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RE: [steiner] research question: nationalism and sexuality

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  • Robert Mason
    ... pointed out the relationship of nationalism and sexuality. It is either chapter one or two.
    Message 1 of 3 , Apr 13 11:05 AM
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      To Edwin, who wrote:

      >>In a series of lectures published in Ancients myths, Steiner
      pointed out the
      relationship of nationalism and sexuality. It is either chapter
      one or two.<<

      Robert writes:

      Yes, thanks; I found it at the eLib. It's
      Chapter 2 of the cycle:
      <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/AncientMyths/19180105p01.html>.
      Will read it later.

      Edwin wrote:

      p.s. I would be interested to know what you are up to with your
      research?

      Robert writes:

      *Research* might be too grand a word, but
      since you asked . . . . Right now I am looking
      into Steiner's course of spiritual development.
      For instance, there's that old rumor that
      in his student days he drank a lot of
      alchohol to kill his so-called "atavistic"
      clairvoyance. I don't believe this rumor.
      I don't believe that Steiner's early
      clairvoyance was "atavistic", and the alleged
      killing of it seems to contradict what he
      wrote in his autobiography about his own
      development. But I'm still open to any
      evidence, if any, for any truth in that
      rumor.

      I seem to recall reading in an e-list that
      the rumor comes from someone named *Büttner*
      -- or something like that -- but I haven't
      found any relevant info. There is an Anthro
      Gottfried Büttner:
      <http://www.steinerbooks.org/author.html?au=940>
      but I don't see any connection to that rumor.

      So, I'll toss out this research question:
      does anyone have any *evidence*, preferably
      in English, that Steiner ever drank a lot
      of alkie to eliminate his own "atavistic"
      clairvoyance?

      Robert Mason



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    • Robert Mason
      To Edwin & All: In Lecture II of *Ancient Myths* Steiner does indeed discuss the deep connection of nationalism with sexuality, explaining how the ancient
      Message 2 of 3 , Apr 15 10:35 AM
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        To Edwin & All:

        In Lecture II of *Ancient Myths* Steiner does
        indeed discuss the deep connection of
        nationalism with sexuality, explaining how the
        ancient consciousness of the heavenly-
        astrological forces working in sexuality became
        coarsened into merely nationalistic passions
        and psychoanalytic theories:

        ". . . . these ancient peoples knew that the
        more inward-lying forces of human nature are
        connected with what come to expression in
        celestial happenings, in star-constellations."

        ". . . . The Egyptian of the Osiris-age,
        especially of the earlier Osiris-age, said as
        follows: ‘The true human being only enters me
        with puberty, for I then take in what formerly
        I saw in Imaginations. The air transmits to me
        the true man."

        ". . . . all that the ancients meant by the
        divine, which as you can now readily realize,
        they connected in a roundabout way with the
        sexual essences, all this has been coarsened,
        not only in idea but also in reality."

        ". . . . These things have become coarsened in
        the direction we have discussed. Among other
        things that have remained behind is the
        attachment in longing and feeling to
        nationality, the clinging to the national, the
        chauvinistic impulse for the national; that is
        the lingering relic of what in older times
        could be thought of in quite different
        connections. But only when one looks into such
        things does one know the truth contained in
        them. What is expressed by the nationalistic
        longing? When man develops to excess this
        national feeling, this sentiment for the
        nation, what is living in it? Exactly the same
        as lives in the sexual, in the sexual in one
        way, in national sentiment in another. It is
        the sexual human being that lives his life
        through these two different poles. To be
        Chauvinistic, is, nothing else really than
        developing a sort of group-sexuality."

        -- But I still don't quite understand Rudi
        Lissau's statement that:

        "In Vienna Steiner described how the emotions
        of his audience affected him and that he took
        care to avoid two particular issues because he
        found it difficult to deal with the waves of
        emotion which arose in his audience on such
        occasions. One of these issues was human
        sexuality. But Steiner put nationalism, a drive
        in our subconscious, on the same level as
        sexuality."

        -- On the contrary, in the *Ancient Myths*
        cycle (as in the *Untruthfulness* cycle)
        Steiner hardly "avoids" the questions of
        sexuality and nationalism; he explicitly
        discusses their connection, and he says that
        this connection should become more "common
        knowledge" in our time:

        "Certain Brotherhoods of modern times know, to
        be sure, about these entirely different
        conditions, but they hold that such things
        should still be kept under lock and key. That
        is not right for the present day, but it is a
        little dangerous to talk of these things beyond
        a certain degree. . . ."

        ". . . . Such truths must no longer in our
        present age be kept under lock and key. Certain
        Brotherhoods have been able to keep them under
        lock and key, because in the strictest sense of
        the word they have excluded women. Although
        joint work with women can nevertheless lead to
        all sorts of bad things, as has indeed
        constantly been shown today, yet the time has
        come in which right views, general views, on
        these matters must be spread among humanity."

        -- So, it seems that Steiner does hint that
        some deeper facts about sexuality should still
        be kept esoteric, but he hardly avoids the
        topic because of the waves of emotion from his
        listeners. Perhaps he did not discuss the
        subject in such detail as we are accustomed to
        today; he may merely have been observing the
        contemporary conventions of "public decency",
        or he may have had other reasons. I could
        hardly guess. I would still like to see his
        actual words from the Vienna lecture that
        Lissau mentions.

        Robert M



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      • Robert Mason
        ... they been ... that were ... With some ... them ... Robert writes; Here are Lissau s words, from his intro to Vol 2 of *Untruthfulness*: In the magazine
        Message 3 of 3 , Apr 15 11:55 AM
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          --- In anthroposophy_world@yahoogroups.com, James Stewart
          <jds@...> wrote:
          >
          > Do you know which Vienna lectures Lissau is referring to? Have
          they been
          > translated into English? There are 28 lectures at the Archive
          that were
          > given in Vienna. In total, Steiner gave 72 lectures in Vienna.
          With some
          > help, perhaps I could find the lectures in question and make
          them
          > available?!
          >

          Robert writes;

          Here are Lissau's words, from his intro to Vol 2
          of *Untruthfulness*:

          "In the magazine Anthroposophy Today No. 2 there appeared an
          article In Search of Rudolf Steiner. In it the present writer
          gave examples of the intimate contact which Steiner had with his
          audience. In Vienna Steiner described how the emotions of his
          audience affected him and that he took care to avoid two
          particular issues because he found it difficult to deal with the
          waves of emotion which arose in his audience on such occasions.
          One of these issues was human sexuality. But Steiner put
          nationalism, a drive in our subconscious, on the same level as
          sexuality. We, living at the end of the twentieth century, have
          often no idea of the crude, primitive, thoughtless nationalism
          of Europeans — British, French, Germans, Italians — at the
          beginning of this century. In dealing with burning contemporary
          issues Steiner had to expose himself to the nationalistic
          emotions of his audience. Is it then surprising that
          occasionally he was affected by them?"

          Above, in the same intro he wrote:

          "In another passage he refers to a ‘carcinoma’ which he had
          spoken about in Vienna three months before the outbreak of war."

          I searched the ELib for lectures in Vienna and
          found six from April of 1914; it's the cycle
          *Inner Nature of Man*. I searched the index of
          Vienna lectures for *nationalism*, sexuality*,
          and *carcinoma* and found nothing. For *emotion*
          there are these
          <http://wn.rsarchive.org/Lectures/Places/Vienna/search=context?emotion>

          The last two hits are from *Inner Nature*,
          but I don't see any relevance there for what
          Lissau was talking about.

          In Lecture 6 of *Inner Nature* RS says:
          "Now let us suppose we wished to carry this over into external
          material life, and were to say: ‘But this is just what happens
          in outer life.’ Yes, my dear friends, it is exactly because this
          is happening, that I say that we are living towards a future
          when this will appear in ever greater degree. More and more
          articles will be produced, more and more factories will be
          built. No one now asks, ‘How many articles are needed?’ as was
          formerly the case, when the tailors in the town only made a suit
          when someone ordered it. The need then determined the numbers to
          be made; but now they are produced for the market; the various
          wares are piled up as much as possible. Production works
          entirely according to the principle upon which nature works.
          Nature is carried into the social order, and this will at first
          gain the upper hand more and more. But here we are considering
          the material realm. The spiritual law has no application in
          external life, simply because it is suited only to the spiritual
          world; and something very remarkable results. As we are speaking
          among ourselves we may say these things, but at the present day
          the world will not agree with us in this. Things are now
          produced for the market regardless of the amount required, not
          according to what was explained in my essay on Theosophy and
          Social Life — all that is produced is piled up in warehouses and
          governed by the money market, and then the producers wait to see
          how many are bought. This tendency will grow greater and greater
          until it destroys itself and when I say the following you will
          know the reason. One who spiritually observes social life, sees
          the germ of frightful social abscesses springing up everywhere.
          That is the great social problem confronting those who
          understand life; that is the frightful fact which is so
          depressing and which — even if we could suppress all our
          enthusiasm for Spiritual Science and the impulse which makes us
          long for it — yet makes us cry out for the remedy for this world
          disease that is already so far advanced and which will become
          ever worse and worse. That which in one field, in one sphere,
          must work as nature works, is seen by one who seeks to spread
          abroad spiritual truths to become a cancer when it enters the
          sphere of culture, as we have just described."

          So: I don't know. Apparently this was the
          cycle that Lissau was talking about? Maybe he
          gives a better citation in his *Antho Today*
          article? Otherwise, I guess there's nothing
          to do but comb through the whole text of the
          cycle, word for word.

          Thanks,

          Robert M





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