CONCLUSION


The Last Roundup





I.



Waldorf or Steiner schools operate in accordance with the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, who founded the first Waldorf school in 1919. Steiner was an occultist who claimed to have precise knowledge of the spirit realm thanks to his "exact clairvoyance." He laid out his spiritual "discoveries" in such books as OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE. He called his body of teachings "Anthroposophy," a word meaning knowledge or wisdom of the human being. Steiner said Anthroposophy is a science, although in fact it is a religion involving prayers, meditations, gurus, and observances. Waldorf school faculties usually acknowledge that their educational approach arises from Anthroposophy, but they usually deny that they teach Anthroposophical doctrines to their students. In a restricted sense, this may be true. But in a larger sense, it is false, and we have Steiner’s word for it. Addressing Waldorf teachers, Steiner said:
 

“You need to make the children aware that they are receiving the objective truth, and if this occasionally appears anthroposophical, it is not anthroposophy that is at fault. Things are that way because anthroposophy has something to say about objective truth. It is the material that causes what is said to be anthroposophical. We certainly may not go to the other extreme, where people say that anthroposophy may not be brought into the school. Anthroposophy will be in the school when it is objectively justified, that is, when it is called for by the material itself.” [1]


Since Anthroposophists believe that their doctrines are the Truth underlying all other knowledge, they think that the presence of Anthroposophy will be “justified” at virtually every point in every subject studied. They may be circumspect about it, bringing their beliefs into the classroom subtly, covertly — but they bring them.
 
Not all Waldorf teachers are deeply committed, uncompromising Anthroposophists, but Steiner said that they 
should be: 

As teachers in the Waldorf School, you will need to find your way more deeply into the insight of the spirit and to find a way of putting all compromises aside ... As Waldorf teachers, we must be true anthroposophists in the deepest sense of the word in our innermost feeling. [2]
 
Indeed, one of the most important facts about Waldorf schools is that they are meant to spread Anthroposophy: 

“One of the most important facts about the background of the Waldorf School is that we were in a position to make the anthroposophical movement a relatively large one. The anthroposophical movement has become a large one.”  [3]
 
Waldorf education is meant to usher students toward true spiritual life, which is inherently Anthroposophical: 

“As far as our school is concerned, the actual spiritual life can be present only because its staff consists of anthroposophists.” [4]

 

Waldorf teachers serve as priests in a religion that recognizes many spiritual powers or gods (plural: Anthroposophy is polytheistic). The goal of Waldorf schooling is not so much to educate children as to save humanity by leading it to Anthroposophy. Waldorf teachers consider themselves to be on a holy mission:

◊ "The position of teacher becomes a kind of priestly office, a ritual performed at the altar of universal human life." [5]


◊ “We can accomplish our work only if we do not see it as simply a matter of intellect or feeling, but, in the highest sense, as a moral spiritual task. Therefore, you will understand why, as we begin this work today, we first reflect on the connection we wish to create from the very beginning between our activity and the spiritual worlds ... Thus, we wish to begin our preparation by first reflecting upon how we connect with the spiritual powers in whose service and in whose name each one of us must work.” [6]

 

◊ “Among the faculty, we must certainly carry within us the knowledge that we are not here for our own sakes, but to carry out the divine cosmic plan. We should always remember that when we do something, we are actually carrying out the intentions of the gods, that we are, in a certain sense, the means by which that streaming down from above will go out into the world.” [7] 


In sum, the goals of Waldorf schooling are inseparable from the goals of Anthroposophy, although Waldorf teachers generally deny this, for fear of a public backlash: 

“[W]e have to remember that an institution like the Independent Waldorf School with its anthroposophical character, has goals that, of course, coincide with anthroposophical desires. At the moment, though, if that connection were made official, people would break the Waldorf School’s neck." [8]
 
What is Anthroposophy? It is a religion: 

"[T]he Anthroposophical Society...provides religious instruction just as other religious groups do." [9]


And so: 

"It is possible to introduce a religious element into every subject, even into math lessons. Anyone who has some knowledge of Waldorf teaching will know that this statement is true." [10]

Thus: 

"Yesterday, I was sitting on pins and needles worrying that the visitors would think the history class was too religious." [11] 

Steiner wasn't concerned that the history class was religious; he worried that outsiders might think it was excessively religious. That there will be some religious content in a Waldorf class goes without saying. Waldorf schools, you see, are religious institutions, with "a religious element" introduced into "every subject." And the religion the schools adhere to is Anthroposophy.

Hence, Steiner was able to say to Waldorf students: 

“[D]o you know where your teachers get all the strength and ability they need so that they can teach you to grow up to be good and capable people? They get it from the Christ.” [12] 

Take care when Steiner and his followers refer to "Christ." They do not mean the Son of God as Christians usually conceive Him; they mean the Sun God. This need not detain us at this moment, however. The key point for us now is to recognize Steiner's admission that Waldorf teachers are true believers; they believe that they draw their authority from a god. Their work as Waldorf teachers is religious. Even when encouraging their students to love beauty, their purpose is fundamentally religious. 


“We must, in our lessons, see to it that the children experience the beautiful, artistic, and aesthetic conception of the world; and their ideas and mental pictures should be permeated by a religious/moral feeling." [13]


So, to wrap this up: Waldorf schools are covert religious institutions. They exist to spread the religion created by Rudolf Steiner: Anthroposophy. They go about this task cautiously, secretively — but they go about it. Sending a child to a Waldorf school generally means sending her/him to an institution where many of the teachers, if not all of them, are true-believing Anthroposophists who would like to lead the child and the child's family toward the "true spiritual life" — that is, spiritual life as understood in Anthroposophy.




II

.




Books published recently by Waldorf associations for use by Waldorf teachers open a wide, revealing window into the Waldorf movement, its purposes and practices, today — in the twenty-first century.


Here are a number of quotations from “The Little Series” published in recent years by the Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America. I have edited the passages slightly for clarity and brevity.


These quotations present material that Waldorf teachers use as they prepare for their work in the classroom. Very few teachers at any other type of school would consider this material helpful. True-believing Waldorf teachers consider such material essential.


I encourage you to examine any and all of the volumes in “The Little Series”. You will find much more of the sort of thing I excerpt here. Among anodyne expressions of aspiration and piety are statements such as those below.


(On the assumption that you have acquainted yourself with Anthroposophical terminology, I will add little commentary or explanation. If at any point you find yourself stumped, 

you might consult The Semi-Steiner Dictionary and/or The Brief Waldorf / Steiner Encyclopedia.)


 





WORKING WITH THE DEAD 

(Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2003).


1.


"Should we foster ways to serve the dead with small children? May we speak with them about death and dying? … If death can live in adults’ attitudes as a heavenly birthday, then the children will approach it as a fact of life … Children who become accustomed to celebrating from a very early age the birthdays and death days of people who are part of their social life, learn to accept the spiritual world...as real. Thus they gain a basis for religious experience." [p. 2] 


2.


"At the death of a student:


You were given to us

By your parents’ will

That you might enter strongly

Into future earthly life.


In the pain at the threshold of death

Only the winged words of soul

May be spoken that determine

A ripening life.


So take with you,

Instead of school’s guidance

For earthly action and life,

The loving thoughts of the teacher

Beyond to that spirit-existence,


Where the soul is woven through

With the bright light of eternity

And the spirit experiences

The aim of God’s will." [p. 13] 


3.


"The moment of waking is of particular importance for [receiving] a message from the dead … Whatever the dead person has to communicate to us, the living, is carried from the spiritual realms in the moment of waking." [p. 5]  


4.


"Verse for Those Who Have Taken Their Own Lives

 

Your will was weak,

Strengthen your will.

I send you warmth

for your cold.

I send you light

for your darkness.

My love for you,

My memory of you,

Will expand.

May the truth in you

Dear friend

Be resurrected

Beyond the threshold

Despite the ruins

Of your self-destroyed house.

And we who follow your fate

Will ourselves reflect

So that you too will reflect

And standing upright

Will look back at the ruins

Resolved to rebuild them

Into a new

Sturdy house." [pp. 33-34]








CHRISTMAS 

(Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2005).



1.


"The material contained in this booklet is primarily meant to deepen our work as grownups with children ... By itself, the mood of the Luke gospel...cannot be the whole of Christmas. Therefore we have, in addition, the account given in the gospel of St. Matthew ... Many a theologian and church Father has given explanations [for contradictions between the gospels], and Steiner has put forth his explanation ... [T]his riddle...can lead one to different understanding of birth, incarnation, and reincarnation ... Christmas is the festival of love, because it speaks of the miracle of conception and birth...of incarnation and destiny [karma], of spirit, soul and body." [pp. 1-4] 


2.


"The Etheric Body as a Reflection of the Universe:


O cosmic spirit, let us be completely filled with the spirit that grows 

out of spiritual science, so that we may not fail to wrest from 

Ahriman and Lucifer that which can be of help to the earth, for its 

salvation and progress!" [p. 10]


3.


"As human, spiritual individualities we must strive for wisdom ... But wisdom is a twofold thing: wisdom of the Gods and wisdom of the Luciferic powers. The being who strives after wisdom must come near to the antagonists of the Gods...to the army of Lucifer. Therefore, there is no divine all-wisdom, for wisdom is always confronted with an opponent...Lucifer." [p. 19]


4.


"If we think of Christ [the Sun God] as symbolized by the direct sunlight, we may liken Jahve [Jehovah] to sunlight reflected by the moon ... Those who are to some extent conversant with this subject regard the transition from a temporary reflection of Christ in Jahve to Christ Himself just as they think of the difference between sunlight and moonlight: Jahve is an indirect and Christ a direct revelation of the same being ... Thus, in the period preceding the birth of Christianity, the sun religion was prepared for by the moon religion." [pp. 51-52]


5.


"The human physical body, as you know, has a long history. It has passed through a Saturn Period, a Sun Period, a Moon Period, and is now passing through the Earth Period. The influence of the astral body began only during the Moon Period but naturally produced a change in the physical body. Hence, the physical body does not appear to us today in the form imparted to it by the forces of the Saturn Epoch and the Sun Epoch, but in the form resulting from those forces combined with the forces of the astral body and the I."  [p. 62]







MICHAELMAS 

(Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2004).



1.


“The selected texts and verses by Rudolf Steiner in this booklet…lead the way to an ever more enlivened understanding of Michael, a high being in the spiritual world. His battle with the dragon accompanies the history of humanity through ever more stages of evolution … [Today] we stand as his comrades in his battle. If we do this in freedom, then we will receive his strength.” [p. 1]


2. 


“The dragon takes on the most diverse forms; he takes on every possible form. Those that arise from human emotions are harmful enough, but not nearly as harmful as the form the dragon acquires from the dead and deadening knowledge that prevails today. There the dragon becomes especially horrible. One might almost say that the correct symbol for institutions of higher education today would be a thick, black pall hung somewhere on the wall of every lecture room … Behind the black pall there should be a picture of Michael’s battle with the dragon, the battle with deadening intellectualism … The [Waldorf] teacher should unite him or herself with Michael in a particularly close way, for to live in these times means simply to crawl into the dragon and further the old intellectual operation. To live in the truth means to unite oneself with Michael. We must unite ourselves with Michael whenever we enter the classroom; only through this can we bring with us the necessary strength. Verily, Michael is strong!” [pp. 17-18]


3.


The Art of Education: Buidling the Vehicle in Which 

Michael Will Ride into our Civilization


"In our own epoch the battle of Michael with the dragon has for the first time become real, to the highest degree … The dragon pushes himself forward, demanding the highest authority. The authority of science is the most powerful that has ever been exercised in the world … Michael needs, as it were, a chariot by means of which to enter our civilization … By educating in the right way we are preparing Michael's chariot for his entrance into our civilization … In short, we must take seriously our entrance into the Michael age. With the means available at present, we shall have to guide humanity again to the experience of being surrounded by the picture of Michael — powerful, radiant; for Michael...can overcome the dragon preying on humanity. Only when this picture can be received in a more living way than formerly into the soul, will there come forces for the development of inner activity out of humanity's knowledge that they are of the company of Michael.” [pp. 34-36]








LOVE 

(Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2006).



1.


“When man seeks freedom without inclining toward egoism...then it is possible for him to approach Michael. But if he desires to act freely and at the same time develops egoism...then he is in danger of falling into Ahriman's sphere ... Michael is the guide to Christ." [p. 7]


2.


The Third Realm of Evil and the Absorption of the Ego 

and Consciousness-Soul in Senseless Sensuality


"Without karma, no progress would be possible. Karma is a blessing that has been vouchsafed to us, inasmuch as it obliges us to rectify every error ... Karma [is] the indirect consequence of the deeds of Ahriman ... Just as the Lucifer spirits intervened in the Lemurian [epoch] and the Ahrimanic spirits in the Atlantean epoch, so too our epoch will see the intrusion of beings ... [I]n the age now approaching, those spiritual beings known as the Asuras will creep into the consciousness soul and therewith into the human I or ego ... The Asuras will generate evil with a far mightier force than was wielded by the Satanic powers in the Atlantean epoch or by the Lucifer spirits in the Lemurian epoch." [pp. 32-33]


3.


"If, when we go through the gate of death, we look back over our past life on earth, memory fades out. And, out of this memory there unwinds what the force of love on earth has given us as force for life after death. Thus the force of memory is the heritage we receive from our pre-earthly life, and the force of love is the seed for what we have after death. That is the relation between earthly life and the spiritual world." [p. 41]









SEEKING THE SPIRIT 

(Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2010).



1.


"How do we give a dwelling to the spirit? How do we create for spiritual beings the possibility to be in the world...? This is the great Whitsun question today ... Spiritual science wants to be the Whitsun-language ... Year after year [we celebrate] the great Christian festivals ... Christmas...Easter...Whitsun ... The second half of the year mirrors the first, when one considers the festivals with their opposites in the cycle of the year: Christmas and St. John's; Easter and Michaelmas; Whitsun and the time for remembering the dead." [pp. 1-3]

2.

Elemental Beings and Group Souls

"Much is said nowadays about the forces of nature, but little enough about the beings behind these forces. Our forefathers spoke of gnomes, undines, sylphs and salamanders [i.e., fire spirits], but to see any reality in such ideas is regarded today as sheer superstition ... When people say that their ancestors' belief in gnomes, undines, sylphs, salamanders and the like was all nonsense, one would like to [answer] 'Well, go and ask the bees. They could inform you: the sylphs are no superstition to us; we know well enough what we owe to the sylphs' ... Where metal is found in the rocks, the miner as he hacks away sees certain tiny beings that were compressed into quite a small space ... They are the beings our forefathers called gnomes; they prefer to take up their abode where metal and stone come together ... [U]ndines...are found where...plants come into contact with the mineral kingdom. They are bound up with the element of water ... The sylphs are bound up with the element of air; they lead the bees to the flowers ... As for the salamanders, these are known to many people. When someone feels that this or that element of soul is streaming toward him, this mostly arises through the salamanders." [pp. 23-24]


3.

Suffering and Pain - Joy and Desire:
The True Attitude to Karma

"If we look at the totality of life...and if we face our karma...we will come to the conclusion that all pain that hits us, that all suffering that comes our way, are of such a nature that they are being brought about by our shortcomings. By far the greater part of our pain and suffering [comes from] imperfections that we have brought over from previous incarnations ... Self-torture practices by ascetics, monks and nuns is nothing but a continuous rebellion again the gods. It behooves us to feel pain as something that comes to us through our karma. In joy and happiness, we can feel that the divine is descending to us." [pp. 73-75]








Very few teachers at any other type of school would consider this material helpful.


True-believing Waldorf teachers consider such material essential.






















Impression of a red window at 

the Anthroposophical headquarters, 

the Goetheanum.


[R. R., 2012.]

















III

.




Here is a final roundup of statements 
by Anthroposophists and Waldorf teachers; in them you will find the essence of Waldorf education. 

Some of the statements are true, some are false; some are candid, some are cunning. But, taken together (with some correcting others), they shine a light into an area of darkness.

(If you come upon statements 
you have seen before, please just skip ahead.)




 The anthroposophical movement is the basis of the Waldorf school movement.” — Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 162.


"Waldorf schools are based on a spiritual view of the human being and of the world. However, no religion, including Christianity, is promulgated in a Waldorf school. The inspiration for Waldorf Education arises from a worldview or philosophy called Anthroposophy." — William Ward, "Is Waldorf Education Christian?", RENEWAL, A JOURNAL FOR WALDORF EDUCATION, 2001, Vol. 10, No. 1.



 "One question that is often asked is: ‘Is a Waldorf school a religious school?’ ... It is not a religious school in the way that we commonly think of religion ... And yet, in a broad and universal way, the Waldorf school is essentially religious.” — Jack Petrash, UNDERSTANDING WALDORF EDUCATION  (Nova Institute, 2002), p. 134.



 "It is possible to introduce a religious element into every subject, even into math lessons. Anyone who has some knowledge of Waldorf teaching will know that this statement is true." — Rudolf Steiner, THE CHILD's CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE BASIS OF PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 94.



 "Yesterday, I was sitting on pins and needles worrying that the visitors would think the history class was too religious." — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 655.



 "I think we owe it to our [students'] parents to let them know that the child is going to go through one religious experience after another [at school] ... [W]hen we deny that Waldorf schools are giving children religious experiences, we are denying the whole basis of Waldorf education." — Eugene Schwartz, "Waldorf Education - For Our Times Or Against Them?" (transcript of talk given at Sunbridge College, 1999).



 "[The] special contribution, the unique substance, mission, and intention of the independent Waldorf School, is the spiritual-scientific view of human nature [i.e., Anthroposophy].” — Peter Selg, THE ESSENCE OF WALDORF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2010)‚ p. 4.



 "Rudolf Steiner uses the word [Anthroposophy] as synonymous with spiritual science ... [S]piritual science is divine wisdom." — Roy Wilkinson, RUDOLF STEINER ON EDUCATION (Hawthorn Press, 1993), p. 8.



 "Spiritual Science, called Anthroposophy...has been arrived at through the genuine supersensible insights [i.e., clairvoyance] of the seer-scientist Rudolf Steiner." — Waldorf teacher Joseph Wetzl, preface to Otto Fränkl-Lundborg's WHAT IS ANTHROPOSOPHY? (St. George Publications, 1979), p. 7.



 "Waldorf education is a form of practical anthroposophy...." — Keith Francis, THE EDUCATION OF A WALDORF TEACHER (iUniverse, 2004), p. xii.



 The Waldorf School would be inconceivable without this spiritual movement [i.e., Anthroposophy].” — Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 153.



 "[T]he Anthroposophical Society...provides religious instruction just as other religious groups do." — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 706.



 "Waldorf teachers must be anthroposophists first and teachers second." — Gilbert Childs, STEINER EDUCATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE (Floris Books, 1991), p. 166.



 "As teachers in the Waldorf School, you will need to find your way more deeply into the insight of the spirit and to find a way of putting all compromises aside ... As Waldorf teachers, we must be true anthroposophists in the deepest sense of the word in our innermost feeling.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 118.



 "If educators pursue [the recommended Waldorf] road, it will be revealed more and more that today’s children are truly instructed by the gods." — Renate Long-Breipohl, "The New Generation of Children", RESEARCH BULLETIN (Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2004), Vol. 9, No. 1.



 "The teacher's work has to do with the four members of the child's being, the physical body, the Soul Bodies [i.e., the etheric and astral bodies] and the Ego [i.e., the spiritual 'I' or ego body]." — Richard Blunt, WALDORF EDUCATION - Theory and Practice (Novalis Press, 1995), p. 109.



 "[Waldorf] education is essentially grounded on the recognition of the child as a spiritual being, with a varying number of incarnations behind him, who is returning at birth into the physical world ... Teachers too will know that it is their task to help the child to make use of his body, to help his soul-spiritual forces to find expression through it, rather than regarding it as their duty to cram him with information....” — Stewart C. Easton, MAN AND WORLD IN THE LIGHT OF ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1989), pp. 388-389.



 "We can accomplish our work only if we do not see it as simply a matter of intellect or feeling, but, in the highest sense, as a moral spiritual task. Therefore, you will understand why, as we begin this work today, we first reflect on the connection we wish to create from the very beginning between our activity and the spiritual worlds ... Thus, we wish to begin our preparation by first reflecting upon how we connect with the spiritual powers in whose service and in whose name each one of us must work.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 33.



 "[W]e have to remember that an institution like the Independent Waldorf School with its anthroposophical character, has goals that, of course, coincide with anthroposophical desires. At the moment, though, if that connection were made official, people would break the Waldorf School’s neck." — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 705.



 "Without religion no person is whole ... To deprive children of religious instruction is to only half-educate them." — Roy Wilkinson, RUDOLF STEINER ON EDUCATION (Hawtorn Press, 1993), p. 136.



 "We must, in our lessons, see to it that the children experience the beautiful, artistic, and aesthetic conception of the world; and their ideas and mental pictures should be permeated by a religious/moral feeling." — Rudolf Steiner, EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENTS (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), pp. 77.



 "Childhood is commonly regarded as a time of steadily expanding consciousness ... Yet in Steiner’s view, the very opposite is the case: childhood is a time of contracting consciousness.... [The child] loses his dream-like perception of the creative world of spiritual powers [i.e,. the gods] ... [I]n a Waldorf school, therefore, one of the tasks of the teachers is to keep the children young [in order to maintain their perception of the spirit realm]." — A. C. Harwood, PORTRAIT OF A WALDORF SCHOOL (The Myrin Institute Inc., 1956), pp. 15-16.



 "We [Waldorf teachers] want to be aware that physical existence is a continuation of the spiritual, and that what we have to do in education is a continuation of what higher beings [the gods] have done without our assistance. Our form of educating can have the correct attitude only when we are aware that our work with young people is a continuation of what higher beings have done before birth." — Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 37.



 "One aspect of Waldorf education consists of continuing the work of the Hierarchies [i.e., the gods]." — René Querido, THE ESOTERIC BACKGROUND OF WALDORF EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1995), p. 16.



 "While not frequently discussed, Waldorf education is permeated with the notion that [Waldorf teachers] are co-creating with spiritual beings [i.e., the gods] ... The challenge to the teacher is to carry on the work of the angels [gods one level above mankind] ... Through meditating on an individual child, through working with verses and prayers, through celebrating festivals, and through practicing working with the good being of the school in sacramental conversation, Waldorf school communities are encouraged to practice a dialogue with the spirit.” — Christopher Schaefer, “The Social Mission of Waldorf Communities”, RESEARCH BULLETIN (Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2009), Vol. 14, No. 2.



 "The reason many [Steiner or Waldorf] schools exist is because of the Anthroposophy, period. It's not because of the children. It's because a group of Anthroposophists have it in their minds to promote Anthroposophy in the world ... Educating children is secondary in these schools." — "Baandje", "It's About Anthroposophy" (People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools, 2006).



 "A Waldorf school is...an organization that seeks to allow the spiritual impulses of our time to manifest on earth in order to transform society ... [I]t strives to bring the soul-spiritual into the realm of human life.” — Roberto Trostli, “On Earth as It Is in Heaven”, RESEARCH BULLETIN (Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2011), Vol. 16, No. 2.



 "You need to make the children aware that they are receiving the objective truth, and if this occasionally appears anthroposophical, it is not anthroposophy that is at fault. Things are that way because anthroposophy has something to say about objective truth. It is the material that causes what is said to be anthroposophical. We certainly may not go to the other extreme, where people say that anthroposophy may not be brought into the school. Anthroposophy will be in the school when it is objectively justified, that is, when it is called for by the material itself.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 495.



 "[T]he task of the educator is to make oneself a kind of prophet of the child’s future.” — Christopher Clouder, head of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, “Spiritual Dimension and Autonomy” (1998).



 "This is precisely the task of school. If it is a true school, it should bring to unfoldment in the human being what he has brought with him from spiritual worlds into this physical life on earth.” — Rudolf Steiner, KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS , Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1972), lecture 5, GA 235.



 "Waldorf education is based upon the recognition that the four bodies of the human being [the physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies] develop and mature at different times.” — Roberto Trostli, RHYTHMS OF LEARNING: What Waldorf Education Offers Children, Parents & Teachers (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), pp. 4-5.



 "Perhaps the essential question of Waldorf High School education is: How can this new ‘soul-body’ (or astral body) be helped to emerge in adolescence as harmoniously as possible?” — John Wulsin, “Parzival andthe Journey of Adolescence”, RENEWAL, A JOURNAL FOR WALDORF EDUCATION, 2006, Vol. 15, No. 1.



 "If, therefore, we are asked what the basis of a new method of education should be, our answer is: Anthroposophy must be that basis. But how many people there are, even in our own circles, who try to disclaim Anthroposophy as much as possible, and to propagate an education without letting it be known that Anthroposophy is behind it." — Rudolf Steiner, THE KINGDOM OF CHILDHOOD (SteinerBooks, 1995), p. 4.



 "Must teachers be clairvoyant in order to be certain that they are teaching in the proper way?  ... The teacher's faculty [of clairvoyance] must be cultivated and brought to a stage of conscious awareness on the part of the teacher.” — Eugene Schwartz, WALDORF EDUCATION: Schools for the Twenty-First Century (Xlibris Corporation, 2000), p. 17.



 "By educating in the right way we are preparing Michael's chariot for his entrance into our civilization." — Rudolf Steiner, quoted in MICHAELMAS (Waldorf Early Childhood Association of North America, 2004), p. 35.



 "All education that is capable of enlisting teachers’ best energies and of giving their pupils the bread of life they long for and without which other bread does not nourish, must be regarded as religious ... [I]t cannot avoid questions of higher forms of cognition [i.e., clairvoyance], of the reality of the human soul and spirit [Steiner distinguished between these], of life beyond the bodily, of spiritual beings above and below humanity [i.e., gods, demons, and nature spirits], of a spiritual concept of the evolution of the kingdoms of nature, of destiny [i.e., karma], and of God.” — John F. Gardner, EDUCATION IN SEARCH OF THE SPIRIT (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), pp. 154-155.



 "[T]his is how our free, nondenominational, religion lessons came about. These were given by our own teachers, just as the other religious lessons were given by ministers. The teachers were recognized by us as religious teachers in the Waldorf curriculum. Thus, anthroposophic religious lessons were introduced in our school. “ — Rudolf Steiner, SOUL ECONOMY AND WALDORF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2003), p. 125.



 "[F]rom a spiritual-scientific [i.e., Anthroposophical] point of view child education consists mainly in integrating the soul-spiritual members with the corporeal members." — Gilbert Childs, STEINER EDUCATION IN THEORY AND PRACTICE (Floris Books, 1998), p. 68.



 "A Waldorf high school science teacher stands before a wonderful and yet difficult task. We need to be at home in modern scientific research in the fields in which we are teaching, but we also need to transcend the narrow confines of the theory-driven, reductionist approach so widespread in science and science teaching today." — Craig Holdredge, "Science a Process or Dogma? The Case of the Peppered Moth", RESEARCH BULLETIN (Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2002), Vol. 7, No. 1.



 "[T]he sine-qua-non of Waldorf education is the teachers’ meditative lives. Unless a conscious path is cultivated for spiritual beings [i.e., gods] to support the human being, ‘Waldorf’ will [lose its meaning] ... We should aim...to actively connect a child to his/her pre-birth intentions [i.e., karma], to work in such a way that our work is [as Steiner said] ‘a continuation of what higher beings have done before his birth.’” — Elan Leibner, “Contemplative Work in the College Meeting”, RESEARCH BULLETIN (Research Institute for Waldorf Education, 2012), Vol. 17, No. 1.



 "Every [Waldorf] school and every [Waldorf] teacher researches the foundation upon which Waldorf education is based ... [Steiner's] published works on spiritual science [i.e., Anthroposophy] provide exercises and active tasks that an individual can practice...to gain higher perception [i.e., clairvoyance] ... Behind the striving of a successful Waldorf teacher is the commitment to ‘school oneself’ [in the disciplines of Anthroposophy].” — David Mitchell, “What Is It that Makes Waldorf Education Come Alive?”, THE ONLINE WALDORF LIBRARY, March, 2012.



 "Rudolf Steiner’s...advice [on how to perceive the spirit worlds] varied depending on the audience to whom he spoke ... He gave special mantric material [i.e., mantras] to doctors, to teachers, [etc.]" — Arthur Zajonc, afterword to Steiner's HOW TO KNOW HIGHER WORLDS (Anthroposophic Press, 1994), p. 232.



 "[T]he purpose of education is to help the individual fulfill his karma. The teacher is an intermediary and his task is to guide the incarnating individualities [i.e., children] into the physical world and equip them for earthly existence.” — Roy Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 52.



 "One of the comments often heard about Waldorf education is that it does not prepare the young person for life in the cold cruel world, for achievement in a competitive and highly technological society." — introduction to Peter Nitze's "Thoughts on the Relevance of a Waldorf Education", ONLINE WALDORF LIBRARY, downloaded Oct. 28, 2014.



 "[T]he beginning of menses in girls...occurs later, interestingly...in Waldorf schools. Thus, Waldorf education is part of the protection against the onset of early adolescence.” — David Mitchell, “Developmental Signposts of Adolescence”, lecture, Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, June, 2002.



 "The teacher needs to provide a steady, well-balance middle realm, so that children who are still in a dreamy state and not yet incarnated, as well as those who are too densely incarnated can find a right relationship to their own, individual incarnation.” — report on a presentation by Clause-Peter Röh at the Bay Area Center for Waldorf Teacher Training, downloaded Oct. 29, 2014.



 "The position of teacher becomes a kind of priestly office, a ritual performed at the altar of universal human life." — Rudolf Steiner, THE ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 23.



 "[I]t is the teacher's task to help guide [the child] into earthly existence. The teacher is therefore performing a priestly office. He is mediating between heaven and earth." — Roy Wilkinson, RUDOLF STEINER ON EDUCATION (Hawthorn Press, 1993), p. 36.



 "As far as our school is concerned, the actual spiritual life can be present only because its staff consists of anthroposophists.” — Rudolf Steiner, EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENTS (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 60.



 "[O]ne could say that to study spiritual science is to acknowledge God; to educate is to recognise and further the divine intentions.” — Roy Wilkinson, RUDOLF STEINER ON EDUCATION (Hawthorn Press, 1993), p. 18.



 "[Anthroposophist René] Querido warned in his talks that parents should be aware of one basic tenet of Waldorf: although not tied to one particular church, it is essentially spiritual. ‘Education itself is a religious experience in the deepest and broadest sense of the word. There is a connection with the divine creative forces.’” — Ida Oberman, THE WALDORF MOVEMENT IN EDUCATION (Edwin Mellen Press, 2008), p. 254.



 "[T]he role of the teachers [is] to take primary responsibility for the incarnation of the child.” — Robert Schiappacasse in ADMINISTRATIVE EXPLORATIONS (Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, 2000), p. 7.



 "One of the most important facts about the background of the Waldorf School is that we were in a position to make the anthroposophical movement a relatively large one. The anthroposophical movement has become a large one.” — Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 156.



 "[Acquiring] spiritual perception, enhanced consciousness or knowledge of higher worlds [i.e., clairvoyance]...is the same path that should be followed by every teacher who takes his vocation seriously.” — Roy Wilkinson, THE SPIRITUAL BASIS OF STEINER EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 115.



 "[D]o you know where your teachers get all the strength and ability they need so that they can teach you to grow up to be good and capable people? They get it from the Christ.” — Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 29.



 "[The] great virtues are: Justice, Temperance (prudence), Courage (fortitude), and Wisdom ... [Also] Faith, Love and Hope ... Waldorf education is devoted to these ideals which are closely related to the Christ being.” — Dorothy Olsen, “Birth to the Age of Three: Our Responsibility”, BRITISH WALDORF KINDERGARTEN ASSOCIATION NEWSLETTER, Autumn/Winter, 1995.



 "Waldorf education strives to create a place in which the highest beings [i.e., gods], including the Christ, can find their home....” — Joan Almon, WHAT IS A WALDORF KINDERGARTEN? (SteinerBooks, 2007), p. 53.



 "If approximately between the ages of seven and fourteen the child is not introduced in a living way to the Christ, along the lines of the Waldorf curriculum, in later life the youngster is more likely to either deny Christ or to hold onto a traditional faith.” — René Querido, THE ESOTERIC BACKGROUND OF WALDORF EDUCATION (Rudolf Steiner College Press, 1995), p. 36.



 "All we have really to do is to develop the limb man and part of the chest man. For after that it is the task of the limb man and chest man to awaken the head-man. Here we come to the true function of teaching and education." — Rudolf Steiner, THE STUDY OF MAN (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 11, GA 293.



 Waldorf schooling stands in opposition to "fact-based [i.e., knowledge-based] education." — Jack Petrash, UNDERSTANDING WALDORF EDUCATION  (Nova Institute, 2002), p. 26.



 "The success of Waldorf Education, Rudolf Steiner [said], can be measured in the life force attained. Not acquisition of knowledge and qualifications, but the life force is the ultimate goal of this school.” — Peter Selg, THE ESSENCE OF WALDORF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2010)‚ p. 30.



 "The Waldorf school must succeed; much depends on its success. Its success will bring a kind of proof of many things in the spiritual evolution of humankind that we must represent ... Let us especially keep before us the thought, which will truly fill our hearts and minds, that connected with the present-day spiritual movement [i.e., Anthroposophy] are also the spiritual powers that guide the cosmos [i.e., the gods]. When we believe in these good spiritual powers they will inspire our lives and we will truly be able to teach." — Rudolf Steiner, PRACTICAL ADVICE TO TEACHERS (Anthroposophic Press, 2000) p. 189.



 "Among the faculty, we must certainly carry within us the knowledge that we are not here for our own sakes, but to carry out the divine cosmic plan. We should always remember that when we do something, we are actually carrying out the intentions of the gods, that we are, in a certain sense, the means by which that streaming down from above will go out into the world.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 55.



 "This is what we must carry in our souls as [Waldorf] teachers ... Every word and gesture in my teaching as a whole will be permeated by religious fervor." — Rudolf Steiner, THE ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 65.



 "[W]e feel direct contact with the spiritual world, which is incarnating and unfolding before our very eyes, right here in the sensory world. Such an experience provides a sense of responsibility toward one’s tasks as a teacher, and with the necessary care, the art of education attains the quality of a religious service." — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 161.



 "[A] teacher’s calling becomes a priestly calling, since an educator becomes a steward who accomplishes the will of the gods in a human being." — Rudolf Steiner, HUMAN VALUES IN EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 2004), p. 9.



 "It makes all the difference whether children...are brought up...witnessing the teacher’s underlying religious attitude." — Rudolf Steiner, THE CHILD's CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE BASIS OF PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 93.



 "By means of our pedagogical approach, we can convey to a child still at a tender age a feeling of reverence and respect for what is sublime in the world. We can enhance that feeling into a religious mood through which a child can learn how to pray." — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY, Vol. 1 (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), p. 151.



 “We also need to speak about a prayer [to recite with the students each morning]. I ask only one thing of you. You see, in such things everything depends upon the external appearances ... [C]all it an opening verse before school. Avoid allowing anyone to hear you, as a faculty member, using the word ‘prayer.’” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 20.





IV

.




How can we conclusively conclude? 
How end our inquiries?

No single message or compilation of messages will do. 
But for lack of a better option, 
I'll toss out the following, a message 
I posted online on May 13, 2016:



There are a great many bonkers belief systems in the world — political, economic, spiritual, etc. Billions of people adhere to them. I would like to save all those billions; I would like to bring sanity and sweet reason to every corner of human life. But let’s get real. Simply bringing sanity and sweet reason to the tiny corner of human life called Waldorf education is difficult enough. People generally believe what they want to believe, and changing their minds about their fundamental beliefs is usually extremely difficult if not impossible. Still, in the tiny corner called Waldorf education, I make the effort.

Anthroposophy is bonkers. But who cares? As a wise man once said, “There are a great many bonkers belief systems in the world — political, economic, spiritual, etc. Billions of people adhere to them.” People have that right, even if they are wrong (if you follow me).

The only reason I care two figs about the bonkers belief system called Anthroposophy is that Waldorf schools work clandestinely to promote it. The schools work to indoctrinate children in the Anthroposophical faith, usually without securing the students’ parents’ permission first. This is evil, and it should be stopped.

In the USA, there is another reason to oppose Waldorf schools, or at least Waldorf schools that seek governmental support. (This reason may also apply elsewhere, to varying degrees.) Waldorf schools are religious institutions — clandestine religious institutions that lie about their purposes. The US Constitution prescribes the separation of church and state. Hence, Waldorf schools should not be accepted into public school systems, nor should they receive financial support from the government.

Does this mean that Waldorf schools should be abolished? No. Does it mean that Anthroposophy should be banned? No. It means that Waldorf schools 1) should operate as private institutions, and 2) they should be honest about their purposes. If Waldorf schools openly affirmed that they exist to promote Anthroposophy; if they openly stated that they try to lead students toward Anthroposophy; and if they clearly explained what Anthroposophy is — then, fine, they should be free to operate as private institutions, and parents who wanted to send their kids to Waldorf schools should be free to do so. I, personally, would be inclined to weep for those kids. I, personally, would think those parents were making a terrible mistake. But I would accept the right of Anthroposophists to create and operate Waldorf schools, and I would accept the right of parents to mess up their children by sending them to such schools. This is called freedom. People must be free to make mistakes, so that they will also be free to make wise choices sometimes. Choosing Waldorf is never wise, IMO, but free citizens must have the right to choose. This is called freedom.

- Roger




























Basic geometric concepts awaken clairvoyant abilities.”
— Rudolf Steiner, THE FOURTH DIMENSION: 
Sacred Geometry, Alchemy, and Mathematics 
(Anthroposophic Press, 2001), p. 92.

[R.R. sketch, 2014.]




















ENDNOTES




[1] Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 495. 


[2] Ibid., p. 118. 


[3] Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 156. 


[4] Rudolf Steiner, EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENTS (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 60. 


[5] Rudolf Steiner, THE ESSENTIALS OF EDUCATION (Anthroposophic Press, 1997), p. 23. 


[6] Rudolf Steiner, THE FOUNDATIONS OF HUMAN EXPERIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 33. 


[7] FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 55. 


[8] Ibid., p. 705. 


[9] Ibid., p. 706.


Elaborating on this point, Steiner said,  


“[T]his is how our free, nondenominational, religion lessons came about. These were given by our own teachers, just as the other religious lessons were given by ministers. The teachers were recognized by us as religious teachers in the Waldorf curriculum. Thus, anthroposophic religious lessons were introduced in our school. “ — Rudolf Steiner, SOUL ECONOMY AND WALDORF EDUCATION (SteinerBooks, 2003), p. 125. 


[10] Rudolf Steiner, THE CHILD's CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS AS THE BASIS OF PEDAGOGICAL PRACTICE (Anthroposophic Press, 1996), p. 94. 


[11] FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER, p. 655.


[12] RUDOLF STEINER IN THE WALDORF SCHOOL, p. 29.


[13] EDUCATION FOR ADOLESCENTS, pp. 77.
















To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch, 
use the underlined links, below.


◊◊◊ 14. PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER ◊◊◊



A look back, plus


Mystical thinking, realistic thinking























Reports and advice from parents whose children attended Waldorf schools


A report by a mother who was drawn to a Waldorf school but left disillusioned

Talking it over

Had enough?

Crossing many lines

Describing the near-collapse of the Waldorf school I attended


Deprogramming myself after Waldorf

Who the heck am I?


Doom and deliverance


CONCLUSION


Can you trust me?
























[R.R. sketch, 2014.]