or cultural preference for other types of design,
            >although you explicity said in a different form that Euclidean design is
            >bad
            >(when you said something about how we need to get away from grids and
            >straight lines).
            >
            >Similarly, Feng Shui expresses divine archetypes connected to China, and it
            >tells us something about China versus Europe that quite a few Feng Shui
            >principles directly contradict Classical principles, even though both are
            >an
            >expression of Nature. We are all connected, but where we choose to
            >reincarnate affects how we experience life and the universe.
            >
            >Musically, Mozart is the highest earthly expression of Classicism that
            >mankind has produced. That does not mean that there has not been an Asian
            >or
            >African composer who has been his equal.
            >
            >John Massengale
            >

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