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Some thoughts on what makes an Anthroposophist

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  • at@ael...
    Some thoughts on what makes an Anthroposophist The case of Rudolf Hess raises the question of what constitutes an Anthroposophist. A broad definition might
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2004
      Some thoughts on what makes an Anthroposophist

      The case of Rudolf Hess raises the question of what constitutes an
      Anthroposophist. A broad definition might define as an Anthroposophist as
      anyone who finds value in Steiner's work. This definition is overly broad,
      as it would include many people who might disagree with Steiner despite
      finding his work valuable in one or another aspect in the world. Defining as
      an Anthroposophist anyone who is a consumer of the practical results of
      Rudolf Steiner's spiritual insights is also overly broad, as it includes
      anyone who regularly buys Demeter or Waleda or Dr. Hauschka, as well as all
      Waldorf parents and anyone who happens to be treated in an anthroposophical
      clinic. Even if their patronage of these practical results borders on
      fanatical, as in the case of Rudolf Hess, I don't feel that this is
      sufficient to consider them an Anthroposophist. To me an Anthroposophist is,
      at the very least, someone who studies Steiner's work actively. But even
      this is not a full definition, for a number of very hostile critics arguably
      also fit this description. Whether or not a person is an Anthroposophist is
      very much a question of inner attitude towards the work of Steiner's as they
      actively study it. If they feel a sort of warm enthusiasm, then they are
      part of the way to meeting my definition.

      Another way of approaching the question would be to ask, Who would
      Anthroposophists recognizes their own? Those who qualify would be those who
      in general accept the greater portion of Rudolf Steiner's teachings, or at
      least are among those who don't actively reject significant portions of it.
      This disqualifies those who pick and choose and make their own philosophy of
      racial superiority out of bits and pieces of Rudolf Steiner's work, for in
      doing this they reject Steiner's central principles. This also disqualifies
      those who go through a shorter or longer phase of their life in which they
      are enthusiastic supporters of Anthroposophy only to reject it later, either
      from neglect or by actively turning against it. These can be said to have
      had an anthroposophical phase in their life, but the description
      'Anthroposophist' cannot be applied to describe their life as a whole. This
      excludes Max Seiling and Gregor Schwartz-Bostunitsch, among others.

      If we limit our definition to those people who have exhibited a lifelong
      enthusiastic support for Anthroposophy and Rudolf Steiner's teaching, in
      whole and not just portions thereof, then the list of historically tainted
      personalities becomes much shorter. Ernst Uhli still qualifies under this
      definition, and I have to examine the case against him more closely.
      Finally, if we focus only on those personalities who are guilty of the
      historical sin of supporting aspects of national Socialism during their
      lifetimes, and neglect to look at the anthroposophical movement as a whole
      during that time period, then we will build a distorted picture, for the
      great majority of Anthroposophists deplored the developments in Germany
      under Hitler's regime.

      Daniel Hindes
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