Der Staudi and the spiritual
- One of the things Der Staudi is fond of claiming of himself, usually after excoriating anthroposophists for their 'spiritual imperialism' or 'philosophical naivetie', is that he is 'not a positivist or materialist' and that he therefore takes the spiritual seriously. And yet he provides no evidence for this claim and much in support of its opposite. Whenever anyone has brought up spiritual topics or authors, outside of the hated Steiner genre, his response has been to ignore them or refuse to discuss them, usually with an applauding agreement from the rest of the WC ('of course Peter's a spiritual person', Diana will pipe in from time to time). This was his response when Charlotte quoted Blake's poem 'The Angel'. It was his response to my quote from a George McDonald passage that illustrated his epistemological approach to the spiritual. When he mentioned Starhawk it was to approve of her politics and rebuke her for her worldview. Stephen Clarke, perhaps the person from within the anthroposophical movement he's had the most amicable discussion with, was unable to engage him in 'essence talk', which most of us would call the spiritual. In the nearly four years that I've been aware of his presence on WC I am unaware of him entering into any discussion of spirituality, spiritual authors or spiritual topics. It's also worth bearing in mind that he describes himself as an atheist and that most atheists are indifferent to or dismissive of the spiritual. So it seems likely that when he approvingly talks of the world's 'myriad spiritual traditions' and 'the remarkable range of human spiritual belief and experience' in the world he is not being sincere and is more likely trying to divert attention from the evidence that he doesn't like or respect or take the spiritual seriously. As I have said before, it seems likely that this is a ploy to bolster his academic position, as people that appear to be hostile to the spiritual are unlikely to be taken seriously in their criticism of it in academic journals.