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Critical Reflections about Anthroposophy

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  • Tarjei Straume
    I d like to start this post with a special ode to Joel Wendt. Yes, buddy, I ve just discovered that you re a super credit to anthroposophy and to a forum like
    Message 1 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
    • 0 Attachment
      I'd like to start this post with a special ode to
      Joel Wendt. Yes, buddy, I've just discovered that
      you're a super credit to anthroposophy and to a
      forum like this. It's been many years since I was
      in your neck of the woods, but Mike H is nearby
      as I understand, and you and me and Mike, buddy,
      we're gonna get all these cocksuckers around here
      who refuse to take the PoF in earnest. And I know
      Dottie loves you too, so it's you and me and Mike
      and Dottie for starters. And in order to prove
      that I'm on the level, as a token of good faith,
      I've translated the main part of an article,
      especially for you and with a special message to
      the epistemological nitwit cocksuckers, below.

      Perhaps you don't trust me, Joel, and I don't
      blame you, because I've been mean to you in the
      past, accusing you of having been bitten in the
      ass by an asuric rat at the Unthinkable Facility
      in the pitch dark of the night and what have you.
      But I've changed my mind about you, Joel, believe
      it or not, especially after seeing what a valiant
      anthro-warrior you are in the face of
      epistemological anthro-ignorance and
      anthro-bullshit, so I've stopped being mean to
      you. You're my Shaman and my Invisible Emperor of
      the Grand Canyon you are. Whatever you do, don't
      go anywhere right now, because you and I are
      gonna expose the cocksuckers and the pretenders
      and the bullshitters for what they are, you and
      me, with maybe a little help from Mike and Dottie, OK?

      I was mean to you in the past because I was green
      with anthro-envy. "Outlaw Anthroposophy", my oh
      my, how did you beat me to that, you devious
      Shaman you? That's why I was mad at you, because
      you beat me to "Outlaw Anthroposophy". But I'm
      not mad at you anymore, Joel buddy, so you can
      safely sign off to me with your Warm Regards, and
      if I ever reciprocate with Affectionately Yours,
      it's won't be sarcastic, it will be from the bottom of my PoF-beating heart.

      And now for the real fire:

      The official website for the Anthroposophical
      Society in Norway - antroposofi.no - features an
      interesting article in the debate section by
      Arve Mathisen:

      Kritiske refleksjoner over Antroposofien

      http://www.antroposofi.no/debatt/Kritisk%20refleksjon%20over%20antroposofien.pdf

      I don't like to see URL addresses like this. When
      you use spaces in titles, they all become "%20",
      making the URL look very unpro, and still, it's a very widespread thing.

      I would have liked to translate the entire
      article for Anthroposophy Tomorrow and the web,
      but it's long and contains lots of references to
      local Scandinavian anthro-writers that would need
      introduction. The most relevant parts of the text
      are also long, so I'll attempt a summary of sorts
      by skipping long-winded examples and a few other things, cutting it in half:

      Critical Reflections about Anthroposophy
      by Arve Mathisen
      (excerpt)

      For many years there has been a tendency to
      criticize anthroposophists for not understanding
      Steiner deeply enough, they have not worked
      thoroughly enough with the schooling or with the
      path of cognition and so on. I think the time is
      ripe for a critical approach to Steiner's work
      itself. This work, which I see as a complex
      mixture of wisdom, genius, and practical sense,
      but which at the same time contains erroneous
      assumtions and a possibly hidden manifestation of power.

      For far too long, in my opinion, the source of
      the problems have been sought outside
      anthroposophy itself and Rudolf Steiner's work.
      Of course the causes of the problems will be
      complicated and interconnected, but it is
      nevertheless more important to point out
      challenges linked to anthroposophy itself.
      According to my judgement, there are elements in
      Steiner's work that may have an isolating,
      myth-making effect and make communication
      difficult if a conscious confrontation with these elements is not made.

      Independence in relationship to the ideas of
      anthroposophy may only be won through a conscious
      thought-based reflection about the content of the
      ideas and their consequences. The other topic I
      would like to address is the problems concerning
      Rudolf Steiner's use of sources in his
      presentation of anthroposophy. Source-references
      and source-critique are known to be absolutely
      crucial for the assessment of a scientific statement's quality.

      Rudolf Steiner was very concerned that his
      contributions to anthroposophy should not be
      perceived as finished truths, and he appealed to
      his readers and followers to test his statements
      critically. "I ask you not to accept anything I
      have said on faith or authority...... Examine
      what I have said about Christ from the
      materialistic critique of the Gospel, examine my
      historical statements as meticulously as possible
      with all available sources.... Use everything
      that the latest natural science has achieved with
      all its relevant methods, use everything that is
      done within historical or religious research.....
      I am convinced that the more thoroughly you
      examine what is said on the grounds of the
      Rosicrucian Mystery sources, the more you will
      discover that the statements are in accordance
      with truth." [GA 121 - Die Mission einzelner Volksseelen]

      As we see, Steiner was convinced that a critical
      examination of this kind would lead to
      recognition of his ideas, but it is a justified
      question if his work has really been subjected to
      the kind of examination he encouraged.

      By closer afterthought it is also quite strange
      and actually also suspicious when a lecturer or
      author encourages his audience to be critical.
      What is the hidden agenda in that case? Does such
      appeal to criticism perhaps work against what is
      said? An appeal to criticism may be a strong
      rhetorical device with a subtext which says that
      criticism is really superfluous. In my opinion,
      it is possible to conclude on the basis of
      anthroposophical literature, that Steiner's
      appeal to criticism has to a great extent led to
      the opposite. The analyzing, positive, and
      truth-seeking critique has been absent, while
      strong, but for the most part uninformed critique
      has been plenty, a critique that is not
      searching, but has a pre-conceived message:
      anthroposophy is racist, eco-fascist etc.

      When Rudolf Steiner treats a topic, it may be
      pedagogical, medical, or purely spiritual, the
      topic is often presented in relation to two
      perspectives. One appeals to thinking, to science
      and individual judgement, while the other entails
      far-reaching moral consequences for humanity and
      the single individual if "the anthroposophical
      truths" are not understood and practiced the way Steiner presents them.

      An online search through Rudolf Steiner's
      collected works
      [- http://rsv.arpa.ch/cgi-bin/auth.cgi -]
      reveals that the expression "anthroposophical
      truths" or "spiritual-scientific truths" occurs
      more than 300 times. What is an "anthroposophical truth"?

      One of the statements often occurring in
      Steiner's lectures is that he does not wish to
      criticize traditional science. According to
      Steiner, the so-called modern natural science is
      a positive and necessary contribution to
      humanity's development, and anthroposophy should
      be understood as a supplement to this science.
      When Steiner in spite of these assurances yet
      frequently comes with harsh criticism of
      materialistic science, he speaks with two
      tongues. This bad habit by Steiner has been
      inherited by generations of anthroposophists
      after him. It is not unusual to hear this
      assurance that modern science is completely
      justified while at the same time it is opined
      that this very science cannot contribute anything
      of real interest. I think this double attitude
      has in many cases led to isolation and lack of
      knowledge development. What happens to a person
      who is principally positive towards modern
      science, but at the same time thoroughly negative
      when it comes to concrete formulations and results?

      Another significant problem with anthroposophy is
      based upon a deep level that is extremely
      difficult to access. It is the idea that
      anthroposophy as spiritual science is dependent
      upon certain perceptions that Steiner claimed he
      could make beyond traditional sense-perception.
      The results of anthroposophical research are,
      writes Steiner, in its own way as exact as the
      discoveries in natural-scientific research.

      Meditation and inner schooling was according to
      Steiner necessary for the achievement of the type
      of perception, clairvoyance, that he used in his
      "spiritual research". These were tools that
      everybody could utilize in order to reach the
      same results that Steiner himself had reached, he
      opined. "In every human being, powers slumber
      that can be developed to acquire knowledge of higher worlds."

      As it has turned out, it has not been possible to
      test Steiner's perceptions in the manner he
      envisioned. To put it in plain terms, nobody else
      has made public any spiritual empiricism equal to
      that of Rudolf Steiner. For this reason, an
      important demand for scientific method has not
      been satisfied: Valid research results shall be
      testable by others in an independent way. In the
      least a scientific environment should emerge
      where related experiences and theories are
      debated and critically considered. The methodical
      foundation of research, its experiences and its
      theoretical conclusions must be subject to
      continual review. Such requests for science need
      not mean that Steiner's spiritual science is
      erroneous, perhaps the future will show that more
      people will develop spiritual-scientific
      clairvoyance which may produce a scientific
      environment around Steiner's research. But until
      this possibly happens, it is not right in my
      opinion to regard Steiner's anthroposophy as results of scientific research.

      When Rudolf Steiner's work to a large extent
      contains these so-called research results based
      upon supersensible perceptions, it will also be a
      natural source-critical attitude to examine the
      nature of this source more closely. Many
      questions are raised when studying Steiner's
      lecture texts: How did Steiner's alleged
      clairvoyance work? Where in his work does Steiner
      appear as "spiritual investigator" on the basis
      of spiritual perceptions, where is he a
      "well-read" cultural personality, and where is it
      the private human being Steiner who is expressing
      his opinions and frustrations? Because Steiner
      consistently doesn't reveal sources for his
      statements, it is on first reading impossible to
      distinguish between these three "modes". It is
      also easy to assume that everything he says
      should proceed from the so-called "spiritual
      research". In that case, it becomes problematic
      when Steiner suddenly says that Easter Island has
      sunk into the sea. [GA 219] This is presented in
      the context that Steiner describes the cosmic
      activities of the higher hierarchies in relation
      to gravitation and movement. As it turned out,
      Easter Island had not disappeared, although this
      was erroneously reported in the newspapers after
      a vulcanic eruption in Chile autumn 1922.

      Unfortunately, there are many examples in
      Steiner's work where it is completely unclear
      what kind of research or type of statement one is
      dealing with. In a lecture on art, Steiner
      describes impressionism and expressionism as the
      two columns that all artistic activities rest
      upon, [GA 271 - Steiner, Rudolf; Kunst und
      Kunsterkenntnis] in another lecture he scolds
      against the same concepts and calls them phrases
      and empty words. [GA 337b - Steiner, Rudolf;
      Soziale Ideen - Soziale Wirklichkeit - Soziale
      Praxis] In my opinion it is not adequate to think
      that Steiner here shows different sides of the
      same theme. What he probably does is approach the
      theme with different methods. At one time, he has
      deepened himself in the nature of art, the other
      time he is being polemical. These two statements
      have from a deeper point of view, totally
      dissimilar characters, one is laid out and
      explained in a greater textual context, the other
      is a brief claim. How much of Steiner's work
      consists of such claims? Where does one draw the
      line between the thinker, the polemicist, and the
      possible "spiritual investigator" Steiner? When
      are his statements based upon a possible
      clairvoyance, and when does he express himself on
      a different basis? These are very important
      questions linked to the credibility of
      anthroposophy, and that make assessing
      anthroposophy so extremely difficult that many
      will consider a qualified assessment impossible.

      Is there any way out of this knot for the person
      who wishes to work with anthroposophy, who has
      developed interest and perhaps love for its
      topics? In the first place, I think it is
      necessary to take a critical look at the entire
      concept of clairvoyance and ask what it implies.
      What kind of abilities did Steiner have? What
      could he "see", and what could he not "see"? The
      reading of Steiner's texts assume an entirely
      different character if one includes this problem
      while reading. My experience is that very few of
      Steiner's texts bear the mark of stemming
      immediately from clairvoyant perceptions. The
      most usual way he presents his stuff is through
      claims and by presenting systematic overviews
      with regard to for instance thought, feeling, and
      will or with regard to the four-fold human being.
      Only on rare occasions come descriptions
      containing elements of "sense experiences", for
      instance descriptions of light- or tone
      formations. Steiner's work is saturated with
      ideas and thoughts, but lacks, the way I see it,
      a descriptive and methodical explanation of how
      the presented ideas are related to possible
      perceptions. Against this background, I think the
      most fruitful point of departure for a reading of
      Steiner's work will be to ask consistently for
      the method behind everything he presents. Then
      one will as a reader not be misled into
      consequently interpret as revelations those parts
      of Steiner's work that do not originate with possible clairvoyance.

      Even if one disregards this difficult methodical
      problem, it is no easy task to get into Steiner's
      work. He was a very hard working man, and the
      publication of his verbal and written production
      comprise about 350 volumes. This enormous mass of
      text has for the most part emerged as lectures
      and reflects the projects and human meetings in
      which Rudolf Steiner was engaged. In many ways
      his works may be seen as an open "diary" where
      the author's thoughts and topical engagement may
      be followed from week to week. A lecture may for
      instance primarily be about previously known
      subjects, while one little aspect of the problem
      may be new and essential for an understanding of
      the whole. If a contemporary reader wishes to
      deepen a given part of Steiner's work, he or she
      will have to go through a lot of text and put the
      elements together himself/herself. Rudolf Steiner
      was in many ways an actionist, an artist and a
      man of action. He was busy creating, founding,
      breaking new territory, and rarely did he take
      time to edit the contents of his lectures in a
      cohesive written form. So the challenge to the
      reader is considerable when it comes to patience
      and endurance in addition to the difficulties
      that the very content of the work offers. To sum
      it all up, it would be such a time-consuming task
      to acquire a general overview of this work, that
      for most people it would not be possible. As
      readers, we will almost without exception be
      informed only about fractions of Steiner's work.

      What our relationship to Steiner and his work is
      concerned, I see a fruitful possibility by
      looking at his production as a work of art.
      Steiner was undoubtedly an artist. Posterity has
      increasingly seen artistic qualities in his
      blackboard drawings, in his work as architect,
      sculptor, poet, graphic designer etc.

      A work of art is not justified through source
      references and does not relate itself to formal
      demands for facts through specific methodical
      explanations. Art gains its value proportionally
      to the extent it inspires experience,
      interpretations, insight, and initiatives. As
      spectator of art, one is also participant and
      co-creator. Art emerges anew every time a person
      allows himself to experience it in a new way.
      There are of course no authorized interpretations
      of a work of art. Freedom is the emblem of art.
      In many ways art shows that it can be sensitive
      to the deeper themes of the times as well as
      visionary towards the future through its free,
      creative expression. Art does not repeat itself,
      but is ever relevant and presents itself in new ways with new content.

      Perhaps an attitude towards Rudolf Steiner's work
      as though it were a work of art be the most
      fruitful and creative solution to the problems
      mentioned above. Then the excitement and interest
      in anthroposophy will be able to find new soil,
      while the conventions, the phrases, and the often
      stiffened forms of traditon will lose their relevance.

      In my view, anthroposophy is completely
      misunderstood if it is treated as a finished
      worldview, as a notional system or something like
      that, a teaching. Rudolf Steiner's work may be
      better understood as a broadly drawn sketch that
      only becomes meaningful when more work is done on
      it. The sketches, fragments, the incomplete works
      are fascinating. They invite more labor. If
      Rudolf Steiner's works are examined closely, one
      will discover that much of what he has created is
      fragments, sketches, beginnings. The fact that
      the flames should consume his beautiful and in
      many ways complete building, the first
      Goetheanum, also says something about the
      incomplete condition with which anthroposophy had
      to live on after Steiner's death.

      The book "Occult Science", which was published in
      1910, is one of his most comprehensive works.
      Here Steiner describes the being of man and the
      development of the earth in a spiritual
      perspective. But even this rich book has he given
      the subtitle "an outline". Time and time again,
      Steiner said when introducing a lecture cycle
      that he could give nothing other than a sketch,
      draw some major outlines of the theme he would be
      treating during the next days. When Steiner
      toward the end of his life offered ideas for
      practical undertakings like Waldorf schools,
      biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical medicine
      etc., it was primarily inspiration, impulses,
      working techniques, and idea-sketches that he
      gave to his followers. In one of his lectures
      held during the first world war, Steiner says:
      "In a lecture like this, one can only give
      certain impulses, and I ask you to notice that
      such impulses are precisely what I wish to
      give." [GA 73 - Die Ergänzung heutiger Wissenschaften durch Anthroposophie]

      As it is well known, Steiner attributed great
      significance to art, and in many ways his works
      may be seen as a contribution to demonstrate that
      the lines between science, art, and religion are
      difficult to draw. Some post-modern thinkers have
      also expressed the necessity of expanding these
      concepts. [For instance: Slattery, Patrick;
      Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era, Garland,
      New York 1995] Does this type of expansion also
      entail the beginning of a new merge? Rudolf
      Steiner claimed in connection with the founding
      of the first Waldorf school in 1919 that
      precisely at a time when a natural-scientific
      mode of thinking is so dominating, an artistic
      understanding of the world will be necessary. {GA
      192 - Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung
      sozialer und pädagogischer Fragen] His point is
      that that from art, an "imaginative"
      understanding may evolve. When "imagination" for
      Steiner is a prerequisite for "spiritual
      research", it becomes clear at any rate that from
      an anthroposophical perspective, it is not so
      simple to distiguish clearly between science and
      art. The liberating, interpreting distance
      inherent in an artistic approach may also create
      a new kind of nearness. As a proclaimed truth, a
      Steiner quote may be almost completely
      uninteresting, but as an artistic expression the
      same statement may be accessible in a totally
      different way. Here are two quotes - What do they say about works of art?

      "In every human being, abilities are slumbering
      that may be developed to acquire knowledge of the higher worlds."

      "Only when one again can absorb into one's soul
      this picture far more alive than how one saw it
      before, one will be able to participate in those
      forces that enable one to develope inner
      mobility, because one is cognizant of being among
      Michael's companions. Only then will one
      participate in all that which may bring progress
      and peace between the generations, that make
      youth listen to the elders, that gives the elders
      something to say that youth wants to know and
      absorb into themselves." [The Youth Course]

      Doesn't a new type of drama occur where author
      and followers attain a new and more free relationship to each other?

      ............................................................................

      Brought to you by:


      Tarjei
      under the auspices of
      His Holiness Uncle Taz
      http://uncletaz.com/

      "At least two thirds of our miseries spring from
      human stupidity, human malice and those great
      motivators and justifiers of malice and
      stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing
      zeal on behalf of religious or political idols."
      - Aldous Huxley
    • elfuncle
      I d like to start this post with a special ode to Joel Wendt. Yes, buddy, I ve just discovered that you re a super credit to anthroposophy and to a forum like
      Message 2 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
      • 0 Attachment
        I'd like to start this post with a special ode to Joel Wendt. Yes,
        buddy, I've just discovered that you're a super credit to
        anthroposophy and to a forum like this. It's been many years since I
        was in your neck of the woods, but Mike H is nearby as I understand,
        and you and me and Mike, buddy, we're gonna get all these
        cocksuckers around here who refuse to take the PoF in earnest. And I
        know Dottie loves you too, so it's you and me and Mike and Dottie
        for starters. And in order to prove that I'm on the level, as a
        token of good faith, I've translated the main part of an article,
        especially for you and with a special message to the epistemological
        nitwit cocksuckers, below.

        Perhaps you don't trust me, Joel, and I don't blame you, because
        I've been mean to you in the past, accusing you of having been
        bitten in the ass by an asuric rat at the Unthinkable Facility in
        the pitch dark of the night and what have you. But I've changed my
        mind about you, Joel, believe it or not, especially after seeing
        what a valiant anthro-warrior you are in the face of epistemological
        anthro-ignorance and anthro-bullshit, so I've stopped being mean to
        you. You're my Shaman and my Invisible Emperor of the Grand Canyon
        you are. Whatever you do, don't go anywhere right now, because you
        and I are gonna expose the cocksuckers and the pretenders and the
        bullshitters for what they are, you and me, with maybe a little help
        from Mike and Dottie, OK?

        I was mean to you in the past because I was green with anthro-
        envy. "Outlaw Anthroposophy", my oh my, how did you beat me to that,
        you devious Shaman you? That's why I was mad at you, because you
        beat me to "Outlaw Anthroposophy". But I'm not mad at you anymore,
        Joel buddy, so you can safely sign off to me with your Warm Regards,
        and if I ever reciprocate with Affectionately Yours, it's won't be
        sarcastic, it will be from the bottom of my PoF-beating heart.

        And now for the real fire:

        The official website for the Anthroposophical Society in Norway -
        antroposofi.no - features an interesting article in the debate
        section by
        Arve Mathisen:

        Kritiske refleksjoner over Antroposofien

        http://www.antroposofi.no/debatt/Kritisk%20refleksjon%20over%
        20antroposofien.pdf

        I don't like to see URL addresses like this. When you use spaces in
        titles, they all become "%20", making the URL look very unpro, and
        still, it's a very widespread thing.

        I would have liked to translate the entire article for Anthroposophy
        Tomorrow and the web, but it's long and contains lots of references
        to local Scandinavian anthro-writers that would need introduction.
        The most relevant parts of the text are also long, so I'll attempt a
        summary of sorts by skipping long-winded examples and a few other
        things, cutting it in half:

        Critical Reflections about Anthroposophy
        by Arve Mathisen
        (excerpt)

        For many years there has been a tendency to criticize
        anthroposophists for not understanding Steiner deeply enough, they
        have not worked thoroughly enough with the schooling or with the
        path of cognition and so on. I think the time is ripe for a critical
        approach to Steiner's work itself. This work, which I see as a
        complex mixture of wisdom, genius, and practical sense, but which at
        the same time contains erroneous assumtions and a possibly hidden
        manifestation of power.

        For far too long, in my opinion, the source of the problems have
        been sought outside anthroposophy itself and Rudolf Steiner's work.
        Of course the causes of the problems will be complicated and
        interconnected, but it is nevertheless more important to point out
        challenges linked to anthroposophy itself. According to my
        judgement, there are elements in Steiner's work that may have an
        isolating, myth-making effect and make communication difficult if a
        conscious confrontation with these elements is not made.

        Independence in relationship to the ideas of anthroposophy may only
        be won through a conscious thought-based reflection about the
        content of the ideas and their consequences. The other topic I would
        like to address is the problems concerning Rudolf Steiner's use of
        sources in his presentation of anthroposophy. Source-references and
        source-critique are known to be absolutely crucial for the
        assessment of a scientific statement's quality.

        Rudolf Steiner was very concerned that his contributions to
        anthroposophy should not be perceived as finished truths, and he
        appealed to his readers and followers to test his statements
        critically. "I ask you not to accept anything I have said on faith
        or authority...... Examine what I have said about Christ from the
        materialistic critique of the Gospel, examine my historical
        statements as meticulously as possible with all available
        sources.... Use everything that the latest natural science has
        achieved with all its relevant methods, use everything that is done
        within historical or religious research..... I am convinced that the
        more thoroughly you examine what is said on the grounds of the
        Rosicrucian Mystery sources, the more you will discover that the
        statements are in accordance with truth." [GA 121 - Die Mission
        einzelner Volksseelen]

        As we see, Steiner was convinced that a critical examination of this
        kind would lead to recognition of his ideas, but it is a justified
        question if his work has really been subjected to the kind of
        examination he encouraged.

        By closer afterthought it is also quite strange and actually also
        suspicious when a lecturer or author encourages his audience to be
        critical. What is the hidden agenda in that case? Does such appeal
        to criticism perhaps work against what is said? An appeal to
        criticism may be a strong rhetorical device with a subtext which
        says that criticism is really superfluous. In my opinion, it is
        possible to conclude on the basis of anthroposophical literature,
        that Steiner's appeal to criticism has to a great extent led to the
        opposite. The analyzing, positive, and truth-seeking critique has
        been absent, while strong, but for the most part uninformed critique
        has been plenty, a critique that is not searching, but has a pre-
        conceived message: anthroposophy is racist, eco-fascist etc.

        When Rudolf Steiner treats a topic, it may be pedagogical, medical,
        or purely spiritual, the topic is often presented in relation to two
        perspectives. One appeals to thinking, to science and individual
        judgement, while the other entails far-reaching moral consequences
        for humanity and the single individual if "the anthroposophical
        truths" are not understood and practiced the way Steiner presents
        them.

        An online search through Rudolf Steiner's collected works [-
        http://rsv.arpa.ch/cgi-bin/auth.cgi -] reveals that the
        expression "anthroposophical truths" or "spiritual-scientific
        truths" occurs more than 300 times. What is an "anthroposophical
        truth"?

        One of the statements often occurring in Steiner's lectures is that
        he does not wish to criticize traditional science. According to
        Steiner, the so-called modern natural science is a positive and
        necessary contribution to humanity's development, and anthroposophy
        should be understood as a supplement to this science. When Steiner
        in spite of these assurances yet frequently comes with harsh
        criticism of materialistic science, he speaks with two tongues. This
        bad habit by Steiner has been inherited by generations of
        anthroposophists after him. It is not unusual to hear this assurance
        that modern science is completely justified while at the same time
        it is opined that this very science cannot contribute anything of
        real interest. I think this double attitude has in many cases led to
        isolation and lack of knowledge development. What happens to a
        person who is principally positive towards modern science, but at
        the same time thoroughly negative when it comes to concrete
        formulations and results?

        Another significant problem with anthroposophy is based upon a deep
        level that is extremely difficult to access. It is the idea that
        anthroposophy as spiritual science is dependent upon certain
        perceptions that Steiner claimed he could make beyond traditional
        sense-perception. The results of anthroposophical research are,
        writes Steiner, in its own way as exact as the discoveries in
        natural-scientific research.

        Meditation and inner schooling was according to Steiner necessary
        for the achievement of the type of perception, clairvoyance, that he
        used in his "spiritual research". These were tools that everybody
        could utilize in order to reach the same results that Steiner
        himself had reached, he opined. "In every human being, powers
        slumber that can be developed to acquire knowledge of higher
        worlds."

        As it has turned out, it has not been possible to test Steiner's
        perceptions in the manner he envisioned. To put it in plain terms,
        nobody else has made public any spiritual empiricism equal to that
        of Rudolf Steiner. For this reason, an important demand for
        scientific method has not been satisfied: Valid research results
        shall be testable by others in an independent way. In the least a
        scientific environment should emerge where related experiences and
        theories are debated and critically considered. The methodical
        foundation of research, its experiences and its theoretical
        conclusions must be subject to continual review. Such requests for
        science need not mean that Steiner's spiritual science is erroneous,
        perhaps the future will show that more people will develop spiritual-
        scientific clairvoyance which may produce a scientific environment
        around Steiner's research. But until this possibly happens, it is
        not right in my opinion to regard Steiner's anthroposophy as results
        of scientific research.

        When Rudolf Steiner's work to a large extent contains these so-
        called research results based upon supersensible perceptions, it
        will also be a natural source-critical attitude to examine the
        nature of this source more closely. Many questions are raised when
        studying Steiner's lecture texts: How did Steiner's alleged
        clairvoyance work? Where in his work does Steiner appear
        as "spiritual investigator" on the basis of spiritual perceptions,
        where is he a "well-read" cultural personality, and where is it the
        private human being Steiner who is expressing his opinions and
        frustrations? Because Steiner consistently doesn't reveal sources
        for his statements, it is on first reading impossible to distinguish
        between these three "modes". It is also easy to assume that
        everything he says should proceed from the so-called "spiritual
        research". In that case, it becomes problematic when Steiner
        suddenly says that Easter Island has sunk into the sea. [GA 219]
        This is presented in the context that Steiner describes the cosmic
        activities of the higher hierarchies in relation to gravitation and
        movement. As it turned out, Easter Island had not disappeared,
        although this was erroneously reported in the newspapers after a
        vulcanic eruption in Chile autumn 1922.

        Unfortunately, there are many examples in Steiner's work where it is
        completely unclear what kind of research or type of statement one is
        dealing with. In a lecture on art, Steiner describes impressionism
        and expressionism as the two columns that all artistic activities
        rest upon, [GA 271 - Steiner, Rudolf; Kunst und Kunsterkenntnis] in
        another lecture he scolds against the same concepts and calls them
        phrases and empty words. [GA 337b - Steiner, Rudolf; Soziale Ideen -
        Soziale Wirklichkeit - Soziale Praxis] In my opinion it is not
        adequate to think that Steiner here shows different sides of the
        same theme. What he probably does is approach the theme with
        different methods. At one time, he has deepened himself in the
        nature of art, the other time he is being polemical. These two
        statements have from a deeper point of view, totally dissimilar
        characters, one is laid out and explained in a greater textual
        context, the other is a brief claim. How much of Steiner's work
        consists of such claims? Where does one draw the line between the
        thinker, the polemicist, and the possible "spiritual investigator"
        Steiner? When are his statements based upon a possible clairvoyance,
        and when does he express himself on a different basis? These are
        very important questions linked to the credibility of anthroposophy,
        and that make assessing anthroposophy so extremely difficult that
        many will consider a qualified assessment impossible.

        Is there any way out of this knot for the person who wishes to work
        with anthroposophy, who has developed interest and perhaps love for
        its topics? In the first place, I think it is necessary to take a
        critical look at the entire concept of clairvoyance and ask what it
        implies. What kind of abilities did Steiner have? What could
        he "see", and what could he not "see"? The reading of Steiner's
        texts assume an entirely different character if one includes this
        problem while reading. My experience is that very few of Steiner's
        texts bear the mark of stemming immediately from clairvoyant
        perceptions. The most usual way he presents his stuff is through
        claims and by presenting systematic overviews with regard to for
        instance thought, feeling, and will or with regard to the four-fold
        human being. Only on rare occasions come descriptions containing
        elements of "sense experiences", for instance descriptions of light-
        or tone formations. Steiner's work is saturated with ideas and
        thoughts, but lacks, the way I see it, a descriptive and methodical
        explanation of how the presented ideas are related to possible
        perceptions. Against this background, I think the most fruitful
        point of departure for a reading of Steiner's work will be to ask
        consistently for the method behind everything he presents. Then one
        will as a reader not be misled into consequently interpret as
        revelations those parts of Steiner's work that do not originate with
        possible clairvoyance.

        Even if one disregards this difficult methodical problem, it is no
        easy task to get into Steiner's work. He was a very hard working
        man, and the publication of his verbal and written production
        comprise about 350 volumes. This enormous mass of text has for the
        most part emerged as lectures and reflects the projects and human
        meetings in which Rudolf Steiner was engaged. In many ways his works
        may be seen as an open "diary" where the author's thoughts and
        topical engagement may be followed from week to week. A lecture may
        for instance primarily be about previously known subjects, while one
        little aspect of the problem may be new and essential for an
        understanding of the whole. If a contemporary reader wishes to
        deepen a given part of Steiner's work, he or she will have to go
        through a lot of text and put the elements together himself/herself.
        Rudolf Steiner was in many ways an actionist, an artist and a man of
        action. He was busy creating, founding, breaking new territory, and
        rarely did he take time to edit the contents of his lectures in a
        cohesive written form. So the challenge to the reader is
        considerable when it comes to patience and endurance in addition to
        the difficulties that the very content of the work offers. To sum it
        all up, it would be such a time-consuming task to acquire a general
        overview of this work, that for most people it would not be
        possible. As readers, we will almost without exception be informed
        only about fractions of Steiner's work.

        What our relationship to Steiner and his work is concerned, I see a
        fruitful possibility by looking at his production as a work of art.
        Steiner was undoubtedly an artist. Posterity has increasingly seen
        artistic qualities in his blackboard drawings, in his work as
        architect, sculptor, poet, graphic designer etc.

        A work of art is not justified through source references and does
        not relate itself to formal demands for facts through specific
        methodical explanations. Art gains its value proportionally to the
        extent it inspires experience, interpretations, insight, and
        initiatives. As spectator of art, one is also participant and co-
        creator. Art emerges anew every time a person allows himself to
        experience it in a new way. There are of course no authorized
        interpretations of a work of art. Freedom is the emblem of art. In
        many ways art shows that it can be sensitive to the deeper themes of
        the times as well as visionary towards the future through its free,
        creative expression. Art does not repeat itself, but is ever
        relevant and presents itself in new ways with new content.

        Perhaps an attitude towards Rudolf Steiner's work as though it were
        a work of art be the most fruitful and creative solution to the
        problems mentioned above. Then the excitement and interest in
        anthroposophy will be able to find new soil, while the conventions,
        the phrases, and the often stiffened forms of traditon will lose
        their relevance.

        In my view, anthroposophy is completely misunderstood if it is
        treated as a finished worldview, as a notional system or something
        like that, a teaching. Rudolf Steiner's work may be better
        understood as a broadly drawn sketch that only becomes meaningful
        when more work is done on it. The sketches, fragments, the
        incomplete works are fascinating. They invite more labor. If Rudolf
        Steiner's works are examined closely, one will discover that much of
        what he has created is fragments, sketches, beginnings. The fact
        that the flames should consume his beautiful and in many ways
        complete building, the first Goetheanum, also says something about
        the incomplete condition with which anthroposophy had to live on
        after Steiner's death.

        The book "Occult Science", which was published in 1910, is one of
        his most comprehensive works. Here Steiner describes the being of
        man and the development of the earth in a spiritual perspective. But
        even this rich book has he given the subtitle "an outline". Time and
        time again, Steiner said when introducing a lecture cycle that he
        could give nothing other than a sketch, draw some major outlines of
        the theme he would be treating during the next days. When Steiner
        toward the end of his life offered ideas for practical undertakings
        like Waldorf schools, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical
        medicine etc., it was primarily inspiration, impulses, working
        techniques, and idea-sketches that he gave to his followers. In one
        of his lectures held during the first world war, Steiner says: "In a
        lecture like this, one can only give certain impulses, and I ask you
        to notice that such impulses are precisely what I wish to give."
        [GA 73 - Die Ergänzung heutiger Wissenschaften durch Anthroposophie]

        As it is well known, Steiner attributed great significance to art,
        and in many ways his works may be seen as a contribution to
        demonstrate that the lines between science, art, and religion are
        difficult to draw. Some post-modern thinkers have also expressed the
        necessity of expanding these concepts. [For instance: Slattery,
        Patrick; Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era, Garland,
        New York 1995] Does this type of expansion also entail the beginning
        of a new merge? Rudolf Steiner claimed in connection with the
        founding of the first Waldorf school in 1919 that precisely at a
        time when a natural-scientific mode of thinking is so dominating, an
        artistic understanding of the world will be necessary. {GA 192 -
        Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer
        Fragen] His point is that that from art, an "imaginative"
        understanding may evolve. When "imagination" for Steiner is a
        prerequisite for "spiritual research", it becomes clear at any rate
        that from an anthroposophical perspective, it is not so simple to
        distiguish clearly between science and art. The liberating,
        interpreting distance inherent in an artistic approach may also
        create a new kind of nearness. As a proclaimed truth, a Steiner
        quote may be almost completely uninteresting, but as an artistic
        expression the same statement may be accessible in a totally
        different way. Here are two quotes - What do they say about works of
        art?

        "In every human being, abilities are slumbering that may be
        developed to acquire knowledge of the higher worlds."

        "Only when one again can absorb into one's soul this picture far
        more alive than how one saw it before, one will be able to
        participate in those forces that enable one to develope inner
        mobility, because one is cognizant of being among Michael's
        companions. Only then will one participate in all that which may
        bring progress and peace between the generations, that make youth
        listen to the elders, that gives the elders something to say that
        youth wants to know and absorb into themselves." [The Youth Course]

        Doesn't a new type of drama occur where author and followers attain
        a new and more free relationship to each other?

        .....................................................................
        .......

        Brought to you by:

        Tarjei
        under the auspices of
        His Holiness Uncle Taz
        http://uncletaz.com/

        "At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity,
        human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and
        stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of
        religious or political idols."
        - Aldous Huxley
      • elfuncle
        I d like to start this post with a special ode to Joel Wendt. Yes, buddy, I ve just discovered that you re a super credit to anthroposophy and to a forum like
        Message 3 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
        • 0 Attachment
          I'd like to start this post with a special ode to Joel Wendt. Yes,
          buddy, I've just discovered that you're a super credit to
          anthroposophy and to a forum like this. It's been many years since I
          was in your neck of the woods, but Mike H is nearby as I understand,
          and you and me and Mike, buddy, we're gonna get all these
          cocksuckers around here who refuse to take the PoF in earnest. And I
          know Dottie loves you too, so it's you and me and Mike and Dottie
          for starters. And in order to prove that I'm on the level, as a
          token of good faith, I've translated the main part of an article,
          especially for you and with a special message to the epistemological
          nitwit cocksuckers, below.

          Perhaps you don't trust me, Joel, and I don't blame you, because
          I've been mean to you in the past, accusing you of having been
          bitten in the ass by an asuric rat at the Unthinkable Facility in
          the pitch dark of the night and what have you. But I've changed my
          mind about you, Joel, believe it or not, especially after seeing
          what a valiant anthro-warrior you are in the face of epistemological
          anthro-ignorance and anthro-bullshit, so I've stopped being mean to
          you. You're my Shaman and my Invisible Emperor of the Grand Canyon
          you are. Whatever you do, don't go anywhere right now, because you
          and I are gonna expose the cocksuckers and the pretenders and the
          bullshitters for what they are, you and me, with maybe a little help
          from Mike and Dottie, OK?

          I was mean to you in the past because I was green with anthro-
          envy. "Outlaw Anthroposophy", my oh my, how did you beat me to that,
          you devious Shaman you? That's why I was mad at you, because you
          beat me to "Outlaw Anthroposophy". But I'm not mad at you anymore,
          Joel buddy, so you can safely sign off to me with your Warm Regards,
          and if I ever reciprocate with Affectionately Yours, it's won't be
          sarcastic, it will be from the bottom of my PoF-beating heart.

          And now for the real fire:

          The official website for the Anthroposophical Society in Norway -
          antroposofi.no - features an interesting article in the debate
          section by
          Arve Mathisen:

          Kritiske refleksjoner over Antroposofien

          http://www.antroposofi.no/debatt/Kritisk%20refleksjon%20over%
          20antroposofien.pdf

          I don't like to see URL addresses like this. When you use spaces in
          titles, they all become "%20", making the URL look very unpro, and
          still, it's a very widespread thing.

          I would have liked to translate the entire article for Anthroposophy
          Tomorrow and the web, but it's long and contains lots of references
          to local Scandinavian anthro-writers that would need introduction.
          The most relevant parts of the text are also long, so I'll attempt a
          summary of sorts by skipping long-winded examples and a few other
          things, cutting it in half:

          Critical Reflections about Anthroposophy
          by Arve Mathisen
          (excerpt)

          For many years there has been a tendency to criticize
          anthroposophists for not understanding Steiner deeply enough, they
          have not worked thoroughly enough with the schooling or with the
          path of cognition and so on. I think the time is ripe for a critical
          approach to Steiner's work itself. This work, which I see as a
          complex mixture of wisdom, genius, and practical sense, but which at
          the same time contains erroneous assumtions and a possibly hidden
          manifestation of power.

          For far too long, in my opinion, the source of the problems have
          been sought outside anthroposophy itself and Rudolf Steiner's work.
          Of course the causes of the problems will be complicated and
          interconnected, but it is nevertheless more important to point out
          challenges linked to anthroposophy itself. According to my
          judgement, there are elements in Steiner's work that may have an
          isolating, myth-making effect and make communication difficult if a
          conscious confrontation with these elements is not made.

          Independence in relationship to the ideas of anthroposophy may only
          be won through a conscious thought-based reflection about the
          content of the ideas and their consequences. The other topic I would
          like to address is the problems concerning Rudolf Steiner's use of
          sources in his presentation of anthroposophy. Source-references and
          source-critique are known to be absolutely crucial for the
          assessment of a scientific statement's quality.

          Rudolf Steiner was very concerned that his contributions to
          anthroposophy should not be perceived as finished truths, and he
          appealed to his readers and followers to test his statements
          critically. "I ask you not to accept anything I have said on faith
          or authority...... Examine what I have said about Christ from the
          materialistic critique of the Gospel, examine my historical
          statements as meticulously as possible with all available
          sources.... Use everything that the latest natural science has
          achieved with all its relevant methods, use everything that is done
          within historical or religious research..... I am convinced that the
          more thoroughly you examine what is said on the grounds of the
          Rosicrucian Mystery sources, the more you will discover that the
          statements are in accordance with truth." [GA 121 - Die Mission
          einzelner Volksseelen]

          As we see, Steiner was convinced that a critical examination of this
          kind would lead to recognition of his ideas, but it is a justified
          question if his work has really been subjected to the kind of
          examination he encouraged.

          By closer afterthought it is also quite strange and actually also
          suspicious when a lecturer or author encourages his audience to be
          critical. What is the hidden agenda in that case? Does such appeal
          to criticism perhaps work against what is said? An appeal to
          criticism may be a strong rhetorical device with a subtext which
          says that criticism is really superfluous. In my opinion, it is
          possible to conclude on the basis of anthroposophical literature,
          that Steiner's appeal to criticism has to a great extent led to the
          opposite. The analyzing, positive, and truth-seeking critique has
          been absent, while strong, but for the most part uninformed critique
          has been plenty, a critique that is not searching, but has a pre-
          conceived message: anthroposophy is racist, eco-fascist etc.

          When Rudolf Steiner treats a topic, it may be pedagogical, medical,
          or purely spiritual, the topic is often presented in relation to two
          perspectives. One appeals to thinking, to science and individual
          judgement, while the other entails far-reaching moral consequences
          for humanity and the single individual if "the anthroposophical
          truths" are not understood and practiced the way Steiner presents
          them.

          An online search through Rudolf Steiner's collected works [-
          http://rsv.arpa.ch/cgi-bin/auth.cgi -] reveals that the
          expression "anthroposophical truths" or "spiritual-scientific
          truths" occurs more than 300 times. What is an "anthroposophical
          truth"?

          One of the statements often occurring in Steiner's lectures is that
          he does not wish to criticize traditional science. According to
          Steiner, the so-called modern natural science is a positive and
          necessary contribution to humanity's development, and anthroposophy
          should be understood as a supplement to this science. When Steiner
          in spite of these assurances yet frequently comes with harsh
          criticism of materialistic science, he speaks with two tongues. This
          bad habit by Steiner has been inherited by generations of
          anthroposophists after him. It is not unusual to hear this assurance
          that modern science is completely justified while at the same time
          it is opined that this very science cannot contribute anything of
          real interest. I think this double attitude has in many cases led to
          isolation and lack of knowledge development. What happens to a
          person who is principally positive towards modern science, but at
          the same time thoroughly negative when it comes to concrete
          formulations and results?

          Another significant problem with anthroposophy is based upon a deep
          level that is extremely difficult to access. It is the idea that
          anthroposophy as spiritual science is dependent upon certain
          perceptions that Steiner claimed he could make beyond traditional
          sense-perception. The results of anthroposophical research are,
          writes Steiner, in its own way as exact as the discoveries in
          natural-scientific research.

          Meditation and inner schooling was according to Steiner necessary
          for the achievement of the type of perception, clairvoyance, that he
          used in his "spiritual research". These were tools that everybody
          could utilize in order to reach the same results that Steiner
          himself had reached, he opined. "In every human being, powers
          slumber that can be developed to acquire knowledge of higher
          worlds."

          As it has turned out, it has not been possible to test Steiner's
          perceptions in the manner he envisioned. To put it in plain terms,
          nobody else has made public any spiritual empiricism equal to that
          of Rudolf Steiner. For this reason, an important demand for
          scientific method has not been satisfied: Valid research results
          shall be testable by others in an independent way. In the least a
          scientific environment should emerge where related experiences and
          theories are debated and critically considered. The methodical
          foundation of research, its experiences and its theoretical
          conclusions must be subject to continual review. Such requests for
          science need not mean that Steiner's spiritual science is erroneous,
          perhaps the future will show that more people will develop spiritual-
          scientific clairvoyance which may produce a scientific environment
          around Steiner's research. But until this possibly happens, it is
          not right in my opinion to regard Steiner's anthroposophy as results
          of scientific research.

          When Rudolf Steiner's work to a large extent contains these so-
          called research results based upon supersensible perceptions, it
          will also be a natural source-critical attitude to examine the
          nature of this source more closely. Many questions are raised when
          studying Steiner's lecture texts: How did Steiner's alleged
          clairvoyance work? Where in his work does Steiner appear
          as "spiritual investigator" on the basis of spiritual perceptions,
          where is he a "well-read" cultural personality, and where is it the
          private human being Steiner who is expressing his opinions and
          frustrations? Because Steiner consistently doesn't reveal sources
          for his statements, it is on first reading impossible to distinguish
          between these three "modes". It is also easy to assume that
          everything he says should proceed from the so-called "spiritual
          research". In that case, it becomes problematic when Steiner
          suddenly says that Easter Island has sunk into the sea. [GA 219]
          This is presented in the context that Steiner describes the cosmic
          activities of the higher hierarchies in relation to gravitation and
          movement. As it turned out, Easter Island had not disappeared,
          although this was erroneously reported in the newspapers after a
          vulcanic eruption in Chile autumn 1922.

          Unfortunately, there are many examples in Steiner's work where it is
          completely unclear what kind of research or type of statement one is
          dealing with. In a lecture on art, Steiner describes impressionism
          and expressionism as the two columns that all artistic activities
          rest upon, [GA 271 - Steiner, Rudolf; Kunst und Kunsterkenntnis] in
          another lecture he scolds against the same concepts and calls them
          phrases and empty words. [GA 337b - Steiner, Rudolf; Soziale Ideen -
          Soziale Wirklichkeit - Soziale Praxis] In my opinion it is not
          adequate to think that Steiner here shows different sides of the
          same theme. What he probably does is approach the theme with
          different methods. At one time, he has deepened himself in the
          nature of art, the other time he is being polemical. These two
          statements have from a deeper point of view, totally dissimilar
          characters, one is laid out and explained in a greater textual
          context, the other is a brief claim. How much of Steiner's work
          consists of such claims? Where does one draw the line between the
          thinker, the polemicist, and the possible "spiritual investigator"
          Steiner? When are his statements based upon a possible clairvoyance,
          and when does he express himself on a different basis? These are
          very important questions linked to the credibility of anthroposophy,
          and that make assessing anthroposophy so extremely difficult that
          many will consider a qualified assessment impossible.

          Is there any way out of this knot for the person who wishes to work
          with anthroposophy, who has developed interest and perhaps love for
          its topics? In the first place, I think it is necessary to take a
          critical look at the entire concept of clairvoyance and ask what it
          implies. What kind of abilities did Steiner have? What could
          he "see", and what could he not "see"? The reading of Steiner's
          texts assume an entirely different character if one includes this
          problem while reading. My experience is that very few of Steiner's
          texts bear the mark of stemming immediately from clairvoyant
          perceptions. The most usual way he presents his stuff is through
          claims and by presenting systematic overviews with regard to for
          instance thought, feeling, and will or with regard to the four-fold
          human being. Only on rare occasions come descriptions containing
          elements of "sense experiences", for instance descriptions of light-
          or tone formations. Steiner's work is saturated with ideas and
          thoughts, but lacks, the way I see it, a descriptive and methodical
          explanation of how the presented ideas are related to possible
          perceptions. Against this background, I think the most fruitful
          point of departure for a reading of Steiner's work will be to ask
          consistently for the method behind everything he presents. Then one
          will as a reader not be misled into consequently interpret as
          revelations those parts of Steiner's work that do not originate with
          possible clairvoyance.

          Even if one disregards this difficult methodical problem, it is no
          easy task to get into Steiner's work. He was a very hard working
          man, and the publication of his verbal and written production
          comprise about 350 volumes. This enormous mass of text has for the
          most part emerged as lectures and reflects the projects and human
          meetings in which Rudolf Steiner was engaged. In many ways his works
          may be seen as an open "diary" where the author's thoughts and
          topical engagement may be followed from week to week. A lecture may
          for instance primarily be about previously known subjects, while one
          little aspect of the problem may be new and essential for an
          understanding of the whole. If a contemporary reader wishes to
          deepen a given part of Steiner's work, he or she will have to go
          through a lot of text and put the elements together himself/herself.
          Rudolf Steiner was in many ways an actionist, an artist and a man of
          action. He was busy creating, founding, breaking new territory, and
          rarely did he take time to edit the contents of his lectures in a
          cohesive written form. So the challenge to the reader is
          considerable when it comes to patience and endurance in addition to
          the difficulties that the very content of the work offers. To sum it
          all up, it would be such a time-consuming task to acquire a general
          overview of this work, that for most people it would not be
          possible. As readers, we will almost without exception be informed
          only about fractions of Steiner's work.

          What our relationship to Steiner and his work is concerned, I see a
          fruitful possibility by looking at his production as a work of art.
          Steiner was undoubtedly an artist. Posterity has increasingly seen
          artistic qualities in his blackboard drawings, in his work as
          architect, sculptor, poet, graphic designer etc.

          A work of art is not justified through source references and does
          not relate itself to formal demands for facts through specific
          methodical explanations. Art gains its value proportionally to the
          extent it inspires experience, interpretations, insight, and
          initiatives. As spectator of art, one is also participant and co-
          creator. Art emerges anew every time a person allows himself to
          experience it in a new way. There are of course no authorized
          interpretations of a work of art. Freedom is the emblem of art. In
          many ways art shows that it can be sensitive to the deeper themes of
          the times as well as visionary towards the future through its free,
          creative expression. Art does not repeat itself, but is ever
          relevant and presents itself in new ways with new content.

          Perhaps an attitude towards Rudolf Steiner's work as though it were
          a work of art be the most fruitful and creative solution to the
          problems mentioned above. Then the excitement and interest in
          anthroposophy will be able to find new soil, while the conventions,
          the phrases, and the often stiffened forms of traditon will lose
          their relevance.

          In my view, anthroposophy is completely misunderstood if it is
          treated as a finished worldview, as a notional system or something
          like that, a teaching. Rudolf Steiner's work may be better
          understood as a broadly drawn sketch that only becomes meaningful
          when more work is done on it. The sketches, fragments, the
          incomplete works are fascinating. They invite more labor. If Rudolf
          Steiner's works are examined closely, one will discover that much of
          what he has created is fragments, sketches, beginnings. The fact
          that the flames should consume his beautiful and in many ways
          complete building, the first Goetheanum, also says something about
          the incomplete condition with which anthroposophy had to live on
          after Steiner's death.

          The book "Occult Science", which was published in 1910, is one of
          his most comprehensive works. Here Steiner describes the being of
          man and the development of the earth in a spiritual perspective. But
          even this rich book has he given the subtitle "an outline". Time and
          time again, Steiner said when introducing a lecture cycle that he
          could give nothing other than a sketch, draw some major outlines of
          the theme he would be treating during the next days. When Steiner
          toward the end of his life offered ideas for practical undertakings
          like Waldorf schools, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical
          medicine etc., it was primarily inspiration, impulses, working
          techniques, and idea-sketches that he gave to his followers. In one
          of his lectures held during the first world war, Steiner says: "In a
          lecture like this, one can only give certain impulses, and I ask you
          to notice that such impulses are precisely what I wish to give."
          [GA 73 - Die Ergänzung heutiger Wissenschaften durch Anthroposophie]

          As it is well known, Steiner attributed great significance to art,
          and in many ways his works may be seen as a contribution to
          demonstrate that the lines between science, art, and religion are
          difficult to draw. Some post-modern thinkers have also expressed the
          necessity of expanding these concepts. [For instance: Slattery,
          Patrick; Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era, Garland,
          New York 1995] Does this type of expansion also entail the beginning
          of a new merge? Rudolf Steiner claimed in connection with the
          founding of the first Waldorf school in 1919 that precisely at a
          time when a natural-scientific mode of thinking is so dominating, an
          artistic understanding of the world will be necessary. {GA 192 -
          Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer
          Fragen] His point is that that from art, an "imaginative"
          understanding may evolve. When "imagination" for Steiner is a
          prerequisite for "spiritual research", it becomes clear at any rate
          that from an anthroposophical perspective, it is not so simple to
          distiguish clearly between science and art. The liberating,
          interpreting distance inherent in an artistic approach may also
          create a new kind of nearness. As a proclaimed truth, a Steiner
          quote may be almost completely uninteresting, but as an artistic
          expression the same statement may be accessible in a totally
          different way. Here are two quotes - What do they say about works of
          art?

          "In every human being, abilities are slumbering that may be
          developed to acquire knowledge of the higher worlds."

          "Only when one again can absorb into one's soul this picture far
          more alive than how one saw it before, one will be able to
          participate in those forces that enable one to develope inner
          mobility, because one is cognizant of being among Michael's
          companions. Only then will one participate in all that which may
          bring progress and peace between the generations, that make youth
          listen to the elders, that gives the elders something to say that
          youth wants to know and absorb into themselves." [The Youth Course]

          Doesn't a new type of drama occur where author and followers attain
          a new and more free relationship to each other?

          .....................................................................
          .......

          Brought to you by:

          Tarjei
          under the auspices of
          His Holiness Uncle Taz
          http://uncletaz.com/

          "At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity,
          human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice and
          stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of
          religious or political idols."
          - Aldous Huxley
        • dottie zold
          What the Hell! have you been drinking Taz? :) Whew. Your adding cocksuckers to my vocabulary! not a good thing;) that s for sure. d ...
          Message 4 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
          • 0 Attachment
            What the Hell! have you been drinking Taz? :) Whew.
            Your adding cocksuckers to my vocabulary! not a good
            thing;) that's for sure.

            d


            >
            > I'd like to start this post with a special ode to
            > Joel Wendt. Yes,
            > buddy, I've just discovered that you're a super
            > credit to
            > anthroposophy and to a forum like this. It's been
            > many years since I
            > was in your neck of the woods, but Mike H is nearby
            > as I understand,
            > and you and me and Mike, buddy, we're gonna get all
            > these
            > cocksuckers around here who refuse to take the PoF
            > in earnest. And I
            > know Dottie loves you too, so it's you and me and
            > Mike and Dottie
            > for starters. And in order to prove that I'm on the
            > level, as a
            > token of good faith, I've translated the main part
            > of an article,
            > especially for you and with a special message to the
            > epistemological
            > nitwit cocksuckers, below.
            >
            > Perhaps you don't trust me, Joel, and I don't blame
            > you, because
            > I've been mean to you in the past, accusing you of
            > having been
            > bitten in the ass by an asuric rat at the
            > Unthinkable Facility in
            > the pitch dark of the night and what have you. But
            > I've changed my
            > mind about you, Joel, believe it or not, especially
            > after seeing
            > what a valiant anthro-warrior you are in the face of
            > epistemological
            > anthro-ignorance and anthro-bullshit, so I've
            > stopped being mean to
            > you. You're my Shaman and my Invisible Emperor of
            > the Grand Canyon
            > you are. Whatever you do, don't go anywhere right
            > now, because you
            > and I are gonna expose the cocksuckers and the
            > pretenders and the
            > bullshitters for what they are, you and me, with
            > maybe a little help
            > from Mike and Dottie, OK?
            >
            > I was mean to you in the past because I was green
            > with anthro-
            > envy. "Outlaw Anthroposophy", my oh my, how did you
            > beat me to that,
            > you devious Shaman you? That's why I was mad at you,
            > because you
            > beat me to "Outlaw Anthroposophy". But I'm not mad
            > at you anymore,
            > Joel buddy, so you can safely sign off to me with
            > your Warm Regards,
            > and if I ever reciprocate with Affectionately Yours,
            > it's won't be
            > sarcastic, it will be from the bottom of my
            > PoF-beating heart.
            >
            > And now for the real fire:
            >
            > The official website for the Anthroposophical
            > Society in Norway -
            > antroposofi.no - features an interesting article in
            > the debate
            > section by
            > Arve Mathisen:
            >
            > Kritiske refleksjoner over Antroposofien
            >
            >
            http://www.antroposofi.no/debatt/Kritisk%20refleksjon%20over%
            > 20antroposofien.pdf
            >
            > I don't like to see URL addresses like this. When
            > you use spaces in
            > titles, they all become "%20", making the URL look
            > very unpro, and
            > still, it's a very widespread thing.
            >
            > I would have liked to translate the entire article
            > for Anthroposophy
            > Tomorrow and the web, but it's long and contains
            > lots of references
            > to local Scandinavian anthro-writers that would need
            > introduction.
            > The most relevant parts of the text are also long,
            > so I'll attempt a
            > summary of sorts by skipping long-winded examples
            > and a few other
            > things, cutting it in half:
            >
            > Critical Reflections about Anthroposophy
            > by Arve Mathisen
            > (excerpt)
            >
            > For many years there has been a tendency to
            > criticize
            > anthroposophists for not understanding Steiner
            > deeply enough, they
            > have not worked thoroughly enough with the schooling
            > or with the
            > path of cognition and so on. I think the time is
            > ripe for a critical
            > approach to Steiner's work itself. This work, which
            > I see as a
            > complex mixture of wisdom, genius, and practical
            > sense, but which at
            > the same time contains erroneous assumtions and a
            > possibly hidden
            > manifestation of power.
            >
            > For far too long, in my opinion, the source of the
            > problems have
            > been sought outside anthroposophy itself and Rudolf
            > Steiner's work.
            > Of course the causes of the problems will be
            > complicated and
            > interconnected, but it is nevertheless more
            > important to point out
            > challenges linked to anthroposophy itself. According
            > to my
            > judgement, there are elements in Steiner's work that
            > may have an
            > isolating, myth-making effect and make communication
            > difficult if a
            > conscious confrontation with these elements is not
            > made.
            >
            > Independence in relationship to the ideas of
            > anthroposophy may only
            > be won through a conscious thought-based reflection
            > about the
            > content of the ideas and their consequences. The
            > other topic I would
            > like to address is the problems concerning Rudolf
            > Steiner's use of
            > sources in his presentation of anthroposophy.
            > Source-references and
            > source-critique are known to be absolutely crucial
            > for the
            > assessment of a scientific statement's quality.
            >
            > Rudolf Steiner was very concerned that his
            > contributions to
            > anthroposophy should not be perceived as finished
            > truths, and he
            > appealed to his readers and followers to test his
            > statements
            > critically. "I ask you not to accept anything I have
            > said on faith
            > or authority...... Examine what I have said about
            > Christ from the
            > materialistic critique of the Gospel, examine my
            > historical
            > statements as meticulously as possible with all
            > available
            > sources.... Use everything that the latest natural
            > science has
            > achieved with all its relevant methods, use
            > everything that is done
            > within historical or religious research..... I am
            > convinced that the
            > more thoroughly you examine what is said on the
            > grounds of the
            > Rosicrucian Mystery sources, the more you will
            > discover that the
            > statements are in accordance with truth." [GA 121 -
            > Die Mission
            > einzelner Volksseelen]
            >
            > As we see, Steiner was convinced that a critical
            > examination of this
            > kind would lead to recognition of his ideas, but it
            > is a justified
            > question if his work has really been subjected to
            > the kind of
            > examination he encouraged.
            >
            > By closer afterthought it is also quite strange and
            > actually also
            > suspicious when a lecturer or author encourages his
            > audience to be
            > critical. What is the hidden agenda in that case?
            > Does such appeal
            > to criticism perhaps work against what is said? An
            > appeal to
            > criticism may be a strong rhetorical device with a
            > subtext which
            > says that criticism is really superfluous. In my
            > opinion, it is
            > possible to conclude on the basis of
            > anthroposophical literature,
            > that Steiner's appeal to criticism has to a great
            > extent led to the
            > opposite. The analyzing, positive, and truth-seeking
            > critique has
            > been absent, while strong, but for the most part
            > uninformed critique
            >
            === message truncated ===


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          • elfuncle
            ... I didn t add it to YOUR vocabulary, Dottie. I only used it in MY vocabuloary. Something I learned from Joel. Well, there was this incident 30 years ago -
            Message 5 of 19 , Jul 9, 2006
            • 0 Attachment
              Dottie, you wrote:
              >
              > What the Hell! have you been drinking Taz? :) Whew.
              > Your adding cocksuckers to my vocabulary! not a good
              > thing;) that's for sure.

              I didn't add it to YOUR vocabulary, Dottie. I only used it in MY
              vocabuloary. Something I learned from Joel.

              Well, there was this incident 30 years ago - in Florida, I think, when
              someone had gained access to the controls of those flashing yellow
              traffic warning signs across the freeway, you know like when you
              approach an underpass or a bridge. In the middle of the rush hour, the
              following message flashed:

              "ALL COCKSUCKERS TAKE THE FIRST EXIT"

              Tarjei
            • nadmateescu
              Well, maybe more will be brought in a large context. This author seems to give maybe a little credit to, and try to place spiritual science in an artistic
              Message 6 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
              • 0 Attachment
                Well, maybe more will be brought in a large context.
                This author seems to give maybe a little credit to, and try to
                place "spiritual science" in an artistic effort, but this has
                nothing much to do with "spiritual science", but rather with the
                author's possibility of approach these subjects or not.
                It's interesting to find again, how at first, the work with
                anthroposophical ideas begin to reveal something else about the
                person hwo wants to approach these ideas, but the succes came when
                he let these ideas reveal something about himself, instead of
                revealing something about the subject of observation.
                I sense that I missing something here.
                What was the purpose of this excerpt?

                thanks, dan










                --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle"
                <hisholiness@...> wrote:
                >
                >
                > I'd like to start this post with a special ode to Joel Wendt. Yes,
                > buddy, I've just discovered that you're a super credit to
                > anthroposophy and to a forum like this. It's been many years since
                I
                > was in your neck of the woods, but Mike H is nearby as I
                understand,
                > and you and me and Mike, buddy, we're gonna get all these
                > cocksuckers around here who refuse to take the PoF in earnest. And
                I
                > know Dottie loves you too, so it's you and me and Mike and Dottie
                > for starters. And in order to prove that I'm on the level, as a
                > token of good faith, I've translated the main part of an article,
                > especially for you and with a special message to the
                epistemological
                > nitwit cocksuckers, below.
                >
                > Perhaps you don't trust me, Joel, and I don't blame you, because
                > I've been mean to you in the past, accusing you of having been
                > bitten in the ass by an asuric rat at the Unthinkable Facility in
                > the pitch dark of the night and what have you. But I've changed my
                > mind about you, Joel, believe it or not, especially after seeing
                > what a valiant anthro-warrior you are in the face of
                epistemological
                > anthro-ignorance and anthro-bullshit, so I've stopped being mean
                to
                > you. You're my Shaman and my Invisible Emperor of the Grand Canyon
                > you are. Whatever you do, don't go anywhere right now, because you
                > and I are gonna expose the cocksuckers and the pretenders and the
                > bullshitters for what they are, you and me, with maybe a little
                help
                > from Mike and Dottie, OK?
                >
                > I was mean to you in the past because I was green with anthro-
                > envy. "Outlaw Anthroposophy", my oh my, how did you beat me to
                that,
                > you devious Shaman you? That's why I was mad at you, because you
                > beat me to "Outlaw Anthroposophy". But I'm not mad at you anymore,
                > Joel buddy, so you can safely sign off to me with your Warm
                Regards,
                > and if I ever reciprocate with Affectionately Yours, it's won't be
                > sarcastic, it will be from the bottom of my PoF-beating heart.
                >
                > And now for the real fire:
                >
                > The official website for the Anthroposophical Society in Norway -
                > antroposofi.no - features an interesting article in the debate
                > section by
                > Arve Mathisen:
                >
                > Kritiske refleksjoner over Antroposofien
                >
                > http://www.antroposofi.no/debatt/Kritisk%20refleksjon%20over%
                > 20antroposofien.pdf
                >
                > I don't like to see URL addresses like this. When you use spaces
                in
                > titles, they all become "%20", making the URL look very unpro, and
                > still, it's a very widespread thing.
                >
                > I would have liked to translate the entire article for
                Anthroposophy
                > Tomorrow and the web, but it's long and contains lots of
                references
                > to local Scandinavian anthro-writers that would need introduction.
                > The most relevant parts of the text are also long, so I'll attempt
                a
                > summary of sorts by skipping long-winded examples and a few other
                > things, cutting it in half:
                >
                > Critical Reflections about Anthroposophy
                > by Arve Mathisen
                > (excerpt)
                >
                > For many years there has been a tendency to criticize
                > anthroposophists for not understanding Steiner deeply enough, they
                > have not worked thoroughly enough with the schooling or with the
                > path of cognition and so on. I think the time is ripe for a
                critical
                > approach to Steiner's work itself. This work, which I see as a
                > complex mixture of wisdom, genius, and practical sense, but which
                at
                > the same time contains erroneous assumtions and a possibly hidden
                > manifestation of power.
                >
                > For far too long, in my opinion, the source of the problems have
                > been sought outside anthroposophy itself and Rudolf Steiner's
                work.
                > Of course the causes of the problems will be complicated and
                > interconnected, but it is nevertheless more important to point out
                > challenges linked to anthroposophy itself. According to my
                > judgement, there are elements in Steiner's work that may have an
                > isolating, myth-making effect and make communication difficult if
                a
                > conscious confrontation with these elements is not made.
                >
                > Independence in relationship to the ideas of anthroposophy may
                only
                > be won through a conscious thought-based reflection about the
                > content of the ideas and their consequences. The other topic I
                would
                > like to address is the problems concerning Rudolf Steiner's use of
                > sources in his presentation of anthroposophy. Source-references
                and
                > source-critique are known to be absolutely crucial for the
                > assessment of a scientific statement's quality.
                >
                > Rudolf Steiner was very concerned that his contributions to
                > anthroposophy should not be perceived as finished truths, and he
                > appealed to his readers and followers to test his statements
                > critically. "I ask you not to accept anything I have said on faith
                > or authority...... Examine what I have said about Christ from the
                > materialistic critique of the Gospel, examine my historical
                > statements as meticulously as possible with all available
                > sources.... Use everything that the latest natural science has
                > achieved with all its relevant methods, use everything that is
                done
                > within historical or religious research..... I am convinced that
                the
                > more thoroughly you examine what is said on the grounds of the
                > Rosicrucian Mystery sources, the more you will discover that the
                > statements are in accordance with truth." [GA 121 - Die Mission
                > einzelner Volksseelen]
                >
                > As we see, Steiner was convinced that a critical examination of
                this
                > kind would lead to recognition of his ideas, but it is a justified
                > question if his work has really been subjected to the kind of
                > examination he encouraged.
                >
                > By closer afterthought it is also quite strange and actually also
                > suspicious when a lecturer or author encourages his audience to be
                > critical. What is the hidden agenda in that case? Does such appeal
                > to criticism perhaps work against what is said? An appeal to
                > criticism may be a strong rhetorical device with a subtext which
                > says that criticism is really superfluous. In my opinion, it is
                > possible to conclude on the basis of anthroposophical literature,
                > that Steiner's appeal to criticism has to a great extent led to
                the
                > opposite. The analyzing, positive, and truth-seeking critique has
                > been absent, while strong, but for the most part uninformed
                critique
                > has been plenty, a critique that is not searching, but has a pre-
                > conceived message: anthroposophy is racist, eco-fascist etc.
                >
                > When Rudolf Steiner treats a topic, it may be pedagogical,
                medical,
                > or purely spiritual, the topic is often presented in relation to
                two
                > perspectives. One appeals to thinking, to science and individual
                > judgement, while the other entails far-reaching moral consequences
                > for humanity and the single individual if "the anthroposophical
                > truths" are not understood and practiced the way Steiner presents
                > them.
                >
                > An online search through Rudolf Steiner's collected works [-
                > http://rsv.arpa.ch/cgi-bin/auth.cgi -] reveals that the
                > expression "anthroposophical truths" or "spiritual-scientific
                > truths" occurs more than 300 times. What is an "anthroposophical
                > truth"?
                >
                > One of the statements often occurring in Steiner's lectures is
                that
                > he does not wish to criticize traditional science. According to
                > Steiner, the so-called modern natural science is a positive and
                > necessary contribution to humanity's development, and
                anthroposophy
                > should be understood as a supplement to this science. When Steiner
                > in spite of these assurances yet frequently comes with harsh
                > criticism of materialistic science, he speaks with two tongues.
                This
                > bad habit by Steiner has been inherited by generations of
                > anthroposophists after him. It is not unusual to hear this
                assurance
                > that modern science is completely justified while at the same time
                > it is opined that this very science cannot contribute anything of
                > real interest. I think this double attitude has in many cases led
                to
                > isolation and lack of knowledge development. What happens to a
                > person who is principally positive towards modern science, but at
                > the same time thoroughly negative when it comes to concrete
                > formulations and results?
                >
                > Another significant problem with anthroposophy is based upon a
                deep
                > level that is extremely difficult to access. It is the idea that
                > anthroposophy as spiritual science is dependent upon certain
                > perceptions that Steiner claimed he could make beyond traditional
                > sense-perception. The results of anthroposophical research are,
                > writes Steiner, in its own way as exact as the discoveries in
                > natural-scientific research.
                >
                > Meditation and inner schooling was according to Steiner necessary
                > for the achievement of the type of perception, clairvoyance, that
                he
                > used in his "spiritual research". These were tools that everybody
                > could utilize in order to reach the same results that Steiner
                > himself had reached, he opined. "In every human being, powers
                > slumber that can be developed to acquire knowledge of higher
                > worlds."
                >
                > As it has turned out, it has not been possible to test Steiner's
                > perceptions in the manner he envisioned. To put it in plain terms,
                > nobody else has made public any spiritual empiricism equal to that
                > of Rudolf Steiner. For this reason, an important demand for
                > scientific method has not been satisfied: Valid research results
                > shall be testable by others in an independent way. In the least a
                > scientific environment should emerge where related experiences and
                > theories are debated and critically considered. The methodical
                > foundation of research, its experiences and its theoretical
                > conclusions must be subject to continual review. Such requests for
                > science need not mean that Steiner's spiritual science is
                erroneous,
                > perhaps the future will show that more people will develop
                spiritual-
                > scientific clairvoyance which may produce a scientific environment
                > around Steiner's research. But until this possibly happens, it is
                > not right in my opinion to regard Steiner's anthroposophy as
                results
                > of scientific research.
                >
                > When Rudolf Steiner's work to a large extent contains these so-
                > called research results based upon supersensible perceptions, it
                > will also be a natural source-critical attitude to examine the
                > nature of this source more closely. Many questions are raised when
                > studying Steiner's lecture texts: How did Steiner's alleged
                > clairvoyance work? Where in his work does Steiner appear
                > as "spiritual investigator" on the basis of spiritual perceptions,
                > where is he a "well-read" cultural personality, and where is it
                the
                > private human being Steiner who is expressing his opinions and
                > frustrations? Because Steiner consistently doesn't reveal sources
                > for his statements, it is on first reading impossible to
                distinguish
                > between these three "modes". It is also easy to assume that
                > everything he says should proceed from the so-called "spiritual
                > research". In that case, it becomes problematic when Steiner
                > suddenly says that Easter Island has sunk into the sea. [GA 219]
                > This is presented in the context that Steiner describes the cosmic
                > activities of the higher hierarchies in relation to gravitation
                and
                > movement. As it turned out, Easter Island had not disappeared,
                > although this was erroneously reported in the newspapers after a
                > vulcanic eruption in Chile autumn 1922.
                >
                > Unfortunately, there are many examples in Steiner's work where it
                is
                > completely unclear what kind of research or type of statement one
                is
                > dealing with. In a lecture on art, Steiner describes impressionism
                > and expressionism as the two columns that all artistic activities
                > rest upon, [GA 271 - Steiner, Rudolf; Kunst und Kunsterkenntnis]
                in
                > another lecture he scolds against the same concepts and calls them
                > phrases and empty words. [GA 337b - Steiner, Rudolf; Soziale
                Ideen -
                > Soziale Wirklichkeit - Soziale Praxis] In my opinion it is not
                > adequate to think that Steiner here shows different sides of the
                > same theme. What he probably does is approach the theme with
                > different methods. At one time, he has deepened himself in the
                > nature of art, the other time he is being polemical. These two
                > statements have from a deeper point of view, totally dissimilar
                > characters, one is laid out and explained in a greater textual
                > context, the other is a brief claim. How much of Steiner's work
                > consists of such claims? Where does one draw the line between the
                > thinker, the polemicist, and the possible "spiritual investigator"
                > Steiner? When are his statements based upon a possible
                clairvoyance,
                > and when does he express himself on a different basis? These are
                > very important questions linked to the credibility of
                anthroposophy,
                > and that make assessing anthroposophy so extremely difficult that
                > many will consider a qualified assessment impossible.
                >
                > Is there any way out of this knot for the person who wishes to
                work
                > with anthroposophy, who has developed interest and perhaps love
                for
                > its topics? In the first place, I think it is necessary to take a
                > critical look at the entire concept of clairvoyance and ask what
                it
                > implies. What kind of abilities did Steiner have? What could
                > he "see", and what could he not "see"? The reading of Steiner's
                > texts assume an entirely different character if one includes this
                > problem while reading. My experience is that very few of Steiner's
                > texts bear the mark of stemming immediately from clairvoyant
                > perceptions. The most usual way he presents his stuff is through
                > claims and by presenting systematic overviews with regard to for
                > instance thought, feeling, and will or with regard to the four-
                fold
                > human being. Only on rare occasions come descriptions containing
                > elements of "sense experiences", for instance descriptions of
                light-
                > or tone formations. Steiner's work is saturated with ideas and
                > thoughts, but lacks, the way I see it, a descriptive and
                methodical
                > explanation of how the presented ideas are related to possible
                > perceptions. Against this background, I think the most fruitful
                > point of departure for a reading of Steiner's work will be to ask
                > consistently for the method behind everything he presents. Then
                one
                > will as a reader not be misled into consequently interpret as
                > revelations those parts of Steiner's work that do not originate
                with
                > possible clairvoyance.
                >
                > Even if one disregards this difficult methodical problem, it is no
                > easy task to get into Steiner's work. He was a very hard working
                > man, and the publication of his verbal and written production
                > comprise about 350 volumes. This enormous mass of text has for the
                > most part emerged as lectures and reflects the projects and human
                > meetings in which Rudolf Steiner was engaged. In many ways his
                works
                > may be seen as an open "diary" where the author's thoughts and
                > topical engagement may be followed from week to week. A lecture
                may
                > for instance primarily be about previously known subjects, while
                one
                > little aspect of the problem may be new and essential for an
                > understanding of the whole. If a contemporary reader wishes to
                > deepen a given part of Steiner's work, he or she will have to go
                > through a lot of text and put the elements together
                himself/herself.
                > Rudolf Steiner was in many ways an actionist, an artist and a man
                of
                > action. He was busy creating, founding, breaking new territory,
                and
                > rarely did he take time to edit the contents of his lectures in a
                > cohesive written form. So the challenge to the reader is
                > considerable when it comes to patience and endurance in addition
                to
                > the difficulties that the very content of the work offers. To sum
                it
                > all up, it would be such a time-consuming task to acquire a
                general
                > overview of this work, that for most people it would not be
                > possible. As readers, we will almost without exception be informed
                > only about fractions of Steiner's work.
                >
                > What our relationship to Steiner and his work is concerned, I see
                a
                > fruitful possibility by looking at his production as a work of
                art.
                > Steiner was undoubtedly an artist. Posterity has increasingly seen
                > artistic qualities in his blackboard drawings, in his work as
                > architect, sculptor, poet, graphic designer etc.
                >
                > A work of art is not justified through source references and does
                > not relate itself to formal demands for facts through specific
                > methodical explanations. Art gains its value proportionally to the
                > extent it inspires experience, interpretations, insight, and
                > initiatives. As spectator of art, one is also participant and co-
                > creator. Art emerges anew every time a person allows himself to
                > experience it in a new way. There are of course no authorized
                > interpretations of a work of art. Freedom is the emblem of art. In
                > many ways art shows that it can be sensitive to the deeper themes
                of
                > the times as well as visionary towards the future through its
                free,
                > creative expression. Art does not repeat itself, but is ever
                > relevant and presents itself in new ways with new content.
                >
                > Perhaps an attitude towards Rudolf Steiner's work as though it
                were
                > a work of art be the most fruitful and creative solution to the
                > problems mentioned above. Then the excitement and interest in
                > anthroposophy will be able to find new soil, while the
                conventions,
                > the phrases, and the often stiffened forms of traditon will lose
                > their relevance.
                >
                > In my view, anthroposophy is completely misunderstood if it is
                > treated as a finished worldview, as a notional system or something
                > like that, a teaching. Rudolf Steiner's work may be better
                > understood as a broadly drawn sketch that only becomes meaningful
                > when more work is done on it. The sketches, fragments, the
                > incomplete works are fascinating. They invite more labor. If
                Rudolf
                > Steiner's works are examined closely, one will discover that much
                of
                > what he has created is fragments, sketches, beginnings. The fact
                > that the flames should consume his beautiful and in many ways
                > complete building, the first Goetheanum, also says something about
                > the incomplete condition with which anthroposophy had to live on
                > after Steiner's death.
                >
                > The book "Occult Science", which was published in 1910, is one of
                > his most comprehensive works. Here Steiner describes the being of
                > man and the development of the earth in a spiritual perspective.
                But
                > even this rich book has he given the subtitle "an outline". Time
                and
                > time again, Steiner said when introducing a lecture cycle that he
                > could give nothing other than a sketch, draw some major outlines
                of
                > the theme he would be treating during the next days. When Steiner
                > toward the end of his life offered ideas for practical
                undertakings
                > like Waldorf schools, biodynamic agriculture, anthroposophical
                > medicine etc., it was primarily inspiration, impulses, working
                > techniques, and idea-sketches that he gave to his followers. In
                one
                > of his lectures held during the first world war, Steiner says: "In
                a
                > lecture like this, one can only give certain impulses, and I ask
                you
                > to notice that such impulses are precisely what I wish to give."
                > [GA 73 - Die Ergänzung heutiger Wissenschaften durch
                Anthroposophie]
                >
                > As it is well known, Steiner attributed great significance to art,
                > and in many ways his works may be seen as a contribution to
                > demonstrate that the lines between science, art, and religion are
                > difficult to draw. Some post-modern thinkers have also expressed
                the
                > necessity of expanding these concepts. [For instance: Slattery,
                > Patrick; Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era, Garland,
                > New York 1995] Does this type of expansion also entail the
                beginning
                > of a new merge? Rudolf Steiner claimed in connection with the
                > founding of the first Waldorf school in 1919 that precisely at a
                > time when a natural-scientific mode of thinking is so dominating,
                an
                > artistic understanding of the world will be necessary. {GA 192 -
                > Geisteswissenschaftliche Behandlung sozialer und pädagogischer
                > Fragen] His point is that that from art, an "imaginative"
                > understanding may evolve. When "imagination" for Steiner is a
                > prerequisite for "spiritual research", it becomes clear at any
                rate
                > that from an anthroposophical perspective, it is not so simple to
                > distiguish clearly between science and art. The liberating,
                > interpreting distance inherent in an artistic approach may also
                > create a new kind of nearness. As a proclaimed truth, a Steiner
                > quote may be almost completely uninteresting, but as an artistic
                > expression the same statement may be accessible in a totally
                > different way. Here are two quotes - What do they say about works
                of
                > art?
                >
                > "In every human being, abilities are slumbering that may be
                > developed to acquire knowledge of the higher worlds."
                >
                > "Only when one again can absorb into one's soul this picture far
                > more alive than how one saw it before, one will be able to
                > participate in those forces that enable one to develope inner
                > mobility, because one is cognizant of being among Michael's
                > companions. Only then will one participate in all that which may
                > bring progress and peace between the generations, that make youth
                > listen to the elders, that gives the elders something to say that
                > youth wants to know and absorb into themselves." [The Youth Course]
                >
                > Doesn't a new type of drama occur where author and followers
                attain
                > a new and more free relationship to each other?
                >
                > ...................................................................
                ..
                > .......
                >
                > Brought to you by:
                >
                > Tarjei
                > under the auspices of
                > His Holiness Uncle Taz
                > http://uncletaz.com/
                >
                > "At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity,
                > human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice
                and
                > stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of
                > religious or political idols."
                > - Aldous Huxley
                >
              • Mike helsher
                ... . ... and ... Mike bows in reverence to hisholiness, even though he [me] has anarchist scumbag tendencies... Mike
                Message 7 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                  <snip astounding article>

                  >
                  > Doesn't a new type of drama occur where author and followers attain
                  > a new and more free relationship to each other?
                  >
                  > ....................................................................
                  .
                  > .......
                  >
                  > Brought to you by:
                  >
                  > Tarjei
                  > under the auspices of
                  > His Holiness Uncle Taz
                  > http://uncletaz.com/
                  >
                  > "At least two thirds of our miseries spring from human stupidity,
                  > human malice and those great motivators and justifiers of malice
                  and
                  > stupidity, idealism, dogmatism and proselytizing zeal on behalf of
                  > religious or political idols."
                  > - Aldous Huxley

                  Mike bows in reverence to hisholiness, even though he [me] has
                  anarchist scumbag tendencies...

                  Mike

                  >
                • write3chairs
                  ... Good Lord! Next thing we know, you ll be signing your messages to Joel with a big wet sloppy kiss! Spare me. Cheers & butterfly kisses, Jennifer
                  Message 8 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                    --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei Straume
                    <hisholiness@...> wrote:

                    > I was mean to you in the past because I was green
                    > with anthro-envy. "Outlaw Anthroposophy", my oh
                    > my, how did you beat me to that, you devious
                    > Shaman you? That's why I was mad at you, because
                    > you beat me to "Outlaw Anthroposophy". But I'm
                    > not mad at you anymore, Joel buddy, so you can
                    > safely sign off to me with your Warm Regards, and
                    > if I ever reciprocate with Affectionately Yours,
                    > it's won't be sarcastic, it will be from the bottom
                    > of my PoF-beating heart.

                    Good Lord! Next thing we know, you'll be signing your
                    messages to Joel with a big wet sloppy kiss! Spare me.

                    Cheers & butterfly kisses,
                    Jennifer
                  • elfuncle
                    ... Sorry about the triple posting. Messages disappear in the Yahoo maze only to show up several days later, after you thought they were lost, and there I am,
                    Message 9 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                      Jennifer, you wrote:

                      > Good Lord! Next thing we know, you'll be signing your
                      > messages to Joel with a big wet sloppy kiss! Spare me.

                      Sorry about the triple posting. Messages disappear in the Yahoo maze
                      only to show up several days later, after you thought they were lost,
                      and there I am, looking at 3 duplicate messages of mine - well well,
                      anything for Joel, he deserves a dozen big wet sloppy kisses plus two
                      dozen red roses after all the meanness I've been throwing in his
                      direction when in fact he's probably hitting bull's eye when it comes
                      to epistemology and the PoF, and we need his down-to-earth sharp
                      questions more than ever, and Joel also deserves some allies in his
                      valiant anthro-battles, don't you think?

                      Tarjei
                    • Mike helsher
                      ... maze ... lost, ... well, ... two ... comes ... I m in. We could call our new group the epistimological front of Joel or Joels epistimological front or
                      Message 10 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                        --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle"
                        <hisholiness@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > Jennifer, you wrote:
                        >
                        > > Good Lord! Next thing we know, you'll be signing your
                        > > messages to Joel with a big wet sloppy kiss! Spare me.
                        >
                        > Sorry about the triple posting. Messages disappear in the Yahoo
                        maze
                        > only to show up several days later, after you thought they were
                        lost,
                        > and there I am, looking at 3 duplicate messages of mine - well
                        well,
                        > anything for Joel, he deserves a dozen big wet sloppy kisses plus
                        two
                        > dozen red roses after all the meanness I've been throwing in his
                        > direction when in fact he's probably hitting bull's eye when it
                        comes
                        > to epistemology and the PoF, and we need his down-to-earth sharp
                        > questions more than ever, and Joel also deserves some allies in his
                        > valiant anthro-battles, don't you think?

                        I'm in. We could call our new group "the epistimological front of
                        Joel" or "Joels epistimological front" or even "the front of Joels
                        epistomology". The later though, denotes only an aspect of
                        epistomology, but I think it's cool because Joel is often up "front"
                        about "how do we know what we know". And he is often out on
                        the "front" lines, and in the trenches of cyber anthro warfare
                        zapping anthro cling-ons with his phasers set on stun.

                        Ahh, there's that damn Start trek theme again.

                        Ahh, and I've met Joel in person, and I love-me like a brother, but I
                        aint fuckin kissin him.

                        Mike
                      • elfuncle
                        ... Huh... I guess it wuz just one of them things.... translating the whole piece in a jiffy for a posted message wuz too much in my condition, man, couldn t
                        Message 11 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                          Dan wrote:

                          > What was the purpose of this excerpt?

                          Huh... I guess it wuz just one of them things.... translating the
                          whole piece in a jiffy for a posted message wuz too much in my
                          condition, man, couldn't handle it, now what I mean - so I made it an
                          excerpt instead, dig?

                          Oh the purpose, yea - that's the question. Do we have a purpose? I
                          dunno, man, I'm too humble to make claims like that, like purpose or
                          mission.....

                          Tarjei
                        • Mike helsher
                          I wrote: I love-me like a brother, How self centered is that? twas supposed to read I Love-EM Like a brother . Mike
                          Message 12 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
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                            I wrote: "I love-me like a brother,"

                            How self centered is that?

                            twas supposed to read "I Love-EM Like a brother".

                            Mike
                          • elfuncle
                            ... I ... I understand, you re too close for comfort there in Flagstaff, but I can throw kisses across oceans and continents.... Wet and salty with a little
                            Message 13 of 19 , Jul 10, 2006
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Mike helsher wrote:

                              > Ahh, and I've met Joel in person, and I love-me like a brother, but
                              I
                              > aint fuckin kissin him.

                              I understand, you're too close for comfort there in Flagstaff, but I
                              can throw kisses across oceans and continents.... Wet and salty with a
                              little live herring in it - There's nothing like a kiss with a live
                              herring on the tongue. Ask any sailor.

                              Tarjei
                            • Mike helsher
                              Form the article that tarjei posted: What our relationship to Steiner and his work is concerned, I see a ... of ... of ... There s a little book called
                              Message 14 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                Form the article that tarjei posted:
                                <snip> What our relationship to Steiner and his work is concerned, I
                                see a
                                > fruitful possibility by looking at his production as a work of art.
                                > Steiner was undoubtedly an artist. Posterity has increasingly seen
                                > artistic qualities in his blackboard drawings, in his work as
                                > architect, sculptor, poet, graphic designer etc.
                                >
                                > A work of art is not justified through source references and does
                                > not relate itself to formal demands for facts through specific
                                > methodical explanations. Art gains its value proportionally to the
                                > extent it inspires experience, interpretations, insight, and
                                > initiatives. As spectator of art, one is also participant and co-
                                > creator. Art emerges anew every time a person allows himself to
                                > experience it in a new way. There are of course no authorized
                                > interpretations of a work of art. Freedom is the emblem of art. In
                                > many ways art shows that it can be sensitive to the deeper themes
                                of
                                > the times as well as visionary towards the future through its free,
                                > creative expression. Art does not repeat itself, but is ever
                                > relevant and presents itself in new ways with new content.
                                >
                                > Perhaps an attitude towards Rudolf Steiner's work as though it were
                                > a work of art be the most fruitful and creative solution to the
                                > problems mentioned above. Then the excitement and interest in
                                > anthroposophy will be able to find new soil, while the conventions,
                                > the phrases, and the often stiffened forms of traditon will lose
                                > their relevance.
                                >
                                > In my view, anthroposophy is completely misunderstood if it is
                                > treated as a finished worldview, as a notional system or something
                                > like that, a teaching. Rudolf Steiner's work may be better
                                > understood as a broadly drawn sketch that only becomes meaningful
                                > when more work is done on it. The sketches, fragments, the
                                > incomplete works are fascinating. They invite more labor. If Rudolf
                                > Steiner's works are examined closely, one will discover that much
                                of
                                > what he has created is fragments, sketches, beginnings. The fact
                                > that the flames should consume his beautiful and in many ways
                                > complete building, the first Goetheanum, also says something about
                                > the incomplete condition with which anthroposophy had to live on
                                > after Steiner's death.

                                There's a little book called "Anthroposophy, a fragment" that I
                                rememeber reading parts of. In it Steiner writes (if memory serves)
                                about the problem of perception in relation to the "I " of the other,
                                amungst other things. But more so I think the Title of that little
                                book speaks to what is written above.

                                Perhaps others are more prone to what might seem like a more
                                scientific approach to unearthing understanding, or even some kind of
                                clairvoyant pictoral rendering, that then needs interpretation, but I
                                prefer the "fine art" of scientific research.

                                With my senses I can check out this series of paintings by Rembrandt:

                                http://www.wga.hu/frames-e.html?/html/r/rembran/painting/selfport/

                                And Even read this article as to why he might have done so many self-
                                portraits:

                                http://www.worldandi.com/public/2000/january/rembrandt.html

                                And think about the interrelation of science, art and religion.

                                But on occasion, something like what has happened for me with the
                                fake seed/real seed meditation, happened while thinking about these
                                paintings. I often start the real seed to growing in my minds eye,
                                and then it takes on a life of it's own: A life of thought that is
                                hard to describe. If the real seed thought flow was like a five piece
                                band, then Rembrandts paintings have brought about something akin to
                                a 70 piece orcastra.

                                Course I'm out of practice with these kinds of experiments these
                                days. But I'd like to put one out to the list for fun and see what
                                happens.. something simple. How bout we think of Ben Franklin for a
                                bit. be precise and mold his image into a vivid picture, and then se
                                that thought over to the other side of the threshold, and let it go.

                                I'll check in soon to see if you all might have something come back
                                that we might be able to critically reflect upon...:).

                                inquisitively

                                Mike
                              • Tarjei Straume
                                ... Why not - here s a good place to practice, at the Star Trek Klingon Academy: http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/startrekklingonacademy/ Come to think of it, in
                                Message 15 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                  Mike H, you wrote:

                                  >I'm in. We could call our new group "the epistimological front of
                                  >Joel" or "Joels epistimological front" or even "the front of Joels
                                  >epistomology". The later though, denotes only an aspect of
                                  >epistomology, but I think it's cool because Joel is often up "front"
                                  >about "how do we know what we know". And he is often out on the
                                  >"front" lines, and in the trenches of cyber anthro warfare zapping
                                  >anthro cling-ons with his phasers set on stun.
                                  >
                                  >Ahh, there's that damn Start trek theme again.

                                  Why not - here's a good place to practice, at the Star Trek Klingon Academy:

                                  http://www.gamespot.com/pc/sim/startrekklingonacademy/

                                  Come to think of it, in the TV series with Patrick Stewart as
                                  captain, they've made peace with the Klingons and have a tame
                                  specimen onboard -
                                  http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B000FEBWTY.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg - but
                                  the Romulans are still wild and hostile, so we should be targeting
                                  Anthro-Romulans, you know, Rogue Anthros or Loose Cannon Anthros, not
                                  honest anarcho- and outlaw-anthros like ourselves, but lying,
                                  cheating, double agents like, you know, like rogue CIA agents and
                                  G-crooks in the service of the highest bidder - Rogue Anthros selling
                                  out occult secrets and pretending to be things they're not - the
                                  bullshitters and cocksuckers that our epistemological bloodhound has
                                  shown us how to expose. And we're gonna get them, baby, so the guilty
                                  should be trembling in their astral underwear. No cloaking device can
                                  help them hide anywhere in the cosmos as long as we know their game.

                                  Tarjei
                                • dottie zold
                                  Tarjei that is SO gross! ... __________________________________________________ Do You Yahoo!? Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                  Message 16 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                    Tarjei that is SO gross!




                                    > Mike helsher wrote:
                                    >
                                    > > Ahh, and I've met Joel in person, and I love-me
                                    > like a brother, but
                                    > I
                                    > > aint fuckin kissin him.
                                    >
                                    > I understand, you're too close for comfort there in
                                    > Flagstaff, but I
                                    > can throw kisses across oceans and continents....
                                    > Wet and salty with a
                                    > little live herring in it - There's nothing like a
                                    > kiss with a live
                                    > herring on the tongue. Ask any sailor.
                                    >
                                    > Tarjei
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >


                                    __________________________________________________
                                    Do You Yahoo!?
                                    Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                    http://mail.yahoo.com
                                  • Deborah
                                    Hey Dottie, This is why I ve sworn off Norwegians as boyfriends :) DeborahK
                                    Message 17 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                      Hey Dottie,
                                      This is why I've sworn off Norwegians as boyfriends :)
                                      DeborahK

                                      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, dottie zold
                                      <dottie_z@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > Tarjei that is SO gross!
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > > Mike helsher wrote:
                                      > >
                                      > > > Ahh, and I've met Joel in person, and I love-me
                                      > > like a brother, but
                                      > > I
                                      > > > aint fuckin kissin him.
                                      > >
                                      > > I understand, you're too close for comfort there in
                                      > > Flagstaff, but I
                                      > > can throw kisses across oceans and continents....
                                      > > Wet and salty with a
                                      > > little live herring in it - There's nothing like a
                                      > > kiss with a live
                                      > > herring on the tongue. Ask any sailor.
                                      > >
                                      > > Tarjei
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      > >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      > __________________________________________________
                                      > Do You Yahoo!?
                                      > Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
                                      > http://mail.yahoo.com
                                      >
                                    • Valerie Walsh
                                      ... of ... Hope it s waterproof what with all the fish that are being thrown at him. ... targeting ... Anthros, not ... and ... selling ... bloodhound has ...
                                      Message 18 of 19 , Jul 11, 2006
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                                        --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, Tarjei
                                        Straume <hisholiness@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > Mike H, you wrote:
                                        >
                                        > >I'm in. We could call our new group "the epistimological front
                                        of
                                        > >Joel" or "Joels epistimological front" or even "the front of Joels
                                        > >epistomology".

                                        Hope it's waterproof what with all the fish that are being thrown at
                                        him.


                                        Tarjei wrote:

                                        > the Romulans are still wild and hostile, so we should be
                                        targeting
                                        > Anthro-Romulans, you know, Rogue Anthros or Loose Cannon
                                        Anthros, not
                                        > honest anarcho- and outlaw-anthros like ourselves, but lying,
                                        > cheating, double agents like, you know, like rogue CIA agents
                                        and
                                        > G-crooks in the service of the highest bidder - Rogue Anthros
                                        selling
                                        > out occult secrets and pretending to be things they're not - the
                                        > bullshitters and cocksuckers that our epistemological
                                        bloodhound has
                                        > shown us how to expose. And we're gonna get them, baby, so
                                        the guilty
                                        > should be trembling in their astral underwear. No cloaking
                                        device can
                                        > help them hide anywhere in the cosmos as long as we know
                                        their game.

                                        Sounds like a mission to me. On first thought I had a lot to say
                                        about this. One second thought I decided to keep my mouth
                                        closed.-Val
                                      • write3chairs
                                        ... lost, ... two ... comes ... Yep! Joel is cool. :) I still remember a conversation he and I had, way back when, about one of my heroes, Margaret Fuller.
                                        Message 19 of 19 , Jul 12, 2006
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                                          --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" wrote:

                                          > Sorry about the triple posting. Messages disappear in the Yahoo maze
                                          > only to show up several days later, after you thought they were
                                          lost,
                                          > and there I am, looking at 3 duplicate messages of mine - well well,
                                          > anything for Joel, he deserves a dozen big wet sloppy kisses plus
                                          two
                                          > dozen red roses after all the meanness I've been throwing in his
                                          > direction when in fact he's probably hitting bull's eye when it
                                          comes
                                          > to epistemology and the PoF, and we need his down-to-earth sharp
                                          > questions more than ever, and Joel also deserves some allies in his
                                          > valiant anthro-battles, don't you think?

                                          Yep! Joel is cool. :) I still remember a conversation he and I had,
                                          way back when, about one of my heroes, Margaret Fuller.
                                          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Fuller
                                          This was back in January 2005 and he had told me about a play with her
                                          character in it.

                                          Jennifer
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