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72) As we all know, Steiner described the spirit realm precisely as it really is, thanks to his use of “exact clairvoyance.” [See "Exactly".] Nonetheless, he missed a few tricks. I would encourage all occultists to expand their reading beyond Steiner’s own books and lectures. Here is a brief recommended reading list, culled from various publishers' catalogues:
As I hope is plain, this installment of Steiner Static is a joke. But it has a serious side. Anthroposophy shares a dark, occult corner with other, equally bizarre belief systems. Naturally, Anthroposophists claim that their occultism is different from other, false forms of occultism. But, then, believers in non-Anthropop occultism would defend their beliefs in precisely the same way. And, in fact, the books I've listed are typical of reading matter that Anthroposophists occasionally dip into when they are not studying Steiner. I've seen many such books on Anthroposophists' bookshelves, including in the homes of Waldorf teachers. [For a survey of Anthroposophists' mystical interests, see THE STEINERBOOKS DICTIONARY OF THE PSYCHIC, MYSTIC, OCCULT, quoted in the Semi-Steiner Dictionary.] Occultists are often indiscriminate, extending at least partial credence to wide swaths of otherworldly nonsense, finding "confirmation" of their own beliefs in the widespread acceptance of vaguely similar beliefs. Indeed, Steiner himself read many books of the kind I've listed, if perhaps at a higher level of occult plausibility. His doctrines are an amalgam of concepts he derived from his extensive reading — he even took some of his ideas from occultist fiction. (“Central to the spiritual work on inner development is what Rudolf Steiner calls (following Bulwer Lytton, who introduced the term in his Rosicrucian novel ZANONI)....” — Christopher Bamford, introduction to START NOW! (Rudolf Steiner Press, 2007), a collection of Steiner's teachings, p. 243 — the reference is to the concept of the Guardian of the Threshold.)
So I'm joking. But I'm also, sadly, serious. Here are a few titles from Anthroposophical publishing houses, books by authors other than Steiner, sometimes mildly at odds with his views, yet far removed from reality, and generally endorsing Steinerish occultism. I'll repeat: These books come from Anthroposophical publishing houses:
That last is my personal favorite. The publisher's description includes this: "The fairyland and its denizens have long been the concern of poets, painters, and storytellers. Not only are these beings [sic: the fairies, not the poets, et al] charged with the maintenance of Nature’s household but with her evolutionary plans as well. Our recognition of them and their work helps their efforts prosper and helps the earth be carried forward in its evolution. Marjorie Spock draws aside the veil obscuring the life of the 'Little People' and makes their magic world come alive for us. Included are color paintings of the four races of Little People: Undines or water spirits, Gnomes, the earth spirits, Sylphs, or air spirits, and the Fire-Spirits." As you may know, Steiner taught that gnomes, sylphs, and other such beings really exist. Really.
Is there no limit to human gullibility?
The reasons for our gullibility are plain enough. We want to deny our limitations. Most urgently we want to deny or defeat death. And we want to live in a world that is more magical, more wondrous, and more easily comprehensible than our rational brains tell us the real world is.
What is also plain, although often overlooked, is our capacity to lie to ourselves — and to believe our own sad and silly lies.