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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.


43) [Separation] “Evolution is possible only by means of differentiation and separation ... In order for special qualities to develop in human evolution, certain groups of human beings must be separated off for a time." — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF MORALITY (SteinerBooks, 1995), p. 25. "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.


The process of separation began, preliminarily, as far back as Old Saturn. But for now, let's consider more recent times and the stories we have told ourselves about ourselves


44) [Decadence]  “A wonderful legend describes to us the state of development of the soul. The soul is in a different line of evolution than the body of the human being. The difference between soul and racial development can be seen if we look into the past. Souls were incarnated many times in the Atlantean race [i.e., the race living in Atlantis — yes, Atlantis]; all of you were Atlanteans at that time [i.e., in previous incarnations]. The souls worked themselves out of that situation and the remaining human bodies belonged to the races that had become decadent and were falling into decline [i.e., upwardly evolving people left behind their bodies from lower levels of existence]. The souls left the bodies of the [lower] races and rose up to higher races. Human bodies afflicted with fundamental evil will not have souls within them that are striving to rise above their present state to a higher one [i.e., the lower bodies left behind will be populated only by lower souls who do not try to evolve upward].” — Rudolf Steiner, READING THE PICTURES OF THE APOCALYPSE (SteinerBooks, 1993), pp. 49-50. This is no mere legend to Steiner. It's what he taught. Good souls rise out of the bodies of lower races and reincarnate in the bodies of higher races. Bad souls 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 (beings who have no real spiritual essence). These humans cease to be human; they become literally subhuman.


45) ["Morality"] “Souls previously incarnated in quite subordinate races, raised themselves to a higher level and could incarnate in the bodily descendants of the leaders in Europe [i.e., good souls rose up and became white people] ... This was the reason that the lower races had fewer and fewer descendants, while the higher races had more and more [i.e., as good souls moved upward to higher racial forms, there were fewer souls left in lower racial forms].” — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF MORALITY (SteinerBooks, 1995), p. 30. 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?


46) [Demons of Decay and Asiatic Hordes] Even Europe has sometimes been overrun by evil. “[W]ith the dying out of the worst parts of the ancient population of which I have been speaking, the whole region gradually became filled with demonic beings that represented the products of the decay of what had died out [i.e., the worst parts of humanity either evolve upward or they descend to subhuman status; in either case, openings are created for demonic beings to fill the vacated portions of mankind's environment]. The whole of Europe and also Asia Minor were thus filled with the spiritual products of decay out of the worst parts of the population. These demons of decay...endured a long time ... Their influence can best be seen at the time of the Great Migrations, when large masses of people, including Attila [the Hun] and his hordes, came over from Asia and caused great terror among the people in Europe. This terror made the population susceptible to the influences of the demonic beings ... As a consequence of the terror produced by the hordes coming over from Asia, there gradually developed what manifested during the Middle Ages as the epidemic of leprosy.” — Rudolf Steiner, THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF MORALITY (SteinerBooks, 1995), p. 31. 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. [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] “[I]n our time certain supernumerary people are appearing who have no 'I' [i.e., no true spiritual ego] and are therefore not human beings in the full sense of the word." — Rudolf Steiner, THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND THE WORK OF THE PRIEST (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 180. Supernumerary people — unneeded, excess, inhuman, subhuman. 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:


48) [Subhumans; Demons in Human Form] “[C]ases are increasing in which children are born with a human form, but are not really human beings ... [They] are not reincarnated, but are human forms filled with a sort of natural demon ... [T]here are people who are not human beings.” — Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), pp. 649-650. 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." Thank goodness.


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. There are good humans and demons in disguise, just as there are high races and low races, and good souls and fundamentally evil souls.


All of man's inhumanity to man is implicit in such thinking. And such thinking forms part of the ideology underlying Waldorf education.





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[Detail, Waldorf student art, courtesy of

People for Legal and Nonsectarian Schools.]