“Modern exact clairvoyance, as developed by him [i.e., Rudolf Steiner],

reveals spiritual facts to spiritual vision as clearly as men's ordinary senses

reveal to the intellect the facts of the physical world.”

— Floyd McKnight


(More or Less)

Steiner claimed to possess "exact clairvoyance," which made his doctrines nearly unquestionable.

Here are some statements of the claim as well as some wonderful indications

of the wisdom obtainable through the use of "exact clairvoyance."

“There is no need for me here to explain first the methods by which one comes to know these things; I assume from the outset that you receive what I say as coming from the exact clairvoyance which you will remember I described in my lectures here in London, a few months ago. ['Knowledge and Initiation' and 'Knowledge of the Christ through Anthroposophy'.]” — Rudolf Steiner, PLANETARY SPHERES AND THEIR INFLUENCE ON MANS LIFE ON EARTH AND IN THE SPIRITUAL WORLDS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1982), lecture 4, GA 218.

“I have described in my [PHILOSOPHY OF FREEDOM] how the intellectual is further developed into conscious, exact clairvoyance. It then lives in a free inner constitution of the soul. Only then can man know himself and his relation to the other parts of his being, outside his pure thinking and his free will. Through such a higher consciousness — imaginative, inspired and intuitive consciousness — man may reach in self-knowledge beyond his intellect and know himself as part of the supersensible world. And then it will be clear to him that although he is fully human, as has become clear to him in his self-knowledge, full humanity requires of him that he perfect it ever more and more.” — Rudolf Steiner, “Self Knowledge and the Christ Experience” (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1988), a lecture, GA 221.

“[O]nly those who know such things as they are here communicated can undertake in full consciousness the exercises that lead to knowledge of the higher worlds. Without the latter no genuine esoteric training is possible, for it must be understood that all groping in the dark is discouraged, and that failure to pursue this training with open eyes may lead to mediumship, but not to exact clairvoyance in the sense of spiritual science.” — Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1947),  chapter 6, “Some Results of Initiation”, GA 10.

“Anthroposophy seeks for what may be called exact clairvoyance, again to borrow a term from scientific usage; that is to say it seeks to develop a knowledge and perception of the spiritual worlds which is no less exact, no less conscientious in the sense of exact science, than is the best tendency and striving of our natural scientific age ... Now with the development of a higher science, the science of initiation, according to modern requirements and to Anthroposophy, it is necessary to train, develop and evolve by our own conscious activity both the conceptual thinking-life and the will-life, and it is thus that we can trace what has been called an exact clairvoyance, a modern science of initiation.” — Rudolf Steiner,  KNOWLEDGE AND INITIATION (Steiner Book Centre, 1983), GA 211.

“The student of the world of the senses directs his science to outward things, to results; but the student of the spirit pursues science as a preparation of vision. And when vision begins, science must already have fulfilled its mission. If you like to call your vision ‘clairvoyance’ it is at any rate, an ‘exact clairvoyance’. The science of the spirit begins where that? of the senses ends. Above all, the research student of the spirit must have based his whole method of thought for the newer Science on the one he applied to the world of the senses.” — Rudolf Steiner, COSMOLOGY, RELIGION AND PHILOSOPHY (Rudolf Steiner Publishing Co., 1943), chapter 1, GA 25.

“What is necessary in order to return to a Philosophy, a Cosmology and a Religion that embrace all man, is to enter upon the province of an exact clairvoyance in Imagination, Inspiration and Intuition; and this consciously — that is in contradistinction to the old dreamlike clairvoyance. Man attains to his full consciousness in the province of a life of abstract presentations. It remains to him, in the further advance of humanity, to bring this full consciousness of the spiritual world to bear on his daily life.” — Ibid., chapter 2.

“One looks up with comprehension to what is accomplished outside when the cosmic spirit-forces send the iron arrows into the animalised desire-world of the cosmos; one feels oneself entirely bound up with the cosmos and surrendered to it. Precisely in these particular phenomena, one feels entirely surrendered to the cosmos ... [W]hen the soul has risen to exact clairvoyance, it is not possible for it to do otherwise, when it experiences such things as this — when its feeling turns inwardly towards its own meteoric process, and when looking outward it beholds in the cosmic meteor-process that rich fullness of life which is thus revealed — than to bring it all together in a comprehensive, inwardly saturated picture form, an Imagination in which is displayed how the human being, the Microcosm, and the Macrocosm are grown together. This does not mean that such an Imagination is merely built up out of fantasy; rather is it a real and true expression of a living process permeating the world and the human being.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE FESTIVALS AND THEIR MEANING, IV, MICHAELMAS (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1957), “The Michael Inspiration”, GA 229.

“Oriental cultures lay nearer to the Torrid Zone, where such things were more readily accessible to the ancient elementary clairvoyance. Today, however, it is possible to come to these things in the Temperate Zone through free, exact clairvoyance ... Yet people want to go back to the ancient cultures!” — Rudolf Steiner, THE CYCLE OF THE YEAR AS BREATHING-PROCESS OF THE EARTH (Anthroposophic Press, 1984) lecture 3, GA 223.

“The moment a man enters the realm of Moon-evolution, he behaves as though he did not live in the physical realm of the Earth at all, but in the astral world, though the astral enters into the physical and makes use of the physical body. And that which the astral develops physically in this way was at one time Moon-evolution. We are reminded that astral activity in the physical was once world-evolution — Moon-evolution — and will be so again. But then a man will be able in full consciousness to walk up steeply sloping surfaces, as flies can do today. This is an indication of what will come about in the future during the Jupiter-evolution. Thus, if we rightly understand the somnambulist, we can study the physical picture he presents, as if nature herself were giving us a demonstration of what we experienced during our Moon-existence — not, certainly, in a physical body of flesh, but in an infinitely finer substance — and of what we shall experience again when we learn to master physical substance quite consciously, during the Jupiter-evolution. So this sleep-walking state points both to the past and to the future in the evolution of the world.

“In this connection we are concerned entirely with human beings whom we can call Moon-men, who in certain moments of their life become somnambulists. But this sleep-walking behaviour, this going about in the imponderable, can be accomplished spiritually, in full consciousness, if at the same time one has sufficient strength to keep perfectly still. The somnambulist follows the impulses of the Moon-forces; he gives himself over unconsciously to them and makes every movement to which they impel him. But anyone who goes through this experience with exact, conscious clairvoyance refrains from any such movements; he keeps still. The effect is that the movements undergo a metamorphosis in him and become Intuitions. Conscious Intuition, therefore, the highest development of strict clairvoyance, actually consists in arresting the actions which a sleep-walker is instinctively compelled by the Moon-forces to perform. Anyone who brings about this metamorphosis does not give himself up to the physical forces of the Moon but holds them in check within himself. Thus he is enabled to devote himself intuitively to the relevant spirituality; that is, he attains to Intuition.

“Hence it is really very good to study in these Moon-men how, on the one hand, man is related to world-evolution, and on the other how the somnambulist and the exact clairvoyant are opposites. Whereas it is instinctive people who are the moonstruck sleep-walkers, exact clairvoyants are intuitive seers who, refraining from action, hold their own against the Moon. That is what we are shown at this point in the relation of man to the world.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE EVOLUTION OF CONSCIOUSNESS (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1966), lecture 7, GA 227.

Steiner did not claim to be omniscient — he did not claim that his "exact clairvoyance"

made him wholly incapable of error. He acknowledged that he might slip up a little, here or there,

now and again. But very, very rarely.

He sometimes said that spiritual investigation is so difficult, anyone using exact clairvoyance

will get some things wrong sometimes.

He even said, sometimes, that future spiritual investigators may take "spiritual science"

farther than he was able to go.

He tended to make such statements defensively, as if to cover himself,

much as he sometimes argued that contradictions are inevitable in spiritual matters,

since the truths of the spirit realm are not confined by narrow rules of logic.

[See "Steiner's Illogic".]

Nonetheless, Steiner claimed that his teachings are extremely solid, coming as they do 

from the use of an extremely reliable faculty, exact clairvoyance.

He generally claimed that he was right about almost everything almost always,

since his insights derived from such dependable investigative procedures.

And his followers have generally accepted his assurances on these matters,

looking on him as a virtually unquestionable source of wisdom.

For more on the wisdom Steiner attained through exact clairvoyance,

see, e.g., "Steiner's Blunders" and "Millennium".

Somehow, Stiener's extremely reliable, precise psychic powers led him over and over

into error, not truth.

Yet Steiner specified the need for Waldorf teachers to follow his lead

and develop their own powers of clairvoyance.

Failing that, he said, they should accept his clairvoyant word for virtually everything.

See "The Waldorf Teacher's Consciousness".

For an overview of the cosmology Steiner developed through his claimed use of clairvoyance,

see "Everything".

For pointers on how to develop clairvoyance,

see "Knowing the Worlds".

Although it was not meant as such, this is a fairly good representation 

of Anthroposophy as it may first appear to anyone beginning the process of 

trying to comprehend Steiner's bizarre teachings.

But take heart. It is possible to work your way through the maze

and leave it behind.

[Dave Phillips, MIND-BOGGLING MAZES (Dover Publications, 1979.]

— Compiled by Roger Rawlings

"The Round Dance of the Seven."

[R.R. sketch, 2014, based on a painting by Gerard Wagner,

based on indications given by Rudolf Steiner


(SteinerBooks, 2014), p. 102.]

Here are items from the Waldorf Watch Annex
dealing with "exact clairvoyance":

NATURE SPIRITS (Anthroposophic Press, 2003).
"Based on knowledge attained through his highly trained clairvoyance, 
Steiner contends that folk traditions regarding nature spirits are based on spiritual reality. 
He describes how people possessed a natural spiritual vision in ancient times, enabling them to commune with nature spirits. 
These entities — also referred to as elemental beings — became immortalized as fairies and gnomes in myth, legend, and children’s stories." — Anthroposophic Press
Books published by Rudolf Steiner's followers often present clairvoyance as a real faculty.
Anthroposophists — many of whom work as Waldorf school teachers — may not believe that cats have ESP,
but they believe in clairvoyance, and they think that by using clairvoyance they can discern
such "realities" as nature spirits. When Waldorf teachers tell their students myths and fairy tales
about fairies, gnomes, and the like, they usually think that they are telling the kids spiritual truths.

"Does Your Cat Have ESP?

"Participate in Dr. Rupert Sheldrake's ground-breaking research on cats with ESP, and share your results with him

"Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D., author of Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: and Other Unexplained Powers of Animals, wants cat owners to participate in his research by conducting experiments themselves. He says not enough research regarding cats and extrasensory perception (ESP) abilities is available." [9-29-2011    http://www.catchannel.com/magazines/catfancy/june-2007/does_your_cat_have_esp.aspx]

In the Waldorf universe, ESP or clairvoyance is no laughing matter. The entire Waldorf movement is based on clairvoyance. Rudolf Steiner claimed to be clairvoyant. Indeed, he claimed to use "exact clairvoyance," meaning that his "clairvoyant" discoveries about human nature, the spirit realm, etc., are essentially unquestionable — they are "exactly" true. [See "Exactly".] Steiner also taught that Waldorf faculty members should develop their own powers of clairvoyance or, at a minimum, unhesitatingly accept the pronouncements of "clairvoyants" such as himself. Here are a few of Steiner's statements on these matters:

• "[P]hilosophy does not suffice, only pedagogical principles and methods do: exact clairvoyance."  — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), Vol. 1, p. 208.

• "[W]e must work to develop this consciousness, the Waldorf teacher’s consciousness, if I may so express it. This is only possible, however, when in the field of education we come to an actual experience of the spiritual. Such an experience of the spiritual is difficult to attain for modern humanity. We must realize that we really need something quite specific, something that is hardly present anywhere else in the world, if we are to be capable of mastering the task of the Waldorf school ... [We need] what humanity has lost in this respect, has lost just in the last three or four centuries. It is this that we must find again.” [Rudolf Steiner, DEEPER INSIGHTS INTO EDUCATION (Anthroposophical Press, 1983), p. 21.] Steiner taught that modern people do not have the natural clairvoyance possessed by the ancients, and thus we no longer have direct experience of the spirit realm. By following his directions, however, we can attain a new, higher form of clairvoyance — and here he explicitly tells Waldorf teachers that they should do so.

• "Along with exact clairvoyance, you must also achieve something I refer to as ideal magic." — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), Vol. 2, p. 18. "Ideal magic," according to Steiner, is the ability to enter the spirit realm through the use of Anthroposophy.

• "Not every Waldorf teacher has the gift of clairvoyance, but every one of them has accepted wholeheartedly and with full understanding the results of spiritual-scientific investigation concerning the human being." — Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), Vol. 2, p. 224. "Spiritual science" is Anthroposophy. "Spiritual-scientific investigation" is the use of exact clairvoyance.

The problem in all of this is that there is no reliable evidence that clairvoyance of any kind actually exists. Careful research has been done, repeatedly, and despite occasional false alarms, the final results have always been negative. [See "Clairvoyance". To look into what appears to be recent false alarm, see "ESP".]

Unless you believe in clairvoyance, you really cannot logically affirm Waldorf education. Waldorf education is built on a fantasy. Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to believe the fantasy and to choose Waldorf education for your children. But having the right to do these things is not the same as being right about these things. Parents, please think very carefully before sending children to schools where reality is spurned and fantasy is embraced as exact truth. You may unintentionally inflict serious harm on the people you love most in all the world. [For more on the Waldorf view of clairvoyance, see "The Waldorf Teacher's Consciousness".]

Belief in clairvoyance pervades all parts of the Waldorf curriculum.
This is from the description of a Waldorf teacher's guide, published by the Rudolf Steiner College Press
The subject is history. The subtext is clairvoyance.
"The History curriculum for fifth and sixth grades in a Waldorf school follows the thread of development of cultures 
through Ancient India, Persia, Egypt and Chaldea, Greece, and Rome. This provides a picture of the changing human consciousness from ancient clairvoyance 
to the loss of spiritual vision and, with it, the awakening of independent ego awareness and materialism. 
The teacher is guided to a deeper understanding of the spiritual significance of mythologies and great epics, and shows how the ancient world points the way to the future."
TEACHING HISTORY, Vol. 1 (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2000).
Students taught history in this way are being fed Anthroposophy, which considers itself the "way to the future." 
"Changing human consciousness." "ancient clairvoyance," "the loss of spiritual vision," "independent ego awareness," 
"the spiritual significance of mythologies and great epics" — these are all terms and concepts that have special importance in Anthroposophy. 
And, clearly, if a child is taught that human history has involved the loss of an ancient form of clairvoyance, 
that child is being taught Anthroposophical belief.

November, 2011

Help wanted; a posting by the Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools in New Zealand:

"This is an exciting new opportunity for inspired educators at this new Whitianga Kindergarten. We are seeking experienced, fully qualified Early Childhood educators who wish to work & live in an idyllic location.

"This new Kindergarten will work alongside the established Kuaotunu Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten & be managed & governed by the Kuaotunu Kindergarten Charitable Trust."  [11-24-2011]

When the official bodies representing Waldorf education use words like "inspired," they presumably know precisely what they mean. In Anthroposophical belief, inspiration is a form of clairvoyance, and Waldorf teachers are expected to cultivate it. Rudolf Steiner taught that most human beings today lack clairvoyance, but Waldorf teachers should attain it. No other preparation is sufficient, he said: "[P]hilosophy does not suffice, only pedagogical principles and methods do: exact clairvoyance." [1] 

Precise, focused clairvoyance is the "basis" of Waldorf schooling. “Now, if we are working as teachers — as artists in education — on human beings, we must enter into relation with their supersensible [i.e., supernatural], creative principle...the supersensible [soul] that lives in the human being’s self. The anthroposophical method of research [clairvoyance] makes this possible and so provides the basis for an art of teaching and education." [2] 

Those Waldorf teachers who have not yet become clairvoyant should at least accept the guidance of those among their colleagues who claim to possess clairvoyance now. "Not every Waldorf teacher has the gift of clairvoyance, but every one of them has accepted wholeheartedly and with full understanding the results of spiritual-scientific investigation [i.e., the use of clairvoyance]." [3] 

According to the Waldorf belief system, there are three levels of clairvoyance in our future: imagination, inspiration, and intuition. By following Steiner's instructions, people can attain these levels now (or so Steiner said). The rest of humanity will have to wait until we evolve to higher "planets" after the end of our Earth existence. “Now let us consider the three states of consciousness which are still to come ... The next state known to the initiate is the so-called ‘psychic-consciousness’ or Imagination ... On the planet which will replace our Earth, the whole of humanity will have this psychic-consciousness’ or Imagination, the ‘Jupiter’ consciousness ... Then there is the sixth state of consciousness man will one day possess ... Man will look deep, deep into the nature of beings, when he lives in this consciousness, the consciousness of Inspiration ... This will be the consciousness of man when our planet will have passed into the ‘Venus’ condition ... The seventh state of consciousness is the ‘spiritual consciousness’ or Intuition...which [man] will have in addition to all the other states of consciousness when he will have reached ‘Vulcan’.” [4]

Believe me, please. I understand how bizarre all this is. But I am not telling you what I think; I am telling you what Rudolf Steiner's followers think. You and I may have difficultly believing that Steiner's followers embrace such doctrines, but they do. Some Waldorf teachers have more faith than others, but the great majority accept the "wisdom" provided by Rudolf Steiner. Bear in mind, Waldorf schools are also called Rudolf Steiner schools. The central authority in the Steiner system is clearly identified — it is Rudolf Steiner — and you have just read some of his authoritative statements.

Did the Federation of Rudolf Steiner Schools in New Zealand have any of this in mind when specifying that they want "inspired" teachers? Perhaps not. But this is what the word actually means in the Steiner/Waldorf universe. I thought you might like to know.

[1] Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), Vol. 1, p. 208.

[2] Ibid., p. 207.

[3] Rudolf Steiner, WALDORF EDUCATION AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophic Press, 1995), Vol. 2, p. 224.

[4]  Rudolf Steiner, UNDERSTANDING THE HUMAN BEING, (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1993), pp. 30-31. Note that when Steiner speaks of planets in such contexts, he was describing future stages in the evolution of the solar system. Thus, for instance, the Jupiter that lies in our future is not the Jupiter we see in the sky today. Rather, it is a new incarnation of the entire solar system.
For several days recently, the "Quote of the Day" here on the news page has consisted of descriptions of courses in the Waldorf teacher-training program at Rudolf Steiner College (Rudolf Steiner College 2011-2012 Catalogue). Here the description of another such course, with an extended response:

"The Philosophy of Freedom (1.5 credits). The student will develop understanding for the epistemology underlying Anthroposophy. Answering the question, ‘Can I gain certainty in knowing the world?’ affirmatively leads to ‘Can I become truly free?’"    

The Waldorf/Steiner belief system, Anthroposophy (meaning “human wisdom”), is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of knowledge and truth. Rudolf Steiner’s followers think they can "gain certainty" by developing powers of clairvoyance. They work to develop heightened powers of imagination, inspiration, and intuition — which Steiner identified as three stages of clairvoyance. When they think they have attained these, they believe that the views they form through these types of consciousness are true. They imagine something, or get an inspiration, of have an intuition... Such “human wisdom” becomes, in their view, essentially unarguable.* They are then freed from any need to dispute their views with outsiders; they feel no need to consider the opinions of outside scholars and scientists.** All external knowledge (i.e., knowledge developed through use of the senses, the brain, and the rules of logic) becomes suspect, in their view; to know the Truth, they look inward, not outward. They are “free” of external rules, limitations, and doubts; they are “free” to think what they want. 

This freedom is not absolute, however. Steiner often spoke of the need for gurus or spiritual guides, such as (guess who?) himself. He also spoke of the crucial difference between the white path of truth (his own) and the black path of falsehood. He said that he apprehended the truths of the white path through his use of “exact clairvoyance” — his occult “discoveries” are virtually unquestionable because they are exactly true. Thus, his followers have the choice between the path of truth and the path of fallacy. Their “freedom” is little more than the power to make a single decision. They can freely decide to believe in Steiner and his system, or they can freely choose to suffer the dreadful consequences of failing to 
believe in Steiner and his system.***  

On this page, we have looked at numerous courses included in Waldorf teacher training programs. Here's a recap. Aspiring Waldorf teachers are taught about planetary stages of evolution/cosmic evolution, the evolution of consciousness, karma, reincarnation, macrocosm/microcosm, astrology, astrosophy, seven-year-long phases of incarnation, the twelve human senses, the four temperaments, the Anthroposophical take on the kingdoms of nature, the Anthroposophical take on human nature, planetary soul types/soul types in children, spirituality in art, mystery or occult centers, occult wisdom, Atlantis, cultural epochs (i.e., historical periods of spiritual evolution), meditative work to be done by teachers, spiritual streams, initiation, Sun initiates, and Isis. Among other things. All of this is taught, of course, "from the standpoint of Anthroposophy." 

There is no separation between the mysticism of Anthroposophy and the Waldorf worldview. Waldorf trainees study these subjects in order to become Waldorf teachers. Gentle reader, please bear this in mind. The people being taught to separate themselves from reality in this manner, the people receiving this instruction in the practice of self-deception, are aspiring Waldorf teachers. Soon after completing their training, they will offer themselves as educators for your children. If they have taken to heart the lessons given at Rudolf Steiner College and other Waldorf teacher-training schools, they may well rank among the very last people you should consider for such important work.

* Some Anthroposophists are more sophisticated than others in sorting through their "clairvoyant" findings; some are more scrupulous in "controlling" their clairvoyant powers. But all of them harbor the same fundamental delusion, accepting the most unreliable states of consciousness as the most reliable.
** Anthroposophical books sometimes include this prefatory note: “No person is held qualified to form a judgment on the contents of this work, who has not acquired — through the School of Spiritual Science itself or in an equivalent manner recognized by the School of Spiritual Science — the requisite preliminary knowledge. Other opinions will be disregarded....”  The School of Spiritual Science is a central Anthroposophical institution preserving and extending the results Steiner's claimed clairvoyance. In essence, the prefatory note rejects all views except those stemming from Steiner and his clairvoyant system.

*** Anthroposophists do have a bit of wiggle room. They can disagree with one another about the meaning of Steiner’s various teachings — doctrinal disagreements are as common in Anthroposophy as in any other faith system. Thus, each Anthroposophist can be “certain” that his or her “clairvoyant knowledge” is true, even if others have different “clairvoyant knowledge” and even if Steiner, by some accounts, taught something different from what an individual Anthroposophist has “certainly” learned through inward vision.

Quotes of the Day, 2011

"Modern exact clairvoyance, as developed by him [i.e., Rudolf Steiner], reveals spiritual facts to spiritual vision as clearly as men's ordinary senses reveal to the intellect the facts of the physical world.” — Floyd McKnight, RUDOLF STEINER AND ANTHROPOSOPHY (Anthroposophical Society in America, 1977), p. 4.

According to Rudolf Steiner, the Bible is obsolete. It is a simplified narrative created for unsophisticated people in prior centuries. Today, we are ready for a more up-to-date revelation, one that he himself provided. He used his “exact clairvoyance" to study the Akashic Record — a celestial storehouse of wisdom. Or so he said. Thanks to this “research,” he was able to produce a “fifth gospel” that corrects the New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Or so he said.

“Dr. Steiner called what he shared ‘additions’ because he said the four synoptic Gospels also draw their imagery from the same starry ‘picture book’ of the Fifth Gospel in the Akasha. Dr. Steiner is clear; his research shows the synoptic Gospels are — in part — imagery drawn from the Akashic Records. He discusses the service the authors of the original four Gospels performed in creating elementary ‘picture books’ of the spiritual path of Christianity, appropriate for people of their day and the next 1,500 years to come.” — Bruce Dickson, RUDOLF STEINER’S FIFTH GOSPEL IN STORY FORM (Dickson, 1991), p. 7.

In Theosophy and Anthroposophy, “akasha” is a universal ether, sometimes defined as starlight. The Akasha Chronicle or Record is a sort of universal encyclopedia recording everything that have ever happened (which may include everything that will happen), inscribed on akasha.

“This notion, that imagination is the heart of learning, animates the entire arc of Waldorf teaching.” — Todd Oppenheimer, “Schooling the Imagination”, THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY, September, 1999.

Waldorf schools emphasize imagination. They display “imaginative” art and they encourage “imaginative” play. What they don’t usually spell out is the reason for this emphasis. In the Waldorf belief system, imagination is the first stage on the path toward clairvoyance. The stages are imagination, inspiration, intuition, clairvoyance, and “exact” clairvoyance.* Rudolf Steiner claimed to use exact clairvoyance. (Hence, very few of his teachings can be disputed, since he knew the exact Truth.) The forms of imagination, etc., attainable now by Waldorf students pale in comparison to the perfected forms that can be attained by initiates and that all humanity will attain in the future, according to Steiner. 

These stages are spiritual — they are not seated in the brain but in invisible spiritual “organs.” The brain is held in low esteem at Waldorf schools. The use of the brain — in particular, disciplined, rational use of the brain, that is, intellect — is faulty, Steiner taught. At most, the brain can tell us about the physical plane of existence — the lowest and least important plane. For higher cognition, we have to turn to clairvoyance and its precursors. In stressing imagination, inspiration, and so forth, Waldorf teachers attempt to deflect students from rationality, thereby opening the portals to the worlds beyond our own.

Believe it or not, what I have described just now is one of the central (but generally concealed) pillars of Waldorf belief. We have this on the highest authority. Consider the following: 

“These things can, of course, be truly observed only when we press forward to the mode of cognition I described previously as the first stage of exact clairvoyance, imaginative knowledge. The abstract, intellectual knowledge of the human being that is common today does not lead to this other knowledge. Thought must come to life from within, and become imaginative, so that through thought as such, one can really understand. Nothing can be truly understood through intellectual thinking; its objects all remain external.”  — Rudolf Steiner, A MODERN ART OF EDUCATION, Foundations of Waldorf Education (Anthroposophic Press, 2004),  p. 60.

Steiner was emphatic: 

“The artistic element, then, begins to be the guide to the first stage of exact clairvoyance — that of imagination.”  — Rudolf Steiner, A MODERN ART OF EDUCATION, p. 64

And he laid out the succeeding stages. Concerning the second stage, he said:

“If one goes beyond imagination and reaches the second stage of exact clairvoyance (described in greater detail in my books), one attains inspiration — perception of independent spirit, no longer connected to the physical body.” — Rudolf Steiner, A MODERN ART OF EDUCATION, p. 66

We could trace this farther, but since Steiner wanted you to search out (and, presumably, buy) his books, perhaps we shouldn’t. So round up his books and settle down for a good read. Particularly interesting are the books in the series Foundations of Waldorf Education. Waldorf teachers study these books intently. Before sending a child to a Waldorf school, perhaps you should, too.

* These terms merge and mingle, and various Anthroposophical accounts conflict with one another to various degrees. Imagination, inspiration, and intuition may be considered precursors to clairvoyance, or they may be deemed actual forms of clairvoyance. Under the latter interpretation, intuition is often deemed to be full-blown clairvoyance, which when perfected becomes exact clairvoyance. Steiner said that clairvoyance is exact when it is disciplined and precise, as he claimed his was. If the goal of mental and spiritual training is to attain exact clairvoyance, then disciplined imagination, inspiration, and intuition can be considered stages of exact clairvoyance — which is how Steiner describes them in statements we will consider here.

Things get muddier when we consider the sorts of "imagination," etc., stressed by Waldorf schools for the students. The kids are not taught the techniques of exact clairvoyance or, indeed, any form of clairvoyance, defined literally. But they are shepherded onto a path that is supposed to lead to clairvoyance. Note that the Steiner statements we have considered come from a book about education.

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


The missing basis of Waldorf thinking

Occult initiation in Anthroposophy

Oh why? Oh why? Oh why?



Case closed?

Being fooled

Getting happy


You may also want to consult the following essay 
posted in the first section of Waldorf Watch:

The use of "clairvoyance" by Waldorf teachers

If you'd like more information about any of the topics discussed here, 

you might begin by consulting the following resources:


[A - D]   [E - I]   [J - O]   [P - R]   [S]   [T - Z]


[A - B]   [C - D]   [E - F]   [G - I]   [J - M]   [N - Q]   [R - S]   [T - Z]


[A - E]     [G - M]     [N - S]     [T - Z]


[R.R., 2013.]