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4466Ayn Rand and Steiner

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  • Durward Starman
    Jun 24, 2007
      *******Ayn Rand is a whole subject in herself. In one past incarnation she
      longed to be a philosopher like Aristotle, but was unable to be: so in this
      life she indulged her wish, but because it was in a later epoch it did not
      have the effect it would have then. And intellect, when it has no
      appropriate use in this time, becomes corrupted by the opposing powers. So
      her philosophical system is a sort of dead-end. It did not lead to renewing
      the powers of the soul for art, for creativity, as anthroposophy does, but
      rather leads to a sort of spiritual prison for those who swallow it whole.

      However, if you read her epistemological writings, such as her
      Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and compare them to Steiner's
      philosophical writings, such as the Philosophy of Freedom, it's obvious she
      was on the same track. She just made an error similar to Hegel's which
      caused her to fall short of Steiner. (I'm not sure how many people will be
      interested in this; philosophy is usually a sure way to lose listeners these
      days. But what the heck.) See, Hegel took the concept as the ultimate
      reality rather than the thinking mind that creates concepts, or more
      accurately draws them from the infinite well of concepts by the faculty of
      "intuition" as Steiner puts it (not meaning our usual use of the word
      intuition by that). Rand took the outside world as the ultimate reality,
      thus making the activity of cognition concrete but never going deeply enough
      within to recognize what it was that took the 'percepts' from the external
      world and 'integrated' them into a universal concept. She had a horror of
      non-material means of knowing and a sort of dread of looking within. [Taking
      speed every day for 40 years didn't help, either.] But any intense study of
      philosophy can be a start in the direction of anthroposophy, and hers sure
      is intense.

      As for being an atheist, objectivists regard most religion as primitive
      superstition and a hindrance to thinking and progress, an emotional
      mysticism which leads to irrationality and wars.

      Well?????? Any problems with that ????????

      Remember, Steiner was accused by many priests of being an atheist because
      he didn't agree with the usual idiotic approach to religion (one even egged
      on the local Swiss to burn down the building). Buddha's followers were
      likewise called atheists because they thought outside of the traditional
      formulaic method of thinking about the Divine or ultimate reality. Socrates
      was forced to drink the hemlock for the same reason.

      But to Rand, the Self was our Spirit and thinking was done with that
      Spirit, and Man was a being destined to create a life for himself, for his
      own sake, as a free spirit. Making an individual merely a means to another
      end----saying he must live to serve some hypothetical God, or the state, or
      Osama Bin Laden or anything outside of himself--- was repugnant to her, and
      seemed no different in the case of the traditional Christianity (which
      Steiner also opposed in his early career) than in the case of the communism
      which denied and crushed all individuals as she experienced it in Lenin's
      Russia, where her parents were reduced to poverty when the state took over
      her father's business.

      There's one other great point of contact between their approaches: just
      about all the New Age garbage today and for the past century or more has
      gone back to the decadent Eastern religious point of view, that all external
      reality is an illusion. (That's suuuuuuuch a helpful philosophy for building
      a building, starting a farm, running a school, making remedies for
      illnesses, etc.!!!) Rand was repulsed both at the dishonesty of those who
      push this snake-oil while violating it every day---- as William James joked
      about a gathering of philosophers, they concluded there was no such thing as
      reality but all left by the door, not the window---- and the
      feeble-mindedness of the losers who buy it rather than see it as what it is,
      a failed philosophy from people who live in mud huts and starve by the
      millions (most of whom have now intelligently jettisoned it in favor of the
      Western philosophy they see lifting them out of poverty).

      Both Rand and Steiner stood firmly on the ground of Western
      philosophy--- Rand regarding it as a great gift now being abandoned for
      irrationalism and socialism, and Steiner regarding it as also a treasure but
      one which needed to be extended into a SPIRIT science as well as a natural
      and soul one, or else it would become a force for evil.


      Starman

      www.DrStarman.com





      >From: "Jenny" <jnnfrm62@...>
      >Reply-To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      >To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      >Subject: [steiner] Re: Introduction to Anthroposophy #3: Nutrition
      >Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 10:26:40 -0000
      >
      > and i *loved* Ayn Rand, as a teenager. I found her unreadable as
      >an adult.
      > >
      > > ******She appeals to people who feel they have a lot of talent but
      >are not being 'allowed' to be themselves---in other words, to the
      >choleric in us, which we especially feel as teens.
      > > Actually, if she hadn't stopped short at a certain point, she
      >would have found her way to spiritual science; and her work,
      >Nietzchean though it is expressed, has many points of contact with
      >anthroposophy. She experienced the human spirit but never broke
      >through to experiencing the spiritual world THROUGH that.
      >Her 'Objectivism' is still useful for people who need to have a
      >stronger sense of self---but is not good for any who have too strong
      >a one already!
      > > Dr. Starman
      > >
      >
      >
      >Hello, Dr. Starman and All!
      >
      >Forgive me for bringing up an old post, but I found this view of Ayn
      >Rand to be fascinating. It has been my understanding that
      >Objectivists are Atheists based on the idea that "reality precedes
      >consciousness" -- hence there can be no God. Objectivists claim that
      >one cannot be both a Christian and an Objectivist. I would be very
      >interested to learn where Objectivism meets Anthroposophy and how Ayn
      >Rand "got it wrong".
      >
      >Thank you so much!
      >
      >Jenny

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