*******Welcome to the list, Ben. I'm sure everyone who was been on the Internet for any length of time would agree with you about the trouble with really communicating. But this list hasn't been like any of the others for Anthroposophy, fortunately, and I aim to keep it that way.
One thing I got from close contact with great anthroposophists is the need for "gemütliche", a certain warm atmosphere of respect and tolerance, for group meetings. People need to feel they are able to express themselves freely. My role as moderator here is mainly to make sure no disrupting goes on, though I go a bit further in suggesting topics of conversation. We seldom have any disruptions, unlike many other lists for spiritual science---only one in the past year or more. When people are really interested in the group's topic, it doesn't happen -- -- -- instead I find that sort of thing mostly goes on with what we call "trolls", people who really aren't interested but just come onto lists to argue and draw attention to themselves.
This is an amazing tool for communication with great potential. Too often it's not used well to do all that can do -- -- -- transmit information. That's because we either don't put enough of our humanness into the transmission, or try forcing more through than this medium can allow. As in most things, it's a question of balance!
Although I'm very new to this list, I'd like to say first of all that I
greatly appreciate what is being done here, and hope that this genuine
heartfelt striving to share truth with others will continue. However, I'd
like to say also that I'm rather cynical about the internet as a forum in
general. Trying to do something elevated and pure--such as I believe many
of you are attempting to do here--ON THE INTERNET is not unlike trying to
share truth on a crowded city street! While it's commendable, and you'll
nearly always draw some spectators, more than likely you'll also find some
detractors among them!--many of whom do not have the strength to prevent
themselves from trying to disrupt or sully the proceedings.
This is because we all struggle with our personal demons. We all have our
"bad" spirits who try to work through us (--In a series of lectures
translated as "How Can Mankind Find the Christ Again," Steiner mentions that
we're actually "packed full" of such beings who would like nothing more than
to use us for their own false purposes), they also cannot bear to hear the
truth and often cause us to react in ways that our true higher selves would
rather not. So it is that many a reader, while spiritually willing, finds
their own flesh too weak, their egos too drunk with illusion to prevent
these disruptions from within their own selves. So while they may be
convinced that they're merely being funny, or clever, the sad truth is that
it is not even them doing it! We therefore need to become conscious of
these inner urges. We all have these, but should know that it is only by
struggling to overcome them that we become true servants of the good and
truthful beings who wish to see us work in freedom and wakeful
Of course, I'm not saying we shouldn't have fun or be lighthearted at times;
just to be aware of our motivations and to know that there will always be
others who will continue to participate in these forums in a disruptive,
unserious manner. It's just a fact of life on the internet--and of human
beings at this stage of evolution! So we should not be discouraged, nor
even feel that we can always prevent these types of untruths or disruptions.
Just be aware of what they represent, and forgive those (perhaps even me at
times?) who may be tempted to give in to weakness.