RE: [steiner] Questions concerning feminism and freedom
- *******Dr. Steiner spoke from the 1880s on about equality of the sexes. That
did not mean then what it has since been hijacked to mean---- then, women
could not vote, own property, etc. I don't think he ever once meant the
'freedom' to commit infanticide or dump children in day cares. When I got my
Waldorf School training years ago they referred to modern day-cares and what
goes on in them as the modern-day 'massacre of the innocents'.
Spirit-science is not a collection of trendy notions, but a science. For
example, a concrete finding of it is that the child needs the presence of
the mother in the first several years to absorb the mother's etheric forces
so as to build its own inner organs correctly, because the child's etheric
body and the mother's are not yet separate. A young child kept apart from
the mother for most of the day is being sentenced to ill-health for life.
You can see these tired-looking children with the rings under their eyes,
looking malnourished, everywhere in the US today. It's not just too much TV
or video games, it's not enough life forces. Unfortunately this is a truly
"inconvenient fact" to the feminists who contradict their own belief in
equality by treating children as the sole property of women only, to do with
as they please; so they will themselves not to see the effects.
If a woman CHOOSES to raise the children while her husband works, how can
that be 'unfree'? Only if you believe women are robots, not truly making
their own choices---- in other words, if feminist leaders treat women like
children, incapable of making their own decisions, exactly as they accuse
men of doing.
There is a way in which the human being will find a true equality of the
sexes, by each being allowed to play its part and be itself. Androgeny and
bisexuality are distortions of this true equality, caused by the influence
of the beings Steiner calls Lucifer and Ahriman.
>From: "Jenny" <jnnfrm62@...>_________________________________________________________________
>Subject: [steiner] Questions concerning feminism and freedom
>Date: Fri, 13 Apr 2007 13:54:38 -0000
>I am a lurker who recently decided to join this group because I am so
>appreciative of the amazing insight that you are all able to provide
>on so many different facets of anthroposophy.
>I have a question that I've been living with for quite some time now,
>and I'd love to hear what you wonderful people have to say.
>The question concerns feminism and freedom. When I bring up
>feminism, I don't mean the extreme faction that seeks to emasculate
>men. I mean the type of feminism that claims the sexes are equal and
>women should be able to do all that men do -- that the idea
>of "housewife" is demeaning, and all women should seek a career, and
>that being dependent on someone to support you is UN-free and
>something to avoid. I was raised to be very independent, and these
>ideas have been instilled in me since I was very young. However,
>I've been a teacher now for some nine years, and I see the negative
>consequences of this thinking showing up in the children I teach.
>Children have been abandoned to child-care because both parents are
>Is a woman UN-free if she has chosen to depend on her husband to
>support her? Is having your own source of money necessary to be a
>free person? I know that the Fundamentalist Christians have a very
>definite opinion of the sexes and their roles according to the
>Bible. I also know that Steiner decried dependence on the Bible for
>all your truths. And to my understanding Steiner also mentioned that
>in the future, there would cease to be a distinction in the sexes.
>But does that mean that we ignore the biological/psychological
>constitutions of the sexes now? Do we aim for androgeny? Or is
>there a true spiritual distinction between that sexes that needs to
>be honored and which is being ignored in this present day? Is that
>all part of the leftist-multicultural-marxist levelling of ALL?
>Sorry for the length of this post ! And thank you in advance for
Need a break? Find your escape route with Live Search Maps.
> There is a way in which the human being will find a trueequality of the
> sexes, by each being allowed to play its part and be itself.Androgeny and
> bisexuality are distortions of this true equality, caused by theinfluence
> of the beings Steiner calls Lucifer and Ahriman.Thank you for the reply to my myriad number of questions! Your
response was most helpful, especially the part above. I hope I am
understanding you correctly when I interpret you as saying that each
of the sexes is a complement to the other (Like a yin-yang?)and that
the distinctions in the sexes should be honored and not disregarded?
Or am I reading into what you've written?
Steiner mentions that we often alternate sexes from one incarnation
to the next. I would imagine then that there is something unique and
special to male and female aside from the biology and these qualities
are not random or arbitrarily assigned.
I guess that in this modern age we have lost touch with what is
essentially feminine and what is essentially masculine. And the
spiritual goal of "getting in touch with your feminine side"
and "getting in touch with your masculine side" has somehow (how?)
led to a real disintegration of gender roles.
So...how does one properly pursue the eternal feminine and the
eternal masculine (in which we are inherently "whole") while still
honoring the differences between the sexes?
More ruminations and questions! :-)
- Thank you, Robert, for this wealth of information!
I appreciate your bringing me back to The Philosophy of Freedom. You
are right...the freedom Steiner speaks about is inner. I am a
product of my culture, it would seem, in thinking of freedom as "the
freedom to live the life you choose". <sigh>
In my further ruminations, I hit upon another snarl
concerning "freedom" and "spirituality". I was reading some posts in
the archives, and there was one that mentioned sacrafice...this
really hit home. It would seem that freedom today IS sold as "the
freedom to live the life you choose" and that sacrafice is only
acceptable when it enhances your personal ability to have what you
want (a sort of cost/benefit analysis). "Follow your bliss" is sold
as a spiritual roadmap. To relate this to my earlier questions, it
is a very strong sentiment in the world today, especially for women,
that you won't achieve your potential unless you "be all you can
be." We came here for a reason, (the thinking goes) and your dreams
and desires point you in that direction. SO...if a woman has a
family but also wants to climb the corporate ladder this is
fine...and it would in fact be backwards to deny her the opportunity.
(SO the thinking goes). The world will be a LESSER place if it is
denied your contributions.
Sacrafice is frowned upon these days...even
called "unspiritual"...and yet the Christ made the ultimate sacrafice
for the survival of man.
SO...which is the correct path? Is it more spiritual to become the
most self-actualized person with the most experiences for the growth
of soul(let's just say that these experiences are all healthy) or is
it more spiritual to deny yourself --in other words, sacrafice --
your own ambitions for something higher such as family or community?
Just trying to dig myself out of a quagmire of conditining....
--- In email@example.com, Robert Mason <robertsmason_99@...>
> To "Jenny", who wrote:
> > Children have been abandoned to child-care because both
> parents are
> > pursuing careers.
> I seem to recall (don't have the quote handy) that in
> his discussions of the 3fold social order RS said that
> wages should be fixed so a man could support himself
> and his family. It seems that RS had the opinion that
> *in general* children are much better off in the care
> of the parents than under the rule of the political
> state, and that even formal education should be freed
> from the political state and placed in the spiritual
> (cultural) sphere of the 3fold society. Today, in the
> USA, the horrors of "day care", the public schools, and
> especially of "child protective services" would seem
> to support that opinion.
> > Is a woman UN-free if she has chosen to depend on her husband
> > support her? Is having your own source of money necessary to
> be a
> > free person?
> The "freedom" that Steiner teaches is primarily an inner
> freedom, a state of consciousness and inner activity. Of
> course his primary work of this theme is the "basic book"
> *The Philosophy of Freedom*:
> Steiner elaborates his concept of *social* freedom mainly
> within his concept of the 3fold commonwealth. The basic
> book here is:
> Also some explanatory essays:<http://wn.rsarchive.org/Books/GA024/English/AP1985/GA024_index.html>
> Here is an early lecture on "the woman question":
> > And to my understanding Steiner also mentioned that
> > in the future, there would cease to be a distinction in the
> > But does that mean that we ignore the biological/psychological
> > constitutions of the sexes now? Do we aim for androgeny? Or
> > there a true spiritual distinction between that sexes that
> needs to
> > be honored and which is being ignored in this present day? Is
> > all part of the leftist-multicultural-marxist levelling of
> These are big questions; I could hardly try to answer
> them all here. Yes, the sexes are destined to re-unite,
> but only in the distant future, when conditions on this
> planet will be very different. You might want to read
> this contemporary treatment of the social-sexual situation
> by the controversial Russian Anthroposophist Gennady
> Bondarev, especially in the section "The Division of the
> Bondy does give a lot of Steiner-saids with GA citations
> that you can follow up.
> All this probably doesn't answer your question, but maybe
> it's a start.
> Robert Mason
> Do You Yahoo!?
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- To Jenny, who wrote:
>>I hope I am understanding you correctly whenI interpret you as saying that each of the
sexes is a complement to the other (Like a yin-
yang?)and that the distinctions in the sexes
should be honored and not disregarded? Or am I
reading into what you've written?<<
I wasn't really *saying* anything about the
sexes so much as I was trying to refer you to
the relevant, deep wisdom that has been given
by spiritual science. And I wasn't trying to
tell you, or anyone, what you "should" do or
how you "should" live your life. I do think
that if someone does not act in accordance with
Reality, he is likely to get some hard knocks
in life, and will likely cause some pain to
others. And if one does not think in
accordance with Reality, he is hardly likely to
act habitually in accordance with Reality.
And for thinking in accordance with Reality,
the first rule is (as was emphasized by Steiner
for the esoteric student in *KoHW*) to be free
of prejudice. Relevant to "gender issues",
there do exist in the ambient culture
prejudices both about the supposed differences
and supposed sameness, about the supposed
equality and supposed inequality, of the sexes.
Anyone who hopes to think and act in accordance
with Reality in this area needs to pull free of
all these prejudices, to acquire as much
information as possible, and to think and
perceive with living, flexible intercourse with
the facts that he encounters in life. In other
words, one must "work on oneself", best if
according to such principles as are given in
>>Steiner mentions that we often alternatesexes from one incarnation to the next. I would
imagine then that there is something unique and
special to male and female aside from the
biology and these qualities are not random or
In *Occult Science*, in the appendix "The Life
of Man after Death", Steiner says that *as a
rule* one has a male and a female incarnation
in each cultural epoch (of about 2100 years).
But he also says that in individual cases there
can be many variations on this rule. I seem to
recall that elsewhere (don't have the citation)
that he says that there can be a maximum of
seven consecutive incarnations in the same sex.
>>I guess that in this modern age we have losttouch with what is essentially feminine and
what is essentially masculine. And the
spiritual goal of "getting in touch with your
feminine side" and "getting in touch with your
masculine side" has somehow (how?) led to a
real disintegration of gender roles.<<
I don't know that *disintegration* in any
negative sense is altogether the right word,
though some trends do seem to be downward. But
in the modern age it is right that human
"roles", including "gender roles", should
change: the Consciousness Soul is emerging,
and people are rightfully seeking the "freedom
of the individual". As I see it, this increase
in the individual's freedom must entail the
overcoming of the traditional subordination of
women. This necessary and rightful cultural
ferment has led to some confusion about "gender
roles"; freedom in general can be confusing.
(Also, some powerful occult forces have tried
and are trying to take advantage of this
cultural ferment, with the aim of leading
Mankind downward; this is the case especially
in relation to sexuality, "gender roles", the
family, etc.) But change in itself isn't bad;
evolution must go forward. The "trick" is, for
us, to have the wisdom to make these changes in
a healthy way.
>>So...how does one properly pursue the eternalfeminine and the eternal masculine (in which we
are inherently "whole") while still honoring
the differences between the sexes?<<
I don't think that there can be one answer that
could be right for everyone. People are unique
individuals, in unique circumstances. As
general rules of conduct in general are
becoming outmoded in our age of the emerging
Consciousness Soul. As Steiner taught in *PoF*
. . . .
>>I appreciate your bringing me back to ThePhilosophy of Freedom. You are right...the
freedom Steiner speaks about is inner. I am a
product of my culture, it would seem, in
thinking of freedom as "the freedom to live the
life you choose". <sigh>
When I said that this freedom is *primarily*
inner, perhaps I should have added that this
inner freedom is a necessary precondition for
truly free (outer) actions. One might be
acting "freely" in the "outer" sense (socially,
politically, etc.), but if he is not acting
from conscious, inner freedom (such as is
taught in *PoF*) his actions are still not
truly free; he is still a slave to his inner
impulses, usually subconscious or semi-
conscious. (And of course, without the social
conditions that permit individual freedom, even
one who is inwardly free will have a hard time
accomplishing very many free deeds outwardly.)
If one is not inwardly, consciously free, it is
not really *you* who are choosing the "life you
In *PoF*, chapter 9, Steiner says:
"Those who defend general moral standards might reply to these
arguments that if everyone strives to live his own life and do
what he pleases, there can be no distinction between a good deed
and a crime; every corrupt impulse that lies within me has as
good a claim to express itself as has the intention of serving
the general good. What determines me as a moral being cannot be
the mere fact of my having conceived the idea of an action, but
whether I judge it to be good or evil. Only in the former case
should I carry it out.
"My reply to this very obvious objection, which is nevertheless
based on a misapprehension of my argument, is this: If we want
to understand the nature of the human will, we must distinguish
between the path which leads this will to a certain degree of
development and the unique character which the will assumes as
it approaches this goal. On the path towards this goal the
standards play their rightful part. The goal consists of the
realization of moral aims grasped by pure intuition. Man attains
such aims to the extent that he is able to raise himself at all
to the intuitive world of ideas. In any particular act of will
such moral aims will generally have other elements mixed in with
them, either as driving force or as motive. Nevertheless
intuition may still be wholly or partly the determining factor
in the human will. What one should do, that one does; one
provides the stage upon which obligation becomes deed; one's own
action is what one brings forth from oneself. Here the impulse
can only be wholly individual. And, in truth, only an act of
will that springs from intuition can be an individual one. To
regard evil, the deed of a criminal, as an expression of the
human individuality in the same sense as one regards the
embodiment of pure intuition is only possible if blind instincts
are reckoned as part of the human individuality. But the blind
instinct that drives a man to crime does not spring from
intuition, and does not belong to what is individual in him, but
rather to what is most general in him, to what is equally
present in all individuals and out of which a man works his way
by means of what is individual in him. What is individual in me
is not my organism with its instincts and its feelings but
rather the unified world of ideas which lights up within this
organism. My instincts, urges and passions establish no more
than that I belong to the general species man; it is the fact
that something of the idea world comes to expression in a
particular way within these urges, passions and feelings that
establishes my individuality. Through my instincts and cravings,
I am the sort of man of whom there are twelve to the dozen;
through the particular form of the idea by means of which I
designate myself within the dozen as I, I am an individual.
Only a being other than myself could distinguish me from others
by the difference in my animal nature; through my thinking, that
is, by actively grasping what expresses itself in my organism as
idea, I distinguish myself from others. Therefore one cannot say
of the action of a criminal that it proceeds from the idea
within him. Indeed, the characteristic feature of criminal
actions is precisely that they spring from the non-ideal
elements in man.
"An action is felt to be free in so far as the reasons for it
spring from the ideal part of my individual being; every other
part of an action, irrespective of whether it is carried out
under the compulsion of nature or under the obligation of a
moral standard, is felt to be unfree.
"Man is free in so far as he is able to obey himself in every
moment of his life. A moral deed is my deed only if it can be
called a free one in this sense."
>>. . . . "Follow your bliss" is sold as aspiritual roadmap.<<
If one takes this saying in more than a
superficial sense, then maybe it can be seen as
essentially the same message as that of *PoF*.
If one achieves the status of a conscious, free
human spirit, then it is "blissful" to follow
one's own "moral intuitions"; it is felt as a
self-denial to follow the desires that one just
>>. . . . Is it more spiritual to become themost self-actualized person with the most
experiences for the growth of soul(let's just
say that these experiences are all healthy) or
is it more spiritual to deny yourself --in
other words, sacrafice -- your own ambitions
for something higher such as family or
It seems to me that you are posing a dilemma
that is not necessarily a true one. In some
cases one's "self-actualization" might well
entail the choosing of "family" over "career";
the following of "ambition" might be a real
"self-denial". Again, the choice can be a
free, conscious one only when one come to know
(in the sense of *PoF*) which impulses really
come from one's *self* and which don't.
>>Just trying to dig myself out of a quagmireof conditining....<<
Well, aren't we all? (Some of us, anyway.) At
least you have likely come to the right "place"
to work this out; the place is Anthroposophy.
BTW, I did find that Steiner-said about "wages"
in the 3fold commonweath. Actually, *wages*
may not have been quite the right word, at
least not in the sense that it has in our
society-economy in most of the world today:
(from: *Basic Issues of the Social Question*;
Chapter Three: "Capitalism and Social Ideas")
"The legal relationship between management and
labour will not express itself in monetary
values which, after the abolition of wages
(representing the exchange relation between
commodities and labour-power), will only
measure commodity (and service) values. From a
consideration of the social triformation's
effect on the social organism, one must
conclude that it will lead to arrangements
which are not present in the political forms
which have hitherto existed.
"Through these arrangements, what is currently
referred to as class struggle can be
eliminated. This struggle results from wages
being an integral part of the economic process.
This book presents a social form in which the
concept of wages undergoes a transformation, as
does the old concept of property. Through this
transformation a more viable social cooperation
is made possible. It would be superficial to
think that the realization of the ideas
presented here would result in time-wages being
converted into piece-wages. A one-sided view
could lead to this opinion. However, what is
advocated here is not piece-wages, but the
abolishment of the wage system in favour of a
contractual sharing system in respect of the
common achievements of management and labour --
in conjunction, of course, with the overall
structure of the social organism."
And apparently, Steiner wasn't speaking of the
"wages" of only "men" in the male sense (if the
translation is correct):
"Each working person must receive for a product
an amount sufficient to completely satisfy his
and his dependents' needs until he has again
produced an object requiring the same amount of
labour. Such a price relation cannot be
officially established, but must result from
cooperation between the associations active in
the social organism. And it will come if the
cooperation rests on a healthy relationship
between the three members of the social
organization . . . ."
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