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Hoffman review on Holocaust-Re: [anthroposophy] "Language Rules"-Thoughtlessness

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  • elaine upton
    Dear Jo Ann, In another post today, I replied to your post on heartfelt thinking and language rules. Now, i wish to write about what comes up for me in
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2000
      Dear Jo Ann,

      In another post today, I replied to your post on heartfelt thinking and
      language rules. Now, i wish to write about what comes up for me in response
      to the web article, Eve Hoffman's review of the Holocaust Book. I find the
      argument of the book (as presented by the review --and i have not read all
      of the review) to be intricate, indeed. But if I understand the review, the
      book sees political ends in America's peculiar obssession with the
      Holocaust. --OK. That may be so. But another point comes to me, and that is
      that our American obssession with the Holocaust is related to our inability
      or unwillingness to deal with issues of equally tragic proportions right
      here on these shores. Once again, we turn to Europe (as, indeed, does the
      Anthroposophic Society in America, as per some of our recent discussions),
      and fail to look right in front of our noses.

      Since Columbus landed in the Carribean, there has been a kind of holocaust,
      a genocide of the native population. Moreover, for centuries the African
      slave trade was a great shadow of this land, and the shadow remains today,
      several generations past the Civil War.
      We have a Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Fine and good. Let us
      remember. Let us never forget, as the saying goes. But what about
      remembrance of the genocide of the Native population? What about the very
      U.S. Presidents who supported the campaigns of such as Lt. Colonel George
      Armstrong Custer? What about the populace who stood by? What about the
      Presidents who forced people on the long cold trek known as The Trail of
      Tears, where thousands perished? What about the government who stood by and
      the people who feigned ignorance while Germonimo languished in prison? What
      about today, those of us who stand by, those Attorney Generals who refuse to
      act, those Presidents who refuse to act in the face of the case of Leonard
      Peltier, the native american serving two life sentences that resulted from
      what most admit was a highly bogus trial for the murder of two FBI agents?
      What about the thousands upon thousands of lynchings of black men? What
      about the thousands upon thousands of rapes of black women by white masters
      in slavery?

      Look around? How many black people in this country are purely African (other
      than those who recently come from Africa)? Do people think this race mixing
      typically occured between loving master and happy slave? Some would argue so
      absurdly in the face of Thomas Jefferson's fathering children by the 14 year
      old slave, Sally Heming (right here in my hometown of Charlottesville,
      Virginia)!--How we delude ourselves!!

      So, the American obssession with the Holocaust has many reasons, I am sure.
      I am glad that there is attention to the long shadow cast by that great
      evil. I only wish there were more effort to face our own great shadows,
      right here on these shores. And i wish this, not so that we dwell in
      darkness, but so that we might move from darkness to light.


      >From: Jo Ann Schwartz <sr_joanna@...>
      >Reply-To: anthroposophy@onelist.com
      >To: anthroposophy@onelist.com
      >CC: Steiner98 List <steiner98@...>
      >Subject: Re: [anthroposophy] "Language Rules"-Thoughtlessness
      >Date: Sat, 1 Apr 2000 06:30:09 -0800 (PST)
      >Hi Elaine,
      >This is a partial response to your first post, which held a number of good
      >I'm going to skip all the stuff about could we or couldn't we see the evil
      >in Eichmann's physiology-- whether via photography or personal
      >observation. (Although, for those who are interested in the Holocaust,
      >there is an interesting review by Eva Hoffman, "The Uses of Hell," in the
      >NY Review of Books (and a tip of the hat to Hilmar, who brought it to my
      > http://www.nybooks.com/nyrev/WWWarchdisplay.cgi?20000309019R#top )
      >I'm more interested in the questions you ask at the end of your post.
      > > . . . what is occuring around/within me about which i am thoughtless,
      > > about which i am trapped in mind/heart numbing rules of language,
      > > cliches and old ways that entrap me and deaden my heart, my thought?
      >In other words: in what ways might I be falling into the Luciferic trap of
      >becoming a 'moral automaton'**, unable to freely think from the heart and
      >thus find the correct action for THIS situation in which I find myself?
      >How often do we fail to "think the unthinkable and bear the unbearable"
      >because to do so would violate some group norm, some 'language rule' that
      >we have come to accept without questioning??
      >After all, is this not the seductive trap of group-think--- that we need
      >not *think* at all, but merely accept and obey the wisdom of the group...
      >give up individual responsibility (and individual freedom) for the warm,
      >comforting embrace of some higher authority... of some vision of the way
      >things should be...
      >Think of the courage it took for the Japanese Emperor to go against all
      >His advisors and centuries of tradition and perhaps even His own
      >beliefs.... to listen to His heart and say, "No more." And so to make that
      >historic broadcast and tell His people, "The time has come to think the
      >unthinkable and bear the unbearable...." To surrender not only His
      >country, but His divine nature... to become not a symbol, but an
      >individual human being, standing upright in and of himself.
      >And so, as you note:
      > > ... even what appears as monstrous is a face of God and shall be
      > > transformed, redeemed by the whole, by the Love that is, that is in
      > > enlivened, heartfelt thinking embrace?
      >Only through thinking with our hearts can we escape being "stuck in
      >cliches, in old ways, in pre-scribed forms, in obedience to some outer or
      >inner seductive monster..." Only through thinking with our hearts can we
      >"think the unthinkable and bear the unbearable." Only through thinking
      >with our hearts can we hope to become fully human...
      >Love & light,
      >** see: http://www.antronet.se/mellett/chiasma.htm and
      >http://www.steiner98.org/Archives/moral.html for more on the phenomenon of
      >moral behaviorism.
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      >Talk to your friends online with Yahoo! Messenger.

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