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5835Bondarev's CC book, again

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  • Robert Mason
    Jun 10, 2014

      It's been so long since Frank started his
      thread about the "Constitution Question"
      (in Facebook "Anthroposophy") that I decided
      to post this response by itself.  I've run
      into many delays in preparing this response. 
      I was going to glance again at Bondy's book,
      but I decided that I needed to read it all
      again, and I did.  (It had been over four
      years since I read the book, and then under
      trying personal circumstances; I needed to
      read it again, and I'm glad that I did.) 
      And it's gotten to be almost impossible to
      transfer files between my old computer and
      my new one.  I strive for accuracy, and I
      had to find the quotes and links .  -- And
      so on; one thing led to another, and this has
      taken a lot of time.  And . . . I'm just slow
      anyway.
      Frank Thomas Smith wrote:
      >>To contradict Bondarev:
      The statutes of the GAS of 8 Feb. 1925
      include "The administration of the
      Anthroposophical Society", along with the
      Philosophic-Anthroposophical Publisher, and
      the Clinic and the Goetheanum building as
      "sub-sections". This seem to clearly
      indicate that the AS of Christmas 1923 was
      meant to continue to exist, but be
      administered by the GAS (renamed Building
      Society). . . . If Steiner really thought
      that the AS should be absorbed into the
      GAS . . . .<<
      Robert writes:
      Apparently in my "review" and my last post
      I did not make a distinction between
      Steiner's signing-off on the resolutions
      of Feb. 8 and the merger, or whatever it
      was, of Dec. 29, 1925.  In this I made a
      serious error; Bondarev does not conflate
      the two, for the most part.  When Bondarev
      says:
      ". . . . Rudolf Steiner, in signing the
      minutes of the meeting of 8th February
      1925, dissolved the Anthroposophical
      Society he had founded at the Christmas
      Conference."
      Robert continues:
      . . . he means that this "dissolution"
      applied mainly to the arrangement of Feb.
      8, not to the merger of Dec. 29.  In putting
      the administration of the (former)
      Christmas Conference Society under the
      (renamed and re-organized) Goetheanum
      Building Society, RS accomplished what he
      wanted to do:  to put the Anthroposophical
      Society under the protection and guidance
      of the "Good Spirit of the Goetheanum".
      Of the arrangement of Feb. 8, Bondarev
      says:
      "The Executive Council of the previous
      Bauverein (G. B. Assn.) was dissolved, and
      thus all that remained was the Executive
      Council of the Christmas Conference, the
      so-called 'esoteric' Executive Council.
      "From that day onwards the Statutes of
      the Bauverein became the Statutes of the
      AAG/GAS, not, however, those Statutes
      which had been discussed and accepted
      during the Christmas Conference."
      ". . . . with the events that happened
      on the 8th February 1925, the
      Anthroposophical Society founded at
      Christmas 1923 or, rather, the
      Association of the AAG/GAS, was
      virtually annulled."
      "At the beginning of 1925 . . . . All
      that he [RS] could do in these
      circumstances was to make, in a copy of
      the minutes of the meeting of the 29th
      June, and with a hand that was growing
      weaker (the hand=writing [sic] betrays
      this), an amendment that was to be
      decisive for the further destiny of the
      Association of the AAG. With this
      amendment the Association was virtually
      annulled. The association of the
      Goetheanum [the building society]- a
      component part of the former Association
      of the AAG- became the General
      Anthroposophical Society (no longer the
      Association!)."
      "We must recognize that those critics
      are right (Marie Steiner was among them)
      who have maintained for decades that
      Rudolf Steiner, in signing the minutes of
      the meeting of 8th February 1925,
      dissolved the Anthroposophical Society he
      had founded at the Christmas Conference."
      ". . . . that the AAG/GAS of the Christmas
      Conference was actually dissolved on the
      8th February 1925, and together with it,
      of course, the esoteric Class . . . ."
      Robert continues:
      Bondarev considers the spiritual facts
      behind the outer events.  When we look at
      these spiritual facts, the otherwise
      incomprehensible legalities become much
      more understandable.  He is especially
      concerned with the epistemological
      bases of "spiritual science"; he maintains
      that the Anthros of that time, even the
      leading associates of RS did not
      comprehend these principles and put
      them into practice, and that therefore
      these Anthros did not understand what RS
      was trying to accomplish with the
      Society -- and furthermore that they could
      not be entrusted to lead the Society as RS
      did from the Christmas Conference
      forward.
      ". . . . [around Aug. 3, 1924] it was necessary
      to delay the entry of the Association of the
      AAG in the Trade Register. It was also
      necessary to postpone a 'clear explanation'
      of the meaning of the events. It was
      impossible to explain what had become less
      and less clear to perceive. But what became
      ever more apparent needed no explanation:
      namely, the fact that the Christmas
      Conference had not been understood, and
      had not been taken up, by the members. It
      had not taken place in them. They had
      remained what they were before."
      Robert continues:
      Looking at the situation around early Feb.
      1925:  It had changed drastically even
      since the Summer of 1924.  RS had fallen
      ill; he was bedridden.  He realized that
      the Christmas Conference had failed.
      (Bondarev:)
      "By the end of summer 1924 it was becoming
      ever clearer: 'The Christmas Conference
      has not succeeded', as Rudolf Steiner
      himself said to some of the members. "
      (By way of Herbert Wimbauer, with
      translation by Jean-Marc Nguyen:)
      (From Dr. Bruno Krüger comes the message
      that as early as June 1924, Rudolf Steiner
      told him personally:) "This [Christmas
      Conference] impulse is ruined [zerschellt =
      spoiled, destroyed]."
      "The eurythmist Ina Schuurman expressly
      declared she had personally heard the
      following statements - word for word -
      from Rudolf Steiner:  'It was at a Eurythmy
      rehearsal during the Christmas Conference
      ... when Rudolf Steiner, on his way out of
      the hall, came and stopped by me and said:
      'Well, let's hope that it can go on like that
      for another 10 years'...It was again at a
      Eurythmy rehearsal in Dornach, in
      September 1924 ... when Rudolf Steiner
      went past me and stopped. He said very
      clearly: "The Christmas Conference has
      failed" [ist mißlungen] and entered the
      hall' (Ina Schuurman)."
      Robert continues:
      Around that time RS was coming to realize
      also that the First Class had failed
      (Bondarev doesn't quite say this, I think,
      but this is apparent from the reports of
      others).
      (Translation by Jean-Marc Nguyen:)
      (A letter by Rudolf Steiner - which is not in
      the GA in Dornach --  Rudolf Steiner writes,
      on March 16, 1925:)  'The concern about the
      High School needs not to burden us any
      longer, it has definitively failed [Die
      Sorge um die Hochschule braucht uns nicht
      weiter zu belasten, sie ist endgültig
      gescheitert]. As far as I'm concerned, it
      now only comes down to applying all my
      energy to the Building, for I must
      terminate it myself. Everything would be
      lost, if I was prevented from doing that'
      (Rudolf Steiner, 16. 3. 1925)."
      "Count Polzer-Hoditz wrote in his letter
      to the Executive Council in Dornach, 30
      June 1929: that one should not forget
      however, that Rudolf Steiner himself, in
      September 1924, had declared 'in crucial
      circumstances' [in maßgebendstem
      Zusammenhang] that the attempt [to found]
      a High School of Spiritual Science had
      failed [daß der Versuch einer Hochschule
      für Geisteswissenschaft mißlungen ist]."
      Robert continues:
      RS realized that he might soon die; perhaps
      he realized that he *would* soon die.
      (Bondarev again:)
      "After many months of severe, emaciating
      illness, Rudolf Steiner was no longer in a
      position to 'convene', to 'discuss' or to
      'explain'."
      ". . . . what Rudolf Steiner himself went
      through when he saw that it would not be
      granted to him to complete the work [what
      was 'created during the Christmas
      Conference'] which he had begun and with
      which he was most profoundly connected."
      "At the beginning of 1925 the struggle
      had exhausted Rudolf Steiner. That he was
      continuing to say that he would recover,
      can be explained by the fact that this,
      too, was a question human meta-history:
      Was he about to be called away prematurely
      from the physical plane, or was he not?
      But his physical forces grew ever weaker;
      it became ever more difficult form to
      maintain the connection with his physical
      body."
      Robert continues:
      RS also realized that the "leaders" of
      the Society, besides himself, had not
      grasped what he was trying to accomplish
      with the Society, and that they were not
      capable of leading it as he was.
      (Bondarev:)
      "But one thing was absolutely clear to
      him: An esoteric work of such depth [the
      Christmas Conference Society], the
      centre of new and nascent Mysteries,
      could not be entrusted to these people
      [his immediate associates]!   They would
      not be able to lead it and therefore the
      powers of evil would have to overcome
      them."
      "The tri-unity created during the
      Christmas Conference could only have been
      maintained without Rudolf Steiner if its
      leaders had been more highly developed
      individuals."
      "The successor of such a hierophant [as
      RS] can only be someone possessing the
      same faculties. Only under these
      conditions can the new Mystery centre be
      created without being falsified or taken
      over by evil powers."
      "Right up to the 30th March 1925 there
      was, apart from Rudolf Steiner not a
      single person who could have continued his
      work."
      Robert continues:
      So, under these circumstances, RS tried to
      save what could be saved of what he had
      tried to accomplish with the re-founding of
      the Society.  By early February of 1925 he
      was preparing for his death.  He put the
      Society under the protection and leadership
      of the Spirit of the Goetheanum.  He knew
      that this Spirit is a real Being.
      (Bondarev:)
      "How Rudolf Steiner spoke about the [first]
      Goetheanum, we find described in the
      memoirs of Adelhied Petersen: 'It was deeply
      compelling to hear with what strong inner
      emotion-often as though he was on the verge
      of tears-he spoke of the significance of the
      building for the spiritual world, of the
      participation of the dead in its
      construction . . . .'"
      "Rudolf Steiner replied [at the end of the
      Christmas Conference]: Do not thank me;
      thank the 'Spirit of the Goetheanum'."
      Robert continues:
      And therefore, RS effectively annulled the
      Christmas Conference Society by putting it
      under the administration of the (renamed and
      reorganized) Goetheanum Building
      Association.  This was only the outer, legal
      form of the spirtual reality:  that the Society
      was now under the leadership of the "Good
      Spirit of the Goetheanum".
      (Bondarev:)
      "This 'Spirit of the Goetheanum' was
      objectivized in the 'Association of the
      Goetheanum'. This association should
      therefore become, for them ['those who had
      already, for many years, received
      Anthroposophy into themselves'] the
      Anthroposophical Society."   (Here
      Bondarev does seem to endorse, somewhat,
      by implication, the merger of Dec. 29,
      1925. -- RM)
      Robert continues:
      Bondarev does say of the Society as it was
      after Dec. 29:
      ". . . . what came into being at the AGM in
      December 1925 with Albert Steffen as
      President was neither the Anthroposophical
      Society of the Christmas Conference nor the
      AAG/GAS of the Association of the
      Goetheanum"
      ". . . . since [Dec. 29] 1925 and right up to the
      present day [2005] we have the renewed,
      'empty' AS of 1913 'full of Ahrimanic holes' [as
      RS said], the AS which Rudolf Steiner had
      dissolved at Christmas 1923/24."
      "What is the meaning of the Christmas
      Conference? In 1924 everything ended in a
      further catastrophe because no-one asked this
      question. In 1925 it was clearly too late to
      ask it, and so we were given the AS of 1913.
      [on 29 Dec. 1925]"
      "The society which came into being at Christmas
      1925/26 could, quite justifiably, have been led by
      Albert Steffen."
      ". . . . one can have the impression that it [the
      Christmas Conference] was no more than a matter
      of juristic procedure. This was the understanding
      of all those participating in the Conference of
      28th/29th December 2002. And so the result of all
      that was that a single group of people started to
      play juristic games on the assumption that this
      was an expression of freedom; in reality it was an
      expression of trivial lawlessness, in view of the fact
      that the games in question were 90% free of all
      rights-consciousness. 'Esotericism' found its
      expression there in the fact that the participants
      were instilled with fear by the following: If you
      were not to recognize this group as the legal
      successor of the Christmas Conference, you would
      be placing yourself in opposition to God the
      Father Himself, who stands behind these
      Statutes!"
      Robert continues:
      Around Christmas of 1925, after R. Steiner's
      death, the surviving "leaders" of the Society, not
      understanding the legalities, much less the
      spiritual realities, simply reverted to what they
      did "know":  the old forms, of the old (1913)
      Society (to be conflated with the Goetheanum
      Building Association).  That is how the merger,
      or submerging, of the Society into the (renamed)
      Building Association could happen, without
      anyone, the leaders or the members, quite
      understanding what was happening.  And RS
      himself had set the stage for this confusion, by
      giving the (renamed) Building Association
      almost the same name as the Society and exactly
      the same Vorstand.  With this merger, the
      placing of the Society under the protection of
      the Spirit of the Goetheanum was complete,
      which was more-or-less in line with Steiner's
      basic intention; even though not exactly the
      structure that RS endorsed on Feb. 8, 1925 was
      put into effect.
      Frank wrote:
      >>. . . . because the Vorstand and the members
      wouldn't be able to handle the 2 Societies
      without him, it is inconceivable that he didn't
      tell anyone.<<
      Robert writes:
      But we need to understand that it *is*
      conceivable, because that, essentially, is what
      did happen, assuming that RS himself was not
      confused.  (And assuming that his immediate
      associates did not contrive to thwart him, and
      possibly murder him.)  On this point, I'll stand
      by what I said in my previous "review":
      "The true esoteric Teacher can reveal to his
      students only as much as they are ripe to
      receive, and only under the right
      circumstances.  In particular, the students must
      be alert and active enough to ask the right
      'Parsival questions'.  This RS's associates failed
      to do.  In the absence of the right questions to
      him RS could not give a full explanation."
      (Bondarev again:)
      "The Christmas Conference was a Mystery act
      whose entire meaning, according to the rules of
      occult pupilship, Rudolf Steiner did not reveal
      directly and immediately. He explained in his
      lectures that there is much that can only be
      hinted at by the Teacher, as this makes it possible
      for the pupil to think further independently and
      for his freedom not to be restricted. . . .
      Conditions that apply in the present time have
      made an addition to this rule, namely, that the
      pupil must himself seek an answer to the
      questions that are awakened in him by spiritual
      cognition. . . . What they [Steiner's pupils] did
      not understand, they ought at least to have asked
      about, and the questions ought to have been
      deeply penetrating and well thought through.
      "The Association founded [at the Christmas
      Conference] by Rudolf Steiner was meant to be in
      its essential character a centre of initiation, and
      in such a case one does not speak of things to the
      pupils unless they ask about them themselves.
      This is an occult law."
      Robert continues:
      Steiner's associates, like Parzival, did not ask
      the right questions at the right time, and
      therefore, in the age of the Consciousness Soul,
      the esoteric Teacher could not tell them the
      secrets.
      As I said in my "review", Bondy makes the
      comparison of RS to Jesus Christ in the Garden
      of Gethsemane:  He went through this trial,
      drank this "cup", alone; His disciples could not
      "stay awake".  And I believe that this
      comparison is apt.  Steiner's students, even
      his closest ones, were not "awake" enough to
      ask the right questions about what he was
      trying to do -- and he was given the "cup" of
      poison.
      Frank wrote:
      >>But the Vorstand always insisted that the
      GAS of 1925 WAS the AS of 1923 and was
      what Steiner meant all along - up until 2000,
      when a different Vorstand finally admitted
      that it was not.<<
      Robert writes:
      The big change in the Vorstand around 2000
      was the death of president, Manfred Schmidt-
      Brabant, and the subsequent organization, or
      disorganization, of the Vorstand as a
      "collegium" without a president.  MSB
      insisted that the GAS/AAG since Dec. 1925
      was the same as the Christmas Conference
      Society.  But maybe he started to see the
      light, or a glimmer, as death approached him,
      when it was too late to do anything about it?
      Torodd Susanne Lien wrote:
      >>. . . . Bondarev  has not been able to take up
      and transform his hard feelings about what
      happened to him, what was done to him by the
      GAS and has so much venom and untransformed
      emotions interweaving with everything he
      writes, too much demonization of his enemies.<<
      Robert writes:
      You don't say exactly what you mean by *what
      was done to him by the GAS*, but I presume that
      you mean his expulsion in 1998.  But his troubles
      with the Dornach Society started before that. 
      Try to put yourself in his place:  He had been born
      in the USSR in Stalin's time, gone through that
      terror and the Second World War, and had found
      Anthroposophy and led the Moscow Anthro
      Society during the darkness and repression of
      the Brezhnev era.  He must have looked toward
      Dornach as a beacon of light and hope.  Then
      came the "perestroika", and he visited Dornach
      for the first time (in the late '80s).  What a
      shock and bitter disappointment it must have
      been to him when he saw with his own eyes what
      was actually being done in the Goetheanum!
      Bondarev had survived as leader of the Anthro
      Society in Moscow during the murderous
      Bolshevist tyranny.  He was used to dealing
      with traitors and infiltrators.  He had applied
      himself assiduously to the Anthroposophical
      Path of Cognition, and he gained the ability to
      "read" people.  He had to have this ability;
      his spiritual survival, maybe even his physical
      survival, depended upon it.  He had sat in the
      hot seat during interrogation by the KGB.  He
      was mentally and morally tough.  He was not
      the sort of person who could be fooled or
      intimidated by mere Anthro Society
      Vorsitzers.
      He immediately came into conflict with the
      then-leader of the Society, Manfred Schmidt-
      Brabant, apparently over Bondarev's position
      as a "Class Reader" in the Russian Society. 
      It soon became apparent to Bondarev that MSB
      was dealing falsely with him, blocked the
      publication of his books, was simply lying, and
      threatened Bondarev with expulsion. 
      (Bondarev had been appointed as Class Reader
      by the Vorstand in 1977, when Rudolf Grosse
      was President.)
      (From Bondarev’s *Stimme aus dem Osten* [*Voice
      from the East*], 2nd German edition, 1992;
      translation by Jean-Marc Nguyen:)
      "My 25-year-long anthroposophical activity
      in Russia took place under unspeakable
      conditions - under constant persecution. The
      secret police attempted to paralyze my work
      by all conceivable means. Back then, I would
      never have believed that this persecution of my
      anthroposophical activity would be crowned
      with success some day - i.e., not in Moscow, but
      in Dornach!"
      Robert continues:
      Not very long afterwards, Bondarev was appalled
      by the "renovation" of the 2nd Goetheanum and
      the removal and desecration of Rudolf Steiner's
      ashes.  He wrote some strong criticisms of the
      leadership of the Society in his book *The Crisis
      of Civilization* (*Anthroposophie auf der
      Kreuzung . . . *) in 1992-3 (first German edition
      published in 1996).  In the 2nd chapter, "On the
      Question of Christian Ethics", he says the
      following (using the "editorial *we*.):
      "We must add a few words on the personal
      attitude of the author. After publishing the
      brochure *Voice from the East* he was asked
      by several anthroposophists whether he had
      not been led by feelings of antipathy. In all
      conscience I declare: no, I had not. When I
      wrote of my concern for the soul-development
      of those whose behaviour contradicts divine as
      well as human law, it was indeed not hypocrisy.
      When a Russian expresses himself emotionally
      it does not necessarily mean that he bears a
      grudge in his heart. At times it is just this
      concern for people close to us that causes us to
      treat them somewhat more sternly. "
       
      "We must live through the tragedy of our time
      with a concerned and often pain-filled heart.
      Then we will learn to distinguish the liar from
      one who speaks the truth."
      Robert continues:
      Bondarev distinguished between mere
      brawling and "unmasking", and cites the
      example of Jesus Christ Himself:
      "Unmasking on the other hand is a means
      whereby secret and unrecognized evil and vice
      are brought to light."
      "If without prejudice we tried now in
      imagination to place this scene [in the
      Gospels, when Christ is denouncing someone]
      in our own time we would have to say out of
      the attitude and conceptions of today: Christ
      has no tact!"
      Robert continues:
      Bondarev perceived that the Dornach Society
      was being infiltrated at the top and that
      Anthroposophy was being falsified there.
      (From *Voice from the East*; translated by
      JMN:)
      "That's why Ahriman endeavors to obscure
      [verdunkeln] it, to submerge [überfluten] the
      world with the now despairing ancient wisdom
      [mit der altertümlichen, hoffnungslos
      gewordenen Weisheit]. Thus one sees how
      significant it is that atavistic occultism is
      making approaches to Anthroposophy. In the
      future, this situation will become even more
      complicated. Distortions will occur evermore,
      attempts to equate Anthroposophy with the
      ancient occult doctrines and practices."
      Robert continues:
      Bondarev's suspicions were confirmed, in a
      way, by none other than Manfred Schmidt-
      Brabant himself -- when, shortly before his
      (MSB's) death, he made the startling statement
      that the Society had fallen into "occult
      imprisonment".  Whether or not that is
      literally true, apparently as MSB neared his
      death he had a kind of illumination and saw
      that something was drastically wrong with
      the Dornach Society.
      And this "wrongness" continued after MSB's
      death.  Writing about the removal of Rudolf
      Steiner's ashes and the renovation of the
      Goetheanum, Bondarev still saw 
      ". . . .dark plotters and schemers . . . " [in
      the Society]
      "The reader of this [*Christmas Conference*]
      book may be thinking as follows: A few things
      in it I can entirely go along with, but the
      critical tone is enough to make me reject the
      book. . . .  when one observes what certain
      individuals allow themselves to do in the cause
      of the destruction of Anthroposophy within
      the AAG/GAS, while others willingly accept it,
      then one's indignation, one's righteous anger,
      cannot be restrained."
      Robert continues:
      Finally, Bondarev diagnoses the problem: 
      ". . . . the forces that are infiltrating the
      AAG/GAS and acting behind the scenes of world
      politics. All of these are the same forces. "
      Robert continues:
      Bondarev wrote a whole book (*Kreuzung*)
      about the dark occultisms behind politics. 
      (And he is surely not the only observer to
      discern something of the like in the "deep
      politics" behind world politics.)  These
      occultisms are Luciferic, Ahrimanic, and
      even Asuric.  They are deeply opposed to
      forward evolution in the world, and now
      Bondarev sees these same occultisms at work
      in the Anthro Society, at the very top. 
      These opponents understand the importance
      of Anthroposophy for world evolution, even
      if the alleged proponents sometimes don't.
      No wonder Bondarev gets so worked up about
      it all.  Rather than explain his anger away
      by attributing it to merely personal grudges,
      one might do better to look at the facts and
      see whether Bondarev's criticisms fit with
      the facts.
      -- So:  What's the upshot; what can be done
      about all this now?
      I believe that probably the first thing that
      the Society could do would be to return to
      something like the arrangement that RS made
      on Feb. 8, 1925.  Of course, account must be
      taken of all that has happened since then,
      including the court decisions.  The main
      point would be to recognize that the
      Goetheanum Building Society and the
      Anthroposophical Society must be separate
      entities.  The Building Society, under
      whatever name, should have a very restricted
      membership and leadership, possibly the same
      Vorstand as the present GAS/AAG.  This
      Building Society would "administer" the
      wider Anthro Society, and approaches could
      be made to the Nachlassverwaltung and the
      Ita Wegman Clinic.  The membership of the
      wider, "general" Anthro Society could then
      be wide open, and the expulsions should be
      annulled.  (This would entail an attempt at
      *rapprochement* with the Anthro Society of
      Switzerland, the CRC Zweig in Hamburg,
      and so on.)
      As Frank wrote:
      >>Literally anyone can become a member [of
      the present Anthro Society of Dornach], and
      if a majority voted to sell the Goetheanum or
      give it to the Waldorf-Critics, they could do
      so.<<
      Robert writes:
      This is true, and that is why real democracy
      in the present Anthro Society is impossible. 
      But if control of the Goetheanum were
      restricted to a narrow circle of trustworthy
      Anthros, and if this narrow circle had control
      of the wider Society's assets and so on, then
      "democracy" could be given free rein in that
      wide-open Society.  The only criterion for
      membership could then be, as RS said at the
      Christmas Conference, that the member sees a
      justification for what is being done at the
      Goetheanum.  What was "being done" when RS
      spoke those words was the cultivation of
      real spiritual science.  It would be up to the
      prospective member to say whether he sees a
      justification in such "cultivation", and the
      Society would have to take his word for it. 
      Then, if that wider Society were swarmed
      and taken over by Tombergians, Stalinists,
      Waldorf-Critics, or whatever -- that could be
      allowed, because the infiltrators would have
      no real power, except to talk.  Anyone would
      be free to talk, but the real Anthros would
      likewise be free not to let the swindlers
      waste their time.
      A "First Class" of some kind might continue
      to exist, but it should not be as it is at
      present:  merely the reading of the dead
      "lessons".  The "Sections" might continue to
      be led by people recognized by the
      administration as having specialized
      Anthroposophical knowledge, but the general
      class could not be as it was when RS led it. 
      At most the "class" could only be a gathering
      of people who wish to apply themselves
      seriously  to the Anthroposophical Path of
      Cognition.  Since the present Vorstand has
      very little understanding of this Path, they
      could hardly "lead" the class.  The class, or
      classes, or "Free High School" should be
      informal and collegial, and progress in it
      could not be decided by incompetent people
      on Earth, but by the true Spirits. -- Members
      of such a "high school" might indeed "stand
      before the world for Anthroposophy", but
      they could not be chosen to do so by a
      cognitively unskilled Vorstand; they would
      have to stand or fall on their own merits,
      freely recognized or not, by the (socially)
      free people in the age of the Consciousness
      Soul.  (Of course, the leaders of the
      administration would be able to choose
      whomever they might wish to represent the
      formal Building Association/Society, or,
      for that matter, the general. "open" Society.)
      Bondarev says on this point:
      ". . . . after his [RS's] premature passing
      from the physical plane, neither the Society
      he created nor the esoteric Class nor the
      esoteric 'Vorstand' could continue to exist."
      "The High School should be, therefore, as in
      the Mysteries of antiquity, a place for the
      meeting of human beings with the Gods. It
      should be that 'inner sphere' which is the
      bearer of the 'open Mystery' of the Society. It
      was not simply a cultural-historical
      phenomenon. A human being can prepare
      himself for it by working on himself
      individually. We have in mind here, of course,
      the three esoteric classes, not the Sections."
      ". . . no-one [today, in the present
      circumstances] has the right to lead the High
      School [as it was under Steiner's leadership]."
      "A true esoteric school can only be led by an
      initiate."
      Robert continues:
      Such a reorganization would depend on the
      quality of the leadership (and on the members)
      of the Dornach Society.  The outlook there
      seems rather grim now, but if even Schimdt-
      Brabant could get a glimmer of the light,
      perhaps the present leadership, if they finally
      see their failures, might get enough of a
      glimmer too?
      I hope so, but I can't wait for that.  Whatever
      I might think of Ben Aharon, it seems that I
      am working on his alleged "Plan B", whether
      I want to or not.  A lot of that is due to my
      personal circumstance, not to free choice.  The
      Internet is available to me; branch meetings
      and conferences are not.  So, that's a big
      reason why I'm here; I presume others are here
      for similar reasons, working on the "periphery". 
      Ahriman's nifty little tool that he gave to us,
      the Internet, has made such working possible,
      and it might well backfire on him. 
      Anthoposophical discourse is beyond the
      complete control of the Vorstand and the
      "official" publishers.  The Internet is there,
      as are print publications:  some worthwhile,
      such as *Symptomatologischen Illustrationen*,
      some not so much, such as *Info3*.  The reader
      must apply discernment; if the "official" side
      promotes such as Prokofieff, then unofficially
      such as Bondarev find their way into publication
      also, even if weakly and scattered, and in
      unfamiliar languages.  The discriminating
      Anthro can find his way,  if he really tries;
      after all, the Gods are with him.  "Seek, and ye
      shall find."
      Speaking of Proky:  He had been elevated to
      the Vorstand, and, whatever his failings, at
      least he tried to hold the line against Judith
      von Halle.  Now with Proky gone, I have to
      wonder whether such pseudo-occult
      flummery such as hers will find its way into
      the Dornach Society.  Proky had expressed
      reservations about the "direction" that the
      Society was taking.  Perhaps his departure
      was due more to this "direction" than it was
      to his health?  It is a measure of my low
      opinion of the present leadership that I
      don't trust them to tell the simple truth
      about this. -- In the same vein:  with the
      Nachlassverwaltung now coming out with a
      so-called "critical edition" of Steiner's
      works, in collaboration with a professor at
      the Mormon Brigham Young University, I
      have to wonder into what kind of hands the
      leadership of the Nachlassverwaltung has
      now fallen.  But most of Steiner's *Nachlass*
      is already out there; no "critical editions" can
      repeal that fact.
      I've almost stopped paying any attention to
      what happens in Dornach; perhaps that is my
      failing?  I am aware that some Anthros have
      given up on the Society and Dornach in
      general; I don't know that I'm quite ready
      to do that.  I still have my pink card
      somewhere; I'm a "sleeping member"; I do
      believe that a real, functioning Anthro
      Society would be a good thing in this world. 
      But what can I *do* about it? -- I don't know.
      Can the Society be rescued, even at this late
      date?  Bondarev, in some passages, seems to
      think not:
      "He [RS] began [creating the form of the
      "mystery center" of Anthroposophy] with the
      building of the first Goetheanum and completed
      the task on 3rd August 1924 with the founding
      of the Association of the AAG/GAS." 
      ". . . . Rudolf Steiner. With his departure from
      the physical plane, there was the risk that what
      he had created might turn into its opposite.
      From that moment onwards the objection
      formulated above [that the bureaucratized
      Society inevitably becomes dictatorial] is fully
      justified. There is only one way of heeding it at
      the present time: by not founding societies of
      any kind!"
      Robert continues:
      Bondy even seems to believe that the Spirit of
      the Goetheanum has left the Society:
      Steiner said:
      "'The spirit of this Goetheanum, if we really
      will in an upright and honest way, cannot be
      taken from us'. (p.251) [GA 260]"
      Robert continues:
      But Bondy says that the *if* has not been
      fulfilled, so:  "In fact, it has been taken."
      Nevertheless, the world really needs
      Anthroposophy; it would be an
      unimaginable catastrophe for the world
      if Anthroposophy were lost, and perhaps a
      "society" of some kind is necessary, or at
      least helpful for Anthroposophy in the
      world:
      (Bondarev:)  ". . . . a community of human
      beings with a capacity for spiritual depth,
      who understand the nature of the problem
      and of the task of our time, and who have
      social courage. And so long as such people
      are not to be found, no external reforms will
      save the AAG/GAS; the Mystery of
      Anthroposophy will remain in a latent state,
      and humanity will have to bear losses on an
      immeasurable scale."
      "The Anthroposophical impulse has
      universal human significance in that the
      further destiny of the earthly aeon is
      dependent on its development."  "Rudolf
      Steiner: 'The future of the earth is
      inseparable from Anthroposophy.' (GA 259,
      p.310)"
      "Rudolf Steiner's colleagues and supporters
      more or less knew and understood that the
      future of the world depends upon the
      successes of Anthroposophy. "
      Robert continues:
      I don't know whether the Spirit of the
      Goetheanum has left the Goetheanum. 
      That building has been mangled and
      desecrated (and I read somewhere that
      even Wi-Fi has been installed there).  But
      the building does at least still stand, and
      maybe its Spirit does still dwell there, or
      at least around the Society.  And maybe
      even the spirit of Rudolf Steiner is still in
      some way connected:
      (Bondarev:)
      "With the decision to found a new Society
      and to lead it, Rudolf Steiner made his own
      further destiny immediately dependent on
      what the Anthroposophists would do in the
      Society. And the likelihood is that this
      connection remains to the present day."
      Robert continues:
      -- I would like to hope that Michael and
      Destiny have still not yet abandoned the
      Dornach Society completely.  I believe that a
      "center" where Anthroposophy is cultivated,
      and where Anthroposophists can meet, would
      be a good thing in this world.  Maybe I don't
      act in accordance with that hope, and
      probably that's my failing.  But I don't know
      what I can *do* about that problem in my
      circumstances; maybe it'll "come to me". 
      Meanwhile, I continue to do something,
      however weakly:  working on myself and
      working on the "periphery".
      Steiner said:
      "When we return here at the end of the
      century, they will possibly not let us into the
      Goetheanum." 
      Robert continues:
      The Society nearly fulfilled that prophecy in
      1998 when it expelled Bondarev.  IMO he is
      the nearest that we have now (assuming
      that he is still alive and functioning) to
      Rudolf Steiner.  Indeed, others are working
      with Anthroposophical "initiatives", and
      some very good work has been done, but
      Bondarev (as far as I know, in the exoteric
      realm anyway) is the foremost worker at
      the *core* of Anthroposophy:  the Path of
      Cognition. 
      Leading Thought #1:  Anthroposophy is a
      path of cognition . . . .
      Bondarev writes on a wide range of topics,
      but in the end his message comes down to
      just three things:
      Methodology! Methodology! Methodology!
      "Rudolf Steiner . . . . was the first to found an
      initiation science on the basis of the theory of
      knowledge. This means that his crucial
      achievement lies in the special, Goetheanistic
      and philosophical works . . . . "
      Robert continues:
      By this Bondarev means the practice of the
      epistemology of Anthroposophy.  He uses
      different words (in translation):  *gnoseology*,
      *methodology*, even *methodosophy*.  His
      focus is on the transformation of thinking,
      for the Anthroposophical Path is essentially
      the Path of Thinking.  As I have said before, I
      believe that Bondarev's "sevenfold dialectic" is
      probably the most important
      Anthroposophical discovery since Steiner
      himself was alive.  For Bondarev "the general
      crisis of cognition in the world" *is* the
      essential crisis in civilization; everything
      depends upon it.  And, building upon Steiner's
      epistemological work, Bondarev is making
      the foremost contribution toward solving
      that crisis, as far as I know.
      But the Dornach Society would not tolerate
      Bondy's presence.  That in itself shows well
      enough how far the Society has fallen.  The
      "constitutional" turmoil is the most obvious
      outer sign of that, but it all follows from the
      failure to grasp the epistemology of
      Anthroposophy.  (That's the most generous
      explanation; more sinister motives might also
      be at work under the surface.)
      Bondarev sees two general groupings of those
      in and around the Society/Movement who
      "fail" at the core of Anthroposophy:  the
      "Cains" and the "Abels".  The paradigmatic
      leader of the "Abel" group is named as SO
      Prokofieff, and the essence of that faction is
      seen as a respect and devotion to Rudolf
      Steiner, but of an unclear, sentimental,
      dreamy, submissive kind.  The "Cain" group
      is comprised of those who have no special
      respect for Rudolf Steiner and seek to knock
      him off his pedestal, as it were, without
      recognizing his truly worthwhile and unique
      achievements.  This camp is overly
      egotistical and "intellectual", and so has no
      "leader", but Bondarev mentions Bodo von
      Plato and Jens Heisterkamp as being among
      them. -- According to Bondarev, both
      factions are inimical and dangerous to real
      Anthroposophy.
      TH Meyer (in his book, in English, *Rudolf
      Steiner's Core Mission*) likewise sees a
      "parting of the ways" within the Society/
      Movement, though not quite along the same
      lines that Bondarev draws.  According to
      Meyer the cleavage is between those who
      regard Steiner's spiritual science as unique
      and superior, and those who see Steiner's
      life-work as only one among many similar
      paths of spiritual culture, none of which
      are unique or superior.
      Even though Meyer perhaps does not see
      quite the same danger in the likes of
      Prokofieff, still both he and Bondarev
      point to a real incomprehension of the
      Anthroposophical method  (and conflict)
      *within* the Movement/Society, besides
      that which of course runs rampant among
      the opponents on the "outside".
      The cure for this disease, which infects both
      the Society/Movement and the culture of
      civilization in general, is the development
      of *thinking* toward spiritual science.  and
      even in cases, on the exoteric side,  in which
      thinking is not taken all the way into
      spiritual science, still its forward
      transformation to a higher level is necessary
      if civilization itself is to be saved. -- This is
      the task on which Bondarev concentrates
      with his concept of the "sevenfold dialectic".
      -- For those who wish to dig deeper into
      all this, Bondarev's *Christmas Conference*
      book is available in three languages, that I
      know of.  I heartily recommend this book to
      all Anthros, especially those who are
      enamored of the treatment given this event
      by Prokofieff.
      In English, it is here:
      <http://www.wellspringbookshop.co.uk/Christmas_Conference_in__G.A._
      Bondarev_bondarev-cccct.asp>
      And online here:
      http://www.scribd.com/doc/134511687/Genadij-Bondarev-The-
      Christmas-Conference-in-the-Changed-Condition-of-the-Times-v-t
      It is available in German here:
      <http://lochmann-verlag.com/bondarewwtg_info.htm>
      And online in German here:
      <http://bdn-steiner.ru/modules/Books/files/Bondarew_RS_nem.pdf>
      <http://bdn-steiner.ru/modules/Books/files/bondarev_RS_nem.doc>
      The new reader might need some
      background work in order to understand
      this *CC* book.  For instance, some
      Anthros might not comprehend Bondarev's
      criticisms of Prokofieff.  I would suggest the
      late Irina Gordienko's book on Prokofieff; it's
      around 15 years old, and a lot has happened
      since then, but it's still a relevant commentary
      on the bases of Prokofieff's work.
      This  book is available in English here: 
      <http://www.wellspringbookshop.co.uk/Sergei_O._Prokofieff__M_Irina_
      Gordienko_3906712168.asp>
      and:
      <http://lochmann-verlag.com/gordienko%20info%20a.htm>
      Some of the Gordienko book is avaiable in
      English online and free here:
      <http://lochmann-verlag.com/englischetexte.htm>
      The reader might also need some background
      about Bondarev's concept of the "sevenfold
      dialectic".  Unhappily, his website
      <http://www.lebendig-anschauendes-denken.ch>
      devoted to this theme seems to have
      disappeared.  I have attempted some work
      with "7fold thinking" myself, such as I do;
      perhaps the most explanatory of my webpages
      is here:
      <http://www.altanthroinfo.9f.com/wentfishing.htm>
      -- and more of my attempts are related here:
      <http://www.altanthroinfo.9f.com/index.htm>
      -- scroll down to the section on "Wrestling with . . .".
      Bondarev first delineated, as far as I know,
      his "7fold dialectic" concept in his massive
      tome on Steiner's "Philosophy of Freedom". 
      This book is online in English here:
      <http://bdn-
      steiner.ru/modules/Books/files/Bondarew_Organon_angl.pdf>
      (I have yet to read this whole book.  I have
      gotten through the parts where Bondy
      parses *PoF*, but other parts of the book
      are pretty much beyond me.)
      Some parts of the *CC* book might still be
      tough going; they are for me.  His metaphysical-
      theological discussions, such as those
      concerning the Trinity are well-nigh
      unintelligible to me.  But the book has gone
      through translation from Russian to
      German, and then from German to
      English.  Maybe these discussions make
      more sense in Russian?  And Bondarev is a
      pictorial thinker; the reader needs to pay
      attention to his diagrams.
      -- Other books by Bondarev are also available
      (small thanks to the official Anthro publishers). 
      For instance, almost all of his *Crisis of
      Civilisation* (*Anthroposophie auf der Kreuzung
      . . .*) is online here on the Lochmann Verlag
      English page:
      <http://lochmann-verlag.com/englischetexte.htm>
      His latest book (again, as far as I know)
      *Macrocosm and Microcosm*, Volume 1; is online
      here in German:
      <http://bdn-
      steiner.ru/modules/Books/files/Bondarew_Makrokosmos_und_Mikrokosmos
      _nem.pdf>
      All Wellspring books here (some by Bondarev):
      http://www.wellspringbookshop.co.uk/subjects/books_byAuthor.asp
      Most of Bondy's books in German:
      http://lochmann-verlag.com/bondarew%20info%20a.htm
      . . . and if you want to try in Russian, online:
      <http://bdn-steiner.ru/modules.php?name=Books>
      -- In closing, as I said in my previous "review": 
      Bondarev in his *CC* book did build upon, as well
      as criticize, the work of Rudolf Menzer, but made
      no mention of the work of Rudolf Saacke.  I still
      don't know why, and neither do I know what
      became of Saacke's intention to converse
      privately with Bondarev about these matters. 
      And again, as I said before:  The Dornach Society
      surely has had its failings, but these could have
      been worse.  The Society did survive, such as it
      is; the second Goetheanum did get built; and
      Steiner's works have survived and been published. 
      Even some scientific work has been done, and the
      "daughter movements" have worked into the
      world.  Yes, it could have been worse; that is was
      not worse is perhaps due to the protection of
      the "Good Spirit of the Goetheanum"?
      And the Society is still not quite dead; the body
      is still breathing, even if perhaps most of its life
      is infused from the outside of the formal
      structure.  Can the patient yet rise from his
      sickbed and live a healthy life?  And what can
      someone, such as myself, far out on the
      "periphery" do to help, if anything? -- These are
      questions I'll leave hanging for now.
      Robert Mason
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