Re: American soil-Re:American Anthroposophy
- 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.
>From: "John Massengale" <john@...>______________________________________________________
>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,
> > not even close to saying that. I wonder why it is that when someone
> > enthusiastically about the gifts of some group, then that is judged to
> > any thing other than what is expressed --namely, just that: enthusiasm
> > 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
>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
>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
>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
> > Handel and Mozart and Bach and Beethoven and Mahler are
> > Yes, in Europe and with Eurocentric Americans they are "classical." But
> > me "classical" American is just as important (not superior, but
> > important, and since I live here, on this soil, of great importance).
> > classical American is blues, "negro spirituals", native american
> > 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
> > has great Irish influences, or Scots-Irish, and jazz and blues have
> > 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
>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
>(when you said something about how we need to get away from grids and
>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
>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
>African composer who has been his equal.
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