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4540RE: [steiner] Re: Buying books online

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  • Durward Starman
    Sep 7, 2007
      ******* Two things---- first, that old song I hear from time to time that people are having trouble posting to this group. If they're members, no one should have any trouble. As the recent 'spam' shows, people can join and immediately post. But people who are not members can go to the web site and read the messages---- in fact, a lot of members of this group choose to have no e-mail delivered but rather to go to the web site and read messages whenever they feel like it, which is why so few conversations go on here: few communicate in real time. This person's e-mail address doesn't show, so I can't tell if he's a member or not. But after several investigations of similar complaints, I've come to the conclusion that some people just don't know how to post to the group correctly. There's never anything I find that shows any problem from this end. Perhaps they imagine dark conspiracies too much. ;->
         Second, the Theosophical Society's living impulse died out when it became a personality cult centered on Blavatsky, as all movements lose their vitality when they fall victim to the "Johnathan Livingston Seagull syndrome", the idea that the founder was soooo much higher than anyone else that no one else can equal him/her and therefore they become backward-looking monuments to history. But Dr. Steiner carefully cultivated anthroposophy with an extraordinary circle of others who pursued modern initation together, and he gave out a true science which can be worked with by anyone. So books by Karl Konig or Carl Unger or Hermann Poppelbaum or Ernst Lehrs or Guenther Wachsmuth or many other anthroposophists are not qualitatively but only quantitatively different than those by Dr. Steiner, because all of us have the human Spirit within and all of us can work out what Dr. Steiner worked out for himself. It's a sad truth that few anthroposophists have even reached the point of seeing the etheric or astral--- or, in some cases, do not realize that these are what they're experiencing---- but our movement will die the minute people divorce themselves from Steiner's books and say Well he may have perceived those things but I don't know any such thing. We all are experiencing spirit unconsciously all the time: spirit-science is simply making it become conscious. So don't think anthroposophy is only in Steiner. Start working with books by anthroposophic physicians, for instance, and you'll see it goes far beyond Steiner, right down to today.

      www.DrStarman.com (undergoing renovations)

      To: steiner@yahoogroups.com
      From: tma4cbt@...
      Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 17:54:57 +0000
      Subject: [steiner] Re: Buying books online

      For some reason a guy sent me this letter to my personal email account, instead of to the group at large.  Maybe he pushed the wrong button. 

      Dear Matthew & all,
      I'll have to see whether this gets posted or not - strange things happen to messages on thei site, it seems (mine at any rate)!
      First, Richard Seddon was a long-standing member of the Council of the Anthroposphicaql Society in Great Briatain, though has been retired now for a number of years. He is far from being a vanity author. Temple Lodge Press is part of the combined publish activities of Sevak Gulbenkian, who also heads up Rudolf Steiner Press in the UK (Temple Lodge Press was originally an arm of Christian Community publishing, based at the Hammersmith Community building - the house they occupy has always had that name). So it is a bona fide publisher - not a "pay-us-&-we'll-print- anything" operation.
      Of course, that does not conflict with Matthew's warning, "buyer beware:" It's always a good idea to check these things out before making payment (remember, on Amazon, books can be returned - within 10 days, I think - if they do not meet requirements, though there is the matter of postage costs). But, I think the way this book is described is reasonably transparent. There is a problem that Steiner is listed first as author when the book is Dick Seddon's compilation of pieces taken from a number of Steiner's lectures & writings with Seddon commentating & drawing connections between them. Matthew, you should have used the "look inside" option on Amazon. Read a few pages & you can tell what sort of book this is.
      The wider question has appeared on this site on a number of occasions: Steiner only, or other authors as well? The truth is that all books (& most of Steiner's work in particular) are editted. Even if you read the original German, there is the little matter of interpretation & quality. In the case of the lectures, the short-hand transcribers were not equally adept. Visit the archive in Dornach & speak to the people who work there - it's fascinating & illuminating. Then there is the problem of translation on top! Steiner brought to life a community of dialogue for people seeking the Spirit out of the need of their contemporary experience, an expereince that Steiner, prescient as he was, did not live within during his time on earth. That's surely why groups like this exist. There is a special significance & relaity to "going back to source," of course, but even that is mediate, & to act as if "reading Steiner" is like plugging into some direct current of Anthroposphy, would be to handle his books as a zealot handles the Koran. So, there is a place for people like Dick Seddon, though I could wish him a cleaner, leaner prose style! And Matthew is right to warn, "Check that you know what you're getting!"
      p.s. Matthew - why Rudolph Steiner? The man signed his own name, Rudolf!           

      --- In steiner@yahoogroups .com, "Mathew Morrell" <tma4cbt@...> wrote:
      > When you order a Rudolph Steiner book online, watch out. It may not be
      > by Rudolph Steiner. You may open the shipping package, when it arrives
      > at your door step, and realize that the book was written by an
      > Anthroposophist. The writer may be an excellent thinker, worthy of
      > publication. Or the scholar may belong to the second or third rate
      > category. Buyer beware.
      > Read the author line closely before you buy an Anthroposophical book
      > online. Often times the cover art of books by Rudolph Steiner look
      > almost identical to books written by writers who have no business being
      > in print. Third rate scholars get their book in print all too easily
      > within the Anthroposophical community, by paying ten thousand dollars or
      > more of their own money. And we, the reader, flip the bill.
      > I just ordered a book through amazon.com, called "The Future of
      > Humanity and the Earth" by Richard Seddon. I have no idea who this
      > fellow is. Nor have I had a chance to read it. The book may be a
      > masterpiece for all I know. But that's not the point. You think
      > you're buying a book by Rudolph Steiner, because the advertisement
      > is deceptive. It says author: Rudolph Steiner. Here is the ad for The
      > Future of Humanity
      > <http://www.amazon. com/Future- Humanity- Earth-Forseen- Steiner/dp/ 19026362\
      > 95/ref=sr_1_ 1/105-6222051- 5178851?ie= UTF8&s=books&qid=1189111193&sr=1-1>
      > .

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