Looking Both Ways
This page — like several pages that follow it —
was originally created for use on a different website.
The form and tone are somewhat different from the rest of Waldorf Watch.
I have edited these pages for use here.
Rudolf Steiner claimed to be clairvoyant. The “discoveries” he made using his supposed psychic powers are astonishing. Here's a fine example: “[T]he moon today is like a fortress in the universe, in which there lives a population that fulfilled its human destiny over 15,000 years ago, after which it withdrew to the moon together with the spiritual guides of humanity ... This is only one of the 'cities' in the universe, one colony, one settlement among many ... As far as what concerns ourselves, as humanity on earth, the other pole, the opposite extreme to the moon is the population of Saturn.” 
Steiner cast his psychic gaze back into the dimmest reaches of mankind's past and forward into the brightest glories that he said we will attain in the future. He summarized much of this material in his book OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE, which we have already skimmed. [See "Everything".] Another distillation of Steiner's views has been offered by devout Anthroposophist Richard Seddon, in a slim volume titled THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER.  I’ll use it — here and on the following pages — as a sort of tour guide through Steiner’s fantasies, with special emphasis on the vistas beckoning us from the far future. What lies ahead may surprise you.
According to Steiner, one of the most important events in mankind's history was the sinking of Atlantis. Yes, Steiner taught that Atlantis actually existed. He also talked a lot about human evolution. He didn't mean the sort of evolution science describes; he meant a weird kind of racial and “spiritual” progress made by good humans. (Bad humans are something else, as we'll soon see.) He said that humanity made great evolutionary strides both before and after Atlantis went under. He also taught that long before Atlantis was destroyed, another lost continent, Lemuria, endured a similar catastrophe. (See Steiner’s books ATLANTIS: The Fate of a Lost Land and Its Secret Knowledge, and ATLANTIS AND LEMURIA.)
But that’s all history. I promised you the future. So here it comes (I’ll skip over the boring 21st and 22nd Centuries). Richard Seddon writes that Steiner taught that “By the start of the twenty-third century, when Michael's Sun-rulership as Time Archangel ends (though he continues as Spirit of the Age for more than a millennium) great changes will obviously have taken place ... [H]uman etheric bodies gradually loosen from the physical, and souls begin to extricate themselves....” 
I know, I know. Not as exciting as you expected? Sorry. But here’s some of what Steiner was getting at. Michael is a really good guy: an archangel, which means he is a benevolent god standing two spiritual stages higher than human beings. (See Steiner’s book THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL: His Mission and Ours.) Michael has special authority over events occurring on the Sun (he, like Christ the Sun God, is essentially a sun spirit), but he also has temporary authority over our lives on Earth. He is a warrior archangel who has fought to protect us from the demonic spirit called Ahriman. Thus, for instance, in 1879 Michael managed to defeat Ahriman and his hordes on the Moon, casting them downward. [See "Michael".] Michael will gradually relinquish his various protective duties over us, but in a real sense we will be able to survive and evolve only thanks to the strenuous steps he has taken on our behalf.
Some of the evolutionary effects overseen by Michael show up in Seddon's statement "[H]uman etheric bodies gradually loosen from the physical, and souls begin to extricate themselves....” In Anthroposophical belief, real human beings have four bodies, three of which are invisible. The lowest of our invisible bodies is the "etheric body," which is an envelope of formative forces. Today, in the 21st century, our etheric bodies are still tightly bound to our physical bodies, but in the future as we evolve our etheric bodies will free themselves from our physical bodies, and before long we won't need physical bodies at all. Part of this process will be the freeing of our souls from the toils of material existence ("souls begin to extricate themselves..."). All of this lies ahead, but not so very far ahead, just a matter of a few ticks on the cosmic clock, really.
Things, of course, will shake out differently for people who are not really human. Some people are demonic or subhuman, according to Steiner.  They, of course, will not evolve upward along with the good humans. Indeed, the process of evolution frequently requires lowly, backward, or evil beings to be separated out and left behind. The animals and plants that we see around us today are, by and large, examples of this process. Long ago, the souls of animals and plants stood at the same evolutionary level as ourselves, but they were unable to evolve further, so we left them behind. Plants are beings who could not even evolve to the level of animals; we left them behind long ago. Animals are beings who could evolve further than plants, but they could not keep up with us beyond the animal level, so we left them behind also. The general lineup of "beings" on the physical plane of existence includes minerals (which have physical bodies but nothing higher), plants (which have both physical and etheric bodies), animals (which have physical, etheric, and astral bodies), and humans (who have physical, etheric, astral, and ego bodies). Thus, for instance, “From spiritual science [i.e., Steiner's new religion] you know that the plant [i.e., any living vegetable] owes its existence to the fact that, besides its physical body, it has an etheric body.” 
But we're getting sidetracked. (I'm stalling, a little, because we are approaching some very nasty stuff.) Past, present, and future are bound up with the processes of karma and reincarnation. [See "Karma" and "Reincarnation".] Basically, you get what you deserve. If you were wicked in one life, you will have to make amends in a future life. Or, if you fail to make amends, you may slip backward, becoming less evolved. Or, as we have seen, you may be kicked out of evolution and get left behind like a plant or animal. This helps explain the existence of subhumans on the Earth today, along with the continued existence of "lower" races. 
Steiner taught that there are multiple races on the Earth today because demons interfered with human evolution. The good gods such as Michael wanted humans to all evolve together at the same pace. Thus, long ago, all humans stood at a single, rather low level of development. The gods' plan was for us to ascend to higher stages as a unified human family. Advancing uniformly, we would all develop from lowly racial forms to higher racial forms. There would be only one race on the Earth at any one time. During one phase of evolution, we would all be members of Race X. Then during the next stage of evolution, we would all be members of Race Y. And so on. [In Theosophy, from which Steiner borrowed heavily, these are called Root Races.]
But two demons interfered in this divinely ordained process. One of these demons was Ahriman, whom we have already met. The other was Lucifer. [See "Ahriman" and "Lucifer".] They caused older, lower human forms to continue existing alongside higher, more evolved types:
“While there should have been basically only one form of human being...Lucifer and Ahriman preserved [earlier human types] ... [F]orms that should have disappeared remained ... That is how it came about that physically different races inhabited the earth and are still there in our time although evolution should really have proceeded [uniformly].” 
In the future, Steiner said, the interference of Lucifer and Ahriman will be overcome and all humans will again be a single, unified group. [See "Love and the Universal Human".] But the story of human evolution thus far is inextricably entwined in our racial histories, Steiner taught. We have been evolving from lower races to higher races as we approach the human ideal:
“A race or nation stands so much the higher, the more perfectly its members express the pure, ideal human type ... The evolution of man through the incarnations in ever higher national and racial forms is thus a process of liberation [leading to] an ideal future.” 
That's the future we will glimpse on coming pages: the ideal future in which we finally attain true spiritual freedom. Getting there will not be easy, however. Even when we have evolved far, far ahead, there will still be some aberrant souls among us who will need to be cast off and left behind so that the rest and best of us can keep ascending. Here's a preview. After our lives on Earth during the current stage of the solar system's development, we will evolve to a higher condition called Future Jupiter. That, in turn, will be followed by a still higher stage called Future Venus, which will eventually lead us to the gloriously elevated stage called Future Vulcan. It will be a long climb, and as we approach the end — as we transition from Future Venus to Future Vulcan — the last remaining low, backward, aberrant souls among us will be cast off:
"[A] distinct cosmic body [i.e., a planet or moon] will break away, containing all beings who have resisted evolution and constituting an 'unredeemable moon' ... The part of humanity that has continued to evolve, however, will move on to the Vulcan phase...." 
So. Welcome to the future. Stay tuned.
— Roger Rawlings
To gaze deeper into humanity's past
(as described by Steiner), see
To sneak a peek into the future, see
Detail, Rudolf Steiner portrait
I will walk you through the book, but I encourage you to get your own copy.
It is a condensed and startling presentation of Steiner's doctrines.
Steiner's racial teachings comprise one of the worst sectors of his ideology.
His followers today should openly and decisively reject these teachings.
The problem for Steiner's followers, however, is that
the concept of humanity's rise through racial forms lies near the heart of Anthroposophy.
This concept cannot be surgically removed, as it were, without leaving a gaping hole.
A related problem is that Anthroposophy rests primarily on the belief
that Rudolf Steiner truly was clairvoyant — he saw how things truly are.
So, if his followers were now to say that Steiner was wrong about one important subject — race —
they would open the possibility that he could have been wrong about other important subjects, too.
But for them, this is virtually unthinkable.
It would undermine their entire belief system.
A map of Atlantis
(utterly imaginary, of course).
“If we were to journey back through time to the age that links Lemuria with Atlantis,
we would meet with a remarkable sight: gigantic flying lizards with a lantern on their heads...”
— Rudolf Steiner, BLACKBOARD DRAWINGS 1919-1924
(Rudolf Steiner Press, 2003), pp. 130-131.
[My sketch of Steiner's sketch, 2009;
Steiner arranged the two figures horizontally; I have put them vertically.
Plausibility is unaffected.]
Christ is the leading figure in Anthroposophy
(Christ as reinterpreted by Steiner, that is).
Yet many of Steiner's doctrines come from very different sources.
Hinduism is crucially important,
supplying such concepts as polytheism and reincarnation.
Here you see, in schematic form, the beginning of the archangel Michael's reign. The horizontal line separates the astral plane (above) and the physical world (below). The arc from the left represents the reign of Gabriel, which ended in 1879. The arc to the right is Michael's reign, beginning in that year. Trouble, though: Mammon poked his snout in at about the same time.
"[I]n November of the year 1879 there occurred on the astral plane something very similar to a birth ... The rulership of Gabriel was replaced by another archangel, under whose leadership we now stand, the archangel Michael. He is the radiant sun that esoteric wisdom lets shine forth on a small band of people ... The radiant leadership of Michael will again be replaced by a dark, horrible age that will begin around the year 2400. Already today simultaneously with Michael a dark god has entered into his rulership: the god Mammon.
"For esotericism, Mammon is not only the god of money. He is much more the leader of all vile black powers. And his hordes attack not only human souls, but also the physical bodies of humans in order to gnaw away at them and ruin them. People speak of bacteria a lot more today not because they know more about them, but because bacteria have taken on a very special form today. And in the future they will get the upper hand in a terrifying way. When that black age approaches, then fraternal war will rage in a gruesome way, and poor human bodies will waste away, terribly afflicted by diseases and plagues. The stigma of sin will be impressed on human bodies visible to everyone." — Rudolf Steiner, ESOTERIC LESSONS 1904-1909 (Steiner Books, 2007), pp. 232-233. R.R. sketch, 2009, based on b&w image on p. 232. In case the forgoing left any doubt, here's a clarification on one point: "Mammon, the spirit of hindrances and darkness, has countless helpers who incarnate as bacteria." — Ibid., p. 208.
The small band to whom Michael radiates esoteric wisdom is, of course, the small group to whom Steiner delivered "esoteric lessons": initiated Anthroposophists.
Before pushing ahead, let's take a quick glance at a stage in Earth's history long predating Atlantis:
"Try to picture the sun and moon both contained in the earth and oysters that had no shells, but were slime. When lumps of this substance separated off, new oysters developed, and so forth. They were so huge and lay right next to each other so that you could not have told them apart. What did the earth look like at that time? It looked like our brain, whose cells also lie next to each other. The only difference is that these cells die off, whereas in that very ancient time the huge oysters cells were one next to the other, and the sun constantly developed forces, because it was inside the earth. Yes, gentlemen, the earth was here [see drawing], and there was a giant oyster, another next to it, and many other huge lumps of slime, which continuously propagated ... If you had looked at the earth at that ancient time, it would have resembled a gigantic creature that contained within it the forces of the sun and of the moon." — Rudolf Steiner, FROM CRYSTALS TO CROCODILES (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2002), pp. 143-144. [R. R. sketch based on sketch on p. 143.]
“[T]he great majority of human souls had to relinquish their union with the earth. Here we come to something of great importance in the relationship between man and earth, something which happened during the time between the separation of the sun and that of the moon. During this interval human soul-spirits, except for a very small number, abandoned earthly conditions, and pressing upward into higher regions, continued their evolution upon the several planets belonging to our solar system, each according to the stage of his development. Some souls were fitted to pursue their evolution on Saturn, others on Mars, others again on Mercury, and so on. Only a very small number of the strongest soul-spirits remained in union with the earth. During this time the rest dwelt upon the earth's planetary neighbours. This came about at a time preceding (to use our own terminology) the Lemurian age.” — Rudolf Steiner, GENESIS: Secrets of the Bible Story of Creation (Anthroposophical Publishing Co., 1959), lecture 9, GA 122.
For those of you who want to stick around for more,
we’ll pick up the story in “Oriphiel”.
On subsequent pages,
we’ll move progressively farther into the future,
and then branch out to other topics.
(If you decide to stick around, that is.
I warn you, Steiner doesn't get any more reasonable.)
The tone of several pages here and elsewhere on this site is distinctly one of mockery. This must offend some readers, for which I'm genuinely sorry. I don't expect to convert any Anthroposophists to my point of view, but I hope I may offer some insight to many other readers. Having lived with Steiner's teachings, in one way or another, for most of my life, I can honestly say that they strike me as absurd. We can laugh or weep. I choose to laugh. I urge you to join me.
If you want to jump the gun,
you can find an outline of our entire evolution
— past and future —in the final section of
For Steiner's view on abnormality,
please use this link: "Abnormal".
Quotations there also bear on quack medicine,
human freedom, the central position of humans in the cosmos,
and the temperaments of nations.
To visit other pages in this section of Waldorf Watch, use the underlined links, below.
◊◊◊ 11. THE WALDORF WORLDVIEW ◊◊◊
If you'd like more information about any of the topics discussed here,
you might begin by consulting the following resources:
THE SEMI-STEINER DICTIONARY
THE BRIEF WALDORF / STEINER ENCYCLOPEDIA
WALDORF WATCH INDEX
WALDORF WATCH TABLE OF CONTENTS
Some illustrations on each page here at Waldorf Watch
are closely connected to the essay on that page;
others are not — they provide general context.
 Rudolf Steiner, RUDOLF STEINER SPEAKS TO THE BRITISH (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998), p. 93. The beings who moved were not humans such as we are now. In Steinerspeak, “human” applies to any spiritual being passing through its “human” stage of evolution. Steiner’s use of language was slippery. Various beings have passed through a human stage, according to Steiner.
At this website, I mock and deplore Rudolf Steiner's teachings. But all of my references to Steiner's works are accurate. I am serious about the malignancy of Steiner's doctrines, and I take my obligations as a critic seriously. If you have any doubts, I invite you to look up each citation. You'll find each is accurate. Why would I change Steiner's words? They constitute the most powerful argument against him.
My references to Richard Seddon's work are also accurate. You could look it up.
For a concise summary of Steiner's take on our prehistory, see Gary Lachman's RUDOLF STEINER (Jeremy P. Tauchman / Penguin, 2007), pp. 143-147. To go straight to the horse's mouth, re. both past and future, see Rudolf Steiner, OCCULT SCIENCE - AN OUTLINE (Anthroposophic Press, 1969). A neat summation of both past and future, Steinerwise, can be found in Geoffrey Ahern's SUN AT MIDNIGHT (James Clarke & Co., 2009), pp. 122-139.
 Richard Seddon, THE FUTURE OF HUMANITY AND THE EARTH AS FORESEEN BY RUDOLF STEINER (The Temple Lodge, 2002).
 Ibid., p. 26.
 “Imagine what people would say if they heard that we say there are people who are not human beings. Nevertheless, these are facts.” Rudolf Steiner, FACULTY MEETINGS WITH RUDOLF STEINER (Anthroposophic Press, 1998), p. 650. Non-human humans may be automatons or demons in disguise; they may have etheric and astral bodies, but they lack the third nonphysical human body, the “I”; they may fall through the floor or evolution and become "subordinate nature spirits".
 Rudolf Steiner, COLOUR (Rudolf Steiner Press, 1996), p. 19.
 Bear in mind, please, that I am expressing Steiner's views, not my own. See "Steiner's Racism".
 Rudolf Steiner, THE UNIVERSAL HUMAN: The Evolution of Individuality (Anthroposophic Press, 1990), p. 75.
 Rudolf Steiner, KNOWLEDGE OF THE HIGHER WORLDS AND ITS ATTAINMENT (Anthroposophic Press, 1944), p. 149.
 Rudolf Steiner, AN OUTLINE OF ESOTERIC SCIENCE (Anthroposophic Press, 1997). p. 394.
The real world is okay. Really.
We don't need phantasmagoric alternatives
such as Steiner's.
[R. R., 2004.]