This page comprises one section of
THE MORAL VIEW
Steiner taught that human evolution can occur only if some people are separated out and left behind — perhaps to be saved later, or perhaps not. If not, then the people who are left behind will be permanently lost.
"For a time" suggests some hope — maybe the ones left behind can be rescued later. In general, Steiner said this is what happens. But he also taught that some people sink so low that they cease to be human. Their plight is dreadful. They get left behind permanently.
The process of separation began as far back as Old Saturn. But for now, let's consider more recent times and the stories we have told ourselves about ourselves.
As we have noted previously, reading Steiner can be a trial. Here is a clarifying paraphrase:
The wonderful legend of Atlantis helps us to understand that the soul and the body evolve differently: souls may rise to higher racial forms while bodies stay behind at their original racial levels. When we all lived on Atlantis, we reincarnated several times on that continent. Good souls evolved higher, leaving behind their previous bodies. The remaining, lowly bodies were then inhabited only by races that were decadent and declining. The good souls rose to inhabit newer, better bodies as members of higher races. Lowly, fundamentally evil bodies do not long house souls that work to evolve upward.
This is no mere legend to Steiner. It's what he taught. Good souls rise out of the bodies they possessed when they were members of lower races; they reincarnate as members of higher races, inhabiting new, better bodies. Bad souls, inhabiting lower bodies, either get stuck at one stage of evolution or they move downward. Fundamental evil is incurable, generally. Humans who sink too low become demonic beings or subordinate nature spirits (who have no real spiritual essence). These humans cease to be human; they become literally subhuman.*
And yes, Steiner taught, Atlantis really existed. (We'll look into this in a coming installment.)
Steiner said, many times, that good souls reincarnate in higher racial forms. The existence of, and difference between, high races and low races is one of his basic teachings.
Souls that had previously incarnated as members of quite low races raised themselves to such high levels that they incarnated as the bodily descendants of Europe's spiritual leaders. This is why lower races shrank while the higher races grew (souls evolved upward from low levels to high levels, depopulating the lower races).
Note the title of the book in which this quotation appears. We are glimpsing Steiner's concept of morality and its foundation — its "spiritual" foundation. Can you spot any morally questionable concepts in it?
Even Europe — home of the highest racial form, the white — has sometimes been overrun by evil, Steiner said.
46) [Demons of Decay and Asiatic Hordes]
When the worst humans died out, they were replaced by demons; the entire region became filled with demons produced through the decay of those who died out. All of Europe and Asia Minor became filled with these demons, produced through the decay of the worst parts of the population. These demons of decay lasted a long time. Their influence is shown by what happened during the "Great Migrations" when Attila the Hun and others invaded Europe from Asia, spreading terror. The terror caused Europeans in the Middle Ages to be susceptible to the demons. Due to the terror spread by the invaders, an epidemic of leprosy spread across Europe.
In this passage, Steiner combines racism, quack medicine, and demonology. The demonic beings are ex-humans, products of decay, essentially subhuman byproducts of human evolution. They were the Asiatic hordes, the yellow menace — and their malign effects manifested as leprosy in Europe. [For more of Steiner's racial views, see, e.g., "Races". For his medical teachings, see "Steiner's Quackery".]
Belief in the existence of subhumans is appalling, yet it is part and parcel of Steiner's worst doctrines:
47) [Subhumans; Supernumerary]
"Supernumerary people" — Steiner is speaking here of people whom he considers unneeded, excess, inhuman, subhuman. They are people who are "not human beings in the full sense of the word." They are essentially worthless. One is reminded of a line from Dickens: "'If they would rather die,' said Scrooge, 'they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.'" But Dickens was giving us a sweet Christmas tale. Steiner was offering us something very different.
Such thinking, appallingly, has shown up in Waldorf schools. Steiner injected such thinking into the very first Walsorf school.
48) [Subhumans; Demons in Human Form]
If you are considering a Waldorf school for your children, you can at least take comfort from this: In the same passage, Steiner explains that Waldorf schools are designed for children who are real humans, not demonic subhumans: "We cannot...create a school for demons."
While Steiner's doctrines offer the hope that most humans will evolve upward, they also contain the appalling idea that some people move downward, toward subhuman degradation. Moreover, some people walking the Earth today are already subhuman, Steiner said. There are good humans and demons in disguise, just as there are high races and low races. There are real human beings and there are "people who are not human beings.”
All of man's inhumanity to man is implicit in such thinking. And such thinking forms part of the ideology underlying Waldorf education.
* 44a) [The Subhuman Population of the Earth] People who descend in this way no longer reincarnate, so they no longer evolve from life to life — they enter an unending, subhuman state. Ahriman and his cohorts hope to drag all humans down to such a hellish condition:
This passage cries out for a paraphrase, but I will refrain. If you want to penetrate to the occult doctrines behind Waldorf education, you'll need to thrash your way through such material on your own. So give it a shot.
For another practice passage, and to learn more about subordinate nature spirits, see quotation #64, below.
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