4466Ayn Rand and Steiner
- 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
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.
>From: "Jenny" <jnnfrm62@...>_________________________________________________________________
>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
> > ******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!
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