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Fw: Re: Fw: Re: Fwd: Re: Menzer re AAG history - final?

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  • Robert Mason
    OK, not so final . . . . The first six parts of Menzer s historical article are now on Willy Lochmann s website, in English:
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 14, 2009
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      OK, not so final . . . .

      The first six parts of Menzer's historical
      article are now on Willy Lochmann's website, in
      English:
      <http://www.lochmann-verlag.com/AAG1923englischpart1to6.pdf>
      (He also has some comments about Rudolf Saacke's
      recent contributions on the topic:
      <http://www.lochmann-verlag.com/Aktualitaeten.htm>

      Despite my throbbing head
      <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/anthroposophy/message/18233>,
      I'll risk just a few comments:

      Aside from the dispute over the names *AAG* and
      *AG*, there is the more important question of
      the motives behind the bungling of the formal
      arrangements of the Anthro Society in Dornach.

      In Menzer's account the word *deception* occurs
      over and over; it even turns up as *cunning
      deception*. For Menzer, the primary "heavy" in
      the drama is Wachmuth; he is cast as the agent
      of a conscious, deliberate deception
      perpetrated against Rudolf Steiner, the members
      of the Society, and the very soul and spirit of
      the Christmas Conference. The notary Altermatt
      and even Albert Steffen are cast as conscious
      accomplices. The putative motive for
      Altermatt is that he was allegedly a friend of
      the local Catholic priest Kully, who was a
      dedicated enemy of Rudolf Steiner and
      Anthroposophy. The putative motives for
      Wachsmuth and Steffen are less clear.

      Going back almost eight years to my first
      incursions into Anthro e-discussions, in
      Steiner98, I have been involved in lengthy
      discussions of these questions (and going even
      further back, in private e-mails). I don't
      want to put my hand into this tar-baby yet
      again, but I would like to offer the opinion
      that deliberate deception by Wachsmuth and
      Steffen seems very unlikely to me. Considering
      the tremendous contributions of both these men
      to Anthroposophy, it seems incredible to me
      that they would have deliberately, consciously
      connived to thwart Steiner on his sickbed and
      to thwart the spirit of the Christmas
      Conference.

      But besides such large-scale "strategic"
      considerations, there are "tactical"
      circumstances that make the deliberate-
      deception hypothesis very unlikely. Menzer
      himself almost makes this point when he writes:

      "The nagging question continues to arise: How
      much of these manipulations and the whole
      intrigue involved did Rudolf Steiner get to
      know of while on his sickbed? After reading the
      Newssheet of 22.3.1925, however, he had the
      entire deception clearly before him. But what
      should or could he do? Apparently, he did not
      give in to a mood of resignation, because he
      gave instructions that the room should be
      prepared in which he intended to continue
      carving the 'Group' (wooden sculpture).

      "But then he died unexpectedly (?!) on
      30.3.1925."

      Menzer doesn't quite state the implications of
      these thoughts, beyond the enigmatic question
      mark and exclamation point. But here is
      something I wrote in S98 years ago:

      "But a crucial point about 'manipulation'
      scenarios is this: The manipulation, if that
      is what it was, was essentially effected before
      Steiner's death. For this scenario to make any
      sense, the manipulator(s) would have to have
      known that Steiner would not rise from his
      sickbed and find out that his (apparent) plans
      were being thwarted. But, from what I
      understand, it was generally expected that
      Steiner would recover from his illness. So, it
      seems to me that a 'manipulation' scenario
      would have to include Steiner's murder, and the
      foreknowledge of it by the manipulator(s).
      This is not an impossible scenario, but it does
      seem to make the 'manipulation' hypothesis even
      more farfetched."

      All these years later I see no reason to change
      this opinion: to impute conscious deception to
      Wachsmuth is also, by implication, to impute
      Steiner's murder to him, and possibly Steffen,
      or at least their complicity in it. Thus, the
      deliberate-deception hypothesis becomes even
      more outlandish.

      I'll quote myself again from S98, because,
      again, I see no reason to change my opinion:

      "So, again, [Wilfried] Heidt presents a picture
      not of manipulation, but of confusion. . . .

      [quoting Heidt:} "In truth however, a
      fundamental constitutional change had taken
      place at the institutional centre of the
      anthroposophical movement at the Goetheanum in
      Dornach. It took the form of a change of
      sovereignty, through which the points were set
      for a world-historical paralysing of the
      anthroposophical impulse for civilisation
      to the present day: the former arrangements for
      the leadership, which at the same time was an
      essential element of the freedom of the
      organisation 'of a Society of the most modern
      kind' was turned on its head and apparently
      NOBODY REALISED WHAT WAS HAPPENING. [my
      emphasis] . . . .

      "Again, the overall impression that I get from
      reviewing the history (what I have done of it,
      certainly not all) is that of *confusion*:
      total, abject, stupefying, unrelenting
      confusion all around, in all the actors, from
      the Vorstanders to the general members. We
      don't have a clear record of how much Steiner
      was aware of what was happening, but I see no
      conclusive reason *a priori* to exclude him
      from the general confusion. . . .

      "Really, in contemplating all the confusion,
      don't you get the picture of everyone walking
      around in a fog? -- Nordwall's word,
      *enchantment* does not seem at all out of place
      to me. Neither does my hypothesis of
      *diminished consciousness*. Picture it:
      everyone walking through the re-constitution
      process in an enchanted fog of dimmed
      consciousness."

      *My hypothesis of diminished consciousness*
      refers to something I wrote even earlier,
      bringing the considerations into more recent
      times. I'll quote myself yet again, because
      yet again I see no reason to change my opinion:

      ".... here's one expanded thought on the
      'inexplicable 'actions of the Vorstand/Society:

      "Consider the story of the Disciples around the
      time of the Crucifixion. Steiner says they
      were in a state of dimmed consciousness, which
      lifted only, as I recall, at Pentecost. And
      consider Steiner's account of the crucial days
      leading up to the outbreak of WWI, The very
      few people who were in the critical positions
      of power were in a state of dimmed
      consciousness at the critical moments; this
      dimming of consciousness opened them up to
      influence or control by Ahrimanic spirits.
      More, consider Steiner's account of the Second
      Crucifixion of Christ in the Etheric, which
      took place in the Nineteenth Century, because
      of the passing of dead human souls, imbued with
      the then current materialism, into the ethereal
      regions and beyond. The noxious effects of
      their materialistic soul-poison was so great
      that even the Ethereal Christ succumbed to the
      extent that He lost consciousness.

      "The inference I draw (tentatively) from these
      examples is that individuals placed in
      positions critical to world-karma may be so
      overcome by the 'sins of the world' that they
      may lose consciousness, to a lesser or greater
      extent, not necessarily due to their individual
      failings, but because their individual
      characteristics and destinies are overwhelmed
      by world-destiny. Apparently even the Christ
      Himself is affected according to this
      principle.

      "Now extrapolate this principle to the
      individuals who occupied and occupy decision-
      making positions in the Anthroposophical
      Society. Perhaps they made the
      incomprehensibly self-destructive decisions
      because, to put it bluntly, they were not in
      their right minds at the times. And this was
      not {necessarily} because of any personal
      failures; anyone who occupied those positions
      would have been in a state of diminished
      consciousness, just because those positions
      critical to the Society were also therefore
      critical to world-destiny -- hence all the 'bad
      karma' of the earth came down so hard on those
      individuals that that their own personalities
      were to an extent extinguished and that they
      executed the destructive dictates of world-
      destiny, or of the Adversaries, almost as
      automata. In the mid-30s world-karma was so
      heavy that the Adversaries could oppose the
      ethereal Parousia with the Depression,
      Roosevelt's machinations, Hitler’s power-grab,
      the Japanese onslaught in China, and Stalin's
      depredations. At the same time the Adversaries
      were enabled, through the 'diminished capacity'
      of the leaders in Dornach to almost destroy the
      Society from within. And more recently, in the
      Soratic year 1998, the 'sins of the world' bore
      down so hard on the Vorstanders that they
      expelled Bondarev. (And completed the
      mutilation of the Goetheanum?) And they are
      not to be held entirely responsible; they
      weren't in their right minds, just as anyone in
      their positions wouldn't have been. If world-
      karma could extinguish the consciousness of
      Christ, would mere human beings be any less
      susceptible, if they happened to be placed in
      harm's way, so to speak?

      "Maybe this hypothesis could be the answer to
      the question of 'how'? .... maybe those in
      high places in Dornach don't know the answer
      themselves? -- If so, it's no good blaming
      'them'; we are all to blame; we all share in
      the 'sins of the world'."

      -- And, as Steiner said when speaking about the
      dimmed consciousness of the few ministers who
      made the disasterous blunders at the outbreak
      of the First World War: the Ahrimanic spirits
      can enter and influence us especially when our
      consciousness is dimmed.

      So, it seems that in the "Constitution
      Question" -- as in human evolution, both
      large-scale and individual -- it all comes down
      to *consciousness*.

      Robert M
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