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5199Success of anthroposophy

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  • Durward Starman
    Aug 21 12:19 PM
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      ******* OK, let's divide this up into different threads. People who want to pursue the thread of corresponances/polarities can do so there. Here, it's the question of where the anthroposophic movement is today and its 'success'.
      > RB: OK, it seems that we disagree on these issues, so I don´t know if it´s meaningful to continue the discussion. I suggest we postpone this to some later time...
      > ******* ... I'm curious why my response makes you want to drop the discussion. You said you thought Steiner wanted a powerful society with an esoteric center, and I said there is one, at the Goetheanum, and the School of Spiritual Science which anyone anywhere can join. That makes you drop the subject and just say "I disagree" with no further discussion?
      RB: Yes, it seemed to me that we mostly disagreed on the whole issue of the "successfulness of anthroposophy". Or - to be more precise - I think we may very well have agreed - but we spoke about different things and therefore spoke past each other...Here are some excerpts...

      Robert (RB) : "As I see it – mainly from an "outside" perspective – anthroposophy has not been very successful so far. You can speculate about the reasons for this. Maybe the traditional esoteric path described by Steiner (Knowledge of the higher worlds and its attainment…) has been too difficult, maybe anthroposophy has not let"society" in or maybe "society" has not let anthroposophy in…Or perhaps a combination of all that."

      Starman responded:  That judgement depends on what we think would be 'success'. Being known by millions of people, having lots of public discussion of it?"
      *******That to me is the main question. How do you wish to judge success? You didn't answer, really, but obviously the criteria are all-important.  It sounds like by 'successful' you mean having lots of people in our society know about it, having it heavily advertised and discussed in other words. But I pointed out we were directed not to try to convert people to anthroposophy but rather to let them find their own way to it.
          Moreover, you say you judge as an 'outsider'. Well, I guess that means you haven't been active in the movement--- in a school, a farm, a study group, etc. That limits the ways one can really judge. If you don't have any experience of what's going on inside it, the quality rather than the quantity.
         I don't think having lots and lots of people knowing who Steiner was or talking about anthroposophy is a good measure of success. There are lots of people who know who Aleister Crowley was, who Carl Jung was, who Gurdjieff was. Whatever they tried to start in this world--- even speaking as an 'outsider', how successful do you judge THAT'S been? Now, compare the number of farms, schools, medical establishments and so on that have come from Steiner's life work. I'd say he's been more successful than almost any other founder of a movement in the past century that I can think of, even just looking at it from outside.
         If the criteria are the percentage of the general public who know about or are participating in anthroposophy, you could say it "hasn't been successful." But I don't think that's the only or even the right criteria. It will not appeal to masses of people in our lifetimes, perhaps not for centuries, but only to a small number who will continue to grow it into the future. And it IS growing. By your criteria, I would perhaps consider the Theosophical Society unsuccessful, but not ours.

      RB:I did not really start this discussion. I made a few statements about it, and then suggested to start discussing about the correspondances and polarities...
      ******* Well, I think it's a good discussion you started, intentionally or not, as well as the other one, and the question of the inability to judge about anthroposophy because "I'm not clairvoyant so I have to take it on faith"--- on which more later, on that thread.



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