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Re: WC Study Group

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  • elfuncle
    There are good reasons to assume that obsessive debunkers of spiritual science are subconsciously attracted to it and may indeed join the stream between death
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 23, 2012
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      There are good reasons to assume that obsessive debunkers of spiritual science are subconsciously attracted to it and may indeed join the stream between death and rebirth. Apart from that, history shows us that polemics published against certain new ideas often win new followers of the ideas being attacked. So what the Sugar Cherubs are doing -- one can't really call them "critics" as long as they violate the premises of true criticism so severely  -- is to promote and spread anthroposophy while the opposite is intended.

      But let's get back to Diana here: In one particular post of hers, she quotes from the lecture quite extensively with her own comments in between, but her only real objection comes at the end, where she writes:
      "A point for discussion: Steiner states that although we cannot all be clairvoyant, we can all learn spiritual truths from those who do possess this ability. He presents this as anti-authoritarian: the student need not take anything on faith from the teacher, but if he/she is of normal intelligence can understand all the teachings with his or her own reason. Is this really anti-authoritarian?"
      What I find interesting is that once the topic of discussion is a little bit removed from the context of Waldorf education, which she hatefully distorts and caricatures with her venom, and becomes more focused upon Rudolf Steiner's ideas about history and evolution and consciousness and so on, her criticism becomes less distorted and in fact quite valid at times, because she is then no longer critiquing a caricature of anthroposophy (which is the norm in Sugarland), but the real thing. She doesn't seem aware of this distinction, which is probably one of the causes of her bewilderment. (PS calls it confusion, a state of mind he characteristically projects upon his targets -- more about that below.)

      Our very own Dottie, always the spiritual optimist, had expressed high hopes for Diana. Some of our AT Lovathons were especially aimed at her -- maybe it's finally bearing fruit ;)

      Peter Staudenmaier, of course, is always the master distorter and semantic trickster. Thus he says, in response to Diana's above-cited post:
      "One problem with the approach Steiner outlines here is that it confuses understanding with affirmation, a very common confusion in esoteric thought."
      "Confusion" is one of Staudenmaier's favorite words. Back in 2004, in this very forum, he labeled several threads with the titles "Dottie's confusion," "Tarjei's confusion," "Sune's confusion," "Detlef's confusion" and so on. And at that time we discovered how much PS is actually projecting his own pathologies on "anthroposophists" or "esotericists." He projects his own weaknesses and deep sense of inferiority and uncertainty, especially with negative labels he uses most often, like "confused" and "confusion." In the above statement, it is unclear whether he intends to label Steiner as confused too, or as the confuser of all contemporary and later anthroposophists, but that's of no consequence. His semantic acrobatics here with "affirmation" and "understanding," which he says are being confused because he is confusing them as well as himself -- this is highly characteristic of Staudenmaier's approach to everything. With his good knowledge of German, he should have consulted the original text here and explained the meaning of the words faithfully (which is out of the question in his case). In reality, understanding is a precondition for affirmation. If you ask me about something and I affirm it, I acknowledge it to be true, based upon my own knowledge, experience, and understanding. So Rudolf Steiner does not mean affirmation when he says understanding, and when he compares this kind of understanding to that of the natural sciences, it's a valid comparison because people understand mathematics and natural science on the basis of their own intellects. But also in the field of natural science, many people take the statements of laws and principles and the results of studies etc. on blind authority without thinking about it or understanding it.

      And here is an interesting statement by Pater S., from the same post:
      "What is absent from the lecture is acknowledgement that others might understand the teachings Steiner invokes here and nonetheless reject them, on spiritual grounds or scientific grounds or other grounds."
      He is talking here, of course, about his own understanding, on the basis of which he affirms spiritual science to be untrue. In other words, if his conclusion is false, he has not understood. And if he has not understood something he claims to understand, he is confused. And every time Peter Staudenmaier is confused, he projects his confusion on every anthroposophist and esotericist he can think of. And right now, with this very comment, he is trying to make sure that Diana holds the course and affirms her sugarsweet faith -- that she remains, in fact, in the same state of confusion he is in. If she should suddenly understand something, there's always the possibility that she may become not only a heretic but a lost soul by switching sides -- not by promoting Waldorf, which is unthinkable, but by defending Steiner. She would become -- not a black sheep, but a white sheep in the black fold. (A black sheep means, according to the dictionary, "A member of a family or other group who is considered undesirable or disreputable," but reversing this metaphor fits our mythology about the Unthinkable Facility so much better.)


      --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "elfuncle" <elfuncle@...> wrote:
      > --- In anthroposophy_tomorrow@yahoogroups.com, "ted.wrinch"
      > ted.wrinch@ wrote:
      > >
      > > The Steiner study group on WC has kicked off…to a slow start.
      > Diana, to provide context, posted perhaps the dullest, least informative
      > account of the subject of Rosicrucianism that one could imagine; Wiki
      > would have been much better (with pictures!), but they don't like Wiki
      > on WC (not peer reviewed; too democratic). She then continued by
      > labelling the text 'boilerplate' and dogmatically 'authoritative' and
      > then called the movement hypocritical.
      > She's talking about the publishers of the lectures, who often include an
      > introductory caveat, namely that Steiner never got the time to edit the
      > shorthand reports (except a few) and that they may therefore contain
      > errors. She contrasts this note if caution with the habit many
      > anthroposophists have of taking everything they read from Rudolf Steiner
      > blindly on authority. Although this point is certainly valid (and
      > deserving to be called 'critical' in the true sense of the word), she
      > ignores the distinction between publishers and critical readers --
      > probably because she assumes that because both groups are
      > anthroposophists and all anthroposophists think alike, those who write
      > such reservations in their intros are also violating it. Thus she labels
      > the movement as self-contradictory or hypocritical without specifying
      > the individuals guilty of such hypocrisy. (Interestingly, she has
      > mentioned many times that they never agree on anything, that they argue
      > and fight; especially at Anthroposophy Tomorrow. That doesn't compute
      > very well with the idea that anthroposophists are brainwashed like on an
      > assembly line or something, instead of human individuals each struggling
      > with the riddles of existence and philosophy and so on.
      > > After this, Der Staudi took over with an attempt to, as usual, define
      > the topic as something political (the 'Rosicrucian movement') and then
      > label it right wing and reactionary; realising that this isn't entirely
      > credible he backed down and instead said that the 'movement' isn't
      > categorisable (that's right, Der Staudi, it's knowledge, not politics).
      > This type of interpretation is widespread among materialistic historians
      > and not at all exclusive to "Staudiism."
      > > For Der Staudi, the most interesting aspect of the text seems to be
      > 'that Steiner claims Christian Rosenkreuz existed'…
      > He states categorically that this (assumption, belief, or claim) is an
      > error, and untruth. There is absolutely no proof of this, of course. It
      > can be proven that Christian Rosenkreuz was a literary and mythical
      > character, but if anyone argues that he was also a flesh-and-blood
      > historical person, this cannot be disproven. If you take the fickle and
      > fluctuating personal opinions of selected scholars as authoritative,
      > you're not being very scientific. A century ago, the consensus among
      > scholars was that King Arthur had never existed as a historical person
      > -- a view that was strongly contested by Rudolf Steiner. Today, many
      > historians recognize the historicity of King Arthur, not only on the
      > basis of old documents -- the first datable mention of King Arthur is in
      > a 9th century Latin text. -- but also from archeology
      > <http://www.archaeology.org/online/news/arthur.html> . So there's
      > always a possibility that the consensus or the debates among historians
      > will also change in the future in the face of new discoveries.
      > However, although evidence may corroborate the historicity of a person,
      > the opposite is not possible, and if you cannot disprove the existence
      > of an individual, it's a violation of the scientific method, and
      > therefore amateurish and immature, to claim opinions as facts,
      > especially other people's opinions. As one example, he cites Heinrich
      > Schneider's opinion that it's " 'most unlikely' that Christian
      > Rosenkreuz was 'anything but a fiction.' " Most likely, most likely,
      > probable, improbable and so on -- these are all personal opinions only,
      > not demonstrable or provable facts, which means that it is a fallacy to
      > call disagreements with such opinions for "errors." "Errors" outside the
      > context of mathematics and natural science is nothing but papal talk
      > from the Vatican when he warns against doctrines of errors and heresies.
      > In this case, it must be the Jesuit Staudenmaier we're reading.
      > I usually don't read Peter Staudenmaier's tomes, but this time I took a
      > closer look, and it occurred to me that I don't recall any references of
      > his pointing to primary sources <http://primary-sources.eui.eu/> -- nor
      > even to secondary sources. And given Peter Staudenmaier's notorious
      > intellectual dishonesty and deceit, that leaves us with zero value in
      > his ramblings, i.e. not even worth a peak.
      > Tarjei
      > I think we can see that expecting anything interesting to come out of
      > this study, that relates in any significant way to the text is a long
      > shot…
      > >
      > > T.
      > >
      > > Ted Wrinch
      > >

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